Monday, March 06, 2006

A Goaler

So, if its to be believed that the Oilers match up with any team in the league and I believe that they do - balanced scoring including a gamebreaker offensively in Hemsky, decent special teams, excellent role players, a deep and experienced defence - and they need a goalie, then who?

The problem is that before the lockout everyone had good, if not great goaltending. Remember that goaltending was not an issue when the Oilers did not make the playoffs - it was the usual - lack of secondary scoring and lack of depth on D that did them in. The goaltending was solid if not spectacular. While there were only a handful of elite goaltenders few teams had real worries in net.

Was it the equipment changes, increased offence, rust from the layoff leading to poor performance leading to loss of confidence? Suddenly goalies with GAA around 2.00 and save % over .900 (everyone in the league) looked mortal again at the beginning of the year and while some - Kipper, Brodeur, Turco, Aebisher - bounced back from poor starts, others (and here the list is almost endless) saw their seasons (Theodore, Khabibulin) and in some cases their careers (Lalime, Thibeault, Conklin) in jeopardy.

So the Oil can't just run out and get a top notch goalie for a low end draft pick and the problem is there is not a lot out there. May as well stick with the crap you have then replace it with more crap. What's the point?

The has beens
- Curtis Joseph is the most overrated goalie ever! Nice guy. Has never ever ever won anything and the few times he actually had a chance to make something happen - Stanley Cup semis with the Leafs, World Cup, Olympics - he coughed it up.
- Eddie Belfour is not a nice guy. Unlike Joseph he has won, a lot. And he has billions of dollars with which to bribe police. But Eddie is done. All of those years saving McCabe, Kaberle, AkiBerg and the rest of the worst defensive team in history (Pat Quinn and that retarded drunk Rick Ley have some system in place, no) have destroyed him, mind, body and soul.

The Career Backups
- Kevin Weekes, Dwayne Roloson et al. There's a reason these guys are backups and always have been backups - see Markannen, Jussi. Good goalie - sure. Might he get hot for a week or two - sure. He may even win you a series. But so might the guys you have now.

The "WTF" happened to:

- Robert Esche and Andrew Raycroft - these guys are intriguing, especially Raycroft. Esche, I could take or leave before this year but Raycroft ... maybe. I think, like Theodore, they came off the lockout rusty and out of shape. They struggled, got injured and by the time they were healthy they had lost their jobs. Raycroft could be the guy but its a gamble and do you want to gamble? Of course there are no sure things available so ...

The Kipper Dream

- Toskula and Noronon - ahh to pick up a third stringer for nothing, plug him in and watch him carry you within a goal of the Cup and then become perhaps the best goalie in the League. maybe back in November but not now ...

The Dream

- probably not available but if they could pry Luongo out of Florida - it might cost them Robbie Schremp among others but oh boy - don't think so but if they could get the right deal. They might watch him walk at the end of '07 but they could pay him next year at least no problem (bye bye Peca and Laraque covers that)

The likely

- Biron for Staios or some such thing - lets hope so anyhow - just not Joseph or Belfour

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