Oilers’ Draisaitl and Henrique considered ‘day-to-day’

Edmonton Oilers Leon Draisaitl
Photo credit:Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Michael Mazzei
1 month ago
A notable absence occurred at Thursday’s Edmonton Oilers practice, and Kris Knoblauch’s update was not encouraging.
This comes in the wake of Leon Draisaitl missing parts of Game 1 with what was later described as cramping and equipment issues. While he was able to return for the third period, the fact that the ailment continues to bother him over a day after the game is not good because the Oilers will need him to be healthy and productive to have any chance of going far in the playoffs. It is certainly possible he could be cleared in time for tomorrow’s game, but this is one to keep an eye on at the very least.
Adam Henrique already missed Game 1 due to an ankle injury that was aggravated during Game 5 against the Kings, leaving his status for Game 2 up in the air. He was a participant at Thursday’s practice but took in the line rushes with team doctors on the bench. This does not bode well for his chances to play on Friday night, but things can quickly change after some sleep so who knows.
As a result of Draisaitl not skating and Henrique slotted as an extra, Knoblauch adjusted the lines as seen in the tweet above. The most notable change here is Warren Foegele moving up to the top line while Mattias Janmark returns to the fourth line. This can be chalked up to a lateral move as both got to around the same TOI in Game 1 and this is merely to have the least amount of disruption for Connor McDavid and Zach Hyman.
An interesting thing to note is that Sam Gagner was skating on the second line, which likely indicates that he was acting as a placeholder for Draisaitl. It is fair to assume that the Oilers are acting under the assumption that Draisaitl can play tomorrow because these lines would look a whole lot different if that were not the case.
Should he be cleared to play, the swap of left-wingers between the first and fourth line will be the only change Knoblauch makes from what he used in Game 1. No matter how they end up shaking out, it is clear that a better effort will be needed because they were not good enough in the latter stages, resulting in the Oilers blowing a 4-1 lead.
Edmonton will look to even the series in Game 2 on Friday. You can catch the action on Sportsnet, with puck drop scheduled for 8 p.m. MDT.

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