DESOLATION ROW

One thing in life that’s true: you can’t sit around and feel sorry for yourself. The Edmonton Oilers appear to have a plan of action, beginning this season and the coach detailed some of it yesterday.

  • Eakins: “We’ll come out of the break with more time to work on things than training camp, and we’re going to use that as a kick start to next year’s camp. What’s happened here, unfortunately, is that every year a new coach has come in and changed things and changed things and changed things. I really believe the players’ heads are spinning. (But) I am comfortable with where we’re at system-wise now. We’re ready to take another step forward with some of the stuff we want to instill but we’re not going to take that step until after the break.”

This is an area of the game I don’t know much about, it would seem to me that a defensive system should be explainable in a morning session and then executed satisfactorily within a few on-ice sessions. These are intelligent men (the hockey IQ for an NHL player has  to be 130 or more—well most of them!) in their area of expertise, surely the concepts can be understood.

I think it’s about experience. I’ve watched rookie defensemen since Jim Dorey, and they all look (at one time or another) like the current Oilers bunch.  Among the young, I think Justin Schultz, Jeff Petry and Martin Marincin are keepers, with Andrew Ference hanging around offering veteran assistance next season. The other three names are unknown to us.

mact and people

THE PLAN

Craig MacTavish is apparently hunkered down in Charlotte with the pro scouts (maybe it’s on the Messier ranch, where one assumes the yard workers are hitting each other with shovels when no one is looking and the Friday flights to Manhattan are full). If we make a list of “keepers” and roster “holes” we might get this:

  • Goal: the new Dwayne Roloson, Ben Scrivens
  • Left Defense: the new Jaroslav Spacek, Andrew Ference, Martin Marincin
  • Right Defense: Jeff Petry, Justin Schultz, Taylor Fedun, Anton Belov
  • Center: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, the new Shawn Horcoff, Boyd Gordon, Matt Hendricks, Anton Lander
  • Left Wing: Taylor Hall, David Perron, the new Ethan Moreau, Ryan Smyth, Luke Gazdic
  • Right Wing: Jordan Eberle, Nail Yakupov, the new Mike Grier, Tyler Pitlick

So, that’s three callups who stick (Fedun, Lander and Pitlick) along with 5 “new” players as described above. Eight new faces represents 35% turnover, but that’s not really accurate since there have already been additions (Scrivens, Marincin, Hendricks) from the season’s beginning. For a reminder, here’s the opening night lineup:

  • Goal: Devan Dubnyk, Jason LaBarbera (both gone)
  • Defense: Ladislav Smid (gone), Jeff Petry, Andrew Ference, Justin Schultz, Nick Schultz, Anton Belov
  • Center: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (injured), Mark Arcobello, Boyd Gordon, Will Acton
  • Left Wing: Taylor Hall, David Perron, Ryan Smyth, Jesse Joensuu, Luke Gazdic
  • Right Wing: Jordan Eberle, Nail Yakupov, Ales Hemsky, Mike Brown (gone)

I added Nuge and moved Hall to L, the rest of the opening night roster is here. Four players are gone from that list now, and there will be more—and we’re not even counting guys like Grebeshkov who came and went (and Potter who is not mentioned here but may have a future with the team).

shepherd 1

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A busy morning, hope you tune in! Scheduled to appear:

  • Alan Hull, Copper and Blue. We’ll look forward to the deadline/summer procurement for MacT and group.
  • Corey Pronman, Hockey Prospectus and ESPN. Corey’s 2014 NHL draft list is released today, we’ll also discuss his recent top 50 Prospects list, that included Darnell Nurse inside the top 10.
  • Scott Cullen, tsn. We’ll talk about yesterday’s trade and the Oilers team building process.
  • Corey Graham, Oil Kings pbp for tsn. Lazar went off last night, Moroz was  chucking, Jarry was stopping, Samuelsson was romping. We’ll talk about a very interesting Oil Kings team.

10-1260 via text, @Lowetide_ on twitter.

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110 Responses to "DESOLATION ROW"

  1. LMHF#1 says:

    Bryzgalov + at the deadline for Samuelsson? Would be all over that.

    I guess Greiss has been good though.

  2. russ99 says:

    I’m not convinced that Fedun is anything more than a 7th defenseman.

    I’d rather see a veteran checking defensemen in his spot instead, how about the new Gator Smith.

  3. MenovOil says:

    Hey LT, long time reader, first time poster. You do some great work here and it’s pretty much the only reason I haven’t completely given up on this shit show that is the Edmonton Oilers.

    This latest gem by Eakins just had my head spinning. I guess the man’s system is so complex that he will need the equivalent of three training camps to get it implemented? Ya, sure. *Eyeroll*

    It’s unbelievably frustrating to be a fan of this team. Eakins is shyte, but as long as the 80′s Oilers are running things, this franchise will remain a joke. See I wouldn’t mind seeing Eakins turfed but if the replacement will be picked by the Lowe/Mact T two headed monster, might as well stick with the over-hyped doofus from Toronto.

    Getting rid of Lowe/Mac T/Bucky/Smith and bring someone who has no affiliation to the 80′s Oilers would bring instant credibility to this franchise. Notice how Columbus stopped being a complete joke once Howson was turfed? (And he somehow becomes an Oiler’s employee) *Sigh*

    Anywho, sorry for the rant LT, you keep fighting the good fight. It sure is looking hopeless nowadays for this team.

  4. zatch says:

    Just so I’m getting this right, the roster listed in The Plan is what ideally the roster will look like at the end of this season?

  5. RexLibris says:

    Would Steve Downie be too odious a signing to add in the “new Ethan Moreau/Mike Grier” roster spot?

    Someone brought this up in conversation the other day and I hadn’t even considered him as a possibility. He certainly is something that the Oilers lack in their current roster.

  6. hunter1909 says:

    Credibility, over accountability, I’m amazed anyone listens. Eakins says he’s going to do anything, and this is believed? When the team itself has ZERO compete?

    The Nucks were taking the piss last game, the Oilers acted like frightened wimps, and Eakins came out of that shiteshow talking crap about how theoretically you never want to hit anyone ever in a hockey game. He sounded like an idiot, quite frankly.

    I’m sure everything will be just rosy, just as soon as the real men return from the Olympics. Oilers might be able to steal a few games even, like they always do when out of the running. Wow.

  7. BrazilianOil says:

    It’s a really boring day under the coconuts so i made a armchair GM on capgeek trading the 1st + Gagner + Klefbom for Mr. Letang, and picked some Ufa.

    http://capgeek.com/armchair-gm/roster/3631

  8. hunter1909 says:

    PS: Maybe the lack of anything resembling hockey in Edmonton, plus the relative smarts of the fan base will produce something unexpected. Some of you might even be close splitting the hockey atom.

  9. Woodguy says:

    I listened to Eakins’ post practice presser and it was really good.

    Every time he talks about anything other than fans throwing their jerseys on the ice, I like him more and more.

    I think he’s the right coach for this group, but needs more effective help on his staff. Perhaps they can offer the PP coach from SJS $2MM/yr? It would be $ well spent.

    One part of the verbal that I liked yesterday was that he feels that the team has a sufficient grasp of the basics of his system that he going to add to it.

    The main component of what he is going to add is speed.

    Finally, the system will be tilited towards the strengths of the roster.

    This is why you don’t change the coach.

    Learning a new system every year is making the players head spin.

    Leave the coach and players in place so the system becomes how they play hockey and not something they have to think about.

    Don’t think, you’ll just hurt the ball club.

    Also,

    I’ve said it before and soon I’ll have something a little more detailed to show it, but the main problem on this team is not how the coach is deploying the players, it the players he has available to deploy.

    I hope LT is wrong and they aim for someone better than Spacek for first pairing.

    I liked Spacek and in his prime he was 1st pairing, even away from Pronger, but I’m hoping the team is aiming higher.

    Given all the LDH kids coming through the system – Marincin, Kelf, Nurse, Gernat, I doubt they swing for the fence for 1LD given that there is essentially only the 3LD spot open with Ference’s contract length and NMC.

    I can hope, but hope might be all I have there.

  10. Woodguy says:

    Bob Stauffer ‏@Bob_Stauffer 8h
    P.A. Raiders center Leon Draisaitl has cooled too.The consensus 2014 top 10 pick hasn’t scored in last five games and gone -11 in last 11GP

    Is the Shitty Piano Recital for Draisaitl off the rails?

  11. Jordan says:

    Woodguy:
    Bob Stauffer ‏@Bob_Stauffer 8h
    P.A. Raiders center Leon Draisaitl has cooled too.The consensus 2014 top 10 pick hasn’t scored in last five games and gone -11 in last 11GP

    Is the Shitty Piano Recital for Draisaitl off the rails?

    The thought process goes like this:

    Cool, I’m a projected first round pick – awesome.

    Wow, I’m in the top 10. Sweet.

    Ummm… oh… top 4?

    That’s where the Oilers are projected to pick. Oh.

    They really need a big centre with skill. I’m a big centre with skill.

    ….

    Time to take some games off – gotta fall back into the mid first. Maybe I can end up in Phoenix, or somewhere in California…

  12. stevezie says:

    RexLibris,

    I’d take him in a heartbeat. I think the best argument against would be that he doesn’t address our size problem, but if you want a guy who plays big…

    If I’m the GM he’s getting a nice pitch this summer. Especially considering the rumour that Colorado traded him because he rocked Landeskog in training camp.

  13. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy:

    I hope LT is wrong and they aim for someone better than Spacek for first pairing.

