NAILED IT!

There were some positives in last night’s game–the Nail Yakupov goal was a delight and his reaction a moment for all to remember–but for Edmonton Oilers fans the home opener felt exactly like being run over. Great expectations meet epic fail. The Wednesday morning question is: who do you blame?

I suspect that there’s plenty to go around. Devan Dubnyk’s taking his share, although aside from the Couture goal I don’t really see a lot he could do about the bullets being fired his way. He wasn’t giving up goals to 4th lines shooting from inside the blue, these were expert marksmen on the loose playing a team that was running around like a chicken with its head cut off.

I don’t know how much of this is on coach Krueger, but do wonder what the plan was for line matching. The penalties and GA made this game a farce quickly, but the early results (Thornton line began the game and had a 37-second shift against Smid-Petry and the Horcoff-Smyth-Hartikainen line) were encouraging. The second EV shift had the Thornton line out against Gagner’s group and Whitney-Potter and after that the PP goals changed the game forever. I would like to have seen how Krueger handled the  Thornton line in a close game, and whether or not he would have moved Taylor Hall onto the Gagner line in order to give it a better chance as a secondary tough minutes group.

I thought Hartikainen played well on that line, don’t know that he’s showing enough in these minutes to keep the position when Ryan Jones returns. When you’re in doubt about these things, bet the veteran 10/10 times and you’ll make money.

I’d like to see new lines this morning:

  • Gagner-Hall-Hemsky (tough minutes line)
  • Horcoff-Smyth-Paajarvi (tough minutes line)
  • RNH-Yakupov-Eberle (soft parade)
  • Belanger-Hartikainen-Petrell (don’t let anything happen line)

The Gagner line has a much better chance with Hall on it and putting the three kids together all the time makes the club easier to match up against every night. I’d prefer Paajarvi on the tough minutes line because he’s a better fit, but have been impressed with Hartikainen in limited exposure this year.

The Nuge line can rock it and the 4line looks better than in days gone by.

Last night reminds us that once again the Edmonton Oilers have some balance issues. They need a more capable backup goalie at some point this season, and we’ve talked about Ben Bishop a few times before. If the Senators offered Bishop in exchange for Magnus Paajarvi, would you do it? Would you do a 2nd round pick? Martin Marincin? Would you trade Oscar Klefbom for Ben Bishop?

I think we’re going to have to agree that Ryan Whitney is not going to be able to play at the levels needed to be a guy you can count on. I suspect he’ll get a contract in the summer, because the guy is such a wonderful passer, but he’s never going to be a defensive stalwart and that means a gigantic reduction in salary.

The Oilers need to spend that money on a defenseman with a complete player’s skills, and at this point that means a trade or free agent acquisition. I think Jeff Petry and Justin Schultz belong in the complete D conversation, their wide range of skills will be a big help to the Oilers in the coming seasons.

Adding a healthy 2-way defender with the Whitney money is the right thing to do. A bad break for Whitney, its a cruel business.

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121 Responses to "NAILED IT!"

  1. jonrmcleod says:

    In the above trade scenarios, I’d only think about trading a 2nd round pick for Bishop. I’d probably offer Ottawa a 3rd or 4th round pick and a lesser prospect in OKC (e.g., Hamilton). Bishop’s NHL stats don’t look that impressive.

  2. raventalon40 says:

    Depends on what organization thinks they need more, a Marincin type or a Klefbom type, I would personally trade Marincin, Klefbom seems like a solid Hejda type of defender.

  3. sliderule says:

    Wow!Talk about blood in water.The sharks ate up and spit out the guts of the oil.

    I think our coaching staff should be ashamed.In both games you have seen both defencemen either behind the net or in the same corner leaving the front of the net naked.

    The forwards are also to blame as they have been in the area but not covering.As my old coach laid into me if your there just don’t stand watching get a stick on him.

    Come on Steve Smith isn’t defensive coverage your baby.

    Just one small thing is why keep stats if not properly.Yakupov had two hard hit one of which he put the guy on his ass yet no hits were credited in the box.Can’t we do anything right?

  4. fuzzy muppet says:

    I know it’s only been two games, but I’m not real confident in Gagner as a tough minute guy. His defensive zone coverage has been awful. The problem is when he’s on the ice with Yak, that’s 2 guys that seem to have no idea about the defensive side of the game.

    Maybe a reuniting of 10-94-83 as a tough on tough line is needed.

    Move 64 back to RW and put either 56 or 91 on LW with 89 for the softest minutes you can get.

    Looks like the questions we had from the start are going to be a problem: a top 9 tough minute winger, a top 4 D and reliable goaltending.

    Granted, it’s only been 2 games. Maybe an ass-kicking is just what they needed.

  5. Radman says:

    Agree with Jon. Let’s take a deep breath. OK with trading a second or Marincin for Bishop. No way I’m trading Klefbom, unless there is much bigger return coming back.

    Was at the game last night, and sadly I think you are right about Whitney. Could see a third pairing role going forward, if he is willing to accept it and the associated pay cut.

    Suspect they lost focus early, trying to put on a show for the faithful. Might have changed goalies or called a time out after the fourth goal in an effort to change the momentum. One period, one game. Learn from it and move on I guess

  6. "Steve Smith" says:

    sliderule: Come on Steve Smith isn’t defensive coverage your baby.

    As I said in the last thread, I slept through the first. Work’s been crazy busy lately, and I celebrated being home by 1800 by catching a little more shut-eye than I’d planned. Give a guy a break – geez.

  7. regwald says:

    Radman:

    Suspect they lost focus early, trying to put on a show for the faithful. Might have changed goalies or called a time out after the fourth goal in an effort to change the momentum. One period, one game. Learn from it and move on I guess

    In Krueger’s post-game interview he said he didn’t bother calling the time out as they had 3 TV timeouts during the meltdown that allowed the coaching staff to address the bench and try to calm them down, etc. He felt using the timeout for a 4th time wouldn’t accomplish anything more than was already done.

  8. Jesse says:

    I know the first period was awful, but they actually looked half decent in the 2nd and 3rd by my eye. To me, that means good coaching, to put out the fires that are rampant everywhere early on. Of course, they really should have been prepared to start the game with some sanity on the defensive side of the game. But I really thought they had a good 2nd and 3rd, even though the game was mostly over. Had Yakupov scored on that PP later on it would have been a different game.

  9. Radman says:

    regwald: In Krueger’s post-game interview he said he didn’t bother calling the time out as they had 3 TV timeouts during the meltdown that allowed the coaching staff to address the bench and try to calm them down, etc. He felt using the timeout for a 4th time wouldn’t accomplish anything more than was already done.

    He’s probably right. The train was pretty far off the rails at that point. Things evened out in the second and third, but seemed to me the Sharks took their foot off the gas. Let’s see how they come out against LAK on Thursday.

  10. dessert1111 says:

    I would trade Marincin for Bishop, but I’m not very high on Marincin. And I think it might get it done if Ottawa hasn’t been playing too close of attention because his stat line isn’t bad. I want both 2nd round picks this draft though, could trade up for an extra first perhaps with them.

    I thought Danis looked good in relief, but he is unproven in the NHL and has had a rocky year. I wouldn’t mind seeing him get some starts for the sake of internal competition. Of course Dubnyk gets most of them, but I think he also needs to know that he needs to earn them.

    I hope Whitney is gone at the deadline. I don’t care what comes back. He can make a pass but he’s just too much of a liability out there. The club needs two defensemen, and they might have one in Klefbom next year. I would be okay if they picked up just one top 4 guy and waited for the rest, I think. Try to get Whitney some points to get a decent return for him. No way I want to resign him in the offseason. It just has become apparent that he will never be able to play anywhere close to where he used to be. Sad but true, it would seem.

  11. regwald says:

    Speaking of the bench, saw someone from the MSM tweet something that only Krueger and Smith are on the bench with Bucky in the sky on the headset.

    It is a pretty slim bench in my view. Anyone have thoughts that maybe adding a coach a second assistant to the bench for the forwards or to help with the special teams ?

    Thoughts ?

  12. bookje says:

    I blame the fans for not expecting this!

    Young inexperienced team with a new coach, a goalie in his first role as a starter, with a limited training camp and no pre-season.

    There are only two bankable predictions. 1-It’s going to be chaotic. 2-for Oiler games, the ‘over’ is probably going to be a winner.

  13. Clarkenstein says:

    Whitney hasn’t played a lot the last couple of years and it shows. I hate guys that won’t use their size and he’s a serial offender. He doesn’t hammer anybody, he just glides into them. You can’t do that against the biggest team in the league. And why not dress Fistric against a big team? I would consider sending Whitney to OKC for conditioning… or perhaps buy him out or trade him. Not a fit here anymore.

  14. sliderule says:

    Good God don’t trade any of our prospect defencemen for Bishop.

    Danis is as good a bet right now as Bishop.Give them a third rounder and Hamilton if you feel you have to do something.

    Unless we improve our defensive coverage a tandem of Moog and Fuhr would get shelled.

