WILL THE OILERS MAKE THE PLAYOFFS?

Jason Gregor
January 18 2013 02:23PM

On the eve of another lockout-shortened season, there are many questions surrounding the Edmonton Oilers. How good will Justin Schultz be in the NHL? Is Devan Dubnyk ready to be an everyday starting goalie? Can Ales Hemsky and Ryan Whitney have bounce back seasons? Who will lead the Oilers in scoring: Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall or Ryan Nugent-Hopkins? How much of an impact will new head coach Ralph Krueger have?

All great questions, but the most important one is, will the Oilers make the playoffs for the first time in seven seasons?
Predictions can be difficult at the best of times, but in a short season there seems to be even more variables in play.

Will the Oilers capitalize on the perceived advantage of having all of their two top-line forwards in game shape? In theory they should, but with their starting goalie and only two of six defenders (I have Potter #7)in game-shape does that negate that advantage?

Thankfully we will finally see the answers unfold on the ice starting Sunday night in Vancouver.

But before we see some games, we need to look into our crystal ball and find out where the Oilers will finish.

Predictions are in interesting animal, and sometimes they seem to contradict themselves.

Earlier this week TSN submitted a list of the top-50 players in the NHL. The Oilers had three on the list, with Jordan Eberle ranked the highest at 25th. He was ranked 19th amongst forwards, so you'd think when TSN released their projections for the top-300 scoring leaders that he'd be ranked between 15-30.

There is some miscommunication going on at TSN, because Scott Cullen clearly disagrees with the rest of his TSN colleagues and had Eberle finishing 55th overall in scoring, and 54th amongst NHL forwards. 

#  PLAYER  TEAM  POS  GP  G  A  PTS  +/-  PIM  PPP
1 Evgeni Malkin  Pittsburgh  C  43 25 38 63 7 41 19
2 Sidney Crosby  Pittsburgh  C  42 21 40 61 10 26 23
3 Steven Stamkos  Tampa Bay  C  48 32 23 55 2 37 20
4 Henrik Sedin  Vancouver  C  48 11 42 53 15 27 17
5 Alex Ovechkin  Washington  LW  45 25 26 51 7 25 17
6 Joe Thornton  San Jose  C  47 12 37 49 8 23 18
7 Ilya Kovalchuk  New Jersey  LW  46 22 26 48 -7 20 15
8 Claude Giroux  Philadelphia  C  47 15 33 48 5 20 15
9 Daniel Sedin  Vancouver  LW  43 20 27 47 13 21 18
10 Martin St. Louis  Tampa Bay  LW  47 15 30 45 -2 8 17
11 Corey Perry  Anaheim  RW  47 23 21 44 -1 68 15
12 Tyler Seguin  Boston  RW  46 18 25 43 12 15 10
13 Eric Staal  Carolina  C  47 18 25 43 1 34 14
14 John Tavares  N.Y. Islanders  C  47 18 25 43 -6 20 15
15 Brad Richards  N.Y. Rangers  C  46 15 28 43 -1 13 17
16 Nicklas Backstrom  Washington  C  43 12 31 43 10 21 17
17 Phil Kessel  Toronto  RW  47 20 22 42 -8 13 12
18 Jonathan Toews  Chicago  C  41 19 23 42 12 19 12
19 Loui Eriksson  Dallas  LW  47 16 26 42 6 8 9
20 Ryan Getzlaf  Anaheim  C  44 11 31 42 -1 36 14
21 Marian Gaborik  N.Y. Rangers  RW  44 20 21 41 8 20 14
22 Jason Spezza  Ottawa  C  42 16 25 41 2 18 13
23 Pavel Datsyuk  Detroit  C  42 14 27 41 11 10 13
24 Rick Nash  N.Y. Rangers  LW  46 20 20 40 -1 25 13
25 James Neal  Pittsburgh  RW  46 20 20 40 3 44 13
26 Zach Parise  Minnesota  LW  47 19 21 40 6 18 12
27 Patrick Marleau  San Jose  LW  48 19 21 40 4 13 15
28 Henrik Zetterberg  Detroit  LW  47 14 26 40 6 25 13
29 Jarome Iginla  Calgary  RW  48 19 20 39 -3 26 13
30 Teemu Selanne  Anaheim  RW  43 16 23 39 1 21 18
31 Patrick Kane  Chicago  RW  47 14 25 39 5 18 12
32 Logan Couture  San Jose  C  45 19 19 38 4 12 13
33 Thomas Vanek  Buffalo  LW  45 18 20 38 -1 20 14
34 Jamie Benn  Dallas  C  43 16 22 38 4 31 7
35 David Krejci  Boston  C  46 12 26 38 5 16 8
36 Bobby Ryan  Anaheim  LW  47 19 18 37 4 38 8
37 Patrick Sharp  Chicago  LW  44 18 19 37 11 21 11
38 Tomas Plekanec  Montreal  C  47 15 22 37 -2 33 11
39 Mike Ribeiro  Washington  C  44 11 26 37 -1 28 11
40 Dany Heatley  Minnesota  RW  47 16 20 36 4 25 15
41 Joe Pavelski  San Jose  RW  45 15 21 36 7 16 12
42 Jason Pominville  Buffalo  RW  47 15 21 36 -1 9 12
43 Mike Richards  Los Angeles  C  46 14 22 36 4 42 12
44 Marian Hossa  Chicago  RW  41 14 22 36 9 14 11
45 Ryan Nugent-Hopkins  Edmonton  C  43 13 23 36 -2 13 16
46 Patrik Elias  New Jersey  LW  45 12 24 36 -1 11 13
47 PA Parenteau  Colorado  RW  47 11 25 36 -5 42 11
48 Matt Duchene  Colorado  C  43 15 20 35 -5 11 11
49 Gabriel Landeskog  Colorado  LW  47 15 20 35 6 33 8
50 Patrice Bergeron  Boston  C  46 12 23 35 15 14 8
51 Ray Whitney  Dallas  LW  46 12 23 35 -2 15 13
52 Erik Karlsson  Ottawa  D  46 9 26 35 -2 25 13
53 Matt Moulson  N.Y. Islanders  LW  48 19 15 34 -2 8 12
54 Milan Lucic  Boston  LW  44 16 18 34 7 67 7
55 Jordan Eberle  Edmonton  RW  44 15 19 34 -2 8 11
56 Vladimir Tarasenko  St. Louis  RW  44 15 19 34 5 14 6
57 Paul Stastny  Colorado  C  46 12 22 34 -4 26 12
58 Anze Kopitar  Los Angeles  C  37 12 22 34 7 9 12
59 Jakub Voracek  Philadelphia  RW  46 11 23 34 2 18 6
60 Alexander Semin  Carolina  LW  42 17 16 33 7 34 11
61 Alex Burrows  Vancouver  RW  46 17 16 33 14 53 3
62 Scott Hartnell  Philadelphia  LW  48 17 16 33 8 82 9
63 Taylor Hall  Edmonton  LW  43 16 17 33 -4 19 11
64 Jeff Skinner  Carolina  RW  42 15 18 33 -2 30 11
65 David Backes  St. Louis  C  47 15 18 33 11 58 9
66 Damien Brunner  Detroit  RW  44 13 20 33 5 22 7
67 Jaromir Jagr  Dallas  RW  41 12 21 33 4 25 11
68 Max Pacioretty  Montreal  LW  43 16 16 32 -1 30 6
69 Jordan Staal  Carolina  C  41 15 17 32 6 21 7
80 Evander Kane  Winnipeg  LW  43 15 16 31 2 35 5
81 Nail Yakupov  Edmonton  LW  46 15 16 31 2 20 7
122 Justin Schultz  Edmonton  D  46 9 19 28 1 9 8
142 Sam Gagner  Edmonton  C  42 10 16 26 -3 20 7
145 Ales Hemsky  Edmonton  RW  35 9 17 26 -2 15 9
164 Ryan Smyth  Edmonton  LW  46 11 13 24 -1 35 4
250 Shawn Horcoff  Edmonton  C  40 7 12 19 -8 21 6
295 Ryan Whitney  Edmonton  D  30 2 14 16 -2 19 5

