Oilers 2011/12 Quarter 3 Review

By , March 9, 2012 10:31 am
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2011/12 - Quarter 2 Review

This should come as no surprise… a Quarterly review that is about 1/3 of a quarter late. But hey, it’s difficult to watch this team sometimes, and even more difficult to write about it. But here it is, in all it’s glory.

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

FORWARD RANKINGS

Player Pos GP G A P +/- PIM Rating
Ales Hemsky R 17 1 10 11 -4 19
Racki Burning him a bit for a slow start to the quarter and not really showing enough “give a damn”, but he’s looked better in the latter part of this quarter and I predict a glowing review for Q4 if he doesn’t injur himself. C
Steve-O Has been playing pretty awesome lately. It’s pretty interesting to see him put up points when playing with skill players rather than plugs. B+
Anton Lander C 16 1 1 2 -4 2
Racki What Steve-O said. Nothing against Lander.. he just isn’t NHL ready yet, so why are we pretending he is? C-
Steve-O Finally sent back to the AHL.  Where he should be learning, and not in the NHL. C
Ben Eager L 15 3 2 5 -1 27
Racki He’s looked really good. Won the Oilers fastest skater comp (who knew?). Not the thug I believed him to be. Seems to pick his fights… very, very picky. But that might have a lot to do with the concussion he received early in the season B+
Steve-O I like his play this quarter.  Wasn’t sold on him the first bit of the season, but has been playing really good lately. B+
Darcy Hordichuk L 7 0 0 0 -2 14
Racki I gave him a C+ because he pushes himself and works hard. C+
Steve-O Not a fan. C-
Eric Belanger C 15 2 0 2 -3 6
Racki Yah his offense is not there at all. We get that… we can move past that. He might be slumping, he might be done offensively… who knows. At any rate, he still has a big use on the team. His faceoff wins have been huge (it’s always easier to score and prevent goals when you don’t have to battle to get the puck back) and he’s been good on the PK. Doing exactly what we needed him to do, although really it would be quite nice if he could bring some offense to the table so I don’t have to bring up what a mistake it was to move Kyle Brodziak (for the umpteenth time). C+
Steve-O Plays well defensively. C+
Jordan Eberle R 16 10 7 17 3 2
Racki Eberle is consistently awesome. Really nothing bad to say about him. Makes players around him better and scores in clutch situations. It’s always fun to see him on the ice in the last minute or two of a game if we need a goal. A+
Steve-O Best player over the entire quarter (Gagner may have the points, but that’s from 3/4 games). A+
Josh Green C 2 0 1 1 0 2
Racki He did alright, in his short stint. Let’s face it though… he’s an AHLer. C
Steve-O Replacement level 4th liner C-
Lennart Petrell C 13 0 1 1 -5 0
Racki Like Belanger, I think he’s a huge help on the PK. He also is a hitting machine. But really, can’t we get guys that can do this role and score a few here and there? B-
Steve-O Should be joining Lander in the A. C-
Magnus Paajarvi L 13 2 2 4 -3 2
Racki I will go against Steve-O in saying he’s being shafted. What do you do with a player that is so horribly snake-bitten? Let him battle his way back into the top six. Really, his demotion to OKC was LONG, LONG overdue. Don’t get me wrong though… I love Paajarvi and have high hopes for him. I think he plays a solid defensive game. But right now he can’t seem to get the offense going and needs to gain confidence and learn the North American game down in OKC. I give him a C- because he couldn’t do what he’s being paid to do.. but he at least was good at the other end of the ice. Renney should have tested him out on the PK. C-
