OILERS AT PREDATORS G26, 13-14

Among the phenoms and the high picks and the guys who we like, how many of them can be called ‘two-way’ forwards? How many are on their way to being useful with or without the puck? How do we measure such things? Is it better to have a possession player—someone who can help keep the puck miles from the river—or is it better to have someone who has calm feet when the snipers are firing from the rooftops and communication is down?

When it comes to evaluating players defensively, you have to treat possession as the ultimate. You can’t punish Gretzky for not back checking if he’s busy dominating 100 miles from his net, and when it comes to modern day hockey CorsiON gives us a complete view of what is happening on the ice at the time said player is out there. It takes all of the minutes, adds the shots for and against, and gives the reader an idea about what is happening when the player is on the ice. It does NOT show bias, because it’s not measuring any event and parsing in search of culprits—it’s a wide brush but also refuses to lay blame in a random or biased fashion.

Let’s use Taylor Hall as an example: I’ve always liked Hall’s game, he pushes the river and has generally been playing against tough opposition while getting a good result.

VOLLMAN SLEDGEHAMME: HALL THE YOUNGER

hall rookie

This is Hall’s rookie Vollman. He’s playing tough competition right out of the box and he had a -2.1 CorsiON. The coach gave him a zone start break but really when you look at this graph it’s clear from the start the world knew what Taylor Hall was—and it was very good.

VOLLMAN SLEDGEHAMMER-HALL THE ELDER

HALL NOWThis is Hall today—tough competition, -9.71 CorsiON and they’re getting him the zone starts to this day. Hall’s played center a little this season and he’s also been injured, but to my eye (and to many others who own better trained eyes) Hall is off the pace. There’s no way it’s on one guy, but Hall is a leader and part of the young cluster who are going to deliver this franchise to a better day someday.

What’s wrong?

I don’t think he’s lazy, and I don’t think he’s trying to get the coach fired. Defense isn’t some impossible concept, it’s positioning, it’s winning battles, it’s thinking the game as opposed to using creativity to wheel offensively.

I wonder.

Bruce McCurdy applied his usual rational thought to the issue and came up with this:

  • It’s too soon to panic. Hall’s 2013-14 season is all of 18 games old at this point, and he’s had to deal with injury, uncertainty as to position, coaching and systems changes, etc. But if the Oilers are going to turn their season around on any sort of a sustainable basis, as the overused cliché goes, “their best players have to be their best players”. And any list of Edmonton Oilers’ best players is surely headed by Taylor Hall.

That’s it in a nutshell. Look at that rookie Sledgehammer. Lordy.

Hall isn’t 40, he isn’t lazy, he’s able to understand concepts like marking his man. He’s not a coach killer, so what’s left? Well, there are a couple of things. Frustration can lead to losing focus, anger at the situation can too, and there’s always that concern in the back of one’s mind that all of this losing breaks the player(s) and curtails career success.

This is a big deal, and reason one I believe this team has to turn north this season, even if it means trading that first round pick for an Ehrhoff defenseman.

change

 The Oilers often make deals on road trips. This goes back forever, one day I’ll track down the first one, but I bet it was a goalie and a November road trip in maybe 1974 or so. They’ve done this forever.

LITElliotte Friedman is quickly becoming both news breaker and historian. The item he passed along this week in ’30 Thoughts’ is a very interesting read for Oiler fans.

  • I’ve always wondered how close Edmonton came to getting Ben Bishop, currently standing tall in Tampa Bay’s goal. The Lightning got him from the Senators for Cory Conacher and a fourth-round pick. From what I understand, the Oilers offered a second-rounder, a third-rounder and Ryan Jones. The issue? That second-rounder was Anaheim’s, which turned out to be 56th overall and Ottawa wanted Edmonton’s original spot, which was 37th. It sounds like the deal fell apart when the Albertans wouldn’t do it.

We had most of the deal, but the part we were missing—it was Jones and TWO picks, including the early 2nd—makes the deal far more difficult for Edmonton than our original thoughts. However, it’s still a deal you make IF you feel Devan Dubnyk needed a strong #2 goalie. Craig MacTavish certainly does, and so there must have been a portion of the management group who felt the way. If this is the case, then it’s reasonable to suggest this lack of transaction may have contributed to the change at manager.

The difference in value between the two picks, 37 to 56, is significant. Would you have made the deal? Hindsight suggests it should have been done.

It brings up the concept of losing the battle to win the war, and I think that’s what MacT is probably working through right now. In the interests of  all, in the name of getting that damn Sonny & Cher song off the radio when the alarm hits and Bill Murray awakens tomorrow morning to the same day all over again, pull the trigger. The last thing this team needs right now is another bonus baby.

THE RUSSIAN

dr stra

 

The Ilya Bryzgalov era begins tonight, and his arrival marks the end of the period where Devan Dubnyk can be considered the #1 goaltender into the future. DD can regain that crown, but MacT expressed hesitancy about Dubnyk as #1 in the summer and my guess is that even if Dubnyk returns it’ll be with a strong partner.

For his part, Bryzgalov has nothing to lose. If he plays well, Edmonton will come calling with wads of cash or they trade him for good value at the deadline. If he plays poorly, he’ll be playing with his kids and enjoying his morning coffee at a more leisurely pace.

Another Russian—Denis Grebeshkov—has been recalled for duty, I doubt he plays tonight but he might get some time during the trip. The Oilers sure have a lot of NHL depth defensemen, that’s way better than calling Sebastian Bisaillon from junior.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

loren

At 10 this morning on TSN 1260, we hit the airwaves talking hockey and football on the Lowdown. Scheduled to appear:

  • David Staples from the Cult of Hockey. David believes the problem is being able to defend. We’ll discuss the reasons behind the disconnect between coach and players.
  • Jonathan Garcia, On the Forecheck. We’ll talk Nashville Predators and their season, plus chat about Seth Jones and Shea Weber.
  • Neal Coolong, Behind the Steel Curtain. NFL football dominates North American sport today, we talk about the Steelers recovery and their game against the Ravens tonight.
  • Guy Flaming, Pipeline Show. Guy’s knowledge of junior and college hockey is exceptional, and we’ll ask about the Subway series, the 2014 entry draft and the value of the 2nd overall pick in the upcoming draft.

10-1260 via text and @Lowetide_ on twitter. See you on the radio at 10!

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265 Responses to "OILERS AT PREDATORS G26, 13-14"

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  1. godot10 says:

    The Friedman bit on the Bishop trade was misleading, and frankly doesn’t make sense.

    1) The Oilers were challenging for a playoff spot at the trade deadline, so the 2nd was in the forties at the time of the trade, not the thirties.

    2) By the trade deadline, Ottawa was looking for an actual forward with some scoring potential. The Edmonton deal, Jones plus picks may have been doable UNTIL a team put an actual forward with more scoring potential (Crawford) on the table who could help Ottawa immediately.

    3) The next forward up from Jones on the Oilers was Paajarvi. Paajarvi would have had to be in the deal to get Bishop at the trade deadline last year. But then, it would have been Bishop, but no Perron.

    4) The mistake on Bishop, as others have noted, was made the year before when they did not make the deal Ottawa made with St. Louis.

  2. godot10 says:

    Has Hall really been significantlly worse at zone-adjusted relative Corsi at left wing? Neither you, nor McCurdy has stripped out his horribly bad results at centre from that Vollman chart, and are using a stupid decision by the GM and the coach to bash Hall, instead of the fools who thought it was a good idea to play him at centre.

  3. OilClog says:

    Halls results won’t change much with the subtraction of those two games.. Infact those two games his knee was still working right, bubble might be even uglier and more Ginger if we take away those two games.

  4. bookje says:

    It’s strange, of all of the decisions that Eakins has made, the fact that he let a winning streak determine his lineup (don’t change a winning lineup) and his shaving routine somehow really bothers me. It demonstrates an inability to understand or enact strategy and an inability to separate reality from superstition .

    I hope that it was done as some kind of moral building thing (coach, better not shave that beard… Ha , ha) otherwise we may need to find a fortune teller with a great knowledge of hockey to be a team advisor. LT – how do you look in a headscarf?

  5. godot10 says:

    The problems with the Oilers, IMHO:

    1) A coach who is learning on the job very slowly.
    2) The defense core still isn’t good enough, and wasn’t helped by dumping Smid, one of there actual (though flawed) NHL defensemen.
    3) Playing Will Acton over Marc Arcobello. Which leads to overplaying the top nine guys. Keep your face puncher and the other guy on wings on the 4th line if you have to. But Arco gives you 10 guys, rather than nine to spread the rest of the ice time over. It is not like Arco can’t win a draw. And he can play wing.

  6. godot10 says:

    OilClog:
    Halls results won’t change much with the subtraction of those two games.. Infact those two games his knee was still working right, bubble might be even uglier and more Ginger if we take away those two games.

    Well, there are other bad coaching decisions also. Like playing him with Gagner against tough opposition, when Gagner was just returning from a serious injury. And it would be a bad decision even without the serious injury part.

    Hall poorer results are all from poor coaching decisions.

    The coach is really slow at figuring out how to deploy players optimally.

  7. D says:

    1. If the no-Bishop deal helped lead to the departure of Tambellini, that’s fine.
    2. I’m a fan of Bryzgalov and would take signing him as a free agent versus a potential overpay for Bishop.
    3. Really like the butt picture. Thank you.
    4. Taylor Hall has another gear. I don’t blame him for not using it though on a team that doesn’t have all the pieces in place. Why risk serious injury for a 20th-30th place team?
    5. It’s quite possible that Bryzgalov turns into a long-term solution. That would make me happy.
    6. Really like the Lost In Translation picture. Thank you.

  8. jake70 says:

    Hall’s passing in some games is just atrocious. Probably didn’t have to do that much in Windsor.

  9. TheOtherJohn says:

    Nuge is the only one of the young core that seriously concerns himself with defense. When he does not have the puck, he works at getting it back. Hall, Ebs, Yak, Gagner & JSchu not so much. It’s also why we have not made a big step forward. If your best players are committed to defending and you are on the 3rd or 4th line god help you if you float defensively

  10. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    godot10: 4) The mistake on Bishop, as others have noted, was made the year before when they did not make the deal Ottawa made with St. Louis.

    I whole heartedly agree with this. I’ve said it numerous times.

    That said, I don’t think the two are mutually exclusive. Tambo managed to make a mistake on the same player twice.

  11. cc says:

    I don’t really have an issue with the Oilers not making the Bishop deal last year. I think the bigger issue was the 2012 trade deadline (or just prior to the deadline) the Oiler’s could have easily picked up Bishop for a 2nd round pick. Instead the Sen’s who after an injury to Anderson acted quickly in calling St. Louis getting a conditional deal in place with Bishop, then agreeing to a contract with Bishops agent prior to getting the trade completed, that’s what good management teams do. The Sens return on their 2nd round pick was Conacher & an additional pick 5th round I think.

    Also what I found interesting in Friedman’s 30 thoughts. In the article they talked about how Randford & Kim Dillabaugh made subtle changes to Scriven’s style. I wonder if Dillabaugh who according to the article is in charge of goalie development and also works for the WHL Kelowna Rockets. Would be a target for a potential NHL goalie coach? The Kings have developed; Quick, Bernier, Zatkoff, Martin Jones & helped Scrivens. All these goalies with the exception of Bernier were either undrafted or late round picks. Would it be an option to hire him as a full-time goalie coach?

  12. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    godot10:
    Neither you, nor McCurdy has stripped out his horribly bad results at centre from that Vollman chart, and are using a stupid decision by the GM and the coach to bash Hall, instead of the fools who thought it was a good idea to play him at centre.

