LOOKS GOOD FROM HERE!

Well, that didn’t go as planned, did it? The agent didn’t say a word, the coach got it right and the GM was on target in his avail–the player? Well, he’s 20.

Joanne Ireland has the EJ article, the money quote is here:

  • Yakupov: “I don’t see any trust (in) me now because I play lower and lower minutes. I just want to try to help my team win every game … but I don’t have much chance to do that. It’s pretty hard to watch the game from the bench when my teammates are fighting for the puck, fighting for points. I know I can do the same thing.”

There are other really telling quotes in there, it’s a worthwhile read. My take is this: he’s 20, he’s frustrated and he’s more alone than he should be at this point. I think the Oilers have handled this fairly well (as well as you can handle dynamite) and that the agent will handle his player better (Larionov should not have spoken yesterday, and he should not have allowed Yakupov to speak to the media without notes and prep today). Nail: less is more, less is more, less is more, less is more.

I’m hopeful he can overcome this, but less hopeful than this morning. When the doorbell rings and you open it to 11 television cameras:

Shut the door.

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174 Responses to "LOOKS GOOD FROM HERE!"

  1. striatic says:

    This doesn’t look like it will end well.

    Did Yak say anywhere that maybe they don’t trust him for a reason?

  2. stevezie says:

    ““There are very few players that are going to be like Sidney Crosby and get to the [NHL] and be a star immediately when they get to the [league], and this is just part of that development. Anybody with any common sense would tell you the same thing, so let’s all relax.”

    That’s MacT above, and it’s not just a nice quote, it’s nice advice. I’m taking it.

  3. stevezie says:

    striatic,

    This is Larianov’s job. If he’s as smart as people say he is than he will know that his client is worth more as a player coaches like. Basically, as the kind of player he himself perfected. Larianov telling Yak should help the cause, and I see no reason why Larianov and management would want to be pull the boy in different directions.

  4. Kitchener says:

    The recent kids (Gagner, Cogs, Hall, Eberle, RNH…) have such poise they make us forget that they are just kids.

    Yak’s interview shows that he was drafted for hockey skills, not polished interview skills or personal maturity.

    Not sure how this will all turn out, but neither Yak nor Larionov have had a good week.

  5. Pablo Aimar says:

    Kitchener,

    What a stupid comment. English is not his first fucking language and he is being held to a different standard than anyone else on the team. And this org has not had a good week or a good last 8 years.

  6. bookje says:

    I don’t see any problems with Yak’s quote above – nothing. Pretty normal for a kid in his situation. He got 30 seconds after he scored the goal the other night. That is what this is all about. Everyone can move on from this – no harm, no foul or rather, no harm, no fowl for the internet spellers out there.

  7. KSC10032 says:

    “When you’re in a hole,…… quit digging!”

    Someone much smarter than I originally said this. It certainly applies here, to all of the cast members in this little drama.

    To me, it underlines the essential angst of this seasons to date. So much of the Oilers’ “plan” for this season was predicated on their core young players (93, 4, 14, 19, 64), and to a lesser extent, their secondary still “kinda” young players (40, 5, 89, 2) taking the next step in their anticipated development as NHL players.

    Except for Petry, none of them has done so. Several have — if anything — taken backward steps. There are any numbers of excuses/reasons/explanations/rationalizations available; but its still happened.

    I understand the “improvement is not linear” analysis, particularly for players in their 1st or 2nd season (Yakupov, Schulz), but for every core player to — at best — tread water developmentally was not even considered by either Oiler management, or by most fans.

    So when this collective face-plant began to unfold, there was no Plan B.

  8. Lowetide says:

    You know guys, I’ve had a long day and already have two kids. I know we’re all frustrated and sometimes words come hard, but can we please use common sense and common courtesy. If not, I invite you to enjoy a giant cup of shut the fuck up.

  9. striatic says:

    stevezie,

    The thing I’m worried about right now is the Olympics.

    Specifically I’m worried that long term Larionov should be helping Yakupov develop a good reputation to help his value, but that short term he wants to get the kid into the Russian Olympics to put a line in his resume and increase Yak’s value that way.

    Going to the media and being loud about ice time provides a little cover for the Russians to take Yakupov to the Olympics as a favour to Larionov despite Yakupov’s slow season.

  10. Andy P says:

    Let me ask this: As of right now, if you had to build a team around a player, would you bet your team’s future on Yak over any of Hall, Nuge or even Eberle?

  11. Lowetide says:

    bookje:
    I don’t see any problems with Yak’s quote above – nothing.Pretty normal for a kid in his situation.He got 30 seconds after he scored the goal the other night.That is what this is all about.Everyone can move on from this – no harm, no foul or rather no harm, no fowl for the internet spellers out there.

    When you give an actuality, any real verbal, it’s a fresh story. It’s easy to frame an issue and create a story around the Oilers right now. doesn’t take anything at all, of course the Oilers are a dream right now for people looking for a story.

  12. 106 and 106 says:

    Lowetide,

    Here Here. Come on boys – constructive chat, or take a couple days off…

  13. bookje says:

    Lowetide: When you give an actuality, any real verbal, it’s a fresh story. It’s easy to frame an issue and create a story around the Oilers right now. doesn’t take anything at all, of course the Oilers are a dream right now for people looking for a story.

    As I said earlier, I have never seen such a grand diversity of narratives around the team, usually there are two or three key ones, but there are dozens of threads right now, many fully contradictory (i.e. player x is a spoiled brat/team leader). It’s crazytime in Oilerville. Maybe this is what happens just before everything turns good (or falls apart).

  14. bookje says:

    Lowetide:
    I invite you to enjoy a giant cup of shut the fuck up.

    Could I get that as a double shot, non-fat with sweetener please. I have been eating a lot of rich rhetoric here lately.

  15. RMGS says:

    Kitchener:
    The recent kids (Gagner, Cogs, Hall, Eberle, RNH…) have such poise they make us forget that they are just kids.

    Yak’s interview shows that he was drafted for hockey skills, not polished interview skills or personal maturity.

    Not sure how this will all turn out, but neither Yak nor Larionov have had a good week.

    I think all the good Canadian kids you mentioned would sound a little unpolished and immature if they had to conduct an interview in Russian, especially under the circumstances.

    At this point, I’m erring on the side of the Oilers running a bit of a gong show. Without more information, I can’t understand how the team let the situation get to this point. Yak’s a #1 pick, a prized asset. Today’s circus demonstrates gross negligence on the Oilers’ part, imo.

  16. Lowetide says:

    bookje: As I said earlier, I have never seen such a grand diversity of narratives around the team, usually there are two or three key ones, but there are dozens of threads right now, many fully contradictory (i.e. player x is a spoiled brat/team leader).It’s crazytime in Oilerville.Maybe this is what happens just before everything turns good (or falls apart).

    Darkness with Harkness.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1084495/1/index.htm

    If you want to know how bad it could be, read that puppy.

  17. Mr DeBakey says:

    stevezie: Anybody with any common sense would tell you the same thing, so let’s all relax

    I heard a couple of minutes of the Nooner on Not-The-Team1260 today.

    RELAX!??? Are You CRAZEEE???
    Remember Jason Arnot? Joffrey Lupul?
    Its happening again.
    AGAIN!

  18. Numenius says:

    One thing that concerned me about Eakins’ interview was that he didn’t think Yak and him had to talk about the trust issue. That doesn’t make a lot of sense. Why wouldn’t you try to talk about what your player is holding against you?

    I seem to remember Eakins’ saying that he’s good at talking with players and figuring out what motivates them.

    This suggests that he’s not.

    I’m an Eakins supporter (though I also really liked Krueger) and for now at least will continue to trust that he knows what he’s doing. It sure would help to have a Krueger around, though, to help things along in the meantime.

  19. Lowetide says:

    Numenius:
    One thing that concerned me about Eakins’ interview was that he didn’t think Yak and him had to talk about the trust issue. That doesn’t make a lot of sense. Why wouldn’t you try to talk about what your player is holding against you?

    I seem to remember Eakins’ saying that he’s good at talking with players and figuring out what motivates them.

    This suggests that he’s not.

    I’m an Eakins supporter (though I also really liked Krueger) and for now at least will continue to trust that he knows what he’s doing. It sure would help to have a Krueger around, though, to help things along.

    I think we’re safe in saying there’s a bit of arrogance in Eakins, and that a different personality (say Ralph) would handle it differently. I’m not prepared to say that’s a bad thing, though. Eakins said he was treating these players like men, and that means my door is open.

    Yakupov is a man. He needs to address the coach when he feels the need. No problems imo.

  20. RMGS says:

    Lowetide: Darkness with Harkness.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1084495/1/index.htm

    If you want to know how bad it could be, read that puppy.

    So, Coach Eakins is the next Oilers GM? :)

  21. regwald says:

    RMGS: So, Coach Eakins is the next Oilers GM?

    I thought they already promoted MacT from bench to GM, so LT needs to teach his disciples the next lesson. What happened next LT ?

    Tell us please.

  22. stevezie says:

    Mr DeBakey,

    Ah but see in this case management is relaxing. If they would have relaxed on Lupul that would have gone differently- though, in fairness, it took Lupul many years and many teams to become an all-star.

  23. VanOil says:

    The 8 minutes and 32 seconds that Nail had to go through in the full Raw Video of his press scrum today was the most painful thing I have seen from the Oilers this season. Eakins Raw interview is hardly any better.

    If there is an Adult in the Oilers any where organization they need to stand up now and sort this out quietly and away from the cameras. Maybe this is why we picked up Bryzgalov, to bring some sanity to the room.

    In other news Fedun does not get a game in his home town. I am confident this will change before the end of the season but it seems mean spirited right now.

  24. pboy says:

    It’s time for Katz or Lowe to hold a press conference, admit that things have worked out as expected this season but reaffirm their confidence in their GM, their Head Coach and their players. The kind of press conference where all of the questions have been vetted and approved beforehand and fit in with the narrative they want to run with. I think the intelligent fans will see through the bullshit but let’s be totally honest, most people are sheep and it will help break the fever that has surrounded this organization this season. TSN and Sportsnet will cover it and it will draw some of the attention away from the 4 wins and the unhappy Russian kid.

    I don’t really expect this to happen, it would make too much sense.

  25. Numenius says:

    Lowetide:

    Yakupov is a man. He needs to address the coach when he feels the need. No problems imo.

    I agree to an extent. But Yakupov is also a sensitive, quiet young “man” from a foreign country with extra learning to do to fit into what it means to be a man here. You can’t just treat him like that man and expect him to become him without the right kind of encouragement.

    I got the sense he thinks that if he went to Eakins to say what he really thinks, Eakins would simply tell him why he’s wrong. (a bit like my own Dad) I don’t think Eakins would do that, but it’s also up to Eakins to change that perception, just as it’s up to Yak to get past it.

