Grading Falcons

That’s Slava Trukhno wearing number 13 in a game from December of this year.

Trukhno is a player who I’ve followed since his name was called at the draft and have had high hopes for as a potential NHL player down the line.

He had a slow start to this season (I nicked him in the December top 20 because of it) but as time goes by I’m wondering just how much of this season might be either a team slump or a change in offensive style as opposed to a complete breakdown by a specific player.

Here are a few numbers comparing the two seasons:

  • 07-08 Falcons: 214 goals in 80 games, 2.68GF per game
  • 08-09 Falcons: 111 goals in 49 games, 2.27GF per game

That’s quite the slump (about 15% if my math is right) and if the trend continues Springfield will score 32 fewer goals season over season. They weren’t the 1984 Oilers to begin with, and a prospect running in place in terms of boxcar numbers would actually be progressing at some level.

Agreed?

Let’s run Trukhno’s boxcars:

  • 07-08: 64gp, 14-21-35 .547ppg
  • 08-09: 31gp, 3-14-17 .548ppg

Statistically it’s top dead center but we should view it as an improvement considering it’s 15% more difficult to drive in runs this season in Springfield. Correct?

Let’s look a little deeper. Here are Trukhno’s situational stats:

  • 07-08 EV: 64gp, 5-11-16 .250ppg
  • 08-09 EV: 31gp, 1-7-8 .258ppg
  • 07-08 PP: 64gp, 9-10-19 .296ppg
  • 08-09PP: 31gp, 2-7-9 .290ppg
  • 07-08Shots: 94 in 64 gp, 1.47 per game
  • 08-09Shots: 51 in 41gp, 1.24 per game

A season ago, Trukhno had 35 points on a team that scored 214 goals which means he was “in on” 16.3% of the team offense. This season he has 17 points on a team that has scored 111 goals, making his 15.3% in 08-09 a slight decrease.

So, with all of that as a backdrop, I have two questions:

  1. If you were to estimate Trukhno’s offensive growth (if any), what would a reasonable number be at this point?
  2. Gabriel Desjardins estimates that an AHL player would take 45% of his minor league offense to the show. How much should I increase the estimate with Trukhno playing in such a defensive league?

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54 Responses to "Grading Falcons"

  1. Traktor says:

    I think Carl Corazzini is a good indicator of how things are going in Springfield.

    05/06: 75 26 29 55
    06/07: 68 28 29 57
    07/08: 80 24 36 60

    Safe to say he is a 25 goal 60 point player.

    This year on the Falcons he has:

    08/09: 49 7 12 19

    Why the 50% drop off?

    Makes you wonder what Trukhno’s numbers would look like if he played for another club.

  2. Jonathan Willis says:

    The Falcons are 16-34. When does the coach get fired?

  3. Lord Bob says:

    Honestly, Trukhno’s probably my top forward callup for a Penner, Cole, or bottom-six winger injury right now. He does a lot of things really well besides score, and the main reason he’s not driving in any runs is because no one’s ever on the damned bases.

  4. Lord Bob says:

    (For a Hemsky, Nilsson, Gagner, or Cogliano injury, by the way, I’m going to Schremp. I’m a sucker, I know. :P)

  5. Jonathan Willis says:

    Incidentally, MacTavish mentioned Tyler Spurgeon as a possibility the other day, so I imagine that either he or Potulny is the next callup.

  6. Lord Bob says:

    Just say no to Tyler Spurgeon.

  7. Lowetide says:

    What was that post a few weeks ago where someone (Showerhead?) had about three lines about screwing over Schremp? He had Gagner dancing a jig or some such, it was a riot.

  8. oilerdago says:

    //The Falcons are 16-34. When does the coach get fired?//

    Jonathan: The same day they fire MacT…

  9. Lord Bob says:

    The reason Truitt’s failing as a coach is that he didn’t play a single game for the Oilers in the 1980s.

