OILERS AT ISLANDERS, G8 13-14

Based on the latest information, we’re probably looking at Sam Gagner being back in the lineup sometime before the end of the month. The story from Joanne Ireland is here. The story for the Oilers when 89 returns: more depth.

Azorcan3

POSSIBLE LINEUP WHEN 89 RETURNS (C-L-R)

  • RNH-Hall-Eberle
  • Gagner-Perron-Hemsky
  • Gordon-Smyth-Yakupov
  • Acton-Gazdic-Arcobello
  • Smid-Petry
  • Ference-J Schultz
  • Belov-N Schultz
  • Dubnyk, LaBarbera

That’s what I’d do, of course there might be a goalie coming in (Dubnyk, Marincin and next year’s 1st? What does that get you?). I wonder how far away from the playoffs MacT will let this go. My suspicion is not far.

mc1

 It’s kind of a scary moment for the fanbase, because this moment in time is both frustrating (on-ice performance) and alarming (national media saying “there isn’t anything the Edmonton Oilers aren’t at least looking at or considering”). If you’re thinking “fix the goaltending, add a top defender and a physical winger, dammit!” you might get what you’re asking for in one fell swoop!

And then it dawns on you: the price to be paid.

mc2

There are men in life who do, and those who watch. Craig MacTavish is a doer–he was as coach, and he is as a GM–and there’s very little doubt in my mind he’s going to do something to improve this team. Faced with another flushed season–even this early–I’d bet a 2-4 something gets done sooner than later. MacTavish wasn’t happy with the goaltending in the summer, wasn’t happy with the size/skill combination up front–put simply, he didn’t get Schneider and he didn’t get Clarkson.

mc3

I think we’re looking at a trade with Philly–they’re crazy, desperate and have a daredevil approach to trades. They’re also showing up as a trade partner in all kinds of places. Couturier, Coburn, Simmonds–you’re not getting one or more of those names without an outstanding young player heading the other way. There is also talk of Ryan Miller and Tomas Vanek coming to town.

I think the Oilers will get a goalie too, but it’s important to remember all the trade talk goes away with a strong performance or two. If the Oilers get a couple of wins on this road trip, we may see nothing. I think MacT must be convinced the goalie situation needs to be addressed at this point, we’ll find out a lot about the future if Dubnyk plays tonight.

MC4

If the Oilers are looking at bringing in some of these big names, some great talent is heading out of town. RW is the strongest area for the team, with defense and minor league defense being areas of strength. You’d have to think Yakupov or Eberle, Smid or Petry, Klefbom or Marincin and the 1st rd pick next summer are in play (if MacT’s talking at this level).

A strong game tonight and another on Saturday puts this talk to bed, in my opinion. However, there’s enough smoke here to believe Craig MacTavish is willing to deal some of the young cluster in an effort to rejoin the season.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

harden

10 this morning, TSN1260. We’ll set the scene for the Oilers game and football tonight. Scheduled to appear:

  • Harrison Mooney from the Vancouver Sun, Puck Daddy and Pass it to Bulis. We’ll talk Pacific Division, Canucks so far and what’s happening in Edmonton. 
  • Jesse Reynolds from Revenge of the Birds. We’ll talk about the Thursday nighter from the AZ point of view.
  • Bruce McCurdy from Cult of Hockey. We’ll talk goaltending, possible trades, and the best way to get out of this mess.
  • Paul Almeida from Azorcan Global. We’ll talk WJ’s and soccer trips to Europe.
  • Brad Slater will come on to talk Seahawks.

Text 10-1260 or @Lowetide_ on twitter. This is going to be an interesting 72 hours.

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558 Responses to "OILERS AT ISLANDERS, G8 13-14"

« Older Comments
  1. bookje says:

    … but it turned out like always.

  2. Lowetide says:

    I think Dubnyk had a nice bounceback game and that’s a very good thing. No need to be chasing goaltenders, I think Eakins needs a better 4th line and whatever they’re doing to Yakupov isn’t working.

  3. BlacqueJacque says:

    On the bright side, Dubey has his game back. At least until he crumbles mentally like Salo.

  4. fuzzy muppet says:

    1 win in two weeks…

    At what point ARE we allowed to put this season to bed.

    This is painful, painful stuff

  5. VanOil says:

    If we could only get a .925 SV% from Dubby we would win. Oh wait… shit not again

  6. russ99 says:

    Too many poor plays overall to win this one.

    Dubnyk seemed to have salvaged something with a strong 3rd.

  7. Andropod says:

    Also, we get Gags back soon. All we need is Krueger back and we could see some offense :)

  8. Gret99zky says:

    This team is no where near good enough for the post season.

    They’re still my team but they have a long way to go.

    Miles.

  9. hags9k says:

    Not enough in that 3rd. Just not enough. Good game from Dubnyk is a real positive. We better get something going quick on Saturday because the loss column is getting very ugly.

  10. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    So the corsi goes to shit, but Dubnyk rebounds.

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

    *we can be grateful we are finding new ways to win!** They keep us interested!!

    **by “win” I mean “lose” of course. because Oilers.

  11. russ99 says:

    Where did the team that played in Pittsburgh go?

  12. Lowetide says:

    .925 for Dubnyk SP tonight, that’s the best thing. Nice to see Hall score, but the special teams are pure shit and Eakins is going to have to fix the 4line to make it more to his liking.

  13. crude says:

    I can just imagine Eakins fuming on the hotel rowing machine for 9 hours straight. Guy must really want some W’s.

  14. BlacqueJacque says:

    Is this the worst start in Oilers history?
    My God it’s embarrassing to be a fan of this team.

  15. B S says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    So basically the corsi is regressing to Oiler’s record now. I knew it wasn’t sustainable.

  16. BlacqueJacque says:

    Lowetide:
    .925 for Dubnyk SP tonight, that’s the best thing. Nice to see Hall score, but the special teams are pure shit and Eakins is going to have to fix the 4line to make it more to his liking.

    Miss Krueger yet?

  17. GordM says:

    While managing a team, my VP once told me “You define an acceptable level of performance by the lowest performer you are willing to keep employed”.

    So long as the Oilers have Kevin Lowe (12 years of his leadership = 3 years of playoff hockey….as we all know it’s out in the last 7), how can they expect their players to be accountable.

  18. HugThePost says:

    All of the big talk over the summer,
    Adding real NHL players to the roster,
    Bringing competition into training camp, installing a new captain, getting rid of the old one who had gotten too used to losing for anyone’s use.

