OILERS AT CAPITALS G6, 13-14

It appears the Edmonton Oilers will go with Jason LaBarbera in net tonight, and I believe it is the right call. LaBarbera has rarely been an NHL starting goaltender but does have some nice numbers and could certainly be counted on in the short term. We hope Devan Dubnyk can regain his form and return to the #1 job. I’ll update the lineup later, and of course Dubnyk could end up playing (I can’t find absolute confirmation on LaBarbera). Azorcan3

As big as the goaltending problem may appear to be, Craig MacTavish and Dallas Eakins may have a bigger problem on the horizon. One never knows if this sort of thing comes from a frustrated Dad or is real, but this won’t look good and may not end well:

yak controversy1yak controversy2

Eronko works for sports.ru and is certainly a credible source. Previous to this item, Yakupov has been a model citizen and I would suggest that there’s every chance that this will be blown wildly out of proportion. Still, it’s out there and it is absolutely a concern. Joanne Ireland wrote this piece about it from Yakupov’s pov. Shortly after publishing this post, I found this from Ian McLaren at the Score.

Update 8:52. About 2 hours after posting this, a Craig Custance tweet quoting agent Igor Larionov:

custance

So, that has to be viewed in a very positive way. The story out of Russia came from the Dad (based on earlier tweet), we heard yesterday from the frustrated player and now today the agent chimes in.

MORE UPDATES

  • “My goal is to play in the NHL. I have not had any conversations (with Neftekhimik). I love it here” – Nail Yakupov
  • “I was shocked to hear (the KHL rumors). First thought was, “Is dad trying to do something?”. But no, he’d never go behind my back”- Yakupov
  • Yakupov’s dad Rail (yes, Rail) Yakupov to Sport-Express: “We never thought about Nail’s coming back. Don’t believe internet rumors”

So, that’s an important side of the story told (this is all from Slava Malamud (also from Sport Express Russia). We’ve heard from player, agent and parent. We now await the Neftekhimik head coach.

jolyThe Washington Capitals had their own problems with #1 overal picks, with Greg Joly (1974, in photo, 365 NHL games) and Rick Green (1976, 845 games) preceeding Alexander Ovechkin (2004) who has certainly covered the bet. Washington is a funny team at the draft, they make enormous errors but have done some nice things too. They are certainly risk takers.

DallasEakinsWhiteboardSpedUpThis is clearly sped up (and funny) but it appears to me that the Oiler players are still having trouble with the “swarm” as designed by Dallas Eakins. The play he’s designing here appears to be the Hemsky play where he was behind the net and attempted to get the puck out at the end of regulation against Toronto (didn’t work). I remember seeing Ryan Getzlaf do that years and years ago, wish it had worked Saturday.

nuge gets knocked downWell this pissed me off even more than watching it live! How in hell was this missed? Holy hell, zebra’s, there’s a goalie at the other end with his career in jeopardy and one of the reasons is this non-call? Brutal. BRUTAL!

BOXCARS

  1. Taylor Hall 5, 1-4-5
  2. Mark Arcobello 5, 0-5-5 (rookie)
  3. Ryan Smyth 4, 3-1-4
  4. Boyd Gordon 5, 3-1-4
  5. David Perron 5, 1-3-4
  6. Jordan Eberle 5, 1-3-4
  7. Ales Hemsky 5, 1-3-4
  8. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 3, 2-1-3
  9. Justin Schultz 5, 0-3-3
  10. Jesse Joensuu 3, 1-0-1

Don’t look now, there’s a lot of guys enjoying very fast starts offensively. If the goaltending gets straightened out, this team is going to soar. More to come, I’ll have lineups when they are published.

PROJECTED LINEUPS

This is from Jon at ON, but seems right. With the knowledge that Yakupov is sitting, we’ll go with:

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

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523 Responses to "OILERS AT CAPITALS G6, 13-14"

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  1. Fixall with Rexall says:

    Uhoh…time to start showcasing him. Im not too worried yet.

  2. Lowetide says:

    Fixall with Rexall:
    Uhoh…time to start showcasing him. Im not too worried yet.

    Agreed. We’ve seen enough NA Dads say things that looked bad, and Yakupov has been nothing but a team guy since arriving here. Still, it’s a news story and we have to acknowledge it.

  3. Woodguy says:

    Cue the “fire Eakins” posts because a rookie is scratched and his Dad is pouting.

    Not the first time a hockey Dad thinks that his son is too good to play a team game.

    Hopefully Yak gets on track and all of this settles down.

    Hell of a talent, but if there is a refusal to play a team game, the chance of this ending badly increases.

    Much, much better players than Nail can’t do it on their own in the NHL.

    The quicker he learns that, the better.

    I hope Larionov (his agent) explains this to him.

    Apparently Larionov and MacT were sitting together during practice yesterday, I can imagine this dominated the conversation.

    NHL and KHL are respecting each other’s contracts, so the earliest he could bolt is the summer of 2015.

    That’s an eternity from now, especially to a 20 years old. He’ll figure it out.

    Also,

    The only team in the NHL that gives up more 1st period goals than the Caps is the Oilers.

    If you have some money in your mattress pull it out and put it on the over (over 5.5 currently -120 at bet 365)

    Go Oilers!

    *clap,clap*

  4. Lowetide says:

    Well put, WG. I’m hoping Oiler fans won’t panic. If you called my house the day CKGY moved me from the 3-7 drive shift to weekends and evenings in 1981 my Dad would have killed my career. :-) Dads. God love ‘em.

  5. Calamus says:

    Just judging from his interviews and demeanor with the media, I’m guessing this is at worst posturing from a frustrated father.

    The guy has been a model citizen.

    I just hope he turns his game around. Lots of big circles without the puck and a lot of “me against the world” with the puck.

  6. Woodguy says:

    WAS doesn’t dress a face puncher every game.

    Their 4th line this year has been: Wilson-Beagle-Erat(!) or Wilson-Latta-Erat

    Latta is the only face puncher on WAS and so far Beagle has played 3 games and Latta has played 2.

    If Eakins wants to ease Yak into the line up then scratching Brown would be a good start.

    Dressing both Gazdic and Brown over Yak in a game against WAS would be just obstinate in my opinion.

    Hope it doesn’t happen.

  7. Woodguy says:

    Oilers are also at +145 at 365 to win the game.

    I don’t think they should be a favorite, but that’s a huge premium against an EC team that has only won one game.

  8. delooper says:

    Meh. Yakupov says what he’s thinking at the time. This is the media trying to spin-up some drama, it’s not news.

  9. Lowetide says:

    delooper:
    Meh.Yakupov says what he’s thinking at the time.This is the media trying to spin-up some drama, it’s not news.

    The portion that came from Russia is in fact news. We may discount it, and I do believe it’s a moment when a Dad was being a Dad, but it is most certainly news.

  10. jb says:

    Time to panic. Nail’s bailing, and everythings failing.

    Says no-one sane.

  11. Rosco says:

    Oh here we go, I was actually waiting to see just how long it would take for an article or two like this to surface. He’s a passionate kid with probably some real passionate parents, and it’s not shocking to see the first angle the MSM take is the ‘ol “He’s going back to Russia” one.

    The medias’ whole schtick is to create shock value, this just seems to be another transparent way of doing so. I really don’t think he’s going anywhere.

  12. delooper says:

    Lowetide: The portion that came from Russia is in fact news. We may discount it, and I do believe it’s a moment when a Dad was being a Dad, but it is most certainly news.

    I certainly discount it. Yakupov’s personality feels pretty familiar to me and this news-story just comes across as a bad reading of it. Well, a poor reading of a few misleading surrounding facts.

  13. sliderule says:

    The word from the oiler scout before the draft was that Yaks dad was going to be a big problem.

    Having his agent at the leafs pre skate talking to MacT says volumes.

    If he digs in his heels and won’t play the way the coach wants him to then back to Russia is ok with me.

    We would still have his rights and unless he smartens up he won’t be any use other than trade bait which has been diminished by his dads comment.

  14. Woodguy says:

    Back to Brown for a second.

    I see zero value for him.

    Gazdic has basically taken his job.

    It seems that the coach’s plan is to play the 4th line 5min/gm and lean heavily on his top 3 line (top 2 in particular)

    Even with this strategy, I fail to see what having both Brown and Gazdic does for this team other than guarantee that the 4th line gets buried in shot attempts.

    When Gagner gets healthy, a forward needs to go.

    If that’s not Brown I’ll be pretty pissed.

  15. Lowetide says:

    WG brings up an interesting point. For me, Joensuu was the guy to scratch Saturday, he wasn’t good at all. Tonight, the Oilers could easily break up the 4lne and place Joensuu alongside Gazdic and Acton.

    However, the IDEA of benching Yakupov as I understand it was to get him to re-set, take pressure off and then proceed anew. I’m not sure Yakupov’s words suggest he’s gotten beyond being pissed off. I’m not a hockey coach, but as a parent I think it’s important for the young person to know why this has happened, and to reflect on expecatations upon return.

    I don’t see that in the Ireland piece.

  16. jb says:

    Lowetide: The portion that came from Russia is in fact news. We may discount it, and I do believe it’s a moment when a Dad was being a Dad, but it is most certainly news.

    These comments are reffering to thoughts from the summer. Nothing said then is relevant to Yak’s slow start.

    It’s like just now revealing the Neftekhimik coach secretly wanted Yak to stay.

    What problems was Nails dad even referring to in the summer?

  17. Calamus says:

    jb:
    Time to panic. Nail’s bailing, and everythings failing.

    Says no-one sane.

    I also feel like it’s not going to amount to anything….

    But I’m scared to outright write it off as nothing, lest I provoke the gods into making it come to fruition.

    The part that makes me feel better about it is that his family is here. Moving back to Russia would actually involve uprooting his family. With the school year in full swing and whatever else they’ve got on the go, it may actually be a difficult transition.

    Also, he kissed the logo pretty damned hard. (ha)

  18. Lowetide says:

    jb: These comments are reffering to thoughts from the summer. Nothing said then is relevant to Yak’s slow start.

    It’s like just now revealing the Neftekhimik coach secretly wanted Yak to stay.

    What problems was Nails dad even referring to in the summer?

    Well, we don’t know what Dad was talking about re:summer, but do know that Eakins was contacting all of the players and talking to them. there may have been something out of that. Remember, Yakupov came to this organization with a GM and coach who are no longer here.

  19. Woodguy says:

    Calamus: I also feel like it’s not going to amount to anything….

    But I’m scared to outright write it off as nothing, lest I provoke the gods into making it come to fruition.

    The part that makes me feel better about it is that his family is here. Moving back to Russia would actually involve uprooting his family. With the school year in full swing and whatever else they’ve got on the go, it may actually be a difficult transition.

    Also, he kissed the logo pretty damned hard. (ha)

    The KHL and NHL respect each others contracts now.

    Yakupov is under contract until July 1st 2015.

    He can’t do anything until then.

  20. Woodguy says:

    With Smytty scoring 3 goals in the last 2 games, Eakins is liking him where he is.

    He also seems to like Hemsky up with the gifted kids.

    That in mind I’d do this for today’s game:

    4-93-83
    94-26-14
    57-27-64
    6-41-20

    Eakins has no problem moving guys around if one is going better than another.

  21. godot10 says:

    Woodguy:
    Cue the “fire Eakins” posts because a rookie is scratched and his Dad is pouting.

    When one writes the posts “pre facto”, one doesn’t have to write them “post facto”.

  22. godot10 says:

    4 scoring lines, folks, when Gagner gets back.

    Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, Hemsky
    Joensuu, Gordon, Perron
    Smyth, Arcobello, Eberle
    Gadzic, Gagner, Yakupov

  23. bookje says:

    I suspect Yak liked Ralph’s style more than Dallas’.

