HAMMER TIME FOR NAIL

There has been a lot of chatter about how coach Ralph Krueger is using rookie Nail Yakupov. 4th line to 2line, 2nd PP and sometimes his ass is stapled to the bench.

I have no quarrel with the decisions. Why?

It tells us that on at least some level, the Edmonton Oilers are trying to win hockey games. Now, I know it hasn’t reached the point where someone is waking Steve Tambellini up from his post-lunch siesta every day, but we’ll get there.

Yakupov’s hammer of the Gods is going to be a powerful tool on the PP and at even strength for years to come, but for now the powerplay is the place for him. Why? Nail’s game is not similar to that of the NHLers beside him, he’s like a Mexican jumping bean out there. Holy hell I don’t know if Hemsky has any trust that Nail will be there once the pass is underway let alone take a predictable path to the puck.

Nail Yakupov’s neurons are firing like a jackhammer every shift, he’s do damn excited to kill the other guy he forgets his musket. He’ll calm down, but I’m fine with the Krueger giving him time to get used to the NHL lights.

TIME ON ICE FOR IMPACT ROOKIES

  • Hall TOI per game- EV (15:26); PP (2:43)
  • Nuge TOI per game- EV (14:33) PP (3:00)
  • Eberle TOI per game- EV (14:27); PP (2:32); PK (0:40)
  • Yakupov TOI per game- EV (11:11); PP (2;54)

I don’t think there’s an issue here with Yakupov’s handling. Seems pretty well done.

RESULTS  (BEHIND THE NET) 5X5/60

  1. Nuge 1.98
  2. Eberle 1.79
  3. Hall 1.78
  4. Yakupov 1.54

Again no issue. This is early days for the Yak, he could easily make that number better as the season rolls along. He is playing for a better team too, so this number should improve as the season wears on.

RESULTS (BEHIND THE NET) 5X4/60

  1. Nuge 7.30
  2. Yakupov 5.98
  3. Eberle 3.92
  4. Hall 3.27

Again, solid results for the Russian rookie. You could argue that Krueger should use him more, but that will happen as time rolls along and as noted above his PP time on ice per game ranks with Nuge as a rookie.

Yakupov is not able to play even strength minutes at par, and the coach wants to win hockey games. He also wants the rookie to have success, develop and contribute to winning games.

It looks like Nail’s rookie season is a success so far. Thought?

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96 Responses to "HAMMER TIME FOR NAIL"

  1. BlacqueJacque says:

    Oilers fan logic – we’re not winning enough games?! Play the rookie more!

    sigh

  2. wheatnoil says:

    I like the idea that the discussion is “Why aren’t they using Yakupov more?” instead of “Why are they playing Yakupov so much? He’s in over his head out there!”

  3. regwald says:

    More shots, more shots, more shots. Everyone needs to take more shots.

    I am okay with the handling as well. In fact, if he wasn’t playing in the KHL I think some case could be made he would do better back in juniors.

  4. gangplank says:

    I wonder how long it will take Kreuger to go into ST office and demand some real NHL defensemen.
    Last season Oduya and Michalek were traded for peanuts. Where are the Oilers when such players are available?

  5. gangplank says:

    BlacqueJacque,

    Not sure how eager is an upgrade when you are trying to win a game.

  6. Traktor says:

    I think the people that aren’t happy with Yak’s playing time are looking at Ryan Smyth playing 22 minutes. Smyth isn’t even winning 50/50 battles along the boards.. that’s like RA Dickey not being able to throw his knuckle ball any more. He’s done.

  7. DBO says:

    Never watched last night so I’m detached from the frustrating emotions. Looking at box scores and event summaires here are my outside impressions (and of course from what was said here)
    - Hall drives the bus on the 1st line. Smyth can be solid, but he is not Hall (obviously)
    - Nuge and ebs are putting too much on themselves and they are wearing down with all the extra minutes and extra attention, especially when no one else is stepping up. Some balance will make all the difference.
    - Paarjarvi has earned more ice on the 2nd line. He can be our Dvorak. 1st game in forever that Gags and Hemmer weren’t outchanced at evens and I put a lot on MPS for that result.
    - We miss Horcoff. Yes, I said it.
    - Agree wholeheartedly on what LT said about Yakupov. I’m totally fine with how they are using him. Ideally, the “4th” line would be better, and when people return, i hope Krueger makes better lineup decisions.

    Hall-RNH-Eberle
    MPS-Gagner-Hemsky
    Smyth-Horcoff-Jones
    Harsky/Eager-Belanger-Yakupov

    I am fine with that lineup. Let’s hope it can happen soon.

  8. FrankenOil says:

    I have no issue with the ice time. Yak is still contributing in his sheltered minutes. Once Horcoff is back, I would expect that we’ll see an uptick in Yak’s minutes as the Oilers will have someone who can cover for Yak a little better than some of the other forwards on the roster. God, I miss Horcoff (sidenote: to all the Horc haters, be careful of that buyout wish you have been wishing for).

  9. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “but I’m fine with the Krueger giving him time to get used to the NHL lights.”

    Beware The Krueger!!

  10. slopitch says:

    Im fine with how they are deploying Yak as well.

    Looking at the PP I do wonder what format they will use going forward. Seems like Nuge’s one timer is most effective on the side that Nuge likes to QB from. Ideally Nuge learns to QB from the other side. Maybe they go 1-2-2 with 2 Smyth type players down low and J Schultz at the top and only d? Yak seems capable on the pass but maybe a bit too scattered still for that kind of responsibility (number of touches on the PP).

  11. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    gangplank:
    I wonder how long it will take Kreuger to go into ST office and demand some real NHL defensemen.
    Last season Oduya and Michalek were traded for peanuts. Where are the Oilers when such players are available?

    Did anyone else catch the question (I think it may have been from T. Jones) after the Wild game, where RK is asked whether he needs to go into STs office and ask for some help… see the 4:55 mark:

    http://video.oilers.nhl.com/videocenter/console?catid=4&id=203974&cmpid=embed-share-video

    very diplomatic answer from RK…

  12. jonrmcleod says:

    After 18 games in 2011-12, the Oilers were 9-7-2 (20 points). They had a goal differential of 45-41 (+4). Remember that they got off to a good start thanks to an historically good SV% by Khabibulin. It appears the luck had run out by game 18 as they were on a 4-game losing streak.

    After 18 games this season, the Oilers are 7-7-4 (18 points). Their goal differential is 42-49 (-7). One thing to consider (unlike the start of last season) is that the Oilers have had terrible luck. Their PDO is the lowest in the NHL.

    So I say the playoffs are still a reasonable possibility.

  13. misfit says:

    Am I ever glad Hall is back next game. I don’t mind Smyth on the top line, and I like Paajarvi with the 80′s too, but I’m not a big fan of Eager on the 3rd line and would much rather see Smyth in his place.

    I’d like to see a Hartikainen/Vandevelde/Yakupov line if only because their numbers make it look like we’re still in training camp (seriously, 64, 54, and 56?).

