Tuesday, October 07, 2008

World of Captains, Ship of Fools


after this mission it will let you go
help you to forget everything and everyone you know
in a world of captains baby, ship of fools
don't you know they're lying when they're telling you it's been all right?

Once again I'm stealing from LT, but it's both an easy an appropriate segway into the subject matter. The lyric by the way is from Near Fantastica from Matthew Good's first solo album Avalanche. This picture of Good is definately before his solo days, I'd put it around 1999 and he's holding one of the most beautiful guitars in the world, a Gibson ES-335 I'd say.

The point of the lyric in this context is thus: Expectations this season for the Edmonton Oilers are about as high as I've seen them in the last 10-15 years, besides from maybe 05-06. Everyone seems to think this is the year, and I think it's at least a somewhat reasonable proposition; the Oilers have some legitimate prospects (Gilbert, Gagner, Cogliano, Nilsson, Grebeshkov, Brodziak) who made real strides near the end of last season, they have a mobile defensive group and a goalie who seems poised to lead.

Expectations probably explain why MacTavish still has a job with the Oilers-this small market franchise with it's limited resources has really only been expected to compete once, and that year MacTavish delivered.

MacTavish has also probably been helped by the fact his good friend Kevin Lowe has been the one evaluating his competency - not saying MacTavish has ever deserved to be fired up until this point but I think lesser GMs would probably have done away with him some time ago - after all, coach is a very time sensitive job.

Here are IMO some of the top reasons fans should be wary about the upcoming Edmonton Oiler season. Bare in mind I am not the only person voicing these concerns but I don't think I've seen them all consolidated in one place as of yet.

1. Garon's Play and Shootout Victories

I think it would be hard to argue Garon didn't have a great season last year, but the question is, can he keep it up? His NHL experience beyond last year was pretty limited - 60 wins and 56 losses over a span of 7 seasons. That included a couple seasons of backup in Montreal with not great .884 SV%, an AHL demotion and then recall for more backup duty the following couple of seasons with Montreal with an outstanding .931 SV%.

Two uneven season in LA with a .901SV% and, impressively, held a winning record, 44 wins and
36 losses.

Last year Garon had 26 wins and 18 losses, although it has to be noted he had 10 shootout wins and stopped 30 of 32 shootout shots.

Garon has a lot of question marks around him; one or two seasons does not a number 1 goalie make. That said, I think Garon is very much worth a gamble; we didn't see a lot of holes in his game last season, but we have to expect him to come back towards the middle of the bell curve. MC79 had a terrific post up just the other day.

The better places on that list have some starrier names. If I was a betting man - and I’m not - my guess for Garon would be pretty close to league average, as opposed to last year, whereas his scaled save percentage for last year was .914. I have a hard time seeing how the Oilers make the playoffs with that, no matter what that knob/idiot Mirtle says. (Source)


I think it's unreasonable to think that Garon will have a similar shootout record this year. I think it will be hard for anyone to ever beat 30 for 32 in a season ever again - that's a mark that we could see stand for many years to come.

The Oilers need regulation wins this year; they will not be as successful this year once time expires.

2. Development Trends

People have this idea in their head that player development is a steady curve, but it's not, at least not always. Some players figure shoot above the curve and they look great short term but end up mediocre long term (look at Angelo Esposito's Jr. records for instance, although he's a very short term example of what I'm talking about). Some players start slow and play uneven hockey year after year until something clicks.

I think Oilers fans have to prepare themselves for the likelihood that one or all of Gagner, Cogliano, Nilsson, Brodziak, Gilbert and Grebeshkov will take a step back for part or all of the year. The glare of the spotlight will be on them this year, and so will the burden of expectations, and rather than having a reduced or more sheltered workload, they will have an increased and heavier workload.


3. The Stoll/Reasoner Workload

I keep referring back to this post by Jonathan which was based on some great work by VF. It shows how heavily MacT relied on Stoll and Reasoner for defensive zone coverage. While Hemsky is the remaining Oiler from 07-08 who played the top competition, it was Stoll and Reasoner who were ranked 1 and 3 last year respectively. And while Hemsky got to play with top quality linemates, Stoll and reasoner were pretty much given the bottom of the rung.

