OILERS AT WILD G66, 13-14

Oilers fans should see two important parts of the future on display tonight against Minnesota. Goaltender Viktor Fasth is expected to make his Oiler debut, and defenseman Oscar Klefbom may play in his first NHL game. On December 27th the Oilers were 39GP, 12-24-3. In the 26 games since, Edmonton is 10-11-5. In their last 10: 5-3-2. If Edmonton loses tonight, they will be the first NHL team to lose 20 games on the road this season. Speaking of road games, after tonight the Oilers will have only six road games left. 10 of their last 16 are at home.

g last 10 ma 11In the bizarre world of being an Oiler fan, Ben Scrivens is costing Edmonton Aaron Ekblad with his play! Of course, that’s ridiculous, but you’ll find a segment of the fanbase wishing for the days of Devan Dubnyk. Speaking of, I’m surprised so many assume Dubnyk’s NHL career is over. If you look at the history of the game, there are tons of players who experience blips in their career and recover. My guess is Dubnyk ends up with a better team, spends a prolonged period in the AHL, gets himself straightened out and plays a couple of years as a flat out bargain before getting a real payday again.

oilers last 10 ma 11There are some slumps going on here. The Nuge is certainly the player all are pointing too, but Jordan Eberle isn’t at his usual level and you’d like to see Yakupov more involved, too. Taylor Hall earns his nickname (“Chance”) even in a 10 game stretch where nothing is happening (Hall has been a part of 10 out of 18 goals scored during this period, or 55%).

JONATHAN QUICK TALKS SCRIVENS

scrivens common

  • Quick via  Canadian Press talks Scrivens: “He has done it all year, he did it with us too. I think he is just what this team needed here in Edmonton. He consistently gives you a solid effort and a chance to win every night. We put 50 shots on him and they still had a chance at the end there. For a few years now I think it is an area the Oilers needed improvement, not to knock the goalies they had before. The team defence could be better as well. But (Scrivens) has really stepped in since he came here and given them a chance to win every night.”

 THE RACE FOR FIRST OVERALL

standings mar 11Buffalo looks locked in for first overall (pending lottery) and Edmonton is a good bet for #2 or #3 overall. They could catch Calgary and the Islanders if those two teams dive, but that seems unlikely. The team to watch here is Vancouver, who have had their heart removed. By the way, there are FIVE Canadian teams in this group. I think the Oilers take Ekblad, Draisaitl or Bennett, but may deal down if the defender is gone.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

hurdle gifA busy show today, as we get ready for the Oilers/Wild and NFL free agency. Scheduled to appear on TSN 1260 beginning at 10:

  • Alan Hull, Copper and Blue. Nuge struggles, Klefbom debuts, is Justin Schultz learning?
  • Corey Graham, Oil Kings pbp on TSN 1260. OK are winding down the regular season, but there’s still a race going on.
  • Steve Dangle, Leafs Nation. A big win for the Leafs last night, looks like they’ll secure a playoff spot early. Can they finish ahead of the Habs?
  • Matt Verderame, SB Nation, Arrowhead Pride and Yahoo. NFL free agency starts today, who’s going where? Revis to Eagles?

10-1260 text, @Lowetide_ on twitter. It’ll be fun!

 

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288 Responses to "OILERS AT WILD G66, 13-14"

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  1. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Button giving Draisaitl his due and admitting he misfired in previous rankings:

    http://www.tsn.ca/VideoHub/?collection=72&show=304229

    Very few services have him lower than 4th now.

  2. supernova says:

    Ah Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver teams just smile ear to ear when they see the schedule with that on it.

    Which teams goalies would you rather have?

    Scrivens / Fasth
    Lack / Markstrom
    Macdonald / Ortio / Ramo

    Vancouver still has the best D of the 3.

  3. supernova says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Button giving Draisaitl his due and admitting he misfired in previous rankings:

    http://www.tsn.ca/VideoHub/?collection=72&show=304229

    Very few services have him lower than 4th now.

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I think anyone of the top 4 on Buttons list are what the oilers select, after that they trade down.

    The top 4 are a top 2 center or a top 2 D, you simply can’t trade for those later.

  4. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    supernova: Romulus Apotheosis,

    I think anyone of the top 4 on Buttons list are what the oilers select, after that they trade down.

    The top 4 are a top 2 center or a top 2 D, you simply can’t trade for those later.

    Agreed.

    I know some are panting at Del Colle, Ritchie, Virtanen, etc. and I can legit see the appeal. But I frankly don’t see how adding another winger, esp one who may be floating on “size!” fumes (these are all good players, I’m not knocking them, just questioning the evaluation in part).

    They have to get a C with that top 4 pick (I’m not in the Ekblad camp myself)

    The question I have who would be if they trade down, who is their secondary target? I mentioned the other day mine would be Barbashev. But, I’d be curious to hear who others like. I steer them towards a C mind you.

    Nylander is a guy that might slip due to size issues and foreign slights. I’d seriously consider him, esp. if he falls pretty far… but I doubt he’s on the Oilers radar due to stature.

  5. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “but you’ll find a segment of the fanbase wishing for the days of Devan Dubnyk. Speaking of, I’m surprised so many assume Dubnyk’s NHL career is over.”

    I watched his Hamilton debut vs the Barons and he was fantastic. 2 goals on 40 shots. He wasn’t nearly as good in his next game, 4 goals against on 25 shots.

    he’ll need to muck it up in the AHL for a while, but I completely agree. he’ll probably be back. wish him well.

  6. frjohnk says:

    Geez, 5 of the 10 worst teams are Canadian teams. At the beginning of the year, I would have lost the bet that the wheels would have fallen off like they have for Vancouver. All I’m gonna say is “welcome to the party”

  7. Jordan says:

    A response from LT on the previous thread:

    Pushing the river is about Corsi. Hall’s been pushing the river against tough opponents since he got here. Not this season. I love his boxcars too, but we can’t just ignore his shot differential.

    See, it’s this kind of thinking that really limits our ability to appreciate how good a player Hall is. He’s not just driving the bus here – he’s put a harness on and is pulling it up mount olympus with Tambelleni cackling in the background and MacT trying to figure out how to put tires back on it while Hall’s pulling it.

    Now, granted the proffessor showing up to use the power of geometry to lighten the load is certainly helping Hallcules in his labour. But… there’s still a lot of work to do to recover from the “design it to lose” strategy that the Oilers have been implementing until this past Summer.

    Wise man Sutter came and spelled it out for us the other day – posession wins games. We already knew that. That’s what makes this so incredible – Hallcules is in the cement shoes of poor possession metrics, and that bus is still moving uphill.

    P.S. Hallcules is a better nickname than chance. =D

  8. su_dhillon says:

    At least were not the Canucks, right guys? right? As an Oiler fan that lives in Van this last week is as about as good as I have had it since 2006. God Damn it thats sad.

