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.
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.
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.
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.
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
10 this morning TSN 1260. Scheduled to appear: