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Does a healthy Oilers roster really look that bad?

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Old
07-09-2012, 12:04 PM
  #1
notloilersfan
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Does a healthy Oilers roster really look that bad?

We saw Hemsky and Whitney play much better hockey down the stretch (assuming this was happening as their injury status was improving.) With them playing better, the team was .500 since the all-star break. (14-14-5)

Many Oilers lineups have Hemsky being the afterthought in the top 6, and Whitney being pencilled in as a #4-6 d-man. The big question is, do we really look that bad on paper, if those 2, (and Hall, really...) come back healthy and play to their ability?

Hall RNH Eberle
Yakupov Gagner Hemsky
Smyth Horcoff Jones
Paajarvi/Harti Belanger Eager

Whitney J. Schultz
Smid Petry
N. Schultz Sutton

*N. Schultz can take a few of Justin's shifts with Whitney when they need a more defensive presence

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07-09-2012, 12:06 PM
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Joe Hallenback
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It isn't a bad roster IF they can finally stay healthy for the most part. Need a full season from Hall,RNH,and Whitney. Need Hemsky to play like he gives a damm.

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07-09-2012, 12:08 PM
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nabob
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pretty sure we have had this thread for 3 years in a row now.

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07-09-2012, 12:13 PM
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dnicks17
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Smid-Petry is the undisputed top pairing.

Whitney and J. Schultz should be competing for the #4 spot, not playing together on the top pairing.

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07-09-2012, 12:16 PM
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The Oilers haven't stayed healthy for years. It took all of 1 game last year before Hemsky was injured. I forget at which point Whitney was out but I don't think he played many early games either.

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Old
07-09-2012, 12:20 PM
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oilersfan11
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It doesn't look bad,but still the roster isn't a playoff team this year.

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07-09-2012, 12:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dnicks17 View Post
Smid-Petry is the undisputed top pairing.

Whitney and J. Schultz should be competing for the #4 spot, not playing together on the top pairing.
Yeah I would go into the season with something like:

Smid-Petry
N.Schultz/Whitney-J.Schultz
Whitney/N.Schultz-Sutton

If someone was willing/able to play the other side it could be juggled to look a bit better.

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07-09-2012, 12:35 PM
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Maybe I'm too optimistic, but you don't make or miss the playoffs based on your 4th line and 3rd pairing.

In our top 6 - I think most would agree that these guys could be top 6 guys on a playoff team: Hall, Eberle, RNH, Hemsky, Yakupov (probably).

So, that is 5/6 definite top 6 guys that could play in any top 6 in the league IMO. Gagner despite his detractors is not a bad 2C.

Our top 4 - Smid, Petry, and Nick Schultz could be Dmen on a playoff team. Whitney for sure if healthy. Justin Schultz possibly if the scouts are to be believed.

And then our 3rd line - I think Smyth-Horc-Jones could all be 3rd liners on even the best teams in the league.

So that leaves our #6 Dman and our 4th lines as question marks.

And then the biggest ? - goaltending. If Dubnyk plays the whole year like he finished last year and we stay healthy, I don't see how we're not at least competing for a spot as late as March.

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07-09-2012, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Hoogaar23 View Post
Maybe I'm too optimistic, but you don't make or miss the playoffs based on your 4th line and 3rd pairing.

In our top 6 - I think most would agree that these guys could be top 6 guys on a playoff team: Hall, Eberle, RNH, Hemsky, Yakupov (probably).

So, that is 5/6 definite top 6 guys that could play in any top 6 in the league IMO. Gagner despite his detractors is not a bad 2C.

Our top 4 - Smid, Petry, and Nick Schultz could be Dmen on a playoff team. Whitney for sure if healthy. Justin Schultz possibly if the scouts are to be believed.

And then our 3rd line - I think Smyth-Horc-Jones could all be 3rd liners on even the best teams in the league.

So that leaves our #6 Dman and our 4th lines as question marks.

