WARRIOR SHAWN

Lowetide
February 03 2013 10:59AM

The center position will be front and cen, well front page if Shawn Horcoff is out for any length of time. The Nuge (how in hell did he miss that gaping net?) and Sam Gagner (pretty good season so far for a guy no one thinks is a 2line C) are taking care of the offensive business, but with Horcoff out who helps Eric Belanger (if he can walk today) with the heavy lifting?

All graphs and stats below are courtesy Gabriel Desjardins and his dynamic behind the net site. Amazing.

THE ZONE STARTS

  1. Anton Lander 60% offensive zone start
  2. RNH 53.7% "       "       "
  3. Sam Gagner 52.5% "   "    "
  4. Shawn Horcoff 39.1% "   "   "
  5. Eric Belanger 36.1% "    "      "

Ralph Krueger is giving the tough starts at center to Eric Belanger and Shawn Horcoff, and the offensive zone start push to RNH and Sam Gagner. I think we can place this under "duh" strategy, as the Oilers are set up perfectly to give the younger players the push and the older men the hard starts from scrimmage. I don't know why Petrell shows up here but suspect Shawn Horcov has something to do with it.

If Horcoff and or Belanger are gone for any length of time, the Oilers need to be bringing in veteran players. Gagner and the Nuge may one day do the heavy lifting, but this team is set up for those two to score touchdowns. Steve Tambellini might look to Jason Arnott or to the trades that may be available, but there is no "in house" replacement for Horcoff or Belanger.

5X5 SCORING

  1. Sam Gagner 2.50/60
  2. RNH 0.98/60

The Oilers haven't gotten much 5x5 scoring from their 3rd and 4th lines, so Horcoff and Belanger having zero's in this category shouldn't come as a surprise. It does tell us that the guy replacing Horcoff and or Belanger won't have to bring a lot of offense to the parade--if he does, that's a bonus. What he really needs to be though, is low event in his own end.

CORSI REL

Corisl Rel (this is taken from Dudes on Hockey) is "A way to compare players that neutralizes team effects, Corsi Rel is a player’s Corsi when they are on the ice versus when they are off.  If a player has a Corsi/60 of 5.0 (meaning the team directs 5 more shots towards the opposing net than they surrender when the player is on the ice) but a Corsi/60 of 6.0 when the player is sitting on the bench, the player’s Corsi Rel is -1.0.  Corsi Rel is always per 60 minutes of ice time."

  1. RNH 25.4
  2. Shawn Horcoff -0.5
  3. Anton Lander -3.5
  4. Sam Gagner -7.8
  5. Eric Belanger -21.7

Gagner's Corsi Rel is heading in a good direction after a tough start and of course that line has a rookie so there's going to be some struggles this season. Nuge is on the Hall line and that's going to push the river (although Nuge had a tough time by my eye yesterday), and Horcoff is just fine. Belanger on the fourth has been a struggle but again he's been with young players often, and his kids weren't taken #1 overall.

QUAL COMP

It is early for quality of competition numbers, but there is some insight they can offer about how RK is running his bench. Toughest to easiest:

  1. Anton Lander .595
  2. Shawn Horcoff .382
  3. Eric Belanger .174
  4. RNH .152
  5. Sam Gagner -.168

Lander's number is from just a couple of games, and the rest of the numbers are clustered together. I think this tells us that Krueger's priorities lie away from line matching at this point in the season. He's trying to get his offensive players into offensive situations and to get them on the ice as often as possible, and one of the results is a fairly even qual comp number for the four main centermen.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

If Horcoff is injured, the Oilers are going to need a quality veteran to replace him if they plan on getting anywhere this season. They might be able to use Anton Lander--a pretty fair penalty-killer already--in the Belanger role and elevate Belanger to Horcoff's job in the short term, but if they're serious about the second season the Oilers will need to make a move.

