OILERS AT DUCKS, G44 13-14

This can’t go on. The Edmonton Oilers are losing games, but they’re losing much more than that during these punching bag games—they are losing their ability to function as a group. For instance, Dallas Eakins has this nasty habit of placing blame without taking responsibility. Even when he does take responsibility, it’s kind of backhanded: “I assumed that we knew what traditional d-zone coverage was” isn’t really “my bad, but we’re on the same page.”

LAST NIGHT

eakins yakupovHere’s the thing: no they weren’t. The Oilers were getting their asses kicked around the parking lot before the second goal (13-6 Corsi SJS at 5×5 up to that point by my count and using Extra Skater) and only strong goaltending from Dubnyk had it 1-0 before the Marleau goal. Never-ending underlying facts.

Anyway, back to Eakins. This nasty habit of not taking responsibility and pointing the finger at others in public is irritating but not a deal breaker. I suspect we’ve all worked with someone like that, but their good qualities outweigh the bad and these events happen rarely enough that we don’t say anything.

Except. Except in a season where the nightly press conference becomes a blame game. Then a player’s name is out there consistently, and that’s going to be an issue at some point in my opinion. Now, a kid like Nail Yakupov can talk to his agent, and his agent can blow into town and make things worse, but that’s a sign that communication is very bad and that things aren’t going well.

It’s easy enough to set aside one player, Yakupov is struggling and the Oilers are drowning. I wonder though if this problem with calling guys out and communication doesn’t run deeper. Ladislav Smid was an Oiler for a long time, and he’s gone early in the season to a rival—and what’s more there’s no acknowledgement at all from the organization when he returns with his new team. A small, trivial item to be sure, but employees notice these kinds of things.

Communication.

I’ve been thinking about communication since early in last night’s game. The team’s breakouts look like the plan hasn’t been communicated properly, the players don’t know the script. Nail Yakupov is going to get the blame here, but there was a lot of wonk along with the work that went into that play before the kid screwed up.

WHY? In game 43 of the season? WHY? “I assumed that we knew what traditional d-zone coverage was” came the answer last time, so we assume it’s the same answer today.

Communication.

We NEVER hear about or from the assistant coaching staff. Do they know what they’re doing? Are they able to communicate with their players? Can you tell me why the best defenseman last night was the kid who hasn’t been here long? Can you tell me why the Oilers best players many nights are the guys who arrived in fall?

This can’t go on. Communication.

There are only a few reasons why a team would be performing like this 40+ games into the season—they can’t possibly be this bad, I’m no longer buying it.

  • Youth. Young players make mistakes, it’s just a fact.
  • Age. Older players struggle when their skills erode and they can no longer make the plays that came easily in past seasons.
  • Communication. I’ve been a manager and I’ve been an employee, and most of the time when things screw up this is the reason. And it isn’t always management by the way. These issues do require a buy-in from the worker and if you don’t understand, ask someone!
  • Stubborn. Man, I know this one well. I think there’s a lot of stubborn on this team, married to youth and inexperience. And it isn’t always the player by the way. These issues do require reflection on behalf of management—is it a good idea to say “I assumed that we knew what traditional d-zone coverage was”, suggesting the players are dummies? That kind of thing usually puts distance between you and the people you’re dealing with in any business setting.
  • Quitting. I’ve saved this for the bottom, because it’s a very touchy item and people shouldn’t just march around throwing these ideas into the wind—it might catch fire. However, when I watch this Oiler team right now it looks for all the world as though these players have not bought into the plan. That’s not to say that they aren’t working hard, or don’t want to win, but belief is a powerful thing in life, and I’m not sure these 23 believe in themselves and the system used by Dallas Eakins. After the “intimidation” comments last night, I’m not sure Eakins believes in the team.

Solutions

Well ladies, there aren’t many. They can trade that first round pick for Christian Ehrhoff, but the value will be higher at the draft. They can deal off Eberle, but I don’t think that’s going to happen during the MacT regime.

They can tweak the coaching staff, and that’s where it gets dicey. First, no one wants to see someone lose their job, but this isn’t working so perhaps a change in job description for one or two of the staff. Second, bringing in a veteran “co-coach” like Paul Maurice to make certain things run smoothly, we can call it the Renney role if you like, but I think we’re heading there sooner than later.

Finally, I do think we’re at a point where it’s reasonable to talk about the entire coaching staff being replaced. No fun in that, epic fail as a matter of fact. I believe Dallas Eakins is a good coach lacking experience, but the results continue to disappoint. Not just wins and losses, but Corsi and breakouts and communication and “I assumed that we knew what traditional d-zone coverage was” and calling out the kid when 10 other things ghastly happened on the same play.

My Dad always had this phrase he’d use at times like this: if you’re not for me, you’re against me. I wonder how many Oilers are for Dallas Eakins this morning. When I watch this team, I don’t believe the answer is 23.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

Today on the show, we get back to work! I missed it! Scheduled to appear:

TSN 1260 at 10 this morning. @lowetide_ on twitter or 10-1260 via text. It’ll be fun!

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521 Responses to "OILERS AT DUCKS, G44 13-14"

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  1. Dipstick says:

    LT, I admire your dedication. No matter the previous performance, you continue to post something worth reading. Without this, I would have tuned out long ago.

  2. oilabroad says:

    This is where I have been for a while, I can’t see what he is trying to do and I am not sure anyone else can either… he is making a lot of very good hockey players look clueless.

    On a side note, do you think the Oil pick up Konopka today LT?? They could sure use a bit more experience in that room, not to mention a bit more grit.

  3. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    So… the dams have broken, huh?

    This could get ugly. What a god-awful team.

  4. goldenchild says:

    “Get busy livin or get busy dyin. Brooks Hatlin knew it, knew it all too well” – Im not sure if this applies to the team or me as a fan. probably both.

  5. Woodguy says:

    Colby Cosh tweeted this out last night in succession:

    Colby Cosh ‏@colbycosh 4h
    Worst NHL teams since start of 2005-06: 1. Edmonton 2. NY Islanders 3. Columbus 4. Florida

    Colby Cosh ‏@colbycosh 4h
    Worst NHL teams since start of 2006-07: 1. Edmonton 2. NY Islanders 3. Columbus 4. Florida

    Colby Cosh ‏@colbycosh 4h
    Worst NHL teams since start of 2007-08: 1. Edmonton 2. NY Islanders 3. Columbus 4. Florida

    Colby Cosh ‏@colbycosh 4h
    Worst NHL teams since start of 2008-09: 1. Edmonton 2. NY Islanders 3. Florida 4. Columbus

    Colby Cosh ‏@colbycosh 4h
    Worst NHL teams since start of 2009-10: 1. Edmonton 2. Florida 3. Columbus 4. NY Islanders

    Colby Cosh ‏@colbycosh 4h
    Worst NHL teams since start of 2010-11: 1. Edmonton 2. Florida 3. Columbus 4. NY Islanders

    Colby Cosh ‏@colbycosh 4h
    Worst NHL teams since start of 2011-12: 1. Edmonton 2. Columbus 3. Buffalo 4. Carolina

    Communication LT?

    Here’s communication from the one guy who has been the guiding hand through it all:

    : “And lastly (talking loudly now) I’ll say that there’s one other guy in hockey today that is still working in the game that has won more Stanley Cups than me. So I think I know a little bit about winning, if there’s ever a concern.”

    Worst National Hockey League team since the lock out, and that includes the wins that got them to the playoffs in 05/06

  6. OneEye says:

    I think MacT has tied himself to Eakins by his aggressive move to bring him in and Fire Krug. This is problematic now for him to back peddle at a time when his credibility is already diminishing. But if he doesn’t make a move now on coaching, this sewers us for another season….whats the time for the team to get up to speed on a new system when they do accept that Eakins is not the answer another 20 games, 30 games, or a whole season? I get we have all sorts of personnel problems but with some of those being changed perhaps we had a chance to compete. We will be f’d right out of the gate.

  7. russ99 says:

    I think Eakins is a good coach – in theory. In practice, he’s been poor. And I don’t know how much I can really chalk up to rookie mistakes. He’s obviously taking a page out of the Keenan/Hitchcock school of motivation, and studies have shown that that tack doesn’t really work with Gen Y and Millenials.

    I wish he could start all over again and stay off the high horse with a commitment to work together with the players rather than the obvious “we’re going to do it my way and that’s that” approach. That’s no way to reach a young team, most of whom are desperate to win and have tried to adapt their games.

    Success could get the team back in his corner, but he’s going to have to be willing to at least bend a little. So far, other than dumping the swarm and using a similar, less risky defensive system, I’m not seeing it.

  8. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    In other news, Poile apologies to Ryan:

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=440282

  9. bookje says:

    I fully agree LT. It’s a tough one because I think Eakins could have succeeded if he had early success due to strong goaltending while his system took hold. He didn’t get this however and he did not respond well. He started to get a brief respite when the team had a good 10 game stretch but it’s since fallen apart.

    I think the military combat jacket is a good example what has gone wrong. I would have never have brought this in, it’s too serious. That’s the kind of coach that Eakins is. He seeks to maintain an uber high level of intensity which may work for short periods of time, but if the tension it brings isn’t relieved by some level of success occurring to lighten the mood, the facade is exposed because most people (not Eakins) can’t handle constant intensity

    Watching Acton behind the bench leads me to believe he is the same type of character.

    If I were GM, I don’t know what I would do. Maybe this gets better if you leave it be, but you run th.e risk of the whole thing falling apart which would be devastating.

    Bringing in Paul Maurice would essentially be replacing Eakins. I wonder if MacT could come down and play the Role of Coaching advisor. At lead the injects some humour every so often,

    The other option is to bring the ping-pong table back into the room with a players coach coming on board. Ralph Krueger might be available and could be pretty good with a strong strategist as an associate coach. Sigh…

    Things are bad in oilerland today.

  10. hunter1909 says:

    I’ve had enough experience more than Kevin Lowe dealing with people and it’s blatantly obvious the kids were happy and trending in the right direction under Kreuger. Then smarmy glasses returns and as smarmy glasses always did he acts rashly(took one look at Klefbom and went home) to (I was talking to Eakins and decided to fire Kreuger, just like that) to (We’re impatient and expect to be making all kinds of big trades immediately)…

    Then Eakins rides into town on his holier than thou high horse and proceeds to demand this and that, instantly alienating the young team, making plugger Ference captain instead of Hall, routinely tossing players(certain ones anyway) under the bus while hypocritically preaching accountability.

    In short, Eakins is a short arms with long pockets disaster. These kids hate his guts, and are collectively either going to run themselves out of town(not such a bad idea when considering -40 weather+Kevin Lowe) or else Eakins + whoever Katz decides is going will be, going.

    The beauty of the situation is this: with nearly half the season remaining, Eakins has nowhere to hide. Normally Vish and the gang’s teams blow(natch) throughout the season yet manage to appear respectable from February on which isn’t going to happen under Eakins, because the players hate his fucking guts.

    Oilers could have had Laviolette or Hitchcock probably, or Hartley, or Sutter even; all experienced successful coaches, but since they can’t be “managed” like a rookie(Eakins) I guess that’s another non starter, lol.

  11. Numenius says:

    russ99:
    I think Eakins is a good coach – in theory. In practice, he’s been poor. And I don’t know how much I can really chalk up to rookie mistakes. He’s obviously taking a page out of the Keenan/Hitchcock school of motivation, and studies have shown that that tack doesn’t really work with Gen Y and Millenials.

    Yes, motivation seems to be a big part of the problem.

    The sense I get is that the team is always afraid of making mistakes and that kills motivation and confidence. It’s not just Eakins either. Acton seems to be a downer too.

    Kruger’s inspirational approach wasn’t perfect, but it’s an element sadly missing in this coaching staff.

  12. rich says:

    This is an excellent post LT and I sense it was not easy for you to put some of this down.

    If MacT is totally committed to his coach, he needs to do an intervention and get him help ASAP. The season is getting out of hand here to the point where guys are regressing and he’s damaging one of what should be their prime assets (Yak).

    If you can’t make a trade right now because you can’t get what’s truly needed to help this team both short and long-term (top pairing D, #2C to push some guys down) without giving up whom you’ve identified as your core, then you have to do something else.

    You go to your coach, you ask him to be brutally honest and “together” you make some tough choices re: who is on the bench with you by the time you get back to Edmonton. You don’t wait until the Olympic Break because judging on last nights comments, on top of other comments last week, this is starting to spiral beyond the coaches control and it’s coming out.

    I know, firing assistants doesn’t sound like a big change and resembles a “re-arranging of the deck chairs on the Titanic”, but you are getting to the point where the next step is firing the coach yet again and in this case, unless the coach has completely lost the room, you can’t afford because it will be a very long time before you get a good coach to give you any serious consideration.

    And yes, for window dressing, I really believe at this point Kevin Lowe has to go. It’s symbolic of his reign…just like Milbury needed to go. I happen to believe that MacT will turn out to be a better GM the Garth Snow, but Lowe is the incompetent equal of Milbury.

  13. HugThePost says:

    Absolutely godsmacked at how this has all blown up.

    As a manager, I guess sometimes you can mis-judge someone’s abilities by a little, but to be this much off on such a core trait needed in a coach (communicator)…..mindblowing.

    I guess we can start pondering huge dramatic changes, but I don’t think they will happen at this point. MacT is as married to Eakins as he is to Gagner and I would bet he rides the season out because right now, there is no fair deals for him to make, and there is nothing to gain by firing one or more coaches at this point in such a disastrous season.

    As for this summer however……….

  14. regwald says:

    I think it is obvious that there is a lack of communication and subsequent buy in from the players. The dzone coverage is a fire drill, players have no idea who they should cover. The 5 players on the ice can’t execute a proper breakout. The 5 man PP unit has turned into a disaster vs the previous two years.

    I find it difficult to find one positive item that Eakins has effected since taking over the coaching reigns. Maybe he’s making headway with improved defensive play by some players, but it certainly isn’t showing in the goals against.

    Further the the coaching staff questions, I know the DD has taken a significant downturn, but what is the goalie coach doing to help him improve ? Not seeing a big improvements overall in his game to show that the goalie coach is helping fix the holes.

    I think it is time MacT do something to support his head coach – add help ? Sit down and mentor him ? Add some assistants. It’s brutal out there.

    Oh ya, and while you are at it MacT help with the roster would be nice. Yup, not easy this season with the tough cap but when you team is mired in 29th spot in the league again you need to address the problems.

  15. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    A couple of notes on things:

    1. Winning cures all.

    It was mentioned by Eakins the other day, but it is true, you get to rip your team a lot more when you are winning. The happy bubble insulates everyone from the criticism, allowing it to be effective without metastasizing.

    2. Losing highlights everything.

    A team like Edmonton — as the Oilogosphere knows best — encourages an unlimited amount of second-guessing, recrimination and re-recrimination, dissection, etc. Everything is challenged and everything is magnified. Not a single trivial, quiet moment exists. Everything is a sign of doom.

    3. Frustration and familiarity.

    In any persistently bad situation, habit forms just like in any persistent situation. The same way one develops habits around making coffee in the morning (a banal everyday activity), one develops habits about a persistent frustrating experience. It is a psychological palliative of sorts: it allows you to focus on a singular point (typically an external factor to deflect blame). It is not, at the end of the day, a particular helpful palliative: it doesn’t help solve problems and it rarely grants more than a convenient scapegoat.

    Eakins is stuck in a loop of frustration where the easy way out is to retreat into simple, now habitual, narrative: we played well until x “left something on the table.”

    He has allowed egregious turnovers to become the dominant problem with his team in his mind. It is a problem, but far from the problem.

    The issue here is: turnovers leading to goals (what you leave in Eakins terminology) stand out big-time, get packaged on hi-light reels and most importantly offer a single causal point of blame. You don’t have to look further than a single play by a single player to find the problem. You don’t have to look under water level to see how deep the iceberg goes.

    4. Eakins is more careful in this situation than we sometimes give him credit. He rarely calls out players by name. He certainly implies who the player is… and we always know. But he hasn’t done what many other coaches (typically blessed with winning teams… the happy bubble) do: name the player.*

    I can think of a few exceptions: Arco for example in that curious presser. But even there he was responding to a question about Arco… he didn’t bring him up, or offer his name without prodding.

  16. hunter1909 says:

    OneEye: MacT has tied himself to Eakins by his aggressive move to bring him in and Fire Krug. This is problematic now

    Typical oilers situation. Another rash, cack-handed decision and everyone but management worried because rookie incompetent GM MacT has the job security of a pope.

    On any real team…

  17. OneEye says:

    bookje,

    Things are bad in Oilerland today: Wait till Anaheim dispatches of them at another pace of 5-1. I love the post of Woodguy and that tweet. How can we still have the upper management we do given this track record…unbelievable. With this season lost flush it now and get some traction for next year. In a dream world – new management, new coaching, and a few new players in and anchors out this year allowing a new environment to form before the summer.

