We won’t know the official status of Connor McDavid until tomorrow morning, when GM Peter Chiarelli addresses the media, but it sounds like he injured his clavicle. “It will be long-term, he will be out for awhile,” said Todd McLellan after the game.
Here is what a sports doctor tweeted.
— David J. Chao, MD (@ProFootballDoc) November 4, 2015
TSN Insider Bob McKenzie wrote:
No official word on McDavid injury until Wed a.m. but it’s believed to be a fractured collarbone.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) November 4, 2015
It could have been worse, so McKenzie’s tweet might soften the blow in Oilersnation, but it is still devastating news for a team and fanbase that has seen this movie too many times.
It is disappointing, no doubt, but the Oilers can’t feel sorry for themselves. They need to respond they same way they did in the third period tonight versus the Flyers. They controlled the play, and scored three goals for another come-from-behind victory.
Taylor Hall finished the game with three points, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had two goals and Leon Draisaitl chipped in with two assists. That trio will need to carry the offence until McDavid returns.
The rest of the team will also need to rally and try to fill the offensive void left by McDavid. Injuries are a part of the game, and if the Oilers are going to be competitive in the future, or this season, they need to show they can compete without McDavid.
It won’t be easy, but they have no other choice. While no one centre will be able to replace McDavid’s production, certain forwards will need to step up.
Anton Lander could be promoted to the second line for the time being. Todd McLellan put him there in the third period, and he could keep him there instead of disrupting his first and third lines.
The Hall/RNH/Draisaitl trio is rolling, so keeping them together for now makes sense. The Hendricks/Letestu/Purcell trio was very good tonight as well, so keeping them in place makes sense.
Promoting Lander means Iiro Pakarinen can centre the fourth line for now. Nail Yakupov and Benoit Pouliot need to prove they can produce with McDavid.
When Jordan Eberle returns, which occur as early as Sunday, Mclellan can re-think his lines, and possibly move Drasaitl to the middle, but I’d be leery of moving him off the wing based on how well he has clicked with Hall and RNH.
Hall is on fire with 10 points in his last four games, and if the Oilers hope to stay close to the playoff cutoff spot he must continue to be the offensive driver of the team. He and RNH will likely be playing 21+ minutes a night for the foreseeable future.
The last thing the Oilers needed was another injury to one of their star players. It was an unlucky hockey play. It wasn’t cheap, dirty or vicious. He just lost an edge and crashed heavily into the boards. I don’t think anyone is to blame. This isn’t a “training” issue, or a lack of team toughness.
It is simply bad luck. Maybe it is a good thing the Oilers are leaving Rexall, because the organization has had a black cloud hanging over them for the past nine seasons, and a new arena might be exactly what this team needs to end the string of injuries that have plagued them since 2010.
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