BEN EAGER 11-12: EVERYBODY KNOWS THIS IS NOWHERE

Ben Eager arrived in town as the new crust, truculence 2.0. A year later, he’s viewed as a subpar choice for the role of agitator/enforcer/babysitter. What went wrong?

Ben Eager 10-11 (ATL-SJS)

  • 5×5 points per 60: 1.36
  • 5×4 points per 60: nil
  • Qual Comp: Eager played for 2 teams
  • Qual Team: –
  • Corsi Rel: -12.6
  • Zone Start: 50.4%
  • Zone Finish: 48.5%
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 84/8.33%
  • Boxcars: 68, 7-10-17
  • Plus Minus: +4
Ben Eager 11-12
  • 5×5 points per 60: 1.46 (7th among regular forwards)
  • 5×4 points per 60: nil
  • Qual Comp: 13th toughest faced among regular forwards
  • Qual Team: 14th best and worst available teammates among regular forwards
  • Corsi Rel: -8.8 (11th best among regular forwards)
  • Zone Start: 49.3% (8th toughest among regular forwards)
  • Zone Finish: 43.5% (13th best among regular forwards)
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 69/11.6% (6th best among F’s >50 shots)
  • Boxcars: 63, 8-5-13
  • Plus Minus: -1 on a team that was -26
  1. What do these numbers tell us? Eager delivered at expected levels offensively and played 4line minutes across the board. His CorsiRel was poor and we’ll talk about 4line makeup in a minute. He ZS/ZF is extremely poor but that was the trainwreck 4line in 11-12. He was part of that 4line, and deserves part of the blame. The real blame belongs at the feet of roster makeup.
  2. How could these numbers be better? I’m not sure. Eager was hired to replace JF Jacques and he did that imo, and was a clear upgrade. He played about 8.5 minutes a night–all at evens–and overall did more to help his team win than Jacques.
  3. How did he help? Eager scored 8 goals and posted a reasonable offensive number at evens. That has value. He also supplied the Oilers will a physical presence the organization felt was badly needed for this young group.
  4. So the Oilers are happy with him? Well, no. He took a lot of heat around the end of the season when he failed to track down Jared Boll after the Jacket crumpled the Nuge. On April 1, Jim Matheson wrote “Ben Eager’s inactivity when Nugent-Hopkins was run by Jared Boll in Columbus a week ago did not go unnoticed in upper management.” That’s probably bad news for Eager if he likes it in Edmonton. Oilers management takes protecting their kids seriously.
  5. So they’re going to trade Eager? Who knows, the Oilers have been associated with everyone from Georges Laraque to George Parros in recent times. I expect we’ll see another round of coke machines along any time now.
  6. What’s the problem? Oilers under Renney (and Quinn before him) have settled on “two” forward slots devoted to policemen. MacT tried to make a player out of Stortini (and BG before him) but this new group wants a pure fighter and a rock ‘em sock ‘em forward who can play.
  7. And Eager was the rock ‘em sock ‘em? Sure.
  8. How did he do? Well, I thought he’d be a better actual player. Having said that, Eager delivered as expected and for that Oiler fans should consider him a better option than JF Jacques.
  9. Why does Oilers management like guys like Jacques and Eager? Oh that’s easy. They’re big and fast and can intimidate.
  10. So they’re effective? Well, no. The problem is everyone who has these guys rolls them out on the 4th line because they can’t play with the good players. I was hopeful Eager could catch a shift or two with the skilled men (Fred Shero would change it up once in awhile, Sather too) but his ability to take and make a pass was inconsistent. A lot of sorties died on his stick, MacT would have been driven to distraction I’m certain.
  11. What would MacT do? Oh MacT had the coolest 4lines, he really did. Dowd with BG and I think Kilger, he ran Lacouture out there with Cleary and Dom Pittis for awhile too until Big Georges turned Dom into pic-up-stix one day at practice. Basically, MacT had guys who didn’t turn the puck over and if they did it happened 500 miles from the Oilers net.
  12. So, they were goons who could play? Somewhat, although “goon” doesn’t really apply. Stortini wasn’t a goon, he was kind of a “low event physical presence and jabberman” for the Oilers.
  13. What now? MacT’s big men to my mind were slower than Eager but paid greater attention to detail. The game was slower, but that went for the opponents as well as the Oilers.
  14. So you don’t object to Ben Eager, but would prefer a different player type? Yes. One of the first things Renney did when he became coach was flush Stortini, a guy I think MacT saw as a poor man’s Mike Grier. Mike Grier is the player type I’d love to see Edmonton develop, one for LW and one for RW. Grier and or Pisani types.
  15. But the Oilers are stuck with Eager, right? Well, no. There are always teams willing to trade for a guy like Ben Eager. He’s about 1M a year, you can HS if needed and he can score 8-10 goals a year in a 4line role. Plus you can send him out there to do damage and in today’s NHL many if not most NHL general managers put a value on that kind of player.
  16. Who would you put in Eager’s place? Lots of guys who are available. Teemu Hartikainen on the Oilers, he can be an effective player and has size. I think MacT would already have him coached up beyond where he is now, but there’s a solid 2-way player there imo and the Oilers have a king sized need for that player type.
  17. Anyone else? Anton Lander. He’s a chippy bugger and has a defensive background. MacT would work on him I believe, and turn Lander into a solid player in no time. Maybe starting on LW, but Lander is a guy who has some jam without being an idiot about it. Like that guy as a gritty 2-way player not too far down the line.
  18. Will they trade Eager? Nah. He’ll be back in the fall as a 4line option with Lander and George Parros.
  19. Really? Does that make the team better? No, but the Oilers will have a nuclear deterrent on the bench when one of the kids get run over.
  20. What good does that do? That’s how you win the Stanley Cup.
  21. Oh.

