OILERS AT BLACKHAWKS G19, 13-14

The Oilers are 1-2 on the road trip, and after a grievous performance in Philadelphia (another low ebb, incredibly) the club hits Chi-town wobbly, inert and indifferent. This hockey club is in trouble.

wood says assI don’t know about any lineup changes, but there were some passengers yesterday so Eakins will probably get a lot better effort (the crew didn’t exactly leave it all out there yesterday afternoon). I’m of two minds on this: first, this is going to be a long season and the Smid trade drives home the reality of a season lost. The club still doesn’t have enough NHL players and balance (sweet, sweet balance) and Dallas Eakins system appears to be written in Sanskrit based on the amount of time it’s taking to figure things out. So, it’s a failure of management, coaching and personnel that gets us here.

Second, we’re seeing some terrible things now. Taylor Hall was stunningly bad on coverage for the second goal, and then heard that damn dog whistle later in the game during a moment when the puck’s possession was still in doubt. He should have been the guy retrieving the puck on the play, or at the very least supporting, but buddy was going jailbreak ala Robert Nilsson. Ghastly. As you know, I’m onside with Taylor Hall’s skills all day, and have never doubted his buy-in about being the alpha and a leader, so his lollygagging is an extremely bad sign. I may have misread the play, and maybe he was confused, but that’s the kind of action that starts creeping into the game when players have absolutely tuned out the coach. Whoever brought that GD dog whistle into the Oilers game needs to be shot and pissed upon.

st marieWe’ve talked a lot in the last couple of days about ‘another shoe to drop’ after Smid’s exit and Bryzgalov’s signing. I think the Oilers would be open to a deal but it has to make sense, and if they wait the return may be greater. Ales Hemsky is the asset in play, I don’t think there can be any doubt at this point. The Oilers will have received offers for Eberle and Yakupov, but trading either doesn’t make any real sense–even if you’re getting 100 cents on the dollar. The future promised includes both in the script, and it is pure nonsense to entertain offers that don’t include players who can have greater impact (Subban, etc) and are of a similar age. Those trades rarely happen, because they’re insane.

The Hemsky trade could come at any time, the money moved this weekend probably sets that up. Now it’s a matter of how much overpay is required for the dollars Edmonton will keep from the Hemsky contract. That would probably come in the form of a pick, but this is just guessing.

bill-white-325That’s Bill White playing for the Blackhawks 40 years ago, with a helmeted Guy Lafleur in pursuit. White arrived in the NHL as a fully formed being–he was stuck in the minors during the pre-expansion era and didn’t play in the big leagues until 28. Once there, White was a brilliant player for Los Angeles and Chicago through the mid-70′s (he would coach the Hawks for a time, then coach in the OHA–Charlie Huddy played for him on a very good Oshawa Generals team 1977-78), using his lanky frame and passing ability to impact the game.

Anton Belov’s arrival in Edmonton should be considered a wonderful gift, and the Oilers can’t let him get away (it happens, Jan Hejda flew the coop before they could get him under contract–in fact, as I recall, the Oilers were indifferent about Hejda–allowing Columbus to swoop in). With Ladislav Smid’s being sent away, next year’s opening night blue (with Belov and rfa’s signed) might look like this:

  1. Belov-Petry
  2. Ference-J Schultz

And then Larsen, Fedun etc along with prospects Nurse, Klefbom et al. Keeping Belov has suddenly become very important. And getting a true No. 1 blue is of course vital.

mikita5In my lifetime, Chicago has been strong several times, but not like they are today. The current Hawks are SO strong they were able to discard Kris Versteeg, Andrew Ladd, Dustin Byfuglien, Brian Campbell, and others when a large number of bonus dollars were added after the 2010 Stanley win. One true thing about Chicago’s run from 2009 through today is their ability to maintain strength up the middle while also adjusting the deck chairs.

