SUN Hockey Pool

Setback frustrates Oilers' Vandermeer

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:16 PM ET

Jim Vandermeer figures the timing was lousy.

While there’s never a good time to get hurt, the Edmonton Oilers defenceman figures his game was starting to round into form before rolling his ankle in Sunday’s 2-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks.

“It’s really frustrating, I felt like I was finally starting to turn my game around,” Vandermeer said. “I thought I was playing better and then I have in a while, then I get this little setback.

“Time will tell how long it’s going to be, but we’ll know more (Tuesday).”

Vandermeer was injured early in the first period after taking a hit from Canucks forward Alexandre Bolduc. He left the game and did not return.

“It was after the hit,” he said. “I was on one leg sliding back and I caught a rut and just rolled my ankle. It feels OK, but twisting and moving it gets a little sore. But time will tell.”

With the injury to Vandermeer, the Oilers are expected to get Jason Strudwick back into the lineup.

The veteran blue liner has played in just 11 games this season.

“He’s good when he doesn’t have to play 20 minutes,” said. Oilers head coach Tom Renney. “He’s such a strong influence in our dressing room and on our bench. Even on the ice, he has a tendency to settle his partner down and he’s very good for us that way.”

Strudwick, 35, was brought back this season to provide a veteran influence to an otherwise young dressing room.

He’s averaging 16:54 of ice time this season.

“If you extend a guy like that get him playing 18 or 20 minutes, they you’re getting into problems, because he just can’t play that,” Renney said. “He can play 12 to 14 minutes very effectively.”

derek.vandiest@sunmedia.ca


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