OILERS WAIVE GREBESHKOV, POTTER

In a move that perhaps clears the way for another, the Edmonton Oilers placed veteran defenders Corey Potter and Denis Grebeshkov on waivers today. I’d guess the club would be fine with either (or both) being claimed, but it would seem unlikely at this time. The reason for waiving Grebeshkov? My guess is he’s ready to head back to the KHL.

Is there another move in the works? My guess is yes, the club will do something to improve the overall roster and that yes, it’ll be along the blueline.

KEEPERS

  1. Jeff Petry: I can’t imagine the Oilers dealing him. Petry plays big, tough minutes and belongs on the top pairing.
  2. Ladislav Smid: Perhaps miscast on the top pair, you have to find something better before moving him down.
  3. Justin Schultz: Excellent puck mover, has a lot of chaos to his game. A challenge is finding a partner for him.
  4. Anton Belov: Enter Belov. He’s been excellent.
  5. Andrew Ference: Veteran, captain, penalty killer.

Nick Schultz, Potter and Grebeshkov were 6, 7, and 8 now there’s only Schultz the elder left. The Oilers could call up a farmhand, and there are some good candidates.

CALLUPS

  1. Taylor Fedun: College man has adjusted well to the pro game and earned his opportunity (should it come).
  2. Oscar Klefbom: Highly rated first round pick close to ready.
  3. Martin Marincin: Mobile defender can head man the puck.
  4. Brandon Davidson: Already a callup, it could happen again.
  5. Phil Larsen: The most NHL experience in the group.

TRADES

It all comes down to what Craig MacTavish is willing to deal. I’m hopeful he won’t panic and pull the trigger on a deal that sends away (as the Habs would put it) “the best player in the deal” but the scene is set for such an occurrence.  If you want to know who is going to be traded, identify the players Eakins is having trouble finding a role for in his system and also hold value.

That’s my guess.

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96 Responses to "OILERS WAIVE GREBESHKOV, POTTER"

  1. VanOil says:

    The cuts could simply be an effort to salvage some good out of another lost season by bloodying the troops. Fedun appears to be a reasonable replacement for Potter at #7 and I would like to find out if he is better than N.Schultz at #6. He has little left to learn in the AHL

    Potter and Grebs cluttering up the D in OKC could hurt development on Kelfbom and Marincin that need to rack up some big minutes down there this year to help save the big club next year. Hopefully Potter is claimed and Grebs gets homesick.

  2. VanOil says:

    PAAJARVI ON IR, Wonky Shoulder?

  3. Hammers says:

    Trouble is there are a few guys having trouble with his “system” if you can call it that . Larsen maybe deserves a chance ? Marachin played well with Justin in the AHL ? Klefbom has the pedigree ? Fedun is potential trade bait ? Guess away but I would be shocked to see a trade that includes a player like Yak especially when the coach hasn’t helped with any soft minutes . Some guys won’t be looked at until late in the season , deadline deals . we only have a Smid or Petry left and it “D” we need . Good Luck McT .

  4. Zelepukin says:

    VanOil:
    PAAJARVI ON IR, Wonky Shoulder?

    Oiler transmitted disease.

  5. Hammers says:

    Maybe it’s time to play Belov with Ference then Petry Smid putting Schult pair on 3rd pairing or Justin with a call up . Belov & Ference may be a good pair . worth trying .

  6. Woodguy says:

    If you want to know who is going to be traded, identify the players Eakins is having trouble finding a role for in his system and also hold value.

    That’s Yak.

    Based on 89′s lazy ass backchecking yesterday I’d say him too, but its only 1 game.

    I really can’t think of anyone else who isn’t finding a role in the system and has value.

  7. prairieschooner says:

    Grebs was a highly speculative move that did not pan out.
    Potter appears to have some good things but not enough to get over the hump

    I liked the move by MacT to get his own guy to coach but I am losing heart.
    The players do not appear to have learned the swarm and breakdowns are resulting in chances and goals at the other end.
    Is this season a write off already?
    Should the coach be trying to get the best performance out of each player or stick to “his” system and make the players do it till they get it right.?
    Is the swarm OK for the AHL but not against higher skilled players in the NHL
    Is Eakins a one trick AHL pony?

  8. Logan91 says:

    Woodguy:
    If you want to know who is going to be traded, identify the players Eakins is having trouble finding a role for in his system and also hold value.

    That’s Yak.

    Based on 89′s lazy ass backchecking yesterday I’d say him too, but its only 1 game.

    I really can’t think of anyone else who isn’t finding a role in the system and has value.

    He had 2 mouth pieces in, and a plate in his jaw. I can imagine it would be quite difficult to catch your breath when you can hardly open your mouth. Especially for his first game back.

  9. KSC10032 says:

    I’d not be surprised if it turned out that Grebs and MacTavish had a gentleman’s agreement that — should #37 not be part of the top 6 defensemen by the end of the first month or so of the season — that he’d be waived so as to return to the KHL.

    As Prairie Schooner says, this was a gamble that didn’t work out, but — IMO — a reasonably judicious one. Sometimes you have to acquire guys on their NHL resumes and sort and sift them out later on. Its important to be willing to acknowledge and accept when it doesn’t work out, and take steps accordingly.

  10. KSC10032 says:

    Logan91,

    And playing him for 20+ minutes first time back is a questionable decision by Eakins.

  11. Woodguy says:

    Logan91: He had 2 mouth pieces in, and a plate in his jaw. I can imagine it would be quite difficult to catch your breath when you can hardly open your mouth. Especially for his first game back.

    Standing still behind the goal when the play is breaking the other way is what I was referring to.

    I like Sam and all the patience in the world for him, but he looked pretty slack ass at times.

    Eakins playing the shit out of him in his first game back didn’t help, but the C has to be the first man back, its his job.

  12. Zelepukin says:

    Garbagekov was a long shot and I find it troubling to think anyone would be surprised by this move. Same goes for Potter. More 7-8D who can’t crack the 29th team’s lineup, is not going to help win us games.

  13. KSC10032 says:

    Next step has to be the one that reduces to 2 goalies, by IRing Dubnyk, or returning Bachman to the minors.

    Unless LaBarbara is horrible in every practice, it would seem premature to write him off completely, based on his overall resume.

  14. Logan91 says:

    Woodguy: Standing still behind the goal when the play is breaking the other way is what I was referring to.

    I like Sam and all the patience in the world for him, but he looked pretty slack ass at times.

    Eakins playing the shit out of him in his first game back didn’t help, but the C has to be the first man back, its his job.

    This is true and I agree he looked very sluggish, but he wasn’t getting any help from the D either. During the goals where Sam was in front of the net the D was no where to be seen, and no where near their man.

    Positioning is so key in and league, and I see that as one of the Oilers biggest downfalls. Always going out of positions, or having the D pinch in on plays. You make any mistake and give players like Kessel room to work, and you’re going to pay for it.

  15. Brackenburied says:

    Woodguy: Standing still behind the goal when the play is breaking the other way is what I was referring to.

    I like Sam and all the patience in the world for him, but he looked pretty slack ass at times.

    Eakins playing the shit out of him in his first game back didn’t help, but the C has to be the first man back, its his job.

    On the 2 goal a couple of more strides and he could of at least got a stick on JVR. I don’t think at this level his mouth guards can be an excuse. You are either good to goor not.

  16. Logan91 says:

    Brackenburied: On the 2 goal a couple of more strides and he could of at least got a stick on JVR. I don’t think at this level his mouth guards can be an excuse. You are either good to goor not.

