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01-01-2004, 11:14 PM
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Originally Posted by The Rage
I said this when Oates was signed and I'll say it again. Usually when guys miss training camp, but are skating during that time, they struggle when they first come back. Oates missed more than training camp and was not skating at the time. As I said at the time, his true presence will not be felt until the second half, but atleast he vastly improved the Oiler's horrendous faceoffs, which IS important.
Saku Koivu missed all of training camp + 13 regular season games without skating (knee injury) and struggled for about 5 games before getting back on a PPG pace. I think it's more a combinaison of having very little left in the tank for Oates and a lack of sniper/finisher kind of linemates.

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