OILERS AT BLUES, G24 2014-15

Leon Draisaitl played a very good game last night, I’d suggest the best we’ve seen so far this year. Small victories are big steps, so a 1-0 OT loss to the Preds and a quality performance from the latest No. 1 certainly qualifies. It’s a long, long road.

hanifan

Noah Hanifan

OILERS AT THE 2015 DRAFT

  • No. 3 overall: D Noah Hanifan, Boston College. Craig Button: Plays with a poise and guile that is exceptional. His ability to put himself in advantageous position to make plays, both defensively and offensively, allows him to impact the game in every single situation. He never seems to be rattled, rushed or hurried in his play. Skating is superb and he has great confidence and ability with the puck. Can dictate the play. Source
  • No. 33 overall: LW Ryan Gropp, Seattle Thunderbirds. Cody Nickolet: A big kid who skates extremely well for his size, regularly blowing by defenders down the left side of the ice. Owns arguably the best shot of anyone in this WHL class for the NHL Draft. His wrister is heavy and gets released in the blink of an eye. He’s not afraid to hit here and there but I wouldn’t consider him to be a power forward. Source.
  • No. 74 overall from Ottawa (Hemsky): LW Vladimir Tkachev, Moncton Wildcats. Red Line Report: Exceptionally skilled, but diminutive winger. Tiny and does not have a big frame to fill out, but he’s incredibly elusive and instinctivearound the offensive end. Super fast hands and could stickhandle in a phone booth. Source.
  • No. 93 overall: G Jordan Papirny, Brandon Wheat Kings. Cody Nickolet: Papirny is a kid that I had named as an Eastern Conference ‘honourable mention’ for the 2014 NHL Draft, noting that if he was 6’2 he probably would have been a midround pick. Last season he had a brilliant second half for the Wheat Kings, as well as a dynamite postseason. While he didn’t get drafted, he turned that performance into an NHL camp invite with the Montreal Canadiens. This season he’s shown improvement in both his save percentage and goals against average, also owning the 2nd best winning percentage of any WHL goalie (with Jackson Whistle sitting 1st). Source.
  • No. 123 overall.
  • No. 153 overall.
  • No. 183 overall.

klefbom screen capture

 TONIGHT

Depending on what time they flew out, got in and went to sleep, this is probably going to be a very difficult game for the Oilers. I wouldn’t rule out a wallop ala the ‘Hawks on the weekend, as the top line played a ton last night. I suspect we’ll see Justin Schultz draw back in tonight and Klefbom come back out, because the Oilers haven’t made two logical decisions in a row for awhile when it comes to blue. I’d suggest:

  • Klefbom-Petry
  • Marcincin-Fayne
  • Ference-Schultz

with Nikitin and Aulie on the outside looking in.

spector2Mr. Spector’s question is one a lot of people are asking these days. HOW can this be? Well, the great thing about analytics is that once we learn the basics, we must spend a little time with ‘context’ and in this case that’s a biggie. The Oilers’ Corsi and Fenwick numbers (the possession stats) are solid and are not cratering as they did one year ago. However, there are problems that are blocking the success of the team:

  • Poor goaltending (although Fasth is coming along now, we can all see it)
  • A toothless power play (on full display last night)
  • Lack of execution/poor decisions by blue (far less last  night sans Mr. Schultz)
  • Indifference of forwards in offering support (on full display last night)
  • No one is going to the net (on full display last night)

No one ever said ‘fix the Corsi and everything falls in line’ and if they did it was a lie. You can’t win games if your goalie sucks, hell boys we knew that in pee wee. How can this be? There’s still work to do, but thanks for asking.

mact common7

COOLING OFF

  • Elliotte Friedman:  “I think it was a pretty wild week in Edmonton. They had that terrible game last Saturday night against Chicago. On Sunday, I think there was a lot of soul-searching. ‘We’ve got to tear it down a bit here.’ And I think during the week they kind of went through some other thinking, like, ‘This is a dangerous time for us. We can make the kind of bad trade that sets us back even further.’ So I think they kind of put the brakes on it a little bit and said, ‘Let’s really think this thing through.’  I think there’s a lot of teams trying to find out if they would deal Eberle. I think Edmonton is in a point of view where if we’re going to deal one of our core players – I don’t think they really want to – they’re going to sit down there and think is now the right time to do it, or do you wait until the summer, when there’s more teams that maybe have the cap room to make the move, and let’s let not make a decision that hurts us even more even long term.” Source

Makes sense. If you’re trading Eberle for Berglund, then it’s not going to go well in our town. If the Oilers can’t make it work this year, the Mr. Katz is right to put the breaks on making a big deal. I do think we need to have a conversation about Craig MacTavish and hockey operations, though. As you know, I’m absolutely a fan of MacTavish and think he may actually be the smartest man in the room most times, but bottom line is this team is not turning north. Should Mr. Katz fire the entire department and start anew?

