PEYTON PLACE

The level of crazy in Edmonton’s Oiler rumors is as high as the moon these days. From ‘Messer to coach’ to “Yakupov to be dealt” there’s something for all ages. And the truth? The return would have to be so monumental he ain’t goin’ nowhere.

Azorcan3

Edmonton is more than a million strong now, but it’s still just a series of small cities and communities. That’s why ‘Oiler rumors’ are so rife, because some of them (really just enough of them) are true to make all of them somewhat compelling. In a way, it’s a currency–if you have an Oiler rumor there’s very few adults who will turn away from the conversation–and of course it’s fun to chat about the town obsession team.

Among the things I’ve heard over the last couple of years:

  • Oilers were seriously considering taking Ryan Murray or Griffin Reinhart number one overall.
  • Oilers were seriously considering taking Mitchell Moroz in the second round.
  • Oilers were seriously considering trading Nail Yakupov to Ottawa or Philly
  • Mike Babcock would be head coach of the Edmonton Oilers
  • Mark Messier would be head coach of the Edmonton Oilers
  • Craig MacTavish would be GM of the Edmonton Oilers

Those are the ones I can recall without really trying, there’s dozens more if I really put my mind to it. Edmonton is a much bigger city now than the day I arrived, but Oiler rumors are like oxygen in this town: there’s plenty of it and some of it has an odor.

The problem with dealing Yakupov is that the return would have to be so large it would hinder the Senators ability to compete without the players included in the deal. Would Ottawa deal Robin Lehner, Mika Zibanejad and Marc Methot for him? Would Philadelphia include Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds?

Here’s my take: Craig MacTavish is no dummy, and as bad as another season in the lottery may look to him there’s no damn way his ‘legacy trade’ is going to come this early without a 100% chance it’s a home run. If you trade a #1 overall pick as good as Yakupov looks, you better be sure. Absolutely sure.

That said, I think we’re beginning to see the gap between Yakupov’s overall game and the kind of play Taylor Hall brought with him from junior. I have no idea if that’s coaching or comprehension or desire or a combination of all three, but Yakupov right now is a man-child clearly confused and outside his comfort zone. Still, trading him? And be reminded of what you did for the next 15 years when you check ‘league leaders’ on the web? You’d have to be insane unless you’re certain–and the cost of certain will scare other teams away.

louvin brothers

 

The Oilers 5×5 numbers were solid last night (extra skater has them 25-24 5×5 close Corsi, and Dennis King has the scoring chances 26-11 scoring chances, 7-2 on ST), but the loss ends their small winning streak, puts them at 3-7-1 and 26th in the league. They are now last in the western conference and 7 full points out of the last playoff spot.

And they’re on the road again and this time in the west.

north1

Part of the fanbase is going to start lashing out, I read a lot of negative about coach Eakins and Nail Yakupov as well as Justin Schultz last night. For my part, I’m thinking this team has earned another winning streak–even against the west–and we should see some good news between games 12 and 20. If the Oilers are something like 6-12-2 after 20, and the Corsi numbers are hovering around 50%, we may have to actively see out the Hockey Gods for some intervention.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

farrow

Today at 10, TSN 1260. Lots to talk about:

  • Steve Lansky, Big Mouth Sports. We’ll talk about head shots, Olympics and rookies. 
  • Sarah McLellan, Arizona Republic. We’ll talk about the Coyotes solid start, the tough loss last night and the Oilers-Coyotes game tomorrow.
  • Corey Pronman, ESPN and Hockey Prospectus. We’ll talk about the quality of the 2014 draft, impressive rookies this season and drafting goalies.
  • Andreas Morse, FC Edmonton. Eddies fought the Cosmos to a 1-1 draw last weekend, and are home for the final time this season on Sunday against the Rowdies.
  • Jungle Jim Hunter. We’ll talk about the Olympics and the importance of peaking inside the Sochi window.

10-1260 via text, or @Lowetide_ on twitter. Friday! It’ll be fun!

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200 Responses to "PEYTON PLACE"

  1. russ99 says:

    Speaking of crazy rumors: today’s Hockey News e-blast put forth the idea that the Predators might trade Weber. And of course that the Oilers would give up Hall or RNH, which is ludicrous.

    I don’t see either team abandoning their franchise path to make that kind of deal, and who else would we need to move other than say Yak or Eberle to get Nashville to bite and also Weber to fit under the cap?

  2. Racki says:

    Terrible effort. No shots on goal. Piss poor powerplay. No compete. No puck support. Gagner looked invisible out there. Where the hell was Hall, he didn’t even register a shot.. ???

    Oops, ok it was actually a fairly well played game, on the whole, I thought. Some superb goaltending by Holtby, and the Caps opportunists exploiting their chances won this one.

    We all know Yakupov has to be a smarter player. It seems like Jultz is coming around now… Hopefully it clicks in Yakupov’s head soon that he can’t always be thinking offense.

    P. S. Great game by line 4. Plug life!

  3. Bruce McCurdy says:

    LT: Keep forgetting to mention to you how I appreciate the interviews you’ve been conducting with folks who cover the Oilers’ next opponent. Good stuff, keep it coming.

  4. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Also: Who TF is Ira North, and is that the worst album of all time, or just the worst album cover?

  5. Jesse says:

    I would like to also say that getting bloggers from the opponent’s SB Nation site has made for some fantastic listening. Great work LT. It’s fantastic to get some sound insight from some smart hockey guys in other markets.

  6. Lowetide says:

    Bruce: Thanks. Very tough to get contacts for each city, but we’re about 6 months old as a show and it’s starting to improve. So, yeah. i think it’ll continue. :-)

  7. godot10 says:

    extraskater.com has the Oilers LAST in the Western Conference in Corsi close, and 2ND LAST in the Western Conference in Fenwick Close.

    The Western Conference averages in the low 50′s percentages in Corsi and Fenwick close.

    So things are just going to get tougher as the OIlers begin to play more Western Conference games. It is still mostly Eastern Conference games till December.

    Where exactly are you guys getting your “happy pills”.

  8. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “don’t let it bring you down
    it’s only castles burning”

    ———-
    “‘Messer to coach’”

    Yow! I Hadn’t heard this one, at least not in a while. That’s insane. Another coach and one who’d have never coached anything. Some people are truly insane.*

    *Of course, this includes KL/Tambo who apparently offered the job to the Moose before RK (IIRC).

    ———
    “That said, I think we’re beginning to see the gap between Yakupov’s overall game and the kind of play Taylor Hall brought with him from junior. ”

    We touched on this briefly during the “Now EDM knows what Sarnia is going through” narrative. It looks a lot like the GM/Coach in Sarnia was very hands off with his systems and development, at least in the case of Yak. The few quotes I’ve found from him were all like “great player, I just let him go out there and create offence”

    I think we may be seeing the birth pangs of a player (at a pretty late age) finally be told he has assignments on the ice other than “score.”

    I really don’t care if it takes him 50 game or the whole year to figure it out. All I care about is that he figures it out, shows progress game after game and keeps working at it. So far I think we can see limited progress on the puck management front (his passes in his own zone are short, direct and lead to strong breakouts… I’ve been watching), he’s still trying it on his own at the other end and kind of a mess without the puck.

    ———–
    “Part of the fanbase is going to start lashing out”

    two things that are inevitable. Fans will try to harass and trade star players. That will never stop. One minute they love you, the next they want blood. The other is Media needs a story more than facts. Trading a 1OV is a much better story than it is a strategy for the future.

  9. Racki says:

    godot10:
    extraskater.com has the Oilers LAST in the Western Conference in Corsi close, and 2ND LAST in the Western Conference in Fenwick Close.

    The Western Conference averages in the low 50′s percentages in Corsi and Fenwick close.

    So things are just going to get tougher as the OIlers begin to play more Western Conference games.It is still mostly Eastern Conference games till December.

    Where exactly are you guys getting your “happy pills”.

    Oh thank god.. I was starting to think the world turned upside down when I heard the Oilers had good Corsi earlier in season. Back to normal!

  10. RMGS says:

    godot10:
    extraskater.com has the Oilers LAST in the Western Conference in Corsi close, and 2ND LAST in the Western Conference in Fenwick Close.

    The Western Conference averages in the low 50′s percentages in Corsi and Fenwick close.

    So things are just going to get tougher as the OIlers begin to play more Western Conference games.It is still mostly Eastern Conference games till December.

    Where exactly are you guys getting your “happy pills”.

    This. Though Fenwick close has its greatest predictive value for standings points at about the 20-game mark, so they better tear it up in the next 9-10 games.

  11. thejonrmcleod says:

    I always assumed that the pictures in the posts had something to do with what was written. Now I’m not so sure. (I’m sure a good post could be written about unfortunate titles of old gospel albums.)

  12. denny33 says:

    Racki,

    The Washington Capitals are a middling team with .500 record. They play in the metropolitan division. They have played the Flames, Stars, Hurricanes, Rangers and the vaunted Winnipeg Jets.

    Ladies and Gentlemen – the Winnipeg Jets lit them up for 40 shots a few days ago.

    40 shots.

    Granted, they have an elite first line – no question. But it gets real thin after that…..real thin.

    For my money this game was over a little over half way into it…..Washington crew thought the J. Schultz goal was the *only* chance the Oilers had in the 3rd period.

    Washington crew – ” no Pushback whatsoever from the Oilers in the third “…

    Eakins thinks they were out of gas. I think it took on the look of Men vs Boys for the last half of the game.

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

    There seems to be a significant disconnect to what some people see from this version of the OIlers and what some outside observers see.

    Next Friday is November 1st….and we find ourselves DEAD LAST in the west.

    That is the KEY metric. Points from Wins.

    We are even behind – the commonly mocked in here – Calgary Flames ….

    At some point – in the very near future….the ” It’s early ” crowd has to set a date by which time the Oilers “should’ start to win games.

  13. Jesse says:

    RMGS: This. Though Fenwick close has its greatest predictive value for standings points at about the 20-game mark, so they better tear it up in the next 9-10 games.

    I think it’s really important to keep in mind that *along with the fact* we’ve only seen 11 games, all of this has been without a 2C as well as several other players. Nobody said the Oilers possession numbers were leading the league, but rather that they were showing some nice things at times, and certainly doing much better than last year. The fact that the Oilers could saw off possession more or less even against WSH without Hall and Gagner (and with guys as green as Pitlick in the lineup) is a massive positive IMO.

    Also (and I could be wrong on this, but) I believe Fenwick Close is much too small of a sample size after 20 games. I think that Corsi Close just *starts* to paint a picture after 20 games, but likely needs longer to be on the safe side, and FenClose probably needs longer. I don’t have any authoritative study to point to on this, it’s just my general sense of these metrics. Would be happy to hear others’ insight on this subject.

  14. Colonel Obvious says:

    Some thoughts:

    By Fenwick close the Oilers are 20th in the league. That sounds about right and much better than their record. Godot has turned into DSF ugly twin with his willful lies and obfuscations.

    So far Dallas Eakins is the best coach the Oilers have had since MacT and it isn’t even close. Firing him is a ludicrous proposition.

    Yakupov is an absolute disaster on the ice right now and I’m not talking about his defense. He’s become a weaselly little puck hog. If that doesn’t turn around soon he’s going to lose his teammates and then it will be all over.

  15. RMGS says:

    Jesse,

    http://www.broadstreethockey.com/2012/1/23/2722089/score-adjusted-fenwick: “Early in the season, Score-Adjusted Fenwick does a substantially better job of predicting how many points a team will earn in the remainder of the season.”

    As for the Oilers, they’re performing worse in shot differentials this year than last year after 11 games.

  16. delooper says:

    Racki:
    Terrible effort. No shots on goal. Piss poor powerplay. No compete. No puck support. Gagner looked invisible out there. Where the hell was Hall, he didn’t even register a shot.. ???

    Pajaarvi was soft on the puck again.

  17. Racki says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: http://lowetide.ca/blog/2013/10/capitals-at-oilers-g11-13-14.html/comment-page-2#comment-263040

    Probably too early to be recognizing that small of a change. Right direction.. But could change the other way in a handful of games. But I do think they ARE getting slowly better.

  18. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    denny33,

    I don’t think anyone here is deluding themselves about the state of things.

    A couple of points:

    1) on the Corsi thing. No one talking about the corsi numbers this year is saying “this team is great! they are going to win the division.” not even close.

    what these people are saying (myself included) is that year on year (Renney, RK, Eakins) you can see changes in the underlying numbers. Last year the team took a huge step back and a whole line fell into a pit of suck.

    this year, we’ve been looking for two things: a) is this team better than last year (not better than the NHL, but better than last year’s iteration of itself), is it enough better to challenge for the playoffs; b) are those players (specifically Gagner and Hemsky, both of whom have track records as good corsi players, but fell in a hole last year) rebounding?

    a) so far (small sample warning; injury alert; road alert; eastern teams alert; new players alert; etc). this team looks better than last year. That is worth noting. It is also worth noting that if this team had league average goaltending at the beginning we are looking better.

    b) Gagner has been terrible :)
    but Hemsky has decidedly rebounded. Last year was an aberration and it appears Dellow was right that it probably had something to do with RK’s systems play, esp. following faceoffs.

    2) I really wouldn’t put much stock in what in-game commentators have to say. All the numbers point to the team having a lot of chances (more than the Caps). They couldn’t cash last night and the Caps could. Doesn’t mean the game wasn’t competitive.

    3) They need to win now and often.

  19. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Racki: Probably too early to be recognizing that small of a change. Right direction.. But could change the other way in a handful of games. But I do think they ARE getting slowly better.

    I don’t think it is too early to acknowledge, especially if we are going to claim this team is doing poorly Corsi wise (which they are).

  20. FastOil says:

    Another losing streak will probably already put them out of the post season. Right now they need a 55% winning record to approximately hit play off points. Even this is unlikely given history, the schedule and Godot’s Fenwick reality check in.

    Likely pretty soon everything needs to be about next year. This will be a good test to see what MacT is made of. I hope to see really smart moves. At least that would be a positive, something to enjoy in the bleak winter of Oiler fandom. ;)

  21. RMGS says:

    Colonel Obvious:
    Some thoughts:

    By Fenwick close the Oilers are 20th in the league.That sounds about right and much better than their record.Godot has turned into DSF ugly twin with his willful lies and obfuscations.

    Dude’s talking about the Western Conference to compare apples to apples…

  22. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Colonel Obvious: By Fenwick close the Oilers are 20th in the league. That sounds about right and much better than their record. Godot has turned into DSF ugly twin with his willful lies and obfuscations.

    He said second last in the West, which is the case.

    If there is an obfuscation is it ignoring the record of last year and pretending those looking at these numbers are unaware of sample size and are claiming the team is better than it is.

  23. Lowetide says:

    thejonrmcleod:

    I always assumed that the pictures in the posts had something to do with what was written. Now I’m not so sure. (I’m sure a good post could be written about unfortunate titles of old gospel albums.)

    I was looking for the Louvin Brothers album cover (it’s a classic, and I love the Louvin Brothers) and fell into that “If I were a Woman” album cover and couldn’t resist. I mean, come the hell on!

  24. Racki says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I don’t think it is too early to acknowledge, especially if we are going to claim this team is doing poorly Corsi wise (which they are).

    We are talking about a shade over 1 more chance for or 1 less chance against per game.. Not sure I’d get too excited about that. Right direction, but seems pretty marginal to me, especially this early where say a really good start in early games could skew results. I’d be interested to know what the numbers are the last few games though.. Or see some sort of graph trending this change.

  25. slopitch says:

    “There’s no way I’m out 4 weeks. I just took the stairs all the way up here” — Taylor Hall (last night talking to people in the press box)

    We kind of assumed this but good news!

  26. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    RMGS: As for the Oilers, they’re performing worse in shot differentials this year than last year after 11 games.

    This is an absolute fabrication.

    Through 11 games last year:
    300SF and 368SA = 44.91% of the shots
    (we outshot the opposition in 3 of the 11 games)

    Through 11 games this year:
    312SF and 332SA = 48.45% of the shots
    (we outshot the opposition in 6 of the 11 games and tied once)

    In basic shot differential the improvement over last year is even more marked than the corsi improvement.

  27. thejonrmcleod says:

    Lowetide,

    I wasn’t being critical. I’m usually not familiar with the movies pictured in the posts, so I always wonder what the pictures have to do with the writing.

    You might like this: http://thefw.com/worst-album-covers/

  28. j says:

    Ebs and RNH look great. Hemsky has been reborn. Even Smyth has played very well. Hall was readjusting to life along the wall. Petry is nearing his potential. Perron is a real piss cutter. And the third/fourth lines actually have some good players. Add in a coach who is exactly the type Edmonton fans yearn for – a good quote, meat and potatoes, blue collar (add additional clichés here____). I think the Oil are a decidedly better team this year than any of the past 6. They need a bit of seasoning, some puck luck, and some healthy bodies. The effort is finally getting within arms length of the skill. Should be fun.

  29. denny33 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I don’t think anyone here is deluding themselves about the state of things.
    A couple of points:
    1) on the Corsi thing. No one talking about the corsi numbers this year is saying “this team is great! they are going to win the division.” not even close.
    what these people are saying (myself included) is that year on year (Renney, RK, Eakins) you can see changes in the underlying numbers. Last year the team took a huge step back and a whole line fell into a pit of suck.
    this year, we’ve been looking for two things: a) is this team better than last year (not better than the NHL, but better than last year’s iteration of itself), is it enough better to challenge for the playoffs; b) are those players (specifically Gagner and Hemsky, both of whom have track records as good corsi players, but fell in a hole last year) rebounding?

    *********************************************************
    For me – being better than last year is a ‘given’. If everything stayed the same and we had simply deleted Belanger and Whitney – we would be better than last year.

    That is meaningless if everyone around us has improved over last year.

    Sean Monohan has 6 goals and 3 assists – for 9 points.

    Would anyone hear be happy if we finished dead last in the west but we could hang our collective hat on the fact we were ‘better’ than last year?

