Lowetide asked his readers if they'd like to see Magnus Paajarvi on the Oilers' first line, Tom Renney's tough-minutes line, with Shawn Horcoff and Ryan Smyth. It's an idea I like, not only because Paajarvi has shown flashes of own-zone abilitiy beyond those of the rest of the younger players on this team, but because he's far bigger and seemingly stronger than the rest of his romper room contingent. His skating ability, size, strength and defensive skill is exactly the sort of package that should propel him into the upper echelon of two-way forwards in the NHL.
If he's going to stick with the Mystery Machine as a unit, I'd like to see Tom Renney try (when healthy) the following line combinations:
|Ryan Smyth||-||Shawn Horcoff||-||Magnus Paajarvi|
|Sam Gagner||-||Eric Belanger||-||Ales Hemsky|
|Taylor Hall||-||Ryan Hopkins||-||Jordan Eberle|
|Lennart Petrell||-||Anton Lander||-||Ryan Jones|
Though Gagner is still finding his feet at wing after a long layoff, the top two lines are both offensive threats and strong enough to handle tough minutes. Two tough minutes lines should give Tom Renney the opportunity to protect Romper Room on the road even if opposing coaches try to target them, which they will.