Draisaitl and Henrique to take warmups, both will be game time decision

Photo credit:© Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
1 month ago
One of the biggest questions on every Oilers fan’s mind right now is whether or not Leon Draisaitl will play in Game 2 after he left Wednesday’s contest for 10 minutes with what Kris Knoblauch described as “cramping” and “equipment issues.”
Kris Knoblauch didn’t give us much after the Oilers’ optional skate in Vancouver when the media asked for a status update on Leon Draisaitl’s availability for Friday’s rematch, but that’s not exactly surprising during the playoffs. While it would have been nice to get more certainty on his status, Draisaitl seems more likely to go than Adam Henrique based on the way the line rushes were put together at practice.
Unless the plan is really to run Sam Gagner as the second-line centre for Game 2 — Gagner was a placeholder for Leon at practice — then I would be surprised if #29 wasn’t in the lineup for Game 2. Regardless of what you think about Knobby’s explanation for Draisaitl’s temporary departure, many Oilers fans are understandably concerned about how bad this injury actually is.
When asked directly whether he’d play in Game 2, Draisaitl was coy: “Obviously, it’s an important time of year. We all want to be out there and be playing.” If I were a betting man—I am—I would guess that Draisaitl would play, and I also won’t be surprised if he has a better night even while battling an injury.
As for Adam Henrique, the Oilers’ major deadline acquisition hasn’t played since Game 5 against Los Angeles due to a lower-body injury, but he has been skating with his teammates over the last couple of days. Knoblauch said that Henrique would take the pre-game skate to determine whether he can go, but that seems unlikely, given that he only started practice with his teammates a couple of days ago.
Meanwhile, Warren Foegele was moved up to the first line next to Connor McDavid and Zach Hyman, leaving Mattias Janmark to slide back down to his rightful place on the fourth line. Regardless of what happens with the line combos, the Oilers know they have to be a whole lot better than they were in the series opener after a heartbreaking 5-4 loss.

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