Predicting the Oilers' 2009/10 line-ups

Jason Gregor
September 21 2009 11:18AM

lineup-whiteboard

After five games in six days, the Oilers will get a bit of a break before they continue their pre-season on Wednesday against the Flames.

The final three pre-season games should be better and more competitive than the first five because we'll see more NHL lineups this week. I don’t know if the first five games made the line combination picture any clearer.

Ryan Rishaug from TSN and I were debating what the combinations would look like come October 3rd. We both agreed that this year there doesn’t seem to be many spots that are secure. Ales Hemsky will be the 1st line right winger, and Stortini will play the right side on the fourth line, but after that the possibilities are endless.

I asked Rishaug to jot down his thoughts on the lines, and I’ll toss in mine as well. I’m guessing most of you will agree with some combos and disagree with others.

Ryan Rishaug's Oilers Lineup

Trying to piece together lines for the Oilers this season reminds me of looking through my closet for a suit to wear. I have the trusted "go to" combos that look relatively okay, and have worked in the past, yet they just feel a little stale.

I did find an old suit in the back of the closet that I hadn't worn in some time, and once I had it dry-cleaned and pressed, I remembered how nice it actually was, so it’s back in the rotation. Other than that, there are a lot of familiar looks.  Below is the mundane Monday to Friday look.

Penner — Horcoff — Hemsky

Comrie — Gagner — O’Sullivan

Moreau — Cogliano — Pisani

Jacques — Brule — Stortini

Pouliot Nilsson

But for the sake of this article, let's pretend for a moment, that I am standing not in front of my own closet, but instead that of Jason Gregor.  A closet filled with crazy colours, impossible combinations and endless options. And oh yeah, let's say it’s Friday night, not Monday morning. In this world, anything is possible, and like Gregor, I'm sure I will be mocked, but it is someone else's closet, so let's indulge.

Cogliano — Gagner — Hemsky

Comrie — Horcoff — O’Sullivan

Moreau — Brule — Penner

Jacques — Pisani — Stortini

Pouliot

MacIntyre

The first thing you'll notice is no Horcoff with Hemsky. It's time for Gagner to get some time with the big man and see what he can do. And enough of this talk of Cogliano being a third-line centre. He has a 25-goal and 60-point potential, but needs top-six minutes and some offence around him to make it happen.

Comrie and O’Sullivan have been great in pre-season together, why break up a good thing?  Brule is fast, and plays hard. A year of consistent minutes next to the captain would do him a world of good. In cases where the Oil need a shut down line, Comrie drops down to line three with Brule and Penner, while Moreau joins O’Sullivan and Horcoff as a shut down line.

There's been talk of Pisani perhaps not making this team, and while I believe he is in tough, I believe he'll be there, but perhaps as a fourth liner. He has played some centre, and even out of position is an upgrade on Pouliot as a fourth line centre. He's also a valuable penalty killer. Out of the mix in this scenario, is Nilsson and a savings of two million on the cap.

There are a few problems with this configuration. Penner is back on his off-wing, and the top line is pretty small, but the way this team is built, those two problems won't be avoided in any configuration. Also, Brule has to play extremely well to stay on that third line. If not, perhaps Pisani can bump up, but I'd like to see Brule get a shot.

So here I stand, in the middle of the busy bar on a Friday wearing light brown pointy shoes with dragons on them, tight blue jeans, and a shirt that looks like it was just torn off the back of Garth Brooks mid-concert. My glasses have bizarre bright green rims, but at least they match my earrings.

Go ahead, mock all you like. At least it’s not a boring black suit with a blue shirt and red tie; nice enough to wear on TV for a quick live hit or stand up, but not nearly nice enough to anchor Sportscentre, or for the VIP door at the bar. The defence by the way is already set, so no sense speculating.

My Oilers Lineup

I’m stunned that Rishaug’s combinations are a bit outside the box, because like his wardrobe, he rarely colours outside the lines.

