STARS AT OILERS G20, 13-14

In a season that has seen the dubious and the depressing, the Edmonton Oilers need the unsustainable and the perverse: they need hope. And they need it now.

COFFEE IS FOR CLOSERS glen1

I subscribe to the law of contrary public opinion: if everyone thinks one thing, then I say, bet the other way. Every swinging Dick is trying to bury this team, the news stories break hourly and they’re all bad. The team can’t cover breakfast, let alone the center standing in front of the net. The phenom’s are fuming, the coaches are wincing and the goalies want to call the whole thing off.

I used to play roto baseball. What a hell town that is, your closer ruins at least 30 nights of summer every year and your bats are hot in April and dead on arrival in May. It’s a dog’s life, and chances are the men you’re up against spend their days and nights plotting your demise and laughing at your $20 pitching staff. I learned one thing playing roto baseball: when your good players are going badly, things will turn north. When your team is high in the rockies, trade those suckers because it’s going to be a blue day tomorrow and you’re going to wonder why you’re down here wasting your time with such bums.

THE LEADS ARE WEAK

glen2Get mad! You son of a bitches! You’re getting kicked around North America and your interviews after the game are depressing one million cold mo-fo’s in good old Your Town, Canada. I know the standings hate you and the other teams mock you and apparently you’re not good enough to get traded, but piss on that noise. You’re better than that–you ARE better than that! Strap on your strap-on and get out there dammit!

This problem isn’t just yours–everyone is to blame! MacT–he saw Gagner go down, knew the Nuge was hurt, and then claimed Steve MacIntyre and Luke Gazdic–but no center! Eakins didn’t give himself enough options in his roster makeup and is making curious lineup/line choices. It isn’t all on you, but tonight we’re healthy and at home and a win can put all that crap behind us!

ALWAYS BE CLOSING!

glen3When you die, you’re gonna regret the things you don’t do. This is it, boys! Tonight’s the night things start getting better! The Horcoff is in town and he’s got those crazy eyes and a brand new plan. You gonna let him run your show? Get in there, head on a swivel, let ‘em know you’re there! AIDA! Break!

 COREY POWER POTTERPLAYpotter5

Pottery barn is back in town, replacing Taylor Fedun who heads to Oklahoma. I have no idea if he’ll play, here’s what we saw at practice yesterday for lines:

  • Nuge-Perron-Eberle
  • Gagner-Hall-Hemsky
  • Arcobello-Smyth-Yakupov
  • Gordon-Jonesuu-Jones

I’d say we might see Gagner moved down the depth chart and Arcobello and Gordon moved up, but we’ll have to wait and see. At least they have enough penalty-killers to roll three pairs now (Dennis King has been trumpeting this for some time).

BUNZ MASTER

bunz fergusonTyler Bunz has done exactly nothing so far as a pro (he’s not alone–the Oilers have several players from the 2010 and 2011 drafts who were good juniors and pro flops) but he’s been very good in a very short sample size with the Barons.

  • Game 1 .857
  • Game 2 .944
  • Game 3 .944
  • Overall: 3, 2.07 .937

This is of course crazy early. However, this is a goaltender who has been mediocre in 40 ECHL games and his first two AHL contests. His final season in the WHL, Bunz .921 sp ranked second overall (behind Ty Rimmer) and he was also second overall in the previous season.

HALL, THE VOICE OF REASON

hall and yak common

 

The Yakupov story held sway yesterday and there was some interesting insight into the team dynamic. One fascinating quote:

  • Taylor Hall: “He had a lot of leeway last year and this year, not as much. Ralph really took a liking to a young European player and Dallas is trying to get him to play the right way. I think once those two things mesh that’s when you’re going to see the player he can be.”
  • More Hall: “It’s not a distraction for us. Last year, he had a great year and this year, he’s struggled a bit. But it’s not like he’s not giving an effort. He knows our system and he tries his best to play within them. Right now it’s not working the way that it can, but we know it will turn around.”
  • More More Hall: “It’s unfortunate his agent had to say those kinds of things … it would probably be easier for Yak if his agent came into town a little bit quieter, but that’s stuff we don’t really think about. We’re trying to get him back on track and I know he will.”

