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Oilers' coach Knoblauch makes a risky decision with the team

Published December 19, 2023 at 11:04
BY LIAM
     
Since the Oilers' latest eight game winning streak came to a halt with two tough losses, head coach Kris Knoblauch has already made some significant lineup changes, but now in practice, he's hinted towards making a riskier decision than anything else in his short tenure.

At practice, Knoblauch has divided up the team's previous top line of Nugent-Hopkins, McDavid, and Hyman, sending RNH down and moving Evander Kane to the top line. The move could mainly be seen as giving Draisaitl a more talented winger in RNH, as he's previously been playing with Janmark and Brown.


The risky part of this decision is breaking up the top line, which has been absolutely dominant. Pointed out by the Reddit post below, the previous top line had the highest expected goal share across all lines in the NHL - generating an insane 84.7xGF%.


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Hopefully, Draisaitl can rekindle some chemistry with Nugent-Hopkins on his line, and make that combination offensively lethal. All the same, hopefully Kane can show off his offensive skills with McDavid on the top line, as Hyman already has the power forward role on lockdown. It's a risky move by Knoblauch, but if it works, he'll be praised for spreading out the talent throughout the team, and the rotations of lines fresh.
POLL
December 19   |   600 answers
Oilers' coach Knoblauch makes a risky decision with the team

Is it the right decision to break up the top line?

Yes30150.2 %
No15525.8 %
Put McDavid and Draisaitl together14424 %
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