BLUES AT OILERS G38, 13-14

The real shame of this season is losing Nail Yakupov’s momentum. The Oilers started the season with (really) no skill centers and have yet to provide the young man with a consistent, healthy and creative center. It’s completely galling, and I say that with a great deal of respect for the MacT/Eakins combination. The other three kids (Hall, Nuge, Ebs) are imbedded as cluster members, but the young man Nail is a rank outsider. Not good. That needs to change.

 C FOR YAKShawn_Horcoff_2012

Remember when Shawn Horcoff helped Hall and Eberle back in 2010? He gave good counsel and helped carry the load until the training wheels came off and the sorties got easier to push and defend. Yakupov is getting Sam Gagner this season, and the numbers are kind of amazing compared to their respective plus/minus:

  • Nail and Gagner together: 50.1
  • Nail without Samwise: 45.3
  • Sam without Yak City: 45.6

This is 5×5 Corsi for% courtesy Extra Skater. Yakupov is 1-2-3 -10 in his last ten games, an absolute shame for such a talented young player. He’s getting the same powerplay minutes as one year ago, but the Oilers with the man advantage currently are a help to no man. I think Yak and Nuge should be the feature players with the man advantage. Starting tonight. At the very least it’ll put the fear of Gord in a few people. Yak’s last goal came from an outstanding shift with Taylor Hall, who set him up wonderfully. Maybe give him 5 games with Hall or Nuge, get this Russian rocking.

OKLAHOMA! OKLAHOMA! OKLAHOMA! OK! Texas Stars vs. OKC Barons 12-20-13

Barons enjoyed a 2-0 win last night, Richard Bachman is quickly becoming the story in goaltending this season. His boxcars shine shine shine in both Edmonton (3, 3.02 .916) and OKC (11, 2.35 .929) and he’s certainly young enough (26) to have a career. I ranked him #28 on my top 40 winter list, but he’s playing extremely well in front of a team that can make goalies look shaky. Last night was the first SO of the season for the Barons.

Jonathan Willis has a terrific write up about the game here, and has nice things to say about both Martin Gernat and David Musil. I’m happy for both young men, hope they continue to develop along with Marincin, Klefbom, Davidson and the others. A guy like Fedun—his time is now—might beat all the kids to the NHL, but surely at least a couple of these young men are going to have productive NHL careers.

Curtis Hamilton (in photo from last night, courtesy Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved) played on a line with Tyler Pitlick and Ryan Martindale. I’m reminded of the ‘Bulldog line’ around the turn of the century, and how they all came up together under rookie coach Craig MacTavish, fall 2000. Brian Swanson, Michel Riesen and Daniel Cleary played about a dozen games together that season before Riesen and then eventually Swanson fell away, leaving Daniel Cleary to an NHL career that continues to this day. The Oilers badly need a Cleary from that group, suspect if it happens young Pitlick will be the answer.  Willis tweeted out the Fenwicks last night, and the ’2010 line’ was doing well, as was the Gernat-Klefbom and Marincin-Musil pairings. Good to see.

ungerThe first big star in St. Louis Blues history was Red Berenson, he walked all over the expansion division after coming over in a trade during the 1967-68 season. Berenson was traded for the man in the photo (Garry Unger) who Glen Sather tried to acquire around the expansion draft. The price? The draft pick that turned into Mark Messier. Slats would eventually pick up Unger for a more reasonable price (7th round pick in 1981) and the skilled C would play for the Oilers for parts of three seasons.

turnbullI’ve always enjoyed watching the Blues, they weren’t on television much during the early expansion years and I’m still trying to catch up. I could probably tell you something mildly interesting about each era of the Blues, but can say without hesitation that this era (the one we’re in now) is the best Blues team I’ve seen. I’m not sure about their goaltending, but they are ready for a deep run everywhere else—and they may come calling to Edmonton at the deadline.

I don’t really have much to say about this edition of the Oilers. Their goaltending killed them but is no longer the problem, their powerplay is a comedy and their record a tragedy. If they weren’t the Oilers I’d read a book instead.

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280 Responses to "BLUES AT OILERS G38, 13-14"

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  1. BrazilianOil says:

    Nail and Yakupov have been play together all the season.

  2. RMGS says:

    BrazilianOil:
    Nail and Yakupov have been play together all the season.

    Yes, but they’ve looked disjointed all season.

  3. BrazilianOil says:

    RMGS,

    Do you already buyed your flight tickets?

  4. Lowetide says:

    Bohologo:
    I’ve been an Oilers fan long enough to know better than to get too attached to any one player, but here’s the thing about Yakupov: the kid loves to play! He can score goals! He kisses the Oil drop!

    He’s not had a good year (has anyone not named Perron?). But think back to what you were like when you were 19. Now do it in another language. Now do it in another country. Now do at the highest level level of your given profession. With a bunch of nitwits in management.

    Anyone who wants to see the kid traded puzzles me.

    Yeah, I don’t get it either. When he’s 25, if he’s scored 20, 27, 18, 21 goals in a season, then you know. However, he’s going to score 40 with that shot imo, and a big part of that number will come on the PP. Put him on the #1 PP, find a way for Nuge to set up him and there should be some success. It isn’t like you’re breaking up the 1984 Oilers here.

  5. flyfish1168 says:

    Would be nice to see Magnus play and hopeful he scores the winning goal against us.

  6. BrazilianOil says:

    Yak is my favorite Oiler. I hope MacT can find a good 2C for him and Perron.

    4-93-14 can be a dominant line in 3 years, give them some more time.

    Trade the first , 89 ,some D prospects, and the picks you have for trading the pending Ufa.

    I’m ok with 80 as 1G, and Bachman can be the 2G.

    1-1D , 1-2C ,2-3W are needed.

    Do agressive offer sheets and overpay on the UFA market if is required.

    8 yeaars are enough.

  7. sliderule says:

    Yakupov has the worst plus minus in NHL yada yada yada.

    The oilers have given up 8 empty netters and as many on power play.I would love to know how many of those he was on for.I bet it’s a bunch.

    Take those out of the equation and all the offensive layers plus minus would look better.

    The players realize this and that’s why Hall was frustrated with Dechenes empty netter.

  8. Thiru says:

    There have been a few times this season where Yak has been feeling it, and posted a crooked Corsi (the first game of the season, then a few games ago when he was Corsi 13-0 through two periods), and Eakins has sat him down.

    I think the Oilers should be demanding responsible play from the young guys, but Yak is still a first year player, essentially. Is it fair to expect the same from him versus Hall, Eberle, and Gagner?

    I’m not so sure.

    It took Yzerman, what, a decade to become a responsible 2 way forward? Same with Sakic, and those guys still only faced secondary toughs at their peaks.

    I’m just not sure if the current approach — the 3rd or 4th weapon on the 2nd PP unit, the random benchings, etc. — are conducive to Yak’s development.

    My prediction is that this player will need a move before his career takes off.

    Hope I’m wrong.

  9. Woodguy says:

    It’s interesting that the Oilers have the largest Home/Road differential in terms of Fenwick in the NHL.

    The Oilers are 17th in Fenwick at home with 50.9% and 28th on the road with a 43%

    That’s a differential of 7.9%

    Next closest is WIN with 53.9% (5th) and 46.3% (24th) for 7.6%.

    I think this type of differential (from ok to horrid on the road) speaks to a youngish team that gets crushed when they can’t get the matchups they want.

    It speaks to a line that cannot be hidden on the road and gets keyed in on my opposing coaches.
    I looked at the FF% of the C’s on the road trip and it’s all over the place.

    One night Gagner is best, the next he gets pummelled. Same with RNH and Gordon.

    The only constant is the shittiness of the 4th line, but I don’t think their ice time is enough to really tank the whole team.

    That being said the other night against LAK Gazdic was 0/-8 in Fenwick. Lordy.

    Also,

    I think this also speaks to less than adequate Dpairings getting exposed as well.

    I like to bitch about J.Shultz in his own zone as much as the next guy but digest this for a second.

    J.Shultz CF% overall 46.4%
    With Brother Nick 39%
    Without Brother Nick 48%

    Good gord.

    Here’s JShultz CF% with his most common partners (most common to least common)

    Belov 50%
    Ferance 48.9%
    Brother Nick 39%
    Grebs 47.4%

    Perhaps the Oilers might notice this and never ever play the brothers together again.

    Actually, perhaps they should just get rid Nick as soon as possible to improve, much like Wilson did last year when he traded Concrete Pylon Murray to GM OF THE YEAR Shero for not one, but two second rounders.

