GRINDHOUSE

The Edmonton Oilers have exhausted fans’ patience and then some during the first 15 games of this season, and I’m not certain better days are ahead. Taylor Hall is close to returning and that’s good news, but there’s a pile of injuries to stoke the fire and another road trip to endure. Azorcan3Hall’s presence on the roster would be a Godsend at this point. Coach Eakins was lamenting the lack of a guy who would step up, and to my way of thinking that’s what Hall has been doing since he stepped off the plane in 2010 summer.

ireland hallIreland’s money on this stuff, so that’s a great sign. Now, can he make it back tomorrow? Let’s say no. That would mean possibly Thursday but let’s say he has to wait until Saturday against the Flyers. Knowing their mood, I’d love to have him on the ice but if he’s not 100% I don’t want their skaters or their goalies near him. Hall was inconsistent at the beginning of the year, but remains a dream 5×5/60 offensively.

  1. Taylor Hall 2.90
  2. Mark Arcobello 2.56
  3. Will Acton 2.22
  4. Tyler Pitlick 2.05
  5. David Perron 2.00
  6. Ryan Smyth 2.00
  7. Jordan Eberle 1.99
  8. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 1.68
  9. Ryan Gazdic 1.50
  10. Ryan Jones 1.50
  11. Ben Eager 1.40
  12. Justin Schultz 1.28
  13. Ales Hemsky 1.16

All others under 1.00.

 DESPERATE TIMESrd1

I don’t think there’s a trade out there that can help this team, and wonder if MacT would like to see the team for 2 weeks before making any moves. At this point, winning isn’t as important as it was last week (sorry, but it’s true) and if the club spends 8 games with this lineup:

  1. Nuge-Hall-Eberle
  2. Gagner-Perron-Yakupov
  3. Gordon-Joensuu-Hemsky
  4. Acton-Smyth-Arcobello

Maybe they can make hay. Of course, Belov looks hurt (here’s hoping it isn’t) so the defense will be under the gun for the immediate (and maybe more) future. Still, I’m not certain the GM makes a move with all these IR troubles–especially considering the standings.

COOL HAND LUKE

rd4One way the Oilers can win games is the old fashioned way: earning it. Their goaltending needs to be stronger sure, but they also have to work harder without the puck. The game Saturday exposed a lot of holes, and that’s been happening forever. I’m not in favor of trading anyone unless it’s for full value, but “full value” might be a Nikolai Kulemin or another 2-way winger. This team needs a Dvorak badly, along with more help on the blue.

I hope Dubnyk gets the chance tomorrow night, he’s the best goalie going into the year and was playing well before the injury. He says he’s ready (said he was ready on Saturday) and the Oilers need as much help as they can get tomorrow night against Florida. Matty has the Oilers circling the name Jonas Hiller on the capgeek free agent list next summer btw.

I find myself drawn to the Calgary Flames these days. Buncha mutts who don’t know any better, just work so hard there’s snot coming from everywhere (pardon, sorry). I love the skill of the Oilers, but that Calgary Flames team is making the Oil look like a boarding school field trip in apple blossom time.

CALLUPS

rdAs a fan, my favorite thing to do is ‘play along’ with the GM to see if we agree on things. Sometimes, when they mesh, I congratulate myself all day on being such a smart guy. At other times, I realize there’s a gap between being a GM and second guessing. Example: Linus Omark. I can’t for the life of me understand why you’d run without the guy when the NHL team is without Hall, Perron, Smyth and Joensuu. You know what’s worse than Nuge-Omark-Eberle to my eye? What we saw on Saturday night.

But, as I said, there’s a difference between being a fan and GM. Omark sits in Oklahoma. What is it about Omark that keeps the Oilers from bringing him up? Size? Checking? Whatever it is, I’m not convinced his faults are so great that keeping him on the farm is the right call. Perhaps coach Eakins has forgotten about the enormous game Linus post against his Marlies? It surely isn’t the cap.

It’s a strange call.

GRINDHOUSE

AM OIL

The quotes after the Saturday game are worth remembering.

  • Andrew Ference: “The coach comes in here and gives a pretty black and white world of what expectations are and what you’re supposed to be doing on the ice and it’s up to us as players to do those jobs. What it boils down to at this point is guys not doing it. Everybody is saying the right thing but it’s the action that matters.”
  • Andrew Ference: “It’s like nothing soaked in. We have to hold each other accountable because there’s no excuse for it. It’s not a league where you can win when guys are trying to do things on their own page – there’s a team system for a reason.”
  • Ladislav Smid: “I don’t think we realize this can get way worse. People are going to start getting traded. It’s going to get really uncomfortable for everyone.”

Quotes from this excellent article.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

GHMonday morning, jam packed show on TSN 1260 at 10. Scheduled to appear:

  • Tyler Dellow from mc79 hockey. We’ll talk about this Oiler team–it is over? have they given up? and discuss the Andrew Ference comments above. I’ll also ask about his blog hiatus.
  • Neal Lvingston from Tend the Farm.  Omark’s stuck in Oklahoma with the Memphis blues again. Why? Did he lose his phone? Has he renounced the NHL? WHY NEAL? We’ll find out.
  • Scott Reynolds from Copper and Blue. I’ll ask Scott for fix-it ideas, and we’ll discuss what holes we saw early and what injuries have done to help with this horrific start.
  • Travis Yost from Hockeybuzz. Senators have an all-star cast but the script is horrible and nothing rhymes. The club today is 4-6-4 for 12 points. Dreadful.

10-1260 via text or @Lowetide_ on twitter. Hope you can tune in!

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203 Responses to "GRINDHOUSE"

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  1. vesci says:

    So far this season is making me miss the lock out

  2. John Chambers says:

    Someone suggested to me that the kids and their $40+ M contracts have turned into prima donnas and that they needed to be traded for professionals. God that would kill me.

    If that is in fact true, trading them to different teams becomes the actual only answer.

    Rightly or wrongly Philly felt they had to trade Richards and Carter, then defeated Pitt in he first round the following season. Chiarelli traded a 21-year old Seguin because he didn’t fit the team mould.

    The Oil could have to deal Gagner, Eberle, and Yakupov, fetching an uncertain return (Hall and Nuge are too good to go), and chances are the team would get better.

  3. russ99 says:

    Ference speaks volumes: Black and white, what you’re supposed to do on the ice.

    No room at all for what made these players what they are.

    That’s bad coaching, in my book.

  4. Lowetide says:

    russ99:
    Ference speaks volumes: Black and white, what you’re supposed to do on the ice.

    No room at all for what made these players what they are.

    That’s bad coaching, in my book.

    It’s a fine line, though. You drafted these kids for their creativity. I believe the Eakins plan is the best one, allowing them to wheel while also working, but if it doesn’t work then imo this is going to get ugly in a hurry.

  5. lance says:

    Years ago I coached a 3 on 3 team. We played a AAA team and were getting destroyed, I think it was about 7 – 0. I huddled the players and told them i wanted to use the rest of the game as a practice, four passes before the shot, puck possession, forget scoring. We lost, but be lost by less than 7.

    I’d like to see the Oilers try a bit of that. It actually turned around our season and we nearly made the finals.

  6. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    This Hall business screams “player and team anxious to change to subject and save the world”…

    I really hope someone is over there playing the role LT assigned to MacT: “are you sure you want to do that?”

  7. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    A random thought that I came upon on waking was to check in on the UFA centerman (of the higher caliber) we discussed over the summer.

    In order of points:

    Grabo: GP: 14 G: 5 A: 8 P: 13 PIMS: 4 +/-: +5
    Filppula: 14 5 6 11 6 2
    Ribeiro: 15 5 5 10 8 -2
    Weiss: 15 2 0 2 6 -3

    Looks like everyone is doing fairly well, excepting Weiss who seems to be struggling. I don’t recall Ribeiro being considered here at all and Weiss got minimal interest… but Filppula and Grabo have delivered.

    (did I miss anyone?)

  8. sliderule says:

    Don’t expect too much from Hall

    My son tore his mcl while playing junior and had to wear a brace.It slows speed and agility.

    The oilers need Dubnyk to step up.

    No team can survive .880 save percentage.

  9. Woodguy says:

    Here’s a good piece on why the B’s traded Seguin : http://m.weei.com/sports/boston/hockey/bruins/dj-bean/2013/11/04/closer-look-why-tyler-seguin-no-longer-bruin

    The stuff in there about slowing down to avoid contact and not having the “minimum level of compete” rings very true for everyone watching the Oilers, including other Oilers.

    Ireland wrote a similar piece to Tych piece linked to in post.

    Here’s the good stuff from Ference in Ireland’s piece:

    “What’s concerning is that you have games you want to recover from, turn the page on,” said Ference, “and you crank up the competitive level in practice, really focus on some fundamental stuff, and it’s like none of it has soaked in.

    “I’m lost for words after that one.”

    Link to Ireland’s piece: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/edmonton-oilers/going+really+uncomfortable+disconnected/9119681/story.html

  10. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    This part had me laughing from the Sun piece:

    With the Oilers on a four-game road trip, fans in Edmonton won’t see them again until they sell out the Nov. 13 and 15 home ice losses to Dallas and San Jose, but in the meantime they’ll do everything they can to keep this from getting really ugly.

    Does anyone know when these interviews took place? If they were from the same interviews as the ones the Oilers put up after Sat’s game… the Oilers cribbed the quotes… dramatically.

  11. B S says:

    After Krueger was fired I was pissed. Bordering on Asianoil level of frustration with the situation because, just like him, I saw this coming. I’ve kept quiet, and tried to give the benefit of the doubt to Eakins because as much angry as I was, and am, that the Oil are on their 5th coach in 6 years it isn’t Eakins’ fault so I’ve tried to give him time* to show what he can do. So Far I see two differences between Eakins and Krueger. 1st, Eakins’ only took 10 games to lose the room, Krueger took 30+ games and got it back at the end. 2nd, Krueger knew and admitted when he was out of his depth. For all the systems problems Krueger had, he recognized that he had those problems after last season and asked for help. He got fired and we got Krueger2.0 with less NHL coaching experience and without the positive attitude.

    Now the Oil are up sh!t creek. If they hit this stage with Krueger (I seriously doubt it, close maybe, but not this bad), MacT could fire him, put in Mess or find a real NHL coach, but now they’re stuck with Eakins for the foreseeable future (the revolving door of head coaches has to stop). Instead any change is going to have to involve trading a player, and not one of the shiny new toys, one of the established players.

    *edited

  12. Woodguy says:

    I’m not sure you can scare kids making millions, but they do need to be scared.

    This, as it has for the past 5 years or so, sums up the OIlers.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDaFcQJC4z8

  13. Woodguy says:

    B S:
    After Krueger was fired I was pissed. Bordering on Asianoil level of frustration with the situation because, just like him, I saw this coming. I’ve kept quiet, and tried to give the benefit of the doubt to Eakins because as much angry as I was, and am, that the Oil are on their 5th coach in 6 years it isn’t Eakins’ fault so I’ve tried to give him time* to show what he can do. So Far I see two differences between Eakins and Krueger. 1st, Eakins’ only took 10 games to lose the room, Krueger took 30+ games and got it back at the end. 2nd, Krueger knew and admitted when he was out of his depth. For all the systems problems Krueger had, he recognized that he had those problems after last season and asked for help. He got fired and we got Krueger2.0 with less NHL coaching experience and without the positive attitude.

    Now the Oil are up sh!t creek. If they hit this stage with Krueger (I seriously doubt it, close maybe, but not this bad), MacT could fire him, put in Mess or find a real NHL coach, but now they’re stuck with Eakins for the foreseeable future (the revolving door of head coaches has to stop). Instead any change is going to have to involve trading a player, and not one of the shiny new toys, one of the established players.

    *edited

    At what point does everyone stop looking at the coach?

    Read Smid and Ferrence’s quotes in Tych’s piece and Ireland’s piece.

    Its not about the coach.

    Its about players not playing the system and not giving a shit.

    Exact same thing N.Shultz said last year, that the team doesn’t take what they learn in practice to the games.

    They revert back to individualist styles and abandon their system and whole thing falls apart.

    The reasons coach’s “lose the room” in Edmonton is because a significant number of players are refusing to be coached.

    Stupid little dicks haven’t even sniffed a playoff spot in forever and ignore sage advice from those who know better.

  14. jfry says:

    i’m not convinced that ferrence is captain material. i’m also very convinced that Eakins isn’t nhl coaching material yet either. his marlies, with arguably an inferior roster this year are performing just as well and it makes you wonder if the comments that he was just a product of a team with better talent because they have to feed the TO market, are true.

    my huge concerns are the language coming from the leaders. it’s negative and accusatory. that language no doubt comes from Eakins down. the leadership on this team, since it’s been taken away from the kids and handed to the “work out nuts” hasn’t improved. if anything it’s become more inflammatory. if my staff had quotes like that in the paper, i’d feel that I was failing at the most important part of my job — creating a team environment.

    it’s obvious there’s already division on this team and our captain (who has been below average at best on the ice) keeps acting like one of those guys who thinks that “always working hard” will win you things. he was a 3rd pairing dman who talked too much in his days in Calgary and he reminds me of the same here — when he was in Calgary he stole all the media attention and talking opportunites and honestly for a year or two, he was the face of the flames in the city and media, yet his performance on the ice was barely replacement level — sound familiar?

    anyhow, these quotes coming out, are a reflection on Eakins inability to educate and create a solid foundation for these players. the real question has to be, when we look back on TO development, did Eakins help or hurt his young players? not that I saide with don cherry, but he always argued that they were beating up on kadri for no reason and he should have been in the show earlier.

    Eakins comes of like an asshole with big words, who frankly doesn’t understand high end talent. he’s happy when he changes hemsky into will acton. that shouldn’t be a player development goal. also, his unending affection for his two marlie plugs and the 4th line thugs screams AHL mentality.

    I wasn’t a fan of the hire at the time. am not now. Eakins wants to be the lead singer of this band. he’s gotta remember he’s just the road manager. get away from the mic and start making things easier for the performers.

    I wasn’t a huge Krueger fan, but godot10 is right that we saw improvement with the individuals on this team that needed to get better so that we could lay the foundation for future success. this year, is there one player even close to a personal best season? petry maybe?

    at a certain point, berating the players, the team concept and effort has to be a reflection of the coach and not just the players. if the players have to man up and admit fault, i’m curious how long until Eakins has to say, “i wasn’t ready for primetime, because performance by numbers and eye, as well as the team fracturing into “work hard vs the no work hards” (which really appears to be an ageist battle.

    I know this might sound stupid, but remember when we had some depth at coaching? renney as an assistant would be terrific now. I hope they fire all the assistants and Eakins gets very little say in who they are replaced with — maybe that’ll force him more into a team concept as well.

    on a potential positive, have any of the journalists lost weight or reported a better blood sugar level?

  15. dawgtoy says:

    Kavis Reed gets the axe this morning. He’s a good man, good luck. Glad to see they fired him immediately.

  16. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    I’ll be glancing at this all day with Omark Eyes:

    http://theahl.com/stats/transactions.php

  17. Colonel Obvious says:

    Willis had a good piece on Omark at oilersnation. The highlights:

    “But when the situation changes, things must be reassessed. We have already seen the most cogent argument in favour of Omark right now – the Oilers’ emaciated left wing group. But there’s more. Omark currently leads the Barons with 12 points in 12 games, and he’s producing under some difficult circumstances.

    Last night, for example, Omark played on Oklahoma’s top line with C.J. Stretch (an ECHL find last year) and first-year professional Andrew Miller. He typically played against either one or the other of the Chicago Wolves top-two lines – both of which were loaded to the gills with players with NHL experience. The Barons got scoring from all over, but won the game mostly because Omark was able to drive his line to 20-7 shots/missed shots advantage at even-strength.

    Omark’s own scoring has been hit-and-miss – a four-point game here, a four-goal game there – but the constant is that his line has generated scoring chances.”

    It’s inexplicable that Omark is not on the Oilers right now.

  18. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Did anyone else see this?

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=435774

    LT, can you ask Yost about this and how it might affect their decision on Lehner. I wonder if Craig is developing a reputation as “injury prone” (rightly or not) and whether that will make him harder to trade.

  19. B S says:

    Woodguy,

    It’s the coaches’ JOB to get the players on board. More importantly, Eakins is the new GM’s hire, he isn’t on the chopping block, so ostensibly he should have free rain to do whatever is necessary to get those players on board without worrying about the win/loss record, including not playing them. If it’s Hall, or Yakupov, keep him off the roster. Play Perron and Jones those extra 20 minutes a night. Yes you’ll probably lose short term, but the kid will get the picture. If it’s not a “wonderkid” talk to the GM and move his ass. If it’s not a player then tell MacT to tell Lowe to boot the SOB, friend or not. If it’s the player(s), and I agree that they probably are at least a significant factor, then it’s Eakins’ job to exorcise those players, with the GM’s help.

