NADIR’S RAIDERS

They went 26-50-8 and gave up about 100 more goals than they scored, and surrendered 106 powerplay goals. No player scored more than 48 points, and only two (Petr Klima and Craig Simpson) got more than 20. Bill Ranford had a save percentage of .884 (Dubnyk is up to .881 now) and most of the boys on the bus were gone (MacT, Simpson, Klima, Esa, Ranford, Geoff Smith remained). The 1992-93 Edmonton Oilers offered no hope, no future, no sunny days.

mc5

This is not the same as 1992-93 in one important way: talent. I know having talent isn’t everything, but this team cannot continue this way without some major and potentially catastrophic things happening. There’s too much talent to be losing every night, something’s gotta give. I think we’ll see some movement now, in one of the following areas:

  • adding an assistant coach, someone with a lot of experience. Craig Ramsay would be ideal.
  • adding a veteran presence to the forward group. A center would be ideal, someone in their late 20′s.
  • trading a central part of the Hall cluster, we may see Eberle in a new city before Christmas.

mc6

I think we should also be prepared for trade requests. A guy like Jason LaBarbera has probably already asked for one, but we might see men like Ales Hemsky or Nick Schultz request an exit. The important thing is that the Hall group (now down to Hall and Nuge, probably) doesn’t request one.

mc7

Igor Larionov will meet with Craig MacTavish today, he sounds more like a concerned Dad in this Matty piece:

  • “I was a centre, I played the old-style, two-way game and he (Yakupov)  is a goal-scorer. Look at (Pavel) Bure when he was in Vancouver. (Sergei) Makarov and ((Vladimir) Krutov didn’t play defence either (Russian national team or Central Red Army as part of the KLM line). I was doing the dirty job for them. Makarov and Krutov would be high, waiting for the pass to take off.”

I think MacT and Eakins have hopes that Yakupov can be a more complete player. At the very least it’s important that he learn the rudimentary things a forward can do to support the play.

mc8

The 2013-14 Edmonton Oilers passed away in the hours before their final pre-season game. They were dull and uninspired after a solid pre-season, but that game specifically showed there was something wrong in the chemistry department. There’s some push back somewhere–maybe it’s because of Dallas Eakins’ comments before training camp–he resembled Tom Runnels in his verbal–or maybe it’s because there’s just too many kids in positions of great responsibility.

Either way, the Edmonton Oilers are a team in the National Hockey League. Barely.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

maria west side

10 this morning TSN 1260. Scheduled to appear:

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235 Responses to "NADIR’S RAIDERS"

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  1. RMGS says:

    Listening to Hemsky, Perron, and Ference after the game, it’s good to hear them talk about the need for sustained pressure in the O-zone, for being stronger on the puck, for scoring off rebounds in the paint. The scouting report on the Oilers offence: rush team that’s usually one-and-done so keep them to the outside and limit their space.

    I have one leg off the Eakins bandwagon, but I’m not blaming the coach for this. They’ve been trying to score TSN highlight of the year goals since the gold ol’ days of Tom Renney and fear the front of the opposition crease like the plague (except Perron, Gordon, and sometimes Hemmer).

    You can have all the talent in the world, but either that talent needs to grow some balls or MacT needs to find players with some who can make/take a pass.

  2. Clay says:

    I would be SHOCKED if Hall et al haven’t already asked for trades. Who would want to willing ride this train wreck?

    As bad as it is, it can still get so much worse.

    Was on board for Eakins initially, but it seems he’s now more interested in making a point than winning games. Arrogance.

  3. Ben says:

    If that Fussybritches deal of Hemmer and our 2014 1st for B Schenn is really on the table, I do that. We need players that can play now.

  4. RexLibris says:

    This reads like a obituary.

    Last night was tough, but I suspect the real death knell for this group will be Saturday.

    At that point it becomes one of two outcomes:

    “It is always darkest before A.) the dawn or B.) it goes pitch black.”

    I’d support item 1 and item 2 on your list, LT. I don’t like item 3 because Eberle is still very young and on many nights lately has looked like one of the few in the young cluster who is committing on a consistent basis to doing the right thing.

  5. Doomoil says:

    I sat in the nosebleeds last night so I didn’t read any of the gameday thread for the actual game.

    Here’s my thoughts on the game:

    -Nicushkin is a goddamn giant. Seeing him out there and the puck skill he possesses with that size makes you jealous.

    -Yakupov wasn’t very good but he wasn’t terrible either. Don’t understand not having him locked and loaded on the 5 on 3. He turned invisible without the puck though.

    -Dubnyk was good and it was annoying as all get out listening to the idiot fans going on and on about how awful he was during the game. Save it for when you actually have something to complain about.

    -Hall was trying too hard out there. He was flying but what he really needed was some calmness to his game once the possession was established. He flew the Dzone soooo early a couple times and I don’t know if the camera would have caught it. Didn’t come back to bite him or the Oilers last night but he needs to get that figured out.

    - Seguin’s empty netter was such a stupid play by him and I’m willing to bet Ruff gave it to the kid despite it going in the net.

    Overall i thought they played decent. Needed a powerplay goal something fierce but it didn’t come. 2 posts on the pp, one in regular play and the ten bell save on Eberle all could have gone in, but they didn’t. Oh well.

  6. kosiork says:

    In reading about the aftermath in Buffalo, one of the telling items was the Pegula felt the anger and frustration felt by the fan base was too much to ignore.

    Is there any way something like that would cross Katz’s mind? I realize it may lead to some questionable moves, but am curious about whether or not he takes the paying public into account.

  7. Kitchener says:

    I don’t disagree that a big move is coming, but think that Hall-RNH-Eberle are the untouchables. Matching deals and all three have ties to western Canada.

    I think that the western Canada thing is a big factor. With UFAs supposedly spurning Edmonton based on geography or climate, why in Santa’s name would you trade a kid like Eberle who grew up in SK and signed a long-term deal? Why trade RNH who played in Red Deer and who gets a gleam in his eye ripping around town in his F150? Hall’s western roots are way less pronounced, but trading him would be madness.

    I don’t like picking who SHOULD be traded, but to my eyes, you don’t build a franchise by trading players who conceivably WANT to spend 10+ years in a northern Alberta city.

  8. GordM says:

    Yak potting one on the PP would have been nice…but if Arcobello’s one-timer could have found twine on that Yakupov feed (in the 2nd period IIRC) that would have been music. Beauty feed and he would have been ‘using his line mates’.

    9 periods of shutout hockey on home ice (although unlike the first 6, the could blame the last three a bit more on puck luck).

  9. pboy says:

    Let’s all look at the positives here. We are all going to be cheering for an amazing team come February and Sidney Crosby will be on it!

  10. eastcoastoil says:

    LT, one of the blogs last week was talking about the ego’s in the room. Is there any truth to that?

  11. pboy says:

    Who was in charge of the PP last season? Was it Kreuger? I believe he’s still on the payroll this season, has it ever happened where a former Head Coach came back to consult or to become an Assistant or Associate Head Coach?

  12. Wolfie says:

    Even though Dubnyk had a good game last night, as usual he needed to make 1 more save. I’m not placing the loss at his feet. The Oilers could have been up 3 or 4-0 with those 2 glorious saves by Lehtonen and that cluster of power plays.

    This team just keeps finding new ways to lose.

    I’m not sure I like giving up this year’s 1st for B. Schenn. With that being said, I would rather trade for Schenn than Couturier. I could see the Flyers and Oilers doing a blockbuster sort of trade. If the asking price for Schenn is Hemsky and this year’s 1st that seems a little high.

  13. Caribbeerman says:

    Make it STOP!…How can we make it STOP?

    Short of getting 1) better players or 2) getting our players to play better there are no easy answers.

    It’s a moot point but I’m sure we would have had more wins if the old coach was around with his smoke and mirrors scheme – maybe that’s why he made Team Switzerland so competitive.

    No problems with the new coach except the bloody results. I’m on board with the approach and philosophy I just don’t see the players to fit.

    Strangely, I don’t see center as much as a problem as I see our wingers, they are small and the play dies too often with them especially in the corners and along the walls (not to mention in-front of the net – oh wait they never go there!). We need a couple of players to help in this area a couple is two!

    And by the way, can we stop giving the damn puck away at the blue line – ours and theirs. Either get it in or get it out but no fancy stuff to turn it over in those ares Mr. Gagner, Hemsky, Yakapov and Eberle.

    Oh, and please acquire a dominant D-man.

    That should at lease help make it stop.

  14. WillyMayhem says:

    MacTavish is going to need to clean up his mess if there is no turnaround in the next 5 games.
    Sather would have never let it get to this point, he would have stepped behind the bench like he did when Teddy (steel plate in his head) Green crashed and burned as coach. Although Green won at least 40% of the time during his time as coach.
    MacTavish needs to step behind the bench and transition Todd Nelson into the coaching position. The Eakins experiment has been a downgrade to poor Ralph Krueger. Brutal. Vote with your feet and your TV remote and stop watching this crap until changes are made.

  15. goldenchild says:

    I dont have a lot to say today besides I just can’t beleve this is where we are. For the life of me I can’t believe it, in the worst of worst case scenerios I never thought this is how I would feel about this team and season. They just have no confidence, these uber talented super novoas look like they have noo idea what to do with the puck and they are now just waiting for something bad to happen and un-fuckingbelievably it always happens.

    One thing I have learned this season is never to assume you hit rock bottom, because a new rock bottom is just a day or so away.

    After watching the Frontline doc on concussions I deceided when I have kids I wouldnt want them to play football. After last night’s game i decieded I would not let them be Oiler fans. This dies with me.

  16. hunter1909 says:

    Stopped following oilers and hockey after Messier was traded, so never knew anything about Corson except when he was a Hab. Just for posterity: Why is he hated?

    Midnight Cowboy: director John Schlesinger who also made one of the most copied movies by film makers(and cinematographers) with Lawrence Olivier in Marathon Man. One of Olivier’s greatest movies. Schlesinger was an absolute genius.

    Oilers: An ill wind is blowing.

  17. rich says:

    RMGS nails it here:

    This is a team with skill guys who want to score “pretty goals” and not go to the front of the net to get a deflection/take a hit. That doesn’t work anymore in the NHL – teams (other than the Oilers, Winnipeg and Florida) play a very tight defensive game and keep skill to the outside.

    You could see this last night on the PP. On the 5-3, there’s Eberle in front but as soon as the shot is ready to be fired he’s getting out of the way. Goalie has a clear lane to see everything and nothing was difficult. With the exception of Smyth and Perron (possibly Joenesu) and Gordon, no one on this team wants to score an ugly goal.

    They are going to have to decide who goes/gets what they need because the way this team is constructed up front, it’s not going to change – especially in the west.

    DD was not the prob last night. You give up 1 goal ES and you should be able to win. But this was one of the rare exceptions.

    MacT also needs to get Eakins help on the bench PDQ.

  18. sliderule says:

    Unlike Willis I thought they played a pretty good game last night.

    Their defensive zone coverage was not bad and on the forecheck they didn’t give up too many odd man rushes

    Turnovers as usual were too many but didn’t seem to cost themPlease a 1000 dollar fine for a toe drag.

    What to do!What to do!

    Obviously Hemsky will be moved at deadline.

    They have to get bigger and stronger so I am afraid Ebs will be moved for a big forward.I think they should really pump his tires with zone starts to get the most for him.

    Other than that wait for draft and hope you get Reinhart or Ekblad

    Depressing isn’t it

  19. Kitchener says:

    I’m less pessimistic about the OIl today than a week ago. Last night’s game was a couple of posts away from “a clutch, defensively responsible 2 points.”

    Dubnyk seems to be settling down in a good way.

  20. eastcoastoil says:

    Crazy trade time,
    What would Steve Ott and Ehrhoff/Myers do to this team? Would Ott push gagner down or over? Does Ehrhoff slot high enough to make a difference?
    Is Myers attainable?
    What is the cost?
    Eberle/Yak, Shutlz jr/Ference, first overall?

    is this bold or dumb

  21. bookje says:

    pboy:
    Who was in charge of the PP last season? Was it Kreuger? I believe he’s still on the payroll this season, has it ever happened where a former Head Coach came back to consult or to become an Assistant or Associate Head Coach?

    He has no responsibilities with the team, they freed him from that commitment. I don’t think they can afford to pay what it would take to get him back here

  22. Doomoil says:

    Wolfie:
    Even though Dubnyk had a good game last night, as usual he needed to make 1 more save.I’m not placing the loss at his feet.

    Seems that you are though.

  23. Doomoil says:

    eastcoastoil:
    Crazy trade time,
    What would Steve Ott and Ehrhoff/Myers do to this team? Would Ott push gagner down or over? Does Ehrhoffslothigh enough to make a difference?
    Is Myers attainable?
    What is the cost?
    Eberle/Yak, Shutlz jr/Ference, first overall?

    is this bold or dumb

    Is Myers attainable? Are Buffalo looking to shed the worst contract in the NHL? Yes I imagine that he is quite attainable, the question is why would you want to.

    I’ll take Erhoff in a second, want nothing to do with Myers.

  24. Woodguy says:

    The Oilers had 1 5v5 shot in the 2nd period.

    1

  25. Doomoil says:

    Doomoil: Is Myers attainable? Are Buffalo looking to shed the worst contract in the NHL? Yes I imagine that he is quite attainable, the question is why would you want to.

    I’ll take Erhoff in a second, want nothing to do with Myers.

    I was interrupted so missed my chance to edit this post.

    Erhoff would step in and instantly be the #1. If the ask was our first and any defensive prospect not named Nurse or Klefbom I do the deal in a heartbeat.

  26. art vandelay says:

    Who was in charge of the PP last season? Was it Kreuger? I believe he’s still on the payroll this season, has it ever happened where a former Head Coach came back to consult or to become an Assistant or Associate Head Coach?

    Didn’t NJ pull that stunt with Larry Robinson and/or Jake Lemaire?

  27. RMGS says:

    Woodguy:
    The Oilers had 1 5v5 shot in the 2nd period.

    1

    WG: shots are overrated. Look at the Leafs!

    I recommend you start counting drop passes. That’s where it’s at.

  28. Woodguy says:

    The NHL game is played in the home plate area in front of the net.

    Much like this heat map here.

