RED WINGS AT OILERS G15, 13-14

Honestly, I’m glad to be rid of the October nights, they were lovely for sky watching and long walks but the hockey was miserable, like a summer cold or losing a friend. Good riddance to bad rubbish!

ma2

I’ve been thinking lately about the draft day rumors Edmonton was involved in (Cory Schneider, Braydon Coburn) and the free agent that got away (Dave Clarkson); those three names would fit nicely on the current team (although the club would be way over the cap) so as things roll along this winter that’s probably a good shopping list for the team.

I think Coburn may eventually be in play based on the insanity in Philly; I think a goalie may shake loose in Ottawa sooner than later (they’re horrible); The Flyers also have an assortment of PF candidates, from young Tye McGinn to the failing Scott Hartnell (he looks done) and of course Ray Emery.

That Jake Allen kid OKC played last night is the real item. He’s not going anywhere, but he’d be perfect fit. I wonder if St. Louis makes a play for Hemsky nearer the deadline?

ma3It’s important not to get overly excited about the 2013 draft crop, they’re brand new and should be doing well in their respective leagues. It is interesting to note that so many of them have been posting solid numbers compared to their own past.

  • Darnell Nurse (14, 3-11-14) is a point per game player after 41 points in 68 OHL games one year ago. He’s getting PP minutes this year and his boxcars should be outstanding at year’s end. I had him as the #1 prospect in the summer, he’s certainly not going backwards.
  • Marco Roy (1, 1-3-4) finally got into game action last night and had an immediate (and enormous) impact. I’m thrilled he’s back, this is a fun player to track because offensively he’s easily the best forward in the system. I had him #4 in the summer, we’ll see where he ranks on this year’s list (which will begin later in the month).
  • Bogdan Yakimov (22, 5-5-10) is posting exceptional numbers in his first KHL season and if he can continue to be an offensive contributor throughout the year one wonders what the club does with him this summer. I suspect he’ll stay the full two seasons in Russia, but his size/position/skill make him an attractive option. I had him #8 in summer, he’ll move up on the winter list.
  • Anton Slepyshev (15, 1-1-2) after going 11, 4-2-6 at the same level (KHL) one year ago. I’ve heard good things about him but the boxcars aren’t there, and his shots per game are down from 2.4 to 1.1 year over year (and he’s playing 2.5 minutes less per game). It’s early, but he’ll no doubt drop from #7 (I had him there in summer).
  • Jackson Houck (18, 8-5-13) started off poorly but has improved a great deal in the last 10 days. He’s off from a year ago (69, 23-34-57) but only by a couple of points. He should post some big time numbers, but his WHL team (Vancouver) isn’t good; Houck already leads his team in goals. I had him #13 in summer, not sure where he’ll land this time.
  • Kyle Platzer (15, 4-4-8) got off to a terrific start (4, 4-2-6) and then all the high numbers returned from their NHL teams and he’s buried again. The most impressive thing about him might be his performance in Penticton and early camp, where he looked like he belonged alongside true skill. I had him #20 in summer, would guess he’ll move up a little next time.
  • Aidan Muir (10, 3-3-6) has 20pims and 22 shots, he has only one assist on the PP so those are even strength numbers for the most part. 6.03, 195, fascinating prospect, he is exactly a ‘draft and follow’ and is so far worth following. I did not rank him in summer, we’ll see about him this month.
  • Evan Campbell (5, 0-0-0) Impossible really to read much into nothing, he does have three shots on goal. Campbell is not a young prospect (turned 20 in March) so time is of the essence. Was not ranked in summer, will not be ranked in winter unless there’s some crooked numbers on the way.
  • Ben Betker (15, 1-2-3) has had a nice start to the season, and we know a little more about him now. He’s a big man (6.05, 200) with impressive footspeed, and that’s a winning combination for a defenseman. We’ll be tracking him forever, but there might be a player here.
  • Greg Chase (16, 13-9-22) is an amazing story early this season. I liked him plenty (ranked him #19 in summer) but what he’s doing is beyond what anyone could have projected. He’s 4th in goals and just outside the top 10 in total points. 4-2-6 on the PP, meaning he’s getting good minutes for the first time and taking advantage. Sign this guy.

ma4

The Red Wings are death to the Oil, has been such for a long long time. But, you know, this team has to turn north at some point and have been burning daylight from opening night. I remain convinced this 14 game prologue does not define, or represent, the whole. The lessons learned in youth define and sustain. They’re down, they’re injured, they’re broken.

Start as you mean to go.

I don’t have lines, don’t have pairings. They don’t matter. The Oilers tonight (and Tuesday, and Thursday) need to dig deep and the blender is likely to be out early and often. Sweet Jesus this team needs a Pisani, but they’re going to have to make do with what they have. The man child Nugent-Hopkins may have to lead them all.

Ladies, it’s time to cheer like hell. The sun is climbing, the night is gone, the dark is fading and I’m all alone, so close to home.

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491 Responses to "RED WINGS AT OILERS G15, 13-14"

« Older Comments
  1. russ99 says:

    Sign Bryzgalov tomorrow. He can’t be any worse. Maybe they can trade Potter, Eager or Jones to someone for a 7th rounder to make room.

  2. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Any move made by Mac T now has to be for next year. They’re not even close. The gap just keeps growing. Looks like Fla, Buff, NJ, Edm should play in a B division.

  3. justDOit says:

    I feel sorry for the Wings. It ain’t easy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7t8xwpW8gJQ

  4. striatic says:

    interesting that Datsyuk had no shots tonight.

    some trivia.