    Some player/coach combos work and others don’t (see Penner, Dustin). I hope this one works. A few rough days is not a concern and may be good for the player, but if things don’t work out in the long run..,

    I hope Yak plays tonight.

  24. Clarkenstein says:

    Change his diaper, give him a nice warm bottle and a hug. Eventually they all grow up.

  25. bookje says:

    Does anyone else remember MacT and Hemsky butting heads in a similar way. I remember Hemsky being upset about being “made into a checker”

  26. godot10 says:

    bookje:
    I suspect Yak liked Ralph’s style more than Dallas’.

    More that Krueger understands the cross-cultural differences, and how one has to compensate. He also seemed to be the only NHL coach able to get inside Paajarvi’s head also (although Todd Nelson did a lot of great work with Paajarvi).

  27. HBomb says:

    The Oilers are utilizing five contract spots (and salary) on the following players:

    Gazdic, MacIntyre, Brown, Eager, Jones (note – Ryan Jones is different type of player, but a misguided re-signing nonetheless)

    Realistically, they should have ONE of these guys on the 50 man (right now, given the choice, I’d choose Gazdic). What is happening at the moment is a wasteful obsession with non-functional toughness, that can only be coming from one place in management (Ol’ Six Rings).

    When Gagner gets healthy, I’m hoping we see the following:

    Hall-RNH-Eberle
    Perron-Gordon-Hemsky
    Joensuu-Gagner-Yakupov (note: 2nd and 3rd lines interchangeable by definition, I’m listing them in order of difficulty of minutes/matchups/zone-starts)
    Smyth-Arcobello-(12th Forward)

    12th forward – Acton/Hamilton/Gazdic rotating through for now, but a place for a possible depth addition if the team is close to the playoff cut-line come trade deadline)

    Fully healthy, this forward group CAN be just fine, if the coaching staff and management choose for it to be and stop this “dress a 4th line that can’t actually play hockey” stuff.

  28. delooper says:

    bookje:
    Does anyone else remember MacT and Hemsky butting heads in a similar way.I remember Hemsky being upset about being “made into a checker”

    And now Hemsky is simply an indisputable wall-of-awesome.

  29. Lowetide says:

    bookje:
    Does anyone else remember MacT and Hemsky butting heads in a similar way.I remember Hemsky being upset about being “made into a checker”

    Ha! I well remember a Tim Spelicey interview on ITV with a rookie Paul Coffey. He said something like “I finally figured out I’m a defensive defenseman. Glen and I talked and I’m best suited to staying back and passing the puck up.”

    Spelicey took a second to ask the next question. Yak is 20, and honestly I’m not sure that it was wise to HS him–he was trying too hard by my eye but wasn’t costing goals–but that’s the coach’s job.

    Eakins may not make it as a head coach, but he’s certainly not backing down from challenges. IS there a right and wrong side to this argument? Or is it a matter of asking a 20-year old to adjust because the NHL is such a tough damn league?

  30. Henry says:

    Rosco:
    Oh here we go, I was actually waiting to see just how long it would take for an article or two like this to surface. He’s a passionate kid with probably some real passionate parents, and it’s not shocking to see the first angle the MSM take is the ‘ol “He’s going back to Russia” one.

    The medias’ whole schtick is to create shock value, this just seems to be another transparent way of doing so. I really don’t think he’s going anywhere.

    This looks like a setup to me. Ask a leading question to a 20 year old in his second language. Get part of a money quote and run a story.

    The key bit of smelly journalism is the headline of ‘coaches rules’. Seems like a comment from a petulant euro until the bottom of the article when one observes that it was Eakins’ quote.

    Now its republished by the Gazette and Buchigross at ESPN is tweeting about it like it is coming from Montreal.

    A narrative is building. Time for MacT to quash it.

  31. RMGS says:

    Lowetide: However, the IDEA of benching Yakupov as I understand it was to get him to re-set, take pressure off and then proceed anew. I’m not sure Yakupov’s words suggest he’s gotten beyond being pissed off. I’m not a hockey coach, but as a parent I think it’s important for the young person to know why this has happened, and to reflect on expecatations upon return.

    I don’t see that in the Ireland piece.

    If you look at if from the 20-year old sophmore’s perspective, his frustration is understandable: he came to the organization arguably with less hoopla than the other #1s (indeed, with more innuendo about his selection), he had to work against an unfair media bias from day one, he led the league in rookie scoring but was snubbed, the coach he loved was fired, he led his team in goals the previous season only to find himself on the third line with players below his offensive skill level, and now he’s scratched a game (or two). I get that the 20-year old and his dad and maybe all of Nizhnekamsk are upset.

    But, from what we can read and hear, Coach Eakins is handling this fine. He’s had nothing but good things to say about the kid, and his attempts to try to teach Yak to play better without the puck are genuine and necessary.

    My only concern is that the MSM already ‘out to get the Russian’ will jump all over these tweets and comments and make a mountain out of a mole hill.

  32. russ99 says:

    bookje,

    Don’t forget Hall vs. Renney.

    I wonder what Taylor thinks of all this…

    OK, I get it – we’re only 5 games in and the coach needs to keep on message or the message is going to be ignored.

    But at some point he’s going to need to adjust his techniques for the strengths and weaknesses of his players, which ironically was what that whole “get to know the players and what makes them tick” Eakins soundbyte before training camp was supposed to be about…

  33. bookje says:

    Lowetide,

    Glen Sather wrecked Paul Coffey!

  34. G Money says:

    Hmm … so we have a second year player who is clearly struggling – a bit lost in the defensive zone, and holding the stick too tight and trying to do too much in the offensive zone.

    Clearly the offensive results are not there (0 points in 4 games).

    I don’t agree with LT – I think some of Yak’s giveaways and non-coverages *have* at times hurt the team, albeit not often.

    Sitting him for a game is not a bad idea. The Oilers need to get him going, he’s a big part of the future.

    So a number of thoughts arise:

    - If he truly does threaten to go back to Russia after being HS’d for a game after struggling for four, this reveals a lot (bad) about his character, does it not?

    - I don’t believe it to be true, it’s not consistent with what we’ve seen from Yak’s character so far. It’s also inconsistent with the feelings Yak has expressed previously, especially the desire to be his best in the best league in the world

    - On the other hand, I bet he’s never been HS’d before. “Where there’s smoke there’s fire”?

    - What if he is undergoing the dreaded sophomore slump? If he struggles most of the season and Eakins takes a hard tack, how will Yak react to a regular HS? And is being benched the best way to play out of a sophomore slump?

  35. Lowetide says:

    RMGS: If you look at if from the 20-year old sophmore’s perspective, his frustration is understandable: he came to the organization arguably with less hoopla than the other #1s (indeed, with more innuendo about his selection), he had to work against an unfair media bias from day one, he led the league in rookie scoring but was snubbed, the coach he loved was fired, he led his team in goals the previous season only to find himself on the third line with players below his offensive skill level, and now he’s scratched a game (or two).I get that the 20-year old and his dad and maybe all of Nizhnekamsk are upset.

    But, from what we can read and hear, Coach Eakins is handling this fine.He’s had nothing but good things to say about the kid, and his attempts to try to teach Yak to play better without the puck are genuine and necessary.

    My only concern is that the MSM already ‘out to get the Russian’ will jump all over these tweets and comments and make a mountain out of a mole hill.

    One thing I believe we do as fans is focus on one thing while not recognizing all of the other things around it. A buddy of mine saw Eakins light into Hall on the bench the other night when Hall made another cross ice suicide pass. IT was VERY noticeable to my friend and it happened as soon as Hall got back to the bench.

    It’s a new day, there’s a new coach and noses are out of place. DOES ANYONE HERE WANT TO RETURN TO 2007-2013?

    ANYONE?

  36. delooper says:

    G Money:
    Hmm … so we have a second year player who is clearly struggling – a bit lost in the defensive zone, and holding the stick too tight and trying to do too much in the offensive zone.

    “Struggling” is a bit of a stretch. This is a very young and very talented hockey player getting used to broader expectations from a new coach. Nothing more.

  37. Woodguy says:

    Bob Stauffer ‏@Bob_Stauffer 11m
    @EdmontonOilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins had a brief convo with Yakupov and then YAK’s step picked up….lol..my guess is that he is in!

    Everyone calm down.

  38. Woodguy says:


    Craig Custance
    ‏@CraigCustance
    Spoke with Igor Larionov about Nail Yakupov KHL rumors: “Not even a single thought to go to the KHL at this moment. Not even a single one.”

    Everyone calm down.

  39. Lowetide says:

    Story updated. The Custance item along with Stauffer’s tweet are very good indicators.

  40. Woodguy says:

    godot10: When one writes the posts “pre facto”, one doesn’t have to write them “post facto”.

    So my plan worked!

  41. G Money says:

    delooper: “Struggling” is a bit of a stretch.This is a very young and very talented hockey player getting used to broader expectations from a new coach.Nothing more.

    I stand by my description. He is struggling, and struggling quite badly. That description has nothing to do with youth or talent or desire (of which he obviously is the first and has enormous amounts of both of the latter).

    He looks lost in the defensive zone, as he did for half the season last year (and had a wretched plus minus to go with it) before it finally started to click. I expect it will click for him soon enough, but at the moment it clearly hasn’t.

    In the o zone, he’s also struggling. Apart from the two big shots late in the Mtl game, his forays in the offensive zone have been unsuccessful (so: zero points), usually as a result of trying to do much and by himself.

    Hopefully watching from the PB for a game gave him some new insight and we see Yak Attack back in full flight again.

    Whatever the rationale (“broader expectations from a new coach”), to say he hasn’t been struggling seems a sugarcoating of the issue.

  42. Woodguy says:

    Good post from Craig1981 over at ON:

    Steve Yzerman and Scotty Bowman got so heated over Yzerman’s defense the Red Wings almost traded him after he had been producing 100+ seasons. Years latter Yzerman is thankful for Bowman changing his game. If Yzerman dealt with it, so can Yak…..and he will be better for it

  43. Woodguy says:

    bookje:
    Lowetide,

    Glen Sather wrecked Paul Coffey!

    Remember that prospect named Messier and Sather had the gall to ship him to the minors when he was out of line (mostly off the ice)

    I wonder what ever happened to that kid?

    Wonder if he would have made it if Sather wasn’t his coach/GM?

  44. Woodguy says:

    sliderule,

    Having his agent at the leafs pre skate talking to MacT says volumes.

    No it doesn’t.

    Do you know how often GMs deal with player agents outside of contract negotiations?

    Almost every damn day according to some GMs.

    Nothing to see there either.

  45. G Money says:

    Woodguy: Remember that prospect named Messier and Sather had the gall to ship him to the minors when he was out of line (mostly off the ice)

    I hope Eakins wrecks Hall, RNH, Eberle, Yak, Gagner, and JSchultz the same way Sather wrecked Gretzky, Messier, Coffey, Kurri, etc.

  46. Woodguy says:

    HBomb,

    wasteful obsession with non-functional toughness, that can only be coming from one place in management (Ol’ Six Rings).

    MacT is on record saying “a cardboard cut out of Dave Brown on the bench was worth $100K/yr”

    I too am dismayed at how many of this type the Oilers have on the roster.

    Rookie GM. He’ll clean up his mess next summer.

  47. Manitoba Oilers says:

    Well yak isn’t playing

  48. Woodguy says:

    Bohologo: I am going to the game tonight, so I will not be calm, thankyouverymuch.

    I will be cheering for Yakupov in my amusing, thickly accented Russian, so if he scores five you can thank me in any language.

    (Whipping myself into a frenzy.)

    Wear your jersey and wave!

    I’ll wave back from my living room.

    Go Oilers!

  49. Woodguy says:

    Manitoba Oilers:
    Well yak isn’t playing

    Well shit.

