OILERS AT DUCKS G35, 13-14

Dallas Eakins continues to implement his (modified) plan and hold players accountable. Oiler fans are hopeful he can also figure out the powerplay and many are openly questioning the heart and effort of the team after Vancouver.  In times like these, it’s important to observe the coach—what is he saying and what is the result?—and we have a good example right now with Sam Gagner.

THE GAGNER CASE (MOVING TO THE FOURTH LINE)

  • Eakins: “We have to understand as a group that we have to keep pucks out of our net. It’s not just D-one coverage. It’s about keeping pucks alive and possession but when we do lose it, our responsibilities are very simple in our end. We never want to cheat on a play.
  • Gagner: “I’m trying to get better defensively. I think it’s a case of some misreads here and there and it’s fixable.”
  • Eakins Vancouver post-game: “I actually thought Sam was one of the few guys we had who could make a play.”

All quotes are Matty’s from this article. I didn’t see Gagner good in Vancouver, but it sounds like Eakins liked some things so we’ll see how it rolls. Gagner did get a break in that the team lost and didn’t look good, two reasons a coach might shake up the roster. I don’t think there’s much doubt that based on performances so far this season that Arcobello should get the push tonight, but they do have a lot of money tied up in 89.

One thing that going 4line in a game does: it solves the riddle of Gagner’s saying one thing and doing another. There has been a lot of that this season on the Oilers,and if Dallas Eakins is going to control this very well paid group of youths he has to establish accountability. That’s the important item for the Gagner fourth line move. Other guys may look at that and think maybe I’m next, and maybe they are next! There are few items in a management arsenal more powerful than playing time, and those heavy duty items (trades, buyouts) are very drastic actions. One hopes we don’t get to that point, and it’s good the coach feels Gagner has improved but there must be more improvement from him and others.

I hope we see him good today.

JUSTIN PETERS

Bruce Garrioch has the Oilers looking at goaltender Justin Peters, and since the Hurricanes have three capable goaltenders that does make a certain amount of sense. The Oilers would be buying high on Peters, his current SP (.929) trumps his NHL career number (.905) by miles and miles. I buy that the Oilers are looking, because there are so many Dubnyk trade rumors around and they’ll likely want an established backup and maybe a goalie good enough to audition for next season’s starting role. It also makes sense that Peters is a free agent at the end of the year, they can bring him in and have a look with an eye to signing him before free agency (they need to sign someone for next season).

omark ferguson

LINUS OMARK

Elliotte Friedman mentioned Linus Omark being the next man traded out of Edmonton (well, OKC) on HNIC last night and it makes a ton of sense. The guy is too good for the minor leagues and will be too old when the NHL expands (he’d be a splendid expansion player) so his time is now. If MacT sees any interest, it’s the right thing to move him and it does point out just how much quality and depth exists on the wings for Edmonton.

DAVID CLARKSON

Jonathan Willis has an interesting item up about David Clarkson and the Oilers. Basic idea being with Toronto shocked by the suspensions and the performance, maybe Clarkson is available? It reminded me of free agency morning, I was preparing for the Lowdown and word came in that Clarkson was an Oiler (which is weird because they signed Gordon, Ference and LaBarbera by about 10:20 so it must have fallen apart very last minute) and I remember writing out my opinion of it. So, since Clarkson’s kind of in the Oilers news again I thought it would be interesting to post what I wrote that morning.

  • The Oilers talked about adding size to the top lines and giving their skilled players some help, and they clearly felt Clarkson was the best option. We don’t know the dollars yet but I don’t think it’s a stretch to say Clarkson is the highest paid Oiler today and the term is probably going to be the longest contract on the books. Think Shawn Horcoff with a higher cap hit. The odds of this being a contract the Oilers regret signing is high, but they wanted the guy and they got him. Is this another Souray, another Khabibulin? We don’t know. David Clarkson is 29 years old and coming off a career season, and the Oilers bought high today.

So, I don’t really see anything that’s changed in regard to Clarkson. Why help Toronto with their problem? Clarkson is having a market correction season, it would be foolish to take on a Nonis mistake.

TONIGHT, TONIGHT, TONIGHT

I don’t think they win, but am hoping Anton Belov, Jeff Petry and Justin Schultz play well. I expect those three defenders will be around next season. I wonder how many of this year’s blue never see the NHL again after this season? The Edmonton Oilers 2006-14 have been the last stop for a lot of guys, I bet a few of them could have helped another team but NHL general managers don’t call the #5D from the 29th place team often.

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190 Responses to "OILERS AT DUCKS G35, 13-14"

  1. justDOit says:

    I believe the Oilers stand a better chance against the Ducks, Sharks and Avs than they do against LA or Van (with Van already being in the books). How much better is the key, and if the Leaves can shovel 7 pucks into the Hawks net in 60 minutes, anything is possible. Is it flu season in SoCal yet?

    With the cap going up by roughly 7 million, it would be a bad idea to use all of that on one guy, who had a career year last season, but – Oilers. Can’t they just rush Moroz or someone into the show instead? Oh – right…

  2. Racki says:

    The cap will go up 7M this year, but the SNET deal kicks in the following year (well, the effects of it do…), so that should give another big boost somewhere in the 5-10 range.

    That said.. Clarkson… skeptical. I want to believe he’s just struggling and needs a new home (given the low S% stat), but I’m also not so sure the Oilers are the place where hands are found again. I also think the Oilers desperately need a top level d-man first and foremost. All in all, I wouldn’t be upset if the Oilers picked up Clarkson, as they have too much of the same kind of player here.. but I’m unsure how well it would work. If he didn’t have a 7-year deal, I’d say it’s worth a shot for sure. Now.. just skeptical (but would likely still be happy if they picked him up without moving a big name forward).

  3. PerryK says:

    N Schultz and Gagner for Phaneuf and Kulemin! We may have to take back 0.75 Mill on Schultz’ contract, but it is a good deal for us and very good for TO if they don’t intend to re-sign Phaneuf.

  4. PerryK says:

    PerryK:
    N Schultz and Gagner for Phaneuf and Kulemin!We may have to take back 0.75 Mill on Schultz’ contract, but it is a good deal for us and very good for TO if they don’t intend to re-sign Phaneuf.

    Here is a reasonably balanced D lineup:

    Phaneuf – Petry
    Belov – J Schultz
    Ference – Larson

    Top pair plays 24 minutes. 2nd and 3rd pairings would get 18 minutes each.

  5. Bad Seed says:

    Better that Toronto has buyer’s remorse with Clarkson than Edmonton.

  6. Lowetide says:

    I think Toronto signs Phaneuf. The Oilers imo are more likely to find and Ehrhoff or maybe St. Louis has to offload Barrett Jackman (who I like for J Schultz partner). I don’t think there’s a #1D available, and the Oilers will likely add Darnell Nurse in the fall with an eye to having him grow into that role eventually.

