The Mighty Oil, according to EA Sports

Jonathan Willis
August 13 2008 02:11PM

The greatest indicator of an NHL player’s ability has just been released, and it shows troubling news for the Oilers. I’m not talking about hockey pool guides, or the NHL awards show, or even discussing each player on an individual level with the GMs of all thirty teams. No, I’m looking at rankings that really matter—the ones found on EA Sports’ NHL 09 (thanks to Greg Wyshynski for finding these).

It becomes immediately apparent that the Oilers have some areas of concern:

Sam Gagner

Clearly, Gagner isn’t looking to build upon his stunning rookie season. We’ve looked at specific areas of his game to see where problems will come from:

Offensive awareness: 75 (tied with Smid, Pisani and Brodziak) Passing: 78 (just ahead of Brodziak and Staios) Wrist-shot accuracy: 70 (tied with Brodziak, Moreau, Pisani, Souray and Gilbert)

Clearly, Gagner isn’t interested in having an offensive game. If only he were more offensively aware! Fortunately, he’s working on one area of the game where this team is also in trouble: faceoffs.

Face-offs

With the departures of Jarret Stoll and Marty Reasoner, fans knew that this team could have trouble winning draws. The news is even worse than that. Here are key Oilers faceoff men, ranked by ability:

Horcoff: 77 Gagner: 77 Penner: 75 Brodziak: 70

Clearly, Shawn Horcoff’s injury was worse than we thought, destroying his faceoff game.

There are, however, some reasons for cheer:

Gilbert Brulé

OilersNation favourite Gilbert Brulé has had an awesome off-season, at least, according to the drunk squirrels at EA Sports. He ranks ahead of Sam Gagner in all areas of the game, with the only exceptions being faceoffs and defensive awareness. Fortunately, Gagner’s been working on turning into Kris Draper, so he should be able to help minimize Brulé’s defensive shortcomings.

Oh, and don’t worry about Brulé’s headspace—he plays an offensively aware (85), and disciplined (82) yet aggressive (84) game; clearly showing that he’s got it all figured out. And you thought his one goal last season meant that he would have trouble offensively.

Toughness

Ever worry about the Oilers’ lack of a legitimate enforcer? Worry no longer. Between heavyweights Strudwick (88), Moreau (88), Souray (86), Staios (85) and Cole (85), the team has toughness covered. And if that weren’t enough, Zach Stortini is both an elite fighter (92) and hitter (88).

In all seriousness, though, EA Sports puts out a decent hockey video game, even if they clearly just flip coins to decide how good players are in certain areas (Steve Staios—most poised Oiler, etc.). Still, the next time that somebody tells you that the Oilers should trade for Ruslan Fedotenko since he’ll score 40 goals if he plays with Hemsky like he did in his video game, you won’t have to feel bad when you ruthlessly mock him.

74b7cedc5d8bfbe88cf071309e98d2c3
Jonathan Willis is Managing Editor of the Nation Network. He also currently writes for the Edmonton Journal's Cult of Hockey, Grantland, and Hockey Prospectus. His work has appeared at theScore, ESPN and Puck Daddy. He was previously founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue. Contact him at jonathan (dot) willis (at) live (dot) ca.
Avatar
#1 Kevin
August 13 2008, 02:52PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

I read the same stats earlier today and Ganger was the most immediate thing that stood out as just bass ackword. No matter though, I'm playing the be a pro mode almost exclusively I'm thinking, so I can let the REAL on ice product speak for the Oilers organization and it's players while I carve out my own dynesty.

Avatar
#2 Doogie2K
August 13 2008, 03:19PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Do the ratings people at EA actually watch the fucking games? Jesus Christ.

Avatar
#3 freeze
August 13 2008, 03:43PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

If EA can put out an NHL game for PS3 that doesn't crash in between periods or lose save points I'll be happy enough.

Oilers just won the cup for me in NHL 07 with the addition of Zach Parise.

Avatar
#4 Blaine
August 13 2008, 03:48PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

So what you're saying is NHL 2K9 then?

Avatar
#5 Blaine
August 13 2008, 03:49PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Nilsson overall 84 Cogliano overall 84 Gagner overall 75

Avatar
#6 Jonathan
August 13 2008, 03:53PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Nilsson overall 84 Cogliano overall 84 Gagner overall 75

No, the first number is actually offensive awareness; these rankings don't have an overall rating.

Avatar
#7 Doogie2K
August 13 2008, 06:03PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

So what you’re saying is NHL 2K9 then?

As a long-suffering Wii owner, that's my only answer, really; not only is there no NHL 09 for the Wii, but not even NHL 09 For Dummies All-Play. Hopefully the motion controls don't suck ass.

Avatar
#8 Doogie2K
August 13 2008, 06:03PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

"For Dummies" was supposed to be struck out. Silly comment box.

Avatar
#9 fyvmvv
August 13 2008, 06:12PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

This article confirms it. You have officially sucked the tank dry of anything even remotely interesting. Starved as I am for the season to begin this kind of mind numbing discussion is over the top boring.

Avatar
#10 Benhur
August 13 2008, 06:16PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Gotta agree. Yuch!!!

Avatar
#11 Jonathan
August 13 2008, 06:30PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

This article confirms it. You have officially sucked the tank dry of anything even remotely interesting. Starved as I am for the season to begin this kind of mind numbing discussion is over the top boring.

Oh, I don't know; I've always found the NHL franchise rankings to be interesting.

If that's not your taste, there's the Brule article, an article on possible targets in Tampa Bay on my site (http://coppernblue.blogspot.com/) and Lowetide's conitnuing series on reasonable expectations up at his site (http://lowetide.blogspot.com/)

Avatar
#12 David S
August 13 2008, 08:07PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

I'm surprised you're diggin' up EA Sports trivia while ignoring this blockbuster story...

http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/4654286a5620.html

Avatar
#13 doritogrande
August 13 2008, 08:20PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

"As Hunter visited Hautapu Primary School near Cambridge yesterday with her Canadian ice hockey star boyfriend Jarret Stoll to help launch a reading initiative for children, all eyes turned to the glittering rock on her finger."

(To the popular sesame street song) One of these words is not like the other...

Avatar
#14 Greg MC
August 13 2008, 08:43PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

I thank all the writers on this site who inform me and also make me laugh on a regular basis!

Avatar
#15 PaperDesigner
August 14 2008, 01:53AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Let's trade Gagner. Clearly, he's peaked.

Comments are closed for this article.