TONIGHT'S GAME ON PPV:
Molson Canadian Oilers PPV is back on the air tonight at 5:30 pm local Edmonton time with game number five in a 15-game Oilers PPV schedule. Included in tonight’s commercial free PPV broadcast and a regular part of every Oilers PPV broadcast will be feature stories and Oilers background interviews. Tonight, Bob Stauffer sits with Mike Comrie for an in depth interview and we’ll see a feature story on the Oilers Fan Fest Celebrity Soft ball weekend this past Labour day.
It’s also important to note that that Oilers PPV was created as a vehicle to broadcast Oiler games which would not otherwise be broadcast and we remain true to that initiative.
This year Rogers Sportsnet West chose to reduce the number of Oilers games they broadcast from 48 to 40. The Oilers PPV schedule is determined after CBC, TSN and Sportsnet select their Oilers games.
The Oilers endeavor to get the remaining games on PPV, although that isn’t always possible – this year two Oilers games will not be available on television, although the Oilers plan to deliver them via their website at no charge.
AT THE MORNING SKATE:
Just the second game into the five game road trip, the Oilers find themselves short once again. The question is will they have enough bodies? Taylor Chorney left practice early today. He suffered an ankle injury against the Avalanche Sunday night. Robert Nilsson took a head shot in the third period of that game and they are not sure where he's at but he was not at practice today so the Oilers are two men short.
"We'll just keep battling." said assistant coach Tom Renney. "I think one of the things that this season will show to us is the resolve of our players, their character naturally. What we might have in the depth department in the organization of course and it's about blue collar work now."
With the Oilers sitting at only 19 total players, they would have to play with only 17 which means a lot of double shifting. A call up seems like the obvious call here in Ottawa.
"I've been informed that the call up will be a forward and it'll be O'Marra. We won't expect him in until game time but he'll make warm up it sounds like. With Smid coming in, we're right on the numbers with defence." said Coach Pat Quinn.
That rumor has just been confirmed. Ryan O'Marra has been called up to play tonight and should arrive just in time for the game. O’Marra has played in 15 games this season for Springfield, tallying four points (2 G, 2 A) and 16 PIM.
"He’s played pretty well," said Falcons Head Coach Rob Daum, "I thought he started the season well and then he went for a bit of a low for four or five games that wasn’t at the same level. This weekend I thought he was good again. Hopefully this will be a chance for him to see how close he is to what it takes to play there...
"I’m hoping this chance, for as long as it is, will be something that will really have him focused and recognize what he has to do to get there, stay there, and play there."
OILERS KEYS TO THE GAME
"I think the keys to our game is trying to make sure we get in on their fore-check." said Tom Renney. "Force their defensemen to have to turn their backs to find pucks. Make sure there is traffic at the net. Be a little more assertive ourselves at getting to the blue paint and stay out of the penalty box."
Last 10 -- Edmonton 4-6-0; Ottawa 4-4-2
Season series -- The Senators swept a two-game regular-season series against the Oilers in 2008-09 for the third time in their history and the first since 2002-03. Three of Ottawa's nine all-time victories against Edmonton came in their first four games as the Senators have posted a 6-11-4-0 record since December 1995. The Sens are also 6-1-1 against the Oilers their last eight games.
Big Story -- Edmonton's Ales Hemsky, Shawn Horcoff, Sheldon Souray, Ladislav Smid, J.F. Jacques and Ryan Stone are just a few of the key players sidelined by injury or illness right now. To make matters worse, the team is on the road for 10 of its next 15 games.
"It's about who's here, not who's not here," Edmonton coach Pat Quinn said. "We know there's some guys not here, doesn't matter. We have a job to do and we're not doing it as well as we need to do it. If we get into that negative mindset, then you just beat yourself, don't even show up, then. Mail the points in. Well, we're not about to do that yet."
Oilers -- Edmonton, which is 2-5-0 on the road, snapped a five-game losing streak away from home on Sunday with a 5-3 victory over the surging Colorado Avalanche. The club, with seven players out of the lineup with injury or illness, called up forwards Ryan Potulny and Liam Reddox from the club's American Hockey League affiliate in Springfield on Saturday and the duo responded with a combined goal and two assists.
Senators -- Senators center Jesse Winchester played his first game of the season against the Devils on Saturday after missing the first 13 with a knee injury. He spent the previous two weeks with the American Hockey League's Binghamton Senators on a conditioning stint. Winchester played a little over five minutes on the club's fourth line alongside Jarkko Ruutu and Chris Kelly.
Who's Hot -- Oilers wing Mike Comrie, who's already missed six games with the flu this year, is beginning to round into form -- he's posted 2 goals in 2 games since returning to the lineup.
Injury Report -- The Oilers have been ravaged by injuries as forwards Marc Pouliot (sports hernia surgery), Ryan Stone (knee), Shawn Horcoff (shoulder), Ales Hemsky (shoulder) and J.F. Jacques (shoulder) remain out and defensemen Sheldon Souray (concussion) and Ladislav Smid (flu) are on the mend. For the Senators, defenseman Anton Volchenkov, who has already missed four games with a right elbow injury, remains sidelined.
Stat Pack -- Ottawa defenseman Chris Campoli recorded the 100th point of his career on Saturday in a 3-2 loss to the Devils.
Puck Drop -- The Senators are coming off a heartbreaking 3-2 loss to the Devils in a game where they held a two-goal lead late into the second period. The team has received some inconsistent goaltending of late from Pascal Leclaire, so that's an area coach Cory Clouston hopes to sure up. Edmonton goalie Nikolai Khabibulin, meanwhile, has faced the second-most shots in the League (515) behind Colorado's Craig Anderson.