    I was informed via phone on my way to work that my love for Spacek is not shared by many Oiler fans. So, choose your favorite ’1st pairing D who may also be available’

  14. merlin9 says:

    What about Ryan Jones? He’s important to the Oilers for his energy, combativeness, penalty killing, body checking…. I think he’s terrific!

  15. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “This is an area of the game I don’t know much about, it would seem to me that a defensive system should be explainable in a morning session and then executed satisfactorily within a few on-ice sessions. These are intelligent men (the hockey IQ for an NHL player has to be 130 or more—well most of them!) in their area of expertise, surely the concepts can be understood.

    I think it’s about experience.”

    I’m not entirely sure these ideas are at odds with one another.

    One word we’ve heard a lot about is “habits.”

    I think that might be the bridge between “systems” and “experience” that makes these two ideas shake hands.

    Think about it.

    When we say systems, we typically mean some kind of mental creation, drawn on a blackboard. But, we also mean that mental image realized as a physical, real world matter of rote.

    That is, the players aren’t supposed to keep referring back to a cheat sheet. The ideal situation is one where they’ve internalized the system and can implement it without challenging the old top computer to work.

    ————-
    Brief interlude. Heidegger has a very insightful passage in his Being and Time (1927) about tools and their conspicuous/inconspicuous nature.

    A worker uses a tool in a completely inconspicuous manner. They have no “thought” for the hammer. They just hammer things. In fact, if they thought about the hammer and hammering they would probably be inefficient and mistake prone.

    So, the worker, going about its business, is in a kind of habitual mode. Hammering away without a care in the world.

    Then, the hammer breaks. It becomes extraordinarily conspicuous as does the environment created by the habit of hammering, i.e., the nail, the wood, the house you are building, your co-workers, etc. all suddenly are revealed as conspicuous. This isn’t good or bad. It is simply a new perspective on things, actual things and your relation to them. You “think” — even if very briefly — about what a hammer is, what it does, how you use it, why you do, etc.

    The world of simple, rote, efficient operations is disturbed.

    —————
    Now, a hockey system ought to operate at the habitual level. It ought to be as inconspicuous as possible. A moment spent trying to retrieve some mental image of what one is supposed to be doing at a given situation is very costly in a high-paced game like hockey.

    BUT… to get from system as mental image to system as habit takes learning and experience.

    AND… it can’t help matters if each time to sit down at the table to learn a new system as mental image or go out on the ice to try and ingrain that system as habit… it’s a new damn thing.

    (am I making any sense today)

    oh… don’t trade Hemsky.

    and… does 2x2M sound right for a Belov extension?

  16. OilClog says:

    After last night.. How many calls will MacT make to Ottawa for Lazar today.. I’m guessing close to 4.5.

  17. maddex says:

    OilClog,

    so many people bring up trading for Lazar, it leaves me wondering why any of us think Ottawa would trade Lazar? What benefit do they gain for trading away such a blooming young player? What am I missing?

  18. Lloyd B. says:

    Woodguy,

    Agreed. The Oilers don’t need ( well they do but it will have to wait) a #1 LD with all the talent coming on LD. What they truly need is a #1 RD that will push the guys we have down one level of competition as well as a time munching mentor for all the LD coming up. In my view, the #1 RD is who we send one of the gifted ones away for. 

  19. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy:
    Bob Stauffer ‏@Bob_Stauffer 8h
    P.A. Raiders center Leon Draisaitl has cooled too.The consensus 2014 top 10 pick hasn’t scored in last five games and gone -11 in last 11GP

    Is the Shitty Piano Recital for Draisaitl off the rails?

    Saw that last night. And no!!!

    He’s still my guy at any rate.

    But, the real answer was LT’s the other night. These kids have a ton of games and playoffs etc. to take a stand. They’ve all got ample opportunity to lap or get lapped by others.

    if he slides to the 5-10 range I think someone could nab a Couturier like steal.

  20. steveb12344 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    “This is an area of the game I don’t know much about, it would seem to me that a defensive system should be explainable in a morning session and then executed satisfactorily within a few on-ice sessions. These are intelligent men (the hockey IQ for an NHL player hasto be 130 or more—well most of them!) in their area of expertise, surely the concepts can be understood.

    I think it’s about experience.”

    I’m not entirely sure these ideas are at odds with one another.

    One word we’ve heard a lot about is “habits.”

    I think that might be the bridge between “systems” and “experience” that makes these two ideas shake hands.

    Think about it.

    When we say systems, we typically mean some kind of mental creation, drawn on a blackboard. But, we also mean that mental image realized as a physical, real world matter of rote.

    That is, the players aren’t supposed to keep referring back to a cheat sheet. The ideal situation is one where they’ve internalized the system and can implement it without challenging the old top computer to work.

    ————-
    Brief interlude. Heidegger has a very insightful passage in his Being and Time (1927) about tools and their conspicuous/inconspicuous nature.

    A worker uses a tool in a completely inconspicuous manner. They have no “thought” for the hammer. They just hammer things. In fact, if they thought about the hammer and hammering they would probably be inefficient and mistake prone.

    So, the worker, going about its business, is in a kind of habitual mode. Hammering away without a care in the world.

    Then, the hammer breaks. It becomes extraordinarily conspicuous as does the environment created by the habit of hammering, i.e., the nail, the wood, the house you are building, your co-workers, etc. all suddenly are revealed as conspicuous. This isn’t good or bad. It is simply a new perspective on things, actual things and your relation to them. You “think” — even if very briefly — about what a hammer is, what it does, how you use it, why you do, etc.

    The world of simple, rote, efficient operations is disturbed.

    —————
    Now, a hockey system ought to operate at the habitual level. It ought to be as inconspicuous as possible. A moment spent trying to retrieve some mental image of what one is supposed to be doing at a given situation is very costly in a high-paced game like hockey.

    BUT… to get from system as mental image to system as habit takes learning and experience.

    AND… it can’t help matters if each time to sit down at the table to learn a new system as mental image or go out on the ice to try and ingrain that system as habit… it’s a new damn thing.

    (am I making any sense today)

    oh… don’t trade Hemsky.

    and… does 2x2M sound right for a Belov extension?

    Making perfect sense. Nice post.

    Kind of like me with the French language. Being purely English, but originally from New Brunswick. I’ve been exposed to enough of it that I can read a lot of it on paper, but trying to get into conversation is impossible because I just don’t have enough time to translate the words individually at real-time speed.

  21. G Money says:

    Staples mans up and takes responsibility for the Oilers suckage.

    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2014/01/23/if-you-want-to-blame-anyone-for-the-edmonton-oilers-losing-blame-me/

    Someone had to. Not like Katz or Lowe did.

  22. Kosmo Kraemer says:

    I have been reading your stuff for a few years not, I just don’t post often. Really like your work, keep it up LT.

    I really feel that all MacT is going to accomplish is one maybe two or three defenseman this summer and we should all prepare ourselves for an overpay for this person. I expect a couple more years before playoff bound.

    When Eakins was with the Marlies his worst year was his first year, he improved after that. Just the importance of not changing coaches all the time.

  23. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Great post LT.
    Sure there’s some real smart players out there, but for everyone of these smart guys is another that may have the physical tools to survive in the NHL, but is what we’ll call a “high rep guy” (needs to repeat something over and over before he gets it).
    I think the hockey IQ of this team has been overated for the past few years. Sure they’re obviously inexperienced which is the cause of many on ice mistakes, but man they make the same dumb plays over and over that are dumb plays no matter what league you’re in.
    I’d really like to hear others opion in the hockey industry on how long it should take to understand an NHL “system”. Surely it’s less than 6 months of spending every day together.
    I’m sure there’s some shared blame for the teachers and the students for the slow pickup of whatever system they’re trying to play.

  24. theres oil in virginia says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    “This is an area of the game I don’t know much about, it would seem to me that a defensive system should be explainable in a morning session and then executed satisfactorily within a few on-ice sessions. These are intelligent men (the hockey IQ for an NHL player hasto be 130 or more—well most of them!) in their area of expertise, surely the concepts can be understood.

    I think it’s about experience.”

    I’m not entirely sure these ideas are at odds with one another.

    One word we’ve heard a lot about is “habits.”

    I think that might be the bridge between “systems” and “experience” that makes these two ideas shake hands.

    Think about it.

    When we say systems, we typically mean some kind of mental creation, drawn on a blackboard. But, we also mean that mental image realized as a physical, real world matter of rote.

    That is, the players aren’t supposed to keep referring back to a cheat sheet. The ideal situation is one where they’ve internalized the system and can implement it without challenging the old top computer to work.

    ————-
    Brief interlude. Heidegger has a very insightful passage in his Being and Time (1927) about tools and their conspicuous/inconspicuous nature.

    A worker uses a tool in a completely inconspicuous manner. They have no “thought” for the hammer. They just hammer things. In fact, if they thought about the hammer and hammering they would probably be inefficient and mistake prone.

    So, the worker, going about its business, is in a kind of habitual mode. Hammering away without a care in the world.

    Then, the hammer breaks. It becomes extraordinarily conspicuous as does the environment created by the habit of hammering, i.e., the nail, the wood, the house you are building, your co-workers, etc. all suddenly are revealed as conspicuous. This isn’t good or bad. It is simply a new perspective on things, actual things and your relation to them. You “think” — even if very briefly — about what a hammer is, what it does, how you use it, why you do, etc.

    The world of simple, rote, efficient operations is disturbed.

    —————
    Now, a hockey system ought to operate at the habitual level. It ought to be as inconspicuous as possible. A moment spent trying to retrieve some mental image of what one is supposed to be doing at a given situation is very costly in a high-paced game like hockey.

    BUT… to get from system as mental image to system as habit takes learning and experience.

