GM Ken Holland had some bad news on Tuesday morning at Rogers Place. Ahead of Tuesday night’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks, Holland told the media that captain Connor McDavid will miss the next two to three weeks. McDavid is dealing with a quad injury, per Holland.
McDavid was injured on Saturday night in the team’s 3-2 victory over the Nashville Predators. He finished the game, but never looked right following the hit along the wall.
“He’s two to three weeks. That’s a normal timeline for this injury,” Holland told reporters on Tuesday morning when updating his star forward’s status. “We’re hoping less…It’s not long-term. We’ll double-back a week from now.”
Holland also revealed that McDavid has left Edmonton and returned to Toronto for further evaluation.
“McDavid has gone to Toronto for further evaluation and rehab,” Holland announced. The reason for McDavid’s return to Toronto? The team is heading on the road following tonight’s game against the Blackhawks.
“If we weren’t going on the road he would have stayed here,” Holland said. “Now he can go work with the people he spends summer with.”
This is not a death-blow to the playoff chances of the Edmonton Oilers. It is a crucial hit though. The Oilers are entering the stretch drive without their best player and are in the thick of the postseason chase. For a fanbase that has been through so much, it’s a tough reality. For McDavid, who had to fight his hardest just to play this season, it is brutally unfair.
So is life in professional sports. The Oilers will now be tested for at least two weeks, potentially more.
If McDavid were to return two weeks from today, it would be seven games that he misses. Odds are, the Oilers would not play him in both games of a back-to-back set upon arrival. Eight games missed should be the line for McDavid. That sets a potential return in 15 days.
If it goes three weeks, McDavid could miss a total of 12 games. That’s a lot for a team with minimal time remaining in the schedule. If they sink without him, the playoff dream is likely dead.
This is going to be a huge test for the Oilers. It now falls on Leon Draisaitl, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and the rest of the group to pick up the slack and keep the Oilers going in the right direction.
It starts tonight against a desperate Blackhawks team. The Oilers need to commit to team defense and buckle down, or this whole season could fly right off the rails.