Brule returns to Oiler lineup

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:31 AM ET

PHOENIX -- Gilbert Brule was taken aback when asked at the morning skate why he wasn't going to be in the lineup again Monday night against the Phoenix Coyotes.

As far as he knew, he was playing.

It turns out the Oilers forward knew something the media didn't, as he was inserted back into the lineup after being a healthy scratch in the previous two games.

"I don't know what you guys were watching (at morning skate)," Brule joked. "Obviously I'm very excited to get back in the lineup. That's where I want to be, I just have to treat it like any other game and put my best foot forward."

Brule, 23, played on a line with Marc Pouliot and Patrick O'Sullivan on Monday.

His having shared some of the line drills at the morning skate with Mike Comrie had confused media onlookers. Not that it takes much to confuse the media these days.

"It's a great line to play with; we have a lot of speed," Brule said. "We can all score goals, we can all make plays and we all work hard."

With Sam Gagner having left the club to get his knee examined in Edmonton and Zack Stortini taking a seat as a healthy scratch, both Brule and Robert Nilsson were reinstated into the lineup.

Steve Staios and Ladislav Smid also made their return, having recovered from concussions.

"I'm really exciting to be back in the lineup," Smid said.

"Sitting in the press box, the game looks really simple, but on the ice it's a different story.

"It's always fast, but now that I've watched six games, I hope it's going to help me sort out the game."

Smid has not played since being belted into the boards by Vancouver Canucks winger Mason Raymond on Jan. 20.

"I have to try to slow down the game; I know it's going to be really fast for me, because I haven't played in three weeks," he said.

"I just have to keep it simple and play to my strengths and hopefully things will go well."


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