The Return of the Monster or: something something something darth-side

This ugly bastard is a mythical creature called the Lernaean Hydra. The Hydra was one of the beasts who tried to kill, crush, eat or otherwise destroy the ultimate of the demi-Gods, Hercules. Now the thing about the Hydra is that it has many heads, each of which breaths poison fire or gas, depending on the interpretation of the myth you happen to be reading. It seems to me that the Oilers have something of a Goalie Hydra in their midst now, with not one, not two, not even three, but four potential goalies to play NHL hockey next year. Like the hydra, if you chop off one of its heads, two new ones will grow. That seemed to be the case last year when our own fire breather (NK, the boozin wall) went down for the count. Suddenly, with talk of Khabi going to chill out in tent city for a while, a new head has grown still, one that just suddenly appeared out of nowhere. Not even JDD, the last remaining head from the original monster has been cut down, so this new growth is kind of strange, like some even darker force emerged, bringing with it another set of myths to be shattered like the dreams of so many Oiler fans in the last 4 years.

This growth is named Martin Gerber, an older veteran of several NHL teams, featuring a couple of lights out regular seasons in Carolina and Ottawa respectively and a tidy career sv. % of .910. By all accounts, his numbers are not world beating, but the biggest moment in his career came while backstopping his native Switzerland in the 2006 Olympics where he stonewalled the supposed world-beaters, Team Canada, winning 2-0 and stopping all 49 shots he faced in the process.

Martin Gerber is not a bad Goalie. In fact his career, though inconsistent at best, has produced 2 30+ win seasons since the lockout, 2 SCF trips and twice representing his country in the Olympics along with numerous IIHF tournaments playing for current Oiler assistant coach Kueger. Darth Gerber, as he has become known, might be exactly what this team needs. Like the Hydra, you cut him down, he bounces back. He is capable of stealing games in a way that none of the other hydra heads are currently capable, though Darth Dubnyk may have that ability soon enough. Gerber also has the veteran presence to help the kids succeed. He's 35 and playing for a chance, making less coin than the worst starting NHL goalie in the last 5 years and fighting for his life. The force may not be as strong in him as it once was, but as a part-time starter and part time teacher of ADDDD, this may be the most interesting and underrated signing Tambi 3.0 has made. Let's not forget, it was Gerber who backstopped the Hurricanes in to the playoffs before Wardo turned in the 2nd best goaltending performance of that season. As such, the Dark Lord's tremendous impact on the development of Cam cannot be denied. If Darth Gerber can teach the dark side of the force to either of these kids, (my vote is for Dubnyk to become his Sith), regardless of how well the team does in the standings, the confidence the rest of the club will have in their goaltenders has the potential to skyrocket.

The Team hasn't had a lot of hope from between the pipes since my favorite wacko left for Long Island (I really miss Roli...everyone that knows me will vouch for that fact), but at least with Gerber back there, even for a little while, we the fans will rarely have to squirm in our seats wondering if the goalie has any idea where his posts are. I can't guarantee that this young and developing Oilers team will make the playoffs this year, but I think with Gerber and DD minding the twine, the Oilers will at least have a chance to win some games, maybe even more games than they lose.

Go Oilers



B.C.B. said...

I am still pretty confused about the Goaltenders:

1) is the Boozen Wall going to play? Is he going to be the best of our goalies? Should he be?

2) Well, I like the Gerber signing because we needed another goalie (a- because of Boozen Wall's status, & b- to have a successful farm team). Will Gerber play in the NHL and is he good enough?

3) So JDD is in the minors, right? We have him a huge contract so nobody will take him on waivers if there are veteran goalies willing to sign up for peanuts, right? There is logic here, but it is the scary type of logic.

4) So Double D is going to be an Oiler all next yyear (unless he gets hurt). If this is the plan, do the Oilers think he can play 40 games with a + 0.500 record? That is a pretty big gamble.

I hate this dive for five stuff even before the season started: the Oilers need to make the playoffs and these are not the goalies that are going to do it.

shepso said...

1: He will play, but he won't play in camp. Bulin will likely serve time and start the year on a conditioning stint in okc.
2: Gerber is good enough to play, good enough to steal more games then we think. It's a fantastic value signing and I think his TC performance will be enough for him to start the year in the NHL. His 200k Ahl salary may also scare away teams if he is sent down.
3: ADD is a 1million dollar AHL goalie signed as insurance. Though for the life of me, I don't know what kind of insurance he provides. Ahl goaltender is all I see from him right now, which makes me sad cuz he's a fighter and a bit batshit, my favorite goalie qualities.
4: DD is an NHL backup this year. He gets 30-35 games, Gerber gets about 30 as well, Boozin won't get much because he's too out of shape.

Those are my predictions. They are likely wrong but it's the way I see it...

B.C.B. said...

Lets put it into number of games:

NHL (82 games)
Boozin Wall: 17
Double D: 35
Geber: 30

AHL (80 games)
Boozin Wall: 4 or 5 games (conditioning stint)
Double D: 3 games (conditioning stint)
JDD: 50 GP
Geber: 20 GP
Pitton: 3-4 games (back up once injuries hit the top four and more time on the AHL bench)

actual goalies carried (there is actual twice the number of games for goalies since someone has to sit on the bench. First number means starts and second number means on the bench combined with starts as a total).

NHL (82 games / 162 roster spots)
Boozin Wall: 17 / 50
Double D: 35 / 75
Geber: 30 / 37

If Khabi misses all of Oct and November in jail and on a conditioning stint in the AHL, he will have 59 game season. The Russian is only guess-timate of 9 games lost to the wonky back and the Swiss gentleman starting 81% of the time while wearing Oiler silks. I don't see that happening. Either Khabi gets hurt more often or Gerber won't see that many starts.

AHL (80 games/ 160 roster spots)
Boozin Wall: 5 / 7
Double D: 3 / 3
JDD: 50 / 72
Geber: 20 / 40
Pitton: 2 / 38

DD will get only one conditioning stint after a minor injuries, and no games on the bench. Same with Boozin Wall (he'll be a thrill for new fans in OKC while having a training-camp-by-fire on the farm), so I do see him taking a couple games off but he is there mainly to play with the amount of money he is making. JDD may have a relatively health season and be on the roster for 72 games.
The real question is how many games is Bryan Pitton going to get and how many is Geber going to get. Geber is on the Oilers roster for about half the season, so lets say 40 games tops in the AHL (and he would be starting 50% of them). That leaves Pitton with 38 gams on the bench and only starting two of them.

Is this reasonable:
- two clever use of conditioning stints
- Playing the Shit of out Gerber. I really hope he is not garbage, but cause his health and ability is being counted on a lot for the success of the teams.
- Double D is only being groomed for the NHL (like JDD was last year).
- JDD is going to be a UFA next year, and the Oilers don't really care. Have him a big pay check to make sure they have depth.
-Pitton does not play at any level, and is just used as a practice goalie basically. It doesn't matter cause he sucks and the oilers are going to walk away next year. I think he will get more then two starts, and this is terrible for OKC season.
- Boozin Wall is an on going project. I have him in prison and conditioning stint for 30% of the NHL season, plus hurt for 10% of the total season not just what he is playing. if Khabi can't see him getting a 34% starting percent, so for him to get 17 games he must be on the roster in 34 or less games, me thinks.