OILERS AT HURRICANES, G69 13-14

I love that 2006 Oiler team. Balanced, defensive ability, veterans everywhere and the kids were on value deals. Roloson, Pronger, Spacek, Smith, Staios, Smyth, Hemsky, Horcoff, Peca, Stoll, Pisani, Dvorak, Samsonov, Torres and on it went. How many current Oilers would play their current roles on this team?

05-06 scoring playoffsThere are something like six men still playing from that team, but looking at these players and their numbers is a rush. I’ll never get over G7, but loved this team as much as any of the Stanley winners. The current kids want a Stanley as much as the fanbase, but the 2006 coach is going to need championship-calibre moves to get them back into the playoffs, let alone the SCF. It seems like such a long, long way—because it is.

schultz commonThere’s a lot of chatter and in the comments section about the youngsters. It is the “make sweeping statements with authority” portion of the season, where Justin Schultz should be moved to RW or traded or signed for $2M; where Jordan Eberle needs to be traded for 10 cents on the dollar because he doesn’t backcheck, where Ryan Nugent-Hopkins represents absolute failure.

Fans can afford that kind of venom. We’re fans, after all, and words are all we have (ha a—Bee Gees reference) in a season where the town team has ripped out our heart and stomped on it.

Craig MacTavish? He has no such luxury. There’s not a kid on this team who was here last year and has taken a full step forward, and that’s a tell. If you’re going to rip Nuge, or Schultz, or even Hall or Eberle, there has to be a “and this is what should be happening” attached to it. The fact that ALL of the 2012-13 kids are off their previous pace reflects badly on the organization, on the coach, on the system.

Punishing the kids by sending them away is akin to cutting off your nose to spite your face. No sir. Craig MacTavish has to sit down with Dallas Eakins and have a good long look at what worked and what did not this season, and together they have to plot a new path. The power play is becoming the number one hot spot for me, as it clearly isn’t working and yet the team stubbornly holds on to the system.

Here’s a tip for the Oilers: whatever you’re doing, it’s easily defended. Other teams are reading you, they’re not that upset you’re sticking to the current power-play setup. They probably fear you’ll put in the Ralph tapes from last season, causing the 5×4 to erupt in these final games. No one is frowning, but there’s some chuckling I’d bet. DallasEakinsWhiteboardSpedUp

I do not subscribe to the idea of firing Dallas Eakins. This was not an easy situation for a rookie coach—the pressure to make sure this team improved year over year must have been immense. Dallas Eakins is a smart guy, and his early results (the shot differentials at the beginning of the season were encouraging, although drowned by ghastly play in goal) were good.

Craig MacTavish has offloaded some players who either didn’t fit into the system (Smid, his skills are duplicated by Ference, as an example) or those who clearly struggled (Dubnyk), but none of the players dealt are what we might call long-term investments.

That all changes with Nail Yakupov. The Dreger monologue this week suggests the Oilers have made him available, and for me that’s the hill I’m prepared to die on in regard to Dallas Eakins. I have no worries about a coach coming in and putting noses out of joint, introducing new systems or even losing a few games in a lost season in order to gain the attention of the skilled men. I have no quarrel with any of it.

Trading Nail Yakupov when his value is less than pristine is a fool’s game, a Milbury ploy, an idiot wind. I sincerely believe Craig MacTavish is a smart guy, and do not believe the club will be so reckless in regard to the Russian.

However, if summer arrives and we see Yakupov sent away (as Dreger suggests, in a package) for less than full value, we will have our answer. The pain and suffering of the Katz rebuild will have been for nothing, the vision of the future will be well shy of glory, the promise of a new tomorrow will be another term in Shawshank.

Make no mistake. Yakupov’s future is a major item. This franchise needs vision and patience, even if it costs them another coach. Dallas Eakins has a fine future, but it may not be here. The rare gem is this kid from Nizhnekamsk. That’s the hill I die on.

If the Edmonton Oilers trade Nail Yakupov for flour and eggs, fans will know with certainty the dream is over, and should scream for management resignations all down the line. There is no neutral ground. None.

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224 Responses to "OILERS AT HURRICANES, G69 13-14"

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  1. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “veterans everywhere”

    yep. that’s it right there.

  2. hunter1909 says:

    Readers please read Lowetide’s words:

    When a hot head like me cries foul that’s one thing. When calm head like Lowetide talks the same talk it’s significant.

    It seems like Yakupov’s going to be made scapegoat for these idiots. Like culling a 1st overall for reasons that they’ve already got 2 and they’re “very nice” just doesn’t cut it with Dallas Eakins fucking up everyone’s heads.

    You can see it with every player: No longer making the natural play, just doing what that wally says just to shut his ass up. No one stands up for each other? What does anyone expect, after Eakin’s atomization of team culture.

    I keep hearing about some ogre named George Burnett, but never followed the oilers then so missed out on the fun. Please tell me he was worse than Dallas Eakins, who’s fucked up Yaks and now RNH even plays like he’s out of his depth.

    Something tells me Eberle gets a lot of the same bad press as Mike Bossy did. You know, “soft” and “one dimensional”.

  3. Woodguy says:

    ; where Jordan Eberle needs to be traded for 10 cents on the dollar because he doesn’t backcheck

    Strawman.

    Those of us who are less than enamored with 14 would trade him BECAUSE he brings a big return, probably bigger than his actual value.

    Not $0.10.

    No one is saying that.

    At least no one worth reading.

    Also,

    If the Edmonton Oilers trade Nail Yakupov for flour and eggs, fans will know with certainty the dream is over, and should scream for management resignations all down the line. There is no neutral ground. None.

    I agree with that.

    That is a trade that would be $0.10 on the dollar.

    Also,

    Most of us agree that you draft skill because the draft is like free money so take the most money available, and that is skill.

    Skill always costs the most to acquire outside the draft.

    You can always trade from your pile of skill in the future to fill the holes, so don’t draft for need, but BPA.

    Well here we are in the future.

    There are massive holes on the roster.

    No one wants to trade skill to fill the holes.

    Why draft skill exclusively then?

    Reluctance to trade from abundance (skilled wing) to fill holes (pick one) is just bad management.

    Might as well draft Ekbland and wait for all the Dkids to get older then.

  4. Lloyd B. says:

    Might as well draft Ekbland and wait for all the Dkids to get older then.

    I suspect that may well be the plan. Build from the goal out. It would appear we have the goalie situation in hand. I know small sample on all but …. So we draft Ekblad and in 4 years our defence is rounding into form. All the current core will be in the middle of their prime and will be the veterans sorely lacking on this team. voila a team that has been built for long term success and not screwed up by whale hunting now. Short term pain for long term gain. And it is PAINFUL !

  5. rich says:

    A great read this morning LT.

    Re: Yak – bang on.

    Re: Eakins – firing another coach means the inmates are running the asylum. Get the man help on the bench. The GM should provide counsel, but needs to stop playing favorites.

    MacT’s job is very hard. Tambellini stripped the team bear of useful vets and left them kids who had no one to mentor them. He’s done some good and bad things (no GM is going to hit 1.000) but he’s also dealing with a fanbase that is tiring of losing.

    Godspeed MacT. Godspeed.

  6. oilabroad says:

    I really don’t understand the desire by some to keep Eakins. You talk about continuity but every system the man has in place needs to change because it is not working, so why not simply change the man. It is much easier to get another Eakins than it is a Yakupov, and although I do think we need to change the look of the team by possibly offloading one of the kids, trading Yak at this time would be set us back further into this endless rebuild. Quite honestly, I cannot think of one thing that I have seen from Eakins that leads me to believe he is the right guy to take this team forward.

    My challenge to you is this Lowetide, can you give examples of where the team is better with Eakins or give solid reasons for keeping him without using the words ‘continuity’ or ‘smart’… if not, how do you justify keeping him??

  7. book¡je says:

    WG – I think the point LT is making is that the coaching system (Eakins +) has blown it and messed up the whole lot of them and as opposed to fixing their mistake, they will ‘fix’ it by trading one of their skilled guys for a 32 year old large defender with truculence to be their #1 damn going forwards.

    If the team makes a full value trade to achieve balance I suspect it would be accepted here.

    As per straw men, well, I think it’s appropriate to think creatively about how this management crew may fuck things up because they have a history of inventiveness in this regard.

  8. Henry says:

    Dreger’s missive on Yak really smells of an overreach on his part. Why would MacT announce to the world through Dreger that Yak is available in the summer after the dubious success of his announcement of open season on Horc and Hemmer last year? If must be coming from his sources on other teams discussing the Oiler’s desperate search for high quality defensemen early in the year. Amazing Yak’s name came up and nothing happened.

    Mac would be stupid to trade Yak for less than full value especially with Hemsky gone. It would have to be a blockbuster Hossa for Heatley type hockey trade or nothing.

    Great piece this morning LT.

  9. oliveoilers says:

    http://nhl.si.com/2014/03/14/si-com-nhl-fan-misery-rankings-no-5-edmonton-oilers/?eref=sihp

    Above is an unbiased article on the Oilers, useful, if anything, of how others see us. Perception. Something MacT needs to learn.

    rich:
    A great read this morning LT.

    Re: Yak – bang on.

    Re: Eakins – firing another coach means the inmates are running the asylum.Get the man help on the bench.The GM should provide counsel, but needs to stop playing favorites.

    MacT’s job is very hard.Tambellini stripped the team bear of useful vets and left them kids who had no one to mentor them.He’s done some good and bad things (no GM is going to hit 1.000) but he’s also dealing with a fanbase that is tiring of losing.

    Godspeed MacT.Godspeed.

    Now, here we have the bigger problem. There’s a narrative out there staring us in the face that our most learned posters such as WG and Rom haven’t picked up on; we can’t fire the coach because this team needs consistency.

    This is wrong on several levels. It entirely possible MacT made the wrong call on DE. People are subscribing to an ideal that each coach must be better than the last, the one to lead us to the promised land. Not so. The results must be judged by themselves. I did believe that DE needed time to adjust, even with talking the talk. But I also believed that we would show tangible signs of improvement this season.

    People ARE correct with stating that we need consistency with coaching. However, haven’t we had the same assistant coaches for a while now? Can’t that be defined as consistency in coaching? You see, we need to be consistent with the RIGHT coach. Tough call for MacT, but in the end, if it’s either him or DE to go, you know he makes the call.

    In summary, just because a guy’s predecessors have all been fired, rightly or wrongly, should not immunise him from the accountability that he preaches. His work should speak for itself, like it does for all us Joe Sixpacks who work in the real world.

  10. Jord says:

    Nail Yakupov is ripe for a Phil Kessel-to-the-Leafs trade. Maybe the Oilers get a three-for-one the other way?

    Brian Burke is adept at this kind of swindle. The Flames have all the pieces the Oilers desperately need – a 2nd line veteran centre in Matt Stajan (and Burke is the guy who traded him to the Flames during his tenure as Leafs GM) and great defencemen (the Flames 3-4s are better than the Oilers’ 1-2s most nights).

    Heck, Burke would probably throw Sven Baertschi in the deal as well just because he feels bad for the Oilers.

    If Cammalleri walks in free agency, the Flames will need a scoring winger – and Yakupov is an upgrade over Cammy. Plus, given how hard Yak works – he’s always in the gym, doing lines, or running stairs after practice/games – the Flames seem like a natural choice.

