LIFE IN CROYDON

Last night’s loss to the Calgary Flames is a bitter pill for all involved. Why? By the most generous estimates, this team is four years into the rebuild and remain capable of a game so bad it borders on unwatchable. The Oilers routinely have more breakdowns than a British sports car on the Canadian prairies, are exposed on most defensive plays and appear to have picked up nothing from their experience.

It’s incredible. In life, you will find those who gain experience and apply it and those who do not get it after repeating errors many times. You will work with people who have five year’s experience, and those who have one year’s experience five times.

To my eye, this season had a lot of nice new building blocks. Adding David Perron, Boyd Gordon and Andrew Ference to the group seemed like a pretty good idea at the time. I was concerned by two things that happened early on: the final pre-season game against Dallas (Oilers got rocked and looked flat, much like last night) and the Kassian stick to Gagner’s jaw.

Until the Gagner injury, the Oilers roster displayed a rational bent, filled with players who might be able to drive possession and win that part of the game. Early in the season, certainly the first 20 games or so, Edmonton was in fact outshooting opponents (at times) and had the Corsi edge. However, the goaltending was horrible and we know how that went, plus the team began adding players (MacIntyre, Gazdic, later Hendricks and Fraser) who could give the team a physical edge at the expense of hockey.

We are here.

 detroit public school

I have no issue (and have said this many times) with physical players, but the exposure is immense when said players are unable to play the game at NHL speed. I’m not trying to pick on any one player, but this is a fact. No one wants to be exposed, but if you have a look at last night’s video there’s a lot of exposure in every goal against. Why is this still happening? Calgary has a bunch of newbies and never-were’s and yet, they seem to be able to play their system consistently. Why?

The Oilers appear to have a coach/team problem—we’ve seen and heard things and last night it was on national television—and Craig MacTavish has to address it. Now. I have absolutely no idea how big the problem is, who the problem is, or how the GM will solve the problem, only that displays like last night make the Edmonton Oilers look as addled as their on-ice execution.

I have a great deal of respect for Craig MacTavish, and do believe Dallas Eakins is a really smart guy with the kind of determination to succeed that will one day allow him to fulfill his coaching dream. This isn’t working, folks. I don’t know if you fire the coach or trade the team, but this isn’t working. The shots for/against, the inconsistency, the speeches to ticket-holders about who’s in charge and how long it took to take charge. It’s all very droll at this point, I see Flames fans giggling and hell who can blame them? Repeat: CALGARY FLAMES fans are mocking us, and we have no reply.

Not a word. We are here.

belgium-jan

I’m reminded of the great Craig MacTavish quote about a player’s effectiveness coming down to what he creates versus what he leaves behind. Can we argue that this season has been a success if we apply it to Dallas Eakins’ team this morning? From the outside, it looks for all the world like there’s an internal battle within the organization and there are going to be casualties. This season has seen Ladislav Smid and Ales Hemsky sent away, but at some point—unless this thing gets fixed and winning becomes part of the routine—there are going to be bigger names traded, bigger names playing out their contract, bigger names asking for a trade.

Losing begets negative emotions and moments like last night. I think it might be wise to go back and ask ourselves why Sam Gagner and the Oilers agreed to part, and perhaps we can find some clues. Edmonton can offload players by the dozen, but sooner or later they’re going to run out of Marlies.

By word the Oilers covered things well last night, by deed they exposed everything that is wrong about them. I suspect the fear inside the organization is damage control, but I’m of a mind that last night may have been good for everyone. In my life, I’ve done some pretty stupid things. On reflection, it sometimes helped me to see my actions as others might see them, and perhaps I’ve changed a few things along the way.

We’re never too old to learn. It takes a great effort to learn about ourselves and change the way we approach others in the task at hand. I expect the Oilers problem is a little or a lot about communication. Last night, in a moment I’ll remember for a long time, the curtain opened just a little, and the unwashed were allowed a glimpse inside.

Beyond how fans feel, I’m interested in seeing how the actors on stage felt about the performance and their part in the scene. Inside those minds lies the key to the Edmonton Oilers future. No one will die from this, but lives can and will be affected. I wish everyone in the Oilers organization well, and hope they can get out of their own way to fight another day.

The only way we’ll be able to keep track is results on-ice, and it is scarcely possible it can get any worse than last night. San Jose arrives Tuesday, proving once again the hockey Gods have a wildly peculiar sense of humor.

Once upon a time, Daryl Katz bought a hockey club. His legacy so far? Men in expensive suits walking to the podium to select first overall. This is his team, I can’t imagine he enjoys life in Croydon.

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215 Responses to "LIFE IN CROYDON"

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  1. fuzzy muppet says:

    An abject disaster of a season. Eakins cannot and should not survive this.

    Good riddance

  2. edmoil3 says:

    Hug it out bro? Come here it hurts too much.

  3. Alex T says:

    Mornin’ LT. What drama last night! We Oiler fans wanted entertainment and we got it!

    The buzz word at the beginning of this season/coaching rotation was “accountability”. I see a bunch of players afraid to make mistakes, afraid to carry the puck out of their own end (you’re allowed to carry the puck in both ends Sam), and not having much fun.

    It’s a game. It’s supposed to be fun. The best Oilers were those old ones singing on the bench. They were loose, having fun, and they were fun to watch. And eventually the NYI taught them that they also had to work their xxxes off to win. But still have fun.

    I think this coaching approach is no fun. I think these players need to be encouraged with a positive approach.

    Man, I miss Ralph.

  4. RexLibris says:

    I wonder if having a high draft selection express misgivings about being selected by the Oilers would cause enough of a stir to either help or further exacerbate the problem?

    I know that Lindros’ refusal to join the Nordiques had a lot to do with language and culture barriers (and an interfering father) but had the Nordiques been a team with a clearer direction/history of going in the right direction he might have accepted the selection and then gone FA as quickly as possible.

    In the end, his dramatic demands served the Nordiques well in the trade return, but I wonder if it forced some other changes to the organization?

    Last night was probably the death knell for my interest, even passing, in the season. 8-1 against the Flames at home when there’s nothing but pride on the line. No excuses there. So long as the changes made are objective and rational, I won’t begrudge MacTavish the moves he makes.

  5. PhrankLee says:

    This team stinks. Absolutely stinks. LT forecasts the reality. Hall is not gonna be around much longer. The coach is obsessed with showing us who the boss is. Whatever. Pathetic. Oblivious. Head hung in shame.

  6. edmoil3 says:

    Alex T,

    at what point do we admit we have massive holes in our lineup. centermen run this league and we need a number 2 and a 3 to be successful. our defense is weak and not balanced. our goaltending is unproven. everyone thinks coaching coaching coaching.

    how about management/ pro scouting?

    this management team needs to go. creating a culture starts from the top.

    theres no accountability at the top. lowe fired tambo to buy himself a few more years before he sits in kelowna with a bottle of wine. he then hired his friends mact and howson.

    we havent made the playoffs since 06. and 06 and before werent great. we got hot at the right time. we still came in 8th!

  7. 719 says:

    Alex T: Man, I miss Ralph.

    I think a lot of people do, including the players.

    Today is about the lowest I have felt as an Oilers’ fan.

  8. flyfish1168 says:

    Excellent article. No one could have expected this season or last evenings game. We have hit rock bottom loosing to the Sabres and Phlegms. This has to be the turning point. We can’t keep making excuses.

    Feaster
    “They’ve had a pick anywhere from No. 1 to No. 10 year after year after year after year, and they still wander in the desert. And they’re no closer to getting out than they were 10 years ago. ”

    What Feaster said has to be engrained into management’s mind. Prove I’m wrong.

  9. elpolodiablo says:

    When Kreuger was fired and Eakins was hired in his place Mactavish said he will be judged ultimately on this decision. It’s obvious that this was the wrong move, but what are the repercussions? To my eye it was obvious Eakins was trying to force a style of play down that nobody else was comfortable with except Mactavish. Yakupov has suffered with this and the other high draft picks haven’t excelled. If the oilers trade their Yakupov and Eberle so Eakins get’s his team they are a laughing stock. If Mactavish is even considering this he should be fired. Eakins should never have been here in the first place. I’ve tuned out this team till they get a new coach. I’m worried Mactavish is going to trade the players instead. If I’m Katz I get in the middle and stop this madness

  10. Ben says:

    These kids have been brought up by an alcoholic mother and a parade of unreliable father figures.

    All Tambo had to do was put together a losing roster (success) and then provide the spoils of failure with a stable learning and growth environment, featuring positive examples (bitter failure).

    I’m not saying it’s too late for 4,93,64,14, but when this team does find success again, I’ll bet it’s in three years when their big, young, fast, skilled defence takes over. Yep, I’m holding out for rebuild 18.0, featuring some or all of Nurse, Schultz, Ekblad, Marincin, Klefbom, Simpson and Gernat.

    It’s called building from the backend. There are whole cliches about it.

  11. Alex T says:

    edmoil3,

    The Gretzky Oilers had holes in the lineup. They were overly reliant on rookies. But those rookies grew together and put on a great show for those of us lucky enough to have been here for it.

    And they had nights like last night. Many Oiler fans wanted to run Paul “Cough Up” out of town. But he grew up. As will Justin & Taylor & …………

    But “team culture” starts at the top. Is this a culture of playing entertaining hockey or a culture of not failing? I don’t mind losing if the entertainment value is there. Can you imagine being a Min. Wild fan through their first decade? No thanks. I’d rather lose trying to get fans out of their seats than sleeping in them.

    I’m biased though. I don’t commit to “accountability” bosses. But “let’s have fun working our butts off together” bosses get max effort out of me.

  12. godot10 says:

    flyfish1168:
    Excellent article. No one could have expected this season or last evenings game.

    Ahem!!!!

  13. PunjabiOil says:

    It is interesting the parallels between the Edmonton Oilers and the political revolution. An inept leadership, terrible results, state media, muzzling message boards, sending the information minister to give a message to the people that all is well, total denial of reality and an irate powerless population.

    This is Tahrir square.

  14. flyfish1168 says:

    After watching the reporters on tsn talking about last evenings game I found myself infuriated by their comments. Rebuild into its 8th year. Come on now can’t they get it right its been 4 years how they can’t get this right is beyond me. So maybe they haven’t been in the playoffs for 8 years. Is playing 4 extra games and being embarrasses in 4 games really worth making the party?

  15. Lloyd B. says:

    That is one of the best obituaries I’ve ever read.

  16. hunter1909 says:

    Turned the debacle off at 5-1, so missed out on the water fight…

    If this doesn’t p.r.o.v.e. that Eakins is 100% out of his depth as an NHL coach…

    Knowing: Katz/Lowe/MacT/C-Hawk/Bucky+S.Smith, I half expect an attempt at what has rarely been tried before: namely, firing the team.

    Which I’m cool with. Should be funny for all the wrong reasons, but funny nevertheless.

    Like many wavering fans, as interest disengages…

  17. PunjabiOil says:

    Craig MacTavish did some good things, and some bad things.

    Coburn for three 2nd round picks may have been a good thing. Perron trade was a good thing. Gordon was a good thing.

    Clarkson was a bad thing. Eakins was a bad thing. Ference was an ultimate disaster.

    The Edmonton Oilers need NHL defencemen. They have 1, arguably 2, who are playing above their roles. It’s a ripple effect, and it’s causing trouble.

    Almost feel the acquisition of Fraser is a veiled attempt to tank.

    MacT has to be smarter than that, no? Given his buy-in to advanced statistics.

  18. PunjabiOil says:

    Come on people, it’s a game. Let’s not lose perspective.

    Oh.

  19. hunter1909 says:

    Here’s the funniest part of all, from Katz’s perspective:

    Oilers are a sports(communication) entity.

    Instead of providing Katz with a massive public perception boost(which should reflect admirably on the rest of his druggist fueled empire), he’s presiding over the biggest cock-up since the day Neil Kinnock went for a Brighton beach stroll.

  20. sliderule says:

    Do you remember the Sharks game?All those 50 or so shots hit Scrivens.There were no top corner saves that I remember.

    If you look at replays of flames goals a lot of them were seeing eye shots ie.off the post and in,high top corner and in and deflections.

    The oilers players are not that bad!

    Hall back checks hard to cover a poor pinch and gets crapped on by CBC .

    The incident on the bench between Hall and Eakins gave an insight into the rifts that have been building and the coaches personality.

    I guess Mact will let the season play out but he has to make a move or next year it will get worse

  21. OilClog says:

    The PP has Nuge on unit 2 FFS! Then he penalty kills!!

    The kid that got 5 points toying with guys two years ago on the Powerplay now plays with Ryan Jones on the Powerplay!!!!!

    Our defence was better last year Woodguy?!? I would hate to see what sort of debacle Eakins would of turned the one legged Whitney defence dance into.

  22. OilClog says:

    For the record Id take a one legged Ryan Whitney back before a two legged Fraser.

  23. hunter1909 says:

    Lowetide: Please can you explain how George Burnett was worse than Dallas Eakins?

  24. Hammers says:

    We are never to old to learn . True words LT and I say the same thing myself into my 70′s . The problem is to whom are you talking to McT , Eakins or the kids . Young men can and do take years to learn that phrase . When we are young we rush to do everything , get everything and be everything we can . I said early this year I didn’t like the arrogance Eakins showed as it was me and I talking about they or him . With good teams its about US and I don’t see that with the current group .Lowe & McT have a shit show on there hands and I for one don’t envy them or there decisions.

  25. hunter1909 says:

    OilClog: The PP has Nuge on unit 2 FFS! Then he penalty kills!!
    The kid that got 5 points toying with guys two years ago on the Powerplay now plays with Ryan Jones on the Powerplay!!!!!

    Eakins has fucked up both RNH and Yaks, in less than a single NHL season.

    That’s got to be some kind of achievement.

    PS: I’d probably add Schultz, but to tell the truth he’s so forgettable this year I’ve barely noticed him, lol.

  26. godot10 says:

    So the $64 thousand dollar question about last night:

    Was Eakins intentionally trying to get himself fired or was Hall trying to get himself traded?

  27. sumaclab says:

    What in your opinion was that between Hall and Eakins? Consensus must be the keyword moving forward.The team must all be on the same page moving forward. Was last night an aberration? Or was last night the norm? Wherein lies the middle ground? Its frustration to see the Oilers take 2 steps back after the progress? the past few weeks.

    Its apparent that we still have a long way to go.To lose against Buffalo is one thing.But to lose against Calgary is another can of worms altogether. As witnessed on National TV last night.

    For me I don’t know which way to lean.Do we fire the coach? Do we keep the coach? Add/Subtract players and hope Eakins and the players will be on the same page come training came this fall.This season is so bipolar that it befuddles the mind.

    The off season is going to have more twists and turns than Days of our Lives. The exit interviews this year are going to be enlightening for many.Like to be a fly on the wall ofthose conversations between players and management.

  28. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Last night was great for me (except for the Barons loss… that sucks, but Texas is the big cheese down there).

    I missed the game with the exception of snippets. Had a dinner party over here. At some point me and my best friend (nuck fan) flipped on the game to check the score, I think it was 6 or 7 to 1 at that point and I laughed and said something like: “See, we know how to tank a game and a season!”

    his rejoinder was classic: “they know they only have to lose by 1, right?”

    haha. what an epically shitty team. hilarious.

    I hope this kills the “we’re getting it” narrative but I also hope we don’t take the wrong lessons here, or that MacT does.

    A lot of you are taking the wrong lessons here.

    This Ralph shit is BS. You are just pining for the last guy. That’s no way to set a straight course.

