I must say that it was nice to see the copper and blue finally win a game last night. Although I believe that the best way for this franchise to move forward is to continue to tank this season, I definitely felt some satisfaction in seeing a notch in the Win column. It is also important for the young players on the roster that we will look to form the core of the team moving forward. We can't let them lose their will to win. This franchise needs to draft a star this year, but I think that they will have a good chance at that with any of the top 3 picks.
I am starting to believe that Seguin is more of the player that is needed in Edmonton. He is a Center with size, skill and a solid two-way game. We have to remember that our first line center will be playing with skilled wingers (Hemsky, Nilsson) that aren't necessarily glowing in the defensive end. Although Hall can be very flashy and definitely has an abundance of speed, I project him as a winger. After watching the World Juniors, I left with the impression of Hall as a little bit of a selfish player, in the sense that he tries to do a lot himself instead of making the smart play. Also, I did not see a real chemistry with Eberle. I live in Regina and I have had the treat of watching a lot of Pat's games featuring the Canadian Hero that is Jordan Eberle. Eberle is a goal scorer, but also makes all of the players around him better. He makes the smart play in the corner or along the boards on the breakout and then has a unique sense of finding an open spot or knowing where to be to knock home a rebound. Another major Oilers prospect is Paajarvi-Svensson. This guy is a sniper and has a definite shoot first mentality which is exactly what we need here. Again, I don't know if his game meshes well with Hall.
Anyways, back to the game last night. I was nice to see the Oilers be the benefactors of a couple of bounces for ounce. Congrats to Alex Plante for picking up his first NHL point. Is it just me, or does O'Sully look like a different player since being a healthy scratch two games ago. He really seems to have gained the edge back into his game and seems determined to win battles in the corner and not just float around.
Hopefully the points that Pouliot and Jacques put up continue and we can parlay that into a trade to either package with one of our useless veterans (MOREAU, HORCOFF) or flip them for a mid round draft pick. I think there should be a big focus on showcasing some of the young talent that we want to get rid of over the next week and a half before the olympic freeze. Give Penner a break, the guy looks tired because we have been riding him all year, and let Nilsson, Cogliano, Pouliot, O'Sully, Comrie, Jaques play big minutes to increase their trade value. Then let's have a major shake up, just like Toronto and Calgary did, but maybe do it a bit smarter.
In closing, I just want to say Cheers to the Oilers first win of 2010 and the hope that there are many more in this decade. I just hope there are not that many more left in this season to ensure a nice draft spot. We, as Oiler faithful, do have a sincere reason to believe in what the future holds. I just hope that the Oilers brass can lay the foundation at the trade deadline and through to the draft by unloading vets and stockpiling picks and prospects.