    Luckily for the Oilers, it’s unlikely Burke would make that deal due to the regional rivalry. If he was a GM on almost any other team, he’d be on the phone right now figuring something out with MacT.

  11. Radman says:

    I suspect the plan (if there is one) is to draft the most marketable assets, see which ones you want to keep, and move the others along. Sorta like the drugstore business ? Not sure there is a direct analogy there, but it would allow for why an owner would insist they draft a Yak.

    The trick is to get value for those assets. That takes savvy and some salesmanship. Tambo was the filler guy, to awkwardly draft the BPA. MacT is the shrewd guy, hand picked to do the horse trading.

    Sure don’t like the idea of trading Eberle. See him as the guy scoring in triple overtime to send us to the next round one day. The Oil desperately need a first pairing Dman. Maybe draft Ekblad, but you can’t expect an 18 year old to be that guy right away. Doubt they want to prolong this. My sense is they need a veteran back there to lead this group. That makes me wonder if Eberle is traded to bring in that guy, and they end up drafting a center to replace Gags. They trade him because he still has the cache to bring back what you need, not because of what he isn’t doing.

  12. Radman says:

    I understand the desire for coaching stability . If Eakins stays I suspect MacT has to find him a veteran Associate to calm the waters, and help out with things like the pp. Give him some time to sort things out and adjust his approach Maybe let’s replace the D coaching while we at it ?

  13. sliderule says:

    When you have one assistant coach for life who is best bud with the president and another assistant coach with very little experience who was hired by Lowe it is a recipe for disaster.i would bet their is more backstabbing and intrigue than In Peyton Place.

    RK with his personality and diplomacy was able to keep a lid on it but the new guy Eakins has been overwhelmed.

    You look at Yaks ice time and PP time and you don’t see much difference from under RK ,yet the production is not there.He is playing in panic mode trying to think ,rush the shot don’t turn it over,quick quick get it out of your end .

    You can see this to a certain extent with Hall who in his own end has made a number of blind passing panicked turnovers.

    Then you see the Marincin and even Klefbom who are not afraid to make a play to get out of own zone and even carry it out at times.When you contrast that with Schultz who more and more wants to make a panicked blind pass you wonder how long that will last with the two rookies.You can bet they will soon be coached.
    The problem with the oiler coaching is not that there have been too many coaching changes.The problem is too much changing of deck chairs and no real overhaul.

  14. Lowetide says:

    Radman:
    I understand the desire for coaching stability . If Eakins stays I suspect MacT has to find him a veteran Associate to calm the waters, and help out with things like the pp. Give him some time to sort things out and adjust his approachMaybe let’s replace the D coaching while we at it ?

    He also has to get Eakins to:

    1. bring back the swarm (it worked, but the goalie was awful)
    2. stop being so GD stubborn on the PP. Lordy.

  15. Radman says:

    Lowetide,

    Kinda wonder if Eakins with RK as an associate would have been a nice combo. We’ll never know.
    Ya, Eakins seems as stubborn as my dad.

  16. mumbai max says:

    The problem is that we do not know what is going on behind the scenes. HAS MacT had a heart to heart with DE about his methods and results? Did he get a positive response? Has DE reflected and figured things out on his own? The PP would indicate not, but it is impossible to know. Without knowing these things it is hard to know what to do.

    If MacT decides to keep him for the sake of consistency, or so that he himself does not look like a fool, then it is a major mistake. Other posters have made the valid point. You do not keep an incompetent coach in place BECAUSE you fired other coaches before him. Each decision stands on it’s own. Competence is the issue, not consistency. The past firings have no bearing on what to do in this case.

    So, MacT has to swallow his own pride and do what is correct. If DE is learning and growing and taking input, then by all means keep him. Everybody has to be a rookie sometime. However, if he is obstinate, unwilling to admit his shortcomings, and not adapting, then FIRE HIM NOW, and stop the bleeding. Man up and do the right thing, whichever it is. We cannot afford this decision to cost us players like Yak.

  17. godot10 says:

    Radman:
    I understand the desire for coaching stability . If Eakins stays I suspect MacT has to find him a veteran Associate to calm the waters, and help out with things like the pp. Give him some time to sort things out and adjust his approachMaybe let’s replace the D coaching while we at it ?

    Isn’t that what Keith Acton is? A veteran assistant coach. Dallas Eakins and Keith Acton…Dolores Umbridge squared.

    The trouble with the Wirtz-Pulford…er…Katz-Lowe setup, is that no competent person will want to come.

    What competent experienced assistant coach or former head coach is going to be willing to become an assistant to an incompetent coach, inferior to him.

    Paul Maurice turned down the job last summer, and he is the guy who knows Eakins best.

  18. Lowetide says:

    godot10: Isn’t that what Keith Acton is?A veteran assistant coach.Dallas Eakins and Keith Acton…Dolores Umbridge squared.

    The trouble with the Wirtz-Pulford…er…Katz-Lowe setup, is that no competent person will want to come.

    What competent experienced assistant coach or former head coach is going to be willing to become an assistant to an incompetent coach, inferior to him.

    Paul Maurice turned down the job last summer, and he is the guy who knows Eakins best.

    Letting Huddy go was among the really stupid things done by this organization over the last decade.

  19. Radman says:

    Lowetide: Letting Huddy go was among the really stupid things done by this organization over the last decade.

    Agree LT, although the Son of Gord might have trouble coaching this unit.

  20. theres oil in virginia says:

    Lowetide:

    …veterans everywhere and the kids were on value deals.

    Now there are kids everywhere and veterans on overpays. More overpays needed.

    The PP has been fucking awful. The PP is this year’s MVP (Khabi-style). If it starts clicking, then this team will move up the standings by a few spots (FLA, NYI, CGY are all catchable). I’d much rather see better results at evens. Isn’t that really the measure of whether these guys are playing NHL-level hockey?

    Dreger is a wind-bag. Every time I smell more of that wind, I respect him less. He’ll be at Rishaug level soon. Truth and facts have nothing to do with journalism, it’s only about how many “papers” you sell. Hell, the Pulitzer Prize was set up and named after a known liar, whose lies helped pull the US into their first, big overseas-entry into imperialism (Spanish-American war). Remember the Maine, indeed.

    The reason you don’t fire Eakins is not simply because of continuity. You don’t fire him after one year, based on standings, because Pat Quinn himself couldn’t coach this team to the playoffs! Eakins has control over the team (I think) and that is Step 1. There’s been some regression, and I think that’s understandable. I think these guys are realizing that playing pond hockey won’t get them very far, and they’ve got to round their game out. I think they’ve bought in, and are still working out the kinks. Seems like the training issues that G was referring to the other day might factor in, but that’s correctable if it’s true. They also don’t have the personnel needed to compete. They’re getting there. (I think you’d have to be pretty biased to conclude that MacT has not improved the roster.) Seems like the D is a big problem, but the solution appears to be on the horizon. What about 2C? How do you solve that? Draft?

    I don’t see MacT sending any of these top guys out for pennies. (I don’t think he sent Smid out for pennies. Look at the poor returns at the deadline. MacT got two prospects for Smid. All of the chatter about other GM’s not knowing that Smid was available is just chatter.) Not one GM in the league has a perfect track record. So far, MacT has not made a damnable trade. I don’t generally like to damn somebody for something they might do.

  21. leadfarmer says:

    Trading Yak makes sense only if you think his value is going to continue to decline, such as a trade demand, continued decrease in confidence, leaving for Russia. Otherwise the players individual values are more than the sum of the parts because they are too similar as players and the only way their values will increase is if you bring in players that will allow them to maximize their talents. A NHL caliber defensive corps would be a good place to start. A shot from the point on the pp would also help drive up values by opening space down low. A big 2 way center to help Gordon with the heavy lifting while putting points on the board and taking pressure of the nuge would also be very beneficial. And that center better not be a rookie either.

    If we ever get the defensive corps fixed, I don’t see what the reluctance to giving Schultz the Burns treatment is.

  22. flyfish1168 says:

    I hate to belabour some points. But I always wonder why certain coaches or managers have the gift to motivate or get the last drop of effort from staff. Ralph I believe has that gift. dallas doesn’t come close to having that sort of gift. Really when you think of managing styles or your boss talking to you I know who I want to emulate or have as a boss

    One of the things dallas I believe is weak on is recognizing talent , just think of the ones he brought with him to this team when Colbourne was available. It sickens me every time I see Colbourne play. The second point is the players we have are defensively and system play challenged you don’t have to re-invent the wheel in one foul sweep give it a spoke at a time.

    This why our team has regressed

  23. leadfarmer says:

    theres oil in virginia,

    The next 4 games are winnable. The 10 after that are all against playoff teams except for a game at Phoenix who give us the Minnesota Wild treatment. If they win the next 4 games than they have a small chance to finish above Calgary or NYI. Win only 3 and they won’t catch them. Calgary is clearly a better team, and NYI have a much easier schedule.

  24. mumbai max says:

    “The biggest thing is we’re keeping the puck out of our net,” said Jordan Eberle. “We’re starting to buy into a system where teams are having troubles scoring against us. You look at some of the best teams and that’s what they do, they play stingy.

    “And I think that’s why we’re starting to get more points. I don’t know if we need this high-powered offence to score every night. We can just keep it out of our net and find our chances when we can.”

  25. hunter1909 says:

    sliderule: You can see this to a certain extent with Hall who in his own end has made a number of blind passing panicked turnovers.

    Personally I think Hall knows exactly what he’s doing; keeping Eakins off of his back(presumably Eakins is usually harassing someone on the team), and by appearing to “play to a system” once more, he keeps the idiot in charge from singling him out.

    Yes, Taylor Hall IS the cancer.

  26. flyfish1168 says:

    If the standings stay as it is now, I believe garth snow will give up the 4th pick to Buffalo this year. No way would he dare give up next year with Mcdavid there. If this happens I think Buffalo would draft Ekblad 1st and then take one of the available centermen or forwards. It is only prudent to take a potential top d-man.

  27. Andy P says:

    One question I have not seen addressed yet, is the choice MacT has to make end of season, between Dallas Eakins and Todd Nelson, who will likely accept the first HC job coming his way.

    Todd has been a bright shining light, that fixes broken players and sends up stable, well coached players for Dallas and his hopelessly incompetent assistants to utterly destroy.

    Todd took a while, but turned our young core around, and I’ll dare say that this coaching made them look better under Ralph than they may have looked minus the lockout.

    I’d take Todd and his assistants, lock stock and barrel in a heartbeat, and take Todd’s input in the HC appointment for OKC.

  28. Southern Oil says:

    flyfish1168:
    If the standings stay as it is now, I believe garth snow will give up the 4th pick to Buffalo this year. No way would he dare give up next year with Mcdavidthere. If this happens I think Buffalo would draft Ekblad 1st and then take one of the available centermen or forwards. It is only prudent to take a potential top d-man.

    Honestly #4 is a pretty good pick. I think Snow takes the #4 and then pushes to improve the club over the summer. They are only one season removed from making the playoffs (shortened season I know). It does have risk but everything does.

  29. theres oil in virginia says:

    leadfarmer,

    That’s good news…in a 2013-14 Oilers kinda way. :)

    mumbai max,
    Where’d you find that quote?

