MOONLIGHT MILE

If you left the country for the weekend, this is going to take awhile. Pull up a chair, take a good stiff drink and then another. Don’t worry about the time of day, you need some liquid courage to get through this.

SMID DEALT

smid common1MacT dealt Laddy to the Flames for that kid goalie we watched win games for the Oil Kings (Laurent Brossoit) and the one Flames 4th liner I liked (Roman Horak) plus some cap room. I thought this would set up a secondary deal, but nothing came to fruition that night and now I’m wondering if they’re thinking about keeping Hemsky. I’d cry a river of happy tears if they did it.

IGOR PISSED

larionov1Igor Larionov is coming to Edmonton because emails and phonecalls aren’t helping. I imagine he’ll huff and puff and bbbbbbbllllooowwwww the house down, but if he can’t make 3 fit into two he should hold his breath. Nail Yakupov is behind Hemsky and Eberle, and that’s a fact. Now, he might be able to help with some PP suggestions, but I think Nail did that himself with the cannon shot Sunday night. What the Oilers really need is an Igor Larionov center-as-mentor for the gifted Russian. I will say this: if the Oilers ruin Yakupov I’ll never forgive them. Seriously–that’s a deal breaker.

The likely outcome of this is exactly nothing. Eakins will say “we’re working with Nail and he’s showing progress, but we’re 4-13-2 and also trying to win games” and then Nail will say something sweet and sincere and it’ll go away. One day though, people will turn on Yakupov if this continues and that’ll be a shame. However, he’s 20 and frustrated so this. Larionov’s going public is a massive red flag in dealing with him, as disciplined as he was on the ice he does appear to be a loose cannon as an agent. Too bad, he needs to help this young man and this will complicate things–no matter how much you want something to work out, when there’s some guy gumming up the works it tends to work its way through.

 ROY TALENTROY33

Marco Roy had to overcome an injury before getting his QMJHL season underway, but he’s doing fine now! He’s 5, 2-8-10 so far and among the better stories for Edmonton from the 2013 entry draft. Others include Darnell Nurse (#1 on my winter top 20), Bogdan Yakimov and Greg Chase. They won’t get 4 players out of this draft (the last time Edmonton had 4 guys who played 200 or more games in their careers–from one draft– is 1980, Coffey, Kurri, Poddubny, Moog) but the top end is looking very nice so far.

I’m going to post the top 20 over a longer period this year, I’ll have another one either later in the week or weekend. I want  a little more time for some of these kids to play more games (some of the college guys have barely started) but it’s an interesting list with lots of movement.

MICHAEL, DON’T YOU CARE ABOUT JAPAN?

gagner snipI love my kids, they’re awesome. I don’t often tell stories on them here because it’s not fair to them, but there’s one story that fits in with the current ‘Gagner as C’ situation we’ve been discussing since he came back from injury. Years and years ago (probably 7 or 8) I got home after work and my wife and son were at the kitchen table cramming  for my son’s test. I could hear in my wife’s voice some real frustration–it’s not easy studying with kids when they’re not really paying attention–and I yelled up to my son to smarten up and listen to his Mom.

I put my coat away, placed my briefcase in the closet, and went up to change. A few minutes later, I come out of the bedroom and hear the words that are funny to this day:

  • Mom (frustrated): Michael, don’t you care about Japan?
  • Michael: No, Mom. I don’t.

Absolutely sincere, didn’t care. I was too busy laughing to help poor Mom out, but for me that’s kind of the problem we have with the Oilers young Sam Gagner. It’s as ridiculous as asking Sam Gagner if he cares about covering that lonely center in the middle of the photo above. Of course he cares! He just wasn’t paying attention!

How do you get the attention of daydreamers? Take things away. Time on ice is a thing players value. Playing center is something Sam Gagner values. Well, a solution (I’m just saying) is having him sit for a game or two, or moving him to wing (more likely).

I’ll say this: we took away the computer (Japanese, no doubt). Worked pretty well, he’s a damn Japanese encyclopedia these days! I think he may also be playing through considerable pain and it might be a case where he’s taking hits during the game that are impacting that jaw.

NOTHING BUT A BRYZ

bryzI knew the Oilers were going to get a goalie, cheer for a team long enough and you kind of get a feel for things (except trading of Czechs–no idea!) in moments of great joy or sadness. For instance, any other team would fire Eakins once they reached 30 games and still had 4 wins, but the Oilers will:

  1. Bring back Ralph Krueger as co-co-co-co-co-co-asst-coach with big font.
  2. Hire Igor Larionov to count the number of passes that are sent to Yakupov.
  3. Send Mark Messier to Russia to spread the Oiler logo and make trade deals.

I still think Dubnyk ends up with the starting job but this will be an interesting distraction in a season that’s going to need them.

SHERO MISINFORMATION

shero1It’s weird to see something you lived through trampled on and spewed out for digestion in front of you. One would think people would wait until we’re all dead to make outrageous claims, but in the case of the Fred Shero legacy there’s a question that’s been asked many times this week and remains unanswered.

  • Question: Fred Shero is regarded as being a truly innovative, great coach. However, he won his 2 Stanley cups with a bunch of thugs. Which is it? Genius coach? Thugs?

First, a litte background. During the expansion era, the 6 new teams had a massive talent gap every night. St. Louis (under Scotty Bowman) found out early if they played a physical style fans would respond and they could get opponents off their game. It was not entertaining (I saw very little of the early expansion games, they didn’t make it on television much and when they did it wasn’t good) but they survived.

The Flyers got killed early but went to the 1969 Amateur draft looking for size/physical players. They left with their franchise player (Bobby Clarke) and two wingers who were tough and could play (Dave Schultz, Don Saleski). I think people don’t understand that these guys could play–take a pass, make a pass–and the tough stuff was part of the intimidation and they were a very punishing team. They won the 1974 Stanley against the Bruins by hitting Orr every chance they got, but they could play:

  1. Dave Schultz scored 20 goals in a season once, Saleski three times. Saleski was a solid penalty killer, too.
  2. Bob Kelly played the wildest, shortest shifts in NHL history to that time. That’s something about Shero no one remembers–his teams had shorter shifts and because of it had more energy. That was a monster item.
  3. They had terrific skill. Not just Clarke & Barber and MacLeish & Leach, but guys like Gary Dornhoefer, Ross Lonsberry, Orest Kindrachuk, Simon Nolet and others. The Flyers had two or three legit HOFers (Parent, Clarke, Barber) and then a couple just below (Leach, MacLeish) but miles and miles of useful guys.
  4. They were deep and they all played a regular shift.
  5. The blueline was very tough and could handle anything, but they could also pass the puck. They were good NHL players.
  6. He was the first–I believe–to roll penalty-killing duos up front and rotate (often the 10-11 F’s would PK). Terry Crisp was an excellent penalty killer. He’d have three sets of two forwards–and at that time NHL teams sometimes ran the same forward for the entire two minutes.
  7. He had 4 good centermen in an era where many teams had two (Clarke, MacLeish, Kindrachuk, Crisp and then Clement during Stanley run).
  8. He adjusted very well to the talent given. Although he valued 2-way players highly, he ran two extreme ‘offense first’ players heavily (MacLeish, Tom Bladon).
  9. He was always adding. The second Stanley team added Reggie Leach, but also Ted Harris–an end of the road veteran who was done (they had a need because Barry Ashbee’s career ended the previous spring, and they weren’t yet convinced about Larry Goodenough).

Shero was an innovator, and he was a winner. That’s a rare item.

SHERO EXCERPT

A team cannot create the tempo of a game with just one line. Some coaches will try to favor one line over the others, thereby giving the other lines a sense of inferiority. I can put Kindrachuk’s line out against Esposito’s line and not worry about it, because all of our lines are good and all are capable of playing against any line in professional hockey today. Boston will play the Esposito line for a 4-minute shift and we’ll have three lines against them during that time. Thus, by moving our lines on a 1-minute shift we can create a faster tempo during the game. We don’t tire as much as the opposition and we always have fresh players on the ice.

Finally, Fred Shero did not invent the idea of being physical and intimidating through chaos. Consider this item between the two best teams of the early 1970′s, Montreal and Boston. This exchange happened about one year before Shero arrived in Philly:

Having big tough men like Hammer Schultz was the cost of doing business in the 1970′s NHL. Pat Quinn’s first Flyer team had twice as many penalty minutes as Fred Shero’s first Flyer team. Shero won because he had the horses to at least stay in the game with Montreal, Boston, New York and Chicago, and because his shorter shifts, goalie touched by God and other tactics were enough to win the day. Shero’s dead, it’s our job to make damn good and sure that the record is set straight. If we don’t do it, we’re going to pass on history that doesn’t reflect the facts. The NHL doesn’t give a damn–they really don’t, that league doesn’t give a rat’s ass about history–so the fans have to do it. Fred Shero did all kinds of things, like using the neutral zone for counter trey, that were unusual and innovative for the time. There were no Steve MacIntyre’s on the 1974 Flyers, and that is a fact.

 LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

TIFFIN

 

10am, TSN 1260, I have no idea how we’ll get to everything. Lordy. Scheduled to appear:

10-1260 via text, @Lowetide_ on twitter. This will be epic!

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197 Responses to "MOONLIGHT MILE"

  1. Halfwise says:

    Larionov could help, actually. But first he has to recognize that Yak’s on-ice performance is the problem.

    Wouldn’t it be good if coach, player and agent could all get on the same side of the table and frown at the problem, rather than sitting on opposite sides of the table frowning at each other?

  2. Ben says:

    Man, I wish I could’ve read this post in July, before I’d let hope in. “Don’t put your ‘faith’ in crazy”, I think the saying goes…

    Rookie Gm, rookie coach, rookie defensive mistakes = flush Horcoff and Smid.

  3. eidy says:

    Gagner is a very good offensive player, but his defensive awareness is lacking and he is a slower learner than Smid on the backdoor play. He needs to move to wing and I suspect that it should be left wing. He is able to take and make a pass on his backhand and I like the right wingers as Eberle, Hemsky, and Yakupov. I would go like this:
    RNH-hall- ebs – put this line back together again for the love of god
    Arcobello-peroon-yakupov- I love 57 and arco has surprised, yak is turning it around as long as igor stops meddling
    gordon-gags-hemsky: skill, veteran, talent, and gordon and hemsky to cover for gags
    acton-smyth-uncle yessy

    as for trading rw’s… please don’t, but if you do. hemsky before ebs before yak. I heart hemsky, but he is the one to move. if he signs a 3-4 year deal at 3.5 great, don’t trade any of them. trade gags. a few years of depth on the right side is wonderful.

  4. Oiler_Kiwi says:

    Lowetide, Long time reader infrequent poster as you know going back to the HF days when the late Red Twilight along with yourself and Dennis King were the voices of reason. (Still are)

    The seven years since G7 in 2007 has seen all Oilers team with LOFT (Lack of F*****g Talent)

    I’m still dreaming of the day when we ice a team where all players can take and make a pass.

    Will we see it in my lifetime?

  5. Lowetide says:

    Oiler_Kiwi:
    Lowetide, Long time reader infrequent poster as you know going back to the HF days when the late Red Twilightalong with yourself and Dennis King were the voices of reason. (Still are)

    The seven years sinceG7 in 2007 has seen all Oilers team with LOFT (Lack of F*****g Talent)

    I’m still dreaming of the day when we ice a team where all players can take and make a pass.

    Will we see it in my lifetime?

    It’s a great question. I thought we’d see more capable players this year, but the Gagner injury caused waiver pickups for MacIntyre and then Gazdic and for quite some time it was fail city on that 4line.

    Now that last game they seemed to have 4lines with possibilities, but they lost the game so we probably won’t see that again. MacT’s teams imo always at least tried to have useful players, maybe Eakins will get on that train.

  6. Bar_Qu says:

    Ahh, Japan in Social Studies. Grade 6 curriculum if I recall correctly.

    If Gagner is the kid daydreaming about something other than Japan, then Yak is the kid who just wants to get outside to recess. I can feel for the guy. I think Stauffer’s series of tweets last night put it all in perspective.

    Kid wants to play.

    Coach sees -14 and a 4 win season.

    There is where the loggerhead comes. I suspect Yak will be happier (as will everyone) when he and the team start winning. I don’t really see this as a character problem at all, but it becomes the bone the media will gnaw on the rest of his career.

  7. Lowetide says:

    Bar_Qu:
    Ahh, Japan in Social Studies. Grade 6 curriculum if I recall correctly.

    If Gagner is the kid daydreaming about something other than Japan, then Yak is the kid who just wants to get outside to recess. I can feel for the guy. I think Stauffer’s series of tweets last night put it all in perspective.

    Kid wants to play.

    Coach sees -14 and a 4 win season.

    There is where the loggerhead comes. I suspect Yak will be happier (as will everyone) when he and the team start winning.I don’t really see this as a character problem at all, but it becomes the bone the media will gnaw on the rest of his career.

    Which is exactly the reason Larionov should shut up shutting up.

  8. SoxandOil says:

    Another infrequent poster here with a couple random things to say.

    First of all, without trying to sound too much like a homer, I respect the way MacT handled the Smid trade. The left side is log jammed and the way the season is going we might as well what Kelfbom is able to do. Its sucks losing Smid, he was a heck of a warrior and loved being a Oiler but with Ference being brought in for long term he was expendable. I’m sure MacT could have got more by shopping him more but instead dealt him a 2.5hr drive away to a division rival primarily for Smids family. (Thats the way I see it. Kinda like Ottawa trading Mike Fisher to Nashville a few years back)

    As for Bryz coming in i’m fine with it mainly because we didn’t have to lose any of the kids.

    Lastly I checked out the Hitmen vs Kootenay Ice game last night ( Virtanen vs Reinhart) neither had a huge game but I was impressed more by Reinharts defensive awareness – he was always quick to backcheck, never getting caught behind the play and broke up a few Hitmen chances with a smart stick. Virtanen had a bit more recklessness in his game (I think he took 3 minor penalties) he had great speed and was strong on the puck. Greg Chase also had a good game and very easily could have had 2 goals but was snakebitten in the crease (many jokes were made that he already plays like a oiler). I hope Virtanen drops in the rankings and even though he could Reinhart could be a excellent 2nd line center, please god don’t let the oilers even have a chance at him.

  9. hunter1909 says:

    Fact: Oilers under Lowe/MacT/Eakins are the NHL’s laughingstock. Make no bones about this: Oilers are considered by everyone but hardcore oiler fans as the number one gongshow/assclown franchise in the NHL today.

    Fact: Fired coach turned into GM MacT won nothing as a coach, and likewise has bungled his debut by hiring a rookie straight from the AHL who so far appears to be totally out of his depth.

