SUN Hockey Pool

Oilers hold Torres in check

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:36 AM ET

The Edmonton Oilers have plenty of experience playing against former teammates, from Ryan Smyth to Jason Smith to Chris Pronger and Mike Comrie.

Last night it was Raffi Torres, whom they played as hard as they would a stranger.

"It's just the way that you have to play the game," said defenceman Steve Staios, who had some fierce battles in front of the net with Smyth last week. "You couldn't live with yourself if you played him soft and there was a goal against. Same with Raffi, he's a big tough guy, hard to handle, you have to play him the same way he plays, with some physicality."

As an integral part of the Oilers Cup, Torres will always have a special place in the hearts of the players he went to battle with, but that doesn't mean anything for those 60-minute reunions.

"We've been through a lot with him so he's always going to be a friend," said Ethan Moureau. "Everybody has a job to do, he's going to hit me, I'll hit him."

The Oilers kept Torres well in check, keeping him off the scoresheet entirely.

SEE YA LATER

Kyle Brodziak isn't going anywhere for the all-star break, but after playing every second night since Dec. 26, it couldn't come soon enough for the Oilers centre.

"We've had a really tough schedule, almost four weeks where we've been playing every second day," he said. "You don't get a lot of time to relax and recuperate. So the rest is going to be great."

Winning streak or not, Ladislav Smid couldn't wait for the break, either.

"Something good is going on here, we're rolling and you don't want to stop that," he said. "But it's good to relax a little bit and think about something other than hockey."

PROVING A POINT

Winger Gilbert Brule, picked up in the Torres deal, was thrilled to play his old team last night. Like most players who get traded, he was out to prove his old boss wrong.

"I want to show them what they gave up, I want to show them I can play at this level and be successful, be a top player in this league," said Brule, who didn't see a whole lot of ice on the fourth line, but did land a couple of big hits.

"I know I have the ability to do it, I just have to go out there and play my game."

LATE HITS ...

The Oilers placed recently acquired goalie Dany Sabourin on waivers for the purpose of assigning him to Springfield ... With Robert Nilsson's return to the lineup after 10 days out with a concussion, Liam Reddox drew the press box straw.


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