EDM Concerns

Discussion in 'NHL Discussion' started by AlClemBee9575, Oct 10, 2017.

  1. AlClemBee9575

    AlClemBee9575 Superstar 3

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    Well I didn't think I'd have to write this piece, but after tonight's game against Winnipeg, it must be done. Edmonton is only 3 games into their 2017-2018 season but already there have been red flags being raised and my own concerns about this team coming to light. For the first three games, Edmonton has played Calgary, Vancouver and Winnipeg. Throughout all of last season, Edmonton went 11-0-1 against those clubs (4-0 against Calgary, 4-0-1 against Vancouver and 3-0 against Winnipeg). As stated, Edmonton is 1-2 against these three clubs.

    And it's not like they were close either. The Calgary game was complete domination by the Oilers, outshooting them 45-26. Only a superb performance from Mike Smith, kept that game from getting out of hand (Edmonton won 3-0 on a McDavid Hat-Trick). However the next two games have seen Edmonton being outplayed, outworked, and generally out-every by the opposition. McDavid has been effectively shut down, the defence has been mediocre at best, and Talbot has allowed 8 goals getting pulled once. We all knew Sekera's injury was going to be hurtful to Edmonton, but were Pouliot and Eberle THAT important to Edmonton?

    Well here are my reasons for why Edmonton seems to be sucking.

    #1. Fatigue: Let's not forget, Edmonton went to round 2 game 7 against the Ducks. A series that physically demanded lots out of the Oilers and resulted in Sekera's injury. However looking at one game and listening to two others (I can't afford GameCenter this season), it doesn't seems like Edmonton's tired.

    #2. The roster: This one is interesting. Over the course of the off-season, I've heard people say that Edmonton's roster got worse, heck I wrote a piece on here about it (http://2bcproductions.com/threads/did-edmonton-get-worse.15502/). Naturally I didn't believe it since Jokinen was a natural upgrade on Pouliot, given his abilities, and Eberle's lack of defensive play meant that anyone would be an upgrade on him. 3 games in, and Jokinen hasn't looked good while Strome hasn't proven to be the worth the price of Eberle. However I'm also not going to blame this since it's only 3 games in and both are still adjusting. Both looked good in preseason and coming to a new team with a new system takes time.

    #3. The expectations: The expectations placed on the Oilers this season are justified given their successful 2016-2017 season and by virtue of having McDavid and Draisitl on the same team. However we can't forget that this is still a young team who hadn't experienced a season like that before. Could the expectations of "Stanley Cup Finals" have gotten to this team, causing this bad start?

    #4. Other teams improvements: Another possibility. As I said before, Edmonton went 11-0-1 against Calgary, Vancouver and Winnipeg last season. Those three clubs know they play Edmonton 3-5 times this year. Getting cub-smacked by them was never going to be an option for those GM's. Calgary shored up their d to slow McDavid down (though by the first game you wouldn't know it), while Vancouver and Winnipeg decided to go with the Anaheim strategy and have a player shadow McDavid (with great effect).

    #5. Defence and goaltending: This is probably the biggest reason. Sekera's injury meant that Edmonton's D was significantly weaker. You'd think a journeyman like Sekera wouldn't make much of a difference to a blue line that was 8th best last season, but his abscence is very noticeable. Klefbom and Larsson have looked as good as they did last season, but Benning (who had a great first year) has struggled mightily with Kris Russell, while Nurse and Gryba have struggled at times. Talbot hasn't been better either. He's allowed 8 goals over the past two games and has already gotten pulled. Not saying the losses are his fault, but he's let in goals that should've been saved. Again this is probably the biggest factor right now. Neither have been good enough to help Edmonton win.

    Now that being said, should I be pressing the panic button? Logically no. We're only 3 games in and even the best teams in the league still lose 35 times a year. Heck, Calgary got off to a 5-10-1 start and they still managed to sneak in. However, I think the frustration stems from the fact that I know the Oilers can play better than they have been, but they've not done that yet. Outside of the Calgary game, this team has looked like a pre-Todd-and-PC Oilers club. Edmonton has 4 days off between now and their meeting with Ottawa on Saturday night. They're not completely out of it right now, but if this continues, the Oilers are back to where they were in years past. Playing for a lottery pick, not a playoff spot.
     
