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02-16-2004, 05:36 PM
  #1
Jamie
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Rate the Oilers defensmen

There's a lot of talk about Smith being traded, and it seems like a lot of people want Cross dealt as well. My question is, age, and salary aside, how would you rate the Oilers defense, RIGHT NOW? Here's my take on it:

Smith, Brewer, Ulanov, Staios, Semenov, Cross, Bergeron, Ferguson

I'm sure a lot of people will disagree with me on Ulanov, but really, this guy has been absolutely bringing it every game. Semenov/Cross could easily be argued either way as well, but to me Semenov's talents make up for the advantage that Cross has in his experience and smart playing. Ferguson, IMO, only makes sense politically/financially to be in NHL over Bergeron. Skill/talent wise, Bergeron has well past Ferguson IMO.

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02-16-2004, 05:39 PM
  #2
ginner classic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie
There's a lot of talk about Smith being traded, and it seems like a lot of people want Cross dealt as well. My question is, age, and salary aside, how would you rate the Oilers defense, RIGHT NOW? Here's my take on it:

Smith, Brewer, Ulanov, Staios, Semenov, Cross, Bergeron, Ferguson

I'm sure a lot of people will disagree with me on Ulanov, but really, this guy has been absolutely bringing it every game. Semenov/Cross could easily be argued either way as well, but to me Semenov's talents make up for the advantage that Cross has in his experience and smart playing. Ferguson, IMO, only makes sense politically/financially to be in NHL over Bergeron. Skill/talent wise, Bergeron has well past Ferguson IMO.

I rate the Oilers D in the bottom third of the league. I think it is the #1 reason the team has struggled so much.

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02-16-2004, 05:48 PM
  #3
misfit
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1) Smith - Playing the best hockey of his career while everyone else plays their worst

2) Brewer - He's been up and down all year, but even his downs are beter than most

3) Ulanov - Since returning has really energised the team, and he's really helped in Semmy's development

4) Staios - Never quits, and at times was our #1 guy

5) Semenonv - Had a bad start, but since pairing up with Ulanov, he's been dynomite

6) Cross - Not the fastest, but he plays smart, and has been much better positionally

7) Ferguson - Same ol' Fergy, he's been surprisingly consistant all year, and plays with grit.

8) Bergeron - OK offencively, but not as responsible on defence. I know that's a lot to ask from a defenceman and all, but...


Almost identical to your post only I put Ferguson over Bergeron because he actually plays defence. He's gritty, and he's probably the only real stay at home guy we've got.

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02-16-2004, 06:22 PM
  #4
TheFranchise83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by misfit
He's gritty, and he's probably the only real stay at home guy we've got.
How about Jason Smith?

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02-16-2004, 09:34 PM
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie
My question is, age, and salary aside, how would you rate the Oilers defense, RIGHT NOW?

1. Jason Smith-Despite the injury, he's back to the level he established before becoming captain. Smith sets the tone for the Oiler backline, and if he is moved a younger player of similar pedigree should be the return.

2. Eric Brewer-He's still working on becoming Rod Langway. Tonight's mistake hurt, but he's played much better in the second half. He is overrated because of his trip to the Olympics, but he's a keeper imo.

3. Steve Staios-His first half was MVP calibre, but has been lost in post signing falloff and too many minutes from the coach. Still, he is a very valuable 20+ minutes a night defender.

4. Alexei Semenov-This guy will play forever. He looks slow because he's so big, and he makes lots of mistakes but he's still a very young defender. Will pass Brewer in a couple if years.

5. MA Begeron- He'll probably end up with a team like Chicago as the build a new team, and this guy will have a solid career imo. Has so much offensive talent he wants to use it every shift. Once he calms down and picks his spots, he'll be a killer. I'll look forward to seeing him when he comes to town.

6. Cory Cross- A solid veteran defender for the far end of the depth chart. Cross can't bring his best game every night, but he does settle down the kids and supply valuable minutes.

7. Igor Ulanov- His game has been solid, but you can see cracks appearing as he plays more and more minutes. Is a very nice player for a coach like MacTavish, who dreams of 6 43 year olds on the backline.

8. Scott Ferguson- Has gotten 200 games from his ability, which is a tremendous accomplishment.

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Old
02-16-2004, 10:35 PM
  #6
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I like that LT

but Igor should be playing over Cross.

All this won't happen but it would be nice to be able to keep that D together for awhile or maybe even just break in one of Lynch or Woywitka next year.

