MAN IN THE CORNER SHOP

It’s easy to create parallels between Steve Tambellini’s disastrous 2011 summer and MacT’s 2014 edition. Cam Barker was a bad signing but Niki Nikitin might be worse and that’s a fact. Niki Khabibulin might have been injured a lot but he could goaler. If we’re honest about this, Craig MacTavish may not be in any way superior to Tambellini or post 2006 Kevin Lowe. That’s a surprise to me, I thought he would be better.

Has MacT done some good work? Yes. I think the additions of Boyd Gordon, Andrew Ference, David Perron, Benoit Pouliot, Mark Fayne, Matt Hendricks, Teddy Purcell have given the team several “actual NHL players” to go with the gifted kids. I think the drafting of Darnell Nurse, Leon Draisaitl and Bogdan Yakimov and the acquisition of Laurent Brossoit have addressed ‘up the middle’ concerns in short order.

I think he chose the right coach (seriously, I think Eakins is going to be an excellent coach) and this Nelson fellow may also be a good NHL coach.

Where did MacT go wrong? Here’s what I think I think:

  • Ben Scrivens has not been able to handle the load as Edmonton’s starting goalie. They’re going to spend assets and money getting a Niemi. I’m not sure it’s wise but have no good ideas to offer. The payment will be dear.
  • Niki Nikitin was a horrible investment.
  • He got stubborn on his centers.

Will he get another chance this summer? Yes. It’s Edmonton after all and nothing about this year suggests Daryl Katz has plans to make enormous changes. I think Stu MacGregor and Morey Gare might be in peril but very much doubt it goes deeper. Is it wise to give MacT another year? I’m not sure either way. I do think we’ll get our answer in the new year, with decisions on Jeff Petry, Nail Yakupov and others on the way.

THE 15 BEST PLAYERS IN THE 2015 DRAFT

  1. (1) C Connor McDavid, Erie Otters (OHL) Once in a decade talent
  2. (2) C Jack Eichel, Boston U (NCAA) Legit No. 1 overall talent most years with a wide range of skills.
  3. (3) C Dylan Strome, Erie Otters (OHL) 6.03, approaching 2 points-per-game in world’s best jr league.
  4. (5) D Zach Werenski, Michigan (NCAA). Sound defender with outstanding offensive ability. Quality in all three zones
  5. (4) D Noah Hanifin, Boston College (NCAA) Complete talent, maybe a little shy offensively.
  6. (6) C Nick Merkley, Kelowna (WHL). Powerful skater with plus playmaking ability. Crazy offensive season.
  7. (7) C Mitch Marner, London Knights (OHL) Tremendous skater, very skilled. Undersized. Trending.
  8. (8) D Oliver Kylington, Farjestad (SEL) 6.0, 174. Two-way defender with terrific speed and an across the board skill set.
  9. (11) D Ivan Provorov, Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL) Across the board skills and taking a step forward in draft year.
  10. (9) C Pavel Zacha, Sarnia Sting (OHL) Huge forward with skill, work ethic and ability along the wall.
  11. (10) C Mathew Barzal, Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL) Intelligent offensive player with exceptional passing ability and speed.
  12. (NR) C Jansen Harkins, Prince George Cougars (WHL) Two-way center with emerging offense. Intelligent.
  13. (NR) D Jeremy Roy, Sherbrooke Phoenix (QMJHL) Quality two-way defender. Smart player.
  14. (NR) R Daniel Sprong, Charlettown Islanders (QMJHL) Dynamic scorer, excellent skater.
  15. (NR) L Lawson Crouse, Kingston Frontenacs (OHL). Big, big winger with some skill. The new Lucic hopeful?

ABOUT LAST NIGHT

I don’t have much to say about last night’s game. Of course good teams don’t give up three goal leads but this isn’t a good team. Todd Nelson didn’t change goaltenders but other than that I can’t really say much about his handling of the team. Sure you can point to Andrew Ference in OT but an NHL coach will go with a veteran blue most of the time and I understand the sentiment. The porous defense on both sides (goalie included) made for an exciting game and it was nice to see the Oilers fill the other net a little.

What else is there to say? Oilers regular season games are the least important in the league. Have been for years. If you really want to find something important to watch, you might try to identify the players on Rexall ice last night playing their final NHL games. NO team in the league has been as effective in ending careers as this one, from Robert Nilsson to Eric Belanger to Jesse Joensuu.

johansson

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! We’ll have some cheer at 10 this morning, TSN 1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Scott Burnside, ESPN. We’ll talk about teams that appear to be separating from the pack.
  • Travis Yost, TSN. Buffalo Bills! Woo-hoo! Also Oilers and Senators.
  • Dennis King, Oilogosphere Icon. We’ll talk about Christmas in NL, the Oilers giving out presents and more.
  • Corey Pronman, ESPN. A WJ primer and I’ll ask about some of these draft prospects.

10-1260 text @Lowetide_ on twitter. Feel free to post questions for Pronman or any of my other guests. See you on the radio!

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169 Responses to "MAN IN THE CORNER SHOP"

  1. MenovOil says:

    Will this team win 20 games this year?

  2. Lowetide says:

    MenovOil:
    Will this team win 20 games this year?

    Including playoffs?

  3. frjohnk says:

    Lowetide: Including playoffs?

    Including preseason? No

  4. PaperKurtRussell says:

    I’m actually starting to wonder about team speed. How many guys do we have with elite or above-average speed?? Hall, Rnh, Petry??? Anyone else?? Pouliot when he’s back…

  5. frjohnk says:

    Some stats

    Worst possession in the league when leading by 2 goals or more (Fenwick 30.9%)

    6th worst possession in the league when leading by 1 goal ( Fenwick 40.6%)

    2nd worst possession in the league 4 on 4 ( 32.8%)

  6. PunjabiOil says:

    It’s well past the point of trying to find the logic in their moves. Lander gets called up, purportedly has a good game (6 shots), and gets sent back down. Sure, they might bring him back up again, but why risk him losing confidence? This is the same guy that admitted he played tentatively in the past. You already know what you have in Steve pazzo, Luke Gazdic, etc.

    Instead of giving Draisaitl an opportunity to play some competitive games at the wjc, they’ll leave him here to play 8-10 minutes a night.

    Stupid is as stupid does.

  7. Dark Asia says:

    Nothing changes because Mr 6 rings is still in charge – how obvious does it need to be? This “rebuild” blew up when the Oilers decided losing was better than winning in the spring of 2013, fired a puppet GM and hired a guy nobody else would hand the keys to, and then fired the only coach this team actually played for via Skype. So very professional all of it.

    So here’s the deal – 2 out of the 3 precious #1 will be gone by the summer for more magic beans along with Petry (whoops we gave your money to Niki) Marincin and Lander (why the hell would they want to stay in this gong show. A splendid job all in all by the biggest bunch of losers in the NHL. I will admit that Hemsky playing well and Horcoff getting the winner made me smile a lot last night.

  8. Clarkenstein says:

    We mostly forget that a team with this many flaws and a record that is approaching one of the worst of all time is ONLY about $4M below the cap ceiling. That in itself is truly astounding. Don’t give me the bullshit that they have to pay more to get players to come. Please. If there was a winning environment here enough better players would come. MacT has stunned with his stubbornness and virtual paralysis in doing ANYTHING. He may be relatively bright but he proved as a coach that he thinks as slow as he talks. The old adage “You can’t explore new worlds with one foot on the shore” comes to mind except MacT has BOTH feet firmly planted on the shore.

  9. Aitch says:

    frjohnk,

    Surely that leading by 2 goals or more Fenwick is a small sample size. 😉

  10. Ca$h-Money! says:

    That 4 on 4 last night was terrifying, it was like we were killing a penalty, I’m not sure we had the puck the entire time.

    This team (combined with my poor work as a role model of acceptable behavior) is starting to give my 4 year old nightmares. I heard him on the monitor at 5am this morning yelling “COMEON SCRIVENS, YOU’RE THE WORST” in his sleep.

    For those wondering, I yelled that at the TV during one of the times he tried handling the puck last night. Seems to have rubbed off on the younger generation.

  11. sliderule says:

    I haven’t heard any comments on Canada’s WJC exhibition game against Sweden.

    I see Lagesson played.How did he and Nurse look.

  12. Ben says:

    “A Powerful Psychoactive Drug”

    #CraigsOnIt

  13. frjohnk says:

    Before yesterdays game our shooting % leading by 2 goals 5 on 5 was 0%.

    We scored 1 goal like that last night raising our shooting % to 7%.

    But our corsi in that situation was 9.5%. CF was 2, while CA was 19.

    Only time we have decent possession is when tied Corsi 51.4%, Fenwick 51.1%
    or when trailing Corsi (54.1) Fenwick (51.6)

    Terrible possession when leading Corsi (38.3) Fenwick ( 38.8)

    We have played 44% of the time this year trailing.
    We have played 40% of the time this year tied.
    We have played 16% of the time this year leading

  14. Woodguy says:

    One of my twitter followers just referred to MacT as “MacTankVish”

    That’s pure gold right there.

  15. frjohnk says:

    Aitch:
    frjohnk,

    Surely that leading by 2 goals or more Fenwick is a small sample size.

    yup. 48 minutes. Only 1 other team under 100 minutes. Buffalo at 68 minutes. This is 5 on 5.

    League average is 193 minutes

  16. TheOtherJohn says:

    Expect the twits in hockey ops are only terrified one time per yes. At season ticket renewal time. If enough season tix holders don’t renew their tixs, hockey ops will have to explain to Katz why they have a $65m payroll with a DFL roster. Expect it could result in some pink slips, MacT included

  17. Bobbin Roundlee says:

    Can someone explain to me why Yakupov wasn’t among the first eight shooters in the shootout?

    I know that he’s been unlucky in game with his shots but a shootout? Open to explanations because I honestly don’t know.

  18. elgruntus says:

    Almost Christmas and they STILL haven’t played ONE game with their best available line up.

    Simply baffling…and indefensible.

    Shame on them.

  19. Aitch says:

    frjohnk,

    I was half joking about the small sample size… but seeing how small it actually is, is pretty damning itself. I bet ya there are team’s that surpassed that total on night one of the season.

  20. The Full Nelson says:

    Bobbin Roundlee:
    Can someone explain to me why Yakupov wasn’t among the first eight shooters in the shootout?

    I know that he’s been unlucky in game with his shots but a shootout? Open to explanations because I honestly don’t know.

    Nelson said in his post-game presser, that with Yak sitting for the last part of the third and all of the OT, that putting him in the SO cold wouldn’t be fair to him. He also referenced choosing the guys with higher percentages.

  21. The Full Nelson says:

    True blue. An Oiler production featuring Luke the Duke. That is all.

    http://video.oilers.nhl.com/videocenter/console?catid=4&id=705136

  22. TheOtherJohn says:

    Re Nelson comments on Yak in shootouts: sees Lander shooting. Good to see Nelson dissemble like his boss MacT

  23. cahill says:

    I think Stu MacGregor and Morey Gare might be in peril but very much doubt it goes deeper.