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116 Responses to "BEN EAGER 11-12: EVERYBODY KNOWS THIS IS NOWHERE"

  1. Yeti says:

    I think it’s worth noting that the concussion inflicted by our Russian wildcard Tupulov in a pre-season ‘no-contact’ game did have an impact on Eager. He may have had a stronger season without that. Also, the presence of Lander was a millstone that few fourth lines could recover from. Once Lander was sent to the minors the fourth line improved: at least until it got Hordichucked with increasing regularity.

  2. Lowetide says:

    Yeti: Good points. The concussion really did impact the first part of the season, and Lander’s presence is another indicator that the Oilers evaluation of NHL ready is way off compared to the MacT era.

  3. BlacqueJacque says:

    This was a post on Eager, or how MacTavish would have turned this squad into a playoff team?

    Any and all arguments for MacTavish as head coach die on the Toby Peterson vine. Which is probably why this great coach, this legend from behind the pine, has been in so much demand across the league.

  4. Lowetide says:

    And he ruined Schremp!

  5. BlacqueJacque says:

    Funny, but unlike playing Toby Peterson on the first power play for weeks on end, not actually true.

    I know you like MacT, maybe he’s your friend IRL, but there’s a damn good reason he hasn’t had a head coaching gig since. I bet highlights of his last season’s power play failures, much of which include Peterson on the top unit, probably do a bit to scuttle his chances.

    You watched Moneyball, I presume? Remember the line where Art Howe says he’s playing the team in a way which he can explain at job interviews after the season? Yeah, MacT didn’t.

  6. Chris Hext---formerly EasyOil--- says:

    BlacqueJacque,

    “…there’s a damn good reason he hasn’t had a head coaching gig since.”

    Liiiiiiiiiiiike cancer?

    Not saying without the horrible illness he would have been choice number 1 around the league, but cut the guy a little slack. And I agree with LT, MacT would be great with this team. I like Renney, but MacT was damn smart. I don’t disagree with his firing though, I think he’d worn out his welcome in terms of his “message” with the players, but that happens to most coaches. He was a big reason the team wasn’t completely in the ditch the last few years before his firing.

  7. regwald says:

    I was excited to have Eager on his team simply because of the edge factor. What he did against the Canucks in the playoffs last year was a thing of beauty. I was telling all my hockey buddies that the Over/Under on games suspended was 5.

    He didn’t even come close. Should have said that about Sutton I guess. The edge was lost – either directly because of the concussion or management/coaching directive. Something like – if you want to play on this team you have to stay out of the penalty box because we can PK to save our lives.

    I guess the third alternative was the comfy feeling from a 3 year contract under his belt.

    Overall, I think he was okay but did not deliver as advertised or hoped.

  8. hunter1909 says:

    Eager was terrible, other than he helped bring Yakupov.

    Toby Peterson?? yeah, I remember how the great John Howard Society member Mactavish specifically replaced Schremp’s training camp slot with this ridiculous, pathetic player.

    MacT Apologist Party Line 2012: “Sure everyone agrees he should have been fired. What a great coach, and now there’s cancer to add to the narrative.”

  9. Jonathan Willis says:

    Actually, relative to ice-time this year, Eager was a more frequent hitter than he had been the past two seasons – and this on an Oilers team that typically under-counts shots. If you were expecting more hitting from him, then you were under a misconception as to the sort of player he was. He also fought more frequently relative to ice-time this season than he did last season.

  10. regwald says:

    Jonathan Willis:
    Actually, relative to ice-time this year, Eager was a more frequent hitter than he had been the past two seasons – and this on an Oilers team that typically under-counts shots.If you were expecting more hitting from him, then you were under a misconception as to the sort of player he was.He also fought more frequently relative to ice-time this season than he did last season.

    Out of curiosity Jonathan, what was the comparison in ice time/game between 2012 and 2011 seasons ?

  11. Jonathan Willis says:

    @ Regwald: Almost everywhere Eager’s played the last four years, he’s averaged between 8-9 minutes per game. In Atlanta his ice-time was much higher, skewing his 2010-11 numbers overall, but Chicago played him less than Edmonton and San Jose played him just slightly more.