  18. theres oil in virginia says:

    Ladislav Smid was an Oiler for a long time, and he’s gone early in the season to a rival—and what’s more there’s no acknowledgement at all from the organization when he returns with his new team.

    I’m not sure what you’re referring to here. Will you elaborate?

    They can trade that first round pick for Christian Ehrhoff, but the value will be higher at the draft. They can deal off Eberle, but I don’t think that’s going to happen during the MacT regime.

    Ehrhoff isn’t pulling Buffalo’s ox out of the ditch, and I doubt he’d do it in Edmonton either. Trading one of your leading scorers probably isn’t going help either. SJS is a very good team, I think getting their asses kicked by the Sharks shouldn’t be the impetus for major roster changes. This team doesn’t have nearly enough veterans, but spending their young core as currency to get more veterans is likely going backwards.

    Unfortunately, when Hall’s line gets outmatched by the opposition’s top line, then it just cascades down. Hall and Co. are not ready to consistently outmatch Thornton, etc. I don’t see how anyone could blame Eakins or his system for this type of loss. It’s nothing new over the last several years. Failure to get the puck deep, or clear the d-zone, will result in what we saw last night. The Sharks played a very good game, they pressured the Oilers at just the right places, the puck was turned over consistently, and the Sharks converted at a high rate, which would have been higher except for Dubnyk making some really good saves. Opposition goalie made the few good saves he needed to make, but never faced sustained pressure and never had much traffic in front as a result (not that the Oilers would have gone to the front of the net even if they had sustained pressure). The Oilers need more parts, but the parts they have need to improve as well, if they are ever going to compete with the top talent in the NHL. They’re young, it’ll happen – right now, I’d be happy with them competing with the middle talent of the NHL.

    Eakins’ job right now is to get the wheels back on the car and get it back on the track to get some laps in.

  19. fuzzy muppet says:

    They always say “it’s darkest before the dawn”

    The Oilers’ slogan should be “It’s dark, but it’s always getting darker”

    I fully expect a half-empty arena when they return from the road.

  20. hunter1909 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Eakins is more careful in this situation than we sometimes give him credit. He rarely calls out players by name. He certainly implies who the player is… and we always know.

    Give Eakin’s a peanut for not naming names. Woo hoo.

    Fucker’s out of his depth, over his head, and working for the most arrogant, nepotistic assholes in North American pro sport.

  21. Ben says:

    Well, this is it. The Oilers have finally hit rock bottom.

    But what do good, blue-collar oilers do when they hit a little rock? The keep right on drillin’.

  22. Brackenburied says:

    Smid and Eakins are at loggerheads.
    Smid is vocal and popular in the dressing room. And stubborn.
    Eakins, not so popular. And stubborn.
    MacT forced into trade to prevent new coach from being completely undermined.
    MacT plays nice by trading Smid to Calgary. Smid, coach, and rest of players all happy. Fans are gobsmacked.
    Now this makes sense to me.
    Props to Genjutsu for crystalising this idea with last night’s entertaining GD thread comments.

  23. icecastles says:

    I’ve been an Eakins booster all along, and I remain a fan. This team needs a hardass, and Eakins is that. Furthermore, from his comments we’ve seen that he does understand things perhaps not perfectly, but better than a lot of coaches. And he’s willing to try new things.

    However, buy-in is key to everything. Without it, you’ve got a Ferrari with no tires. Doesn’t matter how great a car is if it’s never going to roll out of the driveway.

    So the question for me is,
    (a) Is there buy-in to the coach’s system/philosophy?
    (b) If not, is there a reasonable chance that could eventually happen?
    (c) If Eakins were out and a new coach brought in, can we reasonably expect that he would be able to get them playing correctly (they don’t, and they haven’t for a very long time) AND buying in to the system?

    It seemed that the kids loved Kreuger, but kids also love the ice cream truck. It gives them what they want and tastes yummy. But a constant diet of ice cream doesn’t set you up well for later in life.

    If Eakins goes, I can see him being like the drill sergeant in Full Metal Jacket. Hated and vilified, not there for the payoff, maybe couldn’t/shouldn’t have been there for the payoff anyway, because his strength lay elsewhere; but there will be little denying that if and when they get there, Eakins will have been the asshole who got the ball rolling to break the bad habits and lay the groundwork for better ones.

    We’ve been through so many coaches here and every year we’ve said “well, I guess ______ wasn’t the problem after all”. And we know the 2012/13 Oilers, a 27th place team, were not as good as their record showed (benefit of a short season and some unsustainable percentages) yet here we are as fans, clamouring for the same thing again (fire the coach) and expecting a different result. I needed repeat the defenition of crazy.

    Something’s got to give. I have no faith in the ass coaches, and I think LT’s suggestion about bringing in a Paul Maurice is a good one. But I am very, very hesitant to fire yet another coach. the inmates don’t need further evidence that they really do run the asylum.

  24. hunter1909 says:

    If I was a season ticket holder…

    Next home game I’d toss all my remaining tickets on the ice.

  25. jfry says:

    good to finally see LT get behind the idea that “the coach is as bad or worse than this team.”

    picking on yak when your team is in last place, is bush league playground elementary stuff. I know that Eakins communication impressed everyone to start, but this is horrible and you start to see a lot of the “kadri is fat and can’t play” scenario showing up in the oilers in everyone of his post games.

    frankly, he’s acting like a loser, losing.

    macT has only hired one coach. all the others aren’t on his watch. he’d be smart to be proactive, admit it was a mistake and he was seduced by a guy out of his element and move on. Hire a pro, and can the whole squad.

    I think this first 8 months is going to be a real learning experience for mact, hopefully he isn’t reactionary and overpays for anything. the idea of a “BIG” trade is really scary now because it would appear that it would just compound already bad decisions.

    if we lose 5-1 to Anaheim, you’d have to think he’s fired, right? which is okay. some decisions don’t work, but fixing them prudently is a sign that you’re not above yourself. it would be a good message to the team.

    then mact, lowe and the next coach should just shut the fuck up and let the play on the ice do the talking for once. it’s been years.

    also, i’ll bet that yak’s agent isn’t the only one who has been in town expressing worry. no doubt jultz, hall and the nuge have had their team voice concerns about this side show.

  26. bookje says:

    theres oil in virginia,

    Last year Hall and co were taking on lines like thorton’s and beating them – consistently. This is not about ability, it is about execution. Given that they are a year older, they should be stronger than last year.

  27. jfry says:

    Brackenburied,

    smid was traded two days after he said that some of the young guys aren’t working hard and aren’t buying in. it’s no mystery why he was shown the door. just sad that a few “tough love” remarks resulted in that.

  28. HBomb says:

    Possible solution: sack the entire coaching staff (as embarrassing and as Cleveland Browns-esque as it may be to change coaches again…at a certain point, is there really a choice? Just ask Glen Sather and George Burnett).

    Likely reality: MacT and Lowe fail to see fault in the Old Boys Club, Eakins and Acton both take the gaspipe, and Mark Messier is named the new coach, with Bucky and Smith staying on as assistants.

    Six rings, people, six rings. Lowe KNOWS about winning. That’s why this team is DFL in the post-2005 league standings, in spite of a playoff appearance and run to the finals in 2006.

  29. bookje says:

    icecastles,

    We first learned that it’s not the coach when MacT was fired , but all of the players have changed since then as well.

  30. Clarkenstein says:

    The players “hate” the coach is what’s out there floating around right now. It’s not innuendo, rumor or speculation if it’s true. And game after game it’s looking more like it’s true. Poor ownership and management allows it to slowly rot the team from the inside out. Somebody PLEASE blow up this disaster!

  31. hunter1909 says:

    icecastles: If Eakins goes, I can see him being like the drill sergeant in Full Metal Jacket. Hated and vilified, not there for the payoff, maybe couldn’t/shouldn’t have been there for the payoff anyway, because his strength lay elsewhere; but there will be little denying that if and when they get there, Eakins will have been the asshole who got the ball rolling to break the bad habits and lay the groundwork for better ones.

    Eakin’s is destroying whatever talent has been emerging over the past fuck knows how many years.

    He’s teaching them nothing. They’re tuning him out, 100%.

    Eakin’s is like the stepfather who drags 10 year olds on 5 mile hikes to make men out of them. He’s an idiot, proved by the results(oilers 100% out of playoff contention 20 games into the season). Anyone can bully others from a position of power.

    This isn’t a generation Y/millennial thing either. Eakins could probably fail in any era.

  32. Space Dad says:

    I know this opinion won’t be popular around here, but I don’t really think the loss last night to the San Jose Sharks(!) is as much a harbinger of doom as you express here LT. In their last five games the team is 2-1-2, and to me they seemed to be developing as a team unit. The loss to San Jose was a depressing one to watch, but really, it came down to players making mistakes, particularly while trying to move the puck out of the d-zone. That’s not a fault of the system, it’s a fault of the players.

    Ultimately, the reason the Oilers are losing is because they do not have enough good players, especially on the blue.

    That being said, I don’t understand why Eakins, with his great emphasis on “compete” doesn’t try to emulate the Nashville Predators with the systems he implements. That team competes, and it competes every year, no matter who they lose to free agency or trade or what have you. It might be more boring for Oiler fans but I’ll take that 2-0 win against Calgary over the more common 5-1 drubbings we’ve seen so far this season.

  33. cabbiesmacker says:

    Woodguy:

    Communication LT?

    Here’s communication from the one guy who has been the guiding hand through it all:

    : “And lastly (talking loudly now) I’ll say that there’s one other guy in hockey today that is still working in the game that has won more Stanley Cups than me. So I think I know a little bit about winning, if there’s ever a concern.”

    Worst National Hockey League team since the lock out, and that includes the wins that got them to the playoffs in 05/06

    Lowe’s tirade wasn’t slanted a bunch differently than Eakin’s over the infamous jersey toss. They preach from their thrones, their big, shiny, entitled thrones in the general direction of the, by their perception, mindless hockey minions.

    Lets also not forget that Ol 6 Rings had an accomplice for most of these years of futility. What does he do? Hauls him back and makes him the GM.

    Of course you can’t spell “I’m Baaaaackkkk” without MBA

    Nor can you write this stuff.

  34. icecastles says:

    hunter1909: it’s blatantly obvious the kids were happy and trending in the right direction under Kreuger

    Happy? Sure.

    Trending in the right direction? Blatantly obvious? This I don’t see. Consensus was that they were not as good as their record, and their record was not sparkling. They were continually outshot and generally outplayed. Their powerplay was not the brilliant system that a shortened season and high percentages would suggest, and 82 games would likely have revealed that. Kreuger (who in fairness, I really liked) was an excellent motivator, but wasn’t a systems or strategic guy. You need that in modern hockey.

    Let’s also remember that until Eakins, the young guns generally played extremely sheltered minutes and were not really forced to learn any real two-way or defensive game. This is not sustainable or wise.It might help you climb the standings from 30th but it will never ever create a team that can compete for the Stanley Cup, and I would contest that it will never even get you to a playoff berth.

    Very little ink has been spilled on the increased responsibility on the young players and the expectation for them to be able to play the whole game or as LT puts it, become Real NHL Players. I don’t think the impact of this can be overstated.

    Our best players have for large part, succeeded thus far in their careers on skill alone. For the first time perhaps ever, that’s not enough. That learning curve is HUGE and while the potential payoff is enormous, it also means enormous pain in the meantime.

  35. sliderule says:

    Eakins called out Yakupov directly when he put the goal after the turnover on him.

    He then called out someone indirectly when he said that Hall,Nuge and Perron handled their benching well.I will leave it to you to figure out who he says doesn’t handle it we’ll.

    This is the same coach who had Ebs and Gagner on ice protecting the lead with less than minute.

    The same coach who left a gassed Belov on the ice in Ot

    I didn’t hear him calling himself or assistants out in his usual post game crap.

    Please Please, don’t bring in an assistant at this point in season.That will just be wall papering over the problem and we will have another season of post game crap.

    Do what is right and fire the whole bunch at end of season.Then hire an experienced NHL coach and let him pick his staff.

  36. icecastles says:

    hunter1909:

    Eakin’s is destroying whatever talent has been emerging over the past fuck knows how many years.

    He’s teaching them nothing.

    They’re tuning him out, 100%.

    He’s an idiot.

    Eakins could probably fail in any era.

    It’s the calm and reasoned tone, the lack of overblown hyperbole and the sober assessment of both positive and negative that makes your arguments so compelling and convincing.

  37. oliveoilers says:

    I posted earlier in the season about Eakins poor leadership qualities, and it turns out I’m right! As you can imagine, this doesn’t happen often, lol. On a serious note, did any of you guys notice that on the time-out, not one coach addressed the huddle? As I’ve posted before, public embarrassment is not a good management tool, neither is shifting of responsibility nor alienating your customers (fans). The only way he makes it out of this year is as a stop gap until the off season. It’s not his results even, nor his technical coaching ability but his attitude stinks, and a team is a reflection of it’s leader.

  38. justDOit says:

    A few things I’d like to see at the next home game:

    1) Everyone who owns a Lowe jersey, throw it on the ice – before the game starts!

    2) Empty seats. Lots of empty seats.

    3) The crowd of 8,700 chanting, “Lowe has to go.”

    4) The Octane troupe wearing outfits like the Brazilian women’s soccer ‘players’. Sorry, I can’t provide a link for that, but it’s on the tube.

  39. bookje says:

    icecastles,

    Basically, we are playing a what if game here, but if I could roll things back, I would have brought in an associate coach with the ability to support Kruger on technical aspects. I would replace Bucky and Smith based upon the fact that Kruger called them out as not being experienced enough (essentially, I think he has leaned on his assistants in the past for some of the technical aspects of the game and has primarily been a motivator).

    I don’t know if this would have worked, but it would have let the situation play out properly so that the team could see that this ‘players coach’ approach didn’t work and then you could have fired Kruger half way through this season and moved on to the ‘tough coach’.

    I suspect many of the players don’t understand why Kruger was fired and this makes it easier for them to mentally defect from Eakins. By game 20 of the season, I suspect most of them had personally decided that MacT made a mistake in bringing Eakins in and firing Kruger. As a result, they lost faith in their coach and GM and that is a bad situation.

  40. cabbiesmacker says:

    I seem to remember rumblings about Brent Sutter being a candidate, sort of, for HC. Doubt it had much validity but there it was. Of course Brent Sutter was only an Islander and Blackhawk. No Oiler history there.

    Does anyone really think this team is the colossal pile it is today if Sutter is holding the reins.

    BOLD is bringing in a guy who can in all likelihood do the job better than the people he answers to. No way can we have any of that happening around here.

    I sit, anxiously awaiting Lowe to go all grade 3 at his next big presser when the heat gets turned up. Red faced, tongue sticking out, hands clasped to the side of his head. “I can’t hear any of you peons over the sound of these six rings in my ears.”

  41. cabbiesmacker says:

    justDOit:
    A few things I’d like to see at the next home game:

    1) Everyone who owns a Lowe jersey, throw it on the ice – before the game starts!

    2) Empty seats. Lots of empty seats.

    3) The crowd of 8,700 chanting, “Lowe has to go.”

    4) The Octane troupe wearing outfits like the Brazilian women’s soccer ‘players’. Sorry, I can’t provide a link for that, but it’s on the tube.

    Just one thing I’d like to “hear”…….”Kevin Lowe isn’t going anywhere” on local sports radio.

  42. Thiru says:

    LT, mind on commenting on some of these rumours?

    a) The players hate Eakins. I’ve heard it making the rounds, but you have better sources than me. Have they actually tuned him out?
    b) Smid. What was happening behind the scenes there? Very unusual move.
    c) Was MacT’s decision to remove Krueger in any way influenced by mc79′s work on Gagner/Hemsky over the summer? I ask because MacT has indicated in the past that he follow’s Tyler’s stuff.
    d) Taylor Hall is unhappy. But to what extent? Have any players privately requested trades?

  43. icecastles says:

    bookje:
    we are playing a what if game here

    I would have brought in an associate coach with the ability to support Kruger on technical aspects.

    I would replace Bucky and Smith

    Yes, I agree and I agree.

    It’s simultaneously the fun thing and the infuriating thing about all this – so much of it is hypothetical and what-if.

    (And yes, I do believe a healthy Roli would have brought us the cup. Goddamnit.)

  44. tubes says:

    icecastles: It’s the calm and reasoned tone, the lack of overblown hyperbole and the sober assessment of both positive and negative that makes your arguments so compelling and convincing.

    Well said sir.

  45. icecastles says:

    cabbiesmacker: Does anyone really think this team is the colossal pile it is today if Sutter is holding the reins.

