Wings at Oilers, G20/08-09

This is Gary Bergman. For awhile there he was the only really good player on the Detroit Red Wings.

Times have changed.

The Oilers are a team that appears to be in turmoil but they remain on the outskirts of division title hopes.

Horcoff plays his 500th tonight and has been a beauty player for quite awhile now. Hemsky’s over a point-per-game and the Oilers need that most of all this season.

This should be a good game.

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358 Responses to "Wings at Oilers, G20/08-09"

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  1. bookie says:

    Ok Guys,

    Garon had 3 really bad games. Similar to what many Very good goalies sometimes have. He should have sat out 2 games, got some coaching and then sent back in to ‘work it out’. Instead he was given 0 Respect and was sat down for weeks.

    Last year, it took months of sub par play for Roli to get the same treatment.

  2. Ribs says:

    I feel kind of dirty with this capital R in my name. It’s kind of disturbing.

  3. Doogie2K says:

    /sigh

  4. doritogrande says:

    Good night.

  5. Kris says:

    Can we hire some wings players to cach our team?

  6. bookie says:

    Yikes, the stars and moons and the such are just aligned against the Oilers tonight…

  7. slipper says:

    I think the Detroit Red Wings should play in the Olympics.

  8. HBomb says:

    What a lucky bounce on that fourth Wings goal.

    Objective for the 3rd….seeing someone taking Kopecky’s head and shoving it straight up Franzen’s ass. Those two pricks have been flat out running around tonight.

  9. Kris says:

    I am no longer in favor of the big 3 auto bailout.

  10. RiversQ says:

    Kris said…
    Can we hire some wings players to cach our team?

    I mean coach

    No, I think you had that right the first time. I’d like to dig hole in the forest and hide this team with some berries, old fish and maybe a carcass.

  11. Kris says:

    How come their players get all of this time on the PP and ours have to like have somebody in their face and what not?

  12. bookie says:

    True fans would believe in a comeback!

  13. Dennis says:

    HB: it doesn’t matter what kind of bounces you get when you’re PK can’t clear the puck, can’t or won’t block shots and don’t have their sticks in the fucking lanes. Basically you’re asking your goalie to be money each and every time you kill a PK.

    The Oilers brass are going to have to forget everything they thought they knew about how their ’09 squad was going to kill penalties. They’re going to have to bring in at least one guy and maybe two and guys like 51 and 78 could lose their EV jobs because of it.

    It’s absolutely pathetic and the Wings can monkey anyone with their PP but I don’t imagine the Blue Jackets can yet they look awesome everytime we play them.

    it’s not an anomoly, it’s the fucking norm.

  14. Bank Shot says:

    FSN has the chances at 7-6 Wings through 1.

    Would be interesting to see what the chances were like before the Wings scored their third and started to relax.

    Probably 6-1 or there abouts.

  15. HBomb says:

    HB: it doesn’t matter what kind of bounces you get when you’re PK can’t clear the puck, can’t or won’t block shots and don’t have their sticks in the fucking lanes. Basically you’re asking your goalie to be money each and every time you kill a PK.

    True, we are officially back to the bad old “if you set up on the Oilers PK, you score on the Oilers PK” days of 4-5 years back, to quote a very wise man posting on Oilfans during those days.

  16. Dennis says:

    BS: I had the Oil outchancing them 5-1 After det scored the 3-0 goal; I had det outchancing the Oil 12-4 in the second period and they had the the period’s last 10 chances after 13 made it 3-1.

    boys vs men.

  17. slipper says:

    Thank-you Gene Principe you glowing optimist.

  18. loudog says:

    jesus, 4-1 after 40 min. Guess I didnt miss that much of a game?

    Thanks to the guys who posted the streaming links! Even if its a detroit feed, its fun to see the game without paying that 16$, and btw, WTF? 16$? fucking thieves!

    ok, that felt good. no lets score some goals godamit.

  19. hunter1909 says:

    Imagine paying to see this game.

    Thank f**k for the internet.

  20. HBomb says:

    Why the fuck are Gagner and Penner still killing penalties?

    This is getting ridiculous.

  21. hunter1909 says:

    Edmonton’s media puts stalinist russia to shame for painting a rosy glow to this team.

    Tomorrow’s Journal/Sun already reads like this:

    OILERS LOSE ANOTHER CLOSE ONE

    Well, the boys sure were off last night.
    insert: lame quote from players
    insert: lame quote from MacT
    Well, the next game is scheduled for…

    end of generic Edmonton Journal/Sun media article

  22. Coach pb9617 says:

    Play each goalie for 2 games in a row and then SWITCH.

    You’re blaming Roloson for the first 10 minutes? Surely you can’t be serious.

    Did you even watch the three goals?

  23. Oilmaniac says:

    Why the fuck are Gagner and Penner still killing penalties?

    This is getting ridiculous.

    I totally agree…

  24. Coach pb9617 says:

    So Penner has more PK time than PP time. And Gagner is back out there on the PK.

    I have to channel Vince Lombardi:

    What the hell is going on out there?!

  25. hunter1909 says:

    coach: Actually between goals 2 and 3 I noticed that Roloson seriously was acting like he’d just woken up, and so in fact wasn’t looking at all like he was in control of his game.

    And I’m a Roloson fan.

  26. HBomb says:

    I hope this is Craig MacTavish’s last game as coach of the Edmonton Oilers.

    This bullshit hast to end. He’s completely lost it.

  27. hunter1909 says:

    Oilers need to find the next Vince Lombardi of hockey.

  28. Doogie2K says:

    Left the room to chat with my sister, who’s watching the Falmes in the other room. See I haven’t missed much.

  29. Kris says:

    The postgame will be interesting; will MacT say he needs a PK’er or will he just say the problem is effort?

  30. loudog says:

    Firing MacT? Not going to happen, not yet anyways, even if they loose this game 7-1.

    Im all for change, but getting rid of MacT would be hasty. And then who would you replace him Hbomb? Not happening.

  31. Coach pb9617 says:

    This bullshit hast to end. He’s completely lost it.

    I don’t understand. I’ve watched a TON of hockey, played a TON of hockey, coached a TON of hockey and I don’t understand. I’m a pretty bright guy and I don’t understand.

    I don’t understand the lineup, I don’t understand the lines, I don’t understand the line changes, I don’t understand the mixing of the lines, I don’t understand the penalty killers, I don’t understand the power play.

    MacTavish has me completely stumped right now. It’s like he’s just flailing around without an idea, and for no reason. They are .500 through 15 of the first 20 on the road. But he won’t let anyone build chemistry. He won’t use the two guys most likely to run #3 C actually run #3 C.

    He’s not utilizing his assets effectively at all. 27 getting massively reduced power play time and big numbers on the PK. 89 centering a heavy lift line. 89 penalty killing. Escapegoating 12. Escapegoating 27.

    I swear that he’s gone mad from Mercury poisoning or something. None of this shit makes sense. If anything he should be supremely confident by now, not supremely insane.

  32. Doogie2K says:

    Oh Christ, it’s 71-44 on the PP again. And SH chance against.

  33. Doogie2K says:

    And penalty. Fuckfuckfuckfuckfuck.

  34. Ribs says:

    When does Hossa get suspended for half-broken sticks?

  35. Ribs says:

    Holy crap, Visnovsky hit the net.

  36. Doogie2K says:

    VISH!

    Osgood loses the puck, everyone loses their man, and Visnovsky gets it. Probably irrelevant, but I’ll take it.

  37. loudog says:

    whoooo 4 on 3 for 28 seconds.

  38. mc79hockey says:

    Simpson seems awfully confused here about how long the PP is. The Oilers absolutely should NOT be in this game, but here we are within a goal with six and a half minutes to go.

    Amazing what happens when Souray hits the net.

  39. Kris says:

    4-3 now, but this has still been a drubbing.

