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GENE'S BLOG: Hot Toddy

Sportsnet's Gene Principe blogs about Todd McLellan's coaching style

by Gene Principe / Special to EdmontonOilers.com

EDMONTON, AB - Todd McLellan is a polite and pleasant man, but don't get him upset.

Don't get him mad or you get to see the other side of him. You need both sides when you're an NHL coach. I believe McLellan has mastered, or at least close to mastering, the dual personalities necessary to be a coach in this league or any major league sport. Understanding sometimes it's a pat on the back that works best, or a quiet word of encouragement or reinforcement.

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GENE'S BLOG: Fast-en your seatbelts

Connor McDavid's speed was on full display in Wednesday's home opener against the Flames

by Gene Principe / EdmontonOilers.com

EDMONTON, AB - If you drive 40.9 km's an hour in a school or playground zone, you could end up with a speeding ticket in Edmonton. However, if you go that fast on the ice it could lead to what we saw Wednesday night in Edmonton's game against Calgary: Connor McDavid flying up the ice and flying by the Calgary Flames to score his second goal of the night. He had one before and he had one after but the one everyone was talking about was the goal where McDavid looked like he had Flames coming out of his feet or at least his skates. 

Video: CGY@EDM: McDavid opens season with hat trick

 

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PRINCIPE: Carrying On

Sportsnet's Gene Principe blogs about Matt Benning's increased role this season

by Gene Principe / Special to EdmontonOilers.com

On Thursday, the Edmonton Oilers skated at the Rogers Place Community rink as the main ice surface was off limits because of a Nickelback concert. At the end of practice, Matt Benning was carrying 15-20 sticks back to the main room when he was intercepted by PR to do some interviews. He dropped the sticks, did the interview, and in the meantime the Oilers PR group - the nice guys that they are - had brought the sticks to the dressing room for Benning.

The next to be interviewed was Todd McLellan and as he finished, there was Benning again. This time he was carrying his teammates' sticks back to the community rink before turning right around and returning to the main room. Now that's a commitment to finishing what you started. 

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GENE'S BLOG: Advantage Edmonton

Penalty enforcement could favour the Oilers in 2017-18, Sportsnet's Gene Principe says

by Gene Principe / EdmontonOilers.com

EDMONTON, AB - This past weekend I split my time between Edmonton Oilers camp and the Davis Cup. It was off to Rogers Place for hockey and then Northlands Coliseum for tennis. Apparently, I wasn't the only one as I spotted Darnell Nurse and Connor McDavid courtside at Dennis Shapovalov's match on Friday night.

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PRINCIPE: Good Vibrations

Sportsnet's Gene Principe blogs about the positive vibes surrounding the Oilers as they begin training camp ahead of the 2017-18 season

by Gene Principe / Special to EdmontonOilers.com

EDMONTON, AB - It was day one and one by one as the Edmonton Oilers entered the Hall of Fame Room at Rogers Place on Thursday, you could tell something was different. Anyone there and for those who watched the day's proceedings on Oilers TV could easily tell they were picking up 'Good Vibrations."

It made me think of the song composed in 1966 by the Beach Boys and specifically Brian Wilson. The title was a result of Wilson's belief in cosmic vibrations after his mother once told him that dogs sometimes bark at people because they are picking up 'bad vibrations."

Unfortunately, around the Edmonton Oilers, it wasn't just dogs picking up "bad vibrations" but humans as well. It was hard not to, but that isn't the case anymore and certainly wasn't evident to begin the 2017-18 training camp. 

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PRINCIPE: Back to School

Gene Principe blogs about the Oilers rookies heading to the Young Stars Classic in Penticton, BC

by Gene Principe / Special to EdmontonOilers.com

The kids are back in school and the hockey kids are back at school. Their school is called the Young Stars tournament and it's appropriately named because of all the 'young stars' that make their way through this four-day event in Penticton.

It's a real chance to impress and it's done in a picturesque relaxed setting blocks from the beach. July and August is all about sun drenched vacationers soaking up the sand and the surf for weeks at a time. The Young Stars Tournament is just a long weekend of hockey but they aren't so much tourists that attend but true hockey fans wanting to get a first glance at the next great thing in their organization. 

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GENE'S BLOG: The Beginning

In his latest blog, Gene Principe takes a look back at the incredible season and journey that was in Edmonton and what the future holds

by Gene Principe / Special to EdmontonOilers.com

"It was awesome."

Hearing those words in the Edmonton Oilers dressing room made me think that maybe, just maybe, I was in the wrong room Wednesday night. I mean the Oilers had just lost a one goal game to lose a series by one game. Not what you would expect to hear. It was Leon Draisaitl who said it. The German could have been talking about his season. He could have been talking about his playoffs but he was talking about both for the Edmonton Oilers. 

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GENE'S BLOG: Upon Further Review

In his latest blog, Gene Principe examines the Oilers Game 5 loss and how the team will respond in Game 6

by Gene Principe / EdmontonOilers.com

He sat alone. In his corner stall. A look of bewilderment on his face. His eyes focused straight ahead. Half his gear still on but all of his mind on one thing. Cam Talbot's stall in the dressing room is the closest spot to the on ice entrance for Edmonton at the Honda Center. The time it would take him to get up, take two steps forward, veer left and walk straight ahead to the ice was about the same amount of time he and his teammates were away from a win in game 5. 15 seconds. A measly 15 seconds. One-quarter of a minute. That's all that stood between them and a 3-2 series lead. Sporting events run out of time or opportunity. Edmonton tried desperately but neither occurred on Friday night until the improbable, the unthinkable and the unimaginable happened. 

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GENE'S BLOG: Their Ducks in a Row

In his latest blog, Gene Principe previews the round two series between Edmonton and Anaheim

by Gene Principe / Special to EdmontonOilers.com

I have no doubt Anaheim will be in a 'fowl' mood in their series with Edmonton. First off they are Ducks, secondly they have a Cam Fowl-er on their team and thirdly they don't like the Oilers and vice versa. This is a rivalry and a series I'm really looking forward to. This is just an extension of their battle right to the finish line. The two were playing a standings tennis match going back and forth from first to second. In the end, the Ducks outlasted the Oilers by a pair of points 105 to 103. The season series was close 3-2 in favour of Edmonton and this seven-game series should be the same.

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GENE'S BLOG: Night to Remember

In his latest blog, Gene Principe talks about the lessons learned from the Game 4 7-0 loss and motivation moving forward in the series with San Jose

by Gene Principe / Special to EdmontonOilers.com

To look at the title of this blog you must be wondering how early I woke up Wednesday morning to write it or how much I had to drink after game 4. I had nothing to drink. I woke up at 4am but lack of sleep isn't the reason I came up with 'Night to Remember'. Lack of brain cells maybe. But the reason I went with it was simple. Tuesday night was a 'Night to Remember' as motivation for Game 5, Game 6 and beyond for the Edmonton Oilers. Keeping it in the foreground for a few hours makes sense but never losing sight of it in the background could be a key in moving forward.

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