    AND… it can’t help matters if each time to sit down at the table to learn a new system as mental image or go out on the ice to try and ingrain that system as habit… it’s a new damn thing.

    (am I making any sense today)

    oh… don’t trade Hemsky.

    and… does 2x2M sound right for a Belov extension?

    Makes perfect sense. I remember using a hammer for the first time. It looked easy. My grandpa chided me for holding my thumb along the back of the handle rather than wrapping it around in a normal grip. My response was something like “No grandpa, that’s not how I’m going to do it.” Eventually I figured it out, and now I can drive a nail without looking like a total fool. Before you’re comfortable swinging the hammer, all you you can think of is hitting your finger or bending the nail. After you get the hang of it, it becomes thoughtless.

    Not sure why you’d want to sign Belov for 2 more years at anything close to $2M. I’ve been underwhelmed. Am I missing something?

  25. steveb12344 says:

    SK Oiler Fan:
    Great post LT.
    Sure there’s some real smart players out there, but for everyone of these smart guys is another that may have the physical tools to survive in the NHL, but is what we’ll call a “high rep guy” (needs to repeat something over and over before he gets it).
    I think the hockey IQ of this team has been overated for the past few years. Sure they’re obviously inexperienced which is the cause of many on ice mistakes, but man they make the same dumb plays over and over that are dumb plays no matter what league you’re in.
    I’d really like to hear others opion in the hockey industry on how long it should take to understand an NHL “system”. Surely it’s less than 6 months of spending every day together.
    I’m sure there’s some shared blame for the teachers and the students for the slow pickup of whatever system they’re trying to play.

    Rom’s comment hit it right on the head.

    It’s not so much the learning of the system that takes time. It’s getting to where you play the system instinctively that takes time.

  26. jake70 says:

    steveb12344: Making perfect sense. Nice post.Kind of like me with the French language. Being purely English, but originally from New Brunswick. I’ve been exposed to enough of it that I can read a lot of it on paper, but trying to get into conversation is impossible because I just don’t have enough time to translate the words individually at real-time speed.

    As I was reading that I too was thinking of speaking in a language other than native tongue. The key is not to translate (thinking) but to think originally in that language (imagery etc). You don’t want players who “think” at the speed of light – they are still thinking, you want them to just react to what’s in front/around them instinctively/reflexively. Eakins says their heads are spinning (active thinking), once they stop, well we’ll see. They are probably mentally taxed. The mind is your worst enemy. I am no neuropsychologist however :-)

  27. Bank Shot says:

    SK Oiler Fan:
    Great post LT.
    Sure there’s some real smart players out there, but for everyone of these smart guys is another that may have the physical tools to survive in the NHL, but is what we’ll call a “high rep guy” (needs to repeat something over and over before he gets it).
    I think the hockey IQ of this team has been overated for the past few years. Sure they’re obviously inexperienced which is the cause of many on ice mistakes, but man they make the same dumb plays over and over that are dumb plays no matter what league you’re in.
    I’d really like to hear others opion in the hockey industry on how long it should take to understand an NHL “system”. Surely it’s less than 6 months of spending every day together.
    I’m sure there’s some shared blame for the teachers and the students for the slow pickup of whatever system they’re trying to play.

    Darryl Sutter doesn’t need a year and a half to get his teams going in the right direction.

    I don’t think there are really any complex tactics that will transform the Oilers into a good hockey team.

    If we had a coach that could get everyone to keep it simple and work hard the Oilers would probably win a lot more games. I can’t count on one hand the amount of games the Oilers have given away this year by trying to do too much, or by cheating for offence, or going for the pretty play,etc.

  28. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy: Finally, the system will be tilited towards the strengths of the roster.
    This is why you don’t change the coach.
    Learning a new system every year is making the players head spin.
    Leave the coach and players in place so the system becomes how they play hockey and not something they have to think about.
    Don’t think, you’ll just hurt the ball club.

    Missed this first go around. Could have saved myself like 10 minutes time. crap.

  29. G Money says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Now, a hockey system ought to operate at the habitual level. It ought to be as inconspicuous as possible. A moment spent trying to retrieve some mental image of what one is supposed to be doing at a given situation is very costly in a high-paced game like hockey.

    Ref: previous conversations about “conscious competence” (thinking about swinging the hammer) vs “unconscious competence” (just hammering).

    It’s certainly clear that there were numerous situations on the ice this year where the players were thinking about what they had to do, and by the time they figured it out, it was too late.

    But there are a couple of other baffling things about what the Oilers do and have been doing, and this goes all the way back to last year.

    This year, in the Vancouver game, there was one situation I remember in particular, I believe it was the first period. Canucks were cycling the puck in the Oiler zone. The puck is on the boards, and everyone’s favourite player Goonyay is checking the lone Canuck gliding through the slot. I should point this out – up til this point, Gaouniaix is *exactly* where he should be.

    Now comes the mystery. The puck gets passed from the boards to the Canucks player in the slot. Garnier is in perfect position. His stick is in the lane, so he might be able to prevent the pass from reaching. If it does reach the player, he can easily tie him up and prevent him from shooting – just by virtue of positioning he can tie up the stick and angle the player to the boards.

    You know what he does instead? Exactly 1/4 of a second before the puck arrives at the Canuck player, Galanger peels away and exits the zone at high speed! I literally stood up and said what the fuck??? He doesn’t have the puck. He can’t think he’s going to get the puck. There is no reason on earth to exit the zone and leave the player unmarked at that point. So how? Why? Under what circumstances would that *ever* be a smart move? Ever?? What is going through his head?

    The end result was an incredibly dangerous shot (not a goal) from the Canuck player, with Goneyai “also in picture”, but more to the point, his also in picture is with his back to the player with the puck, and he’s exiting the zone at a high rate of speed. This is not a matter of Ganongier being lazy – he’s covered his man closely for the entire sequence prior. And now he’s putting in a ton of effort on that burst of speed out of the zone. It’s not effort, it’s just completely the wrong thing to do in every possible way. Why is this happening? Why does it keep happening? Is it systems? Is Gorniyer just an idiot and he hid it til now? Is he still concussed from the jaw break? Completely mindfuckingly baffling.

    That also takes me back to a sequence last year. Smid and Petry under Renney were actually a competent 1st pairing, able to hold their own against pretty tough competition. Last year under Krueger, I remember one particular play that stands out.

    Two opposition players were in the OIler zone, along the boards. The trailer had the puck about the middle of the circle, while the other forward was more or less in line with the net. Smid and Petry were both close to the Oiler net, but more or less in line between the forwards and the goalie, so not badly positioned. At that point, one of them had to pressure the puck carrier, while the other needed to stay in position to guard the pass.

    At that point – Smid and Petry looked at each other. They literally looked at each other in confusion – they had no idea what they were supposed to do. Then Petry circled away behind the net – WTF????? – while Smid attacked the forward without the puck.

    This of course left the puck carrier uncovered and with completely free access to go to the net, which he immediately did, then rifled it straight in. Meanwhile, Smid recovered back to the front of the net, Petry had circled back from behind the net, and the two of them looked at each other – still confused – fished the puck out, then skated dejectedly to the bench.

    That was the defining moment of the season for me last year. I also do not think Smid played another good game the rest of the year.

    Too many coaches? Too many systems? Strange systems? Ineffective systems? Over complex systems?

    Don’t know. I do know that we’ve taken some pretty good defensive players and “broken” them, and it started before Eakins got here.

    Now we’ve got a bunch of players working at the “conscious incompetence” level.

    Because the Oilers are a team in the AHL. Oh wait, did I get that wrong?

  30. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    theres oil in virginia: Not sure why you’d want to sign Belov for 2 more years at anything close to $2M. I’ve been underwhelmed. Am I missing something?

    Well, I have a tendency to latch on to players and stick with them. Ever since the signing, I’ve really liked Belov and so… rose color glasses alert.

    But, I think we’ve seen enough to say he’s played very well for a 5-6 who can play with a VERY STRONG 3 in the 4 spot in a pinch. He’s had good numbers with everyone he’s played substantial minutes with (mostly with Petry and J Schultz) and the WOWY numbers look good.

    I also think it’s a fair bet that he gets better as he gets more comfortable with the language, number of games, NHL style, etc.

    I know know much about contracts and value assessment, but 2 years seems like a safe gamble and 2M is basically peanuts for a guy that can play all 82 games and keep his head above water (I think).

  31. bendelson says:

    stevezie,

    Curious: Are you OK with the move if they bring him in and he rocks RNH in training camp?

    merlin9,

    I think your post is just terrific.

  32. gcw_rocks says:

    I assume you mean the young Horcoff, the PPG guy, not the one we saw the last few years?

    I like a Spacek in his prime type as one of the top pairing defenders. Spacek was HUGE for the Oilers during their playoff run, and if they could get another one of him they would be much better off. (Hey, we agree on something!).

    But. I don’t think you can keep both Belov and Fedun. You need at least a Ron Hainsey/Tom Gilbert, and preferably better, defender in the mix as well. This would allow pushing both Ference and Petry down to second pairing.

    I am not so sure about Moreau because all my memories of him are bad, but I think I get what you are going for.

    I see you are spending Hemsky and Gagner as assets towards filling those holes. That’s probably correct. But to turn Hemsky into a player, I suspect they would need to deal him for a pick/prospect and then trade the pick/prospect for the required player at the draft. Can MacT see the chess moves?

  33. theres oil in virginia says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Yeah, I guess that makes a certain amount of sense, but I just keep thinking of the logjam at bottom-end defense. Belov does have size and age in his favor.

    It would be nice to see guys like Marincin, J-Schultz, Klefbom and Fedun in some of those spots, along with vets like Ference. I wonder if Belov gets dealt at the deadline. Isn’t he more valuable to a contender without a contract extension?

