BEHIND CLOSED DOORS

You never know what happens behind closed doors. An outsider can project and speculate and assume and gossip, but you simply don’t know what you don’t know. We MAY have gotten a peek inside the Oilers room this weekend courtesy Joanne Ireland (who might be the best reporter in town now).

  • Taylor Hall: “A new coach isn’t going to come in here and not let in seven goals as a team. I’m saying with all honesty, I don’t want to play for anyone else. For Dallas to take the brunt of the blame … wouldn’t be fair to him. It’s on us as players.” Source

It sounds genuine to me, Hall could have said less or used words with less iron. “I’m saying with all honesty” is a very specific thing and I think it’s reasonable to assume that Dallas Eakins hasn’t lost the room.

WHAT ARE THE PROBLEMS

  1. Can’t Buy a Save
  2. Insane breakdowns or lapses in judgement are rife
  3. The puck isn’t going in

WHAT CAN THEY DO?

  1. They need someone to make a save
  2. They need a center (despite the positive Corsi numbers)
  3. They need the defense to tighten up (part of the problem is surely Nikitin’s injury)

mckenzie mactThere has been progress. The wins are lagging, the coverage issues are real and spectacular and Saturday was the second of a back-to-back and the end of a three-in-four. None of it matters if they don’t start winning games, though. A vote of confidence (which will come today) buys you a couple of weeks, and after that something has to give. A trade? That’s my guess.

mckenzie mact1

dreger mact

Since it makes no sense to trade Nuge, I’ll suggest the ‘no-trade list’ is probably Hall, Nuge and Gordon. The key exclusion? Definitely Jordan Eberle. If the Oilers are seriously offering Jordan Eberle I expect the return would be substantial. He’s a fine young player with an established level of ability, and the kind of player who is not often traded. Philadelphia has long been rumored as a team interested, I wonder if something around ‘Eberle for Couturier’ is possible.

I don’t see it going that far. I suspect David Perron and Jeff Petry are as good as gone, with the Oilers elevating Nail Yakupov to the second scoring line (well, the line that is supposed to score). It is interesting to see the thought process here for MacT. If he trades a winger, Leon can move over and Nail can move up, plus the center should be able to make hay with the remaining wingmen. I don’t know that we’ll see Nuge-Hall broken up in this scenario, but if the C is strong enough and the Oilers keep Eberle we could see Nuge-Ebs and New Guy-Hall as tandems.

TRADING PROSPECTS

kings4.jpg

Whenever we get to a point like this, it’s important to remember the prospects who arrived after the current GM. A man like Martin Marincin has far less cover than someone like Darnell Nurse, and MacT has in fact (imo) adopted Oscar Klefbom as one of his own based on verbal. So, among prospects who could go this week, my list of top players includes:

  • Martin Marincin
  • Martin Gernat
  • Anton Lander
  • Tyler Pitlick
  • Marco Roy

Only Roy (who is hurt again and hasn’t progressed as hoped as of yet) makes the list among picks during the MacT era. Since time began that’s true, general managers have an attachment to the players they’ve acquired since arriving on the scene. Makes sense, I’m sure it would be the same for any of us. Bottom line: Martin Marincin is on shaky ground as an Oiler this morning. In my opinion.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

blunt33

10 this morning, TSN 1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • 10:05 Scott Burnside ESPN. Oilers rumors, Jack Johnson, Bruins callup David Pastrnak.
  • 10:25 Brian King, NonStopSportsPicks. Eskimos lost WF, what a year. Offseason questions include Mike Reilly’s health.
  • 10:45 NFL results, open line.
  • 11:00 Dennis King. Trade rumors, weekend disaster, vote of confidence for Eakins.
  • 11:25 Open line
  • 11:45 Dave Jamieson, Eskimos and Oilers weekend.

If anything breaks, we’ll have it. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide_ on twitter. Lt. Eric is back, giddyup.

