Measuring Up Against The Champions: Edmonton Oilers Edition

Jonathan Willis
June 17 2011 01:04PM

It is a time-honoured tradition for the people following NHL teams to compare their squads against the Stanley Cup champion each and every summer. While parts of the tradition are unhelpful – stylistic comparisons, for example, are generally useless because the Red Wings don’t need to play like the Ducks to win and vice versa – it’s an interesting measuring stick in a lot of ways.

With the Edmonton Oilers finishing their second straight year at the bottom of the league, such an exercise might be regarded as needless fault-finding, but I don’t see it that way. The ultimate goal of any rebuilding team is a championship win, and it can be useful to compare just to see which areas the team needs to work on, and which areas can be regarded as relative strengths.

What I propose to do here is a limited comparison – a comparison of scoring by forwards and defensemen on each team, at both five-on-five and on the power play. This is naturally a limited picture, as scoring totals don’t take into account other things that a defensive ace like Patrice Bergeron does, and doesn’t take into account penalty-killing. I’ve chosen to minimize my focus on those areas, because they are difficult to quantify, but that does not mean they should be ignored altogether.

Additionally, I have left out the goaltending comparison. Tim Thomas is the Conn Smythe (and likely Vezina) winner, and any comparison between his performance this season and that of Nikolai Khabibulin would be such a mismatch that it almost isn’t worth doing. Anyone looking at these comparisons does well to add the caveat that this Bruins team was able to win the Cup… with one of the strongest goaltending performances in recent memory. Subtract Thomas, and this roster had no chance of competing in the Stanley Cup finals.

Players below are ranked by their place in the line-up (based on ice-time and games played) rather than by scoring totals.

Up The Middle

Boston EVPTS/60 PP PTS/60 Edmonton EVPTS/60 PP PTS/60
David Krejci 2.76 2.16 Shawn Horcoff 1.47 4.99
Patrice Bergeron 2.46 2.61 Sam Gagner 1.91 2.51
Chris Kelly 1.37 --- Andrew Cogliano 1.33 ---
Gregory Campbell 1.46 --- Colin Fraser 0.48 ---

The difference in strength between the Bruins and the Oilers is highly noticeable at centre. David Krejci was the Bruins’ top offensive forward, with Patrice Bergeron their top defensive forward, and both outscored any of the Oilers’ options by a country mile. I’d argue that either Shawn Horcoff or Sam Gagner would be viewed as the third-best centre on the Bruins roster at this point in time (with Horcoff on the downswing of his career and Gagner not yet realizing his potential). After that, Andrew Cogliano is at more or less the same spot he would be in Boston, with the caveat that he’s far worse at face-offs than any of the Bruins options. The 2010-11 edition of Colin Fraser would simply not be an everyday player for Boston.

One positive note we can make about the Oilers is on the power play, because the Bruins’ unit was awful in the playoffs and not that much better than the Oilers during the regular season. Sam Gagner during an awful year was competitive on the man advantage versus both Krejci and Bergeron, while Shawn Horcoff had the best power play performance of any player in this group.

Bottom line: The big difference is at the top of the lineup, where Boston possesses both a top offensive and defensive centre that outclass their comparables in the Oilers lineup.

On The Wings

Boston EVPTS/60 PP PTS/60 Edmonton EVPTS/60 PP PTS/60
Milan Lucic 2.64 3.96 Ales Hemsky 2.88 3.47
Nathan Horton 2.48 2.25 Taylor Hall 1.78 3.27
Brad Marchand 2.12 --- Jordan Eberle 1.79 3.92
Rich Peverley 1.36 2.72 Magnus Paajarvi 1.36 ---
Mark Recchi 1.85 3.77 Linus Omark 1.78 3.35
Michael Ryder 1.63 4.74 Ryan Jones 1.38 ---
Daniel Paille 1.68 --- Gilbert Brule 0.96 1.17
Tyler Seguin 1.44 1.81 Jean-Francois Jacques 0.85 ---
Shawn Thornton 1.53 --- Steve MacIntyre 0.5 ---

There is a lot of good news in these numbers. First off, Ales Hemsky is a legitimate force who was more likely to record a point on any given shift this year than any Bruins’ forward, and that’s a point worth remembering the next time some East-based commentator calls him a ‘good second-line winger.’

