Is Corey Potter the sixth guy? Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Pick Six And Go For Two

Not to belabor a point, but the defence needs to improve if the Edmonton Oilers want to make the postseason during this shortened season.

Know what else is important?  Having a backup plan if someone goes down with an injury.

Let’s not put the cart before the horse.  Let’s have an honest discussion and pick out the top six defencemen that will be on the blue line next Saturday.

I’ve got five guys that are “for sure” in the lineup (and in no particular order…)

  1. Nick Schultz
  2. Justin Schultz
  3. Jeff Petry
  4. Ryan Whitney
  5. Ladislav Smid

Here are the candidates for the sixth position…

  • Corey Potter (4-17-21, 24 PIM, -16 in 62 GP w/ Oilers in 2011-12) played just 9 games in the NHL prior to signing on with the Oilers in 2011-12.  Is under contract until 2013-14.   Had a 7 point October last season when the Oilers were hot (1-6-7), scored 1 PPG.  Likely the sixth choice for the Oilers defence this year.
  • Taylor Fedun (2-7-9, 10 PIM in 32 GP w/ OKC in 2012-13  injured in 2011-12) The hometown favourite cracked the AHL roster this year after suffering what looked like a career ending injury in 2011.  Has yet to play in the NHL.
  • Colten Teubert (0-1-1, 25 PIM, -5 in 24 GP w/ Oilers in 2011-12) would likely only be called up if the Oilers were down a couple of defencemen.  In other words, game 10.
  • Alex Plante – would probably be called up after Teubert if needed.

Hopefully, you’re seeing my point.  Potter looks like the obvious choice at the sixth spot, but like Lennart Petrell was the wild card in 2011, wackier things have been known to happen.  Potter might not look game ready after spending the lockout in Vienna, or Fedun might blow the doors off the hinges at camp.  It could happen.

Whether or not it’s Fedun, or Potter, do you feel confident with that top six?  If you answer “yes”, then how do you feel if Ryan Whitney needs a night off?  What if Smid is out for a game or two?  Probably ought to look at a replacement or two.

The Wild signed Paul Mara to an AHL contract today.  I’ve talked up Mara on an occasion or two, not because he’d be a superstar defenceman, but he’d be someone who has NHL experience who could come up and plug one of those 5 or 6 spots.   Mara wouldn’t likely be a long-term solution, but could play a couple of games in a row if needed.  And as much as Colten Teubert might be an NHL mainstay in three years, I’m going to defer to experience at this time.

With only 48 games on the schedule, points are at a super-premium this year.  I feel pretty confident that the offence is going to take care of itself.

Think the team ought to pick up a guy or two for the blue?

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Tags: Defence Edmonton Oilers

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