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The Potent Offense of the Oil

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Old
11-19-2003, 09:37 AM
  #1
Marconius
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The Potent Offense of the Oil

It seems to me that during the summer everyone on the boards was concerned with the Oil's ability to score. We lost Carter, Comrie wasn't coming back. Niinimaa's points from the backend didn't look like they were gonna be replaced by anyone.

So here we sit, just under a quarter of the way through the season. The Oilers are tied for 3rd in goals fore.

The more I think about it, the more astounded I am. The craziest part to me is that York, the leading scorer, is only 21st overall. and hes the only Oiler in the top 50 right now. We don't even seem ot need the offensive gamebreaker that a lot of teams have (Gaborik/Hossa etc)

I think the big difference right now is that the Oilers finally have the personnel they need to make their offensive system work. The last couple years have seen Oilers teams who skated hard and who skated fast, but the goals were always hard to come by. After years of lip service, we finally do have 4 lines with scoring ability.

Lowe seems to have collected a pretty decent group of players, one could almost compare them to Ottawa a few years back. A collection of players with speed and skill, but young enough that they can't command huge contracts (Comrie excepted, of course )

Thoughts?
I've got to admit, in the back of my mind theres a voice telling me that a few of the players are just on lucky streaks and as the season progresses they may begin to tail off....

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11-19-2003, 09:41 AM
  #2
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I was annoyed too...though for me it was Flames fans telling me the Oilers wouldn't be able to score. Our team is deeper than we give them credit for, and with Oates coming in we're going to be that much better.

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Old
11-19-2003, 09:50 AM
  #3
Marconius
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hemskyfan
I was annoyed too...though for me it was Flames fans telling me the Oilers wouldn't be able to score. Our team is deeper than we give them credit for, and with Oates coming in we're going to be that much better.
I totally forgot about Oates for a second. That is incredible, and the best part is we didn't lose anyone to gain his offense. When I think of the Comrie trading chip + a number of depth player we oculd package for defensive help, I'm nothing but optimistic. The Oil are looking good. Methinks, that post 2004 we're gonna be a contended. Gotta give management credit, everything is going according to plan

cue manical laughter: MUHA HA HA HA HA HA

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11-19-2003, 10:02 AM
  #4
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Well, some of the players may tail off (Torres, perhaps?), but there are also guys who are underperforming offensively, too, like Smyth, Hemsky, Izzy, and (until recently) Dvorak. Not to mention D like Brewer.

So while there's potentially cause for a drop-off in goals, there's also some reason for optimism that this could continue for a while yet.

The nicest thing to have is that balanced scoring thing, so that when some players go into their slumps, there are others who are producing in their place and the team still has a decent chance to win those games.

(And yet I still hope for Smyth and York to leap ahead of the pack in scoring, since I took both of them in my draft this year... )

I didn't realize we were 3rd in scoring, though...that's pretty heady stuff. And our GAA is coming down now, too, with some improved defensive play and sharper goaltending. Another nice combination...

Bart

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11-19-2003, 10:11 AM
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well im as happy as the next guy that we are scoring all these goals.... it prolly wont continue at the pace its been going at, but i dont know that it will drop of LOTS either..... sure some players are playing over their heads right now (moreau, torres) but some are also not playing up to their potential either (hemsky, smyth).... so it could even out if some drop off a bit and other pick up the slack (oates will help in this manner as well)

i think what management has done is bring in a bunch of guys that can score 15-25 a season instead of having 2 guys that can pot 30 a year.... if you look at the forward lineup there are a bunch of guys that could be counted on for 15+ a season: smyth, york, dvorak, hemsky, isbister (yeah i still think he can get 15+), moreau, and now torres.... if your team can have 7 guys in the 15-25 range your team is doing well on offense..... and like others have said, with oates in the lineup i kinda expect smyth and maybe hemsky to get their game back somewhat

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Old
11-19-2003, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jadeddog
well im as happy as the next guy that we are scoring all these goals.... it prolly wont continue at the pace its been going at, but i dont know that it will drop of LOTS either..... sure some players are playing over their heads right now (moreau, torres) but some are also not playing up to their potential either (hemsky, smyth).... so it could even out if some drop off a bit and other pick up the slack (oates will help in this manner as well)
One can only wish that Oates has half of the affect on Smyth that he did on Hull. 40 goals for Smyth is not to likely, but that would be a dream. Paring Oates up with Hemsky might be the best thing for the young kid.

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Old
11-19-2003, 11:26 AM
  #7
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The key to the Oilers production is getting contributions from all four lines. The Oilers don't rely on one line to carry the team because they have quality players throughout the lineup, so while the Oilers don't have "super-star" type players in the lineup (perhaps super-stars in the making though) they probably are as deep in quality players from top to bottom as most teams in the league. Sure they're young and unknown to media and fans in other cities, but that doesn't change the fact that as a group they are fast and talented. For too long in Edmonton the mantra was we have speed but no talent. That's no longer the case IMHO.

