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Fixing Actual Problems

By now, we’re all familiar with Kevin Lowe’s moves this summer. Marty Reasoner, Jarret Stoll, Matt Greene, Joni Pitkanen and Raffi Torres were moved out, and Erik Cole, Lubomir Visnovsky, Jason Strudwick and Gilbert Brule moved in.

It wasn’t a bad summer; with the exception of the Torres trade and allowing Reasoner to walk, I would argue that every one of those moves will make the Oilers a better team next season. The two moves not aimed at progress next season cleared some cap space and allowed some younger players to get ice time.

Let’s look at two statistics. I know not everyone believes in statistical analysis of the game, but these two are very simple and obviously connected to a team’s ability to win.

Goals for, 5-on-5: 146 (11th in the league)
Goals against, 5-on-5: 169 (27th in the league)

Of those two statistics, where do the Oilers have the most room for improvement? They actually scored more goals than the Pittsburgh Penguins five-on-five, so at even strength offense really isn’t a huge problem.

Defense, on the other hand, is.