BLUE JACKETS AT OILERS G23, 13-14

We’re 25% into the season now and it’s interesting to see how head coach Dallas Eakins is handling the roster—and the differences between this and last season for the Edmonton Oilers. Since the Corsi for % isn’t showing improvement, is there anything we can point to as an improvement?

WHO’S ON THE PENALTY-KILL?

bardot2

  • Krueger’s PK: Belanger 3:08; Petrell 2:35; Smyth 2:31; Horcoff 2:29; Lander 1:45; Gagner 1:35; Jones 1:23
  • Eakins PK: Gordon 3:03; Acton 2:06; Eberle 1:49; Smyth 1:41; Arcobello 1:35; Gagner 1:04

So, Gordon gets the Belanger role (and is an upgrade), Eberle is playing the Petrell minutes, Acton replaces Horcoff and Smyth and Gagner remain the same but are penalty-killing less. Arcobello has the Lander spot. Is this progress? Is this year’s team better suited to kill penalties? I should mention that Taylor Hall (0:49), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (0:45) and Ales Hemsky  (0:31) are also getting a turn. None of these guys  got much time (Eberle either) a year ago. This year’s PK is strumming along at 81.7 and last year it was 83.4.

I’m all for getting rid of Lennart Petrell, because even though he was a good 4×5 player he was NOT a good 5×5 winger. Still, you need penalty-killers and Ryan Jones would be able to help in this area based on the past.

Amy Adams

BTN CORSI ON 2012-13

KRUEGER'S OILERS

The Krueger Oilers had that top line doing good things against bad people, and they did it with the Nuge down a quart. The rest of the group was mostly Sonny on the Causeway, that Belanger number is a monster. Nail hung in there okay, didn’t he?

BTN CORSI ON 2013-14

EAKINS OILERSIt feels like there are more NHL players here, but Gazdic is an enforcer and I’m not smart enough to know if Acton is a player because he’s always out there with Gazdic, Brown or Eager. It’s a tragedy for Joensuu but he’s been hurt and his zone starts are stark (Gordon’s zone starts are horribible btw). I really like this team’s forwards, the Hall-Nuge-Eberle and the Gagner-Perron-Hemsky and the Gordon-Kulemin-Yakupov.

Patience.

One thing that chart shows: Arcobello’s sideburns are a monster.

BTN 5X5/60

wood15

  1. Mark Arcobello 2.53
  2. Taylor Hall 2.24
  3. David Perron 2.12
  4. Jordan Eberle 2.00
  5. Will Acton 1.88
  6. Ryan Smyth 1.58
  7. Ryan Jones 1.54
  8. Ben Eager 1.42
  9. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 1.25
  10. Luke Gazdic 1.24
  11. Boyd Gordon 1.22
  12. Ales Hemsky 1.17
  13. Nail Yakupov 0.95
  14. Sam Gagner 0.87
  15. Jesse Joensuu 0.00

Arcobello’s no good, that’s pretty clear. And what of Acton? Is that pure luck? Has to be. Hall, Perron and Eberle are fine by me and Smyth is over 1.50 and damned if Jones isn’t right on the career average. If you’re looking for someone to blame offensively, Gagner, Yakster, Hemmer and Joensuu (who’s doing the JF Hartikainen at even strength) are good places to start.

That Gagner-Yakupov-Hemsky seems to be turning North, that’ll be a big help.

 LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

johansson10 this morning, it’s the pre-pre-pre-pre-game for the Oilers-Jackets! Scheduled to appear:

HAMILTON SIGHTING

hamilton3

Barons have an early game today, Curtis Hamilton has been activated (have no idea if he’ll play). The ‘snail trio’ of Tyler Pitlick, Hamilton and Ryan Martindale have all been injured this season, but at least they broke through to play some NHL games (3, by Pitlick). It’s a sad reflection of their pro careers that those three games may represent the total sum of their efforts.

There’s still time for Hamilton, Joe Frank and Reynolds but it might be an idea to stay healthy and do something.

written by

The author didn‘t add any Information to his profile yet.
Related Posts

262 Responses to "BLUE JACKETS AT OILERS G23, 13-14"

Newer Comments »
  1. russ99 says:

    I’ll be interested to see if Dubnyk is on a shorter leash with Bryzgalov ready to go.

    Also, any news if Justin Schultz is available tonight?

    With all the posts about how either poor or predictable neutral zone breakouts are to blame for a lot of the Oilers’ problems, much of that could be solved with Justin’s return.

  2. Ca$h-Money! says:

    Where’s the blame for RNH?

    He lines up with top quality linemates and gets offensive zonestarts (by eye at least). He’s miles from killing it in that role, difficult quality of competition or not.

    He’s either still hurt (which is a management problem and very likely) or he’s not the player we were hoping for based on his first season (which again will fall to management if he fails to earn his 6 million dollars/year) or he has been unlucky.

    I say this as a fan of the kid and a believer, but it needs to be put out there. 1.25/60 isn’t close to good enough, especially when you are getting 20+ minutes/game.

  3. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “Gordon-Kulemin-Yakupov.”

    Sneaky bastard.

  4. Lowetide says:

    Ca$h-Money!:
    Where’s the blame for RNH?

    He lines up with top quality linemates and gets offensive zonestarts (by eye at least). He’s miles from killing it in that role, difficult quality of competition or not.

    He’s either still hurt (which is a management problem and very likely) or he’s not the player we were hoping for based on his first season (which again will fall to management if he fails to earn his 6 million dollars/year) or he has been unlucky.

    I say this as a fan of the kid and a believer, but it needs to be put out there.1.25/60 isn’t close to good enough, especially when you are getting 20+ minutes/game.

    Nuge’s points have come mostly from 5×4, and that’s likely to remain. He’s not the pure offensive player Taylor Hall is, but he’s the one youngster who we can be confident in when it comes to 2-way play.

    When he gets there, he’s going to be a complete player.

  5. FastOil says:

    If RNH isn’t going to be a 5v5 scorer that would make a total of zero first line centres. I guess that goes with zero first pairing D.

    Definitely can’t trade Yak, it’s all on the wingers.

    How good is that Reinhart kid?

  6. FastOil says:

    I think MacT better revisit that first round pick talk.

  7. Old School G says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    “Gordon-Kulemin-Yakupov.”

    Sneaky bastard.

    Agreed! I almost spit out my coffee LT! Would be pretty sweet.

  8. Ca$h-Money! says:

    Lowetide,

    I understand his points will come primarily on the PP, but that doesn’t excuse 1.25/60. I also understand he has shown promise as a 200 foot guy, but the results on that side haven’t been there this year either.

    I like RNH, I do, but that doesn’t require that I pretend like he is meeting expectations this year. Plain fact of the matter is that he is not, and he needs to step his game up.

    I agree with everyone who says our fourth line is bad, but common people, the impact of a bad fourth line is very small. Lots of teams have bad fourth lines; it’s the difference between being in 8th and being in 10th, not competing for dead freakin last. If our top 2 lines were playing anywhere near expectations we would be ahead of where we are in the standings, bad defense/goal tending be damned.

  9. DBO says:

    Kulemin does add exactly what we need. And would be a perfect compliment to our 3rd line to play a the two way with enough skill Russian Pisani. That would also allow Perron and Hemsky to play with Gagner, loading up our 2nd line with “veteran’s” and pushing Smyth to the 4th, which means we would actually have depth. And balance. what?!??!? Shut your mouth.

  10. Dipstick says:

    I think that Nuge concentrates on two way play 5v5, and that as he improves his take-away ability he will collect a lot of points on the counter attack. We should not expect the same type of offence from him as we do from Hall or Eberle, since he has more defensive responsibilities.

  11. Lowetide says:

    Ca$h-Money!:

    Lowetide,

    I understand his points will come primarily on the PP, but that doesn’t excuse 1.25/60. I also understand he has shown promise as a 200 foot guy, but the results on that side haven’t been there this year either.

    I like RNH, I do, but that doesn’t require that I pretend like he is meeting expectations this year. Plain fact of the matter is that he is not, and he needs to step his game up.

    I agree with everyone who says our fourth line is bad, but common people, the impact of a bad fourth line is very small. Lots of teams have bad fourth lines; it’s the difference between being in 8th and being in 10th, not competing for dead freakin last. If our top 2 lines were playing anywhere near expectations we would be ahead of where we are in the standings, bad defense/goal tending be damned.

    Well, I think there are two guys we shouldn’t worry about, Hall and Nuge. Feel free to think otherwise, Nuge certainly isn’t perfect.

  12. Ribs says:

    Lowetide: Well, I think there are two guys we shouldn’t worry about, Hall and Nuge. Feel free to think otherwise, Nuge certainly isn’t perfect.

    Agree with this. I’d include Eberle as well. He might not go supernova like the other two, but he’s going to shine bright for a long, long time.

    I’ve noticed Nuge being the victim of bad luck on more than a few occasions this season. There’s been funny puck bounces, AWOL defencemen, and some bad line changes as well. It all adds up after a while. It will turn.

  13. Dominoiler says:

    Ca$h-Money!:
    Lowetide,

    If our top 2 lines were playing anywhere near expectations we would be ahead of where we are in the standings, bad defense/goal tending be damned.

    Once again, I believe, its coming down to 20-nothings being lined up consistently against the best of the best, w no reprieve.. on teams w no better options, elite talents like tvares (and these oilers) have been forced to struggle through poor match-ups.. If Eakins had half a clue about line matching (isnt this beginner stuff?!), then perhaps RNH would be a little further ahead.. instead, it appears that the kids are going to learn the hard way while we all continue ‘hoping for the best’.. maybe it makes them better players sooner, or maybe not..