    My problem with Eakins is that I’ve yet to see him make a right move, lots of talk eerily similar to Krueger and Renney, but no substance. Krueger made a lot of mistakes, but he turned the kids into a real 1st line, power vs power. And got the team into a playoff spot, even if momentarily, with a much worse roster.

  20. Woodguy says:

    jfry,

    anyhow, these quotes coming out, are a reflection on Eakins inability to educate and create a solid foundation for these players. the real question has to be, when we look back on TO development, did Eakins help or hurt his young players? not that I saide with don cherry, but he always argued that they were beating up on kadri for no reason and he should have been in the show earlier.

    Renney failed to get the kids to buy into a system.
    Krueger failed to get the kids to buy into a system.

    Now Eakins is failing to get the kids to buy into s system.

    I don’t think its coaching.

  21. bookje says:

    So, are we saying we all owe Ethan Moreau an apology?

  22. Woodguy says:

    B S:
    Woodguy,

    It’s the coaches’ JOB to get the players on board. More importantly, Eakins is the new GM’s hire, he isn’t on the chopping block, so ostensibly he should have free rain to do whatever is necessary to get those players on board without worrying about the win/loss record, including not playing them. If it’s Hall, or Yakupov, keep him off the roster. Play Perron and Jones those extra 20 minutes a night. Yes you’ll probably lose short term, but the kid will get the picture. If it’s not a “wonderkid” talk to the GM and move his ass. If it’s not a player then tell MacT to tell Lowe to boot the SOB, friend or not. If it’s the player(s), and I agree that they probably are at least a significant factor, then it’s Eakins’ job to exorcise thoseplayers, with the GM’s help.

    My problem with Eakins is that I’ve yet to see him make a right move, lots of talk eerily similar to Krueger and Renney, but no substance. Krueger made a lot of mistakes, but he turned the kids into a real 1st line, power vs power. And got the team into a playoff spot, even if momentarily, with a much worse roster.

    See my reply to jfry

    Either every coach who comes in here is awful, despite success elsewhere, or the probllem isn’t the coaches.

    It reminds me of a salesman I recently had to let go.

    Had a good track record over a number of years, but really failed this year.

    Complaints were coming in from the odd customer.

    After discussing it with him I somewhat agreed that these customers had other agendas and it wasn’t necessarily my salesman.

    A few more complaints trickle in and then I talk to all of his key accounts and it turns out he’s doing more harm than good.

    Moral?

    When multiple people tell you the same thing, you should probably believe it.

    Renney, Krueger, and even OTC in his awesome way all said the same thing and now Eakins is going through it.

    The Oilers don’t skate without the puck and they don’t care to either.

    OTC wanted to put Gagner in the minors because “he couldn’t skate at an NHL level”

    As nutty as OTC was, if my first two games of watching Gagner play was watching him be on the ice for 4 of the 9 goals against in the last two games I say he’s physically incapable of back checking too.

  23. Woodguy says:

    bookje:
    So, are we saying we all owe Ethan Moreau an apology?

    Moreau had his own issues, but it looks like a lot of his bitches were legitimate.

  24. Andy P says:

    If you have a problem with attitude in the room the last thing you want is to add a player to the room that may have some skill but whose attitude of entitlement has unnecessarily hindered his career.

    If I’m MacT and Omark has an underlying attitude that makes him hard to coach, then the last thing I am going to do is add to the prima donna’s.

    John Chambers:
    It’s quite possible that Gags and Eberle could be at the core of this, with Yak foolishly following along. This would no doubt cause a split in the ranks that would dispirit any team.

    If that’s the case then good! we have identified the problem. Now let’s deal with it. Give every one of them the benefit of one on one’s with someone like Moose, who listens to what they have to say, and then explains to them what their real life options are:

    a) Get with the program, have a career, win a Stanley, or
    b) Be the prima donna, continue on their present road, get traded for pennies on the dollar with a black mark on their name as coach killers and team killers, and spend their careers as second class citizens on a string of teams. Because guess what, your problems follow you wherever you go. It’s not the team, it’s you. Or something to that effect.

    If they don’t listen to Moose, then you are wasting your time with the player, and the sooner you move on the better. Fit in or leave now.

    I personally think Yak is salvageable. Gags is lazy but appears to really want to stay with this team. I think Eberle would be the toughest nut to crack and I will tip my hat to MacT, Moose and Eakins if they can turn my favorite player on this team around.

    Favorite player because he has shown the skill and temperament to be able to score that winning goal in the 4th OT of Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final. Except that will never happen IF he is at the center of the prima donna parade.

    I can only hope that someone can get through before MacT has to pull a trigger.

  25. Woodguy says:

    One thing I learned from the great NHL GM book “Behind the moves” is that a GM rarely, if ever, actually talks to the team.

    When they do, its because things are really great, or have gone completely off the rails.

    Here we are.

    Its probably time for MacT to go into the room and tell the team “You’re not going to get another coach fired. Either do what the coaches ask, or get shipped out of town”

    I would point fingers at people and name names as well. In private they need to let it all hang out and get it out into the open or else the won’t exorcize the demon Lollygagger

    Also,

    Last year we bitched about how often the D were pinching and creating 2 on 1s.

    The D were playing Kruegers up ice pressure system.

    The breakdown was the forwards weren’t paying attention or were waiting for the puck instead of covering off the pinching D.

    The Oiliers have these wonderfully talented forwards who can score a lot of points, but they can;t win games because other NHL teams eat their coverage and system mistakes for breakfast.

    The forwards have to decided between maximizing their points and losing, or sacrificing some points and winning.

    SInce all of 4,14, and 93 are under contract long term, their primary motivation for points maximizing (big next contract) is gone.

    Those 3 need to be the leaders, own all of this, and get others to follow.

  26. Truth says:

    Would Hall be coming back if the Oilers were above .500 without him? I think not. The season is gone. Make sure the future of the team is fully healthy before bringing him back to be the answer for the Oilers woes.

    They really f***ed up on RNH by making him play the entire lockout shortened season prior to going for surgery, and that could very well be a serious contributing factor to the Oilers horrific start this season. If he had gone for surgery prior to the WJC (when everyone knew it was a serious issue) he would have had a full summer and full preseason to prepare for this season. Instead he played a useless season and is front and center of a potentially record breaking bad season for the Oilers. Unbelievably bad management.

    If Hall is hurt, keep him out until he is 100% no matter what he says. This kid is the future, why put him in a position to fail just to save face? The Oilers are not making the playoffs this year.

  27. flyfish1168 says:

    Excellant article this morning from David Staples

    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/11/04/jordan-eberle-jeff-petry-and-andrew-ference-slump-as-edmonton-oilers-collapse/

    The one Statement he makes “the reluctance of Eberle and RNH to pass to Yak.” I have felt this even from last year. Wondering if anyone has noticed this. It would be ashame if this is what some players feel.

  28. FastOil says:

    Trying to scare them won’t work. TOI will and Eakins knows this, has said so. Messier could do the intimidation thing, but it was a different time and I’m not sure it always worked as intended. Was it Nilsson who said he was afraid to not play well?

    The injuries have stopped the plan. If you can’t bench guys because you’re out of players what can he do? When the bodies are back I think the guys with the plan will play, others will get demoted line or team wise or get a popcorn night.

    A lot of what Eakins says seems to me to be intended to take some of the pressure off of the players. 5 of these guys had entitled hockey lives until they were drafted. Now they are learning they have reached the last level so to speak. The bad guys are tougher and your tricks don’t work as well. There is little room for error.

    Eakins is a good coach for young guys and they are the problem. That is where his experience is. I don’t see him as being mean to them, and I don’t see him as backing down which would be the kiss of death. If the Oilers don’t stand their ground the team will not be strong enough as a unit to get through the playoffs.

    They’ll win games by sheer skill but when the best teams are battling for it all that won’t be enough.

    As said they are playing for next season, and from what I hear Russel Peter’s dad has been hired as an assistant – ‘Oilers, somebody’s gonna get hurt real bad’. Edit – I suppose they are getting hurt aren’t they? Even before he showed up.

    Actually anybody who isn’t geared to listen at this point, when some NHL careers are on the line, isn’t the kind of player I want. They would rather play in Europe, let them. That is no kind of warrior.

    If you’re not good enough, that’s one thing. Too smart to listen or not even trying, that’s another.

  29. John Chambers says:

    Andy P,

    I think the team needs a personnel shake-up of the fab-5. My preference (in order) would be to trade: 1) J Schultz (because he’s a re-incarnation of Andy Delmore), 2) Eberle (one dimensional), 3) Yak (will take too long to round into a quality veteran. As for Hall and RNH I still think they’re the franchise.

    In the shower this morning I thought up these trades:

    - J Schultz, Marincin, and Eberle to Philadelphia for B Coburn and Wayne Simmonds + option to flip 1st rounders
    - Yakupov, Smid, and Sam Gagner to Buffalo for Hodgson, Ehrhoff, and Girgensons

    Assuming health, our team would then look like this:
    Hall – RNH – Hemsky
    Perron – Hodgson – Simmonds
    Joensuu – Gordon – Arcobello
    Smyth – Girgensons – Jones

    Coburn – Ehrhoff
    Petry – Belov
    Ference – Smid

    We might lose both trades in terms of player quality, but we win insofar as we shed the culture of losing and the culture of me-first. The defense corps is some kind of solid as well.

  30. Woodguy says:

    russ99:
    Ference speaks volumes: Black and white, what you’re supposed to do on the ice.

    No room at all for what made these players what they are.

    That’s bad coaching, in my book.

    Quenneville is a black and white coach.

    The Hawks all adhere to his system.

    Some of the most talented players in the world and they are winning cups because the they are all pulling in the same direction.

    When the Hawks kick the shit out of the Oilers next Sunday, watch how dogged they are on the back check and how everyone plays.

    Much better players than what the Oilers have play within systems for betterment of the team.

  31. russ99 says:

    Woodguy:
    Here’s a good piece on why the B’s traded Seguin : http://m.weei.com/sports/boston/hockey/bruins/dj-bean/2013/11/04/closer-look-why-tyler-seguin-no-longer-bruin

    The stuff in there about slowing down to avoid contact and not having the “minimum level of compete” rings very true for everyone watching the Oilers, including other Oilers.

    Ireland wrote a similar piece to Tych piece linked to in post.

    Here’s the good stuff from Ference in Ireland’s piece:

    “What’s concerning is that you have games you want to recover from, turn the page on,” said Ference, “and you crank up the competitive level in practice, really focus on some fundamental stuff, and it’s like none of it has soaked in.


    “I’m lost for words after that one.”

    Link to Ireland’s piece: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/edmonton-oilers/going+really+uncomfortable+disconnected/9119681/story.html

    Seguin is scoring at a point a game clip, and there’s an article out there saying that the Bruins may be disappointed that they traded him…

    Players are different. This organization for too long has embraced a cookie-cutter philosophy in regards to players, which is a big reason that all free spirited European players are either gone or trapped in the AHL. Yak is the only exception, and that’s due to his draft number, plus Eakins is putting him through the ringer plenty this year.

    Ironically so many of Eakins’ preseason comments were about getting to know the players and what makes them tick, and yet we’re 15 games in and that’s all been thrown away. “Black and white” as Ference says.

    How come the Stars (a much more defense oriented-team than the Oilers) are OK dealing with Seguin’s lack of defensive acumen, and the Oilers aren’t with their star players?

  32. kosiork says:

    Thanks for the Alyssa Milano picture. I struggled mightily in my younger years over whether I should pledge undying love to her or to Kelly Kapowski (Tiffani-Amber Thiessen).

    I do not have anything constructive to add about the current state of the Oilers.

  33. russ99 says:

    Woodguy,

    Please. Look at our roster vs. theirs:

    The Blackhawks have a shutdown line, they have a solid 4th line, they’re solid at center, and have quality defensive defensemen. They have tons of forwards coming up through the system and contributing at the big league level. They have two good goalies.

    Skilled players like Kane and Hossa aren’t ordered to “hit someone every shift”.

    You need the horses to play Eakins’ game, and we don’t have them. All we’re getting is poor defense, and our offensive players are stifled.

    I’m not saying we should ignore defense, but you need to score goals to win.

  34. denny33 says:

    russ99,

    Ference speaks volumes: Black and white, what you’re supposed to do on the ice.
    No room at all for what made these players what they are.
    That’s bad coaching, in my book.

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

    Tom Renney kept pleading with them to cover their man in the D-zone. …..they just stared at him and blinked – I am going to score goals sucka!

    Krueger – please just dump it in ……..yeah right – sucka!

    Now Eakins….players only meeting then the Detroit game? I don’t buy it but if you were into conspiracies – that was a worthy attempt to send a message to a coach?

    We are FINALLY getting close to some people asking questions to our core players…

    Whole league has been talking about how we play ( no system ) and coaches of the past are speaking to us….

    The core of this team DOES NOT LISTEN to instruction.

    Calgary wins another game…

    Talent vs. Effort ?

  35. Hammers says:

    Woodguy:
    One thing I learned from the great NHL GM book “Behind the moves” is that a GM rarely, if ever, actually talks to the team.

    When they do, its because things are really great, or have gone completely off the rails.

    Here we are.

    Its probably time for MacT to go into the room and tell the team “You’re not going to get another coach fired.Either do what the coaches ask, or get shipped out of town”

    I would point fingers at people and name names as well.In private they need to let it all hang out and get it out into the open or else the won’t exorcize the demon Lollygagger

    Also,

    Last year we bitched about how often the D were pinching and creating 2 on 1s.

    The D were playing Kruegers up ice pressure system.

    The breakdown was the forwards weren’t paying attention or were waiting for the puck instead of covering off the pinching D.

    The Oiliers have these wonderfully talented forwards who can score a lot of points, but they can;t win games because other NHL teams eat their coverage and system mistakes for breakfast.

    The forwards have to decided between maximizing their points and losing, or sacrificing some points and winning.

    SInce all of 4,14, and 93 are under contract long term, their primary motivation for points maximizing (big next contract) is gone.

    Those 3 need to be the leaders, own all of this, and get others to follow.

    That may work but what carries more weight is the knowledge somebody is going out the door . I’m no longer sure who the main culprit is and its not really fair to guess but we can all make assumptions based on there play . Most won’t agree with my thoughts but I would trade anybody starting with whomever the coach /gm thinks is the main guy . We will initially loose the trade but can win in the long run if the message gets through .Obviously I am talking about one of the top 6 who was here last year . I am NOT a fan of Eakins but McT must do something to show him his support.

  36. Woodguy says:

    russ99:
    Woodguy,

    Please. Look at our roster vs. theirs:

    The Blackhawks have a shutdown line, they have a solid 4th line, they’re solid at center, and have quality defensive defensemen. They have tons of forwards coming up through the system and contributing at the big league level. They have two good goalies.

    Skilled players like Kane and Hossa aren’t ordered to “hit someone every shift”.

    You need the horses to play Eakins’ game, and we don’t have them. All we’re getting is poor defense, and our offensive players are stifled.

    You’re really misinterpreting what Eakins wants them to do.

    Hard on the forecheck, hard on the back check.

    Skate hard without the puck.

    Much more talented players than they guys on the Oilers do it.

    No reason they can’t.

    Hossa is a beast on both, so it Toews, so is Sharp, so is everyone else on the roster (except Kane, who is very good on the forecheck and a lollygagger coming back)

    The Oilers have the horses to play an up tempo pressure game.

    They’ve led the horse to the water, but he’s not drinking.

  37. RT26 says:

    I do a lot of mergers and acquisitions integration work for a living and can tell you a few things that may make sense here.

    One, cultures take time to change even when everyone buys into the new system. However, if key people balk and either openly or privatelty buck the system, it destroys any progress you’ve made. Worse still, if there is no consequence for rejecting your role and duties on the team (like no playing defense or skating after your check), then the leadership has lost any credibility.

    Two, the notion of being “safe”. In my company, as long as you are trying to adopt the new systems and processes and are making progress, your job is never in danger. People can feel free to try and learn on the fly. If they do not try though, there has to be consequences with meaningful impact, or else the change will fail.

    If I was Katz and I truly cared about turning things around, I would do the following:

    > Publicly declare Eakins and MacT as safe for the considerable future, as long as they have a vision and flexible plan to attain it.
    > Put the players on notice that as long as they are trying to execute the system and improving, their jobs are relatively safe. If not, then they may no longer fit into the go forward plan.
    > For the management team, DON’T fall in love with unactualized potential, but with people’s work effort and level of GAS (give a sh*t). Talent without effort is intoxicating, but mostly frustrating. You never get rich waiting for troubled investments to turn around without any catalyst for change.

  38. russ99 says:

    Woodguy,

    I have no issues with what Eakins wants them to do without the puck or in the defensive zone (now that he’s simplified the system), but the way he’s going about it is poor. First line vs. first line, second line vs. second line with way too much icetime. It’s almost like he’s saying to the players that he’s going to continue to throw them to the wolves until they get it right.

