Following practice on Monday, Taylor Hall gave an update on the status of his injured knee, which has kept him out of action since October 22.
"We haven't really talked about a certain date but we have those two games on the weekend (in Philadelphia and Chicago) and I'd like to be playing in those. I'm not sure if I will," Hall began. "Nothing's really for sure but I think the next step is getting contact in to make sure I can take a hit and give one and then get planning on when I want to play."
Hall wore a yellow non-contact jersey at practice (along with Jesse Joensuu). At the time of his injury, a timeline thrown out there was one month so it appears he's ahead of schedule.
"Right from the start, once the swelling got out of there after the first day, there were signs that it's come along really well. Now I can run and do all those things off the ice. Now it's just about getting in those awkward positions. You really do stress your knees on the ice and make sure I can handle that."
Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins gave an update on the status of his injured players following practice in Florida on Monday.
“Anybody that wasn’t on the ice is not good to go,” said Eakins. That included David Perron (neck), who was not with the team to start this road trip plus players who did make the trip such as defencemen Justin Schultz, Anton Belov and goaltender Richard Bachman.
On Belov, Eakins said, “He’s with us, which is a good sign, but he won’t be ready to play tomorrow. Neither will Justin Schultz.”
With both blueliners out, the Oilers will be calling up a defenceman from Oklahoma City. In anticipation of the move, the Barons recalled defencemen Martin Gernat and David Musil from ECHL Bakersfield earlier today.
“We let the managers know that we needed (a defenceman). I was hoping that Schultzie or Belov would be better than they were. They’re not, so they will send us a D and I have absolutely no idea who that will be right now.”
“I said to Keith Acton, boy I wish he could play right now because we need him. You can argue, if he’s not our best player he’s certainly one of them. We’re dying for those injured guys to get back. Hallsy looks great in practice. He brings everything you need right now,” said the Oilers bench boss.
“The biggest thing that he brings for me is he’s always in the fight. He’s always trying. He wants to be the best player on the ice. We will wait patiently for him.”
Jesse Joensuu will be eligible to come off Long Term Injured Reserve (LTIR) on Saturday against the Flyers. Eakins hopes that he will be ready to go.
“The same with Jesse (Joensuu). Today in practice, you see the things that your group’s missing and two of them were wearing (non-contact) gold sweaters today.”
Line combinations based on jersey colour:
Eberle-RNH-Hemsky (light blue)
Jones-Gordon-Arcobello (dark blue)
Joensuu, Hall (yellow)
Wearing orange are defencemen Petry, Ference, Larsen, Smid and Nick Schultz plus winger Ryan Hamilton taking a turn on D.
Goaltenders: Dubnyk, LaBarbera
Justin Schultz and Anton Belov are not skating. David Perron is not on the trip.
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At the skate, Justin Schultz remained absent. Line combinations for practice were:
Defence pairings were:
Stay tuned shortly to watch LIVE Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins giving his pre-game press conference.
The Oilers are on the ice for practice at Millennium Place in Sherwood Park. Taylor Hall skated on his own, then briefly with the team. Justin Schultz also made his return to practice. David Perron remains absent.
Hall skating with the #Oilers today at Millennium Place. JSchultz also back practicing after missing yesterday. Perron (back/neck) absent.— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) November 1, 2013
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The Oilers are on the ice for practice at Rexall Place on Thursday after taking Wednesday off.
Jones-RNH-Hemsky, Yakupov-Gagner-Eberle, Arcobello-Gordon-Lander/Hamilton, Gazdic-Acton-Eager..Smyth skating as a D. No J. Schultz— Bob Stauffer (@Bob_Stauffer) October 31, 2013
No David Perron on the ice this morning. Anton Lander present. Ryan Smyth filling in on D today. Grebeshkov and Potter clear waivers.— Tom Gazzola (@TomGazzola) October 31, 2013
Potter and Grebeshkov clear waivers, assigned to @OKCBarons.— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) October 31, 2013
The lines at morning skate:
Ryan Hamilton was also skating but neither he or Ryan Smyth are expected to play. Being an optional morning skate, Hemsky could potentially slot in where Smyth was.
Dallas Eakins holds optional morning skates. So while Hemsky isn't out there and Smyth and Ryan Hamilton are, my guess is Hemsky suits up.— Jack Michaels (@EdmontonJack) October 29, 2013