June 17 2011 01:04PM
It is a time-honoured tradition for the people following NHL teams to compare their squads against the Stanley Cup champion each and every summer. While parts of the tradition are unhelpful – stylistic comparisons, for example, are generally useless because the Red Wings don’t need to play like the Ducks to win and vice versa – it’s an interesting measuring stick in a lot of ways.
With the Edmonton Oilers finishing their second straight year at the bottom of the league, such an exercise might be regarded as needless fault-finding, but I don’t see it that way. The ultimate goal of any rebuilding team is a championship win, and it can be useful to compare just to see which areas the team needs to work on, and which areas can be regarded as relative strengths.
June 13 2011 02:03PM
Kurtis Foster did not get rave reviews for his play in 2010-11. He slid down the depth chart, falling behind rookies and castoffs like Theo Peckham, Jeff Petry and Jim Vandermeer in terms of ice-time. Even that overstates the case; in terms of even-strength ice-time Foster was used just a little more than Taylor Chorney and Jason Strudwick on a per-game basis.
Does this past season reflect Foster’s real value? I have some doubts.
June 12 2011 04:36PM
As much as any fan-base can, fans in Edmonton have accepted the Oilers’ rebuild. Nobody likes losing, but even with some questionable decisions and no real answers as to why the team got to this point, people in Edmonton seem to have embraced the idea of pain today for gain tomorrow.
While I’m less enthused about the likelihood of a successful conclusion to the rebuild than many, I do think that the Oilers are committed to at least one more season in the basement regardless of what they do, and because of that there’s at least one thing they should be doing that they have not done so far.
June 01 2011 10:34PM
I hope that most have enjoyed our series tracking last place teams between 1995-96 and 2005-06, and their performance five years out. As we’ve seen, performance has varied from team-to-team – from squads that went on to win the Stanley Cup, to teams that put in a competent performance, to the perpetual losers.
How did they fare, as a group? If we wanted an average base-line to give us an idea of what the Oilers might do if they follow the group’s curve, what would that look like? After the jump, the conclusion to this series.
June 01 2011 09:14AM
The promise is the same for every last place team in the modern history of the NHL: sure, they may stink now, but stick with them and those top draft picks will eventually turn the team into a contender. This is the current plan for the Oilers.
Is it a legitimate hope? How do last place teams fare, five years after the fact? In this three part series, we’ll look at three sets of teams: successful, middling, and spectacularly bad. We continue with the simply awful.