Oilers 2010/11 Quarter 1 Review

By , December 3, 2010 10:53 am
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Well it’s that time again… the quarterly review for the Oilers. We’re a little late putting this one up, but that’s just because we don’t like to post stuff during game days, if we can avoid it, or else it gets lost in the shuffle. But this review was done just after game 21. Not a pretty quarter… but quarter 2 is already off to a great start. Because of that, the timing might seem a bit strange, given the Oilers have won 4 of their last 5 (yes that is true). Anyways, here is the Q1 review…

Legend:
A – Awesome
B – Above Average
C – Average
D – Booooooooo
F – Useless/Trade/Fire

FORWARD RANKINGS

Player Pos GP G A P +/- PIM
Ales Hemsky R 20 6 9 15 3 4
Racki As usual, he’s been one of the team’s better players. Slowly working his way up to what we should be expecting of Hemsky though. B+
Steve-O Best player on the team by far. A++
Trogdor Showing some grit this season and playing well B+
Andrew Cogliano C 21 2 3 5 -9 25
Racki Started off pretty craptacular. Is improving each game though. I think he works really well with Penner. Hopefully Penner, Cogliano and Brule can stay together for reasons other than Hemsky’s injury. C-
Steve-O Has played way better the last 5 games after a terrible start.  I’d rank his first 15 games as a D-, and the last 5 as B. C-
Trogdor Taking his lumps and playing hard.  Getting bounced around and not complaining. C+
Colin Fraser C 21 2 1 3 1 38
Racki Faceoff % around 40%, average Pker, not a great hitter. That said, he’s looked a little better recently, but hasn’t impressed me at all yet. D+
Steve-O Has played pretty well by my eyes, considering he’s pulling around a lot of dead weight every game. C-
Trogdor Average play thus far so an average score. C
Dustin Penner R 21 7 5 12 -4 22
Racki Needs to get his butt in gear. Had a very good recent game, and as always he can still put the puck in the net, but he need to find some consistency in his effort. B-
Steve-O Looks uninspired out there.  That said, he’s the second best forward we have and when he really wants to looks like a dominate player. B
Trogdor Some nights great, some not so much.  Not as consistent this year. C
Gilbert Brule C 20 3 1 4 -7 25
Racki Like Cogs, he’s improved recently, maybe because of having Penner on his line. Needs to find some consistency. Is leading the forwards in hits though. C+
Steve-O Not a good stat line, which probably explains why he was a healthy scratch that one game, however I still think he’s our toughest forward and the only one that seems to be constantly hitting. C
Trogdor One of our more consistent players, surprised he’s -7, but then again we have a lot of minus players. C+
Jean-Francois Jacques L 5 0 0 0 0 0
Racki I’m not that big of a fanboy to look past a player’s faults. Can’t shoot worth a damn and his first few games he was definitely catching up to speed, but I thought he played good the last 2 and shows promise for a second quarter of competing with “Teddy Peckman” for hits. C-
Steve-O Not impressed.  I know that Racki gets a chub for this guy, but I haven’t seen anything this year that makes me think he deserves a spot on the team. D
Trogdor Not much to go on in the first quarter, but has been physical in his return. C
Jordan Eberle R 21 4 9 13 -6 4
Racki Definitely the best of the big 3 right now. Doesn’t look out of place, except for in a defensive role. Is as big or bigger of a risk on the PK as he is a reward. Offensively though, he has spectacular vision and looks on par with Sam Gagner right now. Superb battler in the corners, which I didn’t expect at all. A-
Steve-O Best rookie on the team (well, fighting it out with Peckham).  Looks years above his actual age, and can play in all situations. B+/A- ?
Trogdor Only scores highlight reel goals, but of the 3 rooks, by far the most comfortable out there. B+
Magnus Paajarvi L 20 2 4 6 -4 6
Racki Has strugged so far. He’s shown recent improvement and has been good enough defensively, but the offensive game isn’t there yet. I kind of wonder why Renney hasn’t tried him out on the PK yet though to get his legs moving (unless he really is atrocious there). C-
