YAK CITY BULLITT!

Nail Yakupov scored an incredible goal last night, a goal scorer’s goal, a first short scorer’s goal. Yak’s a sniper! Yak is hot! 4, 3-0-3 +1 is three steps from the sun compared to his first half (39, 6-8-14 -25) and represents real progress in a very important area. Dallas Eakins has him looking pass too much, but hell boys that’s better than the stickhandling maniac who gets his ass stapled to the bench. His Corsi for 5×5% for the games since HS are 55.2, 40.9, 65.2, 57.1—music! He has 13 shots in those 4 games, and looks like a different player. The Russian Raketa is back!

gainey

THE HOCKEY DEPARTMENT

Bob Gainey: “My basic plan to begin with (going into Montreal as a second-time GM) was to try to put a good hockey department together so that it then could work. The work that’s done in the hockey department through recruitment and management and organizing can be felt by the support staff, the coaches, the players and give them a better opportunity to perform and to succeed. From there, my plan was to use the energy that’s built to affect the play and affect the outcome and the success of the team on the ice.”

One area I think we can give Steve Tambellini some credit is bringing some structure and best practices to the minor league system. A good way to see progress is via graduating players. How many former Barons have impacted the current Oilers this season?

  1. Mark Arcobello 34, 4-13-17
  2. Jeff Petry 44, 3-7-10
  3. Taylor Fedun 4, 2-0-2
  4. Tyler Pitlick 3, 1-0-1
  5. Anton Lander 12, 0-0-0
  6. Martin Marincin 7, 0-0-0

Petry is now an established NHLer, and Arcobello appears to be pushing that way plus Marincin is showing some signs of life in his NHL career. This is not the 1972-73 Nova Scotia Voyageurs but if they can send one or two men north every winter that’s a pipeline MacT never had as coach when they were lending this kids out like motel matches. nova scotia

  • More Gainey: I’d been with the Stars about 5 years and it was evident we didn’t have enough good players to compete against the good teams. We had some good young players like Mike Modano and Derian Hatcher and Richard Matvichuk, but we didn’t have enough, we had too many holes. We didn’t have an adequate second line center to play against Colorado (with Forsberg and Sakic).  I thought we made a nice goaltending improvement from Jon Casey to Andy Moog; but from Moog to Belfour was again another change of caliber that had a real impact on the performance of the team. So, we added players in each position that were elite players—along with a top-flight coach in Ken Hitchcock—which allowed us to draw a few other players. Once it starts to form, it’s easier for a player who is looking for a place to play to see how he’ll fit in.

That’s really what this is, you know. This Gainey quote (from Behind the Moves) is basically the same as ‘get good players, keep good players’ from Al Arbour back in the day.

  • Elite Draft Flow: Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Nail Yakupov
  • Good Draft Decisions: Ales Hemsky, Jeff Petry, Sam Gagner, Jordan Eberle, possibly Martin Marincin
  • Good Trade Acquisitions: David Perron, Ryan Smyth
  • Good Free Agent Signings: Justin Schultz, Boyd Gordon, Andrew Ference
  • Good Minor League/College Signings: Mark Arcobello

I think that’s MacT’s chore now, a little from each section every summer. There’s no easy fix, although I do think this team is going to change its mix between now and next fall. Some of these draft picks are heading out of town.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

bullit

Lowdown hits the air at 10 this morning, some Yak talk and maybe we’ll discuss trades and the deadline. Scheduled to appear on TSN 1260:

  • Michael Parkatti, Boys on the Bus. Yakupov, Shot distance metric and what it tells us about last night, and more.
  • Steve Hamilton, Edmonton Oil Kings coach and Vimy Ridge teacher. He’s just back from coaching Team Pacific at the U-17 World Hockey Challenge and we’ll talk about it.
  • Ryan Batty from Copper and Blue. Trade deadline, Hall’s season, Yak City!
  • Jeff Krushell, Krush Performance.  Talking Olympic athletes and the years of sacrifice finally being rewarded.

10-1260 via text, @Lowetide_ on twitter. Love your input!

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104 Responses to "YAK CITY BULLITT!"

  1. Logan91 says:

    I’ve been extremely impressed with Marincin, he makes so many nice little defensive plays.

  2. D says:

    Man that Nova Scotia Voyageurs team could beat quite a few of today’s NHL squads.

  3. PaperKurtRussell says:

    A few thoughts on yesterday’s events:
    1. Agree with the article entirely. Yak baby!! He and the team need to figure out how to get him more chances. He is like Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon. Not perfect, but very dangerous and we all love him.
    2. Three Olympians on the team. That’s great! Unless, you’re Taylor Hall. How does that feel to know that you are 10 times the player of these guys?? I know it’s not Team Canada, but still.
    3. Brad Hunt had a bad case of Chorney-itis last night. Surely we have better options than this??
    4. Who thought it was a good idea to have 5 d-men under 200 lbs? People say a forward is small if he is under 200… The Blues had an easy time in our zone for sure. Hmmm, why do we get killed against big teams?
    5. Is it possible that our D is worse than last year?? Too many generic puck-moving guys who aren’t all that effective at anything else. Glad Whitney is gone, but at least he could give a guy “the business” in front of the net or in the corner.

  4. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Oilers officially talking up Hamilton:

    http://oilers.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=699530&navid=DL|EDM|home

    First paragraph:

    “Will forward Curtis Hamilton be the next Edmonton Oilers prospect to earn his first NHL call up?”

  5. Genjutsu says:

    As much as the standing point other wise there has been real improvement this year.

    Its been a perfect storm with bad goaltending and injuries at the beginning of the year that doomed a season for an emerging team playing in the very toughest division in hockey.

    Blowing things up will not speed things up. Firing the coach is almost certainly not the answer.

    However is been a long time waiting.

    It doesn’t get any easier next year. The kids will be a year older and hungrier but the holes at D and now at G are massive.

  6. barry.moore23 says:

    Guys,

    Help !! I’m dying to know what KLowe said on Gregor’s show yesterday. I didn’t get a chance to listen online. Please let me know :)

    Barry from Illinois

  7. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    barry.moore23:
    Guys,

    Help !! I’m dying to know what KLowe said on Gregor’s show yesterday. I didn’t get a chance to listen online. Please let me know

    Barry from Illinois

    Not much.

    http://www.tsn1260.ca/Podcasts/JasonGregor.aspx

    find it there… not sure which hour. Mostly talked about Olympics. Bland.

  8. Dee Dee says:

    There is no question at all that the Oilers are loaded with the most exciting offensive talent in the league.

    But they are dreadful in their own end. I lost track of the number of give always and awful plays the young ones made last night. If they keep insisting on handing the other team a dozen gimmes every game they aren’t going to win very many at all.

    Hopefully this will serve as a wakeup call but I am afraid this lazy playing style will start to become habitual, if it already hasn’t.

  9. Jon K says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Not much.

    http://www.tsn1260.ca/Podcasts/JasonGregor.aspx

    find it there… not sure which hour. Mostly talked about Olympics. Bland.

    On the contrary, I thought Kevin Lowe’s admission that they have a collective management group was very interesting. In making those comments he stated that MacT brings trades or thoughts to Lowe, and in some cases those are then brought to Katz. Seems like Lowe is still making the final management decisions for the team.

    On an unrelated note, Stauffer’s comments about Hall not making the Olympic team were interesting. He implied that what happened with Hall and Ruff at the WCs played a part in the decision, and that some people in the “hockey community” are of the view that Hall needs to do some maturing still. Stauffer also aired Hall’s comments about the snub, and in my opinion Hall handled it very well.

  10. Kosmo Kraemer says:

    Before this team will ever get better they ned a couple of first pairing defense. I believe that will help immensely. Then with the forwards playing defensively as well they might have success.

  11. G Money says:

    PaperKurtRussell: 4. Who thought it was a good idea to have 5 d-men under 200 lbs? People say a forward is small if he is under 200… The Blues had an easy time in our zone for sure. Hmmm, why do we get killed against big teams?

    The latest in a number of questionable decisions.

    The Oilers only have two defenseman > 200 lbs (Belov and Nultz), and Nultz is not exactly what you’d call a big hitter. So yeah, if we want to understand why this team can’t play against the big teams of the West, look no further.

    That said, I get why they decided to sit Belov for a game or two – he clearly hasn’t adjusted to the NHL as fast as hoped, and sometimes some rest and watching the game from above can help. It’s not like he has a whole lot of defensive role models on this team to look for help from.

    And yet – I sure would like to understand why Eakins et al thought it would be a good idea to sit the 225 lb Belov for yet another game in favour of the 188 lb Brad Hunt – particularly after two epically bad games from Hunt?

    Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

  12. Ducey says:

    Went to the game yesterday. Got tix for Christmas and sat row 6 behind the St. Louis bench. I have been to a lot of Oiler games but I have never sat behind the bench before. It was great. I really enjoyed the game.

    Some things I noticed:
    1. The Blues had 5 or 6 guys (Reaves, Stewart, Lapierre (man is he ugly), Backes come to mind) who were constantly chirping the Oilers bench. It was pretty clear they were challenging them. Other than Gadzic (and Jones briefly) who chirped back, most Oilers just starred off into space like they were standing on a subway platform trying to ignore the homeless guy asking for change. I felt like going over the glass. When you hear the team talking about needing more toughness, this is likely where it comes from. It must be hard as a coach to see your team intimidated like that.

    2. During stops in play, the St Louis players could be seen in little groups talking about strategy. The Oilers players, not so much.

