OILERS AT WILD G21 (12-13) 3.3.13

Yesterday we were talking about adding grit–or truculence–to the Oilers’ top 6 forwards. It came up several times during the radio show and has been the topic of conversation many times on this blog. Often, when we talk about a player’s shortcomings, it is in relation to this magical lack of physical presence–Paajarvi isn’t tough enough, Nuge-Gagner doesn’t strike fear in the hearts of the opposition.

And then we start making a list of players who have truculence. This week, we all spent way too much time on Aaron Volpatti and one or the other of the Sestito boys and for me that’s really the heart of the problem: we’re talking about 4′s and 5′s when the club really needs 10′s and jack’s in the position (if they truly need a physical force and I think that is open for debate–a strong PP kept Detroit’s opposition honest for over a decade).

THAT’S NOT A KNIFE

First, can we agree that having some Coke Machine come out 10 minutes after one of the Oilers has been intimidated serves no use? Okay. So, then can we agree that ‘toughness’ is a lot about reputation? A player like Brad Marchand isn’t big, but no one really thinks he’s a shrinking violet, correct?

Among Oiler regulars up front, there are a few players who show up physically and on the scoreboard:

  1. Ryan Smyth 30pims (19, 2-5-7)
  2. Taylor Hall 23pims (18, 4-14-18)
  3. Ben Eager 23pims (11, 1-1-2)

Okay. So, can we agree that Ben Eager is not a top 6F? So, if the Oilers need someone in the Smyth family or someone in the Taylor Hall family (#1 overall picks are unlikely to be Edmonton property for the rest of my life time) in order to add to the group? Right?

guerin

 

This is Bill Guerin. He could score goals and he could fight and he was an actual NHL player. Bill Guerin’s don’t grow on trees, but that’s the kind of player Edmonton should be adding if there’s a need for a physical presence on the big lines. He could shoot, pass, take a pass–all of the things that contribute to advancing the play into the offensive zone and scoring goals. And, Guerin could throw them too.

I threw that in there since it’s ‘down on Mike Keane’ week and in honor of the win over Dallas the other night. Music! The point of all of this is the following: Eager and Smyth and Petrell and the rest are fine as physical players, and I have no problem with adding a big, strong player who can fight and play it dirty when required by game and circumstance.

Just make sure he can play the game. Bill Guerin yes, Tom Sestito no. MacT knows the difference, and that’s for sure.

Oilers in Minnesota is pretty close to the Oilers in Dallas. The home team in the Wild-Oilers matchup is 26-9 in the last 35 meetings. Edmonton is 5-21 in their last 26 trips into the land of 10,000 lakes. I admit to always having something else planned for these games, because if the Wild get a 1-0 lead the games changes from hockey to the blanket show on ice.

Krueger: “You can’t think about anything personal right now. The way this conference is, you need points. Anything distracting you from that task at hand is dangerous. We all know what’s going on here, and we need to scrap out points really badly. To get three or four points in the next two games is what we’ll be shooting for.”

shannonhall

Man I hope they sit him if there’s any doubt at all. Hall is this team’s best player and the straw that stirs the drink, but one game–even in a shortened season–isn’t worth the risk. A win tonight would be huge though, so one suspects talking Hall out of playing might take Krueger all day. I understand it’s a hammy.

Nail Yakupov:I wish we had all the injured guys back and healthy as soon as possible. I want our team to win more often and make it to the playoffs. If we can stay healthy, we’re a very good team. We can beat any team in the league. Besides, we have got an excellent coach. He’s great not only as a coach but on a personal level too. I have never met a coach like him. He’s always there for us. You want to go out there and win games just because of him.”

Nail Yakupov is terrific. Just terrific. And that’s a helluva interview btw. And Ralph Krueger has the best reputation among players I can recall for an Oiler coach–certainly since MacT but probably ever. Muckler? Maybe. Slats had a different style so they’re not comparable. The Krewg has the gift.

Radio show from yesterday is here, under Lowetide at High Noon episode 1. Tyler Dellow, Corey Pronman, Jim Byers, Tom Lynne, Guy Flaming and my thanks to each of them. I don’t know about itunes but will check on that and get back to you.

OKC Barons play in Charlotte this afternoon, I’ll update in the thread below. Cheechoo is killing it now (13, 8-10-18) and with a win today would draw into a playoff position in their conference (depending on what happens in the Lake Erie-Chicago game). Either way, coach Nelson has the club heading in a good direction.

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321 Responses to "OILERS AT WILD G21 (12-13) 3.3.13"

« Older Comments
  1. cabbiesmacker says:

    Thank God that Gypsy Sisters is on tonight .

  2. BlacqueJacque says:

    I was about to type “this game makes me embarrassed to be an Oilers fan”, as if 6 years of wretched failure hasn’t.

  3. Lowetide says:

    VanOil,

    That IS amazing. Alcatraz?