    Btw not sure if you guys have seen this letter from Mike Gillis to Nucks season tix holders http://links.mkt2202.com/servlet/MailView?ms=MjA1MDI0NTUS1&r=NzMzMjUzMjA3NjQS1&j=MjgwNTE5MDgwS0&mt=1&rt=0 but it is almost identicle to the infamous Kevin Lowe 2007 one http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/showthread.php?t=354867 there must be an NHL template for GMs sinking their franchises on the NHL Google groups.

    Im finding it impossible to get excited about the draft this year, maybe that changes in June but for now I dont care. I’ll just concentrate on NFL FA and draft, I feel like Rust Cole at the end of TD, Chip Kelly and Howie Roseman are my light in the darkness of fandom. Oilers are Carcosa

  9. GriffCity says:

    Aside from seeing Fasth and Klefbom in action for the first time, this game will be another snooze fest. Watch for a 3-1 MIN win with the 3rd being an empty net after holding the 2-0 lead most of the game and the Oilers trying to crawl back into the game in the dying minutes. I swear I have seen this movie before..

  10. Ducey says:

    Say what you want about Eakins, but this team has not quit on him yet.

    VAN has quit on Torts – and he has another 4 years to go on his contract. He should be fired after the way he has abused Lack. Leaving him in for 7 last night is a good way to destroy a young goalie. Its almost like he was saying to Gillis, “you traded my good goalie and replaced him with a prospect, F. you”.

  11. Pouzar says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Agreed.

    I know some are panting at Del Colle, Ritching, Virtanen, etc. and I can legit see the appeal. But I frankly don’t see how adding another winger, esp one who may be floating on “size!” fumes (these are all good players, I’m not knocking them, just questioning the evaluation in part).

    They have to get a C with that top 4 pick (I’m not in the Ekblad camp myself)

    The question I have who would be if they trade down, who is their secondary target? I mentioned the other day mine would be Barbashev. But, I’d be curious to hear who others like. I steer them towards a C mind you.

    Nylander is a guy that might slip due to size issues and foreign slights. I’d seriously consider him, esp. if he falls pretty far… but I doubt he’s on the Oilers radar due to stature.

    Agreed. If we don’t come away with a center ( or Ekblad) with a Top 4 pick then something is up.

    Question is…what are the real chances we finish out of the bottom 4?

  12. frjohnk says:

    Just looking at the upcoming draft and I agree that oilers most likely draft number 2 or 3. There is no clear cut number 1 and it seems that Draisaitl has made the top 4 even more cloudy.

    Comparables for the top 4

    Ekblad tops out as a Shea Weber, maybe a Brent Seabrook or could bottom out as a rich mans Luke Schenn.

    Bennett has been compared to Doug Gilmour, Mike Richards, also heard he is RNH with an edge.

    Reinhart is maybe a poor mans Toews, or a more offensive Bergeron.

    Draisaitl is maybe a weaker skating but bigger bodied Henrik Sedin.

    I think Reinhart and Ekblad will play in the NHL next year, but if the oilers keep the pick, I hope they pick Bennett. But I really hope the oilers trade the pick in a package for an established young 2nd line center.

  13. sliderule says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I would agree with you on centre first if I had more confidence in Nurse.

    I don’t like what I see on the high lites .Granted you only see when he is scored on but he looks ,might I say, confused at times.

    Ekblad is strong enough to play immediately and has the shot to anchor the new coaches (hopefully) PP.

  14. Marcus Oilerius says:

    Whoah-oh… Ference at -7? Is he hurt?

  15. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    frjohnk,

    The comparable Brock Otten (OHL prospects) gave for Ekblad at the beginning of the year was Chris Philips, i.e., he’ll play and effectively and for a long time. But, his upside is limited and he probably won’t reach superstar status.

    I’ve never read Sedin for Draisaitl. Most people cite Kopitar. Sedin isn’t a strong skater, if you mean speed.

  16. hags9k says:

    So then they roll out Fasth and KLef’s debuts on the road. I swear they must say to themselves, lets give our ticket holders zero.

  17. frjohnk says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    frjohnk,

    The comparable Brock Otten (OHL prospects) gave for Ekblad at the beginning of the year was Chris Philips, i.e., he’ll play and effectively and for a long time. But, his upside is limited and he probably won’t reach superstar status.

    I’ve never read Sedin for Draisaitl. Most people cite Kopitar. Sedin isn’t a strong skater, if you mean speed.

    That’s why I figured a rich mans Luke Schenn is also a comparable for Ekblad. D man are harder to project than forwards.

    Sedin has better edges and speed than Draisaitl. Ive always come away from watching Draisaitl has having slow first steps. Draisaitl will never get many PIM’s or hits, rarely engages physically, but has great vision and plays the role of a great setup guy, this is just like Sedin.

  18. D says:

    Forever the optimist here. I believe this is the last season we speak of the Oilers as a bottom feeder. Scrivens is doing something that no goalie has been able to do in Edmonton for a while – give the team a chance to win every night. I suspect next year the Oilers will have one of those “late 1990s” mad dashes at the end for the playoffs. They’ll either barely get in or just miss. The year after that, this team should be well positioned for deep playoff runs for the next decade.

  19. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    frjohnk: That’s why I figured a rich mans Luke Schenn is also a comparable for Ekblad.D man are harder to project than forwards.

    Sedin has better edges and speed than Draisaitl.Ive always come away from watching Draisaitl has having slow first steps.Draisaitl will never get many PIM’s or hits, rarely engages physically, but has great vision and plays the role of a great setup guy, this is just like Sedin.

    I thought you were joking about Schenn. If Ekblad is anything like Schenn, whoever picks him is going to hate life.

    On Kopitar vs. Sedin for Draisaitl. Your description works for all three (not physical, not great skaters, great vision), but Sedin is an offensive monster and Kopitar is a defensive juggernaut.

    http://www.extraskater.com/team/los-angeles-kings/2013#player-usage-chart

    http://www.extraskater.com/team/vancouver-canucks/2013#player-usage-chart

    We don’t have any info on TOI, usage or shots for CHL, so we can’t say what the results are or how the coach is using the player. But, if people are grabbing for Kopitar’s name and not Sedin’s it seems probable that there is a reason.

  20. Marcus Oilerius says:

    I hate to sound ungrateful, but LT you sound a bit like Oilers PR in this article, trying to cheer us up with one fact (the last 10 games) rather than looking at the whole picture, like you normally do. Sure, the Oilers are 5-3-2 in their last 10. How bad have they been outshot? What would their record be without Scrivens standing on his head every game?

    I know the Leafs have blown a barn-sized hole in the value of shot metrics over the past two seasons, but…

    Oilers-Sharks – 27 – 59
    Oilers-Bruins – 22 – 41
    Oilers-Sabres – 28 – 44
    Oilers-Rangers – 31 – 36
    Oilers-Devils – 20 – 24
    Oilers-Wild – 21 – 21
    Oilers-Flames – 22 – 30
    Oilers-Sens – 30 – 36
    Oilers-Isles – 29-34
    Oilers-Kings – 27 – 50

    Now that is a fairly soft 10-game stretch. Sure, you’ve got the Sharks, Bruins and Kings, but you’ve also got the Flames, Isles (JT-less), Sabres and Devils. Not only are the Oilers facing the worst teams in hockey, they’re also doing so against the softer eastern conference teams. And they got outshot Every. Single. Time (except that one time against a very bored Wild team). Embarrassingly so, in some cases (22-30 vs Flames, 28-44 vs Sabres!).

