OILERS AT BRUINS G13 2014-15

orr7

Cheering for the underdog and watching teams build to a crescendo are two of my favorite things about sports. The late 1960’s Boston Bruins is where I came in, and they offered a young fan both the underdog and the build. I knew the Bruins were an underdog because my Dad told me and the few times I saw them on television it would always be bad for Boston when they posted the score. Same with the Rangers of my childhood.

Along about 1969 they got good, I remember they lost an OT game to Montreal (Beliveau scored) somewhere late 60’s in the playoffs and that might have been the first time they made the postseason in a long while (this is from memory, although I’m sure I’ve looked it up over the years). The 1970 Bruins were so grand because they won it all and broke a long, long run of Stanley’s for Montreal and Toronto:

  • 1961: Chicago Blackhawks
  • 1962: Toronto Maple Leafs
  • 1963: Toronto Maple Leafs
  • 1964: Toronto Maple Leafs
  • 1965: Montreal Canadiens
  • 1966: Montreal Canadiens
  • 1967: Toronto Maple Leafs
  • 1968: Montreal Canadiens
  • 1969: Montreal Canadiens
  • 1970: Boston Bruins

That’s a lot of Canada. Anyway, the Bruins were cool for kids because they WEREN’T your Dad’s team and they didn’t have a long tradition of greybeards like Teeder Kennedy and Rocket Richard complicating things. The Boston Bruins of my childhood were long hairs, hoods and rowdies. In other words, perfect. When my Dad decided he hated Derek Sanderson, my fate was sealed.

sanderson1

The Bruins were adding insane talent during the late 1960’s, one of the best clusters in the game’s history. Here are the Bruins rookies by year 1966 through their first Stanley in ages in 1970:

  • 1966—Bobby Orr, Joe Watson, Gerry Cheevers
  • 1967—Derek Sanderson, Glen Sather
  • 1968—Wayne Cashman, Rick Smith
  • 1969—Don Marcotte, Garnet Bailey, Jim Lorentz, Jim Harrison

That combined with the Phil Esposito trade put them over the top. I’ve been thinking about this Bruins team, because as much as it was about Orr and Esposito, it was also about Cashman and Sanderson and Donny Marcotte. Role players are readily available until they aren’t, and then you’re screwed. Do you trade a Jack or King for 7’s? God no. So, how do you get them? Draft, trade, free agency.

Find good players. Is the answer Iiro Pakarinen?

eakins capture

WHO WAS DALLAS EAKINS TALKING ABOUT?

  • “People are wired a certain way, they have a certain DNA, and when it comes to that there are different ways to go about it. The one thing you don’t want to get caught in is every 10 days you have to try and jump start a guy. If you’re jump-starting your car every 10 days, you are probably getting rid of it.”

mact on marincin

 MARINCIN SCRATCHED?

A lot of upset in Oilers nation yesterday when it was announced Martin Marincin won’t draw in against Boston. I think it’s fine to give young players a night in the gondola to get a fresh view, and there are a bunch of blue who could be better (I’m looking at everybody not named Jeff Petry). It is difficult to project Keith Aulie into the lineup and seeing improvement, but this is a young team on the road and tonight they may just be worried about getting out alive. I think there’s a 100% chance Aulie ends up in the penalty box.

mckenzie eakins mact

HOW BAD IS THIS TEAM?

The Oilers this season are better (so far) than a year ago. Taylor Hall’s injury may have something to say about what the analytics reflect three weeks from now, and the home/road ratio skews these numbers handsomely, but here are a few items of interest this morning:

  • Fenwick 5×5 is 48.14%, which ranks 23rd in the NHL. A year ago, that number was 44.28%, ranking Edmonton 28th in the league.
  • Fenwick 5×5 close is 47.53%, which ranks 25th in the NHL. A year ago, the same number was 43.61%, good for 28th in the league.
  • Oilers shots-against/60 is 30.2, ranking them in a tie for 18th this season. It was 32.9 and 26th overall in 2013-14.
  • Oilers shots-for/60 is 28.1, ranking them in a tie for 24th this season. It was 26.9 and 26th overall in 2013-14.
  • The shot differential this season (-2.1/60) is much stronger than a year ago (-6.0/60). Of course, the Oilers have played only four away and eight at home so far in 2014-15.
  • The Oilers haven’t had a goalie steal a win many times this season (1)? I think you could argue they lost a couple, though.

 RODGERS IN OKLAHOMApakarinen hamilton ferguson 1415

Interesting numbers and estimates from  Eric Rodgers, Tend the Farm. I won’t take his entire graph and post it here, but he’s run the numbers (overall and EV) and given TOI estimates for each player. Iiro Pakarinen (in photo by Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved) is 6-1 in EVGA-EVGA and should be on his way to Boston as we speak. Steve Pinizzotto (4-2) and Tyler Pitlick (4-3) could also be up for the job, but Pitlick’s concussion protocol likely excludes him. Surprise name doing well? Mitch Moroz. I thought he’d take more time to adjust, good for him. As always warnings about sample sizes, but a fine item from Rodgers.

WHAT THIS TEAM REALLY NEEDS

A few whispers here and there (and of course it’s wild on twitter) about Dallas Eakins continuing employment should things continue to slide. As I mentioned yesterday, it makes no sense. This is clearly the middle of the story, not the conclusion. I agree that Eakins will be in peril if this train comes in No. 28 again, but we’re miles from that conclusion:

oilers standings nov 6I don’t think Craig MacTavish can reasonably say:

  • He has given Dallas Eakins a balanced roster
  • All of management’s decisions have been focused on winning games, starting from game 1

No. I’m astonished that Craig MacTavish, who said at the beginning of the season the team would address center if it became an issue, remains unwilling or unable to help  his coach. And with that, the coach is off the hook. He just is. You can’t send a man into the breach outgunned and call it failure. The rebuild continues, the Oilers are aiming for No. 20-25 this season and another high pick. I can’t see any other way to explain inertia at addressing center, the wobbly auditions on the blue that as of tonight are 13 regular-season games old, and the bizarre lineup iced against Philly (breaking up the 4line, splitting Marincin-Fayne, etc).

It’s wildly disappointing to contemplate another season behind Calgary, another season in the ditch, another season of Taylor Hall’s wonderful contract clicking over. We are here. It makes no sense to fire the coach without gifting him a balanced roster, and there is improvement—just not enough, and help (a center) is not on the way. Instead, Keith Aulie arrives from the dust bowl in time to fight the sons of Paul Revere.

We hoped for the best, and it turned out the same. There’s no future in dreaming. None.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

ROSS77

At 10 this morning, TSN 1260. Guests include:

  • Dennis King, Oilogosphere icon. We’ll talk about the Oilers and tonight in Boston.
  • Sean Beissel, Campus Director at Donnan Hockey. ASK THE COACH, feel free to send in questions.
  • Guy Flaming, Pipeline Show. We’ll discuss the fluid Greg Chase situation.
  • Alex Thomas, Oilers Rig. Nothing like a Bostonian who is an Oilers fan to preview the game!
  • Geoff Hobson, Bengals.com to preview the NFL Thursday nighter.
  • Dave Jamieson, Oilers, NFL, CFL and more.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide_ on twitter. Talk soon.

 

marincin demotionDon’t panic, it’s only paper. Marincin is one of the six best defensemen on the team, but he’s struggled. A night in the pressbox or even a weekend in OKC won’t hurt him. Good for the Finn, hope he scores a goal.

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546 Responses to "OILERS AT BRUINS G13 2014-15"

« Older Comments
  1. OilClog says:

    The best thing the Oilers can do is leave Eakins out east, this guys stink isn’t leaving, seriously can’t even coach a lead. Hey! Aulie over Marincin we have many lessons to teach those players, fans, fans, and more fans that we know all!! Hahahahahaha I’m Dallas Eakins?

  2. G Money says:

    I’m a bit confused on the Nikitin penalty. Didn’t it used to be that when a penalty is called, if a goal is scored while the refs arm is raised, it negates the penalty (since the team scoring the goal can pull the goalie at that point and has effectively a man advantage, so a goal scored is just as if the goal was scored on the PP). Has that changed? Or is the rule different if it’s already a PP?

  3. icecastles says:

    Plusses on the night: Kevin Quinn has finally learned to pronounce Dallas Eakins’ name properly.

    Minuses: Everything else.

  4. RexLibris says:

    Ryan:
    Guys, if we lose tomorrow, can we call the time of death on meaningful games on the season?

    They’re 4-7-1 right now, probably a few minutes from 4-8-1.

    Tomorrow they either get to 5-8-1 or 4-9-1.

    The Nashville game might be the point at which we can call it. If they are 5-10-1 I think we’re looking at a 6th overall draft pick or thereabouts.

  5. Ryan says:

    VanOil:
    Ryan,

    I trade Perron for a Center almost as often as I trade Jultz but today I am obsessed with lighting matches.

    On a positive note, If Yak continues to shoot at a 5 shot a game pace I will continue to tune in even if the team is out of the playoffs already.

    Sorry about that. We’ve both been banging on the same Perron drum…

  6. hunter1909 says:

    freedomisamyth,

    Great post. Write more often.

  7. striker says:

    Can the Oilers trade Schultz already. Other teams may still think his offensive prowess compensates for his defensive deficiencies, which may fetch a decent return. He’s always floating no mans land. The real problem is the Oilers playing him a ridiculous amount of minutes and hurting their team for the sake of “assessment” of their asset.

  8. T0ML says:

    G Money:
    I’m a bit confused on the Nikitin penalty.Didn’t it used to be that when a penalty is called, if a goal is scored while the refs arm is raised, it negates the penalty (since the team scoring the goal can pull the goalie at that point and has effectively a man advantage, so a goal scored is just as if the goal was scored on the PP).Has that changed?Or is the rule different if it’s already a PP?

    You are correct, however Petry was still in the box. The goal cancelled out the Petry penalty, not the Nikitin one.

