Did you see TSN’s annual season preview show last night?
If you haven’t, check out their prediction for the Oilers. Then come back. I’ll be here.
Tempered expectations are important.
While I think everyone expects the Oilers to be an improved team from last year, I also think it’s good to have a realistic expectation of where this team is going to be in a few months.
TSN’s annual season preview aired last night. The NHL on TSN crew predicts the “youthful” Oilers to finish thirteenth. That’s thirteenth in the conference. Thirteen out of fifteen, or an improvement of about one spot from last year’s performance.
“Thirteenth” I thought. That’s a lot lower than I expected. It’s higher than the 15th that was predicted last year, and this year’s prediction has the Flames at 14th. Small victory.
But still, thirteenth for a team that hasn’t made the postseason since 2006. Come on.
Believe it or not, some teams actually play hockey in May. Some even into June!
There are two legitimate questions surrounding this team and success.
2) Devan Dubnyk.
(Just make sure both work).
The Oilers are going to have to have a relatively injury free season on defence. You can’t slice it any other way. If this team has more than two injuries at any given time, the team will be relied to dip into the AHL for help. That’s a legitimate concern, one that could
Newcomer D man Justin Schultz had a very productive AHL portion of his season. How that will translate to the NHL has yet to be seen, but you can’t help but be optimistic. Goaltender Devan Dubnyk posted a twenty win season, the first Oiler to do so since 2008-09.
What about the forwards? The top two lines are really going to be something. A third line with Smyth and Horcoff isn’t going to be anything to slouch at. And the fourth line…well…ask me on Sunday.
The power play ought to cook as well. Last year’s power play was third in the league at 20.6 per cent. You’ve got the same ingredients from last year, now add Nail Yakupov. Can’t hurt.
But you’re telling me that the Oilers are only going to be better than the Flames and Blue Jackets? That’s it?
Not the Avalanche?
Let’s hear you. Where do you predict the Oilers to finish in 2013?
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