I don’t think he should, but it’s certainly something to discuss. For me, I believe there’s enough here to keep the group and address need next summer at center and on defense. They’ll have a buyout (Nikitin) and may have to trade a centerpiece (Eberle) but those things are best done in the clear days of the offseason when everything is set and you can project into the future (or that’s the plan).

The Edmonton Oilers under Kevin Lowe, Steve Tambellini and Craig MacTavish have rarely established balance during this entire century. And when they had it, the candle blew out almost immediately. That my friends is more than a trend. It’s an established way of doing business. So, if MacTavish and crew are staying, then they absolutely must do business differently. Is that possible? Is it POSSIBLE for them to be patient and send Nurse to the AHL while Hanifan continues his college career?

I don’t know the answer. I can’t tell you what’s true.

dog funny funny funny

LAUGHING STOCK

I wanted to take a second to talk about the sheer number and force of Oilers smack talk on television, twitter, radio et al. I’ve honestly never seen it this bad and I saw some pretty bad goalies in the WHA era. Some very creative people are coming after the Oilers with funny funny stuff, but it can also hurt if you’re an Oilers fan. Some commentators are taking shots at Edmonton right now, city and team, and there’s no push back because what can an Oilers fan say about it?

Well, I’ll tell you what I do in a case of this kind. I remember. If a commentator is ripping on my city, I remember. During the 2006 SC final, a national media person spent an entire segment of a show talking smack about Edmonton. I have not watched or promoted that show since, and will not until drawing my final breath. Who are his sponsors? No idea. I haven’t watched the show since 2006.

I choose to live in Edmonton for many reasons, not the least of which is that I love it. Now, I have to go outside and shovel the damn walk and then drive through insane roads to get to work, and then come home and shovel some more. That’s not a great thing, I’ll grant you that much. And tonight, I’ll watch my team get taken apart by the St. Louis Blues and I’ll own that too. It is my town, and the Oilers are my team.

Edmonton and the Oilers are in a down period right now, but please remember something important: We’re proud of our city, and we’re proud of our Oilers—even these Oilers, especially these Oilers. If you can’t understand that, if you think it’s open season, you don’t know us at all. For those piling on: We know who you are, and we will remember. Stop it. It’s beneath you.

tomei33

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

We begin at 10 this morning, TSN 1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Steve Lansky, Big Mouth Sports. Oilers in a hole, Alfredsson retires, how about those Raptors?
  • Roger Powell, who will run The Patch for the Camrose Canada Cup of Curling next week. Fabulous time to be had, we’ll preview.
  • Ryan Batty, Copper and Blue.  He’s in Vancouver for the Grey Cup, we’ll talk about that and the Oilers.
  • Paul Almeida, Saturday Sports Extra. Paul chimes in on the Oilers, and we preview the Saturday show.
  • Dave Jamieson, TSN 1260. Grey Cup 2014 this weekend. It’ll be a blast, and we’ll preview.

10-1260 on text, @Lowetide_ on twitter.

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449 Responses to "OILERS AT BLUES, G24 2014-15"

« Older Comments
  1. Pouzar says:

    Woodguy:
    Oilers took 2 points from in back to back nights from the #3 and #4 teams in the WC.

    All we are going to hear about and read about it how they still haven’t won against the WC.

    They worked hard both nights, deserved better in NSH and got lucky with good goaltending but earned the point tonight.

    If you don’t see the last two games as a massive improvement in what’s ailing the Oilers (besides the deployment of the D), they you are either not paying attention or so married to your narrative that having blinders on would improve your sight.

    I absolutely do. But not icing the best team since day one and throwing accountability out the window is all I can take. And lollygager is the poster child for it.

  2. TemujinBC says:

    Scrivens with the .902 tonight… sure seemed like more

  3. RexLibris says:

    Woodguy:
    Flyers and Jackets both shut out tonight.

    Flyers 3-6-1 and Jackets 2-6-2 in the last 10.

