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BLOG: Tippett's Dynamic Duo deployment

Oilers Head Coach Dave Tippett elaborated on his deployment of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl as a tandem on Friday

by Paul Gazzola / EdmontonOilers.com

EDMONTON, AB - On Friday, Oilers Head Coach Dave Tippett aligned the Dynamic Duo - Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl - together with Zack Kassian but in Edmonton's home opener on Wednesday, the Duo was divided.

There's little doubt that when paired, the math makes sense. 

Last season, McDavid and Draisaitl shared 805:37 of ice time at even strength and their production skyrocketed. Both established career highs in points - No. 97 compiling 116 and No. 29 netting 105 - with The Deutschland Dangler becoming one of two players in the League to score 50 goals.

Although Tippett began the 2019-20 season with the superstars apart, he isn't completely married to the idea, intending to add the tandem into the equation at certain times during matches.

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"If they take off and are just unbelievable at the start of the game, I like them together," said Tippett on Friday. "If they're apart and we can find some matchups we like and we can support other people, I like that too."

The Oilers bench boss may not have been coaching the past two seasons when he was serving an advisor role with the new Seattle franchise but his ability to manage the bench has not been forgotten. Tippett knows he'll have to identify when changes will have to be made to his lines - meaning when to add in or divide the Duo.

"Every game, you get a feel," Tippett said. "It's going to be that way. If you just say, 'These guys are together and here you go,' it doesn't work that way. You have players that are top players but they're players that can help other players and other players can help them. 

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"That's coaching. You got to find a spot to feel like you can get advantages or take advantages the other team has away."

Lines will shuffle throughout a 60-minute contest but Tippett maintained that whatever decision is made regarding the Duo will be for the benefit of the club.

"It's giving ourselves the best chance to win,' said the Oilers coach. "You're going to see in games, there's going to be tinkering. When you have players like that you try to find times when you can get advantages and find times when to make sure we're solid in other areas.

"Both those players can help out other parts of our lineup as well as help each other."

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