Exile On Main Street

Feel so hypnotized, can’t describe the scene.
Its all mesmerized all that inside me.
The sunshine bores the daylights out of me.
Chasing shadows moonlight mystery.
Headed for the overload.
Splattered on the dirty road.
Kick me like you’ve kicked before.
I can’t even feel the pain no more.

-Jagger, Richard

Someone must have gotten their rocks off today, but it remains to be seen if this move was a wise one. Steve Tambellini’s press conference cuts the cord for the Boys on the Bus and gives way to a new era for the Edmonton Oilers.

This organization appears to be saying “roll me, and call me the tumbling dice” and even more incredible on this incredible day were the words of Steve Tambellini. A man of little color who personifies the phrase “matzah balls” on an everday basis, his presser today sounded like he’s planning to rip this joint right up until training camp.

There may not be a soul survivor.

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154 Responses to "Exile On Main Street"

  1. Lord Bob says:

    Tear it down, Tambo! I want to see copper and blue blood running down Whyte Avenue until all that’s left is Sam Gagner, Andrew Cogliano, Ales Hemsky, and Dustin Penner looking vaguely shellshocked!

  2. misfit says:

    I’ve always been a supporter of MacT’s, and I still don’t think that he was the reason we aren’t in the playoffs (or even top 3), but I think this move probably had to be made.

    I just hope they go out this offseason with the intention of fixing the PK and getting someone to take on some of Horc’s defensive responsibility.

    I know they want to get bigger, but I hope they don’t get the same tunnel vision come UFA time that causes them to let other areas of need go unadressed.

  3. Jonathan Willis says:

    When it comes time to talk about or write about the Lowe/MacT Era in Oilers’ history, today will mark the end of it. Although if Prendergast gets the boot too we can expand it to be just this offseason.

    I really don’t think we’re done with the bloodletting.

  4. Mr DeBakey says:

    Some Tambo quotes that caught my ear:
    “You know, that issue has been spoken about so much”
    - every damn reporter in town, I think, has talked about that damn text message from Katz. Them boys sure like travelling in a herd.

    “I think its important for myself to be wide open, right now, if after time I feel that there is someone internally, it would be my job to recommend that that’s the right person.  But I’ve got an idea of the type of person that I want in here…”
    - sounds like none of Daum, Huddy, Bucky or Moores will be head coach of the Oilers next year.

    There's been some discussion of Souray being traded.
    It might appear that San Jose will need a Blake replacement. However, Vlasic & Murray are both getting $2 million raises next season.
    Any trade to the New Seals will require some biggish salary coming back.
    Cheechoo at $3,000,000?

  5. Mr DeBakey says:

    re: Prendergast

    I wonder if his player assessments read like he talks –
    “Young? – potential to be a Top 4 shut-down D-man”

    The Oilers are at 50 contracts, and most of them shit – makes it dificult to add a D-man at the Deadline.

    The guy shouldn’t be bringing his lunch to the office.

  6. Lowetide says:

    One of the things I’d like to talk about in the coming weeks is what we know (I mean really know) about some of the candidates.

    What do we know about Don Lever as a coach? Why do we like him as a possible coach for the Oil? What about Pat Quinn? Why?

    Those sorts of things. Tambellini would have played for Tambellini’s coaches he would have played for Al Arbour, Bert Marshall, Marshall Johnston, Bill MacMillan, Badger Bob Johnson, Tom Watt and Bob McCammon.

  7. Lowetide says:

    Prendergast isn’t the head scout, that’s Stu MacGregor.

  8. shepso says:

    @LT “What about Pat Quinn? Why?”
    This is an excerpt from my blog that I wrote back in December regarding the potential for Pat Quinn. I’m not saying he’s the best candidate for the job, but he has to at least be on the short list, well ahead of people like Crawford and Renney. In an ideal world, my top five candidates are Sutter (a pipe dream to be sure…), Arniel, Laviolette, Lemaire, Quinn.
    Ok, here it is…

    “Pat Quinn, the 70 year old “genius” coach who is currently motivating a bunch of smallish Canadian forwards at this years World Junior tournament. Why is he working for Hockey Canada? Because he couldn’t get it done in Stinktown coaching the Leafs and their overpaid, underachieving roster of nobodies who should be somebodies. Quinn is a better call than K-Lowe’s return to be sure, only because it would at least be an ever-so-slight shift from the old boys club currently in charge. I say this despite his Edmonton Oil Kings roots (Memorial Cup champion in the 60s) and association with Sather in his playing days, and because he has to coax offense out of small Canadian forwards under constant scrutiny of the Canadian media machine while playing for a 5th straight gold in the Nation’s capital. If they win Gold, Quinn is a genius again, and may get a phone call. If they lose, Quinn will likely be put out to pasture and remain with Hockey Canada as an executive consultant, but given that he’s a renowned control freak, this seems unlikely. Beyond his coaching abilities, Quinn is a lawyer, part owner of the Vancouver Giants, and a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame selection committee.

    Let’s have a look at Quinn’s track record: 2 Jack Adams awards in 3 Nominations for coach of the year, 2 trips to the Stanley Cup finals, 3 more appearances in the conference finals, 15 playoff births in 19 seasons as a coach, an overall coaching record of 657-481-154-26, and a playoff record of 92-89. Not bad, really. Not bad at all. That doesn’t include his Gold Medal coaching performance at the 2002 Olympics or his World Cup of Hockey win in 2004, representing a Hockey Canada team that featured, you guessed it, K-Lowe as a managing partner in both tournaments. Oh, and who could forget Tambo’s relationship with Quinn from their time together with the Canucks and with Hockey Canada…Hmmm…I wonder why Quinn’s name has come up? I doubt it has much to do with his success at coaching offense out of smallish forwards…”

    My opinion about Quinn has changed somewhat since I wrote that in December, and I also am not entirely proud of the writing, but the fact remains his coaching record speaks for itself. He’s a winner everywhere he has ever gone leaf-land excluded, and even that is debatable. I’m pretty sure he was the last coach to get them to the post season with some amount of consistency.

    Sorry for the uber post, but LT, you asked

  9. Jonathan Willis says:

    LT: No, but Prendergast is the point man on development, which Tambellini criticized in the news conference, and he’s been doing the transactions that built the Falcons the last two seasons.

    As for the coach, I’m betting on one of three guys: Lever, Scott Arniel, or Paul MacLean.

  10. misfit says:

    I have a feeling Tabellini is going to bring in a guy who’s a real task master. If you look at who Vancouver had behind the bench while he was there, they seem to be more of the ass kicker variety.

    Mike Keenan, Marc Crawford, Vigneault, even down on the farm with Carlyle. There’s an obvious trend there, I’m just not sure how much of it Tambellini had his hands in.

  11. Mike says:

    Tom Renney? Experienced guy, 3 straight playoff appearances with the Rangers, Hockey Canada guy…plus the fact that he’s available…

    Why not? Is there a knock on the guy (Inglorious tenure with the Canucks aside)?

    Good luck MacT. It was time.

  12. Bill Needle says:

    Following the theme of your post, it’ll be a long time this Turd on the Run makes everyone Happy by winning the Loving Cup. This franchise is Torn and Frayed and needs to Stop Breaking Down.

  13. Jonathan Willis says:

    I like Renney, but the way Tambellini was talking, I’m quite sure he had someone in mind – someone currently busy in the playoffs.

  14. Lowetide says:

    Bill Needle: lol. I worked hard to get the first line of Happy (“well I never kept a dollar past sunset”) in there but gave up when nothing hit me.

  15. shepso says:

    one last thing from me and then I’m back to my thesis, but if it should come to pass that Lindy Ruff becomes available (ie. after the worlds…), I kinda doubt it will actually happen, but that would be my absolute ideal coach for the team we currently have. If he could make Drury a star and Vanek a nearly 40 goal man, he can make Penner and Hemsky go.

  16. Lowetide says:

    shepso: Good stuff. I’d also be interested in knowing how they handle things, sort of like this for MacT:

    http://lowetide.blogspot.com/2008/07/mact-in-box.html

  17. godot10 says:

    If Philly is turfed out of the playoffs early, I think MacT is the next coach there.

  18. bookie says:

    Wow, i just got here, appears as though MacT is gone? I will read more but want to get my thoughts down as they rush into my brain.

    I thought Mac T was pathetic yesterday and my suspisions were re-enforced. Essentially he coached the year away mixing up the team and the such because Reasoner was gone. He tried magic formula after magic formula only to end up with magic beans.

    He was ‘off kilter’ from the beginning and threw the team off kilter.

    This team was not too small, nor was it too untalented…if they came out prepared to play (coaches job partially) they would have won 5-6 more games.

    The coach lost the room, and he did so by acting erratic, and he did so cause he loves Reasoner….

  19. mc79hockey says:

    As long as we’re tagging Stones lines to the Oilers, I don’t know how you missed “I don’t have that much jam” from “Some Girls”.

  20. mc79hockey says:

    This team was not too small, nor was it too untalented…if they came out prepared to play (coaches job partially) they would have won 5-6 more games.I just want it on the record, again, how insane I think that this is.

  21. bookie says:

    Sorry, it appears that my last post was off tone for this posting, but I just found out. I have been an on and off MacT supporter, but the presser yesterday (monday?) really pissed me off. He made too many excuses.

