GDB 17: some interesting line changes

Jason Gregor
November 15 2008 10:44AM

Some interesting line up moves for tonight’s game. It looks like Craig MacTavish has decided to send two veterans a message, as Kyle Brodziak and Dustin Penner will be in the press box tonight, and Robert Nilsson is back on the second line. Thanks to Ryan Rishaug from TSN, here are the lines.

Moreau – Gagner – Hemsky Nilsson – Horcoff – Pisani Reddox – Cogliano – Cole Pouliot – Boulerice – Stortini

And it looks like Roloson will start.

The Penner benching is no surprise. He has shown virtually no emotion in any game this season. Penner has to learn to use his 240-pound frame to his advantage. Sure, he will never be a mean power forward, but he can’t be afraid to lean on an opposing player from time-to-time.

Brodziak benching can be explained by his lack of wanting to get involved physically against the Leafs. Twice in that game there were scrums that Matt Stajan and then Hagman both put a glove in his face and he didn’t react. I don’t think they expect him to be an agitator, but he can’t get pushed around by those types of players. Yesterday MacTavish said, “If a guy has zero across the scoresheet, he has to find a way to get involved. Rarely do other teams get annoyed playing us.”

Clearly that was a shot at both Penner and Brodziak.

Expect some fireworks tonight vs the Avs. With Tucker, Laperriere, Mcleod and McCormick in the lineup, you can bet that the message will be loud and clear, and the Oilers will play with some emotion and some sort of physical presence.

—Listen to Gregor weekdays from 3 to 6pm on TEAM 1260 Edmonton Sports Radio or online at www.justagame.ca.

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#1 chaz
November 15 2008, 11:26AM
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Kudos to Mac T for making tough decisions like this. Put everyone on their toes and remind them that playing in the show isn't a right, they have to earn it. This is the type of thing I think he could have done 5-6 games ago, but better late than never. I'm not sure why Pouliot seems to avoid Mac T's wrath, but I really see no reason why he couldn't sit out a game to give someone else a chance. Robbie seems to be playing well in Springfield. Doesn't he deserve a shot?

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#2 dave
November 15 2008, 11:54AM
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great chaz, 'remind them that playing in the show isn't a right, that they have to earn it' and then put in your unwarranted vote for shremp for the all star game... nice

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#3 Bruthah
November 15 2008, 12:08PM
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"If a guy has zero across the scoresheet, he has to find a way to get involved. Rarely do other teams get annoyed playing us.”"

Is that a good poke at Horcoff? I'm betting his ears perked up for that one. Wonder how long it will take him to get his ass in gear.

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#4 Vic Ferrari
November 15 2008, 12:17PM
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What were the PK pairings, Jason?

MacTavish will want a right shooting centre on one of the units for sure. With Brodziak sitting Pouliot seems like the obvious choice, but MacTavish has been pushing Gagner along with PK work, so I'm guessing it will be his gig tonight.

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#5 Dennis
November 15 2008, 12:45PM
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Vic: MacT had been getting both 27-89 away from the PK in the last couple of games and that was a good move IMO but in looking at the numbers at BTN, 51 Hasn't been a problem on the PK.

Not sure if he takes draws in the "A" but Pendergast has a quote in a Springfield paper today about Reddox being called up to help out the PK unit so we can imagine he'll be on that unit.

For my money, I would've kicked 27 to the pressbox and brought in Reddox to help on the PK OR more likely I would've sat out 46 and brought in Reddox to help the PK and I would've bumped 27 down to play with 51-Reddox and just cut his TOI and see how he liked those apples. That's not me saying that 27 is beyond being asked to sit out, it's just me saying that 51 could've probably helped out on the PK according to the numbers.

Regarding the new lines, I still don't see two lines that can handle tough matchups. Sakic is out tonight, he is having a rough year at EV though, and overall the Avs don't have two lines to worry about at EV. So we might get off with this alignment vs Colorado.

12 showed some nice things with 10-83 in that loss at Nsh so he has that going for him; the 13-26 pairing plus Reddox is an absolute unknown and 78 gets saddled on the 4th line.

I expect we'll see 10 forwards running through three lines and at the very least maybe 13-26 can spark. Cogs had three great chances at MSG and looked ready to pop so maybe it will happen for him tonight; 26 hasn't been getting a whole lot done lately so maybe this will un-funk him.

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#6 Kai
November 15 2008, 12:46PM
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Yes, lets bench our +/- leader. Lets bench our Lets take away his PP time, complain about his lack of points and then harp about the non-physical nature of his play that he has ALWAYS exhibited even BEFORE we traded for him. Look, if you trade for Cranberry juice, dont complain when its a little bitter...just be happy its clearing out your colon a bit...id love to clear out my colon on MacT right about now.

