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Oilers Planning 3 Significant Lineup Changes For Game 4

The Edmonton Oilers are expected to make some lineup changes for Game 4 against Dallas, with three key players possibly coming out.

As the Edmonton Oilers prepare for a crucial Game 4 against the Dallas Stars on Wednesday night, head coach Kris Knoblauch is considering significant lineup changes. While Knoblauch wouldn’t confirm who was in and who was out, the morning skate said a lot about the team’s potential plans. Expected changes could involve Philip Broberg, Ryan McLeod, and Corey Perry replacing Vincent Desharnais, Sam Carrick, and Warren Foegele.

Philip Broberg, yet to play this postseason, is a promising defensive prospect who played a few games is last season’s playoffs and didn’t look out of his element. However, his lack of playoff experience this season means he’s coming in rusty and that could pose a problem with the Oilers needing a win to tie the series at two games apiece.

Related: McDavid Defends Darnell Nurse Amidst Playoff Criticism

Ryan McLeod, one of the Oilers’ fastest players, has struggled. Despite his speed and ability to kill penalties, he was scratched in Game 3. Knoblauch wouldn’t confirm McLeod was coming back into the lineup when asked on Tuesday, but he seems the most logical choice based on how the coach has made sure to praise the player while also acknowledging his struggles.

Ryan McLeod Warren Foegele Vincent Desharnais Oilers

Corey Perry brings valuable experience and a knack for excelling in big games. Perhaps more importantly, he’s a gnat who can get under the skin of opposing players and potentially create power play opportunities. Perry’s inclusion aims to add grit and agitation and his veteran savvy could shift the psychological balance, even if he plays limited minutes. He’s yet to do much in the playoffs, likely because he’s struggled to keep pace, but he’s well-rested now. Expect him to go all out knowing this could be his last game.

Bold Lineup Changes for Oilers Have Paid Off in the Past

Sitting Foegele, Desharnais, and Carrick comes with some risk. Desharnais struggled with a couple of sequences in Game 3, but he’s been a stalwart in these playoffs for the Oilers this season. He’s done more than asked of him and has really grown into a solid option on the blue line. He’s been playing as many or more minutes than Cody Ceci and, with Darnell Nurse struggling, Desharnais has been asked to take on more responsibility.

Foegele is a playdriver and forechecker, even if he’s not produced the goals and points to go with this effort level. Carrick is one of the few Oilers physical players. He leads the team in Hits per 60, and by a wide margin.

Knoblauch’s readiness to make bold lineup changes speaks to his fearlessness to make a mistake. The question is, are these the right moves?

Next: Oilers Sticking With Skinner for Game 4 The Right Call

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Drockz50

    May 29, 2024 at 2:07 pm

    Like the pairing of Nurse-Ceci will make a difference ????

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