OILERS AT FLAMES, G40 13-14

The Oilers come out of the break with a game against their provincial (used to be) rival, the Calgary Flames. Calgary is ahead by 7 points, with 2 games in hand, which means they’re basically out of reach for the Oilers.

Incredible.

OILERS GOALS, BY DISCIPLINE

  • 5×5 GOALS FOR: 61
  • 5X5 GOALS AGAINST:90
  • 4X4 GOALS FOR: 4
  • 4X4 GOALS AGAINST: 4
  • EMPTY NET GOALS FOR: 4
  • EMPTY NET GOALS AGAINST: 8
  • POWERPLAY GOALS FOR: 25
  • POWERPLAY GOALS AGAINST: 25 (when Oilers are shorthanded)
  • SHORTHANDED GOALS FOR: 1
  • SHORTHANDED GOALS AGAINST: 8 (when Oilers are on powerplay)

What a mess. The powerplay is a net 17 because they’ve given up so many shorthanded goals, and their 5×5 is simply horrible. What can a team, halfway through the season, do about a 61-90 GF-GA gap at 5×5? Well, I’d suggest work like buggers improving that number in the second half!

WE ARE HERE! Let’s wipe the slate clean and make the second half 90-61! They have enough talent to score the 90, I’ll say that much about this bunch. The goaltending seems to be returning to something resembling normal, so that leaves playing without the puck.

 FIRST CALLUPmarincinferguson

Martin Marincin hasn’t reached first callup status (I think Taylor Fedun would be the selection if healthy) but this is his second recall and that must mean he’s doing enough good work to be considered a reasonable option for next season.

VOLLMAN SLEDGEHAMMER, F’S

post-christmas sledgehammer

Look at that beautiful blue bubble representing David Perron. Coach Dallas Eakins will play him with Nuge and Hall tonight, second game in a row. It looks like that trio works, even through you’d think foot speed would be an issue. Perron’s a player I love to watch, he skates upright like Ken Hodge or Claude LaRose of my youth, and he’s such an exceptional player with the puck. I continue to be amazed by St. Louis undervaluing him—they’re smart cookies—and with Perron on a 78, 33-31-64 pace there’ s a good chance that blue bubble makes him Oilers MVP for 2013-14.

A few other bubble notes:

  • Ryan Smyth! I’d sign him for another year. 4line mind, PK, but what a warrior.
  • Boyd Gordon is Henri Charrière.
  • The top 6 forwards (Hall, Eberle, Hemsky, Nuge, Gagner, Yakupov) not named Perron are all being used in the same general way.
  • Perron’s playing tough minutes, less than 50% OZ starts, big blue bubble. Lordy.

VOLLMAN SLEDGEHAMMER, D’S

post-christmas d sledge

Notice Justin Schultz getting the soft parade and wonderful zone starts and yet not acquiring a blue bubble? Not good, people. The tough minutes are going to the much-maligned Jeff Petry and Andrew Ference, while Phil Larsen is also along for the ride. Nick Schultz is wearing a bad color against soft comp, Belov a little better in a spot where he should thrive.

Looking at this graph, the only guys I’m liking are Petry and Ference.

Both of these graphs are a little aged, as both the Vollman and Behind the net sites are lagging. Extra Skater is brilliantly updated, I’ll post their numbers tomorrow for the GDT.

I HATE THIS

The Oilers are doing the ‘break him down and build it back up‘ deal with Yakupov, it’s a hateful deal. One more indication he isn’t like the others, and really too bad in my opinion.

dreger quote

 

Huh. I guess Dreger must talk with Nonis. Who knew?

 

POSSIBLE LINES AND PAIRINGS

  • Nuge-Hall-Perron
  • Gagner-Joensuu-Eberle
  • Gordon-Smyth-Hemsky
  • Lander-Horak*-Yakupov
  • Ference-J Schultz
  • Belov-Petry
  • N Scultz-Marincin*
  • Dubnyk starts

We’ll see, I don’t really know where they’ll put Horak and Marincin, but have flushed Gazdic and Potter for fun.

The Oilers have placed Ryan Jones on IR to make room for Horak, and will have to make another move to get Marincin on the roster. Because of this, I’m less certain Marincin actually plays tonight, he might be here for midnight and the 3-for-1 trade that brings in Christian Ehrhoff.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

mirren

TSN 1260, this is the only show between now and next Thursday, hope you can tune in at 10. Scheduled to appear:

10 this morning, @Lowetide_ on twitter and 10-1260 via text.

 

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214 Responses to "OILERS AT FLAMES, G40 13-14"

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  1. DBO says:

    Looking forward to seeing your 4th line. Hope that is what it is as I love the idea of 2 two way forwards with enough skill to help Yak out. And have Yak on the PP. Gagner line gets soft parade, two tough minutes lines in the 1st and 3rd, and actual NHLer’s on the 4th line. Please say it is so!!

    Only thing missing is a top end dman. Or 2 solid dmen, pushing everyone down a rung on the food chain back there.

  2. GordM says:

    In the Stauffer/MacTavish interview, here is the response given when the GM was asked about the fans/patience/etc…as he was describing what it takes to build a long-term successful team (typing while he was talking so I might not be exactly word for word):

    _____________
    The only way to do that is to suffer a little bit of pain and suffering. And the way you get from the bottom to the top is littered with failure along the way, and a lot of pain and suffering around every corner, but it really is the only way to build a team that success is sustainable for a long period of time.
    ———————–

  3. Ben says:

    Fearless post-xmas predictions:

    RoHo scores tonight.

    MacT claims Ranger on waivers, trades N. Schultz and Hemsky to NY for not much.

    Oil trade Yak for Hamonic.

    Kevin Lowe fires Joey Moss.

    Bryz and Dubnyk both move at the deadline, Oil alternate Freddie Braithwaite and Mikhail Shtalenkov for the rest of the year. Ekblad.

  4. stevezie says:

    One classy dame.

  5. Woodguy says:

    I didn’t initally bet on EDM today at +115 (has since moved to +110) because of this:

    EDM AwayFen 43% (28th in NHL)
    CAL HomeFen 46.3% (28th in NHL)

    Probable starting goalies:

    DD (confirmed) .892
    Bera (probable) .900

    Its the battle of awfulness.

    I think the only smart bet is on the over. (Over 5.5 -115)

    Then PDO told me Smid was questionable. Add that to Russell and Wideman being out and the Oilers have a fighting chance so I hit it.

    Brodie and Gio are good D, but they can’t be on the ice all the time.

    Also,

    I wes talking to a guy who knows things at the end of TC and asked how Eakins was doing.

    He response was “He’s definitely an acquired taste. Backs are up and it won’t happen over night”

    I think we see the Oilers now acquiring the taste if Jones’ piece is any indication.

    Link to piece: http://www.edmontonsun.com/2013/12/25/jones-taylor-hall-makes-case-for-olympic-team-spot

    Money quote:

    “I’ll share this with you,” said coach Dallas Eakins.

    “My goal for Taylor, and he understands this and he’s in, is that within a period of time, and I won’t tell you what that period is, he is going to be the best defensive left winger in the game.

    “And he’s still going to get 100 points per year.

    “That’s the goal. He wants it.

    If Eakins isn’t blowing smoke and Hall has really committed to this, then this is a very good thing.

    He is the leader among most of the younger guys and they will follow his lead.

    Perhaps this will become a hockey team soon.

    Just got to get Goneyay out of the C spot.

  6. Woodguy says:

    As for the Ranger thing.

    The Oilers already have about 8 6/7/8 Dmen on the roster in EDM and OKC.

    Ranger would make 9.

    I hope they don’t do it.

    MacT let Eakins bring in Acton and Hamilton (both on 2 year deals no less), I hope he’s done with Eakins bringing Marlies and when it comes to adding D that MacT aims higher.

  7. Hall Awaits says:

    LT:
    I’m curious what you think of David Moss to fill the Pisani-role? I think if we could somehow bring in Moss and Winnik through free agency we would finally have a third line that could carry the weight and still have some decent scoring numbers.

