Here we are, just after the halfway point of the season. Again we’re a little late with this one, but better late than never, right?
Here is our quarterly report card for the Edmonton Oilers:
|A – Awesome|
|B – Above Average|
|C – Average|
|D – Booooooooo|
|F – Useless/Trade/Fire|
|Racki||If he ever plays more than a handful of games in a season, we’d be quite lucky. Take that however you wil.||A|
|Steve-O||Best Oiler forward. Needs to be locked up after this season for the rest of his damn career as far as I’m concerned. Also it was mentioned during last nights game (01/18 vs. Wild) that we all love Hemsky because he goes into those hard areas without fear, but the other team isn’t worried about retaliation so they run him over and over. That needs to change. Re-sign him.||A+|
|Trogdor||Definitely an asset to the team when he’s out there. Pretty consistent on a team that struggles to find offence at times.||A|
|Racki||Had a better quarter this time around. I’m still not sure why they’ve been forcing him into a center role, but hey, this is a learning season, so at the same time, I’m glad that Renney doesn’t listen to idiot fans like me. We sometimes complain about other players not being given enough chance. I think they have hopes for Cogliano, even though it might not seem like it to everyone. So maybe they’re just trying to do what they can to turn him into a player that would help the team, and not worrying so much about how much he’ll struggle trying to become that player (i.e. maybe they’re being very patient with him).||C+|
|Steve-O||Has played better than the beginning of the season, but just isn’t a piece we need right now. I read this somewhere, but in order to rebuild a few things need to occur. 3 of them were pretty basic (don’t have a shitty, expensive starting goalie; don’t pay players to not play (Souray); find some good vets to fill up the non-sexy parts of the team) but the one that stuck out to me was this: Cut some of the “deadweight” youth that are not part of the future. That means cutting some good players that will go on to have good careers elsewhere, but just don’t fit into the future plans here (i.e. they are top 6 type players but we already have 20 of them). This makes sense, and I think that Cogliano is one of those players. Oh, and just remembered…read that on battleofalberta.blogspot.com.
|Trogdor||I’m liking Cogliano’s game this year. He’s not always getting the best opportunties, but plays hard and competes no matter what line he’s shovelled on.||B|
|Racki||Thank god Steve-O finally woke up. He’s Jacques at center without ability to hit or fight. Our 4th line center needs to bring something – a strong PK game… toughness… anything. I don’t think he really does anything well. He exists on the ice. He doesn’t make a lot of mistakes, but he doesn’t really do anything special, and therefore is a waste of a roster spot.||D|
|Steve-O||That’s a fucking ugly stat line. I try to defend the guy saying he’s pulling plugs around the ice, but it ends here. We need a Brodziak type player to fill out the 4th line. A player like Reddox would be great in that role.
|Trogdor||Playing himself out of a job. Hopefully…||D|
|Racki||I’m one of few guys that consistenly defends Penner and quashes ideas of trading him. He may not always look like he’s doing something, but he’s quite possibly the most complete player on the team. He is good in both the offensive and defensive zone and might have the best hands on the team, aside from Hemsky.||A|
|Steve-O||Good player. Played well. Re-sign him.||A|
|Trogdor||Penner is in the Hemsky boat with consistent play and one of our top point getters. I even saw him hit someone a few games ago, now if only he’d do it more often.||A|
|Racki||He hasn’t been his usual self. He’s been invisible most nights, and to the extent where about a week ago I said “Oh yah, where the hell is Brule?”.||C-|
|Steve-O||Who? I can’t remember him playing all that much, but based on this stat line he has. Obviously in the doghouse right now, and this just after a breakout year last year. Trade him.||C-|
|Trogdor||Not performing to expectation, but a lot of the team isn’t. Maybe my expectations are too high.||C|
|Racki||I thought he has slowly started to improve as he was hitting more, in the tail end of this quarter. But he hasn’t been easy to defend at all. I’m hoping that it’s just an injury thing that will go away, because right now our entire array of fourth liners looks pretty useless.||D-|
|Steve-O||Useless. Trade him/Waivers/demote.||F|
|Trogdor||Not the wrecking ball we need. He can fill the energy hit anything that moves role, but hasn’t been.||D|
|Racki||Why did he have to get hurt? Argh… he has pretty much always looked good and is one of our better players. He still needs work without the puck though, but he’s a good forward.||B|
|Steve-O||Great player. Its too bad that he got injured.||B+|
|Trogdor||On pace for a great rookie campaign until the injury, hopefully he can pick up where he left off.||B|
|Racki||I’ve always liked the Red Ox. He hasn’t made much impact yet, but I think we just need to give it time. He is a constant work horse and knows what he needs to do to stay in the league. The rest of our fourth liners have a lot to learn from him (although Reddox is playing 3rd line).||B-|
|Steve-O||A useful player. Better than JFJ or Stortini. Or big Mac. If he gets sent down before one of them I’d be pissed.||C+|