    Here’s Nick Shultz s WOWY’s with D partners (most common to least common)

    Ference (138min together)
    Wtih Nick 42%
    W/O Nick 46.8%

    JShultz (78min together)
    With Nick 39%
    W/O Nick 48%

    Potter (65 min together)
    With Nick 46.6%
    Without Nick 45.2%

    Belov (63 min together)
    With Nick 47.8%
    Without Nick 48.6%

    Fedun (36 min together)
    WIth Nick 48.8%
    Without Nick 50%

    Petry (29 min)
    With Nick 41.4%
    Without Nick 48%

    Except for Mr. Potter, Nick makes everyone worse.

    I really think it would help the team to move him along as soon as possible.

    This team (and most if not all teams) excel when they hit the neutral zone with possession, which leads to ozone possession, which leads to shots, which leads to goals, which leads to wins.

    I’ve lost count how many times this year Nick has possession of the puck and while not under any great duress, gives the puck up with a dump to the neutral zone or bad pass.

    This team will not make the playoffs, but they need to make incremental improvements for the sake of getting better and the sake of sanity for the team as losing is a real grind.

    Please MacT find Nick a new home.

    The Pens are playing over 50% of Wilkes-Barrie on their D. Dump Nick on GM OF THE YEAR for a 3rd or 4th and move on please.

  10. Clarkenstein says:

    If Yak played on a “normal” team instead of a DFL squad his ice time would be usually with a stud D-man or two on the ice. Due to the fact this team basically has 6 pylons back there every night and a goalie that STILL can’t stop a high shot it exaggerates the +/- stat for many players. There are many other factors not the least of which is he has no quality veteran leadership at C playing with him every night. While it doesn’t effect his +/- stats everybody in the arena and watching on TV knows he should be on the 1st unit PP… everybody that is except Eakins and his PP genius coach Kelly Buchberger!!

  11. Lowetide says:

    There are a few things I’d like the rookie coach to improve, one of them being line matching. I don’t think he does it. Now, it doesn’t matter now because the Oilers have basically one very good line, one line that can keep up and another line best described as Forrest Gump’s Mom, plus the 4line.

    However, he’s going to have to add that to his arsenal.

  12. G Money says:

    Lowetide,
    Bohologo,

    You guys raise an interesting broader point to think about when we talk about Yakupov.

    As a fan base, we are rightly frustrated by the struggles of this team. “Why?”, we think, “Does a team with three #1 picks, plus a top 7 pick in Gagner, plus a first rounder that is as good as a lottery pick (Eberle), plus a putative (‘would have been’) top 3 pick in Jultz – a team with such riches – struggle along yet again trying to stay out of DFL? WHY, OH HOCKEY GORDS!?!!?”

    And the answer is actually straightforward in a way: because despite the acknowledged holes elsewhere (defense, depth, goaltending), none of those young guys are really playing like stars right now.

    Hall – was an ice-tilter extraordinaire last year. He still puts up some decent points, but his ice-tilting games are a rarity. Most nights, his offensive contributions are offset by defensive gaffes. Other nights, he’s invisible offensively but still breaks bad defensively. This year, he’s regressed from “clear #1 pick” to “yeah, OK, decent first round pick”.

    RNH – has been surprisingly solid defensively, but hasn’t regained his “wizard” status offensively as yet. I think this will come, especially once Hall finds his game. But again – like Hall – definitely not impacting the game like a #1 pick right now.

    Yak – ‘Nuff said. Struggling badly and needs to find his game. Not only doesn’t look like a #1 pick, but some nights doesn’t look like he belongs in the NHL.

    Jultz – The defensive doppelganger of Yak. Not only doesn’t look like a guy that should have been a top 3 pick, but many nights doesn’t look like he belongs in the NHL.

    Gagner – Odds-on favourite (challenged only by Dubey) for goat of the year. The tough thing with Gagner is that he’s never been strong defensively, but he’s also way off his game offensively. If we was, we’d be less concerned with this defensive gaffes. But when you don’t contribute offense and play defense like a PeeWee … ouch. Not only doesn’t look like a guy that was a #7 pick, but many nights doesn’t look like he belongs in the NHL.

    Eberle – maybe doesn’t belong on a criticism list. He does what he does, still needs to work the defensive side of the game, but contributes nicely. Chugging along at about .78ppg, and that seems to be about his natural level. Nothing to sneeze at.

    So there you have it. The Oilers conundrum in a nutshell: a wealth of young offensive talent playing like dog shit.

    Here is the question that as fans we have to dig deep about: are the current struggles temporary or permanent?

    Do we think Hall is in a permanent funk or a temporary one? Is RNH finding the defensive side of his game in what is, for all intents and purposes, only his second season, and he’ll put offense and defense together with man strength soon and become the new Datsyuk? Or is his ceiling “gifted but small centre”? Is Jultz in development or permanently a liability? Is Yak going to find his game and become a 40-goal threat every year, or remain invisible his whole career?

    Because if it’s a permanent thing – guess what, suckitude is and will forever be the new Oiler normal.

    If it’s a temporary and/or developmental thing – then as much as it hurts, there is little to do but wait for these guys to find their dominant #1 games. When Hall, RNH, and Yak actually play consistently like #1 picks (and we’ve seen a lot of individual games where they have), amazing things are going to happen.

    As much as it hurts in the short term, and as impatient as I am for results now, I tend to lean towards the latter. Young men — please prove me right.

  13. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    There are a few things I’d like the rookie coach to improve, one of them being line matching. I don’t think he does it. Now, it doesn’t matter now because the Oilers have basically one very good line, one line that can keep up and another line best described as Forrest Gump’s Mom, plus the 4line.

    However, he’s going to have to add that to his arsenal.

    I can’t find it, but I read that Extra Skater has a metric to gauge line matching and Eakins comes out as a coach who is among those who match the most.

    Perhaps he’s just not matching the way you would?

  14. Thinker says:

    Still can’t believe Steen came so cheap to the blues. Now I know he is closer to a 30 goal 65 pt scorer, and the contract falls in range with those numbers, but he is having a spectacular season. If I’m him I go to free agency and get HUGE money.
    I think it is time the oilers go big game hunting again this offseason. We need some valuable pieces that are just not coming in the next three years. I try to sign 2-3 good defensemen, hopefully a phaneuf or a Girardi. I also take a run at a 2LW with some defensive ability to play with hemsky and gordon. I might also take a run at stasny, depending on who we take with the first rounder. If we are bringing in reinhart, then we don’t need him, but if we are going for eckblad we should replace gagner with someone like stasny and shore up defence even more.
    The more I think about it, the more I fear the next few years. If bryzgalov keeps playing the way he’s playing he’s going to look for big money again, and I don’t know if the oilers would be wise to go that route. I am also afraid we might have several rookie Dmen. Klefbom, Marincin, Nurse, and Eckblad could all find themselves on the team. If even two make it we will be talking connor McDavid (who is awesome BTW). I’d also be interested to see how often we play a teams backup goalie, because it seems like a lot to me. It could make a huge difference in the win/loss column if teams start playing us for real. I’m really pessimistic today.

  15. Woodguy says:

    Woodguy: I can’t find it, but I read that Extra Skater has a metric to gauge line matching and Eakins comes out as a coach who is among those who match the most.

    Perhaps he’s just not matching the way you would?

    Here it is:

    http://blog.extraskater.com/2013/11/coaching-strategies-so-far-this-season/

    Its from November, but via these metrics Eakins matches lines the 3rd most in the NHL and uses zone starts the most.

  16. G Money says:

    Woodguy: Its from November, but via these metrics Eakins matches lines the 3rd most in the NHL and uses zone starts the most.

    This makes sense in the context of your observation about home/away Fenwick differential.

    In the context of my commentary about how our young kids are not playing well – if the Oilers are to be a good team, we need to reach the point where other teams have to match lines against us, not vice versa.

  17. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy: I can’t find it, but I read that Extra Skater has a metric to gauge line matching and Eakins comes out as a coach who is among those who match the most.

    Perhaps he’s just not matching the way you would?

    Could be, I don’t think it indicates a line matching coach that Hall plays the toughs and Gazdic plays the weaks. That looks more like the opposition coach covering the most dangerous man and the gentleman’s agreement on 4lines.

  18. Wes Mantooth-11 says:

    sliderule,

    As per Stauffer tweet this morning Yakupov has been on for two ENG Gagner 3 ENG

    Eberle 7 ENG Hall Schultz Perron & RNH 5 each

  19. G Money says:

    Wes Mantooth-11: As per Stauffer tweet this morning Yakupov has been on for two ENG Gagner 3 ENG
    Eberle 7 ENG Hall Schultz Perron & RNH 5 each

    Interesting. Eberle is -5 on the season, Hall is -10. Adjusted for ENG, that makes Eberle +2 but Hall still at -5 (not bad, but terrible considering he is and needs to be our best player).

