DEVILS AT OILERS G3, 13-14

The return of baby Nuge–for some reason he seems to be the one we’ll worry over–is a moment to celebrate any time. With the Oilers on the outskirts of Nowhere Land, getting all hands on deck is vital and RNH’s return is (rightly) being touted as a major help in the process.

Azorcan3

 POSSIBLE LINEUP

  • RNH-Hall-Eberle (my guess is they’ll want a line they can run ragged and that can push the river)
  • Gordon-Perron-Hemsky (this line looks like….victory)
  • Arcobello-Jonesuu/Hamilton/Smyth-Yakupov (this is the ‘life is like a box of chocolates’ line)
  • Acton-Gazdic-Brown (coach seems pleased)
  • Smid-Petry
  • Ference/Davidson-Schultz
  • N Schultz-Belov
  • LaBarbera

I really like the top 2 lines, and Arcobello-Joensuu are the best available for the next spot in the batting order. Yakupov needs to have better linemates and he will when Gagner gets back but for now he’s going to be a little shy of support. On the blueline, Ference and Smid had maintenance days and I don’t think it was because they’d booked a spa day. You’ll want to be listening for any lineup changes due to injury, and those two are the primary worries. Might be that flu that’s been going around.

davidson

The Davidson recall is a curio of some proportions. The club’s next reasonable recall order might be something like Fedun, Marincin, Davidson and Klefbom likely to jump to the front of the line when he’s ready. So, for them to bring Davidson up, there must have been specific need (LH stay at home) beyond Denis Grebeshkov is should be available by now. So a callup for Davidson may not mean game action, but rather insurance ala Ryan Hamilton.

sbm1

I do think Dubnyk might be in a little trouble as an Oiler. The club was looking for an upgrade during the summer and now we’re looking at LaBarbera getting a start against New Jersey. If JL wins, then he starts game four in my opinion. If the LaBarbera train begins to roll, and DD doesn’t get back in then I think we’re looking at a change. If he does get back in and struggles again, it’ll be a case of “it’s nobody’s fault, but….” and we all know how that ends. I state once again he’s a good NHL goaltender, slightly above or average, but at this point that doesn’t mean one damn thing. Bad timing for the Dubey, no doubts about it.

Dallas Eakins

Dallas Eakins media conferences are must see television. Yesterday’s Hemsky tribute, handling of Dubnyk and Smyth hot potato’s and his explaining the process with Taylor Hall are all magical. Remind me that if this team makes the playoffs to go back to these early season scrums for the foundation–Eakins is laying it out right now. Beautiful.

This is why we’re going to love Eakins. At the media availability yesterday, he talked about changes and framed it as moving Nuge into a comfortable slot and then low played the Hall line’s troubles. Now, let’s run that through the chances for-against actual factual of games one and two:

  1. Arcobello 33-18 (64.7%)
  2. Gazdic 8-5 (61.5%)
  3. Yakupov 26-18 (59.1%)
  4. Eberle 35-26 (57.4%)
  5. Perron 33-27 (55%)
  6. Gordon 22-22 (50%)
  7. Mike Brown 5-6 (45.5%)
  8. Joensuu 16-20 (44.4%)
  9. Hall 21-28 (42.9%)
  10. Acton 4-7 (36.4%)
  11. Hemsky 13-25 (34.2%)
  12. Smyth 13-26 (33.3%)

There’s been no finger pointing, there has been resistance (you can tell because he said so in the media conference) but he’s treating everyone like an adult and giving the media nothing. And he’s getting good mileage from the 2-3-4 lines, with a small tweak (above) this club could turn things around quickly. I expect we’ll see a strong effort tonight.

pitlick31-600x360

Tyler Pitlick played center Saturday, scored a SH goal and is the only plus player on the team. So there’s that. Fedun apparently is playing well again and Ryan Martindale has 2 points in 2 games.

sbm2

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

Busy day on the show, 10-noon on TSN 1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Tyler Dellow from mc79 hockey. Hall C, Dubnyk, Eakins in front of a mic, what to expect tonight, Glenn Healy.
  • Eric Rodgers from Tend the Farm. Barons played their first two regular season games this weekend, we’ll break it down.
  • Travis Yost from Hockeybuzz. Senators started well and are looking for a strong season.
  • Lisa McRitchie from Kukla’s Korner. Lisa and I will talk about some fast starting junior players.

Text 10-1260 and @Lowetide_ on twitter. This is going to be an interesting morning, we’ll have any lineup updates too (they usually roll in between 10 and 11).

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604 Responses to "DEVILS AT OILERS G3, 13-14"

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  1. Clarkenstein says:

    Any idea why Nuge didn’t play a couple games in OKC? He hasn’t played for 6 months.

  2. godot10 says:

    Eakins, carrots for veteran underperformers, the stick for the young pups.

    Hemsky gets praise in the news conferences, but his numbers are awful. He gets to be on the PP.
    Smyth has awful numbers. He gets to be on the PP.

    Yakupov’s numbers are meh, and he is banished from the PP. No carrots for Yakupov while playing him with AHL’ers.

    Hall has been horrible at centre. Eakins criticizes his play in the press conference without naming his name. Says Hall will have to compete for ice time on the wing. (See Hemsky and Smyth above, who get rewarded with PP time for awful perfomrances on wing by the numbers.)

    Not any root cause self-analysis from Eakins on his bad decision to try Hall at centre. When has deliberating putting your franchise young player in a position to fail a good decision.

  3. sliderule says:

    So the Hall experiment at center is over for at least now.

    Shame!His FO numbers were good and other than one bad turnover ,in his own zone he was pretty good.

    The problem he had was he tries to race thru the neutral zone and that gets him in trouble.Come to think of it that’s what gets him in trouble when he plays wing.

    Having a boat anchor on left wing didn’t help him much either.

  4. theres oil in virginia says:

    Hey LT. I just finished perusing your latest ON article and making the mistake of reading the comments because I saw you had posted some responses down there. My apologies if I ever come off like that in any of my comments here. It’s never my intention to attack you or your position if I question something. I don’t know how you stay cool when you respond to some of that crap.

    Twice a day, man. Great stuff. Thanks.

  5. JonyPro says:

    Clarkenstein,

    Are you serious?

  6. slopitch says:

    How is one of the top LW in the league ever in a position to fail? Because he has to outplay 94 to earn minutes? Eakins is no dummy. Hall is starting with 93 and 14. He’ll be fine.

  7. Fixall with Rexall says:

    theres oil in virginia:
    Hey LT.I just finished perusing your latest ON article and making the mistake of reading the comments because I saw you had posted some responses down there.My apologies if I ever come off like that in any of my comments here.It’s never my intention to attack you or your position if I question something.I don’t know how you stay cool when you respond to some of that crap.

    Twice a day, man.Great stuff.Thanks.

    I just returned from there too. When did ON become HockeyBuzz? Insults, and typing in CAPS as if it gets your point across is grade school. I prefer a higher class of antagonist. I like the gift of misdirection some people have with stats. Give me the snake oil over the temper tantrums any day.

  8. regwald says:

    Fixall with Rexall: I just returned from there too. When did ON become HockeyBuzz? Insults, and typing in CAPS as if it gets your point across is grade school. I prefer a higher class of antagonist. I like the gift of misdirection some people have with stats. Give me the snake oil over the temper tantrums any day.

    I gave up on ON about 18 months ago. The comment section has become a disaster. The only time I venture over there is if someone on here mentions a particular article or it looks interesting on my twitter feed.

    Just not enjoyable.

  9. Undisclosed_Personal_Reasons says:

    Going to ON is like reading The Sun.

  10. mumbai max says:

    I still read the posts at ON but not the comments.

  11. Spartacus says:

    Nothing to do with Game Day, but I had brunch with Pat Quinn yesterday. We were at the Explorer in Yellowknife and there’s OTC having breakfast.

    I waited until he was finished eating and other people were bugging him for photos. I walked up to his table and said, Hey Coach, I see people are already harassing you for photos, would you mind? He looks at me and with a smile says, Yeah, with kids. You’re no kid.

    My lovely girlfriend piped up that it was my birthday and he laughed and said, Happy birthday, go ahead. I posed for 3 pics with him and thanked him.

    As he was leaving the restaurant, he came to say goodbye to a guy that was sitting at the table next to mine. As they were shaking hands, the guy said something to the effect that it was too bad Quinn wasn’t still coaching the Oilers. And here’s the awesome part:

    Quinn says, Yeah, the Oilers, they’re messed up, up top. He said this as he raised his hand above his head indicating really high up.

    He then went on to say, The Oilers can’t just replace the coach every year. There’s no accountability for the kids when they know they’ll just replace the coach.

    I was eavesdropping intently, that was such an interesting exchange to overhear. He then looked over at me and nodded and said, Happy birthday, one more time.

    I couldn’t recall what I had done for my birthday last year, but I should have no trouble remembering this year’s birthday. That was freaking awesome.

  12. Fixall with Rexall says:

    Looking forward to a post win post game with Eakins. It should be good.

  13. delooper says:

    I hear new jersey is a mickey-mouse organization. Best of luck from Glasgow! I have a 6am flight so I just might be able to catch part of the game when I wake up.

  14. pboy says:

    Laviolette is out in Philly after an 0-3 start, as per TSN.

  15. Eastern Oil says:

    I am going to defer to the greater hockey minds here for an opinion but am I right to be surprised that Gazdic might see the ice before Smyth or Hamilton (or Uncle Yessy depending on his back)?

    I realize that Eakins is content with that 4th line but seeing no real big face punchers on the Devils, would Brown not be enough and allow you to get a look at Hamilton/Jonesuu down there?

    Smyth has looked slow but he has to be a better option than either of them as well?

  16. Zipdot says:

    As a Houstonian, seeing that picture of the now-defunct Houston Aeros damn near brings a tear to my eye……. RIP, Houston hockey.

  17. bookje says:

    You know, after hearing Eakins praise a few ‘hard working’ players like Ference, my first thought was that he would have included Moreau in that group. Remember the kid vs veteran discussions of the time and the lack of success since, I wonder if we are just cycling through tough love/coddling cycles as we switch coaches.

    I think the key has been the lack of NHL players but it would be interesting to know what has gone on in the room!

  18. Zipdot says:

    Fixall with Rexall: I just returned from there too. When did ON become HockeyBuzz? Insults, and typing in CAPS as if it gets your point across is grade school. I prefer a higher class of antagonist. I like the gift of misdirection some people have with stats. Give me the snake oil over the temper tantrums any day.

    Hahaha, well said. I feel the same way. Oilersnation needs to ban Quicksilver Ballet, straight up. He’s bringing the whole ship down.

  19. OilFire says:

    pboy:
    Laviolette is out in Philly after an 0-3 start, as per TSN.

    Silly GM, you can’t just replace the coach and not make the players accountable.

    -Pat Quinn

  20. regwald says:

    OilFire: Silly GM, you can’t just replace the coach and not make the players accountable.

    -Pat Quinn

    Rinse and repeat.

  21. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide:
    “The return of baby Nuge–for some reason he seems to be the one we’ll worry over–is a moment to celebrate any time.”