  26. Kitchener says:

    I like Yakupov and hope he scores 500 as an Oiler. He’s a different kind of player from the “polished Canadian kids” in a very good way.

    I’m not putting him down by saying he gave a bad interview. I’m saying he’s 20, whereas the polished Canadians often interview so well that they sound 40.

    Hopefully Yak scores 5 in Dallas, Horc gives a long interview, or Bryz does something unexpected so we can all change the channel.

  27. Young Oil says:

    I know this is a lesser issue, but losing Yakupov could also ultimately lead to losing Yakimov, who is playing incredibly well in the KHL right now. Not showing bias against Russians, but it seemed Yakimov was very much looking forward to playing with Yakupov.

  28. Lowetide says:

    Numenius: I agree to an extent. But Yakupov is also a sensitive, quiet young “man” from a foreign country with extra learning to do to fit into what it means to be a man here. You can’t just treat him like that man and expect him to become him without the right kind of encouragement.

    I got the sense he thinks that if he went to Eakins to say what he really thinks, Eakins would simply tell him why he’s wrong. (a bit like my own Dad) I don’t think Eakins would do that, but it’s also up to Eakins to change that perception, just as it’s up to Yak to get past it.

    I think you have to trust Eakins to do the right thing. This is a guy who may not get another NHL job for years if this goes sideways–he’s got more at stake than anyone imo.

  29. stevezie says:

    striatic,

    I hadn’t considered the Olympics. Considering Kravchuk’s comments on Yak I would think if that’s what Larianov wanted he would would be even more inclined to work with, rather than against Eakins, but there is room for concern.

    http://nhl.si.com/2013/10/16/russian-olympic-scout-edmonton-oilers-nail-yakupov-has-no-future/
    For anyone who hadn’t heard team Russia’s scout (and former Oiler!) trash Yak’s Olympic prospects due to a lack of a team game/defence.

  30. hunter1909 says:

    Epic 100% Fail by Oiler’s management.

    Allow a 20 year old confused kid to face the press alone? Yeah…erm…right.

  31. Halfwise says:

    Hey, everyone seems kind of philosophical today. I’m reading sanity, expressed in measured tones.

    LT, the beatings have continued AND morale has improved.

    Now if they can just win some frickin games…

  32. Lowetide says:

    hunter1909:
    Epic 100% Fail by Oiler’s management.

    Allow a 20 year old confused kid to face the press alone? Yeah…erm…right.

    I’d say that’s on the agent. Larionov is failing this kid badly.

  33. stevezie says:

    Remember Eakins vs. Kadri? People despised Eakins’ process then too, but the results were there.

    Worth noting that former whipping nboy Kadri went on to say “words can’t describe what he’s meant to me… When you have a coach like him, you just want to win so badly for him.”

  34. CurtisS says:

    Why in the hell did the Oilers let the kid speak today after his agent started all this?

    2 assumptions here

    1st assumption is the Oilers threw the kid out to the wolves to save face. If this is the case, the organization is run way more poorly than I thought, and its not going to end good.

    2nd assumption is the Oilers advised Yak not to talk today but he chose to. Meaning that since his agent made it known to the media he might as well also. If this is the case, its not going to end good.

  35. theres oil in virginia says:

    I just had another look at the pic of Gagner after the jaw-break. It was a not-so-nice reminder. I’m laying off the (mostly, but not all, playful) grief I give Gagner, for quite some time. Thanks to Brian Sutherby for the reminder.

  36. Logan91 says:

    There’s a piece about Yak on the NHL site.

    People are ripping him apart there. I’m a little disappointed the organization is handling it like this.

  37. hunter1909 says:

    Lowetide: I’d say that’s on the agent. Larionov is failing this kid badly.

    Agent or not, Yakupov is a 1st overall pick who deserves to be treated correctly. Instead he appears to be getting barracked. This is the responsibility of the franchise, the team, to look after it’s assets. Of course Lowe’s in charge, and every fool knows he’s virtually insane.

    Eakin’s for his part seems brittle to me, even priggish. Nothing like intelligent. It takes more than good hair and a stare to impress this 3rd rate fan.

    Of course, many around this blog believe MacT is highly intelligent, so I might as well be barking at the moon.

  38. theres oil in virginia says:

    Logan91:
    There’s a piece about Yak on the NHL site.

    People are ripping him apart there. I’m a little disappointed the organization is handling it like this.

    Those national media outlets (NHL.com NFL.com ESPN.com TSN.com, etc) have the worst comments section…just atrocious. I would hesitate to draw conclusions about how the team is handling this based on those comments.

  39. PunjabiOil says:

    Perpetual drama surrounding this organization.

    It’s quite sad, actually.

  40. bookje says:

    Lowetide: I think you have to trust Eakins to do the right thing. This is a guy who may not get another NHL job for years if this goes sideways–he’s got more at stake than anyone imo.

    Well, so did Custer, but apparently that didn’t motivate him enough.

  41. hunter1909 says:

    PunjabiOil: Perpetual drama surrounding this organization.

    Current management/ownership = mosquito+tree sap 30,000,000 years ago.

  42. PunkInDrublic says:

    Strangely enough, I see this being a rallying point for this team. The team is so beaten down they are going to have to come together as a group to fight their way out. To me, this is a kid saying he’s pissed right off and he’s going to do everything in his power to win.

    Yes the situation was handled very poorly but honestly I don’t think Yak thought his agent would go to the media. Eiher way, hopefully Eakins can frame this situation to the team as “Are you all pissed off enough yet to do anything it takes to win?”. Hopefully the answer from the players is a resounding YES!

    Wishful thinking on my part, I know, but this team has two choices, and given the competitive fire in some of them, I think (hope) they can rise to the occasion.

  43. godot10 says:

    I disagree most strongly that Larionov did anything wrong. He is doing MacT a favor.

    Larionov is just giving MacT a wakeup alarm that MacT’s team and organization is a gong show, and that he better fix it, like starting right now, because he’s just started the countdown clock.

    If there is one thing Larionov knows about, it is toxic organizations and institutions. He’s faced off against much nastier and meaner folks than Kevin Lowe in life. He looks to be on a mission to help rehabilitate Russian hockey (and in the NHL, in particular), and he is not going to let a bunch of clowns in Edmonton derail or sidetrack him.

    He just showed MacT the meaning of “bold”.

  44. anonymous says:

    This is all on Mact. Krueger at least had all the kids rolling.
    Now Mact is handcuffed, if they stumbled out of the gate with Kreuger
    he could of axed him and maybe saved the season.

  45. markasread1199 says:

    Of course the MSM is framing this as “I want more minutes, trade me!” and “of course the Russian that can’t play defence wants out”. Living in Leaf nation all the MSM out here are just picking up on that. Goodness that Damien Cox is just … just…not nice.

    Rishaug starts his radio segment on TSN Drive with “I don’t have the actual quotes but…”. I mean really? I think he’s still pissed over his thing with Eakins. Then Terry Jones with his – I know what he said but I heard trade me.

    Larionov didn’t do anyone any favours. He should have kept his mouth shut until he had a chance to talk to Yakupov and the Oilers. He’s 20, the team stinks, the league is laughing at them (junior team), the media is all over them, the fans are pissed off, and it’s starting to get really cold in Edmonton.

    Hopefully this blows over soon.

    Maybe Larionov pulls a Jerry Maguire and hangs with Yakupov the rest of the season. “SHOW ME THE MONEY!”…. “Help me help you…”

    And Bryzgalov isn’t even in Edmonton yet.

  46. Maverick says:

    Very sad day all around in Edmonton.
    The team stinks again, Management is again in its own way, the foreign kid we fell in love with for his passion, youth, and exuberance we all invited him into our homes made him part of us and now the poor kid stands alone. The clip in Oil Change last year when Yakupov hits the ice at Rexall for the first time is a classic moment in Oiler lore, this should be not be forgotten. He is a good kid.

    That media circus was terrible, I feel for Nail, there is more to this than what we have seen and heard. I just don’t understand the culture of this team? Who stands with Yakupov? Krueger was a positive person something Nail needs, Khabby for all his troubles was a good “uncle” to Yakupov last year. Who stands with Yakupov now?

  47. Logan91 says:

    theres oil in virginia: Those national media outlets (NHL.com NFL.com ESPN.com TSN.com, etc) have the worst comments section…just atrocious.I would hesitate to draw conclusions about how the team is handling this based on those comments.

    I would never draw conclusions from those sites. Just sad to see the things people have to say about him, especially because he is so passionate about hockey and you can tell he actually wants to help the team win.

  48. godot10 says:

    Larionov is seeing Lowe and his media cronies s#%#^ all over Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, Eberle, Gagner, and JSchultz for not being able to play any defense, blaming them for the problems with the Oilers.

    Well, Igor ain’t having any of that. Lowe and his buffoons are not going to be able to frame the narrative.

  49. anonymous says:

    Maverick,

    This is the problem. Eakins spoke of accounability then walked into the dressing room and picked one player to enforce this on. That player being the religious, hard working, sober foreign player. In a boys club of any kind these types have the hardest time fitting in. Not to mention the oilers may currently have the least diverse dressing room Ina sports. Belov currently the only other non North American?

  50. blackadder says:

    A good manager steps in at this point – uses some good mediation to get the coach and player working together. The relationship isn’t working. You either fix it, or end up with a player who never reaches his potential (think Fiilatov) or reaches their potential somewhere else (think Pronger traded by Hartford). Or, it’s the difference between becoming Detroit (perpetual contender) or Columbus/Florida (perpetual rebuilders).

  51. Alsker says:

    Sad and unprofessional by both sides. Might as well meet at the monkey bars after class and get it on. Oh well I’m sure it will make a great “Oil Change” episode.

    Shakes head woefully!!

  52. dangilitis says:

    I am sorry, MacT and Lowe and whoever else you want to lump in there can take all the necessary criticism for other more deserved moves.

    I don’t see how you can blame this on them.

    Yak spoke his mind. He wants to do that in a public forum in a city where people eat, breathe, sleep hockey, well, I don’t think you need to be an adult to understand the consequences.

    i work with children all day long, and many of the more mature ones would tell you the same.

  53. fuzzy muppet says:

    Lowetide,

    IMO this is a BAD thing. Eakins is the one whose job in on the line. He knows he has to win, Yak doesn’t help him win so he gets less than preferential treatment. I say YAK is more important to this franchise than Eakins by a long shot.

    Lets be honest: this season is OVER. Done, no playoffs, no hope. They should be running Yak out as much as possible at this point. I really am starting to feel that the players moved away from Edmonton are the winners.

    This franchise is diseased

  54. blackadder says:

    Maverick,

    You’re right on the money. They need to be standing with Yakupov. His comments about not being trusted sounds more like someone being isolated.

  55. jake70 says:

    Alsker:
    Sad andunprofessional by both sides.Might as well meet at the monkey bars after class and get it on. Oh well I’m sure it will make a great “Oil Change” episode.

