December 08 2010 07:53AM
A few days ago, the Edmonton Oilers remained relatively untouched by injury; today, they are facing some very difficult choices in terms of roster makup for the next two months or more. Faceoffs, penalty-kill, the powerplay, evens. This has an impact on everything.
Hemsky's gone for 4 weeks, Horcoff is out for a long time (8 weeks or more). He'll have an MRI today, and surgery hasn't been ruled out. Horcoff plays a lot every game in every situation:
- 14:03 at evs (5th on the team among F's)
- 2:07 on the PK (1st among forwards)
- 2:33 on the PP (4th among forwards)
Horcoff was doing an excellent job in the mentor role with Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle. All reports suggested he was an excellent captain and took his role seriously. This is a bitter pill, made doubly so because well known "borderline" player Corey Perry was involved.
Accidental my ass.
The Oilers will be calling someone up today, possibly two players:
- Linus Omark: Highly skilled but there is concern about what he'll leave behind and how often he'll be on the wrong side of the puck upon turnover. Could help on the PP.
- Liam Reddox: Ginger has been effective on the farm (again) and could help out on the PK.
- Ryan O'Marra: Could help in the dot and on the PK.
I think it might be wise to recall all three. It might require placing Jason Strudwick on IR, but at this point the Oilers need all capable hands on deck up front. They may move Dustin Penner or Gilbert Brule over to center, giving the depth chart the folllowing look: Penner, Gagner, Cogliano, Fraser.
I've always felt this season was best spent in the basement. Get Sean Couturier and then add those quality veterans over next summer with an eye to being competitive for 2012 spring. The hockey Gods appear to agree. That's the only explanation I can think of at this point in time.