No Cigar: Eight Years Out

Robin Brownlee
September 28 2013 01:09PM

When I picked the Edmonton Oilers to make the playoffs last season I was playing a hunch despite plenty of evidence I'd be wrong. I was, of course, as the Oilers made it seven straight years out of the post-season.

Picking the Oilers to miss the playoffs in 2013-14 is no such matter. It is, despite my sense there has been more optimism about Edmonton's chances from pundits around the NHL, not to mention long-suffering fans in the City of Champions, going with the odds instead of against them.

No matter which way you lean, of course, it's all crystal ball stuff. Taking hope and want – two emotions that are the very essence of fandom – out of the equation as "objective observers" should, doesn't mean you'll be right, as I proved last season, when I mistakenly thought the Oilers might excel in a 48-game sprint instead of an 82-game marathon.

Do I think the Oilers will push the playoff pace this season after fading down the stretch last season? Yes. Do I think the Oilers, with a new head coach in Dallas Eakins and a roster that's seen significant turnover – for the better – are improved? Yes.

Do I see a playoff spot? No, for two reasons – a tough schedule and injuries, and how they'll intersect at the beginning of this season. This is a team that's been dealt some tough cards on both fronts. Close, but no cigar.

THE INJURIES

Despite a 5-2-1 pre-season, one which wrapped up with a 4-0 loss to the Dallas Stars in Oklahoma City Friday, Edmonton's much discussed lack of depth at centre, a black hole made darker by the ongoing recovery from shoulder surgery of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and the loss of Sam Gagner to a broken jaw, can't be overstated.

With RNH and Gagner out, Taylor Hall, making the switch from left wing as a fill-in, is the team's top center. Behind him, Mark Arcobello, Boyd Gordon and, it appears, Will Acton. Anybody who thinks that group is good enough (assuming GM Craig MacTavish doesn't bolster it), is leaning far too heavily on hope and want and ignoring the obvious.

While I think the Oilers have wisely been taking a pessimistic approach to the return of RNH, pegging it at the end of October, I suspect he'll be back closer to Oct. 1 than Nov. 1. I've said it before and I'm saying it again. Let's split it right down the middle and say he'll be back Oct. 15.

Even if that's the case, that'll put RNH out for the first seven games of the season. I don't think it's a stretch or looking for an unduly negative angle to suggest it could take him the rest of October, a total of 14 games, to get back into game shape and get his timing back.

Compound that with Gagner, the team's No. 2 centre, being out until the end of November, which translates to 27 games (plus additional time to knock off the rust), and I don't see Edmonton's paper-thin collection of men in the middle being nearly good enough against real NHL line-ups – something they saw little of during the pre-season.

THE SCHEDULE

Even if the Oilers had a full line-up that wasn't punched full of holes down the middle by injuries, the schedule-maker, as Jason Gregor has already pointed out, didn’t do them any favors.

The Oilers play at Rexall Place just six times in their first 19 games, a stretch that sees them make a six-game swing to the east in October and a four-game trip in November.

That's 13 of 19 games where opposing coaches get the last line change and the upper hand in match-ups up front and in defensive pairings against Hall, David Perron, Jordan Eberle and Nail Yakupov. Those are match-ups, it goes without saying, already made easier by the absence of RNH and Gagner.

Take a look at the schedule and tell me how many points you see the Oilers getting out of those first 19 games, even if Nugent-Hopkins gets back after, say, seven games. Do they get 10, 12, 15? More?

MAKE IT EIGHT

What I see is a team undermanned by injuries in concert with a very tough schedule having to play from back in a re-aligned Pacific Division pack from the end of November on. How far back? I don’t know, but the start the Oilers are facing takes away much of any margin for error they have.

I expect the line-up MacTavish has assembled to improve as the season wears on, even though there's questions about the bottom six forwards and the defense, which looks better and marginally deeper on paper, but has yet to prove it on the ice against real NHL line-ups.

That said, even if the Oilers can stay relatively healthy after they get RNH and Gagner back and after living out of a suitcase for most of those first 19 games, has this team improved enough to charge from behind and earn a playoff spot after folding with the money on the table last spring?

I don't see it.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#51 The Oilers Shot Clock
September 28 2013, 03:54PM
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I don't think MacT is done yet. How could he possibly be? The injuries were not his fault but we knew about RNH forever. I don't know....... he's done enough good things this summer for me to have a hard time believing he's not willing to just weather this out.

