With the disappointing 2013 season winding down for the Edmonton Oilers, newly appointed general manager Craig MacTavish has a tough road ahead trying to evaluate the pieces needed to help the Oilers take the next step.
Head coach Ralph Krueger has been tinkering with the Oilers' line combinations as of late, an experiment that has helped the team to finally end their six-game losing streak after defeating the Colorado Avalanche on April 19.
Here is a look at the strengths and weaknesses for each of the Edmonton Oilers' lines.
Line combinations as listed on the Edmonton Oilers official website.
Taylor Hall has emerged as the leader of the Edmonton Oilers offense this season.
After spending the bulk of the season with Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Taylor Hall has found himself playing with new linemates on the Oilers' top line.
The new look line of Sam Gagner, Taylor Hall and Nail Yakupov forms an explosive top unit, aided by the outside speed of Hall and Yakupov on the wings.
Hall and Gagner have also developed into defensively responsible forwards this season, which helps to mask the holes created by the offensively driven Yakupov.
The major weakness of this top line resides with Sam Gagner's inconsistency in the faceoff circle leading to missed opportunities for the Oilers. Gagner has only won 43.2 percent of his draws, and this weakness has been exploited at key times this season.
With a current plus/minus rating of minus-eight, Yakupov has been a liability on the ice at times as he tends to focus more on the offensive aspect of the game rather than his defensive-zone responsibilities.
Jordan Eberle has had an up-and-down 2013 season for Edmonton.
This is perhaps the Oilers' most diverse line, with the differing skill sets of Magnus Paajarvi, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle providing a dynamic offensive look.
Paajarvi has gained confidence since playing with Nugent-Hopkins and Eberle and has seemed to establish himself as legitimate NHL player.
Unfortunately for the Oilers, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins hasn't found a way to establish any sort of consistency in the faceoff circle, often struggling to win draws this year.
Aside from Eberle, the offensive production hasn't quite been there for the Oilers' second line. Secondary scoring has been an issue for the team and is a major reason the Oilers fell in the standings during April.
For the amount of money that Horcoff is paid, the captain needs to start producing on the offensive end.
This is the Oilers' best shutdown line. Hartikainen has been a pleasant surprise this year, providing much-needed physicality to an Oilers roster thin on power forwards.
Though Lander has been playing center on this line since his recall from Oklahoma City, Shawn Horcoff has been the Oilers' most reliable faceoff man this season.
Horcoff has won an even 50 percent of his draws for the club this year and is usually taking most of the important defensive-zone faceoffs for the team.
Goal scoring has been almost non-existent for the third line in Edmonton. Though Lander has only been with the Oilers for six games, Hartikainen and Horcoff have a combined eight goals on the season.
Though the line is primarily utilized as a shutdown line for Edmonton, the lack of offensive contribution from this line has hurt the club this season.
Mike Brown has taken up the mantle of enforcer for the Edmonton Oilers.
Mike Brown has been an excellent addition to the Oilers' fourth line, bringing a much-needed physical presence to the lineup.
Thanks in large part to the energy provided by the big-hitting Brown, the fourth line has been able to provide a spark to the Oilers this year.
Petrell is one of the Oilers' best defensive forwards and, combined with Ryan Smyth, has found solid chemistry in a shutdown role with the team.
Fourth lines aren't generally looked upon to provide much offense to a team, but with Ryan Smyth on the fourth line, the Oilers would have liked more production than they have received this year.
It appears that all of the hard minutes that Smyth has logged over the years for the Oilers are finally taking their toll, as he has appeared tired quite often this season.
Discipline is also a major problem on this line. Brown is the Oilers' resident tough guy, leading the team in fights and penalty minutes, but he has also taken many untimely penalties this season.
Ladislav Smid is the backbone of the Edmonton Oilers blueline.
Ladislav Smid is the heart and soul of the Edmonton Oilers blue line and is the Oilers' best shutdown defender. Smid is also a wall in front of the Oilers goal and is currently eighth in the NHL with 110 blocked shots.
The two featured in this top pairing have been the most consistent defensemen this year for Edmonton, and both Smid and partner Jeff Petry have averaged over 20 minutes per game for the Oilers this season.
Petry's inexperience has resulted in quite a few scoring chances for the opposition this year. The offensive defenseman has often found himself caught out of position and has leaked opportunities to opposing teams.
Justin Schultz has provided excellent offensive contributions from the blue line for the Oilers..
The addition of Justin Schultz to the Edmonton Oilers' second defensive pairing has given the Oilers a legitimate puck-moving blueliner, capable of starting the offense from his own zone with great on-ice vision.
Nick Schultz has been very sturdy on the back end for the Oilers this season, and though his offensive contributions have dipped slightly, his strong play has allowed Justin Schultz to concentrate more on offense.
The two Schultzs currently have the worst plus/minus ratings on the entire team, with Nick sitting at minus-13 on the year and Justin at minus-15.
The inexperience of Justin Schultz has been exploited this season, as the offensive defenseman has often been a liability in the defensive zone.
Though not flashy, Corey Potter has put together a decent season for the Oilers this year.
Both Corey Potter and Mark Fistric bring size and decent mobility to the Edmonton Oilers' third defensive pairing. When paired together, the combination of Potter and Fistric has been quite reliable for the club.
Though Fistric has been in and out of the Oilers lineup since coming over from Dallas, he has provided a much-needed physical presence on the blue line and has also been quite capable in his own end.
The third pairing has had trouble establishing any sort of consistency or chemistry this season thanks in large part to the line-juggling of Ralph Krueger.