  10. B.C.B. says:

    LT, based on the numbers I think Trukhov is improving. His EV numbers are increasing, and so are his assists (maybe an indication that he is reading the game better). My concern is that his goals and shots are down: does this show a lose in confidence, or that he is adjusting to a different role?
    As Traktor said, what would his numbers be on a different team, or one that plays a more offensive game.

    —————————————

    On a parallel note: I think the Oilers’ farm team will go through a major restructuring this summer. They are not a 0.500 club, and many prospects are running in place or falling.
    I don’t think Springfield has any intention in renewing the contract, based on the owner’s comments a few weeks ago. The Oilers’ have the Roadrunner team still, and it is not making money for them not being operated (plus I would think that the AHL would want an even number of teams in their league).
    I think the Oilers will set up a AHL team in the Midwest (KC, Oaklhoma City, etc…). They will need to have a team that makes the playoffs to grow a fan based in a non-traditional market. So I see them spending money to bring in a experienced coach and some top flight AHL veterans: it both makes sense in order to ice a winning team, and place the prospects in position they will succeed (with a cast that will help them out).

  11. Black Dog says:

    I think that was Slipper, LT.

    And is he another who has given up on this year?

    Good point on Corazzini Traktor.

    Its getting kind of depressing really.

  12. godot10 says:

    //The Falcons are 16-34. When does the coach get fired?//

    At the end of the season. It is tacky to fire a minor league coach in the middle of the season, and chances are it wouldn’t gain you much anyway.

  13. bookie says:

    I think the Oilers will set up a AHL team in the Midwest (KC, Oaklhoma City, etc…). They will need to have a team that makes the playoffs to grow a fan based in a non-traditional market. So I see them spending money to bring in a experienced coach and some top flight AHL veterans: it both makes sense in order to ice a winning team, and place the prospects in position they will succeed (with a cast that will help them out).

    I think that is almost a certainty

  14. Scott says:

    LT:

    This from slipper in G42 thread:

    I kinda want to see every bubble prospect in the system called up ahead of Schremp now.

    By the end of the year I want to see a second line composed of McDonald, Sesito and Trukhno… fuck that, I want three “scoring lines” with the third made up of Corzanni, Rohlfs and Paukovich; all of them will be scoring at a PPG clip and before each puck drop SaM Gagner will come out in an elf costume and announce into the PA: Merry Fucking Christmas Sugar Tits, hey Rob, go getch yor fucking shine box!!!

    I laughed out loud (different from lol’d, people noticed I wasn’t working in my cubicle).

  15. Lowetide says:

    Scott: Oh God. I just put my kids to bed and now they’re up wondering what’s so funny. O man that was gold.

  16. Bruce says:

    I never thought I’d say this, but I miss Slipper.

    As for Trukhno, one question: THREE goals?

  17. raventalon40 says:

    Slava TRUCKno seems to have the upside of Viktor Kozlov and the downside of a Tony Salmelainen. I think a reasonable expectation would be to turn out into a Patrick Thoresen type of player in the NHL.

  18. raventalon40 says:

    At the end of the season. It is tacky to fire a minor league coach in the middle of the season, and chances are it wouldn’t gain you much anyway.

    It would gain the respect of the fans, because at least then it shows that you’re willing to make changes when it is warranted.

    Otherwise it’s just a case of the Emperor’s New Clothes with this organization.

  19. CM says:

    I know I’m a little late but 15 years and 100 million sound about right for bouwmeester…I think if would sign here we have to move vishnovsky…hopefully he could land us that left wing we need…perhaps Ottawa would be interested…

  20. Bank Shot says:

    What kind of niche is this guy going to fill at the NHL level is the question that I’m asking.

    I assume he’s gotten more PP and top six time then Brodziak in his first couple of seasons in the AHL, but lags behind in points. I don’t believe he kills the penalties.

    He should probably be spending alot of time with the Oilers’ skating coach this summer.

  21. Doogie2K says:

    This season he has 17 points on a team that has scored 111 goals, making his 15.3% in 08-09 a slight decrease.