  20. russ99 says:

    The thing that irks me about the current Oiler regime is the hubris, that they are convinced the way they do things is the right way, even if it runs counter to how every other NHL team is run like:

    One defenseman on the unmoving power play
    Not giving your young talented players (Yak) soft minutes and power play time
    Forwards playing way too many minutes a night
    Fourth line in again the opponents best lines
    Playing a grind game against the best grind teams and expecting to score
    The swarm defense
    No shutdown line, I.e. spreading our best defensive players across lines to weaken their effectiveness
    How are players are being coached to think rather than to play on instinct

    I’m not saying the players aren’t to blame, but the coaching staff needs to change up their game as much as the players.

    And sad to say, the more I hear Eakins complain about things fixable by coaching to the press the more I think MacT has too many fingers in the pie.

  21. Benhur says:

    It’s the Oilers first game back after a brutal road trip so I am expecting (as usually happens on the first game home)….them to stink.
    The Blues are a heavy team who takes the body and are good forcheckers…just the type of team who are their nemisis!
    I expect a blowout … and lots of booooooing.

  22. Wes Mantooth-11 says:

    G Money,

    +/- is this even considered a reliable stat anymore?

  23. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: Could be, I don’t think it indicates a line matching coach that Hall plays the toughs and Gazdic plays the weaks. That looks more like the opposition coach covering the most dangerous man and the gentleman’s agreement on 4lines.

    Extra skater has “who played against who” in each game summary.

    By this and by eye I think Eakins:

    1) Tries hard for ozone starts for 89′s line and the 4th
    2) Dzone starts for 27
    3) Match 27 to toughs
    4) Find 89′s line soft ice
    5) Will go to 93′s line again right after they came off to take advantage of a favorable match

    I think he matches and starts his lines fairly hard.

    Unfortunately in his position it’s more to avoid getting exposed rather than do the exposing.

  24. Lowetide says:

    Wes Mantooth-11:
    G Money,

    +/-is this even considered a reliable stat anymore?

    No.

  25. Lowetide says:

    Wes Mantooth-11:
    G Money,

    +/-is this even considered a reliable stat anymore?

    No. If the team is -20 and one guy is +7, there’s a story to tell but there’s too many variables.

  26. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy: Extra skater has “who played against who” in each game summary.

    By this and by eye I think Eakins:

    1) Tries hard for ozone starts for 89′s line and the 4th
    2) Dzone starts for 27
    3) Match 27 to toughs
    4) Find 89′s line soft ice
    5) Will go to 93′s line again right after they came off to take advantage of a favorable match

    I think he matches and starts his lines fairly hard.

    Unfortunately in his position it’s more to avoid getting exposed rather than do the exposing.

    Yeah, actually, you put it very well there. I want him to be aggressive, using Gordon’s line to tough match and then freeing the Hall group. But he doesn’t have the horses. Does anyone wonder what might have happened if they’d kept Horcoff? I think that would have been interesting.

  27. flyfish1168 says:

    Sad how poorly eakins have used Yak compared to Ralph. Yak should always be out as one of the 6 players at the end of the game, top 4 in PP time and at least the same or more 5×5 time as Smyth. That is some of the differences Ralph used Yak.

    Accountability just seems like something eakins talks about and only applies this to certain players.

  28. BrazilianOil says:

    4th line for 64 and 89

  29. G Money says:

    Wes Mantooth-11:
    G Money,

    +/-is this even considered a reliable stat anymore?

    Yes and no. There are extremely well understood flaws in the traditional +-, and in no small part, this has played a role in the development of e.g. Corsi and Neilsen numbers.

    I think +- has some value when looked at over at least half a season, and only in a very coarse sense. That is to say, by mid-season you can probably look at two guys who are +10 and -10 and say there is a meaningful difference between them, and by seasons end say there is a meaningful difference between +5 and -5. A single games +- is utterly meaningless, as is the difference between someone who is -2 and +2.

    On the other hand, +- is still important for two reasons:

    - Even taking into account the coarseness of the statistic, the fact that Eberle swings from -5 to +2 because of ENG *does* have some significance.

    - the dinosaurs of the hockey world still look at +- as a valid stat. So if you’re a GM, you’ll probably find it tougher to trade a -10 but 55% Corsi guy than an offensively comparable +10 45% Corsi guy.

  30. Rosco says:

    Lowetide: Yeah, actually, you put it very well there. I want him to be aggressive, using Gordon’s line to tough match and then freeing the Hall group. But he doesn’t have the horses. Does anyone wonder what might have happened if they’d kept Horcoff? I think that would have been interesting.

    Yeah, they’d still be a terrible team except Horcoff would be at fault for most of it… I personally would have loved it if they kept him.

  31. Lowetide says:

    Oil lineup. Hall-RNH-Eberle, Smyth-Gordon-Perron, Gazdic-Gagner-Yak, Joensuu-Lander-Hemsky. Ference-J Schultz, Belov-Petry, N Schultz-Potter

    I like the top 2 lines but don’t understand the rest.

  32. flyfish1168 says:

    Lowetide,

    I so wanted Shawn to stay along with Boyd here. Center is such and important position and we had so many injuries to that position last year that it would have benefitted us greatly to have both of them here this year

    From listening to him and how he conducted himself as Captain, Yak would benefit with him as his centerman. Sad how the media and some fans ran him out of town due to his salary.

  33. Lowetide says:

    Ryan Rishaug ‏@TSNRyanRishaug 4m

    Eakins not in good spirits today, ripped into his team for messing up a drill, tossed a sharpie after re-explaining it.

  34. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: Yeah, actually, you put it very well there. I want him to be aggressive, using Gordon’s line to tough match and then freeing the Hall group. But he doesn’t have the horses. Does anyone wonder what might have happened if they’d kept Horcoff? I think that would have been interesting.

    I day dream about this:

    Hall-RNH-Eberle
    Perron-Gagner-Hemsky
    Penner-Gordon-Yak
    Smyth-Horcoff-Jones

    Ference-Petry
    Smid-Gilbert
    Hainsey-J.Shultz

    Penner, Hainsey and Gilbert were all FA.

    Hainsey and Gilbert signed PTOs so its a no brainer that they would sign actual contracts in EDM.

    Penner might sign for $6MM over 2 years.

    Doesn’t solve needing an actual 1LD, but there’s 5 actual NHL Dmen there to help shelter J.Shultz.

    Totally doable under the cap as well.

  35. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    Ryan Rishaug ‏@TSNRyanRishaug 4m

    Eakins not in good spirits today, ripped into his team for messing up a drill, tossed a sharpie after re-explaining it.

    Good.

    They’re kids, scare them.

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

  36. Ryan says:

    Woodguy,

    How do you get Smid back?

  37. LMHF#1 says:

    “Gazdic-Gagner-Yak, Joensuu-Lander-Hemsky”

    ummmm….what?!?

  38. thejonrmcleod says:

    Lowetide,

    Perhaps Eakins was angry that he used a Sharpie on a whiteboard.

  39. Woodguy says:

    Ryan:
    Woodguy,

    How do you get Smid back?

    In my world I didn’t trade him for fodder.

  40. Lowetide says:

    Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers 4m

    “He got hit in the perfect spot and he was out cold on the ice.” – Coach Eakins on Jones, OK now after being helped off the ice

  41. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “Jonathan Willis has a terrific write up about the game here, and has nice things to say about both Martin Gernat and David Musil.”

    Still no mention of Kessy’s fight, which we all know had a big effect on the aura of the game. All the chakras of the Barons came in tune after that tilt.

    I don’t understand how Willis can ignore this ironclad mode of thought.

  42. Lowetide says:

    Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers 4m

    Coach Eakins says “it’s a privilege to play on the power play” and some #Oilers players are not taking advantage of that lately.

  43. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide:
    Oil lineup. Hall-RNH-Eberle, Smyth-Gordon-Perron, Gazdic-Gagner-Yak, Joensuu-Lander-Hemsky. Ference-J Schultz, Belov-Petry, N Schultz-Potter

    I like the top 2 lines but don’t understand the rest.

    Ahh… is Renney sending him post-it notes from his days… psst, try Petrell on the 1st line.

  44. Lowetide says:

    thejonrmcleod:
    Lowetide,

    Perhaps Eakins was angry that he used a Sharpie on a whiteboard.

    This is probably true. HATE THAT!

  45. jp says:

    Lowetide:
    Oil lineup. Hall-RNH-Eberle, Smyth-Gordon-Perron, Gazdic-Gagner-Yak, Joensuu-Lander-Hemsky. Ference-J Schultz, Belov-Petry, N Schultz-Potter

    I like the top 2 lines but don’t understand the rest.

    Yeah, puzzling 3/4 lines. I imagine we’ll see a lot of juggling in game. Maybe it’s just a case of Eakins being angry!