    Fact: Yakupov represents everything any true Oiler fans desires – in a pure goalscoring machine…potentially. Any fool however, can see he’s got everything going for him to deliver on that ideal…but Eakins/MacT/Lowe, despite their empty words would probably like to deal him asap…in their asinine quest to recreate 2006, with a plugger captaining the team and fuck knows what else.

    Conclusion: Lowe/MacT are pathological studies in how not to run a business. ANY business fails under this kind of myopic willful stupidity.

    Prediction: Yakupov gets traded. The fan base debates whether or not it’s good, while the rest of the NHL laughs, and laughs, and laughs.

    Nice.

  10. justDOit says:

    Lowetide: Which is exactly the reason Larionov should shut up shutting up.

    Exactly. What ever the ‘problem’ with his young meal ticket (er, player…), Lari should really understand that this public ‘airing of grievances’ is just what a team with 4 wins at the quarterpole (almost) doesn’t need!

    Somewhere, members of that ’75 Capitals team are smiling.

  11. flyfish1168 says:

    Eberle is a fine player. There has been at least 7 games where he has played about 23 minutes. He was not doing any more than what a Yak did in 10 -12 minutes on those games. Is that effective use of a player?
    Eberle is one of the older young guns. He must show leadership explain and teach young Yakupov. We need both to succeed.

  12. eastcoastoil says:

    eidy,

    Thats a good looking line up. Arco was having a great year so far.

    A little scared of re-uniting hem sky and gags but with Gordon it should flow. And thats a forth line that any team in the league could use…

  13. Eastern Oil says:

    LT, great article as per usual. I have been an Oilers fan for about 20 years now but have only really got into following them in detail in the past five years (advanced stats, prospects, etc.). For you, and other very intelligent and dedicated Oil followers, have you seen this many Oiler prospects track so well?

    I realize that having 3 1OV picks plays into this but having Klefbom, Chase, Nurse, Yakimov, Roy (and even Khaira early on) progressing very nicely seems to be a refreshing change.

    It seems in years past that we have definitely had 1-2 prospects to be excited about but it was never more than that. Am I wrong?

  14. Woodguy says:

    Everyone needs to hang their hat on this Eakins quote:

    Eakins told the Edmonton Journal last week that Yakupov isn’t going anywhere.

    “This is not going anywhere. Guys like Joe Thornton … and the kid here [Steven] Stamkos … those guys struggled early in their careers, but, boy they turned out to be pretty good players,” Eakins told the newspaper.

    “Nail Yakupov is not being shopped, he’s not going anywhere and I wanted him to hear that from me, to look in my eyes, and let him know we’re attached at the hip. We’re going to make him a better player and it’s OK to struggle. I let him know about Thornton and Stamkos. It’s part of the process. He’s 20 years old. We’re not suddenly giving up on a guy because he’s going through a rough stretch,” Eakins said.

    Larionov shouldn’t have opened his mouth.

    I still think it may have been the vodka talking as that’s not something that normally comes up in conversation at a HHOF ceremony.

  15. godot10 says:

    Bar_Qu:

    Kid wants to play.

    Coach sees -14 and a 4 win season.

    There is where the loggerhead comes. I suspect Yak will be happier (as will everyone) when he and the team start winning.I don’t really see this as a character problem at all, but it becomes the bone the media will gnaw on the rest of his career.

    It was the coach that thought Hall at centre was a good idea. It was the coach that thought matching Gagner against the Leafs top line with Yakupov on his wing is a good idea, and the coach stuck with it as it rang up a -4 and a loss. It was the coach who thought Yakupov matched against Ovechkin was a good idea, for a who bunch more minuses.

    The problem is that the coach has a character and communciation problem, not the player.

    The coach is throwing out line combinations like a chicken with his head cut off. Yak struggled last year too. But Larionov didn’t feel the need to speak publically because Krueger was communicating clearly with Yak, and Yak had a direction.

    Larionov is coming to speak to Eakins, because he has a client who is confused, who isn’t getting a clear message and direction from the coach about that the plan is, about what his role is, because there is no consistency from Eakins.

    He is just throwing a bunch of things against the wall, and calling that coaching. He has no vision of team construction, how to use the skills of his players. He isn’t explaining the why of his systems to the players.

    Really smart players need to know why they have to do certain things. They need to know what the plan is for themselves and for the team, where they fit in.

    Eakins is clearly not communicating this.

    If Eakins goes “it’s my way or the highway”, it won’t go well. Larionov is one of the guys who stood up to the entire Russian sports system and Tikhonov. The “coach as dictator” model is not a coaching model he can accept.

    So Eakins has a sales job to do on Larionov, like he did on MacT, that he is not a Tikhonov.

    #breakingbadforEckblad

  16. Brackenburied says:

    Lowetide: Which is exactly the reason Larionov should shut up shutting up.

    He should shut his Yak.

  17. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Probably my favorite Stone tune:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Gy3PH4Sf6g

    Perfect for the Autumnal turn to Winter.

    ————
    The most perplexing thing about the Larionov situation is that he looks crazy in this situation. The public malcontentedness is one thing, amateur hour. It is clearly not in the best interest of his client to create such a high profile and negative aura around him. But, to do so a mere 5 days after singing a completely different tune (also in public) is down right baffling.

    So far, Larionov has had to deal with false rumors reported erroneously from Yak’s dad about Yak going back to Russia, trade rumors created by others and squashed by the Oilers and now trade rumors of his own making… It’s a completely sub-optimal way to handle a player.

    I have to think him being new to the agent business and Yakupov being his most important client is leading him to overthink things and freak out a bit.

    One side bar… how does Yak’s treatment affect our other Russians, esp. Yakimov? We’ve never really had a long relationship with Mother Russia and we were just newlyweds when this surplus came along (Belov, Yakimov, Slappy)… We don’t need to upset the apple cart here… with the rise of the K we need to be outpost Russia going forward… smart teams are going to leverage the desire of players to play in the best league in the world and get value contracts out of it (cf. Belov).

  18. RMGS says:

    I can understand the frustration from Yak and The Professor. Appearances are important, and it appears that Yak’s the whipping boy.

    - He’s scratched for two games early in the season for shoddy defensive play. Has any other high profile phenom received the same treatment, despite shoddy defensive play? The candidates are a plenty.

    - He’s often benched for large parts of the game for shoddy defensive play. He was even benched after scoring a howitzer of a goal last game. Has any other high profile phenom received the same treatment, despite shoddy defensive play?

    - With a pass-the-puck-into-the-net 1st PP unit, the team’s best shooter is on the 2nd unit dying to receive a pass.

    - He’s been stuck playing with bottom-six forwards more than any other high profile phenom this year.

    I can see why it may appear to Yak and Larionov that he’s the #1 pick relegated to a middle seat in economy class while the other two phenoms plus Eberle and Schultz are enjoying the non-stop martinis in executive class.

    If he’s not traded this year, this all spells lower dollar bridge contract when the time comes – and that will also appear like differential treatment.

    The season’s lost, so why not play him more?

  19. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “Terry Crisp was an excellent penalty killer.”

    After I read that exact sentence the second time, I had a powerful sense that I was going to see a lot more of it. You disappoint me LT. Repetition like that is its own reward.

  20. Mr DeBakey says:

    godot10: It was the coach that thought Hall at centre was a good idea.

    Two things
    Hall at Center had been discussed for a couple of years and even tried briefly
    The Oilers had two Centers on the shelf with injury
    Carry on

    NY Times article about Flyer sniper Reg Leach:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/10/sports/hockey/flyers-riverton-rifle-content-to-give-his-coach-the-glory.html?_r=1&

  21. hunter1909 says:

    Lowe/MacT possess two of the worst imaginable traits for conducting negotiations of any kind:

    1 – They both LOVE to tell everyone their exact plans in advance, foolishly thinking they’re receiving maximum adulation when in fact the clever ones out there are biding their time, with mouths kept shut.

    2 – They both like airing their dirty laundry in public, hoping to garner support from anyone stupid enough to buy this chicken shit approach to life.

    I’d happily pay a 7% winnings tax, just to play poker with them anytime. For real money, lol.

  22. RMGS says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: The most perplexing thing about the Larionov situation is that he looks crazy in this situation. The public malcontentedness is one thing, amateur hour. It is clearly not in the best interest of his client to create such a high profile and negative aura around him. But, to do so a mere 5 days after singing a completely different tune (also in public) is down right baffling.

    Thing is, we shouldn’t jump to conclusions based on a couple of tweets.

    The ESPN article LT posted (http://espn.go.com/nhl/story/_/id/9964265/nail-yakupov-agent-open-trade-edmonton-oilers-unhappy) gives a little more context (and even that doesn’t suffice). It describes Larionov recounting his earlier conversation with MacT. In that earlier conversation he mentioned that they’d be open to a trade if the Oilers weren’t happy but also expressed his concerns over Yak’s deployment. Eakins and MacT seemed to address the trade issue but Yak hasn’t been deployed much differently since. Larionov’s still concerned about that.

    Should he be expressing the concern so publicly? That’s debatable, but it’s obvious that there’s accumulated frustration from player and agent.

  23. hunter1909 says:

    Of course, once Yaks and say Eberle are sent down the road and in hindsight, Lowe/MacT will publicly regret this, and vow never to do such a thing again. They will say “we’re always learning” and someone will be crazy/stupid enough to believe them – again.

    Lowe might need as many as 4-5 of his cup rings when he meets the 1981 Canada Cup winning captain, Larianov.

  24. Bruce McCurdy says:

    On the pic up top where LT correctly calls out Gagner for daydreaming, I have a further question: exactly WTF is the left defenceman, Belov, doing in the right corner? His proper position in that play is net-front, full stop. Instead he went for a skate for no apparent reason, abandoning his post and accomplishing nothing vs. the puck carriers. Gagner should have recognized that and played it different, but that fustercluck is not just on Sam.

    Belov has shown some nice things, but man he makes a lot of poor plays behind his own blueline, both with and without the puck. Meanwhile, at the good end he’s delivered all of 0 goals & 3 assists, and has played his way off the powerplay even in the absence of JSchultz.

    Lots of talk about Oilers re-upping him, and even of his price going up with Smid being dealt, but I’m in wait-and-see mode on this player. Has shown NHL talent, but he’s got some book-learnin’ to do about playing his position.

  25. hunter1909 says:

    Lowe+MacT were able to run a middle of the pack team of pluggers, but have never been able to do anything more than this.

    Collectively they don’t understand the cap, in relation to establishing a competitive roster. This is proven by their putrid 4-15 record. Every year it’s the same, entering with totally unbalanced rosters, incompetent training camps which habitually elevate whichever new small sized plugger they prefer etc.

    Love how anyone is supposed to be patient with a now 8 season in a row outside the playoffs hockey team that can’t even parlay THREE FIRST OVERALL PICKS into anything more than 29th place.

  26. Logan91 says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    On the pic up top where LT correctly calls out Gagner for daydreaming, I have a further question: exactly WTF is the left defenceman, Belov, doing in the right corner? His proper position in that play is net-front, full stop. Instead he went for a skate for no apparent reason, abandoning his post and accomplishing nothing vs. the puck carriers. Gagner should have recognized that and played it different, but that fustercluck is not just on Sam.

    Belov has shown some nice things, but man he makes a lot of poor plays behind his own blueline, both with and without the puck. Meanwhile, at the good end he’s delivered all of 0 goals & 3 assists, and has played his way off the powerplay even in the absence of JSchultz.

    Lots of talk about Oilers re-upping him, and even of his price going up with Smid being dealt, but I’m in wait-and-see mode on this player. Has shown NHL talent, but he’s got some book-learnin’ to do about playing his position.

    The whole team has some book earning to do when it comes to positioning.

  27. theres oil in virginia says:

    Lowetide: Which is exactly the reason Larionov should shut up shutting up.

    Love that.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NX435CJQtAo

  28. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    RMGS: Thing is, we shouldn’t jump to conclusions based on a couple of tweets.

    The ESPN article LT posted (http://espn.go.com/nhl/story/_/id/9964265/nail-yakupov-agent-open-trade-edmonton-oilers-unhappy) gives a little more context (and even that doesn’t suffice).It describes Larionov recounting his earlier conversation with MacT.In that earlier conversation he mentioned that they’d be open to a trade if the Oilers weren’t happy but also expressed his concerns over Yak’s deployment.Eakins and MacT seemed to address the trade issue but Yak hasn’t been deployed much differently since.Larionov’s still concerned about that.

    Should he be expressing the concern so publicly?That’s debatable, but it’s obvious that there’s accumulated frustration from player and agent.

    I have no problem with him and Yak being concerned about deployment/TOI/Linemates, etc.

    Going public with it is crazy, not in the best interest of his client, counter-productive and looks nutty right after publicly expressing confidence in the team’s relationship with his client.

  29. hunter1909 says:

    Logan91: The whole team has some book earning to do when it comes to positioning.

    One thing we can agree on: assistant coaches Steve Smith and Bucky each have more experience than the last two popes. So there’s no way it can be their fault. Not in any way at all.

    Lowe/MacT need to start trading the number one picks: they’re going to get lots of ‘talent’ for them, and with the team all but guaranteed to be shit for the next 2-3 years, there’s going to be a veritable pipeline of shiny new rookies, to send out for crushing. Also, Dallas Eakin’s can have 2-3 years to learn how to coach at the NHL level.

    It’s going to be great when the new arena opens, though. They’re already working on it now, right?

  30. G Money says:

    Bruce McCurdy: His proper position in that play is net-front, full stop. Instead he went for a skate for no apparent reason, abandoning his post and accomplishing nothing vs. the puck carriers. Gagner should have recognized that and played it different, but that fustercluck is not just on Sam.

    I think this is happening a lot on the breakdowns this year – and I don’t just mean Belov.

    We often zero in on the one player making the mistake, when in fact it looks like there is a bit of a domino effect, where one player mispositions, the second player does a poor job of adapting, the third player doesn’t adapt at all, and the puck is in the net.

    We then look at Gagner daydreaming (or we look at RNH’s -14) and we blame the one, but in reality it is the sins of the many.

    I think this is the clearest confirmation we get when Eakins talks about his players not being coached in the basics of defensive positioning.

    And I believe it – looking back over the last five years, the only time I think this team was well coached on the defensive fundamentals was during the Renney years – which seems to have been completely undone by the Krueger year. Especially when the only forward (esp. centre) that seems to consistently know what to do defensively came from a Tippet-coached team.

    You have to hope Eakins can turn that around, but frightening to think how long that might take. Undoing bad habits is way tougher than just instilling good ones. You have to wonder if the Oiler coach-defenestrating machine will kick in before then.

  31. HugThePost says:

    sigh.
    Waking up and reading more of this stuff I would file under ‘negative drama’ is kind of like camping and checking in on the fire to make sure it is always burning.

    The Oilers are just slowly but surely being engulfed in flames.

    It’s just really difficult to have any kind of optimism when it comes to this shitshow.

