Do-Re-Mi

I could never figure this damn thing out. Usually someone would offer me a beer 5 minutes in (thus distracting me and allowing a graceful retreat before too many noticed how many hours would have gone by), and the only three people I knew who could figure it out quickly were incapable of making eye contact with other humans.

I digress.

The Edmonton Oilers 07-08 remind me of that damn cube. The latest look at this team is solid all down the line, using math, logic, reason and plain old common sense to draw the only conclusion imaginable: based on all available data and established level of performance, the jig is up. The fix is in. The pump don’t work ’cause the vandals took the handles. Ladies and gentlemen may we present the friggin’ in the riggin’.

There’s a hitch in our giddyup. We are children of the universe. No doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Reading MC’s fine post today was pretty much the icing on the cake. I keep waiting for him, or Vic, or RQ, or speeds, or Andy, or Cosh, or someone from the blogosphere to give me something we’ve overlooked. Asia and Louise (and BDHS and Dennis too I think) are feeling positive (or more positive) about the Oilers than the rest of us and from what I can tell it comes down to intangibles like leadership and good players getting better in a quick hurry.

I don’t think it’s enough. I’ve been wrong before, and sincerely hope it’s about to happen again. But the Edmonton Oilers are out of whack, askew, a half bubble off plumb. I spent today thinking about the D pairings and it made my head hurt. It’s like singing Do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti, it always brings us back to do.

The Oilers needed a puck mover and had to give something to get something. They used cash and cap for Tarnstrom, a veteran in Jason Smith to get Pitkanen and then a giant mound of coin to get Souray and now we need Jason Smith and Danny Markov’s available but we don’t have the dollars. So if we can get rid of Tarnstrom and add a stay-at-home type (RH) then this blueline looks like it might have some balance and scale.

Which brings us back to do.

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44 Responses to "Do-Re-Mi"

  1. grease trap says:

    well, let’s just hope and pray MacT starts avoiding direct gazes.

  2. Dennis says:

    It’s not that I feel overly positive, I mean I don’t think the Penner signing is as bad as most other folks do, and the lenght of the Souray pact is disheartening, it’s just that I think we have a shot at finishing 10th.

    But positive overall? Not a chance. But I’ve knew the deal on this franny for the near future since the Pronger trade.

    Seems like some fellows may just be catching up to me in that regard.

  3. Jordan says:

    if Danny Markov was so great, why is he still available?

  4. IceDragoon says:

    … a deer…

    my dear, dear friend.

    LOLOLOL, a snort, or two, etc…

    Lain,

    There’s an old Irish saying that goes something like this…

    A man is never too drunk, so long as he can hold onto one blade of grass and not fall off the face of the earth.

    My one blade of grass is…

    There’s a bunch of smart buggers on this team, some older, some younger, and most don’t take kindly to failure, nor… know how to quit.

    Besides…

    Gravity works.
    ;-D

    Oh, and…

    Quit thinking about the D, all it does is make your head hurt.

  5. godot10 says:

    There is far too much “Bah, humbug” for August.

    The Oilers are basically rebuilding with youth, but want to be competitive for a playoff spot at the same time. We have a really good group of veterans for the younger guys to be around. Are there question marks? Sure, you bet. But the Oilers will still be far more fun to watch than any other team in the league.

    Can you imagine being a Calgary fan or a Vancouver fan and having to root for those teams, wondering when Keenan is going to meltdown, or when Vancouver is going to score a goal?

    Hemsky, Horcoff, Stoll, Moreau, Pisani, Staios, Souray, and Roloson are all really quality character guys.

    There is nothing better than watching a young hockey team get better. People here are far too concerned about winning and losing in the short term.

  6. Lowetide says:

    Except our goalie is 38 so we’re not rebuilding, and two massive contracts that will cripple the future if they don’t payoff 11/10 on the “Spinal Tap” scale, and the top 10 pick in a deep 2008 draft that was sent away, and and and.

