Questions about the Oilers defence loom due to the injury to Andrej Sekera.
Sekera's absence will force an increased workload for the team's younger rearguards, including Matt Benning and Darnell Nurse.
"We were patient with those two last year and they showed that they could do the job," Oilers President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Peter Chiarelli said. "The second pairing is a different level: you get different matchups, you get harder matchups, you get more minutes."
But that won't deter Chiarelli from giving his defence a chance at handling the upcoming challenge.
"I'm going to be relatively patient," Chiarelli said. "We do have Sekera coming back at some point but every game is critical. Every segment is critical."
Said Chiarelli of exploring potential defensive opportunities: "We always look to improve the team and we've looked at some D. I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't look at some D."