    This is so full of BS it is hard to comprehend.

    1. Who is “bashing” Hall? If you think McCurdy and LT are, you have an unrealistic definition of “bashing.”

    2. Since when is discussing reality “bashing”?

    3. Both McCurdy and LT reference Hall at Center:

    “Throughout the pre-season and in the opening games, Hall was given the task of filling in Oilers gaping hole at centre, when both Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Sam Gagner were unavailable to play. That experiment, long touted by many observers of the team, ended quickly after two disastrous games.”

    “Hall’s played center a little this season and he’s also been injured”

    4. Taking Hall’s TWO GAMES out of his 18 GPs represents 11.11% of his games played so far and 2.439% of an 82 game season. This is such a tiny sample as to be miniscule. Look at his CF% gamelog:

    http://www.extraskater.com/player/563/taylor-hall/gamelog/2013

    His first 2 games aren’t even his worst games so far this season. Strip them out and Hall gets a minor boost, but it is hardly enough to make the question: “Is something off in Hall’s game?” either moot or some exercise in bashing.

    5. You simply can’t reasonably make a case that those 2 games accomplish what you keep claiming they do in your weird attempt to hang everything on Eakins.

  13. Woodguy says:

    . Frustration can lead to losing focus, anger at the situation can too, and there’s always that concern in the back of one’s mind that all of this losing breaks the player(s) and curtails career success.
    This is a big deal, and reason one I believe this team has to turn north this season, even if it means trading that first round pick for an Ehrhoff defenseman.

    This a million times.

    Waiting for the team to improve is organically is done.

    MacT is right to be impatient.

    Hope he doesn’t fuck it up.

  14. Lowetide says:

    Bohologo:

    Happy American Thanksgiving from south of the border. I’m thankful for LT, this blog, and those posters who share my political views.

    Hard to work up a hate for Nashville, but I will do my best.

    (And why no Nashville music YouTube links on this one LT? Seems like you hate both kinds of music…)

    I was going to, but then listened to about an hour of George Jones and went to bed. :-)

  15. Woodguy says:

    The difference in value between the two picks, 37 to 56, is significant. Would you have made the deal? Hindsight suggests it should have been done.

    I hesitate to call the difference betwen 37 and 56 significant.

    Especially if its the difference between getting a deal done for a good 1a goalie or not.

    I had heard that not getting the Bishop deal done and spending a pick on Smithson was the reason they fired Tambo right after the deadline. I referenced that here a few times.

    Not firing him before or making sure he was doing his job on both fronts is on Lowe.

  16. Woodguy says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Godot is the new DeeEssEff

  17. Woodguy says:

    godot10:
    The problems with the Oilers, IMHO:

    1) A coach who is learning on the job very slowly.
    2) The defense core still isn’t good enough, and wasn’t helped by dumping Smid, one of there actual (though flawed) NHL defensemen.
    3) Playing Will Acton over Marc Arcobello.Which leads to overplaying the top nine guys.Keep your face puncher and the other guy on wings on the 4th line if you have to.But Arco gives you 10 guys, rather than nine to spread the rest of the ice time over.It is not like Arco can’t win a draw.And he can play wing.

    I agree with all that, but you are missing the most important piece.

    Defensive zone coverage by forwards has been awful.

    Not bad, awful.

    Its been better since the 3rd period of the CAL game, and this shows up in the Fenclose since:

    You can see the last 3 games have a positive Fenclose by the graph: http://www.extraskater.com/team/edmonton-oilers/2013

    This team is getting it.

    It took them 20 games, but they are getting it.

    Still in dire need of 1LD though.

  18. OilClog says:

    godot10: Well, there are other bad coaching decisions also.Like playing him with Gagner against tough opposition, when Gagner was just returning from a serious injury.And it would be a bad decision even without the serious injury part.

    Hall poorer results are all from poor coaching decisions.

    The coach is really slow at figuring out how to deploy players optimally.

    Halls results aren’t from coaching decision… Turnovers, no left knee. That’s what is derailing Hall this season. Eakins is proving he’s a rookie coach for sure, but Hall can only look at himself and that douche in Ottawa for his season so far.

  19. commonfan14 says:

    In the spirit of the American season, a gift of a link for the WKRP fans out there:

    http://classictvhistory.wordpress.com/2012/11/21/turkeys-away-an-oral-history/

  20. Caramel Obvious says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Shocking. Godot turns out to have made a dishonest argument. News at eleven.

    bookje:
    It’s strange, of all of the decisions that Eakins has made, the fact that he let a winning streak determine his lineup (don’t change a winning lineup) and his shaving routine somehow really bothers me.It demonstrates an inability to understand or enact strategy and an inability to separate reality from superstition .

    I hope that it was done as some kind of moral building thing (coach, better not shave that beard… Ha , ha) otherwise we may need to find a fortune teller with a great knowledge of hockey to be a team advisor.LT – how do you look in a headscarf?

    You have it with the second paragraph. These things are irrational but I think they can be safely filed under things coaches do to connect with the players.

    I’m reminded of a story Larry Dierker told. Dierker as a manager was ahead of his time bringing sabermetric concepts to managing. However, he wasn’t very good at getting the players to buy into these concepts. For instance Dierker thought it was a bad idea to automatically walk the eighth hitter to get to the pitcher with a runner in scoring position if the eighth hitter was weak. The catcher Brad Ausmus was brought up in old school, walk the guy, etc. So Ausmus would look over expected the sign for the intentional walk and Dierker wouldn’t give it, and Ausmus would shake his head in disgust or something.

    On the one hand Ausmus is obviously wrong about what was the right strategy. On the other, being right doesn’t win games if the players don’t believe you are right.

    So coaches do stupid things like “stick with winning lineups” because the players expect it and even want it. Now in this case, the problem is exacerbated by a genuine blind spot concerning the purpose of a fourth line. However, this blind spot won’t be resolved by simply substituting Arcobello for Acton so long as Gazdic is playing.

    All that said nothing is more irrational in the NHL than the idea that different lines have different roles to fufill and I would like nothing more than for the Oilers to ice the best four lines they can with their best 12 players, whomever they may be (answer: fourth line includes Arcobello and Omark). Now since my fourth line is never going to happen in this life the next best would be to have Arcobello play with Joensu and Gazdic with Gazdic being dropped most of the time for a double shifting winger.

  21. Woodguy says:

    Game lines up well for the Oilers.

    NAS played last night in CLB and this is their 3rd in 4 nights.

    Can’t ask for a better set up.

    They have to win this one.

    I expect the Fenclose to continue to improve and expect them to win the Fenclose fight tonight.

    Hope the SH% and SV% comply and they win the game as well.

    Go Oilers!!

  22. bookje says:

    godot10,

    I for one, have never understood LT’s incessant hatred of Taylor Hall, his ongoing advocacy for Smid to stay here, and worst of all, his being a teetotaler.

  23. Otown says:

    “The difference in value between the two picks, 37 to 56, is significant.”

    So is the difference from 37 to 57 which is what the Oilers ended up doing anyways. If Tambellini made that trade the Oilers would have Bishop instead of LaBarbara and Bryzgalov (1 less contract and lower cap hit then LaBarbara and Bryz combined); they would still have drafted Marco Roy with the 56th pick and they would probably have Smid still or at least traded him for help now instead of a potential goalie in 4 years.

  24. bookje says:

    Lowetide: I was going to, but then listened to about an hour of George Jones and went to bed.

    This is just fine, it means that people with iPhones can read the blog and comment on it – it’s the video’s that mess up the iphones.

  25. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    For reference.

    Hall 5x5CF% (all games) — 208CF 262CA = 44.255CF%

    Hall 5x5CF% (minus 2 games at Center) — 187CF 234CA = 44.418CF%

    Stand in awe at the exceptional difference and the magical rebound!!

    .163%

    A chasm, an aporia, a differend separating these two players (Hall at Center and Hall at Wing)!

  26. bookje says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Also, it appears as though he was actually better when the 2 games with him at centre were included.

    However, I think gotdot’s suggestion was that the chart be fully unbiased and that all of Hall’s bad games be removed and his best games remain so as to give a true picture of his ability.

  27. Ribs says:

    The difference in value between the two picks, 37 to 56, is significant. Would you have made the deal?

    If I was Kevin Lowe I would have taken Tambi’s Blackberry and asked him to leave the room immediately. Damn. Now I’m replaying that Tambi/MBS conversation featured on Oil Change in my mind. It didn’t seem like Stu would have been too upset about the deal!

    With Hall, I’d say he doesn’t appear to be getting the puck as much. I’m not sure if it’s a breakout system thing, or if he’s just not engaging in the play like he normally does.

  28. bookje says:

    Ribs,

    That scene was a sad sad example of a guy who didn’t know what he was doing. He was not asking for an opinion, he was asking a subordinate for permission to make the trade. I think Tambellini is a smart man actually, but he was not cut out for leadership. He couldn’t deal with the pressure, even for minor issues.

  29. rich says:

    Woodguy:
    . Frustration can lead to losing focus, anger at the situation can too, and there’s always that concern in the back of one’s mind that all of this losing breaks the player(s) and curtails career success.
    This is a big deal, and reason one I believe this team has to turn north this season, even if it means trading that first round pick for an Ehrhoff defenseman.

    This a million times.

    I’m on board with this as well. Team has been brutal for 7 seasons and needs to start learning to win. It’s been said by others here, but adding another 18 year old to the roster next season will not change the culture of losing. If it takes moving the #1 pick in a blockbuster for this team to either A) Get a #1D or B) another Piss Cutter like Perron, they need to do this before someone like Hall comes out and forces the issue by claiming he’s tired of losing and wants a trade.

    Get ‘er done MacT.

    Taking the family tonight to the game, would be nice to see them play competitive. NAS can really frustrate you and will forecheck the crap out of our D.

    Waiting for the team to improve is organically is done.

    MacT is right to be impatient.

    Hope he doesn’t fuck it up.

  30. Bruce McCurdy says:

    godot10: Has Hall really been significantlly worse at zone-adjusted relative Corsi at left wing? Neither you, nor McCurdy has stripped out his horribly bad results at centre from that Vollman chart, and are using a stupid decision by the GM and the coach to bash Hall, instead of the fools who thought it was a good idea to play him at centre.

    Keep on painting with that broad brush, Godot. You just called out about 95% of Oilers’ fanbase as “fools”, because the thought to switch him to centre has been around for years; moreover, the need on October 1 was real. That the experiment was abandoned after two games is suggestive that the GM & coach weren’t married to their “stupid decision”.

    As for stripping out his results at centre, I took the 2 minutes that you didn’t to figure it out.

    Hall at C: 42.3% of 49 events
    Hall at LW: 44.4% of 421 events
    ——————————————-
    Hall total: 44.3% of 470 events

    So yes, his time at centre tied an anchor to his overall results and lowed his CF% by a mammoth 0.1%. Blame the coach! Blame the manager! Exonerate the player!

  31. Caramel Obvious says:

    Speaking of frustration it will be interesting to see what happens with the Islanders. After having made the absurd Vanek deal they are in last place and falling. Their window is closing without it ever having opened. It’s sad really.

    They are getting killed by PDO but that doesn’t help in the end.

    It goes to show how hard it is to rebuild in the NHL. It isn’t just the Oilers it is everyone. The same teams win year after year after year. The reason seems clear. High draft picks aren’t nearly enough. A high draft pick gets you a good player but every single team in the league has good players. You need a dozen or more good players to win.

    And if you miss or otherwise fritter away draft picks like Strome and Niedereitter and (likely) Reinhart you are really screwed.

