Sunday, April 8, 2012
The Oilers Year In Review 2012
A = Spectacular Season
B = Surpassed Expectation
C = Met Expectation
D = Below Expectation
F = Miserable Season
NG = No Grade
1. Taylor Hall - Prediction - Will lead the team in goals. WRONG IDIOT Taylor Hall was 2nd in goals with 27 while Jordan Eberle led the team with 34. Hall's season was spattered with injury as he only got into 61 games, but with season ending shoulder surgery and the beginning of next season in doubt, it has put his stardom on hold for the time being.
Grade:B POTG:5 GOTG:1
2. Jordan Eberle - Prediction - Will score 25+ goals. RIGHT GENIUS Jordan Eberle ended the season with 34 goals, led the team in goals, assists and points. For my money, the teams MVP. Eberle has really taken a step forward in his development this year and the sky is the limit for him.
Grade:A POTG:9 GOTG:3
3. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Prediction - Will not get more than 30 points on the Oilers. WRONG IDIOT The Nuge ended up 3rd in scoring on the Oilers and ended up with 52 points on the season. A solid rookie campaign that will at least get him nominated for the Calder Trophy. Sky's the limit for this kid. Solidifed himself as the 1st line center going forward.
Grade:A POTG:4 GOTG:0
4. Ryan Smyth - Prediction - Will score 20+ goals. WRONG IDIOT Smyth ended the season at 19. When it looked incredibly likely Smyth would hit the 20g mark, he faded badly down the stretch, as if we watched him age before our eyes. What seemed like a slam dunk that he would be back next year is now in question. I still think he will be back next season because the market on LW on the UFA front is pretty slim. Smyth was the only Oiler to play in all 82 games.
Grade:C POTG:5 GOTG:2
5. Sam Gagner - Prediction - Leads team in assists. WRONG IDIOT Ended 3rd in assists on the Oilers with 29. Gagner had a very up and down year. Had an 8 point night in February but had himself a very inconsistant season. Ended up leading the team in plus/minus with a +5 rating along with Andy Sutton. I have a feeling Sam Gagner will be moved in the offseason.
Grade:B POTG:9 GOTG:7
6. Shawn Horcoff - Prediction - Will be a plus player. (+/-) WRONG IDIOT Horcoff ended up a team worst -23. Had himself a very subtle, bad year. Only showed up as GOTG once, but didn't do nearly enough to help this team win hockey games. The failures of the team lie on Horcoff's inability to break even playing the toughs at even strength. A tough season for Horcoff and the team is left wondering how to deal with him and his contract. Questionable leadership abilities also factor into the grade.
Grade:F POTG:3 POTG:1
7. Magnus Paajarvi - Prediction - Will play 82 games. WRONG IDIOT Paajarvi managed to only get into 41 games this season. part of it spent in OKC, others in the pressbox. Tough season for Paajarvi statistically as he finished the season with 2 goals for the Oilers. Like I've said before, the importance of Paajarvi isn't measured in goals and assists but moreso in wins and losses. Next season, Paajarvi should be a mainstay on the Oilers, playing in a variety of roles. They really missed his speed down the stretch.
Grade:D POTG:2 GOTG:3
8. Ales Hemsky - Prediction - Will be traded by the trade deadline. WRONG IDIOT Much to my chagrin, the Oilers re-signed Hemsky to a 2 year contract. Even by Hemsky's standards, he had a terrible year. 10 goals, 36 points, -13 in 69 games. Now that Hemsky is here for the foreseeable future, the Oilers will have to build a line around him.
Grade:F POTG:2 GOTG:3
9. Eric Belanger - Prediction - Will score more SH goals than PP goals. WRONG IDIOT Its hard to get a goal prediction right when he only scores 4 goals all year. He had 1 PPG and 1 SHG. When Horcoff failed at containing the toughs, they gave Belanger a shot and met with a lot of the same results. Tough, tough year for the vets.
Grade:F POTG:0 GOTG:2
10. Ryan Jones - Prediction - Will score 15+ goals. RIGHT GENIUS
Jones chipped in with 17 goals this season. Jones had a very up and down season. Energy is one of those things that comes and goes through a season, when he was on, he brought it, when he was off, he was invisible. Solid contribution from a 3rd liner. Was only 3 hits behind Petrell for team lead at forward.