Steve-O Kinda getting the shaft linemates and ice time wise, wouldn’t be surprised to see him moved for a D man. C+
Philippe Cornet L 2 0 1 1 0 0
Racki Not much to talk about here. He didn’t play enough games to get a good judge, but I thought he played fine. Don’t feel good enough rating a guy I didn’t see enough of. N/A
Steve-O Rewarded for an All Star caliber AHL season. Looked…well, to be honest I don’t remember much. C
Ryan Jones L 14 1 3 4 -2 9
Racki Probably not his best quarter. Still a decent PKer though. But, he has to get scoring again to help this team out, as we can’t keep hanging everything on the kids. C-
Steve-O It’s probably not a surprise that I’m not a fan. I don’t think he’s as positionally sound as he should be, and I could tolerate him when he was scoring.  Then he stopped scoring. Not surprising that Kruger took him out of the lineup. C-
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins C 3 1 0 1 -3 0
Racki Not enough here to really base anything off of, with the injury. I’ll pass on a rating this time around. N/A
Steve-O I suppose we can’t complain about .33 ppg for a rookie.  Right. B+
Ryan Smyth L 17 2 5 7 -4 0
Racki Offense isn’t there… doesn’t seem to be the same old Smytty to me. Maybe he’s banged up and/or tired or something… but he needs to get it going. C-
Steve-O Has been struggling lately for offense, but still plays the game smart. B
Sam Gagner C 17 9 11 20 7 2
Racki What do you say about a guy who had an 8 point night? He turned heads all around the league with more than just that game too. Would he look as good without that 8 point night? Definitely not, but the guy who’s always been a good second half performer is… lo and behold.. having a great second half. A+
Steve-O Had an outstanding 4 games there. Singlehandedly took himself off the trading block. A
Shawn Horcoff C 17 3 4 7 -3 6
Racki If only Belanger could be as big of an offensive weapon as Horcoff. OK, I’m not delusional here… he didn’t have that good of a quarter. But he chipped in enough that he’s earning his spot offensively considering how big of a defensive role he plays. I don’t want to make this all about Belanger, but he needs to get rolling and play hard like Horcoff does on every shift. Horcoff may frustrate fans a lot with wiffed shots or whatever you folks like to get on him for… but you can never question the motor on this guy. B
Steve-O Defensively sound plus a better offensive option than Belanger.  Although I think I’d be a better offensive option than Belanger at this point. B-
Taylor Hall L 15 7 8 15 2 6
Racki Same Hall we get every quarter. We are lucky to have both Hall and Eberle here, as they constantly battle. Unfortunately, with Hall (as noted by Steve-O), he’s still too prone to giving up the puck when carrying it in the offensive zone. I’m sure Renney is OK with that though… well… OK with him learning on his own what he can and can’t do. Anyways, this team would be miserable to watch without Hall, as bad as it is to watch WITH Hall. A
Steve-O Has had a good quarter. Still likes to give the puck up trying to do it all himself. A-
Teemu Hartikainen L 2 0 0 0 0 0
Racki Not enough to base a rating on. N/A
Steve-O He played 2 games. C

