Dave Tippett brought out the blender today at practice.
Despite picking up a huge 3-2 win over the Calgary Flames on Saturday night, the Oilers have scored only four goals in their last four games, so Tippett is going back to a combination we haven’t seen for quite some time.
Here’s what the line looked like at practice on Sunday, per Ryan Rishaug…
Draisaitl – McDavid – Yamamoto
Ennis – Nugent-Hopkins – Puljujarvi
Shore – Khaira – Turris
Neal – Haas – Chiasson
(Extras: Kahun, P. Russell, Nygard)
The big thing here, of course, is the fact that Leon Draisaitl has been put on Connor McDavid’s wing, which is something we haven’t seen Tippett do much this season. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has been moved to the second centre spot after spending the majority of his season playing on the wing. Also, Tyler Ennis is in the top-six, Dominik Kahun was skating with the extras on the fifth line, and Kyle Turris remains in the lineup as a winger.
It seems as though Tippett is using this upcoming three-game series against the basement-dwelling Ottawa Senators as an opportunity to mix things up and inject some life into Edmonton’s offence.
Though they’ve mostly been driving their own lines, McDavid and Draisaitl have played 75 minutes together at even-strength this season with some incredible results. With the McDrai duo on the ice together, the Oilers are dominating shot attempt differential 103-to-61 and they’re outscoring opponents 12-to-2.
A series against Ottawa is probably the best opportunity Tippett has to try something new. It’ll be interesting to see how this pans out.