    Same thing goes for Smid on the Kadri goal that Rielly shot off his ass, he went to block a shot and just laid on the ice giving Reilly the space to shoot.

    Lazy effort from everyone.

  17. bookje says:

    I generally support MacT, but he overpaid a defensman who was struggling in the KHL. Grebs was a no chance bet.

  18. bookje says:

    Woodguy: Standing still behind the goal when the play is breaking the other way is what I was referring to.

    I like Sam and all the patience in the world for him, but he looked pretty slack ass at times.

    Eakins playing the shit out of him in his first game back didn’t help, but the C has to be the first man back, its his job.

    It was his first game back from injury. He gets a free pass.

  19. dawgtoy says:

    Maybe making room for Ehrhoff? Can’t wait on draft picks forever. Bird in hand … Yada yada yada.

  20. Zack says:

    Knowing the Oilers, they will be attempting to go another round with the three headed goaltending monster. Man, I seriously hope not.

  21. stevezie says:

    dawgtoy,

    Because of the new rules of the present CBA I would say it is extremely unlikely the Sabres trade Erhoff.

    I thought Nick Schultz had his best game of the season yesterday, but if you want to argue that the lack of a true #1 D means we need six 2nd pairing guys I’m right there with you.

    I don’t think there are any bad players giving games away (a la Whitney last year)- addition by subtraction is not an option. Our problem is a lack of really good players. We need addition by addition. I think this means it may take a long time for the right trade to materialize.

  22. Woodguy says:

    So CAL out shoots TOR 15-7 in the first and are down 2-0

    I think the hockey gords are paying Toronto back for Harold Ballard all at once.

  23. Jon K says:

    I think Gene Principe reported prior to the game that Sam was playing with two mouth guards due to his injury, and was having problems with his breathing somewhat. It might explain Sam’s looking gassed. On the other hand, he also played a lot of minutes in his first game in weeks. Some time to get into game shape should be expected. Either way, I don’t think there’s much point in tearing Sam apart for his first game performance when most of the team laid an egg.

    —–

    In terms of concerns about MacT making a move now, I don’t think we need concern ourselves very much. If MacT didn’t make any bold trades in the offseason that he might regret, I don’t really believe he’s going to now, with 29 other GMs in the league smacking their lips. In the offseason he knew that he was a target for opportunistic GMs trying to improve their teams at the expense of a rookie GM. I’m sure he’s aware of that now, too.

    The problems of this team have been known for a long period of time: effective depth at centre and the lack of a stabilizing top 2 defender.

    I think that one of these problems is the result of an inability to acquire the asset, namely the top pairing defender. The Oilers have been trying to get one of these since Pronger left town. We tried throwing $7.5 million at Chara when he was UFA and we’ve been involved in trade rumours whenever players like that have been available. Regrettably, the best chance of acquiring a player like this is probably through trade. How does everyone feel about moving Smid and Eberle for Weber? I suspect MacT doesn’t like that idea much, either.

    The other problem seems to be one of Lowe and MacT’s creation, however. Despite Nuge’s continuing and improving brilliance, and Gordon’s stability at 3C, centre remains a position of weakness for this team. Unlike the team’s inability to acquire a top 2 D however, I think that the team doesn’t necessarily believe that the centre depth is an issue. And I think this is in part because they believe that Sam Gagner is the solution.

    Despite being a veteran, I think there are still questions about Sam Gagner’s efficacy at centre and how much he actually helps the team win. I think that’s a very real problem, whether you are proponent or opponent of Sam Gagner continuing to be on the team. Comparing Arcobello’s performance to Gagner in the past, I feel pretty confident in saying that Arcobello is substantially better without the puck. Will Gagner be as accomplished defensively at 25? Remains to be seen.

    In any case, if we believe that the team might benefit from having a 2C who has both size and two-ability, we then have the dilemma of MacT talking himself into a corner with Gagner’s contract. He has a NMC in his UFA years and apparently MacT gave his word that he would not trade Gagner before that. So we can’t really move him.

    Eakins’ comments about the renovation being messy were right on. MacT still has lots of renovating to do, and it’s going to get messier yet.

  24. Jon K says:

    Woodguy,

    Was watching a bit of the game. Whatever personnel woes Calgary might have, you cannot say that their team doesn’t work and skate hard. Sigh.

  25. hunter1909 says:

    Tambellini’s supposed to be the scapegoat, right?

    Okay.

    Now MacT(who was sacked before the fans lynched him) returns to absurdist fanfare: First he’s got zero experience as a GM, so what…he’s got Oiler cup rings?

    Then Kreuger’s casually thrown overboard, and MacT(who for whatever wack reason has decided to even try to do this job given his legion of health issues), as per his 2003 draft form along with You-Know Who simply hires someone on the spot, on ‘a hunch’ might be a reasonable description of the man with the most hands on power to shape the team.

    Eakin’s enters the picture, alternatively exalted and looking for a potential scapegoat of his own starts implementing MacT style system play, which goes over like a lead balloon with the young, uber-talents.

    Some of the talents simply don’t dig this system, man.

    And in conclusion, the MacT hater’s worst possible nightmare is now in effect: A MacT style coach who like MacT is potentially too dumb not to fuck up some of these extremely young players…meaning that all of the last seven years don’t really matter – etc etc.

    Ference as captain = crowning achievement in bad judgment – might as well have Steve Staios wearing the C. Of course a MacT style coach needs a MacT(Horcoffian = overrated) captain. Jeeez.

  26. leadfarmer says:

    Struggling, Having problems on defense. Bring up a rookie. That will help. That is the Oilers way.

    Also, why is a guy who’s been drinking his meals out of a straw for over a month playing over 20 minutes in his first game back. Not only is he rusty but also in less than ideal shape

  27. hunter1909 says:

    leadfarmer: Also, why is a guy who’s been drinking his meals out of a straw for over a month playing over 20 minutes in his first game back.

    Because this is the worst run team in the NHL?

  28. cc says:

    I thought Nick Schultz had his best game of the season yesterday, but if you want to argue that the lack of a true #1 D means we need six 2nd pairing guys I’m right there with you.

    I completely agree with you here! I’ve had the Nick Schultz discussion on a few occasions with LT, regarding his true value. In the WHL he was an offensive d-man when needed to be, but being stuck in Minny for so long under a smothering defensive system hurt his game in my opinion.

    Finally, under a coach who encourages offense from a five man package, we are beginning to see signs of life from all the d-men. Look at some of the goals from the last few games.

    I’m like most of you fans, I would love to see the Oil lighting up the scoring card and winning games. But lets not panic here. Play-offs or no play-offs, lets see how this team is doing at Christmas.

    Enough said.

  29. stevezie says:

    Woodguy,

    I’m not saying they are there yet, or even close, but if somehow Toronto keeps winning at what point does Randy Carlyle become something other than a lucky idiot?
    Just because no modern team seems to have found a way to control shot quality and use toughness to win doesn’t mean it can’t be done, right?

    cc,

    But lets not panic here. Play-offs or no play-offs, lets see how this team is doing at Christmas.

    Tragic but true. The team and the coach have undergone such a tumultuous few years things need to settle before we know what we are looking at. This has already cost us the playoffs and once the picture is clear it may still look ugly, but that’s what 16 coaches in four months and several roster overhauls will get you.

  30. G Money says:

    Looks like we are not the only team that the Hockey Gords like to f**k with.