And then the biggest ? - goaltending. If Dubnyk plays the whole year like he finished last year and we stay healthy, I don't see how we're not at least competing for a spot as late as March.
While I don't necessarily disagree, it's as if EVERYTHING has to go right for the Oilers to make the playoffs. Other question marks are our #2 LW and honestly I still feel our #2 C are question marks until Gagner either breaks out or is traded for a big power forward C. Definitely not out of the realm of possibility though. Remember the last time a team picked 1st overall and made the playoffs the next season was the 1997-98 when the Bruins selected Joe Thornton in the 97 draft. It's one of the hardest things possible in hockey.

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07-09-2012, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dnicks17 View Post
Smid-Petry is the undisputed top pairing.

Whitney and J. Schultz should be competing for the #4 spot, not playing together on the top pairing.
In the context of the thread, a healthy Whitney playing at his potential would be our #1. The 27 points in 35 games Pre-Injury Whitney of a couple of years ago.

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07-09-2012, 01:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dnicks17 View Post
Smid-Petry is the undisputed top pairing.

Whitney and J. Schultz should be competing for the #4 spot, not playing together on the top pairing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neilio View Post
In the context of the thread, a healthy Whitney playing at his potential would be our #1. The 27 points in 35 games Pre-Injury Whitney of a couple of years ago.
Exactly, that's the point of my thread. A healthy Whitney playing the game the way he can, is a top pairing d-man. Smid-Petry would still get 20+ minutes each.

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07-09-2012, 01:06 PM
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Let's assume everyone is completely healthy all year. My take line by line is

Hall - RNH - Eberle - This line is as good as any line in the league

Hemsky - Gagner - Yakupov - Not going to be the best defensively, but they should be good for 70-80 goals between them imo and are better than most 2nd lines

Smyth - Horcoff - Jones - Not the quickest line anymore, but they are very good defensively and can chip in offensively too. I'd say they're a pretty average 3rd line

Eager - Belanger - Petrell - a faceoff specialist with 2 guys to crash and bang on his wings. Also, 2 of our penalty killers are on this line so it's certainly not a liability. Above average 4th line

Smid - Petry - 2 good players that can play every situation, but no doubt this is a fairly weak top pairing

Whitney - J. Schultz - if everything goes right, this is a very good 2nd pairing and above average in the league. If Whitney is hurt and Schultz gets overwhelmed, this quickly turns into a weaker second pairing.

Schultz - Sutton - 2 stay at home defensemen. Honestly a pretty damn good bottom pairing. Won't put up much offense, but won't give up much either and can do some serious bruising. Is say their an above average bottom pairing.


Dubnyk - Could be a #1, but is inconsistent and let's in some deflating goals. If he can take the next step, we should be ok though. Well below average (On par with teams like Florida, NYI and Winnipeg)

Khabibulin - Maybe he'll be a good backup this year? Performs well in contract years, and showed at the start of last year that he still can play. Is say he's a fairly average backup, maybe leaning towards above average depending on his play.


So if the stars align, we're a playoff team IMO

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07-09-2012, 01:08 PM
  #13
hockeyaddict101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nabob View Post
pretty sure we have had this thread for 3 years in a row now.
To be fair the Oilers haven't been close to healthy for 3 years in a row now.

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07-09-2012, 01:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Nuge View Post
Let's assume everyone is completely healthy all year. My take line by line is

Hall - RNH - Eberle - This line is as good as any line in the league
Hemsky - Gagner - Yakupov - Not going to be the best defensively, but they should be good for 70-80 goals between them imo and are better than most 2nd lines
Smyth - Horcoff - Jones - Not the quickest line anymore, but they are very good defensively and can chip in offensively too. I'd say they're a pretty average 3rd line

Eager - Belanger - Petrell - a faceoff specialist with 2 guys to crash and bang on his wings. Also, 2 of our penalty killers are on this line so it's certainly not a liability. Above average 4th line

Smid - Petry - 2 good players that can play every situation, but no doubt this is a fairly weak top pairing

Whitney - J. Schultz - if everything goes right, this is a very good 2nd pairing and above average in the league. If Whitney is hurt and Schultz gets overwhelmed, this quickly turns into a weaker second pairing.

Schultz - Sutton - 2 stay at home defensemen. Honestly a pretty damn good bottom pairing. Won't put up much offense, but won't give up much either and can do some serious bruising. Is say their an above average bottom pairing.


