CANADIENS AT OILERS, G4, 13-14

The Oilers get the Canadiens tonight, a club that shares some history with the town team. Who can forget the brilliant youngster Moog, and his out of this world goaltending over 30 years ago?

Azorcan3

The two teams are miles from 1981 these days, Montreal hasn’t won Stanley in 20 years and Edmonton won their last three years before the Habs’ 1993 win. In modern terms, these are elite level post-expansion clubs, as reflected in the pennant totals:

  1. Montreal (11): ’68, ’69, ’71, ’73, ’76-’79, ’86, ’89, ’93
  2. Boston (9): ’70, ’72, ’74, ’77, ’78, ’88, ’90, ’11, ’13
  3. Philadelphia (8): ’74, ’75, ’76, ’80, ’85, ’87, ’97, ’10
  4. Edmonton (7): ’83, ’84, ’85, ’87, ’88, ’90, ’06
  5. Detroit (6): ’95, ’97, ’98, ’02, ’08, ’09
  6. Chicago (5): ’71, ’73, ’92, ’10, ’13
  7. New Jersey (5): ’95, ’00, ’01, ’03, ’12
  8. New York Islanders (5): ’80, ’81, ’82, ’83, ’84
  9. Dallas (4): ’81, ’91, ’99, ’00
  10. Pittsburgh (4): ’91, ’92, ’08, ’09

No sir, the Habs are no ‘pretend dynasty’ like the left coast bunch, they actually ruled the world in the post-expansion era with Lafleurs and Shutts and Lemaires and Lapointes and Savards and Robinsons and Drydens. Just as the Oilers have their icons (99, Kurri, Messier, Anderson, Coffey, Fuhr, Lowe, Tikkanen, etc) Montreal has their heroes too, and just as the current Oilers dream of a better day so do these Canadiens.

They are closer to the goal, but both teams are miles and miles away.

Genevieve Bujold In 'The King Of Hearts'

LINES, PAIRINGS AND GOALIE

  • Nuge-Hall-Eberle
  • Arcobello-Perron-Hemsky
  • Gordon-Smyth-Yakupov
  • Acton-Gazdic-Brown
  • Ference-J Schultz
  • Belov-Petry
  • Smid-N Schultz
  • Dubnyk

I’m as surprised as you are, but there’s no denying Smid’s been moved down the depth chart since the 2nd period of the NJ game. I’d guess it is a short term item, but there appears to be a lot of emphasis placed on moving the puck by coach Eakins, and Belov is a very nice passer. It’s also interesting to see the move of Gordon to Smyth-Yakupov, suspect the coach loves the Yak spirit but wants a stronger rhythm section to contrast the rollicking solo’s.

Dubnyk draws back in, that’s the right play.

Not much to say about the Habs, they have wonderful players (Plekanec, Eller, Pacioetty, Subban, Price) but some guys don’t seem to be delivering (Desharnais, Briere) and the blueline is strong in some areas and a little off in others. Price remains a quality goaltender.

gb1

There appears to be much worry over the Calgary Flames and their start, but that’s not really a worry that  holds water. Edmonton beat Calgary in standings a year ago (24th, Flames one behind) and if they can’t do that again then the Oilers seriously need to have coaching and management vacate the premises and allow Daryl Katz to bring in a new group. I count fewer than 10 “actual NHL players” on that team and they have three young men who are going to be outstanding. If the Hall Oilers can’t beat that, then stop all the clocks.

Credit to the Flames, though. I watched some of last night’s game and they are working hard every shift and give no quarter. I have a great deal of respect for that hockey club this morning.

I think it’s very informative to follow the Oilers in-game Corsi, because this team hasn’t really put their feet on the ground and pushed back for 60 minutes yet–and yet they are basically 50% Corsi. Bruce McCurdy mentioned the other day that the 50% mark for Edmonton is probably putting the team in a positive position due to superior finishing skills. Good point, and if they can gain some consistency the next phase of the schedule might be a delight.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

GB2

10 this morning, TSN 1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • David Staples from Cult of Hockey. We’ll talk about tonight’s game, a little Habs-Oilers history and the arena. 
  • Ed Valentine, Big Blue View. I don’t remember an 0-5 Giants team, and I remember Joe Pisarcik. We’ll talk to Ed about it.
  • Guy Flaming from the Pipeline Show.  We’ll talk Moroz, Khaira, Betker (all played at Rexall last night) and Dillon Simpson.
  • Lester Wiltfong, Windy City Gridiron. The Marc Trestman era started 3-0, now 3-2. We’ll find out why.