  40. Doogie2K says:

    SOURAY!

    Do you believe?

  41. CrazyCoach says:

    damn library!

    No feed here.

    Come on Oilers. Score the tying goal!

  42. bookie says:

    I am not sure I agree that this has been such a terrible game for the Oilers. I think some of you are a bit dramatic?

  43. mc79hockey says:

    On the off chance one of you birds is actually Katz, would you please spend some money on the fucking ice plant?

  44. Ribs says:

    mc97…consider it done.

    …I keed.

  45. CrazyCoach says:

    I’ll make sure the boys install a new ice plant starting tomorrow.

    -Daryl

  46. slipper says:

    “I think some of you are a bit dramatic?”

    What was your first clue, bookie?

    “It’s to the point now that I actually cheer against the team I love”

    ;)

  47. RiversQ says:

    I don’t understand all the confusion. The Oilers are trying to develop players here. It’s hard to to that and win a lot of games. Especially when the forward depth isn’t there.

  48. bookie says:

    Daryl,

    While you are at it, perhaps get some trained penguins and polar bears to do shows during the intermissions.

  49. Coach pb9617 says:

    I am not sure I agree that this has been such a terrible game for the Oilers. I think some of you are a bit dramatic?

    No, it’s not been a bad game, but the bizarre decisions continue. It’s as if the Oilers are being coached from another dimension. A dimension where MacTavish has a mustache.

  50. Doogie2K says:

    Boy, we’re good at these dramatic almost-comebacks, aren’t we?

  51. CrazyCoach says:

    Do you want cute penguins or Sidney Crosby and Malkin?

    -Daryl

  52. bookie says:

    Fire the coach, tear down Rexall Place, abandon the city and just start over elsewhere!

  53. Coach pb9617 says:

    I don’t understand all the confusion. The Oilers are trying to develop players here. It’s hard to to that and win a lot of games.

    Harder to do when you are doing it bass ackwards.

  54. slipper says:

    Rob Brown’s hair plugs are interfering with his thinking.

  55. HBomb says:

    I don’t understand all the confusion. The Oilers are trying to develop players here. It’s hard to to that and win a lot of games. Especially when the forward depth isn’t there

    I do not buy that for a second. There’s enough forwards that there is no need to have Penner/Gagner killing penalties, Cole playing the wrong wing, Pisani playing center, etc.

    We can bemoan the lack of a veteran third line center all we want, but the fact is that MacT’s done a shitty job managing what weapons he does have. Add that to the special teams being mediocre-to-shit, and the bottom line the coaching job has been a total clusterfuck this year.

  56. CrazyCoach says:

    I didn’t see the game, but from what I gather, the bench management was bizarre?

  57. Bruce says:

    Well, shit. Tease us by getting within one and then play stumblebum for the rest of the game. Is there anybody on the club that can make a clean play with the puck when it matters? Instead, it’s take it into traffic and lose a puck battle, lose it in each other’s feet, or fail fail and fail again to get the god damned puck over the fucking blueline. I don’t know whether it’s the ice plant to blame, but that was a lot of piss poor hockey down the stretch.

    I don’t understand the lineup, I don’t understand the lines, I don’t understand the line changes, I don’t understand the mixing of the lines, I don’t understand the penalty killers, I don’t understand the power play.

    And I don’t understand the goaltending. The shitty schedule that has Oilers playing their 4th game in 6 nights against a rested Detroit club sure the hell didn’t help, but nowhere was it written in stone that the Oilers needed to start their 39-year-old goalie in all four games. That’s just asinine personnel management. Roli faced 112 shots in the first three games and 10 more in 10 minutes tonight … tell me, Coach MacT, what the fuck did you expect?

    Garon saddled with the loss. Obviously, it’s his fault.

  58. Coach pb9617 says:

    Roli faced 112 shots in the first three games and 10 more in 10 minutes tonight … tell me, Coach MacT, what the fuck did you expect?

    Garon saddled with the loss. Obviously, it’s his fault.

    And that wasn’t on Roli either. He has zero chance on either power play in the first period. The defense might as well been in the PB watching the Wings play tipsy.

    Another reason why Smid should be out there at the blue line. He’s not afraid to bruise lower backs with a stick shaft.

  59. B.C.B. says:

    I notice during the Oilers’ timeout that MacT was not drawing on the little board while Babcock was. What was he saying? My suggestions:

    “Give it to Sourey”
    “Does anyone where there is a hole we can crawl into?”
    ” Blah, blah, blah”
    “you guys have tuned me out hey? I said is anyone listening?”

    Any other suggestions? Why wouldn’t a coach try and draw up a play, for Pete’s sakes?

  60. hunter1909 says:

    B.C.B.:

    “I was a better player than any of you guys”

  61. Coach pb9617 says:

    Any other suggestions? Why wouldn’t a coach try and draw up a play, for Pete’s sakes?

    The mind was clouded with fantasies of a Schremp – Eberle penalty kill next year.

  62. Lowetide says:

    I don’t think MacT is talking to the team. :-)

    The Oilers can still see first place from where they are but this was a bad night. Teams winning all over and they lose by a goal in a game they almost drowned in.

    As has been the case for some time, the best part of the evening is waiting for the postgame podcast.

  63. Traktor says:

    “Any other suggestions? Why wouldn’t a coach try and draw up a play, for Pete’s sakes?”

    He forgot what he did with his writing utensil. Apparently it was nesting between his ear and glasses frame.

  64. slipper says:

    Crikey! If it was simply a matter of a third line center this team would be in good shape.

  65. Traktor says:

    Question: What is MacTavish’s biggest weakness?

    Answer: The handling of goalies and lack of PP success.

    Question: What is the most important factor in a winning hockey team?

    Answer: Good goaltending and special teams.

    It’s not hard to figure out when you don’t have the blinders on.

    Katz: You said you would bring “quick and decisive decisions” to the forefront but you’ve brought the same amount of accountability as the EIG. Do something.

  66. Ribs says:

    A very interesting game to watch. Very, very, interesting.

    The PK sucks. I’m not smart enough to know what the heck they’re doing wrong besides losing faceoffs. I swear it’s just horribly bad luck most of the time. Perhaps they should consider not taking so many penalties in the first place? I swear they’ve taken more this year than any other recent season.

    Souray let me down a bit tonight as I thought he had his game-breaker face on after the first. Something must have happened during intermission because he was playing it safe in the second and I think it hurt his results. I think Coach T was being a bit conservative here. Does Souray really need to play so many minutes? It’s pretty obvious that MacT is aware of his tendencies to tire during the game.

    Nilsson and Cogliano were getting the green light from the coach this game. I do not believe they were playing any better than usual, they were just getting the best matchups. Need more production if they MacT plans to deploy this method come playoff time.

    Horcoff had a pretty good game considering the role he was playing. Won a tonne of faceoffs and played a distinctly defensive game. Any missing offense from him is on the coach.

    Hemsky had some moments where I thought he was going to do something, and then didn’t. He was playing the diversion game with Horcoff but I’d like to to see him do more when he gets his chances.

    Moreau… Does he still play for these guys? Oh yea, he’s the guy that takes the retarted hooking penalties every game. Good at being invisible, I guess.

    Penner? Let’s trade him to Columbus. Seriously. One game of goodness and thats it? Dissapointing.

    Cole? Man. I love the guy but he really needs to click with someone. I don’t care if it’s Smid. Just stop trying to do everything yourself.

    Gagner..He’s still a couple of years away. Showing little of the advanced promise he had last year. Reunite the kids and leave them be for a year. It’s for the best.

    Poo had some good and some bad. I think he need some icetime to be effective.

    Brodziak is fading…Needs a boost from somewhere.

    Smid did alright in his first game at forward since third grade. He banged and he whacked and nothing really came from it. Pretty much what anyone would expect.

