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Canadian Press
10/1/2006 1:32:59 PM


EDMONTON (CP) - They don't have Stanley and they don't have Pronger. And it seems the Edmonton Oilers also aren't getting a whole lot of respect.

The NHL's Western Conference champions are being touted by some prognosticators as longshots to repeat last spring's fairy-tale run to the seventh and deciding game of the Stanley Cup final.

But the Oilers, who begin their season at home Thursday against the Calgary Flames, say their retooled lineup that emphasizes big guns up front is going to surprise.

-You have a taste of what it's like to go far in the playoffs. Now that we've had that taste, we kind of want to get there again,'' said forward Fernando Pisani.

Pisani, the hometown hero who had a stellar post-season with 14 goals in 24 games, is part of an offence that can spread the scoring over three lines.

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/news_story/?ID=179569&hubname=nhl
 

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I think they're very underated. They lost a lot of the team they had last playoffs, but they also have a lot of good players still around.

Their defence isn't that strong, but offencively they should not be overlooked:

Smyth, Lupul, Horcoff, Hemsky, Stoll, Sykora, Torres, Pisani... Those aren't exactly AHLers that they've got there.

Add the Roli factor in, and they should be a competitive team this year. Stanley Cup team? I don't know, but they won't be an easy opponent on the ice for any team.
 

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I think he'll do alright. The playoffs were quite grueling, but he was still able to keep coming back.

He totaled about 35 games including the season games when he was aquired by the Oilers.... maybe more or less if I'm not mistaken?

Would have definitely made to the end of the Finals if Bergeron didn't throw a player into him.

Whatever the case be, if he can play the way he did against Detroit in Round #1, he'll be okay.
 

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Rids said:
Any particular reason for that prediction?
Yes. I've never liked Roloson and don't think he'll be nearly as effective for a full year. Also the ice time the team lost on the blueline this summer, the backstep they're taking on the PP (five forwards, are you joking me?) and the loss of a good defensive forward (Pecca) will all be a greater impact defensively than the additions of Lupol and Sykora will have offensively.

The team is so loaded upfront they may score 300 goals this season but anything less than a cup apperance is a step backwards and I don't think they'll make it back this year.
 

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Their Powerplay looks pretty good actually.

Stoll already played the point with Pronger on the PP, and Sykora player the point on the "A Line" in New Jersey on the PP when he was there, so the 5 forwards won't hurt them too much.

It reminds me of Pittsburgh in the 2001 playoffs. They also used 5 forwards on the PP: Kovalev and Straka on the point with Jagr and Lemieux and Lang (or Hrdina) down low. It was struggling at first, but it started clicking in the end. Then again, I heard that Kovelev use to be a defenceman.

Nonetheless, I was about to write a post similar to this last night, but didn't have time.

A shame too. Sykora scored with a wicked shot from the point near the end of the 1st. Kipper didn't see it coming 'til it was too late.
 

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oilers said:
dont think about cup. think about playoffs! and we can

tsn's nhl preview i saw. their experts think that edmonton will finish 7th

with canucks out and avalanche out too... minnesota in

I agree about Vancouver. Not sure about Colorado. They usually find a way, but maybe it's time they came apart? :dunno:

Oh well, I still expect Edmonton to make the playoffs. Their team is underated IMO.
 

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Most teams run their power play with four forwards and a defenseman with a big shot. The Oilers generally have a power play with Bergeron on opposite Stoll on the blue line.

First unit of Horcoff, Smyth, Lupol, Stoll and Bergeron
Second unit of Hemsky, Sykora, Torres, Pisani and Tjarnqvist

I'm not a big fan of Torres on the power play but it seemed to work last night. See about what happens on Saturday.
 
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