DEFENSEMEN RANKINGS

Player Pos GP G A P +/- PIM Rating
Andy Sutton D 15 1 3 4 0 10
Racki A fave of mine, on the back-end. Seems to be Renney’s choice for healthy scratch… most likely solely based on him being a left-handed defensemen (which is often what he is replaced with). Plays a solid game defensively and is very physical. Again, not at all the slug he should be with his physical size and age, so you can all stop thinking that any time now and realize that he’s a solid bottom pairing. ;) B+
Steve-O Played better than I thought he would.  Softer hands too. You can see the lack of speed, but makes up for it positionally. B-
Cam Barker D 7 1 0 1 -5 2
Racki Pretty useless to the team. Yah I’m pretty sure he’s my goat for the Oilers right now, so sorry if I’m overly critical, but I don’t care if we lose him for nothing this year…. Don’t bring him back! He is awful defensively and only generated one point (a goal) this quarter. What good is he? None. D-
Steve-O Not the best. I think it’s pretty safe to assume this gamble didn’t work out. Oh wait, when he was injured the media was saying he was one of our top 3 D men. C-
Colten Teubert D 3 0 0 0 -2 6
Racki Didn’t see him enough to judge. N/A
Steve-O He played 3 games. Looks better than Plante, then again Plante is an AHL all star. C+
Corey Potter D 14 0 3 3 -2 6
Racki The worst of his quarters, I would say. Still a good offensive weapon, but he’s lost a step or something and needs to find it. C-
Steve-O Hasn’t looked as good as he did last quarter (or the first one, where he played outstanding and earned a contract).  Has looked better than the kids, which tells us that playing in the AHL isn’t bad, but I think he’s a borderline NHL player C+
Jeff Petry D 17 1 8 9 0 4
Racki Oh my… he’s been our 2nd best defenseman (review of first best coming right up). Do I care that Gilbert was traded now? Absolutely not. Jeff Petry is the man. He brings a physical game (when necessary… although he isn’t overly aggressive and could stand to use it more like he did in College), a nice offensive game, and can play in his own zone. Excellent. Exactly why I was excited for this kid to be come an Oiler since watching him play some games in College. A
Steve-O Has been a revelation. Playing so very very well. Let’s hope he doesn’t regress some next year like Peckham did this year. B+
Ladislav Smid D 17 0 2 2 3 10
Racki Like Hall and Eberle, consistent as it gets. He’s been relied on for heavy minutes, and gets the job done. Love him. A+
Steve-O Playing awesome. A
Ryan Whitney D 13 1 7 8 -4 4
Racki I want the old Whitney back… but he’s getting closer, so I’m happier. Although I would still say that he’s overrated in these parts and would suggest moving him like we did with Gilbert. B
Steve-O Looks like the foot is still bothering him, you can see it in the pivots.  But, he has to learn to play with it.  May have to be dropped down to a 4/5 option as opposed to a 1/2/3 option. B-
Taylor Chorney D 1 0 0 0 0 0
Racki Not worth the review here since it was only one game. N/A
Steve-O Don’t remember him playing. N/A
Theo Peckham D 6 0 0 0 -2 2
Racki Noooooooo… where is Steady Teddy? Please come back. I can only assume that he has a concussion or brain damage or something. Please return to last year’s form. D
Steve-O After his stellar last year, regressed this year. Perfect example on how D men don’t progress on a straight line and should be used as an example that Petry may have some trouble spots coming up. C
Tom Gilbert D 9 0 2 2 -2 0
Racki I thought he was having a good year this year. We sold high, we got an excellent player in Schultz it would seem. So, thank you Tom, but your services are no longer needed. But I do think that if he can play the rest of his career like he did here this year, Minny will be very happy with the trade too. B
Steve-O Shall be missed. B+

GOALTENDER RANKINGS

Player GP MIN W L OT SA GA GAA Sv% SO Rating
Nikolai Khabibulin 14 298 1 3 1 18 169 0 3.62 0.893
Racki OK, the world is right again, we can go back to cracking jokes about Khabibulin’s drinking again. I kid, of course… I hate when fans get personal about players (although I can do it myself). But in all seriousness, he’s been a disappointment this quarter. D
Steve-O Well, this looks like the Khabibulin of old.  Just not a good goalie. Too bad he wasn’t picked up for someone needing a cup ring. D
Devan Dubnyk 11 729 6 5 1 32 373 1 2.63 0.914
Racki Inconsistent as it gets. Good one play… gets beat by a crazy awful shot the next play. I hope to hell we’ll be looking for a goalie come July 1st. But at least he was better than Khabi by a fair bit, and this wasn’t too bad a quarter for him. B-
Steve-O Average.  That stat line looks like the average for the NHL. I figure he’ll cut it until we are able to draft and groom the next starter, or pick up another goalie on the cheep. Next goalie better be cheap. B

OTHER RANKINGS

Team As A Whole
(GP 17, 7-8-2, GF 48, GA 54)
Review Rating
Racki Numbers suggest that this was a decent quarter, but nothing to be too excited about either. C
Steve-O Played 3 games under .500.  Getting better but still need a whole lot of rebuilding for the D group (need a couple) and the bottom 6 need to be upgraded. C+
Coaching Rating
Racki I’m fine with Renney and Kruger and the rest. I think they’re good for the kids. Not always the best decisions, no. But the media consistently make themselves look stupid when they question things like ice time for the kids when they don’t think about the fact that Renney is intentionally giving them cherry minutes. Valid points with some of the other decisions, but the media likes to pick their issue of the week and harp on it. Anyways, this isn’t a media review…. coaching is just fine, but not without issue. B-
Steve-O I liked what Kruger did.  Surprised me.  Benched some players that needed benching, put together some good lines. And they are protecting the kids which is good. B-
Management Rating
Racki This quarter contained the Gilbert for Schultz trade. I think we’ll be very happy with Schultz, but I do find myself a bit mystified by the decision to trade Gilbert when he’s been so well. I guess you could say we traded high, but in acquiring Schultz, did we get “high” in return? I’m not sure yet. In the long run though, I am thinking this is a good deal. I just didn’t see the deal coming. Other than that, Tambo still has done nothing to address team need. Time for fans to stop giving him a free pass too because it’s “ohhh so hard to make deals in the NHL” or “we don’t want any panic moves!”. Give me a break. We’ve had a glaring hole on D for how long now? D
Steve-O Still fucking hate this group.  Sign Hemsky (yay) and demote Lander (yay) then trade top D man. D-

