I told you so.
The Oilers were coming together as a team and what do you know. The beat the Wings and the Stars, both teams who the Oilers haven’t had much success against in the past years.
The Oilers are still in the running for a lottery pick and still have some glaring weaknesses but as apposed to the past few seasons at least we can say that they are moving in the right direction. For those of you that want a “win now team” I have one thing to say…
Be patient. It’s coming.
Some things that need to be addressed…
- Sam Gagne’s Defensive Play – I really like Gags but I do think he was rushed to the NHL level to quick and that a season or 2 in the AHL would have really helped him. He was a hot shot in the OHL with the offense first London Nights and then jumped right in to the big leagues. Unfortunately he’s not quite as good offensively as the first round pick from that year (former London teammate, Patrick Kane) and there fore his’ defensive gaffs are more noticeable. The good news..he is getting better but he has to learn one thing. He doesn’t have the size or strength and there fore has to make up for it with hard work and testular fortitude. Theo Fleury was even smaller then Gags but still won most of the puck battles because of those 2 elements.
David Staples at the Cult of Hockey wrote about this after last nights game but I think he was a little hard on Gags…and DeBrusk that matter.
- Third Defensive pairing – I like Strudwick as the 6th (or 7th) defencman and Staios has lived up to his “Steady Steve” monicure for most of the season but these two guys can not be paired together on the blue line. The chemistry just isn’t there. Niether of these two guys complement the other so what other options do we have??? Well now at this point, unless Staios is paired with Souray again and Gilbert goes back to the 3rd pair, but I think (and hoping) that management is trying to boast Gilbert’s play so that they can make him a trade-able asset (Please, Please,Please).
- Lack of a descent Captain – This is a young team and a team that has enough negativity around it already. Why isn’t the leader of the team someone who is going to help maintain a positive attitude and empower the young guys? Leave it to the press (and Bloggers) to criticize the team, hwhen you do don’t take it on yourself…especially when your contribution isn’t living up to expectations you set for your teammates.
Last summer a new coaching team and new attitude was brought in. How come that change wasn’t implemented in that captaincy??? Need more proof??? See Messier’s record in his last 6,7,8 or what ever years. By all reports he was more of a hinderance then a helpfull captain. Moreau follows the same school as Mess, and if it didn’t work for Mess…what in budda’s creation makes anyone think it’s going to work for Moreau???
- Overpaid veterans of the Stanley Cup Run…4 Years ago – Moreau, Staios, Pasani, Horcoff. Enough Said.
But there is good…
Well there really is a lot going on that is good. The Teams coming togther as a team and making forward strides. There are more players exceeding expectations than not meeting them. The team is starting to show that they are buying in to the Quinn/Renney visions of what the team should be…And just incase I didn’t mention…the Oilers are in a position for a lottery pick.
Life could be a whole lot worst…Like all the players on the team could be as stupid as Pheneuf.
PS. I need some Blogger for oilnutz.com if you are interested let me know.