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Photo Credit: James Guillory/USA TODAY Sports

WWYDW: How would you change the Oilers after a 7-0 loss?

There are two schools of thought on a loss like the one the Edmonton Oilers suffered on Tuesday night in San Jose. The first is that a loss is a loss, and that a 7-0 defeat doesn’t count for any more than a 3-2 overtime decision in a playoff series. The other is that a blowout like that reveals something ugly about the talent disparity between the two teams.

The Oilers, understandably, inclined to the first viewpoint in the aftermath of the game.

Regardless, for the team and its coach the important thing is that the outcome not be repeated. Todd McLellan made changes to the Oilers’ lineup after they collapsed in the back half of Game 1, and it seems likely that he’ll be making changes again.

Our question to readers in this week’s What Would You Do Wednesday is this: What changes would you make in McLellan’s shoes?

Forwards

LW C RW
Patrick Maroon
Patrick Maroon
Connor McDavid
Connor McDavid
Leon Draisaitl
Leon Draisaitl
Milan Lucic
Milan Lucic
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
Jordan Eberle
Jordan Eberle
Drake Caggiula
Drake Caggiula
Mark Letestu
Mark Letestu
Zack Kassian
Zack Kassian
Benoit Pouliot
Benoit Pouliot
David Desharnais
David Desharnais
Anton Slepyshev
Anton Slepyshev

Edmonton’s current line combinations are as above. Additionally, the Oilers have the following players available if they wish to make personnel changes:

  • LW Matt Hendricks. Gritty veteran can also play centre. He kills penalties and wins faceoffs, but doesn’t bring much scoring.
  • LW Jujhar Khaira. 6’3”, 214-pound forward is also a fit at centre. He had 20 points in 27 AHL games this year.
  • LW Joey Laleggia. An undersized puckmoving defenceman, Laleggia moved to forward in the AHL this year and scored 20 goals.
  • C Anton Lander. Maybe the best player in the AHL, Lander’s offence disappears in the majors. He’s smart, gritty, and good at all the little things but lacks size and speed.
  • RW Iiro Pakarinen. All-purpose Finn has never seen a hit or a shot he didn’t like. He’s been used on the PK this year.

Defencemen

Defensive Pairings
Oscar Klefbom
Oscar Klefbom
Adam Larsson
Adam Larsson
Andrej Sekera
Andrej Sekera
Kris Russell
Kris Russell
Darnell Nurse
Darnell Nurse
Matt Benning
Matt Benning

Edmonton’s defence pairings are as above, and as with the forward the team has a few options:

  • RD Mark Fayne. A veteran NHL option with a history of playing shutdown minutes, Fayne is less physical than a 6’3” defenceman really should be and doesn’t have much of a passing game at the NHL level.
  • RD Eric Gryba. Big and physical, Gryba is limited with the puck and is best deployed against the opposition’s bottom-six.
  • LD Jordan Oesterle. Oesterle brings speed and puck skill to the arena, but at 6’ and 182 pounds lacks size. He has spent some time on the right side.
  • LD Griffin Reinhart. He has size and brains, but lacks speed. At his best, Reinhart is a physical presence and a puckmover, but neither skill seems to come naturally. He’s spent extensive time on the right side.

What, if any changes, would you make to Edmonton’s line combinations? Would you swap out some of the current players for one or more of the black aces?