Meanwhile, in practice-land

Jason Gregor
September 25 2009 04:22PM

skate-or-die-quinn

I spent a bit of time at the Oilers' skate session today. Ethan Moreau didn’t skate; he pulled something late in the game last night and will be evaluated this afternoon.

The lines looked like this today:

Jacques — Horcoff — Hemsky Penner — Comrie — O’Sullivan Cogliano — Gagner — Stortini Nilsson — Brule — Stone

Reddox, Schremp, MacIntyre, Brennan and Eberle mixed in on different rushes. Moreau, Pouliot and Pisani didn’t skate.

Defence had:

Souray — Staios Gilbert — Grebeshkov Smid — Visnovsky Strudwick — Chorney

Khabibulin, Deslauriers and Dubnyk

If Moreau's injury isn’t serious, look for him to skate with Cogliano and Gagner, and then Stortini will move down with Brule and Nilsson.

You could see Nilsson and Moreau swap during the game depending on how the game is going. You saw Quinn move Nilsson back with Cogliano and Gagner in the second period when the game became more of a free-wheeling style. If the game is tight, he won’t play them together all the time but has no problem moving Moreau and Nilsson around.

These lines aren’t set in stone, because of the injuries, but they give a pretty good picture of what the opening day roster could look like.

On the blueline, the pairings aren’t set. Quinn said there are lots of discussions still happening amongst the coaches on who will play where.

Today was the most relaxed practice I’d see so far. Quinn had lots of drills focusing on offence and skill. In fact at the end of practice, Hemsky, Gilbert and Penner had to skate three laps as punishment for spraying the goalies with snow. It was not a hard skate, but more of a joke amongst the players.

Quinn also said, “I shouldn’t speculate but I think cuts will occur on Monday.” So we will see how it plays out.

To me Brennan, Reddox, Eberle, Schremp, Chorney and Dubnyk are obvious cuts. That would leave two more forwards to get cut, of course Peckham and Rajala will be re-assigned once they are healthy as well.

Ddf3e2ba09069c465299f3c416e43eae
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
Avatar
#1 Jonathan Willis
September 25 2009, 04:26PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@ Jason Gregor:

You'd keep MacIntyre over Brennan? Not that it's a big deal, since I imagine they're both getting sent down.

Avatar
#2 Shifty203
September 25 2009, 04:27PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Is that 'skate or die' or '720'? Man i gotta pull out the old nintendo now.

Avatar
#3 bingofuel
September 25 2009, 04:29PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@ Shifty203:

Skate or Die all the way man!

Avatar
#4 Charlie
September 25 2009, 04:30PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Shifty203 wrote:

Is that ’skate or die’ or ‘720′? Man i gotta pull out the old nintendo now.

It's Skate or Die of course.

Avatar
#5 David Staples
September 25 2009, 04:31PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

These four lines look like the opening game lines to me.

One big guy on every line.

I like 'em.

Cogliano's on the wing -- that's good.

Avatar
#6 Smokin' Ray
September 25 2009, 04:36PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I miss Skate or Die. :(

Avatar
#7 Jason Gregor
September 25 2009, 04:38PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Jonathan Willis wrote:

@ Jason Gregor: You’d keep MacIntyre over Brennan? Not that it’s a big deal, since I imagine they’re both getting sent down.

Yep. Brennan isn't as tough, takes too many penalties, and doesn't have an NHL contract. They would have to sign him first, which just muddies the situation even further.

Avatar
#8 The Menace
September 25 2009, 04:39PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I love that line up. I mean, I like it based on what we have to work with.

I really hope they get to do some PP work between now and season start though, becasue it has looked pretty rough so far.

Avatar
#9 rronaldo
September 25 2009, 04:41PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I like the concept of the lines with mixed size, just not sure about Stortini with Gagner and Cogliano, even with Nilsson moving in and out. Defensively they will be scary out there.

Avatar
#10 Jonathan Willis
September 25 2009, 04:44PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Jason Gregor wrote:

Brennan isn’t as tough, takes too many penalties, and doesn’t have an NHL contract. They would have to sign him first, which just muddies the situation even further.

Completely forgot about the contract situation. Yeah, that makes it a pretty clear-cut choice.

Avatar
#11 Jason Gregor
September 25 2009, 04:44PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

David Staples wrote:

These four lines look like the opening game lines to me. One big guy on every line. I like ‘em. Cogliano’s on the wing — that’s good.

I still expect Moreau to be there instead of Stone, but until we find out how serious, if any, his injury is then Stone might stick. I still think he is a long shot to stick. I'm not sure he skates well enough to play in the NHL. The past two games he didn't show me much at all.

