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 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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#52 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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#53 Geoff
September 28 2013, 01:35PM
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Bring on the challenges of the first month. Oilers always do well in the first month then fade. As eakins said it's always better for a team to face adversity. Will it be too much though? No idea but I think this will bring the team together.

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#54 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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#55 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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#56 Will
September 28 2013, 02:29PM
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Does it stand to reason that if having a tough schedule with an injury riddled team means few if any points, an easier schedule with a full roster will yield lots of points? My point being, though there's nothing to do about the injuries, the silver lining is maybe we get them out of the way early when we're already facing a tough schedule.

In other words, would you want your team to be injured during a difficult schedule stretch or an easy one? Obviously we'd all rather not have any injuries but if we're against the wall to begin with, might as well get it all out of the way at once, so we can at least hit the mid way season on the upswing instead of the downward trend.

Also, hockey is so variable. You just don't know what could happen. Remember the year Habby won us a bunch of points in the opening month or two? Who's to say Dubnyk doesn't start the year on a hot streak. He definitely won games on his own in the early going of last season.

I think in the opening 19 games, out of a possible 38 points, if we get 18 points then I think we at least stay in the running for the playoffs. I certainly remember last year when we were like 6 points out of a spot and went on a five game win streak to claim a spot. a Five game win streak is not that excessive for a team like ours. So as we can see that 8th spot by the time we get healthy, then I think we could make a run.

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#57 Time Travelling Sean
September 28 2013, 02:45PM
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I hate Kassian. I want SMAC to break his jaw, then break Kesler's jaw. :@ I'd do it myself, I'm just 5'9 and weigh only 140 pounds.

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#58 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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#59 Cynic
September 28 2013, 03:27PM
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Luckily for the Oilers, the Flames are still in the Western Conference.

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#60 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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#61 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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#62 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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#63 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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#64 David S
September 28 2013, 04:50PM
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Maverick007 wrote:

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.

Given how busy MacT was this summer, who's to say he didn't pitch Grabovski and he declined? There's alot of good players that won't touch Edmonton because of things like the brutal travel schedule and living in a fishbowl.

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#65 pkam
September 28 2013, 05:03PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

"I think having more home games later when RNH and Gagner both in the lineup is in favor of us."

I'll say it again: starting the season without RNH and Gagner does not provide the Oilers some kind of immunity to future injuries.

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?

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#66 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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#67 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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#68 Spydyr
September 28 2013, 05:43PM
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Calgary Oilers wrote:

The Nucks are a pair of Ben Eager and Mike Brown high sticks to the faces of the Sedins from the abyss.

Sweet irony would be a couple Torts blocked shots away.

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#69 Maverick007
September 28 2013, 05:44PM
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DSF wrote:

It doesn't really matter when you lose games.

if you lose them, you lose them.

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.

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#70 pkam
September 28 2013, 06:13PM
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Spydyr wrote:

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

So all the coaches are BS when they say the goal is to make .500 on the road and .700 at home?

So home ice advantage is also BS since a win on the road game and at home are the same 2 points?

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#71 pkam
September 28 2013, 06:21PM
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DSF wrote:

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

Has something changed?

I think the past does not dictate the future, does it? And if we are discussing whether the Oilers will make the playoff, is it more reasonable to assume this has to be changed, or the Oilers is going to make 800 on the road?

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#72 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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#73 pkam
September 28 2013, 06:31PM
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Spydyr wrote:

There is a home ice advantage.The last change putting your stick down last on draws and your fans. That does not change the fact every game is worth two point home or away.

Did I ever question that a win is 2 points? My argument is 2 points in some cases are easier than the other 2 points. And 2 points in some cases are more important than the other 2 points. Does it make some difference losing 2 points to a cup contender like the Hawks and Bruins, than a bottom feeder like the Flames or Sabres?

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#74 BorjeSalming-IanTurnbull
September 28 2013, 07:25PM
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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

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#75 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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#76 Oilcruzer
September 28 2013, 07:46PM
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DSF wrote:

Ottawa.

