Sneak peek...

Robin Brownlee
October 05 2008 02:04PM

Craig MacTavish has traditionally provided a sneak peek at his regular season line-up in the final game of pre-season, and it doesn't look like the Edmonton Oilers bench boss is straying far from that against the Dallas Stars at the American Airlines Centre tonight.

Looking at MacTavish's line-up card, there's no major surprises, although it's noteworthy that tough guy Steve MacIntyre will draw in for a second straight game after punching tough Jim Vandermeer into snot-bubble-blowing submission in Friday's 4–3 overtime loss to the Calgary Flames.

Forward line

Cole-Horcoff-Hemsky

Nilsson-Cogliano-Gagner

Moreau-Pisani-Penner

MacIntyre-Brodziak-Pouliot

Defence pairings

Souray-Visnovsky

Gilbert-Grebeshkov

Strudwick-Staios

Up front

In terms of tonight's first three lines, MacTavish is dressing the threesomes he intends to start the regular season with when the puck drops against the Colorado Avalanche Sunday.

As far as tonight's fourth line goes, MacIntyre gets his second straight game by drawing in for Zack Stortini, while Marc Pouliot stays in. I wouldn't read too much into that as it only makes sense MacTavish wants to get another look at MacIntyre after his bruising debut in Calgary.

When the regular season begins, expect to see Pouliot on left wing with Kyle Brodziak at centre and Stortini on the right side as the fourth line. It'll be MacIntyre who gets the 13th and final roster spot for forwards.

As is stands, that leaves Gilbert Brule and Rob Schremp, both scratched tonight, with tickets to Springfield.

The back end

The top two defensive pairings are what fans can expect to open the season. I'd expect to see Ladislav Smid alongside Steve Staios against the Avalanche, but Strudwick draws in tonight.

If anything, I was guessing Staios would get a night off against Dallas to regroup after a tough game in Calgary, but it's Smid who sits tonight. I'm told, though, MacTavish and Staios had a long conversation today.

Anyway, when the final cuts are made look for Smid back beside Staios with Strudwick as the seventh D-man.

It's not exactly stop-the-presses-stuff that it'll be Taylor Chorney, Theo Peckham and Mathieu Roy who are headed to the AHL.

And... the Oilers will take Monday off and skate Tuesday morning at Rexall Place—at which time it's likely the last cuts will be made—before leaving for Jasper... by the way, Mathieu Garon will get the start in goal tonight.

—Listen to Robin Brownlee every Thursday from 4 to 5pm on Just A Game with Jason Gregor on Team 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
Avatar
#1 AndrewB
October 05 2008, 02:25PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Will we get to see the likes of Steve Ott and Sean Avery tonight?

Also is the game being broadcasted anywhere?

Avatar
#2 The Towel Boy
October 05 2008, 04:10PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

I don't think there's tv coverage for this one...I read on the oilers forum a few weeks ago that they can't even stream this one over the net cuz there's ZERO tv comin' out of the arena. But maybe something has changed since then. Guess I'll have to go all "1940's" and listen to the game on my transistor radio.

Avatar
#3 Smokin' Ray Burnt
October 05 2008, 06:11PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Is it possible that Stortini goes down and Brule stays? That was my 1st thought. His job is essentialy taken by Big Mac and Brule has been great all preseason. So why keep Storts up with the big club?

Avatar
#4 RobinB
October 05 2008, 06:43PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Smokin': No chance. None. Nada. Brule will start in Springfield.

Avatar
#5 R-Gib
October 06 2008, 09:15AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Thats a shame. IMO, think we would be much more effective rolling 4 with a Brule, Brodziak, Stortini line...

Avatar
#6 Gord
October 06 2008, 09:49AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

"Thats a shame. IMO, think we would be much more effective rolling 4 with a Brule, Brodziak, Stortini line…"

Those are my thoughts as well. As much fun as we all had watching MacIntyre pound on Vandermeer on Friday, I suspect last night's performance from MacIntre will be the norm.

Comments are closed for this article.