    The Schultzes have been separated at least. The D pairings look reasonable.

  46. anonymous says:

    Watched Yak a lot in junior and he was a machine. Full of energy and excitement.
    Eakins handling of this is criminal. A first overall is a valuable commodity. I think Eakins came in and figured the best bet was to lay the hammer down. He took the easy way out and picked on the new foreign kid rather than one of the boys on the bus v 2.0.

  47. jp says:

    Lowetide:
    Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers 4m

    “He got hit in the perfect spot and he was out cold on the ice.” – Coach Eakins on Jones, OK now after being helped off the ice

    Hit with a sharpie?

  48. Andy P says:

    Woodguy,

    How much of a problem do you think Buchberger, Smith and Chabot represent?

  49. voxwah says:

    So if the Oilers trade Hemsky at the deadline… have they learned anything at all? They need to keep NHL players not get rif of them to bring in picks/prospects/magic beans. Resigning him to a cap friendly deal of around 4 million would be a smart move.

    Anyone thinking they should unload him is not paying attention. He’s gritty, tough, extremely talented and man will this team need him if they ever get to the playoffs.

    Biggest thing is that he actually WANTS to be in Edmonton.

    p.s. trade Gagner ASAP. :)

  50. TheOtherJohn says:

    Lowetide: No. If the team is -20 and one guy is +7, there’s a story to tell but there’s too many variables.

    Although Bobby Orr’s +124 in 70/71 is still some evidence of a pretty decent player

  51. hankster says:

    Bohologo:
    I’ve been an Oilers fan long enough to know better than to get too attached to any one player, but here’s the thing about Yakupov: the kid loves to play! He can score goals! He kisses the Oil drop!

    He’s not had a good year (has anyone not named Perron?). But think back to what you were like when you were 19. Now do it in another language. Now do it in another country. Now do at the highest level level of your given profession. With a bunch of nitwits in management.

    Anyone who wants to see the kid traded puzzles me.

    Yakupov is a smaller version of ovechkin. Could easily be like stamkos if he had the right set up man like m St. Louis. Way too much raw talent to ignore.
    But some people here also want weber for 3 of our rejects type of trade too… So, not that puzzling really.

  52. Andy P says:

    G Money,

    I’d suggest that the suckitude of the forwards depends on whether Buchberger is temporary or permanent. Perhaps the combo of Bucky and Renney or Bucky and Krueger was ok but the combination of Eakins and Bucky isn’t working.

    I think there is general consensus that we’ve gone through enough Coaches that they cannot be the problem, and that Eakins is fundamentally a good coach. I’d suggest that before we can judge Eakins on his own merits, surely we need to allow him to choose his own assistants whose coaching talents are better suited to get the best out of these players, working for this coach?

    Same goes for Smith and the D.

  53. Alsker says:

    Im hoping arco ‘s ribs are still sore or his he getting another “reset”?

  54. G Money says:

    Andy P,

    I was baffled at the time of the hiring of Krueger that Smith and Bucky were kept, and frustrated and angry when they stayed around when Eakins was hired.

    You simply cannot have a team that has sucked for as long as the Oilers and has gone through as many head coaches as the Oilers have and not have turnover in the assistant coach ranks. You just can’t.

    It’s outside the realm of hockey (where I’m a fan and a stats head but no expert) and into the realm of business (where I have a few feathers in my cap). If they’re important, they should be part of the upgrade, and if they’re not important, get rid of them and spend the money somewhere else because what they’re doing now isn’t working!

    The fact that they’re still here is bizarre. It’s surreal. It gives full value to the meme “Because Oilers”.

    I suspect (but do not know) if Bucky and Smith are part of the problem but I can say without hesitation that they are not part of the solution.

  55. Lowetide says:

    Okay, well the FOURTH LINE is the Gazdic line apparently, so I’m less upset about things now. The idea that the veterans have to earn their time is fine by me, but they still need to find a way to unlock Yakupov. Blame the kid all you want, I blame the coach. He was fine where Ralph left him.

  56. Bank Shot says:

    voxwah:
    So if the Oilers trade Hemsky at the deadline… have they learned anything at all? They need to keep NHL players not get rif of them to bring in picks/prospects/magic beans. Resigning him to a cap friendly deal of around 4 million would be a smart move.

    Anyone thinking they should unload him is not paying attention. He’s gritty, tough, extremely talented and man will this team need him if they ever get to the playoffs.

    Biggest thing is that he actually WANTS to be in Edmonton.

    p.s. trade Gagner ASAP.

    $4 million is a massive over payment for Hemsky.

    He’s been a 40 point player the last 3 seasons if you include his current one, and he has been virtually guaranteed to miss a bare minimum of 15-20% of each season going all the way back to 05-06.

    If he goes to free agency, I could see him waiting around until training camp ala Gilbert.

    I would say anything over $3 is a complete boat anchor.

  57. G Money says:

    Lowetide: He was fine where Ralph left him.

    If he’s getting 4th line ES time to find his game, I’m OK with it as long as he’s also getting plenty of PP time set up at the circle where passes from behind the net or from the point can set up that laser cannon of his.

    Not only is that shot way more deadly than anything we can throw at the net from the point, but it’s also less likely to result in a block that goes the other way for a shortie. And though I don’t bray for blood, if someone is foolish enough to jump in front of that shot and spends the rest of the PK or the game limping a bit, that’s OK too.

    If somehow Yak has to “earn” his time on the PP in front of a bunch of others who repeatedly play the PP like they have the sun in their eyes, I may just consider joining the ranks of the godot “Burn Eakins at the Stake” set.

  58. Caramel Obvious says:

    russ99:
    The thing that irks me about the current Oiler regime is the hubris, that they are convinced the way they do things is the right way, even if it runs counter to how every other NHL team is run like:

    One defenseman on the unmoving power play
    Not giving your young talented players (Yak) soft minutes and power play time
    Forwards playing way too many minutes a night
    Fourth line in again the opponents best lines
    Playing a grind game against the best grind teams and expecting to score
    The swarm defense
    No shutdown line, I.e. spreading our best defensive players across lines to weaken their effectiveness
    How are players are being coached to think rather than to play on instinct

    I’m not saying the players aren’t to blame, but the coaching staff needs to change up their game as much as the players.

    And sad to say, the more I hear Eakins complain about things fixable by coaching to the press the more I think MacT has too many fingers in the pie.

    It is amazing that you believe these things, since every empirical statement is contradicted by the readily available facts. For instance:

    1) Basically every team in the NHL uses one D on the powerplay.
    2) Yakupov gets the softest minutes on the team, his zone start is over 65% and he is playing the same minutes on the powerplay as last year.
    3) Eberle leads the team in time on ice, 11th in the NHL. Hall, Hopkins, and Eberle are playing first line minutes comparable to the best players in the NHL but not more. This is what every single team does. Do you think they should play less? What I think is that if they played less you would criticize Eakins for not playing them enough because the facts are irrelevant to the reflexive critic.
    4) The fourth line plays less than most four lines and plays comparable competition to other fourth lines. There is nothing to see here in the usage.
    5) The Oilers don’t play a grind game.
    6) The “swarm” is a defense used by other NHL teams.
    7) Teams really concentrate their best defensive players on a single shutdown line. However, to the extent that they do, the Oilers do it MORE than most. What do you think the Smyth–Gordon–Hemsky line is, other than a line of the three best defensive players on the team?
    8) “coached to think” rather than “relying on instinct,” are phrases without meaning. However, to the extent that they do, every single coach in the world, coaches his players to think. What do you think all this system talk, or talk about structure, requires? I can tell you this, it isn’t instinctual, in any sense in which the word has meaning.

    So basically every single thing you believe about the Oilers is demonstrably false. I invite you to remedy this problem.

    And to the other poster who mentioned Yakupov’s usage I will repeat these facts. Yakupov is playing more at even strength, with more offensive zone starts, and the same powerplay time. If anything, Eakins is giving Yakupov more of a push than he received last year. The truth does not fit the narrative.

  59. Andy P says:

    Lowetide:
    Okay, well the FOURTH LINE is the Gazdic line apparently, so I’m less upset about things now. The idea that the veterans have to earn their time is fine by me, but they still need to find a way to unlock Yakupov. Blame the kid all you want, I blame the coach. He was fine where Ralph left him.

    LT, blame Eakins or blame Bucky for screwing up the O players? To what degree is blame shared between them?

  60. Hammers says:

    Lowetide:
    Oil lineup. Hall-RNH-Eberle, Smyth-Gordon-Perron, Gazdic-Gagner-Yak, Joensuu-Lander-Hemsky. Ference-J Schultz, Belov-Petry, N Schultz-Potter

    I like the top 2 lines but don’t understand the rest.