    And we don’t have the horses to play that kind of backchecking game against the elite players of the league, which was even more blatantly obvious when the only player we have that can (Gordon) got hurt. If we had 2 more forwards that could play like Gordon, instead of the retreads and AHL players we have, they could play a backchecking game vs. the toughs.

    My biggest problems are what happens after an Oiler player is moving the puck forward in the neutral zone. Why are we so willing to give away possession? Why do we assume that we’ll be able to win the puck on the boards against bigger players? Why do we continue to hold the puck at the wall? Why do we end up with 2-3 players behind the goal line? Why are we taking desperate shots in traffic? Why are we playing to set a net crasher up when we don’t have any on the roster (maybe if Smyth was 10 years younger)?

    The Red Wings game was beyond pathetic. Dump it in, the Wings get it back and carry it out within 5-10 seconds. Yet we kept doing that for 3 periods. That’s coaching, that’s black and white.

    We have the skill to carry the puck in and move/pass to open scoring areas, but that’s not the way Eakins wants them to play.

  39. hunter1909 says:

    Oilers fans = wait for years and years, the team totally blows yet collects some prime young players.

    Management = totally incompetent, yet remain forever. Add new coach and the young players revolt.

    Oiler’s solution = replace the players. Start all over again.

    Guys, I think I’ve just about had enough.

  40. russ99 says:

    russ99,

    BTW – We did carry the puck in and used our speed/passing to get good shots on net as recently as the Penguins game, which IMO was the last time I saw these guys play with any kind of energy.

    So why haven’t we since? Was that one period of the players flat out abandoning the system?

    IMO, the dump/cycle/shots in traffic method is really Eakins playing it safe so he can get all 5 players back on defense. Which is as bad as or worse than the players not skating back to check or cheating for offense.

  41. LMHF#1 says:

    Buchberger specifically said in an interview during a game that they were telling the forwards to dump and chase.

    This is in no way a dump and chase roster.

    They also continue to run this incredibly weird PP system that involves forced passes near the blue line immediately after the zone entry…every player starting in about Peewee knows that’s a bad idea.

  42. Woodguy says:

    russ99,

    I have to disagree on a few points, but agree with most.

    And we don’t have the horses to play that kind of backchecking game against the elite players of the league,

    The Oilers have some of the fastest players in the NHL, they can back check anyone if they choose to.

    Yak played exactly one game against the toughest comp, the TOR game, so pointing at that is kinda of misnomer.

    As for 3 forwards behind the red line, well that’s a symptom of a larger problem.

  43. RMGS says:

    denny33: Tom Renney kept pleading with them to cover their man in the D-zone. …..they just stared at him and blinked – I am going to score goals sucka!

    Krueger – please just dump it in ……..yeah right – sucka!

    Now Eakins….players only meeting then the Detroit game? I don’t buy it but if you were into conspiracies – that was a worthy attempt to send a message to a coach?

    We are FINALLY getting close to some people asking questions to our core players…

    Whole league has been talking about how we play ( no system ) and coaches of the past are speaking to us….

    The core of this team DOES NOT LISTEN to instruction.

    Calgary wins another game…

    Talent vs. Effort ?

    Yeah, there’s something to this. I’d add that MacT interestingly pointed out from the start that the team’s core needs to be better. Many of us were a bit puzzled by this, but maybe he was referring to the effort, commitment, and will needed to play properly without the puck. The Oilers desperately need to move beyond being a “collection of young talent.”

    I’ll also add (because there’s lots of blame to go around) that the management and coaches need to get their heads out of their asses and deploy real NHL forwards. Luke Gazdic and Ben Eager do not need to play every god damned game. Ryan Jones should never play on a NHL top-six unless there’s expansion by 10 teams. Ryan Hamilton?!?!?! Does Linus Omark need to shave every hair on his body?

  44. hunter1909 says:

    Eakins = AHL coach(no doubt encouraged by Lowe/MacT’s glorious example) who enters the NHL shooting his big mouth off, chooses an old plugger for captain over their wishes, then proceeds to show the world he’s totally out of his depth as the team disintegrates:

    But hey, let’s blame the players.

  45. jake70 says:

    hunter1909:
    Eakins = AHL coach(no doubt encouraged by Lowe/MacT’s glorious example) who enters the NHL shooting his big mouth off, chooses an old plugger for captain over their wishes, then proceeds to show the world he’s totally out of his depth as the team disintegrates:

    But hey, let’s blame the players.

    Any coaches out there you think would be good fits for this team as constructed? Serious question.

  46. hunter1909 says:

    jake70: Any coaches out there you think would be good fits for this team as constructed? Serious question.

    Peter Laviolette: Who imo out coached MacT in game 7 of their final series by rallying his beaten team after they got hammered silly in game 6.

    Laviolette would walk into the dressing room and tell everyone he doesn’t give a shit about the past, that the game ahead is the only thing to think about. He’s emotional, in a supportive way.

  47. admiralmark says:

    I find myself drawn to the Calgary Flames these days. Buncha mutts who don’t know any better, just work so hard there’s snot coming from everywhere (pardon, sorry). I love the skill of the Oilers, but that Calgary Flames team is making the Oil look like a boarding school field trip in apple blossom time.

    Wasn’t this supposed to be what Eakins was gonna make the Oilers play like? Of all the things that are happening the fact Eakins has not come through on this promise is the most disheartening. If this ticky box was checked off I believe the entire fanbase would feel somewhat optomistic considering the inj’s and the poor goaltending. But the missing element of compete(like the Flames) has deflated me entirely as a fan.

  48. B S says:

    I missed last game, so maybe something truly changed but why are people throwing Eberle under the bus and including him in “coach killer” rumours? He has been their best forward all season (even with Hall in) and has been solid everywhere on the ice. Either he’s buying into the coach’s system, or he actually doesn’t need it, but I’m guessing the former, and I think RNH is buying in too, and the reason they’re not passing to Yak is because they don’t think he’s trying hard enough.

  49. G Money says:

    Commitment to defensive positioning, an aggressive forecheck, and a tenacious backcheck is a matter of attitude, not skill or style.

    That plus talent is the difference between a good team and a bad team.

    If you had to choose between them, the commitment matters more than the talent. But you won’t win a Stanley without both. Remember the 90s.

    Thankfully, the Oilers have the talent. Its a 180 degree change from the 1990s and 2000s.

    But if the talent doesn’t commit to playing a 200 ft game, we will forever have a shitty team.

    None of this would matter to anyone but the advanced stats guys if Dubnyk had started the year red hot instead of ice cold!

    That said – I am not yet ready to give up on this group. They need to get better, no question about it. But they are still young. I see nothing in the character of Hall, Gagner, Eberle, RNH, or Yak that suggests they won’t (eventually) understand and commit to what it takes to win.

    They’ve heard a different message from a different coach every year they’ve been pros. Maybe they’re cynical and it will take time for the message to sink in.

    What I do know is trading dollars away for cents of return right now would be foolish. Kneejerk moves – like signing SMac – are almost always bad moves.

    Other than breaking with the unsuccessful past – Smith and Bucky should be sacrificed – I’m not sure there’s much to do in the short term but wait and hope (believe!) the youngsters start to get the message.

  50. Bruce McCurdy says:

    I think the reason Eberle, RNH & others might not be passing to Yak as often as some think they should is that they have no idea where he is going to be.

    Saw a couple examples last week where Yak appeared to be following a guy into the zone, the guy drove at the defence & dropped the puck back … to nobody.

    Eakins has already played the “sit him out” card and it doesn’t seem like much took. 13 games in, he’s got 1 lonely goal, 3 points, & the worst minus in the NHL. It’s been a nightmare start to the season, with very little evidence that he’s becoming a core player or indeed, anything other than being utterly confused.

  51. B S says:

    Woodguy: See my reply to jfry

    Either every coach who comes in here is awful, despite success elsewhere, or the probllem isn’t the coaches.

    It reminds me of a salesman I recently had to let go.

    Had a good track record over a number of years, but really failed this year.

    Complaints were coming in from the odd customer.

    After discussing it with him I somewhat agreed that these customers had other agendas and it wasn’t necessarily my salesman.

    A few more complaints trickle in and then I talk to all of his key accounts and it turns out he’s doing more harm than good.

    Moral?

    When multiple people tell you the same thing, you should probably believe it.

    Renney, Krueger, and even OTC in his awesome way all said the same thing and now Eakins is going through it.

    The Oilers don’t skate without the puck and they don’t care to either.

    OTC wanted to put Gagner in the minors because “he couldn’t skate at an NHL level”

    As nutty as OTC was, if my first two games of watching Gagner play was watching him be on the ice for 4 of the 9 goals against in the last two games I say he’s physically incapable of back checking too.

    Actually, looking at that list of coaches, it is possible that they were all terrible, Quinn was out of touch with NHL Hockey a decade ago, Renney never displayed the chops elsewhere, and unfortunately for him never had a team worth coaching here at a time when the mantra was to lose. Krueger was an NHL rookie, so is Eakins. I strongly believe Krueger could have turned things around since he has a record of being willing to learn and change. If Eakins is going to turn this around he needs to start winning, no amount of Tsk Tsking or benching Yakupov is going to turn this team around, start winning, even for a little bit, and the team will have some idea of how his systems work, and that Eakins does know what he’s doing. You point out that the coaches have changed in that time, but so have the players, almost entire roster turn over, so by your same logic the players aren’t at fault and it’s what everyone has been say for years, fire Lowe, fire Bucky and Smith.

    I think it’s fair to say that the team was playing Eakins’ system for the first several games, when goaltending (and a hole in the defensive system) sunk their games. My narrative is that the team kept losing, Eakins essentially blamed a hole in his swarm on poor coverage (no player covered the slot in any of those games, Petry, Schultzy, Belov, and the kids I can buy, veterans like Perron, Gordon, Smid, Ference not so much) essentially throwing the team under the bus. The players got frustrated and started trying to do their own thing and all the wheels came off.

  52. denny33 says:

    Woodguy,
    When multiple people tell you the same thing, you should probably believe it.
    Renney, Krueger, and even OTC in his awesome way all said the same thing and now Eakins is going through it.
    The Oilers don’t skate without the puck and they don’t care to either.
    OTC wanted to put Gagner in the minors because “he couldn’t skate at an NHL level”
    As nutty as OTC was, if my first two games of watching Gagner play was watching him be on the ice for 4 of the 9 goals against in the last two games I say he’s physically incapable of back checking too.

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

    Completely agree – 100%

    Again, so, so, so many *outside* people said similar things to our previous coaches….

    Personally, I was very disappointed with the Sam Gagner signing. Thought for sure he would have been moved. Think Mac T was constrained by the cap issue this year and some moves have been stalled because, quite simply, most teams have no room to breath on the cap side.

    I think we are going to have to grind through this year and hope Eakins can make some headway.

    Tough for a first year captain and a guy new to the team to call people out….need some guys in the locker room to start calling people out. Sam Gagner should be lit up by some of his teammates.

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

    For the record – there is a reason why Philly wants to trade Coburn. Just an FYI…

  53. OilClog says:

    If Eakins has lost the young cluster of the team, he’s done, were done, it’s all done. Kruger had the pulse of these kids, sadly Tambi gave him zero backup for when the horses went down.

    Ference contract was ugly from day 1, giving him captaincy over a team trying to make its own identity, and not be the Bruins 2.0.. Another fail.

    Eberle is a phenom, yet every single time I see him on the ice with Yakupov.. He refuses to even acknowledge he has a teammate. There’s been a few times if only Eberle would of looked yaks way.. Oh the possibilities.

    Justin Schultz should be back in the AHL, he’s not a good defencemen. His off speed wristers can be put to sleep.

    When Detriot scored that second goal.. I knew this season was done. Eakins reactions on the bench said everything.. Why me why me why me.. Three options could of happened at that point. 1. Time out, settle shit down. 2. Yell, scream, throw a stick. 3. Talk to yourself, stare at the ceiling and pray for it to end.. He took door 3.

    I have zero expectations for Sam Gagner, he shouldn’t even be playing yet. He’s only playing because his heart is bigger then he is. He’s flawed, but it’s completely unfair to expect anything from him as it stands. Thanks Zach you’re a real stand up guy.

    Nothing has changed in Oilerland, we desperately need a spark.. There is a guy that can score 4 goals a game in the AHL on the Barons roster.. Yet no call up.. Same old shit. Oilers management is smarter than everyone.

  54. jamang says:

    Every team has role players. Wehave about 7 players that play the same role. Yakupov is a different type of player. Out of the players i would trade and players i wouldnt this is who and why:

    Eberle, dangler, one dimensional, has great value can bring a good return. High skill , slow back check

    Ganger, dangler, one dimensional, slow overall has close to veteran status and is in his prime. We have arcobello to replace him who is much better defensively.

    N schultz , worthless but seriously, who wants him.

    J schultz, was a big fan but always doubted his defensive ability. Id say he has shown he is horrendous. Somebody might gamble on him.

    Hemsky, because hea hemsky and i think would throve elsewhere.

    So that leaves us with:
    Hall, nuge, yak
    Perron, arcobello, recieve in trade/jones
    Joenssu , gordon, jones/smyth
    Who cares we dont use the forth line anyway.

    To be named petry
    Smid, belov
    Ference, one of our pile of d prospects

    Dubnyk , bachman. (Hopefully sign a goalie in the offseason or trade if there is a gifthorse in our face. Doubtful though.)

  55. TeeVee says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    I think the reason Eberle, RNH & others might not be passing to Yak as often as some think they should is that they have no idea where he is going to be.

    Bingo.

  56. spoiler says:

    ALYSSA!

    Thank you! Lol.

    Meanwhile the Edmonton Oilers are a hockey team in the NHL. Or an unreasonable facsimile thereof.

  57. russ99 says:

    jamang,

    After watching the putrid puck moving in the Wings game, especially after Belov went our injured, I can’t see how anyone would want to move J. Schultz.

  58. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Leaves may be looking at Smithson.

    http://www2.tsn.ca/window/podcastcentre/#id=24440&id=13

  59. denny33 says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    I think the reason Eberle, RNH & others might not be passing to Yak as often as some think they should is that they have no idea where he is going to be.
    Saw a couple examples last week where Yak appeared to be following a guy into the zone, the guy drove at the defence & dropped the puck back … to nobody.
    Eakins has already played the “sit him out” card and it doesn’t seem like much took. 13 games in, he’s got 1 lonely goal, 3 points, & the worst minus in the NHL. It’s been a nightmare start to the season, with very little evidence
    that he’s becoming a core player or indeed, anything other than being utterly confused.

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

    I agree with everything you say regarding Yak…no question.

    But Yak has some elite Oiler company in the area of worst minus in the NHL.

    RNH has been a regular on other teams highlight reels for some time now….

    Ales Hemsky is just behind Yak for the worst in the NHL as well.

  60. spoiler says:

    Now that LT has posted a pic of Ms. Milano, I fully expect Smid to be traded within the week.

  61. FastOil says:

    Woodguy,

    “They’ve led the horse to the water, but he’s not drinking.”

    Glue factory!

  62. Andy P says:

    If the management are playing hardball then this could blow up in their faces. It’s good that they are standing their ground but that needs to be accompanied by digging deep into this team and identifying the root cause/s of the resistance. We can talk about Ference but that doesn’t account for the same behavior in every year since just before MacT left.

    This cannot be a stare down. The problem needs to be brought to a head in a manner that forces whoever is behind this is forced to expose themselves, whether it’s one of the core players or an assistant coach. There’s not many pieces left from when this first started.

    If it does simply turn into a stare down then its likely the end of hockey in Edmonton, whether we build the arena or not. But I suspect Katz really wants that arena and all that development he can swing downtown, so I’m sure he will have his own pressure on in getting this resolved.

    As for me, I do suspect it’s one or more of Jordan and/or Sam, Kelly an/or Steve. Who else is left?

  63. Lowetide says:

    Andy P:
    If the management are playing hardball then this could blow up in their faces. It’s good that they are standing their ground but that needs to be accompanied by digging deep into this team and identifying the root cause/s of the resistance. We can talk about Ference but that doesn’t account for the same behavior in every year since just before MacT left.

    This cannot be a stare down. The problem needs to be brought to a head in a manner that forces whoever is behind this is forced to expose themselves, whether it’s one of the core players or an assistant coach. There’s not many pieces left from when this first started.

    If it does simply turn into a stare down then its likely the end of hockey in Edmonton, whether we build the arena or not. But I suspect Katz really wants that arena and all that development he can swing downtown, so I’m sure he will have his own pressure on in getting this resolved.

    As for me, I do suspect it’s one or more of Jordan and/or Sam, Kelly an/or Steve. Who else is left?

    See this is where I cant agree. If they DON’T do it now they are doomed to failure When I get a chance I’ll find the passage where Messier finally breaks down during practice and that’s the point where Slats began backing off.

    It’s a different world now, but if this team is ignoring the new coach ALREADY then there’s a problem. Avoiding it won’t make it better.

  64. Jon K says:

    Couldn’t catch the show today, regrettably. What is the word on Tyler’s blogging hiatus?

