OH, THOSE OILERS

Andy Dufresne: Remember Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.

Sometimes being an Oiler fan is like working in the Shawshank laundry room.

Last night, Devan Dubnyk  delivered a solid performance in a losing cause, and more importantly  (should have) established there’s no need to go goalie hunting. I’m not absolutely sure Craig MacTavish sees things that way, but there is at least one encouraging sign.

Azorcan3

The Edmonton Oilers can’t get it right: their goaltending stood up well last night, but the special teams play remains a horrific item and their Corsi 5×5 went south for only the second time all year. The result? 1-6-1. With Craig MacTavish out trying to MacGyver the other NHL GMs, is there an area of need that is glaring or is this a matter of chasing the latest downfall? What is wrong here?

corsi after nyi

This is last night’s game. Smid-Petry, Gordon-Smyth-Hemsky and Hall did some nice things, but the other pairings and Nuge-Perron-Yakupov (who faced the Tavares line often) were exposed. I think this is a matter of Nuge getting up to speed, and some lack of experience on Yakupov’s part. The 4line can’t be trusted and the penalty killing is ghastly. I think the “swarm” may end up at the “dump” sometime this season. Michael Parkatti has similar information and a quality look at who’s playing against who here.

shawshank

I mentioned yesterday we’re probably going to see a trade (or two) in the next few days. Oilers often return from a road trip down a Bergeron and up a Grebeshkov, and that could happen soon because the Russians rehab is pretty much done. One good thing? The Dubnyk fever seems to have broken, although MacT is still looking to improve the depth throughout the organization (but has cooled on the idea of throwing over parts of the cluster in a search for a #1). Oiler fans may owe a debt of gratitude to Tyler Dellow, who wrote two articles (here and here) on the subject and (although uncredited) may well be the ‘information’ MacT refers to in the Jones piece.

This is a key item: Dellow wrote a thoughtful and informative piece that provided great insight into a real and difficult problem. That isn’t news, Dellow’s done that for years on his blog. However,the Oilers (beginning with MacT) were OPEN to the idea of getting information and considering it–and that is news. I’m not certain we’ve seen an example this obvious before, and for me that’s an amazing (and positive) development. Good on Dellow, good on MacT.

Now, about the swarm. :-)

shawshank5

Devan Dubnyk must have slept pretty well last night, that was a solid performance. His .925SP helped his season total (.854) by a bunch and although shakey early Dubnyk settled down and had a good game. A much needed development.

I’ll be honest and tell you the “swarm” looks a little different in action that I thought it would when it was theory.  Changing from man-to-man to zone defense seems like a good idea, but this is a game where recovery isn’t possible once a decision has been made to change direction, and the Oilers look for all the world like men who wave lanterns at runaway trains. I’m not saying flush it, I’m just saying that it looks from here as though the Oilers players aren’t going to figure this out until after the season is lost.

shawshank11

“I knew this renovation would be messy, but not this messy.” Dallas Eakins.

This is an excellent opportunity for the coach to adapt, to change the plan in an effort to cut down on the open looks opponents are getting every night. The Oilers aren’t sending out a bunch of raw rookies anymore–Smid, Ference, Nick Schultz are all veterans and Jeff Petry is getting there–but this group isn’t performing well enough in this system.

I would hope that the quote above represents a willingness to go with what is working–if it’s more conventional, so be it–and that change has to come soon.

shawshank 12

  • Pierre Lebrun: Wayne Gretzky’s reaction via text re: Taylor Hall breaking his Oilers record for fastest 2 goals: `That is so cool, good for him. He’s a great kid. Records are so made to be broken, it’s good for the game. If Kevin Lowe would have got me the puck quicker it would have been seven seconds!”

Ha! Hope to see many more records broken by these brilliant young men over the next decade.

welch

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

10 this morning, TSN 1260. A busy day, scheduled to appear:

  • Steve Lansky, Big Mouth Sports. We’ll talk about the Hall record, the Oilers road trip from hell and famous trades made by Canadian NHL teams over the last 25 years or so. 
  • Scott Taylor, the huddle.co. We’ll talk Oilers and Jets, Blue Bombers and Eskimos, and periods of time when goaltending failed both NHL teams.
  • Michael Parkatti, Boys on The Bus. We’ll break down last night’s game, talk about Dubnyk and the swarm.
  • Andreas Morse from FC Edmonton. Eddies get ready to play the New York Cosmos this weekend.
  • Jungle Jim Hunter will be by to talk about Olympic readiness for athletes.

10-1260 via text, @Lowetide_ on twitter.

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133 Responses to "OH, THOSE OILERS"

  1. Jon K says:

    I can’t help but think that the swarm might be here for a while. The utilization of the swarm seems to be a deliberate attempt by Eakins and MacT to address the team’s lack of “heaviness” across the board. If our forwards can’t win those battles one on one due to lack of size or strength, let’s try and overload and use their skill and agility to retrieve the puck or force an interception on the pass. Hopefully we seem some improvements as the players adjust and learn not to leave their zone, as Eakins commented last night.

    I think it’s also important that we remember: it is very, very early in the season. The rolling corsi charts from last season indicate that, notwithstanding the higher draft pick, this was an absolutely awful team last year on par with the previous 29, 30, and 30 finishes.

    This year, we can see obvious signs of improvement this year in the underlying stats, but the team for whatever reason has been victimized on a few poor plays (either by defenders or goalies) and hasn’t capitalized on a lot of great chances (Smyth’s wrap-around last night, Hall hitting the post).

    If the luck evens out over the rest of the season we are likely not in the playoff hunt, but we should be able to look back on this season as one of transition. Hopefully on the way to something good.

  2. sliderule says:

    It’s not the system that’s at fault.Its the players.

    I don’t have proof but other than the Dubnyk goofs most of the opposition goals are coming from the slot.
    The oilers couldn’t cover the slot in RKs system and are no better this year.

    Covering the slot is mostly on the wingers who are either too late to the party or when they get there not aggressively marking their man.

    The much criticized Yak showed them how to do it when he marked a man who was in the low slot and it was commented on by the hot stove crew.

    I assume the coaches are talking to the wingers because it’s mostly on them

  3. Lowetide says:

    Sliderule: Yakupov made a really nice play in the slot last night (shot still got through but he was very aggressive) and you’re right there’s not enough urgency there.

    The bottom line is that the Oilers are a better team. It isn’t reflected in the won-loss, but there’s a lot of track left to go.

  4. G Money says:

    sliderule: The oilers couldn’t cover the slot in RKs system and are no better this year.

    I disagree.

    Last year, there were just as many (probably more) open looks in the slot. They just didn’t hurt as much because Dubnyk didn’t have a horrible four game stretch last year like he’s having this year.

    The difference from this year to last year is that last year the open looks in the slot were WIDE OPEN – with a player, usually the left-out-to-dry C, in a distant chase position four or five steps away.

    This season, the open looks (almost every single one of of which, until periods two and three last night, have resulted in a goal against) have TWO players in a chase position, and usually only one step behind. (And yes, on at least one game, I have gone back over the video highlights and deconstructed the goals to confirm that my impression is supported by specifics).

    This is a vast improvement over last season, and gives me reason to believe that the players will figure the positioning out eventually. And it is also unlike last year where I believe the system itself left the C hung out to dry night after night, which is why an improvement was probably not to be expected at all.

    The only remaining point is the one that LT made, which is whether it will get fixed in time: “I’m just saying that it looks from here as though the Oilers players aren’t going to figure this out until after the season is lost.”.

  5. godot10 says:

    The Oilers have only played only one opponent they played last year, and were killed Corsi-wise in that game. The Western Conference, apart from the Oilers, have been killing the Eastern Conference this year.

    Until this alleged improvement in Corsi shows up against common opponents, i.e. teams they played last season, i.e. Western Conference teams and Detroit and Columbus and not Winnipeg, I would argue that it is still an open question whether there has been improvement.

  6. hunter1909 says:

    Utopian – Oilers are winning with their corsi

    Reality – 29 team NHL has oilers’ circled on their ‘free 2 point’ list
    .

    Utopian – oilers don’t need to have tough players, because the refs are magically going to step up

    Reality – NHL if nothing else is a ‘help yourself’ league
    .

    Utopian – Mact returning is good.

    Reality – same old, same old
    .

    Utopian – Hall getting passed over for total stranger Ference is no problem

    Reality – they might as well have punched every returning oiler in the face
    .

    Utopian – Eakins is a fantastic young coach who cannot possibly fail

    Reality – Kevin Lowe is currently team president

  7. fuzzy muppet says:

    godot10,

    This is an excellent point. The East has been dreadful against the west, yet they are handling the Oilers quite easily.

    DFL is an option at this point

  8. Henry says:

    I fell asleep for the last 10 minutes of the third and missed a bit of the beginning of the game. I didn’t see the Oilers as bad as the Fenwick chart on extra skater indicated. The OIlers had quite a number of shifts with good cycle possession in the Islander’s zone but didn’t shoot enough to pad the stats or score.

    The PK started the year well enough especially with a nice aggressive forecheck, but they are being victimized by set plays. Advanced scouts for Was, PIt and NYI have probably identified specific weaknesses they are employing particularly down low.

    They may have to let toughness hang and try a fourth line of Arcobello-Smyth-Jones for 12 minutes a game. Will help everyone’s stamina.

    If/when the Oiler’s make the playoffs and are playing in SJ in the second period, do you ever want to see them through out Gazdic Acton Brown and have Thornton Marleau and the giant du jour come over the boards with last change? I could live with Arco in that spot, he isn’t getting creamed by his size disadvantage yet. Loose pucks love him.

    Something looks wrong with Nuge. I’m not seeing the skater so fluid and fast that he floats over the ice.

  9. russ99 says:

    G Money: I disagree.

    Last year, there were just as many (probably more) open looks in the slot. They just didn’t hurt as much because Dubnyk didn’t have a horrible four game stretch last year like he’s having this year.

    Thedifference from this year to last year is that last year the open looks in the slot were WIDE OPEN – with a player, usually the left-out-to-dry C, in a distant chase position four or five steps away.

    This season, the open looks (almost every single one of of which, until periods two and three last night, have resulted in a goal against) have TWO players in a chase position, and usually only one step behind.(And yes, on at least one game, I have gone back over the video highlights and deconstructed the goals to confirm that my impression is supported by specifics).

    This is a vast improvement over last season, and gives me reason to believe that the players will figure the positioning out eventually. And it is also unlike last year where I believe the system itself left the C hung out to dry night after night, which is why an improvement was probably not to be expected at all.

    The only remaining point is the one that LT made, which is whether it will get fixed in time: “I’m just saying that it looks from here as though the Oilers players aren’t going to figure this out until after the season is lost.”.

    To me the problem is overpursuit by the forwards and not enough movement by the defensemen, and zero overlaps in coverage.

    If the forwards hang with the play better, the defenders could quickly either assist or clog up the slot, the system would work better.

    There’s one benefit to the swarm that may go away if we completely drop it: Since our players are scrambling on the puck carrier (or on the puck if it’s loose) we’ve been getting the puck out of the zone much easier than in past seasons. This is improved even on the PK, but our forwards are having problems clearing the puck out.

    I’d hate to see us end up pinned in our zone again if we drop the swarm.

  10. cc says:

    Pierre Lebrun: Wayne Gretzky’s reaction via text re: Taylor Hall breaking his Oilers record for fastest 2 goals: `That is so cool, good for him. He’s a great kid. Records are so made to be broken, it’s good for the game. If Kevin Lowe would have got me the puck quicker it would have been seven seconds!”

    Gretzky is awesome, I think I like him better now than ever. I wish he was on TV regularly, instead we are stuck with guys like McGuire, Healy & PJ Stock. How is Gretzky the greatest player ever so humble? Yet, those jack-asses I mentioned are the most arrogant SOB’s you could imagine. If the NHL wants to sell the game get Gretzky on TV, nobody has a bigger impact then the Great One.

  11. hunter1909 says:

    The great thing about the current situation:

    Kevin Lowe, Bucky, and Steve Smith will all be working for the Rangers by Halloween.

  12. russ99 says:

    Henry:
    I fell asleep for the last 10 minutes of the third and missed a bit of the beginning of the game.I didn’t see the Oilers as bad as the Fenwick chart on extra skater indicated.The OIlers had quite a number of shifts with good cycle possession in the Islander’s zone but didn’t shoot enough to pad the stats or score.

    Yes, the endless cycling is driving me nuts. I don’t understand why they dump and cycle so much since in the Pittsburgh game they brought the puck in more and had many more quality scoring chances.

  13. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide: Devan Dubnyk  delivered a solid performance in a losing cause, and more importantly  (should have) established there’s no need to go goalie hunting.