  14. Woodguy says:

    Pierre LeBrun ‏@Real_ESPNLeBrun 3m
    Both Yannick Weber (Van) and Jason LaBarbera (Edm) cleared waivers

    Thought NYI or NAS might pick him up.

    Guess they’re going to let their own kids run with the ball.

  15. russ99 says:

    Woodguy,

    Ugh. Another contract buried in OKC to go with Grebeshkov, Eager and soon to be Potter. That’s 49 contracts by my eye.

    MacT’s lost a lot of flexibilty with some of his botched offseason moves.

  16. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    russ99:
    Woodguy,

    Ugh. Another contract hidden in OKC.

    MacT’s lost a lot of flexabilty with some of his botched offseason moves.

    It’s a problem, but this one isn’t a big one.

    As long as Bachman is injured, anyway, this is actually a good thing for the Oil. Bunz and Brossoit could use a vet to guide them.

    The other thing is, LaBarbs still has a lot of chance to make himself valuable to the team. A string of good games in the AHL and he may fetch a draft pick or prospect.

  17. pboy says:

    iHockeyWpg: http://www.cbc.ca/sports-content/hockey/opinion/2013/11/30-thoughts-paul-maurice-could-ease-pressure-on-oilers-eakins.html

    Oiler heavy 30 Thoughts this week. All but advocates hiring Paul Maurice to work alongside Eakins.

  18. Caramel Obvious says:

    On Arcobello, Eakins explained this yesterday during his question period. It comes down to three things.

    1) Established NHL players (i.e. Gagner) get more leeway than 25 year old rookies. It is very hard to push these guys out of their spot (i.e. Arcobello isn’t going to play in Gagner’s spot this early in the season).

    2) When certain players are struggling (i.e. Gagner and Yakupov) the team has to do things to get them going for the longterm benefit of the team (i.e. Arcobello isn’t going to play in Gagner or Yakupov’s spot even if he is playing better than them right now).

    3) The job of the fourth line is different than the other three lines (i.e. whether Acton or Arcobello plays the fourth line center will depend on the opposition).

    Now of these three reasons only the third is obviously wrong. However, it is wrong in exactly the same way that almost every NHL coach is routinely wrong. So I don’t like it and it isn’t what I would do but I’m only upset about it in a general way.

    That’s the rationale. Two of the reasons are legitimate. One isn’t. Two out of three is better than most.

  19. Lucinius says:

    Arcobello should get Gagner’s spot because Gagner is a horrific center. Shouldn’t even be a contest. Gagner has never been good at the position and desperately needs to be moved to wing.

  20. Bag of Pucks says:

    On Saturday night against the Flamers, the HNIC guys were carrying on the narrative that Ferraro started a few days before about the Oil being ‘a one and done team’ when they enter the O zone. The gist being that our skill players are wonderful off the rush, but their lack of success on the walls and the blue paint results in the team consistently generating fairly ineffective shots from the periphery followed by a quick zone exit.

    We see this time and again now with the opposition ‘funneling’ the Oilers to the boards, where our smallish forwards are forced away from their strengths (making plays in space) into weakness (winning one on one puck battles on the boards). Even worse, I am consistently seeing players like Eberle, Gagner and RNH make what Taylor Hall described in his draft interview as ‘the cheap play’ They carry the puck into the zone until they’re forced to the wall, then when faced with the choice of taking a hit to potentially win a puck battle or start an effective cycle leading to established zone entry, our timid forwards almost inevitably choose the poor option – the soft chip into the corner.

    As we all know, Gretzky was a master of the soft curl over the blueline, and this was a very effective tactic that pro-actively defeats the push to the wall. It’s something that RNH did early on, but seems to be doing less of now. Execution is key (Gretzky was a master at using lateral movement to make himself a moving target) and I wonder if our slight Cs are resisting the urge to curl now cos they’re afraid of the big hit that can result when you temporarily turn your back to the opposition?

    Another play that Gretz used to consistently defeat the D pushing him to the boards was to draw the defender in and then hit a trailing Coffey or cross ice to the W entering the zone (Kurri says hello). Possibly MacT/Eakins are thinking a player like Larsen is more capable of providing an option for this play than someone like Smid?

    At any rate, Ebs, Gags, and RNH have to figure this out. The soft chip gets them nowhere. It essentially just moves responsibility for zone possession to another linemate, and often one in a less advantageous position with the defender first to the puck.

    Timid peripheral play is killing this team right now. Throughout their development, our smaller skilled players have presumably built up a large bag of tricks to create space for themselves and maintain possession upon zone entry? Where are these tricks now?

    The answer may be that Eakins has so focused them on eliminating turnovers at the opposition blue, that their bag of tricks has now been greatly reduced? This is the one area he can’t coach the creativity out of them. RNH can’t drive to the net like Kesler. Eberle can’t lug it down the wall like Lucic. And it’s not an option to just have Taylor carry it in every time – too predicable and easy to defend.

    Eakins is going to have to live with some turnovers with this group. It’s either that or trade some skill for size – which MacT has seemingly no appetite for.

    Yakupov is clearly the X factor here. Along with Hall, he represents the other winger that can become a zone entry monster. Unfortunately, his give and go skills are a little heavily weighted on the go side at the moment.

  21. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    On Arcobello, Eakins explained this yesterday during his question period.It comes down to three things.

    1) Established NHL players (i.e. Gagner) get more leeway than 25 year old rookies.It is very hard to push these guys out of their spot (i.e. Arcobello isn’t going to play in Gagner’s spot this early in the season).

    2) When certain players are struggling (i.e. Gagner and Yakupov) the team has to do things to get them going for the longterm benefit of the team (i.e. Arcobello isn’t going to play in Gagner or Yakupov’s spot even if he is playing better than them right now).

    3) The job of the fourth line is different than the other three lines (i.e. whether Acton or Arcobello plays the fourth line center will depend on the opposition).

    Now of these three reasons only the third is obviously wrong. However, it is wrong in exactly the same way that almost every NHL coach is routinely wrong.So I don’t like it and it isn’t what I would do but I’m only upset about it in a general way.

    That’s the rationale.Two of the reasons are legitimate.One isn’t.Two out of three is better than most.

    I think this is a good parsing. But, it cuts a little too simplistic.

    Let’s grant that the 4th line is a hole and Arco won’t be allowed to help the team there.

    Ok. We’ve got 9 spots to fill with forwards who are either playing well, or need playing time for the long term development of the team.

    In no particular order:

    1. Hall
    2. RNH
    3. Eberle
    4. Hemsky
    5. Perron
    6. Gordon
    7. Gagner
    8. Yakupov

    We’ve made exceptions for Gagner and Yakupov to our list and we still only get to 8.

    Among who is left to fight for the last spot we have, again in no particular order:

    9. Arco
    10. Smyth
    11. Jones
    12. Joensuu
    13. Gazdic
    14. Acton

    So, even without scratching Gagner and Yakupov, or having to challenge the Arco 4th line ban, there is a clear spot for him, that he has by all available evidence won.

    Only a very poor decision keeps Arco out of this lineup.

  22. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lines?

    http://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=22900&cmpid=blogheadlines

    Hall-Nugent-Hopkins

    Yakupov-Gagner-Hemsky

    Smyth-Gordon-Perron

    Gazdic-Acton-Joensuu

    MacIntyre-Arcobello-Jones

    Defensive Pairings:

    Belov- J. Schultz

    Ference-Petry

    N. Schultz-Potter

    Bob Stauffer @Bob_Stauffer
    Hall-RNH-Eberle, Yakupov-Gagner-Hemsky, Smyth-Gordon-Perron, Jonesuu-Acton-Gazdic, Belov-J.Schultz, Ference-Petry, N. Schultz-Potter, Dubnyk

    Edmonton Oilers ✔ @EdmontonOilers
    #19 back in the #Oilers lineup –> RT @Bob_Stauffer Looks like Justin Schultz will play tonight…paired with Belov.

  23. russ99 says:

    Gagner is coming off a nasty jaw injury, and should get some slack. I like that Eakins is playing him with Yak and Hemsky, and they’ll likely get line matched to weaker opposition.

    Also, are we all forgetting how well he played last season?

    If you’re expecting him to be some great two-way center, he’s not going to be that. If we had any top pairing defensemen and a few better defensive wingers, we could deal with his defensive zone issues.

    No team in the NHL has 12 forwards that play good both on offense and defense, not even the Bruins… If that’s what we’re trying to build, it’s an exercise in futility.

    Sweet, Schultzie is playing tonight. Good deal.

  24. denny33 says:

    Ca$h-Money!,
    I understand his points will come primarily on the PP, but that doesn’t excuse 1.25/60. I also understand he has shown promise as a 200 foot guy, but the results on that side haven’t been there this year either.
    I like RNH, I do, but that doesn’t require that I pretend like he is meeting expectations this year. Plain fact of the matter is that he is not, and he needs to step his game up.
    I agree with everyone who says our fourth line is bad, but common people, the impact of a bad fourth line is very small. Lots of teams have bad fourth lines; it’s the difference between being in 8th and being in 10th, not competing for dead freakin last. If our top 2 lines were playing anywhere near expectations we would be ahead of where we are in the standings, bad defense/goal tending be damned.
    ************************************************************************

    Those are sane and valid points….but you are accusing the top end talent of not performing and that cannot be condoned in here.

    And I suspect you will not be welcome in here….

    The 4th line crowd is all that is left of the season now….

  25. Caramel Obvious says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Yeah, I know. Arcobello could be playing in Smyth’s spot and Smyth could be on the fourth line. That’s what I would do. However, I’m not sure I’d be right. Gordon’s line is going to get most of the defensive zone starts and Smyth is good on the boards. Smyth has also been playing well lately.