  4. VanOil says:

    Lowetide:
    I cannot believe it’s 1-1. Watching this game you’d think one team is an NHL team and the other is from Yemen. SOUTH Yemen, where there’s not a lot of ice.

    That reminds me of a movie I would rather be watching. Emile Blunt could make Wild hockey worth watching.

  5. Derek says:

    I get that Krueger isn’t the yelling type but what else can you do in the intermission following a shotless, pathetic period by your team?

  6. Derek says:

    I guess they’ll have to take some shots now.

  7. BlacqueJacque says:

    The law of averages is apparently on a 9-second delay.

  8. Kris11 says:

    Krueger could threaten to cut off his own pinky if they lose.

  9. delooper says:

    That didn’t take long.

  10. stevezie says:

    Nuge got played like a trick-assed nineteen year-old there.

  11. hunter1909 says:

    Fancy Dans. Too many fancy Dans.

  12. BlacqueJacque says:

    Shades of the MacT 5-man PK strategy.

  13. VanOil says:

    Lowetide:
    VanOil,

    That IS amazing. Alcatraz?

    Amazing is right, also applies to the start of this period. I looking forward to reading Craig Bowlsby’s books. Spearing a Ref and getting a $25 dollar fine got me.

  14. bookje says:

    That Yemenise goalie is impressive.

    Maybe it’s time to fire someone?

  15. hunter1909 says:

    Kris11,

    He might have to.

  16. hunter1909 says:

    You know, there’s nothing quite like enjoying a game of Oilers hockey.

  17. delooper says:

    MPS and Dubnyk are having good games.

  18. OilLeak says:

    hunter1909:
    You know, there’s nothing quite like enjoying a game of Oilers hockey.

    Now I know you’re drunk.

  19. hunter1909 says:

    Oiler’s shots on goal(what few they have) are laughers. It’s like they’re asking permission to shoot.

  20. hunter1909 says:

    The Wild had better watch it – it’s only a 2-1 lead.

  21. fuzzy muppet says:

    And there’s the softie.

    g’ Night everyone.

  22. BlacqueJacque says:

    I’m off to do laundry.

    Cya boys.

  23. Derek says:

    Does Darryl Katz still watch his team play?

  24. hunter1909 says:

    Poor Dubnyk.

    He’s going to catch hell – as if that’s why the Oilers are going to lose their worst game of the season tonight.

  25. Lowetide says:

    Well, what we saw for two periods is unfolding in the third. Oilers are simply not good enough to win this game. I know we’ll spend the next couple of days picking our favorites (I already want a trade!) but that’s the fact.

    Nice to see Ralph getting hot under the collar. Day short and a dollar late, though.

  26. Woodguy says:

    Jesus.

    DD looks awful on that.

    So did 15,93 and 28.

  27. VanOil says:

    Kruger looks to be delivering a hair dryer at the bench. DD’s numbers won’t be that bad even after giving up 3 goals on 37 shots.

  28. Oilanderp says:

    WTF is wrong with this shit-assed team? This is fucking BRUTAL.

  29. BlacqueJacque says:

    Belanger has the offensive instincts of an elderly society etiquette mistress.

  30. bookje says:

    The thing is we have seen them play better, much better.

  31. Woodguy says:

    20 has to be tired.

    Been centering both 3rd and 4th with no one spelling him off either line.

    A ten cent head would be an upgrade for 24.

  32. fuzzy muppet says:

    I was going to drive the 3 and a half hours to the cities to watch this game for my birthday, but my Fiance couldn’t get tomorrow off and we couldn’t go.

    turns out It’s the best birthday gift she’s ever given me.

  33. Lowetide says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    Belanger has the offensive instincts of an elderly society etiquette mistress.

    That’s funny, flat out funny.

  34. Derek says:

    bookje:
    The thing is we have seen them play better, much better.

    IN THIS GAME!

    The first period was fairly even and it looked like we might have an entertaining game to watch tonight.

  35. BlacqueJacque says:

    Lowetide,

    Did you see Jones and Smyth busting ass behind the Minnesota net and in the corners, and finally Smytty clears it to a corner, Jonesy comes up with it and makes a nifty, desperate centering pass… and Belanger is skating away.

  36. gogliano says:

    This game would be a lot better going if I was looking forward to a Pat Quinn post-game.

  37. VanOil says:

    gogliano:
    This game would be a lot better going if I was looking forward to a Pat Quinn post-game.

    The old boy would have been full value on a night like this.

  38. Lowetide says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    Lowetide,

    Did you see Jones and Smyth busting ass behind the Minnesota net and in the corners, and finally Smytty clears it to a corner, Jonesy comes up with it and makes a nifty, desperate centering pass… and Belanger is skating away.

    Lots of try tonight for sure, Belanger’s hands are gone he wouldn’t have buried it if he could put it on a tee. I do like some of the work though, that trio you mentioned, Paajarvi, some others. Petry.

    They just aren’t good is all. From the moment they went up 2-0 against STL they’ve been a steaming pile of manure.

