WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON OUT HERE?

It’s that time of year friends, when we discuss trade options and values. This is an interesting deadline, as the Oilers are both historically bad and incredibly unlucky—as they apparently have the one NHL veteran defenseman who can’t play well enough to get traded at the deadline (Nick Schultz) but it’s all in a year’s work in hell.

LAST SEASON’S DEADLINE

My post is here, and I’ll post my guesses for outgoing:

  1. 2013 2nd round pick (ANA)
  2. Ladislav Smid (UFA): Edmonton hasn’t signed him yet and that might mean there’s a gap between agent and team in terms of zero’s on the contract. Smid is going to get paid, the Oilers have to figure out if they want to be the team to pay him. Signed
  3. Ryan Whitney (UFA): Defensemen always have increased value at the deadline.
  4. Mark Fistric (UFA): I doubt the club would get less than the pick they gave up for him (3rd rd pick).
  5. Ryan Jones (UFA): He’s coming off an eye injury, but his wheels are fine. An NHL team might want to increase their offense in the bottom 6F and have a guy who isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty, either.
  6. Nikolai Khabibulin (UFA): Will the Oilers re-sign him?
  7. Ales Hemsky (UFA 2014): The Oilers were not getting strong offers for him a year ago (the rumored return was a 2nd and a 4th from Nashville).
  8. Ben Eager (UFA 2014): One year left at $1.1M and the concussion issues are a concern. Plus he’s been on waivers.
  9. Eric Belanger (UFA 2014): Makes $1.75M and might fill a need for a 4line C, faceoff guy and penalty killer. Injured.
  10. D Theo Peckham (RFA 2013): Forgotten man among the Oilers, but he’s a defenseman with NHL experience and that has value.

It’s funny, I was wrong about the deadline portion of the list, but the Oilers are no longer associated with all but three players (Jones, Eager, Hemsky) and this deadline could take care of that situation. As it turned out, the Oilers didn’t trade any of those guys, which based on the fact many are no longer in the NHL shouldn’t come as a surprise.

LAST YEAR’S TRADES (DON’T CRY)

  • March 29: Traded Tobias Rieder to Phoenix for Kale Kessy
  • April 2: Traded Dane Byers for Garrett Stafford
  • April 3: Traded 2014 4th round pick for Jerred Smithson

belov4

THIS SEASON’S DEADLINE

  1. Ales Hemsky: I’m still hopeful he signs, this injury is a terrible turn. Mark Spector has his value as a 3rd rd pick, but Ryan Rishaug suggested yesterday the return would be more substantial. I suspect Edmonton will want a player in return, even if it’s a promising minor league player. Ottawa remains the team I’d like to see get Hemsky.
  2. Anton Belov: There were reports that Boston was scouting the big man, and I would think there might be some interest from other teams. I don’t know if Edmonton has plans for him, he has shown some promise this year but it’s hard to assess when things are a mess.
  3. Nick Schultz: He can’t possibly be this bad, but it’s 42/58 Corsi when he’s on the ice 5×5 and lately he’s looked like a gent on his way to retirement. I had hoped they could fetch a second, now thinking 4th?
  4. Ryan Jones: I wonder if his recent fights are in an effort to fit a need for another NHL team. Jones is not my favorite player type, but he certainly has his uses and perhaps there’s a team out there who can use his speed and scoring.
  5. Ryan Smyth: It’s difficult for me to even write his name here, for lots of reasons (including the fact he could eventually break into the top 5 all-time in Oiler scoring) but he certainly has value based on good arrows. If he is sent away, one hopes he wins the Stanley and brings it home for a day. That would be a beautiful thing.
  6. Ilya Bryzgalov:  He’s entered a low ebb for the season, but he is better than he’s been recently and suspect NHL teams will look at him—which is different than trading for him.
  7. Corey Potter: Potter isn’t a terrible option for depth defenseman, and I wonder if the Oilers have any plans for him. At the very least, Taylor Fedun is as easy replacement.
  8. Anton Lander: Hendricks addition made me think Lander is done, and that’s probably true. However, Eakins chose to play the new hire at LW suggesting to me they might see him as a LW next year (depth chart: Hall, Perron, Hendricks, Gazdic) although there aren’t a lot of GF in there. Anyway, Lander looks pretty much ready and should have a good career in St. Louis or Nashville or Phoenix.

ABOUT LAST NIGHT

From McCurdy:

  • #64 Nail Yakupov, 5. Made a key play on the Eberle goal when he made a nice chip up the boards to spring the 2-on-1, though somehow the goal was scored as unassisted. Also set up Eberle for another fine chance out of the corner. His night ended early when he was sent careening into the boards after being smoked by Cooke, not a dirty hit per sé although this player sure does seem to be involved in a lot of injuries. To add insult to injury, the Wild scored while Yakupov was still crawling to the bench, giving him yet another shiny -1 for the night.

Woodguy (in last night’s comments section)

  • So Eakins blames Yak for the 3rd goal via his turn over. Watch the replay (in the boxcar section of NHL.com game stats). Ference backs all the way from the blueline until the goal line and doesn’t engage anyone, including the goal scorer until the puck is in the net. But its Yak’s fault.

I don’t know how this ends, but am always reminded of how many nights Shawn Horcoff would be talking to Hall/Eberle on the bench between shifts, helping, mentoring. I wonder if Yakupov could use that kind of personal tutor. I also wonder if Eakins can survive this season, this is a very severe level of horribleness and at some point Craig MacTavish may have to step in.

hall via rob ferguson

CORSI FOR %, 5X5 2013-14 SEASON

  1. Martin Marincin 51.3
  2. Mark Arcobello 48.1
  3. Ales Hemsky 47.8
  4. David Perron 47.7
  5. Anton Belov 47.7
  6. Ryan Smyth 47.7
  7. Jeff Petry 47.5
  8. Jordan Eberle 47.4
  9. Nail Yakupov 46.6
  10. Sam Gagner 45.4
  11. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 45.0
  12. Andrew Ference 43.7
  13. Justin Schultz 43.6
  14. Boyd Gordon 43.4
  15. Taylor Hall 43.0
  16. Ryan Jones 43.0
  17. Jesse Joensuu 42.8
  18. Nick Schultz 42.4
  19. Luke Gazdic 38.8

We’re beyond the point of worrying about Taylor Hall, and have reached an extreme.  The Oilers are in an area where their final record will be historically bad compared to their own history, which includes a couple of 25 win seasons. I don’t know the system that is capable of beating down Taylor Hall to a 43-57 portion of the possession pie, but that system is the devil itself.

Can you keep the coach and save the system? Because if you can’t, perhaps MacT should stop trading the Smid’s and Dubnyk’s and have a good long look at where this team is going. Right now, the long term damage has been negligible (Scrivens is about equal to Dubnyk, and Smid appears to be eroding) but someone left the cake out in the rain and roster melting is possible.

WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON OUT HERE?

If the team isn’t this bad (projected final record would be something like 25-50-7) and the players  are better (I do think this roster is superior to the Whitney-Petrell-Belanger-Eager group) then what’s the problem?

There’s only a few things it could be:

  • A fracture
  • Quitting on the coach
  • They’re just not that good
  • Injury
  • Systems

That’s all folks. Choose your poison. Do you feel there is a fracture, say between Hall and Yakupov that divides the team? If so, then the body language and comments of the coach mentioned above are perhaps a tell, but that’s reading a whole lot into not very much. Are they quitting on the coach? I’m beginning to wonder, but that’s also a cop out—we’re 50 games in and would have heard something by now. Smid said there would be more trades, and we’ve seen that, but there’s no evidence that a mutiny is taking place.

And yet, we are here. I firmly believe the Oilers are better, much better, than their record. These aren’t stupid men, there’s not a system alive that RNH couldn’t figure out in 50 games. Injury? Bah! That leaves:

  • Fracture
  • Coach

I’m of two minds here:

  1. Stay the course. Hell men, you can’t just keep shooting the man in the suit every summer, it’s a sign of addled thinking. Eakins was hired for his ideas and his inexperience was part of it. I know that his manner and frank talk have made some people angry, but I don’t give one damn about any of that. Give me a straight talk boss any day of the week, and if I’m out, I’m out and let’s move on. This isn’t going to be easy, but the Oilers team that Eakins took over was a combination of an abandoned shack and a house party. What a mess.
  2. Find the fracture, and choose your leader. If there is a problem in the room, and internal fixes aren’t helping, then for God sakes send the problem away. I have a bad feeling the difficulty might be incorporating Nail Yakupov into the group, and if that’s the issue, then for the love of all that is good send the kid to a new town. He doesn’t deserve this, and the Oilers chose their King in June 2010.

The Edmonton Oilers can’t possibly be this bad. Mutiny? Fracture? This is ghastly, and Craig MacTavish needs to fix it before we start hearing reports about Daryl Katz talking to some “mysterious source” about how to get this back on track. That news is usually followed by the hiring of a Craig Patrick and then bloodshed in the big offices.

And perhaps that’s the fix.

blunt222

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A really big shoe, as Ed Sullivan used to say. Scheduled to appear on TSN 1260 beginning at 10:

  • Steve Lansky. Can Eakins survive? Trade deadline and Torts in Van.
  • David Fucillo, Niners Nation. Talking SF-SEA and two teams who have been on a collision course all season long.
  • Ryan Batty, Copper and Blue. We’ll talk Yakupov’s future, Eakins future and what to do at the deadline.
  • Massimo Mirabelli, FC Edmonton. A lot of added pieces during the offseason, we’ll talk about 2014 for the Eddies.
  • Jungle Jim Hunter. Olympics prep for athletes.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide_ twitter. I’ve made a call to Lombardi, maybe he’ll call me back.

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246 Responses to "WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON OUT HERE?"

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  1. saddleblazer says:

    Stay the course. Hendricks will have this team turned around soon – I hear his VO2 scores are amazing.

  2. book¡je says:

    Just posted this at the end of the last thread.

    I think Eakins lost the players early with an over the top “Guys, I’m serious” attitude. He’s done. If MacT isn’t strategizing about the best time and way to fire him then he is not a competent GM.

    There’s no logical way this is about 23 guys were unwilling to back check. It’s about failed communication and players having lost faith in the coaches.

    It’s done. MacT needs to bring in an interim vet coach who will rebuild the ‘team’ aspect of this group or the kids are gone (Yak may be lost already). Then he needs a coach who can get the respect of the players.
    (Quote) (Reply)

  3. JohnnyRocket says:

    Perhaps it is.

  4. fuzzy muppet says:

    Eakins simply has to go. His calling out Yakupov on a night where his supposedly best player gave zero effort speaks volumes about him as a coach. He’s undeserving of a head NHL job and his record now proves it.

    The players clearly do not like him (not that they HAVE to) and unless they want to reset back to zero again he should be gone by the end of the road trip. He’s led this team into the abyss of unwatchable hockey where no one cares for each other and they look like they don’t give a shit whether they win or lose. That is terrifying.

    Good bye Eakins. I hope to never see you again

  5. goldenchild says:

    I wish I didnt care. Thats all I have today.

  6. Ben says:

    There’s something screwy with the chemistry of this group. Has been since the Gagner draft (not saying he’s a/the problem).

    I get being young, learning, trial and error-ing etc.

    But these guys just don’t seem to give two hoots about one another. I know that’s a sappy and totally unqualified statement, but most nights this looks like a pick-up game. Strangers failing with strangers. No mutual responsibility.

  7. Showerhead says:

    Ben:

    I get being young, learning, trial and error-ing etc.

    But these guys just don’t seem to give two hoots about one another.

    I can’t help but agree with you.

    What are the subjective signs of a team that cares?
    -chatter on the bench
    -putting a stick in the teeth of anyone who breathes wrong near your goalie
    -celebrating as a group after a goal
    -
    -
    -

    I’m sure everyone can add their own items.

    I almost never wade into territory that’s this subjective but I can’t shake the same feeling that Edmonton doesn’t tend to do any of these things.

    Finally, one piece of counterargument – a couple weeks ago: Hall turning a near breakaway into a 2-on-1 so Yakupov could catch up to the play, making the feed, and letting Yak cash on the goal. Maybe that’s a hockey play but I think that’s Taylor Hall being a good teammate.

  8. Snowman says:

    I really don’t think Eakins is the guy. And sooner or later MacT will look at the players on the team and compare them to past years and realize he’s made some good moves and has better personnel but the result is worse. MacT is not an idiot. I just hope he’s not too proud to correct his mistake.

    I hope whatever moves are made with Coach(es) or players they at least find a way to get some pride back in this organization. I can handle losing. I can handle bad teams. I can’t handle watching these guys get bent over night after night. Even if they have no respect for the coach or their teammates they should at least play with some pride in themselves.

  9. Colieo87 says:

    Fire Eakins and Mac T takes the reins. That’s all I can say.

  10. Ben says:

    Calling it now. IF they fire Eakins – and I would be SHOCKED if they did – I hereby use my powers of deduction (former member of organization, talks a great game, completely inexperienced as head coach) to determine that the next coach of the Edmonton Oilers will be:

    Doug Weight

  11. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Deadline worries: I know you don’t have them on your list… but if I was Petry or J. Schultz I might be seriously wondering if I’m on the block, esp. Petry. I really couldn’t say how the team feels about him and worry they veer toward the rabid fan’s estimation of him.

    ————-
    “Fracture”

    I think you are way off here LT.

    I have no problem believing there may be a fracture in the room, or that it may be affecting performance.

    BUT, it seems wildly implausible that a fracture could lead to this mess. The principals don’t even play together on a line or a special team. I just can’t buy that Hall, for example, is playing terrible with RNH because Yak is in the dressing room.

    Don’t make any sense.

  12. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Ben:
    Calling it now.IF they fire Eakins – and I would be SHOCKED if they did – I hereby use my powers of deduction (former member of organization, talks a great game, completely inexperienced as head coach) to determine that the next coach of the Edmonton Oilers will be:

    Doug Weight

    I don’t think you’re getting Weight off the Island, until he is relieved of that job. He’s got a mixed position over there (half coaching; half management) and seems to like it.

  13. Caramel Obvious says:

    I’ve been a big defender of Eakins but this team hasn’t been getting better.

    But anyone who thinks a veteran coach will make this better is crazy.

    This team has the same problem every Oilers team has had: too many players on their last NHL contract playing their way out of the league.

    If half your team should be in the AHL you’re going to have trouble winning. Combine that with stars who aren’t really stars and you have this. Hall is the only one approaching star ability and this post is inspired by how bad he’s been.

    So you have a no stars lots of scrubs lineup. This team faces a talent deficit every night.

    Last year around this time I said that on this path the Oilers were never, ever, going to make the playoffs. Not enough front line talent and nothing in the pipeline. That’s the Oilers.

    The other sad truth is that there is nothing you can really do about it. No grand plan. No quick fix. Nothing. All you can do is what should have been done from the beginning. Find veteran players where you can, try and get better in small increments and keep every draft pick in the AHL or junior as long as possible, so they don’t develop in the NHL.

    It’s not much of a plan but it is the only thing that has a chance of working. Trades won’t fix this.

  14. Hammers says:

    LT . The truth is our core are not as good as people thought . To me it looks like Hall has quit so I wonder about his relationship with both the coach and his teammates .Scrivens will soon have Brz /DD numbers proving what Everyone has said for 5 years , we have the worst “D” in the league .Playing NSchultz to get a pick makes no sense . He is awful and any scout should see that . Send him down and hope he gets picked up . Bring up Fedun . Right now I wonder what we would get for any of our core . SAD .

  15. Hammers says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    I’ve been a big defender of Eakins but this team hasn’t been getting better.

    But anyone who thinks a veteran coach will make this better is crazy.

    This team has the same problem every Oilers team has had: too many players on their last NHL contract playing their way out of the league.

    If half your team should be in the AHL you’re going to have trouble winning.Combine that with stars who aren’t really stars and you have this.Hall is the only one approaching star ability and this post is inspired by how bad he’s been.

