With only one pre-season game remaining and the Edmonton Oilers trimming their roster the forward lines are slowly starting to resemble what we may see on October 1st when the puck drops on the new NHL season. Despite the lines starting to come together the Oilers will still head into October without their top two centremen in Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Sam Gagner both recovering from surgery.

photo (1)To date the Oilers have not made any outside roster moves to the degree of trading for a centremen or claiming one on waivers meaning what we see is likely what we’ll get. Taylor Hall on the first line that’s a given and judging by his play in the pre-season it’s not all bad.

Mark Arcobello has been centering the second line of late and when listening to Craig MacTavish last night on TSN it sounds like this is his opportunity to lose. Is it safe to say we can pencil in Arcobello as the second line centre? It would appear so.

But can he replace Sam Gagner for the next month or so until Nugent-Hopkins is ready to return and give the club some much needed depth up the middle?

If last night’s game is any indication the Oilers second line is already starting to gel and Arcobello is fitting right in with Jordan Eberle and David Perron on his side. We know Hall Ales Hemsky and Ryan Smyth will be the designated first line and after last night’s showing Arcobello Perron and Eberle deserve another shot together.

The trio had a huge part in the Oilers 5-3 win over the Rangers last night with Arcobello chipping in a pair of assists finishing with a plus-1 rating while skating to over fifteen minutes of ice-time.