Beyond that, Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Linus Omark all come in as top-nine options for the Bruins, and given that each was a rookie this year that’s a huge positive. Hall in particular is undersold by his numbers, thanks to a lengthy dry spell to start the season; he seemed to get better every game up until his injury.

The bad news starts with the depth players. On the Boston side, every player was over 1.50 PTS/60 at evens with two exceptions – last year’s second overall pick, and a defensive specialist (Peverley) picked up after spending most of the year with another team (Atlanta). Magnus Paajarvi would have been hard-pressed to make this team. Ryan Jones probably wouldn’t have been an everyday player. Both Jacques and MacIntyre pale in comparison to Shawn Thornton, who holds a similar role but contributes far more in terms of actual hockey ability than either of the Oilers’ end of roster options. Gilbert Brule in a bad year is totally lost.

Beyond that, the biggest factor is experience. The Bruins had young players contributing – guys like Marchand and Seguin – but they were far outnumbered by capable veteran players. It’s safe to say the Oilers won’t be winning many games until they either add veterans or their young players get a few years under their belts.

Bottom line: There’s a lot to be hopeful about in the Oilers’ top-six, but even if those players grow into their roles the bottom lines need an overhaul.

The Back End

Boston EVPTS/60 PP PTS/60 Edmonton EVPTS/60 PP PTS/60
Zdeno Chara 1.06 2.71 Ryan Whitney 1.58 2.91
Dennis Seidenberg 0.84 3.45 Tom Gilbert 0.61 2.63
Johnny Boychuk 0.72 1.73 Ladislav Smid 0.43 ---
Andrew Ference 0.72 --- Jeff Petry 0.21 1.67
Tomas Kaberle 0.9 3.6 Theo Peckham 0.7 ---
Adam McQuaid 0.94 --- Jim Vandermeer 0.71 ---
Steve Kampfer* 0.73 2.56 Kurtis Foster 0.55 2.93

* Kampfer was replaced by Shane Hnidy for the playoffs, but Hnidy didn’t play enough in the regular season to get representative scoring numbers.

The first thing that jumps out for me is the offensive contribution Boston got from its depth players. Tomas Kaberle and Adam McQuaid contributed a lot of offense in lesser roles. This is something the Oilers used to get from depth defensemen – guys like Marc-Andre Bergeron, and the old Grebeshkov/Gilbert pairing – but Kurtis Foster had a tough year and the talents of Vandermeer and Peckham lie elsewhere.

The big gap here, of course, is the top pairing – the Oilers don’t have a pair like Chara and Seidenberg. If they did, and could push one or two guys down the depth chart, they would compare pretty favourably to Boston.

Bottom line: The Oilers need at least one and possibly two top-end defensemen before they can compare favourably to Boston.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 Chris.
June 17 2011, 02:50PM
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@ Willis:

So what your saying is: the Oilers only need a Vezina/Conn Smythe caliber goalie; a big minute Norris type D-man with a 105mph point shot; a solid two way center who can play the balance of the season and deep into the playoffs without needing surgery; depth, character, and experience throughout the entire bottom of the lineup; and for all of our top pedigree drafted young players (including RNH) to develop to their maximum potential just to be an underdog cup contender that squeaks out a win playing 3 different game sevens?

Sounds totally do-able in the next three to five years.

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#2 NamelessNed
June 17 2011, 05:02PM
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Do fans from every team hate their GM?

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#3 David S
June 17 2011, 01:38PM
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So, it would seem ditching Fraser and bringing in a legit C might do us a world of good. Then replacing Brule, SMac and JFJ, Vandermer and Foster with actual NHL'ers would be in order.

We do this and my antacid consumption should drop 30-40% next year.

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#4 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
June 17 2011, 03:26PM
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edmontoncritic - BRoadwAY wrote:

@JonathanWillis

"and that’s a point worth remembering the next time some East-based commentator calls him a ‘good second-line winger."