    The Oilers do not play there.

    The Oilers are not an NHL team.

    Its not size, its will (although size helps)

    I start trading for players who play in the home plate and only the players who play there now are safe.

  29. eastcoastoil says:

    Woodguy,

    so is there a 26 year old ryan smyth?

  30. Doomoil says:

    Woodguy:
    The NHL game is played in the home plate area in front of the net.

    Much like this heat map here.

    The Oilers do not play there.

    The Oilers are not an NHL team.

    Its not size, its will (although size helps)

    I start trading for players who play in the home plate and only the players who play there now are safe.

    I’m really not sold on Wayne Simmonds but the longer the season goes the more obvious it is that we need a player of his ilk. I thought Joensuu was that guy but he seems to play well for a few minutes and then pull a Houdini the rest of the game.

    Rich’s comment about not willing to stand in front of net is exactly right. When Eberle jumped out from in front of Lehtonen on that 5 on 3 and suddenly a great scoring chance became an unscreened routine save I lost my shit.

  31. godot10 says:

    rich:

    You could see this last night on the PP.On the 5-3, there’s Eberle in front but as soon as the shot is ready to be fired he’s getting out of the way.Goalie has a clear lane to see everything and nothing was difficult.With the exception of Smyth and Perron (possibly Joenesu) and Gordon, no one on this team wants to score an ugly goal.

    This is a coach not understanding the skill sets of his players, and not putting the right people on the ice in the right positions.

    He’s went to the archives for Leafs footage of that 5-on-3 design but didn’t watch much video of the OIlers at all from last year, and clearly not the Oilers PP from last year. No net presence forward on the 5×3. For the full 5×3. Eberle doesn’t stay in the paint. I don’t blame him. He darts in and out of the paint for survival purposes. He isn’t afraid to go there, but he is not Craig Simpson. He is not going to stay there. He is going to dart in and out. He is never going to be Craig Simpson. There is nothing wrong with him not being Craig Simpson. One just has to use his skill set, which is awesome, appropriately.

    Eakins is a systems guys only. He is clueless in matching skill sets to systems, and players to each other.

    The epitome of this began from day 1 (Hall as a centre), and even after it failed miserably, he refused to admit it was a mistake and that he might go back to it.

    Another epitome of this is matching Gagner against the top lines of other teams, sometimes with Yakupov, when he was coming back early from a serious injury.

    And well, look at that 5×3.

  32. Colieo87 says:

    I say fire Eakins he has lost the room, move over to tod nelson , might as well and start early and get his system moving along cause as far as I can see Eakins system isn’t doing jack. and for god sakes break up that top line! but the oil are to smart for this that’s why they will:

    A) keep Eakins till end of the season and dismiss him or

    B) Keep him till next year and give him the first 20 games and if that doesn’t work let nelson move along and Eakins goes down to the ahl for conditioning.

    and I can see the oil going for the top pick in next years draft gagner is there ticket to the that draft, the oil isn’t out of the woods for another 3-4 years before there competitive, perfect time for a new shiney arena and what not, I think this is why kaz has not spoken and let this whole team run in the sewer. He doesn’t care cause he doesn’t want rexal to have even a sniff at the playoffs, he wants it in his barn and its going to happen in another 4 yrs. that’s just my hunch

  33. RMGS says:

    Kitchener:
    I’m less pessimistic about the OIl today than a week ago.Last night’s game was a couple of posts away from “a clutch, defensively responsible 2 points.”

    Dubnyk seems to be settling down in a good way.

    As a billionaire who made his billions in the health care sector, Darryl Katz should find it in his heart to fund Stockholm Syndrome therapy for all Oilers supporters held hostage by our terrible hockey team but who feel compelled to look on the bright side.

    PS: Don’t mean to pick on you, Kitchener. I’m also a sufferer.

  34. HugThePost says:

    If we somehow replaced this team with the 1970′s Habs or our cherished Boys on the Bus they would flounder.

    I don’t know what it is, there is just something about playing here—the toxic mix of the shitty media, the spotlight of Edmonton, the idiots of management, maybe other factors—that just makes this place a shitty place to play. It seems like no matter who is in the uniform, they all collectively regress into this jello soft, heartless excuse of a nhl hockey team.

    And when they get traded away……they blossom and flourish.

    That pic of the worst captain in Oiler history is so appropriate. The Dark Age Oilers are back.

  35. bookje says:

    Thats a part of it, but other things like the no movement PP this year suggests something else is wrong. I worry that the coaching staff are so focused on fixing certain issues that they are missing addressing other aspects of the game.

  36. RMGS says:

    godot10: He’s went to the archives for Leafs footage of that 5-on-3 design but didn’t watch much video of the OIlers at all from last year, and clearly not the Oilers PP from last year.

    Not saying that 5v3 last night was good (it stunk), but anyone who watched the Krueger Oilers’ 5v3 last year must still have a difficult time forgetting the hapless “let’s pass each other the puck behind the net” schtick. That didn’t work either: the Oilers had the third most 5v3 time but were only 18th in results.

  37. Woodguy says:

    I’ll say that there’s one other guy in hockey today that is still working in the game that has won more Stanley Cups than me. So I think I know a little bit about winning, if there’s ever a concern.”

    Kevin Lowe has been a manger in the NHL for 13 years.

    His teams have made the post season 3 times in 13 years.

    His teams made it past the first round of the playoffs once.

    I’ll say that there’s one other guy in hockey today that is still working in the game that has won more Stanley Cups than me. So I think I know a little bit about winning, if there’s ever a concern.”

  38. godot10 says:

    Labarbera, Hemsky, and Nick Schultz don’t have to request a trade. They aren’t getting new contracts.

    Trading Eberle CANNOT happen. Because Hemsky is as good as gone, and Eakins has no ability to coach Yakupov, so Yakupov with be traded. Larionov essentially told MacT that he isn’t going to put up with the dysfunction in Edmonton. So MacT has to pump and dump Yakupov (like Vancouver did with Hodgson). And MacT really can’t wait till next year, when the power shifts to Larionov. Does Eakins look remotely like a coach who can coach Yakupov? Yakupov will be traded by next summer, barring a miracle, and Eakins is at best an AHL coach learning on the job in the NHL. Ain’t no chance he is going to work a miracle in 60 games. He is trying to save his own job and reputation now. Coaching up Yakupov while he himself is drowning is not going to happen.

    So no Hemsky, and a coach with no ability to coach Yakupov, means Yakupov is gone, so you can’t trade Eberle.

    But why would you want to.

    There is too much sentiment in this blog for the “good” MacT and the “good” Hemsky, of the past.

  39. HugThePost says:

    Wouldn’t Lowe save some face if he were to step down, and take on a “consultant” position within the organization?

    (consultant meaning staying buddies with the Boss and being Head of Reliving the ’80′s)

    I see Buff. if going to interview the Pitt. assistant gm for their vacant GM job. So foreign—interviewing people with experience to get the best qualified person for the job.

  40. maudite says:

    Was fedun sent down and potter up due to ahl pro player limits on roster? I have nothing against potter but fedun seemed like he deserved a legitimate longer look here. Screwing around with roster for such things seems insane but its fairly part and parcel for this bunch…

  41. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    From the Larionov piece:

    He certainly believes wingers have to help out, “but they have to score too. You have to have a balance,” he said. “You can’t play 70 per cent defence and 30 per cent offence, or 70 percent offence and 30 percent defence. There’s 17,000 people here. They want to see some action.”

    Larionov feels the Oilers have young, passionate forwards, he but didn’t like the style of game on display Wednesday. Not nearly enough flow or offence for a centre affectionately known as The Professor.

    “This is crazy, so much talent here,” said Larionov, when told the Oilers had been blanked three straight games at home — a franchise record.

    “I guess that’s the concept, the modern game, I guess. In Edmonton, it should be like Detroit. You don’t play a trap. There’s 17,000 people here. I didn’t see that (offence) tonight. With everybody. They’ve got skill, some scoring power, but they have no confidence. Three or four times, they couldn’t complete three passes.”

    While I agree with his sentiment that wingers aren’t as implicated in defense and need to primarily concentrate on scoring… I can’t imagine he can watch Yak’s d-zone play and consider that adequate.

    One thing I do agree on completely is that the Oilers are an incredibly boring team to watch right now. Last night’s game was bland. All that talent, all those PPs and 1 real goal through 60mins.

    Something is really wrong here. Puck moving defensemen, flashy forwards with hands and no one can seem to get things going. 5×5 the passing is barely worth mentioning and on the PP there is way too much, too slow and too far away from the kill zone.

  42. RMGS says:

    godot10: There is too much sentiment in this blog for the “good” MacT and the “good” Hemsky, of the past.

    And, there’s not enough sentiment for the “good” Krueger. :)

  43. bookje says:

    Woodguy,

    I don’t think firing Kevin Lowe achieves anything. I am not saying it shouldn’t be done, but I don’t think he has any meaningful influence about what goes on at ice level. After Tambellini 3.0 (or 2.0 or whatever) I think Lowe has had very limited influence other than in the hiring of MacT.

    In any case, as noted, its fine if they fire him, but I don’t think it changes anything.

  44. denny33 says:

    sliderule,

    Unlike Willis I thought they played a pretty good game last night.

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

    The Dallas stars have one of the worst set of D-men in the league…Sergei.Gonchar is actually still playing at the age of 39…….

    Taylor Hall, RNH, Yakupov, Gagner, Hemsky and David Perron and company generated
    15 even strength shots on net…..

    15 shots.

  45. RMGS says:

    denny33: Taylor Hall, RNH, Yakupov, Gagner, Hemsky and David Perron and company generated
    15 even strength shots on net…..

    15 shots.

    But did you count the drop passes?

  46. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “A guy like Jason LaBarbera has probably already asked for one, but we might see men like Ales Hemsky or Nick Schultz request an exit.”

    I don’t see how LaBars thinks any team wants him right now… besides MacT already made one market mistake with the Smid deal… by all means trade off extra parts, but for the love of Gord at least wait until the deadline.

    ———–
    Here’s some productive moves:

    *Keep 93-4-14 together
    *Keep 26 as a Center. He’s a center. He can play.
    *Put 89 on the wing. Say it’s about that mask. Give him cherry starts, pump the stats. Move at deadline.
    *Try 26-89-64 in the soft minutes role and put 27-57-83 together as the second toughs line.
    *Call up Horak or Lander and send Acton down. Run Horak/Lander-94-6

    93-4-14 (power v power)
    26-89-64 (softs)
    27-57-83 (moderates)
    Horak/Lander-94-6 (PP and whatnot, actual near NHL talent)

  47. Caramel Obvious says:

    It seems inevitable but firing the coach will accomplish exactly nothing. The powerplay is the cause de jour but that’s based upon a misguided notion of how good the powerplay was last year. Newsflash. It wasn’t that good last year. It was lucky. That’s why I, and many other people, said that the Oilers would be worse this year because last year was buoyed by above average goaltending and an unsustainable powerplay shooting percentage (then MacT and Eakins were hired and hope was born).

    That said, unlike the penalty kill, Eakins’ teams have never had a good record on the powerplay so perhaps the coach is part of it. However, being good on the powerplay is overated. Chicago has had a below average power play for years and they’ve won two cups. 5/5 play is everything.

    And if the Oilers fire Eakins they are not going to hire Nelson. If they fire Eakins they are doing it to assuage the fans in order to bring in someone with instant credibility. This person won’t necessarily be a good coach (the good coaches with credibility all have jobs) it will be someone like Messier (who would be a horrible coach) or some retread. So stop with the fire Eakins/hire Nelson nonsense.

    Strangely enough I am more optimistic now than at any time last year (though the Smid trade saps my confidence some). Last year I said something like “this team will never, ever, make the playoffs.” I still think that but at least its possible now. So the rest of you have just come down to where I’ve always been.

    As to the first round pick and Hemsky for B. Schenn rumour let me repeat for the one hundred millionth time. Sean Couturier is a better hockey player than Brayden Schenn and it isn’t particularly close. This is an unassailable fact. I would trade the first round pick and Hemsky for Couturier in a nano second. The Schenn deal would be much worse. \

    Finally, Joensuu is proving how irrelevant size really is. Get good players, ignore size, call up Omark. What do you have to lose?

  48. fuzzy muppet says:

    I’d see if Holmgren would take Eberle, Gagner and the 1st (it’s a bottom five for sure) for Coburn, SImmonds and Couterier.

    Sweeten the deal however you want, but the Oilers have to move a Kid(probablyEberle as he has value but doesn’t drive the play like Hall). Too many redundant players.

    Then bring in an actual experienced assistant or get rid of Eakins. He’s somehow made this team unwatchable.

  49. godot10 says:

    Eakins Corsi close and Fenwick close (even with all the east conference games) ticked below Krueger’s last night.

    5 of six games against common opponents, Eakins has Corsi close in the 30-something percent.

    Eakins is trending worse than Krueger on shot/possession metrics.

    MacT destroyed any/all good he might have done with the coaching change.

    His own coach was his right and prerogative. But sometimes patience is better than boldness. Should have kept the coaching change arrow in the quiver.

  50. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    bookje:
    Woodguy,

    I don’t think firing Kevin Lowe achieves anything.I am not saying it shouldn’t be done, but I don’t think he has any meaningful influence about what goes on at ice level.After Tambellini 3.0 (or 2.0 or whatever) I think Lowe has had very limited influence other than in the hiring of MacT.

    In any case, as noted, its fine if they fire him, but I don’t think it changes anything.

    I agree that basically KL is in a sit-in-the-catbird-seat position of non-influence now… But I think Katz firing him would actually have a big(ish) impact in the following way:

    1) it would show that Katz is paying attn. to the team he owns and is not just drawing a salary
    2) it would put everyone else on notice that lifer positions don’t exist (until KL is gone, this is a reasonable assumption)
    3) it would place all the holdovers (Ricky O., Gare, Semenko, Smith, Bucky, etc.) in great peril and free MacT to offload them (if he has some reservation out of KL deference… it is quite possible he has reservation on his own accord)
    4) It would place MacT and his early tenure-ship (esp. Eakins) in peril
    5) it would create a ripple down effect of organizational responsibility (there has been none for years).

  51. Hammers says:

    Woodguy:
    The NHL game is played in the home plate area in front of the net.

