SUN Hockey Pool

A fourth of nature

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 7:52 AM ET

Call it fourth and goal.

Fourth liners Georges Laraque and Todd Harvey were buzzing against the Bs on Saturday, culminating in Todd Harvey's first-period goal, and have been developing a productive chemistry of late.

That's not easy for two guys who don't get any special teams work and have to take their shifts where they can get them in the new NHL.

"You have to be patient, you can't start dragging yourself down,'' said Laraque. "With the new rules you don't know what's going to happen, whether you're going to play three seven or 10 minutes. We just be patient on the bench and when we get out there go as hard as we can.

"Me and Todd talk about it, when we get our chance, when there aren't a lot of penalties, we'll be able to contribute.''

Laraque, who scored 13 goals in 2000-2001, is still waiting for his first goal of the season, but he has a three-game assist streak on the go right now.

"My confidence has always been good,'' he said. "When you play three minutes ... any player it's impossible in three minutes to be able to contribute offensively. But I know that if I get the ice time I can contribute offensively, I've done it in the past.''

Laraque's getting more ice time than most heavies, who are usually stapled to the pine, but ask him if he he likes the new rules and he doesn't pull his punch.

"Obviously not. Last season I was playing 10 minutes, now I'm averaging six. It's like a yo-yo, some games it's 10 minutes, some games it's three because of the special teams. Sometimes we're killing penalties the whole period. Then you're cold. We're always hoping for a good, five on five game.''

SCARY SPILL: Radek Dvorak threw the Oilers for a pretty serious scare yesterday when he slammed into the end boards at full speed after practice. He yelled out in pain and collapsed in a heap before being helped off the ice.

"He went in going a million miles an hour,'' said MacTavish, adding his initial impression was that Dvorak would be out for a while. "It didn't look good when he left the ice.''

A little while later, though, after some ice and treatment from trainer Ken Lowe, Dvorak was up and about and wondering what all the fuss was for.

"I just hit the boards hard,'' he said, adding it pretty much hurt everywhere. "It was a lot of things. I fell down about three feet before the boards and I couldn't get up. I kind of felt pain in my back and in my legs, but I'm OK. Kenny said we it's better that we get off the ice and get ready for (today).''


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