    Four new head coaches in the NHL this past offseason. None of them are Sutter.

    Remember when Pat Quinn brought the World Junior team home with a gold medal? We should hire him!

    facepalm.

  46. flyfish1168 says:

    bookje,

    What you said was what I was hoping for. Find help for Krueger. He has a likeable personality, excellent HNIC interview and is a positive person. These qualities I believe makes for a better working environment.

    I see Eakins having his players holding their sticks to tight and worried about making mistakes. Or in Yaks case being a HS. Eakins is way over his head being head coach. Getting help maybe not the answer anymore if the players have shut him out. I posted a while back coaches like him has a short shelf life.

  47. oliveoilers says:

    OK, let’s see if I have this ‘buy in’ thing correct. Let’s just say there is just enough experience on the current roster to know whether what they’re being coached to do has any merit. So, a hypothetical conversation may go a little something like this:

    DE: Olive, the bathrooms are backed up in the dressing room.

    Me: Sure Dallas, I’ll get the plumber right on it, and someone up to clean up.

    DE: No, I need you to do it. All of it.

    Me: Well, I guess I could, but I’m the electrician. Plumbing isn’t really my expertise, I kinda know how to do it. Let me just go down the hall to the maintenance dept. and get the plumber.

    DE: You don’t understand, I’m gonna teach you new skills.

    Me: I don’t have the right tools or expertise, plus we’re union and I can’t scab his work!

    DE: You need to buy in to what I’m trying to do here. I’m going to sit you for a few days. Don’t worry if you hear your name in a presser about how we got scored on, it’s all part of the process. Oh, and one more thing. GET THOSE SIDEBURNS CUT!

  48. Lowetide says:

    Thiru:
    LT, mind on commenting on some of these rumours?

    a) The players hate Eakins. I’ve heard it making the rounds, but you have better sources than me. Have they actually tuned him out?
    b) Smid. What was happening behind the scenes there? Very unusual move.
    c) Was MacT’s decision to remove Krueger in any way influenced by mc79′s work on Gagner/Hemsky over the summer? I ask because MacT has indicated in the past that he follow’s Tyler’s stuff.
    d) Taylor Hall is unhappy. But to what extent? Have any players privately requested trades?

    a/ No. I doubt it would be 100% in one direction, and players hating the coach isn’t necessarily a bad thing
    b/ No idea, but something happened between signing and trade
    c/ Hope so, Tyler’s worth following
    d/ No idea.

  49. LMHF#1 says:

    Eakins’ comments have a running storyline that worries me – he doesn’t seem interesting in using players as specialists or in actually looking at fundamentals first. Takes things for granted. All this “everyone’s got to do the same…” blah blah is BS. Anyone who’s been on a really good hockey team knows it. Sure there’s a baseline, but everyone does not play the same way. There are specialists – the complete player is often rarer. Why Eakins hasn’t given Nail Yakupov two very simple jobs of press the D for a break in the defensive zone and get into shooting position in the offensive zone I have no idea. That’s how he’d be most effective right now. Work on the other stuff in practice and in the film room. Keep it simple.

    I wonder about things like the fact that Hemsky’s only played 20+ on two nights. He’s been Eakins best or at least in the top 3 forwards most nights this season and yet does not play as much as he should. Does Eakins want to win yet? If he does, does he have any clue how to win?

  50. LMHF#1 says:

    Lowetide: a/ No. I doubt it would be 100% in one direction, and players hating the coach isn’t necessarily a bad thing

    Dislike with respect can work. Where respect is missing it cannot. Has Eakins earned their respect? Not so sure. From the “hotshot new coach” narrative to the arrogance (which again, can be fantastic if you know what you’re doing, the late 90s Yankees thought that losing was a fluke) to the blaming (which is pretty inexcusable) – these things would seriously undermine attempts by Eakins to garner respect.

  51. VanOil says:

    Failing teams are a painful thing to be a part of and to watch.

    Terry Jones called out Eakins in a conversation with Ryan Smyth day one. “He better win”

    He did not win.

    Eakins called out Yak the other day saying rookies do not have the track record to receive the benefit of the doubt when they screw up that they will recover. I would suggest that unless he thinks he is the best coach of his age in the entire world that the concept applies to him too.

    The team does not believe. The team will not buy-in when they don’t believe.

    Larry Robinson is an assistant coach in San Jose for personal reasons but do you think Big Bird inspires belief and buy-in on a level Eakins could never achieve even if he had Lowes jewelry?

    This team is broken. Not the players, the team.

    They need a reset, they need a plan, they need success. None of that will happen tonight.

    A 40+ save shutout is the best we can hope for tonight. Not permanently breaking promising young players like Yakupov, Marincin, Lander, J. Schultz ect. in this broken team this is my slim hope for the rest of the season.

  52. Space Dad says:

    Thiru:
    LT, mind on commenting on some of these rumours?

    a) The players hate Eakins. I’ve heard it making the rounds, but you have better sources than me. Have they actually tuned him out?
    b) Smid. What was happening behind the scenes there? Very unusual move.
    c) Was MacT’s decision to remove Krueger in any way influenced by mc79′s work on Gagner/Hemsky over the summer? I ask because MacT has indicated in the past that he follow’s Tyler’s stuff.
    d) Taylor Hall is unhappy. But to what extent? Have any players privately requested trades?

    Most rumors are ideas that seemed somewhat plausible in their initial contrivance and were thus seized upon by those who would prefer for them to be true, if only as a coping mechanism for the trauma induced by the witness of distressing events. To me, rumors A, B, and D fit under this category.

    In fact, Taylor Hall was recently on HNIC’s After Hours stating, “I still love Edmonton, I love playing for the Oilers, and I love playing in this city. It’s the guys in this room that are going to be the ones who turn this around, it’s not anyone else. It’s on us and we have to be up to that challenge.” This after a 6-0 shellacking by the St. Louis Blues.

    http://video.oilers.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=518864

    (quote begins at 2:25 of clip)

  53. Bag of Pucks says:

    If MacT fires Eakins this season, or in the offseason, I am done with this team.

    This fanbase is getting far too comfortable ‘firing the coach’ and making excuses for this collection of entitled losers. This young core should be setting the tone for the entire team with their work ethic, defensive responsibility and commitment to team play and they are simply not getting it done. Seriously folks, Eakins isn’t taking a shift the last time I checked. You know what Coffey or Messier did when they were pissed at Sather? They went out on the ice and lit up the opposition to prove him wrong. Taylor Hall is the only one of this core that evidences that kind of competitiveness and that’s a HUGE concern.

    The bad habits are ingrained because of the rushed development (we gots tickets to sell – who cares if Paajarvi’s ready for the show) and coaching carousel. If this org has any hope of pulling out of the toilet that WG’s numbers clearly show them in, then they need to stop making knee-jerk decisions and start acting like a team with a long range plan and commitment to player development and system play.

    This is not your Dad’s NHL. Talent alone does not get it done. A team has to be defensively sound and committed to system play. Hence why we get beaten by the workmanlike Phoenix Coyotes every single effing time we play them. Put these players back to square one with a new system now and this merry go round starts all over again.

    The worst part of this season is watching solid pros like Gordon and Ference come in and get absolutely beaten down and demoralized by the rampant chaos that is the Edmonton Oilers so called ‘system’ For me, players like Gordon, Ference and Perron are the biggest tells here on the whole ‘is our coach bad or are players bad?’ debate. Why? Because they’re not the ones typically making the egregious mistakes. They know better because they’ve played on teams with solid systems where bad habits are consistently excised.

    Rather it’s the players who’ve come up through this broke ass development paradigm “Petry, Schultz, Smid, Dubnyk, Gagner, Eberle, Hemsky, Yakupov,” etc who consistently make the turnovers or fail to mark their man. Bad habits. Because Oilers.

    And the worst bad habit of all? Firing the coach every year.

  54. flyfish1168 says:

    VanOil:
    Failing teams are a painful thing to be a part of and to watch.

    Terry Jones called out Eakins in a conversation with Ryan Smyth day one. “He better win”

    He did not win.

    Eakins called out Yak the other day saying rookies do not have the track record to receive the benefit of the doubt when they screw up that they will recover. I would suggest that unless he thinks he is the best coach of his age in the entire world that the concept applies to him too.

    The team does not believe. The team will not buy-in when they don’t believe.

    Larry Robinson is an assistant coach in San Jose for personal reasons but do you think Big Bird inspires belief and buy-in on a level Eakins could never achieve even if he had Lowes jewelry?

    This team is broken. Not the players, the team.

    They need a reset, they need a plan, they need success. None of that will happen tonight.

    A 40+ save shutout is the best we can hope for tonight. Not permanently breaking promising young players like Yakupov, Marincin, Lander, J. Schultz ect. in this broken team this is my slim hope for the rest of the season.

    Well put. I wonder how much thought he put into that statement before saying it. Definitely time for Eakins to look in to mirror and reflect on some of his comments.

  55. russ99 says:

    I don’t think you can say that the players didn’t buy in, it’s more to what extent, and how long does a player bring that kind of effort and try to play that way – resulting in lost games and lost chances to improve numbers (which right or wrong are the prime motivators in the NHL) before it becomes futile for them?

    The bigger problem is the ideas Eakins is bringing to the table don’t work – or at the very least don’t work with this group, and he refuses to adjust or change them, thinking that at some point it will all just “click” if they stay the course, like in LT’s thread yesterday.

  56. art vandelay says:

    Taylor Hall was recently on HNIC’s After Hours stating, “I still love Edmonton, I love playing for the Oilers, and I love playing in this city. It’s the guys in this room that are going to be the ones who turn this around, it’s not anyone else. It’s on us and we have to be up to that challenge.” This after a 6-0 shellacking by the St. Louis Blues.

    I remember when I believed everything I read or heard. Then I put away the Pokemon cards….

  57. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    theres oil in virginia: “Ladislav Smid was an Oiler for a long time, and he’s gone early in the season to a rival—and what’s more there’s no acknowledgement at all from the organization when he returns with his new team.”
    I’m not sure what you’re referring to here. Will you elaborate?

    I’m pretty sure he means the kind of fanfare teams put on during a TV timeout or whathaveyou for former players… a video tribute or something.

    theres oil in virginia: Ehrhoff isn’t pulling Buffalo’s ox out of the ditch, and I doubt he’d do it in Edmonton either.

    It is important to have reasonable expectations, but having a bona fide top pairing guy would seriously help this team (and long term at that).

    The deal isn’t that BUF is bad with him, it is that BUF would give new meaning to terrible without him.

  58. Ice Sage says:

    I don’t accept that anything has to change with the Oilers, based on last night which is the same basic thing that’s been happening for 3 years vs Sharks.
    The season is a right off, standings-wise.

    So, there are many clever minds here, folks that have been in tight spots with a project or adversity…

    If I am Katz (and interested in putting out a quality product), I take stock of what the common ‘losing’ denominators have been over the past 6 years – Ass coaches, K Lowe, Gagner, Hemsky (+/- MacT, Smyth). I get a ‘fool’ without any ties or conflicts to give me an honest appraisal. This consultant interviews the players (biggest expense) and everyone else in the org and compares the structure and composition of the organization to those that are effective. Then, surgical intervention, radical or otherwise, to revive the once-proud, once-driven hockey culture of this town.

    The nice thing about being at rock-bottom is you just have to admit you have a problem, need help (from non-enablers) and the way to success shows itself.

    Paul Maurice? Yes please.

  59. theres oil in virginia says:

    bookje:
    theres oil in virginia,
    Last year Hall and co were taking on lines like thorton’s and beating them – consistently.

    My memory says that’s not entirely true. (Does anyone know if there is an easy way to look at how a player does against another player, in terms of Corgis or otherwise? I glanced at BTN, but don’t have time to dig much now.) Anyway, my first glance at last year’s schedule was SJS scoring 6 goals against EDM in the first period in game 2 of the season. Everybody stunk. My memory says that Hall-Nuge-Ebs was the only combination of Hall plus B and C that ever looked like an NHL line, and when they faced the toughest competition, they didn’t always come out even.

    This is not about ability, it is about execution.

    That’s really the point I was attempting to make. When Hall+ are evenly matched talent-wise, they don’t yet know how to break through. When razzle-dazzle fails, they have to fall back on executing simple plays and picking their spots. They don’t yet have the patience or the veteran presence of mind for this.

    Given that they are a year older, they should be stronger than last year.

    I wonder how much Hall’s injury and RNH returning from shoulder injury is affecting them. If your overall point is that they (Hall and Co.) have regressed some, I agree. My point is that it’s too early to expect Hall+ to consistently be in the company of Thornton, Datsyuk,… They’re still so young.

  60. WeirsBeard says:

    Cheers on a great article LT. Best writing on the Oil, anywhere.

    There is a lack of professionalism in the organization. Lack of effort on the ice, poor communication, those terrible press conferences, the experience at the rink…

    We never had these issues with Slats. The club didn’t have money or the talent of this roster. I never remember systematic problems with buy-in, effort or communication.

    Ownership has to look at what they want out of the Edmonton Oilers.

  61. icecastles says:

    art vandelay: Then I put away the Pokemon cards

    If the point mentioning you played with Pokemon cards was to illustrate out that you’re seasoned and mature, I think it backfired. :)

    Nevertheless, I would agree that we can’t believe everything we hear players say, but Hall seems like a straight shooter. I don’t think he’d say on HNIC if he does want to be traded, but nor do I believe he’d make such a definitive statement of resolve if he wanted out.

  62. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    All this Smid speculation is interesting.

    It was such a bizarre trade that random hearsay and rumor are to be expected…

    But, until I read something credible, incompetence makes a lot more sense than malice.

    Rookie GM and Coach combine with Ricky O convince themselves of a few things:

    1. Smid is expendable because of the left side, lack of puck movement, has more value than N. Schultz.

    2. Hometown favorite Brossoit is going to track perfectly unlike every other goalie prospect.

    3. The cap is felt to be a very real problem this year and they are crazed about it and the bonuses hitting (a lot of the minor roster moves this year speak to skittish cap concerns).

    These are the things we’ve heard publicly from the team. They are very bad reasons.

    If you publicly justify a move with very bad reasons… it rarely means you are trying to hide something (i.e., like some breakdown in a relationship), and basically says: “I believe in what I’ve done, I believe it was a smart decision and I’m not afraid to tell you about it”

    It’s just rookie mistakes. Occam’s Razor.

  63. Space Dad says:

    art vandelay,

    art vandelay:
    Taylor Hall was recently on HNIC’s After Hours stating, “I still love Edmonton, I love playing for the Oilers, and I love playing in this city. It’s the guys in this room that are going to be the ones who turn this around, it’s not anyone else. It’s on us and we have to be up to that challenge.” This after a 6-0 shellacking by the St. Louis Blues.

    I remember when I believed everything I read or heard. Then I put away the Pokemon cards….

    Get over yourself Art. If you’ve got a legitimate point, flesh it out and keep it classy. For me, it comes right from the player’s mouth, and so it’s the most authoritative voice we have on the topic. For all we know, the Hall rumors could have been dreamed up by an embittered troll with near-Burkian delusions of superiority.

  64. mangiant says:

    Feel asleep after the 1st period – I probably shouldn’t watch the game on my phone while laying down.

    Anyway, just tried to watch the Eakins post-game, and the video stops after 2:02, but it’s supposed to be 3:40 long – is this happening for anyone else?

    Also watched the Yakupov interview. I’ve always liked the guy. Man, talk about being down on himself. It’s depressing. Lets just hope Eakins gives him a few chances to “make good” on this deal of theirs.

    Back when Eakins excused Gagner’s crappy play saying he’s a veteran, he’s earned it, he’s recovering, etc – has his play improved since?

  65. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Random CBA question:

    Can KHL prospects sign NHL ELCs (for the future) during their KHL* deals, or do they have to wait for their current deal to expire, i.e., can you negotiate your future under the rules of your current deal?

    I’m thinking mostly about the pair of Russians.

    Or any other pro league.

  66. DeadmanWaking says:

    The fact of the matter is that Yak has no-one to blame but himself when he chose to become a turn-over machine stick-handling through the pill-box nest. He was told. He was told. He was told. His agent was told. He was told. And again in Russian. We know that.

    I don’t fucking care if he’s a millennial or not.

    This was a known risk on day one. The underlying reason that Tambi replaced Renney with Krueger was A) our record stank and it looks the GM is doing something; B) Krueger has deep experience with European players, the European psychology, and how the different game affects them.

    Unlike many here, I tend to believe that merely doing something in the name of urgency can make a bad situation just as bad, twice over, for the nth time. The good decision doesn’t remember 2006. At poker, there’s a certain type of player who bids hard for a few rounds, discovers he’s bidding into a tiger, and can’t bring himself to fold–at some level he sort of knows he’s beaten–because he still thinks of the money he recently threw into the pot as his own.

