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Allegedly for game 2, the Oilers will make a big defensive shift


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Sam Jones
June 10, 2024  (10:23)
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Cody Ceci
Photo credit: Allan Mitchell

Vincent Desharnais appears poised to make his return to the ice tonight, after missing several games since Game 3 against the Stars.

Sparking discussions around the Oilers' lineup strategy as the Stanley Cup Final intensifies. This morning, TSN's Darren Dreger broke the news, highlighting the ongoing adjustments within the team's roster.
The gap left by Desharnais was briefly filled by Philip Broberg, who has notably exceeded expectations. Broberg's standout performance has complicated the decision-making for Coach Knoblauch, who now faces the challenge of either adjusting his lineup of defensemen or opting to deploy seven in tonight's game.
The defensive dynamics have further been strained by the performance of the team's depth forwards, especially in penalty killing roles. There is speculation that Knoblauch might make a bold move by replacing Cody Ceci with Desharnais.
Ceci has struggled with basic puck-moving plays, an area where Desharnais has traditionally excelled, providing low-risk defensive maneuvers that are currently lacking from other players, including Darnell Nurse. Yet, the high stakes of scratching a player with a $9.25M salary during the finals are immense.
Historically, Desharnais has been effective against the Panthers, using his formidable physical presence to disrupt their forechecking strategies.
His performance earlier in the season against Florida showcased his ability to leverage his size and strength, adding a robust defensive layer that the Oilers might reintegrate to enhance their gameplay tonight.
As the Oilers prepare for tonight's crucial game, the potential re-introduction of Desharnais could serve as a strategic pivot, aiming to capitalize on his physicality and defensive acumen to counter the Panthers' aggressive play style.
With the team at a critical juncture, every decision could tilt the scales, and Edmonton's coaching staff is undoubtedly weighing their options with careful consideration.
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Allegedly for game 2, the Oilers will make a big defensive shift

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