The Story Tonight
If you'd told me back in October that losing Brandon Davidson to an injury would be an actual hurdle for the Oilers, I would have laughed in your face. I would have laughed, and laughed, and laughed. Of course I also thought that this season the Oilers would be closer to a playoff spot than they would be to dead last (it has to happen eventually, right), so maybe my skills as a prognosticator leave a little to be desired.
Anyway, back to Davidson. As one of eight forwards on the roster to start the year Davidson was buried deep on the Oilers depth chart. He didn't see any action until the team's fifth game of the season, and then sat out five more games before he dressed again. But injuries on the Oilers blue line (it was only a matter of time) gave him a chance to play more regularly starting at the end of October and he made sure to seize the opportunity, working his way from healthy scratch to playing 22 minutes a night and earned a two-year extension worth $1.425M annually just last week.
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If you were looking for a feel good story for the Oilers this season, Davidson was that story, and now he's injured. For how long we don't know but it doesn't look good. And so a team that had only one top-four defenceman before the injury, losing the player who might well have been their most dependable on the back end over the last two or three weeks is a blow that the team didn't really need, and one that will be surprisingly difficult to overcome.The Oilers' plan for how they'll deal with this is, for now at least, to have no plan, it'll be an experiment, starting tonight with Griffin Reinhart's return to the lineup.
I wish him luck and hope for a speedy recovery for Davidson as well.