What are your Top 10 Predictions for the Oilers this Season?.........
I like to visit this Forum from time-to-time just to check up on what the Oilers' fans think and have to say about their favorite NHL team...............What are your Top 10 Predictions for the Oilers this Season?.........
ok, here are mine:
1.Rita makes the team and is second runner up for Calder
2.Reasoner increases his point total on a line with Moreau and Rita and the three become a favorite of the fans
3.Pisani drops back down to earth and becomes a fourth liner/healthy scratch (split about 50-50)
4.Salo rebounds from sub par season and reclaims his spot as one of the best goalies in the league (will be the best goalie in the NW division).
5.Dvorak is healthy most of the year and is in the Oilers top three in scoring
6.Luoma improves in the AHL the first couple weeks then becomes one of the Oiler top six regularly.
7.Brewer breaks the 35 point mark and emerges as a true #1 Dman
8.Oilers go on a cold slump again after Xman, but not as bad and finish 6th in the conference (Minny doesn't make the playoffs)
9.One of the Oilers top four Dmen are traded (dunno why/how, Just got a feeling)
10.Isbister shows up all his doubters and scores 25-20, is huge for the Oilers getting to the playoffs.
These are all obviously just wims (and optimistic ones too, obviously) But I wouldnt' say them If I didnt' think they were reasonably possible.
1. Radek Dvorak scores 30 or more goals, claims number 1 spot on right wing
2. Tommy Salo bounces back with a great season, helping the Oilers into the 2nd round
3. Moreau is traded a month or so into the season and Torres takes his place
4. Pisani shuts up all doubters and proves last season was not a fluke
5. Shawn Horcoff plays extremely well collecting 20 goals
6. Same with Isbister
7. One of Cross or Semenov has a disapointing season.
8. Staios is again Staios
9. Oilers play Run - Gun hockey while staying good defensively, all 4 lines are dangerious
10. Laraque gets 15-15.
1.) Brewer finally has his "breakout" season and becomes a legitimate top 2 d-man.. tops 35 points
2.) Salo bounces back from his sub-par season and finally earns his fairly large contract by carrying the Oil on his back in the last couple weeks of the season!
3.) Ryan Smyth shocks everyone and goes pretty much injury free for the entire season.. he gets into over 75 games and cracks 30 goals
4.) Rita and Torres finally show why they were drafted in the first round and force K-Lowe to deal Moreau near midseason ( )
5.) Dvorak, like Smyth, gets into a lot of games and shows why Carter was dealt at the deadline.. he scores 25-30-55
6.) Hemsky is everything Oilers fans have predicted and more.. easily ups his point total from last season and sells a lot of jerseys with number 83 on the back
7.) Comrie sits out for the first 10 games and K-Lowe bends and deals him for a d-man and prospect
8.) Horcoff has a slight improvement over last season but doesn't really come close to stepping into a spot on the number 2 line
9.) Cross has a terrible season and finds himself a healthy scratch near the end of the year in favor of Bergeron or Luomo
10.) The Oilers DON'T face Dallas in the playoffs (the Stars don't make it.. ) and surprise a lot of hockey analysts by actually winning a round!
I was going to make a prediction on Isbister but I honestly have no clue.. I see this as a turning-point year for him.. he could move towards Bertuzzi status or stay down at Moreau level.
1. Comrie signs a 1 year deal for 1.65 mil + potential 1 mil in bonuses 2 days into the regular season. He is met with a tidal wave of discontent not seen since the days of Poti. Instead of caving in, Comrie explodes with goal after goal and shuts up the masses and the critics by leading the team in scoring in the month of October with 6g 5a in 7gp (he is marginally beat out by brian savage - 6g 6a as NHL's player of the month) Lowe and Co. come out with public statements proclaiming that they had faith in Comrie all along and that he is a true "warrior" that embodies "Oilers Hockey". They are quick to negotiate a long term contract extention with Rich Winter but fail miserably in their attempt.
