Oilers’ Connor McDavid out, Troy Stecher in for Friday game against Coyotes

Edmonton Oilers Connor McDavid
Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
22 days ago
Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid says he will likely not be in the lineup for the club’s Friday night game against the Arizona Coyotes.
McDavid, who sits one assist short of becoming the fourth player in NHL history to have 100 assists in a season, told reporters the morning ahead of the game he and the club are taking his injury “day-by-day.”
“I feel good, probably won’t go tonight, but I’m feeling good,” McDavid said. “I want to feel at my best and that’s not the case tonight.”
The Oilers’ 130-point man was injured last Saturday night against the Flames. He said he aggravated something that had been nagging. He was skating Friday for the first time since that game, looking sharp on his skates, with nothing noticeable ailing him.
“(I’m) extremely confident it’s something that will turn the corner quick, and be ready to roll,” he said.
McDavid missed the team’s Wednesday night game against the Vegas Golden Knights, but the consistently strong Oilers were able to roll, securing a 5-1 win. On Thursday, Oilers head coach Kris Knoblauch offered a promising update on the superstar, saying that if that game were in the playoffs, McDavid would’ve been in the lineup for the team — a sentiment he echoed Friday.
“The biggest picture is how he is going into the playoffs,” said Knoblauch, adding the fact the Oilers play back-to-back games Friday and Saturday plays into deciding when McDavid would play. “Right now, if this was the playoffs, he would be playing, but we just want to make sure this is cleared and good to go.”
With all signs pointing toward McDavid being out of the lineup, Knoblauch said defenceman Cody Ceci would be out of the lineup for the game against Arizona. Troy Stecher will draw into the lineup for him.
“I think this is a good time,” he said. “We wanted to get Stech in sometime this week, obviously playing against an old team, but also, Cody, again, could play again tonight, but I think it’s just best to give him a little bit of a rest.”
The Oilers have a busy end to their regular season, playing five games in the next seven nights. They host the Coyotes Friday, the Vancouver Canucks Saturday, and the San Jose Sharks next Tuesday, before a back-to-back road trip through Arizona and Colorado next Wednesday and Thursday.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@thenationnetwork.com.

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