Calls and tweets welcome (@Lowetide_ on twitter) and text to 10-1260.

gb6

  •  Dallas Eakins: “The thing I like about Nuge is that he’s a bobblehead. I ask him to do something and he nods his head. And not only does he nod his head but he goes out and does it.”

I think the truth is that RNH is one of those guys who knows the game well enough to understand it on a higher level. I’d suggest the Nuge is less “bobblehead” and more “intellectual contemporary” but as long as it works.

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455 Responses to "CANADIENS AT OILERS, G4, 13-14"

« Older Comments
  1. wheatnoil says:

    Gerta Rauss:
    I like that we can put 3 lines on the ice and there is skill on every line. For the longest time it was Hemsky, and the rest of the forwards would hack the puck into little bits.

    They’ll get it together, no need to panic just yet.

    This!

    For the first time in a long time this team has real NHL players on it all through the line-up (except for the 4th line and they’ve only been getting 5 or less minutes a night). This is a better team than last year, even if the record doesn’t show it. It’s a long damn season and if they play like this, they’ll string some wins together to make up this deficit.

  2. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    DD: .885
    Budaj: .964

    That’s not very helpful, in more than one way.

  3. RMGS says:

    Lowetide: Yakupov is an outstanding young player,

    That goes without saying but currently only when he has the puck.

  4. hags9k says:

    Very early yet, but my gut is telling me the boys and ol Dairy Queen hair may not be a match. We have been lousy in all 4 games.

    But let me be clear that if and when this thing turns sour, again, I will point the blame at and call for the job of one man and one man only. Enough is enough 6 rings or not.

  5. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Up now…

    http://www.extraskater.com/game/2013-10-10-canadiens-oilers

    final corsi 46-45 Oilers.
    Hemsky leads the team in Corsi: 73.9%
    Acton worst: 7.7%

  6. Lowetide says:

    RMGS: That goes without saying but currently only when he has the puck.

    It’s a process. Remember this is his second season, but he’s got a new coach, a new system and he’s clearly not playing with skilled guys. I like the fact that Eakins got him some experience to play with tonight, hopefully they can build on it. One thing is certain: trading Yakupov right now is folly.

  7. RMGS says:

    Lowetide: One thing is certain: trading Yakupov right now is folly.

    This also goes without saying!

  8. BlacqueJacque says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Raise your hand if you’re surprised by daddy’s boy being bad at hockey. No, nobody?

    Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?

    When he broke into the zone with Hall he looked so lost. It was pitiful.

  9. Lowetide says:

    I think it’s important for us to remember just how bad things were in 10-11, 11-12 and at times last season. In many, many games during those seasons there was very little positive to talk about, and now the club (despite being 1-3) has moved the shot differential (field position) battle to even.

    That’s a big damn deal.

    Now. CAN they get close to 50% Corsi on the road? We’re about to find out.

  10. Lowetide says:

    “Our powerplay needed to match theirs. They weren’t afraid to shoot even if we were in the shooting lanes.” Eakins

  11. Logan91 says:

    I dont think the new system can be used as an excuse for this team. Look at how well Colorado is doing under their new system, they shut out the Bruins tonight for gods sake.

  12. RMGS says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Up now…

    http://www.extraskater.com/game/2013-10-10-canadiens-oilers

    final corsi 46-45 Oilers.
    Hemsky leads the team in Corsi: 73.9%

    Problem here is that Hemsky played only 18 minutes. He’s been consistently excellent in all four games. His TOI needs to go up.

    Still, good to see them come out on top (especially in close situations) against a good outshooting team.

