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Oilers coach Knoblauch
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Oilers coach Knoblauch updates Henrique injury and starting lineup

Published May 8, 2024 at 1:21 PM

Tonight at 8:00MT, the highly anticipated Oilers and Canucks second round playoff series will finally kick off. The Oilers will be missing first line forward Adam Henrique, and will be icing quite a different lineup tonight.

With Henrique out of the lineup in the top line, Coach Knoblauch is going to take a creative approach to filling his spot. Mattias Janmark will fill in to start, but it's expected that some other depth forwards like Dylan Holloway, Warren Foegele, and a few others may earn some looks with the top line. Even Connor Brown will be drawing into the lineup for his first game this playoffs, and may earn some looks on the top line as he did through this season. This could be a great solution for Knoblauch, and really get the depth players engaged early in the series.

The Oilers adept penalty killing has become a part of their identity under Kris Knoblauch, so having Henrique on the first line allowed the depth forwards some rest for special teams. Without Henrique, it may be a bit of a challenge to the penalty killing unit to be ready at all times.

How the Oilers will deploy their forwards with Henrique out with injury

Henrique is reportedly dealing with an injury to his leg, and the Oilersxhave provided no timeline for his return. Given the fact that his absence was initially described as a maintenance day, it's likely that Henrique is just day-to-day, and may be able to return later in this series.

However, the Oilers are in a fantastic position this year with quality and quantity in their depth players. After the AHL season concluded, the Oilers called up numbers players to serve as Black Aces and step into the lineup if needed. Henrique may be able to take his time to heal instead of coming back to play through an injury, because the Oilers have such quality depth options. Still, Henrique has been a great fit on the Oilers top line.

The Oilers won't be at full strength without Henrique, but the Canucks are still much more wounded without their starting goalie Thatcher Demko for the early portion of this series. Starting tonight on the road, the Oilers could jump on the Canucks early and take a commanding series lead back to Edmonton.
May 8   |   71 answers
Oilers coach Knoblauch updates Henrique injury and starting lineup

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