LET IT BLEED

I’m sure there will be a lot of pressure on Dallas Eakins this week, but at some point the organization needs to stand by their man, and Eakins (so far, to me) has stayed the course. When Eakins says the Kessel line “outfinished the (Gagner) line, they did not outplay them” it’s an amazing insight into how he sees the game. He does not waver in the face of pressure, and that’s an admirable quality. He has set his course and is not going to change it.

Azorcan3

HOW TO MAN UP IN PUBLIC

I’m so impressed that the guy can stand in and calmly address things a few minutes after a tough result. I don’t agree with all of it, and he’s protecting Samwise (rightly, 89′s legs weren’t there) and there were some terribly wonky plays (he didn’t mention Petry’s gift pass on the 4-0 goal but did mention the play). That PC is here because we should re-visit those minutes later in the year. If they come back and show something later, Eakins PC–in which he didn’t mention Barbara Ann Scott (as did Quinn), didn’t throw Gagner under the bus (as Renney did) and didn’t say he didn’t know the answers (as Krueger did) should be viewed over and over again.

START AS YOU MEAN TO GO

bridge1One of the best things about my wife is that phrase. She’s a straight arrow that way (I meander, and demon alchohol can cloud my view any time past lunch) but man is it a good way to live your life. What is your goal? Set it, and then go get it. Start as you mean to go on. Lordy. I’ve known her 30 years and she does it all the damn time. It’s a great way to view the world. Maybe you have that same strength of character, wish I had more of it. But, I married well. :-)

bridge2Now, start as you mean to go on. Craig MacTavish did that (and made some mistakes, he needed to say something more measured than ‘bold’ during his opening press conference and temper expectations) all summer, hiring his choice of coach, and then adding the men he felt would give him more actual NHL players and a chance at success.

This may not happen this season–it looks like a distant bell–but firing another coach is insane. Dallas Eakins is a confident leader, he’ll need some help (and I do think we may see a veteran Wayne Fleming type added here soon) but there’s no doubt in my mind this team is showing some improvement–especially at (wait for it) shot differential.

bridge3

We’ve talked about this at length over the last few days, but making a trade now is a bad idea. If MacT could make a straight up deal he’d have done it, and maybe he would have made a trade even giving up too much if the penalty wasn’t too severe. However, when you’re 3-9-2 the other guy sees you coming and that’s a bad day to answer the phone.

Cliff Fletcher: “Montreal Canadiens’ philosophy on trades, going way back, is if you’re getting the best player in the deal don’t worry about the sum of the bit parts thrown in. so the key is to get the best player. “

We know from here that MacT will be giving up the best player. Eberle, Perron, Gagner, 2014 1st rd pick. It’s a bad way, folks. It’s a bad way.

mc79This isn’t going to be popular, but the best way through this Borg space is the following: stay the course, build on what works, turn this thing around and get buy-in from those who want to move forward, flushing those who do not. The Oilers right now are a collection of talents being ground into a useful hockey team. We’ve been singing show me the way to go home for years now, and Dallas Eakins is the man chosen to do it.

Let it bleed.

oct 30 cf

Lots of this is score effects, but  extra skater has the ’5×5 Corsi close for’ at 22-16. Fourteen games in, the Oilers are ahead of Toronto in that category and trail by 10 points in the standings. In the west, Edmonton is 8 points out of the playoffs. A 6-game winning streak would get them into the conversation again. How likely is that?

 

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

Sade_1

10am TSN 1260, it’ll be interesting! Scheduled to appear:

  • Michael Parkatti, Boys on the Bus. We’ll search for positive signs, talk about the wisdom of making a deal now, and Michael has a new shot metric he’s looking at and we’ll discuss.
  • Mike Ringrose, Spruce Grove Saints. We’ll talk about player development.
  • Darryl Metcalf from Extra Skater. We’ll talk about his brilliant site, and the people who love it.
  • Guy Flaming from The Pipeline Show. We’ll break down the top of the 2014 entry draft.
  • Alan Hull from Copper and Blue. Alan will help us with the logical ‘next step’ for this struggling team.

10-1260 via text or @Lowetide_ on twitter.

written by

The author didn‘t add any Information to his profile yet.
Related Posts

158 Responses to "LET IT BLEED"

  1. j says:

    I drink from the same well as you LT and do believe we have seen a huge transformation with this team. That said, we are all addicts and need a hit of the good stuff from time to time. As Oiler fans, when the wins aren’t coming, we scream for a trade or coaching change just to feel something. ‘I hurt myself today to see if I still feel’.

  2. dawgtoy says:

    I’m a cup half full kinda guy, but damn this team is hard on the soul. It’s hard to watch a team ring one off the post, then have Kessel stab you in the heart seconds later. I hate the Leafs! I see the small improvements, but I also see the same damn mistakes happening over and over, year after year. All I can do I suppose is have a real strong cup a Joe, and hope the next game is better. A trade now is a mistake, in that we completely agree LT. Bring on the Wings!

  3. Brackenburied says:

    I agree 100% in regards Eakins. He presents himself as an intelligent sort (which in itself oddly seems to piss off some people). I could use a little more fire on the bench on occasion though. As I recall Roger Nielson was prone to gesticulation on occasion.

  4. pboy says:

    Fantastic movie and ol’ Ben Kenobi is excellent. I think he won the Oscar for it.

    Stay the course. Anything MacT does now will be desperation move and those just don’t work out. Hall, Perron, Smyth and Joensuu are all regulars and that is alot of guys to be out of the line-up at the same time.

    With all that being said, IMO the fanbase in Edmonton is more frustrated at this 3-9-2 start than they have been at anytime since the Ryan Smyth trade. In a perfect world, 6 Rings would step down but I can’t see that happening. Things are going to stabilize, this team is better than they have been in a long time and for now, Bachman is providing NHL level goaltending and I think that Dubnyk has been finding his game again. My biggest disapointment so far is Ference. He really hasn’t been all that good yet and his intangibles don’t seem to be factoring into the W / L column. I expect better from him going forward.

  5. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “We’ve been singing show me the way to go home for years now, and Dallas Eakins is the man chosen to do it.”

    I’m thinking more along the lines of “It’s a long way to Tipperary”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVM-tFAdADg

  6. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    For those “River Kwai” fans out there, I heartily recommend Guinness’ Ealing Studios comedies. There are a bunch of them, the best probably is “Kind Hearts and Coronets”

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

  7. speeds says:

    In terms of trades, I think it’s too late to move the 2014 1st now, that pick has become too valuable whether you think EDM’s record matches up with the true talent of the club, or not.

    Everyone agree?

    *edit to add* I mean, as always, it depends on the deal, but in terms of what EDM is likely to receive in return for the pick.

  8. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    speeds:
    In terms of trades, I think it’s too late to move the 2014 1st now, that pick has become too valuable whether you think EDM’s record matches up with the true talent of the club, or not.

    Everyone agree?

    *edit to add* I mean, as always, it depends on the deal, but in terms of what EDM is likely to receive in return for the pick.

    I would have said “too early” rather than “too late”…

    That pick is probably at its least valuable right now, but starting around the new year it is going to start to increase in value precipitously, especially if EDM is in the bottom 6-8 teams (which is highly probable).

    Only a very impatient man would think of trading that pick right now.

  9. Woodguy says:

    Gagner’s a C and was the last F back, kumbaya
    Gagner’s a C and was the last F back, kumbaya
    Gagner’s a C and was the last F back, kumbaya

    Ohhhhh Gord, jumbaya

    Yak’s a rookie and can’t backcheck kumbaya
    Yak’s a rookie and can’t backcheck kumbaya
    Yak’s a rookie and can’t backcheck kumbaya

    Ohhhhh Gord kumbaya

    Oilers pass in shooting zones, kumbaya
    Oilers pass in shooting zones, kumbaya
    Oilers pass in shooting zones, kumbaya

    Ohhhhh Gord kumbaya

    Defence pinch while F’s pick their ass kumbaya
    Defence pinch while F’s pick their ass kumbaya
    Defence pinch while F’s pick their ass kumbaya

    Ohhhhh Gord kumbaya

  10. FastOil says:

    I also was impressed with the presser. He’ll have the guys on his side, I’ll say two weeks after Hall returns they’ll look better (assuming no more big hurts) and their winning % will steadily go up, if not a bunch a little.

    Eakins confidence in what he is doing and even emotions is perfect. This is a hurting bunch right now in more ways than one and kicking them when they are down will guaranteed for sure not work in the long run. He is a skilled manager and I think we’ll see fire when things are more solid.

    I really like the fact he doesn’t throw people under the bus. I have never liked that, or even talking through the press at players. The only reason Sather got away with it is because he was so dumb ass lucky that even if he said nothing the talent would still have won the day.

    Making a trade now only makes sense if they could get a fair shake from say another hurting team and fill a real hole. It still won’t stem the tide, one or two players aren’t enough given the team is in complete transition, but would be good for next season. Agreed other than that it is likely a loss. I don’t see how they even know who isn’t working for sure given how crazy it has been. Stabilize first, even build some street cred.

  11. Ben says:

    Eakins is ‘Mom’s fifth boyfriend this year’. Not exactly an easy spot for building credibility with sneering teenagers.

    This team has been so jerked around by management. It may be too late already for this year, but once they start to trust, I bet they get some good results.

    That being said – this team is packed full of players who just don’t seem to know where to go in the d-zone. Frankly, it’s amazing that so many of them have gotten this far into a pro career without gaining a clearer sense of what is expected in terms of D. Amazing.

    Hold on to that 1st, MacT.

  12. FastOil says:

    Woodguy,

    “Gagner’s a C and was the last F back, kumbaya”

    Maybe I am wrong about talking to the players through the media. This makes me think he sent a message as in “the only reason you weren’t doing you’re job is legs, right? Because not doing you’re job isn’t an option in Eaktown.” It was pretty subtle though.

  13. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Speaking of Guinness and tunes of glory… if you are interested in wallowing in depression, watch Guinness in Tunes of Glory:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBQy9DG2imI

  14. FastOil says:

    Woodguy,

    Oh, forgot to say hilarious

  15. justDOit says:

    Purportedly, the Islanders’ first round pick that went to Buff as part of the Vanek deal, can be deferred to 2015 if it becomes a top 10 pick – Islanders option.

  16. rich says:

    Woodguy,

    I think you’re going to have us all singing this the rest of the season.

    Classic stuff Woodguy.

  17. borisnikov says:

    I have to give credit to the guys who remain lucid and calm this morning. Grinding the players into useful, effective pieces may ultimately prove succesful but how much longer do we have to wait? When do the teir 2 fans get to have their say along with the teir 1 fans, and voice displeasure without feeling wrong for doing so? I stayed up way past my bed time roasting (probably against better judgement) this sad sack organization but find that there is still many this morning touting patience and bigger picture. When does it end? Is the mix of players and their similar skill sets actually something that can be ground into useful pieces before the losing kills their desire? My doubts are larger now than they ever have been and as drastic the moves may be, dealing from the weak position and all, is that not the only sane option left? Because what we have now sucks. It hurts my soul too.

  18. godot10 says:

    I need a blood sacrifice. Kevin Lowe and the pro scout cronies have to go now.

    My level of confidence in Eakins is decreasing rapidly. Renney didn’t lose me completely till the second season. With Krueger, I was still well over 50%, probably 75%. I still believed. With Eakins, it is probably down to 25%.

    Yesterday’s press conference was certainly interesting. Some of it was good. But some of it is naive. Yes, your best players have to be able to play against the other teams best players EVENTUALLY. And yes, Eberle, Gagner,and Yakupov may be able to match the Corsi of Kessel, Kadri, and van Riemsdyk. But dammit, Dallas. Gagner is in his first game back. And dammit Dallas, Yakupov defensive error rate is still (exaggeration mode ON) off the charts.

    Yes. There is currently no good way to measure shot quality. But the best way may be to look at the Nielson number mistake rates. Kessel, Kadri, and van Riemsdyk are going to make fewer defensive mistakes which lead to five bell chances against.

    As a coach, you have to realize there has to be a process to get from where you are to your destination. You cannot make decisions based on the assumption that we are already at our destination. Lining up Yakupov against Ovechkin or Kessel is just plain dumb at this point in Yakupov’s career. Julien never did that with Kessel or Seguin in Boston. And you give Gagner Kadri’s line on his first game back, with Yakupov on one of his wings. What were you thinking?

    It is like when Renney played Paajarvi, Gagner, and Omark heads up against Kopitar’s line for a full game. They traded chances, but Gagner’s line was outscored by Kopitar’s line.

    Hanging this large minuses on players because of poor matchups is like Mario Tremblay leaving Patrick Roy in the game. You risk losing the player really quickly if you give him matchups they are not ready to handle.

    When you are undermanned as Eakins was last night, you have to know who are your good horses that need to be protected for future battles, and which horses can be sacrificed in the current fight.

    Eakins is showing very little ability how to discriminate, to make sure he develops and protects the good horses for the future, while enduring enemy assault and being forced to retreat and bunker down to fight another day. There is today’s battle, and there is tomorrow’s battle. The goal has to be to win the war. Blindly ordering your troops over the walls of the trenches is stupid.

    Not enough Vimy Ridge thinking out of Eakins.

