Ekholm with the Oilers
Photo credit: Edmonton Journal

Oilers receive bad news about Mattias Ekholm at practice

Published March 13, 2024 at 3:30 PM

Tonight the Edmonton Oilers will face off against Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals, and they'll be doing so at a disadvantage. Moments ago, the Oilers announced that Mattias Ekholm will likely be out of the lineup tonight with an illness.

Ekholm is officially listed as a game-time decision, still hoping that he can feel well enough to play in a few hours, but it's likely instead that Troy Stetcher will make his debut in the lineup after being acquired from the Arizona Coyotes at the trade deadline. Stetcher will likely serve as the team's seventh defenceman down the stretch and into the playoffs, so it's not the worst thing to give Ekholm the night off and keep Stetcher engaged.

It's not yet known what defence pairings the Oilers will run tonight without Ekholm, but it feels unlikely that Knoblauch would slot Stetcher next to Bouchard. It's an opportunity for the coach to experiment with the lineup tonight, and get ready to use different pairing possibilities if needed later in the season. It'll certainly be a test to miss arguably the best defenceman in Ekholm tonight, but hopefully he can take the time to recover, and the Oilers can test their new defensive depth.

March 13   |   934 answers
Oilers receive bad news about Mattias Ekholm at practice

Who's the best defenceman on the Oilers?

Mattias Ekholm63968.4 %
Evan Bouchard21723.2 %
Other788.4 %
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