The Oilers get their first taste of life without Connor McDavid tonight when they take on the Pittsburgh Penguins. In the wake of the injury to McDavid, and with the return of Jordan Eberle, the lines have been shuffled as the coaches look for new combinations in the top six, combinations that will hopefully have a little of the same chemistry that we saw previously. Will it be enough to keep the Oilers competitive on a nightly basis? Only time will tell, but if not changes will need to be made because you can’t throw in the towel on a season because of one broken bone.
How To Watch
Puck drop: 7:00PM MST
Radio: 630 CHED
What To Watch For
Since being recalled from Bakersfield everything has gone Leon Draisaitl’s way. And now he finds himself centring the team’s top line with Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle. Hands up if when Draisaitl was sent back to junior back in January you saw this coming 14 games into the new season. Playing in the middle will come with a lot more responsibilities than playing the wing, playing centre on the team’s top line is another thing entirely. But he and Hall have really been clicking, so keeping the two together for a couple games to see if they can keep it going with Draisaitl in a new role is probably worth a shot.
The Opposing View
After playing pretty well, David Perron finally broke through Wednesday for his first goal of the season. Goal scorers are notoriously streaky and often see them come in bunches. If Perron gets on track and opens up more room for Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel (both of whom have played well) look out. That's a #1 line right there.
Projected Line Combinations
|Taylor Hall||Leon Draisaitl||Jordan Eberle|
|Benoit Pouliot||Ryan Nugent-Hopkins||Nail Yakupov|
|Matt Hendricks||Mark Letestu||Teddy Purcell|
|Luke Gazdic||Andrew Miller||Iiro Pakarinen|
|Darnell Nurse||Andrej Sekera|
|Brandon Davidson||Oscar Klefbom|
|Griffin Reinhart||Eric Gryba|