F (OT)
Leon Draisaitl with the Oilers
Photo credit: The Hockey News

Oilers revamp lines at practice with injuries to two top six forwards

Published May 9, 2024 at 3:23 PM

Last night the Edmonton Oilers had a crushing defeat to the hands of the Vancouver Canucks in game one. Even though the Oilers blew a 4-1 lead, the worst thing may be losing Leon Draisaitl.

Leon Draisaitl was absent from Oilers practice today after sustaining an apparent back injury last game. Sam Gagner took Draisaitl's line rushes as a placeholder during practice, which could suggest he may play game 2.

Additionally, Adam Henrique returned to practice today in a regular jersey, but didn't take part in consistent line rushes. Midway through practice, Henrique sat out on the bench chatting with the team doctor - not an overly positive sign for his return to the lineup.

In game one against the Canucks, Mattias Janmark took the most reps alongside the top line with Henrique out with injury. Coach Knoblauch is mixing that up now, promoting Warren Foegele to the top line spot in practice today. After blowing the 4-1 lead, Knoblauch's clearly looking to shake things up and spark the team. Henrique has fit in seamlessly on the top line and really allows the depth players to shine in their roles and on the penalty kill - so getting Henrique back as soon as possible is critical.

Oilers star Leon Draisaitl sustains apparent injury in game one against Canucks

Draisaitl left the game with an injury after taking a crosscheck from Tyler Myers in the second period. On the bench, Draisaitl looked like he was mentioning something about his back to the trainer, before leaving the game but returning in the third period.

After the game, Draisaitl wasn't made available to the media as the team explained he was being attended to by trainers. Coach Knoblauch explained Draisaitl's absence in the second period as dealing with cramping and equipment issues, but it wouldn't be out of protocol for a team to lie about injuries during the playoffs. Especially seeing Draisaitl take the cross check from Myers, it really doesn't look like a cramp bothering him.

Still, Oilers fans have seen Leon Draisaitl push through a high-ankle sprain in past playoffs to continue to be an elite offensive threat for the Oilers. Draisaitl clearly isn't 100% healthy anymore, but there's little doubt that he'll play through the pain to remain in the lineup for the Oilers.
May 9   |   120 answers
Oilers revamp lines at practice with injuries to two top six forwards

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

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