Friday, December 19, 2008

Chiming In On The New Lines

As reported by Jason Gregor on OilersNation, the lineups for tonight's game have been MacBlendered again. After the last 2 games, I'd say change is necessary but the combinations don't jive for me. Here are the lines:

Nilsson - Cogliano - Hemsky
Pouliot - Horcoff - Cole
Moreau - Gagner - Penner
Strudwick - Brodziak - Stortini

I am skeptical for splitting up 27-10-83 but the Oilers desperately need offense from more than one line so I'll buy it - at least for a game or 2. I also don't like moving Penner off the LW where he has been much more successful.

...

Now, halfway through this post, Gregor has just reported a new set of lines that I prefer alot more because Penner is back where he belongs.

Nilsson - Cogliano - Hemsky
Penner - Horcoff - Cole
Moreau - Gagner - Pouliot
Strudwick - Brodziak - Stortini

Observations:

- With all the home games coming up, I like the idea of putting out a line 12-13-83 that should be able to dominate in the soft minutes. Cogliano and Nilsson (in particular) need to get going and no better way then to put them with the only guy on the team that the offense follows.
- 27-10-27 should be able to dominate. If Cole can't get it going on this line, I dont know how he will because he has already proven he cant play LW with Hemsky.
- I dont see the 3rd line working. 2 skill guys with a guy who doesnt do anything but crash and bang anymore. If anything, playing with Morreau should bring some competitiveness to the line. Gagner thinks the game at a high level and this year hasnt shown the same ability. Perhaps playing with Morreau will simplify his game and yeild some offense. I'd still rather see Moreau on the 4th line and either Schremp or Brule given a shot on LW.
- Lowetide posted about how its good for Pouliot to get a shot with some quality linemates. I still see the revised line combination's as a good chance for Pouliot to show himself. Playing with the captain and the future, a couple good showings would really bode well for his future. After being bullish on Pouliot before he shit the bed playing with Morreau and Cole I'm not expecting as much. However, Pouliot has again been better in the last 5 games.

Playing 9 of their next 11 at home is a good time to take advantage of last change. At the same time, its not the time to be wasting games experimenting. The Oilers have fallen a bit behind here and need to capitalize at home in order to have a chance at the dance. Go Oilers!
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