2. Oct. 18th the Avholes blow into town. Newly acquired tough guy Worrell is itching for a real challenge to establish his presence in the Western conference: Laraque and Worrel drop the gloves on their first shift together. The fight lasts a whole minute and ends in a draw - the crowd goes bezerk over the mindblowing title bout. Midway through the game, Torres crushes Kariya into the boards - the wheels fall off, and all hell breaks loose as both teams go at it. Bad blood spills into the next game in Colorado and a new rivalry is born. Laraque gets a mean streak and is no longer interested in doing his sappy infamous song readings on Power 92.
3. Craig Simpson - inspired by a new line of dippity doo hair products finally creates a lethal PP unit that the Oil have been sorely lacking for years. The setup? Laraque and Isbister parked in front of the net with Smitty in the faceoff circle and Brewer and Semenov shooting from the point.
4. Rita shows that he's for real, and Moreau is dealt at the waiver draft to NYR for a 3rd round pick. Rita ends the season 78 gp 15g 26a and near the top in rookie scoring.
5. Salo rebounds from last season and is back in his year 2000 form - carrying a 0.918 save percentage and a 1.65 gaa. He suffers a slight groin injury midway through the season and oil go into an early January funk while riding on the largely untested duo of Conklin and Deslauriers. There is a silver lining however as young JDD gets significant playing time and makes strides in his play and confidence.
6. The Oil end the year 7th in the conference (95pts) despite the January funk and much to the horror of Oiler fans, draw Colorado in the first round. It is blood sweat and tears in the 7 game ordeal but goes down as one of the most memorable series in recent oiler history.
7. Players to Breakout: Dvorak (28g-35a), Isbister (35g-30a), and Hemsky (25g 45a)
8. Contenders for the cleary awards (overhyped and didn't show): MA Bergeron, Horcoff
9. Leader in team scoring race - Smyth 87 points. Comrie 2nd at 82 points.
Something happens regarding Salo. Or it doesn't. (I like to be right about something once in a blue moon).
The Smyth-at-center experiment runs out of gas at 15 games, primarily due to the lacklustre performance of Isbister. York is inserted at centre.
Luoma is sent down to learn the NHL game and Ferguson is protected (someone else's prediction, but I agree it could happen).
The power play will improve...but not that much.
People will start out the season not worrying very much about Marchant/Niinimaa not being in the lineup. Sometime just after Christmas you'll start hearing plaintive wailing about how much Marchant and Niinimaa are being missed.
There is NO prediction #6!
Comrie signs in the 2nd or 3rd week of the season after Winter is convinced Lowe is sincere in being willing to let him sit all season. Matheson collects $1000 apiece from Bryn and Jones Comrie comes back as a 2nd line centre and doesn't do enough until the last month to reclaim 1st line C.
Worrel and Laraque don't fight all season. Then, inexplicably, they go at it in the opening round of the playoffs.
Bergeron is demoted after the first month. Comes back just before the end of season.
The RPM line starts the season together. And finishes together. (!?)
1. Cross has a great season locks up one of the coveted top 6 Dman spots. Cory finds himself paired with Staios/Bergeron on the point for the 2nd PowerPlay squad.
2. Brewer does have "breakout" season becoming top 6 Dman paired with Semenov/Smith. MacT recognizes his six Dman can and should split up the ice time somewhat equally.
3. Dvo dances to 39 goals and stays healthy. Mike York centers and Chimera flies up the left side. :dazzle:
4. Comrie holds out too long; then finally signs; has horrendous start and is traded. First line of Smytty, Horcoff and Hemski help fade the memory of Mike's departure quickly.
5. Ryan Smythe returns to LW as Horcoff, York, Reasoner, and Stoll are all solid up the middle.
6. Tommy Salo and Ty Conklin share goaltending responsibilities 65% to 35% and are a solid regular season duo. Salo has two great playoff series.
7. Izzy slumps early but see writing on the wall and rebounds for better 2nd half and becomes a monster in the playoffs. With Reasoner and Pisani they vie for 2nd line status. Emonton's top three line share equal ice depending on whose hot on any given night. Torres helps out as Brad is given a little pressbox perspective.
8. The Oilers finish 5th in the WC and go to at least the 3rd round in the Playoffs.
9. Edmonton splits the 6 game regular season series with Vancouver. They meet in the playoffs and all hell breaks loose.
10. Moreau exercises discipline and Laraque becomes even more aggressive getting to and staying on the puck. Together with Stoll up the middle, they become the surprise premiere energy line in the NHL.