    1st line as is but I would have Yak with Gordon & Perron then Smyth & Hemsky with Gags ( He needs help of experienced wingers ) Lander , Joensuu & Gazdic for 5-7 min .We all have our idea of who Eakins should play together but wishfull thinking of players not here is a waist of time .

  61. Andy P says:

    G Money,

    “I suspect (but do not know) if Bucky and Smith are part of the problem but I can say without hesitation that they are not part of the solution.”

    Maybe they can be given profitable employment somewhere else in Katz’ vast empire. In fact anywhere except the one place where they can do the most damage to this team through their obvious lack of coaching skills. They should have been cleaned out when Renney left, it would not surprise me if Krueger has also seen them as part of his problem.

  62. G Money says:

    After realizing that “playing the PP like they have the sun in their eyes” is quite an apt description (if I do say so myself), I started looking for other terms that might fit.

    I dug up a list of vintage c. 1901 expressions for being drunk (http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84020274/1901-06-30/ed-1/seq-42.pdf). Some of these are hilarious, and I will have to pull one out next shortie (or even a PP opportunity with no shots), as in “Holy crap, Jultz was all mops and brooms out there” or “Man, Dubey really has the applejack gait tonight.”

    I’m guessing some of these may apply at ES too. :-S

    He has been rushing the growler once too often.
    He has been measuring sidewalks upside down.
    He has been drinking through Shagrun’s thimble.
    He has been to a session with the Tanks.
    He had too much fish bait.
    He has been trying to beat John Barleycorn.
    He is “crapulent.”
    He is “maggoty.”
    He is full of pig iron and caraway seed.
    He is off on a bat.
    He is too full for utterance.
    He has got marbles in his mouth.
    He is full of prunes.
    He don’t know his name from a hill of beans.
    He made indentures with his legs.
    He has got the gravel rash.
    He is “hot as winks.”
    He is beargeared.
    He is bowned.
    He is podgy.
    He is dagg’d.
    He had too much tamarack.
    He had been fighting the booms.
    He had a sosh on.
    He had a still on.
    He had been sapping up.
    He fell off the water wart.
    He was all to the bad.
    He is all mops and brooms.
    He is about to cast up his accounts.
    He is full of mountain dew.
    He is full of Jersey lightning.
    He is full of tangle-foot.
    He is full of bug-juice.
    He is as full as a tick.
    He is as full as a goat.
    He is on the ran-tan.
    He is on the ree-raw.
    He is off his trolley.
    He can’t see a hole in the ladder.
    He is half-seas over.
    He is on the beam end.
    He is over the bay.
    He has an applejack gait.
    He has been taking a little of Paddy’s eye water or of red eye.
    He has more sail than ballast.
    He has his main-brace well spliced.

  63. G Money says:

    Andy P: Maybe they can be given profitable employment somewhere else in Katz’ vast empire.

    In the business world, the kiss of death is “Special Projects”. If you’ve just been “promoted” to VP, Special Projects, you are in your last year of employment with the company …

    Kelly Buchberger, Director, Special Projects, Offensive Hockey Department, Rexall
    Steve Smith, Director, Special Projects, Defensive Hockey Department, Rexall

    (Truthfully – I hate to rag on these guys. I was a big fan of both Bucky and Smith when they played the game. But as coaches … they gotsta go).

  64. sliderule says:

    Last year Chiarelli fired his head scout .when asked why he commented the guy was a good scout just not a head scout.Accountability.
    This year Boston fired their power play assistant.Their power play hasn’t been good .Accountability.
    The oilers power play and defensive zone coverage sucks.No accountability.

  65. Lowetide says:

    Andy P: LT, blame Eakins or blame Bucky for screwing up the O players? To what degree is blame shared between them?

    Don’t know. So, head coach gets blame.

  66. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Omark playing tonight!

    http://sabres.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=696928&navid=DL|BUF|home

    I wish he was playing the leafs. I’d love to see him light the lamp a few times right away on HNIC.

  67. flyfish1168 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I’m cheering for Linus to get a multi point game and a good season playing for the Sabres. Be interesting if he passes some of our skill players in points by seasons end.

  68. Pouzar says:

    Caramel Obvious: It is amazing that you believe these things, since every empirical statement is contradicted by the readily available facts.For instance:

    1) Basically every team in the NHL uses one D on the powerplay.
    2) Yakupov gets the softest minutes on the team, his zone start is over 65% and he is playing the same minutes on the powerplay as last year.
    3) Eberle leads the team in time on ice, 11th in the NHL.Hall, Hopkins, and Eberle are playing first line minutes comparable to the best players in the NHL but not more.This is what every single team does.Do you think they should play less?What I think is that if they played less you would criticize Eakins for not playing them enough because the facts are irrelevant to the reflexive critic.
    4) The fourth line plays less than most four lines and plays comparable competition to other fourth lines.There is nothing to see here in the usage.
    5) The Oilers don’t play a grind game.
    6) The “swarm” is a defense used by other NHL teams.
    7) Teams really concentrate their best defensive players on a single shutdown line.However, to the extent that they do, the Oilers do it MORE than most.What do you think the Smyth–Gordon–Hemsky line is, other than a line of the three best defensive players on the team?
    8) “coached to think” rather than “relying on instinct,” are phrases without meaning.However, to the extent that they do, every single coach in the world, coaches his players to think.What do you think all this system talk, or talk about structure, requires?I can tell you this, it isn’t instinctual, in any sense in which the word has meaning.

    So basically every single thing you believe about the Oilers is demonstrably false.I invite you to remedy this problem.

    And to the other poster who mentioned Yakupov’s usage I will repeat these facts.Yakupov is playing more at even strength,with more offensive zone starts, and the same powerplay time.If anything, Eakins is giving Yakupov more of a push than he received last year.The truth does not fit the narrative.

    I’d wish people would read #2 over and over again.

    Awesome post man.

  69. prairieschooner says:

    This reason Eakins was pissed was because it was Bucky who handed him the Sharpie.
    Next time Eakins goes to use that board he will find ………
    The Black Spot!

  70. prairieschooner says:

    What are our chances of picking 1 st overall this year?

  71. gogliano says:

    prairieschooner:
    Whatare our chancesof picking 1 st overall this year?

    If you take NHL sports club stats as the guide, ~25% chance of finishing last which would then give them a ~50% shot at #1 in the lottery. But then you have to add in the chances of finishing 2 – 5 and then winning #1 via the lotto balls.

    Eyeballing it I’d say a little less than 1/5 chance sounds about right. But we’re now more likely than not to select in the top 3.

  72. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    prairieschooner:
    Whatare our chancesof picking 1 st overall this year?

    Not strong, if only because it is highly likely that that pick will belong to another team.

    Whoever picks in our spot, though, will have a pretty good shot. It seems likely BUF manages to out-suck us and there are a few other teams fighting in that direction too… but I’d be hard-pressed to imagine us topping last years 24th spot… so that means a pretty damn good chance the ball comes up Oilers.

  73. Pablo Aimar says:

    anonymous:
    He took the easy way out and picked on the new foreign kid rather than one of the boys on the bus v 2.0.

    It has been very obvious.

  74. Ryan says:

    Lordy lordy lordy…. The Blues’ roster is a thing of beauty and something to be envied….

    That and Hitchcock vs Eakins is like Kasparov vs Snooki.

    (Parts courtesy of McCurdy)

    10 players who weigh over 210 lbs (vs 2) !!!!

    A top four of Jay Bouwmeester, Alex Pietrangelo, Barret Jackman and Kevin Shattenkirk

    Good god if we had that top four, we might be more than a team in the national hockey league.

  75. Bank Shot says:

    And to the other poster who mentioned Yakupov’s usage I will repeat these facts.Yakupov is playing more at even strength,with more offensive zone starts, and the same powerplay time.If anything, Eakins is giving Yakupov more of a push than he received last year.The truth does not fit the narrative.

    Kreuger’s team was competing for a playoff spot. Eakins’ team is competing for last place.

    After the Oilers went on that 5 game losing streak and were hopelessly out of the playoffs, Yakupov averaged 16:30 a night for the rest of the season.

    Eakins continues to give Yak limited minutes despite the Oilers going absolutely nowhere.

    So, no it definitely isn’t true that Eakins is giving Yakupov more of a push.

    Eakins could easily use Yakupov on the 1st PP instead of a guy like Larsen. We get to see Larsen goof all over the blue line on the PP and he’ll be back in Sweden 3 years from now.

    Whats the purpose of that?

    I’d rather see Yakupov get the chance to learn from those mistakes rather then Larsen. Also, Yakupov would be putting up some more points. Yak scoring more points means more value if the Oilers decide to trade him.

  76. Ben says:

    Book it: Magnus Paajarvi will score 19 goals tonight.

