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Oilers place Nikolai Khabibulin on IR; Call up Martin Gerber

Nikolai Khabibulin

FILE - In this Oct. 24, 2009, file photo, Edmonton Oilers goalie Nikolai Khabibulin, from Russia, swats away the puck during an NHL hockey game against the Calgary Flames in Calgary, Alberta. Khabibulin is facing DUI and speeding charges in Arizona. Scottsdale police say an officer pulled over Khabibulin’s Ferrari shortly after midnight on Feb. 8 after the car was clocked at 70 mph in a 45 mph zone. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jeff McIntosh, File)


After a great start to the season, things have gone sour in Edmonton. The Oilers announced that they placed starting goalie Nikolai Khabibulin on the injured reserve because he is suffering from a groin injury. They need two goalies, though, so they called up veteran goalie Martin Gerber from the minors.

It’s unclear how long Khabibulin will be on the mend, but groin injuries can often take a long time to heal.

Perhaps the Oilers won’t miss the star-crossed Russian that much, though. He’s had his fair share of high moments, but lately he’s been awful. In the last four games, Khabibulin allowed 22 goals and was pulled from two of those contests. His overall record (4-10-1), 87.9 save percentage and 4.07 GAA fall well short of what one would expect from a highly paid goalie.

Edmonton now must rely on Gerber and Devan Dubnyk in net. You really never know in a league in which goalies seem to sprout up out of nowhere, but my guess is that the Oilers will find themselves with yet another lottery pick once this season is over.