    The total shots are Oilers 264, mostly-not-very-good-NHL-teams 375. The Oilers are getting outshot 1.4-1 in their recent “good” 10-game stretch.

    Don’t blow smoke up my ass. Please. I don’t need to be “cheered up”. We are last. Embarrassingly last, behind just-gutted-the-team-for-a-rebuild Calgary last.

  21. Marcus Oilerius says:

    Having just typed that out, I can’t point the finger at Eakins specifically for this travesty, but I want him fired. I can’t say if he’s doing the harm, but he’s definitely not helping.

  22. frjohnk says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I thought you were joking about Schenn. If Ekblad is anything like Schenn, whoever picks him is going to hate life.

    On Kopitar vs. Sedin for Draisaitl. Your description works for all three (not physical, not great skaters, great vision), but Sedin is an offensive monster and Kopitar is a defensive juggernaut.

    http://www.extraskater.com/team/los-angeles-kings/2013#player-usage-chart

    http://www.extraskater.com/team/vancouver-canucks/2013#player-usage-chart

    We don’t have any info on TOI, usage or shots for CHL, so we can’t say what the results are or how the coach is using the player. But, if people are grabbing for Kopitar’s name and not Sedin’s it seems probable that there is a reason.

    I used Schenn as an example cause he turned pro right right away. Big guy, plays defensively. But Ekblad will be better, that’s why I said a rich mans Luke Schenn with a cannon for a shot. I think that is the low end of the scale for Ekblad. Ekblad has been noted as having slow feet, like Schenn. I know Ekblad has improved in this aspect.

    Ekblad has a great shot, he is big, can be nasty, is smart, whether or not he can top out near Weber remains to be seen but that’s why I also through out that comparission. Chris Philips never really had a shot, but otherwise I can definitely see that comparision.

    As for the Draisaitl vs Kopitar comparision, definitely can see it. I actually had that when I was doing the list, I put “Draisaitl is maybe a Kopitar or Henrik Sedin comparable”. I then erased Kopitar. When I have watched Draisaitl, I have not noticed his defensive awareness good or bad.

  23. icecastles says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Sedin is an offensive monster and Kopitar is a defensive juggernaut

    So the question then is would you rather have a monster or a juggernaut?

    Wikipedia defines “juggernaut” as: “a literal or metaphorical force regarded as mercilessly destructive and unstoppable.”

    I found the following definition for “monster”: “Our mission is to help you make the most of your working life. Whether that means finding the best job, making the smart career move or hiring the right person, we have the best tools and resources available anywhere.”

    I think when you compare these tow terms, it’s clear that Kopitar is a far better player.

  24. sliderule says:

    frjohnk,

    Ekblad is scoring at .9 pts /game Schenn was at .5/GM in his draft year.He is nothing like Schenn.

    I would say there is a better chance of Ekblad being comparible to Weber than Draisatl turning into Kopitar.

  25. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Bob Stauffer ‏@Bob_Stauffer 4m
    Hall-Gagner-Perron, Yakupov-RNH-Eberle, Hendricks-Gordon-Joensuu, Gazdic-Smyth-Jones, Fraser-Schultz, Marincin-Petry, Klefbom-Ference, Fasth

    Romulus’ Apotheosis ‏@RomulusNotNuma 2m
    @Bob_Stauffer hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
    Fraser-Schultz
    That’s going to work out fine!
    hahahahahahahaha

  26. leadfarmer says:

    I never believe those comparables. Ekblad is the best defenseman in his class and his upside is somewhere between a top pairing defenseman and a franchise defenseman. Oilers need any one of those. His low level projection would be Chris Phillips, unless you are one of those people that thought Landeskog’s upside at the draft was a good 3rd line center/mediocre second line center, and Ryan Murray will likely top out at Tom Gilberts level. These guys are at the top of their class for a reason and most likely will be into the future.

  27. Pouzar says:

    Man I hate Yak with Nuge and Ebs. They look listless together.

    I think Klef-Schultz is the future pairing. Like 2nd period of tonight’s game kinda future.

  28. Woodguy says:

    Jordan Eberle isn’t at his usual level

    Eakins hasn’t played him with Hall as his regular LW since the BUF game on Feb 3rd.

    In the games since Eberle is 7gp 1g 2a 3pts

    When you look at Eberle’s season with and without Hall you see 2 interesting things:

    1) Their Goals For % (GF%) falls apart when apart and is great together:

    Together 56.7%
    Eberle apart 42.6%
    Hall apart 41.7%

    That’s a huge difference. This is the first season they have spent a significant amount of time apart.

    2) Their Corsi For % (CF%)isn’t that great togher. Hall is worse apart, Eberle is better apart.

    The simple explanation for this is that Eberle faces lesser opponents away from Hall.

    Together 44.5%
    Eberle apart 46..8%
    Hall apart 42.9%

    I wonder how much this reflects RNH? He and Eberle seem to be a package.

    They either play together with Hall or not at all.

    Either way, Eberle and Hall both seem to be much better together than apart, but when it comes to goals for (which can fluctuate wildly due to SH%/SV% in small samples) Eberle falls off the map without Hall.

  29. Marcus Oilerius says:

    Woodguy,

    Until his second knee injury, I was regretting Yak over Murray – and I really like Yak.

  30. Pouzar says:

    Woodguy,

    To the eye, it certainty seems that Eberle is not shooting.
    I get shooting % and all that that but is he taking waaaaaaaay less shots or is it just me?

  31. frjohnk says:

    sliderule:
    frjohnk,

    Ekblad is scoring at .9 pts /game Schenn was at .5/GM in his draft year.He is nothing like Schenn.

    I would say there is a better chance of Ekblad being comparibleto Weber than Draisatl turning into Kopitar.

    That’s why I have been saying a “rich mans” Schenn. Schenn is a number 4,5 Dman. At the worst, Ekbad becomes a better offensively and defensively Dman than Schenn but with similar attributes like size, physicality, smarts, but slow feet etc. I believe Ekblad could bottom out as a top 3 Dman, so a rich mans Schenn.

    But his ceiling could be Weber as well. Some compare Nurse’s ceiling to Pronger and if Ekblad = Weber. Imagine having those two patrolling the oiler blueline the next decade. That’s a small chance but what if….

    But my first choice is that the oilers trade the pick for a good, young established center.

  32. Woodguy says:

    Pouzar:
    Woodguy,

    To the eye, it certainty seems that Eberle is not shooting.
    I get shooting % and all that that but is he taking waaaaaaaay less shots or is it just me?

    He seems to not shoot one timers when needed.

