The Edmonton Oilers’ defense has been through a lot lately. Not only have poor giveaways marred the previous two games, but the defense has performed poorly overall. In addition, two of the defenders will be sidelined for a while due to injuries. Philip Broberg will be sidelined for two to three weeks due to an ankle injury, while Ryan Murray will miss a month due to a back injury.
Markus Niemelainen was just brought back to the Oilers, and Jason Demers was signed to a two-way deal. Without a doubt, these two actions contributed to the team losing its sixth and seventh defenseman.
Since being called up a while back, Broberg has been playing more than Murray. With only one assist in 11 games, Broberg has mostly been on the third pairing and has only played 12:24 per game with Evan Bouchard. Murray, who averages 13:07 per game and had three assists in 13 games, was playing more in that same position earlier in the season.
Niemelainen, a 6-foot-6 defenseman with a physical game, will be visible to the Oilers as he plays on the third pair for the time being. Once again, opportunity presents itself to him, and like the previous season, he might seize it. If things rapidly go wrong for the Oilers and Niemelainen, Demers is a possibility, while Broberg and Murray gets better.