A TIME TO BREATHE

Well, that was fun! An eventful 6-game road trip that went 0-3-1 before ending 2-0-0 and 2-3-1 overall.  After much fretting and gnashing of teeth, I’ll take it!

Azorcan3

The Corsi for the road trip faded as time rolled along, and the club lost some players along the way (boy did they) but it was a compelling, character building road trip. And they survived! Taylor Hall is out for a month, that’s bad news. If Nail Yakupov can settle the hell down on the 1line, and veterans Hemsky, Perron and Gordon can continue their brilliant play, then Nuge-Ebs may be able to lead this group CLOSER to the playoffs during Hall’s time away.

Anton Belov. What the hell?

CORSI FOR %, GAMES 1-10 (DEFENSEMEN)

  1. Anton Belov 49.6
  2. Jeff Petry 47.9
  3. Justin Schultz 45.9
  4. Andrew Ference 45.1
  5. Nick Schultz 43.8
  6. Ladislav Smid 42.9
  7. Denis Grebeshkov 26.7

I’m not sure how Extra Skater does their qual comp, but it looks like Smid and Petry are facing the toughs and the rest are kind of equal in terms of quality opp.

giant4

Dallas Eakins was hilarious in the post-game in his comments about Lars Eller (““When you have a player like Eller running his mouth before the game, it makes for great banter in our room and great motivation”), but that’s going to rankle a few. GOOD!

Devan Dubnyk has a .935 SP and is 2-1 in his last three games. Since I was quick to suggest MacT look for other options (and, as it turned out, he did) it would be bad form to go another day without pointing out how well he’s played this week.

I do wonder if MacT is satisfied with the team overall. Elliotte Friedman’s article the other day pointed out that MacT was kicking tires on goaltending AND defense, so there may be something brewing. Mobility and puck moving ability, along with positioning are big parts of the Eakins way, and some of the Oiler blue aren’t adjusting well. We’ll see how it goes.

I’d like more information on the Taylor Hall injury. Four weeks is great, but is that 4 firm, or 4 and maybe more? It’s a worry.

giant2

Tyler Pitlick is the 10th Stu MacGregor pick to play in the NHL (MBS started the head job in time for the 2008 draft). Here’s the entire (impressive) list by GP:

  1. Jordan Eberle 204, 71-93-164
  2. Taylor Hall 180, 68-85-153
  3. Magnus Paajarvi 165, 26-32-58
  4. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 109, 26-56-82
  5. Nail Yakupov 55, 17-15-32
  6. Teemu Hartikainen 52, 6-7-13
  7. Anton Lander 67, 2-5-7
  8. Phil Cornet 2, 0-1-1
  9. Johan Motin 1, 0-0-0
  10. Tyler Pitlick 1, 0-0-0

The ‘four’ of Eberle, Hall, RNH and Yakupov are insane talents. The ‘rest’ are Paajarvi at the top end–I like this guy and believe he’s going to have an excellent career–and two ‘maybe’ players in Lander and Hartikainen in the middle, followed by the ‘cup of coffee’ trio of Cornet, Motin and the new arrival. How far up the ladder does Pitlick need to go before he’d be considered a success? This was a high pick–#31 overall–so, I think 200 NHL games is the line. Fair? First pick in the second round? You have to believe that player is going to be a future starter for three seasons, at least I believe that’s fair.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

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Scheduled to appear on TSN 1260 (beginning at 10):

  • Michael Parkatti from Boys on the Bus. We’ll talk about last night’s game, the trials of the road trip, and what to do about Hall’s absence. 
  • Paul Rai Director of Vimy Lacrosse Academy. We’ll talk about the sport and the value of playing lacrosse for hockey players.
  • Bruce McCurdy from Cult of Hockey. We’ll talk Belov and the blue, Oilers callups and the Arcobello.
  • Corey Graham from the Edmonton Oil Kings. OK are on the road to SK, we’ll talk about the early season struggles.
  • Paul Almeida from Azorcan Global. Paul is going to pass along details of an exciting soccer trip!

10-1260 via text and @Lowetide_ on twitter. Stay tuned!

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115 Responses to "A TIME TO BREATHE"

  1. justDOit says:

    “When you have a player like Eller running his mouth before the game, it makes for great banter in our room and great motivation”… to which he added, “Awesome.”

    That post game interview is probably the closest Eakins will come to smiling while at work.

  2. Cobbler says:

    Yakupov last night reminded me of Brett Laurie in the batter’s box when he was struggling this past summer. Really needs to settle down and calm the nerves and it will come. He’s not there yet, way to fidgety.

    Belov looks great, but more impressive to me is Petry’s play this season. His game has really developed and last night he had a bit of everything in there (hits, goals, good D, nice outlets, chem with the forwards). He has matured physically and looks steady against the top lines out there.

  3. smellyglove says:

    The MBS list is not nearly as impressive when you consider that three of the players are #1 overalls and MPS is routinely a healthy scratch in Missouri and The Big Finn is now playing in Europe.

  4. goldenchild says:

    Al, on Hall timeline, Stauffer yesterday seemed to be hinting that 4 weeks was outer limits something along the lines “I would bet on Hall”. I dont know if he has spoken to Hall or doctors or management but obviously has some connections and seemed confident.

    The Corsi on the trip was interesting because it appeared there were stretches like a period or so ie first period yesterday where they fall down a shaft but then have extended periods where they come back and dominate. Dennis tweeted that after the Hemsky goal Oilers had 14 of the next 15 chances which is just absurd. Im not sure we will see them consistantly win Corsi battle for a while especially without Hall but if they can have enough good extended periods they are going to score. Dubnyk was very good again, good arrows there.

    My fav part from last nights game was Terry Jones inexplicable tweet killing Hemsky only to be followed by a barrage of “are you even watching the game?” tweets and then of course comes a beautiful goal by 83 to start the comeback. Music!

    Oh and Pernel Karl Subban is just a fantastic hockey player, my word.

  5. supernova says:

    LT,

    Who do we credit for Arcobella ?

    Pro scouting, MacT from his bird dog time, Todd Nelson ?

    Aside from arcobella himself

  6. Ben says:

    Something just ain’t right with Justin Schultz.

  7. Bos8 says:

    It’s killed me all these years – that Hemsky needs someone to play with, that can think on the ice at his speed. It seems that if you play with Hemsky there are two things to do – give him an option at the blue line and then seek open ice. His pass will find you. But you have to give him an option or two, create difficult reads for the defense. Horcoff set the all time record on receiving the puck in the slot and muffing it in creative ways.

  8. Vaclav says:

    Haven’t seen much of Belov’s nasty side yet but expect that will come as he gets more at bats. He sure seems comfortable though. Hope MacTavish is in touch with his agent working on a contract extension soon because the price is going to continue to go up.

  9. justDOit says:

    Ben:
    Something just ain’t right with Justin Schultz.

    He’s like a ’62 XKE – if even one carburetor is out of whack, it’s not worth getting behind the wheel.

  10. Doomoil says:

    goldenchild:

    My fav part from last nights game was Terry Jones inexplicable tweet killing Hemsky only to be followed by a barrage of “are you even watching the game?” tweets and then of course comesa beautiful goal by 83 to start the comeback. Music!

    Not only had Hemsky not turned over the puck, but he was playing magnificently.

  11. Bos8 says:

    justDOit: He’s like a ’62 XKE – if even one carburetor is out of whack, it’s not worth getting behind the wheel.

