SUN Hockey Pool

Jeff itchin' to start

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 12:25 PM ET

No word yet on which of these road games Oilers backup netminder Jeff Deslauriers will play, but it's expected that he'll get one of them.

If the Oilers are sticking to Nikolai Khabibulin's 60-game ceiling, Deslauriers will average one start every four games. Nashville and Chicago are the fifth and sixth of the year.

"I hope so," said Deslauriers, when asked if he thinks he'll get in on this trip. "I'm anxious to have my first start of the season."

The longer he sits, the colder he gets, but it can't get any worse than last season.

"Last year I was out for 56 games and I remember it worked pretty good with me when I came back (to beat Calgary).

"I'm the type of guy that if I could play 82 games I would ... it's always easier to see action after action, you know what to expect, it keeps you on your toes.

"But when you're not seeing action, like my experience from last year, you have to work extra hard in practice so I can have the execution and timing so I'm ready to jump in."

Whether it's Rexall or the road doesn't matter to him.

"At home or on the road the pressure is the same, it's just different," he said, unaware of his Yogi Berra impression.

"Pressure is just the way you see it and how you manage it. I like playing on the road because that's a challenge, you want to grab those two points.

"At home, it's a challenge to show your team's identity to the fans. The goal is always the same, to get two points."

It seems logical to start Deslauriers against the Preds and Khabibulin against his old team, but the Russian says he doesn't have Chicago circled on his calendar

"Usually when you do that you have hard feelings against the other team and the organization," he said.

"But I can't say anything bad about it, so we'll see."


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