If you watched practice today, you would have seen the players constantly moving their feet. Each drill was quick and had a purpose, with very little downtime between. You can also see examples of drills specifically designed to reinforce the game plan.
That is something Oilers players have been commenting on the past few weeks.
“We really want to get the speed of practice up, keep the tempo moving and not stay out there as long. Get in there, do our business and get out,” Mark Fayne said.
A few days ago, the Oilers held a brief scrimmage in which the losing team had to skate extra. A quicker paced practice is something Interim Coach Todd Nelson really emphasizes.
“That’s the concept to practice at a high rate of speed but also have drills that translate to our system in a game,” Nelson said. “I thought practice was really good today. I thought our execution and our tempo was good and that’s what we’re striving for here to develop that tempo as a habit so it translates to the game.”
That concept is something the players have bought into.
“We’ve taken more pride in our practices as of late,” Ryan Nugent-Hopkins said. “We know that we can be a little bit sloppy out there at times and I think your work ethic in games starts with practice and what you do starts in practice. There are a lot of things we wanted to work on and that’s one of them.”