    I think we should interpret that Jones article as a giant cooling wave on a hot day. MacT said all the right things: We believe this is an unlucky streak, we’ve seen evidence of it elsewhere; we believe Dubnyk is better than this and aren’t done with him; our organizational depth at G needs an overhaul; we have a long eye on the FA list of Gs for 2014, so Dubnyk might not be re-signed.

    ——-
    “I mentioned yesterday we’re probably going to see a trade (or two) in the next few days. ”

    I wouldn’t rule out the “trade” we are going to see is internal, ie. Gagner, Grebs, maybe Larsen or Fedun in. And the 4th line overhauled. Eakins seems to be coming around to the value of Jones… which is a big step up from Brown/Gazdic. Maybe we see Hamilton come up (can he PK?).

    ———-
    “Oiler fans may owe a debt of gratitude to Tyler Dellow, who wrote two articles (here and here) on the subject and (although uncredited) may well be the ‘information’ MacT refers to in the Jones piece.”

    I wouldn’t rule out Ricky O (or equivalent) reading those pieces, boiling them down to talking points and showing them to MacT unsourced. I don’t think NHL GMs care much about citation… and it’s entirely possible that putting Dellow’s name on something might discredit it among the old-school fire breathers.

    ———–
    “I’ll be honest and tell you the “swarm” looks a little different in action that I thought it would when it was theory. ”

    More important IMO than the “renovation” quote was his other quote that seemed to point to both how he expects the swarm to work and how he doesn’t:

    “I thought tonight we got into a spot where we were trying to help too much… on all their goals we had somebody run out of position to help somebody else that was unnecessary and when they left that spot it was in the net. And we’ve got to watch that, we want players that care, we want a team that cares but you’ve got to look after your own space on the ice first and we got a little over-zealous in our zone trying to help too much and it cost us.”

    http://video.oilers.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=461405&catid=4

    That quote appears to clash with the public perception of how Eakins wants the swarm to work. Most believe he is exceptionally aggressive in overloading players on to puck battles in the D-Zone. But this quote above suggests that he has a firm limit and still expects players to commit to a traditional “spot on the ice,” i.e., he wants to get the puck back, but he doesn’t want to open up the rest of the ice.

    I gather the general public and probably the players too have over-interpreted his philosophy. It looks to me like the players are a bit confused about how “swarmy” to be. It seems they are trying to follow his instructions but with too much fervor. Or, he could be a bad communicator sending mixed-messages.

    At any rate, he’s got time to both save the swarm and instruct his players. That quote above was very encouraging… it means the crazy we’ve been seeing, Eakins’ also seeing and that it isn’t part of the plan.

    ———
    “If Kevin Lowe would have got me the puck quicker it would have been seven seconds!”

    Fantastic. This is the kind of amiable ribbing that I wonder if Lowe can even handle without being sparked into a rage.

  14. Old School G says:

    I woke up this morning longing for the Oilers of old. Doug Weight was our leading scorer, we had just the right mix of plumbers and skill to sneak in to the playoffs and upset a team due to our heart and work ethic. A young Smytty was perfecting that wrap around and working the boards. Bobo and Kovy were providing comic relief. What happened to us?

  15. goldenchild says:

    On the PP I qant to see Nuge and Eberle on the same one and the feature of the PP shouldnt be one timers from Belov. I think once Nuge gets going and has the feel of the game back the PP improves.

    The PK is fucking abysmal. the give up multiple 5 star chances inside 10 feet on every PP, its worse than the fucking diamond.

    Last night early they had some great chances they got nothing on early but they lost and deserved to lose. At some point here soon they are going to deserve to win and and win and even have a couple of games that they dont deserve to win that will also get. But the special teams being this bad will derail anything good accomplished at 5×5

    Oh and Thanks Tyler, we owe you

  16. Clay says:

    hunter1909:
    The great thing about the current situation:

    Kevin Lowe, Bucky, and Steve Smith will all be working for the Rangers by Halloween.

    This only happens if Katz sells the team. ‘Cause evidently, he cares much less about winning than keeping his buddies in 7 figures.

  17. hunter1909 says:

    MEMO TO KATZ: Everyone knows your Oilers’ are in a state of crisis.

    You have just hired Mark Messier(6 cups), who along with Jari Kurri(6 cups), Paul Coffey(4 cups) and Glenn Anderson(6 cups) will give you many more cups to brag about than your current Carolina Hurricane’s prospect’s Dad currently responsible for this abortion of a franchise.

    To summarize: Fire Kevin Lowe, and hire Kurri, Coffey, and Anderson.

    Hire them all, in any capacity, now.

  18. Woodguy says:

    I can’t help but think that the swarm might be here for a while. The utilization of the swarm seems to be a deliberate attempt by Eakins and MacT to address the team’s lack of “heaviness” across the board. If our forwards can’t win those battles one on one due to lack of size or strength, let’s try and overload and use their skill and agility to retrieve the puck or force an interception on the pass. Hopefully we seem some improvements as the players adjust and learn not to leave their zone, as Eakins commented last night.

    This is exactly it.

    Eakins mentioned yesterday that the breakdowns creating the giant gaping hole in slot was due to players leaving their spot to help a team mate.

    Not sure what he wants them to do, but I can guarantee that most of the coaching in the next week will be on defensive zone coverage.

    Also,

    Much is being made about the PK right now.

    While you can look at 4v5 SV% and say “its a small sample, it should get better” (Labarbera is an awful .733, while Doobie is slightly low at .853) the real culprit is shots against.

    The best PK last year in terms of SA/60 is STL with 36/60 and NJD with 36.4/60

    Oilers were 25th with 52.7/.60

    The Oilers’ kill rate was 9th in the league with 83.4%, but I think that was a bit of a mirage as DD had a 4v5SV% of .907 which was 4th among goalies who played 20 games or more.and not a sustainable number for any goalie.

    This year the Oilers are 29th with an awful 68SA/60.

    CAR is best with 34.3 and NYI 2nd with 40.5.

    Eakisn was asked about continuing to play “offensive players” on the PK and he said he had no choice given the roster make up.

    Here’s the SA/60 4v5 of the forwards who have played at least .5min/60 (low, I know)

    TAYLORHALL 89
    ALESHEMSKY 78.1
    WILLACTON 52.9
    BOYDGORDON 48.4
    RYANHAMILTON 48
    JORDANEBERLE 34.8
    DAVIDPERRON 23.5
    RYANNUGENT-HOPKINS 22.9

    Pretty clear who shouldn’t be there.

    Here are the DMen:

    ANDREWFERENCE 71.1
    NICKSCHULTZ 71
    JEFFPETRY 43.9
    LADISLAVSMID 34.5

    The old men look awful.

    Its that because they are playing wtih 4 and 83 or are 4 and 83 looking bad because of 21 adn 15?

    If we look at 15 last year on the Oiler’s he had 51/60 (still highest among regulars) but its not in the stratosphere of 71.

    Ference had 36.5 on BOS.

    Hall and Hemsky didn’t kill before in their NHL careers.

    Probably time to end that and find others.

    Jones is back on the roster, use him.

  19. hunter1909 says:

    Clay: This only happens if Katz sells the team.‘Cause evidently, he cares much less about winning than keeping his buddies in 7 figures.

    Giving great back rubs only gets you so far.

    Katz certainly doesn’t seem like a fool. Messier, Kurri, Coffey and Anderson back together in the fold – subtracting Lowe, Bucky, and Steve Smith in the process, especially when Gretzky might eventually decide to join his babe daughter Paulina as an Oilers representative.

    I’m not drinking. I’d like to be drinking but I’m not.

  20. hunter1909 says:

    Eakins has only himself to blame for fucking this up.

    1 – he doesn’t have to diss Taylor Hall, by appointing Ference captain

    2 – he doesn’t have to isolate Yakupov as a wacky player(everyone already knew that), instead he should have sheltered the fuck out of this boy genius.

    3 – he doesn’t have to start going all OTC, sticking plugs on the top lines, while continuing to harp on the last point.

  21. hunter1909 says:

    oops.

  22. hunter1909 says:

    Young hotshot Brian Clough(the greatest soccer coach England ever created not named Ramsey) once took over a championship Leeds United soccer team and started kicking butts just like Eakins seems to be trying on in Edmonton.

    Clough was sacked exactly two weeks later.

  23. Ice Sage says:

    When will the sisters stop coming into the laundry room?

    Bad team keeps finding ways to lose. Damn lies, statistics, whatever.

    I sure miss those posts with the standings showing but, well, same as always, just earlier this year.

  24. cadooo says:

    I think we have two goalies that have not adapted to the shorter pads. I’ve seen at least a goal a game go through the five hole in the last couple games. Players seem to have realized this and seem to be actively exploiting the weakness. It’s something that should have been identified and prepared for before the season started.

  25. Jesse says:

    I wonder what “shoring up the goaltending depth” means. If MacT isn’t giving up on DD, then I have no idea what he’s talking about — this whole summer was spent shoring up the goaltending depth: signing Labarbera for backup, getting a very solid #3 in Bachman. Is MacT talking about G prospects? He had a billion draft picks to grab a couple. I know in that Sun article it says he narrowly missed on a couple of G prospects in the draft (Fucale, etc) but surely there were more than TWO G prospects that the scouts liked.

    I dunno. That Sun article seems an awful lot like politician-speak or going to a fortune teller. Say as many vague things as possible and people will hear what they want to hear. It’s nice that he said he expects DD to be able to pull out of his funk, but he also says “I’ve been gauging the entire goalie market” and “I’ve been looking at the 2014 FA goalie market”.

    I guess I read two things from this article:

    1) MacT likes to get ahead of the 8-ball when it comes to the news cycle. Rumors start popping up about his calling around the league, he addresses it and cools things off. It reminds me of what he did with Hemsky before the season started. Take away the opportunity for the media to speculate.

    2) I think he’s trying to motivate DD and mabye JL through the media (both are pending UFAs iirc).

    I’m a much bigger fan of #1 than #2 here. Impressed with MacT’s ability to navigate the media, but I’ve always had a real issue with how MacT tries to motivate his players (especially goaltenders) by putting pressure on them through the media. He did the same thing with Tommy Salo (oh, my sweet Tommy Salo. The 16 year old in me misses you so.) and it did nothing but worsen an already bad situation imo.

  26. Andropod says:

    With the magnitude of the changes – GM, Coach, Roster, and System, and the loss of Training Camp and the Pre-Season games to the selection process, how many games is it reasonable to expect before everything clicks into place?

  27. Clarkenstein says:

    I sense the average fan is already starting to tune out this team. When the mere mention of them draws nothing more than a guffaw it signifies cracks forming. Management said themselves that the build is basically over and it’s playoffs or bust. Then we see the same old shit. It’s obvious they don’t have anywhere near the talent to win on a regular basis but they cannot get quality players to even consider coming here… either via UFA or players having them on their “will not approve a trade” list. As long as people fill the seats nothing will change. Every team has made the playoffs in the past seven seasons… except one.

  28. Thinker says:

    I hate to say it, but things look grim. Sure there’s a lot of track left, but its a big hole. Reminds me of last year when the oilers had to win something like 18 of the last 28 to give themselves a chance. They were effively out at that point, though they did give a push. Im not saying they will be last, but a team we expected to be a fringe playoff team isn’t going to go 45-26-3 the rest of the way to get 95 points.
    To do list:
    Get gagner back
    Get yak back, we dont need someone else getting the cogliano/paarjarvi treatment
    Create functional 4line

    I would run this
    Note: 5centers at all times
    Hall gagner yakupov first two should be able to handle defensive minutes by this point. Yakupov is a sniper/playmaker, he needs passers and finishers on his line.
    Perron nuge eberle Again should be good defensively against seconds by now. Nuge and eberle have great chem. perron gives them space to wheel with his aggressive two way game.
    Arcobello gordon Hemsky can ease defensive load, and provide slight scoring ability
    Joensuu acton jones/hamilton we only need one facepuncher, otherwise we need defensively capable players who can pot the odd goal. We need the 4line to eat minutes to keep the top lines rested. Thats how you wear down teams. The odd bump and bruise isn’t even felt til the next day usually. I guarantee the other team isn’t worn out at all from five minutes of gadzic throwing 5 hits. So what if he beats the hell out of the other teams facepuncher, that just gives the good player a chance to rest. We need to have 50 minutes of offense absolutely buzzing, and 10 of 4line lockdown time.
    Brown
    Don’t know how to help the defense they should be better.
    Goaltending has been shaky, and i wouldn’t mind bringing in a bryzgalov as he has something to prove, and its unlikely having him in a backup role will cost more games than labarbera(hes a better goalie). 95% of goalies are weird. Plante puked before every game. Having bryzgalov isn’t going to corrupt the youth. If anything he takes media scrutiny off them.