  65. HugThePost says:

    In a workplace, there are few if any things as toxic as a situation where one or more workers look around and notice others who they at least perceive are not pulling their weight without facing any consequences.. It does nothing but start feelings of resentment, and eventually said workers become jaded, bitter and disengaged from work. Any semblance of working as a team towards a common goal goes out the window and people just come to work for the paycheque and they will find ways to do the bare minimum to get their pay. Very very toxic.

    If that is what has been happening with this edition of the oilers, they are done. Not just now, but for the forseeable future until they can flush out whoever the slackers are. The comments from Ferrence are comments from an outsider who walked into a shitshow after being in a ‘top’ team environment and as much as he obviously tried to bite his tongue, I think he revealed enough for all listening to realize that the problem is squarely with the players.

    Sure, there may be gripes with the owner, the Lord of the 6 Rings, Joey Moss, etc…, but this team has talented players who have burned through 3 coaches now and are steadfastly working on #4. It has to come from the talented wonderKids. Other top teams have all of their stars be their hardest workers and setting the example for everyone below. We have a bunch of guys who want to make the Sportscenter Top 10 only; fuck the backcheck, only checkers check. Wrong, guys.

    Someone has to take each of these guys aside and let them know: it’s not fuckin junior anymore and it’s time to grow a pair, listen to the coaches and actually show the rest of the guys the way. That’s why they were drafted high. Otherwise they get shipped out. Let them know they can go make their money and fuck another team over with their shit attitude, but it won’t happen here.

    It won’t be pleasant, and probably there will be some guys who just will never come around, but I hope it happens. I’m tired of having a team run by inmates who think they are bigger than the entire operation.

    BTW; I’ll be cheering for Chicago to pot 10 versus us and Toews, Hossa, Sharp to backcheck the shit out of guys like 89, 14, etc. to show them first-hand how things are done in the nhl.

  66. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    This is interesting:

    http://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=22255&cmpid=blogheadlines

    Musil and Gernat back with OKC. The logjam resumes?

  67. edmoil3 says:

    Why would they put hall, perron, joenssu and smyth at center for 8 games?

  68. OilClog says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    I think the reason Eberle, RNH & others might not be passing to Yak as often as some think they should is that they have no idea where he is going to be.

    Saw a couple examples last week where Yak appeared to be following a guy into the zone, the guy drove at the defence & dropped the puck back … to nobody.

    Eakins has already played the “sit him out” card and it doesn’t seem like much took. 13 games in, he’s got 1 lonely goal, 3 points, & the worst minus in the NHL. It’s been a nightmare start to the season, with very little evidence that he’s becoming a core player or indeed, anything other than being utterly confused.

    I’ve seen examples where Yakupov was following the puck carrier, left wide open, tapping his stick on the ice, only to be ignored. Maybe he’s trying to find a spot where his teammates will use him? As skating behind them hollering for the puck.. Wasn’t working.

  69. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Jon K:
    Couldn’t catch the show today, regrettably. What is the word on Tyler’s blogging hiatus?

    He’s either being coy about some new venture… or, he genuinely just got tired of doing it and is taking a break (which is what he said more or less)… which is weird because he had been posting regularly and I can’t think why he’d close the site’s archives down unless it was a hassle or expensive to maintain.

  70. Jon K says:

    Lowetide: See this is where I cant agree. If they DON’T do it now they are doomed to failure When I get a chance I’ll find the passage where Messier finally breaks down during practice and that’s the point where Slats began backing off.

    It’s a different world now, but if this team is ignoring the new coach ALREADY then there’s a problem. Avoiding it won’t make it better.

    I think it’s worth noting that Renney had trouble reining in some of the young guns during his tenure as well. I recall that, at the time, people were somewhat peeved that he was limiting Hall and Eberle’s ice time at various points in the season. I’m told that there was a belief from Oiler management that Renney wasn’t able to control the conflicting “personalities” on the team, and this in part led to his departure.

    For those keeping track, after Renney was canned there continued to be problems in the dressing room, obliquely referred to by individuals such as Bob Stauffer as a “conflict” between the old and new leadership. Since that time we’ve now seen the previous captain Horcoff depart and go off to be part of a better team than the Oilers, and had a new captain injected from a team with a competitive culture. The problem still seems to be much as it was before.

    We should read between the lines. There are big problems with the Oilers, but they don’t stem from the coach. Renney is now a coach for one of the best franchises in the league. All the evidence pointed to Eakins being an up and coming guaranteed NHL head coach.

    I’ve heard about who the problems lie with, but I don’t think anyone, at all, would be happy to hear about it.

  71. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    This is interesting:

    http://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=22255&cmpid=blogheadlines

    Musil and Gernat back with OKC. The logjam resumes?

    This last paragraph might explain it:

    “The pair played in all three games of the Condors’ three-game set against the Alaska Aces over the weekend. Musil scored one goal, while Gernat registered one assist.”

    Maybe they were just trying to get the kids some more TOI and took advantage of the sched?

  72. Woodguy says:

    russ99:
    russ99,

    BTW – We did carry the puck in and used our speed/passing to get good shots on net as recently as the Penguins game, which IMO was the last time I saw these guys play with any kind of energy.

    So why haven’t we since? Was that one period of the players flat out abandoning the system?

    IMO, the dump/cycle/shots in traffic method is really Eakins playing it safe so he can get all 5 players back on defense. Which is as bad as or worse than the players not skating back to check or cheating for offense.

    Eakins is the anti-dump and chase guy.

    They asked them to chip and chase if they are being stood up at the line.

    The PIT game was probably the last where they actually played the system.

    Forwards back to support the puck as you transition it up the ice.

  73. Jon K says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: He’s either being coy about some new venture… or, he genuinely just got tired of doing it and is taking a break (which is what he said more or less)… which is weird because he had been posting regularly and I can’t think why he’d close the site’s archives down unless it was a hassle or expensive to maintain.

    Thanks for the update. Taking down the website makes sense if we accept that Tyler’s work now has recognized value to NHL management teams. That’d be my guess. Good for Tyler.

  74. OilClog says:

    Jon K,

    I’m guessing you’re implying Hall, that’s the only name that would cause people to truly lose their shit.

  75. Lowetide says:

    Jon K: I think it’s worth noting that Renney had trouble reining in some of the young guns during his tenure as well. I recall that, at the time, people were somewhat peeved that he was limiting Hall and Eberle’s ice time at various points in the season. I’m told that there was a belief from Oiler management that Renney wasn’t able to control the conflicting “personalities” on the team, and this in part led to his departure.

    For those keeping track, after Renney was canned there continued to be problems in the dressing room, obliquely referred to by individuals such as Bob Stauffer as a “conflict” between the old and new leadership. Since that time we’ve now seen the previous captain Horcoff depart and go off to be part of a better team than the Oilers, and had a new captain injected from a team with a competitive culture. The problem still seems to be much as it was before.

    We should read between the lines. There are big problems with the Oilers, but they don’t stem from the coach. Renney is now a coach for one of the best franchises in the league. All the evidence pointed to Eakins being an up and coming guaranteed NHL head coach.

    I’ve heard about who the problems lie with, but I don’t think anyone, at all, would be happy to hear about it.

    Well and it’s a balance. You don’t want ‘the beatings to continue until morale improves’ but you have to get buy-in at a basic level.

  76. Woodguy says:

    Jon K,

    I’ve heard about who the problems lie with, but I don’t think anyone, at all, would be happy to hear about it.

    That would mean Hall.

    Don’t put that out there without the follow through Jon…..

  77. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: Well and it’s a balance. You don’t want ‘the beatings to continue until morale improves’ but you have to get buy-in at a basic level.

    Given that there isn’t any buy in, how about beatings will continue until there is buy-in?

  78. jfry says:

    Woodguy,

    did you just compare Eakins to Q?

    sometimes you only see half your own narrative WG, which is weird, because you see the math great.

  79. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Just to echo this personality disorder of the team conversation… recall that MacT referred to the locker room as a “circus” during the summer:

    http://www2.canada.com/story.html?id=8312436

    “Sam had an unbelievable year (38 points in 48 games) and has developed into a leader here by all regards. In the limited discussions with the group (of players) in there, he’s got the type of character we want,” said MacTavish, who is big on team culture in the dressing room.
    “We’ve had a few years of it being too much of a circus in there and that has to change,’ he added.

  80. hoser313 says:

    admiralmark,

    Lowetide,

    The Flames are a different beast than the Oilers imo. What the Flames are very good at though is getting bodies to the net. Almost every Flames shot is either a screen or a tip. This takes 2 things – a guy with a bit of speed and a hard nose to go to the net, and a shooter with enough savvy to hold his shot until the first guy is in place. Let’s be honest – at the moment, not many Oiler forwards do either of these 2 things.

    The team I’d be more interested in if I’m the Oilers management is the Avalanche. Comparable team – young offensive talent with no bona fide number 1D. The Oilers could do a lot worse than to take aside one guy from their army of assistant coaches, GMs and player development staff to sit down and watch all the Avalanche games this year to-date and figure out how exactly that team has only allowed 19 goals against in total.

  81. Thiru says:

    Taylor Hall is possibly a dink?

    That really shouldn’t surprise anyone.

  82. RMGS says:

    hoser313: The team I’d be more interested in if I’m the Oilers management is the Avalanche. Comparable team – young offensive talent with no bona fide number 1D. The Oilers could do a lot worse than to take aside one guy from their army of assistant coaches, GMs and player development staff to sit down and watch all the Avalanche games this year to-date and figure out how exactly that team has only allowed 19 goals against in total.

    I wouldn’t reduce it to this, but an unsustainable 95.5% overall save percentage helps.

  83. Woodguy says:

    jfry:
    Woodguy,

    did youjust compare Eakins to Q?

    sometimes you only see half your own narrative WG, which is weird, because you see the math great.

    Everyone is beating on Eakins and they don’t have a clue how he is actually coaching.

    We don’t have a clue how Quennville actually coaches either.

    None of us are on the ice or in the dressing room, all we have to go by is TOI really.

    Quennville was *this close* to being fired at the beginning of last year if you are to believe CHI media.

    What I am saying is this:

    Every single successful team in the NHL plays their system to a T.

    The rumbling coming out of the dressing room through 4 coaches now is how is how the young guys don’t play the system and so the system breaks down.

    For everyone to be pointing at the coach and screaming for blood, stop and look at what hasn’t changed over the last 4 coaches.

    Its become crystal clear that the problem isn’t coaching.

  84. RMGS says:

    Thiru: The Flames are a different beast than the Oilers imo. What the Flames are very good at though is getting bodies to the net. Almost every Flames shot is either a screen or a tip. This takes 2 things – a guy with a bit of speed and a hard nose to go to the net, and a shooter with enough savvy to hold his shot until the first guy is in place. Let’s be honest – at the moment, not many Oiler forwards do either of these 2 things.

    This is so very true. Too many forwards are playing a perimeter game waiting for the perfect play.

  85. G Money says:

    Woodguy,

    The other implication on this was the discussion by Eakins and MacT prior to and early in the season about using ice time as a currency to get buy in to the system. The implication being – too many players not buying into the system. The new regime would require more accountability. You don’t do what is required? Sit your ass down.

    But that’s not a stick/carrot Eakins can apply right now. FastOil made this point above as well – the ability to use ice time as a currency of reward disappears when the team is (at least) six deep into the AHL roster.

  86. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy:

    Given that there isn’t any buy in, how about beatings will continue until there is buy-in?

    If that’s the case, you have to start trading people. Today. If the Edmonton Oilers hired a coach this summer and the team has abandoned him, then they need to turn over the roster.

    Seriously. There’s no middle ground here.

  87. Colonel Obvious says:

    Woodguy: Eakins is the anti-dump and chase guy.

    They asked them to chip and chase if they are being stood up at the line.

    The PIT game was probably the last where they actually played the system.

    Forwards back to support the puck as you transition it up the ice.

    This is such an important point. Of all the asinine criticisms of Eakins the notion that he is strangling the creativity of skilled players by forcing them to play a dump and chase style flies the most in the face of reality.

    So I’ll repeat, the number one reason I approve of Eakins as a coach is because he is the anti dump and chase guy. That’s who he is. If you dislike him for being “too defensive,” or “too restrictive,” or “anti-creative,” you simply have no idea what you are talking about and have disqualified yourself from the conversation.

    If this conversation is going to continue it can only be on the basis of a common ground of agreed upon facts. Many of you have no place in this conversation because you begin from a place that exists only in your own minds. Everything isn’t opinion, and not all opinions are equal.

  88. Woodguy says:

    jfry:
    Woodguy,

    did youjust compare Eakins to Q?

    sometimes you only see half your own narrative WG, which is weird, because you see the math great.

    I was responding to the notion that the Oilers are talented enough to not have to follow a system.

    30, 30, 29, 23rd tells us different.

    BOS, LAK, CHI, DET and others executing their system like well oiled machines also tell us different.

    The Oilers may have a lot of talent, but they don’t have a bunch of NHLers.

    NHLers understand the need to play their system perfectly because the other team is full of 1st round draft picks who can score and skate too.

    NHLers understand the need to go to the net with their stick on the ice because more goals are scored on the 2nd shot than the 1st shot against NHL goalies

    NHLers understand the need to battle hard for every puck because you never know which break will result in a goal

    NHLers understand that when things aren’t going well to rely on your systems and hard work to get yourself out of it.

    Oilers try to beat NHL defenders 1 on 2

    Oilers, though their talent, get the puck in the slot, then pass out of it to try for the one shot goal.

    Oilers don’t go to the net with their stick down and when there is a rebound, are not near enough to the puck to make a play.

    Oilers see the D pinch and instead of skating to cover, skate to a shooting area with the other 2 forwards waiting for a pass that doesn’t come

    Oilers stand outside the battle waiting for others to get them the puck so they can go for a skate.

    Oilers see the puck leave the ozone and skate back just fast enough to get a good outlet pass from the D. Oh, they scored on a rebound by the trailing man? Damn, I’ll smack my stick on the ice.

    Its even more clear to me what the problem is when players that haven’t been Oilers before this year are doing all the things the OIlers don’t do because they have been taught to way to succeed in the NHL in other organizations.

    Other than Jones, the only Oilers I see go to the net without the puck are Gordon, Perron, Arcobello and a bit from Joensuu.

    Ask Corey Perry, Marty St. Louis, Moulson, Mareleau, etc, etc, where they scores goals.

    Its not where the OIlers play, and those guys have as much, if not more, talent than the Oilers.

  89. jfry says:

    LT said:

    It’s a different world now, but if this team is ignoring the new coach ALREADY then there’s a problem.

    ________________

    so because the coach has a four year contract, it’s the player’s fault?

    I think there’s a massive difference between the deck of cards that renney/kruger was given and what eakin’s has been given and expectations are different because the kids have grown up and aren’t teenagers in the league anymore. and for what it’s worth, they did better with lesser assets and the young kids were beginning to flourish.

    did the team show any good system play back then? no. but they aren’t now either and we have coach/age controversy 15 games into the year, as opposed to before it took 50.

    giving Eakins the pass on this drives me nuts. everyone says he’s a players coach, but maybe that’s to 27 yo journeymen who he had rapport with. ’cause that rapport is pretty hard to see right now. after watching the B’s version of the oil change, i’m not convinced their way of doing things is right with regards to treating players like they’re soldiers…they just happen to be having some success the last few years. when we were following the Chicago and Detroit models, we were never having these brow beating conversations.

    what would jim nill do now?

  90. RMGS says:

    Woodguy: I was responding to the notion that the Oilers are talented enough to not have to follow a system.

    30, 30, 29, 23rd tells us different.

    BOS, LAK, CHI, DET and others executing their system like well oiled machines also tell us different.

    The Oilers may have a lot of talent, but they don’t have a bunch of NHLers.

    NHLers understand the need to play their system perfectly because the other team is full of 1st round draft picks who can score and skate too.

    NHLers understand the need to go to the net with their stick on the ice because more goals are scored on the 2nd shot than the 1st shot against NHL goalies

    NHLers understand the need to battle hard for every puck because you never know which break will result in a goal

    NHLers understand that when things aren’t going well to rely on your systems and hard work to get yourself out of it.

    Oilers try to beat NHL defenders 1 on 2

    Oilers, though their talent, get the puck in the slot, then pass out of it to try for the one shot goal.

    Oilers don’t go to the net with their stick down and when there is a rebound, are not near enough to the puck to make a play.

    Oilers see the D pinch and instead of skating to cover, skate to a shooting area with the other 2 forwards waiting for a pass that doesn’t come

    Oilers stand outside the battle waiting for others to get them the puck so they can go for a skate.

    Oilers see the puck leave the ozone and skate back just fast enough to get a good outlet pass from the D.Oh, they scored on a rebound by the trailing man?Damn, I’ll smack my stick on the ice.

    Its even more clear to me what the problem is when players that haven’t been Oilers before this year are doing all the things the OIlers don’t do because they have been taught to way to succeed in the NHL in other organizations.