  8. Woodguy says:

    The Oilers are doing the ‘break him down and build it back up‘ deal with Yakupov, it’s a hateful deal. One more indication he isn’t like the others, and really too bad in my opinion.

    I disagree that its a “break him down to build him up”

    I think its more of a “you must be the best option to get the ice time”

    I have no problem with that as gifting kids ice time without defensive accountability is why Eakins is having to teach this team basic defence. Teaching this to players in the 4th-7th years of their NHL career.

    Hell, even Gaggnay spent time on the 4th line this year.

    I like your idea of running Lander and Horack with him though.

    Gadzooks is where the puck goes to die.

  9. jp says:

    Woodguy:
    As for the Ranger thing.

    The Oilers already have about 8 6/7/8 Dmen on the roster in EDM and OKC.

    Ranger would make 9.

    I hope they don’t do it.

    MacT let Eakins bring in Acton and Hamilton (both on 2 year deals no less), I hope he’s done with Eakins bringing Marlies and when it comes to adding D that MacT aims higher.

    I’ve been told that the Leafs D is AT LEAST twice as good as the Oilers D. By my calculations that would make Ranger a lock in the top 4, likely top pairing. I think you need to reconsider.

  10. boxman says:

    Woodguy shouldn’t that be Gazdooks??

  11. cdean says:

    Where is Lander on the graph?

  12. cdean says:

    Eakins needs to get his message across of two way hockey, I think he should show the entire team the Mighty Ducks 3 movie. Maybe that will inspire them and knock them out of their entitlement funk.

    Best line from the coach, ‘we are hunting for goose eggs.’

  13. sumaclab says:

    Let the competition begin. Its now about who stays and who goes before deadline day or beforehand. Look forward to seeing the likes of Marincin and Klefbomin the next few months.
    Sam Rheinhart looked as he should against Germany. So did Mantha. And the Russians.Wow.
    Love the tournament season.

  14. justDOit says:

    cdean:
    … I think he should show the entire team the Mighty Ducks 3 movie…

    Something tells me they’ve already seen it: http://sports.cbsimg.net/images/nhl/blog/012413_flyingv.jpg

  15. bookje says:

    The Oilers power play could also do better by scoring more often. The goals against are just half of the problem. If they were doing as well on the scoring front as last year, they may have 5-6 more wins this year.

  16. Andy P says:

    jp: I’ve been told that the Leafs D is AT LEAST twice as good as the Oilers D. By my calculations that would make Ranger a lock in the top 4, likely top pairing. I think you need to reconsider.

    With respect, you may want to ask that person to back that statement up with some stats:

    Toronto is 109 GA, for 2.80 GA/G.
    Edmonton is 134 GA, for 3.44 per game.

    If we were to use that very simple stat as a basis, one could claim that Toronto’s Defence is ~20% better than Edmonton’s, and that is including DD’s disastrous start and the string of injuries to the team that we went through.

  17. Pouzar says:

    I think people expecting a lot of movement pre-deadline will be disappointed.
    Just a gut feel.

  18. DBO says:

    Pouzar,

    agreed. I expect a crazy draft lead up and weekend. And that may be it, other then Schultz Sr. and the UFA’s being moved.

  19. Tapdog says:

    @saraorlesky: No Zach Bogosian at morning skate for the #NHLJets#TSN

    Could this be the 3-1? Gagner+??
    Sorry, a guy can dream…

  20. Woodguy says:

    jp: I’ve been told that the Leafs D is AT LEAST twice as good as the Oilers D. By my calculations that would make Ranger a lock in the top 4, likely top pairing. I think you need to reconsider.

    You keep your calculator in your pocket nerd, I’m going on gut!

  21. oliveoilers says:

    Tapdog:
    @saraorlesky: No Zach Bogosian at morning skate for the #NHLJets#TSN

    Could this be the 3-1?Gagner+??Sorry, a guy can dream…

    You misspelled Garnjeay.

  22. Woodguy says:

    Andy P: With respect, you may want to ask that person to back that statement up with some stats:

    Toronto is 109 GA,for 2.80 GA/G.
    Edmonton is 134 GA, for 3.44 per game.

    If we were to use that very simple stat as a basis, one could claim that Toronto’s Defence is ~20% better than Edmonton’s, and that is including DD’s disastrous start and the string ofinjuries to the team that we went through.

    He was referencing this post:

    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2013/12/hockeys-rockford.html/comment-page-1#comment-281058

  23. Andy P says:

    Accepting that one would not expect stellar plus/minus numbers from a D, it is still noteworthy that not one of our D’s have a positive +/-.
    To put in perspective: 25 D’s have +10 or more; another 96 D’s have +1 to +9.
    Our most offensive D, in more ways than one, though, at 269th, has Roman Josi, Chris Butler, Dustin Byfuglien and Mike Weber behind him, maxing out at -17.

    At what level of minus can a D be considered a pylon?

  24. Bank Shot says:

    GordM:
    In the Stauffer/MacTavish interview, here is the response given when the GM was asked about the fans/patience/etc…as he was describing what it takes to build a long-term successful team (typing while he was talking so I might not be exactly word for word):

    _____________
    The only way to do that is to suffer a little bit of pain and suffering. And the way you get from the bottom to the top is littered with failure along the way, and a lot of pain and suffering around every corner, but it really is the only way to build a team that success is sustainable for a long period of time.
    ———————–

    MacT better get on his phone right away and let the Sharks and Blues know that they built their teams using an impossible method.

    What an asshole.

  25. Andy P says:

    Woodguy: He was referencing this post:http://lowetide.ca/blog/2013/12/hockeys-rockford.html/comment-page-1#comment-281058

    Interesting, seeing JP’s response:

    “Good God man! The Leafs give up the most shots in the league. They’re outshot by almost 10 shots per game. Twice as strong as our D? That’s absurd.”

  26. jp says:

    Andy P:

    At what level of minus can a D be considered a pylon?

    Ryan Whitney is at -7 (in 6 GP), so…..

    WG, any chance of tweeking that Thor/WAR algorithm to WAW?

  27. Caramel Obvious says:

    Bank Shot: MacT better get on his phone right away and let the Sharks and Blues know that they built their teams using an impossible method.

    What an asshole.

    The Blues are basically the model for a quick rebuild and they missed the playoffs five out of six seasons.

    We have to face the facts that rebuilding in the NHL is difficult to impossible. The same teams make the playoffs year after year. Most teams that try to rebuild will fail. Those are the facts.

    We also have to realize that the first rebuild has already failed. This is year one of the rebuild. That’s just the way it is.

  28. Woodguy says:

    jp: Ryan Whitney is at -7 (in 6 GP), so…..

    WG, any chance of tweeking that Thor/WAR algorithm to WAW?

    Numbers don’t go that high.

  29. Pouzar says:

    Pascal Dupuis done for the year.

    Hemsky to PIT???

  30. RexLibris says:

    With regards to the Yakupov “break him down to build him back up”, aka Marines approach.

    Not sure that is entirely true.

    I think some of us are comparing Yakupov’s development to that of Hall and Eberle but ignoring the difference in coaches. Had Eakins been HC of H.O.P.E in year 1 would we have seen ice time doled out differently? Would Hall have been asked to earn his ice time on different criteria than was dictated by Renney?

    By my recollection, Hall was no screaming hell on defense his first couple of seasons, and Eberle’s defensive play was covered up by his terrific offensive zone control. Paajarvi was the only one that seemed to show any defensive zone awareness at the cost of his offensive zone aggression.

    So in short, I think Eakins is giving Yakupov the lessons early in his pro career that Hall and the rest of the cluster skipped, perhaps even as as far back as their junior seasons. The one exception being Nugent-Hopkins, he’s been schooled in a 200-foot game going back to his Red Deer days and it shows.

  31. Bank Shot says:

    Caramel Obvious,

    Caramel Obvious: The Blues are basically the model for a quick rebuild and they missed the playoffs five out of six seasons.

    We have to face the facts that rebuilding in the NHL is difficult to impossible.The same teams make the playoffs year after year.Most teams that try to rebuild will fail.Those are the facts.

