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BLOG: Larsson's honest assessment

"The consistency was an issue for me this year. I know I can bounce back from that," said defenceman Adam Larsson.

by Tony Brar /

EDMONTON, AB - It's all in a day's work for defenceman Adam Larsson.

On and off the ice, you can always count on the 6-foot-3 rearguard for his honesty. Both with his play and his assessment of it.

In his third season with the Orange and Blue, Larsson suited up in all 82 games - the second time he's played a full regular season schedule in his career. The Swedish blueliner put up 17 assists and 20 points with the Oilers this season - both mark the highest totals he's put up in Edmonton since joining the club in 2016.

However, the defenceman admitted his struggles on the defensive side of the puck, which ultimately impacted his all-around game and confidence in all three zones.

It was on Jan. 20 when Larsson first vocalized his frustration following a 7-4 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes.

"I'm playing so bad right now, I don't know what it is," said Larsson post-game. "I need it to stop as soon as possible.

"I'm not skating. I feel like I'm working hard but I'm too passive right now. That's not a part of my game. I know how good I can be but I'm not even close right now. This is as bad as it's been."

Video: RAW | Larsson 04.07.19

Larsson was brought into the organization on June 29, 2016, to become part of the winning formula in Edmonton. This season, in Edmonton's 35 wins, Larsson saw the ice for 22:08 on average. In 38 regulation losses, that number dips to 20:55 per game.

While the numbers suggest that the more Larsson plays, the better chance the team would have at winning, the Skelleftea, SWE native would be the first to tell you that personal performance is indicative on how much you can be relied upon.

"It's easy to point the finger at just one point (of my game)," said Larsson on Sunday. "The consistency was an issue for me this year. I know I can bounce back from that."

Larsson's motivation for this summer can be summarized by how he concluded his post-game interview back in January.

"This is as bad as it will be. I can guarantee you that."

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BLOG: Nurse fixated on 'pushing to another level'

"You have to be someone who is accountable in your own zone and able to contribute in the offensive zone. That's how the top defencemen in the league are now," said Darnell Nurse.

by Tony Brar /

EDMONTON, AB - Darnell Nurse made it very clear when he arrived at Oilers Training Camp on September 18 - he felt ready to become a key offensive contributor for this club.

"I want to grow my offensive game and become a two-way threat," said Nurse, one day removed from inking a two-year extension in September. "It's a part of my game that I am capable of bringing out more of."

Mission accomplished.

In the 2018-19 season, Darnell Nurse saw improvements in just about every offensive statistic. Career highs in goals (10), assists (31), points (41), powerplay points (9) and shots (196) were complemented with the highest time on ice average in his career (23:49).

Video: RAW | Nurse 04.07.19

"You need to be an all-around defenceman, especially in this league today," said Nurse during his exit interview on Sunday. "You have to be someone who is accountable in your own zone and able to contribute in the offensive zone. That's how the top defencemen in the league are now.

"That's my goal. To continue the work, pushing to another level with my all-around game."

A catalyst for Nurse's growth and development this season may have come as a result of Oscar Klefbom's injury on Dec. 11 against the Colorado Avalanche. Klefbom broke his finger after blocking a shot and was forced to sit out for 20 games.

Nurse answered the call.

The 6-foot-4, 221-pound defenceman logged back-to-back 30-plus minutes following Klefbom's injury - his first games of 30-plus minutes in his career - while also quarterbacking the team's top powerplay unit.

Video: OILERS TODAY | Exit Interviews 04.07.19

Nurse was also tasked with playing against the opposition's top line more frequently, while also shouldering more of the offensive void left behind by his Swedish counterpart. The defenceman's supply was sufficient with his newfound demands.

Yet, even with all of his statistical glory in 18-19, he would trade away his career highs for another shot in the playoffs.

"You have a career year but you could talk to anyone who had a career year this year - we would trade it up to be in the playoffs right now," said Nurse. "The season did not go nearly as we planned or wanted it to go but we're not far off. We know that as a group, we know that as a team. It's a belief we have in that room and it needs to continue.

