MOONLIGHT MILE

The Edmonton Oilers have spent an entire NHL season chasing the puck. Each game plays out like a power struggle between coach (who must get this team to be more aware defensively) and players (young hearts, run free). If this was another team, it would be hilarious. As it is, this is a crushing season in the time of the Oilers.

There are three possible avenues for rage:

  1. Eakins is ruining his team with ‘this isn’t an offensive team’ and crushing creativity
  2. The Oilers don’t have the horses on defense, so it’s difficult to see the fruits of all this defensive labor
  3. These kids won’t listen! They’re stubborn as mules

No matter what category you subscribe too, the Edmonton Oilers are barely watchable and fan enthusiasm is non-existent for a reason. These are crushing games, games that look like the Oilers are lost, have given up or simply cannot understand the basic rules of winning. It’s incredible. Really.

  • Bruce McCurdy: Coach Dallas Eakins, 1. Enough, already. His team was unprepared for the start of the game, getting badly outplayed and grossly outshot for the brief time the score was actually close. His charges were disorganized and undisciplined, careless with the puck and lax in defensive coverage. The powerplay was terrible. His club got shellacked on home ice yet again. Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?

McCurdy’s words ring true. The last good possession team iced by the Oilers came via Craig MacTavish as coach and Kevin Lowe as GM. Why can’t things go back to those days?

Well, MacT’s teams were known to be demons at 5×5 and housed a lot of men who could the play the two-way game. Jason Smith, Steve Staios, Mike Grier, Todd Marchant, Rem Murray, those sorts of men were key to winning at even strength. Now, they didn’t have a power play and  that’s for sure, but lordy they could play the even strength game very well.

DELLOW’S OILERS CORSI 1997-2006

low and mact corsi

 

I can’t find the post Dellow posted this into, so can’t link but it’s his work and credible. The Oilers are 43.1 this season, were 43.5 last year and 47 in 2011-12 under Tom Renney. Among Steve Tambellini’s many gifts to the Oilers, flushing Renney surely ranks up there.

So, what’s the answer? Should we expect Eakins to turn Hall into Grier? No. However, all of the Oilers kids need to improve their positioning without the puck. They need to be in more battles, win more battles, and make intelligent passes. Howie Meeker used to say ‘kids, don’t play like the Leafs!’ and then back up the telestrator to show in-game lapses of good decision making. Meeker could fill several hours of television with the current Oilers.

Who gets the blame? I think the answer is all of the people involved in the Edmonton Oilers. Let’s take one thing that might be part of the problem. I’ve said many times that Eakins’ arrogance isn’t a big deal, and believe it to be true. The Oilers don’t need to like Eakins in order to perform for him—Scotty Bowman’s Habs would have backed over him with the team bus given half a chance.

However, I do think there’s probably room to discuss the possibility that Eakins has handled this season poorly in some areas.

  • Eakins: “My bad. I assumed that we knew what traditional d-zone coverage was and it was clear that we didn’t. So we took a slight step back from our double up system.”

Comments like that one suggest some maturity issues with the coach. I can read that as “I honestly didn’t think these guys were this stupid” and if I can do it God knows someone involved in the situation can do the same. (Source).

Last night, Dallas Eakins said the Oilers are not an offensive team and haven’t been for some time. I understand his point—these are not the 1980s Oilers and this team is going to have to work harder and smarter to win games. However, it’s also true that (as McCurdy suggests) we’re 75 games into the Eakins era and his charges still appear surprised by the pace of the other team during the first few minutes.

Who’s bad is that? The players? Again? I think there’s maybe a little to much ‘them’ from the coach. Maybe a little more ‘us’ and he’ll feel more involved in the process. Sometimes, lack of results have less to do with the message and more to do with how it is presented.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

johansson44

10 this morning, TSN 1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Scott Burnside, ESPN. We’ll talk playoffs, awards and Oilers.
  • Travis Yost, Hockeybuzz. Senators trying to sign Hemsky? Is he the key to an effective Spezza?
  • Bruce McCurdy, Cult of Hockey. I think the Oilers are trying to kill him. Film at 11.
  • Chris Peters, United States of Hockey. Frozen Four, Dillon Simpson, can UND win it all?

10-1260 via text and @Lowetide_ on twitter.

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129 Responses to "MOONLIGHT MILE"

  1. Ben says:

    I can forgive a lot of things in the name of pedagogy, but the regression of Nuge and Yak this year is stomach churning. Unforgivable.

  2. flyfish1168 says:

    Jason Smith, Steve Staios, Mike Grier, Todd Marchant, Rem Murray. A group of guys that you hate to play against. Grier, Marchant, and Murray can forecheck and pressure opponents D-men silly. Loved when Grier come up hitting. I will never forget his face in pain when his shoulder separated after a hit and still went played the rest of the game after the trainer popped it back in.

  3. Caramel Obvious says:

    Ben:
    I can forgive a lot of things in the name of pedagogy, but the regression of Nuge and Yak this year is stomach churning. Unforgivable.

    They haven’t regressed play wise. In the case of Yakupov the regression is shooting percentage. He never was what you thought he was. In the case of Hopkins his reputation is built upon power play shooting percentage in his first year. He never was what you thought he was. Stop complaining about things that haven’t happened.

    The problem isn’t the disappearance of an offense that never existed. The problem is that this team is worse the second half of the year than the first half. If you look at the game-by-game possession metrics this team had moments in the first half that were destroyed by Dubnyk lighting his career on fire. Those moments have ceased. That’s the problem. Not some mythical loss of offense.

  4. sliderule says:

    Eakins is right on at least one thing.

    The oilers can’t score.

    They are near the bottom in scoring and with the schedule ahead are sinking fast.

    They need to upgrade their forwards but if you want to score more maybe change to a more aggressive forecheck like Renney used.

  5. flyfish1168 says:

    Caramel Obvious: They haven’t regressed play wise. In the case of Yakupov the regression is shooting percentage. He never was what you thought he was. In the case of Hopkins his reputation is built upon power play shooting percentage in his first year. He never was what you thought he was. Stop complaining about things that haven’t happened. The problem isn’t the disappearance of an offense that never existed. The problem is that this team is worse the second half of the year than the first half. If you look at the game-by-game possession metrics this team had moments in the first half that were destroyed by Dubnyk lighting his career on fire. Those moments have ceased. That’s the problem. Not some mythical loss of offense.

    shots per game and attempts are the same as last years?

  6. Oilanderp says:

    sliderule:
    Eakins is right on at least one thing.

    The oilers can’t score.

    They are near the bottom in scoring and with the schedule ahead are sinking fast.

    They need to upgrade their forwards but if you want to score more maybe change to a more aggressive forecheck like Renney used.

    Or… like Eakins used early in the year. The problem was they played with the nets turned around since noone could find a goalie to play.

    As for LT’s 3 options, I’m for #3. There is no way in sugar-dipped hell that Eakins is coaching them to play like that. It’s junior league out there. Grab the clowns who won’t play ball and stick them in a box. Masking-tape the shit out of it, send it to Timbuktu without any air-holes, and tell them to backcheck all the way to Edmonton.

  7. theres oil in virginia says:

    Lowetide:

    We’ll talk playoffs, awards and Oilers.

    One of these things is not like the others.

    Hang in there Bruce. Only a few more beatings, er, uh, games, to go. I’m guessing the “1″ on your keyboard may need replacement after the season ends.

  8. Dan the Man says:

    I keep going back and forth on whether or not Eakins should be fired and the only reason I can come up with to keep him is that it’s ridiculous to fire the coach every year.
    Eakins deserves to be fired more than Renney did and probably more than Krueger did too.
    I also think Eakins has a better roster to work with than either Renney or Krueger did as well which makes his poor results even more damning.
    I have a hard time coming up with a single Oiler that I can say is clearly better this year than last.

    I think MacT gives him 2-3 months to get better results next year so I don’t believe he’s going anywhere. Stauffer has hinted strongly about the addition of an experienced associate coach for next year too so that’s promising even if it is a year late.

  9. bendelson says:

    The players don’t have to like the coach but it certainly helps if they respect him. I’m not sure the rookie head coach is commanding the respect necessary to realize any form of success with this team. It’s OK that we don’t have the final answers yet. Eakins gets a ‘do over’ next year and I expect this juicy little item will be revisited ad nauseum in Nov/Dec 2014 after another season is all but flushed.

    That PP is just ridiculous. 13 shorties against and counting… absolutely stomach turning.
    Last night, you could actually see the painful thought process with Schultz at the blueline – I can get to it – no, I can’t – well now I’m committed – take the man out or go for the puck? – whoops.

    On a positive note: no jersey tossing last night… right?

  10. Lois Lowe says:

    I like a good witch hunt as much as the next guy, but I am still not really willing to lay too much of the blame at Eakins’ feet. He’s made some curious decisions to be sure, like playing Mark Fraser, but the problem is not the coach, it’s the players. I am also curious to know whether Steve Smith runs the d match ups or not because that might explain something.

  11. Gret99zky says:

    MacT will give Eakins another season and a half to work it out.

    Then, when we finish bottom 3 next year and are out of the playoff picture in December the year after, he will fire him.

    Lowe will conveniently step down moments before this team is crowned the new missed the playoffs in consecutive years champion.

  12. Wolfie says:

    I could have supported Eakins staying as head coach if there had been improvement from the start of the season. There hasn’t been any. I don’t think the Oilers can justify keeping him around.

    Obviously coaching isn’t the only issue. The roster is full of holes. I didn’t watch last night but did catch some of the San Jose game. The only 2 Oilers that belonged on the same ice surface were Hall and Perron. That’s it.

    Improvement should happen naturally as the kids mature physically but that won’t happen quickly enough. Big changes are needed. They need more players in their prime to help carry the load.

    Someone mentioned the Flyers the other day and the willingness to pull the trigger on a deal to change the makeup of the team.

    If the Oilers risk nothing they will gain nothing.

    Oh and fire the coach. This isn’t working.

  13. Caramel Obvious says:

    flyfish1168: shots per game and attempts are thesame as last years?

    Yakupov is at 1.9 shots/game this year. Last year he was at 1.7.

    Hopkins scored four goals last year. I’m not sure how someone can say he’s regressed under Eakins. In any case he has 2.1 shots/game this year. Last year it was 1.95.