  32. pboy says:

    19. The minimal return the Oilers received for Ladislav Smid stunned some people. But ultimately, this will be decided by two things: How well Laurent Brossoit develops and what Edmonton does with the cap space. There weren’t a ton of teams who knew Smid was available, either. One exec expressed surprise at hearing the trade, while another scout said he’d known for about two weeks. I had heard Washington was very interested, which makes sense. But that was denied (I was denied more this week than in all of high school – impressive feat).

    DBO talked about this yesterday but the fact a ton of teams didn’t know Smid was available, really speaks poorly about MacT in this instance. Maximizing return on a player is one of the most important jobs a GM has. Not comparing players but when Boston traded Joe Thornton to SJ and the hockey world was completely unaware that Thornton was available, it cost Mike O’Connell (Boston GM) his job. Why in the world would MacT not shop Smid around to all of the other teams and access what the best offer really is? Is this a by product of a rookie GM? If it’s a trend, we are more fucked that we even think we are right now.

  33. hunter1909 says:

    pboy: when Boston traded Joe Thornton to SJ and the hockey world was completely unaware that Thornton was available, it cost Mike O’Connell (Boston GM) his job. Why in the world would MacT not shop Smid around to all of the other teams and access what the best offer really is?

    Hopefully you’re not expecting MacT to be held accountable. He’s only just started the job of taking over management of Lowe’s 3 year rebuild(that’s actually taken 7 years, but Kevin doesn’t count so good).

  34. Zipdot says:

    “and they weren’t yet convinced about Larry Goodenough”

    Man, I honestly don’t know why they didn’t think he was adequate.

  35. RMGS says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I have no problem with him and Yak being concerned about deployment/TOI/Linemates, etc.

    Going public with it is crazy, not in the best interest of his client, counter-productive and looks nutty right after publicly expressing confidence in the team’s relationship with his client.

    Read this, and focus on Larionov’s comments: http://www.edmontonsun.com/2013/11/06/oilers-gm-craig-mactavish-refutes-trade-rumours-surrounding-nail-yakupov.

    He does not “express confidence in the team’s relationship with his client.” Sounds more like trepidation:

    “When you are talking about a goal-scorer, you have to remember he wants to be the guy. If he starts concentrating on being a checking forward, it takes away his speed, his drive and goal scoring.”

    “Sure, Nail has to work hard on improving his defence. But he’s a 20-year-old kid. He has to enjoy the game, not be worried about everything.”

    “The kid needs a break. He needs to be able to do his thing. He needs to play 18 minutes a game and get his power-play time. The defence will come.”

    “Scotty Bowman was the best I’ve ever seen of getting the best out of anybody. Take Pavel Datsyuk 12 years ago. If Scotty hadn’t handled him the way he handled him when he turned the puck over at the blueline, never taking away from the natural skills of the player, Pavel Datsyuk wouldn’t have developed the way he developed. It’s a very delicate balance. You have to be very careful.”

  36. OilBuzz says:

    pboy:
    19. The minimal return the Oilers received for Ladislav Smid stunned some people. But ultimately, this will be decided by two things: How well Laurent Brossoit develops and what Edmonton does with the cap space. There weren’t a ton of teams who knew Smid was available, either. One exec expressed surprise at hearing the trade, while another scout said he’d known for about two weeks. I had heard Washington was very interested, which makes sense. But that was denied (I was denied more this week than in all of high school – impressive feat).

    DBO talked about this yesterday but the fact a ton of teams didn’t know Smid was available, really speaks poorly about MacT in this instance. Maximizing return on a player is one of the most important jobs a GM has. Not comparing players but when Boston traded Joe Thornton to SJ and the hockey world was completely unaware that Thornton was available, it cost Mike O’Connell (Boston GM) his job. Why in the world would MacT not shop Smid around to all of the other teams and access what the best offer really is? Is this a by product of a rookie GM? If it’s a trend, we are more fucked that we even think we are right now.

    That is indeed a very disturbing revelation. Seems like MacT had his heart set on a specific deal

  37. DeadmanWaking says:

    I hope they lock Larionov in a small room until he watches the game tape from every damn goal scored (either way) for the whole damn season with Yakupov on the ice, with fifty repetitions for every situation where a minus follows soon after Yak trying to skate the puck through five players.

    Larionov: “Hey, I get it, he lost the puck. I don’t need to see all these stupid repeats.”

    Video assistant: [Holds up cell phone as if he's got someone important on the other end] “Guy by the name of Pavlov says you do. Ever heard of him?”

    Then as a memento for sitting through this grueling ordeal, they should honour Igor with his very own Oil Drop dog whistle.

    “We don’t give these out to anybody. Mostly just active players and ex coaches. You’re the first player agent to earn the special lanyard.”

  38. hunter1909 says:

    RMGS: Sounds more like trepidation:

    Larianov/Gretzky in another career might have become brain surgeons, or symphony conductors. These are gentlemen, who perceive life in a certain particular way that sets them apart:

    Lowe/MacTavish on the other hand, would be the dudes laying your carpet, or fixing the plumbing.

    Knowing nothing than how to “succeed” with plugger teams, it’s perilously obvious they’re already outside of their own boxes, and this isn’t going to turn out very well in the end.

  39. hunter1909 says:

    DeadmanWaking: Video assistant:

    If results are anything to go on, I actually believe the Oilers still use video in 2013.

    Maybe that’s the problem: they leave Hall/RNH/Yakupov and Eberle alone in a room with a VCR and none of them(except Eberle who’s not letting on he understands so he can fit in better) knows how to turn the thing on, let alone watch it.

  40. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Zipdot:
    “and they weren’t yet convinced about Larry Goodenough”

    Man, I honestly don’t know why they didn’t think he was adequate.

    As I recall, Larry Goodenough’s nickname was “Izzy”

  41. G Money says:

    HugThePost: It’s just really difficult to have any kind of optimism when it comes to this shitshow.

    Hugs,

    Last year when all hope was lost, this blog was filled with lots of black humour.

    This year, it’s mostly depression and rants.

    Last year, I went to the first Oiler-Flames game here in Cowtown full of piss and vinegar, and watched one of the most heartless, gutless, brainless efforts I’ve ever seen from any team wearing the Oilers colours. I went home, took off my jersey, and haven’t worn it since.

    I have tickets once again to this years first Ballet of Alberta on Saturday, and I’m not even sure if I’m going to go.

    Hope is indeed almost lost.

  42. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Anybody have a link for this morning’s OKC Barons game? It just started a few minutes ago.

  43. FastOil says:

    This speaks to the difficulty in running talent on every line (other than money). Guys want TOI and if they are scoring or can score they think they’re somebody and want more. More TOI, more money.

    Which is how guys like Jones find gigs. I’m not liking Hemsky’s chances, unless MacT doesn’t like Eberle’s contract or something. Or Yak’s agent.

  44. pboy says:

    DeadmanWaking: I hope they lock Larionov in a small room until he watches the game tape from every damn goal scored (either way) for the whole damn season with Yakupov on the ice, with fifty repetitions for every situation where a minus follows soon after Yak trying to skate the puck through five players. Larionov: “Hey, I get it, he lost the puck. I don’t need to see all these stupid repeats.” Video assistant: [Holds up cell phone as if he's got someone important on the other end] “Guy by the name of Pavlov says you do. Ever heard of him?” Then as a memento for sitting through this grueling ordeal, they should honour Igor with his very own Oil Drop dog whistle. “We don’t give these out to anybody. Mostly just active players and ex coaches. You’re the first player agent to earn the special lanyard.”

    What’s the answer from Management or Eakins going to be when Igor says that the rest of the players are able to make mistakes without missing shifts or become healthy scratches? If he feels his client is being singled out, he’s going to have a few examples that are indisputable. Looking directly at J Schultz and S Gagner.

    Two wrongs don’t make a right and if Yak is being held accountable in ways that aren’t mirrored in the Oiler’s dealings with Gagner and Schultz, it doesn’t mean that Eakins is wrong about try to make Yak a more responsible player. Yak will be a better player because of this but the standard should apply to everyone and if that’s the point Larionov is going to make, simply holding up 6 rings isn’t going hold water.

  45. Jujhar says:

    Gagner is the worst centre i have ever seen. I wish they would of dumped his contract rather than Smid.

  46. RMGS says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    Anybody have a link for this morning’s OKC Barons game? It just started a few minutes ago.

    Hockeystreams has it. Bryzgalov’s scratched (Bunz in), but Ryan Whitney’s playing!

  47. Halfwise says:

    G Money: I have tickets once again to this years first Ballet of Alberta on Saturday, and I’m not even sure if I’m going to go.Hope is indeed almost lost.

    “Ballet of Alberta”. Love it.

  48. hunter1909 says:

    pboy: Yak will be a better player because of this but the standard should apply to everyone and if that’s the point Larionov is going to make, simply holding up 6 rings isn’t going hold water.

    Larianov played 1st line centre in the 8-1 1981 Canada Cup Final thrashing of Team Canada – so it’s dubious whether anyone from Rexall can pull rank on him.

    Lowe’s merely a simpleton to Larianov. Which is of course another reason to worry, if one is inclined to that way of thinking.

  49. Bruce McCurdy says:

    RMGS: Hockeystreams has it.Bryzgalov’s scratched (Bunz in), but Ryan Whitney’s playing!

    Thanks, but I’m looking for “free”, should have specified.

  50. denny33 says:

    pboy,

    DBO talked about this yesterday but the fact a ton of teams didn’t know Smid was available, really speaks poorly about MacT in this instance. Maximizing return on a player is one of the most important jobs a GM has. Not comparing players but when Boston traded Joe Thornton to SJ and the hockey world was completely unaware that Thornton was available, it cost Mike O’Connell (Boston GM) his job. Why in the world would MacT not shop Smid around to all of the other teams and access what the best offer really is? Is this a by product of a rookie GM? If it’s a trend, we are more fucked that we even think we are right now.

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

    Mac T has done some good things – bringing in Belov has been good. Signing Gordon has been outstanding. Promising Arco a legitimate shot.

    But there have been some very scary moves as well.

    Darnell Nurse is likely going to be a franchise player -and he was almost moved for a goalie.

    Andrew Ference is at best a #5 guy on a Teams D-core. Andrew turns 35 and we have him locked up for 3 more years after?

    Hands up if anyone has noticed his leadership skills?

    Ryan Jones was signed to 1.5 million to play hockey….

    Ryan Jones chopped the puck into 30 pieces on a line rush a few games ago and actually put himself off-side….I have never seen that before..

    Finally – how about the signing of Sam Gagner to a 3 year contract that pays him nearly 5 million dollars per year.

    Here is what David Staples said about it:

    Perhaps Eakins can get Gagner to play the defensive hockey he needs to play in order to stop leaking scoring chances and goals against. That will mean a huge commitment to playing on the **right side of the puck **in the Oilers’ end, but Gagner certainly has the right attitude.**He just needs to shed old puck watching habits**

    Sam Gagner has been day dreaming in his own end for so long – I don’t think it is even debated in this forum.

    Perhaps Mac T can salvage something with a blockbuster trade….but like Eakins – Craig MacTavish has earned this teams record.

  51. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    RMGS: Read this, and focus on Larionov’s comments: http://www.edmontonsun.com/2013/11/06/oilers-gm-craig-mactavish-refutes-trade-rumours-surrounding-nail-yakupov.

    He does not “express confidence in the team’s relationship with his client.”Sounds more like trepidation:

    “When you are talking about a goal-scorer, you have to remember he wants to be the guy. If he starts concentrating on being a checking forward, it takes away his speed, his drive and goal scoring.”

    “Sure, Nail has to work hard on improving his defence. But he’s a 20-year-old kid. He has to enjoy the game, not be worried about everything.”

    “The kid needs a break. He needs to be able to do his thing. He needs to play 18 minutes a game and get his power-play time. The defence will come.”

    “Scotty Bowman was the best I’ve ever seen of getting the best out of anybody. Take Pavel Datsyuk 12 years ago. If Scotty hadn’t handled him the way he handled him when he turned the puck over at the blueline, never taking away from the natural skills of the player, Pavel Datsyuk wouldn’t have developed the way he developed.It’s a very delicate balance. You have to be very careful.”

    You conveniently cut out the part that adds context and explains my comment:

    A half hour earlier Larionov told your agent he talked to MacTavish and he talked to his client so he wasn’t surprised to hear of the session coach Dallas Eakins had with the player on the ice at practice in Tampa Bay Wednesday.

    Eakins told reporters in Tampa he let Yakupov know the trade rumours were untrue, and that the team is committed to making him a better player.

    “First, it’s nice to hear that from the coach,” said Larianov.

    “It’s nice for Nail to hear that from the coach. It makes a big difference. A guy like Nail, he needs support. It’s nice of the coach to step forward to make statements like that for his confidence.”

    That doesn’t mean they are 100% sympatico… but it is a world of difference from 5 days later telling a reporter on a red carpet you are really upset, flying into town and demanding explanations.

    In one case, you are responding to an on-going story not of your own making. Saying your client has needs, which could be better served, but you are glad the team is being considerate of your client, despite any differences,i.e., this is putting out a fire and leaving all paths open.

    In the other case, you are the sole source of a firestorm, making demands publicly and implying you are ready to end a long-term relationship, i.e., this is starting a fire without any great exit strategies.

    these are really, really different things.

  52. G Money says:

    Just mulling on the depth of analysis in the MSM.

    Tagline: “Oilers must cut down goals against to have any hope”

    What next?

    “Oilers must score more goals than the other team in order to win”

  53. G Money says:

    Jujhar:
    Gagner is the worst centre i have ever seen.I wish they would of dumped his contract rather than Smid.

    Is he? Is he really? Jujhar, let me introduce you to Eric Belanger.

    Maybe we should stop playing centres who have letters that spell “anger” in their name.

    As good as any other theory. Probably smarter than trading Smid for magic beans.

  54. DeadmanWaking says:

    Speaking of Pavlov, one person on a first name basis is David Staples. He’s been opining on the loop for a year now about shifting the one skill guy on this team who seems to be consistently deaf to the dog whistle from his roost on the power play half boards deep into Gretzky’s office, where he’ll be last man back on every turn-over–but don’t you worry, Justin will calm the waters long enough for RNH to hustle back for the defensive regroup.

    Yak would be perfect launching his canon two steps back from where any ordinary player wires in a smoke-eater if he had that long-elusive 1D standing behind him.

    Nothing quite says “deterrence” like giving up shorties.

  55. Bruce McCurdy says:

    denny33: Ryan Jones chopped the puck into 30 pieces on a line rush a few games ago and actually put himself off-side….I have never seen that before..

    You need to watch more hockey. Happens fairly often.

    Whether or not it involves chopping the puck into bits, when it comes to causing offsides on the Oilers, Ales Hemsky leads the way and it’s not that close.