    Oilers aren’t the only team feeling pressure.

    tick, tick, tick………

    I think the Flyers crack first.

    Columbus can afford to wait until they are healthy and have the net effect of a trade without losing any assets.

    The Flyers, however, are six shades of loony at the top.

    Ron Hextall negotiating a trade with Oilers GM Craig MacTavish…

    I don’t think my 1987 self would have believed it was possible.

  4. Marcus Oilerius says:

    Woodguy:
    Flyers and Jackets both shut out tonight.

    Flyers 3-6-1 and Jackets 2-6-2 in the last 10.

    Oilers aren’t the only team feeling pressure.

    tick, tick, tick………

    For the media slamming Edmonton for picking Yakupov… does Ryan Murray really look all that much better? He’s made of glass. He isn’t the most impressive defender out of his draft class, either.

  5. Pouzar says:

    RexLibris: I think the Flyers crack first.

    Columbus can afford to wait until they are healthy and have the net effect of a trade without losing any assets.

    The Flyers, however, are six shades of loony at the top.

    Ron Hextall negotiating a trade with Oilers GM Craig MacTavish…

    I don’t think my 1987 self would have believed it was possible.

    Jezzuz Rex…you just wrote my entire next post.

  6. RicaGreaser says:

    Small sample sizes be damned. Gassed after a strong effort last night + icing a lineup featuring two completely shit D I hoped would be HS’d tonight = PDO GOLD. Go figure.

    Goodnight all.

  7. RexLibris says:

    Pouzar: I absolutely do. But not icing the best team since day one and throwing accountability out the window is all I can take. And lollygager is the poster child for it.

    Take out Nikitin and Schultz, put in Marincin and Aulie and keep Klefbom.

    As WG noted, the sooner they trade Justin Schultz the better.

    This management group needs to have these things taken away before they realize how poor the position is being filled, in much the same way Gagner had to be traded before they were able to see how unfitting he was as a 2C and that replacements for that position are kind of a big deal.

    They think Schultz could be “something” and until they are forced to send him away and play someone who performs at a higher level on a more consistent basis they won’t see it.

  8. Woodguy says:

    G Money,

    The SO is a coin flip. 4×4 most definitely is not

    No.

    I bet on hockey so its in my best interest to know these things.

    Over the long run, OT is a coin flip.

  9. RexLibris says:

    Pouzar,

    It’s that keystroke software I secretly installed on your computer.

    Have you ever considered online banking? Just a thought. You know its pretty convenient…

    😉

  10. RexLibris says:

    Woodguy:
    G Money,

    The SO is a coin flip. 4×4 most definitely is not

    No.

    I bet on hockey so its in my best interest to know these things.

    Over the long run, OT is a coin flip.

    Great, so when can the Oilers stop getting tails on a double-headed coin?

  11. RexLibris says:

    NEWSFLASH

    Lars Von Trier admits he wrote many of his screenplays while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

    I am truly shocked.

  12. Woodguy says:

    TemujinBC:
    Scrivens with the .902 tonight… sure seemed like more

    They hit a lot of posts and missed close a bunch.

    Hey, its an improvement on his season ave. amiright?

  13. Woodguy says:

    RexLibris: I think the Flyers crack first.

    Columbus can afford to wait until they are healthy and have the net effect of a trade without losing any assets.

    The Flyers, however, are six shades of loony at the top.

    Ron Hextall negotiating a trade with Oilers GM Craig MacTavish…

    I don’t think my 1987 self would have believed it was possible.

    I really don’t like much on PHI except the obvious guys and I don’t think they’re available.

    Never underestimate the crazy in PHI though, that comes straight from the top.

    Ed Snider is battling cancer and turns 82 in January. He wants to win now.

    He owned the team when they won in 74 and 75 and not since.

    That’s a long bloody time.

  14. Woodguy says:

    RexLibris: Great, so when can the Oilers stop getting tails on a double-headed coin?

    How long is a string?

  15. SK Oiler Fan says:

    I mentioned 2 weeks ago that this team will not win a game with all of Nikitin, Chuck, and scrivens in the lineup. Scrivens said FU, but I’m still comfortable with that prediction. I’ll start up on scotch if it happens

  16. Pouzar says:

    RexLibris: Take out Nikitin and Schultz, put in Marincin and Aulie and keep Klefbom.

    As WG noted, the sooner they trade Justin Schultz the better.