  30. Lois Lowe says:

    Andy P:
    One question I have not seen addressed yet, is the choice MacT has to make end of season, between Dallas Eakins and Todd Nelson, who will likely accept the first HC job coming his way.

    Todd has been a bright shining light, that fixes broken players and sends up stable, well coached players for Dallas and his hopelessly incompetent assistants to utterly destroy.

    Todd took a while, but turned our young core around, and I’ll dare say that this coaching made them look better under Ralph than they may have looked minus the lockout.

    I’d take Todd and his assistants, lock stock and barrel in a heartbeat, and take Todd’s input in the HC appointment for OKC.

    This is patently false. OKC is outside of the playoffs, and they were no screaming hell last season with all of the wunderkinds on the roster.

  31. TheOtherJohn says:

    I believe the Eberle quote on defending was against a Detroit team missing their 2 best players and a number of their top 9 forwards. Do not think same comment applicable to STL or LAK games.

    Think it would be beyond brain dead to trade YAK now, the return would be horrible. Absolutely the worse thing they could do. So, it’s probably being actively considered as we speak.

    A trade centered around Eberle for Evander Kane, that’s a hockey trade. Winnipeg must be desperate to do something to get to playoffs next year. Maybe Buff too. But those assets are expensive but most seen to want additions without touching the core

    To whoever said draft Ekblad and wait for all the young D to mature– that certainly looks like the plan. That’s not a good plan, but inertia can be called a plan, I guess. Lowe & Tambi called what they were doing a plan. It wasn’t but it was sold as such: I expect it was an empty notebook

  32. flyfish1168 says:

    Southern Oil: Honestly #4 is a pretty good pick. I think Snow takes the #4 and then pushes to improve the club over the summer. They are only one season removed from making the playoffs (shortened season I know). It does have risk but everything does.

    Good point. I brought this up due more from not knowing what happens next year and if you end up having 2 or 3 major injuries, are you deep enough to cover that so you are not a lottery team

  33. ashley says:

    Agree on trading Yak. If that happens, heads must roll.

    You wonder about reputation after MacT coughed up Hemsky for basically nothing. Sometimes you don’t do a trade not just because you can’t get value, but also because it might negatively affect your reputation. How many GMs are looking at MacT as Milbury lite?

    Find the struggling future superstar on the patsies roster, and make an offer. This is Sather/Burke territory and this entire BOTB regime won’t last long after that. But maybe that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Maybe that is the new beginning this organization needs.

    I agree on Eakins being a problem. He’s never going to get visceral, instinctual offensive players like Hall and Eberle to completely buy into his system.

    The system he seems to be trying to deploy is what Lemaire would do with a team full of marginal NHL players. The Wild of the 2000′s. That’s not what you do with this roster, IMO.

    The players are playing without instinct. Overcoached, and boxed in.

    Krueger was closer to the right idea. I doubt they had much of any “plan” for 5×4 last year. He just let them free wheel and skill won the day.

    I don’t understand the continuity angle. Making a decision (keep the coach) based on largely unrelated information from the past (we recently fired a couple of coaches) lacks logic.

    Sometimes you put your faith in someone and it goes the wrong way. Riding the mistake into the sunset won’t bring any glory.

  34. admiralmark says:

    “There’s not a kid on this team who was here last year and has taken a full step forward, and that’s a tell. If you’re going to rip Nuge, or Schultz, or even Hall or Eberle, there has to be a “and this is what should be happening” attached to it. The fact that ALL of the 2012-13 kids are off their previous pace reflects badly on the organization, on the coach, on the system.”

    Assistant Coaches at the very least have to pay the price for this. Then assuming MacT improves a couple positions(1st Pair D for eg.) Then Eakins should then have til Xmas to win more then lose or he should be gone as well. I’m sorry but this is on the Coach/Coaches 100%.

  35. flyfish1168 says:

    Here is an interesting article about trading Yak. Not sure if everyone had a chance to review it.

    http://www.puckrant.com/apuckalypse_now/La_Nail_Yakupov

    I’m on the fence on this, after reading this article. But if certain things happen I can sway either way.

  36. Ribs says:

    Lowetide: He also has to get Eakins to:
    1. bring back the swarm (it worked, but the goalie was awful)

    NoooOOOooooOOoooooo!!!!

    I don’t care who your goalie is. Losing puck battles along the walls and leaving the slot open to all is just not a good idea. Kill it.

    I like your note about other teams reading the powerplay. I think predictability has become a rather large issue in their overall game. Watch the other teams line changes. There’s no urgency there at all. It seems like a simple 4-man boxout defence is all it takes to keep the Oilers to the perimeter when they try to break in. I’m not sure if that means they’re not breaking out at the right speed, or what. The mess of Oilers at the other teams blue line on a break in looks bad. They give the backcheckers way too much time to get into position. The only time they seem to break in with any speed is when it’s one guy along the wall (Hi Taylor!), and his Chances aren’t great against two defenders and a goalie.

    I was hoping the Olympic break mini camps would have helped them sort things out but it looks like they just tried to get back into the stuff that didn’t work at the beginning of the season. Wrong direction altogether.

    Eakins has talked about adapting and getting to know the players and I think you need to give him some time to do those things. He just needs to pick up the pace a bit, I think. These kids have been losing for a while now and it’s only a matter of time before things get really ugly if that continues.

    Trade Yakupov? Well…. What do we get back? Pennies, dimes, baking ingredients? No thanks. There is likely something out there that would make some sense, though. In MacT we trust?

  37. theres oil in virginia says:

    mumbai max,

    Thanks. I don’t follow the Journal articles like I used to, before the paywall went up. On that note, if you could subscribe to the COH, for a reasonable fee, apart from the rest of the rag (see my above rant on newspapers), I’d do it. I know you can beat the paywall pretty easily, but I mostly don’t bother. It feels like I’m sneaking around and I don’t like that.

  38. Thinker says:

    I did my best to cut off all things oilers, but then I got the hockey new’s Future Watch issue. I haven’t watched since before the olympic break, so it wouldn’t be right of me to voice a current opinion. I will say what I thought at game 50ish. I have not liked Eakin’s coaching since about ten games in, and I believe he deserves to be fired. I would have done it midseason to make a point, but might as well wait now. The mentality at the top is asinine, and unless that changes I can’t foresee any marked improvement.
    I had hoped for a gagner trade before he signed last year, but you almost have to keep him now. It wasn’t just poor drafting that pulled us down. The main problem I see is that we lost every single trade substantially from pronger to perron. We have won one since (scrivens), A culture change is needed with this team, and I would purge the coaching staff and front offices. Sadly MacT would get gone too, but I can’t say if he is smart of not (One on two off).

    I would say it’s time to start letting young guys into the bottom six. We can’t keep getting crappy vets who get lit up every game. We need a second line winger who can cycle like a demon, and good Lord we need defence.

    Hall Reinhart/Bennett/Dal Colle Yakupov

    XXX RNH Eberle

    Perron Gordon Hemsky(I hope you choke on it MACT)

    Smyth(I can’t bear to see him gone) Lander XXX

    INSERT KNUCKLE DRAGGER HERE

    XXX XXX
    Petry Marincin
    JSchultz XXX
    Ference

  39. OilClog says:

    Trading Yakupov is end game, I will refuse to keep my Oilers colours if we sell this kid off. Ridiculous.

    MacT gambled on Eakins and it’s failed. It’s this simple, he hasn’t out coached another coach in game yet this year! Not once have I sat here thinking.. Yes! Finally! A coach equal to the opposition!

    Nope, that isn’t Eakins. I don’t believe the kids are running the asylum, I simple believe they’re smarter then they’re being given credit for by management and know that they don’t have the proper coaching that is needed to win.

    Oh Hey, TSN is giving Kruger thumbs up, making mention of his premature firing in Edmonton. Lovely

  40. mumbai max says:

    theres oil in virginia:
    mumbai max,

    Thanks.I don’t follow the Journal articles like I used to, before the paywall went up.On that note, if you could subscribe to the COH, for a reasonable fee, apart from the rest of the rag (see my above rant on newspapers), I’d do it.I know you can beat the paywall pretty easily, but I mostly don’t bother.It feels like I’m sneaking around and I don’t like that.

    I don’t see a paywall. I just open and read. My IPO address is outside Canada, perhaps that has some bearing on it. I would NEVER pay to read that. I am just desperate today because I have to stay up until 1 am to watch the game! Filling in time with drivel. Not HERE of course!

  41. hunter1909 says:

    OilClog: Trading Yakupov is end game, I will refuse to keep my Oilers colours if we sell this kid off. Ridiculous.
    MacT gambled on Eakins and it’s failed. It’s this simple, he hasn’t out coached another coach in game yet this year! Not once have I sat here thinking.. Yes! Finally! A coach equal to the opposition!
    Nope, that isn’t Eakins. I don’t believe the kids are running the asylum, I simple believe they’re smarter then they’re being given credit for by management and know that they don’t have the proper coaching that is needed to win.
    Oh Hey, TSN is giving Kruger thumbs up, making mention of his premature firing in Edmonton. Lovely

    Brilliant post.

  42. justDOit says:

    theres oil in virginia:
    mumbai max,

    Thanks.I don’t follow the Journal articles like I used to, before the paywall went up.On that note, if you could subscribe to the COH, for a reasonable fee, apart from the rest of the rag (see my above rant on newspapers), I’d do it.I know you can beat the paywall pretty easily, but I mostly don’t bother.It feels like I’m sneaking around and I don’t like that.

    I don’t get a paywall when viewing their articles, and I think that’s because I use Chrome.

  43. Gordies Elbow says:

    With respect to Dallas Eakins, what are the arguments for firing him? How about these:
    – Hopkins is healthier, and has regressed under his coaching (62gp 18g 34a 52pts -2 under Renney as a rookie, and 66gp 15g 29a 44pts and -17 under Eakins)
    – Yakupov went 48gp 17g 14a 31pts and -4 under Kruger. 62gp 11g 13a 24pts and -33 under Eakins
    – Schultz has regressed in points (25pts/60g against 27pts/48g) and hasn’t improved defensively
    – Taylor Hall has held his own, but hasn’t improved under Eakins (45gp 16g 34a 50pts +5 under Kruger, and 61gp 22g 40a 62pts and -12 with Eakins)
    – While I believe that Gagner’s season has been impacted by injury, he hasn’t improved.

    Can anyone name a player that has improved under the coaching staff this season?

    I hear that the argument for keeping him is “You can’t keep firing the coaches.”

    Shouldn’t the coaching staff’s performance, and not history, determine whether they are kept or fired?

  44. theres oil in virginia says:

    mumbai max: I don’t see a paywall. I just open and read. My IPO address is outside Canada, perhaps that has some bearing on it. I would NEVER pay to read that. I am just desperate today because I have to stay up until 1 am to watch the game! Filling in time with drivel. Not HERE of course!

    Might be because you’re outside of NA. I’m outside of Canada, but still get the paywall here the US.

  45. G Money says:

    Woodguy: You can always trade from your pile of skill in the future to fill the holes, so don’t draft for need, but BPA.
    Well here we are in the future.
    There are massive holes on the roster.
    No one wants to trade skill to fill the holes.
    Why draft skill exclusively then?