  14. Bos8 says:

    Kreuger is handling Yakupov exactly right. Now, if only someone showed Yakupov how to fire the elbow at the heads of these late charges. Finishing a check has got to be the stupidest thing I have ever heard and the NHL panders to the loud noise. I spent the rest of the game laughing at the Yak duck, the face plant was priceless and then the Olczyk diatribe was pure vanilla on ice cream.

    Everyone was on Petry about the goal – I’m amazed that he can still breathe. It’s past time some of these boys ate some lumber. It would cure those leaps into the boards. .All the defensemen must be hurting this morning.

    Very nice game by PRV.

    Paajarvi at center!

  15. BlacqueJacque says:

    gangplank:
    BlacqueJacque,

    Not sure how eager is an upgrade when you are trying to win a game.

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and say “his line mates know where he will be”. Besides, Eager adds a physical element.

    Yak will be back in the top six forwards in ice time at several points in the season, don’t fret.

  16. wheatnoil says:

    gangplank:
    BlacqueJacque,

    Not sure how eager is an upgrade when you are trying to win a game.

    Eager is not an upgrade when it comes to an overall roster. However, in the last 4 games, Eager has played pretty well. I say that rather grudgingly because if I ruled the world, Eager would have been waived down to the Barons before he stepped on the ice this season. (Actually if I ruled the world, I’d do a lot of other things before I got to waiving Eager, but you get my point.)

    Over the last 4 games, Eager has done reasonably well pushing the flow of play into the offensive zone, hasn’t taken TOO many stupid penalties, and has been putting pressure on the opposing D in the offensive zone. I don’t mean his “thunderous body checks”, I mean he’s genuinely caused turn-overs or near turn-overs in the offensive zone and that has value.

    Look, Yakupov is an incredible talent, an awesome personality, and has a shot that the Oilers haven’t had in possibly ever… but the kid has absolutely no structure to his game yet. I’ve agreed with some things Krueger has done and disagreed about others (see: Khabibulin, Nikolai), but his use of Yakupov for me is in the former category. So far this year, Yakupov has received top 6 ice-time for most games (close games in the 3rd period excluded) and in other games he’s been in the bottom-6 with powerplay time, similar to Tarasenko in St. Louis. That’s a great way to handle a rookie. So far, Krueger has sheltered Yakupov from having his poor defensive play cost the Oilers a game while still putting him in a position to have 6 goals so far this year, on pace for 27 in an 82 game season. I call that success!

  17. sliderule says:

    At this point Yak needs to be fed the puck like that great shift with Nuge and Ebs in the Coyote game.
    when he got two shots in a row from slot.Slot him in for offensive zone face-offs and use Smyth in defensive zone.
    There is no point in having him with VV and Petrell as he is going to get plastered into his own end and as a nervous rookie will turn the puck over.
    Of course if you sub him for Smyth RK will have to face his wrath.

  18. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Bos8: Kreuger is handling Yakupov exactly right. Now, if only someone showed Yakupov how to fire the elbow at the heads of these late charges. Finishing a check has got to be the stupidest thing I have ever heard and the NHL panders to the loud noise. I spent the rest of the game laughing at the Yak duck, the face plant was priceless and then the Olczyk diatribe was pure vanilla on ice cream.

    Exactly!

    Olczyk was just trying to “Toughness! Size! Truculence!” Carcillo into respectability.

    But I’ve been saying for a while now that Smyth or someone needs to teach these kids how to take a hit and leave the other guy hurting… what’s wrong with a stray elbow or stick end? If someone is flying at you… make yourself sharp and pointy!

    Petry at some point in the game took a Carcillo hit (late, as is always the case with Carcillo) that left me particularly frustrated. let him run into your stick!

  19. Clay says:

    I’m with the majority here – the coach is handling Yak fine.

    I’m of the mind, though, that Yakupov, more than both Hall and RNH, would’ve benefited from some *AHL time. Yes, he played in the OHL, so he’s not unfamiliar with the small ice, but he is definitely unfamiliar with the North American game.

    The AHL would’ve been a softer landing for the kid. Even if it was 30 games there or so, let him ride around with some training wheels on for a while before you shove him out onto the Whitemud. You know, that whole thing about putting your young players in a position to succeed?

    *Yes, I understand that he couldn’t play in the AHL at 18 years old. The Oilers aren’t winning the cup this year either. It would’ve been very easy to let him play out the year in Russia, then start next year in OKC. However, I’m convinced Tambo brought him over to quiet the rumors that Yak didn’t want to leave Russia for Edmonton.

    I don’t really know if the AHL thing would’ve been feasible, but I do know that watching kids develop on the NHL roster became old for me about three years ago.

  20. G Money says:

    jonrmcleod:
    After 18 games in 2011-12, the Oilers were 9-7-2 (20 points). They had a goal differential of 45-41 (+4). Remember that they got off to a good start thanks to an historically good SV% by Khabibulin. It appears the luck had run out by game 18 as they were on a 4-game losing streak.

    After 18 games this season, the Oilers are 7-7-4 (18 points). Their goal differential is 42-49 (-7). One thing to consider (unlike the start of last season) is that the Oilers have had terrible luck. Their PDO is the lowest in the NHL.

    So I say the playoffs are still a reasonable possibility.

    In the investing world, there is a saying along the lines of “In the long run, the markets are rational and efficient. But in the short run, they can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent.”

    My fear is that this years hockey equivalent is “In the long run, PDO reverts to the mean. But in a short season, it can stay low long enough to sewer the playoffs, and much longer than Oilers fans can stay sane.”

  21. RMGS says:

    At this point, the rookie can’t handle more EV ice time, so I’m ok with the average to date. I just hope the coach doesn’t bury him with marginal NHL 4th liners for too long. The bulk of this short season may be the chance to work on his NHL defensive game, but I’m hoping he gets a few more at bats at the top of the order as he improves.

    On the PP, however, he should have more minutes. The formations I’ve seen up to this point suggest that the best option is giving Yakupov that marvellous one-timer. It continues to be incredibly underutilized.

  22. LMHF#1 says:

    I don’t see the benefit of the kid gloves without also giving Yakupov 3 or so key things to do out there. He doesn’t get the icetime to freelance effectively but also isn’t given a simpler game to play that would allow him to be more effective. Spins the wheels a bit.

  23. BlacqueJacque says:

    RMGS,

    Yak is getting PP time so I’m not too worried about him getting buried.

  24. RMGS says:

    G Money: In the investing world, there is a saying along the lines of “In the long run, the markets are rational and efficient. But in the short run, they can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent.”

    My fear is that this years hockey equivalent is “In the long run, PDO reverts to the mean. But in a short season, it can stay low long enough to sewer the playoffs, and much longer than Oilers fans can stay sane.”

    Exactly, which is why it can be frustrating to watch coach Krueger insist on his pairs (93-14/89-83) even when the game-to-game AND the within-game data suggest changes.