  9. hunter1909 says:

    Tomorrow’s game v the Sabres a must win lol.

  10. delooper says:

    Looks like a Boston power play, but it’s even strength. Glad I took a break to have dinner.

  11. G Money says:

    A couple of nights ago, tired of writing the same old eulogies after every game, I put forth four scenarios which I believe will apply to every game hereafter. Here they are. I predicted this game would be an “A”. More like a combo of A & C tonight, but I’m not sure if that’s because it’s slightly out of pattern, or if it’s just that Boston is not a very good team right now.

    Deconstruction A – loss to a good team:
    – Man, our Corsi sucked
    – Too bad our goalie couldn’t win it for us
    – Oh well, we’re not an elite team yet, this is to be expected, right?

    Deconstruction B – win against a good team:
    – Man, our Corsi sucked
    – Nice that our goalie won one for us, for a change!
    – Oh well, we’re not an elite team yet, better an ugly win than a pretty loss, right?

    Deconstruction C – loss to a bad team:
    – Hey, at least our Corsi was OK, right?
    – Too bad about the breaks [goalie gaffes or soft goals, isolated defensive lapses turning into goals, bad reffing, goalposts]
    – I mean, just look at that fucking PDO!
    – At least the Corsi was good, right? Things will even up and go our way eventually, right? Right!?!

    Deconstruction D – win against a bad team:
    – Hey, it all came together!
    – Good Corsi, finally got decent goaltending, decent defensive coverage, a fairly called game, the breaks didn’t ALL go against us
    – See? Maybe this team has some potential after all

  12. linkfromhyrule says:

    This is gonna be 5-2 before scrivens even makes it to the bench

  13. delooper says:

    hunter1909:
    Tomorrow’s game v the Sabres a must win lol.

    I’d say it’s a competitive game. “Must win” is a bit dramatic.

  14. Gerta Rauss says:

    Pouzar:
    This all started with Aulie falling on his ass.

    I think there’s a 100% chance Aulie ends up in the penalty box

    Our host called it this morning

    It’s another disappointing result, I naively thought we had a chance when Arco scored to make it 2-1

    Silly Gerta

  15. Bag of Pucks says:

    Nikitin out when Ference is back?

    Howson on dirty jocks detail when Joey retires?

  16. Crooked says:

    They had this game, but let up and let Boston take over. Damnit, this team is frustrating to watch.

  17. book¡je says:

    I thought we’d make December…

  18. Rebilled says:

    Aulie over Marincin. Costly.

  19. Lowetide says:

    It’s too bad, because it went haywire in the third period, but there were a lot of nice things tonight. I’m still bewildered that this team can’t see its way to get some help at center, but the defense is coming together.

    For me, Aulie is much better than previously thought and Klefbom will settle in. I would hobble Nikitin and bring Marincin back tomorrow, but I think Eakins will run with the same group.

    I didn’t see the Finn.

  20. Lowetide says:

    Nuge blocks a shot and that’s a bad thing.

  21. Factotum says:

    Lowetide:
    It’s too bad, because it went haywire in the third period, but there were a lot of nice things tonight.

    My dad would put it this way: They can’t win for losing.

  22. Marcus Oilerius says:

    Lowetide: but there were a lot of nice things tonight

    The Oilers new motto?

  23. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide:
    It’s too bad, because it went haywire in the third period, but there were a lot of nice things tonight. I’m still bewildered that this team can’t see its way to get some help at center, but the defense is coming together.

    For me, Aulie is much better than previously thought and Klefbom will settle in. I would hobble Nikitin and bring Marincin back tomorrow, but I think Eakins will run with the same group.

    I didn’t see the Finn.

    That’s sort of what I’m seeing.

    Good habits, sunk by a few bad moments.

    It isn’t scientific or sexy, but there it is.

    I’m reminded of the teams from the 90s when they’d roll into somewhere out East and lose 5-3 and the paper would talk about a bunch of young kids learning how to play and all the potential.

    Now, is Buffalo a must-win or a must-not-lose?

  24. hunter1909 says:

    Lots of positives despite the score:

    Dallas Eakins’s is going to do a blinder of a presser any moment.

  25. hunter1909 says:

    delooper: I’d say it’s a competitive game.“Must win” is a bit dramatic.

    That’s how it works in the theatre.

  26. jake70 says:

    Lowetide:
    Nuge blocks a shot and that’s a bad thing.

    That’s why I hate him penalty killing.

  27. Lowetide says:

    23:12 for Nuge, should be fresh for tomorrow.

  28. []JUST[]KEEP[]CALM[]AND[]CORSI[]ON[] says:

    I’ve got to come clean here – I didn’t even hope for the best. My bad.

  29. G Money says:

    It is an Oiler specialty that they can turn a half-decent game with a one goal lead and even Corsi for 50 minutes into a two goal deficit in just minutes.

  30. hunter1909 says:

    Does anyone remember that mean Soviet coach during the 1987 Canada Cup? Methinks Eakins idolizes him, and is basically emulating his commie goal of icing a team of interchangeable robots.

  31. RexLibris says:

    []JUST[]KEEP[]CALM[]AND[]CORSI[]ON[]:
    I’ve got to come clean here – I didn’t even hope for the best. My bad.

    That’s why they didn’t lose 4-0.

    The universe rewards our loyalty with an inverse rate of return.

  32. VanOil says:

    I hope Marincin got to sit with his Slovak buddy in the press box.

  33. G Money says:

    Lowetide: It’s too bad, because it went haywire in the third period, but there were a lot of nice things tonight. I’m still bewildered that this team can’t see its way to get some help at center, but the defense is coming together.

    To continue the “replace Eakins” topic from earlier.

    It’s clear that the defensive structure of the Oilers is better this year. Not necessarily good, but better. When your previous comparable is “worst in the league”, it’s not hard to improve … but to be fair, it has been done. Credit? Probably Ramsay.

    But the zone exits are still trash.

    The team is clueless in the neutral zone.

    In the o zone, they know that they’re supposed to be forechecking, but they have no idea why or how.

    Goals against are created by defensive breakdowns which often are not defensive at all, but originate with either a neutral zone breakdown (see above: “clueless”) or because of a failed zone exit (see above: “trash”).

    EV goals for meanwhile are created by superhuman individual efforts. And without Hall, those superhuman efforts are quite a bit less likely.

    The team is better than last year BUT IT HAS NOWHERE NEAR the structure of a good team in two and a half of the three zones.

    Who *should* be held accountable for that?

    Meanwhile over in Ranger-land last season, Vigneault revamped the Ranger structure in fifteen games or so.

    Over in Douche Singularity land, Desjardins has improved the structure in five games or so.

    How long should the Oiler coach get to fix the issues? Two seasons? Three seasons?

  34. hunter1909 says:

    []JUST[]KEEP[]CALM[]AND[]CORSI[]ON[]:
    I’ve got to come clean here – I didn’t even hope for the best. My bad.

    That’s what’s great about them playing the Sabres tomorrow. They can continue to work on their game.

  35. RexLibris says:

    Boy, the Flames sure are playing for each other tonight.

    Definitely leading the league in keeping their feet moving, and their sticks on ice is phenomenal.

    Haven’t checked yet but I think they’ve also got a big lead in heads in the game and hustle to boot.

  36. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide:
    23:12 for Nuge, should be fresh for tomorrow.

    Give him a glass of warm milk tonight before bedtime.

    He’ll be right as rain tomorrow.

  37. Bag of Pucks says:

    I thought Boston rope a doped for 2 1/2 periods and then turned it on when they had to.

    Looked like men against boys especially on the wall and in the slot.

    Separation btw D and Fs is killing this team.

  38. VanOil says:

    Lowetide:
    23:12 for Nuge, should be fresh for tomorrow.

    On one leg because he blocked a shot on a empty net down 2 goals he should be fine. The good news is in a game against Buffalo he is by far and away the best Center on the ice even tired and limping.

  39. gmac2412 says:

    FWIW Aulie was probably our 4th best D man tonight, so I am not getting all the hate for him. Nikitin was abysmal and Schultz only marginally better than Niki. A shade over 40 mins of ice time between them tells the story enough for me. Marincin in for Niki tomorrow please!!

  40. striker says:

    G Money: Deconstruction A – loss to a good team:
    – Man, our Corsi sucked
    – Too bad our goalie couldn’t win it for us
    – Oh well, we’re not an elite team yet, this is to be expected, right?

    Deconstruction B – win against a good team:
    – Man, our Corsi sucked
    – Nice that our goalie won one for us, for a change!
    – Oh well, we’re not an elite team yet, better an ugly win than a pretty loss, right?

    Deconstruction C – loss to a bad team:
    – Hey, at least our Corsi was OK, right?
    – Too bad about the breaks [goalie gaffes or soft goals, isolated defensive lapses turning into goals, bad reffing, goalposts]
    – I mean, just look at that fucking PDO!
    – At least the Corsi was good, right? Things will even up and go our way eventually, right? Right!?!

    Deconstruction D – win against a bad team:
    – Hey, it all came together!
    – Good Corsi, finally got decent goaltending, decent defensive coverage, a fairly called game, the breaks didn’t ALL go against us
    – See? Maybe this team has some potential after all

    Haha so dead on. The stock generic player comments elicited in interviews and so often mocked for being generic and bland are now being reflected in the stock post-game commentary of posters as we try to rationalize a win or loss.

  41. Lowetide says:

    G Money: To continue the “replace Eakins” topic from earlier.

    How long should the Oiler coach get to fix the issues?Two seasons?Three seasons?

    40 games with a team that you can say has ‘strength up the middle without falling over in laughter.

  42. Ice Sage says:

    “Yes, the american troops (odds of a wasted season) have advanced further. This will only make it easier for us to defeat them (have meaningful games and mature as a team and organization)”

  43. Bling says:

    Yak and Arco looked pretty good. Yak with a positive Corsi on the road against a good team, that’s a real positive sign.

