Quinn will continue shuffling

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 9:05 AM ET

The game of musical skates will continue until Pat Quinn finds a tune he likes.

The Oilers head coach has been shuffling the lines at a dizzying and confusing pace over the past two weeks as the team tries to play itself out of a cold December funk.

"We're still searching for something that makes sense, combination wise, that gets that little magic going," said Quinn, who's given half a dozen players a chance to skate with Dustin Penner on the first line.

"We were pretty good at scoring for a bit, we were up with everybody else. Then the hands went dry.

"When the hands go dry and the forwards can't keep the puck out of their own net, it gets really tough to find the right mix.

"We get a line hot offensively for a little bit, then they disappear, so we switch it up. I don't recall ever moving it around as much as this, but we're hoping we fall on something we'd like to stick with for a while."

DRAW THEM A PICTURE

The Oilers were 25th in the NHL in faceoff winning percentage last season, a glaring area of weakness that desperately needed to be addressed.

It seems the off-season strategy of hoping the problem would fix itself didn't work, as the Oilers were 30th in the NHL in faceoff percentage going into last night's game against Calgary.

Losing key draws is one of the primary reasons Edmonton is struggling on the power play and penalty kill -- and giving up goals in the final minutes of games.

"We need to win a faceoff," said Quinn. "Two nights ago we did not win one offensive zone faceoff on the power play.

"When you have to waste 30 seconds to go back down and get the puck, it's a lot of time.

"And it's not just the centres ... we have to win some loose pucks."


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