    Look, clearly this isn’t working. But if you want to fire Eakins I’d like to know who you are going to hire. I’m sure there is someone better out there but that doens’t matter if you can’t find him. If they fire Eakins they aren’t going to hire another rookie coach. That means a retread or someone who gets fired this year.

    There are no eligible retreads. Don’t bring up Laviolette. His record is no screaming hell and his past actions and verbal indicate dinosaurtitis.

    So who is going to get fired this year that’s any good. Carlyle is terrible. Muller and Capuano if they get fired are in the Eakins failed coaches category. Obviously not Tortorello. There are no good candidates here either.

    So before you start talking about firing Eakins I’d like to hear a name and an explanation of how this is going to make a positive difference. All the games above would make things worse.

  14. Halfwise says:

    I was going full Shrink last night and wondering whether shorties were a sign of certain players rebelling against the coach.

    I believe that on the PP players relax a bit and dial back the urgency. I believe they also try low-percentage passes more often than at EV. Hard to imagine, I know, and it’s just by eye, but that’s what I believe.

    But here’s the Shrink part. If some of the PP perpetrators believe they are offensively gifted and on the PP it is their time to prove this to themselves and everyone else with eyes to see (even that damn coach whose eyes are blind to their talents), then it’s during PP time that they revert to their true Bantam roots, coaching be damned.

    Do shorties correlate with team malaise? I know they correlate perfectly with fan disgust.

  15. Caramel Obvious says:

    After last night’s game I’m off the trade Klefbom for immediate help bandwagon. The rebuild started in the spring and this team is at least two years from the playoffs. That means it’s too soon to go for broke and trade players while their value is low.

    The only path is to keep the young guys, add veteran free agents, and hope somebody turns into a star.

    I sign Marcel Goc, I sign one free agent D, I sign Arcobello and a free agent winger, and I do nothing else unless something pretty falls into my lap. The only chance for this team to win is for some of Hopkins, Yakupov, Schultz, Marincin, Klefbom to become star hockey players. So keep them and hope. It’s the only play.

  16. Hammers says:

    Totally agree . My words exactly . Problem is neither Eakins or the Team is learning . One game he thinks they are there then the next game they have lost it . For me that’s as much if not more on the coaching .

  17. Alpine says:

    I’m willing to give Eakins the benefit of the doubt this season, as he was kind of left out to dry with a forward group that was largely devoid of two-way/defensive forwards, as well as a defense without any more than one or two heavy lifters. Of course, I thought Renney and Krueger deserved the same fortunes, but alas, there was no way of having faith in management the past few years.

    Maybe MacTavish and Lowe will look at how their pre-rebuild teams were built and figure out how to be pro-active again. I have my doubts that they will, but at least Tambo’s not still here.

  18. hunter1909 says:

    The players hate the coach. The veterans brought in are generally retreads and given far more creed from the media than the uber kids.

    For example, today I read somewhere that the kids don’t respect Ryan Smyth, something which I found hilarious – as if a mercenary returning for a pathetic last hurrah means anything to 20 year olds.

    Then it turns into the slide rule gang who can manipulate numbers to prove their shocking lack of physical understanding of things physical can be used to show Eakins being anything other than a ridiculous clown figure…with his litany of rookie fuckups…which leads me to the inevitable…

    Kevin Lowe is like a pimp who runs a massage parlour, not a pro hockey team.

  19. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    flyfish1168: shots per game and attempts are thesame as last years?

    No, RNH has taken a huge dive in his CF%

    http://www.extraskater.com/player/562/ryan-nugent-hopkins

    which seems to have more to do with the collapse of Hall’s CF% in the first 50 games than anything else.

    Yakupov has improved a few % points

    http://www.extraskater.com/player/578/nail-yakupov

  20. gcw_rocks says:

    Last 20 games against the west this season:

    CF = 969
    CA = 1321
    CF% = 42.3%

    FF = 698
    FA = 1008
    FF% = 40.9%

    Last 20 games last year:

    CF = 976
    CA = 1180
    CF% = 45.3%

    FF = 726
    FA = 880
    FF% = 45.2%

    Data from extra skater.

  21. El Duderino says:

    On some deep emotional and personal level I am finding more and more that I have an intense dislike of Eakins. We see a lot more of him than any one else. He’s the face of the Oilers and consequently I am transferring that dislike, which is approaching a hatred, to the Oilers and this is a team I have loved since the days of Cowboy Flett.

    It’s sort of like Eakins is Damien.

  22. VanOil says:

    I miss Meeker and his telestrator. The Avs broadcasts on the Altitude Network use it in intermissions and I really enjoy it still. Canadian networks have went all in on load mouth blow hards now a days and the simple art of breaking down a play is gone. Ray Ferrero breaking down the game on the telestrator with a Stats guy breaking down the Stats would be and intermission worth watching.

    As for Eakins ego, my only problem with it is he did not accept the job he interviewed for. Eakins and Krugger together might of had a fighting chance. Mind you Renney and Kruger did not under Tambo the Terrible. This team has been lost for so long that they forgotten what home even looks like.

  23. rich says:

    You can make a plausible argument for all of the above POV’s, and frankly, it could be a little bit of all of them.

    While you can argue that one might have caused the other (the kids don’t listen or the coaches abrasiveness has pushed the kids not to listen) there is no question that there is a big disconnect. I also think that firing the coach now sends a bad signal – that the inmates are running the asylum.

    There are still significant roster issues. We’ve seen where a more seasoned coach got more out of less, but the gifts of Tambellini just keep on giving.

    The GM needs to find a marriage counselor to repair the relationship with the coach and the kids otherwise we’re going to start next season and by US Thanksgiving the season will be over and MacT will have to fire the coach. The marriage counselor would most likely be be an upgrade in the assistant coach.

    This might be about the only thing worth still watching over the next month or so because last nights game was lame. Would also say that the game Friday was pretty lame as well, but at least Scrivens was able to steal them a victory in that one.

  24. justDOit says:

    The ‘my bad’ moment was downright cringe-worthy. A little time spent in the video dept, reviewing last season could have avoided that entire mess, as could have keeping Krueger around at least another season. But Oilers.

  25. hunter1909 says:

    El Duderino:
    On some deep emotional and personal level I am finding more and more that I have an intense dislike of Eakins. We see a lot more of him than any one else.He’s the face of the Oilers and consequently I am transferring that dislike, which is approaching a hatred, to the Oilers and this is a team I have lovedsince the days of Cowboy Flett.

    It’s sort of like Eakins is Damien.

    Me too. I turned the game on yesterday only to turn it off the moment I saw Eakins. From the results, probably the best decision I made all day.

    I’ll tune in next time, but don’t know if Eakins can repeat that kind of visceral effect.

  26. flyfish1168 says:

    Caramel Obvious: Yakupov is at 1.9 shots/game this year. Last year he was at 1.7.Hopkins scored four goals last year. I’m not sure how someone can say he’s regressed under Eakins. In any case he has 2.1 shots/game this year. Last year it was 1.95.Look, clearly this isn’t working. But if you want to fire Eakins I’d like to know who you are going to hire. I’m sure there is someone better out there but that doens’t matter if you can’t find him. If they fire Eakins they aren’t going to hire another rookie coach. That means a retread or someone who gets fired this year.There are no eligible retreads. Don’t bring up Laviolette. His record is no screaming hell and his past actions and verbal indicate dinosaurtitis. So who is going to get fired this year that’s any good. Carlyle is terrible. Muller and Capuano if they get fired are in the Eakins failed coaches category. Obviously not Tortorello. There are no good candidates here either. So before you start talking about firing Eakins I’d like to hear a name and an explanation of how this is going to make a positive difference. All the games above would make things worse.

    I only asked you a simple question without malice.
    I think you need to settle down. No need to read what is not there. I have NEVER wanted Eakins fired. I may not like his ways. But I believe we need consistency at the Head coaching position.

    I believe Eakins is over his head and would beefit having an associate coach with NHL experience at his side.

  27. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Around this time last year, a few days before Tambo was fired, right around the time he traded for Kessy (spits)…

    me and several others were starting to take a hard look at RK. The conclusion I came to early on and have stuck to since is the following:

    “The major problem with this team is roster construction, that’s Tambo and Lowe’s fault. The litany of coaches, RK included, don’t bear the mountain of blame here, though they will and have worn it. That said, when you clean house it is always best to see if you can’t upgrade everywhere. If macT can find an upgrade in coaching so be it.”

    Then MacT said basically the same thing. Then Dellow and others dove into the RK numbers and systems in the off-season and a change made even more sense.

    We are at the April stage now. It’s still Tambo/Lowe’s fault. MacT is starting to wear it too. But, if an upgrade come in coaching you have to consider it. And, all the positions in the organization need to be seriously scrutinized over the off-season (something that did not happen last year, big problem).

    And, we are going to get some interesting post-mortem analyses this Summer. We’ll get a much better handle on how Eakins helped/hurt the team.

    This is where we are. It’s soon going to be time for MacT to be a competent manager, look some old and new friends in the face and say: “what do you do around here anyway?” Should have done it last year.

  28. blainer says:

    Man what a mess this team is. Every game I watch I am reminded that most of these players would not be playing on most other teams with the effort they are showing, Absolutely no compete level at all. I do not envy Mact ‘s job come the summer. Who in there right mind would trade for gagner right now. We would be lucky to even get kyle clifford for him the way he is playing..just gross.. I know we have changed coaches alot but I have to wonder how we go forward with this guy next year. For gods sake please at least get new assistants and one who can fix the power play and stop the shorties…

  29. BrazilianOil says:

    I m sure MacT knows what is going on in the dressing room. Seems clear Eakins has lost the room and the questions are why and what to do next.

    he need to choose between the coach or the players.

    If he knows the problem are Hall, Eberle or Gagner ( i think RNH or Yakupov have not enough leadership to destroy the dressing room ) and they gonna destroy any new coach, trade them.

    If is just the players don t buy in the system ,you need to fire the coach again.

    imo Mact knows the answer and we will see it during the off season.