Joanne Ireland article is source here and thanks to ThePeet So for the find. I love this quote, it’s true, it acknowledges the problems, gives us a little insight into the locker room dynamic and expresses some belief in things working out. I  think he’ll captain this team someday. I specifically like his explanation about the change from last year to this–remember the Imlach/Perreault story from the other day? This is trying to get the player into a position where he can defend, and be part of the offense, in a more structured way. I remember hearing the same things about Hemsky so it can be done (Hemsky does a lot of nice things that never get mentioned–zone exits, etc).

TAYLOR HALL ON SHAWN HORCOFF

Shawn_Horcoff_2012

“There were a lot of times in the last four years where Shawn stepped up and said the right thing; really got us back on track. (Andrew Ference) has been a really good captain for us, but it would be nice to have another veteran guy on the team that’s for sure.”

Article is here and I love the quote about another veteran guy. THAT guy could be mentor to Yakupov the way Horcoff was to Yakupov. We should never underestimate the power of a mentor–Oilers have had some gems over the years like Reasoner and Pisani–and that  guy over in the Dallas locker room had a major impact on these kids and their development. I hope people at Rexall cheer him tonight, at least one time. I heart Shawn Horcoff, even in another uniform.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

hayek

 

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644 Responses to "STARS AT OILERS G20, 13-14"

« Older Comments
  1. jake70 says:

    Man this is one disjointed team. Everything is off, like Ferraro said, not 1 or 2 things not working, it’s like 6 or 7. Whack-a-mole.

  2. Andy P says:

    Lowetide: Fire an assistant, bring in a former head coach to “help”

    I would seriously consider that now except that Krueger refused to step down and be an assistant coach. He felt his system has always worked and always would work.

    Besides, what would you rather do, do what you want for the balance of your contract at full pay, or jump back into a career killing team like this one is right now?

    We could bring up Todd Nelson and his staff, but would he come, and would he have any chance of success?

    Who thought we would ever long to go back to the days of Nichols and crew?

    I would not blame Dallas Eakins if he actually resigned tonight. MacT is forced to step back behind the bench, and guess what, he actually turns the team around. Or, calls in Mess to step in as interim coach.

    Or we give them 30 games to learn the systems, loosen up and settle in. Maybe, just maybe this nightmare will end, but right now it barely seems plausible. It’s like this team has become completely dispirited. It’s just too bad.

  3. dangilitis says:

    In the short span of 1.5 mo, have gone from hoping the team plays meaningful games in April-June, to hoping they play meaningful games in March, to hoping they play meaningful games before Christmas, and now I am just hoping they play meaningful 3rd periods, or better yet, a chance to pull the goalie with several minutes left (even when the opposing team will score multiple EN goals to pad their stats).

    Of all the shit Dubie’s taken so far (and to be fair, that goal still should not have happened), he deserved better tonight. We deserve better every night, though, so it’s hard to sympathize with any one on this forsaken team.

  4. fuzzy muppet says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    I do agree. Perron is a good player, but did they really need another smallish offensive winger? One of the kids is moved by thanksgiving, im sure of it.

  5. Pablo Aimar says:

    Eakins: “I don’t think it was a night where our pp was bad”
    Gagner: over 18 minutes of ice time.

  6. OilBuzz says:

    Eakins at the post-game looked totally detached from the team. I get the sense that he has lost the room.

  7. lance says:

    G Money,

    Glass half full: I’m walking around in Phoenix in shorts and a t-shirt, outside, in bare feet. Secretly I give a shit what the Oiler’s do because I don’t have a dime involved.

    Glass half empty: its winter in Edmonton, the local team sucks, and you paid money to watch.

  8. russ99 says:

    Logan91,

    Wow. Cue the 5 on 3 of doom you tube clip.

  9. bookje says:

    Logan91:
    Eakins claims to like the power play, and thinks they were doing a good job.

    See, if I own the team, I am calling the GM and asking for an explanation on this.

    I just checked and I don’t own the team.

  10. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Andy P: We could bring up Todd Nelson and his staff, but would he come, and would he have any chance of success?

    I have a feeling Nelson is super secret plan b.

    A week or so ago I suggested Eakins is going to get the PL treatment (Philly), where they will let him close out the season and make nice in the press (we’re disappointed, but he’s our man, mitigating circumstances, etc.)… then he get 4-8 games next year to show results or he’s done.

    I still think that is true, but the timetable might be stepped up.