    Shakes head woefully!!

    Monkey bars eh, we had the abandoned Zellers parking lot across street for “diplomacy”….lol (not that I ever participated).

  56. Melman says:

    An interesting tell will be what Eakins does with Gagner if his play stays at the same level tomorrow against Dallas. For his accountability words to hold value in the room he has to apply it to everyone – the old adage applies to all successful teams: the players who get ice time should be the ones that are playing the best, which may not be your best players.

  57. Bails14 says:

    Have we already discussed the ‘Vern Fiddler asking for trade/being shopped by Dallas’ from this crazy weekend?

  58. godot10 says:

    Larionov went to MacT on the quiet, and the response from the Oilers was the dog-n-pony show on ice conversation with Eakins chatting with Yak in Tampa. Smiles for the media, everything is fine coverup.

    MacT certainly didn’t understand or get the message. Smiles for the camera were not going to be enough. Sorry Six Rings. Not good enough.

    So Igor decided to deliver it with a little more pizzazz, at the Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremony, with TSN headed to Edmonton for national games on Wednesday and Friday, and the first Battle of Alberta on CBC Saturday night. Squirm Six Rings, squirm. It was easy to get rid of Ralph (MacT was interviewing for coaches when Renney was still coach according to Jon Cooper’s interview with Matheson).

    Igor, “bold” and “impatient”. It won’t be so easy to shut Igor up. You can’t fire him. You aren’t going to ruin the career of one of his players. You aren’t going to be able to get the media to label him a loser like they are labelling Hall and Eberle and Nugent-Hopkins.

  59. Woodguy says:

    This won’t end well.

    Larionov going to the media means he really has no clue as to the quality of his client’s play.

    Yak’s been trending up, but was pretty bad for most of the year.

    That’s ok, he’s 20, there are peaks and valleys.

    To have it turn into this is just wrong.

    Can’t see this ending well at all.

  60. Woodguy says:

    godot10,

    What color is the sky in your world?

  61. thepeetso says:

    Well its all good and f’ed now.

    Are there really any other options other than trading him?

  62. Nuckout says:

    At the end of the day, is it not the hockey players who determine how well they play?

    The fact that Yak is still greener than green defensively, and some nights looks like a broken wind up toy on crack, isn’t on MacT or Eakins, this is on Nail to realize he’s in the middle of development.

    The Professor should know this by now, play better, get more minutes.

    Yakupov’s comments were about 98% on par with what he needed to say, and MacTeakins isn’t wavering on their stance. They can’t, otherwide Igor will do his best to sway Yak to being open to a trade, ie: wanting out.

    The best advice MacT can give Yak: Stay the course, fire your agent.

  63. leadfarmer says:

    This needs to be treated as another development year with learning, not wins being the primary objective. Get a coach that know how to coach. Start implementing his system now. Worry about teaching defense this year, and make some improvements to the team in the offseason.

  64. oilabroad says:

    All the management bashers need to calm down and relax a bit… Yak was asked how he was playing defensively and he said ‘good’. Now I know all the stats guys are going to say plus/minus is not an accurate indicator of a players yada yada yada, however he is dead last in the league. How do you square that with a player who doesnt see any issue with all the pucks that end up in the back of his net? Usually as a direct result of him coughing up the puck or not covering his man.

    Sorry, but this prima donnas act is starting to get old already; his comments today are right up there with the ‘I dont want to skate hard and check all the time’ comments from a month ago. The more this guy talks the less he is worth, if I were mact I would be on the blower immediately, Yak is simply not a team first guy and this is likely the reason he is not fitting into the room

  65. bookje says:

    Woodguy:
    Can’t see this ending well at all.

    Yeah, like that time Hemsky bitched about being turned into a checker like 7 years ago. What team was that with again?

    This stuff happens.

    I am hoping for the best!

  66. fifthcartel says:

    It’s okay, guys! Only 3 more points from Buffalo and we’re home sweet home!

  67. Southern Oil says:

    What we all need – this team included – is a blow out win with Yak getting a hat trick. Don’t see it happening but stranger things have happened. Things need to start clicking fast for the club. Then all of this with Yak will blow over. If the losing continues, with no progress in sight – we could be in trouble.

  68. gvblackhawk says:

    Nuckout:

    The best advice MacT can give Yak: Stay the course, fire your agent.

    The best advice for Yak: Do not take advice from Oilers management — look at their track record.

  69. danny says:

    “Lightning forward Steven Stamkos, who was the first pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, has struggled in his debut season, posting three goals and eight assists in 27 games, with a minus-11 rating. Stamkos’s ice time was one of the issues that was brought up when Melrose was fired on November 15.”

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=259045

  70. kooler says:

    can’t believe yak was allowed to vent publicly like that. bad management on both oilers and agents part…..this should of been handled in house.

    yaks play is very one dimensional and will take a break through to get him to play the whole ice, that being said oil organization need to give him all the chances he need to succeed. for the sake of future russian prospects in the system, the oil need to be accommodating otherwise watch our prospects walkaway.

    the kid is frustrated, sounds like he needs a hug, oiler need to implement a big buddy ….. Larinov is managing from a distance and assuring the kid he’s got his back but this was handled all wrong.

    kids does have a trigger but not sure how long it will take to get a well rounded game out of him, it might not be worth the wait but the future of our russian prospects (belov included) will be determined by how they club handles this situation.

    wish them the best of luck….

  71. Rebilled says:

    Seems like Ilya is going to be in the North Pole one year max.

    http://video.oilers.nhl.com/videocenter/console?catid=4&id=482702

    Glad he wants to play, hope he can get us something at the trade deadline.

  72. art vandelay says:

    The new arena will fix all these problems.

  73. godot10 says:

    So do we think Six Rings will show up and sit in a box upstairs for all three games with the potential for national cameras/eyes on TSN and CBC camera’s focused on him?

    MacT will probably have to do on air bits with both TSN and CBC, doing his best “move along, nothing to see here” routine, with Larionov pointing his finger at the SIx Rings’ skybox, saying, “those are the clowns who are really the problem.”

    We won’t have had this much fun since the MacT-intro-as-GM-Lowe-2nd-class-fans-Six-Rings press conference.

  74. gvblackhawk says:

    thepeetso:
    Well its all good and f’ed now.

    Are there really any other options other than trading him?

    Keep him. Move one or more of Eberle, Gagner, and Hemsky at the trade deadline. Give Yakupov clear top 6 RW minutes on a sheltered line and lots of PP time. Watch him flourish.

  75. DeadmanWaking says:

    godot10: Well, Igor ain’t having any of that. Lowe and his buffoons are not going to be able to frame the narrative.

    There’s this thing called game tape. Bruce, Willis or Staples comments on what goes well and what goes badly after every game played. The narrative that emerges from the game tape is that our hot shots are badly positioned in the defensive zone time and again.

    Some of this could be our system. Some of this certainly isn’t. RNH is consistently better at being usefully engaged in the defensive zone than our other attacking players. He senses how the play is developing on both sides of the puck, even if he doesn’t always have the physical tools to succeed at the task.

    I’m basically just echoing Staples echoing his little group, but I believe in this narrative because these guys watch the tape and it’s consistent with how these players are viewed around the league.

    If you a build a four-banger around $6 million attacking specialists, it comes at a price on the back end. It can work, but only if the attacking forwards do more rather than less to help out on defense. In addition to taking the body, they can be elite puck magnets to help clear the zone. What they get in return is spreading out the other team’s top defenders, which makes their job in the offensive zone a little less difficult: you’re not facing mean and skilled on every shift.

    I think if you broke it down, Yak is getting his fair share of minutes in the game situations where he’s best suited to play, but their are fewer such situations for Yak than Hall, Hemsky, et al. He doesn’t have Hall’s body. He doesn’t have Hemmer’s experience. He doesn’t have Eberle’s wiles. He could bump Gagner on recent evidence, but he’s playing the wrong position. He doesn’t even have Omark’s muck. PK minutes have been up for grabs, but he’s not suited for those minutes, either. If we could manage to go on the PP for sixty minutes, Yak would be seeing 25 minutes a game.

    That was my only complaint about Eakins’ presser. “Earning your minutes” is a bit nebulous in terms of what you have to do to get there. Earning your situations sounds more achievable and less subjective.

    I’m not terribly enamored of controlled narratives. When everyone is paddling in the same direction there’s a great sense of progress until you discover you’ve been paddling around in the same old circles, at twice the speed.

    Teams performing well tend to have controlled narratives where everyone is paddling in the same direction to a sensible destination. It is causal in that direction.

    For a team that hasn’t gelled–a team in the fiery crucible of forging their identity–I don’t think a controlled narrative has all that much to do with whether you finally emerge from the weeds. Loud disagreement is often a key ingredient in breaking the log jam.

    How much does it really accomplish to be good at pretending you’re further along in this process than you really are? How much does excellence at hiding your dysfunction simply bleed into dithering?

    I don’t know the answer to this question for team sports, but from what I’ve sampled of the marriage counseling literature, the kingdom of the damned is a long-simmering “nothing to see here”.

    Shifting logs is noisy work. Maybe the neighbors hear you, maybe they don’t.

  76. elpolodiablo says:

    Lowetide,
    Bottom line this player was playing better under Krueger. This coach has a lot of confidence but no wins, I’m amazed that he can stand there that arrogant in front of the media with the on ice results that we are seeing. The fact that he still has a job leaves me incredulous. This coach will be fired within then next 15 games, MacT will take over. Book it

  77. Pouzar says:

    gvblackhawk: Keep him.Move one or more of Eberle, Gagner, and Hemsky at the trade deadline.Give Yakupov clear top 6 RW minutes on a sheltered line and lots of PP time.Watch him flourish.

    When did my Happy Place turn into HFOil???? JEZZUZ!!!!

  78. rickithebear says:

    Accontabilty?

    4-13-2

    Suuuuuuure!

  79. thepeetso says:

    gvblackhawk: Keep him.Move one or more of Eberle, Gagner, and Hemsky at the trade deadline.Give Yakupov clear top 6 RW minutes on a sheltered line and lots of PP time.Watch him flourish.

    And then what sort of message does that send. Go to your agent, whine about ice-time in the media and we’ll accomodate you.

    I’m just not sure there is anything you can do other than trade yak. And with his agent going to the media, I think that’s the end game here. Igor Larionov isn’t an idiot.

  80. kooler says:

    Did someone say smac and gadzic were going to be on the 4th line along with acton?

    Did someone see the Omark goal, are we keeping him there because we can’t afford for OKC to have no talent or because smac and gadzic can drag pucks between their feet and can also drop the gloves.

    Datsyuk, Zetterberg and a big tough power forward with hands. Hate Bertuzzi for the S Moore incident but he’s an example of the perfect 3rd…..seems like a great combination to replicate over and over.