    He’s articulate and refreshing (by this team’s standards) for some of his rational line-up choices (starting Khabibulin notwithstanding), but I can’t help but wonder about some of his in-game deployment when small changes to better match your opponent could give you the edge. The team’s Fenwick Close is 47.11, suggesting within-game changes could make the difference.

  25. jfry says:

    It’s funny watching everyone say that yak would be better served in junior or the ahl because his game isn’t polished…do we remember hall in his rookie year…not polished. Do we remember gagner now? Eberle constantly cheating for offence to try and rationalize that contract? Shit, eberle looks like jones flying the end early this year.

    Yak is a rookie playing his off wing, being sheltered with minutes and putting up pretty good points and not bleeding radically, like say his primary line mates this year who were supposed to protect him. The biggest disappointment I’ve seen with yak this year, is hemsky’s inability or lack of enthusiasm to include him in the play.

    Put yak with a puck retrieval guy who wants assists. This guy put up stamkos like numbers as a 16 yo. Remember stamkos’ first year? While it wasn’t perfect ill bet it served him better than going back to junior. He turned out okay.

  26. RMGS says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    RMGS,

    Yak is getting PP time so I’m not too worried about him getting buried.

    He is, but he should get more – if results matter, of course. Currently he’s getting about a minute less per 60 than the TOI leaders despite his impressive PP/60.

  27. pboy says:

    That was the first time I’ve seen the Blackhawks play this season and it was a revelation. I absolutely loved their style of play and hopefully, RK is going to show this game tape to the team over and over until they understand what the Hawks did to them. It seemed like every time the Hawks crossed the Oiler’s blue line, either a player or the puck was heading directly towards the Oiler’s net. They are constantly pressuring the other team and they don’t bother with much of an east-west game. I accept the fact that the Oiler’s need more size in their forward corps but it’s also a mind set that all players can have and besides Hall, Hemsky, Smyth and Horcoff, our guy’s don’t have that mind set yet. Toews, Kane and Sharp aren’t all physical specimens (the Legion of Doom they aren’t) but they do have that aggressive mind set and their skill levels make them a handful once they decide to get to the net. RNH, Eberle and Yak all have equivalent skills to Toews, Kane and Sharp and once they get that mind set, the Oiler’s will take their play to the next level.

  28. RMGS says:

    jfry: Put yak with a puck retrieval guy who wants assists.

    You mean like RNH? Been hoping for this for a while, at least for a few strategic looks.

  29. Woodguy says:

    DBO:
    Never watched last night so I’m detached from the frustrating emotions. Looking at box scores and event summaires here are my outside impressions (and of course from what was said here)
    - Hall drives the bus on the 1st line. Smyth can be solid, but he is not Hall (obviously)
    - Nuge and ebs are putting too much on themselves and they are wearing down with all the extra minutes and extra attention, especially when no one else is stepping up. Some balance will make all the difference.
    - Paarjarvi has earned more ice on the 2nd line. He can be our Dvorak. 1st game in forever that Gags and Hemmer weren’t outchanced at evens and I put a lot on MPS for that result.
    - We miss Horcoff. Yes, I said it.
    - Agree wholeheartedly on what LT said about Yakupov. I’m totally fine with how they are using him. Ideally, the “4th” line would be better, and when people return, i hope Krueger makes better lineup decisions.

    Hall-RNH-Eberle
    MPS-Gagner-Hemsky
    Smyth-Horcoff-Jones
    Harsky/Eager-Belanger-Yakupov

    I am fine with that lineup. Let’s hope it can happen soon.

    That’s pretty much exactly what I was going to post.

    The Oilers got destroyed last night in shots and attempted/missed shots to a tune of 3-1 but I loved a couple things that I saw.

    -Kept a lot of the CHI chances to the outside – shades of rope a dope vs DET in spring of 2006.

    -The Oilers were exiting the zone up the middle instead of trying to force it up the boards. Their exits were decent, their entries were abysmal, but that is progress.

    -91-89-83 were damn near even in shot differential on a night when it was raining pucks in the Dzone.

    HOSANNA!!!

    HOSANNA TO THE HIGHEST!!

    89-83 have been bleeding chances like a hemophiliac on a bed of nails, if 91 can help solve that then:

    4-93-14
    91-89-83

    MIght be able to out shoot/chance a lot of teams.

    Then:

    94-10-28/64

    can hold their own vs mid comp and

    56/55-20-37/64/28

    Would be a reasonable 4th line.

    Yay!!

    Now all they need are two more Actual NHL Dmen + Klef to get older and wiser.

  30. RMGS says:

    Woodguy: -91-89-83 were damn near even in shot differential on a night when it was raining pucks in the Dzone.

    HOSANNA!!!

    HOSANNA TO THE HIGHEST!!

    Small sample but they deserve another look after the miraculous turn-around from 89-83 (against decent opposition, no less). If it’s just a mirage, Krueger HAS to split that two-headed monster (never thought I’d see it that way), right!?

  31. denny33 says:

    Traktor,

    For me the issue is Eric Belanger. Mr. Staples published a great article about him on Sunday. The Title: Is Eric Belanger pulling his weight?

    When the local media finally gets acknowledging a problem – it is a big problem.

    Eric Belanger has NO goals. Worse as Staple explains he BLEEDS chances against us. ( against Phoenix on the weekend he took the puck dumped in his own end and proceeded to chop the puck into a million pieces before handing off to a Coyote. A shift later – he ripped his best backhand on our own goalie. Seriously.

    And as Staples points out – Oiler fans are okay with him ( unlike Whitney ) because he wins faceoffs. Let’s be fair – he does win face-offs.

    Facing 3rd and 4th line opposition he literally does not score. Worse, he somehow finds ways to allow chances against us…and everyone seems cool with that…

    We have now played over 33% of our 2013 schedule and Eric Belanger has 2 POINTS !!

    George Parros has 1 goal. Colton Orr has 1 goal. Chris Thorburn has 1 goal.

    Eric Belanger played 15 minutes last night.

  32. denny33 says:

    sliderule,

    Great point that I forgot about…I mean – Nuge and Ebs seem to have instant chemistry with Yak.

    That one shift – for me – provided a glimpse of the future.

    Would love to see Yak sit that high in the slot like that Coyote game Would love to see the Nuge have an opportunity to feed Yak for a one timer. Very tough to defend.

  33. "Steve Smith" says:

    denny33,

    In fairness, nobody’s scoring at ES – it’s not just Belanger. Belanger’s just not able to mask his lack of ES production with power play points.

  34. Woodguy says:

    LMHF#1:
    I don’t see the benefit of the kid gloves without also giving Yakupov 3 or so key things to do out there. He doesn’t get the icetime to freelance effectively but also isn’t given a simpler game to play that would allow him to be more effective. Spins the wheels a bit.

    Buckberger has started going over game tape with him everyday and working with him on what he should be thinking in every situation.

    He came from a team where he instructions were “Go get the puck and score”

    He’ll come along fine, but in the meantime he needs to show he can handle the positioning responsibilities before getting the tougher 5v5 toi.