    Other than Jones, the only Oilers I see go to the net without the puck are Gordon, Perron, Arcobello and a bit from Joensuu.

    Ask Corey Perry, Marty St. Louis, Moulson, Mareleau, etc, etc, where they scores goals.

    Its not where the OIlers play, and those guys have as much, if not more, talent than the Oilers.

    This, a thousand times, all day long.

  91. Clay says:

    Woodguy: I was responding to the notion that the Oilers are talented enough to not have to follow a system.

    30, 30, 29, 23rd tells us different.

    BOS, LAK, CHI, DET and others executing their system like well oiled machines also tell us different.

    The Oilers may have a lot of talent, but they don’t have a bunch of NHLers.

    NHLers understand the need to play their system perfectly because the other team is full of 1st round draft picks who can score and skate too.

    NHLers understand the need to go to the net with their stick on the ice because more goals are scored on the 2nd shot than the 1st shot against NHL goalies

    NHLers understand the need to battle hard for every puck because you never know which break will result in a goal

    NHLers understand that when things aren’t going well to rely on your systems and hard work to get yourself out of it.

    Oilers try to beat NHL defenders 1 on 2

    Oilers, though their talent, get the puck in the slot, then pass out of it to try for the one shot goal.

    Oilers don’t go to the net with their stick down and when there is a rebound, are not near enough to the puck to make a play.

    Oilers see the D pinch and instead of skating to cover, skate to a shooting area with the other 2 forwards waiting for a pass that doesn’t come

    Oilers stand outside the battle waiting for others to get them the puck so they can go for a skate.

    Oilers see the puck leave the ozone and skate back just fast enough to get a good outlet pass from the D.Oh, they scored on a rebound by the trailing man?Damn, I’ll smack my stick on the ice.

    Its even more clear to me what the problem is when players that haven’t been Oilers before this year are doing all the things the OIlers don’t do because they have been taught to way to succeed in the NHL in other organizations.

    Other than Jones, the only Oilers I see go to the net without the puck are Gordon, Perron, Arcobello and a bit from Joensuu.

    Ask Corey Perry, Marty St. Louis, Moulson, Mareleau, etc, etc, where they scores goals.

    Its not where the OIlers play, and those guys have as much, if not more, talent than the Oilers.

    Quoted for truth. Well said.

  92. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: If that’s the case, you have to start trading people. Today. If the Edmonton Oilers hired a coach this summer and the team has abandoned him, then they need to turn over the roster.

    Seriously. There’s no middle ground here.

    A come to Jesus meeting with the key people should be enough.

    They have a guy as captain who recently won cups and knows this stuff first hand.

    If that doesn’t work then get on the phones.

    I have a hard time believing that Hall can’t see what the problem is.

  93. David says:

    Lowetide: If that’s the case, you have to start trading people. Today. If the Edmonton Oilers hired a coach this summer and the team has abandoned him, then they need to turn over the roster.

    Seriously. There’s no middle ground here.
    Look at the Nordiques, they traded all three of their first overalls. Assuming we could get 100 cents on the dollar we could do some huge trades that would greatly shake up the team.

  94. David says:

    Assuming we could get 100 cents on the dollar we could dramically change this team.

  95. lance says:

    Lowetide: If that’s the case, you have to start trading people. Today. If the Edmonton Oilers hired a coach this summer and the team has abandoned him, then they need to turn over the roster.

    Seriously. There’s no middle ground here.

    I’m not sure “getting traded” is exactly the modicum to inspire any Oiler currently. Instead, “if you don’t back check, you’re staying and we’re going to HS you 10 games in a row.”

    I wonder if 50% of this team would agree to a trade and be packed and gone by tomorrow noon. What could be worse? Florida’s orange blossoms?

  96. godot10 says:

    Woodguy:
    jfry,

    Renney failed to get the kids to buy into a system.
    Krueger failed to get the kids to buy into a system.

    Now Eakins is failing to get the kids to buy into s system.

    I don’t think its coaching.

    Renney tried running Gagner and Paajarvi off of the team in favor of vets like Belanger and Jones.

    How did Krueger fail to get the kids to buy in?

    Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, and Eberle were as close to an ice-tilting line as any line in Edmonton we’ve seen since the eighties under Krueger. Gagner produced more points ever as a soft minutes 2nd line centre. But who has ever argued that Gagner is going to be more than a soft minutes 2nd line centre. He’s good enough until they can find somebody else. That isn’t the problem on the team. And well Yakupov as a rookie had a fine year. Paajarvi was rehabilitated as a prospect.

    Justin Schultz was and still is playing too high in the roster. So defensive woes are to be expected. Comparables. Rafalski had 4 years in Europe and then eased into an NHL roster that had Stevens and Niedermayer. Jake Gardiner is still a 3rd pairing D in Toronto. Bryan Campbell, a couple of years in the AHL, and then a couple more on the 3rd pairing with a super steady vet in James Patrick. Even under Eakins, Justin Schultz is just fine…just being forced to play too high in the roster.

    Krueger’s problem was all of the OTHER guys. Not the important guys. But he maximized Petrell and Belanger by having a really good PK.

    All MacT really had to do was get Krueger more players. The thoroughbreds were doing fine under Krueger.

    The price of facilitating the development of all the key young guys with an undermanned roster was substandard 5×5 systems play. Strategic long and medium term thinking over short term tactical concerns, and I wager that even with his sacrifice of the best tactics to develop players, the results are going to end up better than what happens this year.

    Eakins has come in and broken everything. MacT and Eakins have named a 3rd pairing D named Ethan Moreau…er…Andrew Ference as captain, and we are taking the whip to all the thoroughbreds, and instead of making them run faster, they are just breaking down.

    Hey, but the Toby Peterson twins are on the roster earning NHL paycheques.

  97. Henry says:

    Colonel Obvious: This is such an important point.Of all the asinine criticisms of Eakins the notion that he is strangling the creativity of skilled players by forcing them to play a dump and chase style flies the most in the face of reality.

    So I’ll repeat, the number one reason I approve of Eakins as a coach is because he is the anti dump and chase guy.That’s who he is.If you dislike him for being “too defensive,” or “too restrictive,” or “anti-creative,” you simply have no idea what you are talking about and have disqualified yourself from the conversation.

    If this conversation is going to continue it can only be on the basis of a common ground of agreed upon facts.Many of you have no place in this conversation because you begin from a place that exists only in your own minds.Everything isn’t opinion, and not all opinions are equal.

    Colonel,

    Like a good boy, I agree with you, Eakins would like to play an uptempo game with the puck.

    But man, that post reads like something you’d hear at a Tea Party rally.

  98. Doomoil says:

    I’m sure if the Oilers PK problems would go away if they had a .905 save percentage at 4v5 again.

    Or the PP which as per Nuge “Nothing’s really been changed on the powerplay” was shooting 18% again.

    Gagner put up more points than ever while also getting abso-fucking-lutely killed every night. Let’s ignore the massive regression that everyone else had though because the top line played well.

  99. stevezie says:

    Lowetide,

    Absolutely. There has been a persistent and pervasive idea around town that the team needs to be “handed over” to the young stars. People wanted Hall to be captain starting from his 2nd season. Moreau was a jerk because he expected the rookies to accept the same treatment rookies have always gotten. “Player X needs to be given the opportunity” has been said so many times I don’t even notice it any more.

    I was going to call this thinking bizarre, but it’s not. It’s normal. It’s just stupid.

    Having potential doesn’t give you the right to anything. Hockey doesn’t owe the young Oil one damn thing. I was going to write a post about how I (alone) liked the glory days being plastered all over the walls because I thought it showed the way. I thought maybe the team needed to be sat down and shown old “Legends of Hockey” reruns to see what true stars do.

    Maybe that’s not the solution. Maybe instead they need to see Washout: The Nikolai Zherdev story and see what world-class talent is worth on its own.

    Obviously I like talent, and it is in no one’s best interest for management to alienate the team, but the idea that they need to tiptoe around losing behavior to avoid offending guys who already can’t win is criminally inane.

  100. Henry says:

    Woodguy: A come to Jesus meeting with the key people should be enough.

    They have a guy as captain who recently won cups and knows this stuff first hand.

    If that doesn’t work then get on the phones.

    I have a hard time believing that Hall can’t see what the problem is.

    I hope you’re right. Should MacT attend this meeting?

  101. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    The commentary and debate has definitely narrowed over the last 3 days to dressing room dissension and individual non-compliance to systems, but the fact remains – for me at least – that the composition of players on the Oilers is still not right. If they are eventually firing on all pistons on systems (total buy in), they move to the middle – the thin edge of playoff contention. The mix will have to change and via trade and summer signings, a recalibration can and likely will be undertaken.

    The trades will accomplish the snuffing out of problem players (haven’t a clue who that might be) and get the balance improved to move upper echelon within the league. That will take time, but observed progression is much needed here. As such, the heavy lifting sits with MacT, not Eakins at the moment. I need more time to smoke out and form a fan’s opinion on whether Eakins is the real and right deal, but its plainly obvious to my eye that the make-up of players is a big issue when other NHL’ers routinely take the hickory to them in the big AND little battles that happen throughout the game.

  102. godot10 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/edmonton-oilers/Edmonton+Oilers+Ralph+Krueger+Detroit/9119272/story.html

    The money quote on why Krueger is a winner and MacT is a loser.

    “The attachment to the guys in Edmonton doesn’t allow me to think badly. I HOPE THE PLAYERS REACH THEIR POTENTIAL, and as a team, too. I haven’t got up one day with any other feeling.”

    vs. MacT //made-up quote//
    “I will teach Ales Hemsky to backcheck.” and I’ve done my job.

  103. godot10 says:

    RT26:
    e.

    One, cultures take time to change even when everyone buys into the new system.However, if key people balk and either openly or privatelty buck the system, it destroys any progress you’ve made.Worse still, if there is no consequence for rejecting your role and duties on the team (like no playing defense or skating after your check), then the leadership has lost any credibility.
    wo, the notion of being “safe”.In my company, as long as you are trying to adopt the new systems and processes and are making progress, your job is never in danger.People can feel free to try and learn on the fly.If they do not try though, there has to be consequences with meaningful impact, or else the change will fail.

    If I was Katz and I truly cared about turning things around, I would do the following:

    > Publicly declare Eakins and MacT as safe for the considerable future, as long as they have a vision and flexible plan to attain it.> Put the players on notice that as long as they are trying to execute the system and improving, their jobs are relatively safe.If not, then they may no longer fit into the go forward plan.>For the management team, DON’T fall in love with unactualized potential, but with people’s work effort and level of GAS (give a sh*t).Talent without effort is intoxicating, but mostly frustrating.You never get rich waiting for troubled investments to turn around without any catalyst for change.

    You are making the assumption that MacT and Eakins are competent.

    Question: As a manager, do you send out your prized university recruit out to win the contract from your top client, or do you choose your top experienced salesperson? And when your prized university recruit comes back with his ass handed to him (a -4), who is to blame, you or the recruit?

  104. stevezie says:

    godot10,

    I see what you’re saying about making players the best versions of themselves rather than turning each guy into a clone of your prototype, but surely you acknowledge that even the best version of yourself is going to be different than the current version of yourself, right? There are changes that have to be made? Learning to backcheck is important, isn’t it?

    The best example for offensive players is Datsyuk, non? I disagree that he has ever been “the best defensive forward” in the league, but he is amazing at getting the puck back. Hemsky, Nuge- name any offensive guy you want- getting the puck back will increase their offence, not kill it.

  105. Logan91 says:

    godot10: The money quote on why Krueger is a winner and MacT is a loser.

    “The attachment to the guys in Edmonton doesn’t allow me to think badly. I HOPE THE PLAYERS REACH THEIR POTENTIAL, and as a team, too. I haven’t got up one day with any other feeling.”

    vs. MacT //made-up quote//
    “I will teach Ales Hemsky to backcheck.”and I’ve done my job.

    Good article, Ralph is a class act.

    I think they should have kept him around, poor guy got screwed over pretty bad.

  106. mustang says:

    Just as woodguy was saying and probably many others, it boils down to the players, they are a joke Eller was dead on with his comment about a junior team. They are not listening to anybody, they are acting like spoiled rotten teenagers and that’s pretty much what the core of this team is. The comment that stands out to me from Eakins was within the first few games, he mentioned he needed more Hemsky’s. He was busting his ass all over the ice on the forecheck and coming back hard on the backcheck. These young guns for the most part weren’t then and most certainly aren’t now. The question remains will they ever grow up and play like NHLers or wiill act like they know it all and are entitled to Stanley cup.

  107. stevezie says:

    godot10,

    Position to succeed. Absolutely, couldn’t agree more. I am not against hiding weaknesses and playing to strengths. I loved what Vigneault did with the Sedins. Great success.
    However,
    1) You don’t want to put guys in a position to fail, but you do want to challenge them. Right? Along those lines,
    2) Hall isn’t a recruit anymore, he is our star salesman. Gagner has played enough games to qualify for a full pension. Eberle has signed the big deal. What has to happen to a player before you feel they would be ready for the tough job?

  108. godot10 says:

    Bruce McCurdy:

    Eakins has already played the “sit him out” card and it doesn’t seem like much took. 13 games in, he’s got 1 lonely goal, 3 points, & the worst minus in the NHL. It’s been a nightmare start to the season, with very little evidence that he’s becoming a core player or indeed, anything other than being utterly confused.

    That is only evidence of bad coaching, not a bad hockey player.

  109. stevezie says:

    Logan91,

    I would have loved to keep him as an associate coach, but the move backwards in authority is hard bordering on impossible. A great motivator who knows the game, but I think his NHL inexperience showed.

    Doubt he’s done, seems to be well thought of.

  110. RT26 says:

    godot10,

    I will caveat this by saying I have no idea what is really happening in the dressing room.

    That said, many of these players were given too much too soon. We have given too many prominent positions in the top 6 to players who have not yet earned them. Hall aside, many of these kids should have been beating up the AHL or NHL soft parade before being given power vs. power assignments. But this also falls on management – when the leaders complained about the youthful attitudes a few years back, nothing was done to check the young kid’s attitudes.

    Yakupov might be an amazing talent, but he is not yet driving the bus against second and third line competition. Do that and then expand his role.

    In my business, a talent like Hall’s (who is the best on the team IMO) would still only be a middle manager, but with a bullet pointing upwards and serious senior management support/ mentoring and coaching to help him reach his potential. We don’t do that on the Oilers. We tell them they are the future, that this is their team and pay the hell out of them and then say lead. Doesn’t work that way.

  111. Gret99zky says:

    Woodguy: I was responding to the notion that the Oilers are talented enough to not have to follow a system.

    30, 30, 29, 23rd tells us different.

    BOS, LAK, CHI, DET and others executing their system like well oiled machines also tell us different.

    The Oilers may have a lot of talent, but they don’t have a bunch of NHLers.

    NHLers understand the need to play their system perfectly because the other team is full of 1st round draft picks who can score and skate too.

    NHLers understand the need to go to the net with their stick on the ice because more goals are scored on the 2nd shot than the 1st shot against NHL goalies

    NHLers understand the need to battle hard for every puck because you never know which break will result in a goal

    NHLers understand that when things aren’t going well to rely on your systems and hard work to get yourself out of it.

    Oilers try to beat NHL defenders 1 on 2

    Oilers, though their talent, get the puck in the slot, then pass out of it to try for the one shot goal.

    Oilers don’t go to the net with their stick down and when there is a rebound, are not near enough to the puck to make a play.

    Oilers see the D pinch and instead of skating to cover, skate to a shooting area with the other 2 forwards waiting for a pass that doesn’t come

    Oilers stand outside the battle waiting for others to get them the puck so they can go for a skate.

    Oilers see the puck leave the ozone and skate back just fast enough to get a good outlet pass from the D.Oh, they scored on a rebound by the trailing man?Damn, I’ll smack my stick on the ice.

    Its even more clear to me what the problem is when players that haven’t been Oilers before this year are doing all the things the OIlers don’t do because they have been taught to way to succeed in the NHL in other organizations.

    Other than Jones, the only Oilers I see go to the net without the puck are Gordon, Perron, Arcobello and a bit from Joensuu.

    Ask Corey Perry, Marty St. Louis, Moulson, Mareleau, etc, etc, where they scores goals.

    Its not where the OIlers play, and those guys have as much, if not more, talent than the Oilers.

    Totally true.

    Well said, WG.

  112. stevezie says:

    RT26,

    If the Thrashers are a good example of failure to add compliments to the stars, we have become the textbook case for overshooting the rebuild. Probably didn’t need to be quite that bad.

    Pens and Hawks both had Hossa. I really believed Hemsky could be that guy here, but he hasn’t been.

  113. Logan91 says:

    stevezie:
    Logan91,

    I would have loved to keep him as an associate coach, but the move backwards in authority is hard bordering on impossible. A great motivator who knows the game, but I think his NHL inexperience showed.

    Doubt he’s done, seems to be well thought of.

    Eakins has less NHL experience than Ralph.