If you compare the Oilers to one of the league leaders over the past two years in scoring, Vancouver, the only difference is the PP. The two teams were dead even in ES scoring (5-on-5, 4-on-4 and 3-on-3) last year while Vancouver had only 1 more goal 5-on-5. In addition when you consider that Edmonton matched Vancouver in ES scoring without individual players matching the production of a Bertuzzi and a Naslund you realize how balanced the Oilers attack is.

Last year:
Vancouver 5o5: 149 ES: 157 PP: 87 5o5/G: 1.82 ES/G: 1.91 PP/G: 1.06
Edmonton: 5o5: 148 ES: 157 PP: 56 5o5/G: 1.80 ES/G: 1.91 PP/G: 0.683

This year:
Vancouver GP: 19 5o5: 40 ES: 42 PP: 19 5o5/G: 2.11 ES/G: 2.21 PP/G: 1.00
Edmonton GP: 18 5o5: 33 ES: 37 PP: 11 5o5/G: 1.83 ES/G: 2.06 PP/G: 0.611

If the Oilers PP could score 0.70 goals/game they would have scored about 5 more goals so far this season, which would put them second in league scoring only 2 back of the Canucks with a game in hand.

The best part is that the Oilers because they are so young are only going to get better as they gain more experience. I think the future is bright.

 
Old
11-19-2003, 11:49 AM
  #8
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scoring by committee. they've been preaching that for years. Since the Oilers can't afford paying for high priced offensive talents, they require everyone to chip in offensively. After many years, we finally have the players and the system to get this philosophy to work.

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11-19-2003, 12:15 PM
  #9
Marconius
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jadeddog

i think what management has done is bring in a bunch of guys that can score 15-25 a season instead of having 2 guys that can pot 30 a year.... if you look at the forward lineup there are a bunch of guys that could be counted on for 15+ a season: smyth, york, dvorak, hemsky, isbister (yeah i still think he can get 15+), moreau, and now torres.... if your team can have 7 guys in the 15-25 range your team is doing well on offense..... and like others have said, with oates in the lineup i kinda expect smyth and maybe hemsky to get their game back somewhat
I agree 100%, thats exactly the point I was trying to make. Sure we lack the gamebreaking scoring of a Hossa or Gaborik, but we have the scoring spread around through all 4 lines.

Bart mentioned the scoring depth and probably the biggest advantage is the slumps of some will be offset by the scoring of others. Hemsky, Smyth and Isbister are not playing up ot their potential right now (points-wise, anyways). If someone like Torres does start to tail off, hopefully one of the slumpin players can start to pick it up

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Old
11-19-2003, 12:35 PM
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marconius
I think the big difference right now is that the Oilers finally have the personnel they need to make their offensive system work. The last couple years have seen Oilers teams who skated hard and who skated fast, but the goals were always hard to come by. After years of lip service, we finally do have 4 lines with scoring ability.

Thoughts?
I think it might be as simple as having assembled a group of players that are pretty good at stampeding the net. I think that most defensive systems break down pretty quickly when the puck and 2 opposing forwards are loose in the blue paint.

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Old
11-19-2003, 03:20 PM
  #11
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I don't think that therre is a team since pittsburgh who won the cup and had the leading scorer in the nhl. I wonder how many teams even had a top 5 scorer.

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Old
11-19-2003, 03:25 PM
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Great avatar, oge.

I haven't looked, but I don't think any Oiler forward is getting the kind of pt Weight/Smyth/Guerin got when they were together, or the Comrie/Smyth/Carter unit either.

If Oates/Smyth/Dvorak (or whatever line) starts to dominate, Smyth or Dvorak could get over 70 points this season.

Also, York could if he stays healthy. What a player.

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11-19-2003, 05:45 PM
  #13
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I'm kind of surprised that you're surprised, I thought that most of us were in agreement b4 the season started that the Oilers had a lot of forwards capable of racking up decent point totals. There were lots of posts about the Oilers even having 3 so-so scoring lines and 1 checking line.

The most surprising thing for me has been the bloated goals against stats and Salo's own sub-par performance.

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Old
11-19-2003, 07:53 PM
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oi'll say!
I'm kind of surprised that you're surprised, I thought that most of us were in agreement b4 the season started that the Oilers had a lot of forwards capable of racking up decent point totals. There were lots of posts about the Oilers even having 3 so-so scoring lines and 1 checking line.