(a little amazed no one caught this)

DSF - owch. Not drinking the Canuck-oolaid either then? FYI I'm an Oiler season ticket holder who lives in the lower mainland. I've watched the tide shift after the 'Nucks lost to the Kings. People are walking zombies again, resigned to the fact the 'Nucks were one goal short of their cup.

I feel their pain. But I don't own it. Nor do I dwell in it.

(thinking about that now though, if I had 40 years of virginity and was almost there but foiled at the bedroom door, I might burn a few vehicles as well.)

The question of whether we bet who wins first, Ottawa vs Edmonton, is kind of a sucker bet for me given Ottawa is close.

And it is more likely that neither will win it this year. Then it's a nothing bet.

Let's come up with something that we can bet on for this year - hell it's for charity.

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#77 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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#78 15w40
September 28 2013, 11:12PM
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@6 ring circus

Yes - especially when they are not flush with centres and have none of his stature.

I know he doesn't play really heavy but they could have used him in the system.

That being said, Eakins has coached him a lot and you gotta think that MacT would have talked to him about it and maybe got the thumbs down.

That or there was some serious sleeping at the switch going on........

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#79 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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#80 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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#81 a lg dubl dubl
September 29 2013, 08:10AM
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So Ference is Captain eh

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#82 Dog Train
September 28 2013, 01:49PM
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And that's why they play the games.

I have the Oilers just outside of the playoffs but a break one way or the other could change their fortunes. The early schedule is tough but I've always believed that I would rather be on the road early because the road trips build camaraderie and I would rather face tough teams early because they might still be working out the kinks themselves. Teams that have been successful don't always have the same gear in October as they do in March and April. The injuries make things tough, no doubt, but maybe we can tread water in the first month or two.

They play the games for a reason and there will be plenty of time for negativity later on. For now, it's all about the Kool-Aid. GO OILERS GO!!

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#83 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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#84 Flynn
September 28 2013, 02:44PM
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Let's HOPE that your wrong as usual then

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#85 TM8Trent
September 28 2013, 02:46PM
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@Robin Brownlee

True that.

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#86 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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#87 Robin Brownlee
September 28 2013, 04:01PM
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@Quicksilver ballet

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.

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#88 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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#89 The Oilers Shot Clock
September 28 2013, 04:09PM
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Pick 4 AHLers out of a hat and I'd trade you Whitney, Petrell,Belanger and Smithson. The Jones signing was a mistake but atleast he's not in the lineup. That's a whole lot of addition by subtraction there. Joeansu looks good, Belov looks promising, and we don't need to wait 5 years to know who won the Perron deal. This team is better.

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#90 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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#91 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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#92 David S
September 28 2013, 04:24PM
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Maverick007 wrote:

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.

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.

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#93 Spydyr
September 28 2013, 04:52PM
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DSF wrote:

The Oilers are a Hall injury away from the abyss.

Silly me thinking the last seven years was the abyss.

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#94 Spydyr
September 28 2013, 04:53PM
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Mac-T if there ever was a time for a bold move it is now, grab a center.Sooner rather then later.This weekend would be great.

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#95 Spydyr
September 28 2013, 05:06PM
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DSF wrote:

Going on 8.

Yes, when will the six headed snake lose its head after 10?

All kidding aside I have been saying for a couple years now the team is being built to win when Rexall2 opens.

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#96 Pouzar99
September 28 2013, 05:21PM
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I would dearly love to argue against Robin's assessment, but I can't. Losing your top two centers and kicking off the season with the schedule from Hell is almost guaranteed to put this fragile squad behind the eight-ball. I was enraged last year when Tambellini postponed RNH's surgery so long that it ended up effecting this season, reason number 1001 to fire him. Now, with the addition of Kassian's idiotic goonery and the cruelty of the schedule makers, we face an enormous challenge.

I think making MacT GM and Eakins head coach were very good moves, and there is no doubt that in my mind the Oilers are an improved team with a very promising future, but Eakins is really going to have to pull off a coaching and motivational miracle to keep them in the hunt until mid-November.

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#97 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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#98 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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#99 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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#100 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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