It's also interesting to note that he had Eberle dropping from 16th in goals down to 45th. Cullen is evidently in the camp of those who feel Eberle won't be able to produce at a rate similar to last season. I've said before it would be a major accomplishment for Eberle to score 46 points this year, (pro-rated to equal last season), since very few players have back-to-back 76+ point seasons, but I don't expect him to fall as much as Cullen or others do. I see Eberle scoring 40-43 points if he plays the majority of games.

HAVE TO SCORE AT EV

If the Oilers want to make the playoffs they need to score more 5-on-5. The Oilers were 22nd in goals for/goals against ratio. It is no surprise that the excluding a few exceptions, LA and Florida and New Jersey, the teams who made the playoffs scored goals EV than they gave up. 

1 DETROIT 181 126 55
2 BOSTON 193 146 47
3 PITTSBURGH 190 162 28
4 VANCOUVER 160 135 25
5 ST LOUIS 137 102 25
6 PHILADELPHIA 168 149 19
7 NY RANGERS 150 132 18
8 PHOENIX 159 143 16
9 SAN JOSE 147 134 13
10 OTTAWA 166 158 8
11 NASHVILLE 158 150 8
12 BUFFALO 154 150 4
13 CHICAGO 172 170 2
14 WASHINGTON 152 150 2
15 WINNIPEG 158 160 -2
16 DALLAS 149 152 -3
17 LOS ANGELES 118 121 -3
18 MONTREAL 143 150 -7
19 NEW JERSEY 140 150 -10
20 COLORADO 138 149 -11
21 TAMPA BAY 173 186 -13
22 EDMONTON 139 153 -14
23 ANAHEIM 142 157 -15
24 CALGARY 134 151 -17
25 FLORIDA 127 144 -17
26 TORONTO 156 182 -26
27 CAROLINA 140 166 -26
28 COLUMBUS 132 166 -34
29 MINNESOTA 112 148 -36
30 NY ISLANDERS 133 179 -46

Florida is the exception based on a few blowouts, 7-0 and 8-0 losses, but also because they had a whopping 18 OTL. They only won 32 games in regulation last year, yet the made the playoffs. They weren't that good, but when you look at the best and worst teams in the league EV gives you a good indication of where teams stand, with a few exceptions of course.

