SUN Hockey Pool

Oilers Smid on a tear

Derek Van Diest, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:07 AM ET

For a guy who had gone nearly two years without a goal, Ladislav Smid is suddenly on a tear.

On Friday, the Edmonton Oilers defenceman scored his second goal in less than a week in a 6-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

He now has more goals on the year than over half the players on the Oilers roster.

"I guess I got a little bit lucky tonight, it was a good pass by Gibby (Tom Gilbert)," smiled Smid. "Ebs (Jordan Eberle) finally went to the net and created a screen and I got a goal."

Smid scored the Oilers third goal of the contest, stepping into a shot from the point and blowing it past Blue Jackets goaltender Curtis Stanford.

At the time the goal gave the Oilers the lead in the contest, having battled back from a 2-1 deficit going into the third.

"This is the best he's played his entire career for us," said Oilers captain Shawn Horcoff. "I think he's started to figure the game out, he's started to simplify things. I think in the past, he tried to do a little too much and he'd get himself into trouble. This year he's gotten away from that, he's been physical, he's been great for us defensively and it's nice to see him chipping in offensively."

Smid scored his first goal of the season last Saturday in a loss, on the road, to the Colorado Avalanche. Prior to that, he had not scored since Dec. 5, 2009.

"Getting that first goal helped a lot, I'm a little more relaxed now," Smid said. "I didn't want to think about it too much. It's in your head a little bit and it was a great relief when I scored in Colorado.

"Last year, for whatever reason, I wasn't shooting the puck enough and I wasn't really getting involved in the offence. This year I told myself that I should be more involved there and that's what I'm trying to do."

derek.vandiest@sunmedia.ca

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