How about benching non-physical players that havent produced points DESPITE getting first line ice time, first line PP time, and are defensively suspect despite playing shielded minutes with first defensive pairings like Sam Gagner...thats right, I said it, I said it. Lets bench the golden boy and leave reliable two way nonphysical 3rd line wingers ALONE

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#7 Vic Ferrari
November 15 2008, 12:59PM
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How are the scoring chance rates looking for the individual PKers, Dennis? Do you have the totals for those guys?

To my eye Penner and Gagner have been as bad as you would have expected, and Brodziak hasn't been any hell. And I agree with Brodz's comments in the Gregor article below, those shots from the blue line, but right down the middle, are dangerous and have been a problem for the Oil. If a shot bounces off of someone ... there is a lot more mesh visible to the eye from straight on. And the rebounds tend to come right back into the low slot, like Brodziak says, it's a crapshoot then, you hope to hell they come to an Oiler instead of a bad guy, and 'hope' is never a good plan.

And how has Reddox looked on the dot in Springfield, anyone know? I can't even remember if he draws to the right side, but 51's replacement will have to.

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#8 jdrevenge
November 15 2008, 01:03PM
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i thought cranberry juice was good for the urethra?

good to see some guys sitting out this early.

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#9 Jonathan Willis
November 15 2008, 01:27PM
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Good to see Hemsky, Pisani and Cole on different lines. That needed to happen, and the sooner the better.

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#10 milli
November 15 2008, 01:40PM
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I'm done with MacT. I love how he'll only send a message to certain players. I love how he loves his favorites (what do you think Garon is thinking???? Well, I was the number one till I had two so so games, can't wait to sign somewhere else). I love how the team is never prepared to play a full 60. I can't hardly wait til june, when MacT is promoted to assistant executive GM.....I can only hope that they don't bring Simmer in as the head coach....

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#11 Rindog
November 15 2008, 02:25PM
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Emotion or not - Penner and Brodziak are playing exactly the way the coach is coaching - passionless.

MacT says to never let your highs get to high or your lows get to low.

Is it because he knows that when he coaches there will be far more lows than highs???

When is our coach going to show some consistency? Gagner plays like crap all season and gets rewarded with 1st line duty. Nilsson has a couple of bad games and is demoted to the 4th line. Our worst forward might possibly be Horcoff and yet he continues to lead to the team in icetime. Is Pisani showing our young role players how to be physical and get involved??? A guy like Brodziak is just following the lead of our veteran leaders....

Rather than bench a player that you have set up for failure this season (Penner) or a 4th line role player - why not send a message to you highest paid forward??

And as for Roli starting...

Do I really need to comment???

It took MacT 40+ games to let Roli try to prove he was #1 last year. He then decides in 5 games that Garon isn't good enough? I'm sorry but without Garon our team is 1-7-1 to start the season.

Consistency MacT, consistency!!!!

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#12 Deans
November 15 2008, 03:01PM
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Message or no message, that 4th line is ugly. Hell its AHL ugly.

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#13 R-DAWG
November 15 2008, 03:03PM
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With it being this early in the season, realizing that 2 points is valuable, why don't the oilers management bring in several ahl players. Sit Horcoff for 1 or 2, sit Gagner, sit Penner, sit or just plain send down Pouliot, sit Brodziak, and let someone who just might possibly want to play here. Ya we might give up 2 points, but what is the difference than what is happening now. Like it was said here a couple days ago, who are the players scared of. Nobody will take their place. Aside from Hemsky, who shows any skill really. We have 11, 3rd or 4th liners. I say give J.D another shot and if he craps the bed then put Roli or Garon in. Boy, this coaching thing is easy!!

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#14 R-DAWG
November 15 2008, 03:17PM
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When I hear "we need to play our game and we will be successful" what game is that exactly. The play well in the first 20 then once we build up that comfortable 1 goal lead, piss away the next 40. Or is it the play like crap while our goalie of choice keeps us in the game, get down 2 goals and in the final 5 mins try to pull out the regulation tie and hope to win in the shootout.

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#15 Jerry MacWire
November 15 2008, 05:07PM
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MacT: Penner, Brodder, off the ice, you're benched tonite.

Penner:Zzzzzzzzzz Brodziak: Zzzzzzzzz

Can we really be sure that they heard MacT and will be in the press box? I kinda doubt it.

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#16 Clarkenstein
November 15 2008, 06:41PM
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I wondered why they waited so long to staple Penner's ass to the bench!!! And Tencer (I know u read this) you spent all last year defending this inconsistent big pussy... what's your excuse now???? Caller after caller bitched about this guy and all you did was get rude with them. While Brian Burke is still an a**hole maybe he was closer to the truth than we gave him credit for!!

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#17 baggedmilk
November 15 2008, 06:41PM
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One time that I actually want the Leafs to win they're getting their ass kicked. Unreal.

