STOP MAKING SENSE

Dallas Eakins talked to the media yesterday and made sound points about the hockey club. I can see why Craig MacTavish sensed a kindred spirit—the guy has an ability to state the case in an intelligent way without being flowery or sugarcoating—and the fanbase needs exactly that today.

  • Eakins:  “We made at least a dozen bad decisions against Calgary where we tried to force the puck in at the middle, just over their blue-line, trying to make chicken soup out of you know what. Last night we couldn’t help ourselves (turnovers). It was like somebody telling you you can’t eat chocolate and every time you walk by you want a piece of it. You’re going to grab that piece of chocolate.”

Awesome. The good thing about this coach is that he notices everything and has the right idea about how to get things going in a good direction. It’s going to take awhile but there’s all kinds of good arrows in a statement like this:

  • Eakins: “Skill players turn over pucks, though. If they never turned over one, you’d probably have a big problem because they’d just want to dump it in. Wouldn’t that be great if our skilled players got to the red-line and always dumped it in? No turnovers, but no offence.”

The mind boggles at what a Ron Low quote might look like in this situation. No, as Caramel Obvious wrote last night “we have the right coach” and I do believe this team is heading in the right direction. That Saturday game will stay with me for awhile though, you only get so many chances at a dead-red fastball in the NHL.

Article quoted is here. And it’s a great read.

SHINING

We’re reaching a point in the season where the numbers are beginning to show things, and it’s time to see how many players have boxcars that are “in the range” with expectations.

EDMONTON OILERS RE 2013-14

  • Perron (69, 20-24-44 .638) ON PACE (78, 35-38-73 .936) off by 23 points so far (positive)
  • Hemsky (66, 11-25-36 .545) ON PACE (82, 16-32-48 .585) off by 3 points so far (positive)
  • Smyth (72, 12-16-28 .389) ON PACE (75, 12-22-34 .453) off by 5 points so far (positive)
  • Eberle RE (78, 28-37-65, .833) ON PACE (82, 26-40-66 .804) off by 3 points so far
  • Hall RE (70, 37-45-82, 1.17) ON PACE (75, 35-44-79, 1.05) off by 9 points so far
  • Sam Gagner RE (82, 15-37-52 .634) ON PACE (69, 11-23-34 .493) off by 10 points so far
  • Nugent-Hopkins (62, 21-42-63 1.02) ON PACE (80, 17-44-61 .763) off by 21 points so far
  • Yakupov (82, 29-23-52 .634) ON PACE (80, 11-14-25 .313) off by off by 26 points so far

RE numbers are my original projections, the on pace numbers are from tsn. The newcomer and the older gents are in the black, Eberle is close to sea level, Hall and Gagner are off the pace and two of the #1 overalls are headed to the glue factory (well, not really). David Perron is my MVP so far this season, the numbers suggest he’s a strong candidate and an absolutely wonderful acquisition.

banacek

FENWICK FOR PERCENTAGE FORWARDS (CLOSE 5X5)

This stat is getting a lot of play lately, thought we’d run it up the flagpole and see who salutes. Fenwick is described as being almost the exact same as Corsi, but it doesn’t count blocked shots-the reason for this is that it is entirely possible that blocking shots is a skill, and not just a series of random events. So, with that in mind, let’s run the Oilers regular forwards through Fenwick and see what we can find:

  1. Hemsky 50.9
  2. Hall 50.2
  3. Arcobello 49.8
  4. Eberle 48.2
  5. Gagner 48.1
  6. Nugent-Hopkins 47.9
  7. Acton 47.2
  8. Smyth 45.9
  9. Gazdic 45.6
  10. Perron 44.1
  11. Yakupov 44
  12. Gordon 41.5
  13. Joensuu 41.2
  14. Jones 39.4

Okay, the zone starts explain some of the things at the bottom (Gordon for sure) but Perron seems low to me and Hall seems high; I guess that’s why we look at all of these numbers. It brings me to one of my questions for the day:

  • Are we reaching a point where the Oilers are likely to sign Hemsky and deal Gagner? I think the answer may be yes.

FENWICK FOR PERCENTAGE BLUE (CLOSE 5X5)

  1. Petry 48.8
  2. Nick Schultz 45.5
  3. Belov 45.1
  4. Ference 44.9
  5. Justin Schultz 44.1
  6. Larsen 38.8

I’m not familiar enough with this stat to know if the difference (after 30 games) between Petry and Schultz the younger is significant (especially when we include zone starts and toughness of minutes) but any metric that has Petry as the best of the lot passes the smell test for me. I can’t wait for a bunch of these guys to be in the 50′s.

campbell

I didn’t see this portion of the broadcast, but Cassie Campbell had an interesting comment on the Oilers after the HNIC broadcast, and several posters on this blog picked up on it.

  • Woodguy: Cassie Campbell nailed it when she said the Oilers are full of players who think getting points equals success and that they don’t play hockey to win, they play hockey to score points.

It’s out there now, so it’ll be interesting to see what the Oilers do about their young impact players. Attention to detail can be ignored—Bowman put Lemaire and Shutt with Lafleur and watched the river run to Stanley—but the Oilers don’t have that kind of two-way depth. Looking back, I wonder if the organization would have been better served by keeping Horcoff, signing Gordon, and trading Hemsky or Gagner in the summer. It certainly would have addressed the center position.

gagner common1

The Oilers are doing fairly well in their ‘second-20′ game set for 2013-14, but things like that Calgary loss really point out the need to tighten up. If Craig MacTavish is going to build this team with strength up the middle—and he is—then we’re going to see the addition of:

  • a strong 2-way center to work with  Nugent-Hopkins and Gordon
  • a defenseman who can play major minutes in all three disciplines
  • a goaltender the GM is comfortable handing off to the coach

What is that going to cost? A pretty penny. I think we’re going to see some wingers and centers and futures and cap room cashed in for NHL players, and I bet it starts sooner than later. If you have a long shopping list, why wait?

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

shephardTSN 1260 at 10 this morning, lots to talk about after an up and down week for the Oilers and the CFL expansion draft just ahead. Scheduled to appear:

10-1260 via text or @Lowetide_ on twitter.

rimmer1

 This is Ty Rimmer. He’s starting very well for the Oklahoma City Barons (3, 2.65 .930) and is a player to watch. The Oilers basically grabbed him as a TC invite and as luck would have it he’s looking like the modern Les Binkley. Keep going, young man!

written by

The author didn‘t add any Information to his profile yet.
Related Posts

126 Responses to "STOP MAKING SENSE"

  1. gcw_rocks says:

    I direct your attention to: “The Oilers have gone sideways under coach Dallas Eakins” up on Cult of Hockey today. If you give any credence to the scoring chance data those guys collect, then this team has not shown any improvement over last years’ team.

    That both MacT and Eakins talk a good game is meaningless. It is their actions that matter.

    Despite having arguably a better defence to work with that last year (Ference and Belov are better than Whitney and Fistric), despite having a full training camp that Krueger never had, and despite having a surprise bonus player in Arcobello that Krueger didn’t have, and an arguable upgrade in Gordon over Horcoff, Eakins team is playing the west at virtually identical levels to Krueger’s team. If you were being harsh, you could say that given these advantages, the team has taken a step back, but given the Gagner injury, let’s call it a wash.

    I don’t understand how anyone could judge these guys on what they say rather than what they do. Eakins played Acton over Arcobello. Eakins played Gazdic over any other option. Eakins is not holding Gagner, Hall or Eberle accountable for their defensive play. Eakins implemented the swarm. Eakins gave Omark 14 minutes then sent him away to keep Gazdic, Acton, and Joensuu. Under Eakins we have seen Petry fall apart. Eakins went to war with Yakupov.

  2. delooper says:

    GCW: I think the point is that people acknowledge that previous coaches were letting too many Oiler players play a weak style of hockey. The Oilers have been in need of a game-system reboot for some time. These players seem to be a long way away from what Eakins is looking for, and even some ways away from his 2nd iteration lowered-expectations when it became clear they weren’t defensively-aware enough to play his pressure system.

    If the Oilers successfully adapt to a more defensively aware system you can probably expect much better results towards the end of the season. But they’re sort of in nowhere-land right now. Maybe they’re making the transition, maybe not.

    It’s like when you give a house a good cleaning. In the process you sometimes have to make a giant mess, moving the furniture, lifting the rugs and such. But you get a cleaner house in the end.

  3. nycoil says:

    This team needs a Michael Peca-lite or Patrice Bergeron-lite (or even Shawn Horcoff circa 2007-lite). Boyd Gordon is close, but he doesn’t bring enough offensive ability in my opinion to be in the top 6. RNH, ____, Gordon, Lander/Arcobello would be nice depth.

    I know the blue needs work and the goaltending, but I think we’re seeing that Gagner doesn’t bring enough commitment to “playing below the puck” as Eakins put it, to not be bleeding against other teams’ top lines. Nuge shows those tendencies but he isn’t strong enough yet, and a veteran 2-way centre who has enough skill to bat high in the order should be a priority. Gagner can move to the wing, where I think many of us like his game better anyway.

    What would we have to give up to get one? We can start with that 1st rounder. Probably shouldn’t need more than that because it took a lot less to get a guy like Bolland.

    Would just be so comforting to see a guy like that lining up for us at centre ice. By the way, looking at corsi relative, Zibanejad shows some of these good things early on in his career. If indeed a Hemsky for Zib swap were to occur, that wouldn’t be a terrible return. Still, think at this time we need more of a vet in that 2C slot.

  4. delooper says:

    Trading Gagner for a pretty decent 2nd line centre “with defensive awareness” would be a big step for the Oilers but they’ll probably have to toss in some pretty enticing prospects to get that kind of return. :(

  5. TheOtherJohn says:

    Sweet Jesus

    Can we quit with the Ference as a replacement for Whitney. Whitney was a healthy scratch in a number of games last year. That would place him in the 5/6/PB slot. Not consistently in the top 4 playing all games. We traded Smid for Ference. A 27 year old D entering his prime for an undersized 34 year old D with a 4 year NMC

    Forgot………Ference replacing Whitney just reads so much better

  6. russ99 says:

    Lowetide, there’s really not much need to revisit RE, those are all out the window with our offense-killing coaching staff.

    The players know they can’t score dumping the puck, and now Eakins is complaining about them carrying it in. Safe, safe, safe. That’s the system, safest possible play.

    And we still give up plenty of goals, despite the over attention to defense. The way we play, we only score goals on mistakes – which is the only reason we won the Nashville game.

    I’ll live with turnovers if it means we score goals regularly. Which is the point of hockey, score more than the other team.

  7. GATO BANDIDO says:

    How about moving Arcobello to that 2C spot? I like his two-way game and his work ethic. Maybe something like:

    RNH – Hall – Eberle
    Arco – Perron – Gagner
    Gordon – Yakupov – Hemsky
    Lander – Smyth – Jones

    Other than Smyth, the fourth line could be juggled a bit. Some combination of Omark, Horak, Joensuu, Pitlick should work.

    And please get well soon, Mr. Gordon.

  8. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “The mind boggles at what a Ron Low quote might look like in this situation.”

    C’mon?! You saying this guy:

    http://cdn.nhl.com/capitals/images/upload/2008/05/low_ron_hs.jpg

    wouldn’t pull the good ship Oilers out of the ditch! Look at that face!

    ———-
    Perron (69, 20-24-44 .638) ON PACE (78, 35-38-73 .936) off by 23 points so far (positive)

    I wonder about the GPs projection here and elsewhere… should you (or in this case TSN I guess) be projecting loss of GPs just as you project points?

    Or if you miss 3 games out of 30, say (i.e., 10%), shouldn’t you dock 10% of the games off the final tally? Or, do GPs have a logic all their own?

    ———–

    “Are we reaching a point where the Oilers are likely to sign Hemsky and deal Gagner? I think the answer may be yes.”