    Now on to replacements. We need somebody really smart who knows when to let guys play (without overcoaching) and when not to. I dont know who that is, but I think this is a good team and think it can be really good.

    I will get up to speed after this post, but I suspect that Lowe was not sad to see MacT go. Lowe built this team and Mact Failed with it. Lowe has an ego and there is no doubt in my mind that Lowe blames MacT more than he blames himself.

    Anyone who thinks that Lowe and MacT were professionally tight missed this season or something…

  22. bookie says:

    MC79 – did I miss something, it seemed to me that this team was unprepared a few nights.

    Size does not make a team play more organized or play with more heart.

    What is your beef with that point?

  23. Lowetide says:

    I did think about Some Girls (Penner is “Beast of Burden” MacT “When the Whip Comes Down” and of course “Shattered” and “Respectable) but Exile is a way better album.

  24. shepso says:

    @LT MacT in a box is a heckuva post. In the next few weeks (unless Tambo names a coach before then) I will do my best to put together something resembling that kind of a breakdown for my top 3 choices. Can’t happen soon, thesis due on the 24th, but after that, I will need a writing project to keep my brain active in the offseason (of the school year)

  25. Lowetide says:

    shepso: School comes first. Always.*

    *(my son might be reading this, sorry for the subliminal message).

  26. Chris says:

    Strangely its almost surprising this season to finally be saying “the team made the right decision”. It seemed apparant about half way through the season that this team wasn’t going anywhere with MacTavish coaching, the change is somewhat belated. However, better late than never.

  27. Mike says:

    And apparently Renney has a ‘blender’ rep as well, and has been criticized for mishandling presumably effective players (Prucha). There is even a random Ranger line generator on the interweb.

    http://tinyurl.com/amtpuw

    I love it!

    So he should slot right in. Dustin, don’t bother wiping that popcorn grease off your hands. You’ll be back in the presstrough soon enough.

  28. Black Dog says:

    LT – a little more effective if you don’t type the “subliminal” message ;)

    I’m of the mind that it was time as well.

    I know what you are saying Ty but this club was poorly coached this year, imo. A flawed team, yes, but why not Penner on the first line and on the PP? Etc etc. I know, I know, all of the complaints again.

    I would guess Crawford is in the mix although his last gig really took whatever shine was left on him.

    I’m glad to see things shaken up – except for 2006 this franchise has been running in place for years and sliding badly since June 19, 2006. Could things get worse? Of course they can (Toronto – JFJ) but stagnation as an alternative doesn’t please me at all.

  29. mc79hockey says:

    I don’t know LT. I don’t want to get into a dispute with a guy who knows his music but how does this not apply to MacT?

    “After all is said and done
    Gotta move while it’s still fun
    Let me walk before they make me run
    After all is said and done
    I gotta move, it’s still fun
    I’m gonna walk before they make me run”

    Admittedly, I don’t think it was still fun, but come on!

  30. mc79hockey says:

    A flawed team, yes, but why not Penner on the first line and on the PP? Etc etc. I know, I know, all of the complaints again.Yeah, but you don’t act like an asshole when you make them.

    Look, on the Penner thing, even assuming that everybody is right, that MacT should have just played him 82 games on the first line and PP unit, how many wins did that cost the Oilers? What was the difference between Penner being there and whoever else was there?

    I would assume that most of it was done for a reason too, to try and turn Penner into a better player and motivate him. I think he ultimately just burned out on the guy – I just think talking about 5 or 6 wins is gas huffing talk.

  31. Chris says:

    I agree MC that five or six wins is entirely speculative. Its hard to quantify how the team would have performed if they didn’t look listless and unmotivated for large portions of the season. How much of that can be tied directly to bizarre coaching decisions we can’t really say. You’d think it certainly contributed given that Gregor is reporting that Souray has been appeased with the head of MacT.

  32. bookie says:

    Just watched the presser and I really really like what Tabmo said.

    Some players are a problem – MacT could not solve that problem. They are either A-unsolvable/uncoachable or B-will be better with a different coach.

    Second – this team was too reserved and was held back too much – we need a more agressive coach. Good comments. this team died with every lead. They were too afraid to make mistakes. This team was built for an aggressive forcheck.

    Third – He did not suggest that he feels this team needs to be gutted – need to determine which players we have that we feel that we can get more out of some players (Penner – Nillson).

    I hope he is right.

  33. bookie says:

    I just think talking about 5 or 6 wins is gas huffing talk.yes, I am prone to huffing, but are you suggesting that sleepwalking though 180 or so periods this year didnt cost them 5 games? What I am saying is that the most obvious flaw was sleepwalking.

    Now to defend MacT, perhaps there no coach out there that could have got more energy out of this group, but I think that there is.

    nuff said – coach is gone for good or bad. LT is correct that the conversation now is about who’s next.

  34. Lowetide says:

    I think it might benefit us to identify the coach killers.

  35. Art Vandelay says:

    The ones wearing the oil drop.

  36. Lowetide says:

    Surely not all of them. Horcoff was a loyal soldier. Gagner cost the coach early, but that’s an organizational commitment. Cogliano is a little like that too, although MacT’s using him in the dot throughout the year was an avoidable error. Brodziak was not able or prepared to handle the tough minutes given to Stoll/Reasoner the previous year, but that’s a sin of skill as opposed to effort. Pouliot didn’t get that chance (at center) so that’s another unforced error on the coach.

    There. That’s center. Someone want to try LW?

  37. mc79hockey says:

    I am prone to huffing, but are you suggesting that sleepwalking though 180 or so periods this year didnt cost them 5 games? What I am saying is that the most obvious flaw was sleepwalking.I think that you’re making three massive leaps here. First of all, I don’t know that your numbers are right. Second, I thnk that you’re making a massive leap in assuming that the sleepwalking you see was connected to the coach. Third, I think that you’re making an assumption that this was sleepwalking and not what a lesser team looks like against a better one, or what these particular players look like when they play hockey. Lots of small perimeter players on this team.

  38. bookie says:

    Coach Killers – Moreau for his penalties, Garon for not being Garon08, Gags and others for having a slump, Staois for playing like a $1million player, Horcoff for losing offense from his game, Brodziak for not being Reasoner, others… Its not Penner, Nilsson and Poo – 3 guys dont kill the team or the coach.

    If they get a more aggressive coach I suspect that some of all of those guys may be less of a coach killer.

    Ok, even Moreau put a pretty positive face on things – “It was pretty obvious that the system that we were playing the last couple of years here was dying”

  39. Lowetide says:

    LW: Cole early wasn’t a good fit. Penner began bleeding goodwill with the coach early too:

    When we signed Dustin we thought he’d be a top-two-line player,” said MacTavish as the team prepares to face the Detroit Red Wings on Monday night.

    “We thought the contract ($4.25 million average for five years) was a starting point for him, but he views it as a finish line. I can’t watch it.”

    Robert Nilsson didn’t step forward like he needed to, Ethan Moreau was apparently hurt and was certainly ineffective for extended periods. Liam Reddox was exactly the kind of player who has success under MacT, but he wasn’t ready for a major role.

    Kotalik and O’Sullivan arrived late but couldn’t save the season.

    That’s LW.

  40. Jonathan Willis says:

    LT: Why was Brodziak healthy-scratched on two seperate occasions?

    I can’t figure it out.

  41. bookie says:

    Too big of a pattern to write off sleepwalking completely.

    Start of game – play disorganized unenergetic hockey because of fear of making mistake

    Fall behind – play like made often getting 2x shots of opposing team

    or

    Get a lead – - back off, stop forchecking, sleepwalk, wait for other team to tie game and get ahead before waking up

    Last 2 minutes of game – play like crazy to try and win, pull out all of the stops.

    Lets agree on this – the team had some structural problems and some effort/preparation/strategy problems. You think the the structure problem was the key factor, I think the effort/preparation/strat was more of the problem.

    I believe (nobody can know) that a more consistant, less complex, more aggressive style of coaching would have worked better for this team (with the players we have).

    You would have preferred different players.

    You blame Lowe, I blame MacT

    You say tomato, I say cheesburger

  42. Lowetide says:

    I think MacTavish had his list of people (in terms of who could be HS’d or called out) and Brodziak was on it. Way down, but on it.

    Brodziak’s problem is kind of the opposite of Cogliano’s. I don’t think a coach worries about him save for the lack of offense. I don’t know if he’ll hit enough to stay in the top twelve 82 times a season.

  43. bookie says:

    LT-In the end it comes down to the whipping boys Penner-Nilsson-Poo. I don’t buy it.

    To me those three are not enough to scuttle Cole, Hemsky, Horcoff, Gilbert and others who failed to shine.

    I think that it that it was a case of coaching suicide if I ever saw one. Every critical Cogs faceoff, every line blender moment, and every PP that the plan was to stop moving and just have Hemmer pass to Horcoff or Souray, was step to the edge of the great cliff. The dedicated players of the team were confused by the coach and the more cynical/lazy players simply gave up trying.

    Penner does not equal Avery

  44. Lowetide says:

    RW: Hemsky didn’t have that breakout season I keep waiting for, but he’s far from a coach killer. His frustration this year may have signaled the end of the line for MacT much as Modano’s comments spelled the end for Hitchcock in Dallas.