    The lesson I think is that rebuilding primarily through the draft is a fool’s gambit. In order to rebuild you have to put on a full court press and pick up talent everywhere you can and that means given less precedence to high draft picks and more opportunity to AHL vets and waiver claims.

    Waiting for young players to turn into stars is a plan guaranteed to fail.

    The first round pick has to be in play. Has to.

  32. icecastles says:

    OilClog: but Hall can only look at himself and that douche in Ottawa for his season so far.

    Mike Duffy? That dude’s inappropriateness knows no bounds.

  33. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    For reference.

    Hall 5x5CF% (all games) — 208CF 262CA = 44.255CF%

    Hall 5x5CF% (minus 2 games at Center) — 187CF 234CA = 44.418CF%

    Stand in awe at the exceptional difference and the magical rebound!!

    .163%

    A chasm, an aporia, a differend separating these two players (Hall at Center and Hall at Wing)!

    Thanks, Rom, obviously I responded to Godot’s broadside as soon as I read it without going through the rest of the comments. Yet again, somebody else has beaten me to an “original idea”. :)

  34. Bar_Qu says:

    I was at the Flames game last night – the second boy loves the Hawks, Kane being his favorite on the team, so it was a good night.

    What was depressing to watch was how well the Flames played as a team for most of the night. They display good puck support, a balance in defence and a willingness to take/make a hit to make a play. All things that the Oil too frequently are short on.

    Now the talent level disparity between the Flames and Oilers is massive, but at the same time I was reminded over and over about the Oilers teams of the 90s who played their heart out night after night. There is a lot to say for the willingness to be tenacious and play a team game.

    I really do hope the current version of the Oilers learn the difference a team game can make to their results (forwards coming back to support the defence and winning board battles – is there a metric for that yet?). If this is the lesson this team learns this season then that is immeasurably more important than where they finish in the standings or who they add/subtract. I guess this is what Staples means by defensive play and hopefully not a need to rein in the offensive strengths of the team to play a less creative system.

    One positive for the Oilers I took from the game last night? The fact that they didn’t get Joe Colborne last spring. The guy handles the puck like a grenade and makes poor decisions on a regular basis. We have enough of that with Acton.

  35. Kitchener says:

    I won’t jump to conclusions and judge Bryz on one game…
    I won’t jump to conclusions and judge Bryz on one game…
    I won’t jump to conclusions and judge Bryz on one game…

  36. Bar_Qu says:

    At this point, for kicks and giggles, I would call up Lander and Omark, demoting Gazdic and Acton so that the 4th could be Arcobello, Lander and Omark. That would be a good 5-8 mins a night. Who cares how little they would hit, if they had the puck on a string in the offensive zone. Maybe even force the opposing coach to run something better than a 4 line against them.

  37. Bar_Qu says:

    Kitchener:
    I won’t jump to conclusions and judge Bryz on one game…
    I won’t jump to conclusions and judge Bryz on one game…
    I won’t jump to conclusions and judge Bryz on one game…

    You’re not a true fan then!

    ;-)

  38. Bruce McCurdy says:

    re: the 4C debate, since it is directly relevant to tonight’s line-up, I’ll bring forward this comment from the very bottom of the previous thread on Arcobello:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    Interesting comp for Arco vs. Acton can be seen in Fenwick For %.

    Hint: look way, way up and way, way down.

    Here is a case where changing role is significant, and worthy of additional comment. Arcobello has seen time in the top six and the bottom six, at centre and at wing. Whereas Acton has been a fourth-liner, & a pivot, pretty much every even-strength shift he’s taken. As a result he’s been saddled with nothing but plugs on his wings which will (& has) of course drag his possession numbers down. I don’t think he is quite as bad as his numbers, but I also don’t think he is near as good as Arcobello. Certainly nowhere near as versatile.

  39. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Kitchener:
    I won’t jump to conclusions and judge Bryz on one game…
    I won’t jump to conclusions and judge Bryz on one game…
    I won’t jump to conclusions and judge Bryz on one game…

    Who needs an entire game? I loved Bryz on those first 12 shots vs. Chicago, but I hated how he let in a goal on the last one. Just totally left a bad impression. Get rid of the bum.

  40. Caramel Obvious says:

    Speaking of Ryan Strome I just looked up his stats this year. He’s in his 20 year old season in the AHL so this is litmus test time. If he can score at a point a game he is a guaranteed scorer in the NHL (as close to). So far he has 19 points in 17 games. So good. But the news is even better as he has only 4 goals and is shooting only 7%. Strangely enough that’s also a good thing because it means he’s hitting the benchmark despite low shooting percentages. That number can only go up (though it was the same last year too).

    He looks like another Kadri to me and look how close the Leafs came to flushing him down the toiler.

  41. FastOil says:

    bookje:
    Ribs,

    That scene was a sad sad example of a guy who didn’t know what he was doing.He was not asking for an opinion, he was asking a subordinate for permission to make the trade.I think Tambellini is a smart man actually, but he was not cut out for leadership.He couldn’t deal with the pressure, even for minor issues.

    Well put. I am not convinced they have come to a place of complete clarity on what to do. Getting a few better D isn’t actually that insightful, they were hideously awful last year. Really a no-brainer for most.

    I think this is what is hindering progress. Not that anyone is perfect, they don’t seem to see who gets it done and who doesn’t. There are those not really that good we know because the team loses a lot of games. Part of it is youth, part is one dimensional and/or not motivated enough players.

  42. Kitchener says:

    Bar_Qu:
    At this point, for kicks and giggles, I would call up Lander and Omark, demoting Gazdic and Acton so that the 4th could be Arcobello, Lander and Omark. That would be a good 5-8 mins a night. Who cares how little they would hit, if they had the puck on a string in the offensive zone. Maybe even force the opposing coach to run something better than a 4 line against them.

    I’d love to see 4 skill/possession lines. Or, roll a 4th line of Arco-Omark-Gazdic with Gazdic alternating shifts with Hall/Perron/Eberle/Hemsky/Yak. Why not? Eakins eliminated doughnuts from the pressers; why not eliminate the 5-8 minute coffee break the Oil give opposing teams each night?

    On second thought, now that Bryz gives a GUARANTEED 1.76 GAA through the season, they could dress a 4th line of Arco-Omark-Lander with Gazdic/SMac as the backup goalie for some toughness off the bench…

  43. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Bohologo: (And why no Nashville music YouTube links on this one LT? Seems like you hate both kinds of music…)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3W_EZ90h2o

    will this do?

  44. icecastles says:

    Bar_Qu: forwards coming back to support the defence and winning board battles – is there a metric for that yet?

    Yup. Win-loss record. :)

    I think this is the danger of having a lineup filled with ‘skill’ guys, especially very young ones learning together without a strong veteran core: throught their careers up to the NHL, their skill, speed and scoring prowess glazed over their lack of defensive acumen and sheltered them from the need to learn it. If sick dangles can keep you from losing the puck to guys who can’t catch you, you don’t really need to learn how to recover it, and a lot of coaches will (wrongly) give those players a pass on the defensive and tenacious side of the game.

    In elementary and junior high school, I was very gifted, particularly at mathematics. Didn’t have to try, didn’t have to think – it just came to me. Did my eighth grade curriculum in the first 6 weeks of school, then got to do ‘special projects’ for the rest of the school year. With the humanities such as writing, this served me well. ‘Skill’, as it were, could carry me and I excelled. In subjects like math though, it was a recipe for disaster.

    I solved most problems in my head, so I never worried about learning things like order of operations. I ‘got it’ fairly easily, so didn’t establish a good work ethic or become accustomed to doing homework. This was fine when I was 13. Didn’t bode so well for high school. By the time I graduated, I passed my math 30 with 52%. Scholarships in every subject except for that one. And it cratered my overall average enough to keep me from the big academic scholarships.

    ‘Gifted’ can be a dangerous thing when it allows you to glaze over working at the stuff that makes a big difference once you get to the higher levels. It can absolutely be learned later – I finally went to university when I was 30 and now sport an architecture degree and have a math-intensive job. But it’s damn hard, and it can seriously stunt development.

    This is why I’m okay with Eakins and I’m okay with the losing right now. The skill guys are finally being forced to learn the order of operations, they’re being made to do homework, and they’re going to have to show that they can succeed in the humanities and the sciences.

    They’re not just learning new habits at this point; they’re unlearning bad ones. That leaves you completely lost for a while before you come out of the woods. Some won’t make it, but the ones who do will be vastly improved for it. It’s the only way forward for this group if they want to become great rather than merely good.

  45. Woodguy says:

    bookje:
    It’s strange, of all of the decisions that Eakins has made, the fact that he let a winning streak determine his lineup (don’t change a winning lineup) and his shaving routine somehow really bothers me.It demonstrates an inability to understand or enact strategy and an inability to separate reality from superstition .

    I hope that it was done as some kind of moral building thing (coach, better not shave that beard… Ha , ha) otherwise we may need to find a fortune teller with a great knowledge of hockey to be a team advisor.LT – how do you look in a headscarf?

    He said at a practice presser that the players asked him to keep it.

    As for the not changing line up when you win, I think every coach is guilty of that.

  46. Woodguy says:

    rich,

    What do you pay for tickets down there?

  47. Woodguy says:

    Bar_Qu,

    I really do hope the current version of the Oilers learn the difference a team game can make to their results (forwards coming back to support the defence and winning board battles – is there a metric for that yet?).

    I wish there was.

    I know teams track it.

    Given the results of team defence and board battles, its shows up in the shot differentials.

    Which is why I’m still heartened with the Fenclose of the last 3 games, I hope its a trend and not a blip.

  48. Woodguy says:

    Check out these deals on the NAS website.

    Buy one get one free tickets, essentially.

    Buy a Group of 30 or more to any Mon- Thurs. game and receive a FREE group of 30 or more at equal or lesser value to any Mon- Thurs. game (Excludes Monday, December 30th Detroit) Buy Online | Call 615-770-7800

    Up to 50% off Suite Rentals and Table Tops for the following Predators games and Bridgestone Arena concerts:
    Saturday, Dec. 21 vs. Montreal
    Monday, Dec. 23 vs. Boston
    Saturday, Dec. 28 vs. LA
    Tuesday, Jan. 7 vs. San Jose
    Saturday, Jan. 11 vs. Ottawa
    Saturday, March 8 vs. Columbus
    Wednesday, Dec. 4, John Mayer
    Tuesday, Dec. 31, Bassnectar
    Wednesday, March 12, Champions Challenge
    50% offer applies only to the regular $3,800 rate (no f/b included)

    Purchase Tickets to the Tuesday, January 7th San Jose game and receive FREE tickets to the Tuesday, January 14th Calgary game
    Receive 50% off the Box Office price for the following games:
    Saturday, November 30 vs. Philadelphia (upper level only)
    Tuesday, December 3rd vs. Vancouver
    Monday, January 20th vs. Dallas
    Friday, January 31st vs. New Jersey
    Tuesday, March 25th vs. Colorado
    Purchase tickets to the following games and receive FREE parking in the Pinnacle garage
    Tuesday, December 17th vs. Chicago
    Thursday, January 9th vs. Anaheim
    Tuesday, March 4th vs. Pittsburgh

  49. rich says:

    Woodguy,

    Got 4 lower bowl seats together for $70 per (discount program thru HS hockey-I coach). Wanted to be in the corner and watch how the Oil play in their zone.

    Could have gone upper bowl for $30/per or standing room for $10/. Prices here are a great value.