  19. Hammers says:

    You can look at this in more than 1 way . Eakins to me seems stubon and sometimes that’s a good trait but it can also stop you from looking at all options . Right now they have a couple of options . A trade but we probably out & out loose on that or we bring up players from Oklahoma and that’s my choice . If we keep loosing nothing changes but other players get a chance . Bring up one of Klefbom , Fedun or Marinchin and bring up Omark and maybe Lander . Down goes , Eager and Acton. With luck we get Perron back for Saturdays game . Lines become RNH , Ebs ,Perron / Gags ,Yak & Arco / Gordon Hemsky & Omark / Lander, Gladzic , Jones / . If Smyth or Joensuu can go cut Jones . I would also sit Justin a game or two & give say Klefbom a game .TRY SOMETHING

  20. GriffCity says:

    This team just flat out stinks. you know you had a rough game when Ryan Jones is your biggest offensive weapon on the night. This team had terrible zone coverage and just generally weak defense. I reall couldn’t blame Bachman at all last night and he even made some big saves that our other swiss cheese netminders likely wouldn’t have stopped. It is so painful watching these guys sometimes. 43 shots? who was tallying that stat? I dont think the Oilers generated nearly that amount and aside from a few goal mouth scrambles Toronto seemed to out chance the oilers so those stats are bogus. I dont know what you do from here from a management standpoint but this team stinks, they just plain old stink. I would love to be a player on an actual NHL team coming to Edmonton knowing that tonight is point night. I dont know if you blame the coach or the players for the terrible positioning out there but you need to blame someone and stop saying, “oh, it will get better”, or “oh, just have patience”. These are supposed to be professional athletes, God knows their being paid like it but yet they run around out of position making stupid plays just like….a junior team…Lars Eller was on the money! Hard days to be an Oiler fan

  21. Bos8 says:

    Lord knows, I’ve never been a Gagner fan, but..

    Gagner is what he is. Eakins has to work around his weakness, as in designate a forward a la Kurri for the D responsibility, as in maybe Perron. Failing that, put Gagner on wing and work with him and it will take time, time that the team doesn’t have. Tough to patch holes when the boat is sinking, you have to bail first. At this time Gagner is part of the problem, not part of the solution.

    Oilers luck is that they got the first overall and Galchenyuk got injured, then the team yielded to the hype of best player. Another square peg with the overblown expectations.

  22. neojanus says:

    You know what? I don’t mind putting Gagner and Yakupov against that line. I’m tired of the Oilers losing as well, but what the game showed is that players like Gagner still have something to learn playing against players like Kessel.

    At some point these players have to perform at an elite level and they need every chance to learn to do it. What is the alternative? Trade them all for other unproven all-stars.

    Yakupov is in WAY over his head right now. Good. He either learns it or he doesn’t. He’s supposed to be a star in the making. I’d rather have him shit now than in 2 years.

    I don’t believe that players’ development (except maybe goalies) get hurt because they play against tough competition early. Guys like Yakupov need to see the game against the best players as a reminder of what needs to be done every shift.

    Losing sucks a lot. I can barely watch it. Fortunately, I live in Montreal and get to cry on my own because no bars play OIlers games…

    Saying that, Eakins is doing what he needs to do to expose his players to how the game NEEDS to be played all the time. It doesn’t matter if you win a few games if you get I Spit On Your Graved first round of the playoffs by way better teams. Eakins isn’t flawless, but his unwavering confidence in his system is going to propel this team forward. Don’t hide your best players by using them in easy situations; make them excel at every level and then winning games will mean something because you are actually competing to win a championship. I chuckle when teams throw everything into the fire, desperate to make the playoffs, only to get eviscerated in 5 games and start from scratch next season. What’s the point? What did you accomplish? You just gave the fans a meaningless quick rub and cost yourself assets, likely to end up finishing lower next year.

    I’d rather have another shitty season and see real progress than just running in place over 6 seasons.

    It’s clear that these players do not defensively know how to play the game. They will only learn by playing tough hockey. No easy solutions. No matter what d-man you pick up, your forwards still have to play smart hockey. One guy isn’t going to change this team around.

  23. Bos8 says:

    godot10:

    When you are undermanned as Eakins was last night, you have to know who are your good horses that need to be protected for future battles, and which horses can be sacrificed in the current fight.

    Eakins is showing very little ability how to discriminate, to make sure he develops and protects the good horses for the future, while enduring enemy assault and being forced to retreat and bunker down to fight another day. There is today’s battle, and there is tomorrow’s battle.The goal has to be to win the war.Blindly ordering your troops over the walls of the trenches is stupid.

    Not enough Vimy Ridge thinking out of Eakins.

    Excellent post and that is where I question Eakins as well. He had the change at home. Toronto is mostly a one trick pony. First rule should be – stop the pony. That’s why you have Gordon on the team. Gagner and Yak were the sacrifice to the volcano. Screw the chances, shut down the big line.

  24. rich says:

    @ Godot,

    I don’t disagree with the need for a blood sacrifice, but the coach is not the problem at this moment. Yes, he’s on a learning curve but it’s 14 games, he hasn’t (in all fairness) had his team healthy and he’s trying to teach a new system with a revolving door of players. Giving them a 6th coach in 6 years would be a worse mistake – unless the players are sending signals that he’s lost the room – and that is not evident from what’s being said in the locker room.

    The team is playing hard for the coach. They may not be playing smart for a variety of reasons, but that is different. The advanced math tells a number of stories – and there are some good arrows – but not enough to overcome the mistakes and the deficiencies in the roster.

    All my life I’ve been of fan of the NY Giants and I still remember vividly the years they wandered in the wilderness from 1964-1980. After the infamous “Miracle in the Meadowlands’ in 1978 when Pisarcik fumbled a snap that Herman Edwards returned for a winning touchdown with seconds left the fans had enough and started burning tickets/gear/etc. They hired a plane to fly over the stands with a banner proclaiming “15 years of lousy football, we’ve had enough”.

    They then hired the GM who would finally turn things around (George Young) in early 1979, but it would be 2 more years before they finally would.

    I don’t know how much longer we’re going to have to wander in the wilderness here, but MacT and Eakins deserve the chance to get this turned around. I’m not enjoying this, but until proven otherwise, this team needs to be given a chance to prove itself when healthy.

  25. TheOtherJohn says:

    Oilers tied for 27th overall and teams behind them (excepting Buffalo) have 3 games in hand

    Willis posted on twitter last night Oilers need to go 40-23-7 from here to make playoffs. And it’s October

    Amazingly I would not gas the coach. That’s what bad organization do. Year after year. It takes pressure off the players

  26. Bos8 says:

    Woodguy:

    Ohhhhh Gord kumbaya

    Up to the usual.high standard. Yoo.

  27. G Money says:

    godot10: I need a blood sacrifice. Kevin Lowe and the pro scout cronies have to go now.

    The ones who should be on the block right now are Smith and Buchberger.

    Firing Eakins at this point would be ridiculous. Anyone complaining has forgotten how putrid the RK Oilers were. (At this point in the season, RK had all of Hall, RNH, Eberle, Gagner, Hemsky, and Yak in his top 6, and still managed to be outshot 3 gamesm ore, and 30 worse overall in shot differential).

    Can’t change the players in a big way, and LT is absolutely right in saying that almost any trade we make right now we lose.

    In any case, we can’t rightly judge this team until we actually see Hall, RNH, Eberle, Gagner, and Perron in the game at the same time.

    The only way out is to continue to work at the defensive fundamentals and the effort levels of the team. Might be an unwinnable battle, but that is Eakins job right now.

    In the meantime, I agree – blood sacrifice is needed. And the common thread (other than Lowe, who doesn’t control the players effort on the ice) is the assistant coaches. If you want to shake up the room, they need to go. Bring in an experienced NHL coach (Laviolette?) and maybe also Nelson to replace them.

    But something’s got to change, and the assistant coaches should be an obvious starting point.

  28. Colonel Obvious says:

    I agree with this post 100%. A sane voice in the wilderness.

    Time to face some facts.

    1) The Oilers aren’t going to make the playoffs. And the reason they aren’t going to make the playoffs is they aren’t good enough. Why aren’t they good enough ……?

    2) Their best players aren’t good enough. Hall and Eberle and Hopkins etc. are all very good players but they aren’t as good as Kopitar and Carter and Doughty and Kessel. The fact is that the Oilers can’t beat the other teams with star power.

    3) If you can’t beat them with star power you have to beat them with depth. And the Oilers have terrible depth. This is the real problem. It isn’t that the Oilers aren’t big enough, or they have the wrong mix, or the “system.” They simply do not have enough good players. They shouldn’t be copying the Penguins or the Blackhawks because the Oilers don’t have anybody as good as Crosby or Malkin or Toews or Kane and in all likelyhood they will never have anybody that good. They need to copy the Blues and have talent all the way down the roster.

    4) So what do you do? It’s the old maxim. Get good players. Keep good players. This is where staying the course comes in. Don’t make stupid trades to change the mix or address a perceived need. The Oilers have nothing but needs. Instead ….

    5) The Oilers need another offseason like the last one. They added Gordon, Perron, and Belov without losing anything signficant. Keep doing that and sooner or later they’ll be good.

    6) How you ask? If you go to capgeek they have about $15 million to spend to add a forward, a defenseman, and two goalies. The first move is to spend this season looking for a Ben Bishop type. The second move is to trade assets for RFA-Perron type player whose available because of cap hit. The third move is to spend the remainder on a single free agent.

    7) For the love of God don’t fire Eakins. I am the anti-Godot.

  29. Colonel Obvious says:

    As for Alec Guiness, have you all seen this http://www.dorkly.com/picture/48428/alec-guiness-hated-star-wars

  30. Henry says:

    8) Bring back the doughnuts so Terry Jones will lift his curse.

  31. Colonel Obvious says:

    Bos8: Excellent post and that is where I question Eakins as well.He had the change at home.Toronto is mostly a one trick pony.First rule should be – stop the pony.That’s why you have Gordon on the team.Gagner and Yak were the sacrifice to the volcano.Screw the chances, shut down the big line.

    Gordon had 53% defensive zone starts highest on the team. That’s why you have him. You can either use him in the defensive zone or you can match him up against a line. You can’t do both. Eakins made the right choice.

    The issue, if there is one, is playing Yakupov at all. Who is terrible in so many ways right now. If this team were playing to win at all costs Yakupov would never see the ice. Now I’m fine with playing him as well because there is a big picture to think about here. So you can’t put that on the coach either.

  32. Jordan says:

    I was thinking of throwing this out here yesterday, but wanted to see how things turned out this game before I actually said it.

    This team is cursed.

    There is no rhyme or reason to it. Nothing that is going on has anything to do with the team, the players, the fans, the building, the shot differential, the coach, the lucky jock strap, the dressing room, the media, the GM, the zamboni, the ice, the refereeing, the opposition, the conferences, the blood sacrifices, the bloggers, the car accidents, the dead hookers, the alien abductions or the economy.

    So, being judgemental person that I am, I’m going to lay blame.

    Kevin Lowe has brought down the Curse of the Six Rings upon the Oilers.

    Until he’s no longer involved in anything connected with the Edmonton Oilers, they will never win their 6th Stanley.

    Book it.

  33. hunter1909 says:

    Memo to Katz: Seems like your hockey prodigies are getting ground down by someone inside the Oiler management/coaching. You obviously like these guys personally, and no doubt you get all sorts of joy, but these are the facts:

    If Kevin Lowe Bucky Steve Smith et al somehow manage to fuck up this crop of players, it’s seriously going to put a dent in the ‘opening night’ gala.

  34. Gret99zky says:

    Yup. Let it bleed.

    Hopefully, when the team is officially out of the playoff race in 20 or so more games MacT and Eakins can figure out how to make this team finish the season strong and come out of the gates next year prepared and focused.

    Any move MacT makes needs to be toward balance going forward. Not band-aids to stop today’s bleeding.

    It’s going to be a long, long season.

  35. denny33 says:

    TheOtherJohn,

    But we won the corsi war last night !!!

  36. theres oil in virginia says:

    This is undoubtedly not how most feel, but:
    I really don’t give a damn about the playoffs right now, and never really did. When I turn on the Oilers game (especially late night – damn you EDT!), I want to see a team that competes and has a chance to win. If they do that on a consistent basis, then the playoff games will come. If they do that for the rest of the season and miss the playoffs, I’ll be satisfied, because producing that kind of effort consistently will bring playoff games for years to come. Show me in the next game and we’ll worry about the rest later.

  37. Gret99zky says:

    Colonel Obvious,

    Sir Alec is lucky he didn’t get stuck next to jar-jar binks. Or any of the prequel rabble.

    Paul Lucas? Tennyson Ford?

    Now I know why he wore the long brown jedi robe. To hide the onion tied to his belt.

  38. Andy P says:

    borisnikov:
    I have to give credit to the guys who remain lucid and calm this morning. Grinding the players into useful, effective pieces may ultimately prove succesful but how much longer do we have to wait? When do the teir 2 fans get to have their say along with the teir 1 fans, and voice displeasure without feeling wrong for doing so? I stayed up way past my bed time roasting (probably against better judgement) this sad sack organization but find that there is still many this morning touting patience and bigger picture. When does it end? Is the mix of players and their similar skill sets actually something that can be ground into useful pieces before the losing kills their desire? My doubts are larger now than they ever have been and as drastic the moves may be, dealing from the weak position and all, is that not the only sane option left? Because what we have now sucks. It hurts my soul too.

    With respect there are very few of us that management should take any heed of. As fun as it is to comment. There’s a couple, LT and a few others. But its a short list.

  39. Gret99zky says:

    denny33,

    Fancy, made-up stats don’t bother me like they used to.

    When I discovered the math guys aren’t trying to make me feel better by showing me the numbers.

    They are trying to make themselves feel better about how crappy the team is.

    No harm, no foul.

  40. denny33 says:

    TheOtherJohn,

    Oilers tied for 27th overall and teams behind them (excepting Buffalo) have 3 games in hand
    Willis posted on twitter last night Oilers need to go 40-23-7 from here to make playoffs.

    And it’s October

    Amazingly I would not gas the coach. That’s what bad organization do. Year after year. It takes pressure off the players

    **************************************************************************

    It would appear reality is setting in for the most staunch defenders of this most improved team over last year….

    The ‘ It is Early Crowd’ only now seems to understand the record needed to compete for a playoff spot….San Jose – we have to play San Jose yet?

    The Goaltending Sucks Crowd – has seen solid peformances for the last two weeks and the losses continue to mount – against Eastern teams.

    The Corsi War crowd is well…..not sure where they are at.

    Only crowd left of note – the injury crowd. – Just wait until Taylor Hall comes back!

    *********************************************************************************

    He is the most Popular centre in the National Hockey League. Welcome Back.

    Does anyone doubt our reputation for the easiest team in the league to play?