I think it will take Pat Quinn and company at least ten regular season games before they know exactly what they have, but it's obvious that they want guys who won’t take short cuts anywhere on the ice.

I would like to see Gagner get a shot with Hemsky, but I see it happening as the season progresses, not from the start, so here goes.

Penner — Horcoff — Hemsky

Comrie — Gagner — O’Sullivan

Moreau — Cogliano — Pisani

Jacques — Brule — Stortini

Nilsson

MacIntyre

I think Penner is a better fit with Cogliano and Pisani, but I can’t justify putting Nilsson on that line to start the season, unless he rips it up in the final three pre-season games.

I also think Cogliano will eventually find himself in the top six, but not on October 3rd. I know these lines don’t look very different, but outside of Comrie and O’Sullivan no other combinations have produced so far. Hemsky likes playing with Horcoff, and since Gagner and Hemsky haven’t done anything yet, I doubt they will start the year together.

If — and it is a big if — Jacques plays more games like he did against Florida and less like his effort in Calgary, I can see him getting some shifts with the skilled guys. They will need some size and aggression in the top six at some point.

That's why I put Penner up top. Because they need some size in the top six, and even if he doesn’t use it all the time, he is still a better option than Nilsson at this point. Penner looks a step quicker, because he is actually moving his feet and if he continues to do that he will stay in Quinn’s good books.

What about Eberle or Stone?

Eberle has looked good in the pre-season, but how many points has he put up against NHL/AHL lineups? Zero. There is no point rushing the kid and he will be back in Regina by the end of the week I’d expect.

Stone has shown good energy, but he won’t be taking Pisani’s spot just yet. Stone has put himself in a position to be the first call up, when the injury bug inevitably shows up. Pre-season games against non-NHL lineups will not win him a job on the team, and while you might think it isn’t fair, the fact is Moreau and Pisani are more proven NHL third-liners.

Based on some short conversations I’ve had with coaches and some members of management, even they don’t know which combinations are the best. The whiteboard in the coaches’ office will have plenty of options, and we might get a clearer picture tomorrow when they return to the ice after their first day off since camp started.

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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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#101 Milli
September 21 2009, 02:54PM
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@ venue: Maybe, but there is also something about not rushing your prospects. Especially in a case where there is no where to send them if, say, after 18 games you think they need a confidence boost. I look at Gagner, he was a force most of his rookie year, but he really suffered last season. I don't know how much it hampered his development, but the point is, if you aren't forced to rush young players, why do it?

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#102 RossCreek
September 21 2009, 02:54PM
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Oilers cuts coming up in 15 minutes...

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#103 Jason Gregor
September 21 2009, 03:01PM
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Assigned to Springfield (AHL): Ryan O'Marra (RW), Alex Plante (D), Jake Taylor (D) and Bryan Young (D)

Assigned to Saskatoon (WHL): Milan Kytnar (C)

Placed on waivers for the purpose of assignment: Dean Arsene (D), Ryan Potulny (C) and Chris Minard (LW).

This from the OIlers...

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#104 misfit
September 21 2009, 03:01PM
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Jeff wrote:

Well when he’s played at Center he’s played on an incomplete team. With a complete team he’s probably behind Comrie and Horc but then where would Gags play? That would mean that Cogs would center the 4th line which I think would not fit well. Unless Comrie or Gags are moved to the Wing or Horc is not the 1st line Center.

Yes, it's been on incomplete teams, but the O'Sullivan/Comrie duo has been consistantly the best combination so far each game they've been together. And Gagner has played more wing than center in the NHL so far, so why would it be an automatic that he plays center over Comrie? Especially since Comrie has centered the most productive Oilers line all preseason.

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#105 venue
September 21 2009, 03:04PM
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@ Milli: To me, I forget about his age and if he looks to be able to contribute more than someone else he should stay. More and more young players are making the leap so who's to say it won't work? I know there are no guarantees but I'd hate to see him go back to junior and coast all year.

