The Edmonton Oilers are now 7-3-1 in there last 11 games. With many ups and downs so far this year, here is my take on the Oilers and the good, the bad and the ugly thus far in their 2013-14 NHL Season.
I have to start with The Ugly and it has to be the play of Devon Dubnyk and the other Oilers’ goalies.
Dubby is 9-12-2 on the season with a GAA of 3.27 and a .892 SV%. Disappointing to say the least after his performance last year. While those stats were still bellow where the Oilers need him to be, if he could of played that way this year while the Oilers players were doing their best ‘junior hockey’ impersonation then they may not of fallen to where they are now.
The rest of the goalies are a combined 2-6-1 with a .904 SV% and a 2.94 GAA. Not good enough to compete in the Western Conference of the NHL. Maybe Ilya Bryzgalov will push Dubnyk to be better or maybe he just takes over and gives the Oilers good, consistent goal tending for the remainder of the year.
The Bad has to be the Oilers defense. At best the Oilers have 4 players that are solid NHL blue liners. Playing out of their comfort zones because the Oilers have no top two defenseman, everyone has to play better then their skill levels allow. Not sure what management and the coaching staff is thinking, but it would be nice if one player could rise above expectations. But to expect all your defensemen to do so is maybe a little to hopeful.
Yet the Oilers management seems unwilling to call up and play the Oilers D-men of the future. They finally they called up Martin Marincin and played him against the Flames and the Avalanche but sat him last night against the Carolina Hurricanes. He should probably expect to be sent down now. Like Taylor Fedun once you get comfortable putting on the Oilers jersey its time to go. With lots of your talented players, so they tell us, waiting for the call, the Oilers seem content to stay the course and give these players no NHL experience in a season that is clearly a write-off.
Finally, The Good. Two players in the top 30 of NHL scorers. Taylor Hall averaging over a point a game and Jordan Eberle both now have 27 points. Other players have been playing very well over the Oilers last ten games as well. David Perron is having a career year and is turning out to be a leader on the ice. The streaky Nail Yakupov showing signs of coming around although he may also be benefiting form the good play of his line mates the last few games.
Last but by no means the least is Mark Arcobello. The rookie has been a great addition to the Oilers roster. Top six in rookie scoring even after being sent down and then benched for five games. He wins faceoffs and has great vision to find the open players on the ice. In my mind Arcobello has made it possible for the Oilers to trade Sam Gagner. With a No Movement Clause till the 2014-15 season, as reported by TSN, it will be unlikely that they would move him this year.