Now somebody has to take over that workload.

Now I'm not saying Stoll or Reasoner did a particularly great job last year; much of the time they got eaten alive. But while they were taking their lumps they were opening up holes for the rest of the roster, holes of opportunity for the likes of Cogliano, Gagner and Nilsson.

Now someone has to pick up the slack, and I'm not sure on this roster who has the horses to do it.

Brodziak and Pouliot are being nominated as centers for the job from various sources, as well as the possibility of Pisani, Cole or Penner on the wings. This is going to be a wild and possibly disasterous experiment.

It might not be worse than Stoll and Reasoner, but I think it's reasonable to think it could go pretty wrong.

4. Healthy Horses
A lot of this year's plans are built around guys with questionable health. Sheldon Souray has historically not been the type of player to lace them up for all 82 games; nor has Hemsky. Eric Cole seems to miss around 15 games a season, and let's not even get into poor Ethan Moreau's last couple of seasons.

I don't necessarily think these guys are the most worrisome of the group - I tend to have this belief that all players get injured eventually. That is, I think we can expect someone unexpected (that is some clumsy phrasing, sorry folks) to get injured. If that's Horcoff or Garon, god help this team.

---

It's not really a bold prediction to say a coach might be fired, but I really think the chips are stacking up against MacTavish this year. He has to deliver on this mission or they'll let him go.

23 comments:

Jonathan said...

All good points, and ones that aren't being talked up enough. The Stoll/Reasoner point is, IMO, the biggest of these, but 1 & 2 are downright scary on their own. Toss in the lack of a legitimate shutdown defenseman, and there is a ton of reason for worry.

All this, and expectations have never been higher.

Still, the most troubling thing (from MacT's perspective) has to be the early season schedule. I think he can coax a 6th-8th place finish out of this team, but if they struggle early I wonder if Lowe/Tambellini won't be tempted to axe MacTavish.

Kyle said...

That's a good point, I failed to mention the schedule, specifically the early part. It's going to be a rocky enough road trying to find a replacement for Reasoner and Stoll without having to do it one the road.

I think if the Oilers end up .500 or above upon the completion of the road trip they'll be in good shape, otherwise MacT might need to look out for the guillotine.

精神年齢 said...

あなたの精神年齢を占ってみよう!当サイトは、みんなの「精神年齢度」をチェックする性格診断のサイトです。精神年齢度には、期待以上の意外な結果があるかも??興味がある方はぜひどうぞ

逆円助 said...

さあ、今夏も新たな出会いを経験してみませんか?当サイトは円助交際の逆、つまり女性が男性を円助する『逆円助交際』を提供します。逆円交際を未経験の方でも気軽に遊べる大人のマッチングシステムです。年齢上限・容姿・経験一切問いません。男性の方は無料で登録して頂けます。貴方も新たな出会いを経験してみませんか

精神年齢 said...

みんなの精神年齢を測定できる、メンタル年齢チェッカーで秘められた年齢がズバリわかっちゃう!かわいいあの子も実は精神年齢オバサンということも…合コンや話のネタに一度チャレンジしてみよう

童貞卒業 said...

童貞卒業を考えているなら、迷わずココ!今まで童貞とヤッた事がない女性というのは意外と多いものです。そんな彼女たちは一度童貞とやってみたいと考えるのは自然な事と言えるでしょう。当サイトにはそんな好奇心旺盛な女性たちが登録されています

メル友募集 said...

最近仕事ばかりで毎日退屈してます。そろそろ恋人欲しいです☆もう夏だし海とか行きたいな♪ k.c.0720@docomo.ne.jp 連絡待ってるよ☆

動物占い said...

あなたの性格を、動物に例えて占っちゃいます。もしかしたらこんな動物かも!?動物占いをうまく使って、楽しい人間関係を築いてください

家出 said...

家出中の女性や泊まる所が無い女性達がネットカフェなどで、飲み放題のドリンクで空腹を満たす生活を送っています。当サイトはそんな女性達をサポートしたいという人たちと困っている女性たちの為のサイトです

セレブラブ said...