    Dusts the puck off 4-5 times and by then the goalie is set.

    My eye agrees with your eye.

    Eberle has 14 shots in the 7 games since he played with Hall.

    That’s an abysmal total.

  33. Melman says:

    Keep the pick, take a C and overpay with either $ or assets to get 2 legit top 3D in town, put the pot on simmer and plan for playoffs in 2016.

  34. Pouzar says:

    Woodguy,

    What about snipes off the rush. It just seems wants to stick handle around the whole team for his goals or lurk for rebounds. The playmaking is still there but wow is this ever concerning to me.

  35. frjohnk says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    For you, last year highlights of Draisaitl
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0OgGePOnwNg

    The good about Draisaitl,
    looks to have good top end speed,
    great, great vision,
    patient with the puck,
    uses his body very well,
    slick hands

  36. Marcus Oilerius says:

    Woodguy,

    Is it as some people feared, then, that Eberle got an overpay based on one season and percentages? That he’s second line material, perhaps medium-talent first line when he hits his prime?

  37. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    frjohnk,

    Thanks. I’ve watched his hi-light clips many times…. but then, I have a strong interest in the player.

  38. Hammers says:

    Eakins playing Fraser with Schultz . I am starting to feel like I did in the 1st 10-15 games and that’s he doesn’t have a clue . Klef should be paired with Schultz and we would really find out if his a player for next year . It’s more about finding out than winning at this stage . Maybe its me but this is stupidity .Someone tell Eakins his job is safe and its time to look to next year with his lines and pairings . Hell I would even try Klefbom with Petry and Marincin with Schultz .

  39. Pouzar says:

    Marcus Oilerius:
    Woodguy,

    Is it as some people feared, then, that Eberle got an overpay based on one season and percentages?That he’s second line material, perhaps medium-talent first line when he hits his prime?

    Somebody explain to me how a 65 pts/yr player is overpaid at 6 million per year?

  40. sliderule says:

    Woodguy: He seems to not shoot one timers when needed.

    Dusts the puck off 4-5 times and by then the goalie is set.

    My eye agrees with your eye.

    Eberle has 14 shots in the 7 games since he played with Hall.

    That’s an abysmal total.

    A couple of years ago RK mentioned that Eberle didn’t have a one timer.Stops the puck then shoots.

    It doesn’t look like he has developed one in the interim.

  41. su_dhillon says:

    Fraser Schultz? I do not get how these guys who on off days seem to say so many smart things end up with ideas this dumb on game days. I mean WTF? How can they watch film and come to conclusions 1. that the pairing of JSchultz and Fraser will be anything but a tire fire. 2. that Fraser can play in the NHL in any non emergency scenerio

  42. gcw_rocks says:

    Marcus Oilerius,

    I agree. Looking at their record without looking at the underlying performance metrics is spinning a story to fit a pre established narrative that MacT has things under control and things are getting better.

    Hopefully Willis does an update to his compassion of Renney, Krueger and Eakins, west vs west only.

  43. David says:

    Woodguy:
    Jordan Eberle isn’t at his usual level

    Eakins hasn’t played him with Hall as his regular LW since the BUF game on Feb 3rd.

    In the games since Eberle is 7gp 1g 2a 3pts

    When you look at Eberle’s season with and without Hall you see 2 interesting things:

    1) Their Goals For %(GF%) falls apart when apart and is great together:

    Together 56.7%
    Eberle apart 42.6%
    Hall apart41.7%

    That’s a huge difference.This is the first season they have spent a significant amount of time apart.

    2) Their Corsi For % (CF%)isn’t that great togher.Hall is worse apart, Eberle is better apart.

    The simple explanation for this is that Eberle faces lesser opponents away from Hall.

    Together44.5%
    Eberle apart 46..8%
    Hall apart 42.9%

    I wonder how much this reflects RNH?He and Eberle seem to be a package.

    They either play together with Hall or not at all.

    Either way, Eberle and Hall both seem to be much better together than apart, but when it comes to goals for (which can fluctuate wildly due to SH%/SV% in small samples) Eberle falls off the map without Hall.

    I’ve always thought that when people think of pairs with really good chemistry, the best pair is Hall and Eberle. Maybe people never think of a pair like this because it’s two wingers and not a winger and a center but Hall and Eberle play better together not just because they are good players but because they have that chemistry, they feel comfortable with each other and know what the other will do. Their passing back and forth to each other is very good.

  44. Marcus Oilerius says:

    Pouzar,

    Well, if I’m understanding Woodguy’s point, then Eberle is dependent on Hall for much of his offense. It’s sort of like, yes, Chris Kunitz is amazing – with Sidney Crosby. But you don’t pay him $8m/year like you would another 40-goal forward, because he also isn’t a 40-goal forward without Crosby. So you pay something in between.

    Right now we’re paying Eberle like… well, go see for yourself – http://capgeek.com/comparables/?player_id=65&year_id=2013

    Eberle ranks probably in the middle of that group in terms of current ability and has a bit more upside. When we look at contracts signed by players when they were just RFAs though, Eberle slides down the value chart. Seguin, Kane, Toews and Lucic easily top him. The only RFA contracts you could argue being on the same level or worse values are Staal and maybe Skinner.

  45. gcw_rocks says:

    Woodguy,

    Why is it that everyone can see, and the stats support, that hall and Eberle are greater than the sum of their parts except for Eakins?

    #because oilers

  46. Marcus Oilerius says:

    gcw_rocks,

    #BeBadForEkblad

  47. Pouzar says:

    Marcus Oilerius:
    Pouzar,

    Well, if I’m understanding Woodguy’s point, then Eberle is dependent on Hall for much of his offense.It’s sort of like, yes, Chris Kunitz is amazing – with Sidney Crosby.But you don’t pay him $8m/year like you would another 40-goal forward, because he also isn’t a 40-goal forward without Crosby.So you pay something in between.

    Right now we’re paying Eberle like… well, go see for yourself – http://capgeek.com/comparables/?player_id=65&year_id=2013

    Eberle ranks probably in the middle of that group in terms of current ability and has a bit more upside.When we look at contracts signed by players when they were just RFAs though, Eberle slides down the value chart.Seguin, Kane, Toews and Lucic easily top him.The only RFA contracts you could argue being on the same level or worse values are Staal and maybe Skinner.

    Hall is also worse without Ebs. Or am I missing something?

  48. OilClog says:

    Remember Eakins has never watched footage of this team or players before he came here… Seems to be working out great

  49. Marcus Oilerius says:

    Pouzar,

    You’re right. I must have misread something in what Woodguy quoted.

  50. Bag of Pucks says:

    It’s great to see Hemsky playing well in his final game with the Oilers and in his first week with the Sens. I’m definitely cheering for him down the stretch and hope we get a chance to watch him in the playoffs.

    That said, some of the comments on Hemmer’s performance are not what I would expect from a stats/critical thinking oriented community. It seems many are leaping to the conclusion that this week of good games is definitive proof that Hemmer was an uber talent whose creative skills were quashed by Oiler management and the mediocre team around him? There’s a lot of “I told you so” reflected in some of these posts.

