Building a winner

Discussion in 'Edmonton Oilers' started by Qubax, Oct 7, 2013.

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  1. Qubax

    Qubax Registered User

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    Okay listen, I'll admit I'm a Flames fan. But I'm not here to create a disturbance. I just have a few questions and/or observations for Oilers fans.

    It's relatively standard practice that you build teams with three main strengths:

    Goaltending
    Defence
    Strength down the middle

    Take a team like Pittsburgh it's not like Kunitz and Dupuis are great wingers, but when Jordan Staal and now Brandon Sutter are your 3rd Centremen behind Sid and Geno your in a great place.

    Now that's not to say that I disagree with any of the first overall picks, nor the Nurse pick to be honest. You've gotta take the best player available.

    But since it's obvious that Dubnyk has a lot to prove, and the D doesn't seem there (could change with Klefbom, Nurse, Marincin etc.,. eventually joining the fold) and 3 of the big 4 forwards are wingers...Will the Oilers management make any major attempts to aquire a couple of good centremen and D?

    To me if the Oil had the D and the Centers that chances are Dubnyk would be totally satisfactory.

    It's kind of odd that although Horcoff was seen as an overpaid lepper he's the type of player the Oilers need. They don't necessarily need a Thornton, Lecavalier, but boy would they kill for 2 of Chris Kelly, Tyler Bozak, Daymond Langkow, Gaustad, Fisher


    Just like Sid makes Kunitz into an Olympic Candidate I think that Eberle, Yakupov and Hall could make Mike Fisher and Chris Kelly into important cogs on a winning team.

    Look at Conroy with Iginla, or Langkow with Iginla. Reasonably proficient two way, strong centers who can play the position and win a faceoff are maybe the biggest thing the Oilers need.

    In this vain I never understood not keeping Belanger, when you just replaced him with Gordon. And not that Gordon is the problem.

    But I think the Oilers are a Dan Hamhuis type vanilla Top 2-4 D and a couple of Mike Fisher like Centers away from being a Cup contender.

    I know that seems bold. But I really believe such seemingly minor, but critical changes, could take the Oilers from being a bottom 3rd team to a Top 5 NHL team.

    RNH
    Fisher/Gagner
    Kelly/Gagner
    Gordon

    Gagner plays RW much of the time on one of these lines and can take some faceoffs when you want a right handed guy or Fisher or Kelly gets tossed.

    Then you sprinkle in your stud wingers Hall, Eberle, Yakupov, Perron, Hemsky throughout the top 9.

    What do you Oilers fans think?
     
  2. nitz

    nitz Registered User

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    Tl;dr
     
  3. CanadianSuperPromise

    CanadianSuperPromise Registered User

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    Ok. Thank you.
     
  4. You're going to get torn apart just for being a Flames fan here, but you make excellent points.

    This team lacks elite-level defense, WC-level size at C, and a real #1 goalie.

    It's always been my opinion that they aren't being built properly, but I think there's still room to make good deals to fix it.

    1) I think Eberle should be used as trade bait to acquire that top-level defenseman - it allows Yakupov/Hemsky to take up the RW's and a more traditional 3rd line winger to play RW with Gordan

    2) We have draft picks, and I think a team like STL/ANA are going to be willing to move one of Hiller/Fasth or Elliot/Allen/Hiller by the end of the season for the right package.

    3) Boyd Gordon and RNH are looking like that Toews-Bolland type of combination this team needs at C. It allows for the vanilla-type of play Gagner to be a bit more tolerable. I'd like to try those 3 healthy before passing judgement. Wouldn't mind Arcobello on the 4th line, just for his FO%.
     
  5. AlowlyMcOilersfan

    AlowlyMcOilersfan Comrade

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    I think Gordon was the right move, as was getting rid of Belanger.

    Could we use another veteran center? absolutely

    I think Gagner can fill that 2C role though.
     
  6. belair

    belair Registered User

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    The Oilers may have gotten their Mike Fisher in Boyd Gordon this summer. Devan Dubnyk has his doubters but with a playoff-worthy defense in front of him, he's a better than average goaltender in this league.

    The Hamhuis-type defender you're speaking of has eluded the franchise for some time since the Oilers departed with Pronger/Pitkanen/Visnovsky. Having Klefbom/Marincin/Nurse in the woodwork could help that soon enough through their development or via the trade route. Obviously the Coburn talk in the summer was a clue to the fact that MacT realizes that there's still something missing on the back-end.

    One thing that this franchise needs more than anything is a consistent effort from it's roster. There is a ton of talent there, but there are way too many off nights. And that will come with the development of this young core. And to the sanity of their fans and the members on this board, we can only hope that comes soon enough.
     
  7. skorf

    skorf Registered User

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    Once everyone is healthy, C won't be a big issue. Nuge is a first line C and Gagner is just as good as Kelly/Bozak/Gaustad/Fisher if not better and can man the 2nd line, he did well last year.

