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02-11-2013, 08:29 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Sudbury
Country: Canada
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Devan Dubnyk
Pretty tough to argue this one. If it weren't for our goaltender we'd be around the basement of the NHL rather than in the playoff mix. He's had one below average game and it was essentially one period against SJ. Aside from that and the Calgary game the guy has been brilliant and has stolen us points on more than one occasion.

Player who has surprised you with his play this season?
Lennart Petrell
I couldn't stand the guy last year but he's been a beast on the PK and without Horcoff/Jones/Belanger we needed someone to step up in this aspect. Along with Smid he's been our best PKer and a big reason why that unit is overachieving right now.

Player who has disappointed you with his play this season?
Ryan Whitney
I said going into the year that if we were going to be making a run at the playoffs we needed Whitney and Hemsky to be key players for us. Hemsky has done his part while Whitney has looked like the worst player in the NHL at times. A healthy scratch in 2 of his last 4 pretty much sums up his game right. Thankfully he's in the last year of his contract.

Strongest area of the team?
Dubnyk has been lights out while virtually every other aspect of this team has been questionable at best.

Thoughts on coaching and system in place?
We need more than a dozen games to evaluate this. It pains me to watch our top powerplay unit at times. Yakupov has the best one-timer on the team and needs to be a focal point on the top unit. I have no problem with him getting 3rd line minutes at ES but he's a better powerplay player than Taylor Hall and needs to be played like it. Krueger also seems to have a love affair with Corey Potter which is irritating and has cost us a few goals so far.

Positives from the Oilers so far?
Justin Schultz looks unreal so far and has exceeded the huge expectations that came with him after his start in the AHL. I feel like we have a goaltender that is capable of winning a Stanley Cup, albeit not on his own. He's not going to go Tim Thomas or Jon Quick but with the potential we have elsewhere all we really need is a Niemi or Fleury and I think we have it. The PK has also been outstanding given our personnel.

Areas where the Oilers need to improve?
Even strength offensive production has been disgraceful. It's so obvious that this team needs more size and beligerence but Tambo continues to neglect this in favour of skill, skill and more skill.

Overall grade for the Oilers?

Revised season outcome for the Oilers (in terms of position in the NHL/West they finish)?
10th West

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