  81. Romulus Apotheosis says:
  82. bookje says:

    danny:
    “Lightning forward Steven Stamkos, who was the first pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, has struggled in his debut season, posting three goals and eight assists in 27 games, with a minus-11 rating.Stamkos’s ice time was one of the issues that was brought up when Melrose was fired on November 15.”

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=259045

    This either means that Eakins is getting fired on Friday OR that we can presume that sometimes young players struggle and see their minutes cut.

  83. oliveoilers says:

    oilabroad:
    All the management bashers need to calm down and relax a bit… Yak was asked how he was playing defensively and he said ‘good’. Now I know all the stats guys are going to say plus/minus is not an accurate indicator of a players yada yada yada, however he is dead last in the league. How do you square that with a player who doesnt see any issue with all the pucks that end up in the back of his net? Usually as a direct result of him coughing up the puck or not covering his man.

    Sorry, but this prima donnas act is starting to get old already; his comments today are right up there with the ‘I dont want to skate hard and check all the time’ comments from a month ago. The more this guy talks the less he is worth, if I were mact I would be on the blower immediately, Yak is simply not a team first guy and this is likely the reason he is not fitting into the room

    When you can re-post this in fluent Russian and not be taken out of context by people who’s job it is to take things out of context and make stories for people to read, then yours will be the world and everything in it, and what is more, you will be a man, my son. Unless you’re a chick.

  84. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Was this posted already?

    if so, my apologies

    Edmonton Oilers ✔ @EdmontonOilers
    #Oilers assign defenceman Taylor Fedun (@tfedun88) to @OKCBarons and recall defenceman Corey Potter (@Potsy44).

  85. thepeetso says:

    oliveoilers: When you can re-post this in fluent Russian and not be taken out of context by people who’s job it is to take things out of context and make stories for people to read, then yours will be the world and everything in it, and what is more, you will be a man, my son.

    I’ll help that dude out.

    Нет комментариев

    How hard was that?

  86. oliveoilers says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    So, were going full David Icke, then?

    http://www.vice.com/magic-bullet/david-icke-and-the-lizard-apocalypse

    Dad remembers him playing goalie. There was a conspiracy that he was supposed to be good. But he wasn’t.

  87. OilClog says:

    Eakins isn’t accountable for anything he does, he bit off waaaaay more then he can chew. How you bury a talent like Yakupov? He hits, tries his best to get back, and can freaking score like very few can.. It’s disgusting to see one man come and and ruin all the progress that was made. Anyone with half a freaking clue and wants to win a freaking hockey game figures out how to ice the talent this team has!!

    20yrs we’ve been waiting to have a chance again!! And now it’s all fucking blowing up!

    This is the darkest days of being an Oiler fan, I don’t think they understand what sort of long term damage they’re truly doing to their fan base. And if you move YakCity.. Good night Oilers been nice knowing you.

  88. Henry says:

    Woodguy:
    This won’t end well.

    Larionov going to the media means he really has no clue as to the quality of his client’s play.

    Yak’s been trending up, but was pretty bad for most of the year.

    That’s ok, he’s 20, there are peaks and valleys.

    To have it turn into this is just wrong.

    Can’t see this ending well at all.

    Honestly I think this is the time for the guys in the room to help out their teammate or not.

    Hopefully they do but they have plenty of problems of their own. His agent hasn’t helped him at all. I am really surprised as Larionov has been a hero of mine for 30 years for mainly for being smart and dare I say it, poised.

    The best move is for everyone to let this blow over. Some winning, even a little bit right fucking now, will change the narrative.

  89. oliveoilers says:

    elpolodiablo,

    Cool name. Does it mean ‘Devil Chicken’?

  90. elpolodiablo says:

    oliveoilers,

    you got me

  91. oliveoilers says:

    thepeetso: I’ll help that dude out.

    Нет комментариев

    How hard was that?

    No comment……LOL

  92. G Money says:

    elpolodiablo: Bottom line this player was playing better under Krueger.

    Astonishes me how short (and poor) people’s memories are. Already last season is some sort of high water mark for comparison, and not as it actually was the worst played season in recent memory, shored up solely by the best goaltending we’ve seen in these parts since Roli the Goalie.

    Yak went 26 games – TWENTY SIX, MORE THAN HALF THE SHORT SEASON – with a single goal to show for it. He was so bad, he was on track to finish the season at -40 during that time, despite his hot (KHL prepped) start. He eventually figured things out and got hot again. He will again.

    This particular situation is laughable. For once, management have done the right thing – assuring one and all that this is a gifted young player, patience is the watchword, and Yak isn’t going anywhere.

    Larionov’s histrionics are amateurish and at best will change nothing, and at worst will end badly for his client. Creating the image of a spoiled player where there is none can do that.

  93. Pouzar says:

    G Money: Astonishes me how short (and poor) people’s memories are.Already last season is some sort of high water mark for comparison, and not as it actually was the worst played season in recent memory, shored up solely by the best goaltending we’ve seen in these parts since Roli the Goalie.

    Yak went 26 games – TWENTY SIX, MORE THAN HALF THE SHORT SEASON – with a single goal to show for it.He was so bad, he was on track to finish the season at -40 during that time, despite his hot (KHL prepped) start.He eventually figured things out and got hot again. He will again.

    This particular situation is laughable. For once, management have done the right thing – assuring one and all that this is a gifted young player, patience is the watchword, and Yak isn’t going anywhere.

    Larionov’s histrionics are amateurish and at best will change nothing, and at worst will end badly for his client. Creating the image of a spoiled player where there is none can do that.

    This comment is sooo dead on it’s scary. Well done.

  94. mustang says:

    I just can’t see this ending well. There is no trust between both sides, if there is no trust, there isn’t much left. Kruger is gone and Horc is gone, Yak just doesn’t have the support he needs. I think he’s a good kid, from a foreign country asked to be a man in the NHL. If the Oilers can’t see he needs more support from them, somebody to take him under their wing and protect him a bit, and let this young guy grow it won’t emd well. I can’t imagine how tough it would be to live in Russia as a young 20 yr old and thrown to the wolves with no support. I have been a MacT/Eakins supporter but they are blowing this, it’s all on them. They damn well better get their heads out of there asses or this is going to be bad, not only in terms of Yak

  95. Woodguy says:

    G Money,

    Yak went 26 games – TWENTY SIX, MORE THAN HALF THE SHORT SEASON – with a single goal to show for it. He was so bad, he was on track to finish the season at -40 during that time, despite his hot (KHL prepped) start. He eventually figured things out and got hot again. He will again.

    This cannot be stressed enough.

    Nice post.

  96. elpolodiablo says:

    G Money,

    The player wasn’t disheartened at all when Krueger was coaching. Nor was he was he clamoring for more ice time or acting anywhere like this over those 26 games he wasn’t scoring. His agent is a pretty bright guy he wasn’t saying he was being used improperly last year either. Everyone on this blog seems to think they have some special insight, beyond the scoreboard where they can evaluate what really is going on. This team is on to one of the worst starts in its history. It has 3 number one overall picks, and one of them is thinking about leaving. This is the type of stuff that would happen to the Oakland Seals, or the Ottawa Senators in there early years. I never thought as an oiler fan we’d sink to this level

  97. Rondo says:

    The Oilers could help Yakupov trade for Nikolai Kulemin.

  98. bookje says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Was this posted already?

    if so, my apologies

    Edmonton Oilers✔ @EdmontonOilers
    #Oilers assign defenceman Taylor Fedun (@tfedun88) to @OKCBarons and recall defenceman Corey Potter (@Potsy44).

    KEVIN LOWE IS RUINING TAYLOR FEDUN, SOMEBODY CALL LARIONOV!!!!!!

  99. wheatnoil says:

    OilClog:

    This is the darkest days of being an Oiler fan, I don’t think they understand what sort of long term damage they’re truly doing to their fan base.

    You must have just become an Oiler fan yesterday. These aren’t even the darkest days this decade. Hell, these aren’t even the darkest days this calender year!

  100. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Rookie GM, Rookie coach, Rookie player, Veteran media = Easy pickins.
    Can’t see Mac T trading Yak this year, but he won’t forget this. He’s going to be more open to offers now. With dressing room issues being mentioned over the past few years I’d guess this slip up will set more alarm bells off than it would on other teams.
    Welcome to Calgary Laddy! Flames being out shot 29 to 8. Road through AB has never been easier.

  101. flyfish1168 says:

    I hope most of you will remember on national TV and you could read Halls lips ” why the f did we pull our goalie” when we were already down by was it 3 goals. People were saying it shows Halls passion to win and not loose by such a big score. Well in this case can we not say Nail wants to get out there and try and win the game. Isn’t Nail showing he is passionate.

    We all make mistakes, but Dallas needs to at least admit he has handled many situations incorrectly this 1st quarter of the season. Handle and dealing with Nail is one of them.

  102. wheatnoil says:

    It’s interesting how, when a team is failing, the most shouted answer is to be doing the exact opposite of whatever the coach is doing right now. The Oilers have been through enough coaches that we’ve come full circle.

    MacT had apparently lost the room, so Pat Quinn was brought aboard, who had years of experience. After a horrific year where everyone got worse and JFJ started the year on the first line, people yell out that the Oilers need a coach who hasn’t lost his marbles and is a better tactician. Enter Renney. While Renney and Krueger were coaches, and the Oilers continued to fail, I kept hearing people shouting out that they were too nice to the team, that sometimes you had to give the team tough love instead of giving them a free pass all the time. When Krueger replaced Renney, people were saying that Krueger was a great motivator but a poor tactician. Now Eakins is too hard on the team, needs to let the horses run loose, and shut his damn mouth about tactics. The Oilers have had the old guy, the young smart guy, the motivational speaker, and the rookie head coach who pisses vinegar. They’ve had it all. And yet, here we are, no further ahead.

    Through all this, we get calls of canning Six-Rings himself, like somehow Lowe was responsible for Gagner leaving a guy wide open in front of the net, like he somehow has a voodoo hex over the team that causes Dubnyk to let in a shot from 80 feet out, like he’s the one in the rafters blowing LT’s dog whistle. I’m not a fan of K. Lowe myself, but I don’t think he’s the master puppeteer who magically makes good hockey die with a wave of his Infinity Gauntlet of Stanley Cup Rings.

    At some point in time we need to stop shouting and quick-drawing our six-shooters to take down who-ever the Devil de Jour is and take a breath. Only then can we have a rational discussion about why the Oilers are terrible and how they can get better. We need to isolate the problem instead of pissing on the circuit board.

    I don’t know why the Oilers suck. My money is on D-zone coverage. You can call that the swarm, but I think the Oilers have sucked at D-zone coverage for the last half-decade and the last 4 coaches. However, that may not be the answer. By eye, it seems like this team has games where they don’t show up, games where they do show up but decide to have brain farts 10 times a game, and games where they damn well should have won but K-Lowe’s Dubnyk voodoo doll keeps getting stabbed in the crotch. So what the hell is up with this team?

