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Oi'll say! 10-19-2003 02:37 PM

Surprising players so far this year
 
I know it's still early, but every two pointer is important and these guys are paid a whole schwack of money to show up and do their best game in/game out.

Big positives:

-Smyth is winning draws, and has started off the season in fine form. Last year it took him a while to get going.

-Torres is finding the net a lot more than expected. He showed us that he had some skills in the ahl playoffs but who ever expected him to burst from the gate like this?

-Bergie has put exclaimation marks where there were nothing but question marks one month ago. Obviously he hasn't been perfect, but his play has eliminated any thoughts of an immediate trade for depth at d.

-Laraque has shown his "A" game more often than not so far this season. He won't give us 82 games at full gallop, but he's looking like a sure bet to eclipse his previous point totals by a wide margin.

-Moreau started off this season just like last. With all of the excitement about the new crop coming up this summer I was more guilty than anyone of forgetting why Ethan is so important to the Oilers, and he's one of my favorite players. Bad, bad call on my part. :o



Expected as much:

-Staios, Reasoner, and Horcoff have been solid all around bargains in the two most important skating positions. It's players like them who make or break a small market team and they are getting straight A's.

-Salo wins when the guys in front of him play a half decent game.



What gives?

-Semenov's rookie campaign was phenominal, and he came into town with an extra twenty pounds or so which would seem to benefit his 6'6" frame. Not so apparently, he has fallen way down the depth chart ever since Cross took his place. If Gigantor puts it all back together again he makes this team a lot tougher to play against.

-At home they average 5 goals a game and can't lose, on they road they can't score, can't win, can't even compete. Inconsistancy is to be expected of a team this young, but being lacklustre isn't. If the Oilers are going to throw away points like that then 8th place will be hard to get this season.



Waiting...

Dvo and Izzy have more than adequate reasons for not lighting it up so far, but Izzy is in good health now and should start ripping it up soon or the fans will be on him like ugly on an ape. Dvo has been buzzing the last couple of games, hopefully he'll be rewarded soon enough. It's a long season and different guys have to step up and carry the load at various times during the season, their turn is fast upon them.

speeds 10-19-2003 03:19 PM

no note of the 20 year old going PPG so far, hey?

That's a pretty rare player, if he could continue on that pace all year (don't worry, I'm not expecting it ;) )

outKast* 10-19-2003 03:21 PM

I Agree with you whole-heartedly about Ethan Moreau. He has been an integral part to our teams success and is somewhat an unsung hero. He hasn't shown us anything offesively...yet, but with all his hard work, the goals will soon come.

Digger12 10-19-2003 03:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by speeds
no note of the 20 year old going PPG so far, hey?

That's a pretty rare player, if he could continue on that pace all year (don't worry, I'm not expecting it ;) )

This is the scary thing: Here he is, tied for the team lead in points...and I don't think he's had an especially dominant game yet.

Still not getting enough shots on net though. If he ever figures out that not every goal has to make the HONour roll, watch out. :yo:

EVH 10-19-2003 03:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by speeds
no note of the 20 year old going PPG so far, hey?

That's a pretty rare player, if he could continue on that pace all year (don't worry, I'm not expecting it ;) )

Well, with Hemsky I don't know what to expect. He just might be the first player to ever crack 60-70 points while taking only 60-70 shots;) Not a knock on the kid, he's still young, but once he starts shooting that puck, watch out.

BTW, what do you think about that Weiss/Comrie rumour? I'm thinking that Weiss and Hemsky could make a hell of a tandem down the line.

Lowetide 10-19-2003 04:00 PM

Hemsky surprises me in that he's more physical than I thought he was, and apparently can take abuse. He was plunked on his can after the goal the other night, and then blocked a shot that looked ugly later but came out the following period.

He's also one of those players who can go two periods without doing much then be the first star with three nice passes. God he's good.

The surprises to me are:

1. Bergeron. Based on what I've seen of him, I thought Northlands would be 18,000 people in the fetal position every time he touched the puck. Not so. He has made mistakes, but works like a bugger to make up for it on the same play. You have to respect that.

2. Salo. Can't really put my finger on what he's doing, but he seems to be less floppy and more intense.

3. Smyth. Does he have ANOTHER gear?

4. Comrie, for all the wrong reasons.

outKast* 10-19-2003 04:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by EVH
BTW, what do you think about that Weiss/Comrie rumour? I'm thinking that Weiss and Hemsky could make a hell of a tandem down the line.

Weiss, Chistov, Zetterberg are all small but i wouldnt mind adding more pure skill on a team like ours. We need some more players who can score on a nightly basis. Those 3 guys may turn out to be great offensive threats here in Edmonton. Weiss is a great return for Comrie in my opinion. a change of scenery is all he needs.

LoudmouthHemskyfan#1 10-19-2003 04:35 PM

Seeing Bergeron alot in the surprises so far. Am I the only one who expected him to play very very well? The talent and confidence was visible last year, even in his very short look.

Person who has surprised me is Torres, but I'm not sure he can keep up the consistent performance, just because of the kind of player he is.

McThome 10-19-2003 05:21 PM

THe most incredible thing is that the Oilers are third in the league in goals and have stunk the joint out and got shut-out in two of five games!!! Torres is REALLY impressing me - and I think our new, tough, fast, and VERY VERY YOUNG first line is my favorite since We Smyth-Weight-Guerin.

itsmagic 10-19-2003 05:57 PM

It's still early days... but the efforts against the Sabres and the Avalanche have me (and many other fans) cautiously optimistic. If this is the trend established over the first ten games or so, the season will be a wild ride.

And as much as I truly would like to see the Flames fight for a playoff spot (and make it), I'm going to enjoy going into work at my office in Calgary on Monday and gloating.