    And, this Hall-Eakins thing seems pretty damn trivial to me. No need to make it a cipher of everything terrible about the team. We have a terrible team to do that for us.

  29. FastOil says:

    Has anyone heard when Ralph Krueger is going to be nominated for the HOF? His half season was spectacular.

    Is Eakins any more abrasive than Hartley or Hitchcock?

    Nothing will change until they start playing respectable hockey. And that won’t happen until they get some eyes (that are actually calling the shots) that know what they are looking at.

    There is inconsistency in the management. Words and actions don’t line up and it kills any organization. The accountability untruths are fine if it’s the top players. It’s the same on every team, Kane and Malkin don’t get bag skated if they blow a coverage.

    However, players like Hall that live and breath winning are also watching guys like Ference (who wears Hall’s C) Fraser and Jones and Gazdic play a lot and get destroyed, games lost. I suppose I should include Gagner in that. They seem to play guys based on salary and rep instead of performance. They play lines based on old ideas instead of what works best with the players you actually have.

    There are better players in the system, around the league, sometimes on waivers, everyone knows it except the secret boss apparently and they can’t seem to change it.

    It really isn’t a huge fix with a bit of luck this summer. Although luck hasn’t come to Edmonton a lot lately. Maybe they used it all up in the 80′s and 06.

    EDIT: Rom hit some of this while I was typing.

  30. oliveoilers says:

    My great-uncle was from Croydon. I remember visiting him one night when I was very young. He was a divorcee, so he didn’t have much for groceries in the cupboard. He did have some red kidney beans. I didn’t eat kidney beans for another ten years.

    If the team isn’t being read the riot act this morning, then I don’t know what should happen. Thing is, it has to come from DE so as not to undermine what I believe is his already fragile authority. If you keep having to remind people you’re charge….if you have to ask the question…. DE in turn should be having a meeting without coffee and doughnuts (or evian and carrots) in private. Results aside, the distinct lack of anything even approaching professionalism is worrying. The kids need to grow up, the coach needs to wake the eff up and the GM needs to make some hard choices. And I don’t mean trading for Marlies on the say so of the coach. Tambo was indecisive making trade decisions and look where he is….

    People might just decide they’ve had enough of kidney beans just for now.

  31. Rondo says:

    They’re selling postcards of the hanging
    They’re painting the passports brown
    The beauty parlor is filled with sailors
    The Oilers are in town

  32. Gret99zky says:

    It seems clear that the Edmonton Oilers are the laughing stock of the league.

    As fans we probably can’t see the forest from the trees but those on the outside looking in see that it will take more than patience, patience, patience in order for this team to crawl from the depth of ineptitude.

    This team is a really bad joke.

    How can the same people responsible for this catastrophe be left in charge to re-build it year after year?

  33. pboy says:

    I just finished watching Hall’s post game interview and he handled himself very well and with a ton of class. This organization needs to put all of their chips into the middle with Hall and if that means Eakins and MacT go, so be it. The top of this organization should sit down with a 22 year old and take some notes on how to deal with the media.

  34. Bag of Pucks says:

    The worst part of last night? The realization that we gifted these bums a new arena to play in. I think PCL’s going to have to bury about a million ‘lucky loonies’ in the foundation to turn this mojo around.

    LT, I agree the jersey tossing IS getting old. But what’s especially aggravating for me is all the people that are still packing the building to watch this joke of a team. Wtf is wrong with you people? Talk about children of alcoholic mothers, you’d hard pressed to find a bigger group of enablers than this lot.

    Seriously Oiler fans. Do you want change? Do you want this to get better? Yes? Then stop funding this debacle. STOP GOING TO THE GAMES. That is the only way to bring Katz to the realization that he’s actually going to need to do more than write a letter. He’s going to have to fire his friends and hire competent mgmt.

  35. oliveoilers says:

    FastOil:
    Has anyone heard when Ralph Krueger is going to be nominated for the HOF? His half season was spectacular.

    Is Eakins any more abrasive than Hartley or Hitchcock?

    Nothing will change until they start playing respectable hockey. And that won’t happen until they get some eyes (that are actually calling the shots) that know what they are looking at.

    There is inconsistency in the management. Words and actions don’t line up and it kills any organization. The accountability untruths are fine if it’s the top players. It’s the same on every team, Kane and Malkin don’t get bag skated if they blow a coverage.

    However, players like Hall that live and breath winning are also watching guys like Ference (who wears Hall’s C) Fraser and Jones and Gazdic play a lot and get destroyed, games lost. I suppose I should include Gagner in that. They seem to play guys based on salary and rep instead of performance. They play lines based on old ideas instead of what works best with the players you actually have.

    There are better players in the system, around the league, sometimes on waivers, everyone knows it except the secret boss apparently and they can’t seem to change it.

    It really isn’t a huge fix with a bit of luck this summer. Although luck hasn’t come to Edmonton a lot lately. Maybe they used it all up in the 80′s and 06.

    Apples to apples, Fasty! Pretty sure Hartley has a Cup ring and Hitchcock seems to be able to walk the walk. You’d be surprised at how much credibility winning will buy you. Eakins needs to be a little more humble and the team needs to be mature enough to respect DE’s own lack of experience at this level.

  36. OilClog says:

    hunter1909: Eakins has fucked up both RNH and Yaks, in less than a single NHL season.

    That’s got to be some kind of achievement.

    PS: I’d probably add Schultz, but to tell the truth he’s so forgettable this year I’ve barely noticed him, lol.

    Last night was the Oilers finding out that they don’t have much going for them if they trade Yak.

    Steve Smith is killing Schultz, if only we had a Huddy.

    Nuge 2PP killing Penalties.. Yea that’s what you do with a talent like him.

    I’m not clamouring for Kruger, I just can’t get behind this current douche at all. What coach throws a fit like that last night? Not a Hitchcock or a Hartley.. Amateur hour

  37. OilClog says:

    oliveoilers: Apples to apples, Fasty!Pretty sure Hartley has a Cup ring and Hitchcock seems to be able to walk the walk.You’d be surprised at how much credibility winning will buy you.Eakins needs to be a little more humble and the team needs to be mature enough to respect DE’s own lack of experience at this level.

    Which is why he should of never been made coach.. This team needs the exact opposite of a rookie coach!

  38. Bag of Pucks says:

    Btw, if you don’t like boycotting games just to send ownership a message, consider the impact it would have on the players gig they show up to play and the stands are empty. They might just realize that a consistent effort is required to achieve a consistent turnout.

  39. edmoil3 says:

    Alex T,

    gretyzky lead oilers should never be a template for success. You could play on that team if gretz in his prime is rolling. come on….

  40. unca miltie says:

    LT, I agree the jersey tossing IS getting old. But what’s especially aggravating for me is all the people that are still packing the building to watch this joke of a team. Wtf is wrong with you people? Talk about children of alcoholic mothers, you’d hard pressed to find a bigger group of enablers than this lot.

    I was at the debacle last night. Was in the concourse and heard a loud roar, when a goal was scored. (second period.) Building was full of flames fans last night..

  41. oliveoilers says:

    OilClog: Which is why he should of never been made coach.. This team needs the exact opposite of a rookie coach!

    I was quick on the anti-Eakins bandwagon, but it was purely personal, not based on results or numbers. I just didn’t like him and I sure didn’t think it would be this bad. Even if he leads us to a cup next year, I still won’t like him. I did say at the time that he wasn’t the coach we needed at the time. Easy to prophecy in hindsight and boy, do I wish is was wrong. Interesting to see how Stauffer and Gregor spin this. The idea that one man should keep his job because previous incumbents were rightly or wrongly fired is a novel one.

    But for whom is the sword of Damocles hanging over?

  42. Woodguy says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    A lot of you are taking the wrong lessons here.

    This Ralph shit is BS. You are just pining for the last guy. That’s no way to set a straight course.

    And, this Hall-Eakins thing seems pretty damn trivial to me. No need to make it a cipher of everything terrible about the team. We have a terrible team to do that for us.

    Really?

    You don’t think that last’s year’s identical Fenwick with better goaltending and finishing 26th is sooooo much better than this year’s identical Fenwick, with shitty goaltending for the most part, no Dcore and finishing 29th-27th?

    Ha!

    Thanks for being sane and lucid.

  43. Woodguy says:

    FastOil:
    Has anyone heard when Ralph Krueger is going to be nominated for the HOF? His half season was spectacular.

    Is Eakins any more abrasive than Hartley or Hitchcock?

    Nothing will change until they start playing respectable hockey. And that won’t happen until they get some eyes (that are actually calling the shots) that know what they are looking at.

    There is inconsistency in the management. Words and actions don’t line up and it kills any organization. The accountability untruths are fine if it’s the top players. It’s the same on every team, Kane and Malkin don’t get bag skated if they blow a coverage.

    However, players like Hall that live and breath winning are also watching guys like Ference (who wears Hall’s C) Fraser and Jones and Gazdic play a lot and get destroyed, games lost. I suppose I should include Gagner in that. They seem to play guys based on salary and rep instead of performance. They play lines based on old ideas instead of what works best with the players you actually have.

    There are better players in the system, around the league, sometimes on waivers, everyone knows it except the secret boss apparently and they can’t seem to change it.

    It really isn’t a huge fix with a bit of luck this summer. Although luck hasn’t come to Edmonton a lot lately. Maybe they used it all up in the 80′s and 06.

    EDIT: Rom hit some of this while I was typing.

    This all day long.

    Except it is a huge fix on the Dcore.

  44. Lowetide says:

    pboy:
    For LT

    http://grantland.com/features/jonah-keri-up-up-and-away-book-excerpt/

    Argh. I remember that first inning. First and third, first and third, and they get one run. I love Andre Dawson, but he was eaten up by a rookie (helluva rookie, mind) on that at-bat.

  45. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    I needed a little time to pass after last nights debacle before I could jump on here. Livid and embarrassed to the core best defines my emotions. This will go down I’m sure as one of the all time low points in the organizations history. What a perfect storm – HNIC, 8-1, coach/star player meltdown, jersey toss and the f&$kin Flames. The FLAMES!!! Man, almighty.

    After last nights mgmt/player altercation, it became clear to me that DE needs to be removed. I haven’t specifically said this before as it wasn’t clear that was the right course. But the fact that this event was what evoked emotion in DE within a game was telling. It wasn’t appropriate given how he has behaved to date (no emotion whatsoever). If that is what stirs you in the pitch of battle, well, it just doesn’t work for me personally. I have no criticism of Hall in that event. He was pissed and embarrassed and frustrated. Good. DE should have used it as some kind of unifying battle cry on the bench. Instead, singling out and persecuting a players conduct while shat is raining down. Unproductive and misguided. In fact I witnessed DE take a moment to decide he wanted to go after Hall and he made the conscious choice. Makes it worse in my eye as it wasn’t totally reflexive. Lastly, and more troubling, Hall’s look was a combination of silenced submission and outright disdain. Man, that is not good. I felt he felt he just couldn’t uncork what he needed to at that movement. Restrained and submissive. A flashpoint into how the team has played.

    The dynamics are all wrong here. Just wrong. Be courageous and correct course and screw the ‘we need to have consistency for consistencies sake’. Your teams arse has a purple welt after that beat down. That isn’t right.

  46. 106 and 106 says:

    Nadir’s Raiders saddle up and head straight for the salt lick outside the saloon.

    Well written, LT. The whole nation saw the party, and Oil Country staggers home alone to deal with the Walk of Shame.

  47. Andy P says:

    LT, I think you have totally nailed it in your last two blogs.

    I once had a parallel experience to this, on a much smaller scale. Put simply, the turning point happened when the key individual, who was considered key to the team, tried to get me removed bt tendering their resignation, which management accepted. We finally achieved our goals, it wasn’t easy but we did it.

    the point being that MacT has surfaced what I have long tried to communicate, one or more of the young core becoming coach killers, having got rid of Quinn, Renney, Krueger, and now Eakins.

    I do not think this team will ever succeed until they either turn or burn the coach killers.

  48. Marcus Oilerius says:

    I still don’t know if hiring Eakins was a mistake, but firing Kreuger was.

    Because we could have held onto Kreuger and fire him after a result like last night’s, and we wouldn’t be talking about “too many coaching changes” and “letting the inmates run the asylum”.

  49. theres oil in virginia says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I almost universally agree. How does last night’s result suddenly open one’s eyes to how shitty the team is? Thankfully, they’re cementing their draft position, but they really should take your friend’s advice: by 1 is enough. I’m interested to see how bad they are against SJS. Under 40 shots against would be nice, but I’m not holding my breath.

    My only quibble is that there is a difference between “getting it” and “executing it”. I think they’re “getting it”, but they still suck. Management needs to fix that (Fraser is never going to “execute it” – not that way at least, Pitlick belongs in the AHL, Jones is done, every defenseman is at least one slot too high), but nothing changes before next year, obviously.

    BTW, the first period was entertaining hockey. The wheels fell off fast. Fraser is awful.

  50. Woodguy says:

    Everybody,

    Its the roster.

    Particularly the Dcorps.

    Someone in the thread mentioned that “1 or 2 Dmen are playing above their heads”

    This is incorrect.

    Currently the Oilers have 6 Dmen playing above their established NHL ability.

    1) Marincin and Petry playing toughs:

    Marincin is a raw rookie (a good one) and should be playing 3rds.

    Petry *might* be able to handle toughs with a proven 1st pairing Dman, but is probably much more suited to 2nd pair.

    2) Ference and Shultz playing 2nd pair

    Ference *might* be able to handle 2nd pairing with a vet (like he did in BOS with Boychuck at times) but he was 3rd pairing for the most part in BOS and he’s aging. Should be 3rd pair here.

    Shultz is chaos in his own zone and should have learned his craft in the AHL for at least a year, maybe 2. At the NHL level, he’s 3rd pairing with a good vet. This is similar to how PHX developed Yandle. Yandle was 3rd pairing for 5 years.

    3) Klefbom and Fraser

    Klefbom is even more raw than Marincin and while he shows promise, he should be in the AHL. 3rd pairing maybe with a vet.

    Fraser doesn’t have NHL ability. He should not be in the NHL.

    So every single Dman the Oilers iced last night is slotted in above his established NHL ability.

    It has been this way all year and made worse with the Smid trade as it pushed the LHD up a notch and none of the LHD could handle it.

    Ference has been 1st pairing for a big chunck of the year. He hasn’t played 1st pairing since his last year on PIT and first year with CAL some 12 years ago.

    Not being able to break the cycle and exit the zone with possession is where most of their issues lie imo.

    This Dcorps is a disgrace.

    MacT needs to wear this.

    MacT needs to fix this.

    1-2nd pairing Dman
    3- 3rd pairing Dman
    2-AHL Dmen

    Does not a NHL Dcorps make.

    Its the end of the year and so they are test driving Fraser (that should stop now with Belov off IR) and seeing what Klef can do.,

    If MacT fixes the Dcorps and a 1/2 C then a lot of this just goes away.

  51. admiralmark says:

    Woodguy:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    A lot of you are taking the wrong lessons here.


    This Ralph shit is BS. You are just pining for the last guy. That’s no way to set a straight course.

    And, this Hall-Eakins thing seems pretty damn trivial to me. No need to make it a cipher of everything terrible about the team. We have a terrible team to do that for us.

    Really?

    You don’t think that last’s year’s identical Fenwick with better goaltending and finishing 26th is sooooo much better than this year’s identical Fenwick, with shitty goaltending for the most part, no Dcore and finishing 29th-27th?

    Ha!

    Thanks for being sane and lucid.