    In the hospital, when a patient’s heart stops, they call a Code Blue. One of the things medical students are taught in school is that when you arrive a code, the first pulse to take is your own. The point is, if you’re panicking, you’re not going to be much help to anyone.

    The Oilers need to take their own pulse. Then they need to take a breath. Then they need to check their own pulse again. We should do the same. The season is lost, so we have lots of time on our hands. We can spend it all shouting, but I’m too old to shout for that long. I say, we crack open a beer and have a discussion.

    The real question is: where do we start?

  103. Woodguy says:

    My biggest concern is Eakins playing 89 with 4 for 6 games in a row and not going to 4-93-14

    At his hiring presser Eakins said he hadn’t watched tape of last season.

    Does he not know how well 4-93-14 play together?

    They were 50%CF against the likes of Thorton, Datsyuk, Kopitar, Pisscutters.

    Its a real NHL 1st line that actually works and play power v. power and allow you to arrange the deck chairs of the lower lines knowing that the toughest task is already taken care of.

    The lower lines have much, much more talent than last year. MacT did a good job there, but Eakins isn’t taking advantage of it.

    By keeping those guys apart he’s turning every line into porridge.

    If you have the vaunt taken care of with 4-93-14, surely you can cobble together some reasonable lines with what’s left over.

    Also,

    The many sound bites about accountability and play dictating ice time don’t seem to be in play in regards to 89.

    He started well in terms of CF%, (some of that being score effects as well), but it has slid since.

    Here’s 89′s CF% in the 6 games since he came back as per Mike’s site:

    TOR 64%
    DET 48%
    FLA 46%
    TBY 39%
    PHI 29%
    CHI 25%

    Hall’s CF% in those 3 games:

    TBY 43%
    PHI 27%
    CHI 22%

    I don’t think Hall has ever been in the 20% range ever in his career. That’s unheard of.

    Regardless of whether Gagner’ struggles are injury related or not, they are struggles and mighty one at that, and he’s taking Hall down with him.

    In response to all this terribleness Eakins still had 4-89-83 as a line at practice today.

    That’s just stubbornness in the face of a lot of evidence showing you that you are wrong and not following through on your verbal with everyone evenly.

    Being hypocritical with the verbal and ice time isn’t good for the coach or the players.

    Not good.

  104. cabbiesmacker says:

    I trade this kid right fn now and I don’t think twice. What’s next…a plane to the KHL? A contract holdout? Leopards don’t shed their spots.

    In honor of WG I’d take a run at Philly to see if they’d part with Couturier straight up for him. If so we have a very nice looking top 6 with:

    RNH – Hall – Eberle

    SC – Perron – Hemsky

    Gordon, Smyth and Arcobello on the third line and Horak/Whatever between Joensuu and Jones on the 4th.

    Starts looking like an actual NHL lineup if you don’t look at the D pairings and give the goaltending a nanosecond scan. No more wondering what line to put crybaby square peg on either.

    Couturier is on a nice contract, likely won’t be in the $5M range when his current version expires after the 15/16 season, and he fills a desperate need. It also opens the door for Hemsky to stick.

    And while MacT is flushing the toilet he could swirl Gags….aptly monikered btw…plus another asset for some D help.

    MacT has a choice between backing his coach and backing the player and the best plan is to snuff it quick and send a message. He has to go with the coach.

  105. cabbiesmacker says:

    Woodguy:
    My biggest concern is Eakins playing 89 with 4 for 6 games in a row and not going to 4-93-14

    See now this is where you and I differ hugely. My biggest concern is that he plays him at all.

    Is he even moveable on that contract?

  106. Hockeyman 99 says:

    Lowetide,

    Everyone is past their point of tolerance for Edmontons situation. Everyone is so disappointed and upset that every comment is read with an anger. When I started reading this Blog many years ago there was no swearing or fighting. Now my oldest kids can read and I don’t want them to see the screen when I’m going through the comments. Some commenters are only here to ridicule or worse berate others due to opinions or religious beliefs. I love your blogs but I don’t envy you in having to wade through all the comments.

  107. spoiler says:

    Yakupov is Ralph Macchio from The Outsiders. The only question is, does he find his Arnold from Happy Days and become The Karate Kid?

  108. TheOtherJohn says:

    Kudos DMW I understood everything you said (which is always a task for me: bad comprehension on my part) and agree with you !

    GMoney ……. Certainly hope you are right.

    Hope 6 Rings doesn’t decide to bury Yak in a OKC to show him who’s the boss.

    All this team needs to pull together is to assemble 5-6 win streak over the next 10 games. Winning cures so many problems

  109. cabbiesmacker says:

    Hockeyman 99:
    Lowetide,

    Everyone is past their point of tolerance for Edmontons situation. Everyone is so disappointedand upset that every comment is read with an anger. When I started reading this Blog many years ago there was no swearing or fighting. Now my oldest kids can read and I don’t want them to see the screen when I’m going through the comments. Some commenters are only here to ridicule or worse berate others due to opinions or religious beliefs. I love your blogs but I don’t envy you in having to wade through all the comments.

    No berating but…if you’re that thin skinned maybe a hockey blog isn’t your best entertainment option. What are your kids doing on your lap while you read one anyways? Perhaps after bedtime might might be an option?

    Personally I think LT does a great job of policing things without censoring every comment that might offend.

    We need Dennis back here telling us what he really thinks of Montreal.

  110. Caramel Obvious says:

    OilClog:
    Eakins isn’t accountable for anything he does, he bit off waaaaay more then he can chew. How you bury a talentlike Yakupov? He hits, tries his best to get back, and can freaking score like very few can.. It’s disgusting to see one man come and and ruin all the progress that was made. Anyone with half a freaking clue and wants to win a freaking hockey game figures out how to ice the talent this team has!!

    20yrs we’ve been waiting to have a chance again!! And now it’s all fucking blowing up!

    This is the darkest days of being an Oiler fan, I don’t think they understand what sort of long term damage they’re truly doing to their fan base. And if you move YakCity.. Good night Oilers been nice knowing you.

    This seems to be the pervading sentiment and it is incredible how something that is so obviously wrong could gain credence. So let me speak slowly for the hard of hearing:

    There is this idea out here that there is a double standard in play with Eakins’ treatment of Yakupov. While Eakins preaches accountability he only applies it to Yakupov. This is demonstrably false. So far this year the following forwards have been benched, press boxed, traded away and/or sent to the minors: Acton, Brown, Eager, Hamilton, Joensuu, Jones, Lander, Omark, and Smyth.

    On what planet is Yakupov the only one being held to a higher standard? Because he isn’t treated the same as players who are so much better than him?

    If you want to know why Yakupov is occasionally benched just watch the games. Here are some major problems that would cause a coach to not want to play him, especially in close games late.

    1) In his own end, Yakupov is terrible at playing the puck that comes around the boards to get a zone exit. This is a pretty difficult play for wingers but Yakupov is dreadful at it (this is also Omark’s problem).

    2) He overhandles the puck, holding it far too long. This causes problems all over the ice. While other players are getting the puck and then moving the puck, Yakupov is stickhandling and losing the puck. A particular form of this error is his habit of turning back and winding it up going against the grain, bring the puck back into his own zone, and putting his teammates out of sequence so they aren’t moving up the ice as a group. This is simply terrible hockey.

    3) Yakupov is a huge puck hog.

    All of these things are right there on the game tape. He’s been playing 15 minutes a night of mostly terrible hockey. There is a double standard at play here but it’s in Yakupov’s favour. If anyone else played like this they would never see the ice. If anything the coach has bent over backwards trying to put him in a position to succeed (see 68% zone starts) without crippling the team.

    What should he do? Play him more? That is simply a crazy thing to say.

    Now I like Yakupov a lot, both as a person and as a player, but it takes an extreme form of prejudice to think the Oilers have done anything wrong here.

  111. Racki says:

    HANG HIM FOR TREASON!!!

    - Edmonton Fans

    In all seriousness.. I wouldn’t make a big deal of it… not fun to hear, but no huge deal. I personally thought he should be moved before this was even brought up, just based on addressing team need from a position of team strength… but that might be hard now with this out there.

  112. Henry says:

    spoiler:
    Yakupov is Ralph Macchio from The Outsiders.The only question is, does he find his Arnold from Happy Days and become The Karate Kid?

    Looks like Bryz is Mr Miyagi. Can he hold the pose?

  113. cabbiesmacker says:

    Racki:
    HANG HIM FOR TREASON!!!

    - Edmonton Fans

    In all seriousness.. I wouldn’t make a big deal of it… not fun to hear, but no huge deal. I personally thought he should be moved before this was even brought up, just based on addressing team need from a position of team strength… but that might be hard now with this out there.

    Well said. Thanks to Igor and Yakky for all the value adding.

  114. spoiler says:

    cabbiesmacker: I trade this kid right fn now and I don’t think twice. What’s next…a plane to the KHL? A contract holdout? Leopards don’t shed their spots.

    MacT has a choice between backing his coach and backing the player and the best plan is to snuff it quick and send a message. He has to go with the coach.

    I think this is the right move too. You back your coach. And I agree with Couturier and have pumped his tires in the past too… along with many here. I doubt he’s available though. I hope to Gord he is. Igor’s moves sure don’t help.

    MacT has wanted his phone to ring. Don’t think this was the player he wanted GMs to be calling about though. Larionov is a fool. This can blow over. But there’s a lot of face lost today. Especially with Yak in front of his teammates. I don’t know if that can be overcome by the young man.

  115. lance says:

    Years ago a coach gave my kid the C on a minor league peewee team. Out of the blocks they lost a slew of games due to horrendous team play and the boy became the coach’s whipping post. After a month of this, the boy was apparently once heard bad mouthing the coach in the dressing room (I found out later), and the solution was to take away the letter. No discussion in advance, just showed up to the game and the letter was on another sweater.

    We went home and I showed him the first 20 minutes of Platoon. It was all he needed to realize that hockey was NOTHING like war, that it was a game, and worrying about it was a fool’s errand. I suggested that if he wanted to leave the team that it would be fine, and he did. We went and played at the community rink and had a great old time.

    Within a few days the director called and wanted to see what was going on. They met, the boy agreed to return, and the coach was never the same assclown as before. The whipping was over, and it was fun again.

    I wonder if Larionov has the same idea. Before the blowout, I did bitch to the coach about his differential treatment, but he told me clearly that it was his team and he knew what he was doing.

    If Yak goes MIA for a week, would that send a message to Eakins to lose the arrogance? Coach doesn’t have to be a drill sergeant all the time, and while I honestly have no idea what is going on when the cameras don’t roll, I personally wouldn’t have an issue with Yak disappearing for a game or two, not reporting for action, so to speak, and see if that shakes up the organization enough to get these know-it-alls off their horses of excellence.