1. Comrie signs & regains 1st line centre position between Smyth and Dvorak (Comrie doubters become followers once again)
2. York centres 2nd line between Isbister and Hemsky.
3. the RPM line becomes RTM line (Torres replaces Pisani).
4. Oilers have best 4th line in hockey with Horcoff between Laraque and Rita.
5. Chimera subs in for Rita or first injured winger.
6. Semenov and Bergeron ignite the PP (finally).
7. Conklin loses backup job to Valiquette.
8. Oilers trade Salo/Pisani/Staios to Carolina for Kevin Weeks/Josef Vasicek/Danny Richmond
9. Oilers finish 4th in the conference and make it to the 3rd round but lose to Vancouver.
10. Oilers DON'T make a trade with Calgary
ok. don't lambaste me to bad for the trade proposal.
1.Oilers come out stumbling K.Lowe is forced to sign Comrie and quickly turns around and trades him for Legwand
2.Smith goes down a quarter way through the year with a serious knee injury(2-4months).
3.Bergeron fills Smith spot and plays well with occasianal defensive lapses. Smith comes back to play less than stellar and Lowe trades him and shows confidence in Bergeron letting him keep the spot.
4.Luomo shows good potential but is not ready to make the jump Lowe signs Igor Ulanov to a 1yr contract for 6th d-man.
5.Legwand centers York and Dvorak on the second line has a career year 29G-32A-61P.
6.Smyth stays healthy all year gets 32G-38A-70P Hemsky and Isbister show great chemistry with him. Lowe claims to have found the one-two punch he was looking for.
7.Torres starts slow but finds his game and becomes a huge fan favourite almost rivaling that of Laraque.
8.Stoll tears it up on the farm team forcing Lowe to trade Horcoff who was having a career year to the Penguins for a 2nd round pick. Centers Laraque and Torres all three lay the body hard and often becoming somewhat feared around the league.
9.TSN analysts unanimously claim Oilers will sweep the Wings who have key injuries and that Ottawa will sweep the leafs both occur TSN's building is burnt to the ground the next day.
10.Oilers lose to the Stars(triple overtime game 7. Again ) in the second round but have made many strides and look to be on the rise considered one of the top 4-6 in the west
1. Comrie resigns quickly after an abysmal start by the Oilers. The Smyth experiment quickly becomes chaos after he twists his knee taking these faceoffs. Lowe swallows some of his pride, and gives Comrie the raise he was looking for.
2. Craig Simpson has a definite impact on the PP, its cruising at 18-20%, but then our PK falls off due to the abscence of Marchant, Niinimaa, and we fall to 25th in the league in that category.
3. Isbister is busted back to 2nd line because he lacks the footspeed and/or desire to progress. Lowe chews him out publicly in the papers, and the fans start to boo him everytime he touches the puck. This seems to affect him, cause after the All Star break, he catches on fire, and is a force for us, notching 25-20 and 75 PM's in the last 40 games.
4. After recovering from his bad knee, Smyth rebounds quickly, and after the All Star break, his line of Comrie, and Izzy become the second most scoring line in the Western conference (behind Sakic, Kariya, and Selanne). Vancouver fans are crying cause Naslund breaks his arm and is out for several months.
5. Our second line of Hemsky, Horcoff and Devo carry us through he first two months of hell. Our season starts really really rough, but after the All Star break, the Oilers are the second winningnest club behind Ottawa, but have more goals for than Ottawa.
6. Rita has trouble cracking the lineup at first, but then him and Stoll develop some good chemistry. They break up the RPM line, and become the RSP line, and that line starts to dent the twine on a regular basis, Rita leads all rookie scorers with 52 pts, 22 of them goals.
7. PK really stinks at first, but then MacT has a private talk with Moreau, Reasoner, and Stoll. Whatever he says has an affect, because the Oilers get even more aggressive, and not only are they killing penalties efficiently, but once again lead the league in SH goals. Reasoner leads all PK's with 7 SH's himself, and the Oilers PK by March is 5th in the league, and the PP is 9th.