    After an absolutely ludicrous start (.970 sv% I think), almost singlehandedly responsible for the Avs stupid good start, Semyon Varlamov is slowly starting to come back down to Earth.

    Apparently not fast enough for the Hockey Gords:

    “Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov turned himself in to Denver Police detectives for domestic violence related charges.

    The offenses are described in jail records as second degree kidnapping and third degree assault.”

    Russian goalie has a sizzling start to the season, making his shitty team look like a contender for a short while. Russian goalie going to jail. Sounds familiar.

  31. RMGS says:

    bookje: It was his first game back from injury.He gets a free pass.

    Not only that but Yak was the high forward. That was his missed assignment.

  32. RMGS says:

    Woodguy:
    So CAL out shoots TOR 15-7 in the first and are down 2-0

    I think the hockey gords are paying Toronto back for Harold Ballard all at once.

    He failed miserably, of course, but was this the team that Krueger was trying to make the Oilers – a counter-attack rush team that buries grade-A chances, has a killer PP, and keeps the opposition shots to the outside?

  33. sliderule says:

    If Dubnyk had played to last years standards of .920 save percentage all this angst would have been avoided.

    The team would be sitting at 6-5-1 and when the home dates come ready to make a run.

    Instead we have the fans screaming to trade one or more of the kids for a defenceman or big forward etc.

    The problem is in goal guys and unless Dubnyk comes to life we are done and looking at draft.

  34. Southern Oil says:

    Is it terrible if I cheer for the Flames here in the 3rd? T.O. can just go suck it.

  35. G Money says:

    Southern Oil:
    Is it terrible if I cheer for the Flames here in the 3rd?T.O. can just go suck it.

    Yes, it’s terrible. Even with the wounds raw from yesterday, never forget who the real enemy is.

  36. Lowetide says:

    sliderule:
    If Dubnyk had played to last years standards of .920 save percentage all this angstwould have been avoided.

    The team would be sitting at 6-5-1 and when the home dates come ready to make a run.

    Insteadwe have the fans screamingto trade oneor more of the kidsfor a defenceman or big forward etc.

    The problem is in goal guys and unless Dubnyk comes to life we are done and looking at draft.

    I think that’s true, but it’s also true that (all things being equal) Dubnyk will return. I’m very hopeful he coms back on Saturday.

  37. Southern Oil says:

    G Money: Yes, it’s terrible.Even with the wounds raw from yesterday, never forget who the real enemy is.

    Cheer was the wrong word. It’s like asking to choose between a root canal or colonoscopy. But in my case, I lived for 10 years in the hole of Southern Ontario and had to deal with these tools on an regular basis. In fact one relocated to Calgary and is at the game tonight. She rubbed my nose in it when the Leafs beat us 6-5 the first time.

  38. G Money says:

    Southern Oil: Cheer was the wrong word.It’s like asking to choose between a root canal or colonoscopy.But in my case, I lived for 10 years in the hole of Southern Ontario and had to deal with these tools on an regular basis.In fact one relocated to Calgary and is at the game tonight.She rubbed my nose in it when the Leafs beat us 6-5 the first time.

    Ah, got it. I understand. I have the worst of both worlds right now as well – I live in Calgary, and two of my sales staff are big TO fans. Both went to the game tonight, so they were at work in their ass-blue jerseys. The Leafs are giving out tissue boxes during this trip to fans of the Oilers, Flames, and Nucks. So of course I had one on my PC in the morning.

    So I can’t cheer for either team … but since the Lames are in our conference and division, and therefore their position at the end of the year is directly comparable, I mainly hope they score a pile of own goals ending with a last minute own goal on the Lames to lose, where two Flames and two Leafs collide with each other and make a Youtube highlight.

    Slim pickings in “Oiler Hope” country!

  39. Lowetide says:

    Ripoux:
    Thank gawd McTavish is grounded.

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/edmonton-oilers/Howling+fans+poor+record+sway+Oilers/9104464/story.html?cid=dlvr.it-twitter-ej_oilers

    Just read that, wonderful interview. Matty sure wants his red meat eater though.

  40. Southern Oil says:

    G Money: Ah, got it. I understand. I have the worst of both worlds right now as well – I live in Calgary, and two of my sales staff are big TO fans.Both went to the game tonight, so they were at work in their ass-blue jerseys.The Leafs are giving out tissue boxes during this trip to fans of the Oilers, Flames, and Nucks. So of course I had one on my PC in the morning.

    So I can’t cheer for either team … but since the Lames are in our conference and division, and therefore their position at the end of the year is directly comparable, I mainly hope they score a pile of own goals ending with a last minute own goal on the Lames to lose, where two Flames and two Leafs collide with each other and make a Youtube highlight.

    Slim pickings in “Oiler Hope” country!

    That can’t be easy at all. Although it must be nice to be able to talk hockey at work sometimes at least – like the odd time when we win. Myself, being in Atlanta, I am just stunned if people know where Calgary and Edmonton are. The time and distance has tempered my 80′s hatred of all things Flames.

  41. Ripoux says:

    I didn’t watch the game, I was at a buddy’s wishing I could watch it, and saw updates via my phone…when I came home and read the blog comments I was ready to throw myself off a bridge. In fact, I have seen only about 2 periods worth of the Oil this year live, just because of lack of opportunity. Maybe that is the key for now.

    I would be frustrated too if I watched the games…

  42. G Money says:

    Southern Oil: That can’t be easy at all.Although it must be nice to be able to talk hockey at work sometimes at least – like the odd time when we win.Myself, being in Atlanta, I am just stunned if people know where Calgary and Edmonton are.The time and distance has tempered my 80′s hatred of all things Flames.

    Ha, I’m guessing no-one there knows that the Calgary Flames were once the Atlanta Flames either!

    Yeah, actually as much as I give them a hard time (and they, me), it is good to have hockey fans around. Otherwise my only hockey outlet would be you lot … :-) We even thought about driving up to Edmonton for the game – thank Gord that didn’t work out, would have been a shitty ride back!

    Lowetide: I think that’s true, but it’s also true that (all things being equal) Dubnyk will return. I’m very hopeful he coms back on Saturday.

    The stats are on our side. The single best predictor of goalie performance is long run save %.

    I know it doesn’t work this way (even with a consistent goalie, a good and bad year is common), but IF Dubie were to work up his way to finish the year, say, at 0.917 with 60 games left, he has to go 0.922 over those games. Cross your fingers, and maybe sacrifice a pork rib to the Hockey Gords.

  43. RexLibris says:

    Personally, I’d go with Larsen. Fedun second.

    Reason being, Larsen has lots of NHL experience upon which to draw so entering the shift show that is the Oilers right now isn’t going to screw him up professionally. Fedun is one smart cookie and can probably weather whatever chaos he finds here as well as pick up the Eakins Diet, er, sorry System as quickly as anyone.

    These are also the two who are closest to the top of the veteran ladder, such as it is, for the prospects right now and the organization needs to get a look-see before deciding on whether to stay or fold with them.

  44. TeeVee says:

    KSC10032:
    I’d not be surprised if it turned out that Grebs and MacTavish had a gentleman’s agreement that — should #37 not be part of the top 6 defensemen by the end of the first month or so of the season — that he’d be waived so as to return to the KHL.

    I agree 100%

  45. TeeVee says:

    On a side note, the Flames outshot the Leafs 43-22 and lost 4-2.

    WTF? Carlyle is onto something.

  46. danny says:

    The Oilers have made the playoffs 7 times in 20 years, going on 21.