    Boy, and the XkE carbs were always out of whack. They even responded to pressure changes. An hour of work for ten minutes of glory.

    Had a girl like that once – called her UHM, for ultra high maintenance.

  12. Ben says:

    justDOit,

    It’s great how calm he looks out there, sometimes.

    Also, it’s terrible how calm he looks out there, sometimes.

  13. Jon K says:

    This road trip was a complete rollercoaster.

    The real story of the season, injuries aside, appears to be Petry and Belov so far. Petry appears much stronger and heavier this season by eye, and his play has been much more consistent. We aren’t seeing huge blunders every few games as in past seasons. Money appears to be the next concern with him.

    Belov is found money, pure and simple. He’s not the swiftest skater but he’s big, strong, and plays a calm game. By eye there were some early positional problems, perhaps due to the ice size, but it hasn’t been noticeable for a few games now. He’s strong enough to break the cycle against most players, something I noticed when he had a few shifts against Crosby. But he also has such a long and effective reach which he uses to break up plays and knock away pucks nicely.

    Though it’s early, the fancy stats for both are corroborating the saw him good observations.
    Did anyone else notice the J Schultz played a different game last night than his usual? I can’t recall any instances where he pinched down or joined the rush as a forward, save for one where he couldn’t get the handle on the puck in the slot. Could it be that he’s being told to simplify his game and focus on the fundamentals of defense? I wouldn’t mind if the coaching staff were to try and break him down to build him back up defensively. He’s always going to have his shooting and puck skills.

  14. Vaclav says:

    Yakupov is averaging under 2.4 shots per game. Ovechkin averages a tick under 7 shots per game. The Oilers have two world class passes in RNH and Hemsky. Is Yakupov not finding open areas on the ice or are they not structuring the PP and offensive zone plays to get him the puck to shoot?

  15. rickithebear says:

    Ben:
    Something just ain’t right with Justin Schultz.

    Hello!
    58gm. -25

    Linus omark
    65gm -21

    We all agree Omari a forward has zero defensive game.

    -25 from a forward pretending to be a dman.

  16. justDOit says:

    Bos8,

    I take that you married a Camry then?

  17. Woodguy says:

    I’m not sure how Extra Skater does their qual comp

    They take the 5v5 TOI of their opponents. They also break it down in TOI Dmen and TOI forwards.

    The % represents the portion of total TOI that their opponents have on their teams.

    i.e.) if a guy has a 30% rating the his aggregate opponent’s play 30% of their team’s TOI.

    The premise is that the best players get the most ice time. If you are playing against better players it will show up in your opponents ice time.

    A couple years back some guys came up with this as an alternative to Gabe’s QC numbers and it certainly passes the smell test.

    Here’s the list, in order for the OIlers. This is taken from all opponents TOI. (not just F or D)

    Player TotTm% QoC
    Taylor Hall 30.50%
    Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 30.10%
    Ales Hemsky 29.80%
    Mark Arcobello 29.20%
    David Perron 29.20%
    Nail Yakupov 29.20%
    Jordan Eberle 29.10%
    Ryan Hamilton 28.90%
    Ryan Smyth 28.70%
    Jesse Joensuu 28.30%
    Boyd Gordon 28.10%
    Tyler Pitlick 28.10%
    Ben Eager 27.90%
    Luke Gazdic 26.20%
    Will Acton 26.10%
    Mike Brown 26.00%
    Ryan Jones 26.00%

    Jeff Petry 29.60%
    Ladislav Smid 29.60%
    Andrew Ference 28.80%
    Justin Schultz 28.60%
    Nick Schultz 28.40%
    Anton Belov 28.40%
    Denis Grebeshkov 0.00% (not sure why Grebs shows up as 0%)

  18. Bos8 says:

    justDOit:
    Bos8,

    I take that you married a Camry then?

    No, I married that ten minutes of glory.

    There are no maintenance manuals and the learning process is painful. Took a long time after, I kept checking for the spec tags.

  19. goldenchild says:

    Doomoil: Not only had Hemsky not turned over the puck, but he was playing magnificently.

    I tweeeted this to him but I think he has his anti Hemsky tweets saved in his drafts and fires them out at random. Whats happening on the ice seems to have little impact on his opinion.

  20. Doomoil says:

    rickithebear: Hello!
    58gm. -25

    Linus omark
    65gm -21

    We all agree Omari a forward has zero defensive game.

    -25 from a forward pretending to be a dman.

    This defenseman hasn’t fully developed in 58 games!

    SHOOT HIM IN TO THE SUN!

  21. Woodguy says:

    Nice piece at C&B by Allan Hull on Gordon being Superman

    He’s getting the Maholtra treatment and is doing very well.

    http://www.coppernblue.com/2013/10/23/4946924/boyd-gordon-superhero

  22. Vaclav says:

    Woodguy:
    Nice piece at C&B by Allan Hull on Gordon being Superman

    He’s getting the Maholtra treatment and is doing very well.

    http://www.coppernblue.com/2013/10/23/4946924/boyd-gordon-superhero

    Zero offensive zone starts for Gordon on the night. Wow.

  23. Lowetide says:

    supernova:

    LT,

    Who do we credit for Arcobella ?

    Pro scouting, MacT from his bird dog time, Todd Nelson ?

    Aside from arcobella himself

    I believe he was signed to an AHL deal by Bill Scott. I would assume that the Oilers amateur scouts would have seen him, but beyond that I don’t know.

  24. Andropod says:

    Lowetide: I believe he was signed to an AHL deal by Bill Scott. I would assume that the Oilers amateur scouts would haveseen him, but beyond thatI don’t know.

    Hey LT I am sure I read somewhere, perhaps EJ, way back when Nuge first came on the team, that Nuge had played with him in the past somewhere and strongly recommended him. If I can get a chance I will see if I can look it up but it was one of those things that stuck when I saw it. Seriously!

  25. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “Anton Belov. What the hell?
    Anton Belov 49.6″

    See! (sorry).

    ———–
    One thing on that D corsi list… didn’t we pass around an interesting article in the Summer about D and corsi… the assumption was (IIRC) that because D are mostly, you know, defending… corsi funks up the picture of their performance. I can’t recall the solution, or if there was one… any help?

    ———-
    “I do wonder if MacT is satisfied with the team overall. Elliotte Friedman’s article the other day pointed out that MacT was kicking tires on goaltending AND defense, so there may be something brewing. Mobility and puck moving ability, along with positioning are big parts of the Eakins way, and some of the Oiler blue aren’t adjusting well. We’ll see how it goes.”

    With Philly being Philly, I would think that Coborn deal has been re-visited a few times in the past few days. Fuzzy was putting Smid in the out box too… so, I think MacT’s ready and willing and probably waiting on someone to meet his price. My bet is it’s more D than G though. I expect G to wait until the deadline or offseason.

    ———-
    “Tyler Pitlick is the 10th Stu MacGregor pick to play in the NHL (MBS started the head job in time for the 2008 draft).”

    Side bar on drafting and scouting credits: If we give a scout credit for say Magnus, even though he’s no longer part of the org., simply because he’s proved a useful NHL player (let’s accept the premise here and leave the trolling to another conversation)…

    …I don’t see why we wouldn’t give a scout credit for Teemu, even if he never plays another NHL game, on the condition that he 1) goes on to have a very good pro career in the KHL, and 2) could have had proved a useful NHL player had the contract/life style chips fallen differently.