I for one think that Hemsky's a FANTASTIC second line winger. There's nothing wrong with that, it's the equivalent of being the 6th man in the NBA (let the haters hate on the NBA). My point is that there are other very successful second line wingers that I would put in the same mold as Hemsky. Marian Hossa, Martin Havlat & Alex Kovalev. All IDEAL second line players(in their prime). The reason for this is that all 3 of those players create their own offense. All 3 of those players don't necessarily "show up" every game & all 3 of those players have the ability to win a game all by themselves.

Also - Who's excited for Oiler Christmas?!? RNH

Hossa is one of what? 15 guys that's had a 100 point season since the lockout. If those guys are 2nd line wingers that means theirs maybe 2-3 first line wingers in the entire league.

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#5 D-Man
June 17 2011, 03:48PM
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David S wrote:

So, it would seem ditching Fraser and bringing in a legit C might do us a world of good. Then replacing Brule, SMac and JFJ, Vandermer and Foster with actual NHL'ers would be in order.

We do this and my antacid consumption should drop 30-40% next year.

No arguments here... I won't be shocked though if we still see Brule and Smac still here though... I pray that Tambo will be able to land a legit 3rd/4th line centre like Konopka this summer...

Question though - if you're antacid consumption drops - where will Katz/Rexall find the extra $150 million to build the new arena??

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#6 Hemmertime
June 17 2011, 03:55PM
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@Hemmertime

Oh you edited your cvomment

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#7 Dman09
June 17 2011, 04:15PM
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As much as I like the comparision I think that a lot of weight needs to be put on goaltending. The B's wouldn't have been near the final round if it wasn't for Thomas. The same could be said for Tampa, I think Roli was a big reason they ended up in the conference final. As an opposite see Philly, enough said. I also think that Whitney, Petry(as young as he is) and Gilbert tracked closely with Boston. If Petry continues to develope I think only one top Dman is needed. So in reality the biggest concerns for the team are the bottom 6 and goaltending. At least that is how I read the results. Yes, the defense isn't great but its also not as bad as one would think. Goaltending can win you the cup, so can your defence and so can your scoring ability. What really matters is what you up against. Great goaltending nullifies the scoring ability of another team. That is what happened this year. Boston and Van had fairly equal defense cores. Van sported the great offensive ability and Boston showcased Goaltending. Goaltending won.

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#8 The Beaker
June 17 2011, 05:56PM
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Do you thnk the Oilers stack up to the dudes in that picture? Our elbowpads would hurt them more... that might be it.

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#9 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
June 17 2011, 01:11PM
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Oh, cool - a new article!

What really shocks me is Horcoff's PP/60 number. How can that be accurate with such a huge stretch of no PP goals near the end of the season?

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#10 bigrroberto
June 17 2011, 01:19PM
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Neat article. Puts things into perspective offensively. We're actually not as far off as it feels, injuries and a bit of luck and the current group looks worse than it is.

If Steve can make a few moves and our current top players have solid years I think we're in for some real progress. Any chance you could do a similar article using defensive numbers? I think we'd see that we're far worse without the puck then with it.

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#11 John Chambers
June 17 2011, 01:32PM
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Certainly underscores the need to obtain a top C and top-pair D. Next Friday should help in one or both regards.

The next thing to do is wait. When comparing the relative closeness of our wingers to theirs, the big difference is age. Let our guys grow up a few years and the edge would clearly belong to us.

Agreed on the depth though.

It'll be interesting to see how the Oilers adress the long-term needs at Centre and Defense. We take care of that and we're on our way to something good.

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#12 Brodie
June 17 2011, 01:39PM
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I completely agree with you on the need to upgrade the defense. That's why I want to see the Oiler's go hard for UFA's James Wisniewski and Shane O'Brien. That would give us Whitney and Wisniewski as scoring defensemen and O'Brien as a shutdown defenseman.

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#13 misfit
June 17 2011, 01:55PM
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The defense needs help in a big way, but I still believe that our defensemen wouldn't look so bad if we had better forwards.

If the Oilers had a Patrice Bergeron, the entire luneup would look better from top to bottom.