  15. gangplank says:

    jonrmcleod,

    That is interesting. I would rather trade Marincin. 2nd rounder is a very valuable commodity during the trade deadline. I expect Oilers to be active during that period

  16. "Steve Smith" says:

    Clarkenstein: He doesn’t hammer anybody,

    Maybe it’s just me, but I thought Whitney was a fine defenceman before, and he didn’t hit anybody then, either. The problem isn’t a lack of PUNISHING HITS, it’s a lack of mobility.

    I would consider sending Whitney to OKC for conditioning…

    Do they have something magic in Oklahoma City’s water that repairs leg problems?

    or perhaps buy him

    We missed the window on that.

    How do you feel about Horcoff in the shootout?

  17. gangplank says:

    fuzzy muppet,

    Gagner will benefit from Hemsky and Hall. The point isnt matching Gagner against top Centers but that line against top 2 lines. Their job wont be to prevent opposition from scoring, rather it will be to keep/gain possession in the offensive zone and outplay the opposition.

  18. Fluxite says:

    hahahaha… thats exactly what the Oilers needed – a team to let the air out of their heads!

  19. Clarkenstein says:

    “Steve Smith”,

    Then what’s your solution smart ass??

  20. gangplank says:

    I dont understand this Ben Bishop talk. Isnt he even less experienced than Dubnyk? I thought we needed a calm veteran for relief and not a controversy with 2 hotshots

  21. Ryan says:

    To be fair, let’s not forget the pre-ice rut Whitney. You guys remember the top pairing of Whitney-Strudwick? Whitney could play d for two.

    That being said, and it pains me to say this, but Whitney is done. Completely done. I don’t care how, but he should not be stepping on the ice if he’s that immobile.

    The Whitney-potter pairing is the most exciting pairing in hockey, but for all the wrong reasons.

    I don’t like loading up on the Gagner line for tough minutes with Hall because Gagner’s too big of a defensive liability.

    I would lik to see either Hemsky on the 06 line for tough minutes with Prv-gags-Nail or Prv with Smyth and horc for a tough minutes checking line.

  22. Ryan says:

    I don’t track line matching like some of the guys here.

    My gut tells me that both AV and TM are trying to get their top unit out against the Gagner line.

    Aside from the forth line, that would be my choice too. This line probably needs to be broken up.

  23. Spydyr says:

    Whitney is done, washed.

    Slow can’t pivot. Has a good pass.Nothing else.

    He has been done since the ankle blew up.

    Dubs is not a starter even though he was paid starter money.Twenty games when the season was done and a few good games overseas against sub par talent does not a starter make.

    For the love of all things good add some grit to the top six.It was men against boys last night.

    Do something Mr. Dithers

  24. Fluxite says:

    Clarkenstein:
    “Steve Smith”,

    Then what’s your solution smart ass??

    they needed to be spanked – winning in the NHL level is hard with the best of talent.

    Oilers have the talent but were thinking they did not have to work for the wins.

    I hope that tattoo stays with them for a long time, becasue the rest of this season they should put some effort into it and not expect wins to be handed to them.

  25. raventalon40 says:

    bookje:
    I blame the fans for not expecting this!

    I agree that we should temper our expectations. It’s a learning process.

    Ryan:

    I don’t like loading up on the Gagner line for tough minutes with Hall because Gagner’s too big of a defensive liability.

    I think Gagner is capable, even if he doesn’t show it. And if he’s not, it’s time for him to learn. Otherwise, if he can’t or won’t learn to play proper defensive zone hockey as a top 2 line centerman, trade him.

    But like I said, I think he is capable.

  26. till_horcoff_is_coach says:

    In the camp Whitney looked pretty decent, but it’s obvious that as the tempo is higher in games that he is no longer capable of top-4. His lack of speed is threatening his ability to be the sole D on the PP.

    As a group, the Oilers defensive ability last night was atrocious, but in particular J Schultz was rather worrisome. He no doubt got a green light to try things out after the route was on, but all night he seemed to be lost when defending. Not rookie lost, but forward playing D lost. Seems that N Schultz is compensating by pretending he is always defending alone… hopefully that was just a bad night.

    As awful as the Oilers defensive coverage was last night, it was nothing as pitiful as the coverage from Johnson and Cuthbert. I don’t have a high expectation of announcers, but hot damn were they putrid.

  27. bookje says:

    Clarkenstein:
    “Steve Smith”,

    Then what’s your solution smart ass??

    Yeah, smart ass, stop clarifying the nature of Whitney’s shortcomings, the applicable regulations regarding buy outs, and the limitations of rehabilitation for a physical issue that is likely not repairable – instead offer a solution to the issue like having Whitney ride around on a special Segway build for NHL ice, or secretly hacking off Magnus Pääjärvi’s legs one night and attaching them to Whitney or maybe wishing on the horn of a pegasus unicorn that Whitney’s legs return to full mobility. That would be a lot more productive than the smart ass comments you were making.

  28. "Steve Smith" says:

    Clarkenstein:
    “Steve Smith”,

    Then what’s your solution smart ass??

    My solution to what – how to get rid of Whitney? That’s easy: don’t re-sign him when his contract is up at the end of this year.

    The more difficult question is how to replace him, and that’s been the same problem that’s plagued the Oilers for years. I do know that a willingness to “hammer people” should rank well below the ability to play sound positional defence on our list of needed criteria.

    And don’t be afraid to put Horcoff in the shootout if he’s needed.

  29. bookje says:

    “Steve Smith”,

    I think my answer was a better “Steve Smith” answer.

  30. Spydyr says:

    raventalon40,

    Sure give him even more time maybe in fours years he will get better.

    He is what he is a small soft skilled player. The team has more and better ones of those.

    He is not going to grow 6 inches put on 40 lbs and be able to battle in the corners against the wall and in front of the net.Like a good defensive forward can.

    A good GM takes the parts he has too much of and trades them for parts he needs.

    Such as a decent goalie to push Dubs and real top 4 -man to replace Whitney and some grit in the top six.

    It was men against boys last night.

  31. DeadmanWaking says:

    fuzzy muppet: I know it’s only been two games, but I’m not real confident in Gagner as a tough minute guy. His defensive zone coverage has been awful.

    Samwise is supposed to bring to the table a good hockey mind to compensate for his modest stature. Krueger–if I understand him at all–is not going to accept Samwise as a defensive liability. Can’t win thinking that way. It’s time for Samwise to be part of the solution playing without the puck, or not part of the solution at all. Maybe it’s asking too much for him to carry Yak as well as manage his own responsibilities. Maybe. He’s pushing 400 GP. If not now, when?

    There’s a limit to how much you can bend a system to accommodate the individual. At some point you have to draw a line in the sand and declare “this is what success looks like” and ask the players you have to fill those footprints. The least we can ask of Samwise this season is that he’s an asset on the “veteran presence” side of the ledger. I’d rather have Krueger err on the side of configuring the team to where it’s going than to where it’s been.

    K will probably try everything at one point or another, but I’ll be surprised if he runs a soft minute line with any consistency. He would view this an admission of weakness, rather than imposing our own will. If he does run with Nuge/Yak/Ebs, it will because he views them as having good chemistry, not because he thinks of them as a soft minute line. He might try to shield them from a certain type of threat, but not from top players in general. We’ll see.

    It’s also possible it was just some growing pains comprehending and playing within a new system without having had any pre-season games to fine tune the parameters. Thornton at his best can make a lot of guys look bad–even after they’ve found their groove, which we haven’t by a long shot, so it appears.

    PS: I realized reading my comment that I’m echoing the logic of the Brad Pitt character in Moneyball. It might we wise, but sometimes wise doesn’t win.

  32. rickithebear says:

    2 Games:
    5 EVGA:
    Yakupov(-4)-Gagner(-4)-Hemsky(-3)/Eberle(-1)
    Whitney(-2)-Potter(-3)
    Hall(+2)-RNH(+2)-Eberle(+2)
    Smyth-Horcoff-Hartikainen(even)
    MP(-1)-Belanger(-1)-Petrell(-1)
    3 PPGA:
    Horcoff(7:07)-Smyth(6:13) 1g
    Belanger(5:81)-Petrell (5:86) 2g

    -Yakupov (move to RW) and Hemsky should never be on the same EV line.
    -Whitney-potter pair were brutal last year. (this year too)
    -of the C-W pairs still on the same team Belanger-Jones had the 3rd best PK results.
    PETTRELL NO PK!

    So:
    Even:
    Hall-RNH-Eberle
    Smyth-Horc-Yakupov
    Hartikainen-Gagner-Hemsky
    Eager-Belanger-MP

    PP I really like both units

    PK
    Smyth-Horcoff
    Belanger-MP

    Smid-Petry
    Whitney-N. Schultz
    Fistric-J. Schultz

    Fistric was top 30 PK 2 of last 3 years.
    Schultz-Schultz to small for the bigs

    Don’t be blaming Sam for playing with the two most freelance positionally variant wingers on the team. with the new player on his wrong side. Experiment massive fail.

