Sharks at Oilers, G78/08-09

This is Dan Boyle. I liked the Sharks to go deep into the second season before they acquired him, and it looks to me like the team to beat in the west wears teal and black.

I hope they win it all. The Oakland Seals fanbase deserves it.

As for the Oilers, what a dreadful way to end an entertaining season. I stubbornly maintain Craig MacTavish doesn’t deserve the ass-kicking he’s getting from the fans (and he’s getting it) due to the shoddy template used by Oilers management (“we’re out of balance now, but we’ll figure out what we need at the deadline”) but that train has left the station.

Craig MacTavish is a dead man walking today in terms of his Oilers coaching career. I’ll predict two things:

  1. MacT gets an NHL job in a heartbeat.
  2. The Oilers hire someone with deep ties to the organization to replace him.
  3. Said person is a little shy in terms of coaching experience.

We’ll see. Go Oilers. Clap. Clap.

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556 Responses to "Sharks at Oilers, G78/08-09"

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  1. Quinn says:

    I have to say, I enjoyed the finale of ER much more than this game.

    Sorry again Alice about that diaper thing.

  2. Jonathan Willis says:

    Can anybody, anybody at all, tell me wat Gagner, O’Sullivan and Nilsson were doing out there with the season on the line?

    It is BEYOND ME.

  3. Lord Bob says:

    But, seriously guys, MacTavish is a smart coach. He knows that when you need a goal or your entire season has been a complete waste of everyone’s time and money, you should send out some second-line players bolstered by an extra defenseman.

    I bet you there’s not another coach in the league who’d have that insight!

  4. Scott says:

    So… maybe four in a row is still good enough. Guys? GUYS?

  5. mc79hockey says:

    I have to say, I enjoyed the finale of ER much more than this game.

    Did Mark and that blonde doctor, can’t remember her name, end up getting together?

  6. Alice says:

    JW – at least they’re Forwards, Why were there 3 d-men on?

  7. Quinn says:

    Sorry, but I think it is a bit late to wonder about poor coaching choices this year. Really, it is more consistent than anything else we have seen on the ice. Unless you’re looking at PDP’s performance.

  8. Jonathan Willis says:

    Hey, now Roli can have a night off. JDD! JDD! JDD!

  9. Lord Bob says:

    Alice: if the Oilers gave up an empty-net goal, they’d have been in real trouble! My one complaint is that Stortini and Reddox weren’t out to provide valuable scrappiness.

  10. Quinn says:

    Did Mark and that blonde doctor, can’t remember her name, end up getting together?

    Naw, just lots of random people dying. And ambulances.

    Boy, do I love ambulances.

  11. PDO says:

    BTW..

    Why the fuck was Souray in front of the net while Penner rode pine?

    Sigh.

  12. Jonathan Willis says:

    Horcoff, Hemsky, Gagner, Nilsson, Gilbert, Grebeshkov.

    Sub Souray in for either defenseman if you’d like; I’d keep 37/77 together because they’ve been a pair all night, but whatever.

    I wouldn’t go with what MacTavish did.

  13. Phil says:

    Good to see Hemmer get benched. Seriously. He’s been porridge for over a month. He had one good shift tonight, and plenty of half-hearted ones.

    With 1 minute to go in the season, it may not be the best timing. But whatever.

  14. Jonathan Willis says:

    LB: Thecaptainethanmoreau would have been a good choice too. Can’t be going down 3-1 with a minute left you know.

  15. Dennis says:

    From the official site: Approximately 10 minutes after the game, Oilers President of Hockey Operations Kevin Lowe will address the media in a press conference.

  16. Jonathan Willis says:

    Well, that’s it. I’ve been over the top in my comments here tonight, but now the season’s done and I can reclaim some perspective. Good night, all.

  17. oilerdago says:

    //BTW..

    Why the fuck was Souray in front of the net while Penner rode pine?

    Sigh.//

    Don’t worry PDO. Penner’s Oiler career has exactly 4 games remaining since Katz wants MacT back.

    The coach will have to find another whipping boy for next season.

    Volunteers?

  18. Jonathan Willis says:

    Oilerdago: O’Sullivan with the inside track.

  19. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Lowe presser after the game.

  20. Quinn says:

    From the official site: Approximately 10 minutes after the game, Oilers President of Hockey Operations Kevin Lowe will address the media in a press conference.

    Is this on the website or is there a feed for it?

  21. Phil says:

    Anyone else giggle when you see Regher get injured?

  22. Scott says:

    Dennis,

    I assume that Lowe will say that if we can win four in a row we’ll still make it. Or MacT is fired and he’s found the only logical replacement: Rob Schremp, HockeyJesus.

  23. Traktor says:

    My money says he comes out and says MacT is coaching next year.

