Kings at Oilers, G21/08-09

This is Marcel Dionne. He was a terrific hockey player and his sustain at the top of the scoring charts remains impressive these many years later.

The Kings have some nice players on the club that is playing tonight, but they also have some holes. Obvious holes. The National Hockey League is apparently unaware that Kings management is as close to “throwing games” as any team since the Ottawa Senators did many years ago in order to get some long forgotten phenom.

I’d say that the Kings not trying to be competitive is the biggest black eye the NHL has right now in terms of being a league that is above board, but it isn’t even close. The dreadful and clumsy handling of Brian Burke’s hiring by the Toronto Maple Leafs, much of which clearly took place while the man was the General Manager of the Anaheim Ducks, is appalling to the extreme and once again shows the NHL owners as a group are a bunch of clowns.

This bunch could learn from the CFL, and baby that’s not a compliment.

As for tonight’s game, the Oilers should win this one walking away. There are things that could cause a loss, like the new guy running someone through the boards and taking a 5-minute penalty in which the Oilers PK acts like itself.

That aside, this shouldn’t be close.

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369 Responses to "Kings at Oilers, G21/08-09"

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  1. Bruce says:

    That was a cheap play by a frustrated player.

  2. Bruce says:

    Coach: yeah I know. The other 3 co-leaders of the Giveaway sweepstakes are all 30+, was my point.

  3. Coach pb9617 says:

    These guys aren’t even lovable losers.

  4. doritogrande says:

    Tavares or Hedman?

  5. Bruce says:

    Roli keeps shanking those rebounds like Noel Prefontaine punts into the wind. They land in a dangerous area before the cover team can get close to them.

  6. doritogrande says:

    juice boys?

    FUCKING PRACTICE YOU SOB. That…..even conventional swears do not properly express the proper sentiment.

  7. Kris says:

    Yeah, but as good as Hemsky is, we’ve never had a top-notch powerplay as long as he’s been running it. He does well down there on the PP, but he’s not the answe.

  8. doritogrande says:

    Kris:

    Seriously dude? That’s insane to even think like that. Ales Hemsky is one of the premier powerplay producers in the NHL, and the statistically inclined posters will be quick to back me up on this.

    Ales Hemsky is not the problem. The system is the problem.

  9. Coach pb9617 says:

    I’d walk a mile for a cycle just about now.

  10. Bruce says:

    Kris: Careful boy, them’s fighting words in these parts.

  11. Bruce says:

    Kris: oops, too late … see what I mean?

  12. Kris says:

    Oh god no! I didn’t mean he’s the problem; He’s a great piece. I’m not saying to move him off the PP.

    I’m arguing for more Vish since the Souray-centric PP isn’t woring.

    I think even if we had Hossa, the powerplay wouldn’t be much better. Our problems are organizational, but getting Souray off the #1 unit-at least for a while- can’t hurt.

  13. Bruce says:

    Did Gord really just say ennui?

    Shots on net this period are 3-2 Kings.

  14. doritogrande says:

    Fucking defensemen! Not every shot has to be 100mph! STOP SHOOTING WIDE AT EMPTY FUCKING NETS!

  15. bookie says:

    Is this the worst game in the last 40 games for the Oil? I have been watching the Kings throughout the game and they are terrible, but winning!

  16. Coach pb9617 says:

    Oh look, that’s how you play offense. Thanks obvious first line that took 20 games to come together.

  17. doritogrande says:

    bookie: You obviously didn’t watch the two games against the Wings last week. Games like these are now standard operating procedure for the Oilers.

    Christ. The ADT challenge game was more exciting than this.

  18. Scott says:

    Why are we still playing Smid at LW with Grebeshkov out?

  19. bookie says:

    doritogrande – I did watch those games, but that was Detroit and I saw more of a team and individual effort on the part of the Oil. The Kings have really coasted through this…

  20. honkey says:

    I say Hedman, tied 2nd +/- in SEL at +15. Thats strong numbers, and on a sidenote Motin didn’t made WJC team. Why you might wonder, the answer, he has to little offense alla according to the WJC coach.

  21. Coach pb9617 says:

    Why are we still playing Smid at LW with Grebeshkov out?

    Why is Sam Gagner the Oilers #3 penalty killer?

    Why did it take 20 games for Horpensky to play?

    Why does the entire world know exactly where the puck is going on the power play.

  22. bookie says:

    Maybe MacT could get banished to the Press Box for a couple of games. I like what it did for Penner.

  23. Scott says:

    I have a new theory. Marty Reasoner was the real coach of the team. During the playoff run of 2006 he was on the phone with MacT the whole time. He could focus more since he wasn’t concerned with actually taking a shift. Now, with Marty gone, MacT doesn’t know what to do.

  24. Bruce says:

    Coile and Moreau work hard to spring the puck for Pouliot, and he just flips it back into traffic and that’s that. Use your point men, boy.

  25. Kris says:

    Nice pass Nilson.

  26. Coach pb9617 says:

    (*&%$%^#*()I(*&^ STOP FUCKING DROPPING THE PUCK!

    GAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHh

    I HATE THESE LIMP WRISTED FUCKING DROP PASSED ALL OVER THE GODDAMNED ICE

    *^&%*%()$%$(^_)%(&^#^)%I#_(^)*#$)&(&%)#$*^(%)#$*^*)(#$&^$

  27. doritogrande says:

    Bruce:

    Fuck the point men. All they’re going to do is shoot it high and/or wide.

    To use one of the more famous quotes from MacT last year, substituting a name for a team:

    “(This team)’s fixes aren’t quick fixes.”

  28. bookie says:

    No, last minute push even? Where is the heart. This feels like a 6-1 game, not a 2-1 game.

  29. boopronger says:

    For what its worth ive been a Mact supporter for a long time and I too am starting to lose faith. Like a previous poster said, you cant trade away the whole team and keep blaming the coach.

    I think this is the first time since ive started watching hockey that ive seen an underachieving oilers team. They have the talent to make the playoffs but man o man are they playing like shit. Badly outshot just about every game. The losses will start to pile up worse if something doesnt change.

  30. Kris says:

    Was that our first scoring chance since the goal?

  31. boopronger says:

    The frustration also starts to mount when every player you trade for sucks when they come to Edmonton. Why cant anyone fucking score!

  32. doritogrande says:

    I think we just watched the last game coached by Craig MacTavish.

    Seriously.

  33. Kris says:

    Will MacT mac-splode now?

  34. Coach pb9617 says:

    Win the faceoff and go cross ice to Souray. THAT is what they came up with in the timeout?

    Seriously? I mean, they sat there with the whiteboard and drew THAT up?

    You can’t be fucking serious.

  35. B.C.B. says:

    Bookie and DG: I was at the game in DET, and the Oilers played better losing 4-0 to the best team in the game on the road then we did tonight.

  36. Coach pb9617 says:

    “Guys, guys, guys. I got it. Calm down, I got it. We’re going to win the faceoff to Lubo and have him go cross ice to Shelley. He has that huge shot, they’ll never expect this shit. Awwwwwwwwwww yeah, goal time baby. Catch you cats in the locker room for the victory celebration.”

  37. pboy says:

    Maybe tomorrow morning we will some objective journalism in the Edmonton papers about all of the booing tonight at Rexall? There haven’t been too many critisms of MacT by the hometown press but I think it’s going to start. I don’t think he makes it to X-Mas. Hopefully, Moore, Peters and Buchy are right behind him.

  38. bookie says:

    This is my take.

    MacT started the season frustrated because he had lost the players he liked most – Good hard workers like Reasoner. I think he felt like he lost the soul of the team (I disagree)

    He has let this frustration impact his coaching and uses the loss of those players as a crutch. He is doing crazy things like starting Roloson, moving Smid, and bringing up AHL lifers because he is trying to find the ‘soul’ his team needs.

