Oilers face fired-up Philly

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:27 PM ET

PHILADELPHIA — There’s a popular T-shirt in the souvenir stands here that sums up the city’s reputation quite nicely: Welcome to Philadelphia, now go home.

That will be the greeting, and then some, awaiting the Edmonton Oilers when they meet a Flyers team, snarly at the best of times, in its worst mood of the season.

The Flyers have lost a season-high four games in a row, the last one a 7-0 drubbing at the hands of the rival New York Rangers.

Think they’ll be in any kind of mood to play nice with the Oilers?

“They will be (fired up),” said Edmonton coach Tom Renney. “Pete (Laviolette) will have his team ready to go after a little stretch that was unusual for them.

“The loss against New York will be really fresh in their minds, they’ll want to correct that right away, through us, so we really have to be ready.”

It might be the most imposing challenge they face on the trip, which is saying something with Washington, Detroit and Pittsburgh still to come.

“It’s good for us. really, really good for us to face teams like this, premier teams in the league,” said Renney. “If we want to be a playoff team next year we have to make sure we come through places like Philadelphia and have success.”

Brule back

Gilbert Brule was back at practice and is expected to get back in against the Flyers after getting sick again. He’s catching and struggling with every bug that comes down the pike (there’s a nasty cold running through the Oilers dressing room) but hopes this was the last of it.

“It’s frustrating,” he said. “When guys are sick they have to get their own water bottles and I guarantee you that’s where I got it. Half the guys are coughing and drinking off water bottles and that’s where I caught it.

“I’m feeling pretty good. It seems like the whole year has been tough but I feel better. The team is playing great. They had an awesome game in Colorado, I just want to get back.”

And head coach Tm Renney wants him back.

“The couple of games that he played (between illnesses) were good. He adds a spark to our team. He gets in and finishes his checks, he’s got some abrasiveness. He can shoot and he can score.

“We have to make sure we give him an opportunity to do that. Most important of all, I want to see him healthy, for his own reasons. We want him healthy and in a position to move forward and tackle his hockey career like he should be able to.”

robert.tychkowski@sunmedia.ca

Twitter.com/TYCHKOWSKI


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