Open up the window, Let Some Air Into This Room

With the news today that Steve Tambellini has given Craig MacTavish the dreaded “vote of confidence” we can now begin ticking off the events that could lead to the end of the line for Edmonton’s head coach.

Later tonight, Kevin Lowe will be on the radio to defend his friend. We can look forward to hearing a passionate defense, maybe a shot or two at people who don’t march in lock step with management and perhaps that word again (throttle. I think we need a mascot with that moniker). No matter what, expect a giant FU to those who question MacT’s position from the CEO of the hockey side.

But the real key will be the on-ice performance. The Oilers play tomorrow at noon up the street from Chuck Berry’s house and Sunday they are in Dallas to play at the Texas School Book Depository in Dealey Plaza.

If they come out of the weekend looking like death warmed over, we can begin to talk about a replacement. Huge weekend for this team, all hands on deck. MacT doesn’t have home ice advantage and he’s thrown some men under the bus. He’s also given many of these guys their jobs and some (several) of them might not be in the NHL if another coach had been at the helm of the Oilers since the turn of the century.

But this team is in some trouble right now, going the wrong way and have developed some bad habits. Even with everyone saying the right things, 4 points this weekend is probably a long shot. I’m reminded of a quote by the old Montreal Expos second baseman Vance Law. Law once said “when you’re in a slump, it’s almost as if you look out at the field and it’s one big glove.”

For Craig MacTavish’s sake, here’s hoping they hit ‘em where they ain’t this weekend.

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78 Responses to "Open up the window, Let Some Air Into This Room"

  1. Kyle says:

    I don’t think this team is beyond saving yet – I think everyone just needs to pull off the panic button for a little while.

  2. Lowetide says:

    Kyle: I think this is a playoff team, but the results are garbage. You can’t fire the team and you can’t keep defending the coach if the team keeps losing.

    They need to right the ship. There is no panic button.

    There IS however a big fricking trap door.

  3. Doogie2K says:

    I loved Dean Stockwell in Quantum Leap. I would write a QL parody about all this, but I swore off nerdiness for Lent*.

    I think this has largely been bludgeoned to death in the previous post. It’s no longer a question of if, it’s a question of when; it could be at the end of the weekend, or it could be after Christmas (I don’t think they’d be dick enough to fire someone right before Christmas), but it’s bound to be soon, unless they rattle off some amazing 9-1-1 string from here to the holidays.

    * – Not really; I just don’t think I could do it funny enough.

  4. Lowetide says:

    Lent? Jeez, buddy, that’s a ways off. You’ve got plenty of time. :-)

  5. Doogie2K says:

    Considering I don’t even observe Lent, I have all the time in the world. =) More than anything, I’d feel mean coming up with “dire” consequences in the wake of MacT’s firing (because it’s always life and death, or good life and horrific life at best, on QL).

  6. Rod says:

    Kyle…a panic button? Let’s see:
    - 5 wins in 17 games
    - uncharacteristic decisions and behaviour from the coach, not to mention experiments destined to fail
    - 5 days off and they lay a stinker vs. LA

    Somehow, saying the coach is on thin ice means we’re hitting a panic button? Then again, you’re the guy that said this in yesterday’s thread:
    >>"The Oilers aren't losing by a bunch of goals, they're losing by 1 goal, and if Nilsson or Gagner actually score a goal or if Garon saves 1 extra shot we're not even having this conversation."<<

    My response was lost in the monster thread, so here it is again:
    —–
    What? The Oilers have 5 wins in their last 17 games. Garon has started only four of those…and he’s the problem? Unreal.

    Oh, right. Garon entered against the Wings down 3-0, stopped 24 of 25…and the Oilers lost 4-3. I see your point. Not.
    —–

    Granted, some more goals would be nice, but how about a half-way decent PK?

    The Oil have to start winning sometime. Period. Agreed with LT this isn’t a panic button. It’s about getting things turned around this season before it’s too late.

    Trades start with Roloson (not only does that eliminate the three goalie monster, it gets Garon pass Petty Peters). NJ has a rather woeful record since Marty went down…don’t suppose they’d like 39 year old stopgap until he returns.