  • 2009-10 centers: Jonathan Toews, John Madden, Patrick Sharp, Dave Bolland, Colin Fraser
  • 2010-11 centers:  Jonathan Toews, Dave Bolland, Jake Dowell, Patrick Sharp, Ryan Johnson
  • 2011-12 centers: Jonathan Toews, Dave Bolland, Marcus Kruger, Patrick Kane, Jamal Mayers, Patrick Sharp
  • 2012-13 centers: Jonathan Toews, Dave Bolland, Marcus Kruger, Andrew Shaw
  • 2013-14 centers: Jonathan Toews, Marcus Kruger, Andrew Shaw, Brandon Pirri, Michael Handzus

That’s some first class adlibbing there, and a nice bit of drafting (especially on Shaw). Now, Toews at the top of the list obviously has a lot to do with their success, but if you look at how they’ve managed to replace Madden and then Bolland (and move Sharp to wing) it’s a solid bit of management/coaching. It should be noted that Shaw, Kruger and Pirri were all drafted after Edmonton selected Lander and all have arrived as NHL players before him.

By comparison, the Oilers have been MORE stable (certainly since 2011 fall) but the results haven’t been there. Why? One reason is youth–the Nuge is a wonderful player but he’s been facing older players and there are times (like yesterday) when he gets manhandled. Gagner doesn’t have the range of skills that a Bolland possesses, and the club did add Boyd Gordon but subtracted Shawn Horcoff this past summer.

When we talk about the situation at center, it’s always a ‘big, 2-way C’ coming in, but for me I’d prefer a ‘veteran 2-way center’ to come in, size be damned. The Oilers build up the middle needs another center, and if he’s so good that Gagner has to play wing (ala Sharp) so be it. We talked about it all summer, but center is a massive need. Again. Still.

hasekThe goaltending issue in Chicago is stable at the front, party at the back. The club drafted Corey Crawford right after Edmonton selected Colin McDonald back in 2003, and like Devan Dubnyk took some time before establishing himself as an NHL starting goalie. Crawford’s SP over the years is interesting compared to Dubnyk

CRAWFORD-DUBNYK EV SP, BY YEAR

  • 2010-11: .924 to .921 (Crawford with the better number)
  • 2011-12: .915 to .927  (Dubnyk with the better number)
  • 2012-13: .934 to .922 (Crawford with the better number)
  • 2013-14: .933 to .872 (Crawford with the better number)

I’m still onside with Dubnyk as the Oilers goalie of the future, but the Bryzgalov move is understandable. If you’re Craig MacTavish, watching the goals go in early and being patient haven’t paid off so you make a smaller move because a big one may not be needed (if Dubnyk can turn it around). The one thing that has changed? Dubnyk’s no longer the incumbent who has to be clearly beaten to win the No. 1 job–this is open audition time starting now. May the best man win, and I still believe that’s Dubnyk.

Tonight, we may get Khabibulin versus LaBarbera, which is its own kind of crazy.

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458 Responses to "OILERS AT BLACKHAWKS G19, 13-14"

« Older Comments
  1. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    HA!

    First time I got this message:

    “You are posting comments too quickly. Slow down.”

    Yikes… maybe it’s time to step away from the Oilers… LT’s computer is trying to calm me down.

  2. flyfish1168 says:

    Toews was a beast on the dot tonight. 21/7 . He is the best two way player for team Canada. I wonder how many times he was up against Gagner on the dot tonight.

  3. rickithebear says:

    Weight!
    In any system
    You structure it to fit your players.

    Last year we had one of the 5 best EVGA 1st comp d pairs in the game.
    Smid – Petry
    We had the best EVGA Dpair in the Game Fistric-potter.

    The worst 2nd Comp EVGA Dpair in the Game
    N. Schulz – J.schultz.

    When you compare the even results for our players last year to this year.

    We run a systen that is built to tire the fuck out of our players and let the other team find easy unchallenged space.

    Battle is a trite fucking joke.

    Eakins said the other night
    ” well that was a player shared by two players.”
    WTF!

    you cannot run pressure and zone when the puck moves so fast.

  4. Numenius says:

    Brackenburied: I saw him get back hard once and think it was more circumstance then anything.

    I admit it wasn’t the whole game. At the beginning he didn’t seem to be getting back as hard, but he seemed to get better. I may be misinterpreting though.

  5. Henry says:

    Woodguy: Gagner.

    Larsen chased his check down the boards.

    Belov makes a questionable decision to go in and help and takes Larsen’s check.

    Larsen, seeing that Belov has his man then skates backwards to the net.

    Perron sees Krueger all alone and makes a last gasp to get there.

    Gagner watches all of this unfold without moving his feet or doing anything except watch the puck.

    I’ve had it with him.