    And they crap the bed in the most spectacular style to start the season. No regulation wins.

    Sure, we are better in the micro-stats, but who cares if we are still losing??!!

    Into the abyss we go………….

  19. Ryan says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    You know, if we could sucker some team into trading a goalie for Schultzy, I feel ad if it would be a double win.

    Also, not only do results and regular stats hate us, but advanced stats do now too.

    I miss Renney.

    I’m not sure that J Schultz isn’t a net liability.

    Anyway, Doobie had an okay night by the numbers and we lose.

    The problem isn’t really goaltending, this just isn’t a very good hockey team.

    As much as we get excited over Nuge-Hall-Eberle, they’re not a top 10 NHL 1st line and with our build, that’s a real problem.

  20. "Steve Smith" says:

    I never expected the Oilers to make the playoffs; I’m looking for improvement, which I think has been abundantly evident (well, not so much tonight, apparently, but I didn’t watch this one anyway, so it doesn’t count). If we get a high draft pick out of it, so much the better.

  21. D says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    Is this the worst start in Oilers history?
    My God it’s embarrassing to be a fan of this team.

    92-93 was the worst start if I recall correctly. This team is getting close though.

  22. fuzzy muppet says:

    “Steve Smith”,

    yay draft picks!!!

    Lets take some offensive wingers!

  23. Clarkenstein says:

    Dallas Eakins meet George Burnett.

  24. Ryan says:

    fuzzy muppet:
    “Steve Smith”,

    yay draft picks!!!

    Lets take someoffensive wingers!

    I’m good with that provided they’re small and fall down a lot.

  25. fuzzy muppet says:

    Will Kevin Lowe ever lose his job…like….ever??

  26. GordM says:

    Kevin Lowe:

    -Called Bobby Ryan a bust on the radio
    -Hired Steve Smith as a coach after bumping into him in an airport
    -Called for ’2 types of fans’
    -In subsequent ‘apologize if I offended anyone’, had the smarts to have a Rangers pic in the background
    -Holy Mackerel we have a lot of defensemen!
    -12 years of leadership = 3 years of playoffs in a league where 16 of 30 make it.
    I’m sure we could go on and on and on and on

  27. "Steve Smith" says:

    fuzzy muppet,

    Well, I’d *like* them to make the playoffs this year. But I never expected it. And I’m satisfied that this team is markedly better than last year’s, which is what I actually wanted this year.

    So all of that being equal, would I prefer a high draft pick or a low one? I’ll take the high one.

  28. G Money says:

    If they combine the game they played in Pitt with the goaltending they got tonight …

    On a side note: if you are at all surprised that Dubie pitched a .925 tonight, I would gently suggest you understand neither goaltending nor statistics.

  29. russ99 says:

    Just seems like they took a big step back from the Pens game, making the lazy or desperate play instead of the smartest one at the time.

    Too much frenetic play on D and too much dumping on O.

    The road is a grind, and most of these guys should know that by now.

    IMO, if the current team philosophy isn’t changing, I don’t really see what they could add to fix it. I has to come from within with a strong assist by adaptation by the coaching staff.

  30. fuzzy muppet says:

    There’s always next year!

  31. fuzzy muppet says:

    At least they’re in good physical shape!

  32. Old School G says:

    Ok. I forgive you, Oilers. It’s a dysfunctional relationship.

  33. Lowetide says:

    BlacqueJacque: Miss Krueger yet?

    It’s a good point, but they are tied to Eakins now. They can’t fire the coach. I don’t see any way that happens this season.

  34. Wolfie says:

    I think MacT brought in some useful players this off-season. I think he jumped the gun on the coaching change. The lack of continuity and the constant changes is philosophy seem to be taking their toll on this group.

    Eakins May be a fine coach but the special teams have taken a step back. I guess the Oilers have to sleep in the bed they made. I don’t think the improved Corsi stats can be attributed to Eakins. I think that has more to do with the overall improvement of the roster.

    I’m getting real tired of the same old same old. Time to start another rebuild!

  35. hags9k says:

    Not even snow on the ground yet. The games aren’t meaningless but you can see it from here. WOW
    I did not see this coming, and hate myself (and Kevin Lowe) for it.

  36. TheGreatMutato says:

    I wish they’d stop calling it the swarm and refer to it by what it actually is – a really good way to leave guys wide open in golden scoring areas. Dubnyk made more saves because the other team took more shots – but the 5-alarm chances were still there. So it’s another 3 goals against and nothing that can be blamed on the goaltender. While he has let in a few softies, Dubnyk has not been the problem. Being a bad hockey team in their own zone has been.

    Anyways, I wonder who sat around this afternoon and envisioned that we’d be talking about the goaltending as the one positive to take away when the game was done? =)

  37. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    The Arco line and the Gordon lines looked very good.
    The RNH and Acton lines looked poor.

    The 4th line, especially Gazdic needs a complete retool. At least Petrell could PK. These guys just take penalties, get hemmed in their own end and are generally terrible.

    The special teams need a complete retool on personnel or rethink on systems play. Both look off.

    This team needs to drill down on what works for it: keep the dump ins down; carry the puck into the zone. Shoot from all angles and aggressively forecheck, shoot again. repeat.

    Fantastic to see Dubnyk play so well. Huge monkey off the back. Now to put it all together against OTT… should be a good game.

  38. sliderule says:

    Dubnyk played a nice game.

    Yak worked hard and marked his man in d zone but he has to work on his endurance.He burns out fast

    Smid must be hurt as he has slowed to snail pace

    Ebs and especially Hall couldn’t find the open man and caused first goal.its not good enough to get back to zone you have to mark a man.

    On to Ottawa

  39. BlacqueJacque says:

    If there’s an Oil Change this season, I feel sorry for the production staff. How do you polish this turd?

  40. VanOil says:

    I would not mind some Sir Aec Ferguson style management by the Senior Oilers staff to take the heat of there Newbie Coach and Young team. Fergie fired up the the press or the other team with a little Glaswegian charm making him the focus of the pregame story taking his players out of the cross hairs of the brutal British press.

    For instance MacT could come out and say any suggestion about trading Yakupov is asinine. Or better yet Batman could fire 6 rings and give the job to Messier.

  41. denny33 says:

    fuzzy muppet,

    Yep, because this team can’t score more than two goals 5×5

    3 first -overall picks. All forwards.

    2 goals Washington. 2 Pit. 2 Islanders.

    Back to our 4th line – Gazdic not producing.

