SUN Hockey Pool

Jackets worry Oilers coach

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 3:48 PM ET

The Edmonton Oilers are feeling mighty good about themselves, having won four of their last five games, and they want to keep the good vibrations going during the all-star break.

Of course, the only way to do that is by beating the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight at Rexall Place.

The last game before Edmonton breaks for a week features former Oiler Raffi Torres and the hottest goalie in the NHL, Steve Mason -- a couple of pretty good reasons why this might be a tough one to win.

"They're high energy, they skate and they work hard, they're dangerous," said Oilers coach Craig MacTavish, who's hoping his team won't be looking past the Jackets and ahead to their holiday destinations.

"We'll see tonight when the puck drops," he said. "I'm reasonably confident we'll play well."

They've been playing well lately, but the league is so tight -- St. Louis just beat Boston, Minnesota beat Chicago in Chicago and Calgary lost back-to-back games against Phoenix and Colorado - that the slightest lapse can cost a team the game. And it's not like the Oilers don't have a track record of coming out flat at home.

"With every team you face every night the margin between winning and losing has never been finer than it is now," said MacTavish, who'd just finished praising his team during the morning media conference.

"We'll see. Normally when I'm liking everybody we're in for a difficult evening."

Torres, who went to Columbus for Gilbert Brule, will be pumped for this one, and he can be a major handful when he's fired up.

"He's going to be playing in front of a lot of his friends," said Ethan Moreau. "He's a dynamic player who can change the game with a big hit or a big goal, we're well aware of what he can do."

"There's always a handful of players you have to look after," added Steve Staios. "And he'll be one of them tonight."


Videos

Photos