LET’S GO KRUEGERING 2.0

In his final 30 thoughts of the year, Elliotte Friedman gave Oiler fans some wonderful insight into the Edmonton Oilers and their new coach Ralph Krueger.

Among the items Friedman focused on:

  • “The Hitchcockian stuff came when we discussed Edmonton’s forward lines. In Dallas, Hitchcock once explained how he believed more in forward “pairs” than trios. For example, Mike Modano always played with Jere Lehtinen. The third could be rotated. Krueger wants to see if he can create a flexible, dangerous lineup that way.”
  • “He explained that he liked Jordan Eberle with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Sam Gagner with Ales Hemsky. That not only allows him to move Hall around the lineup, but also rotate others depending on the situation — Ryan Smyth, Ryan Jones, Ben Eager and potentially even Shawn Horcoff on the wing. I’m really curious to see this. This stuff fascinates me.”
 C  W  
NUGENT-HOPKINS EBERLE HALL****
GAGNER HEMSKY SMYTH
    JONES
    EAGER
    HORCOFF

Interesting stuff. I’d suggest the Oilers will run a designated Horcoff-Smyth-Jones line (Winnik didn’t arrive as hoped) but these are the names as described in Friedman’s article. Hall can ignite any line, so my guess is we’ll see a big jump in TOI for #4 this coming season.

More Friedman:

  • “Some of you will be wondering: what about Nail Yakupov? Krueger wants to see how the number one pick looks on the left side. Yakupov is used to the right, but with Eberle and Hemsky there, it’s pretty jammed. Finally, Krueger closed by saying one of the most important things moving forward for the Oilers will be the group “demanding more from each other and the team right from the beginning.”

And finally from Friedman:

  • “Wayne Gretzky and Paul Coffey got a lot of attention for helping recruit Justin Schultz to Oilertown, but do not underestimate the role Hall played. Word is his sales pitch was extremely impressive, because he was unafraid to discuss the tough things the team has gone through — and how he believes those will be fixed.”

NATION RADIO hits the air at noon today on Team 1260. A jam packed lineup includes:

  • Tom Lynn, Agent and Advisor for NHL and Amateur Hockey Players based in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Tom has quickly become Nation Radio’s “go-to” guy for draft, free agency and CBA talk. We’ll do that and more on today’s show.
  • Harrison Mooney from Pass it to Bulis. We’ll talk Canucks, free agency, Luongo and Nash among other things.
  • John Matisz and Brendan Gaunce. We’ll talk about a book on Gaunce (by Matisz) that follows the young junior player through his draft year. THIS is going to be a fascinating read.
  • Lisa McRitchie from Kukla’s Korner. Lisa is a bright light in the Oilogosphere with unique commentary and always has an interesting take. We’ll talk draft and the Oilers in free agency.
  • Ryan Pike from Flames Nation. We’ll have a lash at the CBA talks, Shea Weber’s future and try to figure out if Jay Feaster is all about the past, present or future.

Emails welcome nationradio@theteam1260.com and you can put comments and questions in the thread below or I’m @lowetide_ and @ItsNationRadio on twitter.

Cool show. Hope you tune in.

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57 Responses to "LET’S GO KRUEGERING 2.0"

  1. sliderule says:

    LT I don’t know were you get all the energy to write all this and still work radio and a job

    You mist be like me up early in the morning as quite often you have a post up before seven.

    Thank you for making hockey interesting over the summer.

  2. Lowetide says:

    I find writing relaxing so it’s kind of therapeutic. Is that spelled right? Looks wrong. Anyway. The Krueger stuff is really interesting, I haven’t decided if he’s better than MacT in terms of inspiring thought and discussion but he’s a big step up from Coach Renney and Barbara Ann Scott.

    Plus there’s the Open this morning.

  3. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide,

    , I haven’t decided if he’s better than MacT in terms of inspiring thought and discussion but he’s a big step up from Coach Renney and Barbara Ann Scott.

    What’s your feel on whether or not he’ll be a step up from Renney in coaching?

  4. jonrmcleod says:

    Woodguy,

    Both Renney and Kreuger had international head coaching experience. Who was the better international coach?

  5. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy:
    Lowetide,

    , I haven’t decided if he’s better than MacT in terms of inspiring thought and discussion but he’s a big step up from Coach Renney and Barbara Ann Scott.

    What’s your feel on whether or not he’ll be a step up from Renney in coaching?

    I’m intrigued. I don’t think we should look on Krueger as the complete answer, but what he says makes a lot of sense and to a man the players seem comfortable. Actually, MORE than comfortable. I’ve been very impressed with the number of players who have expressed confidence in him.