  42. Dominoiler says:

    HugThePost:
    I’m watching.
    It’s like an abusive relationship—-just keep going back for more.

    Haha,.. Well said..
    Was watching and that third period was a tough one.. bad call on Jultz, imo.. smytty, oh so so so close.. Doobs with a solid third, seemed to get more steady as the game went on.. had been w eakins on the new system, but Spoiler has opened my eyes to the glaring Swarm Hole.. the ugly abyss prone to streaking snipers and demoralizing fog horns..

  43. denny33 says:

    BlacqueJacque,

    But …….it is early.

  44. Ryan says:

    TheGreatMutato,

    Yeah, coverage in the d-zone has been brutal. The penalty kill has been brutal. The power play has been brutal.

    I miss Krueger though I’m still not convinced that he’s a great coach either.

    The d corps is meh but not horrible. J Schultz is worse than acid eater was at times though.

    The 4rth line sucks oxygen. Other than that even our top line isn’t exactly an unholy terror PVP.

    Eakins is making Kreuger look like a genius.

  45. TheGreatMutato says:

    Don’t worry guys, Kevin Lowe has like a thousand Stanley Cup rings.

  46. RMGS says:

    Coach Eakins needs to implement a minimum quota for point shots on the PP and at EV. Watching the Oilers can sometimes feel like a throwback to the days when the forward pass was prohibited – lots of backpasses and sideways passes and not enough looking first toward the net. I suppose if you have an aversion toward driving the net, then looking for rebounds is pointless.

  47. BlacqueJacque says:

    Lowetide: It’s a good point, but they are tied to Eakins now. They can’t fire the coach. I don’t see any way that happens this season.

    They can if Lowe and the rest of the old boys go. If this season is the disaster that it’s on track to be, Lowe has to be gone. The fan base must be ready to revolt. Hell, the shitfuck spineless Edmonton media stood up to him and he’s been out of sight since. If that’s not a danger sign – the guys you’re paying off (vis-a-vis advertising) are rebelling, the leash isn’t short – what you’re feeling is a noose slipping around your neck.

    Oh Renney. What I wouldn’t give for Renney. Even Krueger.

  48. GordM says:

    The Oilers are like my golf game. Horrible…but the very odd time something decent happens which keeps me coming back for more.

  49. Pablo Aimar says:

    Its beyond laughable at this point. The whole “tank for 1st overalls” was not guaranteed to be a success. They are the Atlanta Thrashers.
    And it seems ludicrous to blame another coach but Eakins looks clueless.

  50. Ryan says:

    BlacqueJacque,

    Yeah, Renney that would be nice.

    What’s with Rookie coaches trying to create innovation like the swarm defense or the other epic fail pre-gap defense?

    fuck life isn’t that hard. Copy what works for other teams.

  51. Lowetide says:

    BlacqueJacque: They can if Lowe and the rest of the old boys go.If this season is the disaster that it’s on track to be, Lowe has to be gone.The fan base must be ready to revolt.Hell, the shitfuck spineless Edmonton media stood up to him and he’s been out of sight since.If that’s not a danger sign – the guys you’re paying off (vis-a-vis advertising) are rebelling, the leash isn’t short – what you’re feeling is a noose slipping around your neck.

    Oh Renney.What I wouldn’t give for Renney.Even Krueger.

    They’re ADDING ex-Oilers (Messier this week). Katz owns the team and Lowe is high up in the organization. Besides, I think this is MacT’s ship and I like most of the things they’ve done. 1-6-1 is a terrible record to defend.

    Of bigger concern? Will they make a move.

  52. G Money says:

    Lowetide: It’s a good point, but they are tied to Eakins now. They can’t fire the coach. I don’t see any way that happens this season.

    Hey LT, for those getting nostalgic for Krueger – maybe you should post the gameday threads from last years road trip from hell, especially after the 6-0 beatdown in Nashville. That might be a good reminder of what “BAD CORSI” looks like.

  53. David says:

    Wow are people depressed. Lots of season to go. This thing ain’t over yet.

  54. HugThePost says:

    MacT has no other play than to make a move now.
    He can’t stand pat after all of the bluster about how inpatient he is.

    We’ve become the Cleveland of the NHL.

  55. Dominoiler says:

    David,

    But, when.. when will the hurting stop?!..

  56. bookje says:

    Ryan:
    BlacqueJacque,

    Yeah, Renney that would be nice.

    What’s with Rookie coaches trying to create innovation like the swarm defense or the other epic fail pre-gap defense?

    fuck life isn’t that hard.Copy what works for other teams.

    Don’t quite a few teams use a swarm defense?

  57. denny33 says:

    Let me kick things off…..

    Aaron Ekblad vs Sam Reinhart….

    I say we take a d first….drafting forwards first overall just has not worked for us….

    Mac T – probably a good idea to keep that 1st rounder for 2014.

  58. Lowetide says:

    Gene Principe ‏@GenePrincipe 9m

    “I knew this renovation was going to be messy. I didn’t think it would be this messy.” Dallas Eakins

  59. Captain Smarmy says:

    HugThePost:
    MacT has no other play than to make a move now.
    He can’t stand pat after all of the bluster about how inpatient he is.

    We’ve become the Cleveland of the NHL.

    No Edmonton has become the Detroit Lions and Kevin Lowe is Matt Millen.

    A factory of sadness.

  60. HugThePost says:

    come to think of it, comparing the Oilers to Cleveland or the Detroit Lions is kind of an insult to the sports teams of those 2 cities.

  61. David says:

    Dominoiler:
    David,

    But, when.. when will the hurting stop?!..

    I’m not saying it will. I’m just saying it’s too early to jump ship. This is a bad start. But things can run around.

  62. DeadmanWaking says:

    “Steve Smith”: So all of that being equal, would I prefer a high draft pick or a low one? I’ll take the high one.

    That’s what I used to say. Bear in mind that the nose-dive finish earning you a high pick follows you into next October. I would have been happy to finish last season 18th overall with some consistency and good arrows to avert what we’re seeing now.

    There’s always the chance that we get a top five pick, shit the bed the following October, but finally have so may guns blazing throughout the line-up that we rocket into the playoffs on the back nine. Unless RNH picks a really bad time to trip over another blue line.

    The real metric of progress is not making the playoffs, but other good teams consistently finding the Oilers tough to play against, even if they still hold the edge, for now. We saw that in Pittsburgh and flashes of that in Montreal.

    A major factor this season was to see Yakupov hit the ground running. He’s not making Eakins job of imposing a team concept one iota easier.