    That is an EXTREMELY low bar to hit…in my opinion.

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

    a) so far (small sample warning; injury alert; road alert; eastern teams alert; new players alert; etc). this team looks better than last year. That is worth noting. It is also worth noting that if this team had league average goaltending at the beginning we are looking better.
    b) Gagner has been terrible :)
    but Hemsky has decidedly rebounded. Last year was an aberration and it appears Dellow was right that it probably had something to do with RK’s systems play, esp. following faceoffs.
    2) I really wouldn’t put much stock in what in-game commentators have to say. All the numbers point to the team having a lot of chances (more than the Caps). They couldn’t cash last night and the Caps could. Doesn’t mean the game wasn’t competitive.

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

    I only use the commentators as back up because I didn’t see any real chances in the period either…

    ************************************************************************
    3) They need to win now and often.

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

    I agree with you but truly don’t get a sense from reading posts in here of that same urgency.

    Indeed, get a real sense of ‘well, at least the oilers played well’..were competitive.

    Radio here mentioned some weird stat – Islanders *only lost 1 * regulation game in the last month of the season last year. That resulted in *only* 3 net point gain on their peers.

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

    Completely concede that we are better than last year…not sure where that gets us in the rest of the NHL’s eyes though.

    At *best* – we are now faced with scrambling / fighting for scraps to gain a wildcard spot.

  30. Colonel Obvious says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: He said second last in the West, which is the case.

    If there is an obfuscation is it ignoring the record of last year and pretending those looking at these numbers are unaware of sample size and are claiming the team is better than it is.

    Reasoned discourse requires agreement on commonly accepted standards of evidence and what counts as a good reason. Godot, just like DSF, flouts these standards to promote his absurd agenda. They use facts as weapons and promote irrationality as a mode of being. In this sense they are each enemies of the reasoned community and have no standing in these conversations.

  31. Racki says:

    Racki: We are talking about a shade over 1 more chance for or 1 less chance against per game.. Not sure I’d get too excited about that. Right direction, but seems pretty marginal to me, especially this early where say a really good start in early games could skew results. I’d be interested to know what the numbers are the last few games though.. Or see some sort of graph trending this change.

    I collect nhl stats in a database for a hockey pool, so I think I’ll actually do this sometime.. Show trending for Corsi and/or Fenwick (unless this is already out there somewhere)

  32. Colonel Obvious says:

    As for being deluded, I will state that this team has almost no chance of making the playoffs. However, that is an indication of how terrible this team was last year. Under Tambellini–Krueger–Renney the Oilers were an abomination of a franchise. On the path they were heading this team had no chance to make the playoffs, ever. For two straight years everything went right, the goaltending was better than expected, they got huge puck luck on the powerplay, and the team was still terrible. Since neither the powerplay nor the goaltending was sustainable it was my estimation, and I believe I am on record saying this, that the team was much worse than their record.

    Now I believe the team can make the playoffs eventually. However, we have to recognize the giant pit we have to climb out of. First, past teams were worse than we thought. The “success” of past years, the powerplay and goaltending, was largely due to random variation. Second, the rebuild only started last spring when Tambellini was fired.

    So yes I’m optimistic. This team is miles better than they were last year and still not a playoff team. That’s because last year’s team was a complete and total trainwreck that got all the bounces and was still bad.

  33. srisribillyg says:

    Just a thought: why not send Yak to OKC for a bit so he can get his mojo back? Aren’t they supposed to be playing the same system(s) down there, anyway? Best case scenario he goes down and scores five in six games, comes back up and remembers that he is a goal scorer. I suppose the downside risk is that he doesn’t take the demotion well, bolts for the Motherland, etc. When Gagner is back in the lineup they’ll have more enough NHL bodies available, right?

    If the playoffs are still the goal this year, are they a better team with or without him in the lineup *right now*? So why not try and get the spring back in his step? I realise he’s eventually going to have to learn to play the game at the NHL level, but he is clearly struggling right now.

    Am I crazy? Send him down and let him miss the games against LA, Phoenix, Detroit (where they are likely to get smothered) and bring him back up for the start of the road trip where they get teams that they should be able to light up (Florida, Tampa, Philly).

    My two pence.

  34. RMGS says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: This is an absolute fabrication.

    Through 11 games last year:
    300SF and 368SA = 44.91% of the shots
    (we outshot the opposition in 3 of the 11 games)

    Through 11 games this year:
    312SF and 332SA = 48.45% of the shots
    (we outshot the opposition in 6 of the 11 games and tied once)

    In basic shot differential the improvement over last year is even more marked than the corsi improvement.

    I thought when we talked about shot differentials here we meant Corsi and Fenwick. Try those. There was improvement over the first few games, but the numbers sank and dragged the averages to numbers first comparable to then worse than last year at this point.

    Are you stuck at game 4?

  35. Logan91 says:

    srisribillyg:
    Just a thought: why not send Yak to OKC for a bit so he can get his mojo back? Aren’t they supposed to be playing the same system(s) down there, anyway? Best case scenario he goes down and scores five in six games, comes back up and remembers that he is a goal scorer. I suppose the downside risk is that he doesn’t take the demotion well, bolts for the Motherland, etc. When Gagner is back in the lineup they’ll have more enough NHL bodies available, right?

    If the playoffs are still the goal this year, are they a better team with or without him in the lineup *right now*? So why not try and get the spring back in his step? I realise he’s eventually going to have to learn to play the game at the NHL level, but he is clearly struggling right now.

    Am I crazy? Send him down and let him miss the games against LA, Phoenix, Detroit (where they are likely to get smothered) and bring him back up for the start of the road trip where they get teams that they should be able to light up (Florida, Tampa, Philly).

    My two pence.

    I was literally just about to suggest this. I’d keep him down there for at the least, 10 games.

  36. G Money says:

    RMGS: I thought when we talked about shot differentials here we meant Corsi and Fenwick.

    Corsi, Fenwick, and shot differentials are related but different.

    Or put another way, “shot differentials” has a specific meaning and is not the same as Corsi or Fenwick.

    All are valid measures.

    Statistically, you could draw a loose conceptual parallel between shots/Fenwick/Corsi and mean/median/mode. They all capture a similar concept about a data set, but each gives you subtly different information.

    Interestingly – whether you look at Corsi, Fenwick, or shots, the team this year is better than the team last year. And doing it with more key players missing.

  37. HiddenDarts says:

    Not much to say about the game last night, which was pretty tough to watch, but do want to say kudos for the Byrds track. Great song. Better live vid. Love the way those 60s hippies are trying to turn a slow, loping country waltz into a hip-shakin’ groove orgy.

    Good song to have in the head all day. Thanks, LT.

  38. srisribillyg says:

    Also, isn’t it about time there was an Arcobello-for-Calder drumbeat? Ladies and gentlemen, your rookie scoring co-leader*!!!

  39. RMGS says:

    G Money,

    After 11 games last year, the Oilers had a Fenwick-Close-For % of 49. This year, that number sits at 46.7%.

    Please note that I’m not suggesting a return to the Krueger horror show. It’s just that folks need to come down from the “Corsi high” of the first few games and realize that the team has stalled when using that comparative stat.

  40. Jesse says:

    Your response to Lansky…

    “Oh my GOD…. OH MY GOD!”

    Hahaha. Priceless.

  41. Andropod says:

    Colonel Obvious:
    Some thoughts:

    By Fenwick close the Oilers are 20th in the league.That sounds about right and much better than their record.Godot has turned into DSF ugly twin with his willful lies and obfuscations.

    So far Dallas Eakins is the best coach the Oilers have had since MacT and it isn’t even close.Firing him is a ludicrous proposition.

    Yakupov is an absolute disaster on the ice right now and I’m not talking about his defense.He’s become a weaselly little puck hog. If that doesn’t turn around soon he’s going to lose his teammates and then it will be all over.

    If Eberle has lost enough confidence in Yak’s ability for him to pass to Yak, hasn’t that already happened?
    Is keeping him in the NHL doing him good or driving him deeper into his hole?
    Would it be better to put him down to the A to get him time on their top line against slower, less skilled opposition to regain confidence in his shots, and generally let Todd get to work on him, rounding him out as a player so he can return to the majors with a more complete game and a better understanding of the offence he needs at this level? How would he look in the A with Omark on the other wing?

  42. Hammers says:

    Start thinking Eakins is lost with his ideas . Fitness means nothing if there is no heart . Swarm may take a year to learn . Basically same players but our PP sucks and was top 5-10 last 2 years . PK not much better . Point is this coach looks disalusioned behind the bench and his post game comments leave a lot to be desired .ALL ABOUT SYSTEMS . At least Renney had a plan but the last 2 leave me questioning there plan .

  43. Andropod says:

    Andropod,

    Sorry everyone, I had responded to an earlier comment before I got to the rest of the thread.
    Nonetheless it’s encouraging to see I’m not the only one thinking this.

    Never mind Hall, who has obviously left a really big hole, it really does seem to my inexperienced eye that the team would likely win more games without Yak I the lineup. And that’s not an indictment of the person his potential or his skill set, just his development.

  44. Andropod says:

    Colonel Obvious,

    Tambellini had MacT, Quinn, Renney and Krueger.

    The team declined under the same MacT that took them to within an inch of the promised land, and has since returned to lead the true rebuild as Tambo’s replacement.

    Quinn was past his due by date, should never have been hired.

    Renney seems to be a first class Assistant, but as Head Coach, not so much.

    Krueger has had huge success elsewhere as a head coach, and I believe he would do much better with another NHL team than he did here under a competent GM with less skilled players than he had here.

    My point being that a GM as woesomely incompetent as Dithers was, will ruin whatever coach has the misfortune to work under him, as happened. With the exception of Quinn, I would suggest that every one of those coaches would have been a different kettle of fish with a competent GM and a better roster of players than they were given.

  45. Bag of Pucks says:

    One of the things that’s been sinking in with me lately in regards to this rebuild is the importance of the alpha male in pulling all of this together.

    Mgmt says they’re emulating the CHI/PIT model. In both those instances, you have leaders (Toews & Crosby) whose work ethic, will to win and competitive level clearly sets the standard for the rest of the team to follow. The ‘Boys on the Bus’ have also said consistently, that Gretzky’s work ethic (in practice as well as games) was very much the call to action to make them all better. I.E. If you have the greatest player in the game on your team, you work your ass off to both emulate and compliment that player.

    Certainly many of the young core would appear to have this alpha male potential (Hall, Nuge, Eberle etc.) but is it happening yet in the dressing room, on the practice rink, in the games? I’m not sure. Too many nights this team seems to play as a collection of individuals.

    I do believe Ference is the right choice as captain for many reasons, That said, one of this core group will need to step forward at some point to be ‘that guy’ who sets the standard for what it takes to win a Cup.

    Gretzky was the kind of player who would singlehandedly pull a player like Yakupov out of his slump by feeding him the puck in prime scoring positions thus rebuilding his confidence. Unselfish leadership. That’s what this team needs, now more than ever. Who knows, maybe it will be Gagner when he gets back?

  46. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    RMGS: I thought when we talked about shot differentials here we meant Corsi and Fenwick.Try those.There was improvement over the first few games, but the numbers sank and dragged the averages to numbers first comparable to then worse than last year at this point.

    Are you stuck at game 4?

    You said “shot differentials.” Here and elsewhere that means shots on goal. You were quite wrong on your numbers through 11 games (not 4).

    I’m not sure how you can claim we are worse than last year through the other metrics.

    Perhaps you can help me here. I can’t find a way to examine last year’s data through a specific number of games. How have you managed this?

    What I have found is the rolling corsi chart from last year, which shows us very poorly through 11 games:

    http://imgur.com/ZeHVyKo

    And, Parkatti’s comparison between this year and last through 4 games:

    http://www.boysonthebus.com/2013/10/11/are-the-2013-14-oilers-better-than-the-2012-13-oilers/

    his chart in that article:

    http://www.boysonthebus.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/SeasonSim1.png

    shows pretty clearly last year’s team hovering under 45% corsi through 11 games. This year we are at 46.6%.

    If the argument is that the improvement is thin and the sample size is small, I think you’ve got a case. But I searched and searched and can’t find where the evidence is that last year’s team was better through 11 games. Show your work.

  47. hunter1909 says:

    Bag of Pucks: The ‘Boys on the Bus’ have also said consistently, that Gretzky’s work ethic (in practice as well as games) was very much the call to action to make them all better. I.E. If you have the greatest player in the game on your team, you work your ass off to both emulate and compliment that player.
    Certainly many of the young core would appear to have this alpha male potential (Hall, Nuge, Eberle etc.) but is it happening yet in the dressing room, on the practice rink, in the games? I’m not sure. Too many nights this team seems to play as a collection of individuals.
    I do believe Ference is the right choice as captain for many reasons

    Eakins foolishly chooses unknown entity Ference over natural Gretzky-like player Taylor Hall for no better reason than passive/direct pressure from Kevin Lowe, is my theory de jour.

    Kev, MacT prefer ‘veteran’ Moreau/Jason Smith type captains. It’s what their goddamned 2006 model demands, lol.

    Now Yakupov(one of the 3 astonishing number one overall picks) is bombing, the team’s record is abysmal, and Eakins/Ference are magically off the hook?

  48. Bag of Pucks says:

    Hunter, to my point, are we sure that Hall is ready yet?

    By my eye, he still makes the odd selfish play on the ice that makes me wonder.

    I’m cognizant of the main theme of LT’s post today, so I’m not going to start another rumour, but from what I’m seeing on the ice, it sometimes appears that there’s a Hall/Eberle/Nuge/Schultz clique and Yakupov is the odd man out.

  49. hunter1909 says:

    Bag of Pucks: it sometimes appears that there’s a Hall/Eberle/Nuge/Schultz clique and Yakupov is the odd man out.

    Shit happens.

    Strong management(Glen Sather Gretzky era) knows how to motivate/cajole players.

    Weak management(Kevin Lowe + anyone he’s associated with), generally hasn’t got a clue save it’s micro-box.

    Result: Possibility of Yaks being sold, and foolish management ruining everything, Thrashers/Islanders style.

  50. Bag of Pucks says:

    I know if I’m RNH, I take one look at Yakupov and I see the Kurri to my Gretzky. If these two can find a way to mesh in perfect synchronicity, we’re golden.

  51. Andropod says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Hunter, to my point, are we sure that Hall is ready yet?

    By my eye, he still makes the odd selfish play on the ice that makes me wonder.

    I’m cognizant of the main theme of LT’s post today, so I’m not going to start another rumour, but from what I’m seeing on the ice, it sometimes appears that there’s a Hall/Eberle/Nuge/Schultz clique and Yakupov is the odd man out.

    Is that because they are behaving like a bunch of (insert negative cliché here) or is it because they have collectively lost confidence in Yak’s ability to do anything constructive with the puck at this point in time?

    I’m not saying Yak is useless, nor that we should trade him but right now is he even contributing as much as any other player on that team, now that Brown has gone?

  52. hunter1909 says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    I know if I’m RNH, I take one look at Yakupov and I see the Kurri to my Gretzky. If these two can find a way to mesh in perfect synchronicity, we’re golden.

    Or else new Leaf style bench boss ‘Punch’ Eakins decides Yakupov busting saves his bacon for what might turn out to be yet another lost season.

  53. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    denny33: For me – being better than last year is a ‘given’. If everything stayed the same and we had simply deleted Belanger and Whitney – we would be better than last year.
    That is meaningless if everyone around us has improved over last year.
    Sean Monohan has 6 goals and 3 assists – for 9 points.
    Would anyone hear be happy if we finished dead last in the west but we could hang our collective hat on the fact we were ‘better’ than last year?
    That is an EXTREMELY low bar to hit…in my opinion.

    I think this is valid. It is a low bar and if you can’t clear it you’ve really got problems.

    But, guess what… this is a team that has very real systemic problems (7 years out of the playoffs, way out will do that to you).

    Solving them is important. Getting better is important. So, yes it is worth while to note improvement and hang you hat on it, while pushing for more.

    And, it’s not the case that this improvement was guaranteed, esp. starting the season missing so many impact players. Many were convinced Hemsky, for example, was done. So far, it seems pretty clear that it was either injury or systems or both last year.

    ———–
    One thing that is worth examining is to throw out the RK year and go back to 2011-12 (Renney) and see if we’ve improved on that team.

    So far, the answer is no.

    CF% 47.3
    FF% 47.7

    http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/teamstats.php?disp=1&db=201112&sit=5v5&sort=FFPCT&sortdir=DESC

  54. Bag of Pucks says:

    Andropod, that’s kind of my point. If the core has decided there’s no upside in passing to Yak, that’s the kind of selfish clique thinking that ‘a true team’ needs to avoid.

    A better way for them to react would be collectively to say, ‘hey our buddy Yak is struggling and he’s a big part of this team. Let’s help him get back on track’

    This ‘every man for himself OR what have you done for me lately’ mindset is exactly the type of culture I think they’d want to avoid, no?

  55. Clay says:

    RMGS:
    G Money,

    After 11 games last year, the Oilers had a Fenwick-Close-For % of 49.This year, that number sits at 46.7%.

    Please note that I’m not suggesting a return to the Krueger horror show.It’s just that folks need to come down from the “Corsi high” of the first few games and realize that the team has stalled when using that comparative stat.

    I’ve got to get this off my chest. Yes, it’s after another loss. Yes, I’ve been trying to wait patiently like the rest of you for this Titanic to steer clear of that draft lottery iceberg. And, yes, I’m an inch away from tossing in the towel on this season, with 6 days to go in October. Because, as always, Oilers.

    But this advanced statistics phenomenon…it’s getting pretty old. The very first day of my very first stats class, the professor gave the definition of statistics as a scientific way of proving a lie, and the more complex the statistic is, the more complex the lie can be.

    Obviously he had his tongue firmly planted in his cheek, but I immediately thought about advanced hockey stats. I think that they’re fantastic. I love intricately detailed models and trend analysis as much as the next guy. But the simple fact is that the more complex a statistic is, the less it means.