  2. The Young Vladimir

    The Young Vladimir Pro

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    I think that you really can't make any sort of conclusions three games into the season. Look at how Montreal have come charging out of the gates (was it last season or the season before) and then crawl through the rest of the season. McDavid, while incredibly talented, isn't going to be lights-out every game, especially since he'll be going up against the other team's best defensive players.
    I can't speak much for Vancouver given that I never get much of a chance to watch them, but Winnipeg has a very solid squad with random players that can come out and have a cracking game, like Ehlers. Regardless of the opposition, some teams will just have some growing pains at the beginning of the season. There's no real reason to start worrying about teams (in my opinion) until 20 games or so into the season.

    As for your specific points:
    1) There's no way that any team should be anywhere near fatigued 3 games into the season. Back-to-backs, 3 in 4, whatever the case, these players just aren't tired at all. Toward the latter stages of the season fatigue might come into play depending on a team's injury history, but this early it just shouldn't be a consideration.

    2) As you rightly mentioned - it's 3 games into a new season with a completely different team for those players. It will take time for them to be fully integrated into the system. It's too early to confidently judge how effective players will be in their new teams, and the lines will surely be mixed up in the next few weeks anyway.

    3) Expectations always seem to weigh heavily on younger players. Their mentality will determine how they deal with that pressure. Some mentally fragile players just can't up their game. McDavid seems like the kind of player who will be a positive force in these circumstances. Don't know much about Draisitl.

    4) Regardless of whether or not the teams improved, they're one-off games. Any result has to be taken with a pinch of salt at this point.

    5) Their defense was never going to be top-tier. Sekera being out hurts, but even with him the Oilers fall short of several teams imo. Their offense was always going to be what drove them to great heights this season. Talbot is a big question mark to me. He's shown that he can be a very solid, consistent goaltender last season. Whether he can keep it up for another 60-70 games in front of that defense is always going to be a major question for that team.

    I know if the roles were reversed and the Blues were losing like this at the beginning of the season I'd be livid, but it's way too early to be worried. Teams will settle into their rhythm, and the Oilers will be near the top of their division, if not the Western Conference. The Pacific isn't as deep as the Central or Metro, and the Oilers will be comfortably in the playoffs.
     
  3. Mikhail Sergachev22

    Mikhail Sergachev22 Pro 3

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    Well I’m a pens fan and i’ve learned that you can’t take even the first half of the season too seriously cause you could always come back ESPECIALLY with talbot and mcdavid on your team. The only thing i really saw in these games like you stated was just mcdavid being shut down and edmonton being outworked. i’m also kinda pissed cause i have talbot in fantasy and his SV is screwing me over..
     
  4. The Young Vladimir

    The Young Vladimir Pro

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    That's a good point as well. That coaching change (obviously) did wonders for the Pens. With the parity in this league, just about every team has the capability of going on a random rampage or a cataclysmic spiral to turn their league position on its head.

    Just out of curiosity, what are your opinions on Murray? I see a lot of Pens fans ripping into the guy, but I just can't understand disliking somebody who's won two Cups for your team by the end of his rookie season. MAF played a very large role in those season, and he'll surely be missed to an extent, but I think Murray is clearly a solid goaltender. And he's what, 22?
    It was similar with Crawford and the Hawks. Some fans can't stand him and he won three Cups for them and is one of the better goalies in the league.
     
  5. Mikhail Sergachev22

    Mikhail Sergachev22 Pro 3

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    alright.... people who rip on murray are those stupid ass bandwagoners who come just to see a team be AMAZING. those dumbass fans don’t actually watch murray he has been fantastic especially against nashville, and he did play good for his god awful defence in front of him against chicago. they also gotta realize the fact that HES 23! of course he’s gojna struggle from here to there, a goalie that young even being remotely successful is basically unheard of now so yes i love murray and have all the confidence in the world in him if we could learn to play defence. and for crawford, i couldn’t agree more. i hate the blackhawks with a passion but crawford was definitely one of the reasons they even had a chance in the playoffs when they won it all.
     
  6. AlClemBee9575

    AlClemBee9575 Superstar 3

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    I agree with both of you guys. As you pointed out Vladimir, it's only 3 games in and there is still 79 games left to figure things out. Really the biggest issue has been that Edmonton's been lazy and outworked so far and that's caused a lot of the problems. McLellan's going to work them hard and hopefully things start coming together. That being said, I heard that Streit is on the trading block in Montreal and I wonder if he'd be any help to Edmonton...

    In regards to Murray. Matt is a fantastic young goalie who's won the cup twice already. He's still developing (which is the crazy part) and so he's going to be having the odd bad game. I'm not a pens fan, but even I know that Murray is and will be a great goalie in this league.
     

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