    If you look at Hemsky’s broader numbers (corsi, fenwick, score effects, PDO, sh% etc.), 31 games in (he only played 38 last year with the broken foot, so sample size isn’t an issue here) there is a marked… stark as sunshine on blisteringly sunny Summer day… difference between this year and last

    http://www.extraskater.com/player/577/ales-hemsky#production-stats

    Everything has tilted in the right direct, massively so. Only his PDO (which was high last year and is now under) reflects poorly, i.e., he’s had less than perfect luck.

    Now, Gagner has returned to form as well (smaller sample size and he’s been injured, so he may still have room to pump his numbers or even them out):

    http://www.extraskater.com/player/576/sam-gagner#production-stats

    Now, Gagner has played more 5×5 this year with Hemsky than any other player

    http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/showplayer.php?pid=399&withagainst=true&season=2013-14&sit=5v5

    So, while I can’t solve the puzzle of what happened last year (all the old theories apply), it sure looks like the cratering of the 2Line from last year is fixed.

    This, at the very least is a huge item for the team and these players. Recall, many said (not here, or at least not-uncontested here) Hemsky was done and Gagner was simply Gagner.

    But, it sure looks like last year was a one-off. It sure looks like Hemsky’s shoulder is fixed (won’t save his ankle if he breaks it again) long term. And it sure looks like Hemsky can still wander up and down the lineup and find something helpful to do.

    Hemsky on this team is the opposite of LT’s pimpled teen forgetting to help the old lady with the groceries. He’s showing up to offer help before you realize you need it.

    We need Ales Hemsky. We need him more than any other team does and we know better than any other team how he is going to help.

    If it comes down to Hemsky vs. Gagner… I choose Hemsky for several reasons:

    1. Gagner will command more in a trade.

    2. Gagner can’t play center and in the contest of Gagner-winger and Hemsky-winger, I choose Hemsky for his defensive reliablilty, his vet presence, his grit, his movement on the PP.

    3. Trading Gagner forces the issue of revamping the Center position (Grabo is a UFA this off season, anyone?). Trading Hemsky let’s the team delude itself into thinking it can tinker on the margins.

  9. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    ” but any metric that has Petry as the best of the lot passes the smell test for me.”

    Over the last year+, I’ve developed a serious love for Petry. I never had the distaste for him that the “hitandcuss” crowd have, but I also never had a pure shine on for him. I do now.

    Watching him man up and take the scratch and then take that brutal head shot in the same week… wow. Gets you right in the soft interiors.

    He ought to play for the Oil for the next 8 years. I can’t wait to watch.

  10. sliderule says:

    If there has been any improvement in their defensive coverage it’s been marginal.You have to protect the slot and the oilers just haven’t figured that part out.The now abandoned swarm defence just seemed to make that weakness worse as everybody raced to the puck carrier leaving slot and crease naked.This rush to the puck was at coaches insistence I might add.

    If Eakins doesn’t make progress over the rest of season he and rest of staff have to go.I know five coaches in last five years yada yada yada .Its like any business if the results are not there you have to fire the bosses until the new crew gets it .

    Cassie Campbell may have it right when she says that oilers equate scoring with success.It is very understandable for them to feel that way as most contracts are based on scoring.The coaches have to make the players play defence by showing them it’s hard to get those points from the bench.

  11. Old School G says:

    So Horcoff for Larsen and a 7th rounder. Smid for Brossoit and Horak.

    What would Gagner land us?

  12. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “This is Ty Rimmer. He’s starting very well for the Oklahoma City Barons (3, 2.65 .930) and is a player to watch. The Oilers basically grabbed him as a TC invite and as luck would have it he’s looking like the modern Les Binkley. Keep going, young man!”

    Reason 348 why the Smid trade doesn’t add up.

    Bunz had virtually the same career path as Brossoit up to this point:

    Bunz draft year: 0.898
    +1: 0.919
    +2: 0.921
    Then came the concussion and the off-ice problems and his rough pro start.

    Brossoit draft year: 0.887
    +1: 0.914
    +2: 0.917
    Then came a rough and uneven pro start (this year).

    Bunz at his final year of junior (draft +2) was the exact same prospect as Brossoit was when MacT made that trade (Bunz had a slight edge even), i.e., a Goalie with miles and miles and miles to go before anyone knows what he is. But, a goalie with promise all the same.

    MacT is guilty of failing to read his own prospect correctly and how long the development curve for Gs are IMO.

    And, the Rimmer deal shows that Gs can come out of nowhere and perform as well as the ones you were already tracking.

  13. RexLibris says:

    “Are we reaching a point where the Oilers are likely to sign Hemsky and deal Gagner? I think the answer may be yes.”

    Yes, please, yes.

    I’ve mentioned this once or twice here (and a thousand times in person to those who haven’t yet stuffed their ears with cotton) that dealing Gagner before the NMC kicks in isn’t outside the realm of possibility and if it brings back a defender like Coburn then all the better.

    Heck, even Gagner to the Jets for Bogosian could come back in style (like Agent Cooper’s favourite gum in Twin Peaks).

    But Hemsky is a vet who has proven ability and shown a commitment to developing himself into a versatile forward.

    Also, I think Dubnyk goes out at the trade deadline for more blueline help or a young potential 2C in the line of the Halak/Eller deal from a few years back.

    The final piece of note I can see the Oilers moving is the 1st rounder at the draft when picks are at their highest value. I know Rom loves Draisaitl, but I think this is the last season MacTavish lets this blueline group remain a question mark.

    Add Bogosian or Coburn, an Eller-esque 2C and a 1LD defenseman by subtracting Dubnyk, Gagner, and a 1st and I think that is a fair trade-off. I just hope MacTavish’s advanced analytics guys have provided a shopping list and that he takes it into consideration at least as much, if not more, than what the pro scouts are saying.

  14. Halfwise says:

    gcw_rocks,

    I think there are two schools of thought on the “talks a good game” theme.

    I am a glass half full guy, so bear with me here. The importance of talking a good game is that it signifies you understand what is going on. When ST spoke of compete level and ignored giant gaps in the roster or waiver wire gems, we could legitmately conclude he did not understand the weaknesses in the team or how to address them.

    What I hear from MacT and Eakins is analysis of what is going on, analysis that makes sense, at least to this old guy. I haven’t agreed with all of their actions but at least I get the sense that they can diagnose and prescribe. RIght now I think some of the key players aren’t taking the prescribed meds, or are promptly puking them back up again in game conditions, which is a completely separate problem.

    These players have more bad habits than a winning team can afford. And the mix is wrong. Eakins has discovered he has to devote the season to changing the bad habits. MacT has to change the mix. The two of them have to figure out whether what they see on the ice from today’s roster is the MOST they can hope for from this group or the LEAST they can expect from players who because of past coaching just didn’t learn any better way of playing.

    I think Gagner is showing he is less coachable than Yak. Odd that Yak gets sat, not 89. Agreeing to that NMC was like MacT peeing his pants…felt good and warm at the time but not for long.

  15. goldenchild says:

    If signing hemsky and dealing gagner is an opetion then its one that makes way too much sense. With hemsky we know he can play the wing all over the roster top line RW to 3rd line, he can play against top players and still move the puck in right direction. If this team ever plays in big games we know he someone who continues to deliver when the pressure and pace picks up. UIm not one for the clutch label but its awlays puzzled me thatthe people who do like it never attribute it to him.

    With Gagner is he a reliable 2C that can create offense? Well he certainly has some offence but I don’t think anyone can say he drives it. In his own end he is still below average so best suited for the wing. Then at that point the question is will he do anything better than 83 at the wing? I dont think so, when healthy 83 has consistantly outperformed, health will always be the question with him but when you combine that you are likely to get a much better return for 89 and 83 helps your team more I think its an easy answer.
    The only issue is MacT going back on his no trade to Gagner.

  16. Dee Dee says:

    It’s hard to have your heart vested in such a dysfunctional organization.

    You can’t have your players running the ship, and that has been happening for much to long now. There is no way the team will ever show any improvement until the players buy into the coaches system.

    They fired Krueger for raising the team to 24th place, for God’s sake.

    ANY coaches system is better than the Shitshow we are being presented with now.

    Make a trade or two, stir up the room, fire Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum and let Eakins bring his own people in. Watching 4 coaches standing behind the bench is kind of weird anyhow.

    And as much as I hate to say it, Hemsky is gone by the trade deadline. Oilers have never retained an asset that could generate even the smallest of returns. I find it hard to believe Hemsky would be the first player they retained until the end.

  17. Cobbler says:

    Old School G,

    Given the trend, I’d have to go with “more cap space” + futures.

  18. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    TheOtherJohn:
    Sweet Jesus

    Can we quit with the Ference as a replacement for Whitney. Whitney was a healthy scratch in a number of games last year.That would place him in the 5/6/PB slot. Not consistently in the top 4 playing all games. We traded Smid for Ference. A 27 year old D entering his prime for an undersized 34 year old D with a 4 year NMC

    Forgot………Ference replacing Whitney just reads so much better

    I think the whole “traded x for x” is a kind of doomed logic at any rate. We can come up with a variety of scenarios in which a given player was traded for another (style of play, side of ice, slot on depth chart, temporal proximity of acquisition/loss, etc.)… but really in a situation like the Oil, where so many D have been turned over in a year, let alone over the course of the last several years… the whole exercise just seems unfruitful.

    Better to examine the D-Corps as a whole season to season vs. one to one.

    Last year the Oilers iced the following D (listed by GPs)

    J. Schultz (48)
    Smid (48)
    Petry (48)
    N. Schultz (48)
    Whitney (34)
    Potter (33)
    Fistric (25)
    Peckham (4)

    This year:

    Ference (31)
    Petry (30)
    N. Schultz (29)
    Belov (27)
    J. Schultz (23)
    Smid (17)
    Larsen (10)
    Grebs (7)
    Potter (7)
    Fedun (4)
    Marincin (2)

    A couple of things to note:

    1) last year was an extraordinarily healthy (albeit shortened) season on the Blue.

    2) This year we see a really active call-up/HS/injury rotation. Much more aggressive GMing. Much more unlucky health wise.

    3) Last year, you see a lot of “regulars.” The top 4 (in terms of GPs) never leave the ice for any reason (demotion, HS, injury, etc.) and with the exception of Peckham, all 7 players play significant number of games.

    4) This year, for a variety of reasons, you see a lot less regularity in the GPs. It is really scatter shot. But you can see a fairly clearly defined top 5 (in terms of GPs, when you add in J. Schultz who missed games for injury)

    5. Aside from questions of player talent, what these two lists tell me most is that the GM/Coach change has had a much stronger effect on the D-Corps’ usage than the actual personnel. That is, this is a very active GM/Coach combo that is ready and willing to shuffle the deck in search of blue answers.

    To me, at any rate, this is the biggest distinction between the two years.

  19. G Money says:

    gcw_rocks: I direct your attention to: “The Oilers have gone sideways under coach Dallas Eakins” up on Cult of Hockey today. If you give any credence to the scoring chance data those guys collect, then this team has not shown any improvement over last years’ team.

    The issue I have with Staples’ analysis is not that his data is incorrect, I think it’s perfectly fair to point out the Oilers have done better against the East than against the West – just like every other team in the league.

    It’s also fair to point out that so far for the season overall, using the CoH scoring chance data, this team against the West is not really any better than it was last year.

    The question at hand – the one that most of us are trying to look through the noise and get a sense of – is whether or not the team is actually improving as the season wears on. Each data point (i.e. game) is extremely noisy, so judging the trend is difficult.

    Here are a couple of charts (I seem to be carving out a bit of a niche as Mr. Chart lately…) that seem to suggest that the improvement we are seeing is not entirely a mirage.

    First, a Fenwick 5×5 Close trend (I posted a linear trend for the entire season yesterday, this chart is the 10-game moving average, which gives a better view of any potential change in trend).
    http://i.imgur.com/xxi2SnU.png

    Secondly, here’s the chart showing the proportion of games played against the West:
    http://i.imgur.com/CtHkAMS.png

    What this chart is showing is that the Fenwick close is improving over time, even though the percentage of games against the West is also increasing.

    Caveats: small sample size (particularly as pertains to quality of Western teams), high noise in data.