Grade:B POTG:3 GOTG:0
11. Ben Eager - Prediction - Will get suspended at least once. WRONG IDIOT Eager got fined for smashing a camera in Vancouver but did not get suspended. Eager and Paajarvi were the two most misused forwards on the Oilers this season. Just not enough action for either one of them. That being said, Eager needs to up his hits total. No reason he shouldn't be close to the team lead on forward, regardless of ice time. In limited icetime, he still managed to pot 8 goals this season.
Grade:C POTG:4 GOTG:3
12. Darcy Hordichuk - Prediction - Plays in 50+ games. WRONG IDIOT Hordichuk managed to only get into 43 games this season. Hordichuk managed to get himself known on the ice even he was a 2 minute per game player. Hordichuk was full of try but the Oilers need to upgrade on this spot.
Grade:C POTG:1 GOTG:2
13. Linus Omark - Prediction - Will have the worst plus/minus on the team. WRONG IDIOT Omark didn't get into enough games to do enough damage to his plus/minus. He finished -5 in 14 games. Towards the end of the year, the Oilers had lost all faith in Omark and wouldn't be surprised, at all, if he was moved in the summer.
Grade:D POTG:0 GOTG:2
14. Gilbert Brule - Prediction - Will not end the year with the Oilers. RIGHT GENIUS Brule did not get into a game this year with the Oilers. Played most of the year in OKC and then claimed off waivers by Phoenix around the trade deadline where he finishes off the season.
15. Anton Lander - Prediction - Will be in the lineup opening night. RIGHT GENIUS Lander did make the team out of training camp, played 56 games and then played the rest of the year in OKC when the games down the stretch didn't mean much for the Oilers. I expect Lander to be a fixture on the Oilers next season. Might have been over his head a smidge in the bigs but for the most part kept the ice pretty clean in his own zone.
Grade:C POTG:1 GOTG:2
16. Teemu Hartikainen - Prediction - Plays in 40+ games for the Oilers. WRONG IDIOT Hartikainen got into only 17 games this season. The Oilers seem hellbent on icing a smallish lineup all season and unwilling to part with any of them, so Hartikainen saw a good chunk of the season with OKC. On callup, Hartikainen played in a top 6 role for a good chunk of his stay. Hartikainen would be better served as a 4th liner or extra forward heading into next season, both for him and the Oilers.
Grade:C POTG:1 GOTG:0
17. Curtis Hamilton - Prediction - Plays at least one game for the Oilers this year. WRONG IDIOT. Curtis Hamilton spent the entire season with the OKC Barons.
18. Tyler Pitlick - Prediction - Plays at least one game for the Oilers this year. WRONG IDIOT Tyler Pitlick spent the entire season with OKC Barons.
19. Ryan Whitney - Prediction - Has the highest plus/minus on the team. WRONG IDIOT Whitney had the second worst plus minus on the team at -16, tied with Corey Potter. Whitney mobility was severely hampered to a lingering ankle injury. Really toughed out a season but really took a step back this season. Tough Season for Ryan Whitney. Played in only 51 games this season.
Grade:D POTG:1 GOTG:3
20. Tom Gilbert - Prediction - Will be 2nd on the team in defenceman points. WRONG IDIOT May have gotten there, but ended up getting dealt at the trade deadline for Nick Schultz. Ended up with 17 points and that would have been good enough to put him 4th in Dmen scoring.
Grade:C POTG:1 GOTG:3
21. Ladislav Smid - Prediction - Will be a healthy scratch at least once this season. WRONG IDIOT Smid became a rock solid, shutdown Dman rthis season. Led the team in both hits and blocked shots. Only missed the final 4 games on the year due to a neck injury. One of a handful of players that finished on the plus side of the ledger with a +4. Good stuff, considering he was playing the toughs all season.
Grade:B POTG:4 GOTG:5
22. Cam Barker - Prediction - More than 50% of his goals will be on the PP. WRONG IDIOT Barker scored 2 goals and 1 of those was on the powerplay. Barker was pretty underwhelming this season, to the point, where he was a healthy scratch for most of the games down the stretch.