  39. bookje says:

    Woodguy:
    20 has to be tired.

    Been centering both 3rd and 4th with no one spelling him off either line.

    A ten cent head would be an upgrade for 24.

    Still playing less time than a first line player. Should be able to handle it.

  40. BlacqueJacque says:

    Gagner with the luckiest ugliest bounce…

  41. bookje says:

    Sniper shot!!!!

  42. Lowetide says:

    And suddenly it’s 3-2? What the hell.

  43. Clay says:

    Highlight reel one there!

  44. fuzzy muppet says:

    Lucky fluke puts them back in the game

  45. delooper says:

    Well, maybe the Oil can get one off Backstrom’s head and tie it up.

  46. VanOil says:

    Samwise stole RNH’s puckluck using Hall’s wizard skills.

  47. bookje says:

    Wow, Suter picked that out of the air like Yakupov. Being a more experienced player, his celly was much less exuberant.

  48. justDOit says:

    Oh man – needed that. This would out-class any Swiss team performance of all time if they could come back in this one.

  49. fuzzy muppet says:

    WTF is Petry doing

  50. dwillms says:

    What I’d like to know is if any team has had a period putting up 23 shots (like we did against Colorado) & another period putting up 0 shots in the same season. How is that even possible?

  51. BlacqueJacque says:

    justDOit:
    Oh man – needed that. This would out-class any Swiss team performance of all time if they could come back in this one.

    If they do it, this’ll be Belarus vs Sweden – AK the Game that Broke Tommy Salo :(

  52. Clay says:

    Heatley. Figures.

  53. VanOil says:

    Does Sam’s goal count as either a shot on goal or a scoring chance? Bloody Heatly

  54. wordbird says:

    Sunday TV night, choosing between “The Walking Dead” or the Oilers game.

    In the end I watched the one with all the lifeless stiffs.

  55. tcho says:

    Missed the whole game so far. Just catching up on here and on the Oilers site, which lists shots as 41-15 for the Wild… Ouch. Has it really been that bad?

  56. fuzzy muppet says:

    tcho,

    Zero shots in the second. ZERO

  57. BlacqueJacque says:

    tcho:
    Missed the whole game so far. Just catching up on here and on the Oilers site, which lists shots as 41-15 for the Wild… Ouch. Has it really been that bad?

    The first looked like an NHL game. In the second, it was the Washington Generals doing their end-game.

  58. Derek says:

    tcho:
    Missed the whole game so far. Just catching up on here and on the Oilers site, which lists shots as 41-15 for the Wild… Ouch. Has it really been that bad?

    Quite possibly the worst Oilers game since the last lockout.

  59. delooper says:

    Eberle just isn’t into this game.

  60. BlacqueJacque says:

    I understand that Kreuger is trying to win games, but the Oilers really need more 5v5 practice and less man advantage.

  61. Clay says:

    Well, for all that Oilers’ fans have had to endure over the past 1/2 decade, our team is still, on most nights, the soft spot on other teams’ schedules.

    It would be nice to have a team to watch that appeared to not like losing.

  62. VanOil says:

    This road trip just took the left to perdition.

  63. tcho says:

    Sounds like a good thing that I just returned from dinner out with my wife, figured out that Sportsnet Oilers on Bell is apparently 1437… and found out that my wife would rather watch House of Cards on Netflix. :-)

  64. Lowetide says:

    I’d say this game replaces the SJS game as the nadir of the season. 1-2-1 on the road trip and Columbus looks like Eden.

  65. sliderule says:

    Blue jackets are not playing that poorly.

    By Sunday night we will know who to be watching for the draft.

  66. "Steve Smith" says:

    I hate this team.

  67. OilLeak says:

    Wow I’m in awe, I didn’t think I could drop my expectations for this team any lower. Bottom 5 in the league.

    Book it.

  68. Clay says:

    Columbus and Colorado are must wins, and then they need two points out of Detroit + Nashville. It’s do-able, but a point tonight would’ve been real nice.

    It’s easy to think they’ll be in the basement again this season after their performance tonight, but in reality, they’re right where we thought they’d be – a few points from the final playoff spot, and almost half way through the season.

    What worries me is that Eberle doesn’t look like the player of the past two seasons, and there’s been no whisper of injury. I’m much more worried about his poor play than RNH.

  69. Woodguy says:

    Derek:
    I don’t know that the Oilers are that good on the PK, they’re 23rd in 4×5 SA, and Dubynk has an unreal shorthanded save %.

    They’re not that good, but Petrell isn’t helping.

    SA/60 every Oiler who averages over 1min/60 on the PK

    VANDEVELDE 11.4
    GAGNER 34.7
    PAAJARVI 35
    HORCOFF 36.5
    SMYTH 47.4
    PETRELL 53
    BELANGER 57.2

    Petrell serves no use on the roster

    The guy whose idea it was to sign him should be fired.

