SUPERSTITION

My guess is they make a move. Dallas Eakins’ quotes are certainly on topic and ring true, but something’s gotta give and the boiling point may be soon.  Or not.

Azorcan3

I did not come to “shot differential” with open arms and I did not adopt is as gospel my first Sunday. In regard to advanced stats I like to gather in the information, roll it around in my mind, ask questions, make scurrilous comments about the new stat (“it’s ruining the game!”) and then finally, grudgingly, give in to the force. Not all stats are created equal, and God knows not all stats have extreme value.

  • Hawerchuk: Together, Fenwick/Corsi and Luck account for around 3/4 of team winning percentage.  What’s the remainder?  Goaltending talent – which Tom Awad estimates at about 5% – and special teams, along with a very small sliver that’s due to shooting talent and the oft-mentioned “shot quality.”  

Ladies, when you’re presented with evidence–and this is over many seasons–that suggests Corsi is a stronger predictor of future success than previous wins, then you need to be aware of it. And the best lesson available should be this season in Edmonton and Toronto.

THE NUMBERS

It’s important to note that this is a minute sample size, and we can’t run around preaching these numbers as gospel. Even an 82 game snapshot has its warts, but we should be able to settle on a few things by game 15 or 20 this season. Honestly, sometimes it never does correct, as was the case last year when Toronto posted a 44.1 Corsi for (league worst) and made the playoffs. The Oilers were 44.6% one year ago, and the current number suggests an amazing improvement. We have to be aware of sample size, but this is encouraging (and Tyler’s rolling 3′s game snapshots are showing how marked the improvement has been for the Oilers this year).

  • Dallas Eakins: “Improvement is nice, but it’s not good enough yet… It’d be nice to see us get a few breaks.”

Luck. Remember that old Hee Haw song “if it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all”? That’s about where the Oilers find themselves this morning. There are things that they could do to improve their lot:

  • The 4line looked exposed last night in a home game. When Joensuu draws in next game, the smart play would be to slot him in on the third line and move Smyth to 4line (replacing Brown). 
  • Being patient with Yakupov. He’s a lightning rod player, but there’s a mountain of talent there too. The Oilers need to find a way.
  • Grebeshkov is ready to come back in, the right call from here for a HS would be Nick Schultz.

I don’t think making a trade is the answer at this point. This time of year it’s tough to do a deal, everyone sees you coming. I’d suggest Edmonton’s next big acquisitions should be Joensuu and Gagner. It’s not as exciting as a trade, but it’s also not going to the cupboard and sending away Marincin in a fit of pique.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

SJO

 

A busy day and of course we’ll read your twitter messages (@Lowetide_) and texts (10-1260). On the Lowdown tsn 1260 at 10:

  • Scott Cullen from tsn. Hertl, Thornton, panic in Edmonton and Toronto rocking the early season. 
  • Jeff Chapman from Copper and Blue. We’ll break down last night’s game and talk about the road trip.
  • Steve Lansky from Big Mouth Sports. I want to know what he thinks of Hertl-Thornton, plus the early season television broadcasts from each network.
  • Andreas Morse from FC Edmonton. Eddies had a big win last weekend and have to keep it going. There are also some roster changes in the air.
  • Jungle Jim Hunter tweeted out this week “Trust the NHLers to criticize Hertl for doing something creative. I wish these arrogant NHLers would get over themselves. Wow! so immature” and we’ll follow up.

It’s going to be a fun send off to the long weekend!

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182 Responses to "SUPERSTITION"

  1. Clarkenstein says:

    Is October 11 too early to note that the Oil are only one Buffalo win away from the #1 draft seed?

  2. Lowetide says:

    Clarkenstein:
    Is October 11 too early to note that the Oil are only one Buffalo win away from the #1 draft seed?

    MacT will pull the trigger before it gets too bad, which is good and bad. I think we’re a little bit in danger territory here in terms of trades. Would Smid for Gardiner help?

  3. delooper says:

    Everything is gonna be alright. Between Hall and Yak being a little slow to start and all the centre injuries, and Dubnyk’s kind of weak start, yeah it’s not the most flattering beginning. But they’re going to be fine. I’m glad I haven’t been watching the games, though! They start around 4am here. In a few more days I’ll get an internet connection at my home, so hopefully the Oilers pull up their nickers by then.

  4. Woodguy says:

    When the Oilers were awful, everyone preached patience.

    Now 4 games into a season where they are much better and everyone, including the MSM are completely losing their shit.

    Its one of the reasons I’m not posting as much.

    You can only explain this stuff so many times before you figure, “meh, I really don’t give a shit what others think and its not my job to teach this sfuff. Those who want to learn, will.”

    Its just great when you refer to results that have been obtained using data from over 15,000 games and about 1,200,000 shot attempts and then someone points out what happened in one game with 50 shot attempts as a reason not to believe it.

    Sure, and the dice have a memory and if a coin is flipped on heads 10 times in a row the next one JUST HAS TO BE TAILS!!! OMGBBQ!!11 AMIRITE?!??!

  5. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: MacT will pull the trigger before it gets too bad, which is good and bad. I think we’re a little bit in danger territory here in terms of trades. Would Smid for Gardiner help?

    Oilers win that trade walking away.

  6. sliderule says:

    I went to game last night to try to figure Dubnyk

    The first goal was right in front of me and he seemed to lose the puck .Never even made a move on it and it was an open net.Maybe he wouldn’t have got across but man I thought it is was bad.

    After game I watched the recording I made and compared him to Budaj.His problem seems to be his size.He goes down and stays down.If it’s all the way to his side it’s almost embarrassing watching him try to get on his feet.Medic alert button is required.Budaj goes down and pops up and seldom if ever was on his side.Budaj is an average or worse NHL goalie so that says it all

    When MacT identified goal as job one he was spot on.The oilers have to do something or the season will be lost before it’s barely started.

  7. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy: Oilers win that trade walking away.

    Why do you hate Smid, Woodguy?

  8. pboy says:

    I thought that for the most part last night the Oilers outplayed the Canadiens. The puck isn’t bouncing their way right now but they seem to be a much more difficult team to play against this season and once Devan finds his stroke and the young, skilled forwards start to fill the net, I think this team will be in business. A trade would be a disaster right now. Other teams will see them coming from a mile away and unless MacT is willing to give up one of the golden children, the return won’t justify what’s going out the door. Hold tight, let the players get more comfortable under their 50,000th new coach and system and wait until at least November to push the panic button. I’ll never forgive MacT if he sends Yakupov out the door. He’s a special talent and he’s going to score 500 goals in the NHL if he stays healthy. Book it!

  9. Caribbeerman says:

    I think they move a player and prospect for an established, workhorse goalie. We know they tried this already and it may help things to settle down and give some confidence in the back end. Who that goalie is…I wonder?

  10. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: Why do you hate Smid, Woodguy?

    I don’t hate him, I just don’t think he can pass the puck well enough to play up to his contract.

    I was a fan when it was signed, I was wrong.

    Like a guy in desert who’ll drink a gallon of camel piss if he’s dying of thirst.

    Doesn’t mean camel piss is tasty.

  11. pboy says:

    sliderule: I went to game last night to try to figure DubnykThe first goal was right in front of me and he seemed to lose the puck .Never even made a move on it and it was an open net.Maybe he wouldn’t have got across but man I thought it is was bad.After game I watched the recording I made and compared him to Budaj.His problem seems to be his size.He goes down and stays down.If it’s all the way to his side it’s almost embarrassing watching him try to get on his feet.Medic alert button is required.Budaj goes down and pops up and seldom if ever was on his side.Budaj is an average or worse NHL goalie so that says it allWhen MacT identified goal as job one he was spot on.The oilers have to do something or the season will be lost before it’s barely started.

    I wasn’t at the game but it seemed like on the first 2 goals that they were goal mouth scrambles and I think a goalie is relying on luck on plays like that. Dubnyk didn’t play great but he was improved over his last 2 starts and he needs to continue trending upwards.

  12. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    I’m frankly surprised dear old calming voice LT even saw fit to write this today.

    I think we are miles from panic. Two perspectives:

    1) ours: we don’t know what the future of higher competition and road games will do yet, but so far, this team with all its learning warts, youth, injuries, etc. has played miles better than previous iterations. It is known.

    We have nice pieces coming back soon. And, there are enough scrubs (Smyth, Jones, Omark, Hamilton) lying around to move the twerbs (Gazdic, Brown, SMac) off the 4th line, when the team finally comes to the conclusion MacT came to in the Summer: you have to be able to play the game.

    For these reasons, we can turn up the radio and hop on the caravan. Good things are coming:

    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=e52_1296967761

    2) theirs: twice now, immediately after the NJ game and before the Mont. game Eakins went out of his way to say, “I actually liked how we were playing… I know we were down 3 goals, but we were playing the right way, we just need to get some bounces.” This is someone who knows about possession/winning and luck.

    MacT… may be another matter. But consider this: over the Summer he had a large whole at C, which got worse with Gagner… and he was patient and relied upon what he had. Arco has been a revelation here. He saw that coming and deserves credit for it. This time, what’s he got? Gagner and Joensuu… those two would improve any NHL lineup.

    I don’t think they are in the panic room yet.

  13. Woodguy says:

    Oilers 1 win 3 losses, 49.8% Corsi for % (158-159 5×5)
    Leafs 4 wins 1 loss, 45.6 Corsi for % (208-248 5×5)

    Bernier’s 5v5 SV% .978
    Bernier’s 4v5 SV% .962

    The 5v5 number is super human, the 4v5 number doesn’t exist in any reality but this one.

    I hope it all regresses at once on Saturday.

  14. goldenchild says:

    LT heres the thing though, even if you put no credence in those numbers( which I of course agree is crazy) and are an eye test fan well then either you have completely erased or are wilfully ignoring what a train wreck this group looked like for the majority of the last few seasons and how much better they have looked so far this season. I mean I get being 1-3 sucks and has caused much consternation but outside of the Vancouver game the Oilers have looked like the better team on the ice for large portions of those games. The PP has been a little sideways and goaltending was bad early but I find it hard to complain much from what I have seen.

    Personally the positive shot differentials, plus getting Nuge back so much earlier than anticipated and seeing how strong he has looked gives me reason to think the results will turn pretty quick and certainly over 82 games there is reason for optimism.

    A cuple of quick game thoughts.
    -Perron is a terrific fit, moving a talented player trying to find his way for a real honest to goodness NHL top 6 forward has really improved this group.
    - Liked Belov, seems to be gaining confidence with every shift, looks like he will play a lot of minutes.
    - That 4th line was in trouble almost every second they were on the ice, MTL throughout the Eller line whenever they saw Acton and it was a bloodbath
    - Dubnyk is not terrible,
    - I like the coach a lot and have full confidence this team is already a lot better than the previous editions.
    - Lacquered Balsa Plank > Nick Schultz in the slot.

  15. j says:

    Despite having a relatively good Corsi, it just doesn’t seem like the team has any sustained pressure or momentum during a game. Sure there is the odd shift here and there but they aren’t ‘pushing the river’ as Lowetide likes to state. I can see Joensuu helping a bit in that respect but Gagner – not so much. I appreciate it takes time to gel but the team appears out of synch and lacking model citizens. Who is going to teach Hall about slowing down his game and showing a bit of patience with the puck? Who is going to show Yak how to release the puck on the fly from any and all angles? Sadly, we suffered through a really dark period whereby we didn’t retain any high end talent. As a result, our new kids don’t have any role models to emulate. We have, in essence, slowed the progress of this generation of talent by not having some home bred leadership/talent in place.

  16. Colonel Obvious says:

    That was pretty clearly the Oilers’ best game of the year. Two lines clearly won their matchups, the “third” line was decent, while the fourth line was terrible.

    The solution is obvious. In a league as competitive as the NHL you can’t afford to throw away even five minutes of the game. Yakupov was soft at the puck at the blue line, Dubnyk goes down and lose the puck, Prust (fourth liner) scores. That’s the game.

    We need to turn our fourth line into New Jersey’s fourth line. That’s the difference between winning and losing. Over the course of a season, fourth lines matter. A lot.

    So how do we do this. It starts with Arcobello. He’s clearly the best center for the spot once Gagner comes back. On one wing, we have Smyth by default, though I’d like an upgrade. Now we need to find one more actual NHL winger from somewhere. If it has to be Gadzik, so be it. When the team falls behind, now you can cycle through ten guys instead of eight. That will pay off in the long run.

    I like the blender Eakins has with his best players. No need to fixate on lines, just get the good players out there. Still, this is what the team looks like:

    Hall–Hopkins–Eberle
    Perron–Gordon–Hemsky
    Joensu–Gagner–Yakupov
    Smyth–Arcobello–xxxxx

    That’s a forward group that can win, and where guys go on the top nine doesn’t really matter. Getting Eberle going would help. I’d also like to see the powerplay work around setting up Yakupov for the Stamkos/Hull one-timer.

    The D is more of a problem. N. Schultz is pretty useless on this team, but J Schultz had a good game and Petry is really good. A lot depends on the ascendency of J. Schultz.

    And goaltending is goaltending.

    This teams is miles better than last year. Miles. I think everyone has forgotten how bad they were. Their record flattered them. Special teams and Dubnyk saved them. At even strength they were still the worst team in the league.

  17. SlapBet says:

    Millllllller……millllllller…..oooooooh (haunting ghost voice)

    I’ve been preaching it a lot, and I know his stats are basically parallel with Dubnyk but the difference here is one has the co fidence in thinking and being told he is a superstar olympic finalist goalie, while the other is a horse that can’t full engulf his position in the race.

    2 prospects, 1st and 3rd….should happen sooner or later.

