Tender 'tender a concern

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:48 AM ET

MINNESOTA -- Mathieu Garon reports that his ankle is feeling better after getting a cortisone shot, but the Oilers want to keep him off skates altogether in an attempt to hasten his recovery.

So they've called up Jeff Deslauriers to take the morning skate and possibly the pre-game warm-up in his place. It's unlikely that Deslauriers will back up Dwayne Roloson tonight, though, since Garon's dressed for all six games since he hurt his ankle.

"We just want to give (Garon) a little bit more time so he doesn't have to take warm-up or anything like that," head coach Craig MacTavish said on the plane ride to Minnesota.

"He improved today a little bit. We'll see how it is on Thursday in Colorado. He just had a cortisone shot, which generally takes 24 to 48 hours before you start to feel the effects of it."

It's been a confounding injury, one that started out as a minor annoyance after a goal mouth collision last week in Colorado, only to deteriorate into something that he can't even practise on.

"We're six games into it," said MacTavish. "It's kind of confusing for us all. It's one of those things, he goes down in a butterfly and it's hard for him to get up. It hasn't improved till today."

SCORING FROM EVERYWHERE

The Oilers have been scoring up a storm lately, but MacTavish would like it if they stopped scoring into their own nets. Tom Gilbert, Denis Grebeshkov and Ladislav Smid all had pucks bank off their sticks, skates or bodies past Dwayne Roloson in the last few games.

"You have to have some savvy there," said MacTavish.

"Both Denis and Ladi got surprised on the shots in the last two games, but you can't be doing that. You have to control that. You're in the right spot, you just have to have the awareness of where the puck is."

GOOD NIGHT'S SWEEP

Winning both ends of a home and home series is always a major challenge and the Oilers are expecting a major push back from the Wild tonight.

"They came out kind of flat and we took advantage," said MacTavish. "They'll be a better opponent (today) for sure. It's tough in today's NHL to sweep a team, but it's the situation we find ourselves in. We're playing better, I know we're capable of doing it. That's a good feeling going into the game."

The Wild will likely have Pavol Demitra and Pierre Marc Bouchard back in the lineup, two speedsters who can skate and score with any of the Oilers.

"They'll come hard, that's what happens (in the rematch)," said MacTavish.

"Those guys coming back add a bunch of skill and a bunch of speed."

CHECK THAT OVEN

Scary moment on the plane ride over. A few seconds after takeoff, smoke started coming from the from the front of the plane. Pilots prepared for a U-turn and emergency landing ... until it was discovered that grease spilled in a previous flight started smoking in one of the ovens.


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