Dubnyk - Could be a #1, but is inconsistent and let's in some deflating goals. If he can take the next step, we should be ok though. Well below average (On par with teams like Florida, NYI and Winnipeg)

Khabibulin - Maybe he'll be a good backup this year? Performs well in contract years, and showed at the start of last year that he still can play. Is say he's a fairly average backup, maybe leaning towards above average depending on his play.


So if the stars align, we're a playoff team IMO



So we make just 2 changes in the offseason and we all of a sudden make up 21 points and make the playoffs.


Sorry but us making the playoffs is crazy talk.

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07-09-2012, 01:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hockeyaddict101 View Post
To be fair the Oilers haven't been close to healthy for 3 years in a row now.
I actually think the injury bug has been affecting this team since 2007.

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07-09-2012, 01:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oilersfan11 View Post
So we make just 2 changes in the offseason and we all of a sudden make up 21 points and make the playoffs.


Sorry but us making the playoffs is crazy talk.
A healthy Whitney turns a #5 dman into a #1 dman, a healthy Hemsky turns a #2 RW into a 1st liner, Yakupov is hopefully going to be able to step in as a top 6 calibre player, Schultz is hopefully going to be a 4/5 next year. Those are some major changes

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07-09-2012, 01:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Nuge View Post
A healthy Whitney turns a #5 dman into a #1 dman, a healthy Hemsky turns a #2 RW into a 1st liner, Yakupov is hopefully going to be able to step in as a top 6 calibre player, Schultz is hopefully going to be a 4/5 next year. Those are some major changes
Why should we be expecting all these players to be healthy when they haven't been healthy in years?


Expecting them to be healthy is silly talk.

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07-09-2012, 01:16 PM
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hockeyaddict101
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Originally Posted by oilersfan11 View Post
I actually think the injury bug has been affecting this team since 2007.
I think you would be right. To add this, even if healthy, I don't think this team is a playoff team yet but they are closer for sure.

Still too many "if's" for my liking.

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07-09-2012, 01:21 PM
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2009-10= 530 man games lost to injury
2010-11= 281 man games lost to injury
2011-12= 246 man games lost to injury

There is no way in Hell the Oilers stay healthy. This year or any other.

So instead of crossing fingers, maybe management should get some depth for when the injuries happen.

Either that or have all the broken mirrors, black cats, ladders, salt, and cracks removed from the dressing room.

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07-09-2012, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Gret99zky View Post
2009-10= 530 man games lost to injury
2010-11= 281 man games lost to injury
2011-12= 246 man games lost to injury

There is no way in Hell the Oilers stay healthy. This year or any other.

So instead of crossing fingers, maybe management should get some depth for when the injuries happen.

Either that or have all the broken mirrors, black cats, ladders, salt, and cracks removed from the dressing room.
This is a large part of the problem....lack of depth. Couple that with a team makeup (small and soft) that isn't conducive to the rigors of an 82 game season and you have a big problem.

This isn't a problem thats going to get fixed through the draft.

Tambo (for the 3rd year in a row) has to acquire some actual NHL talent and depth. There are far too many question marks on this team especially on defence.

Whitney...likely never be 100%..cant be counted on for a top pairing role.
Petry...the jury is still out. Should be at the very most a 2nd pairing dman this season but on this team he will be forced into a top pairing role.
J Schultz...should be a bottom pairing dman in his first NHL season but on this team he will likely be forced into a top 4 role.

On offense the top 2 lines had some nice young talent but there are no veteran players on this team with enough girt and skills to play in the top 6. The team desperately needs that player. This is an injury waiting to happen for one of the young players because one of them is going to have to go to the dirty areas game in and game out.

So to answer the OP...the Oiler are at least 2-3 players away from being good enough to fight for a playoff spot.

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07-09-2012, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oilersfan11 View Post
Why should we be expecting all these players to be healthy when they haven't been healthy in years?