    The entire defense was good enough to win the game so I wont comment on them too much. Other than the PK, they seemed to do their job well.

    Roli was victim to some bad luck/horrid PK. Garon was unspectacular.

  67. Dennis says:

    It seems like a lot of smart folks are missing the obvious: you cannot win while lugging around a PK this fucking bad.

    Also, remember that guy who said that 78-26 had some chem during the game in Van? Well, they get out together for a four on four and my stars, the oil actually scored a goal!! Later on they reunite and 78 gets another scoring chance on a give and go. What’s going on???

    Seriously, what the fuck is going on here? Put Cole with someone that connects with him, shelter the kids and for the love of gawd give Pouliot some real linemates.

    Oh, and send down Reddox and sit down brodziak and go and find two vets who can kill penalties and put them on the 4th line and I don’t care who plays with them. Did Gelinas sign anywhere? Did he kill penalties last year? Did jim dowd do a job killing penalties last year?

    Seriously, it’s all nice to have skill and nice moves but someone somehow has to be able to kill penalties and we’re 20 games in right now and every game it’s the same chances allowed even when we don’t give up the goals.

    The rest of the game isn’t any hell worth talking about. The Oilers got close but big fucking deal. Someone would’ve just taken a stupid penalty in OT and we’d lose on another PP goal.

  68. Coach pb9617 says:

    The PK sucks. I’m not smart enough to know what the heck they’re doing wrong besides losing faceoffs.

    They’re frickin playing DUSTIN PENNER AND SAM GAGNER!

  69. Dennis says:

    Ribs: they don’t block shots, these certainly aren’t your Smith and Ulanov Oilers, they don’t put their sticks in passing lanes and they can’t clear the zone.

    It’s a shooting and scoring chance gallery every night and every night we make teams look like the Red Wings with the only difference is everyone doesn’t click for as many goals as the Wings did tonight.

  70. B.C.B. says:

    But Dennis we would have got a point in OT, and that was my goal for the team after the PK didn’t show up in the first period.

  71. HBomb says:

    Seriously, what the fuck is going on here? Put Cole with someone that connects with him, shelter the kids and for the love of gawd give Pouliot some real linemates.

    Dennis, with Pisani out, the lineup SHOULD be obvious to anyone with half a brain:

    27-10-83 (power vs. power)
    12-13-89 (soft minutes, sheltered)
    18-78-26 (second toughest minutes)

    There’s your top nine. Demote Reddox and get Brule up here and let him try to be the “Glencross” on the fourth line with Brodziak and Stortini.

    Instead, though, we’re subjected to Erik Cole having different linemates every game and getting 11 minutes of ice-time. And people wonder why he’s not finding chemistry with anyone?

    How MacTavish is running the bench right now is absolutely mind-boggling at best and downright stupid at worst.

  72. goldenchild says:

    Dennis Marty Reasoner would look good on the pk no? what did he sign for a mil? And the coach made no secret that he wanted him back this disconnect between mgmt and bench has been happening since the summer.

    Either fire the coach or clean up this 3 goalie nonsense, get him a C that kills penalties and can play tough mins. If not, hes gonna keep throwin 13 and 89 in those roles and 27 on the PK and this team aint doin shit under that scenerio.

  73. Oilmaniac says:

    Not sure if you guys were listening to stauffer on tencers show.. I thought he made some great points…

    -The oil are a team in transition, trying to integrate some skill (from a game plan based upon low-skill grind tactics)
    -Team toughness needs to be uped, obvious
    -Moreau on the top line has to end, more effective on 3rd
    -Gagner should be on the second with nilsson and cole (I only bring that up cus i’ve wanted to see that for a while)

    Anyways, I liked how stauffer spoke his mind.. free wheeled and brought up the major points/themes without shying away… (of course no coach bashing involved)

  74. RiversQ says:

    HBomb said…
    I do not buy that for a second. There’s enough forwards that there is no need to have Penner/Gagner killing penalties, Cole playing the wrong wing, Pisani playing center, etc.

    But what are the real alternatives in all of those situations?

    Personally I think the expectations are just way out of whack.

    Firstly, this team SUCKED last year. They were godawful by every measure other than the NHL’s bass ackward standings, where they weren’t good enough either.

    Don’t tell me about the finishing stretch because the shooting percentages were insane and the Oilers are proving that through the 1st 20 games this year. I don’t want to hear about the improving underlying numbers because those were coming from really freaking bad up to mediocre.

    Who the heck really thought that the offseason improvements were going to make this a team that could dust off Detroit twice in a week and do better than NHL .500 when they’ve played so much on the road?

    I don’t think this is really a playoff team and judging by the personnel moves, it’s not clear the Oilers think so either. I find it very hard to believe that MacT thinks all these moves are going to help them win games in 2008.

    (With the PP and goalie situation exempt because MacT has always sucked at that. I’ll never bother defending him there.)

  75. pboy says:

    I was in the office late tonight and I just got home and read the posts. Thanks guys, always entertaining. But nothing was better than this one…..

    The mind was clouded with fantasies of a Schremp – Eberle penalty kill next year.

  76. RiversQ says:

    -The oil are a team in transition, trying to integrate some skill (from a game plan based upon low-skill grind tactics)

    Please tell me Stauffer didn’t say that.

    That’s just mindless.

    I think tonight’s game should be proof of how nuts that is. With all of Detroit’s skill, the real reason that’s the best team in the league is because they’re so hard on the puck. More specifically their most skilled players – Z, Datsyuk and Hossa are winning puck battles all over the ice.

  77. slipper says:

    Martin Gelinas?

    They just lost a Martin Gelinas and weren’t too hot with him in the line-up, either. They definitely need more than Martin Gelinas.

    They need a Nik Antrapov, Mikko Koivu and a Marty Reasoner. That is, if we’re talking about being a competetive playoff team.

    If the standards are lower and we just want a palatable development year then Reasoner and perhaps a Hagman will make due.

  78. slipper says:

    “Don’t tell me about the finishing stretch because the shooting percentages were insane and the Oilers are proving that through the 1st 20 games this year. I don’t want to hear about the improving underlying numbers because those were coming from really freaking bad up to mediocre.”

    I didn’t want to be the prick who finally came out and said this.

    And those improving underlying numbers? They are rapidly, umm, un-improving.

  79. HBomb says:

    Riv: by my count, all of 10-18-26-78-51-13 should be getting PK time ahead of Gagner and Penner.

    Yes, three of those guys are essentially sophmores, but they’ve at least shown some degree of the skill required to be successful on the PK.

  80. HBomb says:

    And the other thing: saying this isn’t a playoff team is, in my mind, setting the bar too low.

    This team SHOULD make the playoffs. If they don’t, the changes need to go beyond shuffling the deck chairs (players) and looking at the guy at the steering wheel (coach).

  81. Ribs says:

    Dennis: Were Smyth and Ulanov and Stoll and Reasoner all just THAT much better at getting to the lanes in time? Was the shot-blockinhg that much better at this point in the season? If you say yes, I will honestly believe you, but right now it looks like the PK’ers are trying to get to the lanes and trying to get the shots to the outside and it just doesn’t seem to work! There’es always some bounce off the boards or some tip-through-three guys that seem to make it into the mesh. What do you do against that? Should we be looking more closely at our D-men? Is it time to question the effectiveness of guys like Staios and Strudwick on the PK? Or is it reall just the obvious? That our forwards have no clue what to do?

  82. Dennis says:

    Slipper: I think we could get by if we had a couple of old vets who could kill penatlies.

  83. Oilmaniac says:

    RiversQ said…

    -The oil are a team in transition, trying to integrate some skill (from a game plan based upon low-skill grind tactics)

    Please tell me Stauffer didn’t say that.

    That’s just mindless.