    – Here lies the problem, where two people will be the scapegoat for the season. When it’s a systematic problem with the way the team is run.
    – Let’s take a look at amateur scouting which MacT has already thrown his guys under the bus.
    – Based on past history, I think that Bob Green will take Stu’s job.
    – Instead of adding a new person we add an existing person and create a hole in the organization.
    – If MacGregor goes but all the scouts stay. What good does this do? They will still feed in the same information to the head scout.
    – The team should identify which scouts have done a good job. I think Musil has for the most part done well (Gernat, Marincin & Pelss). Then fire the rest.
    – Instead they will grab an internal guy and lay the blame on someone else in a year from now.

    – Why not grab someone from from Detroit or LA to head up the scouting both amateur and pro? New blood! Do the same for Player Development & Pro Scouting.

  24. fuzzy muppet says:

    I keep trying to think of something positive to post, but there’s Nothing positive about this organization.

    They stink. From top to bottom. The whole sha-bang.

    There’s nothing to be positive about. They keep LOWERING the bar. Nothing’s going to change as they’ll get another selling point at the draft: Hey come watch our newest hope!

    And most people will. It’s sad, but until you STOP going to the games and paying for merchandise, nothing will change.

    I turn forty in March and have been a fan since 1984. I don’t think they see the Playoffs for at least another 3 years(and I’m being generous). Hell, I may hit 50 before they are relevant again.

    They are making me hate my favorite team. It’s a disgrace.

  25. frjohnk says:

    Bobbin Roundlee:
    Can someone explain to me why Yakupov wasn’t among the first eight shooters in the shootout?

    I know that he’s been unlucky in game with his shots but a shootout? Open to explanations because I honestly don’t know.

    Hall
    Eberle
    RNH
    Purcell
    Perron
    were no brainers

    Hendricks ( Just google “Matt Hendricks shootout”) did not work out but you gotta go with that track record. about 50% with about 40 shootouts ( AHL and NHL)
    Arcobello he scored 2 goals last night, coaches usually go with a guy who has a hot hand. I have no problem here.
    Lander, my only explanation is that the coach knows him

    As for Yakapov, 1 point in 18 games. Maybe they should have thrown him in to get him a chance and get him out of the rut, but guy has not shown much.

  26. dadoug12 says:

    The last thing this team needs is another rookie head coach, Nelson can be the assisant next season, and Dallas Eakins was an awful coach. , even though the oilers have lost there last 3 games, they have looked way better since Eakins is gone.

  27. Snowman says:

    What does everyone think about the Oilers potential draft pick this year weighing into decisions made in the summer last year?

    I wonder if they used the potential to draft a generational talent as a balance to the bets they made in the summer.

    For example, Arco and Drai as the 2-3 (or 3-4) centers? Might work. If it doesn’t we’ll probably get Eichel.

    Two unproven although reasonable bets in goal? Might work. If it doesn’t we’ll probably draft Connor.

    I am starting to believe this draft weighed into decisions long before the season was lost. It makes some of the decisions that seem stupid look a little more rational. It fits with the MacT is smarter than this narrative.

  28. Ben says:

    The funny thing is, I kind of want them to lose, so that we get one of those top picks in the lottery.

    But then, I want them to lose the lottery too, because in no way do they deserve anything out of it.

    This relationship needs a hero. Or an Iiro.

  29. rickithebear says:

    Goals are about hitting open spaces on the net.
    I would rank yak last on the team.
    but he has a quick release

  30. Hammers says:

    LT . Like you I think McT stays but unfortunately he doesn’t deserve to .I have gone from being over the moon on firing Tambellini and hiring McT and I still think McT is the better manager . The problems in this city is it always seems to go much deeper , owner , Lowe , now Nicholson , bringing Howson back , even hiring Messier and the revolving coaches door. NO PLAN FOR SUCCESS .Players really should be the last part of a plan if the plan includes competent decision makers. Unless McT pulls some magic solution out of the air in the next 6 months the fans will continue to suffer .

  31. frjohnk says:

    dadoug12: they have looked way better since Eakins is gone.

    Corsi last 3 games 44.3%. Fenwick is 44.9%. Both with Eakins was just over 50%
    Possession is worse

    PDO is better
    101.4 compared to 97.0

    Their 4 on 4 play last night was the worst its been.

    Still D man leaving a huge gap at the Blue line at times.

    Still huge tire fires at times in the D zone

    Way too early to suggest this team is better with or without Eakins.

    .

  32. The Full Nelson says:

    Good for Lazar:

    Hockey Canada ‏@HockeyCanada 10m10 minutes ago
    Curtis Lazar will serve as captain for Canada at #WJC2015, Connor McDavid and Sam Reinhart alternate captains: http://bit.ly/16JjosS

  33. JonyPro says:

    I said to my self just before the 2nd period ended “If Dallas gets one back of a 3 goal deficit the oilers will probably give up the lead in the 3rd period.” The Oilers are so predictable these days. They can’t hold on to a lead if they needed to.

  34. JonyPro says:

    Hammers,

    What is Messier’s role in the organization?

  35. v4ance says:

    One thing about the pending contraction in the KHL is that there will be an increased supply of NHL tweener players next year. As a team that has recently focused scouting assets in Russia moreso than other organizations, the Oilers are uniquely positioned to pick up a depth player or two who could help for 2015-16.

    In terms of players like Lander/Arcobello/Pinizzotto/Aulie/Hunt who have expiring contracts, they should have less leverage in contract negotiations. This collision of factors should mean that the Oilers and other NHL teams should be pushing hard to get bottom 6 forwards and #6, 7 and 8 D signed at rates that are more favourable to the teams this summer.

  36. wuthering says:

    Bobbin Roundlee:
    Can someone explain to me why Yakupov wasn’t among the first eight shooters in the shootout?

    I know that he’s been unlucky in game with his shots but a shootout? Open to explanations because I honestly don’t know.

    1. Nail Yakupov has sideburns.

    2. Nail Yakupov often demonstrates enjoyment after scoring and his celebrations are embarrassing to the Stoic management group. True winning has nothing to do with scoring goals; it has everything to do with spitting one’s teeth out after receiving a solid butt-end, or a welcoming punch in a game-changing fight, or playing helmet-less years after 99% of the league were voluntarily doing so.

    3. Nail Yakupov shoots so hard that it is often difficult to determine whether or not it was a “good hockey goal” and this flusters the referees to the point that MacLowe know that down the road the refs will get them back for having Yak embarrass them.

  37. Lois Lowe says:

    I keep on thinking that the Oilers have hit their nadir for the season, decade, or existence. I keep on thinking that when they reach their Lois Lowe, something will finally happen to change their fortunes. Then I remember teams like the Knicks, Browns, or the Washington Racial Slurs and I realize that there is likely no return to respectability. The days will keep getting darker and that the dawn is not promised to us. Rebuild v3.201512 will not bring any more respectability to this franchise, nor will McJesus.

    “We hoped for the best, but it turned out like always.” The saying so beautifully sums up the mental state of Oilers fans, but what happens when HOPE releases its last breath?

  38. Bobbin Roundlee says:

    The Full Nelson: Nelson said in his post-game presser, that with Yak sitting for the last part of the third and all of the OT, that putting him in the SO cold wouldn’t be fair to him. He also referenced choosing the guys with higher percentages.

    Thank’s Nelson, I missed that.

  39. RexLibris says:

    I think Stu MacGregor and Morey Gare might be in peril but very much doubt it goes deeper.

    I hope not.

    There are some scouts (BCJHL) who could take a nap and not be missed, but there is some very good work being done overseas by Musil, Nordmark and Eklund (Virmanen, as well? Not sure as I hadn’t heard of him in the group before).

    I’d put Bob Green as the overseer of the scouting department and then retain Musil’s group overseas. Andersson did some damned fine work for years before he took over as HS for Detroit in the late 90s and he still works a lot overseas. There’s nothing to say that the Oilers need to have their scouts all local.

    I mean, if you can fire a coach on Skype…

  40. su_dhillon says:

    They are going to give away Petry for picks in the next 2 months.
    Then Yak will go for 5 cents on the dollar in the summer.

    One summer later they will clean out this management team and a rebuild will commence. Seriously.

  41. McSorley33 says:

    The only thing more depressing than the oilers hockey team is Oiler fans trying to delude themselves into thinking management is *intentionally* tanking.

    Ference, NN and Aulie……Jultz.

    After dusting himself off from being thrown under the bus, ST is just smiling….

    Not so easy, is it Craig?

  42. The Full Nelson says:

    Covering hockey from Georgia – kind of like being a head scout from Mexico, no?

  43. Yeti says:

    JonyPro:
    Hammers,

    What is Messier’s role in the organization?

    Prince in waiting.

  44. Yeti says:

    Is there a reason not to give Yakupov 10 games in the AHL to rediscover the love of sticking the puck in the net?

  45. russ99 says:

    Yeti:
    Is there a reason not to give Yakupov 10 games in the AHL to rediscover the love of sticking the puck in the net?

    None other than further depleting the NHL roster, and the one coach we have who could get him to rediscover that is coaching the big club.

    Seems Nelson is starting to take on the coaching reins. I’ll be curious as to what he adjusts after MacT is back upstairs.

    Would be nice to get an NHL center to help Yak do that, but now the roster freeze is in effect.

  46. frjohnk says:

    su_dhillon: Then Yak will go for 5 cents on the dollar in the summer.

    I could see some multibillion dollar KHL owner who is not really affected by the Russian economy nosediving, giving Yak a 4-5 Million dollar deal ( maybe more) over a oilers 2 Million bridge deal.

    All owners over there do not have all their assets in Rubles and they are still going to want to make the KHL relevant even if there is contraction.

    I could see Yak going especially if he does not gain any traction the rest of the year

  47. Unicorns says:

    Yeti:
    Is there a reason not to give Yakupov 10 games in the AHL to rediscover the love of sticking the puck in the net?

    Waivers?

  48. kooler says:

    The Full Nelson,

    Can someone tell me why Yak played minimal minutes in the 3rd and nothing in ovetime….coaches went into a defensive shell and Yak can’t play defence?

    Just curious.

  49. G Money says:

    If we’re honest about this, Craig MacTavish may not be in any way superior to Tambellini or post 2006 Kevin Lowe.

    The main difference is that, verbally, MacT seems to understand the flaws of this team. Tambo never did until it was too late, and then his reactions in trying to do something about it were random and spastic.

    Post-06 Lowe was blinded by the 2006 run and in his desperation to get back to contention, was caught on a whale hunt treadmill until he realized what was happening and kicked himself upstairs.

    So MacT at least diagnostically is a big step up on those guys. That’s what gave us hope he might actually improve this team.

    The problem is that MacT’s actions don’t match his verbal. Yeah, we get that signing players can be tough in Edmonton, and trades are hard to make when you have so many gaps to fill and almost no positions of strength.

