Despite New Edmonton Injuries, There May Be Good News for Oiler Fans

Jim ParsonsContributor INovember 12, 2009

EDMONTON, CANADA - SEPTEMBER 16:  Denis Grebeshkov #37 of the Edmonton Oilers looks on against the New York Islanders on September 16, 2009 at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The Oilers won 3-2. (Photo by Dale MacMillan/Getty Images)
Dale MacMillan/Getty Images

Denis Grebeshkov is out. From a report we heard and an Oilers twitter confirmation, he injured his knee in the final minute of the Buffalo game and won't be with the Oilers for the final two games of this five game road trip.

When this season started, would you have ever guessed that the Oilers, of all things, would be running out of viable defensemen?

It wasn't some 19 games ago that fans and media types were mocking up trades all over the place suggesting that with the Oilers so deep on NHL quality defensemen, that it only made sense to move one. Now, less than a quarter of the way through the season, Edmonton can barely find enough defensemen to play a full game.

It's been a bad season in general for the Oilers in terms of injury and illness, but c'mon, this is getting silly. Of the probably nine viable options of defense, six Edmonton Oiler blueliners have now been out of action due to injury. Of those six, Sheldon Souray, Steve Staios, Lubomir Visnovsky, and Ladislav Smid have been impact players at times for the Oil and were greatly missed.

With Grebeshkov now gone for an undisclosed amount of time, the Oilers will be thankful to hear that Sheldon Souray, who was scheduled as unlikely until late November, might play Sunday against Atlanta.

A likely return from Shawn Horcoff is also on the horizon and could happen against the Thrashers, which would put the Oilers in a position to limit any excuses. The lines might look like the following for Sundays game if all possible returns actually happen:



This tells us that should the Oilers not be ready to earn back some of the points they lost with a lousy record over the last 9-10 games, they'll be plum out of reasons to feel good about this team and it's ability to be a playoff contender.

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