**This isn't a "why doesn't Tambellini get Patrice Bergeron?" post. Just pointing out the difference a player like that can make

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#14 DJ
June 17 2011, 02:03PM
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thanks for sparing us from the comparison between Thomas and Khabibulin!

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#15 misfit
June 17 2011, 02:42PM
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Brodie wrote:

I completely agree with you on the need to upgrade the defense. That's why I want to see the Oiler's go hard for UFA's James Wisniewski and Shane O'Brien. That would give us Whitney and Wisniewski as scoring defensemen and O'Brien as a shutdown defenseman.

If O'Brien is a shutdown doefenseman, then it's news to Barry Trotz who used him and Franson against the lowest level of competition possible and kept them out of the defensive zone more than any other defense pairing on the team. Vigneault in Vancouver seemed to feel the same way Trotz did last year, at least in the level of opposition he was willing to play him against.

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#16 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
June 17 2011, 02:50PM
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I find it pretty funny that "ole stone hands" had a higher PPP/60 then any player from either team.

Where's Cowbell when you need him?

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#17 edmontoncritic - BRoadwAY
June 17 2011, 03:09PM
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@JonathanWillis

"and that’s a point worth remembering the next time some East-based commentator calls him a ‘good second-line winger."

I for one think that Hemsky's a FANTASTIC second line winger. There's nothing wrong with that, it's the equivalent of being the 6th man in the NBA (let the haters hate on the NBA). My point is that there are other very successful second line wingers that I would put in the same mold as Hemsky. Marian Hossa, Martin Havlat & Alex Kovalev. All IDEAL second line players(in their prime). The reason for this is that all 3 of those players create their own offense. All 3 of those players don't necessarily "show up" every game & all 3 of those players have the ability to win a game all by themselves.

Also - Who's excited for Oiler Christmas?!? RNH

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#18 Hemmertime
June 17 2011, 03:54PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

Hossa is one of what? 15 guys that's had a 100 point season since the lockout. If those guys are 2nd line wingers that means theirs maybe 2-3 first line wingers in the entire league.

Hall is Hemsky's (in this scenario), Kane is Hossa's. Havlat's been a #1 since Ottawa, but there he had Alfredsson/Heatley as #1.

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#19 Dan the Man
June 17 2011, 04:02PM
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Interesting read. When I started reading this I actually thought the comparison was going to be a lot worse than it was.

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#20 madjam
June 17 2011, 04:07PM
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Difference between Oilers and other successfull clubs is simple . We have Lowe and Tambellini , and the other clubs did not have to overcome those obstacles to build their winning clubs ! We seem to be down to college and other leagues outside the NHL to build our new core around while stockpiling forwards thru draft . D-men seem to take longer to develop , so we decide to try and go after them some 3 years later in draft ? Does that make any sense if d-men take that much longer to develop in the first place ? We had but two voids to fill 3 years ago to remain competitive with most of our youth beyond Hall already in the makings . Lowe and Tams couldn't even accomplish that small of an order thru normal channels . Now you expect they can do it with more expertise this next time it's required ? Dream on .

We need to get bigger with more grit , yet whom do we still have that fills that bill thats NHL caliber going into next season ? Our coaching making any difference ? Even OKC looks like they could end up being worse next year than this year . Face it , when it comes to dealing we are where Lowe and Tams put us , and are most likely to keep us !

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#21 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
June 17 2011, 04:55PM
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@Hemmertime

Ya I'm not talking about what line they play on.

Malkin plays on Pits second line, doens't mean he's a second line center.

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#22 magisterrex
June 17 2011, 05:10PM
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Dman09 wrote:

As much as I like the comparision I think that a lot of weight needs to be put on goaltending. The B's wouldn't have been near the final round if it wasn't for Thomas. The same could be said for Tampa, I think Roli was a big reason they ended up in the conference final. As an opposite see Philly, enough said. I also think that Whitney, Petry(as young as he is) and Gilbert tracked closely with Boston. If Petry continues to develope I think only one top Dman is needed. So in reality the biggest concerns for the team are the bottom 6 and goaltending. At least that is how I read the results. Yes, the defense isn't great but its also not as bad as one would think. Goaltending can win you the cup, so can your defence and so can your scoring ability. What really matters is what you up against. Great goaltending nullifies the scoring ability of another team. That is what happened this year. Boston and Van had fairly equal defense cores. Van sported the great offensive ability and Boston showcased Goaltending. Goaltending won.