    His mistakes aren’t fitness or game related.

    He doesn’t have the defensive instincts to play C even though this is his 7th year doing it in the NHL.

    I am coming around to your thesis. Gagner looked like he was getting it the last Renney season. Last year was strange, but it was hard to see if it was 89 or 83 at fault. Now the mistakes are clear and it looks like defensive indifference. On the other hand the team looked just as bad several times wkile 89 was out.

    What I dont get is how such an obviously smart guy can be so hua in his zone at this point. Could it be not enough time with the ‘ system’.

    On the bright side many oilers played well tonight against a great team.

  6. Numenius says:

    flyfish1168:
    Toews was a beast on the dot tonight. 21/7 . He is the best two way player for team Canada. I wonder how many times he was up against Gagner on the dot tonight.

    He won 10/14 (71%) against Gagner.

    http://www.nhl.com/scores/htmlreports/20132014/FC020258.HTM

    Edit: But he was also 6/8 (75%) against Gordon, so can’t fault Gagner too badly.

  7. Doomoil says:

    oliveoilers: That sure told me.Sorry for posting. Obviously I’ve intruded on a ‘grown-ups’ thread. Forgot that no-name posters like me that haven’t been here for 10000yrs are allowed to have an opinion that is different to yours.I always believed that systems were TOOLS that coaches gave players to give them a chance to win games.To be in the right places at the right times.

    PS Please forward that thing about systems to Ebs.

    You’re being obtuse and nothing Rom said was rude in any way.

  8. Doomoil says:

    rickithebear,

    When people make comments like “How about you actually watch the game instead of just looking at stats.”

    They are talking directly to you.

  9. Brackenburied says:

    Doomoil: You’re being obtuse and nothing Rom said was rude in any way.

    I’m guessing that doesn’t help.

  10. godot10 says:

    Hall is going to draw the opposition best players, so playing him with Gagner (on the road) is moronic. Moronic decisions are the norm for our AHL-coach-pretending-to-be-an-NHL-coach. The Oilers have a power vs. power line….Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, Eberle. If you have a weapon, use it. They can handle or will soon be able to handle anybody the opposition can throw at them.

    Eakins is absolutely clueless with regards to his players skillsets and how to utilize them to best advantage. It is all x’s and o’s and systems. Eakins is a “checker” coach. All the pieces are the same. He is going to be a big time loser.

    Any good MacT might have done has been defeated by his massive unforced error in changing coaches, in changing to the wrong coach.

  11. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    oliveoilers: That sure told me.Sorry for posting. Obviously I’ve intruded on a ‘grown-ups’ thread. Forgot that no-name posters like me that haven’t been here for 10000yrs are allowed to have an opinion that is different to yours.I always believed that systems were TOOLS that coaches gave players to give them a chance to win games.To be in the right places at the right times.

    PS Please forward that thing about systems to Ebs.

    Missed this.

    Sorry if you took me for a condescending twat. I wasn’t playing that role tonight. :)

    Read my comment in a dry tone.

    At any rate, I think the point stands… Eakins may be responsible for not getting the kids to play defensive hockey… but I don’t believe it is because his system is weird or anything (though it may ALSO be that).

    As dickish as it sounded… Eakins was dead right when he said the Oilers (esp. the forwards) don’t know how to play traditional defense.

    *there’s a typo in my earlier comment… should be an “aren’t” in there for an “are”

  12. tcho says:

    It would be nice if the Oilers could allow less than 4 ga in a game. How many times has that happened this season?

  13. nycoil says:

    Hmm. Main hope left for the season is that we get a bit of schadenfreude if the Dys rack up 100pts but miss the playoffs. That, and would love to see Hall hit 80pts despite missing the games he has.

    Gagner, I am not going to speak ill of him just yet as he came back early from a pretty nasty situation. That said, it’s tough because he is all we have to show for that 2007 draft now, and although it was called weak at the time, there are a lot of nice players in the league now taken after him who could have helped us more than he does, and that was true before this season started.

  14. Doomoil says:

    tcho:
    It would be nice if the Oilers could allow less than 4 ga in a game. How many times has that happened this season?

    5 out of 19 games.

  15. Gret99zky says:

    It’s probably been mentioned already but I don’t understand why Gagner is out their for a must win face off at the end of the game.

    Is MacT going to just overlook that kind of coaching decision?

