Gregor at practice

Jason Gregor is sitting in the stands at RX1 today and has sent us the following report. — WG

The MacBlender was in set on high gear again at the afternoon skate today. Coming off a pair of losses -– every single line has a new look.

Nilsson – Cogliano – Hemsky
Pouliot – Horcoff – Cole
Moreau – Gagner – Penner
Strudwick – Brodziak – Stortini
Odd man out: Reddox

This team doesn’t have a set second or third line, and the only reason you can designate a first line is because of Hemsky.  And yes, that is Edmonton native Jason Strudwick suiting up on the wing with Brodziak and Stortini. Who knows how long that will last.

The only players that have been scoring consistently of late are Hemsky and Penner so clearly they need to be split up. Apparently the science of Willis’ article analyzing the dynamic duo of Horcoff and Hemsky has also been lost on the coaching staff. Everything has been MacBlended to shreds yet again. It can’t get any worse… Unless Hartford comes back to the league, but that isn’t likely, which sucks!

Oh and it also makes perfect sense to switch wings for Penner. The guy has 11 points in his last 12 games. Why wouldn’t you change things up??

Watching this practice I have no idea who will start in goal tomorrow night against the Ducks. But in my mind the Oilers should be starting Deslauriers. He still makes the most sense long term so the organization might as well find out if the kid has it in him going into the Christmas break.

I feel like a 13-year-old girl right now, which is fitting based on how the Oilers have played recently, because I had to write this article on my phone and I think my hands are starting to cramp up. How the kids can sit on the bus and listen to their iPods and text the day away boggles my mind.

No real man should ever have to text more than three sentences in a row.

  • Milli

    Ya,no bag skate? this team should have had to walk home from Vancouver. I can understand breaking all the line apart as only the first has been going. But, in the end, I hope we don't end up with no lines going. And, I don't understand why JDD hasn't played more, wasn't that the idea of having him up, so we knew if he was NHL capable.

  • Fiveandagame

    @ Jonathan Willis:

    How hard can you kick a horse when it's down, eventually they just wont get up.

    I think the Oilers are beyond the usefulness of a bag skate. The truth be told they haven't found their game all year. A bag skate and MacT would have signed his own pink slip as the team most likely would have tuned him out and phoned it in on friday.

    The players are angry too, nobody likes losing and it's only a matter of time before fresh legs are brought into the locker room and some stale ones are shipped out.

  • RobinB

    These newest lines are the epitome of "shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic."

    This mix of players doesn't work, no matter how many times you move them around from line to line and position to position.

  • Jonathan Willis

    @ Rick:

    I agreed, although John Tortorella made a good point on the TSN panel – he said something to the effect of everyone will be ripping on the team after a 9-2 loss, so it's time for the coach to be on their side, rather than piling on.

    I expected the bag skate after losing to Vancouver the next day, though.

  • Rick

    Well that's disappointing news.

    I think the Oilers are still deserving of a good old fashioned bag skate till you puke after the Chicago no show, i was really hoping it would happen today.

  • Jonathan Willis

    Everybody hoping for three scoring lines – that's what it looks like.

    The good:
    – Pouliot getting an opportunity on a decent line
    – Cole getting another opportunity on a decent line

    The bad:
    – Admittedly, Horpensky wasn't great against Vancouver, but why break up the best line on the team? (hint: depseration)
    – Penner on the third line again
    – Moreau on his off-wing

    The undecided:
    – Deslauriers should start. Hopefully MacT will agree.

  • Fiveandagame

    AGGHHHH MacBLender…..Thanks for the update Gregor.

    What this points out is the Oilers need to make a trade, as soon as one that makes sense is available.

    I have a Question for you Gregor. What to you think are the chances that the Oilers could make a trade with NYR if Sundin in fact does land him noncommital swedish rear end in the apple?

    Rangers are solid in goal and have good forward ranks but would need to clear space. They could use help on D and that is one place we have a good section of NHL calibre guys.