"You can mope around about it all summer long or we can use it to get better and come back next year and be difference makers."

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BLOG: McDavid named NHL First Star for March

McDavid led the NHL with 20 assists and 27 points in 14 games during the month of March.

by Tony Brar /

EDMONTON, AB - Connor McDavid was named the NHL's 'First Star' for the month after leading the NHL with 20 assists and 27 points in 14 games in March.

The Oilers captain powered the Oilers to a 7-5-2 month as McDavid found the scoresheet in 12 of his 14 appearances. This included 11 multi-point performances and an eight-game multi-point scoring streak (3G, 15A), the longest such run by any NHL player since 2007 when Vincent Lecavalier recorded 21 points over eight games with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Video: DAL@EDM: McDavid goes between his legs for great goal

McDavid also became the fifth player in League history to reach the 100-point milestone in three seasons before his 23rd birthday with two assists against the New Jersey Devils on March 13 (following Sidney Crosby, Wayne Gretzky, Dale Hawerchuk and Mario Lemieux, each with four).

The 22-year-old ranks second in the NHL with a career-high 74 assists and 115 points. McDavid tied a career high in goals with his 41st of the season on Monday night against the Vegas Golden Knights. The centreman is also tied for the League lead in game-winning goals with nine.

Columbus Blue Jackets netminder Sergei Bobrovsky was named the NHL 'Second Star' of the month with nine wins and four shutouts in 13 appearances while Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand was named the NHL's Third Star with 23 points (9G, 14A) in 15 games.


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GAME STORY: Oilers 8, Kings 4

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Leon Draisaitl both scored hat tricks while seven different Oilers recorded multi-point outings as Edmonton routs the LA Kings 8-4.

by Tony Brar /

EDMONTON, AB - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Leon Draisaitl both recorded hat tricks on Tuesday night as the Oilers climbed back to .500 after defeating the LA Kings 8-4 at Rogers Place.

Game 76 of Edmonton's season marked the first time two Oilers teammates had three or more goals in the same game since Dec 20, 1985, when Paul Coffey and Jari Kurri also did it against the Kings.

Video: OILERS TODAY | Post-Game vs. LAK 03.26.19

Seven players recorded multi-point outings while Mikko Koskinen turned aside 34 shots for his 24th victory of the season. Koskinen is now 6-1-1 in his last eight games at Rogers Place.

Tuesday's game could have also been dubbed 'Milestone Night' as several Oilers either set new career-highs or recorded personal accolades in the victory.

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The Oilers host the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday in the third game of a five-game home stand

by Jamie Umbach and Tony Brar /

The Oilers host the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday as they continue a five-game home stand at Rogers Place.

You can watch the game on Sportsnet West or listen on the Oilers Radio Network, including 630 CHED. 

Watch interviews, read the latest Oilers news, and more below in the Pre-Game report.

Video: OILERS TODAY | Pre-Game vs. LAK 03.26.19

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FEATURE: Currie heating up

Josh Currie continues to make an impact for the Oilers, recording points in two straight outings, including his first multi-point game in the NHL.

by Tony Brar /

BUFFALO, NY - For Josh Currie, it's been a long time coming. 

The 26-year-old has made an impact for the Oilers recording points in two straight outings, including his first multi-point game in the NHL. But his road to the show was a path less traveled. 

Currie captained the QMJHL's Prince Edward Island Rocket in 2012-13 in his fourth and final season of major junior hockey. He scored 104 points (49G, 55A) in 68 games that season.

However, throughout his junior career, Currie never heard his name called at the NHL Draft. Soon after his time with the Rocket, he signed a minor-league contract and slowly began to make his way up the ranks.

Nearly six years later and after playing 391 games in Gwinnett (ECHL), Norfolk (ECHL) and Bakersfield (AHL/ECHL), the Charlottetown, P.E.I product earned his first NHL call-up on Feb. 18.

