Based on reports Leon Draisaitl may return to the lineup as early as Saturday. Todd McLellan’s shuffle appears to have possibly hit on a second line (Milan Lucic, Ryan Nugent-Hopkin and Ryan Strome) and allows the coach to move Draisaitl back to the top line—at least in theory. Drake Caggiula may also return this week, but there was a brief glance at something interesting last night in the Carolina game.
- Connor McDavid with Anton Slepsyshev: 6-1 Corsi for 5×5 in 70 seconds; 3-0 shots for; 4-0 scoring chances for; 1-0 high-danger scoring chances. Source: Natural Stat Trick.
That’s an amazing 1:10 in any game, and Slepyshev had other shifts that were impressive a night ago (with Brad Malone and Jussi Jokinen). The question I have for you tonight is this: Who should come out of the top 6F? I keep reading that Kailer Yamamoto is the obvious choice and I get that, but it seems to me that there’s an opportunity for the Oilers to grow their offense.
- Patrick Maroon—Connor McDavid—Anton Slepyshev
- Milan Lucic—Ryan Nugent-Hopkins—Ryan Strome
- Jussi Jokinen—Leon Draisaitl—Kailer Yamamoto
- Jujhar Khaira—Mark Letestu—Zack Kassian
This takes the pressure off Yamamoto, allows Leon Draisaitl to possibly wheel against softer competition, and for the scoring to be spread out a little more. It also gives Connor McDavid a more mature winger in which to face the top opposition (that’s a lock on the road). If you don’t like Yamamoto there, possibly move up Kassian and run Drake Caggiula on the fourth line.
MORE LIKELY LINES
Come Saturday, something tells me we’ll see the following:
- Patrick Maroon—Connor McDavid—Leon Draisaitl
- Milan Lucic—Ryan Nugent-Hopkins—Anton Slepyshev
- Jussi Jokinen—Ryan Strome—Kailer Yamamoto
- Iiro Pakarinen—Mark Letestu—Zack Kassian
Which lineup would you rather see on Saturday? I think Connor McDavid could use a more established winger, but am also interested in seeing a C depth chart of 97, 29 and 93 on the road. It might be the key to the highway.