Line Matching: Oct 22 & 23 on the road

Jonathan Willis
November 02 2008 06:31PM

Here's some better-late-than-never analysis of the Oil's line match-ups on road games against the Hawks and the Avs.

Chicago

The Edmonton Oilers played likely their worst game of this young season in a 3–0 loss to Chicago. Joel Quenneville’s Blackhawks dominated the entire game, and despite not running up the score, the game never really felt like it was in reach for the Oilers.

Most frustrating of all was Ales Hemsky, who has had a poor start in every area except the powerplay, and who was virtually invisible in this game. In any case, here’s how MacTavish and Quenneville managed their lines, using Vic Ferrari’s Time On Ice Tool and the same procedure as in previous installments:

Edmonton’s Lines:

Cole – Horcoff – Hemsky Nilsson – Cogliano – Gagner Moreau – Pisani – Penner/Pouliot Pouliot /Penner – Brodziak – Stortini

Souray – Visnovsky Grebeshkov – Gilbert Smid – Strudwick

MacTavish swapped Pouliot on to the third line, generally dropping Penner to the fourth line in so doing. When Penner was on the third line, he played centre, with Pisani switching back to his natural right wing position.

Chicago’s Lines

Kane – Toews - Verstteg Havlat – Sharp – Brouwer Byfuglien –Bolland – Ladd Burish – Fraser – Eager

Keith – Seabrook Campbell – Johnson Walker - Hendry

Match-ups

Cole – Horcoff – Hemsky

Toews Line: 53.1% Sharp Line: 8.5% Bolland Line: 21.5% Fraser Line: 17.0%

Keith Pairing: 76.7% Campbell Pairing: 16.5% Walker Pairing: 6.8%

Nilsson – Cogliano – Gagner

Toews Line: 37.8% Sharp Line: 6.3% Bolland Line: 48.6% Fraser Line: 7.2%

Keith Pairing: 12.0% Campbell Pairing: 83.7% Walker Pairing: 4.3%

Moreau – Pisani – Penner/Pouliot

Toews Line: 12.8% Sharp Line: 61.7% Bolland Line: 16.0% Fraser Line: 9.6%

Keith Pairing: 38.8% Campbell Pairing: 24.3% Walker Pairing: 36.9%

Pouliot/Penner – Brodziak – Stortini

Toews Line: 15.2% Sharp Line: 35.4% Bolland Line: 16.5% Fraser Line: 32.9%

Keith Pairing: 33.3% Campbell Pairing: 21.4% Walker Pairing: 45.2%

Souray – Visnovsky

Toews Line: 41.1% Sharp Line: 14.6% Bolland Line: 18.4% Fraser Line: 25.9%

Grebeshkov – Gilbert

Toews Line: 41.5% Sharp Line: 17.7% Bolland Line: 33.3% Fraser Line: 7.5%

Smid – Strudwick

Toews Line: 10.7% Sharp Line: 45.9% Bolland Line: 33.6% Fraser Line: 9.8%

Colorado

Coming the day after a very bad showing in Chicago, I was optimistic that the Oilers would rebound against the Avalanche, especially given the goaltending options available to Tony Granato. It was, however, not to be, as the Avalanche won 4–1. The most memorable moment for me was Ian Laperriere (somewhat hypocritically) mocking Zach Stortini’s fighting style as he skated to the penalty box.

Here were the line-ups:

Edmonton’s Lines:

Cole – Horcoff – Hemsky Nilsson – Cogliano – Gagner Moreau – Brodziak – Penner MacIntyre – Pouliot – Stortini

Visnovsky – Souray Grebeshkov – Gilbert Smid – Strudwick

Colorado’s Lines

Smyth – Stastny – Hejduk Tucker – Sakic – Wolski McLeod – Arnason - Svatos McCormick – Guite – Laperriere

Foote – Clark Hannan – Liles Salei – Leopold

Match-ups

Cole – Horcoff – Hemsky

Stasnty Line: 23.6% Sakic Line: 26.8% Arnason Line: 38.2% Guite Line: 11.4%

Foote Pairing: 70.5% Hannan Pairing: 16.4% Salei Pairing: 13.1%

Nilsson – Cogliano – Gagner

Stasnty Line: 21.9% Sakic Line: 16.2% Arnason Line: 39.0% Guite Line: 22.9%

Foote Pairing: 11.4% Hannan Pairing: 42.9% Salei Pairing: 45.7%

Moreau – Brodziak – Penner

Stastny Line: 55.2% Sakic Line: 27.6% Arnason Line: 14.9% Guite Line: 2.3%

Foote Pairing: 18.9% Hannan Pairing: 39.6% Salei Pairing: 41.4%

MacIntyre – Pouliot – Stortini

Stastny Line: 0.0% Sakic Line: 35.1% Arnason Line: 37.8% Guite Line: 27.0%

Foote Pairing: 11.3% Hannan Pairing: 66.0% Salei Pairing: 22.6%

Visnovsky – Souray

Stastny Line: 24.3% Sakic Line: 33.6% Arnason Line: 27.1% Guite Line: 15.0%

Grebshkov – Gilbert

Stastny Line: 31.1% Sakic Line: 30.4% Arnason Line: 18.8% Guite Line: 19.6%

Smid – Strudwick

Stastny Line: 28.8% Sakic Line: 2.7% Arnason Line: 49.3% Guite Line: 19.2%

74b7cedc5d8bfbe88cf071309e98d2c3
Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 Tommy Salo
November 02 2008, 07:18PM
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Ian Laperriere is a douchebag who was hanging on for dear life, not the other way around. I would love to see Zack Stortini get his retribution for on that mouthy bastard.

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#2 Fiveandagame
November 02 2008, 07:20PM
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YAY FIRST COMMENT!

Nice Work Mr. Willis. Always informative, always insightful.

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#3 Fiveandagame
November 02 2008, 07:20PM
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Darn you Tommy you beat me to the submit comment button....

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#4 matt
November 02 2008, 07:49PM
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the majority of the time our top line was against either Colorado or Chicago's top D line. In Colorado we had our top in against their checking line but in Chicago we had our top line against their top line. Either way we still got beat Offense vs. Offense or Offense vs. Shutdown

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#5 Tommy Salo
November 02 2008, 07:51PM
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Not only did I beat you, I beat you a by a full 2 minutes. You were still typing your message when I was in the clear. Nananana boo boo!

Willis has good stats. Very insightful.

I think the next time we play the Avs we'll need to be creative in how we deal with the Salei's and Hannan's

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