The Oilers will be without their captain and possibly one of their assistants as they look for their first win of the season, against the 0-0-1 Dallas Stars.
The Stars dominated the Predators on Saturday, but couldn’t beat Dan Ellis, so it could be a good test for Nikolai Khabibulin to see if he can rebound.
Ethan Moreau wasn’t on the ice at the morning skate this morning and neither was Shawn Horcoff. Andrew Cogliano took his spot alongside Sam Gagner and Zack Stortini. Robert Nilsson skated with Gilbert Brule and Dustin Penner. Horcoff skated yesterday, so it is strange not to see him on the ice.
Marc Pouliot skated with J.F Jacques and Ales Hemsky, and if he plays there tonight then this coaching staff really wants to give every guy a clean slate. If Pouliot, after sitting out for two weeks, actually plays all game with Hemsky, then Hemsky either needs to carry the line or he we shouldn’t expect much from him offensively.
The Oilers swept the Stars at home last year winning 5-2 and 4-1. The Stars won both games in Dallas by scores of 4-3 and 4-2.
The Oilers PK was actually good against Dallas allowing only three goals on 20 chances for 85%, while the Oilers scored three PP goals on 16 chances for 18.8 %.
Last year was the first time since 1992/1993 that the Oilers swept the Stars in Edmonton.
Both the Oilers and Stars lost their first game even though they out shot the opposition. The Stars outshot the Predators 40-26, with James Neal potting both goals for the Stars.
Just spoke with Horcoff, and he will play. He says it isn’t a big deal, and that he has a small tweak but he is just resting it.
Robert Nilsson admitted that he has to cut down on his risky plays in the defensive and neutral zones if he wants to stay in the lineup. Look for Nilsson to simplify his game in those zones, but he feels that he should generate more offence by not giving the puck away as often as he has.
Quinn explained the reason why he inserted Nilsson on the RW, and moved Cogliano on the left side with Gagner.
“I like Nilsson’s game on the right side, he generates more from that wing, and I know that Cogliano and Gagner have played together before, and played well, so this should give them both a better chance to produce.”