  77. maudite says:

    Why potter over fedun? I think fedun’s brief stint merits a shot, no?

  78. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    maudite:
    Why potter over fedun?I think fedun’s brief stint merits a shot, no?

    Fedun is apparently injured.

  79. Lowetide says:

    Oilers unlikely to be the winner tonight, but I would hope they’d be 46 on the corsi. They’re home and have to show the fans something. Right?

  80. Lowetide says:

    7s

    Tonight’s #OKCBarons defensive pairs > Davidson-Hunt; Gernat-Musil, Marincin-MacIntyre; Bachman in net.

    Steve MacIntyre on defense. Lordy.

  81. Lowetide says:

    Eric Rodgers ‏@ericrsports 10s

    Tonight’s #OKCBarons lines: Kessy-Horak-Miller, C.Hamilton-Martindale-Pitlick, R.Hamilton-Acton-Stretch, Nesbitt-Ewanyk-Ford. #oilers

  82. TheOtherJohn says:

    LT

    Sometimes I find you to be too critical of Oiler prospects.

    Not sure who this S Mac Intyre is that you are so critical of is but am not sure why you cannot be more of a supportive of our young prospects…..LOL

    I’ll go with SC +0/-12 and thats if he plays him less than 8 minutes

  83. Lowetide says:

    TheOtherJohn:
    LT

    Sometimes I find you to be too critical of Oiler prospects.

    Not sure who this S Mac Intyre is that you are so critical of is but am not sure why you cannot be more of a supportive of our young prospects…..LOL

    I’ll go with SC +0/-12 and thats if he plays himless than 10 minutes

    WOW! Marincin may get a -5.

  84. OilClog says:

    Eakins confuses me.. As soon as Hall and Yak started finding chemistry he broke them up..

    Unfortunately Samwise isn’t working out, if we had a better option, someone that can truly take some of the load off of Hopkins, the remaining top 6 would be much much better. Gagner doesn’t create any space for anyone and it doesn’t work. Well he creates open space on the defensive side. I’d pair Yak with Arco if he can’t get Nuge.

    Yak isn’t the first or last player to have a sophomore slump, he works too hard for failure.

  85. TheOtherJohn says:

    Now if any of the other OKC D had sense of humour……. aggravate a minor injury and see if Todd Nelson slashes his wrists playing 5 D with MacIntrye logging 16-18 TOI

    Somebody could have a big, really big negative number on scoresheet

  86. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    That Eaves shift was amazing. God, the Leaves are terrible.

  87. Lowetide says:

    Omark 3:54 early in the second. OKC’s Martindale just scored to tie the game at 1.

  88. theres oil in virginia says:

    I’ve only seen one shift so far, but during that shift Omark was holding the puck and creating offence.

  89. theres oil in virginia says:

    Finally, I’ve seen a PP as bad as EDM’s. BUF PP sucks…even with Erhoff.

  90. Truth says:

    Yakupov is the kid that excelled in minor hockey in a small town and then makes the midget AAA team in the big city. he’s forced to sit on the bench the whole first season during the powerplay although he thinks he’s good enough to play on the first PP unit. The coach may think so too but can’t unseat the second year players for this kid. So Yak sulks and loses all confidence. Is it he’s not actually that good? Does the coach hate him? Does the team not appreciate him being on the team? Should have stayed in his small town? Should be go back?

    My opinion is he needs 20 games in the AHL. Is he overqualified for the AHL? His talent is, but he is the worst plus/minus in the league and is struggling mightily. Let him prove to Eakins that when playing top line minutes and top PP time he can score 1 gpg in the second best league in the world while being defensively sound. If he can’t perform there he can’t perform in the NHL. The only reason he hasn’t been sent down is the threat of the KHL, which just screams entitlement. If I’m 20 and struggling in the NHL I suck it up and play my bag off to prove my value wherever they put me. There is no concern I’m going to flip the organization the bird. With Yak clearly there is a concern.

    Also, as I can’t tonight due to giving this games tickets to a friend, could someone please count how many 100% effort strides Yak skates while the puck is in the Oilers possession and not on his stick? A count of hard consecutive strides while he has the puck would be great too, but I will watch that at home. Haven’t counted more than 3 since the last game of his goal scoring streak. If he has all world speed lets see it. Every night.

  91. theres oil in virginia says:

    NESN coverage is effing awful. What a couple of homers. Switched to the Sabres coverage just in time to hear: “Yeah, but when he hit somebody, they stayed hit!”

    Another Omark shift, another offensive chance.

  92. fifthcartel says:

    Marincin-MacIntyre
    Marincin-MacIntyre
    Marincin-MacIntyre

    0_o

  93. jp says:

    TheOtherJohn:
    LT
    Sometimes I find you to be too critical of Oiler prospects.

    Not sure who this S Mac Intyre is that you are so critical of is but am not sure why you cannot be more of a supportive of our young prospects…..LOL

    I’ll go with SC +0/-12 and thats if he plays himless than 8 minutes

    Hehe, where does he rank on the prospect list LT?

    Not that he can rightly be considered a hockey player, but he used to play defense at some point, did he not? Regardless, Grebeshkov must have had a REALLY bad game last night for this.

    Also, I know there’s no debate about MacIntyre’s hockey playing ability, but his boxcars through the years truly are impressive:

    WHL 127-4-1-4
    AHL 183-4-6-10
    NHL 91-2-2-4

    At least he didn’t leave any of his offense in Jr or in the AHL…

  94. Romulus Apotheosis says:
  95. boxman says:

    thejonrmcleod,

    Well played my friend.

  96. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Acton. Shorthanded.
    2-2.
    fighting off 5minmajor (SMac)

  97. Lowetide says:

    Acton, from Musil and Pitlick. 2-2. Some of the prospects are getting points tonight.

  98. theres oil in virginia says:

    How bad do the refs suck? Chara slashes Ott’s stick and breaks his own. Ott heads off for 2 minutes for slashing.

  99. Lowetide says:

    WHAT WAS THAT? Helluva shift.

  100. spoiler says:

    Who are these guys?

  101. Pouzar says:

    Killin da Corsi

  102. Lowetide says:

    Nice defensive play by Gagner. I’ll crawl off to die.

  103. PREDICKTER says:

    Big question of the night, will the sharpie be effective against a “heavy” team?

  104. rich says:

    PREDICKTER,

    Well, for MacT is was always a well timed bag skate. If it takes clearing your throat and throwing a sharpie to make your point, go for it.

  105. spoiler says:

    Drink of the night: Sortilege. The ultimate rye whisky liqueur. Tastes like Christmas in your mouth.

  106. fuzzy muppet says:

    spoiler,

    Macallen 12 year

  107. spoiler says:

    I like this neutral zone trap-style PK.

  108. Lowetide says:

    I’m drinking scotch tonight, a gift from a friend. VERY good mood no matter the score.

  109. Suntory Hanzo says:

    Vodka, banff. With diet cherry coke.

    Great living in Abbotsford right on the border.

  110. spoiler says:

    fuzzy muppet: spoiler,
    Macallen 12 year

    Nice choice. I’ll take Sortilege at Christmas, but that’s a fine sipper.

  111. jp says:

    Does that count as a shortie? Pretty much.

    Such a good start to the game too.

  112. fuzzy muppet says:

    HOw many fuckin’ times are they gonna do this! HIT THE NET

  113. Lowetide says:

    Well, they’re trading Yakupov, for sure. NO PP time. Lordy.

  114. fuzzy muppet says:

    Lowetide,

    I’m a true believer that buying a nice scotch for someone is the very definition of friendship.

  115. spoiler says:

    Even though I’ve been down in Cochrane for awhile now, my thoughts always seem to turn to the Chateau Louis liquor store at this time of year, lol.

  116. danny says:

    anyone know why that high stick wasn’t 4-min? It was accidental but ference was bleeding…

  117. OilClog says:

    Belov was pretty ugly with that sequence. Captain wasn’t much better himself, ugly.

  118. leadfarmer says:

    That goal is on Eakins. What are you doing with Ferrence on the PP. I dont get some of his decision making.

  119. OilClog says:

    Yaks best usage is on the bench

  120. bookje says:

    Lowetide:
    Well, they’re trading Yakupov, for sure. NO PP time. Lordy.

    Don’t want to mess with success?

  121. Pouzar says:

    The inability of this defense to generate a shot on goal let alone actual offense is mind boggling.

  122. Lowetide says:

    spoiler:
    Even though I’ve been down in Cochrane for awhile now, my thoughts always seem to turn to the Chateau Louis liquor store at this time of year, lol.

    Ha! Been there! Many times!

  123. OilClog says:

    Smith needs to teach his DCorps how to properly pressure. Wait, Smith needs to go.