 

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212 Responses to "BEHIND CLOSED DOORS"

« Older Comments
  1. cc says:

    FTO:
    Anyone else catching Eric Belanger on twitter? Basically 4-5 players (core guys) are the big problem that Edmonton needs to fix, have a sneaking suspicion he’s talking about all of out number ones. Pretty much advocates trading Hall. Says you would get alot for him…..

    I would hope so Belanger.

    I mentioned this a couple years back (That Hall was a cancer in the dressing room) and because I wouldn’t reveal the source I took some heat from LT. No problem.

    I wasn’t a big Hall fan back then and to this day I wish the Oilers had taken Tyler Seguin instead. That said I do appreciate the speed and skill level of Hall but still feel he turns the puck over far to often which kills a rush or some sustained pressure where they might capitalize.

    book¡je: Let’s go burn Halls baby furniture!!

    I too wonder if Hall is the key.

  2. Магия 10 says:

    Lance: Years ago my wife told me that the oilers will never win with Taylor hall.

    book¡je: Let’s go burn Halls baby furniture!!

    lance: Or, find a coach with a deep understanding of people, with a track record of over performing at each level, and then not fire him after 48 games?

    I’m so into that non-sequitur. You have the keys to the DeLorean, handy? Will I be back in time to kindle Nuge’s crib?

  3. Ed Zackley says:

    book¡je: Let’s go burn Halls baby furniture!!

    Whoa whoa whoa WHOA! Ebs has the upper bunk guys – c’mon.

  4. lance says:

    Магия 10: I’m so into that non-sequitur. You have the keys to the DeLorean, handy? Will I be back in time to kindle Nuge’s crib?

    At a real keyboard I can try again.

    First, I’m going to describe myself as a believer in people’s ability to change. Be it a Spiritual belief or because I grew up in the home of a psychologist, I do believe that while one may be uncoachable in their youth, its not necessarily true that they will be a coaching nightmare in the future. I hear clearly Crazy Coach’s description of the dark side guys, and Ive seen people go through incredible changes. I’ve been part of a perennial high school loser team and then went on to beer league dynasties.

    So assuming a dynamic nature to people in general, while I hear the possibility that Hall and Ebs may be problems that could never win, I also think its quite possible that someone like Lindy Ruff could certainly bring change. Almost impossible for any group to switch anything ever, but I’m saying I think there’s a chance.

    Rick Carriere scared the fear of God into my son then nurtured him with gentleness. If Rick was given a green light to develop these players as though he were actually the director of player development, I just cannot possibly believe remotely that we would be seeing anything even close to what we have now.

    Which makes me think that the problem isn’t coaching, but instead its an environment where players can manifest their dark side successfully.

  5. godot10 says:

    freedomisamyth:
    The lockout season pretty much the entire first PP line played half a season together, and then came into the season in top form, with high confidence, while the rest of the league worked it’s way into getting their powerplay and PK units into top form (and in some cases, just worked on getting in game shape). That’s a huge advantage.

    Except that the second unit power play of Whitney, Gagner, Yakupov, Smyth, and random player was better than the first unit power play.

    The league began overplaying Nugent-Hopkins, when they realized that Schultz’s shot wasn’t much of a weapon about half way through the lockout season. The first unit also suffered when Horcoff got hurt. No one to win faceoffs, and less net front presence.

    The Corey Potter power play with Nugent-Hopkins (with guest appearances by Jeff Petry) the previous season was actually better than the Schultz/Nugent-Hopkins combo.

    Now that Fayne has arrived, Petry has more free time. He should be on PP#1 with Nugent-Hopkins, and Yakupov would provide the shooter Schutlz needs on PP#2.

    But both years, Krueger had two units who were killing it. They moved the puck a lot quicker. Puck movement is a harder to characterize by a statistic, but it might be as important as shot volume, which seems to be the stat which the statheads want to judge powerplays.

  6. godot10 says:

    This is MacT’s team.

    Only Petry, Eberle, Hall, and Nugent-Hopkins pre-date his return to the organization. He (allegedly) was the guy who whispered into Katz’s ear to overrule the scouts and pick Yakupov over Murray. He was in the room recruiting Schultz.