    Deep in the wooded hills, just north-west of Rogers Pass, 3 wizened gentlemen were seen traveling on horseback, headed south-west by the light of a guiding star.
    ~from the personal journal of Kemper Howse, BC Forest Ranger, dated April, 11th 1993

  22. sliderule says:

    I know some think that the oil are not holding older players accountable but I don’t see that.

    Whitney ,Eager and Jones were all shipped out.

    Smyth dosnt make too many mistakes he is just old.

    The mistakes being made are by the golden ones Hall ,Eberle,Schultz and Yak are a disaster in own zone and Hall is even turning it over in all zones.

    Schultz and Yak need protection either thru ice time or zone starts.

    Hall and to lesser extent Eberle need to man up.

  23. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “The Davidson recall is a curio of some proportions. The club’s next reasonable recall order might be something like Fedun, Marincin, Davidson and Klefbom likely to jump to the front of the line when he’s ready. So, for them to bring Davidson up, there must have been specific need (LH stay at home) beyond Denis Grebeshkov is should be available by now. So a callup for Davidson may not mean game action, but rather insurance ala Ryan Hamilton.”

    Any particular reason why you don’t mention Larsen?

    Someone mentioned yesterday that this might be a cap move… The team (including the coach, who IIRC doesn’t usually mention caps and so forth) seems very cap conscious this year. They may have seen Larsen, etc. as too expensive to bring up. As it stands:

    http://www.capgeek.com/oilers/

    Hunt and then Davidson are the cheapest players on D for the NHL roster.

    I think that’s a crazy way to run things right now… but that could influence the decision.

    ———–
    “Gordon-Perron-Hemsky”

    I would have liked to see Hall-Hemsky stick together as a pair a little longer. But I’m glad Hemsky is still hooked up with skill in Perron. That line could be magic.

    Not sure what to do about Yak until Gags gets back. He’s really getting the short end of the stick. I would try rotating him up to replace 14 or 83 ever so often at 5×5 and giving him more PP time to keep him in the games.

    ———-

    “Remind me that if this team makes the playoffs to go back to these early season scrums for the foundation–Eakins is laying it out right now. Beautiful.”

    If we make the POs the broad NHL media is either going to love or hate Eakins. I’m betting either way, he’ll be a quote machine and highly sought after and discussed.

  24. Numenius says:

    That Corsi does tell us something about the Hall, Smyth, Hemsky line, but one should also keep it in the context of Qualcomp, which was likely the toughest.

  25. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    LT, have you ever had Willis on?

    I think he’d be a good guest esp. since he isn’t just a jack-of-all-trades stat machines these days, but appears to be a bit of beat reporter for OKC right now. He’d be a nice supplement to the other OKC guests.

  26. Mr DeBakey says:

    godot10: Hemsky gets praise in the news conferences, but his numbers are awful.

    Looking at those clips at MC79, it doesn’t look like Hemsky is the problem.

  27. denny33 says:

    Dallas Eakins is saying all the right things….

    Edmonton Journal:

    Does this group have a firm grasp on what competing really is?

    “No,” said Eakins.

    We have one of the rare soft spots tonight – with Jagr on the 1st line and Ryder on the 2nd line of the Devils….Damian Brunner is on the 3rd line….

    Obviously, our 1st line is going to carry the water..but I really like the look of Gordon and Perron early and I am hoping the addition of Hemsky can give us some true balance in scoring.

    Not a big fan of Yak’s linemates..Smyth and Arco….

  28. DeadmanWaking says:

    Pontius Pilot regrets not washing his hands on Air Force One in Take This Sabbath Day

    LEO: We were caught in the headlights … This thing was supposed to go back to the sixth circuit. And I don’t know how it happened …

    SAM: [shouts] What are you talking about, prepared? The court sat. What would you have done differently? [They stop walking.]

    LEO: I’d have …

    SAM: What would you have done different? You’d have kept the President out of the country another two days?

    LEO: [quietly] Yes.

    SAM: Leo, there are times when we are absolutely nowhere.

    One again I’m catching up with popular culture after a good ten years in the bottle. The first season ends with a cliff-hanger, which for me usually incites a lunge for the exit. Cliff-hangers are to drama what poop and penis jokes are to on-stage comedians.

    Code blue.

  29. gcw_rocks says:

    Hemsky’s getting killed on the shot metrics should be worrisome given he got killed last year as well. I know its early, but you have to look for a tipping point for when an aberration becomes a trend. Where that tipping point is, I don’t know, but I hope its clear to the coaches before this season is completely in the tank.

    If we must live in a nepotism world, Smyth should have been replacing Buchberger this year.

  30. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    RE: Hemsky’s current corsi trouble.

    I think we need to hold off firm judgment (provisional judgment excepted) until we’ve seen a solid run of games on a proper line.

    If this Gordon-Perron-Hemsky line sinks and Hemsky sinks with it or worse than it 5 games from now… we’ve got a problem.

    Right now, I’m happy to lump Hemsky in with the bag of “weird aberrations”

  31. Bar_Qu says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I believe Davidson is up over those other guys (Larsen) because he is a LHD, while the others are RHD.

    Feel free to correct me if I am wrong.

  32. justDOit says:

    A present for LT: http://cdn2.sbnation.com/assets/3346935/jetsfail.gif

    I thought you deserved something after reading the comments on your last ON piece.

  33. Zipdot says:

    godot10: Hemsky gets praise in the news conferences, but his numbers are awful. He gets to be on the PP.

    Hemsky is 2GP 1-2-3. You just lost some credibility with this statement.

  34. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Bar_Qu:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I believe Davidson is up over those other guys (Larsen) because he is a LHD, while the others are RHD.

    Feel free to correct me if I am wrong.

    Yes. as LT mentioned, if they want an LD and it was between Larsen and Davidson, Davidson is your man.

    But, we’re not sure if they called up a LD or just a D. Sometime they just call up a reservist.

    The other thing is… if we go by order of exit from TC, the recall order for D should be:

    Larsen (RD)
    Fedun (RD)
    Klef (LD)
    Marincin (LD)
    Hunt (LD)
    Davidson (LD)

    So… 3 LDs were sent out after Davidson (Klef, Marincin and Hunt all sent in the same move). My guess is that if they wanted an LD (and not Grebs) they’d bring up marincin (klef needing more time).

  35. goldenchild says:

    the Hemsky numbers are interesting because to thje eye he has looked like he has coverd up a lot of mistakes that his linemates and the D have made, I mean feels like he has been first guy back and broken up a number of odd man rushes but the numbers are what they are so far.

    Im inclined to agree with Rom above, feels to early to make any sort of proclomations, Im glad we are seeing him away from 94 and the Perron-Gordon Hemsky line is a line I proposed in summer so I am excited to see it and after seeing Gordon early think its a line that could be really good.

    We hope.

    Still nice to see Eakins giving Hemsky love for his effort, again to my eye it has been noticable just wish Rishaug would of asked about 83′s body labnguage, thats an Eakins answer I cant wait for.

  36. Racki says:

    Talk of oilers starting next year in Europe? Aren’t they bad enough already without being thrown more curve balls? At this point you might consider relegating them to a euro league if things don’t improve

  37. justDOit says:

    Racki:
    Talk of oilers starting next year in Europe? Aren’t they bad enough already without beingthrown more curve balls?

    What Acton thinks of that plan: http://i.imgur.com/vXCFnh1.gif

  38. Hammers says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    RE: Hemsky’s current corsi trouble.

    I think we need to hold off firm judgment (provisional judgment excepted) until we’ve seen a solid run of games on a proper line.

    If this Gordon-Perron-Hemsky line sinks and Hemsky sinks with it or worse than it 5 games from now… we’ve got a problem.

    Right now, I’m happy to lump Hemsky in with the bag of “weird aberrations”

    Personally I called for the Gordon / Hemsky / Perron line in training camp for a few reasons . They can score , They have lots of experience , They can play top lines and should . This line has a ton of potential and I hope Eakins runs them for a few games not just try it and see .

  39. gcw_rocks says:

    goldenchild,

    Yes, Hemsky’s compete level seems high this year. Tambo would be proud.

    At what point do we start demanding results?

    A string of games with Perron and Gordon will be interesting. If the line floats, we will know Hemsky is not a boat anchor. But we need to see him generate positive shot differentials with multiple players to know he can still drive play the right direction.

  40. Racki says:

    Hammers: Personally I called for the Gordon / Hemsky / Perron line in training camp for a few reasons . They can score , They have lots of experience , They can play top lines and should .This line has a ton of potential and I hope Eakins runs them for a few games not just try it and see .

    Ya, with Gordon on it and a more responsible Hemsky, they could play the toughs, which would make it easier on the “kid line”

    @justdoit… Love it!

  41. FPB94 says:

    About Dubnyk:

    I say it’s Tony Romo’s fault,

    (Most people don’t know goaltenders).

  42. Zipdot says:

    It is so aggravating to read comments that are negative about Hemsky after mc79hockey’s excellent analysis which showed Hemsky was awesome and Hall was the problem. Did you people not read that post? They’re talking about it today on LDWLT…

  43. Henry says:

    Zipdot:
    As a Houstonian, seeing that picture of the now-defunct Houston Aeros damn near brings a tear to my eye…….RIP, Houston hockey.

    Yeah Zip,
    I miss having hockey around in general and love minor league hockey. I went to most every Barons game when they came to town.

  44. mumbai max says:

    gcw_rocks:
    goldenchild,

    Yes, Hemsky’s compete level seems high this year.Tambo would be proud.

    At what point do we start demanding results?

    A string of games with Perron and Gordon will be interesting.If the line floats, we will know Hemsky is not a boat anchor.But we need to see him generate positive shot differentials with multiple players to know he can still drive play the right direction.

    Hemsky is on a 120 point pace. I don’t think there is a Corsi award. Not sure what kind of results you are looking for?

  45. Zipdot says:

    Henry: Zipdot:
    As a Houstonian, seeing that picture of the now-defunct Houston Aeros damn near brings a tear to my eye…….RIP, Houston hockey.

    Yeah Zip,
    I miss having hockey around in general and love minor league hockey. I went to most every Barons game when they came to town.

    Me too, man! It was great fun to see the big names during the lockout and to see Teemu and Magnus in the year before, etc. I also like to drive up to Dallas to catch Oilers games when I can; this year there is only one Sunday night opportunity to do that (the other two games are during the week), not sure if I will make it or not.

    Damn that Les Alexander…

  46. bookje says:

    I’m beginning to think that Eakins sees a lot of sideburns on this team. I just hope he has the clippers to deal with them.

  47. FastOil says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    “Someone mentioned yesterday that this might be a cap move”

    Given what has been happening lately I’d say it’s 100% about the 20+ pounds between Davidson and Larsen. IMO as long as the Oilers’ brass see the team as being pushed around and especially losing puck battles the small guy’s road gets harder.

  48. thejonrmcleod says:

    Looks like Smyth will be a healthy scratch.

  49. thejonrmcleod says:

    Off topic: Has anyone heard anything about Marc-Olivier Roy? Blainville-Boisbriand is playing in Halifax on Friday, and I was hoping to see him play.

