SHOCK AND AWE

Lowetide
January 12 2014 10:14AM

One of the items from Friday night that didn't get a lot of coverage: three specific lines with enough skill to be dangerous. The Oilers have (for a variety of reasons) had a difficult time giving definition and personality to their lines this season, but Friday night—and perhaps tonight—we'll see the same kind of quality and depth.

TOP LINE CORSI FOR 5X5%

In the Pittsburgh game, the Nuge line was facing Crosby. That's a helluva tough night, so the numbers are actually stronger than they appear.

  • Nuge 45.8%; Hall 42.9%; Gagner 35%

This line was facing Crosby-Kunitz most of the time (8 minutes) and considering the best player in the world was out there those numbers aren't bad. The line actually did some damage, scoring an even strength goal in the third period (and of course Crosby scored in the second period). If the Oilers are looking to upgrade Gagner on this line, a big winger like James Neal should be the ideal, the outer marker.

SECOND LINE CORSI FOR 5X5%

The Arcobello line was facing (looks like) the Sutter-Glass-Pyatt line mostly, about 5 minutes or so (it's kind of foggy in the middle parts of the game).

  • Arcobello 59.3%; Yakupov 55.6%; 50%

This is a pretty nice item for Dallas Eakins, he has skill against rumble and the results were really good in the game. Arcobello did get one point in the game (on the Belov goal) but it came while playing with Hemsky.

THIRD LINE CORSI FOR 5X5%

The Gordon line played the Malkin-Neal-Jokinen trio, although Malkin seemed to slip up and down with Crosby too, so this is a difficult item to cipher. I think the Penguins/Eakins regarded this as the second line, maybe even the first line at points in the game based on matchups.

  • Gordon 55%; Perron 56.7%; Hemsky 59.1%

Based on their quality of competition and their delivery of 55-60% of the play, I'd be tempted to keep this line together forever. These are very good results, and in a game where Perron seemed quiet offensively I'd think we might want to re-watch and see how much of his game was devoted to keeping the game even. Interesting assignment the coaching staffs seemed to agree on, credit to Eakins for getting his most complete line out there often.

FOURTH LINE CORSI FOR 5X5%

Fourth line played mostly the Sutter trio, although they also played against the Adams family for 3+ minutes.

  • Smyth 73.3%; Gazdic 66.7%; Jones 66.7%

This has to be the strongest game for an Oiler 4th line this year, and I'd actually believe it if you told me this line had the best night since the 2010 draft among 4lines. Lordy. Luke Gazdic appears to be something more than what he appears, or is riding some amazing luck. I chose him as the #18 prospect this winter and got some pushback, but if the young man can solve this 4line/tough guy problem and do a little to help in the actual game? That has value.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

There were some shock and awe moments in that Pittsburgh game, by eye and by number. Here's hoping they can do it on the road.

All stats from extra skater.

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Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on TSN 1260.
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#51 Walter Sobchak
January 12 2014, 11:05PM
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Newj wrote:

Yak for Bufuglien?

Gagner & Hemsky for Bufuglien?

Maybe Eakins could get him in shape, the man can be a game changer..in many ways...positively and negatively.

I actually wouldn't mind Gagner for Byfuglien, not sure the Jets would do this?

It could actually benefit both teams, however if it was Yakupov for Byfuglien I would officially become a full fledged Blues fan! Even with Lapierre on the team.....that's how bad it is.

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#52 Jamesrob
January 12 2014, 11:10PM
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SRELIOFAN wrote:

I just read that,before he got fired, Jets coach Claude Noel put Dustin Byfuglien on the wing on their first line to shake things up. A move like that makes Eakins look like a coaching veteran!

Byfuglien played wing for the Hawks, including 1st and 2nd line, and on PP. He was a winger when they won the cup in 2010, scoring 11 goals, 5 assists in the playoffs. Noel had a winning precedent to follow. My friends from Chicago still bemoan the trade, and they knew him as a winger.

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#53 BobbyCanuck
January 13 2014, 11:22AM
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Batfink wrote:

I think that, my friend,

Is the lovely Salma Hayek.

What a total babe!

Salma Salma Salma, sigh, thanks for cheering up a rather dismal depressing website

This scene is from Ugly Betty (btw, forever seared into long term memory)

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