Penner bottles moment

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:00 AM ET

CALGARY -- It only took two years and nine games, but Dustin Penner got a close up look at why a lot of guys really do like to play in Edmonton.

Play hard here and win, and it's really cool.

"That was a pretty special moment," said the big winger, after Rexall Place rose to its feet several times in ear-splitting homage to the new leaf he's turning.

"I wish I could recapture that feeling any time I wanted just by snapping my fingers. Hopefully, if I continue to play the way I have been, maybe those moments will be more frequent."

They can't ask him to duplicate the best night of his Oilers career -- two goals, three assists and 11 shots in the 6-4 comeback victory -- very often, but they'll settle for the same kind of effort.

He wants it from himself, too, and he's clearly making more of a commitment to bring it more often than he did last season

"I'm really enjoying the game," he said, adding, to no one's surprise, that the lines of communication are much more positive with this coaching staff than they were with the last one.

"Their energy, the way they coach, the way they deliver the message to the team, the atmosphere they've created here, everybody's bought in."

Of course, if Penner was as lukewarm for Quinn this year as he was for Craig MacTavish last year, it wouldn't all be group hugs and standings Os.

Even Quinn thinks the personal turnaround is more about Penner's newfound commitment than a coach's longer leash.

"The biggest thing we're looking for is attitude," he said. "We're told you have some skill, but we're more interested in your will and how you want to play and how you want to conduct yourself and do you want to be a part of a team."

Flu bug making rounds

The Oilers still can't shake the flu bug. Gilbert Brule, who's been down for nearly a week, didn't accompany the team to Calgary yesterday and neither did Mike Comrie, who played Thursday despite coming down with the flu.

And now J-F Jacques is starting to look a little green around the gills. He was taking shots of throat spray in practice and didn't look very good afterward.

To fill the spots, Edmonton is recalling defenceman Theo Peckham, whose rugged style should blend in nicely with the Battle of Alberta. If Comrie doesn't catch up with the team today, Jason Strudwick could move up to forward and Peckham could fill his spot on the back end. If Jacques can't go, they'll just have to play with 19 guys.

Souray out, Iginla free

While Quinn's post-game comments, and subsequent fine, after Jarome Iginla tripped Sheldon Souray into the end boards got all the attention, the real issue is that a careless play cut down one of Edmonton's most important players.

Souray has been out since the third game of the season and isn't expected back anytime soon.

While the Oilers are unhappy that Souray is out and Iginla walked away scot free, head-hunting isn't on the agenda.

"All has been said," said Quinn, who had to pay $10,000 for pointing out that in the 70s Iginla probably would have been clubbed in the head with a stick for a play like that.

"We're interested in going in there and winning a hockey game, that's what we're focusing on. That stuff (quotes that got him fined) was taken so out of whack and so misconstrued ... there was never any intention for any of that sort of thing to go on."

ROBERT.TYCHKOWSKI@SUNMEDIA.CA


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