    Much like this heat map here.

    The Oilers do not play there.

    The Oilers are not an NHL team.

    Its not size, its will (although size helps)

    I start trading for players who play in the home plate and only the players who play there now are safe.

    So Perron , Gordon , Joensuu , Hemsky , Smyth & Hall at times . It still comes back to degrees of desire . As of today the following could be moved . Gags , Eberle , Yak ,Petry ,Larsen , N.Schultz . Hemmer will go but i’m not sure if now or deadline .

  52. Henry says:

    bookje:
    Woodguy,

    I don’t think firing Kevin Lowe achieves anything.I am not saying it shouldn’t be done, but I don’t think he has any meaningful influence about what goes on at ice level.After Tambellini 3.0 (or 2.0 or whatever) I think Lowe has had very limited influence other than in the hiring of MacT.

    In any case, as noted, its fine if they fire him, but I don’t think it changes anything.

    I agree that it’s hard to see how axing Lowe will change the team in the short term.

    It will give the customers of all tiers a scalp though.

    I can’t see how they can justify keeping the assistant coaches. They are the one consistent with the team through many years of poor defensive play.

  53. Woodguy says:

    bookje:
    Woodguy,

    I don’t think firing Kevin Lowe achieves anything.I am not saying it shouldn’t be done, but I don’t think he has any meaningful influence about what goes on at ice level.After Tambellini 3.0 (or 2.0 or whatever) I think Lowe has had very limited influence other than in the hiring of MacT.

    In any case, as noted, its fine if they fire him, but I don’t think it changes anything.

    Doesn’t matter.

    Blood sacrifice is required to appease the Gords.

  54. Henry says:

    I keep seeing potential deals for Coburn, Simmonds and Erhoff. These guys have ‘modified NTCs’. Does anyone know if the terms allow for a simple trade to the Oilers.

    Why would they waive an NTC and leave their current situation to come to Edmonton now?

  55. Woodguy says:

    godot10:
    Eakins Corsi close and Fenwick close (even with all the east conference games) ticked below Krueger’s last night.

    5 of six games against common opponents, Eakins has Corsi close in the 30-something percent.

    Eakins is trending worse than Krueger on shot/possession metrics.

    MacT destroyed any/all good he might have done with the coaching change.

    His own coach was his right and prerogative.But sometimes patience is better than boldness.Should have kept the coaching change arrow in the quiver.

    Rookie GM and rookie head coach.

    Just when the Oilers could stop down breaking in rookies 3-4 at at time and put up with rookie mistakes they break in a rookie GM and rookie coach and now we have to live with their rookie mistakes.

    The Edmonton Rookies.

    Rookies have defined the Oilers since 2007.

    Its always about the rookies.

    Rookies usually are not actual NHL players

    Looks like Rookie GMs and Rookie Coaches are not Actual NHL executives and coaches off the hop either.

    Finally only have 2 or so NHL rookies on the team, but the learning curve gets steeper due to rookies in other areas.

    The Edmonton Rookies.

  56. Hammers says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    “A guy like Jason LaBarbera has probably already asked for one, but we might see men like Ales Hemsky or Nick Schultz request an exit.”

    I don’t see how LaBars thinks any team wants him right now… besides MacT already made one market mistake with the Smid deal… by all means trade off extra parts, but for the love of Gord at least wait until the deadline.

    ———–
    Here’s some productive moves:

    *Keep 93-4-14 together
    *Keep 26 as a Center. He’s a center. He can play.
    *Put 89 on the wing. Say it’s about that mask. Give him cherry starts, pump the stats. Move at deadline.
    *Try 26-89-64 in the soft minutes role and put 27-57-83 together as the second toughs line.
    *Call up Horak or Lander and send Acton down. Run Horak/Lander-94-6

    93-4-14 (power v power)
    26-89-64 (softs)
    27-57-83 (moderates)
    Horak/Lander-94-6 (PP and whatnot, actual near NHL talent)

    Been saying much the same thing . Arco has earned 2nd line center .Didn’t Eakins tell Acton to get a home ??? but again I agree Lander & Horak should both be up .What would you give up for the Schenn brothers or better still Simmonds & a “D” . .Ebs & Larsen .

  57. Caramel Obvious says:

    RMGS: Not saying that 5v3 last night was good (it stunk), but anyone who watched the Krueger Oilers’ 5v3 last year must still have a difficult time forgetting the hapless “let’s pass each other the puck behind the net” schtick.That didn’t work either: the Oilers had the third most 5v3 time but were only 18th in results.

    This. One hundred times over. People have some serious selective memory on last year’s team.

    And those Larionov quotes are ridiculous. He basically said that wingers in the eighties didn’t have to play defense so why should Yakupov? Uh, Igor, that’s why so many goals were scored in the eighties.

    The defense of Yakupov is pretty tiresome. He’s a bad hockey player right now. He’s not even one-dimensional like Omark, he’s just bad. He sits around doing nothing until he gets the puck and then he stickhandles like a maniac and is a complete puck hog. It’s a shame because he’s a great passer but he wants to keep the puck until the final moment every time. Ferraro nailed it last night. Give the puck up and get it back. You can’t play in the NHL the way Yakupov is playing.

    Also this team misses J. Schultz. You don’t know what you have until it’s gone.

    I’m fine with Rom’s lines though I’m not in love with putting your three best offensive players on one line and then burying the Gordon–Hemsky–Perron line with tough zone starts. That means the Arcobello–Gagner–Yakupov line has to score for the Oilers to win. I do think the talent needs to be concentrated on three lines rather than spread onto four, at least until Omark is called up.

    I would probably put Smyth with Gordon instead of Perron and use Perron on one of the scoring lines. Something like:

    Hall–Arcobello–Eberle
    Perron–Hopkins–Yakupov/Gagner
    Smyth–Gordon–Hemsky
    Joensuu/Jones–Horak–Yakupov/Gagner

    That gives you flexibility, three good lines, and Yakupov and Gagner where they belong. It also gives you the option of playing Hemsky with the Hopkins line and one of the pluggers with Gordon if they are going well.

    The more I think about it the more I like it. Arcobello did great with Hall and Eberle in OKC and Hopkins and Perron have played well together, and I think Hemsky is a good fit with Gordon getting defensive zone starts. Putting your three best players on one line makes you very top heavy. You shouldn’t need three top scorers on a line to generate offense. Moreover, I think putting Arcobello at center won’t reduce the scoring of the line as much as putting Hopkins on the soft line will raise it.

    That settles it. My lineup is best.

  58. Matt.N says:

    I consider the commenters on this blog to be generally the most intelligent and clear thinking group of Oiler fans out there. To see the amount of “fire the coach” or “blame the players” sentiment is just staggering to me. This team has been terrible under Kevin Lowe’s tenure. The worst in the league.

    This team is a joke. I don’t mean that in an internet trolling, over exaduration type of way. I mean that merely mentioning the Oilers to any knowledgable hockey fans outside of Alberta will bring a smile to their face and a laugh about how ridiculous they are. This is not Yakupovs or Hemskys or Dubnyks or whoever the goat of the day happens to be cause this. We are the Atlanta Thrashers. Losing a game to the Oilers gets the Florida Panthers head coach nearly fired. The Florida Freaking Panthers think we are a sure thing on the schedule.

    Try to get over the Stockholm Syndrome and start calling for Lowe’s head. Vote with your wallet. Don’t support this team in any way. Stop running #1 picks and coaches out of town. Challenge lapdog media types who are tough guys when beating up a 20 year old english as a second language kid, but haven’t fired a hardball at management in fear that they will lose access.

  59. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Sidebar on media:

    We should expect the Oil to continue to be very hotly discussed this year and even moreso than it is today. One thing we should be very aware of is that Sports Media is in the business of selling familiar narratives and entertainment, not human excellence and certainly not insightful analysis.

    Even when faced with displays of greatness, the media insists on adding some cloying narrative about hardships overcome, off-ice troubles/contributions, team discord/accord, etc.

    The media much prefers to short circuit displays of greatness and cut to the chase of human drama punched into well-worn narratives. The Oilers are perfect in this regard. A terrible team testing the limit of ineptitude is going to create a lot of off-ice drama (they already have).

    I feel bad for the truly good teams and players that will get cheated out of our collective awe in favor of a long and tedious dissection of awful.

  60. jbfuzz says:

    The Katz/Lowe mismanagement, at least to me, comes to focus in a few ways outside of roster management (which has mean an abomination to say the least).

    1. Firing Renney, hiring Kreuger – when you let the head coach go and retain the rest of the staff it’s a bit strange to say the least. I feel Renney was scapegoated by Tambellini for the lack of progress and the one-year tenure of RK made it difficult to really assess the progress (or lack thereof) of many of the players. That KL/DK let it happen speaks to their incompetence.
    2. The near hire of Mark Messier as head coach prior to RK – does hiring a guy who’s never coached at any level to steer the ship of the “rebuild” make any sense to any one? This one looks like it would be on the owner.
    3. Firing Tambellini shortly after the trade deadline last season speaks to the lack of cohesion, strategic planning and competence in the organization.

    I don’t have any faith in this organization to make a good choice. I have no idea what will happen with this coach but all bets are off and I think we’ll all be surprised in the next few weeks/months.

  61. Lowetide says:

    This is exactly where losing teams make bad trades. I don’t think MacT will do that, but do believe the pressure to do something this morning is incredible. I suspect we hear something before tomorrow about a change of some sort (don’t know what it might be, but would guess an additional asst coach).

  62. denny33 says:

    Caramel Obvious,

    As to the first round pick and Hemsky for B. Schenn rumour let me repeat for the one hundred millionth time. Sean Couturier is a better hockey player than Brayden Schenn and it isn’t particularly close. This is an unassailable fact. I would trade the first round pick and Hemsky for Couturier in a nano second. The Schenn deal would be much worse.

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

    Still have not heard – exactly – why Philly would want a 30 year old pending UFA……for one of the best young players in their whole system?

    Apparently – Hemsky’s 3 goals in 20 games make them want to give up their prime assets in
    SC – who is 20 years old or Schenn who is 22.

    The price tag for players of that ilk – will not be a 30 year old UFA……

    Let’s stop dreaming.

  63. Hammers says:

    Woodguy: Doesn’t matter.

    Blood sacrifice is required to appease the Gords.

    Never seen you this low (pun intended) before .

  64. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    On the heels of Florida making a change and Buffalo making a change, it will be interesting if the Oilers just choose to stand pat. I tend to agree with what Rex Libris said. If the Oilers waste another one against the Flames, I will be one sharpening up the pitchfork, There comes a point where it’s simply untenable (we are squarely there) and obviously the structure is wrong. There is no way this composition of players and coaches is ever going to challenge for the cup. Not a chance. Time and adaption to systems won’t change that fact.

    So….what are we waiting for exactly? Moves have to be made unfortunately. I’m not professing burning to the ground, but there are LOTS of changes to be made to get us out of the basement – not a tweak here or there. If it will take some time to do the right trade(s), so be it. But sack Buchberger and Smith already and allow Eakins to assemble his own cadre of assistants to sink or swim in their systems. Katz needs to come out and say a) he’s sorry on behalf of the team on the exceptionally poor performance and b) that it isn’t acceptable and the entire organization and approach is under review for improvement. I’d like him to usher out Lowe, but I won’t hold my breath on that just yet. Being silent and insular just doesn’t cut it if you’re in the business of inviting fans to ‘invest’ in the business of pursuing and winning cups. That partnership demands accountability and some transparency from their side.

  65. denny33 says:

    We talked about it last year…..regarding Tambo.

    We need to start a campaign to have K. Lowe removed…..maybe even the WHOLE crew. Everyone.

    K. Lowe this year….and every remaining ex-oiler staff member this coming off-season.

    I am taking everyone – including Mac T.

    Get some fresh eyes on the situation…

  66. Caramel Obvious says:

    If you want to read something interesting read this: http://www.boysonthebus.com/2013/11/12/piecing-the-shot-puzzle-together/

    It’s Parkatti on shot quality. All the stuff Ricki bear is always talking about but with actual data explained in intelligible words.

    The whole thing is interesting. I would highlight that by this shot quality metric the Oilers are actually better than by Corsi, Fenwick or Goals. Relevant numbers below:

    Corsi %: 46
    Fenwick %: 46
    Goals %: 39.5
    Expected Goals (shot quality) %: 48

    So there is that. By measuring the type of shot and distance of shot the Oilers are actually getting better quality shots and allowing worse quality shots than what we would expect an average team to allow given the overall number of shots they allow.

    The conclusion is pretty clear. This is a below average team that is being undone by a combination of bad goaltending, poor finishing skills, and random variation. The problem isn’t an unwillingness or inability to get to the paint. The problem is that there aren’t enough chances to get to the paint and when they get their they miss.

  67. Melman says:

    The PP was 0-5(6?) and the set up never changed. Not scoring on the 5-1 was the TSN turning point. That is on the coach – he can’t face putting one of his shiny toys down. They had no net presence on any PP: when something is not working try a different tactic, put Joensuu or Jones for matter in front to block out the sun and get a dirty goal. Eakins has a struggling Gagner on the point in the 5 on 3 Perron manning the other side and Eberle down low and in front . Lehtonen had all day to see every shot.

    Eakins is starting to lose me.

  68. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Caramel Obvious: And if the Oilers fire Eakins they are not going to hire Nelson. If they fire Eakins they are doing it to assuage the fans in order to bring in someone with instant credibility. This person won’t necessarily be a good coach (the good coaches with credibility all have jobs) it will be someone like Messier (who would be a horrible coach) or some retread. So stop with the fire Eakins/hire Nelson nonsense.

    I’m not convinced of this on either the Nelson or the Messier fronts.

    Though, I do think we may end up seeing Nelson in spot duty if Eakins gets a sudden shiv (i.e., he gets the interim job to finish the season and is given a chance in the interview process to win the job).

    I don’t think MacT would make Messier coach. KL/Tambo tried, but I think MacT is smarter than that.

    I think you are right though, if not Nelson, it will be either someone with a long NHL track record or a guy everyone in Can sports media love (Sutter).

    Don’t overlook this guy:

    http://cdn.nhl.com/capitals/images/upload/2008/05/low_ron_hs.jpg

  69. G Money says:

    jbfuzz: Firing Renney, hiring Kreuger

    Yes, that was the mistake. Not firing Krueger, whose team was just as bad as this one.