    For instance, never has a team outscored another team and lost a game. Therefore, actual goal scoring is by far the most important hockey stat, and this is why “traditional statistics” really only concerns itself with goals, assists, points. However, teams like Toronto last year have shown that stats like Corsi can go bugger itself, because success can be had to a degree even while losing the Corsi battle.

    So here we go with meaningful stats. Since game 7 of SCF 2006, the Oilers have been simply horrific at both scoring goals (2.54/gm) and preventing goals against (3.05/gm). This is all that matters. Over that time, they’ve allowed 283 more goals than they’ve scored. It would take well more than a whole season of shutouts to make up that difference!

    By far, the best thing about the Oilers these days is its fan-base. Long-suffering, loyal, passionate. Even when I think I’ve given up on this team, I still show up here looking for hope. And that brings me to my point. The popularity of advanced stats among Oiler fans is simply a way for us to fill the hope vacuum that has been created by following such a dreadful hockey team for so. damn. long.

    It’s exactly like the stock trader who creates charts full of moving averages, stochastics, and Fibonacci lines in an effort to realize when a trend is about to turn. Oilers fans have simply given up on hoping the team will score more goals than the opponent. Instead, we take solace in the fact that the team tried to direct more pucks in the direction of the opposing goalie than the other team did at our goalie. Yay! Improvement!

    I’m tired of this. Like I said, I like advanced stats. But the time for searching for turnaround signals hidden within Fenwick is over. We suffered through four years of “non-rebuild” rebuild, and now we’re on the fourth year of the “actual” rebuild, and nothing has freaking changed.

    The team is allowing 1.2 goals per game more than they score (small sample size caveat). I’m sick of hearing about how talented this team is, and how much better they’re going to be. I’m sick of new coaches every year. I’m disgusted that they name some newcomer captain simply because he’s old and has won a cup, when guys like Gagner (for instance) have been forced to play for 5 different coaches in six years, play on horribly assembled teams, been a good soldier, yet get passed over for the job.

    I’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating. Until this situation hurts Katz in the pocketbook, real change will not happen. Simple as that. The cronyism will continue, the management’s contempt for fans and media who speak the truth will continue, and wandering in the wilderness will continue, until fans stop buying tickets.

    This is the real kicker, because the only way change happens is if the team sewers the one real asset it has – fan loyalty.

    Until then, we better all bookmark Vollman’s webpage, because advanced stats are the only interesting thing we have left.

    End rant. Gotta go study.

    Oh, and if you think that advanced stats are just as popular to fans of other teams, ask a Flames fan about “Corsi”. He’ll tell you about some girl he nailed at Stampede last year.

  56. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Clay,

    I guess luck doesn’t exist for you?

  57. denny33 says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    I know if I’m RNH, I take one look at Yakupov and I see the Kurri to my Gretzky. If these two can find a way to mesh in perfect synchronicity, we’re golden.

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

    Agreed. So as David Staples points out – having RNH on the side boards – shooting position. And having Yak behind the goal net -passing position – is odd.

    Put Yak in a shooting position and have our best passer load up the cannon.

    And I agree with your earlier post about a collection of individuals…..

    Lars Ellar was not the first to suggest we don’t play within a system.

    I thought this was supposed to be Dallas Eakins’ specialty?

    Other teams seem to have the ability to absorb new coaches systems.

    1. Never ending training camp this year.
    2. 7-8 pre-season games !!

    I am not blaming Dalls Eakins – at all. We can’t keep firing head coaches.

    I am asking if our ‘collection of individuals’ is listening or adopting his methods. Truly, don’t
    feel hockey systems require the same knowledge as splitting an atom.

    Re: whole league knows – as did Eakins – about the Washington set play off the face-off to OV.

    Nothing new – or atom splitting there. Yak just choose to skate by the exact play that OV lit up Winnipeg for a few days prior.

    Not picking on YAK – just wondering if there are not lots of examples Eakins could give people of our players not doing things correctly. *Despite* being told what to do.

  58. russ99 says:

    Everyone is forgetting it’s Yakupov’s second year.

    In their second NHL year most good offensive players need to adjust since the league is onto the moves/tricks they used to score as rookies. We’ve seen Hall, Eberle and RNH go through this already. Exacerbating this problem is Eakins’ insistence on Yakupov playing a game without the puck that he’s never had to before.

    This is an adjustment process, it’s not just going to click in in one game. It may take months. Sending him down to the AHL just extends this process, since he’ll dominate there and then have the same troubles at the NHL level when he gets back.

    If anything I’d ease off on the defensive system insistence until he finds his offensive game again. Get him comfortable playing his game then find the right moments to work on the defensive stuff.

    The real problem here is the team not having the patience to let Yak work through this.

    Patience is something that is wearing quite thin, both from the fans and team management’s standpoint, and it’s not going to serve us well going forward.

  59. OilClog says:

    How are Smith and Bucky still coaching here? It’s mind boggling.

    There is zero workable chemistry between Eberle and Yak, having them on the ice at the same time is pointless.

    If Eakins is staying on as coach for a good long while.. Yakupov is as good as gone. In 5 years we’re all going to be covering our eyes every time Yak’s coming down the wing against us. If Chimera can stick it to us every single time, what’s the Russian wonder kid going to do lol

    PHX
    Yakupov

    Edm
    OEL

    Nash
    2014 1st Rd, Klef, Jultz,

    Edm
    Weber

    Then next season might look something like

    Weber/OEL
    Petry/Belov
    Nurse/Smid
    Ference.. no matter what this contract is going to be ugly, it already is if we’re being honest.

    I know I know no way in any way shape or form.. But I think the pieces are there, I’d gladly ship off Klef and Jultz for a Weber.

    If Yakupov can’t land a OEL, Yakupov best not be going anywhere until he can.

  60. VOR says:

    Clay,

    I hear your frustration. However, I disagree with your assessment which comes down to saying that stats are for losers. I think the fascination with advanced stats, and it isn’t just Oilers’ fans, comes from the belief (founded or unfounded) that these stats can help with roster decisions at the individual player level and give sabremetrics that can be used to see if a team is getting better or worse without the noise that is caused by “luck”.

    The fact is, and yes, Toronto appears to be an outlier, that if you consistently out shoot, out chance, out corsi, out shooting %, out Neilsen, out Fenwick, you will win more games than you lose. That isn’t based on one team for one season, but many teams over many seasons. You would expect some variance and noise. Toronto (and other outliers through the years) are merely extremes of a distribution that has winning hockey records strongly correlated with out chancing.

    If the Oilers were truly moving towards being a team that regularly out chances its opponent that would be a very good sign and one that deserved to be noted. As you can see here not everybody agrees the Oilers are getting better based on these metrics. So who knows if we should be hopeful. But tracking the stats isn’t a waste of time, nor is it a behavior that is limited to Oilers fans.

  61. godot10 says:

    Colonel Obvious:
    Some thoughts:

    By Fenwick close the Oilers are 20th in the league.That sounds about right and much better than their record.Godot has turned into DSF ugly twin with his willful lies and obfuscations.

    So far Dallas Eakins is the best coach the Oilers have had since MacT and it isn’t even close.Firing him is a ludicrous proposition.

    The Oilers make or don’t make the playoffs in the Western Conference. They are LAST in Corsi close in the Western Conference. They are 2ND last in Fenwick Close in the Western Conference (Winnipeg a pseudo EC team is last). The Oilers are LAST in the Western Conference in goal differential. Point out where I am lying please.

    Ray Ferraro just raked Dallas Eakins over the coals on TSN Radio in Toronto for bringing up travel as an excuse after the first road trip, and the noted that the Oilers looked totally confused on defense.

    Keep on taking your happy pills.

  62. Bag of Pucks says:

    denny33:
    Bag of Pucks,

    I know if I’m RNH, I take one look at Yakupov and I see the Kurri to my Gretzky. If these two can find a way to mesh in perfect synchronicity, we’re golden.

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

    Agreed. So as David Staples points out – having RNH on the side boards – shooting position. And having Yak behind the goal net -passing position– is odd.

    Put Yak in a shooting position and have our best passer load up the cannon.

    And I agree with your earlier post about a collection of individuals…..

    Lars Ellar was not the first to suggest we don’t play within a system.

    I thought this was supposed to be Dallas Eakins’ specialty?

    Other teams seem to have the ability to absorbnew coaches systems.

    1. Never ending training camp this year.
    2. 7-8 pre-season games !!

    I am not blaming Dalls Eakins – at all. We can’t keep firing head coaches.

    I am asking if our ‘collection of individuals’ is listening or adopting his methods. Truly, don’t
    feel hockey systems require the same knowledge as splitting an atom.

    Re: whole league knows – as did Eakins – about the Washington set play off the face-off to OV.

    Nothing new – or atom splitting there. Yak just choose to skate by the exact play that OV lit up Winnipeg for a few days prior.

    Not picking on YAK– just wondering if there are not lots of examples Eakins could give people of our players not doing things correctly.*Despite* being told what to do.

    Agreed. History is littered with talented teams that should win ‘on paper’ but the ones that do are the ones that best play as a team – and this collection of individuals continues to struggle with that.

    One of the biggest aspects of this is trusting that your teammate is going to perform his assignment.

    On the surface, Yak seems the most individualistic so I think there’s a tendency for a knee-jerk reaction from the fanbase that ‘he’s not buying in’ or ‘not playing a team game.’ What if he’s trying to, but the core is not working to assimilate him in?

    Eberle shooting on the two-on-one with Yak spoke volumes to me. Ebs scored, and in fairness, it WAS probably the higher percentage play. But the great thing about the ‘Boys on the Bus’ is they found a way to make that pass, and to make it work – almost every damn time. Team.

    Firmly believe this team needs to go out and get rip roarin’ drunk together.

  63. denny33 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Excellent post…

    Like the idea of comparing to the Renney team…very interesting.

    Here’s hoping Gagner and Hall come back soon motivated and flying…

  64. OilClog says:

    Bag of Pucks: Agreed. History is littered with talented teams that should win ‘on paper’ but the ones that do are the ones that best play as a team – and this collection of individuals continues to struggle with that.

    One of the biggest aspects of this is trusting that your teammate is going to perform his assignment.

    On the surface, Yak seems the most individualistic so I think there’s a tendency for a knee-jerk reaction from the fanbase that ‘he’s not buying in’ or ‘not playing a team game.’ What if he’s trying to, but the core is not working to assimilate him in?

    Eberle shooting on the two-on-one with Yak spoke volumes to me. Ebs scored, and in fairness, it WAS probably the higher percentage play. But the great thing about the ‘Boys on the Bus’ is they found a way to make that pass, and to make it work – almost every damn time. Team.

    Firmly believe this team needs to go out and get rip roarin’ drunk together.

    Until last night, I thought this team “makes that pass” waaaaay too freaking much. It was nice to see them shoot last night, just hockey gods have decided to laugh at us again.. and again.. The only clear disconnection I see out there in two guys not willing to work together is Eberle and Yak. If Eb’s gets the puck he’ll pass to anyone but Yak, if Yak gets the puck.. well we’ve been seeing what happens.. Someone needs to get this kid a goal.

  65. DeadmanWaking says:

    Nice sermon. The descendants of the same men are now running around calling government the little missus who shovels “more out the back door with a tea spoon than a man can put in the front door with corn scoop”.

    An awfully large portion of what went out the back door wound up in a food kitchen larding the fat bellies of the corn scooper bloopers, but who’s keeping score? These uber-capitalists are really just a bunch of Bill Clintons: “I did not suck that tit!” Oh, yes, you did. In an eleventh hour scene right out of Eyes Wide Shut.

    Drainage! Drainage, Eli, you boy. Drained dry. I’m so sorry. Here, if you have a milkshake, and I have a milkshake, and I have a straw. There it is, that’s a straw, you see? You watching? And my straw reaches acroooooooss the room, and starts to drink your milkshake…

    That’s a quote from Wall Street. This whole division between the left and the right is a modern fiction. There’s a straw in between. They travel in pairs. Linked by a straw. Besides, look what happened when the little missus let too much coin accumulate in Eliot Spitzer’s slush fund. A teaspoon of prevention degreases a long career.

    But that is what led to what was obviously a violation of responsibility, oath, loyalty–many terms could apply to it,” he told … Mark Halperin during the interview.

    Move over, Lance. These terms do apply–in the mind of anyone in America who has ever peered over his backyard fence, even in Linstrom, Minnesota, right down to their jet-lagged relatives noshing down that welcome first slice of herring on toast. “Apply” sets an awfully low bar, as Eliot would know. When did ever a lawyer refrain from hurling anything plus the kitchen sink with the least chance to stick? “Moi? Let’s not be hasty.”

    ***

    Yesterday I read Stanley Fish on How to Write a Sentence, in which he deconstructs this classic:

    It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.

    Updated, this would read “formerly in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a second wife”. Ba ding. Okay, moving on.

    I find this book simultaneously engrossing and infuriating. Casting aside the erudite flotilla of punctuating marks that launches his raft, he writes this:

    …”must be” in combination with “truth universally acknowledged” is a bit too insistent and allows us to suspect an author mocking her own pronouncement. It may seem counterintuitive, but you’ll have a better chance of persuading readers that what you are about to say is universally acknowledged as a truth if you don’t actually use the phrase “It is a truth universally acknowledged.”

    Further along, this counter-intuitive straw man of counter-intuition leaps again from behind the shower curtain.

    Common sense might suggest that the loose, coordinating/non-subordinating style Virginia Woolf excels in is easier to manage than a style that requires the building of architectonic structures where words and phrases [beget a lot of carpentry].

    Oh, yeah. Everyone who makes it past the first page of To the Lighthouse regards her prose as a walk in the park to be tossed off during hobbit breakfast mid-fast. This is the “common sense” of a person who can’t distinguish a post-hurricane yard sale in Black Belt, Alabama from the Japanese rock garden of the Peaceful Dragon. Never let it be said that philosophers scatter inferior straw.

    Bruce invited an interesting, un-Bruce-like author to post the game summary on Cult today. Contrasts are good.

    I agree with Fish that the sentence is truly a marvelous thing. What bugs me about Fish is that he forgets that the sentence is often just the polycarbonate housing that flower-arranges the fire-engine red, eight-piece spatula, ladle, and tongs kitchen set. The sentence is to a writer what mise en place is to a French chef. The primary cognitive line in effective prose traces through the quality and character of the raw ingredients: the words themselves, as they burst upon the tongue–awakened by the rock garden ebb of sweet and bitter, sour and saline.

    Let’s follow the mindblender play by play, player by player, picking out from each synopsis the most striking ingredient. An extremely intuitive person might try to match phase to player. Degree of difficulty 3.7 (shaved for one slam dunk).

    Man crush. Evacuate the pill. Gap-toothed assassin. Nervous driving test. Deep O-zone dash. Schoolyard rage. Still jiving for the steady rhythm. Side-saddled. Empty register. Swiss plight. Prison shower make-over. Belated moustache downgrade. Lesser burr-in-the-britches. Exploding banana blade fly-by. Quietus interruptus by faint praise. Puck butcher. Dicks van Dark stocking mask abduction. Bobblehead missus.

    Interesting grocery basket.

    Quietus: A finishing stroke; anything that effectually ends or settles. Nice. I’ll take it.

    Fish says it’s a good exercise to start with a list of things and fashion them into some kind of sentence. He’s hard set on the notion that committing random acts of order teaches form.

    Unfortunately, it takes far more than a big sentence-muscle to turn a quirky grocery basket into My Dinner with Andre. The salty dogs need to square dance.

  66. Logan91 says:

    russ99:
    Everyone is forgetting it’s Yakupov’s second year.

    In their second NHL year most good offensive players need to adjust since the league is onto the moves/tricks they used to score as rookies. We’ve seen Hall, Eberle and RNH go through this already. Exacerbating this problem is Eakins’ insistence on Yakupov playing a game without the puck that he’s never had to before.

    This is an adjustment process, it’s not just going to click in in one game. It may take months. Sending him down to the AHL just extends this process, since he’ll dominate there and then have the same troubles atthe NHL level when he gets back.

    If anything I’d ease off on the defensive system insistence until he finds his offensive game again. Get him comfortable playing his game then find the right moments to work on the defensive stuff.

    The real problem here is the team not having the patience to let Yak work through this.

    Patience is something that is wearing quite thin, both from the fans and team management’s standpoint, and it’s not going to serve us well going forward.

    Sending him to the AHL will not extend the process. It would be a great learning experience for him. He’ll be able to go down and learn a LOT, and not have to feel any pressure of needing to be an impact player in pressure situations.

    If I’ve learned anything about OKC and the staff there, it’s that the players actually enjoy their time being on that team and have fun. I think the biggest thing for Yakupov is that he needs to build some confidence, because nothing is going right for him.

    If he dominates the AHL that would be a great thing.

  67. godot10 says:

    Is Yakupov eligible to be sent to the AHL, or is it CHL only?

  68. RMGS says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: You said “shot differentials.” Here and elsewhere that means shots on goal.

    Boy, it looks like in little time you’ve become an authority on the subject. :)

    Anyway, while I’ll look at all the various shot differential metrics (or shot differentials), my ‘favourite’ is Fenwick-close given its relative strength in predicting standings points outcomes. Score-adjusted-Fenwick is better but harder to compute (and find).

    Take a look at extraskater and compare the team’s numbers between this season and last and contrast the respective “Cumulative 5v5 close FF%” graphs.

    So, not all shot (attempt) differentials – and arguably the ‘most important’ one – are better this year after 11 games than at the same point last year.

  69. G Money says:

    Clay:
    But this advanced statistics phenomenon…it’s getting pretty old.The very first day of my very first stats class, the professor gave the definition of statistics as a scientific way of proving a lie, and the more complex the statistic is,the more complex the lie can be.