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#106 RossCreek
September 21 2009, 03:06PM
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Gregor just added a chick to his show! Wil who? LOL

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#107 Psyche
September 21 2009, 03:10PM
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Gregor - Why do Arsene, Potulny, and Minard need to be placed on waivers?

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#108 RossCreek
September 21 2009, 03:14PM
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@ Psyche: I believe its because they've played a certain # of pro games and must clear waivers before heading to Springfield. Really no issue there.

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#109 Ender the Dragon
September 21 2009, 03:20PM
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Here's the right way to do it:

O’Sullivan – Horcoff – Hemsky Penner – Cogliano - Gagner Moreau – Comrie – Pisani Reddox – Brule – Stortini

Nilsson / Schremp JFJ

First line is straight-up talent on the wings and one responsible guy in the middle.

Line two is also scoring threat; I wanted to put Penner on the third line, but his fat a$$ is needed in front of the net, so here's hoping.

Line three is the checking / shut-down line with guys that can play defensively and eat minutes (assuming Captain Commando can cage the rage for a few shifts each game.)

Line 4 is your energy line, with Reddox out there to help the D keep the puck out of the net.

Nilsson has been a predictable disappointment (I had him for goat last year), and though I want to hate Schremp I've come to respect him on the PP; maybe they both can learn. Either way, him and Nilss are a saw-off so pick one for your 13th forward when a top-6 guy goes down.

JFJ is your extra forward for your bottom-6. Gritty and dependable, he can eat minutes and bang some bodies when called for.

Missing are Minard and Potulny (already on waivers), Stone and Eberle (next year, or pray for injuries), Smac Attack (I love ya, but you're one-dimensional), and Map, who just never quite worked out (you know it's time, right Marc?).

It's go-time.

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#110 Psyche
September 21 2009, 03:21PM
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Thank you RossCreek!

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#111 BarryS
September 21 2009, 03:25PM
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Ender the Dragon wrote:

Here’s the right way to do it: O’Sullivan – Horcoff – Hemsky Penner – Cogliano – Gagner Moreau – Comrie – Pisani Reddox – Brule – Stortini Nilsson / Schremp JFJ First line is straight-up talent on the wings and one responsible guy in the middle. Line two is also scoring threat; I wanted to put Penner on the third line, but his fat a$$ is needed in front of the net, so here’s hoping. Line three is the checking / shut-down line with guys that can play defensively and eat minutes (assuming Captain Commando can cage the rage for a few shifts each game.) Line 4 is your energy line, with Reddox out there to help the D keep the puck out of the net. Nilsson has been a predictable disappointment (I had him for goat last year), and though I want to hate Schremp I’ve come to respect him on the PP; maybe they both can learn. Either way, him and Nilss are a saw-off so pick one for your 13th forward when a top-6 guy goes down. JFJ is your extra forward for your bottom-6. Gritty and dependable, he can eat minutes and bang some bodies when called for. Missing are Minard and Potulny (already on waivers), Stone and Eberle (next year, or pray for injuries), Smac Attack (I love ya, but you’re one-dimensional), and Map, who just never quite worked out (you know it’s time, right Marc?). It’s go-time.

How do you spell certainty for wavers = Schremp/Nillson

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#112 venue
September 21 2009, 03:28PM
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Ender the Dragon wrote:

Line three is the checking / shut-down line with guys that can play defensively and eat minutes (assuming Captain Commando can cage the rage for a few shifts each game.)

Comrie didn't sign here to be a shutdown center. They didn't sign Comrie to be a shutdown center.

Judging from what I've seen so far, I think it's fair to think that Comrie and O'Sullivan should/will start the year together.

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#113 Ender the Dragon
September 21 2009, 03:42PM
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venue wrote:

Comrie didn’t sign here to be a shutdown center.

Comrie's lucky to be here at all. He'll play where he's told.

venue wrote:

They didn’t sign Comrie to be a shutdown center.