OILERS PP WILL WIN THEM GAMES

It seems many people feel the Oilers PP will be carry them to the playoffs, but that is only true if they take fewer penalties and their PK improves.

I'm not sure the Oilers PP can get much better.

They had the 3rd best PP, 20.6%, and scored the 5th most PP goals with 54. Their PP was good, and likely should be in the top-7 again this year, but can they be better than 23%?

If they Oilers have as many powerplays as last season, 262, they will have 153 this year. And in order to click at 24% they'd need to score 37 PP goals. It is possible, but if they scored 31 they'd sit at 20.4%, which is almost identical to last season.

If you told Krueger right now that he could have a 20% PP he'd take it in a heartbeat. Last season only 3 teams cracked the 20% mark with the man advantage.

As good as their powerplay was last year, it was basically negated by their penalty kill.

The Oilers were shorthanded 296 times last year, good for 5th most in the NHL. And it's not like the Oilers were an aggressive team, they took too many obstruction and sticking penalties.

The Oilers surrendered 52 goals when down a man last year, so essentially they needed a 20.6% PP just to be +2 on special teams. The Oilers were 14th in PK efficiency at 82.4%, but when you take that many penalties it impacts your ability to win the special teams battle.

The Oilers have a lot of areas to improve on, but if they improve their EV play they will have an excellent shot at making the playoffs.

NATION WRITERS CHIME IN...

I asked fellow Nation contributors, Brownlee, Wayne, Lowetide, Willis and Strudwick to close their eyes and pick give me their informed opinions on who makes it in the western conference, who plays in the Cup final and a brief explanation of why they slotted the Oilers where they did.

BROWNLEE

1. St. Louis

2. Vancouver

3. Los Angeles

4. Chicago

5. San Jose

6. Minnesota

7. Nashville

8. Edmonton

9. Detroit

10. Dallas

11. Colorado

12. Phoenix

13. Calgary

14. Anaheim

15. Columbus

A lot of people think picking the Oilers to make the playoffs is taking a big flyer.

It is, but when I look at Edmonton's top-six forwards and the defense with a full year of Nick Schultz and the additions of Justin Schultz and Mark Fistric, I see a playoff team IF -- isn't there always at least one? -- Devan Dubnyk doesn't implode as the clear-cut No. 1 goaltender and IF Ryan Whitney stays healthy.

Rangers down the Hawks and sip from the Stanley Cup.

WANYE

1. Los Angeles
2. St. Louis
3. Vancouver
4. Minnesota
5. Chicago
6. San Jose
7. Edmonton
8. Detroit
9. Nashville
10. Phoenix
11. Anaheim
12. Colorado
13. Dallas
14. Calgary
15. Columbus

"The Edmonton Oilers are my favourite hockey team and I think they are great and will make the playoffs and I love recess." - Wanye, Age 8

There is only one option for the Cup...Oilers crush Sidney and the Penguins.

LOWETIDE

1.      1. LAK: Continuation of last season, too much talent, very balanced.

2.      2. VAN: Despite the injuries, strong club with depth on defense and quality goaltending.

3.      3. STL: Remind me of LAK of one year ago.

4.      4. CHI: Possibly the strongest line-up in the conference, goaltending puts them here

5.      5. NAS: Amazing hockey club, seem to have a plug and play for every need.

6.      6. PHX: Lots of turnover but similar to Nashville in that they’ll get it done.

7.      7. MIN: Off-season dream additions and young talent carry the day.

8.       8. EDM: There’s just too much offense to keep them from making the second season, and Dubnyk is better than many believe.

9.      9. DET: Retirements and defections heavily outweigh additions.

10.  10. SJS: This is the year they begin to fade.

11.  11. DAL: Some nice things, but a bizarre off-season leaves them outside the playoffs.

12.  12. COL : Strong young team has enough holes and will struggle.

13.  13. ANA: A team in transition.

14.  14. CAL : The bottom falls out.

15.  15. CBJ: Defense and goaltending remain a mess.

Cup finalists will be Vancouver and the Rangers, with Vancouver winning their 1st Stanley. I know. I’m already mad at myself.

WILLIS

1. Los Angeles

2. Vancouver

3. St. Louis

4. Chicago

5. San Jose

6. Detroit

7. Phoenix

8. Colorado

9. Minnesota

10. Edmonton

11. Dallas

12. Nashville

13. Anaheim

14. Calgary

15. Columbus

On Edmonton: For the first time in a long time I see them as a legitimate playoff contender. I think one team besides Vancouver will make the post-season, and Colorado/Minnesota/Edmonton are all neck-and-neck-and-neck at this point. An injury or an unexpected absence - such as Ryan O'Reilly staying in the KHL - could change the balance of power, as could a sharp move by any of the general managers in charge of those clubs. I see the Oilers falling just short but staying in the mix until the bitter end.