    The scout’s job is to identify talent, not to negotiate contracts or to account for players jumping ship because they have a better opportunity for TOI and $$ in the 2nd best league.

    To a lesser extent, I think Rajala falls into the same quandary. If he plays in the SHL for the next 10 years and is a star… isn’t that a sign that the scouts got it right? Can you blame them that Rajala couldn’t wait for an unlikely spot to open on the club and pursued other options?

    This might be where the intersection of scouting and development/management needs to sorted out a little more clearly.

    any thoughts?

  26. denny33 says:

    smellyglove,

    Yeah – I am not really impressed with the scout that took Sydney Crosby first overall either….or Stamkos or Tavares.

    The selection of Jordan Eberle is the only one that stands out….the rest of the list speaks for itself.

    And gives insight into the half a decade long rebuild….

  27. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Vaclav:
    Haven’t seen much of Belov’s nasty side yet but expect that will come as he gets more at bats.He sure seems comfortable though.Hope MacTavish is in touch with his agent working on a contract extension soon because the price is going to continue to go up.

    He gave Gallagher a really intense shot in the dying moments of the game that drew a scrum.

    I think he’s come over here with the intension of learning the NHL game first and foremost and looks like a good study. I expect once he’s figured out the nuts and bolts you’ll see more of the other side come out. Overall, this is a very good thing. He’s not looking to fly out of position for a reckless hip check (Fistric).

    the other thing is youtube is very deceptive in that is curates hits and fights on players giving a really false and very one-sided impression of a player’s body of work.

  28. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Ben:
    Something just ain’t right with Justin Schultz.

    He threw one hell of a body check in the 3rd. I don’t think I’d seen him do that before… I had to strain my eyes at the not-great feed to make sure it was 19 and not 15 out there.

  29. denny33 says:

    Jon K,

    You are right this team deserves some credit…on the road – no Hall, Gagner or Smyth – down early they mount a comeback….

    Petry has been the best of the group by some margin. Like you say Belov seems to get better as each game goes by….very calm, subtle passing.

    J. Schultz has played better lately…and I too think you are right – think coaches might have told him to lay back and focus on Defence, first.

    Probably stating the obvious – insert one more puck moving D-man in place of N. Schultz and this team finds an extra gear. I believe this is -exactly – what Mac T is trying to do. Easier said than done…I know.

    Said it all last year – growing unrest in Winnipeg. This is a team that is very well stocked at the D position and has an utter lack of scoring talent up front….Chevy and Mac T work together in Chicago?

  30. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide: I believe he was signed to an AHL deal by Bill Scott. I would assume that the Oilers amateur scouts would haveseen him, but beyond thatI don’t know.

    I think you have to go further back.

    He signed with Stockton first, so someone in that org. took a flyer on him. Clearly, from there, the OKC team saw enough to give him a bump.

  31. admiralmark says:

    Yakupov really does look spastic out there. Like he’s thinking one step ahead of himself and tripping over his feet because of it. I noticed he was using smelling salts at the beginning of the game in Montreal. And I thought to myself Really?! This is the last thing he needs. At least wait til the 3rd when your energy might be dwindling. But what do I know?

  32. Andropod says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I think you have to go further back.

    He signed with Stockton first, so someone in that org. took a flyer on him. Clearly, from there, the OKC team saw enough to give him a bump.

    I haven’t been able to find a point where his path would have crossed that of the Nuge, but my recollection is that it was reported that Nuge had personally recommended him.

  33. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    goldenchild: My fav part from last nights game was Terry Jones inexplicable tweet killing Hemsky only to be followed by a barrage of “are you even watching the game?” tweets and then of course comes a beautiful goal by 83 to start the comeback. Music!

    Thanks for that.

    I love that feeling of watching people dig deeper into their bias while the world laughs.

  34. wheatnoil says:

    Andropod: Hey LT I am sure I read somewhere, perhaps EJ, way back when Nuge first came on the team, that Nuge had played with him in the past somewhere and strongly recommended him. If I can get a chance I will see if I can look it up but it was one of those things that stuck when I saw it. Seriously!

    I think you’re thinking of Joey Laleggia, who I believe is a good friend of RNH. Arcobello is 5 years older than RNH, so it’s unlikely they ever played together until they were on the same OKC team during the lockout. Also, Arcobello was signed to his entry-level contract (April 2011) before the Oilers even drafted RNH.

  35. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Andropod: I haven’t been able to find a point where his path would have crossed that of the Nuge, but my recollection is that it was reported that Nuge hadpersonally recommended him.

    Is that even possible?

    RNH drafted in 2011. Arco signed with Stockton at the end of the 09-10 season.

    maybe he gave him a nod of confidence further along the way?

  36. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    denny33:
    smellyglove,

    Yeah – I am not really impressed with the scout that took Sydney Crosby first overall either….or Stamkos or Tavares.

    The selection of JordanEberle is the only one that stands out….the rest of the list speaks for itself.

    And gives insight into the half a decade long rebuild….

    This doesn’t have to be an all or nothing proposition, right?

    Yes, the chance of failure is very low at 1OV. Everyone is aware of this. We don’t credit “success” here the same way we do about 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc. rounders.

    But, there are still decisions to be made and very real mistakes to avoid. People are still debating all 3 1OVs. As long, as someone has to make a decision they get the praise or blame that follows.

  37. GriffCity says:

    Well that was an interesting game. When it was all Montreal in the first period I started saying maybe Eller was right, man did they look terrible out there early. Really pleased with the comeback of course and got a solid effort from a lot of the players.
    Dubnyk – strong game, definitely back on track the last 3 games
    Jones – horrible turn over (junior hockey play) led to the second goal but I like how he stood up for Pitlick after he hammered Gionta into the boards and loved his prototypical Ryan Jones greasy goal which turned out to be the game winner.
    Eberle – Great game
    Nuge – Great game
    Petry – I kind of hate to say it but this guy is playing really well and is our best defenseman thus far. Good offense and has been much better in his own zone the last 4-5 games. I even saw him make a couple hits!
    Belov -Pretty good game, our number 2 d-man as of now IMO. Keeps it simple but has a good shot that I think will start finding twine really soon.
    Hemsky – Great game, has had a very good year thus far, even made a Bill Randford toe save
    Yakupov – I dont know what this kids problem is but he looked terrible, I hope he is not a huge bust. He was arguably the worst player on the entire ice last night. Gallagher and Galchenyuk seemed far superior hockey players. Hope he can find his game, i really do but if not, trade him while he still has any value. Wow was he bad….so bad

    Everyone else played pretty well for the most part, i liked Pitlicks game, Eager played like garbage as did the entire 4th line but hey, we won! albeit a little lucky since Montreal was the better team for most of the night but Dubnyk held us in there.

    F U Eller

  38. Lowetide says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:

    I think you have to go further back.

    He signed with Stockton first, so someone in that org. took a flyer on him. Clearly, from there, the OKC team saw enough to give him a bump.

    Traditionally, AHL GM’s sign college players to pro deals and then often place them in the ECHL.

  39. Andropod says:

    wheatnoil: I think you’re thinking of Joey Laleggia, who I believe is a good friend of RNH. Arcobello is 5 years older than RNH, so it’s unlikely they ever played together until they were on the same OKC team during the lockout. Also, Arcobello was signed to his entry-level contract (April 2011) before the Oilers even drafted RNH.

