There’s no disputing the offensive punch Justin Schultz has brought to the Edmonton Oilers.
In fact, the rookie defenceman has seven points through 13 games, which is one more than all six of the defencemen who will play for the Colorado Avalanche in Saturday night’s game at Rexall Place.
So when the smooth-skating Oiler misses two days of practice, questions follow.
Head coach Ralph Krueger figured there was a 98-per-cent certainty that Schultz, who has been bothered by back issues, would be in the lineup against Colorado.
Fellow defenceman Jeff Petry left Friday’s practice with a leg injury.
“It looked like he had a little tweak somewhere in his upper leg area,” said Krueger. “I can’t tell you anything more right now because we had to continue on with the practice so, hopefully, it’s nothing major.”
Meanwhile, Ryan Whitney is returning to the blue-line after sitting out the previous two games as a healthy scratch.
“I just want to play better. It’s pretty simple,” said Whitney. “I just want to stay in the lineup, so whatever I have to do to do that, it’s what I want to do.
“It’s been long enough for me. I’m looking forward to a fresh start.”
Krueger expects to see a much different game from Whitney, who may have played one of his better games in Detroit before he was benched.
Schultz a 98-per-cent certainty to play Saturday
Edmonton Journal | Feb 16