    Damian Cox:

    Put your feet up, son. Take a load off: There aren’t many players in the NHL who are assigned the same tough minutes as Leaf captain Dion Phaneuf every night. So getting 19:11 in playing time Tuesday night in Edmonton was almost like a night off, with only his partner, Carl Gunnarson, getting less work on this night. Paul Ranger led the Leaf blueline in minutes played with 22:15 in the **easy** 4-0 win

  41. flyfish1168 says:

    No net presence or goalie distraction tactics by the Oilers = zero goals. Corsi alone is a flaw

  42. regwald says:

    Elliotte Friedman ‏@FriedgeHNIC 1m

    Grebeshkov and Potter on waivers for Edmonton

  43. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    regwald:
    Elliotte Friedman ‏@FriedgeHNIC 1m

    Grebeshkov and Potter on waivers for Edmonton

    I wonder if Larsen or Fedun are coming up?

    Maybe they are hoping to drop a bottom pairing guy and replace with one of the other bottom pairing guys?

  44. jdubbs says:

    this team does not have the size to attack and fore check the way they do. the forwards need to be in better position to play defense whether they are gapping or swarming or whatever the forwards need to trap the netrual zone in order to stretch out other teams and then attack with speed and skill. they have more guys that can burn other teams one on one but when other teams play defense in numbers ( ie last night) the Oilers forwards are out muscled every time, or they just get 43 shots of which are from the outside or long distance. the Forwards seriously lack patience.
    Forwards are not buying in to a team defensive strategy. (IE see St. Louis Blues)

  45. admiralmark says:

    regwald:
    Elliotte Friedman ‏@FriedgeHNIC 1m

    Grebeshkov and Potter on waivers for Edmonton

    Well thats 2 less AHL D men on the NHL squad. Couple more to go. Seriously the Grebeshov experiment was a bust. He is god awful.

  46. Factotum says:

    The Oilers have too many of the same kind of player: lots of skill but slightly undersized for today’s NHL. They match up pretty well against the Pittsburghs and Torontos and Chicagos – teams that don’t necessarily devote themselves, to, you know, actually bothering to *check* Pat Quinn’s “morning glories”, but they have no answer for the big forecheck-heavy teams like LA or St. Louis. They can’t possibly contend until the roster is balanced and they have the ability to compete with more than one style of play.

    What’s really disheartening, though, is the number of gobsmackingly boneheaded mistakes that are being made over and over again by these professional hockey players. I mean, stuff we were all taught in peewee. My dad would say that they “don’t know whether to s**t or go blind”. I found myself wondering last night whether some of them had ever had *any* coaching. The basic, fundamental mistakes are causing them to lose the games they should have a good chance to win.

    If I pose George W. Bush’s question “is our children learning?”, too often it seems the answer is no. There’s really no excuse for this.

    The next question is “why not?”.

  47. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Gret99zky:
    denny33,

    Fancy, made-up stats don’t bother me like they used to.

    When I discovered the math guys aren’t trying to make me feel better by showing me the numbers.

    They are trying to make themselves feel better about how crappy the team is.

    No harm, no foul.

    They are trying to understand what makes a team good, bad or lucky. It’s a diagnostic device not a therapeutic one.

  48. Lloyd B. says:

    regwald,

    So the blood letting begins !

  49. G Money says:

    Gret99zky: Fancy, made-up stats don’t bother me like they used to.

    You do understand that “Corsi” is nothing more than “shot attempts”, right?

    And that “shot attempts” are the best long run proxy we have for “good team” or “bad team”, right?

    It’s neither tough nor complicated. Calling Corsi an advanced stat or discarding it as the purview of the mythical “math guys” suggests that your math skills are limited to checking the numbers on your 649 tickets.

  50. G Money says:

    regwald:
    Elliotte Friedman ‏@FriedgeHNIC 1m

    Grebeshkov and Potter on waivers for Edmonton

    Is the team allowed to put Smith and Buchberger on waivers?

  51. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    The curious thing about the Potter waive is they clearly could have kept him in OKC on his conditioning stint. That would have given them an extra week and a half or so from when they brought him back to make a decision.

    Because they didn’t do that… I’m inclined to believe either

    1. something happened with one of the roster players where they thought someone might be unable to play, but was ok in the end.

    2. they are hoping he gets picked up on waivers… and he just might. He’s a decent 6-8 guy on a cheap, expiring contract.

  52. knighttown says:

    I know LT’s going to hate this post but at some point do we have to consider the Oilers lack of success is (in part) due to bad timing? How will Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, Yakupov eventually compare to other clusters of the 3 best players in their draft year in a row?

    Ovechkin-Crosby-Toews-Kane-Stamkos-Tavares and then our picks…

    I know we’re Oiler fans but that’s 6 years in a row and I’d trade any of our Big 3 for any of these guys, especially when you consider injury history. These guys are all sure fire Olympians (and most would have been at the age Hall is now) and it looks like none of our guys will be considered.

    When guys bring nothing else but scoring, they need to be REALLY good at it or their defensive liabilities will keep them just below that tier. There are guys with sub-elite scoring that is made up by other aspects of hockey, primarily defense. For instance, do we win more games with Taylor Hall or Patrice Bergeron?

    Either our stars need to become truly consistent elite scorers like Crosby, Stamkos and Ovechkin that will simply outscore 7 games out of 10 (and that’s not an unrealistic expectation of #1 overall guys) or they have to become 10x better at the other things that allow you to win hockey games.

    Guys like Kopitar, Toews and Datsyuk have long ago forsaken the opportunity to score 100 points and maybe for good reason. They know (or learned from a helpful coach) that they aren’t good enough to win big cheating for offense. They’ll learned that they can still get their 0.8-1 points per game but dammit if the guys they are up against are going to produce much at the other end.

    We can see it very clearly on our own team. All these guys are offense only…I think we can agree on that for now. Is there clearly a massive gap between Hall/Nuge to Eberle? Now what about Eberle to Perron? Perron’s the one firing 6 shots per game a few games in a row isn’t he?

    The point, and there is one, is that there are dozens of David Perrons in the NHL. Offense-only, 0.6 to 1 point per game players. They go supernova one season riding percentages and then regress or they do it forever like Mike Ribeiro or Ray Whitney. Uh…look at Ales Hemsky and Sam Gagner for two good examples of guys on that track. What we need are guys that either produce more (Ovechkin) or produce in that range while doing everything else (Kopitar).

    Which track are our #1 picks on?
    -Can you say they are going to be elite scorers like Stamkos?
    -Are they going to be excellent scorers with some defensive chops like Toews?
    -Or are they going to slip into that grouping of excellent, excellent hockey players who don’t quite ever reach elite level in either group. I’m thinking Nick Backstrom.

    Don’t get me wrong, you can win with guys like Nick Backstrom it’s just that this isn’t going to be as simple as “wait three years and each kid is scoring 100″..Bam..Cup!” We’ll have some excellent scoring depth. Hall should be able to eventually saw off going P vs P if he’s with good players but if he (or Nuge or Yak) isn’t dominating that matchup the rest of our lineup needs to be excellent and at this point they kind of suck.

  53. justDOit says:

    G Money: Is the team allowed to put Smith and Buchberger on waivers?

    I’d suggest organizing a parade for them (make up something like ‘ass coaches day’), and get them a convertible to ride in. The rest is up to the rabid fanbase.

    And on a related note, JFK on tape in the whitehouse, angered over USA’s 17 – 2 loss to Sweden.

    https://soundcloud.com/mitchpotter-1/jfk-angry-after-u-s-hockey

  54. G Money says:

    justDOit: I’d suggest organizing a parade for them (make up something like ‘ass coaches day’), and get them a convertible to ride in. The rest is up to the rabid fanbase.

    Geez man, I want them off the coaching staff, not assassinated!!

    Then again … last night, to get the bad taste of the game out of my brain, I watched two episodes of the last season of Breaking Bad (I am pacing myself because I don’t want it to end!!), and it does give the feeling that there are certain problems that can be dealt with most expeditiously with a gun, a shovel, and a wide expanse of desert …

  55. justDOit says:

    G Money,

    I seriously doubt that even Bucky would fall for ‘assistant coach day parade’ – Smith, maybe.

  56. denny33 says:

    G Money,

    I agree – we can’t fire Eakins.

    Renney,Kruegger and now Eakins…. Scotty Bowman?

    What does it matter if Gagner is doing the ‘Gagner” …the gentle glide/ coast on the back check..

    Godot continues to make good points though about Eakins and line matching and icetime.

    Not asking for the Iron Mike Keenan swearing, breaking a stick and putting it to a guys throat…but as I queried at training camp – I ( Renney, Krueger ? ) would like Dallas to have a nice conversation with Sam Gagner.

    So many coaches – **same** play from a guy that is now 24 years old.

    There is a small group of guys that is getting lit up on this team and there icetime only increases….

    Boyd Gordon only played 11 minutes last night…..even strength. He was not scored upon.

    Godot has been questioning the coach for some time and I am not sure there is not blame there for Eakins. Again, not saying we should fire him at ALL.

    But it is more than valid to ask if Eakins is putting players on the ice against the right players – especially at home……what was Eakins expecting *defensively* from Yak and Gags?

    Conceding it is easy to criticize Eakins line matching after a loss….

  57. Colonel Obvious says:

    knighttown,

    I agree with your post entirely. The Oilers have no superstars nor are they ever likely to develop any. That has to be the baseline expectation around which the rebuild is conceived. What they do have is a lot of very good, young, players. The question is what do you do with this information. The mainstream response seems to be either the young guys are superstars or they are useless and should be traded. My view is that the fact that they are not superstars does not mean they are the problem. The problem is what it always was. Not enough good players.

    Hence trading good players for less good players because the good players aren’t as good as you thought they would be is a bad idea. Unfortunately this is exactly what most fans and the media would like to happen. See Alex Hemsky for evidence who, by the way, is playing great and absolutely making this team better.

  58. Colonel Obvious says:

    denny33,

    This point has already been addressed. Gordon is getting the defensive zone starts. 1) If you line match him against Kessel then you don’t get to put him out for defensive zone starts. So now Yakupov is starting more often in his own end. Is that what you want? 2) Even if you put Hemsky with Gordon whose the third guy on the line? It’s not obvious this is going to be a better defensive line up. It’s that simple.

  59. G Money says:

    knighttown: These guys are all sure fire Olympians (and most would have been at the age Hall is now) and it looks like none of our guys will be considered.

    knighttown: We can see it very clearly on our own team. All these guys are offense only…I think we can agree on that for now.

    Your questions/concerns on the topic are definitely legit. It is the young skill players that we look to to lead this team out of years of suckage – and if the suckage continues as those players get older and better, you do have to ask some disturbing questions. That said, a few (counter)points:

    - The question has been answered by Hall and Ebs – Hall is an elite river-pusher, and Ebs is an elite player if not quite the river pusher that Hall is. Gagner is what he is – good scorer, soft on D. More than good enough to build a second line around. Too early yet for RNH and Yak, but I would bet that they will not disappoint.

    - There is risk in comparing timelines players such as Hall or Yak too closely. Every player and every situation is different. Even comparing across thirty years of #1 picks is a pretty small and enormously variable sample.

    - One of Eakins’ comments is that what he’s struggling with for a lot of his players is that “they haven’t been well coached in the defensive fundamentals.” I do not think this is an arguable point. I also do not think we can yet tell if Eakins is effectively addressing the issue, simply because its too few games with too few of those players actually in the lineup.

  60. russ99 says:

    Colonel Obvious,

    We have 5 players who can develop into superstars.

    The disconnect is that our coach wants them all to play like 27 year old 6’4″ 200 lb checking forwards and stay at home defensemen.

    And yes, I think that a focus on that kind of play is good for them in the long run, but at some point you have to ask yourself that by sticking to that, what is the cost, especially in their offensive development and commitment to Edmonton?

    Do we want these guys evolving into quality players on Cup teams in other cities?

    Frankly, I have to wonder on some of the decisions so far, and really if they’re coming from Eakins or is MacTavish putting too much influence on the coach, like with the makeup of the coaching staff?

    Why are we trying to put big guys on our top two scoring lines? What’s wrong with letting Hall – RNH – Eberle play their game in the offensive zone as long as they’re responsible at the back?

    Why are we trying to turn the whole team into a checking line because we couldn’t acquire other than Gordon in July?

  61. Wolfie says:

    I don’t know if I can watch any more of this. The problem with this year is that we know the personnel is better. In previous years, although we hoped for the best, we knew the roster was full of long shots and newbs. I know not all the holes are plugged but this roster (barring injury) is miles better than any we’ve seen in a long time. So why the continued ineptitude?

    At the end of the day what matters is wins and loses. I don’t care how they do it. Win ugly, win pretty, just bloody win. This team is not entertaining to watch and worse yet they affect my mood! I’ll always be an Oilers fan but I think I might skip watching until things turn around a bit.

  62. oilersfan says:

    knighttown

    I don’t see how you can say Taylor Hall and Nuge don’t have that second tier elite potential. Yes I agree they are not franchise type generational players like Crosby or Ovechkin, but I don’t see them being that far off of Toews or Datsyuk as they mature. One season ago Hall was the second highest scorer in the western conference. for whatever reason people criticize his defence, but when he is playing on the wing he out shoots and outchances the other teams’ best players on a regular basis. he rarely loses a puck battle in either zone, is excellent at puck retrieval, and of course is excellent with the puck. at just turning 22 i think he has already arrived with substantial upside ahead. if it were me he would be on the Olympic team although there is no doubt he had a slow start being a center and now with the injury. However, aren’t those other criterist the definition of being a two way player?

    as for Nuge, he just turned 20. datsyuk was still playing in the minors in Russia at 20. Toews was playing in his rookie season.