  5. fuzzy muppet says:

    Trade that 1st round pick NOW, for an actual hockey player, not more hope and hype and other bullshit

  6. striatic says:

    russ99: Sign Bryzgalov tomorrow. He can’t be any worse.

    you sign Bryz just to make the rest of the season interesting enough to be bearable.

    for the quotes.

  7. Lowetide says:

    This game–more than any I can recall–feels like 1992-93.

  8. justDOit says:

    SK Oiler Fan,

    Relegation round – losers go to the ECHL, top team in that league bumps to the AHL, top team in that league bumps to the NHL. The Oilers could use some time to dominate a league, and they stand a better chance of figuring out the ECHL than anything.

  9. Lowetide says:

    Michael Parkatti ‏@mparkatti 5m

    Team leaders in CF% are Gagner: 58%, Eberle: 58%, Petry 55%. Eager was last at +1/-10, Action 2nd last +2/-9.

  10. Woodguy says:

    I’d trade any Oiler for Matt Duchene.

    He tries harder with a 2 goal lead than any Oiler behind by one.

  11. Henry says:

    striatic,

    Your right about Krueger. Maybe he could teach the coaching staff about traditional NHL special teams.

  12. PunjabiOil says:

    Worst in the league in goal differential

    http://espn.go.com/nhl/standings/_/group/1

    Goal differential doesn’t lie.

    This is a bad, bad, hockey team.

    We’re porridge.

  13. striatic says:

    fuzzy muppet:
    Trade that 1st round pick NOW, for an actual hockey player, not more hope and hype and other bullshit

    nobody is going to make that trade with you until the draft, unless it is for peanuts.

    but yeah, i think you have to trade the pick.

  14. Hawaiian Shirt says:

    (homer simpson voice) This is going great!

  15. justDOit says:

    Lowetide:
    This game–more than any I can recall–feels like 1992-93.

    Quoted for truthiness. We might even be witnessing a new record for least points in the modern era. Oilers – putting the stink into distinction.

  16. Lowetide says:

    Robin Brownlee ‏@Robin_Brownlee 4m

    “We should be humble. We’ve had a lot of very humbling experiences in here.” — Sam Gagner.

  17. striatic says:

    justDOit,

    so theoretically the Oilers could go to the ECHL, with the Barons promoted to the NHL?

  18. pboy says:

    So, tell me about Sam Reinhart and Connor McDavid.

    I thought Yak played a pretty good game. He was competing out there and looking to make plays all night. Same goes for Nuge, although he was weak in his own end. At least 93 appears to be trying every shift and he gives a shit out there.

    I liked the camera shot of Lowe and MacT at the end of the game, the two architects of this disaster. I’m not willing to lay the blame at Eakins feet yet, you can’t make a chocolate souffle when the only ingredients you’ve been given are shit and some flour. Besides the injuries, this team was unbalanced again and doesn’t have the size or weight to compete in the West, even when they are all healthy and getting competent goaltending.

    I can’t wait to hear the spin.

  19. justDOit says:

    Woodguy:
    I’d trade any Oiler for Matt Duchene.

    He tries harder with a 2 goal lead than any Oiler behind by one.

    It’s best not to watch those other teams too closely.

  20. SK Oiler Fan says:

    ha. The 3 stars of the night. If the opposition keeps sweeping the 3 stars do they just not give out the monthly Oiler 3 star award?
    What a waste of time. Should have went to bed when the wife did. Better chance of satisfaction there than watching this.

  21. Lowetide says:

    Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers 2m

    #Oilers d-men Ference and Smid use words like “embarrassing”, “awful” and “unacceptable” to describe tonight’s loss to Detroit.

  22. justDOit says:

    striatic:
    justDOit,

    so theoretically the Oilers could go to the ECHL, with the Barons promoted to the NHL?

    Sure. That works. The Barons have sucked recently though, and most of their players will soon be in the ECHL. Wait…

  23. striatic says:

    pboy: Besides the injuries, this team was unbalanced again and doesn’t have the size or weight to compete in the West

    which explains why they just lost to one of the smallest teams in the league? 5-0? despite having the most hits?

  24. fuzzy muppet says:

    DSF doesn’t even feel the need to pile on anymore.

    That building should be empty next game. Not phoenix coyotes empty…..EMPTY

  25. nez29 says:

    justDOit: It’s best not to watch those other teams too closely.

    Yeah, because it’ll spoil ya for watchin’ this crud. I know I’m reacting emotionally now, but this just isn’t any friggin’ fun.

  26. Lowetide says:

    Ryan Rishaug ‏@TSNRyanRishaug 24s

    For that effort to be served up on the heels of a players only meeting and airing out is a serious red flag.

  27. gr8one says:

    striatic,

    I agree, and I really don’t think they fire Eakins, especially since the coaching turnover has been so ridiculous the past years, there are clearly far worse problems with this organization than the coaching. I also think that me be playing some small part with how this team plays sometimes, kind of like “why bother staying tuned with this coach because we’ll just have a new one next year”…

    Anyways, I actually like MacT as GM and think his hands have been tied due to the gross mismanagement of Tambellini, and I believe he’s too smart to use Eakins as the scapegoat, on the other hand, the easiest thing to do in these situations, is all too often just to fire the coach.

  28. commonfan14 says:

    Woodguy:

    I’d trade any Oiler for Matt Duchene.

    He tries harder with a 2 goal lead than any Oiler behind by one.

    Oilers try plenty hard when they’re up 2.

    They love a party.