  18. Clarkenstein says:

    6 game roadie starting and not an easy game in the bunch. It’s not the least bit unreasonable to think they could be 2-7-1 or 2-8. Then what? Does MacT make a panic trade? Trades obviously aren’t that easy or he would have made a couple more by now. The next two weeks could set the tone for the season…strange but true.

  19. Woodguy says:

    j:
    Despite having a relatively good Corsi, it just doesn’t seem like the team has any sustained pressure or momentum during a game.Sure there is the odd shift here and there but they aren’t ‘pushing the river’ as Lowetide likes to state.I can see Joensuu helping a bit in that respect but Gagner – not so much.I appreciate it takes time to gel but the team appears out of synch and lacking model citizens.Who is going to teach Hall about slowing down his game and showing a bit of patience with the puck?Who is going to show Yak how to release the puck on the fly from any and all angles?Sadly, we suffered through a really dark period whereby we didn’t retain any high end talent.As a result, our new kids don’t have any role models to emulate.We have, in essence, slowed the progress of this generation of talent by not having some home bred leadership/talent in place.

    I think they need more traffic and second shots.

    It would be interesting to see a break down of how many of the Oiler’s shots are 2nd and 3rd shots as opposed to one and done.

  20. Doomoil says:

    Woodguy:
    Oilers 1 win 3 losses, 49.8% Corsi for % (158-159 5×5)
    Leafs 4 wins 1 loss, 45.6 Corsi for % (208-248 5×5)

    Bernier’s 5v5 SV% .978
    Bernier’s 4v5 SV%.962

    The 5v5 number is super human, the 4v5 number doesn’t exist in any reality but this one.

    I hope it all regresses at once on Saturday.

    Nothing would make me happier than dropping an avalanche of goals on Toronto fans.

    I work with a guy who cheers for anyone playing the Oilers. He tried to talk some scruff today but I couldn’t even get mad. We played well and lost. It’s game 4 of the regular season, not game 7 of the finals.

  21. Woodguy says:

    SlapBet:
    Millllllller……millllllller…..oooooooh (haunting ghost voice)

    I’ve been preaching it a lot, and I know his stats are basically parallel with Dubnyk but the difference here is one has the co fidence in thinking and being told he is a superstar olympic finalist goalie, while the other is a horse that can’t full engulf his position in the race.

    2 prospects, 1st and 3rd….should happen sooner or later.

    So he doesn’t stop more pucks than DD but feels much better doing it?

  22. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy: OMGBBQ!!11

    Is that BBQ at 11 EST, or MNT? If the former, I’ve only got half and hour to find my BBQ shirt and prepare some skewers.

    These pop-up BBQs are killing me.

  23. oliveoilers says:

    Once again it has been pointed out that Eakins says all the right things. Awesome. He watches the shit show and says what we’re all thinking. However, I am concerned that he is a little bit Scooby-doo. As in: “My system would have worked if it wasn’t for them meddling kids!” He has to admit a little culpability here. I believe Corsi to be an indicator, not a prophet as has been proved. It’s a poor craftsman who blames his tools, and blaming bad luck is even worse. 4-1 is not bad luck. 6-2 is not bad luck. A crappy bounce to take it to OT is bad luck.

  24. nycoil says:

    Stayed up watching the game as usual, and have to agree 4th line is a liability when they are out there.
    I do think we had a bit of bad puck luck, but there are also a few players still taking glaringly bad gambles leading to odd-man rushes the other way, etc., rather than making the high percentage play. Eakins needs to weed out those bad habits ASAP or we’re going to be in too big a hole to rally back from.

    It’s great to be near 50% on Corsi, etc., after years of bleeding, and you can see that in the play, but the calibre of mistakes the Oilers are making are of the category of you can see the play developing a mile away and, “egad, don’t try that dangle at the blue line, don’t make that drop pass there, don’t try to fire it cross ice past 2 forecheckers…oh you did, oh no…” and then Dubnyk is left holding the bag. Now, he did bail them out a couple of times on those breakaways, etc., but he is still letting in at least one soft goal per game. If Labarbera isn’t good enough to push him, I do think that’s the one area where we need to make an upgrade so that at least he feels the heat. Would have thought a contract year would motivate DD but so far he has looked pretty below average.

    Also, can they not play with the same sense of urgency as the way they did when they pulled the goalie with 4:30 left? I know it was 6-on-5 skaters but we were swarming them, Montreal didn’t get a decent look at the net until 17 seconds to go. That’s four minutes of winning puck battles. We need that urgency at the opening faceoff, not in the dying minutes of the 3rd.

    Looking forward to the turnaround. As Eakins says, the issue is they CAN do it. They’ve shown it. So they need to learn to do it all the time.

  25. Doomoil says:

    oliveoilers,

    Eakins hoping for some good luck isn’t the same as blaming a loss on bad luck.

  26. TheGreatMutato says:

    Does anyone else find themselves at odds with Eakin’s insistence on running his top guys up to half-an-hour per night?

    At best, I feel as though you run head-on into the law of diminishing returns. At worst, I think you increase your risk for significant injury.

    DMW spoke poetically the other day about the body’s need for recovery. The NHL season is a long, grueling affair and I can’t help but feel that the coach’s mentality is that “it’s better to burn out than fade away”. Cobain went out with a bang, but he’s still dead.

    I’m totally on-board with the coach’s insistence on top fitness. I get that. But somehow I feel the best way fitness should manifest itself in a hockey game is to run circles around your opponent in the later portions of the game, not to run yourself ragged to the point that you are on, at-best, level ground as the clock ticks down. The more you tax your players, the less they will have to offer in the dying moments when you really might need them. Does Nugent-Hopkins make a rare error leading to the game-clinching goal if he is rested and alert? I’m not so sure he does.

    And we’ve watch so many Oilers seasons hamstrung by prolonged injury. It’s a point of fact that fatigue significantly increases the risk of injury. When you consistently push yourself to the point of breaking, eventually you just break.

    A bench-mark I like is John Tavares. Here is a young player, considered as fit and ready as anyone in the league, and the most important player on his team. On top of that, he had a great season in 2012-2013, one where his team turned a corner. And he played 20:46 per night, on average. So why are these young Oilers (most of whom averaged 18-19 minutes a season ago) being asked to consistently be outliers, increasing their ice-time from a season ago by 50%? And in what universe is any of this sustainable?

    Something has to give.

  27. Ice Sage says:

    nycoil:
    Stayed up watching the game as usual, and have to agree 4th line is a liability when they are out there.I do think we had a bit of bad puck luck, but there are also a few players still taking glaringly bad gambles leading to odd-man rushes the other way, etc., rather than making the high percentage play. Eakins needs to weed out those bad habits ASAP or we’re going to be in too big a hole to rally back from.

    It’s great to be near 50% on Corsi, etc., after years of bleeding, and you can see that in the play, but the calibre of mistakes the Oilers are making are of the category ofyou can see the play developing a mile away and, “egad, don’t try that dangle at the blue line, don’t make that drop pass there, don’t try to fire it cross ice past 2 forecheckers…oh you did, oh no…” and then Dubnyk is left holding the bag. Now, he did bail them out a couple of times on those breakaways, etc., but he is still letting in at least one soft goal per game. If Labarbera isn’t good enough to push him, I do think that’s the one area where we need to make an upgrade so that at least he feels the heat. Would have thought a contract year would motivate DD but so far he has looked pretty below average.

    Also, can they not play with the same sense of urgency as the way they did when they pulled the goalie with 4:30 left? I know it was 6-on-5 skaters but we were swarming them, Montreal didn’t get a decent look at the net until 17 seconds to go. That’s four minutes of winning puck battles. We need that urgency atthe opening faceoff, not in the dying minutes of the 3rd.

    Looking forward to the turnaround. As Eakins says, the issue is they CAN do it. They’ve shown it. So they need to learn to do it all the time.

    Wouldn’t it be cool if Eakins started the Toronto game with the goalie pulled?

  28. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    In other news…

    Thoresen and Count Kola still ripping up the KHL:

    http://www.eliteprospects.com/league.php?leagueid=KHL&season=2013

    Note: Cheechoo is in the top 10 in scoring.

    The kids… Hartikainen still looks strong:
    http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=11365

    Yakimov is falling off a tiny bit:
    http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=117749

    and the other two look to be struggling, with Slappy being benched it looks like (still only 7 games played):
    http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=103517
    http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=117748

    It will be interesting to see if the kids get sent down to the MHL. Does anyone know if they have waivers or anything to prevent that kind of thing?

  29. Brackenburied says:

    Lowetide: Why do you hate Smid, Woodguy?

    “Gloom, despair, and agony on me. OooOooH!”
    Smid cannot be traded. My youngest daughter is Smid’s undisputed #1 fan. Throughout elementry school she managed to work the Oilers and Smid into almost every story she wrote. In many of these stories Smid wears a cape. As a father to 3 girls I knew there would be some tough father daughter conversations. So far last years trade deadline has been the toughest convo yet. So let’s stop the Smid trade talk now. Please.

  30. Doomoil says:

    I think personally my biggest worry so far this young season is how bad Eberle has looked. The MSM called Hemsky soft for years but Eberle gives up the puck at the slightest sign of contact.

    You need to go hard in to those corners young man.

  31. Racki says:

    j:
    Despite having a relatively good Corsi, it just doesn’t seem like the team has any sustained pressure or momentum during a game.Sure there is the odd shift here and there but they aren’t ‘pushing the river’ as Lowetide likes to state.

    Bingo. This was very much on display yesterday. It is evident in most games.. Until that 3rd period push. Good teams do this throughout the game. The Oilers seem to do it when they’re well behind the 8 ball already.

  32. oliveoilers says:

    Doomoil:
    oliveoilers,

    Eakins hoping for some good luck isn’t the same as blaming a loss on bad luck.

    That’s his system? “Well boys, just go out there and skate around and hopefully we’ll get lucky.”

  33. Doomoil says:

    oliveoilers: That’s his system?“Well boys, just go out there and skate around and hopefully we’ll get lucky.”

    Oh sorry, I thought we were going to discuss what you wrote and then what I wrote, not an imaginary strawman.

  34. Jon K says:

    Woodguy: So he doesn’t stop more pucks than DD but feels much better doing it?

    That merits a lol.

    By and large I agree with WG and LT. The game last night and the Jets game both could have gone very differently with a little less puck luck for the other guys and a little more for the Oilers.

    However, I do have some reservations about this team still. Breaking even or slightly better on corsi against those teams is certainly an improvement over last year, but how much of an improvement? I don’t see Montreal or Winnipeg as world beaters this year. Vancouver is the closest to a playoff lock that we’ve played and we saw how that game went.

    Of course, the prudent thing to do is wait and see how things go once Gagner and Joensuu come back. I think there will be a big difference with the added C depth (i.e. moving Arcobello to the 4th, maybe alternate him and Acton as the 4C).

    Ultimately though, if goaltending doesn’t regress to previously established levels of play and core players continue being seen floating high in the defensive zone on goals against (Yakupov), the Oilers are going to miss the playoffs handedly and this backwards town is going to call for the young Russian’s head.

  35. RMGS says:

    Yeah, no need to panic.

    But, that 49.8% Corsi ratio’s a little less encouraging if you look instead at close or tied situations, 47.3% and 46.7%, respectively. That said, so far the latter two rates are significant improvements from last year as well. Of course, they’re are drawn from even smaller sample sizes, so take them for what they are.

    My point, though, is that close and tied shot differentials are better indicators (and predictors) of team success, especially at about the 20-game mark.

  36. Colonel Obvious says:

    SlapBet:
    Millllllller……millllllller…..oooooooh (haunting ghost voice)

    I’ve been preaching it a lot, and I know his stats are basically parallel with Dubnyk but the difference here is one has the co fidence in thinking and being told he is a superstar olympic finalist goalie, while the other is a horse that can’t full engulf his position in the race.

    2 prospects, 1st and 3rd….should happen sooner or later.

    Is this irony? There aren’t words for how terrible this idea is.

    Racki: Bingo. This was very much on display yesterday. It is evident in most games.. Until that 3rd period push. Good teams do this throughout the game. The Oilers seem to do it when they’re well behind the 8 ball already.

    No team dominates all the time. Montreal is a good team. Edmonton played them even. Let’s be realistic about what has happened.

    Outplayed Jets
    Dominated by Canucks
    Evenish against Devils
    Evenish against Canadians.

    The only thing to be worried about here is panic. Sure this team isn’t as good as the Blues, but they are miles better than they were.

  37. Colonel Obvious says:

    RMGS:
    Yeah, no need to panic.

    But, that 49.8% Corsi ratio’s a little less encouraging if you look instead at close or tied situations, 47.3% and 46.7%, respectively.That said, so far the latter two rates are significant improvements from last year as well.Of course, they’re are drawn from even smaller sample sizes, so take them for what they are.

    My point, though, is that close and tied shot differentials are better indicators (and predictors) of team success, especially at about the 20-game mark.

    This is a good point. A lot of the good feeling moments have come when they are behind. Considering score effects that’s not a good sign.

  38. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Leaving aside the panic room discussion for a moment… one thing we should watch for in this hyper alert state is over-interpretation of correlation ≠ causation:

    Often in the course of a sporting year (any sport) we’ll see two events converge:

    1) a long term trend (say performing well/poor)

    2) a sharp, distinct change personnel, system or “attitude/intangibles” that correlates with a sharp, distinct change of fortune.

    It is not uncommon for a new player, manager, coach, etc. to be held up as the cause of this change of fortune. In some cases, they very well may be. There is no doubt a superior player, system or coach is going to probably lead to superior results.

    The thing to watch for though, is false positives. Oft times we see good teams suffer from poor luck, only to have their luck turn coincidentally with the sudden addition/subtraction of a player/coach (and vice versa for bad teams and good luck).