Horcoff is not on the IR, and knowing his history he'll drag his ass onto the ice tomorrow night against the Canucks.

Just in time for the Rexall crowd to shower him with boos.

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Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on Team 1260.
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#51 Rama Lama
February 03 2013, 02:02PM
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Old Retired Guy wrote:

Pajama Lama, You seemed so angry last year that I had to ask you if "Tambellini was dating your mom or something"....

Are your telling me this year that Belanger and Horcoff are dating your sister????

Thank god that our family outlawed dating "has beens " so I don't have to worry about that.

I like Belanger, I would like him to play where he belongs.......in the ECHL on the third line.

We need a supporting cast for our youngsters, and the sooner we stop pretending that guys like Belenger and Horcoff are the answer, the sooner we can make some changes.......real changes.

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#52 Old Retired Guy
February 03 2013, 02:03PM
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David S wrote:

Scoring goals has been left entirely to the top two lines. Hemsky withstanding, that's alot of pressure for some pretty young guys. My guess is Hall, Eberle and NUUUUUUUGE are feeling the heat every time the puck gets on their stick.

Our biggest problem right now is total lack of secondary scoring and Horcoff has to be part of the solution. Something tells me Krueger is checking up on Ryan Jones every day to see when he'll be back. A line of Jones, Horcoff and Smyth might be about the best we could put together, but at least they have some scoring punch.

And I'll be the guy to say it. Ryan Whitney is starting to cost us games.

Interesting post Dave.

It gets me thinking that there are a few choices that a coach (or a fan) need to make that seem mutually exclusive.

1) Do you want (like we have today) TWO top scoring lines....with all your talent on those two lines (making lines 3 and 4 grinders and penalty killers)

2) Do you want a balanced attack with your offensive talent spread accross at least 3 lines.

and

3) Do you want to create the maximum amount of chemistry by sticking with your line combonations, or conversely,

4) do you want to create the maximum amount of flexibility be constantly juggling your line cominations ( ex// have have two player tandems Nuge/Eberle, Hall Hemsky, Horcoff/Smyth, with interchangeable third pieces)

Right now Krueger is going with choice 1 and 4.

What's would your choice be? Personally I like 2 and 4.

With 1 and 3 your get more PP point production because your first two lines can actually form your 2 powerplay units......with 2 an 4 you probably get more 5x5 scoring.....

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#53 Old Retired Guy
February 03 2013, 02:04PM
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Should have read "Krueger is currently choosing 1 and 3"

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#54 Old Retired Guy
February 03 2013, 02:08PM
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Rama Lama wrote:

Thank god that our family outlawed dating "has beens " so I don't have to worry about that.

I like Belanger, I would like him to play where he belongs.......in the ECHL on the third line.

We need a supporting cast for our youngsters, and the sooner we stop pretending that guys like Belenger and Horcoff are the answer, the sooner we can make some changes.......real changes.

Rama,

Your reply showed resolve and retraint....I respect that....

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#55 Old Retired Guy
February 03 2013, 02:09PM
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resolve, restraint, (and humor)....I respect that...

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#56 Old Retired Guy
February 03 2013, 02:15PM
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David S wrote:

Aaaand for all you guys out there slamming Gagner for his poor FO percentages. He took 13 FO's last game, winning 4 for about 30%. He wins two more - TWO MORE draws and he's "respectable" for the night at about 47%. Two lost draws aren't why this team is underperforming. FO percentages are one of the most over-emphasized stats in hockey.

Not dissing Gagner....but I do recall reading somehwere along the way that there is a significant/strong coorelation between faces won in the offensive zone and goals scored....and cooresponingly...faceoffs won in the defensive zone and goals scored gainst.....

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#57 Old Retired Guy
February 03 2013, 02:26PM
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Oiler Al wrote:

" Read my lips", Arnott failed his medical with the Rangers. We already have a one legged defense man on the roster.We keep bringing in other teams "hurts". Dithers should have grabbed Gomez ,for short term and on the cheap. I know it might be prudent to wait till trade deadline,for a better catch, and to see where the Oilers are at that point, but picking up Gomez was a no risk deal.

