How Improved Are The Oilers.
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08-14-2013, 10:15 AM
Join Date: Jun 2013
I'd argue that the Belov/Grebeshkov/Larsen collective is Whitney's replacement. Ference wasn't brought in to be a 3rd pairing powerplay specialist (which is what we were using Whitney as last season) - I absolutely believe that he'll be bumping N. Schultz back to the 3rd pairing, where he's actually effective.
I think that Ference and Perron will make a bigger difference than expected.
For the first time in a while, we have a top six entirely full of top six players - no rookies this year, no "well maybe he can play 2nd line...", no "well he's effective when he's not injured".
J. Schultz is the only question mark in our top 4 now - and I don't think that's a bad problem to have. He produced extraordinarily well last year for a rookie defenseman drowning in the amount of minutes he was thrown at the start of the year. I think it's easy to forget that J. Schultz probably played something like 2-3 times more hockey last season than he had before - it's got to be tough going from a NCAA schedule to playing 25+ minutes a night in the AHL to playing top-4 minutes in the NHL.
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