    3. The St Louis coaches did more talking that their Edmonton counterparts. I didn’t see Acton or Buchy talk to anyone. Buchy had the ear piece in and talked into his sleeve (he must communicate with the upstairs (not sure with who, Uncle Darryl?). I saw Smith talking to Hunt, that was about it. Acton and Buchy resembled an honour guard. They could have been replaced with a couple of cardboard cutouts.

    4. Yak City looks like the lazyiest SOB you have ever seen when coming back to the bench. My wife even asked: “Why is he skating like that?” When he gets going he has some great ability to cut and see the ice.

    5. My wife also asked: “Who is that number 28?” I said “Ryan Jones”. I am not sure that helped her any :) She then said “He doesn’t really seem to fit with the rest of the team.” Truer words were never spoken.

    6. Shultz Jr looked terrific jumping into the play.

    7. There were a lot of drive-bys by Oiler forecheckers. Intead of going thru the guy with the puck they just assumed the Blues player would just pass it. They were 4 or 5 occasions when St Louis players just faked pass and hung onto the puck. The Oilers play a lot better when the finish their checks and start getting in people’s way.

    8. One ref was terrible. You could tell by the look on his face, he knew it too. It is great to be able to yell at the ref with the feeling he might actually hear you.

    Anyway, if you have the chance, sit behind the bench. Its great to watch from that perspective.

  13. Woodguy says:

    Loving me some Yak!

    Eakins seems to have pushed the right buttons.

    Helps that Gagner has been much better as of late as well.

    Also,

    There is much discussion around here about the 4th line.

    Its nice to see Arco bring that line up in terms of “able to play a shift” level.

    Some don’t think that the 4th line matters.

    If you use it correctly, it can matter a lot.

    A guy I follow on twitter @pcunneen19 had an interesting series of tweets about CHI’s 4th line.

    It blew me away:

    Basically CHI is starting their 4th line in the Dzone 50% of the time.

    Their Ozone start is at 10%!!!!

    Look at this ridiculous Vomman usage chart (scroll down after all the graphs load up):

    http://www.extraskater.com/team/chicago-blackhawks/2013

    So, by having a 4th line with Actual NHL players that can play good defense and compete.allows Quennville to start his other 3 lines, the lines that score, in the Ozone/Neutral zone 75%-80% of the time!!

    This is basically taking Vigneault’s Maholtra treatment to a new level, except instead of it allowing 80% OZ/NZ starts for the Sedins, he gets those OZ starts for 3 lines.

    Having PKers on the 4th also gives rest to your offensive players so you can play them more at 5v5 or 5v4 without worrying about giving them too many minutes.

    This is the new “line matching”

    Its funny that when the Bruins and Kings won everywhere MSM and GMs talked about “needing to get bigger”

    Chicago wins 2 in 4 years and no one is saying “we need to get better”, or “we need to ice a 4th line that can actually play”

    We still hear “crashers and bangers on the 4th line”

    Chicago is leaving everyone in the dust on this.

  14. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Jon K: On the contrary, I thought Kevin Lowe’s admission that they have a collective management group was very interesting. In making those comments he stated that MacT brings trades or thoughts to Lowe, and in some cases those are then brought to Katz. Seems like Lowe is still making the final management decisions for the team.

    It’s possible I’m not reading enough into it… but it was so damn rambly it was hard to take as a serious definition of roles and chain of command.

    Also, IIRC he basically just said, when a decision comes up they chat about it in a group… which is quite different from “KLowe is still in charge.” Maybe he worded it differently, but that’s how I recall it. And, if that is the case, it would be exactly what you’d expect. Why have AGM’s, Presidents, scouts, etc. if not to solicit their input?

    At any rate, I didn’t find him to be a compelling speaker on behalf of either team canada or the Oilers. I’d lose no sleep if he lost both jobs.

  15. LMHF#1 says:

    Marincin handled Backes a couple of times whereas the other 5 mostly got beaten. Impressive stuff.

    Still don’t see Ference as a positive signing. He’s going to be a #6/7 if this team is ever any good with him on it.

  16. Ducey says:

    G Money: The latest in a number of questionable decisions.

    The Oilers only have two defenseman > 200 lbs (Belov and Nultz), and Nultz is not exactly what you’d call a big hitter.So yeah, if we want to understand why this team can’t play against the big teams of the West, look no further.

    That said, I get why they decided to sit Belov for a game or two – he clearly hasn’t adjusted to the NHL as fast as hoped, and sometimes some rest and watching the game from above can help.It’s not like he has a whole lot of defensive role models on this team to look for help from.

    And yet – I sure would like to understand why Eakins et al thought it would be a good idea to sit the 225 lb Belov for yet another game in favour of the 188 lb Brad Hunt – particularly after two epically bad games from Hunt?

    Anyone?Anyone?Bueller?

    I am guessing but I think that the Oilers are doing a lot of evaluating. They are taking guys who look pretty good in the AHL and giving them a game or two (and a few practices) to see how they look in the big leagues. This is taking priority over icing the best team. It seems like a reasonable strategy given the year is a write-off.

    This might have some benefit for the player too. He knows what he needs to work on in order to stick. In Hunt’s case, he just needs to grow about 6 inches. Should be no problem. My 13 yr old did that last year.

  17. PaperKurtRussell says:

    G Money,

    Definitely. Belov seemed better at the start of the year, but surely still has to be better than a pint-sized nervous rookie pro. I know we’ve reached rock-bottom when I found myself yearning to have Potter or P Larsen back in the line-up last night!

  18. Woodguy says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Not much.

    http://www.tsn1260.ca/Podcasts/JasonGregor.aspx

    find it there… not sure which hour. Mostly talked about Olympics. Bland.

    You didn’t find it interesting when Vish basically said he’s still heavily involved in player decisions?

    Or when Gregor pressed him on getting better D and all he talked about was kids in the pipeline?

    I thought it was illuminating.

  19. G Money says:

    Ducey:
    I am guessing but I think that the Oilers are doing a lot of evaluating.

    This is taking priority over icing the best team. It seems like a reasonable strategy given the year is a write-off.

    This might have some benefit for the player too. He knows what he needs to work on in order to stick. In Hunt’s case, he just needs to grow about 6 inches. Should be no problem. My 13 yr old did that last year.

    I’m on board with the evaluation strategy – but the offset to that is that I also think that Belov is more likely to be a key piece to the future than Hunt. It might be different if Hunt were 19 a la Marincin, but he’s 25, just two years younger than Belov, and they’re both playing their first NHL season …

    Given Belov’s size and KHL experience, getting him developed and signed relatively cheaply as a capable (big) 5D would be a very useful thing for the Oilers. Hunt’s ceiling as a small 6 or 7D does not thrill me.

    The age thing might also make that whole “growing another six inches” a bit of a challenge for Hunt!

  20. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy: Its funny that when the Bruins and Kings won everywhere MSM and GMs talked about “needing to get bigger”
    Chicago wins 2 in 4 years and no one is saying “we need to get better”, or “we need to ice a 4th line that can actually play”
    We still hear “crashers and bangers on the 4th line”
    Chicago is leaving everyone in the dust on this.

    The odd counter-argument that I keep coming across is that “well, the Hawks are just better and no one can be that good”… i.e., to make an exception for them.

    Then you bring up Detroit… they too are an exception. Or they’ll mention Kronwall or something.

    Basically, when the commitment to the idea that “only heavy teams can win” is shown up by facts, those facts are marginalized and the commitment is re-stated.

    It’s just bad thinking. Lazy. Especially, since the premise (only heavy teams can win) isn’t only faulty… it is so dreadfully lacking in nuance. It barely registers as an attempt to solve the puzzle of “winning.”

  21. OilClog says:

    Watching the second line last night.. Was I the only one wondering why when Perron, and Yakupov are on the ice.. Why is Gags taking all the shots and missing the net?

    Last night I saw Gagner play to show teams around the league what he can do, not what he can do to help the team he’s still on win.

  22. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy: You didn’t find it interesting when Vish basically said he’s still heavily involved in player decisions?

    Or when Gregor pressed him on getting better D and all he talked about was kids in the pipeline?

    I thought it was illuminating.

    On his Role: I saw it as a guy that can’t let go because he’s pigheaded. And I’m sure MacT asks him for his opinion about everything. So, of course, he’s involved in decision-making.

    (how could this possibly be revelatory to anyone?)

    If Howson rambled on in the same way, would we assume he was in charge?

    ———-
    On the D: He’s trying to pump the future. Seems like an obvious, uncontroversial move. IIRC he also mentioned MacT was working on it right now (i.e., some kind of trade).

    Basically, it was the same logic of his and Yzerman’s line about “I don’t want to talk about who’s not on the team, I want to talk about who is,” which seems like standard PR shine a turd kind of move.

  23. Woodguy says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    If Howson rambled on in the same way, would we assume he was in charge?

    Howson’s not the President of Hockey Operations and hasn’t been with that or the GM since 2000.

  24. Ice Sage says:

    Ducey,

    Great report – glad you got to se a quasi-competetive game.

    That contrast in the 2 teams’ demeanor nicely shows the difference between a team with identity, established veteran leadership, accountability to each other & something to play for and… well our Edmonton Oilers who are none of that yet.

    Am surprised Perron wasn’t chirping his old mates.

  25. rich says:

    OilClog:
    Watching the second line last night.. Was I the only one wondering why when Perron, and Yakupov are on the ice.. Why is Gags taking all the shots and missing the net?

    Last night I saw Gagner play to show teams around the league what he can do, not what he can do to help the team he’s still on win.

    Was wondering the same thing. Last night Gagner either shot and missed, or had an opportunity to take a shot and passed it to nowhere.

    It’s possible he’s not playing with a lot of confidence, although the fact that he’s with Perron and Yak is helping him lately. Would love to see what the line would look like with Arco their versus Gagner, but have to think they are trying to showcase him to drive interest/trade value. Whether this is helping or not is another thing.