    Oh shit. You are likely correct. But thank you.

  40. Ben says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Big hip check? You sure that wasn’t 2?

  41. GriffCity says:

    admiralmark:
    Yakupov really does look spastic out there. Like he’s thinking one step ahead of himself and tripping over his feet because of it. I noticed he was using smelling salts at the beginning of the game in Montreal. And I thought to myself Really?! This is the last thing he needs. At least wait til the 3rd when your energy might be dwindling. But what do I know?

    Fully agree that “spastic” is a good way to describe this kid out there. I also sense his linemates hate playing with him and for good reason. Smelling salts however dont give you any energy to speak of, they are simply used to “clear your head” . they sting the nostrils much like black panther cologne from anchorman and kind of zap your brain into hopefully a game time frame of mind. They are also used to stimulate the olfactory receptors in the nose/brain if a player gets KO’d but that’s more of an old school practice. Anyway, speaking of practice, maybe someone should have a talk with Yak next practice and ask him exactly wtf he is trying to do out there because I really want this kid to succeed but he has been just plain bad.

  42. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide: Traditionally, AHL GM’s sign college players to pro deals and then often place them in the ECHL.

    Ah. that makes sense. So do ECHL GMs not do any of their own scrounging? they must do some, no?

    At any rate, my hardly exhaustive search can’t come up with anything for the 10-11 season initial signing following Arco’s college career.

    Ben:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Big hip check? You sure that wasn’t 2?

    “not shot, dog bite.”

    it was a hit into the near side d-zone boards. definitely 19.

  43. Racki says:

    Doomoil: This defenseman hasn’t fully developed in 58 games!

    SHOOT HIM IN TO THE SUN!

    This made me laugh loudly.. At work.

  44. Hammers says:

    BELOV : well some of us said from day 1 this was a great pick up for nothing . When McT said the guy would play I was surprised so many had him as a 6-7-8 “D” . When I looked at some of his tapes I said he is a top 4 on this team and he is only behind Petry . YAK : Sorry but he looks lost on the LW just like last year . Why do coaches revisit what other coaches tried . He needs to be with Arco & Perron . DD : Needed to be played . Loved his answer to another reporters dumb question when he struggled ( What you think I forgot how to play goal ) Reporters sometimes just ask the wrong questions .EBERLE : Will make Canadian team . The upcoming schedule doesn’t get any easier so Eakins better figure a few things out .

  45. fifthcartel says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I definitely saw that and was thoroughly confused. I think it was on Galchenyuk and I had to rewind a bit to make sure that was actually J.Schultz, couldn’t believe it haha.

  46. 106 and 106 says:

    Gordon’s been worth his $3 million in Salt. We have our new Todd Marchant!
    ——

    Once Mac-T fires up this 3 for 1 that will slot J-Schultz lower down in the order, giving him a better chance to develop at a more suitable pace.
    ——

    What’s Belov going to ask for next year, and does that make him… an RFA?
    ——

    Smid is 1 goal for 3 shots – is his shooting percentage sustainable????

  47. Bag of Pucks says:

    Great to see the lads salvage the road trip with a much needed win. So many of MacT’s new additions are playing well that you can actually envision a pretty effective lineup when everyone’s healthy. With the injuries, Eakin’s seems to be morphing towards a Top 6 with skill and a Bottom 6 that checks and is strong on the forecheck and it seems to be serving the team well.

    I know it’s borderline heresy but I honestly thought all of the Oilers lines started looking better last night when they starting mixing in some dump and chase with a strong forecheck. This team can be steadfastly stubborn about carrying it in, even when the opposition is clogging up, and too often the result is a neutral zone turnover followed by a quick transition the other way. By all means, take the zone with possession whenever possible, but as last night showed, when it’s not there, there’s some gains to be had by an effective shoot-in followed by strong board work.

    Btw, BlacqueJacque, if you’re still lurking. I feel your pain but it is possible to mitigate the obsession and enjoy this team on the odd occasion when it does throw its fans some crumbs. I was pretty much the same way (had to watch every game, buy the merch, etc.) but made a conscious decision to not do that this year. Joined the local curling club, starting jamming again in a band once a week and now I just catch up with the Oil on pvr when they’re worth watching. Enjoying life much more this season.

    Get blown out by the Canucks? I’ll pass. Shit the bed against the Caps? Watch the highlights and move one. Comeback against the Habs, cool, I’ll watch from the second period on. PVR is a godsend for Oiler fans!

  48. wheatnoil says:

    106 and 106:
    What’s Belov going to ask for next year, and does that make him… an RFA?

    Accroding to Capgeek, Belov will be a UFA next year.

  49. 106 and 106 says:

    wheatnoil,

    I was afraid of that – I hope he survives and thrives in the cold Edmonton winter (much like Russia, yeah)?

  50. Bag of Pucks says:

    Yak>Nuge>Ebs
    Hall>Gags>Hemsky
    Pitlick>Gordon>Perron
    Joensu>Arco>Smyth

    We had potential 4 starters out with injury last night (Hall, Gagner, Smyth, Jonesu) . Get everyone healthy and the above is a very reasonable looking lineup. Aside from Arco, there’s some nice size in that bottom 6!

    Really nice to cheer for a team again that can actually win faceoffs.

  51. Bar_Qu says:

    Yak will find his way. Much like Hall, Eberle and RNH did. Give it time.

    Like maybe allow him 80 games played before we really start to worry. Probably more like 100.

  52. Vaclav says:

    wheatnoil: Accroding to Capgeek, Belov will be a UFA next year.

    Yes, UFA. MacTavish needs to be calling his agent post haste to get him inked to an extension.

  53. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    106 and 106:
    wheatnoil,

    I was afraid of that – I hope he survives and thrives in the cold Edmonton winter (much like Russia, yeah)?

    He picked EDM over a lot of other options. The PENS actually thought they had him as some reporter tweeted something like “Belov signs with the PENS” only to retract moments later.

    At any rate, I think as long as MacT makes him a reasonable offer, he’ll stay.

  54. rickithebear says:

    Doomoil: This defenseman hasn’t fully developed in 58 games!

    SHOOT HIM IN TO THE SUN!

    I heard on this site the AHLis a good place for a young Dman to learn to play Defence.

    A standard pairing of (puck mover -Box d) seems the norm today.

    Smid-Petry
    Ference-Belov
    N. schultz-Grebs

    IS the full J. schultz better than Petryy, Belov, Nurse.

  55. Lois Lowe says:

    It’s a shame that Yak has to play LW in order to play with Eberle because the former does not look comfortable on the left side. I would prefer something like

    RNH – Perron – Yak
    Arco – Ebs – Hemsky

  56. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Yak>Nuge>Ebs
    Hall>Gags>Hemsky
    Pitlick>Gordon>Perron
    Joensu>Arco>Smyth

    We had potential 4 starters out with injury last night (Hall, Gagner, Smyth, Jonesu) . Get everyone healthy and the above is a very reasonable looking lineup. Aside from Arco, there’s some nice size in that bottom 6!

    Really nice to cheer for a team again that can actually win faceoffs.

    Your use of the “greater than” sign is confusing me here.

  57. Doomoil says:

    I don’t know that I’ve ever actually seen Pitlick play. I didn’t see him in the preseason this year and can’t think of an occasion before that.