    It certainly worked in peewee. It would be some interesting at least.

  116. lance says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    Now I like Yakupov a lot, both as a person and as a player, but it takes an extreme form of prejudice to think the Oilers have done anything wrong here.

    Normally it seems that you’re just condescending, but this time I think you’re also very wrong.

    There have been countless examples of players doing ridiculous things, the display of selfishness far eclipses Yak. JSchultz hasn’t been benched once, Sam gets thrown back out there repeatedly and often, and Eberle seems the favourite son.

    Yak has his warts, but it seems to be going around. Making him the whipping post is a wretched choice at least.

  117. Thinker says:

    The media has hated yak since he was ranked number one overall. This whole issue started when yakupov hadn’t scored in three games. The benching didn’t help, but really it has been much ado about nothing. Though sadly, it is getting worse by the day. I also do have a problem with how yakupov (by all accounts) works his ass off in practice, yet gets little reward in terms of play time. Give him a chance to fail. Holding him back from big minutes only opens him up to more scrutiny. Yakcity is big time player. Either you have him play big, or you might as well not have him at all. I don’t think he needs cherry minutes like garner, but he needs lots of play time to perform his best.

  118. Woodguy says:

    cabbiesmacker: See now this is where you and I differ hugely. My biggest concern is that he plays him at all.

    Is he even moveable on that contract?

    89 isn’t this bad, but he needs to be taken off the tough minute line while he figures it out.

    Eakins trotting him out there with 2 games in a row in the 20% range (!!!) CF% is inexcusable.

    I know they track this stuff.

    To ignore it is obstinate.

  119. spoiler says:

    spoiler: Igor’s moves sure don’t help.

    Then again, without them we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

  120. Caramel Obvious says:

    lance: Normally it seems that you’re just condescending, but this time I think you’re also very wrong.

    There have been countless examples of players doing ridiculous things, the display of selfishness far eclipses Yak.JSchultz hasn’t been benched once, Sam gets thrown back out there repeatedly and often, and Eberle seems the favourite son.

    Yak has his warts, but it seems to be going around.Making him the whipping post is a wretched choice at least.

    Yakupov’s warts are so much larger than everyone else’s. You have to blind not to see them. It’s incredibly how in denial Oiler fans are about this. Gagner and J Schultz have their problems and make their mistakes but in between those mistakes they are doing what they are supposed to do. Yakupov is the opposite. He does everything wrong punctuated by something great. It is only because who he is and his pedigree that he plays at all.

    But don’t take my word for it. Watch the games with your eyes instead of your heart.

    The only player who has really been treated unfairly is Omark. Now that is a guy who hasn’t been given a fair shot.

  121. wheatnoil says:

    lance,

    I see your point, but I’m just not sure if Eakins is really the drill sergeant here. I mean, while Yakupov’s minutes have been dwindling, he’s still getting lots of offensive zone starts and sheltered minutes and Eakins hasn’t been publicly throwing him under the bus to the media or things that other coaches do sometimes.

    Funny thing is, last year I really wasn’t a huge fan of how they used Yakupov. I preferred the way St. Louis started off Tarasenko… they gave him 3rd/4th line minutes and some powerplay time, moving him up at times when he did well. It’s just hard on the player when he’s started off in the top 6 an then gets moved down.

    It’s how I believe the Oilers probably should have started all the kids, giving them fewer sheltered minutes and moving them up over the course of a season or two. It’s just that the Oilers didn’t have the horses to do it back then. They had no one else to play in the top 6. Frankly, I would’ve preferred it if the Oilers hadn’t played Yakupov at all last year, let him develop another year, and have this year be is rookie year, but that’s a whole other discussion that’s long past.

  122. Racki says:

    Has it been mentioned yet that Larionov apparently has a hate-on for the Oilers?

    Jason Gregor mentioned on the Team today that Dustin Neilson tried asking Igor Larionov for an interview one day. Larionov’s response was “The Edmonton Oilers don’t talk to me, so I don’t talk to Edmonton”. Nice. Another black mark on the organization, for sure, but Larionov needs to stop being a baby about it and take the higher road… wouldn’t be surprised if he urged his client a little bit here to try and get him out of Edmonton.

    Completely tin-foil-hat thought here, but Larionov has ties to Detroit and also to TB (Yzerman)… wonder what the chances are he’d try and reduce Yak’s value around the league and in Edmonton to allow either of these teams to steal Yakupov away while the price is low.

    As a player, I always thought of Larionov as a class act though, so this sort of stuff about him would surprise me.. just a random thought/silly speculation..

  123. commonfan14 says:

    spoiler: I think this is the right move too. You back your coach.

    Congratulations – you just traded a 22 year old Magic Johnson.
    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1125021/

  124. spoiler says:

    Woodguy: 89 isn’t this bad, but he needs to be taken off the tough minute line while he figures it out.

    Eakins trotting him out there with 2 games in a row in the 20% range (!!!) CF% is inexcusable.

    I know they track this stuff.

    To ignore it is obstinate.

    I think two games is smart. Always need confirmation in hockey. But he can’t keep doing it.

    4 on 89′s port side is an attempt to boost that Corsi, but I’m with you, I’d peel Hall out of there and run the Kids as a line.

    I’d have Gagner with Yak and Smyth instead and make 89 play high slot all game, distributing, and let the other two play deep. Feed them butter minutes and easy zone starts (which helps Smytty’s legs), make D on Gagner as easy as possible and promise to move him up in TOI if he gets it.

    Run Gordon as the other C with Perron and Hemmer. Arco on the 4th with Joensuu and Jones and feed them almost as many minutes as the 89 line. Double shift Hemmer or Ebs in there every so oft.

  125. Lowetide says:

    Trading Yakupov before we know what he is? Insane. The KHL flight risk is there, but there’s simply too much natural talent to walk away from. No to trading Nail until after year 3 at the earliest.

  126. Hockeyman 99 says:

    cabbiesmacker,

    Do you think I was criticizing LT? Your response is what I was writing about.

  127. Caramel Obvious says:

    I should also repeat that Yakupov has played 15 minutes a night this year. This is eighth on the team. If you think he should be playing more whose ice time do you think he should take? You can’t play him more in a vacuum. If he plays more that means one of Hall, Eberle, Hopkins, Perron, Gagner, Hemsky or Arcobello is playing less.

    So here’s your homework assignment. Using accountability as your standard which of those players should be playing less than Yakupov and why?

  128. Hockeyman 99 says:

    Hockeyman 99,
    It would be nice if everybody could censor their own comments. Its not like a slip of the tongue that happens so quickly. I don’t have my 9 year old on my lap but he’s always interested in what I’m doing and comes and see’s me in my office and I will deal with it. It is a observation of the degrading civility of us fans and that we need to be mindful of how we treat each other even if we don’t use our real names.

  129. Ribs says:

    Woodguy: Does he not know how well 4-93-14 play together?
    They were 50%CF against the likes of Thorton, Datsyuk, Kopitar, Pisscutters.
    Its a real NHL 1st line that actually works and play power v. power and allow you to arrange the deck chairs of the lower lines knowing that the toughest task is already taken care of.
    The lower lines have much, much more talent than last year. MacT did a good job there, but Eakins isn’t taking advantage of it.
    By keeping those guys apart he’s turning every line into porridge.
    If you have the vaunt taken care of with 4-93-14, surely you can cobble together some reasonable lines with what’s left over.

    It’s just bizarre that Eakins doesn’t line these guys up together for a game or three. I can understand trying not to lean on these guys too much to avoid becoming the Canucks, but you have to think that giving the team the best chance to win every once in a while would be beneficial to everyone. I can understand the temptation to run with and cater to them when they put up their points, but it doesn’t mean you have to do it for an extended amount of time. Just enough to keep them in it would have been nice. Oh well.

  130. spoiler says:

    commonfan14: Congratulations – you just traded a 22 year old Magic Johnson.
    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1125021/

    Or Eric Lindros. Who knows. And I’d want a player of Couturier’s calibre back and preferably more.

    Not to mention arguing by analogy is pretty weak ass.

  131. spoiler says:

    Lowetide:
    Trading Yakupov before we know what he is? Insane. The KHL flight risk is there, but there’s simply too much natural talent to walk away from. No to trading Nail until after year 3 at the earliest.

    Nobody knew what Eric Lindros was when he first got traded. It does happen that 1st OVs bring back 1st overall value, just on pedigree and upside. Not saying Yak has Lindros hype behind his selection, but he isn’t without cachet.

  132. Woodguy says:

    spoiler: I think two games is smart. Always need confirmation in hockey. But he can’t keep doing it.

    4 on 89′s port side is an attempt to boost that Corsi, but I’m with you, I’d peel Hall out of there and run the Kids as a line.

    I’d have Gagner with Yak and Smyth instead and make 89 play high slot all game, distributing, and let the other two play deep. Feed them butter minutes and easy zone starts (which helps Smytty’s legs), make D on Gagner as easy as possible and promise to move him up in TOI if he gets it.

    Run Gordon as the other C with Perron and Hemmer. Arco on the 4th with Joensuu and Jones and feed them almost as many minutes as the 89 line. Double shift Hemmer or Ebs in there every so oft.

    I like all of that.

  133. commonfan14 says:

    spoiler,

    Argue with absolutes, you invite counter-examples.

  134. Brackenburied says:

    Racki:
    Has it been mentioned yet that Larionov apparently has a hate-on for the Oilers?

    Jason Gregor mentioned on the Team today that Dustin Neilson tried asking Igor Larionov for an interview one day. Larionov’s response was “The Edmonton Oilers don’t talk to me, so I don’t talk to Edmonton”.Nice.Another black mark on the organization, for sure, but Larionov needs to stop being a baby about it and take the higher road… wouldn’t be surprised if he urged his client a little bit here to try and get him out of Edmonton.

    Completely tin-foil-hat thought here, but Larionov has ties to Detroit and also to TB (Yzerman)… wonder what the chances are he’d try and reduce Yak’s value around the league and in Edmonton to allow either of these teams to steal Yakupov away while the price is low.

    As a player, I always thought of Larionov as a class act though, so this sort of stuff about him would surprise me.. just a random thought/silly speculation..

    God, I hope no one would be that stupid and that petty to f’k up a kids career like that and screw the golden goose. But, I do think this is more than just some poorly chosen words. Yaks camp is definitely trying to manipulate things. I hope it is just ice time but it very well could be something more like a trade or something as sinister as you suggest. I hope not.

  135. dangilitis says:

    Lowetide,

    Agreed.

    How many 1st overall picks are there with 2 or more years left on their entry level contract?

    The answer is 2. They are prized commodities, not players you trade because their joke of a player agent throws a hissy fit.

