February 11, 2013
Edmonton Oilers forward Ryan Smyth taking a lot of ill-timed penalties

Ryan Smyth has been racking up a bunch of minor penalties in reccent games but head coach Ralph Krueger sees it as a team issue. (Perry Nelson, Edmonton Sun)

Ryan Smyth managed to get through a whole team meeting and an entire optional skate Monday without taking a single minor penalty.

A good day, it was.

Better than his last few trips to the rink, anyway.

Smyth is no threat to Steve Smith’s team record for penalty minutes in a season (286), but he has been serving enough ill-timed hooking and slashing minors lately to make Ethan Moreau blush.

He took a season-high three Sunday in Columbus, two of them in the offensive zone, for a total of six in the last four games.

That’s interference, tripping, hooking, hooking, slashing and slashing, if you’re keeping score at home. Throw in a misconduct for bitching about one of them and you can guess how his week went.

“It’s not my intent to go out there and put myself in front of the team,” said the 35-year-old veteran, as the Oilers readied themselves for Tuesday’s rematch with Dallas. “You get a little bit of energy built up and you want to compete.