Continuing on with my series of posts that break down the Oiler’s different areas, today we look at the defense.
This will be the problem area for your 2012/13 Edmonton Oilers folks (actually, just 2013 Edmonton Oilers, but still). We might see some issues with the goaltending (but that’s for another post), but really I think any issues the Oilers have not only this year but going forward sit on this group.
Lets take a look at what we have so far:
I should probably mention in all of these the concern about regression. I specifically mentioned last year that I didn’t think Smid would regress (he already did a couple years ago) but I specifically said “and I’m kinda worried Peckham will take a step back” which kinda turned out to be pretty bang on. Well, Smid actually did way better than I expected, but I figure he just turned that corner that all D-men need to get to.
This years candidate for regression would be Petry. I think he might take a small step back (not nearly as much as Peckham did however). Anyways, I like the Smid/Petry pairing. I don’t think we have a top pairing by any stretch, but I think that these guys can keep it simple and not implode during shifts. Smid brings the rugged defense, and Petry can move the puck up and out quickly.
Same deal with the Schultzeses. You have Justin who from all accounts is a offensive star and Nick who will provide the defense. I think J.S. will have a decent year (although don’t expect AHL type points I’m thinking).
Whitney/Fistric I’m looking forward too. I don’t know where I read it, but there was an article by Gregor recently about Whitney about why his past year was a little shitty. Looks like Kreuger is pretty impressive in the “inspiring” and “coaching” department and has made Whitney spend some more cycles this off season on getting better. Also read on the tweeter that Whitney is looking faster, so I’m pretty stoked to see what he can do. Also, it looks as though this will be another offensive guy paired with a defensive d-man. (I don’t know where I saw these pairings by the way, but they make sense).
I’m not sure Potter has a place on the team any longer. He played well to start the year but then dropped off at the end, to a point where it was noticeable that he couldn’t keep up (although he still has that shot). Peckham is hurt now (as is Sutton, and it sounds as though Sutton is gone all year which is why he’s not on the list), but I think he lost his spot regarding needing a defenseman, and Teubert is knocking on the door in regards to being a tough fucker.
The Fedun/Teubert pairing is about where I expect them. Don’t see them on the team unless Teubert is kept to bring toughness to certain games. He only did himself a favor by sticking up for the kids while in OKC (from what I understand, he lost his shit a couple times on bad/late hits and earned about 20 PIM per game in both of those). But that said, both these guys are mainly the next up for call ups.
That said, looking at the past Break It Down on Defense, I said Petry would need some time in OKC…whoops.
The powerplay is looking like it could be killer. We have some top end offensive talent.
Klefbom, Marincin, Gernat, Musil. All coming.
Again, much like last year, we have too few top 4 guys. We have more bottom pairing guys. We need some top 4 guys that can play defense.
Even though I said above that the prospects look good, there is very little depth at the NHL level right now for when injuries occur.
Hasn’t changed (Copied from last years post). A couple 3/4 guys. Good defensively, and can chew up big minutes.
I don’t know, on paper that D core looks good but I just know it’s not going to cut it. I can see Paajarvi (or Omark) being traded for some D help.