As I sit here and admire the nice green grass still outside(yes, it has not yet snowed here) there are a few thoughts that I must clear fom my mind. Let's be honest here, this Oilers team looks bad, I'm not talking last year bad, but if we can't learn to kill a penalty, we better hope Adam Larsson can, because that's where we're headed. On our potential top 3 pick, what the hell is with the love affair with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins? The guy is a pencil! If we do have the opprotunity to pick there, I sure hope we do not pick RNH, sure he has talent but he has to do a lot to fill out, time I don't think we can waste. Speaking of #1 picks, holy hell is Taylor Hall the most inconsistant player I have ever seen, he goes and has a great game against Minnesota then does, next to nothing against San Jose. I think once he finds the consistency in his game then he will turn out to be the player we have been looking for.
Another weakness that the Oilers have is special teams, not just on the PK but on the PP as well. I think the solution to the PP is a simple one, change the strategy. I get why they use an overload strategy on the PP, but it makes 0 sense to have two forwards within 10 feet of each other, what they should do instead is switch to something that resembles the umbrella strategy. Have two of the forwards on each side of the ice with someone creating traffic in front, and get the puck to Foster more, the guy was signed to replace Souray on the powerplay and we have not been going to him quite as much as we need to be. The penalty kill leaves a lot to be desired as well, I don't know if it is the players that they use or what, but we just can't seem to kill penalties. What the team should do is make a call to Oklahoma City, and bring up some players who, until yesterday, killed off 35 straight penalties. If they can't do any better than what we have now, there is little to no hope for us, and like I said earlier, we had better hope Adam Larsson can kill penalties, because no one on this team seems capable of doing so.
The defense of this team is more than just an achillies heel, it is more like a gunshot wound that just doesn't stop bleeding, you can't honestly sit there and tell me that you would rather have Theo Peckham, Jim Vandermeer or Jason Strudwick on the back end over someone like Shawn Belle. We need to send a goalie down and maybe Ryan Jones and bring up Reddox and Belle. Those two, I think would make a difference right now as well as send a message that there is no job that is safe on the team.