As you all know, the Oilers are beginning their season with a four-game road trip that begins in Europe over the span of approximately 15 days. There’s been a lot of discussion on the October schedule and whether it will have a positive or negative outcome for the Oilers. Kris Russell was interviewed by Jessica Kent this past week and had some very good perspective of the long road trip.
I think it’s good for our team. We get to go and be with each other for a few weeks. Hopefully we’ll get closer and grow and start things off right. I think it will benefit our team and I’m obviously excited to play in Leon’s hometown.
Obviously the Oilers didn’t have the start they wanted in the 2017-18 season and it appeared the team chemistry wasn’t even close to what they had going in the previous year. I was on the fence initially after hearing about the Oilers Europe trip. It’s definitely exciting, but you can’t help to think of what all that travel may do to a team’s energy levels right at the beginning of the season. After Kris Russell spoke however, I have a different opinion on things.
We’re not going back home to families, we’ll be together right off the plane, staying in hotels together, and eating meals together. Especially at the start of the season to be forced to be with each other, it forces us to be together and get bonding with new line mates. There are a few new guys added to the mix and it will give us a good chance to get to know them quicker and easier. Hopefully that will translate to our on-ice performance.
This reminds me of the thought process of a team performing best during road games in the playoffs. You’re not distracted by the kids at home, you’re in a hotel with your boys creating team morale and making memories. This good very well could be what the team needs to kick off their new season, especially after finishing sixth in the Pacific Division last year.
To refresh your memory, the Oilers play their standard, seven-game preseason between September 17-29th. After that, they will fly to Germany to take on the Cologne Sharks (coached by Leon Draisaitl’s dad) for their final preseason game. The New Jersey Devils will also be playing their final exhibition game in Germany. The Devils and Oilers will then debut both their seasons on October 6th against each other in Gothenburg, Sweden. The Oilers will then have five days of resting and friendship time until their second regular season game back in Boston.
The rest of the Kris Russell interview was about how his off-season is going. He’s currently working on putting on some more muscle and is spending his downtime working on the family farm and golfing.
Russell legitimately seemed stoked to get the season started and I couldn’t agree more with him. I have so many questions about how the team will play and I need them answered now. I think I’m feeling more impatient for the season to start now then I was last summer. Let’s do this already.