    The difference this year, however, is it’s not only going to be the coach. If Eakins is fired this season or early next season it is going to happen alongside a lot of other moves.

  11. bookje says:

    Andy P,

    I don’t think he meant Krueger, I think he meant a different former NHL coach to help – an experienced voice who can pick out the priorities and stop the bleeding.

  12. russ99 says:

    I do feel bad for the poor guy, he’s in over his head. Eakins has some good ideas, but the lack of flexibility in the execution is the problem.

    I also find it hilariously ironic that Krueger at the end of the season and Hall yesterday were essentially saying the exact same thing.

  13. bookje says:

    I don’t know if MacT can eat enough Crow to fire Eakins. I think Eakins has his loyalty and he will blame the players.

    I think the blame for something this terrible HAS to be shared.

  14. fuzzy muppet says:

    bookje,

    Pat Quinn?

    I kid

  15. fifthcartel says:

    So, realistically what happens now? I honestly don’t know, interested to see what others think will.

  16. rickithebear says:

    Looked at shots by location. Using Ninja’s shot search.

    the defined high shooting % area is a line from post towrds center of circlestops 4 ft into side of circle heads out straight toowards blue line 4 feet short of top of circle accross to other circle and follows same path. it really is a funnel.

    0-10 feet from the net is around 7 %
    10-20 is around 21%
    20-25% around 17%
    25-30 around 10%
    >30 feet 4%
    All that matters is that funnel area.

    you can measure a player thru ninja’s shot search
    Goalie mesure All; 0-10ft; 10-20ft; 20-25ft; 25-30ft; >30ft

    Dmen can be measured
    0-10; 10-20; 20-25; outside cone of funnel to red line.

    forwards can be measured
    20-25; 25-30; >30

    i will be running a excel structure with source code list of each shot against at even and on PK
    you can trend each player by this source info. that provides Distance; (x,y), Type, result.

    As an example dubnyk has been better than average 0-10; average 10-20 & 20-25, better at 25-30; greater than 30.
    this year his 0-10 is over 30%
    System.

    Our coach runs a pressure system that ignores defending the none 4% scoring area.
    Giving free access to that 10-25ft area in the funnel.
    We pk by pressuring outside the elite scoring area.
    We lack large physical Dmen to punish players in front of the net at even and on the PK.

    Directing the puck at net outside the funnel, to your hearts content people.
    heck i do not even mind being large -ve corsi.
    Cause what really matters is the measurable trendable shot given up and taken.
    the % of total shots in location.
    in the 0-25 range we have been less than 54%
    this year around 68%
    Anyone who says it is not System is full of ……….

    look at Boston and rask. 65% are outside the funnel.
    inside the funnel are lower % resukts but still the same ratio by distance.
    It is good to have big ,heavy physical dmen, with long torso, arm and body length.
    the kind of lane disruption length needed in the funnel.

    Could you imagine Smid, Belov, Fistric!

  17. Pouzar says:

    We have the lowest save % in the NHL( that’s code for Dubnyk sucks BTW).
    We have one, if not, the worst defensive corps in the NHL.

    Lets fix this before we even start talking about trading the offensive talent we sucked so hard to get.

    And no, Trading Eberle or Yak tomorrow doesn’t accomplish either of the above.

  18. Alsker says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Still don’t understand why Nelson wasn’t brought in as co/assoc coach with Krueger. As if it makes any difference, we move Smid for cap relief for next year and keep samwise the 60% Elf/40% smurfling for what? Ruff didn’t get this job cause he would have gone to the media and said WTF kind of line up is this? No Blowehard and MacT put forth their plan of blame in hopes of securing another year to figure out what they fucked up and come up with a way to fix it.

  19. rickithebear says:

    From now on when discussing Save%
    you might want to look at the function pressure of shots.

  20. Andy P says:

    Oh Well,
    Завтра будет другой день.

  21. Alsker says:

    bookje:
    I don’t know if MacT can eat enough Crow to fire Eakins. I think Eakins has his loyalty and he will blame the players.

    I think the blame for something this terrible HAS to be shared.

    The first crow MacT needs to eat is trading Gags. Handshake or not, the needs of the team outweigh the wants of the one. Give Eakins or whoever coaches a fighting chance. Too many top 6 forward types, Yaks anger is going to spread like wild fire. Douse it with a honest trade.