    Talented players like Eric Cole are wondering why their coach has somewhat abandoned them (moving them all over the place in the lineup). MacT is not being a coach to these guys because he is longing for Reasoner.

    The team sees this lose of heart from the coach and no longer will play for him.

    Or something like that.

  39. pboy says:

    “Guys, guys, guys. I got it. Calm down, I got it. We’re going to win the faceoff to Lubo and have him go cross ice to Shelley. He has that huge shot, they’ll never expect this shit. Awwwwwwwwwww yeah, goal time baby. Catch you cats in the locker room for the victory celebration.”

    I laughed but it also made me a little sad because there was so much truth in it….

  40. YKOil says:

    meh

    Take a team and mis-match player procurement.

    Then, based on that procurement force square pegs (players) into round holes (positions) for a whack of games until you find out, for absolute certain, they don’t actually work.

    Then try to put it back together, the way it should have been, and find that there isn’t any chemistry because no one has played together, for any length of time, in a while.

    Voila! A bad game that ends in a loss.

    Granted, I thought the Oil would win this based solely on home-ice advantage (just thought they would win UGLY), but the loss is no great surprise.

    Watch Smid and Pouliot take the heat/blame for this one.

  41. PunjabiOil says:

    Time for MacT to go. Seriously.

  42. bookie says:

    I am absolutely confident of one thing – MacT will be fired before the next game or he won’t be. You can count on that.

  43. Bruce says:

    That performance did not meet minimum standards. What a Brutal effort.

    That shift from 2:00 to 1:00 left where the Oilers didn’t even try to get the puck in their own end was nothing short of Pathetic. Ferraro talked about tension on the Oilers’ bench … how about a little passion? They just mailed in the points. In a home game.

    I’m getting very near the point where I’ve seen enough. This just doesn’t cut it. I’m sure glad I didn’t pay $80 or $100 to watch that piece of shit of a hockey game. If I had, I’d be making a phone call to the Oilers’ office in the morning.

    If that’s the best they can come up with on home ice after 5 days rest, it’s time for a change. This formula isn’t working.

  44. godot10 says:

    I think it is getting next to impossible to defend the coaching of this team.

  45. bookie says:

    I am beginning to think of this as my Oilers therapy group….

    My name is Bookie and I am an Oiler Fan… its been 10 minutes since I last watched a game!

  46. Kris says:

    Bookie: What if he’s sort of fired: like they don’t tell him he’s fired but just stop his paycheques and he keeps showing up to work anyway.

  47. Bruce says:

    Score: 2-1 Kings.
    Shots: 29-23 Kings.
    Attempted shots: 61-50 Kings.
    Hits: 22-18 Kings.
    Takeaways: 11-8 Kings.
    Giveaways: 21-13 Oilers.

  48. dubya says:

    Yowsers, that sucked.

    Horcoff had several brutal giveaways in the offensive zone tonight, definitely the 3rd best player on that line this game. He’s got to be better.

    Gagner was skating but making horrible decisions. Where are the smarts from last year? Cogs was trying, Nilsson invisible.

    Pouliot was useless. Sorry, I know he’s a fave around here but he got nothing done. Cole looks to be trying but he’s got no help on that line as Moreau has crashed back to earth.

    4th line was OK, for a line consisting of a defenseman and two AHL players. Why can’t our bangers weigh more than 180lbs? Tough to intimidate the D when they all weigh 30-40lbs more than you. Also, Smid is not a good winger.

    So depressing. I like MacT but I think his players just sent management a pretty clear message.

  49. Coach pb9617 says:

    One good thing about tonight:

    Horpensky sighting!

  50. Chris says:

    I’ve always thought MacTavish was at the very least an adequate coach and his tactics were brilliant during that great 2006 run. However, I can’t be the only one that watching this team and saying this looks like a team that’s quit on its coach. I’m not saying that as a condemnation of MacTavish but sometimes the coach has simply been in the same locker room for too long and the message starts to get lost, or its just a chemistry thing. But right now this looks like a badly coached and unmotivated team. I’m not sure MacT deserves it, but its looking like its time for him to go because when the team isn’t playing for the coach, you can’t get rid of the team you have to get rid of the coach.

  51. hunter1909 says:

    In Mayan basketball they used to execute the losing captain.

  52. bookie says:

    Kris – or if he just hides from them under his desk and stuff so that they can’t fire him because they can’t find him…

  53. Coach pb9617 says:

    I just can’t get over the mental mistakes. LT likes to brag about the hockey IQ of this team, which means they’ve all been huffing glue or they aren’t trying.

    Guys with high hockey IQs don’t make the same mental mistakes over and over and over and over.

  54. Kris says:

    Hunter: I thought the executed the whole losing team and allowed the winning team to take all of the losers’ families’ belongings.

  55. oilerdago says:

    It’s obvious this coach can not get the most out of this mix of players. They’ve added pieces that he’s been unable to shape, moved kids up from the AHL but the results have not changed.

    Worse, I’m not seeing any passion on the ice and the same mistakes over and over. I just don’t see that this coach is able to manage this team BECAUSE IT’S NOT HIS KIND OF TEAM.

    You can say a team in transition all you want but if the leader’s can’t figure out how to get them to take even small steps it’s time for a change because this effort was pathetic.

  56. mc79hockey says:

    And now, what you’ve all been waiting for: the press conference!

  57. boopronger says:

    I thought horcoff actually played okay. Gained the offensive zone well, won most of his one on one battles and created some offensive.

  58. spOILer says:

    That game didn’t look like it was lost by bad coaching to my eye.

    Just about every thwarted attempt to gain the zone was one guy trying to do it himself. Stupid stupid plays, stuff no coach teaches.

    It’s almost like they’re trying too hard to make stuff happen on offense that they lose the smart play, forget to attack as a line not an individual. Trust issues?

    Part of it’s because half the dressing room core is gone and there’s a lack of veteran competence and leadership on this team. A ton of turnover on the roster since the lockout.

    Pressure to win and confidence are obviously becoming issues too.

    Then there’s Souray looking like he’s shafting Lube whenever they play the point together.

    And MacT obviously unhappy with the hand he’s been dealt.

    This is a team that should be scoring far more, they certainly should be winning games where they only allow 2 goals. But the selfishness on the PP, and the single man rushes have got to go.

    They showed up as a bunch of individuals tonight.

  59. Kris says:

    MacT: ‘Tactically, we were okay tonight’

  60. spOILer says:

    Coach pb9617 said…
    I just can’t get over the mental mistakes. LT likes to brag about the hockey IQ of this team, which means they’ve all been huffing glue or they aren’t trying.

    Exactly.

  61. Coach pb9617 says:

    Then there’s Souray looking like he’s shafting Lube whenever they play the point together.

    Or lubing his shaft.

  62. Coach pb9617 says:

    MacT: ‘Tactically, we were okay tonight’

    He sounds like Montgomery after Market Garden.

  63. hunter1909 says:

    Tavares is already practising his shot bocking for the Falcons next season.

  64. oilerdago says:

    Spoiler – I don’t disagree with your larger points and believe me – I really do think that MacT is a good coach.

    But the larger message does not seem to be getting through and I really don’t think this is MacT’s kind of team. Given that is it realistic to think it’s going to change?

  65. spOILer says:

    Coach pb9617 said…
    Then there’s Souray looking like he’s shafting Lube whenever they play the point together.

    Or lubing his shaft.

    No doubt there’s a form of masturbation going on there.

    They should just stop fucking passing to him. I mean he’s a helluva player, jumped up a couple of times tonight, broke up a rush or two, got the puck on the net… but I think he’s being stupidly selfish out there on the PP point.

    He’s got to be made to realize that if they can start scoring down low, a whole world of ice will open up for him.

    Nice to see him finally use the wrister a couple of times though.

  66. spOILer says:

    oilerdago said…

    But the larger message does not seem to be getting through and I really don’t think this is MacT’s kind of team. Given that is it realistic to think it’s going to change?