    Nonetheless, it’s clear that MacT either missed or passed on legit ways to improve this team. He’s either overly patient or still learning on the job. And after eight years of rebuild and five years of Hall’s career burned, we never had the luxury of time to begin with.

  50. frjohnk says:

    At .23 pts/game Yak is one pace to have the worst 21 year old season when compared to each top forward picked in every draft since 78. I stopped when I got there.
    worse than Stefan, Diagle, Murphy, Wickeheiser

    Id be surprised he is here next year.

  51. Bruce McCurdy says:

    frjohnk:
    Some stats

    2nd worst possession in the league 4 on 4 ( 32.8%)

    Holy shit, there’s someone even worse than 32.8%?

  52. GATO BANDIDO says:

    Kevin Lowe: Tales From The River Bank
    Daryl Katz: Pretty Green
    Steve Tambellini: The Planner’s Dream Goes Wrong
    Tom Renney: Running On The Spot
    Krueger & Eakins: Absolute Beginners
    Craig MacTavish: But I’m Different Now
    Oilers: Beat Surrender
    Edmonton: A Town Called Malice
    Bloggers: Set The House Ablaze
    Lowetide: That’s Entertainment

  53. The Full Nelson says:

    kooler: why Yak played minimal minutes

    That wasn’t asked of Nelson during the post-game presser, and I was merely passing along info from that presser (oilers.nhl.com).

    But as others who posted here, and were at the game, have said – yak looked pretty invisible all night. Might be a little banged up, or feeling ill. Tough to say.

  54. Unicorns says:

    I don’t agree with how the Oilers do anything, basically, at all.

    At the same time Yakupov needs to score. He needs to be far more dangerous. If he can become an offensive threat his world will change. The reality is not every player gets hand held through the league. He needs to make his own way. Or become Cogliano in a hurry.

  55. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Dark Asia: This “rebuild” blew up when the Oilers decided losing was better than winning in November of 2009

    Fixed that for ya.

  56. G Money says:

    Sure you can point to Andrew Ference in OT but an NHL coach will go with a veteran blue most of the time and I understand the sentiment.

    Seriously, was someone complaining that Ference shouldn’t have been out there at all in OT?

    I have a problem with starting Ference (or Hunt or Schultz) in OT. Nothing to crush the spirit of your team like giving up the winning goal 15 seconds in.

    Start Petry and Fayne or Klefbom every time.

    But at some point, Ference, Hunt, and Schultz will end up on the ice. Can’t have the same three D out there for the entire OT.

  57. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Aitch:
    frjohnk,

    I was half joking about the small sample size… but seeing how small it actually is, is pretty damning itself. I bet ya there are team’s that surpassed that total on night one of the season.

    Chicago did, at Edmonton Nov 22. I had the “pleasure” of attending that game & it was over a third of the way through my first beer.

  58. G Money says:

    frjohnk: Only time we have decent possession is when tied Corsi 51.4%, Fenwick 51.1%
    or when trailing Corsi (54.1) Fenwick (51.6)
    Terrible possession when leading Corsi (38.3) Fenwick ( 38.8)

    This is actually a good thing, not a bad thing.

    Being a good team when tied or close is the best marker of ‘good’ you can get for a team.

    A positive Corsi when trailing is also a good sign, despite the inherent score effects, in that it means the team doesn’t give up after getting down in a game.

    The poor possession when leading – especially such an incredibly stark difference from the Close numbers – is going to be a combination of score effects and fear, and one hopes that that goes away with experience.

  59. Bruce McCurdy says:

    rickithebear:
    Goals are about hitting open spaces on the net.
    I would rank yak last on the team.
    but he has a quick release

    Yeah, I’m afraid Yak’s shot is more mythical than legendary.

  60. kinger_OIL says:

    G Money:
    If we’re honest about this, Craig MacTavish may not be in any way superior to Tambellini or post 2006 Kevin Lowe.

    The main difference is that, verbally, MacT seems to understand the flaws of this team.Tambo never did until it was too late, and then his reactions in trying to do something about it were random and spastic.

    Post-06 Lowe was blinded by the 2006 run and in his desperation to get back to contention, was caught on a whale hunt treadmill until he realized what was happening and kicked himself upstairs.

    So MacT at least diagnostically is a big step up on those guys.That’s what gave us hope he might actually improve this team.

    The problem is that MacT’s actions don’t match his verbal.Yeah, we get that signing players can be tough in Edmonton, and trades are hard to make when you have so many gaps to fill and almost no positions of strength.

    Nonetheless, it’s clear that MacT either missed or passed on legit ways to improve this team.He’s either overly patient or still learning on the job. And after eight years of rebuild and five years of Hall’s career burned, we never had the luxury of time to begin with.

    G – I think you have it summed up exactly (plus there is not management urgency to improve: just really big wondows that they look through). Fundamentally though, it’s clear that MacT is out of his depth as a GM: Lat year at start he thought they were competing for playoffs, this year he thought they were going to show improvement. He keeps lowering the bar, then tripping over it…

  61. frjohnk says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Holy shit, there’s someone even worse than 32.8%?

    I believe it’s Buffalo.

    Last night it was 31.5% for oilers.

  62. RexLibris says:

    Unicorns: Waivers?

    He’s on his ELC, waiver exempt.

    Apologies if this has already been mentioned.

  63. Johnny says:

    PaperKurtRussell,

    Look for this trend to continue, as per MacT’s new draft mandate (draft for skill, skating can be improved).
    See Bogdan Yakimov.

  64. RexLibris says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Chicago did, at Edmonton Nov 22. I had the “pleasure” of attending that game & it was over a third of the way through my first beer.

    Well then, does the problem not then lie in drinking too quickly Mr. McCurdy?

    #CorrelationEqualsCausality

  65. And your name is? says:

    Snowman:
    I am starting to believe this draft weighed into decisions long before the season was lost. It makes some of the decisions that seem stupid look a little more rational. It fits with the MacT is smarter than this narrative.

    MacT would rather fall on his sword than build a team where the best you could ever hope for is an 8th place finish followed by some Cujo-esque magic.

    This absolutely factors into how he hedges his bets, along with his belief in Oiler hockey. We’d be way ahead in the standings right now if the team had been built to play every game to a 1–1 regulation tie. For marketing reasons they wanted Yak’s potential star power, visualizing the day after the team had turned the corner having the kind of firepower that wins championships.

    Even with how he constructed the team, I don’t think MacT thought our PDO could fall this far. The last shred of momentum of our renewed credibility (which briefly peaked when we won the Jultz lottery) has now gone up in thick, black smoke. The original problem with FA overpays is almost certainly getting worse rather than better, and what mid-career talent we do have could already be mounting the gunwales to flee the sinking ship.

    I’m more at peace with management by excluded middle (MEM) than most people here, but the GM does need to avoid the Black Vortex of No Return, and in this matter MacT is presently canoodling epic fail.

    Because MEM amplifies non-linearity, it’s harder to think through all the possible outcomes.

    You really need a management dungeon master who can accurately simulate random futures (Yak is good, Yak is mediocre, Yak busts out) and have the management team play through a ten-year scenario day after day.

    The problem with this is that it’s hard to find the right dungeon master, because so many things in the league are in constant flux.

    Where you end up is that you can’t treat the scenarios as statistically representative. You instead have to regard the outcomes as qualitative possibilities.

    If they had played through several scenarios that became mired early in The Black Vortex of No Return, I think they would have hedged differently, whether they blamed the dungeon master for excessive pessimism or not.

  66. Barcs says:

    I see that Adam Larsson was a healthy scratch on Saturday (again) for the Devils.

    Having seemingly been passed by young D such as Gelinas and Merrill, I wonder what he would cost?

    6’3″ 205lbs 22yo RHD just coming up on 150 NHL games played. Drafted 4th Overall in 2011.

    Has a RelCorsi of -1.1 this year, despite 33.3% Offensive Zone Starts, with a PDO of 947, admittedly over a tiny sample size of 16 games (averaging about 13 minutes per).

    Has been in the coach’s dog house, up and down from the AHL over the last 2 or 3 years.

    I could see a swap of struggling young players, Yak for Larsson, at the deadline. Especially if (when?) Petry gets moved.

    I would be alright with that swap, given D take longer to develop. Curious what others think?

  67. RexLibris says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Yeah, I’m afraid Yak’s shot is more mythical than legendary.

    I recall MacGregor saying that when he watching Yakupov in Sarnia he noticed how many of his chances were getting buried.

  68. Bruce McCurdy says:

    frjohnk: Corsi last 3 games 44.3%.Fenwick is 44.9%.Both with Eakins was just over 50%
    Possession is worse

    That’s because they’ve had the lead more. Scored first in all 3 games, & have had 5 different leads (or more, depending on how you parse the sequence 3-2 4-2 5-2 5-3 5-4, is that one lead or five?). Whereas the Eakins Oilers were always trailing from the early stages.

    frjohnk:

    Their 4 on 4 play last night was the worst its been.

    I’ll pick that nit & say it can’t possibly be any worse than it was already. At least they got some stops in yesterday’s OT and made it to the shootout after losing the previous five OT games within the 5 minutes.

    I wrote a post the other day on Oilers epic fail in overtime which speaks to this (Bettman) point.

  69. Bruce McCurdy says:

    RexLibris: Well then, does the problem not then lie in drinking too quickly Mr. McCurdy?

    #CorrelationEqualsCausality

    It may have been over when I was just a quarter of the way through my first beer. Hell, it may have been over before I BOUGHT my first beer.

  70. Pouzar says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Yeah, I’m afraid Yak’s shot is more mythical than legendary.

    You just got yerself Uninvited to a LOT of New Year’s Eve parties!

  71. G Money says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Then clearly you need to drink faster. This not only would help the Oilers play with a lead, but I find it solves all kinds of other Oiler problems too.

  72. book¡je says:

    In addition to being stuborn on his centres, he has also been stuborn on his defence and wingers. Pushing guys who don’t deserve more than a quick chance and leaving others to rot (i.e. become disillusioned by the team).

    I think that both he and Lowe are smart guys, but their arrogance and ‘smarter than the room’ mentality has defeated them. Absolute unchecked power corrupts.

  73. The Full Nelson says:

    book¡je: stuborn on his defence and wingers

    I was just going to post this question: How much more time is the Hunt/Jultz pairing going to get from this org? I mean, they survived a coaching change, ffs…

  74. Woodguy says:

    JonyPro:
    Hammers,

    What is Messier’s role in the organization?

    Official pay cheque casher.

  75. Woodguy says:

    G Money:
    Sure you can point to Andrew Ference in OT but an NHL coach will go with a veteran blue most of the time and I understand the sentiment.

    Seriously, was someone complaining that Ference shouldn’t have been out there at all in OT?

    I have a problem with starting Ference (or Hunt or Schultz) in OT.Nothing to crush the spirit of your team like giving up the winning goal 15 seconds in.

    Start Petry and Fayne or Klefbom every time.

