For the Edmonton Oilers, any dose of good news can only help.
Coming back from the all-star break, the Oilers hope the return of Ales Hemsky can help turn the stretch run into a success for Edmonton, who have lost 17 of their last 21 games.
"I started skating before the all-star break a couple of times. I was feeling better and better and I took those four days off," said Hemsky. "Came back after break and they cleared me to practice and I feel good. Hopefully I can stay healthy and finish this season strong and hopefully we can get some wins and build from there and have a good finish."
Hemsky has been out for the last four games with a concussion. He has missed 17 games this season due to injury, but still sits tied for third in team scoring with 29 points in 32 games.
Rookie forward Taylor Hall said he was looking forward to the stretch run of this season to see just how much the Oilers can improve on their last place standing in the West with just 38 points.
"Everyone around the league is probably feeling pretty rested right now. We don't get a break from here to the end of the season so this is our season," Hall said. "This is what we're going to base our season on, these 33 games or whatever it is. I think everyone is feeling good, and just ready to get back at it."
"You want to win some games and win some games together and just finish the season strong, get the winning mentality here, and just have fun," Hemsky said.
The Oilers host the Kings tonight before kicking off a three-game road trip Friday.