  13. striatic says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: final corsi 46-45 Oilers.
    Hemsky leads the team in Corsi: 73.9%
    Acton worst: 7.7%

    saw a lot of Acton and Arcobello tonight, and Arcobello showed much better.

    he had better teammates though, so difficult to evaluate.

    i think if Gagner comes back into the lineup soon, Acton should go down. Gordon is pretty good at taking D-Zone face-offs. i’m pretty sure he can handle more of those if you don’t want Arcobello taking them.

  14. loilfan says:

    Does Yakupov have mono?

  15. RMGS says:

    striatic: saw a lot of Acton and Arcobello tonight, and Arcobello showed much better.

    he had better teammates though, so difficult to evaluate.

    There’s really no comparing the two over the first four games. Arcobello looks like a NHL center. He even has a 59% FO%.

  16. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    I like the idea of keeping Arco up when Gagner returns and either playing Arco on the 4th or Gordon… the real question is…

    do you stick whoever plays 4C with players from group a or b:

    a) smyth, jones, omark, hamilton
    b) brown, gazdic, SMac

    the answer is obvious to me… but the team might have its own ideas and I probably hate them.

  17. lance says:

    From Ashley: “Nutrition always gets way too much play. In medicine, every patient thinks they can mitigate disease by what they put in their mouths. As if eating lentils and tofu will somehow prevent a heart attack in a guy whose father, grandfather, and great grandfather died suddenly of heart attacks in their 40′s. Sure it might help a little, but 99% of disease is predetermined in our genes.”

    That is written by a true medical professional. To quote a 2004 article in the AJCN, “There are still many doctors who believe a diet of salt pork and black beans is sufficient for nutrition.”

    You want proof? Check out the 1972 Framingham Study. Or the 1980 Jerusalem Study. Or the 1981 NEJM which showed beyond any reasonable doubt that diet and disease are intimately connected. But then, the 80′s are over. Maybe check out the AJCN’s January 2000 supplement. I’m sure there are newer ones. Its kinda ubiquitous. If anyone ever bothered to look.

    “As long as calories are there to power the body, it doesn’t matter a whole lot whether the calories were ingested as hamburgers, potato chips, or organic/gluten free pasta with free range, grassfed meatballs (assuming adequate basic vitamins and nutrients which is easy to accomplish without even trying in the first world where food is various and abundant).”

    Do you really think that potato chips and kale offer the same kind of calories? Does a vitamin C tablet = fresh squeezed juice? Its hilarious to me that the examples listed are meatballs v. pasta. Classic.

    I am so sad that I was busy this afternoon. Any chance to rip a medical doctor regarding nutrition is something I constantly cherish. I just caught up now. Seems again I’m late for the show.

    Oilers. This game was more watchable than the last couple, it was nice to see them complete a couple passes. I’m already worried for next year’s coach.

  18. Racki says:

    This isn’t the start we’d hoped for, obviously.. but I think patience will reward us. There are things to fix, such as some very individualistic plays where guys are trying to do it all themselves. That can be controlled. The blue is still scary to me, which I actually didn’t expect, given that Ryan Whitney has been replaced by Belov (who looks to be a guy who will be a solid NHLer when his adjustment period is over) and Potter (although still an Oiler) has been replaced by Andrew Ference.. who should be a superior player.

    Boyd Gordon is a monumental leap above Eric Belanger and even Shawn Horcoff combined. Magnus Paajarvi can’t hold a candle to David Perron. Ales Hemsky 2013-14 version is miles better than Ales Hemsky 2011-12 and 2012-13. And on the lesser extent of things, Luke Gazdic is almost like our own Jared Boll. Not a game changer, but fun to watch and creates havoc (in a good sense).

    The problem this year, oddly is Hall, Eberle and Yakupov seem to have taken a step back. I don’t think there is issue here… Yak likely is going through the “sophomore jinx” and Hall and Eberle.. they’ll get back on track in no time. Dubnyk had a couple shakey games but looked pretty reliable tonight… at the very least he was the “usual” Dubnyk (although no softy tonight).

    Patience everyone.

