The Edmonton Oilers appear to have sold enough tickets this season that keeping up appearances no longer matters. Given the choice of “Steve Staios and…” on the blueline to face the opposition’s best, coach MacT has chosen the combination of Denis Grebeshkov and Tom Gilbert. This is a bit of a re-run from last fall when Ladislav Smid was being used in an elevated fashion (and with predictable results). The coaching staff is also apparently convinced that Dick Tarnstrom isn’t the answer for the short term (and he certainly isn’t the long term solution) so expect him to be dealt if there’s interest.
Quoting a post by momentai in the thread below:
- Tom Gilbert 2.20
- Sheldon Souray 2.46
- Dick Tarnstrom 2.92
- Joni Pitkanen 3.00
- Matt Greene 3.21
- Steve Staios: 3.31
- Denis Grebeshkov 3.84
- Ladislav Smid 4.78
Further quoting momentai: It’s a small sample size for Smid thus far but he’s already had 4 ES goals against. The plus side, though, is that he’s even on the season thus far so his ES goals for is equally as high. Grebeshkov after the Anaheim game (where I’ve heard he played solidly) brought his ESGA/60 number down. And Gilbert’s numbers are pretty great all things considered. 7 GA at ES with 191 minutes of ES icetime (second only to Staios at 199:25) giving him the best average on the team. It looks like we may have a keeper on our hands.
A nice analysis by a guy who has posted quality stuff on the various blogs and sites for years. I don’t get the Grebeshkov love-in by the coach, but do agree with momentai that Gilbert looks like a keeper.
My bet is that by February Gilbert is signed to a three year deal by the Oilers, Tarnstrom is in Atlanta, and Denis Grebeshkov is no longer on the top pairing. And what, may I ask, is Steve Staios thinking about all of this? I wonder if that argument was about his future role on the team?