  50. Hammers says:

    Your post on Hall is worrying in some ways . Here is a player who has tremendous talent ,guts , energy, charisma , smarts who has been wasted on our team . He must think what if I had gone to Boston and where would I be today ? The thing is $ 6 mill for him , Ebs & RNH isn’t all they want .They want to win & be in the playoffs . If Katz /Lowe/ McT don’t realize that they are making a huge mistake . Good players play for more than the money . Talking about bold deals is just that ,Talk. They may loose on a bold trade but more important is what are they loosing week after week with those core players . For me that is the concern .

  51. rich says:

    Woodguy,

    Preds have a lot of different programs. We’re sitting right behind some friends who bought 4 tickets to the game and got 2 free ones in the upper level.

    I like the fact that they are aggressive in trying to get people to come. Our company did an 11 game mini-pack and we did the “all inclusive zone” and those are all lower bowl, includes food & adult beverages and are about $75/person.

  52. Woodguy says:

    rich:
    Woodguy,

    Got 4 lower bowl seats together for $70 per (discount program thru HS hockey-I coach).Wanted to be in the corner and watch how the Oil play in their zone.

    Could have gone upper bowl for $30/per or standing room for $10/.Prices here are a great value.

    Thanks Rich.

    Nice to see that hockey is affordable somewhere.

  53. godot10 says:

    Hall’s season: Mostly bad coaching decisions.

    1) Play him at centre.
    2) When he fails, the coach blames him for the coach’s bad decision, and threatens to bench him if he fails to play well at wing. (MacT, Eakins, and 95% of Oiler fans and their stupid Messier fetish were always delusional. Hall at centre was always going to fail, and a few of us were said the idea was ridiculous since before he was even drafted.)
    3) No training camp at wing plus the threat from the coach. Hall tries too hard, well, because he is is a beast and has been challenged, and because he missed training camp at wing, his timing is a bit off, and makes a poor decision in Ottawa and gets himself hurt.
    4) He returns wearing a brace, and the ooach gives him Sam Gagner to go power on power, because Hall always atttracts the best players on the opposition.

    Hall is the Oiler’s best player, but the coach is really, really dense. It took him a quarter of the season to put Hall in the best position to help the team succeed, by giving him Nugent-Hopkins and Eberle.

    The GM had centre insurance in Horcoff, who could be moved to wing when everyone was healthy, and one available compliance buyout next summer, and the GM traded that insurance away.

  54. Kitchener says:

    Woodguy,

    Too bad the OIl don’t get a game against John Mayer. ;)

  55. Melman says:

    Last year I flew from Van. to Edm. to go to game (free tix to the Edm. game) Flights back and forth not a whole lot more than a night in the lower bowl of Rogers Arena

  56. Woodguy says:

    godot10,

    1) Play him at centre.

    2 Whole games. The entire world wanted to try him at C.

    2) When he fails, the coach blames him for the coach’s bad decision, and threatens to bench him if he fails to play well at wing

    Evidence for this?

    Sound completely pulled out of your ass given his TOI

    3) No training camp at wing plus the threat from the coach. Hall tries too hard, well, because he is is a beast and has been challenged, and because he missed training camp at wing, his timing is a bit off, and makes a poor decision in Ottawa and gets himself hurt.

    Again, smells like feces. Evidence?

    4) He returns wearing a brace, and the ooach gives him Sam Gagner to go power on power, because Hall always atttracts the best players on the opposition.

    I agree with that.

  57. Woodguy says:

    rich:
    Woodguy,

    Preds have a lot of different programs.We’re sitting right behind some friends who bought 4 tickets to the game and got 2 free ones in the upper level.

    I like the fact that they are aggressive in trying to get people to come.Our company did an 11 game mini-pack and we did the “all inclusive zone” and those are all lower bowl, includes food & adult beverages and are about $75/person.

    Wow!

    That’s affordable entertainment.

    I’d love to see NAS revenue per game compared to EDM.

  58. godot10 says:

    Woodguy:
    godot10,

    1) Play him at centre.

    2 Whole games.The entire world wanted to try him at C.

    2) When he fails, the coach blames him for the coach’s bad decision, and threatens to bench him if he fails to play well at wing

    Evidence for this?

    Sound completely pulled out of your ass given his TOI

    One of the press conferences after the Vancouver disaster and before the next game.

    It’s always the player’s fault with Eakins. Never his. Because he is a genius in his own mind.

  59. G Money says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Here is a case where changing role is significant, and worthy of additional comment. Arcobello has seen time in the top six and the bottom six, at centre and at wing. Whereas Acton has been a fourth-liner, & a pivot, pretty much every even-strength shift he’s taken. As a result he’s been saddled with nothing but plugs on his wings which will (& has) of course drag his possession numbers down. I don’t think he is quite as bad as his numbers, but I also don’t think he is near as good as Arcobello.

    By eye (not so much by stat), there have been two or three games where Acton has looked like an NHL player. So the possibility exists.

    I think there is little doubt that other than an NHL-level willingness to punch faces, Gazdic is NOT an NHL player.

    It also seems clear that by eye and by stat, Joensuu is either out of his league or still not recovered from his back injury, because he is barely better than Gazdic.

    If Eakins cares to break out of the “4th line must be big and punch faces” cliche, I would certainly like to see a Jones-Arco (C)-Acton line give it a try. With more skill and two C’s, one of whom has demonstrated the ability to win faceoffs, the possession numbers should automatically improve.

    But … anyone actually think that’s ever going to happen?

  60. Caramel Obvious says:

    godot10,

    Do you honestly believe that any of those things happened? You live in a universe of one.

  61. godot10 says:

    cc:

    Also what I found interesting in Friedman’s 30 thoughts.In the article they talked about how Randford & Kim Dillabaugh made subtle changes to Scriven’s style. I wonder if Dillabaughwho according to the article is in charge of goalie development and also works for the WHL Kelowna Rockets.Would be a target for a potential NHL goalie coach?The Kings have developed; Quick, Bernier, Zatkoff, Martin Jones & helped Scrivens.All these goalies with the exception of Bernier were either undrafted or late round picks.Would it be an option to hire him as a full-time goalie coach?

    Scrivens has been good for a long time. He (and Reimer before him) made Eakins look like a genius in the AHL, and last year, he played in the same ballpark as Reimer. There were periods of consistency and periods of inconsistency last year with the Leafs, but it was his first real year in the NHL, and he was playing for the Leafs.

    With LA’s tighter defensive play, it is not surprising that he is looking like a potential starter. I think he could start for any NHL team that can play solid defense.

  62. G Money says:

    bookje: and his shaving routine somehow really bothers me. It demonstrates an inability to understand or enact strategy and an inability to separate reality from superstition .

    I hope that it was done as some kind of moral building thing (coach, better not shave that beard… Ha , ha) otherwise we may need to find a fortune teller with a great knowledge of hockey to be a team advisor.

    If it makes you feel better…

    I read an interview (sorry no link) where Eakins said exactly that. He thinks superstitious nonsense is superstitious nonsense, but the team was winning and didn’t want him to shave his beard, so he agreed. Coaches should not be (overtly) superstitious. By their nature, players are extremely superstitious. Sounds like a smart people-oriented decision.

  63. FastOil says:

    icecastles,
    I’ve been called ‘gifted’.

  64. godot10 says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    godot10,

    Do you honestly believe that any of those things happened?You live in a universe of one.

    The Oilers are next to last in the NHL and last in the Western Conference. My universe is clearly closer to the reality of the actual universe than most of the rest of you guys, who get giddy with one good period in Calgary, and beating up on a wildly inconsistent Columbus team, and the Oilers’ mirror image in Florida.

    I said the Oilers were going to be awful out of the gate, one of the few.

    The season is basically over, but January will tell the tale about whether Eakins and the Oilers are making any progress whatever, and whether there is any hope at all for Eakins as an NHL coach.

    By the Olympic break, we will know.

  65. sliderule says:

    I think Hall’s knee is hurting his play big time.

    It’s probably ok when skating but the stress on it in scrums is making him a little tentative.

    In his own end he seems to be trying to find a man but he and Ebs are still pretty bad at marking.

    You have to hand it to Hall and Gagner for coming back from the injuries so quickly but then you have to accept that their play will not be up to snuff until they are fully healed.

  66. Woodguy says:

    godot10: One of the press conferences after the Vancouver disaster and before the next game.

    It’s always the player’s fault with Eakins.Never his.Because he is a genius in his own mind.

    I have watched every post game presser and practice avail and I don’t see that at all.

    I think at first he was surprised about how little the whole team knew about defending because Happy Ralph let them all coast.

  67. VanOil says:

    I agree with Godot

    We should hire Scrivens in the off season to compete with who ever wins the the starting job this season

    Maybe the answer for this God Forsaken Team is a Godless man

    We wait

  68. bookje says:

    G Money: If it makes you feel better…

    I read an interview (sorry no link) where Eakins said exactly that.He thinks superstitious nonsense is superstitious nonsense, but the team was winning and didn’t want him to shave his beard, so he agreed.Coaches should not be (overtly) superstitious. By their nature, players are extremely superstitious. Sounds like a smart people-oriented decision.

    That’s great to hear – that and WG’s earlier comment. Basically, I want a coach that employs logic, data, observation, etc.

    With that said, I still want LT to become the official team fortune teller. His first prediction a “3 for 1 trade”

  69. denny33 says:

    Woodguy,

    I agree with all that, but you are missing the most important piece.
    Defensive zone coverage by forwards has been awful.
    Not bad, awful.
    *****************************************************
    Agreed – Brutal brutal play and every once in a while you will see glimpses of people in Edmonton casting a gander at our top end forwards asking questions.

    Great work by Bruce and as already seen in here….he will catch hell for it.

    Body Gordon -defensive mule 5 goals. Taylor Hall 6 goals.

    *************************************************************************
    Its been better since the 3rd period of the CAL game, and this shows up in the Fenclose since:
    You can see the last 3 games have a positive Fenclose by the graph: http://www.extraskater.com/team/edmonton-oilers/2013
    This team is getting it.

    ******************************************************************
    Columbus, Florida and then Chicago…..let us take a look at how this team fares against the west after the month of December.

    It took them 20 games, but they are getting it.
    Still in dire need of 1LD though.
    *********************************************

    The team has fully earned the 29th place ranking and I don’t think people quite understand this is a group of players is looking up at the Florida Panthers.

    The Florida Panthers

    Given that – not sure what adding a soon to be 32 year old Defenceman will accomplish.

    Propel us to 22nd?

  70. Bag of Pucks says:

    Saw a clip on CTV News this morning, wish I could find the link, with Hervey seemingly taking a shot at the outgoing Kavis Reed on the announcement of the new HC hiring.

    The gist of the comment was that Jones would bring accountability and was not the type of person who would say things are going well when they’re not. Doing the latter was in Hervey’s words, not the Eskimo way he remembered.

    I thought the comment was very applicable to the Oilers situation. Under Renney and then Kreuger, it was all about positivity and creating the right environment for mentoring ‘the kids’ Like ANY kids however, when accountability is inconsistent or lacking, human nature will result in bad habits and taking advantage of the situation (i.e. cheating for offense, floating on the backcheck, not going to the hard areas, etc.).

    With this in mind, the most encouraging thing IMO that MacT has done as a GM thus far is hire a hard-ass HC, and empower him with a long contract and his unwavering support. This tells me that MacT realizes the greatest challenge this org faces is getting the unequivocal buy-in of the young core to commit to the 200ft game that’s required to win championships. Appointing Ference as C is another building block in this process.

    Win and losses aside, what this season truly represents then is THE power struggle that will determine whether this team makes that commitment and the culture then morphs into one of consistent excellence or whether they revolt and a future of mediocrity and unfulfilled potential awaits.

