Practice, make the playoffs.
That’s the ideal formula for the Edmonton Oilers, who can go a long way towards nailing down a playoff spot if they have success on their upcoming eight-game homestand.
“We’ve had two sharp days of practice where we’ve been able to review systematic play, positioning, and maybe work a little bit more on details,” said head coach Todd McLellan. The team practiced Thursday and Friday and will host the Detroit Red Wings Saturday night.
The Oilers will play 13 of their final 18 games at Rogers Place. The increased practice time that comes with being at home is already allowing the coaching staff to make some important tweaks. It’s part of the goal to be a bit more unpredictable down the stretch.
“We’ve actually over the last day or two introduced a couple of new concepts that we think we may need down the road. We put them into play in practice. Depending on what other teams are doing, we may use them in tomorrow night’s game. We may use them in Tuesday’s game,” said McLellan. “We’re trying to build and grow our team a little bit so that we can make adjustments and show teams different looks in different areas.”
The eight-game homestand is one of the longest in Oilers history. They had a nine-game stand from January 29 – February 19, 1982, going 7-1-1. Their other eight-game stands were:
- December 27, 1995 – January 13, 1996 (4-4-0)
- March 17 – April 1, 1999 (3-4-1)
- January 5 – 24, 2000 (2-1-5)
Catch the Oilers and Red Wings on 630 CHED Saturday night with the Face-off Show at 6:30pm and the game starting at 8pm (jrw)