Trouble

I’ve written about Craig MacTavish a lot on this blog, but fear MacT will soon be a blast from the past. Edmonton’s coach has his share of detractors on the Al Gore invention but I’ll thank you not to count me as one of them.

The Edmonton Oilers are a team with many unanswered questions, a team with many facts that seem to be at cross purposes, a team that is paid at the cap to play like crap.

In the words of the very talented Johnny Mercer, Something’s Gotta Give.

Kevin Lowe was talking in the paper today about the Oilers needing to work on the studio mix of the third and fourth lines (nothing about throttling today, though) and GM Steve Tambellini was busy at the airport sending out Tim Sestito.

Craig MacTavish? After his team went through the motions last night he said “it’s clear the will was there” and maybe he even believed it. I think he probably saw it in some of the veterans (Lubo, Moreau, Souray, Staios, Roloson, Horcoff, Hemsky) and some of the kids were working (Cogliano, Gagner, Gilbert). However, it looked to me like there were more than a few passengers on the runaway train last night in Edmonton.

So we’re left with these facts that seem to run up against each other. We can say “something’s gotta give” but the response is “Katz is a good friend of Lowe and MacT and there’s no chance either gets fired.”

And that’s good, but then comes the question “what if they keep on losing, despite being a cap team?” and after awhile it becomes obvious that in the history of organized sports (not a long period, mind you, but enough to draw some conclusions) it falls to the coach to take the hit during a lost season.

Why? Well you can’t fire the team and they just hired Steve Tambellini to be GM so it makes little sense to get rid of him. I’m not convinced MacT is the culprit here but do believe he’ll be the one to go.

Is it certain? No, this team has talent and could go on a run. They did in 2005-06 at a time when the coach was in just about the same spot he is now. What’s the difference between then and now? The Oilers had one specific problem (goaltending) and six guys who had shoot the moon contracts. The theme for this edition of the Oilers seems to be “paid in full, awaiting delivery.”

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416 Responses to "Trouble"

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  1. pboy says:

    2) My theory on why this happened: whoever said THE quote might have gone to Lowe with their concerns already and had it fall on deaf ears. Once that didn’t work, said individual decided to air the dirty laundry in full view of the public and media. Not saying it’s right or wrong, just saying what I figure happened.

    I was kinda thinking the same thing. What if a vet on the team felt that things were south in a hurry, talked with the coach and the GM and felt that nothing was being done and the season was on the verge of slipping away? So he gets frustrated and does something stupid and airs some dirty laundry to the press. Total speculation but who knows?

    If that is a picture of MM from “Somethings Got to Give”, I think that was the picture she was making and fired from right before she died. That would make her in her 30′s there. That was a good looking broad.

  2. Jonathan says:

    LT:

    Grebeshkov and Smid seem obvious, as do the usual assortment of prospects (Schremp, Chorney, Pouliot) and if it’s a salary dump move, say for Todd Marchant, maybe Stortini finds himself heading out of town. Then any of the goalies can be added to the list too.

    As for bigger name players, Cole should probably be considered, along with Nilsson and Cogliano. I don’t really know who else would be considered.

  3. Jonathan says:

    When was the last non GDT to pass the 200 comment mark? Ryan Smyth being traded?

  4. Coach pb9617 says:

    Coach: Thanks for that. It isn’t fair to poor Visnovsky that he has to wear the red dress, though.

    Roloson is in the purple dress and Hemmer has the maid’s uniform on. I should have put the red dress on Hemsky to satisfy the “Hemmer is soft” crowd.

  5. Traktor says:

    Riversq – I’ve been waiting years for this day. You, MC, and especially dawgbone going down in flames is extremely joyous for me to watch. Your insults mean absolutely nothing. It’s like some Texas hick grilling me because I don’t think G.W. Bush is God. Whatever.

    Next up: Marc Pouliot getting waived.

  6. budorduke says:

    think tambellini and lowe being at the toronto/ atlanta game is worth discussing in terms of trade? im thinking garons stake has dropped such that trading a goalie right away is tough.. if we trade garon the return is lower at this point. if we trade roli we rely on a goalie who hasn’t played since november 6th..

  7. Coach pb9617 says:

    We should also talk about who is going to get traded.

    Staios, Schremp, Roloson, Garon.

  8. Lowetide says:

    Traktor: Enjoyed your work on Will and Grace.

  9. Jonathan says:

    Traktor: Enjoy it while it lasts. Pretty soon Dave Tippett’s going to be coaching the team, and then we’ll all need to find something other than the coach to argue about.

  10. Coach pb9617 says:

    Riversq – I’ve been waiting years for this day. You, MC, and especially dawgbone going down in flames is extremely joyous for me to watch. Your insults mean absolutely nothing. It’s like some Texas hick grilling me because I don’t think G.W. Bush is God. Whatever.

    You know what’s behind this link.

    .

  11. Traktor says:

    “Traktor: Enjoyed your work on Will and Grace.”

    ?

  12. dstaples says:

    Journalism 101: Check who else is quoted in the article.

  13. Lowetide says:

    What does Toronto have that the Oilers would want? Kaberle but that’s overkill. I’d die if the Oilers traded for their goalie.

  14. Bob Arctor says:

    Can we bring Linus Omark over from the SEL mid season?
    His offensive output thus far prorates to 63 points in NHL. This team would kill to have someone on pace for more than 30 points playing leftwing.

  15. Jonathan says:

    And Staples bets on Cole. A wise bet, Mr. Staples.

  16. mc79hockey says:

    “I’ve been waiting years for this day.”

    As the proprietor of a hockey blog who spends way too much time on this hobby, get a fucking life.

    Staples – Evil!! I’ve read that before somewhere, I just can’t remember where.

  17. Jonathan says:

    Kaberle for Gilbert perhaps? God knows the Oilers don’t have enough blueliners making over 5M a season.

    I really like the Marchant from Anaheim idea, probably because it’s mine.

    I also think Tampa Bay could trade Chris Gratton for a player of our choice, but that’s probably underkill.

  18. HBomb says:

    Jonathan: now I’ve mentioned the guy in “what if” scenarios before (i.e. “Boumeester for Souray and Cogliano”), but I don’t see 13 being traded right now.

    By my eye he’s been the best of the kids lately. Gagner’s struggled, but he’s in the group of three guys I CANNOT see getting dealt (along with Hemsky and Gilbert; Horcoff, Souray and Cogliano are in the group that I’d be shocked if they were dealt tomorrow, but I don’t consider it impossible).

    Nilsson’s the guy who I’d be worried about. Grebeshkov and Penner also would have to be in play. Maybe Staios if they can find a taker? Smid and Pouliot have been OK and won’t net much, so I don’t see the point. Brodziak is in the same boat. Moving Stortini would be to clear a contract space.

    Two games back-to-back on Saturday/Sunday on the road. They drop both, there’s a new face in the lineup from outside the current organizational pool for the return bout with the Stars next Wednesday.

  19. Lowetide says:

    David Staples: Erik Cole? Wow.

  20. slipper says:

    Antrapov?

  21. Coach pb9617 says:

    So Staples has Professor Plum.

  22. Traktor says:

    Lowetide: Enjoyed your work in Rain Man.

  23. slipper says:

    Oh nevermind, it just occured to me.

    Burke.

  24. Jonathan says:

    Ponikarovsky. Bring in Ponikarovsky. Preferrably on the Pony Express.

  25. budorduke says:

    Kovalchuk?

  26. dstaples says:

    Tyler, I’ve read it, too, somewhere, and mentioned it myself. It was written in some recent critique of sports journalism.

    It often proves to be accurate, though, of course, there are exceptions to the rule.

  27. Coach pb9617 says:

    I also think Tampa Bay could trade Chris Gratton for a player of our choice, but that’s probably underkill.

    BLECH. No offense, but BLECH.

  28. Jonathan says:

    Slipper: Burke gets along great with Tambellini. Tambellini’s our GM, remember ;)

  29. Jonathan says:

    Coach: “probably underkill” wasn’t quite forceful enough for you? :)

  30. slipper says:

    I think it was Cole, aswell. I entered his mind and his reasons to bitch make the most sense to me.

  31. Coach pb9617 says:

    Coach: “probably underkill” wasn’t quite forceful enough for you? :)

    What concerns me is that he’s the kind of player that would make the current coach moist, but is really bad at his “specialty”.

  32. HBomb says:

    Lowetide: Enjoyed your work in Rain Man.

    On behalf of the membership and in defense of the proprietor of this great blog, go fuck yourself.

    Seriously, WHY do you post here? LT is a man of divine tolerance and patience that he’s let you and Hunter1909 run wild lately.

  33. Lowetide says:

    E5.

  34. dstaples says:

    I bet the trade-a-goalie rumour has legs. Why wouldn’t it?

    It solves a problem related to a perception of managerial incompetence. It takes the heat off.

    It’s also a good move.

    But, of course, it could be a goalie and someone else heading out. No idea who.

  35. mc79hockey says:

    Well if it’s Cole, I hope he gets outed, because him whining that the current coaches have been here too long would be about the most self-serving thing I’ve ever heard.

  36. Lowetide says:

    Plus it would have huge impact on his asking price (Cole’s) next summer. I can’t imagine a team would knowingly mail themselves a turncoat.

  37. RiversQ says:

    Traktor said…
    Riversq – I’ve been waiting years for this day. You, MC, and especially dawgbone going down in flames is extremely joyous for me to watch. Your insults mean absolutely nothing. It’s like some Texas hick grilling me because I don’t think G.W. Bush is God. Whatever.

    Damn, you were this close to vindication and then you posted something stupid again.

    I’m more than willing to accept alternate opinions on your hot button issues, but I’d like to hear some truly rational arguments. There may be some out there on a player like Horcoff, but you clearly don;t have them.

  38. Traktor says:

    “On behalf of the membership and in defense of the proprietor of this great blog, go fuck yourself.”

    I didn’t know how to respond to “enjoyed your work in Will and Grace”. Wish LT would tell me what that’s suppose to mean.