    But no, the pot doesn’t remember 2006, either. There is only bid, or bid not. There’s no term in the equation for implied pot odds about who threw which dollar into the pot in the previous rounds of bidding (that factors into table image, but this is a separate calculation).

    The bottom line here is that Yakupov–one way or another–needs to grow up. He needs to think not just about the glory of the big score, but the implications of his choices for the other players on the team. It’s not just Yakupov who goes into the dressing room at the end of the first period down a goal. It’s the whole team.

    When you’re 19 years old, there’s this hottie you want to nail. You like her a lot, up to a point, without really thinking about the future. Meanwhile, she’s at that juncture in her life where she’s deciding what school to go into, and whether to pursue the career of her dreams. But then, she’s emotional. She likes you too. Maybe a bit too much. More than a sex-crazed flaneur really deserves. Her father is a bit griefed over the whole thing. She has to make her own decision. That’s a given. But she’s falling hard for your half-hearted affections. She might not make the wise decision.

    When you were nineteen years old, did you even notice the larger ripples in the social pool? I didn’t, or not much, or in a separate compartment for later, much later.

    Yakupov goes out there like he’s got a bucket of fifty balls to drive down the fairway, never mind if he slices half the bucket into the weeds. He’ll get it eventually. Meanwhile, the careers and fortunes of everyone else in the organisation teeters in the balance. That’s not a bucket of golf balls, it’s a bucket of hand grenades. He’s been told. Unfortunately, he’s still stuck in the devil-may-care weiner reflex arc of a young man brimming with unshakable glory: this next ball is sure to click.

    This is not a team after five years of a sputtering tank job replete with organisational capital to win a staring match. We were so sure that BPA would not fail. This next phenom is sure to click.

    It’s like a land trust that accepts land donations without ever receiving any contributions in cash to pay the pay the property taxes owing on all the land in trust. How is that going to work out, in the long run, after the Ponzi flush of eternal endowment?

    What we’re suffering from right now is a cash flow crisis of organizational credibility. We just kept doubling down with BPA without accruing any equity under the W.

    I’ve only come to one surprising conclusion as a result of the present season. We made a collective error last year. Everyone was predicting that we would start the season with a bang because our key guys were up to speed in the AHL. Then we sucked, and we shrugged, and we said “I guess not”.

    Wrong.

    The suck we saw was the uplift. Madge says: You’re Soaking In It.

    Now we know.

    Krueger understands organizational capital way better than Eakins ever will. I was worried about Eakins right from the get go. There’s a certain personality type that buys into fitness as the universal curative, and 90% of these people exist in a reality distortion field. This is normal in sports, because without a reality distortion field, most athletes wouldn’t have stuck with it half so long. They would have sized up the odds and outcomes long ago.

    NHL notes: Coyotes’ Brule declines demotion, likely retiring

    “It’s pretty simple,” Coyotes GM Don Maloney told the Arizona Republic. “He decided that he didn’t want to live out of a suitcase any more, was sick of living at hotels, and told me he was going to quit hockey–maybe become a firefighter.

    I suspect that coaching at the NHL level is not the ideal job for the reasonable man. So despite my misgivings about Eakins on day one, I had hope. I’ve actually grown to like him, mostly. Listen: he’s okay.

    What I don’t know about Krueger is whether he had a viable plan to grow Yakupov into a man when the angel smoke he was blowing up Yakupov’s ass would no longer carry the day. My entire Krueger file is hanging in my filing cabinet under “we’ll never know”. You can’t judge a man on one swing of a club afflicted with the Bettman shrinkage.

    I have a private name for the rut we’re presently in. I call it Suddenly, it’s not hockey cards any more. There’s more to building a team than get good hockey cards, keep good hockey cards.

    Eventually–in the ideal–once a strong organization puts down deep roots, you can look at it that way, because the organization has the reserves (and a big Dutch chocolate W) to ride out the storm.

    The one crucial player this team lacks most of all is The Fixer. This is the mid-career Messier, or Lidstrom, or CFP, or Yzerman, or Bourque, or Sundin who sucks the error right out of the room–with or without curly molars. It might be 100 psi liposuction (the famous look) or it might be a pine tree air freshener (was the man ever out of position for ten seasons?)

    If Krueger had the magic touch to turn Yakupov into a man with nothing but angel smoke, then we recently let human gold slip through our ungrateful fingers. And we would owe Tambi an apology, too (a perfunctory apology brief and to the point with no warm slap on the back).

    Mere mortals have to break some eggs to make an omelette. This is what Eakins is doing and what any other coach would have to do with our vainglorious bastard.

    The only difference is cushion. Cushion can be made of many things. A track record. A winning personality. Luck. Good fortune. Good goaltending. The mysterious OTC-Pancakes connection. Was he a good coach? No. Was he a good coach for a difficult asset? Best ever.

    I remember a critical turn in my own career, as a technologist. When you’re nineteen years old and writing software, and hardly anyone over the age of thirty has any clue where the world is going (this was true back when Gates made his fortune) you tend to start writing a program by asking yourself the question “what does the program need to do?” Then you write code that does exactly that. 99% of the time. For 99 iterations through the loop, your program does exactly the right thing. Time elapsed: 99 microseconds. On the 100th iteration the screen goes blue, turns upside down, loses video sync, makes a brief high-pitched whine that threatens to burn out the coils (this really used to happen) and then reboots right before the acrid smoke pours out. Time elapsed: 99 seconds.

    Then you realize that your clever program really needs to cut down on how often it reboots itself. Why does it reboot itself? Boundary conditions.

    Here’s the great immortal secret of writing robust code: it’s all boundary conditions. 99% of your mental energy needs to go into getting the boundary conditions right. The other 1% takes care of itself. When the program runs, the 1% becomes the 99% and the 99% (of your mental blood, sweat, and tears) becomes the 0%. That is the goal. Zero reboots.

    It’s similar in mathematics. You’re probably not going to sweat the middle of the differential equation half as badly as the boundary condition. It’s always at the boundary where either the rubber hits the road or the shit hits the fan. Take your pick (usually the later if age < 23 + incredible_hulk_epsilon).

    I've grown to almost hate the term "rebuild" or worse "the rebuild”. This phrase is a linguistic legerdemain with a silk top hat. The rabbit appears out of thin air. No boundary condition. If you want to be Detroit, you behave like Detroit.

    Maxim: Imitation is the slickest path between two points. Read that as you will.

    Today, we’re soaking in it. The center did not hold. The falcon no longer hears the falconer.

    We look at Chicago as a model, and we spread their fine collection of hockey cards across the table. Look, we say, if we have all the same cards, we’ll have all the same glory. Yet, did Chicago have a GM who dunced himself with a six-rings pronouncement? I think not. How many other boundary conditions were also different? (Including a very lucky phase of the moon?)

    The very worst thing you can do once you arrive here at our present dismal cusp is kowtow to the psychological weakness of others, to project a narrative of weakness into the minds of the people around, and navigate through collective projective fear. (Anything Hunter pulls out of his relish jar deserves a careful examination. Under high magnification. In a class five clean-room facility. While drinking happy beers.)

    Yeah, the phenoms might tune out. That is their choice. It is not for the coach to control with puppet strings or puppy strings. If it can’t be fixed, you shake hands, say goodbye, and start over. That’s how it works in marriage. That’s how it works in life. Marriage works when both sides decide to make the right choice for their own reason, entirely within themselves, and not because of grand romantic gestures or expensive toys hidden under the bed–on the lanai, in Maui.

    The situation is now officially ugly. Ugly happens. It’s happened more than once in my romantic past, and I suspect I’m not alone on that score, not by a long shot.

    If our six-million dollar men are already looking out the window to see if the grass is greener, then this pot is already toast. It’s time to fold and deal again. Poker doesn’t give a shit that you folded your last ten hands in a row. I’m sure I’ve folded thirty consecutive hands when the poker Gords were in an epic funk. And then you rattle off pocket aces, pocket kings, and a straight flush in the space of four hands, and everyone else goes all-in against you Borgian might because they just can’t believe it. Surely, you broke, after thirty folds. Surely, you’re not suddenly bidding because the Gords are smiling.

    Where does a credible organization come from?

    Winning.

    Where does winning come from?

    A credible organization.

    Boundary condition: the mass purge is an abject admission of organizational incompetence. On this note, all the best candidates will flock to be next in line.

    Of course. Because it’s possible to replace fifteen people all on the same day, so that everyone knows that all fifteen people are the real deal, before anyone dares to go first. Because everyone knows that a clean slate with zero organizational continuity is the perfect recipe for the perfect storm of perfect competence.

    Ah, yes, the clean organizational slate. The boundary condition of no condition: virginity, purity, goodness, and light. Guaranteed recipe for success: weld squeaky-clean high-achievers into a tin capsule who’ve never worked together before. They’ll get along. They always doo.

    I wonder if Bryz knows that story in Russian.

  67. Survioil says:

    Since the entire island is underneath snow and I am being forced to watch “Chimpwrecked” for the 3rd time, I am not all shiny happy today.
    That being said, this team needed some tough loving after Tambo years. Lowe is to blame for sure but you have to break them to make them. The question is did MacT pick the right coach to do it? My money is on Eakins riding out the storm and then having the right soldiers

  68. icecastles says:

    DeadmanWaking,

    I want to bathe in a pool of your words.

    Will you write a book, DMW?

    I will buy it.

    I will buy ten copies.

  69. russ99 says:

    I think the thing that irks me the most about the Eakins-followers, is that they believe that copying Boston is the only way to win, and if this group can’t hack it, we’ll dump them and get players who can.

    Turning us into a low-rate Nashville Predators, who do make the playoffs, but never can win due to lack of individual excellence, which are pruned away to boost the collective.

    There has to be a point where we can play a responsible game and yet also let players like Yakupov, Hall and Eberle do what they do best and are paid the big bucks for. It doesn’t have to be an either-or proposition, which is what MacT and Eakins are walking in lockstep towards.

  70. OilClog says:

    I watched Hobbit round 435 last night instead of the game, I can tell it was a wise move.

    What coach buries his team this much in post game comments? To single out a couple players non-stop when you can single out the whole team.. Garbage. Eakins is proving himself to be out of his element and nowhere near ready for the big leagues. You would figure at this point you would know normal basic coaching Eakins.

    Nelson in OKC would have a better grasp on this team, it’s a shame.

    It’s a shame Kruger was let go, no training camp, asked for better help, had the kids playing for the team. MacT’s biggest blunder. The advanced stats would of eventually came around, the team was way better then this Eakins version.

    Who is realistically the coach next season? Sutter? Has to be someone with experience.

    The Smid trade is worse then the Gilbert trade.. that’s ugly.

  71. Andy P says:

    Clarkenstein:
    The players “hate” the coach is what’s out there floating around right now. It’s not innuendo, rumor or speculation if it’s true. And game after game it’s looking more like it’s true.Poor ownership and management allows it to slowly rot the team from the inside out. Somebody PLEASE blow up this disaster!

    I saw the looks on the faces of the players in the pre-game shots of the dressing room last night and based on that I would say that they hate this coach to a man.

    Based on my management experience, a good problem fixes issues before they become an individual stare down (aka pissing contest) with one of their staff. Once it gets to that point a win-win no longer becomes possible.

    Hiring Eakins without due process was a rookie mistake by LT. I have supported LT all along and he has given good pressers for sure but they have started to ring hollow and I have stopped listening.

    I have no idea what the fix is. I have no idea if there even is a fix. I hope there is but probably not.

  72. icecastles says:

    OilClog: What coach buries his team this much in post game comments?

    A coach with a bad team?

    Andy P: Hiring Eakins without due process was a rookie mistake by LT. I have supported LT all along and he has given good pressers for sure but they have started to ring hollow and I have stopped listening.

    LT is an influential and respected blogger, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say he was responsible for the hiring of Eakins.

  73. cabbiesmacker says:

    icecastles: Four new head coaches in the NHL this past offseason. None of them are Sutter.

    Remember when Pat Quinn brought the World Junior team home with a gold medal? We should hire him!

    facepalm.

    I said Sutter was a viable alternative because of his his World Junior success?

    I was thinking more so because of his coaching style but hey, if you actually believe Eakins is as qualified and capable?

    Reverse facepalm.

    You’ll have to remind me of the infinite success Eakins had in his resume suggesting he was a better option.

  74. godot10 says:

    Damn. It’s getting standing room only crowded on my bus!

    So many of the people who were laughing at my bus in September, on now on it. Go figure! -).

  75. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Oil a little behind on this:

    Edmonton Oilers ✔ @EdmontonOilers
    #Oilers prospect with this jaw-dropper –> RT @TheHockeyVines Aidan Muir’s filthy goal from his knees! https://vine.co/v/h92xQHPYI6T

  76. icecastles says:

    godot10: Damn. It’s getting standing room only crowded on my bus!
    So many of the people who were laughing at my bus in September, on now on it. Go figure! -).

    Even crowded buses have unlikable jerks on them.

  77. OTO says:

    Eakins seems pretty quiet on the bench for a “leader”

    Critical points in the game are when the coach needs to hold the fort, and act anchor for the team, through motivation and showing emotion. Communicating emotion, getting the team fired up.

    I dont see Eakins doing this.

  78. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Edmonton Oilers ✔ @EdmontonOilers
    –> RT @Bob_Stauffer Phillip Larsen moved to IR to make room for Hunt call-up. Hunt has 3-12-15 in 27 GP in OKC and is +1.

    Hunt up… perhaps Larsen isn’t as ready as we thought… or MacT is just engaging the roster blender.

    How long until the 2010 forwards rotate through EDM?

  79. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Well the bloom is off the flower on Klefbom if they are re-tweeting this:

    Jack Michaels @EdmontonJack
    Brad Hunt finished in amongst top 20 scoring defencemen in AHL last year. He’s got 15 pts and is +1. Klefbom 3 pts, -10. Merit-based call-up
    Retweeted by Edmonton Oilers

  80. oliveoilers says:

    HHGTTG: So long, and thanks for all the fish!

    Don’t Panic….

  81. Nostradumbass says:

    Doesn’t the reasoning behing the Smid trade seem obvious

    It happened the same day as the Bryz signing and was hurried (he wasn’t shopped league wide)

    There were indications that the Oilers were interested in Bryz earlier but were shy on the price tag

    It was a salary dump, if MacT wanted to sign Ilya he had to move salary

    It’s why when Eakins is fired and the Oilers have to eat his 4 year contract the only obvious candidate to replace him is MacT

    My updated odds on this happening is 2-1

  82. justDOit says:

    Nostradumbass,

    When/if Eakins is axed, I want Lowe put behind the bench. “Okay guys – see these rings? Now go get em!”

  83. Spydyr says:

    “I believe Dallas Eakins is a good coach ”

    Lowetide, what has led you to believe this.Was it his AHL record?

    What I have seen with Eakins in his time here is:

    Arrogance , heavy handiness, not talking responsibility,failure to match lines or make in game adjustments,blaming players for the inadequacies of his system,bizarre lines , holding some players accountable and others not and finally talking a good game but not bringing one.

    The time has come for Mac-T to man up realize he made an mistake and replace a coach in over his head. It takes a bigger man to admit he was wrong and fix it then it does to ignore the mistake.

  84. godot10 says:

    Unfortunately, when Hall’s line gets outmatched by the opposition’s top line, then it just cascades down.Hall and Co. are not ready to consistently outmatch Thornton, etc.I don’t see how anyone could blame Eakins or his system for this type of loss.It’s nothing new over the last several years.

    The Oilers had one bad game against the Sharks last year, a regulation loss, and two SO losses with a worse roster.

    So two out of the three games with San Jose last year, the Oilers hung around till the shootout.

    That is the difference between a bad coach without a clue how to optimize an undermanned roster, and a good coach who knows how to optimize an undermanned roster.

    Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, and Eberle rarely were destroyed in their matchup last year.

    Krueger’s Oilers had one really bad stretch last year. Otherwise, there were awful, but they hung around because Krueger was able to optimize a horrible situation, and without whining or complaining or blaming anyone, like Eakins does every effing day.

    Eakins is a first class loser. Cannot handle adversity as a coach. Well, because he never faced adversity as a coach. Krueger coached Switzerland for a decade. All he knew was adversity, and still having to achieve in the face of adversity.

    A little adversity and Eakins is whining and complaining and blaming.

  85. jake70 says:

    At least Eakins says “We”…………geez, I think Quinn was still saying “They” at the airport…lol.

  86. jake70 says:

    If Eakins does get replaced, how many coaches will that be still on the payroll?? I kid, but how long will Katz go on paying coaches and “advisors” who are not even around the team?