    Well, it bears pointing out that he’s already missed more games this year (18) than he did all of last year (16), and a much higher percentage of games (37% of games missed this year; 20% of games missed last year). There’s your difference and then some right there.

  22. Jonathan Willis says:

    At the end of the season. It is tacky to fire a minor league coach in the middle of the season, and chances are it wouldn’t gain you much anyway.

    Tell that to the Stockton Thunder (the Oilers’ ECHL team), who fired Chris Cichocki at the end of December and replaced him with Matt Thomas. Here are their respective records:

    Cichocki: 10-21-1
    Thomas: 13-2-1

    Thomas took a team 11 games under .500, and has them at .500 just 16 games into his coaching tenure.

    Now granted, the Thunder made some significant roster changes as well, but I don’t think there’s any reason to wait until summer to fire Truitt, especially given that former AHL coach Rob Daum is still with the organization as a scout.

  23. oilerdago says:

    Jonathan:

    Your problem is you make to much sense sometimes.

    I can see the wheels spinning in the organization now…lighting can’t strike twice.

  24. godot10 says:

    //Now granted, the Thunder made some significant roster changes as well, but I don’t think there’s any reason to wait until summer to fire Truitt, especially given that former AHL coach Rob Daum is still with the organization as a scout.//

    A new AHL coach isn’t going to bring 4 or 5 of his best players from his previous team with him.

    I take it you don’t look at how prospective employers treat their employees when you are looking for a job.

    If you are a top CHL coach looking for an AHL job, you are going to look at how the NHL club treats their AHL coaches.

    And getting a good coach midseason for the long term isn’t easy.

  25. Jonathan Willis says:

    A new AHL coach isn’t going to bring 4 or 5 of his best players from his previous team with him.

    Shortly after Stockton brought in those five guys, Springfield brought in Shane Willis, Ryan Stone, and Patrick Bordeleau with no players departing. Stone and Willis are both quality, while Bordeleau was later released.

    Stockon has since lost one of those five to an AHL team, and the rest of them aren’t lighting the world on fire in scoring. I’d argue that there isn’t a world of difference in the relative quality of the personnel changes.

    And getting a good coach midseason for the long term isn’t easy.

    Rob Daum has one good season and one bad season as an AHL coach, and in ten seasons at U of A has never had a winning percentage below 60%. He’s currently in the organization as a scout.

    I could be wrong here, but if you don’t like Daum I’d imagine there are a bunch of AHL calibre coaches floating around out there. Wayne Fleming just got fired in Russia, Craig Hartsburg’s looking for a new job, and Marc Habscheid’s available too.

    I would strongly suggest that the ratio of AHL calibre coaches to AHL teams is tilted in favour of the coaches.

  26. oilerdago says:

    Rob Daum is such an obvious choice here that I just wonder if there’s something we’re not missing as to why he was not given the job in the fall in the first place.

    He’s done/served every where he’s been asked and done good work. It’s obvious that Truitt can’t coax it out of the talent and some guys are taking big steps backwards.

    Add to that an owner who’s not happy with the Oilers and is thinking how’d I go from bad to worse (remember, Springfield was affiliated with Tampa Bay before Edmonton) and you’ve got a real mess on your hands.

    If I were Eberle or Plante (and had an agent), I would not push to get any games with Springfield if my team does not make the playoffs and have to work under the current coach.

  27. Scott says:

    Regarding Trukhno, I’m not sure that I can see a lot of value in him at the moment. He’s not going to fill a physical role on the team like Stortini or even Jacques so that option for a roster spot is gone. According to the JW number Truk is middle of the pack for quality of competition so his numbers are not coming against toughs, so he’s got to score in order to provide value. And he isn’t scoring that much. His EV scoring especially is rather unimpressive. I know you like the kid and are cheering for him to succeed, but he sure doesn’t look like a guy that will be an NHL player right now. When Patrick Thoresen is a very generous comp (based on Q numbers) and you don’t have a physical element to your game, your NHL career will probably never come.

