Last season, the Oilers spent a good chunk of their time at the white board during practice. It was part of the process set forth by Head Coach Dallas Eakins and his staff. Now that a lot of the teaching and fundamentals are covered, the team spends less time at the board and more sweating it out on the ice.
“That’s the biggest thing changing from last year to this year in practice,” Eakins said. “We spent a ton of time at the board trying to correct the fundamental mistakes of what we were doing in the drill or explaining the drill and what the critical point is. We’ve been now set up with, right from the start of training camp, where we did a lot of teaching through camp and our guys understand the critical aspects of the fundamentals. We’re still working on them, but our practices are now pedal to the metal. They’re quick, they’re fast and, I don’t know if you were watching today, they’re exhausting for some guys. It’s the process of a team that’s trying to grow. You have to teach first and now the mandate is to play fast and to play quick. We need to continue to get better at that.”