  87. Kris11 says:

    Let’s all make “Who is most to blame” (WMB) rankings.

    Factor in how far below reasonable expectations the person’s performance is and how much that poor performance has contributed to the Win-Loss ratio and GF-GA ratio being below reasonable expectations.

    1. Dubnyk
    2. Dubnyk
    3. Gagner
    4. J. Schultz
    5. Mactavish
    6. Labarbera
    7. Yakupov
    8. N. Schultz
    9. Ference
    10. Eakins (Special teams)

    The G is horrid. A blah top 4 D on paper has underperformed. The GM failed to add more ice quieting vets. Special teams are blah and that is the coaching. Gagner was counted on to be a 1b center and looks like a 4b center. J Schultz and Yakupov aren’t producing offense.

  88. LostBoy says:

    Um, I’m really not sure that one bruising asskicking in San Jose changes everything.

    That said, I have no idea how good a technical coach Eakins is, or deep down how good a coach he could really be. But you write your own script. His record is all there is to go on. Maybe it’s not entirely his fault, maybe there was a perfect storm of misfortune in the first 20 games and if he’d just gotten a bit of a jump start it would all have been different. But…. It’s not. It’s very rare for a coach with no NHL track record to survive what’s going on.

    But this was as clear two days ago as it is today. The Oilers as things are, even if they moderate and take a step up in the second half, are going to get their faces kicked in by the San Joses of the world more than a few times between now and April.

    Boy howdy, you have to look a long way down the schedule to find the next game the Oilers reasonably “should” win. You can’t really say that about the road trip mid-month (DAL, MIN, WIN), though there are a couple of teams they could beat. The next game, as things are, where you’d say “They really should be expected to win that” is maybe NAS at home on the 26th.

    Ten games from now.

    Dunno what happens if they crater this month. Schedule is set up nicely for a face plant.

  89. Bag of Pucks says:

    DW, nice post though you did lose me with the Palmolive reference.

    When Eakins was hired, I’d speculated that the biggest risk with hiring a taskmaster coach like Eakins is that if he didn’t get some success early, his credibility is challenged and the players start to tune him out.

    You’re absolutely right, the lack of organizational capital is THE number one thing standing between the team’s current losing culture and taking that oh so difficult step up the ladder to being a competitive team.

    How can the core unequivocally buy into what the coaches and management are telling them, when everything in their surrounding stimuli from the results on the ice to the whispers in the coffee shop say otherwise? Ultimately, it’s these crucible moments that define whether you’re building a team or a collection of finger pointing individuals. Right now unfortunately, I still see evidence of the latter culture. When’s the first/last time you heard Petry or Dubnyk or Yakupov or Gagner step up and say, ‘that giveaway was one me. I cost the team a valuable two points and “I” need to be better?’

    It doesn’t happen, because many of the players on this team have systemically flawed thought processes when it comes to personal accountability. They make mistakes, they lose, they don’t give a full effort on the ‘work’ and ‘sacrifice for the team’ elements of their game but the org rarely calls them out publicly and continues to hand out the big contracts despite ALL the losing.

    We knew going in this season was going to shape up as the ultimate power struggle between players and coach. The fact that it’s taking longer than expected should not be a condemnation of the coach, but rather further proof that these players (many of whom have been here through the bulk of the losing) are the ones who just don’t get it.

    Eakin’s critics are painting him as an ego-maniacal tyrant who’s antagonized the players and lost the room. I find it hard to rationalize that speculation with the behaviour I see behind the bench. The guy is the veritable poster child for self restraint. He rarely loses his temper and he is firmly committed to patience, teaching and not embarrassing his players.

    As disappointing as this season has been, we are finally starting to see a team progress towards system play and away from the dzone fire drill that has epitomized this team for far too long. From my eye, RNH and Taylor Hall have bought in as have many of the vets. Hemsky looks better than I’ve seen him in a long time. But the reality of this commitment to system play is it will ultimately reveal those players that are simply incapable of playing hockey at that level. Smid was the first to go and I suspect Dubnyk will be next. Petry is not trending well, nor is J Schultz or N Yakupov. RNH and Eberle are finding their way but the transition has been up and down.

    Does Eakins have the ‘organizational capital’ to get all these horses pulling in the same direction? Well, he does have a four year contract. Let’s hope MacT stays committed to it, because some of these players are proving to be stubborn.

    Let the beatings continue until the morale improves : )

  90. M Parkatti says:

    Nice piece LT. I gotta say, that Eakins quote really does worry me. Trying to pin a loss which was most definitely a comprehensive personnel/strategic/tactical overmatch on Yakupov is unbelievable and probably very frustrating for the player. Yak was probably our best player last night, and that goal has multiple culprits, including a poorly-executed breakout pass. You bench a player to salt him with a bit of reality and hope he gives you a good performance. Yakupov did that.

    There is just so much wrong outside of Yakupov duffing one breakout play. That kind of talk really does strike me as ill-conceived at best and punitive at worst.

  91. Kris11 says:

    The good news is that in many cases it is reasonable to expect the 10 WMB’s to improve.

    IMO, Eakins can coach fine. Give him time. Yak and J Schultz are still nearly rookies. Gagner has played better in the past.

  92. admiralmark says:

    Krueger > Eakins. Clearly.

  93. godot10 says:

    Ben:
    Well, this is it.The Oilers have finally hit rock bottom.

    But what do good, blue-collar oilers do when they hit a little rock? The keep right on drillin’.

    This isn’t rock bottom. There is a really tough pre-Olympic schedule, and then tons of home games for a likely “30th place” team after the Olympics.

    The Oiler and the fans need a catharsis. Lowe should coach the rest of the season. The “leader” should lead in the darkest hour. It would actually be good for Lowe too.

  94. hags9k says:

    LT, very solid post. You said yesterday that you thought it is ridiculous to think about firing the coach. And I agree. But it is also completely ridiculous not to! We are in a real pickle. For me it was the 5-0 game vs Detroit early on where I said, they are not buying what he’s selling. He doesn’t have the room.

    You can be the greatest tactical mind in the game’s history but if you don’t have the room, you got nuthin. The results are what they are, we are here, time to circle the wagons and make the right decisions. I’d like Katz to clean house, failing that I’d like macT to clean slate the coaching staff.

    The question is are we more embarrassed and ashamed to change to our 6th coach in 7 years or to keep going down this road? I hate making U turns but this doesn’t look like the right way. We are lost.

  95. sliderule says:

    Eakins has lost the team

    He tried to hide behind beating on Yakupov but that has got old so he will have to go back to team not knowing fundamentals or some other excuse .

    A couple more losses like last night and it will get so ugly that Mact will have to act.

    It’s sad because a lot of what I think he was trying to do with defensive coverage and back pressure are things that needed to be done.It should have been done in practice and behind closed doors.
    Unfortunately that’s not Eakins style and he went to the public calling out that he did with Kadri that the Toronto media loved so much that it is partly the reason he got this job even though he was not the most qualified.
    When they hired him I was hoping he would come up with more innovative breakouts that would take advantage of team speed.I even saw that for about 10 minutes of the Coyotes game were the used stretch passes to either just get a stick on it to gain the zone.The Coyotes seemed befuddled as they were not expecting it.As soon as we got a 2 goal lead the oil went back to moving it up the wall which Coyotes were happy to deal with as they could keep their dump game going without worrying about getting three forwards trapped in offensive zone.

    The team has been broken Eakins inexperience and arrogant management style..I see no way they can put it back together.

  96. Lois Lowe says:

    I wonder if TSN has an algorithm that places adjectives in front of the word ‘Oilers’ in their headlines. Struggling seems to be common, woeful is a good one too, putrid, ghastly, and junior-level all come to mind as well.

  97. justDOit says:

    Lois Lowe:
    I wonder if TSN has an algorithm that places adjectives in front of the word ‘Oilers’ in their headlines. Struggling seems to be common, woeful is a good one too, putrid, ghastly, and junior-level all come to mind as well.

    Disheartened

    Disillusioned

    Disappointed

    All they need is a heart-wrenching speech from Espo!

  98. godot10 says:

    In fact, Taylor Hall was recently on HNIC’s After Hours stating, “I still love Edmonton, I love playing for the Oilers, and I love playing in this city. It’s the guys in this room that are going to be the ones who turn this around, it’s not anyone else. It’s on us and we have to be up to that challenge.” This after a 6-0 shellacking by the St. Louis Blues.

    Pro sports agents are also into image and brand management, and certainly will use PR consultants to prep their clients how to handle and respond in the media.

    Publically, we are never going to know whether Taylor Hall is happy or unhappy. He’s not getting his PR advice from CrashDavis/RyanSmyth. He is getting it from professional publicists.

  99. Woodguy says:

    I think we all need to watch this again:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-KAoQ6mgNk&feature=youtu.be

    Stick tap to Dennis for posting a link.

    Love how Lowe wasn’t asked any question, but jumped right in.

  100. oliveoilers says:

    “We were playing fine until the second goal. It was laid on a platter along the wall. Big problem.” Coach Eakins

    What effin’ game was he even watching? The one in his head? Apart from a couple of chances early, we were lucky to not already BE two goals down.

  101. Woodguy says:

    admiralmark:
    Krueger > Eakins. Clearly.

    I don’t see what’s so clear about it.

    I looked at Shot attempt differential over the last 3 seasons here:

    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2013/12/my-kingdom-for-a-power-play.html/comment-page-1#comment-281774

    Key point:

    HomeFen%
    11/12 50.0% – 17th in NHL (Renney)
    12/13 46.8% – 27th in NHL (Krueger)
    13/14 50.9% – 17th in NHL (Eakins)
    RoadFen%
    11/12 45.5% – 28th in NHL
    12/13 43.3% – 29th in NHL
    13/14 43.0% – 28th in NHL

    If you look at the shot attempts on the powerplay and shots against on the PK, it shows basically the same thing.

    For everything Krueger was, a good NHL hockey coach for this team was not among them.

  102. flyfish1168 says:

    admiralmark:
    Krueger > Eakins. Clearly.

    Unfortunately its to late. Unless your billy martin and George steinbenier

  103. tubes says:

    Does everyone come here only to whine now?

    It’s not the damn coach. You could put Scotty Bowman here and he couldn’t win with our team in the Western Conference. Our forwards get pushed off the puck and can barely cycle against average sized teams, let alone the California beasts. The mix of players will not win regardless of who is coaching. A new coach isn’t going to improve things long term. Getting rid of Eakins just doesn’t make sense.

    We obviously can not get all our first round draft picks to play good defense and make good decisions with the puck. They all have warts and are making huge amounts of money. The only way this changes is when they shock the shit out of this team and trade one or more of Eberle/Hall/Yakupov/JSchultz/Gagner.

    The forwards can’t compete in the West, the defense is 2 short of a top 3 and the goaltending has been sub-par even if they have been hung out to dry since the season began.

  104. Woodguy says:

    oliveoilers:
    “We were playing fine until the second goal.It was laid on a platter along the wall.Big problem.”Coach Eakins

    What effin’ game was he even watching?The one in his head?Apart from a couple of chances early, we were lucky to not already BE two goals down.

    I wanted to punch him in the face when I watched that this morning.

    Oilers were outshot by about 10 at the point of the 2nd goal.

    Marleau was about 5 feet inside the blue line when he shot that, so about a 60ft shot.

    Its all Yak’s fault eh?

    What an asshole.

  105. Ben says:

    Is it odd that the Edmonton Oilers has only ever hired rookie General Managers (though I’m not sure about Larry Gordon)?

    Is it odd that last year our team president fired a rookie GM to hire a rookie GM, who fired a rookie coach to hire a rookie coach?

    Is it odd that so many of the Oilers’ high-end rookies have had so little quality veteran support in their development as pro players?

    What the fuck does this organization have against experience?

  106. Woodguy says:

    M Parkatti:
    Nice piece LT. I gotta say, that Eakins quote really does worry me. Trying to pin a loss which was most definitely a comprehensive personnel/strategic/tactical overmatch on Yakupov is unbelievable and probably very frustrating for the player.Yak was probably our best player last night, and that goal has multiple culprits, including a poorly-executed breakout pass.You bench a player to salt him with a bit of reality and hope he gives you a good performance.Yakupov did that.

    There is just so much wrong outside of Yakupov duffing one breakout play.That kind of talk really does strike me as ill-conceived at best and punitive at worst.

    Small minded and vindictive come up as well.

  107. oliveoilers says:

    tubes,

    Lol, are you whining about us whining? As long as people are whining, things are fine, there’s still passion for the team. When there’s deathly silence…….

    “Their besht? Looshers alwaysh whine about their besht. Winners get to go home and fuck the prom queen.” (Sean Connery accent!)

  108. Woodguy says:

    Ben:
    Is it odd that the Edmonton Oilers has only ever hired rookie General Managers (though I’m not sure about Larry Gordon)?

    Is it odd that last year our team president fired a rookie GM to hire a rookie GM, who fired a rookie coach to hire a rookie coach?

    Is it odd that so many of the Oilers’ high-end rookies have had so little quality veteran support in their development as pro players?

    What the fuck does this organization have against experience?

    That’s hilarious.

    Too many rookies in all positions has been this team’s downfall since 2006.

    Whether its player, coach, or management, everyone is promoted to a level about their established NHL proficiency.

    I’m sure that every time that that Lowe watches a rookie fail he tugs at one of his rings and says softly to himself “It wasn’t this way with Wanye and Mess”

  109. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    I’m not sure a scorched earth approach to change is necessary.

    As I mentioned before a couple of times, start with Kevin Lowe. Remove the head of the business with the explicit intent to implement a ‘culture change’. His record to date justifies the dismissal. This should be the only move Katz should make. Bring in an outsider with a fresh perspective and give the man the rope to do what he feels is necessary (that would be KAtz’s MO anyway). I think a person like Brendan Shanahan is an intriguing name. From there, that new President should do exactly what Brian Burke has done in Calgary. Take some time and assess the organization. The last half of this season is a perfect time. Deliver a report to the owner which has a game plan for moving forward. It might include MacT and Eakins, it might not. But any changes NEED to be done shortly after the season and ahead of the draft. Do not be afraid to make the change and yesterday is history so don’t be bogged down by it. The basic ingredients are there and they are ample (enviable even) – we have a very skilled nucleus, tradedable assets, a new arena coming and the most rabid fans in the game. So much to work with. It simply needs a new blueprint that has been developed with a fresh perspective. Its sports for pete’s sake….not medical science.

  110. Lois Lowe says:

    Barbara Anne Scott and Tom Renney weren’t rookies.

  111. Numenius says:

    Woodguy: I wanted to punch him in the face when I watched that this morning.

    Oilers were outshot by about 10 at the point of the 2nd goal.

    Marleau was about 5 feet inside the blue line when he shot that, so about a 60ft shot.

    Its all Yak’s fault eh?

    What an asshole.

    Yes, this.

  112. oliveoilers says:

    Woodguy,

    Aye, 60′ through a two player screen. Routine save all the way. Damn Yak and his sideburns.

  113. godot10 says:

    Woodguy: I don’t see what’s so clear about it.

    I looked at Shot attempt differential over the last 3 seasons here:

    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2013/12/my-kingdom-for-a-power-play.html/comment-page-1#comment-281774

    Key point:

    HomeFen%
    11/12 50.0% – 17th in NHL (Renney)
    12/13 46.8% – 27th in NHL (Krueger)
    13/14 50.9% – 17th in NHL (Eakins)
    RoadFen%
    11/12 45.5% – 28th in NHL
    12/13 43.3% – 29th in NHL
    13/14 43.0% – 28th in NHL

    If you look at the shot attempts on the powerplay and shots against on the PK, it shows basically the same thing.

    For everything Krueger was, a good NHL hockey coach for this team was not among them.

    Take all those easy eastern conference games out of Renney’s and Eakins’ stats. Krueger had a Western Conference schedule only, and a Western Conference with Detroit, and not Winnipeg.

  114. bookje says:

    Woodguy: I wanted to punch him in the face when I watched that this morning.

    Oilers were outshot by about 10 at the point of the 2nd goal.

    Marleau was about 5 feet inside the blue line when he shot that, so about a 60ft shot.

    Its all Yak’s fault eh?

    What an asshole.

    One thing that drove me absolutely crazy in the last few years of MacT as coach was the emphasis on ‘mistakes’. It’s all he talked about. “We were in it until the third period and then we make a couple of bad mistakes and it cost us” blah blah blah. The players were so afraid to make ‘mistakes’ that they were terrified to play. I think its the territory that coaches retreat to when their plans and systems are not working. Perhaps we are in the same territory with Eakins.

  115. Oilanderp says:

    I am convinced (as much as one who isn’t in the locker room could be) that there is something wrong in that dressing room. It might be cliques, it might be a sense of entitlement, it might just be the psychological defeat by all the losing.