  29. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Jesse: I wonder what “shoring up the goaltending depth” means. If MacT isn’t giving up on DD, then I have no idea what he’s talking about — this whole summer was spent shoring up the goaltending depth: signing Labarbera for backup, getting a very solid #3 in Bachman. Is MacT talking about G prospects? He had a billion draft picks to grab a couple. I know in that Sun article it says he narrowly missed on a couple of G prospects in the draft (Fucale, etc) but surely there were more than TWO G prospects that the scouts liked.
    I dunno. That Sun article seems an awful lot like politician-speak or going to a fortune teller. Say as many vague things as possible and people will hear what they want to hear. It’s nice that he said he expects DD to be able to pull out of his funk, but he also says “I’ve been gauging the entire goalie market” and “I’ve been looking at the 2014 FA goalie market”.

    I’m not sure you give that Jones article, or MacT rather, enough credit.

    1. The G depth issue is a long term persistent problem. It isn’t solved overnight, at a single draft table, or with a single signing. That’s what he was talking about, the long approach and the lack of deep depth, not specific players like Dubnyk.

    2. Dubnyk, Labarbs and Bachman are all on 1 year deal. Even in their cases, they aren’t (yet at least) long term solutions to the 1 through 3 spots. Long term all these spots need to be filled, with any luck with something reliable and a bit more stable and with upward mobility (and maybe with these players). The Labarbs and Bachman signings were solid short term solutions to the depth issue. But they don’t erase the systemic problem.

    3. MacT wanted Fucale… but not just him. He tried for Raanta, Eriksson and Hartzell (that we know of) and also picked up Rimmer. The search didn’t start with Dubnyk’s poor start, it started when he took the job. This is a long term, systemic issue.

    4. He’s is going to be very active in the Euro and College markets. He seems to buy in to the idea (Oilers failed draft picks on Gs helps) that draft eligible Gs are a crap shoot. It is a reasonable bet to snag one late in the draft, but don’t over-chase one. AND, the best bets now are older college and Euro free agents. He’s stacked his team with people to aggressively scout these markets and pursue talent.

  30. TheGreatMutato says:

    godot10:

    Width godot’s point in mind, the question I was asking myself last night is which of these two scenarios was most likely to play out:

    a) The Oilers, being a better team than last year, will continue to show improved possession stats and see the wins start to come once other factors begin to normalize – optimism!

    b) The Oilers, being just as bad as last year, will see their possession stats regress back down to ‘Oilers’ level and see the losses continue to pile up – pessimism!

    Please hold me because I’m beginning to get more worried that the likely scenario is the latter. Either way, it’s not like I’m going to stop watching. But I’ll need a new liver a month early this season.

  31. Racki says:

    I’m sure the swarm is a great system but I too have been thinking/saying that maybe Eakins tries it til the end of the month.. If the results and improvement aren’t there… Abandon it in favor of zone defense. Everyone knows it. You know your space. It’s bred in every hockey player at an early age. No more confusion. Is it the best system? Probably not, but it should limit the amount of times we watch stars tee up from prime real estate, untouched. Back to basics. These guys obviously need defensive hockey watered down for them. Also revisit last year’s special teams systems that were successful. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

  32. Racki says:

    Sorry, duplicate.

  33. G Money says:

    TheGreatMutato: b) The Oilers, being just as bad as last year, will see their possession stats regress back down to ‘Oilers’ level and see the losses continue to pile up – pessimism!

    In order to believe this, you must believe that: Perron is worse than Pajaarvi, Gordon is worse than Horcoff, Arco is worse than Gagner, Ference is worse than Whitney, Belov is worse than Potter, Acton is worse than Belanger, and the 5 games at .845 sv% for Dubnyk is “actual level” vs his .915 over the previous 130 games.

    Do you?

    Or you can believe (and observe) that the team actually is playing better – not well, but better – than last year, our PK is awful, and our goaltending has been awful, and together it has cost us at least 3 winnable games and resulted in a 1-6-1 record instead of a 4-3-1 record.

    The latter is the conclusion supported by every stat.

  34. kinger_OIL says:

    I keep repeating a few things, but the points seem to be actually mentioned by others now: Eakins is widely known as an arrogant prick, and its nice to finally see some questioning the wisdom of hiring another coach with no NHL experience for a young team with no experience. This team is 10 games away from being done for another generation of draft picks: the young guns will revolt, just like Hunter mentioned re: Leeds. Maybe RNH is going forward closer to the guy we had last year, not the rookie one. Finally also hearing some questioning the assitant coaches who wouldn’t be on any other team in the NHL based on track record. And by the way, the OIL did get an undeserved win: NJ Devils anyone? They should be winless this season actually, based on play except for that 10 minute flurry vs Devils and old-man Brodeur…And they aren’t even playing teams in the West yet: yikes!!!

  35. HugThePost says:

    Lowetide:

    I think Red in Shawshank Redemption referred to hope as a ‘dangerous thing’, and I think this quote applies to the Oilers. Their kind of hope is what they’ve been selling for 20 years now. The kind that makes the fan think they are actually in this to win and will not stop until they do. The kind that seduces the fan into backing them, however it is a given fan will back this team and organization.

    This is ‘dangerous’ because the day might come where one realizes it’s all been for nothing and it’s all been a show. That day came for me a while ago.

    It’s just the same old tired routine. In the 90s when they had no talent, they sold the hope that their pluck and work would get them somewhere. In this millineum, it’s been the hope of a stud defenceman who showed up for a song, a new local boy owner eager to return the team to where they were when he was a boy watching them, and lately it’s the hope of all of this draft talent coming together to form a champion. But, there is always just enough of the negatives that make sure this team just continues to spin its wheels.

    I really really enjoy the blog and really admire the positivity of some of the posters here, but I’m tapping out.

    Because Hope is a dangerous thing, especially with these Oilers.

  36. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    G Money: In order to believe this, you must believe that: Perron is worse than Pajaarvi, Gordon is worse than Horcoff, Arco is worse than Gagner, Ference is worse than Whitney, Belov is worse than Potter, Acton is worse than Belanger, and the 5 games at .845 sv% for Dubnyk is “actual level” vs his .915 over the previous 130 games.

    Do you?

    Or you can believe (and observe) that the team actually is playing better – not well, but better – than last year, our PK is awful, and our goaltending has been awful, and together it has cost us at least 3 winnable games and resulted in a 1-6-1 record instead of a 4-3-1 record.

    The latter is the conclusion supported by every stat.

    Just to play skeptical Harriet for a second.

    It is not mutually exclusive for this team to be “better” and still see it’s current possession stats regress for two reasons.

    1). we may be better than last year, but not by as much as these early stats suggest. we could wind up after playing some Western teams in the middle of these two positions.

    2). we aren’t the only team to make changes. Other teams have gotten better too (and worse no doubt). we can’t assume our own fixes take place in a vacuum.

    FWIW I do believe we are a better team than last year. I’m just not sure how much better.

  37. TheGreatMutato says:

    G Money,

    Thanks for that – I come to this blog largely for the optimism =)

  38. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Without Joensuu this team really does need a net presence. I think MacT is going to come to the conclusion that you can only coach these kids to go to the net so far and at some point you are going to have to surround them with complementary players who will drive the net and stay there. In fact, I think he came to that conclusion on day 1.

  39. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    kinger_OIL: Eakins is widely known as an arrogant prick, and its nice to finally see some questioning the wisdom of hiring another coach with no NHL experience for a young team with no experience.

    Can you back this up?

    I’ve never read anything suggesting anything like this. All I’ve read is a series of glowing puff pieces from coaches, managers, players, media, etc.

    I’m happy to discount that as the media simply blowing smoke and players towing the party line… but without something tangible, this just reads as backfilling in a story to suit your own needs.

  40. russ99 says:

    I don’t get why anyone would want Hall as captain right now. He’s got some maturing to do before he can handle it. The constant pouting this season about playing center, etc. should confirm it.

    Ference has been there, won a cup, played with teams who are where we want to get in regards to defensive zone play. IMO, he’s the perfect candidate on the roster. The only other player who’d be considered is Smyth, and who’s to say how many more years (or months) he’ll be on the roster.

  41. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    russ99:
    I don’t get why anyone would want Hall as captain right now. He’s got some maturing to do before he can handle it. The constant pouting this season about playing center, etc. should confirm it.

    Ference has been there, won a cup, played with teams who are where we want to get in regards to defensive zone play. IMO, he’s the perfect candidate on the roster. The only other player who’d be considered is Smyth, and who’s to say how many more years (or months) he’ll be on the roster.

    Can you show some evidence of this “pouting”?

  42. lance says:

    One thing perennially losing teams have in common is a consistent fan base. Toronto Raptors, Cleveland Browns, LA Clippers, Patriots (pre 99) all had/have full houses regardless of W/L. This nepotism would never happen in Nashville or Phoenix.

    Stop giving this team money and real changes may actually happen.

    signed –
    third tier fan.

  43. kosiork says:

    1. As Old School G noted, this team used to be fun. Scrappy players with some skill and even though they were often over matched, they at least provided a high entertainment value. These guys just stress me out and cause angst-filled days.

    2. When do the fun drink recipes start?

    3. For college FA goalies, how about Clarke Saunders at UND? Big guy with good numbers. Looks like a linebacker off the ice. Could provide grit from the crease.

  44. mc79hockey says:

    Young hotshot Brian Clough(the greatest soccer coach England ever created not named Ramsey) once took over a championship Leeds United soccer team and started kicking butts just like Eakins seems to be trying on in Edmonton.

    Clough was sacked exactly two weeks later.

    Ignoring the factual problem with this (Clough lasted something like a month and a half), you could just as easily say this:

    Young hotshot Brian Clough(the greatest soccer coach England ever created not named Ramsey) once took over a second division English side called Derby County and started kicking butts just like Eakins seems to be trying on in Edmonton. He got them promoted in his second season and won the First Division in his fifth.

    Or this:

    Young hotshot Brian Clough(the greatest soccer coach England ever created not named Ramsey) once took over second division Nottingham Forest side and started kicking butts just like Eakins seems to be trying on in Edmonton. Four years later, he won the European Cup. The next year, he did it again.

    Edmonton’s more like a Derby or a Forest than a Leeds right now.

    Eakins is widely known as an arrogant prick

    I’ve talked to three different media guys who’ve dealt with him and they all have nothing but great things to say about him. They run the gamut too – from very big names to 21 year olds writing for eight different blogs.

  45. Hammers says:

    As I said a few games ago SWARM was costing as many bad goals as DD . At the time I said 7 bad for DD & 6 for swarm . Devin got his game back now Eakins needs to let his idea go . He , Eakins would do better to look at what these same players did well last year . PP & PK and put Gordon in Horcs spot . One thing Jones & Smyth did well was on the PK . JUST DO IT.

  46. Ryan says:

    Woodguy,

    That’s the thing with offensive players killing penalties…

    i.e. if Ryan Jones gets a broken foot blocking a shot… hey, sometimes that happens.

    if Taylor Hall gets a broken foot blocking a shot, the season’s over.

  47. DeadmanWaking says:

    hunter1909: Clough was sacked exactly two weeks later.

    This one time, at band camp …

    But I don’t think that’s what you meant.

    Clough’s move was very surprising given his previous outspoken criticism of both Revie, for whom Clough made no secret of his deep disdain, and the successful Leeds team’s playing style, which Clough had publicly branded “dirty” and “cheating”. Furthermore, he had called for Leeds to be demoted to the Second Division as a punishment for their poor disciplinary record.

    He lasted in the job only 44 days before he was sacked by the Leeds directors on 12 September 1974, after alienating many of Leeds’s star players …

    During one of the first training sessions he took for Leeds United, he reportedly said “You can all throw your medals in the bin because they were not won fairly.”

    So let me get this straight. Patrick Roy gets the job coaching in Philadelphia after publicly describing the franchise as a Neanderthal fiefdom, then he shows up and tears Clarke’s and Barber’s jerseys out of the rafters because “they didn’t win shit fairly”, addresses himself to the players with all the tact of Hunter S. Thompson on a bad trip, and manages to last two weeks (plus a month for good behaviour you didn’t count).

    Nice work. By comparison, you’ve successfully positioned the donut-destroying Eakins as softer than Calvin’s tiger.

  48. Andropod says:

    ChickenHawk does not want this team referred to as “young”. Should we rather refer to them right now as “immature”?

