G44 Kings at Oilers

Los Angeles and Edmonton have been connected in hockey terms for a long, long time. Is there another transaction to come?

I was rather surprised Friday night and yesterday to read emails and posts that were extremely negative toward the Oilers and management. I understand being upset about this team’s “building by sundial” approach and agree that there are all kinds of things to scream about (relying on Ryan Whitney for one) but what about Friday night’s game surprised you?

In the G42 GDT I wrote There’s no way to disguise this thing. Oilers have stepped into the elevator shaft and there’s no help coming. It’ll be interesting to see how many games they win between tonight and the return of Gilbert, Eberle and RNH. I freely admit to not being the sharpest knife in the drawer among our loose group of Oiler posters and bloggers, but help me with the reasoning behind the outrage of yesterday.

Last game, Edmonton’s lineup boasted the following:

  • Josh Green playing 12 minutes.
  • Ryan O’Marra playing 12 minutes.
  • Ben Eager playing 12 minutes.
  • Anton Lander playing 13 minutes.
  • Their 6 defensemen were Ladislav Smid, Jeff Petry, Andy Sutton, Corey Potter, Theo Peckham and Colten Teubert. Honest question: how many of those defensemen would have suited up last night for Calgary?

Tonight’s game is going to be more of the same, unless I missed the Oilers acquiring a defenseman overnight. If you’re a fan there are things to watch for:

  • can that Gagner-Hall-Hemsky line continue to create?
  • Is Magnus gaining confidence/making plays?
  • Are Smid, Potter and Petry good enough to help next season if married to Tom Gilbert and two actual NHL defensemen?
  • Is Theo Peckham going to have any trade value?
  • Is this kid Voynov worth a couple of months of Hemsky?

If you’re going to watch the Oilers this month don’t expect W’s. They’ve lost RNH, Eberle and Gilbert plus Ryan Whitney may be gone forever. What’s more, Cam Barker may be coming back. Tell me I’m crazy to frame the issue in the way it is presented here. Seriously.

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123 Responses to "G44 Kings at Oilers"

  1. DSF says:

    Terry Jones with a scathing indictment of Tambellini:

    http://www.edmontonsun.com/2012/01/14/blow-oilers-up-some-more

  2. Woodguy says:

    From Jones’ article:

    Tambellini is going to have to be a sensational seller again primarily because he’s been such a brutal buyer.

    Tambellini is the now-very-much-on-the-hot-seat general manager who gave you the now 39-year-old Nikolai Khabibulin for three (going on four) years of wasted goaltender development and tried to give you Dany Heatley, too. Other than a couple of minor successes (Ryan Jones and Corey Potter), he has largely failed at finding veteran pros dating back to Patrick O’Sullivan on his first trade deadline dealing.

    The point right now is that he’s 0-for-5 with the guys he brought in to build a bridge to the future for Taylor Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, Eberle and the rest of the developing young talent recently selected in the draft.

    He goes on to say at the end the only hope is to get more draft picks and let Stu’s picks get older.

    I disagree with that, but it was refreshing that an Edmonton MSM writer finally stated that Tambellini is brutal at adding players that Stu hasn’t drafted.

    A breath of fresh air.

  3. Lowetide says:

    Well you’re not going to move Eager, that’s a multi-year deal and one supposes the Oilers knew that when signing him. As for the rest, again I’m not certain what people are expecting. Unless the light goes on for Theo Peckham and the PP starts sniping we can expect another ass kicking tonight.

  4. ItsTheBGB says:

    Watching the Oilers now is only for watching Taylor Hall.

  5. oilersfan says:

    Hard to argue with anything Jones says there. I still think it is hard to always blame Tambelinni when it appears that the directive from his bosses is to be a lottery team.

    There are a few claims I think everyone here can agree are tiresome from the Oilers propaganda machine Tencer and Stauffer:
    1) It is only year two of the rebuild. WTF? What were the 4 seasons before that? Utter failure? Then why does mgmt still have a job?
    2) If not for the injuries to Whitney and Barker the team would be much better off. WTF? If Ashley here knew Whitney’s foot injury was career threatening , and that his tendon surgery confirmed it, how did the Oilers mgmt not know this? And wrt Barker hasn’t David Staples and Dennis confirmed that Barker had the worst scoring chance ration on the Oilers? He was the worst dmen they had, how is his injury hurting the team? I can only hope because people haven’t been watching the Oilers could trade him to a team looking for d depth in the playoffs for a third rounder. This team went into the season lacking NHL d quality depth and Tambellini has to take the blame for that.

    i know I am preaching to the choir here but it feels good to vent.

  6. oilersfan says:

    The last thing that really bugs me is Tambellini himself going on air saying these things about only year two of the rebuild and the injuries. So the question is, does he really believe it and he is an idiot? Or has he been told to be a lottery team and this is just half lying to the fans to keep the players from thinking he gave up on the season before it started? That is what I am having a really hard time figuring out. What are your thoughts on that issue folks?

  7. Smarmy says:

    Decent write up by Terry but the team toughness thing isn’t going to happen when it’s painfully apparent that Tambillini and Lowe are tanking another year. When management wants to lose there really is no point laying it on the line. I’m sure Eberle and Hopkins don’t have to be out for as long as they are but why not keep them out when they might accidently help you win some games?

    I don’t think anyone in the organization enjoys the losing but when the barn is full it tells you the fans are behind your rebuild so you may as well keep on trucking and getting the sort of picks in the draft that make it easy on guys like Lowe and Steve who have gotten so much wrong when we rely on their acumen.

    Then again, I look at this roster and there is too much money invested in guys that are not necessarily helping your cause. There is too much money tied up in Whitney, Khabibulin, Hemsky, and yes even Horcoff. As these guys come off the books and guys like Hall, Eberle, and Hopkins start to get paid. Maybe we’ll see decent veterans take cap friendly deals to play with them and take a run at a championship.

  8. godot10 says:

    I was catching up on the blog thread on the draft yesterday, and was surprised to discover that a team only needs forwards and don’t need defenseman, even only six dress and play far more minutes and play a position where they are far more vulnerable to injury.

    Yakupov will be fairly worthless if there are no defensemen who can get him the puck in stride. See Paajarvi. Paajarvi’ (and Hall’s, and on of RNH’s) best assets (speed) is totally diminished because the team has so few defensmen.

    This reflexive opposition to drafting defensemen high is misguided. David Poile has made a career of teams that make the playoffs by drafting defensemen in the first round.

    I think MacGregor will draft the best player, regardless of position.

    But when you’ve got the franchise forwards already…

    It should be interesting, because of Columbus’s experience with Russians. Columbus is still likely most probable for 1st overall, like the Oilers with a massive need for D. They likely pick Murray.

  9. jake70 says:

    Getting spanked 5-0 by the “lowly” Ducks just crystallized a lot frustration amongst Oiler fans. I liken this to last year when on Hockey Day in Canada, Ottawa spanked the team (think Ottawas was a worse team at the time), Tambellini made a speech in dressing room. Getting beat by bad teams is like getting scored on when you are on the PP, sucks the life out everyone. The Oilers have been good at this too often. January should be erased from the calandar in Oiler Nation.

  10. godot10 says:

    Eager, Belanger, and Jones is a good 4th line. Solid face-off guy who can PK, and one of the two wingers can PK. Renney insists on playing two of them a line too high.

    There is nothing particularly wrong with the contracts for Eager and Belanger. In the UFA market, one tends to have to give one year too many, but these contracts are easily buried in the last year.

    The coach just isn’t using the players appropriately.

  11. Lowetide says:

    Well there’s a lot wrong with the Eager contract if they’re playing him 12 minutes a night. I think Terry Jones article is solid but disagree on a couple of things. The Oilers don’t need draft picks they need players. Second, the team lacked balance from the beginning. This is NOT a recent happening.