8. Our defence at first is very very suspect. Salo has trouble because of our inability to clear the puck, bad break out passes etc. Cross/Ferguson is benched, and Bergeron/Luoma are dressed to have a hand at it. This doesn't work, but Bergeron becomes a PP monster. Passes are incredible, his foot speed makes him a real threat. Scores 6 pp goals in his first 20 games to lead all Oiler scorers in that category.
9. Lowe deals a couple of Oilers at trade deadline cause he is confident of a deep run into the playoffs based on how the young players are contributing. Gets us some veteran leadership. Since Lowe is unsure how much hockey will be played next year, he gets the green light from management to go for it, lets give the fans something to cheer about. Not going to speculate with any names. We finish 5th in the west, with 101 pts.
10. Oilers once again match up with Dallas, but without Hatcher, they are toothless. Bergeron puts Modano out in the second game with a HUGE open ice hit. After that Dallas crumbles, and Turco once again shows that he isn't the playoff goalie Belfour was. In the second round we luck out and draw the surprising Kings who once again show Colorado the door in the first round. Its a bitter affair, and goes seven games. Isbister scores twice in game seven, and Salo shuts the door. The third rd we face a refreshed Canuicks team with the readdition of Naslund. Once again its a hard faught series...... not saying another word!
wow, I'm happy I'm not the only one who really truely believes this team has ALOT to give this year. I would have guessed my predictions were to optimistic for some ppl! Interesting how everybody thinks that Isbister will have a great year (or atleast great second half).
1. The Oilers have a tough start to the year, losing 7 of their first 10 games. This finally gives Comrie some pressure on Lowe, resulting in a 1 year, 1.6M + bonuses contract. Comrie comes back, struggles for the first few games, then starts to put it together just before the inevitable groin pull that hampers him all season. He gets traded at the deadline.
2. Horcoff fails to follow up his strong finish to last year, falls back to the 4th line for a spell. Reasoner's strong play in preseason continues into the regular season, enough that he breaks the 40 point barrier and sees some time on the 2nd line.
3. Dvorak stays healthy other than the odd game here and there (knee soreness), scores 22 goals but misses at least 15 glorious opportunities and leads the team in the 'he does everything but score' category. Becomes a close friend of Hemsky and is a positive influence on him.
4. Isbister FINALLY shows a measure of consistency due to getting consistent top 6 ice time, breaks the 20 goal barrier and looks more like the 99/00 Isbister we were hoping for, but with even more of a physical edge to his game. In an unrelated story, Satan himself is seen purchasing a pair of ice skates.
5. Smyth will get a lower body injury, miss about 15 games. The team falters badly without him.
6. The PP crawls out of the 02/03 gutter and actually becomes respectable, becoming a top 10 PP on the road and middle of the pack at home. This comes from the players not standing on one spot waiting for the puck to come to them, but increased movement and switching of positions on the fly...Bergeron and later in the season Luoma (Fergie becomes #7 and Cross gets traded after an Alex Henry-like run of poor play) help here as well.
7. Laraque runs another stop sign, gets in an accident. Loses his license, he has to bum rides with his teammates to and from work.
8. Torres runs everything in sight, becomes a fan favourite despite a slow start to the year that sees him getting some pressbox action. Comes on strong after the allstar break, finishes the season with 12 to 15 goals and has a strong playoff, scoring 3 goals in our 7 game loss to Colorado.
9. Brewer continues his slow but irrefutable improvement, screws up less in his own end and breaks the 40 point barrier for the first time (mainly due to the improved PP). Makes the allstar team, this time with little debate.
10. My avatar eats at least one Sedin, happily finds a 2 for 1 coupon so eats the other one too. Oh wait...this is Oiler predictions, not me.
Stoll and Rita both get sent back to Toronto, Stoll plays well and Rita decides to suck it up and does the same after a bit of soul searching. Moreau is traded for picks later in the year, Rita is called up for good and Stoll arrives after the Comrie trade (depending on what Comrie is traded for). Rita has an outstanding playoff with 2 goals and 4 assists after being paired with Reasoner and Hemsky, they surprise as our new top line.