    Matt.N: To see the amount of “fire the coach” or “blame the players” sentiment is just staggering to me. This team has been terrible under Kevin Lowe’s tenure. The worst in the league.

    Haven’t yet heard anyone defend Lowe. The rot runs deep, but in the short term: Lowe, Bucky, and Smith must go.

    Caramel Obvious: That settles it. My lineup is best.

    It’s a good one. I have no problem with stacking the first line though. As you say, it requires the second line to score. No team succeeds without two scoring lines, so might as well give them the chance.

    Lowetide: don’t know what it might be, but would guess an additional asst coach

    Yes, but – why an “additional” asst coach? We already have three – I’m thinking the problem here is quality, not quantity. Bucky and Smith must go. They may not be the problem (I suspect they *are* part of it though), but I can say unequivocally that they are not part of the solution.

  70. Kitchener says:

    RMGS,

    Funny.

    There’s a lot that I don’t know about the current team, but one thing I do know: I’m gonna keep watching the games and I’m not the only one. When Katz bought the team, the near-maniacal devotion of prairie fans was the #1 asset.

    I’m on the lookout at Rexall for a vaccination preventing Hypoilactivirus.

  71. G Money says:

    Caramel Obvious: The problem is that there aren’t enough chances to get to the paint and when they get their they miss.

    That’s true. Last night’s game summary suggested that the “predicted score” using distance adjusted Corsi should have been 1.36 to 0.92, which the non-empty-net 1-0 score matches pretty well.

    The problem is when your distance adjusted predicted scoring can’t hit single digits, you may be in a spot of trouble!!!

  72. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Caramel Obvious: Ferraro nailed it last night. Give the puck up and get it back. You can’t play in the NHL the way Yakupov is playing.

    The other thing Ferraro pointed out was his shift length.

    We are seeing a weird battle of player and coach that is turning into a twisted self-fulfilling prophecy:

    coach: I won’t play you much until you are better
    player: well, I’ll just make the most of my opportunity, 5 min shifts… just try and get me off the ice
    coach: you do that and you play worse and you piss me off, that’s not how you get ice time.

    and on it goes.

    Same with Yak’s individual play. We are seeing stubborn youth on both fronts. not good.

  73. Melman says:

    The Fs need a different look.

    Hall–RNH–Yak
    Perron – Arco – Eberle
    Joensuu–– Gagner – Jones
    Smyth–Gordon–Hemsky

  74. denny33 says:

    Lowetide,

    This is exactly where losing teams make bad trades. I don’t think MacT will do that, but do believe the pressure to do something this morning is incredible. I suspect we hear something before tomorrow about a change of some sort (don’t know what it might be, but would guess an additional asst coach).

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

    Yep – see the Smid deal.

    Mac T has already done it….and I would be willing to bet he is about to force another one….although, he might call more than 1 team this time.

  75. jake70 says:

    HugThePost:
    If we somehow replaced this team with the 1970′s Habs or our cherished Boys on the Bus they would flounder.

    I don’t know what it is, there is just something about playing here—the toxic mix of the shitty media, the spotlight of Edmonton, the idiots of management, maybe other factors—that just makes this place a shitty place to play.It seems like no matter who is in the uniform, they all collectively regress into this jello soft, heartless excuse of a nhl hockey team.

    And when they get traded away……they blossom and flourish.

    That pic of the worst captain in Oiler history is so appropriate.The Dark Age Oilers are back.

    Marcellus:
    Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

    Horatio:
    Heaven will direct it.

  76. OilBuzz says:

    And I thought it was a long summer. This is gonna be one loooong winter, boys.

    Gobbling up optimistic blog posts during the bland month of July sure beats witnessing this debacle. As the season draws on and the losses pile up, the rational part of me knows there is no hope. But the irrational part of me keeps bringing me back to the screen, on the statistically improbable chance that a miraculous turnaround will occur.

  77. Racki says:

    First post nailed it… All perimeter play, no sustained pressure.. No real threat. Too much passing around the outside waiting for cute play. Need your guys like Gordon and even Perron who get noses dirty. The Leafs showed this year that there IS a quality of shot. Teams will let the oilers hang around the boards all they want and get in the lanes because the danger of scoring when they can’t get the puck to someone close to the net is low.

    Anyways, was a pretty good defensively game by eye. So that was a positive to take out of this. These guys seem to learn one thing and forget two more each night though

  78. Caramel Obvious says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I forgot about the shift length. That’s pretty terrible. In my opinion Eakins is bending over backwards trying to push Yakupov in the right direction with soft touches and kid gloves. Can you imagine if Omark behaved like Yakupov does?

    We have to at least consider the fact that Yakupov has no idea what he is doing and that he might be unteachable. The most important thing that every teacher should know (and I say this as someone who has won awards for excellence in teaching) is that you can’t make someone listen. It comes from them or it doesn’t come at all.

    That’s the unfavorable interpretation. The charitable one is that he’s a young kid in a foreign country who doesn’t really speak the language who is confused and frustrated. I’m going with the charitable one for now but at some point he needs to get past this.

  79. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    G Money:

    Yes, but – why an “additional” asst coach?We already have three – I’m thinking the problem here is quality, not quantity.Bucky and Smith must go.They may not be the problem (I suspect they *are* part of it though), but I can say unequivocally that they are not part of the solution.

    I think it is additional because until we see otherwise, head coaches are the only people to get fired in this organization.

    Three options:

    1) fire them (unlikely)
    2) add somebody and move bucky/smith upstairs to watch and still “coach”
    3) add somebody and move bucky/smith to some other organizational role

  80. Bag of Pucks says:

    Inspired by David Letterman….

    Top 10 Bold Moves by Oilers GM Craig MacTavish

    10) Hire new “Oil Kings Only” scout
    9) Three Words – Just for Men
    8) ‘Welcome” Ingrid Kavelaars to the Oilers…and to my lap
    7) Purchase Rosetta Stone Russian
    6) Announce Messier as Executive Director of Hockey Motivation & Mojo
    5) Increase bribe payments to Stauffer, Matheson, Jones & Gregor
    4) Task Parkatti & McCurdy with personal tax returns
    3) Send Katz expense claim for boys on the bus visit to ‘Scores’ in NYC
    2) Third Jersey baby!
    1) Bring back the donuts

  81. Logan91 says:

    This team desperately needs a veteran centre and winger. Minus Perron and Hemsky, they are relying on two inexperienced top lines, and it really shows.

  82. Lois Lowe says:

    A haiku for LT and the hockey Gords.

    i hoped for the best,
    but it turned out like always.
    Because Oilers. Meh.

  83. Woodguy says:

    Lois Lowe:
    A haiku for LT and the hockey Gords.

    i hoped for the best,
    but it turned out like always.
    Because Oilers. Next year?

    I wept.

  84. russ99 says:

    I love Larionov’s comments, because they reveal a major disconnect within the current Oilers regime.

    If you want to run a hockey team where each player is expected to be a cookie-cutter clone of the other and is expected to play like a big, lunchpail carrying Western Canadian grinder, than this is what you get.

    A team should be a collection of different players – each of them using their differing talents to the best of their ability for the collective good of the team. We’re really missing the boat here, both on the player acquisition side and the rigid adherence to systems by the coaching side.

  85. jbfuzz says:

    G Money,

    Hiring Krueger was not smart. I was fine with RK moving because the team was terrible last year. Trying to suggest they should have brought Renney back for last season as their hands are a bit tied now and the constant coaching changes are probably mind-fucking the players.

  86. G Money says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I think it is additional because until we see otherwise, head coaches are the only people to get fired in this organization.

    Indeed … that is the story with this team. There is “what they should do”, and that is always in stark contrast with “what they will do” or “what they will refuse to do” …

    Mandatory Oiler haiku:

    A dark tomb shivers
    Unfolding system dies
    The Goal farther away

  87. fifthcartel says:

    Next two games are on TSN and then HNIC soo I’m excited to see the criticism on national television.

  88. Woodguy says:

    I bet Eakins is just pulling his hair out.

    In the AHL he was the conduit to the NHL so its was in the player’s best interest to do everything he asked so he would be recommended to the big club.

    In the NHL its not that easy.

    You need the leaders on the team to be on your side to bring the others along.

    I’m not sure who the leaders are (probably Hall and Ference, but even Hall said the other day they need more veteran leadership), but Eakins needs them to pull the others along.

    Rookies.

    Man.

  89. RMGS says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    The problem isn’t an unwillingness or inability to get to the paint.The problem is that there aren’t enough chances to get to the paint and when they get their they miss.

    Yes, Parkatti’s always interesting work is showing that the Oilers aren’t a perimeter shooting team (on average), but does it show whether or not those shots are coming after rebounds, with net presence established, after winning a crease-area puck battle, and/or with someone else driving the net without the puck, etc. (all factors that increase the likelihood of a close shot going in)?

    I haven’t followed the series closely, but I believe Alan Hull at C&B is trying to isolate “second-touch chances – things like deflections, rebounds, or shots taken after winning a battle for a loose puck in the first few seconds following an initial shot attempt.”

    His guess (and many others’) is that the Oilers perform poorly in that area.

  90. Woodguy says:

    Coaching haiku:

    Bucky and Smith stay
    Hanging around like luggage
    Are they there to help?

  91. Woodguy says:

    Copper and Blue Blood
    Needed to work for the Oilers
    All thin resumes

  92. bookje says:

    An Oilers Style Haiku

    This Haiku is totally wrong
    The structure is wrong and nothing works as it should
    because it is an Oilers haiku
    and everything they touch ends up
    sucking.

  93. G Money says:

    Woodguy: Bucky and Smith stay
    Hanging around like luggage
    Are they there to help?

    bookje: This Haiku is totally wrong
    The structure is wrong and nothing works as it should
    because it is an Oilers haiku
    and everything they touch ends up
    sucking.

    * slow clap *

  94. RMGS says:

    bookje:
    An Oilers Style Haiku

    This Haiku is totally wrong
    The structure is wrong and nothing works as it should
    because it is an Oilers haiku
    and everything they touch ends up
    sucking.

    I’m relatively new, but can I declare a winner?

  95. VanOil says:

    At this point in the Nadir I don’t understand untouchable.

    Taylor Hall is very good hockey player, a chance machine.

    Is it possible he is a One Chance machine?

    A player who best skill is attacking off the rush? One who adds excitement and a treat to score on every shift, but is a soloist who does not aide a struggling team maintain consistent pressure?

    I am just building on Ferraro’s critique of the teams one and done style. If this truly is Halls team surely that critique must fall on him.

    Boat anchors are thrown to drowning teams and Hall is our best player. But is Hall best for the Team? He would fetch the highest return.

  96. russ99 says:

    That Penguins game feels like it was 1000 years ago.

    Does anyone else think the way they played in that game is Eakins’ offensive system anymore?

    It’s blatantly obvious that they’d get more first chances, and better second chances carrying the puck in and passing it to create space than dump and cycle and stick to the perimeter.

  97. Melman says:

    bookje:
    An Oilers Style Haiku

    This Haiku is totally wrong
    The structure is wrong and nothing works as it should
    because it is an Oilers haiku
    and everything they touch ends up
    sucking.

    Brilliant

  98. Gret99zky says:

    For those saying firing Lowe won’t make a difference I urge you to review the MacT hiring press conference.

    When asked why all the people who got the team into this mess years ago have been hired to get them out watch the look on KLowe’s face.

    The media (and a good number of fans) were stunned that KLowe was allowed to bring back Howson and Mactavish.

    Firing KLowe may not change the on-ice product this year or in the immediate future.

    But it will stop him from hiring his friends and former teammates for roles that should be given to the best qualified individual available after thorough investigation and interviews.

  99. Kris11 says:

    There once was a fan from Nantucket
    He followed the Oil
    30 years he was loyal
    Until finally he said, “Oh, just f!ck it”

  100. Kris11 says:

    I’m not actually from Nantucket. Poetic license and all that.

  101. denny33 says:

    RMGS,

    Yes, Parkatti’s always interesting work is showing that the Oilers aren’t a perimeter shooting team (on average), but does it show whether or not those shots are coming after rebounds, with net presence established, after winning a crease-area puck battle, and/or with someone else driving the net without the puck, etc. (all factors that increase the likelihood of a close shot going in)?
    I haven’t followed the series closely, but I believe Alan Hull at C&B is trying to isolate “second-touch chances – things like deflections, rebounds, or shots taken after winning a battle for a loose puck in the first few seconds following an initial shot attempt.”
    His guess (and many others’) is that the Oilers perform poorly in that area

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

    Yes, Parkatti’s always interesting work is showing that the Oilers aren’t a perimeter shooting team (on average), but does it show whether or not those shots are coming after rebounds, with net presence established, after winning a crease-area puck battle, and/or with someone else driving the net without the puck, etc. (all factors that increase the likelihood of a close shot going in)?
    I haven’t followed the series closely, but I believe Alan Hull at C&B is trying to isolate “second-touch chances – things like deflections, rebounds, or shots taken after winning a battle for a loose puck in the first few seconds following an initial shot attempt.”
    His guess (and many others’) is that the Oilers perform poorly in that area

    ****************************************************************************
    Even sweet Ales sees it….courtesy of the EJ:

    “We don’t score the dirty goals around the net ** like other teams** do,” said Ales Hemsky. “That’s one thing we have to get better at. It’s frustrating, but no excuses. If you don’t score, you don’t score. We have to crash the net more.”

  102. p2e2l says:

    I’m a frequent reader, but this is my first comment. Maybe before adding an assistant coach or making trades the Oilers should find a good sports psychologist to work the room and work with individuals. This situation seems one of broken spirits, not lack of talent.

  103. remlap says:

    bookje:
    An Oilers Style Haiku

    This Haiku is totally wrong
    The structure is wrong and nothing works as it should
    because it is an Oilers haiku
    and everything they touch ends up
    sucking.

    I made a point of logging in just to say, well done good sir.

  104. hunter1909 says:

    I miss Tambellini.

  105. G Money says:

    p2e2l:
    I’m a frequent reader, but this is my first comment. Maybe before adding an assistant coach or making trades the Oilers should find a good sports psychologist to work the room and work with individuals. This situation seems one of broken spirits, not lack of talent.