    Pisani wasn’t healthy again and that’s a concern too because the PK was such a disaster. Stortini filled his role beautifully and he’s one guy who can walk down the street content in the knowledge that none of the blood is on him.

    Pouliot is a guy who doesn’t bring enough offense to the game and MacT decided he wasn’t going to be a center on the club either.

    That’s RW.

  45. R-Gib says:

    Ugh. Jeez LT, looking down your list for LW it sure was a mess this year. From Pennergate to the inconsistency of Nilsson to the multitude of bad penalties taken and stupid words spoken by Moreau… the list is long, w/o one solid, uncontroversial player on it.
    If it was up to me Cogliano would have been in that 2LW spot. Maybe even taken a spin with the top line. What the hell, Cogoffsky has a nice ring to it, no?

  46. Lowetide says:

    bookie: I have an uncle. He’s my favorite uncle, when I was a kid he introduced me to all of the evils on the planet (love that guy).

    Anyway, he could never keep a job, and I was always on his side because he was such a cool guy. I mean really cool, to this day you can’t say anything bad about him or I’ll rip your head off.

    But the problem is that you develop a past. The first time you’re associated with something bad it’s “well, that’s unusual” but along about the third or fourth time then maybe it is about you.

    That’s where Dustin Penner and Robert Nilsson are now. They’ve developed a past.

  47. R-Gib says:

    On RW, don’t you think that Hemsky looked frustrated/possibly-injured over the last 25 games or so?

    What about Eric Cole at RW? I liked what he brought with Gagner on that 2nd line for the mid-third of the season.

  48. Lowetide says:

    R-Gib: Agreed on Cole. The one really good thing up front about this season is that Gagner (with a lot of help) saved his season.

  49. digger says:

    Well.

    In terms of the Edmonton Oilers fanbase and its presence on the Internet, this is the first time we’ve ever had to deal with an Oiler coach being “relieved of his duties”. It’s very interesting to see the reactions unfold.

    And make no mistake, this is a firing in every way except the use of the words “you’re fired”. The Oilers and the papers are dancing around it and couching it in terms as nice as can be, but there’s one word that’s not being used: Resignation.

    I’ve always thought that the day this organization was finally ready to cut the apron strings on its past as a crutch to hobble around on, would be the day when a tried ‘n true member of the Oilers Dynasty was full out dejobbed. And it just happened. IMO this will be virgin territory for us.

    As for the players, we’ll see how many man up to the challenge and how many scuttle underneath the refridgerator. In these sorts of corporate-esque cullings, some players will have their status elevated while others will see their roles diminish, assuming they’re still around to take lesser roles.

    If Tambellini follows through on his stated mandate of making this team a tougher, more proactive team that makes things happen vs. react to what’s happening around them, I have to wonder if we’re going to need to stop looking at this team in terms of how it fits around the “Hemsky years”…and start looking at them and how they fit around the “Gagner years”.

    Does Hemsky’s long term status on the team look a bit shakier than it did 24 hours ago? I think it’s possible.

  50. R-Gib says:

    Yes agreed. He seemed to be overextending in a lot of what he did early on, and really settled down and played his kind of hockey midseason. I think quite a bit of his streak at the end was just confidence in himself (and from the coaching staff as well I suppose).

    I thought Gilbert had an awful first 20 games before finding his game as well.

  51. HBomb says:

    Specifically, concerning LW: the biggest mess on the team, yet they traded one useful one (Torres) for another small-ish guy in Brule (who is not without upside, but is a quantity we have plenty of), and they let a useful AND cheap one in Glencross take a drive down the QE2.

    The coach killer on LW?

    Kevin Lowe.

  52. Lord Bob says:

    Anyone else watching the intro to Canucks – Blues?

    So help me god, not only did the Canucks anthem singer Dollar-Store Meat Loaf hold the microphone up to the crowd to rip off the ‘fans sing the anthem’ bit, but the Canucks played a recording of a group anthem over the PA.

    That is possibly the most pathetic thing I’ve ever seen. The hockey gods will punish such hubris with a smiting for the ages.

  53. HBomb says:

    Does Hemsky’s long term status on the team look a bit shakier than it did 24 hours ago? I think it’s possible.
    I’d say quite the opposite. If MacT had stayed, I was genuinely fearful of a Hemsky trade request.

    Even the most pro-MacT guys would probably choose 83 if given the choice “Hemsky or MacTavish?”

  54. Lowetide says:

    HBomb: Exactly. Kevin Lowe has been a disaster since G7 SCF. From not replacing the D minutes with veterans to the “why me?” Journal article to today when he should have resigned along with his decade long management partner.

    Hope the cheque is worth it.

  55. geowal says:

    For me, after watching that presser Tambellini is now the face of oiler management.
    I don’t think I could have said that yesterday.
    Mission accomplished.

  56. Mr DeBakey says:

    Why was Brodziak healthy-scratched on two seperate occasions?.
    .He’s not physical enough. MacT was looking for a little more Alberta farm boy from Brodziak.

    Pouliot is a guy who doesn’t bring enough offense to the game and MacT decided he wasn’t going to be a center on the club either..
    .And the thing about playing Pouliot on the wing is that he’s terrible along the boards,
    he never comes out with the puck.

    At this time last year,
    MacT was talking about Row-bear on the 1st line.
    Ooops, turns out that apple didn’t fall too far from the tree.

  57. Ribs says:

    And the thing about playing Pouliot on the wing is that he’s terrible along the boards,
    he never comes out with the puck.

    Kinda like when you put Reasoner on the wing? Weird.

  58. Gord says:

    Anyone who thinks that Lowe and MacT were professionally tight missed this season or something…Watching GlenX go to Calgary while Lowe chased Hossa – when we all knew GlenX was one of the major pieces for last years surge.

    Listening to MacT state he wanted Reasoner back – while watching Lowe let Reasoner sign a one year inexpensive contract with Atlanta…

    I was almost positive that Lowe hated MacT and went out of his way to ensure MacT failed…

    May not be accurate – but it appeared that way…

  59. digger says:

    I’d say quite the opposite. If MacT had stayed, I was genuinely fearful of a Hemsky trade request.

    Even the most pro-MacT guys would probably choose 83 if given the choice “Hemsky or MacTavish?”Time will tell of course, but IMO it’s not beyond the realm of possibility.

    Given how Tambellini laid his smack earlier today. I wouldn’t bet on ANY player on this team to be too sacred a cow that it can’t be sacrificed for the greater good.

    I know if I were GM, I’d be wondering at this point why, for all of Hemsky’s talent, does he seemingly come with a 526-page long instruction manual that has every 5th page missing.

    They could spend the next 5 years trying in vain to find that mythical ‘guy to play with Hemsky’…or they could come to the conclusion that he’s simply not worth the aggravation, and decide to rejigger this team around Gagner’s prime years instead, and package Hemsky for either a high level draft pick or someone who’s highs maybe aren’t quite so high as Hemmer, but is a more consistently solid producer that can do more than prodce points.

    All I’m saying is that we don’t really know what to expect.

  60. geowal says:

    I agree LT, Stortini is the one guy on this team who should feel really good about himself going forward.
    The two players who I think progressed the most >> are mostly postive: Gagner and Grebeshkov.

    Steve Macintyre has blood on his hands too, but it's mostly that of opposing players.

  61. kris says:

    MC79: That’s my favorite Stones song, and it’s Keith singing.

    But the lyrics are even more appropriate for LT and the departure of MacT:

    “Watch my tail lights fading
    There ain’t a dry eye in the house

    They’re laughing and singing
    Started dancing and drinking
    as I left town

    Gonna find my way to heaven, `cause I did my time in hell

    I wasnt looking too good
    but I was feeling real well”

  62. kris says:

    But I think the HF boards are playing Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”

  63. PunjabiOil says:

    I was almost positive that Lowe hated MacT and went out of his way to ensure MacT failed…The alternative theory is that Lowe is an idiot.

  64. PunjabiOil says:

    //Kevin Lowe has been a disaster since G7 SCF. From not replacing the D minutes with veterans to the “why me?” Journal article to today when he should have resigned along with his decade long management partner.//

    Correct except the “why me” was a Edmonton Sun article.

    This website has archives of articles for the Oilers Edmonton Sun articles all the way back to 2004.

    http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Hockey/NHL/Edmonton/2004/archive.html

    Just change the year and voila.

  65. PunjabiOil says:

    This is why Dan Barnes is the best journalist in town.

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/Sports/Barnes+Culture+shock+Rexall/1497719/story.html

    Good quote by Cogliano:

    “I’m not naive,” Cogliano said. “I understand I’ve got to be better and I will be better. I will work on it a lot this summer. Faceoffs are a major thing if I’m going to be a centre in this league.

  66. Coach pb9617 says:

    Someone must have gotten their rocks off today,

    I didn’t get my rocks off, but I certainly got my ya-yas out.

  67. Coach pb9617 says:

    his presser today sounded like he’s planning to rip this joint right up until training camp.

    Rip away. Bring in one of Ruff, Dineen, Capuano, Sutter, or Fitzgerald and I’ll be happy.

    Oh, and bring me Armstrong for Cogliano.