    Yak is a real disappointment so far. I really think he would be best served playing 20 games in the AHl to learn important skills like puck retrieval in both zones, where to go in both zones when he doesn’t have the puck, cycling in the o zone, breaking the cycle along his wall in the d zone, and finding shooting lanes where his teammates can get him the puck. these are all very important skills that he didn’t seem to be taught up to this point and him learning them on the job against other teams’ top lines is costing this team games and Yak his confidence. I still think he will work out and can be a consistent 40 goal scorer maybe one notch below Stamkos but for now he needs to work on those above mentioned items.

  63. Gret99zky says:

    G Money,

    the math guys are born of baseball where the pitch comes from the same spot every time.

    baseball stats are uniform and consistent. there are no “pitch attempts”.

    “shot attempts” has some subjectivity attached to it. otherwise hockey stats in this category would be uniform and consistent.

    you need only look at the variety of bloggers and math guys conflicting numbers after each game to see that it is a little, for lack of a better term, made-up.

  64. dangilitis says:

    I think its hilarious that people are turning on Bucky and Smith. Assistant coaches are advisors, they cannot influence the systems the team implements to the extent of the head coach. They have to operate within the team’s system, and just like the players, those 2 have had to deal with 4 head coaches in the last 4 years, and 4 different systems. Do you think it was Bucky that was the mastermind behind the swarm system implemented by Eakins?

    I am not saying that those 2 are part of the solution, but the team you are seeing, with higher corsi% but leaking quality chances not reflected accurately in this stat, is not because of any of those 2 guys.

    Everyone this summer was saying that Eakins needed to hire his own associate coach. You want to lay blame, I say blame the team for letting Eakins pick his buddy when they should have had a real interview process including coaches with actual NHL experience. You have a guy who has 0 games NHL experience head coaching, then you bring in an associate coach with the same amount of experience in associate coaching, and then bring that associate coach’s inept son and a merrymen of AHL sparkplugs and NHL facepunchers – well, are we surprised with what we have seen?

    So if we want to get rid of Bucky and Smith for “failing to adapt” to the 4th head coach in the last 4 years, then we surely shouldn’t be using the carousel of head coaches excuse for the players. Its an adjustment process, and unfortunately one that has cost us the season. There is nothing to lose at this point, and if the coaches and players can actually figure out how to use Eakins’ strategies to win games, then that can be the only silver lining on a dreadful season. Oh ya, and astoundingly, another top 5 pick who will eventually inherit a multi-year 6 million/yr contract…

  65. RMGS says:

    Sorry if this has already been posted, but folks, we need comedic relief:

    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/10/30/fans-of-edmonton-oilers-have-only-one-thing-left-the-black-humour-of-oilerspositives/

    My favourite is the “bus scene.”

    #OilersPositives

  66. Andy P says:

    There seems to be a dynamic going on with the team that we can only guess at. From my own past business experience of managing teams, I would say that MacT and Eakins are engaged in a fierce internal power struggle over the control of the team. There has to be one or more common denominators in this from start to finish, and I don’t think that was Renney or Krueger. Both quickly found employment of some sort that indicates widespread respect for their abilities.

    Renney was canned because we became impatient – or was he undermined? Krueger was canned because MacT took to his mini-me in Eakins. Was Krueger undermined?

    Dithers was canned for good reason, but screwed this team over big time with his well documented incompetence. I’m wondering whether he screwed this team over even more than we realized, through his weak leadership of allowing the core problem to fester.

    If that is the case this struggle is reaching the point of one of Eakins or the Core problem person or persons, having to go. Things are reaching such a fever pitch that this is likely to happen soon. For the sake of the team I hope it is MacT and Eakins who stay, and core problem person or people seen out the door.

    I’ve seen shades of this in the past, when they cleaned out the training staff who were seen to be undermining the leadership. More shades of it when they shipped out old moaners from last year. This time around it would likely be nasty and traumatic, because whoever it is, they are obviously well entrenched. Who would that be? Therein lies the question. We may find out sooner rather than later.

    Whoever it is, when it is all over there will be some blood and guts around the place but only then will the team be able to break out of this eternal cycle.

    Having said that we need to give Dallas the opportunity to choose his own assistants at some point. It’s a bit weird for him to take on the assistants from the prior, failed regime, and one can imagine that Bucky may have some pull with Management and key players.

  67. G Money says:

    denny33: I agree – we can’t fire Eakins.

    But it is more than valid to ask if Eakins is putting players on the ice against the right players – especially at home……what was Eakins expecting *defensively* from Yak and Gags?

    Conceding it is easy to criticize Eakins line matching after a loss….

    I wouldn’t want to give the impression that I think that Eakins is faultless!

    Some of his decisions w.r.t. the lineup and the line matches do raise an eyebrow.

    I also question his choice of assistant coaches, and changing them right now is about the only way to shake up the room without screwing things up further. My “fire Bucky and Smith” rubric is not new – when DE was hired, one of my first posts was “I assume he’s going to be smart enough to bring in new assistant coaches.” He didn’t, and that in my opinion was his first dumb (non)decision.

    That said, let’s not sugarcoat what a bloody challenging situation he finds himself in: a rookie coach, the fourth one in five years, implementing yet another completely different system, with a bunch of young players, on a team with massive turnover in the forward ranks, missing at least two of his elite players almost every game, getting terrible goaltending out of the gate (not something that a coach can actually affect), going into a season with what I suspect are unreasonably high expectations, under the microscope of a hockey-mad city. And yet he’s managed to get this team to improve their shot differentials (one of the most fundamental improvements a coach can make) markedly over last year.

    Point being – Eakins has not yet proven that he’s the solution but the arrows are more positive than negative – and it’s definitely way too early and too kneejerk to suggest he’s a continuation of the problem.

  68. Bos8 says:

    Colonel Obvious: Gordon had 53% defensive zone starts highest on the team.That’s why you have him.You can either use him in the defensive zone or you can match him up against a line.You can’t do both.Eakins made the right choice.

    The issue, if there is one, is playing Yakupov at all.Who is terrible in so many ways right now.If this team were playing to win at all costs Yakupov would never see the ice.Now I’m fine with playing him as well because there is a big picture to think about here.So you can’t put that on the coach either.

    Yeah, you’re right about the options and you can’t do both. My opinion is that it’s better, especially in Toronto’s case, to line match with your best shut down line. There are considerations both ways. With Perron unavaiable, it was probably better to do D zone starts.

    As to Eakins, I’m totally on board with what he’s trying to do. The results aren’t there but he’s putting together a team. The kids are working hard for him, I don’t see any quit on this team, whatever the score.

  69. Doug McLachlan says:

    Ok, that’s it for me.

    My seat in the bandwagon is available.

    Seven plus years of fruitless wilderness time has been quite enough for me.

    I can still see that picture of “The Rake” with his son on the cover of the Sun with the previous night’s Game 7 sting ever present as I walked the dog on a nice summer morning (for some reason that newspaper box had an out of date issue still in the front which I believe was from a day or two before the loss) and how I felt what a fantastic run, we’ll be back soon.

    I went to City Hall to hear then GM 6 Rings with a few token Oilers in tow talk about how we don’t celebrate losing (which seemed so at odds with my mood, and everyone’s mood, at the time – unaware that he knew the other shoe was about to drop).

    And then…boom.

    I tried to defend the Vanek and Penner bids. I posted Staples’ article on how Smyth wasn’t going anywhere in my office. I cheered Gagner. Got giddy at the prospect of Whale hunting. Stood up for Hemsky. Debated Taylor-Tyler and then Nuge-Larsson. I would point to the defensive contributions of Horcoff and immersed myself in advance-stats so I could understand my own arguements. I watched Hall’s first goal with my little one in the Jolly-Jumper, knowing that I would be able to recount the moment to him years from now. I rejoiced at Lowetide’s Ode to Joy celebration of the Schultz signing and fell in love with Yak city.

    I know that they will turn it around and I will be back someday but for me …

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwH__x6jV6A

    Ok, who am I kidding. I’m Charlie fu*#ing Brown. See you after the next couple of wins – hopefully before Christmas.

  70. denny33 says:

    Colonel Obvious,

    This point has already been addressed. Gordon is getting the defensive zone starts. 1) If you line match him against Kessel then you don’t get to put him out for defensive zone starts. So now Yakupov is starting more often in his own end. Is that what you want? 2) Even if you put Hemsky with Gordon whose the third guy on the line? It’s not obvious this is going to be a better defensive line up. It’s that simple.

    ******************************************************************************

    I get he is getting the defensive zone starts. That is what shut down guys do…

    But, yes, I think he could have played more than 11 minutes….in icetime.

    Even J Mclement had 15 minutes….and he has goose eggs this year.

    Frazer Maclaren had over 9 minutes…..

    That seem like a pretty innocuous statement….

    Boyd Gordon – is one of our best all around players – not just defensively. So – I don’t think 11 minutes per night will cut it.

    Maybe he was sick as well?

  71. G Money says:

    Gret99zky: “shot attempts” has some subjectivity attached to it. otherwise hockey stats in this category would be uniform and consistent.

    It’s not very subjective at all. Shots are shots as counted by the NHL. Fenwick is shots + missed shots as counted by the NHL. Corsi is shots + missed shots + blocked shots as counted by the NHL. Naturally there might be some variation from counter to counter and rink to rink, but the variation should be minimal, and when calculated, there really shouldn’t be any significant disagreement from one source to the other.

    Now if you’re talking scoring chances a la Dennis King, or about the Cult of Hockey “Neilson numbers” project, you certainly can call it subjective, because they are. They try and attach formal concepts to this (“hard shot from the slot”), but subjectivity is part and parcel.

    But even so – in the context of assessing the flow of the game, I find that there is a much deeper capability of evaluation if you watch the game and then assess shots, chances, Fenwick close, Corsi, and CoH Neilsen numbers.

    Why anyone would ever willingly throw away (let alone mock) useful information – even if that information is imperfect when looked at standalone – is a mystery to me.

    The other narrative, that the “advanced stats guys are using stats to make themselves feel better” is complete trash BTW. For the last five years, the advanced stats guys were the ones who had been pointing out that the team was actually just as shitty as, or shittier than, its record. That message was particularly loud after wins. This year, the balance of play (again: shots, chances, Fenwick close, Corsi, Neilsen) suggest the opposite. It does not mean the team is ‘good’ – only better than its record would suggest. That is all.

  72. russ99 says:

    denny33:
    Colonel Obvious,

    This point has already been addressed. Gordon is getting the defensive zone starts. 1) If you line match him against Kessel then you don’t get to put him out for defensive zone starts. So now Yakupov is starting more often in his own end. Is that what you want? 2) Even if you put Hemsky with Gordon whose the third guy on the line? It’s not obvious this is going to be a better defensive line up. It’s that simple.

    ******************************************************************************

    I get he is getting the defensive zone starts. That is what shut down guys do…

    But, yes, I think he could have played more than 11 minutes….in icetime.

    Even J Mclement had 15 minutes….and he has goose eggs this year.

    Frazer Maclaren had over 9minutes…..

    That seem like a pretty innocuous statement….

    Boyd Gordon – is one of our best all around players – not just defensively. So – I don’t think 11 minutes per night will cut it.

    Maybe he was sick as well?

    Gordon is doing a fantastic job as a shutdown center.

    But who are his linemates? It takes 3 players for a shutdown line and Arcobello, Hemsky and Jones surely aren’t known for their defense.

    The only possible way to get that right, unless we acquire a big winger or to is to go with Gordon – Perron – Joensuu when Joensuu is healthy.

  73. DeadmanWaking says:

    Very nice post this morning, Lowetide. Better you than me on this rocky dawn. BTW I noticed you made a nice comment about one of my posts the other day. It’s always nice to get a pat on the back from the man downstairs. I’ve been meaning to say that.

    As men, we like to have the answers. Even to problems that don’t have answers, or not the kind of answers we want to hear.

    One can learn a lot talking to women. Turns out women like to talk about sex–though often not so directly with the men they moan over. The kind of conversation I’m thinking about tends not to happen when the periscope reticule is hot and heavy–and not necessarily after getting hitched, either.

    If a man manages to get into this conversation–or his reading interests stray as mine do–one soon discovers that men have far fewer answers in the bedroom than we like to suppose. Problems in one’s committed sex life can’t be solved by firing the coach. Or burning the couch. Or the other way around.

    The number one complaint I’ve heard from women about the act itself, is that men try too hard. There’s a bright line. Let’s call it making the playoffs. And we’re going to get there, come hell or high water (both, in Calgary).

    Here’s the rub. Are you sure you’re making the playoffs? Yes, yes, three times last night. But have you listened to your dance partner’s fine print? What she really says when she’s not problem-solving the problem solver? Actually, I don’t think women resort to this all that often. I think they are mostly content with their sex lives. But many women do have sore spots about men problem-solving the making of payoffs quite so insistently.

    I’m going to cross a dangerous line here. One that I’ve stepped up to then taken a pass on before.

    Here goes.

    There are some things between men and women that are crazy backwards. I suspect much of this is rooted in the pursuit dynamic. The pursuer desires devotedly, and the pursued demurs demurely [no, that is not pleonasm, nor neoplasm either; they mean differently]. So it’s clear about the wanting and withholding.

    No.

    It’s the other way around. Women are the stronger sexual animal. But they don’t wear it as easily as men do. The male physiology is fairly binary–I’m already well over the line, so let’s just say binary. The female physiology has more moods and seasons. Women are the dynamite. We’re just the match with the phosphorous match head. Quick strike. One and done.

    One might carry around a box of matches in the bib overalls. Boy scout, and all that. Dynamite, however, is generally not left loose and rolling. It’s securely stored in the emotional powder room. Here’s the problem: matches make lousy keys–though one might manage once or twice in a lifetime to push a hot one through the keyhole with enough flare remaining to set the whole room off. Kablooie! Then the day comes when the keyhole is gone, and it’s a digital keypad. At first LUVU is all it takes. Then the code begins to change daily.

    It would be wrong to say men aren’t good at solving the code; after all, we’ve been evolving for sixty million years or so to excel at exactly this task. The code, however, has been evolving, too.

    Storming the powder room is the wrong approach. Maybe it had some success once upon a time, but the dynamite wasn’t very happy about being used this way, and thus that world is gone now in civilized suburbs.