    That is not a given.

  67. kinger says:

    *puke*

  68. Ribs says:

    I’d move Souray off the #1 PP unit. It makes all kind of sense.
    Whu, Whu… Whaaat….? You’re right, he’s way too effective there. Maybe he can play opposite wing with Smid on the 4th line.
    Yikes.

    What a waste of time that was. I really do feel sorry for the people who paid to see that game. bruce was dead on with his assessment. No heart, no hustle, no win.

    First off, flip off with the fire MacT garbage already. It was pretty blatant that the players are the ones not doing there jobs. Horpensky back together? Got it. Kids reunited? Got it. Cole rounding out a fierce third line? Done. Result? Garbage.
    If you think it’s an adjustment thing, you might have a case against MacT, but other than that, search elsewhere.

    Horpensky line looked good in the first. The connection is still there and that’s a good sign. Horcoff was having a good game until he decided he was done trying so hard. You’d think with Stoll on the other side of the ice he’d be trying that much harder…Oh well.
    Hemsky had an alright game. I think he should take advantage of teams like this more than he does with his personal efforts. Other players wit hhis level of skills tend to munch on this level of competition.
    Penner looked okay in the first and then died off for most of the rest of the game. he should have been controlling the puck in this game but ended up getting it hacked away over and over again.

    The kid line was a dissapointment to say the least.
    Gagner was horrible. Where is the confident, creative, young player we had a year ago? The Slump.
    Nilsson looked almost as bad. His legs were moving and he had some try to his game but he was getting nowhere with the puck.
    Cogliano had a pretty good game but still didn’t see any results. Maybe a few games are needed for these guys to click?

    Poo, Moreau, and Cole had good and bad points. Cole and Moreau seemed to have the same idea in mind when they went into the offensive zone. Crash and bang and hope the puck goes in. Pouliot on the other hand, waited for his linemates to lift their heads, and make the simple pass to the slot for a shot. It never came. Pouliots not a great match with these guys.
    Can Cole shoot the puck? His shots have looked very weak all year.

    Souray had some spurts but didn’t seem to get any help from anyone on any of the rushes. Penner really needed to do more on the power play for Souray to be effective (that or get guys moving, like I’ve suggested before).
    Gilbert was the best Oiler on the ice for some of the game at least. He was playing smart and physical. Again the forwards weren’t much help.

    I expected more from Visnovsky after his comments about being traded unexpectedly from his old team. My worries about this guy grow more and more. He had a decent game again and moved the puck well, but he is still giving the puck away and his shots seem to always be 5 feet wide of the net or hit the d-man that is standing right in front of him in the legs. When it comes down to a moment, I don’t know that I trust the guy. Prove my gut wrong! Please!
    Grebeshkov was shaky but leveled off. I don’t know if I should be expecting more from him or not.

    Staios looked ugly on a bunch of shifts.
    Strudwick didn’t look any better.

    Roloson played well. Goo d call, coach…ha..

    The Oilers got beat by a team trying harder than they were. That’s all there is to it. The Leaves did the same thing to them not that long ago, you’d think they’d learn.

  69. hunter1909 says:

    MacT “You can’t blame me for the players”

    Lowe “You can’t blame me for the coaching”

    Katz “You can’t blame me for the past”

    Tambellini “I’m just happy to be here, this is such a great opportunity”

    local media “The fans had better pull their socks up”

  70. Bill Needle says:

    Cole’s pathetic play made me almost wish Lupul was back.

  71. Kris says:

    If you’re not going to move Souray off that #1 unit, you’ve got to do something. What else do you change? Gagner in for Horc? Not likely.

    You can yell at the players and tell them to do somethig more than pass it to Souray and watch his shot, but that’s been tried for sure and hasn’t worked.

    The only other thing to do, which is ideal, is to bring in a coach who can coach a powerplay.

  72. Bruce says:

    Here’s the thing with Souray: when he’s on the ice, the PP is +8.21/60. When he’s off the ice, that rate collapses to +2.94. In the case of every other defenceman on the team, including Visnovsky, the PP scores at a substantially better rate (2-3 PPG/60) when they’re off the ice than when they’re on.

  73. Dennis says:

    I didn’t notice it was an option until after the fact but did anyone happen to catch the press conference feed live on the official site?

    How long did it last for?

    No matter who’s coaching from now on, I think it’s a cool option.

  74. Lowetide says:

    Just got back from the game. I thought Roloson played well and Lubo was his usual freak of nature. Penner made a very nice play and Hemsky had some flashes as did Cogliano. Gagner had one nice chance, Nilsson is in a fog and I stand by my pre-season evaluation of Smid. White horse about to be trampled.

    Beer at the game is so expensive I had only 4.

  75. Ribs says:

    Sorry you had to bear witness to that one, LT.

  76. Lowetide says:

    Well you know I think they’ve quit on the coach. He’s lost them. That’s honestly how I feel, and anyone reading this blog knows there’s a MacT bias.

    But there are some guys who’ll be way better for the next guy, and some of them are making some big coin.

  77. Bruce says:

    I stand by my pre-season evaluation of Smid.

    LT: I greatly respect your opinion, but what could you possibly be basing that on?

  78. Bank Shot says:

    The Oilers got beat by a team trying harder than they were. That’s all there is to it. The Leaves did the same thing to them not that long ago, you’d think they’d learn.

    It’s the coaches job to get consistent effort out of his team isn’t it?

    I keep seeing Mactavish say, “I told these guys to clean up their rooms” then shrug his shoulders.

    Somebody has to be held accountable for the lack of execution and effort. Should the Oilers trade away all the underacheivers for below market vaule?

  79. Lowetide says:

    Bruce: They were down a Dman and didn’t move Smid back that I saw. What does that say?

  80. Ribs says:

    Kris, I think the point of the matter is that Souray is not the problem. Him and Hemsky are true PP specialists and they just shouldn’t be moved from there. I agree that some different strategies should be tried but so far it has been okay.

    The PK is the area we need to worry about when it comes to special teams.

  81. spOILer says:

    Not once, LT, I just checked the PbP sheet to confirm. 5:08 TOI.

    I’m a Smid supporter, but I got to say you’re looking right.

  82. Ribs says:

    I keep seeing Mactavish say, “I told these guys to clean up their rooms” then shrug his shoulders.

    After the Leaves game, MacT publicly scolded one of his top players and sat him two games trying to send a message. It created quite the stir as I recall. That’s a pretty massive shrug towards the locker room.

  83. Bob Arctor says:

    Dennis:
    The press conference was pretty short, they had audio problems for about 1/3 of it. Had to put headphones on and crank up the sound to just barely hear what MacT was saying.

  84. Coach pb9617 says:

    Gagner had one nice chance

    Gagner stunk. Again.

  85. spOILer says:

    Post game up now…

  86. Bank Shot says:

    Who the heck is going to pass Smid? Peckham is the only one close, and he looked like dried up vomit in his NHL game this season.

    I just view the Smid treatment as another irrational decision in the latest string.

  87. Bruce says:

    They were down a Dman and didn’t move Smid back that I saw. What does that say?

    LT: “They” meaning MacT. I can’t explain half the stuff he’s been doing, to be honest with you. More than half … and I’m a MacT guy, trying hard to see the logic behind early season experimentation.

    Jason Strudwick has been a minus player in 6 of the last 7 games. Staios in 5 of the 7. Tonight the two of them looked like a drunk who had dropped his car keys on the Winning Goal.

    Smid, meanwhile, has been on the ice for 1 GA the entire season (courtesy the Colorado linesman, at that).

    If MacT is going to hang the kid out to dry based on that sort of record, he is in danger of losing my support. It’s nonsensical.

  88. bookie says:

    Ribs – I have defended MacT for a long time and am not prone to ranting and raving about firing the coach. In fact, I am pretty much always the defendant for the fire the coach/trade the player argument.