  30. frjohnk says:

    I am not a fan of firing Eakins. There have been enough coaches firings in the last 6 years in this organization that some teams have not done in 25 years. He is a rookie nhl coach and is learning and growing just like some of these young players. So I say stick with him. But that does not mean someone with experience can not be brought in as an assistant coach.

    Many holes in this team, PP, PK, team defence, sporadic offence from the blue and more.

    But I think this team also does not have enough leaders. Too many guys on this team are passengers. And the few guys that are willing to try and take the bull by the horns are 3rd liners
    (Hendricks, boy I like his compete!) or third pairing (Ference) which means that nobody in the top 6 F ( except Hall and Perron, but not consistently) and nobody in the top 4 D are willing to try and drive the bus.

    This team needs some help. Oh boy.

  31. VanOil says:

    rich,

    I like the progress you see for next year. This year the Oilers were done by Halloween. Next year they could keep it together until US Thanksgiving. Maybe Christmas the year after, with a little injury luck. Do we dare dream about New Years and beyond?

  32. rich says:

    Some interesting math.

    Against the top 9 teams in the west, Oilers are are 5-20-2 this season. Top 9 being: St. L; Ana; SJS, LAK; Chi; Col; Phx; Dallas and Minn.

    Prior to Scriven’s arrival, they were 2-14-2

    Since he got here, 3-6-0

    Vancouver against the top 9 in the west is 8-16-7 so far this season.

    Calgary is 13-19-2 (11-9-0 since Nov 30th).

    Calgary doesn’t know they’re not supposed to win against better teams. Oilers know that for sure.

  33. Clay says:

    LT: The Oilers don’t need to like Eakins in order to perform for him—Scotty Bowman’s Habs would have backed over him with the team bus given half a chance.

    Please forgive me LT, but this is the one fly in your logic ointment.

    The generations of players that played for Bowman, or even those that played for Sather or Ron Lowe, are not the same as the Gen Y’s or Millennials that play now.

    The Babyboomer and Gen X generations had the work ethic that most of us are familiar with – if you have a job to do, you do whatever it takes, you do what your boss says, because you’re being paid to do so. You suck it up. If it hurts, if it benefits the team more than the individual, it doesn’t matter.

    The cluster of kids that Eakins is trying to corral doesn’t think that way. They do what they want, plain and simple. It’s fact. Ask any employer, university professor, or college recruiter. If it benefits them, they’re all for it. But the greater good of the team is secondary.

    They are the entitlement generation. They generally have never had to take responsibility for their actions.

    Put it this way – when you or I got a bad grade in school, the old man would be on your ass about why you’re not studying harder. When someone in Taylor Hall’s generation got a failing grade, the old man would be on the teacher’s ass about why he/she is failing his kid for no reason.

    It’s a cold hard fact that if a Millennial doesn’t like his job or boss, he quits. The research on this is enormous. And it boggles the mind of older generations, because we just don’t understand their mentality.

    Kruger alluded to this somewhat when talking about how to coach younger kids. I believe that’s why they seemed to play for him a bit better. I don’t think it was because he was a better coach, but because he understood that the new generation of player does not respond like previous generations did. Like it or not, they need to be coddled.

    I also believe that this is part of the huge separation between the “vets” and “kids”, starting when thecaptainethanmoreau was taking exception to the ways of Gagner et al.

    So in fact, this generation of player DOES need to like the coach to perform for him. Like it or not, that’s the way, for a lack of a better phrase, that these darn kids are these days!

    I believe most other teams mitigate this problem by having a solid core of veterans, and integrating kids a few at a time. When you incorporate kids by the bucket full as the OIlers do, then you’re lost.

    That’s why we see MacT bringing in old-guy Ference and making him captain. He’s trying to build a solid core of veterans to teach the kids how to work, but my guess is that at this point the inmates are running the asylum.

  34. flyfish1168 says:

    Clay,

    excellent points. I mange people and wow what a shift. It really escalated with the internet, then computer games, then smartphones, and lastly social media. Each time these new things came out It felt like I was fighting with less productive staff

  35. Andy P says:

    How many people on this blog have been asked to turn around a team while being forced to use the same assistants that have been part of the teams’ failure for the past 5 to 8 years?

    How many people on this blog have been asked to turn around a failing company, but being told that they cannot do anything about the middle managers, all personal friends of the owners, who are at the heart of the company’s problems through their incompetence and mismanagement?

    I have been in the latter situation. I gave it my best shot but came to the conclusion that the company could not be saved under those circumstances. The company folded not very long after I left.

    The point being that while Eakins lack’s Krueger’s intellect and Renney’s coachng talent, he’s a mediocre coach, not a bad coach and the present state of the team is not on him.

    I don’t know to what extent this is even his team. Because who do you think the players will listen to privately, the assistant who has staying power, and has the ear of Kevin Lowe if not MacT, or the coach du jour?

    What if the players think their assistants are stupid? (I’m not saying he is, I’m posing a question). As in, players who regard themselves as top end talent, being coached by a pair of grinders?

    How many teams force their new coaches to accept assistants whose only track record is one of suck?

    Renney’s Gone, Krueger’s gone, who’s next? The biggest positive change for this team is to allow Eakins to live or die with a coaching staff that he selects in the off season. If Eakins doesn’t turn the ship around then bring in a new coach and their staff, preferably Todd Nelson and his assistants.

    If MacT thinks Bucky and Smith are so good, send Bucky down to see how well he can do with OKC with Smith as his assistant and whoever he wants as his other assistants.

    Bucky is the only constant in the suckitude since MacT quit under Tambo, and MacT’s suckitude from 50% wins to 46% wins took place after he took on Bucky.

    Bucky would also be in an ideal position to undermine every head coach he works under, until the only option is Bucky, but I have absolutely no evidence to prove any of that.

    We do need a better balance roster, for sure, but we’re not going to be able to make any meaningful progress until we eliminate the sole remaining constant in our suckage to determine whether he actually is part of the problem or part of the solution, and the same, but to a lesser degree, goes for Smith, who arrived later, has never been a head coach, and likely does not carry the same clout with KLowe as Bucky.

  36. Clay says:

    flyfish1168:
    Clay,

    excellent points. I mange people and wow what a shift. It really escalated with the internet, then computer games, then smartphones, and lastly social media. Each time these new things came out It felt like I was fighting with less productive staff

    I’m a freshman in University at 39 years old. I’m SHOCKED daily by things I see and hear my 19 and 20 year old classmates do. They honestly expect to get passing grades simply because they had to pay to go to school.

  37. Ducey says:

    I think its really simple.

    They have stopped playing as they have nothing left to play for. Jeff Petry had a big sign on his head last night saying “I don’t care anymore”.

    And before you even think about saying “They should be playing for Pride”, think about the fact they have had a terrible season on many fronts. Expectations were high. They were out of it early. Recently they have had a raft of injuries, had a few teammates traded, and now have a bunch of callups or guys playing out of position. Even the fans have turned on them.

    Most guys likely can’t wait for this season to end. I can’t blame them.

  38. flyfish1168 says:

    Clay: I’m a freshman in University at 39 years old.I’m SHOCKED daily by things I see and hear my 19 and 20 year old classmates do.They honestly expect to get passing grades simply because they had to pay to go to school.

    People expect more without trying or giving a half effort. The loyalty of staff is less. Rare to get someone that stayed in one place for long. they always think that they can get another job else where. they know to use other jobs against you to get what they want.
    That is one reason why I’m afraid to do the harda$$ approach. I hate the thought one goes Postal or Superstore.

  39. hunter1909 says:

    Andy P: If MacT thinks Bucky and Smith are so good, send Bucky down to see how well he can do with OKC with Smith as his assistant and whoever he wants as his other assistants.
    Bucky is the only constant in the suckitude since MacT quit under Tambo, and MacT’s suckitude from 50% wins to 46% wins took place after he took on Bucky.
    Bucky would also be in an ideal position to undermine every head coach he works under, until the only option is Bucky, but I have absolutely no evidence to prove any of that.

    But…he makes amazing daiquiris!

    Katz’s imaginary nickname for Steve Smith: “Leprechaun” – which
    barely even makes sense given the fact Steve’s originally from Glasgow.

  40. TheOtherJohn says:

    Ducey:
    I think its really simple.

    They have stopped playing as they have nothing left to play for.Jeff Petry had a big sign on his head last night saying “I don’t care anymore”.

    And before you even think about saying “They should be playing for Pride”, think about the fact they have had a terrible season on many fronts.Expectations were high.They were out of it early.Recently they have had a raft of injuries, had a few teammates traded, and now have a bunch of callups or guys playing out of position.Even the fans have turned on them.

    Most guys likely can’t wait for this season to end.I can’t blame them.

    No problem. Can I have my money back?

  41. Ribs says:

    The coach interviewed before the game… ” I know exactly how we need to start the season next year…”

    He’s moved past this season. It’s no wonder his players have as well.

  42. hunter1909 says:

    I used to think Steve Smith and Kevin Lowe were the same player. No idea when it dawned that they weren’t, what with the team’s winners scoring so often and everything.

  43. Andy P says:

    Of course one needs to coach young people differently. Of course us boomers and Gen x’rs have a work ethic that so many of them do not.

    So what do you think when players who consider themselves gifted have a coaching staff of grinders who coach like they play? You can get away with assistants that are grinders if the coach is a) approachable and b) has experience and/or intellect to earn the young gun’s respect.

    Renney and Krueger had that. Eakins does not. One would therefore hope that Eakins can find assistants that will have the respect of the young guns from the get-go and let Eakins focus on things like strategy, lines etc.

    Quinn had Renney and Renney had Krueger….

  44. hunter1909 says:

    I wonder at what point Katz wakes up to the reality his NHL team might stink on grand opening night of his shiny new arena?

  45. cahill says:

    Small sample size, but last year Jon Cooper’s record was 5-8-3. Ben Bishop played 9 of those games so you can’t blame it on goaltending. TBL realized that the coach needed some leadership to help him. They hired Bowness, who is a communicator and helped calm the storm. Now they are 41-25-9 without Stamkos for a large portion of the season. Good coaching at all levels helps.