    However:

    Pouliot-Nuge-Eberle line was garbage IMO.

    Draisatl should not be in the NHL, full stop.

    Scrivens not good enough.

    I think the defence is looking better, but here we are, game 13, and we’re still not playing our best players.

    Shame.

  44. Yeti says:

    Lowetide: 40 games with a team that you can say has ‘strength up the middle without falling over in laughter.

    OK, I’ll bite. How long do you give a GM to get ‘strength up the middle’ before you move on?

  45. icecastles says:

    Lowetide: 40 games with a team that you can say has ‘strength up the middle without falling over in laughter.

    So we will re-asess in 2017 then.

  46. Lowetide says:

    Yeti: OK, I’ll bite. How long do you give a GM to get ‘strength up the middle’ before you move on?

    I think that’s a far more interesting thing to ponder than ‘fire the coach’

  47. Bling says:

    G Money,

    Come on now.

    We’re comparing coaches that are taking over the Canucks and the Rangers to the Oilers? That’s ridiculous.

    HUGE difference in the quality of the rosters, and also the quality of their GMs.

    I think the team looks much better than last year in some important areas.

    But if Draisatl can’t make hay with soft minutes at 18, how is that the fault of Dallas Eakins?

    If Schultz is a one-dimensional defenceman and Ference plus Hunt/Nikitin have to be hidden, how is that the coach’s fault?

    The goaltending is suspect once again. Whose fault is that?

    Guys, MacTavish is a trash GM who should resign. He thought they had a playoff calibre roster last year! AND this year!

  48. RexLibris says:

    Flames lose to Tampa Bay by an identical score and the Corsi was 50/50.

  49. VanOil says:

    Lowetide: I think that’s a far more interesting thing to ponder than ‘fire the coach’

    Can a POHO out live 2 GMs he has replaced himself with? Edit: Should a POHO

  50. frjohnk says:

    Jets Pens game is one of the most exciting games so far this year. Physical, lots of hits, 80 min in penalties. Great plays with lots of skill on both teams. 3-3 in the third. If you got a chance watch the end. This is hockey!!!

  51. G Money says:

    Lowetide: 40 games with a team that you can say has ‘strength up the middle without falling over in laughter.

    Bling: We’re comparing coaches that are taking over the Canucks and the Rangers to the Oilers? That’s ridiculous.
    HUGE difference in the quality of the rosters, and also the quality of their GMs.

    Look, you’ll not find me whisper a word of disagreement about the need to improve the roster, especially up the middle.

    But let’s be honest here – there are teams out there with weaker rosters with MUCH better structure through the neutral and o zone.

    Nashville was a perfect example. They have NOWHERE NEAR the offensive talent the Oilers have. The top two centres by ice time are castoffs Roy and Ribeiro. Would you trade that pairing for RNH & Gordon? Would you trade Forsberg-Ribeiro-Neal for Hall-RNH-Eberle? Would you trade Cullen-Roy-Smith for Perron-Drai-Yak?

    Person for person, the Oilers have a substantially better F corps than the Preds do, even with our “donut” lines.

    So how can Nashville find a structure to make those guys look like superstars, and our structure makes all that talent struggle to score game after game?

    Some of it is the superb D, I’ll give you that.

    But the structure itself, the idea that those players know what to do and where to go and why when they get in the o zone? That’s coaching.

    The Predators have it.

    The Oilers do not.

  52. Pouzar says:

    G Money,

    Preds lookin good tonight as well.

  53. Lowetide says:

    G Money: Seriously? We’re going to talk about Nashville and say “Some of it is the superb D, I’ll give you that” without mentioning Josi-Weber playing half the game?

    I think Dallas Eakins does a lot of wonky things, but give him Josi-Weber and structure arrives the next morning.

  54. hunter1909 says:

    Lowetide: I think Dallas Eakins does a lot of wonky things, but give him Josi-Weber and structure arrives the next morning.

    This is why you don’t fire him?

    I dare say, give me the 1976 Montreal Canadiens and I expect to whip Dallas Eakins’ Oilers. And I don’t even know how to coach hockey.

  55. TheOtherJohn says:

    The Preds have a top 5-6 goalie in the league and a very very strong D. A top 5 1stvpairing, – a solid 2nd pairing and their 3rd pairing would be our 2nd pairing

    We have none of the above and are receiving mediocre goaltending and Neal and Forsberg would be the 2nd and, arguably, the third best wingers on Oilers

  56. Lowetide says:

    hunter1909: This is why you don’t fire him?

    Exactly. Or Doughty-Muzzin. 🙂

  57. G Money says:

    Lowetide,

    Give Eakins Josi-Weber and one of those two guys is in the pressbox for a game – he says only half jokingly.

    More seriously – the Oilers do not have six incompetent defensemen. At least part of the time, there is competence in the D zone – not that Eakins does a particularly good job of making sure that competence is on the ice, which is a highly legitimate criticism of any head coach.

    But the damning part for me is that the farther you go from the Oiler net, the poorer the structure gets. The structure near the net is not that good, and you can lay that on the roster. But the fact that the team can’t even effectively execute a forecheck?

    It’s not a lack of talent.

    It’s not because of a lack of depth up the middle.

    And it’s not because the D are all incompetent.

  58. Big Dan says:

    I have lived in Calgary for 15 years. Until last year, it was easy to hate the flames.

    But it is impossible not to like this young, entertaining, rag tag group who work their tails off every night and listen to their coach.

    After 40 years as an oiler fan, I’m signing off. There is no improvement coming. The rebuild was a failure. They are hopelessly lost and I’m tired of cheering for a loser for the better part of 25 years. The franchise is an embarrassment. I will not hate them, just pity them.

    Thanks lowetide for this awesome page. I read it daily… But I’m done reading as of now. Just bought myself a flame jersey. I think I may be the first of many fans to give up this year.

  59. linkfromhyrule says:

    As far as I’m concerned, Oil hung in there with a very good (albeit depleted) Bruins team. This probably would have been very ugly if big Z had been playing. That was a brutal time for Aulie to take a penalty. Just brutal.

    The thing is though, there were times where we held boston in their own end. Even the marchand line spent a couple shifts in their own zone. I think we need a 1D more than a 2C. Look at Calgary. Apart from their goalie, Gio and Brodie are making a HUGE difference.

    Jschultz and nikitin just do not click. To me, they both need that more defensively responsible partner to be effective. Jultz was on the ice for 3GA tonight. Unacceptable. That should be a red flag for the coaching staff that:

    a) J schultz is becoming in over his head (although that’s been obvious to everyone but the oilers for a long time)
    b) that d pair is not working

    Why has jultz never been benched? Seriously. The guy could use it. They have no problem doing it to Petry and Martry, who are much more defensively aware than Schultz.

  60. Pouzar says:

    Jonathan Willis ‏@JonathanWillis 4m4 minutes ago
    Combined EV TOI vs. Bergeron or Krejci:
    Klefbom: 11:13
    Fayne: 10:51
    Petry: 8:09
    Aulie: 7:56
    Schultz: 7:08
    Nikitin: 6:33

  61. Pouzar says:

    Jonathan Willis ‏@JonathanWillis 2m2 minutes ago
    Zonestarts for Oilers defence at evens:
    Nikitin: 81.8%
    Schultz: 71.4%
    Aulie: 42.9%
    Klefbom: 41.7%
    Petry: 40.0%
    Fayne: 38.5%

  62. El Duderino says:

    I hoped for the worst and it turned out as always.

    The really sad thing is that this is now true.

    I embrace losing and getting a high draft pick.

  63. Bling says:

    hunter1909,

    You don’t fire him because what does it accomplish?

    If you agree that you need NHL depth to win NHL games, no coach can help the Oilers.

    It isn’t fair to ask the coach to hide Draisatl/Yakupov/Ference/Schultz/Hunt/Nikitin, but that’s precisely what MacTavish is asking Eakins to do, and he’s asking him to do it without any depth at centre ice, with subpar goaltending, and zero top pairing defencemen.

  64. G Money says:

    linkfromhyrule: Jschultz and nikitin just do not click. To me, they both need that more defensively responsible partner to be effective.

    Woodguy earlier in the thread did a nice analysis of which pairs work together.

    He had a very simple conclusion: the only pairing you absolutely must not have is Jultz with Nikitin.

    Every other pairing, with or without those guys displays moments of competence.

    Jultz-Nikitin are a tire fire raging on top of a garbage dump.

    And yet …

    How long do we watch these baffling decisions, decisions that CLEARLY indicate the coach doesn’t really understand except in a very shallow way who can play and who can’t, and make excuses for him?

  65. Jon K says:

    G Money,

    I don’t think this is a battle worth fighting. It’s an impossible comparison. Nashville has three defensemen that, if you added them to the Oilers, would be our best defenders.

    For winning games right now I do take Ribeiro and Roy over Draisaitl and Arcobello.

    In fairness to you, Laviolette is a hell of a coach with experience and intelligence. I take him over Eakins 11 out of 10 times. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why a rookie head coach was in any way desirable for a young team needing experience and structure. Then again, we had a bunch of guys on the coaching staff for years based on nepotism.

    The Oilers are and will remain the fruit of a rotten tree. Until the root of the problem is addressed the Oilers will continue to stink. Based upon the relationship of Katz and Lowe, we are looking at the possibility of the Oilers being known as one of the worst sports franchises of all time. It’s coming.

  66. Lowetide says:

    G Money:
    Lowetide,

    Give Eakins Josi-Weber and one of those two guys is in the pressbox for a game – he says only half jokingly.

    More seriously – the Oilers do not have six incompetent defensemen.At least part of the time, there is competence in the D zone – not that Eakins does a particularly good job of making sure that competence is on the ice, which is a highly legitimate criticism of any head coach.

    But the damning part for me is that the farther you go from the Oiler net, the poorer the structure gets.The structure near the net is not that good, and you can lay that on the roster.But the fact that the team can’t even effectively execute a forecheck?