  7. toqueboy says:

    i miss the old blog, when you analyzed everything and went over numbers, historical references and data.

    lately it’s been huge drama over here (speculation, conjecture and emotions), which is the opposite of why this became a daily read for me.

    hopefully a few oilers wins will change everything. conitnued good luck!

  8. bookie says:

    i miss the old blog, when you analyzed everything and went over numbers, historical references and data.

    lately it’s been huge drama over here (speculation, conjecture and emotions), which is the opposite of why this became a daily read for me.

    Well, just to defend LT, the numbers are no fun right now and its the team making all of the drama!

  9. bookie says:

    I have to admit that part of me believes that half way through a successful playoff run we may be talking about how close MacT came to being fired early in the season.

    The other part of me isn’t sure what the right thing to do right now is. I am leaning towards wanting a replacement, but would have no problem with a ‘re-born’ MacT.

    I am glad that I decided to buy that small island nation in the Pacific instead of the Oilers! These would be tough decisions to make.

  10. B.C.B. says:

    TB: lots of drama and screaming. But, by my count, Lowetide set a new record for comments yesterday. People have been interested. I also would like to see some stats analysis, it might confuse the trolls from ON.

    LT: “There IS however a big fricking trap door” is one of the best lines I have read around here in a while (barring Slipper’s confusions last night).

  11. MrMackey says:

    Toque: I happen to like the new format. Bring on the drama! I think Lowetide still has a sense of balance in his take on the current situation. Don’t always agree – but great to get his perspective, even if the presentation is different.

    As for the road trip – I hope they lose just so we can move on. 8 years is enough and MacT is a great coach and will find work elsewhere. This team at this time isn’t the right fit for him.

    A couple of wins on the road (a la New Jersey + NYR) might silence the critics for a couple of days/weeks… but it will all be rehashed soon enough.

    From here on out, any time the team loses 2 in a row the cries to fire Mactavish will get louder and louder. It’s distracting enough already.

  12. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    The plot thickens.

    Souray on oilers.com defending MacT and now Principe weighs in with some investigative journalism.

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/blogs/2008/11/28/mact_future/

  13. MrMackey says:

    FCM: Thanks for the link. Usually I hate the Principe spin but in this case I was really hoping for a pun-laden video with lots of warm and fuzzy. For some reason I think that would be all kinds of hilarious right now.

  14. CM says:

    “i miss the old blog, when you analyzed everything and went over numbers, historical references and data.”

    Truer words have never been spoken…

    I don’t even mind the emotions the drama and the outrageous opinions…But reading some of the ego driven posters talk about how their predictions always come true is like listening to old ladies talk about how they have never lost while playing bingo…It might be time to remember that everyone is entailed to one’s own stupid opinion.

    The “us vs. Them” attitude is getting a bit ridiculous…it used to be just blogger vs. MSM…it has since evolved to Lowetide and clan vs. Oilersnation and everyone vs. Traktor…

    Oh how I miss the simpler times…

  15. B.C.B. says:

    After listen to Souray on Oiler’s TV, I had a couple thoughts:

    1) Why isn’t the Captain doing this?
    2) Maybe the Captain stab the coach?
    3) Why isn’t Souray the Captain?

  16. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Principe quoted Moreau on his Sportnet blog saying all the right PC things. He even got Staios involved.

    Horcoff in the shower with a dagger.

  17. Lowetide says:

    The Principe stuff and the Souray clip are exactly what you’d expect.

    They still have to win.

    What was that old tsn mission statement? Real life, real drama, real tv?

    Well that’s basically it. The Edmonton Oilers can’t continue to lose without some kind of consequence.

    As for stats laden stuff, well you do realize the top 20 is just around the corner, right? And if you need stats stuff lordy MC is rolling plus Dennis is doing great stuff at the same site and Vic has his wonderful toys too.

  18. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Lowetide said…
    The Principe stuff and the Souray clip are exactly what you’d expect.

    They still have to win.

    Yep. Damage control is in full swing but I think you’ll find out what the team is made of in less than 24 hours.

  19. Doogie2K says:

    Okay, LT, you forced my hand. It’s short on funny, but I hope it’s long on QL-ness, anyway.

  20. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Okay, LT, you forced my hand. It’s short on funny, but I hope it’s long on QL-ness, anyway.