  49. Bag of Pucks says:

    If MacT truly recognizes that the lack of G studs in the prospect pipeline is a systemic issue, than he’s going to have to put his money where his mouth is and draft some when these blue chippers are actually available. Waiting until the 4th or 5th round to address the issue smacks of wanting to have your cake and eat it too.

    Passing on Eric Comrie to draft Marc-Olivier Roy. Passing on John Gibson to draft Musil (appreciate this was Tambo not MacT). etc. A) There’s no proof as yet that they drafted the BPA in those slots & B) The goalies passed over in those slots are tracking solidly in their development. Missed opportunities.

  50. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Color me surprised that Lansky is going full on enigma on Yakupov.

  51. G Money says:

    russ99: To me the problem is overpursuit by the forwards and not enough movement by the defensemen, and zero overlaps in coverage.

    So let me take you back to one of the goals that I deconstructed on video. It looked like this:

    #19 for Wsh has the puck and skates out from behind the Oiler net to Barbie’s right along the boards, with RNH in hot pursuit. #8 (Ovechkin) is waiting on the half wall. #19 closes the gap to #8, and JSchultz jumps in to help.

    #8 breaks free and Hemsky, who is also along the boards makes a weak poke check, which accomplishes nothing, and #8 pokes the puck out towards the circle. The puck actually could have been shot by #90 waiting at the top of the circle, but #8 grabs it and skates by him into the slot.

    #19 by now has skated in front of the net tailed by RNH, while #90 has skated behind the net tailed by JSchultz. Smid at this point is in the shooting lane and goes down on one knee to try to block, while Hemsky pursues #8 weakly. #8 takes a weak shot which misses the net but #90 gets to it ahead of JSchultz.

    This is where things go strange.

    #90 skates out into the corner, but JSchultz immediately bails on his pursuit and just slides in front of the net. He and RNH are now both in front of Barbie, while Smid is in the middle and now has to skate from there into the corner to attack #90. #8 floats into the slot again. Hemsky is standing not covering #8 or the passing lane, and both Hemsky and RNH realize too late that #8 is uncovered and move to him.

    #90 passes to #8, who under a mild bit of pressure from RNH/Hemsky gets off a rather weak shot that beats Barbie. Easy goal. Killer (3-1) goal.

    A few points on this:

    - This was not overpursuit by the forwards or underpursuit by the defensemen. If anything, it was the opposite. But more properly, it was just lousy coverage.

    - It was not ‘the swarm’ to blame. Other than at the very beginning of the sequence where you could argue that Hemsky was the third guy in, there never really was a swarm at all. It was just lousy coverage resulting in a shot that should not have happened, and then a weak shot that should have been stopped.

    - The disturbing part was – who to blame? Hemsky was moving around quite ineffectually, effectively leaving the Oilers shorthanded. Hall was in the picture too, but I’m not convinced he did anything wrong (though he also didn’t do anything right). If JSchultz doesn’t bail on his pursuit of #90, Smid would have been in perfect position to either cover Ovechkin, or to block the shot. As soon as JSchultz did move to the front of the net, RNH needed to aggressively move to cover Ovechkin, but he hesitated just a moment. A whole series of small mistakes culminating in a weak goal.

    It all comes back to this narrative: the team just isn’t playing that well (yet). These are fixable mistakes. Is it too many coaches, too many system changes, too many new players? I believe the first two, but not the last one, at least not in this case – all the players were on this team last year.

  52. lance says:

    How many multi-million dollar / year businesses ever give top jobs to people who have no experience near the position or related education? Its like a grocery chain hiring a veteran stock boy to be CFO.

    Hockey players don’t generally graduate from high school. Their world experience happens in an ivory tower. Communication skills are sub par (as per KL presser), management training is non existent save one guy who got an MBA and was hired straight out of school, never having been an understudy.

    No related work experience. No education. Who gets hired with that resume? Oiler brass. That’s who.

    Before I pay another dime to go to an Oiler game I will shop at Walmart, vote for Steven Harper, then get a shirt that says “I support the status-quo.”

  53. JohnnyOilfan says:

    Woodguy,

    FYI… Hall played on the PK in Windsor. He wasn’t a regular but did see a fair amount of PK time throughout his 2 years there. I like spotting the skilled guys once in a while to keep them in the game if there are alot of penalities. But I would prefer to save Hall, ebs and RNH for 5×5 and PP. PK needs a lot of commitement these days on shot blocking and we don’t need those 3 going down to injury for blocking a shot.

  54. Bar_Qu says:

    My impression of how a ‘swarm’ should look (versus the poor coverage we have seen repeated a few times) is that if the puck goes into the right side boards, the centre, RW, and right defenseman should pursue and overwhelm the carrier, whilst the left D and LW stay in the slot and in a covering position respectively. Is that not what a good swarm would look like, rather than all five heading down low or to the sideboards leaving any puck that squirts free open to the other 2 or 3 opposition players not involved in the scrum?

  55. Bar_Qu says:

    #Oilers have recalled defenceman Denis Grebeshkov from the AHL's Oklahoma City Barons (@OKCBarons).— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) October 18, 2013

    So this is happening now.

  56. G Money says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: FWIW I do believe we are a better team than last year. I’m just not sure how much better.

    That’s my conclusion – we are not playing *well*, but we are playing *better*.

    I also don’t really buy the “Eastern Conference” narrative all that much. While it is true that overall the WC is better, the gap has narrowed dramatically over the last five years – a valid analysis of which was provided by none other than, gasp, dee ess eff (!?!?!).

    So It’s a bit farcical to suggest that the Oiler Corsi improvement is entirely an EC thing – that would be suggesting that Wsh, NJD, Mtl, Pitt are collectively worse than every WC team, which is nonsense.

  57. hunter1909 says:

    mc79hockey:
    Young hotshot Brian Clough(the greatest soccer coach England ever created not named Ramsey) once took over a championship Leeds United soccer team and started kicking butts just like Eakins seems to be trying on in Edmonton.


    Clough was sacked exactly two weeks later.

    Ignoring the factual problem with this (Clough lasted something like a month and a half), you could just as easily say this:

    Young hotshot Brian Clough(the greatest soccer coach England ever created not named Ramsey) once took over a second division English side called Derby County and started kicking butts just like Eakins seems to be trying on in Edmonton.He got them promoted in his second season and won the First Division in his fifth.

    Or this:

    Young hotshot Brian Clough(the greatest soccer coach England ever created not named Ramsey) once took over second division Nottingham Forest side and started kicking butts just like Eakins seems to be trying on in Edmonton.Four years later, he won the European Cup.The next year, he did it again.

    Edmonton’s more like a Derby or a Forest than a Leeds right now.

    Eakins is widely known as an arrogant prick

    I’ve talked to three different media guys who’ve dealt with him and they all have nothing but great things to say about him.They run the gamut too – from very big names to 21 year olds writing for eight different blogs.

    Thank you for correcting my wrong facts(like 2 weeks). As if this really matters in the light of the abyss everyone is staring into. Stick to what you know best, over at your own blog and you won’t be so cocksure of yourself as you(conveniently) don’t bother to frame:

    Brian Clough’s success was taking a lower level team, identifying it’s strengths and making them an unstoppable force. Eakins might or might not have done this(I don’t follow the AHL), but since Clough went on to win the European Cup with the equivalent of the Whitby Dunlops, I cordially invite you to another time, another Oilers crisis to compare how Eakin’s measures up to Forest’s genius.

    Eakins, for what it’s worth, has arrived from a lower level division to join a moribund franchise one of the very worst in the entire history of high level professional sports. You may feel free to provide a list of worse teams, to make more points if you like.

    Secondly, lol, 90% of the rest of the NHL fans bothering to have an opinion, plus the players from 29 other NHL teams have, 8 games into the season(please feel free to correct me if I’m wrong in counting up the losses) written off this team as hopeless, total, and absolute garbage.

    PS: I don’t give a flying fuck about watching corsi. Therefore your wonderfulness has no meaning to me. What I do understand, is when a team collectively plays no-touch NHL hockey, they’re going to be getting a lot of IR time.

    To go alongside their 28th and ‘who knows how Lowe will it get?’ record.

    MEMO TO KATZ: Fire Kevin Lowe.

  58. justDOit says:

    Does anyone remember when there were beer shortages due to strikes?

    I don’t really have a point here, other than to say we could be watching these games without beer. Whoa.

  59. mustang says:

    Jon K:
    I can’t help but think that the swarm might be here for a while. The utilization of the swarm seems to be a deliberate attempt by Eakins and MacT to address the team’s lack of “heaviness” across the board. If our forwards can’t win those battles one on one due to lack of size or strength, let’s try and overload and use their skill and agility to retrieve the puck or force an interception on the pass.

    I believe you hit the nail on the head. As much as Eakins wants this team to be men and not young maturing men, the best players are very young who are just starting to become men.The coaches and the players want more battle be more competitive, these young guys are battling as hard as they can for the most part. A 21 yr old 6′ kid is not stronger than their 26+ year old opposition, they will lose this battle for the puck more often than not, not because they aren’t trying it’s because they are physically weaker they get pushed off the puck or they get knocked off balance and go down. Eakins will not stand for a “country club” atmosphere, he wants these guys training hard and in great shape which will payoff in the next year or two. Patience is key,which is what most people are preaching.It is hard to watch right now, but this team will get better when the Halls,Eberles,RNH’s,Schultzs get stronger and more experienced..my two cents.

  60. hunter1909 says:

    mc79hockey,

    Sorry for appearing rude re your math skills. The fact is, fancy numbers sometimes just plain confuse me. Especially since leaving education at 12, to work on the family tobacco farm.

  61. hunter1909 says:

    Normally Oilers get a 7 game losing streak in November.

    Nice to see them starting the season with their brand new system:

    The ‘Kevin Lowe+Bucky are about to leave town’ system.

  62. denny33 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Some say the best goalie in the draft was Comrie…..

    Mac T passed……we will follow that decision in the next few years.

  63. mustang says:

    I’m so happy for Smitty right now he’s battling like there is no tomorrow(unfortunately there really isn’t for him) he’s 10 years to old for this team to really help. We could use about 2 Ryan Smyth’s from 10 years ago about right now.

  64. Racki says:

    hunter1909:
    mc79hockey,

    Sorry for appearing rude re your math skills. The fact is, fancy numbers sometimes just plain confuse me. Especially since leaving education at 12, to work on the family tobacco farm.

    Too late to apologize… You are about to be uppercut by PDO and kicked in the Fenwick. Protect your corsi-hole

  65. mc79hockey says:

    Brian Clough’s success was taking a lower level team, identifying it’s strengths and making them an unstoppable force.

    Not really. In both Derby and Forest, he bought a bunch of players to supplement the guys who were there who could play and cleared out the deadwood. From Wiki on Derby:

    In Clough’s first season the club finished one place lower than in the previous season, but he had started to lay the foundations for his future success by signing several new players, amongst them Roy McFarland, John O’Hare, John McGovern, Alan Hinton and Les Green. Of the inherited squad, eleven players departed and only four were retained: Kevin Hector, Alan Durban, Ron Webster and Colin Boulton.

    When he went to Forest, he added a bunch of players too, most notably some guys who had played for him at Derby and Peter Shilton, who he bought from Stoke and who was a critical player in Forest’s success.

    Your thoughts about stats and data are undoubtedly well considered and informed but you’re a little loose with facts.

  66. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    denny33:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Some say the best goalie in the draft was Comrie…..

    Mac T passed……we will follow that decision in the next few years.

    And Button had Fucale at 9th overall.

    The point being, one draft isn’t going to turn around goaltending depth issues and certainly not for several, several years. Goalies are a total draft crap shoot.

    It would have been nice to nab one of the young up and comers, but it’s not a big item for me. If it’s Roy vs. Comrie, I think Roy has a much better chance to impact his team over the long term, if not to simply make it to the NHL.

  67. Andropod says:

    denny33:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Some say the best goalie in the draft was Comrie…..

    Mac T passed……we will follow that decision in the next few years.

    Are you aware that the Comrie family has a genetic degenerative hip condition that has already caused Eric to have surgery on both hips?
    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/With+ties+Edmonton+prospect+Eric+Comrie+takes+repaired+hips+confidence+boost+entry+draft/8583810/story.html

    Does this make any difference to your outlook on MacT passing on Eric?

  68. godot10 says:

    IMHO, Eakins seems pretty arrogant to me based on his press conferences. Everything he does is right. Everything that happened before him was crap. If something doesn’t go as planned, it is somebody elses’ fault. The communication seems to be a one way street. i.e. How do I get you to become a mindless Eakins drone?

