SUN Hockey Pool

Strudwick marks 600-game milestone

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:20 AM ET

Jason Strudwick, the veteran journeyman who's able to fill in when the Oilers need a tough defenceman or a tough winger, played his 600th NHL game last night.

He's earned a lot of starts and put on a lot of miles on the strength of his work ethic, grit and versatility.

"He's a stable, positive influence," said head coach Pat Quinn.

"What he has is a positive way to affect his teammates. He has been able to take nervous Nellies and calm them down and allow them to be better players because of his presence.

"We've had to use him more than we might have thought earlier, but he's been a real good influence on these young people.

"We play the kids with him, the guys who might be struggling, and they seem to get a sense of comfort out of him."

Chorney fitting in

Nobody knows the trouble he's seen.

Bouncing between the Edmonton Oilers and Springfield Falcons, two teams dead last in their respective leagues, Taylor Chorney hasn't exactly seen a lot of wins.

But he knows first hand that the black cloud doesn't last forever. The Falcons lost 17 in row and 21 out of 22 before they put together a run of four wins and three losses in their last seven starts,

Now he's in Edmonton hoping the Oilers can do the same.

"For us down there, right when I got there we flat out weren't playing well," Chorney said.

"We weren't doing things we needed to do to win. Then we went for a week or so, maybe six or seven games, where we were playing good hockey, we were in games, we were close (and still lost) kind of like the other night here against Dallas.

"It's tough, it's almost like you have to play a perfect game to get out of the slump."


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