Stanley Cup Finals: Pittsburgh over Vancouver.

STRUDWICK

1. St. Louis

2. Minnesota

3. Los Angeles

4. Chicago

5. San Jose

6. Vancouver

7. Detroit

8. Phoenix

9. Nashville

10. Dallas

11. Edmonton

12. Calgary

13. Anaheim

14. Colorado

15. Columbus

The Oilers will improve in the standings, but there are still questions they need to answer before they become a playoff team. 

1. Can the team stay healthy?

2. Can their goaltending become playoff calibre?

3. Are they a hard enough team to play against?

Rangers beat the Kings and win the Cup.

GREGOR

1. St. Louis

2. Los Angeles

3. Minnesota

4. Chicago

5. San Jose

6. Edmonton

7. Vancouver

8. Anaheim

9. Detroit

10. Dallas

11. Columbus

12. Nashville

13. Phoenix

14. Colorado

15. Calgary

My brain says the Oilers won't make the playoffs, I say they actually finish 13th because they aren't that good, but the Nation has never experienced a playoff run and the Oilers luck has to change eventually. Injuries are my main concern, because the Oilers aren't a big team. Many of their skilled players like Hall, Hemsky and Yakupov will get hit often since they don't play on the perimeter.

The Oilers have a mixture of young, hungry players and some veterans in Hemsky, Whitney, Dubnyk and Whitney with lots to prove. Krueger says they won't play a passive game, and the Oilers will be better defensively, but my biggest concern is that this team isn't tough enough. They don't know how to compete hard enough every night, yet. I'm not talking fighting or hitting, because they don't have many bangers, but just being battled tested. If they can learn that this year, I think they have the skill to make a serious run for the playoffs, but I don't expect them to. However, since you had to endure no hockey for four months, I'm going positive and picking them to make the playoffs.

But if the Oilers don't improve, I don't see any reason why GM Steve Tambellini keeps his job. They don't have to make the playoffs, but they need to show significant improvement. If they don't, then ownership has to look at the architect of the team, Tambellini.

I haven't picked them to make the playoffs in six years, so it's time for a change. And speaking of change the Detroit Red Wings won't enjoy life without Nick Lidstrom.

The Rangers defeat the Blues in six to win the Cup.

WHAT SAY YE...

What do you think Nation? Let's see who ends up with the closest prediction on April 27th.

PAY ATTENTION

Bianca Beauchamps just adds to the Positive Friday vibe. At around 12:00 this morning we will unveil the Nation's 2013 hockey draft. First place will win a $5,000 shopping spree. It costs only $20 bucks to enter and a portion of the proceeds will go to charity, because it's the right thing to do. We will have over 100 prizes. It will be awesome.

Do you want to go to the Home Opener on Tuesday?

If you LIKE the Jason Gregor Show fan page you can win. It is the easiest way to track people down. If you don't want to that is fine, just don't complain that I should give tickets away on here. It's a hassle tracking down people. On facebook I can direct message the person right away. It is simple.

I'll give away tickets to the home opener on Monday. Good luck.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR

Ddf3e2ba09069c465299f3c416e43eae
One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#51 Simpsonite
January 18 2013, 03:02PM
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1) Minn 2) LAK 3) StL 4) Chi 5) Pho 6) Van 7) Edm 8) Det 9) Col 10) SJ 11) NASH 12) CAL 13) ANA 14) DAL 15) COL

That being said, I think 6 through 11 will be within maybe 3 points because of all the conference/divisional games so the Oil could drop to as low as 11 but let's keep them where they are for now. I really think Vancouver drops because Luongo is far more important than they think and by the time they figure that they will have given up too many points. Also tough to see 3 teams from the division in the mix which is why Oil could be on the outside looking in. BUT, want to give the Oil the benefit of the doubt that while they may still be a touch weak on the back end they will win a lot of 10-7 games...you know, be up and score some empty netters...I also predict a LOT of overtime games...

Cup final will have Minny vs Pitt and Crosby getting another...

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#52 B S
January 18 2013, 03:24PM
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A healthy Whitney, Hemsky, and a reasonable coach and the Oilers last season are a 11-12th place team, not 14th. This season, especially because it's shortened, the Oilers could be anywhere from 5th to 10th in the West.

1)LAK 2)VAN 3)CHI 4)STL 5)MIN 6)NASH 7)ANA 8)DET 9)SJS 10)EDM 11)PHO 12)COLO 13)DAL 14)CAL 15)COLU

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#53 Oiler Al
January 18 2013, 03:25PM
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1. LA 2. St Louis 3. Vanc. 4.Chicago 5.SanJose 6.Minny 7. Detroit 8.EDMONTON 9.Colorado 10.Nashville 11.Phionex 12. Anahiem 13. Dallas 14. Calgary 15. Columbus

Oilers get in only if they play 200 ft of the ice every single night. Run and Gun is fine, but if the entire team dose not play defensive hockey they will not make the playoffs, if they do, they could even do better than 8. spot.

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#54 Clyde Frog
January 18 2013, 03:28PM
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The only challenge I see is how many OTW v OTL we can stack up...