    Nonetheless, the data seems to confirm what the eye has been seeing – the recent improvement in W-L record does seem to stem from improved play.

  20. gcw_rocks says:

    Halfwise,

    I see where you are coming from, but I think comparing MacT and Eakins to Tambo sets the bar waaaayyyy too low. Compare them to Holland and Babcock. Compare them to Chiarelli and Julien. Bowman and Quenneville, Shero and Bylsma.

    Compare both their actions and their words to any top pairing of GM and Coach you like. Why we would want to compare them to the worst, rather than the best boggles my mind.

    The thing is, I don’t think this team is that far away from being competitive. I just have zero faith this management team has a clue how to fix it. I think LT is right and we are going to head into re-build 3.0, which is absolute abuse of the hockey team and its fans. And its going to happen because MacT totally blew it this past summer. He made good moves with Perron, Arco and Belov, but the bad decisions so badly outweigh the good we could be looking at another 3 to 5 years in the desert.

  21. gcw_rocks says:

    G Money,

    Someone recently analyzed the Oilers record trying to see what the trend is and noted this: the Oilers are doing okay against competition with a winning percentage under .570 and getting crushed by teams over .570, and their season to date has been heavily weighted to teams under .570. The rest of the season is heavily weighted the other way.

    I am curious, what does your Fenwick close trend tell you if you only include teams from the West, and how does it compare to last season? Because its not hard to improve over that abysmal start. MacT fired Krueger because he expected this team to outperform last years’ team. That’s why comparing the team to last year is a reasonable indicator on whether MacT and Eakins are delivering. And because the team only played Western teams last year, it makes sense that Western teams are the benchmark for this season.

  22. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    RexLibris: I know Rom loves Draisaitl, but I think this is the last season MacTavish lets this blueline group remain a question mark.

    It’s not just that particular player. I’m averse to trading 1st rounders in general. Top 10 (and potentially much higher) picks especially.

    That said, my position is trade away… But, it comes with a huge BUT…

    1) recognize the market costs. I keep pointing to the J-Bow trade (22nd and a pair of scrubs), but there are others… because we need to recognize that a top five pick is very, very valuable and you need to get a return.

    2) recognize the market opportunities. I hate the idea of a mid-season trade with a 1st rounder. The market hasn’t yet gotten googly eyes about the draft class yet… wait until they get googly eyes.

    3. when you pull the trigger make damn sure you not just getting the best player (and that involves a lot of scouting about who’s available in the draft), but that they will stay, sign reasonably and actually be what you want… for a top 5 pick, it better be the real damn deal. Coburn and Co. won’t cut it.

  23. Caramel Obvious says:

    russ99:
    Lowetide, there’s really not much need to revisit RE, those are all out the window with our offense-killing coaching staff.

    The players know they can’t score dumping the puck, and now Eakins is complaining about them carrying it in. Safe, safe, safe. That’s the system, safest possible play.

    And we still give up plenty of goals, despite the over attention to defense. The way we play, we only score goals on mistakes – which is the only reason we won the Nashville game.

    I’ll live with turnovers if it means we score goals regularly. Which is the point of hockey, score more than the other team.

    Did you even read this post? Better yet, did you listen to Eakins media availability yesterday?

    If you did you would know that Eakins was explaining to the media (who think the team should dump the puck in deep more) why dump and chase hockey doesn’t work.

    Do you get that? That Eakins is the coach you want. That Eakins is the anti-dump and chase coach. How do you have a conversation with someone who asks for cherry pie, you give him cherry pie, and then he spits it out and says yuck, I hate mincemeat?

    gcw_rocks,

    It has been demonstrated over and over again the rational fallacies in Staples approach. His numbers are evidence of exactly nothing.

    The Eakins haters are over the edge with their delusions. They somehow have managed to forget how bad this team has been the last five years. The last ten games are so far and away the best I have ever seen the Oilers play. I’m not saying we should be optimistic about the future for things can always go sideways. But don’t allow your frustration over the past to colour your perception of the present.

    You say actions speak louder than words. I disagree. Actions give the appearance of clarity, they feed the perception that we have sufficient information to evaluate them. However, this is a false perception. Actions are very hard to evaluate precisely because there is so much concealed in any action. Words, on the other hand, the act of giving reasons are much better for evaluating because they contain within themselves the criterion for their own evaluation.

    We should evaluate Eakins and MacT, first and foremost, on the rational coherence of their words. Indeed, actions only enter into the question if there is a notable split between word and deed. However, even here we are talking about a failure of reason, a failure of practical rationality.

    So if you want to criticize the duo the Smid trade might be a good place to start. I don’t love the trade myself. But it’s going to be hard to build a mountain out of this. Perhaps they didn’t realize a full return but this is mostly unknowable. The only genuinely damning thing is that Brossoit was an Oil King which feeds the clearly irrational love of Oil King players that precedes MacT and company.

  24. Halfwise says:

    gcw_rocks,

    The hole is so damned deep, it would take even the best names on your list more than a season to climb out of it.

    MacT and Eakins seem to be mostly on the same page. That has to help, no? I don’t believe the previous incumbent even had a page.

    I think the team is getting better. But it’s like an airplane, we have to worry not only about whether we’re gaining altitude but how fast the terrain is rising beneath us. The NHL schedule has the team flying towards the mountains right now.

  25. LMHF#1 says:

    Ty Rimmer is already a more interesting goaltending prospect than Bunz, Brossoit, Roy or any of the randoms. Hope they can find a way to keep him around for 2-3 years to see if he can make it.

    Also – what game was Eakins watching on Saturday? His forwards dumped it in against a team cheating hard for defense, giving them no chance to recover the puck. Yes, they also made a bunch of weird passes near the blue line, but that has been a (horrendous) staple all year. Why they aren’t attacking with speed (other than the brief Yakupopv-Gagner-Hemsky line) I have no idea. It sure looks like they’ve been told to try something different.

  26. Caramel Obvious says:

    gcw_rocks:
    Halfwise,

    I see where you are coming from, but I think comparing MacT and Eakins to Tambo sets the bar waaaayyyy too low.Compare them to Holland and Babcock.Compare them to Chiarelli and Julien.Bowman and Quenneville, Shero and Bylsma.

    Compare both their actions and their words to any top pairing of GM and Coach you like.Why we would want to compare them to the worst, rather than the best boggles my mind.

    The thing is, I don’t think this team is that far away from being competitive.I just have zero faith this management team has a clue how to fix it.I think LT is right and we are going to head into re-build 3.0, which is absolute abuse of the hockey team and its fans.And its going to happen because MacT totally blew it this past summer.He made good moves with Perron, Arco and Belov, but the bad decisions so badly outweigh the good we could be looking at another 3 to 5 years in the desert.

    gcw_rocks:
    Halfwise,

    I see where you are coming from, but I think comparing MacT and Eakins to Tambo sets the bar waaaayyyy too low.Compare them to Holland and Babcock.Compare them to Chiarelli and Julien.Bowman and Quenneville, Shero and Bylsma.

    Compare both their actions and their words to any top pairing of GM and Coach you like.Why we would want to compare them to the worst, rather than the best boggles my mind.

    The thing is, I don’t think this team is that far away from being competitive.I just have zero faith this management team has a clue how to fix it.I think LT is right and we are going to head into re-build 3.0, which is absolute abuse of the hockey team and its fans.And its going to happen because MacT totally blew it this past summer.He made good moves with Perron, Arco and Belov, but the bad decisions so badly outweigh the good we could be looking at another 3 to 5 years in the desert.

    Your second point contradicts the first. I said in the spring the rebuild started then. This is rebuild 3.0. There is no denying that. Tambellini destroyed this organization and it is going to take years to fix it. And all knowing God couldn’t have fixed this team in one summer.

    And your last sentence is just silly. If you admit that the Perron, Arcobello, and Perron moves are good what moves could possibly be so bad that they not only outweigh the good but have actually set the franchise back.

    Your viewpoint is incoherent, a product of irrationality and anger. On the one hand you say that Eakins isn’t doing any better than Kreuger even though the team is better. And on the other hand, you say that “MacT totally blew it this past summer. He made good moves with Perron, Arco and Belov, but the bad decisions so badly outweigh the good we could be looking at another 3 to 5 years in the desert.”

    Both these things can’t be true at the same time.

    The coppernblue version of irrationality (let’s call it the folly of the intellectual) is no more appealing that the oilersnation variety (let’s call it the folly of the common man).

  27. sliderule says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I see Lowes hands all over the Horcoff and Smid trade.

    When the oilers lost those games to fall out of contention Lowe blamed Horcoff and was not afraid to let everyone know in rants similar to his six rings performance.

    When he was coaching Mact loved Horcoff .I can’t see him bailing on him without orders from Lowe.

    I don’t have any knowledge of Smid deal but it’s so off the wall that I see him being told by Lowe for similar reasons as Horcoff to dump him.The trade to Flames would be Macts bone to Smid for taking a home town discount in his contract.

    If you go over all the many oiler giveaways like Brodziak Stoll and Cogliano ,Lowe is the driving force.
    In every case he thought players were not physical enough and dumped them.Cogliano would look awfully good on our second or third line and the PK. All at a reasonable price.

    Lowe has never given up control as Tambo has contended since being fired.Tambo says that numerous deals were vetoed by Lowe.This control even extends to the coaching staff as I am sure Bucky and Smith whisper in his ear about what’s going on.

    Until Katz wises up and replaces Lowe I despair of much improvement in the oils decisions.

  28. Ribs says:

    Woodguy: Cassie Campbell nailed it when she said the Oilers are full of players who think getting points equals success and that they don’t play hockey to win, they play hockey to score points.

    We’ve been hearing the same thing after every failed season for years now. It’s a bit different to hear of it during the season, though. Is the problem getting worse?

  29. G Money says:

    gcw_rocks: I am curious, what does your Fenwick close trend tell you if you only include teams from the West, and how does it compare to last season?

    Here’s the FF% 5×5 Close chart (I used a 3-game MA this time, due to the small number of data points) but including data only against Western teams:
    http://i.imgur.com/cXDef7E.png

    The same improvement trend is visible, though again the caveat of playing a number of crappy Western teams lately certainly applies.

    This is the FF% 5×5 Close chart for the team last year (10-game MA).
    http://i.imgur.com/LiBA0pr.png

    Hard to compare the West-only between two seasons since that dataset comprises a whole 13 games, and the averages are almost identical (which was Staples’ point). But you can see that Krueger’s team did not improve as the season went on – in fact, it became consistently worse. A lot of that can be attributed to injury, but so can a lot of Eakins’ early results.

    So to summarize – small sample size, but even when looking at the West only, yes there is reason to believe that the recent improvement in team play is not entirely a mirage.

  30. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    sliderule:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I see Lowes hands all over the Horcoff and Smid trade.

    When the oilers lost those games to fall out of contention Lowe blamed Horcoff and was not afraid to let everyone know in rants similar to his six rings performance.

    When he was coaching Mact loved Horcoff .I can’t see him bailing on him without orders from Lowe.

    I don’t have any knowledge of Smid deal but it’s so off the wall that I see him being told by Lowe for similar reasons as Horcoff to dump him.The trade to Flames would be Macts bone to Smid for taking a home town discount in his contract.

    If you go over all themany oiler giveawayslike Brodziak Stolland Cogliano ,Lowe is the driving force.
    In every case he thought players were not physical enough and dumped them.Cogliano would look awfully good on our second or third lineand the PK. All at a reasonable price.

    Lowe has never given up control as Tambo has contended since being fired.Tambo says that numerous deals were vetoed by Lowe.This control even extends to the coaching staff as I am sure Bucky and Smith whisper in his ear about what’s going on.

    Until Katz wises up and replaces Lowe I despair of much improvement in the oils decisions.

    This wild speculation is the fruit of wandering so long in the desert, but that doesn’t make it make any sense.

  31. TheOtherJohn says:

    G Money: The issue I have with Staples’ analysis is not that his data is incorrect, I think it’s perfectly fair to point out the Oilers have done better against the East than against the West – just like every other team in the league.