  124. Pouzar says:

    Hey Backes…pick up yer jock strap…again

  125. bookje says:

    The Oilers should trade Yakupov for a guy with a shot. They need a shooter on the power play.

  126. sliderule says:

    Let’s see if these pussies make Backes pay for bumping Nuge.

  127. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Nice period other than the Ference, Belov, Bryzy circus act.

  128. Gerta Rauss says:

    Whistler Brewing grapefruit ale again tonight.

    It was a great period of hockey other than that scoring less goals than your opponent thing.

  129. fuzzy muppet says:

    Gerta Rauss,

    But scoring less goals than the opponent is what the Oilers do best!

  130. Pablo Aimar says:

    Coach Burnett says you have to earn time on the pp. The likes of Sam Gagner sure have. Not to mention Ference.

  131. D says:

    leadfarmer:
    That goal is on Eakins.What are you doing with Ferrence on the PP.I dont get some of his decision making.

    Eakins doesn’t seem to be a very good coach.

  132. hunter1909 says:

    With the season dust; with nothing more to want anymore than a top 3 draft pick; 8 freaking, count em, 8 seasons out of playoffs in a relatively easy league to make playoffs;

    I’m now 9999/10000 apathetic. But Yakupov blew a play and 3-4 alleged Oiler defenders ran around behind him like a fire drill…so let’s just blame the 20 year old???

    Ideally, Oilers miss 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 to allow Kevin Lowe to claim the ultimate quantum universal title in NHL history.

    Ideally, next season they start with the 3 1st overall players, given the fact the fans have suffered, but since they’re(management from Owner to President to GM etc right down to assistant coaches Steve Smith + Bucky from NHL special needs) all proven loser/morons/jackanapes/freaks/incompetents – look to one or more clever NHL General Managers to strip this team right back down to 2007.

  133. G Money says:

    Man, usually Stock, Healy et al. spew nothing but the purest of drivel … but they actually just captured the essence of the Oilers perfectly, didn’t they.

    St. Louis: all five guys back in the D zone supporting the play
    Edmonton: at least two or three guys constantly cheating for offense or jailbreaking early

    St. Louis: backcheck like mad under all circumstances
    Edmonton: give up on the backcheck if it even looks like you might not be needed – and sometimes even if it’s obvious you are

  134. flyfish1168 says:

    I truly believe having a positive person like Ralph makes things easier and everyone is more relaxed. What type of boss would you like to work for?

  135. D says:

    flyfish1168:
    I truly believe having a positive person like Ralph makes things easier and everyone is more relaxed. What type of boss would you like to work for?

    Not Eakins, that’s for sure.

  136. spoiler says:

    Hsve to make them pay here.

    Backes is taking liberties because they have the two goal lead. If you don’t make him pay they will keep pulling this shit.

  137. Pouzar says:

    Backes is a dirty f^ck. He constantly does this shIt against the Oil…but I guess if u can get away with it…

  138. G Money says:

    G Money: St. Louis: backcheck like mad under all circumstances
    Edmonton: give up on the backcheck if it even looks like you might not be needed – and sometimes even if it’s obvious you are

    Aaaaaaand there you go. Both Lander and Hemsky gliding back watching the puck instead of skating hard and tying up a man.

    Anyone wanna bet on a shortie coming up? At least I”ll be able to use one of my choice 1901 phrases for drunkenness.

  139. Gerta Rauss says:

    Aw, jesus, a power play is the last thing we need right now.

  140. fuzzy muppet says:

    Seriously, Eakins is a horrible, horrible coach. No 64 on the PP AGAIN

  141. spoiler says:

    G Money: Aaaaaaand there you go. Both Lander and Hemsky gliding back watching the puck instead of skating hard and tying up a man.Anyone wanna bet on a shortie coming up? At least I”ll be able to use one of my choice 1901 phrases for drunkenness.

    That goal against was all about the lack of back check.

  142. fifthcartel says:

    Tencer has a point, why not just healthy scratch Yakupov?

  143. flyfish1168 says:

    fuzzy muppet,

    Its going to take a lot to convince me Eakins is a good let alone a smart coach.

    Wasn’t prepared at the beginning of the season by knowing each players strengths and his ability to adapt to the situation is non existing.

    After the 48th game the stats should be interesting.

    I’m convinced we have the wrong coach. Ralph achieved more out of a weaker line up in less time than what Eakins have done.

  144. spoiler says:

    That should’ve been Lander’s shift, right? Paying for not getting back on hard on the last goal. Eakins is bad cop today.

  145. D says:

    spoiler:
    That should’ve been Lander’s shift, right?Paying for not getting back on hard on the last goal.Eakins is bad cop today.

    Any chance he could be done cop before the end of the season? Hope.

  146. sliderule says:

    Blues are treating oilers like their bitch

  147. Lowetide says:

    fifthcartel:
    Tencer has a point, why not just healthy scratch Yakupov?

    well, you dress them because there’s a chance they show enough to be rewarded. I get that, but the Oilers absolutely need a PP goal and Yakupov gives you the best chance. I don’t agree with that call, at all

  148. spoiler says:

    flyfish1168: Ralph achieved more out of a weaker line up in less time than what Eakins have done.

    Really? How did he do this?

  149. hunter1909 says:

    spoiler: Backes is taking liberties because they have the two goal lead. If you don’t make him pay they will keep pulling this shit.

    Do you mean: Backes is a real hockey player?

    Lowetide: I’m drinking scotch tonight, a gift from a friend. VERY good mood no matter the score.

    I’m on some 10 year old. Anything older is above me. I know my place.

    jp: Does that count as a shortie? Pretty much.
    Such a good start to the game too.

    I’m really starting to love the 2013-14 PP’s. Feels like spinning a 100 number wheel to win another 1st overall pick.

    Every game starts at 0-0 so you’re right: For the Oilers this often is the high point of the game.

    D: Eakins doesn’t seem to be a very good coach.

    After all, Kevin Lowe’s given Eakins with another crony at General Manager with zero experience and a proven(let’s face it) alcoholism/manslaughter conviction + Prison time/ won squat coaching at NHL level/ cancer that could reappear at any time and then toss whatever “rebuild” is being sold by Rexall Inc. into the drink…plus some of the winningest Assistant Coaches in the NHL.

    Any of these clowns could give Dracula a clinic on survival.

  150. spoiler says:

    Lowetide: well, you dress them because there’s a chance they show enough to be rewarded. I get that, but the Oilers absolutely need a PP goal and Yakupov gives you the best chance. I don’t agree with that call, at all

    Sometimes you want to reward other players. They should have enough talent on the ice to score anyways. It’s only one game after all and Yak’s had plenty of PP time this season.

  151. sliderule says:

    It’s a sad day when our toughest defenceman appears to be Potter.

  152. hunter1909 says:

    If they end up fucking up everything and trade away Yaks or Eberle for jacks and more Ben Eagers…

    On a positive note there’s whisky.

  153. sliderule says:

    The game and season is over.

    Send Gadzic out to wipe smirk off Backes face.

  154. G Money says:

    spoiler: Sometimes you want to reward other players. They should have enough talent on the ice to score anyways. It’s only one game after all and Yak’s had plenty of PP time this season.

    If I read this right, it is dripping with sarcasm, yes? Hard to tell on these interwebs sometimes.

    I have officially turned on Eakins as a coach. Funny. Percentagewise, it is exactly the same point in the season when I turned on Krueger last year. I can take underperformance – I understand how incredibly frustratingly difficult it must be in getting a points-first bonus-first me-first offense-first group like this to take defense seriously.

    But the decision making is just bat shit crazy. No Yak on the PP “because he hasn’t earned it” is as fucking stupid as putting Whitney and Belanger out to defend a one goal lead late in the third.

  155. hunter1909 says:

    Posting tonight feels more like writing a suicide note(Oiler fan) or putting letters on a tombstone:

    HERE LIE THE 1991-2013 OILERS
    THEY BLEW
    AND BLEW
    AND BLEW

    FORMERLY(1984-1990) THE GREATEST DYNASTY IN HOCKEY HISTORY

  156. flyfish1168 says:

    spoiler: Really? How did he do this?

    1) playoff hunt and was sitting in 8th place briefly
    2) special team more successful
    3)team +/- better so far.
    4)Players more prepared at start of game
    5)Gets more out of each player.

    Eakins maybe a good AHL coach but that doesn’t mean he will be successful in the NHL and it is showing.

  157. leadfarmer says:

    spoiler,

    Well it starts with having a weaker lineup than this year. Eakins is not braking in a single rookie outside of Arcabello and Belov and they are older than most “veterans” on this team. The only reason we are not in last place is that Buffalo is going into full tank mode.