Agreed Cogliano on wing is good, especially because Quinn admitted that the wingers will have a bit more freedom to cheat, but only if they are certain the Oilers have possession. If Cogliano reads the play well, his speed could lend to a few extra odd man rushes or at least quick and easy breakouts.

Avatar
#12 Jason Gregor
September 25 2009, 04:46PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

rronaldo wrote:

I like the concept of the lines with mixed size, just not sure about Stortini with Gagner and Cogliano, even with Nilsson moving in and out. Defensively they will be scary out there.

Stortini was only there because Moreau didn't skate. I see 46 as a 4th liner with Brule and Nilsson or whoever they put there. Maybe Moreau if they go with the KID line again at times.

Avatar
#13 Jonathan Willis
September 25 2009, 04:49PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

David Staples wrote:

These four lines look like the opening game lines to me.

Except that you have to think Moreau and Pisani (and possibly Pouliot) would draw in as well. Assuming that Jacques keeps the top-line job (?!?) that would mean something like this:

Jacques - Horcoff - Hemsky Penner - Comrie - O'Sullivan Cogliano - Gagner - Pisani Moreau - Pouliot/Brule - Stortini Nilsson, Pouliot/Brule

It does make a certain sense if Quinn really does plan to role his lines. Unfortunately, it leaves Horcoff as the only viable L hand choice for defensive draws, and one of Pouliot/Brule in the same spot for R hand defensive zone draws, but there isn't much Quinn can do about that.

Avatar
#14 Jonathan Willis
September 25 2009, 04:50PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

edit: *roll*

Avatar
#15 Jonathan Willis
September 25 2009, 04:55PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Fun question:

If Quinn wants to run power-vs.-power to afford the rest of his lines some shelter, why not swap Penner and Jacques? The Comrie/O'Sullivan combination seemed to do well with Stone, and Jacques is a better player.

Avatar
#16 Goon
September 25 2009, 04:58PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Well Hemmer will definetly be asking for a trade at the end of the year if hes playing with JFJ on the top line...

Avatar
#17 Jonathan Willis
September 25 2009, 05:02PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@ Goon:

If Jacques keeps punching Robyn Regehr, I think Hemsky can learn to live with it ;)

Avatar
#18 ScubaSteve
September 25 2009, 05:10PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Jonathan Willis wrote:

Except that you have to think Moreau and Pisani would draw in as well. Assuming that Jacques keeps the top-line job (?!?) that would mean something like this: Jacques – Horcoff – Hemsky Penner – Comrie – O’Sullivan Cogliano – Gagner – Pisani Moreau – Brule – Stortini Nilsson

Fixed, ~for some reason you had Pouliot in there~

Avatar
#19 ScubaSteve
September 25 2009, 05:11PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@ Jonathan Willis:

I like those lines, though, our top 9 is still small, but not with at least 1 bigger guy on each line, it gives some nice balance.

Avatar
#20 Goon
September 25 2009, 05:12PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@ Jonathan Willis:

Yea I dunno, it wasnt even that great of a knockdown, Regehr missed and JFJ just hit him in the back of the head... I dunno what the huge deal about it was...

Not many people want an enforcer on their top line... NYR being the only exception but at least Avery has some skill...

Plus I thought we were going to have 3 scoring lines, wont be doing much scoring with matchups like that IMO (Other then line 2 and 3 when Nilssons there)

Avatar
#21 Jonathan Willis
September 25 2009, 05:17PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Goon wrote:

Plus I thought we were going to have 3 scoring lines, wont be doing much scoring with matchups like that IMO

Quinn's been talking less and less about offense and more and more about defense as the week has gone by.

I'm thinking fans looking for firewagon hockey are going to be disappointed.

Avatar
#22 Jonathan Willis
September 25 2009, 05:19PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

The other thing worth remembering is that when MacT ran Smyth - Horcoff - Winchester, he alternated other players into Winchester's spot from time-to-time; if Quinn plans to keep Jacques there, I imagine that exactly the same thing will happen.

Avatar
#23 misfit
September 25 2009, 05:25PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Bonus points for having a skate or die picture.

That's all.

Avatar
#24 sofapimp
September 25 2009, 05:37PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

penner should be on first line if the real penner would please stand up.

if all the 3rd year guys showup and horc gets 65+points then apart from faceoffs we should be pretty good. lets not forget we were in the playoffs with ten games to go and now better goalie? better coach? 8 place is ours

Avatar
#25 ronaldo
September 25 2009, 05:48PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I would like to see Penner and JFJ swapped in those lines. Now that Penner is a step faster, our old first line could be decent.