    The Oilers do have a sports psychologist. And she’s hot. Maybe that’s the problem. Distractions, etc.

    http://www.drkimberleyamirault.com/index.php/drkimberley/bio/

  106. Andy P says:

    As angry as we all are, MacT should manage the communications to the fans in a way that they come on board, but, his first objective has to be to build a winning team off a solid base as fast as can be done, rather than trade our young because poor communication management has led to a mob with pitchforks at the door.

    This is not the time to trade players because: 1) It’s not the players. There are few organizations who would not be able to make a cup contender out of this team. It’s how the players are played and coached. 2) Nobody will want to play on this team and all of our players will be at their lowest value right now, so the only ones we could trade would be the ones we need the most. I accept that when MacT traded Smid he freed up space to keep Hemsky, he put players into the goalie pipeline, and he found a potentially viable 4th line center.

    I was perturbed at Eakin’s comments but apparently talking to your players after the game is peewee coaching – thanks to WG for that pearl.

    I think we have a sound GM in MacT who has obviously learned the folly of hire in haste repent at leisure, or something like that. We have a coach who appears to be an intelligent, caring, arrogant prick who may not be in touch with his team to the degree one would expect. But, people who may know more than us did say, “30 games” and we are where? 21?

    At 21 we do have a solid roster, cracks showing, pitchforks in the fan base, a new goalie sharpening up just as DD puts in a high save % with 1 game losing, soft goal, and a team that has apparently learnt defense at the cost of offense.

    Todd Nelson is the right choice for head coach if Eakins resigns or fails. He is known, liked and respected by the core and he seems to be able to put systems in a manner that players understand and follow. He took a really bad AHL team and turned it into a contender. He may also be the only competent coach willing to take on this position at this time.

    But we have to see this through with Eakins. Let him choose his Assistant coach if there is any assistant coach wiling to join this team. Probably not at this juncture.

    So hold your nose, don’t watch games if it nauseates you, and forget about this team until Game 31. At that point, Eakins either will have a team that has found an acceptable level of offense, has not forgotten defense, and is trending upwards in those arcane metrics of games won and goals scored.

    If, therefore, we beat Calgary in Game 31 like a rented mule, say 6-0, scoring 3 in the 1st, 2 in the 2nd, and 1 in the 3rd, then we are on track to be a team nobody wants to play anymore, and with a few roster tweaks over the offseason, a true playoff contender in 2014.

    But if we are still rattling around our nadir, with ongoing Russian and other mini dramas and press conferences, we really should allow Eakins to keep his dignity and resign, to allow MacT to bring in the coach he should have hired in the first place, Todd Nelson.

    Just sayin’

  107. hunter1909 says:

    Katz’s going to have to cancel Oil Change shooting in a hurry, or else fire whoever’s responsible for what promises to:

    Continue to screw up the young idiot players who seem to believe they’re super media stars instead of glorified podcast material…

    And then on an actual graver note: the show is quickly going to morph into the blackest hockey comedy since Slap Shot. But, for all the wrong reasons.

  108. denny33 says:

    Time for the members of the media to step up and call for Kevin Lowe to resign…..

  109. rickithebear says:

    last two year our shoot against goal rate is 7.93%
    0-10 fet from net 16.2%
    10-20 12.5%
    20-30 10.3%
    >30 4.2%

    This year 11.85%
    0-10 23.5%
    10-20 22.2%
    20-30 18.4%
    >30 4.78%

  110. icecastles says:

    Woodguy: Rookie GM and rookie head coach.
    Just when the Oilers could stop down breaking in rookies 3-4 at at time and put up with rookie mistakes they break in a rookie GM and rookie coach and now we have to live with their rookie mistakes.
    The Edmonton Rookies.
    Rookies have defined the Oilers since 2007.
    Its always about the rookies.
    Rookies usually are not actual NHL players
    Looks like Rookie GMs and Rookie Coaches are not Actual NHL executives and coaches off the hop either.
    Finally only have 2 or so NHL rookies on the team, but the learning curve gets steeper due to rookies in other areas.
    The Edmonton Rookies.

    111 words, 15 uses of the word ‘rookie’. 13.5% of your post is the word ‘rookie’. Well done.
    (9.1% on this post).

    (Like the Oilers themselves, I seem to have nothing useful to contribute today but here I am anyway)

  111. Woodguy says:

    rickithebear:
    last two year our shoot against goal rate is 7.93%
    0-10 fet from net 16.2%
    10-2012.5%
    20-3010.3%
    >304.2%

    This year11.85%
    0-1023.5%
    10-20 22.2%
    20-3018.4%
    >304.78%

    Is that percentage of shots, or the shooting percentage in those areas?

  112. Woodguy says:

    icecastles: 111 words, 15 uses of the word ‘rookie’. 13.5% of your post is the word ‘rookie’. Well done.
    (9.1% on this post).

    (Like the Oilers themselves, I seem to have nothing useful to contribute today but here I am anyway)

    I’m not a rookie.

    :)

  113. Bar_Qu says:

    Is the worst thing about this year that there is no “villain” for us as fans to point to? Hear me out.

    In the past 8 years we could easily point to one thing or another that was preventing this team from having success. As often as not, it was the architect(s) of the whole mess – the GM/President who willfully or unintentionally built a poor roster. And then the team played poorly and lost, while there would be bright spots individually (Hemsky, Penner, Dubnyk, Hall, Eberle, etc).

    But this year, who do you blame?
    The GM? Well, he rebuilt half the roster making generally good decisions along the way (waiver pick ups aside).
    The coach? Well he’s a rookie making occasionally poor roster choices (Gazdic with Eager? Again?) but early on had changed the flow of the play to the positive (Corsie positive)- though I can’t speak to lately because I’ve stopped looking.
    The goalie? Well, yes, but not all the losses have been solely on Dubnyk and even when he plays well the team doesn’t score (like last night for instance). The tandem/trio/quartet of goalies haven’t done anything spectacular but they haven’t been the sole reason the ship is sinking. Though I do understand if you assign blame to them, it ain’t all there at least in the last few games.
    Gagner? He’s one player playing badly. Not the only one either.
    Ference? What’s he done that badly? He is what he is, exactly as advertised.
    Yakupov? It is too laugh.
    Kevin Lowe? What in heaven’s name has he even done with this team in the last 8 months? Fired Tambellini. Tha’ts about it.

    We as fans are left with no single reason, no single cause for this team to be doing as badly as it is. Thus we are left to either despair, rage or invent/build a case for a particular source of the problems. This is what has cause poor Godot to lose his mind over the coaching of Eakins, Woodguy to go apoplectic every time Gagne lollygags down ice and Blacquejacque to disappear altogether.

    I get it. If it helps you, fire away at your particular source of the misery.

    As for me, I am not on here nearly as much and stay off entirely when the games are on. I just can’t find a reason to try to be more optimistic, but the Gretzky gravity holds me to this team. Plus my middle one finally found an Oiler jersey his size and has declared Taylor Hall to be one of his favorite NHL’rs. (*huge sigh of relief*)

    The problem may simply be systemic accentuated by a lot of bad luck and a feeling of hopelessness among the players. We can’t dissect that nor can we argue about the way to fix it. Luck changes. Winning changes feelings of despair. And with enough time the players may adapt better to the responsibilities they are being given and prosper in them (heaven knows, the other 670 players have adapted to their teams).

    It just hurts even more when we see the Flames playing well (if not actually having that much more success) in the first year of their rebuild.

  114. Caramel Obvious says:

    Andy P,

    I found your comment on Eakins talking to the team after the game very strange. Of all the petty things to criticize a coach for not talking to his team after the game has to be the most petty. One, it’s obviously irrelevant when the coach talks to the team. Two, to the extent that it isn’t irrelevant, Eakins is obviously doing the right thing. It’s like you willfully misinterpreted the situation to conclude that this means he never talks to them. Part of communicating is knowing when to communicate. After the game is not the time.

    Second, the notion that any organization in the NHL would win with this talent is demonstrably false. Compare the Oilers to the Jets, a team that is not winning, and you will find that the Jets have more talent than the Oilers. For instance:

    Are Belov, Petry, and J Schultz as good as Byfuglien, Enstrom, and Bogosian? Not even close.

    How about the forwards. Little, Ladd, Wheeler, Kane is a good forward group. Are Eberle, Hall and Hopkins really better? Maybe but not by a lot, certainly not by as much as the D is worse.

    Every team has good players. Most teams have better players than the Oilers.

  115. lance says:

    Every year -
    - my grandfather bought plants from a fellow dutchman’s greenhouse.
    - the plants died.
    - he went back again.

    OIler fans
    Think they’re shareholders
    but only buy
    nepotism

  116. theres oil in virginia says:

    To my eye, shot quality, or distance from the net aren’t the problem. The problem is that wherever the shot comes from, the save is often easily made, because the goalie gets a wide open look at it. Shots from the outside are great, but where are the players mucking it up in front of the net when the shot is taken? Often some of the best shots are perimeter shots that go through bodies. The only bodies in front of the opposition nets are defenders blocking shots and turning them into counter attacks.

    Of all of the players on the 5-3 FAIL (Hall, Perron, RNH, Eberle, Gagner), the only ones that I would even consider putting in front of the net would be Hall or Perron, and really I don’t want any of those guys taking that punishment. I’d be okay with Joensuu or Smyth being there, but I wonder how healthy either of those two guys are. Hell, put Belov in there!

    Nick Schultz, you da’ man! Another leveler at the blue line last night.

  117. Bruce McCurdy says:

    fuzzy muppet: probablyEberle as he has value but doesn’t drive the play like Hall

    Check this out: http://www.extraskater.com/players/on-ice?sit=5v5&min_gp=25&team=edm&pos=F

    Of the 16 Oilers forwards to play 5 or more games, Hall ranks 11th in CF% at a putrid 43.6%, behind Ben Eager for Gord’s sake and ahead of the following luminaries: Boyd “D-Zone Mule” Gordon, Will “Won’t/Can’t” Acton, Luke “Waiver Wire” Gazdic, Jesse “Jumpin Jiminy” Joensuu, and Mike “Long Gone” Brown.

    Eleventh.

    Eberle is second a hair below Arcobello, with nary a single forward at break-even.

    Nice thing about that Extra Skaters site is it gives you other choices than the flavor of the month. I like to cross check CF% against SF%, actual shots ON goal, and Hall’s picture improves all the way to 3rd, behind only Eberle and RNH. Strange how many opposition shots aren’t getting through with Hall on the ice, because it’s not like he’s the guy who’s likely to be in the way of them. Very weird splits.

    All three of Eberle-RNH-Hall are just north of 50% SF%, similar to last year, with no other forwards above the water line, also similar to last year. Funny that the six million dollar men have accomplished this same separation from the pack while largely playing apart this season.

    Either way, though, I don’t see much evidence there to support the suggestion that “Eberle doesn’t drive the play like Hall”. Eberle had the best shot rates on the team last season in all three of Corsi, Relative Corsi, on-ice shot differential, so it’s not like he’s come out of nowhere in a small sample size.

    I know the original narrative was that Eberle’s big season was luck-driven, and to some extent it was, but his possession numbers have shown plenty of up arrows since. And hey lookit, he’s leading the team in scoring.

  118. Woodguy says:

    Ryan Dittrick ‏@ryandittrick 1m

    Lines per jersey colours:

    64-89-83
    4-93-14
    94-27-57
    33-26-28
    20-41-6. #Oilers

    Smac in for Joensuu next game?

    Hope he keeps 4-93-14 together for more than 3 shifts next game.

  119. wheatnoil says:

    bookje:
    An Oilers Style Haiku

    This Haiku is totally wrong
    The structure is wrong and nothing works as it should
    because it is an Oilers haiku
    and everything they touch ends up
    sucking.

    This may be the high point of the Oilers’ season.

  120. Andy P says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    Andy P,

    I found your comment on Eakins talking to the team after the game very strange.Of all the petty things to criticize a coach for not talking to his team after the game has to be the most petty.One, it’s obviously irrelevant when the coach talks to the team.Two, to the extent that it isn’t irrelevant, Eakins is obviously doing the right thing.It’s like you willfully misinterpreted the situation to conclude that this means he never talks to them.Part of communicating is knowing when to communicate.After the game is not the time.

    Second, the notion that any organization in the NHL would win with this talent is demonstrably false.Compare the Oilers to the Jets, a team that is not winning, and you will find that the Jets have more talent than the Oilers.For instance:

    Are Belov, Petry, and J Schultz as good as Byfuglien, Enstrom, and Bogosian?Not even close.

    How about the forwards.Little, Ladd, Wheeler, Kane is a good forward group.Are Eberle, Hall and Hopkins really better?Maybe but not by a lot, certainly not by as much as the D is worse.

    Every team has good players.Most teams have better players than the Oilers.

    the criticism was not meant to be petty, I am using this blog as a means to better acquaint myself with this game and at this level. I grew up playing different sports and have only watched hockey since the late 90′s. So I have a lot of catching up to do.
    IT seemed to me from my own, amateur playing experience, and watching other sports and background documentaties, that coaches had a close emotional connection with their team, part of which was tone setting after game wrap-ups before everyone showered and went home. because that was a given it seemed wierd to me that he didnt talk to the team about the game until the next moring, and because I am searching for reasons right now that appeared to be a reasonable possibility. While Woodguy set the record straight subsequently, it seems that the person asking the question that Eakins replied to had the same misapprehension that I did.

    Secondly, on any given Hockey night in Canada, yes I do think this team, when properly motivated and playing as a team with talent should, will definetly get the better of the Jets, and the Kings, and Vancouver, and the Devils, and Dallas, and…. you get the point.

    I have seen flashes of this from time to time and I hope will see this again, within the next 9 or 10 games.

  121. wheatnoil says:

    Woodguy:

    Smac in for Joensuu next game?

    Thanks Gord! The Oilers have been terrible since Smac got injured!

  122. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy:

    Smac in for Joensuu next game?

    We knew this was coming. If Gazdic were healthy, he’d play every game most likely.

    Two interesting things:

    1) This move will at least provide some entertainment to the vast majority of Oiler fans (they enjoy them some fighting!). They aren’t getting wins this year, might as well give them something (challenge the Sabres for “shitty but entertaining for terrible reasons” title!)

