A RECIPE FOR LOSING...

Jason Gregor
May 20 2014 12:16PM

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I'm a huge fan of Lord of the Rings and the the prequels, The Hobbit. Over the years Sam Gagner has earned the moniker "Samwise" here in the Nation, a reference to Samwise Gamgee, one of the hobbits and loyal sidekick to Frodo Baggins.

I've long mentioned that one of the Oilers biggest concerns is their lack of size within their skilled players. The young Oilers have skill, but compared to the rest of the western conference the Oilers look like Dwarfs.

Until they rectify this issue, I don't see this team improving.

I've noticed a lot of people suggest that I put too much stock into the Oilers lack of size. Trust me, lack of size isn't the only issue on this team, and I can't address all of them in one article, but when you take a moment to compare the Oilers top-nine forwards to the top-nine of playoff teams they don't come close to matching up. It is a major concern.

I don't think people realize just how much smaller and lighter the Oilers are compared to the rest of the west. When you combine their lack of size with their lack of experience you get five consecutive seasons of finishing 30th, 30th, 29th, 24th and 28th.

Craig MacTavish has to recognize this, and until he addresses it, I don't see this team competing for a playoff spot.

I've heard just get better players, and of course that will help, but these are considered the Oilers best nine forwards. They have NHL skill, but collectively this group lacks the size to compete against the other teams top lines.

I have outlined the top-nine of forwards of this year's western conference playoff teams (based on TOI). In the case of San Jose I didn't include Brent Burns because Burns will be playing defence next season.

LOS ANGELES


Name  Height  Weight  Age 
Anze Kopitar "A"  6' 3" 224 26
Jeff Carter   6' 4" 212 29
Marian Gaborik   6' 1" 204 32
Jarret Stoll   6' 1" 213 31
Justin Williams   6' 1" 189 32
Mike Richards   5' 11" 196 29
Dustin Brown "C"  6' 0" 207 29
Dwight King   6' 4" 230 24
Tyler Toffoli   6' 1" 196 22
Average 6' 1/2" 207.8 28.2




ANAHEIM


Name  Height  Weight  Age 
Ryan Getzlaf "C"  6' 4" 221 29
Corey Perry   6' 3" 212 29
Nick Bonino   6' 1" 196 26
Jakob Silfverberg   6' 1" 200 23
Andrew Cogliano   5' 10" 181 26
Devante Smith-Pelly   6' 0" 222 21
Matt Beleskey   6' 0" 200 25
Patrick Maroon   6' 3" 230 26
Daniel Winnik   6' 2" 207 29
Average 6'1.3" 207.6 26




SAN JOSE


Name  Height  Weight  Age 
Joe Pavelski   5' 11" 190 29
Joe Thornton "C"  6' 4" 220 34
Patrick Marleau "A"  6' 2" 220 34
Logan Couture   6' 1" 200 25
Tommy Wingels   6' 0" 200 26
Matt Nieto   5' 11" 190 21
Tomas Hertl   6' 2" 210 20
James Sheppard   6' 1" 215 26
Raffi Torres   6' 0" 215 32
Average 6' 1" 206.6 27.4




ST.LOUIS


Name  Height  Weight  Age 
Alexander Steen "A"  5' 11" 212 30
T.J. Oshie "A"  5' 11" 189 27
David Backes "C"  6' 3" 221 30
Jaden Schwartz   5' 10" 190 21
Vladimir Sobotka   5' 10" 197 26
Vladimir Tarasenko   6' 0" 219 22
Steve Ott   6' 0" 189 31
Patrik Berglund   6' 3" 217 25
Maxim Lapierre   6' 2" 215 29
Average  6' 0" 205.4 26.7




CHICAGO 


Name  Height  Weight  Age 
Jonathan Toews "C"  6' 2" 208 26
Patrick Kane   5' 11" 181 25
Marian Hossa   6' 1" 210 35
Patrick Sharp "A"  6' 1" 199 32
Brandon Saad   6' 1" 202 21
Marcus Kruger   6' 0" 181 23
Bryan Bickell   6' 4" 233 28
Ben Smith   5' 11" 207 25
Michal Handzus   6' 5" 215 37
Average  6' 1" 204 28