  34. gcw_rocks says:

    Woodguy,

    Finally, the system will be tilited towards the strengths of the roster.
    This is why you don’t change the coach.
    Learning a new system every year is making the players head spin.
    Leave the coach and players in place so the system becomes how they play hockey and not something they have to think about.
    Don’t think, you’ll just hurt the ball club.

    Maybe, if Eakins had watched a little tape of last year, he could have improved upon Krueger’s system instead of implementing a completely new one? In what other job do you walk into, at a new level no less, and ignore what your predecessor did before instituting change?

  35. Woodguy says:

    merlin9:
    What about Ryan Jones?He’s important to the Oilers for his energy, combativeness, penalty killing, body checking….I think he’s terrific!

    Can someone tell Ryan to get him Mom to stop posting here.

  36. Pouzar says:

    Damn missed the Allan Hull interview…what were the names on his wishlist?

  37. G Money says:

    gcw_rocks: Maybe, if Eakins had watched a little tape of last year, he could have improved upon Krueger’s system instead of implementing a completely new one? In what other job do you walk into, at a new level no less, and ignore what your predecessor did before instituting change?

    I’m not a systems expert, but because of the controversies of the last couple of years, I’ve been trying to at least become conversant with the concepts.

    For all the criticisms of Eakins and his ‘swarm’, the swarm is a form of “overload” and this is a well-understood and relatively widely practiced system in the NHL.

    Krueger’s “pre gapping” system on the other hand is used by no-one else anywhere as far as I can tell, and established itself as both ineffective and likely suffering from “smartest guy in the room” syndrome.

    The mistake was not in changing Krueger’s system, it was adopting it in the first place.

    Just like the mistake was not in firing Krueger or hiring Eakins, it was firing Renney.

  38. Woodguy says:

    gcw_rocks,

    Maybe, if Eakins had watched a little tape of last year, he could have improved upon Krueger’s system instead of implementing a completely new one? In what other job do you walk into, at a new level no less, and ignore what your predecessor did before instituting change?

    Pretty sure that one of the reasons that Eakins was brought in was to change from Krueger’s system.

    By all reports Krueger was a great guy and the players really liked him.

    Why fire a great guy, liked by the players if you are going to keep his system?

    Coaches bring their own beliefs of how to coach and what systems to use.

    To bring in a new head coach and tell him what system to use makes no sense.

    If they (MacT) wanted Krueger’s system, they would have kept him.

    Its pretty clear from the verbal of MacT that he sees the game the same way as Eakins and wants him team coached that way.

  39. Woodguy says:

    G Money,

    Krueger’s “pre gapping” system on the other hand is used by no-one else anywhere as far as I can tell, and established itself as both ineffective and likely suffering from “smartest guy in the room” syndrome.
    The mistake was not in changing Krueger’s system, it was adopting it in the first place.
    Just like the mistake was not in firing Krueger or hiring Eakins, it was firing Renney in the first place.

    This is the correct answer and well stated.

  40. Caramel Obvious says:

    If someone wants to criticize Eakins on systems I’d like them to start on the break out. By my eye and memory this is where the Oilers really struggle.

    If someone can convince me that the Oilers struggle with zone exits because of the breakout systems that Eakins is using I will abandon my support for Eakins despite my love of his press conferences.*

    *The fact that there are people here who don’t like the way Eakins talks to the media is incredible. Incroyable!

  41. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Pouzar:
    Damn missed the Allan Hull interview…what were the names on his wishlist?

    Letang, Subban, Weber

    Moss, Kulemin, Winnik, Hornquist

  42. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: tilited towards the strengths of the roster.
    This is why you don’t change the coach.
    Learning a new system every year is making the players head spin.
    Leave the coach and players in place so the system becomes how they play hockey and not something they have to think about.
    Don’t think, you’ll just hurt the ball club.

    I want Kevin Lowe.

    I’m not kidding either.

    Tough as nails and could make a pass.

    Handle the toughs, break up the cycle and get the puck going the other way in a hurry.

    Closest they may have in the system is Klef.

    Nurse may be similar, but has more offence and chaos (at this time)

    As fpr available talent?

    Giardi is probably the closest on the UFA market, but I don’t think he brings enough offence.

  43. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    theres oil in virginia:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Yeah, I guess that makes a certain amount of sense, but I just keep thinking of the logjam at bottom-end defense.Belov does have size and age in his favor.

    It would be nice to see guys like Marincin, J-Schultz, Klefbom and Fedun in some of those spots, along with vets like Ference.I wonder if Belov gets dealt at the deadline.Isn’t he more valuable to a contender without a contract extension?

    You don’t want that many rooks and near-rooks though.

    xxxxx-petry
    ference-j Schultz
    Marincin-Belov
    Fedun

    That still looks weak.

    xxxxx-xxxxx
    Ference-Petry
    Belov-j Schultz
    Marincin

    Looks a lot better to me.

  44. Pouzar says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Letang, Subban, Weber

    Moss, Kulemin, Winnik, Hornquist

    Dang…I approve! THX RA

  45. Woodguy says:

    Woodguy: I want Kevin Lowe.

    I’m not kidding either.

    Tough as nails and could make a pass.

    Handle the toughs, break up the cycle and get the puck going the other way in a hurry.

    Closest they may have in the system is Klef.

    Nurse may be similar, but has more offence and chaos (at this time)

    As fpr available talent?

    Giardi is probably the closest on the UFA market, but I don’t think he brings enough offence.

    For the record I rate Spacek above Giardi

  46. Jon K says:

    Early post-draft returns on Lazar are very encouraging. Looks like he could be a great two-way top 6 centre in the NHL as a projection. Wasn’t there someone around here who was high on the Oilers drafting him? Hmmmm.

  47. Pouzar says:

    Jon K:
    Early post-draft returns on Lazar are very encouraging. Looks like he could be a great two-way top 6 centre in the NHL as a projection. Wasn’t there someone around here who was high on the Oilers drafting him? Hmmmm.

    I’d still take Nurse in a landslide. Man I can’t wait for this kid.

  48. theres oil in virginia says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    xxxxx-xxxxx
    Ference-Petry
    Belov-j Schultz
    Marincin
    Looks a lot better to me.

    Agreed. Or, I’d be fine with:

    xxxxx-xxxxx
    Ference-Petry
    Marincin-J Schultz
    Fedun

    Unfortunately, I don’t see all those x-es getting filled in. Then, of course, there are injuries. (Funny how the injuries on D don’t seem so bad now that Whitney and Souray have moved on.) Is Belov more valuable in terms of what he brings on deadline day? I wonder what he brings in return. More than Nick Schultz does?

  49. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    theres oil in virginia: Agreed.Or, I’d be fine with:

    xxxxx-xxxxx
    Ference-Petry
    Marincin-J Schultz
    Fedun

    Unfortunately, I don’t see all those x-es getting filled in.Then, of course, there are injuries.(Funny how the injuries on D don’t seem so bad now that Whitney and Souray have moved on.)Is Belov more valuable in terms of what he brings on deadline day?I wonder what he brings in return.More than Nick Schultz does?

    If I’m picking between Belov and Fedun, I pick Belov.

  50. G Money says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: xxxxx-xxxxx
    Ference-Petry
    Belov-j Schultz
    Marincin
    Looks a lot better to me.

    The heart of the matter. We currently have between 2 and 4 NHL defensemen (depending on your personal opinion about Jultz and Belov). Marincin’s a keeper but please let’s try not doing to him what we did to Jultz.

    Also note that of this group, two weigh in the 180s, one in the 190s, and only Belov tilts the scale over 200 lbs. No matter how good or tough they are, 180 lbers aren’t going to break cycles all that well.

    So here’s my wishlist: two actual NHL defensemen over 200 lbs and still capable of playing the game at an NHL level for another year or two.

    Don’t care who they are. Girardi, Hainsey, Niskanen, Stuart …

  51. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Bank Shot: Darryl Sutter doesn’t need a year and a half to get his teams going in the right direction.

    I don’t think there are really any complex tactics that will transform the Oilers into a good hockey team.

    If we had a coach that could get everyone to keep it simple and work hard the Oilers would probably win a lot more games. I can’t count on one hand the amount of games the Oilers have given away this year by trying to do too much,or by cheating for offence,or going for the pretty play,etc.

    Agreed.
    Hard for us to tell what weighting having a good “system” in place has versus having good, experienced players and being motivated. Obviously to be a contender you need all of the above, but I think having 2 of the 3 can get you in the hunt for the playoffs. The Oilers are 0 for 3 here.
    Agreed though, playing simple hockey and outworking the opponent would have been the recommended system for Eakins to impliment from the start – and this shouldn’t take more than a week (see Sutter). At least the Oilers of the 90s worked hard. Rookies coaches…

  52. theres oil in virginia says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: If I’m picking between Belov and Fedun, I pick Belov.

    Agreed, but if Belov brings a 3rd round pick or better at deadline day, off he goes. Fedun also should come cheap, and on the off-chance that salary cap is meaningful, that would factor in. $2M for seventh d-man is steep. I’m not sure why Fedun only got a 4 game look.

  53. vangolf says:

    Man I hate to plug Hockeybuzz, but there is a great little write-up on Hendricks there. The stats guys may pooh pooh it given the lack of corsi/fenwick references, but for us folks who still have some subjective leanings, it’s chicken soup for the soul. I love this player already!!

  54. theres oil in virginia says:

    vangolf:
    Man I hate to plug Hockeybuzz, but there is a great little write-up on Hendricks there.The stats guys may pooh pooh it given the lack of corsi/fenwick references, but for us folks who still have some subjective leanings, it’s chicken soup for the soul.I love this player already!!

