G15+ Game Notes: Adam Henrique in, Ryan McLeod out for Oilers in Game 3

Edmonton Oilers Ryan McLeod
Photo credit:Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Jason Gregor
22 days ago
There will be at least one lineup change for the Edmonton Oilers tonight, but we will see more for both the Oilers and Dallas Stars?
— Adam Henrique will play his first game since Game 2 against Vancouver. He will draw in for Ryan Mcleod, who has struggled in the last number of games.  The fourth line of Mattias Janmark, Sam Carrick and Connor Brown has been very good thus far, not only producing a goal and outshooting the Stars when they are on the ice but also by having momentum-changing shifts with a solid cycle game.
— The third line has been unproductive all playoffs. Ryan McLeod has no points in 14 games. Derek Ryan has one assist in 11 games. Warren Foegele has two assists 5×5, and one came when he was on a line with Janmark and Carrick. Foegele also has an empty net goal. I could understand why some want Knoblauch to give McLeod the night off. He’s been outscored 6-1 at 5×5. He has been on the ice for a goal against in four consecutive games, and he’s been directly involved in three of those goals. However, his speed is still a major asset, and with Henrique returning from an ankle injury, they might want him to play the wing first. McLeod is tied for third on the team in shots this series with five and tied with Evander Kane for the team lead with seven hits.
— I could make an argument for adding Corey Perry back in the lineup as well. He’s best suited to play on a line with players who can cycle the puck. If he returns, I’d play him with Janmark and Carrick, and slide Brown up to the third line instead of Ryan. The Oilers could run a third line of Henrique-McLeod-Brown or Foegele-Henrique-Brown. Ryan isn’t playing a lot 5×5. He’s logged 82:49 in 11 games, while also playing 16:23 on the penalty kill. He’s averaging the fewest minutes per game of any forward at 9:16, with 1:29/game on the PK.
— Ryan is solid on faceoffs on the penalty kill, going 17-12 and the PK has been great, but Dallas hasn’t drawn a lot of penalties in the playoffs. They are averaging 2:59 of PP time per game. If you split that up among the Oilers’ three forward penalty-killing units, it means each forward penalty-killer would average about 1:00/game. The Oilers have enough good penaltykillers that they should be able to manage without Ryan, if Knoblauch feels Perry will offer more 5×5. Considering how little the third line has accomplished thus far in the playoffs, it is at least worth the conversation.
— It is a good problem to have. Knoblauch has 14 forwards to choose from, and the two who don’t play should be energized when they get back in the lineup.
— Dallas might also have a lineup change. Roope Hintz is getting closer. Before Game 2, head coach Peter Deboer said he was an option but didn’t take the warmup. He has been skating with the Stars, and if he returns tonight that will be a big boost for them. It would likely mean Ty Dellandrea comes out and the Stars will alter their lines. Tyler Seguin would likely go back to the wing, while Evgenii Dadonov would slide down to the fourth line with Sam Steel and Craig Smith. Hintz is a very good player, and his return should be a big boost for Dallas.
— Dallas opted to go with Esa Lindell and Miro Heiskanen more often vs. Connor McDavid’s line in Game 2. They played 9:40 together, and much of that was when McDavid and Leon Draisaitl were on the ice as a line. I still believe the Oilers are better when their two superstars play on separate lines, and I’d expect them to be to start Game 3. Knoblauch has the last change for the next two games, and while he won’t try to protect McDavid from any matchup, I’m curious how he will use the last change to his advantage. McDavid only saw Thomas Harley and Ryan Suter for three minutes each last game, and while I don’t expect him to get a heavy dose of those two, you have to think he will get McDavid in a few more favourable matchups.
— Stuart Skinner and Jake Oettinger have both looked really sharp in this series. That is great for them, but as a fan of offence, I hope we see more goals tonight. More goals often mean more lead changes and more excitement. In the third period, Edmonton showed good patience getting into good shooting lanes, but the Stars responded with some great blocked shots. Edmonton hopes a few more of those make it through to the net tonight.
— Through two games the Oilers have 67 shots on goal, 49 shots attempts were blocked and 32 missed the net for a total of 148 attempts. So far 45.3% of their shot attempts have been on goal.
Dallas has 58 shots on goal, 37 attempts were blocked and 33 missed the net for a total of 128 attempts. The Stars also have had 45.3% of their shots reach the net.
This line from Paul Maurice after Florida’s overtime loss yesterday in Game 3 seems fitting for the Oilers” “Lords knows we left most of our offence off shin pads or wide of the post. So, there’s a lot of fertile ground there for us to mine and get to.” Florida only had 37.9% of their shots hit the net.
— Through the first two games Dallas has 10 skaters with one point and Edmonton has nine. Each team has four goals with a goalie in the net. Jamie Benn leads both teams with three points through two games. Edmonton has out chanced Dallas 16-3 off the rush, and if that continues, they should have a great chance to win this series.
— The Oilers need to use their speed and force Dallas into positions to take penalties. They averaged two times shorthanded per game vs. Vegas and Dallas and they’ve only been shorthanded three times in two games v. the Oilers, and one of them was a too-many-men-on-the-ice penalty. If you take a step back, the Oilers have been equally disciplined. McDavid’s four-minute high stick was off a faceoff, and the Evan Bouchard penalty shouldn’t have been called. Overall both teams have been disciplined, but the Oilers need to put the Stars in more vulnerable positions and force them to take a penalty. It won’t be easy, as Colorado and Vegas couldn’t do it, but if they can draw three penalties it could have a huge impact in the outcome of the games. Dallas has been shorthanded 11 times in six road games, the fewest of any team in the playoffs.
— Zach Hyman has six goals in six home playoff games, while Evan Bouchard leads the Oilers with 14 points on home ice.


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