Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Oilers vs Hurricanes

A quick preview.

The Forward Lines:
Whitney-Brind'Amour-Williams
Cole-Staal-Walker
Larose-Belanger-Letowski
Ladd-Adams-Adams

PK tandems:
Brind'Amour-Williams
Belanger-Letowski
Larose-C.Adams

Defence pairings
Gleason-Babchuk
Hedican-Commodore
Wesley-Wallin

As long as the score is close Laviolette likes to roll the top two lines together, I'd expect him to start the game with Brind'Amour with a short shift and then Staal. So MacTavish probably guns for Rod's line with Horcoff, and if he misses he'll hit Staal's trio. Iginla played 17 even strength shifts last night, 16 of them against Staal's or Brind'Amour's lines. I expect to see the same sort of splits with Horcoff in this one unless the score gets out of hand one way or the other.

Gleason ate up a bunch of tough minutes last night, 9.1 minutes at evens vs Iginla. That's usually Hedican's gig, but he had soft minutes and hardly any PK time in that one, played a bunch on the PP though. I'd guess that he's playing hurt.

I'd guess that Huddy will try and get the Smith pairing against the Brind'Amour and the Staios tandem against Staal. Shouldn't be too hard for Huddy to manage that on home ice, at least not if Laviolette goes with mostly three forward lines. Having said that, though the Canes didn't play their 4th line much at all last night, tonight they will probably have to in this the second of back to back games.

Some line will be run out after Horcoff for the most part and catch a bunch of one of the top two Carolina forward lines. Assuming that 71-10-15 stay together, I'd like to see 14-19-34 for that job, but going by the Vancouver game Stoll seems likely to get that job again. We'll see.

With Smyth, Hemsky and Moreau all out I don't know if the Oilers have the depth to beat up the Hurricane's bottom six forwards. And the Oilers rollover line in this game (the one that will probably be facing Staal) ... I can't make myself believe in them, as much as I want to. Still, Carolina should be tired, and according to namflashback playing soft, I like the Oilers chances in this one.

10 Comments:

Blogger Steven said...

Pretty good analysis.
That being said the Oilers have been pretty bad when another team has played back to back. If I recall Nashville beat them when they played the previous night and Columbus has beaten them after playing the night before so I'm not sure if the tired team syndrome has any effect or at least it doesn't seem to matter against the Oilers anyway :)

Carolina does look pretty different from that Stanley Cup Finals team. Too bad the Oilers don't have the depth to take advantage of that bottom 6. To me the big key will probably be whoever Stoll-Pisani-Torres are out against. If they can come out even or ahead the Oilers will probably win. If not... well looks like we lose Game 8 too.

12/06/2006 2:05 pm  
Blogger Dennis-IOF said...

sorry vic!!!

12/06/2006 2:16 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

No worries at all Dennis.

Steven: Ya, I didn't see the CBJ game but in the NSH affair I thought the Oilers had the better of the scoring chances, granted by a skinny margin. And NSH is probably a bit better hockey team at this point in time.

Agreed on the Stoll-Pisani-Torres line (assuming that's what we see) being the key. That, special teams, and as always the good graces of the hockey gods.

But so long as they outplay and outchance them I'll be happy.

12/06/2006 2:33 pm  
Blogger Slipper said...

I read Stillman was taken off the IR before Carolina left for this road trip. Is there any chance he's playing tonight?

12/06/2006 3:09 pm  
Blogger namflashback said...

vic, they were soft as butter last night in Calgary -- just didn't step up to Calgary's challenge and therefore could not get to any of the tough areas of the ice. Not at all like their 06 playoff incarnation.

If the Oilers play as physical as they did in Vancouver it should have the same effect. Bro-in-law called this morning with TIX. I'll provide a "from row 7" report tommorrow. Go BipOilers.

12/06/2006 3:26 pm  
Blogger Dennis-IOF said...

Vic...seeing as how I fucked up the Canes lineup we'll use your thread as the offical gameday deal:)

We'll just use mine for bad memories:D

12/06/2006 4:28 pm  
Blogger Black Dog said...

slipper - Stillman makes his debut next game, I believe.

12/06/2006 7:10 pm  
Blogger PDO said...

So, when is game 9?

- PDO

12/06/2006 10:14 pm  
Blogger Steven said...

Wow great game but the Oilers last night. One of the most complete games I've seen. In any case Torres-Stoll-Pisani looked terrific last night. Skating, hitting, cycling and create scoring chances. Despite all of Maguire's blathering about how Stoll was the second coming, I'll have to agree with him about his play last night.

It's only one game but he can keep playing like that outchancing quality opponents like Staal it might bode a bit better for his future with the Oilers. Like someone else said on HF, last night was probably one of the first nights I've seen these Leadership qualities or intangibles that Stoll is supposed to have. Good on him. Let's hope he can keep it up.

12/07/2006 10:33 am  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

For this one I was hanging with my daughter watching it on TV while the wife went to the game. So that meant a split screen viewing (Pooh Bear / TSN) and the soundtrack of the former. That's probably best with that bunch doing the broadcast anyways. :)

I actually thought that Stoll was a little soft on the puck after he came back from taking those shots on the PK. Good to see him back in the zone in support when Pisani picked it off the half boards. That lead to the drive up ice that eventually lead to Pisani's goal I think.

Nasty shots he took on that PK, ouch! He flamingoed on the second shot though, he probably would have taken it on the shinpad otherwise.

I thought Lupul, Pisani, Horcoff and Torres had terrific games. Stoll and Reasoner looked pretty good too. Peterson looked better on the PP point than any other Oiler by a clear margin imo. And the play died with Pouliot an absolute tonne. Rough night for Sykora in that regard as well. I thought Smid had a poor night but Greene played a good game, picked his spots well on this night.

And if I'm Justin Williams I'm probably still wondering why I got a penalty and faced an attack from Horcoff after Lupul did some spastic accidental Kung Fu move on me. :)

I'm not as busting with optimism as most though, the Canes still had quite a few good chances, granted they became fewer and fewer as it wore on. Good fun to watch, was this one.

12/07/2006 2:57 pm  

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