  70. OilLeak says:

    Clay:
    Columbus and Colorado are must wins, and then they need two points out of Detroit + Nashville.It’s do-able, but a point tonight would’ve been real nice.

    It’s easy to think they’ll be in the basement again this season after their performance tonight, but in reality, they’re right where we thought they’d be – a few points from the final playoff spot, and almost half way through the season.

    What worries me is that Eberle doesn’t look like the player of the past two seasons, and there’s been no whisper of injury.I’m much more worried about his poor play than RNH.

    We’ll know the quality of this team based on the upcoming performance in Columbus. Colorado is not a given, they just got their two best players back. This team is awful, too many holes and not enough real hockey players; Oilers will finish 2-6-1 on the 9 game road trip.

  71. Woodguy says:

    Wes Mantooth-11:
    Woodguy,

    Yes, I do WG.

    If it means moving Petry for another right handed defensemen……………….You know where I’m going with this………..

    Rhymes with Smebber

    The odds of getting Weber, or him being worth that ridiculous contract are both low.

    Already have the 14 overpay, don’t need another long term overpay.

  72. Lowetide says:

    I did think Gagner-Paajarvi was a nice duo, but of course Paajarvi’s 45 tesla sideburns draw every object to the sewers of Calcutta.

  73. PunjabiOil says:

    As someone who has bled Oil for the last 18 years, it has come to a point where Oilers games have stopped being fun.

    Even high draft picks don’t carry the strong aura they used to.

    We’re porridge.

    It’s quite sad, actually.

  74. Zelepukin says:

    Clay: What worries me is that Eberle doesn’t look like the player of the past two seasons, and there’s been no whisper of injury. I’m much more worried about his poor play than RNH.

    It’s as if his game is stuck with his AHL leading prior self. He needs to take it to another gear and really find his spots… granted Ebs was infamous for only scoring very difficult goals. I have faith though. It’s not impossible for Ebs to get back to a point per game pace.

  75. rickithebear says:

    we missed fistric and Hall the last two games!
    period!

  76. sliderule says:

    The oiler brass better get their act in gear or we are going to be the new thrashers or wild.

    The wild picked up in the draft Gaborik Schultz ,Koivu,Bouchard ,Burns and Pouliot in pretty near consecutive drafts and really didn’t do anything.

    I think I would trade our Ebs and the rest of the first picks for what they had at the time.

    If they can’t balance out our roster we are heading the way of those teams.

  77. Zelepukin says:

    I think Kruges also showed why he has sheltered Yaks ice time leading up to this game. Getting 1st minutes definitely revealed some tells in Yak’s inexperience around positioning and anticipating the play. There were several shifts where Yaks positioned himself completely out of the play or the ability to anticipate where the puck is going to exit the offensive zone from.

  78. Woodguy says:

    fuzzy muppet:
    WTF is Petry doing

    He should be shot with a ball of his own shit for that.

  79. "Steve Smith" says:

    rickithebear:
    we missed fistricand Hall the last two games!
    period!

    This statement is amply supported by the fact that, during the second periods of other games, the Oilers have only gotten shots on goal when Hall and/or Fistric have been on the ice.

  80. Woodguy says:

    Clay,

    What worries me is that Eberle doesn’t look like the player of the past two seasons, and there’s been no whisper of injury. I’m much more worried about his poor play than RNH.

    His numbers are very similar to his rookie year actually.

  81. RMGS says:

    “Dennis King ‏@DKingBH Final chances: 8-24; 0-4 ST. Oilers chances at the playoffs? Don’t worry yourself over it.”

    So, I’m pretty close to the point of watching these games only to see live if Schultz or Yakupov score.

  82. Woodguy says:

    Zelepukin:
    I think Kruges also showed why he has sheltered Yaks ice time leading up to this game. Getting 1st minutes definitely revealed some tells in Yak’s inexperience around positioning and anticipating the play. There were several shifts where Yaks positioned himself completely out of the play or the ability to anticipate where the puck is going to exit the offensive zone from.

    I’ve read that no one taught him hockey in Sarnia.

    “Yak, go out and score” was pretty much it.

    He’ll pick it up.

    He’s looking like he could be like Hall in terms of river pushing.

    One of those on each of the top two lines would be nice.

  83. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy:
    Clay,

    What worries me is that Eberle doesn’t look like the player of the past two seasons, and there’s been no whisper of injury. I’m much more worried about his poor play than RNH.

    His numbers are very similar to his rookie year actually.

    Which was the point I was trying to make in the re series. We got ahead of ourselves because that’s what we do, despite history telling us that these kids don’t develop in straight lines.

  84. RickDeckard says:

    Trade Eberle while his value is high(ish). His $6M contract will be the anchor that holds this team back.

  85. FPB94 says:

    Toughts:

    Yeah for Paajarvi and Gagner, goals.

    Brendan Gallagher might be one of the best 19 years old coming out of the later rounds ever; Dougie Hamilton makes the Leafs looks like dumbnuts.

