Oilers coach: ‘The city and fans should be angry, as angry as we are’


No doubt about it, the Edmonton Oilers have had a disappointing start to the 2013-14 season, going 0-2-0 while being out-scored 11-6. Some would call that “same old, same old,” but new head coach Dallas Eakins isn’t having it.

“The city and the fans should be angry, as angry as we are,” Eakins said. “It’s great that they care. Our team is upset too.”

The Oilers know that early results can be deceptive, even if their example isn’t quite what they want; they began the 2011-12 season with a promising 8-2-2 record before finishing in the basement as usual.

Eakins notes that he’s seen some “flashes of good” but that those old, losing habits are showing up far too often.

One player who did earn some praise was Ales Hemsky. The 30-year-old might have a -3 rating, but he also has three points in two games.

“He’s been unbelievable,” Eakins said. “We need more Ales Hemsky’s on our team right now. He’s playing with tremendous passion.”

Perhaps the team will show a little more of that passion in Monday’s game against the New Jersey Devils with backup Jason LaBarbera in net?

Sabres place Lehner on IR; Recall Lieuwen

Connor Brown, Robin Lehner
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They’re just one game into their regular season, but the Buffalo Sabres have already had to shift things around in their crease.

The Sabres announced that they have placed starting goaltender Robin Lehner on injured reserve after he was knocked out of Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury.

In a corresponding move, the club has recalled Nathan Lieuwen from their AHL affiliate in Rochester.

The 24-year-old didn’t play in the NHL last season, but he did have a 1-4-0 record with a 2.98 goals-against-average and a .906 save percentage in seven games during the 2013-14 season.

Lieuwen was Buffalo’s sixth round pick, 167th overall, in the 2011 draft.

The Sabres also announced that they have loaned defenseman Jake McCabe and goaltender Linus Ullmark to the Rochester Americans (AHL).

McCabe was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s game against Ottawa, while Ullmark is being activated off I.R. after having double hip surgery during the off-season.



Chara ‘doubtful’ for game against rival Canadiens

Brad Marchand, Zdeno Chara
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It looks like the Boston Bruins will be without their captain again on Saturday night.

Head coach Claude Julien told members of the media that Zdeno Chara is considered doubtful for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.

Chara suffered an upper-body injury during the preseason and he’s already been forced to miss Boston’s season opening loss to the Jets.

Per CSN, Chara says he’s improving but he won’t return to the lineup until he’s as close to 100 percent as possible.

“Every area of the injury is improving,” said Chara. “Hopefully it’s not long before I’m free of any kind of discomfort. That’s what we’re doing right now…we’re being patient. For sure you don’t want to come back, and be half of what you are…and basically hurting yourself and the team. And you’re putting yourself in a position where you could be missing more time. At this time of the season, I think it’s important to be as close as you can be to 100 percent.”

Based on the number of defensive mistakes they committed on Thursday, the Bruins need Chara back as soon as possible: