DEVILS AT OILERS G20, 2014-15

I expect the Oilers will start Marincin tonight if Nikitin (back) can’t play and they’ll farm him out after this weekend if the doesn’t play. It’s been so long since the young man played (Buffalo game Nov 7) I’m not certain he’ll be sharp if he does draw in. That’s a long while (two weeks) to be away from game action.

It’s an interesting question though: How many of the blue men on the roster today will be here for a postseason game? Maybe fewer than you think:

  • Elliotte Friedman: Would the Oilers part with Martin Marincin if he could bring them someone who eases their issues down the middle? They desperately need a centre and what they’ve offered so far isn’t getting a sniff. If Marincin could bring back value, there might be a match. I’m a Marincin fan. I like what he’s done in short bursts. There are execs/scouts who disagree. One who was not a fan in his draft year said last week, “He has come a lot farther than I thought.” So, we’ll see. Source.

Well that’s fascinating. If we’re talking D for C, there are a few suspects out there, beginning with Philadelphia. Sean Couturier would be the ideal target, but Hextall seems a bit too brainy for that one. Brayden Schenn? I wouldn’t trade Marincin for Schenn but that’s me, your mileage may vary.

  • Pierre Lebrun on Oilers trading young cluster players for a center: “I don’t think Nail Yakupov is going to get you the kind of change that you need. I think if it’s really the change you kind of need, do you start to look at Jordan Eberle or Justin Schultz. Again guys that you don’t want to keep, you want to build around those guys. Or sorry, guys you don’t want to move, but want to keep. But on the other hand, if it’s really a bone-rattling, franchise-changing move that has to happen between now and March 2, it’s unfortunately going to have to involve somebody you really like because the fact that you really like him, means a lot of other teams will as well.” Source

I would trade Schultz for Schenn, and Eberle for Couturier (again, just me, don’t get your gonch in a knot. I like Eberle fine, but Couturier solves a lot). The really encouraging thing here? MacT is trying to find his coach some cover up the middle. I’m very pleased, it didn’t make sense to me that MacT (a former coach left flapping in the wind) would leave his own coach out there with no cover for an entire season. Good for you, MacT!

LAST 10 GAMES, OFFENSE

last 10 oilers

I find it helps to break down these things by 10-game intervals, we see items like Hall’s injury and its impact; Nuge and Ebs scoring pretty well in this segment; Schultz posting 5 assists; the veteran wingers (Perron, Pouliot, Purcell, Hendricks, even Yak) dividing up the offense fairly evenly; a couple of minus hockey sticks from Niki and Petry. Mark Fayne plus one. I still don’t understand why they won’t try a Fayne—Petry pairing.

LEON GETS THE PUSH

The latest lines have this as a probable for tonight’s trios:

  • Pouliot—Nuge—Eberle
  • Hall—Draisaitl—Purcell
  • Perron—Arco—Yakupov
  • Hendricks—Gordon—Pinizzotto

I like the lines, with the Yak flush being the only real negative. One thing I believe we should talk about some time is the overall speed of the forward group. I like the players here, but overall foot speed can be improved.

  • Leon on playing with Hall:  “To have a guy like him on my side is going to make it easier for myself. I’m really looking forward to the opportunity,” said the rookie, who saw more ice time against the Canucks than he had in the previous three games.” Source

Wild vs. Barons 4-19-14

Kale Kessy photo by Rob Ferguson. All rights reserved

HEAVY EARLY

Jason Gregor’s conversations with Todd Nelson are always worth a listen, and Gregor’s articles at ON that pass along the verbal via written word are as valuable. I’ve been thinking about the recall of Pinizzotto and the trade for Lain, and this Nelson quote from JG’s article is insightful:

  • Nelson: “We played against some pretty heavy teams, and our so called skilled guys, that we look to contribute, haven’t really been finding the back of the net so other guys have stepped up. Kale Kessey has really turned a corner. He’s playing great hockey for us right now. He’s playing both ends very well. Another guy that falls into that category is Curtis Hamilton. We’re seeing his best hockey, well the best hockey I’ve ever seen him play. And guys like [Tyler] Pitlick and a lot of the role players are playing very strong right now.”

The Oilers have (to my eye) adjusted with the times and added ‘gritty men who can play’ to the lineup since Craig MacTavish has arrived. The entire Gordon line,  Benoit Pouliot give the team a different look. As I’ve said many times, bring on the big men but make sure they can play. Perhaps one or two of these AHL fellows develops, looks like Kessy is moving up the ranks.

JOHANSSON

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

This morning at 10, we hit the air with non-stop verbal! TSN 1260:

  • Steve Lansky, Big Mouth Sports. Leafs win, but do not salute! Plus Raptors.
  • Brian King, NonstopSportsPicks. We’ll talk western final and the blitz.
  • Jeff Chapman Copper and Blue. Buffalo snow, Oilers melt, Leon with Hall on scoring line.
  • Paul Almeida, Saturday Sports Extra. The great man is back from Europe with stories from the old country.
  • Dave Jamieson, Oilers and Western final.

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

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509 Responses to "DEVILS AT OILERS G20, 2014-15"

« Older Comments
  1. OilClog says:

    su_dhillon: He’ll be the first guy they send out

    Traded to Montreal tomorrow, its the Oiler way.

  2. cadooo says:

    danny:
    Justin Schultz is Lolita. MacT is Jeremy Irons.

    Or Justin Schultz is Sue Lyon. MacT is James Mason.

  3. BeerMe says:

    Wowza, these questions are harsh! I like it!