  7. Andy P says:

    I’d love to see Justin Peters and Bryz as our G tandem for the rest of this season. Give DD a fresh start somewhere else, anywhere, I don’t care. Confidence lost, all round.

    Not that DD is a bad goalie, he is likely handicapped by an unfair equipment ruling. Unfair because he is 1″ too short to qualify for Ben Bishop’s equipment, so he’s stuck with equipment designed around a 5’11″ G. Perhaps the next club can appeal this for a more fair ruling while he plays backup.

    But for me those 3 x 5 game losing streaks and those crucial soft goals just stick in my craw.
    I’m not sure Bryz is the long term answer either after his playoff performance in Philly, but he’s plenty good for the rest of this season and perhaps more as he allows the future #1′s to grow behind him.

  8. Thiru says:

    We’re now getting into a larger sample size of Gagner not being helpful.

    I think Eakins has been more than fair in his handling of this situation, and certainly no one can accuse him of not giving 89 enough of an opportunity.

    This will be an interesting storyline. I’ve been a Gagner booster in the past, but he really needs to contribute more if he wants to be here.

  9. Lowetide says:

    Oilers just tweeted out Bryz starts.

  10. Gret99zky says:

    See I like Nurse but hate, hate the idea of bringing him in next year.

    Let him develop his game in the minors and in the AHL.

    The only thing these young kids learn to do on the Oilers is lose, lose, lose, lose, lose. Over and over again. And pick up bad habits.

    Keep them down. Teach them how to win. Get a winning mentality infused in them and then bring them up for short stretches.

  11. VOR says:

    I am sceptical about trading Sam Gagner. Great defensive centers (yes I just used the term great defensive center in the same paragraph as Sam Gagner) are made, not born. Sam is easily smart enough to figure it out. Joe Sakic was -45 one year back when Quebec was the worst team the NHL ever saw. Didn’t stop him from being +40 in the Avalanche’s glory years. I am not comparing them by the way – Sakic was getting torched while scoring over 100 pts a year (live puck era).

    However, I will say Gagner might simply be one of those guys who figures out defence later in his career and is a key part of a very good team. I know you are all of the opinion that if he was going to do so it would have happened by now. Those of you who believe that should watch game 8 of the 1972 Summit Series. Look past the heroics of Henderson, Cournoyer, and Esposito and notice the center who is doing the heavy lifting. It isn’t Espo. It isn’t Bobby Clarke. Its Jean Ratelle. By the way, I am not comparing Gagner to Ratelle I would think RNH is the much better Ratelle comparable. I am just saying centers can go from defensive face plants to shut down legends (Ron Francis for example). Never has that been quite so clear as in the case of Jean Ratelle.

    At 26 Ratelle couldn’t take faceoffs and couldn’t play defense and was struggling to hang on as the #3 or even #4 center of the New York Rangers. The Rangers weren’t that good a team and Ratelle was at best a mediocre player. He hadn’t produced the offence that Sam has to date and he didn’t play defense anywhere near as well.

    The next year, at the ripe old of age of 27, Ratelle was reunited with his former Junior linemate, Rod Gilbert. Gilbert threw a temper tantrum until he got Ratelle as his center. Those spoiled, over paid superstars sometimes know what is in their best interests.

    Each year those two guys offence got better but remarkably so did their defence. They could out check you even when they couldn’t out score you. Their corsi was probably incredible. Later, as two thirds of the GAG line Ratelle and Gilbert would arguably be the core of the best two way line in the history of hockey. They are both in the Hall of Fame.

    But Ratelle is more than a Hall of Famer because at the point when most players are on the short ride to retirement Ratelle was traded to the Boston Bruins in one of the most famous trades of all time. It turned Ratelle was a long ways from retirement. Jean Ratelle became the very thing the Oilers crave so much, a big, two way center who can outplay. The thing is at his heaviest Ratelle who was 6’1″ weighed 180 lbs, most years he was more like 170. He didn’t do it with muscle he did it with smarts.

    So when you look at Sam Gagner and see a player who hasn’t progressed just pause for a moment and think about Jean Ratelle who in his 7th NHL season managed 11 points as the Rangers 4th line center. Looks pretty dismal right. But we know his best 13 years in the NHL were still ahead of Jean Ratelle at the very point it seemed he would never get it.

  12. Melman says:

    LT – do you deal J Schultz if needed to bring in a top pairing D?

  13. godot10 says:

    Cam Fowler is only finally becoming a complete two-way D in his 4th season.

    Yet people expect perfection from Justin Schultz, who is just 80 games into his career, and he doesn’t have Beachemin to play with.

  14. Lowetide says:

    Melman:
    LT – do you deal J Schultz if needed to bring in a top pairing D?

    Sure. My only untouchables are Hall, Nuge, Yak and Nurse, plus Perron is a guy I’d have a hard time dealing.

  15. Bulging Twine says:

    Upcoming UFA’s who arguably could be considered 2nd line Centers:

    Thornton SJ
    Marleau SJ
    Stastny COL

    Bolland TOR
    Legwand NSH
    Grabovski WSH

  16. czar says:

    Lowetide,

    After the perron trade I don’t think anyone in St. Louis is taking MacT’s calls but if they are I’d be going after one of their UFA goaltenders. Another guy i’d like is Stewart from the Blues, he started slow but is coming on of late so not sure he’d even be available. The guy has played us tough and we know hitch developes complete players.

  17. Lowetide says:

    Great post by VOR re: Gagner. Just wanted to add that both Ratelle and Gilbert had weird injuries too that held them back. Ratelle’s are mentioned here

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=JpUtAAAAIBAJ&sjid=4p8FAAAAIBAJ&pg=3183,1277984&dq=jean+ratelle&hl=en

    and here

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=n2hkAAAAIBAJ&sjid=k3wNAAAAIBAJ&pg=2273,2549688&dq=jean+ratelle&hl=en

  18. czar says:

    How about Doobie,Gags and VOR’s post for Halak?

  19. Lowetide says:

    Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers 41m

    Coach Eakins says #Oilers have a few players questionable to play tonight, adding there will definitely be some line changes vs. ANA.

  20. VOR says:

    LT,

    I find it amazing and also heartening that guys with the injury histories of Gilbert and Ratelle would have such long careers. Ratelle in particular just went on and on defying the odds and age.

  21. DeadmanWaking says:

    VOR,

    Thanks for that. It’s clear that MacT believes Gagner can be rebuilt as a complete player, but I was having trouble constructing the narrative inside MacT’s head based on recent results—especially Gagner’s eye-popping self-love in that recent presser.

    I missed the pre-game the other night. The first shift where the fourth line came over the boards and Gagner was mentioned I said “Hallelujah!” out loud under my breath.

    Judgement calls on vital second-tier assets lollygagging at the crossroads are where a competent GM earns the big bucks. There are some aspects of the job where you win some, lose some. If Gagner flops with the NMC in his back pocket, not even landing another Perron erases a black mark etched in stone with a permanent marker.