    This management group needs to have these things taken away before they realize how poor the position is being filled, in much the same way Gagner had to be traded before they were able to see how unfitting he was as a 2C and that replacements for that position are kind of a big deal.

    They think Schultz could be “something” and until they are forced to send him away and play someone who performs at a higher level on a more consistent basis they won’t see it.

    You see….you did it again…I was about to reference Gagner in my mini rant about about Schultz. Very similar situations there imo.

  17. Pouzar says:

    RexLibris:
    Pouzar,

    It’s that keystroke software I secretly installed on your computer.

    Have you ever considered online banking? Just a thought. You know its pretty convenient…

    You want nothing to do with my bank accounts, unless of course yer in a giving mood!

  18. godot10 says:

    RexLibris: Great, so when can the Oilers stop getting tails on a double-headed coin?

    Like I said the other day, go read the opening scene of Tom Stoppard’s “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead”. It answers the question.

  19. Gret99zky says:

    Woodguy: How long is a string?

    nine games, apparently.

  20. godot10 says:

    Lowetide: LOVE Hall being a stand up guy about his coach. I love that.

    Though it is showing up the people who are not stand up guys and who are in hiding and refuse to be publicly accountable…i.e. MacT (and Lowe).

    Heck, Lowe and MacT even had to drag Gretzky out again today, after dragging him out in October.

  21. G Money says:

    Woodguy,

    Please show your work. Your statement goes completely at odds with what I see on the ice. The better team tends to get better chances and more Corgis over the long term, and that should then correlate with wins over the long term. The fact that good teams sometimes have bad OT records or bad teams have good records is irrelevant. That can happen in regulation too.

    I don’t see why anyone should believe team quality doesn’t matter in OT without some pretty stringent proof to back it up.

  22. Gret99zky says:

    Jack Michaels ‏@EdmontonJack 2h2 hours ago
    Martin Brodeur reunites with old teammate Mark Fayne after 4-3 OTL in STL. 7 of 9 straight losses decided by 1 goal.

    Seven of Nine.

    Get the picture ready, LT.

  23. GCW_69 says:

    Woodguy:
    Oilers took 2 points from in back to back nights from the #3 and #4 teams in the WC.

    All we are going to hear about and read about it how they still haven’t won against the WC.

    They worked hard both nights, deserved better in NSH and got lucky with good goaltending but earned the point tonight.

    If you don’t see the last two games as a massive improvement in what’s ailing the Oilers (besides the deployment of the D), they you are either not paying attention or so married to your narrative that having blinders on would improve your sight.

    It’s two games. Maybe this is improvement or maybe this is another blip before another crash. This team has not earned the benefit of the doubt.

    We also can’t lose sight of the fact they a running at a 55 point pace. What’s more indicative of their true play, two games or twenty four?

    And, as you note, the coaching staff continues to torpedo the team with the way it deploys it defence.

  24. GCW_69 says:

    Finally got to read the pre game. Oilers drafting third? Optimism continues to reign…

  25. Hammers says:

    For me I’m OK as I saw a good response after the 2nd started and another game I enjoyed . We got and stayed in it ( St Louis is a hell of a team ) . In fact if I could see games that I saw improvement , a point and still in the running for a top 3 pick I will accept it . I just feel for the players . Can anyone imagine right now all the Western conference teams saying we don’t want to be the team that looses to the Oilers . . If McT trades Perron or Schultz for players that help build this team I’m content until next year .

  26. Adam Wu says:

    Lowetide,

    Sustain the level of play they demonstrated in these last 2 games and both the next two games ought to be eminently winnale…

  27. bretskigretzky says:

    If you’re sick and tired of watching a pathetic product on the ice and long for days of taking pride in being represented by a team that puts in an effort even if they don’t have the same amount of talent as their opponent, voice your opinion.

    It’s time Tier Two Fans had a voice.

    http://www.indiegogo.com/project/preview/f3b5a2c5

  28. anonymous says:

    I don’t think Hall standing up for Eakins means anything. Why wouldn’t he or Eberle for that matter? A new coach likely holds them accountable. The double standards with this team are sickening.

    Clean house. Nicholson for interim G.M. And Ramsey for interim coach. No more former oilers. The cronyism here is sickening.

  29. SwedishPoster says:

    Hall should have been accounted for minuses on all 4 goals against since he got off the ice for two of the GAs, both times after he was the one losing the puck. He made some elite offensive plays but as he plays now he is not a player who wins you hockey games. He hurts the team so much with bad giveaways, not recovering fast enough after said giveaways, taking shifts that are too long and making bad defensive reads. He needs to figure it out. And quickly. He’s our best offensive player by far but as long as he keeps playing like a rookie straight out of junior when it comes to puck management and D, he’s just an average NHLer as far as overall play goes and not someone you win with.

    Same thing pretty much goes for Ebs only with less offensive power, the way he plays now he’s just not a guy you win with. Cetainly not on your first line. He’s never been very good dfenensively but he’s not even that efficient as an offensive player anymore, he makes elite plays from time to time where his incredible skill is on display and he has a knack for gathering points, constantly playing with Hall&RNH ofc helps, but he is good at making thev little plays that leads to goals. But he used to feel like much more of a threat before, a few seasons ago he was the one on that line who pushed the river, before Hall arrived.
    He just doesn’t do that anymore, he’s not creating nearly as much as he used to. He’s at his best when he uses his hands and skill to get into traffic and from there his shot and playmaking skills are such that he can make elite plays despite being under pressure. He hardly ever goes into traffic anymore, he never takes a hit to make a play, he never sacrifices his body to get a better shooting angle. Instead he moves out towards the perimeter or gets rid of the puck before the D-man gets to close.

    RNH is better on the defensive side than the other star forwards, though hardly the elite defensive forward some see in him, I’ll give him that he plays with two wingers who are awful on D, he has to cover a lot of ground to make up for them. No matter how you may grade his D it’s miles better than Hall&Eberle and he has far fewer stupid giveaways and lazy plays.

  30. "Frank The Dog" says:

    anonymous:
    I don’t think Hall standing up for Eakins means anything. Why wouldn’t he or Eberle for that matter?A new coach likely holds them accountable. The double standards with this team are sickening.

    Clean house. Nicholson for interim G.M. And Ramsey for interim coach. No more former oilers. The cronyism here is sickening.

    If Ramsay’s part of the team is humming then you’d have a stronger case. But it’s not.

    Secondly, firing Dallas and MacT means losing Hall, guaranteed and likely other top players as well, and don’t expect a lineup of free agents wanting to come here.

    This core is improving, if this continues they will be winning against the WC teams and the EC teams.

  31. PhrankLee says:

    Is it just me or should Justin have simply skated (everyone says he is great at it) into the guy? Instead he catches him, goes past, turns around to “defend” and lets the guy rip it. While committing to no more than 2 feeble stick checks. This one is on coach. Riverboat gamble. Poor choice of 4×4. This guy is a futility GIF in person.

  32. anonymous says:

    “Frank The Dog”,

    I don’t think you’d lose Hall by cleaning house. If you did then that’s a tell on Hall and I’d say trade him away.

    Just to clarify, not praising Ramsey’s work. He’s not connected and hiring a veteran coach should wait until the offseason. Throw whatever you have to at Babcock. Might be wishful thinking but he’d be able to demand accountability at the least.

  33. sliderule says:

    SwedishPoster,

    All day.

    Hall made great plays to set up goals and then in both games stays on too long ,gets gassed and basically can’t even move his feet..

    The coach after preds game defends him probably because he knows it’s his job to make sure that doesn’t happen.

    Hall isn’t the problem but the way he and others are playing is and that’s on coach to make them accountable so it can be corrected.

  34. oliveoilers says:

    Woodguy:
    G Money,

    The SO is a coin flip. 4×4 most definitely is not

    No.

    I bet on hockey so its in my best interest to know these things.

    Over the long run, OT is a coin flip.

    So if OT is a coin flip, why not put your worst players out and rest your good ones? And only in the long run? So it conforms to normal hockey laws, such as the best players will win, in the short term, but not over time? How is this possible? Are you sure your not just being a little bit contrary? for it’s own sake?

    I agree it can be a crap shoot at times, but 4 x 4, I would think the better team still tends to win.

  35. oliveoilers says:

    “Frank The Dog”: If Ramsay’s part of the team is humming then you’d have a stronger case. But it’s not.

    Secondly, firing Dallas and MacT means losing Hall, guaranteed and likely other top players as well, and don’t expect a lineup of free agents wanting to come here.

    This core is improving, if this continues they will be winning against the WC teams and the EC teams.

    How, exactly, is it guaranteed that firing DE and MacT means losing Hall? Do you have proof? Did Sidney Crosby demand a trade from Pittsburgh this summer?