  28. Bruce says:

    Jonathan, that’s great stuff. I’m so out of it I didn’t even realize Stockton had changed coaches. That’s got to be one of the most dramatic turnarounds in the long and illustrious history of coaching changes. Even Bruce Boudreau can’t touch that on a percentage basis. So far the team has improved by over .500, from .328 to .844. Unsustainable sure, but wow.

    A new AHL coach isn’t going to bring 4 or 5 of his best players from his previous team with him.

    He can if he’s Matt Thomas. :) Can’t coaches get called up the same way players do? As a general rule, if you rip up Single A pitching, you don’t rip it up for long.

    Just sayin’. Actually I like Jonathan’s suggestion of Rob Daum, especially as a developmental coach. I watched the Golden Bears throughout his tenure, the team was always excellent, and the long-term players always seemed to get better and better

  29. Bruce says:

    Speaking of the Bears, congratulations to Cory Clouston for his first win in the NHL on the weekend, over the NHL’s longest-serving coach and fellow northern Alberta native Lindy Ruff.

    Cory was a four-year Bear, and while never a dominant player he rose to the occasion at the best possible time, scoring four goals in a 9-1 demolition of the defending champion (and hated rival) UQTR Patriotes at the 1992 national championships.

    That was probably Billy Moores’ best team, featuring Cory Cross as the Fourth defenceman. Ian Herbers, Garth Premak, and Serge Lajoie were all better than Cross, a gangly, clumsy yet increasingly effective blueliner who was in the NHL to stay within three years. Both Herbers and Cross later played with the Oilers.

  30. Jonathan Willis says:

    Can’t coaches get called up the same way players do?

    I suppose an argument could be made that the Oilers are looking at Matt Thomas as their next AHL coach, and thus want to wait until the end of the season so as to avoid alienating the owners in Stockton.

    It seems unlikely though.

    Also, I need to correct the numbers above; I originally though Thomas was hired in January, but it was actually the end of December, meaning that the records change to 10-20-1 and 13-3-1. Still impressive.

  31. Jonathan Willis says:

    Elaborating on the situation in Springfield.

    Traktor, it isn’t just Corazzini. On average, returning players are putting up 30% less offense than they did last season.

  32. hunter1909 says:

    Just another example of a clown organisation.

    In theory, the AHL coach might be seen as the future NHL coach, of course MacT will be here forever so that theory gets thrown out the window.

    And of course, you would also imagine the AHL team is set up like a junior version of the big club, but that probably isn’t thought of much.

    No, the AHL team is there to provide us with hope. And with the Oilers, and the Falcons, both totally blowing, combined with budget mismanagement that’s bordering on fraudulent, and that my friend’s is the future of the Edmonton Oilers.

  33. Bruce says:

    Hunter: At least there is a Springfield Falcons. What really blows is not having an AHL team at all, a terrible post-lockout mistake that continues to have repercussions to this day. That was organizational mismanagement at its finest.

  34. rickibear says:

    LT: After being motivated to review all the currnet equivalencies of Edmonton Prospects to get an organizational idea of our future. I have come to an intresting conclusion.

    There is a huge flaw in the north american Junior system. It relates to player development during there core strength growth years. Age 18-22.

    Were players like Omark and Hartikaineen are identified to be supewrior inj unior play they are allowed to attempt to play significant minutes in the Swedish Div.2; SEL; Sm-Ligga, or KHL at age 19.

    In canada a junior aged player who has proved to be beyond the junior skill level at age 18 do not get the chance to challenge there development by getting to play in the Ahl at age 19. Instead they are left to dominate the league they are in which can adversley effect the players development. At 19 if they don’t cut it in the AhL after 20 game you role them pack.

    I have no hesitationin saying Cornet and Eberle will not make the oilers next year. But they have generated all they need to at the junior level this year. If they go into camp this fall and show enough skill they can play in the AHL put them there. Have there development better controlled by the orginization.

    Having followed Trukhno he is a victim of this system.