    It’s also fair to point out that so far for the season overall, using the CoH scoring chance data, this team against the West is not really any better than it was last year.

    The question at hand – the one that most of us are trying to look through the noise and get a sense of – is whether or not the team is actually improving as the season wears on.Each data point (i.e. game) is extremely noisy, so judging the trend is difficult.

    Here are a couple of charts (I seem to be carving out a bit of a niche as Mr. Chart lately…) that seem to suggest that the improvement we are seeing is not entirely a mirage.

    First, a Fenwick 5×5 Close trend (I posted a linear trend for the entire season yesterday, this chart is the 10-game moving average, which gives a better view of any potential change in trend).
    http://i.imgur.com/xxi2SnU.png

    Secondly, here’s the chart showing the proportion of games played against the West:
    http://i.imgur.com/CtHkAMS.png

    What this chart is showing is that the Fenwick close is improving over time, even though the percentage of games against the West is also increasing.

    Caveats: small sample size (particularly as pertains to quality of Western teams), high noise in data.

    Nonetheless, the data seems to confirm what the eye has been seeing – the recent improvement in W-L record does seem to stem from improved play.

    Interesting stuff GM

    We haven’t played the strong teams in the WC enough to know how we are doing. Our record against some of the weak sisters in the WC is middling- Calgary, Columbus. We have to play the teams in the Pacific 4 times and have only played the Flames and Phx twice. 17 gms against the EC and 4-8-2 against the WC.

    Love to see the second chart after our next 8 games

  32. Gret99zky says:

    “Are we reaching a point where the Oilers are likely to sign Hemsky and deal Gagner? I think the answer may be yes.”

    How, exactly, is MacT going to move Gagner when he has a NMC? Is MacT going to go back on his golden word?

    “Looking back, I wonder if the organization would have been better served by keeping Horcoff, signing Gordon, and trading Hemsky or Gagner in the summer.”

    If memory serves, MacT stood up at the podium and announced to the world he was going to trade Horcoff and Hemsky. Horcoff became an impressive salary dump for exactly nothing servicable.

    Hemsky appears to have been shopped in every market and back alley in the NHL and was obviously unable to get any reasonable return even by the Oilers bottom of the barrel standards (see Smid trade).

    MacT talked up Gagner so adoringly this summer he stopped just short of saying, “The son I wish I had.”

    I could listen to MacT and Eakins talk all day long. I’d like to get the audio books for my car.

    In fact, I have been deleting the games on the PVR and going right to the post game pressers. That’s where the real entertainment lies.

    You nailed it LT when you said, “It’s going to take awhile….”

    Indeed. A long, long while.

    Like 3-5 more years before we see the second season in this city.

    Rebuild 3.0

    Lordy.

  33. G Money says:

    TheOtherJohn: Interesting stuff GM

    We haven’t played the strong teams in the WC enough to know how we are doing. Our record against some of the weak sisters in the WC is middling- Calgary, Columbus. We have to play the teams in the Pacific 4 times and have only played the Flames and Phx twice. 17 gms against the EC and 4-8-2 against the WC.

    Love to see the second chart after our next 8 games

    I usually rerun the data and the charts about once a month.

    The one exception is I tend to run the charts after big wins or depressing losses (like the Flames game). The reason being that the mood in this blog suffers heavily from recency bias – we are after all only human. (Except for Caramel and DMW, who I am convinced are AI’s sent here to conduct an elaborate Turing test on the rest of us).

    So after a big win we tend to collectively be unrealistically optimistic, and the charts help to remind us of the less pleasant long term reality.

    Conversely, after a painful loss, we tend to be unrealistically pessimistic, and the charts help to remind us that things aren’t quite as bad as the sour taste in our mouths leads us to believe!

    P.S. I don’t intend my description above to be indicative that I am on some sort of mission to keep the rest of you emotional lot in line! The charts help me to keep perspective, and sharing that on this blog is part of the fun.

  34. sliderule says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    The only part that is speculation is the Smid part .

    The rest of it is on record .

  35. Spydyr says:

    Eakins is sure good at taking what is wrong.Not so good at fixing it.

    Most of us have know what is wrong for years now. Weak defence, weak at centre, weak goaltending, softest team to play against in the NHL To many small skill guys not enough 200 ft players.They bring in another small player (Perron) but he plays with balls the fans immediately love him.

    As DSF says all hat no cattle.

  36. Hammers says:

    Funny that Cassie Campbell hit our problem dead on in her first show commenting .Hopefully CBC keeps her in that position and if they don’t my guess is sportsnet will . We need more individuals who make sense when commenting instead of the drivel we hear . I find many of LT’s articles to hit the nail on the head . What nobody realizes is how hard it must be to not just make trades but make a great trade . This year you must rank the Perron deal as one of the best . McT has proven he can make the great trades and his made the shuffle trades like Horc & Smid . They obviously bother many fans but at this time I give him the benefit of knowing what he wants and what he wants to get rid of .Will he pull the trigger ? How Quick ? Who goes ?

  37. Andy P says:

    G Money: The issue I have with Staples’ analysis is not that his data is incorrect, I think it’s perfectly fair to point out the Oilers have done better against the East than against the West – just like every other team in the league.

    It’s also fair to point out that so far for the season overall, using the CoH scoring chance data, this team against the West is not really any better than it was last year.

    The question at hand – the one that most of us are trying to look through the noise and get a sense of – is whether or not the team is actually improving as the season wears on.Each data point (i.e. game) is extremely noisy, so judging the trend is difficult.

    Here are a couple of charts (I seem to be carving out a bit of a niche as Mr. Chart lately…) that seem to suggest that the improvement we are seeing is not entirely a mirage.

    First, a Fenwick 5×5 Close trend (I posted a linear trend for the entire season yesterday, this chart is the 10-game moving average, which gives a better view of any potential change in trend).
    http://i.imgur.com/xxi2SnU.png

    Secondly, here’s the chart showing the proportion of games played against the West:
    http://i.imgur.com/CtHkAMS.png

    What this chart is showing is that the Fenwick close is improving over time, even though the percentage of games against the West is also increasing.

    Caveats: small sample size (particularly as pertains to quality of Western teams), high noise in data.

    Nonetheless, the data seems to confirm what the eye has been seeing – the recent improvement in W-L record does seem to stem from improved play.

    It would be interesting if you could plot the graphs against moving averages of wins and losses.
    I would suspect the improvement in the w/l curve would be preceded by the Fenwick, which would indicate the accuracy of FF as a leading data point.

  38. Caramel Obvious says:

    G Money,

    Which of us is the computer?

  39. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    sliderule:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    The only partthat is speculation is the Smid part .

    The rest of it is on record .

    Then it shouldn’t be hard for you to annotate your comment with references.

  40. Bruce McCurdy says:

    TheOtherJohn: Our record against some of the weak sisters in the WC is middling- Calgary, Columbus.

    Still getting used to this, but Columbus is in the East now.

  41. jfry says:

    Sometimes it feels like this group of people is really swayed by a decent orator. To date that’s all that eakins has shown to be good at. Amd its good to be a good talker, but this guy needs more support. Where’s his rex love to do the heavy lifting?

    Right now this is a coach id give lots of offensive zone starts to against the other team’s grubs. Probably a lot of HS so he can learn from the sky.

    But at least he’s good in a media scrum!! When he comes up with solutions to all the problems he iddentifies, then I’ll worry more about how he speaks.

    Ron low had non of this talent and had better results. Wasn’t a good speaker, so eakins. Because oiler fans.

    Its like listening to a dj who doesn’t. Know how to pick the right platters.

    http://m.hkref.com/m?p=XXcoachesXXlowro01c.html

  42. FastOil says:

    Is everyone suggesting Gagner wants to waive the NTC he just asked for? He seems smart and I believe knows he has it easy with the Oilers. He gets his millions, kids love him, and not too many bruises either (broken face anomaly notwithstanding). If he gets traded to a good team his life will be hell and his body sore.

    They are stuck with this line up. The only safe way out is UFA’s. Trading Hemsky will not bring much back. They have Hall, RNH, Perron, Yak and Eberle to deal. I say keep them all and try to trick a couple of decent two way vets into signing. Tell him he can have first dibs on the cheer team or something ;)

    The Canadiens play well with one star and a good goalie. No need to sell the farm to be a better team IMO. The Oilers just need some more experienced ‘good’ players. Jettison Jones, Joennsu, Acton etc for better help. Arco is a gift for 4th line C at least if the GM can catch up with the modern world. Accept the gift Craig. Perron isn’t elite and has made a world of difference.

    The season is gone and unless someone loses it MacT won’t win any deals most likely. Competency is enough and can be cheap. Once the team gains confidence in each other everyone will play better.

  43. Andy P says:

    sliderule:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    The only partthat is speculation is the Smid part .

    The rest of it is on record .

    Do you have some URL’s for us on this?

  44. G Money says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    G Money,

    Which of us is the computer?

    I would say both. It is also quite possible that I am also part of the test, but of course, I would never admit it or it would compromise the test. *beep* *boop*

  45. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Caramel Obvious: It has been demonstrated over and over again the rational fallacies in Staples approach. His numbers are evidence of exactly nothing.

    You got any URL’s for us on this?

  46. HugThePost says:

    Ugh, this is just getting tired and old.

    MacT and Eakins saying all the right things, but when the puck drops, the Harlem Globetrotters come out and try to win games while being pretty and whistling Dixie. Guys who cheat for offense and points keep getting prime ice time (89) while honest smart players who go out and do what is asked including the dirty non-glamorous shit get HS’d (26), while I’m sure the other players wonder when the Shitshow will stop and the team becomes an NHL squad.

    I’m sick of this bullshit, sick of the shit plays and mistakes the team constantly makes.

    The team is like a partner who cheats on you all the while saying it was a mistake and it’ll never happen again. But it does.

    Sorry for the harsh overtones, but what the Oilers do to the fans is plain and simple emotional ransom. Promise good things, but shell out the shit.

  47. Iztok Turk says:

    Pierre Marc Bouchard on waivers on the Island.

  48. sliderule says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    It’s like a puzzle for you there is a hint in there were most of information comes from.

    The Tambo item I read on one of sites and as an old guy I have no memory of which one but he was playing golf at a course in Phoenix and told friends of mine the same thing.

    If Lt wants me to I can tell him and only him my source.

  49. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    FastOil: Is everyone suggesting Gagner wants to waive the NTC he just asked for?

    It doesn’t kick in until next season and only that season, not this year, not the 3rd year.

  50. Caramel Obvious says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    I provided a thorough critique (by internet standards) a couple of weeks ago. Dellow has also made similar criticisms here and there.

    The best criticism, though, was by lowetide. He said, and I’m paraphrasing here, that Staples system only attempts to assign errors once the puck is already there but pays no attention to how it go there in the first place. That’s a structural problem. Either you care about how the puck got to the danger area or you don’t.

  51. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    sliderule:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    It’s like a puzzle for you there is a hint in there were most of information comes from.

    The Tambo item I read onone of sites and as an old guy I have no memory of which one but he was playing golf at a course in Phoenix and told friends of mine the same thing.

    IfLt wants me to I can tell him and only himmy source.

    Hey, that’s cool.

    You don’t want to do the work to support your speculation with reporting. I get it, we’ve all got lives going on here.

    But don’t expect anyone to take your word that you read something once and heard something from a guy. That’s wild speculation in anyone’s book until you show your work.

  52. G Money says:

    Andy P: It would be interesting if you could plot the graphs against moving averages of wins and losses.
    I would suspect the improvement in the w/l curve would be preceded by the Fenwick, which would indicate the accuracy of FF as a leading data point.

    I am in a data crunching mode, and spending a lot of time with conference calls in the background, so ask and ye shall receive…

    Chart is FF% vs Pts Earned using 5-game MA – since we’re trying to look at correlation, the 10-game shows the trend better but masks some of the game to game variability, so I dropped the MA to 5. FF% axis is on left, Pts on right.
    http://i.imgur.com/eAnSbZc.png

    Summary: more of a correlative indicator than a leading indicator so far.

