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BLOG: The Bruins confidence boost

After picking up a point against the Sabres then two vs. the Boston Bruins, the Oilers feel their team confidence is getting a boost

by Paul Gazzola /

TORONTO, ON - It's not every day that a team walks into TD Garden then walks out with a win and two points.

But that was the case after Saturday's Oilers-Bruins match where the Orange & Blue handed the Black & Gold a 4-1 blow. 

As a result, Edmonton joined just the Colorado Avalanche as the only two teams in the National Hockey League to beat Boston on home ice in regulation in 2019-20.

A victory like that can bring a team together and instill confidence - if that was lacking previously.

"For us to beat them in regulation, especially after we've been on a little bit of a slide, it should be a confidence boost for us," Ryan Nugent-Hopkins said Sunday from Ford Performance Centre in Etobicoke. 

"It shows what we can do when we put a full 60 together."

Video: RAW | Nugent-Hopkins

The Oilers are two games into their five-outing jaunt and have picked up three of a possible four points. There are still difficult teams ahead including the Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens and Calgary Flames, but the Oilers players and coaches feel they are returning to the form they had at the beginning of the season.

"When we play our best, it happened at the start of the year, every line plays the same way," Nugent-Hopkins continued.

"We all play with speed. We've started to get back to that a little bit. We got away from it a little bit for that little stretch there but we're starting to get back to it and good things are happening now."

Oilers Head Coach Dave Tippett's message has remained the same, even over the club's 5-8-1 December setback. 

The only thing that's been different in 2020 has been more practice time and more rest, resulting in higher energy levels and better morale.

Video: RAW | Coach Tippett 01.05.20

"Surprisingly the message has stayed a lot of the same," Tippett said.

"Having some days to practice, having a little bit more rest in our group after going through that tough stretch, you get people in better spirits. It seems like they're enthused to get things going the right way and they have the energy to do it. 

"There are still parts of our game that we need to continue to work on but we've made some strides here in the last few and hopefully we can continue that."

Edmonton will look to keep the good fortunes continuing Monday when they visit the Toronto Maple Leafs. Seven Oilers have close ties to Ontario, so it's a game many players mark on their calendars and get up for.

"Any time you play Toronto, it's exciting being at home," said Oilers Captain Connor McDavid. "I'm a kid from just outside of Toronto, so you don't really need to look for any more added incentive than that."

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