    2) A nontrivial number of fans and media will actually believe this team is better with Smac and/or Gazdic on the ice.

  123. Old School G says:

    I have been trying to figure out how our brass thought we were icing a balanced roster on opening night.

    Was it hopes and prayers, delusion, or sheer arrogance that lead Management to believe that the collection of players assembled would compete at the NHL level?

    That’s enough MacT, this isn’t working. Tough decisions need to be made. You don’t have the luxury of another 5 year rebuild.

  124. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    wheatnoil: Thanks Gord! The Oilers have been terrible since Smac got injured!

    Said by innumerable actual Oiler fans.

  125. wheatnoil says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Said by innumerable actual Oiler fans.

    True. I imagine Smac’s role will be to protect the Oilers’ young stars (like Yakupov) from vicious cheap shots by the media

  126. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Old School G:
    I have been trying to figure out how our brass thought we were icing a balanced roster on opening night.

    Was ithopes and prayers, delusion, or sheer arrogance that lead Management to believe that the collection of players assembled would compete at the NHL level?

    That’s enough MacT, this isn’t working. Tough decisions need to be made. You don’t have the luxury of another 5 year rebuild.

    I’m not sure this is fair.

    MacT clearly thinks and thought at the beginning of the season that this is a work in progress. He’s said so repeatedly. This isn’t a case of building your ideal and watching it fail, it’s a case of taking over a team “managed by neglect” and trying to right the ship in a short span.

    Now, that said, MacT probably thinks his team is better than it is and he gets to wear all the moves he completed or failed to complete since taking over.

  127. bookje says:

    Smid gone for nothing. Smac in the lineup. Not playing 4-93-14 much at all.

    One would think the tank was on if you didn’t know otherwise.

    Some of these are glaringly bad decisions.

    Its hard to keep the faith that this will turn around. Its clear that goaltending sent things off the rails to start and that is hard to recover from, but they should have ‘recovered’ better than this.

  128. Woodguy says:

    Ryan Rishaug ‏@TSNRyanRishaug 17m

    Craig Mactavish expected to talk to media today.

    The dreaded “vote of confidence” in the coach?

    Also,

    Never heard a timeline on Pitlick.

    Would like to see him back too.

    Upgrade on Jones and Joensuu so far.

  129. Woodguy says:

    wheatnoil: True. I imagine Smac’s role will be to protect the Oilers’ young stars (like Yakupov) from vicious cheap shots by the media

    Win

  130. Doomoil says:

    russ99:
    That Penguins game feels like it was 1000 years ago.

    Does anyone else think the way they played in that game is Eakins’ offensive system anymore?

    It’s blatantly obvious that they’d get more first chances, and better second chances carrying the puck in and passing it to create space than dump and cycle and stick to the perimeter.

    UGH. There are legitimate concerns over Eakins. You don’t need to fabricate them.

  131. CrazyCoach says:

    Caramel Obvious: Finally, Joensuu is proving how irrelevant size really is. Get good players, ignore size, call up Omark. What do you have to lose?

    Let’s see, Omark Vs. say Nichushkin or Landeskog?

    I know who I want.

  132. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    I sincerely hope you all are following this amazing story:

    http://gawker.com/rob-ford-is-too-busy-eating-his-wifes-pussy-to-eat-hoo-1464362276

  133. spoiler says:

    hunter1909: Stopped following oilers and hockey after Messier was traded, so never knew anything about Corson except when he was a Hab. Just for posterity: Why is he hated?Midnight Cowboy: director John Schlesinger who also made one of the most copied movies by film makers(and cinematographers) with Lawrence Olivier in Marathon Man. One of Olivier’s greatest movies. Schlesinger was an absolute genius. Oilers: An ill wind is blowing.

    Here you go, McCurdy at his finest:

    http://www.coppernblue.com/2010/9/28/1700540/the-worst-captain-in-oiler-history

  134. lance says:

    Linked in the Grantland piece:

    “It’s man-to-man/support,” Roy said of the defensive coverage he brought with him from his eight-year stint with major junior’s Quebec Remparts. “More and more teams will have their defense men involved in the attack, and if you play (zone), you cannot follow them.

    “All the teams that I’ve watched have success — St. Louis, Detroit and the other top teams — are doing it. And in order for us to have some success, there are things you have to copy, and this is one of the big things.”

    Read more: Avalanche’s success comes in part from new defensive system – The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/avalanche/ci_24310390/avalanches-success-comes-part-from-new-defensive-system#ixzz2keLenpBU

    Who’s the smartest man in the room?

  135. Old School G says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    It was not intended to be fair at all. Just like watching your team lose terribly for the better part of a decade is not fair. Love this team even today. MacT needs to do what Tambellini couldn’t. He needs to make this team competetive, making the playoffs type of competitive by next season. It’s a nearly impossible task but it’s the task he has taken on.

  136. spoiler says:

    lance:

    Every year -
    - my grandfather bought plants from a fellow dutchman’s greenhouse.
    - the plants died.
    - he went back again.

    Were they annuals?

  137. VOR says:

    Somebody above said Tyler Myers is the worst contract in hockey which is I think debatable. Others are saying MacT is dealing from a position of weakness with a superstar who really doesn’t want to be here.

    It made me wonder.

    Would Yakupov get you Myers and Buffalo’s first?

    I know it sounds idiotic but is it as bad as trading your star center

    504 games 218 goals 273 assists 491 points -69

    for a checking forward whose career would be

    256 games 40 goals 57 assists 97 points 0 goals

    a waste of space defenceman

    231 games 6 goals 23 assists 29 points -61

    and a first round draft choice?

    Myers is statistically a better Dman and Yakupov doesn’t have that long a record of excellence but it might be in the ballpark.

    Now everybody will be saying that this is exactly the kind of stupid trade bad teams make. The Oilers would be on the losing side of that deal.

    By the way what I just described above is in fact one of the most famously one sided trades in NHL history. Just probably not in the way you might think.

    The waste of space defenceman was Zdeno Chara and the first round draft choice was Jason Spezza.

    So the deal ended up being the New York Islanders get Alexi Yashin and Ottawa gets Zdeno Chara, Jason Spezza, and Bill Muckalt.

    Every major trade can be a complete disaster but it can also be the turning point for a bad team. In 2001 the Senators found a willing partner in another bad team and made the deal that changed everything.

  138. Bag of Pucks says:

    It truly amazes me that MacT watched an entire season of Gagner, Hemsky, Dubnyk and Potter in this lineup last year – and then he brought them all back.

    Bold moves! Paajarvi for Perron. Smac. Bryzgalov. What a joke.

    You know things have gotten as bad as they can get for your team when Calgary has hired the President of Hockey Operations you should have.

  139. DeadmanWaking says:

    If Krueger had stayed–equipped with a shiny new assistant coaching staff–and the team had made a solid half step in the right direction, we’d still be faced with firing Krueger at the trade deadline. Because Oiler fans.

    I’m beginning to understand why Taleb is so unpopular among his fellow traders. Taleb has an informal mathematical definition of a black swan: where your single worst trading event over a long period of time has more impact on your average return than every other trade added together. He ties this into why it is usually a mistake to chase reputation. Many people with great reputations are the ones who simply haven’t yet experienced their defining implosion.

    One trader asked Taleb which way he thought the market was going. Taleb said “up”. Then the guy caught a glimpse of Taleb’s market position, which was loaded with shorts. “But you told me you thought the market was going up!”

    “Yes, I did. I think it is going to go up. That’s the question you asked me. But if it goes down, I’m expecting a massive decline. ”

    There’s no terminal implosion worse than management by elimination. The firings will continue until morale improves. First the coach, then the GM, then the players (at which point the players are going “sign me up for the ejector seat!”)

    Krueger was very good at making the medicine go down. Slowly. It wasn’t the best medicine, but at least the players weren’t grimacing with every spoonful.

    Eakins comes along with better medicine and goes “Just swallow it, you wimps. You know you should. Never mind free fall, or the ground rushing toward our feet. Or the disorientation of having too much to think about.”

    He’s not the first NHL coach to march into the job with a better plan that goes nowhere fast.

    Eakins couldn’t have been Krueger’s assistant, because Krueger would have told Eakins that all those big changes would take two years to drill and instill into the team.

    Dithering landed us in purgatory.

    Not dithering landed us in hell.

    I’m not yet convinced that hell is worse than purgatory. Best option is the for the men who got us here to get us back out, battle hardened with a new attitude.

    Second best is to clean house and reboot the rebuild. That’s a multi year setback.

    Third best is to think we can parachute reputation into the Heart of Darkness as if military doctrine still applies. On the upside, it would nicely complete the circle. We’d be right back to Kevin Lowe circa 2007. Only this time, with fresh assets in hand five years later, we can’t even land Justin Schultz. Once burned, twice shy.

    What happens in the next month or two will define MacT and Eakins for a long time.

    Eakins in that presser looked like he’d seen the ghost of his future greatness.

  140. nelson88 says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Don’t come round here making sense. It threatens the narrative.

  141. bendelson says:

    Lowetide:
    This is exactly where losing teams make bad trades. I don’t think MacT will do that, but do believe the pressure to do something this morning is incredible. I suspect we hear something before tomorrow about a change of some sort (don’t know what it might be, but would guess an additional asst coach).

    Last week’s trade doesn’t count?
    Perhaps that was just a warm-up with the real disasterous trade just around the corner?
    Ouch.

  142. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    lance:
    Linked in the Grantland piece:

    “It’s man-to-man/support,” Roy said of the defensive coverage he brought with him from his eight-year stint with major junior’s Quebec Remparts. “More and more teams will have their defense men involved in the attack, and if you play (zone), you cannot follow them.

    “All the teams that I’ve watched have success — St. Louis, Detroit and the other top teams — are doing it. And in order for us to have some success, there are things you have to copy, and this is one of the big things.”

    Read more: Avalanche’s success comes in part from new defensive system – The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/avalanche/ci_24310390/avalanches-success-comes-part-from-new-defensive-system#ixzz2keLenpBU

    Who’s the smartest man in the room?

    These puff pieces on the Avs are a great example of the MSM blowing it… again. This is the 11-12 Wild all over again:

    http://www.coppernblue.com/2011/11/30/2600595/how-good-are-the-minnesota-wild

    Here’s this year’s stats:

    http://www.extraskater.com/teams/on-ice?type=total&sit=ev

    3rd in the league in SV% (they were 1st for most of the season)
    5th in the league in SH%
    2nd in the league in PDO

    2nd in league in SV% 4×5
    19th in league in SH% 5×4

    25th in the league in CF% 5×5
    25th in the league in FF% 5×5
    20th in shots for% 5×5

    Now, score effects look better (they probably aren’t as bad as the 11-12 Wild

    17th in league in CF% 5x5close
    18th in league in FF% 5x5close
    12th in league in shots for% 5x5close

    So, we’ve got an unreal shooting and save % at evens. An unreal penalty save %. Brutal shot metrics at 5×5 and middling shot metrics adjusted for score effects.

    This team is riding two things:

    1) unsustainable percentages

    2) unbelievably credulous press coverage in love with the Roy narrative.*

    *the flip side of this is… if/when it turns sour, Roy will be roasted in the media and all kinds of non-hockey-related stuff will be brought up.

  143. Lowetide says:

    From today’s PC: When it comes to making deals, MacTavish says all teams want one of his core pieces. He’s not willing to part with one of those at this time.

    Music!

  144. Lowetide says:

    bendelson: Last week’s trade doesn’t count?
    Perhaps that was just a warm-up with the real disasterous trade just around the corner?
    Ouch.

    Last week’s trade (imo) was about Smid’s future in Edmonton and how they saw him fitting in.

  145. Bag of Pucks says:

    How’s this for a great movie idea?

    Survivor: The Kevin Lowe story

    Lowe played by Rob Ford.

  146. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    MacT via Oilers’ twitter:

    Jack Michaels @EdmontonJack
    When it comes to making deals, MacTavish says all teams want one of his core pieces. He’s not willing to part with one of those at this time
    Retweeted by Edmonton Oilers
    Expand
    9m
    Edmonton Oilers ✔ @EdmontonOilers
    “It’s painful, but we’re going to get through this and eventually be a much improved team.” – GM MacTavish message to #Oilers fans
    Expand
    13m
    Edmonton Oilers ✔ @EdmontonOilers
    “The blueline needs to be improved upon… Do we need a big stud defenceman? It would help immensely.” – MacTavish on #Oilers D
    Expand
    14m
    Edmonton Oilers ✔ @EdmontonOilers
    “Now is the time to build the trust in these players. It’s my obligation to support these guys.” – MacTavish on the #Oilers core group
    Expand
    18m
    Edmonton Oilers ✔ @EdmontonOilers
    “I have not seen the same, beat-up, negative group that I’ve seen here in the past.” – GM MacTavish on #Oilers locker room morale
    Expand
    21m
    Edmonton Oilers ✔ @EdmontonOilers
    “I’m frustrated, I’m pissed off… I want to see results.” – MacTavish, says he continues to work to acquire handful of missing pieces
    Expand
    25m
    Chris Wescott @TheChrisWescott
    #Oilers view Laurent Brossoit as a future number one goalie. MacTavish says they didn’t have that in that age bracket before Smid trade.
    Retweeted by Edmonton Oilers
    Expand
    24m
    Edmonton Oilers ✔ @EdmontonOilers
    “What this team needs is continuity in coaching, and they’re going to get it… he’s hitting all the right messages.” – MacT on Eakins
    Expand
    27m
    Chris Wescott @TheChrisWescott
    #Oilers MacTavish: “if I thought for one instant it was a lack of work ethic on the players part, we’d be having a much different convo”
    Retweeted by Edmonton Oilers
    Expand
    27m
    Edmonton Oilers ✔ @EdmontonOilers
    “I’m going to continue to support this group, and I think the players deserve my support… I feel and see progress.” – GM MacTavish
    Expand
    29m
    Jack Michaels @EdmontonJack
    MacTavish says 1st 5-6 games Oilers “self-destructed,” and made “Junior mistakes.”. From there, d-zone coverage suffered, low point was DET.
    Retweeted by Edmonton Oilers
    Expand
    28m
    Edmonton Oilers ✔ @EdmontonOilers
    GM MacTavish says the #Oilers “self-destructed” in their first six games, continuing to say “low point” so far was Detroit game.
    Expand
    30m
    Edmonton Oilers ✔ @EdmontonOilers
    “Things have obviously not gone as well as I would have thought probable.” – #Oilers GM Craig MacTavish

  147. CrazyCoach says:

    Ah crap, what a crock of BS press conference.