  86. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: Which was the point I was trying to make in the re series. We got ahead of ourselves because that’s what we do, despite history telling us that these kids don’t develop in straight lines.

    We’re not as bad as OIler management in rewarding good luck and punishing bad luck though.

    Those guys have the attention span of goldfish.

  87. Woodguy says:

    RickDeckard:
    Trade Eberle while his value is high(ish). His $6M contract will be the anchor that holds this team back.

    Its an overpay until the cap goes up, and it will after next year, NHL revenues are still growing like weeds and major Canadian TV contracts are coming up.

    I really doubt its ever an “anchor” though.

  88. jake70 says:

    Oilers draft watch….now 8th overall. ;-)

    Islanders are right there again with us……. looks like they aren’t paying rent + utilities to Nassau Coliseum and want to get to Brooklyn asap…….. wonder if Tavares gets irritated and asks for a trade….Gagner + Eberle for Tavares + _________ (top 4 Dman?).

    Anyone else wonder out of curiuosity, what this team would do in the Eastern Conference? Seems more goals scored in East, haven’t looked at it though.

  89. Kris11 says:

    By not adding vets to play well around the kids, especially on D, MacTambellini are

    a. Wasting ELCs
    b.Creating a team that can’t live up to expectations
    c. Moving the Oilers a step closer to being a perennial loser (already there) and a step away from being a team that rebuilt with top talent in the draft, like the Hawks
    d. All of the above

  90. B S says:

    jake70:
    Oilers draft watch….now 8th overall.

    Islanders are right there again with us……. looks like they aren’t paying rent + utilities to Nassau Coliseum and want to get to Brooklyn asap…….. wonder if Tavares gets irritated and asks for a trade….Gagner + Eberle for Tavares + _________ (top 4 Dman?).

    Anyone else wonder out of curiuosity, what this team would do in the Eastern Conference?Seems more goals scored in East, haven’t looked at it though.

    Wrong guys to trade away if your getting Tavares. He’s friends with Gagner, and has chemistry with Eberle. Would love to see him in Oilers silks, not sure if there’s a fair price to get him out of the Islanders. Yak and Hemsky + Klefbom or Marincin?, maybe + picks. I think any more than that and your behind on the rebuild again.

  91. hunter1909 says:

    Seriously, where are the defenders of the team’s putrid vets tonight?

    Someone in all seriousness told me “You need these kind of players to win” this week.

    Woodguy: Petrell serves no use on the roster
    The guy whose idea it was to sign him should be fired.

    The guy whose idea it was to hire the guy that signed him should also be fired.

    But he won’t.

    Oilers give tenure and reward incompetence like no other team in hockey, sans Dolan’s Rags.

  92. gogliano says:

    We’re getting pretty close to being outside the playoff race. 5 teams only four points ahead of us (4-8) but there are also five teams (9-13) in between us and 8th.

    SPS 50/50 has us down to ~26% chance for the playoffs. After CLB we then have DET/NAS/CHI for 3 games in 4 nights.

  93. B S says:

    Anyone else more concerned that this team currently has only one kind of streak, than they are about the Oilers’ place in the standings? If they are EVER going to make the playoffs they are going to need to figure out how to win more than one game in a row.

  94. Reg Dunlop says:

    jake70,

    How would the oil do in the eastern conference? Last place, just like in the west.

    On a positive note, finally it appears that the oil have given up on the season. For awhile it looked like we would struggle to get in lotto position. Now, if only we can get a player @1st overall instead of a small, fast novelty.

  95. HBomb says:

    Man, I’d love to get that #77 guy out of Minnesota. I’d say trade Nick Schultz for him, but the Oil would have to add something to get that deal done – no sensible and competent NHL GM does that trade straight up. Right?

    Oh, and I took a ton of grief for saying it on Twitter, but I’ll say it again – I’d trade Eberle in a deal if Evander Kane was coming back the other way. That’s “size with talent” for the LW, and given that Hemsky and Yakupov are here, the team could afford to make such a deal to balance out the left-wing/right-wing issue.

    As for the 3rd goal tonight – not Dubnyk’s finest moment, but I’m not about to rip on the goalie on a night like this. Ryan Jones needs to make a better defensive effort there though – if the guy worked as hard defensively as he did offensively, he’d be a must-keep 3rd line winger. Right now? I wouldn’t bring him back for more than 2 years at a marginal raise to 1.75 per. They can do better, “flow” and “hustle” be damned. Paajarvi and Hartikainen as the 3rd line wingers with Horcoff down the middle? Hope it happens as soon as full health is attained. (Translation – play the Nordics over Eager/Petrell and let Smyth-Belanger-Jones run as the fourth line).

    The only silver lining of a top-five pick would be that it almost guarantees we’d see the end of Tambellini. Right? RIGHT?

  96. Joel Pepin says:

    Woodguy: Its an overpay until the cap goes up, and it will after next year, NHL revenues are still growing like weeds and major Canadian TV contracts are coming up.