Steve-O Much like Cogliano, started really slow but has started to come on the last 5 or 6 games.  Really was the best player for that one beatdown against the Coyotes I believe.  I think he’s not used to the physicality of the north american game because he got rocked in one of the early games and seems scared now to go to certain areas. C
Trogdor Taking the longest to adjust to the NHL, hopefully it happens soon.  Needs to learn how to take a hit and move on. C-
Ryan Jones L 21 4 2 6 -5 9
Racki I like the hitting energy he brings when he brings, but that’s about it. He should be replaced by Reddox in my opinion. Has scored a few good junk goals though, and he looks to be finding his legs, so I haven’t given up just yet. Looks a little better in a 3rd liner cross-over role than he does in a pure 4th line checker role. C-
Steve-O I suppose he’s decent for what he’s paid/what he does.  Shouldn’t be on the third line, but that may be more of an indictment of the rest of the team than him.  Seems to chase the hit, putting himself out of position often, but plays all out all the time. C-
Trogdor For a fourth line energy guy, he’s been good.  Contributing some offence as well. B
Sam Gagner C 21 5 6 11 -4 11
Racki I like samwise. The pressure should be off a bit this year, given that the “big 3″ get all the attention now. But he’s still had troubles getting points. He’s a habitual slow starter though. C
Steve-O Has played well to date.  Smart player.  For whatever reason was bumped down to the third line. C+
Trogdor Liking what I’m seeing so far, and the moustache was icing on the cake. B+
Shawn Horcoff C 18 6 6 12 -1 10
Racki Honestly, I think he’s one of our best players right now. He seems to be back to his peak form again. Still struggles on some of the one timer opportunities, but has been a fantastic mentor for the kids and has helped make Hall and Eberle’s transition to the NHL quite smooth. Without him, I don’t think they’d be doing as well as they are. FO% has improved to nearly 50% now. That has as much to do with teammates improving as it does him improving. A-
Steve-O Best Oiler centre.  Seriously.  Has started to play as he can (unlike last year). B-
Trogdor Playing more like a overpaid center this year.  Good chemistry with Hall and Ebs. B
Steve MacIntyre L 6 0 0 0 0 17
Racki KO’d Ivanins. That alone should give him an A+++. But I don’t think that would be a fair assessment. Aside from that, I’m still not sure he has much use here. Fighting the heavies is exciting, but it’s not really protecting the team, as far as I’m concerned. Great guy though, so I’m perfectly content with him earning a paycheque for as long as possible. D
Steve-O Does what he does.  Bonus points from me for KO’ing Ivanas as well as an inspired game against the Rangers. C
Trogdor Aside from scrapping, doesn’t add much to the team. D
Taylor Hall L 21 5 6 11 -7 4
Racki I think he’s looked good offensively all year. He has a couple of issues though, and the biggest is that he still is trying to beat defensemen one-on-one at the blue line rather than chipping it in. It works sometimes though. Aside from that, he’s carried the puck more than I think he should. Needs to use his linemates a bit more. But I think he’s starting to show now why he was drafted #1 overall and will be a helluva player. Looking forward to quarter 2. B-
Steve-O Much like Cogliano and Paajarvi, has played only rece`ntly.  The last 3 to 4 games have been his best all year.  His first 15 games he looked very much the 18 year old trying to play with the big boys and just wasn’t cutting it.  But has gotten better.  Except with some of his decision making.  Thats still terrible.  That shit may have worked in Junior, but you would think that after trying it nonstop the first 20 games you would figure out that it doesn’t work at this level. C-
Trogdor Took some time to find his legs, but is starting to look like a #1 pick out there. B-
Zack Stortini R 14 0 2 2 1 36
Racki Sorry, where the heck is the Stortini I fell in love with a couple of years ago? Not really fighting much, not stirring shit up much… not hitting nearly enough. He needs to get better if he wants a regular spot in the lineup. Right now I’d say he’s expendible whereas he once was untouchable. D-
Steve-O Has had a terrible year. D-
Trogdor Usually middle of the road, but not so much this year. D

