PREDATORS AT OILERS, G54 13-14

In a season where the Edmonton Oilers house is filled rooms on fire, the Kevin Lowe must go story is more about blood than logic. I doubt it will end after Saturday night’s news, but am hopeful we can go back to talking about Craig MacTavish and how he’s going to put out the fires.

flyers333I posted this as a funny follow-up to my opening statement, but it is interesting that MacT/Lowe are in Philly and looking for solutions. I wrote about this over at ON yesterday, but there might be a trade here between the two teams. The Flyers are looking for mobile defensemen, the Oilers are looking for a veteran lefty to anchor their top pairing. Braydon Coburn struggled a year ago but is having a good season in 2013-14 while facing the toughest competition. Coburn and Timonen have formed a solid pairing all year long.

The Flyers may be looking for mobile defensemen and the Oilers have a ton of them. I wonder if the Oilers are interested in Coburn as part of a lefty set that might include Coburn-Marincin-Ference next season? Who knows, but it’s possible. That would effectively block Klefbom and Nurse for next season, I don’t think that’s such an evil thing.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, 99

gretzky4There’s touched by God, and then there’s Gretzky. There was a time when it seemed 99 turned Edmonton into the universe’s center, and that he  would be an Oiler forever, but it was not to be and it all worked out fine. As someone who was gifted with the opportunity to see him at Northlands many times, I can say that as entertainment Gretzky was perfect. Hockey and magic have never looked so good together. There was a time when a giant walked among us.

Happy birthday, Wayne Gretzky.

harry1Brock Otten has the OHL’s Top free agents this season, and the #2 prospect (Tyler Gaudet) looks interesting. I’d love to see the Oilers sign Barclay Goodrow just for the name, and he does look like an interesting player. I assume this is Bob Green’s job now, and as we head into the spring this will become more prominent on the blog. Those free agent signings, college, junior or Euro, are very important to the Oilers future.

JONES

  • “As a player you see the things that are said and written and it’s a Pass The Blame Game. The coaches and management don’t play the game. We play the same system as basically every other team in the NHL, it’s the players that lose. Yet they (coaches and managers) take the blame. It’s about time the guys in this locker room took a little bit of accountability on themselves and stopped letting other people take the blame.”

Hmmm. I think the goaltending and powerplay, plus whatever is being done to Taylor Hall on his shifts (don’t ask me what’s happening, even the smart people don’t know) have impacted the team. These Oilers look beaten, but I don’t know if that’s quitting on the coach or having the brains to know you’re screwed for yet another season. Either way, Jones called out his teammates and we’ll see where it goes. Article is here.

CHASE, MOROZ

moroz mcritchieBruce McCurdy took in last night’s Oil Kings-Hitmen game and paid close attention to the two Oiler draft picks. The article is here. Both prospects are tracking very well, and along with Jackson Houck could have three WHL forwards over 35 goals this year.

DARKNESS WITH HARKNESS

Ned_Harkness2

As difficult as this season has been, there are many NHL seasons that were more trying. My choice for ‘most difficult season to be a fan’ would be Detroit Red Wings, Ned Harkness era. It is covered well and incredibly here.

 

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439 Responses to "PREDATORS AT OILERS, G54 13-14"

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  1. Surly says:

    Game 3 and Scrivens gets his Oiler SV% up to .926 thanks to tonight’s effort (he is now a .930 on the season). Assuming MacT signs him (after giving up a 3rd you would have to think he is motivated to do so unless the guy completely falters), I wonder what he gets. $2mil on a 1 year? Cap is going up but I don’t think he’ll have enough leverage to command top $ given there are only 60 jobs in the league at the start of the year. 20th to 30th highest paid Gs in the league range from $3.75mil to $2.5mil.

  2. spoiler says:

    SInce the Scrivens and the Hendricks trades, they’ve sulked for a game and then been after it. It’s almost like they’ve gained a bit of swagger rather than their usual china doll shells.

