SUN Hockey Pool

A breather for Khabibulin

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:15 PM ET

Expect the Edmonton Oilers to finally play a backup goaltender.

With the team heading on the road for three games in four nights, head coach Tom Renney plans to give Nikolai Khabibulin at least one day off.

We have to make sure that we have to get another goaltender in here, the workload hasnt been too tough on Khabby, but it will be, said Renney on Sunday. We need to know which one of our guys is the more capable goaltender under those circumstances.

Khabibulin has played all six games for the Oilers this season, posting a 2-4 record with a 3.21 goals against average and a .901 save percentage.

On Tuesday, the Oilers begin a three-game road trip in Calgary. Theyll go on to face Columbus and Chicago on back-to-back nights Thursday and Friday.

Either Devan Dubnyk or Jeff Deslauriers should get the start one of those nights.

While the rest of the team took part in an off-ice workout, J.F. Jacques was on the ice Sunday trying to work the kinks out of his bad back.

The Oilers forward has not played a game since February, forced to undergo back surgery.

Hes still at least a couple of weeks away from getting back in the lineup.

Its always been a work in progress and going week-by-week and assess whats going on, Jacques said. I still have a little tightness in my lower back that Im trying to get rid of before starting to play.

I think the plan is to get a couple of good skates in, Im going to stay here next week and maybe practice with the Oil Kings and get some treatment on it. Hopefully by the next road trip, I can get back on the ice practicing and get playing by mid-November.

derek.vandiest@sunmedia.ca


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