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#52 Robin Brownlee
September 28 2013, 04:40PM
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@Quicksilver ballet

MacIntyre and lack of grit throughout the top nine are two separate issues.

One player, no matter how tough, can't make up for a group of forwards that lacks a chip on its collective shoulder -- a willingness to battle for every puck, to be first into the corners etc etc. Teams can be gritty and tough with the gloves on. This one is not.

The need to employ a designated tough guy like MacIntyre is a sign you haven't built your roster the right way. It's a Plan B.

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#53 The Oilers Shot Clock
September 28 2013, 04:55PM
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@ David S

Kevin Lowe once called you a second tier fan. There is no public relations. Souray The Krueger firing.

This team isn't afraid to cut ties the hard way. Ryan Jones was a mistake plane and simple. There was no other motivation.

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#54 nunyour
September 28 2013, 05:24PM
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If u want grit in the top nine you will have to trade one of the kids for it.

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#55 Quicksilver ballet
September 28 2013, 05:24PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

MacIntyre and lack of grit throughout the top nine are two separate issues.

One player, no matter how tough, can't make up for a group of forwards that lacks a chip on its collective shoulder -- a willingness to battle for every puck, to be first into the corners etc etc. Teams can be gritty and tough with the gloves on. This one is not.

The need to employ a designated tough guy like MacIntyre is a sign you haven't built your roster the right way. It's a Plan B.

All good points by you.

That being said, the direction that's been chosen, is our only play putting methamphetamines in the Oiler Gatorade bottles?

Since there's no order or definite direction? In my youth when I was a street pharmacist, there really is a pill for every problem imaginable.

I kid, probably because we are so potentially screwed.

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#56 DSF
September 28 2013, 05:38PM
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pkam wrote:

I am aware of that.

Assume we are going to lose the majority of them, would you rather have 13 home games and 6 road games now so we will have more home games later?

It doesn't really matter when you lose games.

if you lose them, you lose them.

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#57 Spydyr
September 28 2013, 05:59PM
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nunyour wrote:

Yes,or ebs,or yak,it would be a tough pill to swallow,but I think it will have to be done sooner or later.But the return would be good also.

It is wayyyyyy to early to talk about trading Ebs or Yak.Perhaps when the team is closer to being a contender it might be time to trade for a missing piece. Now is not that time.

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#58 YFC Prez
September 28 2013, 07:01PM
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All I ever drink is Kool- Aid.

Hall looks way better than I expected at C. If he excels there this team could have the best 1-2 punch down the middle they have seen in a very long time once RNH returns. Move gags to the wing and they have a reliable "just in case" skilled C .

I doubt this season is as bad as the last 5 ,but I get the pessimism . Oilers are not looking at overwhelmingly stellar odds to see playoffs.

That being said. When the talk shifts to trading away Eberle or Yakupov for a top nine gritty forward, that is a major knee jerk reaction to a problem we don't know the full severity of yet. I would be more interested in watching the waiver wire the next couple of days now that teams are finalizing their rosters.

If the day ever comes when Eberle, Yakupov or any of the young stars are traded the oilers better be getting a stellar return.

For now I just really want to see what the oilers have. Pre-season doesn't always make for the most accurate predictions. I'm just not ready to write off the post season yet.

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#59 beloch
September 28 2013, 07:01PM
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Boyd Gordon is a decent shut-down player who can drive possession against tough competition. He performed well while playing some of the toughest minutes on the team last season in Phoenix. He will be a big help if he stays healthy. Acton and Arcobello, on the other hand, are career AHL'ers and will likely be eaten alive. They're of an age where you can't really expect them to take any significant steps forward either. It could happen, but it's improbable.

This Monday all manner of players are going to be hitting waivers as teams desperately try to get cap-compliant. The Oilers have $2M in cap-space. That's not very much, and arguably spending it all robs them of flexibility down the road. However, picking up just one more NHL replacement-level center could really help the team. Ideally, it should be somebody who can play on a quality fourth-line and move up when needed, as he will be at the start of the season. That should be doable for under $1M.

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#60 Spydyr
September 28 2013, 07:34PM
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BorjeSalming-IanTurnbull wrote:

My three questions entering the season

1. Can Ryan Smyth keep up with the play of the 2013 game? Playing him with two of the fastest Hall and Hemsky seems counterproductive.

