...the more they continue to disappoint.
Did you feel that? That sudden, horror filled feeling that you've been here before? You look out on the ice and you see that the top, most promising young Oiler is, once again, Sam Gagner. It feels like only yesterday, all over again. Watching this team sans Eberle, RNH, Hall was a curiously strange look through a window into the recent past. I hope that we never have to look through that window again.
In the mess of this season, let us remember that we've got an 18 year old power play expert on the mend and Harry Freakin' Potter wanting to come back after taking another hit from He Who Shall Not be Named. In fact, top young prospect Sam Gagner is now eclipsed by the return of Jordan Eberle.
I've taken this opportunity to look back at the 2008-2009 season. The team finished with a "respectable" 38 wins that season. The leading scorers were:
Hemsky - 66 points
Horcoff - 53 points
Souray - 53 points
Gilbert - 45 points
But all of that aside, who were we really looking forward to developing? Aside from the golden boy (Gagner) they had up and comers such as Robert Nilsson, Andrew Cogliano, and Marc Pouliot leading the way as the "young core of players ready to take the next step."
It's funny how quickly things change, for the better and for the worse. The young core has improved by leaps and bounds, but take a look at the defense. Back then, they had Gilbert, Souray, Grebeshkov and Lubo on the back end. We'd kill for the combo now. However, also notice that that 2009 team finished 22nd in goals against. Those guys could score, but apparently they couldn't stop the guys coming the other way.
For at least part of this current season, the defense was good but we couldn't find anyone to play on the power play. Then, Potter stepped in for a bit and now Petry. It would be nice to put Souray, Lubo or Grebeshkov in there with RNH, Hall and Eberle, now wouldn't it?
I realize that my logic is flawed, but it's interesting to see how different these teams look, and at the same time how similar they are in effectiveness. The strengths and weaknesses have changed many times over the last few years, but the team's position in the standings is always the same.
Maybe within the next couple of years we can finally find some balance. Maybe bringing in a few more of whatever the team needs just might help. Then, in 2014 we'll finally have something new to talk about; a good hockey team. With the new young core, it's more than wishful thinking.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this FanPost are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or position of the staff.
What does this team need THE MOST in order to find balance and compete in the near future?
2 top four defensemen (112 votes)
Trade Hemsky for whatever you can get (10 votes)
Trade Khabibulin and then sign someone younger and gooder (10 votes)
Tank for the top pick again. (11 votes)
Tryouts for some of the AHL guys (2 votes)
Some more veterens in key positions to help the young ones along (8 votes)
153 total votes