    The thing is, the dynamite doesn’t want to lock itself up in the powder room. It wants to come out–the way dynamite does. In for a dime, in for a dollar. They can do that. It’s the most amazing thing. You, too, can be the proud owner of a very happy dime–but bear in mind who provided the buck.

    Exactly our role in this process is hard to pinpoint. For all their dynamite, women somehow need to be kindled. Kindled with a man’s touch. A man’s touch is not just a knowing fingertip patrolling the seven seas–it’s the whole enchilada, of which the match itself is the least incipient.

    These seven seas are not circular mares linked together like orderly Olympic rings. No, the coastline meanders. It’s jagged. Even Slartibartfast packs lunch, and plans to stay a while. For a man who braves the seas fair or foul–a man for whom not snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays his swift patrol–the dynamite mostly takes care of itself (though it helps to master the rigging just a titch). The bottom line: You can rush all the dynamite some of the time, and some of the dynamite all of the time, but you cannot rush all of the dynamite all of the time.

    It’s understandable when your tool is a match–from a spring-loaded matchbox–that everything looks like a Roman candle. It just doesn’t happen to work.

    Willie Sutton robbed banks because that’s where the money is. Romeo apotheosis navigates the jagged coastline because that’s where the dynamite is. Shake the quickie-fixer from your dystonic claw–the dynamite is over there. It wants to kablooie. Really, it does.

    If you manage to get the dynamite into a conversation about this–when the matchheads are safely and securely stowed–one gets the impression that there’s a lot of men out there still sitting under the stubborn keyhole wondering what to do next. Problem solving. Fussing with fuses, fanning the flue, forcing the chemistry, instead of letting it stew.

  74. knighttown says:

    oilersfan:
    knighttown

    I don’t see how you can say Taylor Hall and Nuge don’t have that second tier elite potential. Yes I agree they are not franchise type generational players like Crosby or Ovechkin, but I don’t see them being that far off of Toews or Datsyuk as they mature.

    Actually I didn’t say that. They have all the potential in the world as #1 overall picks. If anyone could turn into those players, it’s those two. What I’m saying is that if they aren’t going to be difference makers defensively (like Ovechkin who is awful in the D zone) they had better get scoring.

    -Crosby’s PPG (when normalized for era) is among the greatest of all time
    -Ovechkin is on pace for over 500 shots this year and has taken nearly one-third of his teams shots on goal
    -Stamkos has 9 goals in 12 games and is a sure thing to score 50 every year he stays healthy

    The NHL had three “first line Olympic” talents get drafted in 3 years and we missed them all. No harm in that. We got some beauties too but the sooner Hall, Nuge and Yak accept that they aren’t those three the sooner they can become what they have the talent to become; that is, the next level of player who truly dominates a game for 200 feet.

    Do not underestimate just how impactful a 200 foot player is. If anyone remembers Shawn Horcoff circa 2006, he went against the truly elite in Datsyuk, Thornton and Getzlaf in three straight rounds and won each of those battles. It wasn’t until he ran up against his better mirror image in Rod Brind’amour that he wasn’t able to impose his will.

    Hank Sedin will score you 90 and I think he’s grossly underrated but the guys who’s making the massive impact in a seven game series when power plays go away and there are no “OIlers” to beat up on is (a healthy) Ryan Kesler.

    The question the Oilers management should be asking are:
    -how does Taylor Hall become Ryan Kesler (circa 2010)
    -how does Ryan Nugent Hopkins become Pavel Datsyuk
    -what the eff is Nail Yakupov going to become. Is he Stamkos-lite and if so, how close is that to Alex Semin?

    I think Eakins knows this and the next few years are his Scotty Bowman-Steve Yzerman years except he’s not Scotty Bowman and he’s got three of these guys to deal with at once.

  75. Colonel Obvious says:

    dangilitis:
    I think its hilarious that people are turning on Bucky and Smith. Assistant coaches are advisors, they cannot influence the systems the team implements to the extent of the head coach. They have to operate within the team’s system, and just like the players, those 2 have had to deal with 4 head coaches in the last 4 years, and 4 different systems. Do you think it was Bucky that was the mastermind behind the swarm system implemented by Eakins?

    I am not saying that those 2 are part of the solution, but the team you are seeing, with higher corsi% but leaking quality chances not reflected accurately in this stat, is not because of any of those 2 guys.

    This is one myth that needs to be put to bed finally and without question. The system is not giving up more quality chances that are indicated by corsi or some other shot metric. It is simply a falsehood born out of selective perception.

    This can be demonstrated in two ways. First, on a macro level, by shot distance measures the Oilers are actually allowing a greater percentage of their shots from farther away from the net. How much of this can be attributed to the system I have no idea. But the evidence is that teams are taking their shots from further away not closer. So the hypothesis fails this macro test.

    Second, on a micro level, to demonstrate the hypothesis you’d have to show how specific chances resulted from the system and compare that to a reasonable expectation of success (since all systems allow some chances). For instance there is no doubt that the Oilers allowed some high quality chances last night that resulted in goals. However, to demonstrate the hypothesis you would have to attribute those chances to the system. Now look at what actually happened.

    So let’s do that.

    The first goal was a result of a two on one that arose from a failed pinch and a poor backcheck. That’s not a system chance, these things happen in all systems.

    The Van Riemsdyk goal was another 2-1 that came out of JSchultz jumping into the play to create a chance. Everything about this was good except the high forward forgot to cover and Gagner ran out of gas. That’s not a system chance.

    The second Kessel goal might have been a result of the system but I’d need an analysis to demonstrate it.

    The fourth goal was an abysmal giveaway by Petry. Perhaps that’s a result of poor breakout design but again you’d have to demonstrate that.

    So unless you can demonstrate your unsubstantiated claims I would appreciate it if you would stop repeating clear falsehoods both here and in your private life. Oiler fandom requires education not mythologies that undermine winning. And yes, this matters. If the Oilers do not say the course it will be because of fans demanding that they “do something.” This something will inevitably be stupid.

  76. hags9k says:

    It’s way too early to be saying with any certainty what our young guns will or won’t turn into.

    Career GP
    Ebs 209
    Hall 180
    Nuge 114
    Jultz 62
    Yak 60.

    You can see Eberle and Hall playing with more consistency already, but the rest are way, way too green for anyone to start labeling them. 60 games? Cmon, they are rookies!!! Expecting Yak to go out and be a plus player against the toughs right now is dreaming.

    The problem is that the patience required of the fan base to see this through looks like it has run out. I doubt Yak makes it past the deadline, and it’s a real shame.

    I said it during preseason but after seeing Nurse’s game at 18, it was clear to me that we won’t shift into drive until he arrives.

  77. Logan91 says:

    After last night, I would scratch J Shultz for a game or two.

    I would rather have a defenseman who plays defense first instead of someone who constantly pinches and puts more pressure on the forwards.

  78. denny33 says:

    knighttown,

    Best post I have seen in a long time……your touching a sensitive nerve around here on this one.

    We are on the brink of having half a team full of high draft picks and we still finish near the bottom of the whole league.

    We have fired enough coaches for two decades.

    The sidebar to that whole thing is the age old question of how to develop the talent.

    Would any, or all, of our collection of #1′s been best served for development by NOT being in the NHL until at least 20 years of age?

  79. russ99 says:

    knighttown,

    A team with Ryan Kesler, Pavel Datsyuk and Alexander Semins will win, but you need the dynamic players to truly win it all.

    For example, Chicago without Hossa and Kane, Pittsburgh with Crosby and Malkin, Washington without Ovechkin, Tampa without Stamkos. Even LA has Kopitar and Carter.

    Boston is the only outlier, and yet they’re the team that the current management staff has been seemingly trying to copycat – and with all copycatting, we’ll be left in the dust when the league inevitably changes again.

    The problem here is forcing our prospects into a “200 foot role” that players like Toews, Kesler and Datsyuk were born to play.

    Why should we limit the development ceilings of our prospects (and yes, players under 23 years old are still prospects) when one or two of them can become a top dynamic player because of the current management/coaching staff’s whim or foolhardy desire to rebuild the team into the Bruins?

    We’re at a fork in the road, and I’d much prefer the team takesone that leads to winning “Oilers hockey”.

  80. ashley says:

    I thought they played pretty well last night. They’re going to win most games where they play like that. We can’t let the result get us down. Endpoint bias and all that. That’s the nature of hockey. There is more than a pinch of luck that can affect games.

    Unfortunately the timing of a great effort by the team thwarted by bad luck is not great.

  81. godot10 says:

    Colonel Obvious:

    7) For the love of God don’t fire Eakins.I am the anti-Godot.

    I said fire Lowe. Not fire Eakins. I have not made the proposition (yet) to fire Eakins. I am getting reasonably certain that Eakins is only a good and extremely cocksure AHL coach.

    Krueger would have been crucified last year for lining up Yakupov against Ovechkin and Kessel in consecutive home games with the last change to go -8.

  82. tcho says:

    Colonel Obvious,

    Thanks, Colonel. A great post that really clarifies things. (no sarcasm)

  83. Factotum says:

    DeadmanWaking,

    Pure gold, sir. Again.

  84. LMHF#1 says:

    For those still on the “need a goalie” train – has Steve Mason turned it around or is he just a product of the Flyers somehow: http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=89750

    Could be a target either during the season or as a free agent this offseason. He’s only 25.

  85. hunter1909 says:

    ashley: We can’t let the result get us down.

    What exactly CAN get us down?

  86. Colonel Obvious says:

    godot10,

    The problem I, and I believe others, have with your view is that you have such an obvious and instinctive dislike for his demeanour (i.e. cocksureness) combined with a prejudicial intellectual disdain for the AHL and “systems” coaches that there is precious little room left over for analysis.

    It is very media like. You dislike Eakins and therefore you think he’s doing a bad job. It’s very transparent. You see what you expect to see.

  87. hunter1909 says:

    godot10,

    You sir, understand hockey.

  88. godot10 says:

    knighttown:
    I know LT’s going to hate this post but at some point do we have to consider the Oilers lack of success is (in part) due to bad timing?How will Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, Yakupov eventually compare to other clusters of the 3 best players in their draft year in a row?

    Ovechkin-Crosby-Toews-Kane-Stamkos-Tavares and then our picks…

    I know we’re Oiler fans but that’s 6 years in a row and I’d trade any of our Big 3 for any of these guys, especially when you consider injury history.These guys are all sure fire Olympians (and most would have been at the age Hall is now) and it looks like none of our guys will be considered.

    Hall was 2nd in scoring in the Western Conference last year to Toews. Nugent-Hopkins, with strong wingers, was playing a 200-foot game against the best centres in the Western Conference at nineteen and winning or sawing off 80% of the matchups. Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, and Eberle were tilting the ice as a line. Are there still some problems in their game? Yep. But they are elite. Yzerman had problems in his game too until Bowman read him the riot act.

    The only reason Hall won’t be on the Olympic team this year is because Oilers management is incompetent, not because Hall isn’t elite. MacT and Eakins got too cute this summer and fall, and instead of riding the Hall horse to glory, they want to try their stupid experiment, which was the biggest thing that has set the Oilers back. It meant they went into training camp a centre short. It meant Hall was struggling in October, instead of flying out of the gate. That more than anything was the reason for the bad start. MacT with his Messier fetish. MacT with his “I’m going to show the world how brilliant I am by turning Hall into Messier.” Eff MacT. Eff him.

    You play to your strengths. Hall was the dominant left wing the the Western Conference last year. You play to your strenghts. Not chop them off at the knees.

    MacT and Eakins are systems guys. They don’t recognize talent or how to use talent or how to develop talent. It is a mystery to them. It is why you stick Yakupov out there for a -4 against Ovechkin and a -4 against Kessel, and in your press conference after, you don’t have a clue what you did wrong as a coach.

  89. hunter1909 says:

    LOL one of my Leaf mates just sent me a lovely pic of Eberle, Hall, and RNH at the bench with the caption:

    “Hey Rihanna Date us…we don’t beat anybody”

    Bastards.

  90. G Money says:

    godot10: Krueger would have been crucified last year for lining up Yakupov against Ovechkin and Kessel in consecutive home games with the last change to go -8.

    Revisionist history. Krueger was cut a ton of slack on how he coached and ran the team … until about 25 games in, when it became obvious that virtually every one of his players not named Hall or Eberle were being badly outplayed and outshot in comparison to those same players the previous year, and that his fourth line was being crushed on a regular basis. That’s when his systems and his line matching came under the microscope, and rightly so.

  91. hunter1909 says:

    As an Oiler fan, I feel like I’m living in the French Revolution, with Laurel and Hardy eventually about to ride the cart to the Place Concorde.

  92. godot10 says:

    Colonel Obvious:
    denny33,

    This point has already been addressed.Gordon is getting the defensive zone starts.1)If you line match him against Kessel then you don’t get to put him out for defensive zone starts.So now Yakupov is starting more often in his own end.Is that what you want?2) Even if you put Hemsky with Gordon whose the third guy on the line?It’s not obvious this is going to be a better defensive line up. It’s that simple.

    Why is Will Acton on the team if he sucks on the PK and you can’t put him out between two of your top 4 wingers to win a draw in your own zone? Belanger could penalty kill, and you could put him out to win a draw in the D-zone. You don’t have to put Acton out with Gadzic and Eager. You can put him out with two good wingers to win the draw, get the puck out of the zone, and get off the ice.

    Will Acton is only getting 5 minutes or so otherwise? Why isn’t he used in a win the D-zone draw and get off the ice role when you have to expand Gordon’s minutes in a matchup role until the team gets healthy?

  93. hunter1909 says:

    So clever of Eakins to make plugger Ference captain. Because he obviously stinks at the job.

    Oh yeah: 1 – He’s good in the community

    2 – His sister is supposed to be able to kick my ass, lol(I feel sorry for her if that’s true)

  94. Colonel Obvious says:

    godot10,

    I think you need to work through the permutations of what you are saying. You want Acton to take the defensive zone starts which go well beyond simply winning the draw?