|Trogdor||Not much to go on for the quarter, but hopefully the heart rubs off on a few of the other players.||B|
|Racki||One man show. He’s started to get other players involved part way through the quarter though. I think the demotion/benching after making that horrible giveaway helped him see things a bit better. He’s a great powerplay option, and is generally strong on the puck, for a little guy, but still needs to learn that sometimes the simple plays get things done better.||C|
|Steve-O||Has showed he can play in the league. Good passer, nice dangles, and can play in the corners. Is hard to knock off of the puck. Seems to have found some chemistry with Paajarvi. Like Reddox, if he gets sent down over one of the plugs he should request a trade. I wouldn’t blame him at all.||B|
|Trogdor||Hasn’t shown that he deserves a spot in the top two yet, but he’s improving. Still needs to realize when to make a move and when to dump and chase though.||C|
|Racki||Improving slowly. I think him and Omark together will be a great unit, with whomever is lucky to play center (currently Gagner). He works hard in all 3 zones. He isn’t blowing us away with magic just yet (well, sometimes he is, but generally it doesn’t work). But I’d say he’s looking to be similar to Ales Hemsky at this stage, but with better backchecking/defensive ability.||B-|
|Steve-O||Played much better this quarter, and lately has seemed one of the best Oilers on the ice.||B|
|Trogdor||Starting to find his NHL legs and getting knocked around less. Seems more determined than the start of the season.||B+|
|Racki||Excellent quarter. This guy is not the most skilled forward out there, but he busted his ass all quarter. The stats might not entirely reflect it, but he was one of our better players this quarter, night in / night out. His energy levels rub off on the team at times. I’d swear he would also get at least one breakaway a game. Right now he looks like an extremely poor man’s Smyth. It’s tough to grade him because his skill level holds me back from ranking him higher, but his great work ethic prevents me from ranking him lower. Teeters on A for the work ethic.||B+|
|Steve-O||Good 4th line player. Not his fault he’s playing higher on the depth chart than he should be. Also seems to be catching fire at just the right time to sign another contract for the next couple years.||C+|
|Trogdor||A good energy guy that knows his role and is also contributing some secondary scoring.||B|
|Racki||I am not so sure he uses his size very effectively yet, but I thought he was great with Paajarvi and Omark… and those are two guys that I figure are tough to fit in with.||C|
|Steve-O||Played well in his time up here. He might turn into a player that we can use on the 4th line going forward.||C|
|Racki||One of our better players this quarter. He’s starting to back me up a bit as to my comments that there is a #1 center there yet. He’s in the class of Hemsky and Penner, but not quite there yet, mostly because his play without the puck isn’t as good as either of those guys. But the work ethic is definitely there most nights and you can see that he wants to win.||A-|
|Steve-O||Played well. Everyone seems to overlook him, but at only 21 he has turned into a decent center and is putting up some points.||B+|
|Trogdor||Starting to come into his own. He’s looked very out there a lot of nights. Still needs to cheat more on faceoffs||A|
|Racki||Horcoff has played the same consistent balls out game all year. Nothing different this quarter, aside from him getting injured. He’s been one of the best players on the team and helped make the kids better players by allowing them to make mistakes (by covering their butts).||A|
|Steve-O||The type of player this team needs. For all the shit he gets, he makes this team better.||N/A|
|Trogdor||Only a few games this quarter, so not much to go on.||B|
|Racki||I’ll give a D- just for the fact that, like Steve-O says, he needs to not invite guys. At the very least, he needs to kick Stortini’s ass if he ever tries to fight a heavyweight again. Total fan deflation after watching that fight (I was there, live). Anyways, he gets a D- from me because he doesn’t really do anything to justify his ice time anymore. Luckily Renney realizes that.||D-|
|Steve-O||Renney seems to be using MacIntyre correctly. AKA, only in about 20% of the games. He should only be out there to police the game…which I need to see more of from him. Against the laffs, he needs to just start scrapping with Orr, not ask politely. As mentioned above in the Hemsky one, he needs to be that deterrent to keep people from taking liberties with Hemsky. But thats nothing new.||C|
|Trogdor||If he’s on the ice, you can count on the Oilers practicing their penalty kill shortly afterward. Dumb penalties, and not the detrrent he should be.||D|
|Racki||I am sort of hesitant to rank him an A, and that’s because I do see that he makes a number of mistakes out there. Renney has him on a pretty long leash, which is good. He allows him to learn from his own mistakes, and I think Hall is learning well. But I gave him an A because I think we see what separates him from Tyler Seguin. Hall has a HUGE desire to win. He’s a competitor. Not to say that Seguin isn’t, but Hall is hungry for the puck. It reminds me of an old Gretzky quote from Boys on the Bus – “I just think of it as ‘this is my puck…. you can go and get your own puck’” (not verbatim).
