BLOG: Oilers separate forwards and defence for expertise day

EDMONTON, AB – The Oilers cut up up observe on Tuesday as they give the impression of being to win their seventh straight sport tomorrow once they tackle the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The forwards and goaltenders went to work on the principle ice at Rogers Place whereas the defence occupied the Downtown Neighborhood Enviornment. Head Coach Jay Woodcroft has experimented with this sort of observe previously, however with the Oilers lighter schedule this week, it gave the workers the power to not solely give attention to the staff sport, however the person sport as nicely.

“I feel a day like right now, which we’d name nearly ‘position-specific’, lets you work at completely different components of your particular person sport relative to your place,” Woodcroft stated. “We began doing this within the American Hockey League. We might have growth weeks. The schedule is a bit bit completely different down there, however the way in which we’d phrase it to a number of the younger fellas down there was that it was their flip to spend money on their very own private company, work at their very own sport. 

“It wasn’t about staff construction or staff ways, it was about feeling good with completely different areas of their very own private sport,” he added.

Video: RAW | Jay Woodcroft 01.24.23

The Oilers construction has been wonderful for nearly all of the month of January. Edmonton has allowed three or fewer targets in each sport they’ve deployed 11 forwards and 7 defencemen this month and eight-of-10 video games total. The dedication and buy-in to the staff sport opens up practices like Tuesday to play a bit extra with the puck.  

“I feel it is good every now and then. You are touching the puck loads, feeling good with it, taking pictures it loads and making little performs whereas a full-team observe is lots of methods and stuff, and you are not touching the puck as a lot,” Ryan Nugent-Hopkins stated concerning the session. “It is a bit extra like what you do in summer season the place you are working in your expertise and doing all your particular person stuff. I feel as gamers, we wish to try this every now and then and be ok with our sport.”

After a really busy month of December the place the Oilers suited up for 15 video games in 31 after which 10 video games within the first 21 days of January, the staff will solely play two video games between Jan. 22 and Feb. 6.

Video: RAW | Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 01.24.23

Usually, the prospect to relaxation and reset the physique over the All-Star Break is a serious constructive for groups, nevertheless this yr’s break could come at a poor time for the Oilers. Edmonton has been buzzing alongside previous to the recess, successful their final six contests. Whatever the schedule, the Oilers head coach retains the give attention to ‘the day’s enterprise’ and getting ready for Wednesday evening’s competitor.

“We take the schedule because it comes. There’s an outdated saying in hockey, generally you get the schedule and generally schedule will get you,” Woodcroft stated. “For me, the way in which this week introduced itself provided a singular alternative to work at completely different areas of our sport. I believed we have had a productive couple of days, however in the long run, it is about getting ready to play in opposition to a really aggressive Columbus Blue Jackets staff that’s going to play us arduous tomorrow evening.”

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