    Ok so who does Acton play with, now that you have bumped him up his playing time? Are you suggesting leaving Gagner on the bench for defensive zone starts or Nugent-Hopkins? What does that do to the transition game?

    Who do you play with Gordon if you are going to hard match him against Kessel? Hemsky? Who else? Eager? Jones? Arcobello? Is this better?

    What does that leave over for the rest of the lines?

    With the lineup last night there was no way to cover all eventualities. Harping on this point like it was some kind of obvious tactical blunder is obtuse.

  95. G Money says:

    hunter1909:
    As an Oiler fan, I feel like I’m living in the French Revolution, with Laurel and Hardy eventually about to ride the cart to the Place Concorde.

    Gord on high
    Hear our prayer
    In our need
    You have never been there

    Our team is young
    Our team’s afraid

    Let the refs
    Not be blind and deaf

    Bring Stanley home
    Bring him home
    Bring him home

    The seasons die
    One by one
    How soon they fly
    On and on

    And I am old
    And will be gone
    Bring it back
    From Illinois

    [OK, that's as far as I could get ...]

  96. godot10 says:

    knighttown:
    I think Eakins knows this and the next few years are his Scotty Bowman-Steve Yzerman years except he’s not Scotty Bowman and he’s got three of these guys to deal with at once.

    Did Bowman ever stick a young Datsyuk out on the ice where he could be humiliated by -4′s or consecutive -4′s like he has for Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, and Yakupov (and Gagner and Eberle) this year.

    Eakins is more Mario Tremblay (okay, I’ll be nicer, Mike Keenan) than Scotty Bowman with his belief in humiliating young players.

  97. Colonel Obvious says:

    godot10,

    Where do you get this nonsense of “humiliating” young players. It’s stupid and makes you look like an ass.

  98. dangilitis says:

    Colonel Obvious,

    “So unless you can demonstrate your unsubstantiated claims I would appreciate it if you would stop repeating clear falsehoods both here and in your private life. Oiler fandom requires education not mythologies that undermine winning. And yes, this matters. If the Oilers do not say the course it will be because of fans demanding that they “do something.” This something will inevitably be stupid.”

    My claim was that the corsi does not incorporate shot quality. Nothing you said proved that this is unsubstantiated. My example is 40 shots from poor angles and long distances would be inferior to 20 shots at close range and on odd-man rushes. Last night was an example of that. Prove that wrong, please, as I am uneducated and you clearly are…

    Also, I clearly stated in that message that the team needs to stay the course.

    Maybe you should learn how to summarize the thrust of a sentence before you move on to paragraphs and then maybe you can work on an entire message. Thanks for all of your education, though…

  99. Bag of Pucks says:

    An argument could be made that if the Oilers had drafted for need (i.e. roster balance) instead of BPA, they might be further ahead in this process by now?

    Seguin C
    Landeskog Big W
    Ryan Murray Top 2 D

    I’m an advocate of BPA, but the problem is the Oilers suck at the ‘development’ part of draft & development. So rather than taking on slight Cs or undisciplined Ws, they may have better served themselves (which would unfortunately require recognition of their weaknesses) by drafting players like Landeskog who were widely acknowledged as more ‘pro ready’ Of course, follow this line of reasoning through and you could just as easily end up with Adam Larsson on the bench depending on what the team’s perceived need is.

    It almost seems like Eakins is burning Ws to make his point to certain players. Gagner against the toughs being the latest example last night. Really a shame that MacT could’ve traded the pieces that we knew at the end of last year weren’t longterm fits (Gags, Dubnyk, Eager, etc.) but he didn’t. So here we sit – in perpetual rebuild. Things could get ugly around here once the Flames starting laying the beat down on us.

  100. godot10 says:

    Colonel Obvious:
    godot10,

    The problem I, and I believe others, have with your view is that you have such an obvious and instinctive dislike for his demeanour (i.e. cocksureness) combined with a prejudicial intellectual disdain for the AHL and “systems” coaches that there is precious little room left over for analysis.

    Most NHL coaches began as AHL coaches. It is just like with players, it is a matter of the GM recognizing if the coach has the potential to get better.

    MacT didn’t give Todd Nelson an interview. Todd Nelson was a far better AHL coach than Dallas Eakins, but without the Toronto media hype.

    Head-to-head in the playoffs, a Todd Nelson-coached team outplayed but lost to a Dallas Eakins coach team because of Ben Scrivens. That Marlie team had Fraser, Holzer, and Jake Gardiner on the blue, and Kadri, Frattin, Hamilton, and Acton.

    The best non-goaltender was Hartikainen. Nelson had Hartikainen, Paajarvi, and Archibello. His defense was Bryan Helmer and a bunch of ECHL-types.

    Nelson had to rebuild an AHL team almost from scratch mid-season last year and he took that rebuilt team to within one game of making it to the Calder Cup finals, with 3 AHL rookies as his best D. In less than one full season, Taylor Fedun and Martin Marincin are fully prepped for NHL callup duty. Arguably, Taylor Fedun is days away from being one of six, paired with Andrew Ference, handling the second toughs in the NHL.

    MacT didn’t give Nelson an interview.

  101. Colonel Obvious says:

    godot10,

    I like Nelson fine. But when Nelson had Hall, Hopkins, Eberle, and Schultz his team wasn’t winning.

  102. G Money says:

    dangilitis: My claim was that the corsi does not incorporate shot quality. Nothing you said proved that this is unsubstantiated.

    I believe the Colonel is referring to the fact that (and this is an argument entirely separate from Corsi) measures of shot distance do not show that more in-close chances are being given up by the Oilers, in fact, the shots are generally from farther away.

    To my knowledge, there is no metric available that can either support or diminish the arguments about shot quality other than distance, as I don’t yet know of anyone who’s managed to capture any sort of useful metric in that regard.

    It should be noted that this is a two-way street – my recollection last time I looked at the data is that the Oilers are giving up more long-distance shots, but are also taking shots from farther away as well, confirming those who complain of perimeter players.

  103. Colonel Obvious says:

    dangilitis,

    What I proved is that your point doesn’t have anything to do with the Oilers. As for education, well some people are incapable of being educated because they don’t know how to listen.

    The condescension you sense from me is real and well deserved.

  104. hunter1909 says:

    I kind of liked the idea of Brent Sutter coaching.

  105. Bag of Pucks says:

    I have noticed one thing that would seem to indicate this isn’t all Eakins. With the possible exception of Ference (who should be given some slack given his D partner), almost all of the new adds (Gordon, Perron, Acton, Belov, Gazdic) have looked reasonably competent in this lineup. That seems to add some credence to the argument that he’s still dealing with the warts from the old regime.

    On a positive note, very encouraged by Bachman’s play thus far. He looks like a keeper (pun intended). We may have a goalie we can ‘ride, ride, ride, let ‘em ride”

  106. godot10 says:

    Colonel Obvious:
    godot10,

    I like Nelson fine.But when Nelson had Hall, Hopkins, Eberle, and Schultz his team wasn’t winning.

    He had three raw AHL rookies on D, 4 if you count Schultz, and the two vets he had, Teubert and Plante, fell into the hockey abyss. The OKC team couldn’t do anything much to fix things until the NHL lockout was over, and the Oilers were willing to spend money. Still, Fedun, Marincin, and Davidson all found reliabilitiy by the end of the season.

  107. hunter1909 says:

    dangilitis: Oiler fandom requires education not mythologies that undermine winning.

    LOL

    Really? What about a six year old? Does he need “education”?

    Colonel Obvious: The condescension you sense from me is real and well deserved.

    Hahahahahahaha

    This is an Oilers employee, I can feel it.

  108. Hammers says:

    Colonel Obvious:
    denny33,

    This point has already been addressed.Gordon is getting the defensive zone starts.1)If you line match him against Kessel then you don’t get to put him out for defensive zone starts.So now Yakupov is starting more often in his own end.Is that what you want?2) Even if you put Hemsky with Gordon whose the third guy on the line?It’s not obvious this is going to be a better defensive line up. It’s that simple.

    Said it before the season started Gordon Hemsky & Perron and keep them together against all other top lines . Then let the chips fall on so called top 2 lines RNH Hall & Ebs Gags Yak Arco . Live with it .

  109. gcw_rocks says:

    The Oilers have moved all the way up to 27th in the league in CF% after last nights game. 27th! Yes, let’s hang our hat on that stat to show the team’s improvement. Maybe they are better than last year by that measure, but who cares? You don’t win by being better than last year, you win by being better than this year’s competition, which corsi says they absolutely, beyond any shadow of a doubt, are not.

    I agree MacT’s only real out at this point is to bring in some veteran assistant coaches. Does he have the balls to fire/re-assign Smith and Buchy? I don’t think he does, but right now that is probably his wisest course of action.

  110. G Money says:

    Colonel Obvious: The condescension you sense from me is real and well deserved.

    hunter1909: Hahahahahahaha

    This is an Oilers employee, I can feel it.

    Gents! Save your derision and contempt for Oilers management!!!

  111. stevezie says:

    Losing Yakis only a shame if we don’t get a good return. There are things this team needs more than an elite scorer, and if we get them I am fine.

    Risky though, no one, not one person, knows what exactly Yakupov is. Are we selling high or job-losingly low?

  112. Hammers says:

    gcw_rocks:
    The Oilers have moved all the way up to 27th in the league in CF% after last nights game. 27th!Yes, let’s hang our hat on that stat to show the team’s improvement.Maybe they are better than last year by that measure, but who cares?You don’t win by being better than last year, you win by being better than this year’s competition, which corsi says they absolutely, beyond any shadow of a doubt, are not.

    I agree MacT’s only real out at this point is to bring in some veteran assistant coaches.Does he have the balls to fire/re-assign Smith and Buchy?I don’t think he does, but right now that is probably his wisest course of action.

    Why would McT fire assistant coaches ??? The coach has to make that decision plus take the blame or credit with anything and everything that he has his assistants doing. What this year has proven is that Ralph ran the PP for Renney then himself as coach and maybe McT’s mistake was not adding Eakins to Ralph’s staff . Seems to me Eakins wanted Acton and got him but I don’t here the media types asking the coach who looks after the PP or the PK .The only thing I have read is Smith works with the “D” .

  113. barry.moore23 says:

    Please, please stop the fighting. We are all in this. I am by myself down here in Illinois amongst thousands of Blackhawk fans. I’m scared and all alone. I need to look northwest and see something positive. I have Center Ice and see the same stuff you guys do.

    I will keep the faith down here. I can’t possibly give up now.

    Peace guys.

  114. denny33 says:

    Colonel Obvious,

    This point has already been addressed. Gordon is getting the defensive zone starts. 1) If you line match him against Kessel then you don’t get to put him out for defensive zone starts. So now Yakupov is starting more often in his own end. Is that what you want? 2) Even if you put Hemsky with Gordon whose the third guy on the line? It’s not obvious this is going to be a better defensive line up. It’s that simple.

    ***************************************************************************
    Someone has really over-analysed a fairly common practice by other teams in the NHL

    Throwing out your best face-off man to take a D-zone draw- even if his line is not on – is not new or different. You win the draw – gain possession leave the zone and the face-off man goes off.

  115. stevezie says:

    My favourite Toronto media guy (Jeff Marek) was preaching yesterday that it would be insane to even consider Eakins on the hotseat, that people are underestimating the impact of the Oilers injuries/goaltending, and that people close to the Marlies think it will take the Oil 30 games to get into Eakins’ swing.
    So it’s not pure condescension from the centre of the universe.

    dangilitis,

    Corsi does not incorporate shot quality, this is absolutely true. However, our current best evidence suggests that shot quality balances out over shots. This might now be completely true, but the important thing is to see Corsi as a proxy for possessions, not scoring chances. If you shoot the puck it means you have it, if you block a shot or make a hit it means you don’t.

    (Now obviously this doesn’t make shot blocks a negative stat- In the first period the Leafs did a great job of blocking shots when they Oil were grooving and this kept the Oilers from scoring.)

    Fancy stats do not paint a complete picture. This isn’t baseball, they’re not supposed to. They just flesh things out. They add to the eyes, they don’t replace them.

  116. G Money says:

    gcw_rocks: The Oilers have moved all the way up to 27th in the league in CF% after last nights game. 27th! Yes, let’s hang our hat on that stat to show the team’s improvement. Maybe they are better than last year by that measure, but who cares? You don’t win by being better than last year, you win by being better than this year’s competition, which corsi says they absolutely, beyond any shadow of a doubt, are not.

    Given that you are a regular at C&B (who are the torchbearers for hockey statistics), I’m quite surprised that you would so significantly miscast the use of those same statistics.

    No-one is “hanging their hats” on the stats showing an improvement. The purpose of statistics is to go beyond the box scores and better (try to) understand what is actually happening with the team.

    CF% is one statistic you use in that regard. So are shots, chances, PDO, and a host of others.

    In past years, those statistics indicated clearly that the Oilers (who started 6-2-2 I believe two years ago, and 5-3-2 last year) were *way worse* than their short term record. And they were.

    This year, those statistics show the opposite. Did-you-know category: last year, the Oilers outshot the opposition in 11 games in the entire 48 game season. So far, 14 games in, they have outshot the other team in 8 games. That’s not just a matter of being better than last year, it’s a reflection of the here and now. I do not pull this out to “show conclusively” or to “prove” anything. It’s just one of the data points that suggests that this team a. is better than last year, and b. is better than its record. And so far, has done that while missing at least two critically important players every single game.

    How much better? No idea. Almost certainly not “playoffs better”. But also very likely not “lottery bad” either.

    There is no axe to grind in using statistics. It is an attempt to use a modicum of data and analysis to build an understanding of the big picture beyond boxscores and “seen them good/bad”. That’s all.

  117. matt says:

    WWDD. What would Detroit do? The answer: get better players. How? Spend money, spend it smartly, do obvious things and do them well, and avoid dumb things. Specifically:
    -Treat your players and their families like gold and overpay free agent signings a bit to attract more free agents.
    -Spend Katz’s money wildly in OKC and ensure the club is well resourced.
    -Stand behind your coach and let him coach to improve your existing players.
    -Give your coach all of the resources he needs. Video, assistants, time, space, room.
    -Get rid of bad players, but do not trade for worse players. Get the best player in any given deal.