    Krueger had that team zoomin at times, and I liked how his system catered more towards the players. Everyone is quick to forget that they had quite a few very high scoring games under him, and some good come backs. He was a good coach for a bunch of young adults, I saw a lot of growth out of the team because of him.

    BUT Eakins is the coach now, and it is what it is. Hopefully he can turn things around soon. He’ll be better for the team in the long run because he’ll teach them how to play the game properly. Its going to be a challenge for him to mold these kids into real NHL players. Patience will definitely be needed from the fans.

  114. godot10 says:

    G Money:
    Woodguy,

    The other implication on this was the discussion by Eakins and MacT prior to and early in the season about using ice time as a currency to get buy in to the system.The implication being – too many players not buying into the system.The new regime would require more accountability.You don’t do what is required? Sit your ass down.

    But that’s not a stick/carrot Eakins can apply right now.FastOil made this point above as well – the ability to use ice time as a currency of reward disappears when the team is (at least) six deep into the AHL roster.

    Ii call BS.

    Eakins said veterans have to lose their jobs.

    Toby Peterson Dee and Toby Peterson Dum. Compare Lander’s PK record compared to these guys….but he’s not the coach’s pet and the associate coach’s son. Nor the guy that coach wants as his son-in-law.

    Linus Omark

    Eakins wouldn’t put Jake Gardiner out against Hartikainen in the AHL playoffs two years ago. Hartikainen was the best forward in that playoff series on both teams, but the son-in-law hopeful Hamilton is here, and Hartikainen isn’t.

  115. godot10 says:

    RMGS: This is so very true.Too many forwards are playing a perimeter game waiting for the perfect play.

    Didn’t Eakins say that he wanted more Hemsky’s?

  116. nelson88 says:

    Woodguy: A come to Jesus meeting with the key people should be enough.They have a guy as captain who recently won cups and knows this stuff first hand.If that doesn’t work then get on the phones.I have a hard time believing that Hall can’t see what the problem is.

    Not trying to pick on Hall or a fight but curious as to why you seem; correct me if I’m wrong, to be assuming Hall is one of the young guys who will buy into the system but others such as Eberle and Gagner aren’t? If so Is that based on your view of their effort in back checking?

  117. stevezie says:

    Logan91: Eakins has less NHL experience than Ralph.

    Nah, Eakins has been a big league assistant and a Director of Player Development.

  118. Gret99zky says:

    Jon K:

    I’ve heard about who the problems lie with, but I don’t think anyone, at all, would be happy to hear about it.

    I agree that not many would be happy to hear that he is where the problems lie but I doubt many would be surprised by it.

  119. godot10 says:

    stevezie:
    godot10,

    I see what you’re saying about making players the best versions of themselves rather than turning each guy into a clone of your prototype, but surely you acknowledge that even the best version of yourself is going to be different than the current version of yourself, right? There are changes that have to be made? Learning to backcheck is important, isn’t it?

    Go look at those Vollman charts of Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, and Eberle from last year. They were tilting the ice. And they were doing it with a shitty defensive core to get them the puck.

    Patick Kane is a lousy checker. I doubt he will ever be a good checker. There is room for a Kane or an Eberle or a Mike Bossy or an Yvan Cournoyer on contending teams. And Eberle is a better checker than Kane or Cournoyer.

    At some time in the critical moments of a Stanley Cup game you are going to need a forward to make a zone entry under control while under extreme duress. For that task, Kane and Eberle are your man.

  120. cc says:

    Andy P:

    John Chambers:
    It’s quite possible that Gags and Eberle could be at the core of this, with Yak foolishly following along. This would no doubt cause a split in the ranks that would dispirit any team.

    Andy, who the H E double hockey sticks is john chambers? Anything I’ve read from him leaves me to wonder if he know’s anything about the game of hockey, Really! He’s had great ideas like (get rid of Hemsky) or my favourite (Please move Hall to centre).

    To throw out a comment like Ebs could be at the centre of this. Come on! If you have some proof, great, lets hear it. But with out any proof quoting a guy like chambers just makes you look, umm, dumb.

  121. godot10 says:

    RT26:
    godot10,

    I will caveat this by saying I have no idea what is really happening in the dressing room.

    That said, many of these players were given too much too soon.We have given too many prominent positions in the top 6 to players who have not yet earned them.Hall aside, many of these kids should have been beating up the AHL or NHL soft parade before being given power vs. power assignments.But this also falls on management – when the leaders complained about the youthful attitudes a few years back,nothing was done to check the young kid’s attitudes.

    Yakupov might be an amazing talent, but he is not yet driving the bus against second and third line competition.Do that and then expand his role.

    In my business, a talent like Hall’s (who is the best on the team IMO) would still only be a middle manager, but with a bullet pointing upwards and serious senior management support/ mentoring and coaching to help him reach his potential.We don’t do that on the Oilers.We tell them they are the future, that this is their team and pay the hell out of them and then say lead.Doesn’t work that way.

    Hall is a middle manager, OK. But they promoted the mailroom guy to CEO (Moreau/Ference) as captian.

  122. Andy P says:

    Lowetide: See this is where I cant agree. If they DON’T do it now they are doomed to failure When I get a chance I’ll find the passage where Messier finally breaks down during practice and that’s the point where Slats began backing off.

    It’s a different world now, but if this team is ignoring the new coach ALREADY then there’s a problem. Avoiding it won’t make it better.

    Hi LT,
    I suppose I expressed myself poorly there. I’m not advocating doing nothing, but I am recognizing that this is a full-on battle over control of the team. The cocky, skilled young ‘uns or the Coach.
    It’s plain that action is needed, I’m just preferring a deft scalpel to an RPG. Clean wound, minimal chance of infection remaining. As opposed to brains, blood and guts splashed over the walls, a battle won and a war lost.

    I think MacT and Eakins are the right people to do this. I previously gagged at the thought of losing Hall, Ebs or Gags. But if any or all of them do not let go of whatever is killing the team, then regrettably and as strange as it might sound, the team is better off without them.

    Having said that I have no idea which of the young guns it might be. Hall always seems to try to go full speed, I never see quit in Nuge’s game and I even think Yak is immature rather than misdirected.
    Gags seems more lazy than conniving, so could it be Ebs? We’ll see soon enough.

  123. Colieo87 says:

    Hi Everyone

    This is my first post i love this website so much better then tsn.com comment section on the sheer knowledge of the fans and stats, absolutely love it. Now with that said i have have some comments with Hall as the Black sheep in the locker room. I’ve met hall on 2 separate occasions both at the ranch road house in Edmonton once in 2011 FALL AND THE OTHER IN 2012 just before xmas and each those times he he with the boys out drinking like anyone of us would be doing.

    The first time i was going up to the bar to order another drink and i didn’t even recognize him when i was approaching the bar. But then he turned around and started talking to me, as mom always says your first impression speaks louder then words and so to speak he didn’t win me over either, he was rude, cocky and very impolite. He told me i should even pay his tab in a very serious tone and for the second time he didn’t change. and i believe with him and yak (although i never met yak) i think there a cancer in the dressing room 2 many first overalls with the same mind set. and not willing to change anything. ME ME ME attitude only goes so far on a team game. Hall plays with an edge but he has to use his head and some time back off go around and not put yourself in those harmful situations cause hes going to have a short career. I’m not pro yak, ebs, RNH doesn’t put them self in those career ending plays. so my mind set to change this limit there playing time till they start playing as a team, just like ruff did as a couch to hall at the worlds bench him and make him watch, it will fix him up might quick or ship him out. we got to get that cancer out of the dressing room and get them playing a 200ft team complete game for the forwards, the defense is another story. they need to play D first and stop trying to be a paul coffee on the OZ threat play your position and stay in your spots to cover the pass and block the shots. and for a G position we need someone else i lost my faith in dubynk. we need a shut down goal tender.

  124. Logan91 says:

    stevezie: Nah, Eakins has been a big league assistant and a Director of Player Development.

    Not trying to argue, but I like Kruegers resume better. That’s just my opinion though!

    Krueger coached in Germany for a while with a ton of success, coached the Swiss Olympic team (you have to be pretty good to coach an Olympic team), worked for Carolina for a bit, assistant coach for the Oilers, head coach for the Oilers (even though for a short time), and now working for Team Canada.

    Eakins was assistant coach for the Marlies, the Leafs, and then head coach for the Marlies. Eakins played hockey until the early 2000′s… Krueger has been coaching since the mid/late 90s.

    Now you can’t tell me Eakins has more experience.

  125. Andy P says:

    cc: Andy, who the H E double hockey sticks is john chambers?Anything I’ve read from him leaves me to wonder if he know’s anything about the game of hockey, Really!He’s had great ideas like (get rid of Hemsky) or my favourite (Please move Hall to centre).

    To throw out a comment like Ebs could be at the centre of this. Come on!If you have some proof, great, lets hear it.But with out any proof quoting a guy like chambers just makes you look, umm, dumb.

    Hi CC,
    I threw out that quote not because I thought John was any authority on the subject, but because I always quote the source if I am repeating their comment, as a common courtesy.

    I do not claim any proof on this. I like the fellow he is crazy skilled, but it has to be someone that is stirring it up in there, so it’s either the assistant coaches, Bucky and/or Smith, or one of the fab five. that’s all. Sorry if I wrote that in a way to imply that I had personal knowledge. This is a blog where people obsess over things Oilers, and that’s just what I am doing here.

    Cheers!

  126. Gret99zky says:

    Andy P:

    Having said that I have no idea which of the young guns it might be. Hall always seems to try to go full speed, I never see quit in Nuge’s game and I even think Yak is immature rather than misdirected.
    Gags seems more lazy than conniving, so could it be Ebs? We’ll see soon enough.

    Shhhh. Someone’s coming.

  127. G Money says:

    godot10: Ii call BS.

    Eakins said veterans have to lose their jobs.

    Toby Peterson Dee and Toby Peterson Dum.Compare Lander’s PK record compared to these guys….but he’s not the coach’s pet and the associate coach’s son.Nor the guy that coach wants as his son-in-law.

    Linus Omark

    Eakins wouldn’t put Jake Gardiner out against Hartikainen in the AHL playoffs two years ago.Hartikainen was the best forward in that playoff series on both teams,but the son-in-law hopeful Hamilton is here, and Hartikainen isn’t.

    I have no idea what you’re trying to say here. My point was – Eakins is 6 deep into the AHL roster and can’t exactly afford to bench anyone at this point, no matter how richly they may deserve it.

    Your point (other than what appears to be your 850th sadly misguided post that Eakins is somehow worse than Krueger, who was awful) is: Peterson, Acton, Lander, Gardiner, Hamilton, and Hartikainen?

  128. cc says:

    Andy P,

    Fair enough, on the comment.

    I don’t necessarily think it is a stirring up kinda thing happening here. These fab five as you call them are all really great talents and are fun to watch.

    I just think we should all relax a bit. Sure we all want to win like right now. but until they get this (injuries and the like ) fixed, let’s just enjoy the skill show.

  129. godot10 says:

    Andrew Ference, 30-something free-agent signing to a big 4 year contract, with the only full no movement clause on the team, captain, and 3rd pairing defensemen.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to MacT’s and Dallas Eakins Edmonton Oilers.

    Where the 3rd pairing defensemen on a fat new contract whines about the effort and performance of others.

    Why does a 3rd pairing defensemen need a no-movement clause exactly? Please explain.

  130. G Money says:

    godot10: Go look at those Vollman charts of Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, and Eberle from last year. They were tilting the ice. And they were doing it with a shitty defensive core to get them the puck.

    Go look at them again. You may be confusing RelCorsi with Corsi. The three of them tilted the ice modestly. But their RelCorsi was off the charts good because everyone else stunk. The explanation for that was actually pretty simple – aside from talent, yes, but unlike everyone else, the three of them did not play Krueger’s system.

    I’m still baffled by this worship of Krueger. The team was awful last year. Absolutely putrid. The only thing that masked that awfulness was the goaltending, which was outstanding, especially on the PK. And this despite the fact that Krueger had Hall in the lineup the entire season.

  131. Woodguy says:

    godot10,

    Renney tried running Gagner and Paajarvi off of the team in favor of vets like Belanger and Jones.
    How did Krueger fail to get the kids to buy in?

    Based on Gagner’s effort in 2 games, maybe he was onto something.

    4,93,14 certainly tilted the ice.

    They played well enough together carry the heavy load.

    Apart from each other, there did nothing though.

    Unless Hall was there, the other two didn’t have near the output.

    Just because they achieved success together doesn’t mean they internalized Krueger’s system.

    It doesn’t mean they understand team play.

    It means they played very well together.

    If they play very well together and not as well apart, that’s a problem too as rosters are never static.

  132. Woodguy says:

    godot10:
    Andrew Ference, 30-something free-agent signing to a big 4 year contract, with the only full no movement clause on the team, captain, and 3rd pairing defensemen.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to MacT’s and Dallas Eakins Edmonton Oilers.

    Where the 3rd pairing defensemen on a fat new contract whines about the effort and performance of others.

    Why does a 3rd pairing defensemen need a no-movement clause exactly? Please explain.

    Maybe because he came from a team that actually won things?

    Maybe because he knows that indivual effort wins nothing in the NHL?

    This is exactly the reason he was hired and given the C.

    So he could look at these guys as a vet and as a guy who won the cup recently and say “this shit doesn’t cut it”

    That’s exactly what this team needs.

    Wait….

    Actually, you’re right Godot.

    FInishing 30, 30, 29, 23 is perfect.

    Don’t change a fucking thing.

  133. godot10 says:

    G Money:

    I’m still baffled by this worship of Krueger. The team was awful last year. Absolutely putrid. The only thing that masked that awfulness was the goaltending, which was outstanding, especially on the PK. And this despite the fact that Krueger had Hall in the lineup the entire season.

    Hall was 2nd in scoring in the NHL’s first division. Yes. He was a cancer not buying into the system. Krueger increased his ice time a lot, to over 20 minutes a game, but he didn’t try killing him by playing him over 25 minutes a game, and have him get himself hurt with a poor decision because of fatigue.

    MacT’s and Eakin’s first decision. Lets take the best left wing in hockey and turn him into a centre, and then when he fails, tell him he has to own the -4 he earned as a centre, and whoa, you better watch out or we will bench you if you slack off on wing.

    Why is your prize defensive free agent signing and new captain playing 3rd pairing minutes? Why isn’t he performing and carrying the load. How can a Russian who missed training camp and who has hardly played a game on the small ice beat you out of a 2nd pairing spot in 10 games?

  134. RMGS says:

    godot10: Didn’t Eakins say that he wanted more Hemsky’s?

    Classic example of taking quotes out of context. You know very well that Coach Eakins was talking about commitment to the system, to back-checking, to playing properly without the puck. If you’ve watched the games, that was certainly the case at the time (and I’d argue since then as well).

    Nice try, though.

  135. sliderule says:

    russ99,

    When the oil play the Hawks watch the 2-1-2 forechecking that Chicago plays.There is always one forward high unless they have clear possession..If the puck moves to another corner he might join the forecheck while another forward drops back.The high forward is ready to cover a pinch or join the back check from a position of strength .

    Contrast that to the oil who are playing the same system but the high forward nearly always gets sucked in and commits with no cover or switch.That why you see three forwards trapped behind the goal line .Gagner was on the boards with the other two and made a great effort at a back check but got gassed and couldn’t finish the cover and they got scored on.In today’s game it is extremely tough to put back pressure unless you start out high the players are all too fast.

    It would seem that either the players don’t get basic forechecking or the coaches are not drilling it in at practice or maybe a little of both.

    I know some hockey players are not the sharpest blades in the drawer but repetition and a bit of tough love should be able to drill it in.

  136. denny33 says:

    Woodguy,

    NHLers understand the need to play their system perfectly because the other team is full of 1st round draft picks who can score and skate too.
    NHLers understand the need to go to the net with their stick on the ice because more goals are scored on the 2nd shot than the 1st shot against NHL goalies
    NHLers understand the need to battle hard for every puck because you never know which break will result in a goal
    NHLers understand that when things aren’t going well to rely on your systems and hard work to get yourself out of it.
    Oilers try to beat NHL defenders 1 on 2
    Oilers, though their talent, get the puck in the slot, then pass out of it to try for the one shot goal.
    Oilers don’t go to the net with their stick down and when there is a rebound, are not near enough to the puck to make a play.
    Oilers see the D pinch and instead of skating to cover, skate to a shooting area with the other 2 forwards waiting for a pass that doesn’t come
    Oilers stand outside the battle waiting for others to get them the puck so they can go for a skate.
    Oilers see the puck leave the ozone and skate back just fast enough to get a good outlet pass from the D. Oh, they scored on a rebound by the trailing man? Damn, I’ll smack my stick on the ice.

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

    There has been a lot of good posts in here …but this is the best of them all.

    LT you need to save this one…..this needs to be reproduced.

