Evander Kane doing an interview after practice.
Photo credit: Edmonton Oilers YouTube

Oilers' Evander Kane has very short response when asked about scratch

Published March 26, 2024 at 1:11 PM

Oilers forward Evander Kane has been taking some heat lately, and was made a late scratch last game for maintenance. When asked about the scratch, Kane had a very short response.

Although coach Knoblauch explained Kane's scratch as maintenance, everyone was reluctant to believe that. Kane was seen having an argument on the bench with Draisaitl against the Leafs, and he's been mired in a 16 game goal drought. He is dealing with some nagging injuries that he can play through, but the scratch felt like it was about performance, not maintenance. When asked about missing last game, Kane kept his answers very short. He only said that he feels good, and that he guesses the maintenance day helped.

In an interview with Mark Spector in January, Kane let on that it was tough to see his ice time and opportunities declining. He's clearly unhappy with it, but realizes now isn't the time to complain - the less he says, the better.

Honestly, I've never had this level of opportunity ever in my career. Not even my rookie year. For me right now, less is more — what comes out of my mouth.
-Evander Kane, January 2024

His response to the scratch yesterday feels very similar to the comments made in January, leading more credence to the idea it was a performance related scratch - and Kane may not be so happy with the decision. In the rest of the interview Kane was happy to talk about the team and excited for the stretch run, he just wishes things were better for him individually right now.

Now returning to the lineup tonight outside of the top-six again, Kane really just has to find a way to quiet the noise and play his best game. When he's at his best, Kane is a high-impact player for the Oilers and critical for their success as an elite power forward. Right now, he's not playing with that level of intensity or making an impact on the scoresheet, and he deserved to sit for a game.

In the next few weeks, it needs to be a priority for the Oilers and coach Knoblauch to get Kane going again, and have him find his game for the playoffs.
March 26   |   405 answers
Oilers' Evander Kane has very short response when asked about scratch

Should Kane be playing in the top six?

Yes, he's talented and needs the ice time20550.6 %
No, not if he doesn't deserve it18244.9 %
See Results184.4 %
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