    I did think the team played St. Louis far better last night than the last time out, not that the final result was different. But there were several instances where they sustained the attack in the St. Louis zone and capitalized. Small steps.

  26. Woodguy says:

    There was a twitter discussion about what Bryz has brought that DD didn’t, so I looked at their last 10 games each:

    Last 10 games DD:
    298 SA
    268 SV
    .899 SV%,

    Last 10 games Bryz:
    331 SA
    298 SV
    .900 SV%

  27. G Money says:

    Woodguy: We still hear “crashers and bangers on the 4th line”

    Chicago is leaving everyone in the dust on this.

    If you look at the last dozen Stanley Cup winners, in many cases the difference makers were not the stars on the first two lines (who often were played to a sawoff by the other teams also-very-good top two lines and top defensive pairing), but the third and fourth lines, especially the third line. Every year a new third line hero.

    The value of the third and fourth lines is understated each and every year. I felt at the beginning of this year that the Oilers would not make the playoffs, and the number one reason was the lack of good NHLers on the third and fourth lines. I rue (and continue to rue) the unwillingness of MacT to sign Raymond and Lapierre.

    That said, while the Blackhawks have not gone overboard in their pursuit of size over skill, I think it is understating the issue to say size is not relevant to their roster. They are NOT a small team.

    Defensively, their top 6 are 6′, 6′, 6′ 1″, 6′ 1″, 6′ 3″, 6′ 3″ and 190, 191, 200, 212, 207, and 221 lbs for an average height of 6’1″ and an average weight of 203.5 lbs. Up front, they boast Toews at 208, Bickell at 233, Bollig at 223, Handzus at 215, and Hossa at 210. That provides a nice little cushion for guys like Kane, Kruger, Shaw, and Sharp.

    The key is – they’re not pushing anyone around because they don’t need to, but they aren’t getting pushed around either.

    Last night’s Oiler defensive roster averaged 6′ 1″ and 191.5 lbs. Up front, only five of the Oiler forwards broke the 200lbs barrier, and of those, only Gazdic got past Jones’ 208 lbs.

    If you want to compare against the Blues, the comparisons become that much more stark. Not a single Blues defender is under 200 lbs. Of their forward group, only four are UNDER 200 lbs. Chris Stewart tips the scales at 231 lbs – any wonder he owns the Oilers every game?

    Given the skill and the speed, I think the forward roster can do just fine if they have a big rockem sockem puck moving defense behind them to break cycles and get the puck moving in a good direction on a regular basis.

    But as it stands, our Army of Smurfs (how appropriate we wear blue) is in way over their heads (in a vaguely literal sense) in pretty much every Western Conference game …

  28. gcw_rocks says:

    Woodguy,

    I never understood why people believed he wasn’t heavily involved. Wishful thinking, I guess. But when you take his ego, and the fact that most senior execs approve, formally or informally, the major decisions of their subordinates, Lowe being heavily involved in key player decisions is the only logical conclusion.

    The piece on the defence, however, is frightening.

  29. jake70 says:

    Preceeding the empy net goal, Gagner does the dump in just over center (give it up to get it back..ok), and the dump in is on the same side as 3 or 4 other oilers (ok no prob) but is so hard and in such a location, that it goes right around the corner boards and to the other side of Elliot where Hall (only Oiler in that time zone) can’t get to it (probably not expecting the dump in), Blues retrieve, a couple of unpressured passes later and it’s 5-2. He should have tried the lob ball down into the right corner or a hard wrap around on the left boards…or something.

  30. hoser313 says:

    Ducey: I am guessing but I think that the Oilers are doing a lot of evaluating. They are taking guys who look pretty good in the AHL and giving them a game or two (and a few practices) to see how they look in the big leagues. This is taking priority over icing the best team. It seems like a reasonable strategy given the year is a write-off. This might have some benefit for the player too. He knows what he needs to work on in order to stick.

    Agree with this. The season is toast so may as well give these guys all a look. Heck, bring up Klefbom and Hamilton for a couple games. Why not.

    As for the general lack of size or toughness on D to play against teams like STL, once again the loss of Smid is apparent. This one remains a strike against management. The other thing too though is that sometimes the current players just need to play tougher. Puck movers or not.

    Lastly, the own zone giveaways need to stop. I’d say the team needs to

  31. Space Dad says:

    I’d agree with Rom about Lowe merely stubbornly believing that he’s still in charge. Why? Look at the moves the Oilers have made since MacTavish took over – to me, they just don’t scream Kevin Lowe. Reason being, I like what he’s done. His moves are thoughtful and reasonable (I don’t really mind the Smid trade).

    If anything, I get the impression that those are moves MacTavish has been able to do, despite Vish’s interference.

    IMO, Katz should put Lowe out to pasture (satisfy the fans’ call for blood), let MacTavish stay on as GM AND promote him to President of Hockey Operations. Give the team to MacT and see what happens.

  32. hoser313 says:

    Lastly, the own zone giveaways need to stop. I’d say the whole team needs to work on this big time. Not just the usual suspects. The young stars make their share of cough ups as well.

  33. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy: Howson’s not the President of Hockey Operations and hasn’t been with that or the GM since 2000.

    Right.

    And, over that time period we have 3 radically different approaches to building a hockey team: Lowe; Tambo; MacT.

    We can take that indirect evidence seriously that new hands are stirring the pot, or we can make KLowe’s rambling statement that he’s part of a group that makes decisions as evidence that he’s some puppet-master.

    This is wishful scapegoating.

  34. Woodguy says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Right.

    And, over that time period we have 3 radically different approaches to building a hockey team: Lowe; Tambo; MacT.

    We can take that indirect evidence seriously that new hands are stirring the pot, or we can make KLowe’s rambling statement that he’s part of a group that makes decisions as evidence that he’s some puppet-master.

    This is wishful scapegoating.

    You missed the Oil change episode where Lowe had his epiphany of “clarity” and decided to rebuild.

    You also must have missed when Vish himself laid out the different ways they have done it.

    Here, I’ll get you a quote:

    . And in terms of the group that messed things up (voice rising) you’re talking about the group that had the team one period away from winning the Stanley Cup.”

    MacKinnon: “Seven years ago.”

    Lowe: “And you know the cycle of that. You know we chased the dream a few year for our fanbase. Like a lot of teams do. And then at some point in that time frame we realized that’s a bad plan and we made a change. We’re finishing year three of that plan. Now you say to me you’re getting impatient after three years?”

    Source: http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/04/15/john-mackinnon-puts-kevin-lowe-on-the-hot-seat/

    I’m not saying Lowe has the veto, I’m saying he’s still a strong voice and that voice has led the OIlers to the worst record in the NHL for 8 years.

    You thinking Lowe isn’t involved is wishful thinking.

    He says he is every time he’s asked.

  35. TheOtherJohn says:

    Not sure what people think Lowe has been doing. He is not in charge of business operations. I.e. he does not sell tickets He was renoved from the arena file very very early on. He runs hockey operations and has for 14 years. That is it.

    In that time the Oilers have gone to the playoffs 3 times. Twice with rosters Sather assembled (00-01 & 02-03) and “left” Lowe. As to playoff rosters Lowe assembled: we have 06 and nothing else. Good roste though. But: made playoffs on last weekend of season too

    But he knows a little something about winning……….. not from a single thing he has shown us, as opposed to what he tells us. But all bad decisions– those were all Steve Tambellini’s alone.

    I also do not see 3 radically different approaches to building a hockey team

  36. Woodguy says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Right.

    And, over that time period we have 3 radically different approaches to building a hockey team: Lowe; Tambo; MacT.

    We can take that indirect evidence seriously that new hands are stirring the pot, or we can make KLowe’s rambling statement that he’s part of a group that makes decisions as evidence that he’s some puppet-master.

    This is wishful scapegoating.

    Also, Lowe was the President the entire time Tambellini flushed everything good about this team into the toilet.

    He was explicitly complicit in the roster construction or he was consenting though lack of changing what Tambellini was doing.

    The buck stops at his desk.

  37. G Money says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: This is wishful scapegoating.

    It is the lot of the Oiler fan that even our scapegoating is wishful.

  38. bookje says:

    Woodguy:
    There was a twitter discussion about what Bryz has brought that DD didn’t, so I looked at their last 10 games each:

    Last 10 games DD:
    298 SA
    268 SV
    .899 SV%,

    Last 10 games Bryz:
    331 SA
    298 SV
    .900 SV%

    Yes, but what about their ‘soft goal’ stats?

    Where have all the soft goal people gone?

  39. bookje says:

    Woodguy: Also, Lowe was the President the entire time Tambellini flushed everything good about this team into the toilet.

    He was explicitly complicit in the roster construction or he was consenting though lack of changing what Tambellini was doing.

    The buck stops at his desk.

    I agree, Lowe was on the inside and knew the team was trying to be competitive in the last two years. They were nowhere near competative AND there was no talent in the System. Lowe should have made that call two years earlier.

  40. Caramel Obvious says:

    The noteworthy thing for me from the game was how skilled the Blues are. The passes are quick on the stick, and taken smoothly. Much better than the Oilers. Perhaps it was because the Blues are on them quickly but then that is evidence that the Blues are faster than the Oilers.

    The next time you hear someone talked about the “skilled” Oilers start counting completed passes like they do in soccer. My hypothesis is that the Oilers do not do particularly well at this. If this is the case then we should stop talking about how skilled they are.

    The Oilers problem isn’t that they aren’t big enough it is that they aren’t skilled enough.

    That said, I think they played really well last night. Other than the first five minutes and the horrible, unnecessary penalties they were right in this game. Considering the undermanned nature of the Dcorps that is an accomplishment.