DEFENSEMEN RANKINGS

Player Pos GP G A P +/- PIM
Jason Strudwick D 11 0 0 0 -9 7
Racki Best thing about Strudwick’s season this year is he hasn’t played much. Funny doesn’t earn you a regular spot in the lineup. Is definitely here for his personality and interaction with players, which are both very good. But that only takes you so far. D-
Steve-O So happy he’s not playing anymore.  Dude just doesn’t have it to keep up at this level anymore. F
Trogdor Like an aging action star, Strudwick is Expendable.  ADRIANNNNN!!! D
Jim Vandermeer D 16 0 2 2 -5 14
Racki Awful. Not much better than Strudwick. False advertised as a punishing, physical d-man, but so far I haven’t seen him throw many more hits than Foster (and actually I see by the stats, Foster has quite a few more). I think he’s fought once this year. Not impressed D-
Steve-O Overpaid for what his role is, but I think he’s fine as a 6/7.  Of course on this team that means he’s pushing into the top 4, but not his fault. D
Trogdor Needs to play bigger. D
Kurtis Foster D 20 2 6 8 -7 14
Racki Another horrible d-man, in my opinion. This is all about risk vs. reward. The reward is he has a very good shot. The risks are everywhere though… he frequently gets beat pinching in, he’s soft in front of the net and really doesn’t look like he can play the position at all. He makes Tom Gilbert look like Denis Potvin. D-
Steve-O He needs to be protected.  Not the best defensively although he seems to lay out some big hits. C-
Trogdor The big shot isn’t netting too many points, and like the rest of the corp, defence has been suspect. D
Ladislav Smid D 17 0 3 3 -1 25
Racki Pretty much same ol’, same ol’ with Smid. Hasn’t improved over last year, I don’t think, but he is still reliable and one of the team’s better defensemen. Won’t stand out most nights, which is good when you’re a stay-at-homer. B
Steve-O Head up buddy.  Keeps getting just drilled (not including the Avery punch) but seems to be turning into a good feisty defensive player. C
Trogdor He’s been half decent so far.  I hope he’s learned his lesson though and next time around doesn’t wait for an RSVP from Avery. C
Ryan Whitney D 21 0 17 17 1 25
Racki I’m with Steve-O on this one. The fanbase seems to be hugging his nuts all season though because of his great assists totals. But watch things a bit closer. He seems to whiff a pass at least once a game that leads to a turnover. At least the offense is there though. But the defense has been abysmal, much like the rest of the team C-
Steve-O Has played terribly defensively this year (in all fairness so has the entire team).  Likes giving the puck away (in fact leads the team in giveaways).  Like the rest of the D group, could benefit from having one or two defensemen added (ones that can actually play). C
Trogdor Among the disasters, Whitney gets overlooked, but hasn’t been stellar. C-
Shawn Belle D 4 0 0 0 -1 0
Racki His brief stint wasn’t enough to really judge him, but he was perfect on the PK. He was on the ice for only 1 goal against in all the 65 minutes of ice time he played, which is pretty good. I think this one is a bit of a steal, a la Jason Smith. B
Steve-O Looked good. C
Trogdor Looked good in the few games during his call up.  Good physical play. B
Theo Peckham D 18 1 4 5 2 56
Racki Teddy Peckman (as Grapes affectionately calls him)!! What more can be said about him. Is he our best defenseman this year? Absolutely. He might even be the best player we have on the team right now, the way he’s playing. Hits like a freight train and is solid defensively. Finally, our Robyn Regehr is here… that rhymes, so it’s true. A
Steve-O Has played fucking awesome.  Best defenseman we have seen this year so far (I’ll still argue that he’s been somewhat protected to date, but that seems to be changing too).  Love the hits, however I’m wondering why he’s not fighting nearly as much as he can (has turned down probably 4 to 5 fights). A
Trogdor This kid has a future, hopefully with us.  Has been solid thus far. B+
Tom Gilbert D 21 3 4 7 -7 16
Racki Even Steve-O is giving him a C-, so you know things aren’t good for him this year. Lots of turnovers, soft on the puck… wanders from the front of his net too much and gets beat far too often. I know there is a solid d-man in there still, so I haven’t given up on him at all, but Gilbert is in a world of hurt right now. He needs to be paired with a more solid d-man (ex. Peckham) and have his defensive minutes drastically reduced to help get his confidence back. D
Steve-O Fuck you Gilbert!  – Seriously he’s one of our best dmen, and it floors me with the amount of shit he receives from Oiler fans.  But I guess that the Oilers fans need a goat every year, and this year seems to be his turn.  That said, he’s also had a poor start.  He’ll get better. C-
Trogdor Needs to learn to put the puck off the boards if there are no other options. C-

