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Oilers practice updates 03/29

The Oilers are skating at Rogers Place after their 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings Tuesday

by Staff /

The Oilers skated at Rogers Place after their playoff-clinching 2-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday.

Video: EXCLUSIVE | Peter Chiarelli 1-on-1

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BLOG: Chiarelli's observations

by Chris Wescott / Head Writer

Now that Edmonton has secured a spot in the 2017 playoffs, one can reflect on the season so far and the growth the Oilers have went through. That's exactly what Oilers General Manager Peter Chiarelli did in an interview with Oilers TV Wednesday.

"It's about momentum in chemistry, momentum in the style of play, momentum in evolving personalities on the ice and the development of the game," said Chiarelli. "We've had a lot of positive momentum this year. If you can get that momentum and get it going into the playoffs, you could do some damage. That's what I've seen.

"I've seen the chemistry develop, I've seen the younger players develop, I've seen middle-aged players hone their game and adjust their game to our coach. It's a less glamorous style but it's a two-way style. I've seen progress in those areas and it's really the style of play you have to have to make the playoffs, which we did, and if we can keep it going to have some success in the playoffs."

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BLOG: Chiarelli talks playoffs

by Chris Wescott / Head Writer

Oilers President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Peter Chiarelli sat down with Oilers TV's Tom Gazzola for a 1-on-1 chat. The GM touched on a number of topics, including the team's clinching of the playoffs Tuesday night.

"Our guys were fairly composed through this stretch, they knew what they had to do, they played some heavy, playoff-like games to clinch, including the one last night," said Chiarelli. "A good first step. I'm very happy, very happy last night and ready to turn the page today and start preparing."

For Chiarelli and the Oilers, the work does not slow down now that one box is checked off.

"There's a whole laundry list of playoff items that Todd (McLellan) and I are going to go over," said Chiarelli. "With his experience he's got a list. I've got a list from my experience, so we're going to go through that logistical stuff. There are some mental preparations and things we want to talk about, but obviously I'll leave the coaching to him."

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BLOG: Gryba's big goal

by Chris Wescott / Head Writer

Eric Gryba's goal at 7:03 of the second period would put Edmonton up 2-1 over the Kings Tuesday night. The goal was only Gryba's second of the year, and both have come against Los Angeles. Both have been game-winners, but last night's meant a lot more. With the 2-1 win, Edmonton clinched their first playoff berth since 2006.

"I think it's a lot bigger than I'm thinking it is or was," said the defenceman. "For me, if it wasn't me that was going to score it was going to be somebody else. We were all confident we were going to win that game."

"For some reason, pucks seem to find the back of the net for him when we play the Kings," said Oilers goalie Cam Talbot. "Any time you put the puck towards net, good things happen and that's what he was trying to do last night. We got a couple fortunate bounces there and it was a huge goal for the team and a huge one for him."

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BLOG: Business-like approach

by Chris Wescott / Head Writer

The Oilers have adopted this "business-like" approach to this season and that led them to a post-season berth. That approach continues even after the emotions of clinching Tuesday night.

"We're not where we want to be," said Oilers goalie Cam Talbot. "We've got a lot of big games left down the stretch here and we're still battling it out for seeding and the top spot in the division. We definitely enjoyed the moment last night, we took it all in, but it was back to business as usual today and getting ready for a big push."

Two influences led to this attitude toward the games.

"It comes, obviously, from the coaching staff and I think it comes from anyone who has been in the playoffs," said Oilers defenceman Eric Gryba. "Not everyone in this group has been to the playoffs, but we do have a good core of guys that have been and know what it takes to get to the playoffs and succeed in the playoffs. There's enough guys here who have that mentality and it rubs off."

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BLOG: Kassian has another goal disallowed

Zack Kassian has been plagued with disallowed goals this season

by Paul Gazzola /

It happens all too often.

Zack Kassian scores a goal, then it's disallowed or called back.

The Oilers energizer encountered it again versus the Los Angeles Kings Tuesday.

"By the time he's all said and done, they're going to have another column of 'disallowed goals' and 'goals' and I think he'll have a higher total on the other side," Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan said.