  56. denny33 says:

    G Money,
    Perhaps Eakins can get Gagner to play the defensive hockey he needs to play in order to stop leaking scoring chances and goals against. That will mean a huge commitment to playing on the right side of the puck in the Oilers’ end, but Gagner certainly has the right attitude. He just needs to shed old puck watching habits.

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

    I think of all the people that have stopped posting in here or even watching OIlers games….

    I think of guys like Blaque Jacue who was giving us live reporting during training camp, many other names that have just stopped caring enough…

    The strange thing – if someone actually set out to be this bad for so long – I don’t thing they could do it…..

    Dale Tallon signed misfits and castoffs 2 years ago and nearly won a division – I think 3 quarters of the team were free agent signings. He was trying to lose. He literally threw shi%t at the wall and it turned out not bad…

    I sincerely find it almost surreal that a team that has a collection of First overall picks is sitting 29th and we are nearly at the quarter pole.

    There are some really, really bad teams above us….including a Philly team that was playing brutal hockey. We were playing with a fully healthy forward unit.

    Worse, and I will repeat myself for the 44th time – you can make the case we are missing two legitimate Centres, how many D-man are we missing? Keep petry and Belov….Ference as a 5th…..we need at least 3 more D-man. ( whole first pairing available? )

    4th line wingers…

    Throw in the utter lack of goaltending in the system and the parent club and you can easily say this team is 2-3 more drafts away from competing.

    If we trade Ebs ( and a 1st round Pick ) for a D-man & SC lets say…this team still has **plenty** of holes to fill….

    But that is what happens when you come up empty in the draft – besides picking 1st overall…

    Musil, Moroz, PItlick, etc, etc, -takes a long time to rebuild…

    Combine that with turning real NHL assets into magic beans….ala Smid and you are going nowhere fast..

  57. Caramel Obvious says:

    Here is some good stuff on Larionov from George Malik. http://kuklaskorner.com/hockey/comments/larionovs-comments-yield-a-yakupov-incident-on-twitter.

    Basically, a lot of this comes down to Larionov’s personality and we shouldn’t overreact.

    Regarding Yakupov here is some relevant information for those of you who aren’t allergic to facts.

    12-13: shots/game: 1.7 shooting percentage: 21%
    13-14: shots/game: 1.8 shooting percentage: 6.5%

    These pretty much speak for themselves and should put to rest the narrative that Eakins is somehow using Yakupov differently or stifling his offense.

    The lesson is that it is impossible to reason from outcomes because your awareness of the outcome distorts your recollection of the thing you are reasoning about.

  58. barry.moore23 says:

    LT, Here;s what I have decided to do: relax and pray that in the not too distant future Lowe and Eakins and MacT will be saying “I told you so” to all of us out here. I’ve tried obsessing and getting pissed and even saying f*&% it, but none of those have changed a thing. Godspeed, boys.

    Thanks for your blog. I’m a well informed Oilers fan in Illinois USA keeping the faith.

    Barry

  59. RMGS says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: You conveniently cut out the part that adds context and explains my comment:

    That doesn’t mean they are 100% sympatico… but it is a world of difference from 5 days later telling a reporter on a red carpet you are really upset, flying into town and demanding explanations.

    In one case, you are responding to an on-going story not of your own making. Saying your client has needs, which could be better served, but you are glad the team is being considerate of your client, despite any differences,i.e., this is putting out a fire and leaving all paths open.

    In the other case, you are the sole source of a firestorm, making demands publicly and implying you are ready to end a long-term relationship, i.e., this is starting a fire without any great exit strategies.

    these are really, really different things.

    You said that Larionov looks “crazy” for expressing concerns now after recently “expressing confidence in the team’s relationship with this client.” Problem is he did no such thing. That’s all I pointed out.

    I’m not suggesting this is coming from you, but there’s a slight stench of “nutty Russian” narrative coming through in discussing Larionov’s actions. Given the player he was, the man deserves more accurate scrutiny of his comments.

  60. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    Anybody have a link for this morning’s OKC Barons game? It just started a few minutes ago.

    http://firstrownow.eu/watch/220839/1/watch-ahl-:-oklahoma-city-vs-san-antonio-rampage-.html

  61. LMHF#1 says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    Here is some good stuff on Larionov from George Malik.http://kuklaskorner.com/hockey/comments/larionovs-comments-yield-a-yakupov-incident-on-twitter.

    Regarding Yakupov here is some relevant information for those of you who aren’t allergic to facts.

    12-13: shots/game: 1.7shooting percentage: 21%
    13-14: shots/game: 1.8shooting percentage: 6.5%

    These pretty much speak for themselves and should put to rest the narrative that Eakins is somehow using Yakupov differently or stifling his offense.

    The lesson is that it is impossible to reason from outcomes because your awareness of the outcome distorts your recollection of the thing you are reasoning about.

    Please explain how shots per game says anything in detail about how a player is used. You’re trying to go too far with such a simple number.

  62. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    RMGS: You said that Larionov looks “crazy” for expressing concerns now after recently “expressing confidence in the team’s relationship with this client.”Problem is he did no such thing.That’s all I pointed out.

    I’m not suggesting this is coming from you, but there’s a slight stench of “nutty Russian” narrative coming through in discussing Larionov’s actions.Given the player he was, the man deserves more accurate scrutiny of his comments.

    But that’s exactly what he did (he recently expressed confidence in the team’s relationship with his client… not sure how else to interpret his statement 5 days ago. Is it some ironclad, no daylight symbiotic relationship? well, they don’t exist) and he does (look crazy, not in some literal sense, but in the banal not-acting-in-his-best-interest and cutting his nose off to spite his face sense).

    I suspect we aren’t going to agree on how to interpret these separate statements (which is fine), but at least they are all properly quoted now.

    It’s not because he’s Russian either. That’s a silly red herring in this case. Let’s treat him as an individual and not give his conduct a pass because some people can’t handle players and personalities not from Sask.

  63. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    1-1 after 2 in OKC.

    goal by Lander (Gernat, Musil)

  64. G Money says:

    Caramel Obvious: 12-13: shots/game: 1.7 shooting percentage: 21%
    13-14: shots/game: 1.8 shooting percentage: 6.5%

    Colonel Sticky,

    There’s a lot of tidbits like that about this team.

    We have shooters like Yak taking more shots than last year, but their sh% is abysmal (and we rightly expect that eventually it will regress to normal levels).

    We have a PP that is generating more shots than last year but also has a terrible sh% (and we rightly expect that eventually it will regress to normal levels).

    We have a team that is actually giving up fewer shots and chances than last year, but has an unprecedentedly bad sv% (and we rightly expect that eventually it will regress to normal levels).

    And yet as we wait, the numbers don’t seem to revert to normality. In fact, sometimes they get worse.

    I am a patient man. I understand random chance, and how non-random it can seem at times. But it’s like the old saying about markets and irrationality: they can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent.

    It appears that this team can stay shitty (luck or no) longer than most fans can stay sane.

  65. G Money says:

    denny33,

    That puck-watching thing has become widespread. Let’s hope it’s a ‘freezing’ effect of players learning positioning but not yet knowing where they should be.

    Gagner is the whipping boy of the moment, but let’s not forget this team was atrocious defensively before he came back. Objectively, the team hasn’t gotten better, but they haven’t actually gotten meaningfully worse either. He’s just another defensively clueless forward in a sea of defensively clueless forwards.

    The only faint hope is that one day soon it will ‘click’. Let’s hope it happens at Rexall, ’cause in the deafening silence, we’ll be able to hear the click loud and clear.

    *** PS: speaking of silence, it’s an exceedingly quiet day at work today, lots of time for posts. Heh heh, too bad for you guys!

  66. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Horak!!!

    (Marincin, Stretch)

  67. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Omark draws a penalty on a nice move to the net.

  68. RexLibris says:

    If Yakupov is to be traded, I pray that it becomes our Eric Lindros moment.

    We can only…wait for it…hope.

  69. RexLibris says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Horak!!!

    (Marincin, Stretch)

    That’s going to take some getting used to.

  70. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    interesting lines:

    Edmonton Oilers ✔ @EdmontonOilers
    #Oilers lines today –> Perron-RNH-Eberle, Hall-Gagner-Hemsky, Smyth-Arcobello-Yakupov, Joensuu-Gordon-Jones, Gazdic-Acton-MacIntyre.

  71. RexLibris says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Omark draws a penalty on a nice move to the net.

    Was that against Whitney?

    The coincidence is hilarious. Like the Oilers themselves, sad but still kind of funny.

  72. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    RexLibris: Was that against Whitney?

    The coincidence is hilarious. Like the Oilers themselves, sad but still kind of funny.

    Sure was.

    Oilers have a way of finding one another.

    The goalie is Markstrom too.

  73. RexLibris says:

    And Whitney scores to tie the game. Of course.

  74. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    And Whitney just scored from the point!

    Hilarious.

  75. dsr29 says:

    RMGS: You said that Larionov looks “crazy” for expressing concerns now after recently “expressing confidence in the team’s relationship with this client.”Problem is he did no such thing.That’s all I pointed out.

    I’m not suggesting this is coming from you, but there’s a slight stench of “nutty Russian” narrative coming through in discussing Larionov’s actions.Given the player he was, the man deserves more accurate scrutiny of his comments.

    “nutty Russian” or nutty agent worried about getting big bucks this summer when discussing his clients next contract! Seems like a typical move by an agent to get more playing time, thus more points and bigger payday, for his client. Larionov is not concerned with Yakupov as an overall player, or whether the Oil win or lose, he wants to get paid!

  76. hunter1909 says:

    Odd how very few if any Lowetide posters know a single thing about what sports agents do, aside from negotiating with sports team’s general managers for money.

    Stranger yet, how Lowe’s still able to call up the MSM to order hatchet jobs in advance of Larianov’s perfect right to represent his client.

    Then so many fall for this attempt to buy more time.

    Larianov’s also the bad guy, because he’s a Russian and it’s still 1972.

    Nice forward looking franchise, Mr. Katz.

  77. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Beautiful fucking goal by Omark… shit, wow~~!!!!!!!

  78. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    (gernat, bunz)

  79. fifthcartel says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Bunz, no way hahah.

  80. Caramel Obvious says:

    LMHF#1,

    Well, Yakupov is playing slightly more and shooting just as often. That tells me that on a macro level everything is the same in terms of his handling.

    He is not getting less ice time. That’s a fact.
    He is not getting fewer shots. That’s a fact.

    The only difference is shooting percentage. Well, if someone doesn’t accept that shooting percentage is subject to random variation this conversation doesn’t go anywhere.

    The burden of proof is on the side of people who want to argue that something has changed because all of the macro evidence says it is the same. That Yakupov is scoring less is not evidence of anything. It certainly isn’t evidence, for instance, that he is being used differently on the powerplay. If you think that go count his powerplay shot attempts, or one-timers and show me a meaningful difference instead of assuming one.

    Same with Godot’s ridiculous presumption that he is not being put in a position to succeed. He’s getting 68% offensive zone starts. That’s a stunning percentage and he’s played with skill. What more do you want?

    While the results obviously aren’t there I would be a lot more inclined to respect the armchair quarterbacks if they would accompany their assertions with arguments and evidence that had any correspondence with reality.

    For instance this nonsense that Yakupov has been unfairly picked on by being benched for mistakes. First, he isn’t the only one who has been benched. Second, no one who hasn’t been benched makes as many mistakes as he does. Do you honestly think that Eberle or Hall or Hopkins or Hemsky or Arcobello or Gordon deserve to be benched? Meanwhile Jones and Eager have been in the minors, Omark is in the minors, Joensu has been benched, Smyth has been benched. Yakupov has been treated just like everyone else except for Gazdic who obviously is a special case.

  81. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Omark and Whitney trading icings in the final minute. priceless.

  82. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Barons win 3-2.

    Lander great down the final minute fighting for the win.

  83. hunter1909 says:

    Poll: Which in your opinion, seem more like the current Oilers?

    A – The Titanic: either before during or after it hit the iceberg.

    B – The Mary Celeste: where a ship’s entire crew mysteriously vanished.

  84. Gerta Rauss says:

    C- The Costa Concordia

    and we saw the effort it took to get that ship upright. Lowe plays the hapless Captain in the made for TV movie.

  85. Bag of Pucks says:

    Is anyone else cautiously optimistic that if Brygalov is able to give them even serviceable goaltending, that it could make an absolutely massive impact on this team’s performance?

    What I’ve seen this year is a young team with a fragile psyche that is trying to buy into Eakin’s system but struggles to maintain that discipline and focus when adversary strikes. And more often than not, that adversity has come in the form of bad goals from its goaltender.

    I know it’s not fashionable in these parts to consider factors like ‘momentum’ and ‘clutch’ but what I’ve seen all too often is a team that comes out of the gates battling (remember, slow starts were a real issue under Kreuger) but once the soft goals put them in arrears, they start cheating for offense and the bad habits re-appear. The team’s adherence to system plan seems markedly better when they’re playing even or with a lead – granted you can say that about most teams.

    The thing with Dubnyk is he’s an equal opportunity momentum killer. He lets in bad first goals, he lets in late game killers, he lets in the soft insurance markers when the team’s trying to get back in it. I firmly believe this team’s fragile psyche is hugely impacted at the moment by the fact they simply don’t trust their goaltender not to lose the game and thus the undisciplined play is very often the result of a team that believes from the first puck drop that it will have to score 5 bloody goals to win a hockey game.

    If there’s a goaltender that can give this team a solid backstop, it will do wonders for both their confidence and the structure that Eakins is trying to instill.

  86. Henry says:

    hunter1909:
    Odd how very few if any Lowetide posters know a single thing about what sports agents do, aside from negotiating with sports team’s general managers for money.

    Stranger yet, how Lowe’s still able to call up the MSM to order hatchet jobs in advance of Larianov’s perfect right to represent his client.

    Then so many fall for this attempt to buy more time.

    Larianov’s also the bad guy, because he’s a Russian and it’s still 1972.

    Nice forward looking franchise, Mr. Katz.

    Larionov’s job is to represent his client’s interests.

    Coming out with that statement to a reporter in the present situation for all parties then sending his young and struggling client into the Oiler’s dressing room isn’t what I call serving.

    Larionov may be coming to Edmonton to talk to his client before Ritch Winter does.

  87. hunter1909 says:

    Poll: Which in your opinion, seems most like the 2013-14 Oilers?

    A – The Titanic: either before during or after it hit the iceberg.

    B – The Mary Celeste: where a ship’s entire crew mysteriously vanished.

    C – The Costa Concordia

    D – Carnival Triumph Cruise from Hell 2013

    E – Pharaoh’s army chasing the Israelites into the Red Sea.

  88. leadfarmer says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    So 2 AHL lines and Gordon gets to play defense while the Smash Bros skate around aimlessly.