    The fact that his AHL systems which worked when he had NHL backup quality goaltending and a stacked AHL rosters funded with Maple Leaf money might not work when you have an weaker NHL roster does not seem to have crossed his mind. He still doesn’t seem to realize that NHL players can give and receive a long pass, often under pressure, and before the swarm can get there.

  69. Bag of Pucks says:

    Andropod: Are you aware that the Comrie family has a genetic degenerative hip condition that has already caused Eric to have surgery on both hips?
    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/With+ties+Edmonton+prospect+Eric+Comrie+takes+repaired+hips+confidence+boost+entry+draft/8583810/story.html

    Does this make any difference to your outlook on MacT passing on Eric?

    Really boils down to the longterm prognosis the Doctors are giving him post surgery. If they’re giving him 10-15 years with the new hips, what’s the problem?

    Ray Emery had a career threatening hip injury mid career and came back from it.

    http://www.sportingnews.com/nhl/feed/2011-06/nhl-free-agency/story/ray-emery-hip-injury-chicago-blackhawks-flyers-anaheim-ducks-avascular-necrosis

    Bottom line, MacT could’ve drafted a blue chip local boy to fill a glaring need and he passed. It may be the right call. It may the wrong call. But it seems odd behavior for a GM to say he recognizes a systemic problem and thus far, do nothing to address it other than kick some tires.

  70. denny33 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    RA:Without Joensuu this team really does need a net presence. I think MacT is going to come to the conclusion that you can only coach these kids to go to the net so far and at some point you are going to have to surround them with complementary players who will drive the net and stay there. In fact, I think he came to that conclusion on day 1.

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

    Last night WG made reference to this fact as well….

    I and other have been saying this for 3 years. And so have MANY, many outsiders.

    Pulled the goalie with just over a minute left in the Pitsburgh game – Perron with no pass options has to just put it on net from the blueline. NO oilers in front of Fleury. NONE.

    UNREAL.

    Boston, St. Louis would have at LEAST 3 guys in the crease.

    I bet oiler fans that missed the game they could probably tell you – exactly – where Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle were stationed on that play…..

    Goaltending aside – there is something that is not right with our top group. Top players.

    Is this not a team that should be scoring 4′s and 5′s – nearly every night?

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

    Someone explained the *swarm* before the season began. Good passing teams can expose the
    swarm with excellent passes. And this leads to 5 alarm chances.

    Hello – true to form – we have seen numerous 5 alarm chances. That is the weakness of the system and we are still learning – I suppose.

    We surely can’t be surprised though or argue against what we have seen….

    People in here tie themselves in knots trying to *avoid* discussing the top end talent.

    At some point, you have to ask the top end talent why they are not producing…we see
    individual glimpses from time to time. Last night Taylor – where’s RNH? Hemsky?

    You can almost make a case that Arco has been the most offensively consistent player this year….

    David Staple’s put a bullet to the head of the 4th line red herring…but it sill lives in here.

    Can’t believe we have started to revert to blame the system and now the coach. At some point, we have to look our top players in the eyes and ask *tough* questions.

  71. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Bag of Pucks: But it seems odd behavior for a GM to say he recognizes a systemic problem and thus far, do nothing to address it other than kick some tires.

    what’s with this “do nothing” thing again? (was it you that claimed this a couple of weeks ago too?)

    He signed LaBarbs, Bachman and Rimmer. He let Khabi and Danis and Hovinen go.

    He chased (at least) two Euro Goalies who picked other teams. That’s not “kicking tires,” that’s suffering the consequences of the few moments players actually get to decide their fate.

    He chased the college Goalie Hartzell and lost. same deal.

    He’s put people in place whose sole job is to scout college and euro free agents.

    He put offers on the table for Bernier and Schneids. These are actual offers. Sometimes you lose. Losing out on a trade or a free agent signing is very different from putting in a call and doing nothing.

    He had a couple of junior players eyed but missed them when his draft number came up. So what. That happens. The alternatives are reach picks.

    Since the start of the season he’s called everyone to gauge the price of Gs. That is kicking tires. It is also the right thing to do, gauge the market but don’t panic.

    By any standard, he’s been extraordinarily active on this file. You need to tailor your criticism to the actual record of events.

  72. spoiler says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: By any standard, he’s been extraordinarily active on this file. You need to tailor your criticism to the actual record of events.

    But, but, but… that would kill like 200 comments a thread!

  73. Bag of Pucks says:

    MacT has not brought in a single blue chip goalie prospect via trade, draft or free agency – and in the one instance where he could’ve done so without the threat of competition (i.e. the draft) he passed.

    Instead, be brought in a retread for OKC and a career backup to caddy Dubnyk. So wishful thinking on the goalie front – as usual with this org.

    I don’t care about ‘try.’ I care about results. When MacT finally addresses this glaring need in the org, he’ll get the credit for it. Until then, he’s not above criticism for his failure to do so.

    By the same token, I don’t particularly care when the Oilers ‘try’ to score goals or ‘try’ to win games. i care when they actually do it.

    One thing I’ve noticed about having your team out of the playoffs for 7 years. The fans get very good at making excuses for the management, coaches, players, etc. Btw, have you heard? Dubnyk’s wife had a baby.

  74. Andropod says:

    Bag of Pucks: Really boils down to the longterm prognosis the Doctors are giving him post surgery. If they’re giving him 10-15 years with the new hips, what’s the problem?

    Ray Emery had a career threatening hip injury mid career and came back from it.

    http://www.sportingnews.com/nhl/feed/2011-06/nhl-free-agency/story/ray-emery-hip-injury-chicago-blackhawks-flyers-anaheim-ducks-avascular-necrosis

    Bottom line, MacT could’ve drafted a blue chip local boy to fill a glaring need and he passed. It may be the right call. It may the wrong call. But it seems odd behavior for a GM to say he recognizes a systemic problem and thus far, do nothing to address it other than kick some tires.

    Between the goalie with the health question and the arguably safer upside, MacT chose the less risky option. Emery shows it can bounce both ways. But I’m not sure that passing on Comrie is something you can add to the tar and feather MacT brigade.

    There are other factors, too. I recall (as a matter of public record at the time) that Comrie Sr. Got quite antagonistic to Katz at the time of the takeover. Not a reason per se to pas on a good player, but how do you think the contract discussions would go on this one?

    From this perspective MacT may have made the wiser choice if not the choice of the better goalie with at least a small question mark over his hips and a wealthy, powerful, antagonistic father.

  75. Bag of Pucks says:

    I DID say that passing on Comrie may or may not be the right call. Only time will tell.

    The bigger issue for me is MacT did NOTHING.

    He passed on the Schneider deal. He passed on Comrie. He chased Larbarera when viable first string options were available as FAs.

    The future may vindicate him on all these fronts. Only time will tell and none of us has a crystal ball.

    But as far as goalies go, he’s talking a good game while not delivering the results – which is kind of the same criticism we had of Tambellini. Certainly given the results he’s shown elsewhere in the lineup, I’m optimistic he will solve this. But it’s disappointing to be flushing another season in the meantime and it would be nice to finally draft a decent goalie prospect one of these decades.

  76. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    MacT has not brought in a single blue chip goalie prospect via trade, draft or free agency – and in the one instance where he could’ve done so without the threat of competition (i.e. the draft) he passed.

    Instead, be brought in a retread for OKC and a career backup to caddy Dubnyk. So wishful thinking on the goalie front – as usual with this org.

    I don’t care about ‘try.’ I care about results. When MacT finally addresses this glaring need in the org, he’ll get the credit for it. Until then, he’s not above criticism for his failure to do so.

    By the same token, I don’t particularly care when the Oilers ‘try’ to score goals or ‘try’ to win games. i care when they actually do it.

    One thing I’ve noticed about having your team out of the playoffs for 7 years. The fans get very good at making excuses for the management, coaches, players, etc. Btw, have you heard? Dubnyk’s wife had a baby.

    look. No one is saying everything is great. esp. in goal. MacT said it day one.

    The point is… you have to actually deal with the record, otherwise you are just venting.

    ps. name a single “blue chip” goalie drafted in the last 20 years. a single one.

    pps. do you really want to pay Gillis’ price? what would Lombardi want from an in-division team if he got a very good backup (Scrivens) an NHL player (Frattin), a 2nd round pick and $500, 000 in cap space… that’s a massive price tag for out-of-conference. Are you willing to pay the ransom to itch your rant?

  77. hunter1909 says:

    mc79hockey:
    Brian Clough’s success was taking a lower level team, identifying it’s strengths and making them an unstoppable force.

    Not really.In both Derby and Forest, he bought a bunch of players to supplement the guys who were there who could play and cleared out the deadwood.From Wiki on Derby:

    In Clough’s first season the club finished one place lower than in the previous season, but he had started to lay the foundations for his future success by signing several new players, amongst them Roy McFarland, John O’Hare, John McGovern, Alan Hinton and Les Green. Of the inherited squad, eleven players departed and only four were retained: Kevin Hector, Alan Durban, Ron Webster and Colin Boulton.

    When he went to Forest, he added a bunch of players too, most notably some guys who had played for him at Derby and Peter Shilton, who he bought from Stoke and who was a critical player in Forest’s success.

    Your thoughts about stats and data are undoubtedly well considered and informed but you’re a little loose with facts.

    Thanks.

    Always better to get corrected by intelligence.

    Any thoughts on where the Lowe/MacT/Bucky/Steve Smith/current pro scouting ‘shiteshow’ might be headed?

    From where this tobacco farmer sits, some of them might be joining the unemployed ranks sooner rather than later, unless Mr. Katz sees W’s in a big Edmonton Oiler hurry.

  78. hunter1909 says:

    Arcobello might be a decent to semi-good player acquisition, but for the ‘shelf life’ of Dallas Eakins there is this 20 year old Russian…

  79. kinger_OIL says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Can you back this up?I’ve never read anything suggesting anything like this. All I’ve read is a series of glowing puff pieces from coaches, managers, players, media, etc.I’m happy to discount that as the media simply blowing smoke and players towing the party line… but without something tangible, this just reads as backfilling in a story to suit your own needs.

    Rom – I just depends on what access you have: most here are OIL fans, based in Alberta. For those who are fortunate to have friends who play in the NHL, or know coaches etc, the real story is a lot different in most cases for most hockey teams, not specific to the OIL. The media controls the narrative: and the fan reads it. I just point out things I hear, from non-media sources, on the groudn so to speak. Just like when I was questioning Krueger when he got hired, becasue I knew the context of his hire. When hockey players told me that the Oil looked terrible right from the get go with Krueger, and that Kruger was a slick motivator who wouldn’t fit with the modern hockey player, I take note. When non-press people tell me that Eakins is an arrogant prick who might not be able to pull the same stuff with an NHL team than with a minor-team where all the players will do whatever it takes to make the “show”, I listen. Also its just some common sense: if you’ve played team sports, you recognize behaviours and personalities. Also, going back to Mac-T, telling the whole league what you want to do as a rookie, is not in the MBA strategy and negociation play-book. That was a huge mistake in the off-season in terms of strategy: a few people recognized that in these chats, most thought it was awesome that he came out, sat at the table and showed all his cards in what is really a big game of poker…

  80. Andropod says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    “One thing I’ve noticed about having your team out of the playoffs for 7 years. The fans get very good at making excuses for the management, coaches, players, etc. Btw, have you heard? Dubnyk’s wife had a baby.”

    Out of the playoffs for 7 years, one 4 year, 8 month failed rebuild, one 6 month old fresh rebuild (need I repeat, new GM, coach, players etc) that is showing progress in the eyes of people who understand both the game of hockey and the stats pertaining to it, but no, let’s just bleat like a bunch of demented donkeys at the 7 year thing because our brains apparently cannot comprehend more than one single digit number at a time. Heaven help us if we ever score double digit goals!

    Secondly, Have you ever lived through the sleepless nights of your own newborn? It’s not nearly as much fun as making the kid, for sure, and sleep deprivation is not the best thing for a person struggling to keep their job either.

    In other words while wins are what we are looking for, I’m as tired of people looking for negatives as MacT, ChickenHawk and the team are tired of losing. We do have the talent, and I’m sure they are bound and determined to show it. The biggest danger in my eyes is that the press and fans reach such a state of hysteria that they blow the whole thing up just as it is in the process of breaking through. Let’s be part of the solution, not part of this problem!!

  81. hunter1909 says:

    kinger_OIL: going back to Mac-T, telling the whole league what you want to do as a rookie, is not in the MBA strategy and negociation play-book. That was a huge mistake in the off-season in terms of strategy: a few people recognized that in these chats, most thought it was awesome that he came out, sat at the table and showed all his cards in what is really a big game of poker…

    This.

    As poker players, both MacT and Kevin Lowe are universally recognised as being the types who are 100% welcome. They bring money, they talk about their cards, they make sucker bets.