    Aside from the obvious small sample size issue, a couple of questions come to mind?

    1) A player’s never more motivated than when he’s leaving a team or joining a new one. One could argue that Hemsky’s production in this week of ‘high motivation’ lends credence to the criticism that he played when he felt like it. Very difficult to conceive of a scenario where he maintains this level of output/motivation over an entire season.

    2) Ales was given the chance to play with skill with the Oil, so why is the increase in his production so drastic upon joining a new team?

  51. gogliano says:

    D:
    Forever the optimist here.I believe this is the last season we speak of the Oilers as a bottom feeder.Scrivens is doing something that no goalie has been able to do in Edmonton for a while – give the team a chance to win every night.I suspect next year the Oilers will have one of those “late 1990s” mad dashes at the end for the playoffs.They’ll either barely get in or just miss.The year after that, this team should be well positioned for deep playoff runs for the next decade.

    I agree with this if Scrivens/Fasth turns out to be a good duo. Change that 0.901 team percentage to something like 0.915 — a top ten team SVP, to be sure, but a reasonable goal — and this team is subtracting something like 30 goals from their GA totals thus far. Still in the red on goal differential but in the playoff picture at the Olympic break.

    This isn’t a good team yet but if Scrivens plays even close to how he has played thus far we are in the hunt for the playoffs next year. Warts and all.

  52. russ99 says:

    I sure hope Fasth is on his game tonight

    Frasier – Schultz. Eeep.

    Actually Justin is the more defensively capable of the two…never thought I’d ever say that.

    For such supposed smarts, there are sure a lot of dumb decisions coming from the coaching staff.

  53. The Great One says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    One could argue that the skill player (read Spezza) is more skilled than any Oiler Hemsky has ever played with.

    Spezza has 15 points in his last 10 games and Hemsky is the winger that Spezza has been missing.

  54. David says:

    Pouzar: Hall is also worse without Ebs. Or am I missing something?

    He is but not to the extent that Eberle is without him. Hall puts up points no matter what scenario he’s in. And those who play with him reap the benefits. Just ask Gagner. And Nuge for that matter.

  55. Pouzar says:

    David,

    WG says:

    Their Corsi For % (CF%)isn’t that great togher.Hall is worse apart, Eberle is better apart.

    The simple explanation for this is that Eberle faces lesser opponents away from Hall.

    Together44.5%
    Eberle apart 46..8%
    Hall apart 42.9%

  56. RexLibris says:

    Love that picture of Eakins.

    Like an old Grandpa who’s really giving those whippersnappers the business and they’re all tuning him out.

    I think the next coach of the Oilers (isn’t that what we do here?) should be someone with a strong sense of humour. I think this team is likely to kill any coach who takes themselves too seriously.

    Can anyone tell me that Rodney Dangerfield (were he still alive) wouldn’t look somewhat appropriate behind the bench some nights?

  57. admiralmark says:

    Bag of Pucks:

    Your comments are far too sensible. 50% of the fanbase was utterly in love with Hemsky, 25% was utterly disgusted with him, and the other 25% just wished he played like we knew he could play. Sad fact is he didn’t very often and certainly not on a consistent basis. So it was right to move him regardless of how he plays after the trade.

  58. Pouzar says:

    And Yes, looking at Player Usage Charts, Hall does face tougher competition on a whole.

  59. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    I haven’t seen him play this year, but is Erik Johnson having a good year for the Avs? Top pairing? That guy was thrashed as an example of why you shouldn’t pick a defenseman high in the draft. He seems to be gobbling minutes for them and chipping in points.

  60. RexLibris says:

    This was in Matheson’s Q and A article today: “QUESTION: Jeff Petry needs to be scratched for a few games. He’s becoming the next Tom Gilbert and we all know how that turned out. (Scott Mark) ANSWER: You’re not the first guy who has used the Petry/Gilbert comparison.”

    Yes, we do know how that Gilbert thing worked out. We traded a very good defenseman for Nick Schultz, who was unceremoniously jettisoned at the trade deadline, while Gilbert has been lauded as a bargain contract and resurgent player this season.

    Why on earth would you want more Tom Gilberts?

  61. Pouzar says:

    RexLibris:

    Why on earth would you want more Tom Gilberts?

    You wouldn’t if you hate players with BBBIULQ.

  62. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Bob Stauffer: “I think there is a chance they re-sign Mark Fraser”

  63. Marcus Oilerius says:

    Because of you guys I’m slowly coming to the conclusion that Jim Matheson is a pretty bad person.

  64. RexLibris says:

    Pouzar: You wouldn’t if you hate players with BBBIULQ.

    Okay, I’ve tried to translate but I’ve got nothing?

    Big Blue Bullets In Under Local Quadrants? Bold Brash Brassieres Incorporated Unreservedly into Locquacious Quaestors?

    Sorry, can’t make it work.

  65. Bag of Pucks says:

    I’m really interesting in this topic of the Oilers’ practices and whether or not the team is developing poor practice habits that are carrying over into games.

    Here’s a blast from the past that was one of the first stories that raised some concerns on this issue (5 bloody years ago!).

    http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Hockey/NHL/Edmonton/2009/11/21/11852611-sun.html

    Associate coach Tom Renney barked out Ales Hemsky in practice yesterday for not showing enough focus in the drills. It was a full-throated scolding, much of it not suitable for print.

    Hemsky’s practice habits –he is always the first player off the ice, seconds after the whistle goes — and those of other veterans, have come in question before. Later on Pat Quinn said players have to start working harder in practice if they’re ever going to play harder in games.

    “Our job is to help these guys get better,” he said. “When you’re putting in effort to help them get better and some guys don’t seem to value that effort because they have their own habits or maybe they don’t need to practice that hard, they think in their mind that game day is tomorrow, I’ll turn it on tomorrow. They’re the guys who often kid themselves.

    “Yes they have great talent but you know what, we’ve missed the playoffs three bloody years in a row and five of the last eight years. So at the end of the day you have to start saying talent is what? Talent is part of it but we need a bigger package. How do you get a bigger package? You ask people to work.”

    Back to the present, last week, Eakins responded to partings comments re: the pace of Oiler practices by Smid, Brzgalov and the ‘bad habits’ comment by Barry Trotz.

    The money quote for me…

    “I think it is up to everyone. It is up to the players to push each other; it is up to the coach to make sure they are going. The structure of the practice depending on the day of the week and how many games they’ve played, what you need to work on, that usually dictates the real pace of the practice is what you are trying to accomplish.”

    Dallas Eakins

    When I consider this recent commentary re: the Oilers’ practice habits vs. the older piece on Renney calling out Hemsky over poor work habits, I wonder if one of the biggest mistakes in this rebuild was the fact that the team held onto a veteran core because of financial considerations (i.e. the contracts couldn’t be moved) instead of leadership and culture concerns (i.e. these guys will set the standards for the youth core coming in).