  39. HBomb says:

    Plus it would have huge impact on his asking price (Cole’s) next summer. I can’t imagine a team would knowingly mail themselves a turncoat.

    It would be the equivalent of a GM hiring Ted Nolan as coach. Happens about once every 10 years.

  40. Coach pb9617 says:

    How about Jim Slater over Chris Gratton?

  41. Kyle says:

    I wonder if they’d stay in-house for a replacement or hire a former Oiler who isn’t currently with the team.

    Buchberger. Book it.

    Riversq – I’ve been waiting years for this day. You, MC, and especially dawgbone going down in flames is extremely joyous for me to watch. Your insults mean absolutely nothing. It’s like some Texas hick grilling me because I don’t think G.W. Bush is God. Whatever.

    Um, MC predicted this team would be mediocre. He said one of the smartest things I’ve read in the last year or so about hockey – season predictions are usually based on roster comings and goings while it should really be based on the liklihood of current players replicating past performances.

    He was exactly right – the reason the Oilers are losing and MacT’s head in the gallows is because Nilsson, Gagner, Horcoff and Garon haven’t lived up to last year’s performance. 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.

    Also the PP is terrible, which I think can be fairly pegged on MacT.

  42. Ribs says:

    I also enjoyed your work on Will & Grace, Traktor. Classic.

  43. Coach pb9617 says:

    What’s Jaromir Jagr up to these days?

  44. Coach pb9617 says:

    LT, feel free to use that Clue pic for the next entry.

    “This is Clue. One of these men killed Craig MacTavish. The possible weapons? A toothbrush shiv, a broken hockey stick, words, laziness, a BOOOOOMING shot from the point, lack of corner work.”

  45. Traktor says:

    Well if Lowetide burned me with an insult then power to him. Probably overdue.

  46. RiversQ says:

    Traktor said…
    Lowetide: Enjoyed your work in Rain Man.

    I also loved LT’s work in Rain Man. The key is that he didn’t go full retard.

  47. RiversQ says:

    If I were to speculate on a player in ATL/TOR of interest, I’d say Havelid.

    He’s been a tough minutes guy there for quite awhile and he’s a pretty steady dman to my eye. He certainly fits the bill as a solid 2nd pairing stopper type. His underlying numbers are not great this year though, but he is also a pending UFA.

    Seems like a good fit to me for the right price.

  48. Traktor says:

    If it’s Atlanta then it’s the Birdman, Coby Beware.

  49. Coach pb9617 says:

    If I were to speculate on a player in ATL/TOR of interest, I’d say Havelid.

    He’s been a tough minutes guy there for quite awhile and he’s a pretty steady dman to my eye. He certainly fits the bill as a solid 2nd pairing stopper type. His underlying numbers are not great this year though, but he is also a pending UFA.

    Seems like a good fit to me for the right price.

    Add Slater, ship Schremp and stuff. Just make sure it’s Sugartits.

  50. Coach pb9617 says:

    Armstrong?

    His numbers without Crosby or Staal are shit.

  51. RiversQ says:

    Coach pb9617 said…

    Add Slater, ship Schremp and stuff. Just make sure it’s Sugartits.

    I don’t really rate Slater, but he could be worth a swing as a throw-in.

    Havelid is the kind of guy they need, but his numbers make you wonder if he has slipped a tad. It’s rare that you get a vet dman like that with no warts though, so maybe that’s the best they’ll be able to do.

  52. Traktor says:

    “His numbers without Crosby or Staal are shit.”

    Edmonton obviously wouldn’t pick him up for his scoring. He’s one of the best (dirtiest) hitters in the league.

  53. RiversQ says:

    Traktor said…

    Edmonton obviously wouldn’t pick him up for his scoring. He’s one of the best (dirtiest) hitters in the league.

    Do the Oilers need aanother guy who’s not that good at playing hockey?

  54. Coach pb9617 says:

    Havelid is the kind of guy they need, but his numbers make you wonder if he has slipped a tad. It’s rare that you get a vet dman like that with no warts though, so maybe that’s the best they’ll be able to do.

    If Huddy can save Smith, Staios, Ulanov…

  55. Coach pb9617 says:

    Edmonton obviously wouldn’t pick him up for his scoring. He’s one of the best (dirtiest) hitters in the league.

    Hockey doesn’t come naturally to you, does it?

  56. Traktor says:

    “Do the Oilers need aanother guy who’s not that good at playing hockey?”

    He’s not a top 6 player but he’s better than Brodziak, Pouliot, Stortini, Reddox and some of the other junk that has suited up this year for Edmonton.

    He plays a game similar to Ethan Moreau and we could use another player like that. He would be the second toughest player to play against behind Moreau.

  57. Dennis says:

    If we are believing Staples, maybe Cole traded this quote in return for not being slammed by the Edm press;)

    I just listened to the clip provided and I don’t think I’ve ever heard Spector or Brownlee go after anyone like that; I’m guess that the boys have been beaten down or put in their place by Tambo like they have over the years by Lowe, MacT and Slats before them. It’s almost like Tambo’s the new girl at the first school dance and the boys are rushing her with Labatt Ice;)

    In any case it might be directed towards a guy I like but I still appreciate the fact that journalism has found it’s way back to edmonton.

    Of course I really won’t believe that until someone goes after Lowe and given the fact no one tweaked him for the throttling comment then I guess I won’t get what I want.

    The deal now is that even if you turf MacT you’ve got a malcontent or malcontents running loose and what else will need to be done?

    And of course Bob Woodward has his spy now so nothing’s safe.

    It’s a pretty big development considering the way things are normally done with the Oil.

  58. Traktor says:

    “Hockey doesn’t come naturally to you, does it?”

    I’m done with you. If my suggestion to bring in one of the best hitters in the game to a team full of pussies somehow equates to hockey not coming natural to me then there’s no point in me even wasting my time discussing anything with you.

  59. DBO says:

    Coming to this party late, but does anyone think Lowe would step back behind the bench? Pull a Sweet lou from Jersey and take over? He’s katz’ buddy, he takes “responsibility’ for the team he put together, and they still get a shake up. KLowe is probably pretty comfy in his role, but I wonder if that would be the direction they would choose to go, instead of going outside the organization.

  60. Satisfied_to_Ignore says:

    “We’re trying to preach a power-game to Cogs and Bobby Nilsson,” MacTavish said. “It’s not necessarily their game, but that’s where you find your game.”

    This quote exemplifies the fact that MacT does not know how to coach offensive players. Has anyone thought about the scoring ability of our coaching staff? it is not very good. And now we can’t even do what they did well; kill penalties.

    I posted this a couple weeks ago and I still am preaching it to all who will listen: the oilers have players who can score, they could get 50 goals from their defensemen, so let them! forget defense, plan on 4 to 6 goals a game, at least two from the power play each night, and do not change a thing no matter how far behind in a game or ahead in a game you are. Go for the goal, every minute of every shift. so we give up 3 goals a game, we will still win way more than we lose and we will be the most entertaining team in hockey.

    The coaching staff all need to go, start fresh, and start with all offence!

    and as for the quote, my bet is Cole. If I was him I would be pissed about this season and the way I had been played. He is in a contract year and being screwed over, this is costing him millions!

  61. Coach pb9617 says:

    He’s not a top 6 player but he’s better than Brodziak, Pouliot, Stortini, Reddox and some of the other junk that has suited up this year for Edmonton.

    Based on what objective evidence?

  62. Coach pb9617 says:

    I’m done with you. If my suggestion to bring in one of the best hitters in the game to a team full of pussies somehow equates to hockey not coming natural to me then there’s no point in me even wasting my time discussing anything with you.

    Let me be the first to say PHEW!

    Didn’t you stop posting here? Why are you back?

  63. RiversQ says:

    The coaching staff all need to go, start fresh, and start with all offence!

    Oh brother.

    Please watch the Red Wings play a little. MacT’s quote gets framed perfectly by that. It doesn’t matter how much talent you have you can’t float around like a bunch of pussies doing lacrosse moves and hope to even score properly.

    The Oilers need possession and position. Fancy shit won’t get you there.

  64. Satisfied_to_Ignore says:

    RiversQ: I said offense, not fancy shit.

  65. RiversQ says:

    Satisfied_to_Ignore said…
    RiversQ: I said offense, not fancy shit.

    And what did you imply about MacT’s quote then?

    Personally I think it’s obvious you have to be willing to battle or at least take some punishment to score goals in the NHL.

    Cogliano and Nilsson don’t appear to be willing to do that on a regular basis (actually Penner’s had about 16 games of unwillingness this year too) so how can you really say he’s wrong?

    As for the whole offense thing, it’s a red herring. The game isn’t cut in half – offense and defense complement each other. The two are intrinsically linked IMO. We aren’t talking about a team that traps a heap here – they still send forecheckers.

  66. Bruce says:

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

    Even later to the party … it took me half an hour to catch up! 270+ posts since 6 p.m. on a non-game night. Funny thing, I don’t think I’ve read anybody echo my own immediate reaction when I first read this quote on the back end of the L.A. GDT, namely: “first a trade alright … of the damfool son-of-a-bitch who gave this quote”.

    Smoke him out, and get rid of him … the Team doesn’t need that guy, regardless of who is the coach.

  67. slipper says:

    “the oilers have players who can score”

    There names are Ales Hemsky and Sheldon Souray. Anyone else, at the momemnt?

    “forget defense, plan on 4 to 6 goals a game, at least two from the power play each night, and do not change a thing no matter how far behind in a game or ahead in a game you are.”

    Honestly, why stop at 4 to 6? What you’re basically suggesting is that we need a coaching staff that thinks more positively.

    “Go for the goal, every minute of every shift.”

    Puck hogs. All of them.

  68. Bank Shot says:

    Personally I think it’s obvious you have to be willing to battle or at least take some punishment to score goals in the NHL.

    Riberio and Wellwood are two prime examples of the contrary.

    You need to be able to battle to win games, but offence can be created without it.

    Perhaps if the Oilers had an offensive scheme that played to the strengths of small and quick they’d be on to something. I only ever hear Mactavish talking about “going to the hard areas” and “getting the breaks”.