    The optimist in me says at least there when the dynasty alumni get old there won’t be much to chose from via these wretched years.

    The Oilers are going to literally grandfather out their current hiring practices.

  47. TartanArmy says:

    I really think Yakupov’s days are numbered. Package him and N.Shultz and you could probably get a pretty good d-man in return…..Ernhoff?

  48. Zelepukin says:

    TeeVee:
    On a side note, the Flames outshot the Leafs 43-22 and lost 4-2.

    WTF? Carlyle is onto something.

    A very similar game. Toronto out-executed the Flames, who had some great chances.

  49. FastOil says:

    leadfarmer:
    Struggling, Having problems on defense.Bring up a rookie.That will help.That is the Oilers way.

    Also, why is a guy who’s been drinking his meals out of a straw for over a month playing over 20 minutes in his first game back.Not only is he rusty but also in less than ideal shape

    It’s completely wrong, or perhaps I should say hard. How do special forces and doctors get trained?

    There is no room for excuses in winner take all situations. Excuses can be made but failure earned will be paid, usually and sometimes spectacularly, in full. Sam Gagner showed Dallas Eakins what he is about last night. Eakins knew he wasn’t close to ready, but when you are at the wall your tendencies are there for all to see. Training camp again in three hours.

    Puking tired there is no space to hide what you are doing. Sam wasn’t too concerned about his own net it seems. The problem there is economy – it is much more efficient to prevent goals than score them. And much more predictable. Predictability in a game swayed largely by chance is huge.

    To be blunt, years of bullshit called. The path forward will be clear for Eakins. Whether Eakins prevails is up to Katz. Gagner can be a significant part of success, but not until he wants to be his own man.

    While I don’t feel sorry for Sam that his life has been served on a silver platter, it would be hard to follow a fairly successful father into the NHL, which is perhaps why it is rare, and more rare for a son to out do a father that played.

    Keep calm and Dallas on.

  50. godot10 says:

    Ripoux: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/edmonton-oilers/Howling+fans+poor+record+sway+Oilers/9104464/story.html?cid=dlvr.it-twitter-ej_oilers

    When MacT took the job, he didn’t say he was going to change the coach or chase goaltenders all summer, but he did.

  51. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Ripoux:
    Thank gawd McTavish is grounded.

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/edmonton-oilers/Howling+fans+poor+record+sway+Oilers/9104464/story.html?cid=dlvr.it-twitter-ej_oilers

    Lowetide: Just read that, wonderful interview. Matty sure wants his red meat eater though.

    Would it kill him to just publish the fucking transcript?

    It is so frustrating to read his “interviews.” It is near impossible to distinguish what is the sentiment of the subject, because Matty can’t keep his damn yap shut and let the subject speak for himself.

    How many times does Matty say the Oilers need a nasty bottom pairing D? Countless and in nearly every piece he’s written since the Summer.

    How many times did MacT say anything like that? Zero. Have we ever heard anyone say this from within the organization? Not that i’m aware of.

    If they wanted this guy they would have re-signed Peckham or Fistric or a UFA.

  52. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: Just read that, wonderful interview. Matty sure wants his red meat eater though.

    Hitting cures everything in Matty’s World.

  53. Lowetide says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Would it kill him to just publish the fucking transcript?

    It is so frustrating to read his “interviews.” It is near impossible to distinguish what is the sentiment of the subject, because Matty can’t keep his damn yap shut and let the subject speak for himself.

    How many times does Matty say the Oilers need a nasty bottom pairing D? Countless and in nearly every piece he’s written since the Summer.

    How many times did MacT say anything like that? Zero. Have we ever heard anyone say this from within the organization? Not that i’m aware of.

    If they wanted this guy they would have re-signed Peckham or Fistric or a UFA.

    Yeah yeah. I remember you said the same thing about Matty when he was pumping Drew Stafford to the Oilers, but haven’t heard a word from you since Stafford became an Oiler.

    Huh? What do you say to that? ROM?

  54. Woodguy says:

    MIke’s working with shot distance to chase the elusive “shot quality” and finds that the Oilers system isn’t giving up too many 10 bell chances, but its just been shitty goaltending.

    http://www.boysonthebus.com/2013/10/30/combining-shot-differentials-with-shot-distances/

  55. stevezie says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: If they wanted this guy they would have re-signed Peckham or Fistric or a UFA.

    Maybe Fistric, but not necessarily. That’s like saying any team who wanted a scoring forward should have taken Omark. It’s possible they want a nasty defenceman and don’t see Fistric (Or any UFA of that type) as good enough (Peckham objectively isn’t).

    Better a good version of something you don’t need than a bad one of something you do, eh?

    RexLibris: Personally, I’d go with Larsen. Fedun second.

    I don’t know why Larsen being ppg in the A doesn’t get more play. He had a pretty solid training camp too. He isn’t really what we need, but he he might be a pretty good version of it (see above).

  56. GordM says:

    Varlomov arrested for kidnapping / domestic abuse…wow! Crazy!

  57. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide: Yeah yeah. I remember you said the same thing about Matty when he was pumping Drew Stafford to the Oilers, but haven’t heard a word from you since Stafford became an Oiler.

    Huh? What do you say to that? ROM?

    Is my face red! haha

    I bet you 9 out of 10 people walk away from that interview thinking MacT said “we want Willie Mitchell.” They’ll go on to get in an argument around the water cooler with the 10th guy asking them to prove it. They’ll spend the next hour in their cubicle re-reading the interview trying to find a quote from MacT.

    stevezie: Maybe Fistric, but not necessarily. That’s like saying any team who wanted a scoring forward should have taken Omark. It’s possible they want a nasty defenceman and don’t see Fistric (Or any UFA of that type) as good enough (Peckham objectively isn’t).
    Better a good version of something you don’t need than a bad one of something you do, eh?

    But that’s the point isn’t it? They need a really really good D man now. If he’s physical great. Pronger would be great.

    But the target is “damn good” not “nasty” and certainly not “nasty bottom pairing.”

  58. Woodguy says:

    RMGS: He failed miserably, of course, but was this the team that Krueger was trying to make the Oilers – a counter-attack rush team that buries grade-A chances, has a killer PP, and keeps the opposition shots to the outside?

    TOR doesn’t keep the shots to the outside though.

    There are shot tracker apps available and they give up as many chances as the next team.

    I’ll wait to pass judgement.

    High quality forwards who bury their chances helps, but he’s still playing with fire.

    Their team SV% is .935. That will drop.

    Their 4v5 SV% is .947 which is completely unreal.

    League average is around .880

    Last lockout season TOR was 2nd in the NHL with .901

    Goaltending.

    Makes decent teams look awful and makes ok teams look like world beaters.

    Remember that MIN was 20-7-3 to start the 2011/12 season and was in 1st place in the NHL?

    http://www.hockey-reference.com/boxscores/index.cgi?month=12&day=11&year=2011

    They were riding .950 or so SV% too while being outshot.

    They ended the season 35-36-11 and finished 24th in the NHL.

    TOR may not regress that much, but they’re not the last team to start hot.

    As for the story that TOR has been red hot since all of last (1/2) season, their last 24 games last year they went 11-9-4. Decent, but not the barn burning pace of this year.

  59. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    GordM:
    Varlomov arrested for kidnapping / domestic abuse…wow! Crazy!

    How the media handles this situation, especially considering Roy, is going to be very interesting, perhaps depressing.

  60. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: Yeah yeah. I remember you said the same thing about Matty when he was pumping Drew Stafford to the Oilers, but haven’t heard a word from you since Stafford became an Oiler.