    But at some point, Ference, Hunt, and Schultz will end up on the ice.Can’t have the same three D out there for the entire OT.

    I was the one bitching.

    OT 4v4 is a game of keep away where you don’t willingly give up possession except for a good shot.

    Ference plays 5v5 style with dumps out of the dzone, dumps into the ozone and low percentage shots with no traffic.

    I’d rather Hunt out there than Ference.

    Oilers basically run 4 D in overtime.

    Ference shouldn’t be one imo.

  76. frjohnk says:

    Bruce McCurdy: That’s because they’ve had the lead more. Scored first in all 3 games, & have had 5 different leads (or more, depending on how you parse the sequence 3-2 4-2 5-2 5-3 5-4, is that one lead or five?). Whereas the Eakins Oilers were always trailing from the early stages.

    You are right. They have decent ( just below middle of the pack) possession when trailing. Among the worst when leading

  77. stephen sheps says:

    I was actually at the game yesterday, first time at Rexall since 2007 (a product of living in Ontario for so long). I’d forgotten how different the game looks from the stands compared to the TV. A few things I’ve notice that back up the numbers as well as the eye test.

    The team defence was atrocious, but the worst of the bunch were easily Ference and Schultz. Klef has all the tools but still makes poor reads/decisions. He’ll get better though, but he’s certainly a work in progress. In the defensive zone, the team was vulnerable to cross-crease and back door plays most of the game, but especially in the late second and early third when the score effects started to shift the game back towards Dallas. By eye, Schultz is not an NHL player unless he is jumping in the rush. Seeing the game in person gave me a much greater appreciation/understanding of “jultzing”.

    I don’t understand the Lander thing at all. He looked like an NHL 3C last night, maybe slightly better. Admittedly Arco also looked great, but Lander had a complete game and really looked like he belonged on the team. I simply don’t get it.

    Ok, enough about yesterday – on to tomorrow…

    LT, I am so pleased you finally put Crouse on your list. I tried to make a comment last week but it was eaten by the internet gods. Lucic is a good comp in terms of size, but the biggest difference I see is how hard Crouse works to be really good defensively, even as a winger. Watching him play (in person) as a 16 yr old on the Fronts last year and then again recently during the super series, it’s his 200ft game that is as impressive as his size. There’s a reason he’s the only 17 year old not named McJesus on the team Canada roster this year. Impressive kid. Won’t be surprised to see him go inside the top 10, especially given his late birthday. He’s only going to get better.

  78. GCW_69 says:

    RexLibris: He’s on his ELC, waiver exempt.

    Apologies if this has already been mentioned.

    I am pretty sure once you play a certain number of games, waivers kicks in. Yakupov is likely over the limit.

  79. The Full Nelson says:

    The Oilers have taken the ice for practice at Rexall Place. The lines are as follows:

    Hall-RNH-Purcell
    Perron-Gordon-Eberle
    Yakupov-Draisaitl-Pitlick
    Hendricks-Arcobello-Pinizzotto (Gazdic)

    Defensive Pairings:

    Ference-Petry
    Klefbom-Fayne
    Hunt-Schultz (aka: The Eichel Sanction)
    Aulie, Nikitin (back)

  80. wheatnoil says:

    GCW_69: I am pretty sure once you play a certain number of games, waivers kicks in.Yakupov is likely over the limit.

    This is correct, as per Capgeek.

    According to Capgeek, Yakupov has 3 years or 143 regular season + playoff games of being waiver exempt. He has 145 career NHL games… so he could have been sent down without waivers 3 games ago, but not anymore.

  81. frjohnk says:

    LT,
    Looking at your draft list and I looked at

    Dylan Strome when McDavid was playing
    18 games 13 goals 29 assists 42 points

    Dylan Strome since McDavid was hurt
    16 games 8 goals 14 assists 22 points

    Still good numbers but McDavid makes everybody better, even if he does not play with them on the same line much

  82. RexLibris says:

    Bruce McCurdy: It may have been over when I was just a quarter of the way through my first beer. Hell, it may have been over before I BOUGHT my first beer.

    I’m trying to think of how I could apply the General Theory of Relativity to a contest involving the Oilers and the Blackhawks. Obviously speed and the relative perception of time is a factor, but I’m thinking there’s room for some humour about the mathematical equivalency of gravity and momentum.

  83. Caramel Obvious says:

    The takeaway from yesterday’s game is how much better than Hall, Seguin looked. I thought taking Hall in the draft was an easy decision and I still think it was the right decision. But he’s slowed. I know he scored two goals but he doesn’t have the explosive speed he used to have. He didn’t pull away on the breakaway, he had another chance to pull away in the first period where he didn’t and settled for a wrist shot from further out then he should have. He’s never been a great finisher.

    If you are looking for problems, this is the place to start.

    Blame management all you want, but If Hall and Eberle have peaked and,, if Yakupov never was what we though the was, and Schultz is what he is, then no management team in history could solve this problem.

    So I maintain, this is on Tambellini. He wasted the good years on hope instead of adding NHL players and now it is too late. Replace management if you want but I don’t see what new guys are going to do other than start over again.

  84. The Full Nelson says:

    James Mirtle ‏@mirtle 44m44 minutes ago
    Most improved possession players in the NHL (raw CF%). Keep in mind some of this is usage and/or being on new team.

    https://twitter.com/mirtle/status/547102088539701249/photo/1

  85. Taro Tsujimoto says:

    Snowman:
    What does everyone think about the Oilers potential draft pick this year weighing into decisions made in the summer last year?

    I wonder if they used the potential to draft a generational talent as a balance to the bets they made in the summer.

    For example, Arco and Drai as the 2-3 (or 3-4) centers? Might work. If it doesn’t we’ll probably get Eichel.

    Two unproven although reasonable bets in goal? Might work. If it doesn’t we’ll probably draft Connor.

    I am starting to believe this draft weighed into decisions long before the season was lost. It makes some of the decisions that seem stupid look a little more rational. It fits with the MacT is smarter than this narrative.

    Yep.

    It’s a “win-win” – we win, awesome, we lose, we get another new toy. And all the while we’re hearing about the importance of accountability and building a winning culture and playing to win. “Losing is unacceptable! Except when it’s acceptable!’

  86. JonyPro says:

    quote cite=”comment-368531″>

    Woodguy: Official pay cheque casher.

    I want in on that! But seriously, what does he do?

  87. The Full Nelson says:

    Taro Tsujimoto: “Losing is unacceptable! Except when it’s acceptable!’

    Accept, when it’s exceptional.

  88. The Full Nelson says:

    JonyPro: But seriously, what does he do?

    Seems like he’s trying to stay out of the lemonlight these days, but I did read where he was scouting the Rangers for Edmonton. So maybe he’s their NYC scout. Tough gig.

  89. stush18 says:

    Barcs,

    i would be okay with it. Not sure we could necessarily fix larsson better then the devils, but i would have faith in nelson. Would make sense if to bring fayne and him together.

  90. Derek says:

    A Blackhawks blogger (@RegressedPDO) has a couple interesting articles on league wide drafting, games played and points I stumbled on today.

    NHL DRAFT PICK VALUE SINCE 2005
    http://thecommittedindian.com/nhl-draft-pick-value-since-2005/

    NHL TEAM DRAFTING AND DEVELOPMENT: 2005-2014
    http://thecommittedindian.com/nhl-team-drafting-development-2005-2014/

    NHL ROSTER CONSTRUCTION: DRAFTED, UNDRAFTED & ACQUIRED PLAYERS
    http://thecommittedindian.com/nhl-roster-construction-drafted-undrafted-acquired-players/

  91. p3rsonman says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    The takeaway from yesterday’s game is how much better than Hall, Seguin looked.I thought taking Hall in the draft was an easy decision and I still think it was the right decision.But he’s slowed.I know he scored two goals but he doesn’t have the explosive speed he used to have.He didn’t pull away on the breakaway, he had another chance to pull away in the first period where he didn’t and settled for a wrist shot from further out then he should have.He’s never been a great finisher.

    If you are looking for problems, this is the place to start.

    Blame management all you want, but If Hall and Eberle have peaked and,, if Yakupov never was what we though the was, and Schultz is what he is, then no management team in history could solve this problem.

    So I maintain, this is on Tambellini. He wasted the good years on hope instead of adding NHL players and now it is too late. Replace management if you want but I don’t see what new guys are going to do other than start over again.

    So you’re chalking this up to Hall ‘peaking” and starting to slow down, rather than injuries to BOTH of his knees and playing hurt?

    When Hall is healthy, he pushes the river. Seguin has more finish and is loaded with just as much talent, but I don’t see him as the game-driver Hall can be.

  92. stush18 says:

    The problem i see with yak is he needs more minutes. Im not daying he necessarily deserves thise minutes, but but its difficult playing only 16 min a night.

    Star players need ice time. As the ice time increases, so does the play. From peraonal experience its tough playing 3rd or 4th line min. Tough to get into the game, and tough to not to try and do too much in your one shift when you finally get out.

    I think yaks lack of icetime and his lack of centermen this year is what is killing him. I would give ebs minutes to yak, and start running him hard. Hes a good enough athlete. Benching him in the third and going for a defensive shell doesnt work. Send him out there and let him forecheck the shit out of the other team.

  93. spoiler says:

    From Nelson’s brief presser today… the Lander return to OKC was planned from the get-go, thought he had a solid game and he will be getting another opportunity.

  94. Bag of Pucks says:

    I think we’re at the point now where we can safely predict that Katz will clean house at the end of the season unless Nelson and team finish exceedingly strong.

    The level of coverage, criticism and vitriol by the MSM at this time is quite astounding actually. The franchise has become an embarrassment not only to its fans now, but to the league and the wider hockey world as well. For Katz, there is no longer any hiding from this or ducking it.

    This org has become the equivalent of the horrific road side crash and while MacT and his EMTs are racing desperately to the scene, the horde of rubber neckers may in fact block their access to the mortally injured. Nicholson meanwhile is calling in a STARS air evac while Nelson does CPR and Messier fiddles with the radio.

    No one outside Edmonton wants this team to draft McDavid. Nobody outside EDM has any illusions that MacT has the chops to fix this.

    The best we can hope for now is a return to modest respectability in the short term and an unlikely possibility that the newest UFA exodus doesn’t set this rebuild back to the Stone Age.

  95. The Full Nelson says:

    spoiler:
    From Nelson’s brief presser today… the Lander return to OKC was planned from the get-go, thought he had a solid game and he will be getting another opportunity.

    http://oilers.nhl.com/club/podcastplayer.htm?pid=98&iid=49524

  96. Bruce McCurdy says:

    JonyPro:
    quote cite=”comment-368531″>

    Woodguy: Official pay cheque casher.

    I want in on that! But seriously, what does he do?

    Third Vice President Of Remembering The Eighties

  97. spoiler says:

    GCW_69: I am pretty sure once you play a certain number of games, waivers kicks in.Yakupov is likely over the limit.

