Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Oilers Depth Chart: September 2011 Edition

The Big Club:

Smyth Gagner Hemsky
Hall Horcoff Eberle
Paajarvi Belanger Jones
Eager Lander Brule
Omark Hordichuk

Whitney Gilbert
Barker Petry
Sutton Smid



Rajala Petrell House
Hamilton Pitlick Keller
Hartikainen O'Marra Green
Tyrvainen Vandevelde Lord
Tremblay Arcobello

Helmer Potter
Chorney Teubert
Davidson Plante



Forwards - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will be an interesting case study in the preseason. I believe if he does not blow the doors off the place, he should go back to Red Deer. I have a feeling Oiler management disagrees with me, meaning one of the other 14 forwards will lose their gig.....I have Jones over Omark just for the fact the Oilers will need PKers. Jones fits the bill and plays an overall safer game....The forwards as a whole look good. Very deep on the wings, still lacking at center, but getting there. Putting Pitlick at center and grooming him there will go a long way to fixing some problems in the future....OKC looks solid on forward. Not the the high end scorers like last year, but deeper and more gritty. OKC should enjoy some old school hockey this year.

Defense - Still missing Whitney's defense partner that would improve the Oilers ten-fold. If Whitney's ankle still gives him trouble, that would make the hole deeper.... Petry on the 2nd pairing might be a bit ambitious, but I think he has the best blend of offense and defense to make it work. Playing with a vet like Barker may also help him out. It's Petry's time to make it work and stick for good. Shoot the puck!.....Sutton and Smid on the 3rd pair is what it is. Allowing them to be trial and error without throwing them into the deep end....OKC has some nice options to go to if some Dmen get injured or don't work out. Potter, Teubert, Davidson, potentially even Helmer could get some action this year with the big club. Potter is a player that could make the club out of camp, especially if Petry falters.

Goaltending - As told by the depth chart, you can see how I feel about Khabibulin. Doing jail time couldn't have been good for his conditioning and he's already starting behind the 8-ball. He has to flat out play well in the preseason, or else he is likely done and the Oilers will start running through cheaper and better options. Dubnyk will likely get the first crack and then Danis. Dubnyk needs to work on conditioning and shore up those cracks that effect his game in spurts that puts his team behind. The Oilers are a team that isn't good enough to afford bad goaltending at any time. I do believe the Oilers could be running through a pleathora of goaltenders this year.

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