Oilers make Cody Ceci a healthy scratch for Game 2 amid other potential lineup changes

Edmonton Oilers Cody Ceci
Photo credit:Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
1 month ago
For the first time since Cody Ceci signed as a free agent with the Edmonton Oilers in the summer of 2021, he will be a healthy scratch.
It comes amid another lineup shuffle for the Oilers in the Stanley Cup Finals, following a 3-0 loss in Game 1 in which they dominated play. While the Oilers failed to beat Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, two costly defensive mistakes resulted in goals against—both of which came with Darnell Nurse and Ceci on the ice.
During Tuesday’s morning skate at Amerant Bank Arena, Ceci skated with Phillip Kemp on the de facto fourth pair, while Nurse skated with Vincent Desharnais.
Ceci’s struggles have been notable this season for the Oilers, and most of those have come with him on a pairing with Nurse. With Ceci on the ice at 5v5 in these playoffs, the Oilers have been outscored 14-7 with Ceci on the ice, and 12-4 when paired with Nurse.
But that doesn’t appear to be the only lineup change for the Oilers, as Evander Kane wasn’t on the ice during the morning skate. Adam Henrique, as highlighted by Bob Stauffer above, skated on the Oilers’ second line in his place as Sam Carrick centred the fourth line. While Kane hasn’t been in any morning skates this spring, TSN’s Ryan Rishaug noted that there wasn’t a placeholder for the winger in the lineup.
In the case of Carrick, Knoblauch called him a game-time decision, leaving potential lineup changes up in the air. Kane, meanwhile, said Tuesday morning he will be in the lineup.
Kane was open about dealing with a sports hernia ahead of the playoffs, and in Game 6 against the Dallas Stars, he skated for just 4:39 in the game. That’s because, with a little over five minutes left in the first period, he laid a hit on Stars defenceman Alex Petrovic near the benches, hobbling down the tunnel shortly thereafter.
Oilers head coach Kris Knoblauch said the club was optimistic that Kane would be ready for Game 1, and he was. He took 20 shifts and played 15:22. He had two hits in the game and no shots on goal.
Kane has been gutting it out for the team in these playoffs, but his ice time has dipped around a minute and a half on average from his regular season totals. In 19 games, he’s scored four goals and eight points, including a stretch since Game 7 against Vancouver in which he’s scored just one assist in eight games.

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.

Check out these posts...