MINNEAPOLIS - Edmonton Oilers winger Ryan Jones finally got his goal.
Jones has been given credit for the Oilers third goal scored Monday in a 5-3 loss to the Vancouver Canucks.
Originally the goal was credited to Corey Potter who shot the puck, which appeared to hit Jones on its way past goaltender Roberto Luongo.
“He showed me the mark on his pants where the puck hit him,” smiled Potter. “With his celebration, it had to have hit him.”
The goal goes down as Jones’s 12th on the season. Potter goes back from three to two.
At the time of the goal, the Oilers defenceman was not certain if the puck had hit something on its way to the net.
“The puck just kind of bounced to me in the slot and I had my head buried the whole way,” Potter said. “Then he went off in the corner pumping his fist.”
Considering Potter is on a one-year contract, the free-agent signing can use all the goals he can get trying to negotiate a new deal.
Jones is in the first year of a two-year deal signed in the off-season.
“I tried telling him that, but he doesn’t care,” joked Potter. “I have goals (to reach), too. I’m trying to get to five.”
Ladislav Smid wasn’t surprised his fellow Czech Republic countrymen were dominated by Canada Wednesday at the world junior hockey championships.
The Oilers winger, who played in three world junior championships, admitted it is tough for his country to compete against Canada at the junior level.
“Canada is the best country at developing junior players,” Smid said. “The CHL is the best junior league in the world.
“Sweden and Russia have a chance against them because lots of their young guys play in the senior league. The Czechs have some players that play in the CHL, but not a lot. They should make a rule in the Czech Republic where every team has to have at least two junior players on it like they do in Russia.”
Smid has a bronze medal to show for his participation in the tournament, won in 2007 in Grand Forks, North Dakota.
The Czechs lost to Sidney Crosby and Canada in the semifinal of that tournament before going onto knock off the United States in the bronze-medal game.
“That team was the best team Canada ever had at the world juniors,” Smid said. “But we only lost to them 3-1. They were all over us, though, and had about 65 shots on our goaltender, Marek Schwarz, who stood on his head.”
The Minnesota Wild called up some muscle for their encounter against the Oilers Thursday.
The Wild brought Matt Kassian up from their AHL affiliate in Houston.
Kassian arrived Thursday morning and was in the lineup that night, getting the better of Darcy Hordichuk in a second-period fight. The two went at it again at the start of the third period with a similar result.
In order to combat the Wild’s newly acquired toughness, the Oilers dressed both Hordichuk and Ben Eager for the contest. Lennart Petrell drew a spot in the press box.
Welcome back Colten
Colten Teubert was back in the Oilers lineup Thursday, having been recalled to take Alex Plante’s place in the lineup.
Teubert joined the team in Minnesota making the trip from Oklahoma City.
“I’m going to try and come in and fit in right away and make it like I never left,” Teubert said. “I just have to play simple and get my timing down right away. We have a few guys out and so I have to play solid.”
The Oilers are currently without the services of Ryan Whitney, Cam Barker, Andy Sutton and Plante, who suffered a concussion Monday in Vancouver after going into the boards face-first courtesy of Canucks winger Dale Weise.
The blue-line shortage in Edmonton is also affecting the Oilers’ affiliate in Oklahoma City which has had to go to the Central League and the ECHL to find warm bodies.
“Those guys have been stepping up down there, so kudos to them,” Teubert said. “Just like it’s an opportunity for me to come up here, it’s an opportunity for them, too.”
Teubert was playing in his 11th game of the season Thursday in Minnesota. He had been with the Oilers before Christmas but was sent back to the minors having been a healthy in four consecutive games.
The Oilers felt it was better for his development to play in Oklahoma rather than sit in the press box in Edmonton.
“I respect the coach’s decisions,” Teubert said. “Obviously I would love to be in the NHL full time, that’s every kid’s goal. But whatever they think is most productive for me, I understand and respect their decision.”