As the attention of Oiler fans splits into two (Nuge/Nail/Frank’s boy at WJ’s, Barons of the AHL) through early January, OKC’s coach Todd Nelson is making changes in the lineup in an effort to stop the losing streak.
- Anton Lander-Taylor Hall-Magnus Paajarvi
- Mark Arcobello-Curtis Hamilton-Jordan Eberle
- Josh Green-Teemu Hartikainen-Phil Cornet
- Chris VandeVelde-Dane Byers-Tyler Pitlick
Lets take these one at a time:
- Lander and Paajarvi must feel as though they’ve died and gone to heaven. I’m not at all certain this line with show much but what the hell they can always bring out the MacT blender.
- Hamilton HAS to be thrilled with this push, and I also think the organization is showing a lot of faith in Arcobello (as Josh Green is available for this slot). Eberle plays the role of Taylor Hall on this line–gifted NHL player trying to infuse offense into a line with two also-rans.
- I’m not sure that Harski deserves the 3line, but do like he and Green together. I’d pick Pitlick for that line, but Cornet cashed 24 last season–and has 8 in 14 ECHL games this season–and that’s something to remember.
- Pitlick is down with Byers–who has scored at the AHL level over the years–and VandeVelde whose stats suggest he’d dump it into the corner on a breakaway. If I’m Pitlick, I’m pissed. This is seriously the short end of the straw.
Abney was sent down to Stockton, Martindale and House along with Kristians Pelss are guys we’ll see at some point too.
Maddeningly, the article didn’t mention the D pairings, but there isn’t much Nelson can do with the blue. This team needs a veteran defenseman badly, a guy who can settle things down and make plays at the AHL level. Corey Potter would be great if he was left handed. That kind of thing. Needed it since training camp.