  50. eidy says:

    For lines I would like to see today
    Nuge-hall-yak. Give the number ones a chance
    Arco-smyth-ebs. After last game this is a line again today
    Gordon-Perron-hemsky. Three complete players to battle the toughs and skill to boot
    Acton-gazdic-joensuu. Uncle Yessy can get some extra minutes moving up the line up for someone not pulling their weight

    Defence
    Smid-petry
    Belov- Schultz
    Ferrence-Larsen

    Labarbara

  51. Woodguy says:

    Ok, playing two punchers against a non-punching WAS team is just stupid.

    I’m an Eakins fan, but he’s wrong here.

  52. delooper says:

    Woodguy: Well shit.

    Management realized Oilers fans were relaxing too much and needed something to obsess over. This is good for your long-term development, Woodguy!

  53. Manitoba Oilers says:

    Eakins might be the worst coach yet

  54. Lowetide says:

    Bohologo: I am going to the game tonight, so I will not be calm, thankyouverymuch.

    I will be cheering for Yakupov in my amusing, thickly accented Russian, so if he scores five you can thank me in any language.

    (Whipping myself into a frenzy.)

    LATHER UP! Very jealous.

  55. Lowetide says:

    Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers 9m

    Yakupov will not play tonight. “I really liked our group of forwards last game. We’ll stick with the same group.” @dallaseakins

  56. jake70 says:

    He has to navigate these situations carefully in today’s connected world, but to shape a team to win a cup, which is the goal, the tail cannot be wagging the dog. I think Eberle, had he not done anything in Toronto, would be sitting tonight.

  57. Lowetide says:

    Bohologo: Мы хотели лучшее, но получилось как всегда.

    (We hoped for the best but it turned out like always.)

    I guess I’ll be yelling at Belov in bad Russian….

    That’s the best phrase ever. It really is. God, the Russians must be a fun bunch.

  58. bookje says:

    Woodguy:
    Ok, playing two punchers against a non-punching WAS team is just stupid.

    I’m an Eakins fan, but he’s wrong here.

    Sitting Yak is a bold move!

  59. Zipdot says:

    godot10: More that Krueger understands the cross-cultural differences, and how one has to compensate. He also seemed to be the only NHL coach able to get inside Paajarvi’s head also (although Todd Nelson did a lot of great work with Paajarvi).

    Paajarvi’s best season to date was under Renney in 2010-2011…

    Anyway, how can you say/imply that Eakins is some kind of failure at recognizing cultural impacts to player coaching? Eakins has coached players from all over the place in his coaching career.

  60. Bos8 says:

    They got it all from the Ukes.
    Cossack guard, “I caught a Tartar”!
    “Well, bring him in.”
    “Can’t, he won’t let me.”

  61. nycoil says:

    Brutal. And what if the Oilers win against a struggling Caps team tonight, Yak still isn’t going to draw back in because Eakins likes having some face punchers and pluggers in over skill? Where’s MacT’s summer “skills” narrative now. Unbelievable. The next step is going to be these guys trading a first overall pick for pennies on the dollar before he’s had even 82 games to show his stuff. Hall and Eberle weren’t exactly forechecking demons in their rookie years, either (RNH was an exception).

  62. bookje says:

    Remember Terry Jones on Eakins – “he better win”. If the Oilers lose these two, I expect the press may turn on him. Donutgate may prove costly for the young coach!

  63. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide: That’s the best phrase ever. It really is. God, the Russians must be a fun bunch.

    Makes you wonder if “Chicken Soup for the Soul” in Russian reads like Chekhov.

    Two games with Yakupov sitting out. *sigh* I like accountability, and give Eakins full credit for straightening out Nazem Kadri, but this seems a bit heavy-handed for someone who was just “out of sorts”.

  64. TheOtherJohn says:

    Lowetide:
    Well put, WG. I’m hoping Oiler fans won’t panic. If you called my house the day CKGY moved me from the 3-7 drive shift to weekends and evenings in 1981 my Dad would have killed my career. Dads. God love ‘em.

    Pretty sure your move to weekends & evening was not a demotion: management was just trying to expose you to a different group of listeners.

  65. hags9k says:

    Sorry LT, disagree about the missed call. I can’t think what they might have called except two minutes for shoving down a player with the puck.

    The tweets about Nail are likely not worth worrying about. If he is getting HS’d in game 65, then you might want to get a head start on his sail on piece, but it’s too early. Although I’ve always maintained that there is no question he will be the first of the wonderkids to pack his bags. I just thought it would be after 3-5 seasons, not 1.5. (or .75 depending on your view of the lockout.)

    Need a W tonight! Go Nail!
    GOILERS!!

  66. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy: So my plan worked!

    It’s the Rex Model!!!

    I hate that Ryan Smyth isn’t 27. Hate it.

  67. bookje says:

    Lowetide:
    (We hoped for the best but it turned out like always.)

    That’s the best phrase ever. It really is. God, the Russians must be a fun bunch.

    I think you misunderstood, that’s not a Russian phrase, it’s an Oiler fan Proverb.

  68. Lowetide says:

    TheOtherJohn: Pretty sure your move to weekends & evening was not a demotion: management was just trying to expose you to a different group of listeners.

    No, it was because Bill Marshall had a really great production voice. I hated it. Isn’t that funny? Still remember it. Guess I’m good at overcoming emotionally upsetting moments. :-)

  69. Clay says:

    Count me as one who has no problem at all with Eakins sitting Yak. Eakins has been saying since the beginning that the ice time on this team will be earned, and no one has a right to X amount of ice time. If Yak is not listening to what the coach wants him to do (whatever that is – we don’t really know because none of us are on the ice at practice or in team meetings), and if Eakins DOESN’T sit him, well then his credibility with the team is shot and soon no one is listening to him.

    I have to assume that Eakins is a smart guy and isn’t sitting Yak for something personal or frivolous. And if any of the other kids aren’t buying in, I hope they are sat too. No one is above the team.

    As far as LaBarbera goes – he looked way worse than Dubnyk in the preseason (“the Oilers’ goalie has his back to the play again!“), and yes his one start was a win, but he did it with a sparkling .840 SP. LaBarbera is most definitely not the answer.

  70. G Money says:

    To some extent we’re railing about the wrong things here.

    Let’s review some key numbers:

    - We were missing our top two centres for the first two games, still missing our 2C, and several of our wingers struggled and just recently found their game (Hall, Ebs) or are still struggling (Yak). Yet the Oilers are 21st in the league in SF and tenth in the league in GF. Whatever Eakins’ problems are, managing the offense is not really one of them. If he wants to scratch Yak, he should get the leeway.

    - Despite our justifiable angst about the defense, we are twelfth in the league for shots against, and close to breakeven on Corsi.

    - Yet despite not giving up that many shots relative to the league, we are DEAD LAST in the league for GA.

    The problem at this point is relatively obvious, and I do think it will fix itself.

    The angst is overdone.

  71. godot10 says:

    By the way, MY (emphasis MY) nightmare last night was that MacT hired “Greg Schiano” as coach! -)-)

    Ha. Ha!

  72. Lowetide says:

    Katie Carrera ‏@kcarrera 5m

    Mikhail Grabovski was asked what he thought about the Oilers this morning. “Lot of speed, lot of skill, lot of turnovers, probably.”
    Retweeted by Allison Currie

  73. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Perron caught this beauty photo of the WH in WASH. and his twitter is filled with a bunch of weirdos:

    http://instagram.com/p/fbX00wLiah/

  74. VOR says:

    I always thought of Coffey as the poster boy for bad player development. Drafted 6th OV when ranked 20th. Rushed straight into the NHL. Derided by the press for all his mistakes. Ridden by the coach in the press and at practices.

    I think the only reason it didn’t end very badly was a kid who was never drafted but who was the definition of quiet feet and fast hands and who had, for those of you who never saw him play, uncanny anticipation. Charlie Huddy was possibly the best guy against the two on one in the history of hockey, which if you were paired with Paul Coffey was vital.

    What I am saying is that Coffey didn’t change his game. He was still chaos. His mistakes just didn’t end up in the net anymore. Having Huddy as his partner gave Coffey the green light to take the puck and go. We lucky fans got to see one of the greatest puck rushing defencemen who ever played do his thing because Sather the GM found the perfect guy to play with him at the same time Sather the coach was making Coffey’s life miserable.

  75. czar says:

    Lowetide: Well put, WG. I’m hoping Oiler fans won’t panic. If you called my house the day CKGY moved me from the 3-7 drive shift to weekends and evenings in 1981 my Dad would have killed my career. Dads. God love ‘em.

    Sorry for the off topic question but how long did you live in Red Deer and work for CKGY? Are you a country boy at heart ?

  76. Lowetide says:

    czar: Sorry for the off topic question but how long did you live in Red Deer and work for CKGY?Are you a country boy at heart ?

    I was hired in 1981 late summer and worked there until about June of 1984. I enjoyed it a lot (used to do the “mobile” 1-5 shift) and grew up with country music (but hated actual work, which is all they have in the country). :-)

  77. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    On this 4th line situation, I have a couple of questions:

    1). does anyone think the team may have considered Abney or someone else in-house when they made the move for SMac? I doubt it was considered, but it would have kept the 50man roster in check and I mean really all these guys are terrible.

    2) I really think we need to let Eakins run that 4th line until he sees what the rest of us see. They need to be scored on, not just chased around in their own end. Eakins has to be punished with results by those twerbs. I think that is the only way we can cobble together some semblance of an NHL 4th line out of our collection of bottom feeders.

    3) I think the Yak decision doesn’t intersect with the 4th line at all. Here’s why:

    a) Eakins said he wants to turn his top 6 vertical across 3 scoring lines. And, he’s shown (so far) a willingness to create a completely different monster on the 4th line, that seems to exist apart from the top 3 lines. Until Eakins changes his philosophy, or sees the scoring results of this blunder, no one goes near that 4th line who can’t ruffle feathers.

    b) Eakins said 4 wingers were ahead of Yakupov. We can assume he means Hall, Eberle, Hemsky and Perron. The real question is why play (and we are ignoring wings here) Smyth and Joensuu over Yak?

    I think the answer is twofold: in the case of Smyth, he’s already eaten his HS medicine and just had a high event game where he was on the score sheet… hard to knock him off the roster.

    In the case of Joensuu*, he’s looked awful the day of his back injury and his first game back. But this team currently has a premium on size and Joensuu has a lot of leftover goodwill from his strong PS play and that first game of the season. I think he gets at least one more game before the coach starts to notice how poorly he’s playing (mind you, he might turn it around tonight, we can hope!)

    I think that is the mindset that puts Smyth and Joensuu ahead of Yak right now.

    *I think Joensuu is the real deal. But right now, I scratch him to let him get that back well past good enough to play.

  78. Hammers says:

    Yak needs to play with RNH & Hall .Lets see how long it takes Eakins to figure it out . The funny thing is Gordon , Hemsky & Perron can be a great line . When Gags returns Arco & Ebs can be a line & right now Smyth is doing a good job .

  79. Lowetide says:

    Biron and Asham on waivers (NYR). Interesting.

  80. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Just noticed in the background of the Oil website: Joensuu and Belov!

    In the past I don’t recall such a deep rotation.

  81. czar says:

    I hear ya there! Didn’t listen to much country after the age of 16 but thought I knew most of the celebrities that past through town. Surprising how many folks have gone on to do quite well for themselves after stops in Dead Rear.Great little sports town and lots of fun in the local watering holes on BOA nights,mind you that was just starting to really get going about the time you left.

    Cheers LT and keep up the good work!

  82. Lowetide says:

    czar:
    I hear ya there! Didn’t listen to much country after the age of 16 but thought I knew most of the celebrities that past through town. Surprising how many folks have gone on to do quite well for themselves after stops in Dead Rear.Great little sports town and lots of fun in the local watering holes on BOA nights,mind youthat was just starting to really get going babout the time you left.