    Krueger with a lesser team. In a year they play ONLY Western Conference opponents. Only 40ish games to install his system and pulls off a better win percentage then Eakins. I’d say things would of been a whole lot better with Krueger + an experienced Asst. that he asked for. Would he ultimately been the answer? Who knows. Would they be in the playoffs? Damn no its still a team with major holes. But this incredible level of crapitude is a great deal on Dallas Eakins. So what now? Stay the course? I don’t think you should. Will the Oilers? I think Eakins has 10 games to save his job.

  52. oliveoilers says:

    Woodguy:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    A lot of you are taking the wrong lessons here.


    This Ralph shit is BS. You are just pining for the last guy. That’s no way to set a straight course.

    And, this Hall-Eakins thing seems pretty damn trivial to me. No need to make it a cipher of everything terrible about the team. We have a terrible team to do that for us.

    Really?

    You don’t think that last’s year’s identical Fenwick with better goaltending and finishing 26th is sooooo much better than this year’s identical Fenwick, with shitty goaltending for the most part, no Dcore and finishing 29th-27th?

    Ha!

    Thanks for being sane and lucid.

    WG, you and Rom are slowly bringing me round to the realisation the RK wasn’t the answer either, the darndest thing is, we’ll never know with the lack of a level playing field. That said, I seem to remember the stat guys saying that last season our poor corgis and fenway parks would catch up to us despite our good start and this was starting to trend in the final part of last season. This ‘poor goaltending’ thing at the start of the season may not be just that. Scrivens and Fasth have come in and played very well. Are we just seeing a ‘leveling’ effect here? I would be happy to have good tending from Scriv and average from Fasth. Streaky just plain sucks.

    What I’m getting at is the optics of the RK thing were terrible, and maybe just maybe elevated RK to Oilers martyrdom. He did handle it rather classily. There are some very intelligent, if not overly eloquent, posters on this site that work for companies in industries that it would actually be illegal to be fired in that way. Maybe the RK thing is displaced sympathy, poorly put?

  53. oliveoilers says:

    Props to LT for waiting a while to blog with his head and not his heart. Well, just maybe a little heart!

  54. Ryan says:

    The salient question isn’t Eakins vs RK… It’s whether or not Eakins should be replaced…

    Lt nailed one of the biggest concerns… His inability to get the team to play some semblance of a system.

    I can’t imagine it’s been much fun working on Kingsway avenue.

  55. russ99 says:

    Katz can fix this with one move, fire Lowe and replace him with someone on merit with no ties to the Dynasty years.

    Then the new President will clean the old boys club out of the organization.

    I like MacT and would hate to see him lose his job in such a way but if he’s decided he’s going down with the Eakins ship, he’s lost already.

  56. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Nice read on a Sun morning LT.
    As with most analysis of a problem it is most often a combination of causes that produces the undesirable outcome. Some causes are more effectual than others. You can pick away at the low weighted causes, but until the most effectual causes are addressed the problem is never fully remedied.
    Since the G has been improved (ignoring last nights small sample of evidence), I dont know how anybody could come to any conclusion other than the D followed by coaching are the most effectual causes of this problem. I think a good GM should be able to address these issues before next season. Accepting anything less at this level would be aiming too low.

  57. Bryan says:

    I certainly align with the people who remind us that this is a game and hopefully a source of entertainment so we need to keep some glimmer of perspective. Having said that, the game last night was one of the more difficult ones that I have endured. The Oilers were bad but it was also one of those special times for Calgary. When your tough guy is picking pucks out of mid air and putting them in off the post and when Glencross is looking like the reincarnation of Doug Gilmour then you know it is a good night for the Phlegms. I wonder how many Oiler fans would be willing to swap rosters straight across, though? Perhaps this morning more than a few but I don’t think it would be a prudent move. I wonder how many would be willing to swap coaching staffs? Probably most people would be onboard with that today. I do think that Eakins became a better coach when some solid goaltending came to town and I think he would look much much smarter with a solid top defensive tandem to settle the game down. Marincin looks to be an absolute gem and Petry will be a good defenseman for a long time as well and if they were allowed to play second pairing minutes it would be a revelation for them. Ferrence is a terrible disappointment so far but I am afraid they are tied to him for some time. Klefbom certainly shows signs of being the player he was expected to be but some more time in OKC certainly would do him no harm. If Ferrence and Shultz can handle the third pairing then perhaps things will start looking up. The big problem of course is how to acquire the top tandem. If Buffalo could be convinced to part with Myers for a package including Gagner and Schultz then that should be looked at. My preference would be to keep Shultz if possible but something will have to give. The real jewel would be Subban but that will be a costly proposition. I would certainly look hard at any deal for him that didn’t include Hall or Hopkins though. I think that it will do wonders for Nuge if he can get through the rest of the season without a serious injury and have all summer to strengthen himself. He started this year playing catch up because of the shoulder surgery and it has showed some nights. There is a brilliant player there though and he will be a treat to watch for many years. I have to admit that I am prejudiced towards skill though and it still saddens me to see Hemsky skating in a different color of sweater, especially when he still toils for a team a mile out of the playoffs. I gave Eakins a lot of credit for recognizing the brilliance of Hemsky and for emphasizing this with the media often but I have reached the point where I think he may need to go, I have played on a lot of different teams over the years and I know that the chemistry in the room is a vital thing. It is human nature to play harder and with more enthusiasm when you genuinely care about one another and I think this doesn’t change no matter how much money you are making. The coach’s job is to put workable systems into place to give the best chance of winning but it is also his job to ensure that the room is relatively united and free from cancers. It is not realistic to think that everyone will be best friends but they should respect one another and be very excited to work together towards a common goal. Hopefully MacT has his finger on the pulse well enough to know what the real situation is. If Buchburger and Smith remain at their posts in the fall then we will know for sure that there is no real accountability and no hope.

  58. commonfan14 says:

    It’s bizarre to me that some are doubting what Hall said about his relationship with Eakins and how the incident won’t be an issue at all going forward.

    If we was acting there, we’d know.

    We’ve seen the Crystal Glass commercial.

  59. John Chambers says:

    I didn’t catch the game but saw the score at the end and grinned.

    What it meant was that summer will be about massive change and for this I was thankful.

  60. Hammers says:

    Back to same old thing . We need 2 actual NHL “D” . I don’t care who gets traded or even if its the 1st rd pick but it must happen . Klef needs at least another half year to a year in the AHL . Fraser should be sat out as of now . Belov is back so play him all 10 games then make a decision as to if his a 6-7 “D” on this team as Fraser is not .Have fun McT but if you don’t get at least 2 real defensemen your team is going nowhere.

  61. Marcus Oilerius says:

    http://www.capgeek.com/ufa-finder/?position_id=D

    The only hope I see there is Matt Niskanen and maybe Andrej Meszaros, but I don’t see real solutions to our problems there.

    I think Schultz is dealt for a more veteran, stable presence, or possibly packed with picks and prospects for a #1.

    edit: I suppose we could drive a dumptruck full of money at Markov for one year. Like a 1 year, $8m deal.

  62. justDOit says:

    Who knows what will happen with the coaching situation, but as many have already pointed out, this team is at least 2 bonafide, NHL Dmen short of a full deck. It could be that the off-season will be more interesting than the regular season.

    Patience, MacT – patience.

  63. Woodguy says:

    Here’ s something to ponder.

    The Oiler’s Fenwick in games with Smid: .464
    Hall’s Fenwick during that time: .511

    Post Smid Oilers: .433
    Post Smid Hall: .448

    Not that Smid was the end all-be all of anything was was an Actual NHL Dman.

    Losing him pushes everyone on the LHD up the chart and was meh becomes awful.

    Everyone needs to remember that for the majority of the year Nick Shultz took a regular shift on this team, mostly 2nd pairing.

    He’s now a healthy scratch on a team that is 10th this morning in the EC.

    2nd pairing regular shift in Edmonton.

    Healthy scratch in Columbus.

    Do you see what I am getting at with talk about the roster?

    There might be only 2 Dmen on the Oilers who wouldn’t be a healthy scratch on the 10th place team in the Eastern Conference.

    Its the roster.

    That’s on MacT.

    And Lowe for the clusterfuck that was the Tambo reign.

  64. Woodguy says:

    commonfan14:
    It’s bizarre to me that some are doubting what Hall said about his relationship with Eakins and how the incident won’t be an issue at all going forward.

    If we was acting there, we’d know.

    We’ve seen the Crystal Glass commercial.

    Agreed.

    Hall seemed pretty genuine in the post game, which is why I let all that hubub go.

    Being part of a losing org is frustrating and I can imagine that getting kicked at home 8-1 makes it just more so.

  65. Marcus Oilerius says:

    Woodguy,

    Wasn’t Eakins reluctant to play Smid, though?

    I remember Smid getting like 13-17 minutes a night.

  66. frjohnk says:

    So lets say Eakins is done this year. Who is out there for coaches?
    Here is a few off the top of my head.

    Claude Noel

    Kevin Dineen

    Guy Boucher

    Brent Sutter

    Mike Keenan, just kidding!

    If Eakins is let go, Im sure a prospective coach would mention something about the “5 coaches in 6 years” thingy. This may deter some significant candidates. Oilers might only be able to attract the desperate. Not a good situation.

  67. magisterrex says:

    russ99,

    Which year did Tambellini play for the Oilers? Pre or post Gretzky?

  68. countrygirl says:

    A low point in Oilers history to be sure but I am furious at main stream media for their vicious attacks on our young players. I try to avoid CBC panels because beyond Elliot Friedman they are brutal but does anyone know if they make the same vicious attacks on their precious Maple Laffs after a tough loss.?They were short on facts and heavy on bitterness IMO.

  69. Jon K says:

    I can’t imagine Katz cares much about the team’s success or failure as long as he stands to make hundreds of millions of dollars in downtown real estate development. His trip to Seattle and moving to Vancouver showed as much.

    The problem isn’t all on the players, but there is most definitely an issue there. Once Eakins is gone next season we will be on our 6th coach in the last decade. The fact that we are going to be one season away from the NHL record for seasons out of the playoffs shows that there are issues with management, no doubt. But we haven’t seen the progression from the young core the way that we would expect, especially when we look at other teams rebuilding alongside us.

    I’ve long said that there are maturity problems with some of the players in the young core. Guys on the Oilers payroll have acknowledged those concerns on local radio. Despite some suggestions to the contrary, that problem continues to linger and fester.

    You’re right, LT. MacT will have to address those problems, and it might mean more than changing coaches again. What do you do when your best player thinks he’s above the rest of the team and the coach? Moving the player can’t be seen as anything other than two steps back in an already prolonged rebuild (I don’t agree with the rebuild being 4 years). I guess that’s why it’s such a dilemma. We wait.

  70. cabbiesmacker says:

    Woodguy:
    Everybody,

    Its the roster.

    Particularly the Dcorps.

    If MacT fixes the Dcorps and a 1/2 C then a lot of this just goes away.

    IMO it’s not that small a job. I have it at 2-3 D men and 5 – 6 forwards needing to be added/replaced. Two of the current top 6 inmates need to go, only one of the turd liners is good enough, and the fourth line requires a minimum of two replacements.

    Not an easy task by any stretch.

    I also wonder if MacT has pondered, even for one second, what HIS reaction would have been to the Water Bottle Incident. I think Hall would have got one “look” and that’s it. Over.

  71. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    I know patience and clear thinking is required to navigate out of this, but for some perspective, how would the Flyers organization accept/handle this? From owner on down. Just what is the ownership/managerial tolerance for these results (year after year after year). Says a lot about character and fight. Is management/ownership gonna pretend it didn’t happen and we continue to talk about who we will draft and even contemplate the disgusting idea of tanking it to get a higher pick?

    Sorry gents, but my frustration is still über high. It’ll pass. But as a case in point, I could see the Flames under Feaster starting to slide down the acceptance hole of tanking a little to rebuild (my own formed opinion). When Burke came in and punted Feaster it was a 180 degree turn. He shoved an iron rod of expectation into that organization of never accepting loss and playing hard – always. We got schooled big time in it last night. For all Burke’s warts – and he has a lot – I respect this aspect of him. Forget the ‘would you swap our roster for theirs’ and ‘we are gonna get a higher pick than Calgary’. I’m so frustrated we even have to take time to talk about high picks and who we should pick. It simply says we suck and I never see anything good in it ever. Here’s to hoping we never have another top 5 pick in my life again. This is a noble pursuit of a professional sports organization.

  72. Rondo says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong but Oilers are run by professionals the best in the business. I truly believe I could randomly pick 10 posters here and have just as good or better record as the Oilers in the last 8 years.

  73. magisterrex says:

    This fire Eakins crap is getting old. Every flipping year we say it’s the coach. Every year a mathelete brings out the stats to claim the coach is the problem.

    Every freaking year.

    Huge player turnover, coaches swapped out every year..,

    MacT can’t change a loser culture in one year. Who actually thinks that is possible?

    Bah.

  74. RexLibris says:

    Woodguy,

    I’d have been more worried if Hall didn’t react to his team getting its teeth kicking in at home by what is supposed to be a hated rival.

    It was a little immature, but considering what some fans may have been doing/saying at home while watching the game, hardly surprising.

  75. Rondo says:

    magisterrex,

    It is getting old but they continue to make the same mistakes over and over. If they don’t change their behaviour nothing will change. Who knows Eakins maybe a problem but this team is covered in mistakes, hard to know now what problem has the highest priority.

  76. Bag of Pucks says:

    Looking for positives, I’m hoping last night proves to be a turning point for Hall. Healey tore him a new one on after hours last night with a collection of clips showing Hall’s consistent and complete lack of interest in playing a two way game last night. Having that broadcast on national tv should be an embarrassment to the young man, and it’s probably one that’s long overdue. Combine that with the tantrum on the bench (what is that saying to your teammates exactly?) and his continual habit of dodging any personal accountability in the post game presses, and the package doesn’t really scream leadership & captaincy to me.

    Thing with firing Eakins: if the players were playing well but not getting any results, you could rationalize a coaching move but the so-called phenoms suck! What’s he supposed to do? Bench half the team? They’ve been making the same boneheaded mistakes and cutting corners on defensive effort for 4 years & 3 coaches.

    The problem IS the players not the coaching.

  77. "Steve Smith" says:

    OilClog: Which is why he should of never been made coach.. This team needs the exact opposite of a rookie coach!

    This team needs Pat Quinn!

  78. cc says:

    russ99:
    Katz can fix this with one move, fire Lowe and replace him with someone on merit with no ties to the Dynasty years.

    Then the new President will clean the old boys club out of the organization.

    I like MacT and would hate to see him lose his job in such a way but if he’s decided he’s going down with the Eakins ship, he’s lost already.

    Katz is the problem. Eakins has been mentioned here 44 times, he’s not the problem. MacT has been mentioned in this thread 24 times, he’s not the problem. Kevin Lowe has been mentioned in this article 22 times, he’s not the problem. They are all symptoms of the overall issue. This is bad ownership.

    Fire Eakins great go ahead and do it, but Scott Bowman couldn’t coach this team into the playoffs and until there is change at the top no change is really gonna matter.

    The only way I see this cluster-fuck getting any better is if the man at the top hires the right people to run the business and let him hire comptent people at all levels scouting (no Semenko), VPoHO (no Lowe), GM (No MacT), Coaches (No Buchburger, Smith). This is worse than Bill Wortz. This is Ballard in Toronto bad. They need to clean house, But that is not going to happen, there is little to no accountability for the old school club.

