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BLOG: McLellan on team at the break

by Chris Wescott / Edmonton Oilers

Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan is like any bench boss around the league. He hates seeing his team lose. Edmonton has dropped three straight, and sits at 19-26-5 this season, following a 4-1 loss to Nashville on Saturday night.

McLellan was asked his thoughts on the team at the break and the first-year Oilers coach was very honest about the positives of coaching this group, while recognizing they need to continue to improve.

“I enjoy this group, and I know I can speak for the rest of the staff. It’s fun to come to work. It’s not fun losing,” said McLellan. “It gets frustrating. I feel like the fans, I feel like the players do too, but this is a fun group. They come to the rink prepared to get better. They want to get better. They’re tired of wallowing and losing. There’s not many nights I’ve had to run in there and yell and scream and swing and kick things around because their intent or effort isn’t there. They’ve been strong that way.

“We have to get deeper in a lot of areas of our game. Tonight was a prime example. As soon as we got one line going and they target (Benoit) Pouliot and (Jordan) Eberle and (Nail Yakupov) immediately, they score early. Then we need to juggle our lines around again. We need to get deeper as an organization. We need to upgrade in a lot of different areas, whether it is strength, size, but also skill level, quarterback on the power play and things like that. We know that, but I’ve enjoyed my time here so far. I know we’re going to get better. I know we are better right now, and I know we’re going to get better.”

An injured Oilers club heads into a long All-Star Break following their annual Skills Competition presented by Rogers tomorrow at Rexall Place.

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