    I think Eakins is a good coach, you don’t just become a bad coach in a year. I guess, maybe if you’re coaching the Oilers you do. The players need to know that Eakins isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
    Switching coaches year after year is only going to make this situation worse. But give him some help, hire a career coach that’s a good communicator but likely isn’t going to be a threat to take Eakins job; Dave Lewis or Craig Ramsay would be on the top of my list. Somebody that can bridge the gap between the head coach and the players.

    The thing is Eakins has to be opened to it. He seems like an arrogant prick and if he’s not open to it then I’m really not sure what you do.

  46. Bank Shot says:

    Andy P:
    Of course one needs to coach young people differently. Of course us boomers and Gen x’rs have a work ethic that so many of them do not.

    Is that really true?

    Where I work the majority of the laziest and most incompetent workers are in their 50′s.

  47. hunter1909 says:

    Andy P: One would therefore hope that Eakins can find assistants that will have the respect of the young guns from the get-go and let Eakins focus on things like strategy, lines etc.

    One can therefore hope winning lottery numbers, with arguable chances of success. “Steve Smith” the lowetide poster is a lawyer, and smart – he probably knows the argument side of it. I’ll just go with the rest of the hockey world – shaking their heads in astonishment as this melodrama plays itself out to what appears to be a toxic wasteland of coaching at any/every level.

  48. danieldelair says:

    Clay,

    Thanks for the tired and derivative generation vs. generation analysis that provides nothing but broad and general speculation. We get it, everyone over the age of 35 just saw the world completely different than those damn Millenials with their video games and internet. Sweeping claims are really easy to make, look over the nuance that is all of human personality/relationships/existence, and just generally annoy the hell out of me.

    And yes, there are young people who are lazy. But I guarantee you (and everyone else who agreed) that there were baby boomers/gen x’ers who were lazy when young. Hell, I know a lot who are lazy and (uh-oh) entitled right now.

  49. Oilanderp says:

    Clay: I’m a freshman in University at 39 years old.I’m SHOCKED daily by things I see and hear my 19 and 20 year old classmates do.They honestly expect to get passing grades simply because they had to pay to go to school.

    I went back to trade school recently at the age of 39 as well. The instructor asked me to help some of the other students with construction math since some seemed to not be catching on.

    ‘What’s the first problem you’re having trouble with?’ I asked the student next to me.
    ‘The first one’, he replied.
    ‘Okay, let’s take a look.’

    I read it aloud. Express the following in inches: 3/4 of 1″.

    The youngster fiddled with his calculator for the answer. It required every ounce of willpower in my being to resist slapping it out of his hand to be smashed against the wall across the room.

    Within about 5 minutes of that I discovered about a quarter of the class didn’t know that 3/4 means 3 divided by 4. They had no idea what a ratio was. No idea what a quarter was, let alone 3 of them.

    Kids. There’s a short somewhere along the line.

    You should’ve seen when they realized that their calculator could not cut wood and hammer nails.

  50. Woodguy says:

    gcw_rocks:
    Last 20 games against the west this season:

    CF = 969
    CA = 1321
    CF% = 42.3%

    FF = 698
    FA = 1008
    FF% = 40.9%

    Last 20 games last year:

    CF = 976
    CA = 1180
    CF% = 45.3%

    FF = 726
    FA = 880
    FF% = 45.2%

    Data from extra skater.

    I still say add in a Mark Fraser and subtract a Smid from last year’s numbers and its not far off.

    They are worse this year.

    I agree with that.

    I also think the Dcorps were significantly worse.

    I also think that Tyler found their chip ins skyrocketed this year and this is not a team that is good at puck retrieval.

    I think they sacrificed some offence due to wanting to minimize offensive blue line turn overs and its bit them in the ass.

    MacT gave approval for this change in his interview with Staples.

    I think its entirely wrong.

    Most pro sport coaches err on the conservative side far, far too much.

    MacT and Eakins bemoan that they don’t have heavy forwards, and yet them make them play more chip and chase.

    Bah!

  51. cahill says:

    hunter1909:
    I used to think Steve Smith and Kevin Lowe were the same player. No idea when it dawned that they weren’t, what with the team’s winners scoring so often and everything.

    I think that Steve Smith and Ryan Stiles (Who’s Line Is It Anyway?) are the same person. Which explains why this defense is a joke.

  52. justDOit says:

    cahill: I think that Steve Smith and Ryan Stiles (Who’s Line Is It Anyway?) are the same person.Which explains why this defense is a joke.

    Wait – Steve Smith isn’t John Wayne?

  53. B S says:

    LT,
    Eakin’s arrogance is a big deal.
    Ralph Krueger wasn’t arrogant, when RK came off a bad season (not even close to this bad) he came out and said he needed an associate to help with his systems. He admitted that the mistakes were his (didn’t blame the roster, didn’t blame the kids). RK was looking to learn and improve on next season. This is also why keeping Krueger would have been the correct option last summer.

    If Eakins is really as arrogant as many here (myself included) believe him to be he won’t improve. The reasoning given for keeping Eakins is continuity and “he’s a rookie coach” and “he’ll learn”. Learning means admitting you made mistakes, it means looking for solutions to the problems you can control. It requires humility (the opposite of arrogance). If Eakins is really so arrogant as he seems, then there is no reason to believe he will be better next season.

    On the 1-3-1 PP, has anyone realized that this formation leaves a single D-man (often Schultz) as the only one back if the puck gets turned over. Schultz gets a lot of flak, but even when he doesn’t pinch it usually ends up as a 2 on 1 because every other Oiler is down low. Looking at it that way he might as well pinch every time, because there’s at least a chance to prevent a breakout. I strongly believe that the current system is the entire source of the problems on the pp, and that is on coaching.

  54. book¡je says:

    Players don’t need to like a coach for things to be successful, but they do need to respect him. That respect can either come through admiration (even hatful admiration – i.e. the guy is an asshole but knows what he is talking about) or some kind of intimidation (the guy is an asshole and an idiot, but I am going to do what he says because I am scared of him).

    I think coaching immaturity is probably part of the problem. He has a certain ‘shtick’ about him that might have worked if the team had been winning. The military jacket thing probably became pretty corny after a few weeks of losing. Also, he made a point of explaining how he manipulated players prior to actually starting the job. Every coach manipulates players, but Eakins explained in detail how he used individual characteristics of the player to motivate them. If you make the subject of your manipulation aware of the manipulation, it makes it much much harder to be effective.

    I really really wonder if he would have been successful if he had the same early season goaltending that Krueger had. The corny stuff would have gone over better when a team was winning, but haul water, chop wood probably seems pretty stupid when you lose 15 out of 20 games or so.

    The problem is that once the players start seeing the coach as a cartoon character, I don’t think its possible to win them over.

    It’s possible that with a better defense the Oilers start winning next year and everything turns good, but it is far from certain.

    I’m pretty uncertain on this one. Either you fire the coach and bring in a respected veteran coach who can settle things down OR you leave the coach and bring in a respected veteran coach to assist the coach in regaining the team’s respect.

    Sigh.

  55. book¡je says:

    cahill:
    Small sample size, but last year Jon Cooper’s record was 5-8-3.Ben Bishop played 9 of those games so you can’t blame it on goaltending.TBL realized that the coach needed some leadership to help him.They hired Bowness, who is a communicator and helped calm the storm.Now they are 41-25-9 without Stamkos for a large portion of the season.Good coaching at all levels helps.

    This makes sense to me. I think that regardless of what happens, it’s on MacT that he hasn’t adapted. If the assistants need replacing or the coach needs a new associate coach or whatever, then he probably should have done the same at the TBL.

    All of this could say something about having rookies at all levels of management and/or individuals who only have experience in the Oilers organization.

  56. flyfish1168 says:

    B S:
    LT,
    Eakin’s arrogance is a big deal.
    Ralph Krueger wasn’t arrogant, when RK came off a bad season (not even close to this bad) he came out and said he needed an associate to help with his systems. He admitted that the mistakes were his (didn’t blame the roster, didn’t blame the kids). RK was looking to learn and improve on next season. This is also why keeping Krueger would have been the correct option last summer.

    If Eakins is really as arrogant as many here (myself included) believe him to be he won’t improve. The reasoning given for keeping Eakins is continuity and “he’s a rookie coach” and “he’ll learn”. Learning means admitting you made mistakes, it means looking for solutions to the problems you can control. It requires humility (the opposite of arrogance). If Eakins is really so arrogant as he seems, then there is no reason to believe he will be better next season.

    On the 1-3-1 PP, has anyone realized that this formation leaves a single D-man (often Schultz) as the only one back if the puck gets turned over. Schultz gets a lot of flak, but even when he doesn’t pinch it usually ends up as a 2 on 1 because every other Oiler is down low. Looking at it that way he might as well pinch every time, because there’s at least a chance to prevent a breakout. I strongly believe that the current system is the entire source of the problems on the pp, and that is on coaching.

    Like your view on Eakins and RK. and agree with you. I hope this summer Eakins looks in the mirror. He talks a good game no doubt about it. He just may not be the right guy to know how to implement the system. That is why he is over his head and needs an associate coach to help. Sad Ralph realized it and got fired for it.

  57. Pouzar says:

    Oilers agree to terms with Western Michigan Broncos (@WMUHockey) d-man Jordan Oesterle (@j_oest15) on a two-year entry level contract.

  58. Woodguy says:

    book¡je: This makes sense to me.I think that regardless of what happens, it’s on MacT that he hasn’t adapted.If the assistants need replacing or the coach needs a new associate coach or whatever, then he probably should have done the same at the TBL.

    All of this could say something about having rookies at all levels of management and/or individuals who only have experience in the Oilers organization.

    When MacT asked if Eakins was free to hire his own assistant or had to keep Smith/Bucky around, MacT said it was Eakins decision, but he hoped he would keep Smith/Bucky.

    No pressure coach!

  59. freedomisamyth says:

    Woodguy: I still say add in a Mark Fraser and subtract a Smid from last year’s numbers and its not far off.

    They are worse this year.

    I agree with that.

    I also think the Dcorps were significantly worse.

    I also think that Tyler found their chip ins skyrocketed this year and this is not a team that is good at puck retrieval.

    I think they sacrificed some offence due to wanting to minimize offensive blue line turn overs and its bit them in the ass.

    MacT gave approval for this change in his interview with Staples.

    I think its entirely wrong.

    Most pro sport coaches err on the conservative side far, far too much.