    IIRC it’s 160 games. So he’s not over the limit, but he’s close.

  98. David S says:

    Caramel Obvious,

    Hall hasn’t “peaked out”. He’s playing with knee braces on BOTH knees. His acceleration has been noticeably affected after he came back from the last knee injury just recently.

    I saw him one night a few weeks ago at Cactus Club with some buddies. It was when he was recovering from his latest knee problem. Having tons of experience with knee injuries and the evils of coming back too soon it took all I had not to go up to him, introduce myself and ask him to take another couple of weeks off before returning to the lineup. As anyone knows who has dealt with these sorts of things. when it starts to feel good you’re still a ways away from full recovery. If you come back too soon the injury takes WAY longer to properly heal.

  99. spoiler says:

    The Full Nelson: http://oilers.nhl.com/club/podcastplayer.htm?pid=98&iid=49524

    I am lollygagging out in the boondocks, no WiFi… did I paraphrase him correctly?

  100. The Full Nelson says:

    spoiler: I am Jultzing out in the boondocks, no WiFi… did I paraphrase him correctly?

    ftfy, and I haven’t listened to it yet.

  101. Bruce McCurdy says:

    spoiler: IIRC it’s 160 games. So he’s not over the limit, but he’s close.

    It is 160 games, but the lockout year was prorated. So the real threshold is 143 games, which he just passed.

    Fucking lockout is still scrambling the numbers.

  102. Bag of Pucks says:

    If there’s one mgmt tenant I wish this team would embrace its “Hope for the best possible scenario while planning for the worst possible scenario.’

    Look at almost every bet MacT has made and he’s either hoping for rapid and consistent maturation (Scrivens, Draisatl, Schultz, Klefbom, Yakupov), heretofore unrealized/unproven production (Arcobello, Aulie, Hunt, Pitlick, Fasth) or miraculous fountain of youth improvement (Ference, Nikitin).

    Contrast these with good bets on solid NHL vets (Gordon, Perron, Hendricks, Fayne).

    MacT says its early days for his regime, but he’s already turned over most of the roster, and the team is getting worse while MacT was sure it would be better.

    The hallmark of this historically inept mgmt cluster is bad bets based on wishful thinking and misguided optimism, and an absolutely resolute belief that throwing babies in the deep end is the best way to teach them to swim.

    Forgot draft talk. I think it would be more fun for us to prognosticate on where these buffoons will be working in 5 year’ time? I’ll go with River Cree Casino Greeter as the most popular option.

  103. magisterrex says:

    I come to this blog for positivity in the face of the chaos that has been the Oilers org for the past decade.

    Now it appears that the same negativity that infects Oilersnation and Copper & Blue has finally manifested here.

    Disappointing.

    When we start claiming MacT’s efforts are the same as Tambellini’s…it’s time to take a break from hockey, Lowetide.

    Give the reins to some guest bloggers. Lots of potential gold out there. For instance, Godot could write an Eakins post, finally revealing what he REALLY thinks about the former coach.

    Let the merriment ensue!

  104. Bruce McCurdy says:

    magisterrex:
    I come to this blog for positivity

    I’m positive this team is going to suck until the end of time.

    There! Better?

    😉

  105. Woodguy says:

    magisterrex:
    I come to this blog for positivity in the face of the chaos that has been the Oilers org for the past decade.

    Now it appears that the same negativity that infects Oilersnation and Copper & Blue has finally manifested here.

    Disappointing.

    When we start claiming MacT’s efforts are the same as Tambellini’s…it’s time to take a break from hockey, Lowetide.

    Give the reins to some guest bloggers. Lots of potential gold out there. For instance, Godot could write an Eakins post, finally revealing what he REALLY thinks about the former coach.

    Let the merriment ensue!

    No one gives the benefit of the doubt more than L.T.

    There comes a point where that runs out.

    We are there.

    After changing the entire roster, a bevy of coaches, 3 GMs.

    They have 3 overall picks.

    They had a pile of cap space to improve the team this past summer.

    They cap space is gone, the results are worse.

    If you cannot be disillusioned today, what the hell is the threshold?

    It’s the people making decisions.

    They are not good at making decisions.

    9 years and 30th place.

    It’s broken.

    The same mistakes they made in 2008 are being made today.

    They don’t realize that they are the problem.

    They have to go.

  106. Bag of Pucks says:

    PVRing True Detective?

    Craig’s on it!

    40th anniversary 85 Cup alumni reunion?

    Craig’s on it!

    Lithium?

    Craig’s on it!

    Your wife?

    Craig’s on it!

    Finding a legitimate defenseman?

    Craig’s gonna have to get back to you on that one. Trades are HARD.

  107. spoiler says:

    Bruce McCurdy: It is 160 games, but the lockout year was prorated. So the real threshold is 143 games, which he just passed.

    Fucking lockout is still scrambling the numbers.

    Thanks, Bruce. Did not know that about the lockout. But hey Bettman knows a thing or two about scrambling numbers, if there was ever a question. Hope Santa brings him something nice this year… a dreidl made of coal maybe.

  108. spoiler says:

    I wonder what basketball fans would think if the NBA began awarding a point to both teams if the game was tied after regulation, and then after a brief overtime if it was still tied, the teams alternated shooting free throws for the win?

    They’d be all over that rule change right?

  109. PREDICKTER says:

    Screaming at the window
    Watch me die another day
    Hopeless situation
    Endless price I have to pay

    Sanity now it’s beyond me
    There’s no choice

    Diary of a madman
    Walk the line again today
    Entries of confusion
    Dear diary, I’m here to stay

    Manic depression befriends me
    Hear his voice
    Sanity now it’s beyond me
    There’s no choice

    A sickened mind and spirit
    The mirror tells me lies
    Could I mistake myself for someone
    Who lives behind my eyes?
    Will he escape my soul
    Or will he live in me?
    Is he trying to get out
    Or trying to enter me?

    Voices in the darkness
    Scream away my mental health
    Can I ask a question
    To help me save me from myself?

    Enemies fill up the pages
    Are they me
    Monday ’till Sunday in stages
    Set me free

  110. The Full Nelson says:

    PREDICKTER,

    Next up: Crazy Train!

    Ozzy really should be the next RE artist.

  111. Unicorns says:

    After decades of watching the Oilers struggle with developing players, and the continuity of who’s in control, I would love to know what it is exactly they are looking for in players. And also why they seem to get such an attitude toward them.

    I wonder if it’s rooted in not realizing when a player like Gretzky is on your team everything is a lot better than it would be. Sure the Oilers won another without him, but that was after years developing under his wing.

    Without him none of them would have risen to the same level IMO, simply because they couldn’t have developed the confidence and self belief to the same degree.

    How much better would this year’s record be if Hall had scored 100 pts in 38 games or whatever? And everyone else’s scoring? They talk the talk sometimes but then get a hate on because a guy can’t score much playing 4th line minutes with who the Oilers think should be allowed to play in the NHL.

  112. Bruce McCurdy says:

    The Full Nelson:
    PREDICKTER,

    Next up: Crazy Train!

    Ozzy really should be the next RE artist.

    Mr. Crowley, won’t you ride my white horse?
    Mr. Crowley, it’s symbolic, of course
    Approaching a time that is classic
    I hear that maiden’s call
    Approaching a time that is drastic
    Standing with their backs to the wall

  113. PREDICKTER says:

    The Full Nelson:
    PREDICKTER,

    Next up: Crazy Train!

    Ozzy really should be the next RE artist.

    Yes, Crazy Train fits the bill.

  114. thejonrmcleod says:

    The Full Nelson:
    James Mirtle ‏@mirtle44m44 minutes ago
    Most improved possession players in the NHL (raw CF%). Keep in mind some of this is usage and/or being on new team.

    https://twitter.com/mirtle/status/547102088539701249/photo/1

    Basically, if you played for last year’s Oilers or Leafs, you have a good chance of being on this list.

  115. Lowetide says:

    magisterrex:
    I come to this blog for positivity in the face of the chaos that has been the Oilers org for the past decade.

    Now it appears that the same negativity that infects Oilersnation and Copper & Blue has finally manifested here.

    Disappointing.

    When we start claiming MacT’s efforts are the same as Tambellini’s…it’s time to take a break from hockey, Lowetide.

    Give the reins to some guest bloggers. Lots of potential gold out there. For instance, Godot could write an Eakins post, finally revealing what he REALLY thinks about the former coach.

    Let the merriment ensue!

    I’ll decline the opportunity but do appreciate that many people come here for positivity. I wish I could provide some but it’s impossible today. The Edmonton Oilers are not a good team and it is very likely their next major move will be to trade Jeff Petry. Their solutions next summer are likely to be guided by Craig MacTavish and while that may be good, there’s enough evidence to suggest we should not count on a successful procurement campaign.

    Which puts us here (or close) next Christmas.

  116. cabbiesmacker says:

    stush18:
    The problem i see with yak is he needs more minutes. Im not daying he necessarily deserves thise minutes, but but its difficult playing only 16 min a night.

    Star players need ice time. As the ice time increases, so does the play. From peraonal experience its tough playing 3rd or 4th line min. Tough to get into the game, and tough to not to try and do too much in your one shift when you finally get out.

    This is too good a post not to be repeated. If I’m understanding correctly you had some sort of paranormal experience about Yakupov which caused you to stutter and all the letters on your keyboard to wobble. The only thing that could fix it was being on the ice and once you were there you deduced that the longer you were out there the more ice time you were getting.

    Am I close?

  117. RexLibris says:

    Bruce McCurdy: I’m positive this team is going to suck until the end of time.

    There! Better?

    This reminds me of one of my favourite jokes.

    Two Hydrogen atoms are traveling along when one says to the other “wait! I think I just lost an electron!”

    The other says “are you certain?”

    “Yeah, I’m positive.”

    I know, its a wonder I’m not booked solid for parties.

  118. cabbiesmacker says:

    Lowetide: I’ll decline the opportunity but do appreciate that many people come here for positivity. I wish I could provide some but it’s impossible today. The Edmonton Oilers are not a good team and it is very likely their next major move will be to trade Jeff Petry. Their solutions next summer are likely to be guided by Craig MacTavish and while that may be good, there’s enough evidence to suggest we should not count on a successful procurement campaign.

    Which puts us here (or close) next Christmas.

    FN groundhog day. I hate it

  119. book¡je says:

    If all of the sudden one of those ‘trading places’ things happened with me and Daryl Katz, after getting a haircut and doing some crazy shopping, I would turn my attention to the Oilers. My first move would be to do absolutely nothing to the management other than tell them every trade and signing needs to be approved by me.

    I would let these guys ride it out until about mid-February, not let them do any more direct damage to the team, but keep letting them sink the team in the standings so that they are sure to get a #1 or #2 pick.