    We also have to realize that the first rebuild has already failed.This is year one of the rebuild.That’s just the way it is.

    Those aren’t facts. Rebuilding isn’t some epic feat. It’s time consuming but it’s pretty commonplace. Lombardi rebuilt the Kings in a short span. Poile built the Preds from expansion to playoffs in like four years. The coyotes after cleaning out Gretzky went to the playoffs in a season or two.

    You are right that it’s impossible for the Oilers as they retained the management that has brought us this near record breaking futility.

  32. kev says:

    Dreger and Nonis are second cousins …

  33. Derek says:

    Bank Shot:
    Caramel Obvious,

    Those aren’t facts. Rebuilding isn’t some epic feat. It’s time consuming but it’s pretty commonplace. Lombardi rebuilt the Kings in a short span. Poile built the Preds from expansion to playoffs in like four years. The coyotes after cleaning out Gretzky went to the playoffs in a season or two.

    You are right that it’s impossible for the Oilers as they retained the management that has brought us this near record breaking futility.

    Lombardi was hired by the Kings in 2006 and they won the cup in 2011/12. Prior to the cup win the Kings made the playoffs in 2002, missed 7 years straight (maybe 8 without the lockout), were eliminated in the first round the following two years, and then won the cup the next.

    Poile has done some impressive things with a team hampered by an internal cap, but for the most part the Predators are the Oilers of the late 90′s early 2000s, an 8th seed eliminated early by a top seed.

    The Coyotes much like the Kings made the playoffs twice from 2000 to 2010, were eliminated in the opening round in 2010 and 2011, then were eliminated in the finals by the kings.

    Alot of rebuilding teams go through extremely long playoff droughts, some go on to success in the playoffs and some don’t. The exception is that Edmonton was absolutely terrible under Tambellini and racked up three first overalls.

    In two years time someone may say Edmonton hired Mactavish and 2 years later were in the playoffs, conveniently forgetting about all the sucking they did previous. I’d be fine with that.

  34. Woodguy says:

    Caramel Obvious: The Blues are basically the model for a quick rebuild and they missed the playoffs five out of six seasons.

    We have to face the facts that rebuilding in the NHL is difficult to impossible.The same teams make the playoffs year after year.Most teams that try to rebuild will fail.Those are the facts.

    We also have to realize that the first rebuild has already failed.This is year one of the rebuild.That’s just the way it is.

    Teams that successfully build or re-build do this:

    1) Draft well, especially outside the 1st round/late 1st round
    2) Make good small bets on lower profile players (identifying under valued players in other orgs)
    3) Make reasonable FA signings.

    Basically they have good management.

    When I was perusing the STL roster I saw a lot of first rounders so I decided to have a look at how the Blues acquired their players and whether or not they were first rounders.

    Let’s look at the Blues (in order of pts this year):

    Steen – robbed TOR in trade (was 1st rounder in 2002 – 24th overall)
    Backes – 2nd rounder 62nd overall in 2003)
    Oshie – 1st rounder (25th overall 2005)
    Roy – FA signing (2nd rounder 32nd overall 2001)
    Schwartz – 1st rounder 14th overall 2010
    Shattenkirk – part of trade with COL that STL won (2007 1st rounder)
    Bouwmeester – Deadline rental then re-signed long term (1st rouner 3rd overall in 2002)
    Stewart -Part of trade with COL that STL won (2006 1st rounder – 18th overall)
    Pietrangelo – 1st rounder (4th overall 2008)
    Tarasenko – 1st rounder (16th oberall 2010)
    Sobatka – trade with BOS that STL has won (so far) (2005 106th overall)
    Morrow – FA signing (1st rounder in 1997)
    Berglund – 1st rounder (25th overall 2006)
    Polak – 6th rounder (180th overall 2004)
    Lapierre – FA signing (2003 2nd round 61st overall)

    Halak – Trade with MON – MON got Eller – good trade for both (2003 draft 9th round 271st overall)
    Elliott – FA signing (2003 draft 9th overall 291st overall)

    So they have 5 of their own 1st rounders playing (2005, 2006, 2008, 2010×2)

    Shattenkirk was a COL 1 rounder (2007) and Stewar was COL’s 2006 1st rounder. STL traded their 2006 1st overall and their 2011 pick (that turned into Siemens) to get them.

    So out of the 17 players I listed here (basically their starters)they have:

    -5 of their own first round players on the starting roster.
    -3 1st rounders acquired in trade
    -2 first rounders signed as FA (including Bouw here)
    -2 of their own lower round picks (2nd and 6th)
    -2 non-1st rounders acquired in trade
    -3 FA signings of non-1st round players

    Notice that none of their picks selected after 2010 are playing in the NHL yet.

    Their breakdown in terms of age of players (via year they were drafted)

    1997 – 1
    2001 – 1
    2002 – 2
    2003 – 4
    2004 – 1
    2005 – 1
    2006 – 2
    2007 -1
    2008 – 1
    2009 – 0
    2010 -2

    So their “key cluster” looks to be about 2002-2006. (5 draft years)

    They are a dominate team starting to make the playoffs in 11/12 after being a fringe or bad team for years before that.

    If we consider the Oiler cluster to be 2007-2013 (6 draft years) and it takes the same amount of time to develop and get the roster straight, we can expect the Oilers to start making the playoffs in 2016.

    I think the Oilers will do it quicker.

  35. Woodguy says:

    Basically the STL version of being dominate is having most of your top 9 forwards and top 4 D be in their late 20′s or early 30′s.

    Taresenko and Schwatz excepted.

  36. G Money says:

    OK, I finally let my scepticism about this team prevail. I turned down tickets to tonight’s game. First time ever. Just too much of a pattern of this team getting fat and happy after a big win (hell, sometimes after a big period), and I just cannot sit through a loss to the Flames surrounded by the Pee of Red.

    Derek: Lombardi was hired by the Kings in 2006 and they won the cup in 2011/12.Prior to the cup win the Kings made the playoffs in 2002, missed 7 years straight (maybe 8 without the lockout), were eliminated in the first round the following two years, and then won the cup the next.

    In two years time someone may say Edmonton hired Mactavish and 2 years later were in the playoffs, conveniently forgetting about all the sucking they did previous.I’d be fine with that.

    Those with long memories may recall that Lombardi was hired to reboot a failed rebuild, and after just a couple of years there was talk that he might be fired because he wasn’t making fast enough progress. Turns out rebuilding is not a quick process even after years of sucking. Good thing (for them) the Kings stayed the course. Lombardi was smart enough to steadily build a core of large and defensively sturdy players – you know, like Stoll and Greene! – to complement his offensive talent.

    Actually, even with that in mind, the Kings are not a good analog for the Oilers. LA is probably the most desirable market in the league: good weather, big city, glamour and fame when you want it (i.e. in the nightclub trying to bag the endless river of insanely hot wannabe starlets chasing money and fame), anonymity when you want it (buying groceries after a loss). Basically, everything Edmonton is not. The Kings can sign free agents at a discount that Edmonton can’t get even at a massive premium. I imagine a rebuild in LA would be way easier than in Edmonton.

    It makes the suckage that is the Florida Panthers that much more sucky.

    Also, I’m not sure that the Blues (yet), Predators, or Coyotes are good rebuild targets either. It’s one thing, a much easier quicker thing, to build a playoff team. It’s another to build a contender. The Blues may (finally) be that, and Woodguy‘s analysis shows that it was a slow process even for them. The Preds and Yotes are most definitely not contenders. It’s arguable whether at this point they are even better than the Oilers, give or take a Weber or OEL.

  37. LMHF#1 says:

    Don’t get the logic of Dubnyk starting after a break. If you’re trying to make progress, Bryzgalov is your #1 and Dubnyk is for back-to-backs. If he shows bad early, you have to pull him. No ability to rebound mentally.

  38. justDOit says:

    LMHF#1,

    Doobie held the Oilers in the last game against the Flames, and they then mounted the come back to win.