    It’s not a lack of talent.

    It’s not because of a lack of depth up the middle.

    And it’s not because the D are all incompetent.

    Yes, agreed. There are ghastly photo’s all over the internet (screen captures the kids call them) showing some incredible moments in sports (agony of defeat types).

  67. rich says:

    Lowetide: I think that’s a far more interesting thing to ponder than ‘fire the coach’

    This is it exactly. MacT made the decision to send his coach into the season w/out adequate support up the middle. He also sent out Marincin and told Eakins he was going to have Hunt to start the season. And he also made the decision back in the summer that he was going to let another teenager learn on the fly in the toughest league on the planet.

    The coach is doing some fairly reasonable things with the hand he’s dealt and they aren’t getting the job done. Not saying he’s done everything right, but to expect different out of this roster is unreasonable.

    The next firing will be the coach, but it should start in the executive suite. What MacT has done to this team is inexcusable.

  68. G Money says:

    Bling: You don’t fire him because what does it accomplish?

    Why keep him if, after more than a year, the only improvement the team has shown can be traced to Ramsay?

    The longer you go, the more likely it is that another season ends in the dumpster.

    The longer you go, the more likely it is that prospects get torched.

    Thank Gord that Hall/Eberle/RNH at least had Renney as rookies.

    I’m not and never have suggested that the end goal of this process is to fire Eakins. Not at all.

    My point is that the evidence at this point, in my opinion, is clearly in favour of the fact that Eakins is not helping, and if there is someone that could help (Bylsma? Hell, based on CrazyCoach’s anecdote earlier about the Canucks structure back in the day, maybe even Crawford! Could he be worse?) why would you NOT hire him? What is being accomplished by keeping Eakins?

  69. Bling says:

    G Money,

    Ribeiro and Roy might be cast-offs, but those are two guys who can still be very useful if utilized properly.

    Look at what Draisatl is doing out there with 100% OZS. Pretty much nothing. And that’s at home!

    On the road, he’s a complete liability out there.

    And if we’re discounting the impact of a Weber type on the blue line, well we’re talking about completely different things.

  70. Chris says:

    Yea its hard to see this much failure and want to allow this coach and management team to continue. Its a pack of jokers who don’t even make the best use of the assets they do have. Instead they they worry about side burns and their own naval gazing obsessions rather than winning games. Fire them all.

  71. Woodguy says:

    Ryan: When I was screaming at the top of my lungs, “sell high on Gagner.”The response I got was “keep good players.”

    When was screaming at the top of my lungs,”sell high on Perron,” the response I got was “find good players.Keep good players.”

    The post I was referring to had no trade suggestions, your response is weird.

    That being said for you don’t seem to know what I’ve posted.

    1) was all for trading Eberle for a C last year and moving Gagner to 1RW. Why? I figured Gagner could get 85% of Eberle’s production and Eberle returns a very good player while Gagner returns shit.

    2) I’m also all for trading Perron for a C, but you don’t give him away fro dross like Schenn or Eller. Anisimov is the type you need to bring back for Perron. Need offence coming back.

    I have no idea why you responded to me as you did, but thought I’d respond.

  72. Dicky94 says:

    Yeti,

    He had better do something before this spirals out of control. All this falls on Mac T for not getting help at center. I also believe we need more grit on the wings as well. I still believe this team has a shot at challenging for a playoff spot but something has to be done ASAP. Clock is ticking.

  73. Dee Dee says:

    Yah, fire the coach cause that worked out so well for the team the last 4 times they did it.

    But keep the #1 guy in charge who is the only constant to 9 years of continual suckage, just, cause, ummmm, because.

    Cause he won 6 cups as a player and knows a thing or two about winning.

  74. Woodguy says:

    What an absolute waste of a great 2nd period and an ok first (for a roadie)

    Nikitin was just fucking awful.

    Really bad.

    Putrid.

    Jultz was Jultzing everywhere and did nothing to stop any Bruin sortie.

    Aulie was meh,but was covered by Petry all night except for the dumbass holding the stick penalty which broke the Oilers’ back.

    Therefore by Oiler logic, Klefbom sits tomorrow.

    Because Oilers.

  75. Jon K says:

    Woodguy: The post I was referring to had no trade suggestions, your response is weird.

    That being said for you don’t seem to know what I’ve posted.

    1) was all for trading Eberle for a C last year and moving Gagner to 1RW. Why? I figured Gagner could get 85% of Eberle’s production and Eberle returns a very good player while Gagner returns shit.

    2) I’m also all for trading Perron for a C, but you don’t give him away fro dross like Schenn or Eller. Anisimov is the type you need to bring back for Perron. Need offence coming back.

    I have no idea why you responded to me as you did, but thought I’d respond.

    I commented here last year that the Oilers had a short window to sell high on Schultz, as they would have more insight into him than the rest of the league. The longer his track record gets, the less his value. I think maybe the proposition should be to sell high on overrated players. There is possibly an argument to be made that such a proposition would apply to Eberle.

    I still keep him though, since there isn’t anyone coming down the draft pipeline. Sigh.

  76. G Money says:

    Jon K,

    Yes, I agree with all of that, except one sentence.

    My main point right now is that when you say take Ribeiro and Roy over Draisaitl and Arcobello, you are talking about their 1C 2C compared to our 2C 3C.

    The fair comparable is RNH Arco or RNH Drai vs Ribeiro and Roy.

    You can’t say that the Oiler combo is so much worse than the Nsh combo, yet as you note, their combo is helping the team win and ours is not.

    Ascribing all or the majority of that effect to the Nsh D and not to the coaching doesn’t seem very objective.

    Especially when you can look at a number of other tag teams (either lines or up the middle) through the league and see other mediocre teams playing more effectively with much better offensive structure. (And I do believe the Oilers are mediocre this year, and not the one-point-out-of-DFL team that we currently see).

    An untalented team with discipline and structure in the o zone is going to be more effective at scoring goals than the talented team without discipline and structure that we’ve got.

    After 95 games of Eakins, I think there is enough evidence to draw a conclusion. This is not about sv%. The team doesn’t know what it’s doing in two and a half of the three zones, and that’s on the coach. I can’t ascribe it to anything else.

  77. Bling says:

    G Money: Why keep him if, after more than a year, the only improvement the team has shown can be traced to Ramsay?

    The longer you go, the more likely it is that another season ends in the dumpster.

    The longer you go, the more likely it is that prospects get torched.

    Thank Gord that Hall/Eberle/RNH at least had Renney as rookies.

    I’m not and never have suggested that the end goal of this process is to fire Eakins.Not at all.

    My point is that the evidence at this point, in my opinion, is clearly in favour of the fact that Eakins is not helping, and if there is someone that could help (Bylsma?Hell, based on CrazyCoach’s anecdote earlier about the Canucks structure back in the day, maybe even Crawford!Could he be worse?) why would you NOThire him?What is being accomplished by keeping Eakins?

    Okay, Bylsma comes in, you get your wish.

    Who is being relied upon to score in a soft minute role? It’s still Draisatl.

    Who plays first pairing? Still no one, because there isn’t anyone on our blue line who is Giordano or Brodie caliber.

    Who plays goal? It’s still Scrivens, Fasth, or I suppose Bachman.

    You keep talking about top end talent, nobody is arguing that Hall/RNH are not gold.

    The problem is literally everywhere else.

    Go and look up the guy the Mets hired away from the Oakland A’s. His philosophy on crafting the A’s into a winner was optimizing the bottom end of the roster, because Oakland simply could not afford to go after superstars.

    Funny thing is, that bottom part of the roster that is (relatively) the easiest to fix? It makes a huge difference over the course of 162 games.

    The Oilers have not grasped that point, or even been in the same room as that point, for 10 years.

    They DID in 06/07, had tremendous success, and then proceeded to do the polar opposite.

    Who were the Cs that year? Horcoff/Stoll/Peca. The top D pairing? Pronger-Spacek. They had Sergei Samsonov on the 3rd line.

    No one on that team needed to be shielded.

    And now, as Ray Ferraro says, the Oilers are using the NHL as a developmental league.

    By my count, we have used at least 6 or 7 guys this season that NEED to be protected. That’s over one third the roster! That’s probably a period worth of play, every single game!

    It’s insane.

    And so are we for spending our time on them.

  78. []JUST[]KEEP[]CALM[]AND[]CORSI[]ON[] says:

    Woodguy: Oiler logic

    Error… error… error… error… erorr… ererr… airrerr…

  79. VanOil says:

    Bling: You don’t fire him because what does it accomplish?

    This is what I have been banging on about all day.

    The sequence is, Kevin Lowe must resigns this November.

    POHO/VP/GM search hopefully completed by end of January. New POHO in control and evaluating by the trade deadline.

    New GM in place by the end of the season so he can prep for the draft, free agency and find a coach.

    When you fire the coach is immaterial right now.

    The proper move by Katz’s is offer Babcock which ever of the POHO/GM/Coach jobs he wants and what ever pay he requires to do them.

  80. Lowetide says:

    Matt Henderson ‏@Archaeologuy 2m2 minutes ago

    The Oilers in the Dallas Eakins Era have gotten a collective .904 sv% from goaltending. I don’t see how that’s on him.

  81. G Money says:

    Bling,

    I think if Ribeiro or Roy were out there in place of Arco or Drai, the (lack of) structure would make them ineffective, rather than them making the line more effective.

    Of course, it’s a thought experiment and we won’t have any evidence one way or the other unless MacT gets an actual 2C.

    But we’ve seen effective players come to Edmonton and look lost.

    Conversely, with the exception of Perron, you rarely see a player join the team and outperform.

    No structure = coaching.

    Let’s get a coach who is demonstrably competent and experienced and with a track record of success at the NHL level and NOT 10 years over the hill and see what happens.

    Man, I hope I don’t sound like Godot!