    So let’s accentuate the positive:

    Yakupov has been much better lately. Much better.
    Arcobello has demonstrated he is an NHL quality player.
    Marincin played his best game by a mile. The key isn’t the defensive work, it’s the assertiveness in the offensive zone. The single most important ability for a Dman is to hold the line. You don’t have to play defense if it doesn’t leave the zone in the first place. Marincin has stopped playing scared. A very good sign.

    So that’s three more NHL players the Oilers might have, two of them out of nothing. That’s progress.

  41. Caramel Obvious says:

    I just saw Parkatti’s expected goals for the game. By that metric the Oilers came out ahead, and by Willis’ scoring chances I think they were even.

    This seems to happen a lot. Do the shot metrics undervalue the Oilers?

  42. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy: You thinking Lowe isn’t involved is wishful thinking.

    But this is a parody of anything I’ve said.

    ————

    Woodguy: You missed the Oil change episode where Lowe had his epiphany of “clarity” and decided to rebuild.

    Even on the assumption that a big picture change took place — which no one contests — we still see really different things being done under the Tambo era: nucks everywhere, facepunchers, etc.

    It also doesn’t solve when who decided it was time to try and turn north. Whenever you peg that (let’s say the off season Tambo signed Eager, Barker, etc.) you have to argue that those moves are consistent with Lowe’s moves when he was firmly in charge of the team and working to build a good team.

    I would argue that is a hard case to make.

    ———–

    Woodguy: Also, Lowe was the President the entire time Tambellini flushed everything good about this team into the toilet.
    He was explicitly complicit in the roster construction or he was consenting though lack of changing what Tambellini was doing.

    Not a word out of place.

    I completely agree with this. There is ample evidence that Lowe allowed “management by neglect” to happen.

    But that is different from Lowe managing by neglect, unless you mean in the narrow sense of not firing Tambo earlier.

    ———-
    I don’t believe he is in charge.
    I do believe he offers his advice and his advice is sought.
    I do believe he should be fired at any time for myriad reasons.

    ———-
    Apparently, a lot of people found that interview interesting… I just thought it was a bland, blowhard with little to say, saying it poorly. :)

  43. Pouzar says:

    bookje: Yes, but what about their ‘soft goal’ stats?

    Where have all the soft goal people gone?

    Too bad the first 10 games sunk this team.
    DD can go crawl in a hole.

  44. Pouzar says:

    Question:

    Can the smart guys here state a case for re-signing Ryan Smyth for another year?
    I just don’t get it. I see no good reason to have him back next year on this team and
    he’s my favorite post-dynasty Oiler ever.

  45. Gerta Rauss says:

    Pouzar:
    Question:

    Can the smart guys here state a case for re-signing Ryan Smyth for another year?
    I just don’t get it. I see no good reason to have him back next year on this team and
    he’s my favorite post-dynasty Oiler ever.

    I don’t consider myself one of the smart guys around here, but Willis certainly is:

    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2014/01/04/ryan-smyth-is-making-a-case-for-the-edmonton-oilers-to-re-sign-him/

    I’m fine looking at Smytty as a 4LW and paid as a 4LW. We’ve complained for years about our 4th line-the simple solution is to put better players on it.

  46. rickithebear says:

    G money:
    10 years of drafting and 6 great ufas 3 years later is how chicago won the cup.

    This current oiler team is about past ownership.
    .
    pocklington; Sather: Fraser
    1995-1999
    1st two rounds +5 picks
    1995: Kelly; Laroque
    1996: Devereaux; Descoteaux; Hajt
    1997: Riesen; Dovigi
    1998: Henrich; Henry
    1999: Rita; Semenov; Salmelainen
    1 for 12
    1 for fucking 12

    EIG, Lowe, Pendergast
    2000-2007
    2000 Mikhnov; Winchester
    2001 Hemsky; Lynch; Caron
    2002 ninimaki; JDD; Stoll; Greene
    2003 MAP; Mcdonald; JFJ
    2004 Dubnyk, Schremp; Tesliuk; Paukovich
    2005: Cogliano; Chorney
    2006: Petry
    2007 Gagner; Plante; Nash
    7 for 22 of which
    Lowe trades Stoll, Greene for Vish

    Katz; Tambellini; Macgregor
    Tambellini traded Brodziak & Cogliano
    2008 Eberle
    2009 MP; Lander
    2010 Hall; Pitlick; Marincin; Hamilton; Martindale
    2011 RNH; Klefbom; Musil; Perhonen
    2012: Yakupov, Moroz, Khaira

    Katz; MacT; Macgregor
    Size, Footspeed, Skill
    2013 Nurse, MO Roy, Yakimov; Slepyshev,Chase.
    year six of 10

    2014:?????????????? no 2nd or 4th but sj 4th

    Lowe and Tanbo unloaded
    4 of our NHL players.

    macgregor is way ahead of the Draft pick %.
    Mact Is clearly targeting Size, Speed and Skill as a whole.

  47. Jordan says:

    Pouzar:
    Question:

    Can the smart guys here state a case for re-signing Ryan Smyth for another year?
    I just don’t get it. I see no good reason to have him back next year on this team and
    he’s my favorite post-dynasty Oiler ever.

    I don’t purport to meet your qualifications, but here goes…

    You keep the Mullet for the leadership role he fills, the value he brings as a legacy Oiler, and to create the illusion of competition for minutes, so that if/when Pitlick and/or others are ready to step into a bottom 6 role, they can do so and make it look like it’s progress, instead of just hiring a better option than both in the summer.

    I’d call it a poor justification, but there seems to be many of those in this team’s decision making history. Why expect anything else?

  48. Ducey says:

    I am conflicted when people go after Lowe.

    A lot of the current chatter about getting Lowe strikes me as the same mentality that has led to hangings and beheadings in medieval times: People are just angry and want someone to pay. I notice a lot of the people leading this charge are young guys who never saw Lowe play, and don’t know where this franchise has been (good times and near death times).

    Lowe put together a nice ’06 team for the Cup run. While people can criticize him for the years after that, the reality was that he was crippled by the mass exodus led by Pronger. They also could not go rebuild then as they were still owned by the EIG who were now were in a position to finally make some money after barely holding on. They were unlikely to consent to a rebuild. In many ways this “trying to make the playoffs” period was necessary in order for people to embrace the rebuild.

    When Katz bought the team they have just come off a nice second half of 25-14-2 in 2007 – 08 and people thought they might have a decent team. They tried it again in 2008 -09 and did have winning record (people would be thrilled about that now). Then they went rebuild halfway thru 09-10.

    So when people say Lowe has had the worst record over the last 8 years, well yes he did, but after 09-10, that was generally the idea.

    He is not great with the media, but I couldn’t care. People latch onto the second tier fan stuff, but we all know what he meant.

    Should he be fired? No. He has earned the right to call his own shot. I don’t think he does much harm anymore. In fact, he might be an important filter between the team and the owner.

    Should he step down? Yeah, probably. Whether it makes sense or not he has become a lightning rod for discontent. He is likely too emotional and too invested to have a clear head going forward. This is reflected in his interviews where he doesn’t have a clear message. They likely need someone with a clean slate.

  49. Ducey says:

    Pouzar:
    Question:

    Can the smart guys here state a case for re-signing Ryan Smyth for another year?
    I just don’t get it. I see no good reason to have him back next year on this team and
    he’s my favorite post-dynasty Oiler ever.

    The guy has 16 pts in 36 games. Thats one less than Yak! :)

    I’d give him one more year at around a million. He is a terrific example to the young guys and can still PK and forecheck. 30 something points is nothing to sneeze at either. If he got 20 in a fourth line role next year, that would help, wouldn’t it?

    Plus the team doesn’t have a mascot. With Smyth, they don’t need one. The guy is class. He always takes the little kids under his wing in warmup, and never fails to high five the kids in the tunnel. Last night I noticed during the anthem that he stood in place with his helmet off until the last note finished – most of the rest of the players had taken off and most fans were finding their seats.

  50. G Money says:

    rickithebear: 10 years of drafting and 6 great ufas 3 years later is how chicago won the cup.

    This current oiler team is about past ownership.

    Mact Is clearly targeting Size, Speed and Skill as a whole.

    Operationally, everything about the Hawks has been better than the Oilers over the last 8 years.

    My comments were more specific to the idea that size is not part of the Hawks approach. It clearly is. They are a *much* bigger team than the Oilers. They may not be the biggest team, but they are big enough.

    The argument
    “In hockey, size isn’t as important as skill” (which is true)

    often morphs into

    “In hockey, size doesn’t matter” (which is assuredly not true)

    Caramel Obvious: This seems to happen a lot. Do the shot metrics undervalue the Oilers?

    I believe they do. It’s the issue we’ve seen for a while: “shooooooooooooooooooot”.

    How often do the Oilers get into the zone, pass up opportunities to shoot in favour of a pass, then lose possession without ever creating a chance? A dozen times a game?

    Other teams meanwhile walk across the blue line and fire it at net first chance they get.

    Some of those are strategic decisions based on the consistently bad Oiler goaltending. But either way, I think the net effect is to consistently make the shot metrics look worse than they are.

    I’ve become a big fan of Parkatti’s EG work, because it seems to better reflect the reality of what actually seemed to happen in the game.

    I’m not sure I agree with the EG being in Edmonton’s favour, but conversely, when the average Oiler shot is from 26 ft out and the average Blues shot is from 36 ft out, that tells you something.

    Add in the fact that the average missed Oiler shot is from 25ft out and the average missed Blues shot is from 39 ft out … “Because Oilers”.

  51. Pouzar says:

    Thx for the Ryan Smyth responses.