    On Hemsky’s departure last week, Hall and Eberle both said Hemsky was a player who taught them a lot in their rookie seasons. The question is, where they the right lessons?

    Right now there’s a vet in this league who’s playing almost purely for the love of the game and his work ethic is second to none. That player is Jaromir Jagr and I think the Oilers should seriously consider taking a run at Jagr in free agency. We’re drafting high and finishing low. The problem IS work ethic, culture and committment.

    Fix the problem MacT.

    “The highest compliment that you can pay me is to say that I work hard every day, that I never dog it.” – Wayne Gretzky

  66. The Great One says:

    Well Oiled and Enthusiastic:
    I haven’t seen him play this year, but is Erik Johnson having a good year for the Avs? Top pairing? That guy was thrashed as an example of why you shouldn’t pick a defenseman high in the draft. He seems to be gobbling minutes for them and chipping in points.

    He’s coming around nicely this season.

  67. fifthcartel says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Bob Stauffer: “I think there is a chance they re-sign Mark Fraser”

    nooooooooooooooooooooo

  68. Bag of Pucks says:

    Btw Oiler fans, dont’ buy into this narrative that the Oilers’ problems are purely because of roster imbalance.

    Calgary gutted their roster and started their season with goalies off the street and are higher in the standings than our Oiler phenoms. Kris Versteeg asked out of FLA because they are only about 18 players away from icing a competitive roster. The Islanders continue to amaze and mystify.

    The Oilers should be higher in the standings than all of the teams mentioned here. Please, let’s stop making excuses for failure.

  69. Pouzar says:

    RexLibris: Okay, I’ve tried to translate but I’ve got nothing?

    Big Blue Bullets In Under Local Quadrants? Bold Brash Brassieres Incorporated Unreservedly into Locquacious Quaestors?

    Sorry, can’t make it work.

    LOL

    Big Blue Bubbles In Upper Left Quadrant

  70. Woodguy says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Bob Stauffer: “I think there is a chance they re-sign Mark Fraser”

    If they sign Fraser I’m done cheering for this team.

  71. RexLibris says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Bob Stauffer: “I think there is a chance they re-sign Mark Fraser”

    If this is true can we begin discussing recipes for self-medication as well as steak? I’m going to need it.

  72. nelson88 says:

    I’d take MacLean’s system at this point.

    Our team can’t keep the puck out of its’ net and the offensive players are being ground into dust.

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=445889

  73. Jon K says:

    For fuck’s sake, Stauffer is doing an interview right now with AJ Jacuvec (sp?) and literally asked about Hemsky’s body language, talked about him under-achieving, and how the kids still haven’t been given the reins to the team.

    I cannot believe what I’m hearing. Good god.

  74. Woodguy says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Btw Oiler fans, dont’ buy into this narrative that the Oilers’ problems are purely because of roster imbalance.

    Calgary gutted their roster and started their season with goalies off the street and are higher in the standings than our Oiler phenoms. Kris Versteeg asked out of FLA because they are only about 18 players away from icing a competitive roster. The Islanders continue to amaze and mystify.

    The Oilers should be higher in the standings than all of the teams mentioned here. Please, let’s stop making excuses for failure.

    Flames Dcorps is miles and miles ahead of the Oilers.

    I take Gio and Brodie over any Oiler D.

    Brodie and Gio are 54% CF against the toughest comp.

    That alone can account for the difference.

    Rusell has performed way above expectations.

    Not a Wideman or Smid fan, but today they are better NHL Dmen than Ference and Shultz.

    Don’t forget N.Shultz was here for most of the year too and he wouldn’t make CAL top 6 Dmen.

  75. RexLibris says:

    Sweet mother of…

    I ran Fraser through the Vollman PUC against Greene, Butler, Lovejoy, Fayne, Gunnarsson, Belov, Ference, Fistric, Muzzin, Meszaros, and J. Johnson.

    Guess where Fraser comes out?

    I’ll put it this way, in that company, Matt Greene is a blue bubble.

    Mark Fraser makes Chris Butler look like a hockey player.

    He’s against the weakest competition available, gets scored on a tonne, and can’t move the puck out of his own zone to save his life.

    Cut this guy loose and sign Fayne, for the love of….

  76. RexLibris says:

    Woodguy,

    I have a dream where the Oilers trade back in the draft with Calgary from #2 to #4 and pickup Brodie.

    I’ve been crying myself to sleep a lot lately…

  77. G Money says:

    Bag of Pucks: 1) A player’s never more motivated than when he’s leaving a team or joining a new one. One could argue that Hemsky’s production in this week of ‘high motivation’ lends credence to the criticism that he played when he felt like it. Very difficult to conceive of a scenario where he maintains this level of output/motivation over an entire season.
    2) Ales was given the chance to play with skill with the Oil, so why is the increase in his production so drastic upon joining a new team?

    I think you’re absolutely right in that this level of production won’t keep up. As they say, “a change is as good as a rest”, and I think it’s quite common that traded players (and AHL callups) often play great for one or two games and then sink back. But then, that’s kind of self evident, isn’t it? 8 pts in 3 games translates to a 219 pt season, and only dee ess eff makes use of those kind of projections.

    That said, some of that offense is likely to stick i.e. it’s not just a small unique sample for two reasons:

    - Hemsky appears to have chemistry with Spezza, and it has been said many times over the years that Hemsky can be tough to play with because he can do such wild and unintuitive things

    - Some of it may related to the team system change, as per this article: http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=445889

  78. Bag of Pucks says:

    Woodguy: Flames Dcorps is miles and miles ahead of the Oilers.

    Excuses.

    The Oilers’ O corps should be MILES ahead of Calgary. But they’re not.

    Absolutely, this team needs some stud D to become a true contender. But they should be far better than a perennial cellar dweller with the talent they’ve drafted.

    They don’t play like a team. They don’t work hard. They don’t backcheck. They don’t fight on the wall.

    All skill. No will. Does not win in today’s NHL.

  79. G Money says:

    Woodguy: Brodie and Gio are 54% CF against the toughest comp.
    That alone can account for the difference.

    Yes. As depressing as watching this team can be, do not underestimate the drastic change just one or two really really good defensemen would make.

    I remember musing during the last Nashville game (which the Oilers won handily) – if all you did was swap the top pairing D (Petry Ference for Weber Josi) in that game, it likely would have been a beatdown.

    Better still imagine if Weber Josi were the top pairing and Petry Ference Jultz (Grebs was #4 in that game) were in the bottom 4 instead …

  80. G Money says:

    Bag of Pucks: Excuses.
    The Oilers’ O corps should be MILES ahead of Calgary. But they’re not.

    Not excuses.

    The Oilers O group is a few miles ahead of Calgary. Without the ever elusive -balance-, it’s not MILES ahead.

    The Flames D group on the other hand IS miles ahead of Edmonton. Our top pairing would play second pairing on the Flames.

    The result is a sawoff, and it’s no surprise that the head to head result is basically identical (one win and one OTL for each team).