  50. gcw_rocks says:

    mumbai max,

    Wins

  51. B S says:

    gcw_rocks,

    Shots don’t win games. I think the stats you’re looking for are goals, goals against and goal differential for each game.

  52. Zipdot says:

    Glad that’s settled! ;)

  53. Racki says:

    thejonrmcleod:
    Looks like Smyth will be a healthy scratch.

    Hallelujah. You know Smyth still wants to battle, so I hope people don’t beat him up too much, but good on Eakins. He sticks to his word and holds all accountable. It’s not about what you did 5 years ago or even 5 games ago. Beat Eakins up for his failed experiments, but he quickly adjusts.

  54. OilClog says:

    Hemsky has been pretty much our best player period so far. Both games time and time again he was covering for his linemates, being a dog on the back check and doing all he can. The Gordon-Perron-Hemsky line could be an absolute monster out there.

    Is there a goalie that is more effected by the rules changes then Dubnyk.. He’s a giant being forced to play in regular sized equipment. I’m all for stopping the goalies from looking like padded walls.. But
    Length of a stick?!? He’s nearly 7ft tall! How does he use a stick the same length a goalie that’s 6 inches shorter.. Would be a difficult transition.

  55. FastOil says:

    How Eakins is handling Smyth is how he keeps the room. Eakins is new to the team, Smyth is a legend here no matter how he plays now. He gave Smyth respect as a long time upper level player and NHL veteran by giving him every chance to perform.

    He also HS’d him for not being good enough. Smyth can whine (which he wouldn’t) but it would only be sour grapes. The other players can’t gossip about his mistreatment and the message is loud and clear – results and buy in over reputation.

  56. godot10 says:

    It is great leadership from a 10 plus something year veteran winger to make the 21 year old winger fill the void at centre, rather than volunteering for the task yourself.

  57. goldenchild says:

    Just read Tylers terrific piece and leaves me feeling better about Hemsky.
    Love the instant shot differentials that Parkatti provides its a huge undertaking and super valuable but i do think that in such small samples it is dangerous to make too much out of the numbers on their own. The video breakdowns provide some nice context and are especially useful until we have more games to normalize the results.

    Tylers breakdown of Hall’s mistakes is supported by Eakins’ comments where he states Hall will need to be better on wing to get big minutes because of the depth there and fact that other wingers are playing well. Nice challenge to the young star, I have no doubt he will respond accordingly.

  58. Zipdot says:

    godot10: It is great leadership from a 10 plus something year veteran winger to make the 21 year old winger fill the void at centre, rather than volunteering for the task yourself.

    Huh? Who? What?

  59. goldenchild says:

    Also Ryan Smyth isnt one of the top 4 wingers on this team but he is one of the top 8, not sure I would HS him and if i did I wouldnt make a habit of it.

  60. Zipdot says:

    I think this season, for whatever reason, has caused some commenters here to finally crack. People are showing their true colours, and there are a lot of, as Lowetide mentioned on his show earlier, crazy, craazy theories being thrown around, and a lot of blame being launched at various people.

    What are y’all going to say in ten games when we’re 8-2-0? :)

  61. godot10 says:

    Does accountability begin at home? Eakins blaming Hall for Eakins own dumb decision to play Hall at centre? Where is Eakins’ mea culpa? That would be a sign of accountability.

    I am coach. I make a decision to play a player out of position, and the player fails miserably at it. And then I blame the player for it. Makes a lot of sense to me.

  62. Woodguy says:

    godot10:
    Eakins, carrots for veteran underperformers, the stick for the young pups.

    Hemsky gets praise in the news conferences, but his numbers are awful.He gets to be on the PP.
    Smyth has awful numbers.He gets to be on the PP.

    Yakupov’s numbers are meh, and he is banished from the PP.No carrots for Yakupov while playing him with AHL’ers.

    Hall has been horrible at centre.Eakins criticizes his play in the press conference without naming his name.Says Hall will have to compete for ice time on the wing. (See Hemsky and Smyth above, who get rewarded with PP time for awful perfomrances on wing by the numbers.)

    Not any root cause self-analysis from Eakins on his bad decision to try Hall at centre.When has deliberating putting your franchise young player in a position to fail a good decision.

    2 things.

    1) With 94 being a HS, Yak is probably on PP again.

    2) On VAN’s SH goal to tie it 1-1 Shultz pinch to try to keep the puck in. The other D MUST be ready to cover if the puck gets by Shultz. You know this.

    Yak was wandering down by the circle and was never in position to cover, which is his job if he’s playing D on the PP

    That’s a very good reason to pull him on the PP.

    A spank on the ass to teach a lesson.

    Its not like he won’t get back there.

  63. GordM says:

    Woodguy:
    2) On VAN’s SH goal to tie it 1-1 Shultz pinch to try to keep the puck in.The other D MUST be ready to cover if the puck gets by Shultz.You know this.

    I have always been a little sensitive on this topic since watching the 2:10 mark of this rather painful clip:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1sTi44WCMJ8

    Always appreciate when the other D-man is mindful of the situation his D is facing (whether it’s a pinch or a difficult to handle puck coming at him).

  64. Racki says:

    The funny thing with trying Hall at C.. If it works, everyone talks about how they’ve been crying for some time to see it happen. When it fails after a couple games though, it’s “what was Eakins thinking” or “why didn’t 83 step up to the plate” (paraphrased from above). Most had high hopes that Hall would take the ball and run with it. It didn’t work this time around. Two games to figure it out.. Not a lot of time lost in the grand scheme of things. Hall generally excels at what he does, so it was worth giving it a shot.

  65. Logan91 says:

    godot10:
    Does accountability begin at home?Eakins blaming Hall for Eakins own dumb decision to play Hall at centre?Where is Eakins’ mea culpa?That would be a sign of accountability.

    I am coach.I make a decision to play a player out of position, and the player fails miserably at it.And then I blame the player for it.Makes a lot of sense to me.

    We’ve all heard great things about Eakins before he came to Edmonton, but I really don’t understand a lot of things he’s done. Like playing Hall at centre then criticising him for playing badly and saying now he needs to earn his minutes on the wing…..? Like come on buddy.

  66. godot10 says:

    Woodguy: 2 things.

    1) With 94 being a HS, Yak is probably on PP again.

    2) On VAN’s SH goal to tie it 1-1 Shultz pinch to try to keep the puck in.The other D MUST be ready to cover if the puck gets by Shultz.You know this.

    Yak was wandering down by the circle and was never in position to cover, which is his job if he’s playing D on the PP

    That’s a very good reason to pull him on the PP.

    A spank on the ass to teach a lesson.

    Its not like he won’t get back there.

    Poor coaching decision. Put a young player in a position for which he is not well-suited, in a position to fail. He fails. Punish the player. Rather than blame yourself as coach for poor player utilization.

    Yakupov pretty much only made forward progress under Krueger, because Krueger didn’t put him in positions to fail, and put him in positions he was ready for.

    Patrik Elias is playing centre these days, right?

  67. Woodguy says:

    Logan91: We’ve all heard great things about Eakins before he came to Edmonton, but I really don’t understand a lot of things he’s done. Like playing Hall at centre then criticising him for playing badly and saying now he needs to earn his minutes on the wing…..? Like come on buddy.

    I have not problem with Eakins taking to the whip if its needed.

    Lighting a fire under 4′s ass and get him into a “I’ll show him” mode might end with a 5 point night.

    Eakins said he figures out how to coach each player, then coaches them each differently to get the most.

    Looks like he figures that Hall’s ego is the best way to his soul, and I’m not sure he isn’t exactly correct.

  68. Woodguy says:

    godot10: Poor coaching decision.Put a young player in a position for which he is not well-suited, in a position to fail.He fails.Punish the player.Rather than blame yourself as coach for poor player utilization.

    Yakupov pretty much only made forward progress under Krueger, because Krueger didn’t put him in positions to fail, and put him in positions he was ready for.

    Patrik Elias is playing centre these days, right?

    Who exactly is getting punished?

  69. godot10 says:

    Racki:
    The funny thing with trying Hall at C.. If it works, everyone talks about how they’ve been crying for some time to see it happen. When it fails after a couple games though, it’s “what was Eakins thinking” or “why didn’t 83 step up to the plate” (paraphrased from above). Most had high hopes that Hall would take the ball and run with it. It didn’t work this time around. Two games to figure it out.. Not a lot of time lost in the grand scheme of things. Hall generally excels at what he does, so it was worth giving it a shot.

    There were a small minority of us who said it was a stupid idea which would fail miserably all along, for years now, every time it was brought up, even during the Taylor-Tyler debate.

  70. Woodguy says:

    GordM: I have always been a little sensitive on this topic since watching the 2:10 mark of this rather painful clip:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1sTi44WCMJ8

    Always appreciate when the other D-man is mindful of the situation his D is facing (whether it’s a pinch or a difficult to handle puck coming at him).

    You can forgive MAB a bit there because there isn’t a battle for the puck, the LD (who was that, Spacek?) just blew it.

    MAB is still a little flat footed given the pressure from the CAR player.

    Yak was never in the picture and blew his assignment completely.

  71. DeadmanWaking says:

    The Eakins antiparticle: Durwood Fincher.

    Unfortunately, that seems to cover the entirety of his shtick. There’s a nice Bic moment at 5:30 and the green woman at 7:00 is priceless.

  72. Racki says:

    godot10: There were a small minority of us who said it was a stupid idea which would fail miserably all along, for years now, every time it was brought up, even during the Taylor-Tyler debate.

    And what.. It was a catastrophic mistake? We’re talking about two games to find out if he has it in him. If that works, it’s a huge boost for this team that doesn’t have any C depth. If it doesn’t work, as it didn’t, then it’s a minor dent in the season (worth it for what could have been a complete career and team changer) . Those two games weren’t lost all on Hall’s doing either.

  73. justDOit says:

    The Philly Circus picks right up where it left off. Holmgren must feel a little uneasy about his employment status. I hope MacT has put a call in already – desperate people…

  74. Numenius says:

    Racki:
    The funny thing with trying Hall at C.. If it works, everyone talks about how they’ve been crying for some time to see it happen. When it fails after a couple games though, it’s “what was Eakins thinking” or “why didn’t 83 step up to the plate” (paraphrased from above). Most had high hopes that Hall would take the ball and run with it. It didn’t work this time around. Two games to figure it out.. Not a lot of time lost in the grand scheme of things. Hall generally excels at what he does, so it was worth giving it a shot.

    Excellent point. I agree fully. It was worth giving it a shot.

  75. Zipdot says:

    In pre-season, Eakins said that if the centre experiment doesn’t work, we’ll put Hall back on wing and Eakins will know it was just “my own dumb idea” or something like that, paraphrasing. So godot10, please shut up about this Eakins not being accountable crap. It’s both incorrect and getting really old.

    Anyway, what do you want us to do about it?