    Huh? What do you say to that? ROM?

    Did you know that the Oilers tried to move up on draft day to take Stafford?

  61. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    Woodguy:
    MIke’s working with shot distance to chase the elusive “shot quality” and finds that the Oilers system isn’t giving up too many 10 bell chances, but its just been shitty goaltending.

    http://www.boysonthebus.com/2013/10/30/combining-shot-differentials-with-shot-distances/

    If you’re looking for a shot quality metric, why not use the career shooting percentage of the shooter to qualify the shot.

    While Ovechkin always leads the league in shots, he also has a career shooting percentage of 12.2.

    Crosby takes significantly fewer shots but his shooting percentage is 14.9 which likely means he is taking higher percentage shots.

    At the the other end of the spectrum you of course have defensemen who normally are in the 5% range but with exceptional players like Karlsson and Subban who are over 6%.

    Certainly the skill of the player taking the shot and how successful he has been over his career should give you a pretty good idea of shot quality and using career numbers smooths out hot streaks and cold streaks.

    Worth looking at I think.

  62. stevezie says:

    Woodguy,

    What would the Leafs have to do, do you think, to get the stats community to reconsider their position on them? I think they’re getting lucky, but I’ll admit it is possible that they do we haven’t found a way to quantify yet.
    If they make the playoffs two straight years with numbers like that I will stop laughing at them and help fund any project that tries to figure out how they are doing it.

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I was just disagreeing with your rebuke of Matty that they don’t want this type of player. I think they do want the type, but they are (wisely) reading this blog and realise that you are correct in saying that overall goodness is more important than type of goodness. The nasty guy only helps if he can play.

    For the nothing it is worth, I think Fistric is good enough to be the worst defenceman on a good D corps, but not good enough to be the worst defenceman on a mediocre one, if that makes sense.

    Related note: Is Nick Schultz consciously trying to play rougher or is it just me?

  63. FastOil says:

    stevezie,

    Stevezie – I am not sure how much you will read stats stuff (lots out there) but the pig can wear lipstick and maybe not have to put any more on for two dances, but the lipstick will come off, at some point.

    Queen luck can rule, for brief epochs, but Queen reality always comes back nasty. Such is life as human. The Oilers will finish the year better to some degree, the Leafs worse. The Leafs may get in but don’t have the juice to win it in a series where the opponent can focus on them.

  64. Racki says:

    stevezie:
    Woodguy,
    Related note: Is Nick Schultz consciously trying to play rougher or is it just me?

    Back to back games with monster hits. Not just good hits, but monster hits where he leveled a guy at the blueline (Nazem Kadri and Kyle Clifford). This was probably his Brian Campbell on R.J. Umberger moment, I guess.

    Those were real beauties though, and I applaud him for that.

  65. fifthcartel says:

    These are probably ‘please don’t healthy scratch me’ hits.

  66. stevezie says:

    FastOil,

    I’m not calling the Leafs the real deal. Every argument for their imminent fall makes perfect sense to me.

    When debating people who strongly believe something I find it helpful to ask, “What would have to happen in order to change your mind?” If the answer is, “Nothing could change my mind,” then the discussion is pointless and they’ve moved beyond logic.

    It seems to me many academics fall so in love with certain explanations and viewpoints that they
    their minds ossify. (As do many idiots).

    I believe in statistics. I believe the Leafs will fall. But in the interest of intellectual honesty, what would have to happen in order for those who know a lot more about “advanced” stats than me to change their minds as to what is going on in Toronto?

    As for me and my house I’m saying two years of playoffs. I’m not sure they should be given full credit for a lockout year so if they get blown out of the first round it will count as missing them.

    I hope they go the way of the Wild. I hate the Leafs. I also enjoy a worldview I understand, and if the Leafs are for real we’re all going to have to rethink a lot.

  67. stevezie says:

    fifthcartel,

    Then “roster competition” is paying off. He should keep it up.

  68. Andy P says:

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/edmonton-oilers/Howling+fans+poor+record+sway+Oilers/9104464/story.html

    Just when I was wallowing in a pit of despair, I take a look at this article and I thank goodness that this team has a GM and coach who have the dual quality of intelligence and iron spheroids.

    The season is lost for all intents and purposes. As frustrating as it is to watch, I’m not going to put any of the past poor play on Eakins or any of the prior coaches except Quinn. I am going to put the fact that we are here squarely on the shoulders of Dithers.

    I am comfortable with the moves that MacT has made to date. We have had a horrible start for sure, when you add the off-form goalie and the string of injuries to our top players to the new players, coach, GM, and systems, it is/was just too much to expect in the first year of a major rebuild. Yes, first year. .If we look back at anything I’m sure MacT wishes he had not built up expectations as he did, and the injuries and off-form play by Dubs made that difficult task well nigh impossible. It’s been painful to watch for sure, but I appreciate the manner in which LT has kept us level headed with pointing out the factual, underlying improvement that is taking place.

    I still think that there is a core internal dynamic that needs to be dealt with by either turning or removing whatever is still stalling the development of this team. I am encouraged that whatever is going on, is being dealt with behind closed doors. I still also think that the 20-30 game estimate before we see the coach, players and systems coming together, and that we have reason to expect that even as we had to burn this, the first year of the re-set, that we will see a competitive team iced from game 31 onwards. Unless of course that is used to start blooding new players.

    It will be a pleasure though to deliver ass kickings to our divisional rivals, and Toronto.

    So once again, let’s actually take a step back and watch the transformation that really is, after 8 long years, is finally taking place. I resolve not to bitch again before Game 31.

    Just sayin’

  69. Hammers says:

    Logan91: He had 2 mouth pieces in, and a plate in his jaw. I can imagine it would be quite difficult to catch your breath when you can hardly open your mouth. Especially for his first game back.

    I can’t figure out why he didn’t leave Arco at center and put Gags on the wing for a few games then on top of that he plays him over 20+ and his never played that let alone returning from injury .

  70. Lowetide says:

    Hammers: I can’t figure out why he didn’t leave Arco at center and put Gags on the wing for a few games then on top of that he plays him over 20+ and his never played that let alone returning from injury .

    It was curious, especially after the 2-0 goal imo. Change the matchup (Kessel v Yak seemed to be the theme) and put Gagner into a less vital role. And for God sakes have a 12th forward.

  71. Hammers says:

    Putting good players in bad situations seems to be a theme . Yak needs sheltered minutes not top line . Also J. Schultz is having trouble so either you sit him or give him reduced minutes on the 3rd pairing . Small things that would make a difference . Also Ference has previously proved he is at least a top 4 so play him with Belov and we find out a lot more about both of them . Eakins has a plan i’m sure but right now I don’t see it .

  72. Lowetide says:

    Hammers:
    Putting good players in bad situations seems to be a theme . Yak needs sheltered minutes not top line . Also J. Schultz is having trouble so either you sit him or give him reduced minutes on the 3rd pairing . Small things that would make a difference . Also Ference has previously proved he is at least a top 4 so play him with Belovand we find out a lot more about both of them . Eakins has a plan i’m sure but right now I don’t see it .

    Also, this 4line is killing the PK because we don’t have a (wait for this) a Petrell!!!!!!

  73. Henry says:

    TartanArmy:
    I really think Yakupov’s days are numbered. Package him and N.Shultz and you could probably get a pretty good d-man in return…..Ernhoff?

