I don’t know about you, but I felt a whole lot better about the Oilers last night than I did after game one.
It didn’t start very pretty, though, with two goals against coming in the opening three minutes. Admittedly, the doubt began to creep in when I saw the Flames up by a pair. I wondered if the Oilers were going to allow Calgary to stomp them again?
The Oilers were unfortunate to concede the first goal. @Zach Hyman went to grab a new stick after it exploded, which led to Michael Stone getting Calgary on the board. On the second to Brett Ritchie, however, Mike Smith has got to prevent that. There were comments about Evan Bouchard not following his man, which is 100% true, but also harsh to blame him when the goalie should have swallowed that puck up in the first place. Either way, Edmonton managed to fight back to win 5-3, even with two goals disallowed.
Now, with the series tied at one and heading back to Edmonton for games three and four. What changes should the Oilers make? Is it even necessary to make a change after a win?
Let’s take a look at what Oilersnation is thinking:
I could’ve put another ten replies into this, all supporting the idea of playing Dylan Holloway. Fans are desperate to see him. I am not against this idea either, but I’ll get into it further down.
While I am on the Holloway love train, I am not on the Evan Bouchard hate train.
I think this improved a ton in game two. Game one, however, oh my goodness, it was horrendous.
There was a surprising amount of love for Brad Malone. He brings some good energy to the game and has better puck skills than Josh Archibald. I like Malone. Could he replace Archibald in game three? I don’t see why not, but he wouldn’t be my first option.
Holloway is who I would bring in as a replacement. He’ll bring more skill and speed to the Oilers forward group. Perhaps it even lets you go back to 11 and 7, and then you can mix in some shifts with Connor McDavid.
Taking Zack Kassian out of the lineup is something I wouldn’t do. His game needs to improve; there’s no doubt about that. Zero hits in the last two games are unacceptable. However, if you take him out of the lineup, I think it leaves the Oilers too invulnerable.
You’ve got to keep him around simply because he can fight. We haven’t seen it yet, but we need him there if something happens.
Finally, there were lots of comments to play Markus Niemelainen. I am not sure this is the correct answer either. Edmonton needs to play physically on the blueline; however, they also need more speed. Phillip Broberg would probably be a better response to that.
Those are the decision I would consider going into game three. Changing out Archibald would be my priority move, and then on the blueline, I said Broberg, but I would keep it the same.