SUN Hockey Pool

Oilers battling back

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:36 AM ET

With almost as many players in the training room as on the ice Thursday, Pat Quinn wasn't sure he'd have enough guys to ice a team tonight. But a handful of the walking wounded are back on the blades.

Ethan Moreau (dazed after a crushing hit from Colorado's Ryan Wilson), Ales Hemsky (upper body), Lubomir Visnovsky (udisclosed), Shawn Horcoff (shoulder) and Liam Reddox (foot) are good to go.

While Moreau was back at practice yesterday, he wasn't in the mood to talk about the hit that knocked him out of Wednesday's game and kept him out of Thursday's practice.

"I play a physical game," he said. "I've done that to guys probably more than it happens to me so we'll leave it at that."

JF still questionable

JF Jacques, the kind of physical forward the Oilers need more of, practised full on yesterday and could very well be back in the lineup tonight against Chicago.

"I feel good," said Jacques, who's missed the last seven games with a sore back. "It's always going to be tight, it's sore a little bit, but I don't think I've ever played a game with no pain anywhere on my body."

He skated on a line with Zack Stortini and Sam Gagner, but that might have been because they only have 11 healthy forwards, not enough for a fifth line.

"It was either me by myself or skate on the fourth line," he said, adding he doesn't know if he'll get a green light or not. "I'm still on the IR for now. I guess I'm a question mark."

Reddox ready

Reddox, who's won over another coaching staff with his hard, gritty work and attention to detail, feared the worst when he limped in for an X-ray on his foot Thursday. He took a Jason Strudwick dump-in off the laces in the first period and the foot ballooned on him when he took the boot off after the game.

"I woke up the next day and couldn't get to the washroom from the bed," he said. "I couldn't sleep, it was bothering me all night."

The X-rays were negative, so a few anti-inflammatories and some ice set things right.

"It feels 100 times better than Thursday. It just feels like a normal shot block. Thursday was terrible."

Like Craig MacTavish before him, Pat Quinn is growing to trust and appreciate Reddox's blue-collar contributions, so after starting the year in the minors, the last thing he needed was an injury that sent him back to square one.

"I was really worried about it," said Reddox. "I don't want to be out of the lineup. Our line has a good thing going. I didn't want to be taken out of the mix and have to work my way back up here."

ROBERT.TYCHKOWSKI@SUNMEDIA.CA

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WHO TO WATCH

KEEP YOUR EYE ON THESE TWO PLAYERS IN TONIGHT'S GAME

Nikolai Khabibulin

Meets his former team for the second time this season and knows better than anyone how quickly they can make you pay for your mistakes. Kept it a one-goal game despite being outshot 38-19 last meeting. Needs another one of those nights.

Dustin Byfuglien

This is not the guy you want to see setting up camp in front of your goalie. Edmonton's defence hasn't been especially strong down low this season and the six-foot-three, 246-pound Byfuglien is capable of creating all kinds of havoc.


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