Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Oilers In Depth

The Edmonton Oilers’ General Manager Kevin Lowe has his team in position for a playoff run. Maybe not this year but in the years to come. After making a “statement” offer to Dustin Penner of the Ducks and signing Dick Tarnstrom during free agent time, it seems obvious that he realizes this may not be the year for his team. Sitting Tarnstrom in favor of youngsters Tom Gilbert and Denis Grebeshkov, may make him trade bait when defencemen Sheldon Souray and Joni Pitkanen return from injury.

Injuries surely haven’t helped the Oilers this season. Currently the are last in many categories in the Western Conference. They are last in goals scored, goals allowed and power play goals which leaves them last in their division and in the conference. Only three players on the team have a plus/minus rating of zero or higher. In addition, the goalie tandem of Mathieu Garon and Dwayne Roloson have decent numbers, both having about a three goal allowed per game average and save percentages hovering around the .900 mark, but have only 7 wins between them.

And yet all the news is not bad for this team. Along with the youngsters Gilbert and Grebeshkov, the rookie line of Sam Gagner, Andrew Cogliano and Kyle Brodziak have looked good early on. There is also the play of Ales Hemsky and Shawn Horcoff that give optimism for any Edmonton fan. Horcoff leads the team in goals, points, assists and power play goals.

Optimism may not be only thing going for this Oilers club. Remember, they were in the Stanley Cup Finals in the 2005-06 season, and having a rich history, with GM Lowe and coach Craig MacTavish, this team may go far in the very near future. As Jarret Stoll said after a loss to a very good Colorado Avalanche team, "We came out and showed that we cared, showed that we have respect for the organization." he said. "We weren't happy with our last outing. We played really hard and battled in every area."

It won’t be long before they are battling in the playoffs again. So, stop in the Edmonton Oilers forum and sign you name to the roll call and state your faith in a great hockey organization and a team for the future.

~ ogre1kanobe


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