    Some other teams I have noticed seem to have better tactics. The Avalanche for instance probably don’t luck into the 5-6 good backdoor chances per game they always seem to get against the Oilers.

    The Minnesota Wild over the years have been really effective on 3 on 2s against the Oilers because they have a consistent plan that usually involves one forward driving the net, and another teeing up the one timer slapshot.

    The Oilers have a hell of a time just finding each other on the cycle, other then Hemsky just

  69. Chris says:

    Well if we’re getting a new coach I think there is only one obvious answer as to who it will be.

    Traditionally the Oilers have looked for someone with ties to the organization.

    The Oilers also rarely bring in a coach with previous experience especially at the NHL level.

    Thirdly, current practices indicate a fixation with players from the glory days.

    Furthermore, given that this team looks unmotivated I can only presume that we will soon be seeing Mark Messier’s foray into coaching.

  70. RiversQ says:

    Bank Shot said…
    You need to be able to battle to win games, but offence can be created without it.

    OK, so you’re just being contrarian then?

  71. Bank Shot says:

    OK, so you’re just being contrarian then?

    The battles don’t have to be won by every player all the time to have a successful team.

    You can just concede the point if you can’t rebut anything, and feel the need to snipe.

    Pain isn’t a prerequisite for scoring.

  72. slipper says:

    Wellwood has 31 points in his last 76 games. Perhaps people should wait until he shows a little sustain before raising him as a rule for any purpose whatsoever.

    For some reason Ribeiro’s shooting percentage has dropped a bit this season. 2 goals. Bet your life though, that in his first 86 games as a Star someone (ahem, Morrow) was going ot the tough places when he was on the ice.

    When you look at Ribeiro’s teammates results with and without him, let’s just say that it becomes clear who’s NOT doing the heavy lifting.

    So basically, you can afford to have one of these players on the ice per offensive unit. Otherwise, without forwards who can retreive the puck, then you’re relying too heavily on your defense to make up for your F’s mistakes, which means the puck is in the bad end of the rink more often than the good end.

    That’s what’s happening in Dallas whenever you take Avery or Eriksson away from Ribeiro; Ribiero bleeds goals against.

  73. Bank Shot says:

    Wellwood has 31 points in his last 76 games. Perhaps people should wait until he shows a little sustain before raising him as a rule for any purpose whatsoever

    There are tonnes of guys in the league who making their living on pretty much skill alone. It’s not like Hemsky scores the lion’s share of his points by winning the battles. He generally waits for someone to get him the puck then he keeps it until it’s in the other team’s net.

    Sure you need guys that can get the puck, but you also need some kind of plan on what to do with the puck once you have it. Cole, and Brodziak are guys who can win battles and they are struggling right along with Nilsson and Penner.

    With so many players looking so disorganized, we can see they are not buying into the plan.

    I don’t really believe there is one in regards to offensive situations though, as I’ve never heard Mactavish elaborate on it with anything besides cliches. And the man like to elaborate on everything else.

  74. slipper says:

    Ribiero and Eriksson together

    3.26 Gf/60
    2.79 GA/60

    Ribiero away from Eriksson

    1.66 GF/60
    4.31 GA/60

    Eriksson away from Ribiero

    3.60 GF/60
    2.54 GA/60

    Ribiero and Avery together

    1.21 GF/60
    1.81 GA/60

    Ribeiro away from Avery

    2.85 GF/60
    4.56 GA/60

    Avery away from Ribeiro

    4.19 GF/60
    2.66 GA/60

  75. slipper says:

    It’s not like Hemsky scores the lion’s share of his points by winning the battles.

    Whether that is true or not, he still is very hard on the puck and can retain it against the wall in the attack zone, as well as retrieve it in the defensive.

    Afterall, having the puck is the key component to offense.

    Wellwood and Ribeiro were your examples, and you called them “prime examples”. It’s not my fault that they’re not.

    Like I already said, perhaps you can afford one of the players on a forward line and actually generate positive production. Too many of these players througout a line-up and it handcuffs your roster.

    Just look at the headache Ribeiro is when he isn’t teamed with a real hockey players, and then imagine a line-up chalk full of his player type minus his production.

    That is the Oilers’ problem.

  76. Rod says:

    Talk about late to the party. Wow. Great thread. slipper's "confessions" were–as already stated–gold. Excellent work.

    Source of "the quote"? My guess is Cole. Can't see the veteran Oilers turning on MacT like that. An Oilers veteran though? That's a different kettle of throttle.

    Way back on page one, mc79hockey said:
    >>Say what you will about MacT, but he’s always been pretty fair to people.<<

    Um, like all generalizations, that one isn't exactly accurate…as recent events demonstrate. MacT's skewering of Penner in the paper was over the line. No question.

    Kyle said:
    >>“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.”<<

    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.

    Trade talk?

    To me, trade talk has to start with Roli. The sooner Roloson is traded, the better. He's not the problem either, but the three-headed goalie monster isn't helping anyone other than a 39 year old goalie in his last season as an Oiler. With Roloson moved, Peters won't be able to keep Garon out of the net. Of course a year removed from Bryzgalov being waived, there's probably next to no market for Roloson. Still, that's a move that has to be made if they want to save the season.

    In terms of need, a responsible, good face-off centreman is obvious. That would help the abysmal PK, and free up Horcoff for some O-zone draws. Shore up the middle, and the rest of the forward situation falls into place. Starting with Horpensky. And no Smid up front.

    Oh yeah, and MacT doesn't last through Christmas. Lose the two this weekend and he doesn't even make December. Bear in mind that while I'm one that hasn't always agreed with MacT's decisions over the years, I haven't really thought a change was needed. The course this year is different though. Too many odd decisions this year that land squarely in the "wild experiment" category, rather than "putting guys in a position to succeed". Not sure why MacT's flailing, but he is. And that's counter productive with this young group that's losing confidence. Putting it another way, the below water thrashing has been exposed far too often this year, and not enough of the above water duck.

    OK, that last line proves it's far too late for me. Should be a fun one tomorrow.

  77. hunter1909 says:

    Absolutely hilarious how the accepted dogma in here states that any player who speaks against an arrogant incompetant coach who’s been walking around naked for the past month is someone to villify.

    Mike Comrie is right. This is communism.

    Like Stalinist USSR, no free flowing of ideas allowed. Toe the party line, or the NKVD comes and takes you away.

    It’s like the Oilers and their fans basically deserve each other. Everyone has the exact same mentality. It’s like being in a Siberian labour camp.

    I sure hope I’m wrong.

  78. JB-"jiggyman" says:

    The quote isn’t all that shocking imo. It’s more like one guy in the room stating the obvious when asked his opinion. A guy who’s most likely seen a struggling team from up close before. Saying “Maybe a trade, then the coach”, really seems like pointing out the obvious, far from stabbing the coach in the back imo.

    It doesn’t have to be a vet, and I really doubt it’s a first year Oiler. Penner would be my first guess.

    I’m actually quite scared Buchberger will be the replacement. I’ll start the thread dedicated to the “facepalm”, followed by the first “Fire Lowe” thread immediately if such a thing were to happen.

  79. Jonathan says:

    The Avalanche for instance probably don’t luck into the 5-6 good backdoor chances per game they always seem to get against the Oilers.

    I really wouldn’t use the Avs as an example of good coaching. Right now, the distance that Granato has from the “Mike Keenan Honourary Chair” on the TSN panel isn’t much greater than MacTavish’s.

  80. Jonathan says:

    Hunter 1909: That’s possibly the stupidest thing I’ve read all year.

    With the possible exception of Mathieu Garon, somebody is stabbing the coach in the back.

    If the quote comes from Erik Cole, it’s coming from a guy who was given every chance on the top line (and no, he didn’t deserve a shot at 1st Line RW, because he isn’t better than Hemsky) and who hasn’t done a bloody thing all year. To anonymously suggest that the coach is a problem when you’re one of the guys dragging the team down is not only gutless but revealing of a guy who doesn’t take any responsibility. Ditto if it was Penner, Nilsson, etc.

    If it comes from a guy like Staios or Souray or Moreau or Horcoff or whoever, it’s coming from a guy who the coach has bent over backwards for, a soldier who has been loyally treated by the man on top, and has no call to make the statement.

    With the possible exception of Garon, name three players who wouldn’t be gutless/cowardly/weasels for anonymously saying the coach should go. Or, if you’d prefer, look up to noted good-guy Mike Comrie.

  81. Doogie2K says:

    If you eliminate the impossible and the unlikely, you normally arrive at an answer.

    Actually, the line goes, “if you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” (Thank you, Star Trek VI and my misspent youth.) The question is, who’s impossible? You would think the kids, the newest acquisitions, and MacT’s boys, which makes the most plausible guys Garon and Penner, all things considered.

    As per Gregor on ON, Garon’s goaltending consultant was told to stay away from team.

    Can they actually do that? That doesn’t seem like something that they can reasonably do. Are they going to tell JDD’s guy from Quebec to step off, too?

    @Coach PB: You forgot Gagner.

    The key questions is how many “you knows”.

    I didn’t see one and that’s so Euro.

    Or it’s been pared out for copy. The fishwraps do that all the time.

    @HBomb: That’s a good point about it already falling on deaf ears. Isn’t that the exact rationale for MacT’s public tirade against Penner last week? That he’d already gone to Penner privately and it hadn’t worked?

    Now I know for certain Willis still sleeps in his ’91 Campbell Conference Finals pajamas, so obviously he’s mesmerized by the glory years, and we can attribute his support of MacT to that.

    Actually, don’t tell anyone, but he’s actually a deeply closeted Minnesota North Stars fan. That shit he talks about Dallas? It’s not because they kept clobbering the Oilers in the playoffs a few years back; it’s because they took his damned team away.

    On another note, if anyone cares, PrinceWaterhouseCoopers has stolen the Oilers as a client from Pennock Co.

    I care, I guess; my cousin’s an accountant at their Calgary branch, and has audited the Stampeders. Um…yay?

