It took four games for head coach Dave Tippett to put Zach Hyman on the top line with Connor McDavid and Jesse Puljuarjvi, but that line will be Tippett’s go-to versus the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday and fans will get their first real look at a line that many were excited about the potential for.
Until now, the Oilers have loaded McDavid and Leon Draisaitl on the top line with Puljujarvi and it’s been magical. The plan has worked as McDavid and Draisaitl are at the top of the NHL’s points leaderboard and Puljujarvi isn’t far off. Meanwhile, Hyman has done fine on a second line with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Kailer Yamamoto, but lately, it’s been a quieter unit. This new deployment will give fans their first real taste of why the Oilers signed Hyman in the first place.
Better Matchups on the Road
The speculated reasoning for the lineup change is the road matchups Tippett can go to when he doesn’t have the last change. The Oilers have played only home games so far this year and he’s been granted the luxury of final change. Now that he doesn’t have it, two potent lines with elite centers is the better option.