SUN Hockey Pool

Moreau finding his stride

DEREK VAN DIEST, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:22 AM ET

ATLANTA -- For a time, Ethan Moreau didn't look right.

The Edmonton Oilers captain had stopped playing with reckless abandon, wasn't a physical force and rarely figured in outcomes.

However, Moreau seems to have found his game on the road.

"For me, skating is everything and I had some minor problems with my ankle and my groin and I didn't have a good stride for a while," said Moreau.

"We also had that couple of weeks where everyone was battling the flu and our energy was down.

"I just feel a lot better. For me everything is skating and I just had to be patient, I knew I was eventually going to feel 100%. Now I do and I'm feeling well the last couple of games, I felt really good."

Moreau has played his best hockey of the season on the current road trip, which continues this afternoon against the Atlanta Thrashers.

Moreau scored in a shootout loss to the Ottawa Senators, taking a team-high five shots in the contest and was back running opponents in a 3-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres.

"I feel I'm back to playing the way I'm supposed to play," Moreau said.

"It's frustrating when you don't have the same stride and skate the same way. For me I don't play on the power play, so I don't get any easy ice. I have to play five-on-five and on the penalty kill where I need to skate. I feel great and I'm excited for my remaining games."

The Oilers need more from Moreau in order to get back on track. They've lost eight of their last 10 games heading into this afternoon's contest.

He appears to be back playing with the level of energy he's accustomed to.

"There was a dip in energy and you can attribute it to a lot of things," Moreau said.

"I never got the flu full fledged, but I didn't feel good for about five or six games. You try to trick yourself into thinking that you're going to be OK.

"But looking back on it, we were probably too hard on ourselves, too hard on each other.

"Now that you feel good you appreciate it and the game is so much easier to play. It's just good to feel healthy."


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