Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl
Photo credit: OilersNation

Oilers coach Knoblauch splits up McDavid and Draisaitl at practice

Published May 14, 2024 at 11:10

Tonight's Game 4 matchup is a near must-win game for the Edmonton Oilers, and what they've been trying so far hasn't worked. Today at practice, coach Knoblauch has split up the McDavid and Draisaitl top line, and promoted Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to the first line.

Some of the most important Oilers players were absent from today's practice, all indicating that they may be dealing with some minor injuries. Leon Draisaitl, Evander Kane, Mattias Ekholm, and Adam Henrique were all unable to practice today. Despite not practicing, all absent Oilers except Henrique will be expected to play.

Oilers make multiple lineup changes ahead of must win game 4 against Canucks

Even without these prominent Oilers at practice, insiders have gleamed what the lines may look like tonight. Knoblauch looks to be reuniting Nugent-Hopkins with McDavid and Hyman on the top line - which has been a dominant combination all season. For a second line, it looks like the Oilers might run Dylan Holloway and Evander Kane with Leon Draisaitl. Oilers fans have seen time and again, loading up McDavid and Draisaitl together comes at too much of expense to other lines.

Along with starting backup goalie Calvin Pickard in net, it's a slew of bold lineup decisions from coach Knoblauch in a must-win game for the Oilers. McDavid and Draisaitl together have been a dominant combination, but frankly the other Oilers lines haven't found a way to be effective and keep up the momentum. Hopefully separating McDavid and Draisaitl will be able to give a real boost to getting some sustained offensive zone time against the Canucks.
May 14   |   319 answers
Oilers coach Knoblauch splits up McDavid and Draisaitl at practice

Do you agree with Knoblauch's decision to split up McDavid and Draisaitl?

Yes, it makes the team stronger23974.9 %
No, they're our best combination6721 %
See Results134.1 %
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