Grebeshkov set for return

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:30 PM ET

It’s been over a month since Denis Grebeshkov has lined up on the Edmonton Oilers blue line.

However, the Oilers defenceman is expected to make his return to lineup Tuesday when the Los Angeles Kings come to town.

“I’m feeling pretty good,” said Grebeshkov following practice yesterday. “I’ve actually been feeling pretty good for a while now and I’m all ready to go.”

Hurt on the last shift of the game against the Buffalo Sabres on Nov. 11, Grebeshkov has missed the last 13 games with a knee injury.

He was ready to make a return Friday in St. Louis, but the Oilers decided to keep him out one more day for precautionary reasons. They also weren’t keen to make changes to a lineup that had won four consecutive road games and were going for a record fifth.

“I know for me, I’m just going to have to keep it simple because it’s been a while since I’ve played a game,” Grebeshkov said. “The first game, I just want to get back into the game and get that feeling, so I’m not going to try and do too much.”

Acquired in a trade from the New York Islanders for Marc-Andre Bergeron nearly three years ago, Grebeshkov has developed into a solid all-around defenceman.

Prior to getting hurt, the native of Yaroslavl, Russia had three goals and seven assists in 19 games. He’s expected to be part of Russia’s entry in the upcoming Winter Olympics.

“It’s never easy to be out of the lineup,” Grebeshkov said. “It’s good though that we’ve been winning games lately because that’s huge for us.

“I think for me the first game might be a little tough for me as far as getting back into game shape, but I hope I’m able to get through it all right and go on from there.”

derek.vandiest@sunmedia.ca


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