    I certainly wouldn’t take the old Krueger back again, unless he had evolved over the summer an extremely clear vision on how to fix last season’s corsi leak. We’ll never find out whether sophomore Krueger was a significant upgrade over half-season freshman Krueger. Apparently, he didn’t convince MacT. Perhaps MacT never fully entered into such a conversation with Ralph, going straight from a thumbs-up to pulling the giant level attached to the trap door.

    With Eakins more abrasive and demanding approach, he needs results to maintain command. If this season ends like last season, Eakins might sort out his freshman misconceptions over the summer (I personally think he’s good at confronting ugly facts) then show up at camp the next year, to find that few of the players are still responding to his harsh edicts.

    I also think that MacT has the balls to flush the season in mid November. That could end up being his signature (and highly unpopular) bold move. Then the team needs to be hell to play against for the second half of the flushed season so that they finally enter October on some kind of roll, playing within a system they can continue to tweak, rather than pyre.

  63. russ99 says:

    Renney was worse. At least Eakins is consistent and he got one NHL playoff caliber game out of these guys in Pittsburgh.

    We have a better team now and results will come given adjustment by the players and the coaches.

    I just hope both Eakins and MacT can understand that what they thought was so smart ain’t working so its time to try something that might, like limiting dump/cycle, adjust the defense to the players we have on the ice, find a decent group and go back to a a passive box on the PK, try not to be so predictable on the PP, and limit the ice time of Acton and the face punchers.

  64. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    David:
    Wow are people depressed. Lots of season to go. This thing ain’t over yet.

    The Oilers chances of making the playoffs are currently 9.7%

    If the playoff cut off is 95 points, they have to go 41-23-10 the rest of the way.

    It’s over.

  65. "Steve Smith" says:

    DeadmanWaking: That’s what I used to say.Bear in mind that the nose-dive finish earning you a high pick follows you into next October.

    Except in this case, it’s a shitty start that’s doing it, so no need to worry about its effect on next October.

    (I also do not concede your point that a nose-dive finish inevitably does “follow you into next October”; indeed, my initial reaction is that that is unlikely to be the case.)

  66. Racki says:

    Terrible start for Reinhart…

    No thanks…

    Damn, these games just slip away from them. Wasn’t a poorly played game, I didn’t think (except maybe the 3rd).

  67. bookje says:

    Lowetide: It’s a good point, but they are tied to Eakins now. They can’t fire the coach. I don’t see any way that happens this season.

    You’re an optimist. If you think about the last few years and squeeze your brain a little, you can imagine it happening.

  68. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    The unfortunate part of this start is it now loads tremendous pressure on a rookie GM and rookie coach and that can create forced decisions or abandonment of direction and principles. Resentment mounts, fingers get pointed. Everybody is off . You get unwanted in the dressing room like k Lowe wondering in saying things like ‘Soooo…ummmm….WTF gents?’.

    They need some wins and a little wiggle room. I can almost envision the cyclinder clicking as the proverbial tip is pressed to MacT’s temple. This is not a test I personally wanted for him and Eakins so early.

    We wait and hope.

  69. HugThePost says:

    The reality will hit when news breaks of one (or more) of the wonderkids wanting out of this shitshow and on to a real, stable NHL team.

  70. MaximumBone says:

    After tonight, I certainly wouldn’t be opposed to sitting J Schultz for a game or two and giving one of Larsen or Fedun a shot. In terms of forwards, it’s time that Eakins realizes that Yakupov might just be suffering from a serious case of “sophomore slump” and stop feeding him time that others might be able to do more with. I propose this until Gagner gets back:

    Hall- Arco- Eberle
    Perron- Nuge- Hemsky/Yak (if he can produce)
    Smyth- Gordon- Yak/Hemsky
    Goddam 4th line…

    And then this when he returns:

    Hall- Arco/Nuge- Eberle
    Perron- Nuge/Arco- Hemsky
    Gagner- Gordon- Yak
    Smyth w/ 4th liners

    This way, we ease Gags back against weaker competition while testing him on the wing. Arco has done nothing but make things happen and win faceoffs so I can’t see how they could justify playing him anywhere but the top-6.

  71. sliderule says:

    Come on lift your heads.

    If Dubnyk had played half as good at the start of season would have two more wins and maybe even three more.

    We would be a little down but missing Gagner and Nuge not up to speed(fanning passes?) we would have been reasonably satisfied.

    They will fight thru and get a win and gain confidence and go on a roll.

  72. bookje says:

    Dead Cat Bounce: The Oilers chances of making the playoffs are currently 9.7%

    If the playoff cut off is 95 points, they have to go 41-23-10 the rest of the way.

    It’s over.

    What happened? You used to be good at trolling?

  73. "Steve Smith" says:

    bookje,

    I blame his swarm strategy.

  74. Lowetide says:

    Greg Chase was a goal and an assist tonight, 10-10-6-16.

  75. Lowetide says:

    48m

    “This is where Duby takes over and starts playing like we know he can. It would have been nice to get a win for him.” – Taylor Hall

  76. BlacqueJacque says:

    sliderule,

    Or you could look at it like this – if Dubnyk played this bad to start the first season where he has any significant expectations on him (contract, playoff mandate), how bad will he be in the playoffs? Tommy Salo post-Belarus?

  77. Logan91 says:

    The best thing about Krueger was the way he communicated with the team. He was always so optimistic and he was able to lift everyone back up, which is exactly what seemed to work with this team full of KIDS. I can only imagine how down the team is on themselves right now.

    IIMO they made a mistake getting rid of Krueger.

  78. MaximumBone says:

    Lowetide:
    Greg Chase was a goal and an assist tonight, 10-10-6-16.

    Man am I ever happy we grabbed him! I was certain he’d have been grabbed by the 5th, but we’re lucky he dropped. I wonder what for, though.

  79. BlacqueJacque says:

    bookje: What happened?You used to be good at trolling?

    He doesn’t have to troll any more. He can just point out stats and odds.

  80. MaximumBone says:

    Logan91:
    The best thing about Krueger was the way he communicated with the team. He was always so optimistic and he was able to lift everyone back up, which is exactly what seemed to work with this team full of KIDS. I can only imagine how down the team is on themselves right now.

    IIMO they made a mistake getting rid of Krueger.

    I would’ve like to see him stick around as an assistant. Would’ve been nice to still have top-10 PPs and PKs.

  81. VanOil says:

    Lowetide:
    Greg Chase was a goal and an assist tonight, 10-10-6-16.