    Some calls can only be made from the gondola seat. I suspect even the great GMs will admit in a private moment that it’s almost as much luck as skill, especially before they establish enough reputation to ride out a major blunder.

    Once a GM gets his top-three 0.700 judgement calls right in his first two seasons he joins the 700 Club.

  22. Caramel Obvious says:

    Regarding Clarkson, Willis made the point that bringing Clarkson in saves you from making a bigger mistake next year. The cap going up doesn’t actually create cap space since it just inflates free agent salaries. So if you get Clarkson for a bad cap hit in 2013 dollars that’s better than the Clarkson equivalent in 2014 dollars.

    In a twisted kind of way that makes sense. It makes even more sense if you can get a prospect or draft pick included to make up for the bad contract.

    So to summarize while the contract is bad, Clarkson is a pretty good player and would certainly help the team. The contract is only bad if it prevents you from doing something later. If what you would do later is a Perron type deal then getting Clarkson is terrible. However, if what you would do later is sign Clarkson 2.0, I’d rather have Clarkson 1.0. Best move of all would be get MacArthur 2.0

  23. TheOtherJohn says:

    Ratelle was an absolute beauty of a player. He also had 51 points in the 6 team NHL at age 24. That would certainly be on par with any scoring year Gagner has had to date.Sakic’s -40 was at age 20. Not 24 And as to his size: 180 lbs was not a small man then. Gordie Howe was a big man at 205 lbs.Bobby Hull 190 lbs and John Ferguson 185 lbs

    Gagner’s problem is not that he cannot play defense. He simply has no interest in playing it.

  24. TheOtherJohn says:

    LT

    Did you see those job ads in the Gazette: 15-$20,000 for sales managers

  25. PaperKurtRussell says:

    Just watching the Greyhounds game, and Nurse is looking DAMN GOOD! He jumped into the play Jultz style and then cut around the Dman and crashed the net Glenn Anderson style… not bad for a mean 6’4″ dman.

  26. Lowetide says:

    TheOtherJohn:
    LT

    Did you see those job ads in the Gazette: 15-$20,000 for sales managers

    Sales managers of what? lol.

  27. Old School G says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    Regarding Clarkson, Willis made the point that bringing Clarkson in saves you from making a bigger mistake next year.The cap going up doesn’t actually create cap space since it just inflates free agent salaries.So if you get Clarkson for a bad cap hit in 2013 dollars that’s better than the Clarkson equivalent in 2014 dollars.

    In a twisted kind of way that makes sense.It makes even more sense if you can get a prospect or draft pick included to make up for the bad contract.

    So to summarize while the contract is bad, Clarkson is a pretty good player and would certainly help the team.The contract is only bad if it prevents you from doing something later.If what you would do later is a Perron type deal then getting Clarkson is terrible.However, if what you would do later is sign Clarkson 2.0, I’d rather have Clarkson 1.0.Best move of all would be get MacArthur 2.0

    Who do you figure could be our MacArthur 2.0? What about a Lars Eller 2.0, too?

  28. Old School G says:

    A couple soon to be UFA defencemen that caught my eye while I was daydreaming checking the CapGeek UFA list: Scott Hannan and Stephane Robidas.

    If we added a couple guys like Hannan and Robidas to play with Petry and JSchultz I think we are a much better hockey team. Way tougher to play against too. The last pairing could be Ference with Larsen or Belov based on match up. Nurse, Marincin, Klefbom, Simpson, Gernat, and on, and on, could move along at a slower pace by adding in a couple veteran bridge defencemen for a season or two.

  29. jp says:

    PerryK:
    N Schultz and Gagner for Phaneuf and Kulemin!We may have to take back 0.75 Mill on Schultz’ contract, but it is a good deal for us and very good for TO if they don’t intend to re-sign Phaneuf.

    Considering both Phaneuf and Kulemin are both UFA this could be plausible. I think throwing in Clarkson and maybe Gardner could make make for some interesting trade possibilities/speculation.

  30. Lowetide says:

    Everything we’ve read out of Toronto has the Leafs signing Phaneuf, and they’re certainly not trading him this season as long as they are in the race. Might as well wait and see if he goes UFA at this point.

  31. bendelson says:

    Just curious: Is there any appetite for Grabner out of NYI around these parts? He’s in a crazy bad slump (buy low?) and his speed would be interesting on the 3rd line. His cap hit is a little rich but nothing crazy. Kills penalties too. I’d put him in the Kulemin range of player… fair?

    Too small? Too soft? Too expensive?

  32. Lowetide says:

    Hemsky out (rib injury) Ryan Smyth draws in.

  33. Robinthe403 says:

    God I wish folks would stop talking about Phaneuf even being a remote possibility for the Oilers #1 D solution… There is no way, NO WAY Elisha Cuthbert Phaneuf will be okay with living in Edmonton 8 months of the year. Please stop suggesting this is a possibility, it ain’t.

  34. boxman says:

    Robinthe403,

    exactly the above

  35. Lowetide says:

    I agree, Phaneuf’s extremely unlikely to come to Edmonton, but the hockey reason is Toronto will sign him. That’s why these guys are so valuable and you should never trade one without getting another in return.

  36. theres oil in virginia says:

    Lowetide:
    Hemsky out (rib injury) Ryan Smyth draws in.

    Thanks Kesler. (Wasn’t that him who knocked Hemsky hard last game?)

  37. stevezie says:

    A couple weeks ago I realized I had made a mistake thanking God we avoided the Clarkson contract. I’m not exactly longing for it, but between the cap spiking and a potential buyout costing Katz money, not me, I think it makes a certain kind of sense. Ol’ Lou says it’s never an overpay when you get something you need, and Clarkie qualifies.

    Let’s not make the mistake of thinking he would have to play his whole career here- desperate teams are usually willing to take salary dumps. Too many awful contracts on awful players have moved for to believe in the concept of “unmovable” players any longer. It’s a myth. Just Redden- everybody else moves.

    Caramel Obvious: The contract is only bad if it prevents you from doing something later.

    Exactly. Exactly!

    Of course it’s all theory, I just can’t see Nonis trading “The new Wendle” so soon after acquiring him. Has such a thing ever happened to a prized (sorryHB) FA signing in his first year?

  38. stevezie says:

    Old School G,

    Nice face. But do you have to use so many cuss words?

  39. John Chambers says:

    stevezie,

    Agree that Clarkson is the player they need, especially to push back against the Kassians of the West. And in all fairness they’ll buy out the last two years of the contract if it becomes a boat anchor.

    But Clarkson is listed as 6’1″ 200 lbs. is that really anywhere near the size needed to battle Jeff Carter, Getzlaf, or Thornton?

    Clarkson is more of a tactical nuke than an ICBM.