    I think the Oilers think they’re doing these things. Assuming that, what should they do now?
    -Get rid of Potter, Grebeshkov, Nick Schultz, Jones, Acton, Smyth, and Arcobello (only because you would be selling high – if he can’t be traded, play him). In that order. I would say Gagner too but MacT said he wouldn’t. So he can’t.
    -Get Eakins help. Time, space, or colleagues.
    -Get the players help. Find ways the organization can help them heal up and focus.
    -Get rid of people making stupid decisions. Management folks who cheap out on things or make life on the team harder than it needs to be.
    -Trade some good players to get a better player. Marquis defenceman or Boyd Gordon part deux. Weber or Fisher.

  118. malinpaul says:

    Colonel Obvious,

    Look at the step forward Hall made last year. I feel like Nuge, JSchultz and Yak also have another gear.

    I tend to think if we can add good versions of Nurse and Klefbom the Oilers will eventually beat teams with star power – say 2-3 years from now.

    We will want to trade for a goalie, but I think this needs to be done as late as possible.

    Darkest before the dawn is my new mantra.

    The bigger problem for me was – I just didn’t feel the compete in the leafs game. That is Eakins mantra and we just seemed to lose puck battles in our own zone. not covering the pinch also seems like a coachable fix.

    I am not in love with Eakins yet, but I do agree that we need to give him much more time.

  119. Good-Natured Locomotive says:

    On the bright side, Marco Roy was named to the Q Subway Super Series Team.

    On the not-so-bright side he, much like most of the rest of the Oilers, is apparently still injured.

  120. denny33 says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    An argument could be made that if the Oilers had drafted for need (i.e. roster balance) instead of BPA, they might be further ahead in this process by now?
    Seguin C
    Landeskog Big W
    Ryan Murray Top 2 D
    I’m an advocate of BPA, but the problem is the Oilers suck at the ‘development’ part of draft & development. So rather than taking on slight Cs or undisciplined Ws, they may have better served themselves (which would unfortunately require recognition of their weaknesses) by drafting players like Landeskog who were widely acknowledged as more ‘pro ready’ Of course, follow this line of reasoning through and you could just as easily end up with Adam Larsson on the bench depending on what the team’s perceived need is.
    It almost seems like Eakins is burning Ws to make his point to certain players. Gagner against the toughs being the latest example last night. Really a shame that MacT could’ve traded the pieces that we knew at the end of last year weren’t longterm fits (Gags, Dubnyk, Eager, etc.) but he didn’t. So here we sit – in perpetual rebuild. Things could get ugly around here once the Flames starting laying the beat down on us.
    ***********************************************************************************

    I am a firm advocate of BPA as well.

    Yet – it would be foolish not go back and at least *ask* if we should have made a different choices.

    In particular, last year’s selection of Yak ( nothing to do with his play )

    A lot of outside “experts’ thought we should have taken Ryan Murray – and if the stories are true – so did our own management.

    Already bursting with skilled forwards Hemsky, Gagner, Hall and RNH – taking another elite scorer seemed ludicrous. ( you also need defence to play )

    Someone last year was making the case that it is nearly pointless having those forwards if your defence can’t move the puck. ( might have been Godot ) I argued strongly against that fact. I thought – elite forwards should drive scoring no matter what…..

    After seeing other teams and glimpses of D. Nurse this TC and pre-season I am way more on that side of the camp now.

    We collected all of these top scoring forwards and we have no real front line defenceman?

    Maybe the best answer is twofold:

    1. Extreme Patience – wait for Nurse and Klefbom. ( Job anyone? )
    2. Move one of the elite forwads for a blue chip D-man ( fairness to Mac T – I can ‘t even fathom anyone that is remotely available – Thought Sam would have been moved )

    Example: Two different media ( yes, I know…shoot them ) expressed the fact that if Petry is your #1 D-man – you are in trouble. Nothing against Petry. Just that he is probably a 2nd pairing guy.
    ( nothing to do with last night )

    Another thing someone mentioned – , what does it say if Belov walks on to your team and becomes your 2nd best D-man?

    Going to keep flogging it – Jets have the reverse problem. Deep on D – no scoring.

    Has to be a marriage there somewhere.

  121. GordM says:

    Let MacTavish and Eakins prove what they can (or cannot) do the job until at least summer 2015.

    It is Kevin Lowe that needs to go. I believe with the exception of Ryan Smyth, every single player on this mess of a roster was brought in when he was either GM or the President of Hockey Operations.

    CEOs of companies don’t always make every tactical decision of their company. But they are expected to lead, to inspire, to hire the right people, and to ultimately produce results. Kevin Lowe is the CEO of this hockey team and the results speak for themselves…he needs to go.

    Alas…Katz is blinded by his love for the boys on the bus..

  122. G Money says:

    Following up on my last post, the Oilers have outshot the other team 8 times so far this season.

    At the same point last season, they had outshot the other guys 5 times.

    They did not outshoot the other team 8 times until 27 games into last season, despite having Hall, RNH, Eberle, and Gagner all playing during that stretch.

    This is less to suggest that this years team is good, and more about reminding everyone just how *bad* last years team was.

  123. godot10 says:

    stevezie:
    My favourite Toronto media guy (Jeff Marek) was preaching yesterday that it would be insane to even consider Eakins on the hotseat, that people are underestimating the impact of the Oilers injuries/goaltending, and that people close to the Marlies think it will take the Oil 30 games to get into Eakins’ swing.

    Corsi does not incorporate shot quality, this is absolutely true. However, our current best evidence suggests that shot quality balances out over shots. This might now be completely true, but the important thing is to see Corsi as a proxy for possessions, not scoring chances. If you shoot the puck it means you have it, if you block a shot or make a hit it means you don’t.

    Marek is one of Eakins Toronto best buds. The Leafs and the media are incentuous in Toronto.

    Corsi or advanced stats are basically nonsense on a one game basis. Which is why Eakins was spouting nonsense and abusing Corsi in his post game press conference.

    On a micro game level, hockey is situational and about matchups. And one can determine shot quality difference when one is matching up Gagner (in his first game back in a month) and Yakupov against Kadri and Kessel.

    Eakins is just being a braindead situationally as many of you guys continually rant on Justin Schultz for lack of situational awareness.

    Carlyle handed Eakins his own jockstrap, and Eakins doesn’t even realize that Carlyle had his way with him.

    Instead of focusing on macrolevel statistics in a microlevel context, Eakins should focus on simple situation things like say, eliminating odd-man rushes against.

  124. commonfan14 says:

    Colonel Obvious: First, on a macro level, by shot distance measures the Oilers are actually allowing a greater percentage of their shots from farther away from the net. How much of this can be attributed to the system I have no idea. But the evidence is that teams are taking their shots from further away not closer. So the hypothesis fails this macro test.

    Isn’t it reasonable that some of this is due to the fact that Doobie started letting in a few long-range shots to start the year, so teams started firing away at him from out there more than they normally would?

  125. commonfan14 says:

    godot10: Carlyle handed Eakins his own jockstrap, and Eakins doesn’t even realize that Carlyle had his way with him.

    Maybe Carlyle just needs to read that DMW post.

  126. G Money says:

    commonfan14: Isn’t it reasonable that some of this is due to the fact that Doobie started letting in a few long-range shots to start the year, so teams started firing away at him from out there more than they normally would?

    You could definitely see that as a deliberate tactic in the Ottawa and LA games. Players would skate into the zone and fire it on net right away. That in large part was why the Corsi in those two games was so extreme.

    I usually look at the shot distribution on the IceTracker on my iPhone after the fact to confirm if my in-game impression is correct. Not sure it was much of a pattern in the other games.

  127. FastOil says:

    knighttown,

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with the Oiler players per se. I think the team culture has allowed them to remain immature as players. It has also allowed them to avoid playing the man part of the game.

    I was reading about Tavares and him working out and getting his “man strength” and getting better. Good players get abused, always have. Lindros was ruined by a big hit and he was the ultimate giant power forward, Moose excluded. They need to play smarter, toughen up and engage. They need to make sure they are physically strong. They have the perfect example in Perron.

  128. RMGS says:

    G Money:
    Following up on my last post, the Oilers have outshot the other team 8 times so far this season.

    At the same point last season, they had outshot the other guys 5 times.

    They did not outshoot the other team 8 times until 27 games into last season, despite having Hall, RNH, Eberle, and Gagner all playing during that stretch.

    This is less to suggest that this years team is good, and more about reminding everyone just how *bad* last years team was.

    This Corsi “debate” is stale by now, but…

    This year’s team does not have a better cumulative Corsi (choose your EV game state) than last year’s team at the same point, i.e. after 14 games played. The team may look better and may actually have improved, but using Corsi numbers to argue this is incorrect. To boot, these are relative numbers. It’s better to compare the team writ large (including its stats) to its competition this year.

    As for Eakins, he’s not going anywhere soon. He’ll have to bend a little (especially in his troop deployment), but after so much coaching turnover (Bucky and Smitty exempted, of course) the onus has to be on the players. The Oilers have been too easy to play against for far too long – too much perimeter play, too much fear to pay the price in the paint, too much coasting, too little commitment to play properly without the puck. It’s a gong show.

    You see glimpses of the buy-in necessary to move beyond being a “collection of young talents” to becoming a good team, a team that opponents look at and say, “shit, we’re gonna have to work our asses off for every inch of space out there.” The season’s lost, but for the remaining 68 games (!?!!?!) I’ll be looking for those glimpses to become an identity, something the team sorely lacks (unless league patsies is the identity of choice).

  129. hags9k says:

    hunter1909:
    I kind of liked the idea of Brent Sutter coaching.

    Me too.

  130. G Money says:

    RMGS: The team may look better and may actually have improved, but using Corsi numbers to argue this is incorrect.

    FYI, I wasn’t using Corsi in this example (and it is only an example), I was using shots differential.

    In case anyone wants to argue that’s a “fancy stat” that doesn’t matter, they might want to look at this chart: http://www.mckeenshockey.com/hockey-stats-explorer/ – elite teams clearly Bos, LA, Chi, while the putrid teams are Edm, Tor, Dal, and Buf. SHOTS MATTER.

    Not sure what you mean by “the numbers are relative” – I am not a fan of CorsiRel and do not use it.

    As I mentioned previously, my overall analysis – I remain of the opinion that this years team is a *lot* better than last years team, and better than its record, despite missing some very important players – is based on shots, chances, Corsi, and Fenwick.

    Corsi (and its cousin Fenwick, which actually doesn’t really provide much differential information in my opinion) is the weakest of the arguments.

    So yes,you are correct, the cumulative Corsi at this point is not much different than last year, but game by game, like shots on goal, it is *substantially* better. I believe this is partly due to the “putrid goaltender so lets shoot a lot from far away” tactics that we saw in Ott and LA that produced extreme Corsi effects.

    Shots are much stronger this year – cumulatively and game by game.

    Scoring chance differentials are stronger still (the Oilers have outchanced their opposition 11 games out of 14 so far). In fact, in the Edm game the Corsi was 25% but the Oilers outchanced Ott.

    The offset to these stronger stats is that some of the differential is due to scoring effects, which is perhaps a natural result when your goalie gets ventilated by three 50-footers early in the game.

  131. CrazyCoach says:

    hunter1909: dangilitis: Oiler fandom requires education not mythologies that undermine winning.
    LOL
    Really? What about a six year old? Does he need “education”?
    Colonel Obvious: The condescension you sense from me is real and well deserved.
    Hahahahahahaha
    This is an Oilers employee, I can feel it.

    Tell me about it. I’ve been fortunate enough that over the years, I have learned from great hockey minds like George Kingston, Mike Johnston, and even Ken Hitchcock. I was fortunate enough to have a job that paid me well enough and gave me enough time off to attend various coaching courses or that I had worked hard enough that Hockey BC would send me to learn how to teach a 2-3 forecheck from Paul Carson…

    I now know that all I need to do is come here and listen to Captain Obvious who is clearly our hockey intellectual superior. I’m saving money and learning.

    Now having said that, I do applaud Eakins willingness to stick to his guns. There really is something to be said about a guy with a 3-9-2 record and saying all the right things to cover up the fact that the defensive zone coverage looks like my midget house league team.

    However, the stats tell us there is improvement, so things are looking up.

    I just can’t hide my disappointment at watching this team. I didn’t expect them to barnstorm into the top 4 of the WC, nor even make the playoffs, but 27th is not what I expected either.

    And BARRY MOORE23, I feel your pain. I’m stuck in BC surrounded by Canucks fans.

  132. knighttown says:

    godot10: Hall was 2nd in scoring in the Western Conference last year to Toews.Nugent-Hopkins, with strong wingers, was playing a 200-foot game against the best centres in the Western Conference at nineteen and winning or sawing off 80% of the matchups.Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, and Eberle were tilting the ice as a line.Are there still some problems in their game?Yep.But they are elite.Yzerman had problems in his game too until Bowman read him the riot act.

    The only reason Hall won’t be on the Olympic team this year is because Oilers management is incompetent, not because Hall isn’t elite.MacT and Eakins got too cute this summer and fall, and instead of riding the Hall horse to glory, they want to try their stupid experiment, which was the biggest thing that has set the Oilers back.It meant they went into training camp a centre short.It meant Hall was struggling in October, instead of flying out of the gate.That more than anything was the reason for the bad start.MacT with his Messier fetish.MacT with his “I’m going to show the world how brilliant I am by turning Hall into Messier.” Eff MacT.Eff him.

    You play to your strengths.Hall was the dominant left wing the the Western Conference last year.You play to your strenghts.Not chop them off at the knees.

    MacT and Eakins are systems guys.They don’t recognize talent or how to use talent or how to develop talent.It is a mystery to them.It is why you stick Yakupov out there for a -4 against Ovechkin and a -4 against Kessel, and in your press conference after, you don’t have a clue what you did wrong as a coach.

