Monday, November 14, 2011
The Quarter Pole 2011-2012 Season
With a break in the schedule and the Oilers off until Thursday, I figured it would be a good time to do a rundown on things that have been.
1. Taylor Hall. 3G-7A-10Pts Even. Prediction: Will lead the team in goals. Hall is a little behind the 8ball when his linemate Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is sitting at 7 goals and Ryan Smyth leads the team with 10. Still a lot of hockey to play and I think his best games are still to come.
2. Jordan Eberle. 4G-9A-13Pts Even. Prediction: Will score 25+ goals. He is slightly behind pace. He is on pace for 19 goals up to this point. Like Hall, I still think his best hockey is yet to come.
3. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. 7G-7A-14Pts +1. Prediction: Will not get more than 30 points on the Oilers. I got egg on my face on this one. He has 14 points through 17 games. The only way he's going to be stopped is through injury.
4. Ryan Smyth. 10G-7A-17Pts +2. Prediction: Will score 20+ goals. He has 10 goals in 17 games. He'll have to go stonecold or injured not to break 20 goals this year.
5. Sam Gagner. 0G-2A-2Pts Even. Prediction: Leads team in assists. This prediction has no legs. Gagner is not on the right team or in the right situation to thrive. High ankle sprain out of the gate isn't going to help. I see this prediction being a dud.
6. Shawn Horcoff. 3G-6A-9Pts Even. Prediction: Will be a plus player(+/-). He's sitting at even now, this one could go either way, a lot will depend on the teams' success.
7. Magnus Paajarvi. 0G-1A-1Pts -2. Prediction: Will play 82 games. Welp, this prediction is cooked. He was a healthy scratch twice on the last road trip. Paajarvi and Horcoff with Hemsky would make an intriguing line to get everyone going. I expect better from Paajarvi but he and Belanger had zero offensive chemistry.
8. Ales Hemsky. 0G-4A-4Pts +1. Prediction: Will be traded by the trade deadline. This one will need to be revisited in February. A lot is going to rely on his health and his production. I still think a trade is inevitable, but we'll see what happens.
9. Eric Belanger. 0G-3A-3Pts Even. Prediction: Will score more SH goals than PP goals. For this prediction to have legs he's going to have to score a goal. With him getting more power play time recently, this prediction could be in jeopardy.
10. Ryan Jones. 3G-3A-6Pts +1. Prediction: Will score 15+ goals. He's at 3 goals right now, on pace for 14 goals, so he is relatively on pace. The key here will be whether he continues to get third line minutes or he starts playing on 4th line. Could go either way here.
11. Ben Eager. 0G-1A-1Pts -2. Prediction: Will get suspended at least once. In order to get suspended he needs to be a participant in physical activity. He is an unpredictable fellow, so anything can happen, but Andy Sutton has already beaten him to the principle's office. He needs to bring physicality on a more regular basis.
12. Darcy Hordichuk. 0G-0A-0Pts Even. Prediction: Plays in 50+ games. He has only played in 3 of 17 games so far this year, so this prediction is in a little bit of jeopardy. As long as Ben Eager struggles in his role, Darcy Hordichuk could find himself being more of a regular in the lineup.
13. Linus Omark. 0G-0A-0Pts -2. Prediction: Will have the worst plus/minus on the team. The Oilers beat me to this prediction by putting him in OKC early on this year. Omark didn't have enough time to do damage to his plus/minus. Tom Gilbert is team worst right now at -6.
14. Gilbert Brule. 0G-0A-0Pts Even. Prediction: Will not end the year with the Oilers. Brule's year never got off the ground with the Oilers as he didn't make the team out of training camp. I'd be surprised if he got a callup at any point this season.
15. Anton Lander. 0G-01A-1Pts -3. Prediction: Will be in the lineup opening night. Welp, got this one right, the question is, how long before he gets sent down? He has hit that wall that every rookie runs into. Its where effort meets statistics. He needs to find a way to contribute offensively while maintaining a high level of compete.
16. Teemu Hartikainen. 0G-0A-0Pts Even. Prediction: Plays in 40+ games for the Oilers. This prediction is not looking good now, mostly because the Oilers have been pretty healthy so far this year. I think Hartikainen gets a look at some point this year, how many games is anyone's guess.