  12. Semenko and Troy says:

    Even as RNH was jawing with Boll from the ice, Eager just went nonchalantly back to the bench and sat down. He was dead to me at that moment.

  13. Traktor says:

    MacT would definitely fix the 4th line winger problem.

    With Ladi Smid.

  14. Chris Hext---formerly EasyOil--- says:

    hunter1909,

    Yes, cancer is just a narrative designed to defend NHL coaches out of work. Pat Burns says hi.

    Us MacT “apologists”, as you like to refer to us, aren’t of the illusion that he was some sort of uber-coach who should have been a multiple Jack Adams winner. As I said, I’m not under the illusion that MacT was a first choice coach for many/any NHL teams since he was fired by the Oilers, but he would almost certainly have been in the conversation. Given that not long after that he was suffering from cancer he probably didn’t go looking for work and I would guess word spread around that he wasn’t exactly in any condition to take such a job on. He has ALWAYS been regarded as a smart guy, and whilst not top-of-the-list for teams, he was never a bad coach. Every coach ever has made odd decisions (Petersen). All of them.

  15. Traktor says:

    MacT actually had some cool 4th lines. It was really cool of MacT when gave up on Brodziak and singled him out to the media.

  16. Traktor says:

    Another cool 4th line moment was when MacT talked about Pouliot’s ability to be a two-way center. He even calling him a future Carbo. Then he refused to play Pouliot at center despite the numbers telling us that’s where he played his best hockey.

  17. slipper says:

    If I remember correctly, Brodziak was given 12+ minutes a game in his second full season with the Oilers and MacTavish leaned on him heavily as his second best option on the dot. Then he was traded in late June of 2009 AFTER MacTavish had been fired.

  18. slipper says:

    It appears MacTavish had Brodziak in the ideal position in the line-up since, despite dramatic increases in ice time and salary over in Minnesota, Brodziak’s production has remained virtually the same.

  19. Mr DeBakey says:

    Toby Peterson on the first power play for weeks on end

    Peterson on the powerplay?
    Good God what next, Smid on Left Wing? [Traktor beat me to it - not surprising, never has so much been made of so little]

    Here are the forwards GP & PP MIN, sorted by PP minutes played.
    I wish Winchester would’ve got some of Petersen’s minutes.

    HORCOFF * 80 * 1049.2
    TORRES * 82 * 984.3
    LUPUL * 81 * 974.5
    SYKORA * 82 * 943.7
    PISANI * 77 * 915.5
    HEMSKY * 64 * 756.0
    REASONER * 72 * 700.1
    SMYTH * 53 * 675.4
    THORESEN * 68 * 636.4
    PETERSEN * 63 * 620.6
    STOLL * 51 * 514.8
    POULIOT * 46 * 490.6
    WINCHESTER * 59 * 428.1
    JACQUES * 37 * 286.4
    NEDVED * 19 * 196.5
    STORTINI * 29 * 192.6
    BRODZIAK * 6 * 81.2
    MOREAU * 7 * 75.1
    NILSSON * 4 * 52.2
    MIKHNOV * 2 * 11.9
    SCHREMP * 1 * 9.5

  20. jake70 says:

    Wasn’t Eager out a couple of times with back spasms/soreness? Playing a physical game with back issues is killer, ask JFJ. But if he is the line-up and isn’t protecting, not acceptable.

  21. slipper says:

    Woodguy: You mentioned that we have some sort of outstanding bet. I haven’t a clue about what you’re talking about. Refresh my memory?

  22. Captain Obvious says:

    Let’s talk about something important. How the fuck did James Neal only get suspended for one game? Or how about, Brendan Shanahan is a shriveling, gutless prick.

    This should be the best playoffs in years. Instead the gutless, shriveling, prick that is Brendan Shanahan is single handedly ruining it with capricious justice. Sure, Torres might get a hefty suspension. So what, he’s Raffi Torres. Moreover making Torres a sacrificial lamb only underlines the sheer capriciousness of it.

  23. bill needle says:

    Telling Eager that he did a good job of replacing Jacques is like telling the loser on Match Game that he goes home with some lovely parting gifts and a copy of the home game.
    The crowd responds with the sound of one hand clapping.

  24. Lowetide says:

    Bill Needle: Well, that’s about roster makeup and I don’t think that’s an Eager issue. Agree completely the Oilers would be better off with good players–and frankly I thought Eager would be able to do things like take and make a pass.

    But Eager was an upgrade in the role Edmonton wanted him for, I don’t think there’s much doubt about it.

  25. misfit says:

    I was happy with the Eager aquisition at the time, but didn’t expect any more than he ended up delivering.

    I kind of get a kick at reading fan posts on the internet where people suggest moves like replacing Jacques with a slightly better version of Jacques are going to vastly improve the team. Of course any upgrade is still an upgrade, but rarely is a 4th line the difference between being a good team or a bad one.

    Though I will say that his concussion in training camp definitely got him off on the wrong foot.