    So you have a no stars lots of scrubs lineup.This team faces a talent deficit every night.

    Last year around this time I said that on this path the Oilers were never, ever, going to make the playoffs.Not enough front line talent and nothing in the pipeline.That’s the Oilers.

    The other sad truth is that there is nothing you can really do about it.No grand plan.No quick fix.Nothing.All you can do is what should have been done from the beginning.Find veteran players where you can, try and get better in small increments and keep every draft pick in the AHL or junior as long as possible, so they don’t develop in the NHL.

    It’s not much of a plan but it is the only thing that has a chance of working.Trades won’t fix this.

    Winnipeg just got a huge lift with a veteran coach .

  16. sliderule says:

    Eakins spent the summer running marathons rather than looking at film.

    Eakins didn’t communicate the new system “the swarm” to his players until training camp.That may be the way the NHL. operates but in the NFL he would be grounds for firing.

    Eakins consented to having the Teflon assistants stay on his staff.This is a recipe for disaster that keeps on repeating itself .

    Eakins likes to scapegoat players and ridicule them in public while letting others get away with murder.

    Eakins has the team playing disinterested and like crap.

    These are all reasons for firing him .They will probably wait till Olympic break before doing that.

  17. hunter1909 says:

    Caramel Obvious: I’ve been a big defender of Eakins but this team hasn’t been getting better.
    But anyone who thinks a veteran coach will make this better is crazy.

    Why? Because someone who has experience, who isn’t trying to crucify Yaks like some kind of demented KKK cracker in 1930′s Alabama cannot possible motivate a team of overage juniors, by appealing to their better selves?

    Or does broken home raised by stepfather American Eakins simply know best?

  18. linkfromhyrule says:

    has there been an update on yak injury yet?

    Really not liking Eakins calling yak out publicly. It’s a low blow, and a lot of the time yak isn’t even the one at fault. I want to believe that Eakins knows what he’s doing, but more and more I find myself questioning his ability as a coach

  19. Dee Dee says:

    The young players playing a lazy game and are calling the shots. Scoring is so much more fun than looking after your own end. They know they just have to hold their breath a little and yet another coach will be sent packing.

    Eakins is in a no win situation and will play it out until he collects his severance check, and then yet another sacrificial lamb, errr next head coach gets hired, finds out he can’t hire his own assistants, finds out that the dynamic young core wants to play pond hockey, and the cycle will continue.

    Check out the real time stats on the NHL website and see who is leading the team on give aways, it’s awful.

    My current theory is that it’s bad karma from Gretzky calling the Devils a Mickey Mouse organization.

    Pass the cheese please, where’s my mouse club hat?

  20. steveb12344 says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    I’ve been a big defender of Eakins but this team hasn’t been getting better.

    But anyone who thinks a veteran coach will make this better is crazy.

    This team has the same problem every Oilers team has had: too many players on their last NHL contract playing their way out of the league.

    If half your team should be in the AHL you’re going to have trouble winning.Combine that with stars who aren’t really stars and you have this.Hall is the only one approaching star ability and this post is inspired by how bad he’s been.

    So you have a no stars lots of scrubs lineup.This team faces a talent deficit every night.

    Last year around this time I said that on this path the Oilers were never, ever, going to make the playoffs.Not enough front line talent and nothing in the pipeline.That’s the Oilers.

    The other sad truth is that there is nothing you can really do about it.No grand plan.No quick fix.Nothing.All you can do is what should have been done from the beginning.Find veteran players where you can, try and get better in small increments and keep every draft pick in the AHL or junior as long as possible, so they don’t develop in the NHL.

    It’s not much of a plan but it is the only thing that has a chance of working.Trades won’t fix this.

    You are probably right about this. Problem is I don’t think the fanbase (or the GM) has the patience to wait another 2-3 years for the D and support players to properly develop.

    As far as Eakins goes. If he does get the axe, I think Todd Nelson would be a very likely replacement, at least as an interim to see how he fits. Many of the players know him, and seem to like and respect him. Gord knows he has done wonderful work with the Barons. He seems to almost always be able to get the best out of his group despite the revolving door of players that he’s had to deal with the last few years.

  21. Truth says:

    Eakins is a hard-ass know it all that just doesn’t know the NHL game. A year late on the Jon Cooper sweepstakes. Those guys play a good game, without the second or third best player in the league.

    Eakins:
    - Prior to meeting any of the players he proclaims all players must be at least as fit as him. These are professional athletes in 2013 (at the time). If they aren’t in shape they go the way of Teddy Peckman, they know this. Save your breath Eakins. How about worry about getting them ready to play the game of hockey?
    - Comes to the Oilers locker room, proceeds to take down everything relating to the past. 99.9% of players that sign with the Oilers as UFAs mention in their first interview, “glad to be part of such a historic team.” Did anyone catch 24/7 and the Red Wings dressing room? Babcock, what a bum. Get that team into the now.
    - Day 1 of camp, removes donuts from media room. No big deal. All other teams go out for team dinners and whatnot when on the road, I wonder if their meals/beverages have changed? You cut out my ever so tasty can of barley soup after a game and I will resent you.
    - Pushes his style of swarm defense he has used against AHL competition, fails miserably in the NHL. Blames players for not even knowing how to play basic defense. My cousins bantam team KNOWS how to play a basic defense.
    - Another 24/7 reference, body language. Babcock to his players (paraphrasing); keep your head up, sulking gets you nowhere. Eakins is seen rolling his eyes in disgust after every single goal against.
    – Is seen in Oil Change emphasizing the cycle in practice. Of course, they should know how to cycle, but maybe the smallest forward group in the West that matches up against LAK, SJS, STL, etc, night after night would be better served at trying to beat teams with speed and skill, not size and puck strength.

    I could go on, but I think Eakins would have been better served with at least one veteran NHL associate/assistant coach for this season. Smith and Bucky have done what as NHL assistants? I’d have them at the top of my list if I wanted to collect first overall draft picks.

    Unfortunately for us Oiler fans I can’t see MacT swallowing his pride and firing his first coach, especially after his treatment of Kreuger (sp?). This may mean the departure of one or more exceptional players for cents on the dollar, and that is a damn shame.

  22. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers 8m
    #Oilers acquire forwards Steve Pinizzotto and Jack Combs from @FlaPanthers in exchange for forwards Ryan Martindale and Derek Nesbitt.

    Ryan Whitney… insider.

  23. flyfish1168 says:

    Hire a co-coach for Eakins 1st , he is obviously in over his head. See how well it goes then if it still doesn’t work then release him. As much as it well documented here that I don’t like his style I don’t want a carousel of coaches every year.

    Eakins needs to take a lesson on communication with the media and be told not to make all these backhanded comments on one player. Its getting to a point where we all know its coming and its not helping build confidence.

  24. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    So, with Martindale off… the 2010 draft is an inch closer to it’s bloom.

  25. linkfromhyrule says:

    flyfish1168:
    Hire a co-coach for Eakins 1st , he is obviously in over his head. See how well it goes then if it still doesn’t work then release him. As much as it well documented here thatI don’t like his style I don’t want a carousel of coaches every year.

    Eakins needs to take a lesson on communication with the media and be told not to make all these backhanded comments on one player. Its getting to a point where we all know its coming and its not helping build confidence.

    Yes, I agree with this 100%. You have to wonder how eakins would like it if the roles were reversed. It’s especially unfair when pretty well every other player on the team commits the same, if not worse, errors nightly (I’m looking at you eberle)

  26. Showerhead says:

    Hammers: Winnipeg just got a huge lift with a veteran coach .

    The Jets have had a pretty solid week but it should take more than a two game winning streak for you to think a team is saved.

    I mean it would sure be nice if our Oilers could put one of those together but in most situations, you don’t plan the parade in the morning because you handed the Flames their 7th consecutive home loss last night.

  27. RMGS says:

    Honest question: what will hiring an “experienced” Associate for Eakins achieve? I mean, he already has an experienced Associate in Keith Acton. He’s been (assistant) coaching in the NHL since 1994.

    Either stick with Eakins or replace him (he’ll still get paid) but, please, no useless half measures.

  28. oilabroad says:

    I get all the fear about another new coach but the reality is they should not have fired Renney and they should not have fired Krueger, so how does keeping the one they need to fire fix these mistakes?? MacT needs to make his first BOLD move and fire all the coaching staff and give the players some reason for optimism that next year wont be as bad as this year….

  29. Clay says:

    It’s a bit ironic that the Oilers are unable to fire a bad coach because they’ve fired too many good coaches recently.

  30. Chris says:

    The one interesting aspect of hockey that as fans we all struggle to analyze is its psychology. I’m sure we all know people whom have played at competitive levels or people who know people who have. Strangely its never really the dazzling systems knowledge of a coach that a player will bring up about a coach. They worry about who they play with, how their ice time is managed and whether he can motivate the troops.

    From this perspective Ralph Krueger although he certainly had some well documented flaws from his systems addressed the things the players cared about. While Eakins on the other hand seems to have come in expecting he could teach them all a ton of systems and everything would fall into line.

    I am only speculating but to me I think there are a few things from the way this year has gone that we can reasonably infer. 1) The Players liked Ralph Krueger and played hard for him. 2) The Players do not like Dallas Eakins and possibly resent him taking over.

    I also think its reasonable to think that the players whom had been in Edmonton for several years resented Andrew Ference whom had been in town five minutes being made captain. I don’t blame Ference for that as he didn’t appoint himself. But I can’t think it was a positive message to that locker room that there was out of the returning players no one capable of leading them.

  31. BrazilianOil says:

    The Todd Nelson option seems the logical one for the rest of the season. See how works and decide if is the good option for the next season.

    He knows the core guys and the prospects in the farm. Let’s see what he can do after the death line with the young group.

    Is hard to believe that a new guy like Yakupov can be the reason for the fracture in the room.Not Seems plausible to me that a guy who looks shy had challenged the bosses in the room ( 4-89-14 etc.)

  32. justDOit says:

    Well Mr. Feaster – I think the time has come to apologize for everything I’ve said about you on the interwebz. You may not have been right about a lot of things, in your time in Cowtown, but your ‘desert’ analysis seems to be playing out.

  33. rich says:

    I said this two weeks ago and will say it again.

    LT, I do agree with you that you can’t keep firing the coach. MacT has stated publically that Eakins is his man, he’s not going anywhere.

    So if that’s the case you get him some help PDQ before you reach the point where it’s irretrievable.

    Having now said this, I will add one other thought from the business world.

    Being in a business (advertising) where there are huge ego’s, I’ve seen creative directors come and go (we’ve had 7 of them in the 10 years I’ve been here). We finally have one now who not only knows how to think but also knows how to manage.

    Using this as an example, while it looks bad on the outside, on the inside, if you have to keep changing things until you get it right, you do that. But before you do this, you better well try and fix things otherwise you (I’m speaking GM & Prez of Hockey Ops) are just as guilty of contributing to the problem and THAT will keep you from finding a good coach in the future.

  34. flyfish1168 says:

    justDOit: Well Mr. Feaster – I think the time has come to apologize for everything I’ve said about you on the interwebz. You may not have been right about a lot of things, in your time in Cowtown, but your ‘desert’ analysis seems to be playing out.

    I would love to sneak into Klowe & macT’s office and hang that quote up on their wall

  35. justDOit says:

    flyfish1168: I would love to sneak into Klowe & macT’s office and hang that quote up on their wall

    K-Lowe the PoHO has got to go-oh!

  36. Marcus Oilerius says:

    BrazilianOil:
    The Todd Nelson option seems the logical one for the rest of the season. See how works and decide if is the good option for the next season.

    No more rookie coaches.

  37. FastOil says:

    Winning will fix all of this. Crosby wasn’t ruined, Hall, RNH and Yak shouldn’t be either. What will ruin Yak is being a crazy Russian if anything.

    Really to start winning it’s only a matter of acquiring the best experienced players they can to cover the gap for a few years. Not complicated. Make poor choices, stay weak, make good choices get better. This year the poor choices overshadow the good and the results speak for themselves.

    The elephant in the room for me is what are they going to do with all of the left D. The forward group can be tweaked pretty easily with some common sense.

    If MacT tries to bring Nurse and Klefbom in at the same time and possibly Ekblad, it won’t be good. Petry can carry a talented rookie if he’s not asked to play toughs, after that it’s pretty sketchy.

    XXX JS
    Klefbom Petry
    Nurse Ference
    Marincin
    Belov??

    Unless that is Gary Suter in XXX, pretty risky again. They really need to make a smart plan and stick to it. I remain not confident.

  38. Lowetide says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Deadline worries: I know you don’t have them on your list… but if I was Petry or J. Schultz I might be seriously wondering if I’m on the block, esp. Petry. I really couldn’t say how the team feels about him and worry they veer toward the rabid fan’s estimation of him.

    ————-
    “Fracture”

    I think you are way off here LT.

    I have no problem believing there may be a fracture in the room, or that it may be affecting performance.

    BUT, it seems wildly implausible that a fracture could lead to this mess. The principals don’t even play together on a line or a special team. I just can’t buy that Hall, for example, is playing terrible with RNH because Yak is in the dressing room.

    Don’t make any sense.

    I could very well be, and certainly hope so. However, I don’t recall the kinds of things Yakupov is enduring being placed at Nuge’s or Hall’s doorstep.

    If not a fracture, I’d suggest there’s an impatience that appears to be wildly unfair from an outsider’s point of view.

  39. Rondo says:

    To fix or fixate? That is the question.

  40. icecastles says:

    sliderule: Eakins has the team playing disinterested and like crap.
    These are all reasons for firing him .

    As did Kreuger? As did Renney? As did Quinn? As did MacT?

    Come on, man. This isn’t the first year we’ve seen this. Eakins may not have fixed it, but people need to stop pretending he caused it.

  41. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide: I could very well be, and certainly hope so. However, I don’t recall the kinds of things Yakupov is enduring being placed at Nuge’s or Hall’s doorstep.

    If not a fracture, I’d suggest there’s an impatience that appears to be wildly unfair from an outsider’s point of view.

    Sure. I agree with all that.

    I would just want to separate out a few things:

    1. Yak seems to be getting the hard boil for no good damn reason.

    2. it seems entirely possible there are some personality clashes going on

    3. I don’t think either 1 or 2 explain very much about why the team is playing so poorly. It probably explains some of Yak’s performance and certainly his off-ice frustration earlier in the year.

    ———-
    Regardless of why… this team isn’t going to start winning anytime soon. How Eakins handles that is going to determine how the off-season plays out to a large degree.

    Remember, if they follow the previous time-line, MacT will be negotiating with Yak very soon.

  42. oilersfan says:

    We all really need to hear what MacTavish has said over and over…Eakins isn’t going anywhere. Mact likes the job he has done.

    That being said, I really think the one bullet those two have is to re-assign Smith and Bucky in the org and hire Perry Pearn who just got fired last week in Winnipeg and at least one other veteran NHL coach for the staff.

    Since there is no salary cap on coaches, I wonder why they don’t hire, for example, a “goal scoring coach”. There is a freakign goalie coach for about 5 guys, why isn’t there somebody to coach some of this elite talent which spots to pick and lanes to find for scoring?

    it was said above, Yak has elite hockey talent but not hockey sense.

    I would love the Oilers to hire Brett Hull to be his scoring coach. Show him the 3-4 spots from where he scored so many of his goals..

  43. oilersfan says:

    you guys think Petry is worring he might get traded?

    Probably praying for it.

    I wonder how many times J Schultz wonders why the hell he didn’t sign with Anaheim.

    The situation from the outside appears so toxic those guys need a trip to Vegas to blow off some frustration more than anything else. I hope they do it during the Olympic break. Probably won’t be any 8:00 am practices there.

  44. icecastles says:

    oilersfan: Since there is no salary cap on coaches, I wonder why they don’t hire, for example, a “goal scoring coach”. There is a freakign goalie coach for about 5 guys, why isn’t there somebody to coach some of this elite talent which spots to pick and lanes to find for scoring?

