A game after Fernando Pisani came back from his broken ankle, the Oilers are hoping Denis Grebeshkov can make it two comebacks in a row tonight against Minnesota.
"I'm hoping he can," said head coach Craig MacTavish, who'd be getting his defenceman back a month or so ahead of schedule. "It's one of those injuries (a high ankle sprain) where it's going to be painful and how much pain he can deal with."
They could definitely use him, with the power play sputtering - 0-for-18 in the last four games - and the offence shooting blanks.
"Overall the power play will be better," said MacTavish, adding Grebeshkov will provide a much-needed breather for Sheldon Souray and Tom Gilbert. "When things aren't working on the power play it's nice to have an alternative where it doesn't have to be you all the time going back for the puck. Denis will help share that responsibility. It's hard for two guys to manage two minutes."
Grebeshkov plans on being there. "We're close to (Minnesota), we're battling for the spot in the playoffs," he said. "It's going to be huge for us."
ON THE MARC: After four games in the press box, Marc Pouliot could draw in tonight, likely at the expense of Robert Nilsson.
MacTavish would like to see Pouliot play with a little more urgency than he has been.
"We have a lot of guys who aren't great checkers, they're not physical players and they're not producing a lot of offence. We need him to provide some. Maybe the period of time he was out of the lineup will help."
DAY OF REST: Netminder Dwayne Roloson, who's played 17-straight games and 32 of the last 34, took yesterday off. "He's played a lot of hockey and seen a lot of rubber every night," said MacTavish. "When he's in the zone like that he doesn't need the extra fatigue of practice."