  26. Ducey says:

    bill needle,

    Match Game? Wow.

    Soon you and LT are going to be in the seniors home with LT railing about how Pouliot never got a fair shake and that MacT would lead the Oilers out of the wilderness. No doubt you’d running around with a skinny microphone asking: “Tambellini asked Hall to put ice on his _______.

  27. Jordan says:

    Lowetide,

    Any player in the NHL would have been an upgrade on Jacques, and 95% of the players in the AHL would have been at least an equivalent substitute.

    Saying someone is an upgrade on JFJ is like being the GM of a team after they had Mad Mike. Sure you’re going to be better – you can’t possibly be any worse!

    Eager did fill the role. But having him and Hordi on the roster is redundant. You’re absolutely right that its a roster makeup issue.

    The big question that needs to be addressed now is based on what we are seeing in the playoffs, how much more is size and grit going to be pursued in the offseason?

    Its pretty clear that smashmouth hockey is back in vogue.

    Captain Obvious:
    This should be the best playoffs in years.Instead the gutless, shriveling, prick that is Brendan Shanahan is single handedly ruining it with capricious justice.

    This isn’t just Shanni’s baby. The reffing this year has been atrocious. There’s more good judgement and consistency in the decision making of four 15 year old boys at spring break in fort lauderdale FL than the referees have shown in the management the playoff games this spring. I’m not giving him a pass for Neal, Weber, et. all. But this goes well beyond one man’s inconsistency. This is league-wide.

    The real question I have right now is why now? After all the hullabaloo about cracking down and headshots and player safety, why now?

    I know if I were a member of the NHLPA, I’d be really worried about my safety and my union’s ability to guarantee it.

  28. FastOil says:

    Captain

    I am growing more frustrated with the league as well. It is hard to watch the best players getting basically attacked and the game being lessened without their play. I used to be against it, but maybe the police should start charging these clowns with assualt. It might be the only way it ever stops. I don’t mind a solid clean hit, but have lost any appreciation for boarding and late hits that are really about taking players out. I have always disliked head shots and cross checking, especially the combination of the two. The world is always changing, the league is staying a couple of decades behind.

    As for Eager, the Tulipov hit has to be considered. I wouldn’t be surprised if Eager is unhappy with the team over it. Why bring a head hunter like T into the mix, who it seems has not much chance of making the NHL? Would Eager be more willing to stand up for others if it hadn’t happened, and he hadn’t been hurt so badly?

    The mentality of destroying opponents has run it’s time as I see it, and only serves to damage the league and hockey in general. It is not such a given that kids play hockey anymore. I know a lot of parents who steer their kids away from it because of all the aggression on and off the ice. When I was a kid the only reason in my neighbourhood a boy didn’t play was health, money or no interest in sports.

  29. Adam Dyck says:

    For me, it comes down to the type of role that the Oilers have chosen to include in their lineup. IF they’re convinced they need this type of player, Eager’s as good as any and probably better than most. In a perfect world, sure, we’d have skill through the lineup, but at least we can take solace in the fact that the Oilers aren’t the only team making this choice.

  30. jimbones100 says:

    Great Post LT. Thank You.
    I love the tongue in cheek Q and A.

  31. Lowetide says:

    Jordan: Crazy, isn’t it? One of the truly bizarre items of the year was watching Renney doublt shift #4 with these guys. Holy hell what a mess.

  32. stevezie says:

    “until Big Georges turned Dom into pic-up-stix one day at practice” – What does this mean? I don’t know the story or the reference.

    Oh yeah, Eager. Eager sucks. I don’t like nuclear deterents, but I think Parros is actually a decent 4th liner.

  33. Dan the Man says:

    Maybe the Oilers could bring MacT back as a co-coach to replace Krueger and MacT could look after the 3rd and 4th lines while Renney handles the 1st and 2nd?

    I’m kidding of course….mostly….

  34. ashley says:

    Regarding the dangerous infractions we’ve seen in the playoffs, I think Shanahan lost control right at the beginning. Weber’s attack on Zetterberg was violent, probably the worst of any we’ve seen so far. I put it in a similar category as Bertuzzi’s attack on Moore, or McSorely on Brashear. The attack was intentional with the use of a weapon (the glass) and could have had serious consequences for Z.

    Weber is a golden boy, and everyone was holding their collective breath waiting to hear the punishment. A $2500 fine sent a message, but the wrong one; Basically that cheapshots were going to be allowed, but fined if they were quite violent.

    He should have set the tone with Weber. Now it seems he is trying to make up for it with lengthier suspensions, but it is hard to catch up.

  35. Captain Obvious says:

    ashley,

    The problem is that he isn’t even trying. He had another chance with Neal. Even a relatively small suspension like four games would have sent a powerful message. Instead he gets the same suspension as Adams and Backstrom who basically did nothing.

    And suspending Torres won’t act as a deterrent. It’s too late for that. If I’m Chicago or Washington I’m out for blood. The NHL has announced that attempting to injure is a legitimate strategy. I’d be putting numbers on the board.

