Saturday, December 6, 2008

Will the Oilers Become Pioneers in the New NHL? Part Deux

With the solid play of Rob Schremp, and the potential for Gilbert Brule to also turn some heads, this idea of mine could be on the horizon. Those that have followed my blog from the start will have likely remembered my original post on this topic. Here is the sequel after over 1/4 of the NHL season being gone and both Rob Schremp and Gilbert Brule getting a chance to strut their stuff. Unlike many, I would be fine with having all 5 of Schremp, Nilsson, Gagner, Cogliano, and Brule in the lineup this season. Here's a look at the advantages and disadvantages...

1) Battling down low. Against bigger/stronger players they would have to rely on their speed and quick sticks to make up for the lack of size.

2) We wouldn't intimidate a pee wee team, let alone an NHL team

1) How will opposing teams with slower d-men and big lumbering forwards keep pace with these shifty little water bugs out there for 60 minutes a night?

2) You won't have to worry about skill if a player goes down, as this would be one of the most highly skilled forward corps in the league, and that's without factoring in guys like Hemsky, Horcoff, and Penner.

3) Excitement, every shift these guys would get the paying customers at Rexall standing. It'd be almost as much sitting and standing as Sunday Mass.

This is only 1/2 of the equation, the other 1/2 is our puck moving defensive core. Gilbert, Grebeshkov, Visnovsky, and Souray and to a lesser extent Smid.

A d-corps that will have this kind of puck moving ability could surely work in combination with a speedy and skillful forward unit.

Of course you'll always need some beef on the blue-line and Souray and Staios will provide that as well as some solid first passes out of the zone, and Smid could do the same.

So what am I proposing?

Bare with me...

A 3 line scoring team with 1 true checking line and 4 offensive defensemen.

MacIntyre, Gagner/roster filler


This is a team that would have the most skill that has worn the oil drop at any one time since the dynasty Oilers of the 80's and '90.

A combination of shrewd drafting and solid player acquisitions has this team on the verge of being able to go in a number of different directions. It would be a shame if they wouldn't allow this team to return to a skilled approach like it was way back when.


Troy said...

Nice theory, but it won't happen with this coaching regime.

oilerdiehard said...

It could be exciting. I would be up for trying it out.

There are worries of course. Like they are bound to give up a fair amount of goals too. Which is okay if the offense is really clicking. But as soon as we see some slumps offensively. We would not have much of defensive game to fall back on.

The other thing is there have certainly been stretches where the kid line gets truly dominated in the defensive zone. Long fire drills result. Do we see an increase of those with this line up? It makes it hard to create offense if you spend a lot of time in your own zone without the puck.

When teams start to put up a wall of players at the blue line so we can not attack with speed and carry the puck in. Can we play an effective dump and chase, cycling game and grind it down low to create offense?

If the answer is confidently yes to those questions. Then I would be up for giving this a good try.

relic said...

who kills the penalties?

Bryanbryoil said...

Potential Penalty killers...

Penner, Horcoff, Cogliano, Pouliot, Moreau, Brodziak, Pisani

5ledgehammer said...

Bryan... I wish you were the coach of the Oilers so that I could see those lines in action NOW as opposed to never!

Bryanbryoil said...

I've given up hope that MacT will ever go this route. However I wonder what happens if Schremp and even Brule play well enough to make it happen and Tambellini/Lowe forces MacT to work with what they've given him (much like forcing him to work with Brodziak and Pouliot. In the long run we'll be better for it IMO.