    An example: Ron Wilson’s Leafs played exactly as that team was built to: not very good. Carlyle’s Leafs are playing far above their weight class, to which Carlyle has gotten all the credit. The underlying numbers merely show that Carlyle arrived right on time to get on the luck train.

    Basically, all I’m saying is we should be cautious in how we interpret any changes to either the teams fortune (it could be a mirage) or the impact of a personnel change.

  39. Racki says:

    Conditioning stint in OKC for Grebs and Larsen’s turn to earn NHL paycheck instead of Davidson

  40. GriffCity says:

    I was able to be at Rexall to watch the game last night and I think firstly I should say, It wasn’t Dubnyk’s fault last night. He was not stellar but certainly not horrible either. The oilers problems im afraid rest in their top 4 or 5 players.

    This is supposed to be the “coming of age” for our young guns and they are just not pulling their weight. Hall was the 3rd star last night…Really? I didnt think he looked good at all, running around, coughing the puck up several times and getting caught way out of position due to his reckless abandon style of play. Hall may be the Oilers best player but he is not quite doing it so far this year.

    Eberle, i dont know what this guys problem is right now but he seems a bit slower than last season or something. His attempted moves have not been working at all and he would be playing on the second line on any other good team.

    Yak, I dunno about this guy anymore. Looked good in preseason, looked more calm and I thought he might pick up where he left off last year, which would be great since he struggled heavily throughout the first 25 games last season. But I just dont know anymore

    Jschultz, offensive flair absolutely but thats about it and looks scared sometimes in his own zone, causing turnovers. He’s no Paul Coffey

    Nuge, actually looks good all things considered. Guess he was the only one who got the memo about being better this year.

    In summation, The Oilers just are not that good. The # 1 draft picks, while still good hockey players are just not the type of players you call franchise players. And it sucks to say that but its true. Ask yourself, how long did it take the likes of Crosby, Ovi, Kane, even Mackinnon for F sakes to make an impact on their hockey club? The answer: Immediately

    There was no coming of age and patiently waiting for the players to reach their potential, they were superstarts fresh out of the gate. Sadly, I dont think the drafts yielded anywhere near that calibre of player in the years the Oilers picked #1 and that just about par for the course for the Edmonton Oilers, doomed to mediocrity unless we make a move.

    Lastly, Galchenyuk and Gallagher looked every bit as good last night as any two of our young stars and neither of them went #1….

  41. RMGS says:

    TheGreatMutato: Does anyone else find themselves at odds with Eakin’s insistence on running his top guys up to half-an-hour per night?

    At best, I feel as though you run head-on into the law of diminishing returns. At worst, I think you increase your risk for significant injury.

    Thing is, with the current fourth-line rotation, Coach Eakins has no choice but to give 55 minutes to the top 9F (even if I think he should distribute those minutes among those 9 a bit more equitably – Hemsky, Gordon, and even Arcobello could take more).

  42. Racki says:

    Colonel Obvious: Is this irony?There aren’t words for how terrible this idea is.

    No team dominates all the time.Montreal is a good team.Edmonton played them even.Let’s be realistic about what has happened.

    Outplayed Jets
    Dominated by Canucks
    Evenish against Devils
    Evenish against Canadians.

    The only thing to be worried about here is panic.Sure this team isn’t as good as the Blues, but they are miles better than they were.

    I’m not saying they need to dominate an entire game (how great would that be?)… I’m saying that like J said they don’t seem to ever control momentum. One line might have a good chance, then it seems like that’s often the end of it until several moments later (except in the third when they switch to overdrive). Where are those moments where they hem a team in their zone and panic them for a full shit or two? Seems infrequent in periods one and two.

    Also pointing out flaws in this team is not panic. I don’t recall saying to blow the team up. Just would like to see the Oilers pressure a team like the Canucks did and the habs did

  43. John Chambers says:

    GriffCity,

    You’re way out of line.

    Didn’t you read the gospel according to LT – Corsi is up this year!

    Hall and Eberle have both posted All-Star numbers, while Nuge and Yakupov (who just turned 20!), are pretty good guys to bank on.

    #4 and #14 are struggling – they’ll get out of it.

    Great hockey game last night – I remarked that I was seeing a lot more COMPETE out of the group than what I’ve become accustomed to.

  44. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Brackenburied: “Gloom, despair, and agony on me. OooOooH!”
    Smid cannot be traded.My youngest daughter is Smid’s undisputed #1 fan.Throughout elementry school she managed to work the Oilers and Smid into almost every story she wrote.In many of these stories Smid wears a cape.As a father to 3 girls I knew there would be some tough father daughter conversations.So far last years trade deadline has been the toughest convo yet.So let’s stop the Smid trade talk now.Please.

    I think I speak for most when I ask that you give your daughter’s fan-fiction a wider audience. I would certainly pay for a series of illustrated tales of the caped-Smid!

  45. RMGS says:

    Racki:
    Conditioning stint in OKC for Grebs and Larsen’s turn to earn NHL paycheck instead of Davidson

    I like the move. I really saw Larsen good in pre-season. He may draw in for N. Schultz, but I suspect Smid’s also a HS candidate in Coach Eakins’ eyes (sorry Brackenburied).

  46. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    RMGS: I like the move.I really saw Larsen good in pre-season.He may draw in for N. Schultz, but I suspect Smid’s also a HS candidate in Coach Eakins’ eyes (sorry Brackenburied).

    It it is hard to tell. Smid’s TOI has dropped 4mins from game one (around 18) to game 4 (around 14). N. Schultz is stalled, but he’s still getting less TOI than Smid…

    So… it looks like N. Schultz gets less confidence from Eakins… but Smid is headed in the wrong direction.

    I’d bench N. Schultz… but I love Smid.

    I’m excited to see Larsen play.

    The other thing to consider is that TOR is a muscle team and Smid plays with more dickishness than N. Schultz.

  47. GriffCity says:

    John Chambers,

    John, while I agree that there seems to be more compete out of the players and while I agree that it was a pretty good game last night, I still feel, and it pains me to say this, that our superstars will never be the kind of superstars that win teams Championships. Im not saying they are bad hockey players, they are really good hockey players, they just aren’t great.

    Trust me, this is a topic that I would love to be proven wrong on. Nothing would make me happier than to see the Oilers dominate the league like Chicago did last year, I would love that. I just think that somethings gotta give.

    Hall and Ebs are struggling, Ebs more than Hall but these guys are in their fourth year in the league, how long do you keep waiting, hoping that they start winning?

  48. Racki says:

    Brackenburied,

    There is a case to say we should see Smid pushed to the bottom pairing (this would imply there is good depth here if that happened) . Trade? Definitely not (unless a reliable defensive guy is coming back). Smid brings something other d can’t. He’s tough. He’s generally reliable defensively. Without Smid this team gets walked all over all game. That happens enough as is. They can’t all be Justin Schultzes.. Hockey doesn’t work that way. I’m use your daughter’s hero is safe! :)

  49. mc79hockey says:

    I don’t think people saying that the Oilers don’t dominate chunks of games watched the last five minutes of the second last night.

  50. Hammers says:

    Didn’t see or here the game but sounds like we overplayed 1st line , N.Schultz not cutting it , Smid expendable for a trade , Eakins thinks we played well , Corsi even , Dubnyk played better , WE LOST . Isn’t it time to get the McBlender out as playing well isnt winning . Time to put Yak on 1st line & Ebs with Arco & Perron and Hemsky with Gordon & Joensuu .Maybe its early to say but are we the fans over rating our top players ?? or do we need that other “D” not one of the top 10 but one of the top 20.Hell I hoped for 10 points in the first 14 games but it looks like 6-7 maybe pushing it .

  51. RMGS says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I’d bench N. Schultz…

    How’s Tommy Gilbert doing?

  52. Woodguy says:

    mc79hockey:
    I don’t think people saying that the Oilers don’t dominate chunks of games watched the last five minutes of the second last night.

    Tyler,

    What do you have so far this year for shifts with multiple SAF?

    I’m bitching about a lack of traffice and rebouind attempts, would be nice to know if the number match my eye.

  53. Woodguy says:

    RMGS: How’s Tommy Gilbert doing?

    Averaging 22.5min/60 and playing on the top pairing with Campbell

    Has a 50%CF in the first 4 games on a team that is CF46.9%

    All that for only $950K.

    Might be the best value contract in the NHL.

    http://www.extraskater.com/team/florida-panthers/2013

    Also,

    You may notice that Whitney is a 40.6% CF% playing on the 3rd pair.

    Lordy.

  54. RMGS says:

    mc79hockey:
    I don’t think people saying that the Oilers don’t dominate chunks of games watched the last five minutes of the second last night.

    You realise that’s because that lazy Tatar was stapled to the bench, right?

    But seriously, I’m sure lots of folks are looking forward to seeing those multiple SAF numbers. I’m seeing a lot of perimeter play.

  55. RMGS says:

    Woodguy: Averaging 22.5min/60 and playing on the top pairing with Campbell

    Has a 50%CF in the first 4 games on a team that is CF46.9%

    All that for only $950K.

    Might be the best value contract in the NHL.

    http://www.extraskater.com/team/florida-panthers/2013

    BUT HE’S SOFT!!!!

  56. Brackenburied says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I think I speak for most when I ask that you give your daughter’s fan-fiction a wider audience. I would certainly pay for a series of illustrated tales of the caped-Smid!

    We are in negotiations with a Czech publisher…stay tuned.

  57. Bar_Qu says:

    Here’s the thing I think Bad Luck does to a team. Even when a team is playing well, meeting a statistically positive outcome, the individuals on a team try harder to get the win. In common parlance, grip the stick too tight.

    I think the mistakes Hall is making, the long-range goals Dubnyk lets in, the shots Yak is misfiring may all be attributable to hyper-competitive guys who are used to being difference makers and see the bounces going against them. They try harder, squeeze the stick to sawdust and cause unforced errors at obvious points of the game, even while they are doing the right things generally.

    We see the mistakes, because hey, the luck ensures the bounces are going against them, but we don’t see the positive statistical stuff because it isn’t impacting the scoreboard.

    My hope is the guys who are paid to make this team good can stay the course until the luck turns and score starts to run up in favour of the team. And not make a trade for Miller.

  58. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers

    #Oilers send Denis Grebeshkov to @OKCBarons on a conditioning assignment, also assign Brandon Davidson to OKC and recall Philip Larsen.

  59. Brackenburied says:

    Dead Cat Bounce: Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers #Oilers send Denis Grebeshkov to @OKCBarons on a conditioning assignment, also assign Brandon Davidson to OKC and recall Philip Larsen.

    So who sits??

  60. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Dead Cat Bounce:
    Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers

    #Oilers send Denis Grebeshkov to @OKCBarons on a conditioning assignment, also assign Brandon Davidson to OKC and recall Philip Larsen.

    You did it again!

    Maybe posting duplicative information is your true talent and you should give trolling up, or maybe they go hand-in-hand in some way… hmmm.

  61. Hammers says:

    Brackenburied: So who sits??

    N.Schultz

  62. bassguy says:

    Hi, first time writing in but long time reader..really enjoy this site and I find its a more constructive and instructive site than some others(if that makes any sense!)..I was at the game last night and I haven’t been to a game since chris pronger was here. I cant help but remembering that when ever he was on the ice your eyes would just follow that huge frame around..it almost seemed he could take out 2 to 3 guys at times with his reach and stick work!..anyways, I really did have fun at the game and I was close to the ice surface so was amazed at the speed of the game. Montreal seemed to get these break out passes , one guy or 2 on 1, the goal by galyenchuk(sp?) that was caused, by my eyes, on Edmonton swarming down low. I don’t think it was a direct correlation to those 2 montreal kids playing so much better than edmontons younger kids. I like what Edmonton is striving for and I like the swarm. I noticed it in the defensive end of Edmonton as well. two defencmen fighting for the puck with opposition then edmontons centre comes in and gets the puck..this is where it gets a little scary at times because ,if you don’t get the puck, then montreal has a few guys open..thanks!

  63. Bar_Qu says:

    Here is Kent Wilson’s take on why Sean Monahan might be better off going down, despite his big numbers early on (spoiler: its because he is due for a severe drop-off in production accompanied by a similar disregard for his play that Baertschi is getting).

    http://flamesnation.ca/2013/10/11/sean-monahan-proceed-with-caution

    Brackenburied: So who sits??

    Since Davidson wasn’t playing, I don’t know that anyone sits of necessity. Though I wouldn’t be surprised if N. Schultz does sit for the game in the big TO.

  64. bassguy says:

    oops, actually I remember that Galyenchuk goal was a result of the nuge going all the way behind montreals net and getting pinched, where than he lost the puck and montreal had an excellent transition out of the defensive zone…but, the previous comments I believe are true for the most part..

  65. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: You did it again!

    Maybe posting duplicative information is your true talent and you should give trolling up, or maybe they go hand-in-hand in some way… hmmm.

    A little early in the day for your Church Lady schtick isn’t it?