  68. mc79hockey says:

    But I think the HF boards are playing Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”Watchmen ruined that song for me.

  69. Coach pb9617 says:

    I just want it on the record, again, how insane I think that this is.

    Yeah, it’s on the record. It’s also wrong.

    Look, on the Penner thing, even assuming that everybody is right, that MacT should have just played him 82 games on the first line and PP unit, how many wins did that cost the Oilers? What was the difference between Penner being there and whoever else was there?

    Someone, ricki, OD, jon? already worked through the numbers in a thread. You either missed it or ignored it. It’s a 12 goal differential at ES alone.

    You are a bright guy that becomes instantly obtuse on this one. Are you a fattist?

    LT, it’s pretty obvious that the lyrics you’re looking for are:

    And you can send me dead flowers every morning
    Send me dead flowers by the us mail
    Say it with dead flowers at my wedding
    And I wont forget to put roses on your grave
    No I wont forget to put roses on your grave
    LW: Cole early wasn’t a good fit.

    Another avoidable error by the coach. Keep racking ‘em up. You also forgot Pisani at C.

    LT: Why was Brodziak healthy-scratched on two seperate occasions?

    I can’t figure it out.

    The man doing it was completely overmatched by coaching, personnel, people, team, life, love, god, karma, kismet, whatever.

    It’s mind-boggling that there were so many “avoidable errors” by the coach this year and people are STILL defending him…not for his record, but for THIS year. He out-and-out sucked this year. Period.

  70. Lowetide says:

    I actually found the lyrics I was looking for, it’s all you other damn Stones fans who keep throwing lyrics out.

  71. bookie says:

    LT – I think your Uncle’s awesome, best guy ever, even though he borrowed my guitar and never returned it.

    Also, Nilsson and Penner could be terrible, absolutely terrible, but they alone don’t kill this coach.

    his presser today sounded like he’s planning to rip this joint right up until training camp..

    Uhm, maybe you need to listen again. He said about 3-4 times that we need to see what we have here and if we can more out of these guys. “I think we can get more out of some of these guys”, etc. The message was clear – MacT thought he could not do better with THIS team, but Lowballini feels that THIS team can do better. There will be some tinkering, but don’t expect a wholesale change.

    Everyone is impressed how Tambolini is now ‘running the show’. Doesn’t anyone remember how the comment when Tambolini was brought in was ‘this way Lowe can have T fire MacT if the season goes sour’. I think that Loweballini is still totally running this show. Lowe built the team – MacT couldnt coach it – MacT is gone – How does that mean Lowe is somehow not behind this?

    Lastly,

    But the problem is that you develop a past. The first time you’re associated with something bad it’s “well, that’s unusual” but along about the third or fourth time then maybe it is about you..

    Yes, like coaching a team that fails to make the playoffs…

  72. Tyler says:

    Yeah, it’s on the record. It’s also wrong.Well shit. How can I argue with a bald assertion that a coach has a greater impact on the season than all but the most major superstars, particularly when it’s presented without any evidence or reasoning?

  73. Tyler says:

    Someone, ricki, OD, jon? already worked through the numbers in a thread. You either missed it or ignored it. It’s a 12 goal differential at ES alone.

    You are a bright guy that becomes instantly obtuse on this one. Are you a fattist?Yeah, I saw that but kind of surfed by just because it seemed so insane on the surface. If one of you cares to link to it, I’ll take a run at it.

  74. Doogie2K says:

    I did think about Some Girls (Penner is “Beast of Burden” MacT “When the Whip Comes Down” and of course “Shattered” and “Respectable) but Exile is a way better album.I heartily disagree, but I think it’s mostly that I don’t like the country sound of Exile.

    I just want it on the record, again, how insane I think that this is.
    =====
    Yeah, it’s on the record. It’s also wrong.
    Agreed. You can blame the players until the cows come home, and you’re not entirely wrong, but to imply that MacT is blameless here is entirely out to lunch. Playing not to lose is a guaranteed recipe for failure; MacT coached his players not to lose. Just look at that “I wanted to get to the shootout” bullshit.

  75. Lowetide says:

    I don’t think anyone is suggesting MacT is blameless.

  76. Gord says:

    Everyone is impressed how Tambolini is now ‘running the show’.

    Doesn’t anyone remember how the comment when Tambolini was brought in was ‘this way Lowe can have T fire MacT if the season goes sour’.

    I think that Loweballini is still totally running this show.Today’s news conference highlighted that Tambolini was now in charge… He was going to kick some butt – and that results were all that mattered…

    I hope this means Lowe is transferring the reins so he can pursue higher Katz priorities – it appeared that way.

    I suspect the “Life is short” concept is going to be implemented very, very soon…

  77. Coach pb9617 says:

    Kinda like when you put Reasoner on the wing? Weird.

    But it’s cool to keep Cogliano at center chasing the puck all night long.

    Stunning that a center sucks on the wing. It’s also stunning that a RW sucks at LW and completely shocking that a RW sucks at center. I mean, we’re in new territory here. This is exploration that no one has ever come close to. MacTavish was the Champlain of position switching. He should get a pass for his exploration on bravery alone. *PUKE*

    Defend his record, stop trying to defend the last season. Have any of you been kidnapped in stockholm lately?

  78. Lowetide says:

    Coach: Are you speaking to someone specifically?

  79. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Lowetide said…
    Coach: Are you speaking to someone specifically?

    Imaginary friend? John McKinnon?

  80. Phil says:

    digger said: They could spend the next 5 years trying in vain to find that mythical ‘guy to play with Hemsky’…or they could come to the conclusion that he’s simply not worth the aggravation, and decide to rejigger this team around Gagner’s prime years instead, and package Hemsky for either a high level draft pickAnyone think that Hemsky ++ talks NY out of the #1?

  81. bookie says:

    I don’t think anyone is suggesting MacT is blameless..

    I think that some people are, anyway its more fun to see the world in only polar opposites. Its like religion that way.

    Defend his record, stop trying to defend the last season. Have any of you been kidnapped in stockholm lately?.

    I actually don’t think his record is amazing either – Playoff hockey brought the best out in his team, something he seemed to have trouble with… What about every year other than 2006. I seem to remember many people suggesting that 2006 saved his job.

  82. mc79hockey says:

    I’m certainly not suggesting that MacT put together a perfect season. I’m saying that I think that the guys who gave the coach the biggest problems and around whom he made the shakiest decisions are guys who’ve driven a number of coaches nuts and if I’m forced to pick between MacT and those guys, I know where I’m going.

  83. Mr DeBakey says:

    I'm wondering if Mact & Smyth will be reunited next season.

  84. Lowetide says:

    MC: I agree, and would add that there is a point when juggling this many kids becomes impossible because there aren’t enough actual NHL players to bail them out while they learn on the job.

    I also believe the problem players for MacT will soon be in other towns or problems for the next coach.

    I remember when Jorge Bell got Jimy Williams fired many said that would put the team over the top. The Jays won it all eventually, both Jorge was in another town by then.

    And Williams was right: Bell was an awful outfielder.

  85. Jonathan Willis says:

    Coach, Tyler: I’m not sure which link Coach is talking about specifically, but there was a hell of a lot of difference with Penner on that top line vs. anybody else.

    But it’s a little more complicated than that anyway; I looked into it one time to rip MacT for benching Penner but his ten best games statistically came after the benching, so we can’t discount the motivational effect of missing two games.

    Plus, when Penner was further down the lineup he was probably an upgrade on whoever got bumped up to replace him anyway, so that comes into effect.

    Finally, there were 482 combined goals scored for/against the Oilers, so I think there may be some confusion about how many wins a 12-goal swing works out to. Off the top of my head I’d guess MacTavish cost the team five or six points, but I don’t have math to back that up.

    All that said, I think Penner was clearly the best LW option and pragmatically the only real option other than O’Sullivan (who was badly burned by the twin monsters of SH%/SV%).

  86. jon k says:

    Coach and Tyler:

    The stat that I threw out was the difference in GAONICE/60 between Penner and Kotalik when they are specifically paired with Hemsky.

    Kotalik’s was significantly higher than Penner’s, and over a semi-arbitrary number of 900 ES minutes it would amount to a 12.6 goals against differential.

    Penner’s number was also lower than Kotalik’s when they are apart from Hemsky.

  87. Jonathan Willis says:

    I agree, and would add that there is a point when juggling this many kids becomes impossible because there aren’t enough actual NHL players to bail them out while they learn on the job.Actual* NHL forwards: Hemsky, Horcoff, Moreau, O’Sullivan, Pisani, Penner.

    *where “actual” means relatively reliable at both ends of the ice.

    I count six. It isn’t enough, particularyl when there are two itty-bitty centres in their second year running the second and third lines, neither of whom can win a faceoff and neither of whom can get sent out against a) tough opp or b) safely in the defensive zone.

    LT disagrees with me, but Cogliano/Gagner is going to be a problem going forward up the middle. If we keep running Horcoff – Gagner – Cogliano in the short term we won’t win and in the long term we’ll have three small guys, only one of whom can win a faceoff. I don’t know what the solution is (I haven’t liked the ones I’ve come up with), but I do think it’s a real concern.

  88. jon k says:

    In retrospect 900 minutes at ES is a high number. Something closer to 500 would have been more appropriate. Horcoff logged 684 minutes paired with Hemsky this season. Penner 353.

