Smith says he'll 'toe' the line

ROBIN BROWNLEE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 9:14 AM ET

Edmonton Oilers captain Jason Smith, who suffered a badly bruised big toe on his right foot when hit by a shot in the second period of Sunday's 4-3 shootout win over Phoenix, didn't skate yesterday.

"The only one that really matters is the big toe," smiled Smith, who instead rode a stationary bike. "The rest, there's no push from them."

With Smith's cadaver-like pain threshold, you know he's hurting if he can't skate, but he said he intends to be in the lineup and ready to go against the Blue Jackets.

"As soon as I can put some weight on it I'll be fine," Smith said. "That's what it is when you go forward to back. Every time you pivot that's where all the weight goes."

CALLING JACQUES: As expected, the Oilers called up J.F. Jacques from the Hamilton Bulldogs to take Ethan Moreau's spot.

Jacques, drafted 68th overall from Baie-Comeau of the QMJHL by the Oilers in 2003, had tallied 14-13-27 and was a minus-8 with 83 PIM in 42 games when the call came.

"Jacques should give us some grit," said MacTavish, who got a look at the strapping winger during training camp. "Certainly, with Ethan out, you take a lot of grit out of our line-up."

Jacques, 20, six-foot-four and 217 pounds, was third in Hamilton scoring, right behind fellow Oiler draftee Marc-Antoine Pouliot, who has 9-20-29 over 47 games with the Bulldogs.

MacTavish said yesterday he'll likely use Jacques with Moreau's regular linemates, meaning he will start on left wing alongside Marty Reasoner and Fernando Pisani against the Blue Jackets.

NEXT DOOR: The Oilers had company at the Alltel Ice Den yesterday as their dressing room was beside that of the Phoenix Roadrunners of the ECHL.

Familiar sticks in the rack included those of defenceman Brent Henley, who toiled with Edmonton in the AHL last season, and tough guy Garret Burnett, who had a cup of coffee with Anaheim.

The Roadrunners, owned by Claude Lemieux, skated on a sheet of ice adjacent to the Oilers.

AROUND THE RINK: Oilers goaltending prospect Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers, who had made just 13 appearances in Hamilton this season, was assigned to Greenville of the ECHL Monday.


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