McDavid questionable for Heritage Classic, out for Oilers against Wild

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McDavid questionable for Heritage Classic, out for Oilers against Wild


EDMONTON Connor McDavid will miss his first game because of injury in more than three years Tuesday, but the Edmonton Oilers center has not been ruled out for the 2023 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic on Sunday."I've learned when it comes to Connor nothing is off the table, " Edmonton coach Jay Woodcroft said Monday before the Oilers left for Minnesota, where it will face the Wild without McDavid on Tuesday 9 p.m. ET; BSWI, BSN, SNW.The Oilers announced Sunday the reigning Hart Trophy winner would be out 1 2 weeks because of an upper body injury he sustained in the third period of a 3 2 loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday."I think the way I took the news yesterday, I tried to hint towards it after the game, we think it's something more muscular than anything, " Woodcroft said. "Sometimes that takes time and it's good news. I take that as good news and I take that time frame that was put out there yesterday as good news. We'll see how he does. He just has to get healthy here."After their game Tuesday, the Oilers host the New York Rangers on Thursday before playing outdoors against the Calgary Flames at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton on Sunday 7 p.m. ET; TVAS, SN, TBS, MAX. It would be McDavid's second outdoor game; he played in the 2016 Heritage Classic in Winnipeg against the Jets.Against the Jets on Saturday, McDavid reached for his left side after jumping into a rush led by forward Zach Hyman at 15:13 of the third period. McDavid pulled up and continued the shift before heading to the bench with 4:20 remaining in the period. He sat on the bench, talked to Oilers head athletic therapist T.D. Forss and did not play again.McDavid took a light skate prior to the start of overtime, but did not participate in the 3 on 3 session. Mark Scheifele scored for the Jets at 3:53, tipping a pass from defenseman Josh Morrissey."I think when he came off he didn't say much James Hamblin Jersey, he just called over our trainer and talked to him about it, " Oilers forward Ryan Nugent Hopkins said. "We figured it out when he didn't go back out there, especially in overtime. I think he's in OK spirits. You never want to lose anybody for any period of time, but hopefully it's not too long and we're going to pick up the pieces for him here."Obviously, he's a big part of our team and our leader Dave Hunter Jersey, so we're going to have to pick it up for him. I thought the way we played last game was better, it was a full 60 minutes , just the way we played with the pace and everybody playing together. That's not going to change tomorrow, we have to keep that going. It doesn't really matter who's in the lineup, you have to pick up the pieces and go from there."Forward Evander Kane will take McDavid's spot on the power play for the Oilers 1 3 1 , who will play with 11 forwards and seven defensemen against the Wild.McDavid has eight points two goals, six assists in five games."It changes the complexion when you lose a guy like Connor, who can just make so much happen, 5 on 5 or on the power play, " Nugent Hopkins said. "But obviously 'Kaner' knows what he's doing. He's got a great shot and we have to try and find him in some good spots and I think the important thing is shoot the puck a little more now and get those pucks back, win those little battles and play some road hockey from there."McDavid has missed two games since the 2020 21 season, both in 2021 22. He didn't play against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Jan. 5, 2022, because of COVID 19 protocol, then sat out the final game of that season to rest. The last time he was out for an extended period was from Feb. 11 21, 2020 https://www.edmontonoilersstoreonline.com/glen-sather-jersey, when he missed six games because of a quad injury. Edmonton went 3 2 1 in those six games, with forward Leon Draisaitl leading the Oilers with 12 points four goals, eight assists."Obviously, nobody is going to fill his shoes, " Kane said. "It's tough to lose a player like that and how much he means to our group and how much he's an integral part of all phases of our game. Hopefully he'll be back soon and we have to step up for him when he's gone."The Oilers hope the closing of one door will open another with the team struggling to gain traction early in the season. Edmonton is considered a Stanley Cup contender this season after returning the majority of its roster from last season, when it reached the Western Conference Second Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs."Obviously you don't replace the best hockey player in the world, " Woodcroft said Tuesday, "but what you're looking to do is to fill those 21 22 minutes that he plays a night with valuable contributions from some other people. So what an opportunity it is to show what kind of team we are, and for some individuals to step up and take a little bit more responsibility."He touches every aspect of the game, right? He's involved on the penalty kill, certainly in our 5 on 5 play, and on a pretty effective power play.I don't think you're replacing his skill set, you just have to find a way with the personnel that are at hand to be able to positively affect the outcome of the game. And the people that we're going to ask things from all bring different attributes to the table. We don't want them to be Connor McDavid. We want them to be the best versions of themselves and if they do that, they'll be just fine."Woodcroft hopes not having McDavid in the lineup helps spark the rest of the team while he's gone."You're always looking for fuel, especially in an 82 game schedule, " Woodcroft said. "I know we're five games in, but it's an 82 game marathon and you're always looking for opportunities to present themselves to serve as fuel. This is certainly one of them."

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