  33. denny33 says:

    Men vs. Boys

    Ladies and gentlemen, I made some bold predictions to start the year and I think I am, once again, going to be proven to be brutally wrong ( Oilers to fly out of the gate and finish no lower than 6th in the west )

    I have to acknowledge what the critics / former coaches have been saying. We are incredibly – femininley – SOFT. And I knew that with our top 6 forwards,

    What I did not fully realize was just how soft our defence is.
    I mean – running around, coverage lapses, brutal first passes aside – there was no signs of any physical play at all. ( maybe the odd Corty Potter hit )

    NO price to be paid at all in our end. And who could have predicted that Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau should be covered in our own end?

    Ryan Whitney is listed as 6’4 – 209 pounds
    Ladislav Smid is listed as 6’3 – 207 pounds
    Nick Schultz is listed as 6’2 – 203 pounds
    Cory Potter is listed as 6’3 – 206 pounds
    Jeff Petry is listed as 6’3 – 200 pounds

    This group needs to play like men. And like they have some passion and agression. I do not believe I have ever seen a game where the oppostion was allowed free reign in front of the net. I don’t beleive there was even a harsh word said to them.

    I agree with LT – outside of the shortside Couture goal – I am not sure Dubnyk should receive as much of the blame as he is receving.

    Not sure the composition of this team can have success. ( does even the most ardent fan picture having success in the playoffs if we come up against LA, St. Louis or even Phoenix ) And yet – I myself – don’t want to part with any of the top 6 forwards. Nor do I trust – in any way – Tambo to convert some assets into bigger, stronger players.

    Really dislike our 4th line. ( 2 Europeans on a 4th line – Really? )

    Petrell critical give aways on PK and I don’t know what a European player would be doing on a NHL 4th line.

    MPS – I have been saying for a long time – I truly – don’t know what he brings to the table. Not sure he was even able to get one shot through to the net last night.

    Eric Belanger – Brutally slow. Can’t score. And I don’t beleive I have seen him two draws in the face-off circle.

    Given our size issues in the top 6 forwards, can we at least not have some grit and character on the 4th line of this team?

  34. Bar_Qu says:

    bookje:
    I blame the fans for not expecting this!

    Young inexperienced team with a new coach, a goalie in his first role as a starter, with a limited training camp and no pre-season.

    There are only two bankable predictions.1-It’s going to be chaotic.2-for Oiler games, the ‘over’ is probably going to be a winner.

    I totally disagree. This is the perfect moment for overreaction and panic.

    I propose we storm the Bastille, er, Rexall, pillaging and looting as we go. Once we arrive, we burn Whitney’s ankle as a symbol of our displeasure. Then, we take the last Oiler off the ice and “ice” him too.

  35. Peacecountry says:

    I’m not sure if I missed it in the thread or not but whats wrong with keeping Danis as the backup. He played well enough last night, and has quality backup written all over him. Is it that he doesn’t threaten Dubnyk as the starter?

    I’m not sold on Bishop in a role other than backup to begin with? Is he such a significant upgrade over Danis that we would give up a prospect or an early 2nd pick?

  36. Jimmy says:

    So let me get this straight…After “1″ game against a pretty good opponent the team looked pretty decent, showed some good character in coming back from 2 goals down and seemed to be off to a nice start. Then after “1″ loss (I know it was brutal, but a loss is a loss) nobody on the team knows how to play hockey, the goalie is brutal, our second line center doesn’t have a clue, our defense can’t play defense and our coaches can’t coach. Got it! How about we let everybody get 5 games or so under their belts? The way they played last night makes everyone on that team look a lot worse than what they actually are…

  37. admiralmark says:

    I have to say one aspect of Yakupov’s game that I have been very impressed with so far has been his passing. He passes with speed, precision, and authority. Really zings it in there and quite often right on a players stick. I did not hear his praise in this Dept in any scouting reports. But a very nice unexpected surprise.

  38. CurtisS says:

    Not so sure why we are talking about blowing up our lines after the second game?

    Our PK sucked, stay out of the box. This all started with a weak call on 83 but the right call. Gotta be a better leader than that. Wonder why Coach wondered away from 4 players killing in game 1? 89 and 91 got ate up on the PK.

    Goaltending……… even though our defense was worse in the 1st our tender really has to make the odd big save, when the team needs it. You know what they say about penalty killing, your goalie is the best penalty killer, and we went 0-3 in the first 10 mins.

    Coaching, after the 4th goal and watching Dubby fight the puck on long shots he should of been pulled. Would of allowed the team to rally down 4-1 instead of trying to make it through the 1st period and then regrouping there. Although I am impressed at the after the first 2 games hes sticking to letting his best players win or lose games. This is a must this year. The older non core guys can take a back seat.

    All that said we still have a better record than Calgary and Vancouver after 2 games. So is it all that bad? We need our PK and goalie to be better, and they both go hand in hand so….. LIke I said, Win with your best and lose with your best, its going to be a awesome year!

  39. Captain Obvious says:

    It was one game. Relax.

    That said, the Oilers bad players played badly, and the PK was terrible. It’s that simple. Who are the Oilers bad players, you ask? Two of the worst are Whitney and Potter. They are dreadful and need to either be replaced or have their minutes reduced and sheltered.

    Petrell is also terrible. His problem isn’t that he is European, his problem is that he isn’t good at anything. There is no excuse not to have good hockey players on the fourth line. Paajarvi was one of the best Oilers on the night. Find 12 good hockey players and stop giving your lines names. Everyone’s job is the same. Move puck towards the other net. Try and score. Stop other team from doing same.

    The problem isn’t size. The problem is not being good. Size is not a causal variable. Getting bigger won’t make a difference if it comes at the cost of getting better. This means do not trade Sam Gagner. You won’t get value back. Also stop believing myths that being tough has an intangible effect beyond the immediate, direct effect. Being tough is a good way to win puck battles. That’s good. However, having Ben Eager on the bench has no effect on what happens when Eberle is on the ice. Being tough is not a magic wand. Adding Andrew Ladd would help this team. Andrew Ladd isn’t available. Adding an Andrew Ladd sized player who isn’t any good would not help this team.

    Trading for Ben Bishop is fine if the cost is a second round pick, which is almost nothing (see Moroz, Mitch).

  40. hunter1909 says:

    I’ve been hammering away at the fact that Ryan Whitney is a washed up plug who in a fairer universe would be taken outside and mercifully shot.

    Now it’s obvious to everyone else.

    Sam Gagner is playing really really well, but once again some are oblivious of this fact.

    We’ve got a rookie named Nail who’s just scored his debut NHL goal and for all we know he’s got 500 more in that hockey stick. But he’s 19 years old and a rookie, who won’t be leading the team Errol Flynn style(or for that matter, Errol Gardiner) for a little while yet.

    Justin Schultz is a potential top pairing defenceman, and we got him absolutely for nothing. he’s freaking brilliant.

    I’m going to try to take a leaf out of a Wings/Canucks fan playbook – and wait 20 -24 games to see what shakes with these crazy talents. Much easier on the spleen.

  41. Bar_Qu says:

    I think a complete team compensates for an average goalie every time. Detroit proved this with Chris Osgood and Bucky the Horse on the way to several President’s Trophys and Stanley Cups.

    The Oilers are far short of a complete team again, this time for the several-th year running on defence. I believe the Sharks too advantage of that last night, compounding inexperience (forwards) with holes on D (Whitney, J. Schultz inexperience, lack of another complete pairing) to cause an average to above average goalie to lack the wherewithal to stop the flood. And frankly the second coming of Hasek would not have saved them either.

    I honestly don’t think Bishop is the answer, I believe Dubnyk/Danis can do the job until other prospects are ready to step up or better free agents are enticed to the Oilers. I wouldn’t give up anything at this point to get Bishop

  42. "Steve Smith" says:

    bookje:
    “Steve Smith”,

    I think my answer was a better“Steve Smith” answer.

    I’m sorry; sometimes I forget myself.

  43. raventalon40 says:

    Spydyr:
    raventalon40,

    Sure give him even more time maybe in fours years he will get better.

    He is what he is a small soft skilled player. The team has more and better ones of those.

    He is not going to grow 6 inches put on 40 lbs and be able to battle in the corners against the wall and in front of the net.Like a good defensive forward can.

    A good GM takes the parts he has too much of and trades them for parts he needs.

    Such as a decent goalie to push Dubs and real top 4 -man to replace Whitney and some grit in the top six.

    It was men against boys last night.

    Did you even read my comment? That’s basically what I said. Let’s see how deep the rabbit hole goes and if it doesn’t change in a hurry we will have to do what is necessary.

    DeadmanWaking: Samwise is supposed to bring to the table a good hockey mind to compensate for his modest stature.Krueger–if I understand him at all–is not going to accept Samwise as a defensive liability.Can’t win thinking that way.It’s time for Samwise to be part of the solution playing without the puck, or not part of the solution at all.Maybe it’s asking too much for him to carry Yak as well as manage his own responsibilities.Maybe.He’s pushing 400 GP.If not now, when?

    Exactly!