  29. dawgtoy says:

    Speechless.

  30. Clay says:

    Well, they have a lot of players hurt, and there is something to be said about that. It would be hard for any team to make up for the amount of talent that Edmonton has in the pressbox these days.

    The one thing you can’t question though, is the amount of heart they show. It was very apparent that the embarrassment that Toronto laid on them five days ago weighed heavily on the team. It was nice to see how hard they tried – the team pride is so evident.

    Even better was how angry they all looked on the way to the dressing room after the game. Guys breaking sticks, throwing gloves, yelling at each other. You really get a feel for how much these guys hate losing.

    I know I’m not worried. With the amount of passion on display every night, it’s only a matter of time until things turn around. I would be really worried if the team no longer cared if they lost. That would be really hard to take.

  31. russ99 says:

    Lowetide,

    What are they going to do about it?

    Keep dumping and hitting even though the wings carry the puck out of their zone every time?

    We’ve got 1 goal in the last 3 games. Take the Renney reins off our forwards, Eakins. Nobody wants to see us eventually win 1-0.

    In a week we play in a row the Flyers and Hawks on the road and the Stars and Sharks at home. Those teams will gladly take all our dump-ins (giveaways). It could get uglier before it gets better.

  32. striatic says:

    one of the saddest things about this is watching the careers of these talented young men go to waste, while seeing Crosby, Ovechkin, Stamkos, Kane, Tavares, MacKinnon, every other #1 selection from the past decade with the exception of Johnson, having incredible success in this league.

    the Oilers aren’t simply terrible for Edmonton, but terrible for the sport of hockey as a whole.

  33. pboy says:

    striatic,

    You watched the Kings game, I assume? The Oiler’s can’t push back against good puck possession teams. Detroit isn’t a huge team but they own the puck and the Oiler’s can’t/won’t/don’t know how to get the puck back. Against teams like the Kings or the Sharks it feels like Men against Boys. You don’t need to dress a team of Steve Macintyre’s but you need some bigger bodies who can play that can rub out the opposition. We need Moreau – Marchant – Grier.

  34. pboy says:

    Having the most hits isn’t an indicator of good teams. Blocks aren’t either.

  35. TheOtherJohn says:

    Are we talking about Corsi tonight? Rel Corsi? Possession? the hockey gods, Bad luck? No, Guess it is finally time to ask really hard questions about the organization.

    The Oilers are 3-10-2 and at some point, n/w/s superlative, otherworldly, best in class, top of the world, super skilled …… we actually have to win a few games. Maybe a wee bit less skilled and a wee bit more successful

    We have no forwards ready on the farm. We have no goalies ready on the farm and I really have no clue if we have any D farmhands ready on the farm

    Oh yeah we also have a President of Hockey Operations that knows something about winning. Not apparently enough to assemble a real NHL roster in 7 years

  36. spoiler says:

    Eakins: They’re dying, they’re hurting, no confidence, they’re playing scared right now, scared of losing.

  37. Hawaiian Shirt says:

    Hey guys for all you can say about management and coaching, at least they didn’t select Taylor Hall or jordan Eberle as captain of this fiasco.

  38. bookje says:

    Bah, this is the low point. Next game somebody gets some luck and it all turns around.

  39. Nostradumbass says:

    Bodog Oiler odds

    Odds MacT is the coach by end of year 3-1

    Odds Yakupov is moved by years end 4-1

    Odds of finishing 30th 4-1

  40. Lowetide says:

    Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers 1m

    “We had no one stand up and push back… We’ve lost our confidence and we’re playing scared.” – Coach Eakins on tonight’s loss

  41. CrazyCoach says:

    dangilitis: In high school rugby, we had this coach that taught the backs a bunch of set plays. Some were simple crashes and switches, some quite complicated. Very few of us had played the game before, and here we were being taught stuff from the All-Blacks playbook. Everyone knew where to go, but problem was that if someone got tackled partway through the play, the rest would go through the motions but, the team was in reality, in complete disarray, because none of us knew how to compensate during the set play if something went awry. This is what the Oilers look like for much of the season so far

    This is the issue with Eakins so far. He is missing a step somewhere along the line or he is teaching above the skill or mental capacity of this team, and I’m not trying to be critical saying there are idiots on the ice. Some players just simply cannot be coached even at this level or they don’t have the skills to play the system.

    Eakins system is an absolute mess and it is high time for him to swallow his pride and get back to basic, easy systems that this team can play. I know he’d never do it, but maybe call up Todd Nelson and ask him what system he is running so when, not if, the next injury comes and the inevitable call up happens, the minor leaguers know what to expect.

    I really don’t know what else MacT has up his sleeve or what his next move is?

    I was excited to see Eakins get hired, I really was. At the same time, I was very surprised about the move to fire Ralph Krueger. He made some strange moves indeed, but I think his system was better at developing the young talent and hiding the not-so-talented. He was given 48 games to prove himself, but when MacT was made the GM, Krueger’s days were numbered as he was Tambo’s guy. As much as everyone lauds the genius of MacT, I would seriously wonder why you would give a 4 year deal to a coach with an unproven NHL record? Hitchcock got a two year extension this summer after finishing out a two year initial deal with the Blues.

    MacT giving an unproven coach a lengthy deal makes it hard for him to pull the trigger on Eakins and his foolish pride with not let him.

    And I need to point out once again that Ted Nolan was sitting home this summer waiting for a job.

  42. russ99 says:

    striatic,

    This is what most irks me about forcing these kids into playing like Nashville. It’s killing their individuality. If you don’t use your gifts the hockey gods bestow on you, they could be diminished.