    There’s been far better puck support these last couple of games. Guys are hanging around the DZone, coming back deep to help out, actually contributing rather than observing and waiting for a free puck. I can’t count the number of times I saw Gagner go cover the Dwall on a mate’s battle rather than circling out over the middle of the blue line. Fewer boneheaded mistakes, fewer optimistic cross ice passes when before they were many. They seem to have a system and the conscience to stick to it.

    The Nashville, Phoenix, Winnipegs of this world we are very near to beating regularly, I believe. I don’t think we need another player to be at least as good as those teams. We just need decent goaltending, efforts like this week, and the swagger and discipline required to seize the win.

    Scrivens gave the Preds some gaping nets tonight. But he also held them in the game when they did get hemmed in. I think he gives them a confidence back there (“so far so good”). Hendricks is apparently very vocal on the bench (Stoll was hilarious when we had him), and we have had glimpses of his attitude. He’s been playing with a certain Cooke-like Torresness. That’s an element this team has certainly been without. Do opposing players have their heads on a swivel when any other top 9 player is out there? If that’s what it takes for Ebs to launch himself into a body check, I’m all for it.

    Tonight we played without Ference, Hemsky and Arcobello. That’s far better depth than what Bumbellini had on this team last year. I think Bartleby is an upgrade on Dooby and Bryz on The Barber. MacT has smartly given himself a lot of dice rolls this season. A lot of auditions. And more winnowing to come.

    And there has been a Marincin effect as well. Martin the Marincin has been a gordsend. The last Oiler defenseman I remember having a debut this good is Petry. Got caught in outer space tonight, but as WG said above, a rookie mistake, gonna see ‘em and they gotta make them to grow. I think those expecting him to add 30-40 pounds though will be disappointed. I doubt he will be ever be more than 20 pounds heavier than he is now. And I’m already impressed with his strength. He pins players better than anyone else on the team. It’s astonishing.

    We’ve been promised Klefbom after the deadline, and he has been playing well lately. If he can bring the same level of D as Marincin…

    And the better these guys do, the tougher it is for Nurse to crack the line-up next year.

  3. Numenius says:

    Andy P: Sam’s expression was similar to a woman being forced to hug her ex.

    I wouldn’t read anything into Gagner’s expression on that celebration.

    If it were Eberle, sure, but there’s no reason to believe that Gagner hadn’t looked at Yak all excitedly just before that and then simply turned to see who else was joining the hug.

  4. Lowetide says:

    I’ve never understood this not looking or celebrating business. Who hates whom?

  5. cabbiesmacker says:

    stevezie:
    cabbiesmacker,

    So to summarize you have nothing solid to come back with. Well done. I said that MacT was fixated on Eakins from the get go rather than following a process of due diligence with several and you say you stop if you think you have the best after the first interview. Really?

    Oh but someone mentioned that someone heard that someone was pretty sure MacT had interviewed someone else. Gotcha.

    Everyone, and I assume that includes you as well, has a relative working for the Oilers in some capacity? More of your reading comprehension problem I guess. I think I said I have a cousin working within the Oilers system coaching ranks. Perhaps yours hawks peanuts and has picked up some scuttlebutt from the other hawkers or you once got Steve Rice’s autograph automatically turning you into an expert on all things Oiler. I dunno. Don’t really care.

    Anyyyyways you’re probably right. Oilers are a magnificently managed and coached NHL hockey team on the obvious path to glory… 30th, 30th, 29th, abberation, trending towards 29th. It’s all under control. No worries. The best people available are steering this ship.

    Magnificent I tell ya.

  6. Lowetide says:

    Michael Parkatti ‏@mparkatti 5m

    Here’s a fun stat: in Marincin’s 16 games the Oilers are 51.6% Corsi with him on the ice and 39.3% with him off the ice.

  7. geeker99 says:

    theres oil in virginia,

    i agree with this, like when Brown was acquired last year. he came in and imo was our best player for around 3-4 games. the try level at this point was very poor. I think to really evaluate this team has to be in meaningful hockey. hasnt happened yet and won’t happen this year. Am i the only one that feels this years first round pick is moveable. I like Ekblad but hope to get some help for the talent we have today.

