To say that it’s not ideally suited the Edmonton Oilers shall be with out their three common left-side defensemen as they tackle the Arizona Coyotes on Wednesday evening is an understatement. It’s dangerous sufficient when the top-pair defenseman goes down. It’s worse when your second-pair blueliner, slotted to tackle the minutes left behind by the primary’s absence, goes down a few video games later.
All that mentioned, there are a couple of positives to remove from the information that Darnell Nurse is out with a damaged finger, Duncan Keith is out with an upper-body harm and Slater Koekkoek is on the IR with a lower-body harm.
The Accidents Aren’t Mentioned to Be Critical
Regardless of a damaged finger, Nurse’s harm received’t require surgical procedure. Meaning he’s solely anticipated to be out a couple of weeks and the variety of video games he’ll miss shall be minimal contemplating how dangerous the information may have been. The identical goes for Keith who’s listed on the Oilers official web site as day-to-day. The severity of Slater Koekkoek’s harm isn’t as nicely documented however the Oilers have gamers who can fill in whereas he’s away.
Protecting in thoughts that Keith’s harm may not be dominated severe, however remains to be a query mark due to his age, all of this might have been a lot a lot worse and the Oilers have banked a lot of factors early within the season. This offers them a little bit of cushion to not panic and know they’ll nonetheless be within the playoff combine, even when they go on a little bit of a shedding streak.
This Is an Alternative for Kids and the Depth
Once you’re compelled to play your depth and rookies as your top-three choices, all you are able to do in case you’re head coach Dave Tippett and normal supervisor Ken Holland is hope that your younger guys and veterans step up. On this case, the Oilers will want Kris Russell to play above his weight class and for Philip Broberg to indicate he’s prepared, far prior to the Oilers anticipated to ask him to tackle an even bigger function. It’s actually attainable they each carry out nicely.
Broberg has appeared good within the two video games and led the Oilers in photographs on web Tuesday evening versus the Stars. Whereas feeding him to the perfect gamers within the NHL on a nightly foundation isn’t ideally suited, there’s no higher solution to discover out if he’ll sink or swim. Russell can play larger minutes. It’s not what you need frequently, however he’s a stable shot-blocker and he’s obtained 888 NHL video games on his resume.
Associated: NHL Rumors: Oilers, Sharks, Golden Knights, Maple Leafs, Flyers
The Oilers will ask William Lagesson to step up and so they is likely to be compelled to name on the companies of a participant like Dmitri Samorukov. Lagesson has performed some NHL video games and Samorukov has appeared good when wholesome. Can every participant rise to the duty? It’s truthful to imagine they’ll till confirmed in any other case.
One of many keys right here is that the remainder of the roster involves assistance from their protection greater than they’ve previously. For the Oilers to battle via this window with out their top-three left-side choices, it can take a staff effort and assist from the forwards to chop down the possibilities towards. That too is an effective lesson to be taught early within the season.
Holland Now Is aware of What He Wants
Even when Keith is out one or two video games and Nurse is again in a few weeks, it must be clear to Holland that the left facet will want addressing previous to the playoffs. There’s no higher solution to power a GM to have a look at what’s lacking than to remove what you had.
Keith has performed nicely, however there have been legit considerations about how wholesome he’d keep if he performed too many minutes. Getting injured on typical D-to-D go screams realizing an harm can occur with this participant at any second. Nurse has been excellent however he’s performed so many minutes there was an underlying query about what would occur if he couldn’t play as a lot as he was. Dropping Koekkoek isn’t an enormous concern, till, in fact, you lose your Plan A and Plan B.
It’s clear the left-side of this Oilers’ blue line wants an additional physique, even when wholesome. If these accidents have informed Holland and the Oilers something, it’s that they need to in all probability begin trying across the league and making an inventory of gamers who they need to goal within the coming months. Having that data now’s helpful.
Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance author, part-time journalist and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL information and rumors, whereas additionally writing options on the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted supply for five-plus years at The Hockey Writers, however greater than that, he’s on a mission to maintain readers updated with the most recent NHL rumors and commerce discuss. Jim is a every day should for readers who need to be “within the know.”
For interview requests or to supply content material information, observe Jim on Twitter or his social media accounts. They seem underneath his picture on articles like this one.