  40. stevezie says:

    John Chambers,

    Clarkson is undersized as a fighter, but we’re bringing him in to play hockey. A specific brand of hockey, but hockey. I know everyone crucified on him for it, but this team could use a guy willing to jump off a bench to wrestle a guy who outweighs him by 60 pounds to protect a teammate.

    I’m talking about attitude more than fighting. I know we like to mock the mainstream, and maybe I am just a no good quisling, but I buy the idea that we’re too easy to play against. Clarkson grinds the board, goes to the net, and doesn’t need to play with skill. The word when he was in Jersey is he mostly creates his own shots- like a scrapping Hemsky.

    Dramatic overpay for a guy who will probably average 15 goals over his time here, but you can only look for the perfect fit for so long.

  41. hunter1909 says:

    stevezie: maybe I am just a no good quisling

    To whom? People who are trying to elevate a nation founded on fur trapping to Star Trek utopiana, and one of the clumsy methods they choose is to support no touch, wuss hockey…but once Edmonton reaches that ideal and yes, ices what in essence is a ladies hockey team suddenly reverts to childhood based views on reality?

  42. hunter1909 says:

    I no longer pretend to understand what’s wrong with the oilers, aside from Kevin Lowe and the assistants and the GM who in all ways are intrinsically flawed.

  43. PaperDesigner says:

    Okay, so the tactic would be to bring in Clarkson, use him as a short-term solution, and then buy him out two to four seasons down the line when his usefulness is lower than the cap, and they need to give his cap space to another player?

    First question, did they already use an amnesty buyout on Belanger, or was that a regular buyout?

    I don’t know if you’d want to knowingly plan to use your “get out of jail free” card on a player that you trade for. Tactically, wouldn’t it make more sense to reserve it for somebody else’s mistake?

    Yes, with the cap going up, Clarkson’s hit may be reasonable for a few years. But eventually, he’s going to decline. And I don’t care how much the cap goes up: 5 million is still going to buy you a pretty good player five or so years from now.

    I don’t mind the player type. I do think said player type is way, WAY overvalued in the NHL, and I don’t see the point to acquiring him on that kind of contract. And furthermore, I don’t think you need to have a crash and bang second line winger to win. But you certainly need quality defencemen. And if they’re going to do something drastic, they need to start there.

  44. DeadmanWaking says:

    hunter1909: ladies hockey team

    What the fMRI is teaching us is that we’re all ladies underneath the bony prominence. No matter the size of your brow ridge—male or female–the inside of your head is still a custard pudding.

    Sports are not natural manhood, either.

    Do you think a husky Neanderthal stands at a granite rock face fishing his car keys out of a rocky crag using a long stick with his back turned knowing there’s an angry body-slamming gorilla inbound at 30 mph? What, did Worf lend you his 23rd century Nature channel access credentials again?

    Earlier today I came across that old man-boob chestnut “pain is weakness leaving the body”. While I was washing up the dishes it rearranged itself to “death is weakness leaving the body”. Works either way.

    About the best we can hope for from this year’s bask in the Pacific sunshine is an out-of-body experience.

  45. Gerta Rauss says:

    Lowetide:
    Hemsky out (rib injury) Ryan Smyth draws in.

    theres oil in virginia: Thanks Kesler.(Wasn’t that him who knocked Hemsky hard last game?)

    Eklunds got rumors of a Rangers deal.
    I don’t follow the twitterverse, I don’t know if anybody else is saying the same thing.

    Maybe Hemsky is sitting because he’s on his way to Broadway?

    \blatant speculation

  46. Gerta Rauss says:

    PaperDesigner,

    Belanger was a compliance buyout. The Oilers have 1 more left, but all teams have to use them this summer or lose them(I think the window opens June 15)

    And I agree, a 1LD should be the priority.

  47. bendelson says:

    If your going to overpay in a trade for a Clarkson ‘type’, doesn’t it make sense to sacrifice approx. 10 goals a year and find a trade for one of the many Abdelkader ‘types’ out there that cost half the money? You could get two for the price of one Clarkson. Two sounds good.

  48. Lowetide says:

    Chase with an assist so far tonight.

  49. VOR says:

    The Other John,

    At 24 Ratelle was the Rangers top scorer with 51 points. He looked like a keeper. Though that was the first sign of real NHL level skill Ratelle had shown. Then the back surgery happened. Coming back from that he just couldn’t find his offence and couldn’t check well enough to justify a job. The next year, back with Gilbert his offence exploded but both guys committed to defence and each year became both more dominant offensively and defensively. By 1972 they were the best two way line in the NHL. I was not implying they acquired some magical skill as they aged. Merely that Ratelle, all though it is also true of Gilbert, learned to play defence when older than Gagner.

    Thus it is not too late for Gagner to learn. All that is required is that he commits to taking pride in that part of the game. It is possible Ratelle and Gilbert were more serious and professional young men after they nearly lost their careers to injury and that explains their improvement. I would like to think that it wouldn’t take spinal fusion surgery to inspire Gagner to begin learning how to play in his own end.

    All I was saying to his detractors was that it is not impossible for defensively deficient centers to become shut down centers. Nor is it too late for Gagner to learn.

  50. Lowetide says:

    VOR:
    TheOther John,

    At 24 Ratelle was the Rangers top scorer with 51 points. He looked like a keeper.Though that was the first sign of real NHL level skill Ratelle had shown. Then the back surgery happened. Coming back from that he just couldn’t find his offence and couldn’t check well enough to justify a job. The next year, back with Gilbert his offence exploded but both guys committed to defence and each year became both more dominant offensively and defensively. By 1972 they were the best two way line in the NHL. I was not implying they acquired some magical skill as they aged. Merely that Ratelle, all though it is also true of Gilbert, learned to play defence when older than Gagner.

    Thus it is not too late for Gagner to learn. All that is required is that he commits to taking pride in that part of the game. It is possible Ratelle and Gilbert were more serious and professional young men after they nearly lost their careers to injury and that explains their improvement. I would like to think that it wouldn’t take spinal fusion surgery to inspire Gagner to begin learning how to play in his own end.

    All I was saying to his detractors was that it is not impossible for defensively deficient centers to become shut down centers. Nor is it too late for Gagner to learn.

    The other thing history tells us is that the Rangers had options. Red Berenson was a helluva player and there was genuine discussion during that period (based on what I’ve read) about how to proceed. I think they had Goyette too, who was an extablished center and Earl Ingarfield too if memory serves (but could be wrong).

    Ratelle was in some danger during that period, no doubt. It’s a really good comp in that way.

  51. TheOtherJohn says:

    VOR

    Not saying Gagner can’t play D. Think he simply does not care to play it. Its hard work to play both ends of the rink.

    That is what is so frustrating about him: good complimentary scorer

  52. icecastles says:

    hunter1909: I no longer pretend to understand

    I doubt that will stop you from tossing out gems like the ‘women’s hockey’ observation. I’m pretty sure that pretending to understand things (then ranting angrily about them) is the bread and butter of sports fandom and comment threads.