Whether contributing on the scoresheet or not, No. 44 has made his mark in many ways on this budding Oilers squad.

"Even if he's not scoring, he's a big part of our team," McLellan continued. "He provides us energy; he's become a real good penalty killer. Does a lot of good things on the bench. You don't necessarily see him or cheer for him in those situations but he's an important guy to our chemistry."

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BLOG: Oilers playoff berth a result of phases

Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan saw his team grow after enduring a series of stages

by Paul Gazzola /

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Throughout the season, Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan continually considered his squad a 'growth' team.

The nascent Oilers - who punched their playoff ticket Tuesday night with a 2-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings - have battled many obstacles throughout their 2016-17 campaign.

McLellan commented on his squad and the obstacles they've overcome post-game.

"When I look back, we've gone through phases as a team," McLellan began. "The first thing was coming in and trying to establish boundaries and a work ethic. The second thing we tried to do was work on the mental part of the team. Staying in games longer, not folding your hand. Then we tried to reduce the gap between goals for and goals against and while we're doing all of that, we're changing things with our team. Peter (Chiarelli) and his staff have done a tremendous job of re-tooling the team quite quickly.

"Now this year, we've learned lessons as we've gone. We've applied different principles but for the most part, our group has stuck with it and they believe in each other. Now, we've accomplished another task and that was getting back into the playoffs. Believe it or not, 10 years later, that was probably the easy job. The task gets tougher now. I like the fact that our team has been under stress at this time of the year. I think it's been really important for our organization. When I mean we're playing big games, we're playing situations where you have to block shots and win faceoffs and scramble like we did in the last few minutes. We're learning how to play in those situations.

Now, the real lesson begins.

"Anything we do from this point forward is a brand-new experience for us."

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BLOG: OEG nominated for media awards

"Farewell Rexall Place" and "Arena: Building of an Icon" nominated for Rosie Awards

by Edmonton Oilers Press Release /

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Tuesday, March 28, 2017 - The Alberta Media Production Industries Association (AMPIA) today is pleased to announce their finalists for the 43rd annual Alberta Film & Television Awards, celebrating excellence and outstanding achievement in Alberta's screen industries.

A total of 723 class and craft entries were submitted. This year 72 industry professionals from across Canada adjudicated the submissions; in total 291 productions were submitted for consideration.

These productions, from commercials, new media, and both long and short form fiction and non-fiction are vying for 23 Class awards. In addition, Alberta's talented screenwriters, costume and production designers, cinematographers, editors, directors, make-up artists, special effects artists, sound technicians and composers (totalling 193 finalists) are competing in 33 Craft categories. Each winner receives the prestigious Rosie Award.

Oilers Entertainment Group were nominated for their documentaries Farewell Rexall Place and Arena: Building of an Icon.


Farewell Rexall Place
Michael Bobroff, Jeff Nash,
Ryan Hrycun, Blaine Sayers,
Tom Gazzola & Kassidy Collins,
Oilers Entertainment Group

Watch Farewell Rexall Place Series Online


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Oilers sign Gambardella

The Edmonton Oilers have signed free agent forward Joseph Gambardella to a two-year entry level contract

by Edmonton Oilers Press Release /

The Edmonton Oilers have signed free agent forward Joseph Gambardella to a two-year entry level contract, effective for the 2017-18 season.

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BLOG: Marino to play in Frozen Four

Oilers prospect John Marino and his Harvard Crimson have secured a spot in the Frozen Four

by Paul Gazzola /

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The Beanpot champion with an affinity for Beantown continues his exciting freshman season.

Oilers prospect and Harvard Crimson defenceman John Marino will play in the Frozen Four. It's the first time the team has secured a Frozen Four berth since 1994 after defeating Air Force 3-2 in the East Regional Finals.

Marino had one assist, one shot and finished the game plus-one.

Harvard men's hockey will play Minnesota-Duluth on Thursday, April 6, at the United Center for a chance to compete in the NCAA Hockey Tournament Championship game.

Read more about Marino and his first season at Harvard here.

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