  24. pboy says:

    Good effort tonight, you can’t fault them for that at least. 1 win the last 7 games during the stretch drive is pathetic though. Let’s not forget that in that 1 win, they were badly outplayed and outshot and Roli might have had his best game of the season to pick up the two points. Well, if MacT is going to be back behind the bench next season we can all look forward to an off season of trading away Dustin Penner, Marc Pouliot and Robert Nilsson for pennies on the dollar. Yeah!?!?!?

  25. matty says:

    @Scott

    Four in a row will be no problem. Everyone has written off the Oil, now they’ll be loose!

  26. Jonathan Willis says:

    My money says he comes out and says MacT is coaching next year.

    Mine too.

  27. quain says:

    Maybe Kevin Lowe wants to make fun of Bobby Ryan again.

  28. Scott says:

    If Traktor is right, Ched call-in time should be hilarious.

  29. Jonathan Willis says:

    For the sake of maintaining the illusion, shouldn’t this be a Tambellini press conference?

  30. Lord Bob says:

    My money is that not only does he announce MacTavish is still his coach, he openly mocks us for us giving them money anyway.

  31. Phil says:

    Me three. With the obligitory “we still have faith in our coach” drivel to go with it.

  32. Phil says:

    Maybe Kevin Lowe wants to make fun of Bobby Ryan again.

    That made me really really laugh.

  33. Lord Bob says:

    You know what? I changed my mind. I now suspect that the Oilers will announce that Horcoff is going to the minors and Dwayne Roloson is our new first-line centre.

  34. oilerdago says:

    I’ve got it! Lowe will admit that Burke was right and he ran the team into the sewar!

  35. Scott says:

    So on Ched pre-game Katz gave the coach a vote of confidence. Huh. I guess that means Traktor et al are right. Ched will indeed be fun tonight.

  36. relic says:

    still holding out for the kiss of death angle.

  37. Traktor says:

    “I’ve never been more comfortable this team would make the playoffs.”

    - Kevin Lowe around 4-6 weeks ago.

  38. Phil says:

    How about another “Is It Me???” speech?

  39. quain says:

    Or! This is going to be about Rob Schremp’s AHL performance not being up to snuff.

  40. mc79hockey says:

    “Hope you’ve enjoyed this season. MacT stays until the funding for a new arena is in place.”

  41. Lucinius says:

    Lord Bob: Maybe its just me.. but I want to see Roloson take a face off. In full goalie gear.

    I don’t know why, I just want to.

    Probably because the guy has done damn near everything else to keep the team alive as of late.

  42. Jonathan Willis says:

    Phil: Those are Terry Jones exclusives; not for general consumption.

  43. Scott says:

    Whatever Lowe says it’s a guaran-damn-tee that MacT comes from the back and cracks him with a steel chair at the end of the spiel.

  44. David S says:

    Uhh guys – might want to go over to the Oilers site. Kevin Lowe PC has been announced.

  45. quain says:

    Whatever Lowe says it’s a guaran-damn-tee that MacT comes from the back and cracks him with a steel chair at the end of the spiel.

    Oh my God! That’s Craig MacTavish’s music!

  46. Jonathan Willis says:

    I feel bad for Craig MacTavish.

  47. Phil says:

    JW: My bad.

  48. Jonathan Willis says:

    Seriously; he doesn’t deserve the crap he’s taken. I have nothing but respect for his mental strength.

  49. Lowetide says:

    Lowe will probably announce that they’ve signed Linus Omark.

  50. pboy says:

    Yeah me too. He gets paid over a million dollars a year to coach a professional hockey team and he’s apparently has more job security than Scotty Bowman in late 70′s. Maybe we should all take up a collection for him.

  51. Dennis says:

    and here’s Vish!!!!!!!!

  52. Phil says:

    Maybe Katz’ text message meant he was stuck on the Whitemud?

  53. Lord Bob says:

    I support a literal kiss of death, The Godfather, Part II

    Lowe meeting MacTavish in a crowded dressing room after the game.

    “There’s a plane waiting to take us to Edmonton. Don’t make a big deal of it.”

    Then he lays one right on MacT’s lips.

    “I know it was you, Craig. You broke my heart. You broke my heart.

    Then Kelly Buchberger shoots him in the back of the head one day when they’re out fishing.

  54. mc79hockey says:

    Darryl’s disappointed and frustrated and he sends Lowe to deliver his messages? Fucking hilarious. He’s upset that his pre-game show was talking about the news?

    Oh man! This is hilarious.

  55. Phil says:

    Odder? Not a word.

  56. mc79hockey says:

    I have seriously missed these press conferences. This is awesome!

  57. Jonathan Willis says:

    God bless Ryan Rishaug.

  58. Lowetide says:

    Craig MacTavish is NOT Fredo.

  59. mc79hockey says:

    “I’m not going to tell you guys how to do your jobs.”

  60. quain says:

    That was vaguely cult-ish right there.

  61. Jonathan Willis says:

    Kevin Lowe is refusing to answer the question.

    Steadfastly refusing.