  26. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    I think the other teams have the book on the Oilers having studied them. I agree the tactic seems to be a) move them to periphery as they won’t battle inside to pierce, b) give them the periphery shot (if they fight for it) as they won’t charge for the rebound relentlessly, c) pressure them on their break outs as their forwards are already thinking goal the moment it hits their sticks and haven’t calmed down the forward break out in a systemic way and lastly take liberties with their forwards to instill positional dominance as they generally won’t engage for individual territorial control (they are getting pushed around).

    This is what the Oilers players will need to address. The quality teams are uninterested in playing “skill” (see:pond) hockey and will grind the team and individuals down on process and intimidation. It takes young players a while to get this and find a way to play through it. I often think they are more frustrated other teams won’t play the way they want (versus frustration from just losing) but until you accept you’re in the bigs and its 98% grinding for wins, it will be the same result. We are stuck with too much of a collective of the young mindset, versus say a Sequin in Boston who was an isolated individual in a “bought-in” collective. Sequin was strong willed and slow on the uptake so he gets the toe of the boot and I’m sure Boston isn’t regretful. I think MacT accepts he will need to shuffle out some young talent to jump the queue on the acceptance curve of what needs to be done to succeed at this level. I’m ok with that depending on returns. This is where MacT earns his mustard.

  27. denny33 says:

    Caramel Obvious,

    1) Established NHL players (i.e. Gagner) get more leeway than 25 year old rookies. It is very hard to push these guys out of their spot (i.e. Arcobello isn’t going to play in Gagner’s spot this early in the season).
    2) When certain players are struggling (i.e. Gagner and Yakupov) the team has to do things to get them going for the longterm benefit of the team (i.e. Arcobello isn’t going to play in Gagner or Yakupov’s spot even if he is playing better than them right now).
    3) The job of the fourth line is different than the other three lines (i.e. whether Acton or Arcobello plays the fourth line center will depend on the opposition).
    Now of these three reasons only the third is obviously wrong. However, it is wrong in exactly the same way that almost every NHL coach is routinely wrong. So I don’t like it and it isn’t what I would do but I’m only upset about it in a general way.
    That’s the rationale. Two of the reasons are legitimate. One isn’t. Two out of three is better than most.
    **************************************************************************************

    Regarding #1 – Except this is a coach that has talked about players having to EARN ice time…..?

    You can’t blow and suck at the same time….

    As an aside – if it was fight between Arco and Sam – it would have been stopped a while ago…

    As Ray Ferraro mentioned – the players know how well Arco has been playing and to have him sit for games is an interesting message to the locker room.

  28. russ99 says:

    Today’s lines are pretty solid. I wonder if MacT has been working with Eakins on home ice line-matching?

    All he needs to do is reduce/drop the dump-and -chase on the top two forward lines and 75% of my gripes against him as Oilers coach are alleviated.

    I hope the Oil can win tonight so we can keep these lines around for a while.

  29. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    I wonder if the need for a fourth line is being questioned by some clubs given cap management realities in today’s game. In other words, the goal may be today to essentially create a fourth line that can assure compliance with league requirements but is essentially a facade. Does the league or players union or both require a fourth line be dressed? I honestly don’t know the answer on that.

    The goal then becomes, a) with vigilance contain expenditure (average 600 – 800K per position or less on the fourth line roster spots), b) have size to face size and c) keep the minutes to a minimum. The objective being to preserve cash for expenditure on lines 1 and 2 and to a lesser degree line 3. Is it really a nine forward business today because of cap realities that really didn’t exist only a few years ago? Is this changing how GM’s assemble teams and coaches run them? You can’t really spend on an effective fourth line unit as it may constrain what you need to spend on the real difference makers. I know that is a bit out there in thought process, but I do wonder sometimes what the objective is on fourth lines today. Getting 5 mins a game is basically not playing so why use precious cap dollars on bodies in those roles? I think it was different when you didn’t have the financial constraints now ring fencing you as a manager.

    This is just an exercise for me to try and figure out the player types populating that fourth forward unit and the apportioning they get on ice time. Honestly doesn’t make sense to me.

  30. ashley says:

    The sample size is too small. RNH is outstanding at both ends and if even 5 of the 10 posts he has hit went in, all the fancy stats would look starkly different in this small sample.

    We have problems, but RNH is not one of them. I think he has the highest ceiling on this roster.

  31. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    denny33,

    I must agree with this. I get that Gagner has some tenure and that buys him some leeway, but Arco simply brings more in my opinion and that is after 20 games versus Gagner’s 7 years. This isn’t about Gagner coming back from injury. He just doesn’t bring what Arco already has and never has brought it. Arco has a higher hockey IQ than Gagner and in critical areas eclipses him (see: faceoffs). As a contrast, we see RNH routinely defended because of his 200 foot game as a rationale for his tempered offense, but this litmus test doesn’t apply in many cases with Gagner. Arco is more responsible and capable on the defensive side of puck but brings equal offense to Gagner. He is more ‘complete’ so Gagner needs to take it back from him. I think Arco’s up for that challenge. HAving said this, Arco isn’t likely the long term solution for 2C, he just outpaces Gagner. That was clear to me 8 games into the season. Gagner just confirmed it in his last few games and I’m confident that won’t change.

  32. oilersfan says:

    I would like to add to what Ashley is saying by pointing out that RNH just turned 20 a few months ago…pretty sure he hasn’t reached his ceiling yet!

  33. godot10 says:

    Bag of Pucks:

    As we all know, Gretzky was a master of the soft curl over the blueline, and this was a very effective tactic that pro-actively defeats the push to the wall. It’s something that RNH did early on, but seems to be doing less of now. Execution is key (Gretzky was a master at using lateral movement to make himself a moving target) and I wonder if our slight Cs are resisting the urge to curl now cos they’reafraid of the big hit that can result when you temporarily turn your back to the opposition?

    This isn’t the eighties. There is much more back pressure. The soft curl really isn’t an option anymore.

    There are a lot of things Gretzky did that won’t work anymore.

  34. Ca$h-Money! says:

    oilersfan,

    ashley,

    Both correct. No one is saying RNH doesn’t have long term upside, no one is saying that he needs to be thrown under the bus.

    What I, and others like me are saying, is that by ignoring RNH’s weak 5×5/60 number this year we are falling into a trap we’ve been falling into for quite some time; placing a disproportionate amount of the blame for this terrible performance at the feet of the facepunchers on the fourth line.

    I understand they are useless. I also understand that, regardless of how bad Acton/Gadzic/Jonesuu/whoever play, they aren’t the reason we’re in 29th. If we upgraded them to a standard NHL 4th line, we might be in 28th.

    28th is still terrible.

    The combination of a bad 4th line, sub par defense (I would maintain it’s not the worst in the league), and weak goaltending to start the year has contributed heavily to this team under-performing. With that said, we can’t score goals and are supposed to have ALL WORLD talent in our top 6. Our top 6 has been fine, but not better than fine. That is as big a problem as anything else going on with the team right now.

  35. godot10 says:

    Eakins:

    1) Shot metrics are quickly approaching Krueger’s levels, even with a better roster, and a heavy EC schedule.
    2) Useless 4th line players. Krueger at least had PK specialists here.
    3) Poor line matching so far.
    4) Poor to mediocre special teams.
    5) Hall 40% CF. RNHl 1.26/60 EVP Yakpocalypse The young players are going backwards.
    6) Last or next to last place….top 5 draft pick almost guarenteed mid-November.

    This is your coach.

  36. Henry says:

    oilersfan:
    I would like to add to what Ashley is saying by pointing out that RNH just turned 20 a few months ago…pretty sure he hasn’t reached his ceiling yet!

    oilersfan,

    He’s getting pretty sneaky physical too.

    His 5×5 number is certain to go over 2 this year IMO.

  37. Henry says:

    What does Acton do that Arcobello cannot?

    Arcobello with Smyth and Gazdic (5 shifts with Hemmer and Eberle taking the rest) is a fourth line that can punish the other fourth line on the scoresheet where it friggin counts. They’d probably outcorsi Ryan Johansson’s group too.

  38. Hammers says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Lines?

    http://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=22900&cmpid=blogheadlines

    Hall-Nugent-Hopkins

    Yakupov-Gagner-Hemsky

    Smyth-Gordon-Perron

    Gazdic-Acton-Joensuu

    MacIntyre-Arcobello-Jones

    Defensive Pairings:

    Belov- J. Schultz

    Ference-Petry

    N. Schultz-Potter

    Bob Stauffer @Bob_Stauffer
    Hall-RNH-Eberle, Yakupov-Gagner-Hemsky, Smyth-Gordon-Perron, Jonesuu-Acton-Gazdic, Belov-J.Schultz, Ference-Petry, N. Schultz-Potter, Dubnyk

    Edmonton Oilers✔ @EdmontonOilers
    #19 back in the #Oilers lineup –> RT @Bob_Stauffer Looks like Justin Schultz will play tonight…paired with Belov.

    Doesn’t make it right . Truth is in Arco they have 2nd best face off player who plays a 200′ game .Why Acton stays in drives me nuts .My 4th against a team like Columbus would be Arco / Joensuu / Jones .

  39. russ99 says:

    Well Oiled and Enthusiastic,

    You’re really taking Arcobello’s 12 NHL points (and countless missed shots) over Gagner’s 261 NHL points as “brings equal offense to Gagner”?

    That’s ludicrous.

    He should be in instead of Acton, I’ll give you that.