    I’m still optimistic Eakins is the guy to win this power struggle. In his own words, ‘he loves a good fight’ and it is pretty impressive to see the turnaround he accomplished with Nazem Kadri. For us as fans, Yakupov looks to be the bellwether we can check to confirm whether Eakins is achieving the buy-in or not.

  71. thebiggestmanintheworld says:

    Woodguy,

    “I think at first he was surprised about how little the whole team knew about defending because Happy Ralph let them all coast.”

    Uhhhhh, is there evidence, or is that just an observation?

    Of all people, you should know personal opinions mean nothing here without numbers to back it up…..

    I don’t really care for Eakins, but then again, what I think about the coach means nothing. I think his plan is to wipe the slate clean and start over his way. I have no problem with that, and understand it will take time, and be painful to watch at times.

    However, the fact Kruger had no training camp, only 48 games, and arguably a worse roster and more complicated system seems to get forgotten.

    Kruger implemented a “new system”, and he had us within reach of eighth with 5 weeks to go.

    Playing a condensed schedule and only western teams, no less.

    Its not even December, and we have no hope of a strech drive, even with Eakins getting all the prep time and a better, “more experienced” roster.

    A new GM has every right to pick his guy. No problem with that.

    A new coach can run his bench how ever he wants. No problem with that.

    But to even imply that Eakins is set back because “happy Ralph” let them coast is so…….Oilers……

    All the Corsi, Fenwick, PDO stats in the world mean what when you’re W-L record looks like the Oilers?

    I guess we search for hope wherever we can, but can we all stop blaming the last guy for our problems?

    None of our coaches are responsible for us being terrible.

    Us having terrible players is why we are a terrible team.

  72. OilClog says:

    “I’m excited to get back in and hopefully I pick up where I left off,” said Arcobello.

    This is the day Acton hopefully never plays on the big team again. I’m putting all my cheering power into this 4th line tonight.

  73. spoiler says:

    thebiggestmanintheworld: “I think at first he was surprised about how little the whole team knew about defending because Happy Ralph let them all coast.”

    Uhhhhh, is there evidence, or is that just an observation?

    Of all people, you should know personal opinions mean nothing here without numbers to back it up…..

    The part in italics above refers to a quote made by Eakins in a presser. The part in bold is a parody of Godot’s own arguments over the past months, satirized for the very reasons you mention.

  74. Bar_Qu says:

    Woodguy: I have watched every post game presser and practice avail and I don’t see that at all.

    I think at first he was surprised about how little the whole team knew about defending because Happy Ralph let them all coast.

    I think that is unfair to Kruger. We did not as a group pick up any defensive deficiencies at a structural level until the summer. I believed then and still believe that Kruger would have adapted his system to deal with that problem (and likely have avoided the growing pains Eakins is having).

    The Oil are in the situation they are in and I accept this. But I don’t think its Kruger’s fault.

  75. OilClog says:

    thebiggestmanintheworld,

    Quinn was horrible, Renney has always been a step below being a successful head coach in the NHL. Ralph, it’s debatable. Usually standard quo though is a GM bringing in his “guys”. Ralph was just in the wrong place wrong time.

    Eakins has made some terrible decisions, yet some good ones.

    And No the players are far from terrible, it’s all on the management. Communication with themselves, players, and fans is absolutely terrible. MacT may have to wait to get his deals, but he’s the best judge of talent we’ve had in ages, just takes time to fix years of abuse.

  76. G Money says:

    denny33: The team has fully earned the 29th place ranking and I don’t think people quite understand this is a group of players is looking up at the Florida Panthers.

    The Florida Panthers

    Given that – not sure what adding a soon to be 32 year old Defenceman will accomplish.

    Propel us to 22nd?

    Out of curiousity – how far do you expect the team to jump in a year? I would be OK with a the team being a legit 22nd after years of scraping the bottom, as long as its part of a process to becoming a top echelon team (last years “fake” 24th notwithstanding, having been artificially buoyed by great goaltending to the same extent this years team has been torpedoed* by bad goaltending).

    The other thing is to bear in mind that one or two really good players in key positions can make a staggering difference. A lot of the criticism of this team is enhanced by the fact that so many players are playing too far up the lineup.

    Especially D, where our 1D (Petry) ideally would be playing 3D. If we had a legit 24-min/night top pairing and were able to play Petry,JSchultz,Belov,Ference in the bottom 4, this team would be hella** better. Not just defensively, but offensively too – a good top pairing puck mover would get the forwards moving in a good direction with more speed more often. JSchultz may be that guy someday, he’s at least a couple of years away right now.

    Just think for a moment how we (as fans) would be looking at tonight’s game if the only difference was Weber was in Oiler silks.***

    * Not sure why nautical metaphors seem so appropriate for discussing the Oilers. Oiler fans feel a great deal of empathy with the passengers of the Titanic, perhaps.

    ** In California. When in Rome…

    *** Dammit, now I made myself sad.

  77. spoiler says:

    G Money: Especially D, where our 1D (Petry) ideally would be playing 3D. If we had a legit 24-min/night top pairing and were able to play Petry,JSchultz,Belov,Ference in the bottom 4, this team would be hella** better. Not just defensively, but offensively too – a good top pairing puck mover would get the forwards moving in a good direction with more speed more often. JSchultz may be that guy someday, he’s at least a couple of years away right now.

    I disagree… I think especially forwards… where the top line on most teams, especially the perennial powerhouses, wouldn’t be composed of 20-22 yos, with another 19yo in the top 6.

  78. godot10 says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Saw a clip on CTV News this morning, wish I could find the link, with Hervey seemingly taking a shot at the outgoing Kavis Reed on the announcement of the new HC hiring.

    The gist of the comment was thatJones would bring accountability and was not the type of person who would say things are going well when they’re not.Doing the latter was in Hervey’s words, not the Eskimo way he remembered.

    I thought the comment was very applicable to the Oilers situation. Under Renney and then Kreuger, it was all about positivity and creating the right environment for mentoring ‘the kids’Like ANY kids however, when accountability is inconsistent or lacking, human nature will result in bad habits and taking advantage of the situation (i.e. cheating for offense, floating on the backcheck, not going to the hard areas, etc.).

    With this in mind, the most encouraging thing IMOthat MacT has done as a GM thus far is hire a hard-ass HC, and empower him with a long contract and his unwavering support. This tells me that MacT realizes the greatest challenge this org faces is getting the unequivocal buy-in of the young core to commit to the 200ft game that’s required to win championships. Appointing Ference as C is another building block in this process.

    Win and losses aside, what this season truly represents then is THE power struggle that will determine whether this team makes that commitment and the culture then morphs into one of consistent excellence or whether they revolt and a future of mediocrity and unfulfilled potential awaits.

    I’m still optimistic Eakins is the guy to win this power struggle. In his own words, ‘he loves a good fight’ and it is pretty impressive to see the turnaround he accomplished with Nazem Kadri. For us as fans, Yakupov looks to be the bellwether we can check to confirm whether Eakins is achieving the buy-in or not.

    Taylor Hall was 2nd in the 1st division of the NHL in scoring last year and a +5, and breaking even in absolute Corsi and Fenwick (relatively, he was a monster) against the toughest opposition last year.

    Explain how those results are those of a player who isn’t working hard, or isn’t accountable.

    Taylor Hall (and Nugent-Hopkins and Eberle) delivered last year. It is a myth that they were not delivering at both ends of the ice on a NET basis.

    Under Eakins, their play has gone backwards, not forwards, mainly because he has not used them with each other enough, so they can support each other in taking on the other teams best players.

    Eakins has mostly chosen to handcuff them to poorer players…especially Hall, and ask then ask him to face the best players on the opposition, without his best teammates lining up with him. Even Toews and Datsyuk couldn’t do that.

  79. G Money says:

    spoiler: I disagree… I think especially forwards… where the top line on most teams, especially the perennial powerhouses, wouldn’t be composed of 20-22 yos, with another 19yo in the top 6.

    Maybe. I agree that it would be nice if our youngsters had more veteran support and didn’t have to be thrown power-on-power to the wolves quite so often.

    On the other hand, our youngsters are not much different in age than the Hawks forwards were for their first recent Stanley Cup. The difference was in having much more veteran support on the third and fourth lines, and a much deeper defensive group.

  80. DeadmanWaking says:

    “Aporia” is on the list I recently consulted which also contains “pleonasm” and “synecdoche”. It’s a long list. I didn’t actually read that entry. The problem with Greek words is that you have to learn them one at a time or they all blend together, into a nice nap.

    If the Greeks were still with us, we’d have two dozen new rhetorical terms already hot off the precipice of social media.

    godot10:
    Has Hall really been significantlly worse at zone-adjusted relative Corsi at left wing?

    The form of the question you are properly asking is this: Is the tail wagging the dog in statistical terms? If the majority of the effect is confined to a couple of aberrant data points, then it’s right to question the master statistic. The effect needs to be fairly egregious, or you place yourself at risk of stumbling into narrative excuses.

    Neither you, nor McCurdy

    That comma is not correct in written English; it is, however, correct mental grammar, where–after the briefest cognitive pause–a narrow paintbrush is upgraded to a broad paintbrush in the spirited moment. Only in this case you were already set in your lunge for two in the bush after beginning your sentence with “neither”. It’s telling that you used “McCurdy” instead of “Bruce” as if Bruce does not show up as a collegial voice of reason on an almost daily basis.

    Commas are interesting creatures. Sometimes the addition of a small comma averts a mental mishap.

    Among those interviewed were his two ex-wives, Kris Kristofferson and Robert Duvall.

    Where the Wikipedia article soft-pedals on the serial comma is that a list of two items “A and B” (no comma) turns into “A, B, and C” (one extra element brings with it two extra commas). It’s a peculiar, non-linear step between two and three.

    Among those interviewed were his two ex-wives and Kris Kristofferson.

    Now it’s immediately apparent that the later does not claim membership among the former.

    Among those interviewed were his two ex-wives, and Kris Kristofferson.

    But wait! I can implicate someone else, too!

    This is the mental comma so often expressed in social media. One of its virtues is almost turning a list of two items into a list of three items. As we all know concerning the integers of outrage: once is odious, twice is criminal, thrice is a conspiracy.

    What then is twice plus this small commatary neoplasm? Perhaps it’s a conspiracy so often rehashed that the third leg of the stool has momentarily slipped your mind, and only the divot remains (no, that would be Hunter). There’s this small problem: after you start the sentence with “Neither” it’s hard to slip a third man in. That’s what makes “neither” so rhetorically trenchant: don’t worry, my balloon is not going to list and stutter.

    Of course, there’s always: “Neither you nor anyone else …” where the trenchant “neither” is so throughly defiled it practically demands to be punctuated “Neither you, nor anyone else …” in the glorious tumescence of the broad brush.

    has stripped out

    This is what one does to a rice rocket to achieve a record sprint. Also common with unwanted attachments traversing a spam filter. Not, however, an accepted statistical technique. You wish to avoid “split” because splits are self-evidently a sub-statistic.

    his horribly bad

    What exactly is “bad” when biting off a huge challenge for the first time?

    Growth requires pushing the envelope. Even if it’s a total debacle, it’s often highly instructive when one returns to one’s original knitting. Did it hurt Hall to gain some direct experience of how his choices flying up the wing create hardship for his own center? We were down 1C and 2C at a position of weakness. It’s not like the opportunity cost was owed to Tony Soprano.

    results at centre

    The experiment hardly lasted long enough to achieve “results” other than that he wasn’t ready, and might never be.

    from that Vollman chart

    “that” is distancing language, a famous anchor dropped into the welcoming harbour of alternate reality. “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.”

    and

    Don’t let us pause to think, you’re just getting properly warmed up. I used to joke with my siblings about my laziness. My brother would mention that he was going to paint his spare bedroom. I would immediately comment, “Well then, I’ll put on my watching people paint shirt and bring some beer.”

