Wednesday, January 18, 2006

 

Carnival of the Oilers' Goaltending Woes

Hot topic we got here.

Tom Benjamin:
I expect the Rangers are doing whatever they can to move him but it's hard to imagine any team stupid enough or desperate enough to live with terminal immaturity.

Mmmm, wait a second.

Don't the Oilers desperately need a goaltender?

Mudcrutch:
That's what drives the goalie decisions at this point? "He hasn't sucked in this location recently."

Mike W:
I guess the Oilers didn't play all that well last night against the Senators, especially our goaltenders, most specifically Ty Conklin, who must be run out of town immediately.

Chris McMurtry:
Craig MacTavish made a comment recently about his team having the potential to be the best club in the league if not for their flaws, and though he didn’t elaborate as to what he thinks those flaws are, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know who he was talking about. I’m sure Ty Conklin’s ears were burning...

Jes Golbez:
How can the Oilers still be in the playoffs ahead of the Minnesota Wild despite having the worst goaltending this side of Armenia? Jussi Markkanen had a decent start and then got worse, and now Ty Conklin is back and he just continues to suck.

The Puck Stops Here:
Their regular goalies Jussi Markkanen and Ty Conklin have been among the worst regular goalies in the NHL so far this year. In fact the strongest string of good games has come from one-time NHL player of the week Mike Morrison... If Edmonton could add a legitimate starting goalie without damaging the rest of their core, the team could be dangerous. Until then, they are likely an also ran.

And probably still my favourite bit, Sacamano:

"Yep, Conky is either dead or is on his way to market."

Comments:

Geez Matt, I couldn't wait for you to get back so we could talk about something that was not the Oilers' goaltending.

Never mind.
 


I feel bad about the monopoly on discussion, but face it--if the Oilers pull the trigger on a deal, and the gun's aimed in the right direction, then the Flames (and our other division partners) are the ones who get hit between the eyes. I've now heard at least three or four people call the 2005-06 Oilers "Maybe The Best Team In Hockey, Except..."

When you guys are sending scouts to watch someone with a bigger name than Kristian Huselius, we'll start talking about that.
 


(Plus, what part of "Matt is a huge closet gaylord for the Oilers" did you not understand.)

(Also, before it comes back to bite me in the ass, I didn't mean any disrespect to Huselius. Dude has played like Naslund since you grabbed him.)
 


Any bets on when (or possibly if) Lowe makes a trade?

He wants to wait until the trade deadline, but my bet is that he'll pull the trigger the moment the team drops to 9th (which could be anytime this week, possibly).
 


Maybe Peca could retire due to a shoulder injury, head back to Slovakia, and free up about $13 million in cap space? Then we could sign a goalie to a long-term deal and make a trade for a defenceman to help bulk up the line?

Nah. How could that ever happen?
 


We need a defenceman? To do what, dig fenceposts? Our top four stack up with anybody's, Greene looks like a keeper, and Cross and Ullie are probably damn near ideal as a platoon. We're 2nd in the league in fewest shots allowed. Gator's showing minor signs of wear, but a defenceman is way down my shopping list.
 


"I've now heard at least three or four people call the 2005-06 Oilers "Maybe The Best Team In Hockey, Except...""

You could replace "Oilers" with about 12 other teams and be just as accurate.
 


Lalime: 3-3-1, 3.34, 0.892

He's now played "three pretty good games in a row" yet no bites?
 


Why would anyone bite on Lalime now? If you wait for him to cross waivers again when St. Louis calls him up, then they have to pay half the tab.
 


Sorry, forgot the sarcasm tags again.
 


"I've now heard at least three or four people call the 2005-06 Oilers "Maybe The Best Team In Hockey, Except...""

You could replace "Oilers" with about 12 other teams and be just as accurate.


I don't know that this is true. I wrote about this today-the Oilers save percentage relative to the league this season is unbelievably bad when compared to save percentages relative to the league the past 17 years or so. My pick for a comp to the Oil is the 98-99 St. Louis Blues.
 


You know, as soon as I posted that I thought to myself: "Jardine can't be serious about that."

The thing is, some folks around here who have been harping about grabbing Lalime are serious.
 


We need a defenceman? To do what, dig fenceposts?

I was talking about another team.


If we trade for Lalime, I may shoot myself.
 


When I said in my preseason picks the Oilers would struggle with Conklin, this bit of wisdom was dropped in the comments section:

"A good post, and I agree with a lot of what I've read, but how can you bash Ty Conklin and not Mathieu Garon?"

Common now!

At least Conklin has played only 13 games this season, making the damage he's done negligible (he is actually 5-5!). How you can have a goals against hovering around three with a .872 save percentage is a mystery. Does he only see 10 shots a night?
 


That's pretty much right, yeah. The team keeps the puck off of him for hours and then he caves completely on the first shot. If you checked you'd find that several of his wins came in 15- or 16-shot games.

I'm not sure I can find an analogue for Conklin's sheer horribleness at this point. It's gotten so bad that I know he's got to be fighting an injury, but I actually can't think of one that is serious enough to account for his slow reaction times and lateral movement. Spine cancer? Bubonic plague?
 


I feel bad about the monopoly on discussion, but face it--if the Oilers pull the trigger on a deal, and the gun's aimed in the right direction, then the Flames (and our other division partners) are the ones who get hit between the eyes.

As a guy who's completely neutral in this whole BoA business, even with a good (but not great) goaltender added to the Oilers, they're not heads above the Flames, Canucks or Avalanche (even though they've owned Vancouver this season). It's the same thing fans in Vancouver do, pointing to the goalie as the only problem when that's hardly the case.
 


Are you seriously comparing the performance of our goaltenders to that of Alex Auld? No--seriously? You're doing that?
 


As a guy who's completely neutral in this whole BoA business...

I don't think people who don't follow Edmonton closely realize how bad our goaltending is. We're talking possibly bottom 10 from the past 20 years-this isn't Vancouver (getting above average save percentage from Auld) or somewhere else with just bad goaltending. This is historically shitty goaltending.
 


Plus, I'd like to know where else you (Mirtle) think the Oilers are deficient.

The d is second best in the league at preventing shots.

The o is fifth in the West and ninth in the NHL in goals for/game.

And this is all done playing in the toughest division in hockey.

Sure, adding another scorer would be nice (as it would for every team), but it sure wouldn't give us much of a boost compared with even average goaltending.
 

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