    I just don’t get why this organization can’t see the benefit of a 4th line that can chip in on offense since they lowballed Glencross, especially since our GM was the coach that played Brodziak, Glencross and Stortini to such a successful level.

  40. ashley says:

    Ca$h-Money!,

    Ah, gotcha. It always amazes me how many different impressions can be drawn from a group of statements, sometimes surprisingly different from what the person making the statements was trying to convey.

    Anyway, I would more or less agree with you. When RNH, TH, and JE take the league by the throat again like last year (any day now), the team will find better fortune. This is far more important than 4th line shuffling. Definitely agree with that.

  41. justDOit says:

    Marco Arco with the Omarkian sideburns again. I guess it’s tough to dislodge these veteran players, like Acton, when all you do is win faceoffs, put up points, and play on the right side of the puck most nights. Maybe if Marco shaved them into the shape of a hockey stick? http://www.toyz.org/images/sideburns.jpg

    Here’s hoping JSchultz has had some benefit of watching the game from above, and that his very recent injury set-back is well past him. They need him skating well out there.

    How many games has Gagner played now? I wonder when we’ll see him start to turn the corner on his play?

  42. godot10 says:

    Henry:
    What does Acton do that Arcobello cannot?

    Be an organ donor for one of the coaches!

  43. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    russ99,

    Too be fair, Arco has always been an offense capable forward. The question was, can he translate it to the NHL. He played with our elite players last year in OKC and did just fine and continued on as an offensive player after they left – leading the team. At every level he has played he has been an offensive weapon. He has in my opinion earned that acknowledgement. He came with low expectations to the NHL and exceeded even the most optimistic expectations under the most difficult team dynamics and game performance. What I was impressed with more than offense is that he didn’t make glaring mistakes or become a defensive liability – quite the opposite. Competent and responsible. It isn’t a shot in the dark to say he brings offense – he has proven it. Gagner isn’t a offensive titan himself as his offense is average and there is a large sample set to examine. His holes are in other areas

    But my case isn’t to toss aside Gagner. My point is that he was and continues to be outplayed by Arco. Until such time that we can see he is performing at a higher level than Arco (I haven’t witnessed it yet this year), he shouldn’t be gifted the role if he has shown real struggles since his return. This is what a meritocracy is about and its what Eakins professed before the pressure of real games and real scrutiny.

    Nonetheless, its great to have internal competition and I’m happy to be debating it rather than just relying on what we have and accepting that as the best and only solution.

  44. Kitchener says:

    Well Oiled and Enthusiastic:
    I wonder if the need for a fourth line is being questioned by some clubs given cap management realities in today’s game. In other words, the goal may be today to essentially create a fourth line that can assure compliance with league requirements but is essentially a facade. Does the league or players union or both require a fourth line be dressed? I honestly don’t know the answer on that.

    The goal then becomes, a) with vigilance contain expenditure (average 600 – 800K per position or less on the fourth line roster spots), b) have size to face size and c) keep the minutes to a minimum. The objective being to preserve cash for expenditure on lines 1 and 2 and to a lesser degree line 3. Is it really a nine forward business today because of cap realities that really didn’t exist only a few years ago? Is this changing how GM’s assemble teams and coaches run them? You can’t really spend on an effective fourth line unit as it may constrain what you need to spend on the real difference makers. I know that is a bit out there in thought process, but I do wonder sometimes what the objective is on fourth lines today. Getting 5 mins a game is basically not playing so why use precious cap dollars on bodies in those roles? I think it was different when you didn’t have the financial constraints now ring fencing you as a manager.

    This is just an exercise for me to try and figure out the player types populating that fourth forward unit and the apportioning they get on ice time. Honestly doesn’t make sense to me.

    “Great minds discuss ideas;
    Average minds discuss events;
    Small minds discuss people.”
    – Eleanor Roosevelt

    I like talking people & events too, but ideas are the real draw to pro sport fandom for me. Its fun to see broader theoretical systems play out over time, decided by guys chasing a puck on a sheet of frozen water. “That’s why they play the games” should be follow by “… to see which ideas are full of shit.”

    I agree that the Oil’s version of a 4th line doesn’t make much sense. If it were staffed with Petrells (PK specialists), it would make a little more sense to my eye, but that goes against MacT’s comments (’4th line needs to be a threat to score.’) I don’t really know what MacT would realistically like in a 4th line.

    Just for colorful conversation, how about if the OIl dressed a lineup like this?
    9 – scoring forwards in 3 lines
    1 – fighting forward (SMac; subs onto a line as a winger to pound faces when needed; <5 min)
    4 – "top 4 D"
    4 – PK/defensive specialists (likely 2 defense and 2 forwards like Petrell, but maybe not)
    2 – goalies

    For the forwards, there would be 3 "lines" and then some spare parts for specialized duty; no "4th line" at all.

    The 4 PK specialists would be SOBs who excel at icing the puck and blocking shots. They might not even be designated as "forwards" and "D", but just as "PK squad."

    I'm pretty sure I'd get fired in under 5 minutes as an NHL head coach, but the concept behind the Oil's current 10/11/12 F spots doesn't make much sense to me either.

    I guess the thought is this: NFL has all kinds of different ways of using players (eg. 3-4, 4-3, I formation, shotgun spread, etc.) but NHL teams all use basically the same formula (12F, 9D, 2G; 2+2 F lines; 2 PP/PK units.) Does anyone know of any teams ever trying something different?

  45. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    Kitchener,

    Not an out there notion to be honest. True utility specialists that deploy in under situational circumstances. Its essentially been the norm with the face punchers hasn’t it? Why define a set of players as a ‘unit’ or ’4th line’. I haven’t heard any coach breaking that mold, but why not? Why be tied to convention. In many ways that is how Eakins is operating anyway. It might help shape how you manage an onerous and regulated cap system as well.

  46. justDOit says:

    godot10: Be an organ donor for one of the coaches!

    Ding ding ding!

  47. Henry says:

    godot10: Be an organ donor for one of the coaches!

    Are you suggesting that Arcobello should remove one of the coach’s kidneys?

  48. Melman says:

    LT – or anyone – what’s the deal with Joensuu? He certainly seemed to be the guy targted o fill that 9th spot. Is this a function of him still being injured, in which case why dress him for 4 mins. when you’re better off rehabbing him and gettin ghim to 100%? Or has his play fallen off a cliff (the pre-season being a mirage)?

  49. PREDICKTER says:

    godot10: Be an organ donor for one of the coaches!

    very good, I believe you #nailedit

  50. G Money says:

    justDOit: How many games has Gagner played now? I wonder when we’ll see him start to turn the corner on his play?

    Personally, I think we’re starting to see the corner now.

    He’s starting to finally show some offensive spark (points in his last two games).

    After four straight games with CF% in the abysmal 25% to 41.7% range, the last three games he’s been at 50% (Stars), 46.7% (Sharks), and 50% (Flames). He also wasn’t on the ice for any ES goals against in all three games. He just needs to break that, you know, ZERO % shooting average and he’ll be good.

    If he can get back to putting up about .65 ppg (a shade above his .62 career average) while keeping his CF% near the breakeven mark, he’ll actually be back in the range of what the Oilers need and should expect from a good 2C.

  51. G Money says:

    Kitchener: I guess the thought is this: NFL has all kinds of different ways of using players (eg. 3-4, 4-3, I formation, shotgun spread, etc.) but NHL teams all use basically the same formula (12F, 9D, 2G; 2+2 F lines; 2 PP/PK units.) Does anyone know of any teams ever trying something different?

    Every football team fields a basic 6 on offense (5 O linemen and a QB), but then have variations in the balance and location of the remaining 6 (wide receivers, slot receivers, tight ends, tailbacks, fullbacks). Similarly on defense you always have a basic 7 (2 linebackers, 3 down linemen, and 2 defensive backs), with the rest of the variation coming in location and allocation of safeties, defensive backs, linebackers, and linemen.

    I would say it’s a lot easier to come up with regular variations on your offensive and defensive systems when you have 11 or 12 guys on the field at a time as opposed to 6!

    The rest of the variation is what I think we talk about when we talk systems e.g. swarm vs pre-gap vs collapse in the d zone, and in the o and neutral zone e.g. 2-1-2 forecheck vs 1-2-2 vs neutral zone trap.

  52. Bag of Pucks says:

    G Money

    If he can get back to putting up about .65 ppg (a shade above his .62 career average) while keeping his CF% near the breakeven mark, he’ll actually be back in the range of what the Oilers need and should expect from a good 2C.

    But will he ever be the guy to play the toughs?

    This is the biggest question MacT faces IMO. Does RNH truly project as your tough mins C (ala Mess/Kesler) or does he more realistically project as as your soft opp outscorer (Gretz/Sedin)?

    Based on size and we he can realistically anticipate at playoff grind time, I think MacT is far better served projecting RNH as his soft mins outscorer and locking down that two way 2C with size. This essentially essentially makes Gagner expendable, which is why I think the NMC was such a crucial mistake early in MacT’s tenure.

  53. Logan91 says:

    Melman:
    LT – or anyone – what’s the deal with Joensuu?He certainly seemed to be the guy targted o fill that 9th spot.Is this a function of him still being injured, in which case why dress him for 4 mins. when you’re better off rehabbing him and gettin ghim to 100%?Or has his play fallen off a cliff (the pre-season being a mirage)?

    I believe Eakins mentioned him in his last presser. Basically said it might be the injury still bugging him, he doesn’t really know, but he sees that he’s trying hard and just hasn’t found his game yet.

    I’d personally like to see him play a game or 2 on one of the top lines. He could help out a lot by getting into those dirty places and retrieving the puck for the younger guys. From what I saw before he got injured, he did a good job carrying the puck around in the corners and fighting people off of him.