MINNESOTA


Name  Height  Weight  Age 
Mikko Koivu "C"  6' 3" 222 31
Zach Parise "A"  5' 11" 197 29
Jason Pominville   6' 0" 185 31
Mikael Granlund   5' 10" 186 22
Matt Cooke   5' 11" 208 35
Charlie Coyle   6' 3" 221 22
Nino Niederreiter   6' 2" 209 21
Erik Haula   5' 11" 192 23
Kyle Brodziak   6' 2" 208 29
Average  6' 1/2" 203.1 27




DALLAS


Name  Height  Weight  Age 
Jamie Benn "C"  6' 2" 210 24
Tyler Seguin   6' 1" 195 22
Cody Eakin   6' 0" 190 22
Alex Chiasson   6' 4" 205 23
Colton Sceviour   6' 0" 200 25
Vernon Fiddler   5' 11" 205 34
Shawn Horcoff "A"  6' 1" 210 35
Valeri Nichushkin   6' 4" 205 19
Antoine Roussel   6' 0" 200 24
Average 6' 1" 202.2 25.3




COLORADO


Name  Height  Weight  Age 
Ryan O'Reilly   6' 0" 200 23
Paul Stastny "A"  6' 0" 205 28
Gabriel Landeskog "C"  6' 1" 204 21
Nathan MacKinnon   6' 0" 182 18
Matt Duchene   5' 11" 200 23
PA Parenteau   6' 0" 193 31
Jamie McGinn   6' 1" 210 25
Marc-Andre Cliche   6' 0" 202 27
Maxime Talbot   5' 11" 190 30
Average 6' 0" 198.5 25.1




Edmonton


Name  Height  Weight  Age 
Taylor Hall   6' 1" 201 22
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins   6' 1" 180 21
Jordan Eberle   5' 11" 180 24
David Perron   6' 0" 198 25
Sam Gagner   5' 11" 202 24
Nail Yakupov   5' 11" 186 20
Boyd Gordon   6' 0" 202 30
Matt Hendricks   6' 0" 211 32
Mark Arcobello   5' 8" 166 25
Average  5' 11" 191.7 24.7

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

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  • You will notice the Oilers are the shortest, lightest and youngest team. They average 7 pounds less than the Colorado Avalanche. Due to their youth, I think it is safe to say that in three years this group of forwards will collectively be heavier. Hall, RNH, Yakupov and Eberle will all put on more muscle as they mature, but outside of Hall, I doubt any of them become 200+ pounds.

  • I've read many suggest the Oilers can be like the Avalanche. A young, skilled, fast team. In theory that makes sense, but which Oilers will be the solid two-way, skilled forwards like O'Reilly, Stastny and Landeskog? (I believe Stastny re-signs in Colorado)

  • I've read many suggest that Chicago isn't that big. You will notice the Hawks average 204 pounds in their top-nine. They are only a few pounds lighter than the Kings, Ducks and Sharks. The other factor very few people talk about is that the Hawks top-nine forwards are the 2nd oldest in the west. They average 28 years of age, only the Kings are older at 28.2 years of age. Along with their great skill, the Hawks have good size and a lot of experience.

  • The Oilers top-nine as it sits today will give up an average of 10 pounds/player against every team except Colorado. Combine that lack of size, with a lack of physical players and experience and it is a losing combination.

  • This is not new, however, it seems the organization and some fans believe it isn't an issue. News flash: it is a major issue and until MacTavish finds some heavier, older, skilled forwards to protect his young forwards, this group won't be winning very often.

  • Size doesn't matter in every situation, but when the other team's skilled players -- who are just as good, and in many cases better than the Oilers -- are bigger and stronger, they will simply win more battles, cycle the puck easier and create more opportunities.

  • The Oilers do have a few forwards in the system who have some size, but none of them are ready for the NHL just yet. Mitch Moroz (211), Jujhar Khaira (210), Greg Chase (205) and Bogdan Yakimov (202) are all over 200 pounds and have some skill. Will that translate into NHL skill? We will wait and see, but until they are ready to contribute in the NHL MacTavish has to add some skilled size into his top-nine to give them a fighting chance in the western conference.