  12. McKillWrath says:

    I tend to think of myself as patient. The last month or two I’ve lost it. I mean enough already. I’ve watched the same bull go on for six years now. I was the biggest apologist for the Oils managment out there. From Lowe trading Pronger for a bag of pucks, to the Barker deal. I was the first guy to say “lets just wait and see how this woeks out. I’m done, I am officially a Tamblowe hater.

    It’s the same shit every year. We have not had a goalie since Rolli left. Our defence has been bottom feeders since Pronger flew the coup. The Mighty Oil have been pushed around and intimidated since big George left. Its the same every year. We went 5 years with one center ice man. 5 years it took to adress one of many major problems.

    Sure they ‘ve tried. Habbi coming over was a good try, as was Foster and Barker. They were also trying when they sold out our second line center and number 3 dman for Lubo. Big Mac and Hordi are also great tries, if only they would play them. Souray, Jaques, Vandemeer, Whitney, O’sullivan…

    Tamblowe reminds me of a stear my dad once owned on the farm. It tried mounting every cow it could, never worked though. Poor thing was castorated as a calf. Fortunately for dad he didn’t need it for a bull. Unfortunately for Katz and us Oilerfans we need Tamblowe to do more than try.

    Managment is responsible for icing a complete and compotent team. They have failed miserably. When we needed certain player types for balance, nothing. Going into training camp short on depth, nothing. Getting our a**es handed to us night after night, nothing. My hope for them has been extinguished. I have no more patience, until Tamblowe is moved there is no hope.

    Also this is really off topic Lowetide, but, your Peckham hate sure reminds me of your attitude towards Smid during the past few years. Up until this year every second article you produced took some sort of a shot at Laddy. You talk how old ball teams used to sell talent before it had time to develop. I think your advocating the Oil to do the same with Theo.

  13. Lois Lowe says:

    On the bright side, at least I won’t have the Oilers distracting me from school for the remainder of the semester.

    If we, which is not out of the realm of possibility, draft first for an unprecedented 3rd year in a row I would be happy with any of the top 3 but Grigorenko is the most intriguing to me.

  14. pboy says:

    Decent article by Jones. He actually showed some objectivity when it came to Oiler’s management but he left the most culpable person out of the article, Kevin Lowe. Getting rid of V.03 or Renney is just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic as long as Lowe is still holding the reigns in the organization. If they are going to clean house this off season (It’s very interesting that both Tambo and Renney are lame ducks), Katz needs to cut all ties to the BOTB and bring in someone like Jim Nill and let him choose his staff and his coach.

  15. Release the Hounds says:

    What really pissed me off about Friday’s game was not so much the loss but how we lost. The non-effort by everyone not named Taylor Hall was pathetic. This was a carbon-copy of the effort of a game they played against Phoenix before Christmas. One thing I have noticed is that roughly half the team doesn’t know how to stop properly. When they miss a pass or lose the puck, instead of stopping right away and changing direction immediately, they change direction by coasting into a wide circle wasting valuable time in getting back into the play. That was one of the first things we taught minor hockey players was starts and stops. Frustrating to watch something so basic not being applied. Anyhow, I’ve prepared myself for tonight’s game by lowering my expectations that the Oilers will lose by 10 goals or less. If #4 and #5 come out of the game sans injuries, I’ll consider it a “win”.

  16. hunter1909 says:

    As a cynical fan turned fanboy last season, this year has pretty well confirmed my darkest ideas re this sad sack sorry team.

    It’s not about winning hockey at all. it’s about keeping jock-sniffing Katz from realising this is the hands down worst run big league professional sports team in North America. One imagines Renney, with one eye on his expiring contract getting pulled over to the side by Lowe who explains to him the real situation, which perhaps goes something like this:

    “Don’t worry Tom, just keep everything the way it’s been going, because Katz believes everything’s going to plan. Once Katz’s best golf buddy Horcoff is extended and MacT returns, we should all be able to milk this thing for long enough to think of something else to buy more time. Been doing this for years, and put my kids through private schools. What do you mean, he’s going to clean house? I’ve been here for a decade, and besides, he’s going to have to return that ring I lent him last summer. Probably wears it to bed, haha”.

  17. Woodguy says:

    I think Terry Jones article is solid but disagree on a couple of things. The Oilers don’t need draft picks they need players. Second, the team lacked balance from the beginning. This is NOT a recent happening.

    Agreed all points.

    Its just the first time someone who writes with ink has said that they stink.

    Agree very much that getting rid of the “Actual NHL Players” is not the way to go.

    Hall and Eberle almost out scored tough comp in their first year.

    The Oilers have a chance to add a good Dman through free agency and trade for another at/after the draft.

    Tambellini scrambling to add a Dman in season just goes to show his lack of understanding of the market fluctuations in the NHL. Its not tough, its the same every year.

    Defencemen have their least value at the draft and the most at the deadline.
    Picks have their highest value at the draft, and the least at the deadline.
    Defensive forwards have the most value at the deadline, and almost no value at the draft.

    Tambellini is buying high and selling low if he’s trying to add D right now.

  18. justDOit says:

    So next year we’ll be back to Klowe as GM? With possibly some advisers brought in to create a mgmt team? How about putting MacT in there? Maybe even Slats himself will come back for it? But they’ll need a new face in the mgmt team to distract the fans… how about Horcoff? Klowe, MacT, Slats and Horc will be the new leaders in the front office! Book it!

    And with rumours that Krueger is going back to Europe, if Renney is not renewed either, that means we’ll have Buchberger and Nelson as coaches. There goes the only improvement that this team has shown – special teams.

    Between the ‘old boys club’ and the ‘friends of Katz’, the future of this team looks pretty dreary.

  19. Woodguy says:

    I was rather surprised Friday night and yesterday to read emails and posts that were extremely negative toward the Oilers and management. I understand being upset about this team’s “building by sundial” approach and agree that there are all kinds of things to scream about (relying on Ryan Whitney for one) but what about Friday night’s game surprised you?

    I think it was the hammering realization of how bad the team is for a lot of people who put faith in the organization to re-build it properly.

    This is a the casual fan and even many season ticket holders who don’t invest one iota of interest in the minutia of the team, but rather look what is in front of them and make a decision.

    There was on Exciting Last Place Hockey on Friday. There was just an awful game by an awful team, losing to one of two teams who are actually behind them in the standings. Not gutted out 3-2 loss, but a disinterested 5-0 ass kicking.

    Since this fan (who make up the majority of the Oiler’s constituency) also doesn’t pay too much attention to who is out and who isn’t, the fact that they were missing a lot of their best players didn’t matter.

    That’s my $0.02 on why the ANA game was cathartic.

  20. Lowetide says:

    WG: Could be. I think–and believe me this isn’t something I’m suggesting as a lark–that twitter had a lot to do with it. If you read the reaction from Oiler fans after the game it seems to me that “the story” was framed immediately as a terrible ANA team killing a fully equipped EDM squad.

    Which in fact wasn’t the case. ANA has improved in the last weeks and the Oilers lost RNH, Eberle and Gilbert but all of that was washed away in an avalanche of “blame Steve Tambellini.”

    I’m not against it, in fact I’m impressed. It just took me by surprise is all.

  21. rich says:

    The timing of the Jones article (w/trade deadline still 40+ days away) is somewhat interesting. Perhaps a “shot across the bow” for 3.2 and more importantly Vish and Katz?

    Player procurement on the professional level has been very weak since 3.2 was hired the first time. That’s obvious. I don’t agree that the answer at this stage of the rebuild is simply to continue to give MBS more bullets for the future. At some point, you have to add at the professional level and the organization has been failing since all the way back to game 7 of the SCF in ’06.

    If it’s more and more likely that Hemsky will be moved (great, another tough minutes yet injury prone player is moved) professional procurement needs to bring in someone who can help for the next couple of years, not just 4-5 years down the road or 3.2 should not be allowed to see it.