    Interesting how foisting the onus on others to toil to your personal standards transpires mid-breath. It would have taken you all of sixty seconds on Google to find Taylor’s game log and eyeball whether this adjustment was worth a hill of beans. No (as copiously debunked) but it worked for me, as the aftermath lead me to this sentence concerning Lyotard by this patron saint of soggy cereals:

    We have become alert to difference, diversity, the incompatibility of our aspirations, beliefs and desires, and for that reason postmodernity is characterised by an abundance of.

    What a nutshell! Even if there were more words, that’s where most readers with common sense would stop naturally. We already know where postmodernism is not going.

    are using a stupid decision by the GM and the coach

    This statement implies a level of orthodoxy in the pursuit of excellence I can’t even begin to contemplate.

    At some point in some playoff game we’re going to lose Gagner or RNH for a period or more. Successfully sliding Hall to center–from a pinched bench–and having him play well enough to protect a one goal lead could be the difference between winning and losing a series. But hey, let’s wait until the smoke clears from the second jet before taking inventory of needle and thread.

    to bash Hall

    You mean the same person you rather formally addressed a few paragraphs back who howled until the sky curdled over Taylor getting shafted last year in the all-star voting?

    Taylor Hall jobbed as Alex Ovechkin named to BOTH All-Star teams

    The bash is on.

    , instead of the fools who thought it was a good idea to play him at centre

    I can’t even parse the “instead” construct. Of course, learning is such a foolish habit when one already has all the answers.

    Half the time a “fool” is anyone else alert to a different risk.

    When my brother was young, he had some friends who were house sitting for a month at an expensive property, with a nice patio hot tub among other amenities. He went over and was invited to join them in the tub. Probably there were some babes in the mix. He declined, figuring they didn’t have much collective expertise in hot tub TLC.

    “You fool! You’re missing a great party! We’re all gonna … and then we’re gonna … ”

    Some years later one of his friends sheepishly confessed that he, at least, of the nonchalant party animals subsequently sought treatment for swollen gonads. “How did you know?” he demanded to know.

    I never actually thought it was a good idea to play Hall at center. I thought it was a good idea to expose Hall to playing at center in a real game situation, to see what he made of it and how well he coped. He has the physical tools to at least saw the position off, if he can get his head around the extra demands. I suspect some of what he lacked in that role is the same something he continues to lack back on his natural wing playing the defensive side of the puck.

    or the fools who think it’s a good idea to have him play better without the puck.

    The other day–during our short-lived heyday (our abrupt “mayday heyday mayday” has a bit of “dot dash dot dash” cadence to it)–Hunter made a comment of possibly mock ebullience. Someone chimed in with “What have you done with the real Hunter?” then someone else responded “No, that’s actually the real Hunter.”

    I think it would be great if “the real Hunter” becomes the real Hunter.

    After a post like this one from Godot, I can’t even imagine where the real Godot lives. What we have here is the shattered egg shell of nowhere: fictitious bashing by fictitious fools guilty of fictitious laziness over a fictitious distortion.

    To what end?

  81. G Money says:

    godot10: Eakins has mostly chosen to handcuff them to poorer players…especially Hall, and ask then ask him to face the best players on the opposition, without his best teammates lining up with him. Even Toews and Datsyuk couldn’t do that.

    According to BTN, Hall’s three most common linemates by TOI so far this season are: Eberle, RNH, Petry.

    Conversely, someone like Perron makes for an interesting case study, because his TOI linemates have been Ference, Belov, and Petry. Suggesting that unlike Hall, who’s had a relatively steady go of it, Perron has been moved up and down the line and hasn’t had the luxury of playing with the same guys all the time.

    By Corsi QoC, Perron’s actually been taking on tougher opposition than Hall.

    Both are scoring at very similar rates.

    Whatever it is that’s bothering Hall (the amazing thing is that we can all agree that Hall is a shadow of his former self, and he’s still putting up almost PPG), you can’t lay it on teammates or coaches.

  82. G Money says:

    DeadmanWaking: If the Greeks were still with us, we’d have two dozen new rhetorical terms already hot off the precipice of social media

    The Greeks *are* still with us – the problem is that they are unemployed, on the dole, or pushing non-rhetorical paper for the gubmint.

  83. thebiggestmanintheworld says:

    spoiler,

    Why did it take NHL games for a head coach to realize that his team wasn’t good at defensive coverage?

    He probably should have recognized that in TC and pre-season, no?

    I’m sure it was the team’s third HC in four years that messed them all up….

    Kruger was trying to do the same things Eakins is doing now…..

    Blow it up inside and change the system.

    Except Kruger knows how to deal with people better. Period. That’s a fact.

    Like I said before, I understand a new GM bringing in his own guy.

    But Happy Ralph had the same ideas as Gruffy Dallas, just a different way of doing implementing them, and I think that gets lost in the personal bias people have….

    No matter the coach, what we need is some continuity. Full stop.

    Well, that, and more than 7-8 legit NHL caliber players…….

  84. G Money says:

    G Money: If Eakins cares to break out of the “4th line must be big and punch faces” cliche, I would certainly like to see a Jones-Arco (C)-Acton line give it a try. With more skill and two C’s, one of whom has demonstrated the ability to win faceoffs, the possession numbers should automatically improve.

    Um, WTF? Are we trying to win games now?

    Looks like Arcobello centres Jones/Joensuu on 4th line tonight. Grebeshkov replaces Potter on 3rd pairing. Acton/Gazdic out.

    Jack Michaels (@EdmontonJack) November 28, 2013

  85. Bag of Pucks says:

    godot10: Taylor Hall was 2nd in the 1st division of the NHL in scoring last year and a +5, and breaking even in absolute Corsi and Fenwick (relatively, he was a monster) against the toughest opposition last year.

    Explain how those results are those of a player who isn’t working hard, or isn’t accountable.

    You’re citing the performance of one player to argue that the entire team is committed to strong defensive play? Small sample size much? Have you seen the team’s GA the last 3 years?

    This problem far pre-dates Eakins.

    Btw, Hall IS a wunderkind on offense but it doesn’t mean he can’t be stronger in his own end. Ruff’s treatment of him in the Worlds was a tipoff that undisciplined play and cheating for offense won’t fly in other orgs or with other coaches. I’m the biggest Hall fan out there, but he’s a long ways from being Jonathan Toews in his own end…yet. Some of his giveaways in the neutral zone this year can only be described as egregious. I guess that Eakins’ fault? He’s in Taylor’s head telling him to make those bad passes?

    You’ve truly gone off the reservation with this irrational Eakins hatred of yours. The team has been dreadful for years, but you act like this is a suddenly a new thing and it’s all down to the new HC?

  86. hoser313 says:

    My comments on today’s discussions:

    - Jones/Jonesuu/Arco. Like it. Maybe the JJ combo can bring the right kind of “energy” (i.e. the kind that scores goals).

    - Yes the team needs a top line D. Yes, trade the 2014 #1 pick to get it but might get best value waiting until end of season.

    - Hall/Eberle/RNH should be a line EVERY game. There never was a good reason to put this line through the MacBlender.

    - Anyone else notice how some of the teams predicted to be “terrible” (Calgary and Colorado this year, Ottawa with their injuries last year) have outperformed, while the teams widely thought to be full of talent (Edmonton) have underperformed. Probably a lesson in psychology somewhere in there.

    - Defensive coverage? Sure, how about NOT getting caught with four players below the other team’s goal line every game.

    - Bryz is worth every penny if he opens even one press conference with: “I have good news and I have great news…”

  87. spoiler says:

    DeadmanWaking: After a post like this one from Godot, I can’t even imagine where the real Godot lives. What we have here is the shattered egg shell of nowhere: fictitious bashing by fictitious fools guilty of fictitious laziness over a fictitious distortion.
    To what end?

    Fitting fiction?

  88. FastOil says:

    I don’t think Eakins can be judged this year. What he is doing I think has more to do with the player’s getting on the same page than winning games. Many good coaches had rocky starts, I think fixing a bad team makes winning in the short term usually unlikely, although a few seem to manage it as Cooper might be in Tampa. MacT knows the playoffs are gone, I doubt he is on Eakins about winning.

    It’s all about getting the heads straightened and deciding who has to go. Whether MacT can make good on changing things up and balance we’ll see. No pain no gain. Especially with kids. Giving in now would be the kiss of death at least for Eakins. Don’t make threats you won’t keep.

  89. VanOil says:

    In honor of DMW incredible deconstruction of Godot’s arguments today, right down to the comma, I would like to offer my own attempt at such absurdity. I lack the Deadman’s literary skills but I am all for absurdity and the most absurd, this I think, I can contribute is a deconstruction of my own joke.

    I agree with Godot

    Agreeing with Godot on any level on his quixotic quest today and this season to blame Eakins for all of the Oilers woes is Eddie Izzard level absurdity. http://youtu.be/hp69rg6Hdlo

    The lack of period(s) is both in genre for a game day thread where rapid reactionary repartee in the requiem [Middle English, from Latin, accusative of requites, rest, the first word of the mass for the dead] and leaves the thoughts open ended…

    We should hire Scrivens in the off season to compete with whoever wins the starting job this season

    Using a commonplace internet form commentary device, I deliberately misconstrued Godot’s claim that Eakins AHL coaching record is only good because Scrivens was amazing and no one knew, as a request to sign him as a free agent this summer. This also plays off the leaps to conclusion, we will all make, on tonight’s goal tending performance.

    Maybe the answer for this God Forsaken Team is a Godless man

    This works for me on at least three levels,
    1) Scrivens, despite playing in the city of angels, is a noted atheist, and of course a Marlie.
    2) Many on this site plead with and curse the Hockey Gords for our Oilers dreams being nightmares.
    3) The Oilers have a core of born again Christians that have both a prayer room and preacher in the drug palace. Would this completely blasphemous to Christian Scientists, or considered the very apotheosis of putting faith above reality?

    We wait

    One of LTs favorite finishing refrains, and Godot’s favorite plays, seemed an apropos conclusion to this poem. But, now I see, it was better to end with a comma.

    http://youtu.be/SFpsDAL4oKE

  90. RexLibris says:

    I’ve argued this before, but seeing as we’re getting closer and closer to the brink I might as well bring it up again.

    Draft picks tend to increase in value the closer one gets to the draft following the trade deadline. The exception is for teams who are intentionally rebuilding. Therefore, if the Oilers intend on moving their 1st round pick for a player, that needs to be after the deadline and perhaps even after the draft lottery barring provisions in the trade.

    The alternative to that route would be to move multiple prospect assets for the player in questions (ie: Marincin, Musil and Simpson for Erhoff or some such 3-1 pitch).

    Also, the Oilers are still stocking their cupboards and are already without a 2nd round pick. Therefore, there needs to be serious consideration about moving an expiring contract for picks at the deadline. In this case, Hemsky might net a 1st round pick to a contending team if conditions are right (he is healthy and seen to be productive by others).

    If MacTavish were able to add a 1st round pick by trading a player like Hemsky at the deadline it seems almost a foregone conclusion that he would trade at least one of those picks at the draft for immediate improvements.

    Therefore, barring a quantity and potential for quality trade, I’m not convinced that MacTavish makes the blueline trade that this team so obviously needs mid-season.

  91. russ99 says:

    Ugh, Oilers at Predators.

    Nashville playing the way they always play and the Oilers trying to copy them.