That's what I'm afraid of. For better or for worse, Comrie will probably be gone next season and Cogs will likely still be our rising star. Who would you rather give the top-six minutes and experience to? Besides, whether he likes it or not, Comrie knows how to play defensively. With Moreau and Pies on either side, that line is experienced enough that they won't get ridden-over. If we're bringing back Mikie, we might as well get some mileage out of his experience. I hope management doesn't get swept up in these flights of fancy of Mikie coming back and scoring 80 points this year. It won't happen anyway, and any minutes you give him in the top-6 trying will be at the expense of one of our developing players who can better use the time and be just as productive doing it.

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#114 Fish
September 21 2009, 03:47PM
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Ender the Dragon wrote:

Reddox – Brule – Stortini

My only problem with this line is that The Red Ox is on it. He brings sweet f%$k all to the team.

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#115 venue
September 21 2009, 03:48PM
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Ender the Dragon wrote:

Who would you rather give the top-six minutes and experience to?

Whoever helps our team win more hockey games.

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#116 RossCreek
September 21 2009, 03:50PM
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Eye Candy. Take the good with the bad, I guess. LOL... www.justagame.ca/clothing.php

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#117 Fish
September 21 2009, 03:52PM
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@ venue: Seconded.

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#118 Jimmy
September 21 2009, 03:53PM
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Ender the Dragon wrote:

any minutes you give him in the top-6 trying will be at the expense of one of our developing players who can better use the time and be just as productive doing it.

The other side of the same coin:

If Comrie playing in the top 6 is the difference between making the playoffs and not making the playoffs, I'd put him in the top 6. A young team can benefit from a playoff appearance (even if it's only first round).

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#119 Ender the Dragon
September 21 2009, 03:56PM
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Ender the Dragon wrote:

Reddox – Brule – Stortini

Fish wrote:

My only problem with this line is that The Red Ox is on it. He brings sweet f%$k all to the team.

I respectfully disagree. Right now, you'd like to think that everyone is out there playing their a$$es off every night because precious few forward positions are locked up yet. Even so, there are some guys playing below the level of intensity that should be there. How many of those guys will be coasting in January? I'll tell you one thing; Reddox won't be one of them. And I think that his linemates try just that little bit harder when he's around, just so they don't look like they're dogging it by comparison.

All-in-all, if Reddox can repeat the 0.26 PPG and bring the same fire he had last season (agreed, on the fourth line and not the first), then I think he's worth having around.

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#120 The guessing game: what’s the big hurry? - OilersNation.com
September 21 2009, 03:56PM
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[...] Today, with three pre-season games left to play and almost two weeks to go before the Oilers open the season Oct. 3 against the Calgary Flames, we’ve got Jason Gregor and Ryan Rishaug offering their takes on what the roster will look like. [...]

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#121 Ender the Dragon
September 21 2009, 03:58PM
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Ender the Dragon wrote:

For better or for worse, Comrie will probably be gone next season and Cogs will likely still be our rising star. Who would you rather give the top-six minutes and experience to?

venue wrote:

Whoever helps our team win more hockey games.

Short-sighted.

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#122 Jason Gregor
September 21 2009, 03:58PM
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Psyche wrote:

Gregor – Why do Arsene, Potulny, and Minard need to be placed on waivers?

They are veterans past their first contract. Basically once a player signs his second contract he has to clear waivers. Because after a three-year entry level deal expires most players have to clear waivers. Otherwise teams could just hide players for their entire career.

There might be an exception here or there, but the easiest way to explain waiver eligibility is once their first three year contract expires they have to clear.

Remember that a player could sign a three year deal, like Eberle, but it could technically last five years, because if he plays two years of junior and then goes pro, the three years doesn't start until he actually plays pro.

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#123 David S
September 21 2009, 03:59PM
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venue wrote:

Whoever helps our team win more hockey games.

There goes the Schremp argument.

hxxp://www.instantrimshot.com/

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#124 venue
September 21 2009, 04:02PM
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@ Ender the Dragon: Really? Do we play the games this year to hopefully win next year?