    But the simple fact is that the more complex a statistic is, the less it means

    Man – so many misconceptions wrapped around some gnashing of teeth. From the impatience in your post, I gather that you believe that a team can go from last in the league to a contender in one year?

    I don’t. What it does is that it takes time, skill, and a whack of good fortune too. We hope that we get there. We hope that it doesn’t turn out like always.

    In the meantime, we work with what we have. We sit here and try and assess whether the team is better this year than last year. It’s the progression that matters.

    As for your diatribe about ‘advanced stats’ … there is very little ‘advanced’ about them. While goal differentials ultimately are the driver of success, goal differentials within a game or a few games actually are terrible at predicting anything. Goals are rare events and each one carries a tremendous amount of luck (good or bad) with it.

    It is extremely common for a team to outplay the other and lose (or conversely, be badly outplayed and win). The point is – if your team consistently outplays the other team night after night, eventually the goals will follow.

    As for your advanced stats, it’s a simple list:

    - Goals – the most important metric, but so rare and so small sample that they are useless as predictors.
    - Chances – shots or other opportunities that had a strong likelihood of being a goal. Tries to get a larger sample size and also better reflect the actual flow of the game.
    - Shots – at the game level and multi-game level, are generally much better at indicating the flow of play than goals. Over the long run, outshooting teams tend to be the better teams (even if they lose).
    - Fenwick – is nothing more than shots + missed shots. Its just trying to up the sample size over shots alone.
    - Corsi – is nothing more than shots + missed shots + blocked shots. Its just trying to up the sample size over shots alone.

    The reason ‘advanced stats’ guys use Corsi (or Fenwick, or even shots) in the first place is that it is a much better reflector of the overall flow of the game or sequence of games than goals is. You can be a horrible team (like the Flames), be badly outplayed, but still go on a hot streak scoring a lot of goals on just a few shots while getting unusually good goaltending and win a bunch of games you really shouldn’t have won. But the Corsi/Fenwick/shots will show that you stink, and you will come back down to earth eventually.

    Conversely, you seem to be of the opinion that the folks looking at Oiler Corsi are somehow naive Pollyanna’s ignoring the harsh reality of the lousiness of the Oilers. Nothing could be farther from the truth. In previous years, the teams record has actually been better than the underlying shot metrics (like the Flames so far this year), and it has been the advanced stats guys pointing out that the team was much worse than its record reflected. And by the end of the season, that is exactly what came through.

    What’s different this year is that the underlying shot metrics are indicating that this Oiler team is, for the first time in years, *better* than its record. Not necessarily good, just better than last year and better than 3-7-1.

    It’s not definitive yet, it’s not necessarily even “good” – but so far it’s better.

  70. godot10 says:

    G Money:
    What’s different this year is that the underlying shot metrics are indicating that this Oiler team is, for the first time in years, *better* than its record. Not necessarily good, just better than last year and better than 3-7-1.

    This is not true.

    The Oilers are LAST in goal differential in the Western Conference.
    The OIlers are LAST in Corsi close in the Western Conference.
    The OIlers are 2nd LAST in Fenwick close in the Western Conference.
    (all from data from extraskater.com)

    The Oilers are LAST in the Western Conference in the standings.

    The Oilers record and the Oilers advanced stats are in complete accord.

  71. Logan91 says:

    godot10:
    Is Yakupov eligible to be sent to the AHL, or is it CHL only?

    Didn’t he turn 20 this year?

  72. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    godot10: This is not true.

    The Oilers are LAST in goal differential in the Western Conference.
    The OIlers are LAST in Corsi close in the Western Conference.
    The OIlers are 2nd LAST in Fenwick close in the Western Conference.
    (all from data from extraskater.com)

    The Oilers are LAST in the Western Conference in the standings.

    The Oilers record and the Oilers advanced stats are in complete accord.

    This is an absurd response.

    Oiler fans of all people should know that a team can be greatly improved and not have the results show in the NHL standings.

  73. Andropod says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Andropod, that’s kind of my point. If the core has decided there’s no upside in passing to Yak, that’s the kind of selfish clique thinking that ‘a true team’ needs to avoid.

    A better way for them to react would be collectively to say, ‘hey our buddy Yak is struggling and he’s a big part of this team. Let’s help him get back on track’

    This ‘every man for himself OR what have you done for me lately’ mindset is exactly the type of culture I think they’d want to avoid, no?

    I think they have each earned each other’s respect. I don’t think Yak has earned that respect, or has lost whatever he had earned through not scoring on, or killing every pay that goes to him. I theorize that if they had any confidence in him and thought he was just slumping then they would try to help him out just as they did for each other – and, IIRC Arcobello, who has also won their respect.

  74. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    RMGS: Boy, it looks like in little time you’ve become an authority on the subject.

    No one is claiming authority on anything. Any fair reading of your comment would have come to the same conclusion I did. You clarified what you meant so I moved on.

    I am often less than clear and/or misunderstood on here. It’s an imperfect medium for communication. That has nothing to do with people staking out authority.

    RMGS: Take a look at extraskater and compare the team’s numbers between this season and last and contrast the respective “Cumulative 5v5 close FF%” graphs.
    So, not all shot (attempt) differentials – and arguably the ‘most important’ one – are better this year after 11 games than at the same point last year.

    Yes. I see now. Thank you for directing me to this graph.

    Very interesting. For myself, I think straight 5×5 corsi is probably the best indicator this early in the season. Fenwick and close limit an already small sample size. Nevertheless, you were correct. Thanks for pointing this out, it is well worth noting.

  75. godot10 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: This is an absurd response.

    Oiler fans of all people should know that a team can be greatly improved and not have the results show in the NHL standings.

    The claim was that the Oilers were better than their record. This is NOT true. The Oilers advanced stats (basically LAST) in the Western Conference, reflect their record (LAST) perfectly.

  76. Bag of Pucks says:

    Clay
    Oh, and if you think that advanced stats are just as popular to fans of other teams, ask a Flames fan about “Corsi”.He’ll tell you about some girl he nailed at Stampede last year.

    There’s girls at Stampede?

  77. lance says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    I’m cognizant of the main theme of LT’s post today, so I’m not going to start another rumour, but from what I’m seeing on the ice, it sometimes appears that there’s a Hall/Eberle/Nuge/Schultz clique and Yakupov is the odd man out.

    Lets see. Muslim Tartar who doesn’t drink. Everyone else is an Alberta male. Surely you’re not surprised that he struggles to fit in.

    Where is the management to massage that relationship? Oh yeah. They’re all Alberta males too. Kevin Lowe has never taken a class in sociology and is yet the top dog in player evaluation. MacT had never been within 10 feet of a GM’s chair but is somehow qualified for the top post. Chickenhawk has never been an NHL coach but somehow got the job.

    Eberle looks off Yak and we’re surprised?

    Smart management models include people not like the boss. Bad management collects all people of the same mindset and wonders why they can’t sell to women. Or connect with Muslims. Remember Eagle Hardware?

    Last year the Euro born Kruger had them in 8th place with a few weeks to go. And he was a coaching disaster? This year the Canadian born Eakins is no where near the playoffs. We shall see if he can get them into 8th in the west with a few weeks to go.

    As for me, I don’t think Kruger was the problem nor do I think Eakins is the solution.

  78. jamang says:

    I thought our defensive system were good lastr night actually. little mistakes by indiviuals bt it wasn’t a mess as it has been. the first 2 periods the only goals were scrambles and lucky. besides ovechkins shot which was completely yaks fault.

    Eakins is working with a team that has no compete , doesn’t have confidence to win, and has injured stars, and yakupov who has not performed at all!

    yak shouldgo to the ahl to regain confidence.. but who will move up in the top 6? are we waiting until ganger is back to do this now? people complained he didn’t get enough time with good players/ now he is and everyone says he should round out his game. oh you mean like say, play him on the third line? jesus Christ.

  79. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    godot10: The claim was that the Oilers were better than their record.This is NOT true.The Oilers advanced stats (basically LAST) in the Western Conference, reflect their record (LAST) perfectly.

    First, G Money claimed that they were better than their record of 3-7-1, not their position in the NHL standings.

    Second, NHL standings reflect a lot more (esp. in small samples) than simple underlying shot stats, like sv% and sh%.

    Third, in basic corsi for 5×5 we are ahead of both CAL and COL and close to DAL. We could easily have won a game or two more that Dubnyk struggled in and been in alignment with record, standings and underlying stats.

    Fourth, standings only allows for clunky, imperfect ordinal distinctions. It is a bad measure, esp. in a small sample size, for a team’s talent.

  80. Woodguy says:

    This team is infinitely more watchable than the last 4 years.

    They still haven’t had the services of the center who was ranked 18th in the NHL last year in points for a center.

    The number one center is coming off major surgery and starting to look up to speed.

    Yak is still under 60 games as a pro. Everyone forgets what players look like as rookies.

    Hall and Eberle had Horcoff holding their hand all year and covering up their mistakes.

    Yak misses his Kaptain, but he’ll get there too. There too much there to even think otherwise.

    J.Shultz is still under 60 games in the NHL to date too and he’s still learning.

    Joensuu might be a player

    Arcobello looks like a player

    Pitlick looks like he could stick

    Gazdic might not be a black hole where the puck goes to die and I think the Oilers have figured out they only need one of these guys (I’d bet Eager goes down when Smyth, Gagner, or Joensus get back)

    D corps is still not there.

    N. Shutlz needs to go. I think Fedun may be an upgrade today on him.

    Smid is over his head one the 1st pair, but Petry isn’t.

    If MacT makes a move it will be on D I think.

    Goaltending is still not very good over all.

    I like DD but the team SV% is still .870 and 30th in the NHL.

    If they were NHL average at .911 there would be 13 less GA and their goal differential would be +1 and not -12.

    There’s a lot to like here and the finish line is much closer.

    Management is filling needs.

    I think the coach is good. He’s a tookie too, but like Yak he seems to have the goods.

    The dug themselves a hole early, but there will be more wins than losses going forward.

    They have to beat PHX on Saturday. The next day in LA is guaranteed loss night.

    Also,

    If MacT thinks they are a 1D away from being really good, I can see him trading on of 4,14,89, 64 for that Dman.

  81. godot10 says:

    I think Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is feeling really good about his plus/minus of negative infinity under Eakins.

    Krueger used Nugent-Hopkins against tough opposition too, but unlike Eakins, Krueger made sure Nugent-Hopkins had the best of what supporting players the Oilers had.

    Eakins. Well, lets just throw some bodies out there and see if it works. Put your best players in a position where they can be embarrassed and humiliated. He did this with Hall. He did it with Yakupov, And now he’s done it with Nugent-Hopkins. That minus infinity will be the talk of the media in every town the Oilers visit this year. Hayes, MacClennan, and Ferraro had a field day with it today on TSN radio.

    Eakins is such a tool. On TSN radio today, Ferraro also roasted him for Eakins constant use of “I”, and “they” when talking about himself and the players, rather than “we”.

  82. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: This is an absurd response.

    Oiler fans of all people should know that a team can be greatly improved and not have the results show in the NHL standings.

    The Oilers next 2 games are against Phoenix and Los Angeles…two of the top possession teams in the league.

    To date, the only strong possession teams the Oilers have played are Vancouver, Pittsburgh and Montreal.

    In those games, the Oilers were outshot 131-105.

    You may have a different opinion of how “greatly improved” they are by Monday morning.

  83. Andropod says:

    Woodguy,

    “Yak misses his Kaptain, but he’ll get there too. There too much there to even think otherwise.”

    If that’s the case, wouldn’t it make sense to put 64 next to 27 for the next 10-20 games?

  84. Woodguy says:

    jamang,

    Eakins is working with a team that has no compete , doesn’t have confidence to win, and has injured stars, and yakupov who has not performed at all!

    I think they’ve had lots of “compete” and won their share of battles in the last 3 games.

  85. RMGS says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I think straight 5×5 corsi is probably the best indicator this early in the season.

    I’ll meet you halfway and propose that we compare EV Corsi-close (again, because looking at close score shot differentials, despite the loss of data points, is a better indicator of success).

    After 11 games last year, the close-CF% was 46%. This year it’s 45.8%, at best statistically the same.

    EDIT: Again, please note that I’m not advocating that the Nightmare on Elm Street approach is better or the way forward. Far from it!

  86. Bag of Pucks says:

    Impatience seems to be a recurring theme in these parts. I’ve seen some argue that we’re on Year 1 of the MacT/Eakins regime so patience must be our guiding light with that in mind.

    With this pov fails to address IMHO is the cronyism’s that led us to this point. Giving MacT and Eakins too much latitude would seem to ignore the harsher reality that we’re on Year 13 of the Lowe regime and not Year 1 of a fresh new approach as the deck chair reshuffling would try and have us believe.

    Personally, I would’ve been far more inclined to be patient with a new GM if Lowe had finally gone outside the old boys club. He didn’t and in fact, is gathering more and not less of his old cronies since.

    At his hiring presser, MacT made the point that it’s HARD to win in this league. What that Freudian slip revealed IMO is that ‘players’ who once found it easy to win in their era are now finding the going considerably tougher as ‘management.’ When viewed through that lens, ’6 rings’ is essentially a zen mantra that comforts the speaker with a mental bulwark that assures them they have the innate ability to figure this out – despite ALL the evidence to the contrary.

    Eff patience. Results matter. Start winning.

  87. Clay says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Clay,

    I guess luck doesn’t exist for you?

    It does. 8 Years of bad luck? At what point is bad luck no longer an excuse? In 10-11, Crosby, Malkin, and Staal combined for 126 man-games lost to injury, but Pittsburg still made the playoffs. Injuries happen to every team every year. Tired excuse.

  88. VOR says:

    Godot10, I think you are cherry picking and it is hurting your argument which has some validity IMHO. If you look at all the stats that are available at Extra Skater focusing on the three %s – CF%, FF%, and SF% it is clear the Oilers record is slightly worse than the underlying numbers suggest. That is they should probably be around 23th overall in the league not 26th. To me that difference seems rather pointless – bad is still bad and so I support your contention that the stats don’t imply some hidden gem of a team but rather do to some extent reflect the team and its record.

    However, it is also demonstrably true that the Oilers are better in all these categories than they were last year when their record exceeded what the stats suggested they should be capable of achieving. The problem is the improvement is not sufficient to make much difference in the bottom line. For example, if the Oilers improved as much again next year as they have this year they would probably look, in terms of the stats, a lot like this year’s Columbus Blue Jackets.

    I think your argument should go more like, yes, the Oilers are better this year than last in terms of corsi, fenwick, and SF% and yes their record doesn’t accurately reflect this but the difference at this point in the year is that they are about 2-3 points off the best you could realistically expect. They are still light years away from the stats elite teams generate in these categories. At the current rate of improvement the Oilers are two years away from being contenders for the playoffs and four years away from elite statistical status.

    In other words the Oilers suck statistically and their record sucks even more. In other words I agree with the gist of your argument but think you are overstating, presumably for effect.

    Mind you, I don’t think the current stats or record will look vaguely the same at the end of the season. I am guessing on that we disagree completely.

  89. lance says:

    Bag of Pucks:

    At his hiring presser, MacT made the point that it’s HARD to win in this league.What that Freudian slip revealed IMO is that ‘players’ who once found it easy to win in their era are now finding the going considerably tougher as ‘management.’ When viewed through that lens, ’6 rings’ is essentially a zen mantra that comforts the speaker with a mental bulwark that assures them they have the innate ability to figure this out – despite ALL the evidence to the contrary.

    Eff patience. Results matter. Start winning.

    Fully agree.

    And if they don’t start winning? Shall we all melt down like Asia and Blackjaque?

    I am a proud member of the 3rd tier fan club. I’m not giving them a dime until they either disprove my theory that like minded management has no hope of success (in any field) or shake up that model and find a way to attract the Jim Nill’s of the world.

  90. Clay says:

    VOR:
    Clay,

    I hear your frustration. However, I disagree with your assessment which comes down to saying that stats are for losers. I think the fascination with advanced stats, and it isn’t just Oilers’ fans, comes from the belief (founded or unfounded) that these stats can help with roster decisions at the individual player level and give sabremetrics that can be used to see if a team is getting better or worse without the noise that is caused by “luck”.

    The fact is, and yes, Toronto appears to be an outlier, that if you consistently out shoot, out chance, out corsi, out shooting %, out Neilsen, out Fenwick, you will win more games than you lose. That isn’t based on one team for one season, but many teams over many seasons. You would expect some variance and noise. Toronto (and other outliers through the years) are merely extremes of a distribution that has winning hockey records strongly correlated with out chancing.

    If the Oilers were truly moving towards being a team that regularly out chances its opponent that would be a very good sign and one that deserved to be noted. As you can see here not everybody agrees the Oilers are getting better based on these metrics. So who knows if we should be hopeful. But tracking the stats isn’t a waste of time, nor is it a behavior that is limited to Oilers fans.

    I totally agree with you. I wasn’t saying it is a waste of time or that it’s for losers – I’m saying that it’s sad that it’s all we have left to entertain us, and I’m tired of trying to find positives in the minutiae rather than being able to sit down to watch an Oilers game with the expectation they’ll have a chance to win. Winning for the Oilers (when it happens) has become a surprising treat.

    That part about Flames fans – you’re not going to blame a brother for underlining his point with a bit of rhetoric, are you? :)

  91. Racki says:

    godot10:
    I think Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is feeling really good about his plus/minus of negative infinity under Eakins.

    Krueger used Nugent-Hopkins against tough opposition too, but unlike Eakins, Krueger made sure Nugent-Hopkins had the best of what supporting players the Oilers had.

    Eakins.Well, lets just throw some bodies out there and see if it works.Put your best players in a position where they can be embarrassed and humiliated.He did this with Hall.He did it with Yakupov,And now he’s done it with Nugent-Hopkins.That minus infinity will be the talk of the media in every town the Oilers visit this year. Hayes, MacClennan, and Ferraro had a field day with it today on TSN radio.