  66. Andropod says:

    Teams are jigsaw puzzles made of flesh and blood human beings. We just set our expectations too high, that’s all.
    1) Our new players are almost universally > the players they replaced.
    2) The top layer of players waiting in the wings > the ones they replaced at the lower end of the team that were sent away.
    3) Some of the players waiting in the wings are > some of the players we are putting on the ice, and btw it’s goodbye Smac after your knee heals, your nemesis helped you get injured by stepping out of the way, scoring a goal against your team in the same way, and then vastly outplaying you in your position on this team. I really like your heart and dedication but this game – and the money associated with being one of the best hockey players in the world – is about performance rather than compassion.
    Same with Nultz, you were good enough when we got you, but you are now a weaker player than at least one of the replacements available.
    4) This coach, who was a/the top AHL coach, who has experiences as well as an NHL assistant coach, and knows the North American game intimately, > Coach Ralph in this circumstance, whose systems and approach may be better suited to a mindset that makes the best of slightly less skilled players through a more rigid system that can end up stifling those less suited to it.
    5) We have a really good backup goalie in Dubnyk who is probably ok if we accept that this is not our playoff year after all, and look to the upgrade after the season’s end when we have had a chance to evaluate how the team performed in the second half of the season after figuring it all out in the first half of the season. The more I see him play in today’s NHL the more I see a goalie that has size and good positioning generally, but lacks the speed, anticipation and edge that the elite goalies have, and we need an elite goalie whose 7.9% goals allowed are the shots that no0one could reasonably expect a goalie to save. Dubs is clearly not up to adjusting to the decrease in size represented by those smaller pads and paddle, which have pushed him down the goalie rankings of late, and Dubs’s weaknesses have clearly been identified by other teams by now.
    6) It is obviously not reasonable to expect that a team – any team – that has such a huge influx of new players, on top of a new coach, with entirely different systems, can settle down as quickly as teams with most of their core intact, or with their previous years coach and just an influx of new players.
    7) We were additionally handicapped by a further 2 factors:
    a) While most teams would have been able to use most of their training camps and more of their pre-season games getting up to speed, because we had effectively set the reset button in a huge revamp of the team, we spent this time figuring who we wanted and who to send down. This is to be expected of any team that required reconstruction of this magnitude. Hence the fact that we are having to come together as a team a lot later than teams with more established rosters and coaches, even if we had not lost our better/best/key players to injury/surgery. It’s actually quite remarkable that Nuge has come back so strong.
    b) We lost our top two centers, Nuge and Gagner. Nuge is elite, Gagner is very good at scoring goals. We also need Jonesuu more than we realized. Having Gags and Jonesuu return may be bigger than we realize, because Gags will take pressure off Nuge and Joensuu will take some pressure off Yak City.

    In light of this I agree with LT that we should not be getting into all this crazy talk about stupid trades and tarring and feathering ChickenHawk, who may actually be a fledgling Peregrine Falcon. Let’s lower our expectations to demand that the team shows constant improvement, give them the first 20 or 30 games to get their shit together, but give CH 2 full years to show what he can do.

    Let’s accept the amount of damage Mr Dithers did, while crediting him with the good things he did achieve, cheer the good this team does, and yes, boo them when they stink up the house with lack of effort, and enjoy the ride. I think it is quite likely we will see constant improvement, I think MacT and Eakins know exactly what the problems are, and are working as hard as anyone can to fix them within the constraints in which they work. I love the work they have done so far, and one day they will once again release the team we saw in P3 of the Devils game from some cage in the bowels of Rexall, and then they will be a joy to behold.

    Realistic expectations, folks, realistic expectations.

  67. Woodguy says:

    RMGS: BUT HE’S SOFT!!!!

    SOFT!!!@BBQBAKINGSOADA!!!!111

  68. Bag of Pucks says:

    If I’m MacT, I target Brian Elliott with the Blues. Halak has seized the number one reins again and they have Jake Allen coming on as a very capable backup. I think Elliott could be had for a decent prospect or a 2nd round pick and Armstrong would gladly welcome the cap space to upgrade his club elsewhere given what he could be facing in the playoffs with SJ or LA.

    Upgrading in net instantly makes this club a goal a game better. Dubnyk is 27. At what point do we demand consistent excellence from our goalie and stop making excuses for poor performance?
    Dubie makes the initial save against Prust and literally does not move at all to cover the rebound. Size does not equal athleticism and Dubnyk’s ceiling is simply not high enough.

  69. Woodguy says:

    Bar_Qu:
    Here is Kent Wilson’s take on why Sean Monahan might be better off going down, despite his big numbers early on (spoiler: its because he is due for a severe drop-off in production accompanied by a similar disregard for his play that Baertschi is getting).

    http://flamesnation.ca/2013/10/11/sean-monahan-proceed-with-caution

    Since Davidson wasn’t playing, I don’t know that anyone sits of necessity. Though I wouldn’t be surprised if N. Schultz does sit for the game in the big TO.

    I honestly think that the Oilers were doing Davidson a solid favour by bringing him up. They needed a body for “just-in-case” and it could have been anyone.

    He comes from a familiy of little means.

    A week of NHL paychecks is about what he makes in a year in the AHL.

    If that’s the case, I have a lot of respect for whoever is making that decision.

  70. Woodguy says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    If I’m MacT, I target Brian Elliott with the Blues. Halak has seized the number one reins again and they have Jake Allen coming on as a very capable backup. I think Elliott could be had for a decent prospect or a 2nd round pick and Armstrong would gladly welcome the cap space to upgrade his club elsewhere given what he could be facing in the playoffs with SJ or LA.

    Upgrading in net instantly makes this club a goal a game better. Dubnyk is 27. At what point do we demand consistent excellence from our goalie and stop making excuses for poor performance?
    Dubie makes the initial save against Prust and literally does not move at all to cover the rebound. Size does not equal athleticism and Dubnyk’s ceiling is simply not high enough.

    Elliot eh?

    So you want a career .909 goalie to “upgrade” on a career .912?

    Hell, Labarbera is a career .908

    Here’s Elliot’s ev% over the years:

    2008-2009 31gp 0.902
    2009-2010 55gp 0.909
    2010-2011 43gp 0.894
    2010-2011 12gp 0.891
    2011-2012 38gp 0.940
    2012-2013 24gp 0.907

    Career: 204gp 0.909

    WIthout his one unreal season 2 years ago, his average is AHL level at best.

  71. Bag of Pucks says:

    Woodguy:

    Might be the best value contract in the NHL.

    Hyperbole doesn’t get anymore grandiose than that.

  72. Bag of Pucks says:

    Woodguy: Elliot eh?

    So you want a career .909 goalie to “upgrade” on a career .912?

    Hell, Labarbera is a career .908

    Here’s Elliot’s ev% over the years:

    2008-200931gp0.902
    2009-201055gp0.909
    2010-201143gp0.894
    2010-201112gp0.891
    2011-201238gp0.940
    2012-201324gp0.907

    Career: 204gp0.909

    WIthout his one unreal season 2 years ago, his average is AHL level at best.

    You’re taking a flyer (for a mid level prospect) on a guy that had a .940 save 2 seasons ago in the hopes he’ll bounce back. Dubnyk has never hit that ceiling and never will cos he’s not an elite goaltender. It’s better than sitting on your hands and flushing another season.

  73. Bag of Pucks says:

    Woodguy: Elliot eh?

    So you want a career .909 goalie to “upgrade” on a career .912?

    Hell, Labarbera is a career .908

    Here’s Elliot’s ev% over the years:

    2008-200931gp0.902
    2009-201055gp0.909
    2010-201143gp0.894
    2010-201112gp0.891
    2011-201238gp0.940
    2012-201324gp0.907

    Career: 204gp0.909

    WIthout his one unreal season 2 years ago, his average is AHL level at best.

    And, it’s the best of the minimal options left to MacT since he failed to pull the trigger on any of Schneider, Bernier, Khudobin and Thomas.

    Oil mgmt’s wishful thinking on goaltender development (i.e. the most important position on the team) is killing this team and has been for years.

    Sad to see from a club that used to recognize the intrinsic value of having a top flight tender (Moog, Fuhr, Ranford, Joseph)

  74. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Dead Cat Bounce: A little early in the day for your Church Lady schtick isn’t it?

    It’s never too early for hilarity. You’re a funny guy.

  75. rickithebear says:

    Ference-Petry -2 3.2 Ev min
    N. Schultz-Petry -2 16.2 min
    N.Schultz-Belov -2 16.7 min
    Smid-Petry -1 26.8 min
    Ference- J. schultz -1 in 69.1 ev min
    Belov-Petry even 28.6 min
    Smid-N. Schultz +1 22.4 min

  76. denny33 says:

    Rarefied air in here…..

    That is so strange – Toronto probably should have beaten Boston in last year’s playoffs….and now
    they are off again to a good start.

    More traffic in front of the net?

    Oh, to have a nickel every time that has been spoken in the last few years…..but it is early in the season! Traffic takes time to develop.

    Only 2 even strength goals against Winnipeg – shhh…one of them was from a member of the 4th line.

    Petry and Gordon with two even strength goals against Vancouver.

    New Jersey was an unleashing of even strength goals as Ference ( yep ) Perron and Hall scored.

    No even strength goals last night…

    Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, RNH, Nail Yakupov…..Only Taylor has an even strength goal.

    RNH – my fav player – does an impersonation of an oval speed skater by completely going around the oppositions boards and loses it going the other way – to Gallagher and Galchenyuk.

    Best to avoid the middle of the ice completely.

    But it is early.

    Because the numbers favour teams that have a hole dug in October trying to catch teams above them.

    Gadzic actually has one of the PRECIOUS even strength goals to start and yet so much talk of our 4th line….

    Taylor Hall, RNH, Yak and Eberle need to start SCORING goals at even strength….

    But it is early….

    Mac T is about to press the red button on his desk…

  77. RMGS says:

    Bag of Pucks: Hyperbole doesn’t get anymore grandiose than that.

    YEAH! AND HE’S SOFT!!!!

  78. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Bag of Pucks: MacT since he failed to pull the trigger on any of Schneider, Bernier, Khudobin and Thomas.

    I don’t think Elliot is the answer and we don’t know who all the options will be when the market opens again (at the deadline and in the off-season).

    Based on MacT’s recent attempts I’d look to Europe and College for the next G signing.

    At any rate, I think a better phrasing is in order than “failed to pull the trigger.” In the cases of Scheids and Bernier (and probably Bishop second time around) it looks like MacT had real offers on the table…

    Looks like he got out-bid by Tor (who gave up recall: two NHL players, a 2nd round pick and half a Mill in cap cash… a pretty penny if ever there was one); and Van put too high a price on inside division trade, but a strong offer was made.

    probably nit-picking, but “failed to realize a trade” is probably a better phrasing.

  79. denny33 says:

    goldenchild,

    4th line …really.

    Lars Eller recorded 1 shot on net last night – shorthanded.

    Mike Brown saw 5 minutes of icetime in a 60 min. game.

  80. denny33 says:

    Doomoil,

    You have spoken heresy in here…..best to divert back to the 4th line talk.

    Never mention that again….that is for the ‘outsiders’ to talk about..

  81. Bag of Pucks says:

    Rom, Tallon got Tim Thomas on a tryout offer. What’s MacT’s excuse on that one?

  82. denny33 says:

    Colonel Obvious,

    Arcobello has ZERO goals playing with Elite players and TONS and TONS of icetime….

    He has been better than I thought – I concede.

    But he has Zero goals. 1 less than Gadzic.

  83. spoiler says:

    Bag of Pucks: And, it’s the best of the minimal options left to MacT since he failed to pull the trigger on any of Schneider, Bernier, Khudobin and Thomas.
    Oil mgmt’s wishful thinking on goaltender development (i.e. the most important position on the team) is killing this team and has been for years.
    Sad to see from a club that used to recognize the intrinsic value of having a top flight tender (Moog, Fuhr, Ranford, Joseph)

    What a joke… The Oilers don;t recognize the value of goaltending? After making plays for Bernier, Bishop, and Schneider (and those are just the ones we have publicly heard)? If you’re going to bitch, at least keep it accurate. Sounds less like empty rhetoric that way.

    Elliott by the way is a poor call. He can’t “bounce back” to .940 because that is the outlier, not the established level of performance. I thought we were supposed to be somewhat Mathy here?

    We scored one goal last night by the way, people. That was a bigger factor in the loss than goaltending.

  84. Bag of Pucks says:

    spoiler: What a joke… The Oilers don;t recognize the value of goaltending?

    Yep, I think the fact they passed on Tim Thomas, when any team in the league could’ve had him, makes that pretty clear. Kicking the tires means nothing. Actually acquiring a player you need indicates you recognize the true value of the position. 1>0 or is that too ‘mathy’ for ya?

  85. BlacqueJacque says:

    Bag of Pucks: And, it’s the best of the minimal options left to MacT since he failed to pull the trigger on any of Schneider, Bernier, Khudobin and Thomas.

    MacT pulled the trigger on Schneider. He just refused to overpay.

    There may come a time, in a few years, when Darnell Nurse is running roughshod over the competition and just like my “Seguin before Hall” point of view, you’ll think “wow, dodged a bullet there!”

  86. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Rom, Tallon got Tim Thomas on a tryout offer. What’s MacT’s excuse on that one?

    Labarbera and Khudo were the best free agent Gs available. Both young enough to not expect a dramatic drop off in play, both with a track record of success, both cheap.

    MacT got Labarbera. And he added Bachman as the 3rd.

    You are either advocating running 3 goalies (remember that one year! haha); picking Thomas over Labarbs; or, trading DD and signing Thomas.

    I don’t think any of those options are better than what MacT went with.

    FWIW, I prefer Khudo to Labarbs, but it’s not a big enough difference to freak about.

  87. Bar_Qu says:

    Woodguy,

    Yeah, that is a solid thing to do for a good guy. I didn’t have any issue with his call-up. Just pointing out he didn’t play, so by calling up Larsen there is no absolute necessity to have him play either.

  88. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    denny33:
    Colonel Obvious,

    Arcobello has ZERO goals playing with Elite players and TONS and TONS of icetime….

    He has been better than I thought – I concede.

    But he has Zero goals. 1 less than Gadzic.

    Well, then. Case closed.

