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09-28-2003, 07:17 AM
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Good post

Originally Posted by lowetide
Reading between the lines, and with a careful eye to MacT's post game press conferences, seems to me the Oilers will make a move on defense before the season starts.

I've read many reports over the last few days on this board and in the paid media with regard to Cory Cross being slow, getting beaten wide, etc. imo those things all happened last season too, but the Oilers had him with Brewer to compensate.

Smith and Staios are both average skaters, but they're also experienced defenders who can play the angles and know when to cheat.

The problem comes with:

*Semenov: can he step forward this season, or will he be able to handle only a small increase in minutes (19:41 last season).

*Cross: HAS he lost a step? Remember now, he came in late last season after everyone was beaten up by a half season.

*Ferguson: If Cross has lost a step, they can't play together.

*Luoma: Was behind entering last night's game, now he could be out of consideration altogether. Isn't fast either.

*Bergeron: Has clearly won a job, but for how long? If he was pinching in and losing last night, and making those death valley passes MacT will sit him in the Dan Cleary chair high above the ice surface many times this season. Despite his offense, is this a guy they can give 20 minutes a night too?

Here's last season's minutes:

Brewer (24:55)
Staios (22:17)
Smith (21:46)
Semenov (19:41)
Cross (17:23)
Bergeron (16:30) ****in 5 games
Ferguson (12:17)

If they don't make a move, their choices are:

a. give Cross more minutes a night beside Brewer.
b. split the top pairs, making it Brewer-Smith, Semenov-Staios, and giving them all 25 minutes a night.
c. Moving Bergeron WAY up and giving him either Staios or Smith to help out.
d. making a deal.

The most attractive option imo is this:


with the third pairing getting 12 minutes a night. When Semenov struggles, put Cross up there. Give Bergeron added minutes on the powerplay.

Any other ideas?
Yes and mirrors my worries about the season. I was harder on Bergeron in my analysis last night because in my mind I already had Luoma in Toronto.

They had Cross and Ferguson paired last night and it wasn't a pretty sight, it actually was quite scary but I assumed they wouldn't do that in the regular season.

I worry about Bergeron but he is going to be a little high risk until he learns. I can live with that if he can help our PP and provide some offensive spark from the blueline

I like your pairings.

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