QUICK HITS....

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  • Cory Crawford isn't as good as Jonathan Quick, Carey Price or Henrik Lundqvist, but he's a damn good goalie. He never seems to get any respect. He just keeps winning and playing solid.

  • Ryan Miller and Jonas Hiller will both be UFAs this summer. Will either of them go to a contending team? Do you think they are difference makers?

  • The Oil Kings should have four more players drafted next month. Dysin Mayo, Edgars Kulba, Aaron Irving and Brett Pollock will likely go, and Mads Eller could also hear his name called. Bob Green built a stable of very good WHL players, and now we'll see how many of them can go to the next level.

  • The Edmonton Rush were 17-3 in the regular season and playoffs, but their season ended due to a 10-minute mini game. They lost 2-1 despite outshooting Calgary 12-5 in those ten minutes. The rule sucked for both teams, but it shows you how finicky pro sports can be. The best team doesn't always win. The Rush are young and should be just as good next year. They also own the #3 overall pick (Philly's from the Brodie Merrill trade two years ago) so they should get another very good player.

  • Tough break for the Habs. Oilers fans know how it feels to lose your starting goaltending in the playoffs, but unless the Habs forwards can beat Lundqvist it won't matter if Price is playing. Lundqvist is playing sensational right now.

  • I still can't believe Glen Sather was able to acquire Ryan McDonagh for Scott Gomez and his $7 million contract. What was Bob Gainey thinking?

  • Reminder to get your tickets for this year's King/Queen of Karaoke contest this Friday at On The Rocks. All proceeds go towards the MS Bike Tour and I guarantee you will have a great night. This year's group of finalists are even better than last year, and someone will win $1,000. Buy tickets here.

  • Last week I wrote a quick update about the Gregor Foundation and wanted to thank all of you for helping make it a success. I received this email from Larry, one of the teachers, and I wanted to share it with you. Thank you once again for helping out our Foundation.

We’re sitting here at our desks reading your article with tears in our eyes. In fact, I’m in the middle of helping "Peter" with his English. You did an excellent job of capturing the moment. There is a good portion of our society that either does not know or perhaps, even care about these kids. The Fresh Start program through Edmonton Catholic works with the kids that do not fit into the traditional school setting…many are brilliant academically, but suffer from varying forms of mental illness, bullying, substance abuse issues, criminal activity…some are school phobic, many have suffered abuse, neglect and abandonment in their lives.  Most have little to no parental guidance and many are either independent students or wards of the court.

The bottom line, however, is that we still have to get them to the same finish line as every other kid in the Province, namely to write their Diplomas and graduate. And, as I said to you before, had you not stepped in to help, these guys would not have gone to their graduation. So many of them have been dumped on and let down over and over by adults in their lives…but you, your family, friends and volunteers and of course, your listeners, have let them know that there are far many more people out there who care. It’s the ultimate win-win! We will make sure you get Grad pictures. Thanks again from all of us.

Lawrence

    Recently by Jason Gregor:

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      One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
      Avatar
      #151 camdog
      May 21 2014, 07:46AM
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      S wrote:

      Oilers have to get tougher, but they need to couple that with actual hockey playing ability.

      The Oilers have spent all this time being a bottom feeder because they give guys like Gazdic, Macintyre, Stortini, Jacques, Peckham, Hordichuk, Sutton, etc. too much of a chance.

      What exactly did any of those guys do to help the perennial bottom 5 team?

      The key is functional, bottom 6ers who can cycle the puck, go to the net, and help the team. They don't have to big-time scorers, not with Hall and Co. around. They don't have to be big either, they just need to win the battles, like guys like Williams, M.Richards, Shaw, etc.

      btw, where the hell is Tanner Pearson on the LA list?

      Plus they gave minutes to Nillson, Shremp, O'Sullivan, Brule, Foster, Omark, Whitney and on an on.

