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With Skinner testing positive and going on the NHL’S COVID protocol list for five days, it’s now Mikko Koskinen’s net against the league’s best team, the Florida Panthers, Thursday night at Rogers Place
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Jim Matheson • Edmonton Journal Edmonton Oilers speaks to the media after practice on Monday, Jan. 17, 2022 in Edmonton. Photo by Greg Southam /Postmedia
Dave Tippett went to bed Sunday night with the feeling goalie Stuart Skinner wasn’t going to being catching any pucks this week because he’s caught COVID-19 instead.
<p> This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below. </p> <h2>Article content</h2> <p>And so it is that Skinner has joined the COVID parade.</p> <p>“I got a heads-up that there might be an issue with his test. That’s the world we’re living in,” said the Edmonton Oilers coach, who started the red-hot farmhand against Ottawa Saturday, with Skinner just fine through the first 40 minutes, before he gave up four goals on 12 shots in the third period to the Ottawa Senators.</p> <p>With Skinner testing positive and going on the NHL’S COVID protocol list for five days, it’s now Mikko Koskinen’s net against the league’s best team, the Florida Panthers, Thursday night at Rogers Place.</p> <p>Taxi-squadder Ilya Konovalov, who was in COVID isolation earlier, will back up with Mike Smith (partial tendon tear in his thumb), not practising with the main group.</p> <h2>Advertisement</h2> <p> This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below. </p> <h2>Article content</h2> <p>“Smith skated earlier with (goalie coach) Dustin (Schwartz) without using his hand much, trying to stay in shape. I don’t know when he’ll be available,” said Tippett.</p> <p>Smith’s return is TBD—one week, two? Just as it is with forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who suffered a lower-body injury on New Year’s Eve in New Jersey. He’s missed four games.</p> <p>“Nuge skated too (before practice) but there’s no timeline for his return. Good sign he’s on the ice but they (medical staff) haven’t said definitively what we’re shooting for (return),” said Tippett.</p> <h3>MOVING CHAIRS AROUND</h3> <p>Brendan Perlini, who has three goals and an assist in his last six games, including one against Matt Murray in the Ottawa loss, found himself on Connor McDavid’s left-wing with Kailer Yamamoto on right for Monday’s practice. Upward mobility for sure because Perlini only played eight shifts (5:23) against the Senators.</p> <h2>Advertisement</h2> <p> This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below. </p> <h2>Article content</h2> <p>“He’s (McDavid) the best player in the world, you just try to get the puck in his hands. I’ve been around long enough … I played in Chicago with (Patrick) Kane and (Jonathan) Toews. You try to play your game too,” said Perlini.</p> <p>“I’m not doing anything outlandishly different from earlier in the year, just buzzing around and shooting. You just get the odd one that goes in. Sometimes at this level, you’re under the microscope, so scrutinized. End of the day it’s hockey. Play like you’re on the pond. Have fun.”</p> <p>Perlini had six goals in exhibitions to get a spot on the team, but cleared waivers and was sent to the minors six weeks ago before being recalled with COVID team issues.</p> <p>“He doesn’t need a lot of opportunities to score, trying to find a mix of a line there,” said Tippett, who had Leon Draisaitl on left wing against Ottawa but will have him centering for Zach Hyman and Jesse Puljujarvi against Florida.</p> <h2>Advertisement</h2> <p> This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below. </p> <h2>Article content</h2> <p>Perlini is a glass half-full guy, always looking at the positive. He’s been willing to play on the fourth line, with no complaints, no matter how many minutes. As he often says there are guys he knows doing far more difficult work than him. Life and death work, people in the military.</p> <p>“I have a buddy Tommy, a Navy Seal for 15 years. He says the usual term is three to four years. He’s done 15. They’re the elite of the elite and their consequence is death. If I miss a pass or a shot, I still get to wake up the next day and go to the rink or work out. That relieves the mental ease,” he said.</p> <p>This ‘n that: Oilers assistant coach Glen Gulutzan’s COVID-19 journey is finally over. He got it in New York on the last trip, isolated there, then flew to Calgary and had to quarantine. He was freed Sunday … Oiler GM Ken Holland has assembled his scouts for meetings in California this week…The Panthers have taken 17 of 18 points over the last nine games and scored 54 goals in that span. They’re plus-49 on the goals for and against … Oilers defenceman Kris Russell (shoulder against Boston Dec. 9) is still technically on long-term injury status but looks like a player for the Panthers, playing with Evan Bouchard at Monday’s practice. He took a shot off his leg in a drill, but when you’ve stopped an NHL record 2,000 of them in games, what’s one more? Slater Koekkoek and William Lagesson were the seventh and eighth defencemen … Russia’s initial invite list for their Olympic team has ex-Oiler Anton Slepyshev (CSKA) and fellow winger Anton Burdasov, who played a couple of exhibition games here a few years ago, on it … Oilers farmhands Adam Cracknell and Brad Malone are on the preliminary list for coach Claude Julien’s team for Beijing … Best player nobody knows about because he plays in Florida: Jonathan Huberdeau, who has 21 points in his last 10 games. The winger has the most assists (38) in the NHL, and is third in scoring with 53 points. He would have been on Connor McDavid’s line on Canada’s Olympic team … Ex-Oiler Dominik Kahun never got a sniff in free-agency this past summer but is sixth in scoring in the Swiss National League, so he’ll probably get another NHL look next season.</p> <h2>Share this article in your social network</h2> <ol></ol> <h2>Advertisement</h2> <p> This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below. </p> <img alt="Edmonton Sun Headline News logo" height="80" src="https://storage.googleapis.com/pmd-stage-northamerica-northeast1-dcs-static-files/9.3.0/websites/images/newsletters/logo/newsletter-envelope.svg" width="97" /> <p>Sign up to receive daily headline news from the Edmonton SUN, a division of Postmedia Network Inc.</p> By clicking on the sign up button you consent to receive the above newsletter from Postmedia Network Inc. You may unsubscribe any time by clicking on the unsubscribe link at the bottom of our emails. 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