Are the Oilers a playoff team ?

      At one time I was a die hard Oilers fan and seeing them go to game seven against Carolina was simply amazing. They came out of nowhere and overcame the odds and had one hell of a playoff run. It was all downhill from there.. many key players bolted out of Edmonton. It all started with Chris Pronger’s trade demand, soon Tarnstrom, Spacek, Peca and Samsonov followed suit. Kevin Lowe didnt do anything to replace those lost players and went into the following season with some big holes on defence. To top it all off K-Lowe traded Ryan Smyth at the trade deadline (that was my breaking point with this team) for alot less than he could have got.

      However during this offseason K-Lowe did whatever it took and aquired what he has deemed impact players. The additions of Pitkanen, Sanderson, Penner, Garon and Souray are huge for this team. I find it funny that so many people think that Edmonton is a bottom tier team because of the way that they finished last season. Keep in mind Edmonton’s roster had been depleted by injuries and Joffrey Lupul the key to the Chris Pronger deal underachieved last season. Also the lack of a good pucking moving blueliner really hindered the Oilers offence.

So are the Oilers a playoff team ? This is not an easy question to answer, in my honest opinion they could surprise a few teams next season. The Oilers do have alot of question marks and many people think that this team is no better than last years group that finished near the bottom in the West.

Goaltending

Dwayne Roloson will remain the number one goalie in Edmonton, he is a solid and reliable goalie that has proven that he can carry a team. The problem last season was the lack of a proven backup for Rollie.. lets face it Roloson is best suited playing 50 to 60 games. Jussi Markannen did nothing last year to help relieve the pressure on Roloson. So going into this summer the Oilers needed a backup goalie and were able to add Mathieu Garon via free agency. Garon is capable of playing 20 to 30 games and can be a reliable starter if needed. I think Edmonton can fell confident with their goaltending situation going into next season.

Defense

I was trying to think of an appropriate word to describe Edmonton’s defense last season, that word is “chaotic”. With no reliable puck moving blueliners not only did Edmonton’s offence struggle but their powerplay was atrocious. The additions of Souray, Pitkanen and Tarnstrom should help improve the blueline dramatically. It looks like Souray, Pitkanen, Tarnstrom, Smid, Staios and Greene will be the top six blueliners leaving players like Gilbert, Grebeshkov, Roy and Syvret fighting for the final spot or two. Things are looking good on the blueline for the Oilers, Souray and Pitkanen could make the Oilers powperplay deadly and will help bolster a weak offence.

Forwards

Edmonton needed to retool after a disapointing year and the additions of Dustin Penner and Geoff Sanderson should help. If Stoll and Moreau can stay healthy all season that will really help out the Oilers. At this point it looks like Edmonton’s top three lines are more or less set

Hemsky / Horcoff / Penner
Torres / Stoll / Pisani
Moreau / Reasoner / Sanderson

This team will not be an offensive juggernaut but they will score goals and will play a very agressive game very similar to Anaheim. Vancouver was able to make the playoffs with a non existant offence so Edmonton will be fine. Players like Pouliot, Thoreson, Jaques, Schremp, Nilsson, O’Marra and Cogliano will be fighting it out to make this team. If Cogliano and Schremp live up to expectations and are able to make the jump to the NHL the Oilers could have Hemsky’s future trigger man in Schremp and a good playmaking center in Cogliano.

So can the Oilers make the playoffs ???? that will depend on a number of things. However I would not bet against this team making the playoffs… I would bet on teams like Dallas and Vancouver falling in the standings after over achieving last year (waiting for Canucks fans to flame me on this one)


27 Responses to Are the Oilers a playoff team ?

  1. Snyder-man says:

    this team still doesnt have a leader, and without one they wont be making the playoffs

  2. 92-93 says:

    no i dont think they’ll make it in a very strong Western conference … but i do like their mix on the blueline.

  3. Desertdog17 says:

    Even though he is new on the team, i think souray could be a great leader for the young defencman on the team. As well i think moreau has been in oil country long enough to step up as a leader after the departures of smyth and smith. I think moreau will be given the "c" as well.

  4. TOKE says:

    They could turn out to be a decent team if the offence comes arund. and with Stoll,Penner,Horcoff,Hemsky, and the prospects…i think they’ll make the playoffs or be a toronto…missing by 1 point..lol

  5. turdfergusson says:

    No more or no less a playoff team than minni. or vancouver. Let's also look at this: Nashville is not gonna be there so there's another free spot is up for grabs though some may think LA is gonna make a push to fill that spot. Granted they did alright signing some good players this summer but no goalie = no playoffs for them. As for the rest ( St. louis ,Columbus etc..) I don't see them being a factor either. It's also fair to say Lowe's gonna make another deal soon  for another forward so…. Obviously i'm an Oilhead but this is a team that has something to prove. Plus everybody hates their guts  ( WHY , GEEZUS ALREADY !) so all the pieces are almost in place for them to succeed. These guys went to game 7 because of their pp and pk. How do u non-believers like our pp? Ya , scary.  Luongo will give the Canucks more than a chance too.

