Flu hits the Oil

Jason Gregor
October 21 2009 12:52PM

Yesterday the entire Oilers team got the day off, but today at practice many of them still were still MIA. Ken Lowe, Barry Stafford and crew are on high alert as they try to get some bodies healthy enough to play. They don't think this is H1N1, but they are being cautious.

Sheldon Souray and Steve Staios are still out with concussions.

Ryan Stone had an MRI yesterday, and today he was getting a scope on his knee. They think he has a meniscus tear, but won’t know until they see it on the scope today. It looks like he is gone for at least two to four weeks. They will know more following the scope.

Ladislav Smid and Gilbert Brule didn’t skate due to the flu, and this same strain had Ales Hemsky bed-ridden for three days — both are questionable for tomorrow.

We also saw three new lines at practice this morning.

Hemsky and Shawn Horcoff have been split up!

Horcoff was centering Mike Comrie and Patrick O’Sullivan, while Hemsky skated with Dustin Penner and Sam Gagner.

Kelly Buchberger was in the middle of JF Jacques and Robert Nilsson, while the only line that remained intact was Andrew Cogliano, Ethan Moreau and Zack Stortini.

Right now, Steve MacIntyre is the only healthy extra body around, and he was practicing again on defence. If one of Smid or Brule can’t go then he is in.

The injuries are an issue, but I’m sure one of Brule or Smid will be ready so they can ice 18 skaters, but the bigger story is that Hemsky and Horcoff have been separated.

A new first line?

Without stating the obvious, both have struggled. Neither has looked comfortable, and a change of linemates might get both of them going. I’m not going out on a limb when I say that Horcoff won’t continue to be on pace for only 20 points this season, and that Hemsky will eventually look like a game breaker again, but it is clear that Pat Quinn doesn’t want to wait much longer.

This team is 5-2-1 without a sniff from their two top offensive players. That’s a sign they that have some depth, but eventually they need these two to start contributing.

Quinn doesn’t want to keep Penner, Horcoff and Hemsky as a line right now. He said if he has to go back to them he will, but he wants to have balance so those three won’t be together just yet.

Many have wanted to see Gagner and Hemsky together, and now we will see how they do. The way Penner is playing they might stay a unit for awhile.

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#1 BUCK75
October 21 2009, 01:00PM
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It's about time. At this rate we will have our 5.5 million dollar 3rd line centre iceman.

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#2 Gregors dirty 'stash
October 21 2009, 01:02PM
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Sick Puppies...

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#3 Adam Dyck
October 21 2009, 01:04PM
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I, for one, am excited at our performance without Hemsky driving the play. If the rest of the team can stay where they are while Hemsky and Horcoff kick it into gear, I'd say we'd actually be in a position to take the division.

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#4 I'm a Scientist!
October 21 2009, 01:06PM
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I can't wait to see what sort of numbers Kelly Buchberger is going to put up! Finally the oilers have a solid vetran on the ice!

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#5 petr klima's helmet
October 21 2009, 01:15PM
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jason, a question. is oiler management thinking of putting staios on IR, and calling up a defenceman? also, with the stone injury, is a forward going to be recalled? thanks

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#6 Shannon
October 21 2009, 01:17PM
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@I'm a Scientist!

Ahh, I knew someone would say what I was thinking :'p

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#7 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
October 21 2009, 01:20PM
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Kelly Buchberger is in? Wow. So Smid out Lowe in? Well Stone is most likely to go on the IR, so they might as well call someone up so that Katz isn't playing net next practice.

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#8 Tracie
October 21 2009, 01:21PM
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I'm a Scientist! wrote:

I can't wait to see what sort of numbers Kelly Buchberger is going to put up! Finally the oilers have a solid vetran on the ice!

LOL! Very nice! Wouldn't this be like signing Chris Chelios?

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#9 Ender
October 21 2009, 01:25PM
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@I'm a Scientist!

So how long before Lowe can't stand being left out and suits up with Bucky? :-)

If smid can't go tomorrow, I might almost rather have Lowe than SMac on the back end.

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#10 Ender
October 21 2009, 01:26PM
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@Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

Doh! Beat me to the punchline.

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#11 quicksilver ballet
October 21 2009, 01:29PM
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Our Oilers may be planting more than just the seed of doubt tommorow evening.

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#12 Smytty777
October 21 2009, 01:29PM
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Jason: any word on Pisani? Is he skating yet?