  89. jon k says:

    http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/200809players/player0614.php

    This is where the numbers are coming from, for reference. Hope that helps. I found it quite enlightening to look at who are Hemsky boosters and who are Hemsky downers.

    Obviously there’s no controlling for on-ice context like offensive or defensive zone faceoffs, but c’est la vie.

  90. Matt says:

    From a distance here, I’d say I’m closest to the Willis/BlackDog take: good enough coach, but probably time. Results are results, especially when they stink. And MacT lost himself a bit this year; didn’t live by his own code.

    That said: there is an extremely strong correlation between “team looks lazy/unprepared too often” and “team not very good”. It’s definitely a stronger correlation than the one between “team looks lazy/unprepared” and “poor coaching”.

    I wrote this once before, but if you looked through the local rags of the Red Wings’ 82 opponents last year on the day-after-game, you would see a HELL of a lot of listless… didn’t seem ready to play… no energy on the puck… slow to react… lack of effort through the lineup… etc etc etcMichel Therrien is quite possibly the exception that proves the rule, but it’s a very good bet that when a team looks lousy too often, it’s because they’re lousy.

  91. Jonathan Willis says:

    That said: there is an extremely strong correlation between “team looks lazy/unprepared too often” and “team not very good”. It’s definitely a stronger correlation than the one between “team looks lazy/unprepared” and “poor coaching”.Amen, Matt. Amen.

  92. raventalon40 says:

    Was “soul survivor” spelled that way on purpose?

  93. doritogrande says:

    Sorry to head off topic here, but I took one look at this unrelated story headline, and just had to share it. I’m guessing someone got laid tonight:

    http://tsn.ca/mlb/story/?id=275214

    Carry on.

  94. hunter1909 says:

    I’ve never had less Satisfaction watching NHL hockey than watching this team alternatively teasing, sputtering, and eventually coughing up blood.

    After my 19th Nervous Breakdown, sometimes around New Year, I’d finally had it. I was absolutely prepared to ditch my near lifelong Oilers fan membership.

    MacTavish looked like he was performing at Altamont most of the season, watching events unfold, instead of doing what was supposed to be his job(influencing).

    Playing favorites at NHL level strikes me as PeeWee mentality coaching, like when Dad makes his fat kid the captain of the team, above better players. It doesn’t exactly make the newer kids feel welcome.

  95. LMHF#1 says:

    You should almost never choose a coach over a talented hockey player.

    Bad bad bad asset management.

    There are so few great coaches who are actually worth a player.

    I firmly believe he cost us several…whether that’s the case or not, someone knows for sure, but they’re not saying anytime.

  96. Chris says:

    I think one thing we have to consider is that Souray and Hemsky had both to varying degrees publically expressed frustration with Craig MacTavish as the coach. When its getting to the media that the players aren’t happy with the coaching, they’ve likely privately felt that way for some time. WHen two of your best players want to show your coach the door its time to make a change.

    Between Hemsky’s outburst in the papers and Souray’s “expression of frustration and concern” as per Gregor, it would seem that the discussion of the coach losing the team earlier in the year wasn’t just “wild speculation” as some supporters of MacTavish suggested.

  97. Garnet says:

    I think MacT and his assistants tdid a decent job of rounding bottom-half-of-roster guys into NHL players, based on the evidence. But I throw it out to the crowd here: aren’t most the Oilers’ forward young enough to be taught how to win faceoffs? So why weren’t they? Surely this isn’t another unteachable skill. If you think it is, on top of all the others, we get close to arguing that it’s really a GM’s league, and coaches don’t make much difference.
    In this and other areas, the Oilers’ coaches may be quite wise for all I know, but they seem to lack skill in imparting their wisdom to others.

  98. mc79hockey says:

    If you think it is, on top of all the others, we get close to arguing that it’s really a GM’s league, and coaches don’t make much difference.I think that this is the case, particularly because I don’t think that there’s a wide degree of variance between the best coach in the world and the thirty first best coach in the world. The gap in front offices, which includes gaps in resources, is significantly greater in my view.

    Off the top of my head I’d guess MacTavish cost the team five or six points, but I don’t have math to back that up.Compared to what? The problem that I have with statements like this is that people pore over the season and go “OK, decisions a, b and c cost the Oilers games, so there’s six points.”

    It’s the wrong way to do it. In order to make the statement, you need to define a benchmark – replacement level, the average coach, the child of Scotty Bowman and Fred Shero and you also need to account for all of the good decisions that he made that resulted in points for the Oilers. You also, I think, need to factor in that this is a coach who has rarely made decisions for the now at the expense of the future – ie. if he thinks Dustin Penner is 80% of the player he might be with some pain now, he’s never been one to just bank the 80% and walk away.

    When you do that, when you factor the good into the equation, I still think that the guy’s a pretty good coach, albeit one who made more decisions that I disagreed with this year than usual. I’m willing to chalk that up to a lot of frustration in dealing with this team and, given how a lot of us felt watching them, it’s hard to blame him.

  99. dstaples says:

    How about that Oilers powerplay, Tyler?

    And MacT never did get the PK right, either.

    Moreau was the wrong person, but kept getting run out there, sore hand and all. Painful to watch.

    Those two problems weren’t all about a lack of talent, size and effort.

    They were about the coach having the wrong players on the ice, or having the right players but using the wrong strategies (for example, not enough off-wing shooters on the PP, chasing the points too hard on the PK).

    What a strange season for this coach. Too bad.

  100. Asiaoil says:

    …and how many times did the 4th line get mauled by the opposition top line for no reason this season…plenty. A PK disaster since you have to give your buddy Buckey something to do. A PP that was the epitome of brain-dead. Personal decisions that smacked of favoritism and spite. Playing vets out of position (Cole, Pisani) in some vain hope it may actually work when evidence clearly indicates it won't. Playing young guys out of position (MAP, Smid) for who knows what reason. Totally fucking up both back-up goalies and then playing a 40 year old almost 40 straight games (was that the goal?). Ridiculing certain guys in public for mistakes while guys like thecaptainethanmoreau get to make the same mistake over and over and over with out a peep coming out of the coaches trap. Christ you could go on and on about how bad MacT was this season – and how anyone can suggest any merit what so ever in this unmitigated disaster of a coaching display is just plain silly. He should have been fired at Christmas – and if he was – we'd still be playing hockey.

    Honestly – although you could certainly do worse than MacT from an Xs & Os perspective – the guy was a disaster in terms of managing personalities and building a foundation for team success. Handling high performance athletes is not easy – but that's at least 50% of what a pro coach does – and MacT was so bad at that this season that it was reason enough to fire him.

  101. oliver says:

    Watchmen ruined that song for me MC: Maybe Jeff Buckley will revitalize it for you.

  102. bookie says:

    That said: there is an extremely strong correlation between “team looks lazy/unprepared too often” and “team not very good”. It’s definitely a stronger correlation than the one between “team looks lazy/unprepared” and “poor coaching”.Yes, but when players that have proven themselves in other situations (Hemsky, Cole, Horcoff) are looking disorganized, confused, and disheartened then I think it is not out of line to question the coaching.

    Watch the videos and read the news, how many players have you heard say “Its just terrible that MacT is gone”. EVEN Staois and Moreau (MacT Favs) said that it was time for MacT to go without the ussual plesantries about how the team failed him.

    At some point, bad coaching affects moral. Hemmer – “If they want me to be a checker, I will be a checker”. Cogs – “This team plays better under an aggressive system”. Moreau – “In the past few months it was clear that the system we were playing here was dying” Those are not Penner speaking.

    If you listen to tambolini in the press conference “I want someone who promotes an aggressive style of play” and “We need to be better prepared to play”.

    Come on, at the begining of the year most people looking at this team felt like it was a decent team, but somehow Penner and Poo wrecked it all? How did they wreck Cole? Penner has a bit of a reputation, but the guy is not Avery.

    Did anyone watch the PP this year. Did it suck so much because Hemsky, Horcoff, and Souray are talentless or because they are lazy. Sorry – blame the player people – why did they suck so much? They didn’t suck this bad last year. My feeling is that the coach was not acting like a pouting kid who got his Reasoner taken away last year.

    Cogs took loads of critical faceoffs, Smid played on the wing, Brodziak and Pouliet went backwards in terms of development. Seldom did a line combination last more than a day.

    If MacT was Scottie Bowman I could accept that this was somehow a mass failure of team character, but I think that MacT just let his ‘inner alchemist’ go nuts this year. I think the players felt thier coach was ineffective and the daily insanity wore on them as the season progressed.

    Or Cole just happens to become a confused, useless player when he works for a team North of the border.

  103. quain says:

    Watch the videos and read the news, how many players have you heard say “Its just terrible that MacT is gone”. EVEN Staois and Moreau (MacT Favs) said that it was time for MacT to go without the ussual plesantries about how the team failed him.

    Yes, I’d like to judge the value of firing the coach based on the reaction of the players who just found a scapegoat.

  104. Lowetide says:

    Soul Survivor is spelled correctly, it’s one of the final songs on the album iirc (Shine a Light?).

    I think the Oilers were fun to watch this season, they were a team that was easy for me to get behind and cheer for.