    We can upgrade his third line production(Jussi Jokinen, Mason Raymond , Kulemin) and I’d rather have more truculence/Speed on the 4th line ( Tanner Glass, C Hamilton, David Moss).

  52. VanOil says:

    Gerta Rauss: I don’t consider myself one of the smart guys around here, but Willis certainly is:

    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2014/01/04/ryan-smyth-is-making-a-case-for-the-edmonton-oilers-to-re-sign-him/

    I’m fine looking at Smytty as a 4LW and paid as a 4LW. We’ve complained for years about our 4th line-the simple solution is to put better players on it.

    I am agnostic to signing Smyty to a 4th line role for next year. I would point out we already have a 4th line left winger signed in Joensuu. Not saying he is a better option than Smyth just that he is already signed. I feel this is the daisy petal picking that the Oilers are making for this spot.

  53. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    G Money: How often do the Oilers get into the zone, pass up opportunities to shoot in favour of a pass, then lose possession without ever creating a chance? A dozen times a game?
    Other teams meanwhile walk across the blue line and fire it at net first chance they get.

    But isn’t this part of the “one and done”/”pass it into the net” critiques?

    It seems possible that the Oilers get cheated somewhat by the shot metrics because of their style of play… but that is surely negated by lack of shot attempts and repeat attempts on the same zone entry.

  54. Pouzar says:

    VanOil: I am agnostic to signing Smyty to a 4th line role for next year. I would point out we already have a 4th line left winger signed in Joensuu. Not saying he is a better option than Smyth just that he is already signed. I feel this is the daisy petal picking that the Oilers are making for this spot.

    Dats what I’m talkin about! I had to look up “agnostic”!!

    I think I agree with you :)

  55. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    On Smyth… remember when he started the year on the first line?

    So long ago…

    I’d be curious to know if there would be any interest in him at the deadline. I know he has a special attachment to the team… but he may like an opportunity to try for the cup once more and we can always sign him in the off-season anyway.

  56. bookje says:

    Pouzar: Dats what I’m talkin about! I had to look up “agnostic”!!

    I think I agree with you

    I am pretty sure he meant to say ‘apathetic’, although when Smyth returned, some of the discussion regarding him did approach deity levels, so perhaps he really did mean agnostic.

  57. G Money says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: It seems possible that the Oilers get cheated somewhat by the shot metrics because of their style of play… but that is surely negated by lack of shot attempts and repeat attempts on the same zone entry.

    The Oilers have an allergy to driving hard to the net, screening the goalie, etc. and so that doesn’t help their cause for sure.

    I’m referring specifically to the situation of when the Oilers do enter the o zone with or gain possession, maybe even (heaven forbid) sustain a cycle, and then one or more of their players will forgo the opportunity for a shot from a terrific shooting zone in favour of a pass to a less favourable spot, then leading to a loss of possession without ever generating a shot. Rinse and repeat. Eventually leading to significant stopwatch-based possession time that is never reflected in the shot metrics.

    I’m being casual in throwing out “dozen a game”, but I can say for sure, man, it’s a lot and it’s every frickin’ game.

    If all the Oilers did was shoot when they have the opportunity in the “golden zone” (the trapezoid from the goalposts to the middle of the circles and then straight up about ten feet towards the blue line), the Corsi’s would probably tilt 5% in their favour most nights.

    In last nights game, that would still leave them at 45% instead of 40%, but that’s not an inconsiderable difference.

  58. Gerta Rauss says:

    VanOil: I am agnostic to signing Smyty to a 4th line role for next year. I would point out we already have a 4th line left winger signed in Joensuu. Not saying he is a better option than Smyth just that he is already signed. I feel this is the daisy petal picking that the Oilers are making for this spot.

    Pouzar: Dats what I’m talkin about! I had to look up “agnostic”!!

    I think I agree with you

    I had to look up “daisy petal pickin” then it dawned on me…she loves me, she loves me not…:)

    I’ve been thoroughly unimpressed with Jonesuu-he has been the definition of “at best a non factor”-the good thing is we can bury him in OKC without any major cap implications if push comes to shove. I’d like to see us sign NHL players for the 4th line, and guys like Pitlick can earn they way up the depth chart.

  59. Gerta Rauss says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    On Smyth… remember when he started the year on the first line?

    So long ago…

    I’d be curious to know if there would be any interest in him at the deadline. I know he has a special attachment to the team… but he may like an opportunity to try for the cup once more and we can always sign him in the off-season anyway.

    This would be ideal-I think we could get a pick for Smytty at the deadline-ask him if we wants a cup run with a contender and a handshake deal to bring him back in July.

  60. DeadmanWaking says:

    Any time a marriage winds up in marriage counselling, there’s always an issue where one party was regarded as being “in charge” of some aspect of the economic and physical union, while 100% of the outcomes were decided by the back-seat driver.

    In the business setting, having “heavily involved” confrères is often nothing more than a calibration exercise for the lead decision maker.

    MacT: Garth just told me X about Y. Is he blowing smoke?
    KLow: A few years ago, he told me the same story X about Z.
    MacT: Well Z panned out pretty soft, but I’d rate that as a poor judgment call.

    Too himself: I guess I’ll file that under “good intentions / bad eyesight”. And so he updates his coefficient of Garthness to govern his future interactions.

    Even small thing contributions can sometimes be critical junctures. “Heavily involved” could mean these extremely selective contributions, or it could swell into a pervasive taint. I think the term is gaining currency here because it does trigger a mental image of a fat kid who ate too much cabbage. With Tambi, who knows what influence a Polonius wields.

    I wonder: What Shakespearian character could have said the lines “I know a few things about winning / if that’s ever a concern” most in character?

    Perhaps Macduff in his desiccated dotage as the dust bowl of Rohan withers away. Perhaps as the envious vixen Gretchen Warmtongue nibbles her wiles into his ear.

    Macduff: Why should I welcome you, Fellstaff Flightkitten?
    Flyonce: Out, out, dim clot!
    Macduff: Dark have been my dreams of late.
    Flyonce: Your fingers would remember their glories better — if they stepped aside.

    Not quite sure where Flyonce fits into the family chart, but she does appear to have mastered Defense Against the Darth Farts.

    If your Macbeth is rusty, here’s the back story:

    Macbeth: Fleance’s absence is no less material to me / Than is his father’s.

    Banquo and Fleance are ambushed. Banquo holds off the assailants.

    Banquo: Fly, you fool, fly! / Thou mayst revenge.

    This cues the Sequel Seraph to swoop in and squirrel Fleance safely to safety, which I think in Shakespeare’s canon turns out to be Mandyville.

    On the other side of the spectrum, I’d slot MacT’s susceptibility to shaggy advice somewhere in the Alexander the Great, Joan of Arc, Hannibal Lecter, Ulysses S. Grant, Beatrice Kiddo pentagram.

    If a murder weapon is found at the scene of MacT’s demise, it will be his own fingerprints most heavily smeared.

  61. Truth says:

    Woodguy:
    There was a twitter discussion about what Bryz has brought that DD didn’t, so I looked at their last 10 games each:

    Last 10 games DD:
    298 SA
    268 SV
    .899 SV%,

    Last 10 games Bryz:
    331 SA
    298 SV
    .900 SV%

    So, both are bad? That’s been my observation.

    One thing that Bryz brought that Dubnyk hasn’t is the removal of an NHL defenseman from the lineup for essentially nothing in return. I’m guessing Lapierre would have had a tougher time tossing Smid aside than Hunt last night.

    In an unrelated note, did anyone else notice that the side of Bryz’s helmet has a drawing (I realize it was done by his children) saying something about the winter Olympics this year? Did he think he had a shot at making that team? To me, that’s sort of like David Perron walking around town with a Team Canada hockey jacket on. Just weird. I know, I know, children are children, but I think I probably would have asked for a second drawing.

  62. Melman says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    This is an important point. There are really only a handful of big, heavy, skill guys who can consistently play in the top 6 and 25+ teams in the league want one.

    It also lines up with recent commentary here suggesting that the team needs to move Arco up the batting order because he has proved he’s too good for the 4th line. This makes no sense. It would seem to me that Arco could very well be that key bottom 6 player. He’s skilled, good on the dot, can PK and versatile enough that he can move up when injuries occur or a player hits a protracted slump- which they always do. He is very much the Dowd/Brodziak C that has been missing for eons. Why not sign him for 2 years pen him in on the 4C/PK spot and check that need off the list. There is enough to do without creating more work.

  63. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    G Money: The Oilers have an allergy to driving hard to the net, screening the goalie, etc. and so that doesn’t help their cause for sure.

    I’m referring specifically to the situation of when the Oilers do enter the o zone with or gain possession, maybe even (heaven forbid) sustain a cycle, and then one or more of their players will forgo the opportunity for a shot from a terrific shooting zone in favour of a pass to a less favourable spot, then leading to a loss of possession without ever generating a shot.Rinse and repeat.Eventually leading to significant stopwatch-based possession time that is never reflected in the shot metrics.

    I’m being casual in throwing out “dozen a game”, but I can say for sure, man, it’s a lot and it’s every frickin’ game.

    If all the Oilers did was shoot when they have the opportunity in the “golden zone” (the trapezoid from the goalposts to the middle of the circles and then straight up about ten feet towards the blue line), the Corsi’s would probably tilt 5% in their favour most nights.

    In last nights game, that would still leave them at 45% instead of 40%, but that’s not an inconsiderable difference.

    This is definitely something that I’ve mulled over too… it just seems to makes sense, right?

    The Oilers enter the zone, skate around for a while, fail to register a shot attempt, or multiples and therefore the possession proxies (shot metrics) do them a disservice.

