Showing posts with label Broberg. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Broberg. Show all posts

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Area’s of concern

The skid has increased to 5 games… Now what? 

Depending on how you view the team, there is a few concerns that seem to be smacking us fans right in the face. Some areas definitely need to be addressed sooner rather than later. 


When the bottom 6 hasn’t scored a goal in 10 games, that’s a huge reason for this skid the Oilers are on right now. Lack of production of the secondary scoring hurts when you simply just bank on McDavid and Draisaitl to lead the way. When this happens it’s just not sustainable. Players like Kassian, Foegele, McLeod, Shore, Ryan, Sceviour and Benson are guilty of slacking for secondary scoring. Teams, never mind Stanley Cup championship teams, all need balanced scoring. It’s not an option. It’s a must have. 

You might be thinking, you are missing Yamamoto. While he’s not a bottom 6 player this year, he’s definitely included on being at fault as well for little to no productivity. I’m shocked he still plays that right wing on that second line after all this time. He checks well and plays gritty the best he can for a little guy, but with only 5 points patrolling the ice with Draisaitl and Nugent-Hopkins, that’s a concern and a head scratcher. It needs to be changed, fixed and corrected ASAP.


Mikko Koskinen had good games (his record looks ok) and bad (when he’s bad he’s bad in front of your eyes). For the most part I think he’s a decent goalie, but he has flaws. Letting in a fluffer early in a game is the most obvious. We all know that one. It’s frustrating as all hell watching it happen game after game. 

He’s not a full time #1 goalie, but much like before, he’s depended on again to be the starter due to Mike Smith being out of action. I’m not psychologist, but he seems to have confidence issues that stick in his head. Once the fluffers started to happen, I believe he mentally over thought it before each game and somehow subconsciously lets it happen even when he tries not to. 

While at this moment I’m not on the bandwagon to jump on the “fire the coach train” or join the “make a massive trade” group, I do feel like it’s time to move on with the Dustin Schwartz era. It’s run it’s course. Koskinen needs a different whisper in his ear to help him battle the mental demons that fill a goalies head once in a while. Will be tough to move Koskinen before the end of the season and I expect Holland to ride out his contract, so the next best move is to move on from Schwartz and perhaps it can help moving forward with the goalie situation in Edmonton for all the goalies, not just Koskinen. 


4 rookies have patrolled the blue line this year for the Oilers. Bouchard isn’t exactly a rookie per se, but he’s young and inexperienced and I still view him as a rookie. When the vets started to drop like flies, the Oilers had to lean on some kids from the farm team. Niemelainen, Broberg and Lagesson all came up and were thrown into the fire. This has made the coaches jobs a little harder as you can’t shelter the rookies like you can when you only have one rookie in the lineup. It’s tough. They had to fill in on all three pairings. 

All in all I don’t really have a lot of complaints about the rookies. They had to learn in a hurry how to adjust to the NHL pace. I can’t even imagine being in their shoes. Now that Ceci and Nurse are back, and once Keith and Russell are back, I suspect the defence woes to fade away. That was a lot of pressure on the kids, but hopefully soon it’s only one in the lineup at a time and not three at a time. That veteran presence is desperately needed again on the back end and a lot of the Oilers problems will go away once that happens. 


All of this said, I believe that a players only meeting could fix a lot of the Oilers woes right now. I had mentioned it after the 2 game slide to some friends and while at that point it really wasn’t needed. I do believe it needs to happen now. There is something more when it comes from your peers and not by management. I truly believe for the most part this team is and can be good. The lineup is bolstered by a pretty darn good group of hockey players. They just need to figure out that they need to step up their games to new levels for their own styles. Even the dynasty Oilers era learned valuable lessons from others. But they also grew from those lessons. This era of Oilers need to do the same. 

They need to hear McDavid and Draisaitl and try and match their efforts and work ethic. Put in the extra time. Work harder. Play with a purpose. 

They need to listen to a vet like Duncan Keith. He’s been a winner. He knows what it takes. If Keith speaks, people better listen. I’d trust his advice. 

Same goes for Mike Smith. He’s been around the block. He’s played in the NHL for quite some time and has been in a lot of different situations. He is vocal in the dressing room and his presence has been sorely missed since he’s been injured. I fully believe the Oilers would be in a different position if he wasn’t hurt. He’s integral to the core of the team. 


The Oilers were lucky to pile up the wins at the start of the season to provide a slight cushion to absorb this 5 game slump. Fans are calling for heads so the pressure is on all over the organization. 

I suspect once the team can reduce the amount of rookies on the blue line, get Smith back and shuffle the forward lines up a bit, the Oilers will get back on track. 

While I expect Holland to be a buyer at the trade deadline, I don’t see any knee jerk reaction trades to happen anytime soon. However, like I said above, the Schwartz era needs to end. Make that happen Holland. 


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