    I really doubt its ever an “anchor” though.

    I think even if his contract isn’t an anchor, it’s a serious concern (based on his results this season) for 2 significant reasons:

    1) Gagner’s upcoming contract (and team salary structure)
    Sam is playing lights out, and is only a few months older than Eberle. Sam is currently listed as 21GP/7G/13A/20P (0.95ppg) while Eberle is listed as 21GP/6G/10A/16P (0.76ppg). Last year, Eberle got 78/34/42/76 (0.97ppg), and was awarded a $6M multi-year contract. In addition to the points, Sam is ~15 lbs heavier and brings more grit than Eberle. How do the OIlers possibly try to offer Gagner less money than Eberle based on this?

    2) When will fans turn on Eberle? In 2007-2008, Horcoff put up 53GP/21G/29A/50P (0.94ppg) and was awarded his now infamous contract. The next year, he went 80GP/17G/36A/53P (0.66ppg) and it seemed like the fans really turned on him (maybe my memory is wrong, but that seemed to be how things played out). Eberle’s current numbers are not projecting to be much better’s than Horcoff’s post-contract season. Is Eberle’s youth the only thing between him and the wrath of the fans and MSM?

    I think Eberle is great, and I hope he is able to “rebound” to his near PPG status, but if he is in fact sustainable only as a ~ 60 point player, this could get ugly.

  97. BlacqueJacque says:

    HBomb,

    Tambellini is just a meat shield, a sock puppet.

  98. BlacqueJacque says:

    Joel Pepin,
    sigh…

    I didn’t like the Eberle contract from the moment I saw it. Heck, I wasn’t too thrilled with Hall’s either, but at least I understood it. But Eberle, thanks to this site, looked suspect because of his shooting percentage. I haven’t said much about it because I was part of the Horcoff dogpile and nothing resulted from that so what’s the point in ragging on Eberle?

    Now he looks suspect on a whole lot more. I think I called him “predictable” a few GDTs ago. That’s only half the problem. Hall is predictable too – you know what he’s going to do, it’s just hard to stop him from doing it anyway.

    Also would trade Eberle for Evander Kane if possible, but that ain’t happening.

  99. oilersfan says:

    Flotsam for Monaghan

  100. "Steve Smith" says:

    oilersfan,

    The flop of a sequel to Flowers for Algernon?

  101. oilersfan says:

    For all the criticism Renney took last year for over playing Horcoff and Smyth and underplaying the kids, he was right…he sheltered them from the toughs and put them in a position to succeed. Now they are put in a position to sink or swim against the best of the other teams and they are sinking.

    After 20 games Hall was dominating every game. I really wanted the Oilers to pick Yak. He is an elite finisher. Not sure he is the player I expected. Loses more battles and turns the puck over more than I would have thought an elte player would. Hall is an elite player, not an elite finisher yet. Hopefully they can teach each other a few things.

    I wonder if Galchenyuk was healthy last year, if he had scored aroudn the same number of points as Yak, if the OIlers wouldn’t have picked him…big strong center.

    IF the OIlers had Galchenyuk and Landeskog instead of RNH and Yak they wouldn’t have this size issue and would likely be better suited for playoffs success than they are now.

  102. BlacqueJacque says:

    oilersfan,

    I liked Renney and thought he got an unfair hand dealt his way, but that’s beside the point.

    The kids aren’t sinking. They’re afloat. 4-93-14 is a plus line most games, certainly on chances and shots. Until recently Gagner-Hemsky were bleeding shots, but replacing Yak with Paajarvi did solve that at one point (Ryan Jones, on the other hand, was not a success.)

    I thought tonight’s 91-89-14 was very effective and considering they faced top competition the whole game (an entire night worth of Suter), they were actually excellent.

    This opens us up to a 4-93-83 or 4-93-64 line. I think the former would be quite good, and in the latter, Hall can create enough pressure to stem some of the chances that Yak bleeds.

    Even if Krueger goes back to 4-93-14, it may be that Paajarvi is exactly what Gags/Hemmer need in a linemate.

    It’s not all bleak. Just the bottom 6 and everyone outside the Schultzes and Fistric. Half the team is actually good!

  103. Joel Pepin says:

    BlacqueJacque,

    Well, would trading Eberle “fix things”?

    Right now, the Oilers still don’t have balance (no surprise). Also, we’ll have to trade something good to get something good. That seems fair, right?

    Also, in the core, I’m guessing we have the following players:
    C: RNH, Gagner (if we can resign him for reasonable dollars)
    LW: Hall
    RW: Hemsky, Eberle, Yakupov (I still think he may play better on the right side)
    D: J Shultz, Smid, Petry
    Honourable Mentions: MPS, Hartikainen

    Everyone else is disposable enough that they could be replaced pretty easily (Horcoff is a good player still, but he won’t get a good return on a trade right now). Gagner can play RW too obviously, so RW really seems to be the “position of strength”.