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Old
02-16-2004, 10:40 PM
  #7
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My go

1 Eric Brewer - Best D man by a country mile. Oiler fans stare at mistakes, growing pains and a player that still needs to work on his strentgh and conditioning but Brewer at half speed is our best blueliner. During dominant games he is as good a defender in his own end as any player I've watched this year. Needs someone to kick his butt in the gym, especially over the offseasons. If he refuses to put in the work then you think about moving him. His stickwork, footwork and heads up play with the puck are as good as any topflight blueliner in the game today. I think most of his mistakes are because the physical Brewer isn't where his talent level is at. Needs to push himself to get to the next level.

2 Corey Cross - gives the Oilers his best effort every game. Maybe 1 in 10 you can see he doesn't have the energy and his skating makes him a half step slower. Smart with the puck, not punishing but always pins his man and never gets beat once he engages, and surprisingly I think he has run our powerplay as good as anybody else we have tried (I just wouldn't use him too much and utilize his energy where it does the most good). Totally underrated. Need to manage his minutes.

3 Jason Smith - as hardnosed a blueliner as you will find in hockey. An unbelievable competitor. Can butcher the puck a lot, overamp for big games and get a little out of control but makes up for it by just scaring the bejesus out of timid hockey players. Surprised he hasn't punched Salo's lights out at a practice yet this year. His guts stand out even more on a team of pansies up front.

4 Alexi Semenov - some nights a #2, other times not so good. Has the skills to be a very good #2 in this league. Great feet for a big man. Good puck skills. Good passer. Good head for the game. Don't want to sound racist or anything but fits in very well for a Russian player. I'm reaching a bit here but I think he is the type of player that gives more not letting his partner down. I'd pair him with Brewer and leave him there. Some day we will sink or swim with these two, start now.

5 Steve Staios - I love his heart but I'm a big proponent of less is more with him. Big minutes run him down. Fighting guys twice his size may impress a few but it does nothing for either him or the team. Has a fatal flaw that this coaching staff seems incapable of fixing. He is too aggressive. He pinches in way too often and at inoportune times. He attacks plays at the blueline often taking himself out of plays and leaving his partner vulnerable. Still doesn't understand the timing of a hockey game eg. up 3-1 with 6 minutes left in a game he will join two forwards on an offensive rush while killing a penalty. It's like betting heavy on a pair of twos. Smart players don't do it.

6 Igor Ulanov - started out great. Starting to get a little reckless charging at plays trying to kill something. It's the same thing he did in the playoffs that cost us dearly. If he would tone that done a bit a great pickup for this team. Another very tough man.

7 Scott Ferguson - I hate putting him here. I love this guy. He'd punch my gramma out of her wheelchair for this hockey team. Can't skate or pass. Can play. In todays NHL the ultimate #7 guy.

8 Bergeron - I may be proved wrong but I don't think this guy belongs in this league. It's hard not to notice his size. It's such an initial problem to overcome. The rest of his game is nowhere near good enough to overcome it. Even at the AHL level he wanders all over the place playing a game I don't quite recognize. For a guy reputed to be such a great scrapper I for the life of me can't figure out why he wouldn't grab a guy like Tootoo and show the team he has something else to offer. It was a way Ferguson got more than a cup of coffee.

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Old
02-16-2004, 11:09 PM
  #8
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1. Jason Smith - heart and soul. Invaluable toughness. But it is likely time to move him if the right return is there...

2. Eric Brewer - still waiting for the complete package to emerge. Will it?

3. Igor Ulanov - mentor, role-model, and tough as nails. His addition provides a short-term replacement if Smith is moved.

4. Steve Staios - has slipped to my #4. Too many minutes and his game imo has gone south around the time of contract extension. It also seems Stevey simply can't hit the net with his shot.

5. Alexei Semenov - the future. Big, strong, skilled. Just needs the mental game to grow and catch up with his giant frame. Should learn to add meanness and mental toughness playing with Ulanov.

6. Woywitka - please let our future begin with a late season call-up.
(It likely won't but why not begin the apprenticeship).

7. Doug Lynch - please let our future begin with a late season call-up ii.
(Still abit rough but good offensive numbers in the A. Would we really be any worse with Lynch on our PP?)

8. Cory Cross - a valuable depth defenseman who has played through injury. Prone to mistakes but overall is a positive player on our back end. Could have some trade value to a playoff contender.

9. MA Bergeron - inconsistent here and in Toronto. Nice crisp passer and one-timer ability but still big gaps in his overall game. Likely destined to be a fringe player.

10. Scott Ferguson - Lacking natural skills, Fergie has put in yeoman service doing whatever asked of him by this team's coaching staff. Unlike many Oilers, Ferguson is usually the first one in to help a teammate in trouble. Inexpensive, consumate pro who made this team based upon heart and character. Unfortunately, Fergie has been too often a scapegoat for many fans. However it is time to make way for youth.

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Old
02-17-2004, 05:23 PM
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Behind Enemy Lines
1. Jason Smith - heart and soul. Invaluable toughness. But it is likely time to move him if the right return is there...