  54. Bag of Pucks says:

    godot10: This isn’t the eighties.There is much more back pressure.The soft curl really isn’t an option anymore.

    There are a lot of things Gretzky did that won’t work anymore.

    This is so ridiculous. All it takes to execute this play in the present era is a forward with the speed on the breakout to create separation from the backcheck and then back off the d-man sufficiently to create the gap to execute the curl. Hall’s even started adding it to his repertoire.

    Tactics in sports don’t ‘end’ as much as they evolve. The key to keeping the curl viable is testing the opposition with stretch passes to keep the opposition D honest, thus forcing an exploitable neutral zone gap btw opposition F and D.

  55. Bag of Pucks says:

    godot10: This isn’t the eighties.There is much more back pressure.The soft curl really isn’t an option anymore.

    There are a lot of things Gretzky did that won’t work anymore.

    You heard it here first folks. Nobody in the 80′s backchecked. It’s the only reason Gretzky was able to score all those points. Guy would be a complete bust in this current era of hockey perfection.

    Bob Gainey, John Tonelli, Steve Kasper, Craig Ramsay. None of these players existed. It was all a mirage.

    Thanks Godot, myths die hard, but die they must.

  56. linkfromhyrule says:

    It seems to me we are in the midst of terrible growing pains for a rookie gm-rookie coach tandem. They came in with idealistic views of how things should be, and many of those ideas were quite logical (A FOURTH LINE THAT CAN SCORE). Now we are seeing reactionary moves like facepunchers, questionable moves like trading smid (not against the move, just the return), and downright silly moves like dressing acton over arco.

    I would just like to know why this organization believes they are smarter than everybody else. It’s really quite frustrating to be an oilers fan sometimes….ok all the time

  57. OilClog says:

    With Arco not playing, the Oilers deserve to lose this one by 10.

    12-2 final.

    I hope Gagner and the bottom two lines get eaten alive. Not dressing Arcobello when he’s played as fantastic as he has.. is going against all the verbal we heard going into the damn season. Way to stick to your now faint words Eakins.

  58. stevezie says:

    Kitchener,

    I don’t know if I dig the specifics of your idea, but there is something to it.

    No one was sad to lose Petrell, but I would argue he makes a lot more sense on this team than Jones. Jones can score a bit more, but if you are running your top three lines the way Eakins does at 5×5, you can afford specialists on the 4th. One fighter, two penalty killers.

    The difference between Jones and Petrell at 5×5 is hard to see when the 4th (where we all agree they both belong) is getting 6 minutes, which makes the difference in their salaries money poorly spent.

    4th line specialists only make sense if you have guys on the farm to call up when people in the top 9 get hurt. I think Omark can play in the top 9, Smyth and Arcobello have increased our flexibility… I think this could work.

    If you’re wondering Kitchner, the biggest problem I have with the specifics of your plan was the defenceman- you need all 6.

  59. bendelson says:

    linkfromhyrule:

    I would just like to know why this organization believes they are smarter than everybody else.

    This has been covered already. There are 6 clearly established reasons…

  60. TheOtherJohn says:

    Gaborik and Horton are not playing: the best scorers on the BJ. Make hay while the sun is out

  61. bendelson says:

    Arcobello:

    “the Oilers are going to use a certain number of small forwards and the rest of the group will be bigger men. Arcobello is a good player, but not in the same league as Nuge, Gagner, Eberle, Yakupov or Hemsky.”

    “if Arcobello fights his way through the current Oilers depth chart to win a job that’s an all-timer”.

    LT – Aug. 2012.

    He has met or perhaps cleared expectations already but has anything really changed?

  62. Thiru says:

    A few things that, IMO, don’t jive right now:

    1) As Willis over at ON mentioned, MacT stated in the offseason that he wanted more players in the lineup, and throughout the lineup, who could do things on the offensive end of the ice.

    2) MacT likes Arcobello, and wanted him up last year.

    3) MacT is a stats guy.

    4) The stats like Arcobello.

    Why is there a disconnect between the coach and the GM on this player?

    My take is that there are some fissures forming between the two, and that despite MacT’s vote of confidence in Eakins, there’s a good chance we’ll see the latter gone.

  63. Lowetide says:

    bendelson:
    Arcobello:

    “the Oilers are going to use a certain number of small forwards and the rest of the group will be bigger men. Arcobello is a good player, but not in the same league as Nuge, Gagner, Eberle, Yakupov or Hemsky.”

    “if Arcobello fights his way through the current Oilers depth chart to win a job that’s an all-timer”.

    LT – Aug. 2012.

    He has met or perhaps cleared expectations already but has anything really changed?

    No, although Gagner has to show more imo or the club is going to have to work him over on to the wing. Samwise has not played well–and I know there’s a reason–but you’ve got a useful piece in the pressbox and these are not exhibition games.

  64. FastOil says:

    Thiru:
    A few things that, IMO, don’t jive right now:

    1) As Willis over at ON mentioned, MacT stated in the offseason that he wanted more players in the lineup, and throughout the lineup, who could do things on the offensive end of the ice.

    2) MacT likes Arcobello, and wanted him up last year.

    3) MacT is a stats guy.

    4) The stats like Arcobello.

    Why is there a disconnect between the coach and the GM on this player?

    My take is that there are some fissures forming between the two, and that despite MacT’s vote of confidence in Eakins, there’s a good chance we’ll see the latter gone.

    It’s a size thing. MacT has also said there are too many same players on lines and that it won’t work. For the Oilers that means smaller non-physical.

    If Arco was normal sized he’d have a career as a bottom sixer, maybe second line. As it stands he’ll do very well in Europe. I have been saying for quite a while as I am sure you are all sick of hearing it is a wasted contract and they need to stop signing players that have sideburns because the Edmonton Oilers HATE sideburns.

  65. prairieschooner says:

    Why won’t the coach let Arco play centre somewhere on the team?
    Give Gagner a run on the wing until he is at 100%

    If we are short of 200′ players why sit one of the few we have?

  66. DBO says:

    So the whole “heavy ” to play against is killing Arco. Deal him like Tampa dealt conacher last

    HALL NUGE EBRRLE
    PERRON GAGNER HEMSKY
    KULEMIN GORDON YAKUPOV
    SMYTH ARCO JOENSUU

    Balance, Decent size, and a 4th line that can play. Make it so.

  67. Thiru says:

    Lowetide: No, although Gagner has to show more imo or the club is going to have to work him over on to the wing. Samwise has not played well–and I know there’s a reason–but you’ve got a useful piece in the pressbox and these are not exhibition games.

    This will be something we can keep an eye on as the season unfolds, but how good of an evaluator of talent is Dallas Eakins, really?

    You’ll recall that he benched Yakupov in the first game of the season, one in which Yak posted a 50+ % Corsi.

    We have the insistence on playing a terrible 4th line that contributes nothing to special teams.

    And now we have Arcobello.

    I think coaching and management can have some latitude for controversy in player personnel decisions, provided that: a) they’ve proven they know what they are doing, and b) the former point is reflected in the standings.

    Right now, Eakins has none of those things going for him.

    And now, he’s trying to hoe the row with a shitty rake.

    Why?

  68. stevezie says:

    If the Oilers’ thinking is that, with Arco in, they are too small, well that’s not crazy. they’re pretty small and on top of that probably the softest team in the league. However, playing Acton over Arcobello is a lousy solution because:
    1) Acton is not very big either
    2) Arco is a better player and it is not close
    3) Arco is actually one of their “harder” players- at least by this team’s standards so Arco to Acton is a lateral move, hard-to-play-against wise.

    If they want to get bigger the solution is to trade somebody, and I think Arco makes sense as the guy to go as they are tied tighter to every other small player. However, to get value for him you are going to need to play him. If pumping Arcobello’s value costs you games, well, who cares? Because
    1) We’re already screwed
    2) So is playing Acton over him.

    Obviously the #2s in both lists are the more important points. If Arcobello is healthy it is indefensible to scratch him. CO’s defence that is a common kind of stupid doesn’t make me feel much better. IMO this is the the biggest mistake Eakins has made all season.

  69. Lowetide says:

    Thiru: This will be something we can keep an eye on as the season unfolds, but how good of an evaluator of talent is Dallas Eakins, really?

    You’ll recall that he benched Yakupov in the first game of the season, one in which Yak posted a 50+ % Corsi.

    We have the insistence on playing a terrible 4th line that contributes nothing to special teams.

    And now we have Arcobello.

    I think coaching and management can have some latitude for controversy in player personnel decisions, provided that: a) they’ve proven they know what they are doing, and b) the former point is reflected in the standings.

    Right now, Eakins has none of those things going for him.

    And now, he’s trying to hoe the row with a shitty rake.

    Why?

    I don’t think it’s a huge mystery, Gagner is one of the organization’s major components as stated by the general manager. Eakins may have wanted to bench Gagner a week ago for all we know, and these things usually solve themselves when the veteran establishes himself again.

    The fact that it hasn’t happened is noteworthy, but they’re giving Gagner some more rope. Seems pretty straightforward.

  70. godot10 says:

    It is not Gagner or Arco.

    It is Acton or Arco. Eakins thinks 4 minutes of Acton and overplaying everyone else is better than 8 minutes of Arco.

    Your Edmonton Oilers’ coach.

  71. bendelson says:

    stevezie,

    Arco finishes his checks but they are functional small guy hits not big scary 4th line guy hits…

    By taking him out of the lineup, Eakins ‘tough to play against’ message is muddled.
    Small guys playing bigger and finishing their checks doesn’t appear to mean a great deal to the coach.

