This is Taylor Hall burying an OT winner after getting a Ryan Whitney headman pass and leaving the St. Louis defense in the dust. It was one of many “shapes of things to come” goals scored by the gifted kids in 10-11.
An article out recently quotes Taylor Hall’s opinion on the 11-12 season. It is here. Hall says “I don’t think we’re going to finish last. I honestly think the playoffs are a realistic goal for us. A lot of things are going to have to happen for that. Hopefully we can stay injury-free for a good portion of the season. I think just the overall improvement of the players from last season to this is going to be vast and we’re looking forward to it.”
The innocence of youth? Sure. But then again this young man is going to be one of the leaders of the team in very short order. You’d rather a more timid answer?
I’ve projected the Oilers to improve a great deal this season. This presumes things like 50+ games for Hemsky, Whitney and several other important veterans and perhaps more importantly a quick trigger to improve the goaltending should it go south.
- 10-11 Actual GF/GA: 193-269 (-76)
- 11-12 Projected F/A: 223-247 (-24)
That’s an enormous improvement, absolutely stunning. I’m basing it on solid performances from the kids, Dubnyk continuing his effectiveness (and finding a solid partner) and the incoming veterans improving the penalty kill. I don’t think the Oilers PP will help them offensively, but have guessed that the number of good to very good offensive wingers will improve the team’s EV goal total.
And with that improvement I’m picking the Oilers to finish 13th in the west, 27th overall.
What say you? Reasonable?