  22. El Duderino says:

    Katz is in a difficult spot. If he was able to hire a Chiarelli type, he probably would not fit well with Lowe, who I think is as strong as and as smart as a bull. I’ve always maintained success has to start at the top. Right now I believe the Oilers have a Wang/Snow combination. It is up to Katz to turn the organization into one like Detroit/Boston/Chicago. But those teams have seasoned ownership. Can Katz make he leap?

  23. godot10 says:

    @lowetide

    They are paying Eager $1.1 million. With escrow that will be less than $1 million in real dollars. Do you really think you can sign a veteran 4th liner UFA for less than that.

    The 3rd year is bad, but that contract can be buried.

  24. Lowetide says:

    Godot: He’s not a guy you pay for, certainly not at the deadline.

  25. jb says:

    “Is this kid Voynov worth a couple of months of Hemsky?”

    Most definately, that’s a huge return for an unsigned UFA. I don’t think we could get Voynov straight up though. Voynov would be a great addition, but you still only consider this if you know for a fact Hemsky isn’t interested in resigning. Which I don’t believe is the case.

    We should still all expect Lowe/Katz to reel in their big fish at some point too. IMO that’s ideally just over a year from now, we’ll see what happens.

  26. hunter1909 says:

    This morning I happened to be chatting to my cousin, a long time archtypical(and not at all cynical) Oiler fan who buys the television packages, attends as many games as he can etc etc. He told me he thinks the product is no longer worth watching, paying for, etc. From now on he’s through as a paying customer.

    I can understand why there’s lack of concern at the Batcave when a flake like me jumps ship, but when a 100% regular dude realises what an absolute shitshow he’s been watching and decides(just like that) not to bother anymore, that’s got to be getting duplicated thousands of times across the Oilers fanbase.

  27. DSF says:

    @ LT

    I think you’re on to something…it’s becoming increasingly difficult for the Oilers to control the message.
    (why was Alan Watt punted anyway?)

    One thing to bear in mind here is that the Oilers were getting thumped even BEFORE Eberle, Hopkins and Gilbert went down.

    If you look at GF/GA over the last ten games…23F/36A…the Oilers are giving up a difference of -1.3 G/G which, over the remaining 39 games would yield a goal differential of -51.

    Considering they are currently sitting at -14 you end up with -65 on the season…not much progress at all.

  28. oilersfan says:

    As it is well documented now that Belanger is where offense goes to die,and it is easy to check a team with only one scoring line, I wonder if the Oilers would consider playing Hemsky with MP and Lander at center? Then elevate Jones to play with Gagner and Hall, and OMarra or Green to play with Horcoff- Smyth?

    The current line combinations aren’t working. The only downside to this approach is if it doesn’t work you waste a few games of playing Hemsky with Hall and trying to inflate Hemsky’s stats a bit if they are going to trade him.

  29. jb says:

    “If you look at GF/GA over the last ten games…23F/36A…the Oilers are giving up a difference of -1.3 G/G which, over the remaining 39 games would yield a goal differential of -51.

    Considering they are currently sitting at -14 you end up with -65 on the season…not much progress at all.”

    If you can’t include the 9-1 Chicago win in the first half like you said, how could you include a 5-0 loss with a slumping half NHL team?

    There’s obviously progress being made overall GF/GF wise.. Next season if health allows it we’ll see the wins catch up..

    They’ll be a borderline playoff team next season if they grab a veteran D, and something nice and shiny by next years deadline with picks/prospects.

  30. DSF says:

    @JB

    Thing is..I didn’t throw out the 9-1 win over Chicago so why would I throw out the 5-0 loss?

    The early success in GD was based almost entirely on Khabibulin posting a HHOF save percentage in the first ten games. Have you checked his numbers since then?

  31. Gret99zky says:

    Liking the new site, LT.

    Let’s see you sign some veteran posters.

  32. hunter1909 says:

    @JB:

    A lot of us thought like you do, until it suddenly dawned on us(for me it was Friday) that the Oilers aren’t really all that much different than during the past 2-3 seasons. Yes, they’re young and have some extremely talented players – but discounting the “glorious near miracle of 2006″ this is simply a loser organisation, with overpaid loser veterans, led by a insanely overpaid and totally tenured captain who is a third liner on any contending team, or even 4th liner since his limited skillset has declined.

    Horcoff is the turd in this punchbowl, and Traktor is 100% correct. So what if they have these great kids? They’re getting banged up due to playing on a pansy-assed team that everyone else in the NHL knows won’t retaliate, and like Hemsky, it’s probably only a matter of time before one or more of them suddenly develops a chronic condition, ala Whitney(foot) or Hemsky(shoulder).

    Renney’s a nice guy but got canned from the Rags because he couldn’t take the team any further than 1-2 playoff rounds. Hard-ass Torts on the other hand has got them in 1st place overall.

    Sighs.

  33. jb says:

    “Thing is..I didn’t throw out the 9-1 win over Chicago so why would I throw out the 5-0 loss?

    The early success in GD was based almost entirely on Khabibulin posting a HHOF save percentage in the first ten games. Have you checked his numbers since then?”

    I’m pretty sure you did at one point..

    Isn’t the save percentage dropping directly related the the quality and depth of the defense? which also took a huge dive.. Overall team effectiveness and healthiness is way down since the first 10 games… so obviously the SV% will tank

  34. Traktor says:

    Jones is right – Edmonton’s roster needs to be blown up and restructured.

    I like what Tambellini has done in terms of not spending assets for quick fixes but I’m not sure he even understands some of the problems with Edmonton’s roster. The proof was the signing of another vanilla passionless player like Eric Belanger. We could have addressed draws AND toughness with Konopka. 2 birds with 1 stone. Instead we get draws and push our ballerina factor even further.

    Eager wasn’t a bad signing but he sure looks that way because Renney doesn’t play him.

    I’ve somewhat supported Renney for most of his time here but I totally understand why people want him gone. I’m not a fan of Devan Dubnyk but the way Renney has handled him reminds me of when MacT named Garon the official #1 and then played Roli 3 of the next 4 games.

    MPS might be a player or maybe not but I find it interesting that Renney put him in the exact same position with the same linemates that he had before his demotion to the AHL.

    Its obvious that Belanger has no chem with this team but Tambellini does nothing to fix his mistakes.

    Shawn Horcoff is -16 with 1 goal in his last 21 games. WTF. Can we please find a GM and coach that will address this.

  35. DSF says:

    @JB

    I suggested the win over Chicago was inflating the goal differential earlier and it was.

    It’s pretty tough to draw a straight line between save percentage and “quality and depth of defense” but give it a go.

    Perhaps a better way to look at it is GA/10games.

    With all defensive hands on deck, (Whitney being what he is) the Oilers gave up only 15 goals in the first ten games and 33 in the second ten games.

    Looks to me like goaltending might have played a major role in the difference.

    In the last ten games, without Gilbert for 5 games but with Potter back in, they’ve given up 36 goals so it would appear the rot set in long before.

  36. Woodguy says:

    12:23:18 PM,

    Re: the twitter thing.

    Most of the MSM were posting how bad the players were and there was a backlash against them for not mentioning the people who hired the players.

    Out of all the missing players Friday, only one (Whitney) was a Tambo hire, and he shipped out a Fancy Dan Norris finalist to get him.

    The rest of the Tambo hires were on the ice in all their glory.

  37. cabbiesmacker says:

    godot10 says:

    I was catching up on the blog thread on the draft yesterday, and was surprised to discover that a team only needs forwards and don’t need defenseman, even only six dress and play far more minutes and play a position where they are far more vulnerable to injury.

    Yakupov will be fairly worthless if there are no defensemen who can get him the puck in stride. See Paajarvi. Paajarvi’ (and Hall’s, and on of RNH’s) best assets (speed) is totally diminished because the team has so few defensmen.

    I’m blown away by how many think the great cure-all is defencemen. Perhaps when one compares Oiler forwards to Oiler forwards guys like Horcoff and Gagner look like solid top 6 options but on most teams in the league they wouldn’t.

