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Darnell Nurse To IR With Broken Finger

Nurse is expected to be out for at least a couple of weeks, William Lagesson has been recalled

Edmonton Oilers v Buffalo Sabres Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images

Everything happens all at once.

Darnell Nurse is expected to be out for at least a few weeks with a broken finger.

Nurse is the Oilers’ top minute getter on defence, and it will be difficult to find an immediate replacement while he recovers. The dropoff from Nurse to Duncan Keith is precipitous as it is apparent. Slater Koekkoek also suffered a lower body injury in last night’s win over the Jets, both William Lagesson and Philip Broberg have been recalled.

The minutes that Nurse takes on the top pair will have to be distributed throughout the lineup somehow. He’s averaging 26 minutes a night so far this year, the next closest defenceman on the roster is Evan Bouchard at 21 and a half. On the left side it’s Duncan Keith at 20:16, so an extended period of time without Darnell Nurse could really tip the milk crate if it means five more minutes of ice time from Duncan Keith per night.

OUT OF THE FRYING PAN...

Philip Broberg could be a wild card for the Oilers. The 2018 first round selection for the Oilers is having a nice start to his year in Bakersfield (he’s leading all Condor defencemen with ten points), and he could find himself in the lineup as soon as tomorrow versus Chicago. The 20-year old Broberg has played just 13 games with Bakersfield, and he’ll be asked to fill some big shoes in no time at all.

I’m not sure what the club’s stomach is to have Duncan Keith on the top pair, or for how long. I’m also not sure what their appetite is to have Broberg get too many minutes too fast, though I’d wager more the latter happening compared to the former. Kris Russell or William Lagesson will probably find themselves on the third pair with more minutes compared to what a third pair defenceman would normally get.

There will likely be minutes for William Lagesson as well.

We get to see what they’ve got tomorrow night.