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First Half Report Card.

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Old
01-09-2004, 01:48 PM
  #1
Lowetide
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First Half Report Card.

The Oilers under Kevin Lowe have been a team with two goals: making the playoffs and managing assets. The second half of this season represents a challenge for Kevin Lowe, as he might have to sacrifice one to get the other.

Here's how I see them (stats are based on a full season):


C Mike York: A 26-38-64. Tremendous hockey player, playing at a very high level. Class of the field.

Steve Staios: A 6-18-24. The last couple of weeks have been a struggle, but this guy gives it everything he has and then some. Plays every game like it's the playoffs. Awesome player.

LW Raffi Torres: B 22-18-40. Doesn't sting as much as we thought, but the kid has hands! g2k has a really good point with regard to this guy, and that is that he needs to bring that edge every night. Consistency is something all young players have to learn, and this guy has an amazing set of tools.

Jarret Stoll: B 14-7-21. What a fine young player. Quietly having a tremendous rookie season and taking on new assignments all the time. A keeper.

D Jason Smith: B 6-20-26. I'm not a big plus minus fan, but +14 with this bunch borders on the impossible. Worthy of all star consideration, and almost back to where he was when named captain.

RW Ales Hemsky: B- 18-30-48. I know many of you will disagree, but there's just not much wrong with the kid. He's been ineffective in the last while, but he's also playing on the 3 and 4 lines and not playing with the best skill players. Facing an uphill battle breaking into the NHL with MacT as coach.

Ethan Moreau: B- 16-8-24. THREE game winners this season, and he's played his rugged style with more discipline than in the past. Damn shame one of his finest seasons looks to be going to waste.

LW Ryan Smyth: C 22-30-52. Taking lots of heat from the fan base, and is certainly off from his own established level of play. Still, he's potted a couple of game winners, has contributed on the PP and PK, and played out of position for a long stretch of the first half.

C Marty Reasoner: C 8-24-32. Stepped right into the lineup last night and played at a high level. Actually won the faceoff on the Isles go ahead Papineau goal, but they called it back and re-did the thing. One of the main reasons this team will likely be better in the second half.

G Ty Conklin: C- 16w, 2.41, 91.8%. Has been shakey at times, but has handled a pretty large work load and given great effort. Made a mammoth save last night, but also let in some clunkers.

RW Radek Dvorak: C- 14-34-48. The fact he had any numbers the first half is a testimant to his strength as a person. Extremely difficult personal life in the last 6 months, and hopefully he'll pop a few more in the second half of the season.

D Alexei Semenov: C- 4-0-4. I've always liked him, he plays beyond his years. Not as physical as anyone would like, but he's not out of position very much either. Splendid young player.

Marc Andre Bergeron: D 8-14-22. Like most rookies, has paid in full for every mistake he's made. Has to play with a high degree of confidence because MacT's panic level with young players is very low.

Cory Cross: D 10-14-24. If he scores 10 goals there's going to be an investigation. There have been players just like him with NHL jobs since the dawn of time. He isn't much to look at, but he gets the job done and he doesn't panic. Has not been as consistent as he needs to be.

_______________________________________________


Eric Brewer: F 2-14-16. Has come along very well in the last ten games, but it's not enough. He's been mentioned in trade rumours, which never would have happened in previous seasons. Needs to be more consistent.

C Shawn Horcoff F 10-20-30. Always one of my favourites, he lost his way for a long portion of the first half. Seems to have righted the ship, but (as always) he has major competition for playing time. Well into his career and always seems on the verge of going either way.

Fernando Pisani: F 8-12-20. Playing like an AHL level talent, which is what he is. It's possible he wouldn't be on the team without that contract.

Scott Ferguson: F 0-8-8. Not really playing this badly, but when the skill level of a team is called into question, the marginal guys get buried. Ferguson will probably be joining Grier in Washington at the deadline (or some such place).

Brad Isbister: F 12-8-20. The last 10 games he's played much better, but in terms of the first 40 he hasn't been good enough and it's not close. I'm getting pretty damn sick of watching Mike York venture into traffic while this guy patrols the outer marker. Shameful.

LW Jason Chimera: F 6-4-10. Probably playing his last games as an Oiler.

RW Georges Laraque: F 0-8-8. Definitely playing his last games as an Oiler.

C Adam Oates: F 0-6-6. Appears to need a chair to help his skating. Arrives in the offensive zone late, usually about the time Edmonton loses possession. It's kind of funny, actually.

G Tommy Salo: F 14W, 2.92, 88.2% $700,000 a win by my count, and in Edmonton that spells bye-bye.

D Igor Ulanov: NR 0-2-2. Looks terrific so far, although he played Bobby Orr last night and gave Peca a chance from just inside the blueline. The great thing about Igor is that he put his face on front of the shot.

Sarno, Luoma, Salmelainen, Lynch, Valiquette: NR Some real talent here, but not this year. If I'm Sarno, I'm pretty pissed watching Oates trail every play.

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Old
01-09-2004, 02:06 PM
  #2
trent
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pretty accurate

pretty hard to give Reasoner only a 'C' though. He looked very good in his first 12 games and was solid in last night's game.