This is the season of learning, and he will make mistakes. But the thing that I love about him most, again, is that compete level. I don’t think we see it from anyone else on this team as consistently (at least from the skill guys).
|Steve-O||Played way (way) better than the first quarter. I am starting to catch glimpses of what he can be. Still needs to work on a couple things but that’s normal for rookies.||B+|
|Trogdor||Steadily improving and shows he can play center in a pinch. Hopefully the team gets healthy and stays that way so he can keep flying down the wing.||B+|
|Racki||In Renney’s doghouse. He has really brought nothing to the table. He attempted to fight Orr and got fed pretty good. He needs to pick his battles, as if Stortini and MacIntyre are going to ever work as a pairing, Stortini has to piss them off, and MacIntyre has to fight them. I credit him for never backing down from a fight. But he has to learn that he isn’t in the same class as some other guys.||D-|
|Steve-O||Meh. Hasn’t done anything for me (and Renney either). And now that he’s possibly losing his job, he is starting to try too hard and just making things worse by being constantly out of position or taking bad penalties. Trade him.||D+|
|Trogdor||He’s not been great and the staff have started rotating out some of these players. We’ll have to move a few instead of rotating for the warm spot on the pine.||D|
|Racki||Thank god Renney knows he isn’t all that good of a d-man.||D-|
|Racki||This is his first real year outside of college hockey (he played a small handful for Springfield last year after the College season ended). This kid is smooth. He has a lot of poise. I can’t believe how calm he is with the puck, for his experience level. I might be getting ahead of myself, but this is more than I hoped for from Petry at this point. Keep it going, kid.||B+|
|Steve-O||Played really well. Hasn’t looked out of place at all.||B|
|Trogdor||Looks good for a call up. Which isn’t hard with our current defensive core.||B|
|Racki||Too bad he went down, as this was a really good quarter for him and he made a much better name for himself. I still have no idea where the toughness is from this guy though.||B-|
|Steve-O||Was playing really well prior to his injury. Don’t see any future for him on the team, but we could use him right now.||C+|
|Trogdor||Improved play, but still expendable. Aside from that fact that we can use any healthy bodies right now.||C|
|Racki||At least Gilbert is no longer the target of all defensive criticism anymore. Pros: sometimes mixes it up and shows some grit. Cons: Poor skater. Poor without the puck. Poor with the puck. Gets beat frequently. Doesn’t shoot enough. Can’t hit the net with his shot.
Not at all what I had hoped for from him.
|Steve-O||The new whipping boy everyone! Gilbert sends his thanks.||C-|
|Trogdor||A booming shot! Nothing to fear though as it’s rarely on net. Not the injection that our powerplay needs.||D|
|Racki||Smid just exists on the back-end right now – not doing anything alarmingly bad to get noticed, and not really doing anything overwhelmingly good to get noticed. But I’m fine with that for now, as he hasn’t been a problem. Some fans are getting impatient with his development progress though (on other blogs). I think we just need to be patient here. Jan Hejda wasn’t build in a day.||C|
|Steve-O||Has been fine. Not going to break any scoring records, and that plus minus is not good at all, but hasn’t looked bad by my eye.||C|
|Trogdor||Not as much fire in his belly as last year, but no major meltdowns either.||C|
|Racki||Argh, why’d HE have to get injured. This was a career quarter. Best player for the quarter, as he played both ends of the ice well. How can a guy who is +12 in 14 games on this Oilers team not be ranked the highest? He is missed.||A+|
|Steve-O||Its too bad he got injured as he was turning in one hell of a season. Seemed to correct some of the defensive lapses he had in the first quarter too.||B|
|Trogdor||Improved quarter for Whitney. Started to use his brain more often in our end. Too bad he’s gone for pretty much the season. At least he got that ever elusive goal out of the way.||A|
|Racki||Only played the one game. Looked fine… but didn’t play enough to earn any sort of rating.||n/a|
|Steve-O||Played OK I guess.||C|
|Trogdor||I’ll n/a as well, but played well when he was in.||n/a|
|Racki||Steve-O is correct on the stroke (see below). I don’t have any issues with Chorney, I just have issues with Chorney and Strudwick together. Kid can’t buy a break.||n/a|
|Steve-O||Played OK I guess. Although I noticed he was on a line with Strudwick which made me laugh. Racki probably had a stroke when he saw that.||C|
|Trogdor||Lot of stroke talk going on… Aside from that, Chorney’s been another steady call up.||C|
|Racki||Teddy Pickman is a winner. He battles constantly. He hasn’t really made much in the way of mistakes, and it cracks me up when he agitates other players.||B+|