    And as for that other prized commodity, Yak’s Corsi Rel of 0 is looking mighty good by comparison, and he’s only been spotted half of a NHL season’s head start. TSN loves +/-, but either Giguere and Varlamov share the Vezina or that +6 will fall off a cliff… And when it does, nobody in their right mind would suggest trading Crosby 2.0, right?

    http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_statistics.php?ds=30&f1=2013_s&f2=5v5&f5=COL&c=0+1+3+5+4+6+7+8+13+14+29+30+32+33+34+45+46+63+67

  136. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Eraser was on TV tonight as I was flipping the channels.

    I was lucky enough to catch a scene in which Arnold was playing some crack-wiz computer guy, apparently doing something under pressure and at speed to save the world or kill it (I don’t know the movie, so the plot could be either) with a computer.

    This thing he was doing consisted of him looking intense and jamming his two meaty index digits into the keyboard at what seemed like a pretty slow pace given the intensity of the music and his face (I’m guessing that was his top speed).

    I’d like to know who “bought” that scene and buy them a drink. I think we’d have very interesting conversations.

  137. Professor Q says:

    Isn’t this what everyone was complaining about in regards to Grabovski, and claimed it as a main argument against signing him? Speaking out against ice time and the coach?

  138. Lowetide says:

    Professor Q:
    Isn’t this what everyone was complaining about Grabovski about, and claimed it as a main reason against signing him earlier?

    Grabovski was a darling of this blog all summer.

  139. thepeetso says:

    “He had a lot of leeway last year and this year, not as much,” said Taylor Hall. “Ralph really took a liking to a young European player and Dallas is trying to get him to play the right way. I think once those two things mesh that’s when you’re going to see the player he can be.”

    Taylor Hall commenting on Yak situation.

    Thoughts?

  140. stevezie says:

    spoiler,

    I also like this idea, with the addition that I, being a chump, would rather see Omark than Jones. I know Jones kills penalties, but not that well.

    Arcobello is taking a lot of jobs at the same time. I hope he can keep this up.

  141. Lowetide says:

    thepeetso:
    “He had a lot of leeway last year and this year, not as much,” said Taylor Hall. “Ralph really took a liking to a young European player and Dallas is trying to get him to play the right way. I think once those two things mesh that’s when you’re going to see the player he can be.”

    Taylor Hall commenting on Yak situation.

    Thoughts?

    Source? I think it’s a learning curve for all these kids, with Nuge the best pupil.

  142. thepeetso says:

    Lowetide: Source? I think it’s a learning curve for all these kids, with Nuge the best pupil.

    Joanna Ireland is my source :)

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/edmonton-oilers/Eakins+hammers+home+point+Minutes+need/9156937/story.html

    Sorry should have thrown the link up earlier.

  143. stevezie says:

    thepeetso,

    Honestly, it’s about time someone on the team said something. I have no idea if Yak has any friends on the team, but it is time for someone to at least pretend to like him.

    The specific quote? Meh. I was interested in his explanation of the coaching differences, but I think Hall makes it pretty clear who he thinks is in the right here. I don’t disagree with him, I would have just liked to see more support. Especially considering Hall is still learning to play “the right way”.

  144. Maverick says:

    anonymous,

    The Oilers have all ways been as far back as I remember a very cliquey organization. Still is, look at the management and pro scouts. The players develop friendships etc and sometimes that leads to a very cliquey group who runs the dressing room. Looking back over the Moreau, Horcoff, Souray time perhaps it wasn’t the old guys who were the issues, perhaps some of the young bucks are an issue.

    I have no proof just my own experiences when I was in my 20′s but the guys on my team that didn’t go out after games for drinks with “the boys” or chatted up the odd girl at bars or stayed out too late etc, sometimes those guys are alienated and stand alone. My guess and its only a guess but perhaps Yakupov who doesn’t drink, is religious, loves the game stays extra before and after practice and likes going to the gym, might rub some players the wrong way. I know us in our early 40s are shocked at that statement but remember when we were in our 20′s, invincible, stubborn, fun times in the city with the big lights after games. I just think the clique of 4 young players needs to grow up and help a fellow young team mate instead of alienating him cause he’s different.

    (jumps off soap box)

  145. Zelepukin says:

    I wish Bryz was playing tomorrow so I don’t have to read the headline of, “Yaks play 15:25min and is -2. Larionov is furious.”

  146. Maverick says:

    Lowetide:
    Trading Yakupov before we know what he is? Insane. The KHL flight risk is there, but there’s simply too much natural talent to walk away from. No to trading Nail until after year 3 at the earliest.

    Agreed!!!
    Give me a player with a love for the game, a passion to be a better player over a player who is good at the game but doesn’t love it any day of the week.

  147. Maverick says:

    wheatnoil:
    It’s interesting how, when a team is failing, the most shouted answer is to be doing the exact opposite of whatever the coach is doing right now. The Oilers have been through enough coaches that we’ve come full circle.

    MacT had apparently lost the room, so Pat Quinn was brought aboard, who had years of experience. After a horrific year where everyone got worse and JFJ started the year on the first line, people yell out that the Oilers need a coach who hasn’t lost his marbles and is a better tactician. Enter Renney. While Renney and Krueger were coaches, and the Oilers continued to fail, I kept hearing people shouting out that they were too nice to the team, that sometimes you had to give the team tough love instead of giving them a free pass all the time. When Krueger replaced Renney, people were saying that Krueger was a great motivator but a poor tactician. Now Eakins is too hard on the team, needs to let the horses run loose, and shut his damn mouth about tactics. The Oilers have had the old guy, the young smart guy, the motivational speaker, and the rookie head coach who pisses vinegar. They’ve had it all. And yet, here we are, no further ahead.

    Through all this, we get calls of canning Six-Rings himself, like somehow Lowe was responsible for Gagner leaving a guy wide open in front of the net, like he somehow has a voodoo hex over the team that causes Dubnyk to let in a shot from 80 feet out, like he’s the one in the rafters blowing LT’s dog whistle. I’m not a fan of K. Lowe myself, but I don’t think he’s the master puppeteer who magically makes good hockey die with a wave of his Infinity Gauntlet of Stanley Cup Rings.

    At some point in time we need to stop shouting and quick-drawing our six-shooters to take down who-ever the Devil de Jour is and take a breath. Only then can we have a rational discussion about why the Oilers are terrible and how they can get better. We need to isolate the problem instead of pissing on the circuit board.

    I don’t know why the Oilers suck. My money is on D-zone coverage. You can call that the swarm, but I think the Oilers have sucked at D-zone coverage for the last half-decade and the last 4 coaches. However, that may not be the answer. By eye, it seems like this team has games where they don’t show up, games where they do show up but decide to have brain farts 10 times a game, and games where they damn well should have won but K-Lowe’s Dubnyk voodoo doll keeps getting stabbed in the crotch. So what the hell is up with this team?

    In the hospital, when a patient’s heart stops, they call a Code Blue. One of the things medical students are taught in school is that when you arrive a code, the first pulse to take is your own. The point is, if you’re panicking, you’re not going to be much help to anyone.

    The Oilers need to take their own pulse. Then they need to take a breath. Then they need to check their own pulse again. We should do the same. The season is lost, so we have lots of time on our hands. We can spend it all shouting, but I’m too old to shout for that long. I say, we crack open a beer and have a discussion.

    The real question is: where do we start?

    Nice post, well done sir.

  148. Caramel Obvious says:

    For the Eakins haters who criticize him for not line matching enough I stumbled across this analysis done by the extraskater guy.

    http://blog.extraskater.com/2013/11/coaching-strategies-so-far-this-season/#more-105

    To summarize:

    “By this measure, the top line-matching teams are the Leafs, Red Wings, and Oilers, while the least line-matching teams are the Rangers, Ducks, and Panthers … The top zone-matching teams are the Oilers, Blackhawks, and Flyers, while the least zone-matching teams are the Sharks, Ducks, and Red Wings.

    Impressively, Oilers coach Dallas Eakins puts Yakupov out for offensive zone faceoffs more than twice as often as D-zone faceoffs, while sending out Boyd Gordon for defensive draws four times as often as offensive ones.”

    So once again Godot and his acolytes are making stuff up out of nothing when all of the evidence says the exact opposite. Basically, by the measurements used here, Eakins is line matching and zone matching more than any other coach in the league. And of course there is the specific notation on Yakupov.

    These conversations would go a lot better if the other side were not obverse to evidence. Here is another piece of evidence. Sutherby was on the radio today with Gregor talking about how the Marlies were an extremely well coached team that worked in unison. He also said that the problem wasn’t the system it isn’t that different from what other teams use. So you can stop using that made up reason to irrationally criticize the coach.

    The way some people want to blame the coach to the extent of intentionally misreading and ignoring all of the evidence is really incredible.

    This team has less talent than the Jets. This team has less talent than the Coyotes. Until we face that fact none of what is happening is going to make any sense.

    .

  149. Caramel Obvious says:

    stevezie,

    The full quote from Hall doesn’t sound as bad, I think.

    ““It’s not a distraction for us,” Hall continued. “Last year, he had a great year and this year, he’s struggled a bit. But it’s not like he’s not giving an effort. He knows our system and he tries his best to play within them. Right now it’s not working the way that it can, but we know it will turn around.

    “It’s unfortunate his agent had to say those kinds of things … it would probably be easier for Yak if his agent came into town a little bit quieter, but that’s stuff we don’t really think about. We’re trying to get him back on track and I know he will.”

    I do agree, however, that Yakupov probably isn’t one of the boys. He’s younger, from a different country with not simply a different language but also different cultural background. None of those things are going to help. On the other hand, this is pretty far from a football locker room Incognito style.

  150. OilBuzz says:

    thepeetso:
    “He had a lot of leeway last year and this year, not as much,” said Taylor Hall. “Ralph really took a liking to a young European player and Dallas is trying to get him to play the right way. I think once those two things mesh that’s when you’re going to see the player he can be.”

    Taylor Hall commenting on Yak situation.

    Thoughts?

    This quote does not speak well for the dressing room atmosphere… Seriously Hall? Most of the players on this team play like shit defensively. Yak is the only forward who is being held accountable on this team. Imagine how destructive it is for Yak’s psyche when he sees Hall make horrendous giveaway passes and get away with it, or when he sees Gags dicking around in the defensive zone. There is definitely a double standard here. I’d be pissed too. Hemsky is -12, and yeah he does produce more right now but he’s still lauded by Eakins constantly despite the horrendous +/-.

  151. Professor Q says:

    Lowetide: Grabovski was a darling of this blog all summer.

    Well…yes, and no. There were a lot of complaints of his complaints of ice time and his coach and the like. That is what I was referring to. Of course I know there were a lot of us who wanted him signed, I do read your blogs, you know :p (even if my memory slips from time to time!).

  152. commonfan14 says:

    Caramel Obvious: This team has less talent than the Jets. This team has less talent than the Coyotes. Until we face that fact none of what is happening is going to make any sense.

    There’s still a question to be asked though about whether this team has less talent than it had last year.