  82. Bling says:

    Woodguy:
    What an absolute waste of a great 2nd period and an ok first (for a roadie)

    Nikitin was just fucking awful.

    Really bad.

    Putrid.

    Jultz was Jultzing everywhere and did nothing to stop any Bruin sortie.

    Aulie was meh,but was covered by Petry all night except for the dumbass holding the stick penalty which broke the Oilers’ back.

    Therefore by Oiler logic, Klefbom sits tomorrow.

    Because Oilers.

    There was a moment when Justin Schultz received a nice pass into the Bruins zone. All kinds of time and space.

    Our future Norris Trophy Winning Offensive Defenceman skates it into the zone with the urgency of an insect, then literally winds up for a pre-game skate slap shot, only to have it deflected into the seats.

    I honestly can’t stand him, he is terrible.

    He has ZERO in common with Mike Green, PK Subban, Giordano, Weber, etc.

    Schultz and MacTavish at a table together discussing how great he is would make for great comedy.

    Someone should take a picture of them and put it next to the definition of Folie a Deux in the next DSM.

  83. G Money says:

    Bling,

    I have no doubt in my mind that the team would look better than it does right now, with exactly this roster, under Bylsma. No doubt.

  84. Bling says:

    G Money,

    And that’s because Bylsma made a team with a centre ice depth chart of Crosby/Malkin/Staal perform?

    I think you would be sorely disappointed.

  85. icecastles says:

    G Money: Man, I hope I don’t sound like Godot!

    Not at all. Godot preaches to the converted as the saying goes. You’re making some decent points here. I might have been the biggest Eakins booster on the blog since his hiring and I still don’t pin as much on him as you do, but you’ve swayed me somewhat in your arguments. I don’t Godot, Hunter et al having that effect with their ranting (not to dismiss or deride them, they just have a different approach/method/tone/interest in laying out their case).

  86. Bling says:

    The only good thing about the Oilers meandering around in the darkness is Dennis King being the beacon of light.

    As per his twitter:

    “The good thing about Nikitin is he isnt injury prone and he’s on a bargain contract and is here for this season and next”

    LOL

  87. Chris says:

    Yea but would another coach not possibly at least make non-bizarre roster decisions like benching Petry and Maricin, and playing Justin Shultz like he’s Shea Webber? The amount of Eakins self defeating decision making that goes on suggests that he is part of the problem not the solution.

  88. icecastles says:

    I think if the Oilers do decide to can Eakins (I’m not suggesting that they should or that they will), I think they need to do it by Christmas at the absolute latest. They can’t tacitly acknowledge that they’ve written off yet another season and are waiting to fix it.

    I loathe when people mockingly drag out MacT’s “bold moves” quote, but boldness is what’s needed, in one form or another. If they don’t have faith in the coach, they need to move swiftly and confidently to fix it and prove to their players that they mean to win and they’re not fine with tanking for yet another year.

    Management has a big hand in setting the tone of the culture and the culture of accepting losing needs to change. If for no other reason than to keep Hall from giving up on this team and wanting a trade, to say nothing of the free agents who would rather retire than sign here.

  89. Pouzar says:

    Chris:
    Yea but would another coach not possibly at least make non-bizarre roster decisions like benching Petry and Maricin, and playing Justin Shultz like he’s Shea Webber? The amount of Eakins self defeating decision making that goes on suggests that he is part of the problem not the solution.

    Not much to argue with there.

  90. icecastles says:

    Chris:
    Yea but would another coach not possibly at least make non-bizarre roster decisions like benching Petry and Maricin, and playing Justin Shultz like he’s Shea Webber? The amount of Eakins self defeating decision making that goes on suggests that he is part of the problem not the solution.

    In fairness, if you follow any single team for a while, you’ll eventually find a coach who occasionally picks favourites, picks goats, and makes weird indefensible decisions. Perhaps not as much as Eakins, but it’s hardly unique to him. Even in our own backyard, how often did we pull our hair out over MacT or Quinn doing the same things? Or Lindy Ruff benching Hall at the Worlds?

  91. digdeepnbleedblue says:

    Woodguy,

    WTF, dude?! Aulie had a very respectable game. Together he and Petry had a respectable game. Exactly what are you watching?

    Wow…. Call me a troll, but I find this kind of response nonsensical. It, frankly, is inaccurate.

    Aulie played positionally. Played aggressive. He wasn’t perfect, but C’mon man you’re better than this. Give some credit where it’s due. And, Aulie played a respectable game.

    But, please, show me some kind of statistic that suggest otherwise…..

    Lastly, what broke the Oilers back is that when the Bruins started playing hockey it was obvious who the better team was. Pretty simple, really.

  92. flyfish1168 says:

    Will be interesting to see who sits tomorrow evening. I vote for Nikitin or Schulz. Martin can’t be much worst.

  93. Chris says:

    Sure but at this point the deployment decisions are so bizarre that the fan base and even the usually compliant pr department like media are criticizing it.

  94. []JUST[]KEEP[]CALM[]AND[]CORSI[]ON[] says:

    Good luck in Buffalo, ladies…

  95. hags9k says:

    Well clearly it’s all LT’s fault, after he stuck internet needles in his Aulie voodoo doll this morning. When he blew that wheel, the tire fire started, couldn’t help but laugh. Doubt MM felt the same.

    Every Oiler fan deserves a ton of credit for sticking around through this dumpster-tire-fire era. This really is hard to take. I applaud you all for hanging tough.

    For Yak, there is a fine line between being enthusiastic and super-skilled and being spastic and difficult to play with.

    For Schultz, there is a fine line between poise (sorry), and lollygagging.

    I like both players and am rooting like a damn for both. Since Bettman took away another half year I think people forget it’s still early for them both.

    The outcome for both players is far from certain, but the clock is now running. The franchise desperately needs for both players to find their way.

    But there’s no denying right now that the arrows are starting to point slightly under the horizontal. The “Taylor Hall years” may come down to whether these two can become part of the solution.

    With so much at stake, I have to admit, I’d feel much better if they were in the hands of an experienced NHL coach.

  96. bill needle says:

    I was watching the Boston feed, and during the first intermission, their analysts thought it was still close because of all the Oiler power plays, and that the Oilers don’t have a quarterback for the power play.
    Once the power plays were dried up, the Oilers were cooked.
    When do the numbers folk look at the PDO and see a trend of consistently poor play and discard any talk about bad luck? I ask because the three-game winning streak from a bit ago is the obvious outlier in yet another dismal Oilers’ season.
    Is it too late to bring Tambellini back, because the lottery beckons?

  97. Snowman says:

    Lowetide,

    I would argue that his defensive system or his inability to teach his defensive system to his players is causing the quality of shots being allowed against his goaltenders to be of such a high quality that they are negatively affecting his goalies save %.

    I believe even Price or Quick would look like a back up when playing behind this sort of defensive catastrophe. You can only give up so many shots in the slot 20 feet from the goal and expect your goalie’s save % to survive.

    That being said… He needs better players to teach or not teach his defensive system to.

  98. godot10 says:

    An abnormally high PDO or save percentage is probably a sign of good fortune.

    An abnormally low PDO or save percentage, spanning multiple goaltenders who have demonstrated competence previously, is probably
    1) bad systems (i.e. bad coaching) (e.g. the swarm)
    2) poor roster utilization (i.e. bad coaching) (benching Petry, farming out Marincin, playing Hunt when you want a goal)
    3) non-NHL competent players on the roster (i.e bad coaching/management) (e.g. Mark Fraser, Will Acton, Keith Aulie, Brad Hunt)

    rather than bad fortune.

    One should look for corollary indicators:
    1) How are the special teams. If the special teams suck too, suggest bad coaching over bad fortune.

    Coaching track record:
    1) in this case, the most inexperienced NHL coaching hire in over a decade.

    How are individual players progressing?
    1) In this case, like the goaltenders, most everyone is underperforming relative to previous levels of performance. i.e bad coaching

  99. Zangetsu says:

    Lowetide,

    I agree with you, but to be fair, we are reaching a point where sample size is becoming large enough that we can make some statements about his system. I would be shocked if the the poor save percentages affected by his system. I know we aren’t a great team defensively, but I don’t think nhl players can make this dumb decisions so often.

  100. Woodguy says:

    G Money,

    The structure near the net is not that good, and you can lay that on the roster. But the fact that the team can’t even effectively execute a forecheck?

    This team actually has a decent forecheck and has score off turn overs because of it.

    The structure looks fine, every line plays it the same.

    I’m not sure what you don’t see.

  101. Woodguy says:

    Jon K,

    I think maybe the proposition should be to sell high on overrated players. There is possibly an argument to be made that such a proposition would apply to Eberle.
    I still keep him though, since there isn’t anyone coming down the draft pipeline. Sigh.

    I agree with this.

    Fame plays a pretty big part in trades from what I can tell and Jultz is still famous.

    I don’t trade Eberle anymore because that just leaves Yak on the right side.

    I traded him when Goneyay was still here to take his spot, but not anymore.

  102. Woodguy says:

    G Money:
    Bling,

    I have no doubt in my mind that the team would look better than it does right now, with exactly this roster, under Bylsma.No doubt.

    This is pretty funny because Bylsma has much less structure than Eakins.

    He coached a bit like a junior coach and just threw Crosby and Malkin over the boards when he needed a goal.

    Fancy stats Pens fans were going crazy with how he deployed his teams (and to be fair the structure of the teams which wasn’t on him)

    Kept playing Fleury when it was clearly hurting the team.

    Once he lost Staal PIT did sweet fuck all with 2 of the top 4 players in hockey.

    What the hell is he supposed to do with this crew?

  103. Bling says:

    Woodguy,

    Well I didn’t think Bylsma would make a difference before hearing all that.

    Now I definitely know he wouldn’t do squat.

  104. Woodguy says:

    digdeepnbleedblue,

    You must have missed the part where I said:

    Aulie was meh,but was covered by Petry all night except for the dumbass holding the stick penalty which broke the Oilers’ back.