    I haven’t read that piece, but stats aside, I saw Hendricks ward off Kesler after the whistle some time in the 1st period against the ‘nucks. That was enough for me to justify why MacT brought him in. More of that with more skill would be nice to see. The Oilers will need that up and down the lineup, but not at the expense of getting eaten alive by the Corgis.

  55. Jordan says:

    I feel like I’m taking crazy pills right now as an Oiler fan.

    Belov is just fine as a 5-6 Dman.

    If he was playing with either Petry or Jultz on the 3rd, it would be an elite 3rd pairing in the NHL.

    They’re just in over their head.

    I’m shocked that the Oilers seem to be considering moving all of the Olympic-calibre hockey players:
    Smid’s gone.
    Belov could be on his way out.
    Hemsky’s being shopped pending his recovery.
    Marincin might be a trading chip for that first pairing D-man.

    I can’t help but wonder if the Oilers aren’t in fact trying to build a jet car in pursuit of a land speed record, and then trying to win a NASCAR race with it.

    Sure it’s cool, but it can’t even finish the race, because the damn thing can’t turn!

  56. Caramel Obvious says:

    G Money: The heart of the matter.We currently have between 2 and 4 NHL defensemen (depending on your personal opinion about Jultz and Belov).Marincin’s a keeper but please let’s try not doing to him what we did to Jultz.

    Also note that of this group, two weigh in the 180s, one in the 190s, and only Belov tilts the scale over 200 lbs.No matter how good or tough they are, 180 lbers aren’t going to break cycles all that well.

    So here’s my wishlist:two actual NHL defensemen over 200 lbs and still capable of playing the game at an NHL level for another year or two.

    Don’t care who they are.Girardi, Hainsey, Niskanen, Stuart …

    I agree with most of this. However, the important caveat is that it very much matters “who they are.” For instance, I think Brad Stuart (assuming you meant him) is terrible. They can’t make a mistake here and if they sign the wrong guy it spells big trouble since whomever they bring in they are coming with term.

    They need veteran blood, but it has to still be good.

    And of course, what they really need is Byfuglien.

    Gagner + Klefbom for Byfuglien
    Re-sign Hemsky
    Sign 2C (any available)
    Sign veteran D
    re-sign Scrivens
    Sign credible goalie
    sign depth forward who can play a little

    Now that is a team that might have a chance. Does it fit under the cap?

  57. theres oil in virginia says:

    Jordan:
    I feel like I’m taking crazy pills right now as an Oiler fan.

    Belov is just fine as a 5-6 Dman.

    If he was playing with either Petry or Jultz on the 3rd, it would be an elite 3rd pairing in the NHL.

    They’re just in over their head.

    I’m shocked that the Oilers seem to be considering moving all of the Olympic-calibre hockey players:
    Smid’s gone.
    Belov could be on his way out.
    Hemsky’s being shopped pending his recovery.
    Marincin might be a trading chip for that first pairing D-man.

    I can’t help but wonder if the Oilers aren’t in fact trying to build a jet car in pursuit of a land speed record, and then trying to win a NASCAR race with it.

    Sure it’s cool, but it can’t even finish the race, because the damn thing can’t turn!

    If you’re an Oilers fan, then you are taking crazy pills!
    ;)

    I think Belov as a 5-6 guy is what we pretty much just hashed out above. I don’t think he’s hard to replace though, and if he gets you assets by moving him, then I think you do it.

    What should probably be shocking to you is that some of those guys are even on Olympic teams. Hemsky being an exception. These guys wouldn’t get a sniff for Canada, or Canada B, or USA. I don’t think “Olympian” without any qualifiers is really any sort of gold standard.

    Marincin looks good, but if he is part of a package that brings Subban, wouldn’t you be okay with that?

  58. theres oil in virginia says:

    Caramel Obvious: Gagner + Klefbom for Byfuglien

    I think that those two wouldn’t get you Jack Johnson, much less Byfuglien. No?

  59. Caramel Obvious says:

    theres oil in virginia: I think that those two wouldn’t get you Jack Johnson, much less Byfuglien.No?

    Yeah, that is the unrealistic part of the plan. But there is no way out of this hole without something breaking good for the Oilers. It all depends on who is really on the outs. It also depends on how other teams see Klefbom.

  60. Caramel Obvious says:

    This is what a playoff Oiler team looks like. All salary numbers of upcoming free agents entirely made up.

    CapGeek Armchair GM Roster
    FORWARDS
    Taylor Hall ($6.000m) / Ryan Nugent-Hopkins ($6.000m) / Jordan Eberle ($6.000m)
    David Perron ($3.813m) / Marcel Goc ($3.000m) / Nail Yakupov ($0.925m)
    Daniel Winnik ($2.750m) / Boyd Gordon ($3.000m) / Ales Hemsky ($3.500m)
    Ryan Smyth ($1.500m) / Mark Arcobello ($1.250m) / Matt Hendricks ($1.850m)
    Jesse Joensuu ($0.950m) / Anton Lander ($1.500m) /
    DEFENSEMEN
    Dan Girardi ($4.000m) / Dustin Byfuglien ($5.200m)
    Martin Marincin ($0.730m) / Jeff Petry ($3.000m)
    Andrew Ference ($3.250m) / Justin Schultz ($3.000m)
    Anton Belov ($1.525m) /
    GOALTENDERS
    Ben Scrivens ($2.500m)
    Ilya Bryzgalov ($3.000m)

  61. Jordan says:

    theres oil in virginia:
    I think Belov as a 5-6 guy is what we pretty much just hashed out above.I don’t think he’s hard to replace though, and if he gets you assets by moving him, then I think you do it.

    I disagree – you only move him if you have a handshake agreement to come back, or he’s already told you he’s not coming back. If he’s willing to stay, you keep him. He’s a good bet to out-perform once those 1st pairing Dmen show up.

    theres oil in virginia:
    What should probably be shocking to you is that some of those guys are even on Olympic teams.Hemsky being an exception.These guys wouldn’t get a sniff for Canada, or Canada B, or USA.I don’t think “Olympian” without any qualifiers is really any sort of gold standard.

    That’s fair – I just think it’s really striking. These are good hockey players. Not Elite NHLers, but I can’t help but think that these are players that should be bringing value to a team as players, not just as trade assets. And feel frustrated that they haven’t done that with this current line-up.

    theres oil in virginia:
    Marincin looks good, but if he is part of a package that brings Subban, wouldn’t you be okay with that?

    Marincin has played 14 games with the Oilers. In that time, he’s even. No points, but even. His 5X5 Corsi on is positive – only D player on the roster who is. He has a positive zone finish.

    I know he’s not facing 1st pairing minutes or comp, but he’s clearly doing a good job with this crappy team. He’s not losing the battle. So, considering he’s playing with crap, against a wide range of opponents and succeeding I don’t trade him during the season for sure – if he continues to level the ice… I think that could be a very good player.

    I’d sooner trade Jultz – Defensemen need to be able to play Defense, and Marincin can. The jury is still out on Justin.

  62. theres oil in virginia says:

    Caramel Obvious: It also depends on how other teams see Klefbom.

    I’m not sure how I view Klefbom’s value, either. What’s his top-end and what’s the likelihood of him reaching it for a lengthy period of his career? Currently, I view him as a potential 2nd pairing guy who could play top-pairing with a superior partner. I figure injuries have set him back, but I really don’t know how to gauge how likely he is to reach that potential in the next 3-4 years and stay there for several years.

    I figure other teams look at him as a good prospect to get back in exchange for an established high end defenseman, if there are assets like Eberle or better who are coming with him.

  63. Rondo says:

    LT,

    Have you ever had Dave Lumley on your show? He would make a very interesting guest , he pulls no punches.

  64. dawgtoy says:

    Could a Mike Grier type player be Devante Smith-Pelly? Seems to be similar in many ways. I saw him good in limited viewings in Anaheim, it just seems like his way is blocked by a deep team. He’d look good on the third IMO. His ELC is up after this season, and they may need to move him. Sorry if this has been discussed before.

  65. Rondo says:

    Theyre selling postcards of the hanging
    Theyre painting the passports brown
    The beauty parlor is filled with sailors
    The Oilers are in town.

  66. FastOil says:

    I like the idea of Belov. However he isn’t stable enough to be 5-6 on anything but a last place team. Takes guys out, strong, moves the puck, hears dog whistles, puck in net.

  67. CrazyCoach says:

    I have to preface this by saying that I’m not a fan of Dallas Eakins, but I will give him another half a season to see if his system and methodology works. I don’t envy the guy at all and he has been brought on the Titanic as the band begins to play, “Goodnight Irene”. I do like his talk on accountability and after seeing the discussions in here about learning a system, I’d like to add my thoughts to those discussions.

    I know that in all my years of being involved in the Best Ever program here in BC, one of the biggest things I look for in a player is their ability to read and react to the play. I have been a bit biased in my evaluating as I often will take a player with stronger Read & React skills over a player with better technical skills (shooting, skating, passing, stickhandling, checking). While it is tough to quantify R & R skills, I do look for certain things such as positioning during an attack triangle, defensive positioning, and the ability to read the play. Some would call it hockey sense. The best player ever with R&R skills was Wayne Gretzky. Bar none. Not even close.

    Anyway, my fave player these days is Jonathan Toews. Ever since I saw him score three different ways in the semi-final shootout Vs the US in the 2007 WJC. Toews just seems like the type of player you could drop on to any team with any coach with any system, and he’d thrive. He has won everywhere he’s gone. R&R skills out the wazoo and the player I would build a team around.