  62. pboy says:

    So it’s odd that the fans are questioning the job profiency of the coach when his team is mired in a 1-6 slump during the playoff stretch? Wow! Kevin Lowe has led a sheltered life.

  63. Lord Bob says:

    Darryl, I know you’re reading this. If a guy running one of your drug stores insisted on stocking his shelves full of ObscureODrug 2000 even though the only times it left the store was because a junkie stole it and he said that it “had character”, and he fired good employees for not licking his boots while keeping his favourites insulated from all responsibility, you’re telling me you wouldn’t fire him faster than you can say “thecaptainethanmoreau”?

  64. Lord Bob says:

    LT: I guess MacTavish isn’t Fredo, because Fredo was an ultimately likeable, if flawed man who simply got in over his head and MacTavish is… actually…

  65. Phil says:

    If Katz thinks he has any say over what the fans will talk about, he’s pretty fucking delusional. This is Canada. Hockey fans are pretty passionate, if the team sucks, the fans will call for the coach’s head. Big surprise.

  66. Quinn says:

    So, because I have a Mac, I can’t see this presser. Can someone summarise what’s going on for me?

  67. quain says:

    “Kevin, Kevin, can you talk more about Daryl’s passion? Is it a red-hot throbbing passion or more of a drunk, trying to get into the wrong apartment passion? I just want to get a good understanding of his passion.”

  68. Jonathan Willis says:

    Sonofabitch.

    That’s the clearest signal I’ve seen that Craig MacTavish is done as head coach.

  69. Lucinius says:

    So, uh.. I miss something? Because I didn’t see a point to that pres conference.

  70. mc79hockey says:

    Well. That skyrockets to #2 on my list of laughable Oilers press conferences, immediately behind the Bill Butler gangbang last year when the local media found their courage for a day or two.

  71. pboy says:

    Most.Pathetic.Presser.Ever

  72. Lord Bob says:

    mudcrutch: no love for Bill Hunter calling a press conference to announce his next press conference?

  73. Jonathan Willis says:

    So, to recap:

    -Daryl Katz is upset that MacTavish’s future is being discussed.
    -Daryl Katz is passionate about the game.
    -Kevin Lowe refuses to answer any question about Craig MAcTavish’s future becuase Daryl Katz doesn’t want it discussed.

    MacTavish is done.

  74. Jonathan Willis says:

    So he answers what, 3 or 4 questions in English and Terry Jones wastes one asking about whether Daryl Katz will address the media at season’s end.

  75. Quinn says:

    Thanks JW

    Sounded weird – don’t any of these guys know anything of how to communicate in a crisis? Rule #1 – tell the truth. Rule #2 – don’t forget rule #1.

  76. Scott says:

    So to summarize the press conference in one sentence: Darryl’s feelings were hurt that fans were talking about the coach instead of the exciting race for the playoffs immediately before the game.

    Ched’s pregame could be pretty odd.

  77. Jonathan Willis says:

    I wonder if the Oilers have a PR guy who knows about controlling the message and spin? Because sending Kevin Lowe to tell people that Daryl Katz doesn’t want Craig MacTavish’s future discussed is possibly the worst exercise in this that I’ve ever seen.

  78. Dennis says:

    Remember the time that Homer saw the ad for a trampoline in the paper and he got so excited that he couldn’t pronounce the name right?

    That’s what I feel like right now.

  79. pboy says:

    Tramp-amp-poline?

  80. Jonathan Willis says:

    Honestly, Kevin Lowe should have said something along the lines of: “We’ll review the performance of this team top to bottom in the off-season, including the coaching staff, and until we’ve done that no decision will be made.”

  81. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    If the Edmonton media had any stones tomorrow would be golden.

    We’ll see.

  82. Traktor says:

    I’m spinning like a drunken sailor.

  83. oilerdago says:

    Katz and Lowe can tell Ched that they don’t want to talk about the status of the Coach but that’s not going to stop the fans from talking about how badly messed up things are.

    And God bless the first caller on the post game show for that first comment.

    Classic!

  84. Quinn says:

    Sooooo, the Oiler’s have announced that everything is the same as it was before. Which tells us that everything is changing. But not how, or why or in what direction.

    I wonder why the fans get so upset!~

  85. Phil says:

    Wow. Wow wow wow. Basically saying to the fans that they’ll cheer for this team no matter what, and they’ll like it. I am so pissed right now.

    The. Fans. Pay. Your. Bills. Mr. Katz. And you’re trotting Lowe out there to tell them they’re idiots, to have the audacity to call for the coach’s head when the team has played like shit all year, all while the coach makes irrational decisions?

    Only in Edmonton. The “brain trust” of this team needs to give their collective heads a shake.

  86. pboy says:

    You guys just keep filling the building, standing in line at the concession stands, buy the 50-50 tickets, keep purchasing the Oiler memorablia and cheering when we tell you to and keep your opinions to yourselves.

