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  1. #1

    Edmonton Rebuild ?

    Given the history of the two franchises (being an Islanders fan) I tend to look in on Edmonton, some envy and some early 80s hate still there. Start of this year with the abundance of number one draft picks and keeping in mind hockey card collecting the names in Edmonton some jealousy set in, Eberle, RNH, Hall, Yakupov, Gagner and Shultz... and I thought great here comes Edmonton another franchise ready to dominate while my Isles play for another top draft pick, now the question is what is going on ? As of late four straight losses and looks like another bust year for Edmonton. Are the kids thrown into the equation too early ? Isles now enjoying some success, two lines finally scoring, Bailey and Okposo finally developing into top 6 forwards (as they seemed to be thrown into a role too early the past few seasons ) and the franchise still holds names like Nino and Strome back, to add to the mix soon. so whats the answer for Edmonton ? Goaltending ? Time to develop the talent ? or still a lot of holes defensively ?
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  2. #2
    They need at least 2 improved D-men and a goalie. They've got enough firepower with the young guns, and they are starting to get it together, but Devan Dubnyk isn't the answer, IMO.
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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by RGM81 View Post
    They need at least 2 improved D-men and a goalie. They've got enough firepower with the young guns, and they are starting to get it together, but Devan Dubnyk isn't the answer, IMO.
    Actually, you have it backwards. If anything, goaltending has been keeping this team from being at the bottom of the league. Devan Dubnyk's save percentage(.922), and the number of shots he sees per game rank him amongst the top 10 in the league. His .922 save percentage ranks higher than guys like Rinne, Price, Smith, Backstrom, etc. To me, Devan Dubnyk answered all of his critics this season, and has quite frankly been the team's most consistent player.

    The defence, I agree, is obviously the biggest problem of the team. They give up tons of scoring opportunities and really struggle to get the puck out of the defensive zone. And offensively they don't move the puck very well either.

    But I'm also going to look at the forwards as a big problem. If they don't have the puck, they're incredibly easy to play against. When they do have the puck, they're either very easy to knock off, or they pass far too often and never get a shot on goal. If you watch them play, they're being far too fancy trying to make a cross-ice pass or a drop pass on every play which mostly result in turnovers. I'm looking at RNH, Eberle, Gagner, and Hemsky. Yes, they are some of the leading scorers on the team, but so many of their points have come concentrated within a stretch of a few games. Taylor Hall has been their most consistent forward, but also makes the same mistakes(to a lesser extent), especially during the 4 game losing streak.

    It doesn't matter how much team speed the forwards have if you instantly lose all momentum but not bringing the play to the goal, and allowing the opposing team to get in position defensively. So regarding this "firepower", aside from a few games against Calgary, it has been non-existent all year.

    So the answer? The Oilers need a better group of defencemen. Petry, Smid, and J. Schultz are playing well enough, not great. While the other 4 D are not playing well at all. And they need the forwards to be more difficult to play against, or simplify their game offensively because the "run & gun" style is not working. I don't think the forwards are being held accountable enough for their struggles by people personally.
    Last edited by oilfan10; 04-13-2013 at 12:58 PM.
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  4. #4
    Yeah, the Oilers really lack a leader/#1 on the blueline. The Oilers have some decent defensive prospects but they're still more on the same level as Petry, Smid, etc., all of which are 2nd pairing D at best. Schultz might be able to be a top pairing guy in 3-4 years but d-men take a while to develop into elite defenseman once they reach the NHL (excluding the "cream of the crop", such as a Karlsson or Doughty).

    They basically need a guy like Pronger again. I think they were hoping that guy was going to be Whitney, but Whitney has really regressed with his foot injury and (likely) associated leg injuries, and doesn't look like he'll become a top D as he did as a youngster.

    I'm also not sold on Dubnyk long-term but he has statistically looked good so far, and he's still huge and young, so easier just to stick with him.
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  5. #5
    You are implying that Edmonton isn't still in the process of rebuilding.

    The Penguins took 5 years of pretty much doing exactly what Edmonton has been doing - missing the playoffs and drafting really high - before they were back in the picture. There's 2 major differences between the two though. First, Pittsburgh started by drafting their franchise goaltender, where Edmonton has pretty much picked only forwards (their highest G pick in the last 6 years is the 3rd round of 2011.) Second, Pittsburgh got Sidney Crosby. The kids taken by Edmonton are extremely talented, but (and I hate it every time I have to say it) there's nobody in the league who can take over the game the way Crosby can.

    Edmonton needs a defensive pairing that can handle the league's top lines, and while Dubnyk may have quieted his critics, there's still a big difference between a GAA over 2.5 and under 2.5. And as oilfan has pointed out, you can gather up as many top 3 picks at forward as you want, but most of those guys are drafted for their puck handling and goal scoring, not for their ability to win fights for pucks or for their defensive or 2 way skills. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing.
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  6. #6
    The Isles better win tonight. Those drunk Rangers "fans" don't deserve to watch an overpaid team succeed.
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  7. #7
    Edmonton still has a team,maybe another first rounder this year hahahaha!
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  8. #8
    They need some bigger, nastier 3rd and 4th line players, players that can protect the kids and play a good defensive game.
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  9. #9
    Dubnyk, has been the only bright spot when the Oiles went through a streak of losing.

    They simply have an immobile defense that cannot check or move the puck, just like the Red Wings. Thumbers on the blue line will make both teams miss the Playoffs year, after year, after year.

  10. #10


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    A team cannot be made through the draft alone. Edmonton is not a destination team for players in the NHL, but looking at the line-up they have, Hall, Eberle, RNH, Yakupov, Schultz, Paajarvi...they need defense and character and these guys can attract that. Dubnyk needs some more game experience, like every young goaltender, and the team needs to acquire character players through off season signings and some minor trades.

    What they've done is create a core of incredibly talented young kids who are only going to improve. Everyone's saying they're just learning how to lose, but they are gaining experience and they are becoming better all-around players individually. They need to get character to put around those guys. Hemsky and Horcoff are NOT character.

    Basically, phase 1 over, phase 2 begins.
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