    I even question my judgement here because I tend to think that pros like MacT and KLowe know a lot more about hockey than me.

    But, I think it is a bit narrowminded to say that the players are disorganized, that they cant figure out what to do out there, that they have no passion or ambition, and so on without considering that much of this is coaching.

    Did Cole suddenly forget how to play? What about the other players, did someone steal their heart?

    So, you can feel free to blame KLowe for ‘gutting the team’, but I like this team….other than how they are playing.

    Fire the Coach, but I admit that I could be wrong about this.

  89. Kris says:

    The problem is, we’ve been figured out! Opposing teams watch video and they are focusing on the big Souray shot. That 8.21/60 # is definitely going to come down if the PP keeps operating like it did tonight.

    We don’t need to keep Souray off the power play, but the rest of the guys need to get used to creating stuff without him. Ideally, a coach could do that in practice, but so far, it ain’t happenin cap’n.

  90. spOILer says:

    Coach

    he’s not buying himself any room at all. He usually ends up getting trapped into the boards, forced into puck battles he can’t win with big ass defensemen.

    I wondered when they moved him to centre if it was to give him some extra space.

    He needs someone to work short give-and-goes with until the D starts to lay off him a bit. Buy him a few penalties too, to dish and drive.

    And his whole line has got to stop leading the charge with the puck, and instead make smart passes and dump-ins as guys cross the blue line with speed.

  91. Bruce says:

    We don’t need to keep Souray off the power play, but the rest of the guys need to get used to creating stuff without him. Ideally, a coach could do that in practice, but so far, it ain’t happenin cap’n.

    Kris: That I can totally agree with.

  92. Bank Shot says:

    After the Leaves game, MacT publicly scolded one of his top players and sat him two games trying to send a message. It created quite the stir as I recall. That’s a pretty massive shrug towards the locker room.

    He scolded an Oilers player. Penner isn’t a Mactavish player, and none of his players have been singled out for any kind punishments this season.

    I haven’t heard of any bag skates, but MacT has been targeting a few individuals despite some pretty horrid play from everyone at times.

  93. Chris says:

    Yea, you can’t trade most of the team so if the coach loses the team the coach has to go. If nothing else a new voice in the locker room will probably motivate a few players. Garon might return from exile, Smid might go back to being a defenseman, Penner might try. Changing the coach is really the clearest way to change this team’s dynamic at the moment.

  94. Asiaoil says:

    LT – I agree that MacT has lost the team – or at least the guys who are not MacT lifers like Moreau. His decision-making is up their with your typical crack addict this year – the guy is either just flailing or doesn’t give a shit anymore.

    As for Smid – hard to crap on MacT’s decision-making but base your opinion of Smid’s play on MacTs use of him at the same time – that just not consistent. That’s even worse than saying Garon is junk – based on what – disfunctional bench management?

    I’m a guy who has pretty much supported MacT but Katz needs to get on with firing him – it’s just over and we need to hire someone who fits this team going forward.

  95. RiversQ says:

    Bank Shot said…

    He scolded an Oilers player. Penner isn’t a Mactavish player, and none of his players have been singled out for any kind punishments this season.

    Didn’t Penner and Brodziak get sent to the PB at the same time?

    I don’t know about you, but Brodziak seems like a “MacT guy” doesn’t he?

    I suppose that got lost in the shuffle because the media jumps all over the $4MM man story and MacT was happy to oblige.

    Rough game, the team isn’t playing well, and MacT has made some weird choices but there is some wild hyperbole in here. I mean, how do you guys type this stuff while holding your torches and pitchforks?

    It’s no big deal from my perspective – you could fire the coach right now but it wouldn’t make much difference. The personnel just isn’t that good. I would give him another 5-10 games and then pull the trigger if necessary.

  96. RiversQ says:

    AsiaOil said…
    I’m a guy who has pretty much supported MacT but Katz needs to get on with firing him – it’s just over and we need to hire someone who fits this team going forward.

    I’m Suisse on MacT, but how exactly does he not “fit” with this team?

    What does the coach look like that does fit this team?

  97. RiversQ says:

    Bank Shot:

    I forgot he’s thrown Horcoff under the bus for faceoffs a couple of times too. Now he hasn’t benched him, but there’s no comparison between Penner and Horcoff in terms of early season performance.

  98. Bank Shot says:

    RiversQ: Brodziak obviously isn’t a big MacT guy or he would have been given a shot at a greater role, ie the third line. Pisani got that instead despite not performing well.

    Mactavish is a huge fan of Gagner, and Sam hasn’t sat despite being one of the worst forwards on the team.

    The examples this season are pretty plentiful.

    If suggesting that Mactavish is playing favourites despite performance is akin to holding pitchforks, then I have to question what kind of glasses you are viewing the situation with.

  99. RiversQ says:

    BankShot: I don’t really care about MacT and I’m looking at this situation with my “I-never-expected-this-team-to-make-the-playoffs-because-the-personnel-isn’t-good-enough” glasses.

    I think Brodziak’s absolutely a MacT guy – that’s why he’s on the team. He’s got that Pisani-like pedigree. I take issue with the notion he hasn’t had his role expanded too – ever taken a gander at how many def. zone draws he has been thrown out for? It’s way up there.

    As for Gagner – did it ever occur to you that the coaching staff is being directed to play the kids a lot? And to expand their roles?Surely that’s part of the problem.

    It reminds me a little of the old Dave King quote that he made after getting fired somehwere in Europe that Vic likes to trot out. Something like “They asked me to play the kids and I did that.”

    Now MacT has had other issues this year, but the one about him playing the kids is not for this year, it’s for the future of the franchise and I don’t for a minute think that is entirely his call.

  100. RiversQ says:

    spOiler: It’s just 5V5 and that’s not really ZoneShift unless you bring in the Shift Ending FO numbers too.

  101. slipper says:

    Well one of those teams definitely looked like they were throwing the game, eh?

    ;)

    LT: What did you say about Smid before the season began that was confirmed by tonight’s game?

    This hasn’t looked like a playoff team since the roster was penciled in, and they certainly don’t appear to be one now. I can’t believe they’re playing Strudwick over Smid. That’s more senseless a decisionthan Gagner taking a PK shift or Garon not playing- ya know… considering it’s obviously a development year.

  102. Chris says:

    I think the reason that so many people are gathering the torches and pitchforks is that the coach looks like the coach is failing. The players aren’t coming out and playing hard, they seem unmotivated. MacT’s trademark penalty killer expertise isn’t translating this year, in fact the penalty kill is attrocious.

    Our goaltending has been a carousel where next year’s presumed starter has been left to rot on the bench as opposed to being allowed to work his way through some mediocrity.

    The coach is blaming the players and seems to have lost the cool and detached image that has been traditionally attached to him, suggesting the coach is terribly frustrated with the team and things aren’t working.

    Not to mention the fact that players like Horcoff, Penner, Cole, Gagner, Nilson and Cogliano all seem to be underperforming. When six of your top 9 forwards have struggled and seem to be putting forth questionable efforts – something is broken.

    This seems like a team that’s not working for it coach, and it has a coach acting like he’s looking over his shoulder for the axe he expects to find coming. I’ve always resisted the calls to “Fire MacTavish” before as there were legimate reasons like a disabilitating amount of injuries that were resulting in losses. Its one thing to start to mail in the end of the season when your out of the hunt, but its November. If MacTavish can’t motivate the players to skate, hit and play hard then unless we’re deliberately tanking for Tavares its misguided to let this trainwreck continue. We need to find someone who can get this team back on the track.

  103. Bank Shot says:

    We have one of the youngest set of skaters in the league, maybe top 3 youngest (it’s real close if not).

    I’ve heard the Oilers were fairly old this season compared to last year.

