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.
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
One 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.
Now, 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.
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.
This 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.
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
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.