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.
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.