  89. godot10 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Going public with it is crazy, not in the best interest of his client, counter-productive and looks nutty right after publicly expressing confidence in the team’s relationship with his client.

    Larionov has much more credibility in the hockey world than Lowe/MacT/Eakins at this point. I hope Ferraro unloads on the OIlers on TV like he does in his radio bits on TSN Radio in Toronto.

    How’s that goal differential and Corsi working for you guys lately? 4 out of 5 Western Conference games have been in the 30-something percents.

    You guys are back out to pumping regular plus/minus stats to bash the players with, when with the horrid regular plus/minus stats the multitude OIlers have, it means that the coach is clueless about how to match up his players and lines with the other team, and that his systems don’t work.

    #breakingbadforEckblad

  90. hunter1909 says:

    Maybe someone at Recall(brilliant typo) Place has a scam running with the “Safeway score 5 goals and win” contest, and Yaks looks like he might eventually score 5 and foul everything up.

  91. Caramel Obvious says:

    godot10,

    If you are going to engage in discourse you might as well make rational arguments.

    For instance, the Oilers do match up players and lines with other teams. You just don’t like the way he does it. However, whenever you bother to make actual criticisms they don’t stand up to scrutiny. Admit it no matter what match up he chooses you would come up with something different after the fact. Case in point your preposterous criticisms of Yakupov’s matchups, he of the 68% offensive zone starts.

    Second, the systems Eakins is using were not invented by him. Other teams use them too. Real, live, NHL, teams. So on what basis are you saying they “don’t work.” This isn’t the introduction of the run n’ shoot (which incidentally did work).

  92. hunter1909 says:

    godot10: Larionov has much more credibility in the hockey world than Lowe/MacT/Eakins at this point. I hope Ferraro unloads on the OIlers on TV like he does in his radio bits on TSN Radio in Toronto.
    How’s that goal differential and Corsi working for you guys lately? 4 out of 5 Western Conference games have been in the 30-something percents.
    You guys are back out to pumping regular plus/minus stats to bash the players with, when with the horrid regular plus/minus stats the multitude OIlers have, it means that the coach is clueless about how to match up his players and lines with the other team, and that his systems don’t work.

    I think Lowe/MacT/Eakins are collectively more than happy to denigrate Yakupov, Larianov, Russia, anything, in order to buy time. It’s right up their m.o. It’s exactly the way they’ve proven themselves during the Comrie fiasco, the Pronger total fuckup, etc.

    Too many examples to list, is the reality of this 2013-14 Oilers management.

  93. Cobbler says:

    hunter1909,

    I will momentarily join the ranks of the cynical and suggest the MV Lyubov Orlova…cut loose and allowed to drift in the North Atlantic. Has not been spotted since April.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MV_Lyubov_Orlova

    A once proud but now largely unloved ship. Sat in St. John’s harbour rotting for 2 years. Was to be sold for scrap, but alas not worth the effort.

    I now return to hope and positive thoughts.

  94. Dominoiler says:

    “Why in the world would MacT not shop Smid around to all of the other teams and access what the best offer really is? Is this a by product of a rookie GM? If it’s a trend, we are more fucked that we even think we are right now.”

    Cus it seems the Oilers are only interested in scouting and acquiring Oil Kings.. the list of Oil Kings alum has grown, ridiculously, disproportionately..

  95. Woodguy says:

    Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers 1m

    “I just want to help my team win every game… I love this city and I want to play for this team.” – Nail Yakupov pic.twitter.com/nAYPc07jo7

  96. Woodguy says:

    Ryan Dittrick ‏@ryandittrick 9s

    Yakupov wouldn’t say the situation is unfair, but, without hesitation when asked, says he deserves to be playing more.

  97. justDOit says:

    Dominoiler:
    “Why in the world would MacT not shop Smid around to all of the other teams and access what the best offer really is? Is this a by product of a rookie GM? If it’s a trend, we are more fucked that we even think we are right now.”

    Cus it seems the Oilers are only interested in scouting and acquiring Oil Kings.. the list of Oil Kings alum has grown, ridiculously, disproportionately..

    The only thing that comes to mind, that might even come close to ‘splaining that Smid move, is that he was doing the player a solid, and not moving him too far away from home/family in the Edmonton area.

    ??

  98. RMGS says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I suspect we aren’t going to agree on how to interpret these separate statements

    Agreed!

  99. Jujhar says:

    justDOit: The only thing that comes to mind, that might even come close to ‘splaining that Smid move, is that he was doing the player a solid, and not moving him too far away from home/family in the Edmonton area. ??

    yea this franchise is really in a position to be able to do “solids” for players they want to trade.

  100. Jujhar says:

    God i hope they do Gagner a solid and trade him to anyone stupid enough to accept.

  101. RMGS says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    LMHF#1,

    Well, Yakupov is playing slightly more and shooting just as often.That tells me that on a macro level everything is the same in terms of his handling.

    He is not getting less ice time.That’s a fact.
    He is not getting fewer shots.That’s a fact.

    The only difference is shooting percentage.Well, if someone doesn’t accept that shooting percentage is subject to random variation this conversation doesn’t go anywhere.

    The burden of proof is on the side of people who want to argue that something has changed because all of the macro evidence says it is the same. That Yakupov is scoring less is not evidence of anything.It certainly isn’t evidence, for instance, that he is being used differently on the powerplay.If you think that go count his powerplay shot attempts, or one-timers and show me a meaningful difference instead of assuming one.

    Same with Godot’s ridiculous presumption that he is not being put in a position to succeed.He’s getting 68% offensive zone starts.That’s a stunning percentage and he’s played with skill.What more do you want?

    While the results obviously aren’t there I would be a lot more inclined to respect the armchair quarterbacks if they would accompany their assertions with arguments and evidence that had any correspondence with reality.

    For instance this nonsense that Yakupov has been unfairly picked on by being benched for mistakes.First, he isn’t the only one who has been benched.Second, no one who hasn’t been benched makes as many mistakes as he does.Do you honestly think that Eberle or Hall or Hopkins or Hemsky or Arcobello or Gordon deserve to be benched?Meanwhile Jones and Eager have been in the minors, Omark is in the minors, Joensu has been benched, Smyth has been benched.Yakupov has been treated just like everyone else except for Gazdic who obviously is a special case.

    How’d you get your hands on 6-Rings’ lecture to Larionov?

  102. Logan91 says:

    Did anyone else see Omarks beauty goal earlier?

  103. Melman says:

    justDOit: The only thing that comes to mind, that might even come close to ‘splaining that Smid move, is that he was doing the player a solid, and not moving him too far away from home/family in the Edmonton area.

    ??

    I find it hard to believe that a GM looking to make a deal calls every single team in the league before making a trade.

  104. Zipdot says:

    The Oilers are more like the canoe from Deliverance.

  105. LMHF#1 says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    LMHF#1,

    Look, I’m not trying to win “the Yakupov debate” right now and I certainly have a different take on it that what’s being discussed here (for instance, I’d run the bench completely differently so the point is moot as my scenario has not been tried), but you responded to my question by immediately including more information, which was part of my point.

    Also, asserting that someone who disagrees with your premises has to prove points wrong that require your premises to be accepted isn’t really going to lead to productive discussion. That doesn’t mean someone can disagree with you by saying that hockey games are decided my magical dancing unicorns, but it does refer to the fact that we have a ton of correlations but no causations.

    Point on the side – why are we always discussing average when it comes to these stats? Wouldn’t the mean, or a slightly modified stat group (top end and low end gone, etc) be more interesting depending on what is trying to be known? Would it be better to have a guy who scores every night or happens to score in 3s pretty often? Just throwing it out there.

  106. Zipdot says:

    LMHF#1: hockey games are decided my magical dancing unicorns

    Tapdancing, I hope!!

  107. justDOit says:

    Jujhar: yea this franchise is really in a position to be able to do “solids” for players they want to trade.

    I didn’t say it made sense, but merely suggested that it was plausible.

    Here’s my second theory:

    KLowe, Katz and MacT are shape-shifting lizard type aliens, who have come to this planet to harvest our sorrows and feed off of our anguish.

  108. RMGS says:

    — Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) November 12, 2013

    “This is not going to sway me whether he plays 20 min or 2… he’s going to play the minutes he deserves.” – #Oilers Eakins on Yakupov

    I’m ok with Coach Eakins’ principled stance … except, it doesn’t seem to apply to all his players.

  109. justDOit says:

    aaaaaaand the Yak story is front page on tsn.ca/nhl. Just what this team needs, Lari – big thanks!

  110. Ribs says:

    Logan91:
    Did anyone else see Omarks beauty goal earlier?

    It was amazing! He picked up the puck with one sideburn, slapped the goalie in the face with the other, and backhand roofed it!

    Or at least I assume that’s how it went down….

  111. G Money says:

    LMHF#1: Point on the side – why are we always discussing average when it comes to these stats? Wouldn’t the mean, or a slightly modified stat group (top end and low end gone, etc) be more interesting depending on what is trying to be known? Would it be better to have a guy who scores every night or happens to score in 3s pretty often? Just throwing it out there.

    Almost every discussion does involve the average, which almost always is the arithmetic mean.

    WG and I had a discussion not long ago observing the difference between the mean and the median game-by-game Corsi for the Oilers, which are quite different and so capture a little bit of the tale of the Oilers ups and downs.

    I don’t think that’s a conversation that will go very far, though – the fairly simple stats (like Corsi) that we do discuss seem to push past the intellectual limits of many posters here (Hi Art!), so I don’t think anyone will get very far arguing whether then to apply mean, median, or mode. Bring in a standard deviation on top of that and I suspect in due course there will be heads suffering from internal structural deviation.

  112. stevezie says:

    Jujhar,

    justDOit,

    You guys are missing an important detail. Guys like Smid and potentially Gagner, it’s not in the middle of a contract we said, “Don’t worry buddy, there is no trade in the works” and now we are bound to that. The Oilers provided certain assurances as a part of negotiations, if we treat those assurances as disposable then we are negotiating in bad faith. This is not a reputation you want to have.

    Trading Smid close to home, even though the previous GM signed the contract is classy (the return is another matter), and players notice these things. I’m not saying you treat the players like gods to the detriment of your team, but you cannot just break your word as soon as it become convenient. There is a reasons Brian Burke has an easier time luring free agents than Charles Wong, and why Philly overpays everybody.

    Again, I am not claiming “doing the right thing” is the primary factor in UFA decisions or that it should be MacT’s primary concern, just that is a factor, and should be a concern.

  113. bookje says:

    If the team had gotten average NHL goaltending, they would be around 0.500 and the discussions would be far less serious and grim about all of this (Yak and everything else).

    If they had gotten above average goaltending, the discussions would be very optimistic.

    Let’s hope Brygzalov comes in and has a 15 game run of .950. It would change the whole dynamic.

  114. Jujhar says:

    i dont think goaltending has been the issue for the last 10 games.

  115. stevezie says:

    I know that the things Omark the balance of Omark’s strengths and weaknesss make him more appealing to fans than coaches, but hasn’t he shown enough to get more than a 1 game audition? I appreciate that Jones kills penalties, but… really what should happen is Nashville should trade for him.

  116. Henry says:

    justDOit:
    aaaaaaand the Yak story is front page on tsn.ca/nhl. Just what this team needs, Lari – big thanks!

    I just read that. I find it suspicious and all too common that the most damaging allegations from Yakupov are not actually quoted.

    From the TSN piece, Author unknown: ” “I just want to help, just want to have fun, just want to play,” Yakupov told reporters on Tuesday. The former first overall pick said that head coach Dallas Eakins doesn’t trust him and something needs to be done. ”

    Is there an actual quote from Yakupov complaining that the coach doesn’t trust him or something needs to be done there?

    Next direct quote: “I just want to help my team win every game,” Yakupov said, adding it is hard watching from the bench. “I love this city and I want to play for this team.”

    Where is the actual complaining in there? I see no quote. I suspect however that there was a leading question in the scrum to the effect of “Is it hard to watch from the bench?” Then his actual platitudes become an affirmation.

    Sorry to rant, but I really don’t like this sort of lazy internet bullshit hiding out as journalism.

  117. RMGS says:

    bookje:
    If the team had gotten average NHL goaltending, they would be around 0.500 and the discussions would be far less serious and grim about all of this (Yak and everything else).

    If they had gotten above average goaltending, the discussions would be very optimistic.

    Let’s hope Brygzalov comes in and has a 15 game run of .950. It would change the whole dynamic.

    Exactly. It’s only game. Why you have to be mad?

  118. bendelson says:

    justDOit,

    That’s ridiculous. You really think MacT made that trade so he could do Smid a solid? Seriously? I would expect MacT respects his job more than that.

    Why did they make the trade? B/c they love Brossoit. They saw him good for two years and with Bob Green is on the payroll… should we be surprised?

    I mentioned in a previous thread, we should expect Hemsky to be traded to PHX for Samuellson. I admittedly jumped the gun here folks… I should have also included the possibility that Hemsky goes to Ottawa for Lazar.

    Two options! Now that’s due diligence!

  119. RMGS says:

    Henry: I just read that.I find it suspicious and all too common that the most damaging allegations from Yakupov are not actually quoted.

    From the TSN piece, Author unknown:” “I just want to help, just want to have fun, just want to play,” Yakupov told reporters on Tuesday. The former first overall pick said that head coach Dallas Eakins doesn’t trust him and something needs to be done.”

    Is there an actual quote from Yakupov complaining that the coach doesn’t trust him or something needs to be done there?

    Next direct quote:“I just want to help my team win every game,” Yakupov said, adding it is hard watching from the bench. “I love this city and I want to play for this team.”

    Where is the actual complaining in there?I see no quote.I suspect however that there was a leading question in the scrum to the effect of “Is it hard to watch from the bench?”Then his actual platitudes become an affermative.

    Sorry to rant, but I really don’t like this sort of lazy internet bullshit hiding out as journalism.

    It came from today’s media availability with Yak. It’s a beauty!

    I’m with LT that if the Oilers ruin Nail Yakupov I will never forgive them for it.

  120. bendelson says:

    stevezie,

    I’m going to disagree with you here…
    MacT traded Smid to Calgary b/c their target was in Calgary.

    It’s OK though Stevezie. It happens.

  121. stevezie says:

    bookje: If the team had gotten average NHL goaltending, they would be around 0.500 and the discussions would be far less serious and grim about all of this (Yak and everything else).

    You are so right it hurts my heart. I hate to keep banging the goaltending drum, but I don’t think the world realises how bad it has been. I heard Marek vs Wyshinsky the other day, two guys I like who actually watch Oilers games, and they were saying that the problem isn’t just the Oilers’ goalies, but the team in front of them who aren’t making Dubnyk’s life easier. This seems to be the common opinion league-wide.