  4. McSorley33 says:

    It is worth repeating, Jultz with nearly 24 min of ice time.

    Incredible.

  5. oliveoilers says:

    Lowetide:
    There’s no reason for this post beyond experience. Please be good to each other tonight, it’s a tough evening and it would be nice if we could avoid turbulence beyond the team.

    To re-enforce the point, I have just visited ON. There is now somebody going off on an anti-Semitic rant about Katz. Quite what that has to do with anything, I don’t know. I came straight back here as fast as I could click. You guys are good people. And misery love company.

  6. BeerMe says:

    I have this sneaking feeling that Eakins secretly despises Justin Shultz but is being railroaded into treating him like a golden boy by MacT.

  7. linkfromhyrule says:

    speeds: You don’t think he overpaid Schultz this past summer?

    They resigned him at $100,000 less than his last contract… how is that an overpay?

  8. Kitchener says:

    rich,

    It’s an interesting question. For fun, let’s say there are two options:

    1) Incremental improvement
    2) Swing for a home run

    Examples of #1 would be Perron, Pouliot, and Fayne.
    Examples of #2 would be trading from the core for a Pronger, Schneider, or Kesler/Staal/___.

    Reading between the lines of Eakins’ PP comments the other day (‘the easy answer is to blow it up, but sometimes the smarter answer is to breathe and tweak what you’ve got’), I imagine that the Hockey Ops guys are debating incremental improvement vs “bold” on a regular basis.

    From what I can see, these truths are present regardless of one’s politics:
    1) The 4/93/14/10/84/Nurse cluster is ripening and it’s time to boogie now or extremely soon.
    2) Re-signing Petry would be 100% excellent.
    3) There are lots of negotiable pieces in play.

    Switching over to opinion, here’s what I suspect:
    1) Controlled rebuild (incremental improvement)
    2) Willingness to lose one of 14/4/10, but hoping to keep all three.
    3) Committed to RNH/Drai as the 1/2C for 10 years.
    4) The siren song of Eichel/MacDavid is blaring 24/7 in everyone’s mind. No one wants to admit it’s time to tank, but that song is so alluring…

    Cheering the Oilers may be frustrating, but it’s way better than cheering for perennial mediocrity like in Winnipeg or ____. The Oilers span pure genius (80s) and pure ineptitude like no other franchise. They’re the ultimate DH slugger: grand slam or SO.

  9. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Wow…

    If I’m ready the tea-leaves of that presser right. Schultz and Nikitin aren’t on Eakins’ x-mas card list anymore.

  10. Kitchener says:

    speeds,

    I do think the money was too high. I’m just relieved the term wasn’t longer.

  11. commonfan14 says:

    On when Jultz will be held accountable with a benching/reduced ice time:

    “When we see fit.”

    “Your season’s almost gone here. When do you think you might see fit?”

    “Matty?”

    Incredible.

    Spector might have ended Eakins’s NHL career tonight.

  12. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    commonfan14: Spector might have ended Eakins’s NHL career tonight.

    how do you figure?

  13. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Jim Matheson ‏@NHLbyMatty 1m1 minute ago
    Nikita Nikitin played one 43-second shift in the 3rd. He was not hurt.#oilers.

    http://youtu.be/KvUmErcz2mU?t=19m10s

  14. danny says:

    BeerMe:
    Damn, that Perron interview was nuts. Sounds like total disarray in the dressing room!

    I didn’t catch it. What was said?

  15. Alsker says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Agreed, though I doubt we see any less of either of them. As the debacle goes on…sound like an afternoon soap….

  16. rich says:

    Kitchener,

    Kitchener, I don’t pretend to have the answer here. When I say “good luck”, it’s part frustration and it’s also part exasperation. I wish I had the answer. I wish I didn’t care about this team anymore, but can’t stay away.

    The most frustrating part of watching right now is to watch them play a good period – and then like tonight, watch them crap the bed in a period and blow a game.

    Equally frustrating is the fact that this team has some significant flaws that don’t help – especially down the middle.

    Is the solution a big trade? Some smaller trades?

    The only thing I’m really convinced of is that up the middle they are inadequate and this is hurting them more – and it’s on MacT. Love Draisaitl but asking him to learn at this level is a mistake. Arcobello is playing above his level. But they have no choice because the problem wasn’t solved last summer.

    And until the problem is solved – to expect better is not realistic. Doesn’t matter who is behind the bench, you can’t make chicken salad out of chicken you-know-what.

  17. godot10 says:

    The non-development/progression of Schultz (and of Yakupov) is a symptom, not the cause. Just like the save percentage of 5 different goaltenders is a sympton, not the cause.

    You can’t begin to heal until you accept the truth.

  18. su_dhillon says:

    Call up Klefbom, bench Nikitin send Aulie down. Play Marincin, Ferrence and Klef on left side. Play Petry and Fayne 3 mins more each ES, take the mins from Jultz. It wont be worse than this. I promise

  19. Dicky94 says:

    commonfan14,

    Seen that too. Dallas still keeps it together however through all this losing. He deserves a lot of credit for always being willing to talk to the press. He is doing the best he can with the players he has. A group of guys that don’t want to score dirty greasy goals.

  20. OilClog says:

    Perron was burying his d-corps, awesome.

    Burying the offensive game book, awesome.

    Perrons showing where his will to win went in that presser, MacT may need Gretz to come drop a puck.

    Has Schultz alienated the room? How do the players feel about the Norris cimments. Yikes

  21. godot10 says:

    rich:
    Kitchener,

    The most frustrating part of watching right now is to watch them play a good period – and then like tonight, watch them crap the bed in a period and blow a game.

