Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Wait A Second!

Ended up in a conversation about Bergeron with Vic from IOF in a thread the other day. Vic had made the point that Bergeron was actually having a great year and that an examination of the numbers showed that he actually had the best EV numbers of any Dman on the Oil.

My reply was that he should as he was facing the softest opposition by far and that with three decent lines he should be getting a few + beside his name. If you're facing the Petr Nedveds of the world you had better be coming out on the plus side of the ledger.

Vic's comment was that that may be so but if you compare him, for example, to our third pair of last year he was way ahead of the game. Which he is.

The problem with Bergeron is that his errors are so obvious. Whereas you might pick out a guy like Smith now and then, usually when he makes a mistake its a subtle one or his error is part of a set of errors by a bunch of guys.

With Bergeron you see the highlight at 11 and its 2 on 1 and he's at the edge of the frame scrambling to get into the play.

But he was a +2 last night against a good Habs team on the road and he played 14 + minutes, almost entirely at ES. And he is a plus five for the year.

Had he better be? Yep. And he is.

But its the nature of fans to get on the fringe guys, I think. Look at the beginning of this year and the calls for Brad Winchester's head. What was the point of having him out there? (And I was one of those saying it - why dress a guy if he's going to play 90 seconds a game?)

Last night he played nearly nine minutes. Scored a nice goal. Had a good game by all accounts. Made a difference.

He's 1-3-4 for the year. Horcoff is 1-4-5.

I love Horcoff. The guy is terrific. Pisani too. And Torres.

But Horc has taken 16 shots this year. Period.

I'd say its time for these guys to step it up. There's a lot of try. But as Barry Trotz remarked last week - your best players have to be your best players. They're paid to be.

Ryan Smyth has been. Sykora too. And for the most part Roli has been great.

But maybe its time for fans to look at the aforementioned three fellows as well as young Lupul when they want to pin some blame on someone for this team's present mediocrity. This team has issues on the blueline but as frequent Flames poster Peter commented last night on the BOA where is the vaunted Oiler offence? There apparently is no vaunt.

And a Dman or two who could make the first pass would be nice but when you have 16 shots in a period one goal is, well, disappointing. And we won't even get into the power play.

Anyhow, I'm not your fickle fan who would boo or curse out these guys. They're in a slump and that is all. But for people to call out guys like Bergeron, Winchester and Greene as the main problems this team has ... well, if we could only be so lucky.


Kyle Kosior said...

I am with you that the try is there, but lets face it, the finish isn't. I was able to watch last night and they just do not strike fear in anyone, offensively speaking.

They make me nervous as heck when they are in their own zone, and lull me to sleep on the PP.

As much as I like the guys, they need a shakeup.

Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

well, this team has a tendency (and many do, lets be honest) to squeeze the stick pretty hard when things aren't going well - remember the stretch run last season - only one guy produced consistently then as well - Smyth again

Aleem said...

I think that the Oilers fans never pick on the stars, because they don't want them to leave. Whether that is right or wrong is a moot point. just the fact that Edmonton is not the easiest place to play, a lot of players would rather go and golf in anonymity in Phoenix or Ft. Lauderdale.

Rod said...

I'll try to keep this short as I've already touched on this in a comment @ LT's, but this idea MAB's doing great by the numbers is, well, empty. In hockey, plus/minus can happen on a whim. MAB (and Greene) both had absolutely zero to do with either goal that lead to their +2 rating against Montreal. On both occasions, MAB and Greene were at least a zone away from a turnover (forced by forechecking forwards), and also at least a zone away from the goal. They simply happened to be on the ice, and had as much to do with those goals as Roloson. To look at those numbers in retrospect and conclude that MAB had a great game... Sorry, I'm not buying.