The Edmonton Oilers are getting healthy up front just in time to lose key players on the blue line. Defenseman Justin Schultz has yet to resume skating yet, and is unlikely to play against the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday or the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday. He’s been unable to hit the ice since leaving practice early last Friday.
It was reported by the Edmonton Sun that Schultz was experiencing discomfort in his rib area at that point. Today the Edmonton Journal reported that Schultz wouldn’t play because over the weekend because of a sore groin, so it’s unclear at this juncture what’s truly ailing the young defenseman.
Oil on the ice at Tampa Bay Times Forum. Only player on the trip not taking morning skate is Justin Schultz. pic.twitter.com/rBCJzoNcwC
— Tom Gazzola (@TomGazzola) November 7, 2013
While he’s been solid in the offensive zone, Schultz’s play in his own end has left much to be desired. He’s a minus-10 through 14 games this season and is on pace for a minus-57 year at his current rate of ineffectiveness.
That trend is hardly unique to Schultz though, as the Oilers have had severe issues playing defense since the beginning of the season.