That's why stats as presented here are misleading. The level of goaltending the Oilers received was no where near what the Bruins received, and the players played accordingly.

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#24 Kevin
June 17 2011, 05:47PM
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madjam wrote:

Difference between Oilers and other successfull clubs is simple . We have Lowe and Tambellini , and the other clubs did not have to overcome those obstacles to build their winning clubs ! We seem to be down to college and other leagues outside the NHL to build our new core around while stockpiling forwards thru draft . D-men seem to take longer to develop , so we decide to try and go after them some 3 years later in draft ? Does that make any sense if d-men take that much longer to develop in the first place ? We had but two voids to fill 3 years ago to remain competitive with most of our youth beyond Hall already in the makings . Lowe and Tams couldn't even accomplish that small of an order thru normal channels . Now you expect they can do it with more expertise this next time it's required ? Dream on .

We need to get bigger with more grit , yet whom do we still have that fills that bill thats NHL caliber going into next season ? Our coaching making any difference ? Even OKC looks like they could end up being worse next year than this year . Face it , when it comes to dealing we are where Lowe and Tams put us , and are most likely to keep us !

Amen ! Thank you for reiterating what I have been saying for years. What to do now ? It hard to watch a team that youve grown up watching and have great passion for be run by a couple of clowns collecting 7 figures and quite literally learning on the job. It is truely sad to watch.

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#25 The Beaker
June 17 2011, 06:00PM
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Kevin wrote:

Amen ! Thank you for reiterating what I have been saying for years. What to do now ? It hard to watch a team that youve grown up watching and have great passion for be run by a couple of clowns collecting 7 figures and quite literally learning on the job. It is truely sad to watch.

Lets get Slats and Mactavish back then! No more of this literal "learning on the job" bollocks.

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#26 David S
June 17 2011, 08:18PM
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Dman09 wrote:

As much as I like the comparision I think that a lot of weight needs to be put on goaltending. The B's wouldn't have been near the final round if it wasn't for Thomas. The same could be said for Tampa, I think Roli was a big reason they ended up in the conference final. As an opposite see Philly, enough said. I also think that Whitney, Petry(as young as he is) and Gilbert tracked closely with Boston. If Petry continues to develope I think only one top Dman is needed. So in reality the biggest concerns for the team are the bottom 6 and goaltending. At least that is how I read the results. Yes, the defense isn't great but its also not as bad as one would think. Goaltending can win you the cup, so can your defence and so can your scoring ability. What really matters is what you up against. Great goaltending nullifies the scoring ability of another team. That is what happened this year. Boston and Van had fairly equal defense cores. Van sported the great offensive ability and Boston showcased Goaltending. Goaltending won.

You just haaaaaad to bring up the goaltending, didn't you? Here Jonathan had me thinking "Well, OK. Maybe with a few changes and some guys maturing..."

Then "Dman09" busts through the door and lays down a nice stinky fart.

Welp. So much for that ray of hope. You sonofa...

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#27 DSF
June 17 2011, 08:19PM
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The Oilers need two top pairing defensemen, two top six centres and two NHL calibre goaltenders before they even address the bottom 6 forwards.

Duh.

Turning straw into gold will be the challenge for Steviestilitskin

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#28 ralph_u
June 17 2011, 08:56PM
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I just think tough comparisons this way because a guy like Hemsky has to play with either a Gagner or Horcoff not a Krejci or Bergeron. If you are trying to say they are a better team well I think we can all agree but who knows if Ryan Jones plays with more talented guys what his comps are?

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#29 Jason
June 17 2011, 09:00PM
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I think they are attempting to work on those role players and veteran areas somewhat. They tried Fraser and Foster as hopefully depth complimentary players for example but they didnt really pan out this year. Not to say they can get there.