  44. raventalon40 says:

    Captain Obvious:
    It was one game.Relax.

    That said, the Oilers bad players played badly, and the PK was terrible.It’s that simple.Who are the Oilers bad players, you ask?Two of the worst are Whitney and Potter.They are dreadful and need to either be replaced or have their minutes reduced and sheltered.

    Petrell is also terrible.His problem isn’t that he is European, his problem is that he isn’t good at anything.There is no excuse not to have good hockey players on the fourth line.Paajarvi was one of the best Oilers on the night. Find 12 good hockey players and stop giving your lines names.Everyone’s job is the same.Move puck towards the other net.Try and score.Stop other team from doing same.

    The problem isn’t size.The problem is not being good.Size is not a causal variable.Getting bigger won’t make a difference if it comes at the cost of getting better.This means do not trade Sam Gagner.You won’t get value back.Also stop believing myths that being tough has an intangible effect beyond the immediate, direct effect.Being tough is a good way to win puck battles.That’s good.However, having Ben Eager on the bench has no effect on what happens when Eberle is on the ice.Being tough is not a magic wand.Adding Andrew Ladd would help this team.Andrew Ladd isn’t available.Adding an Andrew Ladd sized player who isn’t any good would not help this team.

    Trading for Ben Bishop is fine if the cost is a second round pick, which is almost nothing (see Moroz, Mitch).

    I think I might be the only Eager fan around.

  45. hunter1909 says:

    If Gagner can’t carry Yakupov, then maybe Hall switches lines with the rookie, making for:

    Yakupov RNH Eberle

    Hall Gagner Hemsky

    Hall doesn’t need anyone to look after him. And Yaks gets to play with two elite talents.

  46. Spydyr says:

    raventalon40: I think Gagner is capable, even if he doesn’t show it. And if he’s not, it’s time for him to learn. Otherwise, if he can’t or won’t learn to play proper defensive zone hockey as a top 2 line centerman, trade him.
    But like I said, I think he is capable.

    You said ” I think Gagner is capable”

    I don’t.He is small, soft player.We have too many of them.Trade him now, not later.Fix the obvious problems before another season gets sewered.

  47. "Steve Smith" says:

    raventalon40,

    I don’t mind him as a fourth liner – he’s limited in his abilities, but fourth liners tend to be. I far prefer him to Pettrell and Hordichuk (for different reasons). I prefer Pajaarvi and probably Hartikainen to him. But I don’t think it’s inconceivable that a good team would run him on the fourth line, for ten minutes per game.

  48. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    If one blow out period get me my favorite line from last year (Gags-Hall-Hemsky), so be it. I’ll take that trade.

    It’s worth reminding ourselves that a young team stacked with talent is going to have some intensely low-lows to go along with the high-highs.

    This team is going to get itchy to score, take unnecessary risks, get emotional, forget structure, etc.

    These kind of “mental errors” need to be compartmentalized from “physical issues” like Whitney’s ankles.

    Physical issues can’t be overcome. They are hard and fast stumbling blocks. Sure, a player can gain weight, strength, speed, etc. But there is a real tangible limit that can’t be corrected/addressed in the same manner as mental errors.

    Ultimately physical issues like Whitney’s ankle fall to the GM. He has to recognize the problem and assess the trade-offs of having x player with y deficiency against the alternatives.

    But, mental errors fall to the Coach. K has to find a way to beat structure, responsibility, composure, etc. into this young team.

    As deflating as it is to watch the Oil get schooled for 20mins last night, it is heartening that they “won” (euphemism alert!) the 2nd and 3rd periods. They woke up, put the foot on the gas and most importantly regained composure (not to say there weren’t breakdowns after the 1st, just that they were minor by comparison).

    I think that has some value. Perhaps what is most important here is the cliche about how one responds to the calamity.

    They responded well (as far as that goes in a losing effort). How they do tomorrow will be an even better indication of how steep the learning curve is going to be.

    Re: Whitney. he looks done. He looks like a better version of Potter right now. He’s got a great pass and strong offensive instincts, but he’s unreliable in his own end and can’t be counted on mid-flight to respond. He should not be paired with Potter… probably ever… certainly not against top talent.

    Sign him to a Potter like deal, get rid of Potter… he’s a great offensive only 6 or 7 now.

    Re: Bishop… this really just raises the question of why we didn’t pursue him during the draft? and why Ottawa would look to turn him around so quickly.

    that aside… a 2nd is probably ok… I still have hope for Marincin… but it’s fading. Danis is a perfect #3 and great AHL fort holder… but I’m not convinced he’s a great long or even medium term #2.

  49. cabbiesmacker says:

    All I can say about last nights game is “I sure enjoyed that 2007 draft.”

    The little engine that can’t vs the big engine that just keeps getting more powerful. Well done boys.

    It’s surprising to anyone here that RNH-Hall-Eberle-Gagner-Yakuov-Hemsky can’t run with Thornton-Marleau-Pavelski-Clowe-Havlat -Couture? Really?

    Nice of SJ to put it in neutral after 20 though.

  50. justDOit says:

    As a prelude to the fine performance of the anthems (a-HEM), was the crowd pissed off during player introductions, or was the arena only 1/4 full at that point? It was a weird, emotionless moment, for sure, and seemed to set the tone for the evening.

    As someone mentioned above, this team needed the wakeup. Listening to the media tell them that playing in the AHL will have them conditioned to step right in to this season was horseshit. There’s only one league that prepares you for the NHL – the NHL!

    San Jose is a team with few new additions, and they have an established set of systems that most players returning from the lockout only need to be reminded of – an easy task for a week long training camp. Edmonton, on the other hand, has many new players in important positions, a new coach, and new systems. A one week TC doesn’t cut it for breaking all of that in.

    Get off of Dubnyk’s back – he was the culprit on one goal, and making that save doesn’t win that game. Same for the Fistric for Potter talk – he wasn’t going to prevent this train wreck.

    That the Oilers were able to maintain their composure and turn the next two periods around, to some extent, after allowing a touchdown in the first is telling. They got back to that Swiss team style of hanging around, blocking lanes and moving the puck the right direction. If the team needed more size to compete, I think you would have seen SJ keep rolling along and end the game in double-digit goals.

    It was a big night, with a lot of nerves and emotion flowing, and when that goes bad, well it really goes bad. Now is not the time to start the dismantling – just chill a little, and let them get back to forming this young collection of players into a team.

  51. Adam Dyck says:

    Now I may have been wrong (I was at the game live and didn’t have the option to replay it), but it really looked like Horcoff and Smyth were both on for that 5v3 in the first. I certainly don’t remember seeing two forwards on the 3 man PK in the past, but again I may have just missed it. Seems silly to me, though.

  52. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    cabbiesmacker:
    All I can say about last nights game is “I sure enjoyed that 2007 draft.”

    The little engine that can’t vs the big engine that just keeps getting more powerful. Well done boys.

    It’s surprising to anyone here that RNH-Hall-Eberle-Gagner-Yakuov-Hemsky can’t run with Thornton-Marleau-Pavelski-Clowe-Havlat -Couture? Really?

    Nice of SJ to put it in neutral after 20 though.

    I’m high on Couture too. And, I think he will turn out to best Gagner in the long run…

    But I’m not certain the counterfactual is such a clear cut case, and while the present day comparison clearly tips the hat to Couture… both are still very young with a lot of games left to write their own scripts.

    If there is one thing that irks me to no end is the difference in development paths each took. I think Couture unquestionably benefitted from stewing in the minors until he was NHL-ready.

    Here’s hoping one day the Oilers will delay the satisfaction of seeing the shiny new toy and let their impact players grow into their jobs.

  53. justDOit says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Agreed, although there is no substitute for conditioning a young player into the NHL than being on a good team as well.

    Interesting to see people calling for more size again on this roster, and calling for Gagner to be traded – meanwhile the Sharks are on the verge of signing a small, soft and slow center in Gomez. Only difference is that he’s 10 years older than Gagner.

  54. Ribs says:

    Bishop is 6’7? Holy mackeral, thems some big goalies the Oilers would have.

    Is there any chance of Bunz or Roy being ready for spot duty next season? I’d just hate to give up someone like Marincin for a backup goalie. I definitely wouldn’t give them Klefbom for him.

    Dubnyk has earned his shot this season. Let him roll with it. Pick up a Brent Johnson or someone if Danis isn’t up to it. For this season, anyway.

    I know there is temptation to go for the gusto in a shortened season like this, but we’ve gone this far with the rebuild, we might as well see this thing through.

  55. oilgreg says:

    Adam Dyck:
    Now I may have been wrong (I was at the game live and didn’t have the option to replay it), but it really looked like Horcoff and Smyth were both on for that 5v3 in the first. I certainly don’t remember seeing two forwards on the 3 man PK in the past, but again I may have just missed it. Seems silly to me, though.

    Coaches often play two forwards high & one defenseman low when two-men short-handed. I like that strategy, because it puts more pressure up high, where teams are trying to set up for a shot.
    More interesting, and I liked the approach, was that Kruger loaded up on forwards when they had a second period four-on-four.