  89. Racki says:

    This is bizzaro.. Some of the louder voices who have warned how terrible this team was in the past are now saying how good this team actually is (statistically) and preaching patience. I’m skeptical but optimistic. I guess the bug thing for me is I see a few big upgrades on players (Gordon, Belov, Perron for example). Hard to be patient after 7 terrible years, but you stats peeps seem to be good at predicting a change in the weather.

  90. justDOit says:

    If MacT is going to pull a panic trade because of the standings through 4 games, then I think this little nugget applies: “The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.”

  91. Mr DeBakey says:

    The Internet must be giving off stupid fumes today:

    “Gadzic actually has one of the PRECIOUS even strength goals to start and yet so much talk of our 4th line….”

    Gadzic wiffled a puck in the general direction of the net and it bounced in off of someone. That’s not much of an indication of anything, I’m afraid.

    “Now, he did bail them out a couple of times on those breakaways, etc., but he is still letting in at least one soft goal per game.”

    Where’s Bookje? We need him in here to do his “greatest goalie of all time” bit. Again.

    “You’re taking a flyer (for a mid level prospect) on a guy that had a .940 save 2 seasons ago in the hopes he’ll bounce back.”

    Elliot has bounced back, to situation normal. That ain’t anywhere near .940.

  92. Hammers says:

    denny33:
    Colonel Obvious,

    Arcobello has ZERO goals playing with Elite players and TONS and TONS of icetime….

    He has been better than I thought – I concede.

    But he has Zero goals. 1 less than Gadzic.

    Yea but the same as Ebs & Yak , . The kids winning in the face off circle something Gags can’t do so i would keep him up and put Sam on the wing when he returns . RNH Hall & Yak ; Gordon , Hemsky & Perron ; Arco Ebs & Sam put Smyth & Joensuu on the wings for the 4th line .

  93. Jon K says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Rom, Tallon got Tim Thomas on a tryout offer. What’s MacT’s excuse on that one?

    I’m thinking maybe, just maybe, the American Tea Party member who is halfway to retirement preferred the prospect of playing in a southern beach state rather than the frozen wastelands of Canada.

  94. Bag of Pucks says:

    ROM, what’s wrong with Thomas over LaBarbera? At worse, he’s a capable backup. At best, he’s a Conn Smythe level starter. The only reason they didn’t do it is Dubnyk’s a headcase so they couldn’t dare give him legitimate competition in camp.

    BJ, Nurse is a nice prospect no doubt, but how many more seasons can we piss away on the promise of shiny new toys without addressing the key position on the roster?

  95. wordbird says:

    SlapBet:
    Millllllller……millllllller…..oooooooh (haunting ghost voice)

    I’ve been preaching it a lot, and I know his stats are basically parallel with Dubnyk but the difference here is one has the co fidence in thinking and being told he is a superstar olympic finalist goalie, while the other is a horse that can’t full engulf his position in the race.

    2 prospects, 1st and 3rd….should happen sooner or later.

    not Millllllller, but Hillllllller. pending UFA, younger, Ducks have John Gibson waiting in the wings…

  96. Bag of Pucks says:

    Jon K: I’m thinking maybe, just maybe, the American Tea Party member who is halfway to retirement preferred the prospect of playing in a southern beach state rather than the frozen wastelands of Canada.

    Ah, I was waiting for that classic excuse to be trotted out. Maybe the prospect of a guaranteed contract vs a tryout deal swings the odds in MacT’s favour?

  97. justDOit says:

    Mr DeBakey:

    …Elliot has bounced back, to situation normal.That ain’t anywhere near .940.

    ^^^^^^
    THAT

    A 1st AND a 3rd… I dare not go to ON until the OIlers win another game or two.

  98. goldenchild says:

    Just saw Tyler and LT tweeting some stuff posted about them on HFBoards, havent been there for years went to see the thread and good lord things have really gone off the rails over there. Its like the equivalent of the creationist museum.

  99. G Money says:

    For those panicking, and refusing to consider anything in the way of advanced stats, I would say to you that so far the Oilers season can be summarized as follows:

    - Have had terrible to mediocre goaltending.

    - The defense is struggling, especially with giveaways on zone exits

    - The offense is still not in synch. Yak and Eberle to my eyes especially are struggling, while Hall is good but hasn’t found his groove yet

    - AND YET. The OIl are at 29 SF per game vs 26.8 last year, and 31 SA per game vs 32.8 last year. That’s a 4 shot per game swing. Three of the four teams they have played qualify as good teams. This is a huge improvement and WILL pay dividends eventually.

    On the other and, if after watching four games you DON’T think the first three will improve at all from here, go ahead and panic.

  100. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Bag of Pucks: ROM, what’s wrong with Thomas over LaBarbera? At worse, he’s a capable backup. At best, he’s a Conn Smythe level starter. The only reason they didn’t do it is Dubnyk’s a headcase so they couldn’t dare give him legitimate competition in camp.

    What the hell are you talking about?

    MacT made legit plays for Bernier, Schneids and probably Bishop… all those are much better competition for DD.

    The last thing anyone watching the Oil make G moves this Summer should say is that they were trying to protect DD’s frame of mind.

    And… where is the BS headcase stuff coming from?

  101. Bag of Pucks says:

    Ok, I’ll rephrase since you ignored the original question. If Bernier, Scheider and Bishop are no longer an option, what’s wrong with Thomas over LaBarbera?

  102. justDOit says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Maybe some people think that DD wrote those silly safety commercials he was in? “No, not those gloves, Devan…”

  103. Mr DeBakey says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: And… where is the BS headcase stuff coming from?

    Projection
    ///

    Bag of Pucks: what’s wrong with Thomas over LaBarbera?

    Thomas didn’t play last year and is 39 years old?

  104. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Bag of Pucks: Labarbera and Khudo were the best free agent Gs available. Both young enough to not expect a dramatic drop off in play, both with a track record of success, both cheap.
    MacT got Labarbera. And he added Bachman as the 3rd.
    You are either advocating running 3 goalies (remember that one year! haha); picking Thomas over Labarbs; or, trading DD and signing Thomas.
    I don’t think any of those options are better than what MacT went with.
    FWIW, I prefer Khudo to Labarbs, but it’s not a big enough difference to freak about.

    I didn’t ignore it. I already answered it. To wit:

    Labarbera and Khudo were the best free agent Gs available. Both young enough to not expect a dramatic drop off in play, both with a track record of success, both cheap.
    MacT got Labarbera. And he added Bachman as the 3rd.
    You are either advocating running 3 goalies (remember that one year! haha); picking Thomas over Labarbs; or, trading DD and signing Thomas.
    I don’t think any of those options are better than what MacT went with.
    FWIW, I prefer Khudo to Labarbs, but it’s not a big enough difference to freak about.

    Labarbs is a much better bet than Thomas. both short term and long term.

  105. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    justDOit:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Maybe some people think that DD wrote those silly safety commercials he was in? “No, not those gloves, Devan…”

    Ah… so you’re saying his sense of humor is less refined than Gene’s?

    That certainly would = “headcase”

  106. godot10 says:

    debbie downer mode ON;

    1) The Oilers only played games against Western Conference teams last year. They have played only 1 game against a “real” western team this year and were severely out-Corsied. Montreal was playing on the 2nd night of a back-to-back, and playing their backup goaltender, and have many injured depth D. New Jersey is probably a non-playoff team and probably playing their backup goaltender. Direct Corsi comparables won’t mean much until many more games are played, and many more games against Western Conference teams.

    2) Nevertheless, I’m glad they open the season with lots of Eastern Conference games to get the kinks out.. But positive Corsi hype on such a small sample size is pollyannish thinking. They flunked the one only real test so far in Vancouver.

    3) Krueger played the kids a lot more and rode the kids a lot more, but he did not overplay them because the bottom of the roster sucked. He rode his good horses, but he didn’t ride his good horses into the ground because the bad horses were lame. Arguably, all the good horse got better under Krueger. Wasn’t going to sacrifice the future, the big picture, by overplaying the young studs or putting them in places where they weren’t succeeding.

    4) What’s MacT’s excuse for not fixing the bottom of the roster sufficiently so that the good horses don’t have to be ridden into the ground. Eakins overplaying his good horses is an attempted coverup of a failure on the part of MacT. Is he compounding one mistake, by making another? The season, cup contending, is a marathon, not a sprint.

    5) All of the good players aren’t playing so good under Eakins. Its early. I’m not going to fret about it too much (yet). Yakupov started slow under Krueger, but I think he always understood Krueger had a plan for him, and was on his side. Krueger’s verbal on Yak was always supportive.

  107. FPB94 says:

    Getting scrubs from bad teams that already weren’t performing and plugging them into the Oilers lineup has been a recurring problem since 2007.

    FFS. Will Acton sucked in the minors what do you expect he’ll turn into a wizard when he’s suddenly in the pros?

    Him, Brown and Gzadic are all prime time scrubs who got rejected by bad teams and the Oil went ahead and picked them up.

    If there’s one thing I learned over time is that poor team’s trash is more often then not real trash, as opposed to good team rejects who are sometimes just out of luck, at the wrong place at the wrong time.

    It’s damn time they stop targeting terrible team’s rejects.

  108. cabbiesmacker says:

    Watching this years version I don’t register much happening in the middle ice. The puck is either in one end or the other with a less than memorable black hole in-between

    Most reliable way to get the puck up ice is to carry it out. I don’t see much of that either.

    And, I agree with Rishaug. Eberle not being on the #1 PP is ludicrous. Actually it’s just outright stupidity. Dear Mr Eakins. we had a pretty damn good PP last year. The personnel hasn’t changed, only the way you are now choosing to coach it.

    Stop please.

  109. godot10 says:

    Observation:

    Larsen was put on waivers. Grebeshkov gets a conditioning stint. Grebeshkov’s contract is $1.5, around $500K larger than Larsen. Clearly, MacT guarenteed Grebeshkov a roster spot. Is there a risk that Grebeshkov would NOT clear waivers, having hardly played a game, with a not-insignificant one-way ticket, taking up an NHL roster spot in OKC when the Oilers are about to embark on one of their most compressed schedule of games of the year one man down.

  110. Logan91 says:

    cabbiesmacker:
    Watching this years version I don’t register much happening in the middle ice. The puck is either in one end or the other with a less than memorable black hole in-between

    Most reliable way to get the puck up ice is to carry it out. I don’t see much of that either.

    And, I agree with Rishaug. Eberle not being on the #1 PP is ludicrous. Actually it’s just outright stupidity. Dear Mr Eakins. we had a pretty damn good PP last year. The personnel hasn’t changed, only the way you are now choosing to coach it.

    Stop please.

    If it aint broke, then don’t fix it.

  111. russ99 says:

    IMO, we have three problems, offense, defense and goaltending… but seriously, folks! :)

    Dubnyk’s not helping, but we’re either long past signing an FA or way early to make a deal. Gotta ride it out and hope he gets more comfortable with the differences in equipment.

    I’m seeing better things from the defenders this year, but it seems there’s a lack of forwards helping out, especially in front of the net and behind the crease. Way too often they’re on their own against multiple opponents, and the bad plays are magnified by the goalie not standing on his head to bail them out.

    On offense the Corsi looks nice, but how many really clearcut good chances are we getting (the NHL does track “prime scoring chances”, right?), and like Woodguy mentioned, how many times do we get more than one shot in the offensive zone? IMO it’s part system and part players. Either the players aren’t putting in enough work or the coaching style isn’t letting them be creative. Or a little of both.

    All combined = not our best hockey, which means improvement is not only possible, it’s probable.

  112. Doomoil says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I think you’d best give up this ghost. It’s like arguing with a wall.

  113. Woodguy says:

    Bag of Pucks: You’re taking a flyer (for a mid level prospect) on a guy that had a .940 save 2 seasons ago in the hopes he’ll bounce back. Dubnyk has never hit that ceiling and never will cos he’s not an elite goaltender. It’s better than sitting on your hands and flushing another season.

    When you say bounce back, you are assuming that there is a place to go back to.

    One year out of 6 with a good SV% isn’t a place to bounce back to.

    That type of thinking is best left at the wishing well.

  114. Gerta Rauss says:

    godot10,

    I think the schedule is a contributing factor-we play tommorrow in TO then not again until Tues. OKC plays b2b Sat,Sun…Grebs will probably get one(or both games) and then join the big club on the road.

    I can’t explain the waiver choices, although I agree that MacT probably guaranteed at least a look at Grebs on the big club’s roster-he didn’t get that due to the injury.

  115. Woodguy says:

    Bag of Pucks: Hyperbole doesn’t get anymore grandiose than that.

    Care to explain your comment?

    He’s:

    1) playing on the first pairing on a NHL team.
    2) Getting a shot attempt rate of 50% on a team that is 47% or so
    3) Playing over 22 minutes a night.
    4) Under $1MM/year

    I want you to find other contracts like that.

    Please, I’m begging you to prove my statement is hyperbole and not fact.

  116. Bag of Pucks says:

    Romulus Apotheosis
    Labarbs is a much better bet than Thomas. both short term and long term.

    LaBarbera is a career backup. Tim Thomas is a proven starter who won the Conn Smythe in his last complete season. To say LaBarbera is a better bet than Thomas in the shortterm is a guess based purely on Thomas’ age and coming back from a year off.

    If Thomas doesn’t reach his former standard, you’re likely left with a capable backup. If he reaches his former standard, you have an elite level starter for a must win season. When you have questions about your starter, that seems a better bet on the surface than taking the younger player with less upside.

  117. Bag of Pucks says:

    Woodguy

    Please, I’m begging you to prove my statement is hyperbole and not fact.

    Tom Gilbert creates more turnovers than Betty Crocker.