  87. Lucinius says:

    What was the first call?

    I can’t hear anything over the noise here about the bitching about the presser.

  88. Lord Bob says:

    Do we miss the EIG yet, guys?

  89. Jonathan Willis says:

    MacTavish looked crushed during his five second cameo there. I can’t blame him; I sure as hell wouldn’t want his job.

    ‘I’m not going to discuss my future, it’s taken on a life of it’s own and I don’t want to contribute to my own disparagement any more. I’m going to discuss the game that just happened, I think that’s fair.’

    I’m going by memory, but that’s relatively close to what he said. This has to wear on a guy.

    Not that he doesn’t deserve criticism, mind you, but it’s good to remember that he’s being affected by it too.

  90. Lord Bob says:

    JW: It bears repeating that I think all of us like MacTavish. If MacTavish lost his job tomorrow and then ten years from now it came out that he was living under a highway overpass in Topeka, I’d be the first guy to spend $100 for a ticket to the Get-MacT-A-New-House Charity Game.

    But that doesn’t mean he’s a good coach.

  91. Dennis says:

    What did the first caller say???

    PBoy: Yes, that’s what homer said:)

  92. mc79hockey says:

    If the Edmonton media had any stones tomorrow would be golden.

    It’s funny FCM, Brownlee and Dennis have been at each other all year over Dennis’ inability to say anything without a shot at the local media types. It drives Brownlee insane.

    Lowe might as well have started that press conference by saying: “As an aside Robin, Dennis is completely right when he says you guys are in the bag for us. We’re shocked and disgusted with all of you who aren’t playing ball.”

  93. quain says:

    What did the first caller say???

    My passion is bulging and raw?

  94. amw says:

    what a soap opera… can’t the Oilers just decide if they are keeping the guy (or not) and say so? between this lecture and telling the fans not to be critical during games is beyond ridiculous.

    our management is an embarrassment.

  95. Peeeete. says:

    Willis: It’s unfortunate that MacT’s gonna get fired, while the rest of this organization will continue on their merry way, unscathed.

    Crappy coach this season, yes, but a smart and classy guy. The rot’s higher up.

    I wish I’d listened to that PC. Hard on the blood pressure though.

  96. oilerdago says:

    In essence the first caller said, he apologized for having an opinion (very saracastic).

  97. Phil says:

    The first thing the first caller said was to the effect of “I hope I don’t anger Mr. Katz because I have an opinion, but he’ll be happy to know that I don’t want to discuss MacT.”

  98. Lucinius says:

    I don’t like Mact. I don’t. I never have, though — even when he was a player.

    As a Coach, he’s had a horrible year. He’s made several utterly incomprehensible decisions this year. This has been a horrible year for Mact; nowhere near as good as he has been in the past.

    I think he needs to go, for both the team and himself, because he’s better than he’s shown to be this year.

    Lowe just needs to be fired.

  99. Quinn says:

    The comments on here just prove my point.

    Tell the truth, be open and the fans might actually get behind you. We all love a good mea culpa.

    But, the high-handed crap will never go over. Especially with a saavy fan base.

    Geeez

  100. Jonathan Willis says:

    This press conference makes sense, if you figure that MacT is gone in the offseason.

    They won’t say it publicly now (how could they?), they just clumsily try to deflect attention away from it. They refuse to answer questions about his future on the grounds that Katz doesn’t want it discussed in the middle of a playoff run.

    As for the Edmonton media guys, I can’t believe I’m doing this but both Barnes and Rishaug asked the question that Lowe didn’t want asked, so I don’t see them as ‘weak’ at this particular moment in time.

  101. mc79hockey says:

    I can see why MacT insisted on going out before Lowe dropped that particular bomb.

  102. mc79hockey says:

    As for the Edmonton media guys, I can’t believe I’m doing this but both Barnes and Rishaug asked the question that Lowe didn’t want asked, so I don’t see them as ‘weak’ at this particular moment in time.

    I thought Jones’ follow-up question: “Will I get to see Darryl at the end of the year?!?!?” was penetrating.

  103. Jonathan Willis says:

    Tyler: As did I.

    Those three questions showed with striking clarity the two ends of the Edmonton media. Barnes & Rishaug at one end, Jones at the other; rather in keeping with their past performance, yes?

  104. Coach pb9617 says:

    Andrew Cogliano update:

    4W – 4L tonight – 50% and Cogliano is trying to not make history!

    That puts him at 48W 150L in his last 20 games — 24%

    He needs to go 56%, 18W 14L over the last four games to avoid becoming the worst faceoff man of the decade.

  105. Dennis says:

    Awhile ago LT had a thread about what Katz might be like as an owner and the last thing I said was something along the lines of “name me a recluse who Isn’t a bit nutty.”

    Stauffer has Katz’s ear so Katz texts Bob and says the coach stays. Was Bob supposed to report that? Well, he does, and Lowe sees fit to call a PC to comment on a text message apparently because Katz has texter’s remorse and he’s disappointed about what fans are talking about.