    Interesting that so many seem to be high on Gagner. He tries hard, but is too easily knocked off the puck. And his talent level certainly is not up to the others on the first two lines. I would use him to bring in a relatively young top 4 d-man, if Tamby can make that happen. Horcoff could be moved into Gagner’s place to provide much needed defensive support for Hemsky & Yakapov. Then, VV from Ok Barons can be brought up for Horcoff’s third-line role, which provides the Oilers with much-need size.

  56. oilgreg says:

    Ribs:
    Bishop is 6’7? Holy mackeral, thems some big goalies the Oilers would have.

    Is there any chance of Bunz or Roy being ready for spot duty next season? I’d just hate to give up someone like Marincin for a backup goalie. I definitely wouldn’t give them Klefbom for him.

    Dubnyk has earned his shot this season. Let him roll with it. Pick up a Brent Johnson or someone if Danis isn’t up to it.For this season, anyway.

    I know there is temptation to go for the gusto in a shortened season like this, but we’ve gone this far with the rebuild,we might as well see this thing through.

    Right on! It takes time to build a winner. No need to make rash decisions based on one game. Dubnyk has earned hisopportunity, so let him run with it. It may take the big guy some games to find his groove, but he demonstrated that he can be ‘The Guy” during the last 20 games last season.

  57. jonrmcleod says:

    gangplank,

    Well, I said that I’d try to trade a 3rd or 4th rather than a 2nd. Plus, Marincin was a 2nd rounder. I’d rather have Marincin (who appears so far to be good value for a 2nd round pick) than a pick that could end up being a flop.

  58. justDOit says:

    And after we have digested this embarrassing loss completely, it might be prudent to have a look around the western conference and survey the competition. I’ve watched a bit of every team in the west play since Saturday, and I must say that none of them look as dishevelled as the Oilers have in their first two games. Even CBJ is playing hard, fast and tough hockey. It was tougher to write that than it is to read it, trust me. Even Dallas, a team that has lost a couple of stable defensemen, is without their top scorer, and brought in two forty-something-year-olds doesn’t look too bad.

    I’m not trying to sound like chicken little here, but it’s worth noting that this might not be the last time the Oilers are laughed out of the game before the first intermission.

  59. rich says:

    I think several posters have it right about Gagner (Deadmanwalking, Fuzzy Muppet, Raventalon). He’s got to be better down low. He’s doing a very poor job picking things up in front and is just chasing it around getting torched. LT – you’ve said he has the smarts to play this game – it’s time he start to show it. He was beaten badly on a goal in Vancouver as well.

    I am glad that this happened early in the season because we’re going to quickly see how this team reacts to sleep walking thru the first period – an all-too-familiar sight the past couple of years under Renney. Before you could argue the lack of talent. No longer. Do they continue to make excuses and come out with crappy starts or is their finally some accountability here and can Krueger really manage this team.

    I’m not ready to trade anyone just yet…but you can’t do nothing after a brutal 1st period like last night and expect to earn respect in the room, even if it’s a bag skate.

  60. justDOit says:

    How about them Red Wings? No sooner do they rush Huskins into the lineup from the minors, and then White gets a nasty skate cut that requires surgery.

  61. Нинтендо⁶⁴ says:

    Instead of a bag skate they sent the Captain, Alternate Captains, and Captain Canada to council chambers:

    Mandel: “This is your punishment. Don’t ever allow six goals in the first period again”

  62. regwald says:

    It is easy to criticize how the team looked in the first period and there were enough mistakes to go around, but let’s try to put this in perspective. They are a young team with a new head coach and are just coming off of a full 1 week training camp.

    They were a 29th place team last year and have made additional changes to the core of their roster. This is a work in progress and will continue to be so until the team gets a bit more time together. Don’t forget there will be rookie and young player mistakes that will compound the regular mistakes you see in a hockey game.

    Unfortunately with this season be played in a fast forward mode, by the time this team hits it’s stride, they could be in deep trouble already in the standings.

    This team maybe got a better result than they deserved on Sunday, but last night a couple of things happened early which sent the train off the rails.

    Not time to burn the team down just yet IMHO

  63. prairieschooner says:

    No need to panic, everyone gets a thumping, we got ours early.
    It does seem that we only ever beat the Sharks when they are disinterested.
    Is Keffbom injured or playing just now?
    LT are we tracking anyone this year?

  64. cabbiesmacker says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I’m high on Couture too. And, I think he will turn out to best Gagner in the long run…

    But I’m not certain the counterfactual is such a clear cut case, and while the present day comparison clearly tips the hat to Couture… both are still very young with a lot of games left to write their own scripts.

    Reg

    LC went past SG 2 years ago and the gap keeps widening. Last year Thornton called him the most intelligent hockey player he’s ever played with as well. We’re not going to hear that about Sammy anytime soon.

    I like Gagner’s try and his hands when he’s got a whack of room to work within. Outside of that he’s a giant MEH for me and totally unsuitable as a second line C option unless he’s got Lucic and Richards as his wingers.

  65. leadfarmer says:

    Agreed with the Columbus comments above. That team has a lot of try and some solid players. Dont get me wrong they are not making the playoffs, but it wouldnt suprise me if another team or couple of teams went dumpster diving and beat them to the bottom.

    In other news, even good teams get horribly embarrassed, remember what we did to Chicago last year. It happens, regroup and fix the issues.

  66. bookje says:

    Нинтендо⁶⁴:
    Instead of a bag skate they sent the Captain, Alternate Captains, and Captain Canada to council chambers:

    Mandel: “This is your punishment. Don’t ever allow six goals in the first period again”

    Yeah, I saw that, it was great. For those who are interested, you can watch City Council meetings (including the vote on the arena sometime after 1:30 today) at http://councilontheweb.edmonton.ca/

    I know how unthrilling this probably sounds, but for those of us interested/involved in urban planning and development, its more thrilling than seeing the Oilers get six goals scored against them in a single period.

    At 1:30 all of the coucilors are going to have a chance to offer their thoughts and then they will vote.

    A Yes vote means that the Arena will be built (for 2016) – A no vote kills it until after the next election (this Fall) and beyond.

    I think a Yes vote is certain as the framework is essentially the same as the initial offer by Katz (all of the bonus crap removed) with some added expenses due to new construction costs. My take on it is that Katz got enough revenue certainty out of the CBA that the NHL just completed to justify going ahead without certainty on additional revenue (i.e. gaming) tied to the arena project itself.

    It also looks like the $100 million from the province is a forgone conclusion. I am sure it won’t come as an arena grant, but rather by freeing up the municipal infrastructure funding to allow it to be used as an arena. It won’t be new money, but rather the province will simply cut $100 million less from this fund then they were going to (this is my guess) with a tight budget coming down.

  67. stevezie says:

    Look, I agree with everything the stats guys say about the importance of fighting being vastly overstated, but did anyone else notice that the Oilers’ leader in career fights last night was Sam Gagner? I still don’t like Eager or Hordichuk, and I still prefer good players to intimidating players, but wowzers we had better hope all the fuss about being “tough to play against” is as overblown as I think it is.

    Captain Obvious,

    You are almost completely right, but not quite. You are much better with a good player than a big player- I have no desire to break up our fantastic top 6 just because they are on average 20 pounds lighters than the Sharks top 6 (true fact, by the way).
    That said, with ” Size is not a causal variable” you seem to be saying it is a completely neutral quality. If you take two players who are both equally skilled wouldn’t you rather have the bigger, stronger guy? Size/strength is very useful, it’s just not so useful it makes a bad player good.
    The OIlers have as skilled a top 6 as I have ever seen on a team ever, but they’re Zoolander. They only have one look. They have no one who can hit, no one who can lean on a d-man in front of the net, no one who can fight on the spot, no one whose calling card is forechecking (though many aren’t bad)…

    As far as Bishop goes, his stats aren’t that exciting. I would trade a second for him, but not Marincin. The very existence of the debate re-raises the question as to why Dubnyk is getting paid like a guy who has already cemented the starter role?

  68. cabbiesmacker says:

    justDOit:

    Interesting to see people calling for more size again on this roster, and calling for Gagner to be traded – meanwhile the Sharks are on the verge of signing a small, softand slow center in Gomez. Only difference is that he’s 10 years older than Gagner.

    Or that other difference where they won’t be signing him to play second line C.

  69. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    cabbiesmacker: Reg

    LC went past SG 2 years ago and the gap keeps widening.

    Two years ago is the 2010-2011 season, which is still four years out from their draft year.

    I don’t disagree that LC is currently the better player and is trending to be better in the long run. I said so.

    I also don’t disagree that the Oilers blew 3 first round picks under 21 in 07 (if you want to make that argument). That is turning into a pretty weak draft year… but there were gems to be found and we didn’t find them.

    But the counterfactual that LC was clearly better than SG in 07 won’t swim.

    And SG is hardly a bust. It’s not a zero-sum game. LC turning into a better player doesn’t diminish SG’s abilities, in the same way that SG turning into a better player than Zach Hamill (8th in the same draft year and a C) doesn’t make SG abilities any greater than they are.