    Either way, I am convinced that it is deeper than coaching, or at least the problem is more than just coaching.

    When Anton Lander gets run from behind 1′ from the boards in a 5-1 game and NOONE does anything but turn around and skate to the bench…. that is a disturbing indictment of the dressing room dynamic.

    Not even a half-hearted scrum. Nothing. Something is horribly wrong there.

    If I was MacT, I would decide who I trust inside that locker room. I’d get a group of 3 or so guys I trust and who I know are warriors and are willing to do whatever it takes for their team. Then I would use them as advisors as to who in that locker room is there just to collect a paycheck. Who isn’t buying in?

    Then I start the difficult process of removing them from that locker room. NOONE would be untouchable. NO ONE.

    Until you learn how to fold, you’ll never learn how to reliably win.

  116. Andy P says:

    Ben: Is it odd that the Edmonton Oilers has only ever hired rookie General Managers (though I’m not sure about Larry Gordon)?Is it odd that last year our team president fired a rookie GM to hire a rookie GM, who fired a rookie coach to hire a rookie coach?Is it odd that so many of the Oilers’ high-end rookies have had so little quality veteran support in their development as pro players?What the fuck does this organization have against experience?

    I wonder how many capable, experienced coaches were prepared to come coach here?

  117. bookje says:

    Woodguy:

    For everything Krueger was, a good NHL hockey coach for this team was not among them.

    I would say that we don’t know what he could have been. It was a weird season as others have noted. Also, he made the point when he left that he made the error of trying to do everything himself because Bucky and Smith didn’t have prior experience as assistant coaches and were not that effective at video work, etc. with the players. My suspicion is that in his previous stints as a head coach, he had some strong technical guys who would outline the X’s and O’s for him and then his role was to get the players to buy into things – and that is where he succeeded.

    With that said, I don’t know, however if I could go back in time after what we are seeing happen this year, I would unfire him and find out.

  118. icecastles says:

    “We were playing fine until the second goal. It was laid on a platter along the wall. Big problem.” Coach Eakins
    What effin’ game was he even watching?

    How is it that the same people who criticize Eakins for throwing his players under the bus can just as easily criticize him for shielding them and trying to give them some credit?

    The “damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t” narrative has officially his witch hunt levels.

  119. Ryan says:

    Wanted to post this, in part because I like the link text:

    http://www.coppernblue.com/2014/1/3/5270070/oilers-suck-fire-lowe-mactavish-eakins-fire-them-all-just-to-be-safe

    Yeah, Eakins comments pinning this on Yakupov are just wrong on so many levels…

  120. FastOil says:

    Eakins public talk about players is classic Oilers. To me it is sad that young Hall has more decorum and class than his coach.Even more sophistication.

    As a fan I find it frustrating to constantly revisite the same issues. Gagner has been this always. He stopped developing months into his NHL career. Yet he still submarines the team and some still aren’t sure.
    The team childishly badmouthss players and clearly doesn’t know who to acquire to improve.

    Another old saying is don’t talk about business until its done. Eakins needs to stop talking so much and quiet the airspace for the players – they need room to breath. MacT as well. Boring staple quotes, maybe that’s why the better team do that.

    Its time to drop the pride and hubris and look at those who succeed and copy them
    Some call it role model, some instinctively do it because they would rather win than reinvent the wheel to suit their own interests before the teams.

    It isn’t that complicated IMO. To make a good team should be possible in the short term at this point. . To win the Cup should be the only uncertain outcome. What complicates things is usually personalities in control that are off the mark.

  121. bookje says:

    I see Woodguy’s anger, LT’s disappointment and my own erratic back and forth on Eakins.

    I think the problem is that Eakins has the right diagnosis and plan regarding systems play and discipline (which we buy into), however, he is not a good enough coach to put it into place because he doesn’t know how to get his players to ‘buy in’.

    After watching his comments, I think the he has checked out. He has given up. He simply doesn’t know what to do anymore.

  122. OilClog says:

    Woodguy: I don’t see what’s so clear about it.

    I looked at Shot attempt differential over the last 3 seasons here:

    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2013/12/my-kingdom-for-a-power-play.html/comment-page-1#comment-281774

    Key point:

    HomeFen%
    11/12 50.0% – 17th in NHL (Renney)
    12/13 46.8% – 27th in NHL (Krueger)
    13/14 50.9% – 17th in NHL (Eakins)
    RoadFen%
    11/12 45.5% – 28th in NHL
    12/13 43.3% – 29th in NHL
    13/14 43.0% – 28th in NHL

    If you look at the shot attempts on the powerplay and shots against on the PK, it shows basically the same thing.

    For everything Krueger was, a good NHL hockey coach for this team was not among them.

    That fine and dandy, yet 1/3 of these coaches didn’t play any eastern opponents, nor did he have a training camp.

    At the deadline this horrible coach had the team in the playoffs.. That season that takes place that we have no idea about anymore.. Yea.. Those very same playoffs.

    Eakins has set this team back another 3 years.

  123. bookje says:

    I feel sorry for Bryzgalov because tonight he might see 60 shots. I think the team has given up on the coach.

  124. icecastles says:

    OilClog: Eakins has set this team back another 3 years.

    Not sure it’s even physically possible for a coach to do that.

    A nightmarishly bad GM, maybe. Not a coach.

  125. Ryan says:

    I’ve been one in the quiet minority who’s though Eakins has been part of the problem all season…

    I remember the first game of the year (the only one I went to) and Eakins kept throwing the Marlies over the board during a tie game for offensive zone faceoffs.

    Sure it’s a great way to shelter an AHL line, but it’s also a good way to waste a scoring opportunity.

    Wasn’t impressed with that strategy and haven’t seen much to impress me since then.

    Whether or not he’s part of the problem, he’s certainly not looking like part of the solution.

  126. bookje says:

    icecastles:

    The “damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t” narrative has officially his witch hunt levels.

    I’m not sure about that. I am pretty sure that if his teams played a bit more like an NHL team, people would be less critical.

  127. hunter1909 says:

    bookje: One thing that drove me absolutely crazy in the last few years of MacT as coach was the emphasis on ‘mistakes’. It’s all he talked about. “We were in it until the third period and then we make a couple of bad mistakes and it cost us” blah blah blah. The players were so afraid to make ‘mistakes’ that they were terrified to play. I think its the territory that coaches retreat to when their plans and systems are not working. Perhaps we are in the same territory with Eakins.

    MacT specifically bet the house on this season’s coaching change based on the fact that “Chickenhawk” was just like him, and so, yes, you’re probably 100% correct.

    This is what it is…a scared to death bunch of young players each individually feeling singled out by the chinless wonder that is Dallas Eakins.

    This alleged hockey stopped being interesting about 7 games ago. From here on in, the only thing worth watching is Dallas Eakins’ soon to be upcoming final showdown/meltdown and sacking.

    I’m weird. I think 20 NHL players often know more than 1 bombastic, arrogant, and clearly incompetent rookie head coach.

    Only a team as ridiculous as the oilers could even consider replacing an entire team to suit the requirements of a head coach.

  128. OilClog says:

    bookje:
    I see Woodguy’s anger, LT’s disappointment and my own erratic back and forth on Eakins.

    I think the problem is that Eakins has the right diagnosis and plan regarding systems play and discipline (which we buy into), however, he is not a good enough coach to put it into place because he doesn’t know how to get his players to ‘buy in’.

    After watching his comments, I think the he has checked out.He has given up.He simply doesn’t know what to do anymore.

    Eakins figures publically flogging his talent is how to motivate. When is he going to clue in, you’re dealing with men. Stop F’n embarrassing them with your mouth coach!

  129. OilClog says:

    icecastles: Not sure it’s even physically possible for a coach to do that.

    A nightmarishly bad GM, maybe. Not a coach.

    We lost Smid, we’ve lost Yakupov. We’re about to lose Hall.

    Ok 15yrs, my bad. 3 was way to optimistic.

  130. VanOil says:

    Woodguy,

    I can’t even watch the whole clip. As soon a as Kevin starts “There is one other…” red go my cheeks and click goes the mouse. I can’t do it, rage over comes me.

    As for a team reset for this season. The Olympic break looms large. I have only seen limited short term affects from bringing in motivational speakers in such situations. Like say Messier coming in for a 3 day clinic. But if combined with real change maybe some building toward next year can happen. Right now we are poisoning the well for next year and destroying careers.

    How about a Messier Clinic, followed by Bucky and Smith sailing on. Esa Tikkanen brought in to run a finishing school turning young men into hairy arsed assassins and defensive guru that garners respect. I don’t know who that is, maybe Frank Musil after his Olympic duty with the Czechs.

    What ever the nature of the reset it, needs to happen. It need not be a big trade as making those out of desperation is unwise. As the Smid for magic beans trade clearly was. Bucky and Smith leaving would change the day to day lives of the players.

    Resets can happen and can work but they need top to bottom organizational commitment, a clear plan and real change. The GM needs it, the head Coach needs it, the Players need it and the fans desperately need it.

  131. icecastles says:

    OilClog: We lost Smid, we’ve lost Yakupov. We’re about to lose Hall.

    Eakins didn’t trade Smid.

    Granted, the Yakupov treatment has been a big problem and it doesn’t seem to be working. Though it’s incredibly early and somewhat naive to say he’s “lost”. And I’m not convinced other coaches wouldn’t have tried similar things to get him playing the right way. 100% offense guys simply don’t survive in the NHL. See Omark, Shremp, etc. They have more at stake with Yak, so they are trying harder to turn him into a responsible player. It’s not working, but I don’t fault them for trying. And for being increasingly frustrated at his unwillingness/inability to learn the requisite lessons.

    The notion of being “about to lose Hall” is pure speculation.

    I would be more inclined to put value in the criticisms of Eakins if they were (a) consistent, and (b) not couched in the type of extreme rhetoric that suggests passion and frustration, rather than reason and careful analysis, are ruling the day.

    Eakins is a rookie coach and is making some big blunders. And the team is terrible. I don’t pretend otherwise. If the right coach were to shake lose, I would agree to an upgrade. Replacing Eakins for knee-jerk reasons doesn’t seem rational to me, and seems to ignore issues that go back much further than he.

  132. jbfuzz says:

    I’m probably in the minority but I feel like the main error (outside of the Tambo pro personnel and drafting) came a few years back when Tambellini scapegoated Tom Renney but inexplicably promoted his main assistant and retained the remainder of his staff (as an aside, in what fucking world does this chain reaction of actions make sense?).

    I feel that an experienced, measured hand is the way to go with a rebuilding team and that keeping Renney for the lockout year would have allowed upper management to more accurately assess the progress of the team/players. Pretty hard to gauge player development when they have to adapt to a new system every 6 months. Now, it would appear they’re stuck with Eakins even though he seems hopelessly overmatched and is losing the room.

  133. gogliano says:

    If Eakins is sacked, having MacT come in as coach post-trade deadline might be a decent path to take.

    Take out the HC, see things from the inside for 20 games or so, make the necessary moves (fire rest of staff? problem players? etc.) during the offseason.

    We’ve had too many head coaches already but if Eakins isn’t a long term solution there is no sense clutching to him either.

  134. matt says:

    Firing Eakins, whatever his warts are, will exacerbate the problem. The Oilers organization has to find a way to both stick with Eakins and support the players as it does so. They need discipline. They need to acquire good habits.

    Bag of Pucks nails it:

    Bag of Pucks: Talent alone does not get it done. A team has to be defensively sound and committed to system play. Hence why we get beaten by the workmanlike Phoenix Coyotes every single effing time we play them. Put these players back to square one with a new system now and this merry go round starts all over again.
    The worst part of this season is watching solid pros like Gordon and Ference come in and get absolutely beaten down and demoralized by the rampant chaos that is the Edmonton Oilers so called ‘system’ For me, players like Gordon, Ference and Perron are the biggest tells here on the whole ‘is our coach bad or are players bad?’ debate. Why? Because they’re not the ones typically making the egregious mistakes. They know better because they’ve played on teams with solid systems where bad habits are consistently excised.
    Rather it’s the players who’ve come up through this broke ass development paradigm “Petry, Schultz, Smid, Dubnyk, Gagner, Eberle, Hemsky, Yakupov,” etc who consistently make the turnovers or fail to mark their man. Bad habits. Because Oilers.
    And the worst bad habit of all? Firing the coach every year.

    Another thing MacT can do is start getting rid of spare parts. There is no risk in doing so now. That means Gagner, Jones, Lander, Acton, N. Schultz, Potter, Larsen, Hunt. Prepare to overpay on marquis players during the summer. Let it be known you will overpay. A Pronger in the room would go a long way.

  135. WeirsBeard says:

    I will reiterate, ownership has to reexamine what they want out of the Edmonton Oilers.

    Oh wait, maybe they already have…

  136. godot10 says:

    VanOil:
    Woodguy,

    As for a team reset for this season. The Olympic break looms large. I have only seen limited short term affects from bringing in motivational speakers in such situations. Like say Messier coming in for a 3 day clinic. But if combined with real change maybe some building toward next year can happen. Right now we are poisoning the well for next year and destroying careers.

    How about a Messier Clinic, followed by Bucky and Smith sailing on. Esa Tikkanen brought in to run a finishing school turning young men into hairy arsed assassins and defensive guru that garners respect. I don’t know who that is, maybe Frank Musil after his Olympic duty with the Czechs.

    What ever the nature of the reset it, needs to happen. It need not be a big trade as making those out of desperation is unwise. As the Smid for magic beans trade clearly was. Bucky and Smith leaving would change the day to day lives of the players.

    Resets can happen and can work but they need top to bottom organizational commitment, a clear plan and real change. The GM needs it, the head Coach needs it, the Players need it and the fans desperately need it.

    I think the Olympic Break is an Olympic Break. i.e. official NHL days off, like the Christmas Break, or certain teams would gain an advantage over other teams. So I doubt official meetings or practices are allowed, and unofficial ones would be highly frowned upon from the NHL and NHLPA offices in New York and Toronto.

  137. godot10 says:

    gogliano:
    If Eakins is sacked, having MacT come in as coach post-trade deadline might be a decent path to take.

    Take out the HC, see things from the inside for 20 games or so, make the necessary moves (fire rest of staff?problem players? etc.) during the offseason.

    We’ve had too many head coaches already but if Eakins isn’t a long term solution there is no sense clutching to him either.

    MacT has to be scouting the juniors, not coaching. Lowe should coach. Lowe is the best option for an interim coach. Bring Messier in as his assistant. It would keep the fans in the seats for the rest of the year. There would be passion behind the bench instead of the comatose corpse we currently have.

  138. FastOil says:

    Asking Eakins to use existing coaches was more folly. The special teams are the assistants no? Gifting jobs that directly affect the ice is stupid – even the Habs don’t do that.

    Build a new tower and lots of posh offices for whoever Katz wants to look out for. Let them glad hand and do community work which is still valuable. But this team will lead the categories of futility until someone makes moves to effect organizational class, maturity and actual accountability. Competitiveness is so close it is wildly frustrating. It isn’t players as much as org personalities now it seems.

  139. Woodguy says:

    godot10: Take all those easy eastern conference games out of Renney’s and Eakins’ stats.Krueger had a Western Conference schedule only, and a Western Conference with Detroit, and not Winnipeg.

    I”l revisit that when I have a minute.

    Its worse when you look at Western only this year, but not as bad as Krueger.

  140. Woodguy says:

    OilClog,

    At the deadline this horrible coach had the team in the playoffs.

    At no time were the Oilers actually in a playoff position if you looked at pts/gm

    Because the amount of games played the Oilers played their point total was 8th for a day, but the pts/gm weren’t.

    Point total only matters once everyone has played the full schedule, until then pts/gm gives you a truer picture of the playoff rankings.

    I’m not saying its good this year, far from it.

    I’m saying this wistful remembering of Krueger is wistful bullshit.

    This team was bad last year too.

    Also,

    DMW is wrong.

    It is about lining up all the hockey cards and see who has the best ones.

    This team has been bereft of Actual NHL players for so long that its easy to forget that.

    Almost every Hall of Fame coach has said the same thing one time or another:

    “The best coach is the one who gets off the bus with the best team”

    Its been since 2006 that the Oilers have even come close to getting off the bus with the best team.

  141. OilClog says:

    Woodguy:
    OilClog,

    At the deadline this horrible coach had the team in the playoffs.

    At no time were the Oilers actually in a playoff position if you looked at pts/gm

    Because the amount of games played the Oilers played their point total was 8th for a day, but the pts/gm weren’t.

    Point total only matters once everyone has played the full schedule, until then pts/gm gives you a truer picture of the playoff rankings.

    I’m not saying its good this year, far from it.

