In an Edmonton Oilers news and rumors update, there is talk about the goaltending and which netminder will get the start Sunday night against the Ottawa Senators. The Oilers may be making some lineup changes for their back-to-back contest, including resting Ethan Bear who left yesterday’s game early after an awkward hit. Goaltender Troy Grosenick talks about the opportunity he’s getting with the his new team this season and we take a closer look at Connor McDavid’s highlight-of-the-year type goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Update on Ethan Bear Injury
Bear left Saturday’s contest against the Maple Leafs early. After taking a hit that didn’t look all that severe, the defenseman skated directly over to the bench and did not return to the game. The Oilers have Bear listed as day-to-day with an undisclosed injury and it’s not likely he suits up Sunday night against the Senators.
In Bear’s place on Saturday, Tyson Barrie double shifted and played one of the best games of his still-early Oilers career. Head coach Dave Tippett says he can start to see Barrie putting the pieces together in respect to where he fits while mixing his offensive and creative style into the team’s system.
Who slots in for Bear is yet to be revealed and the pairings for the game haven’t been officially announced.
Grosenick Joins the Oilers
After being claimed on waivers, Grosenick has officially joined the Oilers but it’s not looking like he’ll play in net Sunday evening. As per a report by TSN’s Ryan Rishaug, it looks like backup Stuart Skinner will get the call and give starter Mikko Koskinen such much-needed rest.
Grosenick said during his media avail prior to the game on Sunday, “I’m very lucky to be able to to do what I love and make a living. I’m just going to keep working hard and having fun.” Whether or not Grosenick stays with the Oilers through the season is unclear but he’s excited to get an opportunity in Edmonton and GM Ken Holland doesn’t have a lot of other options at this point.
Koskinen Has Been Incredible
While he’s not been perfect, it’s hard to argue that Koskinen has not been everything the Oilers could have asked for and more this season. He’s started in all 10 of the Oilers games heading into Sunday’s back-to-back and he’s faced 325 shots against — 82 shots more than the next-closest goaltender in the NHL this season. When the Oilers needed him most, he’s pulled off some clutch saves to keep the Oilers in the hunt in the North Division.
It sounded like there was some consideration to keep Koskinen in net Sunday, but it’s a wise choice to give the backstop some rest.
McDavid’s Incredible Goal
Saturday night, McDavid scored what will have to be a candidate for Goal of the Year. His speed and skill never cease to amaze as the center skated from his own blue line through four defenders and placed an incredible shot top-left while on one skate and practically off balance.
You can see the goal below. It’s worth watching over and over:
Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen didn’t want to talk too much about the goal itself, saying he’ll look at video, break down the play and see what he could have done better. Our advice? Don’t worry about it too much. There are just certain plays that you can’t do much about and this was probably one of them.
McDavid has the ability to make defenders and goaltenders look silly. Andersen’s best bet is to probably put it behind him and never think about that play again.
Oilers Lineup Changes
It’s not clear what players will slot in and which will get a rest Sunday night as the Oilers try to win two in a row for the first time this season.
Rishaug reports that defenseman Evan Bouchard and forward Tyler Ennis stayed out for quite a while with taxi squad on Sunday, as did blueliner Slater Koekkoek. Alex Chiasson took a light skate but the TSN reporter hints head coach Dave Tippett could opt for some fresh bodies.
Rishaug adds that Gaetan Haas, Chiasson, Kris Russell, and William Lagesson are all potential options.
Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance writer, part-time journalist and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL news and rumors, while also writing features on the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source for five-plus years at The Hockey Writers, but more than that, he’s on a mission to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL rumors and trade talk. Jim is a daily must for readers who want to be “in the know.”