  82. Jonathan says:

    Actually, don’t tell anyone, but he’s actually a deeply closeted Minnesota North Stars fan. That shit he talks about Dallas? It’s not because they kept clobbering the Oilers in the playoffs a few years back; it’s because they took his damned team away.

    WOW. That also explains my love for Jacques Lemaire, Doug Risebrough, and goaltending tandems.

    Very nicely done!

  83. hunter1909 says:

    Whats sadly funny, is how right I’ve been all along about MacTavish.

    With each passing game, it’s more and more obvious that MacTavish hasn’t got a clue.

    But instead of weighing the merits of, say these latest revelations about player revolts, fans prefer to attack the symptom of the disease, instead of looking for the cure.

    The Edmonton Oilers hockey club owes relatively little to Craig MacTavish, or indeed any of the current “dynasty” players who are seemingly destroying the chance of this franchise ever returning to repspectablity, let alone glory.

    They’ve all been leading everyone on for years now, about how smart they are, and how much only “they” understand exactly what it will take for this team to regain the cup. Every season the same pack of lies, refried with yet another spin to make it palatable for the starving fans.

    It’s disgusting.

  84. Jonathan says:

    Hunter:

    I love this notion, brought up by you and pretty much every other guy who figures MacTavish is a rube:

    They’ve all been leading everyone on for years now, about how smart they are, and how much only “they” understand exactly what it will take for this team to regain the cup. Every season the same pack of lies, refried with yet another spin to make it palatable for the starving fans.

    Thinking back pre-lockout, I remember Kevin Lowe’s preseason penchant for saying the Oilers were going to be “competitive”. Every season, the EIG would talk about cash calls and how they couldn’t afford to do business, and Lowe would work with his shoe-string budget, and MacTavish would get whichever players they could afford until they couldn’t afford them any more (so long, Doug Weight! Bon voyage, Bill Guerin!).

    Guys talk about 8 years of MacTavish being responsible for mediocrity, but I remember those pre-lockout years – he was given crap rosters, and that can’t be blamed on him, or even Lowe.

    Post-lockout, he went to the Stanley Cup finals in 2005-06. The team lost 9 unrestricted free agents over the summer and shipped Pronger off for Lupul, a prospect defenseman in Smid, and draft picks. 2006-07′s defensive corps featured Smith and Staios as the top-two defensemen.

    2007-08, there were a bazillion rookies in the lineup, youth in all positions, and seemingly every defenseman on the team was injured.

    This year, 2008-09, the Oilers have been healthy, they have the most balanced team since 2005-06, and they’ve underachieved. It’s a completely different situation, and it’s why even supporters of MacTavish are turning on him – he has a decent roster, but the results aren’t coming.

    The idea that the past 8 seasons have been MacTavish’s fault is to ignore everything about the team except its final position in the standings and the name of the head coach. It’s a stupid argument, and demonstrably false.

  85. HBomb says:

    @HBomb: That’s a good point about it already falling on deaf ears. Isn’t that the exact rationale for MacT’s public tirade against Penner last week? That he’d already gone to Penner privately and it hadn’t worked?

    D2K: Nothing says “I mean business” like a head on a stick in the front yard.

    NOW, the question is, does this article qualify as “backing” for my theory (some players and the management see things differently with regards to the coaching staff), or does this qualify as the dreaded “vote of confidence”?

    Trouble brewing?

  86. HBomb says:

    Here’s the “long” link to the Journal story by Ireland, just in case my attempt at a hyperlink didn’t work…

    http://www.canada.com/edmontonjournal/news/sports/story.html?id=f5f157da-50d8-4338-96b6-1be582fa2836

  87. Black Dog says:

    hbomb – bad link?

  88. HBomb says:

    Can we vote Hunter1909 and Traktor off the island?

  89. HBomb says:

    hbomb – bad link?

    Posted the full version for “cut and paste” purposes.

    If anyone wishes to educate me to the HTML syntax for putting those links in, I’d sure appreciate it.

  90. Coach pb9617 says:

    @Coach PB: You forgot Gagner.

    I have a billion posts in the thread – where did I forget him? The Clue picture?

  91. Clarkenstein says:

    So I’m having my morning coffee checking the standings and I see that we are now just 2 points out of DEAD FUCKING LAST in the entire NHL!!!! Next I read MacT’s statement for the road trip that “no changes are planned”. I think the “let’s go for Tavares” plan is working out perfectly!! What say you LT?

  92. Coach pb9617 says:

    Whats sadly funny, is how right I’ve been all along about MacTavish.

    With each passing game, it’s more and more obvious that MacTavish hasn’t got a clue.

    This is the song that never ends, yes it goes on and on my friends
    Some people started singing it, not knowing what it was
    And they’ll continue singing it forever just because
    This is the song that never ends, yes it goes on and on my friends
    Some people started singing it, not knowing what it was
    And they’ll continue singing it forever just because
    This is the song that never ends, yes it goes on and on my friends
    Some people started singing it, not knowing what it was
    And they’ll continue singing it forever just because
    This is the song that never ends, yes it goes on and on my friends
    Some people started singing it, not knowing what it was
    And they’ll continue singing it forever just because
    This is the song that never ends, yes it goes on and on my friends
    Some people started singing it, not knowing what it was
    And they’ll continue singing it forever just because

  93. Black Dog says:

    hbomb – well, Tambellini isn’t going to say that MacT is on notice but if Spector is saying that someone in the org. is talking coaching change then its only a matter of time

    the reality too is that while one player spoke off the record there is more then one guy tuning out the coach

    this team’s play speaks to that fact

  94. Jonathan says:

    So I’m having my morning coffee checking the standings and I see that we are now just 2 points out of last in the entire NHL!

    And two points out of 8th place. There hasn’t been much spread between the bottom half of the conference to date.

    Next I read MacT’s statement for the road trip that “no changes are planned”.

    From last game, when he made changes to the current lines?

    I think the “let’s go for Tavares” plan is working out perfectly!

    Hedman, actually.

    The quotes of Clark above aren’t exactly accurate – I filtered out the capital letters and !!! because they hurt my head, and make the poster seem ranting and hysterical, when I’m sure he’s not.

  95. Coach pb9617 says:

    Next I read MacT’s statement for the road trip that “no changes are planned”.

    Outside of Smid drawing in and sending 24 or 43 to the press box, I wouldn’t make a change either. Let the lines settle in for once. Horpensky showed flashes of brilliance the other night.

  96. Clarkenstein says:

    Jonathan I’m RANTING and HYSTERICAL!! Believe it.

  97. Coach pb9617 says:

    Seriously though, what would it take to collar Jagr?

  98. HBomb says:

    BDHS: 21 games in and we have yet to see a “sixty minute effort”.

    I’m nowhere near as anti-MacT as I once was (certain weaknesses, such as the PP or lack thereof, still drive me up the wall), but that’s a strong indication that it might simply be time for a different voice above all else.

    Drop four of the next five, and Lowebellini isn’t going to have a choice.

    Funny, last year everyone figured this team was going to hand over a lottery pick to Anaheim, and things worked out OK.

    This year, most of us (myself included) figured the playoffs were a decent bet, and right now, they might very well be on track for the Hedman/Tavares derby if this effort level keeps up.

    Somethin’s gotta give….

  99. Black Dog says:

    hbomb – yeah I’m a MacT guy but the writing is on the wall.

    Ken Hitchcock has been fired twice, no? Quenneville too. And Burke let Babcock go.

    Coaches get fired. It doesn’t mean they are bad coaches (cue outrage). Time for a change is all.

  100. budorduke says:

    needless to say a three game winning streak will change everyones tune pretty quickly. i think our media hunger is becoming crazier by the day, we are only one game below .500 after all. win say four of the next five and we’re likely back in the top eight. i just wish mact would have had these current lines playing together and building chemistry sooner than 21 or 22 games into the season. interesting though, that if we would have won against L.A. everyone may be singing a different tune, say: the oilers are recharged and on track with more conventional lines following a rejuvenating five day break!
    i think a little more wait and see is needed..

  101. Alice says:

    Agree with BD here, the armchair second-guessing who’s playing with whom and when, that’s all great, but it’s not half about the decisions. Ok, maybe half. But it’s up to the coaching staff to have the team ready to devour raw meat when the Kings show up and you’ve had 5 days to get hungry. Whatever the reason, whether he could do that in the past and can’t now, I don’t know – it’s not a simple dynamic. Maybe he’s better at getting 13th-place teams to 8th than he is at getting 9th-place teams to 4th. But if the PK isn’t working – that’s the one system that nobody argues with – then the players are obviously not buying into the program. It’s the sign that there’s more than a slump going on.
    The shame about this media leak business is now you have a bigger soap opera on your hands than the TML, and it was always nice to be able to look down and slag that freaking circus. No more.

  102. HBomb says:

    …we are only one game below .500 after all…

    Not in my books. 9-10-2 to me is 9W-12L.

    Which means they’ve won 5 of the last 17 games. That’s unacceptable.

  103. Jonathan says:

    Not in my books. 9-10-2 to me is 9W-12L.

    Which means they’ve won 5 of the last 17 games. That’s unacceptable.

    Agreed, on both points.

  104. Doogie2K says:

    @HBomb: Could be either, really, though I’m leaning towards “Confidence Vote of Doom.” I love especially how there’s all this talk about the power play but not a single mention of the ’75 Capitals PK we seem to have installed at the moment. Hard to win when you’re giving up at least a PPG per game.

    I have a billion posts in the thread – where did I forget him? The Clue picture?

    Sorry, in your list of “people responsible for this season.” The thread exploded (continued to explode?) between the time I wrote that and the time I hit refresh before posting, and I forgot to go back and clarify.

  105. Black Dog says:

    Its not even the record, its how they have gotten there.

    Wednesday’s game is the latest in a long series of games where the effort was wanting when the opposite should have been the case.

    Five days of coaching and meetings and a team “chomping at the bit” as Ferraro said and only a handful of players had any compete at all.

    That is the problem. And its not just the one game, its a pattern this year.

    Saturday they should come out great guns. I think they will. I also think they will stink on Sunday.

