Don't look for Hemsky tonight

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:36 AM ET

WASHINGTON -- Ales Hemsky accompanied the Oilers on the road trip and, if the four-hour flight to Washington doesn't trigger a relapse of his post-concussion symptoms, he'll take part in today's morning skate.

But don't expect to see him in the lineup against the Capitals.

"One day at a time," said Craig MacTavish.

"He's been out for a while so it's going to take him a while to get back."

Hemsky's been out since Dec. 28 with a concussion and is dearly missed by a team that's gone 3-3 without him and a first line that's managed one goal.

Robert Nilsson, meanwhile, also out with a concussion, stayed back in Edmonton.

He took the morning skate on Sunday, half expecting to play against the Blues, but suffered a setback.

"He's going to ride the bike and start back at ground zero," said MacTavish, who's given up trying to attach timetables to concussion victims.

"Hard to predict ... they're all different."

THREE IN THE CREASE

Dwayne Roloson, who had already lost his job to Mathieu Garon at this point last season, drew in for a Jan. 17 game in Washington and was heroic in the shootout, stopping 11 of 12 shots in a losing cause.

He'll get the nod tonight.

"I don't know that we can get off Roli," said MacTavish. "He's playing well and we need the points."

Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers will meet the team in Washington now that his two-week conditioning stint is over. He was 1-4 in Springfield with a 2.73 GAA and .906 save percentage. He'll have to wait a while before playing up here.

MacTavish said Garon will likely get one of the back-to-back games with Minnesota and Colorado.

BIG SPLASH, PART 2

Ryan Potulny definitely earned another big helping of ice time and offensive responsibility after notching two assists and being plus two in his debut with Edmonton Sunday night.

He was a great fit with Sam Gagner and Erik Cole.

HALFWAY GOOD

The Oilers were hoping for a lot better than 20-18-3 at the halfway mark of the season, but, on the bright side, there's still half a season left.

"It's been a rough ride so far," admitted MacTavish.

"A lot of guys were playing better, then we lost Hemmer and Nilsson, which really negatively affects our offence.

"It would be nice to get everybody back and playing at a top level so we can make an assessment of where we are overall.

"We haven't been as productive offensively at forward as we'd like to be, but guys are showing signs and we're right in the mix."

TROOP MOVEMENT

Three members of our Canadian Armed Forces flew down with the Oilers for tonight's game against the Washington Capitals, where they will be honoured, along with 150 other Canadian soldiers stationed in Washington, with a pre-game video tribute.

Cpl. Mark Fuchko, Mst. Cpl. Colin A. Johnston and Cpl. James Douglas will participate in the pre-game ceremony.

There was a similar tribute when Edmonton visited last year.


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