    MacT and Eakins bemoan that they don’t have heavy forwards, and yet them make them play more chip and chase.

    Bah!

    Have you actually noticed them chipping it in all the time in the past 20 games? From what I’ve seen, I wouldn’t bet they do it a whole lot…they might have during the stretch he looked at, but I dont think they are doing it now.

  60. book¡je says:

    Woodguy: When MacT asked if Eakins was free to hire his own assistant or had to keep Smith/Bucky around, MacT said it was Eakins decision, but he hoped he would keep Smith/Bucky.

    No pressure coach!

    Yes, and I imagine that the conversation was even less direct when they met in person. With that said, he brought in Acton as ‘his man’. Unless Bucky and Smith are activly working against the coach, I can’t see the assistants alone being the problem. With that said, for all we know, Eakins is getting direction from ‘above’ about how to use Hall, Eberle, RNH, etc. That could really handicap a coach.

  61. admiralmark says:

    book¡je: This makes sense to me.I think that regardless of what happens, it’s on MacT that he hasn’t adapted.If the assistants need replacing or the coach needs a new associate coach or whatever, then he probably should have done the same at the TBL.

    All of this could say something about having rookies at all levels of management and/or individuals who only have experience in the Oilers organization.

    I think it says a lot about friends hiring friends as well. Katz hires Lowe. Lowe hires MacT. MacT hires Eakins but leaves Smith and Bucky. I give MacT until about the draft to do the right thing and cut loose Bucky and Smith. If he doesn’t then i’d say we are mired in a loop of repetitive failure.

  62. justDOit says:

    admiralmark,

    if (arena = full)
    {

    }

  63. OilClog says:

    I can’t say that MacT has anything to do with what Eakins is doing behind the bench..

    At what point as MacT coach did things ever look this terrible?!

    All these role players we miss from the MacT days are a result of the coaching and systems those players were put in.. Just like how the results show the coach and system we currently have. Complete filth.

  64. OilClog says:

    Can’t wait until next season when maybe all we have is Nuge left and were a Eakins built team.

    How can anyone defend the use of Mark Fraser?

    As my roommate says to me everyday “Acton, Will”

    Like he knows something.

  65. Woodguy says:

    Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers 15m
    Luke Gazdic will undergo season-ending shoulder surgery this week and will be sidelined approximately six months.

    I really hope they call up SMac.

    I really do.

  66. su_dhillon says:

    Woodguy,

    So I got myself tangled in the classic Woodguy Vs Gregor Twitter battles and I have no idea how you put yourself through those over and over again buddy.

  67. Woodguy says:

    su_dhillon:
    Woodguy,

    So I got myself tangled in the classic Woodguy Vs Gregor Twitter battles and I have no idea how you put yourself through those over and over again buddy.

    On vacation and have some time.

    Incredibly obstinate and moves the goal posts often.

    Not a dumb guy, but gets trapped in the way the thinks.

  68. Glock9 says:

    justDOit:
    The ‘my bad’ moment was downright cringe-worthy. A little time spent in the video dept, reviewing last season could have avoided that entire mess, as could have keeping Krueger around at least another season. But Oilers.

    Eakins: “My bad. I assumed that we knew what traditional d-zone coverage was and it was clear that we didn’t. So we took a slight step back from our double up system.”

    What kills me is it took him 20 games to figure this out…….ffs

  69. Bank Shot says:

    Woodguy:
    Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers15m
    Luke Gazdic will undergo season-ending shoulder surgery this week and will be sidelined approximately six months.

    I really hope they call up SMac.

    I really do.

    It’s because the Oilers rushed him. The shoulder injury proves that he wasn’t physically ready for the NHL.

  70. alice13 says:

    Woodguy:
    “I also think that Tyler found their chip ins skyrocketed this year and this is not a team that is good at puck retrieval.”

    Saw this in action Saturday’s Leafs game, they had PP and pulled goalie, 6 on 4 with just under a minute to go.

    Dumped it in and spent minimum of 20s trying to dig puck out of resulting scrum. Carlyle.
    Eakins?

    Now to go way off script, again with a bloody Leafs telecast couple weeks back, vs Philly. Just turned it on briefly and watched Couturier make the softest giveaway, not a low-percentage pass or something like Hall was getting roasted over early in the year. Pure easy pass to the wrong team. Of course nothing happened, so nothing happened. Then he did it again his very next shift! I was thinking the folks around LT would be apoplectic he did it here, beware the grass-is-greener and all that. Funny thing is I hadn’t heard all the positive on SC then, and just sort of penciled him into a ‘seen him real bad’.
    Now maybe he had a Nyquil that day, and maybe it was an Exquisitely tiny sample size, but it does show how heavily outcome dependant our perceptions can be, and how much the back-end of the team can shape those outcomes for better or worse.

    And it’s also quite possible that SC might ~= 89 if he was playing on the Oilers, and not be the improvement one might expect. The Hemsky story in reverse.

  71. Caramel Obvious says:

    Coaching aside the paucity of talent on the Oilers is incredible. Take a quick look at the Rangers team that played last night by toi.

    Top four D:

    McDonagh
    Girardi
    Staal
    Stralman

    Do the Oilers have a single as any of these guys? Maybe Petry. That’s it.

    How about forwards:

    St. Louis
    Richards
    Hagelin
    Zuccarello
    Nash
    Brassard
    Boyle
    Stepan
    Pouliot

    Just look at the list. It is incredible how much more talent the Rangers have than the Oilers.

  72. Alpine says:

    danieldelair,

    As a 20 year old myself, I am thankful for your comments. As a real world example goes, I can’t say I know a single friend or acquaintance in my age group who isn’t working reasonably hard towards something be it either a full-time job or a full-time education or a combination of the two.

  73. bendelson says:

    Bookje:
    Thanks for repeating my comments regarding liking a coach vs respecting a coach. As nobody around here actually reads my posts (and I really can’t blame them for it), I appreciate you reiterating my thoughts for mass consumption.

    A message to the Millennials out there:
    Get off my lawn you useless whipper-snappers! Life is supposed to be difficult. Get off your ass, work hard like ME, earn the respect of your elders like I did and one day in the very distant future, if you’re really lucky, you may see a fraction of MY success.

  74. su_dhillon says:

    Woodguy,

    Don’t think hes dumb in anyway but he does seem to have a hard time believeng what results show and giving up old shcool views of puck moving dman vs shut down vs whatever. If results don’t matter then discussion becomes very difficult.

    Btw Watching/talking Oilers is no vacation go do something fun!

  75. Marcus Oilerius says:

    bendelson:
    A message to the Millennials out there:
    Get off my lawn you useless whipper-snappers!Life is supposed to be difficult.Get off your ass, work hard like ME, earn the respect of your elders like I did and one day in the very distant future, if you’re really lucky, you may see a fraction of MY success.

    Kindly STFU about things you do not understand.

    When you were growing up, a university education was pretty much a ticket to success. Now a university education is required for a mid-level position you used to get with a high school diploma, it pays less, and you get to start with a new car loan’s worth of debt in life.

    When I came to the country in ’85, I was able to support my wife and my kid on a factory job. I was able to rent a house, buy a house, then upgrade to a much nicer one, and I did that in the crappy 1985 Alberta economy.

    These days, unless you’re in Alberta, and unless you’re willing to go into the trades (which is going to pay high only until the Conservatives import enough Temporary Filipino Workers to replace tradesmen, because oil companies are struggling for a profit), you’ve got nothing ahead of you in life except a struggle in which you lose ground relative to your parents.

    My niece in Ontario has an education degree and a master’s in psychology. She’s been substitute teaching five years now and lost her part time job at Tim Horton’s to a bunch of TFWs because she would change availability often due to her teaching.

    Honestly, just please, STFU until you know better. Alberta is not representative of Canada’s economy at large.

  76. Ducey says:

    Woodguy:
    Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers15m
    Luke Gazdic will undergo season-ending shoulder surgery this week and will be sidelined approximately six months.

    I really hope they call up SMac.

    I really do.

    They may. They are really banged up on the farm and have to play Wednesday against Hamilton.

    Last night the only guys they had at forward that resembled a prospect were C. Hamilton, Acton, Ewanyk, Fyten and A. Miller. None of those guys has really earned a call up.

    If it was me I would probably call up Eager. The Oilers are paying his full salary anyway.

  77. stevezie says:

    Marcus Oilerius,

    I don’t think Bendelsohn means what you think Bendtelson means.

  78. Gerta Rauss says:

    Marcus Oilerius,

    I think our friend Bendelson’s comment was meant tongue in cheek

  79. DeadmanWaking says:

    I lightly skimmed a few chapters of Insomniac by Gayle Green about a month ago. It was a light skim because I plan to buy the book someday soon.

    There was some interesting information in the book, but it was drowned out by the sound of the author’s whining. I know she’s tired. She’s an insomniac. And I feel for her. But her surly tone went more than a little overboard.

    This is a fairly typical review of a reader who just doesn’t want to go there.

    Too cranky? I was fist pumping at her snarky outbursts! I’ve had my own sleep issue for three decades now. I’ve tried just a few nostrums over the years. Yet I still bump into people who go “surely it can’t be that hard?” then they follow up with “why don’t you try X?” where X is something which suggests I could resolve my issue with a ten second Google search, if only my sorry ass had the necessary keyboard skill to type “insomnia” into the little box, and then click through to one of the first three results Google returns. It’s the kind of thing that makes you want to pluck your eyeballs so that they can be replaced with walnut-sized Death Stars, fully commissioned and well-rehearsed.

    Or the person will say “you just have to find a way”. Uh, excuse me, what I’m presently doing for some reason doesn’t quality as “finding a way” exactly how? Are you suggesting that my problem persists because I’m foolishly trying too many things that won’t work? Along with all the other things I foolishly tried that didn’t work? Explain to me again this “finding a way” business or yours neatly trimmed of all this foolish ingenuity and persistence, which I now see under your searing light as the root cause of my tragic inability to straighten up and fly right.

    I’ve fired a lot of pills in my day. Fired them, then hired them back years later. Then fired them again. They hired them back again further down the road.