The most surprising thing for me has been the bloated goals against stats and Salo's own sub-par performance.
Second that motion. Most of the threads before the season predict some decent numbers by the Oil... Isbister has been a bit of a let down, and so has Salo's play. Another let down is the fact Rita is still not in the lineup, In think this kids gonna have a heculva career in the NHL when/if ever given a chance. Some nice suprises are is the play of Torres who didn't come across during the preseason as a scorer, Cross has been alright as well, I'll be the first to admit that I had him written off.

GXL

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Old
11-20-2003, 07:41 AM
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kerplunk
...

Last year: Edmonton: GP:82 5o5:148 ES:157 PP:56 5o5/G:1.80 ES/G:1.91 PP/G:0.683
This year: Edmonton: GP:18 5o5:33_ ES:37_ PP:11 5o5/G:1.83 ES/G:2.06 PP/G:0.611


...
The best part is that the Oilers because they are so young are only going to get better as they gain more experience. I think the future is bright.
Great stuff, Kerplunk

Separating the game into its different elements really does make things clear IMO. Good that you separated the 4on4 from 5on5 ... looks like you filtered out the empty-netters too.

Always seems like the Oilers stay pretty steady ... the young guys (and there are always a lot of them) get a bit better on the whole, and one of their better players is lost in the off-season. .... It ends up pretty even. This year its Comrie that's missing.

So basically it is same-old, same-old. The Oilers are a very good 5on5 team with a crap powerplay. Nice to see the 4on4 numbers looking better (difference between ES/G and 5on5/G). The Oilers used to be bloody awful at this ... but they've been getting better every year. This is probably the one place where not having Comrie actually helps (The notorious 4on4 cherry-picker was EV+2 and EV-8 last year at 4on4 :mad: )

The Oates signing should help the powerplay eventually. And the Oilers should expect to get something decent back for Comrie, eventually, as well. All looks pretty positive.

The key thing that can allow the Oilers to continue to improve is to be able to hold the team together. Hasn't really been an option in the past ... but with the CBA renegotiation coming up, the CAD strong, additional revenue around, the $4 Mil Salo contract coming to an end, and really positive indicators like the Staios signing ... there are a lot of reasons for optimism in Oilerville IMO

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Old
11-20-2003, 08:30 AM
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oi'll say!
I'm kind of surprised that you're surprised, I thought that most of us were in agreement b4 the season started that the Oilers had a lot of forwards capable of racking up decent point totals. There were lots of posts about the Oilers even having 3 so-so scoring lines and 1 checking line.

The most surprising thing for me has been the bloated goals against stats and Salo's own sub-par performance.
Well, there was a lot of talk about how many goals this guy "should" get this year, this other guy should be good for 20-25, etc. And every once in a while someone else would look at the overall numbers and point out that it added up to 500 goals for the team or something...

But if someone had said that the Oilers would be tied for 3rd in goals scored in the whole league (before Wed. night's games, I believe), there would have been a lot of "no way"s and "quit dreaming"s sent back in reply.

I'm ticked by the scoring - it's sure a lot more exciting to see a 5-3 game rather than most 2-1 games or 1-0 games. and one can expect the defensive aspects to 'come around' as the young guys figure more things out, get more comfortable playing the system, etc.

I don't expect the Oilers to end up the season in the top 5 in goals scored, but wouldn't that be SOMETHING!!!?? <drool>

As long as they make the playoffs, that is...

Bart

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Old
11-20-2003, 09:29 AM
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I never questioned the ability for the Oilers to score 5 on 5, that is almost never an issue. The Oilers have good scoring talent top to bottom on their roster, though scoring on the power play is still a problem.

I don't think it was goals for people were worried about.. it was goals against.

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Old
11-20-2003, 10:02 AM
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Marconius
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oi'll say!
I'm kind of surprised that you're surprised, I thought that most of us were in agreement b4 the season started that the Oilers had a lot of forwards capable of racking up decent point totals. There were lots of posts about the Oilers even having 3 so-so scoring lines and 1 checking line.

The most surprising thing for me has been the bloated goals against stats and Salo's own sub-par performance.
I guess what I'm saying was that I'm pleasantly surprised. There was some talk about how each of the players had some decent offensive potential. But it seems we start off every year with dreams of potential realized. This is the first time I can remember when enough of the 'potential' on the team has transformed into actual consistent offense.

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Old
11-20-2003, 10:46 AM
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mizral
I don't think it was goals for people were worried about.. it was goals against.
This is simply not true. While probably more people were concerned about the defense, this does not alter the fact that many people voiced opinions that losing Carter, Comrie, and even Marchant and Niinimaa were going to hurt the Oilers in scoring goals. Lowe was taking a great deal of heat (in many forums) as a GM for letting the scoring talent go. These criticisms and doubts should not be allowed to be forgotten if the Oilers prove to be statistically equal for scoring capabilities this year.

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