    The opposing coach makes adjustments during the intermission. Like who knew!

  22. vinotintazo says:

    Hey, at least they benched Nikitin!

  23. OilClog says:

    Dallas looks like a ghost of a man right now, seriously someone needs to make sure he’s eating right. I imagine he doesn’t sleep, he has the cheek bones of a early Month Burns.

  24. commonfan14 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    He really couldn’t have looked any more lost or weak in how he answered the first question and then flat-out ran from the second one.

    Not an inspiring scene.

  25. Pouzar says:

    Is there a 7th D-man of the year award?

    Bruce McCurdy ‏@BruceMcCurdy 1m1 minute ago
    Martin Marincin played 15 minutes at even strength during which time Oilers attempted 30 shots, Devils just 2. That is off the charts.

  26. []JUST[]KEEP[]CALM[]AND[]CORSI[]ON[] says:
  27. Captain's Log says:

    I am cherry picking but here is a great stat for you. Petry had 4 SOG and was even. Schultz had 0 SOG and was -2. Schultz gets 4 minutes extra playing time.

    Petry is going to look great playing for the Red Wings next year. Meanwhile Schultz is going to continue to look awful in Copper and Blue. Only difference will be next year he will be making $5M or more somehow.

  28. godot10 says:

    Dicky94:
    commonfan14,

    Seen that too. Dallas still keeps it together however through all this losing. He deserves a lot of credit for always being willingto talk to the press.He is doing the best he can with the players he has. A group of guys that don’t want to score dirty greasy goals.

    Talking to the press is a league requirement. You don’t get special credit for fulfilling a requirement of the job.

    Eakins is not do the best that he can with the players that he has. He wasted training camp. He started the season with Brad Hunt and Will Acton. He benched Petry. His power play has been an absoluted disaster since day 1 last year. His accumulated goal differential is abominable. Players aren’t progressing at all under him. And his systems don’t effing work, and he is incapable of making an in-game adjustment.

  29. hunter1909 says:

    HUNTER1909 CHALLENGE UPDATE:

    After 20 games, Oilers are surging toward a 57 point season. Here are the three current leaders:

    Commonfan14 – 65 points

    Pouzar – 67 points(up from -8 million)

    Yeti – 69 points

    That was easy.

  30. Pouzar says:

    hunter1909:
    HUNTER1909 CHALLENGE UPDATE:

    After 20 games, Oilers are surging toward a 57 point season. Here are the three current leaders:

    Commonfan14–65 points

    Pouzar – 67 points(up from -8 million)

    Yeti – 69 points

    That was easy.

    My optimism will never pay off.

  31. Dicky94 says:

    godot10,

    Just saying how well he keeps it together. I would have jumped over the mic stand to go after Spector. Lol. Maybe we need some of that.

  32. hunter1909 says:

    When I was young I worked on construction for awhile under a boss who was okay. Then with winter approaching he started freaking out, screaming at me and generally making life miserable. So, being the good worker I am, I didn’t quit. No, instead I simply stopped doing anything unless being directly ordered to do it. The boss, wrapped up in his own professional hell couldn’t do a thing about it.

    I reckon this is exactly what the team are doing to Eakins. They hate Eakin’s guts, and are working to rule.

  33. Kitchener says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    OilClog,

    Absolutely, tonight’s interviews had a different tone. Both Eakins and Perron strike me as honest guys who’ve been playing out a gameplan up until now, but something changed in tonight’s loss. I don’t know what changed or how big it was, but those two videos (Eakins’ post-game; Perron post-game) are different from what’s been shown to the media thus far this year.

    I missed most of the game tonight, but evidently game 20 was this season’s transition from chapter 1 to chapter 2.

    Fun times to be a spectator.

  34. godot10 says:

    Hall was actually trying to make a soft dump on the first goal. It wasn’t a “turnover” turnover. The old Taylor Hall would have just skated it across the blue line with possession. It was a bad soft dump. But before Eakins, a soft dump wasn’t really a tool in the Taylor Hall toolbox.

  35. hunter1909 says:

    Isn’t there supposed to be a some guy named Sutter in Red Deer? He’s probably one of the only people who would be 100% certain to tell MacT/Lowe where to go were they to try to interfere with his coaching method.

    Bring Sutter in, and the team turns itself around. Instantly.

  36. book¡je says:

    I sometimes wonder if Eakins is even coaching this team. This seems like coaching by committee.

    I get that there is no second line centre, but this team can’t even score a power play goal. Three years ago, the same players were on the ice tearing it up.

    I don’t see a future for this group right now (I could be wrong). I feel like they have wasted Hall and RNH (I hope I am wrong).

  37. Pouzar says:

    *looks at upcoming schedule*

  38. Alsker says:

    Pouzar:
    Is there a 7th D-man of the year award?

    Bruce McCurdy ‏@BruceMcCurdy1m1 minute ago
    Martin Marincin played 15 minutes at even strength during which time Oilers attempted 30 shots, Devils just 2. That is off the charts.

    Holy shit that’s unreal!!! Raises 2 questions: How do Ference/Jultz end up with more ES time and why the hell did he start the year in OKC/sit in the press box so much???? The benefits of being a MacT/Klowne guy…

  39. Kitchener says:

    Pouzar: Kitch

    What about those sideburns?

  40. godot10 says:

    book¡je:

    I get that there is no second line centre, but this team can’t even score a power play goal.Three years ago, the same players were on the ice tearing it up.