      The Oilers are bottom feeders not because of whom they play on their bottom line, or 3rd D, but whom they have placed on their top 3 lines and top 4 on defence. If we eliminate number 1 overall picks, there isn't much on this team right now.

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      #152 Zenoil
      May 21 2014, 08:43AM
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      Gregor is dead on and many fans are in denial. The Oilers can't cycle the puck effectively nor can they defend the cycle effectively. Why? Size/Strength. If this team doesn't get a big player in the top six this trend will continue. If MacT doesn't pick the big German than one of Ebs/Yak will have to be sacrificed to fix this glaring hole.

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      #153 Zarny
      May 21 2014, 08:48AM
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      Mr. Gregor is 100% correct.

      The comments about average team height and weight are downright silly. You don't play 20 players of average height and weight. When guys like Getzlaf, Perry, Carter, Bickell, Lucic, Chara etc are on the ice it doesn't matter who is on the bench.

      The issue isn't about "size" per se. It's about having the ability to score goals and win games in different ways. You need to be able to score goals 2 ft in front of the net. You need to be able to drop a shoulder and drive the net. You need to be able to go in the corner against D like Chara, Subban, Pietrangelo, Weber etc and take the puck away.

      And in your own zone you need to be able to stop players like Getzlaf, Perry, Lucic etc from doing all of that.

      It just happens that 98.6% of the players in the NHL who can do that are are 6'2"+ 215+lbs.

      The Oilers can only create offense one way off a fast break with a cross ice pass or a nifty toe drag. They have no one who can score goals the kind of goals Bickell and Lucic get. They have no one who can score the kind of goals Perry or Brown get. They have no one who can set up the kind of goals Getzlaf and Thornton can. And they have no one who can win a 1 on 1 match-up against any of those players.

      That will simply never win.

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      #154 Zarny
      May 21 2014, 09:10AM
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      BlazingSaitls wrote:

      All the heavy teams like the Blues, Sharks, Bruins, Flyers have been eliminated from the playoffs. The Kings are the only exception.

      The mid size, speedier teams like Hawks, Habs, Rangers are still playing for the cup.

      I think this is seriously overlooked.

      What happens if Oilers transition rapidly to a larger 'heavier' team only to lose in the playoffs to faster more skilled teams?

      There has to be some sort of middle ground because when Oilers eventually make the playoffs they will need gamebreakers like Eberle (hopefully Yak). To lose those type of players just to get bigger and make the playoffs might be to costly in the big picture.

      The middle ground you speak of is diversity.

      You correctly highlight the fact that to actually win the Stanley Cup, if that is still the goal, you have to win four 7 games series against four different teams. 1 or 2 might be big, physical teams. Another might rely on speed and finesse. The last might be a bit of both.

      You need a roster that can score and defend against all of them.

      The Hawks, Habs and Rangers are not "mid size" teams. Brian Bickell is 6'4" 233 lbs. Handzus is 6'5" 215 lbs. Seabrook is 6'3" 221 lbs. Toews and Hossa are both 6'2" 210-215 lbs and play bigger. Brian Boyle is 6'7" 244 lbs. Rick Nash is 6'4" 213 lbs. Chris Kreider is 6'3" 226 lbs. Pacioretty is 6'2" 217 lbs. Bourque is 6'2" 213 lbs. Eller is 6'2" 209 lbs. Vanek is 6'2" 205 lbs.

      All of the conference finalists have a bit of everything. They can play and win any kind of game. The Oilers can only play and win one kind of game.

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      #155 Zarny
      May 21 2014, 09:27AM
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      Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

      Skill, speed, competitiveness and size.

      The first three are much more important than the last. Just ask the big burly Boston Bruins, who were pretty much embarrassed by the Montreal Canadians.

      The only thing the Oilers lack, is competitiveness. Size is irrelevant if you don't have the first 3 elements. The Oilers just have this order of elements all mixed up.

      Skill, speed and competitiveness are going to do SFA against behemoths like Getzlaf, Perry, Carter, etc because all of those players have skill, speed and competitiveness too...plus size/strength.

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      #156 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
      May 21 2014, 10:15AM
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      Racki wrote:

      If Stastny gets Re signed in Colorado, what about going for the Grabo-Kulemin duo? Or are these guys going to turn away the Oilers due to our years of suckage..