    I imagine this is what the folks at Jonestown Guyana said about all the sermons Jim Jones gave before the “BIG” one!

    Absolute horse crap!

  148. Bag of Pucks says:

    If trading Gagner or Dubnyk, what return would be needed to satisfy Oiler fans?

    My take is they’re BAD players and simply getting rid of them to free up the cap room to acquire better FAs ala Gordon would be a huge win.

    At some point, MacT has to find the cahones to cut the cords with the players that are dragging this team down on a perennial basis.

  149. spoiler says:

    CrazyCoach: Ah crap, what a crock of BS press conference.I imagine this is what the folks at Jonestown Guyana said about all the sermons Jim Jones gave before the “BIG” one!Absolute horse crap!

    Drink the Koolaid, it’s tasty?

  150. lance says:

    spoiler: Were they annuals?

    In central Alberta everything is an annual. Kinda like the Oiler lottery. Sadly, the plants generally didn’t make it past July. At least with the Oilers, the flowery jewels make it well into October.

  151. Racki says:

    “@TheChrisWescott: Breaking down presser: Stay the course, understand frustration, looking for big d-man, willing to part w/ high picks but not core player”

    Agree or disagree?

    I’d move a core guy when value is there, because the team still needs top six grit even though Perron helps. Moving hemsky and gagner would be wise also. But I’m happy to hear the stud D is still a target and 1st rounder up for grabs

  152. spoiler says:

    Bag of Pucks: If trading Gagner or Dubnyk, what return would be needed to satisfy Oiler fans?My take is they’re BAD players and simply getting rid of them to free up the cap room to acquire better FAs ala Gordon would be a huge win.At some point, MacT has to find the cahones to cut the cords with the players that are dragging this team down on a perennial basis.

    Doobie is UFA at the end of the year and will be freeing up cap space all by himself.

  153. Lowetide says:

    Racki:
    “@TheChrisWescott: Breaking down presser: Stay the course, understand frustration, looking for big d-man, willing to part w/ high picks but not core player”

    Agree or disagree?

    I’d move a core guy when value is there,because the team still needs top six grit even though Perron helps. But I’m happy to hear the stud D is still a target and 1st rounder up for grabs

    My concern was they were about to make a huge reactionary move. I have no quarrel with moving a good piece for 100 cents on the dollar. I don’t believe you get that today.

  154. Jujhar says:

    Bag of Pucks: If trading Gagner or Dubnyk, what return would be needed to satisfy Oiler fans?My take is they’re BAD players and simply getting rid of them to free up the cap room to acquire better FAs ala Gordon would be a huge win.At some point, MacT has to find the cahones to cut the cords with the players that are dragging this team down on a perennial basis.

    I would dump Gagner for nothing. 5 million per year wasted on an AHL player.

  155. Bag of Pucks says:

    spoiler: Doobie is UFA at the end of the year and will be freeing up cap space all by himself.

    So swap him at the deadline for a pick?

  156. CrazyCoach says:

    spoiler: Drink the Koolaid, it’s tasty?

    Make it Raspberry with tonsof sugar, aka 70′s style, and I’ll drink it.

    I sometimes think I’m a masochist for following this team, but at least a masochist derives some pleasure from their deviancy.

  157. lance says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I didn’t quote anything about puff and fluff, I quoted the part where Roy claims the good teams are using a man to man.

    Weeks ago there was a narrative here from those seemingly much more versed in hockey theory than me about man to man never being done, that zone had been banned in the NBA because it was so effective, and so all NHL teams use a zone. Yet I remember in Hoosiers where they argue about man to man v zone and Hackman says “You can’t play a good zone if you can’t play man to man” and now Roy is saying StL and Detroit are using a m2m.

    Just saying that swarm is all warm fuzzy and new, but it sounds like Roy and Foote are running some m2m and that giggy is pretty happy about it.

  158. Racki says:

    Lowetide: My concern was they were about to make a huge reactionary move. I have no quarrel with moving a good piece for 100 cents on the dollar. I don’t believe you get that today.

    Ya I agree that you get burned if you were to try and move, say, Yakupov right now. As much as I think this team needs a face lift, it will likely have to wait. But I think they do eventually need some Simmonds types in the top six and some more Gordon types in their bottom six. A Troy Brouwer type would go a long way… And then also that elusive stud D man, but that is likely wishful thinking.

    P. S. Gordon needs more props from people than he gets.

  159. wintoon says:

    Oiler fans are strange. They have totally drunk the Kool Aid about the team having tons of offensive talent and yet they have just set a record for scoreless periods. That means they aren’t scoring. When was the last time they blew somebody out? Chicago last year. The reason they are having trouble scoring is because they do not have 1 much less 2 dominant centres. RNH has potential but he is not there yet. Gagner is not even an NHL calibre C. If MacT makes a move I pray it is for a Centre who can play some offense and sound 2 way hockey.

    Until this team is able to demonstrate offensive effectiveness they will lack the confidence to simply play hockey and will fall prey to nagging doubts which allow opponents to outplay and outscore them.

    In short, yes the team has problems on D but equally important, they have huge problems in the O zone as well.

  160. godot10 says:

    Matt.N:
    I consider the commenters on this blog to be generally the most intelligent and clear thinking group of Oiler fans out there. To see the amount of “fire the coach” or “blame the players” sentiment is just staggering to me. This team has been terrible under Kevin Lowe’s tenure. The worst in the league.

    I have been about the loudest “Eakins is an idiot” voice out there. I have not once, nor has hardly anyone has been screaming “fire the coach”. All I’ve asked for so far is for Lowe it resign.

    MacT and Eakins need some breathing space. Which is why Lowe has to go.

    There are likely consequences to MacT’s boneheaded decision to hire a cocksure fool as coach. Players will be positioning themselves near the exit sign. As Larionov has already done with Yakupov. Petry may just opt for arbitration the rest of the way to get to UFA status, rather than sign a long term contract.

    It will be much more difficult to sign UFA’s next year, because MacT lost credibility with a bad hire.

    And well, last summer, the arrows of Hall, Yakupov, Eberle, Nugent-Hopkins, and Justin Schultz were all up. People wanted to play with them. Eakins has given them all leprosy.

    Has Nurse signed his contract yet?

  161. spoiler says:

    Lowetide: My concern was they were about to make a huge reactionary move. I have no quarrel with moving a good piece for 100 cents on the dollar. I don’t believe you get that today.

    They should get a decent return, if they’re dealing with another struggling team. They can’t both fail to get 100 cents on the dollar due to their struggles.

  162. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Old School G:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    It was not intended to be fair at all. Just like watching your team lose terribly for the better part of a decade is not fair. Love this team even today. MacT needs to do what Tambellini couldn’t. He needs to make this team competetive, making the playoffs type of competitive by next season.It’s a nearly impossible task but it’s the task he has taken on.

    There is a difference between acknowledging a team is terrible and how sucky that is and who is responsible for it (MacT) and saying the guy responsible for it thought he’d built a balanced team according to his designs.

  163. CrazyCoach says:

    Racki: P. S. Gordon needs more props from people than he gets.

    I wholeheartedly agree. If there is one positive, it has been Boyd Gordon. I hope he sticks around.

  164. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Racki: willing to part w/ high picks but not core player”
    Agree or disagree?
    I’d move a core guy when value is there,

    I think the debate is going to be more “who is/isn’t a core player” than “should we move a core player”

    or, the day X gets trade he’s not a core player, because core players don’t get traded. It’s really elementary.
    ;)

  165. Racki says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I think the debate is going to be more “who is/isn’t a core player” than “should we move a core player”

    or, the day X gets trade he’s not a core player, because core players don’t get traded. It’s really elementary.

    My list of core guys at the NHL level is super small: nuge, Hall, eberle. These are who I’d hang on to no matter what. The rest.. Depends on the return.

    The state of shit of this team has probably reduced my list quite a bit from what it once was

  166. TheOtherJohn says:

    Lowetide: Last week’s trade (imo) was about Smid’s future in Edmonton and how they saw him fitting in.

    Think the Smid trade was directly tied to having given Ference a 4 year contract with a NMC. They fill the same role except Smid is 8 years younger and more capable of defending large WC teams.

    If Douglas Murray on an expiring contract gets you 2 2nd round picks what would Smid have feteched at the trade deadline?

  167. russ99 says:

    Racki,

    All I can think about after MacT’s presser is this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDAmPIq29ro

    LOL

    You have to be OK to change to make any progress in this league. Sadly, this is going to get worse before it gets better, and IMO Craig stuck his neck out a little to far today to defend the staff.

  168. art vandelay says:

    Have the Oilesr lost that game to the Flames yet?

  169. godot10 says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I forgot about the shift length.That’s pretty terrible.In my opinion Eakins is bending over backwards trying to push Yakupov in the right direction with soft touches and kid gloves.Can you imagine if Omark behaved like Yakupov does?

    We have to at least consider the fact that Yakupov has no idea what he is doing and that he might be unteachable.The most important thing that every teacher should know (and I say this as someone who has won awards for excellence in teaching) is that you can’t make someone listen.It comes from them or it doesn’t come at all.

    That’s the unfavorable interpretation.The charitable one is that he’s a young kid in a foreign country who doesn’t really speak the language who is confused and frustrated.I’m going with the charitable one for now but at some point he needs to get past this.

    You have to block out last year to push the thesis that Yakupov is uncoachable. Krueger demonstrated that he clearly is coachable, clearly is able to receive discipline via ice time, clearly able to take being moved up and down the lineup unselfishly in response to team needs.

    What the OIlers have is a coach who wants the players to do what he wants, rather than a coach who is trying to make his hockey players better. Elite players have to know and understand why. You can just tell AHL players what to do.

    Treating all the players the same isn’t not treating all the players equally. Equality, substantive equality, requires differential treatmeat, to each according to their needs.

    You are a bad teacher and a bad coach if you don’t appreciate the differential needs of your students or players.

    Right from the start, it quickly became apparent that Eakins was awful at this. He had no appreciation of the differential abilities and needs of his players.

  170. Wolfpack says:

    I was at the game last night, took my dad and was disappointed that he had to experience that as his first game at Rexall in 5 years. The 5 on 3 was probably the most frustrating to me – five forwards passing the puck around the perimeter with nobody in front. They made it so easy for Dallas to kill off that PP.

    My dad commented on how there was no hitting in the game. I said “that’s the only reason the Oilers are still in it”. When the heavier teams start to lean on the Oilers it is a guaranteed victory. Oilers just don’t have the mass or the will to push back.

    Nick Shultz and J.J. were the only Oilers I saw who were finishing their checks. It was just sad. And I’m not sure what the official face-off numbers were but to my eye Gagner didn’t win a thing last night.

  171. TheGreatMutato says:

    pboy:
    Let’s all look at the positives here. We are all going to be cheering for an amazing team come February and Sidney Crosby will be on it!

    You best knock on wood, sir!

    I spent the Tampa game talking about how much I looked forward to being Stamkos’ number one fan in a few months. We all know how that turned out.

  172. Woodguy says:

    Prediction: Oilers 1st for Del Zotto. NYR needs to shed salary for next year so a 1st is what Sather would want in return.

  173. godot10 says:

    Logan91:
    This team desperately needs a veteran centre and winger. Minus Perron and Hemsky, they are relying on two inexperienced top lines, and it really shows.

    You mean like Shawn Horcoff, who could have subbed for an injured Nugent-Hopkins, and then Gagner, and then played left wing the rest of the season with Gordon.

    And who then could have been bought out with a compliance buyout next summer if necessary.

  174. G Money says:

    Wolfpack: My dad commented on how there was no hitting in the game. I said “that’s the only reason the Oilers are still in it”. When the heavier teams start to lean on the Oilers it is a guaranteed victory. Oilers just don’t have the mass or the will to push back.

    Nick Shultz and J.J. were the only Oilers I saw who were finishing their checks. It was just sad. And I’m not sure what the official face-off numbers were but to my eye Gagner didn’t win a thing last night.

    FWIW, the official stats: Oilers 18 hits, Stars 12 hits. Gagner FW 7, FL 6 (54%).

  175. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    lance: I didn’t quote anything about puff and fluff, I quoted the part where Roy claims the good teams are using a man to man.

    The DGB piece is not a puff piece, clearly. The DP piece is and it follows on the trails of many others (I’m not making you responsible for them in anyway, just commenting on media trends).

    This is back-filling, post-facto thinking… “oh, you’re winning, let’s create some reasons!”

    The DP piece gives a nod to the goaltending before deciding that luck doesn’t tell the same story as a commander in control of a situation. We like narratives that stroke our belief that we control our environment, it reinforces our egos as a cultural matter.

    So, you get stories about systems. Well, let’s analyze what Roy’s defensive system has produced (remember that d-systems have a trivial impact on SV%):

    Shots Against 5×5 = 20th in the league, below playoff levels.

    Ok… so, you and the DP article say the shots are all “perimeter” shots. If that is true, it would certainly be interesting and worth taking note of. Here’s the ordinal list of average shot distance (in feet) of all teams (home and away, 5×5, includes goals) against:

    1. Minn: 40.8
    2. SJS: 38.5
    3. DET: 38.3
    4. FLY: 38.1
    5. NASH: 38
    6. BOS: 37.9
    7. CBJ: 37.8
    8. NJD: 37
    8. HABS: 37
    10. TBL: 36.7
    11. DAL: 36.3
    12. TML: 35.9
    12. PENS: 35.9
    12. JETS: 35.9
    15. OIL: 35.8
    AVS: 35.6
    17. FLA: 35.5
    18. PHX: 35.4
    19. SENS: 35.3
    20. VAN: 35.2
    21. CAPS: 34.8
    21. LAK: 34.8
    23. CHI: 34.4
    24. NYR: 34.3
    25. BLUES: 34.1
    26. CAL: 33.8
    27. CANES: 33.6
    28. ISLES: 33.3
    29. DUCKS: 33.1
    30. BUF: 32.9

    They are right in the middle of the league (16th and right after the woeful Oilers):

    http://somekindofninja.com/nhl/index.php?season=Regular&year=2013-2014&shots=Against&team=Colorado+Avalanche&ice_player_name=&withPlayer=On+Ice&player_name=&goalie_name=&event=Shots+and+Goals&game=Home+and+Away&strength=Even&time=Regulation&search=Search

  176. Old School G says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    You’re right, I’m wrong, I just want some wins Man

  177. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    godot10: Has Nurse signed his contract yet?

