The Oilers' weakness on faceoffs was exposed Monday night against Vancouver, and now with the loss of Shawn Horcoff and Eric Belanger -- Edmonton's two best draw men -- the concern has become even more immediate.
Horcoff was put on the injury reserve list Tuesday and is expected to be out at least three to four weeks to heal a broken knuckle he suffered in Monday's 3-2 overtime loss to the Canucks.
Belanger, who broke a couple of toes Saturday, could be back by the weekend. "I'm sure everybody saw the numbers against Vancouver," Oiler head coach Ralph Kruger said Tuesday of the Oilers losing 70 per cent of faceoffs. "It really is a difficult game when you're playing a top team and starting by puck retrieval all the time."
Kruger said the Oilers, who held an optional workout Tuesday and will be home tonight to the Dallas Stars, are working on faceoffs on and off the ice, "even strategically, just trying to figure it out."