    I still think there might be something here….

    But my optimism in this regard was really upended when I read this article:

    http://www.pensionplanpuppets.com/2013/9/16/4727746/leafs-attack-time-at-the-halfway-mark

    Nikota is looking a team with not dissimilar problems — the leafs — and took the time to count actual zone time on stop watches.

    What he found was that not only did the zone time fail to produce a substantially different account of the leafs’ possession but that it actually correlated really well with the various proxies we already use.

    Interesting stuff. Limited sample compared to the since 06 shot metrics we have… but revealing.

  64. VanOil says:

    bookje: I am pretty sure he meant to say ‘apathetic’, although when Smyth returned, some of the discussion regarding him did approach deity levels, so perhaps he really did mean agnostic. This of course is one of its places of worship.

    I am sure that if the Oilers are a religion, one that right now is dominated by a vengeful Gord, Smyty is at the very least a minor deity. Its is surely a polytheistic faith with room in its pantheon of gods for energetic young Russians.

  65. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Truth: In an unrelated note, did anyone else notice that the side of Bryz’s helmet has a drawing (I realize it was done by his children) saying something about the winter Olympics this year?

    He explains it in a video on the Oilers site:

    http://video.oilers.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=530563&catid=4

    It is apparently a reference to the symbol of the Van games in 2010 (an anthropomorphized rock structure). He played for Russia then and I guess it was a special moment for his kid.

    I can see why you’d think it might be hubris or something, but it looks pretty harmless.

  66. G Money says:

    DeadmanWaking: swell into a pervasive taint. I think the term is gaining currency here because it does trigger a mental image

    I hate to drag your highly intellectual comment into the muck, but I can’t help myself: when I think of KLowe, I do indeed get the image of a pervasively swollen taint.

    Romulus Apotheosis: Nikota is looking a team with not dissimilar problems — the leafs — and took the time to count actual zone time on stop watches.

    What he found was that not only did the zone time fail to produce a substantially different account of the leafs’ possession but that it actually correlated really well with the various proxies we already use.

    I can belee’ dat.

    Based on the two games of the Leafs that we’ve seen, the Oilers and Leafs are similar in that they are both lousy Corsi teams, but based on that highly limited viewing, the Leafs are more full value for lousy possession time in line with their lousy corgis.

    In both games, a ton of time seemed to be spent in the Leaf zone, but both games were Oilers losses because that zone time was interspersed with the occasional odd man rush by the Leafs that seemingly resulted in a goal every time. [My memories in this regard are likely to be "taint"ed with some measure of bitterness]

    If so, presumably you would see a connect between stopwatch and corgis for the Leafs as they saw at PPP, but a disconnect between the stopwatch and the corgis for the Oilers (as I believe may be happening and which EG provides some reason to believe it may be true).

    Would need to stopwatch a few games to get a better sense of that.

    Anyone got some extra time on their hands to help advance the cause of fancy stats!?!?

  67. Bag of Pucks says:

    This probably harkens back to an earlier debate on the site about whether GPs alone is a sufficient metric to appraise drafting efficacy, but I have a very hard time agreeing with a blanket statement like “Good Draft Decisions: Jeff Petry, Sam Gagner” because IMHO, that statement fails to appraise those players in the context of what else was available in the draft at the time of the selection?

    In the 10 spots after Petry is drafted, you have players like Jhonas Enroth, Milan Lucic, Matt Carle and Artem Anisimov. How can the decision to draft Petry be deemed a ‘good’ one when it’s clear better players were available at that slot. If anything, that decision is a ‘reasonable’ or ‘serviceable’ decision at best.

    Same holds for Gagner with Logan Couture, Ryan McDonagh, Lars Eller, Kevin Shattenkirk, Max Pacioretty and David Perron available after Sam was selected.

    Surely, the goal is not to just draft warm bodies (hence the criticism of the GPs metric), but players who outperform the opposition’s selections? In so doing, you achieve true competitive advantage.

    Now, the argument that’s always trotted out against this hypothesis, is that you can always cherry pick better selections after the fact (i.e. hindsight is always 20/20), but this misses the precise point, which is that the better teams are typically the ones winding up with those cherry picked examples. Boston and Montreal aren’t finding Milan Lucic and Brendan Gallagher after everyone else because they’re lucky, they’re finding them because they’re ‘good’ at drafting and hence why they remain in the hunt every year. By the same token, the Oilers take the consensus pick and whiff on landing a Couture or McDonagh because their entire draft approach under Prendergast was based on ‘conventional wisdom’ and was thus doomed to be mediocre.

    There was a great point the other day that the Avalanche (a team’s that historically done well at the draft) had the strength of their convictions to avoid the consensus pick (S Jones) in favor of the prospect they felt had the largest upside (MacKinnon). IMHO, the Oilers under MacT need a bit more of this ballsy contrarian approach if they want to rise above the pack. MacT’s early returns (i.e. trading down and drafting Yakimov and Slepyschev etc.) are encouraging. Hopefully this team has turned a corner at the draft as I believe Gagner and Petry are poor drafts in the context of what else was on the board and we may be saying the same thing about RNH or Yakupov in coming years (fingers crossed that’s not the case).

  68. Ryan says:

    Gerta Rauss: This would be ideal-I think we could get a pick for Smytty at the deadline-ask him if we wants a cup run with a contender and a handshake deal to bring him back in July.

    I’m actually curious… open question here to those amongst us who tracked the UFA pool a little better last summer…

    IIRC, things were thin at the top end of the pool especially for dmen, but for most useful pieces as well. However..

    Good Gord, there had to be better players kicking around than the flotsam and jetsam we picked up–Jones, Joensu, Acton, Eager, Gadzook, Ryan Hamilton,,,

    In my mind (might not be compatible with reality), the Oilers should have been able to cobble together a 4rth line of experienced NHL players (ones without the wheels falling off, but who have actual NHL experience) from the pool of UFA’s available last summer instead of how things actually played out.

    For that matter, was there no better options available (even excluding Gilbert) than Grebeshkov?

    Maloney always seems to find useful cheap vets to fill out a roster.

    inexperienced GM – check
    inexperienced coach – check
    inexperienced players – check

    WTF, why are we in last place again, I don’t get it??? :)

  69. bookje says:

    Just for fun, click on the blue triangle on the Google based Ads on LT’s website. You can change settings there so you get generic ads as opposed to targeted ads. What’s kind of interesting/funny to look at is Google’s estimated profile for you. It figured out my gender, but had my age wrong and some strange interests (apparently I am interested in basketball – what?).

  70. Hockeyman 99 says:

    bookje,

    The goaltending was not great in the last 20 games but it wasn’t atrocious like the first 20. This team needs an above average goalie and even with that he will only have average stats until the team plays better in front of him. Devan played better the instant Bryz was signed and that is undeniably. There is no way to know how things would have turned out if he hadn’t sh!t the bed so badly at the beggining of the year. Not saying they would be a playoff team but the results would have been more positive for this young and obviously fragile team.

  71. Hockeyman 99 says:

    Melman,

    He is also much more physical than many players 5″ and 40lb heavier.

  72. bookje says:

    Hockeyman 99,

    I don’t deny that Dubnyk played terrible and I am glad they signed Bryz. What I am saying is that over the last 20 games or so, the key to evaluating the goalies is how often they stop pucks (i.e. save percentage) and whether they stop ‘hard’ goals or ‘soft’ goals is irrelevant.

  73. Tarkus says:

    Apparently, Kyle Platzer’s been dealt from London to Owen Sound. Perhaps more playing time meow?

    Kyle Platzer ‏@kyleplatzer 15m

    Thanks to everyone in the @GoLondonKnights organization for my time here. Excited to get started with @AttackOHL!

    http://www.bayshorebroadcasting.ca/news_item.php?NewsID=63027

  74. delooper says:

    bookje:
    Just for fun, click on the blue triangle on the Google based Ads on LT’s website.You can change settings there so you get generic ads as opposed to targeted ads.What’s kind of interesting/funny to look at is Google’s estimated profile for you.It figured out my gender, but had my age wrong and some strange interests (apparently I am interested in basketball – what?).

    Perhaps your repressed interest in basketball is the source of all your troubles in life.

  75. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Tarkus:
    Apparently, Kyle Platzer’s been dealt from London to Owen Sound.Perhaps more playing time meow?

    Kyle Platzer ‏@kyleplatzer 15m

    Thanks to everyone in the @GoLondonKnights organization for my time here. Excited to get started with @AttackOHL!

    http://www.bayshorebroadcasting.ca/news_item.php?NewsID=63027

    Awesome!

    looks like good news:

    “Attack GM Dale DeGray says “both Kyle and Santino are players that we foresee making an impact on our hockey club.”.

    DeGray says “Santino is a quality, puck moving defenseman and Kyle will help fill a top six role down the middle on our team both now and in the future.”

    top 6 minutes. Let’s see if that promise pays off in the back half of the season.

  76. Hockeyman 99 says:

    Did you ever play at any level? If so you must know that bad goals affect things that happen more than just the score. DD has this history with the team which makes it worse, Bryz doesn’t yet but will if he lets in more softies. It’s the “here we go again” effect for lack of a better term. If the players believe that they can’t make a mistake because any shot will end up in their net it changes their play. Over and over old oilers praise Fuhr’s clutch play at the critical moments. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks if they believe it, it has an effect on their play positive or negative. Math is very important but until you can mathematically express and explain philly’s turnaround with Emerys fight it is only part of the equation. ;)

  77. godot10 says:

    G Money: T
    And yet – I sure would like to understand why Eakins et al thought it would be a good idea to sit the 225 lb Belov for yet another game in favour of the 188 lb Brad Hunt – particularly after two epically bad games from Hunt?