  35. godot10 says:

    //In theory, the AHL coach might be seen as the future NHL coach, of course MacT will be here forever so that theory gets thrown out the window.//

    The last Oiler assistant GM is now an NHL GM.
    Of the last three Oiler AHL head coaches, one is an NHL head coach, and two are NHL assistant coaches.

    Lowe went to bat to help that assistant GM get the NHL GM job. And he allowed two of those AHL head coaches out of their contracts to get their NHL jobs, one during the middle of a season. i.e. Lowe has treated his employees with class.

  36. godot10 says:

    //Hunter: At least there is a Springfield Falcons. What really blows is not having an AHL team at all, a terrible post-lockout mistake that continues to have repercussions to this day. That was organizational mismanagement at its finest.//

    Devil’s Advocate mode ON:

    Moving the team to Edmonton during the lockout year meant many longterm Oiler and arena employees did not lose their jobs. Remember they did what they did with the best intentions. After the lockout they ended up not being able to find a city and a deal for the team. Sometimes shit happens.

  37. Jonathan Willis says:

    i.e. Lowe has treated his employees with class.

    I’d say that the one criticism nobody ever levels at Lowe is that he doesn’t know how to reward his cohorts ;)

  38. Jonathan Willis says:

    Moving the team to Edmonton during the lockout year meant many longterm Oiler and arena employees did not lose their jobs. Remember they did what they did with the best intentions. After the lockout they ended up not being able to find a city and a deal for the team. Sometimes shit happens.

    Although stating to the public that the AHL team would remain in Edmonton post-lockout and then filling their slot with a WHL team would seem to mitigate that argument, yes?

  39. kris says:

    Yeah, the Falcons suck this year. I used to think, as I argued a few threads back, that the problem is too many of our suspect prospects were relied on too heavily for heavy lifting: both offensively and defensively.

    But given Jonathon’s arguments, I think the bigger problem must be coaching. The most damning facts come from looking at Ryan Stone. He had 9 goals in 38 games before joining Springfield, and has only 1 goal in 9 games since becoming a Falcon. Ouch. That puts Brule, Potulny, and even Schremp’s numbers in a different light. (Though Schremps 2 ES goals are not good, no matter how you slice it.)

    Schremp, Stone, Brule, Corazzini, and Potulny all have proven that they can bring offense at the AHL level. (Trukhno had a good second half to last season too, but he is the one guy who could be said to be “unproven” as an offensive player.) Yet, still this team sucks offensively.

    And, as Jonathon points out, the Oilers “suspects” like Sestito and O’Mara are playing a defensive role on the team. Granted, the Falcons team D sucks, likely due to lack of talent, but team offense should be better give the talent.

    That is, it might be a tad simplistic, but Good players + poor team =’s poor coaching.

    —-

    One positive note about the Falcons:

    Chorney has stopped bleeding minuses. After going -14 in December, he’s gone just one under par since then. But oddly, he’s not bringing any offense either.

  40. Bruce says:

    The most damning facts come from looking at Ryan Stone. He had 9 goals in 38 games before joining Springfield, and has only 1 goal in 9 games since becoming a Falcon.

    While early returns are unpromising for Ryan (Hands Of) Stone, given his established rate of less than 1 goal every 4 games, Stone’s expected production at Springfield would be 2 goals, which is more of a damned fact that a damning one. :D

    More damning are the puny goals counts of Corazzini, Trukhno and especially Schremp which suggest that Springfield is a place where offence goes to die.

  41. rickibear says:

    suppose an argument could be made that the Oilers are looking at Matt Thomas as their next AHL coach, and thus want to wait until the end of the season so as to avoid alienating the owners in Stockton.

    We can hope. Promote from within.

  42. kris says:

    Fair enough Bruce. Small sample size and all that.

    But he was scoring at a healthy rate of about 0.25/game. Now he's scoring at a paltry < 0.1275/game.

    Let's see if that "slump" holds up for another 20 games. I'm willing to bet, given the magic that is the Springfield Falcons, that it will.