    Pat Quinn said that they needed to change things at the top of the organization 5 years ago, and we laughed at him. He’s an old man doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

    Everytime you hear championship teams talk they talk about the ownership. Patriots, Red Wings, Bruins, Red Sox, NY Giants. Teams with dsyfunctional owners rarely (Yankees are an exception) win. Take a look at the Penguins, Lemieux owns the team. How many former players are part of his hockey operations? I only see Wendel Young as a scout. There’s no old school club, no Kevin Stevens, Ron Francis, Tocchet. He runs his teams like a business.

    If a former player can run his team like a business. Why can’t a business man run his team like a business? End Rant!

  79. Glock9 says:

    WOW. Edmontonian and Oiler fan since ’79. A Whole new low. Should be an interesting next couple of days.

    Saw this and it lightened things a little. Enjoy ! Hallsie hosing Eekins

    http://nimga.com/f/9y3ph.gif

  80. oliveoilers says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Looking for positives, I’m hoping last night proves to be a turning point for Hall. Healey tore him a new one on after hours last night with a collection of clips showing Hall’s consistent and complete lack of interest in playing a two way game last night. Having that broadcast on national tv should be an embarrassment to the young man, and it’s probably one that’s long overdue. Combine that with the tantrum on the bench (what is that saying to your teammates exactly?) and his continual habit of dodging any personal accountability in the post game presses, and the package doesn’t really scream leadership & captaincy to me.

    Thing with firing Eakins: if the players were playing well but not getting any results, you could rationalize a coaching move but the so-called phenoms suck! What’s he supposed to do? Bench half the team? They’ve been making the same boneheaded mistakes and cutting corners on defensive effort for 4 years & 3 coaches.

    The problem IS the players not the coaching.

    Have to be careful when taking Healy’s rant as gospel. He has access to all CBC’s archives. You can put any spin you want on and ‘prove’ anything. You could make Mother Teresa look like Hitler. For instance, if I wanted to make Hall look lazy, all I would have to do is include lots of clips of him just skating and some strong rhetoric. Isn’t he up there in take-aways this season? To make it unbiased, did Healy include this little statoid? Any clips of him haring back to lift the stick of an opposition player, something he has been good at this year?

    I think you have your second paragraph 180 degrees out of phase. If the team was playing well, ie, executing the coach’s systems correctly and losing, THEN I’d look to the players not having the capability to execute the coach’s game plan a la Calgary. Little like last season, but RK was no Babcock. This season, we have the perfect storm. A coach who can’t coach and players who won’t play.

  81. Lummeropenet84 says:

    Anyone remember this score from last season?

    April 3 Edmonton Oilers 8–2 Calgary Flames

  82. Chris says:

    Brent Sutter does have a history of working well with Ryan Nugent Hopkins.

  83. Bag of Pucks says:

    oliveoilers: Have to be careful when taking Healy’s rant as gospel.He has access to all CBC’s archives.You can put any spin you want on and ‘prove’ anything.You could make Mother Teresa look like Hitler.

    The clips were all from the game last night and no spin was required. They spoke for themselves.

    Im done making excuses for these players. The lack of effort is obvious.

  84. Chris says:

    Truthfully I think the coaching staff requires cleansing fire to remove Bucky, Steve Smith and any and all of the holdovers from previous regimes. I’m reasonably sure the coaching of this team peaked under the Renney and Kruger combination and that we’ve done nothing but bugger things up since the. There have been various signs that Dallas Eakins has a bad relationship with this team. Hell a couple weeks ago he came out and said he started off with a bad relationship with the team. I think yesterday just seems to underscore that this coach is not getting through to this group of players.

  85. G Money says:

    Alex T: Man, I miss Ralph.

    admiralmark: Krueger with a lesser team. In a year they play ONLY Western Conference opponents. Only 40ish games to install his system and pulls off a better win percentage then Eakins.

    Wow, this “Krueger was a good coach” nonsense has really taken on a zombie-like aspect. Fuckin’ thing just won’t die. I get that people’s memories are unreliable, but this borders on the delusional.

    Just to bring us back to some of the glorious Ralph moments of last year, I took the liberty of going to NHL.com and pulling out some comments from last years post-game thread after the disheartening, putrid, horrifying 6-0 to Nashville. It was as shameful a game as the Calgary loss was. Most of the comments are made by flat out idiots, BUT the point here is to refresh memories about the debacle that was last year. Some choice comments for you (these are either full comments OR excerpts, but each line break separates a different comment):


    I dont agree to trade all of our young players, all they need are tougher players to play with them and an NHL caliber coach.

    Sadly Oilers issues right now have nothing to do with shortened season and all about systems, tactics, motivations, and effort. The coachs have failed on the first 3 and thus the players failing on the last one because of it.

    The coach and management needs to be in a psych ward.

    Agree completely, Nick Schultz is one of the biggest weak links. But the coach can’t get anything out of any of the players.

    Of course Krueger shrugs it off and says his famous line “this will be a good test of character”… We’ll be testing our character for many years to come.

    its not rocket science, its CANADIAN HOCKEY!!!
    Krueger should have a sit down with Don Cherry lol
    Reply 2 replies

    Not suprisingly we have a European makeup and style, wonder where that came from lol. It doesn’t work in the NHL Kruger. lol

    Then I watch the Oilers, just expecting those things to be executed naturally, and they surprisingly don’t do any of those things. I don’t know if its the system Krueger has implemented or they lost their instincts, but they are the only team in the world that don’t do the things that you ave to do in their sport. They did those things in the past, last year and the years before that and never had to worry about that because that issue never crossed my mind until I watched the Oilers this season.

    I literally watch a period and feel like they did and accomplished nothing, yet they still say they play well. We can turn this around if we start hitting, shooting, passing, and playing, in other words competing. We have a good team, but we can’t just focus on one extremely boring playing style every night, we need need to be multi-dimensional in our approach to every game.

    The issue I see is that the issues are ongoing. This is a management and coaching problem. Krueger is obviously not the right guy for this team.

    I agree that throwing specific players under the bus is innapropriate when the team as a whole is losing. I agree that a coaching change could be a necessary spark. I also agree that wanting to trade away our talent is not only useless but crippling.

    I see frustration in this team when they lose. I don’t believe they think it is OK to lose. I do think that they have some REALLY bad habits and when the system doesn’t yeild immediate results in a game they all fall into those bad habits.

    Yeah, and if we do we would trade that pick. Acquisitions won’t help this team. I said before that acquiring a grinder won’t do anything. It’s the teams general mentality of holding back. Literally wasting games because they think they have a good system in fact they don’t even know who they are. They expect wins to just come and their game to just come, in fact you have to work for those things.

    Sorry but if you find no problem with the coaching this year, maybe you should go watch SEL and forget about the big leagues cause thats how our team is being coached. Like a SEL team rather then a NHL team.

    We need a NHL coach for our NHL team.
    Until thats done its crazy talk to blame players for +/- scores

    Last year we could blame the players as Renney was doing everything to get these guys success
    This year its clear they have stopped listening and dont care anymore cause the coach has lost the team support.

    Match lines you coaches and give the young guys a chance. Look at the +/- . The same with the defense pairings , let them earn their way before any changes..

    Fire Krueger. NOW!!!

    its more than just the coach

    Replace the coach

    bag skate them and the coach

    Maybe Katz hired the most incompetent people he knew to sabotage this team??? MacT wasn’t hired by any other team to coach because he’s not that good. Will be shocked if Renney ever coaches again in the NHL (as head coach). Krueger takes the cake. I think most fans in Edmonton could do a better job. The players can play, we’ve all seen it. But they have no motivation and now I think are trying to lose.

  86. stevezie says:

    The coaching staff hasn’t done much to show that they would win with a good roster, but since this isn’t a good roster, it is hard to say for sure.

    I am stunned at the degree to which some of you are ignoring the early-season goaltending. No team could have overcome that. None.

    This defence wasn’t good enough last year, and somehow the biggest change made to it was a subtraction. (As Woodguy says, so what if Smid got worse after leaving. So did we. Considerably worse.)

    So yell at the coach if you want, there’s not much to defend him with, but yell at management too, especially previous management- who failed by over-enthusiastically implementing a plan endorsed by much of the blogosphere.

  87. stevezie says:

    Andy P: I do not think this team will ever succeed until they either turn or burn the coach killers.

    You might be right, but it is simply impossible for a fan to say what is going on in the room. There might be a problem with the room, and there might be a problem with coaching, but I know there is a problem with the roster.

  88. stevezie says:

    G Money,

    Great job.

  89. edoil1 says:

    Been an oiler fan since WHA Edmonton gardens days,can honestly” not “remember a worse time in the teams history,we had the Pocklington sell offs as an excuse at one point,we had the Canadian dollar /no salary cap excuses at other times,but now there is no excuse.This team is being run like the PC party of the province,entitlement ooz’s from the owner to the cobweb encrusted management and now some of the players.
    They then go out and hire an preema donna coach ,who wander’s around like he is in the hockey hall of fame,can anyone argue that this team would not be 10 to 20 point’s better with a Hartley ,Sutter or a Ruff or Hitch with an actual system ,all have been availible at times lately.The reason they don’t pick this type of coach is they would show “UP” the terrible managment /assistant coachs/ scouting group ect and we could not have that, as they try to save their unproductive paychecks.Keep McT(you have to have someone familiar with the team)Hall,and Joey Moss.The rest can go /trade/fire/retire ect.
    God help us fans,when is the first Eskimo game.

  90. LMHF#1 says:

    This could be a Jim Nill team with a veteran coach. Working out okay for the Stars.

  91. fifthcartel says:

    Sad thing is they looked like they were trending in the right direction, and then Eakins said they changed something. I wonder without Dubnyk’s implosion and LaBarbera unable to hold ground if they might have actually shown some progression possession wise.

  92. LMHF#1 says:

    magisterrex:
    This fire Eakins crap is getting old. Every flipping year we say it’s the coach. Every year a mathelete brings out the stats to claim the coach is the problem.

    Every freaking year.

    Huge player turnover, coaches swapped out every year..,

    MacT can’t change a loser culture in one year. Who actually thinks that is possible?

    Bah.

    Irrelevant. Sunk cost.

  93. denny33 says:

    Rondo,

    Completely agree and I am NOT being glib.

    People busy with being pro RK -or not.

    The work of Craig McTavish and Dallas Eakins speaks for itself.

    Dallas Eakins continued to enjoy good support in here up until recently. Indeed, any criticism of Dallas by third parties was met with stiff rebuke.

    Yes, Dallas gives good pressers.

    Nothing to do with RK- Ryan Whitney and Eric Belanger were so far beyond embarrassing last year it was painful.

    I don’t care if the price was FREE for Mark Fraser,or if we were PAID to take him – Mac T
    OBTAINED him….

    CIA secrecy in trading Smid for magic beans….

    You thought Andrew Ference was good at the age of 34 ……Mac T will be Ecstatic with him at 35 and 36……

    Biggest punch line for Craig, this organization does NOT NEED ANY MORE 3rd PAIRING D-men.

    Please refrain from the trash heap that is the UFA list….

    We all thought the league wide laughter was bad last year….

  94. oliveoilers says:

    stevezie:
    The coaching staff hasn’t done much to show that they would win with a good roster, but since this isn’t a good roster, it is hard to say for sure.

    I am stunned at the degree to which some of you are ignoring the early-season goaltending. No team could have overcome that. None.

    This defence wasn’t good enough last year, and somehow the biggest change made to it was a subtraction. (As Woodguy says, so what if Smid got worse after leaving. So did we. Considerably worse.)

    So yell at the coach if you want, there’s not much to defend him with, but yell at management too, especially previous management- who failed by over-enthusiastically implementing a plan endorsed by much of the blogosphere.

    First paragraph is marvellous. Agree 100%. Because we do not have any coaching staff that have been successful at the NHL level, we can’t be sure WHAT they are. Never change!

    Second paragraph: I’m going to come back with what I said to WG earlier. Since Scrivens and Fasth have arrived, we have had goaltending at as good as the start of the season was bad. To tell what the team is, we need the goalies to be merely average for the rest of the season. If you can stand to watch it.

    Third paragraph: Yes, The Oilers and Smid did seem to have some kind of weird symbiotic relationship.

    Fourth paragraph: Unfortunately this is an argument usually seen in politics when the party in power does something stupid; it’s the voters fault that we’re in power. Shouldn’t have voted for us.

  95. oliveoilers says:

    LMHF#1:
    This could be a Jim Nill team with a veteran coach. Working out okay for the Stars.

    Same Jim Nill that we ‘duped’ into taking Horcoff? What a bum! Where’s Dallas now? Oh wait….damn.

  96. Marc says:

    Here’s a great quote from the Toronto Star’s piece about last night’s Leafs-Canadiens game:

    “This is how Drew Doughty, the best player on the best defensive team in the league, described the Leafs’ first line a while back: “We know they play one-dimensionally out there. They’re gonna look for turnovers at all times, they’re going to cheat to get breakaways. We know exactly what to expect. They’re fast. They bulldoze the net.”

    He might as well have been talking about the second line, too. Speed is great. Bulldozing’s tremendous. But having your best players scoffed at as a band of offence-obsessed cheaters? It might not be in anyone’s recipe for perennial NHL stability.”

    It seems to me that whoever the coach of the Oilers is, unless the top talent, both at forward and on defence, buy in to a playing a two way game, then the best case scenario for the team is ending up like the current Leafs team – structurally a non-playoff team that occasionally makes the playoffs when they get lucky.

    I’m inclined to stick with Eakins because his public statements suggest that he understands this. But even if you replace him with a veteran or Todd Nelson or whatever the flavour of the month is, there should be no illusions – if the team is going to be something more than a younger version of the Leafs, the top players need to buy in to playing a two way game.

  97. icecastles says:

    PunjabiOil: This is Tahiri square.

    Even comparing these things is beyond tasteless.

  98. Lummeropenet84 says:

    LMHF#1,

    I’d trade Eberle for Jamie Benn.

  99. Shake_N_Bake says:

    There is one other factor that is being conveniently overlooked. Yes, the organization sucks yes the coaching sucks etc. But there is another common thread. Taylor Hall has undermined every coach during his tenure with the Oilers. Ok, he has magnificent boxcars but there is a reason that no one stands up for him when the other team surrounds him.

    Taylor Hall is the Oilers version of Alexi Yashin. Until this problem is fixed none of the other fixes will amount to any difference.

  100. icecastles says:

    stevezie: The coaching staff hasn’t done much to show that they would win with a good roster, but since this isn’t a good roster, it is hard to say for sure.
    I am stunned at the degree to which some of you are ignoring the early-season goaltending. No team could have overcome that. None.

    Agreed. One of the things this team has shown over the past several years is extreme fragility. Kreuger commented on it after that fantastic win streak last year, that even the success put so much self-generated pressure on them that they started to freeze up.

    The lack of confidence and resilience of the team has been an issue for some time and when you have a season start like the Oilers had with their goaltending (and the early injuries), I think the writing was on the wall that it was going to spell enormous trouble.

    I’ve been a wholehearted supporter of the tear-them-down, build-them-back-up approach that I believe was being employed this year. But it’s becoming increasingly apparent that with this group, the ‘tear them down’ part was a whole lot easier than the ‘build them up’ part.

  101. Lowetide says:

    Lummeropenet84:
    LMHF#1,

    I’d trade Eberle for Jamie Benn.

    Sure. But you’d help your team more by trading Eberle for an NHL defenseman with some experience and a bright future. That’s why dealing Hemsky was such a poor play. If the Oilers were serious about turning north next season, that’s the play.