    I don’t understand how people can point fingers at other people being negative. With the exception of Michael Vick and that jackass mining owner who keeps calling those poor dead people “employees” NO ONE has had a worse summer than Kevin Lowe.

    NO ONE.

  7. James L. says:

    Damn right, LT. I’m sick of being called a pessimist for merely calling it as it is: a catastrofuck.

  8. grease trap says:

    On the plus side, Hemsky is going to do some amazing stuff this year.

  9. Lowetide says:

    grease: Agree on Hemsky. I think he’ll have a 90 point season this year and that will definitely be the high water mark.

    Other things I’m looking forward to:

    1. A Finn regular
    2. Stoll healthy
    3. Pouliot in his first full season.
    4. Smid continued development
    5. Horcoff’s play is always a joy to watch.

    TC will also be fun.

  10. godot10 says:

    //Except our goalie is 38 so we’re not rebuilding…//

    Dubnyk is a couple of years away. Garon is a mid-career quality backup. The defense will be rebuilt by the time it is ready to break in Dubnyk.

    With all the young defensemen, one wants a veteran goaltender.

  11. godot10 says:

    //and the top 10 pick in a deep 2008 draft that was sent away, and and and.//

    The Oilers still have a 1st and a 2nd next year…woe is me.

    The RFA offer sheet works out as follows:
    (1) Penner for the next five years
    (2) For a first round pick whose rights one holds for seven year starting three years from now.

    Hemsky is here and now in the present so option (1) is far better.

  12. grease trap says:

    LT:

    I know. I’m actually getting giddy from anticipation at seeing Hemsky in a mature role.

    Or, it could be the curry. Either way, spicy!

  13. Asiaoil says:

    I’ve replied to MC’s post since it was directed at me on his site – read it if you care.

    But LT the best thing about your site is your love of the game – and frankly the stats boys seem to have planted a tumor in your heart. Fall is coming, TC is days away, and we are tied for fist place. I’ll be damned if a bunch of bean counters with way too much belief in their dodgy tools will rob me of this time of the year. If the team croaks this year – there will be lots of time for the autopsy next spring and summer – but reading a non-stop stream of negative prophesies from folks who imply that they have “special” insight that other do not possess makes me question whether these sites are worthwhile way to spend my time.

    ….and if anyone says I just don’t get the numbers – well my doctorate would suggest otherwise.

  14. IceDragoon says:

    Lain,

    Earlier I had some advice for you, but decided to take it myself.

    I will however, respectfully, disagree with your emphatic, “NO ONE“.

    Good night.

  15. grease trap says:

    I think the humbuggery stems from a combination of a)getting our hopes up too high last autumn, and b) getting drenched in the cold fury of merciless fate since January.

  16. Bendelson says:

    Until the team gets on the ice and plays a few games… it’s hard if not impossible to say what kind of team the Oilers have this season. Too many changes.
    There is reason for optimism, no question IMO. At this point, the Oilers look competitive with an opportunity at the playoffs. Given the state of the ‘team’ late last season, this is a small miracle.
    So far KLowe has done nothing this summer but rework a team that fell apart at the seems last season. Something Oiler nation demanded (for good reason).

    I really do question all the whining LT. Trying to get out ahead of the bandwagon?
    Until the team shits the bed in October, I give KLowe credit for doing his job. I believe he made the best moves available – with a gun to his head – again.

    Biggest worry for me early this season will be:

    1) Will Oilers fans allow Penner the time it takes a ‘bigman’ to get comfortable. Notorious slow starters those big wingers (with questionable wheels)… it’s a four year contract – patience will be required and rewarded.

    and…

    2) Will Oiler fans give Souray a chance at all? Not many of you blogging here seem to want to.
    Local kid coming to home to play for big FA dollars… that bastard!

    PS – If the home team sucks, a fan HAS to enjoy the endless optimism of the off-season. What else is there?

    Just my thoughts LT.
    Hope your having a great summer.

  17. Black Dog says:

    It doesn’t add up for me either LT but if you look back at a lot of those teams from days of yore (not too yore, like the Seals, teams of more recent yore), they weren’t much too write home about either.