    I only say Stone's drop off is more damning because you can say a player like Corrazzini can lose something in the off-season before he came here. Stone came here hot. Now -under Truitt- he's not.

  43. Bruce says:

    Stone cold.

  44. Scott says:

    “The Rattlesnake” Ryan Stone is snake-bitten.

  45. Jfry says:

    i live out of town and don’t get oilers 24/7…but has anyone heard anything about Horc? Doesn’t seem to be much out there unless i’ve missed something obvious.

  46. chartleys says:

    I’ll appoligize beforehand this’ll be a bit long winded…

    LT,

    Been religiously reading your column for a long time now, so thanks a lot. Sadly, I look forward to your game day writeups then I do the thought of actually watching the oil play.

    As suprised as I am to actually say it, I was actually cheering for us to be out of 8th come the all star break so I could read your take on other teams and points of interest (and maybe dump some cap dead weight)

    I was hoping you might reneg on your previous promise and give your spin on some of the other teams. This is not a team that is very interesting to get behind presently.

    My only thought about watching this monstrosity on ice is this:

    Although mentioned sparringly in comments about why MACT days should be done, I think the fact that this team has no IDENTITY is one of the largest issues currently facing this squad. Whomever the opposition is on a given night, that is the game we’re playing. I honestly cannot recall anything like it. If THIS isn’t a coaching cardinal sin I can’t figure out what is. I’ve come to dub them as the Edmonton Dopplegangers.

    If you can give me one example of a team without a real identifiable style of play that took home a championship, I’d love to hear about it…might restore some hope. Barring that, my interest is waning and I do not look forward to you wasting words on such a blatantly flawed product.

    One thing I would love someone with a more inqusitive mind then myself to look into is:

    How is chicago doing what it’s doing with the 2nd worst faceoff winning % in the league and the 5th worst divisional record…

    Cheers.
    C.

  47. Bruce says:

    Chartleys: I love the Edmonton Doppelgängers! You nailed it. This is one of the reasons our team doesn’t fare particularly well on home ice.

    To cite but a single counter example of a nondescript team that won it all, the 1986 Montreal Canadiens and their rookie coach Jean Perron had no obvious style (outside of the crease at least) taht they imposed on the other guys. Their system, such as it was, should have been called “It’s a Miracle” as all the superior teams got upset in other series. The ’93 Habs and their Miraculous overtime run had certain things in common.

    Whereas even the Devils, bland as they may have seemed, certainly imposed their Trap on whoever the poor bastards were they were constricting I mean playing.

  48. knighttown says:

    @Chartleys:

    Welcome aboard!

    One of my pet peeves with this team is that they never, ever dictate the tempo. Playing the Hawks? Run-and-gun baby! Playing the Wild? Conservative trap-fest extraordinaire.

    Pick a god-damned style and try to impose it on the other team for once.

    I swear its and ego thing and seeing how arrogant our coach and captain appear to be, I’m actually not joking. Last I checked, you beat the Hawks by trapping them you still get two points, right? ?

    This was my post after the Blackhawk game so it goes without saying I see where you;re coming from. The one thing you could always count on with the Oilers was the fact that they were going to play their game come hell or highwater. During the trap decade, they were sending two men deep every time and I loved them for it.

    It seems so strange that a coach who was brilliant enough to devise a game plan to beat the Red Wings in that playoff series for the ages (and he deserves a lot of credit for that win) shows no ability to game plan during the season at all. I’d love to see what a “systems guy”, say Ken Hitchcock, could do with this talent. I expect its a hell of a lot more than many on this board do.

    I used to be a franchisee for a major national retailer and when the opportunity came up to move into a new store I always looked for the store that was an f-ing disaster (that still had great sales). If you’re confident in your abilities you can make changes with a group that is more than willing to listen and bam, you’re a hero.

    Like Brian Burke in Toronto, someone has the potential to be a hero in Edmonton.

  49. Dennis says:

    Bruce: The ’86 habs cup is personally painful because I was finishing Grade 5 and Habs fans were everywhere and every fucking night it was Roy stealing the show. I’m sure you and LT can tell me who was Roy before he was Roy but Roy was Hasek before he was Hasek.

