OILERS AT FLYERS G18, 13-14

The Edmonton Oilers are 1-1 on their road trip and with some luck could be 2-0; they are in Philadelphia this morning to play the equally ghastly Flyers. If there were a Stanley Suck final, these two teams would be locks for the final four. However, it’s early and there’s plenty of blacktop to catch up.

parent

Both organizations badly need this man—(dum, dum, dum!)–Bernie Parent! Now, Bernie was born right at the end of the war, so he’s not moving too quickly these days. However, Parent’s come along about once every 7 years–some little town in Czech produced a BETTER version of Parent out of beer bottles, binder twine and the leftovers of multiple defenestrations–and the Flyers got one and have tried (in vain) to get more over the years. They’ve spent money, first round picks, veterans, you name it, but they’ve never gotten a Parent close to their Parent. And that’s a long, long time.

pronger2Both organizations badly need this man–(dunh, du du dunh!)–Chris Pronger! He played one beautiful season in Edmonton before bringing Stanley to California. In Philadelphia he came close enough for jazz to doing it again, and now he slumbers in the backyard as the robins play Chris Pronger to earthworms. Edmonton has been looking high and low for a big man (how hard can they be to see?) since the Rake left for the airport.

If you’re a draft fan like me, the NHL draft site “NHL Draft Analysis” will no doubt mean all kinds of wasted hours figuring out who’s zooming who over 25 years at the draft table. Here is the Oiler draft record 1979-2011:

expected value

The blue line (representing real value added) from 2010-11 looks very similar to another period on the graph–kind of cool.

7Oilers will need to go on a crazy (like 7 of 9) to make a significant move up the standings, but they’ll eventually pass a bunch of eastern conference teams (and Calgary, who have been slightly worse in their last 10 than the Oilers). This crazy early season of road games piled upon road games is coming to an end, and hopefully the club can get things in order and push beyond last year’s finish.

POSSIBLE LINEUP FOR TODAY

  • Gagner-Hall-Hemsky
  • Nuge-Perron-Eberle
  • Gordon-Joesnuu-Arcobello
  • Smyth-Jones-Yakupov
  • Ference-Petry
  • Belov-Larsen
  • N Schultz-Fedun
  • Dubnyk

MacT’s comments yesterday were telling–they like this club despite the record–and I think the Smid trade doesn’t happen without Dallas Eakins as coach. That’s something we need to talk about as time rolls along, the fact that the veterans who pre-date MacT/Eakins are in real danger because there’s no loyalty there. A list of players who could be dealt at any time might include Ales Hemsky, Ryan Jones, Jeff Petry, Nick Schultz, Devan Dubnyk. That’s just the way it is.

We’ll see a lot more of this in the summer, Oilers have 13 free agents and I bet MacT signs only a couple (Belov, possibly Dubnyk and Hemsky).

The Oilers have employed a tremendous number of players this season, it’ll be a record by season’s end. We’ve seen 3 goalies already, Bryzgalov would be 4. Edmonton used six goalies in 1979-80, I bet they end up very close to that number this season. The loyalty to Dubnyk is over, we may see him traded this season.

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408 Responses to "OILERS AT FLYERS G18, 13-14"

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  1. godot10 says:

    stevezie: I honestly think that’s the plan. I don’t think anyone wanted to get this much worse, but even Eakins biggest supporters suggested it would take 30 games. That’s enough to wreck a season and everyone knew it.

    Right now the team does not look well-coached, but I will save my pitchfork until somewhere around game 60. The problem is you might lose the team in the meantime. I’m glad Eakins is supposed to be good.

    A full training camp and 30 games is effectively the same amount time Krueger had with 48 games and a compressed tougher schedule against WC teams and no training camp, and yet those Eakins’ boosters blasted Krueger.

    A double standard is in play here.

  2. FastOil says:

    I saw a lot of players trying to do too much and not doing their job. That is what the blender is about right – you have to play the system because of unfamiliarity.

    It’ll keep getting better. The real question being how do they plug holes without going sideways or backward like last night.

    They better not bugger this draft up. That needed centre should be playing on the team right now.

    Is it Maxwell or Maximillian?

  3. FastOil says:

    FastOil:
    I saw a lot of players trying to do too much and not doing their job. That is what the blender is about right – you have to play the system because of unfamiliarity.

    It’ll keep getting better. The real question being how do they plug holes without going sideways or backward like last night.

