Prior to the team’s lengthy break, both had received a call-up but were sent back down while the Oilers were off. They are both huge assets in Bakersfield and had to help their team in key hockey games over the break so they could stay in playoff contention. However, the team dropped two key back-to-back games against the Anaheim and Los Angeles affiliates.
With the call-up, the Oilers have an extra forward and defender. Griffin Reinhart, who was formerly recalled with Oesterle and Lander, will remain with the Condors. This is a good sign because Kris Russell is likely ready to draw back in; however, Matthew Benning will likely need more time and stay out of the lineup.
Lander will fill in on the bottom line for an injured Jujhar Khaira, who Edmonton placed on the injured reserve last week with Benning. He is a solid penalty killer and can also win draws, and obviously the next best choice for a recall.
Edmonton faces off against the Chicago Blackhawks Saturday and will have to be on their top game, especially to stay in the playoff race and continue the success they’ve carried this season. Oesterle and Lander both play key roles in not just stepping in, but stepping up. With key Oilers injured, Lander and Oesterle have to respectively prove their worth. By the same token, they have to prove their ability.