The Edmonton Oilers are starting to get healthy. After practicing in full this week and being cleared to return, the team has activated both Leon Draisaitl and Drake Caggiula from injured reserve, while assigning Brad Malone to the Bakersfield Condors to make room. Draisaitl and Caggiula will be in the lineup tonight against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The pair return to a team that hasn’t been able to generate much offense despite having one of the best players in the world leading their lineup. Edmonton is 2-5 on the season and have scored just 10 even-strength goals all season. Six of those ten have been assisted on or scored by Connor McDavid, leaving one to wonder where any secondary scoring is expected to come from. Draisaitl will hopefully help that, though his breakout season a year ago was played for the most part alongside the 20-year old captain. Draisaitl did have three points before being taken out of the lineup due to a concussion.
Edmonton has a tough stretch in front of them, facing the reigning Stanley Cup champions twice in the span of four games. In between, they’ll take on the streaking Dallas Stars and the always dangerous Washinton Capitals. If things don’t start turning around for the Oilers, they could find themselves in a deep hole to try and climb out of. Even with McDavid leading the way, giving up points in what looks like a wide open Pacific Division is a rough way to start the season.