    At some point you have to ask yourself if it’s all worth it. Seeing Yakupov dump the puck or hit a guy away from the puck in the offensive zone instead of using the preternatural skill he has with a puck on his stick really makes me sad.

    If that’s supposedly “winning hockey”, I want no part of it, and frankly it seems neither do the players.

  43. Lowetide says:

    Dennis King ‏@DKingBH 1m

    You know who sounds broken right now Besides the Edm Oilers? Their coach

  44. LostBoy says:

    Okay, for gord’s sake, I opined when this started going south quite a few losses ago that you just can’t stay the course in a situation like this if it really snowballs. And you can’t. No rookie coach in the fucking history of the NHL has come into a situation like this, with quasi-reasonable expectations, and had this happen, and survived. Though to be fair, there aren’t many comparisons to make. And there’s a reason for that. It’s not really even a question of whether it is or isn’t Eakins’s fault (the obvious blames are goaltending and injuries, but if there’s one single fucking thing that Eakins has done well except pose in manly fashion and perform for the media it’s lost on me as a fan: special teams have been top end the past couple of years and now they suck ass; I’ll give him credit for a flirtation with improved 5×5 shot metrics for a little while, but that also appears to be dead and buried). You just can’t be having this. You just can’t fly the whole fucking thing into the sea and get a pass, regardless of the management circumstances. The team is already defeated, no jump, no puck battle. What is there to fall back on for the next 60+ games?

    Wanted to believe. Not believing. Watched this team since 1979 and would love to be wrong, but highly doubt I am.

    This just cannot continue. You have to have built something before you ask the fans to weather something like this. Players have to have some kind of reason to buy in. It may not be anyone’s fault, really. But this just cannot continue.

    Sorry for the bad language.

  45. striatic says:

    i also wonder what Katz must be thinking tonight.

    Ference is really struggling to articulate the Oilers’ situation, without throwing anyone under the bus.

  46. justDOit says:

    Default to an easier system. Continue to study and work on the swarm/double-down, and gradually work it in. If that’s not feasible, the just default to simplicity and wait out the season. The injuries aren’t helping, which is just another reason to reset to default.

  47. CrazyCoach says:

    Clay: Even better was how angry they all looked on the way to the dressing room after the game. Guys breaking sticks, throwing gloves, yelling at each other. You really get a feel for how much these guys hate losing.
    I know I’m not worried. With the amount of passion on display every night, it’s only a matter of time until things turn around. I would be really worried if the team no longer cared if they lost. That would be really hard to take.

    I don’t know. Guys with that much energy after a game who can do all the above, are obviously not giving it their all on the ice during the game. Does anyone remember Gretzky talking about walking past the Isles dressing room after the 83 finals and remarking that instead of celebrating, they were icing their wounds cause they left it all on the ice.

    This is not a team that leaves it all on the ice.

  48. Bad Seed says:

    striatic,

    He’s thinking he’s really glad to be out in West Van or Palm Springs & not have to watch this shit. He also knows his good buddy 6 Rings has all the answers – just give him another couple of years.

  49. nez29 says:

    Ference is being a standup guy on hnic tonight. He sounds like he gets it…but he seems few among many, sadly.

  50. bookje says:

    CrazyCoach:

    And I need to point out once again that Ted Nolan was sitting home this summer waiting for a job.

    Take a look at his NHL coaching record and you will see why he isn’t coaching in the NHL

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=3984

  51. SK Oiler Fan says:

    justDOit,

    An easier system should have been the first system, not the fall back. Drastic change is almost always met with resistance. Eakins tried to be a hero and ended up a chump.
    He’s giving out all sorts of clues that he knows he’s drowning. MacT needs to get him some help from outside.

  52. CrazyCoach says:

    justDOit: Default to an easier system. Continue to study and work on the swarm/double-down, and gradually work it in. If that’s not feasible, the just default to simplicity and wait out the season. The injuries aren’t helping, which is just another reason to reset to default.

    I totally agree with you. I know that at the level of hockey I coach, I have to keep it very simple in terms of systems and my players get it, then we move into something a little more complex. The Oilers lack passion and they just aren’t playing to their skill level. Face it, when players don’t get a system they will play it safe, or just tune out.

    A good coach knows when to push and when to swallow your pride.

  53. commonfan14 says:

    Firing a coach after 20 games when you already fired one after 48 in a move that you admitted wasn’t fair would be nuts, but even crazier would be a rookie GM putting himself on the line behind the bench for the rest of the year.

    Teams in this kind of situation also don’t generally bring in anyone new to finish out a lost year.

    This can therefore all only be leading in one direction…

    Interim Head Coach Kelly Buchberger.

  54. TartanArmy says:

    This is tough to take. I will always be an Oilers fan, but something is not right with this team. I know we have injuries to important players, but this can’t be an excuse for what we’re witnessing. I really believe this team just doesn’t know what it takes to win. IMO, we need more players who can spread that way of thinking….which means trading away some of our young assets. Yakupov, Klefbom, Lander, even draft picks. What could that bring in? Throw in some of our few vets…..N. Schultz, Smid…and draft picks and you could probably get a top 6 forward and a top 4 defenseman with the experience needed to bring a winning attitude.

  55. spoiler says:

    Eakins: We’ve got to get our confidence back, that’s going to be my biggest challenge here…

    On not putting the puck to the net: I think we had 15 turnovers in the second period, half of them from trying to beat one more guy. We’ve got to get back to our very basics and build some confidence from there.