    It was put forth here that he was fast, but man, he is FAST. If that’s the type of game he brings every night, welcome aboard young man.

  58. delooper says:

    GriffCity:
    FU Eller

    ?? I don’t understand that. Eller said what he thought. And he’s a little bit right. This is a young team that hasn’t got enough time and experience being committed to a full team system. He said the same kind of thing Eakins was saying about the team during training camp, only in a less pleasant way. Coming from somebody not actually on the team, it’ll grate a little. But Eller was being honest. Nothing wrong with that.

  59. 106 and 106 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Could Belov be a bonafide 2/3 with Petry? We have enough 4/5/6′s to fill the room, so who’s up for first in the batting order?

  60. Bag of Pucks says:

    delooper: ?? I don’t understand that.Eller said what he thought.And he’s a little bit right.This is a young team that hasn’t got enough time and experience being committed to a full team system. He said the same kind of thing Eakins was saying about the team during training camp, only in a less pleasant way.Coming from somebody not actually on the team, it’ll grate a little.But Eller was being honest.Nothing wrong with that.

    Saying something insulting doesn’t make it ok just because it’s true. If I tell a guy his wife is ugly, he’s not going to appreciate hearing it, even if she DOES look like a mud fence.

  61. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    106 and 106:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Could Belov be a bonafide 2/3 with Petry? We have enough 4/5/6′s to fill the room, so who’s up for first in the batting order?

    Petry is our de-facto 1 until MacT finds a better option. Belov is well within the top 4 and appears to have some more upside as he continues to find his comfort level in the NHL.

    I don’t know if they play together or what, but Petry, Belov are our studs. Eakins knows this, we know this, the stats know this.

  62. Hayek says:

    Who is the girl in the picture?

  63. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Hayek:
    Who is the girl in the picture?

    The Office (US)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jenna_Fischer

  64. Racki says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Your use of the “greater than” sign is confusing me here.

    It means all the Oilers left wingers are awesome and the right wingers suck. Center? So so.

  65. delooper says:

    Bag of Pucks: Saying something insulting doesn’t make it ok just because it’s true. If I tell a guy his wife is ugly, he’s not going to appreciate hearing it, even if she DOES look like a mud fence.

    Sure, but if the ugliness of your wife is a non-taboo topic (like the Oilers system adjustment is) then it’s not really insulting at that point to talk about it. It’s just a bit aggravating.

  66. Racki says:

    Lois Lowe:
    It’s a shame that Yak has to play LW in order to play with Eberle because the former does not look comfortable on the left side. I would prefer something like

    RNH – Perron– Yak
    Arco – Ebs – Hemsky

    Yak wasn’t looking good at right so far this year either. I think they just give it more time

  67. Bos8 says:

    Ten games in the defense is really rounding into shape. Now maybe there isn’t the big Kahuna present but Petry, Belov, Smid and Schultz are looking in the top percentiles. Then factor in Klefbom, Marincin and Gernat who is seemingly surprising people down in OKC and that’s pretty heartening.

    On another point, as noted above, good article on Gordon at C& B, the only quibble would be that Pitlick was part of the solution, as Jones is a known playing level.

    Kudos to management in working to bring up Pitlick. And then Eakins keeping it simple for the rook. There are a lot of good things happening in a very short time. The lows are of shorter duration and the highs seem sustainable. There is now a baseline. A swing through the western powerhouses should provide a good indicator.

    Hark, a possible spark.

  68. 106 and 106 says:

    “When you have a player like Eller running his mouth before the game, it makes for great banter in our room and great motivation”

    Did King Lars have any post-game comments (*chuckles to self*)?

  69. Bos8 says:

    Eakins was gracious in mentioning the youth and that he probably wouldn’t do it again.

  70. Racki says:

    As a Habs fan, one should be angry at Eller for giving the other team ammo. As an oiler fan, I loved Eller ‘s comments. Not because I thought his comment angered them. They still were flat in the first period and a half of hockey. But I’m hoping that after seeing how Crap your team was at that point, as a player you might say.. “wow, he was right.. I don’t want to keep playing like this anymore”. I’m not confident they will keep it going, but I’m glad someone else pointed it out. They should be embarrassed to hear it and not want to settle for being perceived as a structureless team. I didn’t disagree with a thing Eller said, but as his coach I’d hate that he said it.

  71. spoiler says:

    Hayek: Who is the girl in the picture?

    Jenna Fischer from two movies: The Giant Mechanical Man and Blades of Glory (last pic).

  72. spoiler says:

    Woodguy: I’m not sure how Extra Skater does their qual compThey take the 5v5 TOI of their opponents. They also break it down in TOI Dmen and TOI forwards.The % represents the portion of total TOI that their opponents have on their teams.i.e.) if a guy has a 30% rating the his aggregate opponent’s play 30% of their team’s TOI.The premise is that the best players get the most ice time. If you are playing against better players it will show up in your opponents ice time.A couple years back some guys came up with this as an alternative to Gabe’s QC numbers and it certainly passes the smell test.Here’s the list, in order for the OIlers. This is taken from all opponents TOI. (not just F or D)Player TotTm% QoCTaylor Hall 30.50%Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 30.10%Ales Hemsky 29.80%Mark Arcobello 29.20%David Perron 29.20%Nail Yakupov 29.20%Jordan Eberle 29.10%Ryan Hamilton 28.90%Ryan Smyth 28.70%Jesse Joensuu 28.30%Boyd Gordon 28.10%Tyler Pitlick 28.10%Ben Eager 27.90%Luke Gazdic 26.20%Will Acton 26.10%Mike Brown 26.00%Ryan Jones 26.00%Jeff Petry 29.60%Ladislav Smid 29.60%Andrew Ference 28.80%Justin Schultz 28.60%Nick Schultz 28.40%Anton Belov 28.40%Denis Grebeshkov 0.00% (not sure why Grebs shows up as 0%)

    I almost want to cry. I’d been harping on using TOI as a fix for QUALCOMP after the numbers started looking fishy a few years back. It’s what I use. And now there’s a website that does this for me? I think this might become my new favorite place on the Interwebs.

    … And we’re at 10 games, should be worth it to start checking out some fancy stats (although still a pretty small sample at 10) and look for early trends.

  73. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Nicknames for Connor:

    “Chinatown”
    “short sleeves”
    “short pants”
    “free bird”
    “teen burger”
    “bodum”
    “space pod”
    “dust jacket”
    “instigator penalty”
    “Red October”
    “Silvia”
    “fraud alert”
    “Monticello”
    “Limoncello”
    “Peter”
    “Democracy in America”

  74. G Money says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: One thing on that D corsi list… didn’t we pass around an interesting article in the Summer about D and corsi… the assumption was (IIRC) that because D are mostly, you know, defending… corsi funks up the picture of their performance. I can’t recall the solution, or if there was one… any help?

    I don’t recall there being an article as such. There was a ton of discussion over the summer, particularly over the controversy over the Ference signing, who had a mediocre Corsi. The fancy stats guys hated him and the signing for that, while the “seen him good” folks thought it was a good signing because he a was a clear top 4 (by TOI) guy on a Cup contender, and they also liked him for his toughness, his leadership, his “intangibles”, stuff that the fancy stats can’t really capture.

    I did a personal assessment to try and determine how much value his Corsi had and came to the conclusion that it had very little.