Bonus prediction: MacT and Simpson have 'philosophical differences' behind closed doors, but stay professional and don't let it become a distraction.
1. Smyth will be designated back to the left wing, as they were only trying him out in Center during training camp so they could see more of their left wingers in action due to their abundance of them.
2. Comrie will sign a 3 year $5.5M deal either a few days before the season begins or 2 weeks after it has started.
3. York will be #1 Center until Comrie is signed, playing a vital role on that line while Hemsky and Smyth continue to show chemistry.
4. Hemsky has a 15-40 or 20-35 season, either way getting 55 pts.
5. Rita and Luoma continue to improve, causing Moreau and Ferguson to be put on waivers or traded for picks.
6. The Oilers powerplay jumps into the top 10 after Simpson contributes many new ideas to get it started.
7. Cross will break the 5 goal barrier by scoring 6 goals, and adding 14 assists for a career year in pts.
8. Isbister and Laraque will do less talking and more producing, Isbister going 20-30, and Laraque going 12-20.
9. Oilers finish 6th place in the Western Conference.....
10. Playing none other than Dallas, but without Hatcher present, Comrie(with his dippsy doodles) and Hemsky(with his flash and accurate passing) set up Smyth and Bergeron for numerous one-timer to tip it in situations.
1. Power struggle in Colorado forces T. Selanne out of town, also they never do get their hands on a goalie and Aebschier is no Turco, Colorado has it's worst season since coming over form Quebec.
Vancouver realizes how important depth on a team is when T. Bertuzzi and M. Naslund both fracture body parts after a late night rendes-vous in the Nucks slippery showers.
This leaves the door open for Edmonton to walk in and steal the Northwest Division Title, finishing the year with 107 pts.
2. Comrie finally opens up to the public on Oct 24th and sais he wants to be an Oiler, the next afternoon he gets a 2 yr-3.5 mil contract and plays hard to prove it.
3. Jani Rita makes the team and has an exceptional start to the season (4 goals and 4 assists in his forst dozen games), but after back to back games of not being productive, he finds himself demoted to Hamilton upon Comrie's arrival. Unhappy, he publically states that he is not happy about the situation, refuses to go down to Hamilton and is traded with E. Moreau.
4. Ales Hemsky starts slow as line expirements make it tough for him to find chemistry, but by early November, he is reunited with R. Smyth and goes back to his normal productive ways.
5. The Defense is among the worst in the league and is publically scrutinized by the coaching staff. Cory Cross is put on the trade block, but no one wants him, so he gets bought out of his contract and slowly but surely the Oilers D line recovers, thanks to an injection of youth that was lacking.
6. MA Bergeron impresses and is nominated for rookie of the year, he leads the Oil in +/-, PP points and points by a defenseman.
7. Tommy Salo bounces back form a shaky season and is nominated for the Vezina, btw, neither him or MA Bergy win their respective awards.
8. The Oilers finish 3rd overall and draw Anaheim in Round 1, this goes to 6 games, but no Kariya, Oates, Thomas means no miracles, Jiggy is average in net and the Oil take it in 6.
9. Edmonton draws St. Louis in round 2, and this is a battle, Osgood and Salo simultaniously prove that they can win in the playoffs, this series goes to 7, but Oilers win it with a 3 goal outburst in the final 11 minutes to comeback and win the game 5-4, R. Smyth, B. Isbister and M. Comrie all have 3 point games. and Comrie scores the last 2 goals.
10. Conference finals and Edmonton draws none other than the Dallas Stars.................
"A player's "rookie season" is determined by the NHL's definition of a player who is eligible to win the Calder Trophy. Based on these standards, players may (and often do) have more than one "rookie" season. To be considered a rookie, a player cannot have played more than 25 games in any single preceding season nor in six or more games in each of any two preceding seasons in any major professional league. Since 1990-91, only players under 26 years old are considered rookies."