    Anyone still following?:)

    Basically, Habs would get outchanced and Roy somehow pulled it out.

    I would’ve given up 20 rings that year.

  50. chartleys says:

    @Bruce

    So there’s still hope…Thanks.

    @Knighttown

    Well put. That’s why I’m generally just a reader in this little game. Too many people already here that can say it way better.

    I wholeheartedly agree, you cannot discount what MACT did in that run. But it was sometime last season when he really fell off. Post game interviews after poor performances that he just had no reply for. I remember running over Oiler’s open line guy after having enough of him giving MacT a pass for that horrendous start. Miracle run and all is forgotten.

    In my opinion it’s almost unfortunate we had all those injuries and that miraculous SO record because if we had the full lineup, I’m pretty sure it would have been as poorly managed as this year and we would have been nowhere close to making it (enter better draft pick and probably a new coach).

    That lineup clicking wasn’t so much to do with any MACT magic more to do with injuries leaving him with no other options really.

    tide was rising and then they pull off that run (with a whole lot of shoutout luck) and all was forgotten.

    The ultimate fault here I believe lies at the feet of Klove putting out a fractured team that was contrary to his current coaching regimes style but I cannot dare to dream here, so unfortunately Mac is the odd man out. Huddy, MacT, Bucky…What about that says a small, skilled, soft, positional and outscoring team. Excluding the smid debacle, we have definitely been able to get the most out of the D but…With the floor on the PK falling out this year, there’s really no reason to carry on. Change the bodies or the coach.

  51. raventalon40 says:

    Although mentioned sparringly in comments about why MACT days should be done, I think the fact that this team has no IDENTITY is one of the largest issues currently facing this squad. Whomever the opposition is on a given night, that is the game we’re playing. I honestly cannot recall anything like it. If THIS isn’t a coaching cardinal sin I can’t figure out what is. I’ve come to dub them as the Edmonton Dopplegangers.

    It’s like I always say, the Oilers react, and don’t anticipate (or dicate). That’s why we have a 60-minute penalty kill and poor defensive coverage.

  52. Bruce says:

    Dennis: Yeah, that’s why I took care to say “outside of the crease”, cuz Roy’s netminding was Miraculous in its own right. I’ll never forget that OT in MSG where Rangers outshot Montreal I think 13-3 and about 9 of the 13 were potential game-enders. It was like he had, in the immortal words of a former headmaster of St. Bon’s School, “forty barrels of holy water in front of that goal”. The phrase which lives on in the households of my siblings and me, was originally coined for one of the pre-Roy Roys, Jacques Plante. Brother Anthony (? memory’s fading) was attended a game at the Montreal Forum with my Dad, his counterpart in Prince of Wales College and the United Church school system. Dad and the good Brother had a spirited sporting rivalry in St. John’s you may be sure, but on this night they were united in their hatred of the Habs. :) Dad recalled that story with great delight for years thereafter.

    That ’86 Habs squad did have Larry Robinson, Bob Gainey, and Chris Chelios, whereas the ’93 team had very little in the way of HHoF types. Both clubs had horseshoes right out the ass; in fact I would say the three luckiest teams I ever saw that won Cups were the 1971, 1986 and 1993 Montreal Canadiens. Of course, I hated the Habs too for most of those years, so my perspective might be a little on the bitter side.

    But if the Oilers had only got through to the Finals in 1986 they would have solved Roy, I’m certain of it.

  53. Master Lok says:

    And Rob Daum has just replaced Jeff Truit as head coach of Springfield. Was Lowetide's article the last straw?

    http://oilers.nhl.com/team/app/?service=page&page=NewsPage&articleid=408633

  54. Dennis says:

    Bruce: I never realized that PWC was United; everything’s intergrated now and I’m not a native townie and I didn’t know how it all shook down.

    And I was only 11 at the time but I had faith that the Oil could’ve ran Roy back in ’86.

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