Oilers’ Coach Set to Make Unexpected Decision for Game 3

The Edmonton Oilers are coming off a loss to the Dalas Stars and Kris Knoblauch is set to make an unexpected decision.

Getty The Edmonton Oilers are coming off a loss to the Dalas Stars and Kris Knoblauch is set to make an unexpected decision.

The Edmonton Oilers will face the Dallas Stars in Game 3 on Monday. The event marks the return of the former to their arena after stealing home-ice advantage from their opponents.

That, however, doesn’t mean Edmonton’s production has been good enough. There is speculation among fans and media that lineup changes should be made before Game 3.

Oilers head coach Kris Knoblauch informed reporters about his decision to keep the roster intact and not change many things.

“Overall, we’re not going to be blowing things up and saying we need to change how we’re playing,” Knoblauch told reporters on Sunday, May 26.

Knoblauch’s decision was unexpected amid the fans’ critiques aimed at the Oilers’ stars, Conor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. They have only one goal each and Dallas held them off the scoreboard in Game 2. The underproducing bottom-six group of forwards is also a concern.

Oilers Waiting for Adam Henrique, Considering Adjustments

Although Knoblauch is focused on stability, there might be some adjustments to the lineup soon, potentially even for Monday’s Game 3 if all goes according to plan and Edmonton can bring back one of their injured players.

One reporter asked Knoblauch about the availability of forward Adam Henrique. He inquired whether the veteran was getting closer to returning.

Henrique, for context, has been out since May 10. He logged 11:38 of playing time in the Oilers 4-3 (OT) win against the Vancouver Canucks in Game 2 of the second round.

“Yeah, he’s day-to-day,” Knoblauch said on May 26 about Henrique’s getting closer to returning. “We had him out there for a warm-up last game and Adam hopefully is ready for Game 3 or 4.

“I think when he does come in he’ll provide us with some secondary scoring, key on faceoffs, just good defensive play. He’s a good 200-foot player and that’s why we traded for him.”


It remains uncertain who will be removed to make room for Henrique. Two candidates to get scratched could be Ryan McLeod (no points through 14 postseason games) and Sam Carrick (1 point in 7 games), who are lining up as the third and fourth-line centers, per Daily Faceoff.

Oilers Steal Home-Ice Advantage Entering Game 3

By beating Dallas 3-2 (double OT) in Game 1, the Oilers have returned to Edmonton with a series split. They have stolen home-ice advantage turning the conference finals into a best-of-five.

For what’s worth, the Oilers have posted a 4-2 home record at Rogers Place in this year’s playoffs.

“We’re in a good position,” Knoblauch said on Sunday, May 26. “Before the series started, if someone said that we were going to be 1-1 coming into our building, we would have been happy. But it’s you win the first one, you always want to win the next one.”

Following Saturday’s loss, the Oilers coach called out the NHL during his postgame press conference. The comments came from his perceived discrepancies between regular and postseason officiating standards.

“The standard gets changed a little bit,” Knoblauch told reporters on May 25. “They (the NHL) would definitely want to make sure it’s a penalty when in the regular season, maybe some things get let go.”

Knoblauch, however, didn’t go any further nor expand on those comments on Sunday. He sounded happy to be back home with his team trying to retake the series lead against the Stars.

“It’s nice that we’re going to go back to Edmonton and play in front of our crowd at home,” Knoblauch said on May 26. “It’s going to be tough whether we’re playing them at home or on the road, so we just carry on.”

According to MoneyPuck’s odds, the Oilers are favored to beat Dallas in all potential scenarios (the series going five, six, or seven games long). They also have a 31.3% probability of winning the Stanley Cup following Sunday’s results, only behind the New York Rangers.

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