Thread: Eberle and RNH
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03-24-2013, 03:38 PM
...better... or not
nexttothemoon's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Northern Alberta
Country: Canada
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Schultz has been near invisible in many games recently.. whereas earlier in the year he was definitely more noticeable.

I think in general teams just learn to adapt to what the Oilers have to offer. Every team has video and knows the one area where the Oilers are very good is their speed and ability to run and gun.

Open the doors up and the Oilers will very likely beat you... close them and you take away their only reliable weapons.

The Colorado game where they blew the doors off with 50+ shots and this game last night vs the Blues are polar opposites of how to play (and not play) versus the Oilers.

Bottle them up and crowd areas so they can't get any breakouts or passes going and you effectively neuter the team. Stay disciplined and don't take stupid penalties and you take away the Oilers only other weapon.

I don't think it's overly difficult for good coaching staffs to see the strengths and weaknesses of this Oilers team. They are pretty one-dimensional and are fodder for teams playing a strongly structured, stifling defensive system.

The only time the Oilers have a chance at winning is when teams don't play well defensively, the opposing goalie craps the bed or the opponent takes too many penalties and the Oilers PP burns them.

You can probably trace almost every Oilers victory to those factors. Good old luck sometimes comes into play as well.

Not every opponent is going to be able to play as tight as the Blues defensively or stay out of the box all night and the opposing goalies will sometimes have off nights... so the Oilers can still squeak out a win here and there and get a few extra pts in OT/SO situations.

Honestly I think many of the Oilers pts come from teams giving the Oilers the opportunities to win rather than the Oilers grabbing the game by the throat and taking those points.

It's a passive system they play... if the opponent makes openings which let their skillset perform they can win, if opponents are solid... no way they can win without some sheer luck on their side.

-Lack of mature talent (too many inexperienced players still learning the NHL game).

-Coaching not being able to come up with alternate strategies to counter opposing teams ability to shut the Oilers "one trick pony" gameplan down.

-Poor faceoff abilities that contributes to poor puck possession stats game after game.

-Many more giveaways and fewer takeaways than the opposition... again a sign of inexperience and playing against stifling defensive systems.

-injuries (but every team has them... not really a valid excuse).. except it exposes the lack of any real depth in the org.

Those are just a few of the many areas contributing to the Oilers mediocrity. Obviously management building a team based almost exclusively on speed and skill without taking into account a balanced roster built on size, physicality and strong defensive awareness is also a problem.

Oilers don't have enough good two-way players. It's all either pure skill or defense-first players.

The defense-first players are almost totally devoid of offense and are only mediocre defensively judging by how many shots the team allows... and the skilled offensive players are being shut down because teams trap and confine the spaces they need to be in to be effective.

No simple solutions outside of making roster changes in the summer and hoping for the younger players to improve and gain experience and eventually get better... OR blowing everything up entirely and becoming a trapping team that tries to eek into 8th place every year... ala Phoenix.

The blueprint from Katz on down has been to make this team an exciting, free wheeling team that outguns opponents and is entertaining to watch... win or lose... problem is that type of team takes time to reach a dominating level (and honestly may never get there in the West which is so restrictive defensively) and in the meantime watching them get shut down game after game makes for boring hockey... the exact opposite of what this team was "planned" to do.

Last edited by nexttothemoon: 03-24-2013 at 04:16 PM.
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