NADIR’S RAIDERS

The dictionary defines nadir as “the lowest or most unsuccessful point in a situation” and Oiler fans know the feeling. The only real question is “which one?” Is it the 2009-10? Is it the 2011-12? Is it the 2013? Or, incredibly, is it now?

Dallas Eakins brought his ideas to Edmonton and on the surface they have failed miserably. The team now sits with a hopeless 3-10-2 record, a goals for-against total of 36-59, a home record of 1-5-0 and a firm hold on 29th overall. Even the Corsi guys like me can’t point this morning to a strong showing last night in shot differential (30-43 overall, the 5×5 close is 3-6 because they weren’t close for long) and for the season they are at Corsi for % of 45 (they were 43.5 a year ago) at 5×5 close.

Injuries are a factor–not having Hall, Perron, Smyth and Joensuu effectively flushes an entire position with replacements who are (without being cruel) not on par with the top end of the injured list. However, even an outmanned team can put forth effort–we merely have to look down the road to see what that looks like–and I’m not going to blame the Oiler fan this morning for viewing this team as pitiful.

connellyWHAT’S NEXT?

This is the point in a comedy where guy one takes off his hat and slaps guy 2 on the upside of the head and says “NOW look at what you’ve done!” and the word “comedy” is probably the best one to retain for Oiler fans today. Whatever your pleasure–family, movie, ahem, a walk–a day spent far from thoughts of the team is probably going to do us a world of good.

Even thinking about this team right now is painful.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

Labyrinth movie image Jennifer ConnellyIt means another season on the outside, it means long weeks of NHL auditions and it probably means an assistant coach arriving sometime this week. It means the Messier role will be announced under a dark cloud and it means one of the phenom’s is probably heading out of town on a one-for-three. It means that the period of time when the Oilers had all three number one overall picks is probably going to last fewer than 100 games (or so) and it means that some of the men playing this year will not return to the NHL again.

It likely means that we’ll see Oscar Klefbom later than sooner–why would you bring him into this–and it means we’re going to see defensemen sent away and draft picks added at the deadline. It means Ales Hemsky will be dealt and it means the Oilers will be shopping for a #1 defensemen, a goalie and a veteran 2-way winger with size in the summertime.

It means the playoff dream died at Halloween. It means disaster and laughter for others and good men losing their jobs and more questions than answers. It means, ladies, that the lessons to be learned may remain at ownership level and that, despite (I believe) smart men hired and good moves made this organization is broken this morning.

It means nadir. Again.

WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?

CareerOpportunities

Two reasons:

  1. The Edmonton Oilers don’t have enough NHL players. Find good players, keep good players. There is something rotten in the decision making–and this goes back forever–that allows this organization to throw away useful things (Chimera, Brodziak, Hartikainen, Dubnyk next summer) like they’re yesterday’s papers. They make a decision and that’s it–there’s a sense of certainty that is ill-advised, a sense of expertise that sadly does not exist. The Edmonton Oilers–at their heart–are not as smart as they think they are, and it bites them in the ass routinely. Many believe the disconnect is Kevin Lowe, many feel owner Katz is too hands on, many believe MacT is out of his element. I don’t have those answers because I’m not privy to the relationships and the conversations. I will say it took Detroit from 1983 to 1997 to climb Everest, and that’s a long, long time.
  2. Dallas Eakins. There’s a combination of arrogance, piss, vinegar, courage and intelligence that makes him very interesting, but the process of learning and being schooled is going to be difficult to watch. Eakins is a smart guy–I’d wager he’s going to be an outstanding coach for a long time in the NHL–but there’s every chance he’s going to benefit his second team far more than this one. Example: Roster makeup. They’ve shown a willingness to sacrifice effectiveness on the PK in order to have enforcers (two at a time) on the 4line. It cripples the PK, forces their skill forwards beyond 25 minutes and leaves little energy for a 3rd period push.

IS ALL HOPE LOST?

connely

No. The splendid promise of youth remains, the roster has all kinds of possibilities and 20 years from now we’ll be talking about Stanley’s won and pennant races secured. I believe that, sincerely. I believe Craig MacTavish is a smart man, and I believe Dallas Eakins will be a great coach.

This is a nadir–maybe THE nadir because it comes at a time when expectations are high, and that’s unique compared to the recent past–but at some point you and I have to examime the moves made since Darryl Katz took ownership of this team and reach the only reasonable conclusion:

Edmonton Oilers ownership is not focused on winning. Whatever their priority–arena, empire building, friendships–the established ‘best practices’ of hiring good people and allowing them to do their job without interference do not exist with this organization.

Until that is established, they are Nadir’s raiders.

We wait.

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289 Responses to "NADIR’S RAIDERS"

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  1. Woodguy says:

    pboy:
    Woodguy,

    Hemmer was the best backchecking forward but I think Nuge has since surpassed him, IMO.

    Nuge is going to be very, very good. No question.

    Lost his check on one of DET’s goals yesterday but at least he was in the right area code to actually lose the check and not be starting at it from 20 feet away.

  2. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: That’s exactly what I saw. Gagner haul’s ass back (beating others, implying laziness isn’t part of this play in regard to 89) and then:

    He wasn’t lazy this play.

    He was also the only F who was moving when the puck changed hands so he’s going to be the first back.

    Watch Tartar’s goal here: (the 2nd DET goal) : http://www.nhl.com/gamecenter/en/boxscore?id=2013020210

    That’s lazy.

  3. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy: He wasn’t lazy this play.

    He was also the only F who was moving when the puck changed hands so he’s going to be the first back.

    Watch Tartar’s goal here: (the 2nd DET goal) : http://www.nhl.com/gamecenter/en/boxscore?id=2013020210

    That’s lazy.

    Looked like he was flat footed at the blueline and man he didn’t haul ass back that’s for sure. Did he just come on the ice? Asking because I don’t know (will go check).

  4. Lowetide says:

    27 second shift if my math is right. He certainly should have been better on that play, agreed.

  5. G Money says:

    Lowetide: I’m of a mind to forgive that sequence. Just wanted to make sure I wasn’t going crazy.

    I’m certainly all for cutting Gagner slack – to expect a player fully back in the flow of the game two games back from a horrific injury is not reasonable.

    What I’m more concerned with is that the underlying issue (stops skating just two strides short of properly covering his man) is symptomatic of a lot of the Oilers. They give up odd man rushes, and give up on the play as soon as the puck carrier is in a shooting position – as if they’ve never seen a rebound goal.

    TheOtherJohn: I look at the first picture in the sequence and am absolutely appalled.that there are 4 Oilers beneath the opposition goal line.

    Yes, that goal and the one that followed were both caused by an Oiler defenseman jumping up into the play, and the forwards not recognizing it and getting trapped deep, resulting in an odd man rush (and goal) the other way.

    Of course, if those pinches had worked and the puck had gone in, we’d be lauding their offensive instincts! The exact same play is brilliant if it works and hopelessly foolish if it fails. In that way, our perceptions of hockey plays are hopelessly clouded by the immediate results, even as those results are dominated by luck and goaltending.

  6. Henry says:

    godot10,

    I’m not saying I agree with Eakins deployment of the guys, particularly Yakupov and Gagner and the huge minutes for RNH in his first game were strange.

    I just think the circus of head coaches is the prime problem with the team and they have to stick with someone. Krueger made mistakes and should have been given the chance to correct them himself with a summer. This had to have hurt the players. I hope Eakins gets a proper shot. The players need continuity so their responsibilities become instinctive.

  7. Lowetide says:

    Well now that I look at things, that was Gagner’s THIRD shift of the evening.

    1. From 53 seconds to 1:40 (47 second shift)
    2. From 3:09 to 3:50 (41 second shift)
    3. From 5:09 to 5:36 (27 second shift and then the goal)

    So, from the start of the game, he sits for 52 seconds and then plays 115 seconds during the next 4.5 minutes until the goal is scored.

    I’d say that might be a factor, but maybe that’s something a fit NHL player should be able to handle.