  102. FastOil says:

    pboy:
    I just finished watching Hall’s post game interview and he handled himself very well and with a ton of class. This organization needs to put all of their chips into the middle with Hall and if that means Eakins and MacT go, so be it. The top of this organization should sit down with a 22 year old and take some notes on how to deal with the media.

    So true

  103. stevezie says:

    oliveoilers: Fourth paragraph: Unfortunately this is an argument usually seen in politics when the party in power does something stupid; it’s the voters fault that we’re in power. Shouldn’t have voted for us.

    Hey, if you’re trying to say that management gets paid to know better than idiot fans like me you’ll get no argument here. They do, and they should.

    But I find it tempers the outrage to remind myself that I asked for this. Sort of.

    I’m not sure any team has voluntarily committed to tanking as hard as the oilers did, and I doubt any team ever will again. It’s hard to gut your system and then just decide to be good again.

  104. LMHF#1 says:

    Lowetide: Sure. But you’d help your team more by trading Eberle for an NHL defenseman with some experience and a bright future. That’s why dealing Hemsky was such a poor play. If the Oilers were serious about turning north next season, that’s the play.

    I wouldn’t trade Eberle. My absolute keepers are actually he and Yakupov, but I’m nuts.

    Hall for Backes.
    Hopkins for D.
    FA #2 C
    Offer sheet Subban.

    Bam!

    Hahaha.

  105. gcw_rocks says:

    I still pine for Lindy Ruff. MacT was an idiot for adding the risk associated with a rookie head coach into the mix this year.

  106. Woodguy says:

    Marcus Oilerius:
    Woodguy,

    Wasn’t Eakins reluctant to play Smid, though?

    I remember Smid getting like 13-17 minutes a night.

    Smid mostly played his normal role to start.

    Eakins started moving him around a bit before he got traded.

    Smid’s 5v5 TOI w/ EDM D partners this year:

    Petry – 173 min
    Larsen – 30 min
    Nultz – 26 min
    Jultz – 8 min

  107. Glock9 says:

    gcw_rocks:
    I still pine for Lindy Ruff.MacT was an idiot for adding the risk associated with a rookie head coach into the mix this year.

    But look at this resume…He made the playoffs…….Hahahah

    2005-06 Toronto Marlies AHL Assistant
    2006-07 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL Assistant
    2007-08 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL Assistant
    2009-10 Toronto Marlies AHL Head 80 33 35 0 12 0.488 Out of Playoffs
    2010-11 Toronto Marlies AHL Head 80 37 32 0 11 0.531 Out of Playoffs
    2011-12 Toronto Marlies AHL Head 76 44 24 0 8 0.632 Lost in Finals
    2012-13 Toronto Marlies AHL Head 76 43 23 0 10 0.632 Lost in round 2

  108. Wes Mantooth-11 says:

    Woodguy,

    You summed the defence up very well, I question the forwards as well. Is it fair to say, the so called first line should actually still be a second line with sheltered minutes and still learning?

    Is this not putting a massive amount of pressure and responsibility on 20 year olds to play against men?

    Would the season have been all that different had Horcoff -Hemsky and say Peron who playthe heavy minutes instead of kids?

    Should Yakupov be in Jr or learning in the KHL like Kuznetsov?

    Is our third line actually a really good forth line? Nashville had Hendricks between the two lines but IIRC he was mostly forth.

    In PHX would Gordon still be a third?

    It seems our whole team is out of position.

    That’s my worry about MacTavish and his ability to judge talent.

  109. G Money says:

    icecastles: I’ve been a wholehearted supporter of the tear-them-down, build-them-back-up approach that I believe was being employed this year. But it’s becoming increasingly apparent that with this group, the ‘tear them down’ part was a whole lot easier than the ‘build them up’ part.

    It’s not so much the what as the how.

    In today’s cap-constrained world, the theory is that you can only build a core of hyper-talented players through the draft. I believe this is true. And the way you get those hyper-talented players is by tanking in order to pick high in the draft.

    The problem is the ‘how’.

    If you’re going to build that core, you *have* to include some hyper-talented defensemen! Or at least one. So if you’re going to tank, you’ve got to get and keep as many early draft picks as you can, and then draft as many D as you can in the 10-50 slot (where you can find more D gems than O gems).

    So part one of this rebuilds failures can be tied to the 2007 and 2008 drafts when guys like Karlsson, Del Zotto, Voynov, Gardiner, Josi, McDonagh, Shattenkirk, and Subban were all available in the 10-50 slots, and the Oilers came away with Plante.

    Secondly, during the “tank” years, you need to be building the veteran core of your team – the third and fourth lines and the second and third pairing D – that can do the heavy lifting and the sheltering once your talented newbies show up. Of course, the Oilers made it a speciality during the Tambo years to give those types of guys away for a song.

    The double irony to that is that kind of “heavy lifting but no high-end talent” type of team is exactly what Lowe and MacT specialized in building and then maximizing the results out of for years and years during the pre-cap years when the Oilers were a farm team for the big money teams like the Leafs, Rangers, and Wings.

    So here we are… Year 5? Year 8? of InfiniBuild, trying to build the D and the heavy lifters that should have been in place the day Hall got here. (And some of them were in place but we let them go for nothing)

  110. vesci says:

    I will confess to being very frustrated, to a point of wishing I didn’t care. The worst part is I do.

    I have read every blog all year and most of the comments and many good points have been made.

    1. We don’t have enough NHL D-men
    2. The ones we have are being asked to play in roles currently above their capabilities
    3. Gagner has not learned to play defence as a centre or doesn’t care enough to do it
    4. There is a disconnect between Yak and the coach (we speculate as to who is at fault)
    5. I am not sure we all agree with the roles given Nuge ( lots of PK and 2nd PP)
    6. Goaltending hurt the Oilers early and has been good lately for the most part
    7. Some players, see Arcobello maybe haven’t been given a fair shake
    8. Others, see Fraser and Acton were or have been given too much rope

    This is just a smattering of the issues and problems we almost all agree exist. I am sure many others could be added.

    What is disheartening to me is I am not sure how the Oilers go about solving these and the other issues we see. The problems are many and often suggestions to solve 1 create other issues. I am having a hard time seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. I fear it is years away and may necessitate a drastic change in course, akin to “firing the team”.

    I know this sounds all doom and gloom, but I am having problems seeing an easy fix.

    I am hoping Mac T (who I do think is a smart hockey man) has some great ideas and a clear vision. I just want to see progress. Something I haven’t seen in at least a few years.

  111. edmoil3 says:

    Can someone tell me how Ralph Krueger had a lesser team?

  112. Gino says:

    Just some of my thoughts:

    I’m not defending him but I’m sure Katz is just as passionate about the team as any fan is and wants a winner as bad as any of us do but he needs to really look at who is running things in the organization from the top all the way down. Eakins may or not be the answer but I’ll give him the benefit of starting next year with the current upgrades in goal, and possible future upgrades on defence and our forwards. As someone mentioned here earlier Scotty Bowman would have problems with this group. It’s time to do some gardening this off season and rid ourselves of some clubhouse weeds. No doubt changes and hard decisions will need to be made in the off season and let’s hope the ones currently in charge make the correct moves as IMO this off season will decide the future of this franchise with future management and personal. Everyone I believe is in agreement that our defence has too many bodies playing too high in the batting order and if this isn’t addressed and we continue then we should expect the same results next year. Our top six can not compete against the Blues, Kings, Ducks, Sharks, etc. and we could possibly see three of the six changed here (possibly a LA KING type move ala Simmonds, Schenn and 2nd round pick for Richards) during the draft. Our bottom six has two legitimate 3rd liners Gordon and Smyth and one of them a natural left winger his whole career is playing center on the fourth line how screwed up is that? There have been some positives with the two new goalies acquired take away last nights misfortune. The Oiler teams of the early to mid 90’s were so painful to watch I gave up my season tickets but they were nowhere near some of the talent on the current team. So cooler minds will prevail it’s only one game as painful as it was to watch and we will get over it after all we are Oiler fans and no matter if Katz or Lowe burn it to the ground we will continue to watch and cheer whether it’s in the building at home or in a local bar we will always be there to voice our opinions.

  113. Jon K says:

    gcw_rocks:
    I still pine for Lindy Ruff.MacT was an idiot for adding the risk associated with a rookie head coach into the mix this year.

    The same Lindy Ruff that benched Hall at the WCs and said he had maturity problems? I wonder why MacT would ever pick a hard-ass rookie coach over an experienced veteran like Ruff. Heh.

  114. oliveoilers says:

    stevezie: Hey, if you’re trying to say that management gets paid to know better than idiot fans like me you’ll get no argument here. They do, and they should.

    But I find it tempers the outrage to remind myself that I asked for this. Sort of.

    I’m not sure any team has voluntarily committed to tanking as hard as the oilers did, and I doubt any team ever will again. It’s hard to gut your system and then just decide to be good again.

    I think it irks me more that we (the fans) didn’t ask for this par se. We were told what needed to be done, in the opinion of the Hockey professionals managing the club, and we trusted them. And why wouldn’t we? It’s either incompetence, negligence or malice and I’m really hoping it’s not the latter, more of a mix of the two former. You are so right in that it’s not a big switch we throw when we think we’re ready for the play-offs and ‘hey presto’ – play-offs!

    The worse thing is that the fans seem to have no way of redress. The management make the right noises, but “cast ye into the pit” should you criticise. Therefore more extreme forms of dissent are manifest. They shouldn’t be punching bags, but if they are to display pride of the ice, then display some on it.

  115. prairieschooner says:

    Ralph was also a rookie coach in the NHL and there were aspects to his coaching that we were starting to question. The idea of adding some help was probably a good one but MacT wanted to be judged by his results and felt he needed his own Head Coach so Ralph had to go. I respect MacT for making that tough decision.
    How is it that Columbus with their draft picks and new management have been able to turn their franchise around to where they are today and yet the Oilers with their 1st overalls have not?
    Can we stop blaming the players for the culture of the team. We have changed the players to the point we are now targeting our youngest players as being the problem

  116. justDOit says:

    Just watched Hendricks on After Hours (starts around the 16:00 mark). Good interview.

  117. magisterrex says:

    Shake_N_Bake:
    There is one other factor that is being conveniently overlooked. Yes, the organization sucks yes the coaching sucks etc. But there is another common thread. Taylor Hall has undermined every coach during his tenure with the Oilers. Ok, he has magnificent boxcars but there is a reason that no one stands up for him when the other team surrounds him.

    Taylor Hall is the Oilers version of Alexi Yashin. Until this problem is fixed none of the other fixes will amount to any difference.

    Been reluctantly considering this viewpoint lately. Could Hall be the problem?

  118. justDOit says:

    edmoil3:
    Can someone tell me how Ralph Krueger had a lesser team?

    Off the top of my head: Hordichuck, Eager, Brown, Whitney, Peckham…

  119. Jon K says:

    Lowetide:
    Second part of the mock draft

    http://www.puckrant.com/slapshot/MOCK_DRAFT_2014_PART_2

    Interesting mock drafts, fun to read. If you’re right Calgary will have quite the duo down the middle with Monahan and Draisaitl. Big, skilled.

    I didn’t like Monahan much in his draft year and you were always high on him. I similarly don’t like Draisaitl much this year, his skating is poor. Could very well be wrong on him too. Thinking about this doesn’t help my mood concerning the Oilers.

    Was there any reason that you dropped Perlini down so far? More recent reports seem to have him moving up the draft rankings. Size, skating and skill is a nice combination for teams not in the top 5.

  120. RexLibris says:

    Those pining for Krueger are, albeit understandably, mistaken.

    If we want to wallow in coulda-shoulda-woulda then the Oilers should have kept Renney. Or not wasted the 2007 draft. Or not gutted their development process by farming out all of their prospects to different organizations. Or have decided that trading Kyle Brodziak was a wise idea.

    If you want to discuss the things this organization ought to have done differently, starting with Krueger is the bass ackwards way of going about it.

  121. Oilanderp says:

    The following is taken from a lovely article titled “Theory and Observation in Science” in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:

    Perceptual Theory Loading. Perceptual psychologists, Bruner and Postman, found that subjects who were briefly shown anomalous playing cards, e.g., a black four of hearts, reported having seen their normal counterparts. e.g., a red four of hearts. It took repeated exposures to get them to say the anomalous cards didn’t look right, and eventually, to describe them correctly. (Kuhn 1962, 63). Kuhn took such studies to indicate that things don’t look the same to observers with different conceptual resources. If so, black hearts didn’t look like black hearts until repeated exposures somehow allowed the subjects to acquire the concept of a black heart. By analogy, Kuhn supposed, when observers working in conflicting paradigms look at the same thing, their conceptual limitations should keep them from having the same visual experiences (Kuhn 1962, 111, 113–114, 115, 120–1).

    I bring this up because I fear that most of us are seeing what we want to see or ignoring what we do not want to see. We all love this team, and want to see it succeed. We want to see it fixed and many of us have theories as to what is going wrong.

    There are many camps. The ‘fire the coach’ camps. The ‘our roster isn’t good enough’ camps (which can of course be subdivided variously into the ‘we need d’ division, the ‘our forwards are too small’ division, the ‘we don’t have the right mix’, the ‘not enough 2-way fwds’ camp, and so on. We have the related ‘our core is too young and inexperienced’ proponents as well as the boisterous ‘Fire Lowe’ family.

    I’m sure there are several I have missed.

    Just be careful where you swing your machete out there kids. MacT is standing in the middle of a field of 8′ tall grass and has the task of cutting us out of it. I hope to holy hell that he takes the time to see more than just what he wants to see.

  122. Alex T says:

    I was the first one to mention Ralph. I didn’t actually mean Ralph Krueger the coach. I meant Ralph Krueger the leadership style. So let’s call Ralph “Carrots” and Dallas “Sticks”.

    This bag skate em, bench em, call em out in the press, break em down & build em up style of management may have worked in the 1900′s. But it doesn’t anymore. Even Hitchcock said he had to change his style.

    Do you want that kind of leadership for your kids? I doubt it. And these players are kids (at least I sure was at their age).

    Sticks won’t get you “buy in” on defense first hockey. But Carrots might.

    See much “buy in” last night for Coach Sticks?

  123. Woodguy says:

    Wes Mantooth-11: You summed the defence up very well, I question the forwards as well. Is it fair to say, the so called first line should actually still be a second line with sheltered minutes and still learning

    Mike chimed in on twitter with a good answer to this:

    Michael Parkatti ‏@mparkatti 1h
    I have a lot of time for the crappy Defence theory. Look what happens when “clueless” forwards play with quality:

    Here’s the pic he posted:

    https://twitter.com/mparkatti/status/447803301132660736/photo/1

  124. eidy says:

    So NYI won today to distance themselves a bit. They also have one game with Florida. Given the way the season has gone, to get another piece is all that could be hoped for. I’m not sure that the record for the next 10 games means much to the start of next year. They feel like they have had a good run and athletes have a short memory. If they start off the year next year strongly, the verbal will change to “the oilers have turned the corner…”. It is how it works, winning clears all evils and losing feeds the negativity. My preference would be Ekblad or Draisaitl, but Reinhart or Bennet is fine too. Seems like there is top 4 this year much like there was a top 7 last year and the Oilers will likely get one of them.

    As for the debacle last night…. whatever. I stopped worrying about individual games a few months ago. I’m interested on who can successfully fill some of the numerous holes next year when it comes to the young chaps. Marincin is locked in for the top 6 on D, Lander has done enough in my opinion to land on the bottom 6. Klefbom has shown some real flashes of brilliance on D, but needs some more seasoning in the AHL. I am hopeful that they will sign Arco to a bottom 6 role and that Pitlick will end up in the AHL.