    Until yak has played 200 games it would be foolish to trade him for anthing less than elite and signed longterm. Erhoff is good but not elite. Yak may score 400 goals. It is easy to forget that this kid has played for 4 coaches in three leagues in the past 18 months. MacT cant be impatient enough to move him for less than say Weber.

    Next year’s first however with nultz to clear salary could get Erhoff but i dont like te term on his deal.

  74. stevezie says:

    I wonder how much language issues still affect Yak? He has a lot of coaches trying to get hi to change a lot of things, I wonder how well he understands their directions?

  75. rickithebear says:

    As for all the angst:

    Last night we watched
    Yak-Gagner-Eberle
    Jones-RNH-hemsky
    Eager-Gordon-Arco
    Gazdic-Acton

    I would love to see the team Mact signed play together before anything drastic
    Hall-Gagner-Eberle
    Perron-Arco-Pitlick
    Jeonsuu-Rnh-Hemsky
    Smyth-gordon-Yak

  76. LP says:

    I have to be honest, yesterday I couldn’t watch the rest of the game last night after the third goal. I FFwded it. Long live the PVR!

    What happened in the last 4 weeks? I was pretty optimistic and today I feel the playoffs are yet again slipping away…

    This team needs calm in the defensive zone, not chaos. But I feel, (and I want to believe) that this team is getting better. I think we have a better GM in place and the coach is good. We suck in the defensive zone and the goaltending hasn’t helped much.

    Yakupov best fits on the Right-Wing. And once he gets comfortable, I could see him score a bunch. I highly doubt MacT is dumb enough to trade Yakupov at this point (when his value is so low). I bet you a good bottle of anything that there’s no way MacT moves Yakupov before Smid.

    I feel the light in the tunnel is right around the corner. Please tell me this isn’t another illusion…

  77. G Money says:

    stevezie:
    I wonder how much language issues still affect Yak? He has a lot of coaches trying to get hi to change a lot of things, I wonder how well he understands their directions?

    I think that’s a very legit question. Yak started last year red hot for a handful of games, then seemed to struggle as he tried to fit the system (for over 25 games), and then seemed to finally adapt and get hot again at the end. Language issues could certainly have played a part. We’ve also heard commentary that he’s never really had to play a system before, he was so bloody talented in Jr his coach just let him play.

    It seems like with a longer training camp, he’s trying to fit the system since Day 1 and is struggling. Maybe it’ll take him another 10 games like last season for it to click.

    LP: I feel the light in the tunnel is right around the corner. Please tell me this isn’t another illusion…

    The playoffs sure look like a pipe dream – then again, maybe nothing a hot goalie and hot scorer induced 6 game winning streak won’t cure. (Am I awake?)

    On the other hand, we won’t know what kind of team we have until we actually see Dubynk and Hall-RNH-Eberle and Gagner-Yak and Hemsky-Perron all playing in the same game. If the wins still don’t come, sanity will require you to focus on the draft.

  78. art vandelay says:

    Every Oilers Dman is a 3 or worse.
    It’s been that way since Pronger left town.
    They keep signing 5s and 7s.
    Hiring and firing coaches.
    And refusing or neglecting to draft, sign or trade for a 1 or 2.
    It’s like they’re trying to lose on purpose.
    Worst franchise in the NHL.
    But at least the new arena will put Edmonton on the map.

  79. stevezie says:

    Oh, Art. Thank God you’re here.

  80. Woodguy says:

    Dead Cat Bounce: If you’re looking for a shot quality metric, why not use the career shooting percentage of the shooter to qualify the shot.

    While Ovechkin always leads the league in shots, he also has a career shooting percentage of 12.2.

    Crosby takes significantly fewer shots but his shooting percentage is 14.9 which likely means he is taking higher percentageshots.

    At the the other end of the spectrum you of course have defensemen who normally are in the 5% range but with exceptional players like Karlsson and Subban who are over 6%.

    Certainly the skill of the player taking the shot and how successful he has been over his career should give you a pretty good idea of shot quality and using career numbers smooths out hot streaks and cold streaks.

    Worth looking at I think.

    So far it looks like the career high % SH generally shoot from close in.

    If you arbitrarily give a high percentage to a shot due to player instead of location, then you are going to muddle up the data.

  81. Woodguy says:

    stevezie:
    Woodguy,

    What would the Leafs have to do, do you think, to get the stats community to reconsider their position on them? I think they’re getting lucky, but I’ll admit it is possible that they do we haven’t found a way to quantify yet.
    If they make the playoffs two straight years with numbers like that I will stop laughing at them and help fund any project that tries to figure out how they are doing it.

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I was just disagreeing with your rebuke of Matty that they don’t want this type of player. I think they do want the type, but they are (wisely) reading this blog and realise thatyou are correct in saying thatoverall goodness is more important than type of goodness. The nasty guy only helps if he can play.

    For the nothing it is worth, I think Fistric is good enough to be the worst defenceman on a good D corps, but not good enough to be the worst defenceman on a mediocre one, if that makes sense.

    Related note: Is Nick Schultz consciously trying to play rougher or is it just me?

    I’m not sure.

    There are outliers every year.

    So far over 10,000 games and 1,200,000 the theory holds.

    20 Leaf games are a drop in the bucket.

  82. bookje says:

    Woodguy: I’m not sure.

    There are outliers every year.

    So far over 10,000 games and 1,200,000 the theory holds.

    20 Leaf games are a drop in the bucket.

    I thought it was over about 60 Leaf games. The hypothesis here is not that the general theory is wrong, but rather that the Leafs are somehow different than the population of teams. This is a valid question. I am not arguing that they are different, only that posing the question is valid.

  83. DeadmanWaking says:

    “Sure, but I have to make judgment calls on what I’m seeing, not calls based on the last four years of being in the same situation.

    Unlike someone else I know.

    hunter1909

    Tambellini’s supposed to be the scapegoat, right?

    This is your topic sentence. Tambellini is yesterday’s villain now. We’ve moved on. “supposed” is a weasel word. “scapegoat” establishes your narrative frame: appeasement of the angry masses.

    Okay.

    Off to the races it is, then.

    Now MacT

    Possibly dismissive? We wait.

    (who was sacked

    I saw an extremely frustrated man burning his coaching tenure in public well before his departure.

    Because of the human psychology of loss aversion and status maintenance, you’ve got a particularly long list of euphemisms to pick from: dismiss, give ~ their notice, throw out, get rid of, lay off, make redundant, let go, discharge, cashier, fire, kick out, boot out, give ~ the boot, give ~ the bullet, give ~ the (old) heave-ho, give ~ the elbow, give ~ the push, give ~ their marching orders, show ~ the door, send packing, give ~ their cards, turf out, give a pink slip, can, drop, ship, expel, terminate, relieved of duty.

    And this only covers the view from the trap door.

    before the fans lynched him

    They can do that?

    returns to absurdist fanfare

    Whose fanfare? You seem slight on the details. It’s a novel turn of phrase, if once used to analyze the death of a pet fish on The Cosby Show, to quote most of one sentence:

    It can be supposed that the death of Rudy’s fish in “Goodbye Mr. Fish” caused a traumatic rupture within her fragile psyche, a trauma that lead her to will into existence new versions of her father and brother, as well as a being—in a gesture that recalls the actions of the protagonist of Borges’s “The Circular Ruins”—known as “Sondra” (recall the absolute delight …) who would later serve to grant Rudy a particular form of indirect agency within the Huxtable household through which she could bring about the collapse of the Huxtable family hegemony, the same hegemony that she blames for the death of Mr. Fish and, moreover, the absurdist fanfare and blatant emotional disregard that surrounded his passing within the Huxtable household.

