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Oilers Make Odd Line Choice Ahead of Matinee Game vs. Stars

The Edmonton Oilers are juggling their forward lines versus the Dallas Stars and one move is intriguing, to say the least.

Ahead of a Saturday matinee game versus a very strong Dallas Stars team, the Edmonton Oilers have made an intriguing line change. While putting Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl makes sense to give the Oilers more firepower on the top line, head coach Kris Knobluch has removed one of the team’s most dangerous weapons this season from that group. Zach Hyman has been pushed down to the second line with Corey Perry up on the first line.

Perry is coming off of a game where he scored his first goal for the Oilers. It was one of the few bright spots in a disappointing effort against the St. Louis Blues on Thursday. That said, Hyman has been a machine for Edmonton and arguably one of their more consistent forwards. With 32 goals and 50 points in 49 games, the move is an intriguing one.

Zach Hyman wasn’t selected for the 2024 All-Star Game

No doubt, Hyman will be effective on any line, and paired with Evander Kane and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, that trio could develop chemistry. It won’t stop fans from wondering if this is the right move. Is this a reward for Perry? Or, is this a demotion for Hyman? Maybe it’s neither and Hyman is being used to spark Kane and Nugent-Hopkins.

Meanwhile, how will Perry mesh with McDavid and Draisaitl? Perry, like Hyman, loves to wreak havoc in front of the net. Is this a good way to unlock his full potential? Footspeed may be an issue, so the coach may have to watch for that.

Other Oiler Line Changes vs. Stars

Due to illness, Dylan Holloway will be absent from today’s game, and Sam Gagner will be in the lineup, as confirmed by Edmonton Oilers Head Coach Kris Knoblauch. Worth noting, Gagner demonstrated his scoring prowess with a two-goal performance against Dallas on November 2nd.

Gagner hasn’t been a regular in the lineup, but he does provide a spark of energy. The Oilers could use some offense and a win against the tough Stars team would do a lot for the team’s overall confidence.

Next: 5 Oilers Assets in the Top 50 of TSN’s Trade Bait Board

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