Inside the Nation: “What about Lucic with McDavid and Draisaitl?”

The Oilers were able to halt their losing streak with a big win against the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday night and it allowed the Nation to take a step back from the ledge and breathe a little bit. On this week’s episode of Inside the Nation, Nielson takes a look at what Todd McLellan will do with Rieder’s spot in the lineup, previews Saturday’s game against the Flames, and the what to expect from a run of Pacific Division opponents.

To start off this week’s episode, Nielson jumps right in with a look at the line combinations now that Tobias Rieder will be out for at least a month. Does Milan Lucic slide up into the top six? Would having him there negatively impact McDavid and Draisaitl considering how good they are? From there, Dusty looked at the goaltending situation and whether or not the narrative is true that the Oilers are more comfortable playing in front of Koskinen than Talbot right now. Have Oilers fans completely given up on Talbot? Does that even make sense?

Watch the full video below:

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  • Dallas Eakins Hair

    I dont think I would put Lucic with them, Lucic foot speed can be good at times, but he isn’t going to keep up with Draisaitl and McDavid when they
    have to give er down the ice.

    I get people want to get some offence out of Lucic, but sticking him there isn’t going to help the line.

      • Scruffee

        The context is poor. Lucic killed the 2nd line with Drai for his entire run. He cannot play 1st line minutes, and he cannot make plays, especially at the level of McD and Drai. He needs to stay at most on the 3rd line.

        Drai – McDavid – Rattie
        Caggiula – RNH – Chassion

        Why not these? I dont think Caggiula can fully replace Reider, but its close, and would have to do for the month.

        Putting Lucic on the 1st, at least for the whole game, will do far more harm. We’ve seen it.

        • jesse says yep

          Did Lucic really kill Drai? Who has Leon played with as a center that he had success with? So far, Drai hasn’t shown that he can drive a line on his own regardless of who his line mates are. Which is why I say play him with McDavid and fix the second line with Nuge as center.

          • Scruffee

            And the game against Calgary proved without question I am right.

            Drai was showing progress with Reider and Chiasson, but obviously that injury changes things.

  • juno

    I would really like Khaira to take that third sport. Good hands, mean and will take care of McDavid, such as what happened last season with Maroon.

    My hope is that Lucic is bought out in the summer. Right now the coaching staff spends too much time playing him in order to validate the poor contract that was given to him. There are far too many players in the organization that have earned the right to play that are better than Lucic.
    Right now facing the reality of the situation he should be on the forth line, or in the pressbox. Currently we don’t have a coach or GM that is capable of making the hard decisions.

      • KootenayDan

        I trashed it, Lucic has value to this team and the captain says he is important inside the dressing room. Do you not remember when the Oiler players were abused with no repercussions or fear of retribution. I liked it when salaries were not disclosed and salary had absolutely nothing to do with the play of a player. You under estimate the respect he has around the league. McDavid wants him here that’s enough for me.

        • A-co

          What else is the captain going to say?
          You have JJ that can hold his own..Kassian that can hold his own…nurse that can hold his own…sure lucic is tough BUT the contract is part of the equation and right now that would be money better spent on a winger for the top six or a defenseman that can move the puck…

        • Glencontrolurstik

          Thanks for that, I too am a huge Lucic supporter. This year he has picked up some noticeable foot speed & it really looks like he worked hard over the summer. One things for certain, when we make the playoffs (& we will) he will a most valuable player to have.
          When you look at the Boston lineup in the playoffs last year, the only player they had to replace him was “a licking” Marchand. I think they may have gone another round? The Leafs have all the firepower needed to go deep into the playoffs, but they don’t have a Looch type player to make their team better… Bottom line, McDavid sees the value in Looch & so do I. Park him in front of the net in the regular season, use him properly. The teams that do have a Looch type player take me deep into playoff pools year after year without picking that player in my pool. That last sentence says it all with regards to players like Lucic.

        • Ty Guy

          wow….thats pretty buy out proof….save nothing really. we are paying for nothing anyway, whats the difference if its a ghost contract or a ghost player….at least i wont have to fester about it. 20 points for 6 mil or 0 points for 5.25 mil

          • FISTO Siltanen

            The good news is that IF the Oilers can solve the production issue for a player who is actively trying and putting forth an effort they will have options. On July 2nd he’ll be owed $16M over 4 years on a $6M cap hit.

            If he is amenable to going somewhere that is aiming for the cap floor I can’t see how he couldn’t be traded. His cap hit would exceed his production but his actual salary might be right in line with it.

