Playing defense is about more than being physical
It's not that we didn't know that before but heading into this season most fans concentrated on the full season upgrade in goal, the deep forwards corps and the possibility of having one of the top five PP's in hockey.
The goaltending theory looks solid but some of the forwards are struggling and that's diluted the current perceived depth to the level of your father's whiskey after you've dipped into for the fourth time that month.
I won't even get into the PP right now, BTW.
Of course the aspect of the '07 Oilers that no one wanted to talk about was how the defense would fare. And by no one I mean anyone who works or plays for the Oilers.
Well right about now those funk soul brothers might have come to the conclusion that you won't go all that far with a d crops that includes all of Bergeron, Greene and and Smid. I'm not sure if either of those guys will go back the other way but in today's Journal they actually had a list of guys Lowe "might" be looking at. How they compiled that list is open for debate and I'd say it's part guys who are UFA at season's end and part guys who Lowe has discussed in a glowing manner in previous discussions.
The biggest news is that the Oilers are now openly shopping for another dman and I can't wait to see who's coming to augment their defense. Just last week the Oilers lost consecutive home tilts against the Stars and Preds and both those teams employ rearguads who hurt you with the pass more than they hurt you with their physicality. You can't find six Brian Rafalski's and if you did you couldn't afford them all but there's an element they bring that the Oilers sorely lack and that's the ability to make a quick breakout pass. Once they acquire that then you'll see an increase in the Oilers going through the neutral zone with speed and a decrease in the amount of time spent in their own end.
Anyway, on to the blurb and this is an old copy and past dealie:
__Here's a list of offensive defencemen Lowe might be looking at in a trade: Tampa Bay's Dan Boyle, Florida's Mike Van Ryn, Lubomir Visnovsky in L.A., Boston's Paul Mara and Ottawa's Chris Phillips, who is an unrestricted free agent in July.__
So here's the job for all the guys who love the trade speculation. Check out the ages of these guys, their contract status in terms of lenght remaining and appliciable monies and which of them have had the most success on the PP because you know that any of these guys will see time on the Oilers PP unit, well outside of Phillips. Later on maybe we can get into each of these mentioned orgs to see where there needs are and just what they might want in return. And what I'd really like to see is which of these guys can handle the tough min and which of them have feasted on the soft mintuted lamb.
I'm really interested to see what you guys come up with.