  36. A'bunadh says:

    PhrankLee:
    Is it just me or should Justin have simply skated (everyone says he is great at it) into the guy? Instead he catches him, goes past, turns around to “defend” and lets the guy rip it. While committing to no more than 2 feeble stick checks. This one is on coach. Riverboat gamble. Poor choice of 4×4.This guy is a futility GIF in person.

    As a team it doesn’t seem to be in our makeup to hit someone to separate them from the puck. Jultz was focused solely on getting in front of him as opposed to knocking him off the puck. I watch the Oilers offensively and wonder why we don’t get the space to make plays, but when the opposition is checking us as opposed to just getting in front of us it makes a big difference. Hall cuts to the net he’s usually on his ass. Opposition cuts to the net we are swinging at the puck.

  37. wintoon says:

    It is becoming apparent that the Oilers biggest defensive weakness was identified by Lindy Ruff, the current coach of the Dallas Stars, a few years ago. Namely Taylor Hall.

    Last night he made a couple of sublime passes to set up Oiler goals. Great.

    He also has become a turnover machine and a very high risk player any where near the offensive or defensive blue lines. His line changes are ill timed, too late and so sloppy that those coming on the ice are out of the play as soon as their skates touch the ice. I am sure that Draisaitl is really happy for the two minuses that Hall gifted him last night.

    Taylor Hall is a gifted athlete with all the physical tools to be a star in the NHL but his mental tools do not appear to be at the same level. He is making the same types of errors Lindy Ruff identified years ago. Is Hall at a point where we start to question whether he has five years experience or one year of experience five times?

    LT calls Hall “Chance” because of his offensive skill level. I believe a more appropriate name would be “Chancy” because of his approach to the game at both ends of the ice.

  38. Lowetide says:

    With respect, and Hall had a chaotic game, I think some of this anger may have to do with the player endorsing the coach. Oilers fans want blood it appears. Taylor Hall is NOT an outstanding two-way player, none of these kids are (unless the Nuge has graduated, and I think he’s close).

  39. wintoon says:

    The criticism of Hall has absolutely nothing to do with the coach and everything to do with observations made watching the Oilers play. When you stated Taylor Hall is not an outstanding two-way player; you were correct. At this juncture he is not even an adequate two-way player.

    Of concern is that while others are held accountable by the coach for repeated errors, Hall seems to get a pass. There is no question he is an offensive talent but he is also repeatedly a defensive liability. He doesn’t need to be a HS, it may be enough to sit him for a shift or two.

  40. oliveoilers says:

    Lowetide:
    With respect, and Hall had a chaotic game, I think some of this anger may have to do with the player endorsing the coach. Oilers fans want blood it appears. Taylor Hall is NOT an outstanding two-way player, none of these kids are (unless the Nuge has graduated, and I think he’s close).

    Exactly. If we’re relying on Hall to be a solid two-way forward, we’re doing it wrong. I’m just wondering that at the start of the season, he looked good defensively, but the since coming back from injury has looked a little suspect. I think it has more to do with the fact that we’re not scoring and maybe he’s been asked to pick it up a bit, or cheat for offense a little more? This can happen, but the rest of the team has to be on red alert.

  41. lance says:

    OT:

    In other news, Alberta was just called out by the international academic community for being a harbour for fascism. About the 4 minute mark.

    http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.com/2014/11/crosstalk-whitewashing-fascism.html?m=1

    (Apparently Canada just vetoed an anti-Nazi protocol at the UN).

    le sigh.

  42. oliveoilers says:

    wintoon:
    The criticism of Hall has absolutely nothing to do with the coach and everything to do with observations made watching the Oilers play. When you stated Taylor Hall is not an outstanding two-way player; you were correct. At this juncture he is not even an adequate two-way player.

    Of concern is that while others are held accountable bythe coach for repeated errors, Hall seems to geta pass. There is no question he is an offensive talent but heis also repeatedly a defensive liability. He doesn’t need to be a HS, it may be enough to sit him for a shift or two.

    When you score 50pts in 45 games one year, 80pts in 75 games the next and look as if you could do it again AND are the ONLY person capable of this on your team, then, yeah, you get a fucking pass. That’s what your heavy lifters are for. Square pegs into square holes. Something this team has trouble doing. D-men into forwards, wingers into d-men and on their off-wing, kids into 2C, AHL players into NHL players.