    At this point, I’ve finally managed to sequester the difficult side of my reality from the high-energy side of my reality. Some of my attempted mitigations against the dark side were so severe they spilled over and also ruined what was still working. I’m at the point now where I understand that it is what it is, and I know when I need to approach life from a spirit of damage control, and when I can reliably spread my powerful wings and pump myself back up to a lofty altitude.

    Okay, so Eakins is a pill. What now?

    I’ve spent many long years wandering around in the morass of murky solutions. I’ve fired a coach a year for a decade straight. I’ve foolishly persisted for years and years with things that weren’t actually helping.

    Eventually what I learned is that you have to make a basic commitment before you start the next crazy thing to stick with it long enough to count as a valid trial. Of course, if the side-effects begin to seem dangerous or harmful, one must reassess in the moment. But if the problem is merely that things are getting worse before they get better (or worse before they get still worse before they get better, unless they’re still getting worser still) then you just have to suck it up and complete the trial.

    For the man wandering through the dim wilderness, there’s no madness worse than a long history of half-completed interventions, abandoned in one crescendo after another of frustration boiling into pique.

    The natural decision point on the Eakamine antidepressant trial is xmas next season.

    So we spend twenty hours sitting in the tub with a black towel draped over our head? For the ninth time this season? So? So? I could list out all the available coaches we could try instead. In a single post I could have Lowetide’s blog placed on the INTERPOL master-blacklist of illegal Canadian internet pharmacies.

    I’ve tried managing by black towel. Never worked for me. Probably set myself back a decade. Then again, it’s pretty much impossible to remain stoic on the ninth espisode of tub-crinkled towel-head if you haven’t first endured a long, flailing affair with the quick fix.

    1 deserving of almost instant demotion

    Eakins is full value for Bruce’s stiletto digit. The problem remains, however, that in a deep-enough muddle, deserving’s got nothing to do with it.

    Practically every nostrum I’ve ever tried was deserving of instant demotion at one point or another. The more often I lowered the boom, the less progress I ultimately made.

    I figure Eakins has until xmas to repair the hull (perhaps more achievable after summer dry-dock). If he succeeds at this basic task (this is far below achieving a winning record) he buys himself another year to trim the main sail.

    In my twenties when I first struggled I had this feeling that life was passing me by. I was standing in the ditch beside the freeway where all the other cars were zipping joyously along, but not me. Eventually I just had to accept that my lane in life was the grassy meridian between those parallel ribbons of inviting blacktop. I got myself a two-stroke and learned how to wheelie jump the culverts, the discarded television sets, and the radar-patrol Smoky switchbacks. I got to where I could make pretty good time gunning along my private lane. Yes, a few times I emerged from the long grass with my front tire wearing a discarded television set. Oh well, shit happens.

    Badass Literary Figures: Ernest Hemingway

    In the ambulance corps during WWI, Hemingway dragged an Italian soldier to safety despite being hit by mortar shrapnel and having his kneecap shot off. In France during WWII, this badass literary figure encountered a basement full of S.S. troops, who he told to “share these among yourselves” before throwing grenades inside.

    You might think all this Nazi-exploding kept Hemingway pretty busy, but it turns out that in his free time he ran his own intelligence network to spy on Nazi sympathizers in Cuba.

    The world tried repeatedly to kill Hemingway. He survived gunshots to practically every part of his body, countless concussions, three car crashes, two plane crashes, two fires, and an anthrax infection. He once wrote that life breaks everyone, but afterward some are stronger at the broken places. It’s not hard to imagine what inspired that sentiment.

    Holy moly about that closing line. I hope he double-checked Hemingway’s death certificate, because after penning a line like that, this is one author who does not want to stumble into a chance encounter with the real Hemingway in real life. It’s not hard to imagine he would regret that incident.

    I don’t count that litany of bone-crush as a heroic life lived. To me it looks like damn harsh medicine. Must have been one hell of a black towel snapping at his ankles to keep on doubling down.

    I’ve reached a point where I’ve passed through egg-timer anxiety to the other side. I’m completely dead now to the call of “because seven years”.

    I don’t commend this as a state of personal enlightenment. Passing through the hourglass egg-timer involves a round or three of electro-convulsive therapy applied to the temples of life ambition. Eventually I forgot the world of blacktop, it’s painted lines and ordered flows.

    I will add, however, that the bitterest pill is the one you quit too soon, the one where it was already working, but before you received a sure sign.

    How do you know? You don’t. Welcome to life in the long grass.

  80. Marcus Oilerius says:

    stevezie,

    I hope so, because the earlier ignorance in the thread pissed me off. Millennials have it way harder than I ever did, and I came to the country with $200 and a list of contacts for work. A freaking house didn’t cost five times my family income, either. The interest was killer, but that meant I didn’t buy a $500,000 house and live in fear of the day when interest rates would go to some horrible high, like 5%.

  81. russ99 says:

    Better and more experienced defensive players are going to make us better on defense.

    Nailing “two way checker” shoes on Yak and Hall’s feet aint gonna cut it.

    Our coach needs to stop thinking and reacting like players come out of cookie cutters.

  82. PaperDesigner says:

    Marcus Oilerius:
    stevezie,

    I hope so, because the earlier ignorance in the thread pissed me off.Millennials have it way harder than I ever did, and I came to the country with $200 and a list of contacts for work.A freaking house didn’t cost five times my family income, either.The interest was killer, but that meant I didn’t buy a $500,000 house and live in fear of the day when interest rates would go to some horrible high, like 5%.

    We’re on the internet. What lawn is there to get off, here?

  83. sliderule says:

    book¡je,

    Double sigh.

  84. ashley says:

    I don’t know. I think Eakins is a big problem. Sure he’s arrogant, but that’s not the problem. Yeah he’s kind of an asshole in general, but that’s not a problem either. The problem is that he’s disrespectful to the players and media, and by extension to the fans.

    His behaviour is also childish and I would venture to guess that his stone cold front and awful attempts at sarcastic humour with the press are covers for an underlying lack of self confidence.

    Normal, confident, respectful people answer questions honestly. No word games or silly quotes. They smile occasionally and appropriately. They acknowledge frustration like Hall’s water bottle thing. They take a little water on the jacket in stride and at the very most talk privately to the player if they think the public display of frustration is negatively affecting the team. They don’t publicly humiliate one of their own in front of millions with an over reaction. Childish. Disrespectful.

    The problem with a guy like Eakins is that I am sure that he thinks he will command respect by being overly serious, by mocking the media and his players, by laying blame at the feet of the players. However, this only makes the players disrespect him even more, and by extension, the fans disrespect him too. No wonder he can’t get them to do what he wants.

    They can hate the man. We can all hate the man. But there has to be mutual respect between the parties to accomplish the task at hand.

  85. commonfan14 says:

    Marcus Oilerius: Kindly STFU about things you do not understand.

    Can’t we still talk about the Oilers?

  86. Logan91 says:

    Pouzar:
    Oilers agree to terms with Western Michigan Broncos (@WMUHockey) d-man Jordan Oesterle (@j_oest15) on a two-year entry level contract.

    I like this kid, basically a smaller version of Klefbom.
    I don’t see any way Fedun stays with the Oilers now.

  87. Woodguy says:

    freedomisamyth: Have you actually noticed them chipping it in all the time in the past 20 games? From what I’ve seen, I wouldn’t bet they do it a whole lot…they might have during the stretch he looked at, but I dont think they are doing it now.

    From the games I watch closely they are still chipping and chasing a bunch.

    Sometimes you have to because the D is standing you up at the line, but I think they do it more often than they should

  88. Glock9 says:

    ashley:
    I don’t know.I think Eakins is a big problem.Sure he’s arrogant, but that’s not the problem.Yeah he’s kind of an asshole in general, but that’s not a problem either.The problem is that he’s disrespectful to the players and media, and by extension to the fans.

    His behaviour is also childish and I would venture to guess that his stone cold front and awful attempts at sarcastic humour with the press are covers for an underlying lack of self confidence.

    Normal, confident, respectful people answer questions honestly.No word games or silly quotes.They smile occasionally and appropriately.They acknowledge frustration like Hall’s water bottle thing.They take a little water on the jacket in stride and at the very most talk privately to the player if they think the public display of frustration is negatively affecting the team.They don’t publicly humiliate one of their own in front of millions with an over reaction.Childish.Disrespectful.

    The problem with a guy like Eakins is that I am sure that he thinks he will command respect by being overly serious, by mocking the media and his players, by laying blame at the feet of the players.However, this only makes the players disrespect him even more, and by extension, the fans disrespect him too.No wonder he can’t get them to do what he wants.

    They can hate the man.We can all hate the man.But there has to be mutual respect between the parties to accomplish the task at hand.

    Pretty much nailed it Ashley.

    Personally i can’t even listen to him anymore – period. And, i know many people are the same way. He is very unlikeable.

    I can’t imagine having to see and listen to him every day. I would not want to be any part of HIS team.

    I’m sure he has this effect on more than one player in that room.

  89. danieldelair says:

    Marcus Oilerius:
    stevezie,

    I hope so, because the earlier ignorance in the thread pissed me off.Millennials have it way harder than I ever did, and I came to the country with $200 and a list of contacts for work.A freaking house didn’t cost five times my family income, either.The interest was killer, but that meant I didn’t buy a $500,000 house and live in fear of the day when interest rates would go to some horrible high, like 5%.

    I will quote this for truth, but also because it backs me up. As a later Milennial, I would love to have someone explain to me how I’m entitled because I currently go to school full time, work three days a week for minimum wage (because I live in Quebec where employment and good income are near impossible for someone in school) and am currently in the midst of an unpaid internship that I do “for experience” knowing that my degree alone will not be enough for me to get a leg up.

    But I do happen to know baby boomers making 45 bucks an hour, unionized public officials, who would teach pretty much anyone a lesson in how to do absolutely nothing for eight hours a day while bitching all day long about how hard they have it. Entitlement is not generation specific.

  90. Woodguy says:

    russ99:
    Better and more experienced defensive players are going to make us better on defense.

    Nailing “two way checker” shoes on Yak and Hall’s feet aint gonna cut it.

    Our coach needs to stop thinking and reacting like players come out of cookie cutters.

    Good players need to be good without the puck too.

    Backchecking properly and playing well in your own zone doesn’t take away the offense.

