Pouliot missed playoff magic

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 10:18 AM ET

CALGARY -- Marc-Antoine Pouliot was ready for a long playoff run with the Edmonton Oilers last spring. It didn't happen. He had to call in sick.

Pouliot was afflicted with mononucleosis and was sent home to recover a round into the post-season.

"That was really disappointing," said the Oilers' six-foot-one, 195-pound centre. "I thought I could have played a few games and helped the team. I was sent home for six weeks and had to battle to get right. Nobody wants that to happen, but it's done and I feel all right."

Pouliot, 21, spent most of last season in Hamilton, where he was voted team MVP and rookie of the year. He was called up late in the season and scored a goal in eight games with the team.

Last night, he played in his second game of the exhibition season, centering the Oilers' third line.

He scored the Oilers' first goal, ripping a wrist shot from the slot past Flames' goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff on the power play.

"It was a valuable time for those young guys that were around during that playoff run and he was very disappointed not to be a part of it," said Oilers' head coach Craig MacTavish. "When we brought him in last year, he played surprisingly well early. He's a smart, smart, player and we have hopes for him shortly."

Whether there's a spot for him in Edmonton this year remains to be seen.

The native of Quebec City - who was a linemate of Sydney Crosby in junior - is in tough to make the squad with the depth the Oilers have up front.

"I don't try to think about that," Pouliot said. "I'm just going to go out and play my game. I don't have a lot of control over what's going to happen."


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