  8. geeker99 says:

    theres oil in virginia: My gord, Hunter.You’re going into the netherworld again.And just a couple of days ago, I remarked to myself that I was just beginning to enjoy reading your posts.(Incidentally, myself responded that it might be time to go see the psychiatrist.)Pull your ox out of the ditch, Hunter, and start posting reasonable (but negative of course) shit.Get your priorities straight.My enjoyment is the most important thing to consider here!

    I’m not sure why folks are suggesting that Ryan Jones is blaming the-failure-that-is-this-season on players not playing with enough intensity or accountability.It sounded to me like he is calling on them all not to use the record as an excuse for not bringing intensity from this point forward…and he’s right.He’s been a revelation lately too, btw.He’s playing like a man who saw his NHL career almost slip away and now he’s doing whatever it takes to stay in the lineup.I think he just wants the other guys, who aren’t in danger of falling out of the league, to play with an element of that in their game.

    Also, I don’t see him being threatened by the acquisition of Hendricks.If anything, it looks like he’s feeding off of the new energy.I like Hendricks game so far.He needs to avoid the penalty parade, but every player has a list of things they need to do right and a list of things they need to avoid in order to have success.Oilers need more of that, but coupled with skill that can play higher in the lineup.

    sorry this was the quote that i was agreeing with.

  9. jp says:

    Lowetide:
    Michael Parkatti ‏@mparkatti 5m

    Here’s a fun stat: in Marincin’s 16 games the Oilers are 51.6% Corsi with him on the ice and 39.3% with him off the ice.

    Remarkable. Where can we get more?

  10. AZOIL says:

    I haven’t seen these expressions on Yak’s goals but if it is Ebs, maybe there is friction because they are both potential top RW? Maybe Ebs sees yak as a threat to dethrone him? Yak I’m sure behind closed doors also might come across a little cocky etc, even though as a fan I like his exuberance and passion!!! Who knows, I haven’t seen it, but will look for it now!

  11. flyfish1168 says:

    Yak must be be one of the leaders in the hit department. 2 more tonight.

  12. Woodguy says:

    book¡je:
    Woodguy,

    Looks like a Tom Renney or Ralph Krueger rollout.

    Seems more severely tilted to the offensive end to me.

    I’ll have to look at a few games and then the overalls to get a feel.

  13. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    Michael Parkatti ‏@mparkatti 5m

    Here’s a fun stat: in Marincin’s 16 games the Oilers are 51.6% Corsi with him on the ice and 39.3% with him off the ice.

    It can’t be any more clear what this team is capable of with good D.

  14. Woodguy says:

    jp: Remarkable. Where can we get more?

    Klef is killing it right now in OKC to rave reviews.

    As soon as MacT and Chiarelli quick fucking around and decide on which pick it will cost, Klef should be up.

    Would be nice to give him reps in the NHL where the games aren’t critical to the standings.

    Yeah, yeah, I know, that’s most Oiler games, but not until December 1st dammit!

  15. Woodguy says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Sorry, away all day. Just catching up — speaking of which… looks like I missed a lot! Del Colle is the new shiny toy; DSF is openly missed; a Gremlin attacked…. crappy day to visit the in-laws!

    At any rate, I hear what you are saying. I weighed it myself, i.e.,

    if you have to play 15 where do you play him to do the least amount of damage? 3rd pairing.

    if you have to play a rook to limit his exposure, where do you play him? 3rd pairing.

    But, in two of Fedun’s games he benched Belov:

    http://oilers.nhl.com/gamecenter/en/boxscore?id=2013020237

    http://oilers.nhl.com/gamecenter/en/boxscore?id=2013020221

    and in all 3 of Hunt’s games he benched Belov (I’d post the links but don’t want to go to link jail) follow the game log here:

    http://oilers.nhl.com/club/player.htm?id=8476779

    So, it’s not so clear cut. Especially when you add in the video and the fact he did it with both Fedun and Hunt.

    The fact that other options were present also seems evident in the way he’s handled Marincin, which may also speak to the fact that Eakins’ has woken up even more to 15′s trouble.

    (another caveat: Smid was on the team for Fedun’s first 2 games… so lots of options).

    That’s makes sense.

