SUN Hockey Pool

Oilers shuffle checking line

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:35 PM ET

ANAHEIM — They were burnt so bad, Shawn Horcoff, Ethan Moreau and Fernando Pisani had scorch marks on their backs.

In the 6-1 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes on Monday, the Edmonton Oilers shutdown line was a combined minus-10 on the night.

On Wednesday against the Anaheim Ducks, the line was disbanded.

“It’s not for lack of trying or bad intentions, but sometimes when you try to do too much, you leave a lot on the table,” said Oilers associate coach Tom Renney. “With that said, we have to make sure of whatever the combination of people are, we have to pay attention to our jobs away from the puck.

"With those three guys, they were maybe just trying to do the extraordinary thing which hurt them to the point of doing too much standing and not being as participatory as they needed to be.”

The three veterans were put together three weeks ago in an effort to neutralize the Vancouver Canucks top line featuring Daniel and Henrik Sedin.

They did a good job on the Canucks dynamic duo while at full strength. It was on the power play where the twins had their way with the Oilers.

Edmonton's checking line had been together since and at times been very good against some of the most offensive lines in the league.

“We obviously had a bad night,” said Moreau. “They scored a lot of goals on us. But we did have some success, we shut down some good lines, although that wasn’t the case (Monday).”

Despite their struggles against the Coyotes, the trio would have been eager to get back on the horse and sent out as a unit against the Ducks top line. When things don’t go well, professional athletes have a tendency to want to get right back out and prove they can get the job done.

“I would have liked to have seen us stay together, but sometimes it’s hard to match lines on the road,” Moreau said. “When you’re always forced to change on the go, it can be a bit of a distraction because all you think about it coming on and off the ice. But I don’t think there is any reason why we couldn’t be used again as a unit in the future.”


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