The Edmonton Oilers will host the Montreal Canadiens tonight before heading out for a six-game road trip on the east coast. While the club welcomed back Ryan Nugent-Hopkins which instantly gave the club a shot in the arm, there are still a few players who remain sidelined, courtesy of the Edmonton Journal.
Jesse Joensuu remains questionable to return to the lineup as he continues to deal with an ailing back. The power forward missed the last game against the New Jersey Devils after leaving the Canucks game last Saturday, skating to only six and a half minutes.
The Finnish native did skate with the regulars on Thursday morning despite skating following the team’s practice Wednesday. Jim Matheson reports that Joensuu is likely out for Edmonton’s game tonight and possibly this Saturday against the Maple Leafs in Toronto. Barring a set back, Joensuu could return Monday in Washington.
Defenseman Denis Grebeshkov is inching closer to making his Oilers season debut although Matheson doesn’t state if tonight would provide that opportunity. Grebehskov suffered a groin injury during the pre-season and skated with the regulars on Thursday morning. According to Matheson he still has to be cleared by doctors before he can be deemed game ready and that could come as early as this afternoon.
Forward Ryan Hamilton is day-to-day with a knee injury and according to Eakins, it doesn’t appear to be serious. The rugged winger is out for tonight’s game, giving way for Ryan Smyth to return to the lineup.