BLOG: Full Friday practice before the Battle of Alberta
EDMONTON, Alta. –The Edmonton Oilers held a full practice Friday before hosting the Calgary Flames in Alberta’s only battle of the 2022-23 regular season at Rogers Place on Saturday.
The two provincial rivals meet three times this season, with Saturday being their only meeting in Edmonton. Two of Alberta’s three battles will take place before the end of October, with their final matchup of the regular season schedule being played at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Dec. 27.
It may not be the end of this season’s rivalry, however, if last June is anything to look forward to after the Oilers eliminated the Flames in five games in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
“Obviously we played them a lot more in the playoffs last year so they’re a good team and I think once the playoffs are over there’s a good chance we’ll play them again,” said forward Zach Hyman. “We have to get in there first, but they’re two really good teams going in there and it’s exciting when the Alberta battle has that extra meaning when it’s two teams with high expectations.
“Three times seems a little light, but we’ll make the most of it.”
Video: RAW | Zach Hyman10.14.22
Players and coaches have kept the image small for around 30 minutes in training, focusing on connectivity between attackers and defense while minimizing physical exertion on the 21-man roster which includes a pair of players returning to the game. ready form.
“I think it’s important to give your players a theme or something they can hang their hats on in terms of where we can improve,” head coach Jay Woodcroft said. “But at the same time, we have to understand that we don’t have a lot of guys on our roster. We have to be strategic when we go on the ice, but at the same time we have to be [efficient] when we go on the ice. We don’t have to be there for long, but it has to be a good time and a productive time.
“I think a belief that we have as staff is that training is not the burden you have to go through to get to the important thing. Today our training was the important thing and I thought that our guys were out and performed at a high level.”
Video: RAW | Jay Woodcroft 10.14.22
Kailer Yamamoto and Warren Foegele both skated after missing the season opener on Wednesday through injury. Yamamoto skated on the second line with Evander Kane and Leon Draisaitl in the white top six, and his energy coupled with his ability to win pucks for his teammates would be a welcome return to the lineup if he’s ready to participate in the Battle of Alberta.
“It’s a bit of a stab in the arm with energy, a bit of excitement on the forecheck,” Woodcroft said. “I think he does a lot of work for other people, so people like to play with him because he does a lot of those little things. I think he’s often the first in the forecheck. He’s got a good stick “He’s a shorthanded threat. He plays on the power play. He touches a lot of areas of the game and definitely a valued member of our team.”
Earlier in the morning, defenseman Philip Broberg was recalled from the Bakersfield Condors while forward Devin Shore was loaned to the club’s AHL affiliate.
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