Sunday, March 25, 2007

Edmonton Oiler Crash

It looks like the Edmonton Oilers players gave up on the season as soon as Ryan Smyth was traded to the New York Islanders. Since that time, the Oilers have 1 win (in a shootout) and 13 losses (one in overtime). They have picked up 3 points in 14 games. During that time they have been outscored by a 51-14 margin. This is truly pathetic. If these numbers were kept up over an entire season, the Oilers would go down as one of the worst teams in NHL history (if not the worst).

The Oilers are not this bad a team. They should be playing better than this. Their biggest problem is psychological. They have given up. With Ryan Smyth, the Oilers were a team that was in the hunt for the final playoff spot in the west (though they likely would have failed). Without him, they are not a playoff team, but they are definitely not the worst team in NHL history. For example, St Louis is a worse team than Edmonton going into the trade deadline and gave up more at the deadline in both Bill Guerin and Keith Tkachuk and the team has not folded. They have won 6 of their last 14 (a stat that is inflated a bit with 4 wins in overtime and shootouts). This shows me that coaching has been better in St Louis (Andy Murray is better than Craig MacTavish). MacTavish has not been able to get anything out of his team and needs to be replaced this summer with somebody who can.

Next year, Edmonton will try again. They have a good group of young prospects. They will sign a few free agents. They will win more frequently then this post-Smyth version of the team (because it is nearly impossible to win less frequently). Their best plan might be to let the young talent mature into a team. It may take a couple years before it happens, but it is a plan that might succeed. It is much harder to buy a new winning team as free agents when your team will not have a payroll that approaches the salary cap. That is a failing plan that leaves the team on a path to mediocre at best.

Here is Tyler Dellow showing just how historically bad these Oilers have played since the Smyth trade.

You know, the whole fucking team IS injured. I'm as embittered as anyone but with Stoll, Moreau, Hemsky, Staios, Hejda (yes, he's good) and Tjarnqvist having missed most of the games since Smyth was dealt, this isn't really the NHL Oilers who are being iced.

Not to mention, Lupul is depressingly healthy. I guess that's one good thing from being afraid to take a hit.
The comparison to St Louis still holds when talking injuries. As of right now, no team has more players on the TSN injury list then St Louis. They have Dallas Drake, Dan Hinote, Manny Legace, Jay McKee, Vladimir Orszagh, Martin Rucinsky, Bryce Salvador, Curtis Sanford and Matt Walker all out with various injuries. This team has less talent than Edmonton traded two stars at the deadline (compared to one) and has not crashed post-trade.

Edmonton has horribly underproduced since the Smyth trade. I think the problem is largely psychological 8ie they gave up)

I was excited to discover this website

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