Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Five Oilers Most Likely To Impress

I'm not saying they'll be the best Oilers, I'm saying they'll exceed expectations the most. For instance, Roloson is not very likely to exceed expectations, even though he is likely to be one of the best Oilers.

Number Five: Matt Greene

Everyone is expecting young Master Greene to spend more time in the penalty box than on the ice, and to let everyone and their dog past him on their way to the net. However, I think he has the abilities to be a Gator-type, stay at home defender. He might take a few months to mature, but he'll get there.

Number Four: Shawn Horcoff

With the emergence of such players as Gagner and Cogs, Horcoff seems to have fallen by the wayside. but what many fans and bloggers have forgotten is that he is consistently one of our best players. I don't think he'll play with Pensky, but he'll probably play the tough minutes with more defensive wingers.

Number Three: Kyle Bordziak

He's already started doing it in the preseason, but I think that he'll be one of our best wingers this season. Because of our strength at center, he most likely won't be playing his natural position, but he's just too good to pass up, and he's proven that he has the talent to play wherever he needs to.

Number Two: Mathieu Garon

Roloson's starting to get older, and I expect that he'll be showing his age more and more this season. Does that mean he'll be a worse goalie? I don't think so. I DO think he won't play as often, which will give Garon a showcase for his talents. I'd expect him to play at least 20 games, maybe even more. And from what we saw of him in LA (actually, what I'm told we saw in LA. I won't pretend to keep up with every game of every team in the league) he's more than up to it.

Number One: Andrew Cogliano and Sam Gagner, a tie

In some ways, they shouldn't be here. They've already impressed enough people in TC that the 'sphere has placed the weight of the world on their shoulders, or so it seems. But compared to where they were at coming into this camp, they will DEFINITELY impress.

BATTLE ROYALE!

The Oilers are going 4-1 so far this preseason, and tonight we play the Flames. Will our good luck continue? I hope so.

On the other hand, it is not very reassuring that we had to go to a shootout against the Coyotes.

In case anyone's wondering, the Flames are NOT going 4-1.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Who's Flying This Thing?!

Everyone else in the Oilogosphere (including me) has been ragging on the Oilers for weaknesses in the areas of defence and experience. But another important part of a team is missing here, and it's the leadership.

Recently we've lost both Smitty AND Gator, leaving only one of our former Captains or alternate captains on the team.

So, who's the top candidate for captain? There really isn't any one player that stands out from the other choices, although a lot of my fellow bloggers are really big on Moreau, probably because he had the "A" last season.

So, is it going to be Moreau, Stoll, or Horcoff? Or someone else entirely? Or do we go the "three A" route and don't name a Captain at all? Or rotate between the three on a monthly basis?

Anyone have any ideas? Because I sure don't, and I don't know if the franchise does either.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Talkin' Hockey Returns, Epicness to Follow

After finally settling into the routine at my new school, I'm back and blogging. I'm sure all of my readers (er, reader? Anyone?) is excited, but please keep your shirts on.

I may not have been blogging, but I've definitely been following the Oilers (and, to a lesser extent, the rest of the league) and I've got some insight into the team that I hope hasn't been said exactly the same way elsewhere in the 'sphere.

Offensively, I'm optimistic. We have a lot of players who look ready to step up and score big, especially Cogliano (I'm getting ready to yell "COOOOOOOGS!" a lot this season) and Hemsky. Gagner is still not a lock for the big club, but I really wouldn't be surprised if he made it. Souray's bomb the other night was very impressive, and Pitkanen should do well offensively as well.

Defensively, not so much. Our goaltending looks to be solid, if not spectacular, but we have very little actual defensive power on the team. With Pisani out for what may be the entire season (career?), our two best D-men being very offensive, we're left with only Staios as being a good defensive defenseman. By the end of the season we might be able to add Green and Smid to the list (fingers crossed!), but that's anything but a sure thing.

That's my take on the team's situation, and I hope that we can at least make the playoffs. I can't survive another year of taking a ribbing from Flames fans. I simply can't.