Seven games into his time as an Edmonton Oiler, Kris Russell has been very impressed by what he's seen from his new team.
"I feel like our whole team is really buying into it and getting wins."
In particular, Russell has liked how the forwards have pitched in to help the defence. It was very apparent on Wednesday against a dangerous Washington Capitals squad that included Alex Ovechkin.
"I thought we did well but it helps when you have forwards that are really tracking back and putting pressure on them from behind. It's a very creative team. I watched some tape today of our forwards coming back and not letting them cut into the middle. When you're feeling constant pressure from an offensive player it's tough to play so that's a credit to not only our defence, but our forwards as well."
Russell added that he likes the way the team has responded to adversity, such as when the Capitals scored 10 seconds into the third period on Wednesday.
"I just look at this team this year, there's obviously a lot of young players and a lot of talent but I think it's our work ethic. Our intensity, too. Obviously we didn't step up against Buffalo (in our only loss of the season) but the way we responded after that. The last few games, the way we've responded when teams have scored has been great. We haven't sat back and let them dictate the play. We've got to just keep improving as a team, keep getting better every shift and every game.
"But you can see a lot of players want to win in here and want to be good players, so that's a good sign."