  35. oilersfan says:

    Woodguy

    I am confused. I thought you had posted that 89-83 don;t play well together, and that 4-93 dont either. I agree with you and was thinking they should do 4-89-14 on one line then 91-93-83 on the other.

  36. Woodguy says:

    oilersfan:
    Woodguy

    I am confused. I thought you had posted that 89-83 don;t play well together, and that 4-93 dont either. I agree with you and was thinking they should do 4-89-14 on one line then 91-93-83 on the other.

    I was trying to figure out how to keep 83-89 from bleeding and splitting them up seemed to be the next step.

    Fortunately RK tried 91 there and the small sample results are very encouraging.

    I’d much rather keep 4-93-14 together because they are out chancing.

    If not, then splitting up 4-93 seemed like a logical step, but I’m really not sure 93 can carry a line.

    Damn 19 year olds.

  37. oilersfan says:

    14′s contract is not looking good to me. It is clear that Hall carries the play. While 14 may be an elite finisher, and in some sense an elite complementary player, if there is such a thing, he doesn’t carry the play the way i would expect a $6 million guy to do so.

    If the season ended now 89′s contract is going to be a real problem. we have 14 making $6 million, which will lead 93′s agent to ask for the same thing…so what do you pay 89 who has more than twice as many points as 93 and 50% more than 14?

  38. wheatnoil says:

    Woodguy: I was trying to figure out how to keep 83-89 from bleeding and splitting them up seemed to be the next step.

    Fortunately RK tried 91 there and the small sample results are very encouraging.

    I’d much rather keep 4-93-14 together because they are out chancing.

    If not, then splitting up 4-93 seemed like a logical step, but I’m really not sure 93 can carry a line.

    Damn 19 year olds.

    I hope Krueger keeps Paajarvi up with Gagner and Hemsky for the next game. I’m curious to see if their improved possession stats is a one-off secondary to sample size or if it is real.

    If it IS real, I want to watch that line closely the next game to figure out WHY. My theory from the other day was that Hemsky and Gagner have trouble primarily transitioning the puck out of their zone and secondarily creating offensive / neutral zone turn-overs to establish possession. mc79hockey has a great post up (linked below) that partially supports and partially refutes my argument. He lays it out quite nicely, but in summary, Hemsky and Gagner seem to have more trouble creating sustained offensive zone pressure (implied by >1 offensive corsi event in a shift) and less trouble getting hemmed in their own zone.

    If that was the case, I would suspect Paajarvi would not have added much to the Gagner-Hemsky line, as by my eye Paajarvi’s skillset is better suited to defensive zone coverage and pushing the puck up ice than by creating sustained pressure in the offensive zone. By eye, Hartikainen is better at that by maintaining the cycle down low. Yet when Hartikainen was with Gagner-Hemsky, the line was even worse with possession, and with Paajarvi they’ve improved.

    So if this isn’t just small sample sizes and Paajarvi can truly save the Gagner-Hemsky line, I sure hope Krueger doesn’t break up that line when Hall comes back because I’m curious to see what the hell is going on.

    (link to mc79hockey’s post… http://www.mc79hockey.com/?p=5588)

  39. Lois Lowe says:

    At what point do we start to wonder if Eberle has shoulder problems?

  40. wheatnoil says:

    Lois Lowe:
    At what point do we start to wonder if Eberle has shoulder problems?

    When he was drafted by the Edmonton Oilers.

  41. Rondo says:

    LT,

    Do you think Chicago brings the same intensity against Edmonton as it does for Vancouver.?

  42. Captain Obvious says:

    oilersfan:
    gangplank

    The Oilers really screwed themselves by signing those contracts a year early and without knowing the new landscape of the salary cap.

    No one should be surprised by this. This team has demonstrated that it is singularly incapable of doing anything right.

    In the four and a half years I’ve been following the team they have not made a single good decision. Not one. They were gifted three #1 overall picks. They were gifted Justin Schultz. Other than that it has been one bad trade after another, and one mediocre free agent after another.

    The one exception to this is the Ales Hemsky contract. That was good.

  43. justDOit says:

    On the Shitcago feed last night, Hossa was asked about how big this win was, and he said that they talked about how they’ve been handled by the Oilers in the past and were determined to not let that happen again (or something like that).

    Edit: meant to reply to Rondo on that – stupid flu!

  44. BlacqueJacque says:

    Captain Obvious,

    if you’re this unhappy with the team, maybe cheer for a new one? One that is managed and coached more to your liking? I mean, it’s not as if the Oilers have more than a token Edmontonian on the roster. Why limit this infinite wisdom and all-knowing hockey mind to us Oilers fans? Imagine the market for your talents in Toronto, Montreal, Chicago, New York, or Boston!

  45. BlacqueJacque says:

    wheatnoil,

    Magnus is great on the forecheck and retrieving the puck. Hartikainen holds onto it longer, but like Hemsky/Gagner, he doesn’t seem to get it back as well.

  46. Captain Obvious says:

    BlacqueJacque,

    Take a pill. I cheer for Edmonton because I live in Edmonton. Like everyone else.

    That has nothing to do with whether this team has horrible management. It clearly does. I thought that was beyond dispute. They never win any trades. They never make good free agent signings. They aren’t particularly good at developing players. They never find good players in Europe or the minor leagues. They aren’t particularly good at drafting.

    Honest question. Tell me one thing the management of the Oilers is good at? This team is miles away from a Stanley Cup and there is no path forward other than hope the young players get better. That’s not a plan. Those players are already good and scorers peak early.

  47. delooper says:

    Captain Obvious,

    Never win any trades, how about Chris Pronger? Doug Weight and Reasoner for Hecht. There’s a lot of clear “wins” in the trade books. There’s also a lot of good management — the Oilers are one of the most successful teams of the modern era.

    If you think the Oilers are bad, then what are teams like Toronto, or Columbus, teams that haven’t won anything in a half a century, or never? Vancouver has made it to the stanley cup finals only twice in their entire existence. Edmonton considers the finals as the place they’re *supposed* to be, if everything is just alright. And when they make it, they have a pretty good track-record of winning it all.

    IMO a lot of people get too tied up in the micro-local and don’t stop to think about the big picture. Although I love the fact that Edmonton has a strong hockey culture, that comes with degenerate sub-cultures. The hyperbole can get self-referential if you don’t catch yourself.

  48. BlacqueJacque says:

    Captain Obvious,

    OK, first of all when you say stuff like “never”, you’re obviously either exaggerating or so completely jaded/biased that its not really worth discussing that with you. I will this time, but flat, hard statements like “never” and “always” aren’t the kind people use when evaluating things fairly – and they’re certainly not conducive to good discussion because all it takes is for me to point out one example to the contrary and then we start arguing about that one example or start looking for more. It is really bad for debate.

    Things the Oilers have done right? They signed Justin Schultz. They traded for Nick Schiltz – and while that trade was a loss skill-wise, it filled a big need (especially when you figure the Oilers knew Justin was signing here). They did great by trading Nash to Carolina and getting a lot back for him (in particular considering the situation – Nash wasn’t going to sign). Andy Sutton was a great signing and is sorely missed right now. I’d go on but I have to get to work.