    At least one Oiler is having a crazy good start. He is slightly out preforming his draft #.

  82. Lowetide says:

    HugThePost:
    The reality will hit when news breaks of one (or more) of the wonderkids wanting out of this shitshow and on to a real, stable NHL team.

    I’m always amazed at how little faith many have in young people. I imagine Taylor Hall IS very frustrated, but I don’t see anything that indicates he’s going to give up. Tonight’s comments are typical of Hall imo.

  83. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    VanOil,

    Make that two – Arcobello

  84. Andropod says:

    sliderule: Come on lift your heads.If Dubnyk had played half as good at the start of season would have two more wins and maybe even three more.We would be a little down but missing Gagner and Nuge not up to speed(fanning passes?) we would have been reasonably satisfied.They will fight thru and get a win and gain confidence and go on a roll.

    Exactly. We need to back off this team and give them a chance to breathe and pull together. How many of us fans are incapable of separating the Dithers years from the new regime. To the team’s detriment I fear.

  85. russ99 says:

    MaximumBone,

    Do we forget what a horrible failed experiment it was the last time we put Gagner on the wing? Bad idea.

    The best move is to shift Arcobello to the 4th line and give him some wingers he can work with. I’m thinking Smyth and whichever scoring forward isn’t producing. Pressbox the face punchers until they’re needed like the Canucks, Flames and Kings games.

  86. VanOil says:

    Well Oiled and Enthusiastic:
    VanOil,

    Make that two – Arcobello

    You are correct. Arcobello has been outstanding.

  87. G Money says:

    The Oilers next 10 games:

    Ott, Mtl, Wsh, Phx, LA, Tor, Det, Fla, TB, Phi

    A serious hot streak to counteract this cold-as-dry-ice stretch is needed.

    The Oilers need to man up and win the revenge games: Mtl, Wsh, Tor

    The Oilers need to beat the teams they are supposed to beat: Fla, TB, Phi

    The Oilers need to go even up against the tough teams: Ott, Phx, LA, Det,

    They go 8-2 in that stretch (which is possible IF and ONLY IF they play their Pitt game and get .915+ goaltending from Dubie here on out), the season is back on.

    The farther they end up from 8-2, the more likely the season is already sewered.

    10% of the season in and its already desperation time. Life as an Oiler fan.

  88. MaximumBone says:

    russ99:
    MaximumBone,

    Do we forget what a horrible failed experiment it was the last time we put Gagner on the wing? Bad idea.

    The best move is to shift Arcobello to the 4th line and give him some wingers he can work with. I’m thinking Smyth and whichever scoring forward isn’t producing. Pressbox the face punchers until they’re needed like the Canucks, Flames and Kings games.

    Wasn’t that a few years ago? I think it’s at least worth a try at least until he gets back up to speed.

    But I don’t think I could justify “demoting” him with how well he’s played so far. All he’s done is succeed regardless of where or how he’s been played so I guess I could understand why we’d pick HIM to play 4th minutes, but I just don’t think it’s the right move to make. If you have a line producing, you ought to do everything you can to keep that line together.

  89. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    http://www.extraskater.com/game/2013-10-17-oilers-islanders

    final numbers. bad night on the fancy stats.

    Hemsky still rolling FWIW.

  90. Dipstick says:

    Wasn’t it a few years ago that we hoped for ELPH. I think that our prayers were finally answered.

  91. Racki says:

    I was talking about this with some friends today.. completely random thought….

    What do you guys think about Mark Arcobello being the “flavour of the month/year”.. kind of like Matt Read. I am thinking let this kid put up some more points playing with these talented players then SELL HIGH. Nothing against Arco, just I am thinking it would be nice to get well over 100 cents on the dollar for an asset while we can.

    I know it’s a strange thought, as Arco is fitting in well, and there isn’t much reason to move him.. but maybe they could use him to acquire a goalie, for example.

    Of course Arco isn’t putting up goals like Read did in year one, but maybe we could catch a GM napping and move him like the Lightning moved Conacher for Bishop.

    Surely someone will start to take notice of a guy on a PPG pace.

    (and no this isn’t a “Dubnyk sucks” post after Dubnyk posted a good game… just want a 1b goalie to complement Duby)

  92. "Steve Smith" says:

    Racki: (and no this isn’t a “Dubnyk sucks” post after Dubnyk posted a good game… just want a 1b goalie to complement Duby)

    If it’s true that his issue is largely confidence, maybe we should also get a 1c goalie to compliment him.

    (Also, it didn’t look anything like a “Dubnyk sucks” post, since you didn’t actually mention him until the parenthetical.)

  93. Racki says:

    “Steve Smith”: If it’s true that his issue is largely confidence, maybe we should also get a 1c goalie to compliment him.

    Everyone likes being complimented.

  94. "Steve Smith" says:

    Racki,

    I wouldn’t know.

  95. MaximumBone says:

    “Steve Smith”,

    You have wonderful jaw structure.

  96. FPB94 says:

    Draft talk: The guy I wanted the Oilers to draft (And the Red Wings got him…) Anthony Mantha, now has 16 goals and 28 points in 9 games this year.

  97. G Money says:

    Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.

    And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the Canadian dream.

    I have a dream that one day this team will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that the Stanley Cup belongs in Edmonton.”

    I have a dream that one day in front of the dodgy seats of Rexall, the sons of former players and the colleagues of former players will be able to sit down together at the table of championship.

    I have a dream that one day even the City of Edmonton, a city sweltering under the injustice of Tambellini, sweltering with the oppression of Lowe, will be transformed into an oasis of winning and playoffs.

    I have a dream that my three little children will one day live in a province where they will be rightly judged by the color of their jersey, where a red jersey means once again a lack of character.

    I have a dream today!

    (With apologies to MLK)

  98. Andropod says:

    There was an earlier post that put the 4 centers as Nuge/Gags/Arco/Gordon in that order. Is that not strength down the middle?

  99. rickithebear says:

    David:
    Wow are people depressed. Lots of season to go. This thing ain’t over yet.

    96 points

    we need to go 42-24-9

  100. Gi JQE says:

    Not sold on Eakins… And his systems. Definitely the worst pk system I have seen in years… And that is bad… Since I have watched every oiler game for the past five…. Pp doesn’t look much better.

    I want to believe….

  101. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    Andropod:
    There was an earlier post that put the 4 centers as Nuge/Gags/Arco/Gordon in that order. Is that not strength down the middle?

    Not one of them matches up well with their counterparts in the WC.