2. Eric Brewer - still waiting for the complete package to emerge. Will it?

3. Igor Ulanov - mentor, role-model, and tough as nails. His addition provides a short-term replacement if Smith is moved.

4. Steve Staios - has slipped to my #4. Too many minutes and his game imo has gone south around the time of contract extension. It also seems Stevey simply can't hit the net with his shot.

5. Alexei Semenov - the future. Big, strong, skilled. Just needs the mental game to grow and catch up with his giant frame. Should learn to add meanness and mental toughness playing with Ulanov.

6. Woywitka - please let our future begin with a late season call-up.
(It likely won't but why not begin the apprenticeship).

7. Doug Lynch - please let our future begin with a late season call-up ii.
(Still abit rough but good offensive numbers in the A. Would we really be any worse with Lynch on our PP?)

8. Cory Cross - a valuable depth defenseman who has played through injury. Prone to mistakes but overall is a positive player on our back end. Could have some trade value to a playoff contender.

9. MA Bergeron - inconsistent here and in Toronto. Nice crisp passer and one-timer ability but still big gaps in his overall game. Likely destined to be a fringe player.

10. Scott Ferguson - Lacking natural skills, Fergie has put in yeoman service doing whatever asked of him by this team's coaching staff. Unlike many Oilers, Ferguson is usually the first one in to help a teammate in trouble. Inexpensive, consumate pro who made this team based upon heart and character. Unfortunately, Fergie has been too often a scapegoat for many fans. However it is time to make way for youth.
Are you rating on potential? I can't see Woywitka or Lynch being above the other three in any situation right now.

Anyways my list is

Smith
Brewer
Cross(Reason I have him above Staios and Ulanov is because he is doing 10 times what most expected of him, and has been rather consistent. Lucky he signed for so low.
Ulanov(2nd best if not the best defenceman since rejoining the Oilers, but can't take away from Brewer's turnaround and Smith's dominance in a full season.
Staios
Semenov
Bergeron
Ferguson
Lynch
Woywitka

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Old
02-17-2004, 05:50 PM
  #10
thome_26
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What about the fact that Ulanov is providing some real good offense too!!!!!!!!! He's got 10 friggin points in 19 games - better PPG then any other DMAN!! Here's mine:

1.Brewer - up and down year that has to be expected in his first year as a "number 1".
2.Smith, having a career year, does everything for us
3.Ulanov, if judging since he arrived he's easily #1, he's stupidly brave, he's tough, he has more heart then anybody not named Moreau, is a great mentor for Semi, playing good offensivly....
4.Staios - first quarter MVP - getting worn out
5.Semi - he'll break out next year!
6.Cross - he's won me over, but to many good young kids on his heals and he should go.
7.Fergy/Bergy - it's a tie between those two, they are opposites of each other.

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Old
02-17-2004, 06:01 PM
  #11
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1. Brewer
2. Smith
3. Ulanov
4. Staios
5. Semi
6. Cross
7. M.A. Bergeron
8. Ferguson

Do you think Woywitka and Lynch will be regulars next season? I would love to see Ulanov resigned too.

Brewer-Staios
Ulanov-Semenov
Woywitka-Lynch

Assumng Smith is traded. In a few years that blueline will be scary. But of course not for a few years, and I am tired of waiting. Whats Oilers play better on left? Right? Just curious.

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Old
02-17-2004, 07:05 PM
  #12
t0mf00lery
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In MacT's eyes:

1. Staios
2. Ferguson
3. Ulanov
4. Smith
5. Cross
6. Brewer
7. Semenov
1029. Bergeron

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Old
02-17-2004, 07:13 PM
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hemskyfan
1. Brewer
2. Smith
3. Ulanov
4. Staios
5. Semi
6. Cross
7. M.A. Bergeron
8. Ferguson

Do you think Woywitka and Lynch will be regulars next season? I would love to see Ulanov resigned too.

Brewer-Staios
Ulanov-Semenov
Woywitka-Lynch



Assumng Smith is traded. In a few years that blueline will be scary. But of course not for a few years, and I am tired of waiting. Whats Oilers play better on left? Right? Just curious.

Woywitka is by far more NHL ready than Lynch.

After watching a few RR games live, Lynch foot speed is maybe one season away from being at the NHL level. He's like Bergeron when he entered his first season in the AHL. He looked awfully slow on the ice, and it took him 2 years in the AHL.

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Old
02-17-2004, 11:59 PM
  #14
Behind Enemy Lines
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oiltalk
Are you rating on potential? I can't see Woywitka or Lynch being above the other three in any situation right now.
I included Woywitka and Lynch based on potential. However I hope they might gain a late season call-up (when this season is officially pooched) to gain some experience for next year's camp.

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