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Mike Smith Injured Again, Ilya Konovalov Will Play Backup for Oilers

Goaltender Mike Smith is injured again for the Edmonton Oilers and the team will go with Ilya Konovalov as back up to Mikko Koskinen.

Bad news rolled in for the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday and just head of their matinee game against the New York Islanders, as goaltender Mike Smith is listed as injured again. He’s been designated as day-to-day, but as Mark Spector of Sportsnet points out, “To be fair, that was his designation when he would go on to miss over two months of action earlier this season.”

Related: Maple Leafs’ Quick Hits: 1st Game in Weeks, Medical Decisions & Line Combos

With Smith out and Stuart Skinner down in Bakersfield of the AHL, Ilya Konavavlo will back up Mikko Koskinen in today’s game. While this is a great opportunity for Konovalov, it is likely just a one-game thing. If Smith’s injury turns into something more serious, the Oilers will immediately recall Skinner and Konovalov will go back to the AHL.

While Smith finished the game against the New Jersey Devils on Friday, he did not look great in the contest and there was a play in where Smith appeared like he might have been hurt as he was seen shaking off his leg. The play in question might have happened when he stretched out to make a big save and a pile-up ensued in his crease. It’s not clear if that’s where the injury started and it was aggravated further or if he simply tried to power through.

Ilya Konovalov Mike Smith Edmonton Oilers

Smith was unlikely to play today regardless as the Oilers are on a back-to-back and have lost two straight games.

As for other roster moves, there doesn’t appear to be any changes, other than Phillip Broberg being sent back down to Bakersfield from the taxi squad. There is no word on Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who left Friday’s game late and didn’t return.

Did Oilers Rush Mike Smith Back?

There are certainly going to be questions in Edmonton about how quickly the Oilers pushed Smith back in after two months on the shelf. The team’s goaltending was playing well and Smith returned from injury to play two straight games without a conditioning stint.

This is a 39-year-old with injury questions and the Oilers pushed him right back into action despite not being completely aware of how healthy he actually was.

Next: Hurricanes in “No Hurry” to Re-Sign Kotkaniemi to Extension



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