    Acid flashback?

  21. slipper says:

    The Ice Dreggon is one cool lady. She sounds nearly as hot as Kinger does when he signs in under his girlfriend’s name.

  22. DeBakey says:

    What’s Dave King doing these days?

  23. Doogie2K says:

    Acid flashback?

    …?

  24. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Acid flashback?

    …?

    Graphic design overload.

  25. Lowetide says:

    I thought it was great, doogie. I’ve added your blog to my menu.

    Is there a chapter two? “The Goalies” might be interesting.

    :-)

  26. Doogie2K says:

    @Fake MacT: Hey, I just post there. Ender’s the design guy.

    @LT: Well, the spoiler alert says that the episode ends in an epic confrontation between Sam and Pete Peeters, one shooter, one goalie; feel free to fill in the blanks.

  27. Doogie2K says:

    Oh, and I almost forgot: thanks for the link. =)

  28. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    @Fake MacT: Hey, I just post there. Ender’s the design guy.

    My apologies and I always enjoy your posts.

    Maybe have a word with that Ender guy?

    Sometimes the medium obscures the message.

  29. Doogie2K says:

    @Fake MacT: Actually, the normal site design is much plainer — remove the wood panelling and replace it with a flat blue — but we put up the wood for the 5th anniversary, and haven’t taken it down yet.

  30. B.C.B. says:

    That was great Doogie. Took me back to being a kid living in the country where all TV was StarTrek, QL, or hockey (on CTV or CBC).

    PS: I like the wooden panelling, we have wood grain on my blog as well. Wooden texture is so much nicer then flat digital colour.

  31. Iztok says:

    Candy colored clown they call the Sandman has left the building, and MacT is driving.

    We’re heading for interesting waters.

  32. Schitzo says:

    I would give anything for pre-CHED Stauffer or even Spector to be doing this interview.

  33. Coach pb9617 says:

    Open up the window, Let Some Air Into This Room

    Outstanding subject line.

  34. Coach pb9617 says:

    i miss the old blog, when you analyzed everything and went over numbers, historical references and data.

    Read the comments. There is plenty of work going on there to defend LT’s positions. He’s just reporting the news as he sees it.

    You would rather LT ignore the elephant in the room?

  35. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    PS: I like the wooden panelling, we have wood grain on my blog as well. Wooden texture is so much nicer then flat digital colour.

    De gustibus non est disputandum

  36. spOILer says:

    Rod said…

    Trades start with Roloson (not only does that eliminate the three goalie monster, it gets Garon pass Petty Peters). NJ has a rather woeful record since Marty went down…don’t suppose they’d like 39 year old stopgap until he returns.

    While I’d like to see this happen, nothing really against Roli but his cap space, I don’t think it’s that likely. Roli’s contract can’t be buried when Brodeur returns and there are cheaper options out there that can also be hidden in the minors if necessary. They’d have to really want Roli over the other options.

    But it would be nice if they did.

  37. Swabbubba says:

    This is kind of a cruel situation where a guys job comes down to 120 minutes of hockey. He coachs it, he knows that the players are not doing what they are supposed to do. Oh well at least if they stink up the joint they are on the road.

    Now I will put it out there would we prefer that the Oilers toss a couple more then we can get new coach to throw under the bus?

  38. Dennis says:

    I was a huge fan of QL so I enjoyed the Oilers take.

    But the Emmy for Oilogsphere writing goes to Slipper for his Hemsky quip from yesterday.

    This weekend’s games might tell the tale for MacT but I think he started to bluff as soon as he called out Penner. Don’t get me wrong, Penner’s paid not to be overweight and out of shape but he still doesn’t get that so I’m totally on board with MacT hammering that point home. But the players hold most of the cards and as soon as MacT called 27 then they could decide through their play whether they wanted him at the helm.

    We might have their awnser by 10pm NST on Sunday night.

  39. B.C.B. says:

    FCM: De gustibus non est disputandum

    I am assuming you know some latin or the phrase (and you didn’t use babel fish to find it), good burn, one of the best I got in a while. But it doesn’t mean you have an understanding of aesthetics. Have you looked at my blog before criticizing ‘my blogger team’s’ aesthetics? I’d say the vectorized graphics are quite spiffy.