  8. Lowetide says:

    Rude of me not to include the TOI report

    http://www.nhl.com/scores/htmlreports/20132014/TH020210.HTM

  9. G Money says:

    - Ireland tweeting that Hall expected back in a week.

    - Anyone heard news on Belov?

  10. Lowetide says:

    G Money:
    - Ireland tweeting that Hall expected back in a week.

    - Anyone heard news on Belov?

    Not yet. Suspect we’ll hear about Belov tomorrow when the callup Potter.

  11. Henry says:

    Woodguy,

    Yup, that’s lazy. He was pulling up on the backcheck a lot last game, I was pretty surprised, though given his injury and possible trouble breathing hopefully it is a fitness issue over mentality.

  12. Gret99zky says:

    No one has mentioned Brent Sutter.

    I doubt Eakins gets fired no matter what. 4 year deal? How many former coaches are still on the payroll from all the firings?

    Nope. I think Lowe lays low and MacT just tells Dallas to do what he was hired to do. Change the culture and put the systems in place. He will give him all the time he needs.

    One thing about Oiler fans. They have unlimited patience.

  13. Hammers says:

    Bruce McCurdy: There’s holding a guy back and holding him back. When ALL FOUR starting LWs are down with injury and your top minor league LW can’t get a game, something is seriously buggered up.

    But what is the question . Why bother bringing Omark back if your not giving him a shot under these circumstances they never will .Hell Lander would be a better option let alone Omark. I also enjoy your work .

  14. LMHF#1 says:

    I don’t think Eakins or MacTavish thought that a comparison with George Burnett would be able to be made at this point….yikes.

    I’m almost glad I’m missing the next 4 home games.

  15. Lowetide says:

    Hammers: But what is the question . Why bother bringing Omark back if your not giving him a shot under these circumstances they never will .Hell Lander would be a better option let alone Omark. I also enjoy your work .

    Agreed. Lander should be in before Eager and Omark should be in the top 6F before Jones. The ONLY thing that gives me pause is Eakins may have seen him so bad he forgot about the 5 goals Omark hung on his Marlies that time.

  16. Woodguy says:

    CF% 5v5 Close so far this year:

    WARNING: Some really small samples in there, but I’m obsessed today.

    Forwards:

    Ben Eager 53.70%
    David Perron 47.90%
    Taylor Hall 47.70%
    Will Acton 47.70%
    Ales Hemsky 47.30%
    Mark Arcobello 47.00%
    Ryan Smyth 46.60%
    Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 46.40%
    Jesse Joensuu 45.60%
    Jordan Eberle 45.60%
    Ryan Jones 43.30%
    Sam Gagner 42.10%
    Boyd Gordon 41.90%
    Nail Yakupov 41.70%
    Mike Brown 39.50%
    Luke Gazdic 38.60%
    Tyler Pitlick 37.50%
    Ryan Hamilton 33.30%
    Anton Lander 13.00%

    Dmen:

    Denis Grebeshkov 62.50%
    Anton Belov 46.70%
    Jeff Petry 45.60%
    Andrew Ference 44.70%
    Nick Schultz 43.60%
    Ladislav Smid 43.00%
    Justin Schultz 42.90%

    To help put some context to those numbers:

    Defensive Zone Starts:

    Forwards:

    Anton Lander 75.00%
    Boyd Gordon 62.20%
    Tyler Pitlick 61.30%
    Ryan Hamilton 54.50%
    Ryan Jones 48.10%
    Jesse Joensuu 45.70%
    David Perron 32.60%
    Ryan Smyth 32.10%
    Jordan Eberle 30.60%
    Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 30.50%
    Mark Arcobello 29.30%
    Ben Eager 28.90%
    Will Acton 27.20%
    Ales Hemsky 25.80%
    Luke Gazdic 24.30%
    Mike Brown 23.30%
    Taylor Hall 22.70%
    Sam Gagner 20.00%
    Nail Yakupov 18.40%

    Defence:

    Ladislav Smid 39.60%
    Jeff Petry 36.70%
    Nick Schultz 36.40%
    Andrew Ference 31.90%
    Denis Grebeshkov 31.40%
    Anton Belov 30.00%
    Justin Schultz 28.10%
    Philip Larsen 23.10%

  17. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: Not yet. Suspect we’ll hear about Belov tomorrow when the callup Potter.

    I really hope its Fedun

  18. striatic says:

    This Seahawks team is unreal.

    Mentioned in a thread last night some of the parallels with the Oilers, but at this point in the Seattle “rebuild” there is simply no comparison.

    At least one of my teams is having a good year.

    With all the talent the Oilers have, why aren’t they on a similar trajectory? Hockey has less volatility in terms of swings from successful to unsuccessful and vice versa?

  19. thepeetso says:

    Woodguy: I really hope its Fedun

    You and me both brother.

  20. hags9k says:

    Gagner is not a lazy player in my opinion. Like most Oiler forwards of the past decade his positioning and reaction are one or two strides too far to the offensive side of the play. It’s an organizational failure.

    Since the day Nuge was picked, his goal and that of the team should have been to make him into a Selke challenger. That is the role he needs to fill. Right now he is miles off course.

  21. Hammers says:

    Henry:
    godot10,

    I’m not saying I agree with Eakins deployment of the guys, particularly Yakupov and Gagner and the huge minutes for RNH in his first game were strange.

    I just think the circus of head coaches is the prime problem with the team and they have to stick with someone.Krueger made mistakes and should have been given the chance to correct them himself with a summer.This had to have hurt the players.I hope Eakins gets a proper shot.The players need continuity so their responsibilities become instinctive.

    I wouldn’t disagree other than he lost this bunch 5 games ago . If continuity is the same shit show what options do they have . Then the best option is a trade even if we loose it . Both the coaches and players need a wake up call and no soft pedaling . Fans keep saying X number of new coaches but we have the following NEW players . Goal Bachman & Lebarbara , “D” , Ference , Belov , Grebs ,Larsen , Klefbom , “F” Perron , Gordon , Acton , Hamilton ,Gazdic , That’s 12 new players not in the system before and obviously a couple of those are coach Eakins choice , These guys all came from different teams & coaching systems . There are only 12 here from last year including Potter .NO MORE EXCUSES .

  22. Andy P says:

    Woodguy: I really hope its Fedun

    If there was ever a player that never said quit its Fedun. And Davidson. Exactly the players you need at times like this.

  23. lance says:

    During the first period of the Ottawa game, my father in law shuffled in. After coaching various sports for 50 years, he is watching hockey for about the fifth time in his life. We watch the Oilers make a series of 1 on 5 plays by various elite talents, and each of them could arguably be called a “scoring chance” but in reality they are lone shots at square goalies.

    On the flip side, Ottawa gets the puck, three consecutive plays see them pass the puck three or four times each before a shot, each modulating a swarm into a scramble, chaos enters each sequence, though none go in. He walked out after about three minutes, just disgusted.

    I’ve turned off almost every game this year because I see Yak trying to carry the puck in, but instead of support he has four guys who cannot figure to move their feet to open space then are surprised when he loses it. Then Eberle gets a turn. then Hall. Then Hopkins. Rinse, repeat.

    It is constant, it is routine, it is endless. No one sits for such singular efforts, instead they wait for their turn to go 1 on 5.

    I’d love to see a count of shots taken without four previous passes. I bet it would be astounding and disturbing all at the same time.

    But to think the problems are about a certain 2C not skating hard on a random play that happened to result in a goal, well it all seems so much deeper than that.

    Woodguy –

    Yes. Absolutely yes a Couturier would be better than a Gagner for this current roster. Problem is, Oilers are handcuffed on that contract currently and even if they weren’t, I doubt there is any chance at all that Coots ends up in Edmonton without at least this year’s first and a roster player (not named Jones) going back the other way.

    Learn to love Sammy or watch something else, because he ain’t leaving for three bold years.

  24. Woodguy says:

    lance,

    PHI needs scoring.

    Gagner for Couturier.

    I think PHI would need to add to that to make it even and the Oilers need to take some salary back to get PHI under the cap.