  53. fifthcartel says:

    FastOil,

    Gagner doesn’t have a NMC until next year. He has a ‘verbal’ one but I think MacT also said he had full faith in Ralph too…

  54. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    The Oilers finally have a champion, Meatball!

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

  55. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    Bruce McCurdy,

    I provided a thorough critique (by internet standards) a couple of weeks ago.Dellow has also made similar criticisms here and there.

    The best criticism, though, was by lowetide.He said, and I’m paraphrasing here, that Staples system only attempts to assign errors once the puck is already there but pays no attention to how it go there in the first place.That’s a structural problem.Either you care about how the puck got to the danger area or you don’t.

    You got a URL for your thorough critique? Sorry, I must have missed it.

    Or for Lowetide’s that you’re, uhh, paraphrasing? Because what you just described there is a pretty long way from what Staples tries to measure.

  56. FastOil says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: FastO

    There is a widely known verbal for this year, no? It won’t be broken, but they can ask him to waive it.

  57. Andy P says:

    sliderule:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    It’s like a puzzle for you there is a hint in there were most of information comes from.

    The Tambo item I read onone of sites and as an old guy I have no memory of which one but he was playing golf at a course in Phoenix and told friends of mine the same thing.

    IfLt wants me to I can tell him and only himmy source.

    ah, the secret sauce. I call BS.

  58. Old School G says:

    Would MacT ever give Gagner the Grabovski treatment?

    It is an option, more of a last resort option, I understand. I can think of no bigger wake up call to the team if Sam doesn’t pull this season together.

    Start marching in line boys or we’ll find soldiers that don’t mind buying in and getting dirty. I want this team to turn in to “Easy Company” so bad it hurts.

  59. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Really interesting move:

    http://www.thestar.com/sports/bluejays/2013/12/09/roy_halladay_to_retire_as_a_blue_jay_after_signing_oneday_contract.html

    most legacy laps take a year or two… this one day deal I’ve never heard of before. I wonder if we’ll see more of it.

    at any rate, Halladay… man, so many years languishing on a shitty team… what a waste. Loved watching him though.

  60. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    FastOil: There is a widely known verbal for this year, no? It won’t be broken, but they can ask him to waive it.

    Ah, yes. If that’s what you were referring to.

    But even there MacT was quick to publicly caveat the contract and the verbal contract that he wanted the ability to move him if needed and would, but he hoped he wouldn’t have to.

    I really don’t think we should expect the verbal contract to hold MacT back. If anything, it will be that he values the player more than we do, which seems pretty likely.

  61. goldenchild says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Rom if you are speaking of the 1 day deal, they happen in NFL all the time

  62. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    goldenchild:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Rom if you are speaking of the 1 day deal, they happen in NFL all the time

    I don’t know anything about the NFL. Interesting to hear it has a life elsewhere. Can you think of other leagues doing this… smart move for a lot of reasons.

  63. Bank Shot says:

    I know Gagner has a verbal NTC and all, but would he really turn down a trade if he would get to go to a team that will actually make the playoffs?

    I doubt it.

    Problem is, most playoff teams likely aren’t looking for a second line center of his calibre/cap hit.

  64. Andy P says:

    Bank Shot:
    I know Gagner has a verbal NTC and all, but would he really turn down a trade if he would get to go to a team that will actually make the playoffs?

    I doubt it.

    Problem is, most playoff teams likely aren’t looking for a second line center of his calibre.

    IIRC his fiancé is doing an internship in Edmonton.
    Also, I’d see Gags marketed as a #2W who can also play center.
    From the comments I’ve seen on this blog :)

  65. Wolfie says:

    It’s nice that Eakins has identified what’s wrong. I’m not convinced he’s capable of fixing it. He went away from the 5 forward PP way too soon. His handling of Yakupov is atrocious. He gets no leeway.

    The problems with the PP were illustrated to me most obviously in the game vs Phoenix. The Yotes don’t have nearly the talent but worked their man advantage with way more efficiency and purpose. The passes at the top of the umbrella were quick and designed to move the PKers out of the shooting lanes. We saw two quick passes and a shot on goal that created rebounds or good chances. The Oilers PP is too static and the players take too long with the puck allowing the PKers time to get into lanes. The beauty of Yakupov on the PP is that the puck is never on his stick for long. Either a hard pass or one-timer.

    RNH has developed Hemsky’s disease of holding onto the puck too long. Move him back to the top with two shooting options on either side. For the love of god there’s no way Larsen should get PP mins above Yak. That’s a dismissible offence in my book.

    This team still isn’t good enough on the blue but the coaching hasn’t been very good.

  66. iHockeyWpg says:

    Jeff Skinner, Tyler Hall and Roberto Luongo win NHL weekly awards
    Monday, 12.09.2013 / 1:05 PM / News
    The Canadian Press

  67. nycoil says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I don’t know anything about the NFL. Interesting to hear it has a life elsewhere. Can you think of other leagues doing this… smart move for a lot of reasons.

    It’s very common in baseball. For example, Hideki Matsui did that with the Yankees during the summer.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/31/sports/the-one-day-contract-a-last-hurrah-for-athletes.html?_r=0

  68. nycoil says:

    iHockeyWpg:
    Jeff Skinner, Tyler Hall and Roberto Luongo win NHL weekly awards
    Monday, 12.09.2013 / 1:05 PM / News
    The Canadian Press

    Really? “Tyler?” I guess both of Seguin and Hall having 3G, 1A games means we need to fuse the two?

  69. steveb12344 says:

    nycoil: It’s very common in baseball. For example, Hideki Matsui did that with the Yankees during the summer.http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/31/sports/the-one-day-contract-a-last-hurrah-for-athletes.html?_r=0

    Here’s a list of 21 NFL players that did it.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/nfl/photos/1303/nfl-sign-and-retire-one-day-contracts/5/

  70. Caramel Obvious says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    I don’t know how to search the archives here. Sorry.
    Wolfie,

    Where do people get the idea that the Coyotes don’t have near the talent the Oilers do. The Oilers powerplay problems (to the extent that they have them) stem from their D. Simply put, they don’t have anyone as good as either Ekman-Larsson or Yandle.

    What the Oilers have is depth of guys who can play on the powerplay but you can only play five guys at a time. So while their second unit likely has better talent than the Coyotes second unit, the first unit doesn’t stand out.

    Finally, criticizing Eakins from going away from the five forward powerplay too soon is a strange kind of criticism, considering Eakins is the coach who had the nerve to try it in the first place. Do you know of any other teams who play five forwards on the powerplay?

    So if you liked the five forward powerplay you should like Eakins. He is your guy and you are too clouded to even know it.

    It is easy to criticize. It is hard to understand. Spend less time criticizing more time thinking.

  71. steveb12344 says:

    Also Mike Modano did it with Dallas in 2011

  72. godot10 says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    Bruce McCurdy,

    I provided a thorough critique (by internet standards) a couple of weeks ago.Dellow has also made similar criticisms here and there.

    The best criticism, though, was by lowetide.He said, and I’m paraphrasing here, that Staples system only attempts to assign errors once the puck is already there but pays no attention to how it go there in the first place.That’s a structural problem.Either you care about how the puck got to the danger area or you don’t.

    I think you are mixing apples and oranges. Staples recent analysis (of no improvement) has nothing to do with his Nielson numbers. The recent analysis is all team scoring chances. Absolutely nothing to do with Nielson numbers, which are applicable to individual players, not to the team.

  73. Melman says:

    To fix this roster MacT’s core of 8-9 guys (from current roster) needs to be whittled right down to Nuge, Hall, Yak (for now, simply because you don’t know what he is yet), Eberle and Perron. Everyone else is up for grabs, and I deal one of the 5 above if it was one of about 5 or 6 D coming back – and those players aren’t about to be dealt by their GMs.

  74. godot10 says:

    I doubt Yakupov signs another contract with the Oilers unless Larionov and him begin feeling the Oilers are developing him properly (unless one of those long term $6 million dollar contracts are offered, of course).

    I think right now, Larionov is thinking that MacT and Eakins are fools. MacT for dismissing a coach well regarded in Europe without giving him a fair chance, for this cocksure big-talking AHL guy, who is turning all the wine into vinegar.

  75. denny33 says:

    sliderule,

    If there has been any improvement in their defensive coverage it’s been marginal.You have to protect the slot and the oilers just haven’t figured that part out.The now abandoned swarm defence just seemed to make that weakness worse as everybody raced to the puck carrier leaving slot and crease naked.This rush to the puck was at coaches insistence I might add.
    If Eakins doesn’t make progress over the rest of season he and rest of staff have to go.I know five coaches in last five years yada yada yada .Its like any business if the results are not there you have to fire the bosses until the new crew gets it .
    ************************************************************************

    If only points were awarded for press conferences….

    Someone else mentioned it – we have way better players than last year.

    We had a full training camp to implement whatever system Dallas wanted.

    We sit tied with the Florida Panthers.

    Watching some people contort themselves in knots trying to explain how this team is better than last year….

    We have even have some people ‘ have resorted to liking what our coach says to the media.

    Great – I also like what Dallas wears on the bench. Great fashion.

    Meaningless….

    You can’t be worse than Florida. Impossible.

    As Cassie Campbell pointed out, Taylor Hall, at times has some very uninspired play in his own end at times and sometimes looks downright disinterested in his own end.

    Sam Gagner turns the puck over and does not seem to have a care in the world….just hope Arco does not get benched for that Sam turnover.

  76. TheOtherJohn says:

    GM

    IN the face of Bruce’s miost reasonable request for a URL one of your 2 AI’s is, apparently, unable to search a dadabase for his explanation as to why Staples opinion that the Oilers are moving sideways is completely and utterly wrong

    Have no doubt DMW could do said search

    Eagerly await your chart for our progress against the WC over the next 8 games

    Bruce *** ah yes: Columbus in the East and Winnipeg in the West….Oops

  77. Bank Shot says:

    “Doesn’t matter if it’s Chicago or it’s Buffalo, every night is a tough night,” Eakins said.

    How true. Every night is a tough night when YOU are the easy game.

  78. Pablo Aimar says:

    Spydyr:
    Eakins is sure good at taking what is wrong.Not so good at fixing it.

    As DSF says all hat no cattle.

    This really sums it up. MacTavish’s error was not in replacing Krueger, it was in replacing him with someone even more incompetent.

  79. VanOil says:

    California Dreaming on such a winters day http://youtu.be/dN3GbF9Bx6E

    What I hope MacT brings back from the Governors meetings

    Gagner swapped for Jake Gardiner from Toronto (Where Cherry says all Ont boys want to play)

    Dubnyk swapped with NYI for Brock Nelson

    2014 1st + to Buffalo for Ehrhoff

  80. Caramel Obvious says:

    Pablo Aimar: This really sums it up. MacTavish’s error was not in replacing Krueger, it was in replacing him with someone even more incompetent.

    If you aren’t going to make specific claims, why do you bother? Blanket assertions of incompetence can neither be defended nor refuted. It’s just babble.

  81. jake70 says:

    Bank Shot:
    “Doesn’t matter if it’s Chicago or it’s Buffalo, every night is a tough night,” Eakins said.

    How true. Every night is a tough night when YOU are the easy game.

    I caught this too. How many coaches in other cities to their local media over the years would say, doesn’t matter if you are playing Chicago, Boston,……or Edmonton. Funny if Eakins would have said…doesn’t matter if we are playing Chicago or ..ourselves…lol.

  82. Bank Shot says:

    Caramel Obvious: If you aren’t going to make specific claims, why do you bother?Blanket assertions of incompetence can neither be defended nor refuted.It’s just babble.

    It’s certainly true that’s its almost impossible to defend Eakin’s competence at this point. ;)

  83. Melman says:

    Quick sidebar – has there been any news about Petry? That looked really bad on Sat. I hope he is OK

  84. G Money says:

    To all my fellow AI’s:

    Today is Grace Hopper’s birthday.

    She was a pioneer in developing the field of computing science, and (among other things) developed the concept of the compiler, and coined the term “debug”.