    Eakins is such a tool.On TSN radio today, Ferraro also roasted him for Eakins constant use of “I”, and “they” when talking about himself and the players, rather than “we”.

    Exactly! .. How dare Eakins play the Nuge 22 mins a night with Luke Gazdic and Mike Brown. Seriously, what the f are you going on about? I had no idea the likes of Hall, Eberle and Yakupov were terrible players. How dare Eakins do that to sweet baby Nuge.

  92. G Money says:

    Woodguy,

    Great summary.

    Dead Cat Bounce: To date, the only strong possession teams the Oilers have played are Vancouver, Pittsburgh and Montreal.

    Against Vancouver, the Oilers were badly outplayed (Corsi 37 to 28).
    Against Montreal (game 1), the Oilers got the better of them (46 to 45) and lost 4-1.
    Against Montreal (game 2), the Oilers were badly outplayed (61 to 42) and won 4-3.
    Against Pittsburgh, the Oilers played virtually even up (41 to 39) and lost 3-2. The microcosm of the game was being dominated in the first, and then being the better team for the last two periods, and still losing.

    It seems when the Oilers bring their ‘A’ game, they can play with the big boys. When they bring their ‘B’ game, the get badly outplayed. Not an unusual situation for a bad team trying to get better.

    It may be the safe bet, but it is not a given that the Oilers will be outplayed, even while missing so many key ingredients. The next few of those games will say a lot about the character and capability of this team.

  93. Numenius says:

    hunter1909: Eakins foolishly chooses unknown entity Ference over natural Gretzky-like player Taylor Hall for no better reason than passive/direct pressure from Kevin Lowe, is my theory de jour.

    Where do you see any evidence of this? Eakins is not a pushover and he showed no hesitation in saying that Ference was the complete package for captain in contrast with everyone else.

    Your evaluation of Taylor Hall also needs to be rethought. He isn’t close to having Gretzky’s class and leadership abilities at the same age. I hope he develops even a modicum of them, but for now he still has a lot of learning to do.

  94. Racki says:

    G Money:
    Woodguy,

    Great summary.

    Against Vancouver, the Oilers were badly outplayed (Corsi 37 to 28).
    Against Montreal (game 1), the Oilers got the better of them (46 to 45) and lost 4-1.
    Against Montreal (game 2), the Oilers were badly outplayed (61 to 42) and won 4-3.
    Against Pittsburgh, the Oilers played virtually even up (41 to 39) and lost 3-2. The microcosm of the game was being dominated in the first, and then being the better team for the last two periods, and still losing.

    It seems when the Oilers bring their ‘A’ game, they can play with the big boys.When they bring their ‘B’ game, the get badly outplayed.Not an unusual situation for a bad team trying to get better.

    It may be the safe bet, but it is not a given that the Oilers will be outplayed, even while missing so many key ingredients. The next few of those games will say a lot about the character and capability of this team.

    Just to clarify.. The habs badly outplayed the Oilers in game one two, except for a hell of a rally in the 3rd and maybe tail end of the second. But for a while it looked awful to me

  95. Bag of Pucks says:

    lance: Fully agree.

    And if they don’t start winning?Shall we all melt down like Asia and Blackjaque?

    I am a proud member of the 3rd tier fan club.I’m not giving them a dime until they either disprove my theory that like minded management has no hope of success (in any field) or shake up that model and find a way to attract the Jim Nill’s of the world.

    Can’t advocate the meltdown. It is just a game at the end of the day, but I am fully behind voting with your wallet. That’s the only impact that we as fans can make on Katz’ decisions going forward. A shiny new arena starts to lose its luster if the seats in the old one are half empty.

    Personally, I’m giving Eakins 40 games to get these boys playing like a team for a full 60. If he can`t do it by then, I throw in the towel on them. There are some 5v5 signs that are encouraging but on too many occasions this team still folds like a jenga skyscraper in its own end.

  96. Colonel Obvious says:

    godot10:
    I think Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is feeling really good about his plus/minus of negative infinity under Eakins.

    Krueger used Nugent-Hopkins against tough opposition too, but unlike Eakins, Krueger made sure Nugent-Hopkins had the best of what supporting players the Oilers had.

    Eakins.Well, lets just throw some bodies out there and see if it works.Put your best players in a position where they can be embarrassed and humiliated.He did this with Hall.He did it with Yakupov,And now he’s done it with Nugent-Hopkins.That minus infinity will be the talk of the media in every town the Oilers visit this year. Hayes, MacClennan, and Ferraro had a field day with it today on TSN radio.

    Eakins is such a tool.On TSN radio today, Ferraro also roasted him for Eakins constant use of “I”, and “they” when talking about himself and the players, rather than “we”.

    Holy fuck you’re a joke. You have become a delusional, pathetic, waste of space. Your words don’t even have a tangential relationship to reality.

  97. ashley says:

    It’s curious that the Ference captain thing hasn’t faced more criticism. We have a number of hard working players who have put in time during the Nilsson, JFJ, Ryan Stone, and Khabibulin years, and the smart guys upstairs think the guy who spent those years partying and playing on the best teams in the NHL should be named captain before ever playing a game in an Oiler uniform.

    I find it insulting as a fan. I can’t imaging what it might feel like as a player who has gone through this rebuild.

    This, of course, is just politics, and has nothing to do with their current performance or trading Yak for that matter.

  98. Ice Sage says:

    “It seems when the Oilers bring their ‘A’ game, they can play with the big boys. When they bring their ‘B’ game, the get badly outplayed. Not an unusual situation for a bad team trying to get better.”

    And that is the crux of it – they haven’t learned how to compete as a team for 60 – 65 minutes. Classic sign of an immature team. Leadership and patience are needed.
    It is galling however to see other teams with less ‘talent’ (Calgary, Colorado) solve this issue quicker.
    Maybe the Oilers need some more Pitlicks who play with desperation and hustle. And they need to stop hearing ‘how talented they are’ – don’t mean squat if you don’t buy in, move your a$$ and toe the party line. It’s a long way to the top…

  99. ashley says:

    Colonel Obvious,

    I dunno. I think a lot of people around the league are probably looking at the Yak situation and wondering about the coaching. How does an elite talent get so nervous to handle the puck?

    There are always two sides to these situations. However, I think Eakins may be too arrogant to look inward at his.

  100. Jon K says:

    We have to be very careful not to mistakenly hold Yakupov to the same standard as Hall, Eberle and Nuge. I think it’s only natural as Oiler fans to associate Yakupov with the other key players in the rebuild, but we have to remember that Yakupov is only 57 games into his NHL career. When Hall and Eberle were at 57 games they were still in their first bloody season. We tend to see those players now and compare them to Yakupov, but really we should be trying to think back and remember the warts and growing pains those players had 57 games in. Quite frankly it should be surprising to no one that Yakupov looks utterly unpolished and outclassed compared to those players now, they have over 100 games experience in the best league in the world on him.

    Last night, Yakupov made a mistake on the Ovechkin goal, yes. He got caught trying to do too much and caused a few turnovers, yes. Let’s give Eakins and the coaching staff some time to work with him though. Yakupov has been under Eakins for a few short months. Last season, he was being taught by a coaching staff that caused the 29th place team responsible for drafting Yakupov to actually deteriorate and get worse.

    I’m not saying that it will always be a mistake to trade Yakupov. There may come a time and place where trading Yakupov is the best course of action. It just seems that our chance of making a mistake in moving him is higher where the circumstances surrounding the young Russian are still very much in flux. Let’s try to be patient and give him some time.

  101. Clay says:

    G Money: Man – so many misconceptions wrapped around some gnashing of teeth. From the impatience in your post, I gather that you believe that a team can go from last in the league to a contender in one year?

    Expecting to go from worst to contender is nutso, you’re right. I don’t know why you’re assuming that I believe that, however. I would be interested to know what time frame you think is reasonable.

    G Money:
    I don’t.What it does is that it takes time, skill, and a whack of good fortune too.We hope that we get there.We hope that it doesn’t turn out like always.

    In the meantime, we work with what we have.We sit here and try and assess whether the team is better this year than last year.It’s the progression that matters.

    It takes a “whack” of good fortune to win the cup. It does not take a “whack” of good fortune to have a winning hockey team, unless you’re asserting that the teams that are consistently at the top of the standings are just luckier than the rest.

    As far as “working with what we have”, totally agree. THAT is the problem. The people that are in charge of “what we have” do not know how to build a winning hockey team. And this is supported by evidence. MacT, although he appears to be more proactive, is a rookie, so no track record. Tambo – rookie GM, no track record when he started, and he only proved he can take a bad team an make it worse. Six Cups? Since taking over from Slats, the team has made the playoffs twice in 13 seasons.

    My frustration isn’t with the players, it’s with the people who we keep hoping will figure out how to build a team.

  102. 106 and 106 says:

    Sheesh! Negative Nellies on Positive Friday. 4 point weekend for the Oil (Corsi or not).

    Dubie stands on his head and goes 1.50 GAA and .940 this weekend.

    Someone’s gotta step up and I’m betting on the underdog keeper.

  103. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    I know the Yak debate has gotten a lot of play the last couple of weeks and I too have said my piece on a couple of occasions. Just a bit more on the broader issue of trading a ‘#1′. Edmonton is in a very unique position of having scored three consecutively. They don’t have just one that the organizations reputation pivots on. It will make the ability to use it as a chip in exchange for different assets more tolerable (certainly in my eyes). I view that Yak was internally always viewed as a BPA situation and not uniformly viewed as a) the most promising talent in his class or b) what the Oilers really needed.

    Even though Yak went number one, there isn’t anything that particular status means to me other than he was a highly ranked prospect. If I look at our set of number ones, RNH is a critical first line center that has a cerebral approach and can play all 200 feet. He is a keeper and very much needed by the organization. Hall is an unquestionable elite talent. Has been since he put on the jersey in real game action. He is a keeper and will be (and already is) the face of the franchise. Yak? He has real talent. Special talents. But, he seems the dispensable piece (relative to Hall and RNH) and something needs to be done to recalibrate the mix to compete today (meaning next 5 years) not tomorrow. Also, his obvious physical skills aside, I’m am not personally convinced he is a ‘complete’ player that will emerge the de-facto top player of his class. Might score 50 goals in a year, but I see some uncomfortable issues with his game (albeit at a truly formidable stage in is professional development). So although he’s ‘ours’ and he’s a number 1, it truly hinges on what we get back that matters to me. I also don’t think because he was number one, that it divines on us an expectation of trunk loads of goods to come back such that there is a talent imbalance on the trade and we somehow counteract the perception risk premium on dealing a number one so early. No such premium exists across the table. He will fetch what he’s worth and I have confidence MacT can capably distill what that represents in market value if it comes to pass.

    Lastly, the timing argument is a bit of a red herring. It’s really deal dependent and that means the stars align when you have a counter-party that has a need that creates the right ingredients of a transaction for both sides. Could happen this afternoon, next week, next month our at the trade deadline. But I think it has to happen this season and it might not be Yak but one of the other fab 4. Again – deal dependent and we don’t do it with a mind set of desperation. I don’t think MacT works that way, so that particular worry is immaterial to me.

    I have seen enough so far this season to know that what the mix is now is not enough. Its not calibrated properly yet and MacT will need to do more to elevate the compete of this team. I’m just ready for the Oilers to move into true relevance again in the pursuit of Stanley. Enough time has passed, enough assets have been accumulated, enough organizational changes have been made around the edges. Now its barter time in contender assemble. High risk and unfortunately necessary. But I personally don’t harbor fear of venturing into it and putting our most coveted assets in play. Having said that, glad I’m not MacT.

    LT – great forum. Content is always substantive, timely and you have cultivated a great community of insightful and passionate fans. It makes my investment in the Oilers a more rewarding experience to have an outlet to debate and learn.

  104. Jon K says:

    hunter1909: Eakins foolishly chooses unknown entity Ference over natural Gretzky-like player Taylor Hall for no better reason than passive/direct pressure from Kevin Lowe, is my theory de jour.

    Kev, MacT prefer ‘veteran’ Moreau/Jason Smith type captains. It’s what their goddamned 2006 model demands, lol.

    Now Yakupov(one of the 3 astonishing number one overall picks) is bombing, the team’s record is abysmal, and Eakins/Ference are magically off the hook?

    I don’t want to cause a fuss over this or be seen as Hall bashing, but have you considered the possibility that Hall was not made captain because, as he currently is, he’s not well-suited for that role? I think it’s important that we keep in mind that Hall was the best player on his junior team by a mile but he was never the captain.

  105. Clay says:

    Bag of Pucks: There’s girls at Stampede?

    So I’ve been told.

  106. maudite says:

    Expectations:

    As a definite profound pessimist regarding this fiasco of a team I call myself a fan of, figured I would weigh in.

    Prior to starting this season, were we not generally of the impression that the likely outcome would be in the mix for a wild card spot at seasons end given team makeup, new division structure, new coach and such. Playoffs were “doable” if everything broke right but definitely hard pressed otherwise.

    1. Hopkins back early and appearing somewhat effective (while hitting the ground running) – good
    2. Gagner out for more than the first month of the season due to a dirty play in preseason – huge blow
    3. The rookie coach bringing in a bit more untested tactics and system adjustments a bit more complicated and not perfect for NHL – somewhat expected (pk is by eye improving from coaching and player perspectives but it did not come without pain)
    4. New acquisitions and found money signings actually coming in and doing well – great (Perron > MPS, Gordon > Horcoff, Arco -> wow, Belov or Grebs being a top 4 option -> huge, Pitlick looking like an effective bottom of the roster player -> great
    5. One of top LW in NHL out from marginal clean play – huge blow
    6. On of top LW in NHL playing as top line center and getting murdered – unsuccessful only issue is that it was tried far too long and ties into Gagner being out creating a murderous hole (top 1 and 2 C’s out for any team would produce similar type failure)
    7. Goalie struggling early way below accepted level of play. – unforeseeable

    I don’t know. I’m less inclined to see the sky as falling. I would love to see the playoffs but there is a lot of things piling on here that really make it hard to be angry at results.

    I’m not sold on Eakins as there is the appearance of learning on the job which a team in our position can’t really afford. Long term, I think he is going to work but coupled rookie learning curve with misfortune it really magnifies things and that is unfortunate for him.
    - Hall at C should have been dropped faster
    - Swarm adjustments (especially on special teams) should have been made quicker
    - Putting a pure shooter like Yak on a line without skilled passer and then benching him for not performing and not really defending him from the media sharks is the only brutal thing done. Wrong from the get go. While we don’t possess the staff given circumstances to protect him, how he was not fed gravy minutes with sheltered second line is rather unfortunate. Hemsky can and will create regardless of how he is deployed. Rookie coach desperate to win impacted deployment to the detriment of Yak IMO.

    I’m not as concerned about this group and team. Regardless of record, I would not turn down tickets to go to a game because I think they could win on any given night (this is new).

    We may not make the playoffs. I thought that was pretty agreed upon before the first preseason puck drop.

    If we get some breaks and a bit of the luck bounces the other way, we should be in the hunt for the playoffs. Even if we are out come olympic break, if this team can ice close to it’s full lineup, we might be able to still make a go of it. (this is also new).

    Hall – RNH – Eberle
    Perron – Gagner – Yak
    Smyth – Gordon – Hemsky
    JJ Arco Pitlick (OR)

    Acton, Jones, Eager, Gasdick

    Petry, Belov, Smid, J shultz, Ference &….

    Fedun, Grebs, Potter, N Shultz, Klef, Marincin, Larsen (I believe there is a workable answer somewhere in here)

    Looks like an actual NHL team. A REAL NHL TEAM!! This team, if we get some breaks (on the injury front) could possibly string some actual winning streaks together. Is it perfect? Nope, but it’s the first time I look at a roster in FOREVER and it looks like an actual team. As long as they don’t screw up Yak and we are in the mix for a spot at season end, I will be satisfied that this thing actually appears to be headed in the right direction.

  107. hunter1909 says:

    Jon K: I’m not saying that it will always be a mistake to trade Yakupov. There may come a time and place where trading Yakupov is the best course of action.

    If nothing else, having Yakupov guarantees a virtual pipeline to Russian talent, like Belov. THIS is the ‘Detroit’ model, of a team having a leg up re access to another nation’s hockey talent.

    Obviously Kevin Lowe is a virtual moron. And MacT is a recovering alcoholic(my experience with alcoholics is, they have difficulties when processing new information). And no one really knows what ‘Bucky’ or ‘Steve’ have which is so special both have survived more purges than Josef Stalin.

    Unfortunately, when assessing the merits of the management ‘team’, being able to take advantage of the Yakupov once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to grow a very special championship team – instead we’re lectured about how many rings it takes to know what winning means, etc.

    ‘How many angels holding miniature replica Stanley Cups can dance on the head of a pin?’ is the direction of Oiler fans during this 8th(?) season of futility.

  108. Bag of Pucks says:

    Clay: So I’ve been told.

    Good to know. I’d always assumed that hoedown was best described in a fashion similar to Tyler Seguin’s final tweet.

  109. Bag of Pucks says:

    hunter1909
    Obviously Kevin Lowe is a virtual moron. And MacT is a recovering alcoholic(my experience with alcoholics is, they have difficulties when processing new information).

    Hunter, I love it when you go all ‘drunk uncle’ on us. Classic.

  110. G Money says:

    Racki: Just to clarify.. The habs badly outplayed the Oilers in game one two, except for a hell of a rally in the 3rd and maybe tail end of the second. But for a while it looked awful to me

    My recollection of the flow of the game was that the Canadiens dominated the first, the second was a saw off (more specifically a tale of two different half periods, with the Oilers starting strong and the Habs finishing strong), and the Oilers dominated the third. Presumably then what the Corsi is telling us is that it all evened out for the most part. Except for the four goals to one part, with the Canadiens outscoring two-zip in a period where they were dominated. Something of the tale of this team so far.