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#125 Ender the Dragon
September 21 2009, 04:06PM
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Ender the Dragon wrote:

any minutes you give [Comrie] in the top-6 . . . will be at the expense of one of our developing players who can better use the time and be just as productive doing it.

Jimmy wrote:

If Comrie playing in the top 6 is the difference between making the playoffs and not making the playoffs, I’d put him in the top 6.

I bleed copper-and-blue just like everyone else here, and I want the playoffs just as much as anyone. That said:

1) Cogliano can be just as good as Comrie this year, and with the right development will be significantly better than Comrie next year.

2) This edition of the Oilers will not contend for the Stanley Cup. My heart hopes I'm wrong, but my head says we're lucky if we pull a Calgary and score a first-round exit. Next year, though, is a whole different kettle of fish. These kids, together with a couple of prospects like Eberle and MPS who won't be here this year can be a serious force in the NHL. Why jeopardize that in any way by relegating Cogs or someone like him to a checking role? Better to slot in the guy who will be looking for more than he's worth next season.

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#126 Ender the Dragon
September 21 2009, 04:10PM
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venue wrote:

Really? Do we play the games this year to hopefully win next year?

You want to win the battle, of course, but not at the expense of losing the war. Comrie in the top-6 is little-to-no short-term gain with a significant deal of regressive-pain for next year. Why do that to yourself if you don't need to?

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#127 Oilersordeath
September 21 2009, 04:10PM
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Sure Gagner had a so so season last year, but Christ the whole team had ass cancer! I think Gretzky in his prime might of barely broke the 100 point mark if he was on last years team. So I'm not counting last years team phoooy! I know that our skilled players will all have better point production especially our PP.

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#128 Jimmy
September 21 2009, 04:11PM
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Ender the Dragon wrote:

1) Cogliano can be just as good as Comrie this year, and with the right development will be significantly better than Comrie next year.

I definitely see where you're coming from on this one. I just don't think Gagner and Cogliano, together, are responsible enough to avoid bleeding goals unless you slot someone else in on the left wing.

With three scoring lines, as has been suggested, we're not really relegating Cogs to a checking role just because he's slotted into the third line.

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#129 venue
September 21 2009, 04:13PM
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@ Ender the Dragon: I'd rather Cogliano earn his ice from Comrie who is playing well right now.

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#130 swany
September 21 2009, 04:15PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

swany wrote: No news flash but WE have to many forwards Gregor do you smell a trade yet or are they going to try and slip guys through waivers? Trade would be hard, unless it is with a top team, that wouldn’t an early pick to get a guy on waivers. Does Pouliot, Schremp, Nilsson or Reddox have any value? I doubt it. They will try to slide a guy through waivers, and hope for the best. There is going to be 100 or so players clearing waivers at the same time, are the Oiler cast offs that much more attractive than other teams’ rejects. I guess we will see. I’d think Pouliot would get claimed. Nilsson and Schremp, maybe. I’ve been told lots of team are waiting to see who comes available on waivers, so making a trade now would be even harder.

I understand this but my point is this say we send down Nilsson and he clears going down, I doubt he ever gets recalled because, he could get picked on recall waivers and the Oil are stuck paying half his salary. that's not smart same goes for Schremp, and Brule

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#131 I'm A Real Boy!!!!
September 21 2009, 04:20PM
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Cogliano Horcoff Hemsky

Penner Gagner Nilsson

O'sullivan Comrie Pisani

Moreau Stone Stortini

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#132 Ender the Dragon
September 21 2009, 04:20PM
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Ender the Dragon wrote:

1) Cogliano can be just as good as Comrie this year, and with the right development will be significantly better than Comrie next year.

Jimmy wrote:

I definitely see where you’re coming from on this one. I just don’t think Gagner and Cogliano, together, are responsible enough to avoid bleeding goals unless you slot someone else in on the left wing. With three scoring lines, as has been suggested, we’re not really relegating Cogs to a checking role just because he’s slotted into the third line.

