The Master praises Oilers' trap

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:35 AM ET

The Oilers, who've joined the ranks of trapping teams, get a thumbs up from the master of the craft, Wild coach Jacques Lemaire.

"I look at Edmonton and feel they have a better game now than they ever did,'' he said. "And they're not all offence. They used to be all offence.

"They have a good game now; they know what they're doing defensively.

"To me they play a lot better when they don't have the puck than they did before.''

The Wild, meanwhile, were supposed to fall off the face of the earth in the new NHL, but have adapted quite nicely. They're tied for fifth in the Western Conference in goals scored (87).

"What does that tell you?" grinned Lemaire.

"It tells you we weren't holding that much in the past, or grabbing that much in the past. And (the new standard of enforcement) doesn't effect our game. That's what it tells you.

"You have to stop reading the papers. I'm a defensive coach, but I love offence. I've enjoyed it more to coach this year than ever."


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