    Now, lets look at our beloved Oilers in comparison. Do any of them posess the same R & R skills as Toews? I know this is not a popular notion, but to my eye Hemsky and Eberle have the best R & R skills on the Oilers, while the others seems to falter when they are taken out of their element. I just don’t see a lot of Rhodes scholars on this team, so when you bring in coach after coach each with a new system, I’m not surprised things are the way they are. Eakins has his work cut out for him.

    Just my thoughts.

  68. G Money says:

    Caramel Obvious,

    I meant Mark Stuart, he of the scrappy nature and (seemingly) OK defensive capabilities and companion to Big Buff.

    I am less sold on Byfuglien as a 1D. He’s been struggling in that role in Winnipeg, so much so they’ve moved him to forward – and Winnipeg is really not that good a defensive team to begin with.

  69. Woodguy says:

    I don’t think Belov’s feet are fast enough for the NHL.

    Straight away speed is ok (unless he’s gassed, natch), but he’s not nimble enough.

    Maybe it has something to do with much different gap control needed on the big ice than small ice, but he gets beat in close quarters too often and doesn’t catch up by my eye and faulty memory.

  70. Pouzar says:

    G Money:
    Caramel Obvious,

    I meant Mark Stuart, he of the scrappy nature and (seemingly) OK defensive capabilities and companion to Big Buff.

    I am less sold on Byfuglien as a 1D.He’s been struggling in that role in Winnipeg, so much so they’ve moved him to forward – and Winnipeg is really not that good a defensive team to begin with.

    Buff is not the #1 we or the Jets need. As a d-man he’s a rover at best. I think he’s where he belongs right now which is on the wing where I would love him on the Oilers.

  71. Pouzar says:

    theres oil in virginia: I think that those two wouldn’t get you Jack Johnson, much less Byfuglien.No?

    I wouldn’t do Klefbom for JJ straight up and I know I am in the minority.

  72. Bag of Pucks says:

    Fully agree with ROM’s post.

    It’s not the complexity of Eakin’s system that is the stumbling block, it’s the players discarding old habits in favour of new.

    Only when you watch an NHL game from rink-side do we truly appreciate the speed of the game and the absolute split second decision making that’s required on every single shift. Teams like Detroit make these system decisions instinctively – muscle memory triggered by visual stimuli. This muscle memory is built up through countless and consistent repetition (ah the dream of marinating our prospects in the minors : )

    What I think we’re seeing with this team each year under a new coach is one of three scenarios, often altogether in the same game:

    1) hesitation instead of reaction
    2) quick decisions but the wrong ones
    3) the right quick decisions that fit the system

    To my eye, the Oilers have always seemed to use less set plays on the breakout than many other teams. I believe this is because the philosophy coming back to Sather is they want to be a quick strike, counter-attack team that out-paces the opposition. I LOVE this philosophy when everyone’s on the same page, but man is it tough with a new coach, substantial roster turnover and a bunch of rooks.

    If Eakins has a significant failing for me, it’s that he hasn’t provided some consistent set plays/breakouts that the team can fall back on when they’re struggling with their counter-attack system. Though to be fair, I’ve also seen the team breakout with a set play that appears well designed and then fail to execute it with poor passing.

    So, that’s the offensive aspect of the system. In terms of what this team is doing defensively (i.e. the swarm) for positional play and gap control? Don’t ask me. It looks like a dog’s breakfast to these eyes.

  73. darthtaco says:

    This post will be a little off topic but I went to the Kelowna Rockets game last night and had a chance to watch our prospect Jujhar Khaira play. He looked good by eye had an assist, hit a crossbar, and was great along the boards in both zones. He is a big boy and is deployed on the first unit pp as a puck retrieval and to stand in front of the net and block out the sun. The coach of the Silvertips relies heavily on him to win draws in the defensive zone (put out just to take the draw and get off). He had one bad turnover in the defensive zone that lead to a goal (and by that metric he is a lock for the oilers). Overall he looked like the best player for the Silvertips.

  74. Pouzar says:

    darthtaco,

    Thx for that.

  75. theres oil in virginia says:

    Pouzar: I wouldn’t do Klefbom for JJ straight up and I know I am in the minority.

    No, I think you’re in good company here. Woodguy won’t even type the words “Jack Johnson”, how much less he wants him to be an Oiler. I don’t pine for the guy either, but I wouldn’t have a problem with him so long as the asset cost was reasonably low.

  76. Ducey says:

    I am still confused why the Oilers don’t install a tight defensive system.

    I am hardly an expert so if I am in error in what they are trying to do, let me know.

    As far as I can tell, they have had 20 yrs of trying to play “Oilers Hockey”. It has not resulted in any success (except 2006). If your problem year after year is giving up too many goals, it may be the time to decide that the way they are doing things doesn’t work.

    2006 was successful as the current GM implemented the trap for the playoffs, surprising Detroit. You would think that that the same man might come to the conclusion its implementation might be a good thing now.

    You have Calgary, with 20% of the talent, playing a tight system and ahead of you in the standings. PHX and NJ have had a pretty good record over the years playing defense too. LA, NSH and STL play it.

    The last coach made his name implementing a tight system with the Swiss.

    We have idiots like Gregor and Spector suggesting we trade one of the kids for a few players with grit who can hit. Why? So they can try and play a free wheeling style?

    How about you play the trap and keep your skill players to make some hay on the counter attack and the PP?

    I was heartened at the time Eakins was hired because he indicated that they would play several different styles, even within the same game. I have seen a few times when they have trapped, but not many.

    Hopefully we will see some systemic changes coming out of the break.

  77. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    darthtaco,

    Great report.

    How was Betker?

  78. Pouzar says:

    RE: Hall’s decline in Corsi

    For the stat guys, would this have anything to do with the putrid amount of shots being generated from our defenseman? I am sure we are last or near last in the league in that stat. Any idea where we ranked in shots generated from the Defense last year when Hall’s Corsi was higher? To the eye it seems like our d-man pass up shots to make the pass more often than not.

  79. Pouzar says:

    theres oil in virginia: Woodguy won’t even type the words “Jack Johnson”, how much less he wants him to be an Oiler.

    I literally laughed out loud. thx

  80. darthtaco says:

    Ben Betker was ok he didn’t stand out. He is another giant among the kids out there saw him getting nasty in the corners but I guess as defense you don’t really want to stand out. Also the rockets are the number one team in the division and really gave the defense fits. I liked the Everett d Meuller thought he was the best of the bunch took a vicious (clean) hit in the first period could barely skate off the ice (looked like a charlie horse) and came back. He is a tough sob.

  81. hunter1909 says:

    This is a veritable Tsunami of Woodguy inspired thinking: As usual I have nothing positive to offer and standing, as it were, from the side of the dock therefore let me wave in appreciation at you fan-crazies, as the Carnival Cruise Oilers Triumph ships off toward years and years of competing for the Stanley Cup.

    I really hope you all the very best.

  82. art vandelay says:

    I see no evidence of a plan.

  83. G Money says:

    theres oil in virginia: Woodguy won’t even type the words “Jack Johnson”

    Which is kind of unfair, because he’s actually not a bad musician.

  84. hunter1909 says:

    G Money: Which is kind of unfair, because he’s actually not a bad musician.

    Were you referring to the 1970s Miles Davis recording?

  85. G Money says:

    hunter1909: Are you referring to the essential Miles Davis record?

    I was referring more to the folk singer, but yeah, if Jazz is your thing, the album can definitely substitute!

  86. G Money says:

    hunter1909: from the side of the dock therefore let me wave in appreciation at you fan-crazies, as the Carnival Cruise Oilers Triumph ships off toward years and years of competing for the Stanley Cup.

    My last Carnival cruise was on the ship “Dream”, which is actually a very appropriate name for Oiler fans mulling on that whole playing defense, signing good players, winning, etc stuff.

    That cruise stopped in Belize, where I took my little guys to the renowned nature park. Our driver for that little expedition was named George Oliver Cromwell Flowers.

    This is George Oliver Cromwell Flowers:
    http://i.imgur.com/2XPFROC.png

    I post this for absolutely no other reason than I like the fact that our driver’s name was George Oliver Cromwell Flowers. For realsies.

  87. theres oil in virginia says:

    G Money: Which is kind of unfair, because he’s actually not a bad musician.

    He was a helluva boxer too!

  88. Yeti says:

    theres oil in virginia,

    Maybe he’s the truculence that’s missing from this team.

  89. delooper says:

    maddex:
    OilClog,

    so many people bring up trading for Lazar,it leaves me wondering why any of us think Ottawa would trade Lazar? What benefit do they gain for trading away such a blooming young player? What am I missing?

    If this forum had a doodle tool that allowed people to sketch-up their ideal mates, people would be doing that too. The armchair GMing devoid of all actionable intelligence is a symptom of the medium my friend.

  90. Factotum says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:

    When we say systems, we typically mean some kind of mental creation, drawn on a blackboard. But, we also mean that mental image realized as a physical, real world matter of rote.

    That is, the players aren’t supposed to keep referring back to a cheat sheet. The ideal situation is one where they’ve internalized the system and can implement it without challenging the old top computer to work.

    Yes. You’re speaking about unconscious competence.

    For complex skills the progression is:

    Unconscious incompetence (this is easy – nothing to it)
    Conscious incompetence (I keep making mistakes – this is harder than I thought)
    Conscious competence (I can do it well if I concentrate)
    Unconscious competence (don’t have to think about it)

    Note that even once we’re highly skilled we can still regress if the system changes.

    Think of learning to drive. And then moving to the UK.

    Who on the Oilers has demonstrated unconscious competence in 200-ft. system play this year? To me, it’s a very short list .

