Get notes, lineups and more prior to tonight's game between the Oilers and Jets
The Oilers play their fifth game of the pre-season tonight against the Winnipeg Jets looking to continue their unbeaten run.
You can watch tonight's game right here on EdmontonOilers.com, on the Oilers Facebook Page (inside the Oilers region) and also on TV via NHL Centre Ice and online at NHL.TV (both inside and outside of the Oilers region)
EDMONTON, AB - Here's Edmonton, at the top of the NHL pre-season standings with a record of 4-0-0. Obviously, it's just exhibition play, but the Oilers have iced competitive groups showing off the depth of their organization.
That being said, the wins and losses really mean nothing in the grand scheme of things. Just ask the Oilers players, who say now is the time to destroy bad habits and fine tune their individual games, not focus on the game results.
"It's about just getting your game back from the summer," said Oilers defenceman Eric Gryba. "You're going to develop a few bad habits over the summer and this is the time of year where you've got to kick those before October 4, hits. It's a good time for individuals to go through the checklist for their game and see what they've got to improve on and where they're at for the upcoming season."
"Good habits, individuals finding their game," said Oilers winger Patrick Maroon. "Making sure you're playing every zone the right way and you're not just playing summer hockey again. You've got to find ways to get into it again and making sure you're doing the right things as simple as you can. If you overwork, you're doing too much. I just think it's finding ways to play in every zone and make sure you're doing the right things."
Tonight's home game against the Winnipeg Jets is another opportunity do get their feet underneath them. Edmonton beat the Jets 4-1 on Wednesday on the road, getting a three-point night out of Jussi Jokinen.
PULJUJARVI STILL ADJUSTING
Speaking of Jokinen, it was projected he'd be a major factor not just on the ice with his own veteran presence but off it with one of his countrymen.
Jesse Puljujarvi is still a young player, entering his second season over here in North America. As he still adjusts to the English language and the NHL game, it helps having a fellow Finn on his line.
Puljujarvi is expected to lace up the skates and play with Jokinen and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins versus the Jets.
"Of course, it's good to have a Finnish guy here.... Jussi is a good player," said Puljujarvi. "It's good to have him on the same line with me.
"My Finnish is better than my English."
Until Puljujarvi gets better at speaking to his teammates, they say they'll keep him involved and make him feel welcome.
"Obviously, there's a language barrier," said Gryba. "You try and keep him involved in as many conversations and stuff as possible. With Jussi coming in now we have a couple of other Finns who can speak his language, translate in tough situations. He gets by. He's obviously a talented player and we've got to keep grooming him and keep bringing him along."
It does lend itself to some humorous situations on the bench and on the ice, having Jokinen and Puljujarvi chattering away in Finnish.
"Between them, you've got the Finns who are yelling at each other and you've got the Swedish duo (Adam Larsson and Oscar Klefbom) on the back end talking Swedish sometimes, so you can tell when they're really comfortable and they get the point directly across," said Gryba. "They go back to their native language."
Now imagine being Nugent-Hopkins right in the middle of it.
"Nuge has said that," laughed Gryba. "He's like 'man, I don't know what they're talking about back there. I'm trying to make a play for the draw and they're talking and yelling at each other so I don't know what's going on.'"
There's still time to find a rhythm and chemistry, and Puljujarvi hopes to build off his last game.
"I can be better (at everything)," Puljujarvi said. "I can be faster, a better passer and I have to shoot and score."