2. Can Mr. Dubnyk steal 10 or so games for a young and fragile team going on the road for much of Oct. and Nov?

3. Why has the management of the Oilers refused to address the centerman and functional toughness in the bottom 6? Can't wait to see a tired Acton-Brown-Big Mac take on Thorton-Marleau-Pavelski

1)No 2)No 3)No answer to that.Shakes head in wonder as to why it has not been addressed.

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#61 Walter Sobchak
September 28 2013, 11:29PM
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Maverick007 wrote:

Its better to lose them in the beginning so you have time to make them up. If you can. At least theres a chance this way then the other way.

Not this year it's not, the beginning schedule might be the easiest, , there are no games in February, so the remainder have to made up in a condensed schedule both prior to and after. There are no easy games this year.

Not to sound like a downer here but next to a lock out shorten season this is about the worst year for the Oilers to have any injuries, the compressed schedule will only make it that much harder for the Oilers to compete.

Management should have figured that injuries during an Olympic year would be death, not having centers in place prior to camp is a Tambellini style fail.

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#62 Tokenhill
September 28 2013, 11:59PM
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Did anyone see Cogliano's sweet goal tonight?

Hey, you know what? We do need a center/winger...who can play....who has decent hands...who has speed...oh wait....yea about that...

well done tambo! Getting rid of useful players. Lets just hope that Cog does not come back and haunt us.

the hockey god always favours the team that gets rid of useful players for cute little magic beans in various flavours right? RIGHT???

I mean surely....the past 7....

*triple facepalm*

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#63 Spydyr
September 29 2013, 06:45AM
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They're $hittie wrote:

Or why didnt we just claim Luke Adam, A 6'2" Center who has actually done more than Colbourn at the NHL level. Either would have been smart.

Because Actons dad is the number 2. Might as well make him captain while your at it.

Nepotism on the Oilers? That can't be.

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#64 yawto
September 28 2013, 01:15PM
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How many days to the first. Need hockey. Good read RB.

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#65 The Oilers Shot Clock
September 28 2013, 01:47PM
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That home game on the 24th looks silly. Might as well be on the road.

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#66 EricOG
September 28 2013, 02:09PM
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Whoever made that schedule hates the Oilers. I'ts not just the away games. It's Ovechkin twice, Crosby and the Sedins.

Even with no injuries it's one heck of a bad way to start a season for any team. 6 wins will be a very big victory.

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#67 Justino
September 28 2013, 02:41PM
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I choose to be optimistic and say the Oilers will get 15-16 points in the first 19 games. We wont play ourselves into that deep of a hole and we'll be able to make a strong push when dec/jan comes around. Our kids are growing up and a rebound season from Eberle and a breakout season from Yakupov will help us keep afloat.

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#68 Bucknuck
September 28 2013, 04:09PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Oilers didn't play poorly last evening. They just decided to save all their goals and assists for the regular season.

Sobering article Brownlee. If you weren't the lead writer here on Oilersnation, you would probably be branded a troll like some regular folk posters are here on a daily basis. It's always refreshing to hear a realists opinion of what will/may unfold this coming season.

After seeing the holes throughout the lineup after MacTavishs bold summer, we can easily see a carbon copy of last season on the horizon. It could even get worse than 25th if injuries continue to mount. The cap has forced MacTavish to use AHL caliber players throughout his bottom 6 group of forwards. Death by papercut instore for this 2013-2014 season. A little unsettling to say the least for a non playoff team.

C'mon now there kids, hit your toy trash botton like you've never hit it before.

Quick, you are an enigma to me.

I thought for sure you were a troll about a year ago, but you keep saying smart things with enough regularity that I no longer hold hold that opinion. Pessimist and Lowe hater - definitely, troll... not so much. You also make me laugh once in while, which is always a good thing.

Now, to reply to your pessimistic view that the team will do worse than 25th. I do not believe that is true. When considering injuries I believe that the forward core is about the same as it was (better when RNH and Gagner return). Goaltending is about the same, and the D is much improved.

Ference > Whitney, and Schultz will be better because he's not a rookie, and Smid and Petry are better players than they showed last year. Belov and Larsen are better than our 6, 7 last year, and the callups are better if there are injuries. It can't be worse than last year... it just can't.*

*if it is you will find me sobbing in a corner somewhere during the playoffs.

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#69 David S
September 28 2013, 04:09PM
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Jerconjake wrote:

All of this could have been easier with a few choice additions. I'm sure a guy like Grabovski is looking much better now that there's nothing up the middle in Edmonton.

Who of our decent players would you have given up? We didn't have nearly the cap space to make it happen otherwise.