    This league needs Roger Goddell.

  36. Jordan says:

    Lowetide,

    The sad part is I don’t see next years options for a balanced roster being any more likely.

    Eberle isn’t likely to repeat (based on statistics, not on ability), Hall likely won’t be 100% at the start of the season due to surgery rehab, and RNH still has peachfuzz on his face. Yakupov will ned sheltering, Gagner’s arrows continue to point the right way, but his ceiling is falling every year he doesn’t take that step forwards. Hemsky has sown flashed of what he was, and may be fully fueled by the time season starts, but he remains another enigma.

    If that’s your top 6, there needs to be beastmen like stortini, hordichuk, and others to provide some semblance of balance, and yet for them to saw things off at evens they need to be hockey players too.

    But if they were hockey players, you could spread them out throughout the lineup and then the need for coke machines disapears!

    The bottom line is the Oilers need to get some skilled size throughout the lineup. Eager’s not a bad bet when you have a couple decent PVP lines, but since the Oilers don’t he doesn’t fit what the team needs.

    Despite his shortcomings, Dustin Penner would do a lot to solve problems in the Oilers lineup. And unlike Brian Boyle, Milan Lucic, Dustin Brown and James Neal, Penner’s available in the offseason.

    Captain Obvious:
    This league needs Roger Goddell.

    Every sports league in the world needs Roger Goddell. Too bad they can’t clone him…

  37. misfit says:

    Captain Obvious:

    This league needs Roger Goddell.

    After the salary cap BS with the Cowboys and Redskins, I’d say bringing in a Roger Goddell would be a bad idea. You’d definitely get punishment for offenders, but Godell seems to punish everyone whether they’ve done anything wrong or not.

  38. FPB94 says:

    MacT was very average.

    Truth is he never had a flash in the pan season that made him look better than he was (Talking about the whole enchilada here, reg. season and post-season). Like most guys who get 7 or so lives. (Hithcock Keenan).

    And really if you have the choice between gambling and going after a guy you know is average, most prefer to roll the dices.

  39. Woodguy says:

    slipper:
    Woodguy: You mentioned that we have some sort of outstanding bet. I haven’t a clue about what you’re talking about. Refresh my memory?

    I seem to remember you wagering $20 or so with me that Hemsky would not be re-signed by the Oilers.

    I may be mis-remembering, but it feels right.

  40. FPB94 says:

    WG: Yeah but you have about 11 of these.

  41. Woodguy says:

    FPB94,

    In his last year with a pile of AHL’er MacT had the OIlers finish 21st in the NHL, 11th in the conference with 85 points.

    The next year with much the same line up they finished 30th in the NHL, 15th in Conference with 62 points.

    I think MacT’s coaching kept everyone from see how bad Lowe really was at his job.

  42. Woodguy says:

    Woodguy:
    FPB94,

    In his last year with a pile of AHL’er MacT had the OIlers finish 21st in the NHL, 11th in the conference with 85 points.

    The next year with much the same line up they finished 30th in the NHL, 15th in Conference with 62 points.

    I think MacT’s coaching kept everyone from see how bad Lowe really was at his job.

    Not that everyone thought he was good, but good coaching helped hide how terrible the teams were when looking strictly at results.

  43. Woodguy says:

    FPB94:
    WG: Yeah but you have about 11 of these.

    Only had 2 for the Hemsky re-signing.

  44. FPB94 says:

    WG: At the same time NJ does that every damn year. But better.

    Still think he was average. Maybe he was good at getting the max out of pluggers, but really we can’t evaluate much else.

  45. godot10 says:

    I felt sorry for Chicago, until I remembered they recently extended Carcillo for two more years.

    Vigneault bets his job with Schneider, not Luongo.

  46. commonfan14 says:

    I wonder what the Canucks will get for Lou if they’re able to deal him.

  47. Ducey says:

    Woodguy: FPB94, In his last year with a pile of AHL’er MacT had the OIlers finish 21st in the NHL, 11th in the conference with 85 points.The next year with much the same line up they finished 30th in the NHL, 15th in Conference with 62 points.I think MacT’s coaching kept everyone from see how bad Lowe really was at his job.

    Maybe. But he did get 66 pts out of Hemsky before he became bionically useless and 56 out of Souray and Horcoff. Gilbert had 40 + and the kid line was incredible, winning lots of last minute games.

    If Hemsky, Gilbert and Horcoff had put up numbers this year like they did that year, Renney likely would have made the playoffs. Maybe it’s Renney’s fault that those players didn’t do as well, but I doubt it.

  48. Ducey says:

    commonfan14: I wonder what the Canucks will get for Lou if they’re able to deal him.

    You mean on top of an even bigger inferiority complex?

  49. godot10 says:

    Tampa has a ton of draft picks, I think 2 in the first and 3 in the 2nd. Bobby Lu is probably headed back to Florida.