  111. Derek says:

    Source:

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

    Fenwick % 5 on 5
    Edmonton: 46.4 (25th overall, 2nd last in the West)

    Fenwick % 5 on 5 close
    Edmonton: 46.6 (20th overall, 2nd last in the West)

    Fenwick % 5 on 5 Away
    Edmonton: 44.0 (26th overall, 2nd last in the West)

    Fenwick % 5 on 5 Home
    Edmonton: 50.4 (15th overall, 9th in the West)

    A tiny sample size for home/away splits from a team who hasn’t played a single game with a complete top 6, played more without its #1 center than with, and more games with its best player out of position. This same team has the worst save percentage in the NHL.

    On another note, I read someone talking about the Capitals broadcast team last game and how they said the Oilers were never in it or only had one legit scoring chance or some such thing? Yea the color guy, Laughlin i believe, gassed on repeatedly about how the Caps controlled the game only to read the stats at the intermission that CBS had the Oilers outshooting and out chancing Washington all game. I guess you’re free to believe information from any source you want, there’s this Don Cherry guy on TV all the time, seems to know his stuff too.

  112. Racki says:

    G Money: My recollection of the flow of the game was that the Canadiens dominated the first, the second was a saw off (more specifically a tale of two different half periods, with the Oilers starting strong and the Habs finishing strong), and the Oilers dominated the third. Presumably then what the Corsi is telling us is that it all evened out for the most part.Except for the four goals to one part, with the Canadiens outscoring two-zip in a period where they were dominated.Something of the tale of this team so far.

    This is possible and it might just be the critical, “expect every shift to always be perfect” fan in me.. I just saw the 2nd as a slow Oilers period early going.. The 3rd was a lot of foot on the gas by the Oilers though. Anyways, valid point to end your paragraph above. Seems like teams capitalize when the Oilers slip out of the perfect game.

  113. G Money says:

    Clay: Expecting to go from worst to contender is nutso, you’re right. I don’t know why you’re assuming that I believe that, however. I would be interested to know what time frame you think is reasonable.

    Clay: MacT, although he appears to be more proactive, is a rookie, so no track record. Tambo – rookie GM, no track record when he started, and he only proved he can take a bad team an make it worse. Six Cups? Since taking over from Slats, the team has made the playoffs twice in 13 seasons.

    My frustration isn’t with the players, it’s with the people who we keep hoping will figure out how to build a team.

    My comment about timing stems from my rather pragmatic outlook on where we are today – not where we’ve been for the last umpteen years.

    EVERY Oiler fan, without exception, recognizes that Tambo was a waste of space. How far did he set the rebuild back? Three years? Five years? No idea. It was a lot – meaning that we will have to suffer a lot longer than we would have given competent management. The point is, railing about how long the entire process is taking is meaningless – time gone by is a “sunk cost” in accounting parlance.

    All we can look at is this team under MacT starting this summer and ask what needs to be done and what is being done. So what was he handed?
    - Elite-to-wonderfully-skilled talent (Hall, RNH, Eberle, Hemsky, Gagner) and elite future talent (Yak, JSchultz), but a group lacking size and grit
    - A horrible aging and/or unskilled third and fourth line (albeit with decent PK ability)
    - Two second pairing defensemen (Smid, Petry), two third pairing guys (Schultz x 2), no top pairing, forcing every player to play higher up in the lineup than he should
    - No depth

    So what is reasonable for MacT to accomplish in one season – especially acknowledging that getting free agents to Edmonton is tough? In my view, being that far back from the starting line, it’s going to be one year to fashion a decent (non playoff) team, another year to get to the playoffs (and lose in the second round), and a third year to be a contender.

    And yeah, I know that’s a horrible length of time for our long-suffering fanbase to have to wait yet again, but it does little good to whinge about how much time has already passed. We deal with the cards as they are now, not as they were when Tambo was drooling on them.

    This year, MacT has addressed:
    - Perron – grit and skill on the top 6. LOVE this guy so far. Better than advertised. Massive upgrade on Pajaarvi.
    - Horcoff out, Gordon in. Wonderful. Just wonderful.
    - Joensuu, if he ever plays, looks like he’s exactly what the Oilers need – big, tough, skates, decent hands, goes to the tough areas of the ice.
    - Belov and Ference – given the difficulty (impossibility?) of getting top line D, MacT went and got two tough, mean, and in Belov’s case, decently skilled second pairing guys. Defense by committee is really the only option we have right now, and these two are loads better than Whitney and Potter.
    - Depth on D
    - Still not sold on Acton, but think he’s a better player than he gets to display with the Brown/Gazdic shit show. Swapping Brown for Eager seemed to make a big difference last night, hope it holds up.

    Can’t give MacT credit for Arco or Smyth’s resurgence. He’s also had a few missteps (like signing Jones instead of say Raymond, or Acton instead of Lapierre – another dirty little bastard who frankly is exactly what the Oilers need).

    But overall, I think on paper this team (barring the nasty injuries so far that have cost us many games from our top two centres and now our top left winger and best player) is better than last year, and a solid step forward on the path to success.

    By eye, the games suggest an improvement on last year, and by eye the trend is definitely up. The early Corsi *hint* that this might be the case.

    As LT would say: we wait.

    To which I would add: fuck, we’ve waited a long time. My asscheeks are asleep.

  114. Pablo Aimar says:

    Yakupov looked a million times better at the end of last year. What ever Eakins is doing with him isn’t working.

  115. Woodguy says:

    godot10,

    I think Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is feeling really good about his plus/minus of negative infinity under Eakins.
    Krueger used Nugent-Hopkins against tough opposition too, but unlike Eakins, Krueger made sure Nugent-Hopkins had the best of what supporting players the Oilers had.

    RNH 4 most common wingers under Eakins
    Eberle
    Yak
    Hall
    Perron

    RNH 4 most common wingers under RK
    Eberle
    Hall
    Yakopov
    Hemsky

    Oh yeah, world of difference there.

    Lordy.

  116. Ribs says:

    This thread is exhausting. Just sayin’.

  117. wheatnoil says:

    Pablo Aimar:
    Yakupov looked a million times better at the end of last year. What ever Eakins is doing with him isn’t working.

    I think Yakupov appeared to be better at the end of last year because his shooting percentage was through the roof. He shot 21% and scored 17 goals on only 81 shots.

    So far, this year, he’s had 21 shots (so already greater than 25% of last season’s shot total in 19% of the games). Had he been shooting at the same percentage as last year he’d have 4-5 goals and be leading the team in goals scored.

    I’m not saying he’s looked fantastic this year. However, I think our view of him is skewed by the percentages.

  118. Hammers says:

    Woodguy:
    jamang,

    Eakins is working with a team that has no compete , doesn’t have confidence to win, and has injured stars, and yakupov who has not performed at all!

    I think they’ve had lots of “compete” and won their share of battles in the last 3 games.

    Eakins is to big on fitness and diet and not enough on heart & the word we .A good coach tries to take at least some of the blame especially when introducing his Swarm system . Swarm has cost as many games as DD did in the first few games .

  119. Mr DeBakey says:

    Hammers: Eakins is to big on fitness and diet and not enough on heart & the word we .

    This “heart” stuff just kills me
    Last week it was Dubnyk. It was Dubnyk not trying, not caring, not competing.

    Whatever happened to “changing the culture”
    Gawd those were heady times.

  120. nycoil says:

    I think that our expectations got the best of us this year. We all saw Yak’s shooting percentage last 14 games last year but somehow believed 30 goals this year was realistic. Young players go through their ups and downs. But a player who relies on a mid-range rifle and not so much on scoring from in close (Hall) is probably more prone to hot and cold streaks. He is pressing so much for that first one right now that he is flying the defensive zone when we’ve lost the faceoff (see Ovechkin goal).
    The Oilers aren’t a good team. Let’s face it. They do have some nice players. Let’s be patient. I think the potential is there to have a nice second half and build for next year. And then have some continuity in the off season. No more coaching changes. And yes, realistically we are already playing for next year. The faster the fan base accepts this the less painful this season will be and the more we can assess improvement as a positive.
    Eakins needs to watch a bit of the PP video from the past though. By my eye too much passing around the outside, no movement, totally predictable passes, awful zone entry and no traffic in front of the net.

  121. Woodguy says:

    Hammers:
    I think Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is feeling really good about his plus/minus of negative infinity under Eakins.
    Krueger used Nugent-Hopkins against tough opposition too, but unlike Eakins, Krueger made sure Nugent-Hopkins had the best of what supporting players the Oilers had.
    Eakins.Well, lets just throw some bodies out there and see if it works.Put your best players in a position where they can be embarrassed and humiliated.He did this with Hall.He did it with Yakupov,And now he’s done it with Nugent-Hopkins.That minus infinity will be the talk of the media in every town the Oilers visit this year. Hayes, MacClennan, and Ferraro had a field day with it today on TSN radio.
    Eakins is such a tool.On TSN radio today, Ferraro also roasted him for Eakins constant use of “I”, and “they” when talking about himself and the players, rather than “we”.

    No.

    Their shots against are better this year.

    You know, if Eakin’s hadn’t of named his system in the press, the number of comments on it on this and other blogs and on the radio would be about 95% less.

    Everyone hates the swarm because it gave them something to hate.

  122. bookje says:

    Eakins has caused the team to have bad luck because of the Feng Shui of the dressing room. He has destroyed all of the young players confidence because he uses a lot of short sentences when he talks with them. I have noticed that how some games Dubnyk plays really badly because MacT and Eakins made him sad, but sometimes he plays really well because he was able to overcome the negative energy of the coach and GM. Eakins has wrecked Yakupov by making him hold his stick wrong.

    Am I doing it right? I am kind of new to irrationally bashing the coach.

  123. bookje says:

    Woodguy: No.

    Their shots against are better this year.

    You know, if Eakin’s hadn’t of named his system in the press, the number of comments on it on this and other blogs and on the radio would be about 95% less.

    Everyone hates the swarm because it gave them something to hate.

    Absolutely true – the complaining about the defensive system has been 10 times as loud as the unnamed offensive system.

  124. Doomoil says:

    Godot10 is to Eakins as Donald Trump is to Obama.

    If you’re going to criticize a dude, at least base it in reality.

  125. FastOil says:

    Clay: Expecting to go from worst to contender is nutso, you’re right.I don’t know why you’re assuming that I believe that, however.I would be interested to know what time frame you think is reasonable.

    It takes a “whack” of good fortune to win the cup.It does not take a “whack” of good fortune to have a winning hockey team, unless you’re asserting that the teams that are consistently at the top of the standings are just luckier than the rest.

    As far as “working with what we have”, totally agree.THAT is the problem.The people that are in charge of “what we have” do not know how to build a winning hockey team.And this is supported by evidence.MacT, although he appears to be more proactive, is a rookie, so no track record.Tambo – rookie GM, no track record when he started, and he only proved he can take a bad team an make it worse.Six Cups?Since taking over from Slats, the team has made the playoffs twice in 13 seasons.

    My frustration isn’t with the players, it’s with the people who we keep hoping will figure out how to build a team.

    Eakins kicking everyone’s ass is the first step in winning. One drawback to 3 x 1 OV’s is they are used to be treated and used differently. We all know the Yzerman vs Bowman story. Eakins is turning these young guys into proper NHLer’s. They aren’t that now which is why they lose.

    The Fenwick/Corsi improvement is good news and will matter at the end of the day. One thing I believe is true is that stats refer to averages over time, the longer the better, and their validity for the NHL is underpinned by the assumption of typical NHL play.

    This is why ‘shot quality’ isn’t a worthwhile pursuit. The numbers say it isn’t repeated consistently which makes it hard to use for anything. This is because the level of competition doesn’t allow advantages to be sustained. There are some better players, but on the whole if you get good at something the opponent will seek to neutralize it. And they do.

    Not keeping an NHL standard of play throws a wrench into things. Playing a great game and winning the possession battle is great and is rendered moot by repeated complete system failures. If you put NHL players in the kill zone with time the puck is going in. Your out-shooting won’t matter.

    When the Oilers get to the place that they don’t constantly give up the easy stuff things will begin to come into place. Whether that means contending seriously I think comes down to MacT recognizing the right holes and filling them well. If he keeps looking for big wingers and goalies I am not optimistic. The stats advisors need to dispel the clutch myth for MacT and teach him the alchemy so he can get over the goalie hunt.

  126. Colonel Obvious says:

    Hammers: Eakins is to big on fitness and diet and not enough on heart & the word we .A good coach tries to take at least some of the blame especially when introducing his Swarm system. Swarm has cost as many games as DD did in the first few games .

    There is no evidence that this is true and plenty of evidence that it is not. For instance did you know that the swarm defense is not allowing more shots closer to the net. In fact, the opposite is true. But don’t let the facts get in the way of your prescripted narrative.

    Basically there isn’t a single thing the naysayers of Eakins are saying that is supported by evidence, except for the Lionel Hutchins, “kinds of evidence,” type.

    wheatnoil: I think Yakupov appeared to be better at the end of last year because his shooting percentage was through the roof. He shot 21% and scored 17 goals on only 81 shots.

    So far, this year, he’s had 21 shots (so already greater than 25% of last season’s shot total in 19% of the games). Had he been shooting at the same percentage as last year he’d have 4-5 goals and be leading the team in goals scored.

    I’m not saying he’s looked fantastic this year. However, I think our view of him is skewed by the percentages.

    The core of this is clearly true. I will add that that Yakupov made these same mistakes last year. He was lost on defense and often very sketchy with the puck, losing it for no reason.

    The difference is that he has started to feel the heat and has stopped passing. This has exaggerated his already existing faults but I don’t see how you blame that on Eakins. He’s shown remarkable patience for someone who has been really awful. If anyone else were playing like Yakupov they’d be in the ECHL by now.

    The long and the short of it is that Yakupov was a deeply flawed player last year and he remains a deeply flawed player. You can’t blame that on Eakins who has given him opportunity after opportunity.

  127. leadfarmer says:

    Smid is vastly underrated. Other than the first 5 games where he was clearly injured or under the weather he has been fantastic and a great compliment to Petry. He doesn’t bring the offense like Petry but he is the only one on this team that knows how to clear the crease and he routinely does that. His work in the defensive zone should be a model for the youngsters

  128. Logan91 says:

    Colonel Obvious: There is no evidence that this is true and plenty of evidence that it is not.For instance did you know that the swarm defense is not allowing more shots closer to the net.In fact, the opposite is true.But don’t let the facts get in the way of your prescripted narrative.

    Basically there isn’t a single thing the naysayers of Eakins are saying that is supported by evidence, except for the Lionel Hutchins, “kinds of evidence,” type.

    The core of thisis clearly true.I will add that that Yakupov made these same mistakes last year.He was lost on defense and often very sketchy with the puck, losing it for no reason.

    The difference is that he has started to feel the heat and has stopped passing.This has exaggerated his already existing faults butI don’t see how you blame that on Eakins. He’s shown remarkable patience for someone who has been really awful.If anyone else were playing like Yakupov they’d be in the ECHL by now.

    The long and the short of it is that Yakupov was a deeply flawed player last year and he remains a deeply flawed player.You can’t blame that on Eakins who has given him opportunity after opportunity.

    How is he deeply flawed?

    Not trying to be a douche, just curious.

  129. Colonel Obvious says:

    bookje: Absolutely true – the complaining about the defensive system has been 10 times as loud as the unnamed offensive system.

    The best part is when people blame “the swarm” for the powerplay.

    bookje:
    Eakins has caused the team to have bad luck because of the Feng Shui of the dressing room.He has destroyed all of the young players confidence because he uses a lot of short sentences when he talks with them.I have noticed that how some games Dubnyk plays really badly because MacT and Eakins made him sad, but sometimes he plays really well because he was able to overcome the negative energy of the coach and GM.Eakins has wrecked Yakupov by making him hold his stick wrong.

    Am I doing it right?I am kind of new to irrationally bashing the coach.

    Love this.

  130. Clay says:

    G Money:
    My comment about timing stems from my rather pragmatic outlook on where we are today – not where we’ve been for the last umpteen years.

    As LT would say: we wait.

    To which I would add: fuck, we’ve waited a long time. My asscheeks are asleep.

    Your optimism is commendable, sir.

  131. Colonel Obvious says:

    Logan91,

    On defense, he is a lot like Omark. He doesn’t now where he’s supposed to be.

    On offense, he has unbelievable talent but he can’t control it. The result is that he moves too fast for his own ability and loses the puck. A lot.

    It is widely acknowledged that he has an unbelievable shot. The corollary of that is he makes laser beam passes which can be very effective. Unfortunately, he has no idea when to pass. He stickhandles way too much and then makes the pass late. He also has an infuriating tendency to pass up obvious passes to guys in open positions for shots in order to stickhandle some more and have his own shot blocked.

    Add it all up and you have a player with incredible talent and horrible decision making. I consider that a deeply flawed player. Now I remain a believer and certainly don’t want him traded. He’s young and young people learn things. However, he requires a lot of learning. I think the lockout really hurt him.

    If I was the coach I would play him less at even strength but try and run the powerplay in order to set him up for one timers. Unfortunately the injuries necessitate that he plays. In which case I’d play him with Arcobello and Hemsky and try and contrive it so they were the primary puck handlers, and tell Yakupov I didn’t want him to stickhandle in the offensive zone. I want him shooting, shooting, shooting, and if it isn’t there make an immediate pass to someone else. At this point he really needs to handle the puck less until he’s more sure about what to do with it. When you have someone who makes bad decisions I think you need to limit the decisions they need to make. That means Yakupov should just shoot. Over and over again.

  132. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Dead Cat Bounce: The Oilers next 2 games are against Phoenix and Los Angeles…two of the top possession teams in the league.

    To date, the only strong possession teams the Oilers have played are Vancouver, Pittsburgh and Montreal.

    In those games, the Oilers were outshot 131-105.

    You may have a different opinion of how “greatly improved” they are by Monday morning.

    You are an extraordinarily bad reader when you are determined to make a trollish comment.