  53. Lowetide says:

    Gagner gets the push. Like I said in the post, I didn’t see it Friday night but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

    Bob Stauffer ‏@Bob_Stauffer 17m

    Oilers lines: Hall-RNH-Eberle, Perron-Gagner-Yakupov, Smyth-Gordon-Jones, Joensuu-Arcobello-Gazdic

  54. Lowetide says:

    Jack Michaels ‏@EdmontonJack 16m

    Looks like Ference with Petry, Larsen and J. Schultz, and N. Schultz with Potter. Belov out.

    Don’t like those pairings at all. At all.

  55. Lois Lowe says:

    The Larsen and Schultz pairing should just have Yakety Sax cued up and ready.

  56. franksterra says:

    Lois Lowe,

    Looking at the line up as a whole, is there a theme song for the Bataan Death March?

  57. bookje says:

    Lowetide:
    Jack Michaels ‏@EdmontonJack 16m

    Looks like Ference with Petry, Larsen and J. Schultz, and N. Schultz with Potter. Belov out.

    Don’t like those pairings at all. At all.

    Strange. I wish we could get the Eakins who does all of the press conferences as opposed to the guy who seems to coach the games. Press conference Eakins seems smarter than coach Eakins.

  58. Brackenburied says:

    Wow, one night on the fourth line. I bet Gagner has learned his lesson!
    Belov HS again. I bet the Shultz twins have learned there lesson?!?!

  59. Lowetide says:

    NUGE! That top line is effective.

  60. Brackenburied says:

    Lowetide:
    NUGE! That top line is effective.

    Man, that was a nice goal!!

  61. D says:

    Lowetide:
    NUGE! That top line is effective.

    Bryz also made some key big saves early on as well.

  62. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Nice hand eye by Nuge. I like when Hall circles around the wagons like that. opens up options

  63. Nuckout says:

    D

    Early on, this team has rallied around Bryz. He brings a calmness and a veteran presence that Dubs just doesn’t bring to the table.

    I didn’t see the Van game, but was Belov that poor that it warranted a HS? These D pairings seem like shooting rubber bands at the stars.

  64. D says:

    Yak almost handcuffed Hiller there.

  65. D says:

    Nuckout:
    D

    Early on, this team has rallied around Bryz. He brings a calmness and a veteran presence that Dubs just doesn’t bring to the table.

    I didn’t see the Van game, but was Belov that poor that it warranted a HS? These D pairings seem like shooting rubber bands at the stars.

    Not sure if it warranted a HS, but Belov has had better games :)

  66. Lowetide says:

    Schultz-Larsen is a comedy and a tragedy. It’s a tramedy.

  67. D says:

    Man, 4th line goal by the Ducks. Sigh.

  68. leadfarmer says:

    You got to tie up that stick.

  69. Nuckout says:

    Good signs thus far. Connecting passes and getting shots through to hiller. After watching the Boston game and so far tonight, its nice these boys can hang with the big cats.

  70. Lowetide says:

    pp oilers. Score so I can go bbq happy.

  71. Gerta Rauss says:

    Well we couldn’t have asked for much more.

  72. Pouzar says:

    Yak had Ryan Smyth wide open there and he throws a muffin in the chest. Jezzuz.

  73. Pouzar says:

    Perron is a beauty.

  74. bookje says:

    Nuckout:
    D

    Early on, this team has rallied around Bryz. He brings a calmness and a veteran presence that Dubs just doesn’t bring to the table.

    You can just see it in their body language and how they hold their sticks.

  75. VanOil says:

    Perron looks to be a good influence on young Yakupov. I hope they get a couple months together.

  76. bookje says:

    Lowetide:
    Schultz-Larsen is a comedy and a tragedy. It’s a tramedy.

    I like comagedy better.

  77. Lowetide says:

    Yakupov is going to score 300 on the powerplay.

  78. VanOil says:

    I wish some one in Hollywood understood TV lighting

  79. Lowetide says:

    bookje: I like comagedy better.

    Sounds like a bee gees song.

  80. hunter1909 says:

    icecastles: I doubt that will stop you from tossing out gems like the ‘women’s hockey’ observation. I’m pretty sure that pretending to understand things (then ranting angrily about them) is the bread and butter of sports fandom and comment threads.

    Since you’re one of the more honest posters here I will tell you the truth: I tuned in this game seconds before the Ducks scored, and casually watched a following power play, but instead of wondering whether or not these losers score I just watched the slot knowing full well the puck would be getting passed from one side of the blue line to the other, back then over down the wing back to the blue line then fumbled and a Ducks rush maybe I don’t recall. Boring as fuck.

    I’m just about finished watching this. It’s just boring predictably terrible hockey. A bunch of crazy entitled punk players who think stats padding means they’re doing their job. Maybe I’ll watch the rest of the game, maybe I turn it off whenever.

  81. VanOil says:

    5 shots for Yak already. If he takes 10 shots a game for the rest of the year we still would not make the playoffs but we would all be in a better mood.

  82. jp says:

    Jones. That was far worse than the Yakupov 2 on 1 non-pass.

  83. Lowetide says:

    Arcobello with the hit! Lordy! Potter takes a penalty.

  84. VanOil says:

    Lowetide: Sounds like a bee gees song.

    Fitting they are a hard as bee gees

  85. Pouzar says:

    Potter.

  86. Lowetide says:

    Well, Belov will be back in Tuesday because Potter is probably going to be suspended. Plus of course there’s a 5-min PK. Lordy.

  87. Brackenburied says:

    So down to 5 D and 2 of them are J. Schultz and Larsen. Oh my!

  88. bookje says:

    Brackenburied:
    So down to 5 D and 2 of them are J. Schultz and Larsen. Oh my!

    With that said, they only lost Potter and he is a marginal NHL defenseman and as such, it can’t have much impact. (glass half full world).

  89. Lowetide says:

    HUGE SAVE BY BRYZGALOV!!!!!!

  90. jp says:

    One hell of a save by Bryz there. Relatively huge.

  91. Pouzar says:

    Wow…that’s a save!

    Post?

  92. Suntory Hanzo says:

    Where has this team been all along?

  93. Kitchener says:

    Just tuned in. Games look way more winnable when at 1-1 than when down 3-1 following two softies in the first.

  94. nelson88 says:

    Suntory Hanzo:
    Where has this team been all along?

    Thinking the same thing. Particularly against those dinks from Vancouver. Love the aggressive play tonight. Confidence in the goalie?

  95. Pouzar says:

    Eberle has to shoot earlier instead of dangling all the time. Use the d-men as screens and snipe it.

  96. VanOil says:

    Kitchener:
    Just tuned in. Games look way more winnable when at 1-1 than when down 3-1 following two softies in the first.