    Without her, we’d all be wasting time chiseling our snarky messages into rock and tossing them at each other instead of, you know, wasting even more time while transmitting them to each other in milliseconds.

  85. Melman says:

    Bank Shot: It’s certainly true that’s its almost impossible to defend Eakin’s competence at this point.

    It’s been 30 games with an addled roster and no centres to start the season. Has he been perfect? No. Is it reasonable to think coaching mistakes will be made from time to time with the amount of work that has to be done to fix this mess. I would say yes.

  86. FastOil says:

    I have not been in the anti Lowe camp but I am looking at openings for a summer lease.

    The tone is off. A lot of people have come and gone but “the song remains the same”. I make many decisions this way. I am poor.

  87. OilClog says:

    Eakins isn’t the perfect coach for this team, Babcock or Tippet would be the perfect coach. We have players and a coach learning on the fly… Disaster. We have a coach that treats a few players completely different then the rest but expects them all to perform the same.. Like what the hell happened to Yakupov… How does Acton play as much as he did? Why stop the 5forward pp play? Because Toews scored a short handed goal? Weak convictions.

  88. Gerta Rauss says:

    http://oilers.nhl.com/club/podcastplayer.htm?pid=98&iid=45187

    Eakins avail today

    -asked about the Campbell remarks-he defers saying he hasn’t seen/read the comments but said “we all need to be better”

  89. Gerta Rauss says:

    -update on Boyd Gordon-it’s a shoulder injury

    “it’s getting better”
    “hopefully sooner rather than later”

    Didn’t say anything about tomorrow but I think it’s safe to say he won’t be available for Carolina tomorrow.

  90. hunter1909 says:

    godot10:
    I doubt Yakupov signs another contract with the Oilers unless Larionov and him begin feeling the Oilers are developing him properly (unless one of those long term $6 million dollar contracts are offered, of course).

    I think right now, Larionov is thinking that MacT and Eakins are fools.MacT for dismissing a coach well regarded in Europe without giving him a fair chance, for this cocksure big-talking AHL guy, who is turning all the wine into vinegar.

    When exactly does Yaks have to sign another contract? This season, providing he is left where he is has 50 odd games to play, and my lazy eye reads a stat that has everyone’s fave Russian Oiler 12-0 in some stat so when he was on the ice last game the opposition didn’t even get a single shot on Oilers goal.

    Therefore based on 1 game to recklessly say that Yaks is busy fine tuning his defensive game and already has it bagged, will probably have time to pull a Stamkos revival and by next training camp we’ll all be as blind to the team’s failings as ever.

  91. Hammers says:

    Melman: It’s been 30 games with an addled roster and no centres to start the season.Has he been perfect? No.Is it reasonable to think coaching mistakes will be made from time to time with the amount of work that has to be done to fix this mess.I would say yes.

    Mistakes ! You mean like continuing with Acton for 25 games or maybe not playing Hall with RNH & Ebs a proven line . Then again you may mean bringing in a system (Swarm) for a 15 games that totally failed . All coaches make mistakes but a rookie should use the KISS principle and he didn’t . Can he be a good coach ? Maybe . He says the right things but doesn’t always practice them and that’s his Ego so on him . I thought the first thing any coach did was evaluate what previously worked & didn’t work and then rectified as he went .

  92. hunter1909 says:

    Gerta Rauss:
    -update on Boyd Gordon-it’s a shoulder injury

    “it’s getting better”
    “hopefully sooner rather than later”

    Didn’t say anything about tomorrow but I think it’s safe to say he won’t be available for Carolina tomorrow.

    Thank you. I haven’t been able to worry about injured players, and this helps to get the ball rolling.

  93. Caramel Obvious says:

    OilClog:
    Eakins isn’t the perfect coach for this team, Babcock or Tippet would be the perfect coach. We have players and a coach learning on the fly… Disaster. We have a coach that treats a few players completely different then the rest but expects them all to perform the same.. Like what the hell happened to Yakupov… How does Acton play as much as he did? Why stop the 5forward pp play? Because Toews scored a short handed goal? Weak convictions.

    This all nonsense. Of course Babcock or Tippett would be good for this team. They weren’t available.

    The suggestion that Eakins is a “rookie” coach who is learning on the fly is all unsubstantiated projection. It’s an explanation in search of a problem that falls to both the begging the question fallacy and the negative case fallacy.

    Likewise the criticism that Eakins isn’t treating everyone the same. This is demonstrably false, especially in the context of other coaches. A classic case of imagining phantoms.

    The Yakupov stuff is also something that exists only in your head. He is playing more minutes, more offensive zone starts, and averaging more shots per game. The idea that Eakins has ruined something runs counter to the facts.

    As for Acton, he played less than most fourth line centers. Again, a statement is easily contradicted by the facts.

    The five forward powerplay was discussed above. If you liked this you should (if you were a rationally coherent human being) like Eakins since he is, to my knowledge, the only coach with the nerve to try it. Do any other teams play five forwards on the powerplay?

    Seriously, the criticisms of Eakins are so incredibly, powerfully, bad they don’t even rate on the scale.

  94. Caramel Obvious says:

    Hammers: Mistakes ! You mean like continuing with Acton for 25 games or maybe not playing Hall with RNH & Ebs a proven line. Then again you may mean bringing in a system (Swarm) for a 15 games that totallyfailed . All coaches make mistakes but a rookie should use the KISS principle and he didn’t . Can he be a good coach ? Maybe . He says the right things but doesn’t always practice them and that’s his Ego so on him . I thought the first thing any coach did was evaluate what previously worked & didn’t work and then rectified as he went .

    All this is completely and utterly wrong as has been discussed ad nauseum on this site. Ad nauseum. Please keep up.

  95. denny33 says:

    Bank Shot,

    Caramel Obvious: If you aren’t going to make specific claims, why do you bother?Blanket assertions of incompetence can neither be defended nor refuted.It’s just babble.
    It’s certainly true that’s its almost impossible to defend Eakin’s competence at this point. ;)
    ******************************************************

    The only way is if you drink lots and lots of Kool aid …..

  96. gcw_rocks says:

    Caramel Obvious,

    “Your second point contradicts the first. ”

    No, it does not. MacT inherited a team that needed some smart GMing to push into competitiveness, but had some solid pieces to build around. That he failed to make the moves necessary to take advantage of that foundation is a completely separate issue, but not contradictory.

    “I said in the spring the rebuild started then. This is rebuild 3.0. There is no denying that. Tambellini destroyed this organization and it is going to take years to fix it. And all knowing God couldn’t have fixed this team in one summer.”

    We disagree on this. Add Grabovski, Gilbert, Raymond, Hainsey, and Boyes (5 players who struggled to find contracts) and trade Gagner as the centrepeice for a top pairing defender and you likely have a playoff contender. Given that those 5 could not find contracts for a lot of the summer, it should have been doable. A little creative work and perhaps even better players than that could have been had.

    And your last sentence is just silly. If you admit that the Perron, Arcobello, and Perron moves are good what moves could possibly be so bad that they not only outweigh the good but have actually set the franchise back.

    The list:
    - hiring a rookie head coach when veteran coaches were available. They did not need to add uncertainty at the head coaching position after 7 years outside of the playoffs
    - not trading one of Gagner, Yakupov or Eberle for a top pairing defender
    - signing Joensuu, Acton, and R. Hamilton instead of real NHL players during a summer when real NHL players were the cheapest since the start of the cap era
    - Not grabbing Grabovski off waivers or signing him or viable alternative to bolster the centre depth (Gordon was a replacement for Horcoff, not an increase in centre depth)
    - signing Ference to a 4 year deal with a NMC (did the Khabby contract teach them nothing?)
    - Attempting to solve the defence problem with a grab bag of question marks in Grebs, Larsen and Belov.
    - Publicly messing with Dubnyk’s head
    - Filling up valuable contract spots with SMac and Gadzic in direct contradiction to the “grit without skill won’t help the team” speech he gave the media
    - Chasing off the team’s top offensive prospect in Rajala and therefore getting nothing for him

    I am sure I could come up with more, that’s just off the top of my head.

    “Your viewpoint is incoherent, a product of irrationality and anger. On the one hand you say that Eakins isn’t doing any better than Kreuger even though the team is better. And on the other hand, you say that “MacT totally blew it this past summer. He made good moves with Perron, Arco and Belov, but the bad decisions so badly outweigh the good we could be looking at another 3 to 5 years in the desert.”

    Both these things can’t be true at the same time.”

    Yes, they can. Minor improvement is still improvement, but it does not take you out of loser land. If he blows this thing up and starts again because this year has been horrible, when it has been horrible directly because of his actions and inactions, then the team will most likely suck for a few more years. It’s inexcusable.

  97. gcw_rocks says:

    Caramel Obvious,

    “The suggestion that Eakins is a “rookie” coach who is learning on the fly is all unsubstantiated projection.”

    Um, he is a rookie coach in the NHL, unless you are aware of an NHL head coaching gig in his past the rest of us have not been privy to. All rookie coaches in the NHL learn on the fly. How is this “unsubstantiated projection”?

  98. denny33 says:

    Caramel Obvious,

    Seriously, the criticisms of Eakins are so incredibly, powerfully, bad they don’t even rate on the scale.
    ***********************************************************************************************

    Calgary -29gp 11w – 14L – 4ot = 26 points
    Edmonton -31gp 10w – 18L – 3ot = 23 points

    You are right – I think you should pen a letter nominating him for the Jack Adams award. That is the talk of the league – how Dallas is running away with the competition.

  99. godot10 says:

    hunter1909: When exactly does Yaks have to sign another contract? This season, providing he is left where he is has 50 odd games to play, and my lazy eye reads a stat that has everyone’s fave Russian Oiler 12-0 in some stat so when he was on the ice last game the opposition didn’t even get a single shot on Oilers goal.

    Therefore based on 1 game to recklessly say that Yaks is busy fine tuning his defensive game and already has it bagged, will probably have time to pull a Stamkos revival and by next training camp we’ll all be as blind to the team’s failings as ever.

    Yakupov is in year 2 of a three year entry level contract. So his contract expires after next season.

    But all the Canadians got their big contracts after year 2.

    That clearly is not going to happen with Yakupov.

    It will be interesting to see what Petry does this summer. He might just want to opt for arbitration all the way to UFA status.

  100. Pablo Aimar says:

    Caramel Obvious: If you aren’t going to make specific claims, why do you bother?Blanket assertions of incompetence can neither be defended nor refuted.It’s just babble.

    Dallas, why are you wasting time on a blog frenetically defending yourself and insulting everyone? Your team sucks. Better to spend your time figuring out things, like the pp maybe.

  101. gcw_rocks says:

    G Money,

    Thanks for the charts. Would love to see an update when the Oilers have around 40-50 games against the west in the books.

    I am at this point sceptical that the improvement is real because they haven’t hit the big boys yet, but would love to be proven wrong. As much as I can’t stand MacT and Lowe, I still love the team and want them to do well.

  102. gcw_rocks says:

    godot10,

    I love Petry as a player, but I also think he and Gilbert are basically the same player. I wonder what the Oilers would look like if they had signed Gilbert and then packaged Gagner and Petry for a defender. I suspect they could have gotten something pretty substantial in return.

  103. Caramel Obvious says:

    gcw_rocks,

    I like many of your signing ideas. Indeed, I like every single player you named and if I was GM I would have tried to sign all of them. However, I think they are unrealistic in two senses. First, it is impossible to fit all those moves in within the actual situation the Oilers were in, and two, it sets up an impossibly high standard that no general manager will ever meet.

    To the idea that Eakins’ is a rookie coach that only makes sense if you think the NHL is different in kind from the AHL when it clearly is not. This points to the general incoherence of your criticism. On the one hand, you buy into the old boy logic of the NHL (rookie coach) and on the other you expect the general manager to entirely disregard that logic. That tells me you are just looking for reasons to criticize no matter what. Especially when you revert to psychologizing (messing with Dubnyk’s head) which is outright nonsense on every level.

