Wednesday, February 18, 2009

An Edmonton exposure

Time to hit the panic button.

Sure the Edmonton Oilers have lost only once in their last four games, and yes, they’re still in the playoff hunt.

But their last three wins were against an injury-depleted Montreal Canadians, a Los Angeles Kings team that’s near the bottom of the Western Conference barrel, and the defensively- struggling Phoenix Coyotes.

Play against a struggling, but strong team like the San Jose Sharks and you’re bound to have potential holes on your roster exposed like a sunburned Canadian in Jamaica.

That 4-2 loss was just that, a total exposure for the Edmonton Oilers.

The Oil had a chance to come out on top late in the second period when they had a two-man advantage, but a fear to shoot the puck cost them.

Too many passes, too much time worrying about looking pretty for those skating babes that clear snow from the ice in San Jose, whatever. Dustin Penner is proving he can’t play on the powerplay, along with not being that powerhouse Kevin Lowe thought he was.

Here’s another hole: face-offs. It's a key ingredient in any powerplay or penalty kill. Other than Shawn Horcoff, the Oil doesn’t have anyone who is consistent on the circle.

A lack of attention in the transition game is another hole and that explains the last goal in the game Joe Thornton scored thanks to a gift of an assist by Oilers forward Marc Pouliot.

Oilers have given up too many opportunities for its opponents by coughing up the puck while getting it out of their own end. No wonder Dwayne Roloson faces about an average of 35 shots a game.

Do the math and it’s obvious. The Oilers need a centre who can win face-offs and who can consistently score goals off of an Ales Hemsky pass.

The Oil also needs a strong, defensive-minded defenseman who can produce some offensive numbers.

Without those two elements in their roster and the dead weight that’s there now, forget about the playoff hockey in Edmonton.

No comments:

Post a Comment