    Here’s another, from some guy’s blog post:

    On “Two Boxes Left,” a deranged, absurdist fanfare theme gave way to a twittering front-line dialogue that stopped to allow Haker Flaten to shred his bow his a furious, high-register arco solo accompanied by comically short, Ljungkvist-conducted punctuations from the rest of the band.

    You are certainly keep some interesting company. In the second fragment, there were actual trumpets. Perhaps on the Crosby show, they played taps for Mr Fish. Your phrase, however, seems strictly hyperbolic.

    First

    Well. We didn’t wait long. So it begins.

    he’s got zero experience as a GM

    At one point in his life, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach had zero experience as a professional musician, though he might have become saturated, musically, through other modes.

    GM is a role, not a job description. It involves assessing skills and potential within the hockey domain, knowing the right people, having a broad network of support, negotiation, public communication, critical thinking, thriving under pressure, and being able to drive a complex financial spreadsheet.

    What “zero” implies: He never assessed talent. He never stood in front of a microphone. He knows no-one of importance. He got an MBA from Queens without ever touching a spreadsheet. He has never experienced pressure. He has never experienced life adversity.

    In reality: His ability to negotiate is the major concern up front.

    Among his first big moves were making a significant offer for Schneider, then refusing to overpay; dangling Hemsky, then refusing an underpay. But no worries–it’s still MacT’s fault: these multi-millionaire athletes in the pressure business wilt like petunias to hear their name so much as mentioned to another GM.

    so what…he’s got Oiler cup rings

    Three from the Oilers and one from the Rangers. A fair portfolio in the minds of most, until flaunted with bulging neck veins.

    Then Kreuger’s casually thrown overboard

    During the presser, MacT looked sick to his stomach and commented “it wasn’t fair to Ralph”. “summarily dismissed” would have hit the note without piling on the Cops theme music.

    and MacT (who for whatever wack reason

    Here we clearly see the author behind these words. In your world, the minds of others are the little puppet shows from Being John Malkovich; little puppet shows that no one watches, leading to the puppeteer’s job as a file clerk on the 7 1/2th floor.

    has decided to even try to do this job

    However will he cross the room when his feet don’t even reach the carpet?

    given his legion of health issues)

    Cancer survivors everywhere now hate you. Apparently–in your world–the honourable thing in life is to give notice once your bathroom cabinet mandatories spill onto the second shelf.

    as per his 2003 draft form

    Yes, Minister.

    along with You-Know Who

    More distancing language, a la Bill Clinton.

    simply hires someone on the spot

    What you mean here is “without informing the public that he was considering making this move”. How rude. I’m angry now.

    The “someone” of whom you speak was widely regarded as one of the most promising candidates available to make the jump.

    on ‘a hunch’ might be a reasonable description

    Many of us had a ‘hunch’ that Jackson might someday film The Hobbit. We were right. Nearly as many people shared the hunch that Eakins would someday make it into the head coaching ranks.

    of the man

    Further contempt by refusing to name.

    with the most hands

    Good.

    on power

    Oh no, not that. Great organizations are built by giving no-one any power at all.

    to shape the team

    Surely someone has to do this job?

    Eakins enters the picture

    Eakins who? Never heard of the guy. I guess we’ll save the fanfare until he’s “sacked” or “thrown overboard”.

    alternatively exalted

    You mean “alternately”. Do you also mean “exultant”?

    and looking for a potential scapegoat of his own

    Never too soon for the puppet schemer in the puppet opera.

    starts implementing MacT style system play

    I never heard the word “swarm” once in all the years MacT coached here.

    which goes over like a lead balloon with the young, uber-talents.

    Eberle: The swarm sucks. #leadballoon

    Some of the talents simply don’t dig this system, man.

    Yakupov is the only player on record to express misgivings. Many believed he was on a collision course with coaching conflict since before he was drafted.

    And in conclusion

    This is technique widely used at the end of a tedious homily to waken the congregation prior to passing the plate; the congregation having by then only the dimmest perception that any position was argued.

    the MacT hater’s worst possible nightmare

    This immediately puts me in mind of Comment on the Tea Party Movement.

    Exactly how one puts the words on the lips of your authoritarian followers.

    is now in effect

    Martial law. Curfew. Reichstag Fire Decree.

    A MacT style coach

    And his style was? I’m still waiting.

    who like MacT is

    The apple never falls far from the tree.

    potentially too dumb

    We knew he had potential. That’s why we hired him.

    not to fuck up some of these extremely young players

    Memo from management: We’re not a young team any more.

    Hall, Eberle, and RNH are mature as young men far beyond their years. Hall still needs some help tilting the ice as best for the team. RNH’s fundamentals are engraved in stone. Justin isn’t so young as that.

    Basically you mean Yakupov again, until the next wave of fuzz-faced reinforcements.

    . . . meaning that all of the last seven years don’t really matter

    Humbert Humbert couldn’t have said it better in his twisted mind.

    – etc etc.

    Cool choice of punctuation. I can almost hear you boring yourself.

    Ference as captain = crowning achievement in bad judgment

    You give the crown away ever so lightly after fearing for Yakupov’s fragile cherry.

    – might as well have Steve Staios wearing the C.

    Toronto Maple Leafs hire Steve Staios as player development advisor:

    It came a bit out of the blue when Leafs GM Brian Burke approached Steve Staios last season to let the Islanders defenceman know he had a future in the Maple Leafs front office when his playing days were over.

    Burke loves nothing better than picking through Kevin’s scrapheap.

    Of course a MacT style coach needs a MacT

    Of course. It completes the narrative.

    (Horcoffian = overrated) captain.

    For most of us, Horcoffian = overpaid and under-rated. Truly a gem at half the price. Good rookie seasons were had by many under his watchful wing.

    Jeeez.

    Jeeez.

    Low point: “legion of health issues”

    High point: ” – etc etc.”

    Bonus marks: “absurdist fanfare”

    Premise: more of the same, again and again

    Old narratives rehashed: the usual suspects suck at everything

    New facts provided:

    Fresh insights elucidated:

    Conclusion: the world sucked, the world still sucks; god save us, the world will always suck

    Here’s the thing. I would rather read what you contribute than not read it. But if I’m going to read it, I’m going to read it–with the same eyes I used to read anything else. No double standards.

    I’ve had times in my life when I wasn’t myself. I’ve had times when I felt I was wandering through elaborate, hollow corridors carved by an alien civilization that had left the building. I would consult my memory for what I thought about something, and it would hand me a half-built apparatus with more gimbals than a downy bagpipe spider, and I wouldn’t even be able to find the “on” switch.

    It’s a weird business moping about inside the abandoned civilization of your former mind in all its baroque glory. I had some metabolic issues. Still do. But I’ve since learned to live as my body demands.

    I had some emotional baggage as well. But to my credit, I was also stubborn. I refused to either deny or accept. This makes life highly uncomfortable–after a fashion, you’re nowhere. That persisted for a long time. More than seven years’ frustration finally boiled over, until the day came where I knelt down and scratched a hole in the mouldy floorboards of my soul with a broken prison spoon. From that small beginning–freedom. Now there’s hardly a board left.