I agree that PDP - Cogs - Gags is a bit scary defensively; Renney would need to put his most responsible stay-at-home D out there behind them. Still, the Oilers whole offense this year is structured more around a run-and-gun attack than the defensive style we saw under MacT. With those linemates, Cogs has a chance to find success and some confidence. Saddle him with Moreau and Pisani and you might just as well give him Pouliot's number right now and be done with it.

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#133 Jimmy
September 21 2009, 04:23PM
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@ Ender the Dragon:

How about swapping Penner and O'Sully, as well as Cogs and Comrie, just to start the season. We know Penner can produce alongside Hemsky and Horcoff, and we get a chance to see if this Comrie/O'Sully chemistry is just a flash in the pan.

If Comrie stops producing mid-season as you're predicting, swap him with Cogs to give him his shot at top-6 minutes and see if O'Sully can do any better than Penner on the first line.

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#134 Ender the Dragon
September 21 2009, 04:25PM
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venue wrote:

I’d rather Cogliano earn his ice from Comrie who is playing well right now.

Reasonable sentiment, but I'd rather go the other way and give Cogs the time up front. If he dissapoints, you can bring up the experienced horse. If he shines, you've gained a new top-6 forward that's here for a long time to come. Playing Comrie ahead of Cogs now basically has Cogs traded out of here before this time next year, and I think that'd be a damn shame.

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#135 Jimmy
September 21 2009, 04:29PM
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Ender the Dragon wrote:

Playing Comrie ahead of Cogs now basically has Cogs traded out of here before this time next year, and I think that’d be a damn shame.

Actually, thinking about things a little bit deeper I agree with you here. I just really think it's a shame to split up O'Sullivan and Comrie based on the chemistry they've been showing. It's just a shame to think that splitting those two up might result in O'Sullivan regressing back to the awkward non-production we saw at the end of last year.

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#136 Ender the Dragon
September 21 2009, 04:33PM
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@ Jimmy: I am not a Penner supporter. I do not hide the fact. I think that if he was capable of being a top-line player, he would have done it last season when MacT called him out in front of everybody. If that doesn't motivate you, I don't know what could, so either:

A) He still wasn't motivated, in which case we need to keep exploring creative ways to dump his a$$, or

B) He was motivated, and what you saw was the best he was capable of, in which case he can count his lucky stars if he stays out of the bottom-six.

Either way, I do not give that guy first-line ice with Hemsky ahead of O'Sully. Not now, not ever as long as Patty-O isn't being carted away in an ambulance.

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#137 Ender the Dragon
September 21 2009, 04:38PM
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Jimmy wrote:

O’Sullivan regressing back to the awkward non-production we saw at the end of last year.

I don't see it. Right now, they're using Comrie to see what Patty-O is capable of. Come the real season, people would see that that Horc is a serious upgrade on Comrie, and O'Sully would look even better.

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#138 Jimmy
September 21 2009, 05:03PM
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@ Ender the Dragon:

If you're right, I'm all for it. I think we need a clock somewhere to countdown to the beginning of next season. MPS + Eberle will certainly be impressive to watch.

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#139 Ender the Dragon
September 21 2009, 05:08PM
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Jimmy wrote:

MPS + Eberle will certainly be impressive to watch.

Amen.

:-)

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#140 WTF
September 21 2009, 05:58PM
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Try the line up without Moreau in it.... Has he shown anything in preseason? His line up has been consistently been lackadaisical (sp?)

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#141 Smokin' Ray
September 21 2009, 09:48PM
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O'Sullivan Comrie Hemsky Cogliano Gagner Penner Jacques Horcoff Pisani Moreau Brule Stortini

Nilsson & MacIntyre as spares.

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#142 Saurash
September 22 2009, 08:55AM
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I think it's time to consider putting one of Moreau/Pisani on the 4th line, and working with one of the bigger kids up top. You saw a preview of what Cogliano can do with a big guy when he and Penner basically dominated possession in the last couple of games they've played.