    And if they stink on Saturday (highly possible) then MacT is gone by Christmas at the latest.

  106. Ribs says:

    “We don’t score enough goals in practice, either.”
    - MacT

    So that’s why he hates Garon so much! He’s too GOOD in practice!

  107. budorduke says:

    Not in my books. 9-10-2 to me is 9W-12L.

    Which means they’ve won 5 of the last 17 games. That’s unacceptable.

    ..Fair enough. Imagine where we’d be without an unbeaten-in-four start i suppose.

  108. Lord Bob says:

    As the guy who said on Oilfans after the Stanley Cup final, “the bad news about this is that you know MacTavish is getting a contract extension now,” I feel pleasantly vindicated by this.

    MacTavish is a great coach for a losing team trying to develop kids, because he’s a great teacher. He is, however, an abominable leader, as we see by the fact that at least one of his players are trying to proverbially shoot him in the face.

    Second, if you seriously think that he’s a good tactical coach even after all these years of Smid-at-forward Toby-Petersen Conkkanen look-at-the-idiots-getting-tough-minutes hey-I-know-let’s-pass-to-the-point-on-the-powerplay action, then I don’t know what to tell you.

    Maybe, as the Black Dog said, “MacT made Horcoff” (although I think Horcoff may have had something to do with that), but we’re not trying to make any defensive forwards right now. We’re trying to make the playoffs.

  109. Coach pb9617 says:

    I love especially how there’s all this talk about the power play but not a single mention of the ’75 Capitals PK we seem to have installed at the moment. Hard to win when you’re giving up at least a PPG per game.

    It’s been discussed here, and by the guys on versus. Perhaps less Penner and Gagner on the PK?

    Anyone have the GA/60 on the PK handy for this season?

    Sorry, in your list of “people responsible for this season.” The thread exploded (continued to explode?) between the time I wrote that and the time I hit refresh before posting, and I forgot to go back and clarify.

    He hasn’t been close to good thus far, but I’ve not heard anyone blaming him for the season. I blame him for making the same mistakes over and over. Maybe he has a high IQ like a lab does. Mac may need a rolled up newspaper to teach him.

  110. Doogie2K says:

    MacTavish is a great coach for a losing team trying to develop kids, because he’s a great teacher. He is, however, an abominable leader, as we see by the fact that at least one of his players are trying to proverbially shoot him in the face.

    One of my friends has a theory that part of the reason the Oilers did so well in ’06 is because they were sufficiently self-motivated, and MacT didn’t have to motivate them on their own and could focus on the rest. I believe we were discussing Raffi’s tendency to be either Mark Messier or asleep at the wheel, and nothing in between, and with longer breaks in between shorter Messier segments as the years went on.

  111. Lord Bob says:

    I could have put my comment more succinctly.

    Craig MacTavish. Not a leader. Not worth the risk.

  112. Doogie2K says:

    It’s been discussed here, and by the guys on versus. Perhaps less Penner and Gagner on the PK?

    Anyone have the GA/60 on the PK handy for this season?

    Oh, I know. I was referring to the article. Tambo and MacT are talking PP but the PK has been slew-footing the team all year.

    As for the second question 24 PPGA in 158.5 minutes gives 9.09 PPGA/60, if I’m doing the math from BTN right.

    He hasn’t been close to good thus far, but I’ve not heard anyone blaming him for the season. I blame him for making the same mistakes over and over.

    I assumed the whole list was a joke, so I figured it would only make sense to toss Gagner in there with the rest. He’s certainly cost us at least one game with dumbass blind drop passes to no one.

  113. mc79hockey says:

    Wow – the amazing thing about the PK is the number of SA. The Oilers have, IIRC, been a mid-40′s team as long as I’ve paid attention. Now they’re up over 60. Yikes.

  114. Coach pb9617 says:


    Oh, I know. I was referring to the article. Tambo and MacT are talking PP but the PK has been slew-footing the team all year.

    As for the second question 24 PPGA in 158.5 minutes gives 9.09 PPGA/60, if I’m doing the math from BTN right.

    Do you have the individual #s?

    I assumed the whole list was a joke,

    I was going with a compilation of the people in the comments here that have taken blame.

    so I figured it would only make sense to toss Gagner in there with the rest. He’s certainly cost us at least one game with dumbass blind drop passes to no one.

    Two. Two losses on the same dumb blind drop pass – Carolina and Boston. He’s been doing it all year. I would figure that in a week of practice someone might mention it to him. And then he made the same dumb pass twice against the Kings. The Captain should put a bounty on that. If he does it again, the kid buys dinner for the whole team. Two times and he owes everyone $100 each. Three times times and the kid takes a voluntary benching. Though, that bounty should have been placed after the Carolina game, not now. The Oilers Captain is too busy taking dumb penalties and dressing like Colonel Mustard.

  115. Traktor says:

    What I do is not conventional practice.

  116. Coach pb9617 says:

    Wow – the amazing thing about the PK is the number of SA. The Oilers have, IIRC, been a mid-40′s team as long as I’ve paid attention. Now they’re up over 60. Yikes.

    That’s surprisingly unsurprising. It’s a forward problem. Considering the forwards that Mac is running out there, the goalie is going to be bombed.

  117. HBomb says:

    Coach: Didn’t we beat Carolina? Or do you mean that first Columbus game?

  118. Traktor says:

    To me I would be more pissed off at Lowe/Tambo that it came down to this. There’s no chance that someone goes to the press unless it’s a common theme amongst players. The fans have been calling for his head for years, the players clearly aren’t playing for him (the refuse to even block shots) and you have a GM and Owner that’s saying that the coach is safe.

    Seriously, what are you suppose to do? I guess you could shut your mouth and collect your paycheck but if you actually care about winning and feel MacTavish is the problem what possible avenues can you go down? Kevin Lowe and MacT are best buds. If you try and do the right thing but talking to management you know Lowe going to tell his best bud what you said. You tell Lowe that you feel MacTavish is the problem and it’s probably you that gets traded.

    If the players are echoing what fans have been saying for years why even stick up for MacTavish? EVERYONE knows he’s the problem except his groupies.

  119. Coach pb9617 says:

    Coach: Didn’t we beat Carolina? Or do you mean that first Columbus game?

    I’m getting old and there have been so many mistakes to catalog.

    You are correct. I checked the CBJ game comments and found:

    Coach pb9617 said…

    Oh fuck you Gagne.

    How many fucking times are you doing to drop pass to the other team before you realize it’s a bad fucking idea?
    8:05 PM, November 05, 2008
    CrazyCoach said…

    fuck me shoot me now and re-load the chamber for Gagner.

    What a stupid play
    8:05 PM, November 05, 2008
    Lowetide said…

    Goat horns for Gagner for sure. I like this team a ton, though.

  120. Black Dog says:

    The failure to block shots on the PK is a tell.

    Yeah they’re running out guys who don’t make sense out there but its takes very little but some commitment to step in front of a shot. Its not a skill that only a few can master.

    And guys aren’t doing it when this team used to take pride in it.

  121. Jonathan says:

    Craig MacTavish. Not a leader. Not worth the risk.

    Thanks for that, Lord Bob. You really need to blog more often.

  122. Alice says:

    Ok, here’s a thought:
    Some of this elusive chemistry was lost in the preseason when they spent too long looking at too many bodies, like it was prospects camp or something. Then they came out dead flat and 20 games of line scrambling has brought us to where we should have been five weeks ago. If I’m doing it all over, you figure who’s making the team – and let’s face it there were no surprises this year – you play None of them in the first pre-season game, let the 20+ depth chart have at it. Then you make all but 2 or 3 cuts and let the AHL and Jr clubs deal with the rest. Set the roster Early and use the pre-season to play with the blender.

    ?

  123. Coach pb9617 says:

    Yeah they’re running out guys who don’t make sense out there but its takes very little but some commitment to step in front of a shot. Its not a skill that only a few can master.

    You have to want to block shots. Gagner and Penner do not want. Cogs do not want.

  124. Tyler says:

    There’s no chance that someone goes to the press unless it’s a common theme amongst players.

    That’s nonsense. Look around your own workplace. Some people probably dislike management and bitch about it openly, others have no problem. I don’t see any basis for this comment.

    The fans have been calling for his head for years,

    Was it you who said yesterday that you were orgasmic with glee because of all this, because it showed up me, RQ and dawgbone? I think so. The bit about the fans having called for his head for years kills me. Were the fans who were calling for his head in 2006 wrong? It strikes me that those of you who have been saying “Fire the coach” for five years don’t have a lot of credibility on this topic – it’s the same fucking song from you lot, you just change the words to fit the moment. Kind of like how the USSR changed the anthem after Stalin died.

    I can respect a guy like Pat’s opinion, because he hasn’t been beating the drum for five years. With that said, I’m still not so sure that what Pat sees and interprets as the team having quit on the coach is real. I see the problems too, I just don’t know whether the link is there. I at least have some faith that he’s making a good faith argument though.

    the players clearly aren’t playing for him (the refuse to even block shots)

    Have you compared the TOI consumption and shot blocking rates from this year to last year to check whether that might be driving what you’re seeing. It strikes me that a lot of guys who’ve never been shot blockers are getting more minutes in shot blocking situations this year.

  125. Traktor says:

    Alice: I agree that some of the problems stem from preseason.

    There’s no way that Cole-Hemsky should have made it to the regular season with how brutal they were doing in preseason. MacTavish predictably tried to force it and now were 20 games in with the first set of responsible lines.

    MacTavish is the same clown that gave the boys the weekend off in preseason. Must be nice when your team is so great that you have nothing to work on.

  126. Traktor says:

    Tyler: MacTavish even said himself in his extension press conferance that if it was for the SCF then he most likely would be here right now.

    When you look what he’s done before and after it’s clear what’s the aberration – those fans who were calling for his head in 2006 have been proven right.

    And if you want to compare a professional hockey team to your average everyday work place that works for too. What workplace waits 8 years for the perfect storm before they expect results from the boss? I don’t think it makes any sense to compare going behind MacTavish’s back and your normal workplace boss. For one, the motives in you everyday workplace could mean a promotion and a raise. It’s not like any of the players is going to get MacT’s job if he gets fired.