    As a reader of this site I know I come here for informed opinions. I can find all the negativity I need on HFB (especially with that negative Nancy Shockwave as a mod). Provide an opinion, back it up, provide realistic alternatives and try to keep in mind that teams just don’t trade willy-nilly like they used to.

  49. fuzzy muppet says:

    They got hecht and reasoner for weight. I’d hardly call that a win

  50. regwald says:

    delooper,

    And they won with the Petry contract – huge underpay. Although, wow he’s regressed so far this year.

    And would you rather have Cogs or that #2 pic from Anaheim ?

    What about the Penner trade. Sure, Tuebert might not pan out, but they did get value on that trade.

    The Sutton trade – proably an even trade or small win getting rid of Foster.

    Fistric ? I like the trade for a 3rd round pic, although some people think it was too high.

    It’s just not drafting 3 #1′s … they did manage to avoid the dman and took Yak. Some people were pushing hard for Ryan Murray.

    What about Hall over Seguin ? How does his 3 goals and 10 pts look on a loaded Boston team (oh, btw, he’s not even playing center), versus Hall carrying the team his 3 goals and 16 pts on a team struggling to score goals.

    They have done some things right.

  51. Rocknrolla says:

    Yak just needs 13 goals this season to match the stamkos first year pace. I think he is being used well and is on pace.

    He’s got to shoot more and I think the simple game will catch on with him soon.

  52. TheOtherJohn says:

    Trade Yak….seriously

    Mind you I’d want a very very very good young player on an entry level contract coming back who’s ceiling is going to be very very high. Pat Kane in 07/08 would definitely work. Not available? ok lets keep YAK

    Still think we need some size in top 6. Not Coke machines!! but big bodies that can play 17-18 minutes a night, win puck battles, finish checks and can simply play. Clearly there are none in the system, so to acquire that kind of player we actually need to trade away something pretty valuable. And we aint trading Hall, Schultz, RNH and, now YAK, so what is left?

    Like T Brouwer, would absolutely LOVE Andrew Ladd and would love to see Martin Hanzal but to make such a move your GM has to undertsand that waiting three or four years fo ryour draft picks to develop does not fill always holes.

    Does anyone know do Lowe and Tambellini holiday from Sept through March when they start to get ready to select in the lottery?.

  53. Bos8 says:

    LMHF#1:
    I don’t see the benefit of the kid gloves without also giving Yakupov 3 or so key things to do out there. He doesn’t get the icetime to freelance effectively but also isn’t given a simpler game to play that would allow him to be more effective. Spins the wheels a bit.

    Excellent point, obviously I agree completely. Watching Kreuger coach and his attention to detail I would think that was already done and hasn’t translated as yet. I was totally frustrated by Hall’s one dimensional blast up ice, lo and behold there was Hall coming up the right side. Yeehah!

  54. Bos8 says:

    It isn’t totally about big bodies. It’s about some players that could break the cycle in their own end instead of our D getting beat up for long stretches at a time. There has to be more than the goalie smothering a rebound to get a break. The D is getting worn down and hurting. They’re getting very little help. Even one shut down line doing their job would let them catch a breath.

  55. Captain Obvious says:

    Management doesn’t get any credit for Justin Schultz. Every team in hockey wanted him. They gave him the opportunity to play front line minutes right away with guys he wanted to play with. Which is to say Schultz signed with Edmonton because, Edmonton is bad. That’s not a point in our favour.

    They get negative credit for the Nick Schultz trade. That’s a terrible deal and a perfect example of the problem.

    They get no credit for Doug Weight deal. That is ancient history.

    Seriously, if these are the best you can come up with then that is the definition of damning with faint praise.

    Despite three straight #1 picks this team is still mediocre with no influx of talent coming in the future, no plan to acquire talent, and with an impending cap crunch in two to three years.

    I’m the one who is here looking for an informed opinion. What exactly do the Oilers do well? From where is the improvement going to come?

    If you compare the Oilers roster to the roster of the Blackhawks, the Blues, or the Kings the only conclusion that can be drawn is that the Oilers face a massive talent imbalance especially at the bottom end of the roster. How is this talent imbalance going to be addressed?

  56. Wes Mantooth-11 says:

    LT

    I don’t think the coaching decision is correct on Yakupov.

    He is not going to learn a thing playing with a plug’s like V.V and Petrell.

    Yakupov is an elite player with an over abundant amount of skill, he will learn with like type players as did RNH, Hall and Eberle.
    T
    his kid needs to be surrounded with like-minded players, as in elite offensive talent.
    This kid went from the OHL to the KHL on Olympic ice, to the NHL and is almost the Oilers leading scorer.

    There is a reason for the long loops and stationary spot on the P.P, that’s because it works in the KHL, as soon as he figures out where to be on the ice it won’t be long before he becomes the regular leading scorer on the Oilers.

    After all, Gagner get more than enough opportunity to get scored on repeatedly and still get top line minutes.

    I would go with this.

    94-10-64 other lines can adapt just fine , but if you want the kid to learn the game, then learn the game from the better players, he isn’t learning shit from Petrell or VV

  57. raventalon40 says:

    If Simon Gagne can be acquired for a 4th round pick then Penner could probably be had for a bag of pucks.

  58. jonrmcleod says:

    raventalon40,

    You’re saying Gagne has more value than Penner? I can’t agree with that. Gagne’s health has been a major concern.

  59. Lucinius says:

    jonrmcleod,

    But he’s also never almost died eating pancakes.

  60. VanOil says:

    Wes Mantooth-11:
    LT

    I don’t think the coaching decision is correct on Yakupov.

    He is not going to learn a thing playing with a plug’s like V.V and Petrell.

    4-10-64 other lines can adapt just fine , but if you want the kid to learn the game, then learn the game from the better players, he isn’t learning shit from Petrell or VV

    I am mostly with you other than i have been happy with the coaching so far.

    I hope 91 can continue to look as good on the second line as last night. It is good for the Oiler now and for his development too. He has more than proven he is defensively responsible maybe he could learn to use his offensive potential too.

    I would stick Yak with Smyth and Horcoff for the rest of the year. They are great mentors and would be the ideal safety net and trainers for him this year. As long as he still gets PP minutes I am happy, especially 5v3 where he seems to be the only one who is of mind to shoot.

    I know this would leave Jones and Eager further down the roster than many would hope but there is no rule against playing your 4th line more if they are having a positive impact.

  61. justDOit says:

    raventalon40,

    Here are some of the more major injuries Gagne has suffered in his career. I wonder how Oil Country would react if LowBelTavish had of sent a 4th LAs way for him?

    2001/03/24 Missed 12 games (left shoulder subluxation).

    2003/01/07 Missed 5 games (cut above right eyebrow/concussion).

    2003/04/01 Missed 13 games (groin).

    2007/11/05 Missed 4 games (dizzyness).

    2008/05/18 Missed the last 27 games of the regular season and all 17 playoff games (concussion).