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Old
01-09-2004, 02:33 PM
  #3
hmminvisiblecola1279
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good post lowetide. especially agree with your grade on isbister. i as well get pissed when york is putting his body on the line each and every night while isbister floats around and plays on the periphery. i honestly will be surprised if he is still playing in the nhl after five years. i get the impression this is his last opportunity to make it and the reality is he has been a disappointment everywhere he has played and so far as an oiler that has not changed. what sickens me the most is if he added a physical element and a nasty disposition to his game he could be a helluva player.

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Old
01-09-2004, 03:03 PM
  #4
gretzky2kurri
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Great job LT.

I do wonder if Conks would have got that kinda grade BEFORE last nights game.......lol.

Torres gets a B- from me though. But he's gotta be in the B's if he's in the top 2 of scoring on the team. A few more hits per week and it's a B+. Get under the opponents skin here and there.........he's in the A's. Certainly an A+ in the surprise department. He's playing a different role than I expected/hoped for. But he's certainly playing above my expectations offensively.

Ryan Smyth.......D+

I was REALLY hoping you were gonna rate the coaching staff.

hint.....hint.....

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01-09-2004, 03:20 PM
  #5
Lowetide
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gretzky2kurri
I was REALLY hoping you were gonna rate the coaching staff.
As bad as year as the Oilers are having, MacTavish is having a worse one. He lost Comrie, Salo **** the bed, and his response has been a bag skate every two weeks.

I bet you a 2-4 that a kid like Bergeron hasn't got a freaking clue what he's supposed to do.

MacT gets an F. He should be fired just for the powerplay. The PK was a $5 collapsing suit for most of the first half and cost this team game on game. He refuses to sit veterans who are playing like crap, and he plays favourites to the point of silliness (Ulanov was on the pp all night last night).

I honestly think he can be a successful NHL coach, but with a veteran team. St. Louis, that kind of club.

If we made a list of players who didn't progress under MacT (we could start with Poti, and it looks like Hemsky will be a 4th liner for awhile), we'd have a pretty good group of young prospects.

PS, you realize Mizral will be by to say he told me so......


Last edited by Lowetide: 01-09-2004 at 03:24 PM.
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Old
01-09-2004, 03:35 PM
  #6
Hockeycrazed07
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowetide
MacT gets an F.

~Crazed.

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Old
01-09-2004, 03:56 PM
  #7
gretzky2kurri
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowetide
As bad as year as the Oilers are having, MacTavish is having a worse one. He lost Comrie, Salo **** the bed, and his response has been a bag skate every two weeks.

I bet you a 2-4 that a kid like Bergeron hasn't got a freaking clue what he's supposed to do.

MacT gets an F. He should be fired just for the powerplay. The PK was a $5 collapsing suit for most of the first half and cost this team game on game. He refuses to sit veterans who are playing like crap, and he plays favourites to the point of silliness (Ulanov was on the pp all night last night).

I honestly think he can be a successful NHL coach, but with a veteran team. St. Louis, that kind of club.

If we made a list of players who didn't progress under MacT (we could start with Poti, and it looks like Hemsky will be a 4th liner for awhile), we'd have a pretty good group of young prospects.

PS, you realize Mizral will be by to say he told me so......
WOW!

Now I see why you didn't include it originally. You were afraid of it turning into a rant.

I've never seen you so verbal about the coaching staff before. You've said bits and peices here and there, but that was something that even g2k would have take a back seat to.

And yes..........another fine post. A gem.

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Old
01-09-2004, 04:25 PM
  #8
Mizral
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lowetide, it's not so much an 'I told you so'. Just that I think sometimes you guys are inclined to look at things from a more 'glowing' position than I am sometimes.

As for MacTavish, I knew even you weren't sure on him even before this season. I remember we had a long thread involving my saying Lowe was an average GM, and I mentioned how I didn't feel MacTavish was much of a coach. I believe your response was, 'Why do you feel this way about MacTavish? I have my own thoughts about him.. ' - sort of an ominious post I thought

Anyhow, I think Mike York deserves an A+ for sure, but I can't see anybody else getting an A+. Yorkie has been an all-star this year, and I hope he makes the team. I predicted he'd finish with the most points over any other Oiler, and I'm really feeling good about it. York has just got everything - size, talent, grittiness, heart, speed, and defensive awareness - if he was 4 or 5 inches taller, and 30 pounds heavier, he'd be a Joe Thornton in this league!

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Old
01-09-2004, 05:14 PM
  #9
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But if he were 4 or 5 inches taller there is no way on god's green earth we would have gotten him for Poti and murray, so im quite happy with his size.

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Old
01-09-2004, 08:13 PM
  #10
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Is it me or has it been a trend for this team ever since Weight left that the top end players haven't produced to the level they should while the supporting cast has been going the extra mile and throwing us extra surprises?

Take last year for instance Hemsky, Semenov, Reasoner, Pisani, Staios, Moreau, Horcoff and for the start Chimera were all surprises. This year its Moreau, Torres, Stoll, Bergeron, Staios, Cross and Ulanov.

I included Reasoner and Staios since at the start of last season they weren't looked as core players to the team imo. This second half of the season is the time where someone is going to become accountable. To be honest i want the Oilers to make the playoffs, but for the long term its probably better for the Oilers to fail miserably so some heads roll.

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