Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers could be sidelined with an injury

Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers could be sidelined with an injury


Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers could be sidelined with an injury

There might be a concerning situation brewing in Edmonton regarding superstar Oiler Connor McDavid.

McDavid has been ruled out for the last three games played by the Oilers, all of them this week following the initial injury he suffered against the Flames on Saturday, April 6.

Oilers’ play-by-play announcer Jack Michaels was the first to report McDavid’s absence from Saturday’s matchup against Vancouver.

Connor McDavid won’t play tonight.

Canucks/Oilers meet for the first time in more than five months—I’ll be on @630CHED & @rpworldwide (tune in & sync!) w/@Bob_Stauffer for 8:10 MT puck drop.

VAN needs a point to control Pacific Division race; EDM requires a win in regulation.

McDavid had already missed Wednesday’s game against the Vegas Golden Knights when he was ruled out for Friday’s matchup against the Arizona Coyotes. The forward is still nursing a nagging lower-body injury.

McDavid told reporters on Friday that he could be ready to play on Saturday, April 13, against the Vancouver Canucks in the second leg of the back-to-back played by Edmonton entering the weekend.

“I probably won’t go [on Friday],” McDavid said after practice on April 12, via TSN. “We will see about tomorrow. We are going day by day.

“I never want to miss games, McDavid said. “But at the end of the day, we are after bigger things here and everyone being healthy is priority number one.”

Connor McDavid on the ice ahead of the Oilers optional skate this morning. #Oilers

Oilers reporter Tony Brar shared a clip of McDavid skating on his own and taking some reps on the optional practice ahead of the game against the Coyotes played on Friday, April 12.

Connor McDavid Revealed He Re-Aggravated a Prior Injury

McDavid suffered the injury in the Oilers’ 4-2 win at the Calgary Flames on Saturday, April 6, and has yet to return to the ice. He missed two practice sessions following that game, and the subsequent matchups against the Golden Knights and the Coyotes played on Wednesday and Friday.

Jason Gregor, co-host of the Daily Faceoff podcast, reported on April 12 that McDavid could have re-injured some part of his body.

“I won’t go tonight. We will see about tomorrow. We are going day-by-day,” McDavid.

He also added this was a combination of a nagging injury and aggravating it in Calgary. He is confident it won’t linger and he will not rush back. Also added he hates sitting out and wants to…

“[McDavid said] this was a combination of a nagging injury and aggravating it in Calgary,” Gregor wrote on April 12 following the Oilers’ morning practice. “He is confident it won’t linger and he will not rush back.”

With those comments coming straight from McDavid, it’s fair to question if the team will consider shutting him down for the remainder of the regular season heading into the playoffs, which are scheduled to start on April 20.

Even after losing 3-2 in OT to the Coyotes on Friday, the Oilers clinched home-ice advantage for the first round of the playoffs.

Edmonton will host division leader Vancouver on Saturday, however, and with both teams separated by just 3 points in the standings the Oilers might opt to rush McDavid back to try and win the Pacific Division.

Oilers head coach Khris Knoblauch told reporters on Thursday, April 11, that the team wants and plans to bring McDavid back before the season ends.

“If it was a playoff game, [McDavid would have] played. He is not in a wheelchair or has a boot on or anything like that,” Knoblauch said. “He’s doing pretty good.

“He would rather be on the ice, but I think little this time away, he can reset, get fully rested and healed, and be ready to go.”

Could the Edmonton Oilers Shut Down Connor McDavid Until the Playoffs?

NHL insider Craig Button joined TSN’s 7-Eleven That’s Hockey on April 12 before the Oilers faced the Coyotes at Rogers Place to discuss McDavid’s injury and what could come next.

“Well, you can shut him down,” Button said. “You can have him play some of the games, or all of the games. I don’t think there is one clear-cut answer.

“I think what is clear is that Connor McDavid being ready for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs is his focus and it should be the Edmonton Oilers focus.”

Button acknowledged Knoblauch’s comments about McDavid, and although he agrees with the coach in that an eventual return will depend entirely on the player’s feelings, perhaps resting for the next week and into the playoffs might be the better option.

“I know Knoblauch said that it’s day-to-day, that if it’s a playoff game he’d have played the previous one,” Button said. “So, Connor McDavid is going to dictate when he feels ready to get into the lineup.

“If that means that he takes all of the time now to be ready for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, well, then you’re going to have a really, not only physically rested McDavid but also somebody that is mentally refreshed.”

Connor McDavid’s Personal Accolades Could Force a Rushed Return

The only thing that could entice McDavid into rushing a comeback before the regular season is over are a couple of personal achievements he’s chased all year long.

McDavid is third in the race for the Art Ross Trophy, given to the player with the most points in the regular season. He has racked up 130 points (31 goals, 99 assists) in 74 games through April 12 and he is at an arm’s reach of Nikita Kucherov (141) and Nathan MacKinnon (137).

Similarly, McDavid only needs one more assist to reach 100 on the season, marking the first time a player has tallied that many since Wayne Gretzky did it in 1990-91. That being said, Tampa Bay Lightning’s wing Kucherov should also reach that milestone at some point in the next few days.

Antonio Losada covers the NHL for A veteran sports writer based in Spain, Antonio has covered the NBA, NFL and soccer for over 10 years, with bylines at SB Nation, FanSided, Yahoo Sports, FanGraphs, RotoBaller and more. He has also been nominated for multiple FSWA awards, including Fantasy Football Writer of the Year and DFS Writer of the Year. More about Antonio Losada

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