    Not one.

  102. Gi JQE says:

    Also… Smyth can’t jam it in and hall hits post. Why does it always feel like ya can’t buy a break?!?!

  103. hags9k says:

    G Money,

    Cmon, not many fans are treated to playoff hockey already! Thanks Oil!

  104. Woodguy says:

    I don’t know if that sound is my hopes for the team this year being sucked into a deep hole or if its the sound of MacT reconsidering the boat anchor proposals other GMs are sending him.

    A few thoughts on the game.

    -Good game DD. Being beat by someone alone in the slot is not a crime

    -The Oilers need to shot when they are in a prime location. Passing when you have the puck in the slot is a crime. A fancy goal from 19 to 4 to start it off and they try to pass the puck into the net for the rest of the game. Shoot. Please.

    -RNH can’t carry a line yet on his own. At least not with a rookie on it. 2 games in a row he’s been buried. On the road so the opposing coaches are hammering him with their 1st line where possible, but it doesn’t look good.

    RNH
    vs PIT 37% CF
    vs NYI 34.6% CF

    Perron
    vs PIT 37.5% CF
    vs NY 42.9% CF

    Yak
    vs PIT 21.7% CF
    vs NYI 26.7%CF

    Time to push 89 into the game. Put 93 with 4 and 14 and 89 with 64 and 57.

    I keep 26 around. If 64 continues to struggle with 89 (I think 89 can handle the work a bit better) them move him down with 27-83 to help him get his sea legs.

    The boy needs him Kaptain! He’s gone so Uncle Gordon with Hemsky is the next best thing

    Also,

    You can almost smell a trade coming.

    Please don’t fuck it up MacT.

  105. Woodguy says:

    Also,

    After begging and pleading, extraskater.com has added TOI w/ team mates and opponents at the bottom of the game pages.

    That site is the single best resource Al Gore ever made.

  106. Andropod says:

    Dead Cat Bounce: Not one of them matches up well with their counterparts in the WC.Not one.

    So are you saying that not one of Nuge, Gags, Arco and Gordon match up with WC or not in that order?
    Just wondering…….

  107. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy: Yep. It’s only a matter of time. Go to bed late, wake up early. Deal is close.

  108. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    If 89 is the answer….

  109. Woodguy says:

    Also,

    Can someone please go to the net without the puck.

    If the OIlers make a trade you can bet someone who goes to the net without the puck is coming this way.

    I’m great if any Oiler does it, but right now, they’re not.

  110. Lowetide says:

    Dead Cat Bounce:
    If 89 is the answer….

    Kyle Wellwood must be retired.

  111. Woodguy says:

    Dead Cat Bounce:
    If 89 is the answer….

    Then the question must be: “When looking at points per game in given years sorted by age (20 year old year, 21 year old year etc.) which Oiler center has outscored Ryan Kessler quite easily?”

  112. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    Andropod: So are you saying that not one of Nuge, Gags, Arco and Gordon match up with WC or not in that order?
    Just wondering…….

    Not in any order.

    Start at the top and work your way down.

    Thornton (Marleau)

    Couture

    Pavelski

    Burish

    Hertl

    Wingels

    Sheppard

    Jeebus.

  113. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    Lowetide: Kyle Wellwood must be retired.

    He is.

    Too bad.

    He could help the Oilers.

  114. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    Woodguy: Then the question must be: “When looking at points per game in given years sorted by age(20 year old year, 21 year old year etc.) which Oiler center has outscored Ryan Kessler quite easily?”

    Nah.

    The question should be “which centre has had a 41 goal season and won a Selke trophy”?

    I’d wager the answer to that question will never be Sam Gagner.

    Do you disagree?

  115. kooler says:

    Andropod,

    Need a 4th line that plays more than 5 min a game.

    Can we bring up Chase?

    RNH, Hemsky, Hall
    Arco, Eberle and Smyth
    Gagner ,Perron and Yak
    Gordon, JJ, Chase

  116. Woodguy says:

    Dead Cat Bounce: Nah.

    The question should be “which centre has had a 41 goal season and won a Selke trophy”?

    I’d wager the answer to that question will never be Sam Gagner.

    Do you disagree?

    Kessler getting the Selke while Maholtra and Sedin played tougher competition ranks up there dual-ling Ovechkins on the All-star teams.

  117. Ribs says:

    Regarding Swarm Holes – I’m not going to say that it’s a bad way of doing things, only that the players don’t seem to be catching on to it. They seem to be able to do the basics, but once anything goes wrong, it’s mayhem.

    You look at that first goal tonight and it’s pretty clear that the play falls apart once Arcobello loses his check (the puck bounces a bit). Eberle then looks lost as he can’t join the (nonexistent) swarm and the Isles take full advantage.

    Take a look at the third goal and there is more confusion as Hemsky fails to read another swarm breakdown as Gordon gets stalled on the boards. There’s just very little room for error here that doesn’t leave a giant opportunity in the slot. Hemsky would need to read and react much faster to that breakdown for this defence to be effective.

    There just doesn’t appear to be many fail-safes being implemented here. Maybe it comes in time and with practice, but sheesh, there sure seems to be simpler ways of doing things.

    Random note – Arcobello missing his check horribly on the 2nd Isles goal. Why is he killing penalties?

  118. rickithebear says:

    FPB94:
    Draft talk: The guy I wanted the Oilers to draft (And the Red Wings got him…) Anthony Mantha, now has 16 goals and 28 points in 9 games this year.

    Anthony Mantha
    6’5″ 205LB sept 16 1994
    1st round 2013 # 20
    10gm 6 EVg 6 EVA
    1.2 EVP/GM
    1.2 *.40= .48 evppg NHLE @ 22
    projects to
    20 EVG 19 EVA

    Greg Chase
    6’0″ 205LB Jan 1 1995
    7th round 2013 #188
    10 GM 7EVG 4EVA
    1.1 evppg
    1.1 * .43 = .473 ppg NHLE @ 22
    Projects as
    17 EVG 22EVA
    Chase’s production is equal to antha at even by age.

    Mantha sure has alot of PP points. The new Mule?

  119. G Money says:

    Woodguy: RNH can’t carry a line yet on his own.

    Personally, I think this is fatigue. RNH started like a bat out of hell in his first game, played 26 minutes, and was a monster at every facet of the game. Adrenaline can do that. You can see that occasionally with AHL callups who have a monster first game and then never match it again.

    Adrenaline wears off.

    Now RNH is back to rust breaking, timing development, and building game endurance. He’ll get there. Another six games is my guess.