    We have young D and I don’t think for one second that none of them will pan over time ala Smid. So we should make drafting one now a top priority even if they aren’t the BPA? This team doesn’t have that luxury when they are so weak right through the lineup. Are any of the 2012 draft eligible D kids looking to have the top end of Yakupov or Grigs? Doubtful, and why should we wait for it to materialize when we have the option to be better NOW?

    Letting the kids age they way they need to and signing vet presence that can play to bridge the gap is a far smarter option.

    LT, as I know Voynov I would say he is NOT worth either of us giving up Hemsky or LA taking a chance they cant sign him. The kid is fine chipping on offence but not so hot going the other way. I have also heard he’s always had one foot in the KHL so that could be an issue. Now whether or not that comes from being buried on the LA depthchart is another question.

    Dumb and Dumber appear ok with allowing “kids” to shoulder the heavy lifting on this team. That’s a real shame when there are far better options.

  38. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Well I think what’s happening is at this point us fans are going into games a bit pissed off – mainly at management. Then the players lay an egg against Annahiem and there’s the tipping point. Yes they had a terrible lineup going in, but there were some vets that were putrid – Cough – Belanger.

    In the next few weeks Oiler fan’s give a shit level will drop right off and the negativity will dissapate.

    I’m predicting the Oilers go on a good run once they get everybody back healthy. It seems to be this team’s identity – once the games mean absolutely nothing they relax and just play.

    Management won’t really start feeling the pressure until there’s empty seats. Anybody have a good feel for this? Think we’ll see announced sellouts , but 1000 empty seats in the second half?

    I guess management likely hears about TV ratings dropping as well, but I’m not sure how they’re doing there or if this is a contract year with Sportsnet?

  39. cabbiesmacker says:

    I get all the love thrown at MBS around here but I wonder how much of it is him just being a breath of fresh air vs his predecessor? I daresay any of us could have made the past 2 years drafts look ok even if the jury is still out in an area or two.

    How many of his picks outside of round 1 look like locks for regular NHL careers at this point?

    Having more draft picks is a lovely concept but unless they’re top 10 – 15′s they aren’t what this team needs right now. A 5 year AHL replensihment vs rebuild then sure.

    If Hemsky goes for a pick outside that range and a prospect i.e. Penner it’ll be another black mark on managements already pathetic record and a sure sign they’ve got all their eggs in one HOPE chest.

  40. TheOtherJohn says:

    Agree that social media is making it much harder for the Oilers to control the message. Up until now they control access to the team and thereby have an implied filter on the story. Not expressly. Rather, I think, by favoring certain MSM that do not rock the boat. That alone would foster a culture of not rocking the boat. Expect Terry Jones will now be “punished” by having effrontery to write what has become painfully obvious. We have bad roster.

    Similarly Oil want to “sell” current injuries, just like “Khabby was our MVP until injured” 2 years ago. I knew the Oil were bad before injuries. But in typical “saw em good” fashion I did not objectively know how bad. Bruce McMcCurdy (BMC) shared the Oil record in 10 game segments. They were:
    .700
    .400
    .450. and
    .285

    The middle 20 games had us playing at a .425 pace good for 70 PTS. A terrible performance. The only injuries of note then were Hall and, chronically, Whitney. The next 10 games will likely be worse than the sterling .285 winning percentage – but it is not injuries that have this team where it is. It is the people assembling the roster. Sign the apocalypse is on us??? I agree with Dave Staples comments on Nation Radio yesterday. Structurally quality of Oilers D cannot catch up with talent of the young group of forwards. A trade for a top pair ring D man is a necessity. Unlike Dave, I think an astute high quality D man will see what Oil will become and want to sign here sooner than people think.

    Injuries a factor? Now……Absolutely. Just that we were trending badly before the injuries happened however. And that is important to remember when Oiler management attempts to “sell” their message that the injuries are the cause of their abysmal record. MSM can best do their job to simply point out that injuries are definitely a part of the problem.

    I am convinced that the single biggest factor in our continued poor performance are the two people at the head of hockey operations and their repeated miscues. At some point even Katz must get that fact as well

  41. DSF says:

    @cabbiesmacker

    I agree that there is a need to for more forward depth as well but at some point you have to address the D and since they take longer that time is yesterday.

    If you look at virtually any successful team, they are built from the back end out.

    This is true of the Bruins, Hawks, the Canucks, The Wings, the Kings, the Panthers, and even the Leafs.

    Your point that players like Horcoff and Gagner wouldn’t be top six players on a good team also applies to the Oilers defense where Smid at Gilbert would likely be 3-4 at best and 5-6 on many teams.

    Loading up on high end forwards and ignoring the blue and goaltending is not a recipe for long term success…a quick look at Tampa Bay will show you how that works.

  42. TheOtherJohn says:

    DSF

    Just when I think you are reddemable you toss out the Gilbert/Smid as 5-6 D men on some teams. Presumably you mean the 6 time Stanley Cup champion Vancouver Canucks……. Wait for it……… That’s right they have NEVER won Lord Stanley’s cup.

    if the Canucks had this years Gilbert/Smid as their 3-4 in last years finals your team might actually have caught the Shames as one time champions

  43. Lowetide says:

    The Other John: That final paragraph of your post is what I’ve been saying for a long time. Missed in much of the discussion about when the rebuild started is that we have a new owner. If I owned the team it might take me ten years to find my office what with looking at the Stanley’s and reading over old draft lists. :-)

  44. pboy says:

    The only way for a fan base to truly make themselves heard is through their wallets. Once the tickets at Rexall stop being purchased, Katz won’t be able to ignore the product on the ice. This rot starts at the top and until he decides that enough is enough, this won’t end anytime soon.

  45. ohhell says:

    I was rather surprised Friday night and yesterday to read emails and posts that were extremely negative toward the Oilers and management. I understand being upset about this team’s “building by sundial” approach and agree that there are all kinds of things to scream about (relying on Ryan Whitney for one) but what about Friday night’s game surprised you?

    LT: I am little surprised that you are surprised by this. Your ON article clearly shows an image of Michael Douglas in “Falling Down”. This is “Falling Down” for Oiler fans. It is that slow gradual buildup of emotion, subtle enough to not be obvious, follwed by that one event that causes the snap… Friday night was that night for me. Death by a thousand cuts. Groundhog Day. Fuck!

    I am a season seat holder and have been for several years – I share two seats with two other guys. I would categorize myself as an obsessive Oiler fan, not at all typical. On the other hand, I work in a building of fewer that 100 people and by my count there are six or seven season seat holders and three or four mini-pack holders. Of that group, three of us could be lumped in the “obsessive” category that reads, watches, follows and studies all things Oilers. The remainder of the group seem quite typical to me.

    What I have noticed amongst the typical group is a building frustration and impatience and a significant drop off in any interest in attending games. But more than that, its the little comments that I hear. The Groundhog Day comments. They are losing faith that this management team can build a winning team even with star young players. They don’t analyze it to death. They don’t care about advanced stats. They are depressed about the Oilers.

    I analyze everything. I am depressed about the Oilers. Yesterday’s reaction on the blog has been a long time coming and has little to do with Friday night. That game was just the breaking point for many who are now realizing we have made no forward progress.

    Let’s play the converasation in my head out …

    Optimist: take heart, this year’s goal differntial says we are taking a step forward.

    Realist: we are in an elevator shaft and by end of season we will be comparable to last year in points and goal differential.

    Optimist: yeah but “look at the injuries and don’t be surprised by the results given the situation”.

    Realist: “Hello! Dude! What about all the injuries last year. And the year before. Should the injuries be the standing excuse? Where’s our depth? Where exactly is our depth? For several years, all fans alike have know about the problems on defense. Why was Stoll not replaced? Why was Brodziak let go and not replaced? Every fan watching Oiler hockey knew we should be singing Glencross – what happened? Whay are the easist stop on the schedule for every hockey team in the league (and have been for years)? ”

    Optimist: relax, we are only in year two of the rebuild. These things take time.