Agree with you (and others) that grabbing the Gomezes and Reddens of the world would probably have made it easier to acheive our goal of making the playoffs this year.....which in turn would have given all the young guns invaluable training and maturity.

I can only guess that Oilers management are concerned about a few different things....What do non-leaders like Gomez and Redden introduce into the locker room.....and how much does having Gomez and Redden and Smyth and Petrel and Hordichek and Jones and Horcoff and, and, and,.....cut into the playing/development time of the younger talent that you want to develop.

Looks like maintaining a LEADERSHIP first and youth development won out over the shorter term approach.....I would be hard pressed to disagree with you or them...

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#58 Rama Lama
February 03 2013, 02:33PM
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Shane wrote:

Belanger has been playing the best players(and killing their powerplays)in the league for 10+ years all while maintaining around a 55% FO(IMO the perfect 4line C) and you want to replace him with a 21 year old with 58 GPs in the show who's playing on a third line in the AHL?

Your one of these ELPH guys aren't you?

Granted he is good in the face-offs, I still think if we are going with a youth movement........let the young player gain some NHL experience. The upside to this out weighs what Belenger brings.

Better Anton Lander learning in the NHL than Belanger winning the face-off.

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#59 @Oilanderp
February 03 2013, 02:34PM
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Once upon a time I would have commented on this article. Now, in my old age, I realize it is pointless. :) Thanks for the reading anyway, LT.

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#60 Old Retired Guy
February 03 2013, 02:34PM
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Old Retired Guy wrote:

Interesting post Dave.

It gets me thinking that there are a few choices that a coach (or a fan) need to make that seem mutually exclusive.

1) Do you want (like we have today) TWO top scoring lines....with all your talent on those two lines (making lines 3 and 4 grinders and penalty killers)

2) Do you want a balanced attack with your offensive talent spread accross at least 3 lines.

and

3) Do you want to create the maximum amount of chemistry by sticking with your line combonations, or conversely,

4) do you want to create the maximum amount of flexibility be constantly juggling your line cominations ( ex// have have two player tandems Nuge/Eberle, Hall Hemsky, Horcoff/Smyth, with interchangeable third pieces)

Right now Krueger is going with choice 1 and 4.

What's would your choice be? Personally I like 2 and 4.

With 1 and 3 your get more PP point production because your first two lines can actually form your 2 powerplay units......with 2 an 4 you probably get more 5x5 scoring.....

You know your getting old ( and thus boring) when you start replying to your own posts...

Thinking it over, Krueger's choice of 1 and 3 is probably a better thing for a young team....it builds familiarity and confidence...

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#61 David S
February 03 2013, 02:37PM
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Old Retired Guy wrote:

Interesting post Dave.

It gets me thinking that there are a few choices that a coach (or a fan) need to make that seem mutually exclusive.

1) Do you want (like we have today) TWO top scoring lines....with all your talent on those two lines (making lines 3 and 4 grinders and penalty killers)

2) Do you want a balanced attack with your offensive talent spread accross at least 3 lines.

and

3) Do you want to create the maximum amount of chemistry by sticking with your line combonations, or conversely,

4) do you want to create the maximum amount of flexibility be constantly juggling your line cominations ( ex// have have two player tandems Nuge/Eberle, Hall Hemsky, Horcoff/Smyth, with interchangeable third pieces)

Right now Krueger is going with choice 1 and 4.

What's would your choice be? Personally I like 2 and 4.

With 1 and 3 your get more PP point production because your first two lines can actually form your 2 powerplay units......with 2 an 4 you probably get more 5x5 scoring.....

Hmmm...