    I’m hopeful, more hopeful than I was when it was announced.

  6. Woodguy says:

    jonrmcleod:
    Woodguy,

    Both Renney and Kreuger had international head coaching experience. Who was the better international coach?

    I don’t know Renney’s international track record.

  7. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide,

    Yeah, the key players seem thrilled that he’s the coach.

    That’s a good thing.

    Good stuff on PRV too. Great attitude.

    I love this part:

    - Rumors come and go all the time and no one would worry about. Ales Hemsky has exemeplvis rumored to be heading away from us ever since I joined the club two years ago and he is still here so all this is just disconnect.

  8. Woodguy says:

    All this time I thought it was Ales’ shoulder, but its his exemeplvis.

  9. Lowetide says:

    lol. What’s the Finnish word for pubis? Probably Gretzky.

  10. slopitch says:

    I’ve also been impressed with Kruger. As a soccer player, it seems teams can win playing 4-4-2, 3-5-2, 4-5-1 whatever as long as the team is within range talent wise and has full buyin from the players. Ie the exact system implemented matters less then the the fact everyone buys in and players are in predictable places and support each other. In order to have everyone buyin it has to be understood, it has to be communicated articulately – which Kruger seems to be able to do in spades. I understand there are more variables in an 10 player sport like soccer compared to hockey but it still boils down to 3-4 man battles. Hockey has its share of tactical elements – trap, left wing lock, how many guys to forcheck, understanding Drew Doughty is a more effective puck mover then Scuderi, different PP and PK formations always countering to opponents strengths or weaknesses … Anyways I could go on forever but the point is I’m confident the skills Kruger seems to have will get buyin from the players and that should make him an effective coach.

  11. Ribs says:

    Word is his sales pitch was extremely impressive, because he was unafraid to discuss the tough things the team has gone through — and how he believes those will be fixed.

    I wonder if replacing the head coach was something that Hall wanted to be “fixed”.

  12. Lowetide says:

    Well, giving Khabibulin starts, losing Paajarvi to ridiculous misuse and playing Whitney when he was clearly unready needing fixing. I’m not sure that was the coach in all cases.

  13. Ribs says:

    Well it doesn’t look like any of those things got fixed! Whitney hasn’t been replaced, Khabibulin is a Dubnyk injury away from playing a whack of games, and Paajarvi still has a big question mark above his head.

  14. nathan says:

    C on his sweater is too much of a distraction especially if he starts doing some time at Centre when the shoulder is 100%. And it’s just asking for trouble with refs and their ageism, but the kid needs the A yesterday. Looks like he’s already A as in special advisor from the core.

  15. striatic says:

    Ribs,

    Whitney has actually had time to recover now. Not the same thing as playing a clearly injured man, and to a certain extent he HAS been replaced by J Schultz.

    If Dubnyk gets injured that doesn’t necessarily means Khabibulin plays a whack. Danis might very well play instead. he’s a legit option as AHL goalie of the year this past season.

    PRV we will see what happens in TC.

  16. Henry says:

    That Paajarvi article was an excellent find. ‘Famous andraårsförbannelsen’, what does this mean?

    HIs attitude seems really, really good in a young player that has always been a star. He got a leading question about not getting enough chance in the top six and essentially responded that top six minutes are earned in the NHL and the team is competitive internally. That and the swedish version of ‘don’t think meat! You can only hurt the club.’

  17. striatic says:

    anyway i like that Kreuger is identifying LW as a weakness but doesn’t moving Horcoff to wing mean playing Lander at C again? moving Hall to C and Horcoff to LW doesnt really address the weakness.

    Yak at LW is the option that makes the most sense, although on the 2nd PP i think you keep him at RW and maybe pair him with Hemsky at LW and keep the sticks in the middle.

  18. Ribs says:

    striatic:
    Ribs,

    Whitney has actually had time to recover now. Not the same thing as playing a clearly injured man, and to a certain extent he HAS been replaced by J Schultz.

    If Dubnyk gets injured that doesn’t necessarily means Khabibulin plays a whack. Danis might very well play instead. he’s a legit option as AHL goalie of the year this past season.

    PRV we will see what happens in TC.

    A lot of hope and prayers going on here.

  19. loosemoose says:

    I believe one or more of the golden kids were unhappy with Renney and that’s why the change.

    I was a big Renney supporter since he was brought into the orginization, (I was actually hoping he would be coach before Quinn was hired) as I thought him to be a smart, well-thought out coach.

