If healthy, Oilers D could be far better than expected
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12-05-2012, 11:43 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: just north of...everything
Smid/Petry haven't been together long, but they had a fair amount of success when they were. If they can build on that chemistry rather than going the other way with it, they could be a very serviceable top pairing. In a perfect world you've got an elite defenseman anchoring the top spot allowing Smid-Petry to be the 2nd pair, but those players are hard to come by.
If any of Justin Schultz's play in the AHL carries over into the NHL, then he could help out a lot sooner than most of us expected. A steady vetran LD like Nick Schultz could be the ideal compliment in both style, and to have someone to cover for the inevitable "young defenseman" issues that every defenseman in history has experienced. Scott Hannan did an excellent job in that role with both Josh Gorges and M-E Vlasic in San Jose. The other way to do it is if you have a healthy Whitney, you can play him at RD with Schultz like they did last year and have a 1A/1B situation and it allows J.Schultz to play even more sheltered minutes at ES and still giving him time on the #1PP unit.
Asuming Whitney isn't at 100% (which he may never be again), then he anchors your 3rd pair quite nicely. He played well with Potter in the past, but who knows if Potter even makes the team this year. Peckham could be the guy, or Teubert, or any number of vetran free agents still out there (Eeaton/Commodore/White).
So yeah, the defense could be alright, but we're also assuming players who historically have issues with injuries (Smid/Whitney) will be healthy and that the young guys will step in and continue to improve without taking a step back.
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