BACK IN TIME
Squad goes .333 over their last three games, and the one that I’m most pleased with is the game against Detroit where two goals were given up late. The Oilers finally take a W against the Islanders, but if Dwayne Roloson wasn’t manning the pipes in Tampa Bay, the Islanders could have put a stomping on the Oil. Finally in our trio of recent games, the Oilers rolled out a clunker against the Canucks, getting labelled 6-1.
January’s a tough month.
I don’t know if any of you guys are thinking about playoffs still, but don’t. They whizzed us by for real in December, but the rosiest coloured lenses couldn’t have realistically expected a second season in April when the season started back in October
There are still forty games remaining in the season. There’s got to be a plan for those forty games, and my plan looks like this…
- Bring up the farm. I haven’t started to think how it’s going to happen yet, but this team progresses towards the end of the year, some nine game trials should be handed out. Hartikainen? Bring him up for a taste. How about Alex Plante manning the blue for a handful of games? Yes? No?
- Omark and Reddox. They stay. Both Reddox and Omark tallied an assist on the first goal in the Detroit game last week. Reddox is an RFA at the end of this season, while Omark has another year on his entry level contract. I know Horcoff is coming back sooner than later, but someone on the fourth line will have to be moved.
- Try to start Nikolai Khabibulin in games the Oilers have the greatest chance of winning. That could be a separate forum topic in itself, but Khabibulin has to become visible if the Oilers want to entertain the thought of getting an offer at the deadline. Again, that’s another forum topic too, but if this team is committed to building the future, it’s high time the Oilers should think about making Dubnyk their true-blue number one. It’s a buyer’s market for goaltending right now, and if a squad wakes up at just the right moment to take a flyer on Khabibulin, the Oilers ought to be all over that like flies on honey. For a seventh rounder. Or less.
- Oh for the love of God, can anyone do anything with Sheldon Souray? Not if he keeps suffering injuries. Souray (remember him?) suffered a knee injury three weeks ago and hasn’t yet been able to return to the Hershey Bears (AHL). This is a story that got hot at the end of last season, got really fiery before training camp this year, now threatens to leave without a whimper as Souray becomes less and less marketable with each additional injury he takes. Is anyone going to take this guy on re-entry? How about with another year after this one? If another team is interested in Souray’s services, the Oilers will have to call him up and take 50% of his cap hit when he’s claimed. That works out to 2.7M in 2011-12 and a little less than half of that number if, say New Jersey (not likely) wanted to pick him up when he got healthy. Would you do that? Will Toronto get desperate and try to make a playoff push come the first week in March? Do they want Sheldon Souray?
I’d like to be sitting where Phoenix is sitting right now, but the fact is that we’re still at least the rest of this year away before becoming competitive. We knew it from day one. We had some fun in December though, didn’t we?
Other than that? Buy your lotto tickets. Strap in, it’s going to be a bumpy second half.
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