    Realist: “Year 2? WTF? We are in year 4 at least. Where did management come up with this year 2 thing and how did we buy in to that? After 06/07, it was obvious to everyone that the rebuild needed to happen.

    I blame management for the depth problems. I believe that this team will coninue to be doomed to failure until an entirely new management team is brought in and turns this thing upside down. We need some courage and innovation to break free from the “loser” mentaility that has gripped this organization. I believe this will take some radical thinking and wholesale change rather than the incremental change model we are currently following.

    For me, this means that Batman needs to unload the entire BOTB group and bring in a new team. I would like to bring in a management team that is bold and that acts with confidence and conviction. I would like a management team that communicates to us. We are a knowledgeable, loyal fan base and deserve to be treated as such. Before I blow up the whole hockey team, I would like to blow up the management team.

    I know that OKC is having a great season, but really, what bllue-chippers do we have down there? Perhaps we have a goalie in the system bubbling under but no sure bets (Bunz, Roy). What d-men in OKC are sure things for an NHL career? None that I can name. What about forwards? Pitlick and Hamilton have an outside shots at a career. Outside shot!. I just don’t see any saviours in OKC.

    Some interesting prospects in Juniors. And of course Klefbom. But we always hold more hope for them when they are still well distanced from the NHL. Realistically, the Klefbom may have a career and a longer shot is Musil. Beyond that, we hold hope, but evidence suggests that most will not pan out.

    If we are rebuilding, why is Lander not in OKC? Why was Omark in OKC? Both moves seem to defy that logic. What does rebuilding mean?

    What does it all mean?

    I have lost all confidence. That is what it means. Snapped. Falling Down!

    I dearly love the OIlers but I feel dread. I really feel that we ARE the Islanders of the western conference.

    Sorry for the long rant. I needed to get it out. I am mostly a reader/lurker and not a contributor, but man, I needed to get this out.

    LT, on the bright side, this site is the number one site I visit on the world wide web. Thanks so much for you commitment. No matter where in the world I travel, I read this blog daily. My wife referes to you as “the other woman”.

    Have a great day. On that note, I begin to wrestle with the idea of not attending the game tonight.

  46. ohhell says:

    Feel better already. I should share thoughts more often. Who knew?

  47. Lowetide says:

    Oh hell, thanks for your comments they are very insightful. I’ve been dealing with it by suggesting trades since fall 2006 and drinking heavily. :-)

  48. Denniss says:

    I don’t think anything can ever approach how hopeless things got – at least ingame – during the end of the ’07 season once 94 was dealt and a bunch of vets got hurt but I could easily tune out this team if I weren’t counting the chances.

    I look at nights the Oilers play now as nights wasted.

  49. oilersfan says:

    Dsf

    Which bruins dman did they draft? None of them. Tampa drafted Hedman second overall, hasn’t helped yet.
    The canucks vecame a good team and have been able to get Hamhuis because they were goood. That should happen for the Oilers in two years. Some whl watchers have compaed Marincin to Chara, one to Edler. I think the d will be beter than you think if one free agent signs and one acquired trade for a 2014 first round draft choice in one year.

  50. Captain Obvious says:

    The worse thing is that the improvement in goal differential is mostly a mirage. It’s driven by improved goaltending and a massively improved power play. While some of this improvement may be sustainable most of it isn’t. This is team has not improved at even strength and has been lucky to have a record as good as it is. Despite the play of Eberle and RNH, Gilbert and Smid, this season has been a major step back.

    On the current path there is no imaginable scenario where the Oilers are a good team (top four in conference). Therein lies the frustration. It isn’t that the team isn’t good. It is that it will never be good because every step forward is accompanied by another step backwards. Add a top pick, lose Hemsky. This is a team that needs a fucking A trade and needs one soon.

  51. regwald says:

    @CabbieSmacker,

    I have two case studies for you to look into about adding dmen. One is the 2006 Stanley Cup run. Granted you added one of the 3 or 4 best dmen in the league to the Oilers that season, but Pronger’s ability to kill penalties, make the outlet pass and break up rushes was instrumental in the Cup run.

    Case study #2, is the ’94 Canucks cup run. At the trade deadline they added Jeff Brown – PP QB and puck mover. That team sky rocketed into that playoff run riding on the coat tails of Bure in his prime but that addition of a puck moving dman was so key to that run too. He had 15 pts that playoff.

    If your forwards have no one to provide at outlet pass to a speeding forward the dmen don’t have to give them any respect, they play tighter at the line and the forwards have to retreat deeper into the zone to support the dmen and break up the cycle, etc.

    Puck moving dmen are a must to ignite, the Hall’s, Hemsky’s, Eberle’s, RNH’s on our team.

  52. cabbiesmacker says:

    Regwald

    Totally agreed. I just don’t think we should be trying to get them on draft day is all.

  53. DSF says:

    @toj

    Perhaps you may believe that Smid and Gilbert might play ahead of Hamhuis, Bieksa, Ehrhoff and a healthy Salo but I doubt any objective observer would agree with you.

    But perhaps more enlightening would be to take a look at what another team that finished last in its conference last season has done.

    Campbell-Kulikov
    Garrison-Weaver
    Jovanovski-Gudbrandson
    Ellerby

    Campbell and Kulikov are exceptional two way defensemen, Garrison and Weaver are an elite shutdown pair.

    Where do you see Gilbert and Smid in that group?

  54. regwald says:

    @cabbiesmacker,

    I think the tea leaves are showing us that tambo and lowe are talking about using a first round pick to get their guy. Me, I agree with the common mentality that when you are picking top 5, grab your forwards.

    I also disagree with rushing the first round dmen. Outside of Doughty continuing to deliver, we see Hedman, Schenn, Fowler, etc. struggle past their first seasons. Except for those elite dmen, give them a couple of years in the AHL or SEL to get seasoning. It’s worth it in the long run. And this is why drafting a dman in the first round is NOT the quick fix some think it is.

  55. cabbiesmacker says:

    @DSF

    Not saying we don’t need D. Just that they shouldn’t be a priority on draft day unless Bobby Orr types are available.

    Most of the teams you mentioned traded for or drafted their top 3 D outside the first round .The only exceptions were Kronwall, Seabrooke, Kulikov and Doughty that I saw in a quick look. Doughty was the only top 10 pick at #2 overall and in that case it was probably justified. Johnson was an early first rounder as well but obtained via trade. Anyone remember which players were involved? HAR. Gee I wonder if Belanger could get that kind of return now?

    I guess my opinion is that early first round D picks are hardly neccessities and the Oilers have holes in so many places they should go BPA. Hell, swap this years top 2 pick for a young quality D and move down a few notches. There will be teams willling to shell out for a top end Russian. Lowe doesn’t like them anyways and they do come with some risk.

  56. cabbiesmacker says:

    @DSF

    Gilbert is top 3 hands down even in Vancouver. He looks great here so how would he look with the complimentaries in Van?

    As for Campbell? Nice enough D but there weren’t too many teams that could take that contract (one of the worst in the entire NHL) from the Hawks in a similar deal. Chicago took back NOTHING to unload him and that was all thanks to the GM you like to give so much credit to.

    Not an attack on you personally ok, but I’ve been a Hawks fan for longer than I’ve been an Oiler fan and Tallon’s no guru. They’d have been a powerhouse today still if not for some of his overpays resulting in player dumps.