1. The first line experiment continues as Comrie holds out and becomes one of the hottest lines in the NHL. Smyth starts the season at centre which helps him avoid the injury bug and he plays 75 games with minor injuries due to slashes. He puts up a 25 goal, 60 point season and MacT is lauded as a visionary hockey coach who recreates Smyth. Hemsky avoids the sophomore jinx due to his dedicated hard work in the off season and he puts in a very respectable 45 point (15g, 30 a) season. He still doesn't shoot enough. Isbister becomes a dominating power forward that was envisioned and Brad credits Ryan Smyth with helping him. Isbister is injured though and misses 20 games while Chimera plays in for a stretch.
2. Due to recovering from his wrist surgery, York starts slow but given the success of the first line he is given time to regain his touch centring the second line of Chimera/York/Dvorak. He plays PP, and PK and develops real chemistry with fellow former Ranger Dvorak.
3. Dvorak bounces back to a successful season, loving Edmonton ice and the team. He scores 30 goals with York as his setup man.
4. Rita makes the team and plays stretches of games on the 2nd line, alternating with Chimera but sits more until mid-season. MacT tries to find a magic LW for the Dvorak - York line, but ends up with Chimera and Rita taking shifts.
5. Third line of Moreau/Reasoner and Pisani is reliable and Pisani starts to show some more offensive prowess as he becomes more comfortable in the NHL. "Too legit to quit" is Pisani's label and the fans laud his workman like efforts. Reasoner further exhibits excellent savvy and passing skills along with his grit. Rita shows some very good chemistry with Reasoner and Moreau is reluctantly traded away near the trade deadline.
6. With renewed chemistry, Edmonton leads a balance attack in the new year reminscent of the Senators and Devils. Even the fourth line of Torres/Horcoff and Laraques is feared for their dogged energy and is able to pot in some goals. The four line balance runs over more skilled but less balanced teams such as Vancouver and Colorado.
7. With the success of the team, Comrie holds out until Lowe trades him in December. Detroit tries Datsyuk, Zetterberg and Yzerman as the #1 centre, but none can handle it (Stevie Y's knee is just too wonky). They ante up the bidding war for MC's services but Atlanta finally out-bids for MC's services as they realize that Savard and Stefan was just not going to cut it as the top two centres. ATL trades Patrik Stefan and Exelby to EDM for Mike Comrie, Michael Henrich and Corey Cross (veteran D to stabilize young defense).
8. Stefan becomes the Oilers' new secondline centre with York and Dvorak as his wings and he starts to get a second life.
9. Brewer slowly improves, tantalizing fans with his potential. He puts in a solid 35 points season and gains a mean nasty streak when Darcy Tucker tries to knee-on-knee with Brewer who responds by pounding Tucker with a huge bodycheck in the corner. Tucker leaves the game with a strained knee ligament. Every NHL'er outside of Toronto secretly cheers at Brewer's check. Semenov has a so-so sophomore season, Smith returns with a stronger season and Staois continues to shine in an overlooked defensive role. Cross disappoints and is traded with Comrie. Exelby steps in and immediately improves the defensive core.
10. Edmonton (7th) faces Colorado (2nd) in the playoffs. In the pivotal game 5, the "energy" line dominates. Torres knocks down Selanne several times and Isbister runs over Forsberg and Blake. Worrell steps up to the plate and a battle royal erupts with Worrell and Laraques as the main contenders. BG decisions Worrell much to the shock of the Avs bench. Worrell is dazed and stumbles to the bench. The Avs crumble thereafter with Aebischer giving up key goals at costly times and the Avs lose in 6. Edmonton enventually bows out to the Stars (again!) in the 2nd round.
1 - Tommy Salo doesn't rebound completely, but does play better than last year.
2 - Jani Rita played a grand total of 7 NHL games and goes on to another 40 point season in the AHL. Kevin Lowe leaves him on the board as an RFA, and Rita is traded for another prospect shortly before the 2004 Entry Draft.
3 - Mike Comrie is traded. His contract on the new team exceeds $3 million dollars per year. Oiler fans turn on him completely (as they should have a long time ago!).
4 - The following players have breakout seasons: Radek Dvorak (32 goals), Eric Brewer (+12, really turns into a solid #2 man), Ethan Moreau (20+ goals), Jason Chimera (40+ points).
5 - The Following players have dissapointing seasons: Brad Isbister (30 - 35 points), Jason Smith (-10, falls down the depth chart a touch).
