SUN Hockey Pool

Sheldon on the shelf

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:58 AM ET

With Sheldon Souray on the shelf for a while, it'll be up to the rest of Edmonton's defencemen to shoulder the additional load.

Souray's had six days to rest since injuring his left shoulder in Florida and his return to the Oilers still appears a way off.

Asked if the defenceman could be categorized as day to day, Craig MacTavish put a more pessimistic spin on it.

"He's probably a little longer term than that right now," said the coach.

"We're just going to let it settle down and see how it responds, much like we did the last time, and try and get him back in there in a week or two."

At two weeks, the Oilers could be out of the playoff race before Souray even gets back. "It's not a great situation, but it's all they've got. He'll have surgery, just not while Edmonton is still in the race.

"It's definitely in the cards at some point, for next year, we don't want to go through this again next year," said MacTavish.

"But for this year ... surgery ends his year."

He's been grinding it out as best he can, but it's not easy when much of your game is predicated on playing physically in front of the net and winding up for booming slap shots from the point.

"Credit to Sheldon, he's going to work through it," said MacTavish.

"You can only imagine how difficult it is to play the game to begin with, but to play the game with a handicap that he's been playing with must be really frustrating - especially the way he plays.

"He plays very physically and gets involved.

"It's difficult for him but we'll settle it down and see if he can feels he can manage it."


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