    Is there no better option available?

    Like I said, I don’t get it.

  16. Doomoil says:

    Maybe it was Eakins subtle way of saying that Gagner isn’t a center? No one who knows a centers role in the game would ever confuse Gags with a natural center.

    Or maybe who knows, because it was really stupid.

  17. flyfish1168 says:

    nycoil:
    Hmm. Main hope left for the season is that we get a bit of schadenfreude if the Dys rack up 100pts but miss the playoffs. That, and would love to see Hall hit 80pts despite missing the games he has.

    Gagner, I am not going to speak ill of him just yet as he came back early from a pretty nasty situation. That said, it’s tough because he is all we have to show for that 2007 draft now, and although it was called weak at the time, there are a lot of nice players in the league now taken after him who could have helped us more than he does, and that was true before this season started.

    Yah Alex Plante vs P.K. Subban

  18. gogliano says:

    RE: Eakins.

    If you think he isn’t the right man for the job, I think you ax him now. Yes, it is a ridiculous move given recent history, but giving him more time only to ax him twenty games into next season just compounds the issue. If you think he is a good coach, and I sure hope they do given the contract, then I think you double down and make it clear to all parties involved that Eakins is here to stay for at least 2 or 3 years–even if they go 0-82.

    I think this team needs the same coach more than it needs a great coach and Eakins should have the job for at least two years regardless of team ineptitude. I don’t think the Oilers have played like a well-coached team since ’06 and some of that has to be a result of turnover. Eakins is making mistakes but he strikes me as a bright if arrogant dude and he will adjust if given the chance.

    On that note, our current chances at ending the season in the bottom three? 63%.

    http://www.sportsclubstats.com/NHLlottery.html

    When do we start with the draft posts?

  19. FastOil says:

    Woodguy: Gagner.

    Larsen chased his check down the boards.

    Belov makes a questionable decision to go in and help and takes Larsen’s check.

    Larsen, seeing that Belov has his man then skates backwards to the net.

    Perron sees Krueger all alone and makes a last gasp to get there.

    Gagner watches all of this unfold without moving his feet or doing anything except watch the puck.

    I’ve had it with him.

    His mistakes aren’t fitness or game related.

    He doesn’t have the defensive instincts to play C even though this is his 7th year doing it in the NHL.

    Eakins nailed it when he said they want to score and that’s all. Almost none of them have a mind at all for D. They are all terribly out of position because they are all waiting for the puck to change possession (someone else of course doing that) and want to be ready to break.

    Gagner floating and watching is because he wants to break and have a headstart on a rush (I think partly because he has average acceleration).

    It was baffling the number of times the Hawks just moved past them and got inside position often alone. No defensive anticipation, all offensive anticipation.

    I think every player on the team is capable of playing two ways. It is only a matter of effort to play D, it’s not innate ability like scoring which isn’t all innate either.

    In my experience the battle isn’t worth it if it takes too long to get players on board. The NHL has always had the floaters and they aren’t reliable. This is different than the unfair rap some guys get, like WELLWOOD :). Some just aren’t into it to the point they would rather lose part or all of their NHL careers or be marginalized. It is like the guy at work that can but just won’t do what he should.

    If Gagner can’t get it together this year they have to make a decision on him. He’s had long enough. I felt this way 4 years ago at least but here we are. He either is an expensive third line centre or he becomes a winger. Or move him, but for the love of all that is Holy please pump his tires first and well if it’s that.

    Every player is supposed to be a part of the solution. If they can’t be they have to be replaced because that’s how you win. You don’t continue to shelter them. You only shelter rookies while they learn, but if they are any good that doesn’t have to last too long.

    This is different than playing players above their ability or talent level. But they all should be able to at least hold their own at what they are supposed to be able to do, and right now there are way too many guys not covering that bet. Not even close.

  20. Woodguy says:

    Numenius:
    Woodguy,

    Speaking of Belov, I thought he had a bad game too. He looked like he had no jump with the puck and seem prone to giveaways. Could the match penalty from yesterday still have been bothering him? He seemed so good yesterday.

    Worst game as an Oiler.

  21. Lowetide says:

    Belov looked fine with Petry imo, struggled with Larsen. The Oilers have a find in Belov–or at least it was trending that way–I think we should wait and see if he can play well without Petry as it may just be ‘Petry effects’ we’ve been viewing.