    In the meantime, I would be lining up a few very good experienced hockey minds to start a rapid rebuild of the management and have them do interviews through Jan and early Feb with the GM hiring to take place on Feb 15th. I would tell the GM to leave coaching in Todd Nelson’s hands through the rest of the season. I would let Todd Nelson coach through the season and that all past instructions about playing Brad Hunt and sitting Yak are out the window – the coach gets to coach. The GM wouldn’t interfere with the coach, but would instead focus on dumping irredeemable assets such as Ference and locking up guys like Petry.

    So, for those of you calling for action. You can at least pretend that this is what is going on behind the scenes. Katz is just coyly letting MacLowe sink the team for one last tank and brilliant management will emerge in Mid February.

    OR you could do a reality check and realize that what is really going to happen is that all of the Oiler Scouts are going to be fired on Dec 26th and that Messier is taking over as head scout.

  120. YEG FOLK says:

    book¡je:
    In addition to being stuborn on his centres, he has also been stuborn on his defence and wingers.Pushing guys who don’t deserve more than a quick chance and leaving others to rot (i.e. become disillusioned by the team).

    I think that both he and Lowe are smart guys, but their arrogance and ‘smarter than the room’ mentality has defeated them.Absolute unchecked power corrupts.

    Agree completely on this being the root of the problems with this organization and will not end until the management from Lowe on down is fired. It starts for me from throwing Souray away for nothing. Not running processes for hiring management positions. Consistently and knowingly leaving the station each fall with an unbalanced roster. Consistently putting rookies and other new players in positions on the roster above their expected abilities. Then using the media to shit talk players out of town after a few seasons, usually for pennies on the dollar. Rinse and repeat for the subsequent string of coaches. The list of examples cited on this blog over the years are longer than a Chinese restaurant menu.

    It’s a repeated pattern of behaviors, and hoping it will change with the same people in decision making roles of this organization is a suckers bet. I’m sure that Kevin, MacTankVish and rest of the The Kingsway Ave office personnel would be awesome to hang out with on the golf course, but as a management team charged with putting a competitive NHL team together it’s a cess pool that needs to be flushed.

    The hardest thing for this fan to take this year is that the margin from where we are today, to this potentially having been a successful season (within reasonable expectations) probably wasn’t too hard for a competent management team to close. We are here again with yet another year in the basement because the Smrtest guys in the room couldn’t put in the sustained attention, or simply don’t understand the details of today’s successful NHL roster composition. Gambling on a roster with two NHL level C, making bad bets on D procurement for years now – throw in an unproven goaltending duo, sprinkle in bad roster decisions from day 1 – here we are. Onto another future ex-coach, another losing season, etc.

    What’s worst in my view, and will be the hardest to shake up is the now visible fault lines in the room and the fragile mental state of this team. I suspect there are a few players trying to play their way out of the franchise through trade. For the rest it’s got to be very difficult to row their hardest every night when you’re part of a perpetual losing machine. How do you motivate and lead when you have an inferior roster each night and you and your opponent knows it.

    With a generational talent in sight I guess the prudent move for the rest of the season is to continue to chop wood and carry water – is there a better slogan to sum up the collective Oiler experience this year? Hopefully the so called management review will be concluded and executed swiftly to bring in fresh thinking and decision making in the new year. Some key roster moves and sustained winning will cure the rest. I can’t imagine this town when this thing turns for the better. I also can’t imagine that happening with this management team around – It simply has to start there.

  121. book¡je says:

    The Full Nelson:
    PREDICKTER,

    Next up: Crazy Train!

    Ozzy really should be the next RE artist.

    Once again, Vote for the Ramones, no group has better fitting collection of bitter dejected songs for this team and the fans. Seriously, I can think of the perfect situation for each of these (don’t ask about Rocket to Russia – it just makes me sad).

    I don’t Wanna go Down to the Basement
    Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue
    Bonzo Goes to Bitzburg
    I Wanna be Sedated
    Sombody put Something in my Drink
    Poison Heart
    Labotomy
    Psycho Therapy
    Howling at the Moon
    Cretin Hop
    Pinhead
    Rocket to Russia
    Beat on the Brat
    Born to Die in Berlin
    Cabbies on Crack
    Censorshit
    Crummy Stuff

  122. Jujhar says:

    I thought these message boards would be dead by now. Cant believe people still care. Or is this just a better alternative to working at work ?

  123. Caramel Obvious says:

    Maybe it’s because I’m not from Edmonton but I can’t accept the idea that this team is being run in the same way now as it was when Tambellini was in charge. MacTavish may not have succeeded but if he didn’t, it as in an entirely different way.*

    It is completely unfair and completely false to tar him with the past eight years.

    *He failed because of a combination of goaltending, luck, and star players not really being star players. Only one of those is really in some part of his control.

    This team needed Yakupov and Schultz to be star players in order to have any chance. Instead they aren’t even good, let alone stars, and Hall got hurt and is a shell of his former self. That, combined with the unlucky shooting percentage for and the goaltending is why we are where we are.

    So I kind of agree that we’ll be here again next year, but we’ll be here no matter who is in charge. This team has a losing hand.

    Which brings up another point I’ve been noticing around here lately. There seems to be an underlying idea that people are responsible for what happens to them. Team loses–it must be someone’s fault. Team isn’t good, what decisions could have been made that were better? But the truth of the matter is that most of what happens in life is beyond our control. Failure isn’t always someones’ fault, and success is never really earned. Life isn’t a meritocracy.

  124. book¡je says:

    Jujhar:
    I thought these message boards would be dead by now.Cant believe people still care.Or is this just a better alternative to working at work ?

    This is a website for former fans of the Oilers, there are a lot of us.

  125. book¡je says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    But the truth of the matter is that most of what happens in life is beyond our control.Failure isn’t always someones’ fault, and success is never really earned.Life isn’t a meritocracy.

    Life is not entirely a meritocracy, but its also not entirely fatalistic. Are you saying that you think this team is bad by the random chance of fate and it wouldn’t matter who was running it.

  126. Lowetide says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    Maybe it’s because I’m not from Edmonton but I can’t accept the idea that this team is being run in the same way now as it was when Tambellini was in charge.MacTavish may not have succeeded but if he didn’t, it as in an entirely different way.*

    It is completely unfair and completely false to tar him with the past eight years.

    *He failed because of a combination of goaltending, luck, and star players not really being star players.Only one of those is really in some part of his control.

    This team needed Yakupov and Schultz to be star players in order to have any chance.Instead they aren’t even good, let alone stars, and Hall got hurt and is a shell of his former self.That, combined with the unlucky shooting percentage for and the goaltending is why we are where we are.

    So I kind of agree that we’ll be here again next year, but we’ll be here no matter who is in charge.This team has a losing hand.

    Which brings up another point I’ve been noticing around here lately.There seems to be an underlying idea that people are responsible for what happens to them.Team loses–it must be someone’s fault.Team isn’t good, what decisions could have been made that were better?But the truth of the matter is that most of what happens in life is beyond our control.Failure isn’t always someones’ fault, and success is never really earned.Life isn’t a meritocracy.

    I think Craig MacTavish is a smart guy. I think Ben Scrivens/Viktor Fasth was a reasonable bet and that Dallas Eakins is a good coach.

    Now.

    I ALSO think that Niki Nikitin was a terrible bet and the MacT needed to address center.

    So.

    The season begins and the bad bet (Nikitin) AND the position ignored (Center) didn’t work out AND the good bet (goaltending) craters.

    MacT waits.

    And he doesn’t get his coach a center, he fires him.

    May I ask who we should blame? Luck?

  127. book¡je says:

    You see officer, I understand I was doing 148 km/h in a 50 km/h zone, but it was just bad luck.

  128. LMHF#1 says:

    Caramel Obvious:

    But the truth of the matter is that most of what happens in life is beyond our control.Failure isn’t always someones’ fault, and success is never really earned.Life isn’t a meritocracy.

    Have fun with that ‘truth’. It gives the deserved results.

  129. Woodguy says:

    Caramel Obvious,

    It is completely unfair and completely false to tar him with the past eight years.

    Due to MacT’s urging Sam Gagner makes the Oilers the same year he was drafted.

    Due to MacT’s urging Leon Draisaitl makes the Oilers the same year he was drafted.

    Not happy with Brodziak’s compete level the Oilers trade him for late round picks to clear the way for Pouliot to have a roster spot.

    Not happy with Lander’s compete level the Oilers send him to the farm to clear the way for Draisaitl to have a roster spot.

    Also,


    *He failed because of a combination of goaltending, luck, and star players not really being star players. Only one of those is really in some part of his control.

    Starting LHD yesterday was (using TOI)

    Klefbom – 25:45 a 21 year old 29 games into his NHL career and is making very rookie mistakes

    Ference – 22:19 35 year old (36 in March and still under contract for 2 more years) small Dman who’s was mostly a 3rd pairing guy 2 years ago when the Oilers picked him up.

    Hunt – 14:27 a 26 year old who is 12 games into his NHL career as he is too slow to play NHL D and may be too small as well.

    MacT playing rookies and over the hill vets in extremely important positions is so very different that Tambo having rookies and over the hill vets on the team.

  130. Hammers says:

    Woodguy: Official pay cheque casher.

    That’s a better answer than I would have given .

  131. till_horcoff_is_coach says:

    Lowetide:

    May I ask who we should blame? Luck?

    The scouts!!

    Also their fault for MM and not recalling Lander till after Gordon was back.

    Goddamn scouts.

  132. Hammers says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Third Vice President Of Remembering The Eighties

    Is that after Sather & Gretzky

  133. LMHF#1 says:

    Hammers: Is that after Sather & Gretzky

    Sather never would have tolerated this crap. I’d wager Gretzky would have learned more under his tutelage as well, but that is a guess of course.

  134. Hammers says:

    Lowetide: I think Craig MacTavish is a smart guy. I think Ben Scrivens/Viktor Fasth was a reasonable bet and that Dallas Eakins is a good coach.

    Now.

    I ALSO think that Niki Nikitin was a terrible bet and the MacT needed to address center.

    So.

    The season begins and the bad bet (Nikitin) AND the position ignored (Center) didn’t work out AND the good bet (goaltending) craters.

    MacT waits.

    And he doesn’t get his coach a center, he fires him.

    May I ask who we should blame? Luck?

    Actually all 3 of those are tied together Extra “C’ And a Good “D” help the 2 Goalies results . The coach not so much as who says he would have used them all in the correct manner .

  135. Hammers says:

    LMHF#1: Sather never would have tolerated this crap. I’d wager Gretzky also would have learned more under his tutelage as well, but that is a guess of course.

    Just saying they would take Katz’s cheque for nothing much like Messier is .

  136. LMHF#1 says:

    Hammers: Just saying they would take Katz’s cheque for nothing much like Messier is .

    I see.

    Not trying to contradict you, just a nostalgic riff.

    It was something to have Sather as GM. Sure has made the fall since look even worse.

  137. frjohnk says:

    Caramel Obvious: This team needed Yakupov and Schultz to be star players in order to have any chance. Instead they aren’t even good, let alone stars

    Right after the lockout, ( Jan 2013) Justin Schultz was mentioned by Bob McKenzie as a darkhorse candidate for Sochi.