    Highlights:

    http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?hlg=20132014,2,302&lang=en

  39. G Money says:

    Ha, great line by Jones in the Sun on the Oilers: “In a pile of manure that high, there’s got to be a pony under there somewhere.”

  40. Derek says:

    St. Louis has been in the top 10 (top three twice!) in team fenwick 5 on 5 in the past three seasons if you value such things. For my money they are one of the top teams in the NHL who occasionally suffer from uncertain goal tending. They’re basically the LA Kings of the past 3 seasons without the unreal postseason hot streak of a goaltender who has since fallen back down to earth.

    LA’s most recent free agency acquisitions include:

    Jeff Schultz (2013)
    Andrew Bodnarchuk (2012)
    Simon Gagne Ethan Moreau Trent Hunter (2011)
    Alexei Ponikarovsky Willie Mitchell (2010)
    Rob Scuderi (2009)

    I was going to say I disagree with you on that point but man Edmonton could really use a 2009 version of Rob Scuderi right about now.

  41. spoiler says:

    Derek: Lombardi was hired by the Kings in 2006 and they won the cup in 2011/12. Prior to the cup win the Kings made the playoffs in 2002, missed 7 years straight (maybe 8 without the lockout), were eliminated in the first round the following two years, and then won the cup the next.
    Poile has done some impressive things with a team hampered by an internal cap, but for the most part the Predators are the Oilers of the late 90′s early 2000s, an 8th seed eliminated early by a top seed.
    The Coyotes much like the Kings made the playoffs twice from 2000 to 2010, were eliminated in the opening round in 2010 and 2011, then were eliminated in the finals by the kings.
    Alot of rebuilding teams go through extremely long playoff droughts, some go on to success in the playoffs and some don’t. The exception is that Edmonton was absolutely terrible under Tambellini and racked up three first overalls.
    In two years time someone may say Edmonton hired Mactavish and 2 years later were in the playoffs, conveniently forgetting about all the sucking they did previous. I’d be fine with that.

    Chicago spent may years wandering the wilderness. Avs too, when their rebuild was young. The stories of the Red Wings and the Devils are like Don Quixote in length and type.

    The Oil won’t truly be a sustainable top team till their present cluster are mature vets and they have a second cluster coming behind them that they can afford to be patient with. This can be sped up by a miracle trade (like a Jumbo Joe) — bringing in a key vet without upsetting your cluster, but essentially it is all about patience. We also drafted our forwards ahead of our D and D take longer develop, steepening the curve early in the rebuild.

    Once the Oil cluster is vet and can vaunt, the Oil can afford to send pieces away for top ten 1st rounders a la Boston, giving sustainability to their Contender status.

    But right now, it’s either that miracle trade or patience while BigD teaches these young Stevie Wonders to see in the DZone until they fully develop into mature Stevie Ys. And we can’t wait as long as Detroit did for that light to go on.

    Yak on the 4th line technically gives the Oilers 4 scoring lines, lol. Jones Arco Yak when everyone is healthy. That should be able to eat up other teams fourth lines and it gives Yak an easy QualComp to play against while he figures out his NHL offense and defense. Can double-shift a top liner in with them instead of Jones, or use Yak to spell a penalty-killer from a higher line.

  42. Derek says:

    LMHF#1:
    Don’t get the logic of Dubnyk starting after a break. If you’re trying to make progress, Bryzgalov is your #1 and Dubnyk is for back-to-backs. If he shows bad early, you have to pull him. No ability to rebound mentally.

    I’ll take a shot in the dark that they want to run Bryz on the second game of a back to back, fresh against the team that bought him out. Also if you think Bryz is the superior goalie you may want him playing against the superior team.

    Or maybe Eakins is just a dumb dumb. Who knows?

  43. justDOit says:

    Derek,

    Are you Gadzooks?

  44. Caramel Obvious says:

    If you look at Woodguy’s list of Blues it is remarkable how many highway robbery trades were involved and how pretty much every draft pick landed.

    So basically the Blues roadmap is to never make a mistake drafting and to capitalize on the terrible management of other teams through trades.

    That is not a repeatable formula. Too much luck.

  45. G Money says:

    spoiler: We also drafted our forwards ahead of our D and D take longer develop, steepening the curve early in the rebuild.

    This is probably the single most important factor in why the rebuild requires patience.

    In an ideal world, we would have had two guys like e.g. Seabrook and Keith (both of whom were drafted early in the Hawks rebuild and were instrumental in allowing Toews and co. to flourish) here already and we would be far less full of angst at the state of our rebuild. Jultz and Petry will be part of the future contender (fingers crossed), but they ain’t no Seabrook/Keith.

    So we sit and wait for Klefbom, Nurse, and Marincin to become good enough to be difference makers, and hope for a trade for a 1D that is a 3 for 1 (picks and prospects) and not one that destroys the current forward cluster …

  46. G Money says:

    Caramel Obvious: That is not a repeatable formula. Too much luck.

    I would say to you bluntly that good luck and good fortune are part and parcel of any rebuild.

    That’s especially true when you look at how many top rank defenseman are late draft picks.

    It is much like building successful startup businesses (of which I’ve been part of four now) – when you’re successful, the founders take all credit for their brilliant business strategems, but if you dig deep, you recognize that every successful startup has a number of elements of really good fortune where critical things fell the right way without (or even despite) the efforts of the founders.

  47. Derek says:

    justDOit:
    Derek,

    Are you Gadzooks?

    Yes.

    I’m trying to keep my hands nimble for tonights on ice tilt vs whoever looks at Nail Yakupov, failing that, whoever I can catch.

  48. jp says:

    Derek: Yes.

    I’m trying to keep my hands nimble for tonights on ice tilt vs whoever looks at Nail Yakupov, failing that, whoever I can catch.

    I suspect there will be ample opportunity for you to grab some Flames tonight with those nimble hands. But have you also been practicing taking rocket passes from YakCity? You play hockey for a living you know.

  49. Big Dan says:

    I would love to see the Oilers get Paul Ranger. This is the kind of reclamation project you want. Someone who was one of the better defensemen in the NHL a few years ago before personal problems – for $1M.

    Some posters said we do not need a 8/9 defensemen. Sadly folks, he is definitely not that for the Oilers. He would be their 2nd best defensemen after Ference (who is smart and tries hard, but gets outmatched physically against the Getzlaf’s).

    I personally think posters here overrated Smid; I love him but he wasn’t worth close to $3.5M/year.

    I think LT vastly overrates Petry; I hope he can be dealt for a solid F (b/c there’s not a big gap between Petry and Marincin/Fedun + Petry will want a raise this summer).

    Belov is a good shot in the dark but he has struggled (I still like him).

    Justin Schultz is a nightmare defensively; I know we need to be patient with guys like him – the 200 game rule yada yada. I’m just saying right now, he can be painful to watch.

    Nick Schultz is just flat out terrible.

    Potter, now THAT’S a 8/9 D. Paul Ranger is 100 times better than him – he’s struggled a bit in TO and been a victim of numbers there. He can’t come here soon enough, he’d help big time. I hope MacT can drop a 4th rounder for him and open up a roster spot and some cap space for TO.

    My hunch is he’d flourish here in a 3rd pairing capacity. Like Steve Staios-like levels. He isn’t a career AHLer who’s a friend of Eakins like Acton or Hamilton. He is a former NHLer (an excellent one) on a comeback trail. We have an advantage because we have an inside track with Eakins. Use it MacT!

  50. Logan91 says:

    Big Dan,

    Ranger hasn’t been playing that great at all lately.

  51. "Steve Smith" says:

    Big Dan: He would be their 2nd best defensemen after Ference (who is smart and tries hard, but gets outmatched physically against the Getzlaf’s).

    …and also really isn’t very good.

    I’m okay with picking up Ranger, mostly on the basis of the whole “this is something, therefore we must do it” syllogism.

  52. Bank Shot says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    If you look at Woodguy’s list of Blues it is remarkable how many highway robbery trades were involved and how pretty much every draft pick landed.

    So basically the Blues roadmap is to never make a mistake drafting and to capitalize on the terrible management of other teams through trades.