    And once you get down to it the list of questionable decisions is rather paltry. For instance:

    Rookie coach already addressed.
    You can’t know he could have traded Eberle or Gagner or Yakupov for a #1 defender, whatever that means, and even if he could, it isn’t obvious that to do so would be a good idea.
    The rest is merely a reiteration of the same. You think he chose the wrong cheap players. I mostly agree. But that is tiny chickens compared to five years of rot in which the team failed to add a single good player outside of the #1 pick.

    On the whole you greatly underestimate the difficulty of rebuilding in the NHL. There is a reason the same teams win year after year. It’s because rebuilding is almost impossible.

    denny33:
    Caramel Obvious,

    Seriously, the criticisms of Eakins are so incredibly, powerfully, bad they don’t even rate on the scale.
    ***********************************************************************************************

    Calgary-29gp 11w – 14L – 4ot= 26 points
    Edmonton -31gp 10w – 18L – 3ot =23 points

    You are right – I think you should pen a letter nominating him for the Jack Adams award. That is the talk of the league – how Dallas is running away with the competition.

    If you won’t accept that it is impossible to reason from results this conversation isn’t going to go anywhere. It isn’t hyperbole to say that points is irrelevant information that adds nothing to the conversation. Nothing.

  104. Mr DeBakey says:

    As for Acton, he played less than most fourth line centers. Again, a statement is easily contradicted by the facts.

    Smid played forward!
    Petersen played on the power-play!
    Its true!

    **

    With Marco Bello playing so well right from camp,
    Acton probably wouldn’t have made the team at all had Gagner not been thugged.

  105. G Money says:

    Mr DeBakey: Acton shouldn’t have made the team at all had Gagner not been thugged.

    Fixed it for you.
    :-)

  106. russ99 says:

    Here to me is the crux of the press conference issue:

    The last 10-15 days Eakins has been saying postgame that he’s happy with the way we played. Then yesterday he goes off on turnovers and possession. BTW: His comment about the dump mentioned the term “Red line” so that doesn’t wash to me as condemning the dump as a strategy.

    So which is it?

    Is the safe possession game and heavy use of the dump the plan by the coaches (as admitted to by Bucky) and the players are sick of no offensive production and ignoring it?

    Or is moving the puck in the zone in the plan and the players are giving up on the play too early?

    Eakins can’t have it both ways. I’m surprised nobody in the press has called him on it, but maybe that’s what brought on Staples’ article.

  107. rickithebear says:

    Caramel Obvious: All this is completely and utterly wrong as has been discussed ad nauseum on this site.Ad nauseum.Please keep up.

    Have you ever coached a team?
    Have you ever coached a provincial or national team?
    Have you ever had people you trained and coached make national teams?
    Both Men and Womens?

    You identify your players stengths and run a system that allows them to use that strength.
    You modify the system as you teach your players and they learn the weakness of thier game.
    You explain it to them, and communicate as a superior but with respect.
    They will listen.

    It came to me today.
    Eakins reminds me of Terry Simpson!
    The walk in front of the bus task master.
    Technically sound Coach.
    Works well in CHL and AHL were players are hungry to make it.

    But the new system and CHL/AHL attitude did not work so well in the NHL.

  108. russ99 says:

    BTW: I see us split into two camps.

    1) Thinks we’ve gone off the tracks in the overemphasis on defense, and offense is suffering, leading to unhappy fans and players. Doesn’t mind a few bumps in the road as long as we’re scoring and the players are learning and progressing on both sides of the ice; and our coaching staff is more flexible with what they have. Is OK with acquiring better defensively oriented players as long as the core skill group is as untouched as possible and is playing up to their potential.

    2) Wants old school smashmouth hockey, and thinks if they stick to the plan and get the defense/possession game right, then eventually the offense will right itself, primarily with greasy goals and big players in front of the net. Thinks that we have to stick with Eakins and that individual players and/or the player mix is the major problem and wants us to acquire bigger, tougher players at the expense of skill.

    Not sure if either of us is right… :(

  109. Wolfie says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    gcw_rocks,

    I like many of your signing ideas.Indeed, I like every single player you named and if I was GM I would have tried to sign all of them. However, I think they are unrealistic in two senses.First, it is impossible to fit all those moves in within the actual situation the Oilers were in, and two, it sets up an impossibly high standard that no general manager will ever meet.

    To the idea that Eakins’ is a rookie coach that only makes sense if you think the NHL is different in kind from the AHL when it clearly is not.This points to the general incoherence of your criticism.On the one hand, you buy into the old boy logic of the NHL (rookie coach) and on the other you expect the general manager to entirely disregard that logic.That tells me you are just looking for reasons to criticize no matter what.Especially when you revert to psychologizing (messing with Dubnyk’s head) which is outright nonsense on every level.

    And once you get down to it the list of questionable decisions is rather paltry. For instance:

    Rookie coach already addressed.
    You can’t know he could have traded Eberle or Gagner or Yakupov for a #1 defender, whatever that means, and even if he could, it isn’t obvious that to do so would be a good idea.
    The rest is merely a reiteration of the same.You think he chose the wrong cheap players.I mostly agree.But that is tiny chickens compared to five years of rot in which the team failed to add a single good player outside of the #1 pick.

    On the whole you greatly underestimate the difficulty of rebuilding in the NHL.There is a reason the same teams win year after year.It’s because rebuilding is almost impossible.

    If you won’t accept that it is impossible to reason from results this conversation isn’t going to go anywhere.It isn’t hyperbole to say that points is irrelevant information that adds nothing to the conversation.Nothing.

    That last paragraph reminds me of the white supremacist from North Dakota who had a DNA test done only to find out he has 14% Sub-Saharan African genome….

    The problem I have with Eakins is this… He’s trying to fit square pegs into round holes. He went away from a PP that was producing because it had a couple bad games. He ditched that to go back to something that hadn’t worked well to begin with. He’s pissing off Yak and not using him in situations he excels at.

    Their record is atrocious. The top 6 should be humming with the offensive chops they have and the gift of Perron.

    There are a number of reasons why the Oilers have been brutal. Coachiing is one of them.

  110. FastOil says:

    Caramel Obvious,

    “On the whole you greatly underestimate the difficulty of rebuilding in the NHL. There is a reason the same teams win year after year. It’s because rebuilding is almost impossible. ”

    To me it seems the teams that always win are able to make deals and that is how they stay good, barring maybe the Pens.

    LA, Hawks, Bruins, Sharks have all made crucial deals. The same teams win because they are perhaps lucky, but also have GM’s that take oxygen directly from the atmosphere and don’t need forced air through a tube up their rectums to their heads. They recognize what makes a contributing NHL player and get them when they need them.

    They also seem to be able to get value for even crappy or bad contract players. If I were a NHL GM that would be of great interest to me, pinnacle.

  111. FastOil says:

    Wolfie: That last paragraph reminds me of the white supremacist from North Dakota who had a DNA test done only to find out he has 14% Sub-Saharan African genome….

    The problem I have with Eakins is this…He’s trying to fit square pegs into round holes.He went away from a PP that was producing because it had a couple bad games.He ditched that to go back to something that hadn’t worked well to begin with.He’s pissing off Yak and not using him in situations he excels at.

    Their record is atrocious.The top 6 should be humming with the offensive chops they have and the gift of Perron.

    There are a number of reasons why the Oilers have been brutal.Coachiing is one of them.

    I still give Eakins a pass. He is establishing control of an unruly mob and winning on top of that can’t be expected just because one or two have managed it in the past. Things were/are very messed up in Oilerland.

    There is also no bottom end of the roster for the most part, combined with injuries, options have been limited.

    I will take no crap next year though. If they bury Arco and he’s playing like this or the like we’ll know for sure they are butt heads.

  112. spoiler says:

    Wow, there are a lot of Shelley Duvall impressions going on in here. People quivering with emotion with a big knife in their hand, wanting desperately to stick it somewhere. And stupid HF worthy shit too.

    I caught Campbell’s remarks and her footage of Hall screwing the pooch.

    And there were Ferraro’s remarks the other day about Hall not using his linemates on rushes.

    And this behavior isn’t limited to Hall.

    The coach can’t make the player do what he has coached him to do. The coach can’t make the player stick to the game plan, play his position, move his feet, manage the puck, not grip the stick too tight, etc etc.

    Like Arbour said…the trick to coaching is getting off the bus with the better team. The Oilers have not been the better team most nights. They’ve showed improvement recently, but need to build consistency into that improvement. Once again, that is on the players. The guys who have come from other teams, like Ference, have remarked on the lack of commitment these players have displayed.

    The Calgary game is especially frustrating because the Oilers were clearly the better team. The Flames played a frustrating style–including the swarm(!)– and got the Oilers off their game plan, and playing like a group of individuals.

    I thought that was dead obvious while watching the game. To have Eakins recognize that in the scrum the next day is sheer joy. This guy is a good coach with a ton of experience and was in great demand this summer.

    The team has sucked through four head coaches. The issue isn’t head coaching or whatever narrative you Shelley Duvalls want to invent to protect the wonderkids who have your fan worship. The issue is the players. Ferraro can see it, Campbell can see it, and just about every other talking head can see it too… LT can see it, WG, G Money, hell even I can see it.

    They’ve come around nicely the past ten games–hell we’d all be delighted if they started the season 6-3-1. Sitting here and reading baseless attacks on the coach, relentlessly inane rhetoric, is godawfully boring and pointless. And it says far more about those making the attacks than it does about the coach.

    Our eyes should turn to the next ten games… can they build on the past ten and learn to play a smart, consistent, hard-working game? What will it take for these players to do so? Sure as fuck ain’t a new head coach.

    You want to shake the team up? Fire Bucky and Smith. The assistants have by far and away the most contact with the players, and thus have the most effect on their personal accountability. Remove the molly-coddlers and maybe the lolly-gagging will be gone for good. But after the last ten games, I’d say they get another ten to show their players have turned a corner.

  113. bendelson says:

    VanOil,

    Brock Nelson? Yes.
    For DD? Not even close.

    As the GM of a hockey team in the NHL, one would hope MacT is going team by team identifying this type of player and making phone calls… They are out there to be found.

  114. Logan91 says:

    spoiler:
    Wow, there are a lot of Shelley Duvall impressions going on in here. People quivering with emotion with a big knife in their hand, wanting desperately to stick it somewhere.And stupid HF worthy shit too.

    I was thinking this too.

    For the past couple weeks I’ve felt like I’ve been reading the comments section in OilersNation.

  115. Woodguy says:

    spoiler:
    Wow, there are a lot of Shelley Duvall impressions going on in here. People quivering with emotion with a big knife in their hand, wanting desperately to stick it somewhere.And stupid HF worthy shit too.

    I caught Campbell’s remarks and her footage of Hall screwing the pooch.

    And there were Ferraro’s remarks the other day about Hall not using his linemates on rushes.

    And this behavior isn’t limited to Hall.

    The coach can’t make the player do what he has coached him to do.The coach can’t make the player stick to the game plan, play his position, move his feet, manage the puck, not grip the stick too tight, etc etc.

    Like Arbour said…the trick to coaching is getting off the bus with the better team.The Oilers have not been the better team most nights.They’ve showed improvement recently, but need to build consistency into that improvement. Once again, that is on the players. The guys who have come from other teams, like Ference, have remarked on the lack of commitment these players have displayed.

    The Calgary game is especially frustrating because the Oilers were clearly the better team.The Flames played a frustrating style–including the swarm(!)– and got the Oilers off their game plan, and playing like a group of individuals.

    I thought that was dead obvious while watching the game.To have Eakins recognize that in the scrum the next day is sheer joy.This guy is a good coach with a ton of experience and was in great demand this summer.

    The team has sucked through four head coaches. The issue isn’thead coaching or whatever narrative you Shelley Duvalls want to invent to protect the wonderkids who have your fan worship.The issue is the players. Ferraro can see it, Campbell can see it, and just about every other talking head can see it too… LT can see it, WG, G Money, hell even I can see it.

