Ethan Moreau #18 of the Edmonton Oilers jumps the boards to join the play against the Vancouver Canucks at Rexall Place on March 23, 2010 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The Oilers defeated the Canucks 3-2, winning their third game in a row.
Photograph by: Getty, Getty
DALLAS — Ethan Moreau didn’t play on a regular line during practice Thursday, fuelling speculation the Edmonton Oilers’ captain might be a healthy scratch when the team takes on the Dallas Stars on Friday.
If he does, it will be a first; Moreau has never sat out a game, except for injury.
He thinks it’s much ado about nothing.
“I don’t know how you can come to that conclusion off one practice,” said Moreau, when he was asked about the possibility of not playing Friday’s game.
“I was playing (defence) today. It was fun, something different. We’ll see what happens tomorrow. I don’t expect it to happen (being sat out).
“There’s no reason why I wouldn’t be playing.”
Oilers’ coach Pat Quinn said he’s considering the idea, but hasn’t made a decision.
What is clear is that Quinn will have to sit two forwards; farmhand call-up winger Charles Linglet is being inserted into the lineup, as is waiver wire pickup forward Ryan Jones. Patrick O’Sullivan is probably more likely to sit out than Moreau.
O’Sullivan, who was minus three in Detroit Tuesday in the 5-4 loss and has an NHL worst minus 36 rating, was an extra forward with Moreau in Thursday’s practice.
“I haven’t decided who’s out yet; Ethan, I thought could skate backward, but I don’t know if he can,” joked Quinn.
“Pat plays the point on the power play so I thought it might be an idea to have him back there (practice) to get his reads.
“Ethan is our captain,” Quinn continued, “and we intend to show great respect for the position of captain and the person wearing the C.
“Hopefully it would be explained well enough (to Moreau) if it maybe comes down to him, that it’s not based on merit (how he’s playing).”
Quinn has lots of candidates for spectator roles, actually.
He wasn’t happy with the line of 0’Sullivan, Ryan Potulny and Gilbert Brule in Detroit, all minus 3.
“If it’s based on the merit of one game, certainly or all three of those guys could come out and we’d play short-handed and maybe have a better night,” he said.
“But, it’s not always based on merit, not going forward in the next six games. It’s management’s idea what our future is.”
Springfield Falcons’ forward Linglet, 27, meanwhile, has never played an NHL game.
He’s played 466 minor league games, in the East Coast and American Leagues. He’s fifth in AHL scoring with 74 points and the call-up is a reward for good service.
He’ll play with Dustin Penner, who will wear a visor to protect his scratched right cornea, and Potulny.
Penner will have to wear the visor for a week after he took 11 stitches under his right eye and had some scratches on his cornea when a puck flipped up into his face in Detroit.
Jones passed a fitness test before practice and will play right side with Marc Pouliot and Gilbert Brule.
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