    Cheers LT and keep up the good work!

    I had a great time there. Lorne Starko was the CKRD sports guy (he passed a couple of years ago, I didn’t get to his funeral because of a personal matter) and Donny Taylor was the CKGY sports guy. Don does the Sportsnet Vancouver desk nightly show now.

    I went over to CKRD summer 1984 and worked for Ron MacLean–he was the program director. Probably the most famous guy I’ve worked with over the years.

  83. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Eakins pre-game:

    http://video.oilers.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=459203&catid=4

    Stauffer with a great question about the 4th line. Eakins goes full “toughness” on the answer.

    He needs to see that line scored on. Needs to.

  84. delooper says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Eakins pre-game:

    http://video.oilers.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=459203&catid=4

    Stauffer with a great question about the 4th line. Eakins goes full “toughness” on the answer.

    He needs to see that line scored on. Needs to.

    Stauffer’s wording made it sound like he was reading from the comments on this thread.

  85. Woodguy says:

    delooper: Management realized Oilers fans were relaxing too much and needed something to obsess over. This is good for your long-term development, Woodguy!

    Well done.

  86. Lowetide says:

    Interesting media avail, thanks Rom. I’m fairly certain Yak will draw in when Gagner is healthy, but this does bring up two isses:

    1. The Oilers are heading to a time when they have depth. This is about 15 years since last time.
    2. IF this team signs Hemsky, how much does that impact the youngsters?

  87. delooper says:

    Lowetide:
    2. IF this team signs Hemsky, how much does that impact the youngsters?

    You’ll have to be a bloody good rookie winger to crack the lineup. And no free-agent winger signings.

  88. Woodguy says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Eakins pre-game:

    http://video.oilers.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=459203&catid=4

    Stauffer with a great question about the 4th line. Eakins goes full “toughness” on the answer.

    He needs to see that line scored on. Needs to.

    “I not going to stick Yak on the 4th line, its not going to help him.”

    Fair enough. I can live with that.

    “I don’t think any of our forwards deserve to come out after last game”

    Orly?

    Joenuss 7CF 20CA 26%CF

  89. speeds says:

    Lowetide:
    Interesting media avail, thanks Rom. I’m fairly certain Yak will draw in when Gagner is healthy, but this does bring up two isses:

    1. The Oilers are heading to a time when they have depth. This is about 15 years since last time.
    2. IF this team signs Hemsky, how much does that impact the youngsters?

    That avail tells us that the Oilers are unlikely to have the kind of depth some might desire, unless MacT intervenes, because Eakins has a certain perception of what he wants from a 4th line that doesn’t necessarily mesh with that sort of depth.

  90. czar says:

    Lorne was a popular guy in town and had a great voice. Taylor has turned into a real Nuck homer in my opinion. Ron is a local legend and I went to school with his wife Keri. His best friend lived across the street from me so I’ve got stories.

  91. Woodguy says:

    RexLibris: Makes you wonder if “Chicken Soup for the Soul” in Russian reads like Chekhov.

    Two games with Yakupov sitting out. *sigh* I like accountability, and give Eakins full credit for straightening out Nazem Kadri, but this seems a bit heavy-handed for someone who was just “out of sorts”.

    We’re not privy to the conversations they have.

    I’ll take Eakins at face value that he didn’t want to pull anyone out off the top 9.

    I’ll disagree that they all played well enough to play again the next night.

    Hold on a minute…

    Roster competition??!?!?!?!

    That’s as rare in Edmonton as Unicorns, 3 for 1 trades and 3 scoring lines.

  92. Lowetide says:

    Jon’s lines from ON (he’s projecting, but they look right)

    1st Line: Taylor Hall – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Ales Hemsky
    2nd Line: Ryan Smyth – Mark Arcobello – Jordan Eberle
    3rd Line: David Perron – Boyd Gordon – Jesse Joensuu
    4th Line: Luke Gazdic – Will Acton – Mike Brown
    1st Pairing: Ladislav Smid – Jeff Petry
    2nd Pairing: Andrew Ference – Nick Schultz
    3rd Pairing: Anton Belov – Justin Schultz
    Goal: Jason LaBarbera

  93. speeds says:

    speeds: That avail tells us that the Oilers are unlikely to have the kind of depth some might desire, unless MacT intervenes, because Eakins has a certain perception of what he wants from a 4th line that doesn’t necessarily mesh with that sort of depth.

    Although perhaps I’m reading that wrong,& it’s just the particular options at this time that leads to Eakins icing this 4th line vs another?

  94. iHockeyWpg says:

    I find it interesting that all of sudden we start hearing that Yakupov was a problem with the Sarnia Sting. The kid has never been scratched or cut in his life so of course he’s going to be disappointed; he’s a competitive athlete. I do not recall one time leading up to the draft where we heard Yakupov was selfish or a coach killer. The media loves controversy because it generates web hits and discussion. There is no way he will be traded. Yakupov will be a better player when he gets back in the line up because he has a level headed agent who played in the league for years and who also played with Yzerman who changed his ways to become a complete player. Yak will get on board with the program and he’ll realize his offensive potential with the Oilers. That said, he needs to play with offensive players so Eakins will have to bend a little as well.

  95. speeds says:

    Woodguy,

    Line up competition, except for the 4th line players?

  96. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide: 2. IF this team signs Hemsky, how much does that impact the youngsters?

    Don’t tease me!

    Also, I don’t see it as a problem. Especially if Eakins is committed to 3 scoring lines and is as freewheeling with his blender as he’s been.

    I think 25-30 games in, with the system more or less down, we’ll get a firmer idea of which pairs Eakins wants to formalize, then I think we’ll start seeing how the 3rd men get rotated. At any rate, I don’t see any reason Ebs and Yak should be negatively impacted. They just have to fight to keep Hemsky on a dynamic 3rd line. Good.

  97. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    Interesting media avail, thanks Rom. I’m fairly certain Yak will draw in when Gagner is healthy, but this does bring up two isses:

    1. The Oilers are heading to a time when they have depth. This is about 15 years since last time.
    2. IF this team signs Hemsky, how much does that impact the youngsters?

    That really depends on if they still want to deploy a 4th line that plays 5min/gm.

    If they do, someone is going.

    3-1 for 1LDH?

  98. delooper says:

    speeds:
    Woodguy,
    Line up competition, except for the 4th line players?

    They do have some competition for the 4th, just take a look at all the players they waived to OKC.

    It’s not perfect but it’s not so easy to deliver a god-in-a-box to a hockey team.

  99. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy: “I don’t think any of our forwards deserve to come out after last game”
    Orly?
    Joenuss 7CF 20CA 26%CF

    I think it’s (as I said above) Eakins extending the saw him good over from the pre-season. Joensuu didn’t look good in the game when he back was initially bothering him before he came out either.

    One other thing to mull over is Joensuu’s best play Sat. was when Dion skated up to him to give him a “how’s your neighbor” and clearly expected Joensuu to pay tribute and take it or something. When Joensuu helped Dion find the ice, he probably sent a thrill down Eakins leg he hasn’t had since Jonesuu pushed big Buff into the boards.

  100. BlacqueJacque says:

    Woodguy:
    Good post from Craig1981 over at ON:

    Steve Yzerman and Scotty Bowman got so heated over Yzerman’s defense the Red Wings almost traded him after he had been producing 100+ seasons. Years latter Yzerman is thankful for Bowman changing his game. If Yzerman dealt with it, so can Yak…..and he will be better for it

    Unfortunately that was when teams all but owned players, and players had few options to get out.

    That said, I think Yak will learn.

    I am worried about his stubbornness in sticking to his game, though. Sounds eerily like “Rob Schremp hockey”.

  101. iHockeyWpg says:

    Can anyone confirm the rules for a player sent to the AHL for a conditioning assignment? I read/heard that a player had to stay in the AHL for 2 weeks before he can be recalled to the NHL. Or is it a maximum of 2 weeks?

  102. BlacqueJacque says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Eakins pre-game:

    http://video.oilers.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=459203&catid=4

    Stauffer with a great question about the 4th line. Eakins goes full “toughness” on the answer.

    He needs to see that line scored on. Needs to.

    Jesus Christ, the only reason that 4th line hasn’t given up 5 goals in its 5 minutes per night is luck.

    That said, the Yakupov drama will continue until Hemsky leaves down at the end of this season. We just don’t have 3 scoring lines. We have 2 and one third, and that third is sitting in the press box tonight.

  103. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    speeds: That avail tells us that the Oilers are unlikely to have the kind of depth some might desire, unless MacT intervenes, because Eakins has a certain perception of what he wants from a 4th line that doesn’t necessarily mesh with that sort of depth.

    I think that is true of this moment. But we need to take into account the historical record and the other evidence to the contrary.

    Both MacT (as a coach and in his language about size with skill as a GM) and Eakins have shied away from the full-on boatload of meat on the 4th line historically.

    I think we are in the midst of an aberration that may or may not correct itself.

    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/09/11/do-the-edmonton-oilers-need-a-goon/

  104. FastOil says:

    Any time you have a 1OV that has legitimate options and this comes up it’s ‘serious’ but not necessarily a crisis. Yak not turning out for whatever reason would be devastating, that’s largely what got us here. It’s no coincidence or a normal part of business that MacT and Larionov were speaking today.

    The most important point here is that Yak has an agent that couldn’t have more respect at home. And his hallmark as a player was intelligent play, so it’s easy to think he can support one benching in the interest of his wild and wildly talented player.

    What’s interesting here is a reveal on Eakins’ manipulation. Eakins may not pan out as LT said, but he is all in, win or lose. The best coaches are often highly manipulative, that’s how they herd a bunch of high ego gents. Bowman as mentioned, Sather for sure. Babcock has his thing which seems a little more tough guy but he gets what he wants.

    The reveal is this. If you are a 20 year wild stallion and the world has been your oyster so far you won’t like a benching. I think what may be underlying this especially is the Washington game. Of all the teams Yakupov would want to show his stuff against it would be Ovechkin’s team, Russia’s most prominent player, and this is one of the rare games.

    I imagine he was worried and mad that he might get HS’d again and miss it. If he is playing, Eakins has put him in his place and put him back in a game I think would be particularly important to him. Yak will either now listen more closely or begin battling him. Balls out. He is not going to play around and wait for players to buy in – his will be the only way. This to me is a great thing if he is fair.

    MacT was balls out with the Russians. Higher risk, high reward. Now they have to find the tone to use with these fellows that makes them feel a part of the group but also keeps them in line with team goals. It should be interesting.

    Best of the day folks!

  105. BlacqueJacque says:

    Oh God, I hope the 4th line gets butchered tonight. 3 goals. Please.

  106. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    iHockeyWpg: I find it interesting that all of sudden we start hearing that Yakupov was a problem with the Sarnia Sting. The kid has never been scratched or cut in his life so of course he’s going to be disappointed; he’s a competitive athlete.

    Where is that, I’d like to read it.

    I thought the assumption was he arrived without much actual coaching under his belt (like a lot of kids), I hadn’t heard yet that he was a “problem player” or whathaveyou.

  107. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Where is that, I’d like to read it.

    I thought the assumption was he arrived without much actual coaching under his belt (like a lot of kids), I hadn’t heard yet that he was a “problem player” or whathaveyou.

    Damien Cox ‏@DamoSpin 1h

    Oilers now getting a sense of what Sarnia Sting had to deal with.

  108. Lowetide says:

    Eakins/MacT are convinced the 4line is the scarecrow that will prevent Gagner lockjaw from happening again. I don’t believe it, but they do. Not every decision made by a management group will be a gem, and not every one will be a bad one.

    I don’t like the 4line. That fact, in and of itself, doesn’t mean diddly squat.

