GDB 67: Moreau and Souray in it to win it

Oilers Captain Ethan Moreau

The Oilers looked like a team a few days before the start of the season, with 24 players, five coaches and third goalie Floyd Whitney on the ice for the morning skate today. They went through a bevy of cross-ice and two-on-two, and two-on-one passing drills. Sad thing is they didn’t come close to scoring as often as Peter Pocklington has been charged by creditors.

Sheldon Souray was out there and took part in every drill so he will suit up tonight. Ethan Moreau also skated hard, while wearing the darkest colour-tinted visor I’d seen, so expect him to play as well.

Moreau’s visor makes him look a bit like a Euro, but he insisted his game won’t change due to the visor.

What will change is the lineup. Moreau and Penner will dress tonight, and they’ll play on the same line with Kyle Brodziak.

21 – 10 – 83
12 – 89 – 78
19 – 13 – 34
18 – 51 – 27

This is how they will start but if the Kovalchuk – White – Little line gives the Oilers problems don’t be surprised to see Horcoff, Moreau and Pisani become a trio to try and shut them down.

MacTavish admitted the lines could become very interchangeable tonight. Altanta coach John Anderson told me yesterday on my show that he likes to juggle his lines a lot, so expect to see many different combinations tonight.

A Horcoff – Moreau – Pisani trio could become reality down the stretch as a shut-down line.

Don’t think MacTavish doesn’t listen to the radio or read the Internet based on his comments today. He was asked about O’Sullivan and his overall game.

“I’m trying to find offensive opportunities for O’Sullivan. I want to get him some power-play time. I’m not going to pigeon-hole him as a checker just yet, that’s apparently my expertise to turn offence into checkers. He is in the process right now, (he laughs) but hopefully he has more goals in him.”

It looks like MacTavish is going with his most offensive unit of the season. The competition for ice-time tonight should be fierce, and if players are going early MacTavish said they will play more.

The Thrashers are playing well right now, going 6-3-1 in their last ten, with Johan Hedberg between the pipes, so the Oilers can’t overlook the lottery-bound Thrashers.

Their top line of Kovalchuk – White – Little have combined for 82 goals and 183 points, compared to Hemsky – Horcoff – Penner’s 49 goals and 128 points. Look for Souray and Staios to match up against that line.

  • DK0

    @ kammaui:
    Dude, theres a whole blog by Amber about this 2 below this one. This blog is where we come up with crazy ideas and questions like: "Why isn't Penner AND Stortini on the 1st line PP and then we use 2 screens and the umbrella just feeds shots at the net till one goes in? Hemsky in the corner/ half boards and then Souray and Kotalik on the points, its flawless!"

  • Sparticus

    "Moreau’s visor makes him look a bit like a Euro, but he insisted his game won’t change due to the visor."

    Really, Gregor? I know you probably meant this as lighthearted comment, maybe even with a touch if irony, but it's still unacceptable. A discussion of differing hockey fashion trends according to ethnicity is one thing, but then to imply that wearing a dark visor suggests he'll be less tough? Come on. I can't wait for the day when reactionary fools aren't given jobs in the public forum. Then you, Cherry, and Milbury can all commiserate about how great it was to try and make people feel badly about themselves. Then maybe, finally, the rest of us can actually talk about hockey like it's not a parade of manliness.

  • Rick

    Jonathan Willis wrote:

    I wonder where this notion that O’Sullivan’s a power-play performer is coming from? He put up a bunch of points in L.A., but the vast majority of them came at even-strength.

    Although he didn't really play the primary PP minutes either.

    Whether that means he can't or they just didn't use him remains to be seen I guess.

    As far as he getting time with Oilers right now, he could be just the type of guy that is needed. Particularily if it's in place of Horcoff.

    Hemsky simply isn't getting it done and if they insist on leaving him in there then they need more puck skill up front. O'Sullivan seems to have just that. Gagner may be a better choice but given what they have been doing, I will accept baby steps towards change.

  • I'm a Scientist!

    Wow…speaking of a soft team to play against! I guess the fan appreciation night won't be appreciating any fights tonight with all our tough guys out of the line up. Here's hoping nobody takes advantage and runs Hemsky into the boards…

  • kammaui

    the arrest of pocklington, and hopefully conviction,
    for fraudulent things done cheers me up! the message to the ME ME businessmen who are willing to break the rules
    and screw over whomever they can is a good one -break the rules go to jail. Hopefully Peter will become the designated girlfriend (and cellmate) of a hardcore testosterone laden criminal. I watched Peter since the early days of his arrival in Edmonton when he tried to screw over a bunch of auto dealers on cars. he is of the same ilk of the U.S. bankers whose ethics & greed have
    put America in the place it is today

    Take notice to those tradesmen who mentally say screw it & take no pride in their work…. I hold you with the same esteem

  • Al Hamilton

    Jonathan Willis wrote:

    I know I’m not Gregor, but it has to be Gagner, doesn’t it?

    You are as good as Gregor, somehow I posted first so I suppose I had no one else to ask at that point.

    Gagner is my gut reaction, but if Horcoff is the checking center then perhaps Cogliano moves up to the "first line" along with someone who can win faceoffs?

    Also O'Sullivan has been known to dabble at center?

  • CurtisS

    8-2 Thrashers

    Actually I been wanting Horc in a defensive role all year long. I wanted Gagner and Cogs to be our 2 offensive centers. I still think Moreau isnt very good as a checking role. More of a engery type player.

    Heres what I would go with

    Sully Gagner Hemsky
    Penner Horc Pisani
    Nilsson Cogs Kotalik
    Moreau Brodz Pouliot/Reddox

  • Strange lineup, but it makes a sort of convoluted sense (well, it must, given that Dennis called it yesterday).

    I wonder where this notion that O'Sullivan's a power-play performer is coming from? He put up a bunch of points in L.A., but the vast majority of them came at even-strength.