Was just going to say the same thing...while they had a decent early start and led the division, there was a awefull lot of games that they deserved to lose if it wasn't for Rollie, that killer instinct to win was never really there.
I thought that the Oil started out the season on very thin ice with their defence and that even if the two rookies every night scenario worked for them initially, eventually injuries to the veteran d-men would seal their fate. Even if they stayed healthy, anyone who dreamed of another Cup run with two rookies in the lineup and Smith as our best defensive defenseman was delusional.
This isn't a 20-20 hindsight post, I made several posts and threads pertaining to this exact issue before the season started.
December 28th, 2006 was the day the Oilers were toast
those Colorado games earlier really pissed me off but losing to the lowly Kings by blowing a 4-2 lead put me over the edge...it was the start of a horrendous end of 2006
Completely agreed, this was a game they should have won easily based on effort but made too many mistakes (just like every other loss this year). The mini-slide over Christmas along with the other teams getting hot were the difference this year.
Last half of December: it became clear that Lowe was either having trouble getting a defenceman or didn't want to (to my amazement, this lasted all season) and the Oilers started to show their true colours, culminating in that horrendous New Year's Eve stinkfest against Calgary.
I have to agree Pouzar. Edmonton came out of the gate very strong this year but in late December teams were taking advantage of the young defence. The oilers always seemed to be playing on their heals. The new years stinkfest was a terrible game. Edmonton didn't seem to want it. That is the night I realized Edmonton wouldn't make the playoffs. With that being said I didn't think Vancouver would make it let alone win the division.
I hate to say they were winning at the start of the season by fluke, but it seemed that the start of the season had a LOT to do with lucky bounces, and winning many games we had no business winning.
We were winning incoherently, and showed that we were not a consistant team. As a whole, we weren't talented enough to win without a LOT of hard work and sacrifice (which was once the staple of this club).
I think with Moreau injury, the team lost a lot of its blue-collar work ethic, and started trying to win on talent alone. All the things that gave the OILERS their identity, all the trademarks of their cup run, were lost.
- No one will argue that When Torres is hitting, he is a dominanting force.
- No one could argue Horcoff wasn't a true #1 centre when he was outhustling, outworking, and outscoring the opposing top lines.
- No one would argue that Pisani's shot in the playoffs was a thing of beauty.
The remaining players from that cup run seemed to be extremely burned out, rather than playing like they had something to prove (with the exception of Smyth).