    Have to get back to the very basics, build our confidence from there.

  56. CrazyCoach says:

    bookje: Take a look at his NHL coaching record and you will see why he isn’t coaching in the NHL

    Both times he got a head coaching job, was the year after a lockout and showed some improvement.

    Seems tailor made for this year. (just kidding)

  57. Truth says:

    The oilers issue is not systems or coach related. As Rishaug tweeted, it’s a serious red flag for them to lay this egg after last game and a team meeting. There is a serious lack of effort and they all know it. They should have have been embarrassed after the last one and come out strong tonight but now what? Very disheartening to season ticket holders.

  58. CrazyCoach says:

    commonfan14: This can therefore all only be leading in one direction…
    Interim Head Coach Kelly Buchberger.

    I will definitely not write this off. This team has done stranger and stupider things.

  59. Hammers says:

    It seems Eakins feels this team has to let there bad habits go . Maybe he doesn’t realize he has players who have been in the league for years plus some younger players who are 1st rd picks that have been coached by some of the best junior coaches BUT I guess he knows best .Some of the shit his saying makes no sense . Accept the fact this group of players are not picking up the “Eakins” system . About now is the time he needs to reset his thinking as the whole team looks lost , disinterested and are quitting on him and his system .Talk about shooting yourself in the foot or head this must be it . My wife said tonight he looks out of his element .

  60. justDOit says:

    SK Oiler Fan,

    Yup, but it wasn’t. Do it now – justDOit!

  61. russ99 says:

    I don’t think any Oiler fan disagrees that this team needs to play better on defense.

    But something really bad is going on between when we have the puck and are moving it forward in the neutral zone and to the point where our players have the puck in places where they can score goals.

    Forget confidence, Eakins biggest problem is figuring out what’s going wrong between those two points and how to fix it. We don’t score goals, we don’t win, period.

    Again, I can’t tell if it’s inexperience or ego, (or both) but Eakins needs to also bring a much better game to the rink every night, along with the players.

    2 periods of awful hockey, every coach in the league is trying to change things up to get the team to play better. We keep doing the same things over and over and over regardless of the talent level of the 18 skaters on the ice, the opposition or the game situation.

    He’s also way too stoic on the bench. The players do look to the coach to get them going. The effort/energy issue is as much his fault as it is the players.

  62. Hammers says:

    russ99:
    I don’t think any Oiler fan disagrees that this team needs to play better on defense.

    But something really bad is going on between when we have the puck and are moving it forward in the neutral zone and to the point where our players have the puck in places where they can score goals.

    Forget confidence, Eakins biggest problem is figuring out what’s going wrong between those two points and how to fix it. We don’t score goals, we don’t win, period.

    Again, I can’t tell if it’s inexperience or ego, (or both) but Eakins needs to also bring a much better game to the rink every night, along with the players.

    2 periods of awful hockey, every coach in the league is trying to change things up to get the team to play better. We keep doing the same things over and over and over regardless of the talent level of the 18 skaters on the ice, the opposition or the game situation.

    He’s also way too stoic on the bench. The players do look to the coach to get them going. The effort/energy issue is as much his fault as it is the players.

    Totally agree .

  63. art vandelay says:

    The funniest thing is that some of you think Katz spends two seconds worrying about any of this.
    He got his arena deal.
    The product is irrelevant.
    I am astounded at the naivete.
    Saddened, to tell the truth.

  64. denny33 says:

    PunjabiOil,

    Worst in the league in goal differential
    http://espn.go.com/nhl/standings/_/group/1
    Goal differential doesn’t lie.
    This is a bad, bad, hockey team.
    We’re porridge

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

    Speak it brother…..

  65. denny33 says:

    striatic,

    That is going to be a very very very high pick…….

    What would one addition to this team do?

    Get us to 25th overall….

  66. denny33 says:

    Lowetide,

    Credit to the HNIC crew that covered that game…..tried really hard to be positive…

    That is tough gig….only 14 shots – most from extreme angles

  67. G Money says:

    So …

    I can accept a game where they outplay the other guys and lose on soft goals a la Wpg. Goalies run hot and cold.

    I can tolerate a game where they match the other guys chance for chance but take a few stupid risks and give up odd man rushes that cost the game a la Tor. Young players learn when to pinch and how to cover.

    I can cheer for a game where they are tired and injured and outmatched and still fight hard and basically give their goalie a chance to steal a point a la LA. Luck plays a far bigger part in this game then we’d like to admit.

    But …

    What happens when you dig a deep hole in your season, but have the good fortune and golden opportunity to be well rested at home playing a must win game against a tired road team?

    … and instead of coming out with fire in your belly, desperate to win every puck battle, stop every shot, bury every chance, leave every drop of your blood sweat and tears on the ice, prove to your fans that you care … you come out with the most gutless, heartless, soulless effort yet?

    … What then gentlemen? …

  68. Racki says:

    Lowetide:
    Ryan Rishaug ‏@TSNRyanRishaug 24s

    For that effort to be served up on the heels of a players only meeting and airing out is a serious red flag.

    Maybe the message in the meeting was “suck so bad we get this guy fired too!”.

    I jest.

    Seriously, 3 nights off, plus motivated by that players only meeting… terrible hockey. This team is doomed.

  69. denny33 says:

    G Money,

    There were a lot of dead canaries in the coal mine before tonight…..

