What To Expect From The Oilers. By Mike Wilson
Hockey This Week
Let me go deeper. We all know that Oilers Gm Steve Tambellini has no business in getting a lottery pick, and he’s SOL. As good as the Oilers have shown they can play, nobody should be expecting more than “a good effort”. Healthy? Maybe this team has a chance. A chance to fight for a playoff spot, and that’s all Steve really wanted out of this year. Unfortunately, he works for the Oilers, the unluckiest team in the league.
At the start of the season, Edmonton was by far not the best defensively equipped team in the league, maybe one of the worst. This defense could be described as “Ryan Whitney and…let’s not talk about the rest.”
A defense as poor as Edmonton’s could not afford a blow yet it has revived many along the way to the half way point of the season where they currently sit.
3 of their top defenceman are out currently and the goaltending isn’t what it was in October. This team is going to allow a lot of goals. On the last road trip, they gave up 3 goals once, 4 goals 5 times, and 5 goals once. The injury bug exposed what has been a problem for the Oilers for a number of years, a lack of depth. Even before the start of the season as training camp came near we asked “We can’t be satisfied with THIS back end. Surely there must be a trade within the works right?’ Guess not!
A team that allows a lot of goals has to score a lot of goals. Plain and simple. The problem is the injury bug hasn’t been contained within the defensive corps. With Eberle and Nugent Hopkins both out, you lose your top 2 scorers. It’s a good thing Taylor Hall has been on a tear as of late of the Oilers would have hardly anything to speak of offensively.
Now, we could either go the way of some Oilers fans and blame everything on Hemsky for some reason, or we could except some things:
- The Oilers were only great in October because of unreal goaltending.
- The injury bug has harmed this team beyond repair.
So what’s to expect past the first sentence of this post? Well the Oilers are on pace for 70 points, which puts them 8 points up on last year. That would show improvement but, call me pessimistic, I don’t see them reaching that pace with the injuries they currently have. Be ready for the draft lottery for another year.