  118. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    godot10:
    Observation:

    Larsen was put on waivers.Grebeshkov gets a conditioning stint.Grebeshkov’s contract is $1.5, around $500K larger than Larsen.Clearly, MacT guarenteed Grebeshkov a roster spot.Is there a risk that Grebeshkov would NOT clear waivers, having hardly played a game, with a not-insignificant one-way ticket, taking up an NHL roster spot in OKC when the Oilers areabout to embark on one of their most compressedschedule of games of the year one man down.

    When Larsen was waived, Grebs was on the IR. So, there was no either/or situation. Now, Grebs is off and they are using the most underused part of the CBA, the conditioning stint, to see if he is healthy and has his game.

    I don’t see in any of this a guaranteed spot or why the team should waive Grebs when the conditioning stint is available.

  119. Doomoil says:

    There was also no guarantee that Tim Thomas was ever going to play again and was not an option at the time of the LaBarbera signing.

    It’s quite a revionist look back to put them up as if they were both on the table at the same time.

    I don’t know why i bothered with that.

  120. BlacqueJacque says:

    Bag of Pucks: Tom Gilbert creates more turnovers than Betty Crocker.

    I don’t think you’re being quite fair here. WG made some good points that I feel should be acknowledged, points that despite your argument of turnovers*, suggest that Gilbert is indeed a very good value contract.

    *turnovers are a stat of dubious measure when used alone and out of context to criticize a player. Furthermore, given that you didn’t even list a stat, merely stated a popularly held opinion, suggests that you are in fact moving the goalposts in an attempt to win or draw the argument to win internet points.

  121. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Bag of Pucks: LaBarbera is a career backup. Tim Thomas is a proven starter who won the Conn Smythe in his last complete season. To say LaBarbera is a better bet than Thomas in the shortterm is a guess based purely on Thomas’ age and coming back from a year off.

    If Thomas doesn’t reach his former standard, you’re likely left with a capable backup. If he reaches his former standard, you have an elite level starter for a must win season. When you have questions about your starter, that seems a better bet on the surface than taking the younger player with less upside.

    Lots of former greats have been counted on by bad teams: Frank Thomas and Hakeem Olajuwon know a thing or two about legacy tours on shitty teams.

    Thomas would have been a fine flyer to take if we weren’t trying to win this year and we somehow found ourselves with only DD and Bachman or Danis as a backup… but he’s a bad bet at his age, coming out of retirement for a team looking to push for the second season.

    Oh, and not that we should read too much into it… but Thomas’ and DD’s SV% and EV% are exactly the same through 3 games started. So… the results aren’t changed at all.

  122. Logan91 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    He seems to forget that Thomas was garbage in the games and he played in, and he also injured himself already.

  123. Bag of Pucks says:

    Logan91:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    He seems to forget that Thomas was garbage in the games and he played in, and he also injured himself already.

    Want to wager which goaltender finishes with the better sv pct, Thomas or Dubnyk?

  124. Fixall with Rexall says:

    Lets shut the Internet down untill we win again. I’m not a huge Dubnyk fan, but there is enough evidence to support we can win with him,he’s been consistent his entire career, his game isn’t going to go pear shaped overnight and he did look solid in preseason.This team was capable of scoring 5 plus on any given night during the lottery years. That hasn’t gone away. Within the next three games I predict,

    Dubnyk steals one

    Yak puts one through the net that requires instant replay

    Shultz has a game where he’s our best defenseman.

    We don’t allow a short handed goal.

    There is no trade.

  125. Hammers says:

    Funny how Florida is playing Gilbert with there best “D” Campbell. Not complaining but I thought McT would have picked up Gilly before Grebs . Either way it doesn’t solve our problem and that’s a top 20 “D” man . Who has an abundance of “D” ? Toronto . Probably the best trade partner right now . or a lower positioned team who needs different types of assets .Would Florida trade Campbell for Klefbom and a drfaft pick or Klef & Smid . ( Using this as an example ) Basically this is what McT would have to give to get a top 20 defenceman .

  126. Jon K says:

    Sorry, LT.

  127. Bag of Pucks says:

    Woodguy

    That type of thinking is best left at the wishing well.

    As is the hope that Dubnyk will magically elevate his play from mediocre to elite. Couldn’t agree more, an Elliott turnaround is a wishful thinking (hence the term flyer) which is the kind of options you’re left with when you don’t address the need properly.

    The person truly guilty of wishful thinking is MacT however, as he was the one hoping this is the season Dubnyk was going to magically transform himself from Kari Lehtonen to Ed Belfour.

  128. regwald says:

    Bag of Pucks: As is the hope that Dubnyk will magically elevate his play from mediocre to elite. Couldn’t agree more, an Elliott turnaround is a wishful thinking (hence the term flyer) which is the kind of options you’re left with when you don’t address the need properly.

    The person truly guilty of wishful thinking is MacT however, as he was the one hoping this is the season Dubnyk was going to magically transform himself from Kari Lehtonen to Ed Belfour.

    Not sure how you can say MacT is guilty of wishful thinking. He came out and said they expected more from DD. In addition, he tried to trade for Schneider and was looking for an upgrade in net.

    You can say he was unsuccessful, however he was open about wanting more from his goaltending tandem.

  129. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Bag of Pucks: As is the hope that Dubnyk will magically elevate his play from mediocre to elite. Couldn’t agree more, an Elliott turnaround is a wishful thinking (hence the term flyer) which is the kind of options you’re left with when you don’t address the need properly.

    The person truly guilty of wishful thinking is MacT however, as he was the one hoping this is the season Dubnyk was going to magically transform himself from Kari Lehtonen to Ed Belfour.

    I have no idea why you are so set on this selective memory.

    MacT spent the Summer looking to upgrade the position. He made serious efforts, efforts many here thought were fruitless, or bad bets, or over-pays. But they were efforts.

    The last thing he did was say or do anything to suggest he feels: DD is going to be the greatest, we don’t need help at this position.

    If you don’t like DD and/or prefer Thomas fine. I’m not going to spend a lot of time trying to dissuade you of an apparently well-worn aversion to DD and affection for Thomas… but at least argue that point and leave the rest of your baseless claims out of it.

  130. Bag of Pucks says:

    Thomas declared his intent to return to the NHL on July 1. The Oil signed Labarbera on July 5. These are facts.

  131. BlacqueJacque says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Thomas declared his intent to return to the NHL on July 1. The Oil signed Labarbera on July 5. These are facts.

    Thomas is 39. Thomas hadn’t played for an entire year. Dogs enjoy the taste of peanut butter.

    These are also facts.

  132. Bag of Pucks says:

    Reg, that’s kind of the point for me. It’s not enough for my GM to hope for something and kick the tires – especially when it’s the most important position on the roster.

    It’s been reported that NJ outbid EDM for Schneider. On that alone, MacT is guilty of wishful thinking. He refused to give up the 7th when NJ was offering the 10th. In short, a team with Martin Brodeur in net and almost zero offensive prospects in their system decided they needed Schneider more than the Oilers and MacT.

    Lou L understands the value of upper echelon goaltenders. MacT does not. Instead, he crosses his fingers and hopes THIS is the year Dubie takes the step despite all the evidence to the contrary that he’s reached his ceiling and this is not going to be a Mike Smith resurrection story.

    Beware the lure of the shiny toys!

  133. BlacqueJacque says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    Where did you read that report? Everywhere it said that Edmonton outbid for Schneider. I watched the draft, the Oilers looked stunned that Schneider went to Jersey. The TSN commentators noted that. Edmonton offered a higher pick. Vancouver wanted more from Edmonton, like a top prospect, because they’re a team in the division.

  134. Jon K says:

    Bob Stauffer commented this week, either on pregame show or Oilers now, that the Canucks would not come down from their demands for the 7th overall, our 2nd round pick, and Martin Marincin. The Oilers chose to walk away, and Gillis settled for the 9th overall.

  135. Mr DeBakey says:

    Bag of Pucks: the most important position on the roster.

    Cory Schneider 0.887
    Tim Thomas 0.850

    More Facts

  136. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    You’re just making stuff up!

  137. G Money says:

    BlacqueJacque: Where did you read that report? Everywhere it said that Edmonton outbid for Schneider. I watched the draft, the Oilers looked stunned that Schneider went to Jersey. The TSN commentators noted that. Edmonton offered a higher pick. Vancouver wanted more from Edmonton, like a top prospect, because they’re a team in the division.

    Bag of Pucks: It’s been reported that NJ outbid EDM for Schneider.

    If you’re going to go all revisionist in your attempt to support your point, you should try for history that is outside of the bounds of recent memory.

  138. Bag of Pucks says:

    Apologies meant outmaneuvered instead of outbid. Fully acknowledge the asking price from the EDM was higher than the one for NJ if sources are credible.

  139. FPB94 says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    ,916 ,914 and ,921 is mediocre?

    I guess that makes Ryan Miller prime time garbage.

    ,921 was an elite season in front of the shit defense he had. It’s a miracle he didn’t want to sail away.,

  140. stevezie says:

    Colonel Obvious,

    I agree with everything, specifically Arcobello showing a lot more than Acton. What do you think of the idea that they keep Acton anyway just because he kills penalties?

    Using the skill to PK is not a bad idea, but so far it’s looked to me like a work in progress. It is nice to have more than one guy who has ever done this before in his professional career.

    Basically, even though Acton hasn’t been as good he will be missed more. (It’s worth noting that while Arcobello has earned a better FO% Acton takes more draws shorthanded and these are a lot tougher to win.)

    Obviously a lot will depend on how the PK looks by the time Gagner gets back.

  141. stevezie says:

    I completely agree with Eakins in re: Hemsky, so can someone explain to me why Eberle is getting so much more ice-time? He has not been great. I’m fine with running the horses, I just don’t understand his selection process.

  142. FPB94 says:

    I’ll put some averages to see if you can figure who’s who. (last 3 years)

    Goalie A: Goalie C: ,915

    ,914

    Goalie B : Goalie D: ,920

    ,917

    A is Carey Price, B is Ryan Miller, D is Pekka Rinne (All ”elite” goaltenders) and B is Dubnyk, right in the middle.

  143. G Money says:

    stevezie:
    I completely agree with Eakins in re: Hemsky, so can someone explain to me why Eberle is getting so much more ice-time? He has not been great. I’m fine with running the horses, I just don’t understand his selection process.

    I think that’s a very legit question. My observation on it is that while Eberle has been fairly ineffective in closing in the offensive zone, he actually has contributed a fair bit in scoring chances (Staples’ Neilsen numbers have him at the top of the list for creating chances, but one of the worst in scoring chance conversion), and directly gives up fairly little in the defensive zone (e.g. ES Corsi 56%).The converse is Yakupov, who also contributes a high chance rate (but a conversion rate of zero!), but has been quite poor as far as defensive coverage (the new system seems to have him shell-shocked so far, though an ES Corsi of 55% reflects how many chances he creates). So I guess Eakins is fine putting Eberle out there but not so much Yakupov.Hemsky, while brilliant offensively (Staples has him converting chances at almost 4x the rate of Eberle), does seem to give up more as well (Corsi of 49.4%).Now if you believe my analysis may have some truth to it, the *real* question is not about Hemsky – why is Eakins putting Hall out there so much?

  144. godot10 says:

    MacT said during the summer that the 4th line had to be able to be able to be a marginal threat. Two tough guys and Acton are his fourth line.

    MacT said during the summer that the defense had to be able to move the puck. Matty (one of the media mouthpieces of the Oilers) is talking about the need for a tough 3rd pairing defensemen again.

    Everything new is old again. Six Rings. Six Rings. Six Rings.

  145. Fixall with Rexall says:

    A lot of west vs east match ups tonight. Lets hope they run the table.

  146. Fixall with Rexall says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    You and Godot are going to crash the stock market.

  147. Bar_Qu says:

    Fixall with Rexall:
    Bag of Pucks,

    You and Godot are going to crash the stock market.

    The Stock Market is crashing? I gotta sell everything!

  148. Logan91 says:

    Bag of Pucks: Want to wager which goaltender finishes with the better sv pct, Thomas or Dubnyk?

    Dubnyk finishes better. What’s Thomas’ now? Like .850 or something?

  149. G Money says:

    godot10: MacT said during the summer that the 4th line had to be able to be able to be a marginal threat. Two tough guys and Acton are his fourth line.

    It’s conceivable that when Gagner and Joensuu return, our 4th line will be Arco, Smyth, Gadzic or Arco, Smyth, Acton (moved to wing). Two actual NHL players (assuming Arco keeps it up) on the line.

  150. TheGreatMutato says:

    I’m glad they didn’t go after Thomas. Given his age and the Oilers’ history, they’d have signed him to a 10 year contract.

  151. Woodguy says:

    Bag of Pucks: Tom Gilbert creates more turnovers than Betty Crocker.

    Your level is discourse is embarrassing even for HF Boards let alone here.

    I present facts, you present your pablum opinion.

    Awful.

  152. Woodguy says:

    Bag of Pucks: As is the hope that Dubnyk will magically elevate his play from mediocre to elite. Couldn’t agree more, an Elliott turnaround is a wishful thinking (hence the term flyer) which is the kind of options you’re left with when you don’t address the need properly.

    The person truly guilty of wishful thinking is MacT however, as he was the one hoping this is the season Dubnyk was going to magically transform himself from Kari Lehtonen to Ed Belfour.

    Nowhere did I state that DD is anything other than he is. A career .912 goalie.

    That’s another tactic of dumb people who don’t know how to debate, attribute an argument to the other person that they didn’t present, and then attack this new, and often weak, argument.

    Its called the Strawman argument: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man

    You realize how dumb you look proposing to replace DD with a worse goalie, so you create an argument that was never there.

    Awful.

