Edmonton Oilers Take On The Minnesota Wild In Game 1 Without McDavid

Dec 12, 2022; Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA; Edmonton Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse (25) checks Minnesota Wild left wing Jordan Greenway (18) into the boards during the second period at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 12, 2022; Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA; Edmonton Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse (25) checks Minnesota Wild left wing Jordan Greenway (18) into the boards during the second period at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Edmonton Oilers begin life without Connor McDavid tonight as they are in Minnesota to take on the Wild. On a night when every NHL team plays, there would usually be lots of eyes on this game, but with no McDavid, the draw will likely not be as high.

Going into the season, looking at this game the Edmonton Oilers would have been heavy favourites. Now that the Oilers are off to a 1-3-1 start and McDavid is out, I would say that the Oilers are slight underdogs coming into the game.

This being said even though the league’s best player is out of the game tonight doesn’t instantly mean the Oilers are going to lose. This is still a good team without McDavid. It is just a really good team with him.

With McDavid out of the game, this does cause a little bit of a skill gap throughout the lineup. The lines today are as follows, with the defense being the same as last game:

Kane – Draisaitl – Janmark

Foegele – Nugent-Hopkins – Hyman

Holloway – McLeod – Brown

Erne – Ryan

One issue with McDavid being hurt is the fact that the Edmonton Oilers are so close to the salary cap that they aren’t able to call anyone to replace him. This is more than likely going to be the same 18 skaters till McDavid is healthy again.

The Edmonton Oilers Need To Show Resilience

The Edmonton Oilers are off to a rough start both in the standings and injury column so far this season, but now is the time for the rest of this team to show what they are made of. There have been several people throughout the lineup that have not played as well as they should be.

Evander Kane is the top one in my opinion, he has yet to score a goal. This wouldn’t be a problem if the team was winning, but they aren’t. He is one of the only players on the Edmonton Oilers that I think can score a goal with a shot from distance and he needs to prove that today.

The thrills, spills, and chills of the Oilers’ past 3 games. dark. Next

I think this is a chance for this team to step up. Yes, McDavid being hurt is a good excuse, but this team needs to not think about that. They need to go out there and win tonight. If they win tonight I think it will be a good building block for momentum moving forward.