    The age of the forward core matched up pretty well with LA tonight. 301-303. Edmonton’s defence had 20 years on LA’s, but LA still got the lion’s share of the quality chances.

  104. spOILer says:

    LA CHI PHO all have young forwards, and I think we’re next. The NHL Numbers data is a half year or so out of date, so I didn’t want to have to work it out for every team. For our present 20 skaters I believe we’re at 26.35.

  105. Bruce says:

    Spoiler: I’ve been working with those faceoff stats quite a bit lately and the ones you just posted seem a bit out of date, especially the shift ending ones. Are you sure they include all 20-21 games to date?

  106. spOILer says:

    The point is this is a young team still susceptible to identity issues, confidence issues, dumb mistake issues right now no matter who’s coaching.

    Either they change the sailors or we wait and see if MacT can get the ship turned.

  107. RiversQ says:

    Chris said…
    Not to mention the fact that players like Horcoff, Penner, Cole, Gagner, Nilson and Cogliano all seem to be underperforming. When six of your top 9 forwards have struggled and seem to be putting forth questionable efforts – something is broken.

    I’m interested in this one.

    First, what suggests to you that Horcoff is struggling? To be frank the guy has been doing everything excpet score at ES. Surely the effort is not lacking either.

    Penner has lacked effort, but he always looks that way. The guy disappeared last year too don’t forget.

    Cole’s effort has been there but he’s struggling – I can’t argue there.

    Gagner and Cogliano have not lacked for effort and are better than last year. This is a problem with expectations not results IMHO.

    Nilsson is an enigma, but again that’s a problem that is not restricted to this year or even this franchise. I don’t understand how a player can go a month at a time without making a meaningful play. It may be time to admit he’s a player that won’t really figure it out. I would like to see more PP time for him though – he should be useful there.

    I don’t really see the problem here in terms of “losing the team.” I mean sure you could easily argue Penner and Nilsson, but I’m not convinced MacT ever had them on side. Does no one remember the exchange they had last year while cleaning out the lockers? MacT basically said he was not fit and Penner definitely denied it.

    As for the rest: I don’t understand Smid, I don’t understand the PK, I don’t like the point shot PP, and I’m wondering WTF they are doing with the goalies. (BTW, the 3-headed beast is definietly a Lowebellini fuckup – that’s not MacT’s call and that is a problem) MacT has problems but I don’t think he has lost the room.

  108. RiversQ says:

    Bruce: You’re right – he’s missing at least a couple of games before tonight.

  109. spOILer says:

    Bruce, I used as my last game tonight’s game#, but the numbers look slightly low.

    NHL has Brodziak with 195 total FOs including STs and face-offs within a shift, the numbers for Brodz EV starting above are 125, I think.

    So they shouldn’t be that far off, no?

  110. spOILer says:

    Ahh the ending ones… sorry late.

    Maybe I transposed the numbers typing it, let me try again…

  111. spOILer says:

    Oh yeah, lovely I did. 20139 instead of 20319.

    Eff it I’m going to kill the stupid post and try again some other time.

  112. Bruce says:

    Strudwick’s Corsi number tonight was -8. That puts him at -90 on the season. Staios was second worst on the team at -4, placing him at -71 on the season (also second worst).

    Smid, meanwhile, is holding steady at -6. Only about half the ice time of 24-43, but only a tiny fraction of their negative shots data. Not to mention their nightly minuses. At what point is Ladi going to warrant another shot at his natural position? He was doing fine right up to the moment that Raffi clocked him; why has he fallen out of favour? I don’t understand.

  113. Chris says:

    Admittedly RiversQ I was casting my net a bit wide there by saying “underperforming”. I do consider all of the players listed as “struggling” although admittedly the questionable efforts was more of an and/or than a strict and. I’ll agree that Nilson and Penner are the players on that list that clearly seem to be putting forth subpar efforts.

    Horcoff struggled early in the dot, although that has improved. His even strength production as also suffered, and that’s been a problem despite the array of linups that have been attempted. I don’t mean that to come across as a knock on Horcoff as he’s a valuable part of this team, but we could be getting better results from him.

    Cole is trying, that’s not the knock on him. But he’s certainly been underperforming and the coach hasn’t found a way to utilize him effectively 20 games into the season.

    While I haven’t thought Gagner or Cogliano have looked aweful, they haven’t managed to recreate the sucess they had last year. I wasn’t expecting a great leap forward but they haven’t produced. As far as production goes they’ve regressed. I know some of the underlaying numbers for Gagner have been promising, on the other hand its ultimately goals that win games. If your a sheltered offensive player you had better put up some points or you are not helping the team win hockey games.

    I honestly think its the fact that the penalty kill is so aweful this year that bothers me more than anything Rivers. The penalty kill is MacT’s trademark. A good penalty kill is the hallmark of a MacT team. We’re failing miserably at the coach’s area of expertise. That as much as anything else is suggesting some sort of disconnect between players and coach to me aside from the MacT ranting.

  114. Bruce says:

    The point is this is a young team still susceptible to identity issues, confidence issues, dumb mistake issues right now no matter who’s coaching.

    I’d have trouble with identity and confidence too if I was a developing young defenceman given 5 minutes on the wing with a pair of minor leaguers.

    Meanwhile, the dumb mistakes have been coming from veterans as much as youngsters — Moreau 4 minute penalty; Staios, Strudwick and Horcoff out to lunch on the winning goal; Visnovsky, Cole and Staios frequently coughing the puck up. Same with confidence issues: Cole struggling to make any sort of impact; Garon lost in space … these aren’t young guys.

    And our veteran coach is sure having trouble righting the ship.

  115. JB-"jiggyman" says:

    Here’s 1 more MacT fan losing faith quickly.

    A leadership change will do wonders for this team. Like I said in the summer… Moreau, Staios can go, and this is a probably a better team. I’m now leaning towards MacT leaving with them. The whole “grinder” philosophy needs to go.

    I’m fine with one 3rd line consisting of “MacT” type players… but we can’t have an entire team playing like defensive grinders would, then wonder where the hell the offense is.

    The Smid abuse is baffling. We have a budding defensive defenseman being forced to play forward? WHY?
    He’s finally been ridded of the anchor that is Steve Staios, his games steadily improving then this shit happens? I simply don’t understand.

  116. Traktor says:

    “First, what suggests to you that Horcoff is struggling? To be frank the guy has been doing everything excpet score at ES. Surely the effort is not lacking either.”

    We really feel Bob Smith is a great cop. He’s doing everything asked of him besides catching criminals. Surely the effort is not lacking either.

  117. Coach pb9617 says:

    The Smid abuse is baffling. We have a budding defensive defenseman being forced to play forward? WHY?
    He’s finally been ridded of the anchor that is Steve Staios, his games steadily improving then this shit happens? I simply don’t understand.

    Especially given the struggles of the 3rd pairing.

  118. Traktor says:

    I have a question after listening to MacTavish’s comments after the game.

    The first thing MacTavish said was that the offense was our undoing and that we can’t seem to score any goals right now. MacTavish said the same thing more than once this year.

    So if our offense is struggling as bad as it is then why is it that Tim Sistito got the call?

    Oh well that’s easy, Traktor – you see the reason that we called up Sistito is because this team has no passion or engery or effort. We have a team full of pussies that refuse to engage physically.

    Perfect. So can’t score and we lose 75% of 50/50 battles. What a team.

  119. Scott says:

    Bruce,

    The only reason I can think to keep 43 in the lineup over 5 is that, to my eyey, 43 is a better penalty killer. I’m sure MacT is loathe to make the PK any worse at this point.

  120. kanadienkyle says:

    Coach, that line about Mac-T sounding like Monty made my day. I now have the courage to get out of bed and face the barrage of questions from my in-laws.

  121. namflashback says:

    I’m a Horcoff fan, and underlying numbers being good is a positive sign. Horpensky looked dominant at times. At a macro view, I’m hopeful there.