  109. Woodguy says:

    speeds: That avail tells us that the Oilers are unlikely to have the kind of depth some might desire, unless MacT intervenes, because Eakins has a certain perception of what he wants from a 4th line that doesn’t necessarily mesh with that sort of depth.

    Well it does if their goal is to have a tough guy and PK1C on the 4th playing 5min/gm.

    I’m not sure I agree with that given how good the 4th lines have been for Cup champs CHI and BOS.

    It might be their goal though and play the shit out of the top 9.

    If that’s the case you have:

    LW – Hall, Perro, Jonensuu
    RW- Hemsky, Eberle, Yakupov
    C – RNH, Gagner, Gordon

    I thought 83 played great with 27 when they were together.

    Would love to see 83 signed for term at $2.5 and be a safety net for years yet.

  110. Woodguy says:

    Dead Cat Bounce: Damien Cox ‏@DamoSpin 1h

    Oilers now getting a sense of what Sarnia Sting had to deal with.

    You quoting Damien Cox is pretty much perfect.

  111. bookje says:

    Woodguy: You quoting Damien Cox is pretty much perfect.

    Damian Cox and D.s.f. Are probably the two most unreliable prickish guys in Canadian sports media.

  112. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    iHockeyWpg:
    Can anyone confirm the rules for a player sent to the AHL for a conditioning assignment?I read/heard that a player had to stay in the AHL for 2 weeks before he can be recalled to the NHL.Or is it a maximum of 2 weeks?

    There appear to be two kinds of “conditioning loans” available to NHL teams.

    1. regular: up to 14 days (consecutive)

    2. a “Bona Fide Long-Term Injury/Illness Exception Conditioning Loan” which is only for 6 days and/or 3 games.

    1 is more broad and seems to simply allow a period of time for players to get “back in game shape/up to speed etc.” i.e., it is assumed they aren’t injured or ill or hampered but need TOI to get to game speed; whereas 2 appears designed “solely for the purpose of determining whether the Player is fit to play,” i.e., it’s more like a “are you still alive?” test than a are you ready to go test.

    See Art. 13.8 and 13.9 (pages 74-5) in the CBA:

    http://cdn.agilitycms.com/nhlpacom/PDF/NHL_NHLPA_2013_CBA.pdf

  113. Jamie says:

    Woodguy: “I not going to stick Yak on the 4th line, its not going to help him.”Fair enough. I can live with that.“I don’t think any of our forwards deserve to come out after last game”Orly?Joenuss 7CF 20CA 26%CF

    Bear with an advanced stat neophyte here. Is it accurate to draw conclusion from a one game corsi without taking into account zone starts? Seems like that can be misleading if a player was taking a large % of DZ. Is there any index that gives credit for zone starts and corsi and blends the two into a “score” so that players can be accurately compared?

  114. BlacqueJacque says:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nhl-puck-daddy/nail-yakupov-scratched-again-oilers-agent-debunks-khl-160114241–nhl.html

    Wyshynski on the subject.

    “Yakupov still has some growing to do as a player. So does Eakins as an NHL coach, which is why scratching Yakupov is a genius move.

    He’s not Eberle, Hall or Nugent-Hopkins. He’s not a Canadian darling. He’s a brash young Russian star that Eakins can easily burn at the stake without catching hell from the media. It’s assumed he has rough edges, and it’s assumed that Eakins is doing the right thing for his game and his attitude.”

  115. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Dead Cat Bounce: Damien Cox ‏@DamoSpin 1h

    Oilers now getting a sense of what Sarnia Sting had to deal with.

    Toronto’s Mark Spector is the source?

    Is that all?

    First, he’s not a reporter. He’s a very poor analyst of the game.

    Second, junior hockey and Sarnia are miles from his “beat,” i.e., writing commentary on the Leafs and other sports punditry.

    Get back to me when someone from the Observer reports something confirming this.

  116. Jon K says:

    Quite frankly, I think keeping Yakupov in the press box for a few games is a smart move as well. It changes the negative focus of fickle Edmontonians from the struggling rookie to the crazy coach who benched a first overall pick. If Yakupov continued to struggle with adapting to the system, and the team continued to lose, there’s a chance that the resentment toward Yakupov might grow. From a certain perspective benching him might be protecting him, right now.

  117. LMHF#1 says:

    Eakins needs to fix his interpretation of the swarm. The one consistent thing in all the games so far is that skilled NHL defensemen take advantage of the wingers playing too low and giving too much room. If he hasn’t caught this yet he isn’t looking close enough. The other issues will sort themselves out as the players learn (Lupul’s slot goal for instance), but the winger position is plain wrong and not a matter of a learning curve.

  118. Lowetide says:

    A quick note: Currently, there’s only ONE poster in jail. However, we’re getting several shots a day now, so I’m just going to make a blanket statement: don’t be an ass.

    You can make your comments, your points, and even your vicious attacks, in a creative way so as not to be a complete dickwad.

    Thanks.

  119. BlacqueJacque says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I’m looking at the Observer website right now, I was going to email one of their sportswriters, and uh… they don’t seem to have any.

    The Observer looks like a pastiche of Sun articles from all over the country. Not one post about the Sting on their site.

  120. LMHF#1 says:

    Lowetide:
    Eakins/MacT are convinced the 4line is the scarecrow that will prevent Gagner lockjaw from happening again. I don’t believe it, but they do. Not every decision made by a management group will be a gem, and not every one will be a bad one.

    I don’t like the 4line. That fact, in and of itself, doesn’t mean diddly squat.

    They can be “convinced” all they want – they’re flat wrong here. That is a mark to hold against them because it violates the “play the best” mantra that was supposedly wandering into town.

    These guys have been talking out of two sides of their mouth on several issues so far.

  121. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    Jeebus…consider the messenger, shot, burned in effigy and the remains strung up from the nearest tree.

    Someone asked for a source on the Sarnia reference and I provided it.

    Grow up boys.

  122. LMHF#1 says:

    When sorting out the lines, the combination of Eakins need for that 4th line and his commitment to Smyth is going to cause nothing but problems all season. Unless 94 goes completely in the tank or MacTavish trades away the fourth line, we’re never going to see:

    Hall-Hopkins-Hemsky
    Perron-Gagner-Eberle
    Joensuu-Gordon-Yakupov

    which is far and away our best top 9. Each of these lines have played together and found success.

  123. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I’m looking at the Observer website right now, I was going to email one of their sportswriters, and uh… they don’t seem to have any.

    The Observer looks like a pastiche of Sun articles from all over the country.Not one post about the Sting on their site.

    You’re looking at their canadian press and over-lord re-publications. Their original beat guy is

    http://www.theobserver.ca/author/shaun-bisson

    note on twitter he’s been lighting up Yakupov based on Ireland’s article:

    https://twitter.com/ObserverShaun

    That’s not reporting though, that’s tossing off a comment on a first-blush reading of someone else’s reporting.

    Note, also, he doesn’t mention anywhere anything about Yak’s time in Sarnia.

  124. BlacqueJacque says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    AND he’s an Oilers fan.

    Yeesh.

    Those Yakupov quotes about not wanting to skate are just… I dunno. Disappointing.

  125. BlacqueJacque says:

    Dead Cat Bounce:
    Jeebus…consider the messenger, shot, burned in effigy and the remains strung up from the nearest tree.

    Someone asked for a source on the Sarnia reference and I provided it.

    Grow up boys.

    Cox isn’t a source of any esteem around here or anywhere else outside of Leafland. I mean, Cox suggested we trade the #1 pick in 2010 for scraps from the Leafs.

    Don’t act so surprised.

  126. Zipdot says:

    BlacqueJacque: Those Yakupov quotes about not wanting to skate are just… I dunno. Disappointing.

    Yeah, man. Big time. Yakupov … You’re not saying the right things, buddy… If you’re too lazy to skate, then the NHL might not be for you.

  127. Lowetide says:

    LMHF#1: They can be “convinced” all they want – they’re flat wrong here. That is a mark to hold against them because it violates the “play the best” mantra that was supposedly wandering into town.

    These guys have been talking out of two sides of their mouth on several issues so far.

    MacT talked all summer about adding that element, and then picked up MacIntyre and Gazdic to address it. I could find (but trust you agree) the quotes that mentioned it. I do believe the Gagner situation made them more convinced this is the way to go.

    I don’t agree with it.

    I don’t believe they’ve been inconsistent about having an enforcer. However, the possession game is impossible with that 4line, that’s for certain.

  128. TheOtherJohn says:

    Rom

    Why refer us to the local (Sarnia) beat guys, when the local beat guys in Edm haul water for the team. Each and every day. Wouldn’t that cause you to question the local MSM? Agree re: Cox=DBag

    Never heard a bad word about Yak’s personality. Ever, not one pre-draft comment when those comments are pretty frequent. And recall verbiage that Couturier was selfish and LT interviewed his head coach who absolutely raved kids character: i.e. Highest possible, unselfish etc

    No idea why I fear this is not going to end well, but I do.

    If it was me: 1 HS it’s entirely on me. 2HS and coach is making a point to embarrass me.– in a game against the best Russian player in the world that I really really want to show I am the real deal!! Could work out real well if he takes it right but I do not think so.

    The Eakins presser about the 4th line, toughness and not disrespecting toughness is, sorry, complete and utter bullshit. The 4th line is an under skilled group that should live at the sufferance of the head coach. 30 HS’s for anyone of them is a complete nonissue. If you only get toughness from 2 face punchers playing 5 min TOI a night you have no toughness.

    Sincerely hope this ends well.

    Anybody know has JSchultz been told to jump into the rush on every play– ie is he encouraged to do it or does he do it regardless? If the latter can we get a HS or 2 or 5 to correct that stupidity

  129. LMHF#1 says:

    Lowetide: I do believe the Gagner situation made them more convinced this is the way to go.

    As usual, the reaction to a crisis is misguided and negative. Amazing what happens to the decision-making process at these crucial points. We have an excellent top 9 of forwards and it is a shame we may never, or hardly ever, see them play at the same time.

  130. TheOtherJohn says:

    Does anyone know where the quote in Shaun Bisson’s twitter TL come from.?

  131. Oiler fan says:

    Ok so Yak gets scratched. It happens and he needed it.
    But I just love how the media blows this right up
    In the most negative way possibly.
    Secondly, asking Yak to answer questions in his
    Second language then interpreting them as if it
    Was his first language is just ridiculous and unfair.
    He said “I won’t change my game, MAYBE BE BETTER ON FORECHECK.”
    Did everybody on every blog miss that???
    Obviously he knows he just needs to stay consistent.thats what breaks slumps.
    But has to make better decisions in the O zone. (Using line mates)
    Maybe that was the best he could explain himself due to the
    Language issues. Maybe nobody thinks of this. You just CANNOT
    take a guys quotes in his second language and then magically
    Hold him accountable to “English as a first language” standards.

    You would think any reporter worth half an empty bag
    Of dog crap would know that!!!
    And his defensive game will come around through
    Learning. He won’t be in the NHL if it doesn’t.
    Pretty sure he’s not gonna go and throw it all away over some back checking.
    Joensuu needs another game to get up to reliable speed.
    We need to be able to put him in and out of the lineup.
    I doubt that the Yak scratch is all about him and his
    “Poor attitude” or “fuming at the coaches rules”
    Or some other piece of total garbage reporting/sensationalizing/making crap up for ratings.
    Realistically……it’s the first game of a back to back and game
    2 is Pittsburgh and we are gonna need that horse
    To run his ass off if we are going to have any
    Hope against Pittsburg.

  132. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    BlacqueJacque: Cox isn’t a source of any esteem around here or anywhere else outside of Leafland.I mean, Cox suggested we trade the #1 pick in 2010 for scraps from the Leafs.

    Don’t act so surprised.