    Krueger’s team finished 7th last in the NHL last year, which you might say is not very good, but you have to remember last year they did not get any games against the eastern conference which are the easier games. This year we are in 2nd to last place and we have already played most of our eastern conference games with a lot of divisional games left. I’m expecting a its darkest before dawn post tomorrow, but things are actually going to get worse after the olympic break.

  158. hunter1909 says:

    flyfish1168,

    Stop worrying. They’re going to trade Yakupov away and then everything will be just great. Think of all the worn out, reputation only players they’re going to get for him.

  159. G Money says:

    hunter1909,

    “Sound of Music”? As in:

    So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, good night
    I have to go and leave this awful sight
    So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, adieu
    The Oilers blew and blew and blew and blew

  160. hunter1909 says:

    leadfarmer: things are actually going to get worse after the olympic break.

    This.

  161. spoiler says:

    flyfish1168: 1) playoff hunt and was sitting in 8th place briefly
    2) special team more successful
    3)team +/- better so far.
    4)Players more prepared at start of game
    5)Gets more out of each player.

    1) >>This is what, not how
    2) >> These ebb and flow. This edition has had some hot runs. Nor does any coach coach a powerplay to stand around. Very difficult to separate execution from coaching.
    3) >> Goaltending is not coaching
    4) >> You have no idea if this is the case. You certainly haven’t posted any evidence for it.
    5) >> Never saw this team play D for Krueger either

  162. flyfish1168 says:

    hunter1909: flyfish1168, Stop worrying. They’re going to trade Yakupov away and then everything will be just great. Think of all the worn out, reputation only players they’re going to get for him.

    You are probably correct. The person that should be leaving isn’t

  163. hunter1909 says:

    Just a Thought: Messier’s not doing his resume any favors being associated with this team.

  164. G Money says:

    flyfish1168: 4)Players more prepared at start of game

    You are indulging in 100% revisionist history to suggest that Krueger was a remotely good coach.

    The players looked woefully unprepared and unmotivated night after night last season.

    The only thing that made the Oilers look even remotely respectable is that Dubnyk was solid (and one of the best in the league on the PK) and the RNH-Hall-Eberle line, especially Hall, was dangerous every night. He and Dubynk were the (only) engines that drove the Oiler bus night after night. Otherwise, that team was gut wrenchingly awful, and didn’t improve in any aspect of the game the entire season.

    If you want to claim Krueger was a better coach, the only chance you have to make a cogent case is if you somehow credit him with getting Hall to be a beast and blame Eakins for Hall’s mediocre play this season. (Neither of which I personally believe is the case, but it’s at least possible)

  165. flyfish1168 says:

    spoiler: 1) >>This is what, not how2) >> These ebb and flow. This edition has had some hot runs. Nor does any coach coach a powerplay to stand around. Very difficult to separate execution from coaching.3) >> Goaltending is not coaching4) >> You have no idea if this is the case. You certainly haven’t posted any evidence for it.5) >> Never saw this team play D for Krueger either

    4) Our 1st period has been one of our worst. ,-due to the fact they are not prepared
    5) None of our forwards are good and enough for 20 minutes a night playing time- less is more with our players

  166. rickithebear says:

    Wes Mantooth-11:
    G Money,

    +/-is this even considered a reliable stat anymore?

    Right there with Corsi.

    If you are going to punish a stat for guys not being on the ice after a turnover.
    Corsi would have a higher skew.

    To claim otherwise is BS of the highest order!

  167. spoiler says:

    G Money: If I read this right, it is dripping with sarcasm, yes? Hard to tell on these interwebs sometimes.
    I have officially turned on Eakins as a coach. Funny. Percentagewise, it is exactly the same point in the season when I turned on Krueger last year. I can take underperformance – I understand how incredibly frustratingly difficult it must be in getting a points-first bonus-first me-first offense-first group like this to take defense seriously.
    But the decision making is just bat shit crazy. No Yak on the PP “because he hasn’t earned it” is as fucking stupid as putting Whitney and Belanger out to defend a one goal lead late in the third.

    Nope, not sarcasm. I’m not going to sit here second-guessing why BigD distributes his minutes the way he does on a period-by-period basis. Every coach does stuff like this. Certainly Hitchcock does.

  168. hunter1909 says:

    3-0. Now Oilers can express themselves.

  169. Gerta Rauss says:

    We’re not good

  170. Gerta Rauss says:

    Dubnyk would have stopped that

  171. G Money says:

    Aaaaaand there you go. Hall at the blue line cheating for offense (just like Cassie Campbell showed a few weeks ago), then late to get back on the backcheck, and Jultz lollygagging in the slot. But it’s *Yak* who can’t earn PP time.

  172. Gret99zky says:

    Boooooooo.

  173. D says:

    Stepped away for 3 minutes and I missed all the fun?

  174. Gerta Rauss says:

    D,

    Did you go make soup..?

    Happens all the time

  175. G Money says:

    spoiler: I’m not going to sit here second-guessing why BigD distributes his minutes the way he does on a period-by-period basis.

    Fair enough, but in this case we’re talking about a game by game thing. And also in fairness, I’m sick of the pattern of the season, not the game. You can’t preach “accountability” and not pull PP time or bench Hall, Gagner, or Jultz at least a game. Can’t.

  176. D says:

    Gerta Rauss:
    D,

    Did you go make soup..?

    Happens all the time

    Pretty close actually. I was heating up noodles!

  177. jake70 says:

    Gregor the other day, saying the Oilers’ problems are not offense. They’ve scored 6 goals in the last 7 games (assumes shut-out this game)…..yeahhh, ok.

  178. Kitchener says:

    New Oiler 5×4 strategy: turn it into a 3×4.

  179. spoiler says:

    How often do you see those two sitting in the box together?

  180. Gerta Rauss says:

    I can’t watch anymore-see you guys Monday

  181. Clay says:

    You know, I get the 5 coaches in 6 years and such, but one has to wonder how long Eakins has. Is MacT really going to allow him as much time as he needs? Even if it means a 20 win season?

    Insert cliche about not being able to fire the whole team… but still, I just wonder where the line is.

  182. G Money says:

    So, let’s get this straight. Backes on a dirty play gets a penalty call. Then *he* goes after Gazdic, who doesn’t back down, and *Gazdic* gets the only penalty, making it a 4-on-4 instead of a 4-3 for the Oilers.

    Then Tarasenko, who is 219 lbs, goes down like he’s shot on a “hook” from the 185 lb Nuge. 4-3 PP for the Blues.

    Oh yeah. US/Canada. Never mind.

  183. jake70 says:

    Lol, Petry waits until the shot blocker is ready, then shoots. Hockey IQ.

  184. russ99 says:

    Lol.5-0… Throw a whole box of Sharpies, Eakins.

    His bush league tactics don’t work at this level. Simple fact.

    Tonight’s presser should be real interesting…

  185. jake70 says:

    Did I just see 6 rings frantically texting on his smart phone?

  186. fuzzy muppet says:

    This team is an embarrassment of the highest order.

    Another failure in a decade full of failures.

  187. Shingen says:

    It’s almost time to pull the goalie…

  188. Shingen says:

    jake70,

    6 rings probably texting Slats to see if they have an opening with the Rangers

  189. D says:

    jake70:
    Did I just see 6 rings frantically texting on his smart phone?

    Yeah – what’s up with that?

  190. hunter1909 says:

    Oilers would play in the aisles if the league allowed it.

    This could be a long 8-9 final minutes.

  191. hunter1909 says:

    This game needs some Rob Schremp hockey.

  192. bookje says:

    Without making any judgement on Eakins. Has any coach survived such a record to start their career?

  193. G Money says:

    Clay: Insert cliche about not being able to fire the whole team… but still, I just wonder where the line is.

    Smith and Bucky have to go. Have to. I do believe they are a part of this mess, but even if they aren’t – as I said earlier, they along with Gustavo Six Rings are part of the common thread of suckage, and they definitely aren’t part of the solution. Heads must roll, those two need to be first, and there are good NHL assistant coaches (especially ones capable of teaching defense) out there who can step in.

    As frustrated as I am getting with Eakins’ in-game decisions, a sixth head coach in five years will likely make things worse, and it does look like the team is the one in need of firing.

    I think the defensive message will eventually get through, but Hall, Jultz and Gagner all should be sitting next game. Remember “accountability”?

  194. Pablo Aimar says:

    When is management going to fire the clueless and incompetent coach?
    When is the owner going to fire the idiots in management?
    When is it all going to end?

  195. D says:

    Did Dubynk’s spirit slide into Bryz?

  196. Gret99zky says:

    Bryz closed his eyes on that one.

  197. hunter1909 says:

    Pablo Aimar: When is it all going to end?

    Sometime before the Sun explodes. Right Bruce?

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