    I think if disaster strikes a rival or two and EVERYTHING falls their way they may eke out a playoff spot. Unlikely.

    But I do think they are going to be a lot more competitive then a lot of people, myself a month ago included, think. The PP will be better. The goaltending is better. I think the transition game will mean that the Oilers will spend a lot more time on the attack then stuck in their zone like last year. And I think there are way too many guys with something to prove this year – a lot of guys are coming to camp ready. Last year I don’t think that was the case.

    Likely not enough but this team performs better when it is cast in that role of underdog, imo.

  18. Lowetide says:

    Louise: I could ALWAYS use your advice. Seriously, kiddo.

    Asia: I hope you continue to drop by, your input is appreciated and you are certainly capable of waging war with the likes of me in a hockey argument (don’t go near Yahtzee or I’ll flatten you however).

    This is just my way of sussing things out, and frankly the Do-Re-Mi post was the last of it. Needed to lay it out there and then move on.

    I’m now at a point in the summer where it’s time to pick out the things that I can look forward to in the fall:

    1. Oilers TC (Louise and I are going to meet up and I’m going to buy here lunch. ANYTHING on the menu, Louise! and don’t forget to pick up a tray before you move too far down the cafeteria line). :-)

    Despite some of these posts, I’m having a great summer. Honest.

  19. rstahl says:

    icedragoon said:

    There’s a bunch of smart buggers on this team, some older, some younger, and most don’t take kindly to failure, nor… know how to quit.

    and black dog said:

    And I think there are way too many guys with something to prove this year – a lot of guys are coming to camp ready. Last year I don’t think that was the case.

    That right there is why I am optimistic about this team. There are all sorts of reasons why Michael Vick should be a great QB, but there’s a reason Tom Brady has won 3 Super Bowls.

    And by optimistic, I mean 6th – 10th place in the West.

  20. oilerdiehard says:

    Asiaoil said…

    But LT the best thing about your site is your love of the game – and frankly the stats boys seem to have planted a tumor in your heart. Fall is coming, TC is days away, and we are tied for fist place. I’ll be damned if a bunch of bean counters with way too much belief in their dodgy tools will rob me of this time of the year. If the team croaks this year – there will be lots of time for the autopsy next spring and summer – but reading a non-stop stream of negative prophesies from folks who imply that they have “special” insight that other do not possess makes me question whether these sites are worthwhile way to spend my time.

    Great post Asia.

    You really vocalized some things I have been feeling as well, including the tumor comment. I swear if those guys had the same stats for Junior, NCAA etc… that they do for the NHL they would even be killing LT’s and rest of our enjoyment of following prospects or the kids on the farm.

    Did you really get cut from IOF because you were not marching in lock step? I knew the Oilblogosphere has been turning into more of a snobosphere secret handshake sewing circle the last year or so but I did not realize it was getting that bad.

    One sometimes wonder if they ever get any kind of enjoyment out of hockey or when they watch guys skate they see the ice surface as a spreadsheet with a bunch of calculators skating around with sticks attached bopping around some puck shaped numbers.

    Stats are fine and useful to a point but if that is all you work off of why even bother?

    Then they constantly put down the so called mindless herd who are the ones that actually buy tickets with their hard earned money are probably the ones who are really and truly enjoying the game we love.

    That is why I like LT’s blog so much he generally does not get bogged down in it overly much. Though it does feel like the “bean counters” as you call them Asia are sapping away some LT’s unbridled enjoyment of hockey or at least it feels that way sometimes reading his fine blog.

    It is probably a good thing we do not have stats from the old days or they do their best to try and tear apart the old classic guys. “Guy Lafleur? The stats show he was a defensive black hole that got his points against weak competition!” I jest but it does get silly sometimes.

  21. Master Lok says:

    Statistical sports analysis is best used as hindsight, rarely should it be used as foresight. imo at least.

    Who predicted that the Oilers would place so far down last year at the start of the season?

    And who predicted that the Oilers would be in the Cup final the year before?