    To be clear and think Gagner is worth more in the NHL because he can score and was in the top 20 for C scoring last year.

    LT is right though.

    2 games is not the right sample to judge him under this coach.

    Maybe he smartens up.

    How many coaches have coached him to be better without the puck already though?

  25. Lowetide says:

    I’m still wondering about that item I mentioned above, men. The shift WG posted with 89 lollygagging was his third of the first period, one in which he played 2 minutes of 4.5.

    Here, let me grab it again.

    Gagner played:
    1. From 53 seconds to 1:40 (47 second shift)
    2. From 3:09 to 3:50 (41 second shift)
    3. From 5:09 to 5:36 (27 second shift and then the goal)

    So, from the start of the game, he sits for 52 seconds and then plays 115 seconds during the next 4.5 minutes until the goal is scored.

    That’s something a healthy NHL center should be able to cover, right? The third shift there is the one where Gagner was lazy.

  26. godot10 says:

    Gagner’s back for two games. Probably rushed back. Playing with a damned facemask. And he’s the effing reason the Oilers are effed..

    The blogosphere may be dumber than Eakins.

  27. stevezie says:

    We can’t realistically discuss a Gagner trade, can we? It’s one thing to tap a guy on the shoulder and say, “Don’t worry bud, we won’t trade you” and then trade him anyway when you are bowled over by a deal, but MacT promised Gagner he wouldn’t trade him as part of their negotiations. If the Oil get the reputation of negotiating in bad faith will agent even take our calls any more?

    Am I getting details wrong?

    And don’t say, “our rep already sucks so it doesn’t matter”, because a bad rep is a problem to be solved, not revelled in.

  28. Andy P says:

    I’m not that traumatized that we are approaching the nadir. I see the players being pissed off at each other as a positive sign.

    I think that few worthwhile players or coaching staff will want to join us while we are in this nadir. We will need to work with who we have in Edmonton and OKC until we find our way out of this slump, the exception being offloading – for pennies on the dollar – anyone who doesn’t want to be part of the solution.

    Once everybody realizes that their careers depend on turning this thing around, I feel we do have the necessary talent on board to still have an exciting final 50 games in this season. (my 30 game thing)

    I also want to complement the quality of the contributors on this blog, with only a few exceptions.

    Thank you.

  29. Bruce McCurdy says:

    godot10:
    Gagner’s back for two games.Probably rushed back. Playing with a damned facemask.And he’s the effing reason the Oilers are effed..

    The blogosphere may be dumber than Eakins.

    Come on, Godot, that’s ridiculous. Nobody said Gagner was The Problem, but with plays like that he’s hardly The Solution either. Are we just to forgive him everything he does because he wears a shield or because he’s a good guy or something? He’s been back two games and his line has been a complete mess defensively. (See my linked post above, and the second goal last night was more of the same.)

    Yes, some of that can be excused by time out of the line-up, out of shape-ness and such, but it’s long been an observation of mine that Gagner is frequently guilty of puck-watching, to the point that when the puck is going to be moved he forgets to move his feet. He stopped skating to watch the Kessel-to-Van Riemsdyk denouement, and more of the same on the Tatar goal last night. On the other hand, on the second Kessel goal (the third Toronto goal) while Gagner was late to the party that one is firstly on Eberle in my books, who came down low and then just abandoned the area even with Gagner gesturing to him to pull the switch. Miscommunication among linemates has been an ongoing issue, but in that case it was Eberle’s wandering that made him the primary culprit.

    And I say that as an Eberle fan. Just because I like the guy doesn’t mean he never makes a mistake, and the same goes for every player on the team, or in the league for that matter. Oilers do seem to make more than their share, however. >:(

  30. Ryan says:

    godot10:
    Gagner’s back for two games.Probably rushed back. Playing with a damned facemask.And he’s the effing reason the Oilers are effed..

    The blogosphere may be dumber than Eakins.

    Gagner is Gagner. He has a solid six year NHL track record of being a completely flawed player defensively.

    It has nothing to do with 2 games this season or a recent broken jaw.

    Last year, he sucked at faceoffs, was often lost in his own zone, doesn’t put much effort into backchecking and overall, he has never been even an average player defensively.

    He’s been allowed to play poor defensively and largely rewarded with PP time, buttersoft minutes and allowed to rack up points for a bigger paycheck.

    I’m not saying Gagner is the problem but he is a perfect example of why there’s a problem.

    How would another team have handled a guy like Gagner? Would Hitch or Babcock have allowed a guy to get sheltered offensive minutes, PP time, and rack up points to a big contract if he can’t play in his own zone?

  31. Lowetide says:

    stevezie:
    We can’t realistically discuss a Gagner trade, can we? It’s one thing to tap a guy on the shoulder and say, “Don’t worry bud, we won’t trade you” and then trade him anyway when you are bowled over by a deal, but MacT promised Gagner he wouldn’t trade him as part of their negotiations. If the Oil get the reputation of negotiating in bad faith will agent even take our calls any more?

    Am I getting details wrong?

    And don’t say, “our rep already sucks so it doesn’t matter”, because a bad rep is a problem to be solved, not revelled in.

    That really only works if he’s giving effort. If Gagner is completely healthy and screwing the pooch, then you HAVE to trade him before the NT kicks in.

  32. Ryan says:

    Lowetide,

    Jeff Carter.

  33. Ryan says:

    Anyone know what happened to Dellow’s website?

  34. Lowetide says:

    Ryan:
    Anyone know what happened to Dellow’s website?

    He’s on tomorrow and it’ll be the first question, 10:05

  35. Ryan says:

    Lowetide,

    Thanks, and great post LT. I can’t say enough how appreciative I am having your blog as the beacon of sanity as a fan of this moribund hockey team.

    This post is probably one of your finest of all time given the circumstances.

    I’m at a point where I’m not even angry as a fan anymore. I don’t think Eakins panned as promised, but I’m not even upset about that.

    For all the talk of not firing Eakins (Stauffer prior to the year and MSM prior to the year), I think if things continue, you almost have to fire him if not out of anything other than simple mercy.

    Eakins doesn’t have much of a poker face. Every time they pan to his face when the Oilers get scored on yet again, he turns green.

    I don’t think he can handle this. I do feel bad for him.

  36. Lowetide says:

    Ryan:
    Lowetide,

    Thanks, and great post LT.I can’t say enough how appreciative I am having your blog as the beacon of sanity as a fan of this moribund hockey team.

    This post is probably one of your finest of all time given the circumstances.

    I’m at a point where I’m not even angry as a fan anymore.I don’t think Eakins panned as promised, but I’m not even upset about that.

    For all the talk of not firing Eakins (Stauffer prior to the year and MSM prior to the year), I think if things continue, you almost have to fire him if not out of anything other than simple mercy.

    Eakins doesn’t have much of a poker face.Every time they pan to his face when the Oilers get scored on yet again, he turns green.

    I don’t think he can handle this. I do feel bad for him.

    The concern I have about that is then the inmates are running the asylum. It’s a very difficult moment in Oilers history because if the Oilers fire Eakins (and the kids have quit) then we could spend 5 years watching toe drags.

    I have NO idea if that’s true, that’s why Woodguy’s point (and Bruce’s backup) is so interesting. I’m still not convinced, and in fact openly wonder about Gagner’s 3 shifts from 0:53 seconds to the goal the other night, but if that’s true and the guy who the Oilers signed this summer is quitting on the coach ONE GAME IN?

    After HE asked for the NTC?

    Lordy.

  37. stevezie says:

    Lowetide,

    I predict he will announce being hired by an NHL team. Some bloggers (present company included) I think would make excellent professional sports writers. I think Dellow could make a good GM.

    Lowetide,

    Good point- Gagner needs to hold up his half of the handshake.

  38. fifthcartel says:

    On the bright side, Nurse-Ekblad could be a ridiculous pairing in a year or two.

  39. Lowetide says:

    stevezie:
    Lowetide,

    I predict he will announce being hired by an NHL team. Some bloggers (present company included) I think would make excellent professional sports writers. I think Dellow could make a good GM.

