Don't put Leon Draisaitl injury narrative on the Edmonton Oilers

The speculation that came out regarding a potential injury to Leon Draisaitl ahead of game two tells more of a story about the media than the Edmonton Oilers.
Edmonton Oilers v Vancouver Canucks - Game Two
Edmonton Oilers v Vancouver Canucks - Game Two / Derek Cain/GettyImages

When Leon Draisaitl had to leave during the second period of the second round series opener versus the Vancouver Canucks, there was a lot of understandable concern among Edmonton Oilers fans. He did return for the final period but was clearly compromised on the ice, as the Oilers went on to inexcusably give up a three-goal lead and lose 5-4 at Rogers Arena.

The following day, Oilers coach Kris Knoblauch declared Draisaitl as day-to-day and subsequently advised he would be a game-time decision for game two on Friday night in Vancouver. As Oilers fans now know, the German centre went on to not only play but flourish, with his one goal and three assists helping the team dramatically win 4-3 in overtime.

Afterwards during an interview with the media, Connor McDavid claimed there was never any question that his teammate would play. As per Jim Parsons of The Hockey Writers, this led to some folks wondering if the Oilers allowed people to believe that Draisaiti's injury was more serious than it actually was?

This is not on the Oilers

However, the simple answer is no. This was more about what was being written and suggested by the media, as opposed to anything the Oilers indicated or alluded to themselves.

Following Wednesday night's game when he was asked about what was wrong with Draisaitl, Knoblauch said the player was simply dealing with cramps and equipment issues. However, when the Oilers coach categorised the five-time All-Star as day-to-day on the Thursday, it was those outside the organisation who began asking questions about what this meant?

In the interest of objectivity and full transparency, even this particular writer wondered about what would happen with Draisaitl. After he missed practice on the Thursday, we wrote: "As for Draisaitl, he was absent altogether which -- fair or not -- leads to some concern that he is dealing with more than just cramps."

At no point did Knoblauch and the Oilers make reference to Draisaitl having a serious injury of any kind. This was purely on others speculating about what might happen, whether it be the media (or fans on social media).

As for McDavid saying there was never any doubt that the 2020 Hart Memorial Trophy winner would play, this also alluded to just how tough his teammate really is. There have been various occasions over the years when he has still played, even if he was less than 100 percent fit and healthy.

Oilers steal Game 2 on the road in OT thriller. Oilers steal Game 2 on the road in OT thriller. dark. Next

In case there are still any concerns that Draisaitl has an injury which will keep him out of the lineup moving forward, Knoblauch confirmed to the media on Sunday morning that he will be available for game three in Edmonton. He will be playing centre on his usual second line, while also spending time on the wing alongside McDavid, as he looks to build on the 16 points he has so far managed in seven playoff games. (One behind his captain, who leads all NHL players.)

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