With Minnesota and Vancouver in our division it will be very difficult for all 3 teams to make it... Unless we are all adept ending regulation in a tie with each other.

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#55 Walter Sobchak
January 18 2013, 04:08PM
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1) STL

2) VAN

3) L.A

4) MIN

5) CHI

6) SJS

7) DET

8) NSH

9) PHX

10) DAL

11) EDM

12) COL

13) CGY

14) ANA

15) CBJ

MIN will have more points then L.A , I think DET, NSH and PHX are interchangeable here and I also think EDM DAL and COL are interchangeable, also a possibility of being in a lottery position.

I also think CBJ, ANA and CGY will be 30-29-28 in the NHL.

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#56 Old Soldier
January 18 2013, 04:16PM
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1. St. Louis Solid lineup and Hitchcock is a difference maker. Detroit, Nashville and possibly Chicago take a step back and allows Blues to pick up points within the division

2. Los Angeles, No hangover this time around and if Bernier can play at the same level as Quick, there should be no reason to walk away with division.

3. Edmonton, I know, it sounds like a homer pick, but with their injuries, Luongo fiasco, and just their body language, something tells me this is the year Vancouver falls on its face, and if the kids hit the ground running, in a short season, they can take the division.

4. Phoenix, every year they exceed expectations, and their lineup is solid up and down the charts, and they are the exact kind of team to take a short season and dominate.

5. Chicago, same old same old

6. Nashville, this team just seems to find a way to compete and I dont think the loss of Suter is as big a deal as many do.

7. San Jose, this team just reminds me of a more talented Flames team, slow and pondering and I can see them have a very slow start to the season.

8. Vancouver, I see more injuries, I see more drama, and I see a lot of frustration throughout the team, enough that even making the playoffs might be generous.

9. Minnesota, I actually think the influx of younger players more than the two big signings will change the atmosphere in Minny.

10. Detroit, Will be neck and neck with Minny and San Jose for the last spot, slow ponderous defence will hurt talented forwards.

11. Dallas, off season moves arent enough, and if Benn signing drags on, where does the offense come from

12. Colorado, this will be a streak team, but overall I think they will fall short, but they are moving in the right direction.

13. Anaheim, trying to get two of the big three signed is going to be a distraction, especially if they dont want to be. Teemu will be solid but the defence is really suspect.

14. Columbus, makes a move. Young kids and solid middle 6 forwards makes them competitive and moving up, slightly

15. Calgary, you can only ride Kipper so long, and the team is perfectly built to self-destruct. Absolutely no stability down the middle, and a questionable top 6. The biggest benefit for flames fans is hopefully management will recognise the teams downfall and take the opportunity to move aging stars for picks as they will be guaranteed at least one lottery pick.

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#57 Talbot17
January 18 2013, 04:20PM
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West - 1. St Louis 2. LA Kings 3. Vancouver 4. Chicago 5. Minnesota 6. Nashville 7. Colorado 8. Edmonton

Fast start and surprise play by Yakupov get the Oil in the playoffs

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#58 db7db7db7
January 18 2013, 05:03PM
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Mikey wrote:

Easy. DET - Bertuzzi, Helm, Cleary

Really! Helm:68GP 26P Bertuzzi:71GP 38P Cleary:75GP 33P

Smyth:82GP 46P Horcoff:81GP 34P Jones:79GP 33P

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#59 db7db7db7
January 18 2013, 05:13PM
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I think oil will blowout a few teams at the beginning of the season.

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#60 rob
January 18 2013, 05:19PM
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Phixieus666 wrote:

Hall can lay some guys out as well. And Harti should make a difference

I hope your right,I really think the progress of hall,ebs,rnh the health of whitney and hemsky,plus the addition of yaks and schultz(and n.schultz playing a full year)will move this team up tonns,I cant think of another team stacked like oilers,just wish we had some grit,but hall can play tough,harti should help just hope eager gets a fire lit under him and fistric plays like he did in dallas,because any game the oilers can open up and run and gun they will win(easily)thhey need help playing against the tougher teams to allow there style to prevail

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#61 Talbot17
January 18 2013, 05:24PM
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All i want to see is a couple Pete weber - like celebrations from Yakupov this year

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQuXWSItmZM

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#62 CDean
January 18 2013, 05:45PM
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1. St. Louis 2. Los Angeles 3. Vancouver 4. Detroit 5. Chicago 6. San Jose 7. Phoenix 8. EDMONTON

9. Nashville 10. Colorado 11. Calgary 12. Dallas 13. Minnesota 14. Anaheim 15. Columbus

I have Edmonton increasing in Goals For and staying the same for Goals Against. I looked at who will fall and who will improve this year. St. Louis, Los Angeles and Edmonton will all improve, Vancouver, Phoenix, Nashville, Calgary and Dallas will all fall and the rest will stay relatively the same. Edmonton only has to have a win ratio of 50% (24 wins) and about 6 tie games to be able to get to this position.

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#63 Mark-LW
January 18 2013, 05:53PM
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1. Oilers
2. Kings
3. Hawks
4. Blues
5. Canucks
6. Phoenix
7. Nashville
8. Detroit

9. Dallas
10. Colorado
11. San Jose
12. Minnesota
13. Anaheim
14. Calgary
15. Columbus

You can take that to the bank.. The blood bank.

