| JONES & LINGLET IN THE LINE-UP
| After enjoying a day off Wednesday, the Oilers got back to business Thursday morning with a skate at the Stars practice facility.
Before the team took to the ice, Associate Coach Tom Renney gave Ryan Jones a gruelling on-ice assessment to determine whether he is ready to return to the line-up. The forward passed the test and, according to Head Coach Pat Quinn, will play Friday night in Dallas.
Jones won't be the only recent addition to the line-up. After being signed and recalled from the AHL's Springfield Falcons Wednesday morning, forward Charles Linglet is also expected to play vs. the Stars.
"It's awesome," the 27-year-old said. "I've been in the minors for seven years and to finally get a chance to play an NHL game, it's an unbelievable feeling and I'm very proud of my accomplishments. I'm really happy to be here."
Quinn is equally pleased to have him with the Oil.
"Those are the good stories, about a guy that's been grinding it out (in the AHL) and has continued to improve and has got a lot of points on a not very good hockey team in Springfield," he added. "Here's a young man that has certainly put some numbers on the board, enough that when we were talking about where our future is, he's one of the guys they want to look at at this level."
TWO IN, TWO OUT
During practice, Linglet skated with Dustin Penner and Ryan Potulny, while Jones skated with Gilbert Brule and Marc Pouliot. To make room for the new additions, forwards Patrick O'Sullivan and Ethan Moreau donned red jerseys and played defence in the drills.
Quinn emphasized that the changes won't necessarily be implemented in Friday's line-up and that "the decision is not made" on who will sit.
"Probably two guys will come in -- Linglet and young Jonesy -- but as far as who's out, I just figured Pat plays a little bit of power play on the back end so to get to read some rush opportunities, and Ethan I thought could skate backwards but I don't know if he can," the coach said with a smirk.
When asked about how the decision is made to scratch one player over another, Quinn explained that there's no cookie-cutter solution.
"It's not always going to be based on merit here, from the standpoint of going forward for the next six games," he said. "It'll be partly management's idea of what our future is and continuing to develop some young guys who may not merit being in the line-up on a given game.
"We're trying to do something that has a sense of fairness to it at the same time. We're not writing anybody off. Our job is to evaluate our senior guys as well as develop our young guys."
Despite watching the offensive action from the blue line today, Moreau expects to play his usual role tomorrow night.
"It's just a practice and I was just playing D," the captain said. "We'll see what happens tomorrow, but our line's been playing well, I've been playing well so I don't expect that to happen."
VISION GOOD, VISOR BAD
Speaking of scratches, one player who has experienced some painful ones is Dustin Penner. Penner was hit in the eye by the puck last game and temporarily lost vision in his right eye due to a scratched cornea.
Despite sporting a row of stitches on his cheekbone and some bruising around the eye, Penner should be good to play vs. Dallas.
"I'm feeling fine," he said after practice. "It's a little scary when it first happened. That's why I went down, because I couldn't see and slowly my vision came back."
Penner wore a visor during practice but he emphasized that he'll have it removed as soon as it's safe.
"With the visor, there's different things you have to learn not to do, like hunch over and tilt your head down because then the sweat just pours on top of your visor and it fogs up," he explained. "I wore one once probably in 2001 for three days at a discovery camp in Saskatoon, so that was the last time and the only time.
"I don't like it. It's something that I guess you could get used to, and having that choice, I don't want to get used to it."
Author: Jen Sharpe | edmontonoilers.com, with files from Bob Stauffer