    You are wrong, timely saves are a myth, only SV% matters ;)

  97. Suntory Hanzo says:

    What is the super corsi fenwick stat site? Can’t remember the name right now. Not behind tenet anymore is it?

  98. bookje says:

    VanOil: You are wrong, timely saves are a myth, only SV% matters

    3 goals in the first would be a terrible save percentage for the goalie. With that said, my experience is that the Oilers play WAY better when they are down a couple of goals, so perhaps its best to let those two goals in the first and then shut the door the rest of the night.

  99. FastOil says:

    nelson88: Thinking the same thing. Particularly against those dinks from Vancouver. Love the aggressive play tonight. Confidence in the goalie?

    The Ducks are up the Oilers alley. Mild mannered and not deep. PDO 104 is the story.

  100. Pouzar says:

    VanOil: You are wrong, timely saves are a myth, only SV% matters

    Yeah and the psychology of allowing the shitty goal doesn’t matter either.

    Anybody see Bryz move his blocker on the Selanne shot? Sweetness!

  101. LostBoy says:

    Thank you Andrew Ference.

    sigh

  102. Pouzar says:

    Jinxed it. ****

  103. FastOil says:

    But he’s old we don’t have to check him!

  104. Brackenburied says:

    LostBoy:
    Thank you Andrew Ference.

    sigh

    I think Larsen gets the blame there or at least a share.

  105. hunter1909 says:

    bookje: With that said, my experience is that the Oilers play WAY better when they are down a couple of goals

    The “let the other team think they’re going to win” strategy.

  106. Lowetide says:

    VanOil: You are wrong, timely saves are a myth, only SV% matters ;)

    Glad you’re coming along on this. Saves five years of arguing.

  107. fuzzy muppet says:

    terrible play by Ference

  108. hunter1909 says:

    I’m jumping onto the Ducks bandwagon tonight. Penner, Cogliano, and Souray all skating with the cup will put a smile on Kevin Lowe’s face.

  109. LostBoy says:

    Brackenburied,

    There’s plenty of blame to go around, but Ference committed the gruesome giveaway which started the scoring sequence.

  110. Suntory Hanzo says:

    VanOil,

    Thanks Van.

    Coming out Abbotsford way for the okc games right after christmas?

  111. VanOil says:

    Lowetide: Glad you’re coming along on this. Saves five years of arguing.

    That pesky Parkatti and his new fangle shot quality/expected goals stat has kind of ruined that argument starter so we need something.

  112. crude says:

    hunter1909,

    I feel like maybe I already am a Ducks fan based on how often I BOOOO J Schultz.

  113. FastOil says:

    LostBoy:
    Brackenburied,

    There’s plenty of blame to go around, but Ference committed the gruesome giveaway which started the scoring sequence.

    MacT has really blown his NTC’s.

  114. Brackenburied says:

    LostBoy:
    Brackenburied,

    There’s plenty of blame to go around, but Ference committed the gruesome giveaway which started the scoring sequence.

    Yeah agreed on the giveaway. Larsen had two choices. Puck carrier or guy going to the front of net. You could see he thought of both but ended up doing neither.

  115. VanOil says:

    Suntory Hanzo,

    I am away until the 28th but it would be neat to get to see that OKC D in person the forwards not so much.

  116. Lowetide says:

    VanOil: That pesky Parkatti and his new fangle shot quality/expected goals stat has kind of ruined that argument starter so we need something.

    I spent a long time calling Dellow names before I came around. I blame it on being aged.

  117. jp says:

    hunter1909:
    I’m jumping onto the Ducks bandwagon tonight. Penner, Cogliano, and Souray all skating with the cup will put a smile on Kevin Lowe’s face.

    Wow, that’s some bold action. Sounds unprecedented!! Wow.

  118. LostBoy says:

    FastOil,

    Heh. But obviously it’s just deflating when we’re somehow hanging on in a game like this and the evil comes from an unlikely source. We are not favoured by the hockey gods right now.

  119. fifthcartel says:

    How much does Eakins love Larsen or just doesn’t have anyone else to play?

  120. hunter1909 says:

    FastOil: MacT has really blown his NTC’s.

    That’s no problem. MacT will come clean probably in the summer 2015 explaining that NTC’s were something he hadn’t quite got right, but now that he’s learned his lesson it won’t happen ever again.

  121. hunter1909 says:

    crude,

    Looks like the Ducks dodged a bullet, lol.

  122. VanOil says:

    Lowetide: I spent a long time calling Dellow names before I came around. I blame it on being aged.

    I view SV% kind of like democracy, a shitty way to run a country until you compare it to every other way.

  123. FastOil says:

    fifthcartel:
    How much does Eakins love Larsen or just doesn’t have anyone else to play?

    Ben Lovejoy acquired for a 5th round pick, 6’2″ 215 lbs, 65.4% Goals for. Top QoC for the Ducks. I think it’s a matter of if what you’re looking for is actually what is valuable. Oh ya, all at 1.1M. Ouch.

  124. fishman says:

    I am sorry but Larson, NShultz and Potter cannot all be in the starting line up on any NHL team. You might scrape by with one of them as a no 6. That’s on MacT. Oil playing with some gumption tonight but likely going to be outmatched. This team goes no where without a minimum of acquiring 2 top 4 dmen and at least one has to be a top pair type and the other rugged.

  125. crude says:

    People like to poke fun at Smyth’s slow-hand slapper from the the top of the circle, but I’ll be darned if it doesn’t earn an O-zone face-off 100% of the time. Never seems to rattle around the boards and out of the zone for an odd man rush the other way.

  126. Gerta Rauss says:

    It’s looking a lot like the Vancouver game to start this 3rd period.

  127. FastOil says:

    crude:
    People like to poke fun at Smyth’s slow-hand slapper from the the top of the circle, but I’ll be darned if it doesn’t earn an O-zone face-off 100% of the time. Never seems to rattle around the boards and out of the zone for an odd man rush the other way.

    Ryan smrt.

  128. VanOil says:

    What coke machine did we use that Cogliano pick for? Was he in the LTs top 20?

  129. Andy P says:

    Who thinks last night’s goalie is in the same league as tonight’s goalie?

  130. boxman says:

    yeah baby

  131. jp says:

    Veteran move by Gagner there!!!

  132. Rebilled says:

    Well done Samwise.

  133. Lowetide says:

    VanOil:
    What coke machine did we use that Cogliano pick for? Was he in the LTs top 20?

    Marco Roy. I have him high.

    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2013/11/3-prospect-marco-roy.html

  134. fuzzy muppet says:

    Please don’ trade Yakupov

  135. Kitchener says:

    Sam!

  136. Gerta Rauss says:

    VanOil,

    Without looking it up, I think we traded it for 2 later picks.

    *edit-I stand corrected

  137. crude says:

    Alright Sam! Just seven more, and all is forgotten.