    That said, he ended up -1 on a night when his line got the EV goal.

    He got out played by Kopitar, and wasn’t able to mark his man on the go ahead goal against.

    The team was putrid, but Horcoff isn’t above critique last night.

  122. hunter1909 says:

    “I think the reason that so many people are gathering the torches and pitchforks is that the coach looks like the coach is failing.”

    You forgot the rope, Chris.

  123. CrazyCoach says:

    LA isn't tanking games.

    As I look at the standings this morning, I see my beloved Oilers sit in a tie with superpowers such as Colorado, Phoenix, St. Louis, and Columbus, and just 2 points ahead of the moving gong show known as the Dallas Stars.

    I say go with Hedman, so MacT & Co. can turn him into a stay-at-home type D-man with no offensive skills whatsoever.

    Kind of reminds me of a line Normie Kwong had at a Don Cherry roast, "I think Don't best work as a coach came with the Colorado Rockies and Lanny MacDonald where Don turned a 50 goals scorer into a 20 goal scorer!"

    MacT needs to go. He has lost the dressing room and its so obvious.

    This team does not need to work harder. My washing machine works hard, but it isn't going to make the team. How do you quantify hard work anyway?

    Get a coach who actually likes and teaches offensive hockey.

  124. Jonathan says:

    So if our offense is struggling as bad as it is then why is it that Tim Sestito got the call?

    Because he’s on pace for 10 AHL goals this year – that’s more AHL goals than Ales Hemsky and Sheldon Souray combined!

    This is garbage. Callup Potulny, send out Reddox/Sestito, and pick up the checking line centre this team has needed since last November. Run the lines like this:

    Penner – Horcoff – Hemsky
    Nilsson – Cogliano – Gagner
    Moreau – Veteran – Cole
    Pouliot – Brodziak – Potulny

    Souray – Visnovsky
    Smid – Gilbert
    Strudwick – Staios

    If that veteran is a nasty sort that third line should give plenty of jump. The top two lines will come around, and that 4th line should be better than 90% of 4th lines in the league. Potulny is willing to shoot the puck, which is the critical element that line has missed since Glencross left.

    Give it five-ten games after the trade and if MacTavish can’t get that lineup to win games, show him the door.

  125. Asiaoil says:

    Riv – at this point a coach that fits the team is a coach that the team is actually interested in playing for – MacT has lost this bunch and he looks some combination of piss-off, lost and bored. He’s a good coach – but almost everyone gets fired sooner or later – likely sooner for MacT.

  126. Schitzo says:

    I was “fortunate” enough to be at the game last night as well. I had hopes after the first period, but it was just awful from there.

    The general mood in the building wasn’t even anger so much as resignation and frustration. If the Oilers were a bunch of 7 year olds, they’d be getting the “I’m not even mad, I’m just disappointed in you” talk right now.

  127. Dennis says:

    At some point you either change the coach for a spark or you run the risk of another dour season because you can’t trade half the team and deals are even harder to make these days when it’s all about the money you’re trading.

    I’m not saying 34 isn’t a big piece – I was on him for getting outchanced early but it looked like he was righting the ship as a winger just before his injury – but every other piece but him is available and/or relatively healthy so here we go.

    Riv threw out the 5-10 more games before we judge MacT but I’ll give him less rope and I’ll say five plus the game we played last night.

    So, awhile back I sized up the sked and said that after that game in SJ we’d have 18 of 26 played on the road and then we should be ready to go. So my MacT timeline expires after G26 and just before we start a heavy home portion of the sked; I don’t want to go status quo and keep throwing good money after bad.

    I’ve long believed in MacT but I think he fucked around a bit too much earlier on this season and I think we also might need someone who doesn’t give so much creedence to the words of Pete Peeters.

    Last night was the first time we lined up like I thought we should so I’d give it these next five more games before I’d make any changes.

    But after that I wouldn’t wait another game.

    Some things to close:

    – 12 is back in the abyss. You wonder now how he ever got anything done and how many games before you wonder about that contract.

    – 27 will never really care enough and/or have the lungs to be worth 4 mill plus in a 55 mill cap system. There was one play last night where he half-heartedly lunged at the defender after losing a puck battle and it was absolutely pathetic.

    – I wonder if MacT isn’t somehow employing one of my attitudes where he’s so pissed off over the- bill-of-Pronger-goods that he was sold on Smid that he still can’t see that he has some value. Maybe it’s been so long since he’s had vets that he’s more inclined to give time to 43 as opposed to 5 but it’s very disappointed that he sees it that way.

    – the thing with Garon is mind-numbing.

    So, as much as I love his PC’s and the way he’s ran things in the past there just may be too much water under the bridge to keep MacT around to guard it.

  128. Black Dog says:

    Duhatschek said last night that MacT was safe for the season but the truth is we can talk about how underlying numbers are fine and how this team was overhyped and how it has holes but:

    - how many guys on this team are playing to where they should be playing? Souray, Visnovsky, Gilbert, Hemsky, Roloson. Anyone else?

    - team has played poorly in way too many games, by poorly I mean lack of compete, lack of smarts not lack of experience – look at last night and the kids, Cogliano was working hard but he may as well have been out there by himself – not sure if this speaks to the confidence of the other two but its a problem

    If this team is getting beaten fair and square night after night (Christ we’ve seen enough of that the last two years) that’s one thing but they look like they don’t give a shit and they’ve looked like that all year pretty well.

    That does speak to coaching. I like MacT a lot but this team is not competing and that is at his doorstep.

  129. HBomb says:

    BDHS: 21 games in and I have yet to see the classic “sixty minute effort” from the Oilers this year.

    Hell, you could probably count the “forty minute efforts” on one hand and have fingers left over.

    That’s a problem. Whether or not he’s “lost the room”, it might simply be time for a new voice.

    7 complete seasons with only 3 playoff appearances and the same chronic problems year after year. Time for change.

  130. Steve says:

    how many guys on this team are playing to where they should be playing? Souray, Visnovsky, Gilbert, Hemsky, Roloson. Anyone else?

    Reddox, JDD, maybe Smid. Moreau’s playing better than he should be in one element of the game (offense) but worse in another (avoiding idiotic penalties), so maybe he balances out?

  131. honkey says:

    After the terrible game I’ll bring you some happy updates from SEL. Motin had another solid game for Färjestad playing 20 min(2nd most on the team) and was +1 when they beat the league leaders Linköping on home ice.
    Omark put had a great 3rd period with 1 goal and 2 assist he now stanfs on 26G and 26P and is tied 2nd in SEL scoring race 3 points behind the leader.

  132. Jonathan says:

    It’s time to make a significant trade. The old “you can’t trade the whole team” line is true, but you can trade a couple of guys to inject some fresh blood and wake people up.

    If that doesn’t work, the coach needs to go. MacTavish is a first-rate coach, but once all other options are exhausted, it isn’t worth writing off the season because the guy in charge is well-liked.

  133. Dennis says:

    JW: you’re a bright guy so you know trades only happen when teams want to dump salary (or can find someone that can take a salary) of if you’re dealing a problem for a problem.

    If Gionta wasn’t doing well then perhaps you deal Penner for Gionta. THat’s just throwing it out there but what do you see that can be done in the way of a trade.,

  134. Jonathan says:

    Dennis: I was thinking something along the lines of a goalie (whichever one) and a prospect/pick for that player. If that wasn’t going to work, a salary dump would be fine, or maybe send Grebeshkov away to a team that needs a puck-moving defenseman – maybe to Columbus for Malhotra.

    Another option would be to find a team like St. Louis who would take some combination of Pouliot, Brodziak, Schremp or whatever for a veteran forward.

  135. Jonathan says:

    Just to throw some options out there:

    Chris Gratton could probably be had for not much (18 GP, 2 assists, -3) although he’s probably not a solution.

    Bryan Smolinski’s another less than ideal choice who could be picked up for nothing.

