Monday, September 25, 2006

 

Gord Mark for the defense, your honour

Every time I read a run-down of the Oilers depth chart on D (in this case, from Mirtle), my eyebrows go a little higher. I'm familiar with most of the rationalizations:
Etcetera - and note by rationalizations I do not mean lies; hey, these are the things I'd be clinging to too if I was an Oil fan. But from another couple of steps back, things are not looking too good. Most of the focus seems to be on which young guys are going to step in, but I'd say the big problem is the top pair. Jason Smith and Steve Staios are each a year older and will be counted on for more and tougher minutes. This is not something you want to take to the bank... and looking at how MAB managed last season outside of the (literal) shadow of Pronger, he's not exactly money yet either.

Perhaps Roloson will thrive with a high volume of shots; perhaps Captain Jason Smith will step up with consistent and dependable performances without a margin of error beside him or behind him; perhaps this will be the season when Staios stops temporarily forgetting how to play hockey every 4th game. Or, perhaps Kevin Lowe should have gotten an NHL defenseman or two in exchange for Pronger.

Comments:

Ooohh...Im looking forward to the comments this post will evoke.
 


Meh.I remain unconvinced that there is a problem. I'd rather have our forwards than Calgary's defence, for one. Secondly, there is no proper estimation for how much the loss of Pronger actually hurts. Until I see a VORP number, or something similar, he was just another ox taking up minutes.
 


This seems to be working out well, then. I'd rather have Calgary's Jennings trophy defence than Edmonton's forwards.

The problem is not just the depth at the defence position. I'm still not convinced Roloson can be the goalie he is going to need to be (despite putting together 7 solid weeks this spring).
 


How good he "needs to be": considerably better than Ty Conklin. Somehow that part of the equation doesn't bother me.
 


This seems to be working out well, then. I'd rather have Calgary's Jennings trophy defence than Edmonton's forwards.

I didn't even know there was a Peter in the Sutter family.
 


What's easier? Teaching someone how to score at the NHL level or teaching someone how to stand in front of a puck?

Give me the offense with the possibility of Lowe being able to pick up a 'rental' dman.

Damn we need another Paul Coffey in this organizaion though.
 


I still think that a decent oil team (which I think we've got) always finishes 8th, and a bad one gets 9th. So the details aren't really important until playoff time anyway... at which point Lowe will likley have shipped off a forward or two for some defensemen.
 


As long as the Oil can count on their forwards like Peca to help chip in defensively on occasion, the young and inexperienced blue line should be able to adjust to the NHL rather quickly...

What's that? Peca's in Toronto? Oh, nevermind, I take that back...

And I know I have mentioned this before, but you guys are counting on Roloson to be a big difference in net, but how many games do you think he'll be starting? Have you checked out his career as a number one NHL goalie? You can expect Jussi to get a considerable number of Oil starts, especially since Roli is a little too long in the tooth at this point to be dramatically increasing his minutes now...

-Randy

(Oh, and in a previous post I apologized if people misconstrued something I wrote, but afterwards I realized that I have no need to apologize to an Oil fan, so I take that back too...)
 


oh randy, you're such a cad!

>dimples<
 


Roloson is the key. I have said that all along, as have others. Again, though, don't worry about me worrying about the defence, Flames fans. Worry about scoring more than twice a night, and advancing past the 1st round.
 


Hey Andy,

Is Smid a 5-tool player? Like Jeter, I mean.
 


>What's that? Peca's in Toronto? Oh, nevermind, I take that back...

Peca. Mike Peca? That little dude that kind of blows? Why are you even talking about that minus one wonder?

Yeah, as for the Oilers D, I'm not worried because I'm still worried, worried as I always am, year after year. Once again, I hope we simply make the playoffs. A modest, humble goal that can never be taken lightly.

I still think having a bumper crop of good forwards is somewhat overrated, especially when there isn't any puck-moving defencemen to support them (how many goals did our D either score or assist on in the playoffs?)

Our goalie situation, however, is vastly improved, and acts as a counterbalance, still by as much as a goal a game. I don't expect Roli to have a .92 SVP like he did in the playoffs, but .90 is a reasonable expectation, me thinks.

But above all, being teased about the perils of losing our number one goalie is yet another delicious irony from Flames fans impervious to the notion of hockey karma. Who's your backup again? Andre Racicot?

Keep talking, Flame people. Just like last year...
 


Hey Andy,

Is Smid a 5-tool player? Like Jeter, I mean.


I give. You win. Stop, for the love of God. I can't take it anymore!!!

(how many goals did our D either score or assist on in the playoffs?)

Oooh,oooh oohhh! I know this one. The answer is "Way too many, which resulted in not enough."

Yeah, as for the Oilers D, I'm not worried because I'm still worried, worried as I always am, year after year.

Amen, brother. That might be the entirety of any prediction I make about the Oilers.

I still think having a bumper crop of good forwards is somewhat overrated, especially when there isn't any puck-moving defencemen to support them

No, a bumper crop of good defencemen is overrated. See "Calgary Flames, 2005-2006."
 


Whenever Flames fans gloat, I just think dreamily to myself that they're just a season or two away from not being able to re-sign Kipper, Jarome, and Regehr. Maybe they can get 2, but not 3. Combine that with one of the poorest prospect pools in the league, and well, I'm sitting pretty.
 