    Well.. To take it on the chin… the brakets (of mindlessness) is my take…

    He said this a team in transition and Detriot is team that can expose that… They have more skill now than they’ve had traditionally… So instead of having to win by working much harder, blocking shots, than other teams, to overcome the skill differencial…

    So… There is the question in the air… Can MacT be the coach for this new style of play… Is this the answer to transitioning…
    Sure MacT is a great coach for a team that needs to overcome skill with work ethic… but, is his presence muddling/stalling any transition…

  84. Ribs says:

    I’ll learn to proof read someday..dammit.

  85. slipper says:

    I couldn’t give two shits if Craig MacTavish was let go by 1PM tomorrow. I’m just not of the opinion that a change in coach will propel this team into contention. At the end of the day they still have far too many 2nd, 3rd and 4th year players who aren’t at the level to compete every night.

    A lack of competetive depth is the problem, and it’s compounded by the fact that it’s 20+ games into the season and the team still has a goaltender up in the effing pressbox. One injury in personnel and a 3rd year defenseman is suiting on the wing for Christ’s sake.

  86. mc79hockey says:

    This team SHOULD make the playoffs.

    What possible basis is there for believing this? It seems to me that it requires a large dose of believing the shootout record from last year and believing the S% numbers from the final quarter. This team could make the playoffs but they need a hell of a lot of stuff to go right.

    Maybe the lack of shootouts are how we can tell that MacT has really lost it – he’s no longer gaming the system to get to OT.

  87. Dennis says:

    Ribs: I can’t really say for sure. but I do know that in CBJ 78 tipped a pass that went into the stands and I was struck by just how little we’ve seen that this year.

    I think some of it is what Ty said about Garon being unable to duplicate his PK SV PCT from last year and then there’s the whole thing of missing Stoll and Reasoner. And now we’re missing 34 as well and he was doing a good job with that unit this season thus far.

    I honestly don’t expect much to change unless guys like 78-85-13-89 really mature as PKers. 51 might be the obvious RH draw man and heir apparent to Stoll but he looks like a shitty penalty killer to me.

  88. mc79hockey says:

    Sure MacT is a great coach for a team that needs to overcome skill with work ethic… but, is his presence muddling/stalling any transition…

    Funny, nobody said that when he had a team with work ethic. Then they said that he couldn’t coach skill.

    There’s a large proportion of the hockey fanbase here that can’t seem to accept a simple basic propostion: the players here just aren’t very fucking good and, with the exception of 05-06, that’s been the rule.

    Funny thing – these fuckers seem like they might finally have gotten caught by the expectations that they create. For years everyone bought their bullshit and excused all sorts of nonsense because they were too poor to be expected to do better. Now the silly bastards have, for some reason, raised expectations, and they’re getting it handed to them when it’s probably not deserved. Funny.

  89. mc79hockey says:

    BTW – on that – two teams this year have played fewer SO/OT games than the Oilers. Small sample, to be certain, but still, they were playing about 6 a quarter last year; that’s three in the first.

  90. Traktor says:

    “This is a result-oriented bushiness.”

    - Craig MacTavish

    “This is the best team I’ve ever been around, I think we can contend for the division title.”

    - Craig MacTavish

  91. Traktor says:

    MC: Guess who’s back up to 16.1 %? :D

  92. slipper says:

    Well there’s getting by Dennis and then there’s getting by.

    With all the dissection of the roster in the comments section as of late it seems like the consensus is that this team is a Playboy centerfold that with one hair out of place looks like a fucking Daschund.

    The one thing going in the Oilers’ favour is that while the gap between them and the San Jose’s and Detroit remains enormous, the gap between them and the remaining WC teams isn’t nearly as daunting. I think one great player and one Reasoner could propel them toward middling contention.

  93. mc79hockey says:

    “This is a result-oriented business.”

    Doesn’t mean it should be. And on the other, I don’t know why the fuck he said it – I disagreed with him then and still do.

  94. mc79hockey says:

    Figured that’d come up. We’ll see. His performance will be interesting to look at at the end of the year. FTR, last year he shot 19.8% at ES, 7.7% on the PP and 25% on the PK. That’s just too weird. Lots of season left. Nice goal tonight though.

  95. Rod says:

    mc79hockey said…
    Hard to blame Roli for that. Nobody taking the man in front.

    Yeah, but Roli left the net. Seriously. Lidstrom show was going wide, to Roli’s left…so Roli went left. Funny enough, the guy alone in front changed the direction of the puck…into an empty net. Roli totally overplayed the shot, so he shares some blame on that one.

    Coach pb9617 said…
    You’re blaming Roloson for the first 10 minutes? Surely you can’t be serious.

    Did you even watch the three goals?

    1st one he kicked the rebound right onto Hudler’s stick. Nice bounce for Detroit, bad rebound for Roli.

    2nd one was tough. Datsyuk floated a knuckleball that dipped and fluttered…and a huge screen in front…Roli had no idea where the puck was. Had to be incredibly lucky to stop that one.

    3rd one, Roli overplayed Lidstrom’s point shot.

    Add it up, and absolving Roli of the 3-0 start makes about as much sense as the “L” next to Garon’s name tonight.

  96. Dennis says:

    MacT said Horc has to start winning more faceoffs and that 51 was supposed to be their go to RH draw man and he is winning 50% of his draws but it certainly doesn’t seem like it.

    He admitted they’re an easy team to play against and said it will be addressed “personnel wise and attitudinaly.”

  97. mc79hockey says:

    Yeah, but Roli left the net. Seriously. Lidstrom show was going wide, to Roli’s left…so Roli went left. Funny enough, the guy alone in front changed the direction of the puck…into an empty net. Roli totally overplayed the shot, so he shares some blame on that one.

    I think you’re going a bit overboard here. For one, it’s a slapshot from the point. For two, I’m not convinced it was going wide. Three, I’m pretty sure it went under Roli – he would have had it if butterflied but butterfly was the wrong play for a shot like that. That was absolutely a luck thing on his part.

  98. Bruce says:

    Is it time to question the effectiveness of guys like Staios and Strudwick on the PK?

    Strudwick tonight:
    11:04 ES TOI: -1
    1:34 SH TOI: 2 GA

    Haven’t seen the actual goals yet (only saw the third) but that’s a tough night.

  99. slipper says:

    “…attitudinaly”

    I can’t even pronounce this word.

    Should Garon have covered the post instead of seemingly being dazzled by the fluttering puck on his one GA?

  100. Dennis says:

    24/43 have been nightmarish as of late and with macT saying he didn’t want to break them up because they’d been playing so well I really don’t know who’s coaching this team anymore.

  101. Bank Shot says:

    51 might be the obvious RH draw man and heir apparent to Stoll but he looks like a shitty penalty killer to me.

    He’s got the best numbers out of any of the PKers in the regular rotation outside of Pisani.

    Moreau has the worst.

  102. Rod says:

    mc79hockey said:
    I think you’re going a bit overboard here. For one, it’s a slapshot from the point. For two, I’m not convinced it was going wide. Three, I’m pretty sure it went under Roli – he would have had it if butterflied but butterfly was the wrong play for a shot like that. That was absolutely a luck thing on his part.

    Look again. It didn’t go under Roli. The puck went directly to his right, as he was sliding left. Puck went into the area of the net Roli had vacated on an unnecessary slide.

    If I’m overboard, this certainly is:

    slipper said…
    Should Garon have covered the post instead of seemingly being dazzled by the fluttering puck on his one GA?

    Puck took a fast bounce off the boards right to Hudler. Not exactly a lot of time to react, never mind looking dazzled. No fluttering either. Yes, would have been great if Garon reacted quicker…but if the goal crease is foreign territory because the coach doesn’t play you in weeks, a certain amount of rust develops. 24 saves on 25 shots is pretty good considering that rust. And yet Garon gets the loss. Nice.

