SUN Hockey Pool

Oilers captain corralled

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:38 AM ET

Considering all he's been through, Craig MacTavish would prefer Ethan Moreau not fight.

Yet the Edmonton Oilers captain did not hesitate in dropping the gloves against New York Islanders forward Tim Jackman on Monday, undoubtedly giving his head coach some anxious moments.

"He told me that he didn't want me to fight, but I thought that was just the first game," Moreau said. "I think there was a bit of miscommunication there. I'm not nervous about fighting. I'm more nervous about blocking shots because that's still in the back of my mind."

Moreau has four points in his first six games since returning to the Oilers lineup. He missed 113 consecutive regular-season games due to injury.

"He doesn't need to be fighting, especially those guys," said MacTavish. "We were hesitant about Shelly (Sheldon Souray) fighting and we saw what happened, so it's pretty clear we don't want some of our guys taking on some of the other teams' tough guys.

"We need those guys healthy. We're still a little gun-shy about injuries, having as many as we had so far, we want to protect those guys as best as we can - Ethan in particular."

Souray injured his shoulder earlier this year in a fight.

Last season Moreau hurt his shoulder in a fight seven games into the year. He needed surgery to repair the damage and missed the rest of the season.

This season he took a puck off the foot in exhibition play. It cost him the first 38 games of the year.

"Fights are going to happen, it wasn't medicated, the guy just came after me," Moreau said. "That's just part of the game. But I don't have any reservations about it. Mentally I'm fine."

Blocking shots, however, is another matter.

Soon after the foot injury, Moreau was hoping he would be able to play in the home opener, days after being named the franchise's 12th captain.

However he ended up sitting out nearly three months.

"When I got hit, it was bad," Moreau said. "I've never had pain like that. So I'm obviously aware of it. I'm not lifting my foot, I'm still trying to block shots, it's just now that I'm closing my eyes. I'm not probably quite as fearless that I was before, but it's not to the point where I don't do it."


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