    Yeah, more chefs in the kitchen is always a recipe for success.

  45. russ99 says:

    I can see Eakins keeping his job for continuity’s sake, but MacT really has to get him to really change up some things, first on the list is how he’s dealing with the players.

    If his ideas aren’t working, try new ones…

    New assistants/co-coach could be helpful too, but I do wonder if that would push Eakins further into his “unbending will” shell than out of it.

  46. book¡je says:

    icecastles: As did Kreuger? As did Renney? As did Quinn? As did MacT?

    Come on, man. This isn’t the first year we’ve seen this. Eakins may not have fixed it, but people need to stop pretending he caused it.

    How many players are left from MacT’s team. I agree however, that the team had problems when Eakins arrived, but I have begun to think that its clear that he is not the guy to fix them. I think he lacks any level of nuance.

    With that said, I don’t have enough info to really say that – its just my sense as a fan.

  47. oilersfan says:

    one last comment…i think the Oilers really need to take Gagner off the trading block. In the 7 years he has been here I am sure this is the absolute lowest his value has been, right now.

    They are better to do what they did with Hemsky…see what the offers are, and when you see they are all crap, just let him play. If I were them I would find a big left winger to play with him to create space who is defensively responsible. Penner would be my top choice but MacT can’t get past his 5 year old evaluation of him.

    I wonder if the Oilers mgmt. regime has set a record for taking the most amount of legitimate NHL talent and getting absolutely nothing for it. Stoll, Green, Torres, Lupul (I only count him once so no Pitkanen and counting Stoll so no Lubo) , Glencross, Gilbert, SOuray, Cogliano, Smid, Penner. Right there would be enough for a very good second and third NHL line and two second pairing NHL dmen, all playing on teams int he playoffs or at least much higher than the Oilers are, and absolutely zilch. not to mention drafting Plante at all, and Musil instead of Rattie, Jenner, saad. Just absolute incompetence at all levels.

    I guess most of that is on Lowe and Tambo, can only blame MacT for Smid and the rookie head coach mistake.

  48. FastOil says:

    oilersfan:
    We all really need to hear what MacTavish has said over and over…Eakins isn’t going anywhere. Mact likes the job he has done.

    That being said, I really think the one bullet those two have is to re-assign Smith and Bucky in the org and hire Perry Pearn who just got fired last week in Winnipeg and at least one other veteran NHL coach for the staff.

    Since there is no salary cap on coaches, I wonder why they don’t hire, for example, a “goal scoring coach”. There is a freakign goalie coach for about 5 guys, why isn’t there somebody to coach some of this elite talent which spots to pick and lanes to find for scoring?

    it was said above, Yak has elite hockey talent but not hockey sense.

    I would love the Oilers to hire Brett Hull to be his scoring coach. Show him the 3-4 spots from where he scored so many of his goals..

    Interesting ideas. I think helping the offensive players understand what top level play demands would be a good start.

    I read something about Hemsky worrying that his role this year (more defensively responsible) might effect his Olympic chances.

    He of course was named. Likely because of his responsible defensive play. I don’t think some players realize that only Crosby really is special enough to get a pass on all round play and he doesn’t even take one. It should be pointed out until they get it. Teams don’t value winning the points scoring race and losing the goal differential battle.

  49. mustang says:

    I don’t actually think he’s lost the room, Players respond when he sits them or when he HS them. I think this problem runs deeper than the first year coach. This “Oilers Hockey” mentality has to stop, run and gun,river hockey does not win in today’s NHL, never did.The only reason it worked the first time is obvious, 6 hall of famers, 2 of the best hockey players ever on the same team,impossible to duplicate.
    Lowe’s ego is way to big, he believes he’s a winner, and yes, he WAS as a player, playing with the best ever. His ego doesn’t allow him to realize he hasn’t won a damn thing in a management position. His word goes and is FINAL. Most of these players are learning how to play D. A lot of the blame is laid at the feet of the dman, which a lot of the time they deserve, but they have no support most of the time from the forwards. Team defence sucks on this team plain and simple. Eakins has a long row to hoe, lots of teaching to be done, and we need more NHL veterans. At least one young gun has to go. If it was me I would go hard after Shea Weber, moving whatever except Hall and RNH and start from there.

    Fire Lowe and pro scouting staff.

  50. BrazilianOil says:

    Marcus Oilerius,

    Why not? The NHL and the AHL have the same rules. Yes, the nhl is faster and skiller but is the same sport.

    Ok, Eakins can’t traslate his tactics, but this don’t means another can do it or adapt it.

    Nelson have had very awful roosters and a year ago he lose a half roster to the NHL, Is not about sign him for a 4 years deal, is about to give him the chance to prove himself for 30 games.

  51. FastOil says:

    I still don’t think Eakins thing is a problem in itself. Eakins thing is a problem if MacT doesn’t get him more decent players to work with.

    Being unbending without the tools for the job will alienate players. And MacT needs to quit asking Eakins for scouting advice. No more Marlies. Proper due diligence.

  52. Traktor says:

    - build team around purely offensive players
    - bring in defense first coaches

    You aren’t going to win a Stanley without good D but perhaps that comes with age and experience opposed to swarm systems

    I like Eakins but yeah.. its not working

    Peter Laviolette would seem like a better coach for what we have. Bring out the best of our offensive players while making slow incremental improvements on D instead of running our team through an offensive detox

    Lowetide deserves a statue for keeping on blogging about this team

  53. mumbai max says:

    Patience.

    Make the right player moves. Fire the assistants. Bring in Bowman, Blake and Arbour as assistants in the off season.

    Eakins is a dick, but seemingly not stupid. Hopefully he is working his way through the list of stupid things to do, and will eventually stop doing them.

    Pretty funny to watch Krueger go from saviour, to helpless fool, to misunderstood guru all within an 18 month period. If he came back, he could go through the whole cycle again, wouldn’t that be fun.

    Patience. Make the right player moves. Fire the ASSistants. Stir. Simmer. Wait.

  54. Bar_Qu says:

    book¡je: How many players are left from MacT’s team.I agree however, that the team had problems when Eakins arrived, but I have begun to think that its clear that he is not the guy to fix them.I think he lacks any level of nuance.

    With that said, I don’t have enough info to really say that – its just my sense as a fan.

    Last night’s game really crystallised how poorly Eakin’s manages a roster. To play Hendricks for 16.5 min and to have Gazdic out as much as he was at the end of the game speaks to a misunderstanding of who his difference makers are on the team (I remember one shift he took at the end with Eberle and RNH, and thinking it was a poor idea right before he lost possession of the puck at the line and it stayed down at Edm’s end from there in).

    I don’t advocate firing the head coach year after year, but I don’t know if Eakins is the right guy and is that wrong guy badly enough that maybe he does need to go.

    I would advocate Nelson for one simple reason. He knows these guys. Both from the lockout and from coaching them in OKC, he is the continuity the organisation needs and cannot get from an outside “veteran” coach. Bring him up for the last part of the season so he can experience the NHL game and then a fresh start in September. I think this is the right course of action.

  55. neojanus says:

    This the first time I’ve ever expected to see a murder in the organization.

    This fiasco of of a season is one step from completely out of control.

    Scrivens has been here one day and is already battling twitter; Yakupov has finally been totally thrown under the bus by the coach; our phenom, Martindale, has been traded to the juggernaut Panthers; Dubnyk will undoubtedly end the season with a .940 save percentage; Hendricks has become an automatic goat for being a 4th line player on a team full of 4th line players; Taylor Hall’s stats have imploded; the untradeable Sam Gagner is going to get traded for pucks because his season is abysmal; Hemsky was injured and will be traded for a 3rd round pick we already traded for a goalie we may not sign because he has already started battling twitter… wait a minute, this is all coming full circle.

    Never have I been more ashamed of my hockey club. It’s like watching Godard’s Weekend on acid while having your dick rubbed by a sharpened hedgehog smothered in Hungarian paprika… except that Weekend is actually brilliant and the hedgehog would be mildly pleasurable.

  56. Ryan says:

    I’d say that the current state of affairs qualifies as a “debacle of monumental proportions.”

    Good Gord.

    Mact’s burning Oil shuffling bottom of the roster players and goalies…

    Even I can see that the bleeding won’t stop until they get some top four defensemen.

  57. Andy P says:

    Seriously, this is so bad. It’s quite possible that MacT has already been down the road of trying to alleviate – witness the Moose hanging around as a “consultant” for a while recently – but it seems like Eakins is, like so many head coaches, architected this way. Fine if you actually are a genius, not so fine if you lack the manipulative ability to make your players want to play for you. Much easier in the AHL where you can hold the sword of Damocles over their heads.

    So let’s get over the fact of a lack of due diligence, and that this bad hire is why we do due diligence. Instead it’s “Where do we go from here” to quote the song. There are a few options that even I can think of:

    1) As mentioned in this blog, bring Todd Nelson up. This may be a very good move because Todd has a really good report with the core, they clearly like and respect him. For the sake of stability in OKC, it might be necessary to leave the assistants down there for the rest of this season, on the clear understanding that he gets to choose his own assistants if he is appointed head coach for the new season. We’re actually quite fortunate that we have Todd available to us, and also fortunate that the lockout provided him the opportunity to bond with the golden boys.

    The negative is the degree to which the present assistants will hamper and undermine him, so he would need the ability to dump any or all of them if they present an obstacle to him.

    Also, he’s never been on the bus.

    2) Put MacT in as an interim as a replacement for Eakins. This is what Katz might do, just as they did in New York to Sather. prove your recipe by eating it. The obvious problem is the amount of damage MacT did by tying himself to Eakins as he did. The risk is that MacT has also lost the team, just as he lost the prior team when Tambo replaced him with Quinn.

    Just sayin’

  58. book¡je says:

    Chris:

    we can reasonably infer. 1) The Players liked Ralph Krueger and played hard for him. 2) The Players do not like Dallas Eakins and possibly resent him taking over.

    I also think its reasonable to think that the players whom had been in Edmonton for several years resented Andrew Ference whom had been in town five minutes being made captain. I don’t blame Ference for that as he didn’t appoint himself. But I can’t think it was a positive message to that locker room that there was out of the returning players no one capable of leading them.

    Yes, and keep in mind that just yesterday MacT praised Ference as a leader (and he traded Horcoff). I think its clear that management doesn’t like the spirit of the players on this team. They may be correct, but I fear that it leads to disaster for the Oilers. I fear MacT will conclude that they are uncoachable and either trade them away or be told by Katz that he is not allowed to trade them away and it all all implode.

  59. Marcus Oilerius says:

    BrazilianOil:
    Marcus Oilerius,
    Why not? The NHL and the AHL have the same rules. Yes, the nhl is faster and skiller but is the same sport.

    Ok, Eakins can’t traslate his tactics, but this don’t means another can do it or adapt it.

    Nelson have had very awful roosters and a year ago he lose a half roster to the NHL, Is not about sign him for a 4 years deal, is about to give him the chance to prove himself for 30 games.

    Because Eakins.

    Because the players won’t listen to another coach, unless it’s someone with a Name, and a Reputation, someone who has shown he can Win.

    They’ll chew another rookie coach up.

  60. Ryan says:

    Marcus Oilerius,

    Are there any non-rookie coaches who’re available? We obviously could have had Paul Maurice, but other than that…

    At this point, you’d have to be flat-out desperate to come here knowing that this gig is likely going to be your last.

  61. Caramel Obvious says:

    book¡je: How many players are left from MacT’s team.I agree however, that the team had problems when Eakins arrived, but I have begun to think that its clear that he is not the guy to fix them.I think he lacks any level of nuance.

    With that said, I don’t have enough info to really say that – its just my sense as a fan.

    See, this is at least fair. It doesn’t pretend to be substantive. The rest of the criticism of Eakins is nothing more than armchair psychology from people who aren’t even in the room.

    However, the results are what the results are. But firing the coach isn’t going to make a difference unless the new coach is a miracle worker. Now, these guys do exist but they either 1) already have a job or 2) there is no way of knowing in advance who they are.

    For instance, Jon Cooper looks great right now. Well so did Boucher or Eakins for that matter. Let’s not pretend that Eakins is an inexperienced coach. He has years of coaching experience in both the NHL and the AHL. And the verbal on that experience was universally positive. His teams were always well coached. So I just don’t buy the idea that this is his fault. It’s not like Eakins is obviously incompetent the way that Khavis Reed was.

    And if you are looking for veteran coaches you are talking about people who have, by definition, already failed somewhere. Can you imagine if Tortorella had been hired in the offseason?

    Finally, most of this coach stuff is impossible to evaluate from we are sitting. It’s just idle chatter.

    What we can talk about is what to do?

  62. Andy P says:

    oilersfan: you guys think Petry is worring he might get traded?Probably praying for it. I wonder how many times J Schultz wonders why the hell he didn’t sign with Anaheim.The situation from the outside appears so toxic those guys need a trip to Vegas to blow off some frustration more than anything else. I hope they do it during the Olympic break. Probably won’t be any 8:00 am practices there.

    Great way to bond with Yak :)

  63. mustang says:

    icecastles: As did Kreuger? As did Renney? As did Quinn? As did MacT?

    Come on, man. This isn’t the first year we’ve seen this. Eakins may not have fixed it, but people need to stop pretending he caused it.

    exactly..seen this over and over and over

  64. Marcus Oilerius says:

    Ryan,

    Laviolette. Sweet Jesus, get me some motherfucking Peter Laviolette.

  65. soup says:

    They were trending downward under MacT as Head Coach. They were crap under Quinn. They were crap under Renney. They were crap under Freddie. They are crap under Eakins. It ain’t the coach – it’s the team.

    Time to make some serious changes to personnel. It is probably the only way to break through the prevailing culture. That means someone of significance has to go. My fear is that it is going to be one of Hall, Eberle or Nuge (who else would anyone really want?). But really, there should be no screwing around with that line. Build around it.

    Of course there will be the screams from the masses should one of the favs be dealt. Can’t trade Hemsky – he is too talented. Can’t trade Gagner – he’s got too much potential. Can’t trade Petry – he is the only thing we have.

    You’re going to have to give to get. As much as I dislike Spector, I think he is onto something with Edm over valuing its players. Certainly seems to be the case here, no? Can’t trade anyone for fear of being fleeched, but here the Oil remain swirling around the inner ring of the toilet bowl.

    One point on Yak – whan he went down last night, did anyone else think to Kovalev in Montreal in the playoffs a few years back? Sorry – know I’m likely to get crucified for this – Yak is not someone you buid a team around.

  66. Marcus Oilerius says:

    soup,

    We have a team now, a completely different team. I don’t think anyone from the Quinn squad is still on the Oilers, except Hemsky. We have top end talent. We have a good 3rd line center. We don’t have a defence, but even so… with all these players, are we really the worst team in the West? Worse than Calgary? Almost as bad as Buffalo (who are about to pass us – only 3 points behind and have 4 games in hand.)

  67. book¡je says:

    soup,

    If Yak was not from Russia, would you compare him to Kovalev?

  68. Caramel Obvious says:

    Marcus Oilerius:
    Ryan,

    Laviolette.Sweet Jesus, get me some motherfucking Peter Laviolette.

    Dear God that is a terrible idea.

  69. Marcus Oilerius says:

    Caramel Obvious: Dear God that is a terrible idea.

    How so?

    Won with shitty teams. Won with good teams. Won the Cup.

  70. book¡je says:

    I think this team should bring in Ralph Eakins to coach.

  71. Caramel Obvious says:

    Marcus Oilerius:
    soup,

    We have a team now, a completely different team.I don’t think anyone from the Quinn squad is still on the Oilers, except Hemsky.We have top end talent.We have a good 3rd line center.We don’t have a defence, but even so… with all these players, are we really the worst team in the West?Worse than Calgary?Almost as bad as Buffalo (who are about to pass us – only 3 points behind and have 4 games in hand.)