    2009/12/19 Missed 24 games (hernias in right groin).

    2010/11/30 Missed 18 games (neck injury).

    2011/05/14 Missed the last 3 playoff games (head injury).

    2012/05/30 Missed 47 regular season and 14 playoff games (concussion).

  62. raventalon40 says:

    To Los Angeles, I’d say. I think it’s all relative. Probably Penner is worth more to a team like Edmonton. We still have our 4th, we can give it a try.

    He’s a definite upgrade to the bottom 6 if we’re gonna play Yakupov on the 4th, even though I’m one of the rare Ben Eager and Lennart Petrell fans out here. Given Hartikainen is still hurt, doesn’t hurt to add some depth.

    Hall-RNH-Eberle
    Paajarvi-Gagner-Hemsky
    Smyth-Belanger-Jones
    Penner-Vandevelde-Yakupov
    Horcoff*
    Hartikainen*
    Eager
    Petrell

    *IR

  63. digdeepnbleedblue says:

    Coach is doing right by him, I think. I’d go one step further and have him watch from the press box a time or two. Watching can’t hurt and wanting to get back in the lineup can’t either. But, this kid is going to be good. Rock star good! Right now he’s like a hand grenade with the pin pulled. It’s going off. Sometimes as a positive and others, well, not so much.

  64. delooper says:

    fuzzy muppet:
    They got hecht and reasoner for weight.I’d hardly call that a win

    Ah, whoops, right. It was Weight for Tikkanen. I got things backwards. That was the win, rather than Weight for Hecht. :)

  65. jonrmcleod says:

    raventalon40,

    I don’t think the Kings are really too interested in acquiring 4th round picks. I think the Gagne trade indicates that they thought he couldn’t help them or couldn’t be relied on because of injury-proneness.

  66. Wes Mantooth-11 says:

    VanOil,

    Thats what happens when you get better players….the ones that should be where they are supose to play….Trust me, its a good thing.

    As for that 4-3 PP…I just for the life of me do not understand why Hemsky was out there instead of Yakupov?

    When it came time for Hemsky to shoot the puck he pooched it!

    Had the Oilers not won that game I would have blamed Krueger directly.

  67. denny33 says:

    delooper,

    The Pronger trade was in 2006. That is almost 7 years ago.

    I am hard pressed to think of any trades that have been really positive for our organization in the last half decade.

  68. denny33 says:

    regwald,

    I will concede the Justin Schultz signing. I don’t think it was due to management but they have to get some credit. I like the Sutton move. Love the Fistric trade. LT mentioned a few more where they have to get some credit…but there are too many sub par moves.

    My apologies for bad grammar and spelling. Stand up group here that does not put me down for poor grammar.

    Nick Schultz trade I will call spinning of the wheels. Nick has been so-so for me this year. Not bad – not great..

    Someone has to be held account for Ryan Whitney and Eric Belanger. Not sure about Eager …not even sure about re-signing Smyth.

    Love the trade of Cogliano for a 2nd rounder in this year’s draft. I guess we will have to wait a little while longer but I am not sure what our drafting record will look like outside of picking #1 overall.

    OKC is near the bottom in the AHL.

    The league also wonders if you are in a rebuild – why have Hall, RNH, Yak play pro so early?

    We can haggle about where Hall, RNH and Yak could have developed better – but we can’t haggle about the fact their UFA clock starts ticking at 19…That could haunt us in 7 years.

  69. jonrmcleod says:

    denny33,

    I don’t want to be seen as a Tambellini apologist, but here are the acquistions by Tambellini that were decent or good prior to July 2012:

    June 26, 2010: Acquired a 2010 second round pick (Martin Marincin) from the Hurricanes for Riley Nash.
    Feb. 28, 2011: Acquired Colten Teubert, a 2011 first round pick (Oscar Klefbom), and a 2012 third round pick (Daniil Zharkov) from the Kings for Dustin Penner.
    June 26, 2011: Acquired Ryan Smyth from the Kings for Colin Fraser and a 2012 seventh round pick.
    July 1, 2011: Singed unrestricted free agent Corey Potter to a 1-year, two-way contract.
    Feb. 24, 2012: Re-signed Ales Hemsky to a 2-year contract extension.

    Add to this list the Petry and J. Schultz signings.

  70. raventalon40 says:

    jonrmcleod:
    denny33,

    I don’t want to be seen as a Tambellini apologist, but here are the acquistions by Tambellini that were decent or good prior to July 2012:

    June 26, 2010: Acquired a 2010 second round pick (Martin Marincin) from the Hurricanes for Riley Nash.
    Feb. 28, 2011: Acquired Colten Teubert, a 2011 first round pick (Oscar Klefbom), and a 2012 third round pick (Daniil Zharkov) from the Kings for Dustin Penner.
    June 26, 2011: Acquired Ryan Smyth from the Kings for Colin Fraser and a 2012 seventh round pick.
    July 1, 2011: Singed unrestricted free agent Corey Potter to a 1-year, two-way contract.
    Feb. 24, 2012: Re-signed Ales Hemsky to a 2-year contract extension.

    Add to this list the Petry and J. Schultz signings.

    But then we go and draft Travis Ewanyk and Mitch Moroz, when trading the 2nd or 3rd round pick probably would have yielded what is likely to be an actual NHL player of the same type they were trying to draft – without the uncertainty of having to develop them into that role (the Lucic type or Lucic-lite?).

    Not to say that they won’t develop into that role eventually because it is possible, but is it probable?

  71. delooper says:

    denny33:
    delooper,

    The Pronger trade was in 2006. That is almost 7 years ago.

    I am hard pressed to think of any trades that have been really positive for our organization in the last half decade.

    But you’re raising a very different issue than the one I was responding to. The statement I was responding to was that the Oilers ***NEVER*** make any good trades (or “win” trades). “Never” is pretty unequivocal and kind of absurd.

    IMO the Oilers have made some good trades in the past 6 years. Maybe not as good as the trade that brought Pronger or Weight to Edmonton. Or the trade that brought Todd Marchant to Edmonton. What were some of the other super trades? I dunno, there were a bunch. But there have been some decent trades. Not a whole lot of trades over the past 6 years, really. But Visnovsky for Green and Cole was good for the team at the time. Sort of a short term positive.

  72. DBO says:

    mini trade deadline day:

    Bob McKenzie ‏@TSNBobMcKenzie
    MTL trades Erik Cole to DAL for Michael Ryder.

  73. delooper says:

    Stoll, Cole, what’s the difference?

  74. DBO says:

    Montreal freeing up money for next few yrs while not sacrificing this year. and dump malcontent Cole in the process. nice move.

  75. BlacqueJacque says:

    Montreal, a small team a year removed from drafting third overall, trades some of its remaining size up front while on top of the eastern conference.

    somebody explain this entire situation to me!

  76. DBO says:

    BlacqueJacque,

    Lebrun says Habs also get draft pick. they got a player playing at a higher level right now and free up money this year and shed a bad contract for the next two years. Solid move.

