EDMONTON, AB - After playing six of their last seven games on the road, it's good to be home if you're the Edmonton Oilers.
An exhausting five-game road trip that included four Pacific Division battles was followed up with a weekend back-to-back home and away set with another divisional foe in the Vancouver Canucks - a scheduling quirk that saw the Oilers split the points with a 3-2 win on Sunday.
"It's been crazy, but a lot of teams are in the same boat. November's a busy month," Captain Connor McDavid, the NHL's First Star of the Month, said Tuesday. "Obviously we're coming off a long road trip, and it'll be nice to spend some time at home here."
Crazy is also how Alex Chiasson would describe it, and the fact that the Oilers longest stint at Rogers Place so far this season has been three games in the early part of last month against the Arizona Coyotes, St. Louis Blues, and New Jersey Devils.
Video: RAW | Alex Chiasson 12.03.19
Of the 29 games the Oilers have suited up for this campaign - completed to a tune of a 17-9-3 record to sit atop the Pacific with 37 points - only 12 have come on home ice.
"It's fair to say that our schedule since the start of the year has been crazy," Chiasson said. "It's felt like every time we've come home, it's been two games and then we go back on the road for three or four."
The rigours of playing on the road haven't been as rough for the Oilers this season, with the road warriors earning 10 wins in 17 away outings.
Head Coach Dave Tippett has enjoyed his team's mindset away from Rogers Place as a side prepared to grind out the opposition in their own barn, but any time you're able to get more practice is a good time.
Video: RAW | Dave Tippett 12.03.19
"It's nice to play at home. It's nice we're finally getting a little bit of practice time," the bench boss said. "We've hardly practiced at all lately, so that part of it is good. The other part of it, I like the way we play on the road most nights. It's a hard, tenacious game and we need to bring that game home."
"Sometimes at home you try to get too fancy, and you can't win on a consistent basis if you're not willing to grind out games. Usually on the road, that's the mindset. You have to find ways to win, so we have to bring that mindset home."