    What top end talent is this? The Oilers do not have top end talent. Stop saying they do.

    Jordan Eberle is not top end talent. He’s Radim Vrbata not Patrick Sharp.
    Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is not top end talent. I don’t have a good comparison but he isn’t Toews.
    Sam Gagner is not top end talent. He’s not Patrick Kane, he’s Derick Brasard.
    Taylor Hall might be top end talent but he isn’t a young Marian Hossa.
    Nail Yakupov is not a top end NHL player. Not right now.

    So where, exactly is the top end talent?

  72. Redwood Original says:

    Quick question: What if Taylor Hall is the fracture?

    Yes, he is the best player on the team. Phenomenal. But who else smacks his stick on every inanimate object available when they are frustrated? Continually yapping at fellow players, with what I’m assuming isn’t leader-like constructive criticism.

    If the Oilers take a good hard look at his attitude, do they act first, or wait for him to completely lose it and ask to be traded? Is there even enough displeasure on display to consider it’s a possibility?

    I don’t want this to be seen as a fear mongering, slag Taylor Hall type of post. Just a legitimate, ‘what if he’s the problem’ question.

  73. Caramel Obvious says:

    Marcus Oilerius: How so?

    Won with shitty teams.Won with good teams.Won the Cup.

    If the problem with Eakins is that he’s a hardass who talks too much about compete level then you are all going to hate Laviolette. At least Eakins brings tactical nous to the table. Laviolette is all try hard all the time.

  74. Caramel Obvious says:

    Redwood Original:
    Quick question: What if Taylor Hall is the fracture?

    Yes, he is the best player on the team. Phenomenal. But who else smacks his stick on every inanimate object available when they are frustrated? Continually yapping at fellow players, with what I’m assuming isn’t leader-like constructive criticism.

    If the Oilers take a good hard look at his attitude, do they act first, or wait for him to completely lose it and ask to be traded? Is there even enough displeasure on display to consider it’s a possibility?

    I don’t want this to be seen as a fear mongering, slag Taylor Hall type of post. Just a legitimate, ‘what if he’s the problem’ question.

    This is the same kind of thing as blaming Eakins or blaming Yak. There isn’t a simple problem that can be fixed by swapping in and out. The problem is the players aren’t good enough. No need to look for character flaws.

    People bought the hype about the young and talented Oilers but it was never true. Never. They aren’t talented enough. They have no transcendent players, only one or two maybe high end players, no depth, and an AHL defense. I’m not sure why it has to be any more complicated than that.

  75. Traktor says:

    Caramel Obvious: This is the same kind of thing as blaming Eakins or blaming Yak.There isn’t a simple problem that can be fixed by swapping in and out.The problem is the players aren’t good enough. No need to look for character flaws.

    People bought the hype about the young and talented Oilers but it was never true.Never.They aren’t talented enough.They have no transcendent players, only one or two maybe high end players, no depth, and an AHL defense.I’m not sure why it has to be any more complicated than that.

    On paper this team is better than 29th.

    Yakupov should be better than 17 points and -31.

    I’m not sure what is so complicated about that.

  76. soup says:

    book¡je,

    As I’m not a fan of Gagner, does that make me anti-Canadian?

    I like plenty of Russian players and think there are many that would help this team. Not liking Yak and seeing him as a ‘me first’ player doesn’t make me Don Cherry, does it?

  77. Pouzar says:

    I work a block from MTS Center….I am going over right now to shake the sh!t outta these kids.

    Wish me luck.

  78. Redwood Original says:

    Caramel Obvious,

    I don’t agree that I’m placing blame on Hall. Just asking, like LT in the OP, if it is Hall that is creating a problem instead of trying to be the solution, how do you handle it?

    Does he get more grace because he’s your guy? The best player on the team. Or is he like anyone else, fall in line, or pack your bags?

    As for the point you are pushing, I do agree that this team is so many players away from any kind of success it’s ridiculous. The GM has his work to do.

  79. spoiler says:

    The comment threads lately have been like stepping into Bizarro world…

    Firstly, Eakins did not throw Yak under the bus last night. He doesn’t even mention his name. He says about 5 words twice about the goal, basically “it was turned over”. Which it was. He goes to great lengths to not throw Marincin under the bus for the 4th goal, after mentioning him by name. He notes the lack of success of the first line but then compliments their efforts. He didn’t throw ANYONE under the bus in his presser last night. Ya bunch of crack smokers.

    Secondly, this team needs to grow up. They need to mature physically, emotionally, and experience-wise. This maturing wasn’t going to happen from December to January or even October to January. It is a long slow process that is irrelevant to who is coaching. If you don’t have the patience for that process–and evidently in the immediate-gratification- internet-amplified modern world it seems little do–then maybe sports, or this sport, or this team, is not for you.

    And without talented vets to shelter young talent, benchings beyond missing the odd shift or being pulled from the powerplay for a game or perhaps a line demotion are just not going to happen because the coach has no other options. Not to mention he can’t lose the room. So we can we stop it with the ridiculous requests for more punishments for the young talented stars?

    Thirdly. they don’t have enough players yet. They decided to draft forwards ahead of defensemen and wingers ahead of centres. It’s going to take awhile for the blue line half of prospect development to catch up with the forward half. Again that is going to take patience. Again not patience till next week or next month, it is going to take longer than that.

    As to the wingers… everyone has said take BPA in the drafts and then re-balance with trade later. Only problem is wingers can’t be traded for defensemen or centres of equivalent quality. They aren’t worth as much… as MacT no doubt is finding out, but unfortunately he has to dine on a supper he hasn’t cooked. That is going to take added time to fix. Again patience and again we are not talking game-to-game patience or week-to-week. It is a travesty they didn’t see the need to rebuild in the Gagner draft and unfortunate that the #1 prospects weren’t C or D two of the years they picked first overall, but sometimes that’s the way the cookie crumbles. And again MacT didn’t cook this meal. Such draft choices aren’t irreversible but it adds time to the rebuild.

    Really it astounds me that we are hearing the exact same whining from fans today as we did last game, last week and last month, and the same calls for the coach to be fired and the POHO to be fired by firing squad–despite the fact that the main issues haven’t changed since then nor could they have been in the time available. Bizarro and boring.

    And as a final reminder… it took Yzerman years to accept he had to change his game. Years.

  80. Ryan says:

    Caramel Obvious,

    Yeah, that’s part of the problem for fans–separating hype from reality.

    We were unlucky in our draft years. Hall’s an elite talent, RNH is probably going to be no more than what we hoped Samwise would be, and Eberle’s a lucky pick up and great accessory player who doesn’t drive the bus.

    After that Yakupov could be a bust if he doesn’t figure things out and winning the Justin Schultz sweepstakes hasn’t been as fruitful as we thought.

    Our d corps is the root of the problem right now. While our coaching isn’t the root of the problem, it’s probably not part of the solution either.

  81. icecastles says:

    book¡je: How many players are left from MacT’s team. I agree however, that the team had problems when Eakins arrived, but I have begun to think that its clear that he is not the guy to fix them. I think he lacks any level of nuance.

    Unless you change absolutely everyone at once, a culture can and does perpetuate itself through gradual 100% turnover as individual people come in and are indoctrinated into the culture of their new environment.

    I don’t know if he’s the guy to fix the problem either. However, I have come to two conclusions:

    1) Changing coaches has not fixed the problem and we’ve tried it numerous times with various styles of coach. Thinking the next change will yield different results seems to ignore the lessons of the past.

    2) We can’t keep changing coaches when we don’t know they’re the problem or are unable to fix it. And I think it would be a reach at this stage to say with certainty that Eakins is unable to fix it. Too many moves have been made based on limited info on both who’s leaving and who’s coming in) or hoped-for results. I would suggest that ditching Kreuger and hiring Eakins are both decisions that suffer from this lack of sufficient info.

    3) There are times for action and there are times for patience and analysis. This org has had a monumentally difficult time telling the difference between the two. I think firing Eakins, unless there’s an absolute slam-dunk sure thing replacing him (and no such thing exists, or that person wouldn’t be available in the first place) is unlikely to fix anything.

    We all agree that ditching Yakupov because of his awful year would be silly (there are reasons to trade him, but failing to live up to potential, strictly speaking, is not one of them). he’s still new to the league and finding his way. He seems to be awfully stubborn in taking the necessary lessons to heart, but we believe that experience will help and giving up on him as a bust would be short-sighted and a disaster.

    Now replace “rookie player” (he’s close enough to being a rookie in maturity and games played that I’ll call him one here) with “rookie coach”. Glowing scouting reports, widely regarded as the it-kid to snag last summer. Rookie season in a new league with a brutally bad team in front of him. He’s stubborn. He’s new. He has a Hurculean task to turn around a team that previous coaches (some with with incredible pedigree) were unable to do. So do we axe the rookie and see another team benefit from the steep learning curve of his year with the Oilers? Or do we give him some time knowing he’s new, stubborn, and with incredible potential.

    I’m one of the few remaining voices backing Eakins I know, but I still maintain that while he may eventually need to go, doing it this season is a mistake.

  82. Caramel Obvious says:

    spoiler,

    Great, great, post. Co-signed.

    The talk about throwing Yakupov under the bus is hilarious. I should have known it was invented.

    Also, that was a terrible, terrible, play by Yakupov. Exactly the kind of thing a coach should be made about (as was the horrific Hall drop pass early in the game).

  83. Ribs says:

    I think my biggest problem with Eakins is that he seems to struggle at identifying his own players strengths and weaknesses and fails to put them in positions in which they can succeed. He could be doing it purposely to teach them the hard way, but damn, that’s such a self-destructive way to do things.

    I was satisfied with MacTavish’s concession speech for the season. I want to hear Eakins give his. Just what is he trying to accomplish here? Does he think it’s working? Why/why not?

  84. Caramel Obvious says:

    Ribs:
    I think my biggest problem with Eakins is that he seems to struggle at identifying his own players strengths and weaknesses and fails to put them in positions in which they can succeed. He could be doing it purposely to teach them the hard way, but damn, that’s such a self-destructive way to do things.

    I was satisfied with MacTavish’s concession speech for the season. I want to hear Eakins give his. Just what is he trying to accomplish here? Does he think it’s working? Why/why not?

    Ok, I’ll bite. Can you be more specific. Which players, which weakness, which situations?

  85. Colieo87 says:

    The Edmonton Oilers have acquired centre Steve Pinizzotto and winger Jack Combs from the Florida Panthers in exchange for centre Ryan Martindale and winger Derek Nesbitt.

  86. Mark-LW says:

    Bloodshed in the front office please

  87. elgruntus says:

    Caramel Obvious: See,this is at least fair.It doesn’t pretend to be substantive.The rest of the criticism (of Eakins) is nothing more than armchair psychology from people who aren’t even in the room.

    Amen!

    signed- Jenny Scrivens

  88. Traktor says:

    Colorado’s D

    Erik Johnson 47 games
    Andre Beniot 46 games
    Jan Hedja 43 games
    Nate Guenin 38 games
    Tyson Barrie 30 games
    Corey Sarich 42 games
    Nick Holden 20 games

    Sarich and Hejda are pretty much in the Nick Schultz mold.. close to washed up
    Beniot and Guenin are Corey Potters and Barrie and a rookie

    We don’t have an Erik Johnson or good defensive center like Ryan O’Reilly but other than that these teams are pretty similar yet Colorado is in 5th..

  89. book¡je says:

    icecastles,

    The reality is that none of us really know what goes on the room. I would present a much stronger opinion one way or the other if I actually knew what Eakins is like on a day to day basis. From what I h have seen, he could be a near muppet like caricature or he could be a well rounded insightful individual who is an effective communicator. If he is the latter, then I would expect to see it on the ice. However, with that said, he may be somewhere in between but developing. If so, then the GM should give him more time. If the GM no longer sees that promise in him – time for a firing.

  90. GordM says:

    Katz is rich but I don’t suspect he provided MacTavish with a bottomless pit of money. Eakins has a four year deal, we’re paying for Krueger this year as well. IMO, the earliest we see a head coaching change is this time next year.

    My best guess is we see Buchberger and Smith replaced at the end of the season. A trade at the draft involving one of our core players and our pick to bring in a D-man that can actually play in a top pair (along with a UFA sending everyone down two pegs on our blue-line which would help immensely).

    In the meantime if anyone knows how to quite caring about this team please let me know.

    I agree with the kudos for Lowetide who continually produces high quality blog posts in spite of the repeated failing we see from the Oilers.

  91. Lucinius says:

    Eakins is a bad coach. I think its that simple. I do not believe in firing a guy this quick., however. Still, to not fire a guy solely because you’ve churned through coaches in the past five years is silly. Past hiring/firings should have zero impact on whether you fire your current coach. I would give him until a quarter of the way through next season before I fire him, however, if his inability to coach continues.

    And he does have that inability. His systems are flawed and poor. He cannot seem to get the players playing well (as most players have regressed, yes?) and has shown, on several occasions, that he is unable to treat players fairly or without prejudice (a common failing, admittedly). He has shown no capability, whatsoever, for adjusting his coaching to the team he has, the league he’s in, or to fix what has clearly been broken.

    There is no excuse, as an example, for the powerplay to still be as badly laid out as it is. Not only are the problems with it easily diagnosed, but the solutions are not only common sense (multiple options!) but a plethora of examples are show-cased nightly around the league as to what works, what doesn’t.

    I would, however, seriously consider firing Bucky, Smith and Chabot after this season.

  92. flyfish1168 says:

    Caramel Obvious: See, this is at least fair. It doesn’t pretend to be substantive. The rest of the criticism of Eakins is nothing more than armchair psychology from people who aren’t even in the room. However, the results are what the results are. But firing the coach isn’t going to make a difference unless the new coach is a miracle worker. Now, these guys do exist but they either 1) already have a job or 2) there is no way of knowing in advance who they are. For instance, Jon Cooper looks great right now. Well so did Boucher or Eakins for that matter. Let’s not pretend that Eakins is an inexperienced coach. He has years of coaching experience in both the NHL and the AHL. And the verbal on that experience was universally positive. His teams were always well coached. So I just don’t buy the idea that this is his fault. It’s not like Eakins is obviously incompetent the way that Khavis Reed was. And if you are looking for veteran coaches you are talking about people who have, by definition, already failed somewhere. Can you imagine if Tortorella had been hired in the offseason? Finally, most of this coach stuff is impossible to evaluate from we are sitting. It’s just idle chatter.What we can talk about is what to do?

    One has to remember that when you are an AHL player or a coach you are trying to get to the show. With this in mind everyone is more willing to try. But when you get to the show and you have a guarantee on a contract things change, people change. That is the difference. I don’t believe many people question eakins knowledge. Its his way of doing things. For example communication and tactics on handling his players. Its negative ,backhanded and its the players fault for not knowing simple things.

  93. elgruntus says:

    neojanus:
    This the first time I’ve ever expected to see a murder in the organization.

    This fiasco of of a season is one step from completely out of control.

    Scrivens has been here one day and is already battling twitter; Yakupov has finally been totally thrown under the bus by the coach; our phenom, Martindale, has been traded to the juggernaut Panthers; Dubnyk will undoubtedly end the season with a .940 save percentage; Hendricks has become an automatic goat for being a 4th line player on a team full of 4th line players; Taylor Hall’s stats have imploded; the untradeable Sam Gagner is going to get traded for pucks because his season is abysmal; Hemsky was injured and will be traded for a 3rd round pick we already traded for a goalie we may not sign because he has already started battling twitter… wait a minute, this is all coming full circle.

    Never have I been more ashamed of my hockey club. It’s like watching Godard’s Weekend on acid while having your dick rubbed by a sharpened hedgehog smothered in Hungarian paprika… except that Weekend is actually brilliant and the hedgehog would be mildly pleasurable.

    Maybe, just maybe…we have the team WE deserve?

  94. LostBoy says:

    spoiler,

    That sounds wise and savvy. But. I forget, spOILer, where did you pick them to finish this year? LT picked them to squeak the playoffs. I think the reasonable consensus was significant step up, maybe still outside the playoffs.