  22. pboy says:

    Belov, Joensuu and Gagner were all god awful tonight.

  23. Brackenburied says:

    Lowetide:
    Belov looked fine with Petry imo, struggled with Larsen. The Oilers have a find in Belov–or at least it was trending that way–I think we should wait and see if he can play well without Petry as it may just be ‘Petry effects’ we’ve been viewing.

    Agreed. But will or why would he sign up for another go round? He’s a UFA, the world is his oyster.

  24. Lowetide says:

    Brackenburied: Agreed. But will or why would he sign up for another go round? He’s a UFA, the world is his oyster.

    The Oilers will have to be sure–but if they are I imagine they’ll be able to sign him. If not, they’ll have to deal him away but that would be unusual from here imo.

  25. Brackenburied says:

    “My week beats your year.” Lou Reed
    Oilers are going to have to rinse and repeat here on out.

  26. Brackenburied says:

    I hate my own smell……I must be in hell……….waves of fear, waves of fear.
    I think Lou foretold this season.

  27. Brackenburied says:

    Excellent Lou Reed Bio on PBS. Catch it if you can.

  28. Gret99zky says:

    FastOil:
    If Gagner can’t get it together this year they have to make a decision on him. He’s had long enough. I felt this way 4 years ago at least but here we are. He either is an expensive third line centre or he becomes a winger. Or move him, but for the love of all that is Holy please pump his tires first and well if it’s that.

    Yeah, well they better make a quick decision.

    Gagner and MacT have a handshake agreement in place and next year Gagner has an actual NMC in his $4.8M contract.

  29. Hammers says:

    Numenius: He won 10/14 (71%) against Gagner.

    http://www.nhl.com/scores/htmlreports/20132014/FC020258.HTM

    Edit: But he was also 6/8 (75%) against Gordon, so can’t fault Gagner too badly.

    That’s your answer .

  30. Hammers says:

    godot10:
    Hall is going to draw the opposition best players, so playing him with Gagner (on the road) is moronic. Moronic decisions are the norm for our AHL-coach-pretending-to-be-an-NHL-coach.The Oilers have a power vs. power line….Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, Eberle.If you have a weapon, use it.They can handle or will soon be able to handle anybody the opposition can throw at them.

    Eakins is absolutely clueless with regards to his players skillsets and how to utilize them to best advantage.It is all x’s and o’s and systems.Eakins is a “checker” coach.All the pieces are the same. He is going to be a big time loser.

    Any good MacT might have done has been defeated by his massive unforced error in changing coaches, in changing to the wrong coach.

    On a role Agree .

  31. Hammers says:

    tcho:
    It would be nice if the Oilers could allow less than 4 ga in a game. How many times has that happened this season?

    Basically every game . Need to score 5-6 to win .

  32. Hammers says:

    Lowetide:
    Belov looked fine with Petry imo, struggled with Larsen. The Oilers have a find in Belov–or at least it was trending that way–I think we should wait and see if he can play well without Petry as it may just be ‘Petry effects’ we’ve been viewing.

    How the coach uses what he has .

  33. Hammers says:

    pboy:
    Belov, Joensuu and Gagner were all god awful tonight.

    Gags has been god awful since his return . TRADE HIM .

  34. Hammers says:

    Gret99zky: Yeah, well they better make a quick decision.

    Gagner and MacT have a handshake agreement in place and next year Gagner has an actual NMC in his$4.8M contract.

    Put him on the wing if his staying . Arco a better center . Why do we all rate players differently . Some of us have coached at different levels but even with tots (years ago ) you try to teach . A player with 7 years at center should be at least a 48%er on face offs or look at what there real value is or isn’t . Guys like Eakins & McT wouldn’t accept this play from a junior team, at least on a continual basis . WAKE UP PEOPLE if what we see is what to expect on home ice we all got screwed .

  35. Gret99zky says:

    Hammers: Gags has been god awful since his return . TRADE HIM .

    MacT essentially gave him and his girlfriend a NMC as an engagement present before his official NMC kicks in 2014-15.

    It’s what smart GM’s do to be smart.