  76. OilClog says:

    If Gagner wasn’t decapitated.. Halls transition would probably have gone alil more smoothly, if the team did anything in upper management other then fill from within.. Hall’s transition would of been more smoothly. Eakin’s had to ask his best player to fill a hole for two games.. This makes him a bad coach? We badly need a winning season around here, more and more DSF’s are multiplying by the shift! Lol.

    We need a goalie like Anderson in Ottawa, a Cujo from the late 90′s. A guy that only gets better and better the more shots he faces through the game. I wouldn’t touch anyone in the St.Louis system, just because of the Hitchcock effect. If the team felt more confidence to push the puck like they should.. Winning should be the result. Does this trend of losing leads have anything to do with the never ending thought in the back of their mind that they simply can’t make a mistake because they know it will not end good. Thomas even for a year could of done wonders, his saves in Boston turned the players into believers and they’ve never looked back.

  77. Bos8 says:

    I wanted Hall at center for all the obvious reasons stated. Another, was that it would get him away from the boards and make him think a bit, see the options developing. It’s a shame that he’s still too immature. Way back, in one of the pressers Eakins stated that if it didn’t work, the onus was on him. Lashing out at others kind of defeats the purpose of the exercise.

    You never know if it works until you try.

  78. wheatnoil says:

    godot10: Poor coaching decision.Put a young player in a position for which he is not well-suited, in a position to fail.He fails.Punish the player.Rather than blame yourself as coach for poor player utilization.

    Yakupov pretty much only made forward progress under Krueger, because Krueger didn’t put him in positions to fail, and put him in positions he was ready for.

    Patrik Elias is playing centre these days, right?

    I’m not sure I can agree with you on this one.

    Eakins did bench Yakupov in the second period of the first game, but then pushed him up with Hall and Hemsky to try to get him going in the 3rd. He pushed him up with Hall in the second game as well. He’s giving Yak powerplay time, pulling back when he makes a mistake, and will likely go back with him again. Yak hasn’t been getting the cherry minutes, but it’s two games and Gordon / Joensuu / Perron aren’t slouches either.

    As for Hall, I just feel that your hatred of Eakins’ decision is out of proportion to what’s actually happened. Eakins gets a roster that is miles short in centres. He looks at the roster and picks Hall to play centre. Keep in mind that there have been calls for Hall to play centre since he started in this league. Nelson asked him to play centre last year and Hall declined because he was coming back from shoulder surgery. Clearly Eakins had the final call, but we don’t know if he came to this team with a message from MacT that said, “Look, I know we’re short a centre, but I think someone like Hall can do the job for a few games.” We were getting reports that Hall was being asked to get ready for centre well before the preseason started, before Eakins would’ve had the opportunity to check out the roster and make his own decision. So the decision is on Eakins, but it’s not like Eakins came up with this idea out of a vacuum.

    Hall does reasonably well in preseason. Enough that they give him a shot to start the regular season. He struggles in game 1. The line does come away with a goal, but there are some key give-aways. So Eakins holds him accountable in the post-game PC, along with the rest of the team, but gives him another game. He struggles in game 2. He moves back to the wing for game 3 with the return of RNH. Smyth gets healthy-scratched. Eakins feels Hemsky was holding his own, and so he gets praise.

    Isn’t Eakins doing a “mea culpa” by putting Hall back to the wing? If he was insistent that it was a good idea, he could’ve sent down Arcobello and kept Hall as the 2C.

    I don’t really have a problem with how Eakins treats Hall. He admits the mistake by moving him back to wing, but doesn’t let Hall off the hook. Nor should he. Hall played poorly in the last two games. That’s on Hall, but there was a caveat of him playing centre. Thus, he’ll get his chance back on the wing where he’s more comfortable and he still gets to play on the first line. However, Eakins makes it clear that if he continues to play poorly, he’ll get less minutes. What’s wrong with that?

    Look, I think you feel that Hall should be absolved of blame because he was the victim of a bad coaching decision. I get that. However, I don’t mind Eakins challenging his players. Eakins expects his players to play above where they have been (which has been a terrible hockey team for the last 7 years). When they struggle for a couple games, he pulls back on some players but holds them accountable. “I know I challenged you, but I expect you to step up when I challenge you.” If Hall takes off at centre, he’s a genius. He didn’t, so Eakins pulls back after two games as soon as a better option arrives. If RNH was out another 3 weeks, we don’t know what Eakins’ line-up would look like in game 3. Maybe Hall stays at centre, maybe not. We’ll never know.

  79. Racki says:

    I’m not on the Bryzgalov train but I’d imagine that the train will get fuller the more bad games Dubnyk gives us. I think he needs someone to push him.

  80. wheatnoil says:

    Racki:
    I’m not on the Bryzgalov train but I’d imagine that the train will get fuller the more bad games Dubnyk gives us. I think he needs someone to push him.

    Maybe that someone will be Labarbera?

  81. justDOit says:

    OilClog,

    You don’t like people over-reacting to the Hall experiment, but you’re flushing Doobie two games in? You don’t think that playing behind a team that stinks might have something to do with his early impression?

    I don’t like the look of that kettle…

  82. Racki says:

    Speaking of yak… Not sure he’s really in the dog house, but I thought he had a real physical game vs the Nucks. Was awesome seeing him throw his weight around. Didn’t expect that.

  83. Zipdot says:

    Racki: Speaking of yak… Not sure he’s really in the dog house, but I thought he had a real physical game vs the Nucks. Was awesome seeing him throw his weight around. Didn’t expect that.

    Speaking of, Arcobello had 7 shots and get this…… 5 hits! Beauty.

  84. Racki says:

    Zipdot: Speaking of, Arcobello had 7 shots and get this……5 hits!Beauty.

    I think yak got short changed on some. Maybe they gave a few to Arco. Lol!

  85. Rocknrolla says:

    Hey LT, just hearing this news Messier is hired and now working in management for the oilers??

    Is it just me or is this not big news? I think if you get Mess and MacT in there with Howsons outside point of view, it might just be the right team to keep “6 rings” from screwing this thing up again per Pat Quinn’s recent comments.

    Other question is why is this being kept quiet? Having the best leader in sports on your team is quite a coup…you would think the Oilers would yell it from the rooftops?

  86. sliderule says:

    Woodguy,

    The chip up the wall was the start of the mistakes.It should have been cycled low by I believe Eberle with a defender being between him and Schultz

    They were playing a one three one so Yak was pretty deep but he should have read the play and tried to cover.It’s easier for us however to see the danger than him at half wall.

  87. Jujhar says:

    Rocknrolla: Hey LT, just hearing this news Messier is hired and now working in management for the oilers??Is it just me or is this not big news? I think if you get Mess and MacT in there with Howsons outside point of view, it might just be the right team to keep “6 rings” from screwing this thing up again per Pat Quinn’s recent comments. Other question is why is this being kept quiet? Having the best leader in sports on your team is quite a coup…you would think the Oilers would yell it from the rooftops?

    Because it just proves that if you are part of the old boys club, you are employed for life.

  88. godot10 says:

    Rocknrolla:
    Hey LT, just hearing this news Messier is hired and now working in management for the oilers??

    Is it just me or is this not big news?I think if you get Mess and MacT in there with Howsons outside point of view, it might just be the right team to keep “6 rings” from screwing this thing up again per Pat Quinn’s recent comments.

    Other question is why is this being kept quiet?Having the best leader in sports on your team is quite a coup…you would think the Oilers would yell it from the rooftops?

    You realize the Oilers didn’t get better in the nineties until Cal Nichols told Sather to fire all of his deadweight cronies collecting paycheques doing nothing. Sather went looking for another job.

    Lowe now has as many or more cronies collecting paycheques doing nothing than Sather did.

    Mr. Six Rings couldn’t satisfy his nostalgic longings for the eighties and Messier on the ice metaphorically (Hall failed at Messiermorphisis), so Mr. Six Rings had to bring Messier back literally.

  89. Andropod says:

    Honestly, I think we have a good amount of grit and potential skill on this team once Gags and Nuge are both up to form. I too thought Hall might have been the next coming of Moose but he clearly isn’t there yet and I commend Eakins for responding as he did.

    I have found the last 3 games – since the NHL team came together – increasingly distressing, we were really bad against Dallas, silly against Winnipeg and then hopeless against VCR. But Dallas has made some good moves, he got baby Nuge back, and although he’ll be delicate and rusty, it’s still good to have him back.

    I doubt we will go on an 8 game winning streak right now, and I choose to believe that we will never, ever see that kind of effort against anyone ever again, and the team wont embarrass Ference when we play them. Maybe Gazdic will even get the better of Lucic.

    Given that the way to Hall’s heart is through his ego, Eakin’s praise of Hemsky and veiled criticism of Hall makes some sense. All we can do now is wait and see. If we lose a hard fought 60 minute game then that’s better than Saturday and maybe we’ll win the next one.

    Finally, I am beginning to wonder if we had developed the young turks into coach killers? Don’t like the coach? Complain and out he goes. If that was the real problem then Eakins is handling the problem head on. Good on Eakins, that would be a reason for optimism in turning this team around. No matter how good an individual is, if they undermine a good coach – and I humbly suggest that neither of the last 2 were bad coaches, then off they go. the team is better off without them, no matter who that player might be.

    Before anyone jumps down my throat I don’t have any more idea of what goes on in the dressing room than anyone else, I’m just picking up tidbits and projecting from there.

  90. dtk says:

    OilClog,

    OilClog:

    We need a goalie like Anderson in Ottawa, a Cujo from the late 90′s. A guy that only gets better and better the more shots he faces through the game. . . . Thomas even for a year could of done wonders, his saves in Boston turned the players into believers and they’ve never looked back.

    I don’t think we should be panicking about Dubnyk at this time. He hasn’t played particularly well in the first two games of the season, but he’s not alone in that. A lot of highly respected goalies have started pretty slowly this year. The list of starting goalies with save percentages under .900 right now includes:

    Roberto Luongo (.897)
    Jonathan Quick (.893)
    Martin Brodeur (.885)
    Pekke Rinne (.878)
    Corey Crawford (.875)
    Henrik Lundqvist (.875)
    Tim Thomas (.873)
    Cory Schneider (.857)
    Braden Holtby (.848)
    Dubnyk (.831)
    Victor Fasth (.826)

    So, Dubnyk is having a slow start, but that puts him on a list with a bunch of former Vezina winners, Cup winners, and likely members of the Finnish, Swedish, US and Canadian Olympic teams. While I wish his numbers were better, his two poor games don’t mean he isn’t a solid goaltending option.

  91. BlacqueJacque says:

    Having seen LaBarbera struggle to see the puck and to move during the preseason, I’m not all that worried for Dubey. I am kind of worried that he had two really bad games in a row, but there’s been many times when he’s played well for us. That said, Darnell Nurse for Cory Schneider sounds like a pretty reasonable deal at this point.

  92. Bag of Pucks says:

    We`re on Coach 3 now (or is it 4) and there`s still a size-able chunk of the fanbase that prefers to blame the HC instead of holding the players accountable for their poor play. wtf

    At some point, it HAS to become about the players. The excuses post game are beyond tired now.

