The “pest” that invaded the Edmonton Oilers’ locker room last season is back – the injury bug.
Last season, the Edmonton Oilers led the NHL in man games lost to injury, and appears as though it’s returned again to wreak havoc with the copper and blue.
The latest to be added to the Oilers’ MASH unit is young stud Jordan Eberle. Enjoying a successful rookie campaign in Edmonton, Eberle headed to the dressing room, after having his knee buckled beneath him the result of an Ales Kotalik check during last night’s 2-1 loss to the visiting Calgary Flames.
Eberle, capable of stick handling in a phone book, has shown flashes of brillance throughout this, his first NHL campaign. Prior to Saturday’s game the Regina, Sask. native had posted respectable 9-14-23 numbers. Equally as important to Edmonton Head Coach Tom Renney, Eberle brings a responsible defensive effort to the ice every game.
Oilers’ front office has not yet announced the severity of Eberle’s injury, but for a franchise that already boasts 64 man games lost due to injury, captain Shawn Horcoff, point leader Ryan Whitney and Jim Vandermeer currently biding their time on the IR, another key injury will further compromise Edmonton’s lineup.
And while management will continue to sing the same old “It’s an opportunity for another young player” tune, few beyond Ryan Jones (nine goals) are running with that opportunity as evidenced by this young team’s current five-game slide, despite often high-light reel netminding from Edmonton goaltenders Nikolai Khabibulin and backup Devan Dubnyk.
In the meantime Oiler fans, chins up…sticks down.
About the Author
Written by Scott Pattison
Scott is an award-winning sports writer whose career spans more than 20 years. He's proudly covered the Oilers since moving to the Alberta capital in 2000.