Klefbom Better, Pickard Does Garth, Utica Rescheduled

Photo by Steven Christy

‘Twas a big day in Oklahoma City Barons news in ways that only seem big when your beloved AHL team is far from the good graces of being the minor league power house we’ve known them to be in recent seasons. So we grasp for goodness whenever and from wherever it may come.

Today, via Oilers Now, Todd Nelson confirmed that Oscar Klefbom is dealing with a nagging upper body injury that remains stiff following practices. However, coach is hopeful he will play Thursday, but even more hopeful he dresses by the weekend.

This is huge for Oscar after a pretty average first three months of hockey. The young defender has been challenged to do a lot of things, but mainly to get more hungry on the boards, in deep, and on the wall. He’s done that very thing in brief hiccups, but not enough to warrant a call up nor any high praise from NHL GM Craig MacTavish.

The fear was that the injury was a continuation from previous shoulder malfunctions, and for now we will have to be content with the upper body injury report. More to come, I’m sure, but the hope is that Klefbom has had time to watch/listen/think about his game while healing that injury.

We’ve yet to have a Barons contracted goaltender who really embraced the city of OKC. That is until Chet Pickard got his lid painted. Have you seen this glorious, country music lovin’, baseball legend honoring display of awesomeness? Don’t worry, I’ve embedded it below for your enjoyment.

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Garth Brooks, the Yukon, Oklahoma native is seen in all his glory. Probably singing “Rodeo” or “Papa Loved Mama” or something like that. And the subtle Mickey Mantle tribute brings its “Oklahominess” into the next frontier. Well done, Chet, well done.

And finally, the Utica Comets are struggling to leave the Northeast and thus their tango with the Barons originally scheduled for Wednesday has been moved to Thursday. Good, I guess? The issue, as pointed out by @SoonerPenguin, is the Barons now play a home three-in-three (Utica, Charlotte, Charlotte). With those two squads just a smidge worse than OKC in the standing points, there was a legit shot that the Barons could extend their two game winning streak to five. The loss of a day isn’t difficult to overcome, but it would have been nice to have a 24 hour cushion.