|Steve-O||Coming back to earth a little bit, but still is the awesomesauce. Exactly the type of d-man we need on this team (could actually use a couple more).||B|
|Trogdor||Another good quarter. I don’t see Theo’s grit ever letting up which is a good thing as the rest of the team lacks it.||B+|
|Racki||Much better quarter for him so far. He’s starting to get back to his old form. Unfortunately, he’s no longer an assist machine, but that’s OK. The “fucking Gilbert!” moments have been fewer and farther between.||B|
|Steve-O||Played well. Taking the lion’s share of the minutes now, and playing against the top lines and he seems to be swimming just fine.||B|
|Trogdor||Promoted due to injury, but he’s playing well enough.||B|
|Racki||If Dubnyk could be more consistent, I would think we have a really good goaltender here. He’s still fairly inconsistent. I think he’s a strong back-up goaltender. I don’t think he’s a starter. But he definitely hasn’t played bad.||B-|
|Steve-O||Our best goalie in the show right now. I’d say give him the reins and let him roll with being the starter.||B|
|Trogdor||Needs to get the amount of starts he was projected to get in order for any chance of improvement. Has got the job done for the most part though when he’s gotten the nod.||B|
|Racki||Hard to argue with this statline. Only one game though, so let’s not name him the savior of the net just yet. No rating due to not enough games played.||n/a|
|Steve-O||I still think he’s the best goalie we have right now in the organization. Should be up here backing up Dubnyk.||B|
|Trogdor||MVP! MVP! MVP? Yeah no…|
|Racki||He did get a shutout this quarter… MVP!||C-|
|Steve-O||Trade him. Doesn’t have a place on this team.||D-|
|Trogdor||MVP! MVP! MVP? Yeah no… A great goaltender steals games for a team, we’re not getting any steals.||D-|
|Team As A Whole (GP 20, W7-L10-O3, GF51 , GA60 )||Review||Rating|
|Racki||They got off on a flying start this quarter, but it was a typical rollercoaster ride of a quarter. I give them a slightly better ranking this quarter though because they aren’t failing so much now because of lack of work ethic as they are because of just not being a good team yet. That will take time, more than anything.
Near the end of the quarter, Renney gave the season the kiss of death with the playoff talk.
|Steve-O||I fucking hate tanking. To me its something that bullshit franchises do. I hate that the team I love is now one of them.||D-|
|Trogdor||Good start, but too many losses as it progressed. Granted a lot of games are close, but we have to make that jump to winning some of them. The powerplay is a joke. A very unfunny joke…||D|
|Racki||I think Renney is a very good coach. Shows a lot of patience with everyone. Knows when to yell… knows when to be quiet. Just like MacT, he hasn’t had a lot to work with, but I think Renney’s patience with the kids and lack of fear in them making a mistake is what makes Renney a better coach in my eyes.||B|
|Steve-O||Seems fine for the team that we have. Would like to see him given a NHL team and see what he can do with it.||C|
|Trogdor||No praise, no big criticisms. I think some of the games Mac gets the call seem silly as there’s no one to scrap and he’s guaranteed at least one bad penalty.||C|
|Racki||Clearly Tambellini is all about tanking. I won’t villify him like others do, but how do you rank a guy who hasn’t really done anything? How am I supposed to know what his master plan is. I can only guess that he considers this season a write-off. How he reacts around the trade deadline is a better judgement of his abilities.
Right now I think he’s keeping things status quo because he is happy with us acquiring another high pick. However, I think he needs more players like Horcoff who can teach our players stuff than guys like Strudwick who can make them laugh.
I give him a generous D, because I actually really do see his plan. It’s a tough pill for us fans to swallow, but in a few years from now, we will see the house that Renney built. We unfortunately CAN’T see that right now.
|Steve-O||Management pisses me off. I thought he had a decent off season to be honest, got rid of a few useless part but since then…nothing. The team needs help and nothing. Even while rebuilding we could use some help. Trust me, a couple of vets in the bottom 6 or on D won’t push us out of the lottery.
And next year will be ugly too unless he does something to fix it. And assessing players while hoping rookies can carry the team isn’t a good tactic.
|Trogdor||Not much involvement by management. Seems like all their focus is with the scouts as the team seems destined to be in the draft lottery again. Losing key players, but making no effort to fill the holes. Yes, I know, we’re testing the talent within the system, giving the young guys a chance to prove themselves. One can only take so much though without getting discouraged.||F-Bomb|
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