  22. Lowetide says:

    fifthcartel:
    So, realistically what happens now? I honestly don’t know, interested to see what others think will.

    They’re bringing in Bryzgalov, they may add an assistant coach to help the PP. The defense was better tonight but it’s killed the creativity. There’s no easy fix here.

    The one thing that should rattle your sphincter is there’s a rookie GM and he might just decide to do something drastic.

  23. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Alsker: Still don’t understand why Nelson wasn’t brought in as co/assoc coach with Krueger.

    He’s a head coach who’s had success. I don’t think he’s looking or being offered assistant jobs… associate… maybe.

    Look to him to be discussed heavily in the next round of coaching searches… He’ll follow Cooper and Eakins and other’s lead straight to the NHL.

  24. russ99 says:

    rickithebear,

    Post of the year. Finally someone else gets it. Perimeter hockey isn’t winning hockey.

    Just cause either our GM, our head coach and our assistants think it works doesn’t make it so.

  25. denny33 says:

    Pouzar,

    Also, Dubnyk cant score goals…..

  26. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide: They’re bringing in Bryzgalov

    Just as Dubnyk’s play rebounds.

    .958 tonight.

  27. Zelepukin says:

    You either make a trade and rock this boat of depression back on course, or you get rid of the two most worthless assistants in the league, bring in a couple more experienced, opinionated voices to the coach’s room.

    Barring injuries, quit with the line juggling. The season is over so let the core gain experience playing with each other. If 4-93-14 is going to be our #1 line for years to come, then lets start now. I’d rather have one line learn to consistently produce against other team’s #1, than 3 lines of no production.

  28. denny33 says:

    No Smac on 4th line…no Gazdic on 4th line…

    All healthy at the forward spot….

    Can’t blame Dubby…..

    Reffing?

    Schedule?

    Why is everyone laughing at us……

    3 straight games at home and no goals….that is an incredible feat…

  29. Ribs says:

    I was wrong. Ference is earning every penny promised to him for captaining this team. Oy.

  30. denny33 says:

    Ribs,

    I think Ference, Gordon, and Belov are all thinking one thing right now…..

    Out of all the teams I could have signed with…..

  31. G Money says:

    Eakins needs to bench the players not putting forth full effort!

    Oh wait. That would leave us with 1.3 lines and 1 defensive pairing.

    Meh. I say try it. Fitness, right? If they can handle 22 minutes, they can handle 60. Could it be worse?

  32. lance says:

    One more:

    Glass half full: The economy in Edmonton is the Phoenix Coyotes.

    Glass half empty: The economy in Phoenix is the Edmonton Oilers.

    ——-

    Glass half empty: The Oilers seem to be out of the playoffs

    Glass half full: The Oilers are far more interesting to discuss than almost every team in the league.

    ——-

    Glass half full: Jay and Dan are here in the SW.

    Glass half empty: They never talk about hockey. And neither does anyone else.

  33. denny33 says:

    It is so bad…..I don’t even know what the honest goal of the organization would be at this point….there is just so much of the schedule left to play.

  34. Zelepukin says:

    The reality is there isn’t a player in the entire league that wants to be traded to Edmonton. Philly is on the up, Buffalo has just brought in new personnel that has everyone excited and Florida still has golf weather year round. Its amazing we even convinced Bryz to sign here.

  35. G Money says:

    Man, the gloom in here could be cut with a knife. If this were the stock market, I’d swallow my fear and buy Edmonton Oiler stock, in size.

    Unfortunately, unlike the stock market, bull markets in hockey are not borne of depression and apathy.

    Do the Oilers qualify for TARP? (Troubled asset relief program). Cause our assets are in deep deep trouble. Chrysler and GM in their deepest darkness have nothing on this utter shitshow. At least they could still build cars.

  36. Hammers says:

    Someone above said it . Pick your top lines for NEXT YEAR and play them now . On merit or on potential for me its RNH/Hall/Ebs ; Arco /Perron/ Yak ; Gordon / Gags / Hemsky ; Center ( 3 to choose from ) Pitlick/ Joensuu . Sorry Smytie but Hemsky should have trade worth at deadline so your odd man out . If McT sticks with Gags he has to go on the wing .( I would trade him now ) We are slowly loosing trade partners as Philly is winning again .This year should now be a lesson year with the forward lines ; “D” pairings , goal & Coach . On paper we look fairly good but on the ice we suck . If its trades you want there are individuals & packages with , Gags , Hemsky , Petry , N.Schultz that could bring a return .