    With Burke gone, I’m sure Anaheim would jump at a chance to salary dump Marchant, maybe for Stortini or someone equally cheap.

    And on Edmonton’s end, I suppose the trade bait could be any combination of Smid/Grebeshkov, any of the prospects, or Pouliot, Brodziak or Stortini.

  136. CrazyCoach says:

    It would be awfully hard to make a trade right now anyway, between no-trade clauses and the salary cap, combined with the perception that Edmonton is a lousy place to play.

    However, I do agree that the goal tending situation needs to be resolved. Pete Peeters and MacT have practically destroyed Garon to the point where the guy’s career needs the work of Dr Saul Miller.

    I remember going to a goalie clinic with Pete Peeters once. My impression of that whole evening 9 years ago was that Jacques Plante was and is THE goalie guru according to Peeters. I was amazed that he basically disagreed with pretty much everything about the hybrid system 99% of the goalies use today.

    Now I know Plante was an innovator and every goalie today owes him, but when men like Francois Allaire have revolutionized the position of goalie and the way it is taught/coached, wise people listen. It appears to me that Peeters isn’t listening. His work with Garon is evidence of that.

    Believe me the balance of power between coach and player, even in the day of multi-million dollar players, still rests with the coach.

    MacT and Peeters should be ashamed.

  137. Traktor says:

    Jonathan: After only 21 games there’s already an 11 point differential between Hemsky and the next forward.

    Going after (insert veteran RH center here) would be like spending money on new tires when your transmission is fucked.

  138. Jonathan says:

    Traktor: Then maybe they should be looking at a blockbuster. Basically, my belief that a trade is required now rests on a couple of assumptions:

    1. Katz/Lowe/Tambellini have confidence in Craig MacTavish’s ability as a coach.
    2. Katz/Lowe/Tambellini are confident that the team they have assembled isn’t majorly flawed.

    If the team is as good as everyone (including me) thinks it is, than it’s an attitude problem. Before firing the coach, it’s probably worth shipping someone out and bringing someone in. If, 5-10 games later, the team is still doing the same thing, or only marginally better, fire the coach.

    Thing is, I don’t believe that they will fire the coach without trying the trade route first – which makes it imperative that a trade gets made right now, because if this team doesn’t turn it around soon, they’re going to be too deep in the hole to come out of it.

  139. Dennis says:

    - Sesito has been sent down

    - Brule scored again last night and added an assist are they finalling willing to bring up in a Glencrossian role with 51-46 and Stop The Smid-As-Forward Madness?

    If that’s the case let’s hope 5 replaces 43 on the backend.

  140. HBomb says:

    JW: You want the solution?

    Kovalchuk for Penner, Nilsson, and Grebeshkov. Not enough? Fine, add in Schremp and/or Chorney if required.

    Yeah, five for one. So? This team’s a heck of a lot better if they’re running out a top-six that looks something like this:

    Kovalchuk-Horcoff-Hemsky
    Cogliano-Gagner-Cole

    Add in Roloson-for-John Madden and plucking Kyle McLaren from San Jose’s AHL farm team and we’re off to the races. This GM thing is easy!

  141. Doogie2K says:

    Regarding this “Mayan basketball” thing, I know that in the game played at el Tajin, the losers were ritualistically executed and interred as a sacrifice to the gods to ensure a good bounty from the soil. (I think there was also genital mutilation there, but the less said about it, the better.)

    Maybe we need to ritualistically execute a few coaches to the gods to ensure a good bounty from the players. Or maybe we need to ritualistically execute a few players for being useless; I’m flexible. ;)

    You can yell at the players and tell them to do somethig more than pass it to Souray and watch his shot, but that’s been tried for sure and hasn’t worked.

    Has it, though? The odd time they changed game plans, it really has worked. The Columbus game is an extreme example, but it does show the potential for when the game plan doesn’t start and end with Sheldon F. Souray. The problem is, they keep going back to the same old shit that doesn’t fucking work (44-71, no cycling below the hashmarks).

    I’m sure MacT is loathe to make the PK any worse at this point.

    Is that even possible? I mean, I guess if they decided to play with an empty net…

    12 is back in the abyss. You wonder now how he ever got anything done and how many games before you wonder about that contract.

    While I agree that 12 has gone AWOL again, I’m not sure how you can question the contract, if for no other reason than the fact that it’s about as cheap as it was ever going to get. Enigmatic wingers who alternate as wildly as he does tend to get paid a lot closer to the good end of the scale, because of the “potential.”

  142. Jonathan says:

    By the way, I know there are a bunch of people pretty upset that Shawn Horcoff is the Oilers’ first line centre, but let’s take a brief second to look at the first line:

    X – Horcoff – Hemsky

    where X is equal to any one of Dustin Penner, Erik Cole, Robert Nilsson, or Ethan Moreau.

    Penner’s the highest-paid forward on the team. He has what, seven points? I’ve commended his improved defensive play, but at some point the offense needs to come. Erik Cole got a shot at the top line, and people complained that he was on his off-wing. He got moved to the third line, and despite playing his natural position, he’s bled chances against in a checking role. He’s been a collosal bust to this point in the season. Robert Nilsson’s been an enigma, showing up every so often to remind you why the Oilers signed him, but he belongs to that irritating family of players that also bore us Rob Schremp – guys who aren’t worth anything if they aren’t producing offensively.

  143. mc79hockey says:

    Yeah, five for one. So? This team’s a heck of a lot better if they’re running out a top-six that looks something like this:

    Problem is, there’s about one guy that I know of in the NHL who evaluates trades by counting the players going each way and he’s employed in Edmonton. You’re gonna need some quality and that deal seems awfully light on it.

  144. Kyle says:

    I remember going to a goalie clinic with Pete Peeters once. My impression of that whole evening 9 years ago was that Jacques Plante was and is THE goalie guru according to Peeters. I was amazed that he basically disagreed with pretty much everything about the hybrid system 99% of the goalies use today.

    Now I know Plante was an innovator and every goalie today owes him, but when men like Francois Allaire have revolutionized the position of goalie and the way it is taught/coached, wise people listen. It appears to me that Peeters isn’t listening. His work with Garon is evidence of that

    Isn’t that sort of a wild conclusion? Wasn’t Peeters with the team last year, and wasn’t Garon stellar all year? Why would Garon not be affected by Peeters poor coaching for a full season and then 4 or so games into the next season fall apart because of poor coaching?

  145. Kyle says:

    JW: You want the solution?

    Kovalchuk for Penner, Nilsson, and Grebeshkov. Not enough? Fine, add in Schremp and/or Chorney if required.

    Ok, so what’s in this for Atlanta?

  146. Traktor says:

    Johnathan: Lowe has faith in MacTavish but MacTavish doesn’t have faith in Brodziak or Pouliot so something has to give.

    Probably only a matter of time before they bring in a veteran. I don’t think it will make a difference, but we’ll see.

    hbomb: Atlanta isn’t going to deal Kovalchuk for scraps. Penner is underperforming, Nilsson’s can be found in every draft, and Grebeshkov hasn’t played as well as he did at the end of the year, plus who knows about the KHL.

    Start with Gagner and add Gilbert and our 1st and maybe they listen.

    Gagner is the guy I would move. It’s not just because of how he is playing this year either. I’ve always maintained that I would take Cogliano longterm and I still feel that way. I don’t see Gagner in the future better than a Marc Savard or Daniel Briere type player but that’s just me.

    The player I would look at is Nathan Hortan. He’s locked up to a cheap deal but he hasn’t quite reached his potential and only has 13 points this year. It’s only a matter of time before they deal Jbo and maybe the say fuck it and go for the #1 pick. Would they move Hortan staight up for Gagner? I doubt it.

    Clowe would be another good pickup but San Jose has no reason to move him.