    As for Yak
    http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=587340
    “When you watch him, I don’t think there’s one singular player that you would say, ‘Wow, that’s a guy he could be just like,'” Button said. “But his ability to maneuver out of traffic and out of the corners from tight areas reminds you of Pavel Datsyuk. When you watch him explode in his skating, he reminds you of Pavel Bure.”

    These two have not panned out for the oilers.
    If these two would have at least come close to the players some believed, these team would be in a different position.
    Part of the blame goes on the players but both of these players have not had the veteran presence that all young players need.

    I think what Schultz needed was a good vocal veteran d man, but he has never had that guy.

    What is not mentioned much is that when Yak did score his 17 goals in the lockout season, he had a veteran center ( Horcoff) who was great in helping Eberle, Hall and RNH as rookies in previous seasons. Since Horcoff has been traded, Yak has had Gagner, Arcobello and Draisaitl as his centers. Hardly veteran and hardly good enough.

    I think Horcoffs value a reliable veteran for the young kids was vastly underrated by the organization and the fan base.

    I also think the organizations failure to surround this young core with reliable veterans they needed is starting to blow up in their face. Guys like Eberle have regressed and guys like Schultz and Yak are not panning out.

    Don Cherry might have been right

  138. Black Frank (the dog) says:

    Lowetide: I think Craig MacTavish is a smart guy. I think Ben Scrivens/Viktor Fasth was a reasonable bet and that Dallas Eakins is a good coach.

    Now.

    I ALSO think that Niki Nikitin was a terrible bet and the MacT needed to address center.

    So.

    The season begins and the bad bet (Nikitin) AND the position ignored (Center) didn’t work out AND the good bet (goaltending) craters.

    MacT waits.

    And he doesn’t get his coach a center, he fires him.

    May I ask who we should blame? Luck?

    #ThanksDaryl

  139. Black Frank (the dog) says:

    Sheesh you’re a miserable lot today.

  140. Lowetide says:

    Black Frank (the dog):
    Sheesh you’re a miserable lot today.

    I think part of it comes from MacT not improving the team. I understand not trading future assets, that makes sense. However, he could run with Viktor Fasth as the starter (as an example) or recall Martin Marincin. Leon Draisaitl back to junior would be a good thing, too. Lots of things he could do without dealing a second round pick.

  141. McSorley33 says:

    I pounded the table in 2013…..but most agreed with trading out of the 2nd round.

    Of course, it is early and WJC can mean not much….

    See if you can spot the 2nd and 3rd rounders from the 2013 draft in the WJC.

  142. McSorley33 says:

    2013 – #41 – D – Robert Hagg – 6’2 – 203 pounds – Sweden

  143. Black Frank (the dog) says:

    Lowetide: I think part of it comes from MacT not improving the team. I understand not trading future assets, that makes sense. However, he could run with Viktor Fasth as the starter (as an example) or recall Martin Marincin. Leon Draisaitl back to junior would be a good thing, too. Lots of things he could do without dealing a second round pick.

    But it’s only 3 games in. Look at the hysteria over sending Lander down. Only to discover it was pre-planned, his good play was acknowledged, and he’s coming back. Of course he could bring MM up and start Fasth – which he’ll surely do in game 4.

    We all had the discussion when MacT first came in, on how long before we’d judge Nelson. I recall it was 10 games after MacT went upstairs. Will MacT go upstairs while they are still losing except to pack his bags? I don’t think so.

    Eakins was correct. This isn’t going to be fixed in a day. Daryl has clearly put a hold on trades for now and there has to be stuff going on that we know nothing about.

    At least they rediscovered ho to score, and as that G-person said – was it Godot or GMoney? (I get confused with all those G’s) he’d rather watch a 6-5 loss than a 1-0 loss.

    It is what it is! Until further notice.
    #ThanksDaryl!

  144. Numenius says:

    Woodguy: Not happy with Lander’s compete level the Oilers send him to the farm to clear the way for Draisaitl to have a roster spot.

    spoiler:
    From Nelson’s brief presser today… the Lander return to OKC was planned from the get-go, thought he had a solid game and he will be getting another opportunity.

    In the words of the Delphic oracle: Inform thyself.

  145. Numenius says:

    Black Frank (the dog),

    Thanks for bringing some sanity to this thread.

  146. Lowetide says:

    Black Frank (the dog): But it’s only 3 games in. Look at the hysteria over sending Lander down. Only to discover it was pre-planned, his good play was acknowledged, and he’s coming back. Of course he could bring MM up and start Fasth – which he’ll surely do in game 4.

    We all had the discussion when MacT first came in, on how long before we’d judge Nelson. I recall it was 10 games after MacT went upstairs. Will MacTgo upstairs while they are still losing except to pack his bags? I don’t think so.

    Eakins was correct. This isn’t going to be fixed in a day. Daryl has clearly put a hold on trades for now and there has to be stuff going on that we know nothing about.

    At least they rediscovered ho to score, and as that G-person said – was it Godot or GMoney? (I get confused with all those G’s) he’d rather watch a 6-5 loss than a 1-0 loss.

    It is what it is! Until further notice.
    #ThanksDaryl!

    1. This blog didn’t panic when Lander was sent out, nor when Yak wasn’t chosen for the shootout.
    2. I never entered into any agreement re: Todd Nelson but would say he’s bringing good ideas and I don’t think he’s close to being a problem.
    3. Eakins WAS right, but that doesn’t mean you sit on your hands.

  147. Black Frank (the dog) says:

    Lowetide: 1. This blog didn’t panic when Lander was sent out, nor when Yak wasn’t chosen for the shootout.
    2. I never entered into any agreement re: Todd Nelson but would say he’s bringing good ideas and I don’t think he’s close to being a problem.
    3. Eakins WAS right, but that doesn’t mean you sit on your hands.

    I have to sit on my hands not to pull the rest of my hair out.

  148. Lowetide says:

    Black Frank (the dog): I have to sit on my hands not to pull the rest of my hair out.

    Really? I had a hard time getting too mad about last night. I know Lander getting sent out right after the game upset a lot of people but I didn’t think Nelson would screw him over (and he didn’t). I know people were upset about Ference playing in OT but if you look at any coach the veteran D get a push because they are more reliable as a group.

    I find the in-game management this season to be solid to solid plus.

  149. Anne Frank's Black Skunk-Eating Dog says:

    Can anyone name a more bizarre trajectory for a #1 draft pick than Nail Yakupov?

    From a 29-goal pace in his rookie season to one of the worst-performing #1 picks in years, all with no obvious injury or I’d-prefer-Hollywood aspirations.

  150. Lowetide says:

    Anne Frank’s Black Skunk-Eating Dog:
    Can anyone name a more bizarre trajectory for a #1 draft pick than Nail Yakupov?

    From a 29-goal pace in his rookie season to one of the worst-performing #1 picks in years, all with no obvious injury or I’d-prefer-Hollywood aspirations.

    It happens. I do think Dallas Eakins made a mistake with the HS early in their first season together. I’m not sure he ever got back from that point and doubt Yakupov is here next season.

  151. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide: Really? I had a hard time getting too mad about last night. I know Lander getting sent out right after the game upset a lot of people but I didn’t think Nelson would screw him over (and he didn’t). I know people were upset about Ference playing in OT but if you look at any coach the veteran D get a push because they are more reliable as a group.

    I find the in-game management this season to be solid to solid plus.

    I’d agree with this.

    The Lander demotion is frustrating. Maybe it should be infuriating, but I think I’ve become a little numb to it now.

    The in-game was more or less defensible. I’d like to see Fasth get a game. Seems like since he lost his temper (deservedly, in my opinion) he’s been relegated to hind banana. From my perspective I’ve generally seen Fasth better than Scrivens. He’s better a puck-handling and the difference there is noticeable in the breakouts when he is there compared to Scrivens.

    Ference is going to see ice in OT if it goes the full five minutes. The Oilers aren’t deep enough to start sitting veterans after 60 minutes.

    I’m okay with Nelson so far. My concerns are that he’s going to be given the same marching order in terms of player selection and TOI allotment that sunk Eakins. In which case, both the goalie and coaches’ unions should file a grievance about this organization.

  152. Black Frank (the dog) says:

    Lowetide: Really? I had a hard time getting too mad about last night. I know Lander getting sent out right after the game upset a lot of people but I didn’t think Nelson would screw him over (and he didn’t). I know people were upset about Ference playing in OT but if you look at any coach the veteran D get a push because they are more reliable as a group.

    I find the in-game management this season to be solid to solid plus.

    In order to keep sane about giving up a 5-2 lead I have to remind myself about the faith I have in MacT as an offensive coach, and in Nelson’s record as an AHL head coach, and his record with most of the players on this roster.
    I also have to remind myself of what I said about the fact this is only the third game, and you cant even expect them to have much influence in the 1st w/o a practice anyway.
    I regard Eakins as being akin to a jet landing on a carrier deck – from the wrong direction. In so doing I think he had/was given the wrong end of the stick with Yak in particular and played a significant role in the destruction of this young man’s self confidence. It’s also obvious he did his best to undo that and everything else he did wrong but perhaps too late to recover.
    It also seems that Eakins was under the impression that wins were less important right now than steady progression from high corsi’s to better consistency on D and only then to focus on increasing the sh%. Not sure how incorrect that impression was either. Nonetheless I can’t help feeling that Eakins unintentionally sucked the life out of the team, and that MacT and Nellie have a lot of work to do, and 3 games isn’t even close to undo all that damage. Lets wait until at least game 10 to rip our robes and march on Kingsway.

  153. Lowetide says:

    Black Frank (the dog): In order to keep sane about giving up a 5-2 lead I have to remind myself about the faith I have in MacT as an offensive coach, and in Nelson’s record as an AHL head coach, and his record with most of the players on this roster.
    I also have to remind myself of what I said about the fact this is only the third game, and you cant even expect them to have much influence in the 1st w/o a practice anyway.
    I regard Eakins as being akin to a jet landing on a carrier deck – from the wrong direction. In so doing I think he had/was given the wrong end of the stick with Yak in particular and played a significant role in the destruction of this young man’s self confidence. It’s also obvious he did his best to undo that and everything else he did wrong but perhaps too late to recover.
    It also seems that Eakins was under the impression that wins were less important right now than steady progression from high corsi’s to better consistency on D and only then to focus on increasing the sh%. Not sure how incorrect that impression was either. Nonetheless I can’t help feeling that Eakins unintentionally sucked the life out of the team, and that MacT and Nellie have a lot of work to do, and 3 games isn’t even close to undo all that damage. Lets wait until at least game 10 to rip our robes and march on Kingsway.

    I think Eakins did a lot of very good things, that’s probably why we don’t see things the same way. That said, I’m absolutely willing to look at Nelson the coach with an open mind and there are some nice things currently.

    I remain convinced the Marincin-in-OKC situation is the number one example of MacT getting stubborn on a guy. There are others, of course.