    And best of all, they always come back for more.

  82. denny33 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    It is not a crap shoot if you don’t draft any….It becomes a certainty – you won’t have any goalie prospects.

    Agree with you on Furcale – but just saying – if the Oilers – wanted – a goalie prospect one was available in the 2nd round.

    Again – over half a decade of ‘rebuilding’ and our cupboard for the Centre and Goalie position is thin. In fact, we can make the claim we have no legitimate goalie prospects.

  83. Colonel Obvious says:

    On the swarm, here are two things I know for a reasonable certainty based upon historical experience:

    1) Zone marking systems are superior to man-to-man marking systems. This has been demonstrated over and over again in other sports, despite the resistance of traditionalist to these kinds of coaching innovations. The pattern repeats itself over and over again. When a breakdown occurs in a zone system, it is much more apparent. Average fan and traditional commentator points to breakdown of evidence new idea doesn’t work. Nonetheless, over time teams that use zone systems are more successful than those that don’t. This is true in soccer and it is true in football. I strongly suspect it is also true in basketball, though I know less about that sport.

    2) There is no difference between what works at a putative minor league and what works in the major league. If the system works in the AHL it will work in the NHL. The difference in quality of play isn’t that large. For years the NFL resisted innovation based on the fallacy that what works in college sports will not work in the NFL.

    The lesson is twofold. First, the Oilers should absolutely use a zone marking system. Deviating from this path guarantees failure. Second, tactical innovation is a good thing and it is reasonable to apply innovations tested in other leagues. The NHL is not a magical land where the general rules of hockey do not apply.

    Blaming the system is pretty bizarre. The Oilers have a long track record of poor performance under other systems. The problem, such as it is, can be attributed to poor performance of players. Namely:

    Nick Schultz is a marginal NHL defenseman.
    The fourth line is a sinkhole of suck.
    The penalty kill has been terrible.
    Yakupov is completely lost at even strength (though he was at least passing last night and got some good shots on the powerplay.
    Nugent-Hopkins is completely invisible.
    Goaltending.

    The other players, while most playing good, aren’t playing so good to compensate for these things. Hall and Hemsky have been good but not transcendent. Hemsky should have put the puck in the fucking open net. Add it all up and you get the record you deserve.

  84. denny33 says:

    Andropod,

    Perhaps.

    i am aware of an NHL team selecting him in the 2nd round of the draft and NHL analysts thinking it might be one of the bigger steals of the draft.

    Post-surgery – .926 save % so far this year….

  85. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    kinger_OIL,

    Ok. at least I know where you are coming from. I appreciate you put a lot of stock in the various opinions and hearsay that has filtered down to you, but you’ll have to excuse me if I put as much credit in it as I do the idea that European players are “soft” or “enigmatic.”

    All us in our daily life have enough inter-personal interactions to understand that a wide-array of opinions are held on a variety of people at a variety of times. It’s going to take a lot more than a few scattered comments from whomever for me to come close to buying into the statement: “Eakins is widely known as an arrogant prick”

  86. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    denny33:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    It is not a crap shoot if you don’t draft any….It becomes a certainty – you won’t have any goalie prospects.

    Agree with you on Furcale– but just saying – if the Oilers – wanted – a goalie prospect one was available in the 2nd round.

    Again – over half a decade of ‘rebuilding’ and our cupboard for the Centre and Goalie position is thin. In fact, we can make the claim we have no legitimate goalie prospects.

    I don’t disagree. I could have easily sacrificed say Muir, or Benny Beds, in favor of a G. But I’m not crying over it.

    Drafting Gs is not a proven way to acquire talent. You simply have no idea what you’ve got usually until long after the ELC is expired.

    Agree too that the G depth chart is brutal… but so does the GM and he appears to have an aggressive strategy to address it. One G in the draft would help, but let’s be honest about how much… not a lot and not for a long time.

    We also need to be careful about how much we blame management for the failure of prospects. They get lots of blame from me for failing to get on the Euro and College tips early and often, but not a lot for Bunz going south.

  87. Colonel Obvious says:

    kinger_OIL,

    I’ve also played team sports. And what I learned, and what you seem to be missing, is that so much of the talk of these kinds of people is baseless bullshit based on nothing. So I don’t doubt what you heard but I have no reason to trust the judgement of some anonymous NHL player, or coach, or whomever, it is because in my experience these people are notable only for their inability to make good judgements.

  88. Bag of Pucks says:

    Andropod:
    Bag of Pucks,

    Secondly, Have you ever lived through the sleepless nights of your own newborn? It’s not nearly as much fun as making the kid, for sure, and sleep deprivation is not the best thing for a person struggling to keep their job either.

    Yes, I’ve lived through raising children and that’s probably why this latest EXCUSE is completely intolerable to me.

    He’s a professional athlete earning $3.5mil a season for his on ice performance. If DD can’t sleep, he should hire a frickin’ nanny to help his wife and move to a hotel. Earn your effin pay.

    Excuses are for losers. When this team can finally eliminate the last excuse from it’s current culture, then and only then, will this team finally turn the corner towards becoming a consistent winner.

  89. Bag of Pucks says:

    Andropod:
    Bag of Pucks,

    Let’s be part of the solution, not part of this problem!!

    I don’t work for management or play for the team so I’m afraid I can’t help them there.

  90. spoiler says:

    Apologies if this was already posted:

    Bob Stauffer @Bob_Stauffer

    Sam Gagner and Corey Potter both on IR have re-joined @EdmontonOilers at Sensplex in Kanata. Grebeshkov as u know re-called earlier today

  91. Bag of Pucks says:

    denny33:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    It is not a crap shoot if you don’t draft any….It becomes a certainty – you won’t have any goalie prospects.

    This makes an astounding amount of sense.

  92. godot10 says:

    MacGregor pretty much followed the blogosphere strategy for drafting goaltenders. Draft them late.

    Oliver Roy played for the Canadian World Junior team. Bunz was the last cut from the Canadian World Junior team.

    For later round picks, subsequent junior performance seemed to verify that they were reasonable bets.

    Roy passed the first pro level, the ECHL, with flying colours. Last year in the AHL was screwed up by the lack of a competent AHL defense early (due to Teubert and Plante falling off of a cliff, and rookie AHL defensemen) and the second half by the Hoivenen experiment. He is looking competent at the AHL level. Bunz looks to have fallen off of a cliff.

    As for the two Finnish late drafts, one is doing okay so far. One is a bust.

  93. kinger_OIL says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: kinger_OIL, Ok. at least I know where you are coming from. I appreciate you put a lot of stock in the various opinions and hearsay that has filtered down to you, but you’ll have to excuse me if I put as much credit in it as I do the idea that European players are “soft” or “enigmatic.”All us in our daily life have enough inter-personal interactions to understand that a wide-array of opinions are held on a variety of people at a variety of times. It’s going to take a lot more than a few scattered comments from whomever for me to come close to buying into the statement: “Eakins is widely known as an arrogant prick”

    OK – I’m just sharing another view point, not from the press…I choose to dig underneath the narrative feed to us by press. Good insight from credible people about what Krueger was all about, proved correct: I’m pretty sure the people who tell me that Eakins is an arrogant prick will be bourne out. Maybe Eakins can change, or learn (Oil fans better hope so), but when you are the coach in AHL, you can coach in a different manner, but its pretty tough to come into the NHL with no track record, lose frequently at the start, and have the players buy-in, especially when you go “old-school” and call out #1 draft picks, when in fact you haven’t coached at this level. Anyone involved in sport should recognize this dynamic. Its frustrating that we got another “learn on the job” coach, and worse that it seems everyone bought into it without reservation. Alas, we are Fans, and Fans are fanatical, not critical.

  94. Logan91 says:

    Looks like Yakupov has been put back on the left wing

  95. Bag of Pucks says:

    godot10:
    MacGregor pretty much followed the blogosphere strategy for drafting goaltenders.Draft them late.

    Maybe that’s the problem?

    Here’s a list of the top 300+ win goalies in the NHL ranked by wins. I’ve excised the Sawchuk’s and Hall’s of the world to confine this to the modern era and added the position in which these guys were drafted.

    Rank Player Team
    1 Martin Brodeur – 20th overall
    2 Patrick Roy – 51st overall
    3 Ed Belfour – Undrafted
    4 Curtis Joseph – Undrafted
    9 Grant Fuhr – 8th overall
    10 Chris Osgood – 54th overall
    11 Dominik Hasek – 199th overall
    12 Mike Vernon – 56th overall
    13 John Vanbiesbrouck – 72nd overall
    14 Andy Moog – 132nd overall
    15 Tom Barrasso – 5th overall
    17 Roberto Luongo – 4th overall
    18 Evgeni Nabokov – 219th overall
    20 Nikolai Khabibulin – 204th overall

    12 drafted
    7 drafted in the first two rounds (an 8th Beezer just outside it)
    2 undrafted

    This tells me the 2nd round is a very reasonable place to go shopping if you’re looking for an elite goaltender.

  96. Racki says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    The Oilers definitely need to start drafting a goalie or two but when we are taking like 6+years before most good goalies really start seeing nhl time, I hope you have no delusions that drafting a goalie will fix the situation here any time soon. It is an organizational weakness though for sure and should be looked at but really has little to do with today’s problems.

    MacT has also had his nose in all the free agent goaltender and trade market. Reimer, Miller, Raanta , bishop, you name it. I think we will see a new goalie before Nov.

  97. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    kinger_OIL: OK – I’m just sharing another view point, not from the press…I choose to dig underneath the narrative feed to us by press. Good insight from credible people about what Krueger was all about,proved correct: I’m pretty sure the people who tell me that Eakins is an arrogant prick will be bourne out.Maybe Eakins can change, or learn (Oil fans better hope so), but when you are the coach in AHL, you can coach in a different manner, but its pretty tough to come into the NHL with no track record, lose frequently at the start, and have the players buy-in, especially when you go “old-school” and call out #1 draft picks, when in fact you haven’t coached at this level.Anyone involved in sport should recognize this dynamic. Its frustrating that we got another “learn on the job” coach, and worse that it seems everyone bought into it without reservation.Alas, we are Fans, and Fans are fanatical, not critical.

    I’m not discounting the reads you are getting from people. I acknowledge that people out there think Eakins is a prick. That shouldn’t shock anyone.

    What I think is ridiculous is the unqualified idea that “Eakins is widely known as an arrogant prick.” This has zero support aside from your “insider” information that I can find, which I place zero trust in.

    As I mentioned, innumerable opinions are held on people at various times. I defy anyone to find someone in a position of ambition and power that isn’t thought of by some, or at some time, as a prick. That person doesn’t exist and this kind of anecdotal evidence is trivial at best.

    More to the point: this isn’t really a criticism at all. Being a prick is not sufficient to being bad at any particular job. You’ll have to show how this phantom attribute is a leading cause of the team’s failure for it to matter. Otherwise, we are chasing phantoms.

    As far as “fans” go… that kind of critique isn’t going to work around here. From his hiring (over other coaches, over RK, etc), to his systems, Yak’s benching, his captains, his choice of lines, esp. the 4th, etc. all of these decisions have been met with criticism here. And, a lot of it.

    He’s not getting a free ride. You’re being asked to support an assertion you’ve made. There’s a difference.

  98. spoiler says:

    Logan91: Looks like Yakupov has been put back on the left wing

    I believe you are referring to this:

    Jack Michaels ‏@EdmontonJack 52m

    Lines at today’s practice. Yak-RNH-Eberle, Hall-Arcobello-Perron, Smyth-Gordon-Hemsky, Gazdic-Acton-Brown/Jones.

    Of course McCurdy is already all over this, lol.

    Link: https://twitter.com/EdmontonJack/status/391269022609575936/photo/1

  99. Racki says:

    Also of note perhaps is perron to right wing

  100. spoiler says:

    Bag of Pucks: Maybe that’s the problem?

    Here’s a list of the top 300+ win goalies in the NHL ranked by wins. I’ve excised the Sawchuk’s and Hall’s of the world to confine this to the modern era and added the position in which these guys were drafted.

    Rank Player Team1 Martin Brodeur – 20th overall2 Patrick Roy – 51st overall3 Ed Belfour – Undrafted4 Curtis Joseph – Undrafted9 Grant Fuhr – 8th overall10 Chris Osgood – 54th overall11 Dominik Hasek – 199th overall12 Mike Vernon – 56th overall13 John Vanbiesbrouck – 72nd overall14 Andy Moog – 132nd overall15 Tom Barrasso – 5th overall17 Roberto Luongo – 4th overall18 Evgeni Nabokov – 219th overall20 Nikolai Khabibulin – 204th overall12 drafted7 drafted in the first two rounds (an 8th Beezer just outside it)2 undrafted

    This tells me the 2nd round is a very reasonable place to go shopping if you’re looking for an elite goaltender.

