SUN Hockey Pool

Groin grounds Oilers' Hemsky

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:17 PM ET

Ales Hemsky’s injury isn’t that serious, say the Edmonton Oilers, just serious enough that they don’t want him on the ice for a while.

Hemsky left practice on Wednesday with a sore groin, throwing his helmet down in disgust before trudging to the dressing room, and wasn’t in the lineup for Thursday’s game with the Colorado Avalanche.

The alternate captain refused to speak with the media at the morning skate.

“I’d call it day to day, he has a little bit of a groin pull,” said head coach Tom Renney. “It’s more precautionary right now than anything. I think we’re doing the right thing under the circumstances.”

Hemsky is second to Ryan Whitney in team scoring with 15 points in 20 games.

The news is brighter for Martin Gerber, who got his first start as an Oiler after spending the first three games of his call-up as Devan Dubnyk’s backup.

“He certainly deserves it, he’s worked very, very hard, he had an excellent training camp and he’s been everything you could hope for in Oklahoma City,” said Renney. “He’s certainly deserving of a start.”

Gerber’s been around, but when you haven’t played an NHL game in 18 months, there are going to be butterflies.

“It’s been a while,” said Gerber, who stopped 11 of 12 shots in the first period. “You just want to keep it simple.”

Devan Dubnyk gets a break after starting three in a row in Khabibulin’s absence. He faced 116 shots in the three games.

Nikolai Khabibulin has been back on the ice for a couple of days and says he’s inching closer to a return.

robert.tychkowski@sunmedia.ca


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