  36. Hockeyman 99 says:

    Is Eakins this decades George Burnet? Maybe his whole Schtick about fitness is just BS. In the AHL it works because there is an advantage to be had but in the NHL what established player is going to be out of shape to the degree that a major advantage can be gained? I have agreed with most of the things Craig has done whole heartedly except the coaching change. I think I was okay with it because I felt like the easiest part of an ex coaches job once he is the GM is to be able to find a coach of like mind and ability. Now it looks as if it is one of two things: he failed at selecting his coach and it is sabotaging all of his other efforts or the players including a two time Mem Cup Champ won’t or can’t play defence. I’m leaning towards it being Eakins as it seems the system doesn’t work when the game gets to fast as Rickithebear said. It makes the most sense. Eakins Should have been an associate under Kruger and replaced him only if no progress was made.

  37. Hockeyman 99 says:

    Maybe the Solution is to Flip Nelson and Eakins. Extend Nelson and have Eakins coach his remaining 3.75 years in the AHL.

  38. Hockeyman 99 says:

    Nelson seems to be able to put together winning teams year after year.

  39. Gret99zky says:

    Hockeyman 99:
    Maybe the Solution is to Flip Nelson and Eakins. Extend Nelson and have Eakins coach his remaining 3.75 years in the AHL.

    Something tells me Eakins’ contract does not include accepting a demotion to the AHL.

  40. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    FastOil,

    You’ve articulated it in a way that I am getting to myself. We often use the word ‘skill’ with a bias towards offense. I think that is true for most of us. We don’t necessarily talk enough about defensive IQ or awareness that has to be part of skill players DNA at this level. This is a team brimming with offensive skill and absolute brutal defensive awareness. An overwhelming physical bias to cheat towards offense at the expense of defense. We have too many of these prototypical players. They are getting mashed when they collectively try to score goals and not protect them. I think we compound the issue with this ridiculously named ‘swarm’ system which emphasizes ‘possession’ which can be easily substituted with ‘offense’.

    To hammer this point home, if Lemaire took over coaching this bunch, the dangling and wide circles and continual cheats would be extinquished with brute tactics (like shuffling out players) and making sure there is a sequence to the game. First sequence keep the puck out of your net. Second sequence – look for the seams to put one in theirs. See Hitchcock and Magnus as an exhibit on this tactic and Magnus was a step ahead defensively versus many of the current Oilers.

    It will require some player moves to recalibrate this collective. But, I fear it might mean jettisoning the coach as the pressure mounts and his systems continuously expose the inherent weakness in the player make-up. I would like to see the player mix adjusted first, but the tension for heads to roll is building.

  41. Caramel Obvious says:

    rickithebear:
    Weight!
    In any system
    You structure it to fit your players.

    Last year we had one of the 5 best EVGA 1st comp d pairs in the game.
    Smid – Petry
    We had the best EVGA Dpair in the Game Fistric-potter.

    The worst 2nd Comp EVGA Dpair in the Game
    N. Schulz – J.schultz.

    When you compare the even results for our players last year to this year.

    We run a systen that is built to tire the fuck out of our players and let the other team find easy unchallenged space.

    Battle is a trite fucking joke.

    Eakins said the other night
    ” well that was a player shared by two players.”
    WTF!

    you cannot run pressure an d zone when the puck moves so fast.

    This is hilarious. For years we’ve been telling Ricki that he can’t use GA/60 this way because GA/60 is prone to large variation because of shooting percentage is not a constant and is prone to very large fluctuations independent of player skill. Then this year when it turns out, just like everyone told him, that GA rates for defensemen is not, in fact, predictive he reacts to this new information with ridiculous post facto rationalizations. Just admit you were wrong and move on.

    The larger point is that this system talk has to stop. You people have no idea what you are talking about. You aren’t even bringing up arguments that are tangible enough to refute.

    It’s like with the special teams. Everyone was blaming the coach for the poor special teams instead of listening to the well reasoned and still not refuted arguments that the power play was generating shots and that over time this would result in goals.

    Look I get that everyone is entitled to an opinion. However, that does not mean that all opinions are equal.

  42. puckbunny-e01 says:

    At times like this, I am actually missing the NHL Lockout. At least then, I had half a season to look forward to seeing the Oilers play, now I have the rest of the season to dread watching them lose.

