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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Penner the Whipping Boy



The Oilers current forward lineup:

Kotalik - Horcoff - Hemsky
Nilsson - Gagner - Pouliot
O'Sullivan - Cogliano - Pisani
Reddox - Brodziak - Stortini
Penner
Jacques
MacIntyre
Moreau*

A better forward lineup:

Penner - Horcoff - Hemsky
O'Sullivan - Gagner - Kotalik
Jacques - Cogliano - Pisani
Reddox - Brodziak - Stortini

When GM Steve Tambellini acquired two top 6 forwards, his goal in mind was to finally have 4 lines that MacTavish could roll on any given night and produce offensively without being a liability defensively.

What MacTavish has done instead is dismantle his top 3 lines, leaving line 4 as the only line with chemistry and consistency. No, it's not surprise anymore that MacTavish insists on playing players where they don't belong and have no familiarity. Jesus, did MacTavish even watch the videos and realize that Kotalik's points are all scored on the PP? He's not a goddamn 1st line player - Dustin Penner is miles ahead of him in that department.

This is ridiculous. It's no longer any surprise why line 4 is always the best Oilers' line in any game: it's the only line MacTavish hasn't tampered with. Jonathan Willis from OilersNation and Copper and Blue has shown that the Oilers play better with Penner on the 1st line than without him.

And EVEN IF he was too stubborn to put Penner back on the 1st line, he could at least realize that O'Sullivan doesn't belong where he's slotted. It's not like Pisani is an offensive juggernaut or deft playmaker, with respect to his individual abilities.

O'Sullivan is one of the league's leading shot-takers: it's time to put him on a line with Hemsky, not with the forechecking Cogliano/Pisani duo. That spot is reserved for when Moreau returns.

FMNF.

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2 Comments:

Blogger R-Gib said...

Antony,

Agreed that sitting Penner is not the most effective use of our lineup. Also agree that Kotalik is NOT a first line player.

My sense is that Ales and Ales being best buds has A LOT to do with where 21 is currently skating... and that maybe Hemsky even had some input into the trade, or in previous discussion with mgmt about the type of player he would like to see on his line.

That aside, I am not a fan of Kotalik placed on the 89 line either... I really like what 89-78 have been doing the last 3 games, and O'Sullivan looks to be a better fit there than 21. With Horpensky reunited, it means 21 and 12 are slotting in the bottom six with some PP minutes. Fine by me.

March 11, 2009 at 4:12 PM

 
Blogger raventalon40 said...

But then you gotta ask... do you dress Kotalik over Stortini? You certainly don't dress him over Hemsky or Pisani. The only possible scratches at the expense of Kotalik playing some PP minutes on the point are Nilsson and Pouliot. I'd pick Nilsson, if you pick Pouliot. I'd rather stick with Reddox and Kotalik than play Pouliot, since I'm not a big fan of Marc-Antoine.

Sorry Poo.

March 12, 2009 at 2:54 AM

 

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