  22. Dennis says:

    My whole thing was once they signed Souray, I thought that would improve the PP to the point where it took them out of lotteryland and once that happened, I didn’t think the Penner signed was all that bad.

    That might come back to drill me but I can take it. I’ve been right more more times about Oilers moves than I’ve been wrong so if I’m taking a bullet over Penner, I’ll still be coming out on the right side of the ledger.

    The best moves would’ve been to spend more of the fans and owners money on one and two year deals or just go on the super cheap and then really spend for the ’09 season. But as much as you “own” players rights, that’s a sliding scale as shown by Pronger and I think you would’ve lost a lot of guys if you let this team totally suck for another full season. At least they might have a little hope this year and that might be enough to keep guys around for the next few years when things might conceivably get better as some of the younger guys mature a little more and round out the roster.

  23. IceDragoon says:

    Lain,

    Essentially, it was a suggestion to, “Go for a walk and reset your focus.” Your perspective was way out of kilter, as you were too tightly wound up in the imbalance of the team and were spinning out of control & common sense.

    I know your ‘Kevin Lowe’ comment was heat-of-the-moment and wasn’t meant to be hurtful, but it hit me pretty hard, so I went for a walk…

    ………

    Have you figured out which day you want to go to TC? I always try to attend day one, then at least one of the last two days. I have to adjust my schedule, so the more notice you give me… :-D

    L8r
    Louise

  24. Lowetide says:

    Louise: You’re the best. I actually went for a walk so your wisdom must be rubbing off on me.

    First three days are at Rexall, right? Probably the Tuesday of that week will be best for me, we can meet as early as you want and then I’ll but you lunch but you’re cut off after the 6th drink. :-)

  25. IceDragoon says:

    Lain,

    Your wisdom is just fine… eventually. ;-p :-D

    Heck, I’m right there on the ledge with you… I just remembered to breathe, and I looked around long enough to get really confused… & a headache. But, I managed to find a few notches in the wall and, amazingly, a blade of grass. I’m hanging on for dear life and I’m not taking anything more than a cursory glance till Training Camp.

    Day one, Tuesday, it is.
    Is it a 9am start?
    I wouldn’t mind settling in a few minutes early.

  26. IceDragoon says:

    Oh, and…

    Your lunch typos just might be a little freudian.

  27. Lowetide says:

    Louise: lol.

  28. Colby Cosh says:

    I’m not gonna get caught up in trying to figure out exactly where between 6th and 15th this team’s going to finish. The things I’m sure of are that the team won’t run out of NHL defencemen as easily as last year’s did, they won’t be as easy to push around, the backup goaltending will be better, and the PP will be better. And hey, look, we actually have an AHL affiliate. I’m not as confident in any of the negative indications, even though they are numerous.

  29. Oilman says:

    Lain and Louise….reading your posts is becoming slightly voyeuristic….I hear cheap 70′s porn music in the background….bow chica bow wow;o)

  30. RiversQ says:

    There’s a bunch of smart buggers on this team, some older, some younger, and most don’t take kindly to failure, nor… know how to quit.

    Fucking right they know how to quit.

    What happened after the trade deadline?

  31. RiversQ says:

    Did you really get cut from IOF because you were not marching in lock step?

    What is this nonsense? Since when was Asiaoil cut from anything?

    I knew the Oilblogosphere has been turning into more of a snobosphere secret handshake sewing circle the last year or so but I did not realize it was getting that bad.

    Oh please.

  32. mc79hockey says:

    Geez, I almost missed that gem of a post.

    You really vocalized some things I have been feeling as well, including the tumor comment. I swear if those guys had the same stats for Junior, NCAA etc… that they do for the NHL they would even be killing LT’s and rest of our enjoyment of following prospects or the kids on the farm.

    You’re going to praise a guy for vocalizing things that you feel and then refer to the Oilogosphere as the sewing circle? Hey, if nothing else, at least we’re not all about vocalizing feelings.