    Lowetide,

    Good point- Gagner needs to hold up his half of the handshake.

    Dellow is so smart it’s silly, I hope so (but honestly don’t know). My worry is that it’s the Flames! :-) I’ll have to torpedo him off the show!

    As for Gagner, yeah that would suck. Hopefully he figures it out.

  40. denny33 says:

    stevezie,

    We can’t realistically discuss a Gagner trade, can we? It’s one thing to tap a guy on the shoulder and say, “Don’t worry bud, we won’t trade you” and then trade him anyway when you are bowled over by a deal, but MacT promised Gagner he wouldn’t trade him as part of their negotiations. If the Oil get the reputation of negotiating in bad faith will agent even take our calls any more?

    Am I getting details wrong?

    And don’t say, “our rep already sucks so it doesn’t matter”, because a bad rep is a problem to be solved, not revelled in.

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

    You are referring to the same Gm that was effusive in his praise for Krueger….
    ” you can’t keep changing coaches…”

  41. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Lowetide: I’m still not convinced, and in fact openly wonder about Gagner’s 3 shifts from 0:53 seconds to the goal the other night, but if that’s true and the guy who the Oilers signed this summer is quitting on the coach ONE GAME IN?

    I don’t think for a second that Gagner is quitting on the coach. I do think he’s guilty of quitting on the play from time to time, but that’s nothing new. As mentioned above, he’s occasionally been guilty of puck-watching since he first got here. It’s a flaw he really needs to work on, & it’s discouraging to see more of the same right off the hop.

    I am going to go back & look at that entire 3-shift sequence to see if there’s any reason he should be out of puff, but I don’t think 3 shifts in 5 minutes is that out of line with normal fare. By the math he played 1:55 of 5:36, which is pretty much exactly what you expect on a three-line team.

    As for the Van Riemsdyk goal that was his first shift of the period, 52 seconds long. He busted ass to get in the neighbourhood, then just put it in glide mode when two more strides would have put him somewhere near JVR’s kitchen. Messier used to pull that same kind of stuff, and it drove me nuts back in his day every bit as much.

  42. Racki says:

    Whether Gagner is “lazy”, or not, I think things clearly have to be shaken up here. I’d consider most pieces fair game for the right trade… the RIGHT trade. This doesn’t mean we trade Eberle for Fedor Tyutin and a pick. The Oilers are going to have to make some waves here and send off some guys that fans will cry to see go. Sorry folks, but you can watch 9 guys dispeedoodle and make cute plays in another loss, or you can watch a team that has a combination of skill guys and guys that work hard to score goals, on every line.

    It is questionable as to whether the Oilers can make those trades now, but I would talk to teams like Philly and Buffalo, who are clearly in a world of shit, themselves, and lure away some guys like Wayne Simmonds that would complement what we’ve got going on here. I’ve got an attachment to Troy Brouwer too.. not sure if the Caps would move him, but these are the types the Oilers should be looking at. This “possession” game only works if you have guys that a) can’t be bumped off the puck easily and b) can fight to get it back when they do, inevitably lose it.

  43. Racki says:

    Bruce McCurdy: I don’t think for a second that Gagner is quitting on the coach. I do think he’s guilty of quitting on the play from time to time, but that’s nothing new. As mentioned above, he’s occasionally been guilty of puck-watching since he first got here. It’s a flaw he really needs to work on, & it’s discouraging to see more of the same right off the hop.

    I am going to go back & look at that entire 3-shift sequence to see if there’s any reason he should be out of puff, but I don’t think 3 shifts in 5 minutes is that out of line with normal fare.

    As for the Van Riemsdyk goal that was his first shift of the period, 52 seconds long. He busted ass to get in the neighbourhood, then just put it in glide mode when two more strides would have put him somewhere near JVR’s kitchen. Messier used to pull that same kind of stuff, and it drove me nuts back in his day every bit as much.

    I think a lot of guys just don’t have that mentality where the danger sign is blinking in their face on plays like this. It should be.. there should be alarms going off saying “holy sh–, this guy is in great scoring position, I better get on him”. However, often, I think they’re just thinking the play will die right away, and they’ll be having to break up ice the other way.

    I watched an odd one with Yak too (which I’m sure others mentioned). I don’t think it led to a goal, but Yak hustled back into the zone right behind a guy who had the puck on his stick… about 10 feet behind the guy, Yak hits the break and coasts, doesn’t bother to do anything to him, as the guy let’s a shot off. It was fairly harmless, but come on.. you should be hungry to get that puck…. “it’s my puck, and you can go and get your own.”

  44. Lowetide says:

    Bruce McCurdy: I don’t think for a second that Gagner is quitting on the coach. I do think he’s guilty of quitting on the play from time to time, but that’s nothing new. As mentioned above, he’s occasionally been guilty of puck-watching since he first got here. It’s a flaw he really needs to work on, & it’s discouraging to see more of the same right off the hop.

    I am going to go back & look at that entire 3-shift sequence to see if there’s any reason he should be out of puff, but I don’t think 3 shifts in 5 minutes is that out of line with normal fare.

    As for the Van Riemsdyk goal that was his first shift of the period, 52 seconds long. He busted ass to get in the neighbourhood, then just put it in glide mode when two more strides would have put him somewhere near JVR’s kitchen. Messier used to pull that same kind of stuff, and it drove me nuts back in his day every bit as much.

    Thanks for checking, Bruce. I think all these kids are/were in for a wakeup call on things like that, wonder if Gagner is particularly prone due to the injury (I have literally no idea if it would affect his breathing, of course there’s the injury and the new bucket to consider).

  45. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    sliderule:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    The oilers were looking for a goalie in fifth.
    They picked a goalie with personal problems with worst stats than Mrazek
    I may be a fool for questioning drafting mistakes but if you don’t learn from your mistakes you truly are a fool.

    C’mon… “personal problems”??? before his draft?

    what “worse stats”… he had a much larger sample size to draw from on draft day.

    And, he played very well after being drafted and has since been derailed.

    This was not a mistake. 5th round flyers aren’t “mistakes.” that is absurd.

    We need to be much more careful re-evaluating drafts.

  46. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide:
    Jennifer Connelly. I actually thought about it this morning. I said “who is SO beautiful that I can take 5 or so random photos and have all the visitors to this blog (save Louise, God love her) feel better.” And Connelly came to mind.

    Did the opposite for the Raitt song. It was “what song do I love that fits”

    I don’t know LT… that first image conjures up some awkward thoughts, esp. when applied to the fate of the Oilers.

  47. Masamax says:

    How I imagine our former coaches feel right now:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AAP7zORyWA

  48. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: The concern I have about that is then the inmates are running the asylum. It’s a very difficult moment in Oilers history because if the Oilers fire Eakins (and the kids have quit) then we could spend 5 years watching toe drags.

    I have NO idea if that’s true, that’s why Woodguy’s point (and Bruce’s backup) is so interesting. I’m still not convinced, and in fact openly wonder about Gagner’s 3 shifts from 0:53 seconds to the goal the other night, but if that’s true and the guy who the Oilers signed this summer is quitting on the coach ONE GAME IN?

    After HE asked for the NTC?

    Lordy.

    I don’t think he’s quitting on the coach.

    I think he’s playing exactly like Sam Gagner plays.

    He plays with the defensive acumen of a high scoring winger who can get away with lollygagging. Kane is the best example of this, but he brings so much offense you can afford to look the other way.

    Gagner plays C and doesn’t bring Kane level offense so its a problem.

    Its not a problem that he doesn’t listen to Eakins.

    Its a problem that he’s entering his 7th year in the NHL and its still his instinct to glide.

    Its on him and the organization.

  49. Bruce McCurdy says:

    So, 3 pretty normal looking shifts, 1 on the PP involving little skating. On the 2nd shift Gagner took a bit of a knock in the offensive zone corner, but came back strong & made a good play to clear his own zone at the end of the shift. Then the third shift, just 27 seconds & HUA on the back check. The sequence took 8 minutes of running time, with 5 faceoffs mixed in including a delay when the net got knocked off. So nothing out of the ordinary at all, either than a brain cramp 5 minutes into the damn game.

