By now, the consistent talk of all the injuries that the Edmonton Oilers are sustaining has become tiresome and deflating. The season started with two star centres on the shelf and the injury bug has bitten Taylor Hall yet again.
Now Ryan Smyth will take his turn on the injury list, at least for the next week with an ailing groin according to Joanne Ireland of the Edmonton Journal, via Twitter.
Smyth did play in the Oilers victory over the Senators on Saturday but did not practice with the team for the past two days in Montreal. Yesterday we learnt that the wily veteran had returned home to Edmonton to meet with team doctors and now the prognosis is known. A bad groin and one week of no hockey. Thanks doc, got it.
Smyth was the victim of the healthy scratch syndrome earlier this year and following that stint in the press box his game elevated upon his return. Despite not putting up a point in the past four games, Smyth had been strong on the puck, was making things happen in the offensive zone and was often in the middle of the play. A far cry from the first few games of the season where it was obvious his foot speed wasn’t strong enough to keep up.
In any event, the absence of Smyth has allowed rookie Tyler Pitlick to dress for his inaugural NHL game tonight in Montreal.
The news isn’t all bad surrounding the Oilers and their injury woes. Jordan Eberle, who didn’t skate Sunday or Monday with the team was on the ice this morning and is expected to play against Montreal tonight.
Eberle sustained a slight hip strain in Ottawa on Saturday and the move to keep him off the ice was deemed as precautionary. So while this team will be without two regulars, having Eberle remain on that top line will no doubt bring some much needed depth and scoring poise.