    That is not a repeatable formula.Too much luck.

    Luck my ass.

    Was drafting first overall Erik Johnson who failed to live up to expectation luck? They moved him and corrected their mistake.

    1st rounder Rundblad wasn’t working out for them so they traded him for a 1st rounder and drafted Tarasenko on the redo. When is the last time the Oilers traded a perceived top prospect before he reached the age of 20? I can’t remember a single one.

    Blue management has guts and smarts. They had meh trades and they have had draft busts in the first round(Belle,Schwartz, Cole?, Rundbald) but they make more good moves then bad ones and that’s why the Blues are at the top of the standings.

    There are very few teams that have sucked as long and as hard as the Oilers and the management in place when this whole mess started is still in place today. That is probably a first.

    There are plenty of other teams that sucked for a good long time, but then became good over the course of 2-3 seasons once they had more competent management in place. I’m not aware of a management team that completely sewer-ed a team, and then brought them back to contender status.

    And I can’t believe that any fan would eat the garbage laid out by MacT that you HAVE to be terrible for a while in order to be a contender as if that’s the proper way to manage a hockey club.

    It’s complete bullcrap.

  53. Caramel Obvious says:

    Bank Shot,

    You aren’t listening. Learn to listen and then start thinking. Too many people start with the thinking. Thinking should always come last. Our society suffers from far too much thinking and not enough understanding.

    First lesson in any of my classes is I want my students to stop thinking for themselves. They are terrible at it and it gets in the way of understanding.

    Second lesson, is to learn how to listen.

  54. VOR says:

    Bankshot and Woodguy,

    I think you are right that you need management talent to get ahead, to build a winner. I’d only disagree with two points that seem to be implied by your comments. First, we don’t know yet if Craig MacTavish has the right stuff. Far too early to say.

    Second, it still takes luck if the end goal is greatness, true greatness. Competence can only take you so far. Then comes the moment where you have to have Dame Fortune on your side.

    Imagine it is September 1991 and everything you believe you know is about to be turned up side down.

    Your team has some very good players. But it lacks any kind of balance, has no leadership, no character, and has, simply put, the worst defense in hockey. You need a stud defence man. Hell you need 2. They need to be tough, stand up for their team mates, intimidate the opposition, brash team leaders.

    Your management does exactly nothing. In fact, two more rookies are put on the blue as the 7/8 D. Now those who misunderstand history would say that was brilliant management but without knowing the outcome they’d be the first people to say that was a crap move by the Detroit Red Wings management. Call it luck, a gift from the Gords, or simply the Universe unfolding as it should, by the spring of 1992 that 7/8 D pair would be the team’s 1/2 D and amongst the very best in hockey. One of the three greatest single season NHL turnarounds is largely down to two guys who nobody expected shit from when they came to training camp. I challenge anybody to seriously suggest Detroit’s management went, “you know that vicious little smurf in Russia, the one we drafted 200 something years ago, I bet if we put him with that Swedish kid who won’t hit anybody but can run a power play we will have the best 1/2D in hockey?”

    But Detroit would still be rebuilding if it weren’t for that pacifist Swedish D Man with the odd habit of sliding along the blue line on the power play to change the angle on the point shot. In turn he wouldn’t have survived in the early days without his psychopathic, fire hydrant side kick. That guy was mean enough for two or three stud D.

    So show me a team that has won a Stanley Cup and I will show you luck. Like the team with the college kid who couldn’t play in the AHL but when given a chance proved he could play in the NHL and hung around to mentor some of the game’s greatest young talents and massively speed their learning curve. (He apparently had never heard of NHLE.) Some manager supposedly knew that a failed AHLer would be the leader a group of kids he hadn’t drafted yet would follow into battle? Give me a break. Pure gift from the Gords.

  55. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Woodguy: Sobatka – trade with BOS that STL has won (so far)

    So far? Yeah, I suppose there’s a chance that 5’8, 170 pound d-man David Warsofsky (3 NHL GP) might blossom into a reliable top four defender. Barring that, I’ll take the 5’10, 197 pound tank on my third line every time.

    I almost sobbed when I read St. Louis got Sobotka. Was shocked he was on the market, and upset he went for next to nothing. What a steal.

    PS: Interesting analysis. I’m just splitting hairs on your choice of words.

  56. skinny65 says:

    Wow, Caramel, that is quite literally the most pretentious and condescending comment I have ever read on any blog ever!!!

  57. bookje says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    Bank Shot,

    You aren’t listening.Learn to listen and then start thinking.Too many people start with the thinking.Thinking should always come last.Our society suffers from far too much thinking and not enough understanding.

    First lesson in any of my classes is I want my students to stop thinking for themselves.They are terrible at it and it gets in the way of understanding.

    Second lesson, is to learn how to listen.

    You must be a sociologist! Sociology is the only discipline that I can think of that would actively seek to dissuade thinking as part of learning.

    Any other discipline would encourage thinking and listening.

  58. Lowetide says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    Bank Shot,

    You aren’t listening.Learn to listen and then start thinking.Too many people start with the thinking.Thinking should always come last.Our society suffers from far too much thinking and not enough understanding.

    First lesson in any of my classes is I want my students to stop thinking for themselves.They are terrible at it and it gets in the way of understanding.

    Second lesson, is to learn how to listen.

    Then, we get to condescension. I don’t attend the meetings myself, but it’s important for the kids!

  59. icecastles says:

    bookje: Sociology is the only discipline that I can think of that would actively seek to dissuade thinking as part of learning.

    Pro sports journalism.

  60. Lowetide says:

    Big Dan:

    I think LT vastly overrates Petry

    Petry is the Oilers best defenseman. Give me a better one, I’ll fixate on him.

  61. Caramel Obvious says:

    Students are terrible at thinking and yet their own thoughts keep crowding out everything else. The problem with young people isn’t so much that they are thoughtless. They have plenty of thoughts. The problem is that these thoughts are their own, a careless mishmash of the borrowed ideas of their immediate culture that they don’t understand. A big part of education is to liberate the student by replacing these thoughts with the thoughts you can only get by reading great books under an authoritative eye.

    You are right about sociology, though. There is precious little thinking in a sociology class.

  62. Caramel Obvious says:

    skinny65:
    Wow,Caramel, that is quite literally the most pretentious and condescending comment I have ever read on any blog ever!!!

    I do my best. I stand by my words. The problem is too much thinking. It gets in the way of understanding. Until you understand the difference you should let other people think for you.

  63. jp says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    Bank Shot,

    You aren’t listening.Learn to listen and then start thinking.Too many people start with the thinking.Thinking should always come last.Our society suffers from far too much thinking and not enough understanding.

    First lesson in any of my classes is I want my students to stop thinking for themselves.They are terrible at it and it gets in the way of understanding.

    Second lesson, is to learn how to listen.

    I’m still trying to understand what Bank Shot didn’t understand. Or what he didn’t listen to. I’m not sure what’s going on here. Maybe I’m thinking too much. What was I listening to again?

  64. jp says:

    Caramel Obvious: I do my best.I stand by my words.The problem is too much thinking.It gets in the way of understanding.Until you understand the difference you should let other people think for you.

    Also, how do you know when you know the difference? Does someone tell you?

  65. Lowetide says:

    Fucking Gagniay. ruining everything.

  66. Bruce McCurdy says:

    jp: Also, how do you know when you know the difference? Does someone tell you?

    And do you listen to them when they do?

  67. Caramel Obvious says:

    jp: Also, how do you know when you know the difference? Does someone tell you?

    Go to school. If at the end of four years you can’t tell the difference you went to a bad school, or took the wrong courses, or some combination of the two.

  68. gr8one says:

    Woodguy:
    The Oilers are doing the ‘break him down and build it back up‘ deal with Yakupov, it’s a hateful deal. One more indication he isn’t like the others, and really too bad in my opinion.

    I disagree that its a “break him down to build him up”

    I think its more of a “you must be the best option to get the ice time”

    I have no problem with that as gifting kids ice time without defensive accountability is why Eakins is having to teach this team basic defence.Teaching this to players in the 4th-7th years of their NHL career.

