Pierre Lebrun had some interesting news today about the Oilers and possible lines to begin the year.
ALL posts regarding Craig MacTavish and line combinations should come with a giant WARNING! sign attached since the man likes to juggle like Scotty Bowman many nights each season. Credit to him, he finds the guy whose feet are moving and gets him more minutes and identifies the party-goers early on too.
Anyway, Lebrun suggests that MacTavish is thinking along these lines:
There’s enough quality left over for a nice 4line, with Brodziak and Stortini likely written in ink and Pouliot, Schremp, Potulny, Brule, Reddox and Lerg all possibilities. Plus maybe Strudwick some nights.
The big question mark is Penner at center. Can he handle the workload? Playing wing on a MacT team is pretty simple, cover the defensive area from high slot to the D on your side of the ice and make damn good and sure you can muscle the puck out if Staios rings it around (I know this sounds ridiculous bothering to write it down but Joffrey Lupul spent an entire season NOT doing it so it’s a requirement).
For MacT centers, there’s the FO circle, there’s the extra footwork in your own zone and then it’s often required that you are the first forward out of the offensive zone on turnovers. Can Penner get back in time?