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#64 DSF
January 18 2013, 05:55PM
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db7db7db7 wrote:

Hmmmm. Name one team with a better 3rd line. Horcoff, Smyth, Harti/PRV. Difference this year, team is 100% healthy. This team has wayyyyy more depth than the 2006 cup final team.

Only ONE team?

How about LAK?

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#65 Mikey
January 18 2013, 05:56PM
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db7db7db7 wrote:

Really! Helm:68GP 26P Bertuzzi:71GP 38P Cleary:75GP 33P

Smyth:82GP 46P Horcoff:81GP 34P Jones:79GP 33P

Time on Ice and +/-

Helm- 14:31 +23, Bert 15:33 +5, Cleary- 15:59 +2

Smyth- 19:05 -5, Horc- 19:35 -23, Jones- 15:26 -7

Really.

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#66 David
January 18 2013, 06:00PM
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If the oilers stay very healthy: 3rd If injuries plague: 10th Minnesota: definately no better than 7th. I'll say 9th. St.Louis: 1st Rangers beat the Blues in the Final.

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#67 tom.MTL
January 18 2013, 06:12PM
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@Mark-LW

How did you photoshop your avatar's head so awkwardly onto it's body?? It makes me feel weird.

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#68 jonny94
January 18 2013, 06:40PM
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1) St. Louis 2) LAK 3) Vancouver 4) Minnesota 5) Detroit 6) Phoenix 7) Chicago 8) Edmonton

9) Nashville 10) Dallas 11) San Jose 12) Colorado 13) Anaheim 14) Colombus 15) Calgary

Count it! Looking forward to the final results to see who came the closest

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#69 Stack Pad Save
January 18 2013, 06:48PM
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1) St. Louis 2) LA 3) Vancouver (not in points but because they are on top of the Northwest division) 4) Chicago 5) San Jose 6) Edmonton 7) Nashville 8) Minnesota

9) Phoenix 10) Detroit 11) Dallas 12) Colorado 13) Anaheim 14) Calgary 15) Columbus

Stanley Cup will go to Pittsburgh, who will beat Chicago in the finals

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#70 Spydyr
January 18 2013, 07:01PM
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f they want to make the playoffs they better start hot. 8-2 or 7-3 at worst.

It still will be 50/50 on making the big party.Goaltending and a questionable defence.along with not much grit in the top 6 all hurt.

They were the easiest team in the league to play against last year.Only made one change to address that.Not near enough.

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#71 DSF
January 18 2013, 07:37PM
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Spydyr wrote:

f they want to make the playoffs they better start hot. 8-2 or 7-3 at worst.

It still will be 50/50 on making the big party.Goaltending and a questionable defence.along with not much grit in the top 6 all hurt.

They were the easiest team in the league to play against last year.Only made one change to address that.Not near enough.

First 10:

VCR

SJS

LAK

CAL

COL

PHX

SJS

COL

VCR

DAL

They'd better be able to beat Colorado and Dallas.

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#72 Spydyr
January 18 2013, 07:52PM
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DSF wrote:

First 10:

VCR

SJS

LAK

CAL

COL

PHX

SJS

COL

VCR

DAL

They'd better be able to beat Colorado and Dallas.

Dallas could go either way this year.

Colorado is a young team too.Who knows.

That is why I said the need the fast start to have any chance.

Throw injuries to any team into the mix and there will be a large amount of them this year.The shortened season is going to make it very close for the last spot.Could be 5-6 teams within 5 points either way at the end of the season.

The huge road trip for the Brier will make or break the year for the Oil.

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#73 TrueOil
January 18 2013, 07:55PM
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1)STL- Strong deep well rounded team. Rookie Tarasenko will provide extra offense. Pet/sha Top D pair in nhl. 2)MIN- Last year they were at the top of the West for some time and now they have added; Suter, Parise, and young tallent.

3)LA- It will hurt not to have Kopitar for start, but they have lots of guys that can carry the team.

4)Chi- Brings much of the same team as last year.

5)Van- With kesler and booth out they have some serious conserns upfront, especially if raymond struggles again.

6)Nsh- In shortend season they will be able to use their size and grit to win close defensive games.

7)EDM- With the oilers boasting a stronger/deeper D core and my belief that dubby could be a starter. Oil PP/top 6 will win them enough games to crack playoffs!

8)DET- They will feel the lose of Hall of Fame defense man Lidstrom but will be able to do what mo-town does, make playoffs.

9)PHX- Will be rigt in the mix of things, but I doubt Smith will be able to repeat last seasons goaltending.

10)SJS- The window is finally closing on sharks chances. However this could be the one pick that I does a 360 and ends up in top 4, but I just see them stumbling out through season.

11)Dal- Made some offseason moves, but dont see them having what it takes to make playoff but 11-7 will be no more then 4 or 5 points apart.

12)ANA- Could see some HUGE trades coming out of ANA at deadline with Getzlaf and Perry being UFAs in offseason.