    This.

    You draft BPA instead of drafting for need because the theory goes that you can then trade for need from a position of strength. How does that theory work if you can’t ever trade the BPA?

    It’s not who gets traded, it’s what you get back that matters.

    Ribs: It seems like a simple 4-man boxout defence is all it takes to keep the Oilers to the perimeter when they try to break in. I’m not sure if that means they’re not breaking out at the right speed, or what.

    There were a couple of quotes from a previous thread, and they both talked about ex-Oilers who had gone to other teams without any sense of how to play in structure. There is no structure to Oiler zone exits or entries that I can see. Success comes from brilliant individual efforts (which have been markedly curtailed this year).

    OilClog: Oh Hey, TSN is giving Kruger thumbs up, making mention of his premature firing in Edmonton. Lovely

    This Krueger love is just ludicrous. Somehow the clusterfuck of this year has made us nostalgious for the only coach as bad as Eakins.

    NO, he did not motivate his players – they were as lazy and disinterested last year as they were this year.

    NO, his structure did not work better than Eakins’, the main reason the team had at least a bit of success last year is Dubnyk was brilliant and the Hall-RNH-Eberle trio refused to play Krueger’s system. Some laud this as if it’s a good thing.

    That’s just stupid short-term gain for long-term pain, and I’m sure is part of what has set us back this year. The regression of the kids this year is part of a trend that started under Krueger. It has simply continued on from last year.

    You can argue the merits of the Eakins hiring (probably a mistake) and the Renney firing (definitely a mistake). But there should be no issue with Krueger. RK being fired was a good thing, not a bad thing.

  46. theres oil in virginia says:

    justDOit: I don’t get a paywall when viewing their articles, and I think that’s because I use Chrome.

    I use Chrome, but still get the paywall.

  47. Woodguy says:

    Thomas Drance with some interesting takes on the Oilers in a column at Dobber Hockey:

    http://hockey.dobbersports.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=6483:march-16-2013&catid=24:rambling&Itemid=1

    So Ales Hemsky scored his first goal as an Ottawa Senator on Saturday, and now has 7 points (1G+6A) in his last three games. Freed from his blue and orange coloured shackles, Hemsky has instantly found success elsewhere.

    This isn’t surprising to anyone who has been paying attention, but it’s a bad look for an Oilers organization that has consistently seemed unable to figure out how to use talented NHL pieces. This has been going on for a decade.

    Hemsky, for example, had spent far too much of his season battling tough matchups, skating with checking forwards, and playing on the third line. His most common linemates were Boyd Gordon, Sam Gagner and Ryan Smyth’s corpse.

    Think skilled players of the caliber of Eberle, Yakupov, Hall or Nugent-Hopkins might have benefitted somewhat from playing with a veteran playmaker like Hemsky? Because Jason Spezza sure has.

    So much truth in there.

  48. Woodguy says:

    2nd thing from Drance piece:

    The latest example of Oilers mismanagement? Sam Gagner, who the team continues to pretend is a center. He’s not, I don’t think.

    Gagner is bad in the circle, and gets exposed defensively in the middle of the ice. But he’s skilled, creative, and fast. A smart team will convert him to the wing in the snap of a finger, or at least over the course of a season.

    Which is what happened to Andrew Cogliano, you might recall. Cogliano has revived his career as a tough minutes left-winger in Anaheim. His final season in Edmonton, Cogliano took more than 1000 draws. He took nearly 400 in his first season in Anaheim, but this season has taken fewer draws than he’s scored goals (20 to 19).

    It took a while, but a smart team found a niche for a talented piece like Cogliano (oh he’s not a top-six center, he’s a fast defensive winger well suited to scoring against the grain!). Meanwhile a different smart team has put Hemsky into an offensive role with one of their best skilled players. Both of those moves are paying off.

    And the Oilers? Still banging their head against a wall…

    Outsider perspective always seems to bring the truth home.

    Not just us whinging.

    This part:

    A smart team will convert him to the wing in the snap of a finger, or at least over the course of a season.

    Is so true.

    A team that needs offence who can put him at RW with responsible C and we should flourish.

    I still think that’s an option with the Oilers with Eberle being moved to fill holes.

    *ducks LT’s flying shoe*

  49. Lowetide says:

    Mark Fraser to play today apparently. Gadzooks!

  50. Andy P says:

    Radman:
    Lowetide,

    Kinda wonder if Eakins with RK as an associate would have been a nice combo. We’ll never know.
    Ya, Eakins seems as stubborn as my dad.

    Did anyone else read the comments at the time that Krueger refused to step down from HC and be the Assistant head coach with Eakins?

  51. thejonrmcleod says:

    flyfish1168,

    Lars Eller for Yakupov? Not happening. Also insane.

  52. Woodguy says:

    Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers 4m
    If Gagner plays, Lander will be on a line with Hendricks and Gordon.

    Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers 3m
    “I thought he did really well. I was proud of the way he played… His next audition is going to be on the right side.” – Eakins on Lander

    So probably:

    4-89-57
    64-93-14
    23-27-51
    28-94-20

    Man that 4th line is just a waste of 94 and 12 min of 5v5 hockey

    Hope the pairs stay the same.

  53. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    Mark Fraser to play today apparently. Gadzooks!

    No reason for this to happen at all.

    None.

  54. Andy P says:

    Lois Lowe: This is patently false. OKC is outside of the playoffs, and they were no screaming hell last season with all of the wunderkinds on the roster.

    It might be patently false in your opinion, but I believe, from what I have read on this blog, the majority of posters on this blog, plus LT, feel that Todd Nelson has done a really good job with the players he has been given.

  55. Woodguy says:

    G Money,

    This Krueger love is just ludicrous. Somehow the clusterfuck of this year has made us nostalgious for the only coach as bad as Eakins.
    NO, he did not motivate his players – they were as lazy and disinterested last year as they were this year.
    NO, his structure did not work better than Eakins’, the main reason the team had at least a bit of success last year is Dubnyk was brilliant and the Hall-RNH-Eberle trio refused to play Krueger’s system. Some laud this as if it’s a good thing.
    That’s just stupid short-term gain for long-term pain, and I’m sure is part of what has set us back this year. The regression of the kids this year is part of a trend that started under Krueger. It has simply continued on from last year.
    You can argue the merits of the Eakins hiring (probably a mistake) and the Renney firing (definitely a mistake). But there should be no issue with Krueger. RK being fired was a good thing, not a bad thing.

    This a million times.

    The Oilers were just as awful last year.

    PP was better.

    Goaltending was better throughout the year.

    The rest of the clusterfuck was the same.

    Also,

    They were never in a playoff spot.

    Everyone says this because for 12 hours they occupied 8th in the WC in points.

    If you look at Points percentage, which is more real than points (takes away the games played bias) the Oilers were never higher than 10th and then it was only for 2 day and they slid back down.

  56. Andy P says:

    TheOtherJohn:
    I believe the Eberle quote on defending was against a Detroit team missing their 2 best players and a number of their top 9 forwards. Do not thinksame comment applicable to STL or LAK games.

    Think it would be beyond brain dead to trade YAK now, the return would be horrible. Absolutely the worse thing they could do. So, it’s probably being actively considered as we speak.

    A trade centered around Eberle for Evander Kane, that’s a hockey trade. Winnipeg must be desperate to do something to get to playoffs next year. Maybe Buff too. But those assets are expensive but most seen to want additions without touching the core

    To whoever said draft Ekblad and wait for all the young D to mature– that certainly looks like the plan. That’s not a good plan, but inertia can be called a plan, I guess. Lowe & Tambi called what they were doing a plan. It wasn’t but it was sold as such: I expect it was an empty notebook

    If Yak has let MacT know he does not intend to play for this team next year, what choices does MacT have?

  57. Lowetide says:

    Joanne Ireland ‏@jirelandEJ 53s

    Joensuu still in walking boot, Gagner will take warmup. If he can’t go #Oilers will dress 7 D. Fraser in for Larsen. Scrivens starts.

  58. Lowetide says:

    Dennis King: Oilers playing Canes is like visiting your ex-wife’s new husband in the house you built; plus, he makes 200K a year and he’s John Holmes son

    I don’t even know who John Holmes is and that’s funny/hurts.

  59. Marcus Oilerius says:

    Lowetide,

    You should Google John Holmes. Do an image search. You’ll understand.

    Just don’t do it with kids around.

  60. fifthcartel says:

    Lowetide,

    I like this, it gives me the impression that they’re willing to work with Lander to see if maybe he can fit on the third line wing, and that he’s somewhat in the plans. At least that’s what I’m telling myself.

  61. Lloyd B. says:

    Lowetide,

    John Holmes is a legendary porn star from the ??70s

  62. hunter1909 says:

    Oilers used to bend over for Carolina even before the 2006 debacle on ice. New England Whalers were always able to bitch slap the Oilers. Now they’re Carolina and Kevin Lowe’s son plays for them.

    No conflict of interest, nothing worth mentioning since any fool can see Lowe cannot possibly work for the Oilers now 8 seasons out of the playoffs.

  63. Lowetide says:

    Lloyd B.:
    Lowetide,

    John Holmes is a legendary porn star from the ??70s

    Ah. Johnny Wadd. Yes. I should have remembered the name, but didn’t. CLEARLY a sign of character. :-)

  64. hunter1909 says:

    Lowetide,

    You mean everyone’s seen that movie?

  65. Andy P says:

    theres oil in virginia:
    mumbai max,

    Thanks.I don’t follow the Journal articles like I used to, before the paywall went up.On that note, if you could subscribe to the COH, for a reasonable fee, apart from the rest of the rag (see my above rant on newspapers), I’d do it.I know you can beat the paywall pretty easily, but I mostly don’t bother.It feels like I’m sneaking around and I don’t like that.

    I have found that if I clean my cookies out of my web browser I can get through the paywalls that limit you to a limited number of free reads. I appreciate how you feel, I think its a matter of degree. If it’s a place I want to live, I will buy in, but if it’s just the occasional reference I’m not too concerned.

  66. Lowetide says:

    hunter1909:
    Lowetide,

    You mean everyone’s seen that movie?

    I think it won best picture.

  67. thejonrmcleod says:

    Andy P,

    Does the Journal only require an online subscription for local readers? I’ve never had an issue (here in NS) reading the Cult of Hockey posts.

  68. Woodguy says:

    Eakins’ pre-game avail: http://video.oilers.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=578206&catid=4

    At 0:45 Bob mentions that 64-93-14 “haven’t exactly been lighting it up and is he going to change up the lines”

    Eakins: “They’ve got to learn to swim on their own. I can’t have Taylor come in and bail them out”

    I like it.

  69. jb says:

    Do you really think MacT’s informing moron journalists of his true intentions?

  70. Lowetide says:

    thejonrmcleod:
    Andy P,

    Does the Journal only require an online subscription for local readers? I’ve never had an issue (here in NS) reading the Cult of Hockey posts.

    I think you get five free reads and then the paywall. I actually feel for newspapers, it’s a tough deal sending reporters out to do work and then having everyone get it for free. I don’t believe paywalls are the answer, but I’m not the guy losing money either.