    Hell, even Gaggnay spent time on the 4th line this year.

    I like your idea of running Lander and Horack with him though.

    Gadzooks is where the puck goes to die.

    lol, I love you.

    <3

  69. jp says:

    Lowetide:
    Fucking Gagniay. ruining everything.

    I think we have a breakthrough here. Is this is what Eakins is trying to get through to Sam Gagne in his D zone play?

    1 – stop thinking
    2 – listen
    3 – understand
    4 – wait for confirmation that you understand the difference between thinking and understanding
    5 – think
    6 – act

    No wonder they guy looks lost out there sometimes. This could take a while, but it’s all going to turn out in the end.

  70. jp says:

    Bruce McCurdy: And do you listen to them when they do?

    I think you always listen.

  71. jp says:

    Caramel Obvious: Go to school.If at the end of four years you can’t tell the difference you went to a bad school, or took the wrong courses, or some combination of the two.

    I’m not sure if Bank Shot went to school for 4 years or not. But I think he thinks he knows the difference. Maybe we should ask him.

  72. icecastles says:

    jp: 1 – stop thinking
    2 – listen
    3 – understand
    4 – wait for confirmation that you understand the difference between thinking and understanding
    5 – think
    6 – act

    This must be why Eakins begins so many of his sentences in the pressers with, “Listen…”

    I think I understand now. I need to act like I’m listening so I can understand what I think about waiting.

    Also… if Caramel Obvious is a teacher, I suspect we have found the Socrates to Tambo’s Plato.

  73. Bank Shot says:

    VOR,

    I don’t disagree with you there Vor. There are definitely cases where trams benefit from outright Miracle like lucky breaks. Finding 3 HOFf caliber players in one draft would fall in that category.

    The Blues however have had no such luck. They make a lot of smart bets and are reaping the rewards.

    You see this in poker all the time. It’s a game based mostly on chance but some guys make a good living playing and others need an intervention.

    Oilers are the latter.

  74. Factotum says:

    “Rabbit’s clever,” said Pooh thoughtfully.
    “Yes,” said Piglet, “Rabbit’s clever.”
    “And he has Brain.”
    “Yes,” said Piglet, “Rabbit has Brain.”
    There was a long silence.
    “I suppose,” said Pooh, “that that’s why he never understands anything.”

    - A. A. Milne

  75. Bank Shot says:

    I’d like to see the Oilers wipe the floor with the Flames tonight and then have Mact announce that his new years resolution is to stop trading nhl players for picks/prospects.

  76. Lowetide says:

    Factotum:
    “Rabbit’s clever,” said Pooh thoughtfully.
    “Yes,” said Piglet, “Rabbit’s clever.”
    “And he has Brain.”
    “Yes,” said Piglet, “Rabbit has Brain.”
    There was a long silence.
    “I suppose,” said Pooh, “that that’s why he never understands anything.”

    - A. A. Milne

    AA, he rocked.

  77. denny33 says:

    Caramel Obvious,

    Indeed, your thoughts on the current oilers and Dallas Eakins are well known in here.

    Results be Damned!

  78. boxman says:

    jp,
    Well played Icecastles…..What say you Caramel Obvious??

  79. sliderule says:

    VOR,

    You are so right,

    Luck is a big part of it.

    Pocklington had the touch of gold for ten years.

    Gambling debt turns into Gretzky.

    Every draft pick was gold! Moog,Anderson ,Messier,,Fuhr.

    Then no matter what he did it turned to shit.

    Gainers ,chicken plants real estate it was all shit.

    Where did the luck go?

  80. Lowetide says:

    I’m really hopig Joensuu can prove useful enough to warrant that second year of his contract. Right now, he looks like a guy who is going to be the new Ryan Jones next season. I had hoped for more.

  81. OilBuzz says:

    Looking sluggish and lazy…

  82. boxman says:

    sliderule,

    Get out of my head!

    SLIDERULE says:
    December 27, 2013 at 6:49 pm
    VOR,
    You are so right,
    Luck is a big part of it.
    Pocklington had the touch of gold for ten years.
    Gambling debt turns into Gretzky.
    Every draft pick was gold! Moog,Anderson ,Messier,,Fuhr.
    Then no matter what he did it turned to shit.
    Gainers ,chicken plants real estate it was all shit.
    Where did the luck go?

  83. "Steve Smith" says:

    OilBuzz,

    And it’s not just the team: this is the flattest game day thread I’ve seen since before the 2006 run, I think. And against the Flames, no less. A sad reflection on the state of the team.

  84. Lowetide says:

    A very nice play by Justin Schultz there, defensively. (!!!!!!!!!!)

  85. "Steve Smith" says:

    Lowetide,

    On the downside, Justin Schultz is on the PK.

  86. Lowetide says:

    RNH is just so smart. Active stick on the PK just gets a piece of a cross-ice pass and then he anticipates well and gets to the point in time to block the shot. Wonderful.

  87. Lowetide says:

    “Steve Smith”:
    Lowetide,

    On the downside, Justin Schultz is on the PK.

    and had been walkabout.

  88. WeirsBeard says:

    Woodguy,
    Regarding the Blues and roster make up, by my count the Oil have seven of their own first rounders playing up front. Is such a thing rare? Strikes me as unusual.

  89. Lowetide says:

    Hall with a nice beat on Gio going right side ala Messier, and then Yakupov ad libs some nice things with the scrub line.

  90. Cobbler says:

    Anyone else have this horrible low def feed in centre ice?

  91. boxman says:

    The tide is turning soon, I pity the Flames!!

  92. nelson88 says:

    Lowetide: and had been walkabout.

    A very appropriate nickname for the young man.

  93. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide:
    RNH is just so smart. Active stick on the PK just gets a piece of a cross-ice pass and then he anticipates well and gets to the point in time to block the shot. Wonderful.

    This is why I think that the work Eakins is doing most notably with Hall and Yakupov relates to their junior careers. I think both were such offensive thoroughbreds that neither was asked to attend to their defensive game to the same extent that Nugent-Hopkins was by virtue of his position and the circumstances surrounding his junior development (ie: coach).

  94. OilBuzz says:

    Ference finally wearing a visor?

  95. boxman says:

    Oh I forgot, you suck Flames!!!

  96. RexLibris says:

    Please don’t make this SH GA #9.

    PLEASE!

  97. nelson88 says:

    The Flames work hard and take away the prime scoring areas. The type of team the Oilers really need to stop the fancy shit, take what they are given, get to the front of the net and take shots from the point.

  98. RexLibris says:

    If that had hit Smyth in the face it would have gone in.

  99. Derek says:

    That was a really really bad shift by Smytty.

  100. RexLibris says:

    I like this ref.

  101. nelson88 says:

    Walkabout back where a D-man should be. Sweet! nice play.

  102. RexLibris says:

    Give Rob Kerr credit. It isn’t easy to sound excited about T.J. Galiardi scoring chances.

  103. "Steve Smith" says:

    RexLibris:
    I like this ref.

    Has a bit of a Frank Drebin quality to him.

  104. RexLibris says:

    SMYTH!

    I bet that hit his face.

    ;)

  105. nelson88 says:

    ya. like that. bank it off smytty’s ass.

  106. Derek says:

    Hemsky gonna help Smyth score a goal despite himself.

  107. RexLibris says:

    Off the crest and in.

    That’s a sacred goal. Kissed by the blessed Oil Drop of Saint Smytty and into the heathen net.

  108. Lowetide says:

    this is taking too long. Probably finding a way to screw us.

  109. "Steve Smith" says:

    It’s somehow different when Smyth kisses the crest after a goal than when Yakupov does – less pride, more gratitude.

  110. Lowetide says:

    “Steve Smith”:
    It’s somehow different when Smyth kisses the crest after a goal – less pride, more gratitude.

    He’s all about the money, that guy.

  111. "Steve Smith" says:

    Lowetide,

    I just meant that the crest scored the damned goal.

