Evander Kane and Adam Henrique causing minor concern for Oilers fans

With Evander Kane and Adam Henrique still missing from practice, will either or both be ready for the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday night in Vancouver?
Arizona Coyotes v Edmonton Oilers
Arizona Coyotes v Edmonton Oilers / Leila Devlin/GettyImages

The Edmonton Oilers have been extremely fortunate when it comes to injuries in 2023-24, or more accurately, lack of injuries. As per NHLinjuryvix.com, they only lost 60 man games to injury during the regular season, with Dylan Holloway having the longest absence at 21 games.

This type of health during the physicality of a hockey season is almost unconscionable. As a result, the Oilers had the second-fewest lost man games to injury in the NHL, behind the St. Louis Blues at 57 games.

For some context, at the other end of the scale the Vegas Golden Knights had the most lost man games to injury at 476, while the San Jose Sharks were second with 459. For the Knights, this only makes it even more impressive that they once again qualified for the playoffs.

Of course as talented as any team is, they also need good health and luck, which has so far been the case for the Oilers in the first round of the playoffs. However, as they prepare for the beginning of the second round in Vancouver on Wednesday night, there are a couple of concerns.

Still no Kane or Henrique for practice

More specifically, both Evander Kane and Adam Henrique, who did not practice during the weekend and still hadn't returned on Monday. We know Kane has been dealing with a sports hernia this season, while Henrique suffered a lower body injury during the series-clinching 4-3 win versus the Los Angeles Kings.

For the most part, the narrative has remained the same from Oilers coach Kris Knoblauch, i.e. they are taking maintenance days and will be ready to go in game one at Rogers Arena. After previously being assumed the series would begin on Tuesday night, the team now has an extra 24 hours to prepare, which is invaluable in giving Kane and Henrique more time to rest and recover.

However, for the first time on Monday, the narrative changed slightly. Speaking to the media after practice, Knoblauch said: "They were on (the ice) in the morning -- Henrique was -- and we expect them to be on the ice for practice (Tuesday). ... We are hopeful they are available for game one."

What was interesting was that Knoblauch used the word 'hopeful' in describing the status of the two injured forwards, whilst also almost stumbling over choosing what to say. Of course this could quite easily be a case of this particularly writer totally reading too much into the comments, but the situation still bears keeping an eye on as we progress towards puck drop in Vancouver on Wednesday night.

Mattias Janmark took Henrique's place on the first line for practice on Monday, alongside Connor McDavid and Zach Hyman. Meanwhile, Connor Brown played with Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins on the second line.

Next. Oilers have advantage in every area vs. Canucks. Oilers have advantage in every area vs. Canucks. dark

Pending the availability of Kane and/or Henrique, Knoblauch was not prepared to commit to this particular top six line up for game one. He said: "We don't know, we've got a lot of other guys that could fill in that spot. I don't think there's one guy who can play (and) do it all, but I think we can do it maybe by committee with different guys in different situations, ... but we expect those other guys to come back."

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