  43. sliderule says:

    I am not angry at Hall or matter of fact any of players ,coaches or management.

    I just see a once proud franchise being embarrassed by years of bad decisions by management.

    There have been many commentaries of these problems that have been made on this site but the solutions will have to wait until postseason.

    I can see one problem that can be corrected for a short term solution and that’s to tie the can to Dallas.I have always hated firing people but it’s overdue and he will land on his feet somewhere as an assistant .The two and a half years remaining on his contract will ease his pain.

  44. SwedishPoster says:

    oliveoilers: Exactly.If we’re relying on Hall to be a solid two-way forward, we’re doing it wrong.I’m just wondering that at the start of the season, he looked good defensively, but the since coming back from injury has looked a little suspect.I think it has more to do with the fact that we’re not scoring and maybe he’s been asked to pick it up a bit, or cheat for offense a little more?This can happen, but the rest of the team has to be on red alert.

    It might notbe a great idea to play Ebs and Hall together due to this fact. I think part of the reason Pouliot worked well with RNH and Ebs is because he picked up some defensive slack and played a simple game. Too many fancy Dans on the same line might no be the greatest idea. Problem is we don’t really have a lot of two-way wingers on this team. I still don’t get why they haven’t tried Hall and Yak for at least 3-4 games, Yak is certainly dodgy defensively but his backcheck, neutral zone aggressiveness and puck management has been fine this year. He also manages his shift lengths fairly well so you shouldn’t run the risk of having two dead wingers on the ice at the same time. They should at least try it, not like we have much to lose.

  45. frjohnk says:

    Lowetide:
    With respect, and Hall had a chaotic game, I think some of this anger may have to do with the player endorsing the coach. Oilers fans want blood it appears. Taylor Hall is NOT an outstanding two-way player, none of these kids are (unless the Nuge has graduated, and I think he’s close).

    Other than the Hendricks line and Nuge, I don’t think the oilers have one forward is who is average defensively. This is often one of the problems overlooked when looking at what ails the oilers.

    If Taylor Hall was on the Bruins team last year, he would have made the Olympic team. His mistakes are magnified on a weak defensive team. They would not show up as much if he was on a team like the Bruins.

  46. oliveoilers says:

    SwedishPoster: It might notbe a great idea to play Ebs and Hall together due to this fact. I think part of the reason Pouliot worked well with RNH and Ebs is because he picked up some defensive slack and played a simple game. Too many fancy Dans on the same line might no be the greatest idea. Problem is we don’t really have a lot of two-way wingers on this team. I still don’t get why they haven’t tried Hall and Yak for at least 3-4 games, Yak is certainly dodgy defensively but his backcheck, neutral zone aggressiveness and puck management has been fine this year.He also manages his shift lengths fairly well so you shouldn’t run the risk of having two dead wingers on the ice at the same time. They should at least try it, not like we have much to lose.

    My line of thought as well. Each line to have a defensive conscience. The coaches may be dimly aware of this, so that’s probably why Hall hasn’t played with Yak a whole bunch. Yak’s sideburns are so long , he keeps tripping on them. Not as long as MMs though.

  47. Woodguy says:

    oliveoilers: So if OT is a coin flip, why not put your worst players out and rest your good ones?And only in the long run?So it conforms to normal hockey laws, such as the best players will win, in the short term, but not over time?How is this possible?Are you sure your not just being a little bit contrary? for it’s own sake?

    I agree it can be a crap shoot at times, but 4 x 4, I would think the better team still tends to win.

    Well, if you never played your best players it would probably stop being a coin flip for that team, but barely.

    Why would you rest your best players when a point is up for grabs?

    The fact that its a coin flip has to do with time.

    When you shorten your sample randomness takes over.

    5 min is a very small amount of hockey that is ruled by randomness.

    Its just not enough time for the best team to emerge.

    Hell, 60 min hockey games aren’t enough time for the best team to emerge often, but 5 min is a blip ruled by randomness.

  48. McSorley33 says:

    I thought Vancouver was supposed to be rebuilding or at least on the decline?

  49. Woodguy says:

    Did everyone forget that the Oilers were playing the 2nd of back to back and 3rd in 4th nights against a team that is only 1 point out of 1st in the NHL and one of the Stanley Cup favorites?

    Seriously people, give your collective toques a spin.

    The Hawks would have been hard pressed to get a point against STL in that situation, let alone the Oilers.

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