Oilers Coach Kris Knoblauch Makes Bold Move With Roster Decision

Published December 7, 2023 at 6:57 PM

Oilers head coach Kris Knoblauch was given a unique challenge this year. Shortly after he took over from Jay Woodcroft as head coach of the Edmonton Oilers, he found himself with five days off in between games. This is exceptionally rare in the NHL, even during breaks for the all-star game and holidays. How he solved this issue will have other coaches proud.

Knoblauch Pulls Off Genius Move After Lengthy Rest Period In Schedule

Who would you expect the Oilers to start any given game? How about a game after five days off? If you said Ryan McLeod, you are either Kris Knoblauch, or you are a liar. Obviously, everyone would expect the Connor McDavid line to start and if they don't for whatever reason, surely it would be the Leon Draisaitl line. Many would probably even expect them to start both players on the same line. That might be exactly why Knoblauch went with another move altogether.

The freshman head coach was playing 4D chess last night as he started with a major gambit. Starting the third line. He players instantly rewarded him as Ryan McLeod scored 30 seconds into the first shift of the contest.

Defenseman Mattias Ekholm added to McLeod's tally just 11 seconds later, giving the Oilers a demanding two-goal lead less than a minute into the game. This time though, it did come with Connor McDavid on the ice as he set up the goal.

Connor McDavid spins off the defender and sets up Mattias Ekholm for another Edmonton goal!


Other Teams Should Take Notes From Knoblauch's Oilers

The Oilers would not give up the lead for the rest of the game as they ultimately steam rolled the Hurricanes 6-1.

The Oilers are 7-3 in their last ten games and they have won 5 in a row. They are one of the hottest teams in the league as they appear to be showing that they are not dead yet. The team still has a lot of work to do before they are back in a playoff spot, but suddenly the season does not seem to be lost as many had feared just a couple of weeks ago.

As seen on Oilers coach Knoblauch makes a gutsy decision with the team
December 7   |   285 answers
Oilers Coach Kris Knoblauch Makes Bold Move With Roster Decision

Were the Oilers correct in firing Jay Woodcroft?

No, but it worked out anyways11540.4 %
No, could be doing even better4114.4 %
Yes, they had to do something8830.9 %
Yes, its worked out great4114.4 %
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