  137. godot10 says:

    godot10:

    Why is your prize defensive free agent signing and new captain playing 3rd pairing minutes?Why isn’t he performing and carrying the load. How can a Russian who missed training camp and who has hardly played a game on the small ice beat you out of a 2nd pairing spot in 10 games?

    **Because he rides a bicycle with the boss.

    MacT was bamboozled by Eakins and bamboozled by Ference.

  138. Woodguy says:

    Actually it was 30, 30, 29, 24, and today they stand 29th.

    Nothing to change here.

  139. Woodguy says:

    godot10,

    Why is your prize defensive free agent signing and new captain playing 3rd pairing minutes? Why isn’t he performing and carrying the load.

    So Lee Fogolin was a bad captain too?

    Got it.

  140. Woodguy says:

    nelson88: Not trying to pick on Hall or a fight but curious as to why you seem; correct me if I’m wrong, to be assuming Hall is one of the young guys who will buy into the system but others such as Eberle and Gagner aren’t? If so Is that based on your view of their effort in back checking?

    I have no knowledge of who Smid and Ference are talking about.

    I’ve just been hearing the same things since Gagner, Cogliano and Nilsson were the young guns.

  141. Woodguy says:

    godot10,

    Hall was 2nd in scoring in the NHL’s first division. Yes. He was a cancer not buying into the system

    I don’t think anyone is saying Hall is a cancer.

    I just think these highly talented kids won’t win a thing in the NHL until they actually understand how to win in the NHL and change their games to a winning style.

    If every line could be 4,93,14 then you don’t have to worry about it.

    Every line can’t be 4,93,14 and everyone has to buy into the same system and same way of playing.

  142. denny33 says:

    godot10,

    **Because he rides a bicycle with the boss.
    MacT was bamboozled by Eakins and bamboozled by Ference.

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

    Godot – I was harsh on the signing of Ference as well. But I think we can clearly see this
    was meant as a locker room leadership issue signing.

    Surely you have to allocate some blame to the players?

  143. Ribs says:

    Woodguy:
    godot10,

    Renney tried running Gagner and Paajarvi off of the team in favor of vets like Belanger and Jones.
    How did Krueger fail to get the kids to buy in?

    Based on Gagner’s effort in 2 games, maybe he was onto something.

    4,93,14 certainly tilted the ice.

    They played well enough together carry the heavy load.

    Apart from each other, there did nothing though.

    Unless Hall was there, the other two didn’t have near the output.

    Just because they achieved success together doesn’t mean they internalized Krueger’s system.

    It doesn’t mean they understand team play.

    It means they played very well together.

    If they play very well together and not as well apart, that’s a problem too as rosters are never static.

    Hall for coach! Play his system! Problem Solved! *wipes hands*

    This team is exhausting.

  144. Woodguy says:

    Here’s an example of what I’m talking about.

    Captain of last year’s Stanley Cup Champs

    SF/60 31.2
    SA/60 22.7

    Net +8.5 shots/60

    Hall last year

    SF/60 32.5
    SA/60 29.3

    Net 3.2 shots/60

    Hall is an immense talent and I hope he’s an Oiler for his entire career.

    The reason Ruff sat him and Hitchcock took him and Eberle aside at the Team Canada was the 2nd number, not the first number.

    These guys can create offense all day long, but they’re still turnstiles without the puck and to be a winning team, that needs to change.

  145. godot10 says:

    So is there any situation where Ference (a 3rd pairing D and captain) is the first guy out of the trenches except in shooting his mouth off.

    Seems that Petry and Smid are the shutdown pair and the first PK pair. He’s not a power play guy.

    So two guys, Eakins and Ference, get 4 year contracts, because they talk a good game managing up.

    An AHL coach typically only gets a 3-year deal, and how many 3rd pairing D get full no move clauses.

  146. G Money says:

    godot10: Krueger increased his ice time a lot, to over 20 minutes a game, but he didn’t try killing him by playing him over 25 minutes a game, and have him get himself hurt with a poor decision because of fatigue.

    Hall TOI per game: 21.2 mins

    Playing that amount doesn’t seem to have done Crosby (22.5), Kesler (22.4), H Sedin (22.3), or D Sedin (21.9) any harm. Giroux isn’t doing so shit hot at 21.9, but then again he was at 21.0 last year and did fine, so maybe just maybe it’s something else.

    Got anything that actually has a base in reality?

  147. godot10 says:

    denny33:
    godot10,

    **Because he rides a bicycle with the boss.
    MacT was bamboozled by Eakins and bamboozled by Ference.

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

    Godot – I was harsh on the signing of Ference as well. But I think we can clearly see this
    was meant as a locker room leadership issue signing.

    Surely you have to allocate some blame to the players?

    Exaclty in what situations on the ice during the game does Ference lead from being a marginal 3rd pairing D.

    How can you talk in the locker room if you are on the bench in all the critical situations on the ice?

    How do you lead from behind?

  148. Jon K says:

    Woodguy:
    godot10,

    Hall was 2nd in scoring in the NHL’s first division. Yes. He was a cancer not buying into the system

    I don’t think anyone is saying Hall is a cancer.

    I just think these highly talented kids won’t win a thing in the NHL until they actually understand how to win in the NHL and change their games to a winning style.

    If every line could be 4,93,14 then you don’t have to worry about it.

    Every line can’t be 4,93,14 and everyone has to buy into the same system and same way of playing.

    +1

    I want to be clear that my comments should not be taken to suggest anyone on the team is a “cancer” or jerk, or that it is why the Oilers are losing. Lots of winning teams have jerks. “Jerkiness” is irrelevant to winning hockey games so long as the jerks are willing to listen to direction and coaching. To wit, it doesn’t seem to be an issue for Burrows in Vancouver or Marchand in Boston.

  149. denny33 says:

    Detroit radio guy in town for the Jets game against Detroit…

    Explaining their current road trip out West and tough games against Vancouver – Sedin line was outstanding – great game.

    Calgary outplayed the wings badly for 2 of 3 periods…wings managed to win. Calgary outshot Detroit.

    In Edmonton – long pause…..his tone changed to one of sympathy. And he merely stated Edmonton is having a lot of problems right now….and he didn’t even comment on how the wings won. Pretty Classy – I thought…

    We are back to where we were for the last few years – other teams are literally bending over backward to by sympathetic to the Edmonton Oilers….

  150. mustang says:

    godot10:
    So is there any situation where Ference (a 3rd pairing D and captain) is the first guy out of the trenches except in shooting his mouth off.

    Seems that Petry and Smid are the shutdown pair and the first PK pair.He’s not a power play guy.

    So two guys, Eakins and Ference, get 4 year contracts, because they talk a good game managing up.

    An AHL coach typically only gets a 3-year deal, and how many 3rd pairing D get full no move clauses.

    MacT wanted these guys, so he stepped up and made it happen. I guess you can argue the length for both, but saying that Edmonton isn’t actually a destination of choice. If you want them that bad then you make it happen.

  151. hags9k says:

    All this talk about spoiled kids, and lack of effort…

    Hindsight is 20/20 but we should have given the C to Hall or Ebs. Let them take ownership of the room. Why not? Hall has had the makings of the next captain since draft day. He’s the face of the team. He’s the best player. When we were making noise last year with 5 straight wins and then fought for our lives in California, he had the team in his backpack. He’s paid the most, for the longest. What’s the holdup?

    Ference?!?! Because Oilers.

  152. sliderule says:

    Woodguy,

    You are absolutely right.

    When Ruff sat Hall I said it would be good for him as he was more or less running wild as an oiler.

    Eberle is cut out of the same cloth.

    When Ference and Smid say that preventing goals is just as important as scoring Ebs and Hall have to take note.

    If they won’t listen to coaches Mact has to sit with them and tell them they are not being traded and the coach is not being fired so smarten up and grow up.

  153. denny33 says:

    godot10,

    Surely you have to allocate some blame to the players?

    *****************************************************************
    Exaclty in what situations on the ice during the game does Ference lead from being a marginal 3rd pairing D.
    How can you talk in the locker room if you are on the bench in all the critical situations on the ice?
    How do you lead from behind?

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

    I hear you….but I don’t think you have to be the best player on the team to lead them or be a captain.

    Again, I was asking you about allocating some blame to the actual players – especially Saturday night?

  154. HugThePost says:

    I hardly think Ference is the big issue here. Sure, he is not Bobby Orr, but we all knew that. He was hired here as someone who could play (but perhaps not big minutes), and moreso, probably to light the path for the young guys.

    The evidence is all there. We see it when we watch the games. It’s in all of the advanced stats. Our stars are brutal when they don’t have the puck. What’s worse, they at this point don’t seem to care too much about it, as long as they are out there making their plays. They simply do not play for the good of the team, and when all of the grunts on the lower lines see that, I’m sure it probably burns some of them, especially if they are out there trying to stick to the system. Eventually, one probably just says ‘if Superstar X doesn’t back check, why the shit should I??’

    I remember a game vs. Colorado early in one of these recent seasons. I’m not sure which, as it has all melded into a long, aimless wander in a desert, but it was a season we had all of the WonderKids in the lineup, they were a couple of games above .500, and everyone was saying this was going to be the turnaround year. We ended up getting schooled by an Avs team that had a lot of injuries, mostly because of horrid turnovers and bad defence. I remember Milan Hedjuk saying after the game that Edmonton might have high-end players, but he wasn’t surprised the undermanned Avs beat them, because at least the Avs play as a team, not as individuals.

    That is what every single coach and player we go against sees, a bunch of punks who just play beer league systems (ie. I want my points).

  155. hags9k says:

    In fact, why not have Ference give it to him soon, after the first few games where Hall clearly pushes the river. See if it can’t be a rallying point…

  156. rich says:

    Been reading for the last 2 days and have to say that Woodguy and Bruce McCurdy have been strong in their analysis (not that you need my validation).

    Firing the coach would be a disaster and would ensure more years of piss-poor hockey.

    For some context:

    - Lars Eller says the Oilers resemble a junior’s team with no structure.
    - How many commentators players have said the Oilers are soft.
    - How many of us have noticed how this team does not want to go to the tough areas and score
    - And how many of us have commented thru the years that Gagner is absolutely brutal in his defensive zone coverage.
    - And that Jones cheats for offense and pays little attention to the defensive side of the game.

    Now we have Ference trying to be PC but in essence is saying what a lot of us know, this is a team that plays very undisciplined hockey.

    This is Oilers hockey and it has to change by either the players committing themselves to playing hockey or the players being shipped out. You can’t keep changing coaches because the players refused to get it.

    Yes the injuries are making things worse, but until the players who are not committed to playing winning hockey either change their ways – or are changed themselves, the crap show that is Oilers hockey will continue no matter who is behind the bench.

    I feel the frustration of posters like Godot, my son asked me the another night how I could stand to watch such bad hockey and all I could say is I’m a glutton for punishment.

    But I’m sorry, the problem here is not the coach – it’s the players.

    And for all those who loved (still love Paajarvi), why do you think Hitchcock was making him an HS? Another soft player who refused to use his body consistently and go to the net.

    Frankly, it’s time for management to come out and basically send a message to Gagner, Jones, et al that this is the way it’s going to be. I’m tired of watching soft, sissy hockey and with few exceptions (the new guys), this team is plain soft and deserves what they’re getting.

  157. godot10 says:

    sliderule:
    Woodguy,

    When Ference and Smid say thatpreventing goals is just as important asscoring Ebs and Hall have to take note.

    How does Ference prevent goals in game critical situations when he is a 3rd pairing D sitting on the bench? 3rd pairing D should be seen, not heard! -).

  158. G Money says:

    HugThePost: I remember Milan Hedjuk saying after the game that Edmonton might have high-end players, but he wasn’t surprised the undermanned Avs beat them, because at least the Avs play as a team, not as individuals.

    This is the consistent narrative from both inside and outside the team, and has been for years.

    That’s what has to change, and it has to start with the hotshots.

    Hall is the only one who gets a pass because he creates so much offense that he more than makes up for any defensive lapses. Maybe that will be true of RNH by the end of the year, and Yak by the end of next year.

    Not true of anyone else.

  159. G Money says:

    rich: Yes the injuries are making things worse, but until the players who are not committed to playing winning hockey either change their ways – or are changed themselves, the crap show that is Oilers hockey will continue no matter who is behind the bench.

    The only way a team can weather injuries to their high-skill players is by committing to an airtight 200 ft game. Keep the score close and (hopefully) let a few lucky bounces and your goalie win a few for you.

    The Oilers play such a loose style, they have to get a few lucky bounces and have the goalie win it even when they score a lot.

  160. sliderule says:

    After this road trip I suspect the only topic on Lowetide will be Reinhart or Ekblad.

    Next year we can have the excitement of waiting for Mcdavid.

    Oh the joy of being an oiler fan

  161. Doomoil says:

    godot10,

    ” Krueger increased his ice time a lot, to over 20 minutes a game, but he didn’t try killing him by playing him over 25 minutes a game, and have him get himself hurt with a poor decision because of fatigue.”

    I wish i could read your journal where you hatch all these insane ideas up.

  162. hags9k says:

    sliderule,

    Sticking to the positives Sliderule! ;)

  163. Lowetide says:

    Fedun recalled! Excellent! Story 5-ish

  164. stevezie says:

    godot10,

    I admire a willingness to say unpopular things, so I am going to defend you. Sort of. Here goes:

    Watching most games (especially the Ottawa game), I think most viewers would say that the Oilers have more talented players but are not as good of a team as their opponent. That description sounds like a coaching problem. You are not dumb for saying this.

    The roster is better this year than any since the last place finishes began, so I understand why you disagree that Eakins is having the same struggles as Renney or Ralph.

    That’s the end of my defence. Your dislike of Eakins has a strange, fundamentalist bent to it that refuses to admit any counter-arguments exist. I think this hurts your case a lot more than it helps it.

    godot10: So is there any situation where Ference (a 3rd pairing D and captain) is the first guy out of the trenches except in shooting his mouth off.

    That statement is a perfect example. Your criticism is the White Stripes of arguments: it has no base. None.

    Ference is the captain. Talking to the media is, in the most literal sense possible, part of his job. He is not “shooting his mouth off”, he is fulfilling his responsibilities. Pretending his comments were in any way out of line destroys your credibility. It’s too bad, because your argument isn’t dumb.

    (That said, I don’t buy it. It’s not so much that I think you are wrong and Eakins is great, it’s that I don’t think we have enough data to really say anything at this point. I get that fans are tired of sitting on their hands and “waiting and seeing”, oh boy do I get it, but tragically that’s the rational thing to do right now. Playing armchair GM/coach is most of the fun, but there are just too many things we don’t know, and will {alas} never know to make a meaningful prescription.
    The problem is, in part, the result of too many coaches. I can’t see another change being the solution. Especially since Eakins speciality is turning around the troubled but talented. It was never designed to work overnight.)

    Logan91,

    Not really trying to argue either. I think Kruger has a nice resume and we will hear from him again. I don’t defend his firing so much as a new GM deciding to live and die by his own guy. Tough business, but that’s the way it goes.

  165. art vandelay says:

    Remember when Moreau called it a shitshow. He was vilified. Then shipped out.
    Remember when Souray called it a shitshow He was vilified, Then buried alive.
    This is a horrible organization that refuses to acknowledge its own crapitude. Like Soviet Russia airbrushing out the dissenters from official photos.
    I’m sure the new arena will fix everything, though.

  166. Doomoil says:

    Ference is also third on the oilers in D TOI, but don’t let that get in your way.

  167. mustang says:

    G Money: This is the consistent narrative from both inside and outside the team, and has been for years.

    That’s what has to change, and it has to start with the hotshots.

    Hall is the only one who gets a pass because he creates so much offense that he more than makes up for any defensive lapses.Maybe that will be true of RNH by the end of the year, and Yak by the end of next year.

    Not true of anyone else.

    Do you really think anyone should get a pass? Pavel Datysuk doesn’t get one, I’m guessing he doesn’t want one either. He plays to win the game.

  168. hunter1909 says:

    Dan Cleary was available this summer for peanuts, no?

    Former Oiler, who knows what it takes to win?

  169. rickithebear says:

    lots of nice narrative!
    look at renneys last year as coach.
    they were killing it with Dubnyk in net.
    16W-11L-3OTL from Jan on.
    Yet Renney rolled out KHB
    to the tune of 1 W – 10 L – 4 OTL
    during that time.
    He clearly had progress.
    But Mgmt had 1 St pick Agenda

    We were very successful
    running
    hall-Rnh-Eberle
    Smyth-Gagner-XXX
    Eager-XXX-Jones

    Defensively
    Smid-Petry
    Sutton/Peckham-potter were Gold.

    As i said before Renney sat down in his Detroit interview and laid that out.
    Detroit has great coaches.

    then we Bring in Krueger who’s flaw was not a match-up based system.

    We had success with
    Hall-Horc-Yak
    XXX-RNH-Eberle
    paajarvi-XXX-Hemsky
    XXX-Gagner-Jones

    Two dominate d pairs
    Smid-petry
    Fistric-Potter best Ga in the league.
    Poor Smyth a 2.00EVP/60 payer is destroyed playing with Brown and petrel.