    Yes, in the Summer IIRC. the details:

    http://www.capgeek.com/player/2562

  178. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy:
    Prediction: Oilers 1st for Del Zotto. NYR needs to shed salary for next year so a 1st is what Sather would want in return.

    Hmmm… a LD Schultz?

    I think MacT appreciates size enough to look for someone a little thicker, with puck moving ability. Coburn or Nikitin or Girardi make more sense in the non-true-top-pairing options.

  179. denny33 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    2) A nontrivial number of fans and media will actually believe this team is better with Smac and/or Gazdic on the ice.

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

    Maybe.

    But we do know how they have played without Smac and Gazdic……

    Not saying they are going to help…..

    But we have seen pretty decent players occupy the 4th line spot lately and we are still not putting up 5 or 6 goals a night…..

  180. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    denny33: Maybe.
    But we do know how they have played without Smac and Gazdic……
    Not saying they are going to help…..
    But we have seen pretty decent players occupy the 4th line spot lately and we are still not putting up 5 or 6 goals a night…..

    Better players are better players even if better players always exist. :)

  181. godot10 says:

    VanOil:
    At this point in the Nadir I don’t understand untouchable.

    Taylor Hall is very good hockey player, a chance machine.

    Is it possible he is a One Chance machine?

    A player who best skill is attacking off the rush? One who adds excitement and a treat to score on every shift, but is a soloist who does not aide a struggling team maintain consistent pressure?

    I am just building on Ferraro’s critique of the teams one and done style. If this truly is Halls team surely that critique must fall on him.

    Boat anchors are thrown to drowning teams and Hall is our best player. But is Hall best for the Team? He would fetch the highest return.

    This is Eakin’s crappy coaching.

    Taylor Hall was 2nd in the scoring in the first division of hockey last year to Toews. He worked on his passing and playmaking and it showed. He is not a one-and-done. Hemsky is a soloist. Hall has NEVER been.

    He pushes the D back, and creates space for his linemates, and in Krueger’s power play, Horcoff and him where the two down low net presence guys, Horcoff primary, Hall secondary.

    Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, and Eberle would maintain the o-zone for extended periods of time last year, cycling the puck.

    Did you watch any hockey last year?

    Eakins has done two colossally dumb things with Hall. Playing him at centre, and forcing him to play tough opposition without Nugent-Hopkins and Eberle.

    Eakins chose to play Hall away from his strengths, by playing him at centre, and then playing him with boat anchors, when he attracts the best players on the opposition.

    Give Hall, Nugent-Hopkins and Eberle, and then will tilt the ice for 20 minutes of the game, or at worst saw off the best players on the other side.

    But Eakins is too busy watching the Toronto Maple Leafs archival video, rather than watching the last couple of years of Oilers’ video.

  182. Andy P says:

    Racki,

    Agree. Even though I will only watch games on a case by case basis.

  183. bookje says:

    Woodguy: Del Zotto

    I think the Oilers #1 gets them more than Del Zotto. It projects to be a lottery pick.

    I do think they will trade it away though and I think it is the right thing to do. They need to get value though.

  184. Logan91 says:

    godot10: You mean like Shawn Horcoff, who could have subbed for an injured Nugent-Hopkins, and then Gagner, and then played left wing the rest of theseason with Gordon.

    And who then could have been bought out with a compliance buyout next summer if necessary.

    Not Horcoff, they already have Gordon for that role (and he’s cheaper).

    I mean a centre and winger who can stay with this core for a while. Not someone to just buy out at the end of the season. IMO players like Matt Moulson and Mike Richards would do wonders for this team, but getting players like that would never happen.

  185. Bruce McCurdy says:

    wheatnoil: True. I imagine Smac’s role will be to protect the Oilers’ young stars (like Yakupov) from vicious cheap shots by the media

    Now that would be entertaining!

  186. godot10 says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Check this out: http://www.extraskater.com/players/on-ice?sit=5v5&min_gp=25&team=edm&pos=F

    Of the 16 Oilers forwards to play 5 or more games, Hall ranks 11th in CF% at a putrid 43.6%, behind Ben Eager for Gord’s sake and ahead of the following luminaries: Boyd “D-Zone Mule” Gordon, Will “Won’t/Can’t” Acton, Luke “Waiver Wire” Gazdic, Jesse “Jumpin Jiminy” Joensuu, and Mike “Long Gone” Brown.

    Eleventh.

    Eberle is second a hair below Arcobello, with nary a single forward at break-even.

    That is Eakin’s crappy use of players and player combinations. i.e. That is not Hall. That is Eakins’ crappy coaching. Hall has a track record, which Eakins (who is a bad coach) is screwing up.

  187. Gret99zky says:

    It’s reassuring to hear someone in management say, “The Oilers will soon be a much improved team.”

    How do you spell relief?

    r-h-e-t-o-r-i-c.

  188. OilClog says:

    If the core is untouchable as it should be.. who is the core?
    93.4.14.89(gulp).57.64.27.XXX.XXX…………….94?on forwards then on D

    Petry, Ference, Jultz?.. Maybe Belov..

    So. Hemsky, Arcobello, Joenssu, Jones, Gazdic, Acton, Nultz, Potter, Larsen, Draft picks, busted goalies and prospects are what we are selling.

    Who does Mactavish Believe is his BIG STUD.

    Hemsky, Arcobello, Maricin, This years 1st..

    to Philly for

    SC and BC.. BC isn’t ideal, but there seems to be a love affair. I do recall him knocking down a few of our timid timbits.

    Losing Smid for Ference is gut wrenching.. The real trade seems to be

    Smid, Roy for Ference, Horak, Oilking. We got hosed.

  189. Andy P says:

    denny33:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    2) A nontrivial number of fans and media will actually believe this team is better with Smac and/or Gazdic on the ice.

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

    Maybe.

    But we do know how they have played without Smac and Gazdic……

    Not saying they are going to help…..

    But we have seen pretty decent players occupy the 4th line spot lately and we are still not putting up 5 or 6 goals a night…..

    Actually that was my observation too, a while back. It’s like how the snotty little kid behaves on the playground when his 6’4″ 200lb brother is around.

  190. CrazyCoach says:

    I’m still baffled by the Smid trade. Was he a shit disturber in the dressing room?

  191. denny33 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Woodguy:
    Prediction: Oilers 1st for Del Zotto. NYR needs to shed salary for next year so a 1st is what Sather would want in return.
    Hmmm… a LD Schultz?
    I think MacT appreciates size enough to look for someone a little thicker, with puck moving ability. Coburn or Nikitin or Girardi make more sense in the non-true-top-pairing options.

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

    Agreed – someone like Aaron Ekblad – stud defenceman at 6’5 – 215 pounds :*)

    And you don’t have to give up – anything -to get him!!

  192. Andy P says:

    denny33:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Woodguy:
    Prediction: Oilers 1st for Del Zotto. NYR needs to shed salary for next year so a 1st is what Sather would want in return.
    Hmmm… a LD Schultz?
    I think MacT appreciates size enough to look for someone a little thicker, with puck moving ability. Coburn or Nikitin or Girardi make more sense in the non-true-top-pairing options.

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

    Agreed – someone like Aaron Ekblad – stud defenceman at 6’5 – 215 pounds :*)

    And you don’t have to give up – anything -to get him!!

    Except your dignity as a team, which I suspect MacT and Eakins intend to rebuild over the rest of the season. By offering high picks MacT is betting this team is better than it looks, the recipient that it is as bad as it looks right now.

  193. spoiler says:

    @DarrenDreger:

    Oilers offered three 2nd round picks for Braydon Coburn at the Draft and couldn’t close the deal. Trades in season are much harder to make.

  194. canaryinthecoalmine says:

    Hi, I have a few questions for the fans here.

    I had been wanting to post this for a while, but today sounded like a good day because of the picture of Shayne Corson (my favourite player… I know… let the boos rain in), and these two points in the post:

    “-adding a veteran presence to the forward group. A center would be ideal, someone in their late 20′s.
    -trading a central part of the Hall cluster, we may see Eberle in a new city before Christmas.”

    I will try to lay out my curiosity as follows.

    1) Is it a forgone conclusion that this group of players is not going to be able to advance – i.e., is it necessary that one of the ‘Hall cluster’ needs to be moved in order to improve the overall depth of the team?
    2) If the above is true, which player gives the team the best proportional return on the dollar in a trade? i.e. if Eberle or Yakupov are worth 50 cents and Hall is worth 100 cents, is there a scenario where the deficiencies (real or imagined) in Yakupov or Eberle give you only 25 cents in return, but the rest of the league’s opinion on Hall gives you 90-110 cents on the dollar? If so, is it possible, that despite his obviously higher talent threshold, that you move him, just because if you believe 1) you need to get a range of pieces to make this team anything??
    3) If you agree with the above two points – what would you go after with Hall as trade bait? I firmly agree that one of the fundamental problems is that the young core have been rushed, and have always been the best players on this team even in their 1st, 2nd, 3rd, seasons in the NHL. I think it would do wonders if they had an experienced talented player to mentor them. Obviously easier said than done.

    I know that LA would never make this trade, but I would suggest that a trade that gets you Mike Richards would be an example of what could help in that regard. He is a ‘veteran’ but not so old, and has dealt with a lot of expectations and turmoil in his career.
    LA wouldn’t (but what I am interested in are peoples’ ideas on using Hall as a chip for other teams), but in principle could you do a:
    Hall+Gagner+(Marincin) (+) (possibly a pick if necessary)
    for
    Richards + Clifford + Voyonov?
    Maybe I am way off in my evalutations – I think on paper you shouldn’t have to give up that much to get those LA players, but because LA has no reason to make that trade, maybe you have to give up a bit more.

    You get a forward who is somewhat skilled and has been through a lot, a talented D, and a depth forward who could perhaps take a pass (? the last one I freely admit I am basing on nothing, I rarely see LA games)

    Problem would be that you would have to teach Yakupov to play on the other side to keep the depth chart level – but maybe this is not such a big thing. D is still a mess, but its a start. Pick up a 3rd line UFA winger in the summer and it is getting ‘better’.

    This is beside the point – my weird LA trade is not realistic, but I’m more interested in peoples thoughts of using Hall for a trade with other teams. ***Would you do it, and if so what would you shoot for***?

    Listening to MacTavish today, it sound like he is not at all wiling to part with any of the young core, which is perfectly reasonably stance. But was just curious on others’ thoughts so wanted to add to the discussion.

  195. Logan91 says:

    canaryinthecoalmine:
    Hi, I have a few questions for the fans here.

    I had been wanting to post this for a while, but today sounded like a good day because of the picture of Shayne Corson (my favourite player… I know… let the boos rain in), and these two points in the post:

    “-adding a veteran presence to the forward group. A center would be ideal, someone in their late 20′s.-trading a central part of the Hall cluster, we may see Eberle in a new city before Christmas.”

    I will try to lay out my curiosity as follows.

    1)Is it a forgone conclusion that this group of players is not going to be able to advance – i.e., is it necessary that one of the ‘Hall cluster’ needs to be moved in order to improve the overall depth of the team?
    2)If the above is true, which player gives the team the best proportional return on the dollar in a trade?i.e.if Eberle or Yakupov are worth 50 cents and Hall is worth 100 cents, is therea scenario where the deficiencies (real or imagined) in Yakupov or Eberle give you only 25 cents in return, but the rest of the league’s opinion on Hall gives you 90-110 cents on the dollar?If so, is it possible, that despite his obviously higher talent threshold, that you move him, just because if you believe 1)you need to get a range of pieces to make this team anything??
    3)If you agree with the above two points – what would you go after with Hall as trade bait?I firmly agree that one of the fundamental problems is that the young core have been rushed, and have always been the best players on this team even in their 1st, 2nd, 3rd, seasons in the NHL. I think it would do wonders if they had an experienced talented player to mentor them.Obviously easier said than done.

    I know that LA would never make this trade, but I would suggest that a trade that gets you Mike Richards would be an example of what could help in that regard.He is a ‘veteran’ but not so old, and has dealt with a lot of expectations and turmoil in his career.
    LA wouldn’t (but what I am interested in are peoples’ ideas on using Hall as a chip for other teams), but in principle could you do a:
    Hall+Gagner+(Marincin) (+) (possibly a pick if necessary)
    for
    Richards + Clifford + Voyonov?
    Maybe I am way off in my evalutations – I think on paper you shouldn’t have to give up that much to get those LA players, but because LA has no reason to make that trade, maybe you have to give up a bit more.

    You get a forward who is somewhat skilled and has been through a lot, a talented D, and a depth forward who could perhaps take a pass (?the last one I freely admit I am basing on nothing, I rarely seeLA games)

    Problem would be that you would have to teach Yakupov to play on the other side to keep the depth chart level – but maybe this is not such a big thing.D is still a mess, but its a start.Pick up a 3rd line UFA winger in the summer and it is getting ‘better’.

    This is beside the point – my weird LA trade is not realistic, but I’m more interested in peoples thoughts of using Hall for a trade with other teams. ***Would you do it, and if so what would you shoot for***?

    Listening to MacTavish today, it sound like he is not at all wiling to part with any of the young core, which is perfectly reasonably stance. But was just curious on others’ thoughts so wanted to add to the discussion.

    I hope you’re able to deal with criticism well….. Possibly some name calling too.

  196. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    spoiler:
    @DarrenDreger:

    Oilers offered three 2nd round picks for Braydon Coburn at the Draft and couldn’t close the deal. Trades in season are much harder to make.

    We only had two in 2013 (before we traded #37). So, I guess he was thinking of trading the pick we used to get Perron too or maybe one from 2015?

    at any rate, it’s clear he’s trying to use picks to acquire pieces.

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