Chorney downplays knee woes

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:01 AM ET

DENVER — Taylor Chorney doesn’t think it’s serious.

And even though he was sporting a knee brace and missed Wednesday’s game against the Colorado Avalanche, the Edmonton Oilers defenceman does not anticipate being out of the lineup for an extended period of time.

He’ll be re-evaluated once the team returns to Edmonton.

“I don’t think it’s a big deal,” Chorney said. “I don’t have a timeframe or anything like that, but I’ll get an MRI (Thursday) and I’ll have a better idea of what’s up.

“It’s one of those things that happened, and I knew something was up. But at the same time, I didn’t know if it was a big deal or not. I tried to finish off my shift, but when I would take a stride, it felt a little bit loose and not totally right. It was probably a good idea to come out of there.”

Chorney was injured in the second period of Tuesday’s game against the Minnesota Wild, when he was hip-checked by defenceman Brent Burns along the boards.

The play was blown down for an offside and Chorney stayed out on the ice, only to be run into the end boards by Wild forward Cal Clutterbuck moments later. Originally it was suspected the Clutterbuck hit put Chorney out of commission.

“Everybody asks me that, but I didn’t think that hit was that bad,” Chorney said. “I think he caught a lot of glass, it’s not like I landed on my head.

“It was the hip-check by Burns on the offside. It was kind of a freak play, it’s nothing serious. I’m taking it day-by-day, but there is nothing serious, there is no structural damage or anything like that.”

Having been called up last week, Chorney played four games with the Oilers before getting hurt.

Despite not being injured on the hit by Clutterbuck, Chorney was one of the handful of Oilers who were run by the Wild winger.

Clutterbuck finished the contest with a game-high six hits, including one on Tom Gilbert in the third period that eventually led to the Wild’s final goal in a 4-1 victory.

“You play guys like that (Clutterbuck) all the time, whether it’s in the minors or up here,” Chorney said. “As a defenceman, any time you’re playing a team where they’re chipping pucks behind you, you know that’s part of the job, you have to go back there and get them.

“You’re going to get hit and over time you figure out different ways to be elusive.”

Clutterbuck, the runaway NHL hits leader, was a thorn in the side of the Oilers all evening and eventually got them to lose their composure.

His effectiveness has been enhanced by the NHL obstruction rule changes, allowing forwards a free run at opposing defencemen.

“I think one of the biggest differences it that you can’t hold up for your partner,” Chorney said. “You can’t hold up the forecheck anymore, you just have to try to make plays to beat those guys.”

In previous years, defenceman were able to get their sticks up to protect themselves from hard-charging forwards like Clutterbuck.

Those days, however, are long gone.

“I remember that was one of the things that my dad used to tell me, because he used to play back in the good old days,” Chorney said. “He would tell me the guy that gets his stick up first would probably win the battle. Nowadays, the guys that gets his stick up first is probably going to get a 20-game suspension.”

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