      Also, Kulimen is Russian and Grabovski is from Belarus which is also Russian.....

      If anything is going to help Yak achieve his potential, this could be it. (The language barrier can be a big detriment to a young player...way tougher than most people think) Not sure how much this solution helps with the size /balanced lineup issue that Gregor so accurately describes.

      Kulimen is 6'2" 235lbs, Grabovski 5'11" 185lbs

      Putting aside hockey knowledge, and all the well reasoned arguments, I think I might enjoy watching that line play.....I at least like the idea of it even if I have little or no idea of just how effective or ineffective it would be.

      Edit: Sober second thought.....this is not really the team I want to see MacT build.....I guess I'm just desperate for some entertainment value given how bad things have been at Rexall.

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      #157 Shau_co
      May 21 2014, 10:29AM
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      Zarny wrote:

      Mr. Gregor is 100% correct.

      The comments about average team height and weight are downright silly. You don't play 20 players of average height and weight. When guys like Getzlaf, Perry, Carter, Bickell, Lucic, Chara etc are on the ice it doesn't matter who is on the bench.

      The issue isn't about "size" per se. It's about having the ability to score goals and win games in different ways. You need to be able to score goals 2 ft in front of the net. You need to be able to drop a shoulder and drive the net. You need to be able to go in the corner against D like Chara, Subban, Pietrangelo, Weber etc and take the puck away.

      And in your own zone you need to be able to stop players like Getzlaf, Perry, Lucic etc from doing all of that.

      It just happens that 98.6% of the players in the NHL who can do that are are 6'2"+ 215+lbs.

      The Oilers can only create offense one way off a fast break with a cross ice pass or a nifty toe drag. They have no one who can score goals the kind of goals Bickell and Lucic get. They have no one who can score the kind of goals Perry or Brown get. They have no one who can set up the kind of goals Getzlaf and Thornton can. And they have no one who can win a 1 on 1 match-up against any of those players.

      That will simply never win.

      Really? Ryan Smyth made his career on goals scored in front of the net. He is listed at 191 lbs.

      That's one of many examples out there.

      Yes, you need players who can win battles and score goals in close. I agree with you 100% on that, but to say only players who are 215+ lbs is simply ignorant.

      Our biggest glaring hole is finding defensemen (and forwards) who can stop the best forwards in the world from scoring.

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      #158 Zarny
      May 21 2014, 10:46AM
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      @Shau_co

      Yep Smyth made a career out of scoring G in front of the net. He would be of the ~ 1.4% of players who do that and are not 215 lbs ish because he was willing to take a hellacious beating.

      And no, there are not many examples out there I'm afraid. Watch what Bickell does in the playoffs. Or Kreider. Or Brown. Or Lucic.

      There are maybe a handful of players sub 200 lbs that can do the same job; maybe. Especially in the playoffs.

      That doesn't mean you need a lineup of behemoths. Just a few.

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      #159 Shau_co
      May 21 2014, 11:00AM
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      @Zarny

      Holmstrom is another player listed at around 200 lbs who was very capable in close.

      From NHL.com only 5 of the top 30 forward goal scorers from last years playoffs were listed at 215+ lbs.

      This year 9 of the top 30 forward goal scorers are listed at 215+ lbs and you and I both know that many of those goals were scored in close by smaller players.

      Agreed that we need players who can score in close, but to say that only 1.4% are sub 215 lbs is ridiculous. In fact the majority are under 215 lbs. the line is probably somewhere closer to 200 lbs...

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      #161 Shau_co
      May 21 2014, 01:13PM
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      Jason Gregor wrote:

      Name another where their heaviest forward is 202. Take your Oiler coloured blinders off and realize they are too small and too soft.

      The consistently good teams in the west average 204-207 pounds. The Oilers are at 191. What does Ryan Smyth have to do with it? I don't see anyone on the Oilers who plays like him. They don't magically transform into something they aren't.

      The Oilers don't even have ONE player who is 204 pounds. Winning teams all have at least one, and usually three or four big, skilled players.

