Monday, August 4, 2014
Summer questions in 'Oilerland'
As mentioned in my last blog, we will take some time today to discuss some questions that are out there in Oilerland. The questions range from great ones to ridiculous ones. I am no expert but will take the time to shoot off my views and perspective to you in the best way I know how, through Oilersjambalaya.
It may be a long time off of the ice for the Oilers but their fans feel it even more. At least the players got their pay cheques and can enjoy some rest but for fans of the Edmonton Oilers hockey club, it has been more of the same and every year they don't make the playoffs it gets more and more difficult to stomach and enjoy supporting.
Oilers fans carry a very broad spectrum of views. You have the fanatical 'were going to win the cup real soon' ones, to the 'this team sucks and will never win the cup' folks. In between you have the bandwagon jumpers and the casual 'ho-hum' we will see how it is going 20 games into the season fan.
Here are some interesting questions being asked about the Edmonton Oilers hockey club.
What is going to happen with picking up 1 more centerman for that pivot position?
There is a small % chance that MacT finds a last minute tryout for a centerman to come to training camp but likely it will be Lander, Arcobello and Draisaitl fighting it out for the final two spots on the club. The only way a decent centerman (one that is a shoe-in to play better then what they already got) comes into camp is if MacT can pull off a trade due to a team's restraints but more likely a third line centre who can occasionally fill in for a 2nd line. No sense bringing in another Boyd Gordon type player we already got him.
Will Ramsey make any difference with the Oilers coaching staff?
I find this question interesting as there are two frames of thought. We can say yes but then there are those who say the assistant coach has very little impact on the game. If that were true then we would have to argue that moving out Smith and Buchberger was not needed. Why? Cause if assistant coaches don't change the outcome of games why bother ever changing them? IMO, assistant coaches are more about team synergy. If the coaching team connects well and is in the same wheelhouse then it's a recipe for success and that is what the Oilers are looking for, the right chemistry. Yes, I think Ramsey brings to the team what Renney had brought and even more.
Can the Oilers make the playoffs this year?
Absolutely they can but will they? I do give them a 50/50 chance of making it happen but it will depend how they get out of the gate. It will require a 75% winning percentage over the first 20 games. So 15 wins and 5 losses? Yup! The consistency early on would be a morale boost and confidence booster and likely would show themselves they can win. Later in the season could prove difficult but if your winning 75% of the games 25% of the way into the season I doubt you fall below the 55% the rest of the way. That would give the Oilers a final record approximately about and 48-32-1-1. That would come to about 97 point season. That my friends is a playoff spot. Do I think it will happen? Nope, I suspect they come out with about 11 wins, 7 losses and 2 overtime losses giving them 24 points in their first 20 games. If they start at that % of winning only I would guess they pick up slightly as the season goes on and end up with a more likely record of 46-36-1-1. That would give them 93 points. That would put them right at the 7-10 place finish in the western conference.
What is the chances that the Oilers will be a lottery team again in 2015 when Conner McDavid is available?
Read last question and answer again. No way on God's green earth does Edmonton select the #1 overall pick this next year unless they traded for it and that will not be happening this year. Could they get lucky and draw his name still. Yes, but maybe a 2% chance it happens which means, nope!
Will and should Draisaitl make the Edmonton Oilers if they don't bring in another centre to compete for the 2nd and 3rd line spot?
Leon Draisaitl will and should make the Edmonton Oilers hockey club this season. Please don't keep giving me the he is too young and the Oilers are wasting his ELC and he needs more time to develop crap. If the Oilers had more high end centres in their organization then I would say yes he would be going back, however even bringing in a centre like Jordon Stall would still have Draisaitl fighting for a 3rd line role with Arcobello and Lander. Guess who wins in that scenario? Yeah, Draisaitl has stayed in North America to train and be ready in camp. He knows has development coaches who will be working on the area's of weakness in his game and has a leg up on most his competition already in his size and skill. As long as he can get 12-14 mins a game he will do fine. He already showed well the the WHC playing for Germany and handled himself like a man (wait, he is a man and is built like a pretty big man).
Can Bogdan Yakimov replace what Anton Lander was originally thought to bring to the Oilers club?
Very good question! As much as I always liked Lander, he may be moved to another team as a depth prospect real soon. This is his last year to make or break the Oilers. Yakimov has a ways to go to still catch up but his size and skill looks to be Bogdan's asset. 1 year development and I think we see Bogdan playing regularly for the Oilers franchise. Say goodbye to Lander and hello Yakimov! Yeah I believe he is the new replacement of hope as the Oilers future 3rd line centre. That is...for now anyway. If Bogdan is too play in that role for the Oilers it will be easy tell in how he competes and fares this season. a bad year development wise would derail that plan altogether. I know some players take more time to development but my 'gut' tells me we will know pretty quick if Yakimov is the real deal.
What's your take on these questions? Where do you feel the Oilers are headed heading into this 2014/15 season? Give us your take or perspective even if it's different. It's a slow summer folks, we need something to discuss. If your reading this it means your still hungry for more hockey talk and if your not reading this....yeah exactly, no need to answer cause you didn't read the article anyway.
My next series of blogs we will start to look further into the prospects, 'Bubble, Prospect or Suspect' series. In the meantime keep enjoying your summer and we will touch base soon again.
You can follow me on twitter for more information on prospects and hockey related news at www.twitter.com/revingev
OilersJambalaya.com is in no way, shape or form associated with the Edmonton Oilers, Oklahoma City Barons and the Bakersfield Condors. This is a fans blog for fans. We happen to love those teams, so we write about them.