The Edmonton Oilers could catch ‘lightning in a bottle’ if Sam Gagner could replace Shawn Horcoff on the top line. We’ve talked about this before (and Craig MacTavish talked about Horcoff in a checking role) but everything waited on Gagner’s arrival.
Today in practice the Oilers ran their lines as Gagner-Penner-Hemsky, Horcoff-Comrie-O’Sullivan, Cogliano-Moreau-Stortini and then a 4th line of Jacques-Nilsson with Bucky in the middle because Ryan Stone is injured and Gilbert Brule is sick (MacIntyre was playing defense, Smid was ill, Daddy sang bass, Mama sang tenor, me and little brother would join right in there).
Should Gagner be able to establish himself on a top line with Penner and Hemsky, this might leave Horcoff as a strong option for a de facto #1 opposition line. The Horcoff-Comrie-O’Sullivan line has a lot of talent on it, but clearly isn’t a checking line. However, could Horcoff’s being taken off the Hemsky line be the beginning of what will become a Quinn hard-match line?
Maybe. The two main issues are:
- Gagner establishing any kind of chemistry with Hemsky
- The Oilers finding two wingers to face the vaunt with Horcoff every night.