2009-2010 season finally starts for our Oilers tonight against the Calgary Flames. After a few off-season moves which include a new goalie (Nikolai Khabibulin - left), a new coaching staff, and the return of Mike Comrie, the Oilers are looking to rebound after underachieving last year.
The big issue is a 36 year old goalie coming off a very good year for Chicago but can he dublicate that performance? If the Bulin Wall can, this team should make the playoffs. Of course, you need the forwards to score some goals. Quinn has already put his stamp on this team with JF Jacques starting on the top line, Ryan Stone on the second line with Comrie and O'Sullivan and Gagner starting on the fourth line with Moreau and Stortini. Quinn has brought the crust, but is there any jam?
Many predictions out there are calling for the Oilers to miss the playoffs here, here and here. They're not getting any respect. Most are predicting them to finish 11th in the West (a couple bloggers at Oilersnation pick them 8th). That is wrong. I still think this is a playoff team: defense is strong, forwards are pretty good and as long as the goalie continues his strong play from last year, this should be a playoff team.
Let's take a look back at one of my favorite moments from last year, when Souray moved Moreau out of his way in a fight. Souray is important, the defense is not very physical so his body is needed.