  138. VanOil says:

    VanOil:
    What coke machine did we use that Cogliano pick for? Was he in the LTs top 20?

    Marco Roy. Hope he survives the Oilers development process he actually looks to be a good one.

  139. FastOil says:

    Good one Sam grumble

  140. Nuckout says:

    Now, boys. Finish. Let’s repeat. Finish.

    Finish… Finish..finish..

  141. bookje says:

    Andy P:
    Who thinks last night’s goalie is in the same league as tonight’s goalie?

    Dubnyk has been terrible, it’s right there in his save percentage. If his save percentage were .920 we would all be happy.

  142. FastOil says:

    Arco nice D play in the slot

  143. bookje says:

    Maybe Eakins fixed Gagner.

  144. Andy P says:

    bookje,

    Sometimes all it takes is for the player to get that the coach means what he says.

  145. crude says:

    Lovejoy really playing well. Making Hall eat it, and neutralizing the Nuge.

  146. Gerta Rauss says:

    That seems about right.

    Cogs with the empty netter-I’m calling it now

  147. Brackenburied says:

    Dubenesque!!

  148. Rebilled says:

    I was wondering if it was going to be Cogs or Chubbs.

  149. crude says:

    Well, we kinda knew that was coming.

  150. D says:

    Might as well be Penner.

    [Edit] and gift wrapped by Petry.

  151. hunter1909 says:

    Nothing to worry about.

    Oilers are no more than 10 players away from icing a playoff team.

  152. Andy P says:

    No shame in that loss, we just need a 220lb Nurse.

  153. Gerta Rauss says:

    hunter1909,

    We’re going to be good in 2-3 years

  154. Gerta Rauss says:

    Ah well, what are you gonna do

    See you on Tuesday.

  155. dsr29 says:

    No more Larsen please. 3 guys in front of him and hammers it into their shin pads……..again!

  156. hunter1909 says:

    Dustin Penner number one star.

  157. Nuckout says:

    Well the Ducks haven’t lost at home yet. Who the hell do the Oilers think they are thinking they’re gonna change that..

  158. Kitchener says:

    Andy P:
    No shame in that loss, we just need a 220lb Nurse.

    … especially on that late sequence where Getz and Perry were playing catch in our zone. If Nurse can translate his OHL game to the NHL, our zone will be tomfoolery-free for 30 minutes a game.

  159. crude says:

    Why is Eakins putting Larsen out there with the empty net!!?

    … ooh wait I remember… Potter was ejected.

  160. Andy P says:

    Oh man, am I the only one who thinks that when they turn up to play this team is so close to being competitive in the WC?

  161. crude says:

    Andy P:
    Oh man, am I the only one who thinks that when they turn up to play this team is so close to being competitive in the WC?

    Anaheim?

  162. bookje says:

    Penner signed for about the same as Grebeshov.

  163. Andy P says:

    crude: Anaheim?

    cough oilers cough

  164. Trites says:

    hunter1909:
    I’m jumping onto the Ducks bandwagon tonight. Penner, Cogliano, and Souray all skating with the cup will put a smile on Kevin Lowe’s face.

    It probably would actually.. I can see the press conference now:

    “And one last note – as it appears everyone seems to have forgotten – under my leadership the Oilers acquired Penner, Souray, and Cogliano, who were all traded away by my successor. That’s three key pieces to this years Ducks championship. So I think I know a thing or three about winning, if there is ever a concern.”

  165. Big Dan says:

    Very impressed with the Oilers’ game tonight. I was worried because it was their 3rd game in 4 nights, and the Ducks are awesome. I remember the best playoff series of 2013 was Anaheim vs. Detroit. The Ducks were clearly the better team but Detroit gutted through and got the breaks they needed.

    That Cogliano must have pumped weights the last few years. Still fast but tough now too. And where do we get one of those Lovejoy’s? Boy, do the Oilers need one of those.

    As for Gagner, it looks like the 4th line wakeup call worked. He was awesome! Nice tying goal, good fight along the boards, great work in the faceoff circle… Eakins’ “positive accountability” approach seems to have worked. Where has he been hiding all year?

    Jeff Petry, another guy I’ve been totally unimpressed with lately, was terrific too. Us fanboys need to have patience – he’s great when he has confidence.

    I thought Andrew Ference had a strong night too, breaking up plays against the big line.

    Off topic but no thanks to Justin Peters. Carolina’s season went to the toilet last year when Ward went down. Peters is worse than Labarbera. Why bother? Bachman should be back soon.

    Next is an even bigger test. Like Vancouver, LA delights in beating us up and eating our lunches. Let’s hope they make a game of it. Bryzgalov makes this an NHL team.

  166. FastOil says:

    Big Dan,

    “Let’s hope they make a game of it. Bryzgalov makes this an NHL team.”

    I wish Big Dan, I wish.

  167. edoil1 says:

    It was a good effort with a predicable outcome,I actually am starting to like Eakin’s given what lineup he has ,sometime it feels like this team is on a sinking lifeboat trying to bailout water with leaking pails,while the Katz yacht passes by with Kevin,Mct,Housen suntanning on the deck saying”did you see, or here something…Na…where is that girl with the drink’s?

  168. FastOil says:

    edoil1:
    It was a good effort with a predicable outcome,I actually am starting to like Eakin’s given what lineup he has ,sometime it feels like this team is on a sinking lifeboat trying to bailout water with leaking pails,while the Katz yacht passes by with Kevin,Mct,Housen suntanning on the deck saying”did you see, or here something…Na…where is that girl with the drink’s?

    True. Or rent a boat from human smugglers, put the team on it and ask why they are such shitty sailors.

  169. hunter1909 says:

    edoil1:
    It was a good effort with a predicable outcome,I actually am starting to like Eakin’s given what lineup he has ,sometime it feels like this team is on a sinking lifeboat trying to bailout water with leaking pails,while the Katz yacht passes by with Kevin,Mct,Housen suntanning on the deck saying”did you see, or here something…Na…where is that girl with the drink’s?

    That’s Bucky serving drinks.

  170. Bank Shot says:

    Oilers should trade Perron right now for the best Defenceman they can get. It really seems like the logical thing to do.

    Perron’s value is probably at an all time high. I believe it is unlikely that he sustains his nearly ppg pace over the next two seasons. Sell high.

    If Perron somehow does manage to maintain this pace then he will be asking for 7-8 million per season on his next contract which the Oilers can not afford if they want to keep the kids. All of whom except Yakupov have sweet, long term deals. In that case they would have squandered 2-3 good seasons by Perron on a non-playoff team.

    Ideally in year three of Perron’s contract, the oilers will be at least pushing for a playoff spot. If they can’t resign him at that point then they have to let him walk for nothing or hurt the team trading him for futures at the deadline.

    Trading him now seems like the best move. What do others think about that?

  171. gcw_rocks says:

    7-3-1. Whoops, then they played some real teams. 0-3-0.

