McDavid’s lower-body ailment keeps him out of the Oilers’ game against the Golden Knights.

Edmonton Due to a lower-body ailment, Connor McDavid was not involved in the Edmonton Oilers’ 5-1 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights on Wednesday.

Following the morning skate, Oilers coach Kris Knoblauch remarked, “I think Connor knows what the big picture is.” “I think he knows where our team is at, where his body is at, and what we are seeking for going forward. I also think he is competitive and wants to contribute as much as possible without taking himself out of the lineup.

Following his two assists in a 4-2 victory against the Calgary Flames on Saturday, McDavid was absent from practice for the second consecutive day on Tuesday. McDavid’s last 33-second shift of that game ended at 17:19 of the third frame. When Flames forward Blake Coleman knocked him down while he was driving to the net, he walked to the bench.

The Oilers (48-24-5) are three points behind the Vancouver Canucks for first place in the Pacific Division and eight points clear of the Los Angeles Kings. One point behind the Kings, the Golden Knights possess the second wild card in the West.

In the competition for the Art Ross Trophy, which goes to the player with the most points during the regular season, McDavid is ranked third. With 130 points (31 goals, 99 assists), he is nine points behind Tampa Bay Lightning’s Nikita Kucherov (43 goals, 96 assists) and seven behind Colorado Avalanche’s Nathan MacKinnon (51 goals, 86 assists). In his last 14 games, McDavid has tallied 30 points (eight goals, 22 assists).

After being called up from the American Hockey League’s Bakersfield on Tuesday, Dylan Holloway, an Edmonton forward, scored a goal against Vegas. In 33 NHL games this season, Holloway has five points (four goals, one assist).

“The most important thing is the playoffs and that we are ready,” Knoblauch said Tuesday. “I think we’ve got depth. Obviously, you’re not going to replace Connor, but we do have other healthy bodies when we’re short a man. We want to make sure we’re as healthy as possible going into playoffs.”

Earlier this season, McDavid missed two games after sustaining an upper-body injury in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Oct. 21. He returned to play against the Flames in the 2023 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic on Oct. 29, when he had an assist in a 5-2 win at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton.

“T.D. (Forss), the athletic therapist, would know how Connor can handle it or the risk of making it worse or playing through it and deciding between those two,” Knoblauch remarked. “I think Connor probably has the most influence on what happens.” “… those two important guys are going to be my main source for that information.”

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