    Also makes sense that the only other LH option for Fedun and Hunt was Belov and he needs someone to cover his wanderings and dog whistle runs more than NShultz, general effectiveness aside.

    Quite the roster choices Eakins has eh?

  16. Woodguy says:

    Surly:
    Game 3 and Scrivens gets his Oiler SV% up to .926 thanks to tonight’s effort (he is now a .930 on the season).Assuming MacT signs him (after giving up a 3rd you would have to think he is motivated to do so unless the guy completely falters), I wonder what he gets.$2mil on a 1 year?Cap is going up but I don’t think he’ll have enough leverage to command top $ given there are only 60 jobs in the league at the start of the year. 20th to 30th highest paid Gs in the league range from $3.75mil to $2.5mil.

    My guess is that it will take $1.5 x 2 to get him to bite, maybe a hair more.

    His agent should jump at it, goalie market is flooded this summer, especially with reasonable backups.

  17. stevezie says:

    cabbiesmacker,

    No, not this at all. I think you are associating me with a larger, straw-man defence of the Oilers that I never made. What I am saying is that the burden of proof that there was no due diligence is on you, and you don’t have any.

    ” I said that MacT was fixated on Eakins from the get go rather than following a process of due diligence with several…” Yes, that is what you say. I don’t see how you are drawing that conclusion.

    Again, your reading comprehension is so bad I’m wondering if this is some kind of parody and I’m not picking up on it. I specifically said I know no one in the organization, and that your claim to know someone is common and completely meaningless to people outside your family, because there is no way for the rest of us to tell Kelly Buchberger’s nephew from some clown on the internet pretending he has insider information because his neighbour’s kid used to be the stick boy for the Oil Kings. I’m not saying which one you are- how would I know? There is no way for any of us to know! So your top-secret info isn’t worth much in a public forum.

    Right?

    The funny thing is you seem to understand both of these points, because you’ve used both of them on me. You made fun of my lack of proof (I fully admit I have none), and mocked the idea that my unverifiable claim to have insider info should have weight. You’re bang on on both those points, but they apply to you too, Cabby. If I need to produce a verifiable list of who the interviewed, so do you. Since neither of us have one, we can draw no conclusions. Right? Well, read over our exchange again, you are the only one making any claims.

    I’m not defending “the org”, I’m saying there is enough real evidence against them that you don’t have to make stuff up. My original post wasn’t even arguing you were wrong, I just said I have no idea why you feel they didn’t do their due diligence. So far all you’ve come back at me with are arguments you yourself go on to refute when you mistakenly attribute them to me.

    Start at the beginning. Define due diligence in this case. Pretend I’ve never heard the term before and don’t know why it is important. Then explain how someone who doesn’t know your “source” could be expected to conclude that the Oilers didn’t do any.

    Maybe it’s not fair to attack your position while claiming to have none myself. I think that sometimes things work out, and sometimes they don’t. Studying the past can help us make higher percentage guesses in the future, but that’s all anything will ever be. Looking back and saying certain decisions were obviously wrong and we should have known better makes us feel better because it is easier to believe in human stupidity than in an essentially unpredictable universe. In this specific case, I see no reason why both the Oilers and the fans should have known at the time that hiring Eakins was a mistake.I think it was a reasonable decision, and it hasn’t worked out because sometimes things don’t.
    Some smart people seem to think he needs to be fired, but I’m not convinced roster make-up isn’t a bigger problem than coaching. I’ll admit that one is a tighter debate.

    My only defence of the org is a lot of the decisions fans holler and point at as evidence of incompetence seemed okay at the time. We want management to be stupid because then their stupidity explains the position we are in. I think they have made some mistakes, maybe more than their share, but I think some rotten luck is at least equally responsible for the present predicament, and it blows my mind that some people have so much time and spiritual energy on their hands they would plan and attend a rally to protest what happens in the office.

  18. stevezie says:

    Woodguy,

    He’s been great, but I am hesitant to anoint Marincin just yet, Shouldn’t someone as good as he seems to be in the NHL have been better than he seems to have been in the AHL?