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#13 DK0
October 21 2009, 01:29PM
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Alright someone needs to take Kai's Power Goo or whatever program bingofuel is using to make the sad and happy faces away.. :)

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#14 DK0
October 21 2009, 01:30PM
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@Smytty777

Knowing his luck, hes going to be the only one of the group to get H1N1 and be gone half the season.

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#15 Milli
October 21 2009, 01:31PM
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Gregor, How'd bucky look? Now that would add some CRUST!!! I sure hope Brule will draw in tomorrow.

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#16 MattL
October 21 2009, 01:37PM
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Congratulations on one of the creepiest photoshop jobs yet. Eeeeeesh.

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#17 No Clue
October 21 2009, 01:37PM
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@ Tracie

Chelios is still alive?

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#18 I'm a Scientist!
October 21 2009, 01:39PM
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*skips away happily knowing he was the first person to make the obvious joke*

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#19 Mike Krushelnyski
October 21 2009, 01:40PM
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@No Clue

Ask the AHL Chicago Wolves. He just signed there.

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#20 Tracie
October 21 2009, 01:41PM
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No Clue wrote:

@ Tracie

Chelios is still alive?

Haha! from what I saw on SN, just barely!

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#21 bingofuel
October 21 2009, 01:42PM
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MattL wrote:

Congratulations on one of the creepiest photoshop jobs yet. Eeeeeesh.

Why thank you! I literally inverted their smiles.

I'm certain they aren't happy to be sick.

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#22 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
October 21 2009, 01:52PM
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I like that Comrie and O'Sullivan are back together.

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#23 Heatly
October 21 2009, 01:54PM
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Thanks for the update Jason. I never watched pre-season, but weren't Hemksy and Gagne together on a line before in the past.....Hopefully DP will push them to the next level.

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#24 Morgan
October 21 2009, 01:54PM
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BUCK75 wrote:

It's about time. At this rate we will have our 5.5 million dollar 3rd line centre iceman.

Um we have always had that.

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#25 Morghasm
October 21 2009, 01:59PM
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Comrie-Horcoff-O’Sullivan

Penner-Gagner-Hemsky

I like the sounds of that. I'm assuming the Horcoff line is the #1 against the other team's power line? Cause I feel like the Gagner line could totally out-match/out-score another team's 2nd line. And with all sorts of uber skill.

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#26 danjo1
October 21 2009, 02:12PM
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Bingofuel: you're getting really good at that sad eyes effect lol. Nice work on Brule!

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#27 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
October 21 2009, 02:18PM
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Morghasm wrote:

Comrie-Horcoff-O’Sullivan

Penner-Gagner-Hemsky

I like the sounds of that. I'm assuming the Horcoff line is the #1 against the other team's power line? Cause I feel like the Gagner line could totally out-match/out-score another team's 2nd line. And with all sorts of uber skill.

I really like it, too. They're going to be tough lines to match, I think. When do you ice your top talent?

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#28 Amber McCormick
October 21 2009, 02:34PM
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This photo makes my heart happy. It's like a million little kittens playing with a ball of yarn.

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#29 smiliegirl15
October 21 2009, 02:39PM
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I guess Quinn and Renny really do read ON! How did we go from having more forwards than we know what to do with to being so short Bucky has to practice with the team? It's like the dilemma is would you rather have a full team that underperforms (like last season) or an injury riddled team who wins? Both suck for different reasons.

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#30 Ender
October 21 2009, 02:55PM
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@Amber McCormick

What is the street value on the stuff you've got? I'm pretty sure I couldn't afford it . . .

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#31 Robin Brownlee
October 21 2009, 03:00PM
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Smytty777 wrote:

Jason: any word on Pisani? Is he skating yet?

I talked for Fernando this morning and he's feeling much better. He expects to resume skating with the team Monday.

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#32 Reggie
October 21 2009, 03:00PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

Kelly Buchberger is in? Wow. So Smid out Lowe in? Well Stone is most likely to go on the IR, so they might as well call someone up so that Katz isn't playing net next practice.

Hey, Bucky is in that will help our PK for sure !!! Wicked !!! LOL

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#33 Reggie
October 21 2009, 03:02PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

I talked for Fernando this morning and he's feeling much better. He expects to resume skating with the team Monday.

That's good news for the Oil. Once this flu bug runs it's course we will finally see what Tambo has up his sleeve with the roster spots. It should be interesting.

