SUN Hockey Pool

Take a seat will ya?

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:33 AM ET

CHICAGO -- Winger J.F. Jacques is expected to be a healthy scratch for today's game in Chicago.

The big winger is minus-11 on the season and hasn't registered a single point in 37 games.

"It's gotten past the point of being humorous with him," said head coach Craig MacTavish. "He's learning, but there's a ways to go. Not only offensively, but defensively and being consistent physically, which he not always is."

A lot of the young prospects called up to fill the holes in Edmonton's lineup are discovering just how difficult it's going to be to make the jump. So far none of them have really stood out.

"They've been inconsistent is how I'd describe the majority of them," said MacTavish. "But I guess that's to be expected. Tom Gilbert came up and played a couple of really good games, now he's getting exposed a little bit. That's part of the experience of learning to play at this level."

Defenceman Bryan Young played just three minutes in St. Louis before MacTavish saw he was in over his head and sat him out the rest of the game.

"He's in deep," said the coach. "But it's a tough step for a guy like that."

ROY STILL AILING

Mathieu Roy is still feeling off after being hit square on the chin with a puck in St. Louis. He's just back from a concussion and is feeling a lot of the same symptoms that kept him out before.

"I'm still getting headaches," he said. "We'll see how it feels on Sunday."

Danny Syvret, recently demoted, was recalled yesterday and will suit up in Roy's place.

"I thought it was important for him to get down and get playing," said MacTavish. "I didn't want him up here playing two minutes a game."

A FAIR FIGHT

Chicago is the first team below them in the standings that Edmonton's played since March 12 in Los Angeles, and the last one they'll face this year. They might want to try taking advantage of that.

"We have to move the puck,"said MacTavish. "If we can't get back and make plays against a pinching defence, we're going to be looking at a pretty similar game (to the one they lost against St. Louis).

"We really got exposed against a team that pressured us pretty hard. That's good for these guys to see. A lot of times failure is the biggest motivator and we should be plenty motivated."

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WHO TO WATCH

MARTIN HAVLAT, HAWKS

He's either hot or he's not. But when he's on he's as dangerous as they come.

ALES HEMSKY, OILERS

The best Oiler on the trip takes a three-game scoring streak into this afternoon.

GAME NOTES

The Oilers and Blackhawks are the two lowest-scoring teams in the NHL ... Oilers winger J.F. Jacques will be Edmonton's designated sitter today in Chicago. In 37 games this season, Jacques does not have a single point ... The Hawks beat Columbus 3-1 in Friday to snap their six-game losing streak ... The Hawks haven't scored a penalty shot goal on home ice in 10 years, going scoreless on 14 attempts ... Hawks winger Nikita Alexeev was a healthy scratch for the third straight game. Peter Bondra missed his second straight game and sixth of the last seven with a shoulder injury.

HURT PARADE

OILERS -- LW Ethan Moreau shoulder; D Daniel Tjarnqvist, groin; C Jarret Stoll, concussion; D Jan Hejda, shoulder; D Steve Staios knee, Mathieu Roy, concussion.

CHICAGO -- Peter Bondra, RW, shoulder; Michal Handzus, C, torn ACL; Jim Vandermeer, D, broken ankle; James Wisniewski, D, torn ACL.


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