    Marincin plays with Petry has an amazing +17RelCor, plays with Fayne and sinks.

    Ference stunk last year and this year playing almost every game with Petry, he puts up respectable numbers.

    Aulie is not a NHL Dman.

    Made some bad decision on when to pinch, but the forwards covered well and Petry didn’t let it get the point of scoring change for the most part.

    Aulie was meh, but was covered by Petry.

    The Bruins scored the go ahead goal when he stupidly held a stick with Petry right next to him helping.

  105. Woodguy says:

    Bling:
    Woodguy,

    Well I didn’t think Bylsma would make a difference before hearing all that.

    Now I definitely know he wouldn’t do squat.

    Yes, Dan “I’m playing Orpik and Engelland against the toughs” Bylsma will bring more structure.

    Man.

  106. Bag of Pucks says:

    Bold move time.

    Merging with the Minnesota North Stars worked wonders for the Cleveland Barons.

    Time for the Oilers to merge with the Coyotes.

    The Albertizona Oilyotes. It really rolls off the tongue once you get used to it.

  107. Bag of Pucks says:

    Woodguy,

    Ference played mostly with Justin Schultz last year and everyone who plays with Schultz ends up stinking. Not surprisingly, he looks much better with Petry

    There, fixed that for ya.

  108. Bling says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Bold move time.

    Merging with the Minnesota North Stars worked wonders for the Cleveland Barons.

    Time for the Oilers to merge with the Coyotes.

    The Albertizona Oilyotes. It really rolls off the tongue once you get used to it.

    Do we keep Tippett and Eakins as co-coaches?

    Katz will have to buy hair gel by the barrel.

  109. Bag of Pucks says:

    Bling: Do we keep Tippett and Eakins as co-coaches?

    Katz will have to buy hair gel by the barrel.

    I suspect the team finds something more suited to Eakins talents, like running triathlons or network marketing teams.

  110. Hammers says:

    LT is right about one thing and that’s McT won’t fire Eakins .My problem is that this is going to take more than firing a coach to solve the problems and that’s on McT . I think most of us had them out of the playoffs and this road trip may finalize any other ideas of fighting in March / April . I still say that a top “D” is a must and Schultz is proving his not it . I also think by the end of this season a #1 goalie is required . Last on the list for me is a top “C” . Like it or not trades are the only way, as even with another top 6-7 pick and another good UFA signing in July we can’t get there .YOU HAVE TO TRADE A TOP ASSET or ASSETS partly to get rid of some of the salary but mainly to get what we need .Might not be popular but McT has to do it .

  111. The Artist formerly known as "NYCOIL" says:

    The forecheck structure looks better. The D-zone structure still looks chaotic at times.

    The .904 sv pct issue is valid, though a tad misleading. The Oilers definitely give up a few more higher percentage chances per game than most teams. It’s hard to put that into a number, but we’ve all watched enough games to see it.

    Never was a fan of the Nikitin trade and sign. I think the Oilers should face the fact that Howson isn’t the best assessor of talent. Neither is Duane Sutter. But these are side issues. The fault of the construction of the team lies with Tambo and MacT. I mean, Nuge and Gordon and a rookie and… is horrendous centre depth. Nuge is so young he is lucky to saw off against the top 1Cs in the game. I love the kid but he isn’t Kopitar or H. Sedin or Getzlaf or Toews or Seguin and we all know that by now. Everyone else down the depth chart gets killed except for Gordon.

    Purcell and Pouliot are complementary wingers. They have their moments, sure. But the team construction going into this year was severely flawed. None of these struggles should be a surprise to anyone here. Now, I still don’t think this is a sub-70pts bad kind of team. I think 80pts is getting harder to reach now, but the construction was flawed from the start for this year. This is a team building to compete in 2016-2017. It’s obvious.

    As for Perron, if he’d fetch Anisimov, I’d be all for it. I doubt Columbus bites, but maybe with their struggles they will. The Pouliot contract assures Perron will ask for over $5m. The Oilers have a lot of money tied up in so-so wingers and d-men. Something’s gotta give. Cap trouble is coming soon. And the Oilers aren’t even contenders yet. It’s kind of a crime they waste the Hall and Nuge contracts like this, but it’s their own fault. No one else to blame.

    So, despite all that, what I am saying is, this team is better than last year’s. Let’s let the season play out. The bed is made, really, at this point. Gotta sleep in it.

  112. bill needle says:

    MacTavish won’t fire Eakins until the next shiny penny arrives on his doorstep.
    Instead of tossing jerseys on the ice, fans should toss them in the hole in the ground downtown. It would be a fitting blessing for the place.

  113. "Frank The Dog" says:

    G Money:
    Bling,

    I have no doubt in my mind that the team would look better than it does right now, with exactly this roster, under Bylsma.No doubt.

    100%.

  114. Snowman says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Bold move time.

    Merging with the Minnesota North Stars worked wonders for the Cleveland Barons.

    Time for the Oilers to merge with the Coyotes.

    The Albertizona Oilyotes. It really rolls off the tongue once you get used to it.

    At least then we’d have Dubnyk and Samwise back… That would help right? Right?!

  115. digdeepnbleedblue says:

    Woodguy,

    Didn’t miss it.

    So, all the good things Aulie did was attributed to Petry being on the ice with him?

    Get off the stats, brah! First you’re doing one because “it’s fun”. Then, next thing you know, you’re on the street selling yourself for another hit. One day you’ll be looking at yourself in the mirror wondering ‘how did it all came to this’. Vicious cycle, mang. A slippery slope.

    Aulie wasn’t “meh,” he was respectable, played a good game and should be commended for that.

    Is this a case where you feel that in order to maintain your place in the pride you must find a way to minimize a players effort and effectivness because you have already decided you don’t like him? Because, the optics from here point ever so increasingly in that direction.

    You can say it, dude! C’mon, he played respectable. Not, “meh”.

    What’s it they say about the truth?

    “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” – John, from some book or something….

  116. G Money says:

    Woodguy:
    This team actually has a decent forecheck and has score off turn overs because of it.

    The structure looks fine, every line plays it the same.

    I’m not sure what you don’t see.

    Woodguy: This is pretty funny because Bylsma has much less structure than Eakins.

    He coached a bit like a junior coach and just threw Crosby and Malkin over the boards when he needed a goal.

    Fancy stats Pens fans were going crazy with how he deployed his teams (and to be fair the structure of the teams which wasn’t on him)

    Kept playing Fleury when it was clearly hurting the team.

    Once he lost Staal PIT did sweet fuck all with 2 of the top 4 players in hockey.

    What the hell is he supposed to do with this crew?

    Holy shit, the lengths people are going in this thread to try and pretend that Eakins is part of the solution instead of part of the problem.

    I did not (anywhere) suggest that Bylsma was a good coach – only that he would be an improvement on Eakins. Of that, I have no doubt. It’s easy to criticize the idea of structure, but when you have two of the most creative talents in the hockey world playing for you, just how much ‘structure’ would you or should you put in place for them?

    Whatever system you play, it is NOT going to be the same for the Penguins as it is for the Oilers.

    Want a good laugh? Picture Eakins demanding Crosby and Malkin ‘chop wood and carry water’.

    As for what I see on the forecheck: I see players going in, tentatively and not knowing what the hell to do. Lots of turnovers, yes, but not the good kind!

    You see an improvement on the forecheck and offensive structure etc. this year? Here are Bruce’s comparisons of last year and this year through 12 games:

    2013-14, 3-8-1, 34 GF, 48 GA (-14 GD), 342 SF, 360 SA (-18 SD)
    2014-15, 4-7-1, 30 GF, 42 GA (-12 GD), 337 SF, 362 SA (-25 SA)

    So. Four fewer goals for. Five fewer shots for. And that’s compared against a team that had no RNH or Gagner, had Hall at 1C instead of LW (Smyth at 1LW I believe), and Arco at 2C just like now, so please don’t blame F or C depth. It is stronger this year than last year for this 12 game segment, and yet here we sit, with WORSE results.

    Or to put it another way, for all the talk of improvement, the team has gone backwards offensively, despite a much better forward group. That’s what my eyes are telling me and the stats back me up.

    I blame Eakins. Who do you blame? Sv% is not the villain in this case!

    And as Bruce pointed out, there IS an improvement in GA, but the improvement is almost entirely on special teams, NOT EV. As I’ve said repeatedly, I DO see an improvement on this team, special teams and defensive structure, but it seems to me this is entirely attributable to Ramsay.

    So … if you see the Oilers as better this year in the o zone … what games are you watching? Are you sure they’re Oiler games? I wouldn’t blame you if they weren’t.

  117. digdeepnbleedblue says:

    G Money,

    If there is a forecheck it could best be described as passive. Though, I would never argue with: non-existent. Of course, the ‘Wagon Line’ does it’s fair share of actual forechecking.

    “Passive” is actually a fair word one could use to describe most systems play….

  118. G Money says:

    digdeepnbleedblue,

    Yeah, up near the top of this thread, I actually looked at the other issue that plagues the Oilers which is being the second hardest working team on the ice most nights.

    Tonight was an interesting example of that I thought. Arguably through two periods, the Oiler effort was as good or better than the Bruins. Then the Oilers went up 2-1 and mailed it in the rest of the way, while the Bruins amped it up in equal measure. That’s how we went from 2-1 to 2-4 in the blink of an eye.

    The one exception is the Gordon line, which works its balls off every shift.

    If every line played with that intensity, this would NOT be a last place team, goaltending be damned.

    But most other lines and the D pairings take whatever lollygag pills that Jultz is on at least a few times a game, and the results are … predictable.

  119. "Frank The Dog" says:

    G Money:
    digdeepnbleedblue,

    Yeah, up near the top of this thread, I actually looked at the other issue that plagues the Oilers which is being the second hardest working team on the ice most nights.

