Peckham's hard-luck hat-trick

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:47 AM ET

Theo Peckham had a funny feeling he'd be getting injured down the stretch.

Of course, that's a pretty safe bet given how the bodies have been piling up on Team Red Cross.

It's like having a funny feeling that Kirstie Alley is going to eat that last piece of cake.

Nevertheless, Peckham saw it coming that he wouldn't see it coming, and sure enough, is out for two weeks, at least, with a separated shoulder.

"I had a weird feeling it was going to end this way," said the rookie defenceman. "I was trying to play my best hockey, take it game by game, and in the back of my head I just always had a feeling it's going to be one of those years where I'm constantly hurt."

After breaking his ankle in the summer and being concussed in midseason, he completed the hard-luck hat-trick Sunday against San Jose when he and Glen Murray slammed into the end boards.

"I understand what he's trying to do, trying to finish his check. I would have done the same thing. Two big guys going into the corner, it almost seems like somebody's going to get hurt."

The timing is terrible for the 22-year-old bruiser, who was gaining precious experience and elevating his stock with every NHL start.

"I came here and showed them my best hockey, I'm proud of the way I played," said the 223-pounder, who brings much-needed toughness to an organization lacking it.

"I definitely showed I can be a presence back there. That's all you want to do -- try and bring an edge to the back end. I think I took a pretty big step as far as that was concerned."

Peckham, still a step behind after the broken ankle, was a mess when the Oilers first called him up in October.

But when injuries and trade deadline moves opened the door again, he was a different player.

"The way I started off the season, I wasn't playing my best hockey," he said. "So to come up and finally start playing the way I know I can play ... I was kind of building game to game. Then, with my luck, I get hurt.

"Any time you're playing your best and get hurt it's disappointing. But it's part of the game and there's nothing you can do about it. I'll just have to work as hard as I can to get back to 100% and go from there."

When one door closes, another opens. So Peckham's injury means another shot for 29-year-old Dean Arsene, who impressed the coaches last time he was here, but lost out to the numbers game.

"It's one of those things when you go down you're not sure if you're ever going to come back up," he said. "I'm pretty fortunate and pretty happy to be here.

"Right now I'm playing for a contract and trying to show I can play here and be an every-day player. Hopefully it'll last the rest of the year, but if it's one game, you try and make the most of it. At this point in my career, every game is a big deal, it's a bonus."

Arsene scouts Eberle

Dean Arsene isn't just a defenceman, he's an advance scout.

Who better to ask about Jordan Eberle than somebody who's been on the same ice with him?

So it didn't take long Tuesday before reporters started quizzing the Springfield Falcons call-up about his young teammate, who notched six points in his first three AHL games this year.

"The kid is good, he's really good," said Arsene. "He's got quite the knack around the net. He's one of those guys who's always in the right spot. And when he gets the puck ... some guys may dump it in the corner or hit the goalie in the chest, but he always finds the back of the net.

"He's a good one. I think he'll be here in a matter of time."


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