SUN Hockey Pool

Teubert back on Oilers bus

Colten Teubert has been called up from the Oklahoma City Barons. (Edmonnton Sun file)

Colten Teubert has been called up from the Oklahoma City Barons. (Edmonnton Sun file)

Derek Van Diest, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:09 AM ET

The situation on defence is getting critical.

With Alex Plante’s injury, the Edmonton Oilers have been forced to call up another body from their AHL affiliate in Oklahoma City.

Colten Teubert will join the club in Minnesota and is expected to be in the lineup when the Oilers take on the Wild Thursday.

“It was really unfortunate what happened to Alex,” said Oilers defenceman Ladislav Smid. “I thought it was a pretty dirty hit, but there is nothing we can do about it now, it is what it is. (Teubert) is going to get a chance now and we have to deal with that.”

Plante suffered a concussion after going into the board face-first courtesy of Vancouver Canucks winger Dale Weise.

The Oilers head into the game without Ryan Whitney, who is suffering from tendinitis in his ankle, and the suspended Andy Sutton. Cam Barker is also out recovering from ankle surgery.

That has forced the club to use Smid and Tom Gilbert extensively in the past few weeks.

“I’m not getting tired, that’s why I worked so hard in the summer,” Smid said. “I don’t go into the games thinking about how many minutes I’m going to play. I just go play hockey and try to win.

“Sometimes it’s hard to play so much when you’re out there killing penalties and when you’re trying to be physical. But that’s why you have the whole summer to train. It shouldn’t be an issue.”

Full-strength issues

Judging by the Oilers special teams, the club shouldn’t be that far down the standings and that close to falling out of the playoff race.

Yet due to the Oilers’ issues generating offence even strength, they are struggling despite having the third-best power play in the league and the eighth most efficient penalty-killing unit.

“Our five-on-five game needs to be better,” said Oilers captain Shawn Horcoff. “We need to do a better job of getting pucks to the net, getting more bodies there and really just trying to squeak some greasy goals. The best teams in the league do, and that’s the one area that we’re short on.”

Outside of the top line, Ryan Smyth is one of the few players who have been able to score five-on-five.

It’s the Oilers biggest concern heading out on a six-game road trip.

“Five-on-five we have a few guys that are struggling offensively,” admitted Oilers head coach Tom Renney. “But isn’t it interesting the way Smytty plays and where he goes to get his goals five-on-five? So I’m hoping that others will note that.”

derek.vandiest@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/SUNdvandiest


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