Thursday, May 18, 2006

Moving On Up

Some last thoughts on our victory over the Sharks.

I think a lot of the Sharks were hurting - Michalek was never a factor after the Torres hit. Bernier seemed to disappear. Mark Smith. Cheechoo. Thornton. At various points during the series these players were all sent off the ice in rough shape after being punished by the Oilers. I know the Oil probably have their share of bumps and bruises too but it seemed as the series wore on the Sharks competed less and less.

In a similar vein I think the hitting wore down their D. Hannan in particular seemed to make a lot more errors as the series moved along.

How many Shark players overachieved or played up to their capabilities - Ehrloff, maybe? Toskela did all he could as well. But anyone else? How many underachieved?

What about if you apply that test to the Oilers? How many performed far better then you would think? Horcoff. Smyth. Peca. Moreau. Smith. Staios. Bergeron. Harvey in his one game. Maybe Stoll. How many underachieved or did not contribute? Greene is in over his head. We could always use more from Hemsky. Raffi is a little undisciplined.

But these are minor quibbles compared to what the Sharks were looking at. In the must win games - G5 and G6 - they did not get it done. They became unglued, failed to compete, failed to rise to the occasion.

Wonder what Ron Wilson has to say now.

Right now the Oil are a team firing on all cylinders. While anything can happen the fact is that in the last four games they put themselves in a position to win each game and deserved each victory. That's all you can hope for. And they are getting better as the playoffs have progressed. Their experience and the leadership in the room and on the ice is telling. MacT is also doing a great job of keeping them focussed and aware of the opportunity that they have.

And lets not forget Roloson.

On to the next challenge. Another big one. But another one that can be handled as well. Play hard. Play smart.


Vic Ferrari said...

Yeah, it seems that everyone in Edmonton is confident of an Oiler victory over the Ducks, and almost everyone outside of Edmonton likes Anaheim to take this series.

Your bookie will give you very close to even odds for the series. 44%ish chance for the Oilers. Home ice and the short layoff hurts the Oilers chances to start to the series.

Still, if they can win one in Anaheim it's a close to even odds as you can get I think.

Should be fun.

Also: Cool that all three other teams remaining this year have members of the 2001 Oilers core group as key pieces of their squads; Marchant (who is having a helluva playoff in an unfamiliar offensive role), Grier (who has been great for the Sabres) and Weight (Haven't seen much of the Canes, bu he doesn't seem to have done much yet by the numbers, but is always a very dangerous PP guy of course).

Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

I think people think the hard part is over - I certainly don't think so. Its just the damn Disney name.

I'm picking the Oilers, of course. I think they'll take it but its not going to be easy and they're going to have to bust their asses to win it.

Meh. Everyone picked the Wings. And everyone picked the Sharks.

Let them pick the Ducks.

Doogie2K said...

If Edmonton takes the first game, Anaheim will be hard-pressed to get back into things. Look at how the Anaheim-Colorado series went. Look at how Anaheim-New Jersey went three years ago. Analagous situations, with the less-rested team taking it to the super-rested one early and letting momentum do the rest. Oilers in six, though I have a couple of friends who feel that's actually a bit generous.

Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

doogie2k - hard to say how it goes - your scenario could happen - I think the Oil match up well and they have the big mo right now but we'll see - I like the Oil for sure though

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