The Elbow staff
EDMONTON, AB – Fresh off successfully scoring their first goal of the season without Connor McDavid's influence, the Oilers arrived at practice on Wednesday in good spirits.
Players were all smiles as they hit the ice at Rogers Place, with many of them wondering who will be the next to score without the captain's help.
Defenceman Darnell Nurse was the player skillful enough to register the feat last night.
"It felt really good to be the first of us to do it this year," Nurse told reporters. "There are one or two of us in this locker room capable of doing it, so the competition was pretty hot going into the game."
"I think there's a good chance one of the other guys can follow in my footsteps before the end of the year."
Nurse declined to specify who exactly he was referring to.
Head coach Todd McLellan said that the change in team philosophy — to have other players carry some of the load — was still in a trial period.
"I think the players really got the hang of it last night," McLellan said. "It’s nice to know that we can give Connor a few minutes every game to get his breath back."
"But I don't want to make a habit of it, of course. We know what our team strengths and weaknesses are."
McDavid was seen towards the end of practice tying up Jesse Puljujärvi's skates, and suggesting to Milan Lucic that he doesn't need to fully wind up for a backhanded shot.