    So, we have to trade away one of the 3 RW’s (and maybe Gagner too) to bring in the following:
    - top 4 D
    - 2nd line LW (with grit, size AND skill)
    - 2nd line centreman (with grit, size AND skill)

    Two quick caveats:
    1) I think trading away any of our RW’s right now will be tough, but trading away Yakupov at this point seems crazier because he is so young.
    2) I think trading away Eberle will be tough, but suspect he would net a better return than Hemsky (even though Hemsky has shown the potential to be very effective against other teams’ top lines).

    The other item we have is a quickly improving 1st round 2013 draft pick. If we keep plummetting, we may be able to draft one of the above needed larger-but-skilled LW or C (but unless we get 1st-overall, I don’t think we’d be able to draft a D-man who could develop fast enough to fix things in the short term).

    So…
    - Can we trade away Eberle+ to get a legitimate 2-way top 4 D?
    - Can we trade away Eberle and Gagner+ to get a large+skilled 2nd-line worthy LW or C?

    I don’t know, but I would like to see the Oilers improve at some point…

  104. Joel Pepin says:

    Joel Pepin,

    Re-reading that post really makes me even more upset that we traded away Penner (2nd-line worthy LW with size) and Gilbert (2-way top 4D). I still don’t like either trade.

  105. Joel Pepin says:

    One final comment… a couple of years ago, watching Ovechkin & Co., I was really really hoping we could one day have offense like the Washington Capitols.

    Fait, you cruel dame!!

  106. tcho says:

    Lowetide:
    Parkatti’s glasses
    http://www.boysonthebus.com/2013/03/03/game-notes-oilerswild-mar-3/

    Wow. That’s a great blog. Thanks LT.

    Step back from the ledge, guys. They had a very crappy game. It happens. Especially for a team with a young core, holes in the lineup (GM and injury caused), and on a road trip of record setting length.

    Hopefully, it lights a fire in their bellies for a good stretch of games.

  107. Reg Dunlop says:

    oilersfan,

    So, if Landeskog+Galchenyuk>RNH+Yak based on a combination of skill AND size, how will you feel when Stumblinni says ‘The Edmonton Oilers are SO proud to select Jonathan Drouin’ ? Another small winger…perfect. I have a theory that Feaster is feeding false info to oil mgmt under the guise of Bettman. Something like ‘ Attention Bill Daley, all is a go for the elimination of body contact starting next week. Velcro flags will be issued when all ice surfaces are doubled in size. Respectfully yours, Gary

    Tambo thinks he is getting a scoop, unfortunately he has thought this every time he has received this memo the last 3 years, and Feaster has a jiggley jelly-roll laugh at our expense.

  108. Captain Obvious says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    oilersfan,

    It’s not all bleak.Just the bottom 6 and everyone outside the Schultzes and Fistric.Half the team is actually good!

    What you mean is half the team is good enough to play in the NHL. The other half are on the way out of the league.

    The back half of this team is easily the worst in the league. Eager, Belanger, Petrell, VDV, Jones, are horrible hockey players. Every one of them is useless. Peckham is useless. The D is so bad Whitney has looked useful.

    This is a horrible hockey team that has been horrible all year. This team isn’t a player or two away. This team is ten players away. The real problem is that there is no way to solve this problem. They can’t solve problems through trade because that means trading one of their few useful players in order to “change the mix.”

    LIsten assholes the mix isn’t the fucking problem. Fielding an AHL lineup for the fifth year in a row is the fucking problem. Stop playing horrible hockey players. Go find some freely available talent. It’s your fucking job.

    Instead we’re looking at another Gilbert for Schultz trade. This is a fucking horrible hockey team. Third from last in Fenwick close with no hope for the future. The only way this team wins if if Hopkins turns into Crosby and Yakupov turns into 22year old Ovechkin at the exact same time. Even then, this team is still only a playoff team.

  109. Captain Obvious says:

    tcho:

    Step back from the ledge, guys. They had a very crappy game. It happens. Especially for a team with a young core, holes in the lineup (GM and injury caused), and on a road trip of record setting length.

    Hopefully, it lights a fire in their bellies for a good stretch of games.

    Where have you been all year? This game wasn’t an anomaly. Every game is like this. The Oilers have gotten massively outshot and outplayed every game but two or three. Go look the shots up.

    LIght a fire. It’s time to call in the firing squad. Decimate the troops pour encourager les autres.

    This team is going to luck into another star player in the draft and it won’t make any difference because you can’t win with useless depth players and the depth players on this team couldn’t score in the ECHL. Honestly, I want Ben Eager to get in a fight and have his brain leak out his eyeballs. I’m tired of useless players who only exist because of a misguided ideology that you need size.

    It’s fucking infuriating that Petrell is on this team while Omark is in Europe.

    It’s fucking infuriating that Ryan Jones exists.

    It’s fucking infuriating that the only reason Paajarvi played today is because Hall is hurt.

    It’s fucking infuriating that VDV has a contract.