    Anyone?Anyone?Bueller?

    The “adjective-deleted” coach didn’t want to change a winning lineup.

  78. Hockeyman 99 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Sad about Morris he should be in.

  79. bookje says:

    Hockeyman 99:
    Did you ever play at any level? If so you must know that bad goals affect things that happen more than just the score. DD has this history with the team which makes it worse, Bryz doesn’t yet but will if he lets in more softies. It’s the “here we go again” effect for lack of a better term. If the players believe that they can’t make a mistake because any shot will end up in their net it changes their play. Over and over old oilers praise Fuhr’s clutch play at the critical moments. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks if they believe it, it has an effect on their play positive or negative. Math is very important but until you can mathematically express and explain philly’s turnaround with Emerys fight it is only part of the equation.

    Uh, I would suspect their save percentage increased. As soon as you can find an example of the hockey player/team that would prefer a goalie with a 0.900 save percentage over a goalie with a 0.920 save percentage (but who is known for ‘soft goals’), I will buy the argument that ‘soft goals’ is actually somehow meaningful.

    Players get dispirited when their goalie lets in lots of goals – the level of ‘softness’ is meaningless. It is their overall performance that matters.

    In any case, let’s leave it at that, because this has been discussed ad nauseum here. People clearly have their own level of understanding regarding it and I am fine with that.

  80. Gerta Rauss says:

    Ryan,

    Last summer was a weird one for the UFA pool. The late ending of the season followed immediately by the draft followed immediately by the compliance buyouts followed immediately by the UFA availability resulted in a “hurry up and wait type” of atmosphere. Teams also had a “shopping period” with UFA’s for the first time.

    On top of that with the cap dropping by almost $7M and it was odd summer. Teams did a lot of work in the first 2 weeks of July and then (basically) took the rest of the summer off.

    I think MacT had a rude awakening with the ability to make trades, and then realized after the Coburn talks that even if he found a willing partner, there wasn’t any bargains out there. I think the end result of this was the Ference signing, and the “D by committee approach”…by the 2nd week of July he recognized he wasn’t going to able to upgrade his D significantly( it was at this point he signed Grebeshkov)

    I think the Jones signing was a mistake-not necessarily the player, but the dollar amount- he probably could have got him for half that amount if he waited into August.

    Eager already had a contract, Gazdic was a waiver pickup in Oct, and I think Acton and Hamilton were nods to Eakins more than anything.

    The thing with UFA’s is that they have to want to sign that offer-I don’t know who or how many offers he made but the player has to want to come here.

    This summer it’ll be much different with the cap rising again.

  81. godot10 says:

    OilClog:
    Watching the second line last night.. Was I the only one wondering why when Perron, and Yakupov are on the ice.. Why is Gags taking all the shots and missing the net?

    St. Louis was giving Gagner the shot, and defending against Yakupov and Perron getting into position or the puck to take shots.

    Hitchcock isn’t “adjective-deleted”, like Eakins.

  82. Gerta Rauss says:

    godot10,

    I see you’re coming around on our coach..:)

  83. Woodguy says:

    Ducey,

    A lot of the current chatter about getting Lowe strikes me as the same mentality that has led to hangings and beheadings in medieval times:

    i resemble this remark.

  84. Pouzar says:

    bookje:
    Hockeyman 99,

    I don’t deny that Dubnyk played terrible and I am glad they signed Bryz.What I am saying is that over the last 20 games or so, the key to evaluating the goalies is how often they stop pucks (i.e. save percentage) and whether they stop ‘hard’ goals or ‘soft’ goals is irrelevant.

    If save % is the metric for goalies then DD”s story is incomplete due to insufficient sample size.

    So I default to my eyes and I think he sucks. :)

  85. godot10 says:

    Space Dad:
    I’d agree with Rom about Lowe merely stubbornly believing that he’s still in charge. Why? Look at the moves the Oilers have made since MacTavish took over – to me, they just don’t scream Kevin Lowe. Reason being, I like what he’s done. His moves are thoughtful and reasonable (I don’t really mind the Smid trade).

    If anything, I get the impression that those are moves MacTavish has been able to do, despite Vish’s interference.

    IMO, Katz should put Lowe out to pasture (satisfy the fans’ call for blood), let MacTavish stay on as GM AND promote him to President of Hockey Operations. Give the team to MacT and see what happens.

    Ference over Smid?

    Clarkson?

    Dumping Horcoff, with Nugent-Hopkins recovering, and Horcoff able to play LW, with a compliance buyout still in your pocket for next summer?

    Firing Krueger,?

    Hiring the 2nd guy you talk to to coach, without a proper hiring process, a guy with very limited coaching experience, and a guy who has only coached stacked AHL rosters?

    Where is the guy whispering in MacT’s ear…do you really want to do that? He fired the only guy who was not a yes man, and who had conflicting views.

    The Lowe-MacT axis didn’t want anyone with a contrary idea, or who would present a contrary opinion or who didn’t owe their job to them. MacT fired Krueger because he wasn’t a yes man, because he had a mind of his own, because he was a threat.

  86. Ducey says:

    godot10: Ference over Smid?

    Clarkson?

    Dumping Horcoff, with Nugent-Hopkins recovering, and Horcoff able to play LW, with a compliance buyout still in your pocket for next summer?

    Firing Krueger,?

    Hiring the 2nd guy you talk to to coach, without a proper hiring process, a guy with very limited coaching experience, and a guy who has only coached stacked AHL rosters?

    Where is the guy whispering in MacT’s ear…do you really want to do that?He fired the only guy who was not a yes man, and who had conflicting views.

    The Lowe-MacT axis didn’t want anyone with a contrary idea, or who would present a contrary opinion or who didn’t owe their job to them. MacT fired Krueger because he wasn’t a yes man, because he had a mind of his own, because he was a threat.

    Who there big fella. Do you have, you know, ah, evidence that Krueger was fired because he wasn’t a yes man?

    Wouldn’t Eakin’s record be about the same as Krueger’s with the goaltending the Oilers had last year?

    Didn’t the Oilers have problems 5 x 5 last year that were masked by good special teams?

    Didn’t Horcoff essentially demand a trade after being a poor influence in the room?

    I guess these are rhetorical questions.

    I think MacT was sincere in his reasons for bringing in Eakins, and that you could be wrong.

  87. bookje says:

    Stop being stuipd – everyone knows that Ralph Krueger was fired because he slept with some news broadcasters wife.

  88. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    bookje:
    Stop being stuipd – everyone knows that Ralph Krueger was fired because he slept with some news broadcasters wife.

    I thought it was because he kicked Gngber’s corgi.

  89. Lowetide says:

    I am a better person for having read DMW these past months. Outstanding post above. Clarity. What a beautiful thing.

  90. stevezie says:

    I watched Žižek’s A Pervert’s Guide to Ideology last night, and the part where he was talking about how nazi’s took power reminded me a lot of sports fandom.

    Žižek said that Germany was facing a wide variety of serious problems that were very natural results of their society, but this was an unacceptable narrative to most people, People responded very strongly to a scapegoat being presented. Leaving aside how accurate a description of 30s Germany is, I think there is an obvious parallel to you and me.

    The defence isn’t good enough; the goaltending is bad; the team lacks experience; the team lacks grit; the special teams are inadequate. Blame Lowe (or MacT or Wadell or Howson etc.)

    These problems are all natural parts of an NHL team. We could even blame the rebuild- something which is clearly much harder to pull off than people like to think- but unless you’re a big baby and cheer for the Yankees every sports team is going to go through the desert.

    Maybe Lowe is about as smart as Holland but didn’t get lucky with Datsyuk and Zetterberg draft pics. Maybe Wadell getting a #1 the year of Patrick Stephan would have sunk any GM. Maybe we need to believe these guys are idiots because we can’t handle the idea that building an NHL team is the result of forces far beyond our control or comprehension. Everything wrong with the Oilers is normal and expected.

    It’s not that Lowe didn’t make mistakes, it’s that everyone makes mistakes and his weren’t much worse. Lowe being an idiot gives us order. I remember when C&B had their worst GM tourney, I thought that with the exception of Milbury there wasn’t a huge difference between a historically bad GM and a competent but unspectacular one.

    But it’s just sports I guess, so make like Johnny Shit-Storm and Blame On!

  91. Henry says:

    Ducey: Who there big fella.Do you have, you know, ah, evidence that Krueger was fired because he wasn’t a yes man?

    Wouldn’t Eakin’s record be about the same as Krueger’s with the goaltending the Oilers had last year?

    Didn’t the Oilers have problems 5 x 5 last year that were masked by good special teams?

    Didn’t Horcoff essentially demand a trade after being a poor influence in the room?

    I guess these are rhetorical questions.

    I think MacT was sincere in his reasons for bringing in Eakins, and that you could be wrong.

    I don’t agree with godot that MacT read ‘The Prince’ and canned Kruegar as a perceived threat. I think MacT felt genuinely bad about giving a good man a bad deal. That said, I’m not sure that he was right in sacking Kruegar. His first instinct was to bring in a associate coach and probably made the move when Eakins had so much interest in head coaching jobs elsewhere.

    The early analysis of the Oilers this year indicated that their 5on5 play was much improved over Kruegar. Kruegar faced only the West on an accelerated schedule with no time to amend his strange defensive system. Against bad teams that are mainly in the East, the Oilers look much better. It could be Eakins, one year’s experience or weaker competition. This year’s squad still gets dominated all too often by Western conference teams. Who knows they may have been even better 5×5 under Kruegar with this year’s schedule and a summer to reflect and amend. Kruegar’s special teams were good.