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GAME STORY: Oilers 4, Islanders 3 (OT)

Connor McDavid scored the overtime winner in his return to the lineup and added an assist as the Oilers defeat the New York Islanders 4-3 in overtime.

by Tony Brar /

EDMONTON, AB - After sitting out Tuesday's game with an illness, Connor McDavid's two-point night helped the Oilers break a five-game losing skid, as Edmonton defeats the New York Islanders 4-3 in overtime.

Sam Gagner also scored his first goal for the Oilers in nearly five years while Mikko Koskinen turned aside 20 of 23 shots on Thursday night. With the victory, the Oilers record improves to 25-29-6 as the team is now six points back of the second Wildcard spot in the Western Conference.

Leon Draisaitl's first period marker moves him into third in NHL goal scoring with 36, tying Buffalo Sabres winger Jeff Skinner. With a two-point performance of his own, Draisaitl has 12 goals and five assists in his last 12 games.

Koskinen improves to 15-14-3 as the netminder earned his first win since Jan. 16. He now owns a .906 Sv% and 2.87 GAA this season.

Video: OILERS TODAY | Post-Game vs NYI 02.21.19

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MORNING SKATE REPORT: Oilers vs. Islanders

The Oilers continue their homestand with a game against the New York Islanders

by Tony Brar and Marc Ciampa /

The Oilers take on the New York Islanders tonight at Rogers Place in their second and final meeting of the season.

You can watch the game on Sportsnet West or listen on the Oilers Radio Network, including 630 CHED.

Read the game preview below and check back for our Morning Skate Report, lineup updates, videos and more.

Video: OILERS TODAY | Pre-Game vs NYI 02.21.19

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CONDORS: Benson, Marody soaring offensively

Rookies Tyler Benson and Cooper Marody have found early success in their pro careers, becoming a formidable duo for Condors Head Coach Jay Woodcroft.

by Tony Brar /

BAKERSFIELD, CA - They're as dynamic as they come.

With less than 100 professional hockey games between them, rookies Tyler Benson and Cooper Marody are posing tall tasks for AHL defenders.

As the team's offensive catalysts, the pair have helped the Bakersfield Condors soar to new heights. With Saturday's win against the San Diego Gulls, the club has set a new franchise record with 12 consecutive victories.

Benson's 38 points (8G, 30A in 46 games) and Marody's 35 points (9G, 26A in 36 games) this season have been a significant factor for the team's success so far.

Video: CONDORS | Learning to Fly

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CONDORS: Shining Starrett

The Condors netminder extends his personal winning streak to 10 games following a 27-save performance against the San Diego Gulls on Saturday.

by Tony Brar /

BAKERSFIELD, CA - Coming into the weekend, the Bakersfield Condors had 10 consecutive victories. With back-to-back wins on Friday and Saturday, goaltender Shane Starrett now has 10 straight of his own.

The netminder's streak began on Jan. 12 with a 28-save shutout against the Colorado Eagles. With 27 saves on Saturday night, Starrett's record improves to 16-3-3 on the season while maintaining a 1.60 GAA and .941 Sv% over his last 10.

"Each game is its own and past games aren't going to affect my future ones," said Starrett following the 6-0 victory over the San Diego Gulls. "I just have to go out every night and give our team the best chance they have to win.

"It's nice to win these games and I'm just having fun while doing it."

During his personal winning streak, Starrett has allowed 2 goals or less in nine of the ten games.

"He makes the right saves at the right time," said Condors Head Coach Jay Woodcroft post-game. "We need those saves at those exact points. He's been the backbone of our team and I can't say enough about his popularity amongst his teammates."

Saturday was the fifth time the goaltender played on back-to-back nights this season. Starrett has a 4-1-0 record in the second half of said games.

"It's definitely a tough situation to be put in," explained Starrett. "You get used to it. You learn how to take care of the body to prepare yourself for those nights. Now, it's just become part of my routine to play on back-to-back nights."

The Condors look for their 13th consecutive victory when the team hosts the Stockton Heat on Wednesday. The team has outscored opponents 55-22 during their winning streak.

Video: CONDORS | Leading The Way

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