  71. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy:
    Eakins’ pre-game avail:http://video.oilers.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=578206&catid=4

    At 0:45 Bob mentions that 64-93-14 “haven’t exactly been lighting it up and is he going to change up the lines”

    Eakins: “They’ve got to learn to swim on their own.I can’t have Taylor come in and bail them out”

    I like it.

    That’s a great quote from Eakins. And he’s right.

  72. Hammers says:

    Woodguy: No reason for this to happen at all.

    None.

    If he does play him who comes out .Ference (doubt it ) . If Eakins doesn’t start Klefbom or Marincin it tells us a lot .

  73. Woodguy says:

    Yesterday Couturier gets matched up against Crosby. (Downie and Read on his wings)

    Couturier goes +3 with 2pts.

    Crosby goes -3 wiht 0pts.

    PHI has lots of C’s playing the wing.

    I wonder if they do Couturier + for Eberle?

    Would do wonders for the Oilers.

  74. Woodguy says:

    Hammers: If he does play him who comes out .Ference (doubt it ) . If Eakins doesn’t start KlefbomorMarincin it tells us a lot .

    Larsen is the bubble boy today.

  75. thejonrmcleod says:

    Lowetide,

    I’m sure I’ve been on the blog for more than 5 times.

  76. Woodguy says:

    Flyers up 4-2 on PIT in the 2nd on PIT

    Simmonds with his 20th and 21st.

    Couturier up against Crosby again.

    Neither have any points.

    Courturier +1 on a shorty (was on for a shorty yesterday too)

    Fleury puts up a .900 yesterday and gets pulled after a letting in 3 of 15 for a .800 today.

    Nice to see he’s in playoff form.

    Both starters from yesterday’s game got pulled early.

    Why do NHL coaches not know to not start goalies on B2B?

    Its not new information.

  77. theres oil in virginia says:

    Woodguy:
    Yesterday Couturier gets matched up against Crosby. (Downie and Read on his wings)

    Couturier goes +3 with 2pts.

    Crosby goes -3 wiht 0pts.

    PHI has lots of C’s playing the wing.

    I wonder if they do Couturier +for Eberle?

    Would do wonder for the Oilers.

    Crosby is so yesterday. Hehe.

    Eberle is the guy they want, if I recall from the earlier trade talks.

  78. Yeti says:

    Woodguy: Why do NHL coaches not know to not start goalies on B2B?

    Most of them don’t change their underwear between B2Bs either.

  79. stevezie says:

    Woodguy: You can always trade from your pile of skill in t

    We have already traded from our abundance of skill, and now we have an extra 3rd and a 5th.

    The abundance is now gone. We had an extra rw, and now we don’t. Moving a rw creates a hole, unless you’re right and Gagner would be a fine rw.

    Woodguy: Hemsky, for example, had spent far too much of his season battling tough matchups, skating with checking forwards, and playing on the third line. His most common linemates were Boyd Gordon, Sam Gagner and Ryan Smyth’s corpse.

    he future to fill the hol

    The narrative that Hemsky is “a gifted soloist who was at his best playing with stiffs like Horcoff* who knew how to cover for him” appears to be falling apart. Obviously, he can and should play with skill.

    I’m confused why we so seldom saw the old Hemsky over the last two years.

    True: his numbers were unacceptably low, and did not suggest a guy still up to carrying the offense. Also true: he’s much better defensively than he gets credit for so it made some sense to play him on the third.

    Saying “look at his line-mates” seems to ignore the fact that he wasn’t exactly forcing his way up the line-up.

    I am thrilled my favourite player is finding success, but I’m still not clear on why he wasn’t finding more here.

    *This also reflects positively on Horcoff. Clearly he contributed more to Hemsky than some were willing to recognize.

  80. justDOit says:

    Lowetide: Ah. Johnny Wadd. Yes. I should have remembered the name, but didn’t. CLEARLY a sign of character.

    You mean that Mrs LT still reads every blog? That’s sweet!

  81. The Great One says:

    So, what would Dean Lombardi do.

    We know conclusively, since he has stated it publicly many times, that his rebuild strategy was to ship out his veterans for multiple draft picks or young players (Stoll, Greene) who would fit into the core of the young team he was building.

    He got the go ahead from ownership to do this scorched earth rebuild, just as Lowe received permission to the same.

    And, yet, the results are entirely different.

    Lombardi stockpiled all these assets acquired through the draft but then wasn’t afraid to start dealing them off to acquire players to fill the holes on his team (see trading away Jack Johnson, Brayden Schenn, Wayne Simmons, Loktionov, Teubert et al).

    Lombardi was, of course, aided greatly by the stunning success of his draft team.

    In his first draft in 2006, the Kings got 2 NHL players…Jonathan Bernie and Trevor Lewis,

    In his second draft in 2007, the got 4 NHL players…Hickey, Simmonds, Martinez and King.

    In his third draft in 2008, the Kings got 3 NHL players….Doughty, Voynov, and Loktionov

    in his fourth draft in 2009, another 4 (perhaps 5) NHL players…Schenn, Clifford, Vey, Nolan. (Deslaurier)

    That was the end of drafting in the top half of the draft but the Kings were so successful they were loaded with pieces they could use to fill holes on the team and that’s just what they did.

    If we assume the Oilers rebuild started with the Hall draft in 2010 and the trajectory is the same, we should start too see multiple draft picks arriving in the NHL.

    And that appears to be the case with players like Marincin and Klefbom although neither the quality of quantity seems to come anywhere close to the Kings procurement record.

    The fly in the ointment here is that the Oilers have already traded away multiple picks in the 2014 draft so they are left with little choice other than to get returns on any player that MAY not be in the long term plans.

    The overall lack of success in drafting and developing is really having a negative impact on this rebuild.

    Perhaps the best strategy at this point is to move players like Yakupov, Gagner, Perron, one of the young D prospects in packages for multiple picks in the 2015 draft which is expected to be very deep?

  82. Woodguy says:

    stevezie:The narrative that Hemsky is “a gifted soloist who was at his best playing with stiffs like Horcoff* who knew how to cover for him” appears to be falling apart. Obviously, he can and should play with skill.

    I’m confused why we so seldom saw the old Hemsky over the last two years.

    True: his numbers were unacceptably low, and did not suggest a guy still up to carrying the offense. Also true: he’s much better defensively than he gets credit for so it made some sense to play him on the third.

    Saying “look at his line-mates” seems to ignore the fact that he wasn’t exactly forcing his way up the line-up.

    I am thrilled my favourite player is finding success, but I’m still not clear on why he wasn’t finding more here.

    *This also reflects positively on Horcoff. Clearly he contributed more to Hemsky than some were willing to recognize.

    Maybe MacT was right and he needed a change?

    I’m looking at his numbers from this year and last, and he was still decent to good with most skilled players.

    Big holes were: Hall this year. A lot of that time was the disastrous 3 games with Hall at C.

    Gagner last year: No explanation on that one.

  83. oliveoilers says:

    G Money: This.

    You draft BPA instead of drafting for need because the theory goes that you can then trade for need from a position of strength.How does that theory work if you can’t ever trade the BPA?

    It’s not who gets traded, it’s what you get back that matters.

    There were a couple of quotes from a previous thread, and they both talked about ex-Oilers who had gone to other teams without any sense of how to play in structure.There is no structure to Oiler zone exits or entries that I can see.Success comes from brilliant individual efforts (which have been markedly curtailed this year).

    This Krueger love is just ludicrous.Somehow the clusterfuck of this year has made us nostalgious for the only coach as bad as Eakins.

    NO, he did not motivate his players – they were as lazy and disinterested last year as they were this year.

    NO, his structure did not work better than Eakins’, the main reason the team had at least a bit of success last year is Dubnyk was brilliant and the Hall-RNH-Eberle trio refused to play Krueger’s system.Some laud this as if it’s a good thing.

    That’s just stupid short-term gain for long-term pain, and I’m sure is part of what has set us back this year. The regression of the kids this year is part of a trend that started under Krueger.It has simply continued on from last year.

    You can argue the merits of the Eakins hiring (probably a mistake) and the Renney firing (definitely a mistake). But there should be no issue with Krueger.RK being fired was a good thing, not a bad thing.

    I’m kind of confused here. So you have proof that 93-4-14 refused to play RK’s systems? Are they refusing to play DE’s systems? If so, why hasn’t this surfaced before? It hasn’t even made the gossip sites about dissension within the ranks. The soap opera journos are usually all over that.

    The point about RK’s firing that got many people’s goat was not that the team were still pretty bad, but the way it was done and the hypocrisy surrounding the decision. RK, with no training camp, half a season and arguably a weaker roster still managed a 24th place finish. Not exactly Lord Stanley, but better than we had done in years. He’s fired, replaced by what appears to be an even more inferior coach that we’re told is going nowhere because ‘consistency’. So it’s okay to fire someone after half a season, but keep someone who has done tangibly worse by every metric measurable or not, after a full one?

    As I said previously; I believe MacT would be better studying for a degree in Media Relations. The optics of some of his moves do not do him credit as the intelligent guy we all know him to be. Read some of the articles by other team’s journalists to get a better perspective. He is learning, though and he has hit a couple of homers, so we know he can do it. DE though……what, if anything can he look back on the season and be proud about?

    I’m willing to be patient, see if he can go through the off-season with MacT, get some players he wants and see where we are at xmas. However, if this off-season is all about trading for ex-Marlies, then Houston, we have a problem with the coach.

  84. Woodguy says:

    LT, the quote function is acting like Fraser when he has the puck.

    Random, spastic things are happening, not many of them good.

  85. The Great One says:

    Woodguy:
    Yesterday Couturier gets matched up against Crosby. (Downie and Read on his wings)

    Couturier goes +3 with 2pts.

    Crosby goes -3 wiht 0pts.

    PHI has lots of C’s playing the wing.

    I wonder if they do Couturier +for Eberle?

    Would do wonders for the Oilers.

    Who would have to add the + to get that done?

    Wayne Simmonds is a pretty nice #2RW (almost identical boxcars) and is paid $2M less than Eberle.

    That’s a pretty important factor for a cap team.

  86. hunter1909 says:

    stevezie: *This also reflects positively on Horcoff. Clearly he contributed more to Hemsky than some were willing to recognize.

    Inevitably Horcoff will return as coach. He’s one of the inner circle. Thank you for being the first post-Hemsky trade person on Lowetide to bring up his excellence; helping everyone to understand the why of things.

  87. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy:
    LT, the quote function is acting like Fraser when he has the puck.

    Random, spastic things are happening, not many of them good.

    I had that problem last night, I’d quote and get none of the quote but the strong and blockquote elements would appear. I’ll check on it.

  88. stevezie says:

    Woodguy: Maybe MacT was right and he needed a change?

    I can accept that, but it makes it harder to condemn the coach or the GM.

    Though, obviously, finding a way to work past the “need for a change” and maximize him here is something an excellent coach would have done.

  89. steveb12344 says:

    The Great One:

    Perhaps the best strategy at this point is to move players like Yakupov, Gagner, Perron, one of the young D prospects in packages for multiple picks in the 2015 draft which is expected to be very deep?

    This would set the rebuild back at least another 3-4 years min.

    That’s exactly what this team and it’s fans need now.

    FACEPALM!!!

  90. Lowetide says:

    steveb12344: This would set the rebuild back at least another 3-4 years min.

