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BLOG: Joensuu hoping to earn more ice time

by Chris Wescott / Edmonton Oilers

Big, physical forward Jesse Joensuu has been relegated to fourth-line duties since returning from his back injury. It is a challenge for the 26 year-old Finnish born player to play a more limited amount of minutes on limited shifts.

"I feel good," said Joensuu. "We're playing, sometimes, small minutes so it's tough to get into the game but at the same time, you get paid to do this and everybody wants to play in the NHL. You need to work on being ready whenever you're called on to go to the ice."

The forward says it can be more difficult to find a groove when his time on the ice is limited.

"Every hockey player will tell you when they play more, it's easier to play and they play better. There's a lot of guys who are ahead of me in the lineup and I obviously knew that. That's no shock to me and they're playing good. Our line, we have to bring energy and play as good as we can with those minutes and that's obviously the only way you can play more in the future."

Joensuu has not recorded a point since opening night against Winnipeg on October 1. He has also seen less than eight minutes of ice time in four of his last five games, excluding over 12 minutes against Columbus on November 19.

Against Columbus, Joensuu had a decent game, chipping in a team-high five hits while adding a blocked shot as well in 12:14 on the ice.

He understands that comes with the territory of skating on the fourth line and knows that if he wants more ice time, he'll have to earn it.

"This is the only thing I have to work on in my life. This is my work and the only thing I have to focus on. If I have done a poor job, I just have to find a way to do it better. I can't really complain."

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