    I don’t recall ever vouching for Cox as a reliable source.

    But, just because you have no respect for the man, doesn’t mean he didn’t tweet that.

    Perhaps there is something there…perhaps not but to automatically discount it without any evidence one way or the other is silly.

  133. Oiler fan says:

    And Lowetide….thank you for the neutral fact/information
    Based articles you wrote. It’s refreshing.

  134. Lowetide says:

    TheOtherJohn:
    Does anyone know where the quote in Shaun Bisson’s twitter TL come from.?

    That’s from the Ireland article I linked to above in the original post. DOES ANYONE READ THE DAMN ARTICLE???????????????????????????

  135. rich says:

    bookje: Damian Cox and D.s.f. Are probably the two most unreliable prickish guys in Canadian sports media.

    This.

  136. Bag of Pucks says:

    Some random thoughts from the last few days:

    1) Saw a couple plays Sat night that gave me cause for concern in regards to exploiting the swarm. It seems if the opposition can draw the crowd to the half wall and then turn and hit a late trailer, that is a pretty effective play against this system that results in a high quality scoring chance. Will be watching intently to see how this system evolves to address that.

    2) Rather than judging the 4th line by the standards of the Top 9, maybe it would be more helpful and realistic (given what they’re paid in relation to the other guys) to judge them on the basis of what they’re required to do?

    A) They need to provide one or two shifts a period where they give the top lines a breather
    B) They lay on the body in the hopes of wearing down the opposition D
    C) They CANNOT give up a goal
    D) Finally. Eakins likes the ‘heaviness’ in the lineup. In other words, they are in the lineup to ensure the opposition doesn’t start running the Top 9 at will. Easkins doesn’t want players like Hall policing the Clutterbucks of the world himself.
    E) If they score a goal, it’s an absolute freakin’ bonus

    If that’s what expected of them, fair to say they’ve delivered thus far? Toronto supposedly has a tough team capable of ‘running Edmonton’s show’ and Sat’s game ended up being river hockey with tons of chances for both teams. That seems like a good thing

    3) I will bust MacT’s balls all season long for not addressing the goaltending in the offseason, but have to give him all the credit in the world for the guys he brought in. Gordon and Perron are just what the doctor ordered. Belov is progressing with each game. Acton is a nice upgrade on Lander. And Joensu looks like a more than worthwhile project for Eakins to coach up.

    4) Finally, wonder how much the team’s improved corsi/shot differential is not related to improved systems play or individual player performance, but simply due to the fact this team is killing it in the dot? I’m especially thrilled at the Nuge’s play in the circle post shoulder surgery. No one expects these numbers to be sustainable over the entire season, but it’s certainly encouraging to see our number one center achieving these results in a critical component of his game.

  137. BlacqueJacque says:

    Dead Cat Bounce: I don’t recall ever vouching for Cox as a reliable source.

    But, just because you have no respect for the man, doesn’t mean he didn’t tweet that.

    Perhaps there is something there…perhaps not but to automatically discount it without any evidence one way or the otheris silly.

    If anyone on this planet is to be automatically discounted regarding any criticism of the Oilers or their players, it’s Cox.

    He deliberately says stupid, inflammatory shit to get a conversation going. He specifically picks on the Oilers.

    So you know, you could try ignoring him the way we ignore you.

  138. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    TheOtherJohn: Why refer us to the local (Sarnia) beat guys, when the local beat guys in Edm haul water for the team. Each and every day. Wouldn’t that cause you to question the local MSM? Agree re: Cox=DBag

    Because if there was a report/reports out of Sarnia that Yak was a problem (as was alleged)… that’s where it would come from, no? Pretty clear cut.

    Damian Cox isn’t going to report on a junior player squabbling with his coach in Sarnia. He’s the last place I would look for this kind of reporting.

    With said reports in hand, I’d be happy to go over them with my “home-town sports reporting is weirdly incestual” glasses on to try and take the measure of what’s real, what’s spin, what’s noise, what’s pumping tires, what’s driving player out of town, etc.

    You can’t get there before you have something to evaluate though… got to come from Sarnia. Until I hear or see otherwise, it sure looks like Cox just bundled his assumptions about Russian players into a phantom past.

  139. Zipdot says:

    Between Yak catching a flight back home and Dubnyk letting in goals like bouncers usher in pretty ladies to the club, the fan base is on fire today. Even a win won’t help settle us down because we’ll still have these two unresolved situations. Ah, to be an Oiler fan. Fun stuff.

  140. bookje says:

    Lowetide: That’s from the Ireland article I linked to above in the original post. DOES ANYONE READ THE DAMN ARTICLE???????????????????????????

    I just look at the pictures. There are articles?

  141. Oiler fan says:

    Oiler fan
    Zipdot,

    Ok maybe he screwed up on that one. I wasn’t a fan
    Of it either. Or maybe he believes in effective energy management.
    There are many examples of players who don’t
    Skate their asses off aimlessly. They pick their spots
    And explode on them. He’s learning a totally different
    System here and may not totally understand how he can
    Incorporate his style into it. And THAT will be on Eakins.

  142. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    Jon’s lines from ON (he’s projecting, but they look right)

    1st Line: Taylor Hall – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Ales Hemsky 2nd Line: Ryan Smyth – Mark Arcobello – Jordan Eberle 3rd Line: David Perron – Boyd Gordon – Jesse Joensuu 4th Line: Luke Gazdic – Will Acton – Mike Brown 1st Pairing: Ladislav Smid – Jeff Petry 2nd Pairing: Andrew Ference – Nick Schultz 3rd Pairing: Anton Belov – Justin Schultz Goal: Jason LaBarbera

    So Smid was just banged up and not on his way out of town?

    We are like a sewing circle.

  143. TheOtherJohn says:

    So the source of the “I don’t like to skate” quote is from Joanne Ireland in the Montreal Gazette. Hilarious because the EJ doesn’t publish on Sunday or holiday Monday. Beauty is newspapers are as dead today as Rimm/blackberry was 2 years ago. They are dead just waiting for the carcass to hit the ground.

    Have to admit I do read articles, sometimes read the links. Did read Rom’s 2 links and read no original content that YAK was bad in junior.

    Yak’s quote read like Brett Hull I try and get to open spots on the ice and when shooting try to miss the goalie. Different era and Gen Y kids are assuredly not from 20 years ago.

    Watch Troy Brouwer: off to slow start good but good sized winger that would add size to Oiler top 6

  144. Woodguy says:

    speeds:
    Woodguy,

    Line up competition, except for the 4th line players?

    Apparently.

    9 guys playing around 20 min each and 3 guys playing 5.

  145. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Dead Cat Bounce: I don’t recall ever vouching for Cox as a reliable source.

    But, just because you have no respect for the man, doesn’t mean he didn’t tweet that.

    Perhaps there is something there…perhaps not but to automatically discount it without any evidence one way or the otheris silly.

    But this is precisely the opposite of discounting something.

    People often get this confused because they aren’t used to being taken seriously… but when you say something, say “Yak was a problem in Sarnia,” and others express skepticism and ask for more information, it means they are taking your claim seriously.

    You can’t simply toss off something outside of your purview and not source it reliably and expect others to accept it at face-value. Cox is the one here on the hook, not those expressing skepticism. He made the claim, he has to back it up.

  146. Woodguy says:

    BlacqueJacque: Unfortunately that was when teams all but owned players, and players had few options to get out.

    That said, I think Yak will learn.

    I am worried about his stubbornness in sticking to his game, though.Sounds eerily like “Rob Schremp hockey”.

    No, that’s from the 90′s when players were making 75% HRR.

    Bowman coached from 93-02 in DET

  147. Woodguy says:

    Jamie: Bear with an advanced stat neophyte here.Is it accurate to draw conclusion from a one game corsi without taking into account zone starts?Seems like that can be misleading if a player was taking a large % of DZ.Is there any index that gives credit for zone starts and corsi and blends the two into a “score” so that players can be accurately compared?

    Good point.

    Joensuu started a ton in the Dzone, but 26% stinks.

  148. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    FWIW, the only thing I can find about Yak and Sarnia that is remotely negative is the question of his contract situation in light of the lockout.

    Here’s a good run down on the situation by a Sarnia Sting reporter:

    http://thehockeywriters.com/is-yakky-back-making-sense-of-the-yakupov-situation/

    Nothing in here about coaching issues, nothing about Yak being a problem.

    elsewhere, you do find that Yak’s dad is a bit of a hard-on and may be an issue:

    http://www.sportingnews.com/nhl/story/2012-09-28/nhl-lockout-2012-nail-yakupov-no-1-pick-sarnia-ohl-khl-contract-issue

    And, that Yak’s Sarnia coach seemed to love him and leave him alone:

    http://www.thestar.com/sports/hockey/2011/11/12/young_russian_yakupov_sizzles_for_sting.html

    note this part:

    Coaches and scouts also love what they see from Yakupov, the early favourite to become the third Russian selected first overall in the NHL draft after Ilya Kovalchuk (Atlanta, 2001) and Alex Ovechkin (Washington, 2004).
    “He’s pretty special,” said head coach Jacques Beaulieu. “He’s a dynamic player and just loves coming to the rink and really enjoys playing the game.
    “He’s doesn’t put any stress on himself to play well. He just goes out there and has fun,” he said of Yakupov, who will lead the Sting into the Hershey Centre on Sunday afternoon to take on the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors.

    two things

    1. “coaches… love what they see” check mark
    2. this quote from the coach may confirm that Yak was more or less left to his own devices and the Sting weren’t really ‘coached’

    http://www.lambtonshield.com/yakupov-galchenyuk-make-their-way-to-the-nhl/

    Note in both articles Yak’s Sarnia coach uses the same language Eakins used: “he brings you out of your seat”

    ———-
    If there is evidence Yak was trouble for the coach in Sarnia, I haven’t found it yet. But, I’m more than open to the possibility that it exists/he was.

  149. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: But this is precisely the opposite of discounting something.

    People often get this confused because they aren’t used to being taken seriously… but when you say something, say “Yak was a problem in Sarnia,” and others express skepticism and ask for more information, it means they are taking your claim seriously.

    You can’t simply toss off something outside of your purview and not source it reliably and expect others to accept it at face-value. Cox is the one here on the hook, not those expressing skepticism. He made the claim, he has to back it up.

    Agreed.

    So why don’t you take it up with him.

    He’s on Twitter you know :)

  150. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    TheOtherJohn:
    So the source of the “I don’t like to skate” quote is fromJoanne Ireland in the Montreal Gazette. Hilarious because the EJ doesn’t publish on Sunday or holiday Monday. Beauty is newspapers are as dead today as Rimm/blackberry was 2 years ago. They are dead just waiting for the carcass to hit the ground.

    Have to admit I do read articles, sometimes read the links. Did read Rom’s 2 links and read no original content that YAK was bad in junior.

    Yak’s quote read like Brett Hull I try and get toopen spots on the ice and when shooting try to miss the goalie. Different era and Gen Y kids are assuredly not from 20 years ago.

    Watch Troy Brouwer: off to slow start good but good sized winger that would add size to Oiler top 6

    Ireland’s article first appeared in the on-line edition of the Edmonton Journal and was picked up by the wire services.

  151. Woodguy says:

    To everyone saying “this version of the swarm doesn’t work, etc. etc.”

    Last year the Oilers were 29th in the NHL with 32.8 SA/GM

    So far this year they are 12th in the NHL with 30 SA/GM

    Discount the VAN debacle of 44 shots and they are averaging 26.5 SA/GM

    If the swarm doesn’t work, why the significant improvement?

    I’ll hang up and listen.

  152. Lowetide says:

    WG: I’d also credit the breakouts, which, despite some chaos, seem to be much better and more consistent. Not Detroit yet, but making progress.

