Sunday’s Projected Line Up

By , September 25, 2009 5:43 pm

Jean-Francois Jacques vs. Robyn Regehr - JFJ becoming Hemsky's new best friend

Jason Gregor of Oilers Nation mentioned the lines from today’s practice on TEAM 1260 and on Oilers Nation.

Here is how they looked today:

Forward lines:
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?

17 Responses to “Sunday’s Projected Line Up”

  1. Smokin' Ray says:

    I say the Oilers are kicking the tires for Jordan Tootoo. I have a feeling that is who the Oilers are interested in.

  2. Racki says:

    Hey Ray, I’d definitely be on board with that. I’m not so sure the Preds are willing to give him up though. But I think he’d be a great player to have. I know a lot of people here in Edmonton are not fans of him at all (consider him too dirty), but I love the edge he plays with and that he can often back it up.

  3. Racki says:

    Btw, I’ll add your site to the blog roll. Love the “Beers and Jeers”!

  4. gr8one says:

    honestly, thinking about our line combinations hurts my head, I’ll leave that to the coaches.

    as far as Nashville as a trading partner, I do like that they have some cap space and could take on some of our salary, but as far as players that they have that I’d want there really aren’t any. at least not ones that are realistic, et al: Shea Weber.

    some people like the idea of Tootoo as an Oiler, but I don’t think so, he doesn’t really bring much that the Oilers need, I think between Stortini, JFJ and now Stone, that we have guys here that can do what Toot’s does and then some. As everyone knows(except management it seems) we need a big center that can win Face-offs, and/or a shut down physical D man. not another winger. Legwand seems intriguing but his salary is pretty high for the numbers he puts up, and I think Nashville would probably want too much in return for him.

    so, I really can’t see a trade with Nashville addressing our needs directly, but perhaps if we sent some salary their way for some picks, that could give us some other trade options where we could take on some salary.

    the rights to Radulov is an interesting thought too, but we likely wouldn’t see him until next season at the earliest, and even then what he did bugs me, but man he oozes talent.

  5. Racki says:

    Gr8one: Ya, I think the most realistic trade with Nashville would be a player such as Nilsson for a mid-range pick.

    And I am a fan of Tootoo, but you definitely aren’t wrong in that he probably doesn’t really address our needs. It would really be nice to see them free up salary and sign Blair Betts already. :P I’ve harped on that enough though.

  6. Hockey Noob says:

    Brule’s an interesting player… On the one hand he does play somewhat physical. Yet on the other hand, has he had one shift where he doesn’t end up down on the ice? Brule gets pushed around quite a bit relative to most of the players on our roster.

    JFJ on the first line is questionable to me. I like seeing the size and physical presence, but I am not sold yet that he won’t be a liability defensively/offensively on the first line. I guess, there’s always Penner to swap in.

    Overall, Quinn’s made a distinct effort to spread some size around though the lines which is not an easy task considering Dustin Penner’s the only big boy who has established himself as a top six player.

    If nothing else, seeing JFJ plow down Calgary’s dmen alone will make him fun to watch at 1LW.

  7. Hockey Noob says:

    I should mention that I especially like JFJ’s play so far during the preseason. Hopefully, he can continue to run the crazy train while still being a good passenger on the bus. :)

  8. gr8one says:

    hehe, yeah…I agree with you on signing Betts.

    I actually heard a couple of days ago that he was going to sign with Philly, but I cannot find actual confirmation on that, interestingly enough though,

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/players/Blair_Betts
    and
    http://www.nhlnumbers.com/overview.php?team=PHI&season=0910

    both have him listed as a Flyer, so maybe it is just unofficially official.

    speaking of really good faceoff centers with some size, I wonder what’s going on with Radek Bonk? he is a beast on the dot, and a fellow czech might make hemmer happy, and we could probably get him super super cheap.

    as far as JFJ on line 1, I like it…I mean, why not? he has looked good there, I say give him some time there and if it works than great, if not, then go back to Penner or O’Sullivan there.

    and by the way, I do like Tootoo, I just think if we have other needs that need to be addressed than what he brings.

  9. Racki says:

    Yah so far JFJ has been a surprise on both ends. He’s been out on the PK a lot with Horcoff, so I think his defensive game is probably good enough to survive (especially with Horcoff out there). His offensive game has always been a question though. So who knows if he can keep the offense coming for very long.

  10. Hockey Noob says:

    It looks like Quinn’s going to try the Wedding Crasher lines… Every line has a guy that’s going to have to bang some dmen and create problems in front of the net. I guess last year, we had problems getting guys to go to the net. It seems like an interesting experiment at least.

    Even in our most recent game, on the powerplay, the commentator noted that though we created a shooting lane for one of our dmen, our two wingers were out of position to bang in any potential rebounds.

  11. Racki says:

    gr8one: Crazy about Betts. I know he was invited to their camp. But strange how those sites show him as a Flyer now. Either way, it sounded like he never was an option for us anyways, unfortunately. And I do agree on Tootoo that he doesn’t really solve any issues here, unless we’re pushing out some of our tougher players for some reason.

    Noob: Yah exactly, on the lines. Each of the top 3 lines have the same sort of potential. Every line has at least one goal scorer, playmaker, defensive player, and a crash/banger (obviously since that’s more than 3 roles, one player could embody more than one of those traits).

    In concept, it sounds like it could work really well. So far in pre-season we haven’t been doing too well, but the lines are still being hammered out and are at least looking good together.

  12. gr8one says:

    I just saw this at “Spector’s Hockey”

    “PHILLY.COM: Frank Seravalli reports if the Flyers as expected waive and demote defenseman Randy Jones and his $2.75 million salary it would free up enough cap space to fit James Van Riemsdyk, Blair Betts and Mika Pyorala under the cap.

    SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jones is the victim of the cap crunch with the Flyers. He might get back into the lineup later this season due to injuries or perhaps another team claiming him via waivers but for now he appears destined to start this season in the minors.”

    so, I guess that explains why Betts hasn’t “officially” signed there yet.

    http://compusolpei.com/spectorshockey.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=581:nhl-trade-a-free-agent-rumors-september-26-2009&catid=5:trade-rumors&Itemid=4

  13. Racki says:

    Thanks for the heads up, gr8one! I guess he’s as good as signed there. There are still guys out there that fit that same mold, but I really don’t think it is happening. Was just dreaming ;)

  14. Boondock says:

    I think the 4th line wingers in your lineup will be playing Sunday for the final roster spot on this year’s team.

    I think they’ll be the top three lines in your lineup, Brule, Pouliot, Moreau, Pisani and one of Nilsson/Stone.

    Should be interesting to see.

  15. Racki says:

    Very good observation, Boondock. I didn’t think of that, but I think you’re right that these are the 3 bubble guys fighting for that one last roster spot. It seemed funny having them all on the same line (although that would work), but maybe during the game we’ll see these guys subbing into the top nine to see who ultimately makes the roster.

  16. chucker says:

    Personally, I’ve always been a fan of the scary/dirty player. It gives you and edge. Regher is a prefect example. So was Mush and Linseman, Tikkanen.

    We need some scare factor to take the edge off of the other team’s attack.

  17. Racki says:

    Yah I would love a guy like that on our blueline, actually. I know he’s a slug and failed his physical with the Flyers last year, but in some ways I would have loved to see Kyle McLaren here, for that reason (that he plays dirty and makes guys think twice about dipseedoodling into our zone). Apparently he was invited to the Rangers camp.

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