Ralph Krueger's silence was, indeed, telling:
Ryan Whitney is paired with Theo Peckahm at practice, indicating a good chance that he'll sit tonight with Fistric-Potter as a pairing...— Dan Tencer (@dantencer) February 4, 2013
Krueger's only alternative is to ice a third pairing of Mark Fistric - Corey Potter, though Steve Tambellini can do more:
Matheson never once brings up that Whitney's injuries are such that he isn't going to get up to speed. His lack of mobility isn't about being in shape, it's about injured ankles that aren't going to recover. Whitney's physical abilities are as good as they will ever be. When he was healthy, he was a very talented defenseman, and that's why, even after seeing his play since injuring his ankles, Oilers fans still wonder if they could sign Whitney on the cheap for next season.
In other news, Shawn Horcoff is back between Ryan Smyth and Lennart Petrell and will handle the faceoff load against the Canucks.