And no, Magnus Paajarvi doesn't count.

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#70 Maverick007
September 28 2013, 04:20PM
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David S wrote:

Who of our decent players would you have given up? We didn't have nearly the cap space to make it happen otherwise.

And no, Magnus Paajarvi doesn't count.

Grabovski was a free agent. He would of basically cost us the price of Jones and Grebeshkov. And we all know how good those signings were.

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#71 Rama Lama
September 28 2013, 05:03PM
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I agree with your assessment on injuries impacting the organization negatively.......tough luck for the past three or four years on this front after years of mostly injury free seasons.

What can't be understated is our management of the situations. An example would be RNH and how his injury was managed. In stead of pulling the plug early on him, we kept him on last year with the hopes of making the playoffs. Fast forward and his injury will now impact this year. Management could have traded Hemsky last year when there was a deal on the table, but because management was so blinded by making the playoffs they chose to keep him. Now we all know what will happen with Hemsky.........give him 20 games and he will be injured again. Tough luck may have played a part here but how it was mismanaged is squarely on the shoulders of the GM and President.

I for one am so glad that Mr. Dithers is gone and Mac T is in place........no more moronic decisions that lead to nothing. Now if he can replace some of the pro-scouts and get some fresh blood into the organization we can be successful in landing some quality supporting cast players.

This year should tell the tale...........no more excuses for management.

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#72 Spydyr
September 28 2013, 05:31PM
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nunyour wrote:

If u want grit in the top nine you will have to trade one of the kids for it.

Would Gagner do when he gets back?

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#73 Dawn
September 28 2013, 06:21PM
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Wow.

On the basis of one nothing game, no points or roster spots up for grabs, played while on a 3 day staff retreat in the sun, the oiler faithful turn into chicken little. "The sky is falling!"

I'm in no position to make predictions, being both biased and hopeful. But by the end of the season, if we make as much progress this year as last, I will be satisfied. 19th two years removed from 29th is not too bad.

That said, won't complain if Dallas can pull off a miracle.

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#74 David S
September 28 2013, 10:01PM
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YFC Prez wrote:

All I ever drink is Kool- Aid.

Hall looks way better than I expected at C. If he excels there this team could have the best 1-2 punch down the middle they have seen in a very long time once RNH returns. Move gags to the wing and they have a reliable "just in case" skilled C .

I doubt this season is as bad as the last 5 ,but I get the pessimism . Oilers are not looking at overwhelmingly stellar odds to see playoffs.

That being said. When the talk shifts to trading away Eberle or Yakupov for a top nine gritty forward, that is a major knee jerk reaction to a problem we don't know the full severity of yet. I would be more interested in watching the waiver wire the next couple of days now that teams are finalizing their rosters.

If the day ever comes when Eberle, Yakupov or any of the young stars are traded the oilers better be getting a stellar return.

For now I just really want to see what the oilers have. Pre-season doesn't always make for the most accurate predictions. I'm just not ready to write off the post season yet.

Except Hall is not going to be a full-time C. He's said over and over and OVER that this is a part time gig and he much prefers to be on the wing.

I'd bet a serious amount of cash he's back to where he belongs as soon as humanly possible.

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#75 Crackenbury
September 28 2013, 11:35PM
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@15w40

Good point about Eakins. He must think Acton is the better option. I'd be putting my money on the 6'5" former first rounder with offensive upside. The Oilers either have another deal in the works or Eakins sees some warts on Colborne from the time he spent coaching him. The Flames sure didn't give up much to get a former first rounder.

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#76 They're $hittie
September 29 2013, 06:33AM
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6 ring circus wrote:

Why didn't Mac T trade for Colborne ? A young 6 foot 5 center would have been a good pickup for a 4th rounder.

Or why didnt we just claim Luke Adam, A 6'2" Center who has actually done more than Colbourn at the NHL level. Either would have been smart.

Because Actons dad is the number 2. Might as well make him captain while your at it.

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#77 15w40
September 29 2013, 06:42AM
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Colborne could've been a back door deal between Burke & Nonis too. Might not have been common knowledge he was available.

Story from maple leafs is he needs to be in the top 6 & it wasn't going to happen there. Oilers could have really used him in their current situation

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#78 coco crisp
September 28 2013, 02:21PM
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I hope MacT adresses the hole in the middle if RNH takes a set back... Get off that Tambelini grind.

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#79 The Oilers Shot Clock
September 28 2013, 02:40PM
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@Will

Bettman points make it near impossible to gain ground. If we fall too far out of it early its over.