    And, finally both are very young and still have a lot of games to prove their mettle.

    These are just contextual points.

  70. khildahl says:

    Here’s hoping one day the Oilers will delay the satisfaction of seeing the shiny new toy and let their impact players grow into their jobs.

    This is a misconception that irks me. This team has arguably rushed Gagner and Smid in the last 6 years, but I can’t think of anyone else.

  71. Mr DeBakey says:

    But the counterfactual that LC was clearly better than SG in 07 won’t swim.

    Exactly
    He had Mono in his draft year and fell right off the map.
    NHL Central Scouting didn’t have him in their Top 15 if I recall.
    Though near the start of that season, he had been ranked near the top.

  72. cabbiesmacker says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Romulus

    Not disputing anything you say whatsoever but I’m not falling into the trap of relegating 07 to a piss poor draft year either. I guess the Oilers could have done worse…ie drafting Cherpanov…but maybe the thing that bothers me the most is having 3 picks and seeing none of them fill a major need as a result. Oilers didn’t just get it wrong with SG…they got it wrong with Plante and Nash at their respective draftpoints as well.

    And YES there will always be hits and misses on draft day but 3 shots in the top 25?..26? should yield better results.

    SG played on a strong London team with at least 2 high end linemates. LC didn’t have either luxury.
    If memory serves there was a lot of talk at the time about his possibly inflated stats and his size. Some of this would appear now to be true.

    Mind you I believe a majority in these parts who were convinced Voracek was the only other option. Short story is the Hockey News annual prospect issue is no substitute for good scouting and WE aren’t getting paid to be right. Oiler scouts are.

  73. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    khildahl: This is a misconception that irks me.This team has arguably rushed Gagner and Smid in the last 6 years, but I can’t think of anyone else.

    How about Magnus, or Lander?

  74. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Mr DeBakey:
    But the counterfactual that LC was clearly better than SG in 07 won’t swim.

    Exactly
    He had Mono in his draft year and fell right off the map.
    NHL Central Scouting didn’t have him in their Top 15 if I recall.
    Though near the start of that season, he had been ranked near the top.

    That reminds me… Bertuzzi has mono!

    hilarious!

  75. cabbiesmacker says:

    Mr DeBakey:
    But the counterfactual that LC was clearly better than SG in 07 won’t swim.

    Exactly
    He had Mono in his draft year and fell right off the map.

    He still posted good numbers on a less than stellar team. Couture isn’t the only one in the conversation anyways.

    Theres players I’d rather have that were drafted in the second round and that shouldn’t happen when you get three kicks at the cat in the first.

    If we’d gone Gagner – Pacioretty – Subban I’d be a happier camper I guess. Maybe.

    Naw…I’d still think SG doesn’t add much to this lineup.

  76. cabbiesmacker says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: That reminds me… Bertuzzi has mono!

    hilarious!

    Thought they said yesterday he’d been diagnosed incorrectly. Probably a case of swapping diet tips with Penner.

  77. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    cabbiesmacker:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Romulus

    Not disputing anything you say whatsoever but I’m not falling into the trap of relegating 07 to a piss poor draft year either. I guess the Oilers could have done worse…ie drafting Cherpanov…but maybe the thing that bothers me the most is having 3 picks and seeing none of them fill a major need as a result. Oilers didn’t just get it wrong with SG…they got it wrong with Plante and Nash at their respective draftpoints as well.

    And YES there will always be hits and misses on draft day but 3 shots in the top 25?..26? should yield better results.

    Exactly!

    Except, I have no problem relitigating that draft.

    Pronger’s been gone for a year. The writing is on the wall. Things are bad…

    BUT… You’ve got 3 picks in the top 21. That was the year to start the rebuild and find the gems.

    Gagner’s no bust… but a better option was available… and 15 and 21 didn’t cash anything.

    ps. I’d leave the tragedy of Cherpanov out of discussions of mgt. No one can be held accountable for that tragic event… mind-blowingly sad.

  78. commonfan14 says:

    Is Woywitka better than Potter?

  79. Captain Obvious says:

    stevezie,

    I mostly agree. Two points. First, what I mean by “not a causal variable” is that if you were to do an analysis of the correlation between the various attributes a player can have and team success, player size would wash out as a variable. So that when talent evaluators or fans choose a player based upon their size they are selecting on the wrong variable. It isn’t that size doesn’t matter. It can matter in the way that you discuss. However, the way in which it matters can be measured in other ways. Focusing on size, thus, makes you blind to reality.

    Second, the other argument in favour of the idea the Oilers aren’t big enough is the thought that teams need a blending of skills. So while in a vacuum you might prefer on type of player, in the particular context of the Oilers, a grittier type of player might be preferable. The problem with this idea is that it is, once again, abstracted from reality. The Oilers don’t get to choose between two players, equally good, one large and one smaller. If they choose to make a trade it will be a smaller, but better, player, for a larger and grittier, but worse, player. That’s the actual choice that’s on the table. I’m of the mind that over the long haul there is no way a team can come out ahead making that kind of transaction.

    All that said, this problem can be remedied in the offseason through free agency so long as the Oilers don’t select on size and willingness to fight, and instead find a real hockey player with good possession stats.

  80. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    cabbiesmacker: Thought they said yesterday he’d been diagnosed incorrectly. Probably a case of swapping diet tips with Penner.

    didn’t hear the update… at any rate, I suffer from a strong confirmation bias regarding hilarious things… I so desperately want Bertuzzi to have mono.

  81. "Steve Smith" says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    My girlfriend and I have a relationship rule that the funniest possible explanation is always the correct one. You might consider adopting something similar.

  82. hunter1909 says:

    “Steve Smith”,

    Which one of you made that rule?

  83. Ice Sage says:

    Yesterday’s game was a perfect dose of humility for an overhyped group, includeing Coach K, in case they were drinking their own koolaid bathwater. San Jose’s set plays are 3 years established and, once wounded, the Oil couldn’t recover.

    But, unlike years past, the effort picked up in the last 2 periods and there were enough opportunities to make it closer. To my eye, San Jose, played the trap and were tired as you’d expect from an oldish group at the end of a road trip – they didn’t put it on cruise control and had lots of try on their PP’s.

    As to goaltending, Dubs was ‘fighting it’ from the beginning – the shots look like snipes but DD was slow , passive and not anticipating / charging well. (Goalie) coach has to recognize that, but I think they were nervous about Danis. Dubnyk joins more veteran company – Schneider, Smith, Lundquist, Bryzgalov – in being ventilated… goalies are behind the curve right now. (Yann Danis leads NHL in GAA, SV% though :))

    BTW Sam Gagner is a PPG player this year.

    Thursday will be awesome

  84. "Steve Smith" says:

    hunter1909,

    Which way would it be funnier?

  85. khildahl says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: How about Magnus, or Lander?

    Shit. I guess I tried so hard to forget last night that it extended to last year. At least they appear to have learned a partial lesson there.

    I was thinking of the Eberles and Petrys of the world.

  86. dessert1111 says:

    Captain Obvious:
    It was one game.Relax.

    That said, the Oilers bad players played badly, and the PK was terrible.It’s that simple.Who are the Oilers bad players, you ask?Two of the worst are Whitney and Potter.They are dreadful and need to either be replaced or have their minutes reduced and sheltered.

    Petrell is also terrible.His problem isn’t that he is European, his problem is that he isn’t good at anything.There is no excuse not to have good hockey players on the fourth line.Paajarvi was one of the best Oilers on the night. Find 12 good hockey players and stop giving your lines names.Everyone’s job is the same.Move puck towards the other net.Try and score.Stop other team from doing same.

    The problem isn’t size.The problem is not being good.Size is not a causal variable.Getting bigger won’t make a difference if it comes at the cost of getting better.This means do not trade Sam Gagner.You won’t get value back.Also stop believing myths that being tough has an intangible effect beyond the immediate, direct effect.Being tough is a good way to win puck battles.That’s good.However, having Ben Eager on the bench has no effect on what happens when Eberle is on the ice.Being tough is not a magic wand.Adding Andrew Ladd would help this team.Andrew Ladd isn’t available.Adding an Andrew Ladd sized player who isn’t any good would not help this team.

    Trading for Ben Bishop is fine if the cost is a second round pick, which is almost nothing (see Moroz, Mitch).

    This, except a 2nd round draft pick is normally better than Mitch Moroz, especially in a “deep” draft year.

    Would Ottawa take Whitney? Takes care of two problems at once. The team could use a handful more NHL players still.

  87. nelson88 says:

    LT. Sometimes I really fail to understand you (I do like you however).

    I thought you were a big MPS fan and now you are trying to trade him for a goaltender with 15(?) NHL games under his belt that got traded for a 2nd round draft pick less than a year ago! What has changed his value significantly since then? Would you trade MPS for the Senators 2nd round draft pick?

    With all the injury problems Detroit has been having the Oil should try and trade them Omark and Peckham for a 2nd round draft pick and then you can turn around and flip that to Ottawa for Bishop.