    I also like Doogie’s wooden panelling, I actually find it easier on the eyes then the original format (it breaks up the neon colours).

  40. Coach pb9617 says:

    Horcoff in the shower with a dagger.

    It wasn’t Horcoff. The creature kills Victor’s brother, not Victor.

  41. spOILer says:

    Coach pb9617 said…
    Open up the window, Let Some Air Into This Room

    Outstanding subject line.

    ThreeDog.

    Coach, don’t know if you saw this tidbit earlier this week on Brochu…

    According to sources in Montreal, Canadiens assistant GM Pierre Gauthier has been spotted at the last 2 games of the AHL Springfield Falcons, the Edmonton Oilers affiliate. The rumor is that they are looking at forward Rob Schremp. Brochu’s take: The Canadiens are looking for bit more punch in their offense, and Schremp could fit that role.

    …But I thought of you when I read it. Too bad nothing’s come of it.

  42. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    I am assuming you know some latin or the phrase (and you didn’t use babel fish to find it), good burn, one of the best I got in a while. But it doesn’t mean you have an understanding of aesthetics. Have you looked at my blog before criticizing ‘my blogger team’s’ aesthetics? I’d say the vectorized graphics are quite spiffy.

    I also like Doogie’s wooden panelling, I actually find it easier on the eyes then the original format (it breaks up the neon colours).

    No burn intended. I was merely trying to say that people have different tastes.

    Doesn’t make mine better, or worse, than yours.

    All the best.

  43. Coach pb9617 says:

    …But I thought of you when I read it. Too bad nothing’s come of it.

    So there is an upside to all of this! Thanks spOILer!

  44. spOILer says:

    LT,

    Blue Velvet, is that a reference to Lynch-ing?

    Sucking on fumes?

    The cruel noir universe?

    Or were you really going for Quantum Leap (needed)?

  45. spOILer says:

    Coach,

    I have to think that when punch and Schremp are normally used in the same sentence, Schremp is usually the object, not the subject. The Habs probably ccame to their senses.

  46. Traktor says:

    “it has since evolved to Lowetide and clan vs. Oilersnation and everyone vs. Traktor…”

    I wonder who Oiler fans hate more, me or CFP?

  47. Lowetide says:

    The references in the blog are:

    1. “Mama Told Me Not to Come”. The title is a line from the song. It was written by Randy Newman and describes someone who is at a bizarre party (orgy?) and is feeling a little ill.

    2. The photo is from Blue Velvet which is also an uncomfortable experience.

    3. The Vance Law quote deals with frustration.

    4. I also referenced Wee Willie Keeler with “hit it where they ain’t”. Keeler was one of the men who had a huge impact on baseball. He could bunt the ball foul all day long with two strikes, which caused frustration and eventually caused a rule change (the third strike called on a bunted ball that lands foul). Also uncomfortable.

  48. Peeeete. says:

    Traktor:

    Speaking only for myself, I don’t hate either of you. You’re currently much more boring and annoying, though. (You can’t hold a candle to that jeanshorts cretin, however.)

    LT: I got the first two references, and they pleased me. Can’t go wrong with Blue Velvet. Frank Booth is my favourite film monstrosity.

    -Ramone

  49. Lowetide says:

    Well, you’ll love my weekend agenda. If they lose tomorrow night the blog title will be “A Clockwork Orange (Copper and Blue” and if they lose Sunday it’ll be either “Mulholland Drive” or “The Shining.”

  50. Coach pb9617 says:

    I have to think that when punch and Schremp are normally used in the same sentence, Schremp is usually the object, not the subject. The Habs probably ccame to their senses.

    A man can dream.

  51. Dennis says:

    Please don’t use any Mulholland Drive references on this blog; I don’t want to associate this blog with erections;)

    BTW, I was checking around the official site and apparently Tencer did an interview with Lowe that’s going to be post in the next day. I checked the CHED site and it isn’t up there yet but I personally can’t wait to hear it.

  52. Lowetide says:

    Dennis: Okay, then what about the Cronenberg film Crash?

    :-)

  53. spOILer says:

    Not “Dead Man Walking”?