    I then tried to look across the league at a bunch of defensemen and assess by their Corsi’s and lo and behold – some of the best in the league had terrible Corsi, while some awful defenders had very good Corsi.

    I am a big fan of Corsi when used the right way, but I came away from that exercise convinced that Corsi is of minimal use in assessing defensemen, and will almost always bring that point up in any discussions on the topic.

    As part of that original series of discussions, to my mind the definitive work on the topic came from VOR, who tried to run league-wide correlations of Corsi and defensemen (in contrast to my more “case study” oriented look), and he too found virtually no link between the two.

    Since then, I know that Tyler Dellow has looked at the effect of ZoneStart on Corsi for defensemen in particular, but I’m not sure he reached a definitive conclusion.

  75. SkipIsChris says:

    Ben,

    Nope. 19. And it was sweet. Even the announcer was shocked.

  76. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    G Money,

    Thanks for the re-cap.

    Lingering in the haze of my memory was a conversation that was started by a linked article, which may or may not have coincided with Ference, but I think maybe they weren’t related.

    I’ve poked around, but haven’t found anything… memory often creates phantoms and clouds past realities… so, until someone remembers what I’m talking about, or re-news the conversation a-fresh, I’m happy to leave it.

  77. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Off-topic.

    Watched Oil Change last night:

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/oil-change-all-in-season-4-episode-1/

    wanted to note a couple of disappointments:

    1. No mention of Pelss. I thought a brief tribute was called for.

    2. Not nearly enough draft and trade talk. I would have liked to have seen the Nurse/Russian debate; the 2 round trade; and Roy at least discussed a bit more.

    3. Not enough mentioning of the off-season moves.

    4. No exit interview with Horcoff. Little mention of Hemsky’s staying put.

  78. misfit says:

    Belov’s number is great, but I think a lot of that has to do with him being a “bottom right” player because he hasn’t been nearly as impressive by my eye during the season as he was in preseason. I’m all for giving him time to adjust, I’m just saying he hasn’t impressed me so far.

  79. danny says:

    spoiler: Jenna Fischer from two movies: The Giant Mechanical Man and Blades of Glory (last pic).

    Just from memory, she was also in a movie with Owen Wilson… Hall Pass? And one of my fav comedies: ‘Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story”. Most famously, the american version of the tv show ‘The Office’

  80. Racki says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Good point on Pelss. Not sure the best way for them to approach that but I’m sure they could have done something classy.

  81. DeadmanWaking says:

    GriffCity: F U Eller

    Sun Tzu says: Fan umbrage to forestall unrest.

  82. VOR says:

    I wanted to explain what I did about corsi and what I think I learned (I think I have even figured out how to provide the raw data here when I am back home and have access to my desktop). However, and by the way I think many stats guys are coming to this same conclusion, it seems corsi is more closely correlated with goal outcomes for forwards than defencemen.

    What I did was to use Gabe’s database to create goal differential numbers on ice for each player in the NHL who played more than forty games in 2009-2010, 2010-2011, and 2011-2012. Then I looked at corsi and goal differential as simple variables and did various tests of correlation. Simply put forwards goal differentials (goals for on for 60 – goals against on for 60) are strongly correlated as a group with r values in excess of .8 versus relative corsi. The numbers for defence are lower (various tests given the same outcome but the magnitude of the difference is widely variable). There were differences for both forwards and defence in terms of how strongly correlated relative corsi and goal differential are in different years. However, if forwards were more strongly correlated in one year then so where defence in that same year.

    They I tried breaking the players (roughly 300 forwards and 150 dmen each year) into subsets. This is where it got interesting. Relative corsi is remarkably stable from year to year viewed in this context. A Rcorsi of 13 or better in any year for a forward puts you in the top 10% of forwards, it is about 9 for Dmen. This pattern continues through all the cohorts created by using 10% increments. At the highest end of dmen (big coris players like Chara – the only dman to show up in the top 10% all three years) corsi is very strongly correlated with goal differential – much more so than for top forwards. Meanwhile the forwards are strongly correlated at all levels. Dmen are not, other than the top 10% there is little or even a negative correlation in most other cohorts.

    I guess what I am trying to say is that corsi seems to measure something real but I am very reluctant to use it for individuals. This is because corsi isn’t predictive in these years except at the high end 10% for defencemen. Meanwhile the same forwards don’t show up in the same 10% ranking each year. So it doesn’t work for dmen in most circumstances and isn’t stable in forwards.

    I will have more later. Am in lunch meeting and my colleagues are getting annoyed.

  83. G Money says:

    VOR,

    You Sir, as always, rock. (And if you are not a Sir but a Madam, I apologize).

    For sh*ts and giggles, here was my lightweight look at Corsi for D (2013 season, 5×5, CF%, min 400 mins played, 179 players total) …

    Your top 10 D: MUZZIN, JAKE; ROZSIVAL, MICHAL; FAYNE, MARK; WIERCIOCH, PATRICK; DOUGHTY, DREW; ZIDLICKY, MAREK; SANGUINETTI, BOBBY; STRALMAN, ANTON; SUBBAN, P.K.; VISNOVSKY, LUBOMIR

    Doughty and Subban I buy. Fayne? Sanguinetti?

    Your bottom 10 D: PETRY, JEFF; SMID, LADISLAV; SCHULTZ, JUSTIN; BUTLER, CHRIS; SEKERA, ANDREJ; REGEHR, ROBYN; O_BYRNE, RYAN; PHANEUF, DION; WHITNEY, RYAN; WEBER, MIKE

    Whitney and J Schultz I can see. Say, wasn’t Sekera one of the guys we wanted to improve our D? And aren’t we mulling on Phagoof as a free agent?

    A few other notables: Chara at #13; Keith, Pietrangelo, and Ference at 49-51; Bordin at #58, OEL at #74, Suter at #104, Weber at #152 (tied with N Schultz), and Orpik at #167.

    I suppose a next step would be to run a simple TOI vs Corsi correlation but I would have had to get the TOI/game info from different sites and either manually correlate or write a script to correlate, and couldn’t be bothered.

  84. Logan91 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Off-topic.

    Watched Oil Change last night:

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/oil-change-all-in-season-4-episode-1/

    wanted to note a couple of disappointments:

    1. No mention of Pelss. I thought a brief tribute was called for.

    2. Not nearly enough draft and trade talk. I would have liked to have seen the Nurse/Russian debate; the 2 round trade; and Roy at least discussed a bit more.

    3. Not enough mentioning of the off-season moves.

    4. No exit interview with Horcoff. Little mention of Hemsky’s staying put.

    I think they’re just trying to create a new image for the team and just want to move on from the Horcoff and Hemmers thing.

    I do think they should have done something for Pelss though, even if it was just a brief scene at the end of the episode saying RIP.

  85. jamang says:

    Hall – Hopkins – hemsky
    perron – arco – eberle
    joensu – Gordon – ganger
    pitlick – acton – jones/facepuncher

    sorry do we really need yak or a tough number one defensemen?

    like a subban, byufelin, phaneuf type? why don’t we stop getting so attached to our players and make a move.

    yaks value is only dropping lets sell himi igh while we can. we don’t need him anyways. ganger can take hemmers spot ina year or whenever hemmer is traded too.

  86. Ribs says:

    106 and 106: Did King Lars have any post-game comments (*chuckles to self*)?

    “It wasn’t my intention to say something disrespectful to the Oilers,” explained Eller. “I was asked about their style of game…I said a bunch of things. One thing was taken out and highlighted.