    Well that’s certainly logic worthy of Bertrand Russell. My Gord.

  101. Bag of Pucks says:

    Racki:
    Bag of Pucks,

    The Oilers definitely need to start drafting a goalie or two but when we are taking like 6+years before most good goalies really start seeing nhl time,I hope you have no delusions that drafting a goalie will fix the situation here any time soon. It is an organizational weakness though for sure and should be looked at but really has little to do with today’s problems.

    MacT has also had his nose in all the free agent goaltender and trade market. Reimer, Miller, Raanta , bishop, you name it. I think we will see a new goalie before Nov.

    From what I’ve seen, the development timeline is normally shorter with the true blue chippers. As a recent example, Carey Price was playing in the show two years after his draft year.

    Given the importance of the position, I think you target the sure thing for your starter and you use the lottery ticket approach for the rest of the prospects. The position is just too important to leave to chance.

  102. justDOit says:

    I didn’t know that it was Eakins’ job to be a nice guy. If I had to answer ridiculous questions from the media like “How about the hands on Perron…”, I know that I would make Eakins look like Mr. Fkn Rogers.

    Sather, Bowman, Arbour, Lemaire, Keenan – all those guys could have really done something as coaches if they weren’t such @ssholes.

  103. Racki says:

    Bag of Pucks: Maybe that’s the problem?

    Here’s a list of the top 300+ win goalies in the NHL ranked by wins. I’ve excised the Sawchuk’s and Hall’s of the world to confine this to the modern era and added the position in which these guys were drafted.

    RankPlayerTeam
    1Martin Brodeur – 20th overall
    2Patrick Roy – 51st overall
    3Ed Belfour – Undrafted
    4Curtis Joseph – Undrafted
    9Grant Fuhr – 8th overall
    10Chris Osgood – 54th overall
    11Dominik Hasek – 199th overall
    12Mike Vernon – 56th overall
    13John Vanbiesbrouck – 72nd overall
    14Andy Moog – 132nd overall
    15Tom Barrasso – 5th overall
    17Roberto Luongo – 4th overall
    18Evgeni Nabokov – 219th overall
    20Nikolai Khabibulin – 204th overall

    12 drafted
    7 drafted in the first two rounds (an 8th Beezer just outside it)
    2 undrafted

    This tells me the 2nd round is a very reasonable place to go shopping if you’re looking for an elite goaltender.

    It would be smarter to go back X number of years, look at who was drafted top 60 at goalie and see what kind of success there was and how long until they entered the league no? I might do this later at home.

  104. justDOit says:

    Racki,

    And if they were still with the team that drafted them when they started realizing their potential.

  105. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    justDOit:
    I didn’t know that it was Eakins’ job to be a nice guy. If I had to answer ridiculous questions from the media like “How about the hands on Perron…”, I know that I would make Eakins look like Mr. Fkn Rogers.

    Sather, Bowman, Arbour, Lemaire, Keenan – all those guys could have really done something as coaches if they weren’t such @ssholes.

    I wonder if some of those taking the “Eakins = Prick therefore bad” line also take the “Roy = Prick therefore good” line while ignoring the relevant stats like team sv%

    http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/teamstats.php?disp=1&db=201314&sit=5v5&sort=SVPCT&sortdir=DESC

    I seem to recall many attributed Carlyle’s success last year, not to the unworldly luck they were having but rather to his hard-headedness vs. Wilson.

    To me… all of these discussions are cop outs. Talking about a coach’s media presence or demeanor is a way to evade talking about anything real, just like talking about a player’s body language.

  106. commonfan14 says:

    Colonel Obvious: I strongly suspect it is also true in basketball, though I know less about that sport.

    Yup – it’s so effective in basketball that it was outlawed in the NBA for years in an effort to increase scoring.

  107. Bag of Pucks says:

    Zone defenses in the NFL are typically used out of necessity to make up for deficiencies in talent at certain positions. If a team has superior talent that can cover man-to-man, it creates favorable matchups all over the field for the D and they can utilize a more aggressive pass rush as a result.

    RE: Zone vs Man-to-Man, it’s not really a case of one over the other as much as it is it’s a case of tailoring the system to suit your personnel. Hopefully that’s what Eakins is doing with the Oil.

  108. Bag of Pucks says:

    spoiler: Well that’s certainly logic worthy of Bertrand Russell. My Gord.

    And sarcasm worthy of PeeWee Herman.

  109. Racki says:

    justDOit:
    Racki,

    And if they were still with the team that drafted them when they started realizing their potential.

    Yes, good point on that too

  110. russ99 says:

    Interesting – I always thought Hemsky would be the one of him and Yakupov to move to LW…

    Also about Eakins, too way early to tell if he’s going to be a good coach or not. Hopefully he can adjust.

    Regardless, I hope the Oilers stop the head coaching carousel.

  111. Bag of Pucks says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Some info on drafting Gs since it’s such a hot topic today:

    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2012/03/22/you-cant-draft-goalies-and-neither-can-anybody-else/

    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2012/03/25/you-cant-draft-goalies-and-neither-can-anyone-else-ii/

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1685899-when-is-the-best-time-to-pick-a-goaltender-in-the-nhl-draft

    http://www.habswatch.com/2010/12/drafting-nhl-goaltenders-how-to-catch.html#.UmGJoBbRu2w

    The opportunity cost argument for drafting goaltenders late is flawed for two reasons.

    1) Folks like Willis summarily dismiss that eight of the league’s 30 most used goalies (26.7%) were drafted in the first round because it’s not convenient to their argument. Expand it to the second round and now it’s 14 out of the top 30. Clearly identifying the blue chip goalie talent and drafting them early IS working for quite a few teams.

    2) The argument that top forwards can’t be drafted outside the 1st round so you must draft them and NOT draft goalies completely overlooks the fact that elite goaltenders are a far scarcer and thus more desirable commodity to acquire. When teams do get one, they rarely if ever let them escape to free agency whereas top forwards are traded for or bought on the FA market with regularity.

    By all means, supplement your goalie prospect pipeline with the late rounds/lottery ticket approach. But if you’re truly serious about getting an elite goaltender. Draft the blue chip ones.

  112. FastOil says:

    The time line to assess a GM is long. Poor hirings are devastating. MacT is early in and made some errors in judgement as far as I’m concerned, but has committed any big time screw ups.

    If he comes out of the goalie slump without a screw up that’s good on him.

    The job of the GM is to acquire better players. The evidence of a great GM is big deals that make the team better. We’ll see if he can move down that road and suss out the correct issues with the team. Or if he is going to big game hunt for mythical beasts such as CFP’s, power forwards and clutch goalies.

  113. spoiler says:

    Bag of Pucks: 2) The argument that top forwards can’t be drafted outside the 1st round so you must draft them and NOT draft goalies completely overlooks the fact that elite goaltenders are a far scarcer and thus more desirable commodity to acquire. When teams do get one, they rarely if ever let them escape to free agency whereas top forwards are traded for or bought on the FA market with regularity.

    Huh?

    Out of your list of “blue chip” goalies, only one has played for only one team. Most played for more than two. Apparently “blue chip” goalies are more available than you allege.

  114. spoiler says:

    Bag of Pucks: And sarcasm worthy of PeeWee Herman.

    I take it that was your “I know you are but what am I?” response.

  115. Bag of Pucks says:

    spoiler: Huh?

    Out of your list of “blue chip” goalies, only one has played for only one team.Most played for more than two. Apparently “blue chip” goalies are more available than you allege.

    Most get moved after their prime. Some get moved cos the other team is willing to pay a hefty price for them. Neither is the most desirable situation from a procurement pov.

    You are aware of the fact that MacT wants one now right, and can’t for the life of him get one without paying through the nose?

  116. Colonel Obvious says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Zone defenses in the NFL are typically used out of necessity to make up for deficiencies in talent at certain positions. If a team has superior talent that can cover man-to-man, it creates favorable matchups all over the field for the D and they can utilize a more aggressive pass rush as a result.

    RE: Zone vs Man-to-Man, it’s not really a case of one over the other as much as it is it’s a case of tailoring the system to suit your personnel.Hopefully that’s what Eakins is doing with the Oil.

    This is completely wrong. I’ve coached football in the past and my brother is a defensive coordinator in CIS football and have talked to him about this a lot in the past.

    The long and the short of it is that zone is always better to stop the pass. If you have a truly outstanding cover athlete you may want to put him one and one on one side of the field, but then you would still play zone on the other side. The best coverage are variations of matchup zone in which defenders cover patterns rather than space. Straight man to man all over the field is almost always a bad idea.

    Even in those cases where the announcers say it is man to man coverage they almost always have zone coverage over top. So Cover 2-Man is fine, zone blitzes are good, but cover 1 is asking for trouble, and playing cover 0 is bad football and should be reserved for short yardage.

    This also applies to offense. Offenses now use zone blocking schemes because they are more effective. And this has iterative effects. The zone read running play out of the pistol is so effective because it gives the offense an extra player (the QB) that the defense has to account for. If they account for the QB with a safety then they may not have the numbers they need to make zone work. But that’s evidence for the effectiveness of the zone.

  117. FastOil says:

    FastOil:
    The time line to assess a GM is long. Poor hirings are devastating. MacT is early in and made some errors in judgement as far as I’m concerned, but has committed any big time screw ups.

    If he comes out of the goalie slump without a screw up that’s good on him.

    The job of the GM is to acquire better players. The evidence of a great GM is big deals that make the team better. We’ll see if he can move down that road and suss out the correct issues with the team. Or if he is going to big game hunt for mythical beasts such as CFP’s, power forwards and clutch goalies.

    Hasn’t committed big screw ups

  118. Bag of Pucks says:

    Colonel Obvious: This is completely wrong.I’ve coached football in the past and my brother is a defensive coordinator in CIS football and have talked to him about this a lot in the past.

    The long and the short of it is that zone is always better to stop the pass.If you have a truly outstanding cover athlete you may want to put him one and one on one side of the field, but then you would still play zone on the other side.The best coverage are variations of matchup zone in which defenders cover patterns rather than space. Straight man to man all over the field is almost always a bad idea.

    Even in those cases where the announcers say it is man to man coverage they almost always have zone coverage over top. So Cover 2-Man is fine, zone blitzes are good, but cover 1 is asking for trouble, and playing cover0 is bad football and should be reserved for short yardage.

    This also applies to offense.Offenses now use zone blocking schemes because they are more effective.And this has iterative effects.The zone read running play out of the pistol is so effective because it gives the offense an extra player (the QB) that the defense has to account for.If they account for the QB with a safety then they may not have the numbers they need to make zone work.But that’s evidence for the effectiveness of the zone.

    Again, it is predicated on the personnel you have. If teams have the luxury of two true shutdown corners that can play press coverage on the outside, it gives them the ability to throw more in the box to shutdown the run. The is the huge matchup advantage that the Seahawks have at the moment.

    You’re absolutely right that most teams use a combination of man and zone packages now , but a big part of that is simply because they don’t have the dominant athletes to play man all over the field.

    I’m not saying coaches like you can’t use nor can it be used effectively. What I’m saying is man coverage can be very effective if you have the dominant athletes to execute it.

    The lack of talent to execute man in certain coverage schemes is why players like Jimmie Graham are so effective. There is no linebacker in the league that can cover him man to man, so he dictates a zone scheme that he can exploit by finding the soft gaps in that zone which they all have.

    By the way, I think you’ll find that the read option is already declining in effectiveness because D coordinators are simply attacking the QB now at the point of exchange and it’s exposing those players to too much injury potential. Suspect it will go the way of the wildcat except for those handful of teams with freakish athletes at the pivot.

  119. Bag of Pucks says:

    Colonel Obvious

    This also applies to offense.Offenses now use zone blocking schemes because they are more effective.And this has iterative effects.The zone read running play out of the pistol is so effective because it gives the offense an extra player (the QB) that the defense has to account for.If they account for the QB with a safety then they may not have the numbers they need to make zone work.But that’s evidence for the effectiveness of the zone.

    Good link here discussing which personnel is best suited for which scheme.

    http://www.ganggreennation.com/2013/2/19/4003178/ggn-chalkboard-offensive-line-play-101

    “The same players can be used in both schemes. However, bigger more physical offensive lineman are better suited for man-to-man schemes where it’s one on one. Quicker offensive lineman are more suited for the zone blocking scheme, where quickness is the bigger factor in success. In essence the smaller and quicker the lineman the better it is to run a zone scheme and the bigger and slower your lineman, it’s probably a safe bet to go to a man scheme.”