  43. Caramel Obvious says:

    oliveoilers: That sure told me.Sorry for posting. Obviously I’ve intruded on a ‘grown-ups’ thread. Forgot that no-name posters like me that haven’t been here for 10000yrs are allowed to have an opinion that is different to yours.I always believed that systems were TOOLS that coaches gave players to give them a chance to win games.To be in the right places at the right times.

    PS Please forward that thing about systems to Ebs.

    RM wasn’t being rude but I will be. Blaming the coach might not be childish but it is indicative of an immature mind. Learning how to reason requires two things: an authoritative voice and a willingness to listen. If you aren’t capable of recognizing an authoritative voice and then listening to it you will never learn anything.

  44. Bruce McCurdy says:

    godot10: Eakins is a “checker” coach.

    So how come his team can’t check?

  45. Gret99zky says:

    All opinions are equal. Some are just more equal than others.

  46. Caramel Obvious says:

    rickithebear: Your an idiot!

    We run a system any moron could see is Fucked!

    Yes!
    Our AHL coach is Embarasingly BAD!

    I just wanted to quote this because it is so beautiful. It is hard to believe that Ricki is an actual living, breathing, person. Great post. I learned so much from it. It reminds me of the time I learned that Mark Fistric was a first pairing defenseman.

  47. Caramel Obvious says:

    We need some Confucian rote learning around here enforced by a stick. Repeat after me:

    “I shall not use the phrase ‘AHL coach.’ There is no such thing as an ‘AHL coach.’ These are words without meaning.”

    Say that 100 times before thinking about posting. Then maybe we can have an intelligent conversation.

  48. Alsker says:

    Bruce McCurdy: So how come his team can’t check?

    Same reason they can’t play defense, if you’re taking someone out you’re not in position for the breakout and a possible highlight. Liked Eakins statement that the forwards dont know how to play defense. 4 coaches in 4 years and the players have learned zippo. Thank god Smith/Bucky are still here to pass on their valuable knowledge of how things work here in E-town.

  49. art vandelay says:

    Who won Sledgehammer’s Corgi’s tonight?

  50. nez29 says:

    Add me to the growing chorus on Gagner. One big night hides the fact that he is what he is–a 45-50 point player. I also feel he may be a bit too content with losing, or at least he’s never possessed any great deal of zeal, zest, grit, or some other admittedly-hard-to-measure adjective signifying leadership. Makes too much to be traded? I am really feeling that it is time to move one of the core four….I say–and it pains me greatly to say this—Eberle. This core, although marvellously skilled, ain’t it. Big move needed. His one-shot scoring touch could fetch a lot. A true number one defenseman? A big ol’ hoss with fire in his belly and hair on his ass, who always arrives in ill humour? Or is it 1 AM desperation? Existential crisis? Crazed metaphor? Film at 11?

  51. Caramel Obvious says:

    They were pretty clearly outplayed by a better team that is much more talented, but they hung in there and did some good things.

    I know everyone thinks that the Oilers have high end talent but it doesn’t match up with Chicago’s. The Oilers are pretty fast but their passing isn’t particularly crisp and they mishandle the puck a lot. Chicago on the other hand is tape to tape, bang-bang-bang up the ice. So much more precise. And, of course, the Oilers have no one anything like Kane. So strike one is not enough talent.

    The other big difference is how rushed everything the Oilers does. They need to calm down and take their time instead of firing the puck off the glass because they are afraid of turning it over which they end up doing anyway. So strike two is not enough experience.

    Strike three is a goalie who even when he plays well ends up costing the team the game.

    I don’t know how you overcome those three things.

    Finally, that was Yakupov’ best game who normally is the poster child of needing to slow the game down. Which is the team in a nutshell. Every game it is a different player playing well and different players playing badly. Tonight, as we all saw, the bad was people like Belov and Arcobello who just the other day were the good. But inconsistency is itself a product of insufficient talent. If you have to play at your peak in order to appear good you are always going to be inconsistent. That’s the real problem.

    This team needs a great trade like nothing else, a Jack Johnson for Jeff Carter type deal where you turn something useless into something great. The only thing I can think of is Gagner for Couturier and a bad contract. That doesn’t sound particularly likely right now but then someone trading Jeff Carter for Jack Johnson doesn’t sound particularly likely either and that actually happened.

  52. Gret99zky says:

    Anyone/anything but Hall and RNH for PK Subban.

    Then give PK any contract he wants.