  • BobbyCanuck

    Well lets see. If Mcdavey is as good as 2 NHL’ers, and Dria is at least as good as any 1.5 NHL’ers. Lucic is only as good as 0.5 NHL’ers (just math, I actually love the looch and am still very happy he plays for the Oil). That is still 4 players for the price of 3. So why not give it a try? Those 2 are so good, they can easily carry a player if they need to, which I do not think they wiull becvasue looch will create a certain type of havoc, which will open up ice for the Dynamic Duo

  • Arfguy

    Please stop. This year, I am not as down on Lucic. I think he is honestly trying and I am ok with that. However, he really does bring productivity down for lines and at this point, the Oilers need as many goals as possible.

    Sticking with Lucic on the 3rd line is probably the best the Oilers can hope for.

  • percy

    I have a better idea. Let’s not. Given we are once again having success on the 1st line I suppose Todd probably will want to change things around. Wouldn’t surprise me.

  • Fireball

    I would like to see a Lucic and RNH reunion. They were both on the way to career years playing together last year. If I recall RNH got hurt, Lucic played with a couple of guys, fell off and was put with Strome for the remainder of the season. I don’t recall it ever being revisited. For the record lucic was on route for 60 points. His best season was 62 in 10-11. I’d also try him on McDs line. He was on pace for 63 points with McD n Eberle through the first 10 games of 16-17. The line didn’t do a lot for a couple games and Maroon was placed on that line ( who hadn’t done much to that point) and started producing. If I recall other than a few shifts it was not revisited. Lots of people had us resigning Marroon long term for Lucic money plus. If lucic is slow Marroon is anchor. I’m not saying either will work but Lucic has been faster this year then he ever has been. He’s too 2 in the league in hits Again this year. He’s stealing pucks on the forecheck and back check. Pre Edmonton he’s always played with faster centres and wingers and always found a way to get it done. It doesn’t serve the fans or team to have him die on the third line. Maybe Putting him on a line with a elite centre gets him going and for the haters he either becomes the dominant force he waz 2 years ago and for the 10 years before that. Maybe he becomes a key piece to the team again. Maybe it gives him trade value. We all want to see more offence no matter where he plays but the third or forth line with Centres who are not offensive guys is not the place to get him going. At best he’s going to score like a third liner. Obviously with Leo at centre they don’t have the chemistry it don’t mean he won’t have it with someone else. Maybe it don’t work and he becomes a buy out. All efforts to return him to a 20-25 goal 45-60 point guys should be the mandate

    • Arfguy

      I will say that I’d be willing to see Lucic with RNH before he gets a chance with McDavid and Draisaitl. Maybe put Lucic-RNH with either Rattie or Chiasson.

  • Oil9744

    I mean, let’s be honest, anyone can put up points with enough time playing with Mcdavid, Ty Rattie even said his dad could put points playing with Mcdavid and Nuge, now we are talking about the best Duo in the NHL I’m Mcdavid and Draisaitl, I think if there’s anyone on the team that needs to up their production on the score it’s Lucic hands down, I’m all for having him on the top line with Mcdavid and Drai but if he can’t keep up at all or even take pass or make a pass then he just can’t be there, especially if the team is losing games because of it. Give it a shot and see how it goes, I’m sure the Mcblender will take him off the line right away if he ain’t getting the job done.

  • Chris Prongers Rake

    Lucic on the top line isn’t horrible, he’s been physical this year, he’s skated well, all he hasnt done is score and you cant say he hasnt been emotionally involved. Tell Lucic to protect his own end, give the puck to McDavid and Draisaitl, go to the net and get in the face of basketcase goalies like Mike Smith, maybe a puck will bounce off him and go in.

  • KootenayDan

    I like Lucic but not on the top line. Cagguila used to be my whipping boy but no longer his speed is really helping the line and he is playing really good hockey right now. It is like the light bulb went on.

    • QuitForRealThisTime

      Haha…what happened to Caggs “is the worst player in the NHL!” not suggesting you sad that but many on here did. Pretty quiet on the Cagg is massively overpaid and should not even be in the NHL.

  • QuitForRealThisTime

    Lucic is playing a vital if unexpected role for the this young Oilers team. Defection. Lucic is a big boy on a big contract and can take the criticism, so if he is the one taking the heat from the overzealous media and ummm..let’s say ‘vocal’ fan base and keeping the Edmonton ‘Eye of Sauron” from running the young players out of town, then that is good for the Oil.

  • OilersBro

    Lucic plays well with players who match his game and can grind on the cycle and win puck battles down low. A third line of Lucic Khaira, and Strome on the RW would be interesting. It’s a line you wouldn’t bank on to score a lot but they also have solid 2 way players who can wear down the other team and shut down other lines.