    Tonight was an interesting example of that I thought.Arguably through two periods, the Oiler effort was as good or better than the Bruins.Then the Oilers went up 2-1 and mailed it in the rest of the way, while the Bruins amped it up in equal measure.That’s how we went from 2-1 to 2-4 in the blink of an eye.

    The one exception is the Gordon line, which works its balls off every shift.

    If every line played with that intensity, this would NOT be a last place team, goaltending be damned.

    But most other lines and the D pairings take whatever lollygag pills that Jultz is on at least a few times a game, and the results are … predictable.

    It’s not just the effort. It’s also the line combinations, the disarray, the systems. In your company, I’ll bet that if you reach the point where it becomes clear that a manager doesn’t grasp the complexities of their job from a big picture perspective, you don’t let him spin in the wind as the department swirls down the drain. You know at that point the sooner you move on, the better for the organization and the manager.
    All that happens in this case is more players get ruined, and at some point the Tier 1 fans stop buying tickets en masse, long after us Tier 2’s turn our TV’s elsewhere.
    In my mind it’s no longer a contest, Eakins and Acton need to find their happiness elsewhere, and MacT steps in with Nelson as Associate Coach until things settle down, then hands over to Nelson.
    Scott Howson helps out with the grunt work side of GM, and Nelson with the grunt work side of HC.

  120. Bling says:

    G Money,

    Oilers are also 17th in the league in Fendwick while being 4th last in the league in PDO.

    This is including a period of time in which The General Manager sent down Marincin in order to have Brad Hunt on the team.

    Petry has sat out. Marincin has sat out. Schultz has not sat out.

    Some of this is on the coach, but Hunt is a MacTavish hire, so is Schultz, while Marincin is not. Judging from how contract negotiations went with Petry over the summer, I’ll bet you a 2-4 MacT doesn’t think much of Jeff Petry.

    MacTavish has his fingerprints all over the disaster on defence, which is only now being rectified.

  121. Bling says:

    BTW, pay attention to what Eakins is not saying.

    When did we last hear something positive about Justin Schultz? He praised Petry the other day, and has had kind words for Marincin. He slammed Nikitin’s game today.

    Dissent is brewing. And that means the revolution is coming.

    The best thing MacTavish can do right now is to butt the fuck out and allow Dellow/Eakins to figure out roster deployment on their own, unhindered.

  122. stevezie says:

    Aulie was fine, but he did fall down which set up the holding the stick penalty. On the one hand, these things happen. On the other hand, they shouldn’t.

    Say what you want about Petry, Smid looked great with him. Then Marincin looked great with him. Recently Aulie and Ference looked good with him. There is a pattern forming. Considering the oil’s obvious plans to break in a stable of young defenceman, please, please keep the guy who seems to specialize in helping his partner look good.

  123. digdeepnbleedblue says:

    G Money,

    If this team played a playoff series (I know, what freakin’ hypothetical, huh?!) they’d get their ass handed to them something fierce. It would be several stages worse than what we’re being punished with now. Is it strategy? Absolutely. Personnel? That’s also part of it. Placement too. But, I think everyone in that dressing room, coaches included, need to get their fucking hands dirty. And that “accountability” is where it needs to start.

    I’m still a fan and will watch every game I can but I’ll voice my opinion when I see stupid shit being done. Looks like I’ll be ranting all winter….

  124. G Money says:

    Bling,

    The Oilers are 23rd in the league in 5×5 Fenwick right now.

    More damning is when you deconstruct FF and FA.

    The Oilers are 8th in the league in 5×5 FA/60. This is excellent. As I’ve said repeatedly – I think the defensive structure this year is markedly better than last year. I credit Ramsay, not Eakins.

    On the other hand, the Oilers are 23rd in the league in 5×5 FF/60. This is terrible. So terrible that to be 23rd in Fenwick overall, the terribleness of the FF is overwhelming the goodness of the FA.

    In other words, while we fret about PDO (which in the Oilers case is almost entirely driven by sv%), we’re ignoring the real rot: THIS TEAM STINKS IN THE OFFENSIVE ZONE.

    As I noted above, this team is actually WORSE through 12 games this year in the o zone than they were last year. And last year they were running Smyth-Hall-Eberle and Perron-Arco-Yak, vs this year being Hall-RNH-Eberle and some combo of NHL wingers around Arco as the second line. So you CANNOT blame C depth. It was worse last year.

    So here we sit – better forwards and yet a lousier offensive attack than last year.

    That’s Eakins’ responsibility, is it not?

    If you don’t hold Eakins accountable for this – who do you hold accountable?

    Bling: The best thing MacTavish can do right now is to butt the fuck out and allow Dellow/Eakins to figure out roster deployment on their own, unhindered.

    MacT has made some fuckups in roster management no doubt, but to pretend that this can be rectified simply by him butting out is not realistic. More of the truly bad decisions around roster management can be traced to Eakins, not MacT. Marincin is still here, so the decision to sit him tonight and play Aulie instead is on Eakins.

    How long do we make excuses for this guy?

  125. G Money says:

    digdeepnbleedblue: If this team played a playoff series

    “I have a dream … !”

    Actually, the funny thing is, it’s quite possible that a playoff series, do or die, might actually be the thing that brings 100% effort out of this crew. It happens that way sometimes.

    How many years til we have the chance to find out?

    (Sigh)

  126. G Money says:

    A little bit more anecdotal discussion around the impact of coaches.

    While we cut Eakins more and more slack while the team goes backwards offensively under him, Wsh (with Trotz) sits third overall in 5×5 F%, Nsh with Laviolette sits 8th, and Van with Desjardins sits 9th.

    Didn’t seem to take those guys 95 games to make substantial improvements in their possession rates from last year.

    You can’t point at roster changes since the key guys (e.g. Weber, Ovechkin, Sedins) in all those cases are more or less the same. Hell, I think Vancouver’s roster is worse this year. Edmonton’s roster is unquestionably better, yet the fancystats through the first 12 games are really no better than they were at the same point last year, possibly worse, and here we sit and point at PDO and sv% while missing the rot up front.

    Coaching matters. Just ask the Eskimos.

  127. digdeepnbleedblue says:

    G Money,

    Actually, I’ve always thought that too. Sadly, you need the effort just to get there….

  128. digdeepnbleedblue says:

    stevezie,

    I think Smyth would say it best, and I pharaphrase, “it’s a game of mistakes. You gotta minimize yours and capitalize off of theirs.” Smart cat.

  129. Adam Wu says:

    Everyone is so quick to credit Ramsay for the teams improvements and dump on Eakins for the player deployment decisions.

    BUT, Ramsay was explicitly brought in to handle the defence. Is it credible to think that he has NO influence, NO say on the defensive deployments that everyone is criticizing?

    And if you want to claim that Eakins is ignoring Ramsay’s advice, or vetoing his suggestions on this score, then is it credible to assume that Eakins ALSO does NOT have similar perogatives over the defensive systems play that you’re crediting Ramsay with? In which case, if you are criticizing him for presumably vetoing what you THINK (with no evidence whatsoever) to be good suggestions from Ramsay on player deployment, then why are you refusing to give credit to Eakins for NOT vetoing the improved defensive systems ideas that you THINK (with no evidence whatsoever) are coming from Ramsay?

    This whole “credit Ramsay for the good, criticize Eakins for the bad” schtick reeks of intellectual dishonesty, and everyone engaging in it should be ashamed of themselves.

    It’s a team game, and the coaching staff are a team as well, and the decisions we see coming from them should be considered team decisions unless we have direct evidence, in the form of explicit statements from people with first hand experience of the fact, otherwise.

  130. Caribbeerman says:

    If a coaching change is to be considered (and it should) I can only see two possible candidates – MacTavish or farm coach Todd Nelson.

    MacTavish is the GM and the one ultimately responsible for the performance of the team and the record. He fired the last coach (prematurely?) and he has replaced half the roster since he took over. And lets not forget he was/is a pretty good coach. What exactly happens if the Oilers continue in the losing ways – he and everyone else gets fired (this will happen in a normal North American sports franchise) so he may as well take the bull by the horns (ala Sather) and get the damn thing figured out.

    To me his only other option is Todd Nelson. Nelson has proven to be a good coach and has a track record of developing players at the AHL level and getting them ready to be successful at the NHL level (until Eakins takes over!). He is familiar with and has coached many players on the current roster and (I believe) will take a fresh approach to coaching the team – from his system to his interaction with the players). Obviously Nelson will relish the opportunity and I can’t see how he could do worse than what exists now.

    To me there are no realistic (or good) external options for the job and I’d start my argument by asking – why would any qualified and respected coach take the position if it was offered? 1) the team as currently constructed has gaping holes at center and on defense (maybe in goal) and no coach in today’s NHL can overcome that. 2) why would a qualified external candidate take the job now when the cloud around the organization could result in mass house cleaning in the off season. in comes a new GM and he will want to hire his own coach…why subject yourself to that? Better stay away and wait for a more stable opportunity.

    Regardless of coaching though the fact remains that the roster is poorly constructed – too much of the same players on the team and not allot of depth and balance. A trade is coming and I maintain that Eberle and Shultz should be on the way out (along with others) to secure a stud 1st pairing defenseman, a top 6 scoring winger with size and attitude and a good 2-3 line center.

    If MacTavish were standing behind the bench every night maybe he would 1) see this more clearly and 2) be more inclined to act on it more urgently.

    My Oilers i wish you well…Mr. Katz I wish you luck.

  131. book¡je says:

    Woodguy and G – Money, don’t argue, its most likely that both the Team AND the coaching sucks.

  132. Woodguy says:

    G Money,

    The Oilers are 8th in the league in 5×5 FA/60. This is excellent. As I’ve said repeatedly – I think the defensive structure this year is markedly better than last year. I credit Ramsay, not Eakins.
    On the other hand, the Oilers are 23rd in the league in 5×5 FF/60. This is terrible. So terrible that to be 23rd in Fenwick overall, the terribleness of the FF is overwhelming the goodness of the FA.

