Oilers coach Knoblauch doing a press conference
Photo credit: BVM Sports

Oilers coach Knoblauch makes gutsy line change again that could anger one player

Published March 9, 2024 at 12:51

Today the Oilers took on the Buffalo Sabres for a road game matinee after the trade deadline, and once again, Coach Knoblauch juggled the lineups significantly - including sending down Evander Kane to the third line. This marks yet another demotion for Kane after a few weeks with the second line, and it doesn't come as all that welcome news with corresponding reports that Kane is unhappy being on the third line.

It's been public knowledge now that Kane is struggling to deal with the decreased opportunities given to him by coach Knoblauch. However, Kane is dealing with multiple nagging injuries that have really diminished his ability to be an explosive power forward that he needs to be. When asked about his decreasing ice time this season, Kane has shown some frustration, and there have been recent reports that he's had a tense relationship with Leon Draisaitl. It's a gutsy decision by Knoblauch to send Kane down once again, knowing that it could worsen a tense situation. However, it's likely the right call.

Additionally, Knoblauch moved back to some familiar line combinations with the first and second lines, and slotted Henrique and Carrick to their most likely slots of third and fourth line centres. Derek Ryan came out of the lineup after a few weeks of lacklustre performances.

The line changes may have been trying to elicit a bounce back from the poor team effort in Columbus, but it didn't prove to help much, as the Oilers still struggled to handle the much weaker Sabres roster, allowing the game to be tied with less than ten minutes left in the third period.
March 9   |   405 answers
Oilers coach Knoblauch makes gutsy line change again that could anger one player

Should Kane be on the second or third line?

Second line15738.8 %
Third line15237.5 %
First or third4110.1 %
Should've traded him5513.6 %
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