12 Responses to “Oilers 2011/12 Quarter 3 Review”

  1. zackman35 says:

    I really enjoy how you two don’t “hold hands” when you give your opinions. This is not a lets get something different out for the sake of being different, even if its wacked, ala Craig Button vs Bob Mackenzie (draft/prospects) but some good perspectives on both sides.

    Nicely done guys!

  2. dawgtoy says:

    Last quarter, I felt I was more in tune with Steve-0′s rankings, but this go round I’d say Racki nailed it. Well done boys!

  3. Racki says:

    Thanks for reading, guys! Three brutal seasons in a row can sometimes make it difficult to write this stuff, let alone read it, so we appreciate that you guys still put the time in to read!

  4. hemmerlady says:

    Racki:
    Thanks for reading, guys! Three brutal seasons in a row can sometimes make it difficult to write this stuff, let alone read it, so we appreciate that you guys still put the time in to read!

    thanks for putting in the time to write it. I like your reviews.

    Agreed 100% about management, especially Racki’s comment about the glaring D problem. I don’t know how much more pain I can take, and I mean it. To the point where I, HL, think that if we can leverage Hemmer to get some goddamn D in here, we have to do it. (I can’t believe I am saying these words.) I can’t keep dealing with the consistent suck level or see players laze around in the D zone watching the play. It makes it seem that the team doesn’t care, and I know they do. Whatever has to be done to get the missing elements we need (short of trading Eberle, who is becoming somewhat of a God), DO IT before I go completely batshit.

    That is all.

  5. NorwegianOiler says:

    An interesting review, well within the confines of sanity =)

    The worst part of this organisation is not the lack of NHL defensemen, nor the lack of qualified goaltending. It is management, for allowing the problems to continue into yet another season. There is no reason for it to be so, other than apathy or inability, because the deficiencies weren’t exactly unknowns coming into this season. I’m fine with ‘patience’ through a rebuild, but we’re wasting time at this point. We’re also wasting some very costly years off the youngsters’ contracts.

    Tambellini inspires no confidence, he has a record of watering out our resources and fails to adress significant problems time and time again. With the right moves we could be an outsider for the cup next season. Without any moves, we’ll ice several of Khabibulin, Hordichuk, Potter, Sutton, Peckham, Teubert, Plante, which does not cut it. It seems to me that Tambellini cannot truly assess talent, or he’s possibly too ‘kind’ to ship out players that aren’t good enough.

    Oh, and Eberle’s a hockey savant.

  6. G&S says:

    Pretty much agree with everything except the coaching grades. It is not the distribution of ice time that gets me. It is the countless too many men penalty’s, the terrible line changes and all the slow starts that have plagued the oilers that lead me into thinking that a change on the bench is needed. With all of that chaos I find it hard to give Renney and company a passing grade.

  7. Racki says:

    I’m not sure how much you can blame player for poor line changes. Like, for example, the most recent debacle… the one where Smyth wiffed on it and barely got it to center ice, then the whole line changed… I hang that all on the guys going off.

    As a player, you should know who you’re replacing on the ice, and you should also know when it’s safe to make a line change.

    I definitely don’t consider our coaching staff without fault, but I wouldn’t pin those two problems on them. The players need to be a bit smarter.

    I think if history (other teams’ history) repeats itself, Renney will be the coach developing and easing these kids into the NHL, and a whole new coach will eventually come in that leads us through the playoffs and ultimately to the “holy grail”. So yah, I can definitely see a new coaching staff eventually. Not sure if we’re at that point just yet though. Management needs to make the decision if we’re rebuilding/developing right now, and we all know how the decision making goes around here. We should be in for another 6 or 7 years of non-playoff hockey… :P

  8. G&S says:

    I think the coaches share the blame with the players for the bad changes. Just like in the real world. If I wasn’t doing my job properly it would be my supervisor/bosses responsibility to point it out to me and make sure I changed the way I was doing it.