    You could be running…Nugent-Hopkins, Gordon, Arcobello, and Lander. Nothing much would happen when Lander was on the ice as the 4th line centre, but that is not a bad thing.

    When centre injuries hit Renney and hit Krueger, then had a much worse centre roster for extended periods of time.

  41. book¡je says:

    []JUST[]KEEP[]CALM[]AND[]CORSI[]ON[]: … blinks…Matty?

    it’s actually at about the 14 minute mark

  42. hunter1909 says:

    book¡je: I don’t see a future for this group right now (I could be wrong). I feel like they have wasted Hall and RNH (I hope I am wrong).

    They’re not wasted yet.

    Eakins simply cannot coach this team. He needs to be sacked, immediately.

  43. hunter1909 says:

    Just checked NHL official standings. Oilers just entered 29th place.

  44. Alsker says:

    Pouzar:
    http://nhl-media-1.yinzcam.com/Audio/Oilers/20141121_post_perron.mp3

    Jezzuz.

    Honesty, there’s something new…hope he’s still an Oiler next week

  45. book¡je says:

    Pouzar:
    http://nhl-media-1.yinzcam.com/Audio/Oilers/20141121_post_perron.mp3

    Jezzuz.

    Neat, the players understand how NHL hockey works too and they can’t figure out why Schultz is playing either.

    I wonder if that could entirely blow up. Heck Justin Schultz could turn out to be that Norris quality defensman but the rest of the team will have demanded trades elsewhere by then.

  46. Pouzar says:

    “It’s about a full 60. We need to have accountability from coaches & teammates.” David Perron.

  47. jp says:

    BeerMe:
    Damn, that Perron interview was nuts. Sounds like total disarray in the dressing room!

    Wow.

  48. Hammers says:

    Lowetide: I think the Oilers are (apparently) prepared to burn a season on Leon’s development and proving Schultz can make a difference. The results don’t mattter, or they would do something. They’re looking long term.

    Lt If they were looking long term both Marincin & Klefbom would have been playing and maybe Nurse as well . I would sooner loose with those 3 playing & being coached along the way .

  49. elgruntus says:

    godot10:
    Hall was actually trying to make a soft dump on the first goal.It wasn’t a “turnover” turnover

    The whole years been a soft dump

  50. book¡je says:

    I think Eakin’s rope might be much shorter than we think. I am not saying he is the (sole) problem, but I suspect that MacT will see fit to blame him.

    I am ok with that, but I do really worry that Messier may be behind the bench soon.

  51. smellyglove says:

    2 points out of last place, tied in # of games played with Buffalo, at the quarter pole of the season.

    BUFFALO! In year two of their scorched earth tank job.

    We’re in year 6 of our own scorched earth rebuild (they pulled the plug before the half way point of the 09-10 season, that’s SIX years). We’re in year 8 after rebuild-lite began.

  52. elgruntus says:

    book¡je:
    I think Eakin’s rope might be much shorter than we think.I am not saying he is the (sole) problem, but I suspect that MacT will see fit to blame him.

    I am ok with that, but I do really worry that Messier may be behind the bench soon.

    can that be any worse?

    Maybe Mess leaves the x’s and O’s to the coaches and he takes care of throwing guys up against locker room walls?

  53. Hammers says:

    su_dhillon: He’ll be the first guy they send out

    Smart move by Perron . Hall will be next .

  54. book¡je says:

    elgruntus: can that be any worse?

    Maybe Mess leaves the x’s and O’s to the coaches and he takes care of throwing guys up against locker room walls?

    It can, and probably would be, worse or about the same. There is no reason to believe that Messier can coach.

  55. Clay says:

    hunter1909:
    Isn’t there supposed to be a some guy named Sutter in Red Deer? He’s probably one of the only people who would be 100% certain to tell MacT/Lowe where to go were they to try to interfere with his coaching method.

    Bring Sutter in, and the team turns itself around. Instantly.

    Flames thought this exact thing in 2009. He came in and never made the playoffs in three years. So there’s that.

    Pouzar:
    *looks at upcoming schedule*

    Oi. This loosing streak is almost guaranteed to hit double digits.

  56. McSorley33 says:

    Dicky94:
    commonfan14,

    Seen that too. Dallas still keeps it together however through all this losing. He deserves a lot of credit for always being willingto talk to the press.He is doing the best he can with the players he has. A group of guys that don’t want to score dirty greasy goals.

    Do you think the next coach plays Jultz 24 min/game?

  57. LMHF#1 says:

    Whoever is behind the BS this season with Marincin – the way this is being handled would be a fireable offense on any team but this one.

  58. Woodguy says:

    book¡je:
    Fuck this team!

    Bookie point!

  59. Lowetide says:

    Maybe Schultz needs to play 30 before he’s effective?

  60. book¡je says:

    Woodguy: Bookie point!

    I’m not sure I hit the required level of optimism, but I probably did. Deep down I have this deep seeded hope that is really hard to get rid of, though slowly but surely this organization is getting there.

  61. elgruntus says:

    book¡je: It can, and probably would be, worse or about the same.There is no reason to believe that Messier can coach.

    Couldn’t win with Quinn, Renney, Ralph and Dallas. All acknowledged as coaches. Maybe the answer is Messier, the anti-coach. After all, this is the Twilight Zone, isn’t it?

  62. book¡je says:

    Hey, I just realized that Everything is Awesome for the Oil.

    Can someone please mix that song in with a bunch of clips of this team’s worst moments? Please!!!