  147. Coach pb9617 says:

    Coach, that line about Mac-T sounding like Monty made my day. I now have the courage to get out of bed and face the barrage of questions from my in-laws.

    Any way I can be of help

  148. Coach pb9617 says:

    If the Oilers were a bunch of 7 year olds, they’d be getting the “I’m not even mad, I’m just disappointed in you” talk right now.

    I couldn’t put my finger on it, but that is the exact feeling about the team.

    Mac on the other hand…it’s just complete bewilderment.

  149. Traktor says:

    Ottawa fans seemed to have turned against Vermette (he only has 5 points this year) so maybe something around Erik Cole for Vermette could help out both teams. Ottawa could probably use a scoring winger with size considering they already have Spezza, Fisher and Kelly down the middle. Maybe Edmonton tosses in Schremp because Cole’s a UFA.

  150. slipper says:

    Post-lockout Marc Savard?

    I’d be pretty satisfied with that.

  151. HBomb says:

    mc79: I specifically suggest that deal with Atlanta because I think Waddell is a terrible GM and might go for quantity for quality. Sounds like Ilya has already made it very clear he’s not signing an extension with the Thrashers. He’s going to be on the trade market sooner or later.

    Traktor: I like Cogliano, but Gagner’s upside is higher IMO. Past Hemsky, Gagner and Gilbert are the 2nd and 3rd guys on the list of “untouchables” at this point. If it’s going to take those two plus a first to get Kovalchuk….well, I’d think long and hard about it, but I would probably say “no”.

    Penner, Nilsson and Grebeshkov have their flaws, but they’re all attractive trade assets to some degree. My belief is the Oilers STILL need to do that elusive “quantity for quality” deal.

  152. slipper says:

    Vermette?

    Why don’t we not do that and just change the name on the back of Bobby Nilsson’s sweater?

  153. Jonathan says:

    The Oilers have inquired about Kovalchuk, and were told he isn’t available. Courtesy of Jason Gregor over at ON.

  154. HBomb says:

    The Oilers have inquired about Kovalchuk, and were told he isn’t available. Courtesy of Jason Gregor over at ON.

    That closes this debate. For now.

    I think Ilya becomes available eventually. Maybe summer 2009, once he CAN be extended.

  155. slipper says:

    Hbomb: “I like Cogliano, but Gagner’s upside is higher IMO”

    According to Traktor he has the potential upside of Marc Savard. Just to be sure I think he means 3.77Pts/60 and +19/-8 Marc Savard. 109 defensive zone faceoffs, 37 more d-zone than o-zone faceoffs, +32 Corsi Marc Savard. 300 points since the Lockout Marc Savard.

    And Traktor wants to trade him for Nathan fucking Horton!?

  156. HBomb says:

    slipper: Savard’s come a long way in the past couple of years.

    Hell, at the start of last season, I would have wanted NO part of him on my team. Now? He’s become a complete player.

    Talk about a late bloomer.

    Anyways, Gagner, Gilbert and Hemsky are untouchable right now. I’d say that Souray, Horcoff and Cogliano are next-to-untouchable. However, as we learned on August 9, 1988, ANYONE can get traded.

  157. hunter1909 says:

    Is there anyone left who thinks Kovalchuck or any other offensive star would willingly play for the Lowe/MacTavish Oilers?

  158. Traktor says:

    “Vermette?

    Why don’t we not do that and just change the name on the back of Bobby Nilsson’s sweater?”

    Vermette is one of the hardest working players in the league. Relentless. Elite speed, great on the PK, good in his own zone, great passer, average shot. He’s basically a young Shawn Horcoff (he had more EV points than Hossa) but hasn’t gotten the opportunity that Horc has.

    If you’re actually comparing him to Robert Nilsson then you need to start watching other teams play.

  159. Jonathan says:

    Is there anyone left who thinks Kovalchuck or any other offensive star would willingly play for the Lowe/MacTavish Oilers?

    Sure – Hemsky.

  160. HBomb says:

    Vermette’s a good player, but dealing Cole for him is a lateral move.

    Perhaps not even, considering the lack of “grease” in this roster.

    IF the Oilers are trading for a forward, they need to be swinging for the fences. High end LW.

    Damn I wish they had been reading in the spring when I was throwing out the name Simon Gagne.

    Over on ON, Gregor suggested the Oilers inquired about Spezza. That would be a bad fit and likely at too high a price.

  161. Coach pb9617 says:


    Penner’s the highest-paid forward on the team. He has what, seven points? I’ve commended his improved defensive play, but at some point the offense needs to come.

    Perhaps leaving him on the first line would be a start.

  162. bookie says:

    This was quoted in a Sportsnet article earlier today

    A veteran Oilers player, who requested anonymity added: “Maybe a trade, then the coach. After this long, a change might be good.”

    I am unsure how this will go, but something will change soon. We will either see some real competitiveness or the coaching will change.

  163. slipper says:

    Vermette got third line cherry minutes last season and put up relatively the same scoring rate as Cole did, except Cole was playing power match-ups for the ‘Canes while actually out scoring his opposition.

    This season Vermette’s been given an increase in ice-time while getting fuck all done. He hasn’t been a positive contributer at even strength over the past 100 games while facing the butter soft players of the East and being the third option for own zone draws. So yeah, he sure is fantastic in his own end!

    Last seasn Nilsson averaged 11:07 min at even strength to Vermette’s 12:09. They both played opposition that placed them in the bottom half amongst forwards on their teams. Nilsson’s EV points/60 was 2.37, while Vermette’s was 2.14. Nillson was +39/-30 while Vermette was +43/-46. In his career Nilsson has averaged 0.46 Points per game while Vermette has averaged 0.45.

    Where I came up with such a ridiculous comparison is beyond me.

    But hey, maybe we should trade the next Marc Savard (your word not mine) for Nathan Horton.

  164. Dennis says:

    I was thinking about Vermette just the other day; I hadn’t heard anything about him so I figured he must have been having a terrible year.

    I don’t think 12′s contract is all that bad — in fact when he signed it I thought one of the best things about it was that it would be easy to move if need be — but he’s been playing so poorly for awhile now I don’t think it would be all that easy to move right now.

  165. Coach pb9617 says:

    A veteran Oilers player, who requested anonymity added: “Maybe a trade, then the coach. After this long, a change might be good.”

    Has to be Souray, right? I can’t see Mac’s boys saying this, so that rules out Moreau and Staios.

  166. Traktor says:

    Slipper: I’ve been following the Sens closely since they entered the league – your micro stat scouting reports mean nothing to me. I know the type of player that Vermette is, and if you watched the Sens, so would you.

    I’m actually a fan of Savard. I would take him in a heartbeat over Horcoff. That said, this team will benefit much more from a big physical scorer that can bang (Horton) than another small forward with elite passing and vision.

  167. slipper says:

    And I value results over adjectives, Traktor.

  168. Doogie2K says:

    Isn’t that sort of a wild conclusion? Wasn’t Peeters with the team last year, and wasn’t Garon stellar all year? Why would Garon not be affected by Peeters poor coaching for a full season and then 4 or so games into the next season fall apart because of poor coaching?

    Did he have access to his own goalie coach last year? As we established in the other thread, this would appear to be a bone of contention between the Oilers and Garon.

    I don’t see Gagner in the future better than a Marc Savard or Daniel Briere type player but that’s just me.

    Marc Savard, who has 28 points in 22 games (1.27 PPG) this season?

    Marc Savard, who’s scored 398 points in 362 games (1.10) since being traded to Atlanta in 2002, including 299 in 260 (1.15) since the lockout, and back to back 95+ point seasons before being hurt last year?

    Marc Savard, who’s been the top centre on one of the best teams in the East this year, with the glowing underlying numbers highlighted by Slipper?

    Christ, I’ll take that guy on my team any day of the week.

    (And before you even start, I’ve seen Savard play three or four times. I got no problem with him in that fashion, either.)

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