The Edmonton Oilers are on a long break before they square off against the Ottawa Senators Friday, but they didn’t get much time off.
Following a lacklustre 5-0 loss to the Winnipeg Jets Monday, the Oilers were put through a hard practice Wednesday. The team had an off day on Tuesday, and were put to work the following morning by head coach Todd McLellan.
"“I don’t look at today being a bad day or a wasted day of conditioning. We got a lot out of practice as well, but it’s what we do with it. Teams have to be reminded, especially early in the year, it’s tough to win. Other teams are going to be ready for you and if you get outworked, you’re guaranteed to lose.” – Todd McLellan to the media following Wednesday’s skate."
What to Know
Leon Draisaitl was absent from practice with a swollen eye after he was hit in the eye with either a puck or stick in the loss to Winnipeg. He will return to the ice when the swelling goes down, and it should not keep him out of action against Ottawa, according to Jack Michaels. Drake Caggiula remains day-to-day.
Ryan Strome was moved to the first line wing in place of Draisaitl, and Kailer Yamamoto returned to the second line RW. In addition, Mark Letestu skated as the third-line centre between Jussi Jokinen and Zack Kassian, and Jujhar Khaira took his spot on the fourth line.
Despite strong starts to the year from Connor McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, the Oilers need a stronger effort from their players. The defence has struggled since shutting down Calgary in the season opener, and now, needs to improve and prevent leaving Talbot out to dry.
The Oilers won’t face the Senators until Saturday and may face a Craig Anderson, who has been outstanding of late when facing Edmonton. Erik Karlsson is out with injury and will not play against Edmonton.