    If this was a case of consistent effort or solid execution being wasted because of poor system application, I could understand blaming the coach. But it`s not. It`s the same old inconsistent effort, the same old mental errors, the same old lack of will & commitment to fight for the puck.

    Eakins could show up to practice this season riding a unicycle and a clown nose and I will not care. I am so done with blaming the coach to excuse the pitiful play of this team. If, or more likely when, this team disappoints again this season – changes have to be made to this core. These young guns either grab this opportunity by the neck or they piss it away with a lack of focus and commitment. The time for “we`re still learning` excuses is over.

    And yes, I`m still pissed about Saturday`s sports debacle (Esks and Oilers)

  93. Lynas1 says:

    I’ll be the first to admit I am no hockey expert. I don’t get to see many of the games due to living in Newfoundland. I don’t quite understand why for the first two games they would put Ryan Smyth on the power play before Yakupov. I mean, when the Oilers drafted him, he was compared to a prolific goal scorer like Steven Stamkos. In my limited understanding of coaching, I’d put Nail Yakupov on the top PP and let him get as many SOG as he could. I’d set him loose. I’m a Smyth fan in general, but I wouldn’t use him where I think Yakupov would be a better choice. I can’t wait to see Yak start to tear it up. Hopefully it’s sooner rather than later. Thoughts?

  94. G Money says:

    dtk: While I wish his numbers were better, his two poor games don’t mean he isn’t a solid goaltending option.

    Honestly, you don’t even need to bring that list forward to make the point.

    Every goalie on earth has had a bad game, or a string of bad games, no matter how good they are. Dubie had a terrible game and a bad game, and now he gets to sit for at least one (as he should).

    But frankly, anyone who uses these two games and .831 sv % as evidence of Dubynk being a bad goalie (while ignoring the previous 139 games and .913 sv %) is an outright idiot. No other word for it.

  95. Andropod says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    The potential old boy coach killers are already gone. I agree that if we get the same performance under 3 different coaches then we need to stop blaming the coaches.

    If any player – ANY player – continues to manifest behavior that is detrimental to the team in spite of chances to correct, they will have to go before we can become a legitimate playoff contender.

    Judging by Eakin’s treatment of Hall, ie praising Hemsky as the best player on the ice, and obliquely criticizing Hall, could that person be Hall? I hope not.

  96. Zipdot says:

    BlacqueJacque: That said, Darnell Nurse for Cory Schneider sounds like a pretty reasonable deal at this point.

    No way! Goalies might be getting paid a lot this year, but remember that last year, they were a commodity, and that might happen again soon. Nurse’s value far exceeds that of a goalie.

  97. FastOil says:

    godot10:
    Does accountability begin at home?Eakins blaming Hall for Eakins own dumb decision to play Hall at centre?Where is Eakins’ mea culpa?That would be a sign of accountability.

    I am coach.I make a decision to play a player out of position, and the player fails miserably at it.And then I blame the player for it.Makes a lot of sense to me.

    We assume it was Eakins’ call to put Hall at C. I start to wonder how much comes down from above.

    Hall is a world class talent and Eakins doesn’t know him. As Eakins said it’s just an experiment and if it doesn’t work back he goes to LW. If Hall became Toews awesome, if not a few games with him not as effective, worth a shot.

    I am more mystified why they haven’t tried Eberle.

  98. stevezie says:

    wheatnoil: As for Hall, I just feel that your hatred of Eakins’ decision is out of proportion to what’s actually happened.

    Wheat nails it. Godot, I don’t think you are dumb to doubt, but I cannot for the life of me understand the degree of your vitriol.

    Even if there were reasons to doubt Hall is best-suited to centre (which I agree with you on), surely you can admit that there were arguments for the other side. In any case learning a new position usually helps a forward’s versatility.

    Let’s not make this more than it was. It was a two game trial. It wasn’t working out so adjustments are being made. You’ve gone so far over the deep end you are criticizing Hemsky for letting this happen! He should have volunteered? Insisted?

    Someone was going to play out of position. Not only is Hall not a kid anymore, he is our best player. It made sense to give him the opportunity at our most important position.

  99. Zipdot says:

    stevezie: You’ve gone so far over the deep end you are criticizing Hemsky for letting this happen! He should have volunteered? Insisted?

    Oh THAT’S who he was referring to. Hahahahahaahahahahahahaha!

  100. stevezie says:

    Jujhar: Because it just proves that if you are part of the old boys club, you are employed for life.

    I know I don’t have a lot of support on this. but the old boys club doesn’t bother me.

    I reject the idea that the Oilers organization is in any way unique for the employment of friends and famous names in the field. I also reject the idea that Messier is entirely without qualification- he has spent a few years in management with the Rangers and his life in the game. None of this means he will succeed here, but it’s not like Lowe is hiring his wife’s nephew who keeps getting fired from the lumberyard.

    I like pretending I am the player or the GM. I don’t have any fun pretending I am the owner.

    EDIT: What exactly is Messier doing?

  101. Ice Sage says:

    wheatnoil: Maybe that someone will be Labarbera?

    And Bachmann.

    I’m reminded of seasons past where the Oilers started strong (hello, Petr Sykora) but this was a harbinger of a crap season. Reverse omen here, am thinking.

  102. Lynas1 says:

    dtk:
    OilClog,

    I don’t think we should be panicking about Dubnyk at this time.He hasn’t played particularly well in the first two games of the season, but he’s not alone in that. A lot of highly respected goalies have started pretty slowly this year.The list of starting goalies with save percentages under .900 right now includes:

    Roberto Luongo (.897)
    Jonathan Quick (.893)
    Martin Brodeur (.885)
    Pekke Rinne (.878)
    Corey Crawford (.875)
    Henrik Lundqvist (.875)
    Tim Thomas (.873)
    Cory Schneider (.857)
    Braden Holtby (.848)
    Dubnyk (.831)
    Victor Fasth (.826)

    So, Dubnyk is having a slow start, but that puts him on a list with a bunch of former Vezina winners, Cup winners, and likely members of the Finnish, Swedish, US and Canadian Olympic teams.While I wish his numbers were better, his two poor games don’tmean he isn’t a solid goaltending option.

    Couldn’t agree more. I’ve been in Dubnyk’s camp for a number of years now and you shouldn’t bury the coffin before the person’s dead. He’s put up respectable GAA and SV % on the worst team over the last 3 years. He’s not finished yet, I hope :P

  103. Gerta Rauss says:

    The coaching carousel will stop with MacT and Eakins.

    If the team shows progression and still misses the playoffs that’s fine-that is the natural evolution of a hockey club.

    If this team finishes 24th again and sputters all season, it’ll be players moved out-nobody will be immune-you can bet your last dollar on that.

    It’s early folks..2 games-no need to panic just yet.

  104. Zipdot says:

    Ice Sage: I’m reminded of seasons past where the Oilers started strong (hello, Petr Sykora) but this was a harbinger of a crap season. Reverse omen here, am thinking.

    In 2010, we got off to a 4-0 start. Finished last.

  105. Bag of Pucks says:

    Andropod:
    Bag of Pucks,

    Judging by Eakin’s treatment of Hall, ie praising Hemsky as the best player on the ice, and obliquely criticizing Hall, could that person be Hall? I hope not.

    I hope not too, but I’ve not been encouraged by some of Hall’s comments thus far this season.

    He had so much success in Windsor and has had so little here, you could certainly understand if he trusts himself more than the coaches.

    I like the kid so I’ve tended to try and find excuses for him, but after Saturday, I’m done making excuses for any of them. It’s put or shut up time for me.

    And shame on MacT for not finding a better starting goaltender option in the offseason. Nothing would give a young team more confidence than knowing they have a stud back there that will bail them out if they make a mistake. Instead we have a player at the most important position who’s every bit the question mark that the rest of the core is, if not more.

  106. godot10 says:

    Name a Hall-type who successfully transitioned to centre from wing in recent NHL history.

    Two Hemsky-types…Vince Damphousse and Patrik Elias.

    So why would you try Hall before trying Hemsky?

  107. Lynas1 says:

    Just to perhaps brighten our day a little bit I did some looking. Jujhar Khaira and Darnell Nurse are off to a point per game pace.

    JK: GP: 4 G: 2 A: 2 PIM: 11 +/- : 2
    DN GP: 5 G:1 A: 4 PIM: 10 +/- : 3

    Small sample size yes, but a small positive sample feels better than a small negative sample. I have high hopes still.

  108. Andropod says:

    if we were to try anyone other than Hall at C then surely that would be Eberle.
    Eberle is more cerebral and more mature than Hall, and keen to give it a try, he has made several hints in that direction. that is, if Arco fails, which does not seem to be happening.

    Wasn’t it Nuge who strongly recommended Arco?

  109. bookje says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    Which goalie is available that you would get?

    A goalie who lets in fewer softer goals, but more goals overall would not help much.

    Dubnyk has been poor this year, but his record over the past two years is what he should be judged on.

  110. Andropod says:

    Dallas this morning on Ryan Smyth as an HS:
    “If we don’t have some other players pick up their game and do it quickly, they’ll be out of the lineup. They’re not giving us 60 minutes.”

    I have a feeling we’ll be seeing callups from OKC until we have a group of 60 minute players.

    I think Gerta Rauss nailed it earlier.

  111. danny says:

    godot10:
    Name a Hall-type who successfully transitioned to centre from wing in recent NHL history.

    Two Hemsky-types…Vince Damphousse and Patrik Elias.

    So why would you try Hall before trying Hemsky?

    11

  112. G Money says:

    I can legitimately say (prove) that from early on that I did not think Hall was doing well at C:
    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2013/09/ps-g4-oilers-v-canucks.html/comment-page-2#comment-250414

    That said, the vitriol about his being there is baffling. It was a worthwhile experiment. It failed. That happens with experiments. It would be deserving of vitriol if it clearly had failed and Eakins stuck with it anyway e.g. if the Nuge was back and they kept Hall at C instead of going with Arco.

    The Nuge is back. Half is right with the world. Get well soon, Sammy!

  113. Doomoil says:

    godot10:
    Name a Hall-type who successfully transitioned to centre from wing in recent NHL history.

    Two Hemsky-types…Vince Damphousse and Patrik Elias.

    So why would you try Hall before trying Hemsky?

    this is a baffling narrative you’ve settled on.

    2 “hemsky types” have moved to center in the last 25 years, clearly hemsky was the best solution to our center woes.

  114. Zipdot says:

    Let’s not forget, for a little while there in preseason, Hall looked excellent at centre. That’s why he started the season there. Hell, he said himself he was starting to enjoy it: http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/09/21/taylor-hall-warming-to-the-idea-of-playing-centre-for-the-edmonton-oilers/

    Ah, revisionist historians. Got to love em.

  115. Bag of Pucks says:

    bookje:
    Bag of Pucks,

    Which goalie is available that you would get?

    Teams have to deal with this stuff in the offseason so this ship has sailed unfortunately. My preference would’ve been Schneider or Bernier for a longterm solution or Thomas for an interim one.

    Personally I don’t see the natural athleticism with Dubnyk that you equate with an elite level tender. I’ve always believed his ceiling is too low to be a key component of the core. Goalies CAN bloom late so hopefully that’s the case with Dubie. I sincerely hope he proves me (and the rest of the doubters) wrong as it will be a long season otherwise.