    That’s exactly what this team and it’s fans need now.

    FACEPALM!!!

    That’s not an option for MacT/Eakins. The next GM is likely to be a Bryan Murray type, and he’ll be mandated to turn north. The next time a GM in Edmonton talks rebuild he’ll probably have been recently fired.

  91. Acumen says:

    theres oil in virginia: Now there are kids everywhere and veterans on overpays.More overpays needed.

    The PP has been fucking awful.The PP is this year’s MVP (Khabi-style).If it starts clicking, then this team will move up the standings by a few spots (FLA, NYI, CGY are all catchable).I’d much rather see better results at evens.Isn’t that really the measure of whether these guys are playing NHL-level hockey?

    Dreger is a wind-bag.Every time I smell more of that wind, I respect him less.He’ll be at Rishaug level soon.Truth and facts have nothing to do with journalism, it’s only about how many “papers” you sell.Hell, the Pulitzer Prize was set up and named after a known liar, whose lies helped pull the US into their first, big overseas-entry into imperialism (Spanish-American war).Remember the Maine, indeed.

    The reason you don’t fire Eakins is not simply because of continuity.You don’t fire him after one year, based on standings, because Pat Quinn himself couldn’t coach this team to the playoffs!Eakins has control over the team (I think) and that is Step 1.There’s been some regression, and I think that’s understandable.I think these guys are realizing that playing pond hockey won’t get them very far, and they’ve got to round their game out.I think they’ve bought in, and are still working out the kinks.Seems like the training issues that G was referring to the other day might factor in, but that’s correctable if it’s true.They also don’t have the personnel needed to compete.They’re getting there.(I think you’d have to be pretty biased to conclude that MacT has not improved the roster.)Seems like the D is a big problem, but the solution appears to be on the horizon.What about 2C?How do you solve that?Draft?

    I don’t see MacT sending any of these top guys out for pennies.(I don’t think he sent Smid out for pennies.Look at the poor returns at the deadline.MacT got two prospects for Smid.All of the chatter about other GM’s not knowing that Smid was available is just chatter.)Not one GM in the league has a perfect track record.So far, MacT has not made a damnable trade.I don’t generally like to damn somebody for something they might do.

    Props, sir. You nailed it. Our takes are much the same all the way through.

    I just wanted to chime in on the coaching discussion by pointing to Eberle’s words in the last post game scrum on the Oilers site here: http://video.oilers.nhl.com/videocenter/console. You can disagree with his take that the team is playing better defense recently (I know the corgis are barking disapproval), but everything he says about cultivating a new identity as a defensively “stingy” team, and the players (like Jordan frekin Eberle!) buying into it is music to my ears.

    The Olympic break mini-camp may not have turned them into a well oiled machine over a couple of weeks, but seeing that Team Canada’s dominance started with sound defense was valuable. The proof is right there, from our charmingly candid winger’s mouth to your ears.

    edit: it’s right around the one minute mark that he starts sounding off.

  92. stevezie says:

    hunter1909,

    Hahaha were you one of the promoters of the “Horcoff’s offence is a creation of Hemsky” idea? I don’t read your posts so I don’t know. If so, you’re welcome!

  93. The Great One says:

    steveb12344: This would set the rebuild back at least another 3-4 years min.

    That’s exactly what this team and it’s fans need now.

    FACEPALM!!!

    I don’t disagree.

    The issue to me is, do the Oilers have the critical mass of players and prospects for MacT to have the ammunition to make the kinds of trades that will make the team competitive?

    I don’t think he does.

    The paltry return for Horcoff, Hemsky and possibly Gagner and Yakupov (at this point) illustrates that pretty clearly.

    Considering how difficult it is for the Oilers to acquire quality UFA’s, is there really any other alternative?

  94. steveb12344 says:

    Lowetide: That’s not an option for MacT/Eakins. The next GM is likely to be a Bryan Murray type, and he’ll be mandated to turn north. The next time a GM in Edmonton talks rebuild he’ll probably have been recently fired.

    Agreed. As far as MacT is concerned this rebuild is pretty much over.

    The question now is what tweeks will need to be made to make this thing work.

    From all the verbal that I’ve heard from MacT, it appears he feels most of the solutions are in the system already. Just need a little more development.

    As far as Dreger’s Yak comments. It’s pure Eastern media BS. Just like they have been telling us all year that Hemmer was worthless. Now that he plays for an Eastern team, he is a dynamo who’s only problem was playing for the Oilers.

    Yak won’t be traded for anything less than full value. Either someone makes an offer they can’t refuse, or Yak goes nowhere.

  95. hunter1909 says:

    stevezie: I don’t read your posts so I don’t know.

    Hard to imagine why. Dallas Eakins reads every word on this blog, every morning and every night.

  96. The Great One says:

    steveb12344,

    Tweaks?

    Like a #1 or #2C?

    2 top pairing D?

    Yikes.

  97. FastOil says:

    G Money: This.

    You draft BPA instead of drafting for need because the theory goes that you can then trade for need from a position of strength.How does that theory work if you can’t ever trade the BPA?

    It’s not who gets traded, it’s what you get back that matters.

    There were a couple of quotes from a previous thread, and they both talked about ex-Oilers who had gone to other teams without any sense of how to play in structure.There is no structure to Oiler zone exits or entries that I can see.Success comes from brilliant individual efforts (which have been markedly curtailed this year).

    This Krueger love is just ludicrous.Somehow the clusterfuck of this year has made us nostalgious for the only coach as bad as Eakins.

    NO, he did not motivate his players – they were as lazy and disinterested last year as they were this year.

    NO, his structure did not work better than Eakins’, the main reason the team had at least a bit of success last year is Dubnyk was brilliant and the Hall-RNH-Eberle trio refused to play Krueger’s system.Some laud this as if it’s a good thing.

    That’s just stupid short-term gain for long-term pain, and I’m sure is part of what has set us back this year. The regression of the kids this year is part of a trend that started under Krueger.It has simply continued on from last year.

    You can argue the merits of the Eakins hiring (probably a mistake) and the Renney firing (definitely a mistake). But there should be no issue with Krueger.RK being fired was a good thing, not a bad thing.

    Nicely done.

    BPA’s – Knowing when to be patient is also key here. The Oilers aren’t in a position to trade anyone at value so UFA’s is where they should go, and second tier to avoid term contracts. They have top talent, they lack support.

    Systems – In terms of offensive attack I don’t think it can be left to creativity anymore, systems are too tight. There has to be a good plan you continue to try and execute and if you have more commitment and better talent you should come out on top. The good teams look and are very organized on the ice. Breakouts and D are always systems, and I think the disorganization of the forward’s play is exacerbating the other weaknesses.

    Coaching – Hard coaches come in rocking the boat and things calm. I doubt Babcock and Hitchcock are group huggers. The key issue is losing. It kills morale. It creates doubt when hard work fails at first. The amount of losing is 90% on the managements inability to plug roster holes.

    They have talent. What they need are more GOOD role players like Gordon. MacT fixed goal. While signing Stastny or trading Gagner for Subban would be nice, the team would succeed I am sure with second tier signings of still capable NHL’ers. Whale hunting has sunk this boat before when the alternative was doing nothing or not enough. They need three or so strong signings (in terms of solid play as opposed to big offense) and it’s a different team next year.

  98. flyfish1168 says:

    steveb12344:

    As far as Dreger’s Yak comments.It’s pure Eastern media BS.Just like they have been telling us all year that Hemmer was worthless.Now that he plays for an Eastern team, he is a dynamo who’s only problem was playing for the Oilers.

    Yak won’t be traded for anything less than full value.Either someone makes an offer they can’t refuse, or Yak goes nowhere.

    I so agree. They probably never stay up to watch western time zone games and they know so little about western based players it pitiful.

    I’m sure few GM are are messing with the reporters making comments just to leak it out truthful or not with an agenda and purpose.

  99. stevezie says:

    hunter1909,

    Please stop using my name to attract my attention.

  100. steveb12344 says:

    The Great One:
    steveb12344,

    Tweaks?

    Like a #1 or #2C?

    2 top pairing D?

    Yikes.

    So now Nuge isn’t even a #1 or #2 C?

    You are right about UFA’s. That’s primarily why they have been forced to build through the draft.

    I think they need to sink or swim with what they got, plus what they got percolating down under.

    There will be big trades at some point, but I believe that they need a little more evaluation time to figure out what they got.

    Trading the few legit pieces that they have for more magic beans is not going to cut it.

    Edit: I see you said #1, OR #2 C My bad.

  101. Old School G says:

    I’m looking forward to some offseason drama because that means that necessary, and fan base dividing, changes are happening. It all has to be on the table. Time to get serious here.

  102. hunter1909 says:

    stevezie:
    hunter1909,

    Please stop using my name to attract my attention.

    Okay.

  103. The Great One says:

    steveb12344: So now Nuge isn’t even a #1 or #2 C?

    You are right about UFA’s.That’s primarily why they have been forced to build through the draft.

    I think they need to sink or swim with what they got, plus what they got percolating down under.

    There will be big trades at some point, but I believe that they need a little more evaluation time to figure out what they got.

    Trading the few legit pieces that they have for more magic beans is not going to cut it.

    No, I think Hopkins is a #1C OR a #2C but they need the other guy and he’s is not in the system.

    Maybe they find him in the draft but expecting immediate impact there is likely folly.

    You seem to be preaching patience and I guess that’s one route to take but, given the state of the prospect pool, that may turn out to be a very long process if it works at all.

  104. Woodguy says:

    The Great One: Who would have to add the + to get that done?

    Wayne Simmonds is a pretty nice #2RW (almost identical boxcars) and is paid $2M less than Eberle.

    That’s a pretty important factor for a cap team.

    I do that deal straight up so the Flyers can add whatever they want imo.

    Simmonds isn’t going anywhere.

    Simmonds and Eberle would be good as 1/2 RW

  105. prairieschooner says:

    MacT is stuck with Eakins for better for worse.
    We keep on talking about getting Eakins more help but there are 2 assistant coaches who have tenure and if the players can not learn the new system they need to be offered the not early enough buy out retirement package.
    Coach Nelson can coach players more easily in the AHL
    NHL coaches have a more tactical focus
    How long should a coach get to implement his system ?
    An NHL season is equivalent to 2 seasons in the Premiership

  106. steveb12344 says:

    I know the Defence is pretty weak now, but in a few years when we have fully developed Schultz, Marincin, Klefbomb, Nurse, Simpson, Gernat, Musil, and maybe Ekblad. This will be a pretty nice group, and I’m guessing that One or two of them will be moved for veteran pieces as necessary.

    There is also a plethora of bottom 6 guys working their way up as well.

    It may not be perfect, and might not come to fruition as quick as we’d like, but it’s what we got.

  107. The Great One says:

    Woodguy: I do that deal straight up so the Flyers can add whatever they want imo.

    Simmonds isn’t going anywhere.

    Simmonds and Eberle would be good as 1/2 RW

    I’m pretty sure Philly is happy with Voracek at #1RW.

    Producing the same offence as Eberle, signed for $2M less and is 6’2″ 215.

