Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins said after practice on Monday that Viktor Fasth would get his first start in net, as an Edmonton Oiler, on the upcoming road trip.
“Both guys will play,” Eakins said. “Ben’s played extremely well, he keeps rolling along and has made a real good case for himself here and obviously, we’ve rewarded him with a contract. But Viktor has played a lot this year and it’s kind of the same as with Oscar (Klefbom). I thought it was best for the player to start his Oiler career on the road and that’s what we’ll do.”
Fasth has not played an NHL game since November 18, with the Anaheim Ducks. Fasth was dealing with injury issues for most of this season before returning to game action in the American Hockey League. The Oilers are eager to see what they got in their trade with Anaheim and hope Fasth returns to form quickly in his first start.
“I hope it’s like riding a bike but at that position it’s a little bit different than a player,”Eakins said. “It’s going to have to be one of those, let’s just wait and see. But his improvement in practice just over the short amount of time, from his first practice to today, has been a vast improvement so that’s encouraging and he’s telling me he’s ready to play when we’re ready to put him in.”
Fasth says that although he has been eager to get back into game action, having the extra few days of practice with his new teammates has been beneficial.
“You want to play, but it’s been a good start so far for me here,” Fasth said. “I think the guys are really nice to me and have welcomed me to the team. I’ve had a couple of good days practicing here so it feels good.”
Now that he has assimilated into the locker room, Fasth is ready to make his debut in the blue and orange.
“Yeah of course. It’s been a long season for me so far and I want to get back in there and play a game again. It’s just a matter of keeping focused and try to be ready when the coach tells you to play.”