    As for those guys taking over the 3rd line spot (or keeping Horcoff), Boyd Gordon so far has been one of our bright spots. I would say he's an upgrade over Horcoff right now, and I would take him over a guy like Gaustad or Fisher.
    If anything the Oilers need a 4th line C who can fill in on the 3rd line as needed... but Acton has done a decent job and Arcobello has had his moments as well, so the Oilers may be more set there then we initially thought.

    As for D, a Hamhuis type of player would help... but what the Oilers need is that #1 defensiveman, a guy they can lean on. We got a ton of 3-6 type D, but not that top legitimate go to top pairing guy. But those guys are hard to find (MacT should definitely be on the phone trying to acquire someone, even if we have to give up a ton of value)

    As for a G, I'm a Dubnyk supporter and would like to see him play a few more games before giving up on him. I think the equipment changes have really affected him such as enforcing the 26 inch paddle rule (a tall standup goalie will have difficulty with that), I'd like to see if he can adjust first before looking elsewhere, but if the need arises, there should be enough goalies in the free agent market next year that we could acquire one or get one midseason in trade if the need really arises (Miller, Hiller, Elliot/Halak, Neuvirth, Thomas?) could all be available for trade.
     
  8. SenzFan2

    SenzFan2 Registered User

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    Play the full 60 minutes.

    As cliche as it sounds it is VERY, VERy VEry Very very TRUE.
     
  9. McFlyingV

    McFlyingV #Free :]

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    Agree with everything you said especially the 26" paddle for a 6'5 goalie. I use a 26" paddle at 5'10 ffs. However Dubnyk is not a stand up goalie in the slightest lol.
     
  10. Section337

    Section337 Registered User

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    Hey look, a pterodactyl.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2013
  11. Qubax

    Qubax Registered User

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    I don't disagree that things won't be a lot better when RNH is back to full speed and Gagner is back.

    But Nugent Hopkins is still a little scrawny at this point and Gagner isn't the biggest guy. Now I realize that Gagner can play as the 2nd line center against other teams Derek Roy, Weiss types, it just begs the question who plays the hard minutes. Boyd Gordon can't play them all...

    I don't want to catch Oilers fans too low(before the NJ comeback) or too high(after the comeback)...I'm really looking for the even keel level headed outlook here.

    I think the Oilers are an okay team right now, and a Top 5 team league wide cup contender - NOW - with Fisher, Kelly and Hamhuis. I'll certainly admit that Gordon is basically one of Kelly or Fisher. I just think those guys offer a little more and that Gordon can't play all the tough minutes.

    Look at the Flames, we blow. We have a ton of young kids and a blender for line combos. But with everyone healthy (Stajan is out at the moment) we had one steady line:

    Glencross-Stajan-Stempniak

    Super vanilla, boring and meh. BUT these guys are the TOUGH minutes line. Your going against Joe Thornton or Mike Richards? Roll out this line. You've got a big faceoff in your zone - roll out this line.

    This tough minutes line is even more important for the Flames because the rest of the team is a total disaster headed for 30th place. Anyhow for the Oilers, who is equipped to play hard, tough 5 on 5 minutes besides Boyd Gordon?

    And I'm not saying you need Ryan Kesler, or Mike Richards...but when these guys are starring down the barrel at you, it would be nice if plan A wasn't either Boyd Gordon or the likely physically overmatched RNH and Gagner.

    And this is no slight on Gagner or RNH, I love these guys and would want them to be part of the solution.

    But as I said in the OP, I really believe:

    RNH
    Fisher/Gagner
    Kelly/Gagner
    Gordon

    +

    A Hamhuis or Seidenberg type addition on D and this team could be in the Final 4 of the Cup THIS year.

    I don't think the Oilers are far away at all. I think it's just a couple of key and nuanced moves that could make all the difference in the world.

    Anyway, tune me out and flame away if you like. I'm just a die hard fan whose been on these boards for over 10 years speaking his mind :)

    Cheers,

    Q
     
  12. The Joker*

    The Joker* Guest

  13. Qubax

    Qubax Registered User

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    post padder.

    I may as well join in. :D
     
  14. The Joker*

    The Joker* Guest

    How else are we supposed to reply to some Flames fan that comes and tries to critique our team? Maybe they should worry about their disaster of a franchise.
     
  15. ithxan

    ithxan Registered User

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    Who cares? We are all fans of hockey and in case you have been frozen the past 20 years, there has hardly been a rivalry since both teams have sucked. I welcome fans of other teams to hfoil who come with thoughtful posts, whether I agree with them or not.

    Are you 12?
     
  16. The Joker*

    The Joker* Guest

    Yes.
     
  17. Mc5RingsAndABeer

    Mc5RingsAndABeer 5-14-6-1

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    I agree with a lot of your points but I'd just like to chime in on one thing you said.

    I'm tired of hearing about needing size at centre. You don't need size at centre. The biggest teams don't win - it's the best teams. Getting a new 2C will only help if the 2C is actually a better hockey player than Gagner. Simply being bigger or better at defense doesn't automatically make the 2C an overall better player than Gagner.
     