  77. justDOit says:

    Gotta love playing Dallas next without one of their leading players!

  78. denny33 says:

    delooper,

    Good point …you are right.

  79. justDOit says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    Montreal, a small team a year removed from drafting third overall, trades some of its remaining size up front while on top of the eastern conference.

    somebody explain this entire situation to me!

    Where they are right now is very mysterious, but with Bourque and the one rookie out with concussions, they probably didn’t want to raid the farm.

    Whatever the case with MTL, I hope that Price is on the olympic team in 2014.

  80. B S says:

    I think it was on ON, but at the beginning of the season (post lockout I think) I said that Edmonton needs a winning record against Colorado and Dallas to have any chance of making the Playoffs. Clearly they would need to win against lots of other teams as well, but Dallas and Colorado are teams that are within reach of the Oilers depth and talent-wise and were as big of an unknown coming into the season. I will stand by that and say the Oil will need to win in Dallas Thursday, especially with Ryder gone. Cole is no slouch, but he’s certainly not an upgrade on Ryder.

    I’ve liked how Yak has been used this season by Kreuger. I wouldn’t Press Box him though, unless is effort level isn’t where it needs to be (he’s been trying hard all season). Whenever Yak seems to lose the play, fall behind or get ahead of the rest of the team Krueger sits him for a bit to calm him down and let his head catch up to game.

    Wes Mantooth-11:
    VanOil,

    Thats what happens when you get better players….the ones that shouldbe where they are supose to play….Trust me, its a good thing.

    As for that 4-3 PP…I just for the life of me do not understand why Hemsky was out there instead of Yakupov?

    When it came time for Hemsky to shoot the puck he pooched it!

    Had the Oilers not wonthat game I would have blamed Krueger directly.

    As they say, the proof is in the pudding. I think Krueger left Hemsky out there instead of Yak (who had sat since a stupid play in the third period) to not lose in overtime. He probably looked at the Phoenix roster and decided there was no respectable way the Oilers could lose in a shootout. Yakupov was out on the ice before the puck drop for OT that game, but his line got changed off so I think Krueger was planning on giving him ice in OT, but didn’t get the matchup he wanted.

  81. RMGS says:

    BlacqueJacque,

    justDOit,

    Give credit where it’s due. While all the discussion around the Oilers management went on here, there was a solid move made by a GM and his team whose moves – from the draft to the Cole-for-Ryder trade – have been excellent. It may be blasphemy round these parts, but could the Canadiens offer a model to our small but skilled Oilers? Take a look at that team’s roster and tell me that you need “size” to score goals in the dirty areas.

    What’s more, they were the third worst team last year, decided to forego a “rebuild,” and instead made moves to ice a competitive hockey team. Imagine that!

  82. Captain Happy says:

    Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.

    The Canadiens are small upfront?

    Max Pacioretty – 6’2″ 220

    Alex Galchenyuk 6’1″ 200

    Rene Bourque 6’2 215

    Lars Eller 6’2″ 210

    Brandon Prust 6’2″ 195

    Travis Moen 6’2″ 220

    Colby Armstrong 6’2″ 185

    Tomas Pleckanec 5’11′ 195

    While they have a couple of waterbugs they are far from small.

  83. David S says:

    RMGS,

    SHUN THE NON-BELIEVER!

  84. justDOit says:

    RMGS,

    Not sure where I got dragged in to this – I didn’t say it was a bad move my MTL, and I’ve never been a proponent of the coke machine ideology. But if you’re saying that Oiler mgmt was asleep when Ryder was on the market, that’s called ‘GM-ing in a vacuum’ and it’s wrong on so many levels.

    But as long as you’re comparing MTL and EDM, both teams were hoping for a return to form of an oft-injured, impact dman this year, but only one team got their wish (with an 18 game sample). I suppose Whitney’s injury was Tambi’s fault as well?

  85. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    I generally don’t expect ST to do anything, and especially mid-season prior to the deadline… but it good to see once again that anyone claiming the mid-season is a dead-zone for GM activity to give ST and Co. cover are dead wrong.

    The time to improve your team is every fucking day.

    Also, this size non-sequitur is unintentionally hilarious!

  86. BlacqueJacque says:

    Captain Happy,

    Huh.

    Food for thought, isn’t it?

  87. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    Captain Happy,

    Huh.

    Food for thought, isn’t it?

    not so fast.

    look at the the Oil’s roster… another “small” team. they are clearly bigger… besides it’s a stupid avenue to stroll down.

  88. BlacqueJacque says:

    justDOit,

    Yeah. Does anyone doubt that a 2011-esque Whitney, even if he ended up scoring only 50 points in an 82 game season (or about 30 in a 48-game), would mean the difference between here and say, 5th in the West (4 points… I think a healthy, near-prime Whitney over Potter or Petry would have been worth that much in 18 games this season.)

    Say Montreal offers us Subban and Pacioretty for Yak?

    It’d be an overpay and would cost them opportunity this season, but considering you’re getting a talent like Yakupov (especially with Galchenyuk to develop with) would it be worth it?

  89. Captain Happy says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    justDOit,

    Yeah.Does anyone doubt that a 2011-esque Whitney, even if he ended up scoring only 50 points in an 82 game season (or about 30 in a 48-game), would mean the difference between here and say, 5th in the West (4 points… I think a healthy, near-prime Whitney over Potter or Petry would have been worth that much in 18 games this season.)

    Say Montreal offers us Subban and Pacioretty for Yak?

    It’d be an overpay and would cost them opportunity this season, but considering you’re getting a talent like Yakupov (especially with Galchenyuk to develop with) would it be worth it?

    The Canadiens wouldn’t offer either one for Yakupov, nevermind both.

  90. BlacqueJacque says:

    Captain Happy: The Canadiens wouldn’t offer either one for Yakupov, nevermind both.

    I’m pretty sure Bergevin would give Subban + value for Yakupov. Unpopular with his team, off-ice distraction, on-ice distraction. Talented, sure, but a headache. Meanwhile, Yakupov + Galchenyuk? That’d be the East’s Hall and Nuge.

  91. Captain Happy says:

    BlacqueJacque: I’m pretty sure Bergevin would give Subban + value for Yakupov.Unpopular with his team, off-ice distraction, on-ice distraction.Talented, sure, but a headache.Meanwhile, Yakupov + Galchenyuk?That’d be the East’s Hall and Nuge.

    I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t.

    Young scoring wingers are pretty easy to find.

    Top pairing defensemen aren’t.

  92. BlacqueJacque says:

    Captain Happy: I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t.

    Young scoring wingers are pretty easy to find.

    Top pairing defensemen aren’t.

    Let’s agree to disagree.

  93. DeadmanWaking says:

    Captain Obvious: This team is miles away from a Stanley Cup and there is no path forward other than hope the young players get better. That’s not a plan. Those players are already good and scorers peak early.

    On that cognitive filter, I could see you trading the twin piss-cutters to a division rival in the summer of 2005 after their disappointing fourth season.