    Then they constantly put down the so called mindless herd who are the ones that actually buy tickets with their hard earned money are probably the ones who are really and truly enjoying the game we love.

    This is one of the stupidest things I’ve read in a while. To the extent that it’s relevant (which it really isn’t), I’m a T.O. guy who travels to see the Oilers when they’re close and it works with my schedule. Pittsburgh in 05-06, Buffalo and Toronto last year. Probably the FLA swing and maybe a Vancouver game this year. I’m pretty sure Vic has or had some sort of a package with the team.

    A lot of you seem to think that we (in the stats-y sense of we) are forcing ideas and negativism upon you. Two questions. First, have you heard of HF Boards? That may well be more your speed. The debate gets a little rough though – I’ve seen guys almost come to blows over whether Schremp will score 550 goals or 600 over the course of his career. Second, are you somehow forced to read my site, or the sites of any of the stats guys? I mean, I’ve got no problem with people saying that my conclusions are wrong for reasons x, y and z. To have people bitching about how I choose to write about the game on the site on which I pay for hosting and they read for free…sod off.

    If you think that it’s ruining LT’s fine site, start your own site that achieves such an amazing degree of influence that it fixes him. I’m shocked to learn that it’s possible that we’ve ruined him; given that that can happen, I’m sure he can be fixed if exposed to the right ideas about how awesome Dustin Penner is.

  33. Vic Ferrari says:

    RiversQ:

    I’m not sure who you’re quoting, but I did knock off AsiaOil, The Rage, oilswell, and maybe someone else off of the IOF contributors list, simply because they hadn’t posted a thread in months and months. In the case of AO over a year, and all three only ever posted one article. I love all those cats, but if you’re saying shag all … well what’s the point?

    I was just cleaning up the sidebar and washed them off at the same time without really bothering to ask anyone else about it, perhaps I should have.

    If they want back on, and actually plan on saying something, then I’m cool with that, it’s not a closed society or anything. I think we all trust the judgment of each other to add on anybody who has something to say. Showerhead and speeds have put some terrific stuff up there lately, and I think that it’s cool that their stuff reaches a wider audience, one that is crazy enough to care about the sort of thing they dig into, as well as ESPN, CBS, CBC, NBC, etc … this as opposed to being a lost post on a lost thread on a messageboard somewhere.

  34. IceDragoon says:

    What happened after the trade deadline?

    Checking the roster might answer most of that question. I suggest you take special note of who our #2D was for the final 15 2/3 games. And if you need more info, perhaps you can compare the total # of NHL games played (as in: experience) to all other teams… trade deadline on, of course.

    Good grief, Riv.
    There was a whole lot going on after the trade deadline that had nothing to do with quitting.

  35. RiversQ says:

    Ah OK, I had forgotten he was on there at all.

    If any of them want back on, I’m sure they know how to contact us.

    Assuming of course, that they can handle the unbearable slight they had to endure. ;)

  36. RiversQ says:

    Good grief, Riv.
    There was a whole lot going on after the trade deadline that had nothing to do with quitting.

    Oh no doubt there. I don’t need to be reminded of anything that happened last year. Trust me.

    I do think some vets mailed it in at the end of the year. Plain and simple. Some of them killed their rehab plans too. As long as we’re trumpeting the veteran leadership, we should mention some of these contradictions as well.

    I should add that I don’t blame them. Lowe obviously gave up on the year anyway.

  37. godot10 says:

    Which veterans exactly mailed it in after the trade deadline?

    Certainly not Roloson.
    Stoll, Moreau, and Staios were on the injured list.
    Hemsky was pretty banged up. Ditto for Horcoff.
    I thought Pisani played pretty well in the second half of the season.
    Jason Smith was a warrior.

    And Ryan Smyth chose the money.

  38. IceDragoon says:

    Yeah, Riv.

    I’m cool with balance.

    I know that I cut KLo more slack than I should. Can’t help it, he may be a plick, but he has always been one of my favourites. Played smart, worked his *** off, played injured…

    I think it ate him up, and the only way he could throw the towel in was to throw the kids into the deep end. MacT was in on the ‘dive for five’ too. Take a look at the TOI & line match-ups in the last game at the Flames.