Expecting them to be healthy is silly talk.
You're right... It's not like it's a thread called "does a HEALTHY Oilers roster really look that bad"

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07-09-2012, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by The Nuge View Post
Let's assume everyone is completely healthy all year. My take line by line is

Hall - RNH - Eberle - This line is as good as any line in the league

Hemsky - Gagner - Yakupov - Not going to be the best defensively, but they should be good for 70-80 goals between them imo and are better than most 2nd lines
I'd rather put Hall with Hemsky. They had some great chemistry last year and Hall seems to bring out the best in Hemmer. Those two smaller forwards need bullish Hall to get it done.

I'd go with:

Yak - RNH - Ebs
Hall - Gags - Hemmer

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Nuge View Post
Smyth - Horcoff - Jones - Not the quickest line anymore, but they are very good defensively and can chip in offensively too. I'd say they're a pretty average 3rd line
Agreed. I don't think Krueger is going to make the same mistake of overworking Smyth. If Hart or Petrell makes a step I'd consider moving them up to this line.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Nuge View Post
Eager - Belanger - Petrell - a faceoff specialist with 2 guys to crash and bang on his wings. Also, 2 of our penalty killers are on this line so it's certainly not a liability. Above average 4th line
I like it, with Hart and Hordichuk subbing in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Nuge View Post
Smid - Petry - 2 good players that can play every situation, but no doubt this is a fairly weak top pairing

Whitney - J. Schultz - if everything goes right, this is a very good 2nd pairing and above average in the league. If Whitney is hurt and Schultz gets overwhelmed, this quickly turns into a weaker second pairing.
I don't feel this is a weak top pairing. Well not the strongest, it's definitely middle of the pack. Petry's defense is quite good, he's a fantastic poke checker. A few less mental mistakes and this is a great defensive pairing.

I'm a fan of putting the Schultz's together. Nick's defensive play is the best positionally on the team. IMO the Schultz-Gilbert trade was the best move tambo has made. Can't think of a better teacher for Justin. I love Whitney but I don't think his mobility is good enough for top 4 any more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Nuge View Post
Schultz - Sutton - 2 stay at home defensemen. Honestly a pretty damn good bottom pairing. Won't put up much offense, but won't give up much either and can do some serious bruising. Is say their an above average bottom pairing.
This is where I'd stick Whitney (unless he's *that* improved). If Justin can't hack it swap back to your original pairings, I haven't actually seen the kid play. I'm just really concerned that Whitney isn't near his former self. Even with improvements last year his mobility was no where near what it was.

Potter and Peckham (ugh) as 7-8's. From the blogs I've read Klefbom is actually as good or better than J. Schultz but I like the idea of him playing another year in the SEL.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Nuge View Post
Dubnyk - Could be a #1, but is inconsistent and let's in some deflating goals. If he can take the next step, we should be ok though. Well below average (On par with teams like Florida, NYI and Winnipeg)

Khabibulin - Maybe he'll be a good backup this year? Performs well in contract years, and showed at the start of last year that he still can play. Is say he's a fairly average backup, maybe leaning towards above average depending on his play.
Agreed with Dubnyk. He's let in some very deflating goals. For some reason though, and this has been true for two years in a row, the team plays MUCH better in front of Dubnyk than Khabi. All we need is average play from Dubnyk for a huge improvement.

I have no idea how Khabi will play out as a backup. The guy is either lights out or terrible. So inconsistent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Nuge View Post
So if the stars align, we're a playoff team IMO
That's a LOT of aligning!! Consider an injury to top 6, injury to top 4 defence and we're in a world of hurt again, especially if we lose Smid or N. Schultz.

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Old
07-09-2012, 01:40 PM
  #23
oilersfan11
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Originally Posted by The Nuge View Post
You're right... It's not like it's a thread called "does a HEALTHY Oilers roster really look that bad"
It doesn't matter either way since this team won't probably make the dance until the 2013-2014 season.

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07-09-2012, 01:46 PM
  #24
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Exactly, that's the point of my thread. A healthy Whitney playing the game the way he can, is a top pairing d-man. Smid-Petry would still get 20+ minutes each.
I don't think there's any guarantee a healthy Whitney can be close to the Whitney of two years ago.

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07-09-2012, 01:47 PM
  #25
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I wonder how many goals RNH gets this year if we assume his shooting percentage will be 100?

And will it be enough to win the Rocket Richard?


Last edited by Gret99zky: 07-09-2012 at 06:25 PM.
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