    If the answer is no, can you put the much worse record down simply to goaltending (especially considering it’s the same goaltender)? It’s fair to examine the coaching change as a factor, right?

  153. Caramel Obvious says:

    OilBuzz,

    You can’t claim a double standard without being able to demonstrate it. Be more specific. Which player that plays more than Yakupov makes more mistakes than him. Name the player and show your work. Otherwise you are just making stuff up.

    So while it is true that every player makes mistakes coaches don’t make decisions based on a single mistake. They make decisions on a body of work based upon game situations. Right now Yakupov is eighth in ice time amongst forwards. Is this appropriate for his body of work? In order to say there is a double standard you’d have to make the easily falsified claim that he is the only one who has been benched or that there are worse players playing more than him. Neither of these things are true.

  154. OilClog says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    OilBuzz,

    You can’t claim a double standard without being able to demonstrate it.Be more specific.Which player that plays more than Yakupov makes more mistakes than him.Name the player and show your work.Otherwise you are just making stuff up.

    So while it is true that every player makes mistakes coaches don’t make decisions based on a single mistake.They make decisions on a body of work based upon game situations.Right now Yakupov is eighth in ice time amongst forwards.Is this appropriate for his body of work?In order to say there is a double standard you’d have to make the easily falsified claim that he is the only one who has been benched or that there are worse players playing more than him.Neither of these things are true.

    Clearly our coach doesn’t make a decision on a single mistake.. Look at Gagner, all he has become is a long series of mistake so far this season. Playing before he’s clearly ready, bumping a player that was performing well beyond his play, continuously being a defensive zone disaster. It’s clear out coaches love a nice long long track record of mistakes before they’ll consider changing it. Let’s match Gagner against other top centres around the league… Give me a break, Eakins has misfired on so many decisions he needs to take a step back and make things simple until the players have any sort of believe in their coach. Eakins could do much better with his in game decision making and every poster here that’s been going through these last few years knows it. Eakins is one of the very few people that doesn’t put 93.4.14 together.. Is it because he’s smarter then everyone.. Or is he just so damn stubborn that everything has to be exactly how he has it drawn up in his head? If he can’t quickly adapt to coaching in the NHL then he can kick rocks, I’m sick and tired of cheering for my life long team, to see them fail fail and fail again. It’s groundhog day

  155. cabbiesmacker says:

    commonfan14: Congratulations – you just traded a 22 year old Magic Johnson.
    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1125021/

    There are guarantees that Yak is Magic Johnson now?

  156. cabbiesmacker says:

    Lowetide:
    Trading Yakupov before we know what he is? Insane. The KHL flight risk is there, but there’s simply too much natural talent to walk away from. No to trading Nail until after year 3 at the earliest.

    Not so insane if you are sure of what you’re getting back and it’s at a position where you have a more glaring weakness.

  157. stevezie says:

    commonfan14: If the answer is no, can you put the much worse record down simply to goaltending (especially considering it’s the same goaltender)? It’s fair to examine the coaching change as a factor, right?

    Yes, I feel comfortable putting this down to mostly goaltending. It is hard to overstate how bad the save percentage has been. It has been awful.

    Let’s be clear: even with average goaltending this is not a playoff team. Pretty much everything everyone is saying is to some degree true. The players are getting used to a new coach, that coaching has been imperfect, the team is too soft, the special teams are still finding their way, the forwards only love to score, the defence (while better than last year) lacks talent, and we’ve been plain ol’unlucky with refs, injuries and bounces. Luck is a big thing. These problems are real. (I didn’t include the schedule because I think the soft teams balance off the road games. The schedule seems neutral to me.)

    The reason we’re at 4-13-2, however, is summed up by one number: .873.

    We’re last in the league in save percentage. Calgary is next, they’re tanking. Then comes FLA, who has had their starter injured for most of the year. Let’s say we had NYI’s .894, which is also awful. That would make a difference of 12 goals. Would have 12 goals made a difference over 19 games? remember, this is still with bad, bad, bad goaltending.

    Is 12 goals over 19 games worth three wins? I think that’s a conservative estimate. That makes us 7-10-2. This is still bad, but is there this much gnashing of teeth if the mighty Oil are where the Islanders are?

  158. cabbiesmacker says:

    spoiler:

    I’d have Gagner with Yak and Smyth instead and make 89 play high slot all game, distributing, and let the other two play deep. Feed them butter minutes and easy zone starts (which helps Smytty’s legs), make D on Gagner as easy as possible and promise to move him up in TOI if he gets it.

    Spoiler, somethings not right when you have to feed a player “butter soft minutes” while he’s generating a cap hit of $4.8 per with a NMC. Is it Gagner or the GM that paid him that kind of money?

    Gagner’s contract is among the top 15 worst for NHL forwards imo.

  159. stevezie says:

    Caramel Obvious,

    I agree, that sounds much better.

    I’m not sure how much to make of this. I once managed a business where I considered one of my biggest mistakes hiring a guy who did not fit in. I never had cause to let him go-he was a good-guy who cared about the job- but for selfish reasons I wish I could go back in time and not hire him.

    But while he messed up the workplace mojo, I’m not sure he made us a worse business. Similarly, many a Stanley has been won by team-mates who hated each other. I doubt the Sarnia Sting were loaded with Tartar Muslims, but Yak seemed to do fine there. Ben Affleck said that the one of the biggest signs your movie isn’t going to turn out is everyone is having fun on set.

    By all means, management should do what they can to help Yak, and everyone around him, have a good time. I don’t know how many of the team’s woes can be laid at the feet of personalty problems.

    If this same team starts winning those problems go away.

  160. fuzzy muppet says:

    The only real surprise to me is that more players haven’t come out and said they are open to a trade.

    I’d want away from this shitshow as fast as possible

  161. Doc Savage says:

    As much as people are slamming Larionov, I think what we’re seeing is that he is using political awareness to bring out the real issues in the media, without having to say it himself.

    What did we learn from the Larionov exercise? Well, from the Joanne Ireland article:

    1) Dallas Eakins is belligerent

    “It’s OK to be frustrated, but I’m not deterring my plan,” head coach Dallas Eakins said. “You have to earn your minutes.”

    Interesting perspective for the coach of a team that is 4-13-2.

    2) Taylor Hall is part of the problem

    “He had a lot of leeway last year and this year, not as much,” said Taylor Hall. “Ralph really took a liking to a young European player and Dallas is trying to get him to play the right way.”

    “It’s unfortunate his agent had to say those kinds of things … it would probably be easier for Yak if his agent came into town a little bit quieter, but that’s stuff we don’t really think about. We’re trying to get him back on track and I know he will.”

    At first glance, these comments by Hall seem supportive. Closer examination shows they imply that Yakupov was Kreuger’s favorite, and that Yakupov is continuing to make mistakes on and off the ice. All wrapped up with an air of condescension.

    I think these are Yakupov’s challenges in a nutshell, as neither the coach nor the unofficial captain are actually standing up for him. I’m surprised it took so little for this to come out in the media. Eakins and Hall have to be better than this.

  162. Bulging Twine says:

    Didn’t like Eakins saying, “Listen, this isn’t a big deal to me”.

    It’s kinda a big deal.

  163. Zipdot says:

    “I don’t like the guys who get that black vitamin [which is what Ned Harkness calls a puck] and go only one way.”

    Wahahahaha!!! Sounds just like a crazy rookie coach.

  164. hunter1909 says:

    Doc Savage: neither the coach nor the unofficial captain are actually standing up for him.

    Um, Hall is the unofficial nothing. He got passed over by Eakins for Ference, remember?

    Hall is 20 years old, and no doubt is pissed at Yakupov’s struggles.

    And as for Hall being a dick, I recommend any of you go to any bar next weekend and observe how many 18-20 year olds you will see strutting around like so many gunslinger/peacocks. Dickness is more of less a function of being 18-20 years old.

  165. godot10 says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    For the Eakins haters who criticize him for not line matching enough I stumbled across this analysis done by the extraskater guy.

    http://blog.extraskater.com/2013/11/coaching-strategies-so-far-this-season/#more-105

    To summarize:

    “By this measure, the top line-matching teams are the Leafs, Red Wings, and Oilers, while the least line-matching teams are the Rangers, Ducks, and Panthers …The top zone-matching teams are the Oilers, Blackhawks, and Flyers, while the least zone-matching teams are the Sharks, Ducks, and Red Wings.

    Nobody is criticizing Eakins for NOT line matching. We are criticizing him for sticking with and for choosing bad matchups and combinations of players to make matchups with, and sticking with bad matchups and combinations too long.

  166. godot10 says:

    stevezie:

    The reason we’re at 4-13-2, however, is summed up by one number: .873.

    The the reason it might stay that bad is that the Corsi close is trending grim against Western Conference teams, 4 out of 5 games in the 30-something percent.

  167. russ99 says:

    I’m with Mac T on this one, a players second year is always tough, more so for a flashy European who’s being forced to play out of his comfort zone, which isn’t great now, but it will make him a better player down the road.

    If we can get one of our goaltenders to hold an opponent to under 4 goals for a few games, maybe things can calm down and we can get back to improving this team for the long run.

  168. Ryan says:

    godot10,

    I suspect that’s been a problem.

    Let’s say we played more Hall-Nuge-Eberle against the toughs with Smid-Petry (I know…) like last year vs toughs…

    Probably better than Gagner and Yakupov

  169. RMGS says:

    thepeetso: Joanna Ireland is my source

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/edmonton-oilers/Eakins+hammers+home+point+Minutes+need/9156937/story.html

    Sorry should have thrown the link up earlier.

    Taylor Hall is the Oilers’ best player, but those comments can be interpreted in far too many ways for his own good. The team needs to do something to accompany/mentor/protect Yak. The kid’s too easy a target.

  170. wintoon says:

    Gagner is a huge part of the Oilers problems. He is the 2C who can’t win a draw, can’t play D in any way shape or form and yet he is making a salary that says he should be MUCH better. The posters who are looking at Couturier are on the money. This player can bring stability and talent to this team. If we could ever make a trade for him it is something that should be done even if it means losing the trade on paper. Gagner has been over rated for years and after 7 years in the league he is now a veteran and should see his ice time cut drastically if he can’t execute the fundamentals of his position. Let us not forget that he was a very high draft pick and he has not delivered the goods.

  171. thebiggestmanintheworld says:

    Caramel Obvious,

    These conversations would go a lot better if the other side were not obverse to evidence. Here is another piece of evidence. Sutherby was on the radio today with Gregor talking about how the Marlies were an extremely well coached team that worked in unison. He also said that the problem wasn’t the system it isn’t that different from what other teams use. So you can stop using that made up reason to irrationally criticize the coach

    ——————————————————————————————

    Well, that sure looks like some hard evidence by you and Mr. Sutherby.

    Can’t argue with someone’s opinion, I guess……..oh wait…..

    Good job pushing that conversation forward…..

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