    Lots of the vets were playing hurt. Horcoff and Pisani for most of the year. Staios on one leg till the last 15 2/3 games. Our Captain was a black and blue beast.

    Man, I’m going to miss him and Smytty.

    L8r

  39. oilerdiehard says:

    mc – Yeah I like vocalizing feelings, it is part of discussing the game we all love or at least I thought so. I only wish I was as skillful as LT or Asia at doing it sometimes.

    If it is one of the stupidest things you have read why are you guys always taking shot at the paying customers for supporting the team? It seems to contradict your argument if you guys are some of the ones paying to be in the seats. Maybe it is a point the finger at everyone except me and my friends thing?

    No nobody forces me to read your blog and I do not read it very often but sometimes it is referred to in places I do read (LT’s blog, The Rage over at HF etc…) so I go and see what they are talking about.

    Riv – I seen it in one of Asia’s posts he said he was cut for not towing the party line of negativity. But I can not seem to find that post at the moment, not sure if it got erased (maybe he realized it was just a misunderstanding?) or I am just not looking in the right place.

  40. Lowetide says:

    I’ve ALWAYS been a stats guy, or at least interested in stats as a reflection of wins. For me, and probably a lot of people, this interest grew out of baseball and how the game changed and intelligent people had enough leisure time to ask questions that made players of negative value obsolete (the Jesus Alou family).

    I can tell you that 25 years ago Anson Carter would have had a contract. He just would have. Someone would have signed him and said “well he played in bad luck last season but we’re confident he can turn it around.”

    And maybe 25 years from now Mike Johnson gets signed July 1.

    As for my negative summer, what would you have me do? I don’t make this stuff up to angry up the blood, honestly this has been a frustrating summer trying to figure out what Lowe was doing.

    Do you remember Lowe’s summer ’05? I keep thinking he’ll return to those kinds of moves, and with some notable exceptions (Pitkanen, Garon) this summer has been more about overpaying name players (Souray, Penner) than doing what needed to be done (the Edmonton Oilers don’t have enough good, established NHL players who can be on the ice when the other team has their good players on the ice).

    Sure it’s about stats, but it’s also about math. The math says the other 4 teams in the NW have more established NHL players who can survive and flourish in 07-08 than Edmonton does.

    Is that a stat?

    Added to the problem is that the Oilers have a dozen young players at the exact same spot on the curve. So while Kevin Prendergast said on the radio today that Robert Nilsson was going to get every chance to be the 2line RW part of me says MacT will find a way to put Thoresen in the mix and Pisani might get that 2line time.

    And despite all the talk on this blog and others, and even though I like him plenty as a prospect, JF Jacques (and others like him) aren’t going to get Kevin Lowe a player who can help this season because he doesn’t have an established level of ability at the NHL level.

    These kids need at-bats, and this would have been the season to give it to them (with some wisely signed ufa’s from the Dvorak tree to force them to earn their at-bats) but if nothing changes I can predict that by Dec. 1 the HF boards guys will resemble that guy from the movie Scanners whose head exploded.

  41. Nelson88 says:

    LT; do you allow gambling on your site?

    I went away for a few days and came back to see the comment section in your blog has become not much more than personal insults and people throwing profanity. Serious downer to an otherwise excellent site for the casual fan.

    I see only one way to fix it. Maybe all the people on the site (of both camps) who are so sure of their hockey brilliance and everyone else’s idiocy should man up and put their money where there mouth is…or just go back to HF boards.

    For what its worth I am in Asia’s camp of being quietly optomistic that the sun will indeed come up tomorrow and the 07-08 oilers will be a competitive if not great team.