    Note – its not the Everything is Awesome you might be thinking of…not quite anyway.

  63. OilClog says:

    Lowetide:
    Maybe Schultz needs to play 30 before he’s effective?

    Why stop there, 35. Make it legendary

  64. linkfromhyrule says:

    Lowetide:
    Maybe Schultz needs to play 30 before he’s effective?

    That sounds like Oiler “logic”

    If we see what Schultz is, and how often he causes GA, the players definitely do too. The post game tonight is no surprise, overdue even. Game after game Schultz makes the same mistakes. He has the tools, but not the desire. His TOI doesn’t get reduced, and neither does his standing with the Org.

    It’s like a coworker continually F**king up, making mistakes costing your company money, and yet still getting promoted over other, more deserving people. How does that work for morale? These guys aren’t losers, but not all of them have the same level of desire to win. It’s sad.

    The players aren’t idiots, clearly, but is nobody calling anybody else out in the room? Isn’t that what the veterans are for? Schultz needs to be scared so bad he s**ts his pants and never makes a bad pinch again.

  65. Woodguy says:

    book¡je: It can, and probably would be, worse or about the same.There is no reason to believe that Messier can coach.

    Which is why its so awesome that Lowe offered him the job before hiring Ralph.

    That man knows winning.

  66. Woodguy says:

    McSorley33: Do you think the next coach plays Jultz 24 min/game?

    He does if he wants to get hired.

  67. commonfan14 says:

    I don’t get why everyone is so upset. Broken hands heal up good as new.

  68. "Frank The Dog" says:

    Well it sure does seem from the interviews that there are one or more players on this team that the coach and team mates feel are screwing things up. We can all guess Schultz.

    Eakins knows who he/they are, and if Eakins is going to be nailed with these losses then give him the call on who he plays, who he sits, and who he wants sent down and called up.

    I have my doubts about the man, but I also know that Katz remains the only constant left in the years of suck. Problem is only Katz can fire Katz, and that would be by moving the team or selling the team or both.

    In the meantime we are probably going to see a coaching change, in which case I see MacT stepping back behind the bench, and/or a big fat roster change where the lollygaggers are summarily sat, cut, traded, sent down, waived or bought out or any combination and sequence of the above.

    The only good in all this is hopefully the heat rises enough to force the correct action that may have previously not taken place due to political constraints.

    It may be an interesting few days, or it might just be more of the same. We’ll see.

    Eakins seemed to me to be exasperated to the point of resigning, and the players seemed equally as frustrated, and all seemed to have a name at the tip of their tongues. I would not be surprised if players started asking for trades, and/or Eakins handed in his resignation.

  69. McSorley33 says:

    Woodguy: He does if he wants to get hired.

    Mac T has said on a few occasions how Dallas is stubborn.

    I honestly don’t know. I suspect you may be right….

    This is not all on Dallas that is for sure.

  70. "Frank The Dog" says:

    book¡je: It can, and probably would be, worse or about the same.There is no reason to believe that Messier can coach.

    But MacT can coach, and he would probably need to be the one that steps in if Eakins is fired or quits. Just like Sather had to step behind the bench in NY for a while. It wouldn’t be fair to pull Todd up from OKC under these circumstances unless MacT fired Acton as well, and brought Todd up as Associate Head Coach to do the heavy lifting under MacT with the understanding of a full time role next season if they succeed.

  71. Woodguy says:

    garik16 @garik16 ·
    I mean listen, Ryan Strome currently has a 54.6% corsi with 41% Zone Starts, and is 7th in the league at 5v5 P/60. He’s been amazing so far

    Strome is 21, 6’1″ 200lbs.

    Anyone still not trade Yak + for him?

  72. Woodguy says:

    “Frank The Dog”,

    I also know that Katz remains the only constant left in the years of suck.

    There’s also a guy who knows something about winning.

  73. TemujinBC says:

    Woodguy,

    What must he think of all this? Does he ever lie awake at night, unable to sleep, because of the thoughts in his head? Does he ever feel that pang of regret… to any degree at all, about that entirely horrific press conference and the events that continue to unfold.

    I certainly would if I were him, and I know a thing or two about saying dumb things (In case there is any concern…)

  74. Woodguy says:

    TemujinBC:
    Woodguy,

    What must he think of all this?Does he ever lie awake at night, unable to sleep, because of the thoughts in his head?Does he ever feel that pang of regret… to any degree at all, about that entirely horrific press conference and the events that continue to unfold.

    I certainly would if I were him, and I know a thing or two about saying dumb things (In case there is any concern…)

    I think he believes in himself fully and not much keeps him up at night.

  75. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Cult of Hockey guest grades from our very own Woodguy tonight, and he didn’t beat around the bush, either.

  76. OilClog says:

    Woodguy:
    garik16 @garik16·
    I mean listen, Ryan Strome currently has a 54.6% corsi with 41% Zone Starts, and is 7th in the league at 5v5 P/60.He’s been amazing so far

    Strome is 21, 6’1″ 200lbs.

    Anyone still not trade Yak + for him?

    Against the East, the Oilers have a winning record.

    Strome would be a 21yr, 6’1, 200lb asked to do what Drai is, with the Oilers being in the west Stromes numbers would diminish quickly in Oiler land.

  77. TemujinBC says:

    Great job on the guest grades, Woodguy. Especially liked the last sentence in Draisaitl’s review

  78. Bruce McCurdy says:

    elgruntus: The whole years been a soft dump

    It hasn’t been a soft dump, it’s been explosive diarrhea.