    The team isn’t great either, this is true, but:
    !) The defence is actually better than last season,
    2)Our SVP% is hang aroun .870. .870!!! That isn’t just bad- we’d be better off with a shooter tooter! We’d be better off playing posts! Even against Chicago, a game which everyone agrees was one of Dubby’s best this season- his svp% was .861!!!
    3) Stop saying the defence explains the svp%- All of Carolina’s goalies are above .910, even the farm team guy. Carolina’s defence is not any worse than ours. It may be worse.

    I don’t think the world realises the degree to which goaltending has been a weight around our ankles during this synchronized swimming contest. We still wouldn’t be in the playoffs with average goaltending, but we wouldn’t be 4-13-2.

    Are people in Edmonton the only ones who actually read the game sheets???

  122. Henry says:

    RMGS,

    Thanks. I went to the site, but can’t get the video. Are they busy editing it for fan consumption?

  123. stevezie says:

    bendelson,

    I… I don’t know anything anymore. Et tu, Bendlzen?

  124. Zipdot says:

    Nubdick doesn’t play angles. That’s his problem. He hangs out back in the net like it’s a treehouse. No aggression on shooters. No trying to clear screens with crosschecks or ankle slashes. He’s back in the net like it’s the Goalie’s Lounge.

  125. godot10 says:

    bookje:
    If the team had gotten average NHL goaltending, they would be around 0.500 and the discussions would be far less serious and grim about all of this (Yak and everything else).

    If they had gotten above average goaltending, the discussions would be very optimistic.

    Let’s hope Brygzalov comes in and has a 15 game run of .950. It would change the whole dynamic.

    If, if, if…

    We are now supposed to pray for statistical anomalies to show that Eakins is a good coach. In 4 of the 5 games against common opponents from last year, the Oilers Corsi/Fenwick has been 30-something. The initial trend is grim. Krueger was crucified in the blogosphere for being at 40-something. The 40-something Corsi, we were told, meant that, Krueger was a lousy coach. Q.E.D.

    I’m was waiting for 16 games against common opponents, which is still awhile away, which means the standard error in the Corsi/Fenwick with be the standard deviation divided by the square root of the sample size…i.e. root 16 which is 4.

    Since all of MacT’s and Eakins boosters suddenly stopped talking about Corsi. I expect the word will hardly be uttered for the rest of the year unless I bring it up.

    As long as Eakins keeps Hall with Gagner, and refuses to put together Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, and Eberle, and a 2nd line of Perron, Gordon, and Hemsky, the Oilers are going to be roasted on Corsi.

    Krueger, at least, had a plan for fighting with an undermanned roster (all that Swiss experience) And keeping winning as a possibility if everything went well. With the Marlies, Eakins never had an undermanned roster, or faced coaching with an undermanned roster. He typically had a stacked roster. He is a deer in the headlights undermanned. The x’s and the o’s aren’t working. He is a systems coach. So it is basically hopeless.

    Undermanned, you have to build systems to maximize the skill sets of the players that you have. It requires system flexibility. Minimize the bleeding while maximizing your strike capability.

    Instead of fighting the good fight, and fighting to be able to fight another day, i.e. tactical sacrifices and retreat to prolong the fight into the future, Eakins is intent on destroying the routes of tactical retreat and ordering his men to charge ahead out of the trenches.

    He even says it in his press conference. He talks about the next game. When you are competitive or a contender, you can talk that way.

    When you are undermanned and your troops still need training and better weapons, one has to be more strategic.

  126. G Money says:

    So …

    How long before Iveson (or Nenshi or Redford for that matter) start taking potshots at Gagner?

    http://montreal.ctvnews.ca/denis-coderre-angers-habs-by-tweeting-about-desharnais-1.1537944

  127. justDOit says:

    bendelson,

    So I can jot your name down as a supporter of the ‘lizard-alien’ theory then? Thx!

  128. Logan91 says:

    G Money:
    So …

    How long before Iveson (or Nenshi or Redford for that matter) start taking potshots at Gagner?

    http://montreal.ctvnews.ca/denis-coderre-angers-habs-by-tweeting-about-desharnais-1.1537944

    The Montreal Canadiens are the biggest hypocrites, they probably whine and complain more than any team in the NHL.

    So they can bash the Oilers and make comments like that, but when someone says it about one of their players it’s the worst thing in the world.

  129. Pablo Aimar says:

    The Yakupov situation really underscores what a total disaster Eakins has been. He is in completely over his head. If MacTavish had any sense he’d act now to prevent any more damage from being done. Of course it is questionable how much sense the guy who tried to give Clarkson 6mil a year, and who gave Smid away for nothing, actually has. It just goes on and on. The fans of this team deserve better.

  130. G Money says:

    godot10,

    Sorry, man, but you’re full of sh*t. Not sure what Eakins did to you, but it must have been mean and it must have been personal. None of your invective makes sense otherwise.

    - Not one person, not one, had much bad to say about Krueger until 25 to 30 games of the season were in the books. Most of the comments at that point were wondering why formerly good players suddenly looked terrible defensively. Even then, most people were OK with him, although that was mostly a lucky happenstance as a result of terrific goaltending – the exact opposite of this year.

    - It wasn’t until after the season that a number of smart folks deconstructed Krueger’s systems and pointed out how utterly fucking terrible they were. The more the team played the system, the worse they got. So yeah – there is no doubt in my mind, RK was a bad bad coach.

    - Is Eakins just as bad? Maybe. Early in the season, his team looked a helluva lot better than RK’s teams ever did, but got their shit handed to them game after game by terrible goaltending. Now that the goaltending has improved from abysmal to simply terrible, the rest of the team has gone in the tank. Maybe not too surprising – a sense of futility will set in eventually no matter who you are. Look at this blog! Signs of life: the PK and PP have improved dramatically.

    If Eakins is a good coach, the ES defense will start to come around soon as well.

    If Eakins is a bad coach, the ES defense will not come around, or not enough.

    If you are blaming Eakins’ system, though, you are a fool. Unlike RK, whose system was not used by ANY other NHL system, Eakins system is quite widely used in the NHL and the AHL. The problem is the players not executing it. As Gregor said, quite well, on ON: “Watch the highlights, do you honestly believe that Eakins would coach his players not to cover the guy in front of the net, or that he’d instruct them to leave Kruger wide open in front of the net, and send both D-men to the man on the boards. The players are making some horrible defensive decisions.”

    If Eakins’ team is still as bad at the 25 game or the 30 game or the 40 game mark as RK’s team was, then we can happily brand him as bad a coach (maybe even worse, though I don’t see how that’s possible). But I very much doubt it. At least on a number of nights, this team has looked competent. They almost never did under RK, or at least I can count those incidents on one hand.

  131. G Money says:

    Logan91,

    I won’t argue about the whining and complaining part, but to be honest, I do think it is offside for the Mayor of any city to publicly call out a player.

  132. godot10 says:

    G Money:
    godot10,

    Sorry, man, but you’re full of sh*t.Not sure what Eakins did to you, but it must have been mean and it must have been personal.None of your invective makes sense otherwise.

    //….stuff deleted…///
    -
    If Eakins’ team is still as bad at the 25 game or the 30 game or the 40 game mark as RK’s team was, then we can happily brand him as bad a coach (maybe even worse, though I don’t see how that’s possible).But I very much doubt it.At least on a number of nights, this team has looked competent.They almost never did under RK, or at least I can count those incidents on one hand.

    The trend is not your friend at the moment. 4 of 5 games against common opponents from last year. Corsi/Fenwick in the 30-somethings. Simple fact. Not invective. Corsi was you Eakins’ boys metric of choice. It is still too early. Like I said, 16 games against common opponents begins to be a decent sample size. If Eakins finishes with a Western Conference Corsi plus Detroit less Winnipeg of 45%, then I will concede that there was improvement. I think it will have to be that to get beyond the error bars overlapping at the end of the season.

    7 pre-season games + 19 regular season games = 26 games. So we’ve passed your 25-game threshold.

  133. denny33 says:

    stevezie,

    I know that the things Omark the balance of Omark’s strengths and weaknesss make him more appealing to fans than coaches, but hasn’t he shown enough to get more than a 1 game audition? I appreciate that Jones kills penalties, but… really what should happen is Nashville should trade for him.

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

    Crazy thing – I thought Omark played well in his 1 game show- great set up. Back checked…

    But then again, if he replaced Jones – who would hack the puck into tiny pieces?

    So you can see the dilemma,,,,

    Quick Edit: You can also appreciate not wanting to upset the team chemistry that has produced 2 regulation wins….

  134. oilersfan says:

    why didn’t Bryzgalov play for OKC today?

  135. weight7 says:

    the Yak and Eakins press conferences are very interesting:

    http://video.oilers.nhl.com/videocenter/console?catid=4&id=482878&navid=DL|EDM|home

    Yak is clearly frustrated by his playing time and its pretty obvious there is a disconnect between himself and the coach at this point.

    To his credit Eakins handled his press conference extremely well and didn’t add any fire to this situation. I think listening to Yak’s press conference, it is very clear Larionov was representing what Yak believes and not just agent talk.

    I don’t have much problem with Yak’s playing time as he has not been one of the better players, but if Eakins talks about “earning minutes”, it would be good to reward players like acobello and cut down gagner’s minutes until he earns them. Seems to be a double standard.

  136. thebiggestmanintheworld says:

    G Money,

    I don’t think that’s a conversation that will go very far, though – the fairly simple stats (like Corsi) that we do discuss seem to push past the intellectual limits of many posters here (Hi Art!), so I don’t think anyone will get very far arguing whether then to apply mean, median, or mode. Bring in a standard deviation on top of that and I suspect in due course there will be heads suffering from internal structural deviation.

    ————————————————————————————————————–

    Very eloquent way of calling someone stupid. Very well done.

    Here’s stat you might find hard justifying…….4-13-2.

    I give a fuck if any team uses “Eakins” system, the Oilers obviously can’t.

    I can’t wait to see what stat you use top defend him when this team is officially eliminated from the playoffs before Christmas, because that’s what projected.

    But, I’m sure there will be some magic /60 stat that will provide some hope for you for next year.

    By the way, any word on when Dellow is going to go shift by shift and tell us how shitty the coach is? Maybe that help some people with the over the head conversations that all the Mensa members here have….

  137. stevezie says:

    godot10,

    No one is saying it is impossible that Eakins is a bad coach. You’ve been declaring it a certainty before game 1! As soon as the word got out that Hall was going to be tried at center you got on the pulpit and you haven’t come down.

    No one is arguing that things have gone well. What we’re saying is that while many things are bad, some are better than they were and the complete picture is still coming together. Don’t pretend the facts are all in, because they aren’t. That takes at least half a season. Even if the Oilers don’t win another game this season you still won’t be right, you’ll just be lucky. You’re trying to count pre-season games for drying out loud. That’s silly. You’re being silly Godot.

    Now if you want to defend Kruger, I think he did a lot of things well. I think that’s a common opinion. Nice resume. His systems weren’t working when he was prematurely dismissed (for the logical reason that the new boss wanted to sink or swim with his own coach), but he seemed to be good with the kids. He will work again.

  138. Bag of Pucks says:

    RE: Godot v Eakins.

    I’m always amazed when Oiler fans are willing to lay the bulk of the blame for the team’s failings at the feet of a single culprit – which seemingly ignores the utter futility of the last 7 years. I WISH I could compartmentalize my disgust for this org/team in such a fashion, but the reality is I’m embarrassed by all of them at the moment.

    This entire org is under-performing from ownership down to the individual player level. This is the worst hockey team in the entire league since the lockout. Folks, it takes incompetence of truly epic proportions to accomplish that feat. We’re talking Rob Ford meets Enron with a dash of Washington Generals. We haven’t seen an extended period of suck like this since Heidi Fleiss’ heyday.

  139. stevezie says:

    thebiggestmanintheworld,

    So you are arguing the season is going poorly? Okay, we’re all convinced.

    Now that we’ve settled that, let’s debate why it’s going poorly, what needs to be fixed or replaced and what needs to be maintained.

  140. Gret99zky says:

    justDOit: The only thing that comes to mind, that might even come close to ‘splaining that Smid move, is that he was doing the player a solid, and not moving him too far away from home/family in the Edmonton area.

    ??

    I wish MacT would stop doing solids for players like Smid (traded) and Gagner (NMC).

    These these type of solids just hurt the team’s chances of winning or improving.

    Smid should have been properly shopped around the league if cap relief was the only reason for his trade.

    Gagner’s NMC does not officially kick in until next season so don’t make any promises that jeopardizes the team’s improvement if the occasion arises.

    Can someone explain to me again why MacT is considered so cerebral and smart? Because I forget.

    So many fans talk about how smart he is and when he makes dumb moves like this suddenly they stare at their shoes and talk about another shoe dropping somewhere in the super unknown.

  141. hunter1909 says:

    At least Eakin’s has that veritable scion of the community Ference to help the situation. What a captain!

    Just like Horcoff, Moreau, and Jason Smith = pluggers/morons/mediocre players in the MacT ideal mold.

    BEST LOWETIDE JOKE OF TODAY: Poster who intimated MacT will succeed of fail with Eakins. Fact is, MacT is a permanent member of the management, just like USA at the UN. He will never, ever in a million years be fired, no matter how putrid the result.

    Katz just broke up his marriage, is going through his midlife crisis, and the last thing he needs is to face reality of any kind.

  142. Zelepukin says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    LMHF#1,

    Well, Yakupov is playing slightly more and shooting just as often.That tells me that on a macro level everything is the same in terms of his handling.

    He is not getting less ice time.That’s a fact.
    He is not getting fewer shots.That’s a fact.

    The only difference is shooting percentage.Well, if someone doesn’t accept that shooting percentage is subject to random variation this conversation doesn’t go anywhere.

    The burden of proof is on the side of people who want to argue that something has changed because all of the macro evidence says it is the same. That Yakupov is scoring less is not evidence of anything.It certainly isn’t evidence, for instance, that he is being used differently on the powerplay.If you think that go count his powerplay shot attempts, or one-timers and show me a meaningful difference instead of assuming one.

    Same with Godot’s ridiculous presumption that he is not being put in a position to succeed.He’s getting 68% offensive zone starts.That’s a stunning percentage and he’s played with skill.What more do you want?

    While the results obviously aren’t there I would be a lot more inclined to respect the armchair quarterbacks if they would accompany their assertions with arguments and evidence that had any correspondence with reality.

    For instance this nonsense that Yakupov has been unfairly picked on by being benched for mistakes.First, he isn’t the only one who has been benched.Second, no one who hasn’t been benched makes as many mistakes as he does.Do you honestly think that Eberle or Hall or Hopkins or Hemsky or Arcobello or Gordon deserve to be benched?Meanwhile Jones and Eager have been in the minors, Omark is in the minors, Joensu has been benched, Smyth has been benched.Yakupov has been treated just like everyone else except for Gazdic who obviously is a special case.

