Thursday, October 6, 2011

Your Edmonton Oilers 2011-2012 Edition

The starting 23 to survive the cuts will look something like this.

- This line is long on speed and puck skill but short on battle. I think Hemsky will be totally useless on a line like this. RNH and Hall will have to criss cross on the rush in order for it to work.
- This line has no playmaker and all of them are more dangerous around the net as opposed to away from it. This line has very little in terms of puck transport. I can't see a line like this scoring a bunch.
- It has decent dimension for a 3rd line if Omark shoots the puck more than looking to dish. If the puck gravitates to more to Paajarvi and he is able to transport and dish the puck, it might have a chance.
- Its a 4th line thats decent on skill and grit but very short in pugilism. I think its would be better off playing Hordichuk instead of Petrell. With no pugilism anywhere on the forward group, this team will be a total pushover. The forward group just flat out needs more bullets.

- A decent pair, just not a top line pair. Let's face it, without Whitney, the entire defense is a hurtin' unit.
- Another pairing with good dimension. But at any moment the wheels could fall off for Sutton and we are still waiting for Petry to get his on. All being said, Sutton is th perfect partner for Petry to ply his trade.
- A passable 3rd pair. One that may be surprisingly good one night and surprisingly bad the next. The key is to limit the matchups here and give them a sniff on the power play every once in awhile. Overall, a defense that could tread water, but if anything at all falters with the forwards or goaltending, will likely drown in the deep end.
Chorney Smid

- It good that both are playing OK at this point, although I still think Dubnyk is outplaying Khabibulin to this point. If both goaltenders prove to be who I think they are, its going to be a long year.

IR - Gagner, Eager, Whitney (Whitney can come back any time, Gagner and Eager will be out until at least next Thursday October 13)

Those are the line combos as of the last practise. The lines are still a bit mismatched (ie. 2 playmakers on the same line, no playmakers on another line, sticks don't line up well, lack of right handed shots, no real checking line to play the toughs). Even more importantly still a lot of small skill in the lineup. They need to lose a couple of the small skill types and replace them will some grizzled vets that can score a little.

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