  79. Lowetide says:

    Enjoyed WG’s item very much. Found myself nodding in agreement throughout, only quibble is I do think that second goal was tipped. However, my eyes aren’t what they used to be.

  80. Barcs says:

    Woodguy,

    Loved the article, Woodguy.

    The bits about Schultz and Eakins are dead on.

    Sounded a little bit like you only marked Ference on that one poor play on the goal against, but I agree he was not amazing. I’m quibbling, though.

    Hope you are able to do this again, I enjoy CoH’s player grades very much.

  81. PunjabiOil says:

    Remember a frustrated Kevin Lowe “is it me?” in 2007? A crippling 4 year contract offer to Michael Nylander? Four first round picks for Vanek? Offersheet for Penner? Acquisition of Visnovsky?

    The burning desire to win.

    Remember a frustrated Craig MacTavish back in 2008?

    http://www.canada.com/story.html?id=8094df3b-bf43-479c-b973-c10dd439e3ef

    “We thought the contract ($4.25 million average for five years) was a starting point for him, but he views it as a finish line. I can’t watch it, certainly not for another 2 1/2 years,” he said.

    ________

    Where is the same sense of urgency from this management group? How does MacT willingly/knowingly go into the season without a 2C, and 20 games after still not have addressed it?

    You know, maybe it’s Katz. He ordered the rebuild back in 2010. He signs off the paycheques. He forced Tambellini to draft Yakupov. He brings his kids to the draft stage, just because. Maybe he is the one forcing a controlled rebuild. At the end of the day, Kevin Lowe and MacT are employees, who are likely banking north of 2M annually for positions 29 other teams would not hire them for. And ultimately, they have to listen to their boss that is Daryl Katz.

    It’s sickening to see the Islanders and Predators address holes in lineups for reasonable cost and are successful as a result. The same holes the Oilers should have addressed with active management. It’s sickening to see them sign a reliable tough minute defender in Fayne, only to minimize his minutes just so that MacT can prove his internal advanced stats team they were wrong on the analytics surrounding Justin ‘Norris’ Schultz. It’s sickening that Elliott Friedman mentions possibility of trading Marincin (who is arguably the Oilers best defenceman), and the strong likelihood the other top defenceman in Petry will be moved or not re-signed.

    I will follow the blogs/twitters, etc. But will refuse to watch the product on television. Like MacTavish said, I can’t watch it, certainly not for the next 62 games.

  82. SwedishPoster says:

    There’s been a lot of talk from management of players stepping up and showing leadership. But where is their leadership. Has anyone seen MacT anywhere lately? Is he hiding away in some cave in Bora Bora? The GM needs to step up and either give support to his coach and/or his players or start to bear down on them. He also needs to step up to take some heat. Eakins is pretty much taking the whole shit storm himself, the presser was harsh and rightly so but he shouldn’t be standing alone.
    MacT should be up there answering questions about the holes in the roster and the lack of success for a team that HE built, this roster has MacT all over it, he’s made a huge change of both players and coaches since his arrival and the team still is losing. He needs to own that. Not hide away.
    And why Lowe is still employed is beyond me, he seems to be kept as some kind of pet. They should just fire his ass if just for the symbolics. His role seems to have diminished anyway.

    A lot of bad tonight but I’ll give Marincin cred, I haven’t liked his play before this season but tonight he looked fantastic. A guy who can play at that level needs to stay in the line up the rest of the year, even when he’s struggling. I don’t actually mind the pressbox time since he didn’t look good and actually lacking heart in his game but last night he showed that he took it the right way and he shouldn’t have to look back. He should be a fixture from now on. This game was elite from Marincin. Now he needs to do it every night.

    I liked Perron being harsh, basically calling out Hall and Schultz for screwing up onthe GAs, as well as the coaching staff, and I assume his PP linemates for not seeing lanes, which is fine by me at this point. Shame he himself has been playing like hot garbage lately, he’s been killing plays like they were kittens to a young psychopath. Hopefully this gets both his teammates and himself fired up.

  83. SwedishPoster says:

    Woodguy:
    Bruce lost his mind and let me do the player grades at the Cult of Hockey:

    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2014/11/22/edmonton-oilers-player-grades-yet-another-home-defeat-as-oil-lose-pouliot-game-plot/

    I like it although I’d be harder on the grades, other than Marincin and Fasth I’d drop everyone one grade and Hall I’d actually drop two, he had some good things but also some stupid stupid plays that a guy of his caliber shouldn’t make. If 5 is avarage that’s where I’d put him. And I didn’t really like Perron that much last night either, I’d say 5 as well.

  84. russ99 says:

    Guys, before we overreact on players, let’s see how they do under a coach who actually has some thought to their strengths and weaknesses and how to deploy them thusly so they’re not put completely out of their skill set, doesn’t run them out there for crazy shifts like they’re marathon runners and ice time completely out of whack with reality and insists on doing things his way even if it’s obvious that it not only doesn’t work but players are regressing instead of developing.

    I really wonder if all the icetime for Schultz is similar to Yak last year where Eakins is trying to completely reinvent his game and he’s out there “until he gets it right”. He seems to have the same defeated body language Yak did last year.

    When talking about a replacement, IMO, Ramsay is part of the problem, not the solution. I don’t see real differences, and even if he had new ideas, he let Eakins stifle them.

    Hopefully Todd Nelson is our coach before too much longer. He’s smart, he adapts, he’s good with vets and kids and he has guys playing like a team and better than expected.

