January 3, 2012
Right back at ya, Carcillo
By DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency
CHICAGO - Daniel Carcillo can empathize with Edmonton Oilers winger Ben Eager and perhaps should have taken some of his own advice on Monday.
Much like Eager, Carcillo is relied on to provide a physical element and play on the edge.
At times, he’s fallen off it as well, including Monday when he took a five-minute boarding penalty, which cost the Blackhawks a pair of goals.
“Early in my career, I was a guy that took dumb penalties and hurt my team,” Carcillo said prior to the game. “With time and maturity you learn. At the end of the day, that just pisses guys off. It seems selfish, but most guys in my role that’s the last thing we’re thinking about is ourselves. We’re trying to help our team, but in hindsight you actually hurt the team.”
Eager took three penalties in the Oilers loss to the New York Islanders Saturday afternoon. The Islanders went on to score on two of the three ensuing power plays.
Carcillo sent Oilers defenceman Tom Gilbert flying into the end board on a race for the puck.
Both players were injured on the play.
Ryan Jones was playing to the buzzer when heading out to the point to block a shot late in Saturday’s contest against the Islanders.
Unfortunately for Jones the shot hit him on the heel of his skate and forced him to leave the contest.
“It hit me right in the bottom of the foot and I felt it in my knee,” Jones said. “I thought I broke my leg, that’s what originally I thought. But it kind of calmed down when I iced it and then when we X-rayed it, we saw it was a bone bruise. Things happen, guys take them all the time but it hit me in a weird spot.”
Down by three goals with the clock winding down in the third period, Jones did not give any thought to getting out of the way.
“What would you be saying if I got out of the way and it went top cheese? I don’t want to be known as that guy,” Jones said. “I’d like to think of myself as a character guy, that goes 60 minutes, 65 minutes some nights. It doesn’t matter what the score is, you have to block shots, you have to finish hits and you have to do the stuff that you normally do or else I won’t be in the league that long.”
Despite being helped off the ice Saturday, Jones was back in the lineup against the Blackhawks Monday and showed no ill effects of the bone bruise, racing out on a breakaway in the first period.
“It’s OK. Because it’s so far back, you push off your toes, it’s not going to affect my stride too much,” he said. “I can’t imagine it’ll slow me down, I’m not overly fast.”
Jimmy Hayes picked a good night to make his Blackhawks debut.
The winger was called up to play in the Blackhawks contest against the Detroit Red Wings on Friday. The sold out contest was played with the intensity of a playoff game and saw the Blackhawks pull out a 3-2 victory.
“It was amazing. It was one of the biggest crowds I ever played in front of,” Hayes said. “It was a lot of fun to play in.”
Hayes, 22, was originally selected in the second round – 60 overall – in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. The Boston native was acquired by the Blackhawks in a trade two years later.
He went on to score his first NHL goal in the 4-3 loss to the Oilers.
Prior to Monday’s game against the Oilers Hayes was asked if he noticed the crowd of over 22,000 against the Red Wings.
“My mom asked me the same question, but I think you’re so focused on what you have to do that you kind of zone it out and you keep playing,” he said. “I was nervous at first, but then you keep playing.”
Ryan Smyth returned to Long Island to a chilly reception.
The Edmonton Oilers winger was booed every time he touched the puck against the Islanders.
“I was only there for three months,” Smyth said. “They obviously took it pretty personal.”
Smyth played a total of 23 games for the Islanders after being dealt by the Oilers at the trade deadline in 2007.
He went on to sign as a free agent with the Colorado Avalanche that off-season.
“It surprised me being three teams removed,” Smyth said. “But every time I’ve been back there I’ve gotten that type of reception.”