    If you had bothered to read the thread you’d note that I’ve argued the improvement the team has experienced is limited at best, caveated by sample size and eastern teams and still bellow Renney’s team.

    What I wrote above that you’ve bungled is that:

    “Oiler fans of all people should know that a team can be greatly improved and not have the results show in the NHL standings.”

    That is, a team — say the 2011-12 Oilers — can make a large leap forward (in this case 12 points) and not have it reflected in the NHL standings (we moved from 30th to 29th). Because… we were so brutally awful the year before. The point being that NHL standings are a poor way to evaluate talent when we have much better options at hand.

    Alternatively, a team with incredibly bad underlying numbers, worse in fact than the year prior (say the 2012-13 Oilers), can (through luck) jump up in the standings, which is obviously a mirage of true talent.

  133. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Clay: It does.8 Years of bad luck?At what point is bad luck no longer an excuse?In 10-11, Crosby, Malkin, and Staal combined for 126 man-games lost to injury, but Pittsburg still made the playoffs.Injuries happen to every team every year.Tired excuse.

    Who claimed the Oilers suffered from bad luck for 8 years.

    The Oilers have been a brutally bad team. Guess what, the numbers you rebuke show that quite well. They also show the team is marginally improving.

    People aren’t interested in adv. stats. to pad their ego at having a shitty team. They are interested in them because they want to know WHY their team is bad, good or lucky.

    Your post completely ignored luck and has a strange understanding of the motivations of the stats crowd.

  134. spoiler says:

    Peyton Place… Mia Farrow… Aren’t we supposed to be discussing sordid secrets and skeletons in the closet… like our incestuous management, the future of the swarthy-skinned stepchild Nail, the potential breakups and backroom deals, or sweethearts and their rivals? Instead it’s like Lord of the Flies in here.

  135. Colonel Obvious says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    You know very well that DSF isn’t interested in argument and hence your “bad” reader comment is misplaced since that implies that he made an attempt in the first place and then failed.

    You seem to be a well read man. DSF is a sophist in every sense of the term. He isn’t the same kind of person as you or I. Right and wrong are not words that have any meaning to him and hence nothing you can say can make any difference. Like Polus he should either be shamed or ignored but surely not listened to.

  136. hags9k says:

    There are very few names that I would consider moving my beloved Yak city for. Seth Jones is one of them. Can’t help but think both might be boxed in contract wise on their current teams. They are starving for scoring and we can’t defend our way out of a wet paper bag. Let’s make a deal. I don’t know who has to sweeten, but Jones is the real deal, and already looking like he belongs.

    14-15
    Smid Petry
    Belov Jultz
    Nurse Jones
    Ference

  137. spoiler says:

    Farrow went to India you know… with the Beatles and Donovan… after her breakup with Sinatra and before her marriages to Andre Previn and Woody Allen. She never really said what happened in the Maharishi’s ashram.

  138. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    RMGS: I’ll meet you halfway and propose that we compare EV Corsi-close (again, because looking at close score shot differentials, despite the loss of data points, is a better indicator of success).

    After 11 games last year, the close-CF% was 46%.This year it’s 45.8%, at best statistically the same.

    EDIT: Again, please note that I’m not advocating that the Nightmare on Elm Street approach is better or the way forward.Far from it!

    I gotcha now.

    I think there is a very real possibility that we are not improved over last year — the sample size is still too small to discount the big cliff ahead. However, several indicators suggest we are.

    Last year, winning the corsi battles and shot battles in single games was a struggle. So far this year, we’ve outshot the competition most of the time.

  139. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Colonel Obvious: Holy fuck you’re a joke. You have become a delusional, pathetic, waste of space.Your words don’t even have a tangential relationship to reality.

    Guy. You need to calm down here.

    I feel more comfortable when even our friend the cat killer gets treated decently as a human, while his nonsense gets called out.

    Focus your arguments, or ignore Godot. Be sharp, dickish even… but try not to let the dickishness be the only thing you are saying.

  140. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Hammers: Eakins is to big on fitness and diet and not enough on heart & the word we .A good coach tries to take at least some of the blame especially when introducing his Swarm system. Swarm has cost as many games as DD did in the first few games .

    I take it you are big on the “Halley”?

  141. Colonel Obvious says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Nah, I don’t agree. This is a tale of good and evil, of friends and enemies. One can only be rational with the decent.

  142. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: You are an extraordinarily bad reader when you are determined to make a trollish comment.

    If you had bothered to read the thread you’d note that I’ve argued the improvement the team has experienced is limited at best, caveated by sample size and eastern teams and still bellow Renney’s team.

    What I wrote above that you’ve bungled is that:

    “Oiler fans of all people should know that a team can be greatly improved and not have the results show in the NHL standings.”

    That is, a team — say the 2011-12 Oilers — can make a large leap forward (in this case 12 points) and not have it reflected in the NHL standings (we moved from 30th to 29th). Because… we were so brutally awful the year before. The point being that NHL standings are a poor way to evaluate talent when we have much better options at hand.

    Alternatively, a team with incredibly bad underlying numbers, worse in fact than the year prior (say the 2012-13 Oilers), can (through luck) jump up in the standings, which is obviously a mirage of true talent.

    My reading comprehension is just fine thank you.

    The real problem is that you’re glomming on to some “underlying numbers”: in a very small sample size while ignoring the real numbers.

    Let’s take a look at some real numbers.

    The Oilers are currently giving up 30.2 SA/G compared to 32.8 last season and 30.7 the year before.

    Progress? Not really and that number could soon rise above last season as they play more WC games including one tomorrow against Phoenix who are 4th in SH/G at 32.1 and LA who are 11th at 31.2.

    They are currently slightly above last year’s pace in SF/G at 28.4 compared to last season’s 26.8 and 26.7 the year before that. Marginal improvement but a couple of games of big boy hockey and they could well be behind the pace of the previous 2 seasons.

    In terms of points, the Oilers are on pace for a 52 point season which would be their worst season ever.

    They are on pace to score 231 goals which is certainly a step up from the pitiful totals of previous seasons but they are also on pace to give up 320 goals and a goal differential of -89 which is worse than their pathetic -70 in 2009/10.

    You can count all the “missed shots” and “blocked shots” that you want but none of them count either in the aforementioned totals or the standings.

  143. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Colonel Obvious:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Youknow very well that DSF isn’t interested in argument and hence your “bad” reader comment is misplaced since that implies that he made an attempt in the first place and then failed.

    You seem to be a well read man.DSF is a sophist in every sense of the term.He isn’t the same kind of person as you or I.Right and wrong are not words that have any meaning to him and hence nothing you can say can make any difference.Like Polus he should either be shamed or ignored but surely not listened to.

    I would have pegged him as either, Euthydemus, or Dionysodorus. Those fellows truly seem to be taking positions and twisting arguments purely for pleasure. Polus, and the others from Gorgias, appear to genuinely hold beliefs and to have an interest in their veridical status.

  144. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Dead Cat Bounce,

    So… you’ve basically just changed the subject and claimed you read just fine?

    Let try it!

    I read just fine.
    I know all about cauliflower. It’s a great harvest vegetable. A lot of people just eat it raw. And, hey, that’s cool! But they should try it in a soup. When blended it becomes very creamy and delicious.

  145. G Money says:

    Dead Cat Bounce: The Oilers are currently giving up 30.2 SA/G compared to 32.8 last season and 30.7 the year before.

    They are currently slightly above last year’s pace in SF/G at 28.4 compared to last season’s 26.8 and 26.7 the year before that.

    Considering that the shot differential from the very best to the very worst team last year was 10.9 shots, a net shot differential improvement of +4.4 (2.6 fewer SA and 1.8 more SF) is indeed an astonishing improvement.

    And the Oilers haven’t even fielded a full team yet!

    Thanks for making that point.

  146. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    For those inclined. Brown had his first game last night and while he didn’t fight, it appears last night was “4th lines are ok” night:

    http://www.extraskater.com/game/2013-10-24-sharks-bruins

  147. Derek says:

    Last year the Oilers finished 29th overall in SA/G.

    This year this sit 14th overall in SA/G despite playing more on the road then at home where they can choose their matchups.

    This is clearly not progress.

  148. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Dead Cat Bounce,

    So… you’ve basically just changed the subject and claimed you read just fine?

    Let try it!

    Is the only subject you can understand “the Oilers are improving because their Corsi is better because I say so”?

    Time to take a walk on the wild side.

    Results. Matter.

  149. Numenius says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I would have pegged him as either, Euthydemus, or Dionysodorus. Those fellows truly seem to be taking positions and twisting arguments purely for pleasure. Polus, and the others from Gorgias, appear to genuinely hold beliefs and to have an interest in their veridical status.

    I don’t know, I’d say DSF has an interest in the veridical status of his beliefs. It’s the self-righteous disdain for others and uncharitability in arguing that’s the problem. For that reason, I’d have thought him more a Callicles or Thrasymachus.

  150. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Dead Cat Bounce: Is the only subject you can understand “the Oilers are improving because their Corsi is better because I say so”?

    Time to take a walk on the wild side.

    Results. Matter.

    Have you ever “followed” a conversation? Responded to things “actually said”?

    These are pretty important things for socialization.

  151. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Numenius: I don’t know, I’d say DSF has an interest in the veridical status of his beliefs. It’s the self-righteous disdain for others and uncharitability in arguing that’s the problem. For that reason, I’d have thought him more a Callicles or Thrasymachus.

    No way!

    Those guys are great. Someone needs to give morality the old heave-ho from time to time:

    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/callicles-thrasymachus/

    And, if dead kittens were genuinely interested in the veridical status of his beliefs he would be willing to acknowledge mistakes, new information, valid points, etc. from all perspectives.

    His interest is in frustrating Oiler fans, not truth, or even his own beliefs.

  152. Colonel Obvious says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I would have pegged him as either, Euthydemus, or Dionysodorus. Those fellows truly seem to be taking positions and twisting arguments purely for pleasure. Polus, and the others from Gorgias, appear to genuinely hold beliefs and to have an interest in their veridical status.

    This is true of Gorgias, certainly, but of Callicles and Polus, I do not agree. Neither Callicles nor Polus give any indication that they have any particular interest in the truth, and hence of truthfulenss. This is indicated by the conditions Socrates puts on the dialogue. He says straight out to Gorgias, “if you are the kind of person I am” we might as well continue, and when Callicles wants to drop the issue, it is Gorgias that insists they continue. In this respect Callicles and Gorgias are very different kinds of people.

    Like Numenius, DSF is somewhat like Thrasymachus, though I’d add without the character development.

    Godot reminds me of Meno with fewer manners.

  153. godot10 says:

    Derek:
    Last year the Oilers finished 29th overall in SA/G.

    This year this sit 14th overall in SA/G despite playing more on the road then at home where they can choose their matchups.

    This is clearly not progress.

    So now that Corsi has turned against you guys (the worst Corsi close team in the Western Conference), you guys move the goalposts.

    A few more Western Conference games should correct that shots against stat downwards also.

    Keep on downing those happy pills.

  154. G Money says:

    Numenius: I don’t know, I’d say DSF has an interest in the veridical status of his beliefs. It’s the self-righteous disdain for others and uncharitability in arguing that’s the problem. For that reason, I’d have thought him more a Callicles or Thrasymachus.

    Yeesh, is it reaching the point now where the cat killer can hijack a thread on this site as easily as on ON? That’s half the reason I stopped bothering with ON at all.

    Perhaps equally important – why ascribe any such labels to him? Sometimes its fun to argue with him just to see how ludicrous his interpretation of reality will get. Just the other day, he came up with a new fave: projecting the season totals of a player who hasn’t played yet.

    But other than the (very occasional) entertainment value – I just feel sorry for him. My gosh, what kind of horrid life must you have that you feel compelled to be a troll – long term – on the fan sites – multiple, not just one! – of a team you (claim) to hate?

    Whatever insults you feel the urge to hurl at him, just bear in mind, nothing could come close to the sheer torture of just being trapped inside his head. Yikes.

  155. Numenius says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: No way!

    Those guys are great. Someone needs to give morality the old heave-ho from time to time:

    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/callicles-thrasymachus/

    And, if dead kittens were genuinely interested in the veridical status of his beliefs he would be willing to acknowledge mistakes, new information, valid points, etc. from all perspectives.

    His interest is in frustrating Oiler fans, not truth, or even his own beliefs.

    Ha. Well it’s true that there’s something good about challenging conventional morality (as Socrates does), but those other fellows also throw the baby out with the bathwater and end up being much more sinisterly oppressive. Which seems to fit our friend quite well. :)

  156. G Money says:

    godot10: A few more Western Conference games should correct that shots against stat downwards also.

    I’m sure playing more than 4 out of 11 games at home won’t matter. And getting our missing top 3 and missing top 6 player back won’t make any difference either, I’m sure.

    Amazing how posters who insist that others are drinking the kool-aid have no problem with utterly ignoring context. Or analysis. Or rationality.

    Personally, I continue to watch a team that is playing through yet another coach and system, playing through a brutal road trip, playing while missing multiple top players every game – and still managing to – slowly, haltingly – improve on so many important underlying long-term metrics from last year. And *I’m a pessimist*.

  157. Numenius says:

    G Money:

    Whatever insults you feel the urge to hurl at him, just bear in mind, nothing could come close to the sheer torture of just being trapped inside his head. Yikes.

    Speaking of insults. Wow. Harsh.

  158. Lowetide says:

    It’s funny. I’ve been reading threads like this for 8 years, and it seems no one has noticed the team is actually turning the corner. Oh well.

  159. Colonel Obvious says:

    I’d never read the Stanford entry on Thrasymachus before. It was pretty good.

    The interesting thing is that there are more words there on Thrasymachus and Callicles then in the actual dialogue. This tells me there really is nothing better than Plato because he really has accomplished what he set out to accomplish. To teach his followers philosophy as a way of life.

    The ability to elicit discussion is the integral element of the discussion itself. The end result is something like what Numenius just said. Socrates challenged conventional morality in a way that reestablished the foundation of morality and laid the groundword for 2500 years of rational morality, with many fits and starts and losses in between. So with each generation it is our burden to pick up the torch and renew the battle with the sophists, those mortal enemies of all that is good.

  160. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide:
    It’s funny. I’ve been reading threads like this for 8 years, and it seems no one has noticed the team is actually turning the corner. Oh well.

    Come now. That’s not fair. The thread seems to be running on the fumes of an argument over the team turning the corner, clearly some are seeing the trees and the forest.

  161. godot10 says:

    G Money: I’m sure playing more than 4 out of 11 games at home won’t matter.And getting our missing top 3 and missing top 6 player back won’t make any difference either, I’m sure.

    Amazing how posters who insist that others are drinking the kool-aid have no problem with utterly ignoring context.Or analysis. Or rationality.

    Personally, I continue to watch a team that is playing through yet another coach and system, playing through a brutal road trip, playing while missing multiple top players every game – and still managing to – slowly, haltingly – improve on so many important underlying long-term metrics from lastyear.And *I’m a pessimist*.

    Krueger had significant injuries last year too. Plus, management choosing to take away a roster spot for Peckham. Plus, Whitney and Belanger. Renney, too, the year before, had injuries.

    I think the Oilers have too much to screw up in the medium term (Nurse, Klefbom, Marincin, etc to add to JSchultz and Petry) , but I sort of think that Yak will unfortunately be a goner I don’t believe Eakins has the ability to coach him.

    Eakins decision making should improve as he becomes more familiar with the players. He does appear to see the game accurately.

    Now all the people who were crucifying Krueger say Eakins needs half a season, on top of a training camp. Well training camp and half a season is 48 games. Does that number sound familiar?

  162. G Money says:

    Numenius: Speaking of insults. Wow. Harsh.

    Honestly, I swear – it is not an insult. I have been on a variety of boards since they were BBSs and then Usenet newsgroups – decades in other words. I have never seen any other trolls with such staying power. Never. I have seriously wondered about his mental health. It strikes me that DSFs posts are the digital equivalent of the guy in the park with Tourette’s. It can be amusing, it can be irritating, but in the long-term, you feel sorry for the guy and the safest bet is to leave him alone and if it gets out of hand, let the authorities deal with it.

  163. G Money says:

    godot10: Now all the people who were crucifying Krueger say Eakins needs half a season, on top of a training camp. Well training camp and half a season is 48 games. Does that number sound familiar?

    The problem there is that RKs team stunk 0 games, 10 games, and 48 games into the season. I started asking if he should be fired 24 games into the season.

    I will do the same if this team is equally bad at 24 games – but the fact is that the 11 game stretch is already as good as *anything* RK put together. I expect it will be better well before 48 games.

  164. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Colonel Obvious,

    Rachel Barney is very good. If you are interested her work on Gorgias is very interesting.

    and to you and Numenus, I prefer my attacks on morality much more full throated, or at the very least disturbingly cynical. Diogenes had Socrates pegged right.

  165. Lowetide says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Come now. That’s not fair. The thread seems to be running on the fumes of an argument over the team turning the corner, clearly some are seeing the trees and the forest.

    Yes, but there’s a lot of posts that have more to do with previous battles here. I guess it all has to come out sooner or later, but the idea that Eakins is an idiot flies in the face of reality. and MacT’s moves this summer have done well, PLUS the club won two games this week on fumes.

    and THEN came home and played a bad luck game with good arrows.

    Shame on some of you. This is just short of scare tactics. Shame.

  166. godot10 says:

    G Money: The problem there is that RKs team stunk 0 games, 10 games, and 48 games into the season. I started asking if he should be fired 24 games into the season.

    I will do the same if this team is equally bad at 24 games – but the fact is that the 11 game stretch is already as good as *anything* RK put together. I expect it will be better well before 48 games.

    By what measure (against their competition in the Western Conference)?

    Corsi close? no
    Fenwick close? no
    Goal differential? no
    Special teams? no
    Standings? no

    What are metrics that are superior to any of the above?

  167. theres oil in virginia says:

    Lowetide:
    It’s funny. I’ve been reading threads like this for 8 years, and it seems no one has noticed the team is actually turning the corner. Oh well.