  37. Lois Lowe says:

    I am pretty much the last person to abandon the Good Ship Oilers (seeing as I still read this site every day obsessively), and I didn’t watch the game too closely tonight as I had a Supreme Court factum to read for class tomorrow. However, this team is now on par with the Buffalo Sabres in terms of ineptitude, which is a scathing indictment of their play.

    I don’t think Eakins is the problem and I don’t know what the problem is, but I am at the point where I won’t bother to stream the games FFS. I am a Tier 4 fan according to Sauron, and they have done nothing to make me Uruk Hai.

  38. Chris says:

    Its hard to cheer for this team right now. Twenty games in and the season is effectively over and the team is mailing it in.

  39. godot10 says:

    Alsker:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Still don’t understand why Nelson wasn’t brought in as co/assoc coach with Krueger.

    MacT didn’t bother to talk to him about the associate coach or coaching position. He talked to Bowness, who chose Tampa instead (he’s obviously knew to much about the Oilers management having assisted Vigneautl for years), and then MacT talked to (was seduced by) Eakins and it was over.

    Nelson has already done the assistant NHL coach thing in Atlanta for John Anderson. He wants to be an NHL head coach. So the best route is being a head coach in the AHL, not being an assistant coach in the NHL. One does the assistant coach gig, then goes and coaches in the AHL and wait sfor the chance.

  40. Andy P says:

    Did anyone else hear Eakins tell the press that he seldom talks to the team after the game?

    I took it for granted that a coach is right in there with the team, before, during, after and between games and periods.

    I cannot imagine how a coach that holds himself so utterly remote from the team can even dream of getting any form of team cohesion at the NHL level. These aren’t wannabe’s you can push around, these are top of the line athletes whose buy-in and respect are essential to the cohesion necessary to win games.

    That one little glimpse into the locker room tells me this man is completely and truly out of his league and a reminder to MacT as to why you talk to a range of coaches and get 2nd and 3rd opinions from qualified people that you have learned to trust before making a choice of this magnitude.

    FFS.

  41. wintoon says:

    Watching the game last night absolutely convinced me that Gagner is a total liability on this team. He is undersized, extemely weak defensively and only talks a good game. There must be a team out there who can use him. A trade, even for a legitimate 3rd line winger, would be a windfall. As long as Gagner is a player on this team, either as a 2C or as a winger, the Oilers will never be a contender even for the playoffs. In addition, MacT should be talking to Philly about Couturier. It is at a point that we should pay whatever the asking price is. Even if on paper we lose the trade. The team will be better than it is right now.

  42. Woodguy says:

    Andy P:
    Did anyone else hear Eakins tell the press that he seldom talks to the team after the game?

    I took it for granted that a coach is right in there with the team, before, during, after and between games and periods.

    I cannot imagine how a coach that holds himself so utterly remote from the team can even dream of getting any form of team cohesion at the NHL level. These aren’t wannabe’s you can push around, these are top of the line athletes whose buy-in and respect are essential to the cohesion necessary to win games.

    That one little glimpse into the locker room tells me this man is completely and truly out of his league and a reminder to MacT as to why you talk to a range of coaches and get 2nd and 3rd opinions from qualified people that you have learned to trust before making a choice of this magnitude.

    FFS.

    Its my understanding that what Eakins is doing re:talking to the players is pretty standard.

    Its not peewee

  43. Colieo87 says:

    I say fire Eakins he has lost the room, move over to tod nelson , might as well and start early and get his system moving along cause as far as I can see Eakins system isn’t doing jack. and for god sakes break up that top line!

  44. Colieo87 says:

    and I can see the oil going for the top pick in next years draft gagner is there ticket to the that draft, the oil isn’t out of the woods for another 3-4 years before there competitive, perfect time for a new shiney arena and what not, I think this is why kaz has not spoken and let this whole team run in the sewer. He doesn’t care cause he doesn’t want rexal to have even a sniff at the playoffs, he wants it in his barn and its going to happen in another 4 yrs. that’s just my hunch

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