    It just keeps going on and on/

  106. Woodguy says:

    As for the Edmonton media guys, I can’t believe I’m doing this but both Barnes and Rishaug asked the question that Lowe didn’t want asked, so I don’t see them as ‘weak’ at this particular moment in time.

    I missed it, what did Barnes and Rishaug ask?

  107. Jonathan Willis says:

    Dennis: Supposedly, Bob asked if that was on the record and Katz said it was.

    I imagine Katz figured that his text would shut everyone up, and when it didn’t Lowe got sent out.

  108. Jonathan Willis says:

    Woodguy: Both tried to nail down Lowe into making a definitive statement on MacTavish’s future. I think Barnes asked if he’d be back in a different capacity next year.

    Lowe didn’t answer either question, and didn’t seem happy with either of them for that matter.

  109. Lowetide says:

    They’re gonna need a bigger zamboni.

  110. Dennis says:

    Does Lowe honestly feel good about this?

    He’s eating breakfast eight days a week and putting out The Nutty’s Professor’s fires.

    It beats destroying the franchise from the inside out, though, I guess.

  111. Swabbubba says:

    Katz is passionate about the game? WTF as owner he has produced the most useless team in the history of the Oilers. He owns it the buck stops there. I can see an all time low buy rate for LA game.
    What has he been dosing the team all year. They come out a sleep walk through the 1st period.
    Fans let them know that what they have done is not acceptable, begging for cheers wtf. U earn it.

  112. Woodguy says:

    Woodguy: Both tried to nail down Lowe into making a definitive statement on MacTavish’s future. I think Barnes asked if he’d be back in a different capacity next year.

    Did Lowe look like Clancy Wiggum with his hands in the air yelling “NOTHING TO SEE HERE!”, while Springfield burned behind him?

  113. Phil says:

    Not that it’s saying much, but even the Sportsnet guys are mystified by the Lowe presser.

  114. slipper says:

    Did Hunter hack everyone’s blogger accounts?

  115. Coach pb9617 says:

    Craig MacTavish is NOT Fredo.

    BULLLLLLLSHIT.

    Lowe is Sonny, MacTavish is Fredo.

    I’m going with Craig Simpson as Michael.

  116. Coach pb9617 says:

    MacTavish is done.

    He better be. I’m coming for you JW, if you’re wrong.

    Not that he doesn’t deserve criticism, mind you, but it’s good to remember that he’s being affected by it too.

    Good. The fucker deserves it after the effect that his unjust criticism has had on Nilsson, Pouliot and Penner.

  117. Coach pb9617 says:

    They won’t say it publicly now (how could they?),

    They could have fired him in March.

    I’m going with Craig Simpson as Michael.

    Oh hell. Kurri is Michael. We all know it. He’s even pulling Michael-level tail.

  118. slipper says:

    Barnsey?

    Jonesy?

    You guys are our 24th and 25th boys on the bus, we know you’ll do the right thing at your laptops tonghit.

    Sorry Ryan, no Y at the end of your name. Spout all you want in the Toronto media, but if you ever intend on being on an Oilers PPV telecast again…

  119. Over and Out says:

    I can’t believe this.
    It is not the fans team anymore.
    Its a rich guy and his buddies team.

  120. bookie says:

    I get a sense that most people on this board tonight are either drunk or have lost their minds. Katz has owned this team for something like 8 months, lets not run him out of town yet. Sometimes I wonder if this city is just a large version of Fort Mac.

  121. Over and Out says:

    How bad would we be laughing if this was the Flames?

  122. Lowetide says:

    bookie: Nah. Just disappointed the season is gone. I’m a little surprised MacTavish is so reviled here though. Tonight’s read is a lot closer to hfboards than I ever thought we’d be.

  123. HBomb says:

    If Hemsky asks for a trade, you fire MacT immediately to make him happy. Simple as that.

    Because you would NOT get fair value in return. No way you would.

  124. bookie says:

    LT- I agree, as much as I have flip flopped on MacT this year (and at times felt pretty strongly that he should go), I just don’t get a bunch of guys who rant and rave about him being a useless idiot (and other things). I mean, what teams do all of these guys coach – I suppose they are all too busy running their mulibillion dollar organizations.

    You can make the argument that MacT (or anyone else) has not done their job as well as some other elite coach or GM might, but it can be done with respect (as some people do).

    I just don’t think that Edmontonians are prone to respect anymore. We run players out of town and behave like a bunch of drunk brits at a soccer match…

  125. Coach pb9617 says:

    bookie: Nah. Just disappointed the season is gone. I’m a little surprised MacTavish is so reviled here though. Tonight’s read is a lot closer to hfboards than I ever thought we’d be.

