Sunday, October 16, 2011
Back To The Drawing Board
Three games in, and there is already a lot of story that has been told. The Nuge looks like he belongs, Hemsky is hurt again, the defense needs some help and the coaching staff is going to need a lot of eraser.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is a player, there is no denying that, but how can the Oilers get all these pieces pulling in the same direction? How does Nugent-Hopkins fit in with the rest of the pieces? How can the Oilers get the most out of everyone? So save the, "The Nuge is the best and anyone who didn't think he should have been picked first is a dumb jackass, roflmaowtfpwn!" Speaking for myself, I know the Nuge is a helluva player, I got the opportunity to watch him a ton while playing for the Red Deer Rebels last year. I know he has sublime vision, is strong on his skates and is a an all around deft player. The question is, how do the Oilers get the most out of everyone? Originally, I had the Oilers picking Sean Couturier. The reason being I wanted the Oilers to jump the curb a bit in terms of fast forwarding the rebuild, not by a lot, but perhaps cutting off a year on the rebuild. The Oilers are going to need bigger players at some point, and the only way they are getting any of the good ones is drafting them. As it stands right now, the Oilers are going to have to continue turning over the team while players like Hall, RNH and Eberle conintue to gain experience. Players like Omark, Hemsky and Gagner, are practically out the door, and will need to be replaced by players that can apply some "pushback", while chipping some goals. Those types are not easy to find, either they will be castoffs or players well past their prime, but these players are needed in any form. Congrats to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for a solid game last night, but now its up to Steve Tambellini to figure out how to make all these pieces work. The Oilers team should look like Survivor Island over the next few weeks and I will be disappointed if some players aren't shipped out ASAP...aka Omark, Hemsky, Gagner.
Mr. Shawn Horcoff, you just need to play flat out better. I can live with the fact that you fumble the puck all over the place, but you need to be a stabilizer out there. Make the proper reads and cover your area.
Something that I would try if I was Tom Renney in the meantime:
Damn, do the Oilers need Owen Nolan in a bad way, he would be the perect third player on a line with Hall and RNH, freeing up Eberle to head up a pretty good 2nd line. I know, I know, Horcoff is on it, but I am thinking he needs to get out of the pure checking role and be more of a hybrid player. Right now, the better option for a pure checking line center is Belanger. The Oilers also need Ben Eager back and Teemu Hartikainen up with the big club. It will give the Oilers two more bullets when push comes to shove.