      Even the Avs had six players 200+ pounds. The Oilers had four and two of them are Gordon and Hendricks, who are excellent 4th liners, but if they play on your 3rd line they bring little offence.

      Suggesting the Oilers are big enough to win, especially with this group, when none of them play like Marchand, Shaw, Gallagher or other small forwards is incredibly inaccurate.

      Re-read my comments Gregor. I never once suggested this team is built to win or is big enough to win. I have repeatedly stated that size is being over-emphasized. I agree there are many holes in the lineup and this is one of them it's just not as important as the attention it is given.

      Also, you pulled my Ryan Smyth comment completely out of context... You told me to take my Oiler coloured blinders off, but maybe you should read into my comments a bit more before misrepresenting them. I have acknowledged this team needs work and agreed the top nine need to be improved. It's just measuring what is important that I disagree on. The top nine are too soft. They are too small. I disagree on the importance of those two factors and do not think the average weight of a team's top nine is an accurate statistic at all.

      The Avs have a lot of players right around the 200 lb mark. My point is that the weight of a player is being over-emphasized and that by adding a behemoth to increase our teams average weight won't fix the larger issue. A forward group built like the Avs has a chance to win in my opinion.

      I have been saying they are too soft and that size is part of that but in my opinion it is not as important as other factors. You have been implying that if we bring in some size (e.g., a Dustin Penner) it will improve our chances of winning. I disagree. Bring in some guys who compete 10X harder and are smaller like Perron and our chances improve more so than a player like Penner.

      I suggested it would be more valuable to assess compete level and who wins more battles on the ice. Even though a guy like Gagner is one of our bigger forwards, he does not compete hard enough in my opinion. That would be an example of where we need to improve the top nine.

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      #163 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
      May 21 2014, 05:42PM
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      Zarny wrote:

      Skill, speed and competitiveness are going to do SFA against behemoths like Getzlaf, Perry, Carter, etc because all of those players have skill, speed and competitiveness too...plus size/strength.

      You may want to take note in a week. When all 3 of your so called behemoths are watching while others play for the Stanley Cup.

      They will all be wearing "Participant" ribbons though, for their efforts these last couple weeks. So, i guess that's worth something.

      Skill, speed, competitiveness and size. If the first 3 elements aren't present, the fourth matters little**

      Your opinions are often a tad wobbly there Zarny, but they are fascinating, i'll give you that.

      ** Rule No.1/page 1 in our HFD handbook.

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      #164 CP1919
      May 21 2014, 07:08PM
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      Bang. Bang. Bang that same old boring drum. See you've now changed it to top 9 forwards. Must be because your "it's a fact" top 6 BS has been clearly proven wrong. CHI top 6 give up on avg 8.5lbs to LAK top 6 yet, appear to clearly been out playing them.

      You preach "patience" but can't wait to trade any Oiler not 6'3" and 225+ lbs.

      Biggest problem with Oiler forwards is, they do not have 6 bottom 6 Only Gordon and Hendricks. Before the Oilers throw away talent, they need 3 quality 3rd liners and an addition to the 4th line. Yes, they can have size but, they need to be strong NHL 2 way players. These will be easier to find than a "getzlaf" or "Lucic" type that no one wants to give up.

      Ya ya ya. Perfect world they would have 12 super stars with "size, skill, competitiveness , and edge" but, look up...sky is blue.

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      #165 The artist formerly known as Harry
      May 21 2014, 08:07PM
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      Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

      Skill, speed, competitiveness and size.

      The first three are much more important than the last. Just ask the big burly Boston Bruins, who were pretty much embarrassed by the Montreal Canadians.

      The only thing the Oilers lack, is competitiveness. Size is irrelevant if you don't have the first 3 elements. The Oilers just have this order of elements all mixed up.

      Bourque Pattioretty vanek Galchenyuk, moen, weiss, eller. All over 6' most are 6'2" + and all are well over 200lbs. The key here is diversity in the 12 man forward group. MTL has tons Edm has none

      Avatar
      #166 The artist formerly known as Harry
      May 21 2014, 08:14PM
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      Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

      You may want to take note in a week. When all 3 of your so called behemoths are watching while others play for the Stanley Cup.

