The Oilers had their usual in Detroit: a large humble pie with a giant Cleveland Steamer as a chaser. Taylor Hall looks hurt, Ryan Smyth looks done, and Devan Dubnyk looks abandoned.
The truth is not everyone sucked. Using Michael Parkatti’s work from Boys on the Bus, we get the following SF/SA:
- Jeff Petry 22-19 +3
- Jordan Eberle 19-16 +3
- Ladislav Smid 20-19 +1
- Sam Gagner 17-16 +1
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 18-20 -2
- Magnus Paajarvi 12-14 -2
- Ales Hemsky 5-7 -2
- Taylor Hall 19-23 -4
- Nail Yakupov 11-17 -6
- Ryan Smyth 13-20 -7
- Eric Belanger 8-16 -8
- Nick Schultz 8-16 -8
- Mike Brown 3-11 -8
- Chris VandeVelde 2-11 -9
- Corey Potter 13-23 -10
- Justin Schultz 9-19 -10
- Ryan Jones 2-12 -10
- Ryan Whitney 12-24 -12
The bottom 6 forwards and two of the three pairings were underwater. Again. Yakupov and Schultz the younger are rookies, and VandeVelde is an AHLer trying to keep up with the pace, but beyond that I see a long list of NHL players who aren’t doing very well. And you can say “well it’s Detroit” but the Red Wings didn’t win with Lidstrom and Fedorov and Holmstrom last night, they won with Kindl, Emmerton and Andersson.
They need to be better than this, and management needs to find help for the top 6 forwards and defense. Dreadful.
Send them Mike Brown. I actually like Brown, he certainly gave Tootoo more than he’s gotten from the Oilers in some time and he can skate too. However, the Oilers 4th line needs more savvy overall players and fewer parade makers.
Which brings me to Ryan Smyth. The Oilers were hemmed in last night and the puck landed along the boards maybe three strides from Smyth. Now, I’ve seen Ryan Smyth in that situation maybe 1000 times and because I know what he’s going to do (engage the blueliner who is coming down the wall, take the physical hit to make the play and move the puck to safety) it came as a shock to see him turn off before making an attempt.
That was hugely disappointing. Seriously. Maybe he was hurt or gassed or maybe he’s no longer able. It filled me with equal parts rage and sadness, as it is clear that Ryan Smyth is no longer part of the solution if he’s going to pick his spots or turn away from his duties.
Whitney is playing his final games as a highly paid pro athlete. Whatever his next contract, it’ll have a smaller number attached to it and that’s a damn shame. I wonder if the Oilers are pissed over his decision to have that surgery.
If the season ended today, the Oilers would draft 6th overall which puts them in Monahan-Mantha territory. I still think they take Lazar.
Goaltending isn’t the problem.
If I’m posting Townes Van Zandt songs you know the road trip isn’t going well. This is actually a positive song, if we get deeper into his library that’s a very bad sign.
I’m pissed and disappointed. It was supposed to be different this time. Lidstrom’s gone, Hall’s here. And yet we’re talking about Kindl and Emmerton and Andersson this morning and it’s all happening the same as always.
The coach got schooled last night by Mike Babcock, hell that’s going to happen. I don’t think we can blame the coach for the bottom 6 or the lack of quality on the blue, and I don’t think Eager and Petrell drawing in will change one damn thing.
Well, at least Shawn Horcoff should hear one or two cheers the next time he steps onto Rexall ice.