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Reason Evander Kane Took “Maintenance Day” for the Oilers

The Edmonton Oilers gave Evander Kane a maintenance day after a heated exchange with Leon Draisailt. Are these two things connected?

The Edmonton Oilers didn’t have Evander Kane in the lineup when they lost 5-3 to the Ottawa Senators on Sunday night. It was the team’s second-straight loss to Eastern Conference Ontario teams and just prior to the game, the Oilers announced that Kane would be out, calling it a maintenance day. Not a healthy scratch and not necessarily an injury, Kane simply wasn’t in and head coach Kris Knoblauch said, “We felt for the long-run, it was best for him to not play.”

Knoblauch said it was the decision of the coaching staff. He added that if it were up to Kane, he would have been in as he’s a competitor and a warrior, but coaches and trainers felt it was best to keep him out of the lineup. Unfortunately, it comes as Kane is on a major dry spell in terms of his production, and following what appeared to be a somewhat heated exchange with Leon Draisaitl on the bench during the Toronto game. Fans will assume the worst considering the timing of everything.

The Oilers Need Kane for the Playoffs

Despite a huge dip in production of late, the Oilers undoubtedly need Kane at his best during the postseason. This is a player that gets up for the big games, agitates and draws the opponent into poor decisions, and can score. He led the Oilers in playoff scoring when he first joined the team and Edmonton needs that player back.

Evander Kane Leon Draisailt exchange Oilers

The Oilers have a gap in their top six and Kane plays better when he’s in the mix there. However, he’s not necessarily deserving of the opportunity the way he’s been producing. This isn’t to say he hasn’t had his chances, but he’s not finished them.

The good news for the Oilers is that Kane can be streaky. While it’s been 15 games since his last goal, he can also rattle off three in a game and five in two. The hope is that after a rest, he can get back to his productive ways on Tuesday as the Oilers take on the Winnipeg Jets.

Next: Oilers’ Zach Hyman Nets 50th of the Season with Hyman-Like Goal

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