    They’re now on course for the worst season in franchise history. They project to 57 points. Lower than the 1992-1993 club. Dallas Eakins has a worse winning percentage than George freaking Burnett.

    On almost no other franchise at almost no other time in modern NHL history would what is happening this season result in staying the course. It’s historically bad, and the Oilers have developed an impressively low bar. You have to suck pretty hard to fail beneath it.

    I’m searching in all these recent threads for any objective support for what Dallas Eakins has done as coach. Up to a point, LT tried to fill this in by focussing on portions of the advanced stats, but as things have gotten worse those numbers are going south, too.

    But mostly it’s wise people explaining that we can’t fire the coach every year. Because. Because we’ve done that too much.

    Now, sure, Eakins is all but fireproof, because MacTavish has hitched his wagon to him. I mean, at some point that presumably has to bottom out, but maybe not soon. But on the face of it, this is right now the worst Edmonton OIler team, results-wise, in their NHL history. I can’t think of an equivalent situation anywhere else in which the franchise would stay the course with a rookie coach who did this.

    But maybe it’ll all work out.

  95. Pouzar says:

    Caramel Obvious: What top end talent is this?The Oilers do not have top end talent.Stop saying they do.

    Jordan Eberle is not top end talent. He’s Radim Vrbata not Patrick Sharp.
    Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is not top end talent.I don’t have a good comparison but he isn’t Toews.
    Sam Gagner is not top end talent.He’s not Patrick Kane, he’s Derick Brasard.
    Taylor Hall might be top end talent but he isn’t a young Marian Hossa.
    Nail Yakupov is not a top end NHL player.Not right now.

    So where, exactly is the top end talent?

    I’ve seen you post this before. So here goes. I took the PPG numbers for your player comparisons
    based on roughly the same time(seasons played to start career) in the players respective careers:

    Eberle: .79
    Sharp: Too embarrassing to post. Eberle is a top 30 player right now.

    Nuge: .75
    Toews: .86

    Hall: .88
    Hossa: .75

    I won’t even mention that Keith and Seabrook were already in CHI-Town for the first 2 guys.

    Gonna need some time for Yak to equal Kane and yeah we need some d-men but we have some top end talent.

    You were right on Taylor Hall…he is no young Hossa. :)

  96. gvblackhawk says:

    Caramel Obvious,

    Yeah. Eakins hasn’t thrown his players under the bus this year. Except for Arcobello earlier in the season. And Yakupov when the Oilers played in San Jose — you remember that game when, according to Eakins, the Oilers were playing well (losing, getting out shot and out chanced badly) until Yakupov coughed up the puck on the boards and it cost them the game. Right.

    Eakins has made several questionable decisions this year. Calling out his players in the media is one of them.

  97. Marcus Oilerius says:

    gvblackhawk,

    Eakins throws Yakupov under the bus every time Yakupov is on the ice when there’s a goal against. Nobody else gets singled out like that.

  98. denny33 says:

    Edmonton play by play radio guy interviewed on Winnipeg radio this morning…..

    No plans at all to change coach. No plans to change management. Team seeking continuity.

    Possible change in bringing in a new assistant coach for Eakins

  99. gvblackhawk says:

    LostBoy:
    spoiler,

    That sounds wise and savvy.But.I forget, spOILer, where did you pick them to finish this year?LT picked them to squeak the playoffs.I think the reasonable consensus was significant step up, maybe still outside the playoffs.

    They’re now on course for the worst season in franchise history.They project to 57 points.Lower than the 1992-1993 club.Dallis Eakins has a worse winning percentage than George freaking Burnett.

    On almost no other franchise at almost no other time in modern NHL history would whatis happening this season resulting in staying the course.It’s historically bad, and the Oilers have developed an impressively low bar.You have to suck pretty hard to fail beneath it.

    I’m searching in all these recent threads for any objective support for what Dallas Eakins has done as coach.Up to a point, LT tried to fill this in by focussing on portions of the advanced stats, but as things have gotten worse those numbers are going south, too.

    But mostly it’s wise people explaining that we can’t fire the coach every year.Because.Because we’ve done that too much.

    Now, sure, Eakins is all but fireproof, because MacTavish has hitched his wagon to him.I mean, at some point that presumably has to bottom out, but maybe not soon.But on the face of it, this is right now the worst Edmonton OIler team, results-wise, in their NHL history.I can’t think of an equivalent situation anywhere in which the franchise would stay the course with a rookie coach who did this.

    But maybe it’ll all work out.

    It just takes time. Lots and lots and lots of time. The Oilers will be great one day. Just keep watching and you’ll see…eventually.

  100. gvblackhawk says:

    Marcus Oilerius:
    gvblackhawk,

    Eakins throws Yakupov under the bus every time Yakupov is on the ice when there’s a goal against.Nobody else gets singled out like that.

    I am well aware of this. My post was sarcasm. There is a clear double standard going on with Yakupov.

  101. flyfish1168 says:

    gvblackhawk: Caramel Obvious, Yeah. Eakins hasn’t thrown his players under the bus this year. Except for Arcobello earlier in the season. And Yakupov when the Oilers played in San Jose — you remember that game when, according to Eakins, the Oilers were playing well (losing, getting out shot and out chanced badly) until Yakupov coughed up the puck on the boards and it cost them the game. Right.Eakins has made several questionable decisions this year. Calling out his players in the media is one of them.

    It was sad to see when Yak was interviewed in his poor English ” my coach doesn’t have confidence in me defensive play” I believe Yak doesn’t make that up.

  102. Caramel Obvious says:

    gvblackhawk:
    Caramel Obvious,

    Yeah.Eakins hasn’t thrown his players under the bus this year.Except for Arcobello earlier in the season.And Yakupov when the Oilers played in San Jose — you remember that game when, according to Eakins, the Oilers were playing well (losing, getting out shot and out chanced badly) until Yakupov coughed up the puck on the boards and it cost them the game.Right.

    Eakins has made several questionable decisions this year.Calling out his players in the media is one of them.

    This is what I’m talking about. You’ve invented this in your head. Answering questions is not calling someone out.

    Marcus Oilerius:
    gvblackhawk,

    Eakins throws Yakupov under the bus every time Yakupov is on the ice when there’s a goal against.Nobody else gets singled out like that.

    Also not true.

    Lucinius:

    And he does have that inability. His systems are flawed and poor. He cannot seem to get the players playing well (as most players have regressed, yes?) and has shown, on several occasions, that he is unable to treat players fairly or without prejudice (a common failing, admittedly).

    Again pure invention. Any criticism that uses the word system in this way is wrong by default. It is simple ignorance, coming from someone who doesn’t know anything about systems.

    The treat players fairly comment is equally absurd. There is no evidence of any of this. It is the invention of a frustrated mind. I

  103. denny33 says:

    Great – going to the game tomorrow and no Hemmer, possibly no Yak and Taylor Hall has quit.

    Meanwhile, Jets have won a few games and their fans are going to be obnoxious…

    Again, anyone else in on wearing a brown paper bag?

  104. Bag of Pucks says:

    Last night the 1st and 2nd lines on the team looked like they were sending a message to the org about their unhappiness over the Dubie trade.

    For me, it’s the players not the coach ALL DAY LONG. We’re 3 coaches in with this core and if they’re tuning out yet another coach, that says more about them than it does about Eakins, to me at least.

    Throughout this rebuild, the consistent thread has been a lack of will, expressed primarily as an unwillingness to do the difficult things that contribute to wins (backcheck hard, finish your checks, mark your man, go to the hard areas, play the body not the stick, etc.).

    Their success has faded the memory somewhat, but the Dynasty core struggled from this very same problem in their youth. They were so skilled, they didn’t want to do the things you have to do to consistently win hockey games when the checking tightens up and a tighter checking physical brand of hockey was required. And so the Flyers, Bruins and Islanders of that era regularly ate their lunch until they bulked up and figured it out.

    Hall, Eberle, RNH, Yak, Schultz Jr, Petry. They all need that wakeup moment where they walk by the Islanders dressing room and it finally dawns on them that skill isn’t enough. Sacrifice and hard work are also essential.

    I’m not sold on Eakins but he does appear to be an A-hole in the Sather vein and it appears that is still what this team needs in the worst way. I think we have reached the ‘my way or the highway’ moment and some of this core will be choosing the highway. I think the early money is on Eberle.

    Grow up already boys. You’re professionals. Play like it.

  105. Caramel Obvious says:

    Marcus Oilerius:
    gvblackhawk,

    Eakins throws Yakupov under the bus every time Yakupov is on the ice when there’s a goal against.Nobody else gets singled out like that.

    These things simply did not happen they way you said they did. Your perception of the universe is not reliable. This is something you’ll have to come to terms with.

  106. Nostradumbass says:

    spoiler: The comment threads lately have been like stepping into Bizarro world…Firstly, Eakins did not throw Yak under the bus last night. He doesn’t even mention his name. He says about 5 words twice about the goal, basically “it was turned over”. Which it was. He goes to great lengths to not throw Marincin under the bus for the 4th goal, after mentioning him by name. He notes the lack of success of the first line but then compliments their efforts. He didn’t throw ANYONE under the bus in his presser last night. Ya bunch of crack smokers.Secondly, this team needs to grow up. They need to mature physically, emotionally, and experience-wise. This maturing wasn’t going to happen from December to January or even October to January. It is a long slow process that is irrelevant to who is coaching. If you don’t have the patience for that process–and evidently in the immediate-gratification- internet-amplified modern world it seems little do–then maybe sports, or this sport, or this team, is not for you. And without talented vets to shelter young talent, benchings beyond missing the odd shift or being pulled from the powerplay for a game or perhaps a line demotion are just not going to happen because the coach has no other options. Not to mention he can’t lose the room. So we can we stop it with the ridiculous requests for more punishments for the young talented stars?Thirdly. they don’t have enough players yet. They decided to draft forwards ahead of defensemen and wingers ahead of centres. It’s going to take awhile for the blue line half of prospect development to catch up with the forward half. Again that is going to take patience. Again not patience till next week or next month, it is going to take longer than that.As to the wingers… everyone has said take BPA in the drafts and then re-balance with trade later. Only problem is wingers can’t be traded for defensemen or centres of equivalent quality. They aren’t worth as much… as MacT no doubt is finding out, but unfortunately he has to dine on a supper he hasn’t cooked. That is going to take added time to fix. Again patience and again we are not talking game-to-game patience or week-to-week. It is a travesty they didn’t see the need to rebuild in the Gagner draft and unfortunate that the #1 prospects weren’t C or D two of the years they picked first overall, but sometimes that’s the way the cookie crumbles. And again MacT didn’t cook this meal. Such draft choices aren’t irreversible but it adds time to the rebuild.Really it astounds me that we are hearing the exact same whining from fans today as we did last game, last week and last month, and the same calls for the coach to be fired and the POHO to be fired by firing squad–despite the fact that the main issues haven’t changed since then nor could they have been in the time available. Bizarro and boring.And as a final reminder… it took Yzerman years to accept he had to change his game. Years.

    I agree with most of this

    This team is poorly constrcuted, period

    It’s time for Oiler fans after 4 coaches in 5 year to realize how little impact coaching has. Good players make good coaches

    The core weakness of the organization is scouting which has never been able to rise above a water mark of average since the 79 draft and a President who has been awful at putting people in the organization with the intellect level to fix this

    Start with the scouting and the managers who have employed them

    Having said all that I do have to wonder about Eakins room credibility. This is a guy who played on 20 teams in 20 years and had a middling and fairly brief coaching tenure in the AHL

    Wouldn’t suprise me if players were doubting his leadership ability

  107. Ducey says:

    When that snowball gets rolling down the hill its gets hard to stop.

    The goalies came out cold, Eakins tried to swarm everyone and the players’ confidence took a big jolt early. Add in the unrealistic expectations of playoffs and its no wonder that the team is playing worse than it probably is.

    Solution:

    1. Patience. Making judgements on the young players is mightly dangerous right now. Most will improve with experience and age.
    2. Get some real assistant coaches. Bucky and Smith must go. Bill Moores is in the building. Bring him on down. He has seen it all before.
    3. Pick #1 or #2. You earned it. Fans think star players are easy to get. They are not. You have to draft them if you live on the tundra.
    4. Reset expectations. This team isn’t making the playoffs next year either. Deal with it.
    5. Bolt down the defense and Play the Fing trap! The 1980′s were a long time ago. If your problem is defense then adjust accordingly. Teach all the players how to play a tight defensive game and then open it up over time. Its the modern game. The timing is good. Fans are at the point where they will take a tight 2-1 win over a 5-0 loss.

  108. Caramel Obvious says:

    flyfish1168: It was sad to see when Yak was interviewed in his poor English” my coach doesn’t have confidence in me defensive play” I believe Yak doesn’t make that up.

    No one with a brain has confidence in Yakupov. That isn’t singelling him out. I don’t understand your criticism. It is without sense.

  109. FastOil says:

    MacT was a good coach, he knows what works, I don’t think he will let Eakins get too far off track.

    The players are the problem. They are ‘vanilla’ as a former Oiler described them. They lose because they don’t like the rough stuff. They like to hot dog. They don’t want to play smart – gamesmanship – as MacT called it.

    Nothing much irks me more than the shot off the boards, looking for the far top corner, around and out, often leading to an odd man situation. When they instead choose to shoot to create a rebound for a team mate we’ll know they are getting it.

  110. gvblackhawk says:

    Caramel Obvious: This is what I’m talking about.You’ve invented this in your head.Answering questions is not calling someone out.

    Also not true.

    Again pure invention.Any criticism that uses the word system in this way is wrong by default.It is simple ignorance, coming from someone who doesn’t know anything about systems.

    The treat players fairly comment is equally absurd.There is no evidence of any of this.It is the invention of a frustrated mind.I

    You can keep your head buried in the sand if you like, but we’ve all heard Eakins’ responses to the leading questions from media. He is referring to Yakupov, even if he doesn’t expressly say the word “Yakupov”. You don’t have to be Einstein to figure out what he is referring to.

    Take that game in San Jose for example. Do you think that the Oilers were playing good ‘until the puck was coughed up on the far wall in our zone — it was put there on a platter’? That was an absolute BS statement. Everyone could see that the Oilers were getting pulverized except Dallas Eakins and yourself, perhaps. But he chose to blame Yakupov.

    Keep the blinders on if you choose.

  111. neojanus says:

    elgruntus: Maybe, just maybe…we have the team WE deserve?

    I don’t know how many toilet seats you saran-wrapped this Christmas or how many species you hunted to extinction with flame-throwers in the past decade, but I don’t know if anybody deserves this team… well… I suppose the Canucks do, but… *begins to cry*

  112. oilersfan says:

    caramel – Taylor Hall is quite a bit better than a young Marian Hossa. Not as big but much better.

    And the goal for the nuge is to be as good as Datsyuk, who was still in Russia minor leagues when he was 20.

    Those 2 are borderline elite now and will be within two years.

    Eberle is over paid by a million but is an excellent player who should score 30 goals, 65 points most seasons.

    Yakupov can still be more like Brett Hull than Bure as we had hoped. he needs to be coached properly. He will likely never be a complete player, but having a guy who can score 50 goals is an important thing to have on a team and I believe he will be able to do that.. I think he tries to move the puck and thinks he is an elite playmaker too, which I doubt he will ever be. He needs to play with a puck mover and he needs to find the spot from where he can finish.

    J Schultz is much better than you think. His upside is Dan Boyle who also took along time to learn to play but here he is at 38 looking very good.

    Gagner’s upside is dave gagner. I had hoped for doug Gilmour but that won’t happen. Gagner’s value is negative now they need to Hemsky him and keep him for another year. In the summer of 2015 when the cap is 75 million and he is coming off a healthy 50 point plus 3 season he will have infinite more value than he has now, since now it is zero to negative and then he will get back that second line winger with size we need to complement Draisaitl and Yak on the second line.