    As stated before. I would love to see the suspension, injury (?) drop Monahan down the rankings in this draft. If the Oil could get him at about 10 and give him the LC treatment that would be a hell of a valuable (and relatively cheap) player in 3 – 4 years. I don’t get to watch the Oil Kings but maybe Lazar is another slider that could turn into a similar player if appropriate patience is shown?

  88. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “Steve Smith”:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    My girlfriend and I have a relationship rule that the funniest possible explanation is always the correct one.You might consider adopting something similar.

    That’s amazing!

    Me and my fiancee have a somewhat similar rule… “blame” is freely assigned to the other for one’s own or an inanimate objects failings, e.g, I spill coffee on my pants… “damn her eyes!” the lightbulb burns out… “your a terrible person!” etc.

    redirecting blame like this in such a non-reality based and hyperbolic way makes the day much funnier, however, those unaccustomed to it often fail to grasp the spirit of the exercise.

  89. "Steve Smith" says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Ah, yes – the Horcoff rule.

  90. spoiler says:

    1. I’d like to see Gagner’s stats after playing a season with Marleau and Thornton

    2. Gagner’s unwillingness/inability to pick up the man cruising the slot and not releasing off him till the play is out of danger has cost us a couple of goals these two games. Hopefully this is just a bad Austrian habit and Freddie will attend to the nightmare, but we should be watching this development closely.

    LT, as far as your lines go, that does improve the Gagner line, but what are you going to do when we’re on the road and the opposing coach is rolling his best out against Yak, Nuge and Ebs every time they’re on the ice? Making a line that defensively weak seems like a recipe for disaster.

  91. Нинтендо⁶⁴ says:

    Most councillors are giving speeches right now on how they’ll vote. Ivision just gave an If By Whiskey. He opened by saying it would be politically expedient to vote yes and ended by saying the people need to move past the decision after the vote. Perhaps his ‘gut’ calculus is actually going to be a polite no vote if the yes will carry.

  92. spoiler says:

    My understanding from the interviews yesterday is that Murray has already been offered a 2nd rounder for Bishop, but wants more than what Bishop cost him.

    IMO that’s too much to give up. Maybe if he had played more…

  93. spoiler says:

    And a defenseman would be my first priority right now.

  94. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    khildahl: Shit.I guess I tried so hard to forget last night that it extended to last year.At least they appear to have learned a partial lesson there.

    I was thinking of the Eberles and Petrys of the world.

    I’m fine with Hall, RNH and Yak all playing early, but there’s an argument to be made for all of them that they could have stayed in the minors an extra year (to develop if not to simply preserve an ELC year).

    Ebs and Petry came up the right way though. I can imagine another more conservative team might have cooked them a little longer, but not much.

    I’m a little concerned the team will rush Klefbom. It was telling that they were making noise this summer that he was NHL ready for this season, while Klefbom himself kept hinting that he wasn’t ready and wanted another year in the SEL (IIRC).

    “Steve Smith”,

    The “house goat”?

    edit: man… apostrophes and contractions… can’t believe I still fuck those up. It’s brutal to re-read grammar errors and not be able to correct them.

  95. frenchfrog says:

    Just like Horcoff from years past, it’s NEVER Gagner’s fault.

  96. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    spoiler:
    1.I’d like to see Gagner’s stats after playing a season with Marleau and Thornton

    Couture plays with Clowe and Havlat… at EVS anyway.

    And… Hemsky and Yak aren’t exactly offensive drags either.

  97. DBO says:

    Wow, everyone chill the fuck out. Seriously. 2 games ladies and gentlemen. 2 games. I mean, what have we learned that we didn’t already know:

    - Our D will suffer until Whitney is better, and Potter is a questionable 6/7 dman. Give Whitney till game 10 to run him out of town. Working out is not the same as playing, and he is still getting comfortable right now. Anyone coming back from injury is tentative at first, No he will not ever be fully recovered, but in 10 games he will know what he can and can’t do so ease up folks. He is a 3rd pairing EV dman, who can play the 2nd PP. he is still serviceable when paired with a better partner then Potter. Hope we see Fistric, but the D is what we thought they were.
    - The kids will be up and down at evens and dominate on the PP. At least on faceoffs we have improved, but we knew the top 6 lacked size, so when our speed is stifled we will have issues at evens
    - Dubnyk will give up some softies, but be solid. His issue will be consistency, and he never played a ton coming from the lockout so it will take a few games to settle in.
    - Our vets will take some time to get going since they didn’t play much. So relax until 5 games or so when they would be in better game shape.

    So everyone put down the bottle, forgo the angry call in to some radio show, and remember that we are a bubble playoff team as we stand right now. It is game 2 of the season, and this team is EXACTLY WHO WE THOUGHT THEY WERE.

    Hell, you’d think we were 10 games out already based on the anger and vitriol.

  98. "Steve Smith" says:

    frenchfrog:
    Just like Horcoff from years past, it’s NEVER Gagner’s fault.

    Yeah, Oilers fans are notorious for their unreasoned reverence of Shawn Horcoff.

  99. justDOit says:

    spoiler:
    My understanding from the interviews yesterday is that Murray has already been offered a 2nd rounder for Bishop, but wants more than what Bishop cost him.

    IMO that’s too much to give up.Maybe if he had played more…

    The more starting goalies with a sub 900 save percentage in this young season, the higher the stock goes for tree-sized backups. I would put waaay more value on Bishop than I would on Karlsson, and he was had for a 7th rounder.

    I agree that MPS would be an over-pay for Bishop, but Murray is in no hurry to deal him either. I kind of like the idea that someone mentioned – trading Peckham to Detroit for a pick and then rolling that into a package for Bishop, but I doubt that Holland would bite on that. The Wings could just as easily bring in another depth player from the AHL and keep their pick. Huskins walked into that lineup straight from the minors yesterday, and played well within their system.

    Damn that Detroit model – it looks so easy to build when you look at the cover of the box, but the minute you delve into the myriad of parts and the assembly instructions, you end up huddled in the corner with the glue…

  100. Нинтендо⁶⁴ says:

    Yep. The guy who wants to be the Mayor who cuts the ribbon at opening Day photo-ops voted No after explaining how much he respects everyone voting Yes. Everyone has to follow their gut and their main chance.

  101. BlacqueJacque says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Klefbom is a player whose hype I don’t understand. He hasn’t put up any numbers in the SEL, and allegedly he has hands.

  102. justDOit says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Klefbom is a player whose hype I don’t understand.He hasn’t put up any numbers in the SEL, and allegedly he has hands.

    From what I remember, he has played a lesser role on his team until this season, and now he has been hurt for a while (don’t know his exact status now). Also, the Euro leagues only award one assist per goal, which could really impact a defenseman’s stats.

  103. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Klefbom is a player whose hype I don’t understand.He hasn’t put up any numbers in the SEL, and allegedly he has hands.

    I’ve only seen him in the WJC last year and my memory is foggy there, but I remember seeing him good… I think…(at any rate, I wouldn’t trust my ability to rate players)

    He’s clearly had a string of biggish injuries and I’ve heard the scoring complaint… but wasn’t he youngish on those SEL teams and getting poor TOI (or is that a “line” I’ve been sold?)

    At any rate, a variety of people rate him pretty high… as far as that goes:

    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2012/11/3-prospect-winter-2012-oscar-klefbom.html

    http://www.hockeysfuture.com/prospect-rankings/preseason-prospect-rankings-2012-13/page/3

    http://www.hockeysfuture.com/team-rankings/

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1245951-ranking-hockeys-top-50-prospects-after-the-2012-nhl-draft#/articles/1245951-ranking-hockeys-top-50-prospects-after-the-2012-nhl-draft/page/24

    http://www.tsn.ca/draftcentre/feature/?id=9601

    It seems to be a pretty wide consensus that the kid has a real chance to play NHL minutes. They could all be wrong, or all regurgitating the same bad intel… but I think he’s a safe bet to place in the higher end prospect pool… just don’t expect miracles and don’t expect anything soon.

  104. delooper says:

    Klefbom has been always touted as a solid stay-at-home that can skate and pass. Kind of like Smid, but people hope maybe his offense won’t completely be killed in the transition to the NHL. I don’t think anyone is expecting a lot of offense from him, but a capable stay-at-home that can do everything except score a lot, is the general gist of Klefbom.

  105. bookje says:

    Нинтендо⁶⁴:
    Most councillors are giving speeches right now on how they’ll vote. Ivision just gave an If By Whiskey. He opened by saying it would be politically expedient to vote yes and ended by saying the people need to move past the decision after the vote. Perhaps his ‘gut’ calculus is actually going to be a polite no vote if the yes will carry.

    I think his vote is based upon being against the whole notion that we use public funds to subsidize a oligopoly that manipulates markets to make hockey very expensive. I fully agree with him, however I recognize that his vote only affects the Edmonton situation and that unless Cities across North America come to some kind of collective agreement (a CBA one might say) to not give in to NHL extortion, you are stuck with this model.