    Before you pull out the inexperience card. Eakins was the same inflexible hardass coach with the Marlies and it almost cost them Kadri.

  85. jp says:

    Woodguy: Which is why its so awesome that Lowe offered him the job before hiring Ralph.

    That man knows winning.

    But there would be SOOOOO many rings!!!!!!!

  86. MenovOil says:

    Woodguy: Yak

    Ya, Garth Snow.

  87. anonymous says:

    Eakins and management have to go.

    Hopefully in time to save these young players from being Gagnayed.

    Take a first overall and turn him into a limited minutes checker.

    Fucking brilliant.

  88. cabbiesmacker says:

    Woodguy:

    Anyone still not trade Yak + for him?

    Yes. The Islanders. I’d imagine they’d file that offer in the “As If” folder.

  89. book¡je says:

    Sounds like there is little debate here about the following – management is behind the on ice decisions.

    That’s not good. They are delusional and see Schultz as their Coffey.

  90. book¡je says:

    Schultz has gotten worse from last year, no?

  91. Yeti says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    That was great. It would be even better if you both did the ratings each week, and put them side by side for comparison.

  92. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    commonfan14:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    He really couldn’t have looked any more lost or weak in how he answered the first question and then flat-out ran from the second one.

    Not an inspiring scene.

    Oh. I see.

    I interpreted that moment really, really differently than you.

    I don’t think he was lost at all.

    I think he was

    a) trying not to bury his player in public (pretty admirable sentiment)

    b) notice the first person plural… “when WE see fit”… that can mean the coaching staff and/or management. I’m guessing Eakins didn’t feel like publicly saying management has been asking Schultz and Nikitin to get passes in “to play through it.”

  93. book¡je says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I agree, I have a hard time thinking that the guy who admired and hired Dellow doesn’t understand that Marincin > Schultz.

    I suspect that at some point, pride will start messing with him and he will coach the team to play the way he wants and that will get him fired pretty damn quickly.

    LT’s comments about controlled rebuild – i.e. no concern for today, only for 2 years from now – is starting to look obvious and I am afraid we lose Hall,Petry, Marincin, and RNH because of it and damage Yakupov and other rookies.

    Hopefully after about 17-18 Katz realizes that its not working.

  94. oliveoilers says:

    Alsker: Honesty, there’s something new…hope he’s still an Oiler next week

    Perron for coach, GM and POHO! And you guys want to trade one our only NHL players? LOL, only one that other teams see as we do, outside Hall.

  95. PhrankLee says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I can’t wait for the presser where coach updates injuries and goes on to say something to the effect of…”Look, of course we want everyone to block shots….we just want our guys to block shots “the right way”… He will roast Poo. Maybe he will not mean to but he will.

    Justin Schultz is bad at hockey. I listen to DE talking about the kid wanting to do someting, get something…and less would have been more in this instance. So on and so forth…He referenced Schultz putting himself so far out of the play it would be humanly impossible to recover position. And this is based on coach (and the ubiquitous “we”) assessing roster spots that are “won”.

    This guy has to fall on his sword and jeopardize his once bright future as Bicycle Short Wearing Nutrition Whisperer Guru Coach Of The Future With Old School Attitude And Systems That Bleed Goals Against In Highly Embarrassing Fashion.

    It’s so bad I am starting to pity DE.

  96. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    PhrankLee: I can’t wait for the presser where coach updates injuries and goes on to say something to the effect of…”Look, of course we want everyone to block shots….we just want our guys to block shots “the right way”… He will roast Poo. Maybe he will not mean to but he will.

    I don’t follow this part. Why do you think Eakins would roast Pouliot?

  97. linkfromhyrule says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I’m guessing Eakins didn’t feel like publicly saying management has been asking Schultz and Nikitin to get passes in “to play through it.

    9 million dollars and a 5th round pick is a high price for being wrong.

  98. gcw_rocks says:

    In a previous post you asked if we thought Eakins is a lunk head. Go look at Woodguy’s player grades over at cult of hockey. Check Marincin and Petry. Then check how many more minutes Schultz played than that pairing. The prosecution rests.

    For bonus fun, that a look at the team winning percentage chart for the Oilers at the link below: http://www.sportingcharts.com/nhl/teams/4959/edmonton-oilers/#Team%20Winning%20%25$SeasonMax=9999&SeasonMin=1990

    Current Oilers are below Tambo level. I don’t think oilers fans are enjoying this controlled rebuild.

  99. linkfromhyrule says:

    Woodguy:
    Bruce lost his mind and let me do the player grades at the Cult of Hockey:

    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2014/11/22/edmonton-oilers-player-grades-yet-another-home-defeat-as-oil-lose-pouliot-game-plot/

    WG great job on the player grades. You lived up to the lofty standards of the Cult of Hockey I would say! Schultz was by far the worst D last night, and inexplicably still lead in TOI. Man this team

  100. PhrankLee says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Because he is a jackass. We have lost our pursuit guy. The big guy who sets the pace on the forcheck.

    Who is big, skilled, defensively sound with an offensive uptick equal to or nearing average for a #4 pick? Who steps in for him? Nobody.
    MSM will ask the inane question..”do you miss having (aforementioned forward) in the line up? Do you regret wanting your top-end guys to block shots…? I dont know. I just feel this presser coming. By the way, you are missed in these infernal pages. Stick around.

  101. Kmart99 says:

    Stepped away from the TV and Oilogosphere for a record 11 hours… Fuck is Eakins a fucking dumbass.
    Last night’s game was so goddamn winnable it was painful.