I think the problem is twofold.

a) We're burning out our 3-4 lines by having to kill so many penalties. Maybe that's why we're starting to see some young guys take PK shifts.

b) Our 1-2 lines are really good hockey players. Our 3-4 lines are a magnitude less. Mixing up the lines might dilute the only scoring strength we have. What we really need are better 3-4 line players, which might be possible if we didn't have Hordichuk and Ben Eager plugging up two (as it turns out) very valuable spots.

We're still too thin of a team to be able to withstand the loss of Horcoff and Jones. We get those two guys back and things will be better, if still not ideal. If we pick up two MORE quality 3-4 liners that'll make a quantum difference in the makeup of our ice hockey squad.

Lastly, Linus Omark. He's leading the Swiss elite league with 62 points in 43 games playing on Zug. Just sayin'.

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#62 Old Retired Guy
February 03 2013, 02:44PM
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@Oilanderp wrote:

Once upon a time I would have commented on this article. Now, in my old age, I realize it is pointless. :) Thanks for the reading anyway, LT.

Feeling a little Superior in our old age are we?? :)

I can tell your not OLD old.....If you were OLD old you'd have realized that EVERYTHING is pointless......and therefore.....you might as well comment.......

Ahhh Grasshopper......it is time for you to leave.......

This is where I would draw the infinity symbol and state that when you are OLD old, you discover that your journey has taken you back to the point where you started....

(This has been a public service message brought to you by Old Retired Guy.. warning against the prolonged use of Medicinal Marijuana)

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#63 Old Retired Guy
February 03 2013, 02:46PM
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OK. Thats it for me. My keyboard ran out of ink.

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#64 Old Retired Guy
February 03 2013, 03:00PM
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David S wrote:

Hmmm...

I think the problem is twofold.

a) We're burning out our 3-4 lines by having to kill so many penalties. Maybe that's why we're starting to see some young guys take PK shifts.

b) Our 1-2 lines are really good hockey players. Our 3-4 lines are a magnitude less. Mixing up the lines might dilute the only scoring strength we have. What we really need are better 3-4 line players, which might be possible if we didn't have Hordichuk and Ben Eager plugging up two (as it turns out) very valuable spots.

We're still too thin of a team to be able to withstand the loss of Horcoff and Jones. We get those two guys back and things will be better, if still not ideal. If we pick up two MORE quality 3-4 liners that'll make a quantum difference in the makeup of our ice hockey squad.

Lastly, Linus Omark. He's leading the Swiss elite league with 62 points in 43 games playing on Zug. Just sayin'.

Just got my prescription refilled.....

Your comment is making me think......Both you and Rama Lama make the point that we have a strong top 6 and now we need to work on a stronger bottom six......At face value how could anyone argue with that.....you are always looking to improve your weakest link(s).

The messy part is salary caps and contracts etc. Practically speaking, you need 8 bottom 6 guys in your organization that take up about $10 million or less total....and you don't get to cherry pick contracts....and ...as soon as one of those bottom 6 guys plays above expectations, he wants a raise or a trade....etc etc etc....

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#66 David S
February 03 2013, 03:07PM
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Old Retired Guy wrote:

Just got my prescription refilled.....

Your comment is making me think......Both you and Rama Lama make the point that we have a strong top 6 and now we need to work on a stronger bottom six......At face value how could anyone argue with that.....you are always looking to improve your weakest link(s).

The messy part is salary caps and contracts etc. Practically speaking, you need 8 bottom 6 guys in your organization that take up about $10 million or less total....and you don't get to cherry pick contracts....and ...as soon as one of those bottom 6 guys plays above expectations, he wants a raise or a trade....etc etc etc....

Ah yes. Well that's where a really good GM would come in han...

Nevermind.

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#67 DSF
February 03 2013, 03:10PM
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Lowetide wrote:

lol. My son told me today that soon there will be no keyboards on computers. What the hell?

Have you heard of that new fangled iPad thingy?

Apparently you can type on it just by touching a screen.