  91. hunter1909 says:

    Factotum: Think of learning to drive. And then moving to the UK.

    Driving is good.

    But I vote for crossing the road.

  92. G Money says:

    theres oil in virginia: He was a helluva boxer too!

    Exabtly. So there you have it WG. Whenever you have to type “Jack Johnson”, just think of the boxer, folk singer, or the Miles Davis album.

    It’s kind of like that Monty Python skit – “I ban’t say the letter ‘b’”. “Well, why not substitute ‘k’ instead of ‘c’”? “What, you mean like spell bat with a ‘k’? Like ‘kat’? Oh! Brilliant! Why didn’t I think of that before? What a silly bunt.”

  93. G Money says:

    Bounder: So, you’re interested in one of our adventure holidays, are you?

    Tourist: Yes I saw your advert in the bolour supplement.

    Bounder: The what?

    Tourist: The bolour supplement.

    Bounder: The colour supplement?

    Tourist: Yes I’m sorry I can’t say the letter ‘B’

    Bounder: C?

    Tourist: Yes that’s right. It’s all due to a trauma I suffered when I was a sboolboy. I was attacked by a bat.

    Bounder: A cat?

    Tourist: No a bat.

    Bounder: Can you say the letter ‘K’?

    Tourist: Oh yes, Khaki, kind, kettle, Kipling, kipper, Kuwait, Keble Bollege Oxford.

    Bounder: Why don’t you say the letter ‘K’ instead of the letter ‘C’?

    Tourist: What you mean…..spell bolour with a K?

    Bounder: Yes.

    Tourist: Kolour. Oh thank you, I never thought of that. What a silly bunt.

  94. theres oil in virginia says:

    Yeti:
    theres oil in virginia,

    Maybe he’s the truculence that’s missing from this team.

    So, Jack Johnson needs to channel his inner Jack Johnson!

    According to the NHL schedule, I get a chance to observe Jack Johnson (the outer Jack Johnson, as it were) tonight against the Flyers. (I’m getting nervous about using Johnson in so many sentences…I’m going to screw up and embarrass myself.)

  95. hunter1909 says:

    theres oil in virginia: So, Jack Johnson needs to channel his inner Jack Johnson!

    Exactly. Jack Johnson is one of the coolest names imaginable, goes with the first black heavyweight champion boxer in history which became a movie project that unfortunately while shelved helped to inspire a truly great jazz rock album.

    I want Jack Johnson playing for the Oilers, just for that name. Trade him for Gagner and I’m happy. They can play the Miles Davis record at Northlands and stun everyone into thinking big things are happening.

    I’m not the GM of the Oilers.

  96. hunter1909 says:

    It’s too bad “Steve Smith” isn’t posting lately.

  97. denny33 says:

    Woodguy,

    I don’t think Belov’s feet are fast enough for the NHL.
    Straight away speed is ok (unless he’s gassed, natch), but he’s not nimble enough.
    Maybe it has something to do with much different gap control needed on the big ice than small ice, but he gets beat in close quarters too often and doesn’t catch up by my eye and faulty memory.
    **************************************************************************************
    This is bang on…I actually like the player – but there is no denying he is slow footed and he will not get quicker as he ages.

    I would still keep him as a 3rd pairing guy.

  98. Psyche says:

    LT: “…it would seem to me that a defensive system should be explainable in a morning session and then executed satisfactorily within a few on-ice sessions.”

    I coach, not hockey, (as a profession) and in my experience learning systems of play takes time. I work primarily with 18-23 year old athletes. Understanding positioning, employing the skills, adjusting the system to the opponent tendencies, etc. takes weeks and months of experience. The coach turnover with the Oilers has certainly impacted their system play. NHL teams do not have much practice time relative to the amount of games they play to teach and train the systems they need to employ within a matter of days or weeks. It takes time and a consistent voice. Eakins will improve their individual and team play by next season due to time and being a consistent voice.

  99. Pouzar says:

    Psyche:
    LT: “…it would seem to me that a defensive system should be explainable in a morning session and then executed satisfactorily within a few on-ice sessions.”

    I coach, not hockey, (as a profession) and in my experience learning systems of play takes time. I work primarily with 18-23 year old athletes. Understanding positioning, employing the skills, adjusting the system to the opponent tendencies, etc. takes weeks and months of experience. The coach turnover with the Oilers has certainly impacted their system play. NHL teams do not have much practice time relative to the amount of games they play to teach and train the systems they need to employ within a matter of days or weeks. It takes time and a consistent voice. Eakins will improve their individual and team play by next season due to time and being a consistent voice.

    Good Post. Eakins is saying the same thing RE: practice time. Not a whole lot of it to go around especially at the start of the season.

  100. DeadmanWaking says:

    Woodguy:
    Don’t think, you’ll just hurt the ball club.

    On first glance I perceived “Don’t think, you’ll just hurt the golf club.” That’s also a truism.

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Brief interlude. Heidegger has a very insightful passage in his Being and Time (1927) about tools and their conspicuous/inconspicuous nature.

    Well, if can master Make Link, whatever am I quailing about? Time for a go at this Heidegger guy.

    The self can only become what it truly is through the confrontation with death, by making a meaning out of our finitude.

    Right off the bat, this is one of my least favourite ideas in the whole universe. Yet another attempt to finesse the basis step.

    Let’s see, why do we care about anything? Without death the answer could be “Because of what comes next.” And what comes next? “More of the same.” So yes, one does have to confront finitude if your initial condition is allergy to the basis step.

    What? You don’t have an initial condition?

    Suit yourselves.

    Descartes was at least sniffing around right issue. The correct basis step pretty much goes like this: You are here.

    It’s a very tiny step up from 42.

    “I’m afraid,” he said at last, “that the Question and the Answer are mutually exclusive. Knowledge of one logically precludes knowledge of the other. It is impossible that both can ever be known about the same Universe.”

    All forms of metaphysics result from a grim determination to interrogate the basis step with the zero-ended infinite rubber hose of the inductive method. A fine trick indeed.

    I suppose one can–by tugging on the pan-galactic Spandex hoseline with enough Germanic musto (while employing some less-than-entirely-dignified Twister Kung Fu body crooks)–gather in a slack bight of writhing interstellar spillgut that’s momentarily lengthy, loopy, and languid enough to calf-rope yourself a private alpine butterfly of explanatory superpower.

    Out with the basis case, in with the bight knot.

    “In the beginning,” the darkness intones, “was the bight loop.”

    “Call me Alpha,” says the bight loop, cheerfully.

    “Call us Omega,” gurgles the pan-galactic Spandex hoseline through the crimp in its infinite sleekness.

    “Oh, whatever,” says the bight loop, “we can be both.”

    “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” intone the bight loop and the pan-galactic Spandex hoseline in perfect unison.

    “What about me?” pipes up the hole in the bight loop.

    “Oh, whatever,” intone the bight loop and the pan-galactic Spandex hoseline in perfect unison, “we can be three.” “But you don’t get your own letter,” they add, in dulcet dualism.

    “As if,” pouts the hole in the bight loop, “you could be either the Alpha or the Omega without me.”

    “So true,” intone the bight loop and the pan-galactic Spandex hoseline in perfect unison.

    “My bad,” lip syncs the bight loop over the pan-galactic Spandex hoseline, now speaking alone, causing the pan-galactic Spandex hoseline to cockle matched furrows of disapproval at the bight loop, who is truthfully still rather testy over inception by original cinch.

    “I do hope you two work this out,” says the hole in the bight loop. “Without too many false starts,” the hole in the bight loop adds prophetically, more than a wee bit concerned over whether an alpine butterfly holds true and fast, as limber Swamis scattered far and wide throughout the pan-galactic continuum loop their claims into the ever-tautening wishbone turnbuckle.

    Rather gloomily, the pan-galactic Spandex hoseline begins to feel distinctly buttered over too much bread.

    “I worry,” confesses the pan-galactic Spandex hoseline, “that this alpine butterfly jejunification could prove a mite invasive.”

    “There can only be one original cinch,” scolds the bight loop. “Symmetry breaking is and must be–logically–a singular act.”

    “We know,” answers back the pan-galactic Spandex hoseline after a brief, relativistic pause.

    “This is getting old fast,” pipes up the hole in the bight loop, halfway under his breath.

    “Mind your manners,” says the bight loop, “or I’ll slither on down the hose. And where will you be then?”

    “You couldn’t decide!” says the hole in the bight loop rather hotly, “which way to go. You’re symmetric!”

    The bight loop looks first down the hoseline toward one receding infinity, then down the hoseline toward the other receding infinity. “How true,” the bight loop observes. “Apparently I’m cinched into a pan-galactic hoseline of perfect non-direction.”

    “Did you check my Spandex?” chides the pan-galactic hoseline, who is no spring chicken.

    “Whatever do you mean?” replies the bight loop.

    “The warp. The weft. The woot.” burbles the cryptic reply.

    “Thank you!” pipes up the hole in the bight loop, pleased to receive any mention at all. “He surely means that his infinite Spandex essence has an inherent grain,” the hole in the bight loop quickly adds so as not to appear to have lost the thread, without working ahead.

    “Of course! Which is the warp and which is the weft?” demands the bight loop, keen to gain traction on the novelty presented by a choosable choice.

    “I’ll have you know,” burbles the pan-galactic hoseline, “my Spandex essence is woven of the highest conceivable threadcount, in the best of all possible dimensional spaces.”

    “A simple essence in a simple braid, no matter about this dimensiony business?” worries the hole in the bight loop, now ruing the journey nearly as much as the verdict.

    “Ten,” says the bight loop.

    “Ten what?” says the hole in the bight loop tartly.