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#80 Smokey
September 28 2013, 03:17PM
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My heart wants to believe this is the year. However another coach another new system, the failure to address both the lack of size and depth at center means I would not play the Las Vegas odds. I still like to know why we signed both Jones and Grebeshkov, and the overpay of Ference had me shaking my head. I know I am in a minority, but how can this team expect to win with a lack of center depth. I felt this way before Sam was greeted with the lumber. Why do people

I so want my head to be wrong, and my heart to be right.

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#81 Norm
September 28 2013, 03:27PM
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I thought two months ago that Mact had to improve centre ice and bottom 6 overall play and said so. I thought failing that the Oil could be hovering around 25-27th place overall by Jan '14 and that was before Gagner went down. I don't want to experience another season of failure. Something has to give. After watching Petry and Smid fumble with the puck like it was a full diaper I'm concerned about their ability to get the job done.

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#82 Bucknuck
September 28 2013, 03:54PM
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I hope you're wrong, but suspect that you're right. I'm too darn invested to be impartial, that's for certain.

The only thing that might go in their favour is that other teams might take them lightly, particularly at the beginning of the year, and they might surprise a few early. If they are anywhere near .500 when RNH gets back, then I think they can do it.

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#83 michael
September 28 2013, 04:01PM
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88 point season. The second half will be the best. Olympic break will give Eakins and his boys the time they'll need to rest and refocus for the stretch run. I just think were just in to deep to begin this season. Its like having one foot in the grave before the shovel is even in the ground.

Way to many unknowns going into this season. I see improvement. But it will not add up to a playoff spot. We finish between 18th-20th overall.

ill be fun though to watch this team grow together.

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#84 David S
September 28 2013, 04:19PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

I don't see this team finishing "worse than 25th" unless the injuries you are talking about are long-term and to others in the top-six -- Eberle, Hall, Yakupov.

I have questions about the level of grit in the top-nine and about what the fourth line is going to look like. I like the defence more than I did last season, but that group is still going to rely on playing time from Grebeshkov and Belov, who is promising but not NHL-proven.

MacTavish and Eakins might well address deficiencies over the course of the season, but it's the combination of the injuries to RNH and Gagner and the brutal early schedule that puts them in trouble off the hop.

^ THIS.

Allowing the sobering reality both Gagner and RNH will take at least a month to get up to speed (Gagner is going to lose ten pounds easy because of a restricted diet) means we'll be in the deep end by the end of December.

I was somewhat optimistic even with RNH having a delayed start, but with both him AND Gagner out I just don't see it happening.

Nobody has mentioned it yet but by over-tasking players to perform beyond their realistic limits night after night it's almost certain we'll have at least one significant injury between now and December. I'm talking one of Hall, Eberle or Yakupov going down for multiple games. That or just plain wearing out in the process, which is what happened in our crash last year.

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#85 Maverick007
September 28 2013, 04:34PM
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David S wrote:

Well from what I've seen so far Grebs is a decent puck moving D-man, which is what we certainly needed and was identified as a need by the team - which BTW I agree with.

Jones? I dunno. Perhaps there was a thought he would be able to recover his game, but whoo boy does he look like a lost case now.

Grebeshkov was always a disaster in his own zone. Why not offer him a PTO since his numbers sucked in the K. Why not offer Jones a tryout also since he sucked last year and had the eye injury? But nope, he signed them without any due diligence. Why not offer Raymond a PTO or so some other options?

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#86 DSF
September 28 2013, 04:40PM
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Willis appears on the Bleacher Report and also picks the Oilers to miss the playoffs.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1789592-2013-14-nhl-power-rankings-inaugural-edition/page/31

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#87 The Oilers Shot Clock
September 28 2013, 04:43PM
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Agree with you there. The gun was jumped with both Jones and Grebs. I'm not sure if Raymond was ever an option though, but that's off point. There was money, now there is much less. Still a good summer for getting better, but the foresight of having a few million hanging around on a cap reduction year seems pretty self explanatory.

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#88 Spydyr
September 28 2013, 05:22PM
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15w40 wrote:

IMHO if they don't start winning before then, some of their talent is going to walk. If they have another brutal year in the standings and J. Schultz has a good individual season, he may be the 1st to start to look around.

Didn't have an issue jumping the good ship Anaheim to get a chance to play. The fan base may be that invested but they are sure getting restless and another couple of losing seasons and this can officially be classified as an infinibuild.