  50. Jamie says:

    Woodguy:
    CF% 5v5 Close so far this year:

    WARNING: Some really small samples in there, but I’m obsessed today.

    Forwards:

    Ben Eager53.70%
    David Perron47.90%
    Taylor Hall47.70%
    Will Acton47.70%
    Ales Hemsky47.30%
    Mark Arcobello47.00%
    Ryan Smyth46.60%
    Ryan Nugent-Hopkins46.40%
    Jesse Joensuu45.60%
    Jordan Eberle45.60%
    Ryan Jones43.30%
    Sam Gagner42.10%
    Boyd Gordon41.90%
    Nail Yakupov41.70%
    Mike Brown39.50%
    Luke Gazdic38.60%
    Tyler Pitlick37.50%
    Ryan Hamilton33.30%
    Anton Lander13.00%

    Dmen:

    Denis Grebeshkov62.50%
    Anton Belov46.70%
    Jeff Petry45.60%
    Andrew Ference44.70%
    Nick Schultz43.60%
    Ladislav Smid43.00%
    Justin Schultz42.90%

    To help put some context to those numbers:

    Defensive Zone Starts:

    Forwards:

    Anton Lander75.00%
    Boyd Gordon62.20%
    Tyler Pitlick61.30%
    Ryan Hamilton54.50%
    Ryan Jones48.10%
    Jesse Joensuu45.70%
    David Perron32.60%
    Ryan Smyth32.10%
    Jordan Eberle30.60%
    Ryan Nugent-Hopkins30.50%
    Mark Arcobello29.30%
    Ben Eager28.90%
    Will Acton27.20%
    Ales Hemsky25.80%
    Luke Gazdic24.30%
    Mike Brown23.30%
    Taylor Hall22.70%
    Sam Gagner20.00%
    Nail Yakupov18.40%

    Defence:

    Ladislav Smid39.60%
    Jeff Petry36.70%
    Nick Schultz36.40%
    Andrew Ference31.90%
    Denis Grebeshkov31.40%
    Anton Belov30.00%
    Justin Schultz28.10%
    Philip Larsen23.10%

    I think one of the fancy stat guys needs to come up with a formula to take CF and DZ starts into account so that corsi can be compared across players. I think it is misleading to just list the Corsi for individual players after a game and then make any valid conclusions. If RNH has a corsi of 60% but takes starts in the OZ 80% of the game is that good? What if Gordon has a CF of 40% but starts in the DZ 75% of the time? Which is a relatively better performance? What would the average shot event be for someone who has a OZ/DZ% of x? I think we need some type of index number that we can compare to otherwise we are overstating the use of Corsi%.

    I realize that corsi is suppose to be more of a team stat but it seems like it is the new hot thing that is mentioned everywhere (even the MSM seem to be jumping on board) this season.

    So I would appreciate it if Parkatti, Dellows or one of the other big headed number crunchers would put this together and then name it after me. Thanks.

  51. Woodguy says:

    Wasn’t the whole reason you always draft forward skill, regardless of team need, is because its the most valuable commodity?

    Isn’t the whole premise based on, “You can trade the skill later at a high price to address team needs, but don’t draft for need because you won’t know your needs and skill is always in demand”?

    Well, here we are.

    Chock full of skill and holes in the roster.

    Time to ship some skill out and cash in on the bet.

    You don’t do it for $0.90 on the dollar, but you do it.

  52. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy: I don’t think he’s quitting on the coach.

    I think he’s playing exactly like Sam Gagner plays.

    He plays with the defensive acumen of a high scoring winger who can get away with lollygagging.Kane is the best example of this, but he brings so much offense you can afford to look the other way.

    Gagner plays C and doesn’t bring Kane level offense so its a problem.

    Its not a problem that he doesn’t listen to Eakins.

    Its a problem that he’s entering his 7th year in the NHL and its still his instinct to glide.

    Its on him and the organization.

    Yeah, I was the one who brought up quitting on the coach, sorry it was badly worded there (threw poor Bruce under the bus for good measure).

    Well, I’m still onside with 89. I’m fine with moving him to wing, but for me the offense he brings and the fact he can play with all these skilled forwards makes him worth it.

    I do think Gagner (and others) are going to be brought up to spec in these areas by Eakins, and that’s why I’m hoping he stays.

    Devil is in the details.

  53. G Money says:

    Jamie,

    There has been some work on this e.g. http://drivingplay.blogspot.ca/2011/10/adjusting-for-zone-starts-zone-start.html

    The end result of that work was just a linear reduction of Corsi based on ZS.

    I prefer the Vollman charts, which blend TOI, ZS, QoC, and Corsi together.

  54. Thiru says:

    Lowetide: Yeah, I was the one who brought up quitting on the coach, sorry it was badly worded there (threw poor Bruce under the bus for good measure).

    Well, I’m still onside with 89. I’m fine with moving him to wing, but for me the offense he brings and the fact he can play with all these skilled forwards makes him worth it.

    I do think Gagner (and others) are going to be brought up to spec in these areas by Eakins, and that’s why I’m hoping he stays.

    Devil is in the details.

    It’s a little disappointing though, isn’t it, LT?

    This is a guy who is starting to get paid.

    With that, in addition to the boxcars, I’d have hoped that by now he would bring some maturity and professionalism to his play without the puck.

    I’m not saying we should ship him out, but it’s a disappointing thing to see from a guy who should be a leader.

    I have been critical of Eakins, but telling these guys to act like pros, that shouldn’t be part of his job.

    They should just fucking do it.

    We blame Lowe, we blame Tambellini, we blame MacT, we blame Kruger, we blame Eakins.

    When, exactly, will the spoiled brats who play for our Edmonton Oilers start acting like men?

  55. flyfish1168 says:

    Wow watching the phlegm game I realize they may have the better coach and has a better compete level with less supposed talent.

  56. Lowetide says:

    Thiru: ing though, isn’t it, LT?

    This is a guy who is starting to get paid.

    With that, in addition to the boxcars, I’d have hoped that by now he would bring some maturity and professionalism to his play without the puck.

    I’m not saying we should ship him out, but it’s a disappointing thing to see from a guy who should be a leader.

    I have been critical of Eakins, but telling these guys to act like pros, that shouldn’t be part of his job.

    They should just fucking do it.

    We blame Lowe, we blame Tambellini, we blame

    I’m torn on Gagner. He was trending in a good direction before the 12-13 season, and that was a disaster. Now we’re two games in and I don’t think that’s enough time to pass judgement.

    I think if you’re expecting Gagner to be a tough minutes center you’re always going to be disappointed. Gagner is going to be the guy who can help you bury the soft parade and do it at a reasonable number dollar wise.

    If he goes beyond a certain number, then he has negative value. I don’t know where that number is, but would have liked Steve Tambellini to sign him longer term because we’re close to there imo.

  57. Lowetide says:

    flyfish1168:
    Wow watching the phlegm game I realize they may have the better coach and has a better compete level with less supposed talent.

    They’re impressive. I’m just writing tomorrow’s post and they’re in it.

  58. flyfish1168 says:

    Lowetide: They’re impressive. I’m just writing tomorrow’s post and they’re in it.

    Lowetide,

    As much as I hate them I give them credit. They know they have to work hard. That’s what really counts. I remember an interview with Baertschi, when the Heat was playing the Barons. His comments were it doesn’t matter where you were drafted it what your going to do now. I thought he was just an arrogant a$$. But really our players including Hall may have done better statically but hasn’t gotten us anywhere. To see where the flames are in there compete level and effort I would trade all our talent for that if it gets us to the team goal which should be the playoffs and lord stanley

  59. Thiru says:

    Lowetide: I’m torn on Gagner. He was trending in a good direction before the 12-13 season, and that was a disaster. Now we’re two games in and I don’t think that’s enough time to pass judgement.