    If a player went to the media then it was a common theme. You think players don’t talk?

  127. Coach pb9617 says:

    Have you compared the TOI consumption and shot blocking rates from this year to last year to check whether that might be driving what you’re seeing. It strikes me that a lot of guys who’ve never been shot blockers are getting more minutes in shot blocking situations this year.

    DING DING DING! Winna!

  128. mc79hockey says:

    MacTavish even said himself in his extension press conferance that if it was for the SCF then he most likely would be here right now.

    When you look what he’s done before and after it’s clear what’s the aberration – those fans who were calling for his head in 2006 have been proven right.

    Well no, I don’t buy this. By that logic, as soon as they announce a new coach, I could demand that they fire him because he’s such a shitty coach. Eventually, a firing will come to pass and I’ll be proven right.

    If you want to point to the results of the last 2 years, that’s your perogative but this team has been fucking junk for most of that time. I put the shitty player problem on management, not the coach. Like I said, I’d be fine if they fired MacT in a sense because I don’t know that the new guy is going to turn this team into a playoff contender. The people who thought that this team was a playoff contender the past few years are the ones who are wrong, IMO. I assume that most of you will just blame the lingering effect of MacT.

    If a player went to the media then it was a common theme.

    This is stupid beyond all belief. An anonymous player, who won’t let his name get tagged to the quote, says something to the media and he must be speaking for all players?

  129. Ribs says:

    Set the roster Early and use the pre-season to play with the blender.

    I remember writing a somewhat angry post here at the end of last season asking for this to happen…I wasn’t too surprised that it didn’t.

  130. Black Dog says:

    Regarding the PK and guys refusing to block shots (not being shot blockers) well then that begs the question – what are they doing out there?

    Or another question. Why aren’t they? If they want the icetime then they had better.

    I know what you are saying Ty and granted guys like LT and I are looking at A nd B and saying that we think it adds up to C.

    I don’t really like a lot of what MacT has done so far this season but what worries me is the lack of compete and the lack of return in games where there should be return. “Big” games so to speak, after poor games, after getting chewed out, after five days of preparation.

    I understand inexperience and lack of talent and bad breaks but when there is lack of effort from a lot of players consistently then I think that speaks to coaching.

    Personally I think that he is a good coach. This idea that 2006 was some sort of fluke is ridiculous. Its like a government taking credit for good times and blaming bad times on outside forces. You cannot have it both ways.

    I just think the players are tuning him out. You can argue differently and present a good argument, of course, but I’m thinking that that is the case.

  131. Coach pb9617 says:

    This is stupid beyond all belief. An anonymous player, who won’t let his name get tagged to the quote, says something to the media and he must be speaking for all players?

    Awcomeon. Deep Throat spoke for the entire FBI.

  132. Coach pb9617 says:

    Regarding the PK and guys refusing to block shots (not being shot blockers) well then that begs the question – what are they doing out there?

    That’s not begging the question, that’s raising the question.

    Begging the question is a logical fallacy.

  133. Deans says:

    Lord Bob said…
    I could have put my comment more succinctly.

    Craig MacTavish. Not a leader. Not worth the risk.

    Isnt that a John MaCain line?

  134. Black Dog says:

    Well, I am logically fallable, I will be the first to admit.

    Then, raising the question, Mr. Grammatical Fancy Pants, what is the answer?

    He is either playing the wrong guys out there or he has to get these guys to do their job and block some shots, no?

  135. Coach pb9617 says:


    Then, raising the question, Mr. Grammatical Fancy Pants, what is the answer?

    Sorry, it’s a pet peeve. It’s something only younger men and sports fans use incorrectly. I’m almost sure that “This begs the question” was incorrectly popularized by sportscasters trying to seem intelligent. And now a whole generation of men use it incorrectly and sound like donks to women and older men :)

    He is either playing the wrong guys out there or he has to get these guys to do their job and block some shots, no?

    He’s playing the wrong guys. Penner and Gagner don’t belong out there in any situation, save injuries to primary killers or a late PK while up by four. Cogs does, but he’s not a shot-blocker and doubt he ever will be. With his wheels he’s going to go for the tip and breakaway every time.

  136. mc79hockey says:

    Well I know Pat. He’s very old.

  137. Coach pb9617 says:

    Well I know Pat. He’s very old.

    And a sports fan!

  138. Black Dog says:

    That’s okay. My poor phrasing belies the fact that I am both an English Lit graduate and someone on the wrong side of forty.

    Though just barely.

    And generally poor spelling and grammar makes me crazy too.

    I agree on Penner and Gagner not being suited for the role but Brodziak is in the pressbox and Pisani is hurt and he refuses to send Pouliot out there.

    Slim pickings.

  139. Black Dog says:

    Its true. Ty and I played hockey together one summer. Before a draw the ref remarked on how happy I must be to be able to play on a hockey team with my boy.

    I’m not a sports fan actually. I’m a fan of Kevin Lowe’s Edmonton Oilers.

  140. Black Dog says:

    And TSN is now running a story talking about MacT’s future.

    While the local media, with the exception of Staples, does not even address the issue.

  141. Kyle says:

    against an arrogant incompetant coach who’s been walking around naked for the past month is someone to villify.

    Good lord. MacT doesn’t run a good PP, that’s his weakness level.

    I said it at the beginning of the year, false expectations could get MacT fired, and now it looks like it’s going to happen.

  142. HBomb says:

    BDHS: Did you see the headline on the main page link to that article? Those three dreaded words.

    “Vote of Confidence”.

    You hear or read that, you know the guy is on the clock. I don’t think he makes it to New Years.

  143. Matt N says:

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=257589&lid=headline&lpos=topStory_nhl

    Tambo gives Mac-T the vote of confidence saying

    "I don't think that at all," Tambellini said. "We've got a strong coaching staff. If you've watched the practices the last five days, they worked extremely hard."

    This is known in other circles as the kiss of death.

  144. Black Dog says:

    yeah the five days of practices before they played like shit

    this weekend is the tell (I love saying that – “the tell”)

    I think they give it the old try for macT on Saturday and then they crap the bed on Sunday

    and then he’s a goner

    if they cannot put two good efforts together in two winnable games then you know the jig is up

  145. Coach pb9617 says:

    I agree on Penner and Gagner not being suited for the role but Brodziak is in the pressbox and Pisani is hurt and he refuses to send Pouliot out there.

    Slim pickings.

    Should be Horcoff and Pouliot and Cogliano and Brodziak paired together. That way you’ve got a center on the other side of the kill to run out there.

  146. Jonathan says:

    BDHS et al: Joanne Ireland’s article today has the same Tambellini quotes.

  147. Coach pb9617 says:

    And TSN is now running a story talking about MacT’s future.

    While the local media, with the exception of Staples, does not even address the issue.

    MacTavish Report

    :)

  148. Black Dog says:

    jonathan – however the Brownlee article mentions that there is speculation about MacT’s future

    Unless I am missing something Ireland’s does not.

  149. Black Dog says:

    coachpb – no Moreau? or he and Reddox as a pair?

  150. Coach pb9617 says:

    Moreau is annoying me. He can anchor the fourth line.

    I’m a petulant coach.

  151. Schitzo says:

    BDHS: We can presume Moreau will be the one in the box

  152. slipper says:

    How many times do you think “lost the room” has been published on hockey forums and blogs over the past ten days?

    We’ve already established that there are only 4, or maybe 5 people remaining on this earth that don’t feel it’s imperative to shit can MacTavish.

    I am starting to think that some people believe that if the consensus on the internet is unanimous, either against or in favour of something, then that thing actually happens.

  153. Coach pb9617 says:

    BDHS: We can presume Moreau will be the one in the box

    Oh bravo!

  154. Black Dog says:

    yes well done

  155. doritogrande says:

    The vote of confidance…it’s here!

    Duck!

  156. bookie says:

    This comment is just a filler…I am hoping to see this go over 400 total comments so this is my contribution!

  157. Unleaded says:

    Honestly, if I was Craig right now, I’d address the whole team and be really honest with them. “Guys, it looks like I might not be coaching you for much longer. If we can’t pull out a couple of wins over the weekend, I expect that I will be replaced shortly. I don’t want that. I want to be coaching you.

    I understand that some of you may not want me coaching anymore. I accept that some of you may be agree at me, and think that someone else in charge might help you, and maybe even the team. That is your right.

    So I’m going to make this really easy for you. If you want me to stay, to be your coach, then win. If you don’t want me to coach you anymore, lose. This is a team game and a team decision. I await yours.”

    You want to see who is on your side? Who is still on board with the coach? See who comes to play. Guaranteed to get your answer in short order.

  158. Unleaded says:

    “I accept that some of you may be ‘agree’ at me”

    That should read “angry”

  159. Doogie2K says:

    Do you have the individual #s?

    For players with at least 2 min/game, 10 GP:

    Pisani 0.00 ON/60, -8.99 OFF/60, 2.24 TOI/60
    Strudwick -3.03 ON/60, -14.17 OFF/60, 2.48 TOI/60
    Gilbert -6.67 ON/60, -9.26 OFF/60, 2.37 TOI/60
    Brodziak -7.08 ON/60, -9.88 OFF/60, 2.83 TOI/60
    Souray -7.23 ON/60, -9.22 OFF/60, 3.69 TOI/60
    Staios -10.32 ON/60, -5.81 OFF/60, 4.10 TOI/60
    Horcoff -11.64 ON/60, -6.08 OFF/60, 2.98 TOI/60
    Moreau -11.81 ON/60, -6.37 OFF/60, 2.67 TOI/60

    Ouch. Especially hilarious is that Staios has the third-worst ONOFF/60 on the team (-4.51/60) but the most ice time of anyone on the Oilers’ PK by at least 0:30/game. Also, three guesses why Horcoff has so much TOI and gotten absolutely murderized. That new faceoff rule is a bitch (though his rate’s still better than Brodziak’s).

    Two losses on the same dumb blind drop pass – [Columbus] and Boston.

