Alright as with before I spin the roulette , it lands upon a team and I give my rather run down as it appears to my eye. Onto to the spin.
The Edmonton Oilers
The Oilers are two season removed from their stanley cup final appearance . In that time they have gone through quite a bit. With the 07-08 season seeing the trade of their beloved captain and their crash in the end of the season. Last season though the oil fields began to rumble yet again. With young players emerging and the shrewd moves of Lowe the Oil are on the rise again . Missing the playoffs by only 6 points , they are looking for a return to the post-season yet again this year. Lets' take a look at how they look this year.
Forwards(Projected Line Up)
The Oilers boast one of the youngest and fastest teams in the league. In terms of skill ,I believe this is one of the most potentially skilled teams in the West. They possess legitamate scoring threats on all lines . With their breakout speed they can catch defenders' out of position fairly easily and will be sure to play havoc with some of the slower defensive pairings in the league. On the downside , they are with a few exceptions relatively small , and can easily be out-muscled if facing a tougher team.The Oiler forwards will still in my opinion look to improve on their GF's last year with the continuing devlopment of their young players , and their reliance on speed.
Defence(Projected Line up)
Edmontons' defencive corps if all remain healthy, can be one of the best offencive contributing D-corps in the league. With the return of Souray and the addition of Visnovsky as well with the contiued development of the younger players who all possess an offencive flair . The corps will undoubedtly contribute greatly to the breakout of their quick forwards , and will be sure to score their own fair share of goals. Also where the forwards lack in size , the D-corps is quite the opposite , where most are over the 6 foot mark. On the down side though , the D are not particularily well known for their defencive play. Most are caught out position easy when facing a well passing team , and with their reliance on offence forgo some of their defencive responsibilities. Overall look for heavy reliance on the goal keeper if Edmonton does not play a closer defencive game.
Edmonton has in its' tandem two legitamt starter goalies, both of who have large question marks next to them . Last year when Garon was signed by the Oilers' to back up Roloson , it was widely believed that he would see the lesser share of games. But with the struggling of Roloson and Garon's stellar play he earned the start job from Roloson. Garon's play is what enabled to Oilers to get as close as they did to the playoffs last year. Unfortunately this play is not guaranteed neccessarily again this year , as Garon while capable has been viewed as streaky at times. It is hoped that he will build off the confidence from last year and continue to play to his highest level. As for Roloson , who is two years removed from being a near hero at the stanley cup finals against Carolina , he has struggled to retain that form . Last year in particular he did not play at any particular level of greatness . But hopefully he will find his groov again this year and at the worst serve as a capable back up to Garon.
Well that pretty much wraps it up in terms of run down for the team , all that remains is my prediciton for where they will finish.
The division title as it appears right now i think can go to the Oilers. They have improved signifigantly and their players will obviously have continued to develop . Perhaps Minnesota or Colorado will challenge for it , but I see the Oil taking it in the end. The Oilers' in the conferene standing will be able to push as high as 3rd but that will be where they hit the wall for the season. they have improved greatly but will not be able to get by Detroit or who ever comes out of the pacific.
Well that is pretty much it for me , until next time.
I think Schremp is a lock to make the team out of camp, likely ahead of Brule. I think the Lines will be Cole-Horcoff-Hemsky, Cogliano-Gagner-Nilsson, Penner-Schremp-Pouliot, Moreau-Brodziak-Pisani, with Stortini being a scratch.
I believe the oilers will keep the kid line in tact. Cogliano Gagner and Nilsson. And if schremp doesnt make the team this year look for him to get traded. Great blog though, the oilers should be a scary team
Really Schremp? I am probably not as knowledgable as other fans on him but from what I have seen I wasn't that impressed.I think Brule will thrive under the Oilers offensive style . But thanx for the feedback.
Yeah they look good, you made no mention of Garon however, last year was a huge success for him and this year, with the additions made, if he can preform at that level then the Oilers look fairly solid front to back for the first time in years. I would make them the favorite for the division as well, Minny, Van and colorado I think all took steps back however.
I aplogize you did mention him!! My take is tsill the same though!! Good blog.
Interesting comments on size however the Oilers are the 7th heaviest team in the league average weight 208 and 11th tallest average height 6 -1.3. By comparison Detroit is the lightest and second shortest team in the league making the defending champions the smallest team in the NHL.
To my mind the oilers are a year or two away from being similar to the canadiens in terms of young talent and speed. They just need a top pairing shutdown d man and a couple of veteran free agents to be considered contenders
They should of nabbed someone like Halmrik when he was availabe. Or even a Rivet Like player.