Grade:F POTG:0 GOTG:4
23. Andy Sutton - Prediction - Will have more than 100 PIMS. WRONG IDIOT Sutton finished the season with 80 PIMS. Being suspended on 2 different occasions cut into those numbers. Sutton re-upped a one year deal meaning he will be back with the Oilers next season. Plays a tough, honest game that the Oilers have sorely lacked for many years. Led the team in +/- with Sam Gagner at +5.
Grade:B POTG:3 GOTG:3
24. Theo Peckham - Prediction - Will play more games than Ladislav Smid. WRONG IDIOT Smid got into 78 games while Peckham only played 54 games. Tough season for Peckham as he was not in the coaches good books for most of the season. Healthy scratch on many occasion before being knocked out with a concussion to end the season. With Sutton coming back, I'm wondering if thats the end of Peckham in an Oiler uniform.
Grade:D POTG:0 GOTG:7
25. Jeff Petry - Prediction - Will be in the lineup opening night. RIGHT GENIUS Petry did make the opening night team, largely because Whitney started the season on the IR. Petry had a 10 game stint in OKC but played largely with the Oilers this season. Petry had moments of greatness and moments of weakness off and on throughout the season. You can see the tools are there, they just need to be refined. Thought process needs to be a little stronger in his game.
Grade:C POTG:2 GOTG:7
26. Corey Potter - Prediction - Will play in 10+ games for the Oilers. RIGHT GENIUS The Oilers had a need for a RH shooting Dman and Potter fit the bill. Potter got into 62 games this season. I still don't think he's much of an upgrade on Kurtis Foster other than the fact he's cheaper, but he managed a 2 year extension out of the Oilers anyway. Potter finished the season at -16.
Grade:D POTG:2 GOTG:2
27. Taylor Chorney - Prediction - Doesn't play in any games for the Oilers. WRONG IDIOT Chorney got into 3 games this season, much to my chagrin. Chorney seems to have more lives than a cat.
28. Colten Teubert - Prediction - Plays in 5+ games for the Oilers. RIGHT GENIUS
Teubert got into 24 games this season, being the emergency callup on the backend. Registered 1 assist and a -15 in those games. Limited upside here.
Grade:C POTG:1 GOTG:1
29. Nick Schultz - Was the return on the deal that sent Tom Gilbert to Minnesota. After starting off on a good note with the Oilers, he fizzled with Whitney in the last 10 games as they faced tough competition. Schultz looks to be a fixture in the top 4 heading into next season.
Grade C: POTG:1 GOTG:0
30. Nikolai Khabibulin - Prediction - Plays at least one game for OKC. WRONG IDIOT Did not play in OKC but was worthy enough to do so as his season endled poorly. Khabibulin had an outstanding October, but fizzled badly as the season wore on. Finished the season with a 2.65 GAA and a .910S%. Only had one win in the last half of the season.
Grade:C POTG:7 GOTG:4
31. Devan Dubnyk - Prediction - Will post under .900 Save Percentage. WRONG IDIOT Dubnyk finished the season with a .914 S% and likely saved his spot on the team next season by playing so well down the stretch. I'm not ready to anoint him the starter. He needs to stiffer sompetetion other than Khabibulin going into next season. And then the Oilers can have themselves an actual goalie battle.
Grade:B POTG:10 GOTG:7
32. Yann Danis - Prediction - Plays more games than Khabibulin or Dubnyk with the Oilers. WRONG IDIOT Yann Danis got into a half a game with the Oilers this season and was lees than stellar. Doubtful he will be back in the Oilers organization next season.
33. Olivier Roy - Prediction - Doesn't play a game with the Oilers this season. RIGHT GENIUS Roy spent most of the season with Stockton this season with a cup of coffee in OKC. Figures to play in OKC full time next season.
The Oilers will finish 13th in the west and draft 6th overall in 2012. WRONG IDIOT The Oilers finished 14th in the west and will draft either 1st, 2nd or 3rd, depending on the lottery.
I was 8-25 in predictions. Not a good record on paper by any means, but it gives you an idea how much myself and the Oilers organization differed on many different subjects.