We ultimatly lost a few of those peices in guys like Stoll, Reasoner, Green, Smyth and maybe even Brodziak to a lesser extent.

Potentially the Oilers look to bring Smyth back who would fit that role perfect. Is that a player we attempt to bring back?

I think another great idea for a forth line center who can win draw is Vernon Fiddler.

Then id attempt to get Thorton. I was so impressed by him in the playoffs and the energy he brought to the table.

I think those would be three KEY additions to strengthen this team.

Finally i still think the Oil need to try and get the #3 from Florida and Gudbrandson. Im going to continue this idea in hopes Steve has a gander through Oilernation and makes the call. What would it take? Ideas? Would Gagner, Cogliano, Hemsky and our 19th overall enough?

Imagine being able to take RNH #1, and potentially have a chance of Larsson at #3 and even if we dont snag him we could take a player like Landeskog or Huberdeau.

Having RNH, Gudbrandson and Larsson in one draft could be an amazing day for us all.

Then fill the gaps.

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#30 Shane near Red Deer
June 17 2011, 09:11PM
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I would like to see how the Oilers stack up in this format against the Canucks! The west is suppose to be the better division, and Van finished 1rst in the whole league. I bet the Oil look a lot farther away compared to the presidents cup winners. Boston was not the darlings of the east, but they rode a hot goalie! Good food for thought but I believe the Stanley cup winners this year are not who we need to measure the Oil against!

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#31 Shane near Red Deer
June 17 2011, 09:19PM
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Jason you are on crack! Why would FLA trade their top 2 prospects for a group players and a draft pick that can't get the Oilers out of the funk they are in? Trades have to make sence for both teams! Do you have a video game that allows this kind of trade or something? Grow up

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#32 Jason
June 17 2011, 09:35PM
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@Shane near Red Deer

First of all sorry for posting it twice...that was an accident.

Secondly....no not on crack! And my Xbox is outdated so my top line consist of much older players but i did make some pretty lopsided deals.

Im not specifically saying those need to be the players or the deal. Heck maybe its our first overall next year and that is an opportunity for Florida to probably have potential lottery pick.

My understanding was that Florida was unable to come to terms with Gudbranson so there is the potential that relations arent great. Maybe he is our only target in this deal.

In regards to Hemsky, Gagner, and Cogliano. I admit i do drink the Oiler Kool Aid, but i think we under value them. Hemsky minus injury risk is worth a high first round pick if Penner was worth a 19th overall. Gagner is only 21!! Cogliano has been improving as a great role player. I think any combination of those three players could significantly improve the Panthers.

Not unrealistic. Back to my crack...err i mean reading. Geez.

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#34 Dog Train
June 17 2011, 11:04PM
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I think their blue-line is something that we can eventually match. Beyond the top pairing, they had a collection of mostly physical, dependable blueliners. We have a few of those in the pipeline. If we can add one or two higher end guys than we will have a chance.

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#35 Dog Train
June 17 2011, 11:04PM
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Double post

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#36 Mikeyboy
June 17 2011, 11:49PM
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Jonathan - thanks for this article. A couple of key things that stand out as far as I see:

- The comparatives probably look a lot worse against this year's runner up as well as a lot of the other Western Conference contenders. These are the teams that we'll need to be leapfrogging over the next couple of years.

- The other thing that this stresses for me is the value of intangibles. We are not far in many of the comparatives that you have highlighted but when you dig deep, the compete levels of those two squads is not even close.

Would be interested in your thoughts on this.

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#38 buttermilk buscuits
June 18 2011, 10:03AM
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Whats impressive is Omarks on Even Strength and PP per 60 mins is right up there with Eberle and Hall..why is Omark then considered a lesser prospect..call me silly..but I think Omark has more offensive upside than either of those other two players..and he is willing to learn in his own end as well..only thing that he doesnt have is size..and hes not a top draft pick and not from north america..that last one shouldnt matter..but in a small hicktown city like Edmonton it does..sad but true..

