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Our season will be decided by the two Smi(y)ths

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Old
01-22-2004, 11:55 AM
  #1
Oilers1*
 
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Our season will be decided by the two Smi(y)ths

Before going down with his ankle injury, Jason Smith was probably playing the best hockey of his career. To have posted a +14, like he did, while Salo's Save % was flirting with .800 and the rest of the defense seemed to be having a giveaway contest was nothing short of astonishing.

Now, in his abscence, the team has tightened up defensively, Salo has risen from the dead, and the penalty-kill is actually respectable. If Jason comes back (and SOON, anyone know his time schedule?) and picks up at or near the level he was at before, we suddenly add an intimidating physical presence to a defense that has become spectacular (Brewer), steady (Cross, Staios), nasty (Ulanov) and poised (Semenov) in his abscence. Throw in a goalie that is actually stopping the stoppable shots and the Oilers end might not have to be shooting gallery anymore.

Up front, Mike York is having an MVP type season, Dvorak and Torres are adding capable second-line offense and everyone else is chipping in here and there. Now, if Ryan Smyth could heat up. . . suddenly we might have a couple dangerous lines and offense strong enough to win us some games. Right now, as everyone knows, Smyth is on a 50 point-pace, if he bumps that up to 65-70 points, then that's probably enough extra offense to put an extra 10 or 15 points in the win column in the second-half.

If those two guys can just play to expectations and injury-free, I don't think the playoffs are necessarily a question, it might be a matter of how close to fifth or sixth they can climb.

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01-22-2004, 12:22 PM
  #2
PineJockey
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What's this? An optimistic thread?! You're crazy man, just crazy.

Well, actually, now that I've gotten over the shock, I can't disagree with a thing you've said except to add that if your boy BG picks up his socks too, then we've really got somthing cookin'.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Laraque27
Before going down with his ankle injury, Jason Smith was probably playing the best hockey of his career. To have posted a +14, like he did, while Salo's Save % was flirting with .800 and the rest of the defense seemed to be having a giveaway contest was nothing short of astonishing.

Now, in his abscence, the team has tightened up defensively, Salo has risen from the dead, and the penalty-kill is actually respectable. If Jason comes back (and SOON, anyone know his time schedule?) and picks up at or near the level he was at before, we suddenly add an intimidating physical presence to a defense that has become spectacular (Brewer), steady (Cross, Staios), nasty (Ulanov) and poised (Semenov) in his abscence. Throw in a goalie that is actually stopping the stoppable shots and the Oilers end might not have to be shooting gallery anymore.

Up front, Mike York is having an MVP type season, Dvorak and Torres are adding capable second-line offense and everyone else is chipping in here and there. Now, if Ryan Smyth could heat up. . . suddenly we might have a couple dangerous lines and offense strong enough to win us some games. Right now, as everyone knows, Smyth is on a 50 point-pace, if he bumps that up to 65-70 points, then that's probably enough extra offense to put an extra 10 or 15 points in the win column in the second-half.

If those two guys can just play to expectations and injury-free, I don't think the playoffs are necessarily a question, it might be a matter of how close to fifth or sixth they can climb.

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Old
01-22-2004, 01:00 PM
  #3
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I agree with your post 110%. But also agree that we'll need a good effort from Laraque too. I see alot of potential for this team in the second half. Isbister is really starting to come on (creating alot of chances every night). York... well 'nough said. Dvorak is playing good getting lots of assists (need the shooting% to go up a bit). I can't think of anything else except the fact that we need a healthy Reasoner back again. Smyth DOES need to score more, and hopefully he will come aroudn - I think he will.

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01-22-2004, 01:18 PM
  #4
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I know we are all aware of our current position. The biggest hurdle yet to climb is beating the teams above us. The win against Dallas was HUGE but still not even close to enough.

Nashville 3 more times
Dallas 3 more times
Phoenix 3 more times
LA 3 more times

We need atleast 18 out of 24 points in those games to make ground on these teams plus play .650 hockey the rest of the way to think about 5th or 6th.

Hey Im happy with 7th or 8th. Is this team capable? I hope so...

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Old
01-22-2004, 01:43 PM
  #5
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Good Post haha, although Ferguson might be played over Semenov in some games, but I wouldn't knock Ferguson to hard. He's a good 6th defencemen imo, does what is asked of him, doesn't complain, does what the team is needed of him.

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Old
01-22-2004, 02:05 PM
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laraque27
Before going down with his ankle injury, Jason Smith was probably playing the best hockey of his career. To have posted a +14, like he did, while Salo's Save % was flirting with .800 and the rest of the defense seemed to be having a giveaway contest was nothing short of astonishing.

Now, in his abscence, the team has tightened up defensively, Salo has risen from the dead, and the penalty-kill is actually respectable. If Jason comes back (and SOON, anyone know his time schedule?) and picks up at or near the level he was at before, we suddenly add an intimidating physical presence to a defense that has become spectacular (Brewer), steady (Cross, Staios), nasty (Ulanov) and poised (Semenov) in his abscence. Throw in a goalie that is actually stopping the stoppable shots and the Oilers end might not have to be shooting gallery anymore.

Up front, Mike York is having an MVP type season, Dvorak and Torres are adding capable second-line offense and everyone else is chipping in here and there. Now, if Ryan Smyth could heat up. . . suddenly we might have a couple dangerous lines and offense strong enough to win us some games. Right now, as everyone knows, Smyth is on a 50 point-pace, if he bumps that up to 65-70 points, then that's probably enough extra offense to put an extra 10 or 15 points in the win column in the second-half.

If those two guys can just play to expectations and injury-free, I don't think the playoffs are necessarily a question, it might be a matter of how close to fifth or sixth they can climb.

I hope Smytty eventually gets to play with York again. Smyth should be the No.1 left winger on this team. (Smyth-York-Dvorak/Isbister) Oates just isn't producing for some reason. (?)

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Old
01-22-2004, 03:19 PM
  #7
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I think the development of a second line is key. Let's be honest, the first line right now is any line with York. Currently that is York - Dvorak and left winger X. Its been Torres in the past. It could be Chimera or Smyth or Izzy. The problem is that we need Oates to centre that second line with Smyth and Izzy (or whoever else). If that line starts producing, then we have a chance.

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Old
01-22-2004, 05:27 PM
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neogeo69
I think the development of a second line is key. Let's be honest, the first line right now is any line with York. Currently that is York - Dvorak and left winger X. Its been Torres in the past. It could be Chimera or Smyth or Izzy. The problem is that we need Oates to centre that second line with Smyth and Izzy (or whoever else). If that line starts producing, then we have a chance.
Exactly. I like the recent combination with Izzy. I think Torres is capable of playing with anyone and producing - he has done it so far. 2 goal games with Hemsky and Smyth - along with Stoll and Laraque, plus all the success with York and Dvo. Izzy seems to fit nicely with York and Dvo. A big body with great potential that is starting to come to light. To me Smyth needs to step up and lead his line. He is the Captain and he is the leader. pull up you panties and lead. Get the job done.

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