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When Edmonton native Ken Hitchcock took over
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laiyongcai92 Offline
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When Edmonton native Ken Hitchcock took over
Oilers coaching duties on Tuesday from Todd McLellan Carolina Hurricanes Hats Womens , the first thing he told the players that from here on in, things were going to get downright uncomfortable. Not that the Oils have been sitting in a comfort zone so far this season, what with sitting in sixth place in the Western Conference and a 9-10-1 record.But in his Edmonton debut, just a few hours after meeting the team and still not knowing the names of everyone in the lineup, Hitchcock demonstrated why he's still one of the NHL's best-ever coaches when the Oilers beat San Jose 4-3 in overtime, breaking a three-game winless streak.advertisingIt's only one game under the watch of Hitchcock, who was persuaded to come out of retirement to get back behind the bench, but already there were signs of what he plans to do with the team. For openers, there were a lot of white jerseys hitting, something that's been a bit of a rarity in recent years. And while they were outshot by the Sharks Custom Carolina Hurricanes Jerseys , the team acted like they dominated more than usual in opposition territory, largely due to Hitchcock giving the team's leading scorer Connor McDavid more ice time than usual.Hitchcock's Physical StyleGetting a lot more physical has been a hallmark of Hitchcock's especially with his previous tenure with the Dallas Stars, with whom he won a Stanley Cup. And while he likes his players scrappy, the coach with 22 seasons and more than 800 victories under his belt also likes to play it conservative. Don't expect any fancy long passes, but instead watch for shorter passes and even the defence to carry the puck further down the rink to set up offensive opportunities.advertisingExpect more forward line changes, given the lack of depth in the Oilers, such as moving the underperforming Milan Lucic to the third line, where he delivered bodychecks galore to throw the Sharks off their game.After one game, the Oilers were vaulted into fourth spot in the west at .500 after 21 games. And with three-quarters of a season left, if discomfort is the price for winning Chicago Blackhawks Hoodies Womens , watch Hitchcock shake things up even more. thestar.comWhat This MeansThere's little doubt that Hitchcock has a reputation for turning teams around with a more physical, risk-averse style of play. Taking that to a team that's probably the youngest NHL squad he's ever coached will be a challenge for the 66-year-old coach.advertisingAdding to the obstacles is the possibility for pushback from some players who gelled with the team's reputation for a speedier and a more finesse style on the ice. McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins might be the shiny superstars but whether that luster will be tarnished by Hitchcock's grinder philosophy could make the difference between the playoffs and an early golf season.But Hitchcock isn't concerned about the Oilers legacy, given that he was hired at a point in the season when the Oilers still have a chance for a Stanley Cup run. He knows there's tons of talent on the team, and despite lack of depth on at least two forward lines and much of the defense, watch him reshape that talent in a way that fits his style. Judgment Day in the wake of the Oilers coaching decision will take place sometime in April.advertisingRELATED: Oilers Fire Todd McLellan And Hire Ken Hitchcock Now that the Edmonton Oilers are back home, their immediate focus is on ending a three-game losing streak in which they gave up an average of more than four goals per game.Continuing to slow down their next opponent’s top line can go a long way toward getting back in the win column.Edmonton looks to extend the Colorado Avalanche’s skid Sunday night when the teams hit the ice at Rogers Place in the first of three meetings this season.Article continues below ...The Oilers opened a four-game road trip with a narrow victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Nov. 3 before losing to the Washington Capitals, Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers by a combined 13-5.“You never want to lose, but you never want to lose three in a row,” winger Ryan Nugent-Hopkins said Saturday. “We can’t let it be four in a row. Good teams don’t let that happen, so we’ve got to respond well tomorrow.”Coach Todd McLellan said he believes that scoring chances were there but that the club just could not capitalize.“When you look at just the goal total itself Chicago Blackhawks Hats Womens , you’re going ‘Jeez, they’re not creating anything’,” McLellan said Saturday. “In each of the games that we lost on the road trip, I thought we created numerous opportunities.”Edmonton (8-7-1) took five of a possible six points from Colorado last season, and is looking for two wins in a row at home over the Avalanche for the first time since 2013.Colorado (7-6-3) is trying to avoid its sixth straight loss after falling 5-2 to the Winnipeg Jets on Friday night. After a 6-1-2 start, the Avalanche are 1-5-1, allowing 29 goals in that span.“I think leaders on this team got to get on this now,” Colorado defenseman Erik Johnson said. “We’ve got to stop the bleeding and string some wins together here.”A reason for the Avalanche’s struggles is decreased production from the top line of Mikko Rantanen, Gabriel Landeskog and Nathan MacKinnon.The trio caught the attention of fans when they combined for 20 goals and 23 assists over the first nine games of the season. They’ve totaled seven goals and 14 assists in seven games since.“The best thing to do is just play in the offensive zone. Don’t give them a chance to start creating and feeling good about their games,” Nugent-Hopkins said.The player among the three to have the biggest downturn is MacKinnon. The top overall pick in the 2013 NHL Draft tallied 15 points (eight goals Adidas Patrik Berglund Jersey , seven assists) during Colorado’s hot start, but has seven points (three goals, four assists) in the club’s slump.“It’s no fun right now, but we have to get right back on it, play on Sunday and try to dig ourselves out,” Johnson said.Another key for the Avalanche is to get off to a quick start on the scoreboard. The club has trailed after one period in four of the last seven games.Then there’s trying to slow down Connor McDavid. The two-time scoring champion has scored six of his seven goals versus Colorado in the last three meetings and also has eight assists in eight games against the Avalanche.McDavid, who has points in 14 of 16 games this season, notched his fourth career hat trick in Edmonton’s 4-2 win over Colorado on Feb. 18 in Denver.Colorado’s Tyson Barrie needs one assist to reach 200 for his career. He will try to join Adam Foote (203) and John-Michael Liles (207) as the only defensemen in club history with 200 helpers.
03-12-2019 03:55 AM
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