The Edmonton Oilers are getting a left wing back when they take on the Florida Panthers on Tuesday. It just isn’t the one they’d prefer. Ryan Smyth will return to the lineup for the Oilers, while Taylor Hall remains on the sideline for the foreseeable future. Edmonton could certainly use Smyth’s bang-and-crash presence in the offensive zone, along with his leadership and tenacity.
He spoke to the official website of the Oilers about how he was feeling and whether or not he could go against Florida:
There’s a great deal of possibility. We’ve got a doc on the road and I’m sure he’ll assess me and give the okay but I felt really good and confident the last few practices. No nagging, no lingering so that’s a positive step.
Coach Dallas Eakins had Smyth skating on a line alongside Nail Yakupov and the recently returned Sam Gagne. The logic behind that trio seems pretty simple.
Get the youngster onto a line with two guys who have done and seen just about everything. So far the “kid line” approach hasn’t really yielded positive results for the Oilers, so getting some veterans back and into the mix is a positive.
While Smyth returns to the lineup, Edmonton may be without both David Perron and Justin Schultz. The injury carosel continues for the Oilers in what is quickly becoming a historically bad season for the franchise.