  108. theres oil in virginia says:

    I think back to when Gilbert looked good for about 1/4 of a season as a top pairing guy with Ryan Whitney. (Apparently, he’s doing the same with Campbell?) I also think about various conversations here regarding one or another top-pairing defenseman on some team, where folks talk about how he’s being carried by the other, legit defenseman on the top pair. There’s very little doubt in my mind that a guy like Petry can play top-pairing if paired with a legit top-pairing guy. I’d hate to throw Marincin in that spot, but likely he’ll be able to do it as well. Klefbom may be a similar story. Nurse, too. The point here is that the Oilers don’t need two top-pairing guys. They need one elite guy and they can fill in the rest.

  109. gcw_rocks says:

    Woodguy,

    I wasn’t a fan of Krueger, but I don’t think we can judge him as bad or good. He didn’t have a training camp and played only western conference teams. He also had the worst collection of defenders in the history of hockey to work with. Some of his strategies were poor, but a number of players seemed to improve under his watch and his special teams were decent.

    He might of learned from his rookie season, or he might not have. I tend to think that, if he really did ask for new assistant coaches, that’s a strong indicator was the type learn and adapt.

    We haven’t seen any players improve, nor have shot metrics, nor has special teams. What we have seen is a serious stubborn streak.

    I wanted Ruff, but if we couldn’t have him I would have taken a second year of Krueger over Eakins any day.

  110. steveb12344 says:

    The Great One:

    .You seem to be preaching patience and I guess that’s one route to take but, given the state of the prospect pool, that may turn out to be a very long process if it works at all.

    You are right I do believe we need another year or two of patience, but even I’m not patient enough to see Eb’s and perron and Yak moved out for draft picks. That was my original point.

  111. Old School G says:

    WoodGuy brought up some quotes from an article earlier on in the comments, that spurred my thoughts towards Gagner.

    If we convert Gagner to a W we have a solution that could solve a couple problems:

    Trading Gagner and upgrading the 3RW spot.

    He’s expensive, yep, but we can correct that next negotiation. I’d like him a whole lot better if he were playing with defence first line mates, he’d be able to dance against a lot of teams third lines. Hendricks-Gordon-Gagner, weird but it would work I believe.

  112. flyfish1168 says:

    gcw_rocks: Woodguy, I wasn’t a fan of Krueger, but I don’t think we can judge him as bad or good. He didn’t have a training camp and played only western conference teams. He also had the worst collection of defenders in the history of hockey to work with. Some of his strategies were poor, but a number of players seemed to improve under his watch and his special teams were decent. He might of learned from his rookie season, or he might not have. I tend to think that, if he really did ask for new assistant coaches, that’s a strong indicator was the type learn and adapt. We haven’t seen any players improve, nor have shot metrics, nor has special teams. What we have seen is a serious stubborn streak.I wanted Ruff, but if we couldn’t have him I would have taken a second year of Krueger over Eakins any day.

    Please give examples of poor strategies. It sure isn’t on the PP or PK. his strategies on how to treat each player seem to be pretty good in my estimation. Also his strategy against matching lines with the western teams did see us briefly in the playoff picture. So please tell me which strategy you did not like.

  113. hunter1909 says:

    ffs when does the game start, I’m already half drunk.

    Yuck. Canadian feed.

  114. hunter1909 says:

    “You’re poorer than you think” needs to be the “Scotiabank” new motto.

    “We’ve screwed the youth up the ass with house price racketeering, now enjoy being coolies just like in Hong Kong” is another nice meme.

  115. stevezie says:

    hunter1909,

    Thankyou

  116. Rebilled says:

    A Loggins doubler to start? This is the story of the Hurricanes.

  117. G Money says:

    theres oil in virginia: I use Chrome, but still get the paywall.

    When you see a link to a story in the Journal, just right click on it and use “Open Link in Incognito Window” (in Firefox, it’s “Private Browsing Window”. No idea what it is in IE).

    That will get you your first 10 articles free, but you’ll always be starting from zero each time you close the incognito window.

  118. VanOil says:

    LT thank you for today’s post its wisdom on Yakupov is like a warm hug after hard day.

    There are many positives we can take from this horrible season.

    First and foremost this team since the goal tending issues was solved are about a .500 team. Which is all we could of realistically hoped for at the start of the season.

    It is a .500 team with a broken PP, weak defense and RNH, Gagner and Yakupov having tough seasons.

    I believe RNH will prove to be the teams best player over the next 10 years. I know Gagner, since the Olympic break when he said right from the start would be his fully healed date, has returned to form. This form might be flawed and better suited to the wing but it does put up points. Yak is an all world talent that has looked less lost since his last healthy scratch, it is up to the team to nurture this. He is a keeper.

  119. Gerta Rauss says:

    Someone forgot to tell the Oilers this is an afternoon game

  120. Rebilled says:

    Gerta Rauss,

    Is their a difference in their erratic play?

  121. Rebilled says:

    *there! Landeys!

  122. Lowetide says:

    Lander scores, nice job young man. Wagon!

  123. VanOil says:

    Lander scores and all is right in the world.

  124. steveb12344 says:

    Way to go Anton!

    Also props to Jimmi

  125. Gerta Rauss says:

    hahahahah….

  126. rich says:

    Lander! Good for him!

    Might as well send him down now…(sarcasm).

  127. G Money says:

    oliveoilers: I’m kind of confused here. So you have proof that 93-4-14 refused to play RK’s systems?

    There were a number of articles that were posted, on ON, mc79, and C&B all attempting to deconstruct RK’s um, “unique” system. Some were before (postulating how well the system might or might not work), and some were after (trying to figure out what went wrong).

    One of the post mortem analyses looked at how the various players played, and the commentary from one specific article (this particular article had screencaps showing the player positioning, so I’m thinking it was either ON or C&B, and the name dawgbone sticks in my head) made a rather compelling case that the top line did not play the system at all. This was particularly true of Hall, who rather than staying in his narrow zone near the blue line was a rover all over the D zone. He actually acted more like the centre in that system.

    I wish I had a link for you. Maybe someone else remembers the article and has it.

    EDIT: As to your other point, I agree. While I think RK’s dismissal was a good decision, the way in which it was done was disrespectful and unprofessional.

  128. Rebilled says:

    #94 here…

  129. hunter1909 says:

    Oilers playing with the puck on a string…6 feet past their sticks lmao.

  130. Lowetide says:

    hunter1909:
    Oilers playing with the puck on a string…6 feet past their sticks lmao.

    That was funny.

  131. hunter1909 says:

    Dallas Eakins = Eddie Shore to the kids.

  132. hunter1909 says:

    dontscoretwodontscoretwodontscoretwo…

  133. Lowetide says:

    Man Gagner is slow this year. Didn’t even get a shot on that play.

  134. Rebilled says:

    Delay of game and instant replay need a reversal. No intention.

  135. flyfish1168 says:

    Lowetide:
    Man Gagner is slow this year. Didn’t even get a shot on that play.

    I wonder if he even saw Hall on the other side

  136. Ribs says:

    Maybe Gagner can grow a foot or two here quick and he’ll be better.

  137. VanOil says:

    Opps that makes the low light real.

  138. Bling says:

    Yikes Gagner. Brutal period from him.

  139. hunter1909 says:

    Gagner needs to play wing. he’s a dynamite player, given a half decent chance to succeed.

    Or, trade him for a 2nd, and continue to service the rest of the NHL with the “feeder” oilers.

    That’s it. I need outside the door life. Enjoy the rest of the game, sober ones.

  140. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Hmm. Scrivens played that one oddly. I guess the deflection / changeup got him off balance. He may have actually been trying to do a bit of a Rollie there and wack the puck forward with his blocker to his forwards, but didn’t get all of it.

  141. oliveoilers says:

    G Money: There were a number of articles that were posted, on ON, mc79, and C&B all attempting to deconstruct RK’s um, “unique” system.Some were before (postulating how well the system might or might not work), and some were after (trying to figure out what went wrong).

    One of the post mortem analyses looked at how the various players played, and the commentary from one specific article (this particular article had screencaps showing the player positioning, so I’m thinking it was either ON or C&B, and the name dawgbone sticks in my head) made a rather compelling case that the top line did not play the system at all.This was particularly true of Hall, who rather than staying in his narrow zone near the blue line was a rover all over the D zone.He actually acted more like the centre in that system.

    I wish I had a link for you.Maybe someone else remembers the article and has it.

    EDIT: As to your other point, I agree. While I think RK’s dismissal was a good decision, the way in which it was done was disrespectful and unprofessional.

    Can we agree that those Hurricanes tops are effin’ terrible?

    Man, I saw Petry bad in that period.

  142. Woodguy says:

    The Great One: I’m pretty sure Philly is happy with Voracek at #1RW.

    Producing the same offence as Eberle, signed for $2M less and is 6’2″ 215.

    True, but Voracek’s a left shot and after Hartnell they are not deep on LW.

    Move Lecavilier to C and they’d have:

    C – Gioroux, Lecavlilier, Schenn
    LW – Voracek, Hartnell, Read
    RW – Simmonds, Eberle, Downie

    As a top 9.

    That’s pretty good.

  143. Lowetide says:

    I think the better plan for Gagner is to move on from him. On the wing, his size and speed along with winning puck battles are going to be an issue. Oilers top 4W’s are Hall, Perron, Eberle, Yakupov. That’s not perfect but if you keep Nuge and add an experienced guy like Legwand (or Couturier, as I believe WG mentioned above) then you’re cooking.

    And Gagner on 3line RW is worse than having Hemsky there, because Hemsky was a better player. Oilers three scoring lines=unicorns!

  144. Lowetide says:

    Goal has been changed to Hendricks (Gordon, Schultz).

  145. Rebilled says:

    Great move #4

  146. The Great One says:

    Woodguy: True, but Voracek’s a left shot and after Hartnell they are not deep on LW.

    Move Lecavilier to C and they’d have:

    C – Gioroux, Lecavlilier, Schenn
    LW – Voracek, Hartnell, Read
    RW – Simmonds, Eberle, Downie

    As a top 9.

    That’s pretty good.

    Scott Laughton is on the way.

    He certainly should change the dynamic of Philly’s top 9.

  147. stevezie says:

    Lowetide,

    Let’s say this summer the Oilers get an offer for Gagner that is not an insult, but is less than hoped for. Do you take it, or do you try to spend the first month or two of the season trying to pump his stats in the hope of getting more?

  148. godot10 says:

    Woodguy:
    Eakins’ pre-game avail:http://video.oilers.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=578206&catid=4

    At 0:45 Bob mentions that 64-93-14 “haven’t exactly been lighting it up and is he going to change up the lines”

    Eakins: “They’ve got to learn to swim on their own.I can’t have Taylor come in and bail them out”

    I like it.

    Set up your key young players to fail. Don’t set up them up to succeed. That surely is going to work! (-

    Throw your babies into the deep end of the pool. If they crawl into high chair for lunch, great. If not, who cares if they drowned.

  149. Lowetide says:

    Yakupov made a really nice tackle there. Eskimos have enough linebackers but that was a really nice play.

  150. VanOil says:

    Yak just did some thing that if he was from Sarnia would have Plums sing his praises.

  151. Lowetide says:

    godot10: Set up your key young players to fail.Don’t set up them up to succeed.That surely is going to work! (-

    Throw your babies into the deep end of the pool.If they crawl into high chair for lunch, great.If not, who cares if they drowned.

