Saturday, February 03, 2007

Never Ever Easy

Here's your man, Raffi Torres. Mr. Edmonton Oiler for the 2006/2007 season. Frustrating, inconsistent, powerful, impotent, exciting, maddening and so it goes. 27 goals last year. A game changing presence playing with Peca and Pisani in the post season. This year he may end up with 15. And while he has become a pretty good two way player and still can make opponents nervous when he's out there, you're still left wanting more and wondering when he's going to pour it on.

Just like his team.

Big win today leaves them two up on the Avs and four back of the Wild and they could be in a lot worse position. It looks like it will be these three and maybe the Canucks fighting for the last two spots. The pretenders have all begun to fade. Post coaching change surges have mostly ended. If ten points out is your point of no return in terms of falling out of the race, well only the Coyotes are there now. If they lose tonight they're not even there.

Look out East and the 14th place team is 10 points out. Imagine. Ten points out but you have to get by six other teams to get that spot.

I've always been glass half full and that's why this whole argument that the Oilers have to get to 94 points to make the playoffs and therefore win 20 of their last 30 games has me a bit confused. Maybe its the new math. They have to catch one team. If they finish ahead of that team and the Avs then they are in. They have to win 20 games if the Wild win 18 and the Avs win 21. I don't think the Oilers win 20 but I don't see either of those happening either. Not with Fernandez hurting in Minnesota, that's for sure.

Now if Shaggy finally gets back then you're taking one of Smid, Bergeron or Greene out of the mix. Add your missing piece, whoever he may be, and then you move a second of those into the pressbox. Hell, add two and they're all out of the mix (and Bergeron is likely wearing a different uniform as well). A far different team then.

Having said that, and there's a reason Mr. Torres is pictured above, if Lowe trades Raffi or even Lupul for 25 games worth of Brad Stuart then I would hope he loses his job the morning after.

The name of the game now (and forever really) is amassing young, cheap assets who can contribute. Now neither Torres nor Lupul has set the world on fire this season but moving either of them , one season removed from 27 and 28 goals respectively, both under 26 years of age, for a rental, as has been rumoured, doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

Well, fuck the Boston Bruins if that's what they want. Fuck them up their stupid asses.

Get serious.

It was either Bob MacKenzie at TSN or David Shoalts at the Globe who said, essentially, that any team that would trade a decent young cheap player for a UFA to be like Stuart is likely a team that hasn't had a lot of success and is probably not going to have a lot of success because the GM is a dim bulb. In my opinion, if the Oilers were flush with good young forwards who could score in bunches or rattle some cages and they were on the cusp of a deep run, I might make this move.

They aren't in either case so I don't.

Now if Stuart or Brewer came with a newly signed contract with the Oilers or someone like Pitkanen or one of the kids from Chicago was coming the Oilers' way, well then, move what you have to, within reason. But for a pure rental? Use your head.

One last note - in Duhatschek's weekly column today he makes some comments on the Bruins and on the Oilers as well. He touches on the falloff in Sykora's play, the success of Smyth/Horc/Hemsky since being reunited, Stoll's breakout season, Pisani, Torres and Lupul failing to meet offensive expectations, the failure of the Nedved gamble. He also opines that Torres will not be moved. Even with his inconsistency he brings one thing this team lacks, especially with Moreau out, a physical presence up front.

And later on in the column: --- The Oilers started negotiations on a multi-year contract for right winger Ryan Smyth last week and the guessing is that the two sides will eventually come to terms on a deal for five years averaging $5 million per season.

So maybe things are about to get finalized there?

In this crazy year, one sign of sanity? (Although I know some will disagree.)

1 comment:

Scarlett said...

And they play Minnesota 5 times in those 30 games. And twice in the last three games. Let's hope the Oilers are in striking distance at that point. If they are, my money is on them.

I can't see a trade for a rental player, who won't resign here for Torres. I hope Lowe doesn't see it either.