    I think if you’re expecting Gagner to be a tough minutes center you’re always going to be disappointed. Gagner is going to be the guy who can help you bury the soft parade and do it at a reasonable number dollar wise.

    If he goes beyond a certain number, then he has negative value. I don’t know where that number is, but would have liked Steve Tambellini to sign him longer term because we’re close to there imo.

    Whether or not Gagner becomes a tough-minute center is besides the point, I think.

    WG’s point is absolutely true: Gagner is not good enough offensively to coast around like that (few are), and it doesn’t matter who he’s out there against.

    It’s laziness. We can talk about goaltending and finding more depth on the blue and in the bottom six, but if one of the guys who you count on to play 18 minutes a night is lollygagging like that, you’re not going to win.

    If Gagner were a real man, he’d stop trying to pad his numbers and stop playing for a big contract — which is all he’s done now for the past 2 years — and start playing for the team.

    He shouldn’t see another second of PP time until he understands that message and shows it on the ice. The time for coddling and excuse-making and management blaming ought to be over, I think.

  60. spoiler says:

    Woodguy:
    CF% 5v5 Close so far this year:

    WARNING: Some really small samples in there, but I’m obsessed today.

    Forwards:

    Ben Eager53.70%
    David Perron47.90%
    Taylor Hall47.70%
    Will Acton47.70%
    Ales Hemsky47.30%
    Mark Arcobello47.00%
    Ryan Smyth46.60%
    Ryan Nugent-Hopkins46.40%
    Jesse Joensuu45.60%
    Jordan Eberle45.60%
    Ryan Jones43.30%
    Sam Gagner42.10%
    Boyd Gordon41.90%
    Nail Yakupov41.70%
    Mike Brown39.50%
    Luke Gazdic38.60%
    Tyler Pitlick37.50%
    Ryan Hamilton33.30%
    Anton Lander13.00%

    Dmen:

    Denis Grebeshkov62.50%
    Anton Belov46.70%
    Jeff Petry45.60%
    Andrew Ference44.70%
    Nick Schultz43.60%
    Ladislav Smid43.00%
    Justin Schultz42.90%

    To help put some context to those numbers:

    Defensive Zone Starts:

    Forwards:

    Anton Lander75.00%
    Boyd Gordon62.20%
    Tyler Pitlick61.30%
    Ryan Hamilton54.50%
    Ryan Jones48.10%
    Jesse Joensuu45.70%
    David Perron32.60%
    Ryan Smyth32.10%
    Jordan Eberle30.60%
    Ryan Nugent-Hopkins30.50%
    Mark Arcobello29.30%
    Ben Eager28.90%
    Will Acton27.20%
    Ales Hemsky25.80%
    Luke Gazdic24.30%
    Mike Brown23.30%
    Taylor Hall22.70%
    Sam Gagner20.00%
    Nail Yakupov18.40%

    Defence:

    Ladislav Smid39.60%
    Jeff Petry36.70%
    Nick Schultz36.40%
    Andrew Ference31.90%
    Denis Grebeshkov31.40%
    Anton Belov30.00%
    Justin Schultz28.10%
    Philip Larsen23.10%

    Are you sure on your numbers, Woodguy? I have trouble believing our defensemen as a group average 65% or better offensive zone starts.

  61. spoiler says:

    Lowetide: Yeah, I was the one who brought up quitting on the coach, sorry it was badly worded there (threw poor Bruce under the bus for good measure).

    Well, I’m still onside with 89. I’m fine with moving him to wing, but for me the offense he brings and the fact he can play with all these skilled forwards makes him worth it.

    I do think Gagner (and others) are going to be brought up to spec in these areas by Eakins, and that’s why I’m hoping he stays.

    Devil is in the details.

    He’s even worse on the wing where he’s forced to battle along the boards, and it doesn’t cater to his offensive zone strengths. The amount of offense he brings is irrelevant if he continues to insist on being out-scored.

    And, if he’s a soft minutes winger, he is being seriously overpaid.

    That said, I’m going to give Gagner a break till the face guard comes off. Some rust, mental and physical, is to be expected, and he hasn’t been in Eakins system before, especially in a game situation.

    We need this player to become Patrick Sharp, but he doesn’t look like he’s ever going to get it. This is Last Chance Texaco for the Hobbit as far as I’m concerned.

  62. G Money says:

    spoiler: Are you sure on your numbers, Woodguy?I have trouble believing our defensemen as a group average 65% or better offensive zone starts.

    They don’t – the number WG is showing is the DZ start. The rest of the starts are OZ and NZ. Overall they seem to be about even across the board. The full stats look like this:

    OZ / NZ / DZ
    Justin Schultz 31.6% 40.3% 28.1%
    Anton Belov 29.5% 40.6% 30.0%
    Andrew Ference 28.0% 40.1% 31.9%
    Jeff Petry 25.0% 38.3% 36.7%
    Nick Schultz 23.9% 39.7% 36.4%
    Ladislav Smid 21.8% 38.6% 39.6%

  63. G Money says:

    flyfish1168:
    Wow watching the phlegm game I realize they may have the better coach and has a better compete level with less supposed talent.

    They remind of the pre-cap MacT Oilers, actually.

  64. spoiler says:

    Picking on Gagner aside… he was the recent for the loss last night.

    I think Eakins hit the nail on the head. This team emotionally and mentally caved with the first two goals and then the injury to their starter.

    When Eakins was talking about one player to take a stand, someone for the rest of the team to rally behind, he was calling out his veterans, as well he should. And he wasn’t throwing them under the bus in his usual blunt manner… he was subtle, but the intent was there.

    It is up to the veterans to make that stand and show the rest of the team there is no lying down, there is no quit, there is no loss of confidence, there is no giving up.

    And they didn’t.

    And that is on Ference, Gordon, Jones, Gagner, Smid, LaBarbera etc.

    Sure they said something after the game, but a statement needed to be made in the game during the first period.

    They’re a team sawed in half by injury, but that is no excuse for the vets quitting and allowing the rest of the team to wallow in their own emotional fragility.

    For shame.

  65. spoiler says:

    G Money: They don’t – the number WG is showing is the DZ start. The rest of the starts are OZ and NZ. Overall they seem to be about even across the board.The full stats look like this:

    OZ / NZ / DZ
    Justin Schultz 31.6%40.3%28.1%
    Anton Belov 29.5%40.6%30.0%
    Andrew Ference 28.0%40.1%31.9%
    Jeff Petry 25.0%38.3%36.7%
    Nick Schultz 23.9%39.7%36.4%
    Ladislav Smid 21.8%38.6%39.6%

    Thanks.. They still look funny though. I would have thought the numbers would be more skewed to the DZone considering the team’s Corsi. This might be because of where Dmen change on the fly, dunno.

  66. spoiler says:

    Thiru: It’s laziness. We can talk about goaltending and finding more depth on the blue and in the bottom six, but if one of the guys who you count on to play 18 minutes a night is lollygagging like that, you’re not going to win.

    I don’t think it’s laziness. He can and does get back just fine. But he seems to be looking for loose pucks and waiting to be released with a pass when he does get back. There’s an unwillingness to engage there. I don’t think it’s Patrick O’Sullivan like unwillingness ( ie. physical fear); I think it is cheating for O.

    See Bruce’s comment about Messier above, which is dead-on. And there was no way Messier was not engaging out of physical fear… it was all about cheating for glory.

  67. Woodguy says:

    spoiler: Are you sure on your numbers, Woodguy?I have trouble believing our defensemen as a group average 65% or better offensive zone starts.

    Doesn’t include neutral zone starts.

    I posted Dzone only.

  68. Woodguy says:

    spoiler,

    Here’s the link to the page: http://www.extraskater.com/team/edmonton-oilers/2013

    Make sure you have the correct game state set on the left hand side.

  69. pboy says:

    I was reading LT’s article over at Oilers Nation and I noticed that Robin Brownlee had linked to MacT’s press conference when they announced his taking the GM role and that clip really does say it all. The arrogance that exudes from 6 Rings is just amazing and the guy clearly doesn’t think that he is capable of failing. The players, coaches, trainers and everyone else will always be on the carousel because the buck will never stop at Kevin Lowe’s desk.