  72. Lowetide says:

    godot10:
    It is not Gagner or Arco.

    It is Acton or Arco.Eakins thinks 4 minutes of Acton and overplaying everyone else is better than 8 minutes of Arco.

    Your Edmonton Oilers’ coach.

    the Oilers are set up now in a similar way to the Leafs, the 4th line is for heavy heavy fuel and the top lines are for the sultans of swing.

  73. Woodguy says:

    Just watched the ” Pre-Game Raw – Dallas Eakins ”

    http://video.oilers.nhl.com/videocenter/

    He’s the right coach.

    Then watched “Practice Raw – Dallas Eakins”

    Yup, he’s good.

    Let’s see if he has the horses.

  74. Woodguy says:

    Watch Brzy come in and be the stabilizing vet presence the team needed.

    Probably near the top of the list in terms of gp on the team.

  75. Old School G says:

    stevezie: Arcobello is one of my more favorite Oilers on this season’s team. He plays a good, hard, honest 200 foot game out there. He finishes his hits and does not shy away from confrontation. It’s not always about size, smaller guys that are always hitting, sticking and engaging after the whistle are equally as tough to play against. I think that with Joensuu on one side and say Pitlick on the other, Arcobello could develop into a pretty effective depth shit disturber type, would be easy to start scrums with Joensuu and Pitlick at your back. They need to keep this guy, he will be a really good 3-4C for us based off of this season’s play. Get him back in there Eakins, come on.

    GO OIL!

  76. Hammers says:

    Lowetide: No, although Gagner has to show more imo or the club is going to have to work him over on to the wing. Samwise has not played well–and I know there’s a reason–but you’ve got a useful piece in the pressbox and these are not exhibition games.

    Actually its easy move Gags to R wing with RNH & Hall then Arco can have Ebs & Yak and Gordon gets Hemsky & Perron .You now have 3 better balanced lines with the 1st line having 2 centers with below 50% face off wins but who have a good idea of defending . Our # 1 line will always be the one Hall is on so will get tough opposition .This puts Smyth & Joensuu on the 4th with any of whats left.

  77. Woodguy says:

    Brzy has 4 YEARS IN THE AHL. (CAPS FOR EMPHASIS!!!!)

    Then he has 8 years in the NHL.

    Why don’t they refer to him as AHL/NHL vet Bryzgalov?

    Its seems like often its “The Russian Goalie”

    Other than the lockout he hasn’t played in Russia since 2000-2001.

    This is year 13 for his pro hockey career in North America, starting with 4 years in the AHL.

  78. Lowetide says:

    Hammers: Actually its easy move Gags to R wing with RNH & Hall then Arco can have Ebs & Yak and Gordon gets Hemsky & Perron.You now have 3 better balanced lines with the 1st line having 2 centers with below 50% face off wins but who have a good idea of defending . Our # 1 line will always be the one Hall is on so will get tough opposition .This puts Smyth & Joensuu on the 4th with any of whats left.

    And it may get there, but Eakins has decided he’d like to give this group a shot. Hey, I don’t know why Arcobello isn’t playing either to be honest and he’d be on my team, but I don’t think Smyth has earned a demotion either.

  79. Henry says:

    stevezie:
    If the Oilers’ thinking is that, with Arco in, they are too small, well that’s not crazy. they’re pretty small and on top of that probably the softest team in the league. However, playing Acton over Arcobello is a lousy solution because:
    1) Acton is not very big either
    2) Arco is a better player and it is not close
    3) Arco is actually one of their “harder” players- at least by this team’s standards so Arco to Acton is a lateral move, hard-to-play-against wise.

    If they want to get bigger the solution is to trade somebody, and I think Arco makes sense as the guy to go as they are tied tighter to every other small player. However, to get value for him you are going to need to play him. If pumping Arcobello’s value costs you games, well, who cares? Because
    1) We’re already screwed
    2) So is playing Acton over him.

    Obviously the #2s in both lists are the more important points. If Arcobello is healthy it is indefensible to scratch him. CO’s defence that is a common kind of stupid doesn’t make me feel much better. IMO this is the the biggest mistake Eakins has made all season.

    I agree pretty much completely. I’d only add that if you have a productive $600000 player:

    1) you play him
    2) you don’t trade him unless..
    3) you are getting back a much much better more expensive player from a cap strapped team

  80. Woodguy says:

    After watching both Eakins press avails, it seems like Stauffer is pushing him on the forecheck on puck presser both times.

    Bob sets it up as “Now that you have more confidence in your goalie, will you increase the puck pressure”

    Eakins basically says” Yes”

    If that’s the case I expect a much speedier and high temp Oiler team.

    I bet they score 4 or more if they actually do that tonight.

    I hope they do.

  81. stevezie says:

    bendelson: Arco finishes his checks but they are functional small guy hits not big scary 4th line guy hits…

    Does everyone else have different information on Acton than I do? He is not that big either. True: Arco is absurdly small. I’d guess he is one of the smallest players in the league. So an average sized Acton seems like a substantial upgrade, percentage-wise, but you still fall well-short if the goal is to have a “scary” 4th line.

    godot10: It is Acton or Arco. Eakins thinks 4 minutes of Acton and overplaying everyone else is better than 8 minutes of Arco.

    I think overloading the front nine makes perfect sense. My problem is that anyone could have watched the games to this point and think that Arco shouldn’t be in that top 9. “Acton or Arco” may indeed be the coach’s thinking, but that’s wrong.

    If you think size supersedes Arco’s ability then you need to trade for legitimate top 9 size. Having it on the 4th line doesn’t help, and having Arco in the press box is a waste.

  82. stevezie says:

    Henry: 3) you are getting back a much much better more expensive player from a cap strapped team

    They’re out there, that’s for sure.

    EDIT: Considering Philly’s cap problems, holes on defence, and their present-tense shittiness, I would think that Arco and Marincin would be the foundation of what they would consider a very tempting package. For what? Well that depends on a lot, but I think we have some things they need and vice-versa. I would be willing to discuss Klefbom in the right conversation.

  83. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy:
    After watching both Eakins press avails, it seems like Stauffer is pushing him on the forecheck on puck presser both times.

    Bob sets it up as “Now that you have more confidence in your goalie, will you increase the puck pressure”

    Eakins basically says” Yes”

    If that’s the case I expect a much speedier and high temp Oiler team.

    I bet they score 4 or more if they actually do that tonight.

    I hope they do.

    It’s encouraging for sure. that Philly game was awful, Flyers could have tea on their way to the slot.

  84. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: It’s encouraging for sure. that Philly game was awful, Flyers could have tea on their way to the slot.

    Yup, its been terrible.

    If Eakins says they are playing an uptempo press forecheck now, I expect better if the forwards commit to back checking.

    Should be interesting to watch.

    J.Shultz with Belov on the 2nd pair is what I’m watching closely along with the forecheck and neutral zone coverage.

    If its not better, then………

  85. Lowetide says:

    I’m just hoping we get a chance to settle in and see a game where the Oilers are getting their fair of the chances and good goaltending.

    I miss it. It’s been a long while.

  86. Old School G says:

    Woodguy,

    Doobie lets in 5 and Bryz starts next game OR Doobie stands on his head and continues to hold on to the starting job

    Less than an hour until the story begins

  87. Woodguy says:

    Old School G:
    Woodguy,

    Doobie lets in 5 and Bryz starts next game OR Doobie stands on his head and continues to hold on to the starting job

    Less than an hour until the story begins

    Its entirely plausible that Doobie gets beat twice, posts a SV% of .920 and loses.

  88. Big Dan says:

    I’ve had it with Gagner. His no-trade doesn’t kick in until next year, and he has been usurped by Arcobello. He stinks as a C because of his defensive deficiencies and inability to win a faceoff. And he’s even worse as a winger because he’s so small.

    I wonder if MacT has considered trading for ‘a stud defenseman’ Brian Campbell. Florida seems to be in a fire sale and Campbell is EXACTLY what this team needs. We have problems getting the puck to the forwards (who then have problems turning it over). However, would he come?

    Would Florida consider Gagner and Petry (sorry Lowetide but I disagree, he’s not that great) for Campbell and Kopecky? The Panthers may even pay 1/2 of Kopecky’s awful $3M salary.

    a) Florida gets two good young players on the upside and rids themselves of two big salaries for the next two years.

    b) Edmonton gets an excellent puck mover for the next two years (which will buy LD Nurse, Klefbom, and Marincin time to develop). They also get a feisty 3rd liner/ agitator who has played in Detroit and Chicago. Need more guys like that who aren’t fun to play against.

    Then, at the deadline, we flip Ales Hemsky and Nick Schultz for picks. Philip Larsen and Corey Potter too if we can.

    - Like it or not, Acton is here to stay. Eakins told him to buy a house. However, he can play RW and one of Roman Horak, Tyler Pitlick, or Anton Lander can be called up to have the pleasure of flanking the 4th line with superstars Acton and Gazdic.

    - Call up Martin Marincin to play the #3 LD slot (maybe reunited with Justin Schultz) . This gives him some time to show his stuff before Nurse arrives on the scene next year. Or showcase himself for a trade.

    - Move Belov to RD (he can play both) to take Petry’s spot.

    In the summer, MacT clears out roster spots by not resigning Steve MacIntyre, Ryan Jones, Denis Grebeshkov, Jason Labarbera, Ben Eager, Linus Omark, Ryan Smyth, Richard Bachman, Curtis Hamilton, Andrew Miller, Ryan Martindale, and Cameron Abney. Sign prospects like Ty Rimmer and Dillon Simpson and go fishing for the next Arcobello.