    Once you had a certain Statler and Waldorf je ne sais quoi. Your trolling had a Cheshire grin. Now you’re just shuffling around in the shell of your former mind, and the real Hunter has left the building to the care of:

    Moaning Myrtle
    U Joint
    Second cubicle
    Flooded girl’s bathroom
    Second Floor
    Desolate Wing
    Hogwarts Castle
    Hogsmeade
    Platform 9 3/4
    King’s Cross Station

    I couldn’t care less if you think Mike Keenan is Mother Teressa (this is closer than it looks). What I care about is that once upon a time you had a sense of humour. It’s everywhere in plain sight in how you use the language. I looked. I looked again.

    Here’s an idea. Sit down some day and surprise yourself. Write something you didn’t even suspect you had hidden inside yourself. Break free from rehashing the hand-me-downs of Hunters-past into frozen narratives of eternal suction.

    I’m handing you a spoon.

    It’s a golden spoon.

    Dig–or dig not.

  84. Ca$h-Money! says:

    DeadmanWaking,

    Good gord man.

    I get the desire to defend the Oilers… what I don’t understand is how, after 7 years (and let’s be honest it’s more than 7 years when you discount our one near-glorious run) you can still care enough to write 2000 words in defense of them.

    Even if you’re right and Hunter is wrong, which is probably the case…. I just don’t have the passion for this team anymore. Cudos to you sir, I mean that sincerely. You are a better fan than I.

  85. bookje says:

    Ca$h-Money!:
    DeadmanWaking,

    Good gord man.

    I get the desire to defend the Oilers… what I don’t understand is how, after 7 years (and let’s be honest it’s more than 7 years when you discount our one near-glorious run) you can still care enough to write 2000 words in defense of them.

    Even if you’re right and Hunter is wrong, which is probably the case….I just don’t have the passion for this team anymore.Cudos to you sir, I mean that sincerely.You are a better fan than I.

    It’s not the Oilers he is standing up for.

  86. Henry says:

    I’m pretty sure that DMW was Reviewer #2 of my last grant proposal.

  87. Lowetide says:

    Ca$h-Money!:
    DeadmanWaking,

    Good gord man.

    I get the desire to defend the Oilers… what I don’t understand is how, after 7 years (and let’s be honest it’s more than 7 years when you discount our one near-glorious run) you can still care enough to write 2000 words in defense of them.

    Even if you’re right and Hunter is wrong, which is probably the case….I just don’t have the passion for this team anymore.Cudos to you sir, I mean that sincerely.You are a better fan than I.

    The heart wants what it wants. When it matters, it matters. It’s the way of things.

  88. Ca$h-Money! says:

    bookje,

    Ya, I didn’t intend to give anyone the impression that I read more than the first 100 words or so, such is my level of discontent. I stand by the fact that writing that much about anything, even his grandmother’s pumpkin pie recipe, is more effort than I’m willing to put into an oilers blog right now. I still come by to read what Mr. Lowetide has to say, but my heart really isn’t in it.

    They’ve finally broken me. Call me when we’re over .500. Call me a bandwagon jumper if you want, but I maintain that after this long I have the right to leave my name and phone number with the Maitre D as I wait for my table at the restaurant.

  89. Zipdot says:

    They say that yoghurt tastes better when eaten with a white or metal-coloured spoon. In surveys, it is said that yoghurt tastes saltier when eaten with a black spoon.

    And here DMW is giving you a golden spoon! I wonder how THAT makes the yoghurt taste!?

  90. Woodguy says:

    bookje: I thought it was over about 60 Leaf games. The hypothesis here is not that the general theory is wrong, but rather that the Leafs are somehow different than the population of teams. This is a valid question. I am not arguing that they are different, only that posing the question is valid.

    That’s why I posted TOR’s results from the last 24 games of last season.

    11-9-4 was their record.

    They had .919 goaltending over that time period.

    I would say that record is a little thin based on a .919. Not much, a little.

    Its not 60 games.

  91. G Money says:

    Woodguy: That’s why I posted TOR’s results from the last 24 games of last season.

    11-9-4 was their record.

    They had .919 goaltending over that time period.

    I would say that record is a little thin based on a .919.Not much, a little.

    Its not 60 games.

    Outstanding goaltending, say .93 and better, will solve most if not all of a terrible Corsi in the short term.

    Goaltending of .93 vs a league average of .915 means all the Leafs have to do is not give up more than 16% more shots on average each game to have a winning record. Translate that to Corsi and (with blocked shots and missed shots), it’s probably even a wider margin than that.

    Most goaltending cannot be that good in the medium or long term. The question is – what is medium or long? Probably a season. The all-time save percentage leader in the NHL is Hasek at .922.

    However, there may be some wisdom from the stock markets that can be applied here …

    In the markets, they say “Stock markets can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent.”

    I suppose in hockey we could say “The Leafs can continue to win games longer than fans of other teams can stay sane.”

  92. Colonel Obvious says:

    bookje: I thought it was over about 60 Leaf games.The hypothesis here is not that the general theory is wrong, but rather that the Leafs are somehow different than the population of teams.This is a valid question.I am not arguing that they are different, only that posing the question is valid.

    You have posed the question appropriately and I completey agree that this is a valid question. Are the Maple Leafs different than the population of teams? This is not a question that can be answered based upon empirical data. So what can we do? Answer: watch the games and identify ways in which they may be different.

    Now I haven’t watched all their games. I’ve only watched three so this is not conclusive. But in those games I have seen:

    The Oilers handily beat them but be undone by bad goaltending. That doesn’t make the Leafs different.

    The Blackhawks systematically destroy the Leafs. That doesn’t make the Leafs different.

    The Oilers mostly outplay the Leafs for one period but the Leafs capitalize. Then the Leafs were better and capitalized again. Then it was all score effects all the way. This is the template game for the Leafs being different. However, if this is the template it sure doesn’t seem like a repeatable one in comparison to the Hawks–Blues–Kings model of crushing your opponent.

    So count me as skeptical. But to answer stevie’s question directly (and it is a good question) what it would take to convince me is I’d have to watch all the games and make a qualitative judgement that the Leafs were good and not lucky. No amount of quantitative data would ever convince me without a corresponding rational theory that was substantiated with observation.

  93. Colonel Obvious says:

    DeadmanWaking,

    That was an absolutely delicious takedown. I have to admit I find your posts inspiring. I’ll try and do better next time.

  94. G Money says:

    Colonel Obvious: The Oilers mostly outplay the Leafs for one period but the Leafs capitalize.

    This was the template in last nights game against the Flames as well. The Flames crushed the Leafs in balance of play but left the first period down 2-0. Unlike the Oilers, they did not let their foot off the gas and eventually got one of those goals back, but again gave it up in the third – despite dominating the shot clock from start to finish.

    Final key stats: Flames 43 SOG, .818 sv %, Leafs 22 SOG, .953 sv %.

    For reference, the Oiler game equivalents were 43 SOG, .840 sv % vs 25 SOG and 1.000 sv %.

    I’ll say it again – there is no way a template that requires .95 goaltending will win in the long run, but it can last long enough to drive the other teams insane.

  95. stevezie says:

    Colonel Obvious: But to answer stevie’s question directly (and it is a good question) what it would take to convince me is I’d have to watch all the games and make a qualitative judgement that the Leafs were good and not lucky. No amount of quantitative data would ever convince me without a corresponding rational theory that was substantiated with observation.

    Good answer. Works for me.

    I would add that I know there are already a lot of people making qualitative statements about the Leaf’s play, but they are either employed by the team or demonstrate such an inadequate grasp of quantitative analysis that I don’t feel their opinions can be trusted.
    Or both.

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