by Lisa Brown on 03/11/14 at 09:14 AM ET
The Edmonton Oilers have had a few parting players make remarks about the team, the coaching staff, and the general state of affairs over the years. Generally, not much is said that isn't already known, or little credence is put into what is said. But this season, both Ladislav Smid and Ilya Bryzgalov have mentioned that their new team’s have a much faster pace to their practise, even alluding to the intensity. Jason Gregor of TSN 1260 and OilersNation.com investigates, talking to head coach Dallas Eakins, David Perron, and Sam Gagner. From his interview with David Perron:
Do you think it is up to the players to control the pace and tempo practice?
I do. Dallas mentioned it a lot. Do you want to be the guy driving the practice or do you want to sit in the back of the bus and hope the day goes by, and that’s not a way you get better. It’s up to us to bring that level higher. I think it has improved over the season, but there is another level to get to for sure.
How can you make practices more intense?
It’s pretty simple. Every time there is a rebound you try to score. Every time you go by the net you stop. The hard work comes with the habits. When you have good habits it brings your level higher because you want to succeed.
If you’re not going to do it in the game, you have to start doing it in practice and then it will translate in the game. You will go by the net and it will be natural that you will stop. Early in the year we didn’t have many guys going to the net, but I think it has gotten better and when we do have one-on-one battles in practice we can be harder for sure.
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Lisa McRitchie is a fairly new writer, online at least, but makes up for inexperience with passion for the game of hockey and memories of Mrs. Leskiw’s English AP class; who knew they would pay off one day.
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