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#18 Gord
November 15 2008, 06:45PM
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I agree that those two players need to be more physical, but does anyone think the message will get through? Does Penner and Brodziak worry about Boulerice taking their spot? Dammit - bring up Brule or Schremp who actually have a chance at securing the spot and maybe you'll open some eyes and ears of players who are coasting and just generally $#!tting the bed.

I hate to basically repeat messages from above, but I continue to believe that MacT has no clue how to motivate the players. It's the only way to explain why the team only plays 1 period a game most nights. I say this time after time, if the Oilers wouldn't have made that cup in in '06 we would have been rid of that boob.

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#19 baggedmilk
November 15 2008, 08:28PM
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baggedmilk is in the building... Hungover, but in the building.

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#20 baggedmilk
November 15 2008, 08:31PM
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Damn you Ryan Smyth.

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#21 Gord
November 15 2008, 08:33PM
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Two years later and we have not found a replacement for him

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#22 baggedmilk
November 15 2008, 08:33PM
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I'm by myself here I think.

How's the game going so far baggedmilk?

Alright I guess, BM.

What did you think about Smyth scoring against his old team?

I'd string him up by the mullet if you don't mind me saying.

Of course not. In fact I'd say that is another fine idea.

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#23 Gord
November 15 2008, 08:35PM
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What, am I invisible, or is BM not really hung over, but completely hammered??

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#24 baggedmilk
November 15 2008, 08:36PM
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Haha sorry, Gord. Didn't see you there. I was just having a good time talking to myself.

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#25 Gord
November 15 2008, 08:37PM
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lol Sorry to have disturbed your conversation!! :D

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#26 baggedmilk
November 15 2008, 08:39PM
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It's ok, I was starting to piss myself off anyway. I am not liking all these turnovers by the Oilers night after night.

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#27 baggedmilk
November 15 2008, 08:42PM
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PISANI NOOOOO

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#28 Gord
November 15 2008, 08:44PM
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The Oilers still can't get the puck out of their own end :(

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#29 Buck75
November 15 2008, 08:44PM
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Sorry man - going to millenium place to play slo-pitch.

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#30 R-DAWG
November 15 2008, 09:13PM
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There's Pouliot on the power play gets a wicked feed from Gagner and not to steal from anyone else writing in but ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

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#31 R-DAWG
November 15 2008, 09:15PM
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Oh,Oh now who does Mac-T take out of the line-up to keep Reddox in??? HMMMMMMM... Pouliot!!

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#32 baggedmilk
November 15 2008, 09:17PM
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He gets his power from his blonde eyelashes.

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#33 Gord
November 15 2008, 09:17PM
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How about Boulerice?

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#34 baggedmilk
November 15 2008, 09:19PM
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He gets power and motivation from connecting stick to face.

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#35 Gord
November 15 2008, 09:20PM
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Boulerice should have his a$$ stapled to the bench. Why exactly did the Oilers pick him off waivers?

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#36 baggedmilk
November 15 2008, 09:24PM
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Mac is out for a couple months and Stortini can't fight.

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#37 Gord
November 15 2008, 09:25PM
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Boulerice isn't a heavyweight and he can't play. Not much of a dterant unless people are scared that he might club them in the face!

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#38 R-DAWG
November 15 2008, 09:27PM
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BINGO!!!

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#39 baggedmilk
November 15 2008, 09:27PM
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That's what I've been waiting for. The second period is almost over and he hasn't knocked someones brains yet. What is this? I demand vengeance.

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#40 Gord
November 15 2008, 09:32PM
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I can see Grebs being interviewed during the 2nd intermission. Oake: (oer who ever it is doing the interview)Grebs - what did you think of the horrible tripping call on Tucker? Grebs: baaaaaaaaa

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#41 baggedmilk
November 15 2008, 09:33PM
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Ah Wanye would be proud of you.

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#42 Gord
November 15 2008, 09:34PM
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I thought it was appropriate we represent him in his absence

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#43 Travis Dakin
November 15 2008, 09:37PM
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I'm proud of you

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#44 R-DAWG
November 15 2008, 09:37PM
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Svatos is a tool...practically rapes Horcoff and then puts his hands in the air

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#45 baggedmilk
November 15 2008, 09:38PM
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If you're going to be tossing out comments that my parents never did would you mind coming to give me a hug while you're at it? Maybe hang a picture I drew on your fridge?

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#46 Gord
November 15 2008, 09:40PM
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I miss Smytty interviews. And ahhh and ahhh and ahhhh and ahhhh and ahhhh.... lol

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#47 baggedmilk
November 15 2008, 09:42PM
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AHH I HATE PJ STOCK. <-- you can tell my displeasure by the use of caps.

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#48 Travis Dakin
November 15 2008, 09:43PM
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It's not your fault... It's not your fault... It's not your fault.

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#49 Gord
November 15 2008, 09:44PM
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Milbury is horrible - he complains as much as Healy did.

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#50 baggedmilk
November 15 2008, 09:44PM
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*sob*

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