    Chipping pucks out of the dzone and chipping pucks into the ozone takes away the offense.

    Any time you willingly give up possession of the puck takes away the offense.

    Playing good defense doesn’t take away offense.

    Playing bad/scared transitional hockey takes away offense.

  91. Woodguy says:

    su_dhillon:
    Woodguy,

    Don’t think hes dumb in anyway but he does seem to have a hard time believeng what results show and giving up old shcool views of puck moving dman vs shut down vs whatever. If results don’t matter then discussion becomes very difficult.

    Btw Watching/talking Oilers is no vacation go do something fun!

    Playing with my 5 year old in the pool.

    Just came in to grab a beer.

  92. bendelson says:

    Thank you Stevzee and Gerta. Nice to know a few of you have paid some attention to my posts over the past 8,9,10 years…

    Marcus: Sorry to have launched your blood pressure into the stratusphere… I thought the ‘get off my lawn’ beginning was a massive clue as to how to read what followed. I do believe I understand the situation quite clearly – my wife is currently completing her PhD which (without getting into the sordid details) is largely based on the changing face of inequality and social citizenship in Western Democracies.

    It was sarcasm.

    I will now do as you say and STFU.

  93. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Todd Nelson on ON with Stauffer is saying Will Acton is coming back up!

    exciting time to be an Oilers fan!

  94. Derek says:

    This place has gone insane.

  95. bendelson says:

    Woodguy,

    I don’t know what part of Edm you are in WG, but where I am it is definately not beer drinking, sitting by the pool kind of weather.

  96. Pouzar says:

    Chase/Khaira have to be on their way to OKC.

    Nelson said details are being worked out to get some bodies up.

  97. OilClog says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Todd Nelson on ON with Stauffer is saying Will Acton is coming back up!

    exciting time to be an Oilers fan!

    I hate my roommate!

    Freaking Acton!!

    Maybe they can slide him along side Eberle and Nuge and give Lander a break from creating space for them!

    Omfg Will Acton.

    What have we done in previous life’s to deserve this sort of fan treatment.

    I was sucking thumb when they won cups! This isn’t fair :(

  98. hunter1909 says:

    danieldelair: But I do happen to know baby boomers making 45 bucks an hour, unionized public officials, who would teach pretty much anyone a lesson in how to do absolutely nothing for eight hours a day while bitching all day long about how hard they have it. Entitlement is not generation specific.

    People under 25 should be taking target practice for the eventual Revolutionary Court™ official (bankers, politicians and others) firing squads of the future. Your parent’s generation don’t care about freedom or democracy(mealy mouthed congrats to the WW2 generation every Nov11 notwithstanding), didn’t bother telling you what never mattered to them and to top everything off, actually believe much of the irrelevant drivel about young people which spouts from their mouths.

  99. fifthcartel says:

    Arcobello extension? what…..

  100. OilClog says:

    Woodguy: Good players need to be good without the puck too.

    Backchecking properly and playing well in your own zone doesn’t take away the offense.

    Chipping pucks out of the dzone and chipping pucks into the ozone takes away the offense.

    Any time you willingly give up possession of the puck takes away the offense.

    Playing good defense doesn’t take away offense.

    Playing bad/scared transitional hockey takes away offense.

    This is the thing though… Under Eakins they don’t seem to want the puck at all!

    It’s great to teach them how to play away from the puck.. But you can’t forget about the most important goal! Having the puck! These talented kids have always had the puck, now with our dynamo head coach and his brilliance.. They never have the puck! Ever! So of course they look horrible.

    How do you take this much offensive talent and completely kill it.

    New term : it’s been “Eakins”

  101. stevezie says:

    fifthcartel,

    Well, the one theory that sort of explains anything turns out to be the case. They were keeping Arco on the farm because they wanted teh Barons to make the playoffs and, with the season gone, it was worth more to get a look at Lander and Pitlick than it was o play the superior Arco.

    interesting.

  102. OilClog says:

    fifthcartel:
    Arcobello extension? what…..

    Why would he sign… Makes no sense for him.

  103. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers 5m
    #Oilers agree to terms with centre Mark Arcobello on a one-year contract extension. Congrats, @sporkabella! pic.twitter.com/YJ7oCgdcfP

  104. OilClog says:

    stevezie:
    fifthcartel,

    Well, the one theory that sort of explains anything turns out to be the case. They were keeping Arco on the farm because they wanted teh Barons to make the playoffs and, with the season gone, it was worth more to get a look at Lander and Pitlick than it was o play the superior Arco.

    interesting.

    It’s makes more sense to see how Lander looks as a 2nd line left wing..

  105. stevezie says:

    Speaking of thread hijacks, sorry to bring a personal issue to the board but I know we have a lot of academics around here.

    Is anyone connected to anybody who can proctor an exam? It is a minor emergency ( no one willl die).

  106. hunter1909 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers5m
    #Oilers agree to terms with centre Mark Arcobello on a one-year contract extension. Congrats, @sporkabella! pic.twitter.com/YJ7oCgdcfP

    Next season’s fan fave whipping boy signed up before the offseason. I like that.

  107. Oilanderp says:

    Just to show that I, too, have harnessed the power of search engines:

    Nostalgia is a file that removes the rough edges from the good old days.
    - Doug Larson.

    Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory.
    -Franklin Pierce Adams

    *wistful sigh*

  108. Clay says:

    danieldelair: I will quote this for truth, but also because it backs me up. As a later Milennial, I would love to have someone explain to me how I’m entitled because I currently go to school full time, work three days a week for minimum wage (because I live in Quebec where employment and good income are near impossible for someone in school) and am currently in the midst of an unpaid internship that I do “for experience” knowing that my degree alone will not be enough for me to get a leg up.

    But I do happen to know baby boomers making 45 bucks an hour, unionized public officials, who would teach pretty much anyone a lesson in how to do absolutely nothing for eight hours a day while bitching all day long about how hard they have it. Entitlement is not generation specific.

    Yikes – sorry for sort of derailing the thread… I was just trying to speak to why a coach that is hated by his players might’ have been successful in the ’70s but not so much now.

    Danieldelair – I’m glad you work hard and I really hope it all pays off for you. For the record, I hate unions too.

    As far as my comments go – I stand by them. Obviously there are plenty of Millennials who work hard, and plenty of old timers that don’t. But that doesn’t change the fact that the paradigm has shifted. That’s backed by research. If you don’t believe me, type “entitlement generation” into your Google, and brew some coffee.

    The good news for you is that if you’re a hard worker, you have a huge advantage over your peers when it comes time to put your education to work.

    That said, how about them Oilers?

  109. rickithebear says:

    LT: I am glad you stated Scoring amd not Pointing!
    curently
    71.4% of goals are even
    range 122 to 178
    Mean 144
    top 6 in west 161; top 8 150
    top 4 in east 148; top 8 140

    21.9% PPG 32 to 65 range ; 44 mean
    2.9% SHG
    3.5% ENG
    0.3% PSG

    All this time I should be presenting a Narative as to why I pick the values I do.
    There is only so much PP time.
    you hope for a at least an Even team on the ST (PP/PK)

    So you really need stong EVG scoring!

    13-14 Oilers 132 EVG (rank for fwd)
    Hall 20 (18)
    Perron 19 (23)
    Eberle 17 (43)
    —————————————- 1st line
    RNH 10 ((157)
    ————————————— 2nd line
    Gagner 8 (200)
    Yakupov 7 (223)
    Gordon 6 (249)
    Smyth 5 (273)
    ——————————————–3rd line
    Hendricks 4 (300)
    ——————————————-4th line
    Arcobello 3 (330)
    JOnes, Gazdic, Jeonsuu, 2 (370)

    12-13 oilers
    Eberle 13 (19)H
    Hall 12 (27)
    Yak 11 (38)
    Gagner 10 (51)
    —————————————–first line
    MP 6 (160)
    —————————————-2nd line
    hemsky, Horcoff 4 (227)
    ————————————— 3rd line
    RNH, petrell, Jones 2 (325)

    11-12 oilers
    Eberel 24 (11)
    RNh 15 (90)
    Smyth 15 (90)
    ——————————————-1st line
    Hall 14 (107)
    Gagner 12 (141)
    jones 12(141)
    —————————————— 2nd line
    Hemsky 9 (195)
    —————————————— 3rd line
    Horcoff 8 (215)
    Eager 8 (215) 63gm -1 Fuc…………………………

    Gordon, Smyth, Hendricks hope fully are 4th line next year.
    each averages 7 EVG/season in tough ZS.
    Replaced our 3rd line production from 12-13

    Look at Colorado
    Landeskog 20 (18)
    Duschene 18 (33)
    O’rielly 18 (33)
    Statsny 18 (33)
    Mackinnon 15 (63)
    ————————–1st line
    McGinn 13 (99)
    Parenteau 13(99)
    —————————upper 2nd line
    Mitchell 8 (200)
    —————————upper 3rd line)
    talbot 6 (249)

    Anaheim 178
    Perry 31 (1)
    Getzlaf 26 (3)
    Cogliano 18 (33)
    Perreault 14 (74)
    ——————————–1st line
    Bonino 12 (116)
    palmieri 12 (116)
    ——————————-upper 2nd line
    S. Koivu 9 (176)
    —————————– 2nd line

    Hall-XXX-XXX
    Perron-XXX-Eberle
    XXX-RNH-Yak
    Smyth-Gordon -Hendricks

    3 9-11 Evg players
    who habve a high% of players most successfully wowy with them.
    instead of gazdic, jones, jeonsuu

    Penner 9EVg/season/season
    B. Pouliot 11EVG/seaon
    M. Goc 10EVG/season

  110. Oilanderp says:

    stevezie:
    Speaking of thread hijacks, sorry to bring a personal issue to the board but I know we have a lot of academics around here.

    Is anyone connected to anybody who can proctor an exam? It is a minor emergency ( no one willl die).

    Not I, but a word of advice: bring lube.

  111. rickithebear says:

    OilClog: Why would he sign… Makes no sense for him.

    A very honest conversation!

  112. Caramel Obvious says:

    OilClog: This is the thing though… Under Eakins they don’t seem to want the puck at all!