  112. RexLibris says:

    Very aggressive forecheck tonight. Looks like three men in the offensive zone when there are three Flames back regrouping. Could provide some entertaining results.

  113. nelson88 says:

    Walkabout bailed out by RNH. Give him (RNH that is) 2 or 3 years and that kid is going to be the franchise.

  114. Lowetide says:

    8-10 flames 5×5 Corsi for, it was close but Flames had the better of the play late.

  115. RexLibris says:

    ES has the chances close. Back and forth.

    I hope Yakupov draws another 100 penalty minutes.

    A year ago I had a discussion with the fans at FN about the Oilers kids. They were debating whether Hall or Eberle had the higher potential ceiling and which they would grow to hate the most.

    I told them it would be Yakupov on account of his enthusiasm, drive, skill and penchant for getting under the opposition’s skin.

  116. "Steve Smith" says:

    nelson88:
    Walkabout bailed out by RNH. Give him(RNH that is) 2 or 3 years and that kid is going to be the franchise.

    He’s going to be a depressing embarrassment that makes us all rue the day we first watched a hockey game?

  117. boxman says:

    Overall score wise I’ll take that period….dodged some bullets and dubie was good.

  118. nelson88 says:

    “Steve Smith”,

    Good chuckle on that one.

    Early flight tomorrow so I’m out. Go Oilers.

  119. Derek says:

    When I look at Roger Millions I see a heavy bag that is terribly overstuffed.

  120. razor says:

    Looks like Kypreos agrees with Woodguy

  121. RexLibris says:

    Omark playing for Buffalo tonight. Nothing of note so far.

  122. Lowetide says:

    now 15-11 5×5 close according to Extra Skater.

  123. Pouzar says:

    I guess it’s too much to ask Yak to start a cycle after holding the damn pill for 10 mins.
    Use yer teammates kid

  124. "Steve Smith" says:

    Pouzar:
    I guess it’s too much to ask Yak to start a cycle after holding the damn pill for 10 mins.
    Use yer teammates kid

    Gazdic and Lander? What should he use them as?

  125. RexLibris says:

    Good chance by Lander. Probably should’ve dropped to Yakupov?

  126. Lowetide says:

    Lander with a breakaway, some nice speed there. I hope he stays awhile.

  127. boxman says:

    Just as I thought we’re crushing the Flames.

  128. Henry says:

    This just in. The Nuge is a fabulous skater.

  129. RexLibris says:

    Hemsky. Aim for Smyth’s face!

  130. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Noticed Lander seems to have a more powerful stride than last year.

  131. RexLibris says:

    Heh. Buffalo and Toronto going to a shootout. Omark anyone?

  132. boxman says:

    RexLibris,

    Funny because it’s true

    Hemsky. Aim for Smyth’s face!
    credits to rex

  133. "Steve Smith" says:

    boxman,

    Think we can make it catch on among the Rexall faithful over “SHOOOOOOOOT!”? A little more of a mouthful, but these are the Best Fans in the League, right?

  134. RexLibris says:

    Oilers are driving shooters to the outside giving them only sharp angle shots, then collapsing to collect the puck in front with numbers and turn it up ice.

    Simple, but effective so far.

  135. RexLibris says:

    Sentences I don’t recall hearing recently “…passes to a streaking Ryan Smyth!”

  136. icecastles says:

    Lowetide: He’s all about the money, that guy.

    I’ve heard this from more than a few people. Pretty much estranged from his brother over the money thing, even (total heresy from a third party, so take it for what it’s worth). I’ve got a 94 jersey on at this very moment and he’s been my favourite Oiler since almost his rookie year, but the relationship with the dollar signs isn’t his most noble quality.

  137. boxman says:

    Sweet Jesus the announcers on sports net are bad. Fucking bad!!

  138. RexLibris says:

    Buffalo didn’t use Omark in their first two SO options. And lost. Coincidence?

  139. Pouzar says:

    “Steve Smith”: Gazdic and Lander?What should he use them as?

    SO he just hang on to it till it dies on his stick? Gotcha.

  140. Lowetide says:

    Belov with the boarding penalty. Oilers really are riverboat gamblers, the defense is going to be exposed a ton.

  141. Lowetide says:

    That forecheck by RNH on the PK where he was aggressive with anyone carrying the puck? Dave Keon. Absolutely Dave Keon.

  142. Derek says:

    “Steve Smith”:
    boxman,

    Think we can make it catch on among the Rexall faithful over “SHOOOOOOOOT!”?A little more of a mouthful, but these are the Best Fans in the League, right?

    That all depends on the ratio of Tier 1 to Tier 2 fans in attendance on any given night.

  143. "Steve Smith" says:

    Derek: That all depends on the ratio of Tier 1 to Tier 2 fans in attendance on any given night.

    I think it’s always undefined – Tier 2 doesn’t buy tickets.

  144. Derek says:

    “Steve Smith”: I think it’s always undefined – Tier 2 doesn’t buy tickets.

    I thought Tier 1 was season ticket holders and Tier 2 were the stragglers off the street who wandered into the occasional game? I’m not a season ticket holder, the concept is too difficult for me to grasp.

  145. RexLibris says:

    VERY important three minutes here.

  146. OilClog says:

    How Joenssu is ahead of yak in the batting order is beyond me. Must remember yak is 87 games into his career lol.

  147. RexLibris says:

    Very good play by Hall there. Draws the penalty like a veteran.

  148. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Gazdic might as well have a red Jersey on. He breaks up o zone posessions and creates turnovers in his own zone all by himself. Impressive.

  149. RexLibris says:

    Watch McGrattan in the 3rd. He might try and goad Gazdic.

  150. Pouzar says:

    OilClog:
    How Joenssu is ahead of yak in the batting order is beyond me. Must remember yak is 87 games into his career lol.

    You just answered your own question.

  151. RexLibris says:

    Flames have all the Corgis according to ES. Not a good game by the math.

  152. Derek says:

    Justin Schultz looks like an actual NHL defenseman tonight. Tonight would put him at 80 NHL games played, almost a full NHL season into his career.

    He will now raid Grebeshkovs stash and go dog whistle crazy in the final frame.

  153. maudite says:

    Anyone that says petry sucks do not notice what just happened on that last shift. Just wait to pounce when he isn’t helping.

  154. RexLibris says:

    Icing with Gazdic’s line on the ice.

    If the Flames score how many seconds before SN hangs the goal on Yakupov?

  155. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Have the Oilers checked DDs eyesight lately? There’s another long distance wiff. I wouldn’t call that a screen either

  156. GordM says:

    Off the bar…that would have been a typical back-breaking 2013/2014 Dubnyk goal.

  157. RexLibris says:

    Why does this game feel like it is setting up for one of those “they let the Flames hang around” narratives?

  158. Gerta Rauss says:

    I think we’ve tilted the ice here in the 3rd period-would be nice to get an insurance goal.

  159. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Ha, Smytty maybe you should try a hockey stick instead of a canoe paddle.

  160. OilBuzz says:

    So much puck luck for the Oil tonight

  161. Derek says:

    I’m not disappointed about Yakupov getting more ice time, but why is his line out in the final 10 minutes of a 1-0 game ?

  162. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Wow, nobody at this game is getting their money’s worth tonight. Bland. I’d take many more if it meant Oiler wins.

  163. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Does Hemsky feel shame the odd time he shoots? Not once did he look at the net in that 2 on 1

  164. fishman says:

    Work ethic and Berra make Flames tough team to play. We need an insurance goal!

  165. Derek says:

    SK Oiler Fan:
    Does Hemsky feel shame the odd time he shoots? Not once did he look at the net in that 2 on 1

    I figured Smytty must have some kind of goal milestone on the horizon Ales is trying to help him attain.

  166. RexLibris says:

    SK Oiler Fan,

    I don’t know. I’ve been very pleased with the Oilers’ shot recovery this game. Strong positional play.

  167. GordM says:

    great late-game shift by the 89/6/14 line there.

    Crazy to think such a well rounded D man like Giordano had a contract dispute with Sutter and ended up in the KHL at 24…meanwhile in Edmonton we spoon feed minutes to D men in their early 20s like it’s going out of style. The best practice likely lies somewhere in the middle.

