According to the Oilers’ Twitter account, Ty Rattie is ready to get back into the lineup after missing the last seven games with a midsection muscle injury. As a result, Cooper Marody has been reassigned to the Bakersfield Condors where he will look to continue the excellent start to the season he’s been having in his first year as a pro.
After getting the chance to start the year with Connor McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins on Edmonton’s first line, the last thing Ty Rattie needed was an injury to derail his chance at winning the McLottery. To get the opportunity to not only play in the NHL, something that Rattie has struggled to make stick over the years, but to have it happen alongside Connor McDavid is something that you know that he wants to hang on to. That’s how I know this injury was serious because there is just no way that Rattie was going to let that gift slip through his hands without a fight. Fortunately for him, no one outside of Drake Caggiula has really been able to make it work with McNuge better than he could and that leaves the door open for the former Answer to make his way back into the lineup and try to regain his spot and title.
What will be interesting to see is how McLellan deploys Rattie now that he’s eligible to play and with Drake Caggiula finding some chemistry with his old linemates. Against the Blackhawks on Thursday, Caggiula scored a pair of clutch goals which makes me think that he will be parked alongside McNuge for tomorrow’s matchup against Detroit. Considering the second line of Rieder-Draisaitl-Chiasson is rolling right now, I can’t see the coaching staff messing with the chemistry they’re building so the only other real option is to pull Puljujarvi out and slot Rattie alongside Strome and Lucic. Would McLellan really go into tomorrow’s game with both Yamamoto and Puljujarvi scratched at the same time? Would he pull Kassian out and move Puljujarvi or Yamo down to the fourth line?
While we’ll have to wait and see what the line combinations end up looking like against Detroit, what we know for sure is that Rattie will be looking to steal back his The Answer title away from Alex Chiasson who has been rocking the belt since he’s been out. It won’t be easy, though, as the former PTO turned scoring star has gotten off to a five-goal in seven-game pace that will make reclaiming the belt a much tougher task than we might have initially expected. That said, this is the kind of competition that needs to happen if the Oilers are going to be successful and I’ll be very interested to see how things play out. Regardless of what happens with The Answer designation, I think we can all agree that Rattie will be hungry to get the title back as well as his place back on the first line.
In five games, Rattie has one goal and one assist for two points to go along with 11 shots on net and a +3 rating.
RATTIE’S SEASON SO FAR
Source: Edmonton Oilers, Official Twitter Account, 11/02/2018 – 4:15 pm MT