    One thing I (used to) believe is that coaches play the players that are ‘going’ on any given night. Last night petry and marincin were KILLING The Devils and deserved 30+ mins each. They might not be a 1-2 pairing, but against the garbage Devils they sure looked it.
    Jultz, Nikitin, Ebs, and Ference were NOT. Those guys needed to be kept off the ice as much as possible.

    It was just so frigging obvious, even in the first, that if Jultz was allowed out there he was going to cost this team the game.

    Brief positive note: I thought Hall and Draisaitl showed signs of good chemistry (off and on)

    Eakins needs to see that the pieces are there to bring this team out of the basement, clearly not in to the playoffs, but definitely out of the bottom 10.

    Jultz is a hockey player in the NHL. Staples may advocate that his scoring chance +/- is good, but what about the conversion%’s of the scoring chances he creates vs gives up? The guy cannot finish at this level, that much seems clear. Fuck him and the horse.

    Rant Part 2: Systems

    My theory is that Eakins is misusing analytics. We know that entering the zone by skating it in and maintaining possession is far more likely to lead to a goal then a dump in right? We also know that scoring off the rush is much more likely than off of a cycle or dump in right? Stats don’t lie. Hell, look at all the goals against the Oilers, over 50% scored off the rush. Seems simple.
    I believe Eakins looked at the numbers and said “Simple, from now on we will never dump and chase unless we are absolutely forced to, and we will try and score off the rush. Furthermore, we need our d men always joining the rush in order to increase the chance to score off the rush.”.

    Well guess fucking what, THE OILERS ARE THE TEAM GIVING UP THE BEST CHANCES OFF THE RUSH. 2 on 1s, 3 on 2s all day. I’m convinced the opposition knows the Oilers are trying to skate it in all the time, and they are aware of the best way to defend against the rush, give them the dump in for free and out up a wall at the blue. What happens? Turnovers and odd man rush opportunities for the opposition. The dump in, and the trap may be boring hockey strategies that are relatively ineffective on the surface, but they open up the door to being given odd man rushes. Nothing frustrates me more than playing against a trapping team. Eventually I will start to cheat for opportunities out of frustration and when I do, that opens the door to mistakes and the opposition gets the chances I wanted all game.

    Our team rarely looks dangerous on the rush because the other man knows it’s coming.
    Right now, I just want this team to simplify, play the trap, dump it in, and skate it in when the lane is there.

    I really don’t care about players’ p/60, I care about winning. And if the Oilers have to do it by trying to with. 1-0 then so be it.

    I’d like Eakins to stand in front of his team and say “I think we all need to look in the mirror, myself included, and recognize that, despite our best efforts, we have not implemented a winning strategy so far. I’m not too big to recognize and neither should any of you be. Not to say that everything we’ve been teaching is wrong but that, for this group, it is not working. Myself and Craig are going to be tweaking the system because we believe the season is not lost. (It is). We will be incorpoating a tighter defensive strategy to limit the odd man rushes. ” That system is called The Trap. ” It involves a frustrating amount of neutral zone play, fewer goals for, and fewer chances. It will however, lead to far fewer goals against, and the offensive chances we DO get, will be of the 5 bell variety because they will be born out of frustration by the opposition. It will cause them to try and force the issue by activating d men unnecessarily, trying to cheat for breakaways unnecessarily, and skating it in when the option to do so is not available.”

  102. cabbiesmacker says:

    PhrankLee:
    ,

    I can’t wait for the presser where coach updates injuries and goes on to say something to the effect of…”Look, of course we want everyone to block shots….we just want our guys to block shots “the right way”… He will roast Poo. Maybe he will not mean to but he will.

    Justin Schultz is bad at hockey.I listen to DE talking about the kid wanting to do someting, get something…and less would have been more in this instance. So on and so forth…He referenced Schultz putting himself so far out of the play it would be humanly impossible to recover position. And this is based on coach (and the ubiquitous “we”) assessing roster spots that are “won”.

    This guy has to fall on his sword and jeopardize his once bright future as Bicycle Short Wearing Nutrition Whisperer Guru Coach Of The Future With Old School Attitude And Systems That Bleed Goals Against In Highly Embarrassing Fashion.

    It’s so bad I am starting to pity DE.

    Nice try, Steve Simmons

  103. Lowetide says:

    Bohologo:
    So, if the Oilers tie a can to Eakins today (or next week), what happens to Tyler Dellow?

    Not trying to be a dink here, but I’d hate to see a possible element of improvement be so quickly discarded.

    I think he’s tied to the coach. The Oilers would do well to keep him on and listen to him, though. Those possession numbers don’t come easy.

    GDT for ‘Hawks game is up.

  104. PhrankLee says:

    cabbiesmacker,

    Ha. It’s funny cause I live in Toronto. It’s not funny cause I live in Toronto. My pillow is wet from tears till 3 am. Then i have to get up for work! It’s worse than a hangover! The media here is oblivious of Edmonton and it’s struggle. Rod Phillips isn’t mincing words. Nice.

  105. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    PhrankLee: Because he is a jackass. We have lost our pursuit guy. The big guy who sets the pace on the forcheck.

    Are you suggesting Eakins is to blame for Pouliot’s injury?

    That’s pretty weird.

    PhrankLee: MSM will ask the inane question..”do you miss having (aforementioned forward) in the line up? Do you regret wanting your top-end guys to block shots…?

    Could be… but the MSM loves shot blocking. Gregor very recently had a post on fighting in which he talked about how no one complains about shot blocking (which also leads to injury) because it is also awesome.

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