  81. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    Blaming Hemsky, or the mgt. for not moving Hemsky sooner, for the Oilers’ problems has to be up there on the list of great narrative fallacies concerning the Oilers.

  82. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    RexLibris,

    Why not try for Adam Larsson? May be behind the comparative development curve at a young age, but there is a potential top pairing player there.

  83. Bag of Pucks says:

    You guys realize that virtually every pre-season prognostication called for the Oilers to finish higher than the Flames in the standings, right?

    The Flames Top 3 scores

    Jiri Hudler
    Mark Giordano
    Mikael Backlund

    We have 3 consecutive 1ov picks at forward alone!

    If the Flames forwards are legitimately anywhere near the Oilers’ forwards in pedigree, performance and production – then some young phenoms need to have a serious look in the mirror. They should be eating this team’s lunch in the Ozone every time they play them. They don’t. Why? Because all you have to do against the Oil is stack the blueline and force the dump for the cycle game. Put them on the wall and they lose…every….frickin…time.

  84. G Money says:

    Bag of Pucks: We have 3 consecutive 1ov picks at forward alone!

    This is a statement that is made repeatedly, and on the face of it, it is true, but it does not actually jive with the *implications* of that reality.

    We do have 3 #1 OV picks.

    Only one of those picks is actually playing like a #1 pick – Hall.

    Offensively, RNH is struggling. In case anyone is worried, they shouldn’t be. Centre is a very hard position to play, and many elite centres took three or even four years to get going. (e.g. take a look at H Sedin, Getzlaf, Datsyuk, Thornton, hell, even Seguin). Guys like Crosby, Stamkos and their rapid ascents are more the exception than the rule.

    But the fact is that RNH is NOT playing like an elite centre right now, and is in the process of developing complete game, which will hopefully be next year, but realistically might not even be til year 4.

    And let’s not even start on Yak, who is struggling beyond belief.

    Until Yak and RNH find their games, you can’t really say “we should be doing better because we have 3 #1 picks!”. We don’t. We have 1 #1 pick, one brilliant #22 pick, and a bunch of other guys.

  85. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    The Stauff: “Mark Fraser… pause… I know the coaches have liked his game a lot… the analytics guys… (mild laugh)… have not.”

    prediction: he gets in a fight and/or knocks a guy over with authority at the end of a long shift of being pinned in his own end. The coaches will interpret this event incorrectly and praise Fraser.

  86. G Money says:

    By the way, that issue of not having as many elite players (yet) as we think we have is also why I disagree with those who suggest we should have an elite powerplay.

    We have talent but not yet enough elite talent up front, and we don’t have nearly the talent on D. A mid-pack PP is about what should be expected.

    Though the only one who seems to agree with me on this point is Caramel

  87. Bag of Pucks says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Bag of Pucks,

    Blaming Hemsky, or the mgt. for not moving Hemsky sooner, for the Oilers’ problems has to be up there on the list of great narrative fallacies concerning the Oilers.

    If veterans lead the rooks by example, and you have a veteran acknowledged to have poor work habits, that has a negative impact on culture. That’s not a narrative. That’s a fact that’s true in any endeavour, not just hockey.

    Granted, Hemsky’s only 1 player so one hopes the negative impact was mitigated.

    But the fact remains, you have former Oilers to this day (professionals who’ve played with other teams) leaving the team and saying the Oilers don’t practice at a high pace. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t see that happening on teams where the leadership core is committed to working hard and winning?

  88. RexLibris says:

    Well Oiled and Enthusiastic:
    RexLibris,

    Why not try for Adam Larsson? May be behind the comparative development curve at a young age, but there is a potential top pairing player there.

    At what cost?

    The Oilers trade their #2 pick for Larsson? Or the pick and Gagner for Larsson and #30?

    Not sure that Larsson is actually available and at what cost. Lamoriello knows a thing or two about hockey and I’m pretty sure “defensemen take a long time to develop” was a lesson he figured out a while ago so I’d be surprised if he really did make him available at a cost the Oilers were willing to consider.

  89. theres oil in virginia says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Bob Stauffer: “I think there is a chance they re-sign Mark Fraser”

    You see what I was saying?

    Woodguy: If they sign Fraser I’m done cheering for this team.

    That list is getting pretty long.

    :)

  90. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    Certainly lots of variations. But I’m a believer we have to find pre-established defenseman that you can secure at a **reasonable** cost and allow for their further development with our group. Looking at guys like Weber and Subban seem too costly on a hockey trade. Larsson looks like one of those players that maybe can be sprung loose and you gain on his 100+ games of NHL maturation. On a simple trade – would Eberle be a player to swap? Opinions of course will be varied – but NJD seems defense heavy and offense light and we are the opposite.

  91. Woodguy says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    Excuses.

    No, stating facts.

    You said the OIlers should be ahead of the Flames.

    I pointed out that the Flames have much better D and that probably accounts for the difference.

    If you think I make excuses for the Oilers….well…..I can’t help you there.

  92. leadfarmer says:

    Fraser being on this team is a sign of how poor our proscouting department is. If he is re-signed it is a sign of how poor the whole management is.

  93. hoser313 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Bob Stauffer: “I think there is a chance they re-sign Mark Fraser”

    Here’s the legitimate problem.

    All talk of Corsi aside, even all talk of “growl” aside, who is going to stop David Backes from driving straight to the Oilers’ net? (lots of other players like Backes in the Western Conference)

    The Oilers created a hole when they traded away Smid. Signing Fraser would be their attempt to remedy the hole which they created.

    Petry is OK because of his mobility and Marincin +15-20 lbs. might work, but that’s about it.

    Maybe Fraser is not the guy, but it seems clear to me what the Oilers are (rightly or wrongly) thinking on this one.

  94. Lowetide says:

    Mark Fraser going to get signed? That’s Ference, Fraser, Marincin and Klefbom that would be signed. Justin Schultz and Jeff Petry yet to be signed, Ekblad and Nurse rising.

    Maybe the Oilers get one addition that’s an NHL player this summer?

  95. stevezie says:

    I think there is plenty of validity to the thinking that you need some versatility to your lineup.

    I think you could even expand this thinking to say that, in the short term, Fraser serves a purpose in the lineup because he provides things no other player provides. It does not stun me that the coaches have seen things to like about his game. Ashoser313 mentions, he does things no one else in the lineup can do.

    HOWEVER, I don’t think he does them that well. If the coaching staff likes his game, the takeaway should be, “We ought to go get some like Mark Fraser, but even better, without the glaring holes in his game.”

    I think “the stats crowd” is letting biases cover what he brings, but they’re right about what he takes away. Too much.

  96. Ducey says:

    admiralmark:
    Bag of Pucks:

    Your comments are far too sensible. 50% of the fanbase was utterly in love with Hemsky, 25% was utterly disgusted with him, and the other 25% just wished he played like we knew he could play. Sad fact is he didn’t very often and certainly not on a consistent basis. So it was right to move him regardless of how he plays after the trade.