    He turns The Edmonton Special teams into some of the best in the league.
    using the correct personal.

    Mgmt brings in the UFA star who is historicaly bad defensively.
    kruger is forced to run a Schultz’s d pair who single handedly cost us the playoffs.

    Then we bring in a coach who runs a system that caters to winning in a poorer puck moving league.

    MacT fails to retain the the best GA Dpair in the game the year before.
    Though Fistric was nuts not to take the contract MacT offered.

    He moves the center who was best able to cover for a roving RW like YAK/Hemsky.
    Thou the time had come.

    Add into destroying the ST by not playing or having the best options .

    Plus a rash of injuries that have forced AHL players to be 1st and 2nd.

    I would love to see the return of our players and a return to a more traditional defnsive system.

    Pressure systems in any sport rely on the pressureing team to be more effective on pocesson side.
    A weaker pocession team in any sport tends to force the opponents into there least effective skills.

    Our coach is running a system geared to get our players to use there weakest skills. catering to extensive odd man counter attacks.
    Jesus!

    Run a neutral zone pressure and d zpne box cover that prevents pucks directed from the box.
    Smid-Ference-XXX box cover Dman.

    Do not Dump and Chase.

    Run our best 4 FO players at Center.
    XXX-Gordon-XXX
    XXX-Arco-XXX
    XXX-Gagner-XXX
    XXX-Acton-XXX

    Have our 4 best Set-up players on each line. never two of the 4
    XXX-Gordon-RNH
    XXX-Arco-XXX
    XXX-Gagner-XXX
    XXX-Acton-Hemsky

    Try and get our best Goal scorers who are linear net drive players on each line.

    Hall-Gordon-RNH
    Perron-Arco-XXX
    Smyth-Gagner-XXX
    Jones-Acton-Hemsky

    Look at past history with who is best with Whom without being out of position

    Hall-Gordon-RNH
    Perron-Arco-Eberle
    Smyth-Gagner-Yak
    Jones-Acton-Hemsky
    Jeonsuu ???????

    Our best PK results players last couple of years.
    Gordon
    Gagner
    Smyth
    Hall
    Eberle

  170. hunter1909 says:

    Interesting that no one mentions the sight of MacT trying to engage Lowe from the gondola(excuse my ignorance, everything up high in hockey is a gondola to me) late in the Detroit game.

    MacT kept making faces, even sticking his tongue out but Kev looked like a cigar store indian.

  171. stevezie says:

    sliderule,

    F that S. We will make a doomed but meaningful late season charge, cost ourselves a top pick it will be the right thing to do because losing is bad. The all-stars we already have need to internalize this.

    This team is too good to be this bad forever. I believe it.

  172. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    Fedun recalled! Excellent! Story 5-ish

    Love that.

  173. hunter1909 says:

    art vandelay,

    I hear the new arena is going to be boss.

  174. Doomoil says:

    Ah yes, who could forget the best defensive pairing in the league of Potter-Fistric.

  175. hunter1909 says:

    Speaking of the arena: Looks like the oiler’s will end up turning into a vancouver canuck style semi contender eventually, instead of the 2 cup+ mini dynasty a few of us imagined during those endless winter nights lost watching the Cogliano+Souray shows.

    Oh well. Instead of Glen Sather 2.0 we’re treated to MacT/Lowe/Bucky/Steve Smith/Eakins/Howson etc etc, while Katz does nothing except wave at the departing uber kids(oilers had 4 last time I counted, all forwards). I’m sure Mister Sather has a super package all ready to fax as I type this.

    I’m sure this will be enough for most of you. Another finals appearance, two maybe, with Kevin Lowe+MacT hopefully getting it right next time. And oiler fans hoping never to have to play Hall, Eberle, RNH, or Yakupov in said finals, or playoffs, etc.

  176. jake70 says:

    Friedman just on PTS, says he will have some Oilers content in his next piece. Oh, he was responding to D. Cox’s question about how things are really deteriorating in Edmonton.

  177. prairieschooner says:

    Eakins job is to turn the Oilers into a winning hockey club.
    He has bitten off more than he can chew
    The players are not getting the system he wants them to play
    Defensively he needs to go Mr Miaggi with some wax on wax off practices Lets do the swarm next year.

  178. CrazyCoach says:

    I’ve said more than enough about Eakins the past while. Some of you have hit on an important part and that is one of dressing room environment. Maybe this team is having a tough time in the dressing room or maybe it isn’t. I’ll never get the chance to be in there, so here’s what i have seen/observed/been taught.

    Hockey teams are often comprised of many cliques and groups. During the glory years for the Oilers, the Finns hung together, the Habs had their smoking circle, and so on.

    I was taught an important lesson many years ago by Ken Hitchcock, who told us about “Dark side” guys. Hitchie figured on every hockey team there are positive leaders (10-15%), followers (50-70%), negative leaders (5-15%) and Darkside guys, who are very rare but can show up. In his opinion, if you ever have a darkside guy on your team you would do whatever it took to rid yourself of a darkside guy, because they will kill your team and you as a coach. He said darkside guys are a cancer especially to younger players and will pull the followers into the darkside (I think Hichie was a bit of Obi-Wan here). His example was that when he became head coach in Dallas, the first things he did was get Kevin Hatcher traded even though Hatcher was the captain. He said it was nothing personal, but at that time on that hockey team, Kevin Hatcher was a darkside guy.

    So now the speculation is there. Who is the darkside guy on this team and who do you get for him?

  179. Colonel Obvious says:

    For those of you who are not inclined to read rickybear’s latest post let me summarize.

    Concerning the past:

    The Sutton pairing with either Peckham or Potter was “gold.”

    The Fistric–Potter pairing was a dominant D pair.

    Concerning the future:

    Nugent-Hopkins should be playing RW with Gordon.
    Hemsky should be playing RW with Acton.

  180. TheOtherJohn says:

    Woodguy

    Do it want to interrupt you when you on a roll but Oilers were not30/30/29/23

    They were 30 30 29 24

  181. G Money says:

    CrazyCoach: His example was that when he became head coach in Dallas, the first things he did was get Kevin Hatcher traded even though Hatcher was the captain. He said it was nothing personal, but at that time on that hockey team, Kevin Hatcher was a darkside guy.

    That is quite an interesting comment.

    Hatcher moved to Calgary (actually the wealthy area west of Cowtown called Springbank) and bought the land next to a friend of mine. He then built an enormous place, way over the guidelines for what was acceptable in height, and in turn blocked off a healthy part of Stu’s view west to the mountains.

    When Stu complained to the District authorities (who made the rules), Hatcher brought in lawyers and sued for the right to break the rules, and the authorities, not wishing to get in a legal bun fight with a multi-millionaire, caved. Hatcher then built the most sickeningly opulently decorated house in the area – waaaaaay out of keeping with anyone else’s. Right at home if it were Beverly Hills, though. (Stu bought the property way back when, before it became overrun with oil and hockey money, mostly because he breeds horses on the side. So this mansion of Hatcher’s was next to a horse ranch.)

    Then he moved out two years later.

    The next owners hated the opulence so much, they removed much of it, including the solid brass (or gold, or copper?) eavestroughing. But the height, of course, remains.

    I thought back then – “what a giant stinking asshole that Hatcher must be.”

    Your story is fascinating.

    Think there is anyone on the “dark side” on the Oilers? If so, the only one with the right timeline would be Hemsky, no?

  182. OilBuzz says:

    Maybe it’s time for a New Age System?

  183. G Money says:

    Colonel Obvious: For those of you who are not inclined to read rickybear’s latest post let me summarize.

    Ah ricki!

    His posts are always interesting (if you an decipher them).

    But at least half the time, they are nonsensical. My comment to him is simple: you can run all the stats in the world with as much rigour as you think you can muster, but if your stats produce nonsense conclusions, your stats are nonsense. Like Fistric-Potter being dominant. Like Smid being better than Weber (a previous ricki fave).

  184. Doomoil says:

    OilBuzz,

    Don’t you dare.

  185. G Money says:

    OilBuzz:
    Maybe it’s time for a New Age System?

    Yes! There is nothing in hockey that can’t be improved with a New Age System!

    I can’t wait for the New Age Pre-Gapping Swarm!

  186. CrazyCoach says:

    G Money: Your story is fascinating.
    Think there is anyone on the “dark side” on the Oilers? If so, the only one with the right timeline would be Hemsky, no?

    I just remember Hitchie saying he had nothing personal against the guy, but he had to go, even though he was the captain and his brother played on the team.

    Three years later and an illegal Brett Hull goal, they won the cup. Not saying that was the key move, but it took guts and shook up a team.

    Of course that move was orchestrated by Bob Gainey who had the guts and brains to pull the trigger.

  187. Woodguy says:

    TheOtherJohn:
    Woodguy

    Do it want to interrupt you when you on a roll but Oilers were not30/30/29/23

    They were 30 30 29 24

    Ya, caught that later. Thanks.

    Also,

    Eakins said if someone wasn’t on the ice today, they weren’t playing tomorrow.

    J.Shultz didn’t skate again so he’s out. That means Fedun plays.

    Really looking forward to seeing him play.

    Belov made the trip, but didn’t skate so it’s probably not serious. *whew*

    Hall and Joensuu skated in non-contact jeserys, expected to play this weekend. Yay!

    Perron didn’t make the trip. Maybe the NHL should look at the tape of Greene sucker punching him.

    Lines were:

    83-93-14
    94-89-64
    28-27-26
    55-41-20

    Also,

    A few of you have said kind things about my rants today.

    I appreciate it. Thank you very much.

  188. Henry says:

    Colonel Obvious:
    For those of you who are not inclined to read rickybear’s latest post let me summarize.

    Concerning the past:

    The Sutton pairing with either Peckham or Potter was “gold.”

    The Fistric–Potter pairing was a dominant D pair.

    Concerning the future:

    Nugent-Hopkins should be playing RW with Gordon.
    Hemsky should be playing RW with Acton.

    I could see RNH playing RW for Gordon if the sport was innertube waterpolo.

  189. stevezie says:

    CrazyCoach,

    I’m curious, is there a definition of “darkside guy” or is it more of a feel thing? I’m just surprised he said it was nothing personal, because it sounds personal. If Hatcher was the captain he must have started out as a positive energy guy, right? How did he break bad?

  190. Thiru says:

    Woodguy: Ya, caught that later. Thanks.

    Also,

    Eakins said if someone wasn’t on the ice today, they weren’t playing tomorrow.

    J.Shultz didn’t skate again so he’s out. That means Fedun plays.

    Really looking forward to seeing him play.

    Belov made the trip, but didn’t skate so it’s probably not serious. *whew*

    Hall and Joensuu skated in non-contact jeserys, expected to play this weekend. Yay!

    Perron didn’t make the trip. Maybe the NHL should look at the tape of Greene sucker punching him.

    Lines were:

    83-93-14
    94-89-64
    28-27-26
    55-41-20

    Also,

    A few of you have said kind things about my rants today.

    I appreciate it. Thank you very much.

    You’ve tapped into something, WG.

    Remember when Mike Grier played an entire season with a bum shoulder? Remember how they’d have to pop it in on the bench and in the dressing room?

    Remember when Horcoff blocked a shot with his god damn face?

    Remember when Hemsky would be the first man to the puck against Reghyr and get crushed, only to get up and do it again and again and again?

    Remember when Dougie Weight took an almost career-ending knee from Bryan Marchment, and came back to kick the shit out of him himself?

    Remember the punishment Jason Smith doled out and absorbed on a single PK shift?

    I’d like to see one of the so-called “skilled” young guys on this team to show even a tenth of that desire on the ice.

    I don’t know what’s worse, cheering for cowards or cheering for losers; lucky for us, in Edmonton, we get to cheer for both.

  191. Hammers says:

    Woodguy: Everyone is beating on Eakins and they don’t have a clue how he is actually coaching.

    We don’t have a clue how Quennville actually coaches either.

    None of us are on the ice or in the dressing room, all we have to go by is TOI really.

    Quennville was *this close* to being fired at the beginning of last year if you are to believe CHI media.

    What I am saying is this:

    Every single successful team in the NHL plays their system to a T.

    The rumbling coming out of the dressing room through 4 coaches now is how is how the young guys don’t play the system and so the system breaks down.

    For everyone to be pointing at the coach and screaming for blood, stop and look at what hasn’t changed over the last 4 coaches.

    Its become crystal clear that the problem isn’t coaching.

    Actually if your correct about players not playing the system and it got all the coaches fired then the problem IS the coaching . All of them had an option right out of the gate . Play my way or sit . Good coaches have sat some of the best players even here in good old Edmonton .

  192. hunter1909 says:

    G Money: Think there is anyone on the “dark side” on the Oilers? If so, the only one with the right timeline would be Hemsky, no?

    I thought I had a lot of sarcastic remarks prepared, mocking the concept etc until reading Hemsky’s name.

  193. Pablo Aimar says:

    Thiru: You’ve tapped into something, WG.

    Remember when Mike Grier played an entire season with a bum shoulder? Remember how they’d have to pop it in on the bench and in the dressing room?

    Remember when Horcoff blocked a shot with his god damn face?

    Remember when Hemsky would be the first man to the puck against Reghyr and get crushed, only to get up and do it again and again and again?

    Remember when Dougie Weight took an almost career-ending knee from Bryan Marchment, and came back to kick the shit out of him himself?

    Remember the punishment Jason Smith doled out and absorbed on a single PK shift?

    I’d like to see one of the so-called “skilled” young guys on this team to show even a tenth of that desire on the ice.

    I don’t know what’s worse, cheering for cowards or cheering for losers; lucky for us, in Edmonton, we get to cheer for both.

    Best post ever. The contrast between what those players showed and what we are seeing now is immense. What we have now is beyond pathetic.

  194. Andy P says:

    hags9k:
    All this talk about spoiled kids, and lack of effort…

    Hindsight is 20/20 but we should have given the C to Hall or Ebs.Let them take ownership of the room.Why not?Hall has had the makings of the next captain since draft day. He’s the face of the team.He’s the best player.When we were making noise last year with 5 straight wins and then fought for our lives in California, he had the team in his backpack.He’s paid the most, for the longest.What’s the holdup?

    Ference?!?! Because Oilers.

    No, because the others haven’t grown up yet.

  195. Bruce McCurdy says:

    godot10: That is only evidence of bad coaching, not a bad hockey player.

    I don’t recall saying that Yakupov is a bad hockey player, nor that Eakins is a bad coach for that matter. I was just offering observations, not conclusions, though you’re certainly welcome to draw your own.

  196. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Fantastic post earlier by Woodguy, some of the best stuff I’ve read here or anywhere of late.

    Only mild disagreement is on more goals scored on second shot than the first. My goals project suggests otherwise (and for both Oilers and opponents). That said, while second shot scoring might be more marginal, I have little doubt that sometimes it might represent the margin between victory and defeat.

    Something to keep in mind to re-check once I have a sufficient sample size.

  197. Woodguy says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    Fantastic post earlier by Woodguy, some of the best stuff I’ve read here or anywhere of late.

    Only mild disagreement is on more goals scored on second shot than the first. My goals project suggests otherwise (and for both Oilers and opponents). That said, while second shot scoring might be more marginal, I have little doubt that sometimes it might represent the margin between victory and defeat.

    Something to keep in mind to re-check once I have a sufficient sample size.

    Thanks Bruce.

    Re: goals on rebounds.

    Maybe not on sheer volume, but Mike posted this yesterday:

    Michael Parkatti ‏@mparkatti 3 Nov

    Here’s a fun stat: rebounds within 3 seconds account for 12% of all shots on goal, but over 38% of all goals.

  198. CrazyCoach says:

    stevezie: I’m curious, is there a definition of “darkside guy” or is it more of a feel thing? I’m just surprised he said it was nothing personal, because it sounds personal. If Hatcher was the captain he must have started out as a positive energy guy, right? How did he break bad?

    Hi Stevzie,

    Sorry for the late response. I love being on here, but alas life beckons.

    It is very hard to define what a darkside guy is, and yes sometimes they can be a captain or assistant captain. All I know is that in my experience, they can be very influential and have a very subjective view of themselves. In my times, this view is often caused by a parent with rose-coloured glasses, an agent, or even a spouse. And yes, they do break bad at some point and that is the tough part to figure out. Maybe it was a benching, a play where you seen things (and the rest of the team for that matter) differently than they did (I think of one player who didn’t understand how a hit from behind constituted me benching him for the rest of a tourney). Once the break has been made, the darkside player will look out for themself and their group only and the team becomes a very polarized version of the world; you’re either with us or you are against us and we will do anything, including give you a suicide pass, to make our point.

    And, much like any person with what I would call a negative deviance, they will do their best to not be discovered, but eventually they will slip up and be dealt with severely (like getting cut with 2 games remaining in the provincials), or they will cost you your position.

    I’m rambling here a bit and I hope I’m making sense, but that is what I call a darkside guy.

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