EDIT: Oilers down a captain, Horcoff will play

 

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.

***Update***

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.”

  • Hemmercules

    Good Horcoff playing is good! Also on SNW it says Modano is probably out as is Lehtinen. I think they will not miss Moreau. Maybe Nilsson pots one tonight? One can opnly hope!

    Go Oilers GO.

  • Conversations about Pouliot with Nilsson sitting in the PB are making me insane. For crap sake, lets ice the best team possible and see what happens. Wins this time of year might be a bit easier because lots of teams are still not 100%. BTW – those lineups Jason mentioned above looked pretty sweet.

  • blu

    He expects Horcoff to play i would assume. He isnt going to mess up a couple line combinations in practice instead of just one. Besides, he can get a good look at how Pouliot is playing after his injury and if he belongs. I doubt they send him away but he is still on the bubble.

  • My Inner Eklund says: The Oilers are sitting Horc and placing Moreau on the IR to activate Poo and play him and Nilsson in order to showcase them as pending trade toss-ins with a puck moving D-man. The trade is with an unnamed team from the East. Big dominoes. Huge. (E3.14)

    • I can't see how anyone will ever trade for Pouliot no matter how far up the lineup we were to play him in an effort to showcase his talent because he's got no talent to showcase. Every team in the league has a player like him that has just never turned out to be worth a dime. Send him the AHL as soon as he's healthy and forget about him.

      • The way I envision Poo getting moved is like how I proposed…a toss-in…kinda like when you have a garage sale and you don't wan't to haul your crap back inside…you start giving it away. "Oh, you want to give me 7 dollars for my Rick Astley box set? Sure…I'll even toss in Pouliot for free."

        That kinda deal.

  • JORD10

    Poor, Poor Ales. How's he supposed to get his game going with these linemates. Couldn't they shake things up even more and put someone other than Pouliot at 1C.

  • blu

    I'm really curious to see how the team preforms without chopper on the ice.

    I'll miss Horc in the dot though. Hopefully this isn't too painful a faceoff schooling for us.

    • Hemmercules

      My guess is that no one will even notice Moreau isn't playing, aside from the fact that we will have less PK's to deal with. From what I saw last game he probably shouldn't have been in that game either. I wonder if Lowe will ever asked Moreau and Pisani for some money back since they never play.

      • blu

        Yeah, less terrible penalties and less wasted offensive chances.

        He is usually good for one emotionally and physically crushing hit per game though. JFJ or even Brule can supply that, the way they're playing.

        Stort, who should supply it, seems as fuzzy and inconsistent as his own personal grooming. Still on the fence about that guy.