    I am ready to see them move on for Gagner and feel that they are bumping up his value with perron and hall on his line. He is a former #6 overall and his name has some regard around the league. Hopefully they can get something resembling an asset for him. He is my sure thing to go this summer. I can’t handle watching the cute, behind the back low percentage passes in the offensive end nor the complete inability to play centre in the defensive end. I’m sure Perron is sick of covering the slot/centre responsibilities as well. It seems as though Samwise can skate much faster away from his net than towards it. Of all the guys, he is the one that plays most like he is still in Junior.

    For the defence, adding 2 top 4 options would be outstanding, but I suspect it will be more like one top 4 and then a 3rd pairing guy like Ranger. That would push klefbom to the AHL and Nurse back to Junior. Seeing the last of Fraser can happen anytime now. Yikes, he is epic bad on the backend. Poor Klefbom.

    On the Hall-Eakins explosion, I think both are at fault. Hall this year has frequently shown bizarre signs of emotion. Smashing sticks, slamming the door, screaming/cursing, he needs to grow up. If he is going to be the leader of this crew he needs to find a different way to deal with his frustration. Right now it looks like he is having temper tantrums on the ice and that is not the signs of someone that should be wearing the C. I would like to see him be more inclusive as right now the perception is that he likes his buddies of Eberle, RNH, Shultz. If he is going to lead this team, he needs Yak on board. If he can’t or doesn’t want him on board, there is the problem

    With regards to Eakins, what a stubborn, stubborn man. It is frequently a pissing match with him. How someone can sound so smart in the pregame and pressers, and behave the way he does at other times is perplexing. Hopefully he can get rid of Bucky and Smith and bring in some actual NHL coaches. I don’t think the coach will be changed again this soon, so someone has to pay.

    For MacT, I think there has been more good than bad. The one trade I will have trouble getting over is Hemsky. Man what a player. talent, bought into the system. sigh… The moves for Perron, Scrivens, Fasth (although could have probably bought low on Reimer), Hendricks, Broissant, and even Gazdic range from great to fine. On the other hand SMac, not grabbing more established D and C, offer to Clarkson are pretty worrisome decisions. Hopefully he will make some moves to grab a 2 C and 2 top 4 D. Otherwise, Croydon will look all to familiar

  125. oliveoilers says:

    Woodguy: Mike chimed in on twitter with a good answer to this:

    Michael Parkatti ‏@mparkatti1h
    I have a lot of time for the crappy Defence theory. Look what happens when “clueless” forwards play with quality:

    Here’s the pic he posted:

    https://twitter.com/mparkatti/status/447803301132660736/photo/1

    I had a idea when Marincin started playing that he was Lennon and Petry was McCartney….

  126. Woodguy says:

    For those who don’t like links, I’ll try to sum up what Mike posted.

    Here’s all the “crappy” Oiler forward’s CF% with and without Marincin.

    This is a good proxy for “decent D” as Petry’s sample is polluted with a lot of time with shitty partners, whereas Marincin has mostly played with Petry.

    Remember that if Marincin and Petry are on the ice, often so is the opposition’s best:

    Oiler forward CF% with Marinicin & Without Marincin

    GAGNER, SAM 49.9 42.8
    PERRON, DAVID 49.4 45.3
    HALL, TAYLOR 51.6 42.9
    EBERLE, JORDAN 50.8 44.9
    NUGENT-HOPKINS, RYAN 52.9 43.5
    GORDON, BOYD 45.8 41.4
    SMYTH, RYAN 51 45.6
    YAKUPOV, NAIL 48.9 44
    HENDRICKS, MATT 48.6 41.1
    HEMSKY, ALES 43.6 48.8
    JONES, RYAN 50.7 40.9
    GAZDIC, LUKE 42.5 37.2
    JOENSUU, JESSE 48.4 43
    LANDER, ANTON 50.8 42.7
    ARCOBELLO, MARK 53.8 47.8

    Pretty black and white eh?

    You can talk shitty coach and shitty systems until you are blue in the face, but with a reasonable D pair behind them this teams runs at around 50%CF on the top two lines, and the 3rd line is getting the Maholtra treatment.

    The only player who was better away from Marincin was Hemsky.

    No wonder they traded him!!!

    :)

    Seriously though.

    Its the roster.

  127. Woodguy says:

    oliveoilers: I had a idea when Marincin started playing that he was Lennon and Petry was McCartney….

    If they are the Oiler’s 2nd pair with Ference/Shultz as the 3rd pair, this team is miles and miles ahead of where they are now.

  128. Woodguy says:

    Wes Mantooth-11,

    There is no question that they need to upgrade 1/2C.

    Another good winger in who wins puck battles will help too.

    I just hope that MacT spends most of his assets and money on 1LD, 1RD, 1/2C.

    They rest is relatively easy to fix if those 3 are acquired.

    You could probably cheat and slot Petry in as 1RD, but I think they should aim higher.

  129. FastOil says:

    Oilanderp,

    “Just be careful where you swing your machete out there kids. MacT is standing in the middle of a field of 8′ tall grass and has the task of cutting us out of it. I hope to holy hell that he takes the time to see more than just what he wants to see.”

    This is very true but he/they seem to buy into current fallacies like ‘need a big centre’. It concerns me. The team doesn’t need a big centre, it needs a ‘good ready right now NHL’ centre. It doesn’t need a ‘stud’ D, it needs 3 more NHL D. It doesn’t need bigger players, it needs more aggressive and willing to compete physically players.

    The grass isn’t that tall really. It’s more that it’s hard to move when you tie your shoes together.

    I bet Woodguy with his business skill could come out of the summer with a decent NHL ready centre, a winger that can play corners and 3 NHL competent D. That’s about all that is needed and even adequate ability would revolutionize the team.

  130. Woodguy says:

    G Money:
    Wow, this “Krueger was a good coach” nonsense has really taken on a zombie-like aspect.Fuckin’ thing just won’t die.I get that people’s memories are unreliable, but this borders on the delusional.

    Just to bring us back to some of the glorious Ralph moments of last year, I took the liberty of going to NHL.com and pulling out some comments from last years post-game thread after the disheartening, putrid, horrifying 6-0 to Nashville.It was as shameful a game as the Calgary loss was.Most of the comments are made by flat out idiots, BUT the point here is to refresh memories about the debacle that was last year.Some choice comments for you (these are either full comments OR excerpts, but each line break separates a different comment):


    I dont agree to trade all of our young players, all they need are tougher players to play with them and an NHL caliber coach.


    Sadly Oilers issues right now have nothing to do with shortened season and all about systems, tactics, motivations, and effort. The coachs have failed on the first 3 and thus the players failing on the last one because of it.

    The coach and management needs to be in a psych ward.

    Agree completely, Nick Schultz is one of the biggest weak links. But the coach can’t get anything out of any of the players.

    Of course Krueger shrugs it off and says his famous line “this will be a good test of character”… We’ll be testing our character for many years to come.

    its not rocket science, its CANADIAN HOCKEY!!!
    Krueger should have a sit down with Don Cherry lol
    Reply 2 replies

    Not suprisingly we have a European makeup and style, wonder where that came from lol. It doesn’t work in the NHL Kruger. lol

    Then I watch the Oilers, just expecting those things to be executed naturally, and they surprisingly don’t do any of those things. I don’t know if its the system Krueger has implemented or they lost their instincts, but they are the only team in the world that don’t do the things that you ave to do in their sport. They did those things in the past, last year and the years before that and never had to worry about that because that issue never crossed my mind until I watched the Oilers this season.

    I literally watch a period and feel like they did and accomplished nothing, yet they still say they play well. We can turn this around if we start hitting, shooting, passing, and playing, in other words competing. We have a good team, but we can’t just focus on one extremely boring playing style every night, we need need to be multi-dimensional in our approach to every game.

    The issue I see is that the issues are ongoing. This is a management and coaching problem. Krueger is obviously not the right guy for this team.

    I agree that throwing specific players under the bus is innapropriate when the team as a whole is losing. I agree that a coaching change could be a necessary spark. I also agree that wanting to trade away our talent is not only useless but crippling.

    I see frustration in this team when they lose. I don’t believe they think it is OK to lose. I do think that they have some REALLY bad habits and when the system doesn’t yeild immediate results in a game they all fall into those bad habits.

    Yeah, and if we do we would trade that pick. Acquisitions won’t help this team. I said before that acquiring a grinder won’t do anything. It’s the teams general mentality of holding back. Literally wasting games because they think they have a good system in fact they don’t even know who they are. They expect wins to just come and their game to just come, in fact you have to work for those things.

    Sorry but if you find no problem with the coaching this year, maybe you should go watch SEL and forget about the big leagues cause thats how our team is being coached. Like a SEL team rather then a NHL team.

    We need a NHL coach for our NHL team.
    Until thats done its crazy talk to blame players for +/- scores

    Last year we could blame the players as Renney was doing everything to get these guys success
    This year its clear they have stopped listening and dont care anymore cause the coach has lost the team support.

    Match lines you coaches and give the young guys a chance. Look at the +/- . The same with the defense pairings , let them earn their way before any changes..

    Fire Krueger. NOW!!!

    its more than just the coach

    Replace the coach

    bag skate them and the coach

    Maybe Katz hired the most incompetent people he knew to sabotage this team??? MacT wasn’t hired by any other team to coach because he’s not that good. Will be shocked if Renney ever coaches again in the NHL (as head coach). Krueger takes the cake. I think most fans in Edmonton could do a better job. The players can play, we’ve all seen it. But they have no motivation and now I think are trying to lose.

    <3

  131. Lloyd B. says:

    Woodguy,

    All we need is three more just like him ! It’s odd the only player that played worse with him was Hemsky if I am reading things correctly.

    edit. You posted this faster than I did. you are talking to your self :)

  132. admiralmark says:

    Woodguy says:
    March 23, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    For those who don’t like links, I’ll try to sum up what Mike posted.

    Here’s all the “crappy” Oiler forward’s CF% with and without Marincin.

    This is a good proxy for “decent D” as Petry’s sample is polluted with a lot of time with shitty partners, whereas Marincin has mostly played with Petry.

    Remember that if Marincin and Petry are on the ice, often so is the opposition’s best:

    Oiler forward CF% with Marinicin & Without Marincin

    GAGNER, SAM 49.9 42.8
    PERRON, DAVID 49.4 45.3
    HALL, TAYLOR 51.6 42.9
    EBERLE, JORDAN 50.8 44.9
    NUGENT-HOPKINS, RYAN 52.9 43.5
    GORDON, BOYD 45.8 41.4
    SMYTH, RYAN 51 45.6
    YAKUPOV, NAIL 48.9 44
    HENDRICKS, MATT 48.6 41.1
    HEMSKY, ALES 43.6 48.8
    JONES, RYAN 50.7 40.9
    GAZDIC, LUKE 42.5 37.2
    JOENSUU, JESSE 48.4 43
    LANDER, ANTON 50.8 42.7
    ARCOBELLO, MARK 53.8 47.8

    Pretty black and white eh?

    You can talk shitty coach and shitty systems until you are blue in the face, but with a reasonable D pair behind them this teams runs at around 50%CF on the top two lines, and the 3rd line is getting the Maholtra treatment.

    The only player who was better away from Marincin was Hemsky.

    No wonder they traded him!!!

    Seriously though.

    Its the roster.

    Ok you’ve converted me. that being said would you conclude the wise choice is to stick with Eakins with some tweaks to his Asst’s or despite all this is he also part of the problem here in your opinion?

  133. Woodguy says:

    I will say this about RK.

    From what I hear he was a very positive upbeat person.

    Eakins is very serious.

    The way it was put to me is that “coming to the rink hasn’t been much fun as you get bad cop or bad cop and sometimes the players need the mood to be light”

    Now this was said at the end of the Dubnyk era.

    Winning, even via goaltending while getting outshot, still lightens the mood at the rink.

    I think it would be wise to let Eakins fill out the coaching staff with some fresh faces, some experienced faces and at least one “good cop” who has a significant voice.

  134. Woodguy says:

    Lloyd B.:
    Woodguy,

    All we need is three more just like him !It’s odd the only player that played worse with him was Hemsky if I am reading things correctly.

    Yes and yes.

  135. Woodguy says:

    “Steve Smith”: This team needs Pat Quinn!

    You need to post more.

  136. oliveoilers says:

    Woodguy: If they are the Oiler’s 2nd pair with Ference/Shultz as the 3rd pair, this team is miles and miles ahead of where they are now.

    Agreed. Even Marincin’s mistakes seem to be low percentage. Last night’s pinch was bad, but he had Hall and Petry covering as they should. I doubt he expected Petry to “human curling stone” it. If the teams one goal up, nobody notices. (lol) one on two (Cammi vs Hall & Petry). Teams are odd man rushing us with one player.

    Also, though the Kelfbom had a good game by eye. I checked his stats, they’re not terrible for someone with his experience.

  137. Andy P says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Looking for positives, I’m hoping last night proves to be a turning point for Hall. Healey tore him a new one on after hours last night with a collection of clips showing Hall’s consistent and complete lack of interest in playing a two way game last night. Having that broadcast on national tv should be an embarrassment to the young man, and it’s probably one that’s long overdue. Combine that with the tantrum on the bench (what is that saying to your teammates exactly?) and his continual habit of dodging any personal accountability in the post game presses, and the package doesn’t really scream leadership & captaincy to me.

    Thing with firing Eakins: if the players were playing well but not getting any results, you could rationalize a coaching move but the so-called phenoms suck! What’s he supposed to do? Bench half the team? They’ve been making the same boneheaded mistakes and cutting corners on defensive effort for 4 years & 3 coaches.

    The problem IS the players not the coaching.

    More precisely, the problem is the coach killers among the young core. Until they fix or trade those players this team has no chance of succeeding.

  138. flyfish1168 says:

    I have been on eakins case as far back as the end of November. I have given up hope that he really is a good coach or a difference maker in making this team better this year. Without a doubt we have taken a step backwards with eakins. The Marlies are still winning without him. Even after he brought along all their supposedly better players to the Oilers.

    eakins needs to reset himself and don’t be so argot ,he is not that great a coach. His theories are great but doesn’t know how to implement it.

    Taylor throwing the water bottle is childish but you can coach him to channel it to his play on the ice not scold and bench him. That is not good coaching coach. An opportunity lost there.

    It was a mistake to let Renney go and it was an even worst mistake to let Krueger go. But we must now live with eakins and have some continuity . He is obviously over his head and was not ready to be a head coach. MacT needs to step up and get him some help and yes some better assistant coaching help too

  139. gogliano says:

    Woodguy:
    For those who don’t like links, I’ll try to sum up what Mike posted.

    Here’s all the “crappy” Oiler forward’s CF% with and without Marincin.

    This is a good proxy for “decent D” as Petry’s sample is polluted with a lot of time with shitty partners, whereas Marincin has mostly played with Petry.

    Remember that if Marincin and Petry are on the ice, often so is the opposition’s best:

    Oiler forward CF% with Marinicin & Without Marincin

    GAGNER, SAM49.942.8
    PERRON, DAVID49.445.3
    HALL, TAYLOR51.642.9
    EBERLE, JORDAN50.844.9
    NUGENT-HOPKINS, RYAN52.943.5
    GORDON, BOYD45.841.4
    SMYTH, RYAN5145.6
    YAKUPOV, NAIL48.944
    HENDRICKS, MATT48.641.1
    HEMSKY, ALES43.648.8
    JONES, RYAN50.740.9
    GAZDIC, LUKE42.537.2
    JOENSUU, JESSE48.443
    LANDER, ANTON50.842.7
    ARCOBELLO, MARK53.847.8

    Pretty black and white eh?

