The Edmonton Oilers have been lacking offensively, but may find a solution sooner rather than later with the return of two of their injured forwards.
Drake Caggiula and Leon Draisaitl are both traveling with the team on their Eastern Conference road swing, and have returned to practice with the team. As they continue to skate and recover, both could return to the lineup against Pittsburgh Tuesday.
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Head coach Todd McLellan told reporters Monday that both Caggiula and Draisaitl are “questionable” to return against the Penguins, but he “anticipates” that both will be cleared to play and that neither of them are guaranteed to suit up.
Still, this is a good sign, and it seems optimistic that both will make their return to the lineup, and at a much-needed time. The Oilers have the second-worst offensive output in the league so far, with just two goals per game on average. Not only that, their power play has a success rate of around 16.7 percent, which is far from impressive. So hopefully, with these players returning, Edmonton will benefit and find more scoring.
Prior to getting injured in an Oct. 9 game against the Winnipeg Jets, Draisaitl had a goal and three points through three games to start the year. He also showed a lot of chemistry on the top line with Connor McDavid and Patrick Maroon and proved to be capable of producing a lot of offence. Last season, Draisaitl had 29 goals and 77 points, and also made up half of the NHL’s deadliest duo alongside McDavid.
Caggiula was scoreless to start the year but played just two games. He is looking to capitalize on a strong rookie campaign, where he had seven goals and 18 points through 60 games. However, his standout performance came in the playoffs, where he had three goals in 13 games and was one of the better forwards to join the ranks of the Edmonton top six.
While it is still uncertain if they will play or not, one thing is certain: they have been missed greatly, and they will add a lot more depth when they draw back in.