17. Curtis Hamilton. 0G-0A-0Pts Even. Prediction: Plays at least one game for the Oilers this year. I think this one will only come true if the Oilers are out of the playoff race by March. There are many ahead in the pecking order for OKC for him to get a look.
18. Tyler Pitlick. 0G-0A-0Pts Even. Prediction: Plays at least one game for the Oilers this year. Same as Hamilton.
19. Ryan Whitney. 0G-0A-Pts Even. Prediction: Has the highest plus/minus on the team. I still think this prediction has legs, but Whitney has to find a way to stay healthy for an extended period of time. Without him the Oilers D gets exposed, especially on the road.
20. Tom Gilbert. 2G-4A-6Pts -6. Prediction: Will be 2nd on the team in defenceman points. So far, so good here. Problem is, I thought he would be 2nd in Dman points to Ryan Whitney. Instead its 2nd in Dman points to Corey Potter.
21. Ladislav Smid. 0G-0A0 Pts -3. Prediction: Will be a healthy scratch at least once this season. I'm not sure what to make of this prediction. He had an outstanding first month in a shutdown role, and then the road trip came and he and Gilbert had a rough time with some of best players in the NHL. A healthy scratch for him could still be in the cards, but he looks to have stabilized his career for now.
22. Cam Barker. 1G-0A-1Pts +3. Prediction: More than 50% of his goals will be on the PP. He has one goal and it was on the power play. Doesn't really mean a lot. He has a bad run with some injuries lately.
23. Andy Sutton. 1G-0A-1Pts Even. Prediction: Will have more than 100 PIMS. He is a 33 PIMS right now and that includes being suspended for 5 games. I feel pretty safe in this prediction.
24. Theo Peckham. 1G-1A-2Pts +3. Prediction: Will play more games than Ladislav Smid. Peckham has only played 13 games while smid has played all 17 games. It will be tough for Peckham to catch up while he tries to survive staying out of the pressbox while Smid is playing at the top of the lineup.
25. Jeff Petry. 0G-1A-1Pts +3. Prediction: Will be in the lineup opening night. Petry made opening night, but then got a stint in OKC, but now is back up with the big club. Petry may draw the short straw once Ryan Whitney comes back into the fold.
26. Corey Potter. 2G-6A-8Pts -3. Prediction: Will play in 10+ games for the Oilers. Welp, that was easy. Who knew much of anything about Corey Potter, I knew the opportunity would be there, but he's taken the ball and ran with it. He's been a revelation.
27. Taylor Chorney. 0G-0A-0Pts Even. Prediction: Doesn't play in any games for the Oilers. I thought I may have been totally safe on this one when he was claimed by St.Louis off waivers earlier this year. But since then, he was reclaimed by the Oilers and sent to OKC. We'll see if he gets a call later this year.
28. Colten Teubert. 0G-1A-1Pts +1. Prediction: Plays in 5+ games for the Oilers. He's got in 2 games so far. He played well enough that I think if injuries arise again, he'll get another look.
29. Nikolai Khabibulin. 1.52GAA .950S%. Prediction: Plays at least one game for OKC. I don't think it will get this bad for Khabibulin, but I don't think those stats are going to hold up either. He's been great up until last night's game where things unraveled for the whole team.
30. Devan Dubnyk. 2.83GAA .910S%. Prediction: Will post under .900 Save Percentage He's at .910 right now. After a hot start, His numbers have steadily slipped. It could go either way for Dubnyk. It will depend a lot on the team in front of him.
31. Yann Danis. 0.00GAA .000S%. Prediction: Plays more games than Khabibulin or Dubnyk with the Oilers. I'm still going to hold out a candle for this one even though a quarter way through the season he has yet to see the big club. I think the goaltending still could go sideways pretty quickly, its all going to depend on coaching and management in how quickly they would pull the trigger on something like this.
32. Olivier Roy. 0.00GAA .000S%. Prediction: Doesn't play a game with the Oilers this season. Since he is playing in Stockton, I figure this one is pretty safe for the year. The Oilers would have to go through 4 goaltenders to get a look this year.