    So far we’ve had to live through a bunch of games where it seems each night only a single one of Hall, Eberle, Yak, or RNH have their heads and hands in the game. At some point we will see all of them on their game, and it will be something to watch.

  120. Woodguy says:

    Ribs:
    Regarding Swarm Holes – I’m not going to say that it’s a bad way of doing things, only that the players don’t seem to be catching on to it. They seem to be able to do the basics, but once anything goes wrong, it’s mayhem.

    You look at that first goal tonight and it’s pretty clear that the play falls apart once Arcobello loses his check (the puck bounces a bit). Eberle then looks lost as he can’t join the (nonexistent) swarm and the Isles take full advantage.

    Take a look at the third goal and there is more confusion as Hemsky fails to read another swarm breakdown as Gordon gets stalled on the boards. There’s just very little room for error here that doesn’t leave a giant opportunity in the slot. Hemsky would need to read and react much faster to that breakdown for this defence to be effective.

    There just doesn’t appear to be many fail-safes being implemented here. Maybe it comes in time and with practice, but sheesh, there sure seems to be simpler ways of doing things.

    Random note – Arcobello missing his check horribly on the 2nd Isles goal. Why is he killing penalties?

    In the post game Eakins said the holes were due to players trying to do too much.

    They left their position to help a team mate, then the puck went right to where they should have been.

    Random note – Arcobello missing his check horribly on the 2nd Isles goal. Why is he killing penalties?

    Because you can’t send the NHL leader in assists down to the farm and he’s not taking 89′s job.

    If he’s taking 41′s spot, or playing on the wing in the bottom 6 (and probably taking draws when needed) he has to kill penalties.

    Might as well start now.

  121. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    Woodguy: Kessler getting the Selke while Maholtra and Sedin played tougher competition ranks up there dual-ling Ovechkins on the All-star teams.

    So bitter.

    In other news…

    Paajarvi:

    0G 0A 0P 0SH 0HTS 0BKS 0GVA 0TKA 8:17TOI

    I’d guess Hitchcock is really impressed.

  122. Racki says:

    “Steve Smith”:
    Racki,

    I wouldn’t know.

    You’re not nearly as annoying as DSF.

  123. "Steve Smith" says:

    Racki,

    I do not think that “compliment” means what you think it means.

  124. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    Racki: You’re not nearly as annoying as DSF.

    Yes they are.

    It’s all perspective.

  125. Andropod says:

    A novice question: Do the Oilers get to run more training camps etc during the Olympic break? Could this be their chance to sort out the wrinkles and work as a team?

  126. bookje says:

    Andropod:
    A novice question: Do the Oilers get to run more training camps etc during the Olympic break? Could this be their chance to sort out the wrinkles and work as a team?

    OTC, is that you?

  127. bookje says:

    Andropod,

    No they don’t, I am sure the NHLPA and NHL has declared that off time for the players.

    My OTC reference refers to this http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/30621-Edmonton-Oilers-hit-the-ice-instead-of-the-links-for-Pat-Quinns-minicamp.html

  128. dangilitis says:

    Dead Cat Bounce,

    Ooh, I like this game.

    Then the questions likely are:
    Who is the man that would risk his neck for his brother man?
    Who’s the cat that won’t cop out when there’s danger all about?

  129. Suntory Hanzo says:

    Dead Cat Bounce: So bitter.

    In other news…

    Paajarvi:

    0G 0A 0P 0SH 0HTS 0BKS 0GVA 0TKA 8:17TOI

    I’d guess Hitchcock is really impressed.

    But he wasn’t a minus!

  130. nelson88 says:

    Was at the Hawks/Blues game tonight. The Madhouse on Madison is all it is cracked up to be. Highly recommend it if you have a chance to see a game there.

    I didn’t realize MPS was even playing until the 3rd although I could say the same about Chris Stewart as his line mate.

    Greg Chase with 1G 2A and the game winner in the shoot-out. That guy in the 7th round is just crazy.

  131. dangilitis says:

    “RNH-Hall-Eberle
    Gagner-Perron-Hemsky
    Gordon-Smyth-Yakupov
    Acton-Gazdic-Arcobello”

    Is that really what you would do LT, if you had other NHL or even better AHL level players at your disposal?

    How about
    RNH-Hall-Eberle
    Gagner-Perron-Yakupov
    Gordon-Smyth-Hemsky
    Arcobello-Omark-Miller (vs officially shortening bench or adding defencemen)

    Every additional game Acton stays is another ringing indictment of this team’s nepotism. He can’t play well at ES or PK. Gazdic and Brown should be flushed.

    We are small and get pushed around all the time any ways, why not at least put out players who can score.

  132. Andropod says:

    bookje,

    Thank you.

  133. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Ribs,

    thanks for the reads. The jones article is especially heartening. Looks like the sensible approach wins the day and the MSM loses yet another narrative.

  134. Ribs says:

    Woodguy: In the post game Eakins said the holes were due to players trying to do too much.
    They left their position to help a team mate, then the puck went right to where they should have been.

    I suppose on the two plays in question you could say Arcobello tried to help out Belov, and Gordon tried to help out Hemsky, and that caused the confusion. That then kind of brings us to the original point. There’s too much confusion going on. The coach sounds steadfast in his approach, but I’m hoping there is some room there to adapt and to simplify things a bit for the players.

  135. Ribs says:

    Woodguy: Because you can’t send the NHL leader in assists down to the farm and he’s not taking 89′s job.
    If he’s taking 41′s spot, or playing on the wing in the bottom 6 (and probably taking draws when needed) he has to kill penalties.
    Might as well start now.

    Brass nuts, this Eakins guy.

  136. Ribs says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Ribs,

    thanks for the reads. The jones article is especially heartening. Looks like the sensible approach wins the day and the MSM loses yet another narrative.

    It also has some great quotes about draft day and scouting strategies which I’m sure many here will enjoy.

  137. Ribs says:

    “Next year’s free agents are a pretty strong market,” said MacTavish.

    So yea, no vote of confidence there, Dubz. Sorry.

  138. fifthcartel says:

    Can we just have Greg Chase GDT’s instead of Oilers ones? We would probably have a lot more to cheer about.

  139. Gerta Rauss says:

    More Mac T from the Jones article

    We were sent a list of four-game stretches involving a lot of goalies in the last couple of years and there’s some pretty good names on that list who had lower save percentages than Devan,” he said.

    For the life of me I can’t figure out who would have the time/inclination to put together a list like that.

