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Oilers coach believes “natural ability will lead to winning”

Aug 19, 2012, 4:49 PM EST

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Ralph Krueger. AP

New Oilers bench boss Ralph Krueger is definitely an optimist.

Edmonton has been one of the worst teams in the NHL the last three seasons, but the new head coach believes the team can overcome all the poor play from the past by just being themselves. Brian Hunter from NHL.com shares the positive talk out of Alberta.

“Our natural ability will lead us to winning. The winning is a byproduct, not a focus. The focus will be excellence; it will be our execution, our practices. You won’t come to a practice where you see us, in any way shape or form, compromising our quality. Every practice, on or off the ice, will be at the highest possible level and winning will naturally be a byproduct of the time we put it in.”

Krueger was an assistant last year under Tom Renney so he’s got a first hand look at a lot of the talent he’s got to work with already. From Taylor Hall to Jordan Eberle to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins that’s a nice way to start things off. By adding free agent Justin Schultz and first-round pick Nail Yakupov this summer, there’s even more star potential, and natural ability, to work with.

The natural ability is there, but growing pains might get in the way of success.

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