    I’m saying this wistful remembering of Krueger is wistful bullshit.

    This team was bad last year too.

    DMW is wrong.

    It is line up all the hockey cards and see who has the best ones.

    This team has been bereft of Actual NHL players for so long that its easy to forget that.

    Almost every Hall of Fame coach has said the same thing one time or another:

    “The best coach is the one who gets off the bus with the best team”

    Its been since 2006 that the Oilers have even come close to getting off the bus with the best team.

    Where they were then.. And where they are now..

    Kruger had his worts, but this is currently on Quinn levels of bad coaching.

    Kruger is the better coach.

    Eakins was Toronto Media.

  142. OilClog says:

    icecastles: Eakins didn’t trade Smid.

    Granted, the Yakupov treatment has been a big problem and it doesn’t seem to be working. Though it’s incredibly early and somewhat naive to say he’s “lost”. And I’m not convinced other coaches wouldn’t have tried similar things to get him playing the right way. 100% offense guys simply don’t survive in the NHL. See Omark, Shremp, etc. They have more at stake with Yak, so they are trying harder to turn him into a responsible player. It’s not working, but I don’t fault them for trying. And for being increasingly frustrated at his unwillingness/inability to learn the requisite lessons.

    The notion of being “about to lose Hall” is pure speculation.

    I would be more inclined to put value in the criticisms of Eakins if they were (a) consistent, and (b) not couched in the type of extreme rhetoric that suggests passion and frustration, rather than reason and careful analysis, are ruling the day.

    Eakins is a rookie coach and is making some big blunders. And the team is terrible. I don’t pretend otherwise. If the right coach were to shake lose, I would agree to an upgrade. Replacing Eakins for knee-jerk reasons doesn’t seem rational to me, and seems to ignore issues that go back much further than he.

    Eakins was the reason Smid is gone. It’s there for everyone to see.

    Yak led the team on goals scored last season!! Now he’s being ran out of town, by the coach.

    Hall, well read between the lines. He’s not going to keep doing this, he’s bang on with his assessments. If the team doesn’t buy into Eakins. It’s because Hall isn’t.

  143. Bag of Pucks says:

    Woodguy:
    OilClog,

    At the deadline this horrible coach had the team in the playoffs.

    Also,

    DMW is wrong.

    It is about lining up all the hockey cards and see who has the best ones.

    This team has been bereft of Actual NHL players for so long that its easy to forget that.

    Almost every Hall of Fame coach has said the same thing one time or another:

    “The best coach is the one who gets off the bus with the best team”

    Its been since 2006 that the Oilers have even come close to getting off the bus with the best team.

    I think this takes DW’s comments out of context. He’s not saying talent assemblage is not a critical factor, he’s saying it’s not the only factor. Coaching, teamwork, staying healthy, etc. Numerous factors influence the final result.

    In professional hockey, it’s actually a rarity when the ‘best team on paper’ wins the championship, as evidenced by the fact that the fashionable pre-season pick rarely takes home the silver.

  144. OilBuzz says:

    shhhh everyone just calm down… We’ll go 32-5-2 and make the playoffs this season.

  145. Bag of Pucks says:

    OilClog: Where they were then.. And where they are now..

    Kruger had his worts, but this is currently on Quinn levels of bad coaching.

    Kruger is the better coach.

    Eakins was Toronto Media.

    Tough to take this assessment seriously when you can’t spell Krueger or warts.

  146. Woodguy says:

    OilClog: Where they were then.. And where they are now..

    Kruger had his worts, but this is currently on Quinn levels of bad coaching.

    Kruger is the better coach.

    Eakins was Toronto Media.

    Yes.

    I am full of Eastern bias.

  147. Woodguy says:

    Bag of Pucks: I think this takes DW’s comments out of context. He’s not saying talent assemblage is not a critical factor, he’s saying it’s not the only factor. Coaching, teamwork, staying healthy, etc. Numerous factors influence the final result.

    In professional hockey, it’s actually a rarity when the ‘best team on paper’ wins the championship, as evidenced by the fact that the fashionable pre-season pick rarely takes home the silver.

    Sure, that’s because of a ton of factors, most of which is luck.

    What does happen (usually) is the best teams on paper are the ones fighting for the silver.

    Which one is “the best” is usually debatable.

    I read today that “Sports is basically a fun random number generator to watch”

    I think a big part of that is true if you have close to equal talent levels.

    Oilers haven’t been close to equal in talent since 2006 and are only edging closer.

    The holes are at pretty important positions.

  148. sliderule says:

    Oilanderp,

    What happens if no one is buying n.

    That’s why coaches get fired.

    You can’t fire a whole team.

    From the military jacket ,swarm,to the victimizing a player in public Eakins is an idiot.

  149. bookje says:

    Woodguy: Yes.

    I am full of Eastern bias.

    I’ve noticed that about you. You call yourself woodguy, but probably haven’t sold a single boardfoot of Alberta hardwood this year!!!

  150. Woodguy says:

    bookje: I’ve noticed that about you.You call yourself woodguy, but probably haven’t sold a single boardfoot of Alberta hardwood this year!!!

    This 100% correct.

  151. hunter1909 says:

    sliderule: From the military jacket

    I have to confess I only just read about this one.

    No wonder they’re losing games. None of them wants to wear some soldier’s old jacket.

    “Congrats for being the best oiler tonight. Now, go put on that army jacket and look like an oversized 10 year old playing at grandmas.”

  152. Caramel Obvious says:

    You people have gone off the rails. This thread is one giant bitch fest. One useless, trolling, post after another.

    Simple minded fans blame the coach because they can’t think of anything else to say. It’s the same mindset that blames Hemsky for not shooting enough. This site should be better than that.

    When you return to your senses go take a look at Tampa’s roster and count the number of players 23 years old and younger who were acquired after the first round and are playing well. Then look at the Oilers roster.

    Then think on it a while. When you are done thinking you will realize that this team is screwed because it doesn’t have enough NHL talent. And it doesn’t have enough NHL talent because for five years they didn’t’ add any. It’s that simple.

    This is not a talented team underperforming because of the coach. This is a team with average high end talent, AHL defense, and no depth. It is going to take years to dig out of this mess.

    With that said I propose on moratorium on threads discussing Eakins. It brings out the worst in the comments and doesn’t move the conversation forward.

    Eberle for Byfuglien anyone? It scares me but might be necessary.

  153. Ryan says:

    OilClog: Where they were then.. And where they are now..

    Kruger had his worts, but this is currently on Quinn levels of bad coaching.

    Kruger is the better coach.

    Eakins was Toronto Media.

    Well, if you want to get technical, one could argue that Quinn got better results with an inferior roster and probably had more man games lost to injury.

    Quinn pulled 62 points vs Eakins who’s currently on pace for 59 points…

    Quinn didn’t have 3 #1 OV draft picks either.

  154. Jon K says:

    To be honest, I think the current friction we’re seeing is a good thing. Eakins is coming in and is trying to establish accountability within the Oilers, not an easy thing considering the talented cast of players. In the last few years they’ve added three guys who were “the best” player in their draft years and a guy who grew up as a local and national wunderkind. These guys are used to excelling and being the best among their peers. Some friction is expected when a coach tries to implement a team system and/or culture. If Eakins can get consistency and accountability from his star players, this team will ultimately be closer to competing for the playoffs.

    Renney got flack when he did the same thing, notably for limiting Hall and Eberle’s icetime, especially late in close games. Krueger let the kids run wild, but metrics showed that the Oilers regressed significantly under his tenure. As far as I can tell with a quick search, Krueger doesn’t seem to be employed in an hockey context, while Renney has gone on to work with arguably the best coach of his generation, one who espouses constant improvement and accountability as being the keys to success.

    We are of course free to criticize what we perceive to be Eakins’ shortcomings. It just seems premature, in my view. We are halfway through his first season as head coach, and despite the current difficulties between he and Yakupov, there are signs that the team is in transition and improving in key areas. If everyone keeps a cool head, Yakupov and Eakins can still come out of this with a good professional relationship, and hopefully with both being better for the struggle.

  155. Woodguy says:

    Caramel Obvious,

    This is not a talented team underperforming because of the coach. This is a team with average high end talent, AHL defense, and no depth. It is going to take years to dig out of this mess.

    This.

    All day long this.

  156. oliveoilers says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    You people have gone off the rails. This thread is one giant bitch fest.One useless, trolling, post after another.

    Simple minded fans blame the coach because they can’t think of anything else to say.It’s the same mindset that blames Hemsky for not shooting enough.This site should be better than that.

    When you return to your senses go take a look at Tampa’s roster and count the number of players 23 years old and younger who were acquired after the first round and are playing well.Then look at the Oilers roster.

    Then think on it a while.When you are done thinking you will realize that this team is screwed because it doesn’t have enough NHL talent.And it doesn’t have enough NHL talent because for five years they didn’t’ add any.It’s that simple.

    This is not a talented team underperforming because of the coach. This is a team with average high end talent, AHL defense, and no depth.It is going to take years to dig out of this mess.

    With that said I propose on moratorium on threads discussing Eakins.It brings out the worst in the comments and doesn’t move the conversation forward.

    Eberle for Byfuglien anyone?It scares me but might be necessary.

    lol, ANOTHER person bitching about the bitching! Oh the ironing, the delicious ironing. All Tampa’s roster indicates is that a good coach can get results from a less talented team of lower draft picks. I think I’ve told you before, EVERYONE’s opinion in here is allowed (within the realms of decency), because it’s what we call a FORUM. Even yours!

    And what do you mean “you people”?

  157. Dee Dee says:

    Name one A List coach that would ever come and coach this team.

    The organization is broken.

    And if the Owner is too busy or doesn’t care or is too busy and doesn’t care, or has been hoodwinked by the BOTB then the problem is not fixable.

    Doesn’t matter who the coach is, it’s not a coaching problem, the last 4 coaches have proven this.

    Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is the definition of insanity.

  158. VanOil says:

    Woodguy:
    Caramel Obvious,

    This is not a talented team underperforming because of the coach. This is a team with average high end talent, AHL defense, and no depth. It is going to take years to dig out of this mess.

    This.

    All day long this.

    You will never get me to like Steve Smith. I am a true fan who nurses senseless grudges and scapegoating for decades.

  159. Caramel Obvious says:

    Tampa Bay is 10th in Fenwick close. They are doing it with these guys playing significant roles.

    Mark Barberio: 6th round 2008 draft
    Ben Bishop: Cory Conacher (a college free agent)
    Radko Gudas: 3rd round 2010 draft
    Tyler Johnson: minor league free agent 2011
    Alex Killorn: 3rd round 2007 draft
    Nikita Kucherov: 2nd round 2011 draft
    Ondrej Palat: 7th round 2008 draft
    Richard Panik: 2nd round 2009 draft
    Andrej Sustr: college free agent 2013

    Half the team, most 23 years old or younger, not a single first round pick.

    The equivalent list of Oilers:

    Anton Lander
    Martin Marincin
    Justin Schultz

    This is why the Oilers aren’t good. Other teams have spent the past five years adding players. The Oilers spent that time drafting first overall and trading guys away for nothing.

    Come to terms with world and you will be happier. You can only live once you know you are going to die.

    Finally, on Smid, ignoring the timing of the trade to look for ulterior motives is pretty strong evidence of a witch hunt.

  160. Woodguy says:

    Woodguy: Sure, that’s because of a ton of factors, most of which is luck.

    What does happen (usually) is the best teams on paper are the ones fighting for the silver.

    Which one is “the best” is usually debatable.

    I read today that “Sports is basically a fun random number generator to watch”

    I think a big part of that is true if you have close to equal talent levels.

    Oilers haven’t been close to equal in talent since 2006 and are only edging closer.

    The holes are at pretty important positions.

    Here an article with a great visualization of the best teams are the ones that win:

    http://www.habseyesontheprize.com/2013/4/4/4178716/why-possession-matters-a-visual-guide-to-fenwick

    The chart is a killer when it comes to explaining why some of us obsess over the shot metrics.

    The funny thing is that being a fan of the Oiler’s I’m praying for them to just not be awful anymore.

    Mediocre would be a huge step up.

  161. Caramel Obvious says:

    oliveoilers,

    By “you people” I mean the hoi polloi who make rational conversation impossible with their toxic passions, and their unformed thoughts.

    This place used to be a kind of aristocracy, but it is becoming more like oilersnation everyday. Not all opinions are equal.

  162. Woodguy says:

    VanOil: You will never get me to like Steve Smith. I am a true fan who nurses senseless grudges and scapegoating for decades.

    I want Chuckles back and have for 2 years.

    Many “so-so” D who came through the door in Chuckle’s tenure seemed to be able to play reasonable hockey in their own end.

    Its been a fire drill since 2010.

    I have no doubt that some better coaching would help.

  163. hunter1909 says:

    Caramel Obvious: This is why the Oilers aren’t good. Other teams have spent the past five years adding players. The Oilers spent that time drafting first overall and trading guys away for nothing.

    Nice to see someone finally being positive.

  164. Woodguy says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    oliveoilers,

    By “you people” I mean the hoi polloi who make rational conversation impossible with their toxic passions.

    I GOT A LOT OF PROBLEMS WITH YOU PEOPLE AND NOW YOU’RE GONNA HEAR ABOUT IT!!

  165. Thinker says:

    Have the old boys learnt nothing from Sather? MacT should have taken over by now.
    To me the problem has to be sorted from the top all the way down, like they sort of tried to do a few years back by firing all the equipment guys. The problems with the club run deep, and only an overhaul will get it done. I couldn’t agree more with you about Eakins, he is just runoff from the BIG SMOKE.

  166. Woodguy says:

    This used to be a mathy comments section.

  167. VanOil says:

    Woodguy: I want Chuckles back and have for 2 years.

    If he bring Big Buff with him it would be all the better.

  168. bookje says:

    Dee Dee:

    Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is the definition of insanity.

    You do realize that every time you say that, you sound more and more insane!

  169. pboy says:

    WeirsBeard: I will reiterate, ownership has to reexamine what they want out of the Edmonton Oilers. Oh wait, maybe they already have…

    It’s time for Darryl Katz to stop emulating Bruce Wayne and start bringing forth his inner Harry Truman. The buck stops at his desk, not Lowe’s or MacT’s. Once Katz is tired of this nonsense, it will stop. Rookie GM’s, rookie Head Coaches who don’t get to pick their own staff, Team President’s who have been responsible for the worst record in hockey for close to a decade, it’s all on Katz.

  170. Caramel Obvious says:

    Dee Dee,

    Name one A list coach that could win with this team. Can you imagine if they had hired Tortorella? And you think this is a shit-show.

    So yeah, I’d like Babcock or McClellan or, Jon Cooper (whose AHL record was unbelievable), but those guys weren’t available. I’d rather have Eakins than a tired retread from the old boys farm any day of the week.

    The alternative to Eakins is a tired retread, or worse, Messier. You all know that. Be careful what you wish for.

  171. hunter1909 says:

    Jon K: If everyone keeps a cool head

    Dallas Eakins can be called many things, but a cool head will never be one of them.

    Dude’s proven nothing in Edmonton – aside from being a po-faced, self promoting jerkoff.

  172. Brawlingpig says:

    Long Time Reader First Time Poster

    The question I’m left with is…..is a trade going to help things at this point? The oilers have obvious holes and it’s logical to think that fixing or filling one of those holes should help things……However, it’s looking like the problem or problems are larger than what’s on the surface. At this point in the season for where the team is at I’m not sure bringing someone in and exposing them to whatever the under lying issues are (poor communication or worse) will make any difference to this team…..it could also sour that new player. We’re seeing most everyone on the team playing well below there talent and and usual drive. Maybe that’s the reason we aren’t seeing much of the younger D for longer periods from the ahl.

    On another note is there any possibility we see Eakins removed and MacT behind the bench for part of the season if things continue to spiral?

  173. VanOil says:

    Woodguy:
    This used to be a mathy comments section.

    The Math and the Seen him Good crowd have finally merged in 2014 in glorious harmony into a I seen it bad and can prove it, but don’t have the heart too crowd. A unified fan base at long last.

  174. bookje says:

    I would like to critique those who are critiquing the critiquing of Eakins in defence of the quality of this blog, by pointing out that the proprietor of this blog started this thread by critiquing Eakins.

  175. bookje says:

    hunter1909: Dallas Eakins can be called many things, but a cool head will never be one of them.

    Dude’s proven nothing in Edmonton – aside from being a po-faced, self promoting jerkoff.

    I think Hunter is one of ‘you people’

  176. Thinker says:

    Woodguy,

    It’s christmas vacation, I just want a break from the two calculus classes I took last semester before the two next semester. But if you insist, 78 percent of stats are made up on the spot.