GOALTENDER RANKINGS

Player GP MIN W L OT SA GA GAA Sv% SO
Devan Dubnyk 7 386 1 1 3 246 20 3.11 0.911 0
Racki He’s been pretty decent. Looks really calm and collected out there this year. Struggles with pucks down low still. C
Steve-O Has played well.  Couple of brain farts here and there, but really with the team in front of him can’t blame him for all of the goals against. C
Trogdor Career backup, once again getting thrown into the fire.  He’s done well though and doesn’t throw in the towel, which has to be hard some nights. C+
Martin Gerber 1 60 1 0 0 37 2 2.00 0.946 0
Racki One game isn’t enough to rate him. In his own words, he played hot potato that night (kept having troubles hanging on to the puck), but he got the win and was goo enough. C
Steve-O I’ll still say he’s the best goalie that we have in the system. B
Trogdor Has played well in his brief stint up.  Pretty good numbers for our 3rd/4th string tender. B+
Nikolai Khabibulin 15 826 4 10 1 462 56 4.07 0.879 1
Racki Very inconsistent. Looks really good one night, then looks like he’s been hitting the Khabi sauce the next night. No better or worse than the other options, in my opinion. C
Steve-O And I’ll still say that Khabibulin is really overrated.  He’s had two good years in the last 7 (1 year with Tampa, 1 with Chicago and both happened to be in contract years) and that’s before one even looks at his contract. D-
Trogdor Glad he’s healthy, but cooled down after starting well.  Hopefully the recent injury has recharged him. C

OTHER RANKINGS

Team As A Whole
(GP 21, W6-L11-O4, GF 52, GA 81)
Review Rating
Racki Pretty poor this quarter. The team looked pretty complacent most nights and relied too much on goaltending. D
Steve-O I’m going to give this team an average.  Now that’s going to look good, but realize that the reason for the score is just because the team has been playing as good as I expected it too.  The problem isn’t with the players.  Some of these players shouldn’t be in the NHL, or playing as much as they are.  Thats not their fault, its managements. C-
Trogdor Not good…  After flying out of the gates winning their first 2 games, the boys have been very consistent in their play.  Consistently bad.  As nice as it is to have all games televised, it’s been tough to watch.  There have been a few flashes of brilliance, but sadly they’ve been few and far between.  Hopefully the kids survive the storm with their confidence intact. D-
Coaching Review Rating
Racki At first I was thinking it was same-old, same-old.. But I really like the way the coaching staff handles things. Renney is like MacTavish, but without the specific bus-throwing (although in fairness to MacTavish, that came after a long time of the team failing here). B-
Steve-O Renney is like Mac T.  That’s a good thing.  Given a better team, I think he’d make this team more competative.  Some things irk me however, like the benching of Hemsky, the man-crush on Jones and some other stuff, but the coaching has been mostly decent. C+
Trogdor Patient.  Renney and crew have been extremely patient with the team, and the fans have been pretty good about it too.  We know we’re at the start of a rebuild which the media constantly reminds us of, but I figured Renney would blow his top with the frequency of the tea kettle here at work.  Hopefully the patience pays dividends sooner than later. B-
Management Review Rating
Racki If you include before the season started, I’d give them a B+. If you don’t, well, then they get the mark to the right, which indicates that they really haven’t done anything. This is probably overly generous. C-
Steve-O Thumbs down.  Although, and I do believe this, if you think they are tanking the season then they are doing a bang up job.  I just think that a getting some cheap vets and finishing 10th isn’t as terrible as the rest of you.  Drafting has been better and there are lots of good players available at the #10-15 spot (Eberle @ 22, case closed).  The kids could use some better players to teach them how shit should be done, not barely hanging on players (JFJ, I’m looking at you). D-
Trogdor Pretty hands off so far.  More media coverage about arena talks than team decisions so far.  Most of the work was done in the off season, but something may need to happen soon.  Some kind of move to shore up the defence so we can best our abysmal last place finish from last season. C-

5 Responses to “Oilers 2010/11 Quarter 1 Review”

  1. D-man09 says:

    Why is Gagner rated so low. He’s had a good season so far compared to how the team has done. 4 points behind hemsky. I think he has been a B or B+ so far this season. I have to agree with coaching I think Renney is doing a great job so far and man the guy knows exactly when to call a time out. Just perfect timing.

