Happy New Year, everybody!
By baggedmilk5 months ago
From everyone here at Oilersnation, I wanted to check in this morning with a quick note to wish each and every one of you a very Happy New Year. I hope that wherever you got up to last night when the calendar flipped to 2023 was filled with happiness. I also hope that your NYE plans didn’t hand you a debilitating hangover that will keep you frozen in bed until the early hours of the afternoon.
Looking back on the last 12 months as I settle in to write this post, it’s pretty obvious to say that 2022 was a hell of a ride. We went from firing Dave Tippett and thinking we would miss the playoffs to having Woody step in and guide the boys to the Western Conference Final. We laughed, we cried, and we drank our weight in celebratory playoff beers when Connor McDavid knocked the Flames out of the second round, setting the 2022-23 season up to have the highest expectations that I’ve ever seen in the history of this website. And as we know, high expectations can bring about the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, making this stretch drive one of the most important runs the boys have ever had.
For Oilers fans, 2022 was another winding road that offered the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, and I wonder what 2023 will have in store for an encore? As is the case with any fresh start, be it a new year or a change in life, we’ve got a lengthy list of questions that will need to be answered as the Oilers look to take another tangible step forward after their best finish in years. Will they be contenders as we all hope, or will they keep spinning their wheels without ever playing to their potential? When will we see the Jack Campbell we hoped he would be? Will Jay Woodcroft, Dave Manson, and co. be able to adjust the blueprint to get this team back on track with where we expected them to be at this stage of the season? Who will SIUTBOHC? Time will give us the answers, and on this first day of a new year, I can say that I’m grateful we get to navigate those waters together.
To wrap things up, I’m going to finish off this here article with a handful of New Year’s resolutions for the Edmonton Oilers in the hopes that they will continue to build on the foundation that was laid down over the last 12 months. Is that too much to ask? I didn’t think so either. Happy New Year, Nation.
NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS
- You will and must respect the finite resource that is Connor McDavid’s phenomenal career by surrounding him with impactful teammates and not wasted cap space. The guy is, once again, having an insane start to his year and I can’t help but feel grateful that we’re able to watch him on a nightly basis, but we also have to make sure he’s surrounded with enough talent to allow him to compete for the ultimate prize.
- You will remember that Leon Draisaitl is the kind of player that every other team in this league would kill to have on their roster, and we have to make sure we’re appreciating the brilliance he brings to the table on a nightly basis.
- May Ryan Nugent-Hopkins continue his career-best season. Not only does the guy deserve some success after 12 years in this organization, but he’s finally putting together the kind of year we always hoped he would.
- You will NOT treat the best players on this team as whipping boys when the team struggles because they’re often the ones keeping this ship afloat while the rest of the squad struggles to tread water. We mustn’t blame the drivers when the passengers are the ones napping along the way.
- You will do a better job of supporting the goaltenders with defensive zone coverage that doesn’t leave them looking like a one-man band out there. I know the goalies are the last line of defence and that every team needs their goalies to step up from time to time, but the Oilers tend to rely on them way too much instead of actually helping out in their own end.
- Jack Campbell will get out of his own head and remember that he actually knows how to play the position at a high level. It goes without saying that Soup hasn’t had the start to his first year in Edmonton that he would have wanted, but my hope is that a new year and a fresh perspective will help him get back to where we need him to be.
- You will continue to purge the dead weight from this roster while doing what you can to avoid racking up even more dead cap space with buyouts and retained salaries. The salary cap needs to be used wisely, and there are still way too many non-factors on the roster for my liking.
- You will no longer be surprised when the general manager of your favourite hockey team doesn’t make the trade you hoped he would.
- You will stop spending so much of your valuable time stressing about line combinations, not because you’re wrong in your assessment of where guys should be playing, but rather because it will save you from going nuts.
- As always, you will still be down with O.P.P.
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