  140. Gerta Rauss says:

    I thought Dubie looked good. We have to hope he builds on that and gets things going in the right direction.

    Tough time to be an Oiler fan right now.

  141. regwald says:

    Gerta Rauss,

    not sure if you are being sarcastic, but Tyler Dellows @Mc79hockey

  142. FastOil says:

    DeadmanWaking,

    “I also think that MacT has the balls to flush the season in mid November. That could end up being his signature (and highly unpopular) bold move. Then the team needs to be hell to play against for the second half of the flushed season so that they finally enter October on some kind of roll, playing within a system they can continue to tweak, rather than pyre.”

    I truly hope so. This season is in jeopardy in large part because of not pulling the chute in time last year.

    It takes balls and maturity to call it over. I think it would be a sign of progress in itself, not ignoring reality or the inevitable, as a child might. Sadly we are but days and a few meager games away from done.

    Polish the turds and those about to leave and have a garage sale. Buy some pretty things for next year. Make sure everybody is onside with the system by season end or polish them up too.

    MacT has a great opportunity to get some things done once he knows it’s over if he can keep quiet publicly. He can read his fan’s blogs and watch for teams about to tumble and take advantage of their lack of knowledge. He can play to those on the cusp of playoffs or contending. For the love of Pete just sit back, wait and keep the media philosophizing to a dull roar.

    Kirk out.

  143. Gerta Rauss says:

    regwald,

    sarcasm..:)

  144. Numenius says:

    I’d like to see Yakupov get a chance to play with Hall.

    See if the chemistry they had last season was for real. That could be what gets Yakupov going.

  145. Racki says:

    Gerta Rauss:
    More Mac T from the Jones article

    We were sent a list of four-game stretches involving a lot of goalies in the last couple of years and there’s some pretty good names on that list who had lower save percentages than Devan,” he said.

    For the life of me I can’t figure out who would have the time/inclination to put together a list like that.

    Wow, funny to hear how the Oil brass pays attention to the blog world. They should just get it over with and hire some of those stats bloggers on their staff. :P

  146. art vandelay says:

    Good idea, Ricki.
    Then, after the Boobs on the Bus have read all the NerdStats ™ showing tha oilers are winning the 5×5 RelCorsi Sledgehammers, they can convince themselves they’re 7-0 instead of, wel, you know, they’re actual record in the real world.

  147. art vandelay says:

    Oh, and 30, 30, 29, 23…..
    Enjoy the new rink, OIler fan…..

  148. toldyaso says:

    Hope and change not working out so well? Shocking i say, just shocking. Just wait till they trade Yak for some grit – that will fix it.

  149. russ99 says:

    My forward lines when everyone is healthy:

    RNH – Hall – Eberle
    Gagner – Hemsky -Yakupov (against the softs)
    Gordon – Perron – Joesnuu (shutdown line who can score, gets toughs at home)
    Arcobello – Smyth – Jones/Gadzic (8-10 minutes a night)

    It’s obvious the limited minutes used on the facepuncher line is forcing up the icetime of our top 6 and they’re gassed halfway through the third, at least on the road where they’re running into tough sledding all game.

  150. sliderule says:

    Woodguy,

    On the first goal arco was doing his job assisting defender.His mistake was not blocking pass out.

    Meanwhile Schultz jr was holding hands with Dubnyk,Eberle was getting close but no cigar and Hall who at one point looked like he could be involved drifted off to the wall.

    Lots of blame to go around and add to that the oiler coaches who should look at protecting the slot

  151. Big Dan says:

    I was going to post that the lack of a 4th line made the team look gassed in the 3rd last night (as does 4 games in 6 nights on the road). Looks like I wasn’t the only one to see that. Arco continues to impress. He’s broke Smyth and Eberle out of slumps – perhaps he can do the same for Yakupov on the 3rd line when Gagner returns.

    Happy for Dubnyk. His TO game reminded me of a cold spell when bowling. Sometimes you can get turkeys (3 strikes in a row) blindfolded. Other times, you just can’t hit that middle pin! So you start overthinking, changing your feet/ swing… and just suck. Then you get a headpin or a split (still a loss) but it’s a start. That was this Islander game. Dubnyk’s body language looked better as the game wore on. He looked relaxed, was square to the puck, kept it simple.

    I still wouldn’t mind a Neuvirth acquisition but if it’s not affordable, glad to see Dubnyk picking up the pieces. I wholeheartedly don’t want MacT to tank this season. I think the team is very good now and capable of getting on a roll – they’re still adapting to Dallas Eakins’ style but getting better each night. We’ll see if this “we will dominate in 30 games once everybody’s broken into the fitness regime” mantra.

    Even if we JUST miss, we need a playoff series or at the very least, meaningful games to the end of the season. The fans and players are done with tanking.

  152. G Money says:

    art vandelay:
    Good idea, Ricki.
    Then, after the Boobs on the Bus have read all the NerdStats ™ showing tha oilers are winning the 5×5 RelCorsi Sledgehammers, they can convince themselves they’re 7-0 instead of, wel, you know, they’re actual record in the real world.

    Art – we get that stats are beyond you, but there is no need to fear them, or fear what they are telling you.

  153. G Money says:

    Big Dan: Even if we JUST miss, we need a playoff series or at the very least, meaningful games to the end of the season. The fans and players are done with tanking.

    Dan, a number of salient points on this:

    - I find myself in the funny position of defending the “goodness” of this team after this horrendous 1-6-1 start. At the start of the season, I was in the minority of predicting that this team *won’t* make the playoffs – the D and fourth line, though better than last year, just aren’t good enough yet. I think the team will be close, though, and will be playing meaningful games late.

    - But defending the team is not that difficult to do. Despite the noise about the swarm and chances and blah blah, the team is markedly better than last year. Bad goaltending and bad luck have done in at least three games so far. A 4-3-1 mark and there is little of this angst.

    - Despite the noise about the stats and the start, last year the team started 5-3 (with two losses to a red hot San Jose team, and wins over LA and Van) but had horrible fancy stats. No surprisingly, by the end of the season, the team had reverted to the stinky level indicated by the stats. In this case, the record is horrible but the fancy stats are decent. I expect fully that the team will recover to the decent level indicated by the stats.

    - A four game winning streak (which is not out of the question with decent goaltending and the decent effort the team has put forward most nights, the Van and NYI games being the painful exceptions) and the team is right back to about where it should be. The only question – how many games lost, how deep is the hole dug, before that happens?

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