                 Special teams people!

  6. Duecey says:

    They don't have a chance in Hades of making the playoffs! First off, they don't have any leaders. Second, Roloson is getting very old for a #1 goalie while his back-up has injury problems. Third, and probably the most telltale reason, they play in the toughest division in hockey where every other team is a lock to make the playoffs. So maybe next time oilers.

  7. MR40 says:

    The West too strong. There is not one weak team in the West, which is why Edmonton will be bad.

  8. wingsfan13 says:

    hemsky-horcoff-penner.  thats edmontons top line.  st. louis's is better than that.  the second line is even worse.  and uh hemsky only plays right wing as does penner so thats not gonna work.  pisani on the second line ha.  they will score goals?  well who's gonna score them cuz it aint gonna be torres, hemsky, horcoff, or pisani??  dallas and vancouver have edmonton by a long shot.  their defenses and goaltenders are ten times better than edmonton and if anything their offenses are on the same level.  i was trying to think of an appropriate word for this article, that word is "fieces."

  9. PeterTheGreat21 says:

    Nashville will still probably make the playoffs. It's really unlikely that only 1 team makes the playoffs from a division. Even the southeast consistently sends two team to the playoffs. Nashville still has a solid goalie in mason who played well in limited time. Defensively they've got the young stud weber as well as ryan suter and marek zidlicky. Offensively they still have a solid group despite the firesale. Arnott and legwand up the middle is decent. They lot kariya and hartnell on the wings but still have steve sullivan they're most talented player, martin erat who has turned into a 60 point player, jp dumont and the explosive radulov. Radulov will be somebody to watch as he'll finally be able to get the minutes he needs now that kariya and hartnell are gone. So I'd say the preds are still a playoff team. When you combine the fact that they're still a decent team and that their division is trash they will still make the playoffs, deserved or not, as a 7 or 8 seed.

  10. Rabid_Badger says:

    This team will have to overachieve like they did during their cup run.  Goaltending is solid, I like the addition of Garon.  He has always been able to step in and win important games.  The defense can score and if Gilbert picks up where he left off last year they may be able to move a D-man for a forward….their most glaring need.

    They'll have to win all the games they should.  You never know, Minnesota made the conference finals, with Roloson, wit less talent than the Oil has.

    Hey Wingfan, you mispelled "feces".  I guess I should not expect much if you are a product of Detroit public schools, though.

  11. wingsfan13 says:

    thanks, but i didnt go to detroit public schools.  and its wingsfan.  i really don't care bout the spelling on a blog site.

  12. next_year says:

    IMO i think edmonon is one of those iffy teams. if they make it its 6,7 or 8 and if the dont its #9 or 10 i dont think people are givving them th credibiliy they deserve tho with sheldon and pitkanen they are not that bad on d and penner is not a first linner but definetly a plus (sry bot the spelling i;ve had a cople)

  13. Cimolini says:

    No, The Oilers are not a playoff team.

  14. prayin-for-the-wce says:

    They are just as much a playoff team as The coyotes are

  15. MR40 says:

    Well the coyotes aren't a playoff team either so your assesment is true.

  16. Superman4452 says:

    Penner had a 29 goal season last year. thats it. and he wont repeat that in edmonton. there will not be enough goals scored, and the defense, while be better offensively, wont be much help for an old goalie and an injury plagued goalie. plus factor in that oil fans are assuming because a third line centre or a second line winger missed time, it destroyed there season. yeah it hurts, but it doesnt account for 71 points or whatever they finished with. add in a coach that doesnt know what he is doing and a gm that is desperate to save his job, and everything this team did this offseason isnt a hole in one. its par for the course, and in the western conference, thats not saying much.

    colorado got much better at both ends
    calgary improved defensively
    vancouver is the same team as last year – division champs
    minnesota had injury problems too – 104 points

    comparing your offense to vancouver is a problem, because the oil have roloson, and the nucks have luongo. which one would u take to win a 1-0 game?
    personally, i think flip colorado for nashville and that is your playoff picture.

    i will be betting against edmonton.

  17. stryker19 says:

    are you insane the first line is probably the worst first line in the leauge opposed to phoenix they have no chance

  18. snowybuttman says:

    moreau will be given the "c" and he will be as good as smith at being captain as they were both the same type of player just a different position, Smith led by example and si will Moreau. No cup for edmonton this year but they will be better than people. Lowe still isnt done dealing he has one more deal that he will make.

