Edmonton Oilers head coach Dave Tippett had his players gather round as practice ended early Friday afternoon.
While the media watching from the stands couldn’t make out every word Tippett was saying, he was clearly displeased with how his players have been performing.
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“Last night. Two nights before. Practice. Probably since about the Calgary game. Just reinforcing we need to get back to that level,” said Tippett, who punctuated his words with a sharp kick to a group of pucks at his feet.
After scoring an emotional 8-3 win in Calgary last Saturday, the Oilers have lost 2-0 in Arizona and 6-3 at home to San Jose. They haven’t lost three straight games in regulation time all season long. Nashville is coming to town Saturday night.
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“At this time of the year, your compete level should be right up there, especially in the situation that we’re in,” centre Leon Draisaitl said. “We’ve had two bad games here. We have a good chance to regroup tomorrow.”
“There are some things that we think that we have to do to be successful at a higher level than we’ve done them in the last two games,” Tippett said. “We have to get back to that level.”
Defenceman Oscar Klefbom missed Friday’s practice but should be able to play against the Predators. The Oilers’ expected lineup is:
Gagner – McDavid – Kassian
Nugent-Hopkins – Draisaitl – Yamamoto
Khaira – Sheahan – Archibald
Benson – Haas – Chiasson
Klefbom – Larsson
Nurse – Bear
Jones – Benning
Catch the Oilers and Predators on 630 CHED on Saturday with the Faceoff Show at 3:30 p.m. The game starts at 5 p.m.
Watch below: Some videos from Global News’ coverage of the Edmonton Oilers’ 2019-20 season.