  106. godot10 says:

    The sky is not falling.

    It is one effing game. I don’t want Krueger to go all Renney and go all passive again. In learning how to play the attacking game, there are going to be nights like this.

    The Oilers need one more defensemen. We’ve known this for a long time. The price in the summer was too high, since it is a seller’s market.

    Yakupov with Hemsky is a pretty good decision that is going to have growing pains.

    I don’t mind a losing season with the Oilers playing an attacking game. Might as well take the pain in a short season where we still want one more relatively high draft pick to get the big 2nd line centre.

    I don’t see Bishop as being much better than Danis. If he comes at a reasonable price…fine.

    Klefbom doesn’t have offensive boxcars because he is typically the best Swedish defender on the teams he is on, and thus gets the defensive assignments instead of the offensive ones.

    Petry-Smid, JSchultz-Klefbom…could be a pretty good top 4, three to five years down the road, with well matched skills on the two pairs.

  107. khildahl says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I’m fine with Hall, RNH and Yak all playing early, but there’s an argument to be made for all of them that they could have stayed in the minors an extra year (to develop if not to simply preserve an ELC year).

    Ebs and Petry came up the right way though. I can imagine another more conservative team might have cooked them a little longer, but not much.

    I’m a little concerned the team will rush Klefbom. It was telling that they were making noise this summer that he was NHL ready for this season, while Klefbom himself kept hinting that he wasn’t ready and wanted another year in the SEL (IIRC).

    The Lowe/Mactavish years are full of guys who were brought along slowly (maybe too much so, according to Rob Shremp’s fans). We saw a lot of players who had no business playing in the NHL, but it was largely because there was no-one else left in the organization who could skate. Those were the days when wantonly boarding an Oiler wasn’t a penalty.

    With MacT’s return I think some of that sense of sanity has returned.

  108. Нинтендо⁶⁴ says:

    bookje,

    But his speech said it was a close gut call as to how this would work out in practice. Not really an objection on principle or to the written down stuff.

    When a pol opens by saying that Yes would be politically advantageous, ask yourself if his core supporters/ mayoralty campaign workers are very No.

  109. Ryan says:

    justDOit,

    Good points. Yeah, amongst the obvious issues, this roster looks 10x better on paper than on ice. If the Oilers were playing within a system, I couldn’t discern it last night.

    If Krueger can keep Team Canada in check with the Swiss roster, obviously execution is the issue.

    Too early to start talking Seth Jones for sure.

    As far as SG is concerned, his problems aren’t lack of speed or size though he could be edit from a bealthy dose of both, but defensive awareness. This should be coachable. You can’t coach a player to be Crosby, but SG doesn’t have a ten cent head, so hopefully he improves. Yeah, we’ve been waiting to see this aspect of his game improve for a long time.

  110. bookje says:

    Нинтендо⁶⁴:
    bookje,

    But his speech said it was a close gut call as to how this would work out in practice. Not really an objection on principle or to the written down stuff.

    When a pol opens by saying that Yes would be politically advantageous, ask yourself if his core supporters/ mayoralty campaign workers are very No.

    I suspect that his core supporters (I am one of them) would have mixed feelings, but that the ‘NO’ people are much more likely to change their vote over this.

    I suspect that if he were the deciding vote, he may have voted yes.

  111. frenchfrog says:

    “Steve Smith”: Yeah, Oilers fans are notorious for their unreasoned reverence of Shawn Horcoff.

    Oiler fans in general ≠ Oilers blogs

  112. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    My Klefbom comment is trapped in moderation land… suffice to say, he’s not magic beans, but enough knowledgeable people see him as the real deal to play NHL minutes that I feel optimistic about him (guarded… but optimistic).

  113. Нинтендо⁶⁴ says:

    bookje,

    Yes I also thought the others provided cover. He positioned himself an inch from the fence when he voted YES and also when voted NO. And he argued for the reasonibilty of voting YES this time.

  114. FastOil says:

    Ryan:
    justDOit,

    As far as SG is concerned, his problems aren’t lack of speed or size though he could be edit from a bealthy dose of both, but defensive awareness.This should be coachable.You can’t coach a player to be Crosby, but SG doesn’t have a ten cent head, so hopefully he improves.Yeah, we’ve been waiting to see this aspect of his game improve for a long time.

    Part of this is what does SG want to do? I don’t think he’s your solid two way type. He is showing he can hold his own nearly, but I just don’t see the willingness to get his nose dirty after 400G, in the same way as MPS. That doesn’t mean they aren’t valuable players.

    With Horcoff and Belanger basically done, It does mean the team is going to have to find a third centre that can play a physical possession game and still contribute offense, or the team will be so one dimensional I think they’ll have trouble with tight checking physical play off games. If Lander learns to play defensively well enough he’ll hopefully do for the 4th.

    That game reminded me of the 80′s pre Cup Oilers. We can expect a lot of high tempo attacking games with constant defensive meltdowns because of the nature of the top 6 and J Schultz, until they lose enough games from it to realize that they won’t be able to rely on out skating and out scoring, that they’ll also have to be solid defensively.

    The Glory team had to learn that, hopefully everything else goes the same way too.

  115. Ryan says:

    FastOil,

    Don’t get me wrong, I also don’t like the look of our top six and the one spot that could use an upgrade is 2c. Sure, I’d trade Gagner plus for David Backes in a New York minute, but we all know that would never be available.

    That being said, there’s no reason that SG shouldn’t be able to learn better zone coverage though so far he’s proving me wrong.

  116. spoiler says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Couture plays with Clowe and Havlat… at EVS anyway.And… Hemsky and Yak aren’t exactly offensive drags either.

    You’re just being argumentative… we both know they have played on the #1 powerplay together, and have also played on the same line at EVs, hence the quote from Thornton himself. And we both know that Gagner hasn’t yet played a season with the Nail & Hemmer.

    Oops! Sorry, what I meant to say is your light bulb is untied!
    ;o)

  117. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    spoiler: You’re just being argumentative…we both know they have played on the #1 powerplay together, and have also played on the same line at EVs, hence the quote from Thornton himself.And we both know that Gagner hasn’t yet played a season with the Nail & Hemmer.

    Oops!Sorry, what I meant to say is your light bulb is untied!
    ;o)

    haha.

    I didn’t mean to be “argumentative”, just sorting out what I thought was a straightforward empirical question.

    At any rate, I’ll leave it to the stats folks to figure out how much help Couture is getting from his line-mates, QoC, Zone Starts, discipline TOI, etc.

    But he looks like a player to me regardless. and a better one than Gagner….

    (caveat… again… being better than Gagner doesn’t take away from Gagner)

    ps. I’ll be sure to scold my fiancee for untying that bulb!

  118. russ99 says:

    Krueger mentioned giving some other players PK time before the game yesterday, hopefully he picks a good group and doesn’t switch up the guys so much.

    Still don’t get Potter (or Whitney) over Fistric at this point. Unless he can’t keep up with the other Oilers, or hasn’t gotten the system down. Which probably is moot after Whitney’s skating and the failure of the system…

  119. russ99 says:

    BlacqueJacque,

    Playing in a men’s league at 18, Klefbom was given sheltered minutes, yet he impressed vs. players his age group for Sweden.

    He took a step this year before the injury. The clock on him really starts when he starts playing in OKC, where he’ll need a year to adjust to the North American game.

    I suspect Marincin will affect the roster well before Klefbom does.

  120. FastOil says:

    Ryan:
    FastOil,

    Don’t get me wrong, I also don’t like the look of our top six and the one spot that could use an upgrade is 2c.Sure, I’d trade Gagner plus for David Backes in a New York minute, but we all know that would never be available.

    That being said, there’s no reason that SG shouldn’t be able to learn better zone coverage though so far he’s proving me wrong.

    I totally agree. I was suggesting that while SG can and actually does (according to stats) do pretty well in the scoring chances or holding his own dept., he IMO will never become a guy who plays well through heavy traffic and concerted effort from opponents without a lot of help.

    He isn’t the centre for non-physical wingers, unless one or both can hold the puck below the goal line and sustain pressure.

    He has a lot of skill, but is IMO a complementary player, not a play driver. He will excel with wingers that offset his weaknesses, but be sporadic with wingers that don’t. At the end of the day, Hall is the only winger that is even close to that, but it isn’t to me a really great use for Hall given he already has a lot of miles in terms of injury. Don’t use the best player to help a lesser player, find someone to help the better player, if you want the team to be stronger.

    Given I see RNH in the same light as SG, either they find more physical wingers or a centre that can play behind the first two lines and produce adequate (not great or they couldn’t afford it) points when other teams can key on RNH and SG.

    The Oilers finally have a lot of quality players. As far as I can see, they were fortunate, but not so much that they drafted key players for each large hole. What remains is shaping the team so it can excel over time. Please.

  121. jp says:

    Captain Obvious:

    Trading for Ben Bishop is fine if the cost is a second round pick, which is almost nothing (see Moroz, Mitch).

    Can we trade Bishop for Mitch Moroz? Maybe Ottawa doesn’t know.

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