Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Calm before the Storm


Awaiting tonight's Game 7 to see whether it will be the Flames or the Sharks who we face next round.

Might just be the booze talking but I'm feeling pretty good right now.

Anyhow, a quick runthrough of ratings for the Oilers for the series just gone by. Straight As for everyone! Nah. Anyhow, totally subjective based on what I saw (games 2,3,5,6) and heard/read (games 1,4). So some might quibble because I didn't see the two losses. Whatever. Also - no spreadsheets! Finally these are also based on expectations - obviously Samsonov is a better player then Dvorak but imo Dvorak gets a better grade - he performed up to expectations while Sammy did not.

A+

Roloson - wasn't spectacular, just really really good; big saves when needed; only one softie - the pinball goal; without him Smytty is captaining Team Canada again

Pisani - round 1 hero - 5 goals including 2 in the 3rd in game 6, as always terrific in his own end, 1 bad penalty, now a "sung hero"

Pronger - dominant skater of this series, 0 PIM in first five games, tied for team lead in scoring, played shutdown D, calming influence

A

Smyth - led way for teammates with intense dogged performance especially on the forecheck, 2 big goals, set up first goal of comeback in game 5, no dummy penalties, threat to score on many shifts

Horcoff - established himself as team leader with constant undying effort, signature moment diving in front of shot at end of Game 5, only 1 goal but a big one, created a lot of chances, only 2 PIM, still problems finishing, only quibble - doesn't get the puck deep enough at times

Stoll - big OT goal, overall gritty performance, maybe miscast centring Sammy and Hemsky, bad decision on "pick play" but great performance for a kid

A-

Staios - heart and soul guy had terrific series, especially considering the opposition, he got no soft shifts, had a lot of fire, a little too aggressive jumping into rush and with his stick a few times but really cut down on errors that plagued him late in the year

Smith - just really really solid playing major minutes - signature moment was at the end of game two - went into the corner with two Wings and came out with the puck - also only 2PIM


B

Spacek - solid performance except for awful game 6 and Jaro hit the net eh!

Torres - nice all round performance for the teenager - oh, he's not 18 ... anyhow, a goal and a couple of assists, including a beaut on the PP, ran over a lot of Wings, took care of his own end of the rink, was a factor and they needed him to not be a big bag of suck - instead had a real nice series for himself

B-

Bergeron - confidence grew as series wore on - few easy touches even for third pair of D - a couple of bad penalties, bad giveaways but grew stronger and simplified game in later games

Dvorak - skated hard, made the 4th line a viable option for MacT (more important then many think), some offence, any offence would be nice though but Dvo did his job

Moreau - only played last 3 games but not a coincidence that last two games, the Oilers' best (except G6, P2) he was a part of - see Dvo for 4th line impact, good effort on PK, big blocked shot at end says it all, 1 bad penalty in G6, P3 not great, I think he'll contribute offence in round 2

C+

Tarnstrom - like Bergeron got stronger in game 5 and 6 - importance shown when he could not play game 4 - kept his game simple, contained opponents - like Dennis over at Irreverent Oil Fans would like to see him on PP - he ran one did he not? give Spacek some rest

Peca - maybe he should be rated a little higher - not sure - he had a good series and I think he probably is contributing a lot in the room - a little more offence would be nice but he may have a bad wrist - its certainly effecting him in the dot

Winchester - one big game - other then that he did some nice work down low and he didn't hurt the team - that's all they could ask really - the goal was gravy

C-

Samsonov - a quiet point per game - games 5 and 6 were better - needs to have a bigger impact up front, even if just on the PP - big plays on game winners in G3 and G6 - more big plays needed

D

Hemsky - would have been an F - I said many times in posts then Ales has the talent to impact a game - he could win one on his own - well, he showed it in G6 but 4 minutes do not a good series make - he was pretty awful the rest of the time - here's hoping he has learned

Harvey - 4th liner got hurt but saw little ice and had little impact

Murray - poor Rem - he's got try at least and Moreau and Dvo are watching his back - if he's slow he's slow but a few mistakes on top of that ... with MAP out he's in for the duration I think

D-

Greene - only because the kid only has 27 games under his belt - that's a tough spot to throw him into, otherwise an F - he'll be alright though

F

Laraque - can't keep up anymore and Georges, no boasting in the playoffs, ever, esp. when you're sitting in the pressbox

Inc./Did not play

Ulanov
Conkannen
Pouliot

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