Oilers are staying out of H1N1 debacle

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:40 PM ET

The Calgary Flames are getting a lot of negative press for jumping the line for H1N1 needles, but the Edmonton Oilers would rather not comment on the controversial pricks.

Most of the players say they don’t know enough about the injection situation to pass judgement one way or the other, but almost all agreed that it doesn’t look good on anyone.

“I don’t know how they got ahead or what happened, how they got it before the public,” said Patrick O’Sullivan. “It’s tough. We are in a situation as players where we can get sick easily.

"For the guys with families and small kids it’s a real concern, I think that’s what their interest was (in Calgary). I can also see the other side of it, that we’re no different than the average person.

“It’s a difficult thing. Hopefully they can have the vaccine ready for everyone as soon as possible, and maybe people should be more concerned about that than who gets it first.”

Centre Shawn Horcoff thinks Alberta Health Services is more at fault than the Flames are. He says if any company offered easy access to flu shots for its employees and their families, most people would be quick to roll up their sleeves.

“It seems to be the government’s fault,” said Horcoff. “I don’t think there’s a person who’s going to say no if it’s offered. If it’s there, right in front of you, who’s not going to take it?

“It was just really bad timing. It’s a tough situation. I don’t even know if they have enough right now for kids and pregnant mothers. Hopefully in a week or so they’ll have enough for everyone and this will go away.”

STAIOS READY - After missing the last 11 games with post-concussion syndrome, defenceman Steve Staios is ready to re-join Edmonton’s beleaguered blueline. They’re hoping he can take some pressure off the likes of Tom Gilbert, Denis Grebeshkov and Taylor Chorney, who’ve struggled under the additional minutes and responsibility thrust upon them by injuries.

“Everybody is working hard and trying to do the right thing, we just haven’t been able to get it done,” said Staios. “Hopefully we can start to raise the intensity and start getting some wins.

That’s always been part of my game. I’m not going to do anything that I haven’t done n the past. I feel energized and you realize how much you miss the game when you’re sitting out. I’m really excited about getting back in.”

COMRIE CLOSE - The Oilers didn’t handle Mike Comrie’s flu recovery all that well - sticking him in for an Oct. 27 game before he was ready and flying him out for a four-day road trip in which he didn’t play a game - but he’s finally ready to play.

“I think maybe we were premature in putting him in three games ago when he wasn’t ready for it,” said head coach Pat Quinn. “Part of this is an asthma thing.”

He can breath now, and is scheduled to be in the lineup tonight against the Rangers.

“It was a tough 10 days,” he said. “But the last couple of days have been a vast improvement.”


Videos

Photos