SUN Hockey Pool

Killer injuries for Oilers

Edmonton Oilers' Fernando Pisani is tended to after being hit during first period action against...

Edmonton Oilers' Fernando Pisani is tended to after being hit during first period action against the Atlanta Thrashers at Rexall Place in Edmonton on Sunday. (Sun Media/Darryl Dyck)

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:00 AM ET

BOSTON -- Fernando Pisani was not with the Oilers on their flight to Boston yesterday for the start of their seven-game road trip.

After suffering a concussion on Sunday, it's possible he could not be with the Oilers for some time.

"Fernie is going to be a while, I think," said Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish.

"I don't know how long. But he's getting seen again today."

Pisani was levelled by Atlanta Thrashers defenceman Andy Sutton in Sunday's 5-1 win at Rexall Place.

The six-foot-six, 245-pound defenceman caught Pisani with his head down and drilled the Oiler forward as he was carrying the puck to the net.

Sutton hit Pisani's head with his shoulder. Pisani stayed down for a few minutes, was helped off the ice and did not return.

He definitely won't be in the lineup tonight when the Oilers face the Boston Bruins (5 p.m.) at the TD Banknorth Garden.

And it's possible he could miss the entire seven-game road trip.

"These things are not an exact science of how long it can be," MacTavish said.

"It's all dependent on how quickly he can recover from his symptoms. It's whether he's having further symptoms today and how he is and how he feels."

Pisani, 30, is the second Oiler to be knocked out of the lineup with a concussion.

Jarret Stoll - who was placed on injured reserve yesterday - has missed the last four games with a concussion.

"He's in much the same category that Jarret is right now," said MacTavish of Pisani.

"We just have to be patient and give him the time he needs to recover and try and make do in his absence."

The Oilers called up Patrick Thoresen from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins yesterday to fill the roster spot.

In 56 games this season Pisani had 11 goals and 10 assists.

With a plus-5 rating, the Edmonton native is one of the team's top defensive forwards and an integral part of the Oilers' penalty-killing unit.

"This is cutting away at our penalty-killing forwards - especially if (Shawn) Horcoff keeps taking all those penalties!" MacTavish said.

"It's difficult if your penalty-killers are taking penalties. We could be vulnerable at times."

On Sunday Ryan Smyth was the most-used forward on the penalty kill playing 5:31 of his 23:41 of ice time short-handed. Going into tonight's game the Oilers boast the second-best penalty-killing unit in the league.

"I've tried to cut Ryan back in that regard. But now we've got to use him more prominently in the penalty kill," MacTavish said.

"He's playing 24 minutes. He can handle a lot of minutes, but that's a lot for any forward to have."


Videos

Photos