    So you are sure that Hall and Nugent-Hopkins are currently elite, under the definition I’ve used…basically sure fire Olympians?

    People love to quote Hall’s stats from last year and they were excellent but I’d also hesitate just for a moment because:
    -small sample size
    -we know he got a massive head start playing with the kids in OKC
    -he played with excellent offensive talent all year

    Don’t get me wrong, I think he’s awesome, but is he about to reach Stamkos or Ovechkin levels of offense? Because if he doesn’t, he brings very little else to the table defensively, PK etc. Again, this doesn’t mean we won’t be our best player or an all-star but every playoff team has a guy that can put up 70-90 points in an offense-only role. Don’t judge on what you assume he will be, judge on what he is today.

    Nuge is a much easier case. He has all the tools to be a 200 foot player but he isn’t effective at it yet. Faceoffs are coming along. He’s tinkering at PK. He makes a few nice takeaways each game. That’s all very promising but it’s still one heck of a climb before you’d throw him out against the Sedins for 7 games and expect him to come out on top. He of all the guys, seems to be committed to getting there tho and I’d bet he’s exactly what we want him to be by 24 or 25.

    But make no mistake, we’re bad today because these kids aren’t yet good enough to carry a team and the rest of this team kinda sucks.

  133. FastOil says:

    knighttown,

    “But make no mistake, we’re bad today because these kids aren’t yet good enough to carry a team and the rest of this team kinda sucks.”

    Very true. Elite players, especially forwards, get it going pretty quick. Some of the ‘kids’ are getting close to living in their parent’s basement, so to speak. Inappropriately that is. The weakest two players in your list are offensive one trick ponies, but are putting up league top offense. There is at least an argument for one way play in exchange for a lot of offense.

  134. kooler says:

    Not 100% sure how this waiver / trade stuff really works but if there are no plans for Corey Potter and Denis Grebeshkov…..could you not trade for someone instead of releasing them?

  135. theres oil in virginia says:

    CrazyCoach: the defensive zone coverage looks like my midget house league team.

    Ha! Then your midget house league team needs work buddy.

    CrazyCoach: And BARRY MOORE23, I feel your pain. I’m stuck in BC surrounded by Canucks fans.

    Is that worse than being in SW Virginia surrounded by people who don’t know what a puck is and “waa in the werld wood ya heeyt eeyt weeyth a steeyck?” (Yeah, I have that accent too.)

  136. kooler says:

    The only other problem with living in Vancouver is knowing they have won 6 out of their last 8 games.

    So why didn’t we pick up Mason Raymond for a 1 mill?

  137. CrazyCoach says:

    theres oil in virginia: Ha! Then your midget house league team needs work buddy.
    CrazyCoach: And BARRY MOORE23, I feel your pain. I’m stuck in BC surrounded by Canucks fans.
    Is that worse than being in SW Virginia surrounded by people who don’t know what a puck is and “waa in the werld wood ya heeyt eeyt weeyth a steeyck?” (Yeah, I have that accent too.)

    Oh believe me I know that big time. Was planning on using a box plus one system, but we have to go back to the tried and trusted zone coverage. Definitely have some serious skating issues which pretty much make playing a box plus one impossible.

    And good on you for keeping up your love of hockey in a non-traditional market.

    By the way, you put me in your neighbourhood and I’d be the one with an accent.

  138. FastOil says:

    kooler:
    The only other problem with living in Vancouver is knowing they have won 6 out of their last 8 games.

    So why didn’t we pick up Mason Raymond for a 1 mill?

    He’s too skinny. Sad but true. Hamilton’s extra 40 and Joennsu’s extra 20 or 30 pounds won the day. Skill and speed be damned.

  139. theres oil in virginia says:

    G Money: Not sure what you mean by “the numbers are relative” – I am not a fan of CorsiRel and do not use it.

    I don’t think he talking CorsiRel, I think he means that Corsi’s a measure that is relative to the competition. If you play a 5 game stretch against teams A,B,C,D,E, and then another 5-game stretch against teams F,H,I,J,K, then you can’t directly compare them without the caveat that the two samples are against different competition. It’s even worse when you look from year to year. I don’t think he’s arguing that this makes it worthless.

  140. TheOtherJohn says:

    FastOil: He’s too skinny. Sad but true. Hamilton’s extra 40 and Joennsu’s extra 20 or 30 pounds won the day. Skill and speed be damned.

    Pretty sure we could have replaced Jones with Raymond, saved $500K and gotten better player

  141. kooler says:

    FastOil,

    i get the size factor but he has 10pts…..JJ’s still out and Hamilton is in OKC if i’m not mistaken…would of been a decent 3rd liner although wasn’t he on the 2nd line last night?

  142. G Money says:

    theres oil in virginia: I don’t think he talking CorsiRel, I think he means that Corsi’s a measure that is relative to the competition. If you play a 5 game stretch against teams A,B,C,D,E, and then another 5-game stretch against teams F,H,I,J,K, then you can’t directly compare them without the caveat that the two samples are against different competition.It’s even worse when you look from year to year.I don’t think he’s arguing that this makes it worthless.

    Ah. If that’s the case, it’s certainly true enough, though to my mind the real issue in your example above is the sample size (and by the time the sample size is large enough, the “relative” issue is usually less important as well).

  143. theres oil in virginia says:

    G Money,
    I would have gone more than 5 each, but that would require knowing more of the alphabet. ;)

  144. hags9k says:

    knighttown:

    But make no mistake, we’re bad today because these kids aren’t yet good enough to carry a team and the rest of this team kinda sucks.

    I would only partly agree. I’d say we are bad in part because the kids aren’t ready to carry a team yet and also because the depth behind them is poor to very poor. But solely blaming these kids for not being good enough at their ages and games played seems nuts.

  145. G Money says:

    CrazyCoach: However, the stats tell us there is improvement, so things are looking up.

    The thing is, the stats give you a picture about the balance of play over a game, a set of games, part of the season. The theory is that the balance of play gives you the best predictor of the overall season. It speaks nothing of what happened in an individual game or even a few games.

    What we really need for the Oilers is a fancy stat that somehow shows you the following:

    - The Oilers have possession in the offensive zone, skate around, rag the puck, pass up on opportunities to shoot, eventually an Oiler defenseman overcommits or makes a bad pinch resulting in an odd man rush and surefire goal against.

    OR

    - The other team gains the Oiler zone and the Oilers have several opportunities to make a simple play to get the puck out of the zone and fail to do so. Eventually, someone will make an egregious defensive coverage error, resulting in a wide open chance and a surefire goal.

    OR

    - The other team gains the zone and floats a soft 50-footer at net, which is then deflected by a stick, skate, or ass directly into the net.

    I suspect the only fancy stat that could capture all this would be to measure the tightening of Oiler fan sphincters.

    Said measurement process would likely be messy and uncooperative.

    Then again, if you have paid money to watch the Oilers this year, you might be easier to convince as you’re already familiar with the feeling.

  146. G Money says:

    theres oil in virginia:
    G Money,
    I would have gone more than 5 each, but that would require knowing more of the alphabet.

    Yes, by reputation I hear that your neck of the woods may be challenged in that area! :-D

  147. theres oil in virginia says:

    G Money: Yes, by reputation I hear that your neck of the woods may be challenged in that area!

    A reputation well earned. Oh well, when in Rome…

  148. G Money says:

    theres oil in virginia: A reputation well earned.Oh well, when in Rome…

    I noticed in your example you left out the ‘G’. Props for the subtle dig!

  149. Bruce McCurdy says:

    denny33: Only crowd left of note – the injury crowd. – Just wait until Taylor Hall comes back!

    The injuries are real, & they are also a real pain. I realize we’ve passed the threshold where even the truth gets lumped under “excuses”, but the truth is that Oilers brought in 3 different new(-ish) guys to bring the much-needed size to the top nine, & all three went down faster than a … well, you write your on punchline.

    Joensuu has played 4 games, but was healthy for 1, in which he scored, then got hurt. Hamilton lasted part of one game, didn’t even have time to score, got hurt. Pitlick made it to three, but made the mistake of scoring in his third game so the hockey gods smote him on the spot. 81 minutes played among the three of them, with all 3 still on IR and not back anytime soon. You could add Steve MacIntyre to this list if you don’t mind stretching “size in the top 9″ to “size in the top 19″. But … same thing happened to him.

    I mean, come on! Give us a fighting chance, ye injury gods.

    *****
    Power forward, Jesse J.
    Power forward, Ryan H.
    Power forward, Tyler P.

    Ohhhhh Gord, kumbaya

  150. hunter1909 says:

    As a season ticket holder, it’s no problem whatsoever that the team blows. Sure it’s bound to be another forgettable season, but hell, I’m sure looking forward to seeing those Arena brochures.

  151. dangilitis says:

    G Money,

    Again, you missed my point in that corsi does not reflect shot quality. the long range shots were an example i mentioned taken out of context.

    Lets make it simpler for captn obvious. Oilers got 61% corsi against TML last night, and 62% of shots. Oilers actually do have a way to track scoring chances. Its one of the best in the league, and Bruce and David do a damn good job of it. Chances were 20-15 or 57% total going to Oilers. That also shows that Oilers were “outfinished,” but also shows that the two aren’t as clearly related as you think.

    If you also factor the effect of being down for 59 minutes of the game, I would say that a substantial part of the scoring chance difference came in the last period when the game was out of reach. The fact that nearly half of their shots came in the final period when they were down by a try would support that view as well.

    So again, how has Colonel obvious schooled me? He’s on a pretty high horse for someone who can’t follow a train of thought produced by someone other than himself.

  152. dangilitis says:

    stevezie,

    Agreed on that. I am not against corsi.

  153. dangilitis says:

    Colonel Obvious,

    Ironic that you are critiquing someone for being cocksure of oneself about anything. You should look up the definition of hypocrite. Can you sense my condescension? I smell a hack…

  154. elpolodiablo says:

    denny33,

    I really hate toronto, maybe this is like intervention when you hit absolutely rock bottom, and they really buy in to whatever way Eakins and MacT want them to play. 3 first overall picks and still the pushover team of the league. This is painful to watch. Somehow I’m feeling this is going to be the toughest season to watch of the last 4.

  155. dangilitis says:

    Colonel Obvious: condes

    You are clearly a pompous man. I have 2 post-graduate degrees, and I can sleep comfortably at night even with all of your condescension (hope this does not bother you). I, however, do not need to tell you how ignorant you are, you are doing a better job at demonstrating this all by yourself.

    Lets actually get back to the issue.

    “What I proved is that your point doesn’t have anything to do with the Oilers.”

    Yet you raged on for paragraphs about the Oilers in your argument. Nevertheless, you are wrong. The Oilers had 61% Corsi for last night. Did they get 61% of the ten-bell chances? Answer is obviously not. You can argue with me on this one if you’d like, but I watched the game and I am pretty sure that was not the case. Then by this very basis I proved my point and yet you babbled on for 3 more paragraphs to try and sound smart. Hilarious stuff, but you didn’t fool anyone.

    Now, should the Oilers start winning over time if they keep the corsi up? I suppose, although I heard Tyler Dellow tonight on 630 saying its still 47%, which is nothing to write home about. So even if you value Corsi as the only stat that matters (you must recite it to yourself at bedtime while you cry into a pillow), the Oilers ain’t killing at it either, and if they can’t get it above 50% why should they be winning in the future, oh wise exalted Colonel obvious?

    The other point, and one you should take all your brainpower and try and figure out, is what distinguishes teams who don’t follow the trend? How many games are Toronto going to win while getting outshot and outchanced before people stop saying that it is a small sample size (Toronto gets outshot again tonight and doubles up Calgary)?

    Actually encouraging, is the fact that the scoring chances tracked at Cult of Hockey are actually overall in favour of the Oilers. But you didn’t quote that. Because your argument was already tired.

    “The system is not giving up more quality chances”

    If there is a system that a team employs that is high risk-high reward, the players need to execute it well. If not, well then the high risk bites you in the ass. Some of the examples you gave at a “micro level” help illustrate that point, and while they could have been made in any system, the consequences were worse.

    http://jetsnation.ca/2013/10/1/systems-analysis-different-looks-at-the-swarm

    I suggest you read this analysis October 1st. It highlights why the Oilers could continue get their asses handed to them until they figure it out. And I want them to, and I want them to stay the course. But you didn’t read that part, we are here at this juncture right now because you didn’t understand the context of my argument and were too cocksure of yourself to accept that someone who disagreed with you was capable of something other than “clear falsehoods.” You, sir, are a joke.

  156. What SHOULD Happen Next – A lesson from Dale Tallon - The Oilers Rig says:

    […] Once that move is made let Eakins bring in his own guys, my guess is he will only bring in one more coach and I would expect it will be someone that’s had some NHL experience, Paul Maurice perhaps, I’ve also heared Wayne Flemming mentioned. […]

  157. G Money says:

    Dangles,

    You’re right about one thing – I’m still not sure what point you’re trying to make about shot quality. I have not seen any meaningful work on shot quality as yet, though the work Parkatti @ BOTB is doing on shot distance is intriguing. Regarding chance data, I’ve repeatedly brought up that I use not only Corsi, but also shots, CoH chances (e.g. see post at 11:24am), and of course mine own two eyes.

    I don’t entirely agree with your narrative about the Leafs game – the scoring data (and my aforementioned ocular orbs) actually show the Oilers to be the “chancier” team in the first period, but they came out of it down 2. Then they eased up completely in the second – and gave up another. Then in the third they blew the Leafs out of the water – score effects as you say – and still got outscored by one. In other words, the shot differential is skewed ridiculously far in the Oilers favour because of score effects, but that’s *not* the only reason they are tilted.

    And lastly, I’m not sure why you made the snarky comment about my saying that Col Obvious “schooled” you. It’s not typical of my posts, and though I agreed with one aspect of his commentary about enhancing the shot data with distance, I certainly did not say it in a disrespectful way. In other words, whether you agree with anything I say or not – Peace bro.

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

© Copyright - Lowetide.ca