  120. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Bag of Pucks: The opportunity cost argument for drafting goaltenders late is flawed for two reasons.

    1) Folks like Willis summarily dismiss that eight of the league’s 30 most used goalies (26.7%) were drafted in the first round because it’s not convenient to their argument. Expand it to the second round and now it’s 14 out of the top 30. Clearly identifying the blue chip goalie talent and drafting them early IS working for quite a few teams.

    2) The argument that top forwards can’t be drafted outside the 1st round so you must draft them and NOT draft goalies completely overlooks the fact that elite goaltenders are a far scarcer and thus more desirable commodity to acquire. When teams do get one, they rarely if ever let them escape to free agency whereas top forwards are traded for or bought on the FA market with regularity.

    By all means, supplement your goalie prospect pipeline with the late rounds/lottery ticket approach. But if you’re truly serious about getting an elite goaltender. Draft the blue chip ones.

    ooph…

    1) since when is addressing something head on summarily dismissing it?

    You have an amazing way of re-working facts on the ground into some twisted narrative to suit your argumentative ends.

    When it comes to goalies, however, professional scouts do a terrible job of identifying talent. Sure, sometimes first round picks work out – eight of the league’s 30 most used goalies (26.7%) were drafted in the first round. Guys like Marc-Andre Fleury (1st overall), Kari Lehtonen (2nd overall), Roberto Luongo (4th overall) and Carey Price (5th overall) turned into the talents that the scouts thought they would. However, a lot of the league’s elite goalies were missed completely by the scouts.

    In fact, fully 12 of the league’s 30 most-used goalies were either drafted outside the top-100, or never drafted at all. Pekka Rinne was drafted 258th overall in 2004; if today’s 210-pick system was in place that year he wouldn’t have been drafted at all. Also drafted after that 210 mark were Tim Thomas, Jaroslav Halak, Tomas Vokoun, and Evgeni Nabokov. Henrik Lundqvist went 205th overall in 2000. Miikka Kiprusoff was a fourth-round pick; Ryan Miller a fifth. Niklas Backstrom was never drafted; neither were Jonas Hiller or Antti Niemi. That’s a ton of the league’s top goaltending talent, and all of them were either grossly underrated or missed entirely in their respective draft years.

    2) this isn’t his argument at all. His argument is that scouts are very good at identifying elite scoring talent and very poor at identifying goaltending talent.

    And, the reason is the same when it comes to forwards vs. defensemen… D and G take WAY longer to develop, rarely have a straight line of development and are prone to huge swings in performance. This empirical fact is what constrains his analysis, not some flippant contention that one must chase forwards early because they will be gone… this misunderstands the causal chain.

    The reason forwards are gone early is because scouts have a higher confidence in their future. You’ve got it all backward.

    Finally… the idea of a 17 year old goalie being a “blue chip” prospect is a complete red herring. At 17 only an exceptionally small number of goalies can even remotely be considered blue chip and even in those cases, these players have far less chance of success than a forward with a successful scoring card.

    You are way off base to suggest, if only we drafted a “blue chip g” we’d be in the pink. This is pure silver bullet thinking.

  121. Bag of Pucks says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: ooph…

    You have an amazing way of re-working facts on the ground into some twisted narrative to suit your argumentative ends.

    Read your own bloody links.

    http://www.habswatch.com/2010/12/drafting-nhl-goaltenders-how-to-catch.html#.UmGzNvmsh8F

    To wit:

    “Given that teams now typically draft less than one goalie per year and that the odds of selecting a quality netminder after the 3rd round has fallen to just 12.2% it’s easy to understand why so many teams go several years, sometimes even a decade or longer before finding a quality goaltender. It also shows that the majority of teams still waiting until rounds 4, 5 and 6 need to re-think their draft strategy.

    When should NHL teams target a goalie?

    There’s no question it’s risky to spend a 1st round pick on a goalie. Using stats from my study of the NHL draft this past summer, the average success rate of a 1st round pick, regardless of position is 65% vs. 37% for goalies drafted in the decade before the lockout. Unless a team has a major organizational need or it’s a relatively weak draft year for skaters, drafting goaltenders in the 1st round is a risky endeavour, even more so with a lottery pick.

    The sweet spot now appears to be the 2nd round. The success rate for skaters drafted in the 2nd round drops to 27% vs. 25.9% for goalies drafted between 1995-2004. Given that teams typically select just one netminder, the 2nd round appears to be the best spot where the risk is comparable to all other positions.”

    I suppose this guy is guilty of twisting the facts on the ground to suit his argument as well? If so, why did you share the link?

  122. Colonel Obvious says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    But if you have dominant athletes at every position it hardly matters what scheme you are running, and at high levels of competition no team has a monopoly on dominant athletes.

    So even if you are able to cancel out someone with man to man coverage for it to work you need cancelling out to happen all over the field, which multiplies the number of places it can be attacked. So I maintain that zone is better than man even if you have dominant athletes.

  123. Bag of Pucks says:

    Colonel Obvious:
    Bag of Pucks,

    But if you have dominant athletes at every position it hardly matters what scheme you are running, and at high levels of competition no team has a monopoly on dominant athletes.

    Yes, this is why most teams run some variation of a zone scheme. Not because man is not effective with the right athletes.

    Colonel Obvious:
    Bag of Pucks,

    So even if you are able to cancel out someone with man to man coverage for it to work you need cancelling out to happen all over the field, which multiplies the number of places it can be attacked.So I maintain that zone is better than man even if you have dominant athletes.

    I’m sorry, this statement makes no sense to me. Most be something lost in the translation.

    One scenario to consider. If you can put Richard Sherman on man coverage against Calvin Johnson all over the field and completely take Megatron out of the Lion’s gameplan, surely you’d agree that’s better than having Sherman play zone where his physical gifts are not fully exploited?

    Or to put it another way, there’s a reason they called it ‘Revis Island’ and it’s not the name of the zone he was occupying. : )

  124. Colonel Obvious says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    What I mean is that even if you cancel out Johnson on one side of the field with single coverage the best thing to do is to use the extra man on the other side of the field with a matchup zone. This is one of the main differences between offense and defense. On offense you only have to win the battle in one place, while on defense you have to win the battle all over the place. Putting your best guy on an island isn’t necessarily the best thing to do because the offense has no obligation to go to that spot. Offenses dictate, defense react, hence the best defense is one with the fewest weaknesses. There is no gain in being strong in one spot if you are correspondingly weak in another.

    The name of the game (for all of these sports) is to create 2-1 situations. Zone creates more 2-1 situations for the defense than man-to-man, which is why it is so much more effective. It is also much harder for the offense to move defenders around to create space. Even a strict man-to-man requires defenders to be able to switch which is the first step in the movement towards playing zone.

  125. LMHF#1 says:

    I’m struggling with why this drafting discussion is taking place. BPA. Period.

  126. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Bag of Pucks: Read your own bloody links.

    http://www.habswatch.com/2010/12/drafting-nhl-goaltenders-how-to-catch.html#.UmGzNvmsh8F

    To wit:

    “Given that teams now typically draft less than one goalie per year and that the odds of selecting a quality netminder after the 3rd round has fallen to just 12.2% it’s easy to understand why so many teams go several years, sometimes even a decade or longer before finding a quality goaltender. It also shows that the majority of teams still waiting until rounds 4, 5 and 6 need to re-think their draft strategy.

    When should NHL teams target a goalie?

    There’s no question it’s risky to spend a 1st round pick on a goalie. Using stats from my study of the NHL draft this past summer, the average success rate of a 1st round pick, regardless of position is 65% vs. 37% for goalies drafted in the decade before the lockout. Unless a team has a major organizational need or it’s a relatively weak draft year for skaters, drafting goaltenders in the 1st round is a risky endeavour, even more so with a lottery pick.

    The sweet spot now appears to be the 2nd round. The success rate for skaters drafted in the 2nd round drops to 27% vs. 25.9% for goalies drafted between 1995-2004. Given that teams typically select just one netminder, the 2nd round appears to be the best spot where the risk is comparable to all other positions.”

    I suppose this guy is guilty of twisting the facts on the ground to suit his argument as well? If so, why did you share the link?

    Here’s what I wrote: “Some info on drafting Gs since it’s such a hot topic”

    i.e., here’s a bunch of people discussing the topic at hand, so we can all refer to them as we go along. Why on earth would you presume they would all agree, I wouldn’t have read them, or that I would only post links that agree with one another?

    That’s an absurd position to take.

    Two people can each look at a set of data on the same topic (they may use different data and argue about what constitutes a variable or a relevant limiting factor, i.e., how many games = success) and come to quite different conclusions and argue in good-faith about it without either one “summarily dismissing” the evidence.

    First, you should note that Habwatch actually agrees with Willis and others that the 1st round is a risky proposition. The supplement Willis and others add to Habwatch’s 2nd round idea, is the availability of alternatives (europe, undrafted, college, free agent market) and setting a higher threshold for NHL success.

  127. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    FastOil,

    I think your point is valid. I would add the mark of a *good* GM (not necessarily great) is that you are relentlessly pursuing talent upgrades in whatever vein can be mined (trade, collage, UFA’s, drafting). You are virtually unhappy about the state of your roster AT ALL TIMES. It can always be better and you are in perpetual motion. A derivative of that is that you will trade asset for asset, need for need. So, I’m not as worried about timing (‘it’s too early in the year’) or player (‘your crazy to give up a #1′) depending on what the deal is and how it fits to upgrade the team. Potential for bone head deals is high for sure (see:Milbury), but you can’t be great if you aren’t tenacious as hell in my opinion.

    If your GM is constantly grinding and pursuing, deals manifest themselves. I think MacT has these qualities, but he is a newbie and his calls are still a little of ‘get to know you’. He gets stink offers to test him and try and play on potential desperation and inexperience. Means he needs to make more calls and listen to a lot of garbage before he pulls a pony out of the turd pile.

    Lastly, if you are perpetual, you can’t be afraid. You’ll lose on some deals, you’ll win on a lot as well. Jury is out on MacT, but I believe him to be experienced, competent and patient for the right type of deal. Tambellini didn’t seem to possess any of the above attributes. Much too passive and afraid of the down side. It froze the organization and MacT is digging out. We’ll see if he navigates the right path.

  128. G Money says:

    LMHF#1:
    I’m struggling with why this drafting discussion is taking place. BPA. Period.

    Well, what if you’re picking #1 and the BPA is a goalie so you pick him? The historical data suggests you’ve just sewered your pick, that’s what.

    The reason for the discussion is that the development timelines and predictability of players DO NOT indicate BPA as the best strategy. They actually indicate something more like this:

    Pick #1 to #5 overall – BFA (best forward available)

    Picks #6 to #30 – BFDA (best forward or defenseman available)

    Picks #30 onward – BPA

    But by my interpretation of the discussion/debate/insultfest, there is some debate as to whether “30″ should be “60″ or “90″ or even “a goalie is never BPA”.

  129. Gi JQE says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    In addition to this. I have a buddy who played for Babcock in the ahl years back. Said he hated him and he was the biggest prick ever…. Guess where my buddy plays hockey now? Rec league. All perspective. And one guys opinion does not mean it is fact. Eakins may be a prick to some. Or in some people’s perspective. But he could be a great coach too?

  130. Lowetide says:

    I don’t care if Eakins is a prick. Honestly.

  131. LMHF#1 says:

    G Money: Well, what if you’re picking #1 and the BPA is a goalie so you pick him? The historical data suggests you’ve just sewered your pick, that’s what.

    The reason for the discussion is that the development timelines and predictability of players DO NOT indicate BPA as the best strategy. They actually indicate something more like this:

    Pick #1 to #5 overall – BFA (best forward available)

    Picks #6 to #30 – BFDA (best forward or defenseman available)

    Picks #30 onward – BPA

    But by my interpretation of the discussion/debate/insultfest, there is some debate as to whether “30″ should be “60″ or “90″ or even “a goalie is never BPA”.

    Please explain how if I pick a goalie that is truly BPA at #1 how I’ve failed in drafting.

  132. edoil1 says:

    hunter1909,

    Hi new to this page ,did not want to start with negative stuff but someone had pointed out on another forum that it is time for KLowe to move himself to “emperor” of hockey operations move everyone else up and stay the course ,joking of course…ha..in reality the only constant’s on this escapade are Lowe,Bucky,S.Smith,McT came in later .Besides the stuff that get’s rehashed on here and many other sites,i find,maybe because of their age and inexperience many of these players are pushed into roll’s they are unprepared for at this level due to age and experience and I blame management trying to protect their backside,it seem’s to be a reocurring theme.

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