  177. Bag of Pucks says:

    Woodguy

    I read today that “Sports is basically a fun random number generator to watch”

    I think there’s a lot of truth to this. That’s what makes it so great when a true visionary like a Bill Walsh or a Billy Beane comes along cos for a small window of opportunity, they essentially rig the game in their favour by moving the goalposts of the game itself.

    Like these guys…http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/1418965/Magnetic-roulette-ball-con-beats-casino.html

  178. Prince Rupert's Oildrop says:

    A lot of us are reluctant to call for Eakin’s head because we’re afraid to lose an elite coach; potentially one of the best around.

    But man. I’m thinking these days, a truly good coach would have DOUBTLESS gotten a better performance out of this team this season. I am ready now. Ready for a new coach. Eakins had his shot and did so poorly that I can’t imagine him being in the league after the Oilers.

  179. Caramel Obvious says:

    bookje:
    I would like to critique those who are critiquing the critiquing of Eakins in defence of the quality of this blog, by pointing out that the proprietor of this blog started this thread by critiquing Eakins.

    One day after in the comment thread he pointed out it was daft to fire the coach. We are in crazytown. Even lowetide (and yourself) normally calm heads, are beginning to lose your minds.

  180. Tarkus says:

    pboy: It’s time for Darryl Katz to stop emulating Bruce Wayne and start bringing forth his inner Harry Truman. The buck stops at his desk, not Lowe’s or MacT’s. Once Katz is tired of this nonsense, it will stop. Rookie GM’s, rookie Head Coaches who don’t get to pick their own staff, Team President’s who have been responsible for the worst record in hockey for close to a decade, it’s all on Katz.

    Let me preface my remarks by saying that I’ve been an Oilers fan for three decades, but the game last night will be the last one I will watch as long as Kevin Lowe is still with the Oilers in any capacity aside from janitor. This Tier 2 fan is sick of watching a Tier 2 team being run by Tier 9 management.

    If Katz has let this team languish for this long, why would he make any changes now? After all, he’s got his Boys on the Bus collectibles in his employ and he’s counting his millions in his Batcave.

    This team could lose 82 games every year, but nothing will change so long as the fans keep coming out and filling the Rexall coffers.

    You want Katz to take notice and make the necessary changes the Oilers have needed for lo these many years? Stop going to games. Stop buying the merch. In a nutshell, Joe Fan has to go on strike. Once Katz sees the money stream dwindle to a trickle, you better believe he’ll notice.

    That, or he’ll just take a powder to Seatlle again or somewhere else, and use the tried-and-true scare tactic of Support Your Oilers Or Else They’ll Be Relocated.

  181. oliveoilers says:

    Tarkus,

    Sir I should like to leap to the defence of the janitorial staff at Rexall! They are competent and hard working, leaping into action after a buddy of mine dropped his tray of drinks. I do not think they would like to be included in the same sentence as our glorious POHO, who once wiped up his spilled coffee at home, if there’s ever a concern.

  182. Tarkus says:

    BTW, I’d be remiss if I didn’t express my appreciation to LT for the stalwart work on this blog and elsewhere.

    Even if I never post here again, I just want to say thank you for what you’ve done here. It’s keeping me from losing complete interest in the scheisse-show that is the Six-Ring Circus.

  183. hunter1909 says:

    Tarkus,

    Prior to buying the team, Katz promised all kinds of nice shiny things to make the oilers a world beater, but in reality he’s simply reused Pocklington’s threat to relocate in an even more craven manner. At least Pock was broke and needed money, what’s Katz’s excuse? Not enough gold bars buried in his basement?

    Then he acts like nothing more than a male groupie towards these washed up jocks.

    Lowe will remain. MacT will remain. Steve Smith and Bucky will remain. The team is really going to blow forever, and will probably lose 3 out of it’s 4 young stars, but the return in plugs should return the oilers back to their former chasing 8th place glory sometime around 2016.

    Caramel Obvious: People who wish to elevate something as base as sports watching to high culture really make me laugh. Go to a music concert or something.

  184. icecastles says:

    bookje: I think Hunter is one of ‘you people’

    He’s black?

    Personally, I don’t know why you people have a problem with those people.

    Speaking on behalf of us people, I think both those people and you people need to stop and listen to the other people. As long as everyone listens and doesn’t learn anything. Because learning gets in the way of knowledge almost as much as understanding does.

    It’s time we stop calling players out and start making players be accountable by calling them out. As long as there is no discipline and structure to the team’s play, it is utterly arrogant and wrongheaded to try introducing systems since Lowe has more rings than anyone and nobody’s giving Linobbie Schrempark a chance.

    This, paired with the utter nightmare that is our depth at goalcentredefense, is the real reason all our Corgis got out and made Gord hate us.

  185. Caramel Obvious says:

    hunter1909,

    Everything human beings do, insofar as they are human, is imbued with virtue. There is no reason not to aspire to excellence. Indeed, it is our nature to move towards excellence The common need not be the same as the vulgar, and there is never a justification for stupidity.

  186. bookje says:

    Caramel Obvious: One day after in the comment thread he pointed out it was daft to fire the coach.We are in crazytown.Even lowetide (and yourself) normally calm heads, are beginning to lose your minds.

    I think many of us think Eakins has the makings of a good coach. I think many of us think that firing the coach is somewhat unthinkable at this point of things. With that said, what we are seeing a team very much underperforming its (very limited) potential. Also, we are worried that the team may start to lose its key players because of this. That is even more unthinkable.

    I think MacT needs to bring in a mentor for Eakins or step into the role himself. I would be clear to Eakins and say “I think you are going to be a great coach in this league, however at this moment you need some assistance to get over the hump. Without this help, you will be out of a job within weeks.”

    MacT also needs to get some help for the defence. However he does it, he needs to do it.

  187. oliveoilers says:

    So game predictions…. I’m going with Fistric crushing someone with a hip check, Cogs jabbing at Gags all night until a fight, and Penner looking up to KLowe and miming two rings and shouting “Only another four, then I can have your job!” I don’t think Souray is playing, otherwise he could remind us how the Ducks are to the Hershey Bears, and how the Hershey Bears are to the Oilers. Damn all these terrible ex-players who now play for terrible teams.

  188. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    A forum day like this is ok. It’s a totally cathartic release and a true barometer of the investment we Oiler fans make in the highs and lows of this team. LT, not to pick on you, but the tone of your blog today set the tempo for today’s outpouring :-).

    And….it was totally warranted and completely ok by me. Let’s remember these cloudy days when we’re celebrating our return to playoff contention.

    Now to our beloved Oilers…..we need some resolve and pride out there tonight. I don’t care if you lose, if you lose with intensity and camaraderie. Stand up for your linemate and don’t let them see the fear in your eyes. More than anything, don’t let your foe witness you quit.

  189. bookje says:

    Well Oiled and Enthusiastic:

    Now to our beloved Oilers…..we need some resolve and pride out there tonight. I don’t care if you lose, if you lose with intensity and camaraderie. Stand up for your linemate and don’t let them see the fear in your eyes. More than anything, don’t let your foe witness you quit.

    Yes, that is going to happen tonight! I can see it!

  190. hoser313 says:

    Caramel Obvious:

    This is not a talented team underperforming because of the coach. This is a team with average high end talent, AHL defense, and no depth.It is going to take years to dig out of this mess.

    Eberle for Byfuglien anyone?It scares me but might be necessary.

    I agree with this. It will take time to get the team up to the level of the elite Western teams. There’s no way around it. Use the rest of the season to showcase some of the youngsters. Try to take advantage of other teams at the deadline. Draft Ekblad or trade that pick for a 1D. Find another NHL defenceman to replace Smid. Not just the on-ice product either. Hire or re-hire people with track records on making power plays work and teaching fundamental defence.

    There needs to be a commitment at all levels of the organization to making improvements. There are no easy fixes.

  191. Bag of Pucks says:

    If I’m Katz, I go all Jerry Jones meets Harold Ballard meets George Steinbrenner on this.

    I build a colossal scoreboard in the new arena that tells the world, DK is overcompensating for a minuscule penis.

    I then spend a fortune with Aquila, Global, CBC upscaling the archival broadcast content from the dynasty years to acceptable standard for Super HD broadcast. Some judicious editing may be required here. The 11-0 drubbing by Hartford, Game 7 loss to Calgary, and the Miracle on Manchester spring to mind as obvious examples of games I’d leave on the cutting room floor.

    Then, whenever these ‘young guns’ are stinking up the joint, I have them fire up an Oiler classic on the big screen so the paying pleebs can watch a real hockey team in action.

    Feeling lazy on the backcheck tonight Gags? No problemo, I’ll watch a little classic Dave Hunter shadowing Lafleur. Not feeling it to clear the slot tonight Petry? No worries. Let’s see what ol 6 rings is doing tonight in the classic of Battle of Alberta matchup on the scoreboard tonight?

    It’s an approach….albeit one possibly inspired by the fact that I watched Don Jon last night and was intrigued by the moxie it would take to fire up some porn after bedding ScarJo.

  192. "Steve Smith" says:

    Lowetide:
    http://oilersnation.com/2014/1/3/everything-you-wanted-to-know-about-brad-hunt-but-were-afraid-to-ask

    An article on Brad Hunt.

    FUCK YOU. I HATE THAT ARTICLE AND WANT IT DELETED FROM THE INTERNET, AND POSSIBLY REPLACED BY RALPH KRUEGER.

  193. Ribs says:

    I got a chance to watch a couple of games with my parents over the holidays. It was nice. I feel like I’m in a bit of a bubble here when it comes to watching this team these days. I don’t have many friends who follow the team and even less that follow them as intently as I do, so it’s a bit of an eye-opener to watch it with other people.

    My mom has a real hate on for Perron. It’s pretty funny. She figures he’s hogging ice time and the puck and is constantly seeking attention. I tried to convince her that it’s good to have a guy or two like this on the team but she says he needs an attitude adjustment. lol. She’s also had enough of Eakins and is frustrated that MacTavish hasn’t replaced him yet (She was never a fan of MacT either).

    After MacT’s re-hire I think a lot of people were hoping for and expecting a lot more this season in the way of winning. I don’t think the playoffs needed to be made to satisfy the itch, but they should have been within the realm of possibility. The team still stinks. Calgary scorched themselves into the dirt this summer and somehow they are ahead of the Oilers in points? Sure, there are some good things happening, but it hasn’t been good enough or come nearly fast enough to satisfy the common fan’s expectations of them. Are these expectations fair? I certainly thought so at the beginning of the season. I’m less sure now because of where the team sits but I think most fans would say the team is an outright failure this year. LT mentions communication being a problem and I think the Oilers would do themselves a world of good by addressing the team’s shortcomings to their fan base (all tiers). If the rebuild has gone off the rails (again?), let us know why and tell us what you’re going to do about it. MacTavish did this when he was hired and here we are. Success? Failure? You tell us. It’s the only way we’re going to know that you are doing your jobs and that you really give a damn.

    Willis has an article up at ON chronicling some of the many simple mistakes the team continues to make and how they have been snowballing their chances of success and it reminds me of when I was watching the Phoenix game with my dad on New Years Eve. He doesn’t watch too much hockey these days but he knows enough. Belov loses a step on Yandle in OT and lets him walk in and score the winner. My dad says “Why didn’t he take him down?”. Very good question. 6.5 seconds left in OT and he’s a quarter draped over Yandle as it is. Why not? Simple, right?

    I get the feeling that once we figure out why they keep doing stupid things we will discover how they can turn this thing around.

  194. godot10 says:

    Jon K:

    Renney got flack when he did the same thing, notably for limiting Hall and Eberle’s icetime, especially late in close games. Krueger let the kids run wild, but metrics showed that the Oilers regressed significantly under his tenure. As far as I can tell with a quick search, Krueger doesn’t seem to be employed in an hockey context, while Renney has gone on to work with arguably the best coach of his generation, one who espouses constant improvement and accountability as being the keys to success.

    We are of course free to criticize what we perceive to be Eakins’ shortcomings. It just seems premature, in my view. We are halfway through his first season as head coach, and despite the current difficulties between he and Yakupov, there are signs that the team is in transition and improving in key areas. If everyone keeps a cool head, Yakupov and Eakins can still come out of this with a good professional relationship, and hopefully with both being better for the struggle.

    If you take out Renney’s and Eakin’s easy eastern conference games, there is really no statisticallly significant difference in their metric’s to Krueger’s, except Krueger’s special teams are way better. The Oilers had a top ten power play both years Krueger was responsible for it. And he has a top 10 PK in his head coaching year.

    Krueger has two jobs. He is a head coach in Germany, and also employed as a consulting coach in Canada’s men’s Olympic team.

  195. bookje says:

    “Steve Smith”: FUCK YOU.I HATE THAT ARTICLE AND WANT IT DELETED FROM THE INTERNET, AND POSSIBLY REPLACED BY RALPH KRUEGER.

    Can you state that in mathematical terms please.

  196. "Steve Smith" says:

    bookje,

    If you have six apples, and you give two to your friend, I can’t remember the rest but Dallas Eakins’ mother’s a whore.

  197. knighttown says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    Tampa Bay is 10th in Fenwick close.They are doing it with these guys playing significant roles.

    Mark Barberio: 6th round 2008 draft
    Ben Bishop: Cory Conacher (a college free agent)
    Radko Gudas: 3rd round 2010 draft
    Tyler Johnson: minor league free agent 2011
    Alex Killorn: 3rd round 2007 draft
    Nikita Kucherov: 2nd round 2011 draft
    Ondrej Palat: 7th round 2008 draft
    Richard Panik: 2nd round 2009 draft
    Andrej Sustr: college free agent 2013

    Half the team, most 23 years old or younger, not a single first round pick.

    The equivalent list of Oilers:

    Anton Lander
    Martin Marincin
    Justin Schultz

    It’s this type of a list that really freaks me out. Thanks for posting it. But are they really good players or are they just interchangeable parts doing what the coach asks them to. I’m really perplexed by this phenomenon we’re seeing where (in Edmonton) good players play badly and in places like San Jose, bad players (Bracken Kearns) play well.

    I can’t bring myself to congratulate Doug Wilson on finding a “diamond in the rough” like Kearns because he’s likely nothing but an AHL player. But somehow, he and 4 other shitty players destroy Hall/Nuge/Perron/Schultz/Ference last night if you look at goal #3 and Willis’ review.

    Here’s a theoretical; Boyle and Vlasic are the goods but if you traded Ference, Smid, Schultz Sr and Belov (bottom 4) for Braun, Irwin, Demers and Hannan (bottom 4) are we any better. No God damned way we are. That’s a brutal looking bottom 4 on paper but somehow they all look dominant. The Sharks bottom 6 forwards are Desjardins, Sheppard, Brown, Nieto, Freddie Hamilton and Bracken Kearns. We’re playing Hemsky, Smyth, Gordon, Lander, Joensuu and Gazdic and we’re getting absolutely destroyed.

    I’m smart enough to stand up and say, “I have no fucking clue how this is possible”. I fully endorsed the game plan in the offseason. We’re missing a true top pairing (although Petry/Smid looked very close before the lockout) but let’s bring in a whole lot of number 4 guys and we’ll be OK. At forward, 4/93/57 will handle PvsP, Gordon with the vets will be a shutdown line and that’ll leave Sam Gagner, Nail Yakupov and Jordan Eberle to kill soft comp. It’s a good plan and I’d do it again but it’s failing…Christ how it’s failing. But why???

    I’ve got two theories based on things I’ve seen in my thousands of hours of observation:

    1. We are missing that one true anchor that you can count on to win his portion of the game every night. Pronger in the 2006 playoffs was as sure of a sure thing as I’ve seen in my adult life. He played half the game and didn’t get scored on ever. In that 30 minutes, you could likely find a goal. That left you with a manageable chunk of time; 30 minutes; and a one goal lead. Bergeron/Chara are that combination now posting Corsis over 60% and outscoring almost 2-1.

    2. It’s time to forget the romance of Oilers hockey and adopt a soul crushing trap. A few of you will be old enough to remember those Minnesota Wild teams of the early 00′s that employed Marian Gaborik and a team of absolute garbage and went all the way to the Western Conference finals. They had Jacques Lemaire and a team of robots who never came past centre ice unless it was a 2-on-1. I swear…if you weren’t there, I’m not exaggerating.

    I made a promise to the Devil that if he would make that team disappear I would be OK with the Oilers losing every game as long as they never played like that. Thanks Luc!

    Is Edmonton ready to embrace a team like Nashville of the past decade that had no real chance of winning but that was designed to keep games close and was pretty damn good at it? Or do we keep going down this path in the hopes that we end up with something…that looks nothing like this.

    I KNOW this is the vision and I support it but I’ll tell you, if I was the one with the keys I’d starting to strongly consider turning the ship a full 180 before we drift off to oblivion.

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