Here is how they looked today:
JFJ Horcoff Hemsky
Penner — Comrie — O’Sullivan
Cogliano — Gagner — Stortini
Nilsson — Brule — Stone
D-pairings looked like so:
Souray — Staios
Gilbert — Grebeshkov
Smid — Visnovsky
Strudwick — Chorney
Today at work I was thinking the lines over, and I had the top 3 lines how we’ll (likely) see them on Sunday. Penner and JFJ could easily alternate spots, if necessary as well. Line 3, I had Moreau there again, but he did not skate today (due to an injury that isn’t likely serious). Line 4 was nothing like I imagined, but I would have to think that this one will be the most likely to change before October 3rd.
So that said, I’ve become a big fan of JFJ on our top line. He’s made that line, so far. But where the heck is Hemsky? Hopefully he shows up come regular season. I think I can see JFJ hanging around there for at least a few games. Eventually he may get replaced by Penner, but I don’t see JFJ falling out of our line up any time soon. He’s finally playing the exact kind of hockey we’ve needed to see from him. Now hopefully he can stay healthy.
Line 2… I’ve always wanted to see Penner play more with the kids, but it looked like the kid line faired not too bad last night with Moreau on that line. Quinn also moved Nilsson in there once the game softened up a bit, so that may have something to do with it. So now if Moreau can handle playing with the kids (I’m still not at all sold on that), then that logically puts Penner in Stone’s spot on line 2. To be honest, I was quickly wooed by Ryan Stone’s great play early in the pre-season, but the last couple of games he hasn’t been too impressive. That said, he hasn’t been bad at all, but I’d sooner see him further down the depth chart than Dustin Penner (who has been a brand new player since training camp day 1 – I knew he had it in him!).
Line 3… I’m a huge fan of Cogliano on the wing, especially with Gagner. Those two were spectacular last night. In particular, Cogliano was. He was all over the ice in the offensive zone. I think having him at wing will bring back his game. It’s looking like Moreau will play with these two for Sunday, and perhaps into the start of the season. I can’t say I’m a big fan of this. He just seems completely out of place out there to me. But he hasn’t had any real negative effect yet that I can tell. Maybe it’s just that I haven’t seen that same Moreau this year out there crashing bodies. I think if he starts doing that again, then that line is a winner.
Line 4, this one looks to be a bit of a dud to me, but I’m willing to wait and see. I’d like to see this line eventually become Moreau Brule Stortini (if Brule makes the team… he hasn’t impressed me too much aside from being a reliable PKer) or Moreau Betts Stortini (just kidding… I have given up hope on us signing him).
In other news, yesterday Gregor also reported that the Oilers were talking trade with the Nashville Predators. The Predators have oodles of cap space… they are barely above the floor. So they could be a team suitable of picking up a player like Nilsson or Pisani (and in return perhaps we take back a pick in a later round). I would really like to see the Oilers bundle up some players for a defenceman that can play a shutdown role, but I have doubts that this will happen.
What are your thoughts on the Oilers current lines (I have a feeling they won’t vary much come October 3rd)? Also, your thoughts on Nashville as a trading partner?