Imagine that?

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#69 Shane
February 03 2013, 03:24PM
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@Rama Lama

Rama you complained in your earlier post that we always finish last so therefore I assume you want to win in the now, so I would argue that Belanger gives us a better chance of winning(for this season at least) than Lander would..

Furthermore, I am not a fan of just giving someone a spot on the roster without them deserving it and Lander has done nothing to warrant a spot on any NHL roster to date.. I have hope for him, but he has to earn it

The AHL is a good league and a lot of players, especially bottom six players, hone their skills there..

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#70 Old Retired Guy
February 03 2013, 03:49PM
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Lowetide wrote:

lol. My son told me today that soon there will be no keyboards on computers. What the hell?

I saw on 60 minutes that they have computers now that are operated by your thoughts!!!

Lowtide....I would so look forward to your blogs/postings/articles....when you get one of those computers..... :) .......a seemingly endless stream of Scarlet Johanson pics.....then a pic of steak and a brew.....followed by more Johanson......perhaps a classic car.....more Johanson.....( and I'm not really sure we'd even see the car or the steak)...

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#71 Old Retired Guy
February 03 2013, 03:52PM
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Old Retired Guy wrote:

I saw on 60 minutes that they have computers now that are operated by your thoughts!!!

Lowtide....I would so look forward to your blogs/postings/articles....when you get one of those computers..... :) .......a seemingly endless stream of Scarlet Johanson pics.....then a pic of steak and a brew.....followed by more Johanson......perhaps a classic car.....more Johanson.....( and I'm not really sure we'd even see the car or the steak)...

and.....on the 60 minutes piece they had a monkey operate it.......So........you could even lend it to Jason Gregor if you wanted to.

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#72 Old Retired Guy
February 03 2013, 04:04PM
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Lowetide wrote:

God. I'd be divorced in 60 seconds. Keep THAT computer away from me! :-)

Roger THAT!!! Alpha Tango.

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#73 Jdrevenge@gmail.com
February 03 2013, 04:34PM
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Has anyone else noticed how horrible Belanger is when exiting the d-zone? The guy'sis a hiccup machine. I for one would be pretty happy with an arnott/horcoff bottom 2. Granted Horc isn't hurt.

Also... Any thought to Nuge playing hurt? He's missing the net all over the place lately.

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#75 dougtheslug
February 03 2013, 05:00PM
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Oiler Al wrote:

" Read my lips", Arnott failed his medical with the Rangers. We already have a one legged defense man on the roster.We keep bringing in other teams "hurts". Dithers should have grabbed Gomez ,for short term and on the cheap. I know it might be prudent to wait till trade deadline,for a better catch, and to see where the Oilers are at that point, but picking up Gomez was a no risk deal.

Sigh, if only GMing was that easy.Except you don't just "grab" a player, he has to agree to be grabbed, and Gomez, an American with few years left and a desire to play for a winner was not signing here even for a large overpay, which wasn't offered anyway. Free agent signings should be deliberate and strategic, a la J Schulz, and I don't see how Gomez fit in here, even if he chose Edmonton which he didn't and wouldn't have, ever.

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#77 Taylor Gang
February 03 2013, 05:14PM
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Is it out of the question to put Nuge on the second line? I love him but even the most diehard fan of him has to admit he is playing awful as of late. Maybe we should try Gagner in between the original wonder kids and wait for Nuge to pick his game up

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#78 michael
February 03 2013, 05:43PM
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Here I am on a sunday writing post on Oilers Nation when that Superbowl thing is on.SuperWhat? By the 4th quarter its a blow anyway for one team or another. Usually Super boring. Any ways. Lowetide I know we don't have any love or for that matter anything elso in ways of tender feelings for those folks south of us in that place where the GM's brain is eternally locked on to past Cup glory.But. Would not this be the year that you would want to tank this baby and take a shot at getting a top 5 pick. It shudders me to think that the Flames could have Nathan McKinnon along with Sven Bartschie moving forward. Holy brown bananas hat would be fun. With the ability to unload Bowmeesters contract via buyout. Iggy is a must for a team like Philly or the Pens. Kipper? Tanguay? Heck even Stajan could be bought out this summer. Calgary has a glorious opportunity to sink this season and look to to a better and brighter future led by NM or Droiun or ???. But knowing Feaster he still thinks the Flames are one man away from the cup. What a croc of bananas.

