Edmonton Oilers defenseman Cody Ceci punished by Kris Knoblauch due to bad play

Samer Dagher
June 10, 2024  (4:03 PM)

Edmonton Oilers defenseman Cody Ceci
Photo credit: The Hockey News

Edmonton Oilers head coach Kris Knoblauch is punishing defenseman Cody Ceci for the first time this playoffs due to his bad play.

During practice today, it became clear that Cody Ceci will be a healthy scratch for the first time as an Oiler. The second defensive pairing of Darnell Nurse and Cody Ceci has struggled throughout the playoffs and was particularly exposed by the Panthers in Game 1. Coach Knoblauch has decided to replace Ceci with Vincent Desharnais, a bold move considering the circumstances. While Nurse's performance has also been criticized, benching a $9.25 million player in the Cup Final would reflect poorly on the organization.
The rest of the defensive pairings will remain the same, as Knoblauch indicated in his press conference yesterday. When asked about changing the pairings, Knoblauch suggested he is pleased with the performance of the other pairs, making it difficult to justify changes. However, directly replacing one defenseman with Desharnais seems to be the best solution.
»We're always balancing on what's best for those two players, but also what's best for all 6 of our defenceman. As a coaching staff, we always have to make those decisions. Not easy. Sometimes you have to give a little to get something else.»
- Kris Knoblauch

Desharnais was previously benched due to struggles against the Dallas Stars, but his playing style could be effective against the Panthers. His physicality might disrupt the Panthers' heavy forechecking and make it tougher for them to control the puck in the offensive zone.
Game 2 starts tonight at 8:00 PM in Florida, and the Oilers need to win at least one game before heading back to Edmonton. With Ceci benched, this decision might spark the team to deliver their best performance.
Are you in favor of this move for the Edmonton Oilers?
Source: Oilers Daily
Oilers scratch Cody Ceci for first time ever due to poor play
10 JUIN   |   399 ANSWERS
Edmonton Oilers defenseman Cody Ceci punished by Kris Knoblauch due to bad play

Are you in favor of bringing in Vincent Desharnais for Cody Ceci as the Edmonton Oilers get set to play the Florida Panthers in game 2?

Yes24461.2 %
No15538.8 %
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