セレブ女性との割り切りお付き合いで大金を稼いでみませんか?女性に癒しと快楽、男性に謝礼とお互い満たしあえる当サイト、セレブラブはあなたの登録をお待ちしております。

夏フェス!! said...

夏フェス一緒に行ってくれる人募集!!夏の思い出一緒につくろぉ☆ megumi-0830@docomo.ne.jp 連絡してね♪

無料ゲーム said...

あなたのゲーマー度を無料ゲーム感覚で測定します。15個の質問に答えるだけの簡単測定で一度遊んでみませんか?ゲームが得意な人もそうでない人もぜひどうぞ。

素人 said...

Hな女性たちは素人ホストを自宅やホテルに呼び、ひとときの癒しを求めていらっしゃいます。当サイトでは男性ホスト様の人員が不足しており、一日3~4人の女性の相手をするホストもおられます。興味を持たれた方は当サイトにぜひお越しください

出会い系 said...

実は出会い系には…関係者用入り口があるのを知っていますか?広告主やスポンサー用に用意されたIDではサクラや業者が立ち入ることが出来ないようになっているのです。当サイトでは極秘に入手した関係者用URLが公開されています

逆援助 said...

男性はお金、女性は快楽を得る逆援助に興味はありませんか?お金を払っても性的欲求を満たしたいセレブ達との割り切り1日のお付き合いで当サイトでは大金を得ることができます。無料登録なのでアルバイト感覚でOK、詳しくはTOPページでどうぞ。

友達募集 said...

ホムペ完成記念!私の事みんなに知ってもらいたくて頑張りましたぁ。色々とご感想をお待ちしているので思った事を意見してください。メアドはほむぺにのせてありますぅ!★ fan.jna@docomo.ne.jp

家出 said...

夏休みで気軽に家出する女子○生が急増しています。しかし家出したはいいものの泊る所やお金が無い彼女たちは、掲示板などで泊めてくれる男性を探す子も多いようです。当掲示板にも夏休みに入ってから通常の3倍以上のメッセージが寄せられています

人妻 said...

今最もアツイバイトは人妻とのセフレ契約です。当サイトではお金を払ってでもセフレがほしい人妻が集まり、男性会員様との逆援生活を待っています。当サイトで欲求不満の女性との出会いをしてみませんか

素人 said...

素人ホストでは、男性のテクニック次第で女性会員様から高額な謝礼がもらえます。欲求不満な人妻や、男性と出会いが無い女性達が当サイトで男性を求めていらっしゃいます。興味のある方はTOPページからどうぞ

友達募集中 said...

少し魅惑な自分をネットだから公開してみました。普段言えない事など、思い切って告白しているプロフなので興味ある方はぜひ除いてみてください連絡待ってまぁす。 hinyaaaaa@docomo.ne.jp

Anonymous said...

Good day !.
You may , probably very interested to know how one can manage to receive high yields .
There is no initial capital needed You may commense to receive yields with as small sum of money as 20-100 dollars.

AimTrust is what you need
AimTrust represents an offshore structure with advanced asset management technologies in production and delivery of pipes for oil and gas.

It is based in Panama with offices everywhere: In USA, Canada, Cyprus.
Do you want to become really rich in short time?
That`s your chance That`s what you desire!

I`m happy and lucky, I began to take up income with the help of this company,
and I invite you to do the same. It`s all about how to select a correct companion utilizes your money in a right way - that`s AimTrust!.
I earn US$2,000 per day, and what I started with was a funny sum of 500 bucks!
It`s easy to join , just click this link http://uxuhifeqo.virtue.nu/ogawivyf.html
and lucky you`re! Let`s take this option together to become rich

Anonymous said...

Hello!
You may probably be very curious to know how one can manage to receive high yields on investments.
There is no initial capital needed.
You may begin to get income with a money that usually is spent
for daily food, that's 20-100 dollars.
I have been participating in one company's work for several years,
and I'll be glad to let you know my secrets at my blog.

Please visit my pages and send me private message to get the info.

P.S. I make 1000-2000 per day now.

http://theinvestblog.com [url=http://theinvestblog.com]Online Investment Blog[/url]

Anonymous said...

The article was very interesting and informative for me. weight loss Read a useful article about tramadol tramadol