    “I’m not the kind of guy who trash-talks in the media.”

    I believe him. I don’t think it was meant to be a dig at the Oilers at all. It’s all in good fun, though.

  87. oilersfan says:

    jamang,

    Jamang, Yak’s value couldn’t be much lower right now and it isn’t getting you a #1 dman any time soon. The Oilers need to develop his ability to find the passing lanes to get into a position to shoot, to help him with puck retrieval in both the offensive and defensive zones, to reduce the higher risk passes that result in turnovers, and to improve his defensive positioning. Until then his value is much lower than it will be after.

    However, once he improves in those areas, with his skill level, nobody will want to trade him because that guy is going to be Steve Stamkos and the Oilers’ best player.

    I actually wonder if the best thing for his development wouldn’t be to send him to the AHL, to play 22 minutes a night and to teach him those things in practice and games until he excels at those at the same rate that he does when he has the puck on his stick. Let him score 1.5 ppg for 40 games then bring him up with a higher hockey IQ, overall game, and much higher confidence.

    His puck and skating skills are elite, in some ways, top 5 in the league, but those other areas are important and need to be developed just like puck and skating skills do.

    Not sure sending him to the A is the best thing but if he doesn’t improve here soon maybe that makes the most sense. Not as a punishment but aspart of a useful development model.

  88. Bos8 says:

    For anyone rating some of Yak skills as elite – I happened across some of Bure’s goals. It’s been out of sight, out of mind. But that, was elite. Ain’t seen nothin like it, before or since. It’s not the speed, it’s the gear shift.

  89. 106 and 106 says:

    Logan91,

    Maybe because of the family’s insistence they didn’t – who knows.

    I imagine the Alquila team would have if they could have – they have class like that, imo.

  90. VOR says:

    Another way to quickly assess the value of corsi relative is to take a year. Lets say 2011-2012. Then only consider players with 40 or more games played. Then only look at defencemen. Sort those by relative corsi top to bottom. Now look at those with positive relative corsi only. Now look at those players +/- on for 60. I think what you will find is that 48% had negative +/- on for 60 numbers. In other words roughly half the D who had positive relative corsi had negative goal outcomes. I can’t see the validity of using relative corsi or other similar metrics in discussions of individual dmen. I would point out you get a somewhat more promising outcome from doing positive +/- players and then looking at relative corsi for that population. 33.3% have negative corsi so there is a better argument for relative corsi viewed that way. However, it is still far from compelling.

    Don’t get me started on things like TOI, qual comp, and zone starts. Just take it from me. It is very hard to play big minutes, against tough competition, with terrible zone starts, and crappy team mates and get either positive +/- on for 60 or positive relative corsi, never mind both. It can be done, and those that do it consistently get very large salaries, but it is very rare. So for mere mortals when talking about corsi we need to bring many other items into the discussion.

    Sadly, the blogosphere is seldom the place for that sort of discussion.

  91. dangilitis says:

    I actually can’t believe anyone in their right mind would defend Eller.

    He came out with the comments, and of course there is some truth to them. But this guy has this big smirk on his face when you look at the pre-game interview, he meant what he said and was mocking the team. What he’s proven in this league (jack shit) is beside the point, but having teammates and lunatic fans defend him as being classy and not intending to insult the team is bullshit. I don’t see one bit how the comments were taken out of context. The comments in writing are actually more flattering than watching the smug bastard on interview.

    Then he goes out and lays an egg. Rather than owning up to it, he pretends he meant no disrespect. I would have related more with him if he said “Yes, I said those comments, I meant what I said, and I am sorry if the truth hurts. Yes, that team outplayed us last night. But that game was a tale of two mini-games, and clearly proved my point about the Oilers, ya know, how they can surprise you? Apologies to my teammates for being a non-factor, and for motivating the opponents more last night, but we shouldn’t have let an AHL call up get a garbage goal or allowed so many good chances in the last 30 minutes. End of story.”

    So for those out there who defend him because he spoke the truth, he was too chicken shit to admit that he meant what he said after the fact. That’s the worst kind of shit disturber, its the cowardly type. See: Sean Avery.

    As for Eakins, I hope he rankled the Canadiens. Who gives a shit? We don’t see them for another year, and by that time, Eller will be back to 2nd or 3rd liner again and the Oilers will have 6 new forwards. Any coach with an ounce of self-respect and respect for his young players would have responded to those comments. What was he supposed to say, “no comment”? To those out there who think Eakins was being immature, I wouldn’t really call it that, or gloating, or all of the other mislabels of his comments out there on TSN, etc. He was basically saying karma’s a bitch, and Eller’s a kid and hopefully he learned his lesson. Based on Eller’s comments, he didn’t. Based on the TSN blogs, people don’t understand respect for an opponent…

  92. 106 and 106 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    My thoughts from Oil Change:

    1. Hasn’t Olcyzk been in his position forever, why’s his office so empty?

    2. Can someone unscramble the blurred lines on those draft boards, line-ups?

    3. Why is Kevin Lowe asking about if “that player” is going to be a good fit short term for the third line – that’s not his role (or at least I thought)…

  93. Showerhead says:

    A few quick thoughts from a lurker:

    1) Yakupov. He just turned 20. He has scored 17 goals in 55 NHL games. When Jordan Eberle turned 20, he was moonlighting with the Springfield Falcons after wrapping up his WHL career as a Regina Pat. Yakupov is working on some shit, sure, but the fans’ panic level about this guy is hilariously misplaced. He’ll be fine (fantastic, really) and it’s good to read some comments today that acknowledge this.

    2) Eller. I don’t think it was an asshole thing to say but it certainly was a stupid thing to say. Extra glad Edmonton won last night.

    3) Corsi. After the initial optimism on this front, I begin to worry. What will it take for Edmonton to clean this up? Time, or fundamental change? Je ne sais pas.

  94. Showerhead says:

    Oh and, to the people who watched Oil Change: what DOES it focus on this time around? Are we still sure that THIS is going to be the year? I guess I should just watch the damn thing, but yeah: what’s good in it?

  95. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Showerhead:
    Oh and, to the people who watched Oil Change: what DOES it focus on this time around? Are we still sure that THIS is going to be the year? I guess I should just watch the damn thing, but yeah: what’s good in it?

    Oh. It was good. If you’ve enjoyed the last few years of it, you’ll like it.

    a fair amount of focus on MacT/Eakin. A nice “away from the rink” piece on the young stars before and during the tourney. A piece on Ference and his november deal (was that a one off?)

  96. stevezie says:

    Showerhead: the fans’ panic level about this guy is hilariously misplaced

    I agree, but it’s just because we’re losing. If we win the next two, which is believable, listen for the crickets.

  97. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Looks like Thomas is injured again:

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=688107&navid=nhl:topheads

    that goatee isn’t really working for him either.

  98. Showerhead says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Oh. It was good. If you’ve enjoyed the last few years of it, you’ll like it.

    a fair amount of focus on MacT/Eakin. A nice “away from the rink” piece on the young stars before and during the tourney. A piece on Ference and his november deal (was that a one off?)

    Thank you for this. Oil Change is one of those things that I keep putting off: “One random Sunday afternoon I’ll just watch a whole bunch of them…” I imagine it’s a good time though, and I appreciate your description of it.

  99. Showerhead says:

    stevezie: I agree, but it’s just because we’re losing. If we win the next two, which is believable, listen for the crickets.

