In an Edmonton Oilers news and rumors update, there is news surrounding a possible injury to the most-used player on the Oilers roster. The Oilers have recalled a defenseman from Bakersfield and coach Dave Tippett says he’s just like a fan, yelling at the Oilers to “shoot!”. Does that mean, like the fans, he’s getting annoyed or concerned with the recent results of the team?
Klefbom Playing Through Injury?
Although there has been no official reports from the Edmonton Oilers organization, it appears Oscar Klefbom might be battling through a foot injury.
Daniel Nugent-Bowman of The Athletic tweeted that Klefbom was used strategically as the Oilers lost in overtime to the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday and that he’s “battling a foot injury sustained when he blocked a shot against Ottawa on Wednesday.”
If Klefbom goes down or misses any real time, this would be a huge loss for the Oilers. He’s their minute-munching defenseman at a 25:30 minutes per game and second in the NHL in all players time-on-ice per game behind only Drew Doughty.
Speculation is that this is not a serious injury so he shouldn’t miss any time.
Oilers Have Recalled Caleb Jones
Not directly related to the Klefbom news but still dealing with the Oilers blue line, the team has recalled defenceman Caleb Jones from Bakersfield. Edmonton is sending Joel Persson down.
This is the second time Jones has been called up this season and in his first run he showed fairly well. The Oilers are keen not to rush prospects but Jones appears to be more ready for regular NHL action than Persson does at this stage.
Speculation is that he may line up with Klefbom as the Oilers are keeping Adam Larsson and Klefbom on different pairings for the time being.
Tippett and Oilers Upset With Recent Play
David Staples of the Edmonton Journal pointed out an interesting stat on social media this past Saturday. He noted that while fans are excited about the Oilers early-season success, it might be best not to be too quick to think this season and the playoffs are a given.
“After 31 games last year, the Oilers had 17 wins and 14 losses for 36 points, 87 goals for, 91 goals against. This year, Edmonton has 18 wins and 13 losses, 39 points, 93 goals for, 89 goals against.”
Of course, some people are going to call Staples a pessimist (and he may be), but the reality here is there is lots of season remaining, the Oilers have started to slip a little in terms of goals allowed and total wins have dropped. The team itself is worried, if not upset.
Both Darnell Nurse and Klefbom spoke to the media after Sunday’s overtime loss and the players are lamenting the way they’ve played of late. They are aware their on-ice decision making needs to improve and coach Dave Tippett said it best when he noted, “We had more drop passes than shots on net in the first period.” He added, “That’s not right.”
Tippett was actually upset at how little the Oilers tried to take the opportunities that were presented to them. He called it not having “the right mindset”. Saying they had new guys in the lineup having returned from injury, it appeared the team felt more keen passing the puck into the net. That mentality wasn’t going to cut it. The team is also aware that losses against teams they should be defeating could come back to haunt them.
Expect the Oilers to come out like gangbusters against Carolina in the first of a four-game home-stand that starts Tuesday.
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.”