    I don’t think it’s fair to say no one. Anyway, if a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? They’ll improve (or not) regardless of whether anyone acknowledges it.

    If one doesn’t think the team looks better now than last year, one should go back and watch any of the games from the beginning of last season and then watch one of the games from this season (except perhaps the Vancouver debacle). The uneasy feeling I had last year watching those first games and thinking that any game now they’ll start to look better, just isn’t present this year (and no, it’s not because I’m back on my meds!). There have been periods that they didn’t play well (like the first two of the New Jersey game), but I’ve watched Detroit a good bit over the years and it happens to them too (ie – it happens to every team).

    Dubnyk having a bad start, combined with gord-awful defensive lapses is masking the improvement. (The second of which could be argued to be expected anyway, considering new coach/system and youth.) That’s not even mentioning the injuries to key players and the meshing of several new players into the unit. It isn’t just the stats suggesting improvement, the eye suggests it also. The results should follow.

  168. Lowetide says:

    theres oil in virginia: I don’t think it’s fair to say no one

    You’re right. I actually wanted to phrase it without calling anyone out specifically and ended up calling everyone out. Stupid words and their dumb meanings!

  169. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide: Shame on some of you. This is just short of scare tactics. Shame.

    I don’t know why but this reminds me of the only part of Hitchcock’s Birds that I like. That prolonged scene in the diner where the tensions and personalities slowly turn around until that one lady freaks out and calls Tippy Hedron “Evil!” over and over again in a close up.

    Hard to disagree… I hate Tippy Hedron, his worst “blonde”

  170. Lowetide says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I don’t know why but this reminds me of the only part of Hitchcock’s Birds that I like. That prolonged scene in the diner where the tensions and personalities slowly turn around until that one lady freaks out and calls Tippy Hedron “Evil!” over and over again in a close up.

    Hard to disagree… I hate Tippy Hedron, his worst “blonde”

    Agreed on Hedron. The others were perfect, though. Grace Kelly the most perfect. Oh my.

  171. theres oil in virginia says:

    Lowetide: You’re right. I actually wanted to phrase it without calling anyone out specifically and ended up calling everyone out. Stupid words and their dumb meanings!

    I’ve been fighting the urge to call anyone out specifically all day long! You should see the stuff I deleted before posting the above.

  172. G Money says:

    godot10: By what measure (against their competition in the Western Conference)?

    So far the Oilers have played two games. TWO. GAMES. Against the Western Conference. In one, they dominated and lost. In the other they were dominated and they lost. Exactly what statistics would you believe you can measure from that?

    Conversely, if you wish to compare the (still small but starting to become meaningful) sample of this year vs last year:
    - More shots, more goals
    - Fewer shots against (but more goals against, a fact heavily attributable to an early horrendous sv % – neither of which in the big picture has anything to do with coaching, and everything to do with goalies and luck)
    - Better 5×5 Corsi, Fenwick

    And all while playing a majority of games on a long road trip while missing a number of key players in every single game.

    Why are those important? Because in the short run, goal differential is dominated by luck. In the long run, shots and Corsi win out. So far, this is already a better team than last year. When the Oilers have the luxury of having Hall, RNH, Gagner, Eberle, Perron, and Hemsky all playing at the same time, AND when Yak eventually works himself out of his funk (just as he did last year) – watch the fireworks.

    Enough to get to the playoffs? Probably not. Too deep a hole, too many holes in the roster still.

    But a good team, a team good enough to play anyone, a team fun instead of agonizing to watch? You bet. The nonsense about Eakins ruining players, MacT saddening players, etc.? That’s what it is, nonsense.

  173. Colonel Obvious says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Colonel Obvious,

    Rachel Barney is very good. If you are interested her work on Gorgias is very interesting.

    and to you and Numenus, I prefer my attacks on morality much more full throated, or at the very least disturbingly cynical. Diogenes had Socrates pegged right.

    Are you a student of hers? You strike me as a student of someone’s? Myself, I am a student, somewhat directly, of the Germans–Strauss–Voegelin–Gadamer–Klein.

  174. godot10 says:

    G Money: So far the Oilers have played two games. TWO. GAMES. Against the Western Conference.In one, they dominated and lost.In the other they were dominated and they lost. Exactly what statistics would you believe you can measure from that?

    It was not the “anti” improvement side that trotted out Corsi on small sample sizes. It was the “pro” improvement side that trotted out Corsi on small sample sizes, out of the gate. Now the goalposts are moved, as Corsi as fallen off a cliff. The sample sizes are too small, and a variety of extentuating circumstances are trotted out.

    The only worse Fenwick close team in the Western Conference is the Jets, by the way.

    Krueger and Renney had lots of extenuating circumstances also.

  175. theres oil in virginia says:

    godot10:
    extraskater.com has the Oilers LAST in the Western Conference in Corsi close, and 2ND LAST in the Western Conference in Fenwick Close.

    The Western Conference averages in the low 50′s percentages in Corsi and Fenwick close.

    So things are just going to get tougher as the OIlers begin to play more Western Conference games.It is still mostly Eastern Conference games till December.

    Where exactly are you guys getting your “happy pills”.

    Looks to me like you “trotted it out there”.

  176. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide: Agreed on Hedron. The others were perfect, though. Grace Kelly the most perfect. Oh my.

    Indeed. Bergman was the best actress of the bunch, but Kelly was the silkiest.

    I often wonder if I would still hate Marnie if Kelly was in it (Hedron other Hitchcock film). Apparently, Kelly was the first choice and she wanted to do it, but the Prince pulled the old “my wife doesn’t work routine”

    our loss.

  177. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Colonel Obvious: Are you a student of hers?You strike me as a student of someone’s?Myself, I am a student, somewhat directly, of the Germans–Strauss–Voegelin–Gadamer–Klein.

    I’ve taken a grad class with her.

    I am more of the Leibniz, Nietzsche, Schelling, Schmitt line of Germans.

  178. Lowetide says:

    Kelly’s just so beautiful. Best acting job ever was stewart in Rear window acting indifferent. Riiiight.

  179. theres oil in virginia says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I am more of the Leibniz, Nietzsche, Schelling, Schmitt line of Germans.

    Familiar with Thus Spake Zarathustra?

  180. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide:
    Kelly’s just so beautiful. Best acting job ever was stewart in Rear window acting indifferent. Riiiight.

    Great movie. and yes… that weirdo

    http://reelclub.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/rw3.jpg

    must have been pretty captivating!!

    I prefer “Dial M” though. Ray Milland is just so perfect in that movie. He was great in John Farrow’s 1948 noir “The Big Clock” too:

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0040160/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_99

    bonus points for also starring Charles Laughton. Always bet on Laughton!

  181. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    theres oil in virginia: Familiar with Thus Spake Zarathustra?

    Of course!

    Though, I much prefer his later works from Beyond Good and Evil on. More meat.

    (lest anyone chastise me, that list wasn’t meant to be chronological)

  182. theres oil in virginia says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,
    I’ve not yet read much of his work – something about having a 5-year old – but I’ve started working through that one. Do you have any thoughts on “Chapter XI. The New Idol”? I have yet to speak to anyone else who’s read it. I particularly appreciate:

    But the state lieth in all languages of good and evil; and whatever it saith it lieth; and whatever it hath it hath stolen.

    Not what I expected to hear from Nietzsche. It’s one of those experiences that taught me not to believe what people say about something/someone. On that note, my uncle says (in full crotchety old man voice):

    Don’t believe anything you hear, and only half of what you see!

  183. Numenius says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I’ve taken a grad class with her.

    I am more of the Leibniz, Nietzsche, Schelling, Schmitt line of Germans.

    You took a grad class with Rachel Barney? Were you in philosophy at U of T? I’m just finishing my PhD there.

    Colonel Obvious: Are you a student of hers?You strike me as a student of someone’s?Myself, I am a student, somewhat directly, of the Germans–Strauss–Voegelin–Gadamer–Klein.

    Somewhat directly? Who did you study with?

  184. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    theres oil in virginia:
    Romulus Apotheosis,
    I’ve not yet read much of his work – something about having a 5-year old – but I’ve started working through that one.Do you have any thoughts on “Chapter XI. The New Idol”?I have yet to speak to anyone else who’s read it. I particularly appreciate:

    But the state lieth in all languages of good and evil; and whatever it saith it lieth; and whatever it hath it hath stolen.

    Not what I expected to hear from Nietzsche.It’s one of those experiences that taught me not to believe what people say about something/someone.On that note, my uncle says (in full crotchety old man voice):

    Don’t believe anything you hear, and only half of what you see!

    I don’t know what you do, but if you are reading Nietzsche in your spare time you are way ahead of the canaille!

    First, that sounds like a horrible translation. The most common quality translations are the Kaufmann and the Hollingdale translations (should be available in most second hand stores). Kaufmann has a handy “Portable Nietzsche” that includes a translation of the full text as well as other important works.

    The best recent version (for my money) is by Graham Parkes (Oxford):

    http://books.google.ca/books?id=u-GNHFScLgUC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false

    He’s an comparative (east-west) philosopher, but he’s written extensively on Nietzsche:

    http://books.google.ca/books?id=IKXvbv-tCuIC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false

    “The New Idol” is one of the more widely discussed chapters of the text because of Nietzsche’s comments on the State. As you’ve no doubt guessed, he’s against it!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7cry-4pyy8

    This tracks with his other writings from early to late. He typically pits “culture” and/or the “individual” against the “State,” which he sees as an ossifying force levelling down humanity.

  185. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Numenius: You took a grad class with Rachel Barney? Were you in philosophy at U of T? I’m just finishing my PhD there.

    Somewhat directly? Who did you study with?

    No, I’m not at UofT.

    You’ll excuse me if I don’t compromise myself entirely here.

    I audited a class of hers on Plato’s Gorgias, while attending another Ontario University, I live in Toronto (and did at the time) because of the wife. It converged with my own interests. She (and her class) were very accommodating.

    Good luck on the PhD! (it’s a torturous bitch, or at least some feel it that way)

  186. Numenius says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: No, I’m not at UofT.

    You’ll excuse me if I don’t compromise myself entirely here.

    I audited a class of hers on Plato’s Gorgias, while attending another Ontario University, I live in Toronto (and did at the time) because of the wife. It converged with my own interests. She (and her class) were very accommodating.

    Good luck on the PhD! (it’s a torturous bitch, or at least some feel it that way)

    Yes, of course, no need to compromise and all that.

    About the PhD, torturous bitch pretty much sums it up. It’ll be the happiest day of my life when the dissertation is finally submitted!

    Best wishes with your studies, if you’re still at it. (Not that one ever really stops with such a subject…)

  187. Lowetide says:

    Dial M is my favorite movie they made together, brilliant film. HAve you seen Lost Weekend? Maybe Milland’s best film, although that’s a really tough contest.

  188. theres oil in virginia says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,
    This can’t be so, the copy I have is the self-proclaimed “Original Version”. Haha. Interestingly, the only info it gives about itself is: “Published 2009 by 1st Edition Media”. As far as what I do, I’m “some sort of seismologist” (self described). I refer to my free time as “my once and future free time”. A few more years and I hope to have a bit more of it.

    Thanks for the links. Sounds like he might be against it! That is, of course, why I have enjoyed reading Nietzsche so far. He and I are in agreement at least on that point.

  189. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    theres oil in virginia:
    Romulus Apotheosis,
    This can’t be so, the copy I have is the self-proclaimed “Original Version”.Haha.Interestingly, the only info it gives about itself is: “Published 2009 by 1st Edition Media”.As far as what I do, I’m “some sort of seismologist” (self described).I refer to my free time as “my once and future free time”.A few more years and I hope to have a bit more of it.

    Thanks for the links.Sounds like he might be against it!That is, of course, why I have enjoyed reading Nietzsche so far.He and I are in agreement at least on that point.

    Ha!

    Get yourself a decent translation. I’m sure in Virginny there you should be able to find one in a 2nd hand store.

    If you want some decent commentary, Leiter’s book is fantastic:

    http://books.google.ca/books?id=1LGbijX26qMC&printsec=frontcover&dq=brian+leiter+nietzsche&hl=en&sa=X&ei=NjhrUp2XFsiU2wWa8YGwDg&ved=0CC4Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=brian%20leiter%20nietzsche&f=false

    here’s the short version:

    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/nietzsche-moral-political/

    (he’s an insufferable douche on his “blogs” but he knows his Nietzsche).

    I’m going to start referring to you as Kevin Bacon, or Tremors.

  190. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide:
    Dial M is my favorite movie they made together, brilliant film. HAve you seen Lost Weekend? Maybe Milland’s best film, although that’s a really tough contest.

    Lost Weekend! On the list! Thanks for the tip.

    I tried “Alias Nick Beal” recently… hoping the Farrow, Milland convergence would follow through, but it was merely ok:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uy3yiC6PdmI

  191. Lois Lowe says:

    I have never been a big Nietzsche fan. Give me Heidegger or give me death.

  192. Numenius says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:

    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/nietzsche-moral-political/

    (he’s an insufferable douche on his “blogs” but he knows his Nietzsche).

    I’m going to start referring to you as Kevin Bacon, or Tremors.

    I disagree with Leiter about the political philosophy question. Of course Nietzsche didn’t expound a detailed political philosophy and was concerned with the individual. But his ideas about the individual have wide political and religious implications.

    (Hope the Nietzsche reading goes well TOV)

  193. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Numenius: I disagree with Leiter about the political philosophy question. Of course, Nietzsche didn’t expound a detailed political philosophy and was concerned with the individual. But his ideas about the individual have wide political and religious implications.

    (Hope the Nietzsche reading goes well TOV)

    I’m a squish on the question myself.

    On the narrow question: “was Nietzsche primarily interested in political/political thought/political institutions/etc and did he elaborate a political theory, or ideal” it seems (to me at least) fairly clear (depending on how you read Anti-Christ 57), that Leiter (and Brobjer) are correct… Nietzsche was not and did not.

    However, both have used this narrow answer to argue well beyond what is (to my mind) textually justifiable.

    At any rate, this isn’t my blog and I don’t want to weigh it down with my meanderings.

    ——
    at some point us Oiler Torontonians might have to get hammered together over a game.

  194. Numenius says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I’m a squish on the question myself.

    On the narrow question: “was Nietzsche primarily interested in political/political thought/political institutions/etc and did he elaborate a political theory, or ideal” it seems (to me at least) fairly clear (depending on how you read Anti-Christ 57), that Leiter (and Brobjer) are correct… Nietzsche was not and did not.

    However, both have used this narrow answer to argue well beyond what is (to my mind) textually justifiable.

    At any rate, this isn’t my blog and I don’t want to weigh it down with my meanderings.

    ——
    at some point us Oiler Torontonians might have to get hammered together over a game.

    I could agree with that.

    My thoughts on Nietzsche, I’ll admit, tend in this direction for the most part.
    http://www.social-sciences-and-humanities.com/PDF/Strauss-NoteOnNietzschesBge.pdf

    I’m not the kind of guy to go as far as “hammered” but an Oilers game in Toronto over drinks would suit me just fine.

  195. bassguy says:

    Hi everyone, thanks for all your thoughts and maybe not so thought out arguments!..I really do like these exchanges and I peruse these in the early(or late )hours of the morning..I really think this team is more fun to watch and I will choose to believe that Eakins has a great and valid “system” but it will take some time..just for levity I choose this quote(s) from a great mind…(seeing that rom and numenius have gone to that place!).” •For my birthday I got a humidifier and a dehumidifier. I put them in the same room and let them fight it out.”..or ” •There’s a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.” lets go oilers!

  196. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Numenius: I could agree with that.

    My thoughts on Nietzsche, I’ll admit, tend in this direction for the most part.
    http://www.social-sciences-and-humanities.com/PDF/Strauss-NoteOnNietzschesBge.pdf

    I’m not the kind of guy to go as far as “hammered” but an Oilers game in Toronto over drinks would suit me just fine.

    I haven’t read that piece in a long time. My favorite of Strauss’ “Notes” is his on Schmitt.

    My reading of Nietzsche is more in line with the recent “naturalist” interpretations (Leiter, Clark (often with Dudrick), Poellner, Hussain, Reginster, Ridley, Janaway).

    —–
    As far as a game (no need to be hammered… true and those days are long gone anyway), it would be interesting. It would have to be broadcast here in Ontario. Maybe the 29th (9 pm) vs. the Leaves or one of the CBC late games.

    Just sucks that all these games start and end so late… stupid blue bus.

  197. Numenius says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I haven’t read that piece in a long time. My favorite of Strauss’ “Notes” is his on Schmitt.

    My reading of Nietzsche is more in line with the recent “naturalist” interpretations (Leiter, Clark (often with Dudrick), Poellner, Hussain, Reginster, Ridley, Janaway).

    —–
    As far as a game (no need to be hammered… true and those days are long gone anyway), it would be interesting. It would have to be broadcast here in Ontario. Maybe the 29th (9 pm) vs. the Leaves or one of the CBC late games.

    Just sucks that all these games start and end so late… stupid blue bus.

    I may have to be a wet blanket and ask to hold off until December, at least for my part. I’m crazy busy until then. Maybe Dec. 7 (Flames) or 13 (Canucks)? Both are on CBC.

  198. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Numenius: I may have to be a wet blanket and ask to hold off until December, at least for my part. I’m crazy busy until then. Maybe Dec. 7 (Flames) or 13 (Canucks)? Both are on CBC.

    No worries. This is hardly a situation that needs haste.

    Either of those games would be fine. It will take a X-mas miracle to beat the Nucks.

    Let’s sort it out in early Dec. then. Good luck with your work.

  199. Numenius says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: No worries. This is hardly a situation that needs haste.

    Either of those games would be fine. It will take a X-mas miracle to beat the Nucks.

    Let’s sort it out in early Dec. then. Good luck with your work.

    Sounds good. I’ll pencil in those dates.

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