Should the Edmonton Oilers give Connor McDavid a break or include him in Friday’s game?

The captain of the Edmonton Oilers was absent from Wednesday’s 5-1 victory against Vegas due to a lower-body injury. However, there’s a possibility he might return for Friday’s game against the Arizona Coyotes.

Coach Kris Knoblauch stated on Thursday that the captain’s status is day-to-day. Despite missing the previous game, there’s uncertainty about his availability for Friday’s match. Knoblauch mentioned that if it were a playoff game, the captain would have likely played on Wednesday. Nonetheless, his participation on Friday remains questionable.

While it might seem logical to give the captain an extra day to recover, allowing other forwards to showcase their skills, Knoblauch hasn’t dismissed the option of playing him on Friday against the lower-ranked Arizona team, despite the upcoming back-to-back games.

Knoblauch emphasized the importance of the captain’s full recovery, aiming for him to be in optimal condition for the playoffs. The captain, though sidelined, showed enthusiasm and support for his teammates during the previous game, displaying no visible signs of severe injury.

In addition to the captain’s injury, defenseman Cody Ceci also missed practice due to maintenance reasons and might be uncertain for Friday’s game. However, there’s a possibility of Troy Stecher returning to the lineup for Friday’s match.

Sam Carrick, who didn’t practice due to a minor collision in the last game, won’t be available for Friday’s game.

The Oilers have been relying on depth, particularly evident in the recent performances of the third line, which has been contributing significantly to the team’s success. Corey Perry, Ryan McLeod, and Evander Kane have been instrumental in providing speed, offense, and a competitive edge, which are crucial for the team’s playoff aspirations. McLeod highlighted the impact of having Perry on their line, emphasizing his experience and determination as driving factors for their success.

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