Sam Gagner will not play tonight, and looks to be out 10-14 days, which means some line juggling.
With Gagner’s ankle still bothering him, Craig MacTavish could have put Liam Reddox in his place, but thankfully he moved Cogliano in the middle of Nilsson and Cole. The lines will be as follows tonight:
27 – 10 – 83
12 – 13 – 26
18 – 78 – 85
43 – 51 – 33
It does look like Stortini will be available to play Friday against the Wild. He still needs a few more practices according to MacTavish and then he should be ready to go. Local 2006 Hero Fernando Pisani is still a few weeks away until he is ready. He’s having some discomfort skating, so the pain needs to subside before he can go full out.
Gagner wrenched his ankle in their last game against Columbus and he did have some treatment on Wednesday before he left for the all-star break, but his ankle hasn’t responded and he underwent an MRI yesterday.
He had been playing with the wonky ankle for some time, and according to his coach it has affected his game.
“Greatly, I think. Probably more than he would admit. You see it behind the bench that he comes off normally once or twice a game with a pain inhibition, where he tries to make a move and you get that shooting pain up your leg and it just stops you.”
Gagner hurt the ankle in practice in mid-November and has been taping it up every since.
“There is nothing torn, so it is nothing long term or serious. Sometimes it gives out skating, but mostly going into battles is where I feel it, when I have to plant down on the foot,” said Gagner.
“Going into last game it was a matter of going into that game and then getting some rest over the break, but I hurt it twice in that game and now I just need to rest it.”
With Stortini eligible to play by Friday, don’t expect a call-up.
Dwayne Roloson will start tonight, and you wonder when Deslauriers will get a start.
“I thought about possibly today, but decided against it,” said MacTavish. “There was some serious consideration in playing him today. Sometimes you can over-think these things a little bit. Maybe the most important is to go with Roli while he’s playing as well as he is. I don’t want to get into a case where I out-think myself. The situation will present itself and it will be a bit more obvious than it is today.”
For me the obvious case is to play Deslauriers on Friday versus the Wild. Minnesota has owned Roloson and the Oilers the past two years, so give the kid a shot against them and also then he is sitting out to long.
And lastly, JF Jacques is skating pain-free and will be assigned to Springfield around Feb. 5. That way he would be eligible to play in eight games on the 6th, 7th, 8th, 11th, 13th, 14th, 15th and 17th. After he is recalled, the Oilers will have to make a decision on him, since he will either have to clear waivers or stay with the Oilers.