    I actually really liked the guy before this year. I defended him left and right. Defended his pet Marty Sakic. Defended his insistence on two-way play for everyone but Hemsky. But this year showed me a whole lot about MacTavish the coach and some insight into MacTavish the man. He was not who we thought he was.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to find him in burnout, or possibly on the verge of burnout. He’s doing things that rational people and rational coaches do not do. For someone that had previous seemed more intelligent that about 26 other coaches, it’s uncharacteristic and it means it’s time to go.

  126. Jonathan Willis says:

    LT: That’s fair.

    I honestly think people (beyond the usual group) started turning on MacTavish when he started ripping players in public.

    It was out of character for him.

  127. bookie says:

    How bad would we be laughing if this was the Flames?

    When they hired Keenan I thought this would be the Flames. I guess I was wrong.

  128. Lowetide says:

    Well, when intelligent people are comparing MacTavish to Fredo I believed we’ve lost a little bit of perspective.

    Kind of sad, really.

  129. Coach pb9617 says:

    I mean, what teams do all of these guys coach – I suppose they are all too busy running their mulibillion dollar organizations.

    Don’t appeal to authority, it diminishes the argument.

  130. Jonathan Willis says:

    LT: I see coach and I had a similar thought, and I was hoping for your take – has Craig MacTavish’s performance this season been typical or atypical of his career as coach?

    Because I think we’ve been off the beaten path this year.

  131. Peeeete. says:

    LT: disappointment accounts for most of the ranting, I’m sure. That and beer. But maybe there’s something else…

    Personally, I think MacT’s a good coach who had a bad year, and should leave with style and class. I can deal with the team sucking; it’s grown familiar and comfortable o’er these many years.

    But there’s an arrogance and air of unreality about this whole organization, and it’s been expressed more openly than usual over the last while (“the fans will cheer when I tell them to cheer!”). That’s the real disappointment. At least leave me my illusions…

  132. slipper says:

    Lowetide has lost the blog.

  133. Coach pb9617 says:

    Well, when intelligent people are comparing MacTavish to Fredo I believed we’ve lost a little bit of perspective.

    Kind of sad, really.

    Sad, actually.

    You don’t see this year’s MacTavish and Fredo as being the same? I mean, if we’re only able to use Godfather characters.

    If we can use any character, then this year’s MacTavish is Patton slapping the ever-loving hell out of the shell-shocked kid in the hospital.

  134. Lowetide says:

    Jonathan: I think it’s three things:

    1. MacTavish gets stubborn on certain guys. Always has, and this season it’s really cost him. He reminds me in this way of Whitey Herzog, who used to run out a lefty pitcher to get one out (a LH bat) even though his pitcher was throwing a SO late into the game. Sometimes it blew up on him, but Whitey was stubborn about it and never did stop bringing in a one out lefty when he thought it was the right move.

    2. Balance. This team needs more options in some critical areas. That 3rd G could have been Wes Walz all season. Who do we blame?

    3. The new reality. For maybe the first time in memory, exceptional teams are finished 10th (or possibly worse) in the Western conference. There is a crazy situation going on in the NHL now in that some poor teams make the second season in the east and vice versa in the west. It’s kind of like the expansion era where awful teams lived in one division and fine teams remained locked in regular season life and death.

    So, three things. ONE of which is MacTavish, who has surprised me in the past (use of the word retarded which is extremely offensive, and his comments this season on Penner and others) but is clearly a smart man.

    I also find myself being turned off by the Oiler fan currently. I do know that the amount of verbal abuse directed toward this coach is seriously beyond the pale.

    And that isn’t really attractive to me as a fan. Call it highbrow or goodie-goodie, but when family can’t attend games for fear of abuse then imo we’ve arrived at too far and then driven several miles past.

  135. bookie says:

    I have been a lukewarm supporter/detractor of MacT durring his entire career here, but I try to point out where he fails and what I think he is doing wrong. I think that is the valuable discusion here. Discussion about lines, about strategy, and about coaching style (should he have called out Penner, etc). I really appreciate those discussions, but it seems as though half or so of the comments are things like “This organization is a joke” or “Lowe is the dumbest GM in history”. Those do not demonstrate an appreciation for the game, but rather a shallow emotional attachment to it.

    I even get that some of us do a bit of both when we get pissed off, but it seems that some people have little else to offer.

  136. bookie says:

    And that isn’t really attractive to me as a fan. Call it highbrow or goodie-goodie, but when family can’t attend games for fear of abuse then imo we’ve arrived at too far and then driven several miles past.

    That’s my point too LT. I don’t know that many Oiler fans appreciate the game. I know that they yell and scream and spend lots on Jerseys, but I really wonder what % of the fans out there have any appreciation for even basic strategy.

    My brother and law always says stuff like “What a loser, if I were out there, I would have totally got that puck” or “Roloson sucks and couldn’t stop a beach ball”. Meanwhile, here he is working a no skill, no responsability job going nowhere with his life. I think that the coach, the manager, the president, and the Owner of the team deserve some respect in our community.

