Jordan Eberle is no doctor, but he played one on TV Monday.
He still doesn’t have the results of his MRI yet — Monday being a stat holiday and all — but his self-diagnosis is that his ankle isn’t anywhere near as bad as everyone feared last weekend.
“It’s been getting better every day,” he said, after walking to the centre of the dressing room, without a noticeable limp, in a pair of runners. “It’s the kind of thing they don’t want to rush, but at the same time I don’t think it’s as serious as it looked.”
It looked pretty bad when he hobbled off the ice in the second period Saturday and left the rink in a walking cast.
“I felt (Ales Kotalik) kind of fall on me in an awkward position. I felt it pop a little bit. When you first do it, the worst things go through your head. But after getting the X ray, and after the way I felt the first day and the way I feel today - I’m walking fine and almost feel fine — it’s definitely a relief.
“It’s a day to day thing. I know for sure they don’t want to rush it, they don’t want it to be nagging forever.”
His experience with this types of things is limited, though.
“I’ve never really been injured before at all. It’s a little different, a little different on your mental state, but you have to stay positive. Hopefully I’ll be in the lineup as soon as possible.”
Ups and downs
With Eberle on the limp, and the Oilers not necessarily wanting to play Steve MacIntyre against Detroit, GM Steve Tambellini called Linus Omark and Liam Reddox up from Oklahoma.
Omark was just here — Edmonton sent him down on New Year’s Eve after potting a goal and four assists in eight games.
Reddox will step in as one of the hardest-working and most reliable players on an Oilers roster that needs both. He is currently second on the Barons scoring list with 33 points (18-15-33) and is a team-best plus-14.
The 24-year-old native of Whitby, Ontario, was originally drafted by the Oilers in the fourth round (112th overall) in 2004. In 56 career NHL games, Reddox has 14 points (5-9-14) and 14 penalty minutes.
The two didn’t make it into Edmonton in time for practice on Monday so it remains to be seen where they’ll line up Tuesday against Detroit.
On defence, Jim Vandermeer is ready to return after missing nine games with an ankle injury. He’ll skate with Kurtis Foster.
Magnus Paajarvi is also back, although not from injury. He spent last game in the press box (it’s doubtful how much he was able to learn from Edmonton’s woeful effort against the Wings) and skated in the line with Sam Gagner and Ales Hemsky.
“I think (the combination) could do something for us,” said Renney. “He has great speed to the outside. He has to take that speed to the net with and without the puck. I think it might help drive back that defensive look of Detroit.”
Taylor Hall is drawing all kinds of attention from opposition checkers, but not so much from the referees. Unfortunately in the NHL, some referees base their decisions on reputations, meaning rookies don’t get a lot of calls.
“It happens to lots of young guys,” said Renney. “I would hope a referee or official would give a young player an opportunity to create some dialogue and some type of a relationship very early in his career. Show some respect both ways. As a team, though your captain has to slide over and say something.”