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#34 Ender
October 21 2009, 03:02PM
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MattL wrote:

Congratulations on one of the creepiest photoshop jobs yet. Eeeeeesh.

Does anyone else think Smid comes out looking like Odo from Deep Space Nine?

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#35 BRHL Commish
October 21 2009, 03:05PM
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Question really would be, which forward do they call-up in Stone's place?

So they bring up a guy like Potulny or Reddox? Or do they bring up a bigger body like Paukovich, O'Marra or McDonald.

Really O'Marra has looked decent this year, and from what I have heard is decent on the draw. Maybe he could be a 4th line center for this team.

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#36 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
October 21 2009, 03:26PM
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BRHL Commish wrote:

Question really would be, which forward do they call-up in Stone's place?

So they bring up a guy like Potulny or Reddox? Or do they bring up a bigger body like Paukovich, O'Marra or McDonald.

Really O'Marra has looked decent this year, and from what I have heard is decent on the draw. Maybe he could be a 4th line center for this team.

If Smid is still sick I call up Peckham, I could live with Macintyre on the 4th line until Brule returns, but I can't live with Macintyre as our #6 d-man.

If Smid is a go then call Reddox up.

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#37 Smytty777
October 21 2009, 03:34PM
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@Robin Brownlee

Thanks for the update Robin. Would the Oilers be able to retroactively put Staios or Souray on long-term IR sometime next week if Pisani is ready to return?

I believe LTIR is 24 days or 10 games and Souray and Staios have both already missed 5 games, but I don't know if LTIR (and the associated ability to exceed the cap) can be retroactive or not.

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#38 Amber McCormick
October 21 2009, 04:00PM
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Ender wrote:

What is the street value on the stuff you've got? I'm pretty sure I couldn't afford it . . .

I'll get you in touch with 'my guy'.

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#40 Moop
October 21 2009, 04:14PM
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No Clue wrote:

@ Tracie

Chelios is still alive?

Sort of...

http://www.downgoesbrown.com/2008/11/wendel-moment-9-you-got-to-be-man-to.html

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#41 Librarian Mike
October 21 2009, 04:42PM
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Bingofuel: I know it probably wasn't your intention, but the first thing that popped into my mind when I saw that picture was Flock of Seagulls. Now I have "I Ran (so far away) in my head. Sigh...

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#42 Oilersordeath
October 21 2009, 04:59PM
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My question is who goes down when Pisani comes back? With the way the lines are playing right now I would send Pisani down to the Minors!!

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#43 Ogden Brother
October 21 2009, 05:06PM
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Thought I'd throw this out there.

Schremp has 1 assist in 5 games with the NYI.

I'd like to here from the Schremp supporters on this.

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#44 bingofuel
October 21 2009, 05:09PM
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@Librarian Mike

HAHAHAHA My sinister plan worked!

*runs... runs so far awaaaaaay*

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#45 wiggs22
October 21 2009, 05:11PM
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Ok..I guess i'll be the one to ask the stupid question. What the hell is bucky doing playing third line???? Did we re-sign him? That would be cool! or are you guys just joking?

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#46 R Kenny
October 21 2009, 05:26PM
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wiggs22 wrote:

Ok..I guess i'll be the one to ask the stupid question. What the hell is bucky doing playing third line???? Did we re-sign him? That would be cool! or are you guys just joking?

You're fishin for facepalms with this one... but I'll be nice. Bucky is one of our Assistant Coaches and since we only had 11 forwards at practice, he was filling in so we'd have 4 lines.

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#47 DK0
October 21 2009, 05:29PM
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@Ogden Brother

There was a ridiculously quality sack beating on JSBM about this:
http://www.jeanshortsandbaggedmilk.com/2009/10/righteous-sack-beating-oct-19-2009.html
WHen is ON going to start posting the sack beatings again? man those are great.

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#48 wiggs22
October 21 2009, 05:31PM
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@R Kenny

Ok i know that : ) lol maybe i should have asked that question a little differently. Some of the other posts sounded like he was dressing and i couldn't find any info telling me if it was true or not.

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#50 wiggs22
October 21 2009, 05:39PM
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I"m hearing rumors that edmonton is talking trade with nashville invloving cogs and or penner. By rumors i mean "eklund" ~ that guy is the bees knees ~ what a tool. Are any one of his sources real people? And you have to pay for that useless drizzle. Off topic but i had to vent.

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