According to Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli, the injury that @Darnell Nurse is battling through over these last few weeks could be worse than expected.
While there’s little doubt that Nurse has been fighting injury throughout the NHL playoffs, Frank Seravalli is reporting this morning that the extent of what’s wrong could be much more serious than we initially imagined. Based on Frank’s sources, Nurse might actually be playing through a “core-muscle injury” that would not only be incredibly painful given the nature of the problem but could actually require offseason surgery to correct.
“So much attention has been focused on Draisaitl and his high-ankle sprain that the status of Nurse has been largely overlooked.
It’s entirely possible Nurse is the more banged up of the two, as he battles what sources indicate is a core-muscle injury that might require offseason surgery to repair.
Two of Edmonton’s three best players aren’t anywhere close to 100 percent.
Nurse failed to register a hit in Game 1 and appeared to be more tentative than usual, especially in and around his own net, where his physical presence is usually felt most. How could you expect him to be anything but if that is indeed the injury? Everything a player does – from skating, to leverage, to shooting, is generated and stabilized through the core.
If the eye test didn’t tell you enough, just look at the ice time.
Nurse averaged 25:03 in ice time this season. How reliable is he as a minute muncher? Last postseason, he famously and rather effortlessly played 62 minutes in a triple-overtime loss to the Winnipeg Jets. In Game 1 Wednesday night? He played just 18:08, his fewest minutes of the entire season save the April 22 game against Colorado (10:03) that he left early with an injury – the same one that caused him to miss the final four games of the regular season.”
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Combined with @Leon Draisaitl’s ankle injury which has clearly affected his overall explosiveness, the Oilers have two key players that are giving everything they can despite some major issues, and that means they’re going to need more help from their teammates. While there’s no doubt that having two of your best playing at less than 100% is a major problem, there is no room for excuses in the playoffs. If the Oilers are going to give themselves a chance to win this series, they’ll need to improve in almost every facet of their game and that will take everyone from the crease outward to take a major step forward.
As for what Nurse and Draisaitl are dealing with and still managing to play, I think Frank Seravalli said it best, “That these guys are even out there is amazing.”

DARNELL NURSE’S SEASON SO FAR

SeasonGPGAP+/-PIMPPGPPPSHGSHPGWGOTGSS%
2021-2022 Playoffs
7
1
1
2
4
16
0
0
1
1
0
0
12
8.3
2021-2022
71
9
26
35
18
54
0
6
2
3
0
0
203
4.4
NHL Career
477
54
138
192
38
406
2
28
2
5
6
3
1,124
4.8