  70. denny33 says:

    TheOtherJohn,

    Are we talking about Corsi tonight? Rel Corsi? Possession? the hockey gods, Bad luck? No, Guess it is finally time to ask really hard questions about the organization.
    The Oilers are 3-10-2 and at some point, n/w/s superlative, otherworldly, best in class, top of the world, super skilled …… we actually have to win a few games. Maybe a wee bit less skilled and a wee bit more successful
    We have no forwards ready on the farm. We have no goalies ready on the farm and I really have no clue if we have any D farmhands ready on the farm
    Oh yeah we also have a President of Hockey Operations that knows something about winning. Not apparently enough to assemble a real NHL roster in 7 years

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

    Post of the year…

    The punch bowl appears empty….even in here.

  71. striatic says:

    art vandelay: The funniest thing is that some of you think Katz spends two seconds worrying about any of this.

    who said they think Katz spends two seconds thinking about this?

    i said that i wonder what Katz is thinking.

    “nothing” is certainly a possibility.

  72. Racki says:

    I’m hoping that some other people start following suit with my soon-to-be wife…..

    She has had seasons tickets down by the glass since 05/06, and is highly likely going to cancel them next year.

    To quote her tonight: “That f—ing medical team is the only one earning their paycheques this year”.

    This just is terrible hockey.. the paper bag is coming out soon..

    Tier 1 fan, out. *drops mic*

  73. godot10 says:

    jp:
    What a mess. This is just grotesque. This must be rock bottom – it has to be…

    Did anyone expect/predict/forsee this team actually regressing this season? I mean sure, maybe playoffs were asking too much, but to get worse?

    Uh…unfortunately, yes.

  74. Andy P says:

    I once walked away from a company that I was hired to fix because the owners did not have the balls to deal with entrenched staff that were at the root of the problem. The company subsequently folded.
    The parallel to this situation is that the coach and GM are holding their ground and bringing whatever has been ailing the oil to a head. We do not know what it is but I’m pretty damn sure the present regime and the departed coaches all do, and good on them and their professionalism for not letting it out. (Or good on their penalty laden non-disclosure clauses)
    I think the closest we may get is the offhand comment by Pat Quinn in earshot of a person on this blog that intimated that certain players were calling the tune. My subsequent comment was that whoever this was, they should be turned or burned, regardless of who they were.
    The emphatic comments of Eakins and MacT when they came in about nobody being exempt from their direction, reinforces this straw man assumption in my mind.
    In another instance I had to deal with a business team that was led by a talented, intelligent and charismatic individual – who had seemed like a natural choice – and the team was in the process of self destructing just about how the Oil were tonight, and the client this team serviced was on the verge of finding a new vendor. I was unable to turn this individual and so had to move them along. this individual had enough clout above me that my career got into jeopardy over the belief elsewhere that I was simply picking on this individual. However once the move was made, and a new Manager installed, that team reverted to its prior high performing self, their service improved and the client was won back. The person I moved elsewhere continued their behavior and ultimately lost their job.

    This type of situation, in my experience, is when the battle for the soul of the team is won or lost. For the sake of the Oil I am hoping that whatever is on the “other side”, that MacT and Eakins prevail and we get to see this team finally, at last, right itself, after 7 or 8 long years, but in the first year of the MacT rebuild.

    The alternative is too horrible to contemplate.
    20-30 games to right this ship, 5-15 to go.

  75. godot10 says:

    We are royally effed.

    The thing that really should happen first is that Kevin Lowe should submit his resignation Monday morning, along with all of his pro scouting buddies.

    This would give MacT and Eakins and the team some breathing space.

    But the problem remains that Eakins is only a systems coach. He only knows x’s and o’s. He is lousy at people. And right now the x’s and o’s don’t matter, because he’s effed up the heads of a big chunk of his players.

    I also don’t think Eakins has any clue what to do when he is undermanned. With the Marlies, he always had stacked teams. He had more and better horses than most of the other guys.

    Being undermanned demands tradeoffs and compromises between player development and systems.

    I don’t know if a predominantly systems coach can do that.

  76. Andy P says:

    I’ve just watched all of the exit interviews. This appears to me to be a team that will soon turn on whoever or whatever is the root cause of this problem, as in “I’m just not going to take this any more”.
    One would not think that it would be any component of the team or coaches that was not on the ice tonight. So we can probably rule out Taylor. Their words and body language was good in that they do still appear to have the desire to win. We don’t have the information to know whether the problem is related to players being out of position, probably not in Yak’s case, he hasn’t done well anywhere this year. It’s not likely the coach, he’s the 4th in a row under whose tenure this inability to play has taken hold of the team. It’s not the new players, they all came in positive and fresh.

    It’s not the lack of talent in the players or the coach. It’s something else, lurking there under the surface. Some dynamic, some power struggle that has ousted the last few coaches, something that has undermined good men all of whom have good track records out of this organization. Something that has sapped the life out of this team.

    I don’t have access to the unpublished stuff that goes on to make any reasonable assumption at this point as to who or what it might be. But whatever it is, I believe, may soon be excised from this organization, it will likely come as quite a surprise, and it will likely cause a furore among people unfamiliar with the dynamics of fixing a failing organization.

    Firing Eakins will actually just exacerbate the problem. It’s not the coach and its not the GM.

  77. striatic says:

    Andy P: I don’t have access to the unpublished stuff that goes on to make any reasonable assumption at this point as to who or what it might be. But whatever it is, I believe, may soon be excised from this organization, it will likely come as quite a surprise, and it will likely cause a furore among people unfamiliar with the dynamics of fixing a failing organization.

    Tom Gazzola?

