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BLOG: Oilers push the pace at practice

"I thought today was a step in the right direction. Our compete level was higher and our execution was better," said forward Alex Chiasson

by Paul Gazzola /

EDMONTON, AB - The Oilers brought their lunch pails to Rogers Place on Saturday for practice, as the squad looked to recalibrate after their 5-1 loss to Calgary.

The club maintained a high pace at the hour session, emphasizing drills that incorporated skating, backchecking, putting pucks on net and hunting for rebounds.

The team felt it was all necessary to get back into the win column. The Orange & Blue are currently on a two-game losing streak, getting doubled up 4-2 versus the Canucks before being burned by the Flames on Friday.

"Let's face it, our group hasn't been good enough of late," forward Alex Chiasson said. 

"I thought today was a step in the right direction. Our compete level was higher and our execution was better."

Video: RAW | Alex Chiasson 12.28.19

Like Chiasson, Riley Sheahan was honest about Edmonton's performance against their provincial rivals and admitted Saturday's session was needed to push forward.

"There's no point in dwelling on our game yesterday," Sheahan started. "We didn't have the effort we needed but we got to move on. Today was a good time for practice with high energy.

"Sometimes when you work that hard, it clears your mind a bit. It makes you understand what we're doing wrong and catch the areas where we need improvement."

Oilers Head Coach Dave Tippett expressed that his club needs to get back to playing how they were in the first 20 games of the season when they went 12-6-2. Since then, Edmonton's gone 8-11-2. 

Video: RAW | Dave Tippett 12.28.19

The bench boss felt the club was playing "with purpose" before and getting concerted efforts from everyone.

"We need better team cohesion all the way through," Tippett said. "We got to get back to playing a really good team game. Today was the best practice we've had in six weeks."

Edmonton currently owns a 20-17-4 showing at the midway mark of the '19-20 campaign and know the games will only get harder as April approaches.

"It starts in practice," said Chiasson. "We have to make changes and as of now, we need to bring the same energy and work ethic for tomorrow. That's how you get better in this League: putting the work in practice and translating it to the game."

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