    It’s fucking infuriating that the one supposedly decent FA the team has signed in three years turned out to be Eric fucking Belanger.

    It’s fucking infuriating that the team is covered by hacks like Ryan Rishaug.

    It’s fucking infuriating that Edmonton has the stupidest fans in pro sports.

    It’s all fucking infuriating. Stupid, piece of shit, fucking team.

  110. Captain Obvious says:

    Holy fuck, I just saw this from Parkatti’s blog:

    “When Ben Eager was off the ice, the Oilers actually won the Corsi battle tonight 41-37. ”

    Funny as it seems this actually gives me hope. If we could swap our fourth line for a line of actual hockey players, turn the third line into the fourth line, and this team might actually not be terrible. Now, I’ve been saying this for years but what do I know. Fourth lines matter. They matter a lot. You can’t win if you don’t have scoring all the way down your roster. It is impossible. Two line teams always lose in the long run.

  111. Oilanderp says:

    Really. Don’t tell me you didn’t know this was going to happen. It’s in the plan. One more year. Unless they surprise and pull excaliber from the stone… one more year. I know you’re sick of it and hell we all are, but there’s no point in turning around now since we’re over halfway through this shitty dark forest. Look, just stare at the heels of the guy immediately in front of you and keep marching. Before you know it we’ll be out of this mess. Here, if it helps we can hum a tune. I’ll start…

  112. Captain Obvious says:

    Oh, and do yourself a favour and don’t go to oilersnation to see what the morons over there think the team needs. They managed to watch that game and conclude that the Oilers’ problem is they don’t throw enough bodychecks.

    For instance:

    “I’m telling you guys, this ALLnrelated to one cancerous issue that is NEVER addressed. Muscle. Bodychecks. Intimidation. Fear opponents should feel when playing Edm..”

    Or,

    “For the next 3 days, we have to use every avenue available, radio, Stoffer, emails, tweets, and Bombard one message:

    Bring us muscle. We need BODYCHECKS.”

    Seriously, we waste ten minutes a night on Ben Eager, the worst player in the league, whose only reason for existing is bodychecks and your typical Oiler fan thinks the problem is we don’t have enough bodychecks. That would be funny if it weren’t so sad. OIlersnation is the worst. The absolute worst.

  113. Joel Pepin says:

    Lowetide,
    While I enjoy the new tagline for your radio show, in light of Captain Obvious’s spectacular (and curse-laden post) maybe you should consider changing your slogan again to “it’s all f#@&ing infuriating” :)

  114. Oilanderp says:

    *whistles*

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wADwIZ6V3NY

    One foot in front of the other….

  115. Smarmy says:

    DEATH FOR SETH!

    NOT WINNIN FOR MACKINNON!

    uh BOOIN FOR DROUIN!

  116. godot10 says:

    The Sedins weren’t able to face tough competition until their mid-twenties. They are still given cherry zone starts.

    Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, and Eberle are facing the vaunt at 20/19/22, and holding their own. The boxcars will come.

    Nugent-Hopkins was taking on Mikku Koivu and Zach Parise last night with Hemsky and Yakupov.

    Eberle’s so called bad year is Lowetide’s reasonable expectations, even though Nugent-Hopkins can’t buy a point, he is facing tougher opposition, and is getting less favourable zone starts.

    One more real legit top 4 defenseman would make this team a lot better. Many people, including me, said the season turned on Ryan Whitney’s ankle. Well Ryan Whitney’s ankle sucks.

    Horcoff’s injury really sucks.

    So the Oilers are weak on defense, and weak at centre (due to injury). One more D, and a healthy Horcoff, and they would be hanging with the pack.

    The Western Conference is a lot stronger than the Eastern Conference, but that is a whole other issue.

  117. godot10 says:

    Also, regarding Eberle. He isn’t earning $6 million this year. And scoring in the NHL overall looks to be pretty much down.

    Takeaway Crosby and Stamkos, and a handful of players in the 1.2-1.3 PPG pace, everyone else is pretty much under 1.1 PPG.

    Only about 20 players are at 1 PPG.

  118. russ99 says:

    We have 8-10 above average to quality players, but Tambellini punted on upgrading many of the remaining 12 players in June and July.

    Still think this could have been due to the lockout, but this is the team he wanted this season, for whatever reason.

    I hope a bold, new GM is in place this June and July who can make the moves needed to push us to the next level.

  119. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Downright Fierce:
    High Noon is a great flick, but I always preferred the one they re-released in the 90s? With the updated graphics?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1m44VNw3O0

    But I’ll never forgive them for changing it so that Miller shot first.

    late getting to this thread… but I thought I’d note, Hawks made Rio Bravo as a direct response to High Noon… he hated, hated, hated it.

    I prefer RB, but HN is a fine film… at any rate, who says hate doesn’t lead to anything worth while?

  120. BlacqueJacque says:

    Jesus fucking Christ they just traded for a smaller Hordichuk.

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