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Edmonton Oilers News & Rumors: Barrie, Khaira, Smith, More

In an Edmonton Oilers news and rumors update, there is injury news on Tyson Barrie and Jujhar Khaira, plus goaltending talk.

Monday’s game against the Calgary Flames was a frustrating one for the Edmonton Oilers. It wasn’t just because they lost a close game 4-3, but because a lot of things went wrong, things the team had been able to avoid for the most part so far this season. Even though it’s only one game, the loss has a lot of fans questioning what the Oilers should do next.

Mike Smith Struggled With Control

When you have a goaltender who wants to play the puck as much as Mike Smith does, you’re bound to have stinker goals get by you. In his 13 previous starts, Smith was well in control of every knock-down and he handled the puck with ease, moving it to his defensemen or forwards, essentially adding another skater on the ice. Not so much on Monday.

One the goals against was a direct result of Smith coming out of the net and getting caught. Between he and Mikko Koskinen, Smith has still clearly been the better of the two netminders but one has to wonder if the Oilers go to Koskinen on Wednesday just to make sure the team doesn’t run Smith too hard.

Mike Smith Edmonton Oilers
MIke Smith Edmonton Oilers LTIR

Tyson Barrie Hurt

Defenseman Tyson Barrie left the first period of Monday’s game and it wasn’t entirely clear why. He tried to return for the third period but wasn’t able to skate and went back to the locker room. Head coach Dave Tippett has labeled the blueliner as day-to-day and Oilers fans will surely be keeping an eye on his injury situation.

While some fans have called for the Oilers to move Barrie and sell high on the player before the deadline, there’s no arguing what he means to the Oilers blue line. He’s an offensive weapon that is doing what’s been asked of him and more. If he’s out longer than a game or two, this is a big deal.

Yes, Edmonton can put Evan Bourchard in the lineup and maybe promote Ethan Bear, but Bear struggled last night and had one of his poorer games with the extra minutes.

Jujhar Khaira Fight

After what many were calling a dirty hit, Khaira felt the need to answer for it by agreeing to fight Brett Ritchie of the Flames. Unfortunately, it did not go well for the Oilers center.

He was already losing the fight when Ritchie tagged Khaira at the end of the bout and it was clear he was partially knocked out with his eyes glazing over. The forward was able to skate off the ice with a bit of help from the trainers but he too is listed as day-to-day.

There will all sorts of questions about “the code” in the NHL and why it’s idiotic. Others will say Khaira should have never agreed to take that matchup. How this affects him moving forward will be curious. Some players have a hard time coming back from a loss like that while others are unaffected.

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  1. Pingback: Maple Leafs Willing to Move Top Prospect to Add Before Trade Deadline

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