‘We have a decision to make’: Knoblauch on Oilers’ Henrique

Edmonton Oilers head coach Kris Knoblauch tells reporters that he hasn't decided whether to put Adam Henrique back in the lineup for Game 2 on Saturday against the Dallas Stars after missing Game 1 and most of the second round with an ankle injury.

Edmonton Oilers head coach Kris Knoblauch seems to be taking a cautious approach when it comes to forward Adam Henrique.

Speaking with reporters on Friday following the Oilers’ impressive double-overtime Game 1 win over the Dallas Stars, Knoblauch declined to confirm if Henrique would suit up for Game 2 of the Western Conference Final after missing most of the second round with an ankle injury.

“We have a decision to make. He’s very close and more time off is only going to make him 100 per cent,” Knoblauch told reporters. “Right now, he’s probably 98 per cent and he could come in the lineup. Now we have to make a decision on what’s best for our team.

“A player like Adam would be a huge boost to our team and that’s something we have to decide.”

Knoblauch opted to dress his Game 7-winning lineup in the conference final opener against the Stars, and that group once again emerged victorious.

On Wednesday, Knoblauch said that Henrique would return in Round 3 but didn’t specify when.

“We believe he’s really close and we’re expecting him early in the series, whether that’s Game 1, 2 or 3, but we’ll definitely be seeing him at some point,” Knoblauch said.

Henrique, 34, had one goal and one assist in six games with both points coming in Game 1 of the first round against the Los Angeles Kings.

“It was good to get out there and practise with the guys,” Henrique said after practicing with the team on Wednesday. “It’s painful watching, so we’re all on the same page as far as where we’re at and how we’re going about things and just take it a day at a time.”

The Oilers acquired Henrique from the Anaheim Ducks at the trade deadline in a deal that also involved the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Henrique had nine points (six goals and three assists) in 22 games during the regular season after arriving in Edmonton.

“It’ll be a nice addition when he is ready,” Knoblauch said. “Unfortunately for us, he hasn’t played for a while, but when we do have him in the lineup, he’ll definitely give us a little push.”

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