  50. Gret99zky says:

    My god Tambi is terrible. Why can’t he figure out what everyone else already knows? That MacT is the only man on planet earth capable of leading the Oilers out of the wilderness.

    Also, I hope they make another Star Trek movie with the original cast because they’re not average either.

  51. fuzzy muppet says:

    Fleury is literally a sieve right now….unreal

  52. Woodguy says:

    Gret99zky:
    My god Tambi is terrible.Why can’t he figure out what everyone else already knows?That MacT is the only man on planet earth capable of leading the Oilers out of the wilderness.

    Also, I hope they make another Star Trek movie with the original cast because they’re not average either.

    MacT should not, and will not become the next coach of the OIlers.

    Keep up the hyperbole though.

  53. Woodguy says:

    Ducey: Maybe.But he did get 66 pts out of Hemsky before he became bionically useless and 56 out of Souray and Horcoff.Gilbert had 40 + and the kid line was incredible, winning lots of last minute games.

    If Hemsky, Gilbert and Horcoff had put up numbers this year like they did that year, Renney likely would have made the playoffs.Maybe it’s Renney’s fault that those players didn’t do as well, but I doubt it.

    The year the kids won games on the right end of the bell curve was 07/08 (88pts, 19th overall, 9th in WC)

    That’s the year that Cogliano got the 3 OT goals in a row and GlenX, Brodziak, Zorg were a very strong 4th line.

    GlenX played for CAL in 08/09 (the year I referred to) because Lowe couldn’t return his calls in the summer of 08 as he was promising Hossa $9MM/yr.

  54. bookje says:

    When they fired MacT, I was pretty sure that he was a big part of the problem. After seeing the team under Quinn, I realized that I was probably wrong.

    MacT was a good coach who got a lot out of his players (with a few exceptions – like when he turned Robbie Schremp into a SEL level player).

  55. Woodguy says:

    Ducey: If Hemsky, Gilbert and Horcoff had put up numbers this year like they did that year, Renney likely would have made the playoffs. Maybe it’s Renney’s fault that those players didn’t do as well, but I doubt it.

    You know that MacT didn’t have Hall, Eberle and RNH that year right?

  56. BlacqueJacque says:

    Chris Hext—formerly EasyOil—,

    Chris, cancer didn’t keep MacT for applying to several jobs around the league – or at least having his name bandied about in the past 5 years at various openings. No takers, you’ll notice.

    MacT hockey is not what this team needs – nor what the fanbase wants. It’s not a MacT team. Not enough plugs/grinders willing to block shots in game 37 with the score 4-1 (in either side’s favor) with their faces.

  57. BlacqueJacque says:

    BlacqueJacque,

    And I’m not a MacT hater for the record. I just think there are better options available. Options that don’t include a coach losing his mind or temper so bad that he plays the team’s worst player on its most important unit. If you want me to name names, let’s start with Tippett and include, gasp, a Sutter.

  58. nelson88 says:

    I don’t have a dog in the fight so not really fussed on who wins the flyers/penquins series. Having said that; hartnell grabbing cooke’s stick and hitting himself on the head and laughing about it deserves some sort of response from the hockey gods.

    has to be good for at least one penguin win. what a series.

  59. DSF says:

    Woodguy: MacT should not, and will not become the next coach of the OIlers.

    Keep up the hyperbole though.

    I’d wager there is an excellent chance MacT is the next coach of the Canucks.

    Should cause more than a few around here to be conflicted.

  60. Lowetide says:

    DSF: I’d wager there is an excellent chance MacT is the next coach of the Canucks.

    Should cause more than a few around here to be conflicted.

    Not at all. That’s a beauty roster and I thought they’d win it all this season. If MacT gets the chance to coach and Gillis doesn’t lose his way Vancouver should have a reason to riot someday soon.

  61. DSF says:

    Lowetide: Not at all. That’s a beauty roster and I thought they’d win it all this season. If MacT gets the chance to coach and Gillis doesn’t lose his way Vancouver should have a reason to riot someday soon.

    They only riot when they lose in the 7th game.

    At least that’s what the math says :)

  62. "Steve Smith" says:

    DSF,

    I was going to say that I do not think that ” ” means what you think it means, but I think I’m going to require that schtick; it’s served its purpose.*

    This second period has been pretty quiet – they’re only on pace for four goals.

    *For those of you wondering: yes, its purpose was to make me look like a jackass.

  63. Lowetide says:

    NO!!!!! I love that line! It makes me feel superior and the target finds it galling. Frankly I can’t think of one negative thing about it!

  64. "Steve Smith" says:

    Er, there was supposed to be a smiley face between the quotation marks in my last comment, but I can’t figure out how to replicate it.

    We can’t all be DSF, I guess.

  65. "Steve Smith" says:

    Lowetide,

    Well, geez. The rest of you are free not to think words mean what other people think they mean too, you know. If you catch my meaning.

    (By which I mean that you can all be “Steve Smith”, though “can” does not imply “should”.)