    If this team starts to gel over time (I never did think the Eakins hiring was good but we have no choice but to cross our fingers), I’d like the looks of next year’s team.

    All he’d need to do after all that housecleaning is shore up the goaltending and add a veteran LW and RD to push Joensuu and Fedun to the pressbox.

    Hall – RNH – Eberle
    Perron – Arcobello – Yakupov
    Joensuu – Gordon – Kopecky
    Gazdic – Horak – W.Acton

    Campbell – Belov
    A.Ference – J.Schultz
    Nurse – Fedun

    Hiller – Khudonin

    As for all those rumors about Shea Weber, I just don’t think it’s plausible.

  89. Lowetide says:

    Big Dan:
    I’ve had it with Gagner.His no-trade doesn’t kick in until next year, and he has been usurped by Arcobello.He stinks as a C because of his defensive deficiencies and inability to win a faceoff.And he’s even worse as a winger because he’s so small.

    I’ve seen this written a lot here, and can’t understand why we should expect the Oilers to flush Gagner for Arcobello. they’ve signed him long term, he’s show offensive ability over a long period and he’s an NHL player.

    Arcobello MAY be an NHL player, but we can’t base it on the current season. That’s crazy, folks.

  90. bookje says:

    Woodguy:
    Watch Brzy come in and be the stabilizing vet presence the team needed.

    Probably near the top of the list in terms of gp on the team.

    Ok, he’s Russian, thus enigmatic, entitled, erratic, and drinks a lot of vodka. Seriously, its like you never read anything about this stuff. Do you even follow hockey media?

  91. Lowetide says:

    Gene’s prop budget is done before the snow removal budget. That’s the kind of year it’s been.

  92. bendelson says:

    stevezie,

    Arco finishes his checks but they are functional small guy hits not big scary 4th line guy hits…

    Sarcastic comment misinterpreted. My mistake.

    Let’s try again:

    Arco may be smaller in stature but seems to actually play bigger than Acton (who is not particularly big or scary) thereby making Eakins’ move highly questionable.

    Just trying to agree with you Stephanzee.

    Enjoy the game!

  93. VanOil says:

    Woodguy:
    Watch Brzy come in and be the stabilizing vet presence the team needed.

    Probably near the top of the list in terms of gp on the team.

    Watch Brzy be setup up for success with a first start against Chicago.

  94. VanOil says:

    Eberle and Perron are the two Oilers I would most like to see in a playoff run. Both strike me as players who can raise there game or at least raise the irre of the opponent over a series. We wait.

  95. Lowetide says:

    Dubnyk stopped the breakaway but could have done it better.

  96. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Belov to Shultz: “That’s nothing, watch this giveaway”
    Brutal opening shift

  97. danny says:

    Gagners offence has never been in question, but the question is will Gagner ever get more than he gives up, and whats a 5’10 guy that can’t worth? Does his potential far outweigh his trade value? Does he still have value or are we all-in at this stage waiting for the river?

    As of now, he’s a bug in a world of windshields.

  98. Lowetide says:

    Eberle (Potter, Nugent-Hopkins)

  99. Lowetide says:

    Joanne Ireland ‏@jirelandEJ 9s

    Eberle’s goal marks the first time the #Oilers have scored first since Oct. 27. Had given up the game’s first goal in nine straight contests

  100. Caramel Obvious says:

    Yakupov horrible on first two shifts. Move your feet.

  101. Lowetide says:

    Oilers seem to have the edge in play so far, sog 5-1 and 1-0 on the scoresheet.

  102. VanOil says:

    Lowetide:
    Oilers seem to have the edge in play so far, sog 5-1 and 1-0 on the scoresheet.

    And yet I feel uninspired. Yak might change that. Because Columbus?

  103. lacking the apathy says:

    Does anyone have a link to watch the game?

  104. Lucinius says:

    I want to see more of Hemsky at the LW and Yak at the RW. Those two seem to find some chemistry when Hemsky goes down the left side and Yak down the right side.

  105. Lowetide says:

    Perron (Yakupov, Nugent-Hopkins)

  106. Lucinius says:

    Start with the Yak powerplay.. get a goal.

  107. Lowetide says:

    2-0 Oilers and then Gazdic takes the dumbest penalty in ever.

  108. VanOil says:

    We have seen the 4th line after goals against and I have not liked it. Now the 4th after a goal for and I don’t like it.

  109. D says:

    Did Larionov’s visit change Yakupov’s usage?

  110. Lowetide says:

    Best period of the season?

  111. VanOil says:

    Lowetide:
    Best period of the season?

    For Yak at least. He better start this power play and get 20 minutes tonight. Kid is pissed the other Russians didn’t take him to Dinner?

  112. Lucinius says:

    Lowetide,

    No, but its getting higher and higher on the list. Probably eighth or so right now, in terms of play. Oilers are still looking pretty shaky defensively. They continue to generally not know where other players are, or are going (which means its system’s based; either people aren’t going where they are supposed to, or people are putting the puck where they shouldn’t).

  113. Lowetide says:

    Smyth (Gagner, Hemsky)

  114. D says:

    I hope they remember Belov for keeping that puck in.

  115. VanOil says:

    Belov is a great point hold the puck in guy. He deserves an assist on that one.

  116. SK Oiler Fan says:

    That,s impresive hand eye by smyty

  117. Lucinius says:

    Hah, Smytty going ‘I’m old, but I can do that too, Hemmer!’.

    Great pass by Gagner in that it was flat in the air and didn’t hit anything.

    Great work by Hemsky to do what he always does on the powerplay; draw two players to him to bring them out of position.

  118. Lowetide says:

    I’m sorry, this is the best period of the year for the Oilers. 3-0, outshooting 12-3 and if the 4line had any hands at all it would be 4-0.

  119. Lucinius says:

    Definitely a period for the fans to enjoy, though.

  120. D says:

    Lowetide:
    I’m sorry, this is the best period of the year for the Oilers. 3-0, outshooting 12-3 and if the 4line had any hands at all it would be 4-0.

    Granted LT. But I guess the skepticism is because of the opponent being the CBJ.

  121. Lucinius says:

    Lowetide,

    Now it might very well be, yeah. Keeping the Jackets to so few shots, blocking them pretty well. Doing well in the offensive and neutral zones.. only some chaos defensively to mar it.

  122. Lowetide says:

    Lowetide:
    I’m sorry, this is the best period of the year for the Oilers. 3-0, outshooting 12-3 and if the 4line had any hands at all it would be 4-0.

    Oilers have shit the bed against good, bad and dead. TAKE IT!

  123. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Lowetide,

    Agreed. can’t believe Acton missed that tap in. It’s like his stick was cut off too short. wiff

  124. Woodguy says:

    Woodguy: Yup, its been terrible.

    If Eakins says they are playing an uptempo press forecheck now, I expect better if the forwards commit to back checking.

    Should be interesting to watch.

    J.Shultz with Belov on the 2nd pair is what I’m watching closely along with the forecheck and neutral zone coverage.

    If its not better, then………

    I’d say its better.

    Its CLB so not going to get too excited by a good period by the Oilers.

    Love the 5 forward PP.

    Hall, Eberle, RNH, Yakupov and Perron.

    Awesome.

    Hope Hall and Yak don’t have to play defense too often.

    That’s certainly not the coach being too conservative.

  125. Gerta Rauss says:

    All our problems would be solved if we played Columbus 82 times a year.

    I’ll take Ebs,Perron and Hemsky in the shootout.

  126. markasread1199 says:

    LT,

    You might want to find that ladder. Andy is making a deal with the warden.

  127. Thor762 says:

    I’d much rather see Jones and Arco on the 4th line in replacement of 2 of Gazdic/Acton/Joensuu. At least that line could compete better and score the odd goal.

  128. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    I’m sorry, this is the best period of the year for the Oilers. 3-0, outshooting 12-3 and if the 4line had any hands at all it would be 4-0.

    First to loose pucks about 80% of the time.

    Everyone skating.

    Great to see.

    They need to do that against good teams too.

  129. Rebilled says:

    Best period I’ve seen.

    This is kind of the first time we’ve seen the whole team this season no? Hopefully Gags gets that cage off soon.

  130. steveb12344 says:

    Yak is finally looking like he did in the latter part of last year. He sure is a beauty to watch when he’s playing well.

  131. Young Oil says:

    I think that period can be completely attributed to Bryz being in the lineup. Is it too soon to sign him to an 8 year $64M contract extention? :D

    In all seriousness, we need to play like that every single period for the rest of the year to even have the slightest chance of getting close to the postseason. Love it though!

  132. justDOit says:

    Woodguy:

    Just watched the ” Pre-Game Raw – Dallas Eakins ”

    I think it was Monday, when Eakins was asked about what he talked to Bryz about on the ice, he almost interrupted the question with his response, “I asked him about his family – how his family is doing. He’s been home with his kids for a while now, and they’re probably wondering why he had to leave again (paraphrasing).”

    I enjoyed that.

  133. VanOil says:

    As Bruce has already pointed out LT’s wall of FUCK during Saturdays 2nd intermission might have been the ‘bottom’ or ‘turning point’ of the season. Way to call the ‘bottom’ LT, we really could not handle any more of that shit. And well done Bruce for recognizing an ass being wiped.

    Sorry for the salty language when the Oilers are wining.

  134. hunter1909 says:

    After 20 games they started in or near 30th place. Then Ference went ape, and turned the season around. Now they’ve woken up.

    Ference looks good tonight. I’m officially a big fan.

    Tonight CBJ were killed by goal 1. This looks like a 7-1 blowout coming, with Gagner getting lots of cheap points bwahahahaha.