  19. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide:
    I think it’s important for us to remember just how bad things were in 10-11, 11-12 and at times last season. In many, many games during those seasons there was very little positive to talk about, and now the club (despite being 1-3) has moved the shot differential (field position) battle to even.

    That’s a big damn deal.

    Now. CAN they get close to 50% Corsi on the road? We’re about to find out.

    I am all on board with this being a good sign. As disorganized as the team has been and looked, they’ve still managed to saw-off the corsi fight. There is no way this isn’t a good sign so far.

    However, one thing corsi tell us is beware of small sample sizes and lack of context.

    I think you are dead on to dangle a question mark over this team and its performance on the road. I’d also add that we need to be tested by better teams to really see our mettle.

  20. Lowetide says:

    Guys, you’re talking about this season as if all results will continue, as if ebb and flow have ceased. Colorado and Toronto are up, Edmonton and the Rangers are down. How many NHL seasons have you observed? This is a different season for the Oilers already!!! The field is no longer tipping in a way that has EDM skating uphill every night.

    If you believe Corsi is a strong future predictor of success, then you must believe this is a better start and that the Shot differential is substantial and growing. If you don’t believe it, then carry on.

  21. RMGS says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    I like the idea of keeping Arco up when Gagner returns and either playing Arco on the 4th or Gordon… the real question is…

    do you stick whoever plays 4C with players from group a or b:

    a) smyth, jones, omark, hamilton
    b) brown, gazdic, SMac

    the answer is obvious to me… but the team might have its own ideas and I probably hate them.

    I think it’s clear management (and maybe coaching) is committed to the current fourth line. They’re going to win or lose with the top 9. Gagner’s return doesn’t bode well for Arcobello, even if he deserves better.

  22. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Tiny sample size… but one item of note…

    since breaking up the Hall-Smyth-Hemsky line, Hall’s corsi has taken a modest jump up, whereas Hemsky’s has skyrocketed and Smyth’s is stuck in one of Belanger’s couch cushions.

  23. RMGS says:

    Lowetide: This is a different season for the Oilers already!!! The field is no longer tipping in a way that has EDM skating uphill every night.

    Indeed, though it may take the 30 games management apparently suspects for more consistent wins.

  24. striatic says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: do you stick whoever plays 4C with players from group a or b:
    a) smyth, jones, omark, hamilton
    b) brown, gazdic, SMac
    the answer is obvious to me… but the team might have its own ideas and I probably hate them.

    personally, i’d say one from column a, and one from column b.

    Hamilton and Brown.

    Smyth when Joensuu gets back.

    something like that.

  25. Racki says:

    RMGS: I think it’s clear management (and maybe coaching) is committed to the current fourth line.They’re going to win or lose with the top 9.Gagner’s return doesn’t bode well for Arcobello, even if he deserves better.

    This is definitely a good problem to have.. the fact that many of us will miss Arco’s play here when he inevitably gets sent back down. This also is a feeling that is new to us.

  26. Lowetide says:

    “Improvement is nice, but it’s not good enough yet… It’d be nice to see us get a few breaks.”

    Dallas Eakins.

    Amen to that, coach.

  27. dessert1111 says:

    When gagner comes back I think you look at moving him or arco to wing to round out the top 9. You could also use arco as a 13th forward who can slide thru the lineup especially with injuries and when guys like Smyth could use a sit out. Arco looks like he belongs a bit more every game. He can pk too tho Eakins has barely used him so far in that role.

  28. Lowetide says:

    34m

    Both Perron and Ference note the #Oilers two unsuccessful power-play chances to start the game as key missed opportunities.

  29. RMGS says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Smyth’s is stuck in one of Belanger’s couch cushions.

    I love Smitty, but he’s a HS when Joensuu’s healthy.

  30. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    RMGS: I think it’s clear management (and maybe coaching) is committed to the current fourth line.They’re going to win or lose with the top 9.Gagner’s return doesn’t bode well for Arcobello, even if he deserves better.

    One hope for Arco might be they keep him as the 13th F and put him on the wing against smaller teams and slide Joensuu down (I know they play opposite wing) to the 4th in favor of only 1 facepuncher.

