Oilers News & Rumors: Russell, Keith, Broberg, Draisaitl

According to Edmonton Oilers news and gossip, Kris Russell could break a record in the NHL on Saturday against the Vegas Golden Knights. Duncan Keith, the defenseman, is still questionable for Saturday’s game. This is both good and bad news. Philip Broberg has been a good player, but does that mean he is eligible to stay in the NHL if the Oilers are healthy? And what do Leon Draisaitl thinks his chances of scoring 50 goals in 50 games.

Russell sets to break the NHL Blocked Shots Record

Considering Russell entered the NHL as an offensive defenseman, it’s amazing to think about how an undersized blueliner completely reinvented his game to the point he’s likely to break the NHL record for blocked shots on Saturday night versus the Golden Knights.

Kris Russell, Edmonton Oilers. Oct. 21, 2017. (Amy Irvin/ The Hockey Writers

Russell is currently at 1997 blocks in 889 matches. Brent Seabrook holds the current record for 1998 blocks in 1134 matches. He was asked about the record heading into tonight’s action and hinted that he’s not paying close attention. “They keep bringing it up, asking if I’ve got it yet,” Russell laughed. “They’re usually the ones checking the game sheet to see how many I have.”

Russell might have taken longer to break the record, but because of injuries to Darnell Nurse and Duncan Keith, he’s getting big minutes playing regularly for the Oilers on their left side.

Keith Questionable Saturday

Keith still has an upper-body injury. He is listed as being day-to-day. This is both good and bad news. If he can’t go Saturday, the Oilers will have to try and beat a team that is starting to roll with a number of wins and do so without their top-three left-side defenseman. The good news is that this isn’t a long-term injury and Keith shouldn’t miss much more time.

Is Broberg entitled to stay?

Keith will soon be back in good health. The question of what happens to the Bakersfield call ups will be on the forefront. It’s likely William Lagesson goes down first between him and Philip Broberg. But what about Nurse? Is Broberg good enough to deserve a longer term?

Philip Broberg Oilers Draft
Philip Broberg (Edmonton Oilers), 2019 NHL Draft (Amy IrvinHockey Writers

The Oilers couldn’t have asked for more from Broberg in the time he’s been up here. It wasn’t expected he’d have to play this many minutes but he’s looked good in doing so and made an argument that perhaps his time is now. Allan Mitchell from [Update News] suggests that there might be an unexpected move. He writes: “It’s also possible Broberg will get sent back, but his fine performances with the Oilers might force a trade or waiver move (likely Koekkoek) or a trip to the injured list for Russell.

Related: Oilers Trade Targets in the Penguins Fire Sale

Mitchell mentions that Bakersfield could be the next option if the Oilers require more reinforcements on the left side.

Edmonton has a lot of defencemen and many more are coming to the door. It’s a good problem to have, and the Oilers have time to pick the best future available to them. Expect several auditions like the one we’re seeing in Edmonton with Broberg.

source – ‘Lowetide: The Oilers’ prospect pipeline has produced 2 call-ups on defence already this season. Who’s next?’ – Allan Mitchell – [Update News] – 11/27/2021

Draisaitl Chasing 50-in-50?

Draisaitl has been scoring 50 goals in 50 matches these days. This is an achievable goal and there have been questions about whether he will be able to achieve it this season. He was asked and responded that he didn’t think all of these goals would keep going in at the rate they are now.

“I thought that they were really good. They kept it simple & made the right plays when they were there.”
Draisaitl on the #Oilers depleted D corps rallying in the face of injury & more following tonight’s win in Arizona.
@Enterprise | #LetsGoOilers https://t.co/0uoI1k8BS9

He also noted that it’s not about the individual stats for him. He’s been there and done that and that he’s trying to help the team win games. His job as part of that formula is to score and he’s doing everything he can to help in his way. When asked about what he thought about the goal-per-game pace he’s on, he sarcastically laughed at the question suggesting there’s no way he’s ever going to score 82 goals in 82 games.