  103. Bank Shot says:

    Grebeshkov and Staios are are for alot of the goals against on the PK. Strudwick has been pretty solid/lucky…whichever thus far.

  104. Rod says:

    Couple quick questions:

    1. What is 18 still doing with 10-83? Horpensky. Make. it. so.

    2. What happened to Garon’s rumoured injury? There goes the last excuse for playing Roli so many in a row…

    Clearly MacT is mishandling his roster.

  105. mc79hockey says:

    Look again. It didn’t go under Roli. The puck went directly to his right, as he was sliding left. Puck went into the area of the net Roli had vacated on an unnecessary slide.

    I can’t tell from the replay on NHL.com. Even accepting that you’re right, I don’t buy that the slide was unnecessary. I’m not sure he’s got enough time to determine that the shot was going wide (if, in fact, it was) and two, I don’t think betting that the guy will tip it is a money bet.

  106. slipper says:

    Pfft. He looked BeDazzled. Plenty of time for a goaltender to cover 3/4 of a foot to the near post. Ecspecially when you can watch his head swivel as gazed up and left indicating, at the very least, he was aware which side of the net the puck was on.

    You see, trying to assign goat horns or, for that matter, excuse blame for a goal is pretty dependant on bias and is very similar to a dog running in circles while chasing it’s tail.

  107. Bank Shot says:

    There’s a large proportion of the hockey fanbase here that can’t seem to accept a simple basic propostion: the players here just aren’t very fucking good and, with the exception of 05-06, that’s been the rule.

    Maybe they aren’t, but when they get so much fucking worse from one season to the next you have to wonder what is up. Horcoff, Cole, Penner, Nilsson, Gagner, Brodziak all utter rank in terms of production compared to last year.

    Over in Chi-town and Gretz-town you’ve got vets following up career years with great starts and sophmores playing at or near their level from last season.

    Edmonton has half the forward core falling off a cliff.

  108. Rod says:

    I’m not saying Roli should have counted on Kopecky tipping it. Just that from my perspective, a slide to the left shouldn’t have been necessary (Lidstrom was on the Red Wings left point, close to the boards–Roli only needs to slide left for a cross-ice pass). If going anywhere, couldn’t Roli have slid toward the shooter? Which would have taken him closer to the guy in front? I seem to remember a lot of goalies that would get close to Smyth in order to reduce the effect of a tip (of course Smyth’s payback was to bump/tack their stick…).

    Again, just saying that Roli had no chance once he slid to the left. Combine that with the first goal, and Roli is not blameless for the 3-0 start.

    Saying otherwise makes less sense than the L hung on Garon. That was my other point. Never said Garon was perfect. Obviously not (see the one goal). Still, 24 saves on 25 shots after inheriting a 3-0 hole…hardly deserving of an L.

    How that’s bias is beyond me slipper.

  109. Rod says:

    Just saw another angle…and it showed the third goal going through the wickets on Roli…just as mc79hockey remembered it. Don’t recall that angle during the broadcast. Just one of Roli sliding left, and the puck appeared to go to his right. Watched in HD even. And the new angle was in SD. Go figure.

    Given all that, no wonder mc79hockey thought I was going overboard. My bad.

    Still say the L for Garon is a bad stat. In baseball the L would be on the starter (Roli) since the Oil didn’t ever get back to even. That makes more sense to me. But what do I know.

  110. slipper says:

    If you’re saying that Garon being assigned a loss for this game is unfair, that’s fine. Hard to argue that.

    If people are suggesting that the result would have been different had Garon been given the start over Roloson, I don’t see any merit in the argument.

    A shitty PK team takes too many penalties against an awesome PP team while leaving too many sticks uncovered with 15 feet of the net and it’s bound to be ugly, no matter who you play in goal.

    Garon was chased out of the last game he started aswell, but the team played like balls in front of him too.

    If anyone around here has some infallible insight into future goalie performance then they should be high rolling in Vegas and not piddling their lives away arguing on the internet with some anonymous jackass named slipper.

  111. PDO says:

    What kind of S% would 13 have if he started to hit the GD net on his 5 bell chances?

  112. hunter1909 says:

    This has more or less been the Oilers M.O. since 2000:

    October:

    Lofty expectations, hope beyond hope that finally this will be the year.

    1) Storm out of the gate for 4-5 games, despite team blowing(saved by goalie).

    2) Goalies fall back to earth, team now simply blows.

    November:

    3) Crisis as team approches freefall proportions.

    4) Team stumbles but wins and loses evenly.

    December/January:

    5) Team gets hot, expectations raised again.

    January:

    6) Team for no explainable reason, goes back to winning and losing evenly.

    Deadline Day

    7) One final mini crisis, which leaves the team out of the playoffs.

    March/April:

    8) The annual push for 8th place.

    Offseason:

    Drama involving star player who usually ends up leaving, with catcalls coming both from the management and fans alike.

    Big trade to entice the fans for next seasons repeat performance.

  113. Asiaoil says:

    I’ve always like MacT – especially during the cup run where he was great – and there are not many guys in the NHL coaching ranks that I both respect and like. That said – coaches are hired to be fired 99 times out of 100 – and it just seems like both the team and MacT need a change. Did MacT expect to get bumped up to GM but Tambo gets hired as Lowe’s heir apparent? Is that why he’s gone strange on us? Things certainly seem “off” this year for MacT for whatever reason.

    As for the replacement – I’d want to go off the boards frankly. I’m so damn tired of the NHL recyle plant churning out the same damn stale ideas and over and over. I’d look for a young guy who is off the charts smart and not a stale NHL insider. Maybe a guy from the NCAA college ranks – but please save us form a warmed over ass like Toterella or another ex-glory day Oiler.

  114. hunter1909 says:

    Somewhere out there is the next Scotty Bowman.

    Katz needs to pull himself the motivational performance of his life to help the Oilers to find him.

    When I read about how Lowe doesn’t want anyone “threatening” his position as alpha leader, I want to throw him off the team in a hurry. If anything, he’s shown himself to be completely unworthy to take the team into the brave new era we all dream about.

    Why? For handing out insane amounts of cap room to clearly second string players, that’s why. And all the rest, like not providing a balanced team ONCE since taking over.

    Why even show patience to these guys? Everything they do always seems to royally fuck up sooner or later.

  115. Doogie2K says:

    -The oil are a team in transition, trying to integrate some skill (from a game plan based upon low-skill grind tactics)

    Please tell me Stauffer didn’t say that.

    That’s just mindless.

    Actually, it was Tencer.

  116. mc79hockey says:

    Don’t recall that angle during the broadcast. Just one of Roli sliding left, and the puck appeared to go to his right. Watched in HD even. And the new angle was in SD. Go figure.

    I really like what NHL.com is doing. The next step for them is to get a decent replay angle online. That one was tough to tell off of the standard angle.

  117. pboy says:

    I’ve always like MacT – especially during the cup run where he was great – and there are not many guys in the NHL coaching ranks that I both respect and like. That said – coaches are hired to be fired 99 times out of 100 – and it just seems like both the team and MacT need a change. Did MacT expect to get bumped up to GM but Tambo gets hired as Lowe’s heir apparent? Is that why he’s gone strange on us? Things certainly seem “off” this year for MacT for whatever reason.

    Perfectly said.

    The old cliche is that management can't change all 20 players at once, so they change the coach hoping the new guy can get through to them where the old guy failed. For 7 seasons, I think you would be hard pressed to say that where MacT lead, these guys would follow. I don't know if you could say that so far this season.

    No one would or should suggest that the team we have now is going to compete for the cup or even that we have the perfect blend of skill and grit, youth and experience. Far from it, there are some glaring holes on this team and that can't be blamed on the head coach. However, it also seems that we are fucking around with some of the assets that we do have and that can be placed directly at MacT's feet.