  54. Lowetide says:

    Or Badlands.

  55. Traktor says:

    Freddy P doing well in the SEL this year. 2nd in points with 19 in 23 games and only 1 point back of the leader, who’s 37 years old. He must be getting under some skin because he already has 43 PIMs, only 3 back of the team leader. +5 on the year.

    I bet someone offers him a contact to come over next year.

  56. Lowetide says:

    Traktor: You really should be a little clearer. He is second on his team in scoring and 18th in the league.

    Linus Omark, an Oilers prospect, is tied for 2nd in league scoring.

  57. Coach pb9617 says:

    “Hang ‘Em High” ?

  58. Lowetide says:

    Coach: Oh yes, that’s a good one. Plus “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” could follow it.

  59. Jonathan says:

    Anybody: Remind me please what happened with Pettersson. I know he was playing in Calgary and went back to the SEL last year (where he was fine considering his age). Do the Oilers not still own his rights?

  60. Lowetide says:

    Jonathan: The Oilers 4 guys: Dragan Umicevic, Fredrik Pettersson, Kalle Olsson and Lukas Zib on the same day.

    Details are here:

    http://www.hockeysfuture.com/articles/9699/oilers200607_european_season_review/

    Guy talks about Hrabal going too but as it turned out EDM lobbied the league and won his rights.

  61. Doogie2K says:

    I was a huge fan of QL so I enjoyed the Oilers take.

    But the Emmy for Oilogsphere writing goes to Slipper for his Hemsky quip from yesterday.

    No argument here; that was brilliant. I am amused that we almost had something break out over the damned wood panelling, though. =)

    @Spoiler: I find the news of Montreal’s interest in Schremp somewhat baffling. They already have three lines of guys who can put the puck in the net, and Carbo’s system revolves around creating chances through creating turnovers then letting the forwards dance. Where does Schremp fit in there, unless they just want someone to play with the likes of Pacioretty and Chipchura?

    @LT: I think you should save The Shining for if/when MacT gets axed. The imagery just works, you know?

  62. slipper says:

    No doubt, D2K. It seems we’ll argue about anything around here.

    I’ve been on your site a number of times and to be honest, I never even noticed the wood paneling until Fake brought it up here. At first I thought “wood paneling” was some sort of nerd/tech jargon that went right over my head.

    It lead me over to B.C. bud’s website for the first time to check out his wood paneling. Man, if jeanshorts thought I abused my thesaurus, fluid would pool on the poor bastard’s brain if he sauntered over to BCB’s site.

  63. Kyle says:

    Kyle: I think this is a playoff team, but the results are garbage. You can’t fire the team and you can’t keep defending the coach if the team keeps losing.

    They need to right the ship. There is no panic button.

    There IS however a big fricking trap door.

    I think the Oilers are dealing with a bunch of outlier performances currently, and the odds are those outliers will tend towards the mean in a matter time. MacTavish can’t change Sam Gagner’s piss poor decision making over the past 5 games and he can’t increase Horcoff’s shooting percentage – odds are though that those problems are at the extreme right now and will right themselves.

    What? The Oilers have 5 wins in their last 17 games. Garon has started only four of those…and he’s the problem? Unreal.

    Oh, right. Garon entered against the Wings down 3-0, stopped 24 of 25…and the Oilers lost 4-3. I see your point. Not.

    Well first of all Garon was certainly one reason, but I clearly mentioned several players who were playing well below expectations. And guess what – those expecations were born from previous seasons with GUESS WHO as the coach.

    Never mind the fact my point was that the Oilers are getting beat by the slimmest of margins – a few bounces the other way and we wouldn’t be having this conversation. I’m not one to really talk about bad luck because I think over the course of a season things tend to even out – but that doesn’t mean a team won’t have stretches that include a few bad bounces.
    —–

    Granted, some more goals would be nice, but how about a half-way decent PK?

    Let’s see, PK has been pretty solid for the Oil for a number of seasons, but suddenly 20 games in this season and MacT doesn’t know how to run a PK – that’s a logical conclusion. That’s what I would call a clear cut attribution error.

    As I’ve mentioned before, the Oilers consistent weakness with MacT has been the PP.


