Due to bad play, the Oilers bench Cody Ceci for the first time ever

Sam Jones
June 10, 2024  (10:23)

Oilers coach Knoblauch
Photo credit: David Bloom

As the Edmonton Oilers took to the ice for practice today, a significant change was evident: Cody Ceci is set to be a healthy scratch for the first time in his tenure with the Oilers.

The move comes after the Oilers' defensive struggles became apparent, particularly for the second pairing of Darnell Nurse and Cody Ceci, who were notably outplayed by the Florida Panthers in the first game of the series.
The Oilers are now poised to make strategic adjustments to their lineup as they head into a pivotal game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final.
Coach Kris Knoblauch has decided to introduce Desharnais to the lineup, a move seen as both bold and necessary.
The rest of the defensive pairings remain unchanged, a decision that Knoblauch hinted at in his press conference, reflecting his satisfaction with the performance of the other pairings. He expressed the delicate balance in managing the team's defense:
»We're always balancing on what's best for those two players, but also what's best for all 6 of our defenceman. As a coaching staff, we always have to make those decisions. Not easy. Sometimes you have to give a little to get something else.» - Kris Knoblauch

The integration of Desharnais could be particularly impactful against the Panthers, who are known for their aggressive forechecking. Desharnais, previously sidelined after struggling against the Dallas Stars, brings a style of play that could potentially disrupt the Panthers' offensive strategies.
Further adding to the Oilers' challenges, Evander Kane was notably absent from practice. This absence is critical as Kane, who has been dealing with a sports hernia throughout the playoffs, has been a key player for the team. The absence of his usual replacement in practice hints at a possible game-time decision regarding his participation.
With the series shifting to Florida for game 2 at 8:00 tonight, the Oilers are under pressure to secure a victory and regain momentum before returning to Edmonton. This lineup change, particularly the exclusion of veteran Cody Ceci, may just be the catalyst needed to ignite the team and enhance their performance in this critical phase of the playoffs.
JUNE 10   |   187 ANSWERS
Due to bad play, the Oilers bench Cody Ceci for the first time ever

Should the Oilers have started with seven defensemen instead of Ceci?

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