    I also wonder how Katz will react when he faces a bunch of Bozo’s on the radio and elsewhere attacking him. If I were in his position, I would think about relocating to a friendlier city (Pheonix or LA). How much money will he sink into our downtown once we drive him out?

  137. Peeeete. says:

    I think the goonishness of fans may just be an offshoot of a boom economy, and too many 22-year-olds with too much money. Let the economy tank for another 6 months, and that aspect of things will get better. Seriously.

  138. Jonathan Willis says:

    Lowetide: I read that entire post of yours, and then read it again. Every one of those thoughts fits my view as well; aside from the baseball reference, I could have written it ;)

    I think he’s a classy guy, a smart guy, and a fellow who we’re going to miss when he goes because odds are the guy who shows up isn’t going to be nearly so forthcoming or eloquent in his communication with the public.

    And I hate the way the vast majority of Oiler fandom has chopsen to voice their distatse over MacTavish and over this season. Certainly I agree that much of what’s happened to this team is not only outside of MacTavish’s control but run directly counter to the way he would have done things.

    I do think he bears some responsibility, and I think it’s time for a different coach. Neither of those things make me enjoy the public humiliation MacTavish is enduring right now.

  139. Jonathan Willis says:

    Peeeete: I appreciate the point, and don’t disagree, but given that I just turned 23 please don’t write all of us young’uns off.

  140. Lowetide says:

    bookie: I don’t think (or at least I hope) it will go that far. Katz has a ridiculous city for his team, with the only negatives being that it’s smaller than Toronto and the northernmost outpost for the league.

    No. I think tonight’s outburst from ownership and management came from the right place, but was misguided because you can’t stop people from talking about the coach or the team just because it’s bad currently.

    You CAN choose to distance yourself though, and I think that’s a better plan for the Oilers. Tonight feels a lot like that Lowe rant (that included the Bobby Ryan thing)or the Lowe “is it me?” fiasco and tells me that the Oiler family needs to close doors and say little.

    They’re not terribly good at it.

  141. Peeeete. says:

    JW: heh. You know what/who I mean.

  142. bookie says:

    LT- I didn’t see the press conference, but yep, I agree, just keep your head down when things are hot. In a month or so, he might be able to make a more rational statement that soothes everyone.

    In some ways I would respect them a great deal if they came out and said – sorry public, this is the best path to the future and that is what we are focused on. Even if I don’t agree with it, I would really respect it.

  143. Traktor says:

    “And I hate the way the vast majority of Oiler fandom has chopsen to voice their distatse over MacTavish and over this season.”

    If the fans don’t then who will? Certainly not the media.

    The other the top character assassination is almost out of necessity.

    I suspect it will only get worse too. So bad that MacT will have no choice but to quit.

  144. Coach pb9617 says:

    1. MacTavish gets stubborn on certain guys. Always has, and this season it’s really cost him. He reminds me in this way of Whitey Herzog, who used to run out a lefty pitcher to get one out (a LH bat) even though his pitcher was throwing a SO late into the game. Sometimes it blew up on him, but Whitey was stubborn about it and never did stop bringing in a one out lefty when he thought it was the right move.

    Oh dear lord. Danny Cox has a game going against the Expos I think it was 1987. Shutout was on, scattered a few hits here and there. Herzog decides that Cox is done in the 8th and really needs Ken Dayley to make Raines hit right-handed. Hilarity ensues.

    But it’s not stubborness on certain guys. It’s stubborness on the whole damned team. Position switches, benchings, demotions, public flogging, disparate treatment for vets and younger players…

    2. Balance. This team needs more options in some critical areas. That 3rd G could have been Wes Walz all season. Who do we blame?

    And a good coach should do what he can to coach his way out of it. Good coaches do not pull a Pontius Pilate and wash their hands of the situation. Good coaches try to make something out of nothing. Find a guy. MacTavish did not. When the doomed-from-the-start Pisani experiment failed, his solution was to kill Horcoff. That’s it. Kill Horcoff. Neither Brodziak nor Pouliot was even given a look. The two best options in the organziation weren’t even tried in the position. In a development year, which you yourself called this when Cogliano or Gagner were criticized, he wouldn’t even give the other two centers on his roster a chance at the spot. Was it a development year or not?

    So, three things. ONE of which is MacTavish, who has surprised me in the past (use of the word retarded which is extremely offensive, and his comments this season on Penner and others) but is clearly a smart man.

    Which points back to what JW and I are saying – the dude is toast mentally. It’s time to part ways or turn him into director of veteran and alumni relations or something.

  145. Lowetide says:

    Coach: I realize we’re not going to agree on this. Wasn’t Cox the one who broke his hand in the dugout G7 in Minnesota, or was that Andujar?

  146. Coach pb9617 says:

    I even get that some of us do a bit of both when we get pissed off, but it seems that some people have little else to offer.

