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It’s Game 34 And Jesse Puljujarvi Is On The Top Line

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RNH back on the top line in practice today

NHL: St. Louis Blues at Edmonton Oilers
Get a goal, get a hug, high five.
Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been so long since the Oilers have suited up and played a a game.

Okay, it’s been three days. But that’s like six years in hockey time. Edmonton is getting ready for a meeting with the Tampa Bay Lightning tomorrow. What will they roll out?

AND THE STARS LOOK VERY DIFFERENT TODAY

Roster freeze is in full effect. The Oilers had a practice today. How’d that look?

  • THE 90S ARE BACK: The Oilers have scored a total of three goals in their last two games, and the offence is getting a jumble. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is back at the top with Connor McDavid and Jesse Puljujarvi, and I’m calling it the 90s line. One of the things I like about Ken Hitchcock over the departed Todd McLellan is that Hitchcock is getting more mileage out of Jesse Puljujarvi than McLellan ever did. Puljujarvi scored a goal in just ten minutes of ice time in Edmonton’s 4-2 loss to St. Louis on Tuesday, he’s getting a bump to the top today. Not bad for a guy who was catching scratches on the regular some twenty-five games ago.
  • Leon Draisaitl is back on line two along with Tobias Rieder and Alex Chiasson. Chaisson has had nearly everything go in the net so far this year (he’s still waltzing a shooting percentage over 31% right now), Leon will get a chance to drive line 2 along with Tobias Rieder. Rieder has yet to score a point in four games since returning from an upper body injury. Hitchcock has split the tandem of McDavid and Draisaitl, let’s see if it starts paying off on the second line.
  • Is ‘the Identity Line’ still the third line? Spooner and Caggiula one of those lines along with Ty Rattie, who has stuck it out after getting scratched a few times. Wow, it’s been four games since Kyle Brodziak had a goal and an assist.
  • Don’t look too long at the defence. Darnell Nurse is the best defenceman on the left side and he’ll likely pair with Adam Larsson tomorrow against Tampa Bay. Kevin Gravel and Caleb Jones will likely form the second pair, and Jason Garrison will likely team up with Matt Benning on the third pair there. Could really use Andrej Sekera in place of Garrison right now, but if the Oilers can score five tomorrow, we hopefully won’t be having that conversation.

The Oilers host the Lightning tomorrow. Afterwards, they’ll meet the Canucks on Thursday, December 27th.