Report: Justin Schultz to be healthy scratch versus Preds

27 Comments

A “mind-numbing” change that led to a goal Tuesday in Dallas has reportedly landed Oilers defenseman Justin Schultz in the press box for tonight’s game in Nashville.

That was the phrase Edmonton coach Dallas Eakins used to describe the long second-period change, at least.

“I don’t even know what to say about it,” an angry Eakins uttered following the 3-2 loss, the Oilers’ seventh straight defeat. “It’s mind-numbing that at this level we would try to change there.”

Here’s the goal, by Tyler Seguin:

Of course, it’s not just that one change that has Schultz in Eakins’ doghouse. The 24-year-old’s defensive play has been increasingly criticized as the Oilers’ struggles have worsened.

You may recall that, in August, GM Craig MacTavish said Schultz had “Norris Trophy potential.” Hence, the significance of tonight’s healthy scratching of a player that’s appeared in all 22 games this season and leads the team in ice time.

Yesterday, the Oilers called up d-man Oscar Klefbom from the AHL. At the time, the move raised some eyebrows, with some wondering if a trade was imminent. But now we know that’s not the case.

Well, not yet anyway.

Related: Why are the Oilers still bad? Look at their drafting