GDB III: Line shake-ups against the Flames

Jason Gregor
October 08 2009 11:15AM

Even though the Oilers are averaging four goals a game, Pat Quinn has decided to shake up all four of his lines.

Dustin Penner will skate with Shawn Horcoff and Ales Hemsky. Sam Gagner will centre JF Jacques and Patrick O’Sullivan, while Mike Comrie moves to the LW beside Gilbert Brule and Ryan Stone. Andrew Cogliano is back in the middle between Ethan Moreau and Zack Stortini.

And it looks like Jason Strudwick will see his first action alongside Lubomir Visnovsky. Steve Staios is out because of his head and Robert Nilsson will take a seat upstairs.

It's obvious why Penner is up on the first line, but it's a bit surprising that he was moved there to jump-start Horcoff and Hemsky. Those two haven’t been good at all, and hands up how many of you thought Penner would be used as a spark-plug for others.

It's a credit to Penner, because he is in good shape. He isn’t labouring skating up and down the ice, and in fact, he looks just as fresh late in the game as he does early.

Moving Comrie to the wing is a bit of a surprise, considering he is 80% in the draws so far. I wouldn’t be surprised if he takes a few of the draws playing with Brule. Gagner’s play has earned him a promotion and maybe he can somehow help O’Sullivan finish off the great scoring chances he has missed so far this season.

With all the shuffling, Quinn has remained true to his belief that he needs at least one banger on all of his lines.

The Oilers are expecting a more physical game from the Flames tonight. Last Saturday the Oilers were clearly the aggressor, and the Flames will try to match that.

And look for Quinn to match up Horcoff’s line versus Phaneuf and Regehr tonight. Those two have struggled in their own zone so far this year, and while Quinn doesn’t go out of his way to match lines look for him to try and get Hemsky away from Bouwmeester tonight.

Stone leads the Oilers with nine hits, and while he isn’t the best skater, he has been very consistent at finishing all of his checks. He has had two big hits, and landing a big hit is as tough as scoring a goal. If Stone continues to get at least one every two games, he’ll stick on the roster.

Smid has struggled, but I think Grebeshkov has been worse. However, his two points earned him a pass for another game. Quinn wants Nikolai Khabibulin to find his game and expect him to play tonight and Saturday against the Habs. It seems Tom Renney is doing the same with Grebeshkov. His play hasn’t been that much better, but the coaching staff believes his overall game is better than Smid's and they are hoping Grebeshkov finds some consistency soon.

Steve MacIntyre continues to practice as a D-man, and unless the coaches feel they need a super heavyweight in a game, I don’t expect him to get in the line-up soon.

Wayne Fleming worked a lot with Horcoff, Cogliano, Brule and Gagner on draws this morning. Gagner is a woeful 29% so far this year and he needs to improve drastically. Cogliano went against Brule for two different sets of five, and then he went against Stortini. Stortini was strictly trying power moves, and it looked they there were trying to get Cogliano more comfortable against a big centreman in the draw. Considering the Oilers don't have a big middle man, it makes sense to put Stortini in there strictly for the strength factor.

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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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#251 that guy
October 08 2009, 08:49PM
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I miss souray.

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#252 jeanshorts
October 08 2009, 08:51PM
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Does it make anyone else uneasy/kind of angry that every single one of us has a better idea of what is happening in the game than Louie DeBrusk? Who is at the game? And who played in the NHL? And gets paid to understand what is happening?

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#253 SirFozz
October 08 2009, 08:51PM
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Brutal pp.

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#254 OiIersninja
October 08 2009, 08:52PM
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Horcoff is histories greatest monster cap hit.......he is playing like cat poop!

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#255 freeze
October 08 2009, 08:52PM
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I hope they book some PP drills tomorrow.

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#256 freeze
October 08 2009, 08:53PM
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Look behind you, goat!

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#257 Archaeologuy
October 08 2009, 08:54PM
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Man, Phaneuf looks like he should be trying to make fire or discover the wheel

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#258 jeanshorts
October 08 2009, 08:55PM
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@Archaeologuy

haha I was just thinking that. Him and Stortini could easily be in those Geico commercials and no one would notice the difference.

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#259 Skidplate
October 08 2009, 08:55PM
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@OiIersninja

He played the full 5 on 3 PK and the Flamers didn't score. I would say he is NOT playing like cat poop. He's the Shite!

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#260 OiIersninja
October 08 2009, 08:55PM
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You could land a space shuttle on his chin

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#261 SirFozz
October 08 2009, 08:55PM
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Haha, he was ugly as a kid......take it off, take it off. No Oiler jersey for you mongol.

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#262 jeanshorts
October 08 2009, 08:55PM
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GET HIM OUT OF THAT JERSEY! That looks absolutely heinous.

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#263 freeze
October 08 2009, 08:57PM
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@SirFozz

rofl

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#264 jeanshorts
October 08 2009, 08:57PM
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Man there's a lot of weird looking people in the Golds.

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#265 Skidplate
October 08 2009, 08:57PM
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@OiIersninja

He played the full 5 on 3 PK and the Flamers did not score. He is NOT playing like cat poo, he is the Sheeite!

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#266 freeze
October 08 2009, 08:57PM
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nice play!