    Everyone else, including the coaches, are new.

    If it is a losing culture, the 19 new guys he brought in learnt to lose really quick.

  7. "Frank The Dog" says:

    freedomisamyth: Actually, it does not indicate that it was one of the best we’ve seen in Edmonton in a long while. It indicates that it had the highest PP% rank in relation to other teams in that season that we’ve seen in a long while. There’s a difference.

    The lockout season pretty much the entire first PP line played half a season together, and then came into the season in top form, with high confidence, while the rest of the league worked it’s way into getting their powerplay and PK units into top form (and in some cases, just worked on getting in game shape). That’s a huge advantage.

    Good point, but Krueger did that with the PP 2 years in a row.

  8. "Frank The Dog" says:

    lance: At a real keyboard I can try again.

    First, I’m going to describe myself as a believer in people’s ability to change.Be it a Spiritual belief or because I grew up in the home of a psychologist, I do believe that while one may be uncoachable in their youth, its not necessarily true that they will be a coaching nightmare in the future. I hear clearly Crazy Coach’s description of the dark side guys, and Ive seen people go through incredible changes.I’ve been part of a perennial high school loser team and then went on to beer league dynasties.

    So assuming a dynamic nature to people in general, while I hear the possibility that Hall and Ebs may be problems that could never win, I also think its quite possible that someone like Lindy Ruff could certainly bring change.Almost impossible for any group to switch anything ever, but I’m saying I think there’s a chance.

    Rick Carriere scared the fear of God into my son then nurtured him with gentleness.If Rick was given a green light to develop these players as though he were actually the director of player development, I just cannot possibly believe remotely that we would be seeing anything even close to what we have now.

    Which makes me think that the problem isn’t coaching, but instead its an environment where players can manifest their dark side successfully.

    Nice thought, but watch Taylor Hal’s interview and tell me if you honestly don’t think he is supportive of Dallas Eakins, to the point of (unsaid) considering his options were there another change in the carousel.
    http://video.oilers.nhl.com/videocenter/
    Taylor Hall RAW.

  9. Магия 10 says:

    lance: while I hear the possibility that Hall and Ebs may be problems that could never win, I also think its quite possible that someone like Lindy Ruff could certainly bring change.

    Lots of other possibilities on the initial and the current readings other than malignancy.
    Keep your stick on the ice. I’m a man, but I can change, if I have to, I guess.

  10. lance says:

    Taylor Hall RAW.

    Frank, Iirst, I love your posts. (And you too nintendo, or whatever that currently says.) And dinner is on hold until after this is done. But I logged back in for this one. And I want to say first off that I’m not trying to be didactic in anyway, but rather explain what it is I’m seeing.

    I’m currently reading “the Idiot” by Dostoyevsky. Just finished part one. Prince Myshkin initially seems a very similar character to the youngest Karamazov, and I see both of these characters in Taylor Hall. Honest gentle delicate creatures with whom you’d trust your youngest daughter. I don’t question Taylor’s ability to try, to care, to want to win. B2B mencup MVP. I get it. He definitely has a beautiful side.

    But alas, no one is so simple as to be marked completely in 140 characters. People are diverse creatures with millions of thoughts at any given moment. Wants urges and fears all play with split second changes in game flow. NHL. Its complex.

    When the game is on the line, I really believe Taylor is definitely a guy I want going into the corner. However, out of the playoffs in November Taylor may make a split second decision to change directions just enough so as to get to the puck second, and thus not get creamed. Doesn’t make Taylor either bad or good, its merely a sign that he let his sense of self protection over ride his choice to get the puck (and, consequently, smoked from behind with a host of possible outcomes, all of which are virtually completely out of his control.)

    I’m not a water cooler guy. I’m not trying to screw the man in some silent revolution because I’m running as a self employed independent artist and currently, for this month at least, still going. I don’t believe that Taylor is a water cooler guy either, but I do think that he’s torn at times, as is everyone, with making split second choices which may produce uncontrollable outcomes. Sometimes wisdom prevails over competitive drive. It happens. Doesn’t make Taylor bad.

