Our D is far from competent. All Phoenix had to do was forecheck the crap out of every D not named "Gilbert" and "Smid" and put a blanket over the RNH line.
--David S, in the comments of the Phoenix postgame
The Oilers' defense has been a problem since the $22 million blueline (Souray, Visnovsky, Gilbert, Grebeskov, Smid, Staios) was broken up in the spring of 2010. We've known about the weaknesses in this year's squad since July 1st, and we've hoped, and at times begged for the Oilers to address the deficiencies through free agency.
When that didn't work, we asked and again begged, the Oilers to find help for the depleted defensive corps on the waiver wire. None of that happened. And now the Oilers are stuck in a situation where they've got one actual defensive pairing (and make no mistake, Gilbert and Smid have been great), a second pairing comprised of two hobbled and slowed blueliners and a 3rd pairing with a rookie (Petry) and a guy who wishes he was just struggling. They've got an AHLer in the seven hole, and Andy Sutton on the suspended list for a second time. Cam Barker, the Oilers hail mary, is still a never was and never will be.
'Sphere readers are likely familiar with Lowetide's ongoing complaint about roster balance. Once again, the Oilers have pulled their patented over-correct. Two year's removed from spending way too much on defense, the Oilers have worked themselves into a spot where they've got two actual NHL-level defenders. How in the world do they fix this?