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#79 Mac962
February 03 2013, 06:30PM
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Come back soon Horc. We will fail without you. Not. You bring very little to this team to make a difference, sorry.

I dont wish any player any type of injury. But the only way i feel better is if you were a healthy scratch, and that time is closer than you think. I will take Arnott on 1.5 legs over you.

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#80 @Oilanderp
February 03 2013, 06:38PM
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*face starts to twitch in frustration*

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#81 Gret99zky
February 03 2013, 07:35PM
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God Bless Shawn Horcoff. And math that can dress a 3 as a 9.

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#82 TeddyTurnbuckle
February 03 2013, 07:46PM
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Up and down season so far. Don't mind the Nuge's play, has had lots of chances, better on face offs this year and has broken up a few 2 on 1's with a hard ass back check. Hall on the other hand drives me crazy with his turn overs. He has been good but he still manages to turn the puck over 4 times a game trying to force something that isn't there. Horcoff looks like he can't skate anymore but I guess he is worth his cap hit because he is over 50% in the dot (not). I agree with Lowetide that the team needs more veterans. We are calling up guys like Lander and Paajarvi who don't belong in the Nhl yet. Our top three lines are the biggest pussy's in the league. Is there anyone in the top three lines that can even bodycheck anyone? We have two more rookies in the line up this year and then when we call up players we surround them with ahl players. If the oilers are going to have 6 figure skaters in the top six then you better have some gorillas in the bottom six. Would love to have a guy like Raffi Torres on the team again. Why can't we have a couple more 1.5 million dollar gritty veterans on the team while Lander and Paajarvi play in the ahl?

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#83 michael
February 03 2013, 08:23PM
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Lowetide wrote:

Michael: Oilers can't tank this season, they just can't. This is the year to push and push hard.

I was referring to the Flames. Would you not think that this would serve the Flames organization better long-term. The Flames fans must be scratching their collective heads right now.

How does the draft work this year? Same as always or did they tweak it?

When is the trade deadline?

If your Tambo would you trade Hemsky to Washington for either Filip Forsberg or Kuznetzkov? The way Washington's offense looks right now a move seems imminent. Backstrom looks lost.Ovie is back to the one man show. Both players need help. I think the time is ripe to reap full value for Hemsky. The market is ripe right now to put a Top 6 forward on the market. Will Hemsky be here when the Oiler's are ready to make the next step? Strike now and we could see a player like Forsberg fall right into our lap. Washington's owner knows full well he can't have a team with Ovie on it "not" making the playoffs. He has worked to hard to bring the Capitals back from obscurity for that to happen. They have the assets for the trade to make it happen. Its whether both sides see the benefits of the trade short and longterm.

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#85 Michael
February 03 2013, 10:17PM
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Thanks. April 27th? Seems a little way off. But I think we'll see movement before then for alot of teams. especially those teams looking to make a run like TBay and Philly.

BTW. How bad is Detroit>They look beatable for the first time in years.

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#86 Bonvie
February 03 2013, 10:59PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

I got a lot of flack during the lockout for saying a few points I believed were key items for the Oilers.

In no particular order, I mentioned that I thought the Oilers were still a boarderline lottery team, that even though the addition of Yakupov and Schultz both payers are huge, it doesn't fix the whole problems.

I mentioned along with a few others that in hindsight, I thought the Oilers would have been better off taking Galchenyuk even though Yakupov is the better player( I am in awe of Yakupov).