    You can talk shitty coach and shitty systems until you are blue in the face, but with a reasonable D pair behind them this teams runs at around 50%CF on the top two lines, and the 3rd line is getting the Maholtra treatment.

    The only player who was better away from Marincin was Hemsky.

    No wonder they traded him!!!

    Seriously though.

    Its the roster.

    That Czech-Slovak rift runs deep.

  140. Lloyd B. says:

    Now that the goaltending is “fixed” the concentration really needs to be turned onto the defence. Warts and all the forward group would be OK with three more Marincins as is shown in the graph provided by WG.. Even two would be fine. Then MacT will be able to assess what he has without looking through the forest and trade something to plug the holes. We may only be three years away from something good. Pass the scotch please.

  141. Bank Shot says:

    The Oilers could have added another veteran D-man last summer not of the long shot Grebeshkov, Larsen, Belov variety.

    Some of us were begging for the Oilers to add someone to push Jultz down the roster. I found it strange that some here expected him to play like a top four this year.

    Now they are starting off behind the 8-ball yet again. They need to add the veteran D they didn’t add last summer, replace Smid and Hemsky, and somehow make even more improvements to the roster on to[p of that to get the Oilers near respectability.

  142. godot10 says:

    edmoil3:
    Can someone tell me how Ralph Krueger had a lesser team?

    **** Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, Eberle, Yakupov, J. Schultz all one year less experienced.
    **** Horcoff < Gordon;
    **** Paajarvi < Perron
    Hemsky, Gagner, Smyth, Smid, N. Schultz, Petry, Jones, Potter: established NHL players.
    Khabibulin is roughly equivalent to LaBarbara.
    Dubnyk = Dubnyk
    **** Belanger < Arcobello or Lander // Balanger = Acton
    Petrell < Joenssu
    Brown < Gazdic
    **** Whitney < Ference
    Fistric ~ Larsen, Belov,
    **** Denied a proven assistant coach

    Krueger maximized the potential of an awful roster.

  143. denny33 says:

    Woodguy,

    Great post, thanks.

    Very telling…

  144. godot10 says:

    Glock9: But look at this resume…He made the playoffs…….Hahahah

    2005-06Toronto MarliesAHLAssistant
    2006-07Toronto Maple LeafsNHLAssistant
    2007-08Toronto Maple LeafsNHLAssistant
    2009-10Toronto MarliesAHLHead8033350120.488Out of Playoffs
    2010-11Toronto MarliesAHLHead8037320110.531Out of Playoffs
    2011-12Toronto MarliesAHLHead764424080.632Lost in Finals
    2012-13Toronto MarliesAHLHead7643230100.632Lost in round 2

    It is all Scrivens fault! -).

    He stole the playoff series when Nelson’s Barons led by the best forward on the ice, Teemu Hartikainen, and with 5 ECHL defensemen and Bryan Helmer outplayed a stacked Eakins Marlies’ roster, with three D with NHL contracts (Gardiner, Holzner, Fraser) plus Kadri, Frattin, Hamilton, Acton.

  145. fifthcartel says:

    godot10,

    Wasn’t Petrell some weird PK demi-god?

    I would take him over Gazdic easily, although only giving him barely any 5v5 time and almost exclusively PK time.

  146. Jasmine says:

    fuzzy muppet:
    An abject disaster of a season. Eakins cannot and should not survive this.

    Good riddance

    When are Oilers fans going to grow up and stop running players, coaches, GMs and presidents out of town. Oilers fans are the reason players and coaches won’t sign in Edmonton as they don’t want to be run out of town by the Edmonton media and Oilers fans.

    Players won’t sign in Edmonton because of the Edmonton media and Oilers fans as they need a sacapgoat and always run players out of town. Now Oilers fans also run coaches out of town.

    The Oilers problem is 5 coaches in 6 years. Oilers fans can’t expect the players to learn a new system every season and expect wins. If Oilers fans are so smart, why aren’t Oilers fans coach.
    Coaches will not sign in Edmonton because they’ll get run out of town by Oilers fans.

    Ron Lowe, Craig MacTavish, Pat Quinn, Tom Renney and Ralph Krueger were run out of town, especially Tom Renney. I remember an article that said the Oilers would make a big mistake if they fired Tom Renney. That article was 100% correct. Ralph Krueger benched players for fighting. Pat Quinn threw players under the bus. Only good coach they had prior to this season was Tom Renney and he was run out of town by Oilers fans.

    Coaches are run out of town by Oilers fans and players are run out of town by the Edmonton medIa and Oilers fans.

    Name one team in the NHL that has success when they have 5 coaches in 6 years. There isn’t one. Out of 30 teams, there isn’t a single team that has had 5 coaches in 6 years.

    Oilers fans need to stop running coaches. Vet coaches will not sign in Edmonton and that’s why the Oilers are stuck with rookie coaches. Vet coaches would rather be unemployed than sign in Edmonton just to be run out of town by Oilers fans.

    Players will eventually demand a trade if Oilers fans and the Edmonton media constantly run players out of town. Oilers. Oilers fans deserve a team worse than the 1974 Washington Capitals.

    Ever since Slats left, the Oilers have been bashed non-stop, 24/7. I wish Slats was never GM as he spoiled the fans. According to Oilers fans, Slats could do no wrong and was constantly praised for everything. Ever since Slats, left the Oilers could do no wrong and get bashed for everything even if the Oilers fleece the other team.

    If OIlers fans are so smart, why don’t they become coach and see how good they are instead of being a couch potato and bash every move the team makes because Slats is no longer the GM. Enough bashing and running players and coaches out of town by the Edmonton media and Oilers fans.

  147. denny33 says:

    Jasmine,

    Then……Just Win Baby! ( Al Davis quote )

  148. Jasmine says:

    OilClog:
    For the record Id take a one legged Ryan Whitney back before a two legged Fraser.

    Ryan Whitney was run out of town by the Edmonton media like all other players are run out of town by the Edmonton media. Players won’t sign in Edmonton because they know they’ll get run out of town by the Edmonton media. Ray Whitney said he didn’t sign in Edmonton because of Oilers fans when Lowe wanted to sign in Edmonton. Oilers fans are the reason players won’t sign in Edmonton as they know they’ll get run out of town by the Edmonton media and Oilers fans.

  149. G Money says:

    Jasmine: Ryan Whitney was run out of town by the Edmonton media like all other players are run out of town by the Edmonton media.

    Ryan Whitney left because he only had one leg, and you can’t play NHL defense with one leg.

    It also means he didn’t run out of town, he hopped.

  150. denny33 says:

    godot10,

    Roster comparison,

    Hartikanen, Eager, Hordichuck, Horcoff, MPS, Belanger….Van de Velde, Smithson, Petrell, Mike Brown….

    As far as forwards go, it is no comparison…..to the surprise of nobody, most of those guys are not playing in the NHL.

  151. G Money says:

    Also for those who insist on comparing last years terrible roster with this years horrible roster in an attempt to separate the chaff from the chaff, you can say the following things about Whitney:

    - couldn’t pivot, virtually immobile at times. Still about as mobile as Fraser
    - brilliant passer – no-one since Pronger has been able to make headman passes like Whitney could. That’s the reason he played so much even though his pairing bled shots. When he did get the team going in the right direction, it was with possession and speed usually resulting in a five bell chance
    - top-notch PP quarterback – again, the best since Pronger.

    If we could only graft Petry’s legs, Fraser’s body, and Whitney’s brain together, we’d have Pronger 2.0 back.

  152. PunjabiOil says:

    The Oilers could have added another veteran D-man last summer not of the long shot Grebeshkov, Larsen, Belov variety.

    Absolutely.

    To be fair to MacT he tried. He offered 3 second round picks for Coburn and was rejected. That said, there were free agents available that he didn’t take advantage of. Also surprising is he looked at Grebeshkov over Gilbert.

    Adding 2 top 4 defenceman would help significantly. It’s going to be challenging, but that’s his job and he has to deliver. His first year as a GM, while represents improvement over Tambellini, was full of puzzling moves (Clarkson, Jones, Labarbera, Fraser, etc.). He too, is learning on the job.

  153. Mr DeBakey says:

    Jasmine: Ryan Whitney was run out of town by the Edmonton media like all other players are run out of town by the Edmonton media

    The Edmonton media loved Ryan Whitney.
    Luvved him.
    The guy couldn’t skate anymore and they didn’t say a thing until they absolutely had too.

    PunjabiOil: Also surprising is he looked at Grebeshkov over Gilbert.

    Size?
    Or maybe Gilbert didn’t want to come back.

  154. rich says:

    Thanks for all your posts Woodguy. We’re fortunate that you cut thru all the frustration today to point out once more what is obvious – the Oilers issues are on the blueline.

    Until this is fixed, it doesn’t matter if the name of the coach is Eakins or Bowman, you can’t make chicken salad out of chicken-you-know-what.

    The issue at this point is not “has Eakins made mistakes”. He has and he’s made a number of changes throughout the season (adjusting systems, etc…) because he’s recognized some things don’t work and he has to make a change.

    Maybe he’s also been a real negative in the room because he’s demanding accountability from his players, I’m sure that’s no fun either. But that’s part of his job.

    The other thing is the players have some responsibility in this as well. Maybe I didn’t like Healy only focusing on Hall’s mistakes last night in the post-game, but everyone of of them was right there. I’m sure he could have done the same thing with Gagner and with Fraser among others as well. It’s time they all gave a rat’s you-know-what too.

    It’s also why I liked Scriven’s reaction to another fan throwing a jersey on the ice. I think we’re all tired of seeing that too.

    The sooner that MacT fixes the blue, the better off the entire team and fanbase will be. This has to be the top priority. He also needs to get Eakins real help on the bench. Bucky and Smith may not be the problem, but they aren’t capable of helping to fix it either.

  155. justDOit says:

    G Money: Ryan Whitney left because he only had one leg, and you can’t play NHL defense with one leg.

    It also means he didn’t run out of town, he hopped.

    Not necessarily.

  156. Numenius says:

    Woodguy:
    I will say this about RK.

    From what I hear he was a very positive upbeat person.

    Eakins is very serious.

    The way it was put to me is that “coming to the rink hasn’t been much fun as you get bad cop or bad cop and sometimes the players need the mood to be light”

    Now this was said at the end of the Dubnyk era.

    Winning, even via goaltending while getting outshot, still lightens the mood at the rink.

    I think it would be wise to let Eakins fill out the coaching staff with some fresh faces, some experienced faces and at least one “good cop” who has a significant voice.

    I agree with your diagnoses here and elsewhere. The key problems you identify in short:

    1) Coaching: Too much bad cop, not enough good cop.
    2) Players: Lack of NHL D.

    There are other major problems (e.g. lack of 2C) but I think these are the top 2. They have to be addressed by management for next year. Adding a Krueger-type to the coaching staff and getting at least an experienced 1 or 2 D would be the minimum.

    I would add that just as we should take the previous winning streak with a grain of salt, we should take the latest 8-1 annihilation with a grain of salt.

    Why?

    1) The Flames had unusual puck luck. It wasn’t just skill. The hockey gods were on their side.
    2) The Flames beat Anaheim 7-2 March 12, 2014 and Anaheim is not a bad team.
    3) The Oilers beat the Flames 8-2 April 3, 2013 and the Oilers were a bad team.

    Stay calm. Maintain perspective. Sing kumbaya.

  157. godot10 says:

    Woodguy:

    I think it would be wise to let Eakins fill out the coaching staff with some fresh faces, some experienced faces and at least one “good cop” who has a significant voice.

    Maurice wouldn’t touch the Eakin’s assistant role last summer.

    After this year’s fiasco, what competent NHL assistant coach is going to want to hitch their wagon to Eakins. Anybody good would surely think that they should have top billing and not second billing.

  158. Jasmine says:

    “Steve Smith”: This team needs Pat Quinn!

    Pat Quinn was run out of town by Oilers fans like other coaches have been run out of town by Oilers fans. Tom Renney should never have been fired. Tambellini should have been fired before Renney but wasn’t fired because no one wanted to be GM in Edmonton and Lowe didn’t want to become GM because Oilers fans are the reason he resigned.

  159. Woodguy says:

    admiralmark,

    I stick with Eakins and let him set the asst. coaches with the understanding that one has to be a vet coach and at least one “good cop”

    This team doesn’t need to learn a new system for the 4th year in a row, they need to hit the ground runnning.

  160. G Money says:

    If, as an Oiler fan, I helped run as many coaches and players out of town as Jasmine thinks, I wouldn’t have been eating f*cking egg whites for breakfast, belee dat.

    Players, coaches, management wrongfully run out of town: Renney, Harski (I think)

    Players, coaches, management rightfully run out of town: Quinn, Krueger, Tambellini, Whitney, Brown, Petrell, the list goes on…

    Players, coaches, management desperately NEEDING to be run out of town: Lowe

  161. edoil1 says:

    Jasmine,

    I disagree ,most of the people on this forum are saying the Edmonton media has been soft on management and coaching and I agree with that,if you want to talk 30 teams,no teams fans have had to have more patience with losing, the exception of Columbus,NYI maybe Florida.Do you just keep a bad goaltender just because?or if your being embarrassed you change.Who cares how many coach’s you have if they are bad they must go.The only players I remember being run out of town were Tom Poti and Mike Comrie(salary issue) so no, Edmonton does not run players out of town.In fact I think most people were suprised when Renney and Krueger were let go,that was on managment,had little to do with media or fans.

  162. Woodguy says:

    godot10: Maurice wouldn’t touch the Eakin’s assistant role last summer.

    After this year’s fiasco, what competent NHL assistant coach is going to want to hitch their wagon to Eakins.Anybody good would surely think that they should have top billing and not second billing.

    I’m thinking more of a Perry Pearn type than a Maurice type.

    Pearn’s available too……

  163. Woodguy says:

    Jasmine: Pat Quinn was run out of town by Oilers fans like other coaches have been run out of town by Oilers fans. Tom Renney should never have been fired. Tambellini should have been fired before Renney but wasn’t fired because no one wanted to be GM in Edmonton and Lowe didn’t want to become GM because Oilers fans are the reason he resigned.

    Please stop posting.

  164. Woodguy says:

    Pearn’s got a pretty good rep as a special teams coach too…..

  165. G Money says:

    justDOit,

    He should have tried that on the ice!

  166. godot10 says:

    Andy P: More precisely, the problem is the coach killers among the young core. Until they fix or trade those players this team has no chance of succeeding.

    The players are not coach killers.

    MacT was not fired. He and the Oilers mutually agreed that he would not coach. Six Rings Press Conference. He reject the notion that he had failed in any capacity and that he had been fired.

    The wheels fell off the bus under Quinn. Not his fault. But a 70 year old coach is not the guy you want to lead the rebuild.

    Renney had two years, but coaching is a results based business, and 30th and 29th isn’t going to cut it. Plus, he mishandled the development of key players. Paajarvi, Lander, and Dubnyk. He would mishandle players (Gagner, Belanger) rather than hash out disagreements with management about these players. Renney wanted Gagner gone, and management wouldn’t get rid of him.

    Krueger gets an incomplete. Even MacT effectively says so. The players did not kill him. MacT did.
    Krueger shifted responsibility to the young guys (taking Eberle and Hall’s minutes from the high teens to the low twenties). Above average special teams. All the young players were content and visibly progressing. Let Hall and the young guys drag the team to 24th. Were there unresolved systems play issues, undoubtedly. Paajarvi was rehabilitated as a prospect and asset which was turned into David Perron. But MacT aborted the opportunity for Krueger, with an experienced assistant, to have a shot at fixing them.