    1. The defensive pairings have been head scratchers for most of the season.

    2. Putting players in positions where they can't succeed has happened on more than a few occasions: Gagner on the 1st line, Moreau on the 1st line after he cooled off, Cole playing left wing, Pouliot or Brodziak not being given the opportunity to take the #3 center job and run with it, Souray & Vish on the PP together, the inexplicable goaltending decisions and on and on and on…….

    3. Our line matching is horrible. I

    Coaches are hired to be fired and it isa result oriented game. Guys who have won championships have been given less rope than this guy has.

  118. Coach pb9617 says:

    There’s a large proportion of the hockey fanbase here that can’t seem to accept a simple basic propostion: the players here just aren’t very fucking good and, with the exception of 05-06, that’s been the rule.

    I know they aren’t top shelf talent right now, but that’s not what bothers me about the team. The bizarre coaching decisions and repeated mental mistakes are bothering me. And I don’t mean the guys are making mental mistakes, I mean the same guys are making the same mental mistake over and over again.

  119. Coach pb9617 says:

    24/43 have been nightmarish as of late and with macT saying he didn’t want to break them up because they’d been playing so well I really don’t know who’s coaching this team anymore.

    That’s three straight games of really bad PK by that pairing. Smid should draw in now.

  120. Kris says:

    “There’s a large proportion of the hockey fanbase here that can’t seem to accept a simple basic propostion: the players here just aren’t very fucking good and, with the exception of 05-06, that’s been the rule.”

    Yeah, this is a hard pill to swallow but there’s some truth here.

    Nonetheless, even if the Oil aren’t a playoff team, we know some of these players are better than they’re playing, based on repeated, past performances in prior seasons;I’m thinking especially of Cole, Horcoff, and Penner.

    The real question is this: are Grebeshkov, Gagner, Nilson, Gilbert, Gagner, and Garon better players than they look like right now. If yes, we just need a new coach, a minor trade, or some new intensity.

    If not, this team is screwed for another 3 years at least.

    (On the other hand, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by Souray, Cogliano, and -though he can be better, too- Vishnovsky.)

    And remember, good coaches can make average players look good.

  121. Kris says:

    My new favorite play is where one of our players skates into the middle of the ice, then tries to stickhandle the puck across the opposing team’s blue line, while facing three defenders with no puck support. I’m going to call it an ‘Oilers Dump In.’

  122. Doogie2K says:

    @Kris: The kids are getting it from Hemsky, I think. It’s fucking asinine when he does it (except when it works), and their lack of experience does not make it a better idea.

  123. Dennis says:

    I think the sun would actually shine a few more days if we had a couple of guys who could kill penalties.

    We can say all we want about this guy or that guy having a slow start but if you took Brodziak and Reddox out of last night’s lineup and replaced them with two cheapish vets who could kill penalties then we’d look a helluva lot better.

    And you might have to throw Pouliot in there as well.

    For the guy who talked about 43 being solid or lucky, I’ve coined a new term for a guy who goes a full game without being on the ice for a scoring chance for: it’s called a Strudwick. He’s put up two of those already this year and on Tues night Staios put up a Strudwick as well.

  124. Quain says:

    Dennis is right, we’re not getting slaughtered at ES (-1, right now, I think) and our powerplay is ugly, but still clicking at a reasonable rate. You just can’t win many games when your penalty kill is spotting the opposing team something close to 1.5 goals a game.

    MacTavish’s MO are producing a great penalty kill, a team that can win faceoffs, and a team that is disciplined enough to dump and chase. If this team can’t do any of those three, it’s probably time to find a new coach because I’m not sure what MacTavish is providing except for funny quotes and a penchant for making up new ways to call Dustin Penner fat.

  125. Jonathan says:

    I think the sun would actually shine a few more days if we had a couple of guys who could kill penalties.

    I know I’m preaching to the converted here, but I’m not sure if the problem is that the personnel the Oilers have can’t do the job, or if MacTavish isn’t using his personnel correctly.

    I was fine with the Penner experiment, and didn’t like the Gagner one, but it’s just time to move on. Penner, Gagner and Grebeshkov have all been brutal, although surprisigly, Moreau, Staios and Horcoff have been as bad – all six of those guys are above 10 GAON/60. Pisani’s been freakishly good given this unit’s performance (1.79 GAON/60, while averaging better than 2 minutes a game killing penalties). Cogliano, like last year, has been good in limited time, and the fact that he isn’t being used boggles the mind. Use the bloody kid in a role that he’s perfectly suited for already.

    Guys like Brodziak, Gilbert and Souray, while not posting inspiring numbers, have been better than the rest of the unit.

  126. knighttown says:

    As to the comment that people can seem to understand that this team isn’t that good, that’s bull.

    You spend 56 million in salary you are expected to be good. That means we have enough guys that are paid well to compete. It’s not our plugs that are killing us its our vets (and truth be told, our phenoms). Without looking closely, I’m going to say that our depth players (Strudwick, Smid, Grebs, Poo, Brodz, Storts, MacIntyre, Reddox) are doing exactly whay is expected of them, that is, not bleed goals. Sure, once in a blue moon you get a Brodziak/Glencross pairing that wins you games but usually you ask your depth to not lose the game for you and that has happened.

    However, Horcoff, Penner and Cole have been awful and the kids have really struggled. Pisani, Gilbert, Visnovski and Moreau have been up and down. Hemsky, Staois and Souray have been fantastic.

    This is a 56 million dollar team playing like a 40 million dollar team.

  127. Traktor says:

    I’ve seen many excuses over the years but blaming the lack of Reasoner and Stoll or the equivalency takes the cake.

    As Jonathan pointed out, Horc and Moreau are more than capable but aren’t getting the job done and then we have an idiot behind the bench who plays Gagner or Cogliano on the PK. The problem is under performing players and a coach who isn’t putting players in the position to achieve personal or team success.

    A bigger issues is why are we constantly taking bad penalties? You can blame the PK but those cheap lazy hooking and slashing calls end up in the back of the net every time.

    This team is getting what it deserves. You win 25% of 50/50 battles and the puck will find a way in the back of the net even with 4 bodies in the shooting lane. That’s just how it works. You work for your breaks and right now pucks are finding a way in against.

  128. Traktor says:

    Should read Gagner over Cogliano.

  129. slipper says:

    You should look more closely next time.

  130. Bruce says:

    //24/43 have been nightmarish as of late and with macT saying he didn’t want to break them up because they’d been playing so well I really don’t know who’s coaching this team anymore.//

    That’s three straight games of really bad PK by that pairing. Smid should draw in now.

    They’ve been no hell at evens either. Strudwick has posted -1 in 5 of the last 6 games, Staios in 4 of the 6. That’s in about a dozen minutes of ES TOI per game. Given their utter absence of offence, those guys need to keep a clean sheet in our end most nights. That’s what Smid (and his goalies) was doing: nothing fancy, nothing bad.

    Btw, somebody made the good point about the Oilers (not) blocking shots on the PK. I don’t have any splits, but Edmonton is currently 11th in the NHL in blocks, after finishing 1st, 7th, 4th, and 3rd in the NHL the past four seasons. More to the point, last night all four Detroit goals — need I remind anybody, three of them on the PP — were generated right from the blueline. No Oiler attempted to block any shots, nor for that matter to try to clear rebounds or take the sticks of the Detroit forwards who ultimately popped ‘er home.

    I commented earlier on our 39-year-old goalie playing is 4th game in 6 nights. Same is true of our 33-year-old defenceman who has never played more than 65 GP in a season. He played under a quarter of the game but was on the ice for 3 of those 4 goals. He always looks slow, but last night he was slow to react which is a whole ‘nother problem.

    Meanwhile, Ladi Smid playing out of his position took a hooking penalty that probably (didn’t see it) wasn’t necessary for a forward to take, and it took the Detroit PP unit all of 6 seconds to connect. So that decision didn’t exactly pan out either.

