Tippett spoke to the media after practice and noticed a few points that the team, especially a few players, will need to work on if the team is to come out of the gate with a good start and their significant number of special teams will continue to be a weapon for them.
James Neal is behind the ball 8
After not skating for a month, Tippett admitted that Neal had to be caught up by the rest of the group. Naturally, he still didn’t quite have his legs under him and Tippett was confident that would come.
When asked how late he was, Tippett said, “It’s going to take him a while to get up and go here, but he’s got a great attitude, he jumps in there and he works hard. He added: “We will continue, but he still has some way to go.”
Saying that Neal had been in quarantine for some time, Tippett admitted that Neal wouldn’t be ready for opening night. Neal also spoke to the media after training and said he felt great, but the skating bag at the end of training was difficult because his legs were not quite there yet. . He said it was imperative that he get strong as soon as he gets to play and that the Oilers know from their experience against Chicago what happens if you have time to spare and you’re not ready. to play.
Related: NHL Rumors: Maple Leafs, Canadiens, Blue Jackets, Islanders, More
Oil tankers need to get used to Barrie
Not suggesting there’s a problem at all, Tippett noted that it’s going to take a little while for the Oilers, especially the power play guys, to get used to Tyson Barrie in the moment. Coming with a shooting mentality and being a right shot versus a left shot, “the way the puck moves is a little different,” Tippett said.
The coach added that one-offs are becoming more available than in the past and said Barrie is adding a dynamic element that wasn’t necessarily there before. It will take some adjustments.
Ethan Bear needs to change his mindset
Speaking of new defenseman Ethan Bear, Tippett said, “He has to get up and go here. He noted that the first two days of Camp Bear were a bit tentative and hadn’t skated for a week, wanting to get the contract behind him.
Tippett attributed this to the fact that Bear was not quite there mentally. Sometimes it’s not about being physically late, it’s about thinking you are because you started a little later than the rest of the guys. He added that Bear has started to look a bit more like himself and enter the mainstream of the practice.
Tippett has said expectations will be high for Bear this season, but it’s no different than the end of the 2019-20 season. He seized the opportunity last season away from the camp, but he’s going to have to take the next step and be the key to moving the team forward. “He has to come in and make sure he’s doing his part… it’s not like we’re asking him to come in here and change the game.” He added: “We expect him to come back and be as good or better than last year for us.”
Next: Connor McDavid Predicts Jesse Puljujarvi Will Be Huge For Oilers