    PA Announcer Mark Lewis?

    Joey Moss?

    Whoever could it be?

  78. DeadmanWaking says:

    Before the season began I said that the failure mode for Eakins’ fitness obsession is the long night of concrete boots, when the players know the fans are rabid for the troops to man up and dowse deep, but the depths are adrift.

    I had a premonition of a bad moon rising over the cracking lash. Goat horns, on the house.

  79. bookje says:

    DeadmanWaking: Before the season began I said that the failure mode for Eakins’ fitness obsession is the long night of concrete boots, when the players know the fans are rabid for the troops to man up and dowse deep, but the depths are adrift. I had a premonition of a bad moon rising over the cracking lash. Goat horns, on the house.

    The sad thing is that we have been through all of these mistakes before. we went through the overtraining thing with the loads of injuries and exhausted players a few years ago (was that under MacT?). Next up, we need a Quinn type coach who will let the players play, but forget to coach. sigh.

  80. theres oil in virginia says:

    G Money:

    What happens when you dig a deep hole in your season, but have the good fortune and golden opportunity to be well rested at home playing a must win game against a tired road team?
    … and instead of coming out with fire in your belly, desperate to win every puck battle, stop every shot, bury every chance, leave every drop of your blood sweat and tears on the ice, prove to your fans that you care … you come out with the most gutless, heartless, soulless effort yet?
    … What then gentlemen? …

    That’s when you realize that you have a team (or what’s left of it) of very young guys who are easily swayed by momentum and aren’t going to give their best effort every night, because they aren’t feeling it. The same thing that allows them to dominate the NJ Devils in the 3rd period is what makes them look like this sometimes.

    Add onto that the angel of injury skating around touching players at random, and even the vets are probably worried about going out with a knee injury. If you think this is a new thing, or that this is the product of some practice of the new coach, then your frustration is affecting your reason, and your memory. This has been happening here for years. Unfortunately, this team wasn’t deep to begin the season, and now they’re basically a 2/3 NHL and 1/3 AHL/tweener roster.

    The thing I would like to see corrected is the constant refrain of guys trying to do it all themselves. If Eakins accomplishes that, then this stinkfest will have been worth going through.

  81. Colonel Obvious says:

    That was terrible. Now on to productive things.

    The talk about the systems needs to end. Other teams use this system. The Oilers aren’t going out on a limb with the system. There was even an article about how Nelson uses the same system in OKC. The Oilers were terrible last year and they are terrible this year. The system can’t be the independent variable here.

    Same goes for the coach.

    So what can we learn from this. I think the lesson is how difficult it is to rebuild in the NHL. I’ve been following the NHL closely for the past four or five years after a midlife hiatus. In that time has any team been successfully rebuilt from bad to perennial playoff team? I can’t think of any. Every year it’s the same teams in the playoffs. If there is such a thing as success cycles in hockey they are very, very, long.

    Everyone talks about the Penguins and the Blackhawks but these are very atypical situations. The Penguins got two transcendent players (the Oilers have none) and the Blackhawks had so much talent that they could afford to give away Versteeg, Ladd, Byfuglien for nothing and still be good. that’s not the Oilers, or anyone else.

    The closest I can come up with is the Blues. It took them six years of painstakingly adding good players with smart acquisitions. Another team that succesfully rebuilt is the Kings. It took them seven years out of the playoffs and a couple of unbelievable trades and two more years to win the Stanley Cup. This is year four for the Oilers if you give credit for the Tambellini years. However, since Tambellini didn’t acquire any good players realistically this is year one of the rebuild. This is the reality that has to be faced. The Oilers don’t have enough talent. They have less skill than other teams. Every team has good players, players as good as Hall and Eberle. Every single team. Drafting #1 picks is not rebuilding. This was the first offseason that the team added useful players outside of drafting #1.

    So the team is right fucked, but not because of the coach, but because of a plan that goes back years that seems to have been wait until Taylor Hall is as good as Sidney Crosby. That’s not a plan.

  82. gcw_rocks says:

    The only managerial move left to MacT now is to bring in some new assistants.

    That the team has not called up Omark by now does they are more interested in personal bias than winning. We have reached the point now I want them to crater so bad that Katz has no choice but to clean house.

  83. Andy P says:

    striatic,

    You obviously don’t grasp what I’m talking about. Too bad. So sad.

  84. thepeetso says:

    gcw_rocks:
    The only managerial move left to MacT now is to bring in some new assistants.

    Yep.

    And hopefully Old 6 Rings, does the honorable thing and jumps on this grenade, by resigning and appeasing the masses who want blood.

  85. godot10 says:

    Colonel Obvious:

    So the team is right fucked, but not because of the coach, but because of a plan that goes back years that seems to have been wait until Taylor Hall is as good as Sidney Crosby.That’s not a plan.

    So Tambellini didn’t acquire Justin Schultz? You guys who wanted him out of the lineup. You know one guy who always tries to drive the play forward. MacT didn’t acquire Perron with a Tambellini “asset’?

    “They’re scared of losing,” said Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins.

    Why would a head coach of a team talk like he is a member of the media and use “they” instead of “we”.

    The coach doesn’t believe he has any fault in this, and he throws his players under the bus again.

    Against common opponents, Western Conference teams plus Detroit less Winnipeg, Krueger had 5 games out of 48 with Fenwick Close less than 30%). Eakins has 3 games out of 4 with Fenwick Close less than 30%. And 4 out of 15 in total. (Eakins has 0 for 15 above 60%, Krueger had 6 of 48). Really small sample size. But the proportion of games that the Oilers are completed out of looks is starting to trend much worse under Eakins than Krueger.