    Amen. The truth of the matter is that Yaks has gotten a rude awakening this season as to how much better he needs to be in all aspects of his game, to compete with top 6 lines around the NHL.

    His positioning and anticipation needs to be better. He’s often caught flat-footed or slow to react to where the play is going. He isn’t putting himself into a position where scoring opportunities occur. These are traits that he’ll slowly learn and anyone who knows what they’re talking about, can see his potential once he truly adapts to the NHL game and his body becomes stronger/faster.

    The great thing is that Yaks has an amazing, unteachable ability with the puck. His puck-control, passing and shooting is incredible. He’s probably the only 20yr old in the league who has the hardest shot on his team. These are the same qualities that Ovie came into the league with. The difference is that Ovie had more size and speed and used that to his advantage in creating scoring opportunities from all positions on the ice. Having said that, Ovie is still terrible defensively and is still sporadic with his defensive effort. I think this is where MacT and Eakins are coming from with regards to Yak’s current style of play and instilling a defensive mindset into his game.
    It reminds me of Kovalchuk’s development. An incredible sniper from the start, but over the years you could see an incredible progression in his defensive game where he became dangerous in all game situations.

  143. G Money says:

    godot10,

    Really? Pre-season games are part of your count, are they? Fine, let’s go with that. In keeping with last year, you may now – 25 games in – start asking questions about why the team is so badly underperforming in Corsi vs the previous year. (The only problem is, it’s not underperforming… )

    You Eakins haters (still can’t figure that out – is it his stern demeanour that triggers daddy issues?) appear to love to point out the Western/Eastern divide, you seem to enjoy ignoring the fact that the Oilers last year had a cushy schedule, a healthy team, and great goaltending during the first 20 games.

    Given the injuries, goaltending, and brutal road schedule this year, if the Oilers could match Corsi this year to last year, they’d be doing pretty damn well.

    So here’s the *actual* trend for you:
    http://i.imgur.com/IrR61EY.png

    Basically, the Oilers have looked competent far more often this year than last year. When they’ve been bad, they’ve been epically bad. But they’ve been better than last year more often than not.

    They need to get healthy. They need to buy into the system. They need goaltending.

    What they don’t need is yet another new coach.

    BTW, the next data point on the Krueger data set is 39.4%. Just FYI.

  144. art vandelay says:

    The only thing surprising about the Yak/Larionov imbroglio is that every agent isn’t trying to get his player shuffled away from The NHL’s Worst Franchise.
    Carpetbagger Katz &The Numnutzes are giving Wang/Milbury a run for Worst Franchise Ever.

  145. theres oil in virginia says:

    G Money: They almost never did under RK, or at least I can count those incidents on one hand.

    The games last year that I didn’t have an uneasy feeling while watching were the games where Dubnyk stood on his head. That feeling I had watching them was there right from game 1, and I kept thinking it would start looking better, but as the games marched on…

  146. russ99 says:

    G Money,

    I’m with you on everything except offensive system.

    We get NHL average goaltending and stop dumping the puck so much and moving it to scoring areas we’re a .500 team or better.

  147. theres oil in virginia says:

    godot10: Corsi was you Eakins’ boys metric of choice.

    I probably qualify as an “Eakins’ boy”, but I don’t much go for Corsi other than in the 1000′s of games played is a big enough sample size, but at that point who cares because it isn’t predictive of the next game kinda way. Corsi is interesting and I think it’s a good idea to keep track of it and attempt to determine what can be gleaned from it.

    Eakins’ team has looked better on a lot of nights than Krueger’s ever did. Maybe it’s just personnel and another year of experience for the kids, but it’s true either way. I liked Krueger just fine, but he didn’t succeed at the NHL level even though firing him was not fair according to the man who fired him. He wasn’t given the chance to fix it that Eakins is going to get. I think we’ve established that. Maybe Eakins will fail, do you hope that he does?

  148. bookje says:

    After reading the comments today, the one thing I think is clear is that Oiler fans are angrier than ever at the state of the team, but they are more mixed up than ever as to what the problem is and/or who is to blame. Usually we have two factions (I.e Horcoff bad vs Horcoff good), but this discussion is all over the place.

    Exciting times.

  149. G Money says:

    thebiggestmanintheworld: Very eloquent way of calling someone stupid. Very well done.

    I can’t wait to see what stat you use top defend him when this team is officially eliminated from the playoffs before Christmas, because that’s what projected.

    Not eloquent, more like mildly subtle – but thanks anyway.

    As to defending Eakins after Xmas – that will depend on how he’s doing. Maybe he’ll deserve defending, maybe he won’t. What I can say right now is that he’s no worse than Krueger, and almost certainly better, and I suspect much of the horrible defensive shortcomings that Eakins has to undo right now is probably Krueger’s handiwork. I buy the “good with the kids” stuff, and he seemed like an intelligent and well-meaning man, but I do believe he f*cked these kids up defensively like no-one since Quinn.

    So I dislike Krueger as a coach about as much as you Eakins haters seem to hate him, but at least I used a good 48 games and some analysis to reach that conclusion, as opposed to this mindless “oh, look 4 wins, he must be terrible” garbage.

    As for right now – you Eakins haters seem to want someone to blame and I guess he’s convenient. It just ignores the hard reality underneath, which is that yet again the players are playing like shit for the umpteenth year in a row, and the real cliff was last year, not this year.

    The only reason I defend Eakins now is that there simply isn’t enough data to suggest whether he’s a good coach or a bad coach. There is his record, and the number one reason for that horrible record is goaltending, and head coaches emphatically control that number less than any other.

    Others have made the point, but I’ll repeat – I am not “defending” Eakins nearly so much as pointing out that the criticisms of him at this point are generally unfounded. On the other hand, we do have concrete evidence for how terrible a coach Krueger was.

    To suggest otherwise is the purview of the … what was your word again?

  150. Bag of Pucks says:

    art vandelay:
    The only thing surprising about the Yak/Larionov imbroglio is that every agent isn’t trying to get his player shuffled away from The NHL’s Worst Franchise.
    Carpetbagger Katz &The Numnutzes are giving Wang/Milbury a run for Worst Franchise Ever.

    Would need a John Spano-esque story to reach those depths.

    Oh wait, Les Alexander….

  151. denny33 says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    Well done!!

    Post of the day…

  152. Bank Shot says:

    G Money:
    godot10,

    Really? Pre-season games are part of your count, are they?Fine, let’s go with that.In keeping with last year, you may now – 25 games in – start asking questions about why the team is so badly underperforming in Corsi vs the previous year.(The only problem is, it’s not underperforming… )

    You Eakins haters (still can’t figure that out – is it his stern demeanour that triggers daddy issues?) appear to love to point out the Western/Eastern divide, you seem to enjoy ignoring the fact that the Oilers last year had a cushy schedule, a healthy team, and great goaltending during the first 20 games.

    Given the injuries, goaltending, and brutal road schedule this year, if the Oilers could match Corsi this year to last year, they’d be doing pretty damn well.

    So here’s the *actual* trend for you:
    http://i.imgur.com/IrR61EY.png

    Basically, the Oilers have looked competent far more often this year than last year.When they’ve been bad, they’ve been epically bad.But they’ve been better than last year more often than not.

    They need to get healthy. They need to buy into the system.They need goaltending.

    What they don’t need is yet another new coach.

    They look pretty the same.

    Renney smoked them both with an inferior roster.

    I’m not sure there isn’t anything that this team doesn’t need.

  153. G Money says:

    russ99:
    G Money,

    I’m with you on everything except offensive system.

    We get NHL average goaltending and stop dumping the puck so much and moving it to scoring areas we’re a .500 team or better.

    I sort of agree with you and I sort of don’t! Yes, on the goaltending.

    But on the dump and chase – that’s less black and white. This actually reminds me of the glory days of the Boys on the Bus. Learning to dump and chase for Gretzky and Co was the fundamental tactical lesson in going from also-ran to Champion.

    The Oilers today are a team that should be able to seamlessly switch between carrying the puck and dump and chase.

    Other teams stands up at the blue line? Burn them with a dump and chase.

    Stay back and play the dump? Burn them by carrying it in and making a play.

    The problem to me appears to be that the execution of the dump and chase is *terrible*.

    The puck carrier hits the blue line, decides he can’t carry it in because he’s being stood up, so he dumps it in. The problem is that the wingers are standing still waiting for him to carry it in too, so when he dumps it, it’s now a foot race between the wingers and the defenders, and the defenders are closer to the puck. So then it’s a battle, which our wingers rarely win.

    I remember this lesson well from the Gretzky years: a successful dump and chase requires the wingers to be in full stride when the dump occurs. With our speedy wingers, that race should almost always be won without a battle on the boards.

    Never see it.

  154. hunter1909 says:

    bookje:
    After reading the comments today, the one thing I think is clear is that Oiler fans are angrier than ever at the state of the team, but they are more mixed up than ever as to what the problem is and/or who is to blame.Usually we have two factions (I.e Horcoff bad vs Horcoff good), but this discussion is all over the place.

    Exciting times.

    Katz/Lowe/MacT/Eakins/Steve Smith+Bucky appear to be fucking up everything at once, so, maybe everyone’s right.

    Plenty of incompetence for everyone.

    In fact, the people desperately attempting to defend Eakins and MacT are starting to enter the same logical paradigm the American Military apologists use; something about policing the wicked world+promoting goodness…

  155. godot10 says:

    G Money:
    godot10,

    Really? Pre-season games are part of your count, are they?Fine, let’s go with that.In keeping with last year, you may now – 25 games in – start asking questions about why the team is so badly underperforming in Corsi vs the previous year.(The only problem is, it’s not underperforming… )

    You Eakins haters (still can’t figure that out – is it his stern demeanour that triggers daddy issues?) appear to love to point out the Western/Eastern divide, you seem to enjoy ignoring the fact that the Oilers last year had a cushy schedule, a healthy team, and great goaltending during the first 20 games.

    25 games was you, not me. You said 25-30 games would be enough for the Oilers to absorb Eakins’ system.

    This was me.

    The trend is not your friend at the moment. 4 of 5 games against common opponents from last year. Corsi/Fenwick in the 30-somethings. Simple fact. Not invective. Corsi was you Eakins’ boys metric of choice. It is still too early. Like I said, 16 games against common opponents begins to be a decent sample size. If Eakins finishes with a Western Conference Corsi plus Detroit less Winnipeg of 45%, then I will concede that there was improvement. I think it will have to be that to get beyond the error bars overlapping at the end of the season.

    I forgot Columbus. Detroit + Columbus less Winnipeg.

    The Oilers had injuries too last year. A lot of them. The Oilers had a one-legged Whitney playing D. The Oilers were wasting one roster spot on Peckham.

    Corsi doesn’t count goals for and against. It is goaltending/score neutral if one uses Corsi close.

    The schedule was compressed last year.

  156. G Money says:

    Bank Shot: They look pretty the same.

    Renney smoked them both with an inferior roster.

    I’m not sure there isn’t anything that this team doesn’t need.

    Banksy, as I said in one of my earlier posts, I do believe that the team was doing well under Renney. Firing him was much more of a travesty than firing Krueger.

    And yes, the team is doing about comparable overall to last year, *but* has looked good on more nights despite injuries, stone cold goaltending, and a brutal road schedule.

    I also think, given the defensive cliff the players went over last year, that the problem may be as much disabusing them of the bad habits of last year as instilling new good ones.

    That’s why I don’t believe pulling the chute on Eakins 19 games, oops, 25 games by Godot math, is the right move.

  157. G Money says:

    godot10: You said 25-30 games would be enough for the Oilers to absorb Eakins’ system.

    Please go ahead and point out where I said that.

    godot10: 4 of 5 games against common opponents from last year. Corsi/Fenwick in the 30-somethings.

    Not so different from last year.

    godot10: The Oilers had injuries too last year. A lot of them.

    The injuries were later in the year (Hemsky’s foot, Eberle’s hand, RNH shoulder absence). The team was healthy last year through the start of the year, a stark contrast to this year.

    Gagner and Hall were healthy throughout the season – again, a stark contrast to last year.

    Your argument boils down to the fact that you believe Eakins should be fired because you don’t like him.

  158. G Money says:

    hunter1909: Katz/Lowe/MacT/Eakins/Steve Smith+Bucky appear to be fucking up everything at once, so, maybe everyone’s right.

    Plenty of incompetence for everyone.

    In fact, the people desperately attempting to defend Eakins and MacT are starting to enter the same logical paradigm the American Military apologists use; something about policing the wicked world+promoting goodness…

    I’m on record as saying that I would pull the trigger, yesterday, on Lowe, Smith, and Bucky. They’ve had their time, they’ve proven their incompetence (or in B&S case, their lack of competence, a slightly different thing) beyond a shadow of a doubt, and they need to go.

    Turfing MacT and Eakins at this point is a stupid stupid move.

  159. Caramel Obvious says:

    RMGS:
    — Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) November 12, 2013

    “This is not going to sway me whether he plays 20 min or 2… he’s going to play the minutes he deserves.” – #Oilers Eakins on Yakupov

    I’m ok with Coach Eakins’ principled stance … except, it doesn’t seem to apply to all his players.

    It’s easy to make this statement in a vacuum but it doesn’t bear up to analysis. Yakupov is currently playing 15:28 a game which is seventh on the team. Specifically, which of the players playing more than Yakupov is Eakins not applying his principled stance?

    I can see no way someone could put together an argument that Yakupov is getting unfair treatment. It’s simply not true that he isn’t getting playing time. He’s getting lots of playing time. It’s not like he’s getting the Omark or anything.

    This is what is so frustrating about the conversation. The ideas that make up the zeitgeist of the Oilers bear no relation to easily searchable facts. It simply isn’t true that Yakupov isn’t getting his fair share of playing time.

    So here’s my honest question. If you play Yakupov more whose minutes is he taking? It’s not like Ryan Jones is playing instead of Yakupov.

    It makes no sense to criticize the coach when your alternative is worse.

  160. Bank Shot says:

    G Money: Banksy, as I said in one of my earlier posts, I do believe that the team was doing well under Renney.Firing him was much more of a travesty than firing Krueger.

    And yes, the team is doing about comparable overall to last year, *but* has looked good on more nights despite injuries, stone cold goaltending, and a brutal road schedule.

    I also think, given the defensive cliff the players went over last year, that the problem may be as much disabusing them of the bad habits of last year as instilling new good ones.

    That’s why I don’t believe pulling the chute on Eakins 19 games, oops, 25 games by Godot math, is the right move.

    And last year Kreuger had no training camp to implement his systems and an inferior roster on paper.

    Every coach has some challenges. No point excusing one, and damning another when they get similar results.

    The question is how much more rope Eakins will get if things don;t get better. If he proves to be a lame duck coach, then another 80 games isn’t going to right the ship any faster.

