The Edmonton Oilers activated Griffin Reinhart today, and you would imagine he’ll see action this week—possibly tomorrow night against the Philadelphia Flyers.
#Oilers defence: Klefbom-Davidson, Sekera-Fayne, Nurse-Ference & Reinhart-Gryba
— Chris Wescott (@TheChrisWescott) November 2, 2015
Todd McLellan mentioned bumps and bruises so we should wait for tomorrow’s practice for any kind of sweeping conclusions/mass panic. If we compare those pairs with the ones I suggested this morning:
- Sekera—Fayne (check)
- Nurse—Klefbom (McLellan went with the other rookie for Klefbom duo)
- Reinhart—Davidson (Reinhart is going to get Gryba it seems)
- Ference—Gryba (Nurse gets the veteran Ference)
I’m pleased McLellan reunited Sekera—Fayne and hope it stays intact for the next while. Klefbom—Davidson is similar to my No. 2 pairing (badly lacking experience, but mobile) and I do think that third pairing (both Nurse—Ference and Reinhart—Gryba) point out the Oilers major issues. NINE defenseman and there aren’t six they can use at the same time.
- Todd McLellan: “I think Fayner is a very good NHL player. I remember watching him in New Jersey and the impact he had on the team went to the SCF’s. Larry Robinson, who spent years with us after in San Jose spoke highly of him, and Peter DeBoer did, and I know it’s there, it’s just gonna come out a little bit more. Sometimes you need to take a step back, I have all the confidence in the world in him. He’ll respond.”
I think the Oilers seem to like these ‘early season healthy scratches’ but one doubts they do much good beyond pissing off the employees. Mark Fayne is a good NHL defenseman with over 325 games in the show, he’s clearly qualified to be inside the top six among this bunch. The only way to justify Fayne’s sitting is injury OR the team wanting to showcase another defenseman. That’s it, from my perspective.
DECISIONS TO COME
- Todd McLellan: “We are getting deep now on the blue line. If Griffin can play tomorrow. There’s some questions with a couple of other guys we’ll have to see how they feel after the practice today. We’re getting deep and we’ll have to make some decisions there.”
I think there are four ways this could go:
- IR someone. That’s the easy way, if someone sneezed in practice today that might be enough.
- Send down a forward. If Hendricks is activated tomorrow, perhaps Slepy or Hero sandwich goes.
- Send down one of Brandon Davidson, Griffin Reinhart or Darnell Nurse.
- Trade. I would be shocked if Fayne goes, but Philly might have some interest in a defender.
- Todd McLellan: “It’s healthy, youth coming through if they can be productive is a real positive thing. I consider Griff to be a very young defenseman in the league, very young. He’s probably played less than Davey (Brandon Davidson) now I think, so he needs that time to grow and gain some experience.”
The problem for Reinhart, Nurse and Davidson is they’re all here, at the same time. Someone has to sit and that doesn’t make any sense for any of them. No one wants to go to Bakersfield, but that’s probably a better idea for all three compared to sitting in the pressbox waiting for a chance.
One final thing: You’ll notice Brandon Davidson slipping into the conversation these days. The Oilers like him, no doubt about it. If we’re betting on tomorrow, I’d put a large amount on him being in the lineup and some other move being made.