    I’ve heard the theory that in some ways the NHL is actually easier for D-men because it’s more structured and predictable, but good golly he has played like a legit top 3 guy over the last few games, anyone that good should have been really dominant in the A, non? Am I remembering Willis’ status reports too miserly?

    Doesn’t this suggest he has been at least as lucky as good?

  19. Ducey says:

    stevezie,

    I think Marincin was playing top minutes last season for OKC and was noted to have done pretty well in the playoffs.

    In other news, Brossoit had another strong game today for Bakersfield. He stopped 29 or 30. He was at .935 before that.

  20. Zelepukin says:

    For me the most impressive and underrated result from this game was Scrivens’ puck handling. That first pass upon puck retrieval in our own zone has been murder for us, mostly due to our D either being sloppy with the puck (Nultz) or outsized (Jultz). Scrivens was able to either give them more time to avoid the forecheck or a pass where they could move the play forwards rather than constantly rimming it.

  21. auzy11 says:

    I smell a blockbuster,with which team i dont know,but dont be surprised if you see more than one top 4 D man coming into town,the oilers are actually in a good trading position with there draft pick this year,lots of teams will pay for that alone, There will be a trade with Nashville or the Leafs coming very soon, now that i have said that,better happen,as i would hate to be thrown to wolves,Flyers are also in equation,but i think its the Leafs. Is Phaneuf,coming home?

  22. stevezie says:

    Ducey,

    Maybe I’m just being stingy in remembering him on the farm.

  23. book¡je says:

    Woodguy: It can’t be any more clear what this team is capable of with good D.

    I think it’s pretty clear that the team needs to stop wasting time by keeping their rookie D-men in the minors. Marincin proves that they can handle the NHL now.

  24. jp says:

    Lowetide:
    Michael Parkatti ‏@mparkatti 5m

    Here’s a fun stat: in Marincin’s 16 games the Oilers are 51.6% Corsi with him on the ice and 39.3% with him off the ice.

    I’m still trying to understand this. The past 8 years have been the “without you” part of the WOWY?

  25. jp says:

    Woodguy: Klef is killing it right now in OKC to rave reviews.

    As soon as MacT and Chiarelli quick fucking around and decide on which pick it will cost, Klef should be up.

    Would be nice to give him reps in the NHL where the games aren’t critical to the standings.

    Yeah, yeah, I know, that’s most Oiler games, but not until December 1st dammit!

    I keep waiting for Marincin to take off his glass slipper, but so far so good (last nights bad pinch aside).

    We’re used to seeing young forwards hit the ground running sometimes, but not so much defensemen. Guess the good ones can transition smoothly sometimes too – Petry was pretty polished when he arrived. If Marty’s for real and Klefbom/Nurse follow a similar path the problems on the Oilers back end will evaporate pretty quickly.

  26. jp says:

    Ducey:
    stevezie,

    In other news, Brossoit had another strong game today for Bakersfield.He stopped 29 or 30.He was at .935 before that.

    His shutout streak is over?? Bum.

  27. jp says:

    Woodguy: Seems more severely tilted to the offensive end to me.

    I’ll have to look at a few games and then the overalls to get a feel.

    100% Ozone starts sure helped the 4th to a nice game. Ditto the Sedin treatment for the kid line.

    That’s certainly more severe than any long term zone start trends from recent years.

    BTN goes back to 07-08 – 7 seasons (http://www.behindthenet.ca/)
    Oilers have only had 3 forwards top 60% Ozone starts. Yakupov this year, and RNH/Eberle with Renney in 11-12.

    Hall has been 52.0, 56.5, 54.8 and 56.6 through his career. Always a push, but not the Sedin treatment.

    Prior to this year a total of 5 players with OZone starts below 40%, with Belanger’s 33.3% being the lowest actual number. This season, 4 guys (5 if you count Hendricks) below 40% and Gordon at 25.1%. He’s earning his 3M.

  28. Pouzar says:

    Numenius: I wouldn’t read anything into Gagner’s expression on that celebration.

    If it were Eberle, sure,

    Tell me that was tongue in cheek….jezzuz h

  29. Pouzar says:

    Lowetide:
    Michael Parkatti ‏@mparkatti 5m

    Here’s a fun stat: in Marincin’s 16 games the Oilers are 51.6% Corsi with him on the ice and 39.3% with him off the ice.