    Are you using only 5v5? My numbers don’t jibe with yours.

    Using puckalytics.com (stats.hockeyanalaysis.com new interface) I get these: (note: waronice has not updated to last game, it still has the Oilers playing 12gms)

    5v5 Fenwick:

    39.25 Fenfor/60 19th in NHL
    41.56 Fenagainst/60 21st in NHL
    FF% (ratio) 48.6% 23rd in NHL

    Let’s compare that to last year’s first 13 games:

    13/14 first 13 games:

    33.92 Fenfor/60
    41.13 Fenagainst/60

    So the Oilers have significantly improved the for. Against is about the same.

    The results show pretty much the opposite of what you have been saying.

    Here is the Oilers for the whole year last year:

    38.05 Fenfor/60 – 28th in NHL
    47.65 Fenagainst/60 – 28th in NHL

    These results show they are getting less fenfor/60 than they did for the whole year and are significantly improved on Fenagainst. This matches more what you are saying, but they are still better in both categories.

    So using both 13 games in for both years and the whole year last year the Oilers are showing improvement.

    This doesn’t let Eakins off the hook for sitting Petry/Marincin, not breaking up Nikitin-Jultz, but it does show improvement in the team.

    The results don’t match the narrative that they are the same or worse this year.

  133. Woodguy says:

    book¡je:
    Woodguy and G – Money, don’t argue, its most likely that both the Team AND the coaching sucks.

    One of my hobbies is closely following and arguing about the Oilers.

    Why are you trying to take my thing from me?!?!??!

    Help, help I’m being repressed!

  134. []JUST[]KEEP[]CALM[]AND[]CORSI[]ON[] says:

    book¡je,

    Well that’s difficult to argue. Tonight’s game will be very interesting.

  135. Woodguy says:

    G Money,

    Wsh (with Trotz) sits third overall in 5×5 F%

    Its funny you bring up Trotz while dismissing the effect of PDO on the Oilers.

    WAS is 4th in FF%, but has a PDO of 978 due to shitty goaltending and sit 13th in the EC.

    Also,

    The Oilers are 8th in the league in 5×5 FA/60. This is excellent.

    I think you read the table wrong. They are 21st.

    Also, waronice doesn’t have last night’s game whereas puckalytics does.

  136. russ99 says:

    We’re dead last in the league in goals allowed per game at 3.62, and we’re 23rd in goals for per game at 2.46.

    Any improvement in underlying numbers are due to the style of play, i.e. the cycle to keep possession, more shots but from low scoring areas, better zone exits on D, etc.

    However, we’re not improved when it comes to the results.

  137. Pouzar says:

    Woodguy, G Money

    Any consensus on the numbers?

  138. Woodguy says:

    Pouzar:
    Woodguy, G Money

    Any consensus on the numbers?

    I’m right.

  139. Woodguy says:

    russ99:
    We’re dead last in the league in goals allowed per game at 3.62, and we’re 23rd in goals for per game at 2.46.

    Any improvement in underlying numbers are due to the style of play, i.e. the cycle to keep possession, more shots but from low scoring areas, better zone exits on D, etc.

    However, we’re not improved when it comes to the results.

    This is correct.

    Takes a while for the results to match the fancystats.

    Sometimes over a season (see: COL, TOR), but they do converge eventually.

  140. G Money says:

    I was using war on ice. So basically what WG has pointed out is that the Oilers are actually much worse defensively than I thought they were!

    The comparables to last year are interesting, and do not jibe with previous work that I’ve seen and done. The Oiler fancystats (Corsi rather than Fenwick) were actually very encouraging through the first part of the season last year, up to about December.

    This does not jive with WG’s statements. My recollection could be wrong, so I will need to dig into that and get back to you. I think I still have most of my spreadsheets etc from that time, and if not, I guess I’ll have to dig more into the new ExtraSkater replacements (WOI is the only one I’ve really adopted).

    Woodguy: Its funny you bring up Trotz while dismissing the effect of PDO on the Oilers.

    Why why why does this strawman keep coming up?

    Go back and read my posts. EVERY SINGLE COMMENT regarding the D since the start of the season has been laudatory of the improvement in D structure. I am not dismissing the effect of PDO – I recognize that the sv% is poor, just like last year.

    This is beside the point.

    What I detest about this team is the fact that it is still the second hardest working team most nights, and the less organized less structured team all over the ice most nights, even against weaker rosters.

    They still go for the 90 ft easily-intercepted stretch pass instead of a five man breakout. See gems from CoH player grades last night, like “made a bad pass to nobody from deep in the zone with the Oilers up by one” and “made a bad, dangerous outlet pass which was picked off”. This is a consistent thing, and separates the Oilers from every good well-coached team in the league.

    They still have no idea what to do in the neutral zone, and if even one pass goes awry as it often does, it means a jailbreak the other way. Most Oiler sorties end in the neutral zone if not sooner. Unless it’s Hall & Co. racing through the neutral zone and backing defenders off with speed, this team has no clue what to do before, during, and after d zone exits.

    On the forecheck, the individual effort is sometimes there, but if the forecheck is won, they have no idea what to do at that point. Go read the CoH shift summaries from last night, you’ll find some delightful summaries like “made a strong forecheck on Dougie Hamilton which knocked the puck loose, though the Oilers ultimately couldn’t control”, and “Contributed a solid forecheck on his first shift, getting the puck behind the net before losing it again”. Again, a consistent theme.

    Chances for are created not by any system advantage, but by heroic individual efforts.

    This is poor structure. It is poor coaching.

    I see the improvements, but between the improved roster and the improved asst coaches, it is not anything out of the box of what we’d expect to see with a poor head coach. If there are better options out there – and I’m confident there are – then why would we continue to shoot ourselves in the foot? The damage done could – will – have long reaching consequences.

  141. Woodguy says:

    G Money,

    Why why why does this strawman keep coming up?

    Its not a strawman.

    In the post I replied to you said:

    yet the fancystats through the first 12 games are really no better than they were at the same point last year, possibly worse, and here we sit and point at PDO and sv% while missing the rot up front.

    I took that as a dismissal.

    Chances for are created not by any system advantage, but by heroic individual efforts.

    Now that’s a strawman.

    If something good happens, its the player. If nothing good happens, its the system.

    Oilers have a very structured fore check, as does every NHL team.

    You’ve gone off the deep end on this. Its the NHL, to think that Eakins just sends them over the boards without a system is just ridiculous.

    The only time it looks unorganized is the same when every other team’s fore check looks unorganized, and that’s when a line change happens as the puck goes up the ice and is dumped and players have to catch up to the play to get into position.

    They play a pretty normal 2-1-2 : http://www.hockeyshare.com/blog/hockey-systems/2-1-2-forecheck/

  142. G Money says:

    Woodguy: I took that as a dismissal.

    It was not. If I were to use a metaphor, I am highlighting that focusing on the PDO is like pointing at a fire on deck while ignoring the hole in the hull. It’s not dismissing the fire, it’s bringing up the fact that even if you put the fire out, you’re still going to drown.

    Woodguy: You’ve gone off the deep end on this. Its the NHL, to think that Eakins just sends them over the boards without a system is just ridiculous.

    I think he does a poor job of coaching whatever system he’s using. The end result is that the players often look like they don’t have a system.

    That’s NOT the same as saying he doesn’t have a system.

    Just that he’s a shitty coach.

    If you don’t believe so, we will politely agree to disagree, and wait for regression to the mean to enlighten as to the real malady.

    If you’re right, that the Oilers are actually a well coached teaming suffering bad luck, then we should expect the Oilers’ record will regress upward to their so-far-decent fancystats.

    If I’m right, that the rot runs deeper than merely an issue of bad luck, then we should expect the Oilers’ fancystats will regress downward to their so-far-poor-and-heading-to-the-toilet-again record.

  143. Woodguy says:

    G Money: It was not.If I were to use a metaphor, I am highlighting that focusing on the PDO is like pointing at a fire on deck while ignoring the hole in the hull.It’s not dismissing the fire, it’s bringing up the fact that even if you put the fire out, you’re still going to drown.

    I think he does a poor job of coaching whatever system he’s using.The end result is that the players often look like they don’t have a system.

    That’s NOT the same as saying he doesn’t have a system.

    Just that he’s a shitty coach.

    If you don’t believe so, we will politely agree to disagree, and wait for regression to the mean to enlighten as to the real malady.

    If you’re right, that the Oilers are actually a well coached teaming suffering bad luck, then we should expect the Oilers’ record will regress upward to their so-far-decent fancystats.

    If I’m right, that the rot runs deeper than merely an issue of bad luck, then we should expect the Oilers’ fancystats will regress downward to their so-far-poor-and-heading-to-the-toilet-again record.

    I think its a matter of young players still learning the system.

    LAK, CHI, BOS etc are full of players who have played for the same coach playing the same system for years.

    The Oilers are still getting used to their system and its not “read and react” as much as we’d like as their is still thinking going on.

    NAS loads up on new players, but they are good vets who know how to play NHL hockey and can pick up a system quickly.

    The Oilers use the NHL as a developmental league and the results are uglier.

  144. G Money says:

    Woodguy: The Oilers are still getting used to their system and its not “read and react” as much as we’d like as their is still thinking going on.

    This was my rationale for giving Eakins time and patience last year. Young players, new systems, “thinking” instead of “reacting”.

    I get that.

    But that’s why I bring up the 95 games.

    How long does Eakins get to design and coach that system?

    At what point does it go from “patience” to “making excuses”?

    I get that you see the underlying stats improving and and thats enough to keep you at the patience stage.

    I look at the parallels to last year – NOT the PDO/sv% but the offensive and neutral zone blunders – don’t think the improvement is anywhere near enough even when taking the roster into account, and so have no patience left.

  145. Woodguy says:

    G Money,

    He was starting at awful.

    Its a long way to average from there.

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