The Oilers had an off-ice workout today, and will be back on the ice tomorrow when they take on the Colorado Avalanche.
We won’t know until tomorrow which players will be available to Pat Quinn.
- Sam Gagner is day-to-day with an undisclosed injury. Quinn said Gagner wasn’t hurt from blocking a shot, but that he hurt himself twisting off a hit.
- Robert Nilsson didn’t play last night because he is still suffering from concussion-like symptoms. Quinn mentioned after the game last night, that if Nilsson was healthy he would have played and Dean Arsene wouldn’t have.
- J.F Jacques will take the morning skate tomorrow and is eyeing a return Saturday v. Chicago. If his back holds up during practice this week he will be back on when the Hawks come to town.
- Ryan Stone is still feeling soreness in his knee and is at least another week away according to Quinn. Quinn admitted this team misses both Stone and Jacques and he is hoping they return quickly.
- No update on the status of Fernando Pisani. They are still observing his condition, but he is out indefinitely.
- Denis Grebeshkov is out for the home stand and no possible return date was mentioned.
Dean Arsene walked up for his first NHL scrum and was a bit sheepish stepping in front of all the microphones, but he was very well-spoken and it is refreshing to see a player that happy to be in the NHL.
“I felt like I was watching a movie of myself. It didn’t feel real, and it was pretty anxious times sitting in the locker room before we went out there. It was awesome, better than I thought it would be. You don’t want to leave,this is heaven to be quite honest with you. You just have to keep in your mind that this is one day at a time, and all I can do is work hard and hope to stay here another day.”
When Quinn was asked about how Arsene was a feel-good story, he didn’t hold back in mentioning on numerous occasions that many young players come in with a sense of entitlement because of where they were drafted, and that maybe they aren’t ready to contribute when they get here. He has mentioned this on numerous occasions, and wonder who is talking about when he says those things?
Robert Nilsson, Andrew Cogliano and Sam Gagner would possibly fit in that category.
Too much off Khabibulin
At the start of the year, Quinn mentioned there is a risk that a coach starts to play his goalie more than he should, and that he’d have to fight off that temptation and ensure that Jeff Deslauriers got his 20-25 games. Right now Deslauriers is on pace to play only 12 games, and more concerning is that Nikolai Khabibulin is on pace to play 70, which is too much.
“My plan at the start of the trip was to play Jeff in two games with Columbus being the second game, but I elected to go back with Khabby. It is a little bit at the cost of both of them right now. We do have to pay strict attention to this, because I don’t want to wear out Khabby because he is too valuable to us. At the same time, I know in the long range plan that young goalies have to play. We have to be mindful that we are getting him enough action so he is still developing,” said Quinn.
Look for JDD to play once on this home stand, and once if not twice on the six-game road trip.