    I hope so. Narratives are a tough thing to escape. Hockey journalists and fans can’t help but quote each other.

  100. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Ward just showed a pretty interesting series of clips of the Sens getting torched on D-Zone draws…

    Isn’t that something Dellow Identified under RK?

  101. Ribs says:

    MONTREAL – Montreal Canadiens forward Lars Eller doesn’t know what to expect from the Edmonton Oilers tonight at the Bell Centre.

    “It can be anything, you know? They play a little bit like a junior team, I think, sometimes,” said Eller, tied for the scoring lead among Habs forwards along with linemate Alex Galchenyuk with seven points in seven games.

    “They take a lot risks, a lot of chances. They’re a little all over the place. There’s not a lot of structure always in their game. It can really be anything. You don’t know.

    “I prefer a little more structured game. Then again, I don’t mind high-scoring games, too. Obviously, we’re going to try with their skilled players to limit their chances.”

    It will be interesting to see how the “junior team” comment goes over with the Oilers, no matter how close to the truth it might be.

    http://video.canadiens.nhl.com/videocenter/console?catid=66&id=465373&lang=en

    He was asked what to expect and he gave an answer that anyone who’s watched the team play could have given. “It can be anything” How about the first half and second half of the Habs game? It looked like the Oilers were two completely different teams! The team does take a lot of risks/chances. Third in the league in giveaways (finished second last season, first the season before). That’s what happens when you take a lot of chances. Eller refers to a “junior team” only because most other NHL teams don’t act this way.

    I dunno, I love that the Oilers won and can say “so there” after Eller made the comments, but I can’t get worked up about them when they’re basically true. I think people hear “junior” and something snaps in their brains for some reason. He’s saying that they take chances like a junior team would compared to an NHL team, not that they are a junior team that should be playing at a lower level.

  102. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    wow! 3-0 OTT-DET with 5 left in the 1st.

  103. hunter1909 says:

    dangilitis: too chicken shit to admit that he meant what he said after the fact. That’s the worst kind of shit disturber, its the cowardly type. See: Sean Avery.

    Eller is one player Oilers would probably snap up in a Tennessee heartbeat. He’s also a very good hockey player from what have seen of that Montreal top line, so why worry?

    If anything he gave the team something to focus on. Taylor Hall two hand aside, if anything Eller has been a positive for the Oilers.

    Nice bodycheck from Petry last night. And Belov took out our friend Eller in front of the Oiler net with a beautiful takedown.

  104. Lowetide says:

    Meh. I rarely old timey on here because I always hated it when it was done to me, but in 1975 that quote from Eller doesn’t make the paper

  105. dangilitis says:

    Let me ask you guys this, then: If those comments came from Yakupov, honestly, you don’t think there would be a media reaction? You don’t think he’d be called a hot head and a cancer in the dressing room? Matty wanted him out when he gave a quick interview after a WJC game, for crying out loud!

  106. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    dangilitis:
    Let me ask you guys this, then: If those comments came from Yakupov, honestly, you don’t think there would be a media reaction? You don’t think he’d be called a hot head and a cancer in the dressing room? Matty wanted him out when he gave a quick interview after a WJC game, for crying out loud!

    I don’t think the object here is to take the side of the pearl clutchers.

  107. Lowetide says:

    dangilitis:
    Let me ask you guys this, then: If those comments came from Yakupov, honestly, you don’t think there would be a media reaction? You don’t think he’d be called a hot head and a cancer in the dressing room? Matty wanted him out when he gave a quick interview after a WJC game, for crying out loud!

    Some of us go to bed at 4pm, others stay up to midnight.

  108. theres oil in virginia says:

    Papers…4 PM bed times…I’ve heard this kind of talk before:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2C_xUlcv2k

    (The first 2 seconds is particularly relevant. Hehe.)

  109. theres oil in virginia says:

    Also, my favorite grandpa:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJx86jT2xRc

  110. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    Lots of national media chatter today that Eakins was way offside in his post game comments.

    The best line I heard today was that “Eakens can’t motivate his team to win but Lars Eller can.

    http://shar.es/ImZWK

    Yikes

  111. Lowetide says:

    Loved that show when I was a kid.

  112. theres oil in virginia says:

    Me too, although I don’t remember much of it. Thankfully, youtube is bringing it back to my memory in small bits. That show and The Muppet Show were staples of my childhood.

    (Hopefully you know that I’m just yankin’ yer chain about the old man stuff. It’s payback for the Saturday morning reality check!)

  113. dangilitis says:

    Dead Cat Bounce,

    Dead Cat Bounce:
    Lots of national media chatter today that Eakins was way offside in his post game comments.

    The best line I heard today was that “Eakens can’t motivate his team to win but Lars Eller can.

    http://shar.es/ImZWK

    Yikes

    Did the quote misspell Eakins’ name or was that just your brain fart? Either way, neither opinion is credible.

    I had to laugh when I read your link that said Kypreos and the panel were not kind to Eakins. For one, I would call the SN crew a “panel,” certainly not a panel of expert opinions. Milbury thought Eller was an ass, do we think he is credible? The media chatter was not focused on critiquing or debating the appropriateness of Eakins’ response, but rather whether the comments from Eller were justified and whether or not they were true. I have read several, and while a couple of articles focus on how there was truth to the comments, which no one here disagrees with, most discussed how (a) Eller fucked up, and (b) the Oilers backed it up and proved him wrong. There was that SN panel which was 2:1 against Eakins, and the 2 against have proven to be fucking idiots on more than one occasion. There was a not so flattering Globe and Mail article. Otherwise, all other articles were either anti-Eller or mixed. TSN opinion seems to be purely anti-Eller.

    And DCB/DSF – when Eller’s coach steps up in the media and flat out calls the comments inappropriate, you can try to conjure up what evidence you want from the media to maintain your deranged thinking, but that’s all the evidence I need that Eller was a dick. My family and friends who cheer for the Canadiens were embarrassed as well, because now their team lost to a team who played junior hockey style for 20 minutes, rather than an NHL team with young stars.

    And the point, LT, was that both the media and fans, from both within and outside Oilerdom, would have been all over one young talented kid if he made disparaging comments about another team. So why does Eller get a free pass when it was about the Oilers? If he won, he probably would have made another smart ass remark. Because he lost, Eakins and co. got to have the last laugh, as they should have.

    Less discussed is the clip of RNH scoffing when he was asked about the remark, and following it up by basically saying that he was glad that Eller made comments, as it was apparent that him and the Canadiens didn’t take them seriously on the basis of the deterioration of quality of play throughout the game. He didn’t have to say any more, but it was quite obvious he thought Eller was a joke from the video response. Compared to RNH, Eller isn’t close, and he will only drift further behind in RNH’s rear view mirror.

  114. dangilitis says:

    Dead Cat Bounce:
    Lots of national media chatter today that Eakins was way offside in his post game comments.

    The best line I heard today was that “Eakens can’t motivate his team to win but Lars Eller can.

    http://shar.es/ImZWK

    Yikes

    I guess Eller’s comments were posted before the Ottawa game, then?

  115. dangilitis says:

    We as supporters of the team can critique it all we want, but when another player criticizes the team, we need to get rid of this self-depreciating, battered fan syndrome bullshit: “oh Eller was an ass, but we do suck so it’s okay that he said it” – don’t blame the victim!

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