People will begin to lose the will to care anymore.

Actually I think this is the year lots of people start to stop caring .That is why for the first time in years all the games went on sale before the season started.Some of my tier one friends could not even give their seats away at the end of last season.

As for talent walking Ebs , Hall and the Nuge are all locked up.They will try to lock up Shultz if he has a good start then Yak next summer.

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#89 Spydyr
September 28 2013, 05:49PM
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Maverick007 wrote:

Its better to lose them in the beginning so you have time to make them up. If you can. At least theres a chance this way then the other way.

If you miss the payoffs by two points it does not matter if you lost the two points in October or March.Every game matters the same.Two points is two points.

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#90 Spydyr
September 28 2013, 05:57PM
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pkam wrote:

According to your argument, home ice advantage is just BS? And LT is wasting his time talking about the impact of tough schedule and injuries?

No the argument is every game is worth two points.Home, away ,injured team or tough opponent.The are all worth two points

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#91 Spydyr
September 28 2013, 06:11PM
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Oilcruzer wrote:

Enough of the negativity.

Who else is going to the opener?

(time to begin hype)

I need to make some kind of bet with DSF. Our bet last year was screwed by the lockout.

Oil will still be the next Canadian team to win the cup.

Oilers in 4 years.You said enough of the negativity.

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#92 DSF
September 28 2013, 06:13PM
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pkam wrote:

According to your argument, home ice advantage is just BS? And LT is wasting his time talking about the impact of tough schedule and injuries?

The Oilers were 9-11-4 at home last season....28th in the league.

Has something changed?

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#93 madjam
September 28 2013, 06:28PM
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The problem or the cure ? The onus is on the incumbent players to carry this team to another level , more so than the newbies are . Are they up to it and vast improvement , or are they all overrated and thus holding us back ? Big improvement needed from incumbent core including particularly , our first round picks , Eberle and J.Schultz .

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#94 Zamboni Driver
September 28 2013, 08:40PM
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@nunyour

No.

Also neither would Boston.

In a hundred years.

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#95 The Oilers Shot Clock
September 29 2013, 01:19AM
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Tokenhill wrote:

Did anyone see Cogliano's sweet goal tonight?

Hey, you know what? We do need a center/winger...who can play....who has decent hands...who has speed...oh wait....yea about that...

well done tambo! Getting rid of useful players. Lets just hope that Cog does not come back and haunt us.

the hockey god always favours the team that gets rid of useful players for cute little magic beans in various flavours right? RIGHT???

I mean surely....the past 7....

*triple facepalm*

He was run out of town by media and fans atleast a year before he was sent packing. A second rounder was great value ( Marc Roy). If your going to go that far back don't stop there. Brodziak and Glencross are just as irrelevant to this regime and much better players.

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#96 @Oilanderp
September 29 2013, 02:46AM
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Without injuries, if you squinted right you could see the Oilers making the playoffs. With these two injuries to start?

When frogs grow beards. Not the chance of a flying fig in a flamethrower.

Odds are beaten all the time. I just wouldn't bet on it.

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#97 Crackenbury
September 29 2013, 07:13AM
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@madjam

The waiver list has nothing to do with trading for Colborne and Colborne's cap hit is $600,000. It was also common knowledge Toronto was open to moving him.

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#98 madjam
September 29 2013, 07:43AM
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Crackenbury wrote:

The waiver list has nothing to do with trading for Colborne and Colborne's cap hit is $600,000. It was also common knowledge Toronto was open to moving him.

On the contrary . Burke and Feaster realized if he hit waivers , he'd likely get taken by one of the five that could snap him up before the Flames . Thus , an astute move that benefitted both Flames and Leafs .That's what you get with seasoned GMs .

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#99 Aitch
September 28 2013, 01:53PM
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I might be ignoring the injuries, but I've been on the record elsewhere as saying they'll win the division. I'm not nearly as worried about playing in the Pacific as everyone else is, simply because with the new schedule format, the games against their own division represent a smaller portion of the games than it did in the past. And even bad Oiler teams did well against the East Too bad most of the Eastern games will be in the first month.

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#100 The Oilers Shot Clock
September 28 2013, 03:20PM
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I like Yak on the third. He's going to see his power play time, and that third line is going to see a ton of minutes. It's pretty obvious our 4th might see the least amount of TOI in the league. I don't even really see it as a typical third line. Spread the offense out, and shelter the kid untill the wounded return. Lines are going to change anyways then so who knows where he lines up later on.

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