    The Oil have to start winning sometime. Period. Agreed with LT this isn’t a panic button. It’s about getting things turned around this season before it’s too late.

    Trades start with Roloson (not only does that eliminate the three goalie monster, it gets Garon pass Petty Peters). NJ has a rather woeful record since Marty went down…don’t suppose they’d like 39 year old stopgap until he returns.

    Just to let you know, winning and not hitting the panic button are NOT mutually exclusive. It is possible to do both.

  64. Brett Gee says:

    I hate when people keep defending the play of this hockey team, like a few bounces and its a different story. They are outplayed, out shot, out worked, out everything and that is why they lose every night. Even if we did have a few bounces win us some games, I for one would not be comfortable with continuously being out performed every night. That is what it is, simply. There are, of course, deeper layers to this mess, but if you can’t play hockey with passion then you will never be successful.

  65. Kyle says:

    but if you can’t play hockey with passion then you will never be successful.

    While the rest of your ideas have a lot of merit, this one is pure crap. I guess the players are only playing with a 1 on the passion meter right now but should try cranking it up to at least 7!!!

  66. Coach pb9617 says:

    @Spoiler: I find the news of Montreal’s interest in Schremp somewhat baffling. They already have three lines of guys who can put the puck in the net, and Carbo’s system revolves around creating chances through creating turnovers then letting the forwards dance. Where does Schremp fit in there, unless they just want someone to play with the likes of Pacioretty and Chipchura?

    Baffling or not, we can only hope for a good return!

  67. Coach pb9617 says:

    MacTavish can’t change Sam Gagner’s piss poor decision making over the past 5 game

    20 games. Piss poor decision making over the past 20 games. Moreau and Staios are the ones making piss poor decisions over the last 5.

    Never mind the fact my point was that the Oilers are getting beat by the slimmest of margins – a few bounces the other way and we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

    I think you’re kidding yourself. The numbers show that this team is getting beat up pretty good and if a few bounces end up getting some wins, the numbers are still bad. The team most likely needs a little regression to the mean on the PK, but that isn’t happening until Mac fixes the personnel issues on the PK.

    That’s what I would call a clear cut attribution error.

    In what way? The personnel issues are driving the PK problems.

    NAME … TOI/60 … GAON/60
    STEVESTAIOS … 4.1 … 10.32
    SHELDONSOURAY … 3.69 … 8.13
    SHAWNHORCOFF … 2.98 … 11.64
    KYLEBRODZIAK … 2.83 … 8.25
    ETHANMOREAU … 2.67 … 13
    JASONSTRUDWICK … 2.48 … 6.05
    TOMGILBERT … 2.37 … 9.34
    FERNANDOPISANI … 2.24 … 1.79
    DENISGREBESHKOV … 1.71 … 10.97
    DUSTINPENNER … 1.64 … 12.88
    LUBOMIRVISNOVSKY … 0.9 … 14.09
    ANDREWCOGLIANO … 0.69 … 0
    SAMGAGNER … 0.65 … 10.29

    Yeah, he’s missing Pisani’s amazing PK ability, but he’s also running out really bad personnel. Even if Horcoff comes back to his norm, this PK is still in trouble given the current player grouping.

  68. Kyle says:


    20 games. Piss poor decision making over the past 20 games. Moreau and Staios are the ones making piss poor decisions over the last 5.

    I would respectfully disagree. At the beginning of the year I thought Gagner was still playing well, even if he as making the occasional 19 year old mistake – his corsi numbers were good, he was playing some decent competition – but now he’s just gripping his stick so tight I expect it to shatter every shift.

    …Mac fixes the personnel issues on the PK.

    And who’s fault is it Mac doesn’t have his go to guys – Reasoner and Stoll?

    Look, is the PK bad right now? Absolutely – my point is that i have a hard time pinning in on MacT when he’s shown us nothing but a stellar ability to put together a PK every year but this one.

  69. slipper says:

    The Oilers are only +33/-35 at even strength. They have had decent powerplay production at 18.9% (14th).

    This 75% (28th) penalty kill rate is the issue. Teams play to the score. They get down early because of their lethargic starts, which lead to early short-handed situation. This shit PK has basically guaranteed that they play 20-55 minutes of catch-up.