6 - The Following players don't really change all that much statistically: Ales Hemsky, Mike York, Ryan Smyth, and Shawn Horcoff.
7 - Marty Reasoner is again demoted to the AHL a couple times in the season. It becomes apperant that he will not be kept around after this season. Jared Stoll replaces him, and is much better.
8 - Raffi Torres plays his rookie season, and plays great though doesn't record a huge amount of points - but scoring points isn't Torres game. All season he plays a great, in your face, hard hitting style. Really works on the defensive aspect of the game, too.
9 - The Oilers MVP by seasons end is Mike York.
10 - The Oilers finish in 9th place in the Western Conference, and miss the playoffs by 4 points.
1-Salo Rebounds and has a solid but un-special season.
2-Comrie signs but the fans constantly Boo him and Lowe trades him to apease the fans as well as Comrie.
3-Dvorak returns to his old form and manages 29 goals on the top line
4-Isbister again shows signs of greatness but doesn't completely break out but manages a respectable 19-23 and adds a lot of toughness to his game
5-Semenov plays well again but does not improve his offensive totals by very much
6-Hemsky plays well but doesn't break 50 points recording 12-34
7-Brewer finally steps it up and emerges as a legitimate number 1.
8-Torres and Laraque become part of one the most feared 4th lines in the NHL. BG is forced to become more aggressive by Torres's style of play.
9-Horcoff improves his point total but not by much, he proves he can be a top end 3rd line center but doesn't make the 2nd line.
10-Chimera is given consistent icetime on the 3rd line after improving defensively and manages an impressive 21-17
firstly id like to say how VERY surprised i am that so many people are really positive about this year.... it seems all of you think that every player is going to do better than last year, well heres my predictions and i think they might be a little more "realistic"
1. salo plays better this year (cause you can play worst than he did last year) but still does not play very well, finishes around 15-20th in save% and 15th or so in GAA
2. comrie doesnt sign and gets traded, for who or what i dont even pretend to know
3. hemsky plays well this year, but is not the 2nd coming of gretzky that so many seem to thikn he is - he finishes with 15g-35a
4. smyth plays like he always does and puts in a solid effort on the top line - finishes with 25g-40a
5. isbister continues to mystify people, by having a really good game one night and being invisible the next - finishes with a mediocre 10g-25a
6. conklin doesnt impress at a backup - salo gets worked very hard because of this
7. torres sticks with the team and plays fairly well, he is the ***** disturber this team has been looking for
8. dvorak has a good solid season, gets promoted to 1st line after people realize that we cant put too much pressure on hemsky - finishes with 25g-30a
9. brewer continues his improvement - scores 10g-20a - but is a real workhorse for the oil
10. semenov also continues to improve dramatically and impresses everybody
so there you have them.... i really think most of them will come true.... i didnt make any western conference placing predictions because that is so dependant on how other teams do, but i do think they will finish around 7-8
1 The Oilers pp isn't pathetic anymore, in fact it's a smidgeon better than so-so. Fans are ecstatic.
2 Comrie is traded 8 games into the season. Fans love/hate the deal.
3 Brewer racks up 40 points and scores 3 highlite reel goals to give him 15 on the season. Fans are unimpressed.
4 Rita scores 19-20-39 and is a +4. MacT says "He needs to go Kelly Buchberger's hockey school in the summer, otherwise he's going back to the ahl forever."
5 Salo has another great season.
6 Bergeron sets the record for the greatest variety of highlite reel appearances in a single season; some on offense (good plays), some on defense (uh-oh), some in fights ( ), some more bodychecks ( ). He becomes a fan favorite, notorious for punching out the Scott Nichols and Darcy Tuckers of the world, and is the inspiration for Todd McFarlanes new super-hero "atomic punk".
7 Ryan Smyth promises to lose the mullet if the Oilers don't make it to the second round of the playoffs. Some overly fashion conscious fans cheer for the visitors.
8 Dvo's lack of highlite reel goals draws the ire of fickle fans who aren't impressed with 24, 31, 55 on the second line.
9 Horcoff and Reasoner both top 40 points.
10 The Oilers pick up Rod Brind'Amour at the trade deadline and win the Stanley Cup.