    Three years later, I have a very different opinion. Whether he was told to do the things he did, or did them himself, he did very little, IMO, to help the team grow LIKE IT SHOULD. Too many steps backwards. not enough forward.

    I like Kruger and what he brings, but I am a little worried because I felt the same with Renney three years ago.

    I have nothing to base it on, but I wonder if management gave Renney a gameplan and used him like three dollar banjo. Again, nothing to go on, but I just find it hard to believe Renney was that blind. I mean, Belanger on the PP for that long???? Renney isn’t Scotty Bowman. Word had to get back to him that NOBODY thought that was a good idea. Same with the PRV and Lander handling, the Khabby/Dubnyk fiasco, Omark, etc. etc

    it seemed like Kruger himself wasn’t in on it, as he made some obvious tweaks to the lineup and in two games we looked like a more “functional” team.

    If Kruger can do it his way, (and I think he will be given that option, unlike Renney(again JMO)) I believe he will succeed. Or maybe, its just that the kids won’t let him fail…..

    Either way, the Oilers are on their fourth head coach in five years. Somethings got to give

  20. jp says:

    Ribs:
    Well it doesn’t look like any of those things got fixed! Whitney hasn’t been replaced, Khabibulin is a Dubnyk injury away from playing a whack of games, and Paajarvi still has a big question mark above his head.

    Not many teams have a great backup plan if they’re starter gets injured. If Dubnyk stays healthy, Khabi will play much less than last year. The verbal that Khabi is the starter or Dubnyk’s equal has stopped – that’s important progress.

    I’m very excited to see what Kruger can do with the team this year. Probably too optimistic, but that will last at least until the hockey starts. He’s saying all the right things and does seem to have support of the players. That magic he worked with Team Swiss, as well as the Oil PP last year, definitely give reason for hope.

    Nice Paajarvi article too. Not exactly a nice read, but good stuff. :). Great to hear he sees himself on the top 2 chains – he’s been a top line player for quite a few years now. It’s amazing how an 8 point season will make you forget that this guy scored 15 NHL goals as a rookie, and went 18-7-9-16 +14 as a 19 and 20 yo at the World Championships (with 2 medals). Better not tell him that many of us see him as a 3rd chain defensive players without a good enough shot or scoring instincts for the top 6…

    Loved his answer too towards the end when he was asked if he might consider going back to Sweden if he didn’t make the Oilers out of TC this year. His answer was “I have not planned to return home for at least 15 years”, so he’ll play in the A again to work his way to the big show. Excellent stuff!

  21. jp says:

    Also from the Paajarvi article
    The best NHL chain he played in, “It was in the second half of last season when I, Linus and Sam Gagner played together. I and Linus created constantly surfaces to each other and Gagner complemented us very well.”

    Looks like Gagner is only a complimentary player with these guys as well :)

  22. striatic says:

    Ribs,

    hope, sure. prayers, yes.

    but the point is that the coach has options. as LT pointed out, the last coach didn’t exercize those options.

    your issue seems to be more with the GM and roster, not deployment.

  23. striatic says:

    loosemoose,

    i think Belanger on the PP was about signaling to UFAs that if you sign in Edmonton you’ll get your chances, in an effort to make Edmonton a more attractive UFA market.

    somehow the demo reel of Belanger and Barker highlights from last year doesn’t strike me as very enticing.

  24. franksterra says:

    striatic,

    Add to that a demo reel of Dopita and Petrell highlights to attract old Euro league ‘wallets’ and you have confusing comic gold.

  25. Ribs says:

    striatic,

    That’s kind of what I’m getting at. Management didn’t fix those things so what was Hall referring to? The biggest replaced part is the head coach.

  26. Ribs says:

    jp: Not many teams have a great backup plan if they’re starter gets injured.

    I think most competitive teams have a better backup plan than the Oilers do currently.

  27. jp says:

    Ribs: I think most competitive teams have a better backup plan than the Oilers do currently.

    Guess you could claim that, but below are the regular season stats for the backup goalies of the 8 conference semifinalists.

    LAK – Bernier 16 5-6-2 2.36 .909
    NJD – Hedberg 27 17-7-2 2.23 .918
    NYR – Biron 21 12-6-2 2.46 .904
    PHI – Brobovsky 27 14-10-2 3.02 .899
    WSH – Neuvirth 38 13-13-5 2.82 .903
    PHX – LaBarbera 19 3-9-3 2.54 .912
    STL – Halak 46 26-12-7 1.97 .926 (playoff backup anyway)
    NAS – Lindback 16 5-8-0 2.42 .912

    EDM – Khabi 40 12-20-7 2.65 .910

    Overall not a very inspiring group, and Khabi doesn’t look out of place. I don’t disagree that the Oilers are screwed if Dubnyk gets injured, but the same can be said for most good playoff teams if their starter gets hurt (see: Oilers 2006).

