Torres keeps on tickin'

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:41 AM ET

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- He's stood tall while those around him were separating shoulders, suffering concussions or ripping out knees.

Last night Raffi Torres played his 201st consecutive regular-season game for the Edmonton Oilers. It's a streak that dates back to Feb. 21, 2004 and is currently the 16th longest in franchise history.

"I don't know what the secret is," said Torres prior to facing the Minnesota Wild.

"I'm just going out there and trying to play the same game every night. It's not like I'm playing a shy game or anything like that, I guess I've just been fortunate to stay healthy for such a long time."

Since being acquired by the Oilers in a trade with the New York Islanders for defenceman Janne Niinimaa in March 2003, Torres has been virtually injury-free.

PLAYED ALL 82

He was one of two Oilers to play all 82 games last season and one of three to play in every game the year before.

"I think there is definitely something to be said for durability," said Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish, who knows all about ironman streaks.

"There are some guys that are durable and some that are fragile. A lot of it is managing yourself to the inherent dangers on the ice and making sure that the Spidey sense is tingling when you're going into those dangerous areas."

Torres last missed a regular-season game for the Oilers on Feb. 18, 2004 -- a 5-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche.

"He knows how to protect himself," MacTavish said. "He's looking to run guys over, but at the same time, he knows when he's coming into a high-risk area."

MacTavish holds the Oilers record for most consecutive games played - 519 - from Oct. 12, 1986 to Jan. 2, 1993.

Torres still has a way to go before catching his head coach. He would have to stay healthy through 2011.

"I wouldn't say I've been in the greatest shape the last couple of years, but I think this year it's really good," Torres said. "I've felt great out there this year. Hopefully I can keep it going."


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