The Oilers held on optional skate on Friday and while Craig MacTavish wasn’t on the ice for it, the team still got a tongue lashing from one coach.
Goalie coach Pete Peeters, who wasn’t happy with the way players were bearing down on odd-man rushes and gathering up rebounds, stopped practice and called those on the ice together for a spirited chat from the former Vezina trophy winner.
Robert Nilsson was one of the Oilers who skate Friday and he is probable for Saturday’s game against the Canucks. He has been out with an upper body injury and hasn’t played since he was hurt Nov. 30 against Dallas.
Vancouver is second in the NHL in penalty minutes and in fights. The Oilers plan on being prepared for what the Canucks strategy might be and as a result Zack Stortini and Jason Strudwick could be back into the lineup.
Dwayne Roloson is expected to be the starter, according to MacTavish, who said Mathieu Garon started against Florida Thursday night so that Roloson, who was spectacular in making 41 save§ against S.J. last Saturday, would start this Saturday against Vancouver.
Edmonton and Vancouver have only played once this season; Vancouver beat Edmontom 6-3 on Oct. 25. But the two teams will meet three teams in 13 days, with next matchups on Dec. 17 and Dec. 26.
NOTES: The Edmonton Oilers assigned centre Gilbert Brule to the AHL’s Springfield Falcons on Friday.
Brule had no points in two games with Edmonton after being recalled from the Falcons on Dec. 5.
Brule, 21, had eight goals and four assists in 15 games with Springfield prior to his recall.