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12-04-2003, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by gretzky2kurri
Fact is the Oilers are having trouble plugging the holes from injury and departures. Niinimaa, Marchant, Reasoner and former #1 centerman known as Comrie. This makes many a coach bounce players around.
Exactly. But players need more than 2 games to gel, especially scorers. McT has kept the checking line intact though. I Wonder why?

Many fans love to point out that the system must work since the Oil were 2nd best in the league in goals against 2 years ago. So what? Salo has returned to Earth since then (he was playing a little over his head that year) and the personnel playing the system have changed. Niinimaa and Marchant in particular were big, big pieces of that defense and even guys like Brown, Poti and Grier were valuable both in the defensive system and more noticeably on the penalty kill.

People can harp on the power play as much as they want but it's the PK that is killling the Oil right now. Something like 31 PP goals against. And because of that, the boys are terrified of taking a penalty and as a result are not as aggressive as they need to be.

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