  153. Frelbo says:

    I hear lots of chatter about what happens to Arcobello when Gagner gets back. He’s clearly not a 4th line type center and he’ll definitely get pushed down the depth chart. But why would we send to OKC and keep Acton?

    To me a sensible move instigated by the return of Gagner woudl be to put Arcobello on the third line to work with Yakopov and Perron. And move Boyd Gordon to the 4th line where he’d center Gazdic and Joensuu. Gordon would still retain special teams duties and would help to FINALLY create a fourth line that could offer something more than 5 minutes of cross-your-fingers style hockey.

    Gordon would be an overpaid 4th liner and its not what we got him for. But its indicative of a stronger team with a useful fourth line if thats where the depth chart forces Gordon to play.

  154. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    TheOtherJohn: The Eakins presser about the 4th line, toughness and not disrespecting toughness is, sorry, complete and utter bullshit. The 4th line is an under skilled group that should live at the sufferance of the head coach. 30 HS’s for anyone of them is a complete nonissue. If you only get toughness from 2 face punchers playing 5 min TOI a night you have no toughness.
    Sincerely hope this ends well.
    Anybody know has JSchultz been told to jump into the rush on every play– ie is he encouraged to do it or does he do it regardless? If the latter can we get a HS or 2 or 5 to correct that stupidity

    Completely agree about the 4th line.

    In his presser, Eakins said they “got hemmed in a few times” but seemed to discount it because they didn’t get scored against. Gregor pulled the same BS routine the other day:

    http://oilersnation.com/2013/10/11/gameservations

    I understand and respect the basic premise of Corsi, shot attempts for or against, but sometimes a small sample can change them drastically. For instance, in the 3rd period last night the 4th line was out against Eller/Pacioretty/Briere and the Habs ended up with two shots on goal and the Oilers blocked three shots. That is a -5 Corsi rating for the fourth line, and that one :45 second shift made their Corsi rating go from bad to dreadful.

    It was a bad shift, however, neither of Pacioretty’s shots were good scoring chances and the Oilers were actually in good lanes to block the shots. In this case the Corsi stats looked awful afterwards, but the play on the ice didn’t lead to any significant scoring chances.

    It can also work the other way where a line is buzzing and getting lots of outside shots, or blocked shots in a :45 second span, but none of the shots were legitimate scoring chances. I get that the odds will even out in the end, and while the Oilers overall Corsi is much better this year, which is a positive, I don’t believe it is good enough to mask all of the issues on the team.

    So… maybe it is some kind of stupid common wisdom… at any rate, when they get scored on (and they will) maybe we will see a change.

    I think JS is playing the way he always has. Eakins mentioned trying to get him to remember “defense” is in the name of his position a few times and also said he has to be more aware of his partners and the other players… I think he’s working on him. I also agree a HS in favor of Larsen (say) would be a good thing.

  155. stevezie says:

    I haven’t watched the Rangers lately so I don’t know how good Asham still is, but there was a time when this guy was a solid hockey player who would have still been in the league without fighting. By coincidence, he could also throw ‘em like viscous hell.

    I love that moustache. I want to cheer for that moustache. This could be a huge upgrade. (Like I said, I know what he was. Don’t know what he is. Also don’t know how we move out a contract.)

    Woodguy,

    Well way to go. I am signing up for a bodog account in another window. Betting on the over, and then a second prop bet on the over, that both teams combine for more than 1.5 first period goals, and that the Oil score at least three. I’m betting big because I got careless on the weekend and would like my money back.

  156. iHockeyWpg says:

    Frelbo,

    Totally makes sense. I think sometimes people put too much emphasis on a player’s salary and presumed place in the lineup. If Arcobello keeps playing well he won’t clear waivers. Arco 3rd line and Gordon on the 4th line works for me.

  157. LMHF#1 says:

    Woodguy:
    To everyone saying “this version of the swarm doesn’t work, etc. etc.”

    Last year the Oilers were 29th in the NHL with 32.8 SA/GM

    So far this year they are 12th in the NHL with 30 SA/GM

    Discount the VAN debacle of 44 shots and they are averaging 26.5 SA/GM

    If the swarm doesn’t work, why the significant improvement?

    I’ll hang up and listen.

    Doesn’t change the fact that they need to fix the issue with the winger positioning.

    The system will work generally but a tuneup is necessary. An AHL defensemen vs an NHL defensemen with the puck is a game changer.

  158. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Dead Cat Bounce: Agreed.

    So why don’t you take it up with him.

    He’s on Twitter you know

    Cool.

    FWIW, I didn’t attack you! Nor, did I take it up with you specifically. My posts were about what Cox has to offer the conversation and whether there is any external evidence about this issue.

    And, I read twitter, but I’m not on twitter.

    At any rate, since I didn’t mention it before, thanks for posting the source of this storyline :)

  159. stevezie says:

    stevezie,

    Check that, you can’t use team bets as parlays. Still keeping those and betting fifty on the Oilers winning. Those odds are too much not to.

  160. rich says:

    WG: Some excellent points re: the swarm. We tend to focus (as fan’s) more on when the system breaks down and point to it as “see, it doesn’t work” or, “this guys just a big an idiot as the last coach”.

    There are going to be issues when you’re learning a new system that take time. But there ARE in fact a lot of things that have improved already when you step back and look at them – faceoffs, zone exit, shot differential to name a few. It’s also nice to see that this coach is not just throwing the 4th line out there 10-12 minutes a night and allowing them to get their show run by the other team’s topline.

    Eakins would probably look a lot smarter if DD were making a few more saves right now. If he can survive this trip and Gagner being out with us not falling out of things, we’re going to be ok. Time for Labarbera to give us a big game tonight and take some pressure off.

  161. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    Woodguy:
    To everyone saying “this version of the swarm doesn’t work, etc. etc.”

    Last year the Oilers were 29th in the NHL with 32.8 SA/GM

    So far this year they are 12th in the NHL with 30 SA/GM

    Discount the VAN debacle of 44 shots and they are averaging 26.5 SA/GM

    If the swarm doesn’t work, why the significant improvement?

    I’ll hang up and listen.

    The Caps are averaging 37 SF/G at home this season.

    Things could change in a hurry.

  162. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy:
    To everyone saying “this version of the swarm doesn’t work, etc. etc.”

    Last year the Oilers were 29th in the NHL with 32.8 SA/GM

    So far this year they are 12th in the NHL with 30 SA/GM

    Discount the VAN debacle of 44 shots and they are averaging 26.5 SA/GM

    If the swarm doesn’t work, why the significant improvement?

    I’ll hang up and listen.

    I’m all in on the idea that this team is better than previous iterations so far.

    But I’m not 100% on the idea that this team is better over a significant sample size. Not because I doubt that to be the case, but just because we don’t have that sample size yet.

    I’m also pretty uncomfortable narrowing an already small sample size, especially when it means throwing out a particularly unfortunate event.

    Caveat, I’m in no position to credit the swarm to any success/failure. At the moment, I can only seem to notice it when it fails spectacularly. And, I’m not sure how to factor in superior players vs. last year.

  163. godot10 says:

    Oiler fan:
    Ok so Yak gets scratched. It happens and he needed it.
    But I just love how the media blows this right up
    In the most negative way possibly.

    The reporters are not giddy on a sugar high. They’ve taken away the doughnuts. They are hypoglycemic and grouchy. Blame it on the Broccoli!

  164. DBO says:

    So will the lesson be learned? Not sure.
    Do many of the kids need to learn these lessons? Yep!
    we have ruined our goalie’s confidence. and that is on MacT. Sorry, but of all the players not to mess with psychologically, it is the goalie. Yes he has been playing terrible, but man it was set up to be this way by MacT.
    And Hall and many of the kids need to get their head out of their ass in their own zone. Yak is an easy target. Must be the sideburns.

    My hope for our lineup going forward when Gagner comes back.

    Hall-Nuge-Yak (Yep, really want to see the all #1 overall line)
    Joenssu-Gagner-Eberle (will own 2nd or 3rd pairing dmen)
    Perron-Gordon-Hemsky (true vet two way line who can outchance most top lines)
    Smyth-Arco-Gazdic (a real 4th line who can play. And still have grit, and bring O)

  165. Woodguy says:

    stevezie:
    I haven’t watched the Rangers lately so I don’t know how good Asham still is, but there was a time when this guy was a solid hockey player who would have still been in the league without fighting. By coincidence, he could also throw ‘em like viscous hell.

    I love that moustache. I want to cheer for that moustache. This could be a huge upgrade. (Like I said, I know what he was. Don’t know what he is. Also don’t know how we move out a contract.)

    Woodguy,

    Well way to go. I am signing up for a bodog account in another window. Betting on the over, and then a second prop bet on the over, that both teams combine for more than 1.5 first period goals, and that the Oil score at least three. I’m betting big because I got careless on the weekend and would like my money back.

    Bet365 consistently has better hockey lines than Bodog (have accounts at both)

    Example today was that the Oilers were +145 on 365 and +135 on Bodog.

    Spreads are less on 365 too.

    I like Bodog for the props that 365 doesn’t have, but past that all my punting is on 365

  166. Woodguy says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I’m all in on the idea that this team is better than previous iterations so far.

    But I’m not 100% on the idea that this team is better over a significant sample size. Not because I doubt that to be the case, but just because we don’t have that sample size yet.

    I’m also pretty uncomfortable narrowing an already small sample size, especially when it means throwing out a particularly unfortunate event.

    Caveat, I’m in no position to credit the swarm to any success/failure. At the moment, I can only seem to notice it when it fails spectacularly. And, I’m not sure how to factor in superior players vs. last year.

    No question that the sample size is small and inferring much from the results is a guess.

    That said, everyone inferring that the sky is falling is just ignorant and is pissing me off.

  167. Woodguy says:

    Dead Cat Bounce: The Caps are averaging 37 SF/G at home this season.

    Things could change in a hurry.

    They may.

    Shouldn’t be a boring game to watch.

  168. Woodguy says:

    LMHF#1: Doesn’t change the fact that they need to fix the issue with the winger positioning.

    The system will work generally but a tuneup is necessary. An AHL defensemen vs an NHL defensemenwith the puck is a game changer.

    Winger are supposed to get lower when both the C and both D go to the corner.

    More execution than theory issue in my mind.

  169. BlacqueJacque says:

    Hmm, I find myself in the strange position of cheering against the Oilers tonight.

    And it’s all because I feel Yak is being picked on unfairly. Hall has made way worse plays – repeatedly, over many games – so far this season than Yak’s standing around on that Montreal goal. Eberle was invisible until the Toronto game. Either of them could have been scratched earlier.

  170. Lowetide says:

    Slava Malamud ‏@SlavaMalamud 2h

    Yakupov’s dad Rail (yes, Rail) Yakupov to Sport-Express: “We never thought about Nail’s coming back. Don’t believe internet rumors” #Oilers

    Rail’s rocking it!

  171. Lowetide says:

    Also from Slava

    2h

    “I was shocked to hear (the KHL rumors). First thought was, “Is dad trying to do something?”. But no, he’d never go behind my back”- Yakupov

  172. BlacqueJacque says:

    Lowetide,

    AWESOME.

  173. Lowetide says:

    3h

    “My goal is to play in the NHL. I have not had any conversations (with Neftekhimik). I love it here” – Nail Yakupov #Oilers

  174. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Great work LT.

    Looks like someone got burned and just had their credibility effed with. Looks like Igor ran with something thinly sourced… always check with the principals no?

    maybe someone fed him some garbage and he’s on the angry phone now, but either way he should have confirmed before he ran with it.

    ———
    Let’s hope Bogdan is reading the right things from this shit-show.

  175. B S says:

    Woodguy:
    To everyone saying “this version of the swarm doesn’t work, etc. etc.”