    Who was the Oiler player in the 1st who killed himself to make a play to get the puck forward as he fell backwards in the Oilers zone? He gets my 1st star of the game.

  135. Lowetide says:

    That’s Stan Ravandahl in the penalty box there, Stan had a long career in radio management.

  136. Lowetide says:

    Breakouts horrible this period, Oilers are going to let the Jackets into this game.

  137. VanOil says:

    Good time for a time out. Bad time for that fight.

  138. SK Oiler Fan says:

    There it is again. Situational officiating. Up 3 0, up in PPs, better even up that obvious call and ignore the trip and tackle on Hall

  139. Rebilled says:

    Hall can’t buy a penalty

  140. Lowetide says:

    A nice nice give and go between Hemsky and Yakupov. Lordy.

  141. Henry says:

    hunter1909:
    After 20 games they started in or near 30th place. Then Ference went ape, and turned the season around. Now they’ve woken up.

    Ference looks good tonight. I’m officially a big fan.

    Tonight CBJ were killed by goal 1. This looks like a 7-1 blowout coming, with Gagner getting lots of cheap points bwahahahaha.

    Who was the Oiler player in the 1st who killed himself to make a play to get the puck forward as he fell backwards in the Oilers zone? He gets my 1st star of the game.

    I see what you are saying, but I think it will be good for everybody if Yak is first star with a big ovation.

  142. D says:

    Lowetide,

    Yak is on fire tonight.

  143. Rebilled says:

    Jesus.

  144. Lowetide says:

    Perron (Smyth, Gordon)

  145. justDOit says:

    Bobrovski – you’re OFF the case!

  146. VanOil says:

    Lowetide:
    A nice nice give and go between Hemsky and Yakupov. Lordy.

    Hemsky becoming Yaks mentor would bring me joy and the MSM pain. That shot is becoming a Perron specialty.

  147. D says:

    That was like Kessel’s goal a while back.

  148. Henry says:

    Damn these guys are good. Perron picks out a spot the size of a beer stein and hits it.

  149. steveb12344 says:

    D: That was like Kessel’s goal a while back.

    It was identical to his goal off Berra’s shoulder the other night.

  150. Lowetide says:

    Yakupov draws another penalty, looks injured though. Could be nothing. God this is wonderful!!!!

  151. VanOil says:

    Yak is a little bit of a porcupine not quite in Perron’s class but he is no shrinking violet.

  152. Lucinius says:

    Yak better be okay. Looked like he was holding that arm a bit gingerly..

  153. Lowetide says:

    Yakupov (Perron)

  154. Lucinius says:

    Lowetide,

    Damnit. I need to stop refreshing this. My feed is a couple minutes behind.

  155. D says:

    YAK City! WooHoo!

  156. Lowetide says:

    DUBNYK!!!!!

  157. Thor762 says:

    Where the hell did this team come from???? And who were the other guys for much of the season thus far?

  158. SK Oiler Fan says:

    CBJ are a bad bad team

  159. Lucinius says:

    Yak’s goal would totally not count earlier in the year (regardless if it was good or not).

    Really hoping this continues on for the next few games. A decent win streak would do wonders for the fans and the players.

  160. RexLibris says:

    I missed the first four goals. Were they all beautiful plays of sublime hockey skill?

    I thought they were.

  161. Zelepukin says:

    …may Eakins never shave again.

  162. OilBuzz says:

    I just turned on the game and my jaw dropped. What is happening right now?

  163. RexLibris says:

    Finally, a correlation between score, shots and results.

  164. godot10 says:

    Eakins is going to have to have a root canal every day now! -). -).

  165. RexLibris says:

    We want 10!

    (Remember when that chant went the other way?)

  166. Lowetide says:

    J Schultz (Perron, Smyth)

  167. RexLibris says:

    Steve Mason would look awfully good in net for the Blue Jackets about now.

  168. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide,

    Do we credit the Finnish presence for this turnaround?

  169. jp says:

    Good God, this is a little crazy. How much of this is better play by the good guys, and how much is Columbus? A little of column A and a little of column B I suppose, but it’s certainly not a bad sign.

  170. VanOil says:

    I know it is not ‘Hockey Culture’ but in the NFL when you are up by lots you give your backups some game time.

    I would start Bryz in the 3d period to get him some game action. It makes more sense than playing that gawd awful 4th line.

  171. Rebilled says:

    Healthy roster = 6 goals so far.

  172. Lucinius says:

    So.. this is where all our scoring went. We saved it to blow it all against the Blue Jackets.

  173. Henry says:

    RexLibris:
    Lowetide,

    Do we credit the Finnish presence for this turnaround?

    Maybe Bryz sacrificed a chicken.

  174. "Steve Smith" says:

    After this game, I want to hear Kevin Lowe rip into Columbus for being a Mickey Mouse organization.

  175. justDOit says:

    OilBuzz:
    I just turned on the game and my jaw dropped. What is happening right now?

    We’re still awaiting confirmation, but it appears to be ‘winning’. ‘Winning’ is happening.

  176. Lucinius says:

    VanOil,

    That can be very iffy with goalies. You pretty much never want to pull a goalie who is doing well because often enough the smallest thing can derail their mental outlook. Goalies be crazy. As some coach once said; “unless the goalie is costing us games I don’t even want to talk to them”.

  177. justDOit says:

    RexLibris:
    Steve Mason would look awfully good in net for the Blue Jackets about now.

    As he did tonight in the Flyers win? Well not sure if he actually played well, but I saw a good save in the highlights, which is more than I’ve seen from any goalie in his road whites tonight.

  178. Young Oil says:

    That was a great period, aside from the start. Especially considering we could have easily had 3-5 more powerplays.

    Hope Dubinski is OK though, I hate seeing plays like that.

  179. Lucinius says:

    justDOit,

    Bobrovski had a couple in the first, but it didn’t help much.

  180. SK Oiler Fan says:

    How does CBJ have 7 wins? Did they play Buff and Fla 3 times each?
    I really wish all opposition teams would play this no contact game.

  181. OilBuzz says:

    Looks like we’re finally seeing some sane TOI numbers from Eakins

  182. hunter1909 says:

    I hope they always play Hemsky and Yakupov together, on the basis that they’re both nuts and therefore understand each other. That means thinking the game faster than any other players, btw.

    I’d say my 20 game training camp prediction was spot on. This is no longer a 30th place team.

    Great thing about being a fan: Being able to slag off everyone when things look terrible, then hopping effortlessly back on the bandwagon.

  183. stevezie says:

    bendelson,

    Never change Bhendelson.

  184. Woodguy says:

    justDOit: I think it wasMonday, when Eakins was asked about what he talked to Bryz about on the ice, he almost interrupted the question with his response, “I asked him about his family – how his family is doing. He’s been home with his kids for a while now, and they’re probably wondering why he had to leave again (paraphrasing).”

    I enjoyed that.

    Stopped everyone in the room.

    Great stuff.

  185. VanOil says:

    OilBuzz:
    Looks like we’re finally seeing some sane TOI numbers from Eakins

    Playing that 4th line is far from sane.

  186. wheatnoil says:

    VanOil: Playing that 4th line is far from sane.

    In fairness, being up 6-0 is exactly the time to play that fourth line.

  187. hunter1909 says:

    Sitting on the bench tonight, Bryz already the best imaginable addition for 2013-14.

  188. Lowetide says:

    This game is badly needed and they can’t let up in the third period. This Oilers team can’t afford to take their eye off the ball at any time.

  189. stevezie says:

    SK Oiler Fan: CBJ are a bad bad team

    Yeah, but it’s not just that. A couple players (Yak and Belov) are having their best games of the season and the rest are all playing to expectations.

    This is the team I was expecting to see all season. Those not hypnotized by the score can still see the imperfections (breakaway within the first ten seconds???), but all the strengths are there.

    Can’t happen every game but I’m glad to know if can happen at all.

  190. "Steve Smith" says:

    hunter1909:
    Sitting on the bench tonight, Bryz already the best imaginable addition for 2013-14.

    I don’t know, I think Perron’s been okay.

  191. Rebilled says:

    PRV gets his first tonight.

  192. stevezie says:

    The 4th didn’t score on a tap-in, but they’re keeping the play out of their zone. Primary mission accomplished. Decent game for them.

  193. VanOil says:

    wheatnoil: In fairness, being up 6-0 is exactly the time to play that fourth line.

    I stand corrected

  194. "Steve Smith" says:

    I don’t think that “quadrant” means what Jack Michaels thinks it means.

  195. Thinker says:

    I get it we were saving all our offence for columbus. GENIUS!!!!

  196. VanOil says:

    I was about to make myself a nice cup of tea during the intermission but then grabbed the Whisky. The Oilers allowing me to drink in celebration not misery makes it taste funny.

  197. gr8one says:

    stevezie: (breakaway within the first ten seconds???)

    That’s exactly the difference between this game and others. If this was earlier in the season CBJ scores, the whole team thinks “not this again”, completely deflates, and loses with no real try.

  198. bookje says:

    This team lost their confidence after losing a string of bad games to aweful goaltending. The biggest lie that kept getting repeated early on was that ‘mistakes’ cost them. Nope, a lot of those mistakes are going to happen, but if your goalie is playing .855 hockey, more of them result in goals. Of course, the team needed to improve as well, but it was devastating because of the goaltending.

    When the goaltending returned, the confidence was not back, the team and coach were having some challenges, and Yak.

    After playing a crappy team the other day and winning in the third, they are doing it again, only better. I hope this hits the reset button for them and they go onto great things.

Newer Comments »

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

© Copyright - Lowetide.ca