Oilers ‘optimistic’ Evander Kane will be ready for Stanley Cup Finals

Edmonton Oilers Evander Kane
Photo credit:Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
15 days ago
Entering the 2024 playoffs dealing with a sports hernia, Evander Kane has managed to put together a solid playoff for the Edmonton Oilers.
He’s scored four goals and as many assists in 18 games, firing 35 shots on net. While his role on the team has found him on the Oilers’ third line, he — like so many others — has found ways to contribute.
But during Edmonton’s Game 6 against the Dallas Stars on Sunday night, Kane found himself on the ice for just 4:39, taking nine shifts. That’s because, with a little over five minutes left in the first period, Kane laid a heavy hit on Stars defenceman Alex Petrovic near the benches, causing him to hobble down the tunnel in clear discomfort.
He wouldn’t return in the first but took three shifts in the second period.
After the Oilers win, Oilers head coach Kris Knoblauch said his limited ice time was “injury-related.”
Fortunately, we got this week before we play on Saturday and we’re optimistic he’ll be playing on Saturday,” Knoblauch added.
The Oilers will surely need Kane at his best against the Panthers in what is shaping up to be a physical series. Throughout the playoffs, the Panthers have laid 8.66 hits per hour of ice time, taking back 9.39, while the Oilers have laid 6.23 hits per hour, taking 7.63.
Kane, meanwhile, ranks third on the Oilers in hits per hour, with 13.62, behind Dylan Holloway (15.7) and Sam Carrick (20.49). Florida has four players with higher rates than Kane: Sam Bennett (17.21), Steven Lorentz (18.58), Kyle Okposo (20.1), and Ryan Lomberg (31.2).
Game 1 between the two sides is still days away, so Kane and the Oilers will have ample time to rest and get ready.
Knoblauch said Sunday night the club would likely have a couple of days off before getting in a few practices — likely one on Wednesday — ahead of their travel to Florida.

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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