SUN Hockey Pool

Jacques gets shot with Moreau out

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 9:14 AM ET

One man's sprained ankle is another man's golden opportunity.

Ask winger J.F. Jacques.

"I was just really happy when I got the call," said the six-foot-four, 217-pound winger, filling in for the injured Ethan Moreau. "I'm going to enjoy it and give it the best I have."

All the Oilers are asking from Jacques in his first NHL game is more of what he was doing in Hamilton, playing tough and fast.

"He's great skater with lots of energy and enthusiasm," said head coach Craig MacTavish. "The thing that impressed me most about him was despite the fact he played sparingly (in camp) he still had a physical element to his game. He still found a way to be a physical force. That's important in that role."

Jacques says you don't have to draw him a picture.

"I know what I have to do here," said the 21-year old. "I have to keep playing down low and throw my body around. I'm having a good year in the AHL, I have to do the same things here."

It's not easy stepping in in the middle of a season, but he's not that nervous about it, yet.

"From playing the three exhibition games I know a little what it's going to be like. But I'm going to be excited (Thursday) morning."

MacTavish will dole out the leash as warranted.

"We'll be evaluating where he's at and what his level of understanding is of the game at this level as he goes through the first period.

"Hopefully he surprises us , much like Matt (Greene) did when he came in here. I don't think he's as accomplished as Matt in that regard at this stage, but it would be nice to see him have some responsibility out there."

MOREAU ON THE MEND: MacTavish doesn't know exactly when Moreau will be back.

But he isn't expecting him any time soon.

"I think Ethan is going to be after the Olympic break," said the coach. "If I hear any different I'll be surprised.

"If he was ready to go after the Olympic break I would take that right now."

SMITH ON THE LIMP: Jason Smith is listed as doubtful for tonight.

They'll miss what he normally brings to a game, but at least they're flush at the position.

"Good thing about the depth we have on defence," said MacTavish, who has eight D men after Edmonton acquired Jaroslav Spacek and Dick Tarnstrom. "It was almost intuitive that we got them when we did."


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