    I missed the Boston game (PPV), but the Columbus game definitely stood out in my mind. I don’t remember if I was more slack-jawed or profane.

    That’s not begging the question, that’s raising the question.

    Begging the question is a logical fallacy.

    I’ve gotten in trouble for that one before. I maintain that different contexts provide different definitions, much like “significant” has a very different meaning in statistics than it does in the layman’s vernacular.

    I am starting to think that some people believe that if the consensus on the internet is unanimous, either against or in favour of something, then that thing actually happens.

    I’m under no such delusion, or else we wouldn’t have gone through five weeks of line-juggling bullshit. I simply think that the evidence points to a situation where, traditionally, the coach ends up out on his ear, fair or not, good or not.

  160. Coach pb9617 says:

    Unleaded, he may have done that during the week off.

  161. Coach pb9617 says:

    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

    If I’m the guy running the show, Penner never sees the ice on the PK for the rest of his career. The Gagner Experience is shelved for the season and Smid draws in for Staios.

    Souray and Gilbert on the first trip, Smid and Strudwick on the second. Brodziak and Cogliano in one pair, Horcoff and Pouliot for the other.

    And boy, the team really misses St. Fernando.

  162. kamus says:

    Posted on HF by ZugNugget:
    “I posted about this last year before the Oilers went on their nice run at the end…

    A “certain player”, who is a friend of the family, had some very interesting things to say about MacT.

    He said that MacT called Penner a “waste of skin”. He also said that MacT had been really disrespectful to the players. When he and two veteran players told MacT that they felt disrespected, that they would appreciate it if he could ease up, he said:

    “Coaches don’t get traded, players do.”
    end qoute.

    If this is true, and you add it to some of the things said by players on their way out of town, it seems Mact’s problem is in the way he treats underperforming players.

    If you shit on people constantly its only a matter of time before they turn on you. It seems this is what happened here.

  163. Asiaoil says:

    Late to the show as well….but the obvious is getting more so each day. All we need now is the puboic display of confidence in the coach prior to the firing.

    Spector has it right say thay MacT is in survival mode – that means playing favorites and poisoning the room. Some guys have been slapped around in public – other clearly have not – it’s classic end days material.

    As for the vet how spoke out – man talk about a pitchfork crowd. What did he say? First a trade may happen (a player’s head rolls) and if that doesnt work then the coach may have to pay the price. How is that so awful? It’s a pretty generic quote on reality in the NHL and Spector wove it into his piece to make the mutiny line fly higher than it probably merits.

    MacT is a pretty good coach – no Scotty Bowman or even a Hitchcock – but a guy who has some good tools. He does have his weaknesses – goalie mgmt, surrounding himself with 3rd rate assistants, forcing players into slots they are not suited for. But this is a results based business and MacT does not have the results outside of 6 weeks in the summer of 2006 – he’s done.

  164. mc79hockey says:

    AO – It’s the part about a change being a good idea that I think makes it troubling.

  165. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    AO Said:
    Late to the show as well….but the obvious is getting more so each day. All we need now is the puboic display of confidence in the coach prior to the firing.

    Tambellini has already done that.

  166. Coach pb9617 says:

    He said that MacT called Penner a “waste of skin”.

    That’s not the way to develop a guy that needs development…

  167. dstaples says:

    As for the shot blocking issue, has anyone else noticed how often an Oiler forward (Moreau comes to mind) will go down to block a shot, and be left sprawling on the ice, as the other team goes around him.

    Now, the Oil forwards have been blocking shots for years, so it’s hard to argue that teams have just now caught on to this tendency and are exploiting it . . .

    Nonetheless, that’s what I’ve been seeing, especially with Moreau. Of course, it could be that Moreau is just a bit slower, or more obvoius, with his shot-blocking, and that explains it . . .

  168. Dennis says:

    LB: do you want to address LT’s take that MacT always has to work with an imbalanced roster?

    My take on things MGMT had wrong heading into this year:

    - needed a vet third line pivot that could play tough min and win faceoffs and/or block shots on the PK.

    - Needed a defender to join 71-44-77 in the top four.

    - needed PKers

    - needed to clear up the netminding situation.

    Things I think MacT cocked:

    - 34 as a pivot
    - force-feeding 89 tough min
    - staying with the same plan on the PK and not giving 13 a more prominent role and not giving 78 much of a shot
    - screwing over Garon by betting on Roli.

    Is that worth being fired for?

    Personally I”d like to see a move first just to see if it gives anyone a spark and I’d like to see Pete Peeters take a 5 year vacation to the furthest regions of Asia.

    I don’t think it’s time to tie the can to MacT but if we can’t make a deal then I can’t really agree with keeping him on and watching efforts like the ones vs TO and LA either. Like or not the players have the power here and especially so in the trading-restricted cap world.

  169. Traktor says:

    “This is stupid beyond all belief. An anonymous player, who won’t let his name get tagged to the quote, says something to the media and he must be speaking for all players?”

    I didn’t say he was speaking for every player or even a couple people. I said it was a common theme. You don’t have to be Jessica Fletcher to know that players aren’t playing for MacTavish – the answer are right in front of your face if you put down the calculator and watch the game. I think whoever said it was speaking his opinion but I don’t believe he would’ve shared that opinion unless it was shared amongst teammates.

  170. Asiaoil says:

    Yeah I didnt bother to listen to Tambo – OK so the stage is set – and the hangman is in the wings.

    MC – I like MacT – he’s a pretty good coach who has had a long run in EDM. But he’s clearly not acting like the guy we all like and respect over the past year and it’s getting worse. Like I said yesterday – he’s a combination of bored, pissed off, confused and resigned. The end is near.

    For the next guy I want someone who is a solid tactician and someone who understands how to motivate high performance athletes better than MacT. Also someone who is confident enough to surround themselves with quality assistants. This has been a real MacT failing and it’s hurt him in key areas (goaltending, PP). Last thing I want is your typical ex-player turned coach with rudimentary tactical skills and zero people skills – good coaching is as much or more about handling people as handling the game prep and on-ice tactics – especially with highly paid athletes.

  171. Dennis says:

    Penner is paid to be in shape and he isn’t.

    That seems pretty cut-and-dried to me. This isn’t poor old Shawn Bradely eating 7500 calories a day trying to put on weight.

    This is a guy who won’t accept his physical realities and it isn’t like your good-time charlie fat buddy who doesn’t need to stay in shape to be good at his job.

  172. Asiaoil says:

    Dennis – yeah I’ve been bitching about Peeters for years – that is what a “waste of skin” look like. If a pro goalie thinks he’s useless – that tells you something. If utility center turned coach who is notorious for handling netminding issues poorly disagrees with a veteran netminder about what type of support he needs to suceed – that tells you something else. MacT is currently more interested in keeping his buddies employed than anything else – and the Bucky assitant coach job is another example.

    Mediocre talents or the insecure in power typically surround themselves with even lesser lights – this says a lot about MacT and I’m afraid it’s less flattering than many of us who have been supporters would like.

  173. Coach pb9617 says:

    Nonetheless, that’s what I’ve been seeing, especially with Moreau. Of course, it could be that Moreau is just a bit slower, or more obvoius, with his shot-blocking, and that explains it . . .

    It’s happened to Moreau, Reddox, Sestito and Nilsson. As LT would say, it’s youth. Except for the fact that it’s happened multiple times to Moreau.

  174. mc79hockey says:

    You don’t have to be Jessica Fletcher to know that players aren’t playing for MacTavish – the answer are right in front of your face if you put down the calculator and watch the game.

    I don’t know what’s cooler: the calculator jab or the Murder She Wrote reference.

    In any event, the chorus singing that MacT has lost the room and that you can see it on the ice has been singing the same song since 2003-04. While it may well be correct this time, I have a hard time taking them (and you) seriously since previous versions of the same song have been shown to be wrong (on occasion, dramatically so).

    I’m not really opposed to the coach going at this point but I suspect if they just left him there for the rest of the year, the ship would right itself and everything would end up as it should. Of course I’m not deluded enough to think that means a playoff spot, but still. I don’t tihnk if MacT was left in place that we’d see effort after effort like the LA game.

  175. Asiaoil says:

    MC – respectfully that’s not really true – myself and a number of other quiet MacT supporters have seen the coaching go really sideways this year. Sure a buch of people have always hated him – but he’s lost a bunch of long-time supporters as well this season.

  176. Lord Bob says:

    LB: do you want to address LT’s take that MacT always has to work with an imbalanced roster?

    First, a coach should always have at least some input into player moves. If every move was made without the coach’s input or support or the coach’s desires were ignored that would be one thing, but if MacTavish was left out of the loop that heavily I’d hope he’d resign.

    I’ll point out we’ve seen Lowe in a hurry to get rid of guys MacTavish has supposedly had trouble with (Pitkanen and Torres being two pretty recent examples) and while goaltending in ’06 is an oft-mentioned example of roster imbalance, Lowe did end up bringing in a goalie. His failure to do so sooner was probably dictated by the market and, of course, no harm was done except to our cardiac systems.

    Second, and more importantly, how many coaches don’t have “unbalanced rosters” in some sense of the phrase? If you’re the Detroit Red Wings or the San Jose Sharks, good times. Everybody else is always going to have areas of strength and areas of weakness, because this is a 30-team league and there’s only so much to go around.

    (Put it another way: we agree we need a veteran third-line shutdown centre? Okay. Name thirty of them.)

  177. Traktor says:

    I think if trying to find out who said it is the goal then we need to focus on the first part of the quote as well as it might offer just as many clues.

    “Maybe a trade”

    1. Who isn’t afraid to tell it like it is?

    When you say something like a trade for the team might be beneficial it has to be a player that is confident in his abilities. It has to be a guy who with an ego.

    2. Who feels hey are above being traded.

    It’s Moreau.