    The final weeks killed this team, and maybe that was for the better. But it’s not obviously for the better imo. The guy who made the roster moves is still on the payroll.

  105. quain says:

    Why do we excuse the complete lack of production from Penner while he was on the fourth line? By accounts he’s a 1LW goal-scorer, but he popped three goals in a 25 game end of the season span, two on the PP, and one on a beauty feed for a tap-in from Horcoff. Zack Stortini showed more offense, better defense, and a load more grit than Dustin Penner.

    I get that he wasn’t going to pop ten with his linemates and ice time, but one ES goal that was giftwrapped while he got a first line shift? And you think MacTavish was wrong for hating this guy?

  106. quain says:

    And for the record, I’m happy to kill MacT for not to just realizing he has zero top-line LW options and biting the bullet, but the first line doesn’t hum because Dustin Penner is a great player, it hums because everyone else in that role is a terrible player (until Kotalik’s second go-around there).

    The point has been made that he does well enough there, but lord, let’s stop lionizing him as anything more than a better Robert Nilsson getting paid way too much.

  107. Cory Klein says:

    Reading TSN this morning and see that Carcillo was suspended 2 games earlier this year for throwing punches from the bench, why was Burrows allowed to go scott free?

    It seems this happens too often to the Oilers, but I’m likely pouting (Oilers paranoia).

    Jeff Buckley – Hallelujah is a chilling song, no other version could be better.

  108. bookie says:

    Yes, I’d like to judge the value of firing the coach based on the reaction of the players who just found a scapegoat..

    Or we could just listen to the coach who called a press conference the day before to announce that the team was uncoachable and did not try. Sounds like scapegoating to me. I have seldom heard a coach play Blame the Players so loudly and I thought it was pathetic.

    Look, I have seen many coaches fired. Commonly large numbers of players come out and say the right thing (we let him down, we loved the guy, he was tough sometimes but we needed that, he was a victim of circumstance, etc…). Not a peep from Souray (who was in town and at the rink), nothing from Hemsky, nothing from anybody but Staios and Moreau (who MacT has called a character guy) other than to say it was time for a change. That silence speaks volumes about the respect that MacT had in the room this year.

  109. Traktor says:

    MacT = Roman the profit

    Blog community = the compound

  110. bookie says:

    Onto LT’s question of who next.

    Can anyone give a breakdown of the ‘styles’ of those coaches that are available (or close like Ruff and Sutter). I just dont have the knowledge of other teams.

  111. doritogrande says:

    The guy who made the roster moves is still on the payroll..

    But no longer is he making the roster moves. I think this was his last year behind the scenes and has been put out to pasture. But like you said, he is still earning a paycheque. Though all indications seem that he’s entered his “scotty bowman” phase of his career. And I’m completely fine with that as long as Katz sees fit to cut him a cheque to listen to his input on finding cheap, durable veteran defensemen.

  112. doritogrande says:

    Can anyone give a breakdown of the ‘styles’ of those coaches that are available (or close like Ruff and Sutter). I just dont have the knowledge of other teams..

    It’s not by any means comprehensive, but the system Scott Arneil was running yesterday placed an emphasis on special teams. PK was dominant all night long and the Powerplay was responsible for both Moose goals. They switched from passive to active forechecks seemingly every shift depending on what line was out. It took the team about a period to get their feet under then (sound familiar?) but once they got it, the energy stayed high-tempo up until that final Marlies OT goal. Hard on the forecheck, and more hits than I’d seen in the last half-dozen Oilers telecasts.

    He favoured his checking line, which centering around 3-time Stanley winner Mike Keane, was a damn good one at that. They were out consistently against the Tlusty/Stapleton scoring line, while the Moose top-line went PVP against, and got murdered by, a scoring line of crash and bang Ondrus/Battaglia/Deveaux.

    The team played solid defensive hockey, and stood up for each other when Pogge decided to take liberties behind the net (cross-checked a Moose player in the head not 5 minutes into the game).

    It’s a one-game sample size, so take it for what it’s worth.

  113. digger says:

    I think the Oilers were fun to watch this season, they were a team that was easy for me to get behind and cheer for.To each their own, but while I can’t compete with your longevity, I have been watching this team since its inaugural NHL season…and for me this was one of the least fun Oiler teams to watch that they’ve ever thrown on the ice for public consumption.

    They didn’t hit much, they didn’t shoot much, and their style of play was mostly to react to what was going on around them, instead of making the other team react to what the Oilers were doing.

    On the PP, in terms of excitement the Oilers had Souray’s cannon from the point and not much else. They were full measure for their 22nd place finish in that part of their game. The less said about the PK, the better.

    For me, the Oilers were a boring team that gave me little hope that as long as Kevin Lowe and Craig MacTavish were at the controls, they would ever start a playoff series with home ice advantage. Perhaps that feeling of hopelessness coloured my perceptions, I won’t deny that.

  114. Mr DeBakey says:

    Personal decisions that smacked of favouritism and spite. .
    Every coach has favourites, you would too if you were coaching. The spite thing, didn’t see it

    Playing vets out of position (Cole, Pisani)…..Playing young guys out of position (MAP, Smid) for who knows what reason. .
    The out-of-position narrative is getting a pretty solid work out.
    -Looking back to July 1 last, and the sequence of events, its obvious that The Organization saw Cole playing LW
    -Pisani was a worse option at Center than Cogliano? Hasn’t it been proved that Cogliano is the worst Center of the decade, or something? Meanwhile, there’s Pouliot & Brodziak – neither would be better than a marginal upgrade.
    - How many games did MacT force Smid to play LW? 40? 60? Sure gets referenced a lot. Chrisakes, it was a short-term experiment to show Pou, Row-bear, Penns… what “jam” looks like. It cost the Oilers roughly Zero points.

    Having said that, it’s a good thing MacT is gone.
    Joe Fan needs a fresh start.
    And, it’s Joe Fan who buys the $8 beer, and over-priced faux jerseys.

    Finally
    Just say Yes! To John Cale’s version of Hallelujah

  115. Smarmy Boss says:

    I had always assumed throwing punches from the bench was an automatic suspension. Then again, the NHL’s discipline committee has always been rather inconsistent.

    (and by inconsistent I mean terrible)

  116. raventalon40 says:

    I can’t seem to find much about Don Lever compared to all to all the other coach eligibles. Anyone want to talk a bit about him.

  117. NBOilerFan says:

    One of the things I’d like to talk about in the coming weeks is what we know (I mean really know) about some of the candidates.

    What do we know about Don Lever as a coach? Why do we like him as a possible coach for the Oil? What about Pat Quinn? Why?

    Those sorts of things.I like that plan LT… one of the positives about Mact getting canned is this new “focus” for the team/organization and something exciting to discuss for the next month or two while we wait for June 26th/July 1st to arrive.
    :-)

  118. till_horcoff_is_coach says:

    Looking back to July 1 last, and the sequence of events, its obvious that The Organization saw Cole playing LWNot sure this is true since Hossa signed July 2nd and Cole was traded around noon on July 1.

  119. Doogie2K says:

    And I’m completely fine with that as long as Katz sees fit to cut him a cheque to listen to his input on finding cheap, durable veteran defensemen.

    It occurs to me to wonder, are we sure that was Lowe and not Howson? Notice that since Howson left, we haven’t found any of those guys (at least, none worth screaming about, Mr. Strudwick), and that at least one of them (Our Man Dan) has wound up in Columbus.

  120. doritogrande says:

    And the NW division continues is’s Extreme Makeover. Minnesota GM who’s name I can’t properly spell is out of a job.

    http://tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=275278

    By my count, that makes 2 GMs and 2coaches gone in 3 teams.

  121. doritogrande says:

    Dougie:

    It’s going back a bit, but Steve Staios was a Lowe find before Scott Howson came on board.

  122. LittleFury says:

    Mudcrutch said re: “Hallelujah” “Watchmen ruined that song for me.Jeff Buckley’s histrionic interpretation already killed that tune and pissed on its grave.

  123. jon k says:

    Regarding Burrows’ punch from the bench: Colin Campbell fined him and said that he’s on his shortlist. He’s officially under whatever special category they have for repeat offenders. Meaning that for the next incident of any sort and he’ll receive a suspension.

    My understanding is that a punch from the bench isn’t an automatic suspension, but merely an automatic review by Campbell.

  124. bookie says:

    dorito – thanks for the info on Scott Arneil

  125. Schitzo says:

    Dorito:

    Jason Smith too, wasn’t he?

  126. Steve says:

    Nope – Smith was acquired in 1998-1999 while Lowe was an assistant coach. Probably can’t credit him for that one.

  127. Doogie2K says:

    It’s going back a bit, but Steve Staios was a Lowe find before Scott Howson came on board.

    Fair enough, then. I thought Howson had been with Lowe from the get-go.

    He’s officially under whatever special category they have for repeat offenders.

    “Double Secret Probation.”

  128. doritogrande says:

    Dougie:

    Staios’ first Oilers season was 2001-02, from hockeydb.com. Lowe took over as GM for the 2000 season, while Howson was promoted to assistant GM for the 2002 season. Both were taken from Wikipedia. Not in itself a very reputable source, but I’m not in any mood to peruse the primary literature in between my attmpts at studying for Monday’s CEP final.

