Quinn Has Choices to Make...

Game #1, the Oilers out-play the Flames and lose. Game #2, the Stars out-play the Oilers, and the Oilers win. Sports can be funny that way. It's a game of bounces, of lucky breaks and of what goes around comes around, sometimes as much as it is skill.

What is evident after Tuesdays game, is that the Oilers are not yet any closer to determining which set of players, belong not only on the same line together, but where if at all on the team. Time is running out for Pat Quinn and company to decide.

The Oilers, in one of the most entertaining, yet wrenching games I've watched in a while, squeaked out two points. Jacques was moved to give Penner a chance to spark Horcoff and Hemsky, Nilsson plugged in on the third line and got an assist, while otherwise coughing up the puck a lot. And Brule actually won more faceoffs than he lost. Do any of these things tell us who will be staying and who won't once Marc Pouliot comes of IR which it looks like he'll be doing rather quickly?

The Edmonton Oilers will likely send Pouliot to Springfield for conditioning, which is probably not only needed, but buys them a little extra time, to make some tricky decisions. I would suggest they're even more tricky knowing that in two games, the Oilers, nor any of its roster players have showed something that even closely resembles something solid for the coaching staff.

Pairings, which Quinn is keen to make the heart and sole of the team, haven't really come forth. O'Sullivan and Comrie have been ok, and are maybe the closest to soldified, if any pairing, but they've yet to match the chemistry they found in pre-sesaon. Hemsky and Horcoff are not showing signs of life nor are the Cogs/Gagner, Nilsson/Gagner, Penner/Brule (ok, maybe a bit on those two) or whomever else you choose to partner.

So what should Quinn do? Who should he cut? Who should he keep?

Better yet, can't Tambellini make some kind of trade to find a solution that seems to be the only evident skill-sets missing in both games -- that being faceoffs and penalty killing? I guess, the Oilers will need more time. My bet is they use every inch of the two weeks they can get out of Pouliot's re-conditioning stint in the minors.


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