It is obvious that we need a kick in the pants after going 121 minuts without a goal, both games losing to the teams backup goaltender.
I know K-LO and MacT want Cross to succeed so bad because they just renewed his contract, but face it boys, he doesnt cut it back there. Him or Fegry has to come out of the Top 6 and Ferguson has played good enough to be better than Cross.
I know that the RPM line has a cool name, but lets be honest, it's not working. He hasn't done anything much like 9 of our other forwards, but he's just the easiest and most likely to sit.
Same situation as Pisani, he hasnt played any worse, nor any better than the other guys, but just needs to see how things look form the pressbox.
He has played good, not great, but needs to sit in order to give Conk a look. Maybe our team will play better if they know they got a cold goalie behind them.
He didn't have a solid camp, but I know for a fact that he had a better camp then Cross, Cross is just getting the ice time because he has to earn his wage. Semenov was a top 4 guy last year, lets not flush his confidence down the toilet.
Needs to get in some playing time, and the Ryan Smyth expirement is really hurting our top line.
Tony Salameinen or Jani Rita
Both of these guys bring the same thing, speed, offensive upside, etc. Salmo might deserve it more, but Rita on Reasoner's right side might bring back whatever that was they had in pre-season, I can't remember what they call it cuz I haven't seen it in so long, but I think they call it chemistry.
We keep losing to back ups, why not try beating someone with ours. It may also spark more defensive responsibility.
So heres my modified line up for The Sabres on Thursday.
------------------------------------------------------------ Smyth-Horcoff-Hemsky Isbister-York-Dvorak Moreau-Reasoner-Salameinen/Rita Torres-Stoll-Laraque
Brewer-Semenov Staois-Smith Begeron-Ferguson
Placing Horcoff on the top line rewards him for his superb mediocrity, and puts Smyth back in his comfort zone.
Salmo on the third line might inject new life into the RPM line, but i guess it would be called the MRS. line, I don't really like the sound of that, but if they can produce then call them whatever you want. Rita would be brought in for the same reason, both have "pure" offensive ability, and I don't mean offensive like telling you that your moms got a wooden leg for a kick stand, I mean offensive like goals baby.
Semenov deserves a shot, Cross got his and didnt do enough to keep it.
Any objections? Things would be alot easier if The Comrie book closed.
I prefer Rita to Salmo, don't know why... but both deserve it.
Only thing I'm on the fence on is Salo/Conklin... but do agree that we need to get Conklin playing some games eventually.
I would take Salmo. His speed alone can break open a game. He's looked wayyy better than Rita during Camp and the Pre-Season. But then again, a whole schwack of guys looked good during Camp and the pre-season Reasoner, York, Chimera, Pisani, Smyth....
Agree with you about it everything except Chimera. He has been playing with Dvorak on the wing who hasn't been brilliant. Now Dvo has two good reasons for this.
1) His head is elswhere (and understandably so)
2) He missed a good chunk of training camp to be with his wife and newborn.
Dvo needs to play to get back into things. It's as simple as that.
Chimera has shown some good signs and has been at least as good as Isbister has and not taken as many penalties. He's the only tough player on the line and Izzy is not a good substitute for him.
Leave Isbister on the first line. Here's what we need
Isbister - Smyth - Hemsky
- Tough guy so they don't get pushed around, a shooter who will take a beating, and a skilled playmaker who looks to pass.
- Smyth has performed quite well at pivot and will improve with time. We're not at panic time yet.
Chimera - Horcoff - Dvorak
- Tough guy with hands, playmaker/shooter, playmaker/shooter.
Moreau - Reasoner - York
- Tough guy who's defensively responsible, good quality centre, A guy who belongs on the wing and will benefit from the added ice Moreau's size will create.
Torres - Stoll - Laraque
- Tough guy with hands, Defensive centre with some upside, The Tough Guy.
Brewer - Smith
Staios - Bergeron
Cross - Semenov
- Semenov and Smith may be changed around from time to time depending on how Semenov plays.
- Staios makes up for Bergeron's risky play. Smartest D-man we have.
Forwards Smyth York hemsky
Smyth needs to go back to wing, where he does his best work.
Hemsky to stay with Smyth.
York can play center and compliment both but really the key to thisline is Smyth playing his natural position with Hemsky opposite.
Isbister Horcoff Dvorak
Ithought Isbister and Dvorak played much better yesterday and would expect them to continue to improve. Horcoff has been one of the only forwards actually playing worth any recognition, as such reward him with second line ice time.
Moreau Stoll Chimera
Pisani hasn't done anything that deserves leaving him in the line up. Stoll should get his shot but should play with Moreau for some experience. Chimera didn't exactly light it up last night but can someone explain to me why he was the one getting benched in the third after only playing 5 minutes in the first 40? He seems to be MacT's whipping boy, last year it was the same thing. Play him for two minutes then sit him. Give the kid a chance and let play without fear of getting benched for a bad play, he has hardly been the biggest offender in making mistakes.
Torres Reasoner Laraque
I likethe look of Laraque and Torres together but if Horcoff moves up they should have some experience centering them so Reasoner is a better pick than Stoll.
Defence Brewer - Smith Staios - Semenov
Get Cory Cross out of the line up and let Semenov have a crack at redeeming himself. So far Cross has been nothing more than a big body but he doesn't use it for anything other than getting in the way.
Semenov at the leats will be the same but most likely will be able to move the puck in addition. Ferguson - Bergeron
Sure Ferguson isn't flashy but he is reliable defensively and has playeda heck of a lot better than Cross. As a pair Ferguson and Bergeron have been alright so why change it.
Goal Salo - Until this team straightens out and is headed in the right direction I think they have to leave him in. Our problems have not been goaltending or defending it has been scoring so why throw an unproven backup in when in all likely hood it will result in the team concentrating even more on defence?
I think these are the best lines I've seen so far. I think Horcoff would look best centering Smyth and Hemsky.
The only thing I don't understand is why Lowe signs players so quickly to such big deals.
Both Pisani and Cross are now collecting big league money over the next three years. The Oilers can't afford to have 1.6 Million over each of the next three years sitting in the pressbox.
yep, giving Cross the money he did was REALLY stupid - nobody would even take him last year - why would they this year ..... no reason he couldn't have signed him for .5 million less. Pisani's contract was SO stupid. The guy played WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY over his head last year.