    [Ring.] Hey, CO, it’s Alan Greenspan on the line. He’d like to buy you a beer. Twenty nine years of superior market acumen tarnished by a single trillion dollar blunder. It’s just not fair!

    Turns out it was a plan, and we’ve now been on the short end of that rivalry for eight freaking years, if you haven’t noticed.

    The word “peak” is a pirate flag if I’ve ever seen one. That’s why it owns pride of place in the expression “peak oil”. The purported peak was always in fact a plateau. Somewhere on a small hillock on that great plateau an industrious prairie dog has humped between his hind-legs a larger than normal mound. Pedantically, this little mound is “peak oil”. The rest of Saskatchewan is the plateau. But let’s call it a peak just to keep the discussion sharp. Henrick is your standard issue model of regular-season PPG consistency, marred only by that little Art Ross aberration. One spike in eight years, I can we can forgive that data point.

    We should really describe the human diet of the last century Oimnivorous. We eat petroleum. First we tricked the yeast into predigesting a seasonal excess into a winter solace. Then we tricked corn and soy into subsisting on a diet of natural gas and potash. If you count steel pipes and tanks as a prosthetic human stomach, half the global diet has consisted of geo-carbon since the 1970s. We’ve now reached the foothills of the liquid geo-carbon plateau. There’s still lots of the grimy, gritty stuff left. Too much, in fact, if one fears playing climate bingo. Roughly a generation after the liquid geo-sugars reached plateau, so too will the global human population. What a novel and surprising relationship: a generation lag between population levels and fluctuations in its major food resource.

    CO, you should choose your friends better. In its natural habitat of polarizing rhetoric, the word “peak” inherently over-promises and under-delivers. It belongs to the class of things that causes Richard Gere to tap-dance with unbridled glee in Chicago, while singing:

    Oh yes, we both reached for
    The gun, the gun, the gun, the gun
    Oh yes, we both reached for the gun
    For the gun.

    By the end of the dance number, the audience is numb with repetition:

    [REPORTERS]
    The gun, the gun, the gun, the gun
    The gun, the gun, the gun, the gun
    The gun, the gun, the gun, the gun
    The gun, the gun, the gun, the gun
    Both reached for the gun!

    Is that the desired effect?

    After all, everyone keeps a loaded gun under their pillow, and guns mainly fire in self-defense. For example, James Roszko defending himself from those nosy RCMP officers. Works every time. Define something as a threat, put it between the cross-hairs, pull the trigger in self-defense. That’s roughly what we did with Iraq and we’ll soon be doing with Iran. Lost in the shuffle is that Iraq wasn’t actually much of a threat, while Iran might be. To bad we’re now almost too broke to reload the pistol. Captain Obvious over there in the White House made such a great call.

    Today I’m reading Mike Lofgren’s book The Party is Over.

    Mike Lofgren spent twenty-eight years working in Congress [as a Republican Party insider], the last sixteen as a senior analyst on the House and Senate Budget committees, which gave him ringside seats on the Troubled Asset Relief Program, Hurricane Katrina disaster relief, debates on the Pentagon budget and the amazing antics of various deficit-reduction commissions.

    In one of his better chapters A Low Dishonest Decade he writes:

    I can pinpoint the precise moment when I came to believe that Bush and his team had gone off their rockers. The 2002 State of the Union Address was the usual staged political circus … [I was half paying attention] when a curious comment made me sit up and focus intently. After the required emotional blather, Bush got down to business: America was mortally threatened by an axis of evil: Iran, Iraq, and North Korea. Wait a minute! Iran and Iraq were mortal enemies who had fought a decade-long war against each other that left a million casualties. They hated each other like poison! North Korea, the hermit kingdom, might as well have been on the dark side of the moon as far as the other two countries were concerned. You had to have the intellectual honesty and grasp of foreign policy of a political speech writer to believe these three countries could form an axis of anything.

    The journalist in question was David Frum, son of a certain famous Canadian. I bet she regrets those garish sweaters in the afterlife. She really harmed her child. Then there’s an interesting footnote: “It is highly indicative of the downward arc of the decade that in 2010 Frum should have been fired from his position at the American Enterprise Institute because he was insufficiently loyal to right-wing dogma.” So there’s at least some redemption for Barbara’s motherhood.

    Grouping our five young stallions into the same axis of anything (e.g. “scorers who are already good and have peaked early”) is certain recipe for driving the bus off a cliff. Five players. Five stories. Nothing less furthers the conversation.

    Here’s Greenspan confessing his error, but resolutely remaining in lumper mode (as reported at Guardian.co.uk):

    “I made a mistake in presuming that the self-interests of organisations, specifically banks and others, were such that they were best capable of protecting their own shareholders and their equity in the firms,” said Greenspan.

    The other mode of analysis, the one he rejected, was to view the shifty and all too clever Gringotts goblins of Goldman Sachs as not giving a damn who they had over the barrel so long as the upside was theirs and the downside was anyone else’s. This was a NASA caliber operation, the all-world champions of downside engineering. But let’s just assume that the loose mesh of Randian constraints would keep a 50,000 lb raccoon out of a trillion dollar garbage can. What could possibly go wrong?

    For thirty years under Greenspan, Wall Street was practically synonymous with good management. Nice trick. One lump, or two?

  94. russ99 says:

    I’m all for Yak getting sheltered even-strenght minutes and power play time, but for goodness’ sake, put him on a line with something decent. Skating our young prospects with the likes of Belanger, Petrell, VandeVelde, etc. is how we ruined Omark and nearly ruined Paajarvi.

    Yes, if we had any kind of shutdown 3rd line we could run Paajarvi, Hartikainen and Yak as a fantastic 4th line, though it’s anyone’s guess who’s be the center.

    As for Tambellini, he knew what talent we had up front this season with the possibility of landing Justin Schultz at least feasble. Yet this spring/summer he still extended Potter, qualified and signed Petrell, Plante, Peckham, VandeVelde, and resigned Hordichuk and Smyth, when all of those roster spots and salaries could have been used to bring in better bottom-six/bottom pairing talent helping the kids win more now.

    Sure the lockout may have something to do with that, but regardless it’s quite fishy, and he won’t be given a curve on that level of stalling and not improving the roster moving forward.

  95. BlacqueJacque says:

    We should really describe the human diet of the last century Oimnivorous.We eat petroleum.First we tricked the yeast into predigesting a seasonal excess into a winter solace.Then we tricked corn and soy into subsisting on a diet of natural gas and potash.If you count steel pipes and tanks as a prosthetic human stomach, half the global diet has consisted of geo-carbon since the 1970s.We’ve now reached the foothills of the liquid geo-carbon plateau.There’s still lots of the grimy, gritty stuff left.Too much, in fact, if one fears playing climate bingo.Roughly a generation after the liquid geo-sugars reached plateau, so too will the global human population.What a novel and surprising relationship: a generation lag between population levels and fluctuations in its major food resource.

    I’ve never read your insanity for long before, but I’d like to subscribe to your newsletter.

    Is there any hope?

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