Matt: I'm wondering if you actually have any hard data on Smith?

At the moment I figure you're just bitter that he was able to overcome his deficiencies at birth. The only obvious one being location of course.

Don't worry Calgarians - you're handi-capable!!! You can grow up to be like Jason Smith and play on the grownups' team one day too!!! Yay.
 


Oh for pete's sake.

Give a team a good playoff run and their usually insufferable fans become even more insufferable-er-er (it's a word, look it up).

You know what? In Cowtown, the prospects are fine, the bank account is more than fine, and nobody in Calgary is worried about the state of the franchise circa 2008, nor are they worried about the state of the franchise circa 2006.

But I sense a certain ... defensiveness ... where the collective Oil faithful are concerned. Which is odd, because defensiveness (it's a word, look it up) is one thing the 2006-2007 Oilers don't got. Sure, Jason Smith is a solid NHLer. I imagine he could play 5 or 6 minutes a night for the Flames.

The Oilers are Gary Bettman's dream team -- there are gonna be goals in bunches in Rexall this winter.
 



Give a team a good playoff run and their usually insufferable fans become even more insufferable-er-er (it's a word, look it up).

Oh, trust me, we know. Except it was even worse for us because we heard Flamers beaking off about losing in the Finals for the whole lockout.

Sure, Jason Smith is a solid NHLer. I imagine he could play 5 or 6 minutes a night for the Flames.

Yeah, he could play with the Dion on your 3rd pair. Let's not forget though, that Smith played top pairing minutes in the playoffs and had no problems against Anaheim, which is more than I can say about 10/12 defenseman from last year's Alberta teams.

The Oilers are Gary Bettman's dream team -- there are gonna be goals in bunches in Rexall this winter.

Better than the snooze-fest hockey sold to fans in Cowtown. Not to mention the teams who played an up-tempo games had success in last year's playoffs.
 


The only good thing about the lockout was the bonus winter of insufferability (its a word. I think) we got out of it. But, in the end, it was totally wasted on me. I didn't once start a fire in a shopping cart or stab anyone. It's the wasted opportunities that hurt the most.

Like your boy J. Smith. Sure, he played top minutes, but the guy beside him was named Christie Prongley. That guy is playing for the Mallards this year.
 


Give a team a good playoff run and their usually insufferable fans become even more insufferable-er-er (it's a word, look it up).

Couldn't agree more. One good trade has transitioned the Flames from laughing stock (29-36-13-4 in 2002)to...well, laughing stock. And yet we've had to endure jibber jabber from Calgarians for two years, like they were the second coming of the Edmonton Oilers or something. Put Ty Conklin in the Flames net, and they become the Columbus Blue Jackets. I can't wait til Kipper gets hurt. It's totally coming. That shit's gonna blow up like the Godfather.
 


any particular reason this quebec'r basiallon (sp?) still hasn't been cut? Secretly Defensively special?

http://www.lhjmq.qc.ca/lang_en/index.php?page=2147483647&id_register=225
 


I was looking at the Fanstasy Sports Experts fantasy league, and I'm puzzled as to why guys like Steve McCarthy got drafted in the lower rounds and not a single expert picked up Sykora, while Hemsky got snapped up pretty damned fast. I mean if you're willing to take a risk on unsigned Zherdev...surely Sykora who's going to be playing on Hemmer's wing by all accounts.
 


Like your boy J. Smith. Sure, he played top minutes, but the guy beside him was named Christie Prongley.

Nobody wanted to admit this at the time, and it's going to sound like B.S. now, but in the Anaheim series Gator was really the alpha male of that pairing.
 


Couldn't agree more. One good trade has transitioned the Flames from laughing stock (29-36-13-4 in 2002)to...well, laughing stock. And yet we've had to endure jibber jabber from Calgarians for two years, like they were the second coming of the Edmonton Oilers or something. Put Ty Conklin in the Flames net, and they become the Columbus Blue Jackets. I can't wait til Kipper gets hurt. It's totally coming. That shit's gonna blow up like the Godfather.

Amen.
 


B.S.
 


The only laughable thing around here is the inevitable Oiler Fan circle jerk that occurs whenever someone even hints that they may have a weakness or two.

Defensive much?
 


I would have loved the Oil to get some D. Unfortunately, it cost too much. 6.5 bucks for Jovanovski? Wot a deal!

If Sutter were a competent GM, he would have shipped some of his gorgeous underpaid (according to the current market) defensemen to teams that "needed" them, and robbed them blind for scoring talent.

Instead, he gets Tanguay at fair market value. A good signing, but at market value.

I don't like the Roloson resigning--too much money for a 37 year old--but I honestly believe that Markenen will perform admirably as a decent number two. He did fine in the final round last spring.

In the new NHL, the team that wins is the one that can most consistently grab players at below their fair market value. D-men overvalued? Get forwards! GMs need to be arbitrageurs (it's a word, look it up) and I think that Lowe is passing this test better than Sutter.
 


I'd rather have our forwards than Calgary's defence, for one.

Andy was being too kind, perhaps, to say I'd rather have our defencemen than Calgary's forwards?
 

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