    Acton-Joensuu-Brown or something.

    Another idea would be something like:

    RNH-Hall-Eberle
    Gagner-Perron-Hemsky
    Arco-Joensuu-Yakupov (Soft Minute Killers!!!)
    Gordon-does it really matter? Gordon gets the shiv in the dark night line :(

    That’s 3 great offensive lines. With any luck Smyth can play tough enough to bump Gazdic.

    Gordon-Smyth-Brown

    is worlds better than

    Acton-Gazdic-Brown.

    worlds better. Galactus can’t eat enough to approximate how much better.

  31. Ice Sage says:

    Patience wearing tissue paper thin

    I dunno – fancy #’s on their own don’t win hockey games.
    The Oilers have a chronic malaise and no team identity other than fragility or the old self-defeating prophecy borne of years of losing.
    To watch this team is to enjoy the occasional pretty play and glimpse of what could be but it isn’t strong, secure hockey.

    We make lots of excuses (system, kids growing, centers away) but it’s the same old, so far. Outsmarted, outworked and outmuscled by ‘weaker’ squads with a better commitment to team hockey – Corsi me that!

    For every Gordon, Perron or Hemsky, there’s an Eberle or Schultz (either) or Yak taking a step back this year.

    One period, maybe 2 in 4 games, of the decent possession hockey that skilled players in a ‘modern’ system should be delivering? Not good enough.

    They need a road trip remedy – Couldn’t be much worse but there’s no buffer now, especially with so many western conference teams exceeding expectations.

  32. striatic says:

    Lowetide: If you believe Corsi is a strong future predictor of success, then you must believe this is a better start and that the Shot differential is substantial and growing. If you don’t believe it, then carry on.

    i’m surprisingly upbeat about the loss. Budaj had an excellent game and the Oilers were a little unlucky on some of their scoring chances. if Budaj’d been a little more average and the bounces had been a little different, maybe the Oilers win.

    that said, this team should dominate. improved shot differential or not, they certainly haven’t dominated for an entire game yet.

  33. RMGS says:

    Ice Sage: For every Gordon, Perron or Hemsky, there’s an Eberle or Schultz (either) or Yak taking a step back this year.

    Nah, this is a good thing. There’s no way a group of players as skilled as Eberle, Yak, Schultz, and Hall struggle like this all year. So, when the switch comes on with them and with ‘secondary’ scoring (Hemsky, Perron, Gordon) already in place, look out.

  34. RMGS says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: With any luck Smyth can play tough enough to bump Gazdic.

    I’ll go out on a limb and say that Luke Gazdic may play more games for the Oilers this year than Ryan Smyth. It’s sad but quite plausible.

  35. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    RMGS: I’ll go out on a limb and say that Luke Gazdic may play more games for the Oilers this year than Ryan Smyth.It’s sad but quite plausible.

    I think you’re right… but … but… I don’t think that disturbingly long and awful 4line shift is going to wash out of MacT and Eakins’ mouth so quickly…

    and there are going to be more like that… a lot more, if they keep playing that line.

    I hope there is a course correction.

    If Smyth can get put on the 1st line, tossed off it and HSed (and more coming no doubt)… then all things are possible.

  36. Ribs says:

    Dammit…Forgot that the “Save and Return” button deletes everything I type into the expando box. Ah well…

  37. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Man, they need to play a simpler game on offense, especially on the pp. Those first two pps killed them. More point shots and more traffic needed. Lord knows their opponents have scored half their goals off point shots. Just not enough guys willing to pay the price in front. Too many perimeter players

  38. Lowetide says:

    Matty has Grebeshkov close to ready and heading on the road trip. It’ll be very interesting to see who gets benched.

  39. GordM says:

    Agree 100% Ice Age…patience is paper thin.

    I get it…to say this awful start is reflective of where the rest of the season will land is ridiculous. But the harsh reality is we are dealing with the longest out of playoff streak in the league and a President who actually challenges reports who dare question his ability to build a winner (6 cups!).

