Wednesday, July 23, 2008
I'm not talking about the questions one ponders everyday, such as "Why am I wearing such huge pants?" or "Should it burn that much when I pee?"
I'm not even talking about the questions that face every team every autumn, like "What are the lines going to be this year?" or "Is this a playoff team/contender?"
I'm talking about what the Oilers are looking at as we wend our way through summer.
And there are not many. Its what LT has referred to as balance, something this team has lacked for many years. For once, there is little drama.
Will Conklin and Markannen be up to the task? Who is the first line centre? Will this finally be the year where there is no mad rush for eighth place?
No. Horcoff. No, although the end result of all of that stress in March and April was so so sweet. A beauty team.
Was that all Lowe could get for Pronger? When is he going to get some defencemen? And when is he going to sign Smytty?
We will never know. Never and again, never. What a nightmare.
Who is going to score goals? Who is going to play the tough minutes? And is this D as shitty as it looks?
Well somehow the offence turned out ok. A myriad of players played the tough minutes, with varied levels of success. And, no, thanks to the emergence of Gilbert and Grebeshkov. A pleasant year despite missing the playoffs. The sum somehow ended up being more then the parts.
What this year will bring is anybody's guess. The team looks improved to me. Three solid pairs on the back end. None that I would love to see out against Datsyuk and Zetterberg but none who scare the shit out of me when Tim Taylor is hobbling over the blueline. The kids should get better but of course they may take a collective step back. Injuries may rear their ugly head.
Fact is this team has seven legitimate NHL defencemen and Smid will be playing on the third pair with someone like Staios or Souray instead of in the top four. Two legitimate goaltenders. Nine top nine forwards, two thirds of a fourth line that committed serious scrubicide last spring.
Its a decent mix.
Questions for this season.
Who is going to be the Pisani pivot? Pouliot? Brodziak? Cogliano?
Will they keep three goalies? They are auditioning Deslauriers as the backup for next season and the years following. Does he supplant Roli right now?
Or do they keep fourteen forwards and, if so, who are numbers thirteen and fourteen?
Hardly earth shattering stuff but then again, I'm kind of tired of questions about the lack of actual NHL players on the roster that have plagued us the last two seasons. I'll take this, thank you.
Posted by Black Dog at 1:20 PM