  53. Woodguy says:

    art vandelay:
    Who won Sledgehammer’s Corgi’s tonight?

    Pretty sure the Corgi just pissed all over the floor.

    Carpet no less.

  54. godot10 says:

    For the people who ran Krueger out of town, this is Eakins’ record against common opponents with a better roster, certainly at least on defense.

    Oilers shot metrics CF%/FF% CF%close/FF%close

    Common opponents:

    Vancouver 43.1/43.2 28.6/28.6
    Phoenix 52.4/54.4 54.5/54.9
    LA 26.3/24.6 26.3/24.6
    Detroit 41.1/38.8 33.3/16.7
    Chicago 30.9/36.7 32.4/38.8

    If Krueger was bad, Eakins is trending to way worse than bad.

  55. Andy P says:

    Caramel Obvious,

    I’d suggest that what we are looking at is a combination of your 1 &2, which is undeveloped talent, that Eakins is the first coach we have had that has the backing to allow him to make the team bite the bullet, unlike the good coaches that preceded him. I’d say Ball 1 & 2 to Eakins and MacT for that.

    For your strike 3 I’d suggest that we consider the acquisitions of Bryz, Brossoit and the other goalie, a good response to an urgent need. I’d give that a Ball 3

    Ball 4 will come as the team settles in with the fundamentals they have not bothered with for too long, where those Chicago passes become second nature. They are, after all, a fully developed team, we are not, by far.

    I think we have the makings of a better team than Chicago, and that MacT and Eakins are quite competent and headed in the right direction.

    I am giving them the first 30 games of the season and am seeing good progress.

  56. oliveoilers says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Missed this.

    Sorry if you took me for a condescending twat. I wasn’t playing that role tonight.

    Read my comment in a dry tone.

    At any rate, I think the point stands… Eakins may be responsible for not getting the kids to play defensive hockey… but I don’t believe it is because his system is weird or anything (though it may ALSO be that).

    As dickish as it sounded… Eakins was dead right when he said the Oilers (esp. the forwards) don’t know how to play traditional defense.

    *there’s a typo in my earlier comment… should be an “aren’t” in there for an “are”

    No, buddy, my bad, just frustrated. The thing is Eakins is right. But I am afraid that he is just telling us what we want to hear. I served in the military for 12yrs and had leadership drummed in me from day one. If you are in charge, then you take ownership EVERYTHING to do with your tenure. That means successes AND mistakes. If my platoon (as I ended up a platoon Sergeant) was good, then I got the praise, which was passed down to the guys. I mean if DE had won the cup, sure he’d thank the team. Then take the kudos. Eff up however, and you got it from the Regimental Sergeant Major (basically the scariest man on the planet) or the Colonel. Your guys, your fault. You had latitude for discipline, but as with anything it was a last resort as brinkmanship is a slippery slope, and if someone calls your bluff…. And in the military, any reasonable order is a LAWFUL order which MUST be carried out. You got more bees with flowers than you did with the fly swat though. To me, Eakins has tried to come the tough touch, but hasn’t demonstrated he is on their side once. I’m a Torts knockers, but there is no illusion that the team comes first. What we hear from Eakins can be gleaned from this blog. Blah, blah, vets not covering, blah, thought they knew basic defence, blah, lot of positives, good fight. He talks a good game, as my dad always used to say…

  57. oliveoilers says:

    Caramel Obvious: RM wasn’t being rude but I will be.Blaming the coach might not be childish but it is indicative of an immature mind.Learning how to reason requires two things: an authoritative voice and a willingness to listen.If you aren’t capable of recognizing an authoritative voice and then listening to it you will never learn anything.

    Dude, emotions are high so I’ll go easy. I though Rom was a little patronising, but I made the mistake by reading his post in the wrong context. But you, sir, take not only the biscuit but crush the rest of the pack so nobody else can enjoy them. That is how you train a dog, not a group of beings capable of abstract thought. Please read my reply to Rom, made observations as you deem fit, then go pound sand. Eakins has taken ownership of NOTHING and come in like some kind of consultant/troubleshooter. If what you say is true, then RK would still be here, which I believe he should be. And making sweeping statements is like yours is the adult version of being at school when some kid says “anybody who wears white socks is supergay.” How ironic you should chose to show your maturity in this fashion. Jog on, nob ‘ed.

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