Everything is roses right now in Oil Country. The trades and signings all smell great, everyone is saying the right things, and the kids looked great in development camp. Talk radio is full of optimism and calls to add that piece that will make this team a contender. While this is all really nice, it is going to come crashing down when the season starts.
Don't get me wrong, I'd love the Oil to make a run this year, have Hall and Hemsky in the top 10 for scoring, RNH have a shot at Rookie of the Year and have Doobie force Renney to sit the Drunk Russian Goalie. But lets be honest here, at this point our team isn't all that different from last year, and although some may be trying not to remember, with that team we finished dead last for the second year in a row.
It was because of injuries that last season happened. And really the last 3 or 4 seasons all were plagued by injury. Yes, this is somewhat true, but all teams have injuries. Pittsburgh was the best example of how good teams overcome injury, and quite frankly we don't have the depth to compare. OKC cupboards are better than the farm club from past years, but until they are competing for top spot down there we can't say we have NHL'ers ready to help when the injury bug bites.
Well aren't you just all Mr Negative!
Sorry, but realistically here is where we are at. We have one legit top D man in Whitney, two established scorers in Smyth and Hemsky on forward and one goalie with experience in Khabbi. The rest of the line up is filled with "if" and "hopefully", which doesn't inspire much confidence. One or more of the sophomores are going to be terrible this year. One or more of the acquisitions is not going to pan out. And there are going to be more injuries.
You may be surprised if you've made it this far to hear that I am really looking forward to the coming season. I am hoping the ifs and hopefullys all work out, the injuries don't come and the rookies kill it. I am going to cheer with the wins, explain away the losses and figure out all the moves tambellini should be making to get this team to the cup. But I go into it all with the blinders off and realistic expectations that this team will be picking in the top 5 again at next years draft.