February 7, 2013
Gagner lone starting centre still standing for Oilers

Oilers forward Taylor Hall is rocked by Stars' Stephane Robidas during the first period of Wednesday's game at Rexall Place. (Codie McLachlan, Edmonton Sun)

EDMONTON - Don’t be surprised if Sam Gagner shows up in Detroit Saturday looking like the Michelin Man.

The Edmonton Oilers’ last healthy centre will likely consider showing up to play the Red Wings wearing chain mail, a hazmat suit or wrapping himself in foam packing peanuts, bubble wrap and all the columns I’ve ever written saying anything bad about him.

It’s at the point where Gagner must have survivor’s guilt.

If it weren’t enough to lose captain Shawn Horcoff for half a season with a freak knuckle injury, Eric Belanger with two broken toes and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins with a sore shoulder, call-up centre Anton Lander took a shot in the foot early in the first period last night and was on crutches before the Oilers made it back to the dressing room.

“Right now the puck is our enemy, not the opponent,” said coach Ralph Krueger.

If this team hadn’t lost 286, 346, 225, 531, 286 and 246 man game to injuries in each of the last six seasons in which they’ve missed the pl