22 OCT 2011 – 8:00 PM MDT
Lines and some qualitative concerns after the jump.
Tonight’s lines come from the official Oilers Twitter. Thanks!
- Remember Sam Gagner? He’s back. Remember all of that talk about who was going to get sent down when Gagner comes back? Turns out it’s no one at this time. I’ll get really irritable about that in a few paragraphs. Instead of centre, Gagner is going to play wing on the 3RW slot with Belanger and Paajarvi. Great to see Gagner back in the lineup, it’s the ripple effect that I’m worried about.
- Nikolai Khabibulin has been playing very well as of late. Take away the last-second goal allowed versus Minnesota and he’s been lights out. Khabibulin is the first goaltender on the Oilers to be awarded consecutive starts. Let’s see where he takes the team tonight.
Not really sure where Renney comes across unprompted saying that Ryan Nugent-Hopkins ‘might’ sit this game, but that’s what was said yesterday. Turns out he’ll be centring the first line again. I know he needs a lot of work on faceoffs, but he’s leading the team in points. Unless Renney is trying to prolong RNH’s first nine games, I can’t see a good enough reason to keep your point leader out of the lineup. RNH can play. Let him play.
- STOP SITTING LINUS OMARK. On the surface, it looks like an ineffective start from Omark with zero points in five games, this is true. You’ll find out exactly how ineffective Linus Omark can really be when he’s scratched from the lineup. This happens while Ben Eager plays five minutes or less a night (okay, he played 6:44 vs. the Wild). I like Eager’s tough guy moniker, but Ben Eager’s first role isn’t to score goals. Linus Omark is out there to score goals. The Oilers are last in the league in goals scored at 1.67 per game. Put it together.
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