  92. Mesmer says:

    stevezie,

    Amen. you and Ducey kind of nailed it from my perspective. If I really believed it would make a lick of difference in the Oilers performance this season to have Lowe fired at this juncture I’d be leading petitions and holding signs out on 118th Avenue with Katz’ number on it.

    Furthermore, if I thought the reaction of thousands of fans mattered even an iota to the management group of the Oilers I would have led the petitions and stood outside of Rexall for many team issues already.

    Thank you Lowetide for hosting a forum where one can still come to read intelligent insight into the Oilers which doesn’t constitute a bunch of fans complaining about the situation without having formed their own opinion on it beforehand.

    Hopefully we do not suffer a similar fate to those who saw through the policies of the German Worker’s Party.

  93. prairieschooner says:

    Is the current Oiler defense better than last years defense?

  94. Jon K says:

    stevezie:
    I watched Žižek’s A Pervert’s Guide to Ideology last night, and the part where he was talking about how nazi’s took power reminded me a lot of sports fandom.

    Žižek said that Germany was facing a wide variety of serious problems that were very natural results of their society, but this was an unacceptable narrative to most people, People responded very strongly to a scapegoat being presented. Leaving aside how accurate a description of 30s Germany is, I think there is an obvious parallel to you and me.

    The defence isn’t good enough; the goaltending is bad; the team lacks experience; the team lacks grit; the special teams are inadequate. Blame Lowe (or MacT or Wadell or Howson etc.)

    These problems are all natural parts of an NHL team. We could even blame the rebuild- something which is clearly much harder to pull off than people like to think- but unless you’re a big baby and cheer for the Yankees every sports team is going to go through the desert.

    Maybe Lowe is about as smart as Holland but didn’t get lucky with Datsyuk and Zetterberg draft pics. Maybe Wadell getting a #1 the year of Patrick Stephan would have sunk any GM. Maybe we need to believe these guys are idiots because we can’t handle the idea that building an NHL team is the result of forces far beyond our control or comprehension. Everything wrong with the Oilers is normal and expected.

    It’s not that Lowe didn’t make mistakes, it’s that everyone makes mistakes and his weren’t much worse. Lowe being an idiot gives us order. I remember when C&B had their worst GM tourney, I thought that with the exception of Milbury there wasn’t a huge difference between a historically bad GM and a competent but unspectacular one.

    But it’s just sports I guess, so make like Johnny Shit-Storm and Blame On!

    In fairness to those calling for Lowe to be fired or removed from the organization, their complaints are not simply focused on this season.

    Since Lowe took over in 2000, the only franchises to make the playoffs fewer times than the Oilers have been:
    - Columbus(2000 expansion team)
    - Atlanta /Winnipeg (1999 expansion team)
    - Florida

    Notable “loser” franchises that have had more playoff appearances since Lowe took over:
    - Toronto
    - Islanders
    - Flames
    - Minnesota (2000 expansion team)

    So since Lowe took control of the Oilers as GM the fans have been following an expansion quality franchise.

    For comparisons sake, it’s interesting to note that the Blues began rebuilding in 2005 following the dismantling and sale of the franchise by the Lauries.

    The Blues immediately installed John Davidson as President of Hockey Operations, fired Larry Pleau (GM), and cleaned house, replacing Mike Kitchen with Andy Murray as head coach, and installing Jarmo Kekalainen as head of their scouting and development program.

    I vividly recall John Davidson (Blues’ President of Hockey Operations) on an Oilers broadcast (I believe in 2005-2006) talking about the rebuild process in St. Louis, how it was similar in many ways to the processes underway in Edmonton, and how the fans could relate to their plight. (I think this might have been the game where MAB nearly killed the Blues’ goalie with a PP slapshot right to the helmet).

    Conversely, Kevin Lowe since 2005 has:
    - made the playoffs once
    - chased it for 3 more years and failed (by his account)
    - got promoted
    - hired a lame duck GM for the heart of the rebuild/dark times
    - hired his close friend Craig MacTavish and previous coach to be GM following that, who despite positive early results and my personal support, had no prior experience

    St. Louis under John Davidson brought in experienced, competent, new staff and flourished. Kevin Lowe did the exact opposite and the team has discovered new lows for several consecutive seasons. The Blues are arguably the best team in the NHL this season, with nearly half the lineup being Olympians. The Oilers are a team in the National Hockey League. Luck and circumstance can only account for so much, the Oilers have been a bad team for many years. As with any enterprise, the buck eventually stops with the man in charge.

  95. G Money says:

    I played Banquo in my Grade 6 play at Windsor Park Elementary School. It was the pinnacle and yet also the nadir of my acting career.

    True story.

  96. Jon K says:

    Jon K,

    And I just noticed Robin Brownlee’s piece over at Oilersnation today which mirrors much of what I just said:

    http://oilersnation.com/2014/1/8/if-theres-ever-a-concern-hands-on

  97. denny33 says:

    bookje,

    I knew it Book……basketball.

  98. G Money says:

    stevezie: But it’s just sports I guess, so make like Johnny Shit-Storm and Blame On!

    I do not bray for blood with respect to any of these gentlemen. It’s easy to forget, but this is an entertainment business, and “hate” is never an appropriate response.

    Nevertheless, I hope that we can agree on these facts:

    Fact 1: Sports is a results-oriented business.

    Fact 2: There are people that are good at driving results, and there are people that are bad at driving results.

    Fact 3: Good businesses recognize that long-term processes are the important ones. As I have said to a number of startup entrepreneurs I have worked with and coached, there is a critical approach required to run a successful business: “Patience and perseverance, my friend. Patience and perseverance.”

    Combining Facts 1, 2, and 3, we would conclude the following:
    1. Firing Lowe, Bucky, and Smith is overdue. Patience aside, and whatever their individual level of participation and influence, they have demonstrated conclusively that they cannot drive good results.
    2. Firing MacT and/or Eakins (right now) would be short-sighted.

    Or to put it another way – I think taking Position #1 is an obvious and logical conclusion. If you arrived at that conclusion by way of emotional bloodlust, your process may be flawed, but it doesn’t invalidate the result.

  99. denny33 says:

    G Money,

    Great post…..

  100. Ducey says:

    Jon K,

    If the Blues rebuild started in 05-06, then they missed the playoffs 5 of the 6 years therafter. They didn’t become a juggernaut until their 7th year – 2011-12. Davidson then left.

    Now they didn’t reach the suckatude the Oilers have, but maybe it just takes time for players to mature?

    In year seven of the rebuild the Oilers will rule! Only 3 more to go!

  101. Jon K says:

    Ducey,

    I’m a little miffed by your misleading characterization that the Blues missed the playoffs “5 of the 6 years” thereafter.

    The Blues made the playoffs 3 seasons after beginning their rebuild, in 2008-2009. Since that season they’ve missed the playoffs twice and made the playoffs twice. Overall they’ve made the playoffs 3 times in 8 years since starting their rebuild, and respectfully, are all but a lock to make it next season as well.

    I don’t think it is possible for us to reach any consensus about the Oilers being only in year 4 of their rebuild. I’m of the mindset that the Oilers rebuild began when, despite their stated intentions, Pronger was dealt for a young non-star forward, a prospect, and picks.

  102. Woodguy says:

    Jon K: In fairness to those calling for Lowe to be fired or removed from the organization, their complaints are not simply focused on this season.

    Since Lowe took over in 2000, the only franchises to make the playoffs fewer times than the Oilers have been:
    - Columbus(2000 expansion team)
    - Atlanta /Winnipeg (1999 expansion team)
    - Florida

    Notable “loser” franchises that have had more playoff appearances since Lowe took over:
    - Toronto
    - Islanders
    - Flames
    - Minnesota (2000 expansion team)

    So since Lowe took control of the Oilers as GM the fans have been following an expansion quality franchise.

    For comparisons sake, it’s interesting to note that the Blues began rebuilding in 2005 following the dismantling and sale of the franchise by the Lauries.

    The Blues immediately installed John Davidson as President of Hockey Operations, fired Larry Pleau (GM), and cleaned house, replacing Mike Kitchen with Andy Murray as head coach, and installing Jarmo Kekalainen as head of their scouting and development program.

    I vividly recall John Davidson (Blues’ President of Hockey Operations) on an Oilers broadcast (I believe in 2005-2006) talking about the rebuild process in St. Louis, how it was similar in many ways to the processes underway in Edmonton, and how the fans could relate to their plight. (I think this might have been the game where MAB nearly killed the Blues’ goalie with a PP slapshot right to the helmet).

    Conversely, Kevin Lowe since 2005 has:
    - made the playoffs once
    - chased it for 3 more years and failed (by his account)
    - got promoted
    - hired a lame duck GM for the heart of the rebuild/dark times
    - hired his close friend Craig MacTavish and previous coach to be GM following that, who despite positive early results and my personal support, had no prior experience

    St. Louis under John Davidson brought in experienced, competent, new staff and flourished. Kevin Lowe did the exact opposite and the team has discovered new lows for several consecutive seasons. The Blues are arguably the best team in the NHL this season, with nearly half the lineup being Olympians. The Oilers are a team in the National Hockey League. Luck and circumstance can only account for so much, the Oilers have been a bad team for many years. As with any enterprise, the buck eventually stops with the man in charge.

    Very well put sir.

    So are all of us who were braying that this would happen in 2010, 2011, 2012 and were told to “hush, it’s a re-build, have patience” vindicated now?

    Also,

    I had heard that back when Lowe kicked himself upstairs that he asked Doug Armstrong to be the GM.

    Armstrong didn’t think he would be allowed to make all the decisions he wanted to due to Lowe’s presence and declined the job.

    No idea if it’s true, but it rings true for sure.

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