Avatar
#26 rainonyourparade
September 25 2009, 05:50PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Jason Gregor wrote:

I still expect Moreau to be there instead of Stone, but until we find out how serious, if any, his injury is then Stone might stick. I still think he is a long shot to stick. I’m not sure he skates well enough to play in the NHL. The past two games he didn’t show me much at all.

Man, I thought Stone was pretty good last night. He was skating and hitting a lot. Isn't that just what the Oilers need?

Avatar
#27 jake
September 25 2009, 05:59PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Goon wrote:

Well Hemmer will definetly be asking for a trade at the end of the year if hes playing with JFJ on the top line…

I predict Hemksy will be irritated if JFJ gets in his way as he circles the net in offensive end 6 times before turning the puck over. Maybe JFJ will be the one asking for the trade. Sorry but for me, Hemsky has alot to prove this year after his comments last spring just before the playoff dogfight down the stretch imploded. Mini rant done.

Avatar
#28 Jason Gregor
September 25 2009, 06:00PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Goon wrote:

Not many people want an enforcer on their top line… NYR being the only exception but at least Avery has some skill… Plus I thought we were going to have 3 scoring lines, wont be doing much scoring with matchups like that IMO (Other then line 2 and 3 when Nilssons there)

Avery is far from an enforcer. He is a pest, not an enforcer.

And it wasn't the Jacques fight, it was how Regehr was hit and pressured constantly from Jacques, which has rarely happened in the past. Regehr won't fight regularly, so Jacques will have to consistently physical rather than just fighting.

Nothing the Oilers do will ever stop Regehr from being physical, but if Jacques can diminish the hits Hemsky takes then he's doing his job.

Avatar
#29 dptl
September 25 2009, 06:06PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

do we not need a (real) tuff guy in the line up some where/MacIntyre or not

Avatar
#30 Wanye Gretz
September 25 2009, 06:08PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

SKAAAAATE OR DIIIIIIIIIIIE

Man that was a sick game.

Avatar
#31 BarryS
September 25 2009, 06:13PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

ronaldo wrote:

I would like to see Penner and JFJ swapped in those lines. Now that Penner is a step faster, our old first line could be decent.

The issue with Penner is he does not want to play on the first line, to much pressure I guess. In my opinion, he has looked the best in preseason when playing with Comrie and O'Sullivan and second best when paired with Gagner. In either case he is the recipient of passes and not dependent on rebounds as when playing with Hemsky

Avatar
#32 Matt Hanson
September 25 2009, 06:17PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Skate or die was a great game, does anyone remember the game Deja Vu, that game was fantastic.

I wouldn't mind Hemsky getting traded during the season if he doesn't do as well as is expected

Avatar
#33 Robin Brownlee
September 25 2009, 06:55PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

To me Brennan, Reddox, Eberle, Schremp, Chorney and Dubnyk are obvious cuts. That would leave two more forwards to get cut, of course Peckham and Rajala will be re-assigned once they are healthy as well.

Jason, if I'm reading things correctly, you can add Nilsson and MacIntyre to that list.

Avatar
#34 Fisher
September 25 2009, 07:04PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Except that you have to think Moreau and Pisani (and possibly Pouliot) would draw in as well. Assuming that Jacques keeps the top-line job (?!?) that would mean something like this:

Jacques – Horcoff – Hemsky Penner – Comrie – O’Sullivan Cogliano – Gagner – Pisani Moreau – Pouliot/Brule – Stortini Nilsson, Pouliot/Brule

It does make a certain sense if Quinn really does plan to role his lines. Unfortunately, it leaves Horcoff as the only viable L hand choice for defensive draws, and one of Pouliot/Brule in the same spot for R hand defensive zone draws, but there isn’t much Quinn can do about that.

I love these line combo's. Simple change of JFJ and Penner is a good choice and easy to do. I also like JFJ on second line. It's also not a band option to occasionally swap gagner and Horc now and then. With all that i'm hearing about Nashville and us making a date i see it as entirely possible that that Nilson for Marcel Goc (left handed center with some size and a pretty good FO%) OR (Trade him for a pick and sign Betts-also a Left handed center, but not as good in the dot, with the coaches connection for cheap) Sub either of these two in on the 4th line and i think were looking solid. Easy trade and solves the cap problem both ways. I'm thinking Goc; he's done little offensive and they need some scoring. DO IT, either way i'm smiling. DO IT!!!!

Avatar
#35 knobert
September 25 2009, 07:12PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@ Matt Hanson:

Deja Vu was awesome!! man I miss the old NES

Avatar
#36 The Menace
September 25 2009, 07:35PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Jonathan Willis wrote:

Jacques – Horcoff – Hemsky Penner – Comrie – O’Sullivan Cogliano – Gagner – Pisani Moreau – Pouliot/Brule – Stortini Nilsson, Pouliot/Brule

I definitely don't like these lines as much as the ones that we have in practice today.

