Oilers Coach Praises Jones

Ryan Jones Edmonton Oilers

Ryan Jones of the Edmonton Oilers – Photo by kimpossible

After a rough start to the 2013-2014 season, which included a demotion to the American Hockey League, Chatham’s Ryan Jones is back in a contributing role for the Edmonton Oilers, and received praise this week from Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins.

“I think he struggled in training camp and that happens,” said Eakins on the Oilers website about Jones’ early woes. “We had a couple of guys like that who had missed a lot of games. They get into camp and even though they’re all healed and everything’s good, there’s hesitation and I think that’s where Jonesy was in camp. I think now, he’s got his feet underneath him and we’ve rewarded him with a little bit more ice,” continued Eakins.

Jones, who suffered a serious eye injury last season, has found himself bouncing throughout the Oilers’ top three forward lines recently, and has impressed coaches with his play on the penalty kill, and more recently, his physical play, including multiple fights.

“I don’t know if this is going to be a growing trend with him,” said Eakins about Jones’ role as an enforcer, “but I think circumstance has come up a couple of times where he’s been put in a position on the ice where he thought he was taken a run at or taken some liberties at him and another time, he thought one of his teammates had been maybe hit a little the wrong way. I think he’s come a long, long way from training camp.”

As Jones explained on the Edmonton Oilers’ website, his rejuvenation, and willingness to drop the gloves, has come with confidence, and full health with his eye, as the season progressed.

“It was all confidence,” Jones explained on the website. “With the injury, I wasn’t sure all along how I would react or how the eye would react to getting hit, if it would get hit. You get one under you and you’re kind of like, oh it’s not that bad. Then there’s that little bit of confidence where I can do this and not have to worry about basically, my career being over. You’re less apt to think twice about it. If you think twice about it, you’re not going to do it. As soon as the challenge is there, you react and it’s on.”

Jones has two goals and three assists this season.

The Oilers face the Nashville Predators Sunday, and the Vancouver Canucks Monday, and sit second last in the NHL ahead of only Buffalo.

Share This


Wordpress (0)