    There were proven coaches available this summer.

  161. Caramel Obvious says:

    Another thing I don’t understand is where the idea came from that Eakins wants the Oilers to play dump and chase. Is this substantiated by any evidence at all? Or is this yet another thing that has been invented out of nothing?

  162. godot10 says:

    G Money:

    The injuries were later in the year (Hemsky’s foot, Eberle’s hand). The team was healthy last year through the start of the year, a stark contrast to this year.

    Gagner and Hall were healthy throughout the season – again, a stark contrast to last year.

    Your argument boils down to the fact that you believe Eakins should be fired because you don’t like him.

    I said I was going to include the entire season this year against common opponents. If the Corsi close plus/minus error bars do not overlap, I will concede there will have been improvement.

    The initial trend is grim though. Eakins and the OIlers are going to have to get their act together.

    “Expect for worst, turn out as always would look pretty good right now. But the expectations for the worst keep getting worse.

    It was not me who brought up Corsi close after less than a handful of games. But I’m more than willing to let that be the test (against common opponents).

    My hypothesis is that Eakins is a dud. And I’m willing to use the same metric that was used to crucify Krueger.

    It is amazing how little discussion there has been about Matheson’s piece on Jon Cooper, where Cooper said MacT was talking to him about coaching the Oilers when Renney was still coach, days after MacT finished his stint coach the Chicago AHL team.

  163. denny33 says:

    G Money,

    Banksy, as I said in one of my earlier posts, I do believe that the team was doing well under Renney. Firing him was much more of a travesty than firing Krueger.
    And yes, the team is doing about comparable overall to last year, *but* has looked good on more nights despite injuries, stone cold goaltending, and a brutal road schedule.
    I also think, given the defensive cliff the players went over last year, that the problem may be as much disabusing them of the bad habits of last year as instilling new good ones.
    That’s why I don’t believe pulling the chute on Eakins 19 games, oops, 25 games by Godot math, is the right move.

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

    Someone else just mentioned this …so I am going to steal it and take credit.

    Can anyone really rule out the possibility that we are all right?:

    1) We are grossly deficient on talent ( Goaltending, 1st pairing anyone?, 2 line C, etc, etc )
    2.) Our skilled players are skilled with the puck but very passive / out to lunch without it.
    3) Dallas Eakins line matching sometimes plays into other teams hands.
    4) Craig MacTavish came in promising bold and turned Smid into magic beans.

    This team was literally done with the 2013/14 playoff race on October 31st…..fighting about
    which past team was better seems kind of moot.

    Let’s focus on the fact we are not going to fire the head coach with a new 4 year contract and discuss what Mac T has to do with the roster / draft next year.

  164. Bag of Pucks says:

    denny33:
    Bag of Pucks,

    Well done!!

    Post of the day…

    Actually, now that I think about it, it wasn’t Alexander I was trying to recall.

    Dol you recall some guy named Michael something-or-other who tried to bluff his way into buying the team?

    All I recall is the photo of the guy sitting in some seedy looking kitchen with a toaster plugged into the wall. Tried to google him just now and can’t seem track down the story. That was definitely one of the low points in franchise history.

    In fairness, the entire NHL ownership group is pretty much your stereotypical collection of robber barons and slumlords. Hilarious how Bettman tries to shrug off the Spano debacle in that 30 in 30 doc as if slipshod business practices are the exception rather than the rule in this crazy league. What can you expect from the Lord of the Lockout?

  165. denny33 says:

    Caramel Obvious,

    I can see no way someone could put together an argument that Yakupov is getting unfair treatment. It’s simply not true that he isn’t getting playing time. He’s getting lots of playing time. It’s not like he’s getting the Omark or anything.

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

    I guess you have to be 20 years old and used to being the star….

    He only played 10 minutes in Chicago.

    Scores a beautiful PP goal and I think does not play again that period. Just over
    1 minute of icetime in the 2nd period.

    I think that is what Yak is upset about….let’s be clear – this is clearly coming from Yak.

  166. godot10 says:

    I sort of like the way Larionov is punking MacT.

    Welcome to the big leagues, rookie. I don’t think they teach you this in management school.

    Larionov is playing chess. MacT is playing checkers.

  167. G Money says:

    godot10: My hypothesis is that Eakins is a dud. And I’m willing to use the same metric that was used to crucify Krueger.

    Fair enough. I take no issue with your logic to that point. The key points here are:

    - You just don’t have the data to draw a conclusion as to Eakins’ goodness or terribleness at this point, that is all.
    - If the underlying numbers at the end of this season are as terrible as they were last year, I will join you on the anti-Eakins bandwagon. The wagon has no wheels right now, though.

    Stepping out of the realm of statistics, some degree of consideration should drive the conclusion that, given the coaching carousel of the last few years, drawing conclusions about Eakins requires at least a modicum of time with a nearly-healthy roster.

    denny33: 2.) Our skilled players are skilled with the puck but very passive / out to lunch without it.

    I believe this is at the heart of it. Until our best players play the mythical 200 foot game, the team will stink. I suppose we are all arguing about *why* they don’t play that game. Too bad only RNH is giving us fodder to argue that they might actually be playing a 200 foot game.

    Sad.

  168. Doomoil says:

    godot10:
    I sort of like the way Larionov is punking MacT.

    Welcome to the big leagues, rookie.I don’t think they teach you this in management school.

    Larionov is playing chess.MacT is playing checkers.

    Best joke post of the day.

  169. denny33 says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    Actually, now that I think about it, it wasn’t Alexander I was trying to recall.
    Dol you recall some guy named Michael something-or-other who tried to bluff his way into buying the team?
    All I recall is the photo of the guy sitting in some seedy looking kitchen with a toaster plugged into the wall. Tried to google him just now and can’t seem track down the story. That was definitely one of the low points in franchise history.
    In fairness, the entire NHL ownership group is pretty much your stereotypical collection of robber barons and slumlords. Hilarious how Bettman tries to shrug off the Spano debacle in that 30 in 30 doc as if slipshod business practices are the exception rather than the rule in this crazy league. What can you expect from the Lord of the Lockout?

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

    I don’t remember the Micheal guy….

    Watched a bit of the Spano 30 on 30 documentary…..one of the easiest things he ever did walk into a big Boston Bank and get a loan for 80 million…..

    Incredible story….80 million.

    Makes me think that I , Godot, G.Money, Bag of Pucks and Caramel Obvous should have put a bid in to buy the Coyotes…..

    I would have put Godot in charge of hiring the coach….

  170. G Money says:

    denny33: I would have put Godot in charge of hiring the coach….

    Though I think that Tippett guy might be pretty OK!

  171. Andy P says:

    denny33,

    I remember that episode quite well. Turned out he lived in his Mom’s house in NY. But when he came long at first he was given quite a lot of press by EJ and others.

  172. Bag of Pucks says:

    denny33:

    Watched a bit of the Spano 30 on 30 documentary…..one of the easiest things he ever did walk into a big Boston Bank and get a loan for 80 million…..

    Incredible story….80 million.

    I think I’ve been married too long, cos I think I was more impressed with the fact that he parlayed being a temp owner of the Isles into bedding some of Long Island’s hottest gold diggers for 4 months!

    It’s the New York Islanders for God’s sakes. Not backstage at a Bieber gig.

    Mike Milbury’s story about the offered’ ‘foursome’ was hilarious.

  173. bendelson says:

    stevezie: bendelson, I… I don’t know anything anymore. Et tu, Bendlzen?

    I’m not certain I ever did Stevzee.

    justDOit: bendelson, So I can jot your name down as a supporter of the ‘lizard-alien’ theory then? Thx!

    It makes about as much sense as anything else I’m hearing…

  174. justDOit says:

    Well at least this isn’t an Oiler: http://i.imgur.com/fdqRV.gif

  175. stevezie says:

    justDOit,

    This is the highlight of the year for me. No context please, this cannot be improved.

  176. G Money says:

    justDOit:
    Well at least this isn’t an Oiler: http://i.imgur.com/fdqRV.gif

    Yeah, but you know how we know that? Cause a. he takes a shot, and b. he goes to the blue paint!

  177. justDOit says:

    G Money: Yeah, but you know how we know that?Cause a. he takes a shot, and b. he goes to the blue paint!

    Ding ding ding!

  178. stevezie says:

    MacT summing up his thoughts: ““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.””

    The full story is on the front page of puck daddy right now. It’s right above this story on Linus’ latest Omark – http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nhl-puck-daddy/linus-omark-embarrasses-defender-sick-game-winning-goal-222539502–nhl.html

    If you like hockey you should watch this goal.

  179. G Money says:

    justDOit: Ding ding ding!

    I just made myself laugh, because I pictured the Oiler version:

    Skates in on net, dipsy doodles at the top of the circle, takes it behind the net and around to the slot, does a no-look back pass, then skates into the boards and breaks his shoulder.

  180. Logan91 says:

    stevezie:
    MacT summing up his thoughts: ““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.””

    The full story is on the front page of puck daddy right now. It’s right above this story on Linus’ latest Omark – http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nhl-puck-daddy/linus-omark-embarrasses-defender-sick-game-winning-goal-222539502–nhl.html

    If you like hockey you should watch this goal.

    That was a really pretty goal. Props to Omark, hasn’t gotten down on himself and keeps impressing people down there.

    Maybe they’ll be able to get a little something for him at the trade deadline.

  181. hunter1909 says:

    Lol at the idea that events are about to spiral out of MacT’s control:

    Yakupov ends up turning into a baby Pronger situation and MacT is “forced” to trade him.

    Kevin Lowe then blames the fans.

  182. justDOit says:

    hunter1909,

    Well, just the fans who watch the games by electronic means.

  183. spoiler says:

    G Money: Almost every discussion does involve the average, which almost always is the arithmetic mean.WG and I had a discussion not long ago observing the difference between the mean and the median game-by-game Corsi for the Oilers, which are quite different and so capture a little bit of the tale of the Oilers ups and downs.I don’t think that’s a conversation that will go very far, though – the fairly simple stats (like Corsi) that we do discuss seem to push past the intellectual limits of many posters here (Hi Art!), so I don’t think anyone will get very far arguing whether then to apply mean, median, or mode. Bring in a standard deviation on top of that and I suspect in due course there will be heads suffering from internal structural deviation.

    Even when we’re looking at 3 Sigma events like our PP SH%? No Standard Deviationzezzez? Even then? Surely we can have a little bit for dessert? After the meat and potatoes?

    Lol.

  184. nelson88 says:

    I really hope I’m wrong about Klefbom and admittedly I can’t even “seen him good” due to very limited amount of viewings but I really don’t get the hype.

    Doesn’t the guy have to produce at least some offence? He has the same amount of points as that scoring juggernaut named Musil.

    One of the reasons we traded Smid was because of Klefbom’s upside? He should start demonstrating it.

  185. prairieschooner says:

    Loved Ladi Smid and my first thought was cudo to Mac T for finding a soft landing for a good soldier
    My second thought is Who cares, it is pro hockey and your job is to get the best deal you can.
    There is no way Mac T should have undersold an asset no matter how nice a guy is
    Hockey players get traded, it comes with the territory, wives and girfriends have to accept that

  186. Lowetide says:

    nelson88:
    I really hope I’m wrong about Klefbom and admittedly I can’t even “seen him good” due to very limited amount of viewings but I really don’t get the hype.

    Doesn’t the guy have to produce at least some offence? He has the same amount of points as that scoring juggernaut named Musil.

    One of the reasons we traded Smid was because of Klefbom’s upside? He should start demonstrating it.

    Most offense for blue is produced on the PP. He doesn’t get those minutes.

  187. nelson88 says:

    Lowetide,

    Ya, I understand that argument (and I hope it turns out to be true) but for a guy who is labelled as being such a great skater and passer should he not be getting a few assists at the very least? The Barons may not have a high octane offence but is he playing with the hanson brothers at forward?

  188. Lowetide says:

    nelson88:
    Lowetide,

    Ya, I understand that argument (and I hope it turns out to be true) but for a guy who is labelled as being such a great skater and passer should he not be getting a few assists at the very least? The Barons may not have a high octane offence but is he playing with the hanson brothers at forward?

    It’s funny, and I know you won’t believe me, but almost ALL of the guys who score well from the blueline have a large, large amount of their offense from the powerplay. For instance, the top OKC scorer among defenseman is Phil Larsen (6, 1-6-7) and Klefbom is way back at 12, 0-1-1.

    ONE of their total points came at even strength. Klefbom’s.

  189. nelson88 says:

    Lowetide: It’s funny, and I know you won’t believe me, but almost ALL of the guys who score well from the blueline have a large, large amount of their offense from the powerplay. For instance, the top OKC scorer among defenseman is Phil Larsen (6, 1-6-7) and Klefbom is way back at 12, 0-1-1.

    ONE of their total points came at even strength. Klefbom’s.

    Point taken. Curious as to where are you pulling that data from? When I go to the AHL website it only tracks PP goals and not points on the PP. For example I can’t readily tell where Marincin and Gernat’s points are coming from.

  190. TheOtherJohn says:

    I have no doubt Klefbom is capable of top 4 minutes on a playoff contending team in 3 years. He is a big body, strong, great skater, defensively sound that just needs to get used to the N/A game and the speed of the AHL. Love to play him down at OKC all season. Play him bottom pairing next year here with some PK. Thereafter slide him up the roster.

    because Oilers: ……… he’ll play 22 TOI next year in NHL, struggle and many will question how good he really is

    Something about the Oilers & bright shiny pennies

  191. Lowetide says:

    justDOit:
    Well at least this isn’t an Oiler: http://i.imgur.com/fdqRV.gif

    I have laughed at this for 5 minutes. I hurt all over.

  192. Lowetide says:

    nelson88:

    http://theahl.com/stats/statdisplay.php?type=records&subType=3&season_id=43&tournament_id=0&leagueId=4&division_id=-1&confId=0

    If that doesn’t work, just click on the category prompt and go down to powerplay assists.

  193. justDOit says:

    Lowetide: I have laughed at this for 5 minutes. I hurt all over.

    I was going to say that I found that gem on http://www.reddit.com/r/hockey/ , but I see that it was from another subreddit.

    I’m trying to find out who and where, but most importantly, why?

    Edit: Yes, it was from r/hockey.

  194. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    justDOit: I didn’t say it made sense, but merely suggested that it was plausible.

    Here’s my second theory:

    KLowe, Katz and MacT are shape-shifting lizard type aliens, who have come to this planet to harvest our sorrows and feed off of our anguish.

    I wish David Icke made it into more threads.

  195. thebiggestmanintheworld says:

    stevezie,

    I don’t know Stevezie, to me, and this is why I believe it is met with so much confusion and irritation, is that the problem can’t be analyzed with numbers.

    It may just be as simple as the character of the hockey team.

    That’s what it seems like to me, anyway…

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