With only four games left in the season, the walking wounded are trying to pick up the pace a little bit.
There will be plenty of time to rest during the long summer. If they want to play hockey, the time is now.
And Shawn Horcoff wants to play some hockey, even if it’s only 60 minutes’ worth, before the Oilers shut down their season.
“I got an MRI about a week back, we pushed it to try and get it to respond, to try and get back as soon as possible,” said Horcoff, who’s been down since March 17 with a cracked ankle bone. “The MRI showed there was a little more damage than the X-rays showed. It pushed the timetable back more than we thought it was going to be initially.”
Rather than blowing off the rest of the season, Horcoff says he’ll race against time to get back.
“I want to play. I’ve sat out enough this year, it’s been painful for me. I want to play even if it’s one game. I want to get back and finish the season playing, that’s why I’m pushing as hard as I can.
“I skated today and I skated a couple of days ago and it’s still a little bit sore just because of the area of the break. It’s right on the ankle bone, it’s tough getting pressure off that. At this point there’s not really a fear of re-breaking it. It’s kind of a pain and swelling thing.”
Ladislav Smid, who took a shot off the toe in Vancouver, left the rink in a walking cast and didn’t practise with the team on Monday, but plans on being ready for the re-match on Tuesday.
“He played another hour and 45 minutes (after the shot) with blood in the boot and all that kind of stuff,” said head coach Tom Renney. “So he was on antibiotics to make sure there’s no problems, and it’s sore. He went out before us and had a little skate and said it felt pretty good, so I fully expect he’ll play.”
Gilbert Brule, who’s been out more than he’s been in the last few months, is a question mark after some lightheadedness in Vancouver.
“He was a little out of sorts again the other night, (so they sat him) more as a precaution than anything else, and to get more feedback from him,” said Renney. “We’ll see what it is. We’re still trying to fight this a little bit with respect to his general feel.
“He suggested that he was a little out of sorts during the day, which is unfortunate because he had a hell of a start to his game.”