Sheldon Souray skated today for the first time since being injured in Calgary on Friday. During most of the drills Souray didn’t look like he was favouring his leg, and after practice he was confident he could play before Saturday in Vancouver.
“It felt pretty good today, and we’ll see how it responds to treatment. I should be ready to go tomorrow.”
At the start of last season Souray shouldn’t have played. His shoulder wasn’t 100% and that led to him re-injuring it in that wrestling match/tilt with Byron Ritchie. Don’t expect Souray to rush back this time. While his knee is not connected to his shoulder, coach MacTavish stated yesterday that the team won’t be rushing players back early this season. If Souray doesn’t play in Chicago you can expect him to suit up in Colorado on Thursday.
Kid line back together
Sam Gagner looked fine in his second straight practice and both he and MacTavish said he will play tomorrow. That means the lines will revert back to their normal look. In certain drills at practice today Steve MacIntyre was playing defence with Ladislav Smid, which would make you believe there is a good chance Souray will play and also that MacIntyre might sit out Wednesday. He did rotate in on the 4th line on line rushes and other drills, but MacTavish didn’t want to tip his hat about his 4th line.
The Hawks don’t have any bombers in MacIntyre’s class, so he might get the night off. Ben Eager and Adam Burish are guys that Stortini can handle.
Speaking of Stortini, if you were wondering why Ian Laperriere was so fired up at him in the Oilers home opener, it was because Stortini challenged him in warmup. “I’m 36-years-old and have been in the league 12 years and he challenges me in warmup. He is 235 pounds and I’m 195, yet he feels I have to prove myself. He has to grow up,” steamed Laperriere. Clearly Stortini knows how to get under guys skin. He will need to do more of that if he wants to stay in the lineup. To be clear, Stortini didn’t ask him to fight during warmup, rather he challenged him to fight later.
Roli the Goalie
All signs point to Dwayne Roloson starting in Chicago tomorrow, with Garon playing Colorado and Vancouver. “I would like to get Matty close to 60 or 65 games and the other two guys will split the rest,” said MacTavish. The three-headed monster isn’t a problem right now for the Oilers, but the longer it goes the more of a hassle it becomes.
Roloson is no stranger to this format. He was a rookie in Calgary when he was the 3rd goalie behind Rick Tabaracci and Trevor Kidd. Kidd ended up playing 55 games, Roloson got into 31, while Tabaracci played 7 before getting traded to Tampa Bay. At that time Kidd was 24 years old, Roloson 26 and Tabaracci was 27.
This year the situation is much different, with Deslauriers 24 and Roloson 39. It seems inevitable that Roloson will follow the path of Tabaracci back in 1996 and get moved. The list of suitors is short if non-existent right now, but don’t be surprised if Roloson gets a new address come November or December.
The Oilers like having the security of Roloson. If Garon gets hurt they have a veteran who can step in, if not, then at least Deslauriers gets some more seasoning until they feel he is ready to be a competent backup.
Esks Note (!)
I know this is the OilersNation, but I’m going to throw out a wild guess here and say some of the Nation follows the Esks to some degree. Interesting to note that Calvin McCarty will start at running back this weekend in Saskatchewan, and that Tristan Jackson will also get some reps in the backfield. Jackson was a runningback in high school, but hasn’t played there since.
He is a defensive back by trade, but most of his touches come as a kick return specialist. The thinking in Esks camp is that Jackson can make teams miss once he gets in the open field. Expect him to get some touches on screen plays as well as a few handoffs. AJ Harris will not dress, which is even more interesting. I like that McCarty is the go-to-guy, because I think he has deserved it, the Jackson experiment is very intriguing because of the timing. This is a must win for the Esks if they want to avoid crossing over to the East for the playoffs.