    They’ve come around nicely the past ten games–hell we’d all be delighted if they started the season 6-3-1.Sitting here and reading baseless attacks on the coach, relentlessly inane rhetoric, is godawfully boring and pointless. And it says far more about those making the attacks than it does about the coach.

    Our eyes should turn to the next ten games… can they build on the past ten and learn to play a smart, consistent, hard-working game?What will it take for these players to do so?Sure as fuck ain’t a newhead coach.

    You want to shake the team up?Fire Bucky and Smith. The assistants have by far and away the most contact with the players, and thus have the most effect on their personal accountability. Remove the molly-coddlers and maybe the lolly-gagging will be gone for good.But after the last ten games, I’d say they get another ten to show their players have turned a corner.

    Love that you worked mollycoddlers AND lollygaggers in.

    I salute you sir.

    It’s all true too.

    Gagner being the player who gave the puck away on the PK and being the THIRD man back was disgusting.

  116. russ99 says:

    spoiler,

    That the excuse again, the next 10 games. Then after that it will be the next 10, and so on and so on. Then it will be “how can we judge him after one season?”…

    The only constant here is an unbending will, backed up by making frowny faces with little else on the bench.

    How is that any kind of leadership to inspire the players to give their all, as so many have been railing against of late.

    Bottom line: other than the outlier games vs. Colorado and Columbus, the Oilers have scored this many even strength goals the last 10 games: 13.

    Despite whatever side you are on who’s the problem – the coaching staff or players; that’s a problem, and solutions can only come by Eakins adapting to the players he has.

    Some of you may think that’s weakness, and mollycoddling to the players, I call it necessary to keeping his job.

  117. Woodguy says:

    russ99:
    spoiler,

    That the excuse again, the next 10 games. Then after that it will be the next 10, and so on and so on. Then it will be “how can we judge him after one season?”…

    The only constant here is an unbending will, backed up by making frowny faces with little else on the bench.

    How is that any kind of leadership to inspire the players to give their all, as so many have been railing against of late.

    Bottom line: other than the outlier games vs. Colorado and Columbus, the Oilers have scored this many even strength goals the last 10 games: 13.

    Despite whatever side you are on who’s the problem – the coaching staff or players; that’s a problem, and solutions can only come by Eakins adapting to the players he has.

    Some of you may think that’s weakness, and mollycoddling to the players, I call it necessary to keeping his job.

    Judging a NHL coach by his facial expression on the bench.

    HOW DOES SUTTER HAVE A JOB!!!!!

    Won’t someone please think of the children?

  118. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    In regards to Gagner, there is no allowance for a 50 pt, top 6 guy to be a defensive liability. Maybe a 75+ pt guy can make a case because they can be an offensive difference maker (that’s dubious and you can only carry one or two on a team), but not someone of Gagner’s offensive pedigree. He is a problem within the Oiler player mix that must be dealt with – NMC or handshake ‘understanding’ withstanding. He has made this bed for himself and has no room to debate this as he has 7 years in the league. MacT needs to nut up on this particular issue and deliver a BOLD statement on what it means to be a tier one team in this league. What you see is exactly what you get with Gagner and for all intents purposes, he is dead to me as an asset that will help lead us to cup contention. So, make the change needed and get it done before next snowfall.

  119. Lowetide says:

    In regard to David Staples system, what I said was:

    David’s system counts chances, and treats puck location as a random act. NOTHING is measured until the puck arrives in your quadrant. If you error, or contribute to it, then you get a minus. ALL OF THE EVENTS BEFORE IT don’t count, just the contribution.

    And on the other hand, you contribute to a good thing and that’s a plus. So, Corsi and David’s system are completely opposite and really can’t be married to each other in a realistic way.

    You either believe the puck’s arrival isn’t important, or you do.

    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2013/11/5-prospect-jujhar-khaira.html/comment-page-1#comment-272904

  120. Caramel Obvious says:

    russ99:
    BTW: I see us split into two camps.

    1) Thinks we’ve gone off the tracks in the overemphasis on defense, and offense is suffering, leading to unhappy fans and players. Doesn’t mind a few bumps in the road as long as we’re scoring and the players are learning and progressing on both sides of the ice; and our coaching staff is more flexible with what they have. Is OK with acquiring better defensively oriented players as long as the core skill group is as untouched as possible and is playing up to their potential.

    2) Wants old school smashmouth hockey, and thinks if they stick to the plan and get the defense/possession game right, then eventually the offense will right itself, primarily with greasy goals and big players in front of the net. Thinks that we have to stick with Eakins and that individual players and/or the player mix is the major problem and wants us to acquire bigger, tougher players at the expense of skill.

    Not sure if either of us is right…

    This is where the conversation breaks down. There isn’t anyone here who fits into category 2, who wants old school smashmouth hockey. Not me. Not steviezie. Not woodguy. Not lowetide, and most important of all, not Eakins.

    You are arguing with phantoms that don’t exist.

    So I’ll stipulate that what I would like is fast, offensive (though that’s a false dichotomy), possession hockey in which the team dumps and chases as little as possible.

    Now let’s conduct an experiment. Watch the next game and focus on zone entries and honestly count the number of times the team dumps it in when there was a reasonable chance at gaining the zone with possession. I’ll do the same and we can compare notes after the game. I wager the number is going to be very small because it simply isn’t true that this team is playing dump and chase hockey.

    rickithebear,

    I don’t see how personal biographies are relevant since the man in question (Eakins) certainly has a better resume than either of us. So I’ll keep the bragging to myself, which can’t be substantiated in any case, and leave it to the substantive points.

    And your point is simply wrong. No coach of team sports at a high level adapts the style/system of their team to the players. To so is wrong on two levels.

    First, it presumes that players are D & D characters of fixed and defined attributes but this is manifestly not the case. No good coach, or good teacher for that matter, adapts to their students in the way you describe. It is your job to know what they need and to give it to them. This is universal. Otherwise it is impossible for the player/student to develop into what they are supposed to be. This does not, as I’m sure you will misinterpret, mean that there is a one size fits all model. But Eakins knows that. All of the evidence that we have suggests that he relates to the players as persons, cognizant of their different personalities.

    Second, on a strategic level, it is the job of the coach to develop a cohesive strategy within which each individual players plays. This is true of all team sports of high levels. In this regard, once again the players are subordinate to a higher good. No good coach would ever willingly choose a suboptimal strategy because he is limited by the players. His job is to raise the players to the strategy, incrementally, rather than accepting these limitations as transcendental.

  121. godot10 says:

    Lowetide:
    In regard to David Staples system, what I said was:

    David’s system counts chances, and treats puck location as a random act. NOTHING is measured until the puck arrives in your quadrant. If you error, or contribute to it, then you get a minus. ALL OF THE EVENTS BEFORE IT don’t count, just the contribution.

    And on the other hand, you contribute to a good thing and that’s a plus. So, Corsi and David’s system are completely opposite and really can’t be married to each other in a realistic way.

    You either believe the puck’s arrival isn’t important, or you do.

    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2013/11/5-prospect-jujhar-khaira.html/comment-page-1#comment-272904

    Staples recent article arguing that the OIlers may be treading water, and not improved is based on team scoring chances, not Nielson numbers (i.e. indiviudal scoring chances).

    mc79′s criticism of Staples is of his Nielson numbers (or individual scoring chance) metric. Staples recent article had nothing to do with individual scoring chances.

  122. spoiler says:

    russ99: That the excuse again, the next 10 games. Then after that it will be the next 10, and so on and so on. Then it will be “how can we judge him after one season?”…

    The only constant here is an unbending will, backed up by making frowny faces with little else on the bench.

    How is that any kind of leadership to inspire the players to give their all, as so many have been railing against of late.

    Bottom line: other than the outlier games vs. Colorado and Columbus, the Oilers have scored this many even strength goals the last 10 games: 13.

    Despite whatever side you are on who’s the problem – the coaching staff or players; that’s a problem, and solutions can only come by Eakins adapting to the players he has.

    Some of you may think that’s weakness, and mollycoddling to the players, I call it necessary to keeping his job.

    The next ten games isn’t an excuse, it’s what’s on deck. I like the improvement shown in the past ten games. if this team goes 6-3-1 every ten game set from here on in, I’ll be freakin ecstatic. But they still have to show they can play against the top Pacific teams.

    This is what I want to see over the next ten games:

    1. Consistency… Hard work and effort game in and game out. Back checking. Discipline positionally. Commitment to the game plan. Team work. Less cheating for offense. More support for the D. Smart puck management.

    2. Stability… Some emotional strength. Don’t lose the plot (ie my point 1.) over some early adverse event. A bad call, a bad bounce, or just stifling play. Keep your brain engaged, let it rule your heart.

    3. Urgency and Killer instinct on powerplays… a 1st period PP needs to get the same focus and energy that a 3rd period PP gets. Move your frickin feet. Support on PP zone entries. Head in the game and not up ass.

    These aren’t things you adapt to. These are things that all teams regardless of talent level or quality must do every night. Like the Flames do. And that’s on the players. We know this has been Big D’s message all along, we’ve all heard it. The players have to start living it.

  123. Lowetide says:

    godot10: Staples recent article arguing that the OIlers may be treading water, and not improved is based on team scoring chances, not Nielson numbers (i.e. indiviudal scoring chances).

    mc79′s criticism of Staples is of his Nielson numbers (or individual scoring chance) metric.Staples recent article had nothing to do with individual scoring chances.

    I was responding to the query above in regard to what was said about it on this blog, so my post was meant to address that area.

  124. magisterrex says:

    Pablo Aimar: Dallas, why are you wasting time on a blog frenetically defending yourself and insulting everyone?Your team sucks. Better to spend your time figuring out things, like the pp maybe.

    Thus is weak.

  125. DeadmanWaking says:

    sliderule: Its like any business if the results are not there you have to fire the bosses until the new crew gets it.

    Your assertion that churning the management is the way of business is false on every level. Repeat after me: There are no silver-bullets. Not something old, not something new, not something borrowed, not something blue.

    Let’s look at a case study.

    Jobs is the problem. No, wait, Sculley is the problem. No, actually this new guy Spindler is the devil’s own henchman. Oh, but now look–Amelio just spent $429 million buying the failed NeXT operating system from that deadbeat Jobs. Stock soars to a 12-year low. Fire immediately, with extreme prejudice! Now what? We’ve tried everything. We tried the original guys. We tried the new guys. We tried austerity. We tried bold. How about we bring back the boy on the bus?

    Miracle boy promptly turns NeXT into OS X, and the rest is history. Apple is sure is darn lucky it survived Amelio putting in place the winning chess piece.

    Yet when the team finally experiences success after three, or five, or eleven management cycles, people run around yelling “See! It works!” Ridiculous.

    Jobs is a lot like Schindler. He was a crappy businessman, until the war broke out. Then he was golden. After the war, nothing but failure. Jobs has always dreamed of turning computer hardware into boutique gadgets.

    The hardware just wasn’t good enough to translate that dream into reality until his second tenure. If he had been brought back three years sooner, he might have bankrupt the company pursuing his premature dream. Apple came very close to going tits up.

    What Jobs brought to the table was twenty years experience in trying to make the best possible gadget based on flash memory. He was like one of those Tokamak guys who started working on fusion power in the late 1970s, always selling the grand dream, but incapable of making it happen until the right conditions.

    Where is Tokamak now? Construction has begun on the 500 MW ITER reactor, to begin operation in 2020. It’s not the real deal, thought. The real deal is DEMO, to begin construction in 2024. That will be a 2000 MW reactor capable of continuous operation. Finally. Maybe.

    I think Staples is insane when he compares our age cluster to Chicago or Pittsburgh. Those were clusters for the ages, built under different CBAs, with different levels of league parity.

    We knew the day we drafted most of our picks that this was not a cluster built to blossom in May–no wait, that’s not quite what I meant. They’re built to blossom in May, but it’s a distant May.

  126. Halfwise says:

    magisterrex: Thus is weak.

    Agreed. Lowetide’s regulars vs ON commenters…insights vs outbursts.

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

© Copyright - Lowetide.ca