    Eberle has been in the NHL for four seasons, Nuge three. This is the time in this season to throw them out there on the road and see if they can do it. btw, Eakins moved Hall onto the Nuge line in the second for a couple shifts.

  152. Bank Shot says:

    Shouldn’t the Oilers have a PP now? Looked like third man into a fight to me.

  153. gr8one says:

    If they trade Yakupov I’m done with this team.

  154. jake70 says:

    Bank Shot:
    Shouldn’t the Oilers have a PP now?Looked like third man into a fight to me.

    Would have but Yak’s tackle evened that up.

  155. jake70 says:

    All that chaos came at the end of another brutal powerplay.

  156. khildahl says:

    jake70: Would have but Yak’s tackle evened that up.

    Yeah, it turned a game misconduct into a roughing penalty, because NHL.

  157. Radman says:

    I know the contract is long and a tad expensive and I realize the analytics don’t like him but some of life is still intuitive. Hendricks just seems like the right guy at the right time for this team. Wins battles, finishes checks, blocks shots, wins some draws. He and Gordon are great adds.

  158. Gerta Rauss says:

    They looked a little sleepy in the first 5 min, but this has been a pretty good game through 2 periods

  159. Acumen says:

    This game from Hendricks reminds me of vintage Chopper.

  160. Woodguy says:

    The Great One: Scott Laughton is on the way.

    He certainly should change the dynamic of Philly’s top 9.

    Never pencil in rookies.

    If you do, you might work for the Oilers.

  161. Rebilled says:

    gr8one,

    They should keep this whole team. They play well together¡

    Who should the Oilers trade?

  162. godot10 says:

    VanOil:

    First and foremost this team since the goal tending issues was solved are about a .500 team. Which is all we could of realistically hoped for at the start of the season.

    It is a .500 team with a broken PP, weak defense and RNH, Gagner and Yakupov having tough seasons.

    This is NOT true. The shot possession metrics are trending worse, and the only reason the Oilers have been winning is because they are on a PDO hotstreak…i.e. luck.

    Reversion of PDO to the mean is about the surest thing that advanced stats have taught us.

  163. The Great One says:

    Woodguy: Never pencil in rookies.

    If you do, you might work for the Oilers.

    Not pencilled in at all.

    But I would think Philly isn’t very concerned about the makeup of their forward group.

    They’re in the top half of the league in goal scoring now but have some real needs on D.

    Timonen is likely to retire at 39 leaving them with a pretty weak group.

  164. Lowetide says:

    Oilers may not get a point today, but it’s there. We spent entire weeks this winter where winning a game was a distant bell.

  165. VanOil says:

    godot10:
    Reversion of PDO to the mean is about the surest thing that advanced stats have taught us.

    Stats has also taught us that good goal tending can have prolonged effects on delaying PDO reversion.

  166. Rebilled says:

    our goalies are outstanding.

  167. tcho says:

    I’m enjoying watching this game.

  168. frjohnk says:

    Is there a stat for possession wins/losses for dump ins?

    Because the start of the third period is something that happens way too often.

    Gagner wins the draw easily ( Yeah, I was surprised too, but the Carolina center was looking at the busty blonde by the penalty box). Klefbom gets the puck and puts a hard pass/shot on the boards as the oilers player tips the puck in. There is barely any pressure from the oilers and hurricanes easily retrieve the puck and with two passes are in the oilers end and a cycle ensues. There is no real chance but I find this happens way too often.

    Maybe Im crazy, but the oilers strength is not battling in the corners, so why do they dump it in so often, or use the pass/tip it in the corner play?

  169. VanOil says:

    Lowetide:
    Oilers may not get a point today, but it’s there. We spent entire weeks this winter where winning a game was a distant bell.

    The most enjoyable afternoon Oilers game I have watched in years.

  170. Gerta Rauss says:

    Hey….ohhhh…..!!!

  171. Rebilled says:

    “that was a very good shot” girllady.

  172. Lowetide says:

    Joanne Ireland ‏@jirelandEJ 12s

    #Oilers take 2-1 lead with power play goal from Schutlz. First PP goal by a d-man this season, first road PP goal since Jan, 18.

  173. Lowetide says:

    frjohnk:
    Is there a stat for possession wins/losses for dump ins?

    that’s where we are headed, friend. :-)

  174. SK Oiler Fan says:

    That was supposed to happen at least 10 times this year. Only took 69 games to get the first one from the point. Jobs should be lost just based on the horid PP.

  175. VanOil says:

    Kelfbom can make a pass.

  176. Gerta Rauss says:

    god bless Sam Gagner, but that hockey stick has looked like a live snake in his hands today

  177. gcw_rocks says:

    flyfish1168,

    His zone exit strategy was disastrous. Even with elite passing defenders it was unlikely to work in the NHL, and the Oilers had anything but elite passing defenders.

  178. tcho says:

    Nice d by Nuge there.

  179. VanOil says:

    I would like to see Lander get the empty net goal.

  180. Rebilled says:

    PISANIII!!!! 6 CUPS!!!!

  181. Gerta Rauss says:

    Van up 3-2 late in the 3rd, FLA just about to go on the PP

  182. Gerta Rauss says:

    Florida ties it late

  183. McSorely Head says:

    Maybe everybody already knew this, but Ralph is now CHAIRMAN of Southampton FC.

    http://www.saintsfc.co.uk/news/article/13032014-ralph-krueger-on-katharina-liebherr-1419569.aspx

  184. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Oilers should be in the East…Or a second division. These games against midling to average competition are so much more entertaining to watch.

  185. flyfish1168 says:

    Curious how and who will be grading Yak from C of H. He should win points for being 1st to the aid a teammate.

    I also hope Eakins can find it in his post game speech to give Yak some credit for once for this unselfish act.

    this would be a good confidence boost.

  186. Lowetide says:

    Gagner was terrible. I wonder if his strength is an issue. There’s no speed, no awareness, nothing. He’s costing this team in a major way imo. I think they need to shut him down for the season.

  187. Gerta Rauss says:

    I’m a little surprised by your Gagner comments today LT. You have always been a beacon of patience for Oiler prospects/young players.

    I’m not criticizing or judging, just a little surprised.

  188. Numenius says:

    Finally, the Oilers out-Fenwicked another team 5×5. But just barely.

    50.7% – 49.3%

    Still didn’t win the Corsi battle though.

    46.5% – 53.5%

  189. Ribs says:

    All the Gagner talk is warranted, but let’s try to remember that his ankle is messed up right now from that Cooke hit. He obviously shouldn’t have played today.

  190. VanOil says:

    Apologies for this long rosy post but the win has me happy. Some positives this season are that we have found a pretty good 2nd paring on defense. We have found a pretty good shut down forward line in Gordon & Hendricks (plus Lander) and a prick that can play in Perron. The Things in net now are just beautiful.

    The top 4 pick can provide a great center of the future. I would choose Draisaitl. This is not an overnight fix for the top 6. So I would keep Gagner for the rest of his contract so the kid is not thrown in the deep as Gagner and every top offensive pick since has.

    The bad news is we will not win the cup next year (waiting on Nuge’s Beard). The good news is it would not take much to challenge for the playoffs. I can see 3 achievable fixes that can make this happen without selling out the future;

    Fix #1 the Defense. Add Kulikov to partner Schultz in a top paring, Weber is not coming. Kulikov has the size and skating ability to compensate for Schultz’s walk abouts. Schultz does not get the slack he deserves for suffering through a sophomore slump and weak partners this year.

    Kulikov-Schultz, Petry-Marincin, Kelfbom-Schultz has a lot of young D risk in it. I would mitigate this by having some older players around that can play up to the #4 spot, Belov and Ranger would be cheap options, spend more if you like. Larson would be a fleeter footed backup. Nurse should get his 9 games then returned to Jr to dominate, grow and enjoy the WJC. Simpson, Gernat, Musil and Davidson may challenge for cup of coffee call ups.

    Kulikov should be available because Florida will likely draft Ekblad, Buffalo should take Reinhart. He could cost the 2015 first round pick but if you add in a prospect you may get a Florida mid round pick back. A first round pick is a lot to give up but Oilers are not getting McDavid (the hockey Gords will not allow it). With Kulikov on the Oil D the pick should be no higher than 10th overall.

    Fix #2 the coaching staff, which should fix the PP. I would swap Acton with Nelson. Acton could bring the Eakins systems to the AHL. Nelson could be convinced to take the role with more money (money talks), title (he has been an NHL assistant not associate coach) and freedom (a freedom of moment clause that allows him to interview for any available position even mid season). Nelson has nothing left to prove in the AHL. Coaching a better D that can pass to achieve zone exits should be easy.

    Fix #3 Do No Harm, specifically with the white whale Milan Lucic chase. This harm can be done by trading Gagner for 10 cents on the dollar, trading Eberle for someone less talented and trading Yakupov EVER. Harm can also be done by Clarkson like UFA chases. If MacT needs to feel he is doing something with the forwards, other than waiting, sign a Winnik type for too much money on a short term. The Barons for next couple years will have so many Coke machines they should be called a bottling plant.

    The new Scrivens era .500 team, with the above achievable fixes, can challenge for the playoffs next year. Sure a Perron-Gagner-Yakupov 2nd line is not ideal in the Western Conference but together they can score 70 to 80 goals. Being supported by a shut down line giving them easy zone starts and an improved defense that can make a pass they will be just fine until the German Cowboy is ready to dominate.

  191. theres oil in virginia says:

    Lowetide:
    Gagner was terrible. I wonder if his strength is an issue. There’s no speed, no awareness, nothing. He’s costing this team in a major way imo. I think they need to shut him down for the season.

    He’s been braindead-terrible all year. I wonder if he’s still having concussion symptoms. I don’t think the long-term effects of concussions are completely understood. In the case of Crosby and others where headaches and other obvious symptoms are present, yeah, but when subtler symptoms are present, no. I wonder – I doubt we’ll ever know.

    Gerta Rauss:
    I’m a little surprised by your Gagner comments today LT. You have always been a beacon of patience for Oiler prospects/young players.

    I’m not criticizing or judging, just a little surprised.

    It’s gotten very hard not to notice and comment on it.

  192. theres oil in virginia says:

    VanOil: The Barons for next couple years will have so many Coke machines they should be called a bottling plant.

    That’s pretty good. “Bottled in OKC.”

  193. VanOil says:

    theres oil in virginia: That’s pretty good.“Bottled in OKC.”

    There is one Okie fan I can think of that should model that on a T-shirt.

  194. theres oil in virginia says:

    VanOil: There is one Okie fan I can think of that should model that on a T-shirt.

    Make it happen LT!

  195. Lowetide says:

    Gerta Rauss:
    I’m a little surprised by your Gagner comments today LT. You have always been a beacon of patience for Oiler prospects/young players.

    I’m not criticizing or judging, just a little surprised.

    I think Gagner is a good NHL player and will hopefully return to form next season. I’d love it to be as an Oiler, but also believe MacT cannot afford another season out of balance.

    Balance and veterans and depth are going to be vital. I can’t see Gagner fitting any of the roles that would be available on this team. I’ll cheer like hell for him either way, as I always have.

  196. Lowetide says:

    theres oil in virginia: Make it happen LT!

    I’ll make inquiries.

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