  18. McFuhryous

    McFuhryous Registered User

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    To the OP, Gordon already has half the goals in three games with the Oilers than Belanger scored in over 100 games with them. There were no takers in the NHL for Belanger and the only team which would sign him was a team in the KHL which won less than 10 games last season. I was bored last night and wanted to see how he was doing over there. Guess what?? Belanger has already been removed from their active roster and the only article I could find on him stated he retired after going pointless in his first seven games over there. That is why the Oilers signed Gordon and bought him out, he was finished.
     
  19. Soliloquy of a Dogge

    Soliloquy of a Dogge I love you, Boots

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    It's pretty bad when a fan of an opposing team comes in here, makes well thought out nuanced posts and gets childish responses in return.

    Qubax makes some excellent points; ones I do agree with.
     
  20. ales83fan

    ales83fan Registered User

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    A bit too long for my liking.

    Ummm yeah I guess you're right. You take the best guys you can. Since the rebuild I do not regret a single 1st overall pick. I like Hall more than anyone in his year. Same for RNH and Yakupov.

    Too early to call it on Nurse. I personally wanted Nikushkin, but I am not a drat specialist. I just liked what I saw from the small sample size of him.

    And I disagree that our team doesn't need a Joe Thornton. Any team could use him, especially in the regular season but he also does just fine in the playoffs. I would give up Ebs at the very least for Jumbo Joe if he were even 4 years younger.
     
  21. ManofSteel55

    ManofSteel55 Registered User

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    Centers? Not overly worried. If we can get someone bigger, good. If not, we have a good 1-2, Gordon looks legit, and Acton has done ok.

    Defense? Yep, bad. All we can do, unless we can pull off a deal for a star, is hope that Nurse and Schultz develop into a 1 - 2 combo. And they may.

    Goaltending. Need to sign someone next summer. Nothing in the system.
     
  22. The Joker*

    The Joker* Guest

    [​IMG]
     
  23. Captain Catatomic

    Captain Catatomic SuprstitionCondition

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    I think this season may have some more growing pains until all of the holes are plugged up in the roster and the teams needs are met. The kids need to mature and strengthen up a bit more before they will really dominate the league.

    The book is out on Dubnyk, it's his contract year.. if he doesn't pull through chances are he might get traded.. even a UFA Vokoun in the off-season would be a better solution..

    Center depth seems adequate. I'm happy with Gordon and Acton thus far. With Gagner back, now that he has become a grizzly vet at such a young age, I'm expecting him to perform, and he will do better defensively with more puck support in the Eakins system.

    Team Toughness up front seems to have been addressed with Gazdic, Brown, and Joensuu willing to drop the mitts and SMac on lay-away. Up front the Oilers are a bit grittier as well with the additions of Perron, Acton, Hamilton, and Gordon.. and with Eakins new ideology, the finesse players are playing a bit more physical.

    In terms of Team Toughness on defense, we added some grit with Belov, and Ference, to add to the grittiness of Smid already who already sticks up for his mates.. but that does leave the team with 3 D-men who aren't as gritty as they should be beyond checking, and who hardly ever get in any scrums sticking up for teammates. Obviously Nick Schultz is the outcast here and he needs to be replaced by someone like Gleason, and J.Schultz should be bred accordingly as well. In a perfect world I would like to trade away Petry for a top 2 Dman with some grit like we were supposed to get in Ryan Whitney.

    I'm just enjoying the ride, every season the Oilers are getting closer and closer, but once these issues are resolved either through player development, trades, UFA signings, or prospects, look out NHL.
     
  24. Qubax

    Qubax Registered User

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    I agree I may have over simplified with the big comments. I mean Krejci and Bergeron aren't huge. Really neither are Fisher, or another good one I've thought of Dave Bolland.

    Bolland would have been perfect for the Oilers. Comes from a winning pedigree (at the NHL level) and is just the definition of being ready for "hard, tough, NHL minutes."

    Size can help, but we have Joe Colborne, he's big, but he's bad :)

    It's not really size, but strength. I mean Marty St.Louis is jacked.
     
  25. skorf

    skorf Registered User

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    That could be an issue and lots of people have questioned going with 3 more scoring lines which is what Eakins kind of is running without a shutdown line. Best we could do is a Perron/Gordon/Hemsky line.

    With that being said, if we had another one or two of the more "vanilla" or "gritty" defensive players... we'd have to move 1 if not 2 of our skilled guys to make room.

    A lot of the best teams use their best line more as a shutdown line, I think we are hoping Nuge continues to progress defensively (he's good now) but hopefully he can be a Selke canidate and that he can be a Datsyuk/Toews type of player... that can be on your first line + solid enough defensively that he can shutdown other teams #1 lines.

    The oilers may need one more guy with some grit... but they have addressed it this offseason. Gordon has a bit of grit, Perron does, Joensuu does from what we've seen, Gagner has some once he's healthy... plus their 4th line has more than it has in years past. Once we're healthy, we'll have more that in years past... will it be enough? hopefully, since if it is, we got the skill at forward to win a cup (defense and goalie maybe not) but we will have to wait and see once Gagner and Joensuu get back.
     

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