  154. And your name is? says:

    frjohnk:
    I think Horcoffs value a reliable veteran for the young kids was vastly underrated by the organization and the fan base.

    The organization hung on to Horcoff for a long time. Far longer than 90% of the fan base thought desirable. Horcoff wasn’t one of these elite guys who never had to do it the hard way. Partly for that reason, he was a superb mentor.

    There was a perpetual meme around here where the scouts/coaches got no credit at all for our first round picks progressing as anticipated.

    I kept saying “never underestimate the importance of your top picks developing as top picks”. I think it was Renney who was constantly criticised for not devoting 100% of his attention to MPS and other prospects on the second tier.

    Between this perceived flaw and not icing the consensus game-thread preferred line-up, I don’t recall many tears shed over Renney’s departure.

    Star prospects are not fire and forget. That’s crazy talk, even for a generational talent. Coaches need to invest in players in rough proportion to unrealized potential. Hall’s unrealized potential was greater than MPS’s unrealized potential (as witnessed by the impact of Hall’s decline year/year).

    Some of us appreciated the crazy Russian, even if he was a darn expensive 2C slotted into a 1C role.

    How does $18 million/year spread over three first round picks compare to Hemsky/Horcoff/Smyth before they started to slow down? My gut instinct says “not well”.

    ———

    Time’s Up for ‘Timeout’ is making the rounds on the aggregation sites lately. It doesn’t strike me as quite up to the old Atlantic standards. Here are three clips that struck me:

    Macaques were used in Harry Harlow’s infamous “Pit of Despair” experiments in the 1970s …

    When we discipline, argue Siegel and Bryson, our limbic system can become reactive and emotional; or worse, the lizard brains take control in not just our child, who is raising hell and biting and hissing like a pissed-off gecko, but in us as well, as we raise our voices and flail about trying to scare off the lizard by transforming into a bigger, meaner one. Will the Komodo dragon beat the gecko? In some ways, sure. But that little lizard learns one thing, and that is for it to win, it needs to grow stronger, get bigger, and bite harder. If, however, parents can channel their inner Steve Irwins and find ways to approach the lizard child with respect for how it is acting …

    I’m reminded of a case study that describes an individual who had come to associate sexual arousal with being covered in insects. As a child, that individual had been locked into closets for unimaginable amounts of time, and during those times, bugs would frequently fill the space and crawl on him. The child, trying to seek some sort of escape from the reality of his experience, found comfort only in sexual release—even though he was too young to even know what sex was or meant.

    This is absolutely bizarre. If I’ve ever sprinkled three such references into any passage I’ve written, you can be 100% certain I was subverting my surface message with malice aforethought. Steve Irwin is mainly famous for how he died (it wasn’t pretty). This is heaped upon maggot masturbation and images roiling up out of the subconscious of Vlad the Impaler taking liberties with this little critter. The subconscious message here is to file away everything you’re reading under Ebola or bubonic plague.

    Legislators have conveniently divided along party lines to enter the fray. In Kansas, legislation that would allow teachers to use more forceful corporeal punishment has been proposed (but recently rejected), while in Texas a recent law allows parents to place their child on a “no-paddle” list, a position which allows spanking to remain in schools while granting certain parents (read: godless liberals) the ability to opt out of the paddle. And the issue is not restricted to the United States. In Sweden, a furious debate has erupted over authoritarian parenting as a way to toughen up kids and prevent them from becoming “brats.” And in certain churches around the world, spanking does more than just toughen a kid up; it ensures they move on the path of righteousness. Spanking is biblical mandate, and it works its way into the politics of parenting.

    Paddled? He should have seen some tough Alberta farm boys brought to tears after being strapped until their hands were black and blue. All of my lunch hour buddies got it one day when they decided that throwing snowballs over the fence at passing cars—they might even have spiced their snowballs with small stones—was better entertainment than our usual ice-soccer game (I was always the goalie and goalies are hard to find, so they never said a word about me deciding to play indoors that day). When you’re fourteen years old and you look like you’ve been doing chores for 1.5 hours first thing every day since you turned ten, you get it extra bad. Farm boy justice was a brutal thing. How many brutal repetitions does it take to make a Sutter cry? The principal in my middle school sure didn’t stop until mission accomplished. I was an avoidance specialist, and quick to duck out of a bad scene, but once cornered I wasn’t especially quick to crumble, either.

    This kind of scattershot emotional valence is how think tanks like The Heartland Institute mess with your head. Ultimately, after reading one of their tracts, half the reason you’re left seething is because of subtle incongruities of language such as I noticed today in The Atlantic (by an award-winning author with ties to military and Christian institutions). The editing was sub-standard as well. There was a phrase with an “of” missing. “Voilà” was rendered as “Ouila!” (even Google has rarely seen this). There was a phrase or two attempting a literate turn of voice that just didn’t come off. And there is one sentence that needs to go off and sit in the corner and contemplate what it has just done:

    The crying typically escalates, followed quickly by, some permutation from the parent of the legendary phrase, “If you don’t quiet down, I’ll give you something to cry about.”

    Yes, the downside with stapling a player’s butt to the bench or a public press-boxing is that it tends to move the dialog into the reactive quadrant, and once in the reactive quadrant things tend to devolve into fight, flight, or freeze.

    The people who don’t see these outcomes as potentially problematic all seem to hew to the strategy that if at first your reactive move does not succeed, strap strap again. This of course will always work if the escalation is able to continue unbounded, in the same way that doubling down after each loss at a casino will always result in a win if the casino will front you a million, or a billion, or a trillion dollars (as long as it takes for your lucky number to end the sequence, as in the Martingale betting system).

    Turns out there’s more than one Black Vortex of No Return.

    Edit: Both Cool Hand Luke and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest are protracted studies of what happens when a hapless sociopath just doesn’t know how to stay beaten.

  155. Ryan says:

    Anne Frank’s Black Skunk-Eating Dog:
    Can anyone name a more bizarre trajectory for a #1 draft pick than Nail Yakupov?

    From a 29-goal pace in his rookie season to one of the worst-performing #1 picks in years, all with no obvious injury or I’d-prefer-Hollywood aspirations.

    I think the Yakupov pick is interesting. At the time of the draft, I was fully on-board with the pick itself. I remember particularly looking at his draft -1 year in the OHL thinking he was Taylor Hall v2.0. Sadly, it wasn’t the case.

    The centres he’s played with since fist rookie NHL season have been ghastly… His rookie shooting percentage was unsustainable…

    His development has been flawed…

    At the end of the day though, the near complete inability to play in his own zone, somewhat lacking in hockey sense, lack of separation speed especially, and ultimately his suspect/famed ‘one-touch’ scoring ability leave us with what we have. A player who in all likelihood is a draft-bust relative to being a number one ov.

    At the NHL level, while he does have his warts, he doesn’t actually do anything particularly well. He certainly doesn’t create offense.

    Number one OV’s even developing in the debacle that is the Oilers organization generally don’t give you the end result that is Nail Yakupov. He is what he is… a swing and a miss.

  156. 106 and 106 says:

    I miss cheering for a low-budget, competitive squad.

    Money hasn’t bought us squat.

  157. G Money says:

    Black Frank (the dog): At least they rediscovered ho to score, and as that G-person said – was it Godot or GMoney? (I get confused with all those G’s) he’d rather watch a 6-5 loss than a 1-0 loss.

    Well played! It was me. The way in which you can tell the difference is that mine didn’t include an anti-Eakins rant.

  158. Lowetide says:

    106 and 106:
    I miss cheering for a low-budget, competitive squad.

    Money hasn’t bought us squat.

    Losing brought us three Aces. The caretakers are hammering them into 6’s and 7’s.

  159. Mr DeBakey says:

    I think the additions of Boyd Gordon, Andrew Ference, David Perron, Benoit Pouliot, Mark Fayne, Matt Hendricks, Teddy Purcell have given the team several “actual NHL players” to go with the gifted kids.

    I haven’t read the thread
    If I’m repeating something typed above, please carry on

    You’ve got to subtract Horcoff, Hemsky, Gagner, that Swedish kid with all the vowels…
    Horcoff to Gordon – no upgrade
    Perron an upgrade, but cost a pick
    Pouliot an upgrade
    Hendricks, maybe, on Smyth no.
    Purcell to Hemsky – not an upgrade

    Actual upgrades are Pouliot and Fayne, plus Perron

  160. Lowetide says:

    Mr DeBakey:
    I think the additions of Boyd Gordon, Andrew Ference, David Perron, Benoit Pouliot, Mark Fayne, Matt Hendricks, Teddy Purcell have given the team several “actual NHL players” to go with the gifted kids.

    I haven’t read the thread
    If I’m repeating something typed above, please carry on

    You’ve got to subtract Horcoff, Hemsky, Gagner, that Swedish kid with all the vowels…
    Horcoff to Gordon – no upgrade
    Perron an upgrade, but cost a pick
    Pouliot an upgrade
    Hendricks, maybe, on Smyth no.
    Purcell to Hemsky – not an upgrade

    Actual upgrades are Pouliot and Fayne, plus Perron

    Never thought I’d see the day when Lennart Petrell’s leaving was mourned.

  161. Mr DeBakey says:

    Lowetide,

    Petrell only has two vowels
    And he’s as Swedish as he is Estonian

  162. Lowetide says:

    Mr DeBakey:
    Lowetide,

    Petrell only has two vowels
    And he’s as Swedish as he is Estonian

    Oh, Paajarvi! Yes, liked Paajarvi. Perron’s an upgrade though. By a long margin.

  163. Lowetide says:

    As mentioned above, I think Eakins is a good coach. That doesn’t mean Nelson is a bad hire. Here he really makes a helluva lot of sense

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/edmonton-oilers/Edmonton+Oilers+Nail+yakupov/10674383/story.html?cid=dlvr.it-twitter-ej_oilers

  164. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Hammers: Is that after Sather & Gretzky

    I was thinking Lowe & MacTavish, but I forgot about Bucky so maybe Mess will be the Fourth Vice President .

  165. J-Bo says:

    Okay Lowetide, I agree with you more than 9 times out of 10 but logic dictates Eakins was NOT the “right” coach. He could be an excellent coach, but was clearly not the “right” coach for this group at this time. In hindsight he was a very poor hire. The GM may not have delivered a balanced roster and Eakins may have done some good things with and for this group, but calling him the “right” hire is Eakin to calling Brownlee a soft and sensitive journalist/radio-personality who never uses sarcasm 😉

  166. PhrankLee says:

    frjohnk: You are right. They have decent ( just below middle of the pack) possession when trailing. Among the worst when leading

    This is the mental toughness issue I think Nelson is addressing. They are only ever able to match a team. Never initiating enough to cause that team to match them.

  167. PhrankLee says:

    G Money: Well played! It was me.The way in which you can tell the difference is that mine didn’t include an anti-Eakins rant.

    Godot has posted at least twice recently without mentioning he who cannot be named…

    Who says hope is lost?

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