    Myshkin seems to consistently toss caution and recklessly express his truth. The youngest brother K seemed to be largely unaware of evil intention at all.

    Surely Taylor has the capacity to be like the Prince. We all do. And really that was a big preamble to this: what is the environment that allows him to pull up as though nothing will happen?

    this is getting rhetorical.

    Tonight is portabello spears in an apple/cider vinegar ginger garlic medley and I’m not going to even begin to proof read at all.

    cheers.

  11. lance says:

    Now no one is ready to eat so maybe I can pull this all together.

    While we do develop a past, also we can change trajectory. Incremental at times, I think it all begins with virtually unseeable little binny choices. If my inclination is to lay in bed too long, and eat pancakes, say, I have the choice to give into the inclination. If I just got traded for a 5th round pick, I can actively choose to resist the temptation, or I can give into the temptation. If I give in, and know it was a bad choice, I can either repent and try and do better, or I can encourage others to justify my bad choice.

    I believe we draw our circles of friends based mostly on drugs. Rx people hang together. Alcohol people hang with other drinkers. If I’m into designer drugs, I’m going to be drawn towards others who (at least appear to) consider said drugs as socially acceptable, appropriate, and worth cash.

    Similarly, if I’m a guy who is absolutely willing to pull up in a meaningless game, I’m probably going to be drawn to others who actively choose to do the same. For me, I was never Shawn Horcoff. I’ve never lifted weights on a schedule for more than 3 days. And I never hung out with people who were avid gym attendees either. I love Nail, but I’m not him, and I never hang out with his type ever.

    We seem to hang with those who quietly accept our private behaviors. Dark side guys, to me, are those who encourage others to first accept said decisions. They’re not the dealers in the eq, they are the pushers . They encourage others to take part in said behavior, and in that way, aren’t really much like Myshkin at all.

    I don’t know remotely who is the cause of what, even in my own life, with people I’ve actually met. But what Ive seen tells me that bad behavior on the ice whilst wearing a oiler sweater is surely tolerated, and while crazy coaches’ dark side guys may or may not represent a growing tendency in any or all of the gifted kids, I believe the dark side guys are the ones who unknowingly encourage terrible team play through individual efforts for corgis and glories, and then they use popularity contest off ice to gain social status and then reinforce said behavior through no active intention of their own.

    maybe the lady thinks Taylor is already too far gone. Maybe she thinks no one is going to help him change. She’s a ducks fan and maybe just wants to see KLo fail. I don’t know.

    When self employed, the only choice is to give my best. There is no real incentive to pull up in a corner. And I’m definitely not going to encourage anyone else to even begin to reward a half effort. they say that in the CIA you gotta be married and let them film you with a hooker or you’re not getting in. I don’t think the Oilers are there. But man alive, Maybe I’m beginning to understand how that can actually start to begin.

    Closed doors. Ryan Jones knows. I’d love to share a beer with him.

  12. wintoon says:

    Is Hall a player that makes others around him better? That question is key if you are looking at a franchise cornerstone player. There is no denying that Hall is a dynamic offensive player, after all LT has christened him – Chance. However, is he a team player?

    By eye RNH is a team player and definitely makes his line mates better. Hall, on the other hand, as good as he is, has the puck die on his stick repeatedly and he makes mistakes every night that lead to opposition chances on goal. Is he buying the mantra of defensive responsibility?

    Look at some of the top talent in the league and it is evident who make others better and who are just plain good hockey players. Crosby, Toews, Kopitar, Backstrom, Getzlaf, and the Sedins all make others better. Stamkos, Kessel, Marleau, Kane, Malkini, Ovechkin, and Ryan, while exceptional talents do not make others better.Every player mentioned is elite or close to it but which ones would you choose as a foundational player for your team.

    The question then arises as to why is Hall considered untouchable?

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