    They better not bugger this draft up. That needed centre should be playing on the team right now.

    Is it Maxwell or Maximillian?

    Sorry it’s Sam. Perhaps it’s like the Ryan’s, need to stockpile them.

  4. stevezie says:

    godot10: A full training camp and 30 games is effectively the same amount time Krueger had with 48 games and a compressed tougher schedule against WC teams and no training camp, and yet those Eakins’ boosters blasted Krueger.

    A double standard is in play here.

    I don’t disagree with you here- I don’t think many do. Kruger did not get axed for being a terrible coach, he got replaced because the new GM found a guy who was exactly what he wanted. A cruel side-effect of the regime change.

    Now Kruger wasn’t so great he made this impossible, but I don’t think anyone considers the book closed on his career.

  5. striatic says:

    godot10: Jordan Eberle has played just fine for other coaches at World Championships and in the World Junior.He has demostrated that he can play within a functioning structured system, much better than Taylor Hall, for example.Eberle’s “problems” arise from the fact that the OIlers are mostly dysfunctional.

    Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is exceptional defensively for a 3rd year player, and coming from Sutter’s Red Deer Rebels.

    Sam Gagner excelled as a soft minutes outscorer in junior for Hunter in London and for Brent Sutter on the Team Canada squad.And he made the World Junior team in his draft eligible year (though as a winger). With Nugent-Hopkins, Gordon, and a reasonable 4th line centre, Gagner is a more than adequate 2nd line centre, although one as a coach has to be situationally prudent, as Sutter was in the Super Series, where (Brandon) Sutter and Turris handled the tough assignments, and Gagner was given the soft assignments.A coach has to realize the limitations of a player, and use him appropriately.Renney tried to run Gagner and Paajarvi off of the team because he didn’t want to put in the work with them (like Eakins and Yakupov, till recently).Quinn also had no use for Gagner and tried to run him off the team.So 3 years of Gagner’s NHL career, he had coaches who basically didn’t want him, rather than try to develop him. Gagner is good enough, used properly, till you find or develop his replacement.

    Taylor Hall will outchance and outplay and outscore anyone you match him against.A smart coach just tweaks his game over time to improve his defensive situational awareness.2nd in the first division in scoring last year.If a coach can’t work with that, the problem is the coach.

    Justin Schultz should be a 3rd pairing defensemen, like Jake Gardiner still is, like Bryan Campbell was for a couple of years (paired with James Patrick), and Rafalski spent 4 years in Europe, and returned to a team that had Steven, Niedermayer.

    If a coach can’t coach those players, the problem is that coach.

    Much of the roster has been overturned.

    Some AHL coaches can’t make the transition.Eakins appears to be one of them.

    Krueger’s 5×5 systems were lousy (but special teams are coaching too) because of NHL inexperience, and because he thought player development and improvement was more important at this moment in time.Did all the good players get better, and develop?That is my test for Krueger.The stats guys have there point, butKrueger is human development guy.The systems serve human and personal development, not vice versa.He was not in denial about his systems and the need to get an able systems assistant coach.

    As for Dubnyk, some goaltenders can’t play for some coaches.A coach might not be able to make a goaltender (although Tippett making Mike Smith may be the exception), but some goaltender/coach combinations just don’t work.

    Going to quote this entire comment to get it on the new page. 100% in agreement with this analysis.

  6. Alsker says:

    Please tell me Todd Nelson is implimenting the same off,def that Eakins is so we can send yak down for system understanding with JS for conditioning stint, oh and system understanding. Pitlick, Fedun, etc. have not looked out of place(tho didnt seem to help23) perhaps at AHL pace or maybe coaching strategy they can find their games and Eakins has time to figure out how to use them right.

  7. Andy P says:

    Lowetide: Agree on all counts. Which is why I believe the right play was to add Bryzgalov. Dubnyk should emerge as the better man, but you have to protect your franchise and that’s what MacT did with the Smid trade/Bryz signing.

    Which means that we waive or release LaBarbara and send BTO back down when he gets off IR?

  8. Andy P says:

    Lowetide: Yep. I’d add that Belov played well too. Gagner and Eberle are in my shithouse right now though, and Boyd Gordon needed to mark that fucking 4line guy better. Jesus.

    Is it even possible that Gagner or Eberle are dark personalities, or is gags still too fresh from injury and Ebs playing hurt?

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