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. tcho says:

    By number, Samwise was looking pretty good that game (all numbers from Parkatti)

    CF % – 53% (4th on the Oilers who, as a team, were 46.9% CF)
    Expected GF% – 54% (3rd best on the team)
    <25ft Shot % – 65% (Best on the Oilers)
    Only group he was in the red against was the Staal line. Not so hard to understand, that.

  2. Gerta Rauss says:

    http://oilers.nhl.com/club/podcastplayer.htm?pid=98&iid=46767

    Eakins post game..kind words for Hendricks and Yakupov

  3. Gerta Rauss says:

    Lowetide: 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.

    Understood and agreed.

    I don’t have a real problem with Gagner, but when you look at the makeup of this team, and try to determine where the upgrades have to be made, that 2C position is the logical conclusion. It just is.

  4. steveb12344 says:

    tcho:
    By number, Samwise was looking pretty good that game (all numbers from Parkatti)

    CF % – 53% (4th on the Oilers who, as a team, were 46.9% CF)
    Expected GF% – 54% (3rd best on the team)
    <25ft Shot % – 65% (Best on the Oilers)
    Only group he was in the red against was the Staal line. Not so hard to understand, that.

    Sam was absolutely brutal today. Anyone who watched the game could see it clearly.

    What does this say about the advanced stat metrics?

  5. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    VanOil:
    Kelfbom can make a pass.

    hahaha I love a good typo when re-reading a gameday thread I’ve missed.

    This is like if Klefbom were a LOTRs Elf.

  6. theres oil in virginia says:

    steveb12344: Sam was absolutely brutal today.Anyone who watched the game could see it clearly.

    What does this say about the advanced stat metrics?

    It likely means you can’t take them in isolation as the absolute measure of a player, especially in a single game. Those glaring errors stick out to the eye, but not to the stat. You also shouldn’t ignore them, as they indicate that he did some good things in the o-zone. His line did okay on the chances-for by eye, and it looks like that’s verified by the dawgs. Hall looked like he was close to what we’ve come to expect of him. Perron had a good game as well.

  7. oliveoilers says:

    Marincin was that good today that I hardly noticed him. For a rookie NHL d-man, this is an outstanding accomplishment. Dare we dream that he is all that and a bag of potato chips?

  8. steveb12344 says:

    theres oil in virginia: It likely means you can’t take them in isolation as the absolute measure of a player, especially in a single game.Those glaring errors stick out to the eye, but not to the stat.You also shouldn’t ignore them, as they indicate that he did some good things in the o-zone.His line did okay on the chances-for by eye, and it looks like that’s verified by the dawgs.Hall looked like he was close to what we’ve come to expect of him.Perron had a good game as well.

    First of all, every game is a single game, and individual event. The only way to increase the sample size would be to increase the length of the game. Other games against other teams have little to do with each other. You are only as good as your last game.

    Finally someone is willing to admit that these stats are line stats and not overly applicable to individuals. In this case Sam had a very poor game, but was out there with Hall and Perron who are very good Hockey players. So good in fact that they were able to overcome Gags bad game and still put up good possession numbers for their line as a whole.

  9. steveb12344 says:

    oliveoilers:
    Marincin was that good today that I hardly noticed him.For a rookie NHL d-man, this is an outstanding accomplishment.Dare we dream that he is all that and a bag of potato chips?

    The Martian made some awesome stick checks today. Boy he has a good stick.

  10. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    steveb12344: First of all, every game is a single game, and individual event. The only way to increase the sample size would be to increase the length of the game.Other games against other teams have little to do with each other.You are only as good as your last game.

    Finally someone is willing to admit that these stats are line stats and not overly applicable to individuals.In this case Sam had a very poor game, but was out there with Hall and Perron who are very good Hockey players.So good in fact that they were able to overcome Gags bad game and still put up good possession numbers for their line as a whole.

    what is this mess?

  11. steveb12344 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: what is this mess?

    The truth!

    Would you say Sam earned his 53% CF today, and was the third or fourth best player on the Oilers today.

    Or is it fair to say that his numbers were Zoomed by the play of his linemates?

  12. theres oil in virginia says:

    steveb12344: First of all, every game is a single game

    Well thanks for clearing that up for me!

    You increase the sample size by aggregating games. If a player continually has a positive Corsi (for example) even with various line-mates, then it indicates that he is a good possession player.

    This has consistently been my position, but I’m not really an advanced stats apologist (not that there’s anything wrong with that). I also don’t have the kind of grip on these stats that Woodguy, Spoiler, Rom, LT, etc have. You asked the question, I gave you my answer. Others’ may vary.