  66. DSF says:

    "Steve Smith":
    Er, there was supposed to be a smiley face between the quotation marks in my last comment, but I can’t figure out how to replicate it.

    We can’t all be DSF, I guess.

    colon )

    And I don’t think DSF® means what you think it means. √

  67. fuzzy muppet says:

    Jesus, could Philly come out and play any worse? Awful penalties, shit Goaltending. Sounds like the Penguins from the 1st three games.

  68. Woodguy says:

    DSF: I’d wager there is an excellent chance MacT is the next coach of the Canucks.

    Should cause more than a few around here to be conflicted.

    I’d only feel conflicted when the Dys played the Oil and only for about 5 min of the first game.

    I’d hope he’s win every game not against the Oilers.
    o

  69. "Steve Smith" says:

    Is there some kind of Ron-Hextall-based Curse-of-the-Bambino-equivalent on Flyers’ goaltending? Not that Ron Hextall has any grievance against the Flyers, but I can sort of see him putting a curse on them just because, in kind of the same way as I can see him punching bystanders in the face while he waits for a bus just because. Or doing this.

  70. "Steve Smith" says:

    Woodguy,

    I won’t feel conflicted in the least, except when they play the Flames or Leafs.

  71. DSF says:

    Pittsburgh about to kick the convert.

  72. "Steve Smith" says:

    DSF,

    Kick? Screw that, they’re going for two.

  73. "Steve Smith" says:

    Okay, I’m predicting a fifth game.

  74. Spydyr says:

    godot10,

    I would not trade a bag a pucks for Louongo AND a first round pick.Not with 10 more years on that terrible contact of his.

  75. Woodguy says:

    “Steve Smith”:
    Woodguy,

    I won’t feel conflicted in the least, except when they play the Flames or Leafs.

    I can’t stand the Dys, but like MacT.

    I’m not what I’d think in the playoffs though.

    How many did Bryz let in before the yank?

  76. Lowetide says:

    I don’t remember. 6?

  77. "Steve Smith" says:

    Stat after two periods: Steve Sullivan has played 9:01 on the power play, and 2:47 at even-strength. He joins four other Penguins to have more power play minutes than even-strength.

    Also, Steve Sullivan is apparently still playing hockey.

    (I don’t really follow teams outside of Edmonton.)

  78. nathan says:

    Can’t say Mac-T went down quietly that last year but you had to admire the manic effort at the event horizon. A mid year replacement would have been an act of kindness.

    Think he’s be an ideal coach for self-driven elite stars and vets around them, but in fairness every coach and team deserves a longer runway with less history.

  79. "Steve Smith" says:

    How many did Bryz let in before the yank?

    Five. And he’s leading Flyers’ goaltenders in save percentage tonight, by a hefty margin.

  80. DSF says:

    Spydyr:
    godot10,

    I would not trade a bag a pucks for Louongo AND a first round pick.Not with 10 more years on that terrible contact of his.

    There are TWO outclauses in that contract.

  81. "Steve Smith" says:

    DSF,

    Seven, actually.

  82. gogliano says:

    “Steve Smith”: I was going to say that I do not think that ” ” means what you think it means, but I think I’m going to require that schtick; it’s served its purpose.*

    This second period has been pretty quiet – they’re only on pace for four goals.

    *For those of you wondering: yes, its purpose was to make me look like a jackass.

    I don’t think “require” means what you think it means.

  83. Spydyr says:

    Please enlighten me on Bobby Lou’s outclauses

  84. "Steve Smith" says:

    Spydyr,

    Two possibilities:

    1. My brain’s predictive text feature turned “retire” into that.
    2. I’ve decided that I will actually die without recourse to lame, formulaic ripostes.

  85. "Steve Smith" says:

    “Steve Smith”,

    And now “Spydyr” doesn’t mean what I think it means; sorry, Gogs.

  86. Spydyr says:

    DSF,

    Thanks DSF

    So one is retire……What if he likes the big money and does not retire?

    The other is still 5 years down the road.

    Still one lousy contract.

  87. "Steve Smith" says:

    Spydyr,

    Both clauses depend on the Canucks being able to find a buyer for him; the contract itself is guaranteed.

  88. Woodguy says:

    Those “out clauses” are pinholes in the 10 ton millstone that is the $ and term left after this year.

  89. DSF says:

    Spydyr:
    DSF,

    Thanks DSF

    So one is retire……What if he likes the big money and does not retire?

    The other is still 5 years down the road.

    Still one lousy contract.

    As the article states…a buyout is cheap and easy.

    At a cap hit of $5.3M for the next 5 years, Luongo isn’t a bad bet for a team like Tampa Bay that needs a goaltender.

    I’d guess though that the new CBA will include an amnesty and the Canucks would bite the bullet on it.

  90. DSF says:

    Woodguy:
    Those “out clauses” are pinholes in the 10 ton millstone that is the $ and term left after this year.