    “Ten dimensions of course,” says the bight loop. “Omega here just gave it away, chuffing up his glorious Spandex essence.”

    Silence from the pan-galactic Spandex hoseline. Ignoring this, quite undeterred we must confess, the bight loop begins to squirm and scrawl and scintillate for a long while, muttering from time to time “I’ve got it now” only to echo the same phrase again and again, with never the same intonation twice.

    Boredom took hold of the hole in bight loop. It strayed out of thought and time. Squirms and squiggles wheeled overhead and everyday was as long as a life-age of creations yet to come. But it was not the end. There was closure. The bight loop stilled. And smiled.

    “I’ve got them now!” the bight loop exclaimed triumphantly, breaking at last his monotonous variegations of hopeful certitudes.

    “Got what?” the hole in the bight loop and the pan-galactic Spandex hoseline behest in unison, pitched high and low.

    All of my solutions,” says the bight loop, “were always right.”

    “Funny how that wasn’t apparent long ago,” observes the hole in the bight loop.

    “One just needs to pick the right one,” the bight loop hurries ahead, “and Bob’s your uncle.”

    “My Gord! You’ve gone completely LOOMY!” shrieks the hole in the bight loop.

    “So true,” adds the pan-galactic Spandex hoseline, who had started the whole business just to cop a lull in the banter.

    “But wait!” objects the bight loop. “Some solutions might not admit an alpine butterfly such as secures our trinity.”

    “Nooooooo,” agrees the pan-galactic Spandex hoseline with a surprisingly contented burble, “some don’t”.

    “Good lord, look at me, I didn’t account for the original cinch!” says the bight loop, now visibly beginning to shimmer in that ever so familiar way.

    “Oh piffle,” sighs the hole in the bight loop into the black void, “it’s full of stars.”

    Many have speculated that if we knew exactly why the hole in the bight loop had that thought we would know a lot more about the nature of the Universe than we do now.

  101. FastOil says:

    Woodguy:
    I don’t think Belov’s feet are fast enough for the NHL.

    Straight away speed is ok (unless he’s gassed, natch),but he’s not nimble enough.

    Maybe it has something to do with much different gap control needed on the big ice than small ice, but he gets beat in close quarters too often and doesn’t catch up by my eye and faulty memory.

    Do you (as I do) think it’s odd the pro scouts didn’t notice Belov is such a poor skater? The other team allegedly hot after him also doesn’t seem to know shit about defensemen (Pens).

  102. Caramel Obvious says:

    DeadmanWaking,

    Heidegger doesn’t assign existential priority to death. He assigns existential priority to care.

    Dasein (literally being-there) , the being that is there, is always already thrown into the world, that precedes it. Dasein is being-there, not being-everywhere, and in being-there, Dasein always already has a direction, oriented by its cares, that precedes the act of thinking.

    It is simply is not the case that Descartes begins with “you are here,” indeed this formulation more proximately approaches what Heidegger is saying. The division of the world into a thinking cogito (of subjects) and a world out there (of objects) the subject tries to understand that is characteristic of Cartesian thinking isn’t capture by the phrase “you are here,” since the kind of thinking the Cartesian mind undertakes is meant to be universal. In this sense Cartesian thought ends in a kind of subjectivism as it moves the archimedean point from the universe into the thinking subject.

    But that’s just my opinion.

  103. Lois Lowe says:

    All of this Heidegger talk makes me nostalgic for my undergrad days.

  104. oilersfan says:

    all of this Heidegger talk makes me want to watch a Monte Python sketch

  105. Halfwise says:

    DeadmanWaking,

    Caramel Obvious,

    I’m waaay out of my depth here as the afternoon drags on.

    How ’bout those Eakins quotes, eh?

  106. CrazyCoach says:

    oilersfan: all of this Heidegger talk makes me want to watch a Monte Python sketch

    You bet Bruce!

  107. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    I think its very optimistic to think all the young core will be back next year. I believe one gets jettisoned for true need. An exchange of a BPA selection for a team need – nothing wrong with that.

    I also have to say Eakins is rocking my confidence lately. He can’t really be suggesting his players still don’t get his ‘system’ and he needs the remainder of the season to make sure it sticks? The Sutters would roll over laughing at that. Darryl would have them on his system in a week and Gord help anyone that was obtuse enough to not get it. Sheesh….that was shovel load from Eakins on that one.

  108. hunter1909 says:

    Well Oiled and Enthusiastic: I also have to say Eakins is rocking my confidence lately.

    Just because he’d probably have already been sacked by 20+ NHL teams not run by MacT and the rest of the Oilers alumni?

    And while we’re discussing these Oilers, when exactly is Horcoff coming back to join the rest of the management team, when they really start contending for the Cup for years and years to come?

  109. rickithebear says:

    We need even production and Goal reduction.
    Hall was most successful playing with Horcoff in a GD roleach of the last 2 years.
    This year it is surprise surprise Boyd Gordon.

    we have strong EVG production from
    Hall, Eberle, Perron, Healthy RNH.

    EVG
    22 gets top 25
    18 top 55
    15 top 80
    13 top 120
    11 top 160

    05-06 oilers (7)
    Torres 21; Horcoff 16; Smyth 15; Pisani 13; Samsanov 13; Hemsky 11; Stolll 10
    06-07 (6)
    Sykora 16; Smyth 16; Torres 14; Horcoff 11; Pisani 11; Lupul 11
    07-08 (5)
    Horcoff 15; Cogliano 15; Brodziak 13; Hemsky 12; Reasoner 11
    08-09 (5)
    Hemsky 19; Cogliano 14; Moreau 13; Penner 11; Cole 11(traded);
    09-10 (2)
    Penner 23; Brule 15
    10-11 (7)
    Jones 15; Hall 14; Penner 14 (traded); Eberle 12; Hemsky 12; MP 12: Gagner 11
    11-12 (6)
    Eberle 24; RNH 15; Smyth 15; Hall 14; Gagner 12; Jones 12
    12-13 prorated for 82 (5)
    Eberle 22; Hall 21; Yak 19; Gagner 17; MP 11
    13-14 prorated (5)
    Hall 23; Eberle 18; Perron 18; RNH 15; Gordon 10; Hemsky 10

    06-07 ANA (9)
    Selanne 23; Penner 20; Mcdonald 19; Kunitz 14; Getzlaf 13; Perry 13; Moen 11; Marchant 9; Pahlsson 8
    07-08 DET (9)
    ZETT 26; Datsyuk 20; Filpulla 16; Cleary 15; Franzen 13; Hudler 10; Holmstrom 9 in 59; Samuelsson 8; draper 7 in 65
    08-09 Pit (10)
    Crosby 26; Malkin 19; Staal 19; Fedotenko 15; Kenedy 15; Cooke 13; Sykora 12; Dupuis 12; Satan 11; Talbot 10
    09-10 Chi (9)
    Kane 21; Sharp 19; Hossa 17; Ladd 17; Toews 15; Brouwer 14; Versteeg 13; Madden 10; Koppecky 9.
    10-11 BOS (10)
    Lucic 25; Horton 20; bergeron 17; Marchand 14; Krejci 12; Campbell 11; Wheller 11; Ryder 10; Seguin 10; Thorton 10
    11-12 Kings (7)
    Kopitar 15; Williams 13; Brown 12; Richards 11; Gagne 6in34 14; King 5in27 15; Carter 4in15 21;
    12-13 CHI prorated (9)
    Toews 32; Kane 25; Hossa 21; Saad 16; Stahlberg 16; Bickell 16; Sharp 13; Shaw 12; Bolland 12;

    alot of 8-10 strong even goal scorers to be effective in the playoffs.
    The oilers lack real Even goal scoring depth.
    we sent away Glecross, Brodziak, Cogliano. real strong Evg scorers.

    we have
    3 top 40 EVG Hall, Eberel, Perron
    Yak was top 45 last year
    RNH has been top 90

    Gordon producing 10 is the kind of even depth we need.
    with strong defensive zone play 25% ZS.
    Hendricks is 8 EVG

    Hall-Gordon-Yak
    Perron-XXX-Eberle
    XXX-RNH-XXX
    XXX-hendricks-XXX

    UFA EVG And players mentioned in Trades and Buyouts
    Vanek 19 EVG/season
    Moulson 19
    Grabovski 17
    Boyes 16
    R. Jones 15
    Statsny 15
    Seteguchi 15
    Kulemin 15
    Penner 14
    Erat 14
    O. Jokinen 14
    Vrbata 13
    Callahan 13
    Santorelli 13
    Glencross 13 As areference.
    B. pouliot 12
    Stafford 12
    Raymond 12
    J. Jokinen 12
    Stempniak 12
    Goc 11
    Garbut 11
    Moss 10
    Downie 9
    Ott 8
    WOWY says
    Goc-Erat is strong GD
    Jones-Erat is strong GD.
    Perron-Boyes light it up.

    Don’t even talk about getting rid of Hall, Ebs, Perron, Yak, RNH,

    8-10 strong even play players at forward.
    lets trade one of the best!
    No words describe how stupid.

    There has been constant chatter re assist versus Goals.

    You pay for even Goals.

  110. icecastles says:

    Ducey: As far as I can tell, they have had 20 yrs of trying to play “Oilers Hockey”. It has not resulted in any success (except 2006). If your problem year after year is giving up too many goals, it may be the time to decide that the way they are doing things doesn’t work.

    The key word here is “trying”.

    Failure to properly employ the system (be it due to coaching, the wrong players, the right players at the wrong point in their careers, whatever) should not be conflated with flaws in the system itself.

    It is impossible to say that the system is flawed if the system has not been properly employed and tested in ideal circumstances.

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