Last night in Anaheim, the slumping Oilers broke up their checking line of Shawn Horcoff, Ethan Moreau and Fernando Pisani.
The line had imploded in Edmonton’s previous game, against Phoenix, going a combined -10.
The breakup didn’t help last night against Anaheim, as the Oilers still lost.
But it doesn’t seem like the Oilers were using a single unit against Anaheim’s Teemu Selanne line or the Bobby Ryan line.
The decision to go without a checking line is interesting, because Oilers assistant coach Tom Renney, for all of his defensive leanings, wasn’t a huge checking-line guy in New York.
One has to wonder if either A) the Oilers are just running out of options and are now simply trying everything to see what works or B) if coach Pat Quinn is slowly turning the team over to Renney, almost on a trial basis, to see if he can turn things around.
It’s also possible that the Oilers just didn’t know who to focus on with the Ducks, as their talent is surprisingly evenly distributed throughout the line up.
But my guess is that GM Steve Tambellini is giving Renney a secret audition, to see if he can improve a seemingly impossibly bad team.
Either that, or Quinn himself is trying everything to get some more wins this year.