  153. Woodguy says:

    godot10:
    MacT said during the summer that the 4th line had to be able to be able to be a marginal threat.Two tough guys and Acton are his fourth line.

    MacT said during the summer that the defense had to be able to move the puck.Matty (one of the media mouthpieces of the Oilers) is talking about the need for a tough 3rd pairing defensemen again.

    Everything new is old again.Six Rings.Six Rings.Six Rings.

    You’re 100% correct on the 4th line.

    Huge disappointment.

    Matty and Spector wishing for gritty toughness on the blue is just them being them. Nothing to it in terms of what the Oilers are looking to do.

  154. FPB94 says:

    There’s a deranged fascination for tough guys over talent in this town.

  155. Fixall with Rexall says:

    G Money: It’s conceivable that when Gagner and Joensuu return, our 4th line will be Arco, Smyth, Gadzic or Arco, Smyth, Acton (moved to wing). Two actual NHL players (assuming Arco keeps it up) on the line.

    That’s how I see it too. Arco,Acton,Smyth and Gadzic. Not only is that a serviceable 4th line, I think it will keep our third honest. Increases our special team options too. Brown may never play again if the lineup stays healthy going forward.

  156. godot10 says:

    Another debbie downer thought:

    How much of the improved Corsi is just a result of Eakins overplaying his good players, and “killing” his good horses five games into the season, because the bottom of the roster is still bad players?

    Krueger rode his good horses a lot more than Renney, but he didn’t ride them so hard that the good horses would die underneath him, or become lame.

    If the Corsi was normalized for the distribution of ice time amongst good players and bad players….

  157. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy: You’re 100% correct on the 4th line.

    Huge disappointment.

    Matty and Spector wishing for gritty toughness on the blue is just them being them.Nothing to it in terms of what the Oilers are looking to do.

    FPB94:
    There’s a deranged fascination for tough guys over talent in this town.

    Re MacT.

    I’m still of the belief (hope might be the better word) that MacT’s reversion to the old hammer ways is a birth pang of setting off on a new voyage.

    It is worth noting MacT’s initial attempts to add toughness were in line with his Summer talk of size supplementing skill, not for its own sake.

    Clarkson, Joensuu and the apparent move for Clifford all suggest he set a reasonable possession bar for the size players he chased throughout the lineup.

    Prior to the freakout (Gagner and Parros), this team has Brown and Eager fighting off Hamilton, Smyth and Jones for the 4th line. Not ideal, but worlds better than what we have now.

    If, after 10 games, that 4th line remains intact… we’ll know whether the reversion to the old ways was a blip in the new plan or a more permanent situation.

    ———–
    Matty is a fine reporter. We should put very little stock in his analytical skills. Spector… seems useless, doesn’t even really report anything anymore.

  158. Bag of Pucks says:

    Woodguy: Your level is discourse is embarrassing even for HF Boards let alone here.

    I present facts, you present your pablum opinion.

    Awful.

    Not my fault that LT deleted my more detailed reply.

  159. Bag of Pucks says:

    Woodguy: Nowhere did I state that DD is anything other than he is.A career .912 goalie.

    That’s another tactic of dumb people who don’t know how to debate, attribute an argument to the other person that they didn’t present, and then attack this new, and often weak, argument.

    Its called the Strawman argument: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man

    You realize how dumb you look proposing to replace DD with a worse goalie, so you create an argument that was never there.

    Awful.

    Strawman wrong but ad hominem acceptable. Got it.

  160. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    godot10:
    Another debbie downer thought:

    How much of the improved Corsi is just a result of Eakins overplaying his good players, and “killing” his good horses five games into the season, because the bottom of the roster is still bad players?

    Krueger rode his good horses a lot more than Renney, but he didn’t ride them so hard that the good horses would die underneath him, or become lame.

    If the Corsi was normalized for the distribution of ice time amongst good players and bad players….

    We can simply look:

    http://www.extraskater.com/team/edmonton-oilers/2013

    the third line (which has rotated players a lot mind you), excepting Smyth isn’t getting killed.

    The forwards in a lot of trouble are the 4th line and Smyth (though he did manage to suck some significant wind out of Gordon’s sails last night).

    So it’s not like the numbers are lopsided (like say last year), where one line is crushing corsi and the rest are being brutalized and the team numbers evened out make one group look worse and the other better.

  161. spoiler says:

    Bag of Pucks: Yep, I think the fact they passed on Tim Thomas, when any team in the league could’ve had him, makes that pretty clear. Kicking the tires means nothing. Actually acquiring a player you need indicates you recognize the true value of the position. 1>0 or is that too ‘mathy’ for ya?

    How do you know any team in the League could have had him? Your posts today are filled with remarks that imply inside knowledge of what the Oilers are thinking… Not to mention individual players… this is knowledge that I seriously doubt you have yet you are passing off your speculation and fantasies as rhetoric and fact. Please show me where Thomas said he would play anywhere, including Canada. Show me where the Oilers were only “kicking tires”.

    And then also keep in mind that the previous management team got shish-ka-bobbed for signing and keeping an aging goalie, even when he was just a backup, and explain to me why the present team would like to saunter gaily down that garden path again.

    Point is, Management has shown they are concerned about goaltending. The rest is utter malarkey that lives only in your head.

  162. Bank Shot says:

    godot10: Another debbie downer thought:How much of the improved Corsi is just a result of Eakins overplaying his good players, and “killing” his good horses five games into the season, because the bottom of the roster is still bad players?Krueger rode his good horses a lot more than Renney, but he didn’t ride them so hard that the good horses would die underneath him, or become lame.If the Corsi was normalized for the distribution of ice time amongst good players and bad players….

    Might be something to that. Perron and Ference are probably helping a little as well.

    I still don’t see what the joy about early season corsi is about. 47%when tied?

    That’s still a bottom ten team if you compare to past seasons.

  163. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Bank Shot: Might be something to that. Perron and Ference are probably helping a little as well.

    I still don’t see what the joy about early season corsi is about. 47%when tied?

    That’s still a bottom ten team if you compare to past seasons.

    The corsi needs to be taken with a lot of salt for a lot of reasons… but it’s good to note that score effects at this point are even smaller sample sizes than straight 5×5 corsi.

    And I think people are mostly excited about the comparison of this year (thus far) vs. previous Oiler teams.

  164. bendelson says:

    Belov:

    There were a couple of moments in the game last night where I thought he was going to elevate his physicality (did I see him flash the crazy eyes in a scrum?) but hesitation appeared to get in the way. Perhaps a forgivable result of still acclimatizing to a new league, team, coach etc…

    Once comfortable, I look forward to the Belov that is out there playing with confidence, initiating his game on the opposition – which I suspect in the end may be plenty truculent.

    Talented and aggressive. Am I reaching here?

  165. FastOil says:

    Woodguy: I think they need more traffic and second shots.

    It would be interesting to see a break down of how many of the Oiler’s shots are 2nd and 3rd shots as opposed to one and done.

    I think you’ve nailed it. This is where the crucial mistake is made. A team can’t sustain pressure and the GM, coach and MSM say the team is too small and ditch skill for meat. Of course the team is worse for it.

    The Oilers can’t sustain offensive pressure well down low. The D are playing to big a role trying to keep it in and put it back down or make a play. It’s the exact opposite of the post Weight era when they could cycle with the best of them but for the life of them couldn’t make a play to the net.

    It’s about assertiveness. I think Eakins is pushing them to play more like this when he refers to them getting pushed around and their response. If the piss cutter slowish bean poles can do it the Oiler forwards are strong enough to. They just have to want it and be willing to do it. Take the hacks and learn how to avoid pressure without losing possession.

    The turn around will really occur when there is sustained cycling. The whole game opens up from there. You can’t live off the rush and succeed over time, especially when things get tight. It won’t work without some sustained time in the O zone in the playoffs.

  166. bendelson says:

    Bag of Pucks: Not my fault that LT deleted my more detailed reply.

    This kind of Gord-like behavior from LT is ruining the blog!
    Who does he think he is?

  167. G Money says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: And I think people are mostly excited about the comparison of this year (thus far) vs. previous Oiler teams.

    Absolutely correct. Small sample size, etc. That said, the point is that in no collection of four games last year (see Dellow’s three game rolling analysis) did the Oilers post the Corsi they have so far. So even with a small sample size, we are still witnessing an outlier. And the team isn’t even playing well.

  168. "Steve Smith" says:

    Woodguy: camel pis

    So we’re all agreed that Smid’s new nickname is “Camel Piss”, right?

  169. Lowetide says:

    “Steve Smith”: So we’re all agreed that Smid’s new nickname is “Camel Piss”, right?

    Yes.

  170. "Steve Smith" says:

    Lowetide,

    My question was bait: why do you hate Smid?

  171. Lowetide says:

    “Steve Smith”:
    Lowetide,

    My question was bait: why do you hate Smid?

    Camel piss.

  172. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    Although last nights loss was definitely a kick in the junk as I’m so invested in this team turning the corner and getting on the right side of playoff eligibility, I need a bit more patience as I agree that it remains a work in progress on so many fronts and the young players need more seasoning to win the little battles. Holistically, they are better than last year and some pieces just need to start clicking.

    Arcobello, for me at least, has already displayed he is a competent, responsible and low volatility (not a lot of ‘whoops’ coupled with ‘wows’) player that is only a percentage of what he will be with more time and experience. I think he can make things happen in a third line role and should and has challenged Gordon who hasn’t been a disappointment himself. Give Arco time and teaching. It’s there.

  173. DeadmanWaking says:

    mc79hockey: I don’t think people saying that the Oilers don’t dominate chunks of games watched the last five minutes of the second last night.

    I was only listening on the radio, but that’s exactly how they called it. “hemmed in”, “fails to clear”, “Schultz controls”, “Oilers changing on the fly now”, “more pressure”, “another nice pass”, “still hemmed in”.

    Then a bleach blow hole. In my kitchen. With the loose hose snaking all over the place. Just as the intake-end slithered out completely from the six gallon bleach reservoir, the outflow end sliced a stream of bleach solution across my denim pocket, before I finally wrangled by thumb onto its slippery-kisser high five hole. Only thing I know for sure about how that play ended is that the sustained pressure didn’t result in a goal. It did result, after much mopping, in a very clean floor. I was deep into Risky Business mode: mopping in underwear and rubber boots. Everything I had been wearing moments ago were now lying prone and sodden in the bottom of the bathtub, which was drawing cold water at full bore.

    Mental note: Large diameter siphon hose has a mind of its own.

    I bought 500 used wine bottles recently at a good price. After sorting, I set aside twenty boxes of twelve that were in especially good condition. Despite appearing clean, these all needed at least a bleach treatment, because I don’t know where they’ve been.

    Filling 240 wine bottles with bleach solution is not my idea of a fun evening. I can drown four bottles at a time in my sink, like unwanted kittens. The go blub blub blub for about half a minute while I force them down by their necks. My sink is full at about eight bottles and I want to soak them for ten minutes, but I’m wearing bleach-soaked gloves, so I really can’t do a lot while I wait without pealing. It’s very hard to remove the gloves because my hands are XL and I haven’t found XL kitchen gloves for years now. I gave up on kitchen gloves and started using “one size fits all” blue nitrile gloves, light-weight Kleenex-box variety. To say these fit snug is an understatement. The cuff ring only makes it past the bone at the base of my thumb if I pinch out every little Chiclet of air. When I do a grand-piano air octave, I get impressive blue webbing between thumb and fore-finger, like doing the splits in a pair of too-tight jeans that bind half-way up your quads, leaving your junk hanging there like church bells and clapper above a six-inch false floor.

    So there’s the image. Bright kitchen. Large sun-room bay window opening onto the back yard after dusk. Rubber boots. Tighty whities. Blue gloves. Blue language. Impotent squeegee mop herding bleach slicks around the kitchen tile. Ice water still furrowing down my eyebrows.

    Did I mention the full-face bleach geyser, right before the business end of the extra-chubby racking tube snaked out of my grip?

    I didn’t lose my grip immediately. It was only a small amount of spray that made it a full five feet into the air, and I was wearing glasses, so none of it hit my eyeballs in the first instant. But I recoiled slightly in the moment, precisely the same moment–by some malign coincidence–when the intake end decided to snake itself out of the reservoir. Somehow one reflex went down my left arm to dike my bleach spattered eyebrows with my impressive blue man thumb-forefinger webbing and another reflex went down my right arm to capture the back end of the siphon tube before it waggled onto the floor, barfed up the remains of its bleach meal, slithered down the hallway into the bathroom, over the lip of the lip of the bowl never to be seen again by man or woman in trousers hitched. Okay, I over-reacted a bit there. It only seemed like it was making a fast break to become the siphon hose of urban legend in the moment where I must have released one end to capture the other, if my hands be two.

    With no minor skill I nabbed the back end as if my spare arm was a frog’s tongue laced with rocket boosters. Unfortunately, my uber snatch only exacerbated the front end snaking like a thing alive, until my spare spare hand abandoned my face and darted in to snub its choogling maw just as it twisted eye to eye with its main adversary. It’s a good thing a thick rope of bleach isn’t a light saber, or I’d have been hopping on one leg like the Black Knight.

    The outer diameter of this diabolical tube is just a bit less than the neck of a wine bottle. It slithers into the bottle quite comfortably. When I lose track of my bottling hose, there’s a mud burp at the top about an inch high, then it fountains over the rim with an anemic gurgle making a big mess of the bottle, but not actually spilling that much, if you’ve got a decent tray. Takes about 30 seconds to fill a 750 with my bottling hose. For this job, I set two dozen wine bottles inside a giant knee-high hard-plastic Rubbermaid and changed into my grubbiest T-shirt. I felt prepared.