  116. godot10 says:

    Doomoil: this is a baffling narrative you’ve settled on.

    2 “hemsky types” have moved to center in the last 25 years, clearly hemsky was the best solution to our center woes.

    How is it any worse than the inane Hall-as-Messier narrative/justification? Damphousse and Elias have done it in the structured-hockey era. Veteran skilled playmaking wingers who transitioned to centre.

    They played pond hockey (relatively speaking) in the eighties. The Oilers could outscore their defensive mistakes and giveaways.

  117. Bag of Pucks says:

    bookje:
    Bag of Pucks,

    Dubnyk has been poor this year, but his record over the past two years is what he should be judged on.

    Safe to assume you don’t mean his W/L record over the last two years? lol

    Neither his EV Sv pct nor his Shootout SV Pct is stellar.

  118. Andropod says:

    Take a look at the Eakins pre-game. Check out the comment along the lines of, “I don’t care how popular you are with the fans, if you don’t (play hard every shift) I’ll take you out the game.

    In conjunction with sitting out Smythe, is that a shot across the bows to Hall or what?

  119. stevezie says:

    godot10: How is it any worse than the inane Hall-as-Messier narrative/justification

    It’s not worse it is the same. Some players can transition t centre, or wing, or even defence, and some can’t.
    Why is it crazy to try? Hall having some familiarity with the centre position is an asset.The same would be true for Hemsky, but since Hall is the better player they gave him the chance. If we are ever able to get comfortable this season I suspect we’ll see a few more experiments. Why not?

  120. LMHF#1 says:

    Andropod:

    In conjunction with sitting out Smythe,

    Again, jeez…is there any point at which that ‘e’ is going to disappear? The guy’s only been around for almost 20 years. You could at least give him a correctly spelled name. I got annoyed when I couldn’t change Reinhardt to Reinhart yesterday…

  121. Colonel Obvious says:

    Godot has not so quietly become something of a Captain Ahab with his bizarre fixation.

  122. denny33 says:

    Zipdot,

    Yep. He played with Jordan Eberle….some of the passes Arc received were replayed a few times….a couple guys that post in here would have scored on some of those insane set ups…

  123. Andropod says:

    LMHF#1,

    Sorry. Won’t happen again. Sorry to Ryan Smyth as well.

  124. LMHF#1 says:

    Andropod:
    LMHF#1,

    Sorry. Won’t happen again. Sorry to Ryan Smyth as well.

    I don’t mean to be short and please understand I was using a jokey sort of tone…I just can’t understand why this happens as often as it does. Ryan Smith I could see…but the e isn’t even close on the keyboard and hardly anyone is confusing a LW with the Smythe Division…

  125. G Money says:

    LMHF#1: Again, jeez…is there any point at which that ‘e’ is going to disappear? The guy’s only been around for almost 20 years. You could at least give him a correctly spelled name. I got annoyed when I couldn’t change Reinhardt to Reinhart yesterday…

    Coincidentally, that was back when they played in the Smyth division.

  126. Zipdot says:

    denny33: Yep. He played with Jordan Eberle….some of the passes Arc received were replayed a few times….a couple guys that post in here would have scored on some of those insane set ups…

    I hear that. But how many times have we said that about Horcoff or Hemsky over the years? Arco produced big time with Hall and Eberle in the AHL, so we know he can take a pass and finish a play. Just a matter of time IMO.

  127. jake70 says:

    Eakins suggested there are 4 or 5 forwards he could have HS’d. Let’s take him as eyeballing 5 players.

    Remove:

    Smyth – his turn tonight.
    Joensu – Eakins kicked himself for not giving him more TOI game 1, hurt in game 2
    Gordon – assuming he is ‘safe’ as he has quietly scored 2 goals.
    Arcobello – Presser today he alluded to Arco as having been “good” and opening up eyes.
    Gazdic – Playing physical and has scored.
    Hemsky – Sang his praises after Van. game.

    -You are left with Eberle, Hall, Yakupov, Perron, Acton, Brown.

    Let’s remove only one of Brown or Acton (let’s say Brown as he is not a center) as he praised the 4th line after first game.

    -Remaining are Eberle, Hall, Yakupov, Perron, Brown.

    Should be interesting the first time one of the first 4 above are scratched.

  128. dtk says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    Bag of Pucks: Teams have to deal with this stuff in the offseason so this ship has sailed unfortunately. My preference would’ve been Schneider or Bernier for a longterm solution or Thomas for an interim one.

    Bernier’s career save percentage is .914, which is essentially identical to Dubnyk’s .915. I don’t see how that would be an upgrade.

    Schneider’s save percentage of .927 is pretty good, but he’s never played more than 33 games in a NHL season, so we don’t really know what will happen when he has to carry the load for his team.

  129. Andropod says:

    LMHF#1,

    Dementia :)

  130. Andropod says:

    jake70,

    By eye, not the last 3.

  131. RMGS says:

    jake70:
    Eakins suggested there are 4 or 5 forwards he could have HS’d. Let’s take him as eyeballing 5 players.

    Remove:

    Smyth – his turn tonight.
    Joensu – Eakins kicked himself for not giving him more TOI game 1, hurt in game 2
    Gordon – assuming he is ‘safe’ as he has quietly scored 2 goals.
    Arcobello – Presser today he alluded to Arco as having been “good” and opening up eyes.
    Gazdic – Playing physical and has scored.
    Hemsky – Sang his praises after Van. game.

    -You are left with Eberle, Hall, Yakupov, Perron, Acton, Brown.

    Let’s remove onlyone of Brown or Acton (let’s say Brown as he is not a center) as he praised the 4th line after first game.

    -Remaining are Eberle, Hall, Yakupov, Perron, Brown.

    Should be interesting the first time one of the first 4 above are scratched.

    I’ll keep an eye on YakCity, not only because he’s my favourite Oiler, but also because I think Coach Eakins will be watching him closely.

    Playing without the puck is unsurprisingly still a work in progress for the 20-year-old sophomore, and at times the team looks shorthanded in its D-zone when he’s on the ice. It’s a tough situation for Yak; he’s not playing with the team’s best players. But, he has to show a better commitment to consistently playing well defensively before he jumps ahead of Hemsky or Eberle.

    Tonight, he’s guaranteed O-zone starts and soft opposition playing with Arcobello and Hamilton, so let’s hope he pots one, too.

  132. Woodguy says:

    jake70:
    Eakins suggested there are 4 or 5 forwards he could have HS’d. Let’s take him as eyeballing 5 players.

    Remove:

    Smyth – his turn tonight.
    Joensu – Eakins kicked himself for not giving him more TOI game 1, hurt in game 2
    Gordon – assuming he is ‘safe’ as he has quietly scored 2 goals.
    Arcobello – Presser today he alluded to Arco as having been “good” and opening up eyes.
    Gazdic – Playing physical and has scored.
    Hemsky – Sang his praises after Van. game.

    -You are left with Eberle, Hall, Yakupov, Perron, Acton, Brown.

    Let’s remove onlyone of Brown or Acton (let’s say Brown as he is not a center) as he praised the 4th line after first game.

    -Remaining are Eberle, Hall, Yakupov, Perron, Brown.

    Should be interesting the first time one of the first 4 above are scratched.

    Eakins had praise for the 4th line as a whole so you are left with Hall, Eberle, Yakupov, Perron.

    Its all about their battle level.

    He said that he was going through video with the team and showed video of a player not battling at all, then the same player a shift or two later being utra-competitive on the puck.

    He said he needs the latter to be every time.

    I love it.

  133. godot10 says:

    Colonel Obvious:
    Godot has not so quietly become something of a Captain Ahab with his bizarre fixation.

    MacT and Eakins said they wanted their team to be accountable.

    Eakins, to paraphrase, -4 is -4. He didn’t say the -4 was on himself for the bad decision to move Hall to centre. He said the -4 was on Hall. And he said, Hall better worry about his ice time on left wing.

    And “the smartest man in the room” MacT hasn’t come out and said the -4 is on him, for leaving the Oilers shorthanded at centre, and taken the heat off of both Eakins and Hall.

    Accountability, I think not.

    Put a player in a position to fail. He fails, And then blame the player. And then tell the player to watch out, the watchers are watching. When it was the watchers fault in the first place.

  134. Zipdot says:

    godot10: MacT and Eakins said they wanted their team to be accountable.

    Eakins, to paraphrase, -4 is -4. He didn’t say the -4 was on himself for the bad decision to move Hall to centre. He said the -4 was on Hall. And he said, Hall better worry about his ice time on left wing.

    And “the smartest man in the room” MacT hasn’t come out and said the -4 is on him, for leaving the Oilers shorthanded at centre, and taken the heat off of both Eakins and Hall.

    Accountability, I think not.

    Put a player in a position to fail. He fails, And then blame the player. And then tell the player to watch out, the watchers are watching. When it was the watchers fault in the first place.

    BFD, put a lid on it!

  135. Racki says:

    Someone should contact Eakins and get him to apologize for making Hall a bad C so that this nonsensical argument will die.

  136. Gerta Rauss says:

    If we’re beating dead horses this afternoon I’ll throw in my equine of choice…

    More rumours about Gardiner’s future in Toronto-I would love for Nonis/Carlyle to flush Gardiner and move him along-he’d look great in an Oiler uni

    Hockeybuzz alert if you are so inclined to not frequent that site…

    http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Mike-Augello/Devane-and-Smith-Recalled-Gardiner-Trade-Rumors-Persist/120/54615#.UlMnuVNyrg0

  137. Andropod says:

    Gerta Rauss,

    ok everyone, who should we trade for Gardiner?

  138. Woodguy says:

    I actually think this start is exactly perfect for the Oilers.

    They usually start hot and then seem to go into “throw the sticks on the ice and expect to win” mode.

    This year they lose one they should have won.

    Then they get totally outclassed by a good team.

    Hit the humble button right away and gives Eakins plenty of material for the “battle level” coaching sessions.

    This could cause a quicker buy-in to the coach (I’ve heard some players consider him an “acquired taste”)

    I think they come out tonight like their hair is on fire and its the start of something good.

    Go Oilers!!!

    *clap,clap*

  139. justDOit says:

    Gerta Rauss,

    Here’s Acton’s opinion of Hockeybuzz: http://i.imgur.com/vXCFnh1.gif

  140. spoilers says:

    Hey Lowetide,

    Long time reader and fan of the low down with lowetide. Finally posting a comment to thank you for all the interesting and insightful articles. Moved away from Edmonton this summer but still find time to listen to the podcasts of your show. Also to share my condolences for some of the comments on ON. Brutal.

    Keep up the great work!

  141. justDOit says:

    In other news, Brown is up for an award from the AMI.

    http://www.americanmustacheinstitute.org/goulet-voting/

  142. Gerta Rauss says:

    Andropod,

    It depends on when the Leafs would make him available-if it’s after this season it’s harder to project.