  57. TheOtherJohn says:

    DSF

    My own view, not widely held, is the Canucks lost the SCF when Hamhuis was injured. Everyone had to do something they were not capable of doing. Gilbert and Smid would be able to play second pairing minutes against anyone and do so quite well. Had they both been available for 21 minutes an
    Night over a 7 game series the Canucks would have a single Cup. Good to have offensive D men but they have to be able to defend….. How’d that work out anyways? Not too well if I remember

    A healthy Sami Salo! FFS, what’s next a handsome Danny Trejo. I was at the Trevor Linden retirement night and Salo injured himself turning away from an Ethan Moreau body check. Not the check, the evasion. And Salo does not have a chronic injury like Whitney (ankles) or Hemsky (shoulders) his whole body is chronic just waiting to get injured

  58. D says:

    I have never been a fan of Tambellini and have said so many times in the past. Having someone from the “champion” Vancouver organization to lead the Oilers will not result in many Stanley Cups. That being said, I do not believe this owner is interested in winning Stanley Cups in the short term. In so many ways, Katz wants to do something more long term, which is to bring Edmonton back to what it was in the 1980s – the ultimate hockey destination. In order to do so, the Oilers need a few generational-type players. Unlike the 1970s and early 1980s, when the Oilers were able to sneak in a Gretzky here and a Messier there without having to draft them in the top 5, today they have to tank in order to maximize their chances of getting those types of players.

    At the beginning of the year, we got a taste of what this team will be able to do on a consistent basis in the near future. But Katz has made a deliberate decision that he wants the success to last for a decade. It was probably possible for the management to assemble a team that could compete for eighth place this year. But why? That would simply cut the rebuild at its knees. If Edmonton is to once again be the ultimate hockey destination, after 20 years of mismanagement, it’s going to take a few more years to turn it around.

  59. OilLeak says:

    Well, if we have all resigned ourselves to Hemsky leaving then Jones needs to be packaged in that deal while he still has value. Another year at 1.5 million for secondary scoring and a good pker has value at the deadline. Jones won’t be around by the time this team competes so sell high, and let’s actually get something of value in a trade for once.

  60. ohhell says:

    Agree with Leak. I haven’t observed management to do a good job of selling high, buying low. I see a reactionary, victimized approach. Fresh faces in the front office please.

  61. DSF says:

    @ cabbiesmacker

    Well, we’re veering into severe OT here but Gilbert wouldn’t supplant any of Hamhuis, Bieksa or Edler so #4 at best.

    Salo, while often injured, is a huge factor in Vancouver’s defense and PP and I really can’t see them playing Gilbert ahead of him though I suppose it’s possible.

    Other than that we’ll have to agree to disagree.

    As for Tallon, he did what he had to do for the Hawks to win the cup…isn’t that the point of all this?

    Sure, he likely could have been more prudent and the Hawks would be in better shape now but it’s important to recognize they are right back in the mix and could win another cup this season.

    I would imagine he’ll be a little more careful in Florida but he’s assembled a great defense in Florida in the blink of eye and still has close to $10 million in free cap space.

    Thing is, a lot of quality defensemen changed addresses last offseason and the best Tambellini could pull out of his *cough* hat were Sutton and Barker.

    If that kind of performance is the norm, the Oiler D will be hurting for a very long time.

  62. ohhell says:

    DSF: Although my first instinct is to ignore all your comments before reading, I have to agree with you on this statement:

    “Thing is, a lot of quality defensemen changed addresses last offseason and the best Tambellini could pull out of his *cough* hat were Sutton and Barker.

    If that kind of performance is the norm, the Oiler D will be hurting for a very long time.”

    There is simply no historical evidence that would suggest we will magically have two top defensemen for next year. Or even the seeds of seomthing like that planted. I have zero faith in management.

  63. Jonathan Willis says:

    Not to put too fine a point on it, LT, but Anaheim a) is one of two teams in the NHL below the Oilers in the standings b) played the night before, losing in overtime and c) won 5-0.

    That was a definitively “winnable game” and the Oilers stank to high heaven. It’s not a surprise, IMO, to see some anger as a result.

  64. Smarmy says:

    I like Sutton. He’s a pretty bad dude that doesn’t care if he beheads the Landeskogs of the world. Of course, the NHL is all up his ass so the beat downs on our kids goes unabated.

    Not sure what it is about Taylor Hall that makes Shanahan think he deservers the crap he goes through every game. I think Shanny lost me with that Keith hit on Hall.

  65. bookje says:

    Oh hell, thanks for your comments they are very insightful. I’ve been dealing with it by suggesting trades since fall 2006 and drinking heavily.

    LT – The team is struggling and the team is unbalanced with some clear needs, I think all of this suggests that a trade is going to happen soon. Book it! (please see lowetide.blogspot.com/ from 2006 through 2011 for further reference).

  66. shane leavitt says:

    MPS might be a player or maybe not but I find it interesting that Renney put him in the exact same position with the same linemates that he had before his demotion to the AHL.

    This is a glaring, bad indicator to me. They have used MPS this year like they place very little value on him. Where is the sense in taking a young player you’ve seen flounder all year in a poor pairing, send him down for 10 days, watch him perhaps regain some of his confidence, just to bring him back up and plop him in the same situation he’s failed and stagnated at all season? Do good teams piss away talent like the have with MPS this year? They’d have been better off after the first twenty games to send him down, and leave him there for the season. Are they putting him with linemates he can succeed with?

  67. Gret99zky says:

    Wonder what the reaction to another blow-out tonight will be? Or getting shutout again by another California squad on a b2b? Yikes.

  68. bookje says:

    Gret99zky:
    Wonder what the reaction to another blow-out tonight will be?Or getting shutout again by another California squad on a b2b?Yikes.

    (Note – testing out the new quote function added moments ago)

    I suspect it might be like that tree falling in the forest – nobody is around to care anymore?

  69. ohhell says:

    bookje: I suspect it might be like that tree falling in the forest – nobody is around to care anymore?

    Where are the trees?

  70. bookje says:

    ohhell,

    I was referring to another loss by the Kings, not the webpage – i.e. nobody is paying attention to the Oilers again and as such no one will care if they win or lose.

    Everyone is probably very excited about the (quote) and (Reply) thing – I think it is great.

  71. ohhell says:

    bookje:
    ,

    I was referring to another loss by the Kings, not the webpage – i.e. nobody is paying attention to the Oilers again and as such no one will care if they win or lose.

    Everyone is probably very excited about the (quote) and (Reply) thing – I think it is great.

    I know, I was just testing the new quote feature as well. I am a sucker for shiny new features. This one is nice.

  72. peeps says:

    TheOtherJohn (& Bruce):

    I was intrigued by your approach of breaking down the games into 10-game chunks. I also was interested by the recent comments by some that Calgary isn’t doing any better than us. I started by looking at the goal differential in 10 game chunks, for both the OIlers & Flames:

    Oilers Games: Avg. Goal Differentials
    1-10: 0.9
    11-20: -0.3
    21-30: 0.1
    31-40: -0.8

    Flames Games: Avg. Goal Differentials
    1-10: -0.5
    11-20: -0.6
    21-30: 0.4
    31-40: -0.4

    A few notes:
    - wow, those first 10 games were magical, weren’t they?
    - Flames were clearly inferior to the OIlers for the first 20 games, but have been better since
    - to match last year’s overall goal differential of -76, Oilers would need an average goal differential of -0.93 … the last 10 games are approaching 2010-2011 levels (-0.8) but are still a marked improvement.

    ~~~~~~~~

    Next, a lot of people are complaining about the “9-2″ win against Chicago skewing results. To fix this, I re-did the average goal differentials, but for each block of 10 games, I removed the highest and lowest values before averaging.

    Oilers Games: Modified Avg. Goal Differentials
    1-10: 0.8
    11-20: -0.7
    21-30: 0.0
    31-40: -0.8

    Flames Games: Modified Avg. Goal Differentials
    1-10: -0.4
    11-20: -0.6
    21-30: 0.5
    31-40: -0.4

    A few more notes:
    - the Flames results are almost unaffected by this modification… they seem to be a much more steady team (less goal fluctuations)
    - the OIlers were almost unaffected, but the second 10-game block goal differential dropped significatinly with the differential almost down to 2010-2011 levels of ineptitude (the Chicago game did skew the results).