They never addressed the Goaltending issues, one being nobody knew how Dubnyk would play, and Khabibulin's body and game is not reliable.

Well, now they have no tough minute centers, the Oilers are being outshot every game by a substantial margin and can't score 5x5.

They are absolutely counting on Dubnyk to save them game after game and without the timely goals from a rookie the Oilers would be sinking.

While a lot of people think that the 5x5 will even out, the same has to be expected of the goaltending.

DSF mentioned that prior to the season starting, if the Oilers were to lose Horcoff or RNH it would be a catastrophic for the Oilers.

The Oilers don't have Horcoff, Belanger and RNH isn't putting up numbers and without Dubnyk the Oilers would be right were the Flames are............again.

It seems a bit early to panic it was just one game with no offence. They probably score 5 goals the next game.

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#87 Walter Sobchak
February 03 2013, 11:39PM
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Bonvie wrote:

It seems a bit early to panic it was just one game with no offence. They probably score 5 goals the next game.

This is not panic, this is reality.

Every game has had limited offense, W 3-2. L 6-3 W 2-1 W 4-1 EN W 2-1 L 3-2 L 3-1

The Oilers have not scored more then 4 goals and that was into an empty net.

The goals for suggest they won't score 5 goals, how do you score more goals when your always coming from behind?

Being out-shot every game with the team healthy, what do you think happens without your two best defensive centers?

This could get bad.

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#88 hunkybill
February 04 2013, 07:21AM
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Lack of offense could start to hurt.

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#89 geoilersgist
February 04 2013, 09:19AM
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@Walter Sobchak

This is also really starting to concern me. I was thinking about this after the game against the Sharks. This team is supposed to have high end offensive output yet they are only scoring 2 maybe 3 goals a game. I like how the lines are playing but I think now that we are almost 10 games in maybe RK could switch those top two lines up to help jumpstart the offence. 5v5 scoring and the lack of shots are going to catch up to this team in a hurry.

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#90 Rob...
February 04 2013, 09:35AM
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Love Horcoff or Hate Him, it doesn't matter. Doan needs to be taken out the next time the Oilers play the Coyotes.

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#91 Rama Lama
February 04 2013, 10:03AM
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Hair bag wrote:

You're an idiot....look at Belanger's stats before he signed with the Oilers. He's a legitimate NHLer. As for ST, did he spurn you for an autograph - I would have no problem with your opinion if you backed it with some facts or logical thought but you just cast stones. You should try a little harder, an intelligent thought might come eventually...

Mr. Furbag.......at least I never call fellow bloggers idiots! As mom would say, takes one to know one.

Belanger is what we call a has been.......he tries as does Horcoff but accomplishes very little. Our bottom six needs work, and escapes criticism because the top six is doing their job. This will eventually cause us major problems. This problem did not just creep up........the writer , pundits, experts, have been talking about a supporting cast for the kids for the better part of three years!

It's guys like you that keep looking at the Oilers through rose coloured glasses. I think if and when we make the playoffs and the going gets rough ( very rough) we will all wish we had some big strong bottom six players that can actually play the game.

As for Tamby exactly what is his vision for the team and what has he done ( besides drafting first) to accomplish this?

Perhaps you can enlighten us with your wisdom?

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#92 Time Travelling Sean
February 04 2013, 10:13AM
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Our bottom six doesn't produce because it has no skill.

Horcoff and Smyth get all their offense from tip ins and rebounds. It is hard to score when all you do is cycle, grind, and don't get shots to the net.

I'm surprised Doan didn't get suspended though, a late, blindside hit that resulted in injury? And he didnt even have the puck.

