Although only one of them will probably play against the Montreal Canadiens tonight, the Edmonton Oilers should have two important players suit up for them for the first time in a while tonight. Playmaking winger Ales Hemsky will play after missing three games due to a groin injury while Oilers goalie Nikolai Khabibulin is planning on suiting up but Devan Dubnyk is expected to start, according to NHL.com.
As is often the case when a player comes off the injured reserve, someone needs to go. That would be goalie Martin Gerber, who has been demoted to the AHL even though he went 2-0 with a 95 save percentage.
Arpon Basu reports that Hemsky will skate on a line with Sam Gagner and Magnus Paajarvi, but coach Tom Renney said he will manage the talented passer’s ice time.
Edmonton’s Martin Gerber was under fire all night long from the Colorado Avalanche. Gerber stopped 35 shots en route to a 3-2 win. While it was Taylor Hall’s goal with just under 30 seconds left in the third period that lifted the Oilers to victory, it would be Gerber’s save on Ryan O’Reilly in the third that would ensure that Edmonton would have their chance to win the game later on.
The play starts with Daniel Winnik getting a turnover at the blue line and giving it up to O’Reilly. O’Reilly would go in with a full head of steam on Gerber and seemingly had him dead to rights, but Gerber came up with a stop flush with equal parts luck and skill.
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Whether you’re interested for fantasy hockey reasons or just want to know which goalie your team is playing in a given day, we thought it might be helpful to share our best guesses (based on various previews from newspapers and Web sites plus our own instincts) on who might start each day.
9:00 pm ET
Colorado @ Edmonton
Colorado’s starting goalie: Peter Budaj will start tonight. With Craig Anderson leaving last night’s game with a groin injury, it’ll be up to Budaj to hold off the young Oilers attack. (Source)
Edmonton’s starting goalie: Martin Gerber will make his first NHL start since April 11, 2009. Gerber was recalled to Edmonton when Nikolai Khabibulin went down with an injury and since then he’s been backing up Devan Dubnyk. Dubnyk gets a needed night off and now it’s up to the veteran Gerber to get it done tonight.
After a great start to the season, things have gone sour in Edmonton. The Oilers announced that they placed starting goalie Nikolai Khabibulin on the injured reserve because he is suffering from a groin injury. They need two goalies, though, so they called up veteran goalie Martin Gerber from the minors.
It’s unclear how long Khabibulin will be on the mend, but groin injuries can often take a long time to heal.
Perhaps the Oilers won’t miss the star-crossed Russian that much, though. He’s had his fair share of high moments, but lately he’s been awful. In the last four games, Khabibulin allowed 22 goals and was pulled from two of those contests. His overall record (4-10-1), 87.9 save percentage and 4.07 GAA fall well short of what one would expect from a highly paid goalie.
Edmonton now must rely on Gerber and Devan Dubnyk in net. You really never know in a league in which goalies seem to sprout up out of nowhere, but my guess is that the Oilers will find themselves with yet another lottery pick once this season is over.