Drake Caggiula is slated to make his NHL debut tonight for the Edmonton Oilers.
Meanwhile, forward Benoit Pouliot, who doesn’t have a point in his last 11 games and ran afoul of the coaching staff earlier in the season for undisciplined play, is expected to be scratched from the lineup, per the Edmonton Journal.
“His best play came after some penalty problems (earlier this season). We delivered a stern message and he responded really well. He’s given us what he can but the timing, the reading, the reacting, not much is getting done for Benny. He needs to take a breather,” coach Todd McLellan said of his decision to remove Pouliot from the lineup.
“It’s hard putting three players in at the same time but we need a jolt. I think it’s a little much to expect them to lead us to the winning Wonderland but they can have an impact because they’re fresh.”
After a strong start, the Oilers have lost five in a row.
They’re still second in the Pacific Division, but McLellan will provide another shake-up for his team with some lineup changes for Saturday’s contest with the Dallas Stars.
Caggiula, the reigning NCAA Frozen Four most outstanding player that signed with the Oilers when his college career ended, has yet to play a game this season due to a hip injury suffered in pre-season.
“It was a more severe injury that we thought,” said Caggiula. “I skated two or three days after it and felt good, but the day before opening night, I fell on the ice and tweaked it. Another look at it and it was worse.”