    The players are not coach killers.

    MacT and Eakins radically changed direction from Krueger. Taking leadership of the team away from the young guys and back on the older players with an imported captain. Came in with guns ablazing blaming the players. The focus was on systems play above all else. Essentially every young player regressing visibly. The systems play is as horrible as it ever was. Lousy results don’t anger the coach. But a wet suit, and the wrong type of Sharpie do.

  167. G Money says:

    Woodguy,

    Would be delighted to get Pearn as an AC. Great homecoming too – as I recall, he coached NAIT to some ubersuccessful seasons back when I was in undergrad at the U of A. Kind of the Tech school version of Clare Drake-lite.

  168. Jasmine says:

    gcw_rocks,

    Lindy Ruff wouldn’t have come to Edmonton as he knows he would have been run out of town by Oilers fans. Oilers fans have run 4 coaches out of town in 5 years and want to run a 5th coach out of town in 6 years.

  169. godot10 says:

    MacT couldn’t get another NHL job outside of the OIlers over several hiring cycles. Eakins won’t be able to get another NHL head coaching gig.

    Krueger got promoted to the equivalent of Lowe’s job in arguably the highest professional league in soccer/football. MacT was also never hired as a coaching/scouting consultant to Canada’s Olympic team.

  170. Woodguy says:

    G Money:
    Woodguy,

    Would be delighted to get Pearn as an AC.Great homecoming too – as I recall, he coached NAIT to some ubersuccessful seasons back when I was in undergrad at the U of A.Kind of the Tech school version of Clare Drake-lite.

    Yup.

    Strong pro resume too.

  171. eidy says:

    Woodguy,

    why would we need that. It is creating a load of chances and odd man rushes:-)

  172. flyfish1168 says:

    Jasmine,

    There is some truth to what you said. The phlegms are a pathetic team and has been on a re-tool/rebuild since 2004 that is 10 YEARS. So what they made the playoffs once in that stretch. They only played 4 extra games and was embarrassed badly. The media didn’t run any scathing articles on their pathetic so called of a professional team. They still keep predicting they will make the playoffs next year and how rosie their team is. The local media can be a powerful took that management can use.

    They old Oiler boys and Owner don’t know how to utilize or spin the media to their advantage.

  173. eidy says:

    The emotion and frustration is getting the best of some of the posters here. There have been many problems with the “trees” that are the oilers and there decision making, but the “forest” is not enough quality NHL players, particularly on the backend, and a lack of balance in the roster. More NHL players please.

  174. eidy says:

    As for the results lately, in a game we talk about how there is a score effect. I’m pretty sure there is a standings effect as well. You can’t play as hard when you are playing out the season as opposed to being in the playoffs/playoff fight. You just can’t. The edge and urgency in the game is just not there. The early season save percentage cost an entire season. It will also cost some jobs, hopefully the right decisions will be made.

  175. OilClog says:

    “Steve Smith”: This team needs Pat Quinn!

    I was waiting for this.. Lol

    I was thinking more a Trotz on the serious side of things.

    Woodguy, it’s not the roster. It’s the coach being ineffective at his job, having a public meltdown on the franchise over water in the middle of a blow out..

    Lander playing out of position as a winger on the second line.

    Nuge playing 2nds on the PP and a complete overload in the PK.

    Fraser being on the team.

    Acton playing for any games at all.

    Singling out of YakCity

    Not scratching Nick Schultz

    Playing Jones, Gazdic, Smyth, and Fraser out on the ice at the same time with a rookie.. Klef.

    Yes, I can now see how it all relates to out pick of defenders being weaker then last years selection…

    When was the last time the Oilers were this ugly on the ice? Do you call what they’re doing any sort of resemblance of hockey? Can anyone here make actual sense of what they’re seeing on the ice? It doesn’t look like hockey, it looks like amateur hour.

    Eakins is the head coach of this franchise’s most embarrassing loss ever, no stat can erase that. There is good reason it happened, he’s in over his head badly. So bad he shouldn’t be allowed to continue, if we’re truly putting the Oilers first.

  176. Lowetide says:

    Jasmine:
    gcw_rocks,

    Lindy Ruff wouldn’t have come to Edmonton as he knows he would have been run out of town by Oilers fans. Oilers fans have run 4 coaches out of town in 5 years and want to run a 5th coach out of town in 6 years.

    The Oilers didn’t run coaches out of town. It’s important we get the record straight.

    1. Pat Quinn, and I love the guy despite his hit on Orr (grrr), was a fine coach but he was NOT able to handle the head coaching job. If you talk to anyone remotely associated with the NHL, that becomes very clear.
    2. Tom Renney: Incompetent managers are death to businesses. Renney was hired and fired by one.
    3. Ralph Krueger: Was very innovative but the things he didn’t bring were the ones MacT felt were required.

    That’s not running off coaches. I think they made a mistake with Renney, but the other two? I’m not in agreement there.

  177. admiralmark says:

    Jasmine says:
    March 23, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    When are Oilers fans going to grow up and stop running players, coaches, GMs and presidents out of town. Oilers fans are the reason players and coaches won’t sign in Edmonton as they don’t want to be run out of town by the Edmonton media and Oilers fans.

    Players won’t sign in Edmonton because of the Edmonton media and Oilers fans as they need a sacapgoat and always run players out of town. Now Oilers fans also run coaches out of town.

    The Oilers problem is 5 coaches in 6 years. Oilers fans can’t expect the players to learn a new system every season and expect wins. If Oilers fans are so smart, why aren’t Oilers fans coach.
    Coaches will not sign in Edmonton because they’ll get run out of town by Oilers fans.

    Ron Lowe, Craig MacTavish, Pat Quinn, Tom Renney and Ralph Krueger were run out of town, especially Tom Renney. I remember an article that said the Oilers would make a big mistake if they fired Tom Renney. That article was 100% correct. Ralph Krueger benched players for fighting. Pat Quinn threw players under the bus. Only good coach they had prior to this season was Tom Renney and he was run out of town by Oilers fans.

    Coaches are run out of town by Oilers fans and players are run out of town by the Edmonton medIa and Oilers fans.

    Name one team in the NHL that has success when they have 5 coaches in 6 years. There isn’t one. Out of 30 teams, there isn’t a single team that has had 5 coaches in 6 years.

    Oilers fans need to stop running coaches. Vet coaches will not sign in Edmonton and that’s why the Oilers are stuck with rookie coaches. Vet coaches would rather be unemployed than sign in Edmonton just to be run out of town by Oilers fans.

    Players will eventually demand a trade if Oilers fans and the Edmonton media constantly run players out of town. Oilers. Oilers fans deserve a team worse than the 1974 Washington Capitals.

    Ever since Slats left, the Oilers have been bashed non-stop, 24/7. I wish Slats was never GM as he spoiled the fans. According to Oilers fans, Slats could do no wrong and was constantly praised for everything. Ever since Slats, left the Oilers could do no wrong and get bashed for everything even if the Oilers fleece the other team.

    If OIlers fans are so smart, why don’t they become coach and see how good they are instead of being a couch potato and bash every move the team makes because Slats is no longer the GM. Enough bashing and running players and coaches out of town by the Edmonton media and Oilers fans.

    Yah its obvious the fans are the problem here. Come on fans quit being couch potato’s and go coach the Oilers to victory! Finally someone with the vision to solve this teams problems. I would like to be the first to suggest Jasmine replace Eakins.

  178. art vandelay says:

    PunjabiOil: This is Tahiri square.

    icecastles: Even comparing these things is beyond tasteless.

    I had a Tahiri square at a bakery in Oliver one time.
    Yummm!

  179. Andy P says:

    godot10: Singling out of YakCity

    Replace the assistants, and what is the constant from Quinn through Eakins?

  180. RexLibris says:

    Woodguy:
    admiralmark,

    I stick with Eakins and let him set the asst. coaches with the understanding that one has to be a vet coach and at least one “good cop”

    This team doesn’t need to learn a new system for the 4th year in a row, they need to hit the ground runnning.

    Agreed.

    That being said, I think they’ve mastered the “hit the ground” part. Now, about the “running”…

  181. OilClog says:

    Example Ryan Nugent Hopkins.

    Absolute brilliance with the puck and thinking the game.

    Allows fantastic results in the offensive zone.

    Evasiveness and compete level allows him to pursuit the puck and make quick offensive plays with it. Making it appear he’s very good compared to his peers with his defensive game…

    So the new guy walks in, never watching any film. “Oh hey, look at how good this kid is without the puck, we could really turn that into an advantage”

    That thinking is Great!

    But.

    The operator doesn’t truly understand the tool he has in his grasp, and how to use it.

    The tool ‘s defensive game and puck pursuit is really just a bi-product of his incredible offensive ability with the puck.

    Nuge wasn’t picked 1st to play heavy Penalty kill minutes, his defensive game is nowhere near where it needs to be for how Eakins has been deploying him.

    When you can put Gordon, Hendricks, Jones, Smyth, Lander, Perron, Ebs or even Gags! Out on the penalty kill so Hopkins can eat up the Powerplay time… That’s what you do 100% of the time.

    It’s like Pittsburg telling Crosby, no don’t play Powerplay.

    Oh Joe Thorton, you’re gonna kill penalties instead of winning power plays now.

    It’s the common sense, easy decisions anyone can make that is so bloody frustrating with Eakins.

  182. Woodguy says:

    OilClog,

    Woodguy, it’s not the roster. It’s the coach being ineffective at his job, having a public meltdown on the franchise over water in the middle of a blow out..

    Good for you.

  183. Woodguy says:

    RexLibris: Agreed.

    That being said, I think they’ve mastered the “hit the ground” part. Now, about the “running”…

    No shit eh?

  184. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide: The Oilers didn’t run coaches out of town. It’s important we get the record straight.

    1. Pat Quinn, and I love the guy despite his hit on Orr (grrr), was a fine coach but he was NOT able to handle thehead coaching job. If you talk to anyone remotely associated with the NHL, that becomes very clear.
    2. Tom Renney: Incompetent managers are death to businesses. Renney was hired and fired by one.
    3. Ralph Krueger: Was very innovative but the things he didn’t bring were the ones MacT felt were required.

    That’s not running off coaches. I think they made a mistake with Renney, but the other two? I’m not in agreement there.

    My two main grudges towards Tambellini were firing Renney to save his job – I felt Tom was a good teacher and still had one more year of lesson plans to deliver before switching to a new coach – and refusing to trade FAs at the 2013 deadline when prices were high, buyers plenty, and even a blind man could see the team wasn’t anything resembling a team on the rise.

    That Renney was snapped up by Babcock and given significant responsibilities says much about the real value of Tom Renney as a coaching asset.

  185. RexLibris says:

    Woodguy: No shit eh?

    Preferably not with scissors.

  186. Caramel Obvious says:

    OilClog,

    Considering the team’s record it should be easy to criticize the coach. And yet every single point you make reflects a desperate attempt to retrospectively interpret events to your preconceived narrative.

    How could someone write so many words and not make a single salient claim? Amazing.

    on the

  187. Marcus Oilerius says:

    Isles are up 2-0.

    Booyah.

  188. oliveoilers says:

    Jasmine,

    Dude, I have missed you so much. Way to bring levity to our darkest hour! Now all we need is a little energon, and a lot of luck…..

  189. Caramel Obvious says:

    OilClog: I was waiting for this.. Lol

    I was thinking more a Trotz on the serious side of things.

    Woodguy, it’s not the roster. It’s the coach being ineffective at his job, having a public meltdown on the franchise over water in the middle of a blow out..

    Lander playing out of position as a winger on the second line.

    Nuge playing 2nds on the PP and a complete overload in the PK.

    Fraser being on the team.

    Acton playing for any games at all.

    Singling out of YakCity

    Not scratching Nick Schultz

    Playing Jones, Gazdic, Smyth, and Fraser out on the ice at the same time with a rookie.. Klef.

    Yes, I can now see how it all relates to out pick of defenders being weaker then last years selection…

    When was the last time the Oilers were this ugly on the ice? Do you call what they’re doing any sort of resemblance of hockey? Can anyone here make actual sense of what they’re seeing on the ice? It doesn’t look like hockey, it looks like amateur hour.

    Eakins is the head coach of this franchise’s most embarrassing loss ever, no stat can erase that. There is good reason it happened, he’s in over his head badly. So bad he shouldn’t be allowed to continue, if we’re truly putting the Oilers first.

    This is a shockingly stupid post. Your very first criticism is for playing Lander on the second line. On what planet was that a bad idea? Who should have played there?

    This is a classic case of speaking out of both sides of your mouth. Which makes you either stupid or a cretin. Take your pick.

    From there it only gets worse. Yakupov wasn’t singled out. N. Schultz was benched. Hopkins playing on the PK is necessary. Playing on the second PP isn’t necessarily bad.

    Moreover, none of these decisions have anything to do with results. They are minutia. Mostly irrelevant.

    It makes no sense to criticize without having a sense of a preferable alternative. When you realize that there are no preferable alternatives, you will realize that there are no options.

    This team doesn’t have enough talent. It has never had enough talent. That’s the biggest problem.

    If you want to blame the coach then I need to hear specific criticisms that go beyond obvious ad hominem attacks or easily dismissed criticisms over the usage of players. That’s the bar.

  190. RexLibris says:

    Anyone else notice that two teams that have received former Oilers this season are nearly neck and neck for draft position?

    Five points separate Smid and the Flames(26th overall) from Hemsky and the Senators(25th overall).

    Throw in the Predators on account of Dubnyk’s brief time there and it would be three teams running the gamut from 26th to 24th overall.

    If the Oilers can’t get better perhaps they can at least spread the contagion.

  191. icecastles says:

    G Money: It’s not so much the what as the how.

    Agreed. however, I wasn’t referring so much to the rebuild (which is essentially management driven) as improving the habits of the players (which is essentially coaching-driven). The young stars were lacking in defensive skills and awareness, and had acquired a lot of terrible habits that needed to be broken before better habits could be ingrained. It’s the military bot camp model, where you break the man down to his foundations, then rebuild him as a better, stronger man (within a certain context obviously).

    It was (and is) a good idea, but in retrospect, the extreme fragility of this group made that a gamble that appears to have not paid off.

  192. AZOIL says:

    Sheesh! I came here for some relaxing Sunday afternoon reading! Everyone is all hot and bothered!

    I know its sad I get excited at this but NYI won today! Glass is half full my friends!!!

  193. gcw_rocks says:

    Woodguy,

    Really?
    You don’t think that last’s year’s identical Fenwick with better goaltending and finishing 26th is sooooo much better than this year’s identical Fenwick, with shitty goaltending for the most part, no Dcore and finishing 29th-27th?
    Ha!
    Thanks for being sane and lucid.

    To be accurate, Krueger’s CF% was 44.30% and his FF% was 44.70% – West only – in 48 games.

    This season, Eakins has a CF% of 43.64% and a FF% of 42.53% against the West in 41 games, so the team has actually regressed West vs West.

    Eakins is benefiting from a CF% of 46.78 and FF% of 47.59% against the East, something Krueger never had the benefit of.

    I will re-run after the last stretch, but Eakins is doing worse with a team where the young guns are a year more experienced, and Perron has been an upgrade from MPS and they aren’t being torpedoed by Whitney.

    Stats from ExtraSkater

  194. 106 and 106 says:

    Quote of the year anyone?

    “Edmonton can offload players by the dozen, but sooner or later they’re going to run out of Marlies.”

    *still chuckling*

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