SUN Hockey Pool

One bloody caper

DEREK VAN DIEST, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:28 AM ET

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Shawn Horcoff saw the blood, but he couldn't find the wound.

The Edmonton Oilers centre had just taken a puck in the head and was being helped to the bench by head trainer Ken Lowe.

"I was trying to figure out where it came from," Horcoff said. "It rung my bell a little bit and then I could see blood on the ice and on my sleeve, but I couldn't feel blood and I was wondering 'where the hell am I bleeding from?'

"I didn't realize Kenny had taken a spill jumping over the boards and he was leaking from his finger. So it was Kenny's blood and I didn't realize it last night until we got on the plane."

Horcoff took a Sheldon Souray clearing pass off the back of the head Saturday in Minnesota. He was able to return after shaking off the cobwebs.

SLIPPED ON THE ICE

On his way to attend to Horcoff, Lowe slipped on the ice and cut his finger accounting for the blood on Horcoff's jersey.

"It was a little bit funny later that night, when Kenny came up to me and said he was sorry for bleeding all over me," Horcoff said. "That's when I realized where the blood came from. It wasn't that big of a deal, it's just one of those plays. It was a tough play too because I know he (Souray) is trying to go cross-ice and I was trying to go support that puck."

Horcoff knows it could have been worse. He could have been standing in front of the net while Souray was teeing up from the point.

"I'd rather have his wobbly saucer pass hit me than his tight slapper from the point," smiled Horcoff. "It caught me right underneath the lid in the back of the head."

Despite the whack, Horcoff was able to return to the contest. The Oilers looked to be free and clear against the Wild with a 4-1 lead in the second period. But three unanswered goals, then a power-play marker in OT proved to be the Oilers undoing in 5-4 loss.

"It's tough to forget about that game," Horcoff said.

"With a 4-1 lead you can't let them score that second goal with three minutes left in the second. It's a different game then. We don't lose that game if it's 4-1 going into the third period."

PLENTY OF CHANCES

The Oilers had their chances to extend the lead in the third. Dustin Penner had a goal waved off on a high stick and Kyle Brodziak was robbed by Niklas Backstrom in front on a play that could have restored the Oilers' three-goal lead.

Horcoff had a couple of quality chances to score. However, the Oilers' leading scorer failed to find the net for the fifth consecutive game - his longest drought of the season.

"It's been frustrating for me, especially the last two games," Horcoff said. "I've had lots of chances, but the puck is just not going in.

"But I've said I worked on my mental game a lot this summer, and this is going to test it.

"It's easy when things are going fine. But things like that work their way around. It will be a pretty magical season if, through 82 games, pucks were always going in for you."


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