Souray will be sorely missed

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 12:22 PM ET

The Edmonton Oilers will miss Sheldon Souray in a lot of areas, but none more important than in front of their own net, where he's one of the meanest hombres in the league.

"He lays heavy lumber," warned Tom Gilbert. "He gives crosschecks that you remember all year, so guys just don't want to go in front with a big guy like him there. Why would you when you're going to get pounded like that. And if you do anything back you're going to get a punch in the face.

"That's what he brings, and it's huge. That's definitely something we'll miss."

Especially on the road.

"The guys like having him in the lineup, no question about it," said Quinn. "There's that sense of people bringing different things to a group and his is that presence that people around him feel comfortable in a physical sense, that they have a guy like Souray who will help protect them."

Edmonton went 20-18-3 on the road last season (better than they went at home), a record that suits Quinn just fine.

"I'd love to have our team play the way they did last year ... over .500 on the road is something that is acceptable," said Quinn. "We won't make the playoffs unless we're as good there. Nashville is a team that changes faces, but doesn't change its players, so to speak. It's quick, it's hard working."

IN THE WINGS: Steve MacIntyre is still waiting for his shot. The heavyweight was a lock to play against Calgary last year but already sat out two games against them this year. "His physical presence is why he's been hanging around here," said Quinn. "Can he play well enough on defence or forward to put him on the ice or on the bench and not just have him sit there? That's something we're going to have to deal with as we move along here.

"He's a trier, he wants to get better. He went through the minor leagues and fought his way for a chance to play and he's here right now, I think that's terrific. He's got a great attitude."

ROBERT.TYCHKOWSKI@SUNMEDIA.CA


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