    Last year the Oilers were 29th in the NHL with 32.8 SA/GM

    So far this year they are 12th in the NHL with 30 SA/GM

    Discount the VAN debacle of 44 shots and they are averaging 26.5 SA/GM

    If the swarm doesn’t work, why the significant improvement?

    I’ll hang up and listen.

    The problem with the swarm (so far, Eakins, or the players could resolve this at some point) is that when it does breakdown and give up shots, they are quality scoring chances (a criticism of Corsi that has been beaten to death around here already). I’d be more interested in neilson numbers (scoring chances).

    From what I’ve seen the Swarm always seems to leave one opposing winger open near the slot. It’s great to criticize Dubnyk and all, but there has been at least 3 goals a game that he had no chance on. That means that even even if Dubs cleans up all his soft goals you’re still looking at a GAA of 3.00, not a playoff calibre defense.

  176. Andropod says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    Hmm, I find myself in the strange position of cheering against the Oilers tonight.

    And it’s all because I feel Yak is being picked on unfairly.Hall has made way worse plays – repeatedly, over many games – so far this season than Yak’s standing around on that Montreal goal.Eberle was invisible until the Toronto game.Either of them could have been scratched earlier.

    BJ,
    Would you consider the possibility that Yak is not being HS’d for playing poorly, but rather for not following the Coach’s game plan? Yak’s so skilled he’s been given way more freedom to play his own game than most kids do. That pure skill took him to the point where he has gone as far as he can based on pure skill. Now he has to change his game in certain areas to go to the next level and beyond to supernova. Eakins has made it clear that’s where he wants Yak to go.

  177. VanOil says:

    Perception biases are interesting.

    Dads are great. Please LT get Rail as a guest for your radio show. My Perception is he is a great hockey mind.

    I appreciate DSF bringing Cox’s comments to our attention. I pay little attention to Cox but now will be more guarded in accepting anything he says as anything but make believe. Perceptions of DSF has lead to unnecessary shooting at the messenger.

    I find it interesting that on this blog and throughout the MSM we have bought into the perception that sitting out the early game on HNIC in the center of the hockey universe against a team that could sell out football stadiums despite winning nothing in generations is a big deal for a young Russian. Sitting tonight against the Great 8 is likely a much bigger deal for some one wanting to make the Russian Olympic team and play with him. I hope the direction tonight from Eakins to Yak is watch number 8 in red. You can be that good or better, do what he does.

    My perception of a good 4th line appears to different to Eakins. When Gagner is back and playing with Yak I would like Arco to stay up and have a 4th line of Smyth-Gordon-Acton/Gadzic. It would still be crap but not really really crap.

  178. RMGS says:

    @SlavaMalamud: “This is the first time in my life I am benched. But if the coach has decided so, it must be necessary.” – Nail Yakupov #Oilers

    I hope Nail Yakupov is an Oiler for a long, long time. He’s a beauty.

  179. godot10 says:

    Gordon is NOT going to be the 4th line centre. Look at the zone start difference between Gordon and Arcobello. Gordon can play with skilled wingers. He is one of the top nine forwards.

    Arco can play wing. Brownie can sit. And/or Arco is ready for the pressbox, because he won’t clear waivers anymore, and he has nothing to learn in OKC.

  180. bookje says:

    Wail Yakupov (Nail’s sister) loudly proclaimed that Nail is happy in Edmonton.
    Mail Yakupov (Nail’s cousin) sent a message by post saying that Nail is a great NHLer.
    Fail Yakupov (Nail’s Brother) is apparently not doing too well right now and is unhappy at his brothers general success. He hopes Nail gets demoted to the ECHL and quits hockey.
    Bail Yakupov (Nail’s Uncle) could not be found for comment.
    Jail Yakupov (Nail’s nephews) only had one phone call and in addition to supporting Nail, he asked if someone could find his Dad Bail to come get him.
    Sail Yakupov (Nail’s Aunt) was currently travelling on the Atlantic.
    Hail Yakupov (Nail’s second cousin) said that Nail is like a God to him.

  181. Zipdot says:

    WELCOME HOME, YAKUPOV!!

    THE YAK
    IS BACK

  182. BlacqueJacque says:

    Andropod,

    I can see that, but I can’t see Taylor Hall’s blind cross-ice passes being part of the coach’s gameplan… which he continues to do after the coach all but calls Hall out by name in the media.

    I’m actually fine with benching Yak even for two games – I thought he looked too nervous, too selfish, too determined to do something – and some time away from the ice to watch the game may do him good.

    I just wish it hadn’t been Yak who’d been the first of the three to get HSed, because he’s Russian and has a personality, and the media already love focusing on him.

    If Hall had been scratched (deservedly so) for some of the shit he did as a sophomore (which the media, along with us. were making excuses for by saying stuff like “oh he’s learning what he can do, what he can get away with” after Hall fails yet another 1-on-2), scratching Yak wouldn’t be singling him out as bad. But Yak’s already the outsider, the guy who doesn’t drink, doesn’t speak English great, who has some different ideas about behavior on the ice than the dinosaurs running the game… he already gets enough flak as it is. Hell, he’s even a third line left wing, when both Hall and Nuge enjoyed #1 status (or at least #1 offensive opportunities) from their first days in the league. And there’s no denying that if Eberle was approaching 30 and Hemsky was Pisani type, Yak would be getting cherry starts and linemates.

    So yeah, this poor kid has a lot of things that make him feel like an outsider already. He didn’t need this.

  183. Dee Dee says:

    Players need to EARN their playing time it should not be a free gift of entitlement.

    Seems to me that the coach is separating (and recognizing) Effort from results.

    Yakupov is riding the pine because he is not fulfilling his duties. End of story. Yes other players are committing gaffs and I believe that they will suffer the same fate should it continue. The coach lays out a plan and the players buy in and follow it.

    Old man molasses slow girly shot Smyth is tied for the scoring lead on this team along with Boyd Gordon? Smyth is averaging a point a game right now.

    Play Smyth on the second line or third line until someone actually, you know, outplays him.

    Sit Yak a while and make sure he understands what is expected of him and then give him a chance. It’s not the end of the world if he misses a few games.

    Interesting if you add the players points to their +/-, Arcobello would be just killing it with a +9 ( 5 points, +4), Eberle has +4, does any existing fancy stat cover that?

  184. bendelson says:

    All this Yakupov drama was easily predicted.

    Hemsky is playing great. He gets and deserves top 6 icetime. It also elevates Hemsky’s value in a trade at the deadline should he be healthy (and should the Oilers be ‘out’ of the playoff race).
    I know many here hate the thought of this but there is a big Hemsky decision coming sometime after Christmas.

    Nail has to survive with third line minutes with lesser players until this day comes… not an easy job for an offensive minded sophomore. Hence, difficulty, frustration, and now a healthy scratch.

    That being said, I don’t understand why they would sit him tonight. It’s seems unnecessarily punitive.

  185. Colonel Obvious says:

    I’ve been in love with Eakins since he’s been here. That said, I think the fourth line is a major blind spot and I’m not crazy about sitting Yakupov two games in a row.

    There is no reason he couldn’t play Joensu on the fourth line and sit Brown. It’s not like Brown has done anything of use, even fight.

    Joensu could get a shift here or there on the third line and see how it plays out. That gives Eakins options and gives the team a better chance to win. It’s not like Joensu had such a great game last time out.

    On another note, the OIlers aren’t the only two with troubles. The Senators have given up 50+ shots two games in a row. I’d rather have goalie troubles and the Yak story then a team that was getting steamrolled.

    I

  186. OilClog says:

    Yak is sitting, again.. 1 game sends a message, 2.. WTF!?! I understand accountability but I’m seriously wondering if the accountability needs some accountability. Not a chance I don’t dress Yak against Ovi.. Like come on.

  187. dawgtoy says:

    BlacqueJacque,

    Add Gagner and that changes.

  188. TheOtherJohn says:

    Will eagerly await Oiler SF/SA after a California road trip. 3 games could ruin YTD #’s.

    As to undeniably better, maybe but we will certainly have a better idea 8 days from today after 2-3 more winnable games

  189. TheOtherJohn says:

    Colonel Obvious:
    I’ve been in love with Eakins since he’s been here.That said, I think the fourth line is a major blind spot and I’m not crazy about sitting Yakupov two games in a row.

    There is no reason he couldn’t play Joensu on the fourth line and sit Brown.It’s not like Brown has done anything of use, even fight.

    Joensu could get a shift here or there on the third line and see how it plays out.That gives Eakins options and gives the team a better chance to win.It’s not like Joensu had such a great game last time out.

    On another note, the OIlers aren’t the only two with troubles.The Senators have given up 50+ shots two games in a row.I’d rather have goalie troubles and the Yak story then a team that was getting steamrolled.

    I

    We have to play SJS before we add that to the list. Best team we’ve played Vancouver got 44 on us, I believe

  190. Colonel Obvious says:

    I just read the coppernblue thread on the Yakupov benching. Those guys are just as crazy as the oilersnation crowd in a completely opposite way.

    It does smack a little of the Tyler Seguin situation in Boston. I think Julien mishandled that one and if it turns out the same way here then it will be a major strike against Eakins.

    But it is way too soon for panic on that score.

  191. Andropod says:

    Eakins said something to Yak at practice that put spring in his step. (Prior post). This after he was benched for tonight. AndroMath says happy Yak = playing next game (Pens).
    this too (Courtesy a prior post as well): Yak will provide keen, fresh legs for a back to back game.

    Makes sense to me. Nor would I think that Yak would have any trouble with that.

  192. Lowetide says:

    Bohologo:
    Lowetide:“I’m just going to make a blanket statement: don’t be an ass.”

    My response: You realize that is very difficult for me. I got one foot out the door here on the way to rink; how else am I supposed to act?

    You are free to do as you wish. :-) Just make damn good and sure you have two points in your pocket when you leave the rink.

  193. hoser313 says:

    Don’t agree with Yak being scratched again when others aren’t. Of course he’s going to have a sophomore slump. Most NHL players do. Would he still be scratched if he had put that one in last week instead of hitting the post?

    Young players need ice time to get better. That’s part of the process. Give Krueger credit for giving the young guys (esp. Jultz) decent ice time last year to learn the ropes, even when they made mistakes.

    Yak will play better when he’s back with Gagne. Don’t think Yak handles the MacBlender lines as well as some of the other guys do.

    On the Dubnyk discussion, it’s worth nothing that a number of the bigger goaltenders (Lundquist, Luongo, etc.) have also struggled early this season with the new pad regulations. It’s not worth throwing away assets to pick up another goaltender comparable to Dubnyk.

  194. Lowetide says:

    From Bob

    10 different NHL teams with Pro Scouts here in Washington including 2 from Philadelphia: former Oiler Dave Brown and Al Hill

  195. Woodguy says:

    B S: The problem with the swarm (so far, Eakins, or the players could resolve this at some point) is that when it does breakdown and give up shots, they are quality scoring chances (a criticism of Corsi that has been beaten to death around here already). I’d be more interested in neilson numbers (scoring chances).

    From what I’ve seen the Swarm always seems to leave one opposing winger open near the slot. It’s great to criticize Dubnyk and all, but there has been at least 3 goals a game that he had no chance on. That means that even even if Dubs cleans up all his soft goals you’re still looking at a GAA of 3.00, not a playoff calibre defense.

    That would probably show up in average distance of shots.

    The sites I used to get that info don’t have it up yet, but I’ll post it when they do.

    The shot quality debate isn’t whether or not it happens. The closer you are to the goal, the more likely it is that the shot goes it.

    The shot quality debate is whether or not a team can shoot at a higher quality than other teams over time.

    The answer is no, in large samples of team based shooting, no team takes or allows better shots than any other team.

    That doesn’t mean that some players are better shooter or in some games a team will give up a bunch of AAA chances 10 feet from the net. That happens all the time.

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