  28. art vandelay says:

    If you can’t tell the difference between Drunkibulin and any one of Bernier, Biron, Hedberg and Lindback, to name just 4, then you might want to put down Jim Matheson’s column and actually, you know, watch some non-Oilers games for a change.

  29. "Steve Smith" says:

    Hi Art!

  30. jp says:

    art vandelay:
    If you can’t tell the difference between Drunkibulin and any one of Bernier, Biron, Hedberg and Lindback, to name just 4, then you might want to put down Jim Matheson’s column and actually, you know, watch some non-Oilers games for a change.

    I’m not trying to defend Khabi’s play, or suggest he’s a good option. Just that a lot of competitive teams aren’t well prepared to deal with injuries to their starters either.

    Bernier is obviously a top prospect.

    Biron has been a starter and is a good backup.

    Hedberg is very Khabi-esque. Same age, .902 career Sv%, and that .918 is a career high.

    I’ve never watched Lindback play. I know he’s well regarded, but his .914 SvP in 2 SEL seasons doesn’t suggest anything particularly special.

    Again, I was never trying to say that Khabi is better than any of these guys, though I don’t think that the gap is all that big in at least a few cases. My point was simply that many teams do not have good contingency plans if their starting goalies get injured. And look at 2 of the prime examples of teams with excellent backups – The tandem is way too expensive in VAN, and Bernier in LA wants to be traded.

    Bottom line is that having Khabi as the backup this year probably won’t negatively impact the team all that much. Playing him as a starter for most of the past 2 seasons was a far larger problem, and luckily is very unlikely to be repeated going forward.

  31. stevezie says:

    Low Art.

  32. jamesvanderwoude says:

    Pop Art?

  33. gogliano says:

    F. Art!

  34. cabbiesmacker says:

    Guy with no arms and legs hanging on a wall Art.

  35. Bar_Qu says:

    Abstract Art

  36. delooper says:

    poptArt.

  37. Woodguy says:

    jp,

    Bernier is obviously a top prospect.

    .910 career sv% in 48 NHL games.

    Meh.

    Had a .901 this year 5v5. Super meh.

    Also,

    Art for its own sake.

  38. VOR says:

    Or the Cockney, Art Attack.

  39. leadfarmer says:

    Troll Art.

  40. jfry says:

    Best art thread ever

  41. Dipstick says:

    How crappy thou Art

  42. gogliano says:

    Not S. M. Art.

  43. Gret99zky says:

    As long as Krugs can point the arrows in the right direction and generate some crusty, pisscutting, CorsiRelative-Rambalamba, Mojo, Sven91na…Lordy.

    I’m all in on tomorrow.

  44. franksterra says:

    The Art of Noise

  45. rich says:

    Looks like he was throwing a d Art.

  46. Traktor says:

    The Art of War
    Artem Anisimov
    Bart Simpson

  47. bookje says:

    This thread is terrible. It’s like the. God’s of Wit have died. Terrible!

  48. danny says:

    au·tism
    Noun
    S: (n) autism (an abnormal absorption with the self; marked by communication disorders and short attention span and inability to treat others as people)

    ar·tism
    Noun
    S: (n) artism (an abnormal absorption with the self; marked by communication disorders and short attention span and inability to treat others as people)

  49. Lowetide says:

    No one has used ‘fart’ so we’ve yet to hit bottom.

  50. franksterra says:

    Lowetide,

    See above:

    gogliano says:
    July 21, 2012 at 5:28 pm

  51. franksterra says:

    Inarticulate

  52. Lowetide says:

    lol Well then I’ll throw up a new post. THIS one will inspire!

  53. Woodguy says:

    danny:
    au·tism
    Noun
    S: (n) autism (an abnormal absorption with the self; marked by communication disorders and short attention span and inability to treat others as people)

    ar·tism
    Noun
    S: (n) artism (an abnormal absorption with the self; marked by communication disorders and short attention span and inability to treat others as people)

    Winner.

  54. Woodguy says:

    Also,

    Fart.

  55. Rondo says:

    Okay nothing is happening in Oiler hockey. So

    Would you do this trade?

    Jordan Eberle for Adam Larsson?

  56. Ribs says:

    We already have an Adam Larsson. His name is Oscar Klefbom…And no.

    Now if it was Hedman I’d have to think long and hard about it. Eberle is so damned good though.

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