    MacT said during the presser that he knows that this job will be difficult but he’s up to the challenge. Well, here’s the challenge Mr General Manager. Tamblowe sat on his hands last year when a Center could have been the difference between making a playoff push and sinking into the bottom 1/3 of the league. It cost Tambo his job and he was roundly criticized here. MacT is at those same crossroads right now, let’s see how he handles himself. Making a trade for the sake of a trade is dumb, giving away a superior talent for pennies on the dollar is dumb also and I don’t want to see MacT do anything like either of those things. But a trade that addresses some of the needs of this team and changes up the chemistry is a must. Your turn Craig.

  70. FastOil says:

    Woodguy:
    Lowetide,

    That play wasn’t the worst Gagner made that night.

    Watch his Dzone coverage on the 3rd goal :http://www.nhl.com/gamecenter/en/boxscore?id=2013020182

    Last night he missed his check on the back check 5 times in the first period alone.

    1 in the net, 4 not in the net.

    Highlights show one thing, but its the same thing over and over.

    Since the have piles of talent on the wing, wouldn’t the Oilers be better suited to have a Couturier type for 2C?

    Where the smart GM’s dwell.

  71. spoiler says:

    Lowetide:
    Jennifer Connelly. I actually thought about it this morning. I said “who is SO beautiful that I can take 5 or so random photos and have all the visitors to this blog (save Louise, God love her) feel better.” And Connelly came to mind.

    Did the opposite for the Raitt song. It was “what song do I love that fits”

    LT…

    Why do you hate Alyssa Milano so much?

  72. spoiler says:

    Woodguy: Doesn’t include neutral zone starts.

    I posted Dzone only.

    Yeah, G Money caught my brain fart. But again… Corsi tells us the Dzone starts should be higher, no?

  73. spoiler says:

    spoiler: Picking on Gagner aside… he was the recent for the loss last night.

    “he wasn’t the reason for the loss last night”

    And I don’t even have auto-correct on this laptop. I do, however have a third beer next to me.

  74. Lowetide says:

    spoiler: LT…

    Why do you hate Alyssa Milano so much?

    May I tell you an Alyssa Milano story? Many years ago, maybe 1986, I worked at CKCK radio in Regina (it doesn’t exist now, I helped kill it) and the morning show was an old timey show. They did a letters to Santa feature and we’d read a letter from a child, give them a prize, and then take a call from a town kid, and give him a prize.

    Anyway, one day I have this 10-year old boy on (don’t remember his name) and say “Hi Tommy, what do you want for Christmas this year?”

    Tommy: “Alyssa Milano.”

    We couldn’t breathe. Best bit I was ever a part of, damn near died because I couldn’t get oxygen. Damn. :-)

  75. spoiler says:

    Lowetide: May I tell you an Alyssa Milano story? Many years ago, maybe 1986, I worked at CKCK radio in Regina (it doesn’t exist now, I helped kill it) and the morning show was an old timey show. They did a letters to Santa feature and we’d read a letter from a child, give them a prize, and then take a call from a town kid, and give him a prize.

    Anyway, one day I have this 10-year old boy on (don’t remember his name) and say “Hi Tommy, what do you want for Christmas this year?”

    Tommy: “Alyssa Milano.”

    We couldn’t breathe. Best bit I was ever a part of, damn near died because I couldn’t get oxygen. Damn.

    That’s beautiful. Really funny, made me laugh.

    But I’d like to point out she’s an actual hockey fan and we never get pix of her pulchritude. Except when the Kings are in the Finals, lol.

  76. Lowetide says:

    spoiler: That’s beautiful. Really funny, made me laugh.

    But I’d like to point out she’s an actual hockey fan and we never get pix of her pulchritude. Except when the Kings are in the Finals, lol.

    Well I always remember her from that show when she was a little kid. That’ll get weirder for you as you get older btw. That’s why I use Fast Times girl so much, maybe the last one I could reasonably consider contemporary.

  77. Andy P says:

    G Money,

    I long for that team. Blue collar work ethic.

  78. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    I have been biting down on the stick for a little while already so I haven’t had the visceral reaction to the turd laid last night many have had (its absolutely justified by all). It was incredibly tough to watch. An outright embarrassment for a collection of professionals who pine for appropriate ‘respect’ when it’s time to get paid on a new contract.

    How do I feel about it? I have this real need for Katz to now make a public appearance and firstly apologize on behalf of the organization. Last night constituted a need for the owner to address his paying constituents. It would be for the history and pride of this organization. Honor the history and unrelenting support. Tell us you are committed as ever we will progress and compete. In conjunction, I think there needs a mutual and public separation with Kevin Lowe. It’s time. Katz has a legitimate window to do this now and give Kevin Lowe a respectful send off. No need to trash anyone. Simply address the need for fulsome change at the top and at least make fans feel like you care every bit as much as the average fan does for positive and needed change.

    Give MacT some time. I have no doubt he’s working it hard and is dying watching what is unfolding. I don’t want him to do a stupid trade and i don’t think he will. Nothing needs to happen on a trade tomorrow, but a few have to happen before next season. Real hockey trades of the valuable asset kind to get the mix and (now more than ever after last night) character right. 100% skill is great and you gotta have it in the quiver. But….70% skill with genuine edge and a dash of size is damn fine also. We desperately need it. Desperately.

    Eakins seems every bit the rookie. Forcing the play and gripping the stick too tight. He needs time to get his footing. I’m not sure he will be the right and best coach to take this team first into the playoffs and then deep into the playoffs. But give him to the end of this year at least. The same kind of room we give rookies like Yakupov or RNH.

    I’ve reached acceptance on this seasons outcome but never will I reach acceptance on standard of compete. If you aren’t top tier, as management you vigilantly work to fix that. Every damn day. I’m not an apathetic fan. I’m all in and I ache at our current state of affairs. I want better and it’s time to be ‘impatient’ about it.

  79. PunjabiOil says:

    The same source that told me about Clarkson being in Edmonton before the media reported it, dropped some info. Lowetide, feel free to ask your colleagues at 1260 if their stories match:

    Doug Armstrong was the Oilers choice ahead of Tambellini. He did a good job building teams in Dallas and St. Louis. He was ahead of Tambellini in the Oilers rankings – however, he wanted to have greater responsibility and wanted the President of hockey operations position as well. He was not enthusiastic about Lowe having the final say, so he ruled himself out of GM position of the Oilers.

    Good god.

  80. spoiler says:

    Lowetide: Well I always remember her from that show when she was a little kid. That’ll get weirder for you as you get older btw. That’s why I use Fast Times girl so much, maybe the last one I could reasonably consider contemporary.

    Yeah, that’s my problem too. I have to forget she ever did that show.

  81. Gret99zky says:

    Waiting for some of these players to get 100 cents for a dollar in a trade may take a long bloody time.

    Some fans sure are scared of a MacT trade. Don’t trade Gags! Don’t trade Ebs! Don’t trade Hemsky! Don’t trade Smid! Don’t trade Klefbom!

    Trade Jones. Or Omark.

    I agree don’t trade these players for picks or old balls but some balance might be nice.

    You gotta give to get. No?

  82. whiskeytangoeberle says:

    I’ve been a long time reader, earlier today a first time poster, and tonight a last time reader. Fuck fans are stupid. You have no idea what it takes for an individual to perform on a high level. All of you calling for blood even after Eakins gave a smart measured response, given the situation, saying he’ll do anything for this group to gain confidence. But most of you think it would be better if the locker room became host to a game of multimillion dollar musical chairs. Fuck that would be terrible for their performance. It’ll interest me to no end to see how Eakins solves this problem, I believe he’s an extremely intelligent and humble man. It’s because of story lines like this that paying attention to sports is interesting to me. To the great herd on this blog it would appear the interest lies in not choking on your nachos while screaming you know everything there is to know. Thanks LT and to anyone else here who actually cares about quality of writing. Please don’t compromise your clarity to appeal to these jackasses who don’t understand that competition, like life, is hard, and that”s why we watch.

