Taylor Hall attended the World’s Longest Hockey Game in Sherwood Park, an event to raise money for the Alberta Cancer Foundation. He signed autographs, took a tour of the facilities and chatted with the players, volunteers and fans.
He spoke with Oilers TV about his time there, but also touched on his own health. Hall is out six weeks with a bone injury in his lower leg. He provided the following update.
“Not much to say right now, I’m still in a walking boot and I’m still in a slow process right now,” Hall said. “Hopefully, in the next couple of weeks here I can get the boot off, get it moving and get it strong so I can come back as soon as I can.”
Hall, in Edmonton, has been watching his team play the past few games and has seen a win in New Jersey, a great effort against the Islanders and a resilient win in Montreal.
“The guys are playing so hard, it’s fun to watch,” Hall said. “I’ve said this before, you want to see your team do well when you’re out and it’s almost harder because you want to be a part of that winning atmosphere. The way that they’re working and the way they’re working is great. That’s something they need to continue and hopefully, when I can get back in the lineup, we can continue that.”
Benoit Pouliot skated with the team for the third straight time as he appeared to be getting closer to a return to the lineup.
Coach Nelson said a final decision will be made on Saturday morning to determine if he's ready to play the Senators at 2:00 p.m. local time (12:00 p.m. MST).
“When you add a guy like Benny it’s always going to help your team. Tomorrow morning we’ll have another discussion to see where we’re at. There’s a lot of questions up in the air with the lineup tomorrow so we’ll have the rest of the day to think about it and see how guys are. We’ll make decisions tomorrow.”
Matt Hendricks did not practice today. He blocked a handful of shots against the Canadiens and at least one of them hurt a little more than usual.
“Matty took a puck off the ankle and today was a day where he wasn’t able to go out and practice. If anybody knows Matt, he wants to go out there and play. Tomorrow morning we’ll re-evaluate him and we’ll see if he’s good to go for tomorrow.”
After an emotional win on Thursday in Montreal, the Oilers had a very spirited practice at the Canadian Tire Centre in Kanata, near Ottawa. The team was still coming off the high of one of their best victories of the season.
“I’m going to enjoy this the rest of the day and tomorrow morning when I wake up we’ll get geared up for Ottawa," said Oilers interim head coach Todd Nelson following practice. "It was a big win for our hockey team. We played well. We stuck with our game plan and today’s a good day for the guys to enjoy themselves.”
The practice was brief and to the point, lasting about 30 minutes.
“We worked hard. It was short but we can enjoy this. It was a big win for us.”
Coach Nelson talked about the importance of the victory, helping to reinforce the message after the team played so well on Tuesday against the Islanders but came away with zero points.
“Bouncing back after the Islanders game was huge for us. We played well but didn’t get rewarded. Last night we did. It was a good sign for us. The guys feel good about it.
“We have to keep on pushing forward. Last night was one game. It was a big game for us character-wise but we have to keep building on that and moving forward.”
The Oilers are on the ice for practice at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa ahead of Saturday afternoon's game against the Senators. Benoit Pouliot is on the ice once again, as is Ben Scrivens. Matt Hendricks is not skating.
The team did not run lines.
#Sens head coach Dave Cameron confirms that Robin Lehner will start in goal tomorrow against the Oilers.— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) February 13, 2015
Bakersfield Condors goaltender Ty Rimmer, 22, has not played a game since January 16, while dealing with health issues. On Wednesday night, Rimmer broke the news on twitter that he was diagnosed with testicular cancer, and underwent surgery to remove the tumour.
(1/4) Two weeks ago I was diagnosed with testicular cancer. The tumor was surgically removed and I am on my way to a full recovery!— Ty Rimmer (@Rimms35) February 12, 2015
“Two weeks ago I was diagnosed with testicular cancer. The tumor was surgically removed and I am on my way to a full recovery!,” Rimmer said via his twitter account. “The more awareness we can raise about this, the better! So I would like to encourage all young men to get themselves checked out. This disease can manifest very quickly, and may advance rapidly. So please don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor if you notice anything.”
Rimmer, an Edmonton native, is signed to an AHL deal with the Oilers. In the last two seasons, Rimmer has seen action with the Oklahoma City Barons (3 games, 2.65 GAA and .930 save percentage), the Quad City Mallards (39 games, 2.84 GAA and .906 save percentage) and the Bakersfield Condors (25 games, 3.20 GAA and .889 save percentage).
“Thank you to my family, friends, doctors and the entire Edmonton Oilers organization for being so supportive during this time!,” he said on twitter.
Oilers prospect Brandon Davidson was also diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2012. He has since made a full recovery and is currently playing with the Barons, after making his NHL debut on December 10, 2014 in Anaheim.
Forward lines are:
The Oilers are on the ice for warm-ups at Nassau Coliseum in Long Island. Viktor Fasth is the only goaltender on the ice for Edmonton. The designated backup for tonight, Richard Bachman, has likely not made it to the rink on time.
Bachman, 27, has posted a 14-4-3 record in 22 games this season with the Barons, including three shutouts, a 2.30 goals against average and a .921 save percentage.
Bachman was also named to the 2015 AHL All Star Game as a member of the Western Conference.
The 5’10”, 176-pound goaltender has appeared in three career games for the Oilers, registering a 3.02 goals against average and a .916 save percentage.
Hamilton, 29, has registered 29 points (15G, 14A), six penalty minutes and a plus 11 rating in 32 games with the Barons this season.
The 6’2”, 219-pound forward has appeared in 14 career NHL games, posting three assists and two penalty minutes and he has also played in two playoff games, notching one assist.
The Oilers are on the ice for an optional morning skate in New Jersey.
Oilers defenceman Mark Fayne makes his return to New Jersey tonight for the first time since signing with the Oilers in the offseason. He talked about his return:
“It’s a little different coming back here, dressing in the away locker room. But, again, it’s good to be back and see some guys but it’s a business trip. You’ve got to have a mindset of no friends out there and get two points.”