    We have a reasonably good first line, one piece of a second line , a good third line and fourth line. one second pair D and no goalie. Lots of holes to fill on first pairing d and second line C. nothing to do really but wait for nurse to develop and see if the 2015 draft pick can get us Ehrhoff or something this summer.

  113. icecastles says:

    Lucinius: Eakins is a bad coach. I think its that simple.

    Then you are wrong. It is that simple.

    Bad coaches don’t have success in the AHL. Bad coaches don’t get head coaching jobs in the best league on the planet, where only 30 such positions exist.

    Go ahead and criticize him, but this is the kind of commentary that just invalidates anything you might say after.

    BOOK¡JE: …he could be a near muppet like caricature…

    I LOVE the Muppets. And surely his resemblance to Sam Eagle (in look and matter alike) is not mere coincidence. I pray that Eakins is muppet-like. Though we could probably use more Fozzie Bear and less Sam Eagle.

  114. gvblackhawk says:

    Caramel Obvious: No one with a brain has confidence in Yakupov.That isn’t singelling him out.I don’t understand your criticism.It is without sense.

    But everyone has supreme confidence in Gagner, Justin Schultz, Eberle who has been soft in his own end, Hall who has been a turnover machine and getting killed in the Corsi percentages this year? That makes sense.

    Sorry Dallas, you can’t keep blaming Yakupov.

  115. Caramel Obvious says:

    gvblackhawk: But everyone has supreme confidence in Gagner, Justin Schultz, Eberle who has been soft in his own end, Hall who has been a turnover machine and getting killed in the Corsi percentages this year?That makes sense.

    Sorry Dallas, you can’t keep blaming Yakupov.

    The fact that you choose to remember things said about Yakupov selectively does mean that is how things happened. You have fabricated a story in your head.

  116. Caramel Obvious says:

    oilersfan,

    Really?

    When did Hall become a 100 point, 200 foot player?

    Upside?

    I’m talking about what they are now. Gagner isn’t Dave, he’s Derrick Brassard or Cody Hodgson. That’s who he is.

    Nugent-Hopkins isn’t Datsyuk now, we’re not talking about what he might be.

    I don’t know what Justin Schultz is but it isn’t Erik Karlsson.

    I’m not blaming these players. I’m just saying we need to let the air out of our belief that they are all superstars. They aren’t and never have been.

  117. gvblackhawk says:

    Caramel Obvious: The fact that you choose to remember things said about Yakupov selectively does mean that is how things happened.You have fabricated a story in your head.

    You mean I should ignore the truth and tell everyone they are making things up? Great advice.

    I will take your approach and put my fingers in my ears and sing “La la la la la la”.

  118. Marcus Oilerius says:

    icecastles: Then you are wrong. It is that simple.

    Bad coaches don’t have success in the AHL. Bad coaches don’t get head coaching jobs in the best league on the planet, where only 30 such positions exist.

    Claude Noel.

  119. flyfish1168 says:

    Caramel Obvious: No one with a brain has confidence in Yakupov.That isn’t singelling him out.I don’t understand your criticism.It is without sense.

    Lets not make this a crap show. Lets agree we don’t agree with each other

    what is important here is the player here.. When Yak made that statement his body language and tone of his voice was as low as can be for a 20 year old. That is the important part. Not what you and I believe in.

    That is what makes me believe Kreuger. He was positive and a good motivator. That is what makes people work better. Just think about how you like to be handled or spoken to or about at work by your boss. Someone that treats you with respect and motivates you. Just my two cents on how to treat and handle staff. Don’t have to agree

  120. spoiler says:

    Caramel Obvious: spoiler,
    Great, great, post. Co-signed.

    Icecastles has had the two mostest brilliant comments in this thread IMO.

  121. Traktor says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    oilersfan,

    Really?

    When did Hall become a 100 point, 200 foot player?

    When did Hossa? When he was 27.

    You must be really bored or something.

  122. Caramel Obvious says:

    Traktor: When did Hossa? When he was 27.

    You must be really bored or something.

    Please follow along. This discussion isn’t about potential, it’s about why the Oilers are losing. One of the reasons they are losing is that Hall isn’t a superstar.

  123. oilersfan says:

    caramel

    Hossa got 100 points once when he was 27. when he was 22 he had played 299 games and had 227 points for .76 ppg. Hall is now 22 and he has 190 points in 220 games which is .86 ppg. While Hossa may have an excellent 200 foot game now I don’t believe he did when he was 22.

    Hossa is 6’1 210 Hall is 6’1 200.

    I think Hall is better now than Hossa was then and better now than Hossa is now.

    When Hall is 27 I would hope he has scored 100 points at least once.

    Do you honestly think Chicago wouldn’t trade Hossa right now for Hall? they would probably throw in a first round pick and the Oilers still wouldn’t take it.

    Hall is close to being the best LW in the game, and as Eakins has said, their goal is for him to be a perennial 100 point LW who is the best on defence at LW in the NHL. that is the goal and really they aren’t that far off.

    Not his fault AHL dmen can’t get the puck out of the zone when he is on the ice against the best forwards in the NHL every shift.

  124. Caramel Obvious says:

    oilersfan:
    caramel

    Hossa got 100 points once when he was 27. when he was 22 he had played 299 games and had 227 points for .76 ppg. Hall is now 22 and he has 190 points in 220 games which is .86 ppg. While Hossa may have an excellent 200 foot game now I don’t believehe did when he was 22.

    Hossa is 6’1 210 Hall is 6’1 200.

    I think Hall is better now than Hossa was then and better now than Hossa is now.

    When Hall is 27 I would hope he has scored 100 points at least once.

    See response to Tractor. Everything you say is true and yet non-responsive.

  125. PREDICKTER says:

    Redwood Original: Quick question: What if Taylor Hall is the fracture?Yes, he is the best player on the team. Phenomenal. But who else smacks his stick on every inanimate object available when they are frustrated? Continually yapping at fellow players, with what I’m assuming isn’t leader-like constructive criticism. If the Oilers take a good hard look at his attitude, do they act first, or wait for him to completely lose it and ask to be traded? Is there even enough displeasure on display to consider it’s a possibility?I don’t want this to be seen as a fear mongering, slag Taylor Hall type of post. Just a legitimate, ‘what if he’s the problem’ question.

    This all day long. Coaching and management have to turn Hall into THE leader of this team or trade him for a stud d-man. Yelling on the ice or slamming your stick on the boards when things don’t go your way is just childish. If he’s upset at what is happening out there, he should direct that at the other team by running someone over. Being an only child he’s probably used to getting his way all the time. Until Hall turns into a leader and quits having his little tantrums, he’s not helping his teamates get to the next level. Lindy Ruff seen Hall for what he is.

  126. crude says:

    Ducey:
    When that snowball gets rolling down the hill its gets hard to stop.

    The goalies came out cold, Eakins tried to swarm everyone and the players’ confidence took a big jolt early.Add in the unrealistic expectations of playoffs and its no wonder that the team is playing worse than it probably is.

    Solution:

    1. Patience. Making judgements on the young players is mightly dangerous right now.Most will improve with experience and age.
    2. Get some real assistant coaches.Bucky and Smith must go.Bill Moores is in the building.Bring him on down.He has seen it all before.
    3. Pick #1 or #2.You earned it.Fans think star players are easy to get.They are not.You have to draft them if you live on the tundra.
    4. Reset expectations.This team isn’t making the playoffs next year either.Deal with it.
    5. Bolt down the defense and Play the Fing trap!The 1980′s were a long time ago.If your problem is defense then adjust accordingly.Teach all the players how to play a tight defensive game and then open it up over time.Its the modern game.The timing is good.Fans are at the point where they will take a tight 2-1 win over a 5-0 loss.

    This is required reading for this thread.
    Thanks

  127. spoiler says:

    FastOil: MacT was a good coach, he knows what works, I don’t think he will let Eakins get too far off track.
    The players are the problem. They are ‘vanilla’ as a former Oiler described them. They lose because they don’t like the rough stuff. They like to hot dog. They don’t want to play smart – gamesmanship – as MacT called it.
    Nothing much irks me more than the shot off the boards, looking for the far top corner, around and out, often leading to an odd man situation. When they instead choose to shoot to create a rebound for a team mate we’ll know they are getting it.

    Yep, yep and yep.

  128. hunter1909 says:

    Caramel Obvious: One of the reasons they are losing is that Hall isn’t a superstar.

    You’re not the sharpest knife in the drawer, are you?

  129. hags9k says:

    Caramel Obvious,

    This is unfair. These are outstanding hockey players who have had to jump into the deep end at too young of an age. They have all been billed as saviours and have been playing far more NHL minutes/seasons then they should have. They will all, with the exception of Gagner, be considered top end talent in the very near future.

  130. oilersfan says:

    Caramel

    Hall is currently in the top ten in the NHL in ppg. if he hadn’;t hurt his knee he would be in top 5 in scoring.

    by what definition do you make a superstar?

    He should have been second team all star NHL last year. Only Kunitz had more votes and if he were on 29 other teams, Hall would have been first team NHL all star.

    Again, what criteria do you use for being a superstar?

  131. hags9k says:

    This team needs 5 things above else, not necessarily in this order.

    1. A defence first, experienced NHL head coach, who can teach this group to check and to install some G-damn team spirit.
    2. A #1 big minutes D.
    3. A #1 Goalie.
    4. A #4 tough as nails solid NHL defender.
    5. A fucking killer in the top 6. (of the Simmonds, Lucic, Stewart variety)

    So basically we are completely fucked. We have to seriously consider moving Hall AND Ebs AND Yak for defence and a goalie, and pushing the rebuild back another 3-5 years. This situation we are in right now, is why they always say build from the net out. Move them now for real D and G or wait for Nurse and Ekblad and get 70 cents on the dollar deadline 2018.

  132. Caramel Obvious says:

    hags9k:
    Caramel Obvious,

    This is unfair.These are outstanding hockey players who have had to jump into the deep end at too young of an age.They have all been billed as saviours and have been playing far more NHL minutes/seasons then they should have.They will all, with the exception of Gagner, be considered top end talent in the very near future.

    I’m not questioning any of this or blaming them. They are the best players on the team. All I’m pointing out that when your best players are not better than the best players on the other team you are going to lose. Too often the Oilers’ best players are not the most talented players on the ice.

    Whether they are the best players on the ice in the near future is beside the point since we are talking about now not then.

  133. Traktor says:

    - only a handful of superstars in the league
    - Edmonton is losing because Hall isn’t a superstar

    interesting

  134. FastOil says:

    oilersfan,

    I like what you said but I don’t think Erhoff makes the team much different. We need a D first guy with some stones, not a plug, but a no nonsense positional player that can kick ass and actually play a bit.

    Ference was supposed to be that but he’s too small and not a driver. He’s got some pluck but what is needed is stronger and meaner and can box the front of the net out with no mercy. Smid wasn’t enough because he couldn’t break out well enough.

    Any issues with offense are systemic and not from a lack of talent. No more offense only lightweights please.

  135. hags9k says:

    Caramel Obvious,

    OK fair enough. I will agree that they are not at the level of the top units of the top teams. But they will be soon. It’s not their fault they have inherited this level of responsibility. So to point the finger anywhere but towards management at this point is nuts IMO.

  136. hunter1909 says:

    What they(Oilers) need is a real NHL(Laviolette) coach who knows how to play them to their strengths, instead of foolishly attempting to ram a neocon(rigid) style message down their throats.

    Meanwhile, his GM(MacT) gets his finger out of his arse and finds some more NHL players to fit the system.

    This isn’t rocket science.

  137. spoiler says:

    oilersfan: Not his fault AHL dmen can’t get the puck out of the zone when he is on the ice against the best forwards in the NHL every shift.

    I agree with most of your comment except this bit. It is Hall’s fault and any other forward’s fault when they don’t support the breakout properly. And this team rarely does. BigD has talked about it, and you see them do it right some games, so you know it is being coached to them… consistency however has yet to take hold.

  138. hunter1909 says:

    Just for the record: If Oilers trade Yakupov before canning Chicken Hawk Eakins, I sincerely hope Yaks lights them up if they ever reach another finals.

  139. hunter1909 says:

    Give Hall puck in his own zone – Hall skates up ice into the other zone still with the puck 90% of the time. Bobby Hull territory(sans shot).

    Chicken Hawk probably doesn’t think it’s a good idea to use Hall like this though.

  140. Pouzar says:

    Where can we get Garbutts and Fontaines??? Jezzuz

  141. CurtisS says:

    Blame the GM, blame the owner, blame the players.

    One thing I do know is whatever Eakins is trying to teach out there isnt working!!!!! We consistantly let in 3 goals or more a game. At some point doesnt this have to get a little bit better? Does the coach not have to adjust these days to be able to win games? Eakins has proven to be a very stubborn and slow/non exsistant learner. 2 qualities that do not make up a NHL coach.

  142. flyfish1168 says:

    hunter1909: Just for the record: If Oilers trade Yakupov before canning Chicken Hawk Eakins, I sincerely hope Yaks lights them up if they ever reach another finals.

    I can see MacT dealing Yak away this summer so he does have to face resigning him. Hall, RNH and Eberle all sign the summer before their contracts expired.

    J Schulz will also be an interesting signing Mact needs to deal with. Not sure if he can juggle both.

  143. spoiler says:

    FastOil: I like what you said but I don’t think Erhoff makes the team much different. We need a D first guy with some stones, not a plug, but a no nonsense positional player that can kick ass and actually play a bit.

    Ference was supposed to be that but he’s too small and not a driver. He’s got some pluck but what is needed is stronger and meaner and can box the front of the net out with no mercy. Smid wasn’t enough because he couldn’t break out well enough.

    Any issues with offense are systemic and not from a lack of talent. No more offense only lightweights please.

    Yep, yep and yep again. Marincin might be a reasonable facsimile of that guy one day. I’ve enjoyed watching him these past couple of weeks… even the mistakes last night. There is no learning without mistakes. And this team needs a whole lotta learnin’.

  144. hunter1909 says:

    Call Eakin’s “Chicken Hawk” publicly and he’ll quit in no time.

  145. Pouzar says:

    It’s Friday. And I am grumpy as F6ck. Thx Oilers. I will be this way till Gametime tomorrow with a beer in hand.

    ANyways…mini-rant…wtf is the point of replaying the radio calls for goals on Stauffers show? Holy Filler batman. Dunno why but it strikes me as lame.

  146. LostBoy says:

    CurtisS:
    We consistantly let in 3 goals or more a game. At some point doesnt this have to get a little bit better?

    Sure, it was better last year. It’s 3.52 this year. Last year it was 2.73. It was 2.83 the year before.

    But stay the course. Because savvy wisdom.

  147. icecastles says:

    hunter1909: Chicken Hawk

    The fact that Hunter and Traktor don’t like Eakins makes me like Eakins all the more.

    Pouzar: wtf is the point of replaying the radio calls for goals on Stauffers show? Holy Filler batman. Dunno why but it strikes me as lame.

    Started when Micheals first took over as the play-by-play voice. I think the idea was to (a) bring some of the excitement and vibrancy of televised ‘replays’ to the radio and to (b) give fans a sense of the new guy’s identity and style. Don’t know that it works, but there are bigger problems with Ched’s coverage than that. (hint: OOOOOOOOOOverTIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIme. I swear when the Oilers win in OT, I have to turn the radio of for a few seconds following the winning goal.)

  148. Pouzar says:

    icecastles,

    From a non-local…what little bit I have heard of Micheals is….well…not good.
    Trying waaaaaaaay too hard imo. Less is more sometimes.

  149. CurtisS says:

    LostBoy,

    LostBoy: Sure, it was better last year.It’s 3.52 this year.Last year it was 2.73.It was 2.83 the year before.

    But stay the course.Because savvy wisdom.