  13. theres oil in virginia says:

    oliveoilers:
    Marincin was that good today that I hardly noticed him.For a rookie NHL d-man, this is an outstanding accomplishment.Dare we dream that he is all that and a bag of potato chips?

    Here’s how I look at it: He’s made some mistakes, but have you yet seen him and thought that he looks out of place in the NHL?

  14. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    steveb12344: The truth!

    Would you say Sam earned his 53% CF today, and was the third or fourth best player on the Oilers today.

    Or is it fair to say that his numbers were Zoomed by the play of his linemates?

    Didn’t watch the game. With the in-laws all day.

    My objection is to your strange comments about sample size and team effect stats nullifying information on individuals.

  15. steveb12344 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Didn’t watch the game. With the in-laws all day.

    My objection is to your strange comments about sample size and team effect stats nullifying information on individuals.

    Lowetide
    says:

    March 16, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    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.

    tcho
    says:

    March 16, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    By number, Samwise was looking pretty good that game (all numbers from Parkatti)

    CF % – 53% (4th on the Oilers who, as a team, were 46.9% CF)
    Expected GF% – 54% (3rd best on the team)
    <25ft Shot % – 65% (Best on the Oilers)
    Only group he was in the red against was the Staal line. Not so hard to understand, that.

    I hope this clears this up for you.

  16. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    steveb12344,

    Yes. I’m aware of this. I read the comments, saw the adv. numbers and watched the replays.

    I don’t understand how these items lead you to the positions you hold.

  17. flyfish1168 says:

    We should try Gagner on the wing. Its not a bad idea to have some one the wing that can come take the occasional faceoff. We can then try to have 3 scoring lines and buy some extra time to pump up Gagner numbers

  18. oliveoilers says:

    theres oil in virginia: Here’s how I look at it:He’s made some mistakes, but have you yet seen him and thought that he looks out of place in the NHL?

    His mistakes seem to be low percentage ones though. Obviously, as the sample size on him grows, we will see him in different situations and how he handles them. The one time he looked out of place was when his skate blade broke a few games ago, and you couldn’t see it from the main camera angle so he was absolved. Petry’s first shift was how I expected Marincin to play. Poor Petry. So solid 90% of the time, but boy his mistakes are highlighted with big neon signs. If he could play a game where no one mentioned his name either, I would be a happy camper!

    I’m just afraid to trust again!

  19. art vandelay says:

    That would have been the worst team to win the Stanley Cup in several generations’ memory. Sorta like the Giants back-dooring into the playoffs twice and boning off SB wins v the Pats.

  20. Bling says:

    Lowetide: 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.

    Gagner’s game today was brutal.

    Awful sequence with the partial breakaway (Loktionov stripped him despite 89 having a 10 foot head start), bad coverage on the first chance of the game (unmarked Cane in the slot), and behind the goal line for the first Canes goal.

    The worst part about his game today, though, wasn’t the mistakes. It was the constant stream of nothing plays in the offensive zone.

    Meh.

    This team is awful, and some of the personnel moves are absolute garbage…but if a guy like 89 could take a step forward, that would mitigate a lot of that, no?

  21. Lowetide says:

    art vandelay:
    That would have been the worst team to win the Stanley Cup in several generations’ memory. Sorta like the Giants back-dooring into the playoffs twice and boning off SB wins v the Pats.

    Nah. That 2006 team was better than Carolina.

  22. G Money says:

    Bling: The worst part about his game today, though, wasn’t the mistakes. It was the constant stream of nothing plays in the offensive zone.

    This is why it is fair to assume that Gagner is hurting, whether its his jaw, his ankle, or his noggin.

    Criticisms of his defensive play have always abounded, but in the offensive zone, Sammy for years has shown gifted passing, great vision, and a quick and accurate shot.

    The fact that he looks so lost in the offensive zone is why they should shut him down. Something’s very much not right with him.

  23. Bling says:

    G Money: This is why it is fair to assume that Gagner is hurting, whether its his jaw, his ankle, or his noggin.

    Criticisms of his defensive play have always abounded, but in the offensive zone, Sammy for years has shown gifted passing, great vision, and a quick and accurate shot.

    The fact that he looks so lost in the offensive zone is why they should shut him down. Something’s very much not right with him.

    Yeah his game has just cratered. I still think he can be useful in the 2C role, but games like this make people like me look awfully foolish.

  24. jfry says:

    G Money: This is why it is fair to assume that Gagner is hurting, whether its his jaw, his ankle, or his noggin.

    Criticisms of his defensive play have always abounded, but in the offensive zone, Sammy for years has shown gifted passing, great vision, and a quick and accurate shot.

    The fact that he looks so lost in the offensive zone is why they should shut him down. Something’s very much not right with him.

    As we have seen with players all year and Lt mentions in the post. It’s not just samwise … all the kids regressed.

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