    If they were to make him available before Christmas, I might throw Klefbom’s name into the mix. Gardiner would help this team right now-Klefbom is still 40 AHL games away before I even consider him a callup(based on the logjam of prospects ahead of him)

  143. Gerta Rauss says:

    justDOit,

    lol…I think he’s addressing Eklund with that…:)

    They have some decent writers if you get past the head honcho

  144. SlapBet says:

    I said it a couple days ago. Buffalo is trading Miller. Its not “if they trade miller” its a “who is Buffalo going to trade Buffalo to”. And I think the oilers will be trying their best to get him (2 top prospects, a 1st and a 2nd round pick) I don’t know if we will get hinm as other teams will be after him aswell…but I can almost gaurentee an offer that looks like the one in brackets in the future…

  145. spoiler says:

    Woodguy: I actually think this start is exactly perfect for the Oilers.They usually start hot and then seem to go into “throw the sticks on the ice and expect to win” mode.This year they lose one they should have won.Then they get totally outclassed by a good team.Hit the humble button right away and gives Eakins plenty of material for the “battle level” coaching sessions.This could cause a quicker buy-in to the coach (I’ve heard some players consider him an “acquired taste”)I think they come out tonight like their hair is on fire and its the start of something good.Go Oilers!!!*clap,clap*

    I’m glad I’m not the only one on the Opposite George bandwagon with regards to the start of the season. Zipdot with us too.

  146. bookje says:

    spoiler,

    Winning 4 straight last year didn’t help them, so count me in.

  147. G Money says:

    spoiler: I’m glad I’m not the only one on the Opposite George bandwagon with regards to the start of the season. Zipdot with us too.

    Ha ha, I’m on the Opposite George Fence, if there is such a thing!

    It’s absolutely true that in past years, the team has started with a lazy effort, badly out Corsi’d, and stellar goaltending got them a win they didn’t deserve. End of season = last place.

    This season, the first game started with a decent effort, heavily out Corsi’d the other guys, and brutal goaltending gave them a loss they didn’t deserve. End of season = first place, here we come!

    But after the second game, it was: lazy effort, badly out Corsi’d, and lousy goaltending ensured a lopsided and well-deserved loss. The worst of all worlds. Predictive power: donuts are yummy.

  148. Woodguy says:

    Gerta Rauss:
    If we’re beating dead horses this afternoon I’ll throw in my equine of choice…

    More rumours about Gardiner’s future in Toronto-I would love for Nonis/Carlyle to flush Gardiner and move him along-he’d look great in an Oiler uni

    Hockeybuzz alert if you are so inclined to not frequent that site…

    http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Mike-Augello/Devane-and-Smith-Recalled-Gardiner-Trade-Rumors-Persist/120/54615#.UlMnuVNyrg0

    I’m not sure he fits in the cap equation with him wanting north of $4MM (rumour at hold out time)

    J.Shultz is gonna need to get paid eventually.

    You have 2 cheap young LD coming in Klef and Nurse.

    The Captain has a NTC.

    I really like the player, but i”m not sure if he’s a fit.

    I do it if I can get him cheap and re-evaluate next year.

  149. G Money says:

    SlapBet:
    I said it a couple days ago. Buffalo is trading Miller. Its not “if they trade miller” its a “who is Buffalo going to trade Buffalo to”. And I think the oilers will be trying their best to get him (2 top prospects, a 1st and a 2nd round pick) I don’t know if we will get hinm as other teams will be after him aswell…but I can almost gaurentee an offer that looks like the one in brackets in the future…

    The thing about Miller is that, apart from one terrific year (2009-10, .929 sv%) which seems to have cemented his reputation, Miller’s career stats are actually very similar to Dubnyk’s (.915 vs .913). In fact, last year Dubie was significantly better (.920 vs .915).

    Grass is greener, etc.

  150. denny33 says:

    Woodguy,

    This is the first post I have read in this forum that clearly states what has been the elephant in the room for some time ….the ‘battle level’ of the Core players.

    Not the 4th line guys.

    Not Nick Schultz.

    The Core.

    I too love it…and I really like Eakins.

    However, Dallas is about the 7th coach – internal or external – to point this out….even at that, I still think there is a large portion of people in here that think he is referring to players other than the core.

    I am predicting a 5-2 win for the Oilers…

  151. Gerta Rauss says:

    Woodguy,

    Yeah, Gardiner is a tougher fit after the Smid and Ference deals-Smid might be vulnerable if Gardiner asks(and gets) north of $4M. The Petry and Jultz deals can’t be overlooked either.

    But if Nonis and Carlyle see sideburns on Gardiner you’ve got to be sniffing around-I wouldn’t pay premium pricing for Gardiner that is for for sure. Prospects from the D pool/picks.

  152. wheatnoil says:

    G Money: The thing about Miller is that, apart from one terrific year (2009-10, .929 sv%) which seems to have cemented his reputation, Miller’s career stats are actually very similar to Dubnyk’s (.915 vs .913). In fact, last year Dubie was significantly better (.920 vs .915).

    Grass is greener, etc.

    I don’t get goalies. Really.
    Elliott has a year where he plays 55 games on two different teams and has a .893 save percentage. Next year he goes to St. Louis and blows the socks off the NHL, .940 save percentage, makes the all-star team, gets the Jennings trophy. Next year he goes on to the SAME St. Louis team, SAME coach, pretty much the same everything, and he drops down to .907 in 24 games. It’s one of many examples of this yo-yo act.

    Predicting goalies is witchcraft. God damn witchcraft.

  153. rickithebear says:

    Battle of players?

    Hall gets slew foot,
    leg wipped.
    those players get nothing!

    Hit a late running piece of shit
    who is such a pussy (10 year olds skate off)
    that he needs to be carried off
    with a charlie horse.

    The league gives 2 games.

    Might want to explain to our team
    What level of compete you mean!

    Cause the league has made it clear
    to our young players.

    Compete!
    WHAT A FUCKIN JOKE!

  154. G Money says:

    wheatnoil: Predicting goalies is witchcraft. God damn witchcraft.

    There’s actually a really interesting article about goaltenders, performance, and pay by that mad mixmaster of hockey stats, Tyler Dellow:
    http://www.mc79hockey.com/?p=6252

    One of the gems from that article talks about how often goalies in particular have a “Horcoff” year, where they have a stellar performance, cash in big, then fall back to earth in a big way. The article is interesting, but if you’re not interested in digging through the rest of the material, a particularly salient quote is this:

    On the basis of the analysis here, goalies don’t tend to age that well in recent history. We are reasonably confident that one good year from a goalie tells us pretty much nothing about him – the list of guys who posted a .925 or better in a season in which they played 25 or more games includes such immortals as Vesa Toskala, Byron Dafoe, Andrew Raycroft, Ron Tugnutt, Marty Turco, Jose Theodore, Chris Mason, Ryan Miller, Manny Legace, Cristobal Huet, Brian Elliott, Roman Cechmanek and Sergei Bobrovsky. We know that unexceptional goalies have exceptional years.

    It was because of that article that I responded above with my “Miller is not actually that good” business…

  155. rickithebear says:

    wheatnoil: I don’t get goalies. Really.
    Elliott has a year where he plays 55 games on two different teams and has a .893 save percentage. Next year he goes to St. Louis and blows the socks off the NHL, .940 save percentage, makes the all-star team, gets the Jennings trophy. Next year he goes on to the SAME St. Louis team, SAME coach, pretty much the same everything, and he drops down to .907 in 24 games. It’s one of many examples of this yo-yo act.

    Predicting goalies is witchcraft. God damn witchcraft.

    You want the goalies that are better than the league average for save% every year.

    if you cannot get that then real low shot count from your D.

  156. wheatnoil says:

    G Money,

    I agree with you. My comment wasn’t really directed at you so much as it was directed at the whole Dubnyk discussion and the whole “we should get this guy or that guy”. I throw my hands up when it comes to goalies. There are so few consistent ones and their save percentage bounces around year to year. Luongo is among the most consistent and when he goes cold in the playoffs, he gets run out of town. Dubnyk has a bad couple games and we call for his head. New Guy comes in and strings a few wins together and suddenly he’s Jesus-Reborn. If Jesus-Reborn tanks in the playoffs he’s ‘not a playoff goalie’ and we need someone new. You always need a good goalie, you can never predict how they’re going to play over the next 10 games, and seems like every team hates their own, even if they’ve got a good one. Goalies. If I didn’t love them to pieces sometimes, I’d hate their damn guts.

    That is an interesting article by Dellow, though. Thanks for linking to it!

  157. G Money says:

    Mulling on my predictions for tonights game.

    Stats being mulled:

    Oilers even strength Corsi 50%, dead middle of the league
    Devils ES Corsi 59.6% second best in the league

    Oilers ES PDO 91.6, second worst in the league
    Devils ES PDO 91.7, third worst in the league

    Prediction: whoever reverts to the mean will win tonight. Gotta go with the return of the Nuge and replacement level goaltending from Barbie. Oilers win 5-2. Donuts are yummy.

  158. spoiler says:

    bookje: spoiler, Winning 4 straight last year didn’t help them, so count me in.

    bookje: spoiler, Winning 4 straight last year didn’t help them, so count me in.

    Damn, we got a good wagon goin on. Now we just need Eakins to work his mojo. After the two losses, one of them a nightmare on ice, there’s no reason for the players not to buy in.

  159. spoiler says:

    Judging from the footage they should of the OIlers’ practice on That’s Hockey 2Nite, it looks like the Nuge is going with the same CCM stick as last season.

    I hope to Gord those 12 foot long complete misses of the net last season really were the shoulder and not the new stick.

  160. Doomoil says:

    rickithebear:
    Battle of players?

    Hall gets slew foot,
    leg wipped.
    those players get nothing!

    Hit a late running piece of shit
    who is such a pussy (10 year olds skate off)
    that he needs to be carried off
    with a charlie horse.

    The league gives2 games.

    Might want to explain to our team
    What level of compete you mean!

    Cause the league has made it clear
    to our young players.

    Compete!
    WHAT A FUCKIN JOKE!

    Am I supposed to read this as a poem?

  161. cabbiesmacker says:

    spoiler:

    I hope to Gord those 12 foot long complete misses of the net last season really were the shoulder and not the new stick.

    Well he could be like Hall and use a 12 ft long stick. Which explains the toe drag success

  162. cabbiesmacker says:

    Doomoil: Am I supposed to read this as a poem?

    Rickibear haiku.

  163. commonfan14 says:

    G Money: The thing about Miller is that, apart from one terrific year (2009-10, .929 sv%) which seems to have cemented his reputation, Miller’s career stats are actually very similar to Dubnyk’s (.915 vs .913). In fact, last year Dubie was significantly better (.920 vs .915).
    Grass is greener, etc.

    But you’ve got to remember how clutch Miller is.

    Remember that Gold Medal game he didn’t win?

  164. spoiler says:

    For those curious, Nuge uses a CCM RBZ 60:

    http://ccmhockey.com/en/gear/player/sticks/rbz-60-stick

    Click on the “Stick Patterns” tab to see his particular set-up.