  172. crude says:

    I can see what you are saying. However, I can’t help but feel like trading players who earn their (ridiculous pro-sports) contracts in the interest of hanging on to players given contracts based on potential might not be the best course. At least wait until the deadline when his value, should he continue at this pace, will be at it’s peak. Even then I would be pained to see him go. Perron has been my favourite player to watch this year – and it’s not close.

  173. TheOtherJohn says:

    Chicago in the second game of a B2B outshot Kings 40-22 in a 3-1 win, expect that they will be a wee bit pissed Tuesday night.

  174. Andy P says:

    Perron is the kind of player that adds toughness and grit, the kind of player we need more of. I sincerely doubt MacT would willingly trade that fellow.

  175. FastOil says:

    Bank Shot:
    Oilers should trade Perron right now for the best Defenceman they can get. It really seems like the logical thing to do.

    Perron’s value is probably at an all time high. I believe it is unlikely that he sustains his nearly ppg pace over the next two seasons. Sell high.

    If Perron somehow does manage to maintain this pace then he will be asking for 7-8 million per season on his next contract which the Oilers can not afford if they want to keep the kids. All of whom except Yakupov have sweet, long term deals. In that case they would have squandered 2-3 good seasons by Perron on a non-playoff team.

    Ideally in year three of Perron’s contract, the oilers will be at least pushing for a playoff spot. If they can’t resign him at that point then they have to let him walk for nothing or hurt the team trading him for futures at the deadline.

    Trading him now seems like the best move. What do others think about that?

    That is one way to approach it. I don’t think they need studs. They need competent. As I mentioned above Lovejoy is a 1M cast off.

    The team has the skill players. For example Petry is drowning and I don’t think he is physically strong enough to play heavy forwards. Ference isn’t either, he played with much bigger D in Boston than the Oilers had – he was sheltered. He gets pushed around as well even if scrappy.

    I talked to a guy today, not an Oiler fan, and he says “the Oilers need journeymen. Those brilliant young guys would score 50 playing with the Sedins, but they won’t develop without help. They need to trade one of them for a lot of help now before they get close to UFA.” I don’t agree with all of that, but the whole league, even opposing fans know. It isn’t that complicated.

    I just hope MacT isn’t trying to bottle lightning. What happened in the past was dumb ass lucky more than anything, not repeatable.

  176. Rondo says:

    Almost 8 years of futility

    8 years of words.

    This year again battling for last place in the NHL.

  177. Pablo Aimar says:

    Rondo:
    Almost 8 years of futility

    8 years of words.

    This year again battling for last place in the NHL.

    And there has been no progression. 4-10-2 against the Western Conference. 6 points behind CALGARY who have 2 games in hand. And their “rebuild” is in year one. Its a total disaster.

  178. Andy P says:

    Do you people ever get tired of repeating your negative mantras? You obviously don’t read anything on this blog or you would know better.

  179. Lois Lowe says:

    It’s amazing that I still enjoy being an Oilers fan after this many years of terrible, but I do. What is sad, however, is that the Christmas period and into January are typically a death march for them; beatings will continue until morale improves. I honestly did not expect the team to be as bad this year, I am as gullible as a Cleveland Browns fan.

  180. Old School G says:

    I cannot figure out the lack of ice time for Joensuu. He received 2:55 of ice time tonight. What’s the deal?

  181. Hammers says:

    Hopefully Gags has figured it out as it looked that way tonight . I’m sure everybody noticed that what many of us said before the season started Eakins did tonite .RNH /Hall/Ebs ; Gags/Yak/Perron . The only line we didn’t get was Gordon /Hemsky/Smyth . Maybe Eakins is figuring it out . I don’t understand why Belov was out but Potter should get a 2 game suspension so he should be back in . I can accept loosing with a decent effort and tonite was more than decent . McT still needs to add a top 2-3 “D” . He won’t get a one-two without giving up one of the top 6 .

  182. Andy P says:

    I’d suggest that the team that MacT and Eakins was about as broken as a team could possibly be.
    That the time it is taking to turn them into a competitive WC team is longer than either GM or Coach thought, except that the MacT/Eakins rebuild is in it’s very first season. Lots of good pieces to start with, lots of good pieces added, more to come between now and next season.
    Reduced churn this off season, next training camp will likely have a familiar coach, and important new pieces on Offense, Defense and Goal.

    This looks like a different team in front of poor broken DD as opposed to Bryz. But we still need that stud #1 Defensive pair, some more sandpaper up front, and a stable and competent NHL goalie tandem in net. But we already have key skilled p[layers that are the hardest of all to find.

    So I’m quite encouraged when we hold a team like the Ducks to a 1 point game and 2 goals in 60 minutes.
    This is a very different team to the one Eakins started with, much better by eye anyway.

  183. Zelepukin says:

    I’m still in amazement at Gags in the dots tonight. 13 for 16 and completely owning Getzlaf is unheard of.

  184. TheOtherJohn says:

    Andy

    We do read the comments here. We also keep track of the facts.

    The Oilers are 28th in the league. They are DFL in the Western Conference. They’ve been out of the playoffs for 8 straight years. They are 4-5-1 in the last 10 games and 2 of their next 3 games are against strong teams. Our record against strong teams is shit. Actually against our own division we are 1-5-2 (beating only Calgary in regulation) and we have 16 more games against those teams. See that’s part of the problem. We’ve played the 22nd strongest schedule so far and we are 28th in the league. Our schedule will also be getting harder. We are currently on pace to have 58 points.

    But you are right: by adding an elite defender (or two),a top notch goaltender, some veterans with sandpaper in their game without trading any of our good players away for desireable assets, while keeping away from too much churn on our roster and the Oilers should be good.

  185. hoser313 says:

    Old School G:
    I cannot figure out the lack of ice time for Joensuu. He received 2:55 of ice time tonight. What’s the deal?

    He was probably sat for taking a bad penalty.

  186. hoser313 says:

    I thought the offense, defense and goaltending all looked pretty good tonight against a very hot team.

  187. stevezie says:

    TheOtherJohn,

    I think it would be a mistake to look at the results of this game as a extension of the season so far. The team has looked better lately. If the OIl were a .500 team to this point and they took a good Ducks team to the brink we would say, “Well, we’re clearly not there yet but that wasn’t bad.”

    Why not just say that now? It’s equally true in either case.

  188. gcw_rocks says:

    Pablo Aimar,

    This is what happens when organizations stagnate; when they don’t bring in fresh ideas and fresh perspectives. And anyone who thinks MacT and Howson bring fresh perspectives is kidding themselves. Both learned at the knee of Lowe.

  189. gcw_rocks says:

    stevezie,

    The team has looked better of late against the weakest competition out there. Any time they face a play off team they get spanked.

    May we also refer you to the standings, which put Edmonton in last place in their conference, behind the Flames.

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