GDB +7.0: Will Leon Draisaitl Play? (8pm MT, SNW)

Photo credit:Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Jason Gregor
1 month ago
In the NHL playoffs, your odds of getting an accurate injury update are as likely as finding the KFC original recipe.
Be sure to check out the latest NHL playoff odds with online sportsbook Betway.
To give you a better understanding, here’s a quick summary of the lengths Harland Sanders went to protect the original recipe from being copied.
This excerpt is from Historycollection.com. 
“The KFC Original Recipe was designed in the 1930s, and perfected by July 1940, by Harland Sanders in response to the popularity of the fried chicken offered at his gas station in Corbin, Kentucky. He removed the gas pumps and transformed his business into a restaurant and motel in the late-1930s. Sanders transitioned through several methods and flavors, shifting from pan frying (which he found to be too slow) to deep fat frying. He thought deep frying produced dry chicken, so he finally settled on using a pressure cooker and his now world-famous recipe consisting of 11 herbs and spices.
Beginning to franchise his chicken in the 1950s under the brand name “Kentucky Fried Chicken”, Sanders was fearful that other food outlets might copy his creation. Consequently, KFC instituted a strict policy of secrecy regarding the Original Recipe. Among the precautions taken was the division of the production of the recipe between multiple manufacturers and suppliers. Half was produced by Griffith Laboratories before being given to McCormick who provided the other half. Furthermore, the company refused to patent their creation, which would require the detailed identification of ingredients and limit ownership to an expiration date, instead opting for total secrecy to protect their brand. Today, a copy of the recipe is sealed inside a high-security safe at the KFC headquarters in Louisville, along with eleven vials containing the necessary herbs and spices.”
The NHL doesn’t have a high-security safe where they hide injury reports, but we know that in the playoffs teams will protect them. After game one the Oilers said Draisaitl missed the final 11 minutes of the second period “due to cramping and an equipment issue.”
He didn’t skate yesterday or this morning, but he spoke to the media at 12:45 MT, and said, “We’ll see how I feel (in warmup) and leave it at that.” Usually injured players don’t speak, so the fact he spoke, combined with Sam Gagner taking his spot in the lineup yesterday, leads me to believe he will play. That is just a guess, as I don’t have 100% confirmation he will play, but considering his ability to play through pain, like he did in the 2022 playoffs, I think he will go tonight. He doesn’t have a high ankle sprain like he did in 2022. On the TV broadcast it looked like his back was causing him discomfort, and backs are much more finicky than an ankle. Every movement can cause discomfort, so until we see him in warmup, we won’t know for sure if he plays.
If he doesn’t play, the Oilers can’t let it rattle them. Vancouver defeated Nashville without their starting goalie, Thatcher Demko, and beat the Oilers in game one. Draisaitl would be a huge loss, but one player shouldn’t derail a good team. The Oilers are a good team, and if their second-leading scorer, and best faceoff man is out, then others need to step up.
Edmonton needs more production throughout its lineup. Draisaitl and Zach Hyman have combined for 14 goals in six games. The rest of the forwards have scored eight goals with five coming at 5×5. The bottom six forwards have scored two goals 5×5 in six games. Dylan Holloway scored both in game two v. LA. The third line doesn’t have a goal at 5×5 thus far.
The Oilers don’t need a goal per game from their bottom six. If they can average between 0.5-0.7 goals/game at 5×5, which they did in the regular season, then that is good production. But so far, they are only at 0.33, and both goals came in one game. The Oilers’ defenders have three goals 5×5, which is very good production, but the bottom-six needs to get going, especially the third line.
McLeod and Perry have played together from game one. They have been sound defensively only allowing one goal against in six games. However, they haven’t been on the ice for one goal for either. They’ve combined for six shots on goal in 58 minutes together. They are capable of more, and tonight would be a good time to break out.




Foegele – McDavid– Hyman
Nugent-Hopkins – Draisaitl – Kane
Holloway – McLeod – Perry
Janmark – Ryan – Brown
Ekholm – Bouchard
Nurse – Ceci
Kulak – Desharnais
I’m assuming Draisaitl will play, but if he doesn’t then the above lines will look different. The other wildcard is Adam Henrique. He skated again this morning and will take warmup. Clearly he is close to returning as well, and if he does, then Connor Brown will likely come out of the lineup. Sam Carrick is also a possibility if they want more physicality.
If Henrique doesn’t play, look for Warren Foegele and Mattias Janmark to swap lines. Connor McDavid played 19+ minutes at 5×5 in game one. In 10:34 with Janmark they had four shots on goal. In the other 8:45 he had two shots. I have no issue moving Janmark down —we all know he isn’t a regular top-six forward —but any suggestion he was the reason McDavid was quiet has little data to back it up.
McDavid had a quiet night. It was his first playoff game without a shot on goal. In 55 playoff games he’s had at least two shots in 51 of them. Three of the four games with one shot or less have come this year, the other was when he was a rookie. McDavid is dealing with an injury that impacts his shooting and stickhandling. Even though he isn’t 100%, he can still dominate at 80-90%, and I expect a more impactful performance from him tonight.


Suter – Miller – Boeser
Joshua – Lindholm – Garland
Hoglander – Pettersson – Mikheyev
Di Giuseppe – Blueger – Lafferty
Hughes – Hronek
Soucy – Myers
Zadorov – Cole
No lineup changes for the Canucks. It will be interesting to see if they alter their approach in the offensive zone. Edmonton pressured their defence up high often. Will the Canucks continue to try and control the puck down low and on along the boards or will they look for more plays in the slot area tonight?


Photoshop: Tom Kostiuk
GAME DAY PREDICTION: Oilers even up the series with a much more energetic effort and win 5-3.
OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Draisaitl picks up two points to maintain his 2.00 points/game pace during this year’s playoffs.
NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Ryan McLeod and Corey Perry combine to each score their first point of the playoffs.

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