    ~~~~~~~~

    Finally, I wanted to actually look at the Goals For and Goals Against, to see if anything interesting popped up…

    Oilers Games: Goals For / Goals Against
    1-10: 2.3 / 1.4
    11-20: 3.0 / 3.3
    21-30: 3.2 / 3.1
    31-40: 2.7 / 3.5

    Flames Games: Goals For / Goals Against
    1-10: 2.3 / 2.8
    11-20: 2.2 / 2.8
    21-30: 2.9 / 2.5
    31-40: 2.4 / 2.8

    A few final notes:
    - The results for the first 10 Oiler games are exactly what we expected… historically good goaltending combined with strong line-matching reduced our goals for a bit, but provided a very low goals against.
    - During the last 30 games, our goal scoring has improved dramatically to roughly 3.0 per game (this is a huge improvement over last year’s average of 2.35 goals for per game).
    - During the last 30 games, our goals against has averaged around 3.3, making it as bad as last year (3.28 goals against average during 2010-2011)
    - The Flames goals against has been very steady (around 2.7 per game, which is a slight improvement from last year’s 2.9 goals against per game), but they’re goal scoring is putrid (2.45 goals for per game, compared to 3.05 goals for per game last year)

    In closing, when inconsistent line-matching is occuring (i.e., games 11-30), the Oilers defense and goaltending seems to be about as bad as last year. Our goal scoring has spiked significatly from 2.35 to 3.0, which is a good improvement. The bad news is that without Eberle or RNH to dirve a lot of that offensive punch, and our defensive game at last year’s 30th place levels, I suspect we’ll end up 29th or 30th by the end of the year.

    The Flames goaltending and defense seem to be about the same as last year, but they’re offense has dropped off considerably (close to scoring production of the 2010-2011 Oilers). However, they’ve been steady the whole year, and have been floating around 20th place in the league, which is where I expect them to finish off.

  73. Woodguy says:

    bookje,

    So, when you reply, what happens?

  74. Woodguy says:

    Woodguy:
    bookje,

    So, when you reply, what happens?

    I see

  75. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy: ohhell,

    It’s so easy I may not be able to screw this up.

  76. bookje says:

    Woodguy,

    I am pretty damn excited to watch the Oilers play to use this comment reply thing.

  77. VOR says:

    What frustrates me, though judging by the comments here I am quite unique in this, is the irritating lack of transparency in management. I can’t get any real feel about whether anybody cares on the ice or off that the Oilers are playing like crap. Other than the fans.

    If they cared in the front office they could fix the problems that seem to be making you all nuts. If they can’t get Suter, and I think the Oilers chances are close to zero, there are other useful free agent dmen. Bring in a couple of those four hundred plus game, under thirty guys like say Dennis Wideman and Matt Carle who out perform league average. Trade a couple of late rounders to some cap strapped team like Buffalo for a pending RFA who is mostly through the development curve (Marc-Andre Gragnani). Roll the dice and sign a free agent goalie who is young enough to fit in (Josh Harding).

    Depth on D matters, I think we can all acknowledge that, and this approach would give you that.

    Take your lumps this year, at the draft take the best player available each round.

    If you insist on trading then target actual players.

    Problems fixed.

    Now many of you will say that our management just isn’t up to the task, simple as it would be. My point is we have no clue. They say so many different things, much of it idiotic but some of it valid and to the point and hopeful that it is really impossible to say what they are thinking. You also can’t figure it out by looking at their actions. They alternate between clever asset management and moronic stupidity.

    I guess what I am saying is that as a fan I want to see some sign that they don’t actually believe the crap like “we have all the pieces” or “Injuries are the problem”. Apparently it is possible for your role players to step up when you are having injuries. Even if your super stars are gone, you are headed for a NHL record for games lost, and everybody has written you off it is possible to pick yourself up and remain in the playoff hunt if you have heart, soul, and depth. Ask the Pittsburgh Penguins.

    What I want the people that run the Oilers to say is, “we understand we need to keep getting better, keeping acquiring key pieces, find the rot that has robbed this team of all heart on way too many nignts and get rid of it. We are committed to getting better at our jobs and to this team competing not 3 years from now but tonight.”

    Ain’t going to happen and that is what frustrates me. They may be thinking it, they may even be taking steps to accomplish it. But what we fans are going to get is more smoke blown up our ass. I’ve had enough, thanks.

  78. jake70 says:

    Holy funny, I was reading the posts here and decided to open up Kijiji as I am looking for a vehicle…..clicked on the map link in an ad of a vehicle I was interested in………..the area just outside of the city where the vehicle is located is called “TANKVILLE”…….kid you not…

  79. Lowetide says:

    Jake: BUY THAT CAR! Two NHL games on now that are better than the game at 6. I’m not certain I’ll watch the Oilers tonight, just found out Eric Belanger isn’t playing.

  80. VOR says:

    My gripe with Terry Jones column is that blowing it up some more is too easy for Oilers management and completely gutless. Say you are ST, trade away a bunch of the present for a whole bunch of future. Lose your job now or later. New GM starts winning with all those pieces, now you take credit for being a genius with ownership that just wasn’t patient enough. It would be the perfect move for a GM headed out the door. If it doesn’t pan out it is because the new guy didn’t know how to do the job. Cowardly approach.

    Real leadership, real balls, would be doing something bold. Either trade away some future for a lot of present or a lot of present for a superstar. Jones column should have been why don’t Oilers manangement have any balls? They talk all this smack about how they the Oilers to be hard to play against (which they were as players themselves) but clearly used up all their testosterone long ago. They just want to relive their youth through a team of hard men on the ice. Somebody needs to tell them that the job they have now is about being tough men on the phone and they certainly haven’t convinced the fans or anybody in the NHL that they know how to do that.

  81. VOR says:

    What I am trying to say is ST needs to decide if he is from the David Poile tree or the Glen Sather tree. Next he has to tell all the fans. In simple terms, no self serving bullshit. Then he has to walk the talk.

    Katz needs to tell the fans that it is simple. The goal next year is the playoffs. Nothing else is acceptable. He has to do it with his management team sitting there being good little boys. The owners job, whether Katz likes it or not, is to speak for the fans.

    Otherwise, next up, ticket sales tank, no new coliseum, massive devaluation of a major asset.

    Simple business decision.

    For all of the Oiler brass, it is time to man up.

  82. ASkoreyko says:

    A line of Eager, Hordichuk and Green?

    May the hockey gods have mercy on our souls.

  83. spoiler says:

    Nice shift there by the Lunar Lander.

    I’m enjoying watching Hemsky with Hall. I would like to see more of that next year, please.

  84. Lowetide says:

    spOILer: Hall’s not going anywhere. :-)

  85. Lowetide says:

    Nice play by Paajarvi there, that’s an A and a nice defensive play in the first period for MP.

  86. spoiler says:

    LT, lol. You know I think other than a top 3 Dman, or problems are really bottom half of the roster, which are usually more solveable. If we trade Hemsky for that top 3 dman, which I consider to be unlikely, then we move the top 3 dman problem to a top 3 winger problem. If we trade Hemsky for a picks/prospects, then we have added a hole to the top 3 d issue. Just doesn’t make any sense to me, especially since they have to make a run at the playoffs eventually.

    Is it just me or is Quinn about a half sec ahead of the play?

  87. bookje says:

    spoiler,

    The way I look at it, the bottom half of the roster is easier to fix in the short term with some signings and/or trades. Perhaps that is the plan once the ‘Real Goal’ is to compete?*

    *Note, this is under the assumption that the Oilers are not really trying to win right now.**

    ** This assumption may be very wrong and the Oilers management may just be terrible.

  88. Lowetide says:

    spOILer: Don’t get me wrong, I want Hemsky signed to an EDM contract. But I think he’s gone.

  89. hunter1909 says:

    Say Lowetide, isn’t Sam Gagner finally showing progression as a NHL player? He’s 200% stronger on his skates and looking to make the play instead of hoping to make the play. if he gets traded I’ll cry for a week.

    MPS also looks very good dangling the puck, which is his obvious instinct. Why not put him with Hall, because MPS has the skill to play keep away and simultaneously look for the best play, unlike the less skilled Oilers who cycle for it’s own sake. if Hall gets a linemate who’s able to play keep away while Hall gets himself open, that’s an unstoppable combination.

    it would be nice to see these idiots win a few games this year. Screw draft position.

