Edmonton Oilers: The Evander Kane Dilemma Unveiled

Evander Kane

Kris Knoblauch’s Edmonton Oilers have found success over their nine-game win streak thanks to coach Kris Knoblauch, but one issue persists – Evander Kane remains underutilized on an under-performing third line and remains an expensive $5.1-million asset for Kris.

Despite the team’s success with only three losses in their last 20 games, Kane finds himself in a less-than-ideal situation. Knoblauch acknowledges the issue as the Oilers head to Montreal for a Hockey Night in Canada event. Kane, previously a standout player for Edmonton, has seen a decline in ice time, especially after the team found a winning chemistry during his absence due to injury.

Edmonton Oilers: Evander Kane

Kane, who was the Oilers’ top forward in the early part of the season, now grapples with reduced opportunities. The veteran forward emphasizes the team’s positive trajectory but acknowledges the challenges he faces playing on a less prominent line.

Playing alongside Derek Ryan and Connor Brown, Kane’s point production has dipped, with points in just three of his past 16 games. Despite the hurdles, Kane maintains a positive outlook, highlighting the team’s overall success.

Credits: Twitter.com

Edmonton Oilers Coach

The coach, while acknowledging Kane’s current underuse, points to the player’s recent return from injuries as a factor. Knoblauch recognizes Kane’s potential impact on the game, citing his physicality and ability to dictate the pace when at his best.

Sam Gagner, another productive player, faces a similar predicament of struggling to regain a spot in the lineup after recovering from injury. Knoblauch’s adherence to a “never change a winning lineup” approach, coupled with the team’s overall success, poses a challenge for players like Gagner and Kane trying to secure their positions.

Oilers Winning Streak

As the Oilers continue their winning streak and remain relatively healthy, questions arise about the coach’s strategy in utilizing the depth of the roster. The article suggests that players like Gagner, with four goals and nine points in 18 games, deserve a spot in the lineup ahead of others. The case of Connor Brown, relying on penalty kill contributions, becomes a point of discussion regarding lineup decisions.

The article concludes by questioning whether Ken Holland’s signing of a 30-goal man in Kane aligns with the player’s current ice time on the third line. It emphasizes the need to maximize the potential of key players to maintain the team’s success as they progress through the season.

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