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#267 SirFozz
October 08 2009, 08:58PM
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Boom!!!!

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#268 jeanshorts
October 08 2009, 08:58PM
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Man this Stone kid is really growing on me. I love me some Pisani, but man. He is playing is way on the team no doubt!

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#269 freeze
October 08 2009, 08:59PM
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stop taking penalties please.

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#270 Librarian Mike
October 08 2009, 08:59PM
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WTF? I run to the store, and now Souray's hurt? *starts rocking back and forth*

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#271 jeanshorts
October 08 2009, 08:59PM
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So O'Sullivan gets taken down, but gets a penalty when the other guy trips over top of him? Makes sense.......

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#272 SirFozz
October 08 2009, 09:00PM
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@jeanshorts

Still take nhl refs over nfl?

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#273 freeze
October 08 2009, 09:00PM
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thank crap that Smid is ok.

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#274 SirFozz
October 08 2009, 09:00PM
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Missed the hit on Souray, is he injured hurt or just out of this game?

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#275 Oilchange64
October 08 2009, 09:01PM
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Librarian Mike wrote:

WTF? I run to the store, and now Souray's hurt? *starts rocking back and forth*

I know how you feel - I took the dogs for a walk. I hate it when the wife gives me hockey news.

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#276 jeanshorts
October 08 2009, 09:01PM
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@SirFozz

The gap is closing faster and faster.

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#277 freeze
October 08 2009, 09:01PM
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the PK has looked MUCH better!

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#278 freeze
October 08 2009, 09:02PM
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O'Sullivan glides around a lot. Get them legs movin' boy!

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#279 jeanshorts
October 08 2009, 09:03PM
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BBBBBOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Just as I was thinking how sweet it is that Khabi is going to bust through the top 20 wins all time.

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#280 freeze
October 08 2009, 09:03PM
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b1tch.

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#281 OiIersninja
October 08 2009, 09:03PM
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Lame

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#282 David S
October 08 2009, 09:03PM
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Ahhh yes. The bouncing puck redirect off Strudwick.

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#283 SirFozz
October 08 2009, 09:03PM
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F@CK. Every goal against is an own goal.

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#284 jeanshorts
October 08 2009, 09:04PM
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We need to start deflecting pucks into the other teams net. That will probably win us more games.

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#285 Archaeologuy
October 08 2009, 09:04PM
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Can we have a game where a puck DOESNT go in off a defenseman?

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#286 Oilchange64
October 08 2009, 09:04PM
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I sure hope this means they are getting all the goofy bounces for the season out of the way early.

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#287 Librarian Mike
October 08 2009, 09:05PM
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Maybe Khabi should change numbers with O'Sullivan. Apparently he thinks '19' is how long the period is. Guh.

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#288 RossCreekNation
October 08 2009, 09:05PM
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SirFozz wrote:

F@CK. Every goal against is an own goal.

:-)

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#289 jeanshorts
October 08 2009, 09:05PM
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Is this years squad going to suffer the same fate as seasons before? Play great in the first and third but completely crap out in the second? Quinn's going to punch some teeth out during the intermission let me tell you.

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#290 freeze
October 08 2009, 09:05PM
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wow, that commercial does not make me want a sub.

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#291 Suntory Hanzo
October 08 2009, 09:06PM
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@jeanshorts

What is Souray's status? Didn't catch it.

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#292 jeanshorts
October 08 2009, 09:07PM
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@Suntory Hanzo

I have no idea man. Hopefully we'll find out this intermission. He was down for quite a while but it didn't look like he had that much trouble skating off, so hopefully we can rule out some kind of leg injury. I think he got his bell rung more than anything.

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#293 Skidplate
October 08 2009, 09:08PM
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@Suntory Hanzo

Souray and Iggie went into the boards, souray face and leg first with Iggies weight behind it. He has been taken off, not sure if he is done for the night.

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#294 Librarian Mike
October 08 2009, 09:08PM
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Ever notice how much Kypreos looks like Bouwmeester?

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#295 Suntory Hanzo
October 08 2009, 09:09PM
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@freeze

I took Mr Sub for granted until I moved to BC. Then I had one a 1/2 block away. It went thru two owners, then became "Homestyle" and made the exact sandwiches, now it is "Dream Pizza"

My wife drives across a toll bridge on the way home from Langley to Abbotsford to go to the mr sub. The 3$ toll is worth it because this Mr Sub has 2 large subs for 9.99.

GO Oil!

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#296 David S
October 08 2009, 09:09PM
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After seeing that Souray replay, I wouldn't be surprised if he got his bell rung good.

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#297 jeanshorts
October 08 2009, 09:10PM
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Of course Kypreos would hit a guy when he's down. I'm pretty sure I saw Kypreos try and drop kick Grimson one time.

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#298 Oilchange64
October 08 2009, 09:10PM
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Not sure what is harder to watch, the replay of the hit on Souray, or watching that panel discuss it.

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#299 Archaeologuy
October 08 2009, 09:10PM
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Iggy took his feet out from under him with his stick. Sorry rosscreek, its goon time.

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#300 Suntory Hanzo
October 08 2009, 09:11PM
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@Skidplate

Thx..missed it when the wife watched a bit of top model during the intermission.

Nothing major I hope.

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