  129. Mr DeBakey says:

    Lever would love a return to AtlantaBy Craig Custance | Tuesday, May 20, 2008, 12:07 PM
    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
    .
    So what are Lever’s qualifications to be the next Thrashers coach? He led Hamilton to a Calder Cup Championship in 2007 and has a ton of NHL experience as an assistant. He was an assistant in St. Louis for two years (the Blues went 80-54-22-8 in that span) and spent 12 years coaching in the Buffalo organization.
    One of the knocks I occasionally hear about the Thrashers is that there aren’t enough former NHL players in the organization. Lever would bring that to the table. He played in 1,020 NHL games, scoring over 300 goals in that span.
    Here’s how he describes his coaching style: “My style is to adapt to what you have. If you have someone like Ilya Kovalchuk, you have to let him go loose. You don’t want him to be trapping. You have to be sound in your own end, I think it’s all about the type of team you have. I’d love to have an offensive-type team but you’re still not going to win if you don’t play in your own end.”

  130. Dennis says:

    I had a different reaction to MacT’s firing that I’d previously anticipated.

    I’ve been on board with that guy for a long time but he lost me little by little this year and then I cut the ties with him after the OTL in Mtl. We weren’t playing BTB and there were days to spare and he kept trotting out the 4th line in a road game and he got burned and there was absolutely no fucking need for that to happen. In my mind, this was an example of MacT not dotting the I’s like he used to and it was enough for me.

    Still, as the time got closer, I began to get a little bit of buyer’s remorse and I thought I’d feel a lot worse about it then I did when the actual hammer fell on Wed night.

    I was back home from Fri-Thurs morning and we had Sportsnet and TSN at my mother’s place but not The Score and I didn’t have net access so your news intake was a little bit in and out. I didn’t find out about the firing until I saw the TSN panel discussing it during the first period of the NYR/Wsh win and I was pretty blah about it.

    The GF picked me up at Goobies today – that’s a shout-out for the NF crew – and she asked me about it and I basically said that even though I loved the guy and wished him well as long as he landed with an org I didn’t hate, it was time for change because as it was the Oilers weren’t exactly a success.

    I feel really bad that Lowe didn’t take any heat but something had to change so let’s see how it goes.

    The most interesting thing from my perspective is just how much Tambo take’s MacT’s advice to heart. For instance, I imagine that somewhere Penner and Nilsson just picked up two 19 year old Asian ladies and a pile of blow and they are partying like absolute fuckers. But, still, 13 is either a winger or he’s dealt and I don’t see how 12 really fits.

    And 27′s on his absolute last legs so he’d better make good on this stay of execution.

    This club had certainly dove into the morass, though, hadn’t they? 18 and 24 had no qualms about giving MacT the subtle verbal boots on his way out the door and 83 had his grousing session while 5 asked for a trade and Souray did the next best fucking thing.

    An absolute mess no matter how you spin it.

  131. Coach pb9617 says:

    Another Buf news article on Rufft

    If there is any chance he’s getting the axe, he should be Godot for Tambellini.

  132. Traktor says:

    Motivation is a big thing. Some say Penner doesn’t have it but he kept on grinding after he was cut from every team he tried out for.

    Sure Penner already hit his payday but personal vendettas will make even the rich do crazy things.

    From Penner’s perspective if he started to play the way the coach wanted to then the end would justify the coaches means. MacT all the sudden looks like a genius. I think Penner rather prove MacT wrong than swallow his pride. He’s a stubborn bastard just like Craig and that’s probably why MacT hates him so much – because he knows deep down inside that Penner has the ability.

    I suspect proving MacT was the problem will translate into 35 goals next year from Penner.

    Trading him now would be the dumbest thing possible that we could do.

  133. Bruce says:

    I picked a bad 48 hours to be out of the loop. We’ve been cursed wth interesting times.

    First off, I’m with Oliver and Cory Klein the whole way re: Jeff Buckley’s astonishing interpretation and no-backup-band-required performance of “Hallelujah”. Great guitarist, stunning singer. For those who may have been missed him in passing (so to speak), the lone album he put out in his far-too-short lifetime, Grace, has been marked on a surprising number of “Greatest 100 Albums of All Time” lists. Including mine.

    (Sorry, LittleFury, doesn’t happen often but this time you’re just full of shit. :)

    /I know if I were GM, I’d be wondering at this point why, for all of Hemsky’s talent, does he seemingly come with a 526-page long instruction manual that has every 5th page missing.Digger: You forgot the part about the manual being written in an obscure Slavic dialect.

    It’s a one-game sample size, so take it for what it’s worth.It’s worth a lot coming from such a keen-eyed observer of the game. Thanks for that report, DG. If I’m ever in Winnipeg — heaven forbid :D — I’d love to go to a Moose game with you.

    Mike Keane is still playing? Wow. Mike Keane is still excelling in the playoffs? Now that’s not surprising at all.

    - How many games did MacT force Smid to play LW? 40? 60? Sure gets referenced a lot. Chrisakes, it was a short-term experiment to show Pou, Row-bear, Penns… what “jam” looks like. Mr dB, I was going to make the same point but you beat me to it. It was two games and all of 12:19. But …

    It cost the Oilers roughly Zero points.But … in Smid’s first game on LW, he took a hooking penalty that was entirely a defenceman’s reaction to a guy getting past him rather than a forward’s. Instead of letting the guy go to the next layer, he pulled him down. I just looked it up, it happened at 10:05 of the first period. The inevitable Red Wings powerplay goal occurred at 10:11 in another stunning display of PK “efficiency” (or: How to kill a 2-minute penalty in only 6 seconds). Oilers subsequently lost the game 4-3 in regulation. In a one-goal regulation loss my murky math equates a single goal to 1.5 standings points.

    Now whether your issue is the specific situation (unneecessary penalty as a direct result of man playing out of position) or the endemic shortcoming (shitty penalty killing unit) boils down to whether one wants to assign blame a standings point at a time or simply to the end result (missed playoffs, again).

    On the micro scale MacT made some brilliant moves and some dumb-ass ones, sometimes simultaneously such as against the Ducks when he sent out Stortini as the extra attacker, Zorg made him look like a genius by scoring 9 seconds later, and MacT celebrated by looking askance at Teemu Selanne’s stick. The plusses and minuses are rarely so clearcut, but surely there are zillions of game-affecting decisions made each and every night that do or don’t work out. But when the Great Scoreboard in the Sky shows the net result of -1 on too many nights, it’s generally not the “plus” decisions that will be remembered.

    On the macro scale, the team did not display a unity of purpose on very many nights this year and certainly never for a stretch of more than a week or two. The Oilers were not a tough team to play against, and the welcome mat that led to the visitors’ locker room at Rexall Place was a bitter pill for the paying customers in particular.

    Special teams are one aspect of the game which many consider a measure of the coach, and ours were a failure. The average NHL PK unit allowed 65 goals and scored 8. Ours allowed 76 and scored 3, a 16-goal differential. The powerplay, another presumed strength, was a net -5. In aseason of so many one-goal losses, in both overtime and regulation, those failures would be worth a significant number of standings points. Hard to say a Number, but surely something north of the 6 points by which Oilers missed the playoffs.

  134. quain says:

    Lindy Ruff, the East’s Craig MacTavish. He brings experience we haven’t had in the organization before… such as missing the playoffs as the eighth seed constantly. At least he already knows how to coach Ales Kotalik.

    In a one-goal regulation loss my murky math equates a single goal to 1.5 standings points.

    Except Smid’s penalty resulted in the third goal against, and we scored three goals. If it was the fourth goal against I could see where you were coming from; I’d disagree, but I’d understand it. Here though you’re picking a random interim goal and calling it the loss. In effect we lost six standing points that night because we allowed four goals, since I can’t understand why that goal is any better or worse than the other three.

  135. Rod says:

    @quain:
    So now a goal against doesn’t play a part in a loss? Smid’s penalty may not have been the only reason for the loss, but the Smid @ LW Experiment was not a net positive on the night. Should be more than fair enough to say it contributed to the loss. Which means the Experiment contributed to “lost points”. Exactly how much is up for debate. Saying the various experiments resulted in net zero “lost points” is clearly wrong though.

  136. Mr DeBakey says:

    “roughly Zero points”

    To be precise

  137. Rod says:

    But it wasn’t precisely zero. “Roughly one point” is arguably more accurate. For a two game experiment, that’s quite a cost.

  138. Rod says:

    lowetide said:
    The final weeks killed this team, and maybe that was for the better. But it’s not obviously for the better imo. The guy who made the roster moves is still on the payroll.
    Not that I’m defending Lowe’s moves, but why does MacT get a completely free ride on those same moves and/or the unbalanced lineup? Pretty certain MacTavish has stated he’s part of the decision process. At least during the off-season. As an example, I’d be shocked if Lowe and MacTavish hadn’t discussed the targets for their RFA offer sheets a couple summers ago. Or which UFAs to focus on each summer. Or which FAs to re-sign. Surely the coach could have sent out JDD after TC to go with just two ‘tenders.

    How about the roster management of playing Moreau with a broken hand since Christmas. The message was bad enough that 18 could take penalties with impunity, but MacT had to make it worse by trotting him out with a broken hand. Just another example of MacT cutting off his nose to spite his face this season.