    I think the kid is staying up.

    What an impressive run. I love that he doesn’t over handle the puck in the d-zone and seems to make the correct read almost every time. There is no panic. He got caught last night on a no mans land pinch but he’s been stellar. He also seems to have that knack for throwing the puck on the glass while in his own zone without icing being called.

    Would love hear some scouting reports on Klefbom….he was +1 in a 9-2 rout…how is that possible without running for the exits?

  30. Pouzar says:

    Woodguy: Klef is killing it right now in OKC to rave reviews.

    As soon as MacT and Chiarelli quick fucking around and decide on which pick it will cost, Klef should be up.

    Would be nice to give him reps in the NHL where the games aren’t critical to the standings.

    Yeah, yeah, I know, that’s most Oiler games, but not until December 1st dammit!

    Hey Wood…have you watched any of the games in OKC? I saw a couple shifts where this #8 was flyin around. Turns out that is Klefbom lol. Never knew he was that mobile…then again maybe it was the Malbec.

  31. Pouzar says:

    book¡je: I think it’s pretty clear that the team needs to stop wasting time by keeping their rookie D-men in the minors.Marincin proves that they can handle the NHL now.

    A BIG +1

  32. russ99 says:

    Woodguy,

    That’s why you keep Klefbom in OKC all year.

    No need to push him into this mess of a season into a spot he may not be able to handle at the expense of his development

  33. Woodguy says:

    book¡je: I think it’s pretty clear that the team needs to stop wasting time by keeping their rookie D-men in the minors.Marincin proves that they can handle the NHL now.

    Ha!

  34. Woodguy says:

    russ99:
    Woodguy,

    That’s why you keep Klefbom in OKC all year.

    No need to push him into this mess of a season into a spot he may not be able to handle at the expense of his development

    Now is the right time because they can live with rookie mistakes without benching him in fear of losing the game.

    There is no coaching out of fear from losing games, so its the ideal time.

  35. PunjabiOil says:

    Next year’s defence:

    XXX – Petry
    Schultz-XXX
    Marincin-Ference

    Veteran and one of Klefbom/Nurse as the 7th and 8th dman

    Alot of work required for MacT.

  36. Woodguy says:

    Pouzar: Hey Wood…have you watched any of the games in OKC? I saw a couple shifts where this #8 was flyin around. Turns out that is Klefbom lol. Never knew he was that mobile…then again maybe it was the Malbec.

    Haven’t watched too many, but follow Willis and others who blog on the Barons and have for years.

    Their reports are usually the goods.

    Stuff like this from Willis is gold: http://oilersnation.com/2014/1/18/oscar-klefbom-the-best-player-on-the-ice-in-oklahoma-city-barons-win/page/1

  37. Woodguy says:

    PunjabiOil:
    Next year’s defence:

    XXX – Petry
    Schultz-XXX
    Marincin-Ference

    Veteran and one of Klefbom/Nurse as the 7th and 8th dman

    Alot of work required for MacT.

    I think they’ll do this:

    1LD-Petry
    Ference-J.Shultz
    Marincin-Vet RHD
    Klef

    Klef might start on the farm and be first call up due to his ability to go to OKC without waivers.

  38. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy: Now is the right time because they can live with rookie mistakes without benching him in fear of losing the game.

    There is no coaching out of fear from losing games, so its the ideal time.

    yes. this. The yawning chasm at the end of the season is the right time to give out cups of coffee (aside from the obvious, injury). Pressure’s off, can see what you have, no commitment to the future.

    It’s basically the structural opposite of starting a player on the opening night roster.

  39. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    I’ve been watching the OKC games whenever they are available on the streams (and I’m home).

    Klefbom has these moments that make you see stars!

    In one game he broke up a d-zone play, recovered the puck himself and made a rush up ice to set up a scoring chance. His skating was so powerful up ice from a dead stop that he blew the opposition away and was well ahead of his Baron-mates.

    You can see the raw ability there in moments like that.

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