  165. cabbiesmacker says:

    G Money: There’s actually a really interesting article about goaltenders, performance, and pay by that mad mixmaster of hockey stats, Tyler Dellow:
    http://www.mc79hockey.com/?p=6252

    One of the gems from that article talks about how often goalies in particular have a “Horcoff” year, where they have a stellar performance, cash in big, then fall back to earth in a big way.The article is interesting, but if you’re not interested in digging through the rest of the material, a particularly salient quote is this:

    It was because of that article that I responded above with my “Miller is not actually that good” business…

    Hey, a few years back Tyler was on the Brodeur is not good wagon so you’re ok.

  166. spoiler says:

    spoiler: Damn, we got a good wagon goin on. Now we just need Eakins to work his mojo. After the two losses, one of them a nightmare on ice, there’s no reason for the players not to buy in.

    Sorry, G Money, I had intended to include you in that post but quoted Bookie twice instead.

  167. justDOit says:

    Doomoil: Am I supposed to read this as a poem?

    I thought they were lyrics, and set them to a punk-rock guitar soundtrack: A – F – C – Em (repeat).

  168. G Money says:

    Doomoil: Am I supposed to read this as a poem?

    I tried to sing it to “The Hockey Song” but couldn’t quite make it fit.

  169. G Money says:

    spoiler: Sorry, G Money, I had intended to include you in that post but quoted Bookie twice instead.

    Not to worry, my feelings aren’t hurt*.

    * sniff

  170. justDOit says:

    G Money,

    Fall allergies, mohair sweater, or cocaine?

  171. cabbiesmacker says:

    Zipdot: BFD, put a lid on it!

    Why? His points are completely valid. Oiler’s management is the laughingstock of the league, has been for a few years, and looks like it will be for a few more with MacFly as GM.

    They remind me of a unionized shop. Don’t have to be good to climb the ladder. Just have the longest tenure. Nothing more than a good ol boys club trying to relive their 20″s while dwelling under the assumption they’re smarter than the rest.

    They remind me a lot of this guy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSTIV2esa-k

  172. cabbiesmacker says:

    justDOit:
    G Money,

    Fall allergies, mohair sweater, or cocaine?

    Could be dust off MacT’s “trades I’m gonna try” list

  173. G Money says:

    justDOit:
    G Money,

    Fall allergies, mohair sweater, or cocaine?

    Yes. And damn you, you’ve just revealed the secret to my success!

  174. Lowetide says:

    I’m just hoping to see an Oiler D handle the Jagr post up and shoot play better than Whitney.

  175. Ice Sage says:

    Lowetide:
    I’m just hoping to see an Oiler D handle the Jagr post up and shoot play better than Whitney.

    Any Peewee with 2 functioning ankles coulda done that! Thanks, LT, in these dark times for reminding us that there is a deeper circle of hockey hell.

    It’ll be interesting to see if the team plays harder in front of Labarberino.

  176. Andropod says:

    I’d love to see them come out with their hair on fire :)

  177. Lowetide says:

    Hanna LaBarbera is a pretty good goalie, I think this is going to be a fun game to watch. I don’t know that the Oilers will win–it would be nice to be facing a ‘sisters of the poor’ club tonight–but suspect this will be a fine Oiler effort.

  178. TheOtherJohn says:

    Gentlemen/Ashley/Louise

    Relax. we are 2 games in. We get our 1C back and are 7-8 games away fro getting 2C back.

    If we have 55 GA at the ten game mark panicking is entirely allowed. Edmonton population may be down a few thousand by then.

    Gordon with his 3rd tonight and may not catch Gretz 92 or 87 goal seasons but Hull’s 86 may be in jeopardy

  179. Lowetide says:

    TheOtherJohn:
    Gentlemen/Ashley/Louise

    Relax. we are 2 games in. We get our 1C back and are 7-8 games away fro getting 2C back.

    If we have 55 GA at the ten game mark panicking is entirely allowed. Edmonton population may be down a few thousand by then.

    Gordon with his 3rd tonight and may not catch Gretz 92 or 87 gaol seasons but Hull’s 86 may be in jeopardy

    I think most posters are relaxed, no? Beyond not being certain they’ll win tonight–and NJD is a good team–the thread seems to be filled with a lot of calm.

  180. JonyPro says:

    It sucks to have Ryan Smyth as a scratch but it is probably for the best.

  181. bookje says:

    Lowetide: I think most posters are relaxed, no? Beyond not being certain they’ll win tonight–and NJD is a good team–the thread seems to be filled with a lot of calm.

    I don’t know man, I’m freaking out, I’m totally freaking out!!!

    What if Taylor Hall is the moody one with bad body language? What if Dubnyk is an ECHL backup goalie? What if RNH’s shoulder is tied together with elastics and Lowe is forcing him to play? What if Dallas Eakins anti-sideburn, taking away of the Ping pong table approach is wrong and This team needs some Krugeresk spirit building? What if Horcoff was the glue holding this wreck together????

    Oh my God I’m totally freaking out!!!

  182. cc says:

    Haven’t had a chance to read up in the last few days so I’m not sure of the readerships thoughts on Hall at centre. Let’s just say ‘train wreck’, sure glad Nuge is coming back tonight. As sad it is to see Smyitty scratched, the reality is the game has gone by him. Loved him since his days as a Warrior.

  183. justDOit says:

    bookje,

    Not buying that for one minute. Where’s the ALL CAPS? Or the plethora of exclamation marks!!!!!!!!!!? You would get buried at ON.

  184. bookje says:

    Andropod:
    I’d love to see them come out with their hair on fire

    I want see them coming out with their hairy eyeballs on fire.

  185. BG14 says:

    spoiler:
    For those curious, Nuge uses a CCM RBZ 60:

    http://ccmhockey.com/en/gear/player/sticks/rbz-60-stick

    Click on the “Stick Patterns” tab to see his particular set-up.

    The RBZ 60 is an entry level stick, 60 bucks at your local Canada Tire. RNH uses the RBZ Stage 2, CCM’s top end stick. They have nearly identical paint jobs, so it can be rather confusing at times.

    As for the curves, those aren’t actually what the players use, manufacturing companies just attach NHL players names to their generic curves to promote sales. As players become obsolete or new young stars are signed on, they change the name associated with a particular curve. Bauer, as an example, has a P88 curve that used to be labelled as “Lindros”, it changed to “Kane” when the new 88 came in to the league in ’07, but the curve was the exact same. Same story with Easton on the Sakic (now Hall) curve. Just an FYI for anyone who might have been curious on the subject.

  186. Lowetide says:

    Devils haven’t scored much so far this season, if the Oilers make it difficult by moving the puck up quickly and stay out of the penalty box I like their chances. The problem might come because this is still a young team and they can get frustrated if things go sideways.

    A scoreless first would be fine by me.

  187. Racki says:

    I don’t think the Oilers want to get caught in a defensive duel, so I’m going to hope for a crazy first with the Oil coming out flying.

  188. Ice Sage says:

    Lowetide: Devils haven’t scored much so far this season, if the Oilers make it difficult by moving the puck up quickly and stay out of the penalty box I like their chances. The problem might come because this is still a young team and they can get frustrated if things go sideways.A scoreless first would be fine by me.

    Nuge wizardry on the PP would be most welcome, too.

  189. Andropod says:

    Im hoping for 60 minutes of solid effort and a shortened bench from anyone who doesn’t comply.

  190. spoiler says:

    BG14: The RBZ 60 is an entry level stick, 60 bucks at your local Canada Tire. RNH uses the RBZ Stage 2, CCM’s top end stick. They have nearly identical paint jobs, so it can be rather confusing at times.As for the curves, those aren’t actually what the players use, manufacturing companies just attach NHL players names to their generic curves to promote sales. As players become obsolete or new young stars are signed on, they change the name associated with a particular curve. Bauer, as an example, has a P88 curve that used to be labelled as “Lindros”, it changed to “Kane” when the new 88 came in to the league in ’07, but the curve was the exact same. Same story with Easton on the Sakic (now Hall) curve. Just an FYI for anyone who might have been curious on the subject.

    Dude, I only know wood.Kohos and Sherwoods. I think this graphite shit is N-U-T-Z, lol. My golf clubs are 1987 Canadian Tire specials. Glenn Healey has a bigger sweet spot for the Oilers.

  191. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    Some Fun Facts ® in advance of tonight’s game.

    1) NJ has a positive shot differential of +5.5 while the Oilers are -5.5.

    2) The Oilers, missing their top two centres, are 5th in the league in face-off percentage at 54.6%

    3) New Jersey has yet to give up a PP goal. The Oilers PK is at 80%

    4) New Jersey has yet to score a PP goal. The Oilers are 10th at 25%

    5) Both teams have dreadful 5V5 F/A scoring rates with NJ at 0.50 and the Oilers at 0.33

  192. Lowetide says:

    Doug MacLean: “Hemsky has been their best player, and that’s a sad state.” Lordy.

  193. stevezie says:

    Really good news: My roommate installed RNH/Schultz’s cable today. I’m not sure which one he talked to but the roommate thought he seemed fine.

    Conclusion: RNH was so dedicated to rehab he didn’t even have cable. That’s the kind of madness that gets you into the big league, baby.

    I think now that Schultz has internet and cable we can expect him to play a lot more relaxed. I’d be frantic in the D-zone too if I didn’t know where my next episode of Breaking Bad was coming from.

    Update on efforts to prove Eakins is my father: So far my mother does not appreciate the line of questioning, but I think we can all agree she is about to crack.

  194. stevezie says:

    Dead Cat Bounce,

    You seem more even-handed lately. Is this deliberate?

  195. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    stevezie:
    Really good news: My roommate installed RNH/Schultz’s cable today. I’m not sure which one he talked to but the roommate thought he seemed fine.

    Conclusion: RNH was so dedicated to rehab he didn’t even have cable. That’s the kind of madness that gets you into the big league, baby.

    I think now that Schultz has internet and cable we can expect him to play a lot more relaxed. I’d be frantic in the D-zone too if I didn’t know where my next episode of Breaking Bad was coming from.

    Update on efforts to prove Eakins is my father: So far my mother does not appreciate the line of questioning, but I think we can all agree she is about to crack.

    Mother and crack should never be used in the same sentence.

  196. khildahl says:

    stevezie:
    I’d be frantic in the D-zone too if I didn’t know where my next episode of Breaking Bad was coming from.

    Perhaps you should sit down. I have some bad news for you…

  197. Lowetide says:

    Compete is now my least favorite word due to overuse.

  198. BlacqueJacque says:

    Lowetide:
    Doug MacLean: “Hemsky has been their best player, and that’s a sad state.” Lordy.

    Doug MacLean criticizing teams is always a little rich. I think that’s his job, to be the guy who talks bad about teams, but people can’t get offended “because, that’s like, Doug MacLean, he wouldn’t know an apple from an asshole”. That said, it’s hard to disagree with him on this point.

  199. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    stevezie:
    Dead Cat Bounce,

    You seem more even-handed lately. Is this deliberate?

    No.

    Nothing I do is deliberate.

    Tourette’s is a bitch.

  200. khildahl says:

    Ed Snider not putting up with any stupid media questions. Hah.

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