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07-13-2013, 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by notloilersfan View Post
Since it sounds like MacT is mostly done for the off-season, I decided to go through all 29 rosters around the league, and decide if they are better or worse than us in the three categories: Top 6 Forwards, Bottom 6 Forwards, D-core.

Top 6 Forwards:

Oilers : Hall, RNH, Eberle, Yakupov, Gagner, Perron

Ranking: 4th

Who Was Better: Boston, Chicago, Pittsburgh.

Notes: Pittsburgh got there because of Crosby and Malkin, but I might still like the potential balance of our attack more. (if we're coached right)

Who Was Worse: The following teams were worth being in the discussion... Colorado, Detroit, San Jose, Philly, Vancouver

Bottom 6 Forwards

Oilers: Gordon, Hemsky, Jones, Smyth, Lander, Joensuu, Brown

Ranking: 26th

Who Was Worse: Carolina, New Jersey, Tampa, Vancouver

Who Was Better: I wasn't crazy on Dallas, Florida, or Winnipeg

Notes: I thought we'd be 30th here. It's still very bad compared to the good teams out there though.


Oilers: Petry, Smid, J. Schultz, Ference, N. Schultz, Belov, Kelfbom, Potter.

Ranking: 19th

Who Was Better: Anaheim, Boston, Chicago, Columbus, Florida, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Montreal, Nashville, Rangers, Ottawa, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Toronto, Vancouver, Washinton

Notes: I liked the top pairing of Minny and Tampa... but I might like our depth more than those teams. Their top pairings were too good though.

Who Was Worse: Buffalo, Calgary, Carolina, Colorado, Dallas, Detroit, New Jersey, Islanders, Philadelphia, San Jose, Winnipeg

Notes: Cases can be made here for Wings, Sharks, Jets and Islanders.

So what do you think? Am I way off? Do you disagree in certain areas? Flame away, I was just bored
Devils 4th line is one of the best there is, they clearly has a better bottom 6 than ours.
Our bottom six is looking pretty bad. Our hope is that Joensuu turns into a success, some arrows actually points in that direction. That Jones has a bounce back year. That Lander gets and takes his chance as a #4C, from what we saw last season I think he's already a pretty good bottom C and I think it's vain trying to groom him in the AHL in the hope he starts putting up points, he is what he is and I think he'd benefit more from NHL time, learning to play d against NHLers. That Hemsky gets a good return. That Gordon has some untapped offense. That Smyth gets a hip replacement. That one of the Marlies guys show some surprising NHL upside. That Brown does more than just skate around and hit people after they've made the play. That Eager suddenly returns from the dead/concussed. That Pitlick has an out of the blue breakout year. Yeah it doesn't look good.

Also as has been stated our top 6 has a lot of shiny toys but they're still far from being one of the best in the league. I still haven't seen them show that they can drive this team and take over games with any kind of consistency. Hall showed last season that he can grab a game by the balls and tip the scale for us, the rest of the guys has shown a nice skillset and the ability to put up points but to me that's not enough to create a top 6 that's one of the best. I'd say we're somewhere around 15-20 but if one or two breaks out and the rest starts put up an ok all around game then we might suddenly end up where the OP has us ranked.

Our slightly revamped d to me actually starts too look a bit underrated. A lot of unknowns yes but also a lot of guys knocking on the door with really solid upside. If Schultz can improve his overall game and come into camp better prepared physically and Klefbom is as good as I think he is, D might fairly quickly turn into a strength.
I'm also not a fan of the obsession with number 1 d, bottom pairing d and so on. I think the main thing is to put six good d-men with slightly different skillsets but all at least solid defensively on the ice and at least one guy who can move the puck up ice on each pairing. Yeah some guys take on tougher assigments and obviously there's always a difference in quality amongst them but being too caught up with ranking them is just silly.

I think ranking the fwd lines as first, second and so on makes more sense since there are more options how you run them, but I think most ppl overdo the ranking in that case as well. Just imo.

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