Penner Horcoff Hemsky O'Sullivan Comrie Pisani (Stone-like play) Jacques Cogliano Gagner (Give them a big guy) Moreau Pouliot Stortini (checking and size)

You basically have to deal with one of Nilsson, Schremp, or Eberle as 13th forwards. MacIntyre stays. Brule and Reddox are sent down.

Souray Gilbert Grebeshkov Visnovsky Smid Staios

The LD's and RD's match up there. I think it's worth giving it a shot like this. Staples had a recent blog post showing how well Vish and Grebs worked together, and how well Staios and Souray worked together. I think it's worth trying Gilbert and Souray together (I've never seen them on the ice at the same time before).

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#143 Ender the Dragon
September 22 2009, 08:59AM
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@ Smokin' Ray: I don't know what you're smokin', but it's good stuff. Replace Horc on the top line with Comrie? I know people have expressed issues about Horc being a first-line center in the past, but he is (Willis did a great piece on what constitues a first-line center these days in the NHL, and Horc was middle-of-the-pack) and on top of that has good chemistry with Hemsky. If you're going to replace him with an upgrade (maybe someday, Gags or even Cogs could qualify) then so be it, but Comrie is NOT an upgrade on Horc in any way, shape, or form. That's about as smart as sticking your finger in your eye, just to see if it hurts. It will. Right away.

The only other comment I'd make is that if you're pulling Cogs out of the middle and making him play the wing, why put Penner on his off-wing to do it? Wouldn't PDP-Gags-Cogs be the same line with only one guy playing out of position instead of two?

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#144 EddieEdmonton
September 22 2009, 09:12AM
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Comrie Gagner Hemsky

Nillson Horcoff O'Sullivan

Penner Cogliano Pisani

Jacques Omarra Moreau McIntyre Schremp

Gilbert Vishnovsky Grebeshkov Souray Smid Staios Pechkam

Khabibulin J D D

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#145 EddieEdmonton
September 22 2009, 09:15AM
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AwEsOmE.!@ EddieEdmonton:

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#146 jeff
September 22 2009, 09:19AM
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@ EddieEdmonton: I think O'Marra was cut yesterday.

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#147 jeff
September 22 2009, 09:20AM
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@ Ender the Dragon: I won't say Comrie is an ugrade over Horcoff, but he brings one thing Horc doesn't and that is the ability to generate chances.

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#148 Ender the Dragon
September 22 2009, 09:30AM
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jeff wrote:

I won’t say Comrie is an ugrade over Horcoff

So we agree . . . (I think)

jeff wrote:

but he brings one thing Horc doesn’t and that is the ability to generate chances.

I hope you're not basing this on pre-season play against AHLers on bad teams. Comrie cannot and will not generate those same chances against a good checking line, especially when every guy on those lines will outweigh him by 40 lbs. He has demonstrated this over the past 2-3 seasons. Putting him on the top line is not doing anyone any favours, least of all Hemsky and Comrie.

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#149 jeff
September 22 2009, 09:39AM
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@ Ender the Dragon: LOL on the first part and yes.

Thing is even going back to last year did Horcoff ever generate anything on his own? I think Comrie is better in that department.

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#150 Ender the Dragon
September 22 2009, 10:01AM
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@ jeff: We'll have to agree to disagree. While I don't pretend that Horcoff is one of the top-10 playmaking centres in the league, I think Horc-Hemmer generates more chances than Comrie-Hemmer. There's no way to prove that unless you allow them both an equal opportunity, but I don't see Comrie doing anything in the past 2-3 seasons that justifies making him our first-line centre.

Look at it this way. Last year, Comrie scored 27 pts in 63 games, for 0.42 PPG. Horc during the same season went 53 pts in 80 games for 0.66 PPG. Don't even get me started about face-off %, because then it gets really ridiculous. Heck, if you really want to demote Horc that bad, even Gagner is better than Comrie with 41 pts last season in 76 games for 0.54 PPG, and his FO% is better than Comrie's too (heck, my FO% is probably better). I don't see how Comrie can be the answer.

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