  131. Jonathan says:

    I see the line above about Staios being fantastic, but it isn’t so. The Staios-Strudwick pairing has played the easiest minutes on the backend, and have been consistently dominated while doing so.

    Strudwick, whose signing I supported, really shouldn’t be in the lineup right now, and if Staios isn’t hurt, he’s in some serious trouble right now. I say this as a guy who has defended Staios all last season because of the difficulty of his role; this year, his underlying numbers are worse despite a decrease in responsibilities.

    To fix this team:

    *Run a lineup that makes sense (Horpensky, Kid Line, 18-78-26)

    *Pickup a third line centre – the need for one was obvious in the offseason, and it’s more so now. Smolinski’s still available, and if Tambellini/Lowe is winning to pick up Jesse Boulerice they should be willing to take a chance on this guy, and if not, trade for someone. This lets the 4th line become 78/51/+, and that’s a recipe for success.

  132. Traktor says:

    “We can’t have 10 guys who think they’re top-6 forwards”

    - Ethan Moreau

    What an absolute gem from the guy who’s spent 3 or 4 games on the 1st line.

    “I have new line mates every practice”

    - Marc Pouliot

    It’s tough to know your role when your role changes every game and constantly are playing a different position with different assignments.

    MacT doesn’t have a clue. Never has. His stubbornness far outweighs his intellect.

  133. Quain says:

    Meanwhile, Ladi Smid playing out of his position took a hooking penalty that probably (didn’t see it) wasn’t necessary for a forward to take, and it took the Detroit PP unit all of 6 seconds to connect. So that decision didn’t exactly pan out either.

    That hooking penalty was fantastic, it’s almost like his defense-instinct kicked in and he was terrified that the hookee had a free shot on the goalie… except there were two defensemen still in front of him.

  134. hunter1909 says:

    “A bigger issues is why are we constantly taking bad penalties? You can blame the PK but those cheap lazy hooking and slashing calls end up in the back of the net every time.” Traktor

    What about too many men on the ice penalties? It’s the worst, most pointless, unecessary stupid penalty imaginable. It’s also a penalty that’s 100 percent down to the head coach.

    MacT’s Oilers always seem to lead the league in them.

  135. slipper says:

    Yeah, the penalties and the poor PK is murdering the Oilers right now. On that we agree traktor.

    Because we don’t have Stoll and Reasoner this season, Horcoff has been left with the lion’s share of defensive zone draws, yet he ends in the attack zone more often than not, has good outshooting numbers on a poor team, and has held held his head above water in GF/GA.

    These are irrefutable facts. So you’re either being intentionally obtuse or you don’ know what the heck you’re talking about.

    Sure, Horcoff could be converting more(4.9%), but so could Nilsson(4.2%) and Gagner (0%). ‘Dems the breaks at times.

    Without Horcoff, this team would be fucked right now.

  136. hunter1909 says:

    Watching Smid playing up front last night was a hoot. Especially seeing him playing defence behind the Detroit goal.

    In reality of course, it also means that the team is now officially playing quantum mechanics hockey.

  137. Bank Shot says:

    Dennis is right, we’re not getting slaughtered at ES (-1, right now, I think) and our powerplay is ugly, but still clicking at a reasonable rate.

    The PP is officially top ten after last night’s game and the Oilers still aren’t winning. Go figure.

    The Oilers have been just bad in pretty much every other area of responsibility belonging to the skaters.

    The only reason the 5 on 5 numbers aren’t horrendous is because the Oilers have been getting some fantastic goaltending performances in most games despite being outplayed. (13th in save %).

    An elite PP isn’t going to save the team if all else is shite.

  138. slipper says:

    Fun exerecise for the day. The first number is how many times a player has started a shift in the defensive zone, while the second number is how many of thier shifts ended in the defensve zone.

    Nilsson 61 65
    Cogliano 40 50
    Moreau 70 80
    Cole 63 58
    Penner 42 44
    Pisani 55 59
    Stortini 26 26
    Brodziak 71 49
    Poo 53 55
    Hemsky 75 65
    Gagner 49 66
    Horcoff 91 62

  139. Traktor says:

    “Fun exerecise for the day.”

    You mean our best defensive player is being asked to be our best defensive player? The horror!

    First it’s “MacT doesn’t have enought talent to compete.”

    Now it’s “MacTavish doesn’t have enough Reasoners to compete.”

  140. Black Dog says:

    -1 at ES isn’t getting slaughtered unless I am misreading this – its certainly an improvement over last year

    giving up two or three PP goals a game is killing this team

    now the system is the same I presume

    Garon put up fantastic numbers on the PK last year – how do these compare?

    and of course there is the personnel – with Pisani out that is half of the PK forwards from last year

    having said that this team has heavily turned over in terms of these personnel over the past few years (or guys have been hurt/ill) and they still have done a good job

    I would point to this as a major reason that this team isn’t winning more hockey games

    fix the PK and they’ll win a few more games

  141. Jonathan says:

    You mean our best defensive player is being asked to be our best defensive player? The horror!

    No, it means that Shawn Horcoff is moving the puck in the right direction, along with Hemsky, Brodziak and Cole.

    Nobody else on the team is doing that.

    In other words, if we’re looking for reasons the Oilers are getting outclassed, we should start with some of the other forwards.

    First it’s “MacT doesn’t have enought talent to compete.”

    Now it’s “MacTavish doesn’t have enough Reasoners to compete.”

    A decent third line centre has been on my want list since the start of the summer, so it isn’t like I’m jumping all over the place on this.

    Still, there’s no reason for this team not to be competitive. Now that there’s a decent stretch in the schedule, this team needs to do much better than hang around 500.

  142. Dennis says:

    Pat: I really don’t know if the PK is fixable if we keep the current roster intact.

    Bruce: I Meant that the 24/43 tandem has been awful at EV; I didn’t even consider their PK play.

  143. Jonathan says:

    I really don’t know if the PK is fixable if we keep the current roster intact.

    Seriously? You see this as a roster problem?

    The only difference maker that the team lost in the summer was Marty Reasoner. Greene and Stoll led the regular defense and the regular forwards in worst GAON/60; they were part of the problem, not the solution.

    The problem on the PK is the coaching; if I read between the lines right, Buchberger is having major input on the PK, which is convenient since it gives us an already widely unpopular candidate to blame the problems on, ala Craig Simpson. Bottom line: MacTavish needs to get a handle on his PK. It’s been a historical strength, so there isn’t much reason to think he can’t do it, but if he doesn’t get it turned around, he isn’t going to hold on to his job. This is one area where I’m completely content to let the GM off the hook.

  144. toqueboy says:

    off topic, but doing some research on Penner and could have sworn that at one point I was at a site where it displayed all vital stats for the year before he was an oiler.

    i seem to recall this site displaying how many minutes he played and with whom and how his points were dispersed. and i could have sworn it showed him playing more with marchant than the two studs…

    anyhow…any help would be much appreciated

  145. Asiaoil says:

    MacT is toast and he knows it – so he does what anyone would – favor “his guys” until the ax comes down to make life easier. Just like it was obvious that Comrie was done in EDM long before he left – the MacT regime is clearly over – and the signs are all there for anyone who wants to look. Sometimes you just need a change and flushing the entire “old boys” cabal behind the bench would be a good start.

  146. Dennis says:

    JW: I’m pretty sure that I heard or read that Huddy’s running the PK but maybe I’m wrong about that.

    And, yes, I think the roster’s a great reason why the PK won’t get better in the near future. For instance, I don’t recall reading this once this summer but with the new rules meaning every PP starts in the offensive zone, winning faceoffs becomes more valuable than it’s ever been. And it seems like someone forgot about that and just hoped/assumed 51 would be able to take up for 16 in that regard.