  90. spoiler says:

    bookje,

    Yeah, that’s the point I’m trying to make, so I don’t see trading Hemsky as a good solution.

  91. Lowetide says:

    Hunter: Gagner? Never liked him.

  92. hunter1909 says:

    LMAO Louis Debrusk and Gene baby talking about the same two players I just mentioned.

  93. Ribs says:

    Fussy tweets…

    Tambellini looking for a 3yr extension from the Oilers.

  94. Ribs says:

    No decision on Renney but it lookd like Krueger will not be back

  95. spoiler says:

    So the Nightmare on Gretzky Street ends?

  96. pboy says:

    Ribs,

    I’m more interested in what happens with Tambo than I am with Renney. Lowe will lose his cover if Tambo is gone, maybe that will be only way to get Lowe out of the organization?

  97. hunter1909 says:

    Katz had better learn fast that a hockey team’s fanbase aren’t anything like employees. On the contrary, Katz is the one with the problem if this thing doesn’t get turned around fast.

    Tottenham Hotspur(who play out of Edmonton London LOL), were once bought by a businessman and lifelong fanboy Alan Sugar – to make a long story short the team blew and Sugar found himself so villified by the Spurs faithful he ended up selling it in a big hurry.

    Sports teams aren’t regular businesses.

  98. pboy says:

    Ribs:
    Fussy tweets…

    Tambellini looking for a 3yr extension from the Oilers.

    He has a winning percentage of 0.01% while he’s been here but he definitely deserves 3 more years……

  99. Lowetide says:

    Lamder needed to get that done. Rookie mistake, there have been a few and it might cost 2 points tonight. Oh well, we haven’t seen that too many times since 2006.

  100. Lowetide says:

    Peckham stands up an LAK winger in the neutral zone and then just stands there. Weird.

  101. Ribs says:

    pboy,

    Hah, yes. Impressive. I still can’t see them not giving him an exension, though.

  102. Ribs says:

    More from Fussy. One of these things is going to have to happen soon…

    Oilers offer Hemsky a 1yr 4.8M extension

  103. knighttown says:

    One thing I’m reminded of watching this game is just how truly awful Colin Fraser is . Slow, weak with rotten hockey sense. Maybe the worst regular (non fighter) the Oilers have played full time?

    ***excepting Jason Strudwick who is always the answer if the question contains the word “worst”.

  104. Noodles says:

    Ribs,

    I would do that deal in a heartbeat. Too bad she seems to be pulling these things out of her (apparently shapely) ass.

  105. Lowetide says:

    lol Noodles. Always keeping things in perspective. She might not be right, but,,,

  106. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Well that was 100 times better than Friday night. Renney’s Rant – 2012 turning point?~

  107. spoiler says:

    Sweet goal. And it always feels good to beat a Sutter. Throw Lombardi in there too.

  108. spoiler says:

    Yeah. It would be nice to see crisp passing, 30+ shots and 15 hits every game.

    I don’t think this team is as far away as many people think. There’s a fine line between winning and losing and the Oil have been in a lot of close games this year. Every game they’ve executed well, they’ve been in. No, they’re not at the level of the Canucks or the Bruins, by any means. But I don’t think they’re that far from being a playoff contender.

    Sign Hemsky to a deal like Unmentionables mentions. Sign a good UFA Dman like Carle in the off-season. Learn how to be a consistent team, both within the games and from game-to-game. Give the kids (including Gagner) another year to get stronger, more able to win puck battles. I think we’ll be fine.

    Wow. What a game by Malkin toniight.

  109. Gret99zky says:

    spoiler:

    Is it just me or is Quinn about a half sec ahead of the play?

    I’ve noticed this as well. Also with the Flames broadcasts. Kerr sounds a full sec ahead. TV magic.

  110. Lowetide says:

    Probably a delay of some sort. Do their camera hits sync up with their verbal? Now that I type this I’m having deja vu. This has happened before. Recently.

  111. peeps says:

    spoiler,

    Hey Spoiler, that was kind of where my numbers were headed in my earlier post.

    During this season, games 11-30 (i.e., after Renney seemed to give up on a very defensive system ), the Oilers were scoring at a rate of 2.97 goals per game. That would have been good enough for top 10 in the NHL last year.

    The problem is defense / goaltending. During this season, games 11-30, the OIlers have let in 3.30 goals per game, which is only a small improvement over last year’s 3.51 against (and would have been worse than last year’s 29th worst Avalanche at 3.28).

    The trick is to get better goaltending (like we did during the first 10 games this season), better defensive play, but without using a defensive system that sacrifices scoring production. During our first 10 games, when defence was king, we were scoring at a rate of 2.30 goals per game, which would have still ranked 30th in last year’s standings.

    If we’re going to be successful next year (or later down the road), we need to get better defensively without sacrificing / trading away offense. We can’t afford to move out Hemsky or Gagner… we need to maintain (or improve) our current forwards while adding better defensiveman, and getting more consistent / better goaltending.

    Granted, getting better D-men could help our forwards score more, but I’m not looking forward to replacing Hemsky and/or Gagner with defensemen, and not getting another talented forward to replace them both.

  112. bookje says:

    spoiler:
    I don’t think this team is as far away as many people think. There’s a fine line between winning and losing and the Oil have been in a lot of close games this year. Every game they’ve executed well, they’ve been in. No, they’re not at the level of the Canucks or the Bruins, by any means. But I don’t think they’re that far from being a playoff contender.

    Wait, what? Are we flipping to positive again – I thought we were deep into the depressive cycle?

  113. unca miltie says:

    Lowetide,

    I happened to be near Pat Laforge when the tweet came in. Showed it to him and he just asked me who Treenas Oil was..guess he is not the leak..Then Hall scored and I ran for the exit..lool

  114. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Amazing what happens to fans outlook immediately after a win.
    IMO this team is still miles (4 to 6 roster improvements) from contending for a playoff spot. I expect them to next year, but that likley requires a change in management and possibly coaching if Renney can’t motivate a roster with better D.
    Team looked good tonight though – They seem to match up well with LA.

  115. "Steve Smith" says:

    Just got here – why was Josh Green on the powerplay?

  116. Traktor says:

    Was Teubert injured tonight? TSN has him playing only 8:23 and Petry over 27 minutes.

    Also, is Belanger injured or was he healthy scratched?

  117. OilLeak says:

    “Steve Smith”,

    Because Renney doesn’t like Paajarvi’ sideburns.

  118. "Steve Smith" says:

    OilLeak,

    Paajarvi got exactly as much PP time as Green did (and in fact assisted on Green’s goal).

  119. Gerta Rauss says:

    I don’t recall a Teubert injury but I can’t explain the total minutes played.
    Belanger was ill and sat out-they may have elaborated but I PVR’d the game and may have jumped over any further details.

    I thought they played a good game-LA pushed hard in the 3rd period but they hung on and Horcov actually made a good pass–as if he’d ever shoot the frackin thing–to Hall for the OT winner.

  120. Gerta Rauss says:

    My bad-here is an update on Belanger from the Edmonton Sun

    Belanger hobbled

    Eric Belanger was unable to play aftering injuring his leg in Friday’s loss to Anaheim.

    The centre’s status for Tuesday’s game in Columbus is still unknown.

    “I’m not sure exactly, his leg is bothering him a little bit,” Renney said.

    “We’ll see how he’s doing when we get on the road.”

  121. Traktor says:

    Thanks.

  122. OilLeak says:

    “Steve Smith”,

    Yeah I know, I thought it made for a funny quip. Although, you know you’ve exhausted your options when you have Josh Green on your pp.

  123. "Steve Smith" says:

    OilLeak,

    The sad thing is that I was looking at the forwards who didn’t get powerplay time, and I couldn’t think of anybody I’d definitely put out there ahead of Green. Maybe Renney just should have spread the PP time around less.

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