Oilers ready to battle Blue Jackets

The Oilers are set to take on the Blue Jackets at Rexall Place tonight. (QMI AGENCY)

The Oilers are set to take on the Blue Jackets at Rexall Place tonight. (QMI AGENCY)

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:28 PM ET

The Edmonton Oilers are hoping the old early to bed and early to rise proverb also counts in hockey.

While the Columbus Blue Jackets were going to overtime in Vancouver on Wednesday, then flying through a time change in the wee hours of the morning into Edmonton, the Oilers were lying in wait, hoping their fresh legs will be an advantage tonight.

“They should be, especially with them coming out of Vancouver, that’s a tough place to play,” said Andrew Cogliano. “They went to overtime, got in pretty late. There should be an advantage. Fatigue will set in at some point in the game.”

Whether the Oilers can take advantage of it remains to be seen. They haven’t always made the most of it when their opponent played the night before in Calgary or Vancouver.

“We need to come out hard and make them realize that we’re in the game early,” said Cogliano, who’ll be back with linemates Dustin Penner and Gilbert Brule. “Where we have trouble when teams come in is we don’t forecheck hard, we give them the kind of easy game that they want. We can’t do that tonight because this is a really big game for our club.”

Tom Gilbert says the second game in two nights syndrome varies from situation to situation, but it’s usually something you can take advantage of.

“It’s weird how it works, sometimes teams will play three games in four nights and the best game will be the third one,” he said. “It’s funny, you really can’t explain it. But a lot of times in back-to-backs if you’re the home team and you’re pushing the pace right away you can feel the momentum change. Their legs are going to be a little heavier.

“You can catch teams off guard. Every team goes through it - back to backs are never easy. If you can press the pace and be physical on them, wear them down early, the less energy they’re going to have later.”

LATE HITS... Tonight’s game marks the return of Ethan Moreau, who spent 10 seasons with Edmonton, the last three as captain... Head coach Tom Renney is putting Swedish buddies Linus Omark and Magnus Paajarvi on the same line tonight, centered by Ryan O’Marra... Ryan Jones moves in for Steve MacIntyre while JF Jacques sits out his second game in a row,


Videos

Photos