Expectations… Volume 2!

Wow! I love the feedback in the comments section of my last post "Step back from the ledge". You guys are fired up. Even my buddy Brownlee was moved so much he posted on my posting! I love it!

I want to clear up where I was coming from. I wasn’t talking about last year or ten years ago. I wasn’t talking about how this is taking too long or what should have been done is the past. I was simply saying that for this season expectations were set to high. This is not a playoff team.

The younger players need time to grow, to develop and to learn how to play the game. Skill is great to have but other teams are skilled at stopping skilled players. Until they learn the value of soft chips at the blue line instead of turning it over their game to game success will fluctuate. Puck management is a huge part of the game now. You can’t just trade chances with every opponent, that is too dangerous and unpredictable.

There are holes in this lineup. Depth on the back end and size in the top nine forwards won’t be easy to address but by the end of next season it needs to be. Hard decisions face this management group. The sit and wait, passive style which has helped the team acquire top young talent must now be shifted to a more aggressive mode. Can they do it? Time and success will determine that.

I got a posting from MAC932 on my last entry. This is what he had to say.

So Mr Strudwick- explain to me exactly why the Detroit Red Wings have maintained their standing in this league for so long. How many years has it been now.The Oilers have sucked for years 2006 the exception. Lower my expections ? Give me a break, make the moves to fill the voids this team needs without sacrificing the future, it can be done and you know it. You can’t fill all the voids at once i understand that.

Also, tell me from your heart if you feel Oilers Management have built the team to the point they are at now. No they didnt, we sucked for so bad for so long we acquired 1st round picks, and J. Schultz picked us. Put me a list togeather of moves that have improved us. Ryan Smyth- Nope. Belanger- Sorry- Eager- so-so.

Dont pee in my ear and tell me it’s raining Struds.

Takes time- they have had time. We will lose our stars as usual if this 10 year plan continues. Make a Move, show some balls Again, I know it all cant be done at once, but there has been nothing, Fistric is the only decent move to increase team toughness i have seen.

Good stuff from MAC. He covers a whole bunch of topics. I have a question for the whole Nation. MAC writes about making a move. So let’s hear some examples. What moves would you all make? Make them real though. You can’t trade Peckham for Weber. Before you submit ideas ask yourself if you would make the trade if you were both teams.

MAC also says that moves can be made now without sacrificing the future. It is hard to predict how players will mature and improve at a young age. When I look at the players in OKC I would suggest the value of many of them has gone down due to their lack of development. Is that the group that will bring back what this team needs? Do you trade Oscar Klefbom? He has value, do you trade him? Do you move a roster player? Hard to see a big return from the players in the bottom six so then who goes from the top lines? How about future draft picks? Next year’s first rounder could probably get you something, is that worth the risk?

If I was the GM of the Oilers I would not be very aggressive this season. Obviously you are always looking for opportunities to improve but I would not sell the farm. After the season when I know what position I am drafting I start making plans to fill the holes. No more waiting.

It is easy for us all to sit around and say the team needs to make moves. Let’s see what you guys come up with for options.

The best options will get free hugs from both Gregor and Wanye.

The Mighty Kings cometh!!!

I always liked to play the top teams, especially the defending Stanley Cup champions. It was a great way to figure out how close you were to being a good team. I think the game between the Oilers and Kings will be a good measuring stick for the Oil.

The Kings are not the team they were last year due to a couple injuries on the back end. Both Willie Mitchell and Matt Greene are out. I know for a fact that without both those players the Kings would not have won the Cup last year. That is a fact. Their back end is not the same without them.

Up front they are still a handful. Big, skilled and determined (most of the time). How will the Oilers match up against Richards, Kopitar, Carter, and Stoll at center? Could the game be won and lost simply by faceoff domination?

The grit on the wings is impressive… Brown, Williams, King and Nolan all are strong down low on the puck? How will the Oilers defence match up? I haven’t mentioned Kyle Clifford. This kid has been their best player many nights this year. He is rugged, strong and can score some.

This game will be a very good test for the Oilers. Will the Oilers be able to out skate the Kings? Will they use their speed to get in on the forecheck? Will faceoffs be an issue especially on special teams?

Quite a few questions heading into this game. They will be answered during the game and the Oilers will know where they stand.

  • OilClog

    Haven’t we already beat the kings and their size? Didnt our team of little mighty warriors come back against a bigger meaner team on Saturday night?

    With one or two correct moves, this is a playoff team now.

    No more free passes, it’s time for the Oilers management to reward us our just due for sticking with this debacle the last 20 years.