    So our core was trending up, all the sudden this year they forgot how to play hockey )

  150. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    If you had to fire Eakins (for whatever reason), when do you do it? Do you pull the shoot soon to allow a new coach to have a series of games that mean nothing to learn the players and acclimatize them (once again….) to a system before next season? Or do you wait until you have bled out the season and start fresh in the summer to give the players some distance and respite that was the gong show of this season? Is the Olympic break a variable in this equation?

  151. Jamie says:

    The Oilers have consistently hired personnel without an exhaustive search for the BEST candidate from the POHO down to the assistant coaches. You can’t expect to be the best by hiring your friends, or coaches you ‘feel’ a connection to. Until they change their perspective on this we can expect mediocrity at best. And their defense fucking sucks.

  152. icecastles says:

    Pouzar:

    From a non-local…what little bit I have heard of Micheals is….well…not good.
    Trying waaaaaaaay too hard imo. Less is more sometimes.

    He has some positives and I’ve warmed to him somewhat. He has an exceptional handle on the game, generally seems very well prepared, best I’ve heard at calling the fights (he started out calling boxing apparently), and the game has to be absolutely brutal for him to let it sound dull.

    But I agree completely that he tries too hard. He’s American and has a very American-style delivery, much like the NBC guys: one gets the sense their childhood sports heroes weren’t Gretzky and Lemiux but Randy Macho Man Savage and George the Animal Steel. I don’t think that WWF growl suits hockey, or a Canadian fanbase.

    Though I’d probably give $50 to hear him call a golf game.

  153. icecastles says:

    Jamie: You can’t expect to be the best by hiring your friends, or coaches you ‘feel’ a connection to.

    Like it or not though, that’s pro sports. Edmonton may be worse than many, but they are more the rule than the exception.

  154. Pouzar says:

    icecastles,

    LOL…excellent scouting report thx

  155. Mattaklap says:

    Youth, Mr. Lowetide, and I’m puzzled as to why you neglected it’s debilitating effect. Youth makes mistakes consistently, the inveterate make less. The Edmonton team has aged players, but few are above replacement level. Defence, the good kind. Some are young, some are sub-replacement, and they have no Ryan Suters. Hopefully in three years they have two fresh ones. Let’s have a Niedermayer or two too.

    Point is, I believe Mr Mactavish has a four year mandate to construct a playoff team, Dallas Eakins is part of it. Development is slow and not a solid curve, and ballbuster trades no longer happen. Might as well find a comfy chair and settle in.

  156. Logan91 says:

    Mac T making more trades today

  157. book¡je says:

    The thing I hate about Micheals is that about 50% or more of the Play by Play is stupid extra info. For example “Kassian chips the puck in the Oilers zone, Kassian was drafted 13th overall in the 2013 draft, which for the record is the same year Scott Glennie was drafted 8th overall. Gennie played for the Brandon Wheat Kings for four years on a line with Matt Calvert, who likes Cheetos – GOAL for Vancouver!” .

    Seriously, you miss 90% of the game to hear useless crap you could google if you wanted to. Call the PLay by play – the reason I am listening is because I can’t see the game at the time so please describe it to me. My phone tells me when someone scores in a game, I listen to hear about the game.

  158. spoiler says:

    Mattaklap: Might as well find a comfy chair and settle in.

    Yep. Only time can overcome youth.

  159. Pouzar says:

    book¡je:
    The thing I hate about Micheals is that about 50% or more of the Play by Play is stupid extra info.For example “Kassian chips the puck in the Oilers zone, Kassian was drafted 13th overall in the 2013 draft, which for the record is the same year Scott Glennie was drafted 8th overall.Gennie played for the Brandon Wheat Kings for four years on a line with Matt Calvert, who likes Cheetos – GOAL for Vancouver!” .

    Seriously, you miss 90% of the game to hear useless crap you could google if you wanted to.Call the PLay by play – the reason I am listening is because I can’t see the game at the time so please describe it to me.My phone tells me when someone scores in a game, I listen to hear about the game.

    Stauffer adds all that extra stuff too when he mentions anyone who has ever put on skates.

  160. Bag of Pucks says:

    hags9k:
    Caramel Obvious,

    OK fair enough.I will agree that they are not at the level of the top units of the top teams.But they will be soon.It’s not their fault they have inherited this level of responsibility.So to point the finger anywhere but towards management at this point is nuts IMO.

    Hags, out of curiousity, are you a young guy by chance?

    There’s absolutely no disrespect intended with the question, I’m just really curious as to whether there’s sometimes a direct correlation between lack of accountability and age/maturity?

    To say “it’s not the players’ fault” when they’ve signed multi-million dollar contracts that are almost 100% related to their performance on the ice, sounds completely astounding to me.

    Maybe it would help if you elaborate on what you feel is the unfair level of responsibility being handed to them? Do you think they should be playing soft minutes against lesser opposition, not being expected to play a 200ft game at this point in their career, not be expected to show leadership, etc.?

    What has the team asked them to do that’s unfair?

  161. CurtisS says:

    Button giving it to Eakins on Oilersnow. Love every second of it

  162. book¡je says:

    I think that the power play alone should be enough for any observer to question the coaching of this team. How can you make that much talent look so useless?

  163. icecastles says:

    book¡je: “Kassian chips the puck in the Oilers zone, Kassian was drafted 13th overall in the 2013 draft, which for the record is the same year Scott Glennie was drafted 8th overall. Gennie played for the Brandon Wheat Kings for four years on a line with Matt Calvert, who likes Cheetos – GOAL for Vancouver!”

    Hahahahaha this is so true! I kind of like it though, more than some play-by-play guys go for either the dead air or drawn-out attempts to understand things like player pronounciation when nothing much is happening. I’ve never noticed a lot of the play getting missed though. I’ll listen for it. And Damnit Book!?jie (stuck on a Windows computer at work so Gord knows how to get special characters on these things) if you’ve ruined the radio games for me….

  164. Pouzar says:

    Craig Button hates Eakins LOL

    There’s that for the Pro-Eakins crowd :)

  165. icecastles says:

    CurtisS: Button giving it to Eakins on Oilersnow. Love every second of it

    If you look up “pompous ass” in the dictionary, you’ll see Craig Button’s face. I don’t know how many times I’ve tuned into Oilers Now and thought, “Who is this blowhard with an irrational hatred of everything Oilers?” then realized it is once again Craig Button.

  166. CurtisS says:

    icecastles: If you look up “pompous ass” in the dictionary, you’ll see Craig Button’s face. I don’t know how many times I’ve tuned into Oilers Now and thought, “Who is thisblowhard with an irrational hatred of everything Oilers?” then realized it is once again Craig Button.

    How on earth can you argue anything he is saying?

  167. icecastles says:

    Bag of Pucks: What has the team asked them to do that’s unfair?

    Play for the Oilers.

  168. Bag of Pucks says:

    Btw, where is Ference in all this? Isn’t making sure that the door stays open between the HC and the players one of the key roles of the Captain?

    The team was sleepwalking through that game last night and I didn’t see him doing anything to wake them up? Maybe he was thinking about composting instead.

  169. Pouzar says:

    icecastles: If you look up “pompous ass” in the dictionary, you’ll see Craig Button’s face. I don’t know how many times I’ve tuned into Oilers Now and thought, “Who is thisblowhard with an irrational hatred of everything Oilers?” then realized it is once again Craig Button.

    Ever listen to Pierre Lebrun on the radio?
    Every time he’s on he sounds like he’s pissed off cause you woke him up.

  170. Bag of Pucks says:

    icecastles: Play for the Oilers.

    They call it being ‘drafted’ for a reason.

  171. icecastles says:

    Bag of Pucks: They call it being ‘drafted’ for a reason.

    I am envisioning Edmonton announcing their first round selection this summer. The player calmly walks to the stage, leans toward the microphone and says, “I am a conscientious objector,” then returns to his seat.

  172. hunter1909 says:

    “Chicken Hawk” also translates very well when it’s shortened to “Chicken”.

    Someone tosses a rubber chicken on the ice…

  173. Halfwise says:

    Maybe it’s everything.

    The coach.
    The players.
    The system.
    Grieving the loss of friends who are traded.
    The culture and heritage.
    Karma.
    Fans of every tier.
    Advanced stats vs saw-him-good trench warfare.

    We’re all kind of like the dog barking alongside my car on the way to the relatives’ place at New Years. We have a lot to say but it isn’t going to change where this thing is headed. But, just like the dog, it sure matters to us, for some stupid reason.

    I’m stepping back, and will watch it either crash or break out of its death spiral from a safe distance. Eakins isn’t stupid but he rubs some people the wrong way. Will he change? Should he change? MacT needs to get him some real NHL players, but it takes forever and doesn’t always work.

    Frankly I would rather they try to solve problems that they know, with people that they know. Not problems they don’t know with people they don’t know.

    The losing will diminish after everyone comes to their senses and starts improving what is within their own control instead of blaming others.

  174. borisnikov says:

    LT, if Ryan Smyth gets traded to a contender and wins, and if he brings the cup back to Edmonton (which I doubt because he’s obviously a Banff boy), I’d love to see fans organize a pseudo-impromptu parade in his honour. The guy deserves a better swan song than what the last two seasons have amounted to.

    He’s firmly cemented himself as an all time great Oiler. It will be sad to see him go when the time eventually comes.

  175. godot10 says:

    PREDICKTER: This all day long. Coaching and management have to turn Hall into THE leader of this team or trade him for a stud d-man. Yelling on the ice or slamming your stick on the boards when things don’t go your way is just childish. If he’s upset at what is happening out there, he should direct that at the other team by running someone over. Being an only child he’s probably used to getting his way all the time. Until Hall turns into a leader and quits having his little tantrums, he’s not helping his teamates get to the next level. Lindy Ruff seen Hall for what he is.

    Krueger made Hall the leader of the team last season. On a team with a putrid roster compared to this years, Hall kept the Oilers with the pack most of the season, and the team finished 24th in the league, and 11th out of 15 in the 1st division of the NHL, and 2nd only to Toews in scoring in the 1st division of the NHL.

    Krueger unleashed the Hall (and the young guys), and played players to their strengths. If all he could get out of Belanger and Petrell was a top 10 PK, well that was a contribution. Whitney couldn’t skate, but the could quarterback a 2nd unit powerplay that arguably outproduced the first unit powerplay.

    MacT and Eakins put the Hall back in the box. Bad player. Can’t play defense. Can’t check. Not a leader. Have to import teleport a 2007 30-something Steve Staios on a new bad 4-year contract from 2007 to be the captain. And here were are.

  176. hunter1909 says:

    Trading Yakupov and then keeping Hemsky would just about do it for me in any kind of fan way, lol.

    Meanwhile, Chicken Hawk Eakins’s calling out a rookie Yaks really doesn’t do much for team building. Not unless they’re planning on lynching him. Which sadly, they basically are.

  177. Caramel Obvious says:

    CurtisS: How on earth can you argue anything he is saying?

    Craig Button thought the Oilers would make the playoffs last season when they were only in the hunt because of unsustainable shooting percentages.

    So yeah, I take any criticism he makes with a grain of salt.

  178. icecastles says:

    godot10,

    You know the Oilers were a lottery team last year too, right?

    I’m not sure why Kreuger has been canonized this year by some with very short memories. Curiously, many of the folks singing his praises now and calling for the head of Eakins are the same voices decrying Kreuger last year and wishing we still had Renney. The grass is always greener, I suppose.

  179. hunter1909 says:

    icecastles: The grass is always greener, I suppose.

    What the hell are you talking about? It’s January. Edmonton won’t even see grass for another 3 months, followed by a month where the tundra has to dry before anything resembling green grass appears.

    And that’s when the mosquitoes start to arrive, Mrs Scrivens.

  180. mumbai max says:

    denny33:
    Great – going to the game tomorrow and no Hemmer, possibly no Yak and Taylor Hall has quit.

    Meanwhile, Jets have won a few games and their fans are going to be obnoxious…

    Again, anyone else in on wearing a brown paper bag?

    Taylor Hall has quit??!! He is 16th in league scoring out of 700 players. And trending up. What is wrong with you people? How do you think it would feel to be a 22 year old kid who is one of only 11 players in the league to be averaging over a ppg, and get accused by basement dwelling trolls of being a quitter? It is disgusting.

  181. hunter1909 says:

    godot10: MacT and Eakins put the Hall back in the box. Bad player. Can’t play defense. Can’t check. Not a leader. Have to import teleport a 2007 30-something Steve Staios on a new bad 4-year contract from 2007 to be the captain. And here were are.

    Hall was a superstar last season. Oilers had a killer rush, and a great power play all of which Chicken Hawk Eaken’s has shed the team of in a hurry.

    Ference is a good not great player who now and again can lift the team, but cannot be considered to be any kind of go to guy, let alone the captain ffs. Of course, alkie MacT cannot be expected to think new brain patterns after his serotonin packed up.

    MacT and Lowe are very predictable, and not in a good way.

  182. Bag of Pucks says:

    icecastles: I am envisioning Edmonton announcing their first round selection this summer. The player calmly walks to the stage, leans toward the microphone and says, “I am a conscientious objector,” then returns to his seat.

    Could happen. Fleeing to Canada isn’t an option.

  183. book¡je says:

    icecastles,

    Usually the phrase ‘lottery team’ is meant for the bottom 5 teams in the league.

    It’s hard to suggest that the team has improved this year (even if you are critical of Kruger). It’s not all goaltending. They are playing terrible. Some of that is on Eakins because on paper, this team is better than last year’s crew.

  184. stevezie says:

    The Oilers are not playing like a well-coached team right now. They aren’t great on paper, but they are a helluva lot better than this. That game last night was lifeless, just lifeless.

    That said, no one here is in the room. Other than setting and deploying the roster we have no idea what the Coach does. Don’t know what conversations he has, what drills he run, what video he shows. It is hard to be meaningfully critical of a veiled process.

    Obviously we can criticize the results, which are atrocious. I think Eakins is a guy who requires buy-in, and I think Dubnyk really set both their careers back by giving so many games away in the first quarter. It’s hard to trust the coach when you’re losing.

    So now here we are. Maybe I’m paying too much attention to this board, but I think MacT is about to lose the fanbase* unless he fires the coach or the team starts winning. We can accept getting beaten by the Blues, last night was offencive.

    I don’t think the team starts winning without another good defenceman. So MacT can trade from weakness or he can fire a coach he clearly likes.

    Or maybe I’m wrong, last night was the nadir, we beat Winnipeg on go on to be a mediocre team the rest of the year, and continue to fix problems in the summer. I’m wrong all the time. i mean, c’mon. It’s just one game, and we always suck against the Wild.

    If we go the next six months without getting something out of Winnipeg I will be confused. Bufflighen, Ladd, Kane, and Trouba are all exactly what we need. We have good stuff too. They are also desperate (I think the new coach boost will wear off soon). Some things make too much sense not to happen. (If the problem is Yak, which I don’t buy, but if it is Trouba would be a great place to start.)

    *Does losing the fanbase matter? I think it does a little bit- enough to force a decision. Feel free to disagree.

    P.S You know what would be BOLD for all involved parties? Bring back Kruger as associate coach. I don’t think it makes sense, but it would be a great story.

  185. hunter1909 says:

    Oiler’s deciding to emulate Lowetide’s “Detroit Model” – I don’t think it meant the Ned Harkness edition.

  186. RexLibris says:

    Hey LT,

    This isn’t directed necessarily towards you, but reading all the comments here and thinking about the current state of the Oilers got me to thinking about this clip, one I think you’d enjoy

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KuStsFW4EmQ

    “Oh man, don’t hit me with them negative waves so early in the morning.”
    :)

  187. spoiler says:

    godot10: Krueger made Hall the leader of the team last season. On a team with a putrid roster compared to this years, Hall kept the Oilers with the pack most of the season, and the team finished 24th in the league, and 11th out of 15 in the 1st division of the NHL, and 2nd only to Toews in scoring in the 1st division of the NHL.
    Krueger unleashed the Hall (and the young guys), and played players to their strengths. If all he could get out of Belanger and Petrell was a top 10 PK, well that was a contribution. Whitney couldn’t skate, but the could quarterback a 2nd unit powerplay that arguably outproduced the first unit powerplay.
    MacT and Eakins put the Hall back in the box. Bad player. Can’t play defense. Can’t check. Not a leader. Have to import teleport a 2007 30-something Steve Staios on a new bad 4-year contract from 2007 to be the captain. And here were are.

