*My deepest sympathies to those who were affected by the massive quake in Japan.*
"I'm proud of this team. I don't care if this is game 1 or game 81. These guys have done everything they can to bounce back after tough games," said Renney. "Tonight's another opportunity to do that. They've been nothing but responsive to our coaching. We've really given them an opportunity to play and make a difference and we'll continue to do that until somebody turns out the lights and closes the door behind us."
The heart still beats loudly and profoundly within chests of each Edmonton player. For the Oilers, the 2010-11 campaign has been one of the most difficult seasons in recent memory. The club sits dead last in the league as they now get set for the Detroit Red Wings tonight at the Joe.
Tom Renney, e tal still believes that his club has the potential and the personnel (despite missing a few key players) to make a run at the cup. Make no mistake, this young club has shown some flashes of brilliance throughout the year; though it would help if the club were to remain healthy.
Recently, the Oilers lost 4 players to injury. Hemsky-shoulder, Hall-ankle, Brule-illness Gagner-hand. We would be remiss to not include Peckham-concussion and Whitney-ankle. In total, the Oilers have now lost 175 man game due to injury this season. What is most frustrating is that Hall, Gagner and Whitney (who were the Oilers top point getters) will not see anymore ice time until next fall. While the season hurts like a twisting knife, the Oilers can only just soldier on, while building that character that money cannot buy.
"We can't dwell on that. The most unfortunate thing is Sam's hurt and he can't participate from this point on," Renney stated. "We've got 20 guys that can play and our objective is to go out there and give everything we can and beat Detroit tonight."
Renney has yet to introduce his line-up, though it is speculated that Gilbert Brule will once again draw in after being a healthy scratch versus the Capitals. Brule could find himself between Reddox and Omark.
"I feel ready. It feels like it's been forever, the last three games just sitting in hotels and being quarantined," said Brule "It's never fun when you're sitting in the hotel room watching from your bed and feeling sick."
Detroit comes into the match-up after going 0-2-2 in their last four games. Their latest loss was in Anaheim where the Ducks finished the game with a 2-1 OT victory. The Red Wings has a firm strangle hold of second overall in the Western Conference behind the Vancouver Canucks.
Oilers vs Wings 4:30 pacific time www.atdhe.me