  2. Racki says:

    D-man09: Why is Gagner rated so low.He’s had a good season so far compared to how the team has done.4 points behind hemsky.I think he has been a B or B+ so far this season.I have to agree with coaching I think Renney is doing a great job so far and man the guy knows exactly when to call a time out. Just perfect timing.

    Only 5 goals and 11 pts in 21 games and -4. For our first line center, he has to get better. I didn’t think he was a problem in any way, but the numbers just weren’t there this quarter and I don’t think he’s stood out above anyone in the top six. So that’s why he got the C from me.

    I think he’ll be better this next quarter though. Actually the team as a whole is looking good so far for Q2.

  3. MetalOil says:

    Good job guys. I for the most part agree with most of the grades. I myself think the coaching grades were a lil bit high as I thought the coaching staff made some big blunders with the defensive pairings, most notably playing a struggling Tom Gilbert on the first pairing for much of the 1st 1/4 and putting him on the ice at times when the game was on the line although they seem to have fixed this pretty quickly on in the 2nd 1/4.

  4. oilinblood says:

    Good reviews guys. i will point out a few things though. first Khabi had to deal with a team in transition that could hardly handle the puck to start the year. ill judge him after this d corps gets its act together which they appear to have done in the recent time.
    point 2… Trogdor re Horcoff “playing more like an overpaid centre”? is that good or bad? what was he last year?

    point 3… Mac had a decade of crap and 2 years of penner? renney has had 2 months and already ripped his club in the media. i am a supporter of both MacT and Renney… i was also supportive of the coaching change to Quinn, and liked Quinns honesty, and change to Renney, which made sense because of the situation – why delay it a year when we rebuild now? I bring this up because really MacT – Quinn and Renney have all said the same things. The only difference is MacT waited until it was a lost cause to rip his team (the cancers we all now know about). Quinn waited one half scrimmage in training camp to rip the club and call them childish, pea brained morons who want to avoid physicality… then continued that assessment every practice and game. Renney took 2 months.

    Eberles strength on his skates is impressive. battles hard
    Magnum has actually been really solid. He got put onto the dip shit line of Cogs AT CENTRE and Brule on opposite wing. In otherwords he played defense from the puck drop and since even cogs sister and grandma beat on metro-cogs and take his toys and pucks… Magnum had alot more defence to play than offence. This is why Magnum got rewarded with time with Horcs and looked good. Hmmm who has the disadvantage of the rooks? To me Magnum has been no less impressive than the dupo that are benefitting from being on a line that can actually get stuff done without penner on their line. I think MacT and alot of others would say… if Penner is needed to saqve your ass from being waived and is needed to make you look useful…perhaps its smoke and mirrors and you are just a trash can to put pucks off of?

    Nice to see not everyone is simply adding up assists with Whitney who has been atrocious in a more obvious way than gilbert. where as gilbert f’s up positionally and physically…whitney just gives the other team the puck. the give away against SJ from beehind our own net with no pressure was the dumbest play i have seen in 20 years. Luckily there was a penalty called seconds before. I cringe when he touches the puck.
    just wanted to add those things. Maybe Whitney needs glasses. Cogs needs steroids, Penner needs to get a intensity transplant, Magnum needs ice time with Horc and Ebs or with Gags and a healthy Hemsky full time now.

    here we go. q2 will be better.

    As far as im concerned Cogs and Vandermeer and struds are Tambis over rule that Renney talked about.

    Horcs would be a great centre if he could just get that one timer we saw in 07 back. Right now hes good and definently the best centre and mentor we have to offer.

  5. LateNightOilFan says:

    Just want to say thanks for your hard work in putting this together guys. I’m looking forward to seeing some of the guys who were struggling, like Cogs and Brule, start to break out in the 2nd quarter. Losing Hemmer is going to be tough but hopefully it pushes others to step up in his absence.

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