  42. godot10 says:

    Perspective:
    1) Vancouver hasn’t been able to sign a scoring forward.
    2) Calgary has Keenan, who messes with the head of the incumbent starting goaltender. Phaneuf’s looming contract negotiation looms over the franchise.
    3) Colorado…Budaj is the starting goaltender. Sakic is a year older.
    4) San Jose…has not replaced Hannan. What to do or pay Marleau weighs over the franchise.
    5) LA…Dan Cloutier is their starting goaltender.
    6) Anaheim…no Nieds, Selanne, or Penner. Getzlaf’s and Perry’s contract negotiations loom over the franchise.
    7) Dallas will win 40 shootouts and lose in the first round of the playoffs. Sydor is gone, and Modano is a year older.
    8) Nashville…the ownership issue, and Suter and Weber contract negotiations loom over the franchise.
    9) Chicago…will Havlat, Ruutu stay healthy? Kane and Toews will be rookies.
    10) Columbus…Howson and Hitchcock stabilize the franchise while they free up cap room.

  43. IceDragoon says:

    I love the stats guys. & if I have to keep saying that so they put up with that annoying buzzing sound while reading my words… so be it. ;-D

    I’m a sucker for anyone who uses their grey matter, especially to better understand something that is dear to them. The bonus for me is… in their endeavour for greater knowledge, they share their findings for any and all of us to use for our own sussing. Freakin’ works for me.

    And, it’s not my place to tell anyone that they are wrong. (unless they disagree with me ;-p) I think it only right to show my blog host the respect that I would like to receive as a guest.

    ………

    Lowetide said:

    Do you remember Lowe’s summer ’05? I keep thinking he’ll return to those kinds of moves, and with some notable exceptions (Pitkanen, Garon) this summer has been more about overpaying name players (Souray, Penner) than doing what needed to be done (the Edmonton Oilers don’t have enough good, established NHL players who can be on the ice when the other team has their good players on the ice).

    Free agents are overpaid. KLo said he was going to overpay. MacT’s stamp of approval was on every move. And yeah, we could use another heavy lifter or two… RW & RD. I imagine that the coaching plan is going to involve a whole lot of KISS.

    Lowetide said:

    Sure it’s about stats, but it’s also about math. The math says the other 4 teams in the NW have more established NHL players who can survive and flourish in 07-08 than Edmonton does.

    Lain,

    Has this info changed since the last time you looked at it? Is it going to change if you keep looking at it? May I suggest that you tack this to the bulletin board behind the door and don’t look at it again till something changes?

    exception: If you are a masochist, please disregard the above advice.

    This team is going to need help to make the playoffs. duh. If luck balances out we probably finish about 10th. If the hockey gods smile on us we could hit 8th, if they frown… 12th. We couldn’t even hit a lottery spot with the **** storm we had this past year.

    As to the kids bubbling over…

    There’s plenty of room on the farm for these guys to improve their game. Except for Nilsson, there’s no imminent crunch time.

    Exploding heads at HFB?
    Go figure…
    I don’t have to clean up the fallout.
    :-D
    oooh… this works for me too.

    ………

    Riv,

    I was tired when I responded to you last night. I forgot to acknowledge KLo’s incredible instincts & complete buy-in. His teammates could trust him to do his job. (I can say all of the above(s^^) for MacT and Huddy too.)

    If there was a way of tracking such things, I think you’d find that strong instincts are a common trait among reliable hockey players.

  44. Bank Shot says:

    The Oilers finished last season 17th overall in goals allowed despite playing rookies, AHLers, ECHLers, and a teenage Frenchman on their backend with surprising regularity.

    Jason Smith is a good player, but I hardly think he was the sole reason why the Oilers were a decent defensive team last year, and I don’t doubt that they will be so again this season.

    Sure they aren’t overflowing with defensive D-men, but given their lack of star power up front I don’t think it’ll be a stretch to see them trap like all holy hell!

    The Oilers could possibly suffer this year from being about average or a bit below in nearly everything.Offence,Defence, Goaltending, Special teams. They don’t seem to have any clear strengths and they are all potential weaknesses. That doesn’t bode well if we want to see a playoff team in Edmonton.

    The Oilers problems this season will probably have more to do with a lack of any elite players then a critical failure at any one position.

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