13)COL- Have a feeling O'reily might not be here for start of season. Col will have another tough season but will be climbing back into playoffs soon.

14)CAL- Let the rebuild begin. The flames are about to start down a long dark road.

15)COL- Added some nice peices in Nash trade but will be last again. We all know how that feels.

Its tough for 3 teams in the same divsion to make playoffs but with CAL and COL being 13/14 I think it is completely believable that all three, VAN/MIN/EDM will make playoffs.

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#74 Mark-LW
January 18 2013, 07:56PM
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tom.MTL wrote:

How did you photoshop your avatar's head so awkwardly onto it's body?? It makes me feel weird.

His goofy face makes anything possible

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#75 Johe
January 18 2013, 08:32PM
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@DSF

Well they play Vancouver twice. So that's two wins right there. :)

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#76 DSF
January 18 2013, 08:55PM
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Johe wrote:

Well they play Vancouver twice. So that's two wins right there. :)

Recent history would seem to indicate there is a much higher chance that those are two losses.

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#77 Clyde Frog
January 18 2013, 09:14PM
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DSF wrote:

Recent history would seem to indicate there is a much higher chance that those are two losses.

Yeah, then they "bolstered" their defense with Vandemeer AND Barker....

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#78 Johe
January 18 2013, 09:28PM
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Clyde Frog wrote:

Yeah, then they "bolstered" their defense with Vandemeer AND Barker....

And they're starting the year with 12 forwards and 9D. Good forward depth out there, eh?

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#79 EBERLEismyHERO
January 18 2013, 09:30PM
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1. St.louis - a full year with hitch wins them the presidents trophy 2. Edmonton - Dubbie will prove he is a top 10 goalie in the league 3. San Jose - Still have too many pieces 4. LA - Have a slow start but come roaring back 5. Vancouver - Forward depth will hurt them this year 6. Chicago - Goaltending is the big ? 7. Detroit - Still a great team but Lindstrom will be missed 8. Dallas - Lehtty stands strong and Dallas one of the best defensive this year 9. Anaheim - Getzlaf and Perry on contract years but still not enough 10. Calgary - Tucker out down the stretch and just miss 11. Minnesota - Behind Suter defence is weak 12. Nashville - Rinne can't play d and score goals too bad for the preds 13. Phoenix - They are the coyotes enough said 14. Columbus - Will slowly start to improve 15. Colorado - Not having O'Reilly kills this team

That's the way I see it, so as Van Wilder would say "write this down"

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#80 DSF
January 18 2013, 10:05PM
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Clyde Frog wrote:

Yeah, then they "bolstered" their defense with Vandemeer AND Barker....

AND Jason Garrison.

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#81 DSF
January 18 2013, 10:06PM
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Johe wrote:

And they're starting the year with 12 forwards and 9D. Good forward depth out there, eh?

Vandermeer actually played more games at forward last season in San Jose than he did on defense.

Fancy that.

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#82 Johe
January 18 2013, 10:15PM
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@DSF

Yeah, getting d-men to play as forwards is the solution. That's what smart GMs do.

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#83 DSF
January 18 2013, 10:31PM
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Johe wrote:

Yeah, getting d-men to play as forwards is the solution. That's what smart GMs do.

You mean like Smid....and Kevin Lowe?

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#84 Clyde Frog
January 18 2013, 10:36PM
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DSF wrote:

Vandermeer actually played more games at forward last season in San Jose than he did on defense.

Fancy that.

Please do go on, tell us more how the Oiler's sloppy seconds make the Canuck's better....

This is golden!

I also love how you forget to mention that this "majority" of games as a forward came from a pool 25 big... I guess that means he will be well rested lol.

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#85 Johe
January 18 2013, 10:38PM
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@DSF

So you admit Lowe is up there with Gillis? Well, they do have the same number of Cup appearances since the lockout. So I guess you're right.

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#86 DSF
January 18 2013, 11:32PM
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Johe wrote:

So you admit Lowe is up there with Gillis? Well, they do have the same number of Cup appearances since the lockout. So I guess you're right.

You might want to check points since the lockout before making that determination.

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#87 DSF
January 18 2013, 11:33PM
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Clyde Frog wrote:

Please do go on, tell us more how the Oiler's sloppy seconds make the Canuck's better....

This is golden!

I also love how you forget to mention that this "majority" of games as a forward came from a pool 25 big... I guess that means he will be well rested lol.

You realize that Tambellini is the greatest of the sloppy seconds, right?

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#88 SLAM
January 18 2013, 11:43PM
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@DSF

Gillis of the sloppy thirds?

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#89 David S
January 18 2013, 11:47PM
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Willis and Strudwick - YOU"RE DEAD TO ME!

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#90 Time Travelling Sean
January 18 2013, 11:53PM
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What has Gillis done? What new players has he acquired since he has been there? Kassian? At the subtraction of Hodgson, and Garrison, who may or may not have SE syndrome like Kovie/Hossa/Bouwmeester.

He inherited a very successful team and hasn't won a cup yet and got kicked out of the quarter-finals last year.