    Fortunately, the near term is still mostly Eastern Conference teams.

    Eakins has come in “like a wrecking ball”. Clearly gave MacT a good twerking in the job interview.

    Hiring Eakins was an unforced and unnecessary error by MacT. It may have become necessary to change coaches eventually, if the 5×5 play under Krueger didn’t improve. Just because a GM is entitled to his own coach, doesn’t mean he should carelessly exercise that prerogative.

    But the first thing that has to happen is for Lowe to resign, to let everyone breathe.

  86. elgruntus says:

    Is it just me, or is Dallas Eakins looking more and more like Scott Arneil.?

  87. Andy P says:

    This from “Devolution” comment #301 on ON:

    “To paraphrase Andrew Ference in his ‘After Hours’ interview, Eakins is a good coach with a good plan. The problem is that not everyone is buying into the plan.

    I think it is time to start sitting some of the worst offenders, and only Eakins really knows who they are. This season is a write-off anyway, might as well learn something from it……” (eoq)

    Based on my earlier observation, if the lack of buy-in is with one or more of our young guns then there you have the issue that earlier coaches were unable to resolve, for obvious reasons (Lack of organizational support).

    One seldom needs to can every player that is not buying into the system. Just the core.
    SO if one is going to make more connections going back, could this be the blockbuster trade we all thought MacT was going to do?

    So if we do see any of the top players traded in the near future, then that will be the tell.

  88. G Money says:

    theres oil in virginia: If you think this is a new thing, or that this is the product of some practice of the new coach, then your frustration is affecting your reason, and your memory.

    Actually, you have my reasoning pegged 180 degrees backward if that’s your impression. My memory is long, I don’t blame the coach, and I do *not* think this is a new thing.

    This “Dead Team Skating” bullshit that we saw last night is not in the least new. In fact, it was par for the course last season under Krueger. I lost count of the number of post-game comments last season that basically all boiled down to the same two things: “why can’t we cover the defensive zone?” and “why are Hall and Yak the only players that seem to care?”

    For that reason, I don’t buy godot‘s reasoning of “It’s all Eakins’ fault”. As bad as the teams record has been this year, the team overall (in terms of the things a coach controls) has, apart from the PK, been better than last year.

    For that reason, I don’t buy DMW‘s reasoning that it is overtraining. Unless they were overtrained 5 out of every 6 nights last year too.

    We’ve also been down a path of blaming a culture of entitled veterans who poisoned the well of the talented newcomers, right back to the days of Moreau, Souray, Staios, and even Horcoff – all of whom have been shipped out – replaced with youth and character veterans.

    We’ve changed coaches every year for three years without a change in the results (except perhaps to go backwards).

    So, having rejected all the easy explanations because they don’t fit the facts – I am literally left with nothing but questions about what the team can do next.

    Who do we blame for last nights debacle?

    Some will say Lowe – and he has enough fingers pointed at him for other reasons, but for last night I say bullshit, the VP of Hockey Ops has nothing – nothing – to do with effort on the ice.

    MacT? He took the fall once before, remember? The team has gotten nothing but worse since then, and he’s not going to turn it around in one off-season. And the GM also has nothing to do with effort on the ice.

    Do we point the fingers at individual players? Who is the goat? Certainly, LT’s point about not enough actual NHL players has some validity. But a team that can ice RNH, Eberle, Yak, Gagner, and Hemsky has enough talent on the ice to be dangerous. But talent is nothing without will. None of them appeared to have much will last night, and that is a scary thought considering that four of those five need to be at the front of the horses taking us to the promised land.

    We brought in a bunch of guys with will – Perron, Gordon, Ference – but now it appears the rot is pulling them down instead of them pulling the team’s fight level up.

    Andy P made a point that it seems like there is “Some dynamic, some power struggle that has ousted the last few coaches”. And maybe there’s something to that. How do we find it? How do we fix it? Is it fixable?

    Right now, the one move I would make (and I’m being consistent here – I said this before the season started, and have been saying regularly since the team started sinking in the muck below neck level) is to turf Bucky and Smith. They may not be the problem, but they ARE a common thread linking a team that has been terrible for years. Bring in established, successful coaches to help Eakins out. It sends a message to players, and it at least shows the appearance of trying to do something to fans.

    It’s grasping at straws, but at the moment, straws are the only thing floating in a sea of feces at Rexall…

  89. FastOil says:

    Andy P:
    This from “Devolution” comment #301 on ON:

    “To paraphrase Andrew Ference in his ‘After Hours’ interview, Eakins is a good coach with a good plan. The problem is that not everyone is buying into the plan.

    I think it is time to start sitting some of the worst offenders, and only Eakins really knows who they are. This season is a write-off anyway, might as well learn something from it……”

    I see this as a part of the process. The boil has to be popped, the salve wasn’t working. It hurts. It is grotesquely large.

    This season is finished and has been for weeks. At least make it worth while, get something accomplished.

    Thanks LT for this blog. These stats friendly blogs have given us something to ponder that is at least interesting. The team directly hasn’t been in forever.

    I hope they can find credibility by season’s end. I don’t think I have enough to sustain another year of this level of ineptitude. Life is too short to dwell in ego driven self destruction and pig ignorance. It’s too dysfunctional for my taste. Too ugly. There is good hockey to watch played by well run teams, even if it is at arm’s length emotionally. It’s what we all do anyway every spring.

    Always a fan, not into self punishment.

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