Photo credit: Curiocity.com

Oilers shake up playoff lineup after losing two top forwards to injury

Published May 9, 2024 at 6:26 PM

Last evening's clash saw the Edmonton Oilers surrender a three-goal lead, falling 4-1 to the Vancouver Canucks in a startling game one defeat.

This loss was compounded by the potential sidelining of star player Leon Draisaitl due to an apparent back injury, raising concerns about his availability for the remainder of the series.

In the aftermath of the game, Draisaitl was notably absent from today's practice, stirring speculation about his condition. The sight of Sam Gagner taking his place during line rushes suggests a contingency plan is in motion, possibly preparing him to step in for game two if Draisaitl remains sidelined.

Adding to the Oilers' challenges, Adam Henrique's participation in today's practice was limited. Although he donned a regular jersey, his engagement was inconsistent, and a mid-practice consultation with the team doctor did little to quell worries about his immediate return.

As the team regroups, Coach Knoblauch appears intent on shaking up the lineup in response to last night's collapse. Warren Foegele was elevated to the top line in practice, a move reflecting the urgency to ignite a spark within the team. Henrique's swift recovery remains pivotal; his synergy with the top line not only bolsters the Oilers' offensive thrust but also enhances the depth players' effectiveness, particularly in penalty-killing scenarios.

Concerns Mount Over Draisaitl's Health

The incident that likely led to Draisaitl's condition occurred during the second period when he absorbed a harsh crosscheck from Tyler Myers. Although he briefly returned to play, his movements were clearly hampered, and he was conspicuously absent from post-game media interactions. The team cited "cramping and equipment issues" as reasons for his disappearance during the game, though such explanations during the playoffs often mask more serious injuries.

Oilers fans are no strangers to Draisaitl's resilience; he has previously battled through significant injuries to remain a formidable force on the ice. Despite the current uncertainty surrounding his fitness, there is little doubt regarding his determination to compete, potentially pushing through pain to support his team's playoff ambitions.

The Oilers face a critical juncture as they prepare for game two. The potential adjustments in their lineup and strategies will be crucial as they aim to rebound from an unsettling start to the series. The team's ability to adapt and overcome adversity will not only test their depth but also their resolve in pursuit of playoff success.
May 9   |   89 answers
Oilers shake up playoff lineup after losing two top forwards to injury

Do you think Leon Draisaitl will be able to play through injury and be in game 2 for the Oilers?

Yes, for sure6067.4 %
No, sit out for now2528.1 %
See Results44.5 %
Latest 10 stories