Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins gave an update on the status of his injured players following practice in Florida on Monday.
“Anybody that wasn’t on the ice is not good to go,” said Eakins. That included David Perron (neck), who was not with the team to start this road trip plus players who did make the trip such as defencemen Justin Schultz, Anton Belov and goaltender Richard Bachman.
On Belov, Eakins said, “He’s with us, which is a good sign, but he won’t be ready to play tomorrow. Neither will Justin Schultz.”
With both blueliners out, the Oilers will be calling up a defenceman from Oklahoma City. In anticipation of the move, the Barons recalled defencemen Martin Gernat and David Musil from ECHL Bakersfield earlier today.
“We let the managers know that we needed (a defenceman). I was hoping that Schultzie or Belov would be better than they were. They’re not, so they will send us a D and I have absolutely no idea who that will be right now.”
In addition to Ryan Smyth, who will play tomorrow, two injured players who did skate were Taylor Hall and Jesse Joensuu.
“I said to Keith Acton, boy I wish he could play right now because we need him. You can argue, if he’s not our best player he’s certainly one of them. We’re dying for those injured guys to get back. Hallsy looks great in practice. He brings everything you need right now,” said the Oilers bench boss.
“The biggest thing that he brings for me is he’s always in the fight. He’s always trying. He wants to be the best player on the ice. We will wait patiently for him.”
Jesse Joensuu will be eligible to come off Long Term Injured Reserve (LTIR) on Saturday against the Flyers. Eakins hopes that he will be ready to go.
“The same with Jesse (Joensuu). Today in practice, you see the things that your group’s missing and two of them were wearing (non-contact) gold sweaters today.”