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#93 Chet134
February 04 2013, 10:19AM
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I think everyone is getting excited for nothing. If the Oilers finish .500 and just out of the playoffs. That's an successful year. Remember they were 29th in the league last year. They brought back the exact team with the same issues with two highend rookies. I agree they have glaring holes in there line but just about every teams does. It's time for management to get off there hands and start doing there part cuz u have relied on drafting. At the end of the year or near the trade deadline, management will evaluate Gagner, Whitney, Hemsky and Dubnyks season then possibley make changes. Thats how tambo has worked the last four years.

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#94 DSF
February 04 2013, 10:33AM
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Chet134 wrote:

I think everyone is getting excited for nothing. If the Oilers finish .500 and just out of the playoffs. That's an successful year. Remember they were 29th in the league last year. They brought back the exact team with the same issues with two highend rookies. I agree they have glaring holes in there line but just about every teams does. It's time for management to get off there hands and start doing there part cuz u have relied on drafting. At the end of the year or near the trade deadline, management will evaluate Gagner, Whitney, Hemsky and Dubnyks season then possibley make changes. Thats how tambo has worked the last four years.

Finishing .500 and just out of the playoffs is NOT a successful year.

It's just a tragic indication of how low the fan expectations for the team have become.

Kevin Lowe has been piloting the ship for 12 years now and the Oilers have made the playoffs exactly 3 times.

Making the playoffs in the NHL is not all that difficult since nearly 2/3rds of the teams make it every season.

Missing out 7 years in a row would be a firing offense for every other team in the league.

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#95 Rama Lama
February 04 2013, 10:36AM
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DSF wrote:

Finishing .500 and just out of the playoffs is NOT a successful year.

It's just a tragic indication of how low the fan expectations for the team have become.

Kevin Lowe has been piloting the ship for 12 years now and the Oilers have made the playoffs exactly 3 times.

Making the playoffs in the NHL is not all that difficult since nearly 2/3rds of the teams make it every season.

Missing out 7 years in a row would be a firing offense for every other team in the league.

Amen Brother!

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#96 Old Retired Guy
February 04 2013, 10:36AM
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Perhpas it helps to look at things a different way.

Chances are that about 30% of this team will not be here when we challenge for the cup. Thats about 7 or 8 of the current active roster players.

Who will be gone? Who will take thier place? What will that team look like?

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#97 VK63
February 04 2013, 10:40AM
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Rob... wrote:

Love Horcoff or Hate Him, it doesn't matter. Doan needs to be taken out the next time the Oilers play the Coyotes.

A novel idea. too bad the rosters on both the ahl and nhl squads have about no one capable of performing said task unless peckham is back from the fat farm or Fistric happens to find him on the trolley tracks.

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#98 Old Retired Guy
February 04 2013, 10:42AM
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DSF wrote:

Finishing .500 and just out of the playoffs is NOT a successful year.

It's just a tragic indication of how low the fan expectations for the team have become.

Kevin Lowe has been piloting the ship for 12 years now and the Oilers have made the playoffs exactly 3 times.

Making the playoffs in the NHL is not all that difficult since nearly 2/3rds of the teams make it every season.

Missing out 7 years in a row would be a firing offense for every other team in the league.

I think your both right in parts of what you say.

Missing the playoffs is never considered a successful year. TRUE

Going from 29th place to making the playoffs the following year is highly improbable. TRUE

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#99 Chet134
February 04 2013, 10:43AM
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@DSF

Look at the stats of how many teams go from 29 place and make the playoffs the next year especially with two new rookies and the same team. I think ur emotions are getting the best of you. Keep drinking the coolaid boys.

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#100 Old Retired Guy
February 04 2013, 10:51AM
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Chet134 wrote:

Look at the stats of how many teams go from 29 place and make the playoffs the next year especially with two new rookies and the same team. I think ur emotions are getting the best of you. Keep drinking the coolaid boys.

Agree with the first sentence. As for the second sentence, 3 out 4 Oilers fans are prefer sipping their coolaid from the Stanley Cup.

Remind again how many Cups the Minnesota Wild have won in the illustrious history?

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