Well considering that it looks as though the GM has finished making his moves for the year, and that training camp will be starting sooner than later I figured that I should get on this and take a look at the team in the coming year.
Again, much like I did last year, I am going to do a series of posts discussing the team and how I think they will do in the coming year. Reading musts is Lowetide and his breakdown of each player, and big props to Behind the Net and Capgeek for all of my stats/salary info.
Oh, and I might as well brag now…I called them to score 190 – 210 goals last year…and they scored 206. Pretty bang on.
Last year I called the team young and mentioned that will cost us mucho lost games…and while they were young, the single biggest reason for lost games would be injuries. Man did we get hammered on the injures. But the big reason I bring this up again is the fact that we seem to be getting younger. Which as I see it will mean lots of lost games again.
Anyways, here are the forwards:
I tried to do lines as I saw them on opening night, but really when looking at that I have 0 idea what Renney will do for the forward lines. There is no checking line per se (although the 4th line might be able to handle it…don’t see it with Jones or Stortini however as both players are agitators and not necessarily defensive stalwarts). There are two lines that need cherry minutes (all the kids), plus Omark who from what I hear may be the most ready of the entire bunch. JFJ serves a role I assume, however I can’t see it. And SmackIntyre is at the end of the bench to fight other teams heavyweights.
Only line that is NHL ready is the top line, and they will see the toughest competition again. Power vs power. Maybe if you drop Gagner down with Brule and Cogliano you might have another line that won’t get overwhelmed often, but they would still need to be protected from tough competition.
Hemsky. I figure people probably get sick of me harping on how awesome Hemsky is, but really he is the best player that the Oilers have. And on a damn good contract.
Ummm…we have lots of forwards. Looking at the lineup like that, I’m really stretching to find many other strengths. Penner “should” have another good year, Horcoff will bounce back I’m sure and hopefully last years kids will take a step forward. We can’t (and shouldn’t) put any of our hopes into Hall, Eberle or MPS. They will all be great players, but they will all be rookies and at most we can expect one of them to hit 40 points.
We are a young team. There will be blown assignments, lots of time spent in our own zone and lots of goals scored against us. Lots. And those rookie slumps are going to hurt us harder than most teams.
We have too many small players. They will be losing battles in the corners and they will be pushed around (hopefully they got over the injury bug).
We do not have a checking line. Anywhere.
Lots and lots of forwards. Too many. There will be some good players in OKC. And I didn’t include all of the signings lately that could possibly be call ups. Like that kid who scores a ton in the A.
Well this is pretty obvious. As said since the inception (INCEPTION!) of this blog…we need a good 3rd line checker/pker/faceoff expert. Come on management…its not that difficult. Hell, we could use 2 or 3 of the bastards, and there are lots out there. Cheap.
Oh, and size. That would be nice.
Well, this year could be ugly. I’ve been thinking all summer that this team can’t be as bad as last years team, but looking at the forward roster I’m not so sure now. Lots of mistakes will be made. Lots of goals scored against us. Lots of games lost (and I haven’t even started talking about the goalies!).
Ha, and I just read my last years summary, and I quote “That said, we are an injury or slump away from missing the second season.”. Did we ever miss it.
This year I’m betting we miss the playoffs unless a couple players decide that they will have spectacular years and singlehandedly pull the team into the playoffs.