Hemsky doesn't call in sick

DEREK VAN DIEST, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 12:02 PM ET

He wasn't one of the first guys off the ice following the morning skate, indicating something was very wrong.

When he made it into the locker-room long after most of his teammates had already changed and left, Ales Hemsky said he was not feeling well enough to play later that night.

However, when Gilbert Brule got sick, Hemsky was pressed into duty against the Vancouver Canucks, and went out to play despite being under the weather.

“He battled pretty hard,” said Oilers forward Sam Gagner. “When Brule came down sick and they called on Ales, I’m sure he wasn’t feeling too great, but he found his way up and he found a way to play and he played great for us.”

Hemsky had missed the Oilers previous game with the flu. He showed up to practice on Sunday, but was sent home.

Last night he logged 19:16 of ice time and had a number of chances to get on the scoreboard. His best came in the second period when he got a breakaway coming right out of the penalty box, but missed high with his attempt on Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo.

Then late in the game he had a chance to seal the victory, but had the puck poked away from him at the last minute as he was trying to go in on an open net with Luongo on the bench pulled for the extra attacker.

Hemsky had an opportunity to shoot the puck, but instead elected to try and skate it in towards the net. The move could have proved costly as the Canucks stormed back the other way after he was dispossessed of the puck and had a chance to tie the game.

“Hemmer hasn’t skated much and I’m sure it wasn’t a fun night for him to be out there,” said Oilers captain Ethan Moreau. “It’s sucks. It’s a hard enough league to play in when you feel great, but to go out there with flu symptoms it’s just no fun. It just makes you appreciate the times when you do feel good. You think back when you’re sick or you’re hurt, how hard it was to play.”

derek.vandiest@sunmedia.ca


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