    Stevie Y racked up some big point years too, before seeing the light being shown to him. No one wants Hall to be just a sheer points producer. Not Babcock or Yzerman or anyone else involved in picking this Olympic team. Not Lindy Ruff. Not Eakins or MacT too. Hall has the ability to be so much more. He doesn’t quite have the hockey smarts of a Crosby, or even say a Patrick Sharp, but this kid is still going to be one whale of a player.

    I think he wants to be that guy. And I think he is trying damn hard. But I think right now, in the adjustment period, he is being forced to think on the ice and also break habits. These issues lead to second-guessing, hesitation, inconsistency, lack of assertiveness, boneheaded plays, etc. These things will pass.

    I also think he wants to win real bad and sometimes tries to do way too much. And he isn’t the only one guilty of this weakness. They have to learn to be there for their teammates and rely on their teammates more, knowing they will be there. That incudes not cheating for O, supporting the puck, backing up anyone getting run, not panicking after bad plays or goals against., manage the puck better, play disciplined…

  188. stevezie says:

    godot10,

    We all like to think we’re impartial but really there is no such thing. I’ll be honest, I’m am biased toward cheering for Eakins for 3 reasons:
    1) We share a physical resemblance,
    2) I like his interviews, and
    3) I want so badly for you, Godot, to realize how full of shit you are. Even if you’re right, you’re wrong. Eakins may be a horrible coach*, but you “called it” before any evidence was in on the strength of nonsense, conjecture, and voodoo bs. Kruger made Hall the leader? What the hell are you talking about? Honestly! Have you been in a dressing room? Leaders just lead, no one makes them anything. Did Braveheart teach you nothing? Look at Hall’s scoring! Look at his defence! Look at his MINUTES! In what universe is he being reined in???????
    Last year’s team was bad. This year’s team is also bad. I am not trying to defend Eakins here, I am saying you hate him and love Kruger for reasons that don’t make a God-Blessed lick of sense and I would really, really like for things to turn out in such a way that you cannot delude yourself into thinking you were right all along.

    Just so we’re clear, I’m not mad, and I know you won’t listen. It only seems like I’m talking to you, I’m really talking to them. Hello, LT & Friends. I want to admit my biases up front so that when I defend Eakins in the future you know where I am coming from.

  189. gcw_rocks says:

    Anyone know the purpose behind the Martindale trade? Can’t see anything in it for the Oilers.

  190. hunter1909 says:

    Somewhat OT I know but:

    Right now there’s this guy outside my window yelling his head off about how someone’s gone into his garden and stolen his dope, and that he knows gangsters, mafia, and he’s on some international karate team, and now he’s just said he think he knows who’s done it, and he’ll be calling the police.

  191. RexLibris says:

    hunter1909,

    This relates somehow to the Oilers. I know it does. I just can’t connect the dots.

    Misplaced rage. Dissociative break with reality. Histrionics over questionable assets. Vague threats about consequences and connections with powerful people.

    Yeah, its all there.

  192. Cobbler says:

    I posted this over ON in the Willis article on what is wrong with Taylor Hall:

    I think it is pertinent to this article as that I don’t think Hall drop off in Corgis is exclusively related to Hall’s play. Some of these guys just let up and make the wrong play. Defensive breakdown after breakdown. Very similar breakdowns in last nights game.

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/games/1345952/edmonton-oilers-vs-dallas-stars/

    Here is the link to the highlights of the Stars game.

    WRT Taylor Hall, he, Nuge and Gagner are on the ice for 2 of the goals against, but from what I see Hall’s positioning is excellent and he is covering his man. On two occasions his linemates blow coverage to allow a goal against. I know we are talking shots here but lets assume these serve as examples.

    At 15 seconds, the first Dallas goal, Ference goes down to try and block the pass but fails and is out of the play. Nuge gets knocked down in front of the net and loses his man. Hall is covering the winger in the far circle. Schultz id late to come back (I believe he pinched on the play at the other end). Gagner coasts into the zone, knees straight, stick horizontal watching it all unfold. Hall was not the problem on this goal, but tow of his linemates were taken out of the play, one was late coming back and the other (Gagner) just counldn’t be bothered….

    At 40 seconds, Hall not on the ice but worth a note. On the PK Arcobello way blows his coverage on Jamie Benn on the point which allows the easy pass and gift to Benn.

    At 50 seconds, Two D go in deep against two Stars players to try and win the puck battle. Hall is on his side on the half wall available for the outlet pass. Both Nuge and Gagner (both playing center at this point) are late to the show. Neither gets a man and are seen turning up ice as the goal is scored.

    Just a couple examples from the last game where I note, in this context: 1) Hall’s positioning is good, but his assignment is not primarily as a defensive forward, he is the outlet man. 2) Horrible blown coverage by Ference, Schultz, Arcobello, Gagner and Nuge directly led to these goals. 3) Is this what Eakins means when he states he assumed the team could play basic defense?

    I know the WOWY suggests otherwise but I still wonder if its these types of plays, Hall’s specific deployment as an offense first guy, and consistent blown coverage by his linemates are having an impact on his season.

    Gagner on the first goal, sheesh skate ffs, get involved. He looked totally disinterested.

  193. Old School G says:

    hunter1909:
    Somewhat OT I know but:

    Right now there’s this guy outside my window yelling his head off about how someone’s gone into his garden and stolen his dope, and that he knows gangsters, mafia, and he’s on some international karate team, and now he’s just said he think he knows who’s done it, and he’ll be calling the police.

    Do you see what happens Larry?

  194. Halfwise says:

    hunter1909,

    I don’t think that’s off topic at all.

  195. icecastles says:

    book¡je: Usually the phrase ‘lottery team’ is meant for the bottom 5 teams in the league.

    Fair enough. They were 24th, not a lottery team.

    I agree that we should have kept Kreuger. Not because Eakins is bad, but because we never had a fair chance to find out what we had with him. But the hyperbole regarding last season is getting a bit silly nonetheless. They were terrible last year, and that was WITH some artificially inflated stats. I’m not sure they would have stayed as high as they were, given an 82-game season in 2012-13. People are talking about their “killer rush” last year for gord sake. Their “rush” resulted in more goals against than for and constant loss of possession and very little sustained zone time.

    Anyway, I was wrong about them being a lottery team. I honestly forgot how much higher they finished than the 2 years prior or their likely placement this year.

  196. RexLibris says:

    gcw_rocks,

    They are at 49 contracts right now, by my count.

    This gives them twelve UFAs this off-season along with the chance they let Abney, Bachman, Hamilton (Curtis) and Miller all go. That would mean potentially 16 contract spots on the 50-man reserve list.

    There is more to it than that, I suspect it is also about getting some veteran help for Todd Nelson.

    Seems like a pretty minor move, but it is somewhat close to the Kessy/Rieder move in that it takes out skill (albeit marginal and undeveloped) in Martindale and replaces it with toughness…dare I say…truculence.

  197. godot10 says:

    stevezie:
    godot10,

    3) I want so badly for you, Godot, to realize how full of shit you are. Even if you’re right, you’re wrong. Eakins may be a horrible coach*, but you “called it” before any evidence was in on the strength ofnonsense, conjecture, and voodoo bs.

    It is called ‘thin-slicing”.

    Sometimes more information is not better. One only needs enough information to make the right decision or judgement. Some of you guys are waiting for data paralysis. More is not necessarily better.

    Eakins quickly demonstrated characteristics I associate with bad coaching. I’m older than most of you. I undoubtedly have Asperger’s. My success or lack thereof in coping with the condition has been entirely dependent on my success or lack thereof in “thin-slicing” human behavior.

    Usually, in real life,I keep such opinions to myself. But the only way I was going to be able to cope with the utter hopelessness of this Oilers season and foreseeable future was to do a really stupid thing, which was to make a prediction and call it, especially since all of you guys were so foolishly (from my point-of-view) hopeful. Making predictions is irrational. But irrationality is a good coping mechanism for hopelessness, when one has no influence on the outcome. If one has influence and power over the situation, when then by all means, rationality is a better option.

  198. DeadmanWaking says:

    I really do want to respect my short hiatus, but I’ll decloak just this once–really I mean it. I was sucked back in by two forces. First, I had a small epiphany last night reading this comment:

    LostBoy:
    book¡je,
    Yeah, I’ll buy the perfect storm early. Maybe it would all have been different if we’d held that 4-2 lead over Winnipeg in Game 1. But my point remains. There has to be something. There has to be something at some point other than manly man posturing at press availabilities. Nobody, under anything resembling normal circumstances, gets to survive what’s happened this season.

    As a syllogism, this is arguing Y because ~X, which is somewhat akin to proof by contradiction, the lowest grade of proof, if you’re the kind of poncy mathematician who makes these distinctions. The highest grade of proof is constructive proof: the set Z is provably non-empty, ’cause I just cobbled together an element that meets the criteria. See, look!

    Let’s try that original syllogism again. There’s a bad smell in the room. It’s either the players or it’s the coach. I don’t think it’s the players, therefore fire the coach. Note that the set of all the things the coach does badly has no attesting members in this form of argument.

    The thing is–for me–if that’s the argument for firing the coach, I don’t care whether these overpaid millionaires win another hockey game between now and kingdom come. The entire joy of Lowetide lies in the exchange of perceptive persiflage. We’re united here in trying to puzzle out a minor mystery of life: why does one group fail where another succeeds? It’s no fun at all to reduce this to the level of a contentious divorce where a marriage fails because one person or the other is rotten to the core: I’m not a bad person, therefore is my spouse.

    It starts with the reasoning that winner+winner=winner. Then when the marriage goes south the equation changes to winner+x=loser, which doesn’t imply anything nice about x in the eyes of either winner. Thus it is that the syllogism Y because ~X is dangerous when applied to human affairs.

    It just isn’t true that if you put good people into a room and stir the crank, out comes a good result. Or at least, not immediately, presto bingo wham bam.

    A corollary to this syllogism is that bad results come from bad people–end of story. I suspect some who believe in this syllogism written the other way are less comfortable when it’s written in this direction. It certainly explains the widespread view that the ranks of upper management on this planet are riddled with gross incompetence.

    Why is it that the competent schleps from the under-ranks never rise to become a competent boss? It could be the Peter principle. That’s pretty old fashioned. Or it could be that the universally incompetent ranks of management are exceeding competent at just one thing: never hiring a competent person to displace them. That works. Unless you define competence as doing what works. Then you must confront a small self-contradiction: the original definition of the managers who routinely seem to do what works best when their jobs are on the line as the set of the least competent.

    What usually turns out to be the case when a well-paid manager is depicted as incompetent is that the manager’s incentives have been misunderstood or mischaracterised, often out of wishful thinking. At this point in the season, what battles are left to win? Mollifying the fan base? Of course the fan base wishes to perceive it this way, because we all want to feel important. But actually, Katz might only care about winning the cup. “Win me a cup, Craig, or die trying.” “Okay, boss.” That die was cast last summer, however it went.

    I believe Krueger was hired to coddle Yak and the other Euro tweeners (a group reduced to Lander, now with one foot in his suitcase). Krueger is supposed to be a great motivational speaker. Does motivational speaking wear off as quickly as a Chinese dinner? Whatever winning spirit Krueger instilled last season seems to have been written in water-soluble soy sauce.

    There’s a certain type of rash poker player who makes hay against weaker opponents, but doesn’t stand a chance–ever–in a serious game. I think MacT diagnosed our team as depending too much on easy pickings, which looks good now, but impresses no-one very much later on when it’s four and out in the second round.

    Exit Krueger, who wasn’t building a playoff foundation. Enter the hubris to aim high, with his first arrow, at a nice apple where a donut used to lie.

    The commando course correction did not take well. Shit happens. They’re men, they’ll figure it out. Eventually. Right now what we have here is a bunch of proud men feeling like whipped dogs. More than a few are looking around the room thinking: if ~X then Y. This is known as a rough patch.

    As Woodguy frequently observes, our entire defensive line-up is playing a level or more above their natural level. When everything is going right (no errors) this almost works. At the first error, it fractures badly. These fractures have been so routine and so severe that everybody is now psychologically conditioned to view the puck as a hand grenade. This takes people out of the flow, and dulls the attack. It’s a bad spiral.

    Having a CFP back there mopping up small flubs for thirty minutes a game would change everything. With less fear, fewer mistakes. With fewer mistakes, more confidence. With more confidence, more assertiveness. Then wins. Then swagger.

    Right now Eakins is trying to drill habits. It’s his only hope, if he keeps his job long enough to witness next October.

    I think it’s just silly to say that Eakins’ system is at fault. He said once about his swarm that it’s basically what San Jose already plays with great success. The uptake of his system might be at fault, or it just might be a long, slow process of changing entrenched habits.

    A coach’s first obligation is to communicate roles and expectations clearly, which he’s doing–at least for the bobble-heads in the room (RNH and Hemmer have both been anointed to this group). None of the players struggling with Eakins system have ever been star performers in the defensive zone.

    The other thing that drew me back for a post is Lowetide doing what Lowetide does best, using Ms. Blunt to A-frame the issue. No, seriously, he’s brought us back to dissecting the issues, rather than succumbing to inference from bad smell. Hip hip holy-mackerel for the perceptive persiflage.

    I mentioned The Devil’s Dictionary the other day. It was inevitable I would try my hand. Here’s one inspired by inference from bad smell.

    Holism: The ability to diagnose faulty posture without bothering yourself to memorise the name of a single bone.

    Fire Eakins! He’s a boneless bag of skin.

    I’m also not keen on explanation by mind game: the players have tuned Eakins out. This is no longer a room full of good people trying to figure it out and get it together. It’s now a room full of babies demanding a juicy tit. If that’s the explanation, I really don’t care if these guys win another hockey game from now until kingdom come.

    I totally understand if there’s a lot of frustration, if it’s not just frustration looking for an easy out. I’m more concerned about a player being “ruined” by not getting enough coaching than by getting too much.

    Is Dallas setting a bar that Yakupov can’t meet? Somehow I don’t think so. Is he confusing Yakupov by demanding different things on different days? Somehow I don’t think so. Is it painful for Yakupov to retool his fundamentals inside a giant fishbowl? Absolutely. Are his future rewards commensurate with bearing this burden? Absolutely. Is Dallas trying to suffocate Yakupov’s elite skills? Somehow I don’t think so.

    Once I discount the sulky narratives where I don’t give a shit whether the team lives or dies, from what remains I say keep Eakins, which suits my patient remove.

    No long ago someone here said they’d trade beautiful hockey for winning hockey any day of the week. Not me. Different fans want different things. When I date a woman, I want to be uplifted and amazed. Sometimes I admit I had too much patience. Then I lucked out. So it goes.

  199. gvblackhawk says:

    Caramel Obvious: The fact that you choose to remember things said about Yakupov selectively does mean that is how things happened.You have fabricated a story in your head.

    Ironically enough, Bruce has fabricated the same issue in his head…and he agrees with me. But I’m sure you know better.

    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2014/01/17/dallas-eakins-has-martin-marincins-back-nail-yakupov-not-so-much-edmonton-oilers/

  200. Bag of Pucks says:

    On a positive note, after last night’s game I started thinking about which team I’ll throw my allegiance too when this rebuild eventually tops out with a 1-and-done playoff performance.

    Leaning towards clubs that are well managed with the hopes of an actual competitive window opening for a decent run. Avs, Stars, and Lightning are the frontrunners with TBay getting the slight edge cos it justifies an annual hockey road trip to FLA.

    Hard not to make the case that this team is better TODAY with Seguin, Landeskog, Murray and Nicushkin as its core.

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