    Using this fat hose, it was filling the bottles at a flow rate of about 250 ml/second. Wow, I thought myself, this is way faster than I expected. I confidently feed the business end into the first bottle. It’s coming up fast. I start to pinch the thick hose as the fill line hits the shoulder of the bottle, but I was way too late. The long column of bleach barreled into the neck of the bottle, where it discovered a problem: there was only a thin crescent gap through which to continue flowing, and a good four feet of fast moving, bleach-filled train cars still pushing from behind. Yes, indeed, I had invented the bleach hammer. It didn’t burble up an inch, or three inches, or six inches. No, a monsoon spray geysered five feet straight up, even as I finally had the hose pinched blue.

    It’s not the strongest bleach solution, but it’s not the weakest either. It was roughly half a cup of Diversol to six gallons of hottish water, sitting in a giant plastic primary on my 20-lb Boos board resting on top of my tallest pedestal, which is the only cutting surface in the kitchen I can use without stooping.

    My tallest pedestal is a Martha Stewart wine rack I purchased only because it was exactly the right height to support a cutting board which I could use without stooping. That wine rack is a truly horrible thing. Even standing there in rubber boots and tighty whities shaking ice water off my visage while pushing slicks of bleach around my kitchen floor, I could have designed a more functional wine rack. It’s a miracle that woman never went to jail. The wine bottles simply fall off the racks. Too far apart. There’s also an inverted wine glass holder, fashioned from some wooden rails fitted into the underside at the top. Wine glasses drop like fall leaves if they pendulum the least bit sideways at the first bump of the kitchen broom against any of the plastic wheels. Every single wine glass I own is able to slip the rails if the stem of the wine glass buffets 5mm to either side. It’s a combination of gravity, a wide gap between the rails, and the base of most wine glasses being thickest at the stem with an elegant taper to the toe of the foot. This Martha Stewart approved elegance–when inverted–creates an inclined plane, which is gravity seeking. Not that this wasn’t understood by Archimedes or anything. Except the elegant dining part.

    Standing there in my tighty whities as I was, I must acknowledge that Archimedes also had the drop on the physics of siphon hoses.

    “Aren’t we a fine pair,” I said to my Martha Steward wine rack, now condemned to play castored Atlas to my 3″ thick Boos board for all eternity–no glassware for you. Just then a human-sized roll of roofing asphalt came crashing down through the sucker-fringe of my never-pruned apple tree, jackknifing as it hit the sod like nacho-fed whale meat, only to rise from graceless roll with a shoulder-mounted flash grenade, immortalizing Operation Tighty Whitie Bleach Slick in an 8×10 glossy for all time.

    “Don’t you wish,” I said to my Martha Stewart wine rack. At least one thing didn’t go wrong. The paratrooping paparazzi part I only imagined. “I’d love to stop and chat some more,” I said to my Martha Stewart wine rack, “but as you can hear between my curses, my bathtub is already half full of cold water that’s still gorging forth like no tomorrow.”

    Well, I better go tend to the tub before I have liquid tribbles. So I swing the mop head into the kitchen sink, and engage the plastic pump action to draw the hydrophobic mop head (where do they get this stuff?) between the crimped rollers. Did I mention that Diversol is a mixture of bleach and TSP? TSP stands for trisodium phosphate, which used to be a common cleaner. Its fabulously slippery, which is just perfect for liberating tiny scabs of wine gunk from inside wine bottles without much physical scrubbing.

    Why Everything Is Dirtier

    This is a naked attack on government being so naive as to bend an ear to the EPA. Yes, everything is dirtier. Because of people like the author of this passage:

    It’s a future in which our clothes are dirty, we have no soap that works to wash our bodies, our dishes are full of gritty film, our floors are grungy, our windows are smudgy, everything more or less stinks like vinegar, our toilets don’t work, our trash is hurled in a pile out back, and vast amounts of our time are spent scrubbing things instead of reading, singing, writing, or conversing.

    I figure some Tea Party whip beat that poor fellow to a bloody pulp with an ideological garden hose, then dumped him battered, cold, lonely and naked into the Pine Sol permeated panic room to regain his senses.

    But it is true: TSP goes where Mazola doesn’t. So I’m giving my mop a hasty, teeth-clenched pump action (while my bathtub gorges itself and my unsopped bleach slicks go pear shaped under the cabinetry flashing) and the dang handle pops loose from my slippery fingers and snaps back taking a horse-fly sized bite out of my thumb’s fleshy trapezium. Mother of Malcolm Gladwell’s personal hairdresser! I’m really pissed now.

    So I take a hostile survey of the design of the stubby lever-arm with the white plastic stirrup grip and discover that it’s actually superfluous. You can just grab the outer barrel and work the mechanism like a pump-action shotgun. This totally rocks. I’m giving it to the non-absorbent mop head like Swartzie has just spotted the metal man–which turns out to be way too damn effective, because the chicken-choked mop head spittles like a nervous beaver with a wet tail all over my face. Now I’ve got bleach in my eyebrows again.

    Back to the bathroom for another bracing face-first encounter with the frigid shower spray. Lather, rinse, repeat.

    “At least,” I think to my Martha Stewart wine rack, I’m not yet stupid enough to blanch my sins in hot water. Even if my Archimedes is more theory than practice, at least I know better than that.

  174. Woodguy says:

    Bag of Pucks: Strawman wrong but ad hominem acceptable. Got it.

    Wan’t ad hominem, I attacked your arguments.

    Dumbass.

    That’s ad hominem.

    If you’re smart enough to know what a strawman and ad hominem are why are your posts so awful?

    That could be ad hominem too.

  175. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    Perhaps the “brain trust” has come to the realization that Smid is far from a top pairing D.

    Petry won’t be far behind.

  176. Woodguy says:

    DeadmanWaking,

    Given the rest of the gear described in your story, I imagine you bought the wine bottles to actually bottle wine.

    Wasn’t my first thought on why you bought them though.

  177. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    In other news….Brad Boyes, who is playing for $1M a season in Florida, is 2G 5A 7P on the season.

    In even more other news, Tyler Seguin with 2G 2A in tonight’s Dallas win over Winnipeg.

    Watch out for the Stars.

  178. oilswell says:

    Is there a “best of DMW” collection somewhere?

  179. DeadmanWaking says:

    Woodguy: Wasn’t my first thought on why you bought them though.

    Touché. You should always trust your first instinct.

    Your own comment was on my mind while I composed this.

    Woodguy: You can only explain this stuff so many times before you figure, “meh, I really don’t give a shit what others think and its not my job to teach this stuff. Those who want to learn, will.”

    Yeah, I know. I just deal with it in a different way. In this one I buried a small meditation on the difference between a clusterfuck of misjudgment in the moment against the sustained, institutional clusterfuckage it takes to package up an MS-branded wine rack with furnishings to hold wine bottles and wine glasses, that successfully holds neither.

    I was also playing with Tip #20 from Roy’s Writing Tools about the meaning of repetition, so I was toying with different modes of repetition such as the word “blue” in “blue nitrile gloves”, “blue language”, and “pinched the hose blue”.

    Blue is a mystical colour anyway in the writings of Borges. I read Borges’ essay on blindness out loud to my lemon tree the other night as a bedtime story. As a person whose blindness progressed over many decades, he ended up not seeing black, but always blue. Even when he closed his eyes to sleep at night, his failed visual field was always bathed in blue. Blue with a hint of green, he confesses eventually.

    I was also meditating on The Lifespan of a Fact by John D’Agata and Jim Fingal. That’s a hard book to explain for those who don’t wish to wade into that long and interesting interview, so perhaps another time. Here’s my own confession: I never did mop bleach in underwear and rubber boots. That was slightly compressed. My gross pass to berm the bleach was barefoot in underwear, after which I raced to the tub and treaded my feet for 30 seconds in ankle deep cold water, then I pulled on a pair of dry shorts (pants) and socks, found my rubber boots, and went back to sop up the rest.

    My lemon tree’s first thought when she read about the 500 bottles was “now everyone knows I’m not real”. Always trust your first instinct. Her second comment was “I’m sure glad I was out of the house that evening.” She always comments favourably on Woodguy’s dry retorts. There seems to be some kind of weird kilnship between them. (That wasn’t just a setup line, she really does take pleasure from Woodguy’s dry saunter.)

    In this instance of bottle mongering, I actually have four batches ready to bottle now, but I’m giving them until early November: Winexpert LE-2012 Nebbiolo with skins, Winexpert LE-2012 Riesling Chenin-Blanc, Winexpert Amarone with skins (should reach 16% after Chaptalisation), and Cellarcraft Showcase Red Mountain Cabernet.

    I’ve mentioned the Nebbiolo before. Nebbiolo gains a fringe of orange coloration in the glass with suitable aging. My comment was that this team had better be kicking major butt on the ice by the time I’m drinking an orange wine. That’s my window, and I’m sticking to it.

    I’m doing another three rounds of four batches before the end of hockey season. Need five hundred bottles in the cellar to achieve an average drinking age of two years. Half the wine goes to my brother and his wife. My lemon tree and I consume two bottles per week between us. Works out to about six glasses per week for all concerned. This year’s production is two year’s worth of consumption. That gets me the extra year of average drinking age into the future.

    At any given time my active wine roster will contain about twenty different varietals, under contract for one to four years. Some over-perform, some under-perform. I figure one can never have too many big-drinking Italian reds. These develop by sundial, so I’ve laid in many selections. There’s a Barolo on my upcoming brew list with the bone structure of Darnell Nurse, if I trust the scouting reports.

    It’s a bit of a silly hobby time-wise. I’d probably be better off doing whatever crossed Woodguy’s mind first. Making wine–even if so far just from kits–functions as a ritual of remembrance and humility, which phrased that way simultaneously obeys and breaks Rule #6: Don’t take yourself so gosh-darn seriously.

    My pet peeve, for which my outspoken notches are numbered, is the premise that bad outcomes arise only from stupid people making stupid choices.

    I don’t number myself among the stupid people, yet just last night I turned a six foot vinyl hose into a bleach hammer pointed straight at my face. Shit happens, whether you read Archimedes or not. How? Well, it was a little quicker to prime the hose by helical immersion into the bleach primary, rather than sidling up to the faucet. That little short-cut is probably why I didn’t have it clipped down during my ill-fated test choogle. I suspect the unfamiliarly brisk flow rate fought against my attempt to pinch it shut. Perhaps it was just that extra 1/10 of a second that separated reconnaissance of a promising technique from fifteen minutes of Risky Business.

    We have a transparent glass dish by the sink for dish rags shaped like a fish. It took all of ten seconds to lash that around the gap in the fins onto the intake end so it won’t flop out. Then I took one of those plastic Kalamata olive tubs, daggered a hole at the midpoint with kitchen scissors, and fashioned a blow-back shroud which friction fits at the business end, in addition to clasping the hose at the rim of the primary with an over-sized binder clip. Version 2.0 in just five minutes (thanks, Alice).

    When I first learned some electrical theory in my junior high school days, it seemed weird to me that a tank circuit can multiple voltage. How does a low voltage turn into a high voltage? It didn’t seem physical. I’ve learned since then that most of the theory governing this applies equally well to hydraulic systems. Last night I closed the loop. Voltage multiplication, check. It’s a lot like a water hammer.

    My learning style has always had this element to it. When I was fourteen, I stuck a plastic pen into a 20,000 volt spark gap I had set up in a wooden out-building beside the chicken coop. Breakdown voltage, check. Not every insulator insulates at every voltage, check. I’d flip a coin whether a Taser is more or less unpleasant than that pristine moment of instant learning. Whether I was physically unable to move for the following sixty seconds, or mentally unable to compel myself to move, I’ve never figured out. Good thing I had the lawn chair set up behind the bench or it could have been a three Stooges concussion, fat lip, and tetanus by the time I regained my feet.

    Was I a smart kid or a dumb kid? Stay tuned. Apparently I’m not out of the woods, yet.

  180. DeadmanWaking says:

    David Epstein on the Sports Gene

    Guest is hyper-articulate and covers many interesting sports tidbits. Recommended. I’m reminded by my last comment of this portion [my bold]:

    Russ: Talk about Jennie Finch. There’s a great excerpt from your book online. Jennie Finch is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, women’s softball pitchers. Talk about what happened when she faced major league baseball players.

    Guest: This was in 2003; she was invited to participate in a charity softball game. And she was actually only invited as a ceremonial coach originally. She wasn’t meant to pitch. But, you know, some of the guys wanted to crank a couple of homers off of her. So, pre-game practice–

    Russ: Heh, heh, heh. Didn’t quite work out that way.

    Guest: Yeah. This shows how little athletes know about how they do what they do, I think, because they expected to hit home runs off of her. And because the ball is bigger, and the transit time of the softball pitch at the speed she throws it from a little closer distance is exactly the same as the pitches they face in baseball–

    Russ: So it’s the equivalent of about 95 miles an hour, from a pitcher’s rubber. Major league.

    Guest: Yep. Which is fast but pretty typical. Jennie throws in the mid-60s, from 43 feet. And they couldn’t even hit foul balls off of her. And it turns out that–I thought major league baseball players just have fast reflexes. But it turns out that’s not the case. I actually scored faster on a visual reaction time test than Albert Pujols did.

    [The good, the bad, and the ugly] …

    Guest: So the way that hitters are actually able to accomplish this is they’ve learned perceptual cues–like the movement of a pitcher’s shoulder before the release, the ‘flicker’ of the ball–which is the flashing pattern the seams make right when it’s released, that basically allow them to predict the future so that they can really decide where to swing long before they have to do it. So it’s very much a learned skill.

    There’s a slag in their banter aimed at Malcolm Gladwell, but really I think I used that novel curse because he wrote a book titled “The Tipping Point”. And because his hair.

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