      They will all be wearing "Participant" ribbons though, for their efforts these last couple weeks. So, i guess that's worth something.

      Skill, speed, competitiveness and size. If the first 3 elements aren't present, the fourth matters little**

      Your opinions are often a tad wobbly there Zarny, but they are fascinating, i'll give you that.

      ** Rule No.1/page 1 in our HFD handbook.

      Hey Mr. Gold Gloves Ballet. Maybe you should take a look at the diversity of the forward groups of the 4 remaining teams. They all have big strong skilled forwards and they also have small strong skilled forwards.

      Edm has only small (some strong) skilled forwards. I think in all your days of bare knuckle boxing you might have lost a couple valuable brain cells

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      #167 Zarny
      May 21 2014, 10:25PM
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      Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

      You may want to take note in a week. When all 3 of your so called behemoths are watching while others play for the Stanley Cup.

      They will all be wearing "Participant" ribbons though, for their efforts these last couple weeks. So, i guess that's worth something.

      Skill, speed, competitiveness and size. If the first 3 elements aren't present, the fourth matters little**

      Your opinions are often a tad wobbly there Zarny, but they are fascinating, i'll give you that.

      ** Rule No.1/page 1 in our HFD handbook.

      All 3 are watching while others play for the Stanley Cup?

      You apparently missed Jeff Carter's hat trick tonight lol.

      You know...in the Western Conference finals with LA.

      You are correct size by itself is little more than Luke Gazdic.

      That isn't what anyone is talking about. They are talking about players who have just as much skill, speed and competitiveness as any player on the Oilers.

      And they are 6'4" 230 lbs which no one on the Oilers roster is even remotely able to deal with.

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      #168 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
      May 21 2014, 11:25PM
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      @Zarny

      And they are 6'4" 230 lbs which no one on the Oilers roster is even remotely able to deal with.

      ===================================================================

      Never been into copying someone elses successes. The game changes rapidly in todays pro change environment. What's wrong with starting a new path that other followers may want to copy?

      Edmonton needs to create the new original Zarny. Lead, don't follow.

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      #169 Shau_co
      May 22 2014, 07:51AM
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      @Jason Gregor

      I didn't mean to imply you said the Oilers should bring back Penner. I was only using him as an example of a soft, large player.

      Regardless, I think we are mostly on the same page. Assuming the same level of skill, the ideal player would be a large competitive 2-way player player, next would be a smaller competitive 2-way player and last would be a small competitive 2-way player. Which confirms what I have been arguing all along that compete is more important than size. Size is still important but secondary. So, don't sell the farm just to get bigger...

      Focus on improving the defense now as that is by far the most glaring hole on this team and improving compete level throughout the lineup. Add some skilled size if possible too.

      The other constant (and more critical component) that all of the remaining teams have? Top high end defensemen like Keith, Seabrook, McDonaugh, Subban, Doughty.

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      #170 Shau_co
      May 22 2014, 08:23AM
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      Gregor,

      To add to my comments above, I would ask you the following question:

      If you have limited resources to obtain NHL Players, where would you focus them? In what priority? Because it is easy to say the Oilers need to get a Getzlaf, Perry, Keith, Seabrook etc. but much harder to achieve.

      1. No. 1 Defenseman 2. No. 2 Defenseman 3. 1st line forward with compete, size, skill 4. 2nd line forward with compete, size, skill

      Assuming you have limited resources and can only get either a 1st line forward with compete, size, skill or a No. 1 Defenseman, where do you sacrifice? I realize The Oilers may not be able to get either... In this scenario, which of the following would be a better option?

      1. No. 1 Defenseman and a 2nd line forward with compete, size 2. No. 1 Defenseman and a 2nd line forward with compete, skill 3. 1st line forward with compete, size, skill and a No. 4 Defenseman

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      #171 GK1980
      May 22 2014, 09:25AM
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      Who's in denial? If you had any hockey sense ad actually watched the games it was blatantly obvious that the Oilers could not sustain a cycle nor get the puck out of their zone. HUGE issue and it was obvious all year. Time on attack was non existent. This stat obviously re-enforced by shots taken and shots against.

