Friday, July 8, 2011

Back To The Future



When the Oilers are ready to move on and make some hay in the playoffs, I believe the team will resemble as it does above. It could be in the next year, it could be 4 years away. Gauging ripeness of talent isn't an exact science yet.

There are some things that come as a surprise though...No Smyth, no Horcoff, no Hemsky. Now, you could make a case for saying Smyth could be in for Hamilton or Horcoff could be in for Lander, Belanger, even Nugent-Hopkins, Hemsky could replace Gagner, or even Omark could be in for Jones, whatever your fancy might be. But the point is the lineup above has balance, at least at forward it does. While it may be light on experience, it has a nice blend of speed, strength, hockey smarts, good blend of PPers and Pkers, good blend of playmakers, shooters and net-crashers, just an overall solid group of versatile yet skilled players.

The defense still has a lot of questions. Can Petry play top pairing minutes? Can Peckham be a reliable top 4 player? Can Smid help groom whoever is coming through the door? Can Teubert play in the NHL? Its a lot of questions that will be answered, I believe, in short order. Most defenses go through a lot of turnover so if its still a work in progress, its ok, but when the time comes when the forwards are ready to roll, the defense is going to have to be there. So in the meantime, the Oilers evaluate what they have on defense and make sure they have a quick plan attack for something that might come available. Goaltending is in the same boat as the defense, it doesn't have to be now, but its going to have to be soon.

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