    Not sure why I have so much vitriol towards Lowe…I think it is because I literally have no idea what he actually does other than take my money as a season ticket holder for his salary….and he gets to hire and lead people who have been hired to clean up the mess of a roster he created.

    Meanwhile…in other markets…fans pay way less than we do and actually get to see their team in the playoffs twice in a decade.

    *end rant*

    I’ll be back on the bandwagon when they shock us all and win 3 in a row on the road at some point

  40. Racki says:

    Lowetide:
    Matty has Grebeshkov close to ready and heading on the road trip. It’ll be very interesting to see who gets benched.

    The blueline hasn’t exactly played all-world, but I’m not sure who Grebeshkov is actually better than in the lineup.

  41. G Money says:

    Game observations:

    - Despite the moaning and groaning, the Oilers ARE moving the puck mostly in the right direction against some pretty strong possession teams (both Mtl and NJ are high Corsi teams). For the first time in ages.

    - It would be nice if the Oilers would stop giving the f*ing puck away.

    - The scorers still look out of synch, except for Hemsky and Perron. A little puck luck would have been nice. I’m pretty sure they’ll get dialed in.

    - The difference in that game: the Mtl scorers were on, the Edm scorers were not, and the Mtl D is still a cut above the Edm D.

    - How the f*k is that not 5 and a game?

    All in all, the Oilers *apart from the giveaways* actually played even up, but ultimately got beat by a better team.

  42. denny33 says:

    So much talk of the PP…..how about an even strength goal?

    Patience…..the numbers are uphill being in the trail position after October…

    Budaj?

    I didnt feel we had that many even strength prime scoring chances.

  43. Clay says:

    GordM:
    Agree 100% Ice Age…patience is paper thin.

    I get it…to say this awful start is reflective of where the rest of the season will land is ridiculous.But the harsh reality is we are dealing with the longest out of playoff streak in the league and a President who actually challenges reports who dare question his ability to build a winner (6 cups!).

    Not sure why I have so much vitriol towards Lowe…I think it is because I literally have no idea what he actually does other than take my money as a season ticket holder for his salary….and he gets to hire and lead people who have been hired to clean up the mess of a roster he created.

    Meanwhile…in other markets…fans pay way less than we do and actually get to see their team in the playoffs twice in a decade.

    *end rant*

    I’ll be back on the bandwagon when they shock us all and win 3 in a row on the road at some point

    Since Six Cups took over as GM in 2000, he’s either been responsible for, or responsible for the people who are responsible for, arguably the worst hockey team of a generation. Only a three month stretch of incredible goaltending and playing the left wing lock keeps this team from being the undisputed worst team of a generation.

    But that’s not why you have vitriol for Lowe. It’s not even because we all know that even if the ’06 run didn’t happen, he’d still have a job, and he’d still look down his nose at the fans, media and anyone else who has the gall to suggest he’s bad at his job.

    No, you hate Lowe because you know that if you were as bad at your job as Kevin Lowe is at his, you’d have been fired many years ago. Yet there he is, collecting his seven figures, all without having a clue how to build a winning hockey organization. Simply because his boss has a Napoleon-sized man crush on him.

  44. LMHF#1 says:

    Lowetide:
    Matty has Grebeshkov close to ready and heading on the road trip. It’ll be very interesting to see who gets benched.

    Nick Schultz or Belov I imagine. Outside shot it’s Justin Schultz but I doubt that highly.

  45. Clay says:

    LMHF#1: Nick Schultz or Belov I imagine. Outside shot it’s Justin Schultz but I doubt that highly.

    Why is it that Grebeshkov is automatically in the lineup? Belov had more points in the KHL last year than Grebs had in the previous three years combined, and if Belov is a marginal NHL dman, what does that say of Grebs? We already know how high-event he is, and is that what this team needs right now?

  46. VanOil says:

    trading Yakupov right now is folly.

    My dearest Lowetide,

    As a dyslexic it is poor form for me to point out others spelling or grammatical errors. On this topic however I think proper form is required. Trading Yakupov is folly.

    On other notes it is early and extraskater is keeping me calm, for now. Goal keeping and Belov’s defense were better. Young well rested teams should always win the second half of back to backs though.