      Big is NOT overrated. Playing hockey myself I know how hard it is getting a puck from a much bigger dude.

      PEACE!

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      #172 Zarny
      May 22 2014, 10:25AM
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      Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

      And they are 6'4" 230 lbs which no one on the Oilers roster is even remotely able to deal with.

      ===================================================================

      Never been into copying someone elses successes. The game changes rapidly in todays pro change environment. What's wrong with starting a new path that other followers may want to copy?

      Edmonton needs to create the new original Zarny. Lead, don't follow.

      It's not about copying someone else's success. You simply don't reinvent the wheel.

      There isn't one way to build a contender; but in every team sport champions are characterized by depth because injuries are inevitable, and have the right mix of players because you have to be able create offense and defend against different teams.

      "Creating the new original" is nothing but a meaningless talking point. The average NHL F is 6'1" 205 lbs. That's not a big F...that's just average. Every single top 6 F for the Oilers is average or smaller. That will never win. Not today, not yesterday, not tomorrow, not in an alternate universe.

      All of the top teams have a mix of top 6 F. Every single one of them. They have skill players who can score with speed and finesse. They have big, strong power F that can physically battle D like Weber or Chara and score G players like Patrick Kane can't. They have Selke caliber defensive F who can check.

      The Oilers have one type of top 6 F. They all create offense with speed and finesse. Perron at least has a bit of attitude but his game is still fundamentally the same as the rest. They have no one who plays physical. They have no one like Bickell or Brown. They have no one who is top-tier defensively. The only C who is even half-decent at face-offs is on the 3rd line.

      The Oilers are as one dimensional as it gets. Like a basketball team with nothing but 3-point shooters or a football team that only has a passing game.

      There is nothing new or original about one dimensional teams.

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      #173 Zarny
      May 22 2014, 10:46AM
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      @GK1980

      True dat. The comments often make me wonder how many actually play hockey.

      I was 6' 210-215 lbs when I played Jr. and I played physical. Guys who are 6'2"+ 220+ lbs and can skate are a nightmare to play against.

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      #176 The artist formerly known as Harry
      May 22 2014, 08:27PM
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      Zarny wrote:

      It's not about copying someone else's success. You simply don't reinvent the wheel.

      There isn't one way to build a contender; but in every team sport champions are characterized by depth because injuries are inevitable, and have the right mix of players because you have to be able create offense and defend against different teams.

      "Creating the new original" is nothing but a meaningless talking point. The average NHL F is 6'1" 205 lbs. That's not a big F...that's just average. Every single top 6 F for the Oilers is average or smaller. That will never win. Not today, not yesterday, not tomorrow, not in an alternate universe.

      All of the top teams have a mix of top 6 F. Every single one of them. They have skill players who can score with speed and finesse. They have big, strong power F that can physically battle D like Weber or Chara and score G players like Patrick Kane can't. They have Selke caliber defensive F who can check.

      The Oilers have one type of top 6 F. They all create offense with speed and finesse. Perron at least has a bit of attitude but his game is still fundamentally the same as the rest. They have no one who plays physical. They have no one like Bickell or Brown. They have no one who is top-tier defensively. The only C who is even half-decent at face-offs is on the 3rd line.

      The Oilers are as one dimensional as it gets. Like a basketball team with nothing but 3-point shooters or a football team that only has a passing game.

      There is nothing new or original about one dimensional teams.

      Wow. Hey Gold Gloves. You just got owned. You sir Zarny stole the words right out of my mouth. Diversity wins, predictability and one dimensional loses

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      #177 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
      May 23 2014, 04:06AM
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      @The artist formerly known as Harry

      .....and trading the third next month (Zarnys recommendation) will be the cure that ails this hockey club. One player will turn this ship around. Yeah right.

      Give me skill, speed and compete, and he'll overcome that caveman 6'4 240lbs demographic.

      Good thing nobody told the players whose banners hang up in the rafters at Rexall how "inadequate" they were.

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