SUN Hockey Pool

More Moreau misery

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:45 AM ET

You know it's bad when Mathieu Roy - the same Mathieu Roy who seems to have a 40-minute shelf life in the NHL before something is broken, sprained or concussed - winces at your misfortune.

When Fernando Pisani, who lost 30 pounds and six pints of blood and spent weeks withering away in bed, wondering if he'd ever play again, calls your season cursed.

When Jarret Stoll, who lost half of last year to a concussion, derailing him at the high point of his career, and hasn't been able to rediscover his lost game since, looks over and says he's glad he's not you.

CRUEL FATE

But nobody needs to tell Ethan Moreau (or, Ethan Morose, as he's now known), that the cruel hand of fate is giving him the finger.

"It's beyond bad luck, beyond words, there's nothing to say," sighed the captain yesterday, after hobbling out of the Oilers dressing room on crutches. "Just another very freak thing."

He'd been back all of 25 games, after missing the previous 113, when a seemingly harmless play in the final seconds of Sunday's win over Colorado broke his left leg again, just above the ankle, along the exact same fracture line that cost him October, November and December.

"Unbelievable," said Roy. "I know I've been injured a lot and been through a lot of stuff, but what he's going through right now, long term injuries ... it's not like maybe in two weeks you're going to be OK. It's hard on him and it's going to be hard on the team, too."

"He's at the point where he's so frustrated and so down you don't really know what to say to him," added Stoll. "You want to help in any way you can, but what can you do? It's tough. He's our leader, the heart and soul of our team. Losing him hurts, definitely."

Between shoulder surgery last year, a broken leg in pre-season and the subsequent, season-ending re-break on Sunday, in his 500th game as an Oiler, no less, Moreau's exhausted a career's worth of adversity in 18 months.

"He's been through enough," said Pisani. "You feel bad for him. He was excited about being on the ice again, and being around the guys after his injuries. To have to go through that all over again is demoralizing."

When this season is over, he'll have missed 132 of 164 regular season games since Game 7 of the 2006 Stanley Cup final.

"The stuff that he's gone through already, to (heap this on him) is almost too much for one guy to handle," said head coach Craig MacTavish. "He's taking this incredibly hard. I feel bad for him personally to have to endure this again. Very, very unfortunate personally and organizationally for us to lose Ethan."

Moreau knew his leg was broken the second he jammed it into the boards, knew his season was over, knew the black cloud that's been following him for 18 months settled in for a few months more, but he finished his shift. With seconds winding down in a one-goal game, he laboured his way to the slot and got ready to block a shot.

15 SECONDS LEFT

"There was only 15 seconds left," he said. " I was more in shock, I couldn't believe it was happening again. But I knew if I went down they're not going to blow the whistle with that much time. I just tried to get back to the middle of the net."

Guys like that don't play sympathy cards, so don't expect Moreau to bemoan the cruelty of his situation.

"I felt sorry for myself for five, 10 minutes," he said. "But there's a lot of pretty good examples of people who are in a lot worse shape than me. I have to go to the Stollery today; there's kids there that have some real issues. This is pretty minor in the grand scheme of things. It's not that big of a deal. I'm just going to miss playing again."

He joins Raffi Torres (knee), Sheldon Souray (shoulder) and Shawn Horcoff (shoulder) on the season-ending scrap heap.

"It's unreal," said Pisani. "It's been like a never-ending saga."


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