Now i dont remember the defense pairings all that well, but I recall semenov not getting all that much icetime and bergeron coming in for that last game. Was brewer with smith? I think the forward lines are correct
yeah nedved is a huge upgrade over marchant, but oates is not an upgrade over comrie, hes a downgrade...... ulanov is a bonus.... and conklin is better than salo
i would say that the team right now is better, but without nedved next year we are much worst, because we will lose oates as well...... they will be marginally better due to age/experience, but they wont gain so much of that to offset losing nedved
Yeah thats definitely a factor that has to be looked at. And this is all a huge if mind you. Last year we had dvorak and isbister who were just getting used to playing here. This year we have nedved who has proven chemistry with dvorak and torres is along for the ride.
Also last year, we had Comrie and York being largely ineffective. I remember york missing a perfect feed cross crease for an open net that he never would have missed if healthy. Hopefully this year will be a bit different.
Cross was ok, but he has gotten much better this year. Was Jason smith's ankle broken in playoffs last year or a couple before that?
Ulanov replacing ferguson if you will, well that looks a heck of a lot better.
We also are not relying on hemsky on the top line, as he was pretty ineffective last year in the playoffs.
We are missing reasoner though, I hope that doesnt hurt too much. Hopefully if we make it oates' faceoff ability makes up for reasoner's loss. This team is much much deeper to me, and everyone has much more chemistry and experience with each other. Conklin/markkanen hopefully won't let in any puck a defenseman with a good shot touches. And i think we were really still missing niinimaa last year come playoffs, which hurt.
Still, i just hope we make the playoffs. oh please.
Hemsky - hasn't been consistent this year. Slight decrease.
Dvorak - a full season of Dvorak. Better than last year.
Pisani - Until recently, hasn't been that much better than last year. But he's replaced Moreau as Mr Clutch of late. Slight increase.
I think the rest of the wingers are about the same as last year, though surprisingly, most of them have better +/- this year
Torres - He's been a great addition.
Horcoff - About the same as last year.
Marchant/Comrie/Reasoner replaced by Oates/Nedved/Stoll
I think Stoll kind of replaces Reasoner, which is okay.
Nedved/Oates replacing Marchant/Comrie should have been a big improvement, since Nedved/Oates are better offensive players, but since Nedved came late in the season, I'd say we lost a bit here. Let's not forget the failed experiments at center early in the season
Brewer/Smith/Staios/Cross: About the same as last year
Bergeron/Ulanov replace Ferguson/Semenov. Big improvement recently. Too bad their emergence happened fairly late in the season. Moreover, Semenov played about half a season and was about the same as last year.
Now it's better, but looking at the season as a whole, it's been rough at times. Since moving Salo, goaltending has been more consistent I think.
Overall, I'd say this year's bunch is a bit better. We have better depth, and thanks to Nedved, a bit of star power. Unfortunately, not much to show for it until March. But now, the Oilers are hot and that's all that matters!