    It’s great to teach them how to play away from the puck.. But you can’t forget about the most important goal! Having the puck! These talented kids have always had the puck, now with our dynamo head coach and his brilliance.. They never have the puck! Ever! So of course they look horrible.

    How do you take this much offensive talent and completely kill it.

    New term : it’s been “Eakins”

    Your posts are increasingly at odds with the facts.

    The problem with the scoring is not Hall and company, it’s that there is absolutely no secondary scoring. In terms of goals and points Hall and company are right at expectations. If you are disappointed in their offensive productions it is because you had unrealistic expectations of their ability.

    Hall is at a pt/game. That’s not a disappointment.
    Eberle is at 26 goals. That’s who he is.
    Perron is having a career seasons.
    Hopkins is a 50-60 point player and has scored better than last year.
    Yakupov’s shots per game are up even though his playing time is down. How did he do this without the puck?

    This team doesn’t score enough but as Ricki just showed it’s but the main reason is because they don’t have enough guys that can score.

    There are plenty of reasons for concern but nothing is clarified by absurd hyperbole concerning the coach.

  113. Caramel Obvious says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers5m
    #Oilers agree to terms with centre Mark Arcobello on a one-year contract extension. Congrats, @sporkabella! pic.twitter.com/YJ7oCgdcfP

    Great news. That was a lot of worry for nothing. Does anyone know if it is a one-way deal?

  114. godot10 says:

    I’m going to need a bigger bus! -) -).

    Or change my name to Noah10, and build a bigger Ark! -).

  115. stevezie says:

    Caramel Obvious,

    It’s not on capgeek or the oilers’ site yet. I hope so.

    You don’t have any exam proctoring connections, do you? I’m trying to get back to Alberta asap but my department is insisting that if i write a final in Edmonton i write it 9:00 St John’s time, which is 5:30 in the Edmonton morning, so I can’t exactly ring up the local testing sites.

  116. Caramel Obvious says:

    stevezie:
    Caramel Obvious,

    It’s not on capgeek or the oilers’ sight yet. I hope so.

    You don’t have any exam proctoring conections, do you? I’m trying to get back to Alberta asap but my department is insisting that if i write a final in Edmonton i write it 9:00 St John’s time, which is 5:30 in the Edmonton morning, so I can’t exactly ring up the local testing sites.

    I don’t see how to set up an exam at 5:30 in the morning. That’s a tough one.

  117. gcw_rocks says:

    Woodguy,
    I still say add in a Mark Fraser and subtract a Smid from last year’s numbers and its not far off.

    One could argue the team swapped Smid for Ference and one legged Whitney for Fraser and therefore adding in Marincin makes this defence on par or slightly better.

    Petry = Petry
    Smid is sort of equivalent to Ference. Smid was 44.2 last year but is 41.6 this year vs Ference at 42.9.
    Schultz Jr = Schultz Jr
    Schultz Sr < Schultz Sr and Marincin
    One legged Whitney vs Fraser is tough to call
    Fistric/Potter vs Belov/Potter goes slightly to Fistric/Potter, I think.

    I don't see the big drop off, but it looks like zero improvement either. MacT wasted a year a team that could not afford to waste a year.

  118. gcw_rocks says:

    From lastwordonsports.com:
    Jordan Oesterle, Defence, Western Michigan (6’0″ 185 lbs): Another Western Michigan Bronco, as Andy Murray just keeps on pumping out defensive talent. The 21-year-old junior had 15 points in 30 games this season. Like Morrison he is an absolutely elite skater, and extremely mobile. His defensive game is top notch in terms of positioning, shot blocking and coverage. He’s also shown much more confidence rushing the puck and making smart passes. He has a good shot but not the cannon that Morrison possesses, and he’s not as physical as Morrison (though he can hit too) so he sometimes is overshadowed on the Broncos blueline. However he does have the talent to carve out a pro career. On many other NCAA teams he’d be the number one defenceman.

  119. stevezie says:

    Caramel Obvious,

    Thanks anyway. Taking the test is the real test, or something cliche like that.

  120. gcw_rocks says:

    From unitedstatesofhockey.com:
    Jordan Oesterle (Western Michigan) — D – Signed with the Edmonton Oilers on March 31 – The Oilers were in need of addressing their defense and found a pretty solid player in Oesterle. The junior defenseman has developed well under WMU’s defensive-minded head coach Andy Murray. Since the former NHL coach’s arrival, WMU has been a factory for defensemen. Oesterle added a little more offense to his game, but it’s his defending that has drawn interest. I remember hearing about him way back in the middle of the season when scouts noted he was developing into a really solid defender and was going to be a factor on the college UFA market. If Oesterle can get just a little stronger, he should be able to round out into an NHL-caliber defenseman. Having played on a team where they rely on defense, Oesterle had a big role with the Broncos, often playing top-pairing minutes. I think he’s going to need a fair amount of time in the AHL to continue to get stronger and adjust to the pro game, but he’s a smart hockey player with potential. He’s headed to Oklahoma city right away, so the Oilers won’t be burning a year off of his two-year ELC. It’s a relatively low-risk signing for a defenseman that has been trending up developmentally. The signing of Oesterle makes me wonder if the Oilers are going to be out of the mix for top free agent Christian Folin. They were reportedly among the many teams interested, but adding a D just as Folin comes to market is interesting.

    “If Oesterle can get just a little stronger, he should be able to round out into an NHL-caliber defenseman.” Hmmm, that’s a little worrying.

  121. Woodguy says:

    bendelson:
    Woodguy,

    I don’t know what part of Edm you are in WG, but where I am it is definately not beer drinking, sitting by the pool kind of weather.

    Chandler AZ currently 29C

  122. gcw_rocks says:

    Jordan Oesterle shoots left. I like that they are into the college free agent market, but another left handed defender? What do you think Dillon Simpson and his agent are thinking right now?

  123. Andy P says:

    book¡je:
    Players don’t need to like a coach for things to be successful, but they do need to respect him. That respect can either come through admiration (even hatful admiration – i.e. the guy is an asshole but knows what he is talking about) or some kind of intimidation (the guy is an asshole and an idiot, but I am going to do what he says because I am scared of him).

    I think coaching immaturity is probably part of the problem.He has a certain ‘shtick’ about him that might have worked if the team had been winning.The military jacket thing probably became pretty corny after a few weeks of losing.Also, he made a point of explaining how he manipulated players prior to actually starting the job.Every coach manipulates players, but Eakins explained in detail how he used individual characteristics of the player to motivate them.If you make the subject of your manipulation aware of the manipulation, it makes it much much harder to be effective.

    I really really wonder if he would have been successful if he had the same early season goaltending that Krueger had.The corny stuff would have gone over better when a team was winning, but haul water, chop wood probably seems pretty stupid when you lose 15 out of 20 games or so.

    The problem is that once the players start seeing the coach as a cartoon character, I don’t think its possible to win them over.

    It’s possible that with a better defense the Oilers start winning next year and everything turns good, but it is far from certain.

    I’m pretty uncertain on this one.Either you fire the coach and bring in a respected veteran coach who can settle things down OR you leave the coach and bring in a respected veteran coach to assist the coach in regaining the team’s respect.

    Sigh.

    I did an analysis way back where I looked at the difference it would have made to the results if We scored the same number of goals but DD had last years save %. I didn’t expect the result because it looked like the worse save % actually resulted in very few extra wins.

    Also, I find Eakins quote interesting because he and many others might think of this as good, honest hard work, however the saying is a Biblical one, where people who hew wood and draw water are the lowest of the low.

  124. russ99 says:

    Woodguy: Good players need to be good without the puck too.

    Backchecking properly and playing well in your own zone doesn’t take away the offense.

    Chipping pucks out of the dzone and chipping pucks into the ozone takes away the offense.

    Any time you willingly give up possession of the puck takes away the offense.

    Playing good defense doesn’t take away offense.

    Playing bad/scared transitional hockey takes away offense.

    That last item was very well put.

    To gain the offensive zone, hold the offensive zone and make things happen in the offensive zone, all five players need to be committed to that.

    Not holding back to be sure and cover things going the other way, which happens way too often, especially with our centers and non-point defenseman.

    This happened under Renney too, but it’s worse under Eakins.

  125. prairieschooner says:

    When Eakins slammed the players about not being able to play basic defence he also indicted Steve Smith.
    Can we stop talking about the young Hall Nuge Eberle etc being the problem.
    The team has cycled through 2 culture changes in the rebuild Stoll, Torres Greene then Horcoff Hemsky Smid
    Are we seriously now blaming our young players as the problem
    They are new toys out of the box and when you took them out of the box you played with them but didn’t read the instructions some assembly was required so if you break them it is on you
    Why did they dump Huddy?
    He was able to harness Grebishkov but no one else could which is why he sank.He also did a lot for Smid.
    Klefblom and Marincin are stepping in with no Oilers bad habits interesting to see how long they continue playing well

  126. AZOIL says:

    Woodguy: Chandler AZ currently 29C

    It is nice isn’t it! Love AZ all year except for June, July, Aug, Sept. I want to cry myself to sleep!!! Haven’t got a pool yet but the in laws do and we visit often!

  127. danieldelair says:

    Clay: Yikes – sorry for sort of derailing the thread…I was just trying to speak to why a coach that is hated by his players might’ have been successful in the ’70s but not so much now.

    Danieldelair – I’m glad you work hard and I really hope it all pays off for you.For the record, I hate unions too.

    As far as my comments go – I stand by them.Obviously there are plenty of Millennials who work hard, and plenty of old timers that don’t.But that doesn’t change the fact that the paradigm has shifted.That’s backed by research.If you don’t believe me, type “entitlement generation” into your Google, and brew some coffee.

    The good news for you is that if you’re a hard worker, you have a huge advantage over your peers when it comes time to put your education to work.

    That said, how about them Oilers?

    So, the time has well passed but I’m here anyway! I’m aware of the “literature’” on the entitlement generation, but to that I would respond – pop demography. Simple, general theories which gain currency and are picked up by publishers does not make them legitimate theories. It’s just too easy.

    And I wish it were just the fact that as long as I work hard….etc. but, really, it’s likely got as much to do with luck or situational context than anything at this point.

    I blame the fact that I’ve even got to this point on Dallas Eakins and the Oilers. Ahem.

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