    Imbalances were there to be sure. Just saying MacT played a role in that. And he didn’t seem to do his utmost to play the hand as dealt. Sometimes, it was more about sending messages and scapegoating certain players.

    Collateral damage from the message took a backseat as well. Seemed the only thing that mattered was sending the message. Rather than benching Penner in November (who until then hadn’t played with 10-83) and letting the PB trip sink in, MacT proceeded to lambaste him in the papers. MacT turned Penner into a lightning rod for all the team’s troubles. When Penner returned to the ice, he was booed. What a shock. MacTavish may as well have sewn Arnott’s name onto the 27 jersey. And if rumours are to be believed, Penner was harassed around town too (had his car vandalized; booed while ordering a coffee). Why is it FAs don’t sign here? I’m sure the message was well received though.

    BTW, technically, MacT is still on the payroll too… (what a dumb question that was yesterday during the Tambellini press conference). Regardless, it’s Tambellini making the moves now. Both Lowe and MacT were effectively removed. Why is that such a bad thing LT?

    Searching for a positive? With a new coach, I can’t see 18 retaining the “C”. Of course I’d like his contract traded away this summer. Time will tell on that one, but the “C” should be gone at least. To either 44 or 10.

  139. Rod says:

    Dennis said:
    …I basically said that even though I loved the guy and wished him well as long as he landed with an org I didn’t hate, it was time for change because as it was the Oilers weren’t exactly a success.
    Pretty much my thoughts exactly.

  140. bookie says:

    And if rumours are to be believed, Penner was harassed around town too (had his car vandalized; booed while ordering a coffee). Why is it FAs don’t sign here? I’m sure the message was well received though.
    .

    Yes, Edmonton’s louts don’t help this team

    Regardless, it’s Tambellini making the moves now. Both Lowe and MacT were effectively removed. Why is that such a bad thing LT?.

    Wow, I cannot believe how many people think that the firing of MacT somehow removes Lowe from the picture as though they were somehow one in the same. Think about it – Lowe put the team together and signed Penner in a risky move – MacT failed with the team and contributed to Penner looking like an ass. Given Lowe’s ego, don’t you think that he believes that MacT messed up the team that he (lowe) put together.

    Somehow the fact that Tambo was sitting at the desk and looking like the boss man has convinced many people that Lowe is neutered. Don’t kid yourselves, there is no reason to believe that, Lowe is President of hockey opertations and has a big say in any trade/hiring that goes on.

    I do think that Tambo will have the real role as GM (as Lowe said when Tambo was hired and as we saw at the trade deadline), but the model is still a collective approach to management.

    I actually heard someone say that Tambo ‘stuck it to Katz’ by firing MacT…as though Katz somehow does not have a say in it. Katz sent a message when the season was still on saying ‘MacT is not going anywhere’, I believe he was trying to say – the season is still on you morons – nothing is happening on this issue now.

    It goes like this
    1. Katz (Supreme Boss)
    2. Lowe (Ultra Boss)
    3. Tambo (Working Day to Day Boss)

    Anyone who thinks its the other way around is confused.

  141. HBomb says:

    Two names floated by Brownlee today: Todd Richards (San Jose assistant coach), and….Geoff Ward.

    Count me as STRONGLY opposed to the latter, and indifferent on the former.

  142. Rod says:

    @bookie:
    Sure, Katz is the “supreme-boss”, but that doesn’t mean every decision goes past his desk. Same would be true of Lowe. To effectively do the review of player personnel, coaching, scouting, etc. Tambellini needs free reign. Granted, he might not actually have it…time will tell on that one. In the same way I shouldn’t assume Lowe is basically a rubber stamp, you shouldn’t assume Lowe’s still driving player decisions. Fair?

  143. Dennis says:

    Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah is the closest thing I’ve ever come to a religious experience I’ve ever had.

    I was raised by my grandparents and both were god fearing and my mother was especially religious and these days I mostly go during the big occasions because I know it does her heart good:)

    I’m not sure exactly how or where my faith lies but there’s something about that song that does it for me.

  144. kris says:

    Bruce,

    I’m your biggest fan but that Smid-at-LW-cost-us-2-points argument is beneath you.

    By the same logic I can say Smid did 10 things to win that game and without him we would have lost by 5. That is, an analysis of Smid at wing needs to take in all of the pluses and minuses. Unfortunately, the real cost of Smid at LW, arising from the fact that he wasn’t playing D, is hard to measure. Maybe it cost points. Maybe it didn’t.

    Everyone:

    Most of what everyone is saying about MacT here is pure guess work, IMO. We’re guessing blind about what went on behind the scenes. And we’re making assumptions about the impact a few line odd up changes can make to goal differential.

    Nonetheless, there are two good reasons to fire Mact:

    1. The PK and PP appeared to be poorly coached. For example, the “pass it to Souray” option was a good one, but we didn’t work other options.

    2. In the last 3 years, MacT never overachieved for more than a few games. Some coaches can get teams overachieving. Maybe they do it by luck or maybe its skill. Who knows. But MacT wasn’t doing it. The best we can say is that it’s possible that he wasn’t more than a minor cause of the teams poor record. Hardly high praise.

    Indeed, if, as MC79 and others have suggested, the results a team has are largely determined by the players, the best we can say about MacT’s coaching is that he didn’t do any worse than an average coach. But, if MacT spends years performing like an average coach, why not try bringing in a new coach to see if he can do better or get lucky.

    That is, the real question for anyone who is at all bothered by the decision to fire MacT is: “Why not fire MacT?” Apart from sentimentality?

    Or maybe this is obvious.

  145. Lowetide says:

    The Jeff Buckley version (the one where he’s alone in a studio with a guitar) is one of the most moving performances I’ve ever seen. It’s like Nina Simone being channelled through Leonard Cohen with God somewhere in there.

    As for religon, I’m an RC married to a cradle RC but as things roll out in my life if my kids end up being good people and “doing unto others” then it’s all good.

  146. Bruce says:

    Quain (& Kris): Don't take me too literally. It's pretty much impossible to say this decision or that decision cost X points, one can just choose examples as proxies. Had Smid not taken that penalty and Detroit not scored to make it 3-0, there is no way to determine the rest of the game would have unfolded the same way, that Detroit would have defended the late lead the same way, etc. But since Mr. dB said the experiment cost us roughly Zero points I thought there’s enough of a cause-and-effect to that particular example to at least make the contrary case.

    Nor can you say with certainty e.g. that cuz Smid idled in the press box or spun his wheels on LW while Strudwick posted six consecutive -1 games on the blueline, three of them 1-goal regulation losses, that MacT’s preference for retread veterans cost us points. But it’s fair ground to surmise it.

    It’s also fair ground to surmise that MacT’s decision to rush the rookie Liam Reddox back from concussion only to commit two key defensive blunders in a one-goal regulation loss may have cost us points. Again, there’s no certainty, just information that contributes to an informed opinion. And a balanced opinion should also include the positives, such as the miracle in San Jose where MacT’s unexpected choices of Brule and Brodziak in overtime were rewarded with a powerplay and then a goal. Not all of his hunches turned out badly.

    It’s really just a game of coulda woulda shoulda, and needs to be taken with a kilogram of salt. As I stated and Kris reinforced, there are a zillion things that could tip the balance every night, and to pick One and say this was The decisive factor is disingenuous. Even a flat-out blunder like the stick measurement didn’t necessarily cost us anything other than a great deal of frustration.

    I also should have been more clear that every goal against or Not scored has the same value in a 1-goal loss, but that value can only be applied once. If just one circumstance could have been changed, potentially that’s 1.5 points. But if four circumstances could have possibly been changed, that’s still just 1.5 points for any one of those, or a maximum total of two points no matter how many things went right. There are limitations of logic that need to be applied.

  147. bookie says:

    Rod – That’s totally fair – I think that Lowe recognized some of his own failings under pressure and was a big part of bringing Tambo in. I would bet that like any professional relationship decisions are made between the two and sometimes three. At times each individual gives or takes a little out of respect for the other. Sometimes even with a ‘I will go with it if you feel strongly’ and other times its total consensus…

  148. Coach pb9617 says:

    I’m not sure exactly how or where my faith lies but there’s something about that song that does it for me.You guys know that his version is about sex, right?

  149. Lowetide says:

    I would hope so. Leonard Cohen is two parts sex, one part God, one part cigarette.

  150. Dennis says:

    Coach: I never thought anything more about it then the way it makes me feel. When i say religious experience, I mean it just feels like something about the usual plane.

  151. Dennis says:

    LT: I hope you’re still checking on this thread because I found a cool link that I think you’ll like.

    Harry Kalas died this week and I’ve been reading some of the subsequent coverage.

    Here’s a link that holds an awesome story:

    http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/42947317.html

  152. shepso says:

    On this whole Cohen thing that keeps coming up…hate to rub salt into anyone’s wounds, but I have to say I am pretty stoked to be going to his show in Edmonton, even though it is (sadly) at Rexall. That I am sitting in the second row will make up for the terrible ambiance of seeing a show more suited to the Winspear in a hockey rink. It’s the day after my deadline, so happy thesis to me!

  153. Lowetide says:

    Dennis: Classic story.

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