    Book, I think the sphere, outside of LT and MC79 just have nothing left. Personnel, tactics, and strategy have been discussed to death around here and it’s time to get emotional and blow off steam. It’s what happens when relationships die :)

  147. bookie says:

    Wow, I totally agree with Coach and LT!

    I fall on the Coach side though and think that MacT could/should have coached his way out of it.

    I actually think that MacT went into this year having lost Reasoner (and a few others) and then felt that the team had inherent problems (he also was very unsure of Garon – probably correctly). So, I think he started the season with a strange attitude (perhaps discomfort?) and it did not serve him well throughout the year.

    I think the support from Lowe is Lowe’s way of taking responsibility for his part in this year (gambled on a bunch of sophomores and did not come up big), but I would bet that he also feels that MacT mismanaged some assets.

    We will see what happens.

  148. Coach pb9617 says:

    I do think he bears some responsibility, and I think it’s time for a different coach. Neither of those things make me enjoy the public humiliation MacTavish is enduring right now.

    That one I can’t get behind. When you choose to use the media to humiliate your players, some repeatedly, and at the team’s expense, then I can’t feel sorry for you when the chickens come home to roost.

    There’s a difference between telling the media you’re asking for more out of a player or a line, and getting personal as he did with Nilsson, Pouliot and Penner. It was telling, to me at least, that Penner and Nilsson handled the broken relationship better than MacTavish did. To anyone outside of the Edmonton media, MacTavish was being childish, the other two dealt with it.

  149. Dennis says:

    LT: I don’t think they can have it both ways, though.

    The org wants to stir the passion and make the fans come out and buy all the gear and root like fuck.

    In fact, you put a video on your site pretty much imploring them to do so.

    The org, not you.

    So, don’t come out with a hangdog look when the fans are sick of wasting season after season without even the littlest of payouts.

    If you want to invoke passion when you trot out the glory days stories, that passion remains when there’s never a pay-off.

    And when you sell your MGMT team as being worthy because they’ve been winners in the past, it won’t look good when they aren’t winners in the present.

    Now, perhaps you know something I don’t about macT’s family being threatned at Rexall and if that happened, that’s just said. But isn’t that lunatic fringe, though?

    If you’re comparing this blog’s recent activity to HF, I think you’ll think better of that statement tomorrow. HF is where every kid’s gonna be a star and where every established player for magic beans trade is gonna work out, because, well, every kid’s gonna be a star.

    This blog is about smart guys with some of them sick of wasting five out of seven years without playoffs.

    There’s no payoff so why Can’t there be change?

  150. Coach pb9617 says:

    Coach: I realize we’re not going to agree on this. Wasn’t Cox the one who broke his hand in the dugout G7 in Minnesota, or was that Andujar?

    Nono – that was pokerfaced John Tudor! He had zero command in that game, something completely out of character [*cough*] for the man. You’re talking about a guy that had a walks/IP in Greg Maddux territory that year and he was all over the plate. He gets the hook from Whitey and proceeds to open up his hand by punching a fan blade in the dugout, then decides to have an all-out tantrum with the press over the whole thing. He was so dominant that year. I can recall his numbers without looking them up: 36 starts 21-8, 1.93 ERA, 14 CG 10 SH and I think 33 quality starts. He redeemed himself in ’87 with the 10-2 run, but most people, if they remember Tudor, will remember the ’85 game seven blowup and blowout. Damn shame.

  151. Coach pb9617 says:

    I have an unhealthy obsession with Dorrel Herzog. I can’t be helped.

  152. Lowetide says:

    Coach: Me too. A pitcher, 7 jackrabbits and Jack Clark. What a starting 9.

  153. Coach pb9617 says:

    Coach: Me too. A pitcher, 7 jackrabbits and Jack Clark. What a starting 9.

    You raised my eyebrows with this statement. That team sounds frighteningly like…

    …the Oilers.

    Horcoff, 7 jackrabbits and Souray.

    So we just need hockey’s version of Whitey Herzog and the Oilers get two pennants?

  154. Lord Bob says:

    I’m beginning to think LT and I disagree on Fredo Corleone almost as much as we disagree on Craig MacTavish.

    I didn’t think I was being that insulting and now I’m being held up as a standard of HFBoard-ery. If only Rob Schremp commented here, he could sort this out. He could sort everything out…

    Moreover, after 78 games and seven seasons of the same old, same old, I have (to be honest) grown tired of bringing forward organized lists of MacTavish’s errors as a coach. Emotion is becoming my shorthand for insight, because after this long what is there left to say?

  155. Dennis says:

    LB: I think Lain just had a bit of a meltdown – and I’ve had some myself:D – because there’s no way you can play on the fans emotions in hopes of them buying your product and then get mad at them when their passion turns on you.

  156. Lowetide says:

    As Dennis indicated, sometimes we get ahead of ourselves. My apologies LB.

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