    On MacT: I’m starting to feel the same way I did about Alou: I honestly felt bad about turning on Felipe because I’d believed in him for such a long time. But now with macT I’m seeing things that i can’t overlook:

    - 26 has chemistry with 78 and 78 looks better when he plays with real players. we’ve seen the puck go the wrong way when we ask 89 or 13 to play toughs so why not give 78 a 5-7 game trial in that role and see what he can do with real linemates.

    - the praise for the 24/43 duo when there’s absolutely fuckall evidence to back it up. this isn’t the way mac used to work and I don’t know how or why that changed.

    - the way he turned on Garon.

    There are just too many things now for me to turn a blind eye. I still really like the guy and I can sorta get behind the idea that the roster isn’t great enough that we can expect great things BUT I don’t see him trying enough things to get the team going. 51 or 78 has to be tried in the 3rd line role and the kids have to be sheltered and he’s got to mend fences with garon.

    I can’t look past these things anymore.

  147. Norman Mendoza says:

    Dennis, Jonathon,

    It’s mind boggling. This coach, whom we have observed doing things (except PP and goalie management) that help his teams win. He’s not doing the things he could do, with this roster, to give them better chances to win,

    Jonathon, I was reading through your earlier posts on %tge of line matches and it was clear he wasn’t even trying to shelter the kids. It seemed to make sense knowing they only had three games at home early and he’d need to “prepare” them for the road rigours. But cmon, MacT — its Game 21 and they are already 3 wins behind VCR and 4.5 wins behind MIN (games in hand).

    I remember when MacT “scolded” Comrie by running him out as the 1st ESTOI Center. He and the organization presumably like Gagner, so why are the giving him the MC treatment?

    Insanity. I guessed that this team would have some difficulty with keeping pucks out and have some inconsistent offense, but I never accounted for the coach going insane.

  148. Jonathan says:

    Norman: I think a lot of MacTavish’s problems start and end with Gagner. Running him out on the PK, putting him in certain situations regardless of performance – it all adds up to trying to teach him an all-round game at top-speed, which is certainly preferrable long-term, but probably not good for winning right now.

    Like Dennis, I’m starting to worry given his play of the goaltenders and the 24/43 love when any objective measure shows the wheels are off 24 and 43 just isn’t that good.

    Still, IIRC, MacT’s always been somewhat crazy for the first quarter of the season, so the next 20 games will tell the whole story. I still think he’ll turn it around.

  149. Dennis says:

    Norman: The way i remember it is the Oilers wanted to see if Comrie could play against real oppposition before they decided to pay out on his second contract. He was given the keys to the kingdom in his first season of ’01, then he didn’t play against anyone in ’02 and then in ’03 the Oilers could sense him being close to achieving his bonuses and this and/or trying him out in a real matching role to see if he was worth the money was the reason why all of a sudden he started playing against real players. So then he broke a bone during a game in SJ and it didn’t look like he’d get back in time to hit the bonuses but he did make it back and I believe he nailed the needed point on an ENG and once we got to the playoffs and saw who his linemates were, it was Big Georges and someone else, then we knew there was no way he was in their plans.

    This was 83′s rookie season and 83 had a great closing kick and he played with Smyth and Marchant; Marchant went nuts with the counting stats and parlayed it into his big contract.

    It was quite the fall from a guy who’d scored that OT winner in his other Oilers playoff trip. later on Lowe would turn down an offer of Corey Perry because he didn’t want Comrie to end up in a destination that he liked. Of course you won’t read that in the papers but it’s exactly what happened.

    Now the thing with 89 is MacT speaks of him with effusive praise so I honestly believe he thinks he can hitch his wagon to him. the obvious awnser is to put the kids together and protect them and that means extra bench work for the coach on the road but it works out just fine on the road. but early on this year mac said he’d had his eye on breaking up the kid line and now I think we might know why.

  150. Bruce says:

    Bruce: I Meant that the 24/43 tandem has been awful at EV; I didn’t even consider their PK play.

    Dennis: Yeah, I know. I was replying to CoachPB’s reply to your comment, in which he specified poor PK on their part. It’s not rocket science; those guys are just playing bad lately.

    That hooking penalty was fantastic, it’s almost like his defense-instinct kicked in and he was terrified that the hookee had a free shot on the goalie… except there were two defensemen still in front of him.

    Quain: thanks. “Defense-instinct” was exactly what I had envisioned. Probably not a penalty Zack Stortini would have taken.

    i could have sworn it showed him playing more with marchant than the two studs…

    Toqueboy: That’s how I remember it. Penner played with Marchant for the most part and the RW was a carousel of guys like Parros and May and other “twelfth forwards”. He hooked up with Perry and Getzlaf during the playoffs, which is all a lot of people saw of those Ducks, so the assumption was he had played with them all year. He hadn’t. (He did get significant PP time, though.)

  151. Asiaoil says:

    Dennis – I like the Alou comparison a lot – seems a match. Very few “coach for life” jobs in pro sports and it may be that MacT needs to move on. He certainly seems to be stagnating at best or regressing at worst where he is. Smart guy, good coach, but his “best before date” in EDM is likely in the past. So while I’ve never been in the “fire MacT” camp – there are just too many bad ideas and weird decisions now to ignore any more. Clean house or let Huddy take the ropes until the summer when we can recruit one of the best and brightest (and on the young side as well).

    …oh and Katz should get Lowe completely the hell away from GM duties while he’s at it.

  152. Kris says:

    “I think a lot of MacTavish’s problems start and end with Gagner.”

    Is it really true that giving a guy a lot of time and tough minutes makes him better player? Even if it’s true, isn’t there at least a chance this heavy use of Gagner will set him back?

    I’m confused.

  153. Coach pb9617 says:

    MacT’s Oilers always seem to lead the league in them.

    Link?

  154. Coach pb9617 says:


    fix the PK and they’ll win a few more games

    And that starts with personnel decisions. 27 and 89 should not see a PK minute for the rest of the season.

  155. Coach pb9617 says:

    For instance, I don’t recall reading this once this summer but with the new rules meaning every PP starts in the offensive zone, winning faceoffs becomes more valuable than it’s ever been. And it seems like someone forgot about that and just hoped/assumed 51 would be able to take up for 16 in that regard.

    from above:

    The first number is how many times a player has started a shift in the defensive zone, while the second number is how many of thier shifts ended in the defensve zone.

    Brodziak 71 49

  156. Coach pb9617 says:

    - 26 has chemistry with 78 and 78 looks better when he plays with real players. we’ve seen the puck go the wrong way when we ask 89 or 13 to play toughs so why not give 78 a 5-7 game trial in that role and see what he can do with real linemates.

    Yeah, the puck seems to scoot when it’s 13-26, but the puck seemed to stay out of the net when it was 78-26.

    27-10-83
    18-78-26
    89-13-12
    85-51-46

  157. Coach pb9617 says:

    Running him out on the PK, putting him in certain situations regardless of performance – it all adds up to trying to teach him an all-round game at top-speed, which is certainly preferrable long-term, but probably not good for winning right now.

    Gagner is not going to be a high end penalty killer any time in the next five years, so it’s really inconsequential to his development. He doesn’t belong there.

  158. Coach pb9617 says:

    Dennis: Yeah, I know. I was replying to CoachPB’s reply to your comment, in which he specified poor PK on their part. It’s not rocket science; those guys are just playing bad lately.

    I wasn’t singling out the poor PK, I was just pointing out the obvious. I still can’t get that PK out of me head where Staios chased a puck to the half wall against Columbus and left Nash on the edge of the circle to shoot unmolested.

    That’s just jaw-droppingly bad penalty killing and something that a defenseman with ten years of service should never, ever do. It’s a microcosm of 24′s struggles lately.

    Smid needs to draw in.

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