Avatar
#37 hdizzle
September 25 2009, 07:43PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Hey I know this is off topic but what happened to Riley Nash this year? did he participate in rookie or regular camp for the oilers

Avatar
#38 Jonathan Willis
September 25 2009, 07:52PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Robin Brownlee wrote:

Jason, if I’m reading things correctly, you can add Nilsson and MacIntyre to that list.

Nilsson, eh?

Bold, if that's the way they're going to go.

Avatar
#39 DaGongshow
September 25 2009, 07:53PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I am not sure why everyone is so hung up that the team will have to be set by the start of the season. I can almost guarantee that 1 or 2 guys will start the season on IR allowing management and coaches to have an extra 5 -10 games to make the "hard" decisions. We are not starting the playoffs yet, so there is no need for guys to play through pain.

Quinn: "Fernie we are gonna start you on the IR to begin the season and give you an extra 10 games to get healthy. We know what your gonna give us down the stretch and going into playoffs. So get healthy and we'll get you in there!"

Pisani: "Okay Coach!"

Problem solved to get a couple extra looks at guys like Eberle, Nilsson, Brule, and maybe even Schremp. Just my take on how I see things shaking out!

Avatar
#40 Jonathan Willis
September 25 2009, 07:53PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@ The Menace:

Do you seriously believe that Stone and Nilsson are better for the team than Moreau and Pisani?

Avatar
#41 Usual Suspect
September 25 2009, 08:10PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

"of course Peckham and Rajala will be re-assigned once they are healthy as well."

Rajala left for Brandon yesterday.

http://www.cklq.com/index.php?cmd=TmV3cw==|U3BvcnRz&t=MTY3NzA= "Finnish forward Toni Rajala arrived in Brandon Thursday night"

http://thepipelineshow.blogspot.com/2009/09/farm-report-sept-25.html "Finnish forward Toni Rajala is now skating in Brandon but is not expected to be game ready for a couple of weeks. Rajala left Edmonton with the Oilers as they flew to Winnipeg for their exhibition game against Tampa Bay on Thursday."

Avatar
#42 Lofty
September 25 2009, 08:27PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Goon wrote:

NYR being the only exception but at least Avery has some skill…

He is not an enforcer, pest at best.

Avatar
#43 Lofty
September 25 2009, 08:29PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@ Wanye Gretz:

Nothing beats Contra

Avatar
#44 MattL
September 25 2009, 08:56PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

ronaldo wrote:

I would like to see Penner and JFJ swapped in those lines. Now that Penner is a step faster, our old first line could be decent.

I don't think Penner is even a STEP faster this year. Lots of hype again about being in better shape, and the guy looked MAD lethargic against Tampa. One nice move on net, followed by a game's worth of jelly legs. I wish I worked for a guaranteed contract.

"Haha, suckers, I ain't e-mailing @#$% today."

Avatar
#45 MattL
September 25 2009, 08:56PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Lofty wrote:

@ Wanye Gretz: Nobody beats Contra

Fixed.

Avatar
#46 EddieEdmonton
September 25 2009, 09:01PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

what was the comments hemsky made exactly last spring? can some one please let me know i was in europe and missed the whole thing

Avatar
#47 Eric
September 25 2009, 09:05PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I read the Journal early this morning so I don't know if I'm recalling this correctly but I think Matheson said that Brule and Stone WILL be on the team, and hinted at Crazy Train being on the first line. I guess that 4 lines in practice confirms them and it seems very likely what we'll be seeing on opening night. O_O!!!

Avatar
#48 Joey Moss
September 25 2009, 09:12PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I'm so confused; why does Rodney Dangerfield have a purple mohawk and a muscle shirt on?

Avatar
#49 Chris
September 25 2009, 09:13PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@ EddieEdmonton:

hxxp://www.faceoff.com/hockey/columnists/story.html?id=18f88cc7-dae3-49bc-91b9-f4b2a49d61c4&add_feed_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.faceoff.com%2Fcolumnists.atom

After this little rant Hemsky completely disappeared down the stretch... (And hasn't been seen since)

Please Ales... you don't have to be the "man"...just be what you were before the all-star break: The guy who was finally shooting the puck!

Avatar
#50 ronaldo
September 25 2009, 09:32PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@ MattL

Last year Penner was our best option at LW1, even when he half-assed it. I don't see a better option now, unless they move Sully there if he and Comrie don't produce.

Comments are closed for this article.