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#39 michael
June 18 2011, 10:32AM
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The comparisons are eye opening. My belief is that the Oilers need to get bigger upfront. They have too many "runts". Let Cogliano walk away. Buy out Brule. We need to stop thinking about BPA and focus on targeting players that will improve our size and skill on our 2-4th lines. Our division is not getting any smaller. The Oilers need ST to step up at this years draft and draft for need. Do whatever it takes. Your numbers are screaming for it to happen. Otherwise we will be looking at more 8th place finishes for years to come.

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#41 Clyde Frog
June 18 2011, 10:48AM
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@buttermilk buscuits

Look at his age, he has spent several more years developing and is closer to his ceiling than the other "kids".

Nothing to do with not being from North America and us being a hicktown... Or are you just ignoring the hype being hoisted on Paarjvi?

**Oh wait did I just feed the troll?

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#42 buttermilk buscuits
June 18 2011, 11:01AM
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Feed the troll? Cmon..I am no troll, yeah I realize Paajarvis hype..but even then, I think if he had been given the same ice time all season that players like Hall, Eberle..Gagner (in his first season) got he wouldve reached 40+ point..but instead he was given mostly 3rd line ice..with minimal PP time most of the season..I just think the fact that hes from Europe put him in the minority in Edmonton..it takes more from Europeans to win people over in edmonton..Hemsky was an exception (maybe cuz he played in the QMJHL as a kid)..anyways.. Omark has always had this freak skill..even when he was just a 20 year old..he didnt just develope it in the last few years..its one of those god-given things..you have it or you dont..Hall is an amazing player(prospect)..but I believe a huge part of that comes from his physical style play..his drive..his passion..yes he sees the ice well..but I think Omark is at another level when it comes to Vision..Puck Creativity..etc..

Having said that..I still think Hall will put up more points in the NHL..to me its a Messier VS Datsyuk or St.Louis type comparison..Yes..I think both players can get to those levels..

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#43 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
June 18 2011, 01:10PM
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buttermilk buscuits wrote:

Feed the troll? Cmon..I am no troll, yeah I realize Paajarvis hype..but even then, I think if he had been given the same ice time all season that players like Hall, Eberle..Gagner (in his first season) got he wouldve reached 40+ point..but instead he was given mostly 3rd line ice..with minimal PP time most of the season..I just think the fact that hes from Europe put him in the minority in Edmonton..it takes more from Europeans to win people over in edmonton..Hemsky was an exception (maybe cuz he played in the QMJHL as a kid)..anyways.. Omark has always had this freak skill..even when he was just a 20 year old..he didnt just develope it in the last few years..its one of those god-given things..you have it or you dont..Hall is an amazing player(prospect)..but I believe a huge part of that comes from his physical style play..his drive..his passion..yes he sees the ice well..but I think Omark is at another level when it comes to Vision..Puck Creativity..etc..

Having said that..I still think Hall will put up more points in the NHL..to me its a Messier VS Datsyuk or St.Louis type comparison..Yes..I think both players can get to those levels..

I'll be suprised if Omark is still in the league in 3 years.... let alone being anywhere near a Datsyuk or St Louis

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#44 Ari Gold
June 18 2011, 01:19PM
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The stat of so many points at even strength/power play is great for guaging offensive output but I think it should be directly followed by plus minus. The writer also overlooked goaltending, a position where the Oil are vastly inferior to the Bs.

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#45 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
June 18 2011, 02:06PM
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@ BretskiGretzky. The reader overlooks paragraph 4.

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#46 Jason Gregor
June 18 2011, 03:05PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

@ dman09, magisterrex:

Well, that's why I went to some pain to make that point in the introduction - the Bruins without Thomas probably don't make it out of their first round series against Montreal.

I'm thinking of running a comparison against the runners-up as well; they didn't get nearly the same level of goaltending in their series against Chicago or Boston (and NSH/SJ, where they did, weren't close series).

I'd suggest that Thomas was pretty ordinary in the TB series. Clearly Thomas was key, but how many great saves did he have to make v. Vancouver. You are underestimating the Bruins overall defensive game in my mind.

Also you only compared points straight up between the Oiler forwards and the Bruins, without mentioning their tenacity. The Bruins wore down teams with their size and physical presence. The Oiler forwards aren't close in that department.

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