  19. AzrithEH says:

    I'd rather have phoenix's first line, atleast Doan is gritty…

  20. kamullia says:

    I keep shaking my head every time I see a comment on Tarnstrom being of help defensively for the Oilers. The best seasons The Great Dick Tarnstrom (only Penguins fans will understant this reference) ever had in his NHL career were all with the Pittsburgh Penguins, even leading the team in points on one year, but no one (other than the absurd comments I have seen here on HTR) has ever put Tarnstrom in any kind of light short of incompetent on his own end. The fact of the matter is that Dick Tarnstrom is a defensive liability. Period.

    Tarnstrom was let go from both the Islanders and Pittsburgh because of him being a liability defensively. And when he went to Edmonton, he was even scratched plenty of times on the regular season. Only the need for offense combined with injuries, were together the reasons why he was put back into the lineup during the playoffs. Yes, he brings offense on the Powerplay, but his passing is erratic half the times, and more importantly he gives nothing but heartache when he is the last defenseman left in front of the goaltender, as anyone in Pittsburgh and Long Island can testify. And offensively, let us keep in mind that his last NHL season he had 5G+5A in 33 games for PIT, plus 1G+3A in 22 games for Edmonton in the regular season, to which he only added 0G+2A in 12 playoff games.

    Tarnstrom is nothing more than a powerplay specialist, and if he is being relied upon to be anything other than this, the Oilers are starting behind the eight-ball with such a plan, before the season has even started. These references to him being of any kind of solution to the Oilers, other than adding some powerplay points, is nothing short of being delusional since I trust most have reasonably good eye-sight.

    If some Oiler fans truly believe Tarnstrom is of any cure to the Oilers, I suggest to them buying a lot of Mylanta before October (actually all Oilers fans will need it) and be ready to be disappointed. Either that, or you best hope he became possessed by a spirit with the abilities of Paul Coffey after his season with Lugano.

    By the way, the only goal (yes, as in 1) Dick Tarnstrom has ever scored professionally in any kind of playoffs, was for Sodertalje in Sweden back in 2005. Therefore if by the grace of God the Oilers do make the playoffs, do not count on The Great Dick Tarnstrom to make such an impact.

  21. TheDonkey says:

    Hopefully they can at least squeak into 8th spot and be the team who gets to perform the annual upset of the Wings.

  22. CaptainAvery says:

    With Souray in the line-up, are you kidding me??? He couldn't even help lead the Habs to the post-season and you Oiler fans think hes gonna help your team. Yehhhh riiiiiiight, Souray is brutal on defence, and coming to a team lacking that already…. well you know what I mean, have fun.

  23. I_hate_LA says:

    Penner only had one 29 goal season and he has a bad work ethic. The Ducks were pushing him 100% of the time, which was why he performed so well. If he's placed in a system like Edmonton's he will be screwed for life just like how Edmonton screwed Lupul. Edmonton's media and fans will be on his ass 100% of the time instead of trying to help him improve and be better. And judging Edmonton's line-up, they will be screwed from entering the playoffs.

  24. CraigSTAR says:

    On paper I would say "no". But deep down I know that the Oilers are not the type of team that won't make a fight of it. Yeah they sucked last year, but it wasn't until the final quarter of last season that they stopped playing. If they're close to the play-off cut, they'll play their hearts out and make it interesting. They should score more goals, so they should also be in more games than they were last season. Can't win if you can't score. Should be very intesting. I can't see them in the bottom ten of the league but it's tough to say because they're in the toughest division in hockey. Their divisional play will determine their play-off fate.

  25. CraigSTAR says:

    Lupul couldn't play under the microscope. The Oilers are fortunate that the fans are so intense, this way we can separate the men from the boys. Posers and prima donnas don't cut it in Edmonton….and Lupul just doesn't have what it takes. Thers' no sunshine, glamour, or glitz out this way so if you can win over the fans it shows that you love the game more than whateveer else. It's not like Bertuzzi looking foward to Floridas's golf courses at the beginning of last year, or Pronger's wife hating the cold.These millionaires don't need guys like you making excuses for them, they probably have their own entourages that they pay to do that for them. If they don't want to play, then they won't…they "spoil" themselves.

  26. CraigSTAR says:

    I'm a huge Oilers fan…but that doesn't change the fact that you're right about MacT. He is NOT the man for the job. We were terrible last year. But it wasn't because Stoll was hrt or whatever. The fact is the pp sucked as did the pk. If you look at what Lowe did this off-season, we have drastically improved in those aspects (namely in the pp). As far as MacT is concerned, he's hurting our prospects by forcing them into becoming checkers and trappers…he's not helping, he's stunting their growth/potential. E.g. Pouliot (25th overall) on the fourth line when he could have been given more opportunity late in the year, Shremp (25th overall) played only two games when he could have played at least 10 games at the end of the yaar, etc, etc….

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