    Good thing I’m totally stuffed on turkey and will probably pass out half way through the second period.

  92. Old School G says:

    OilClog:
    “I’m excited to get back in and hopefully I pick up where I left off,” said Arcobello.

    This is the day Acton hopefully never plays on the big team again. I’m putting all my cheering power into this 4th line tonight.

    I laughed like a maniac at this post, well put friend.

    Will Acton, the hustle is there but I think in better capacity as a veteran presence in the minors. Arcobello, Horak, and Lander need that ice time.

  93. russ99 says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    Not much to add to the discussion that hasn’t been said, but don’t Eakins and MacT have things backwards?

    They acquire and play defensemen based on how well they move the puck in the neutral zone, and they’re trying to reinvent the wheel (i.e. the “swarm”) and have our forwards take on primary coverage responsibilities on defense, yet dump the puck into the offensive zone.

    I recall that when playing hockey, defensemen generally play defense and forwards move the puck into the offensive zone and try to score goals.

    This overall insistence on defense may eventually help our players, but we don’t have to like it. Too much effort is being spent on conforming to things that don’t work, and too little effort is being spent on winning hockey games.

  94. Lowetide says:

    What in h-e-double hockey sticks was Bryzgalov doing behind the net on that exchange? Lordy.

  95. OilClog says:

    Lowetide:
    What in h-e-double hockey sticks was Bryzgalov doing behind the net on that exchange? Lordy.

    Some call it “grit”

  96. VanOil says:

    Hemsky and Yak are continuing to find understanding. To bad Eberle is such a goon the game was starting well.

  97. Lowetide says:

    VanOil:
    Hemsky and Yak are continuing to find understanding. To bad Eberle is such a goon the game was starting well.

    Agreed, there was some nice momentum there. Silly penalty by Eberle.

  98. Lowetide says:

    This is a horrible hockey game.

  99. Ryan says:

    anyone got a feed? I’ve got the Raven’s on at my humble abode…

  100. Ryan says:

    RexLibris,

    That’s the master plan. Mact is loaded to the gills with depth defenseman, hopefully he can sell high near the deadline.

  101. Lowetide says:

    This game needs skill.

  102. VanOil says:

    The 4th line is not filling me with dread every time they are on the ice. I would however caution against pairing them with the Chaos Twins on defense.

  103. VanOil says:

    Lowetide:
    This is a horrible hockey game.

    I wish Nashville moved East.

  104. Fixall with Rexall says:

    That puck was bouncing for that entire last shift.

  105. fuzzy muppet says:

    Remind me why they sat Arcobello for 5 contests?

  106. bookje says:

    They should sit Arcebello for some grit.

  107. gr8one says:

    Lowetide:
    This is a horrible hockey game.

    Indeed.

    And oh Arco, how I missed thee.

  108. OilBuzz says:

    Ugh this is boring hockey

  109. bookje says:

    fuzzy muppet:
    Remind me why they sat Arcobello for 5 contests?

    For grit, he is too small to be useful.

  110. OilClog says:

    Arco, you bum.

  111. OilFire says:

    Man, I wish I knew if this would end a 1-0 game or not. Just wish I could figure out if Bryzer’s last save was one of the important “clutch” ones, or just a regular not important one.

  112. Lois Lowe says:

    Arco is much better than Acton.

  113. Ryan says:

    bookje:
    They should sit Arcebello for some grit.

    +1 lol

  114. bookje says:

    Arcebello needs a nickname. I suggest “The Italian” because ‘Bella’ sounds Italian and He reminds me of a gangster.

  115. Fixall with Rexall says:

    They should just use a tennis ball. No wonder forwards struggle and defenseman excel in Nashville. This ice only allows for a mucking game.

  116. Ryan says:

    why don’t the Oilers just Conachar Arcobello? The season’s a wash. P&D

  117. bookje says:

    This is a terrible intermission!

  118. OilBuzz says:

    The amount of nepotism required to keep Acton on is absurd.

  119. Lowetide says:

    These pretzels are making me thirsty!!!!

  120. Dominoiler says:

    With all due respect, which is quite a lot.. LT, I am surprised to see you get so myopic, imo, wrt Hall.. In his rookie season, Hall spent most of his time playing w Horc and Eberle. So yes, Hall showed well and recorded a good cosri but I think it is a mistake to give Hall 100% of the credit (or the blame, now). That vet presence, despite the ugly miffed muffins of ol Horcov, gave some 2-way balance and muscle that the modern line w Nuge doesnt yet achieve. This isnt on Nuge, this is on the team and management for not having enough vet depth n old man muscle (like Gordon, the most obvious stand out hire since) to go against the jumbo joes of the league.. except this coach doesnt line match hard, still.. So, the kids have been left hanging, trial by fire, to take on the best of the best..

    If I was really motivated to look into this, how it could be done better, I would check out the corsi / Q comp stats for the hawks as toews n kane broke into the league and then how quenneville used them when that team turned the corner..

  121. 8p0intgame says:

    Oilers’ first + one of Klefbom, Marincin, or Gernat to Florida for Kulikov and Matthias? (+Conditional 3rd rounder in 2016 if Matthias re-signs in Edmonton).

  122. hunter1909 says:

    Arcobello = AHL offense that doesn’t ala Toby Peterson translate to anything more than another Oiler lame-ass player presented to the desperate shrinking fan base as a “new Pisani” ffs

    Overall extremely poor effort shown in 1st period; expect another one like it and don’t really care if I miss something at this point so goodnight and what else is there to do with the rest of the night?

    Bryz is 200% better to the eye than Flubnyk. Sure the latter was not letting in goals but the team was playing great in front of him also. Dubnyk’s my new Horcoff, and is a candidate for the goat horns since he’s underperforming his contract, just like Horc.

    Let’s trade Ryan for Seth.

    At some point, this(out of the playoffs 8 straight years running)has to be assessed as to whether this is entertainment as defined by the Oxford Dictionary.

    Now we read about how changing the GM means the farm system gets overhauled, meaning 3-4 more seasons of excuses to blow ahead, barring a miracle. This team promises the cup, and delivers endless ways to be fan golfing in April. It’s being run like always, as Kevin Lowe’s long firm game.

    Edmonton is a shithole to NHL millionaires over 25, unless the team is run by 1980′s Glen Sather. And anyone but a fool can see Kevin Lowe isn’t smart enough, or good enough to build anything other than a losing finalist.

    Now go back to trying how to win the Stanley Cup without anyone running the collective vision of the team. Kevin Lowe is nothing more than a bitter, incompetent old man. He’s the 201st concussion lawsuit racket candidate, imo.

  123. VanOil says:

    Do you think there are more fans at the game tonight in Lethbridge for the Subway series or in Nashville for the NHL?

  124. Lowetide says:

    this game is at least winnable if not entertaining. I’ll consider it a bargain if they get two points.

  125. hunter1909 says:

    PS: What kind of sack team leans on a Gagner to play top 6, when he’s clearly still hurt? Dude needs to be on the 4th line until he’s 100%. I have the answer – because Oilers.

    Lowetide: Your next old movie theme could be: They Shoot Horses Don’t They? With Kevin Lowe playing Gig Young’s role. With a gif of that scene when he pays off Jane Fonda running forever and ever.

  126. Old School G says:

    This third line of ours is a beautiful thing.

    Nuge and The Kingston Cannonball There We GO BOYS!

  127. bookje says:

    That goal was beautiful!

  128. bookje says:

    That one too!

  129. Pouzar says:

    Another useless asst by Eberle.

    :P

    I just read an idiot say all Eberle does is score pts. mMMM what?

    EDIT: HALL

  130. VanOil says:

    Like when playing an Italian Football team. Scoring first against a boredom first team is a must. Scoring first twice over is even better.

  131. VanOil says:

    Lowetide:
    This game needs skill.

    Found some.

  132. Fixall with Rexall says:

    It’s 2-0 Hunter.

  133. Lowetide says:

    Edmonton is a shithole! It worked once, say it again!

  134. Rebilled says:

    great call

  135. Fixall with Rexall says:

    Weber lucky it wasn’t a 5 on 3 for a full 2 minutes.

  136. VanOil says:

    I bet we would have even more goals tonight if we had dressed a dedicated face puncher.

  137. G Money says:

    Can’t watch game because California.

    Yak lowest ice time – hurt?

    How’s Denis doing?

    Looks like the real Hunter is back. Good thing too, that optimistic one was annoying.

  138. Lowetide says:

    Well, that was a nice bonus period, 2-0 over Nashville.

  139. VanOil says:

    G Money,
    Game is dull your are not missing anything.
    Yak looks fine.
    Denis? Bryz looks comfortable. Edit: yes Grebs is playing well.
    Hunter is kind of a lovable Grinch who is becoming a good luck charm.

  140. Fixall with Rexall says:

    Bryzgalov just looks like a pro in there. This level of not worried on every shot hasn’t been felt since Roloson. One game, but man, it’s been awhile.

  141. Pouzar says:

    I’ve seen dull Oiler games ( looking at you Minny) and this doesn’t come within a country mile of that.

    Pretty chippy affair, we scored 2 beauties, and Bryz looks like da sh!t.

  142. RexLibris says:

    Just checked in myself. Listened to period 1 and heard it was a dull affair. Checked the score and apparently I’ve missed all the fun.

  143. G Money says:

    VanOil,

    Mercy buckets!

    That was my next q – is Breezy full value for the saves, or more of a low chance thing?

    Keep hoping Hall has a monster game one of these days and breaks out of his funk and goes on a massive, dare I say, Olympian run!

  144. Pouzar says:

    Fixall with Rexall:
    Bryzgalov just looks like a pro in there. This level of not worried on every shot hasn’t been felt since Roloson. One game, but man, it’s been awhile.

    Couldn’t agree more. Love the way he moves laterally and the way challenges shots. Very refreshing to watch.

  145. RexLibris says:

    The knee sprain has moderated my expectations for Hall this season. I’d like to see improvement in decisions both with and without the puck, some diversification of his repertoire.

    But if he doesn’t make the Olympic team I won’t be offended or disappointed. I might even welcome it, some time to heal and refocus might be best for the young man.

  146. Lowetide says:

    Dominoiler:
    With all due respect, which is quite a lot.. LT, I am surprised to see you get so myopic, imo, wrt Hall.. In his rookie season, Hall spent most of his time playing w Horc and Eberle.So yes, Hall showed well and recorded a good cosri but I think it is a mistake to give Hall 100% of the credit (or the blame, now).That vet presence, despite the ugly miffed muffins of ol Horcov, gave some 2-way balance and muscle that the modern line w Nuge doesnt yet achieve.This isnt on Nuge, this is on the team and management for not having enough vet depth n old man muscle (like Gordon, the most obvious stand out hire since) to go against the jumbo joes of the league.. except this coach doesnt line match hard, still.. So, the kids have been left hanging, trial by fire, to take on the best of the best..

    If I was really motivated to look into this, how it could be done better, I would check out the corsi / Q comp stats for the hawks as toews n kane broke into the league and then how quenneville used them when that team turned the corner..

    Hall has pushed the river for a long time. He’s capable of being an impact player, and I think he’s among the best players in the league. His performance this year has not reflected it. That’s not me going out of my way to be critical, that’s me stating a fact and being none to glad to do it.

    Good period there, though. Hall’s a beauty, Nuge and the rest too.

  147. Rebilled says:

    i think i saw this but i i think his positional play is great and i don’t believe in karma
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yf83DrROOvw

  148. Lowetide says:

    RexLibris:
    I’ve argued this before, but seeing as we’re getting closer and closer to the brink I might as well bring it up again.