  83. 8p0intgame says:

    Don’t get me wrong. I am not one of those people screaming “trade Eberle”, but I believe the Oilers will need to part ways with one of Eberle or Yakupov in order to achieve balance. In fact, if I was GM, I would put Eberle, Gagner, Klefbom, Nurse, Yakupov, and the 2014 first round draft pick in play to reach that goal.

  84. gvblackhawk says:

    whiskeytangoeberle:
    I’ve been a long time reader, earlier today a first time poster, and tonight a last time reader.Fuck fans are stupid.You have no idea what it takes for an individual to perform on a high level.All of you calling for blood even after Eakins gave a smart measured response, given the situation, saying he’ll do anything for this group to gain confidence.But most of you think it would be better if the locker room became host to a game of multimillion dollar musical chairs.Fuck that would be terrible for their performance.It’ll interest me to no end to see how Eakins solves this problem, I believe he’s an extremely intelligent and humble man.It’s because of story lines like this that paying attention to sports is interesting to me.To the great herd on this blog it would appear the interest lies in not choking on your nachos while screaming you know everything there is to know.Thanks LT and to anyone else here who actually cares about quality of writing.Please don’t compromise your clarity to appeal to these jackasses who don’t understand that competition, like life, is hard, and that”s why we watch.

    You are having an online tantrum because others are expressing an alternative viewpoint to yours? How exactly does that make fans stupid? You didn’t articulate that very well (great use of F bombs btw).

    What you fail to grasp, is that some of us have to perform at a high level everyday. If I show up to my job and perform at a substandard level, I could leave a person disfigured…or worse.

    When expectations are high, and you fail to meet those expectations, questions will be asked of one’s ability. That is human nature. Perhaps the real stupidity lies with those who don’t ask the difficult questions or look at the current situation with a healthy dose of skepticism.

  85. LP says:

    Great post LT.

    So, on the topic of potential trade, which team would be the most likely?

    PHI? BUF, NAS, PHX maybe?

    I think our boy MacT we will pull a trade or two. I wonder with which team(s). Also, who would be coming back? Stud D? Great Goaltending prospect?

    And for the record, I think this organization will be better once Lowe leaves, or fades away. I know I’m not alone in thinking this. Question is how long does it take for Katz to perhaps think this?

  86. DeadmanWaking says:

    whiskeytangoeberle: Thanks LT and to anyone else here who actually cares about quality of writing.

    People who care about writing like us some paragraph breaks. (That’s my rebuttal to the chalkboard garden path.)

    Also, while the word “fuck” is such a heavy splitting axe that it seems indestructible, it actually has a precision edge which is soon blunted if you swing it at any damn thing. I wrote a post recently about men who sacrifice precision in manly acts of percussion. As someone else noticed, both of your F-bombs are leading your jabs. Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. Good work, Romeo.

    I happen to know that Sierra Hotel is military slang for “shit hot”. So I wondered, and found a few:

    Whiskey Charlie: Who cares?

    Whiskey Delta: Weak dick. Opposite of Sierra Hotel.

    Whiskey Tango: White trash.

    This last one is regular street slang, and not terribly endearing, if that’s your intent.

    You are right, though, that toxic narratives do tend to gain currency come desperate times. It can become a tedious ordeal talking people down from the ledge, but that seems to be the ante on preserving even a small oasis of civilized discourse. This is how group dynamics has always worked for the tribe huddled around the fire. It’s a man’s work bringing the hot heads into the fold.

    Right now our mascots of tribal heritage are failing to talk each other down from the ledge. As their frustration has reached the collective boiling point, their group cohesion has ceased to moderate or modulate.

    There comes a point where there’s blood on the water. The noble narratives are going to have to sit this one out for a while I think.

    I reached that decision tonight for myself. One of the reasons I write here is because I draw energy from the personalities and exchange of views. One of my persistent themes is the surprising fragility of human competence. Unfortunately, the Oilogosphere is dead to feathering the rudder while listing so far to starboard that port side has all but vanished from view.

    Enjoyable afternoons sipping martinis on the poop deck is off the menu until the good ship Oil Drop levels out. Lowetide is at the top of the bar launching beers to the thirsty patrons with hardly a flick of the fingernail–and hoping the patron at the deep end of the bar can handle a hot one. Incoming! There’s a catcher’s mitt hanging there for any patron who needs it.

    As of the Detroit game, any glassware set on the bar just goes on its own. Doesn’t even need a tap of the fingernail. Hold on … or it’s gone.

    Now a man can’t properly think without setting his beer down, and the bar has become more like a bowling alley than safe haven for pleasantly paced distillations.

    I’ve decided to find a nice hammock on the high side against some leaning white surface and sit quietly with my books, mainly dropping by the ChitChatKlub to pound down a cold one when I need to whet my whistle … no, that’s the axe … I mean wet my whistle.

    I’ll miss the daily repartee, but I won’t exactly suffer a dry spell. I read a lot, and reading is thirsty work.

    Back your missive nailed upon the door, to end this off.

    If you enjoy the writing, why not do what you can to temper the angst? Pull up a padded stool and practice the ancient craft of group cohesion (and on the seventh day, god said “Let there be beer!”). Figure out who you’re sitting beside and buy him a drink. You could say that in the dressing room right now, and not be far from the mark.

    Your flight from quality puzzles me. It has an Easter Island feeling about it. “Nice statues, terrible natives. Keep up the good work. I’m leaving.” And then there was none.

    Is that the world you’re choosing in tossing your nail onto the church’s welcome mat? Why so hasty?

    “Hey, Luther, fetch the guest hammer!”

    Welcome aboard.

  87. bookje says:

    We are a messed up bunch here aren’t we. Normally when the situation is bad, there are clear factions and its predictable who will line up together, but its a mess, LT, Bruce, and WG all disagree with one another and so on.

    I think its because those of us who follow this game know that if the goalies had come out and won a bunch of the first dozen games or so for us, that we would all be talking about what a godsend Eakins is and where we should plan the parade. The players would be revved up and ‘into it’. We would chalk up any difficulties for guys like Yak to sophomore slumps or other excuses. JW would be telling us that a 0.954 is not sustainable.

    So, that’s why we are confused. I don’t think we know if Eakins is a disaster or saviour or what at this point, but we are all upset and just want to yell.

  88. godot10 says:

    bookje:
    We are a messed up bunch here aren’t we.Normally when the situation is bad, there are clear factions and its predictable who will line up together, but its a mess, LT, Bruce, and WG all disagree with one another and so on.

    I think its because those of us who follow this game know that if the goalies had come out and won a bunch of the first dozen games or so for us, that we would all be talking about what a godsend Eakins is and where we should plan the parade.The players would be revved up and ‘into it’. We would chalk up any difficulties for guys like Yak to sophomore slumps or other excuses. JW would be telling us that a 0.954 is not sustainable.

    So, that’s why we are confused.I don’t think we know if Eakins is a disaster or saviour or what at this point, but we are all upset and just want to yell.

    Are the goaltenders performing badly an accident? The defense and many forwards are also under-performing and playing with little confidence. One has a normally reliable backup goaltender in Labarabera fall off a cliff. Maybe Eakins just unnerves his players, and as a result they play poorly.

    There is a human element. It is all not necessarily in the numbers. It is not just the goaltending that is egregiously bad. The last game of the preseason against a mainly AHL Dallas team, and the game against Vancouver with mostly a full roster were indicative of potential trouble in paradise that was somewhat masked by an easy eastern conference schedule.

  89. Bos8 says:

    godot10:

    There is a human element.It is all not necessarily in the numbers.It is not just the goaltending that is egregiously bad.The last game of the preseason against a mainly AHL Dallas team, and the game against Vancouver with mostly a full roster were indicative of potential trouble in paradise that was somewhat masked by an easy eastern conference schedule.

    That was very noticeable and I’m trying to think back. When was Ference made Captain? It had to be somewhere close to that time. The team was competing and playing well and then there was that clunk. Things haven’t gotten better since.

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