  178. Lord Bob says:

    I rereaded my own comment and the first paragraph was a little more defensive of Lowe than I’d like. I just don’t think the moves Lowe screwed up were relevant to the discussion. Except that Souray seems like exactly the type of player MacTavish would specifically ask for, doesn’t it? :P

  179. Asiaoil says:

    Traktor – who cares? It’s a generic quote on the realities of the NHL when you are not winning. First a trade and then the coach. Spector just inserted this quote into his story to puff up the mutiny angle. I can say that if the govt doesnt turn the economy around they could be tossed out – that doesn’t make me a traitor and revolutionary threat to the nation.

  180. till_horcoff_is_coach says:

    Dennis, I think you got most the big ones but there is the most important note missing:
    – Hasn’t motivated team to a full 60 minute effort

    We’re not talking Raffi didn’t show up to the game kind of deficiency, we’re talking the team has forgotten how long a game is and it’s a major problem.

    I just don’t think he knows how to motivate skill players. Utility players (as he was) have very different motivators such as mistake-free hockey, and moving the puck forward. Skill players need that freedom to make mistakes and thrive off learning how to beat other systems.

    I still believe he is a good coach, but between all the jaw-dropping lines and decisions he’s made in only 21 games I would feel some relief to end this drama.

    Thinking of a new coach would leave me some sorrow, but then I imagine a proper PP and set lines and it kind of brings me a sense of inner peace.

  181. Asiaoil says:

    I’m more interested in who’s next – LT – why don’t you start a thread on possibilities for the future?

  182. Traktor says:

    “Except that Souray seems like exactly the type of player MacTavish would specifically ask for, doesn’t it? :P”

    Which would probably contribute to the loss of Hejda, would it not?

  183. Coach pb9617 says:

    enner is paid to be in shape and he isn’t.

    That seems pretty cut-and-dried to me. This isn’t poor old Shawn Bradely eating 7500 calories a day trying to put on weight.

    This is a guy who won’t accept his physical realities and it isn’t like your good-time charlie fat buddy who doesn’t need to stay in shape to be good at his job.

    I don’t understand this. In shape or not, he’s 4th on a blended team at ES Scoring and will be 3rd when Moreau falls to earth.

    He’s being put out for the PK and it’s obvious to everyone he doesn’t belong. He’s been taken off of the PP at random times through the season.

    Can he be better? Certainly. If there was a drive or a fire for 12 of his 17 minutes, he’d be a beast. Who knows how to get that. However, until then, an unmotivated Penner is still the Oilers’ best LW option. It goes back to the type of year that the team believes this is. If it’s a development year, you do what you can to bring the most out of the guy, even at the expense of the team. If they want to win games now, they put him out there and give him the minutes while trying to bring the best out of him.

    And, you know, if my boss told me I was a waste of skin for a year and played to my weaknesses rather than my strengths, I’d probably find it difficult to work for the guy.

  184. Scott says:

    Almost four hundred comments and fewer than ten were devoted to LT putting Marilyn Monroe in the picture?

    For shame, gentlemen, for shame.

  185. mc79hockey says:

    …myself and a number of other quiet MacT supporters have seen the coaching go really sideways this year. Sure a buch of people have always hated him – but he’s lost a bunch of long-time supporters as well this season.

    Oh absolutely AO. I’m wavering myself. There’s been some weird stuff this year. If you read the whole thread (I don’t recommend it), you’ll see that I made a comment above that it’s different when someone like Pat or yourself, who hasn’t been whining about the coaching and saying “Fire him if they don’t win 8 of their next 10″, criticizes the coaching than it is with Traktor and the boys. Those guys have demonstrated their lunacy and irrationality in the past. I don’t include people like Pat and yourself in that crew.

  186. Doogie2K says:

    @Scott: Marilyn Monroe was a natural beauty, but one of far too many ruined by Hollywood in her prime.

  187. Jonathan says:

    Fact: With Dustin Penner on the first line, the first line has outshot its opposition at nearly a 2:1 ratio.

    MacTavish does lots of things I like, but he’s made a truckload of mistakes this year; slotting Penner for third line duty was one of them.

  188. Coach pb9617 says:

    Oh absolutely AO. I’m wavering myself. There’s been some weird stuff this year. If you read the whole thread (I don’t recommend it),

    Oh, I do. There is some really funny shit in there if you can wade through Traktor, that jerkwad from ON and hunter.

    you’ll see that I made a comment above that it’s different when someone like Pat or yourself, who hasn’t been whining about the coaching and saying “Fire him if they don’t win 8 of their next 10″, criticizes the coaching than it is with Traktor and the boys. Those guys have demonstrated their lunacy and irrationality in the past. I don’t include people like Pat and yourself in that crew.

    I’ve never really blamed him for much until this year, but I still haven’t worked out whether it’s him or management. Clearly, the personnel problems aren’t his doing and that issue alone has caused major turbulence so far. Maybe Brodziak and Pouliot aren’t cut out for it and that’s why he effed the lineup and rotation to move Pisani to center.

    I don’t think he’s responsible for the three-headed goalie monster, but he’s certainly at fault for the Garon/Roloson thing.

    I don’t think he’s responsible for forcing Gagner to play two years over his head, but he is repsonsible for his childish spat with Penner and starting Cole on the wrong wing and pissing him off.

    In my opinion, he’s been the ideal human resources manager for this company for a very long time, regardless of what the loin cloth-wearing, spear-shaking natives are out there saying. Is this a glitch because of the makeup forced on him by management? Has he lost confidence in himself? Or is this just time to move on?

  189. Coach pb9617 says:

    Fact: With Dustin Penner on the first line, the first line has outshot its opposition at nearly a 2:1 ratio.

    MacTavish does lots of things I like, but he’s made a truckload of mistakes this year; slotting Penner for third line duty was one of them.

    Like I said, he’s punishing the team over this childish spat.

  190. Coach pb9617 says:

    LT loves Earl Weaver. Earl Weaver hated his best player.

    “‘Someone once asked me if I had any physical incapacities of my own. ‘Sure I do,’ I said. ‘One big one – Jim Palmer.’”

    Earl Weaver managed to feud publicly with Jim Palmer AND win 4 pennants and a world series title.

    If you’re going to have your little war of words with your best LW, do it. But stop killing the team in the process. Someone needs to send some clippings about Weaver and Palmer to MacTavish.

  191. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Tencer post on HF:

    Should be entertaining.

    Kevin Lowe Chimes In Tonight on CHED
    A day after Oilers GM Steve Tambellini met with the media to address the struggles of the Oilers, President of Hockey Operations Kevin Lowe will give his thoughts tonight in an exclusive one-on-one conversation on 630 CHED’s Inside Sports.

    He’ll address the lack of scoring, inconsistent play of many of his top forwards and give his opinion on the job that head coach Craig MacTavish has done. He’ll also speak to his conversations with owner Daryl Katz and give insight on what Mr. Katz thinks through the first 21 games of the season.

    You can tune in to hear the conversation tonight at 8:30pm on 630 CHED (and 630CHED.com) or you can check back here afterwards for an updated post including a link to the archived audio

  192. Coach pb9617 says:

    LT, what I wouldn’t give for Penner to respond to MacTavish in a Palmerian manner:

    “The only thing Craig knows about goal scoring is that he couldn’t do it.”

  193. Unleaded says:

    That’s some quote kamus.

    Can’t know if it’s accurate, but something like that… something that detailed doesn’t just drop out of thin air. At least that would be my understanding.

    @ Coach

    I suppose he could have said so earlier. But after Kamus’ comments I can’t help but doubt MacT would have. Anyone who makes a comment like that about coaches not getting traded (assuming its legit) would never be honest with their players like I suggested because they are not honest with themselves. Coaches don’t get traded – they get fired.

  194. Tyler says:

    “The only thing Craig knows about goal scoring is that he couldn’t do it.”

    MacT played in a different era, to be sure, but he scored 20 goals 6 times, presumably without getting much in the way of PP time. I’d guess that the odds of Penner matching MacT’s career goal total are closer to even than you might think – I suspect Penner won’t age well.

  195. bookie says:

    In any event, the chorus singing that MacT has lost the room and that you can see it on the ice has been singing the same song since 2003-04.

    I disagree, some things are different now. A number of long time MacT supporters (like myself) have turned. I typically ignore the ranters and ravers (like the guys who got on Poti and all of the other players) and I take a pretty steady and laid back approach. I typically feel that MacT and KLowe know much more about hockey than I do and so I respect their opinions even when I dont understand them.

    With that said, I (and many other Mact supporters here) believe that whatever his abilities, he has been terrible this year. I think it would be hard for management to not feel the same way. Tambi said something like “We feel we have a very good team”, this means that they dont see the team as MacT does.

    This team needs to be coached by someone who accepts that saucers passes, give and go’s, and tic tac toes are as good as grinding it out.

  196. Rod says:

    Yep, there’s a difference this year. And that’s why those that have been calling for MacT’s firing for years should not feel vindicated. This is not simply more of the same from MacT. He appears to have torched the map, and is now trying to make sense of the ashes. Several, perplexing, experimental moves. Or as AO said, “combination of bored, pissed off, confused and resigned”.

    Also agreed with AO that the anonymous Spector quote was probably a statement of fact, propped up to look more damning in the article. Isn’t it true of any team in a tailspin that a trade probably happens…and if that doesn’t work, the coach is next? Big difference between suggesting or wanting that to happen, vs. just stating the common tactics of management in the NHL.

  197. Coach pb9617 says:

    MacT played in a different era, to be sure, but he scored 20 goals 6 times, presumably without getting much in the way of PP time. I’d guess that the odds of Penner matching MacT’s career goal total are closer to even than you might think – I suspect Penner won’t age well.

    Who cares? I just want a reprise of Weaver-Palmer.

  198. Kris says:

    Yeah, Rod and AO are right:

    The ‘then’ in that Spector quote sounds to me more like a prediction not a hope. That is, when unpacked, the quote really means, “I know we’re not playing well. I think there’s a really high probability a trade is going to be made. If that doesn’t help, and we continue to play poorly, I suppose there is a possibility that the coach might get fired. After all, coaches often get the blame, fairly or unfairly.”

    And yes, that quote was from a Euro.

  199. Scott says:

    Sure, I can buy that explanation, but then why the anonymity?

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