    Draft picks tend to increase in value the closer one gets to the draft following the trade deadline. The exception is for teams who are intentionally rebuilding. Therefore, if the Oilers intend on moving their 1st round pick for a player, that needs to be after the deadline and perhaps even after the draft lottery barring provisions in the trade.

    The alternative to that route would be to move multiple prospect assets for the player in questions (ie: Marincin, Musil and Simpson for Erhoff or some such 3-1 pitch).

    Also, the Oilers are still stocking their cupboards and are already without a 2nd round pick. Therefore, there needs to be serious consideration about moving an expiring contract for picks at the deadline. In this case, Hemsky might net a 1st round pick to a contending team if conditions are right (he is healthy and seen to be productive by others).

    If MacTavish were able to add a 1st round pick by trading a player like Hemsky at the deadline it seems almost a foregone conclusion that he would trade at least one of those picks at the draft for immediate improvements.

    Therefore, barring a quantity and potential for quality trade, I’m not convinced that MacTavish makes the blueline trade that this team so obviously needs mid-season.

    MacT already struck out at the draft looking for blue, can’t afford to do that again.

  149. RexLibris says:

    Pouzar: Couldn’t agree more. Love the way he moves laterally and the way challenges shots. Very refreshing to watch.

    Was chatting with Flames fans at FN last night. Reto Berra is quickly becoming a curse word in the 403. He overplays most shots and the spastic acrobatics are getting tired.

    I haven’t watched Bryzgalov yet, but I look forward to “calm and confident” in net.

  150. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide,

    I agree, but I think that the market is beginning to shift. The Oilers have, for a while now, been the bottom dwelling buyers. That position is being occupied by some new teams who may be looking to buy what the Oilers are willing to sell, specifically Buffalo and maybe even *shudder* the Flames again.

    We can’t assume that the trade market this deadline or draft day is going to be comparable to last year’s. Each year brings about a new set of needs (Gaustad being worth a 1st one year does not make a similar player being worth the same the following).

    So with that in mind, I think MacTavish may have the proverbial new set of downs this draft day to make a deal. The cap likely won’t be as much of an incentive to other teams, but there will be pressures in other areas all the same. The trick is in sussing out the “motivated sellers”, something Brian Burke, for all his faults, has always done well.

  151. G Money says:

    Lowetide:

    Good period there, though. Hall’s a beauty, Nuge and the rest too.

    Just watched the goals on the app… Goal 1 the key was Nuge going to the net … But WTF was Ference doing behind the net????

    And goal 2 was a beauty takeaway and then touch pass by Gagner. But he’s the new Horcoff so we must criticize his poor defensive coverage on that goal!

  152. godot10 says:

    8p0intgame:
    Oilers’ first + one of Klefbom, Marincin, or Gernat to Florida for Kulikov and Matthias? (+Conditional 3rd rounder in 2016 if Matthias re-signs in Edmonton).

    The Oilers have Petry and Justin Schultz to sign to new contracts. And you want to add Kulikov to that, who is two years away from UFA status, and you are going to negotiating against a Russian oligarch for his services. Kulikov might go back to Russia for two years for a massive payday, and then come back to the NHL to the team of his choice. And you want to trade the 2014 1st round draft pick and Marincin or Klefbom and take that risk?

    Kulikov is a nice player, but he comes with too much risk without being signed to a new contract.

  153. Old School G says:

    Yak playing the body! It’s been worth it.

  154. Lowetide says:

    Bryzgalov has been very good tonight, no doubt about it. Solid imo.

  155. LMHF#1 says:

    Love the way Bryzgalov is an active goalie who gets off the line and plays the puck, even if subtly, when he can. It is really helping downgrade some of the chances.

  156. Lois Lowe says:

    Bryz really has played well. Nice to see.

    edit – And the 4th line deserves another game after that shift.

  157. Fixall with Rexall says:

    Grebeshkov with a telegraphed pass up the middle. He’s fearless.

  158. OilClog says:

    The Wizard Of Bryz.

    Bryzzard, the White.

  159. LMHF#1 says:

    Amazing what a fourth line that can kinda sorta play can do. I’d still greatly prefer Omark in Jones’ spot, but it beats the goon squad.

  160. OilFire says:

    Beauty chance by li’l Arco and crew

  161. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Best 6 has skated since opening night.

  162. bookje says:

    Lowetide:
    Bryzgalov has been very good tonight, no doubt about it. Solid imo.

    They should sign him for a 10 year contract.

  163. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Hey, no rebounds! Hell of a lot easier on the D if it’s 1 and done.

  164. TeeVee says:

    “He came in the kitchen, but he couldn’t eat”

    Fucking outstanding!

  165. geowal says:

    Greg Chase with a nice goal in front of the net in the subway series game

  166. Fixall with Rexall says:

    I hope MacT calls Acton tonight and asks him “Hey, your just renting a place in Edmonton right?”

  167. Old School G says:

    TeeVee:
    “He came in the kitchen, but he couldn’t eat”

    Fucking outstanding!

    YES!

  168. VanOil says:

    geowal:
    Greg Chase with a nice goal in front of the net in the subway series game

    And Jujar in front of the net for the second.

  169. TeeVee says:

    Fixall with Rexall:
    I hope MacT calls Acton tonight and asks him “Hey, your just renting a place in Edmonton right?”

    Me too.

  170. OilBuzz says:

    It feels nice to have confidence in net

  171. Pouzar says:

    VanOil: And Jujar in front of the net for the second.

    Please Please Gawd let one of these be a NHL Center

  172. TeeVee says:

    Ebs deserves an EN. 1 post and 1 crossbar tonight.

  173. Pouzar says:

    Bryz just outstanding. HotDamn!

  174. TeeVee says:

    YESSSSS!! EBS!!

  175. jp says:

    Wow. Nice 1st start for Bryz! I wasn’t able to watch a lot of the game, but it looked like a nice effort.

  176. Ice Sage says:

    I’m having a beer. Then another. An honest NHL win

  177. TeeVee says:

    Isn’t it nice to have a 4th line?

  178. Lowetide says:

    4-2 since game 20, 4-1 since game 21. Nice. Goaltender was rock solid. That’s a big one. He does that again 10 times and there won’t be a goalie controversy.

  179. TeeVee says:

    Atta boy Bryz.

  180. VanOil says:

    10 min + for a competent 4th line in a Oilers shut out win. Grebs with 18 + minutes looking like an NHL player. These are all good things.

  181. jp says:

    TeeVee:
    Isn’t it nice to have a 4th line?

    I saw that in the boxscore – all over 10 EV minutes. And looked like real hockey players from the bit I saw.

    Yes. Nice.

  182. russ99 says:

    Man, Bryz was sharp. I also really liked the offensive zone passing to set up shots, knowing that not many battles on the wall would go in our favor vs. that group.

    Nice to get a win from that building for a change.

  183. Fixall with Rexall says:

    If Dubnyk has like a ham sandwich or a granola bar in his locker, Bryzgalov should just walk up to it and eat it.

  184. Old School G says:

    That’s the team we can work with. There’s what we’ve been looking for. CBJ, DAL, PHX next three. It is on.

  185. TeeVee says:

    Fixall with Rexall:
    If Dubnyk has like a ham sandwich or a granola bar in his locker, Bryzgalov should just walk up to it and eat it.

    Ok. You’ve made me laugh twice now.

  186. fishman says:

    Guessing Dubnyk doesn’t sleep well tonight. Bryz was Cool Hand Luke in net tonight!

  187. fifthcartel says:

    So, Bryzgalov starts tomorrow?

  188. Lowetide says:

    I’d start him tomorrow. How far is Nashville from Columbus? Two hour flight?

  189. Fixall with Rexall says:

    I don’t recall seeing a dangerous rebound all game from Bryzgalov. So steady. Man I hope he keeps this up. He has a history of going on some ridiculous streaks.

  190. flyfish1168 says:

    Full credit to the Oilers with a good effort and win tonight. But lets keep in mind the Preds played the night before and probably got in late last evening. Lets see the same effort tomorrow evening

  191. Numenius says:

    I enjoyed that, though I think I happened to miss a lot of the bad stretches of the game. Good showings from Bryz, Grebs, and the new 4th line. So nice to have a 4th line that is a threat to score and is reliable defensively.

    I also really liked Perron’s play again tonight. He had the puck a lot. Wow.

  192. jp says:

    Lowetide:
    I’d start him tomorrow. How far is Nashville from Columbus? Two hour flight?

    Tough call. Dubnyk has been good lately too.

  193. hunter1909 says:

    Lowetide:
    I’d start him tomorrow. How far is Nashville from Columbus? Two hour flight?

    About an hour. So long as MacT/Lowe aren’t the pilots.

    That’s only “in the air” time. Add Homeland Security and one of them might wake up in Cuba.

  194. RexLibris says:

    fishman:
    Guessing Dubnyk doesn’t sleep well tonight.

    Dubnyk has a newborn. Goes without saying.
    ;)

  195. Woodguy says:

    Woodguy:
    Game lines up well for the Oilers.

    NAS played last night in CLB and this is their 3rd in 4 nights.

    Can’t ask for a better set up.

    They have to win this one.

    I expect the Fenclose to continue to improve and expect them to win the Fenclose fight tonight.

    Hope the SH% and SV% comply and they win the game as well.

    Go Oilers!!

    And it worked out like I hoped!

    Oilers with a gaudy 65.8% Fenclose: http://www.extraskater.com/game/2013-11-28-oilers-predators

    SV% was perfect and SH% was enough to let perfect stand up.

    Made some notes during the game:

    -I like 6-26-28 waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay better than 6-41-20, they had a great game. Arcobello lead all Oilers with a 68.8%CF. Imagine that, a 4th line that contributes!! Unicorns!!!

    -Good puck support by forward down low to facilitate break out

    -Good recognition by 93 to cover for 37 when he pinched and stepped up at own blue

    -77 & 37 should be a pair. Lead all D in corsi with 63.3% and 60.9% respectively. They made the right pass the first time all night and didn’t force bad passes

    -Slow puck decisions by 15 and 21 led to loss of possession when breaking out of own zone more than once, 15 more than 21.

    -26 brings so much more than Acton in every facet of the game. His 4v5 play was exemplary.

    -94 and 57 should pass to Gordon more. Open in front often and they try to jam instead of passing

    -4-93-14 won battles and are amazing forecheckers. Not heavy like a LAK forecheck, but they get possession and that’s the end goal.

    -93′s goal started with 14 winning a puck battle during the forecheck

    -4′s goal started with a good defensive zone coverage and smart break out

    -Dzone coverage is soooooooooooo much better than it was. Everyone seems to know their assignment and many times they got a turn over from being where they were supposed to be.

    -very few open looks in the slot by NAS.

    -Bryz excellent positioning for 1st and 2nd save. Doesn’t put him self out on first save to make rebound an easy touch

    - A bit of rubber in Bryz’s pads with lots of rebounds, but Oilers in good spots to clean it up.

    -Oilers still need to go to the net more without the puck

    -Saw 28 real good tonight. I’m not a fan of his, but thought he had a great game on both sides of the puck. Huge upgrade on 20.

    -Saw 37 real good too. Much, much better passing decisions than 21 or 15. Better than 44 too. He better stay in the lineup. One tinfoil moment on the 5v4, but only one is good!

    Nice game!

  196. hunter1909 says:

    Fixall with Rexall:
    If Dubnyk has like a ham sandwich or a granola bar in his locker, Bryzgalov should just walk up to it and eat it.

    LOL

  197. bookje says:

    fifthcartel:
    So, Bryzgalov starts tomorrow?

    Yes

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