    “If Luongo wanted to keep playing into his twilight years, and the team wanted to move on, the more likely scenario would see the Canucks buy out Luongo’s contract. Because his contract is heavily front-loaded, a buyout would provide a lot of relief after eight years: The Canucks would have paid $57-million to Luongo at that point, leaving just $7 million over the remaining four years. With a buyout amount of $4.7-million (two thirds of $7 million) spread over twice the remaining length of the 2-year deal, the Canucks would owe just $587,000 a year. ”

    5 years to go. No big deal.

    Only 2 more years than Horcoff but a lower cap hit and better production.

  91. "Steve Smith" says:

    Let’s see if the Pens and Flyers can combine for fewer third period shots than they did first period goals.

  92. Professor Q says:

    Hopefully the Oilers (Blazers) can beat the Winterhawks tonight. At least one Oilers team will win a playoff round this year then.

  93. "Steve Smith" says:

    Apparently having your team lose three straight games speeds the recovery process from concussions.

  94. Lowetide says:

    Pucks jumping on Penner tonight.

  95. Lowetide says:

    But Kopitar rips a bullet.

  96. commonfan14 says:

    If a team bought out Luongo in the summer of 2018 when he’s 39, they’ll still have to take some pretty significant cap hits. Inflation factors in, of course, but it’s not exactly a clean break.

    Roberto Luongo buyout from CapGeek.com

    2018-19: $2,534,667
    2019-20: $4,298,667
    2020-21: $4,916,667
    2021-22: $4,916,667
    2022-23: $583,333
    2023-24: $583,333
    2024-25: $583,333
    2025-26: $583,333

  97. Lowetide says:

    Lost in all of this is that Luongo is a good goaltender. Seriously.

  98. "Steve Smith" says:

    Lowetide,

    Maybe, but MacT will ruin him by trying to turn him into a grinding backup.

  99. Lowetide says:

    Get yer shine box, Bobby!

  100. "Steve Smith" says:

    Lowetide,

    I wonder what the Canucks will give us for Smid, when MacT decides that he’s the Canucks’ goalie of the future?

  101. Lowetide says:

    “Steve Smith”:
    Lowetide,

    I wonder what the Canucks will give us for Smid, when MacT decides that he’s the Canucks’ goalie of the future?

    lol. Well I look at that lineup and suspect the Sedins will be a D pairing by Christmas and Edler will be suspended from the clock with chicken wire. So, there’s room for Smid up front!

  102. "Steve Smith" says:

    Lowetide: So, there’s room for Smid up front!

    Even with the triple-shifting of Petersen?

  103. DSF says:

    The Kings are going to be a force for many, many years.

    As good as they are, they’re prospect depth is stellar.

  104. Lowetide says:

    “Steve Smith”: Even with the triple-shifting of Petersen?

    Even then, although if Marty Reasoner comes available then they only need 4 forwards total.

  105. bill needle says:

    LT: Sure, Eager is an improvement but is it really an achievement for the Oilers brass that they can find an improvement for Jacques? A chimp with a dart could make such a difficult decision.
    Improve a defenceman (or three) and then the Oilers might impress someone.

  106. jimbones100 says:

    SS. You have succeeded.

  107. Lowetide says:

    bill needle:
    LT: Sure, Eager is an improvement but is it really an achievement for the Oilers brass that they can find an improvement for Jacques? A chimp with a dart could make such a difficult decision.
    Improve a defenceman (or three) and then the Oilers might impress someone.

    Hey, I’m with you. But that isn’t Eager’s fault.

  108. bookje says:

    Hemsky would have scored there!

  109. "Steve Smith" says:

    Well, that game was a total bummer.

  110. DSF says:

    bookje:
    Hemsky would have scored there!

    Once in every 23 chances.

  111. art vandelay says:

    The Canucks are going to fire a Jack Adams-winning, one-win-away-from-the-Cup, President’s-Trophy-winning coach for a drunk driver who rode Pronger to the finals?
    Oilers fans are the best fans in hockey but in this case give your heads a shake.

  112. art vandelay says:

    Also:
    Q: Does Eeager suck b@lls
    A: Yes.
    The end.

  113. Woodguy says:

    art vandelay:
    The Canucks are going to fire a Jack Adams-winning, one-win-away-from-the-Cup, President’s-Trophy-winning coach for a drunk driver who rode Pronger to the finals?
    Oilers fans are the best fans in hockey but in this case give your heads a shake.

    You should change your SN to “Ray of Sunshine”

  114. Woodguy says:

    art vandelay:
    The Canucks are going to fire a Jack Adams-winning, one-win-away-from-the-Cup, President’s-Trophy-winning coach for a drunk driver who rode Pronger to the finals?
    Oilers fans are the best fans in hockey but in this case give your heads a shake.

    Also,

    Its the Vancouver fans who are mostly saying this.

    Al Gore makes it possible to read newspapers in many different cities from the comfort of your own home!

    Amazing!

  115. slipper says:

    Was MacTavish popped for a DUI recently, or is Art rehashing a nearly 30 year old tragedy?

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