    The even strength results aren’t horrendous, they’re merely lack-lustre. Shoring up one extra line with a veteran could provide an effective stop gap for the short term.

    But it is the penalty kill that is single handedly murdering this team.

  70. Tyler says:

    They are outplayed, out shot, out worked, out everything and that is why they lose every night. Even if we did have a few bounces win us some games, I for one would not be comfortable with continuously being out performed every night.

    Man, having been on the other side of the fence on this point for the past few years (in 05-06, I was consistently defending them and saying that they just needed a goalie, around Christmas 06-07 and parts of last year (not to mention all summer)), I have absolute confidence in stating that while there is a portion of Oilers fans who would still be displeased even if they’d had some bounces and wins, the vast majority would be cool if the team was 12-7-2 at the moment, even if they’d looked like dogshit.

  71. Doogie2K says:

    @Spoiler: And that’s the thing. I really can’t see who Gainey would give up for a still-fairly-one-dimensional player, especially since he’s bound to lose someone good to free agency and needs the big-name guys like MaxPac to replenish the stocks. I’m not hugely familiar with Habs prospects beyond the obvious (though there’s a kid named Ryan White in their system who played here in Calgary — top-five WHL scorer his 18yo season with a bit of grit to his game), but surely the guys I’ve heard of are precisely the guys Gainey is going to sit on, unless he’s shopping for The Missing Piece?

  72. Brett Gee says:

    I don’t know Kyle, the team I’ve been watching looks pretty bored most of the time. Different from years past where hitting and battling were always there. To say that there is a lack of passion (or whatever you want to call it) is not that far off the mark, if at all.

    I’m not trying to pick a fight with you or anything. I just think that your “few bounces this way” mentality isn’t addressing the main issues. The main issues of working hard, not “whining” in the media, hitting, etc.

    I admire your optimism.

  73. Kyle says:

    I don’t know Kyle, the team I’ve been watching looks pretty bored most of the time. Different from years past where hitting and battling were always there. To say that there is a lack of passion (or whatever you want to call it) is not that far off the mark, if at all.

    I’m not saying that I’m necessarily right, but I think it’s pretty incredible that people can sit at home and try to judge how passionate players are at any given time. It came up in the Flames v. Sharks series last year where Thornton was criticized for not playing ‘passionately enough.’ Why? Because he doesn’t break his stick over the net when he gets scored on? Because someone thinks he should have finished a check harder?

    There are two pretty smart things I’ve learned over my years watching hockey regarding effort levels

    1. It’s hard to get up for every game. Granted it’s early in the season, but staying motivated is often difficult, and yes, sometimes players won’t give it 100% for any given game.

    2. No matter how hard you try, you’re not going to win every battle. This is something I think Brett Hull said regarding Ken Hitchcock’s mentality, that if you wanted it bad enough you should be able to win pretty much every battle – the problem is that there’s somebody on the other side with the exact same mentality. Somebody is going to win and somebody is going to lose and simplifying it to ‘not enough passion’ seems to me to be pretty dumb.

    Even if I’m wrong, and it is a passion problem, if you can sit at home and judge passion levels of an entire team then you sir are a much better man than I, but I doubt you or anyone else can.

    I think Matt had a good post at BoA today regarding the Oil’s position in fall of 05 and I think it mirrors my position.

    The Oilers may be terrible, or maybe they just need some time to take a step back and things will work themselves out.

  74. Brett Gee says:

    Okay, enough about passion. Maybe I used the wrong word, just give me a break on that, will you?

    I will say that a lot of times it looks like everyone on the team is waiting for someone else to make the play. Standing around. I didn’t mean for you to twist things around in order to prove that I’m an idiot. I’m just saying that there is a noticeable difference in effort from previous teams and this one. Maybe you’re right. Maybe we’re missing Stoll, reasoner and even a healthy Torres.

    The end.

  75. Kyle says:

    Okay, enough about passion. Maybe I used the wrong word, just give me a break on that, will you?

    Well your exact words were ‘if you can’t play hockey with passion’ I didn’t really mean to make you look like an idiot, I took the comment about ‘passion’ to describe passion rather than standing around and I apologize if I understood you incorrectly.

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