LoudmouthHemskyFan#2 10-19-2003 06:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thome_26
and I think our new, tough, fast, and VERY VERY YOUNG first line is my favorite since We Smyth-Weight-Guerin.

How can you say that? We havent had a solidified 1st line...he has been changed on a daily (only on a good day) basis...MacT's "BINGO" pull numbers out of a hat line combination maker has made this impossible..

Oi'll say! 10-19-2003 06:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by speeds
no note of the 20 year old going PPG so far, hey?

That's a pretty rare player, if he could continue on that pace all year (don't worry, I'm not expecting it ;) )

I was one of the crazy people who said that an 80 point season wasn't out of the question for Hemsky this season, and if he plays on the top line all season 60 is automatic. There aren't many players who get first line minutes and pp time and get less than that and Ales wouldn't be one of them.


I know it's kinda wierd to have Smytty as a surprise and not Ales, but Smytty just being at center still blows me away and I am very surprised that he is winning more than 50% of his faceoffs. I thought that he'd lose his lunch money on the dot.


No matter what kind of a thread you read you find "Comrie for ???" posts? :joker:

Oi'll say! 10-19-2003 07:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LoudmouthHemskyfan#1
Seeing Bergeron alot in the surprises so far. Am I the only one who expected him to play very very well? The talent and confidence was visible last year, even in his very short look.

Person who has surprised me is Torres, but I'm not sure he can keep up the consistent performance, just because of the kind of player he is.

I've been one of Bergie's biggest supporters going back before he even got his first call-up but even I never thought that he'd be this solid on a shift by shift basis.

Last season he looked a bit slow on a number of occasions but he seems to have gained a step, and he has been going head to head with the Iggys and Afinogenovs of the league and winning the battles.

For a 23 year old (6 days ago) rookie defenseman who wasn't even drafted that's some pretty crazy stuff.

Just two weeks ago he was still in the hunt for that last spot with Mikko Luoma and Bobby Allen, and nobody would have expected him to be in the lineup at Semi's expense.

Soon the bloom will be off the rose and people will bemoan every mistake that he makes like they do with Brewer, but for now we're all just happy that he's at the stage where he is. The final product looks very promising and the kid is off to a heckuva good start.

Mr Sakich 10-19-2003 07:12 PM

I really like izzy's play so far this season. It hasn't shown on the scoresheet but he is a dominating type power forward who is playing with an attitude. IMO, he has been one of the top 5 forwards so far because he brings a lot to the game.

If you ever played a team sport, you could appreciate what he is doing out there.

IceDragoon 10-19-2003 08:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Sakich
If you ever played a team sport, you could appreciate what he is doing out there.

That's it right there. Everyone is 'buying in', working hard and giving everything for their teammates. Two of the by-products of puck support are trust and confidence in your own, and your teammates', abilities. The players that aren't getting points are still creating good scoring chances and their teammates know what they are contributing. Their times will come and scoring by committee will continue. :D

I am mildly surprised by the play (and heart) of a number of players, but more surprised at how quickly they are meshing as a team.

McThome 10-19-2003 08:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LoudmouthHemskyfan#2
How can you say that? We havent had a solidified 1st line...he has been changed on a daily (only on a good day) basis...MacT's "BINGO" pull numbers out of a hat line combination maker has made this impossible..

I don't recall saying that they were solidified..... But as it stands they ARE our first line - and I love it - as it has a bit of everything and all the pieces have fit exceptionaly well so far.

LoudmouthHemskyFan#2 10-19-2003 08:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thome_26
I don't recall saying that they were solidified..... But as it stands they ARE our first line - and I love it - as it has a bit of everything and all the pieces have fit exceptionaly well so far.

i just think it is kinda hard to like a line so much when we have seen them for a total of 2 games

McThome 10-19-2003 08:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LoudmouthHemskyfan#2
i just think it is kinda hard to like a line so much when we have seen them for a total of 2 games

Because I like what I've seen. I COMPLETELY under-stand that Torres will cool off and eventually settle into the fourth line role this year, but at the moment - these guys have everything that is needed to be a top line. Speed, Heart, Grit, Talent, Energy are all covered by this line right now.

LoudmouthHemskyFan#2 10-19-2003 08:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thome_26
Because I like what I've seen. I COMPLETELY under-stand that Torres will cool off and eventually settle into the fourth line role this year, but at the moment - these guys have everything that is needed to be a top line. Speed, Heart, Grit, Talent, Energy are all covered by this line right now.

fair enough...but like you said that line is not going to play like the have all 82 games

McThome 10-19-2003 08:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LoudmouthHemskyfan#2
fair enough...but like you said that line is not going to play like the have all 82 games

I don't expect the line to last more then another 4-5 games as Torres WILL cool off. But at the moment is all I guess i was talking about.

Hairball 10-20-2003 12:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by oilflip
I Agree with you whole-heartedly about Ethan Moreau. He has been an integral part to our teams success and is somewhat an unsung hero. He hasn't shown us anything offesively...yet, but with all his hard work, the goals will soon come.


Didn't he break our shut out streak? I would consider that an important offensive contribution.







Wooooooooo. 500!!!

Behind Enemy Lines 10-20-2003 04:21 PM

I have to throw my two cents in for Ryan Smyth. Looking back to the pre-training camp standoff, it appeared Smyth might price himself out of the Edmonton marketplace. However instead we see (finally) a player accept less money for team loyalty and lifestyle. Surprise number two comes with his ready acceptance to put team goals first and slide over to the centreman position. Ryan Smyth has led by example and put the team first ahead of personal goals. Pleasant surprise in this day and age of pre CBA armeggedon.

Beyond Smyth, it is imo too early to talk surprises. I like the play of Torres and Bergeron but will have a better guage on them after twenty games. Salo also looks to have rebounded.


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