  47. LMHF#1 says:

    Clay: Why is it that Grebeshkov is automatically in the lineup?Belov had more points in the KHL last year than Grebs had in the previous three years combined, and if Belov is a marginal NHL dman, what does that say of Grebs?We already know how high-event he is, and is that what this team needs right now?

    No one’s saying it is automatic.

  48. russ99 says:

    IMO, the evenness of shot differential i.e. Corsi isn’t really a factor so far.

    Yes. we’re shooting as much as the opposition, which is an improvement over last year.

    But other that 1 or 2 flurries, in the Winnipeg game and the Devils comeback (one that we lost and the other we gave up a late lead) we’re not scoring goals.

    IMO this is due to a lack of offensive cohesion when we have the puck, and I blame it on two factors:

    1. Eakins is trying to “even out” the top three lines by putting a plugger with two offensive players. Look at the teams we’re playing: they don’t do this.

    2. The new system (that I’ve seen so far) emphasises keeping possession over good puck movement to prime scoring areas, i.e. dumping and cycling over individual creativity. Also, it seems that our better focus on defensive responsibility in the neutral zone has at least one forward giving up on the play too early.

    Yes, we’re generating shots at the same or slightly higher amount as the opposition, but we’re not getting the puck into the places where our skilled players can score; we’re taking shots in traffic or scrambling to get a shot off somewhere during the cycle, and we’re not getting a lot of multiple-shot offensive-zone sorties.

    Every once in a while a top puck-skilled player like Hemsky or Hall can create some space for an open shot, but we’re not doing that as a team.

  49. godot10 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Tiny sample size… but one item of note…

    since breaking up the Hall-Smyth-Hemsky line, Hall’s corsi has taken a modest jump up, whereas Hemsky’s has skyrocketed and Smyth’s is stuck in one of Belanger’s couch cushions.

    Confidence is NOT something you can turn off and on like a light switch. You’ve messed with your star player’s mind for a month asking him to play contrary to his nature (the coach and GM are smarter than God apparently), and then you expect him to snap out of it immediately.

    My early thesis: Krueger was a leader of men. MacT and Eakins are more manipulators of men. IMHO. The difference won’t matter to the “bobbleheads”, but the “bobbleheads” tend to be few and far between.

    Krueger was a threat since he had an independent mind. Forced Six Rings to endure the humiliation of the MacT press conference. Krueger is gone.

    Randy Carlyle, by his actions, doesn’t exactly seem to think that Kadri and Gardiner have the problems with their games coached out of them. Ranger hasn’t been as great as advertised.

  50. Woodguy says:

    godot10,

    My early thesis: Krueger was a leader of men. MacT and Eakins are more manipulators of men. IMHO. The difference won’t matter to the “bobbleheads”, but the “bobbleheads” tend to be few and far between.

    Yes, led them to the basement in the standings and corsi.

    Worse results than Renney with a better team.

    Krueger was a threat since he had an independent mind. Forced Six Rings to endure the humiliation of the MacT press conference. Krueger is gone.

    How exactly did Krueger force Lowe to be a raving lunatic (i.e. himself) at the MacT presser?

  51. jp says:

    fuzzy muppet:

    And I know he got a goal but Ryan Smyth is too late to the play about 75% of the time.

    The other 25% he’s offside

    "Steve Smith": I thought he could have had the fourth one – kind of a weak shot.

    Positioning.

    "Steve Smith":
    2. That forwards keep leading the team in icetime is weird, right?Like, really weird?

    Balance

    Rocknrolla:
    I know immolate to the party here.Watching on delay, so also reading the blog on delay lol. Tricky as not to read too far ahead and blow the surprise of the live game!

    I don’t think immolate means what you think it means.

  52. Tarkus says:

    jp:
    I don’t think immolate means what you think it means.

    Unless the party in question is the Donner Party.

  53. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    godot10,

    I admire your commitment to this narrative. It is like you are Prometheus and you’ve been lashed with adamantine to it far, far away from the rest of us.

  54. Suntory Hanzo says:

    Does Ebs sit next?

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