    Ultimately it may be the players mistakes but it falls on the coaching staff to correct and right now I see no improvement in this area.

  9. Racki says:

    I’m curious when our last too many men penalty was. I know we took a lot of those early on, but I don’t remember one for a while. So maybe that has been corrected. Bad line changes… I can see a valid argument there, for sure… they can be pretty frustrating.

  10. chucker says:

    I pretty much agree on all thoughts. I do wonder if Renney gets more than one year though. I doubt it. I think there is definitely an agenda to shelter the kids, and he said so, so perhaps he is coaching to what management wants at this point. I still think he doesn’t use his bench well and has bias against the physical players like Eager. He should be on the fourth line every game to me. He is an impact player physically and skates well and is not a liability. Why sign him if you are not going to use him?

    As for the management, there are definitely some areas that need desperate attention, and again, same thing every year. Go out and get a couple D that make it easier to clear the zone and stop the opposition. Nothing slam dunkish neeeded here. There are always serviceable D out there every single year. Get one and maybe pick up a top guy in a trade. I agree on Whitney. I’d be looking to trade him. You should get a capable defender back and hopefully a cheaper one too if we sweeten the pot.

    Khabbi. Why did we not trade his ass when there was reportedly three teams willing to take him on? Again, one has to hope he is traded this summer or at the draft. Maybe the fit wasn’t good, but we are looking at another bottom five finish if he is our answer to goal next year. Dubnyk, I’m thinking this experiment is done. His potential is to be a “B” level back up at best. Again, I wouldn’t mind keeping him, but we had better have a bonafide number one who will steal games in net. No more old goalies. I want a young guy who will be here for years to come and stabalize the team. This used to be our strength. We have not had a good starter since Salo. Sorry Roloson fans, but he wasn’t a true starter. I want a guy who can play 60-70 games if needed and play them well.

    The draft will be interesting. I still say we take BPA and if Yakupov should magically land in our laps, we jump on him and pick him. Don’t forget we still have one of the lowest goals for totals in the league. As great as the kids are, we could use more offense in addition to woefully needed D and goal.

    This is Tambi’s make or break summer in my eyes. No more free passes. Time to gear up and become a complete NHL team and not a partial AHL/NHL mix that we have seen for three years now. No excuses.

  11. Racki says:

    Have they not been using Eager most games? I think they have. Eager was sick the past game or two, so that’s why he was out. He’s actually been played quite a bit by Renney, I’d say… especially more recently as he seems to be making a name for himself.

    I take a bit of a different view on the Yakupov and slam-dunk d-man ideals. I’d say if Yakupov is falling on our laps we trade the pick (if we can) for a big name young defender.. like your Pietrangelo / Weber / Doughty types. Might be easier said than done though. But I think if we fix the back end up with a stud d-man that can play well in his own zone and move the puck up ice, the offense will start to come from other lines. I’m just not sure how feasible it is to have Hall, Nuge, Eberle and a Yakupov. I’d have to figure that we’d be tying up BIG money in forwards. It would be nice, if not for that, however.

    Goaltending is definitely a huge issue.. agreed there.

  12. chucker says:

    Racki:
    Have they not been using Eager most games? I think they have. Eager was sick the past game or two, so that’s why he was out. He’s actually been played quite a bit by Renney, I’d say… especially more recently as he seems to be making a name for himself.

    I take a bit of a different view on the Yakupov and slam-dunk d-man ideals. I’d say if Yakupov is falling on our laps we trade the pick (if we can) for a big name young defender.. like your Pietrangelo / Weber / Doughty types. Might be easier said than done though. But I think if we fix the back end up with a stud d-man that can play well in his own zone and move the puck up ice, the offense will start to come from other lines. I’m just not sure how feasible it is to have Hall, Nuge, Eberle and a Yakupov. I’d have to figure that we’d be tying up BIG money in forwards. It would be nice, if not for that, however.

    Goaltending is definitely a huge issue.. agreed there.

    If the deall is there to get your Pietrangelo type, I agree. Otherwise you wait and trade later in the summer or next year.

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