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#91 Johe
January 18 2013, 11:53PM
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DSF wrote:

You might want to check points since the lockout before making that determination.

Hey! I heard this good joke. The Canucks are a lot like a training bra. Lots of support. No cups. Ba dum bum chhh!!!

I could get used to this trolling the troll stuff. ;)

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#92 DSF
January 19 2013, 12:15AM
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Time Travelling Sean wrote:

What has Gillis done? What new players has he acquired since he has been there? Kassian? At the subtraction of Hodgson, and Garrison, who may or may not have SE syndrome like Kovie/Hossa/Bouwmeester.

He inherited a very successful team and hasn't won a cup yet and got kicked out of the quarter-finals last year.

Phhhttt...

Booth

Hamhuis

Garrison

Tanev

Higgins

Malhotra

Weise

Kassian

He's finished in the playoffs every season, won the President's Trophy twice and gone to the SC finals.

Tambellini?

30th, 30th, 29th.

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#93 Mark-LW
January 19 2013, 01:49AM
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DSF wrote:

Phhhttt...

Booth

Hamhuis

Garrison

Tanev

Higgins

Malhotra

Weise

Kassian

He's finished in the playoffs every season, won the President's Trophy twice and gone to the SC finals.

Tambellini?

30th, 30th, 29th.

You are an absolute idiot.

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#94 Puritania
January 19 2013, 02:32AM
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"Since the D pairings continue to be consistent, it seems as though Mark Fistric will sit out on Sunday vs. Vancouver. Corey Potter appears to have won the sixth spot (for now) and will likely be paired with Ryan Whitney."

http://oilers.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=651099&navid=DL|EDM|home

So disappointing. I wonder how long Potter is going to cost this team before Fistric takes his place full time like he should be doing.

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#95 tom.MTL
January 19 2013, 07:23AM
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DSF is flailing like mad. Haha. It's a beautiful thing. his/her posts have gone from annoying to slightly refreshing to downright laughable. Keep posting, DSF. They say the Endorphins released when laughing is extremely healthy.

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#96 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
January 19 2013, 09:44AM
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DSF wrote:

Phhhttt...

Booth

Hamhuis

Garrison

Tanev

Higgins

Malhotra

Weise

Kassian

He's finished in the playoffs every season, won the President's Trophy twice and gone to the SC finals.

Tambellini?

30th, 30th, 29th.

thats true. the canucks should hang another regular season banner up in the rafters with all the rest. it is an excellent reminder of their yearly bed shatting that has resulted in 0 cups.

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#97 Clyde Frog
January 19 2013, 10:00AM
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@DSF

Lol, tell us more about how these moves are amazing for the Canuck's this year!

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#98 googlist
January 19 2013, 10:15AM
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Ill throw my 2 cents in here too

1) DAL - Jagr and Whitney brings a rally the young group to surprise the West 2) VAN - The sisters and Schneider carry this team

3) CHI - Kane and Toews become the Dynamic Duo they were in their cup run

4) LAK - Keeping the core together after winning the cup was a good move

5) MIN - Parise and Suter turn this team into a cup contender

6) EDM - The young guns finally take the next step and Dubey is the man

7) NSH - Barry Trotz reaches into his bag of coaching tricks and pulls out another playoff spot

8) DET - Lidstrom and Holmstrom and direly missed

9) COL - The young Avs are in it till the last game

10) ANA - Getlaf has a career year but misses the playoffs by a single point

11) SJS - A run of injuries hits the sharks hard

12) STL - Halak and Elliot cannot find the magic this year

13) PHX - Losing Whitney really hurt

14) CBJ - Slightly improved from last year, but not by much

15) CAL - They finally give it up. Kipper and Iggy are both dealt at the deadline to cup contenders

DAL vs DET - DET in 6 - Experience wins the day VAN vs NSH - NSH in 7 - Scneider cannot beat Rinne CHI vs EDM - EDM in 6 - Everyone is shocked LAK vs MIN - LAK in 5 - Experience beats the upstart Wild

LAK vs DET - LAK in 7 - The loss of Lidstrom is too much for this old Wings team NSH vs EDM - NSH in 6 - Barry Trotz's Defence-first style playoff hockey puts the young guns to sleep. Everyone in EDM celebrates the dark days of the Oilers are over

LAK vs NSH - LAK in 5 - The Oilers tired out the Preds with the run and gun play. LAK to face NYR for the cup

NYR in 5 - To solid a lineup for LA to handle

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#99 tileguy
January 19 2013, 11:12AM
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Hall gets hurt so they sign Omark to a contract who proceeds to light it up. Oilers finish 5TH.

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#100 Blake Havard
January 19 2013, 07:46PM
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@DSF

How can you judge Tambelini during the early part of a franchise rebuild? I am glad we got those picks and gave the youngsters an opportunity to play.

The Canucks are a different model and have proven to be a very good hockey team.

Success is not a given but I like that the Oilers are building a young entertaining hockey team. Not all franchises would be able to do this kind of rebuild.

I hope the young defence prospects can develop and shore up the roster in the upcoming years like Vancouver's present line up.

Will be a fun game in Vancouver tomorrow. Looking forward to it!

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