The Oilers injury woes continue yet again. I’ll get this over with quickly, ripping it off like a band-aid. Things are bad for Ryan Whitney, reports are saying. Don’t expect him back anytime soon. He is in a cast and surgery might be down the road. Per Joanne Ireland: “Whitney may have dislocated ankle tendon.”
Whitney is really disappointed: “For 3 yrs I was pretty much unhealthy & playing mediocre hockey … I got back to the player I know I can be, then this happens. I finally feel good about myself as a player and I’m starting to really gain momentum for the next part of my career, then this happens. The injuries take a toll on a team but it does give guys another chance. You end up seeing what other plays can do. Now Petry will be here and playing a ton. You really see what you have depth-wise in the organization.” Well, glad to hear him give the nod to Petry.
Some good news though… Shawn Horcoff skated today. On his own, without gear, per Tom Gazzola of the Oilers. Also good, Gilbert Brule makes his return from the flu tonight. He’s going to play with Paajarvi and O’Marra, in Omark’s place. Omark earned a visit to the pressbox when his inability to make the safe play lead to a turnover, which then lead to a Sabres goal. Tough break. Kids are going to make mistakes, so nothing to worry about… but it wasn’t a pretty moment. Hall also made a cutsie-move that led to a near break away (“near”, thanks to Jeff Petry who bailed out his fellow rookie BIG TIME). But we know the big two aren’t going to be benched as they’re generating much more good chances than they are bad.
Anyways, on to tonight’s game. The Avalanche are next up. The Avalanche are 6-2-2 in their last 10, while the Oilers are 3-5-2 in their last 10. I think without Whitney this will be a tough one. Oh to have Souray right now… but he’s in our past like the other 44.
Prediction: 6-4 Avalanche.
Hall – Gagner – Eberle
Penner – Cogliano – Hemsky
Paajarvi – O’Marra – Brule
Jones – Fraser – Stortini
Peckham – Gilbert
Smid – Foster
Strudwick – Petry