  168. Lowetide says:

    It’s nice to see the Oilers can cut back on the rist taking, I don’t think we knew this until tonight. For me, Nugent-Hopkins, Hall, Perron, Hemsky and Dubnyk have been the best Oilers, with hon men for defensemen Petry and J Schultz.

  169. John Chambers says:

    If we allow ourselves to omit that 6-game losing streak, this team has had a wonderful December.

  170. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Rex,

    Oh yah, not real disappointed in the Oiler’s game. Just low entertainment value in this one. Fairly scrambly play.

  171. flyfish1168 says:

    Abbotsford being baby oilers badly

  172. boxman says:

    Who’s your momma Calgary….

  173. RexLibris says:

    Perfect. Now pleasepleasepleaseplease don’t give up a SHGA.

  174. Lowetide says:

    That should be a goal for Perron, trip on an empty net chance.

  175. RexLibris says:

    boxman:
    Who’s your momma Calgary….

    They don’t know. Hence the behavioural issues.

  176. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide:
    That should be a goal for Perron, trip on an empty net chance.

    I wonder if because it was more of a body block that took out the feet than a stick trip on a clear shot?

  177. boxman says:

    Crushed em!!

  178. RexLibris says:

    Beauty.

  179. boxman says:

    6 seconds to get the hatty

  180. Gerta Rauss says:

    Fugly but we’ll take it.

  181. GordM says:

    She ain’t pretty she just looks that way

  182. Andy P says:

    Some steam left in the old dog. First game I’ve been able to watch end to end since forever!

  183. Derek says:

    Corgis be damned.

  184. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Haaahaa, the Smytty wrap around from center. Wasn’t sure it was going to make it to the net. kind of like a shoot to win.

  185. theres oil in virginia says:

    G!!! You missed it!

  186. bookje says:

    Somebody wake up Steve Smith.

  187. fishman says:

    No sympathy for Flames but linesman blew the call on the icing.

  188. OilBuzz says:

    A dull win but a win nonetheless.

  189. OilClog says:

    So other then the absolute horrendous start of the year this team is middle of the pack right now. It’s a shame how bad it all began.

  190. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Looked like Smyth told J Shultz to shut up about something after the goal? Grumpy old fart.
    Calgary is going to get shut out a lot from here on in with that lineup.
    Flames got shafted though. good goal in the 1st and thought Belov deserved more than 2min.

  191. DeadmanWaking says:

    What’s the Guinness world record for the smallest ever fist pump? My micro-tremor of celebratory gusto would have served as a good collar-correction for a pet earwig. At this point in the extended multi-build we should be dismembering Calgary limb from limb.

    This is a bit like a great morsel of steak served in a French restaurant marinated in an acre of white plate. You’re kind of excited, but if you work up more than saliva than you can roll around on the top of your tongue, you might miss the entree entirely.

  192. Clay says:

    Brilliant game. Best defensive game I’ve seen the Oilers play in at least 5 years. They did an exceptional job taking away the middle of the ice, and all of the “suspect” defensive players – Eberle, Gagner, Yakupov, etc, were backchecking like it was their job. Also, very little in the way of bad turnovers at bluelines, giveaways, etc.

    Love this win. This is how good teams win. It’s easy to win when the stars are rolling, but to win when they’re not, THAT’S awesome.

    If this is Eakins’ plan in action, I’m on board for sure.

  193. LostBoy says:

    With a mighty two game win streak, it’s a shame one can’t even fantasize about a miracle turnaround.

    Right now, all eight of the Western teams in playoff position project to finish with more than 100 points. Crazy. 84 might get you there in the East. We would need something like 36-6 the rest of the way to have a chance of squeaking in. In years past, we could still imagine needing maybe 31-11 and you could kinda sorta plausibly hope for a miracle.

    Still, if you take the first 21 as the first quarter, 4-15-2. The next 20 as the second quarter, if Bryz sticks it to his old team and we show up on HNIC tomorrow, we could be 10-9-1. Yes, almost all the wins are against bottom half teams, but there’s no shame in consistently winning matchups like that.

    Almost all teams who step up to respectability finish strong the final season of suckage. It’s not all that much fun to watch, but this team has to have a strong second half. If they can post modest quarter on quarter improvement, things will play out okay. If they implode, well…. An interesting time.

  194. Thiru says:

    What a great 3rd period. Up 1-0, and the pedal was all the way to the floor. Yakupov created 2 nice chances, Hall-RNH-Perron were buzzing, 83 and 94 were feeling it, and I even liked 89′s defensive game tonight.

    Promising game.

  195. GordM says:

    6:14 for Yakupov. Would love specifics on what Eakins expects that he is not presently delivering. He almost turn Gazdic into a goal scorer but that isn’t enough.

    Only clue I saw was during one of his rare shifts early in the 3rd, play was going up ice and he was coasting…COASTING…coming back from the offensive zone (those legs aren’t tired people). Any other guesses?

  196. Lowetide says:

    Chase with a goal and an assist tonight, 34, 20-19-39 +17 for the season.

  197. art vandelay says:

    Captain Oblivious wrote:
    The problem with young people isn’t so much that they are thoughtless. They have plenty of thoughts. The problem is that these thoughts are their own, a careless mishmash of the borrowed ideas of their immediate culture that they don’t understand. A big part of education is to liberate the student by replacing these thoughts with the thoughts you can only get by reading great books under an authoritative eye.

    If this is satire, bravo.
    If this is sincere, please let us know where you teach so I can make sure my kids and anyone else’s kids that I care about don’t tragically register at your penal colony.
    If you’re a university prof, well, then you’re a drivelous argument against tenure.

  198. The Prince says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    Bank Shot,

    You aren’t listening.Learn to listen and then start thinking.Too many people start with the thinking.Thinking should always come last.Our society suffers from far too much thinking and not enough understanding.

    First lesson in any of my classes is I want my students to stop thinking for themselves.They are terrible at it and it gets in the way of understanding.

    Second lesson, is to learn how to listen.

    As a former student of Caramel Obvious’, I can attest to the truth of this statement. This is exactly the first lesson Caramel teaches, and having had it applied to my education, I can say that it is far more true and far less condescending than it appears to be. In fact, the interpretation of what Caramel said as being condescending stands as an ironic testament to the truth of Caramel’s assertion.

    Contained within the student’s desire to learn must be an acknowledgement of lack. Properly, a student is one who understands that he doesn’t know enough to know which questions to ask; he understands also that thinking for himself is beyond his present ability. On the other hand, he who rushes ahead into personal thought presupposes that he has a truthful base of knowledge upon which and with which he may proceed to construct thought.

    The problem is that while most of us claim rationality and the ability of logical reason, we have no concept of what those things really are; we may have a distorted shadow of the idea, given to us by a variety of sources (parents, political leaders, the media, foolishly experienced experiences), an ever-changing image cast on a cave wall by sophistic puppeteers, but we do not have the idea itself. To refuse to listen (i.e. to refuse to learn) is not only arrogant, but exceedingly stupid. And I mean that in the nicest possible way.

    In other news… I hear the Thracians put on quite the show down at the Piraeus yesterday!

  199. The Prince says:

    art vandelay,

    art vandelay:
    Captain Oblivious wrote:
    The problem with young people isn’t so much that they are thoughtless. They have plenty of thoughts. The problem is that these thoughts are their own, a careless mishmash of the borrowed ideas of their immediate culture that they don’t understand. A big part of education is to liberate the student by replacing these thoughts with the thoughts you can only get by reading great books under an authoritative eye.

    If this is satire, bravo.
    If this is sincere, please let us know where you teach so I can make sure my kids and anyone else’s kids that I care about don’t tragically register at your penal colony.
    If you’re a university prof, well, then you’re a drivelous argument against tenure.

    “There are three classes of intellects: one which comprehends by itself; another which appreciates what others comprehend; and a third which neither comprehends by itself nor by the showing of others; the first is the most excellent, the second is good, and the third is useless.”

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