    50% of people on THIS BLOG were in love with Hemsky. About 20% of the fanbase might have been. The average Oiler blue collar fan never liked him.

  97. Bag of Pucks says:

    Gmoney, the fact our 1ov’s are struggling is kind of the point.

    I’m arguing this team should be should be far better than its record, based on pedigree if nothing else.

    The very fact that Calgary is getting it done on offense with a bunch of castoffs, retreads, journeymen and Monahan should be a huge embarrassment to both the Oilers brass and the players involved.

    EVERYONE picked Calgary to finish in the basement this season. Amazing what some hard work can accomplish.

    We as a fanbase can choose to a) make excuses for these players or b) start to hold them accountable for their underachievement.

    Eberle – underachieving
    RNH – underachieving
    Schultz – underachieving
    Yakupov – underachieving

    At some point, the players need to own this?

    Does plugging in Lidstrom in his prime stop Schultz from making egregious giveaways, does it suddenly make Gagner hard on the backcheck, does it suddenly make Nuge more tenacious in the corner?

    No, of course not.

    Roster imbalance is only one part of the equation. The crucial failing here is a ‘rotten core’ They need to play better across the board or this rebuild goes nowhere.

  98. Ducey says:

    Lowetide:
    Mark Fraser going to get signed? That’s Ference, Fraser, Marincin and Klefbom that would be signed. Justin Schultz and Jeff Petry yet to be signed, Ekblad and Nurse rising.

    Maybe the Oilers get one addition that’s an NHL player this summer?

    I like Fraser as a 7th defenseman. Better he sit in the pressbox that a young player.

    Klefbom will need at least 1/2 a year in the AHL. Nurse and/or Ekblad (“Nukblad”) should go back to junior.

    That leaves Ference, Marincin, Schultz, Petry, Nukblad (maybe), with Fraser as #7. Lots of room for a vet Dman (or two) to slot in.

  99. VanOil says:

    Woodguy,

    Looking at your WOWy results for Hall and Eberle and remembering Eakins talk of pairs not lines I hope for this next season;

    Hall-Catbird Seat-Eberle

    Catbird Seat-RNH-Yak

    Vet-Lander-Pitlick

    Henndricks-Gordon-Joensuu

    If we are stuck with Gagner I would stick him in the Center Catbird seat having Gordon taking the faceoffs. If it is a rookie draft pick, welcome to the NHL. The left hand side Catbird seat could be Perron, a Coke Machine or the rookie. Perron-Lander-Pitlick would be a great piss n’ vinegar line that can skate, pass and score.

    Fraser is a great signing for the AHL. His only possible NHL value is keeping Gadzook out of the line up but this is not happening and bottom pair are on the ice more than designated sluggers.

  100. G Money says:

    Bag of Pucks: Roster imbalance is only one part of the equation. The crucial failing here is a ‘rotten core’ They need to play better across the board or this rebuild goes nowhere.

    Well, sure.

    This is the challenge of assessing Our Edmonton Oilers. We really don’t know what the problem is. Here are (most of) the possibilities that have been bandied about by the MSM, the blogosphere, and posters on this board:

    - The supporting players just aren’t good enough i.e. doesn’t matter how hard they try
    - The defense just isn’t good enough i.e. doesn’t matter how hard they try
    - The skill players are inherently lazy* and don’t want to play tough enough or aggressively enough or defensively enough or [whatever]ly enough, and are biding their time until they kill another coach, one that will let them play the easy peasy way and not a disciplined style
    - The skill players are too young and/or too small to compete
    - Gagner sucks. Now that Hemsky and Nultz are gone and we’re still losing, it’s obviously all his fault.
    - The coach sucks
    - The assistant coaches suck
    - The coach is OK but five coaches in six years leaves the teams young players with a ton of bad habits to break and without a clue as to how to play the game the “right” way, meaning that even a good coach will take a long time to fix things

    * I believe this is the theory that you’re espousing when you say the youngsters are underachieving, or not tenacious enough, or whatever, is it not?

    Personally, I think the issue is a whole lot more complicated than that, and arguably all of the issues above are at least partially true.

    As for the comparison to the Flames (which is fair) – as noted, we have a very young core, a number of whom are seen to be underperforming. But I’m not convinced they are, really. There are any number of issues at hand there, and lack of effort may be part of it, but isn’t at the top of my list.

    I don’t think you can argue that the Flames don’t have a better core of defenders than the Oilers. For the rest of it – wouldn’t it be just as fair to credit the fact that the Flames superior team play and effort could just as likely be due to the fact that they have had the same coach for two years in a row?

    On a side note, I find it funny that people are so gaga over Monahan in his first year. I do believe he’s going to be a fine young player, but let’s have some perspective. Monahan is on pace to score 41 pts (-17) in a full season. Here are the young Oiler players who outscored that pace handily in their rookie year: Gagner, Yakupov, Eberle, Hall, RNH (of our putative top 6, only Perron failed to outscore that pace in his rookie year).

  101. Merchant says:

    Ducey: I like Fraser as a 7th defenseman.Better he sit in the pressbox that a young player.

    Klefbom will need at least 1/2 a year in the AHL.Nurse and/or Ekblad (“Nukblad”) should go back to junior.

    That leaves Ference, Marincin, Schultz, Petry, Nukblad (maybe), with Fraser as #7.Lots of room for a vet Dman (or two) to slot in.

    I don’t mind Fraser as a depth Dman either. Hopefully thats how MGMT sees him though, and work to bring in at least 2 legit D.

    Mactavish needs to improve the D this summer. He tried last summer and failed, I dont think he will fail again. Even if it means trading away the #2 for something immediate.

    New Jersey got Schneider last year for #8, granted he was being actively shopped at the time. With a top 3 pick hopefully Mac T can shake a good young NHL D loose from someone.

  102. godot10 says:

    sliderule:
    frjohnk,

    Ekblad is scoring at .9 pts /game Schenn was at .5/GM in his draft year.He is nothing like Schenn.

    I would say there is a better chance of Ekblad being comparibleto Weber than Draisatl turning into Kopitar.

    What about Phaneuf as a comparable for Ekblad. Ekblad is showing the PP offense that Phaneuf demonstrated, that Schenn and Phillips never did.

  103. anonymous says:

    Really hope they don’t trade down. Trade the pick for impact, Mact spends too much time trading for middling players who aren’t going to turn anything around. A top 5 pick ,prospects and a player should get this team a pretty good defenseman.

  104. godot10 says:

    Marcus Oilerius:
    Woodguy,

    Is it as some people feared, then, that Eberle got an overpay based on one season and percentages?That he’s second line material, perhaps medium-talent first line when he hits his prime?

    Perry, Kessell $8 million something long term
    Semin $7 million long term
    Eberle $6 million long term

    With more contracts this year and next, Eberle will soon be a bargain.

  105. B S says:

    Ducey: 50% of people on THIS BLOG were in love with Hemsky.About 20% of the fanbase might have been.The average Oiler blue collar fan never liked him.

    I’m calling you out on that one Ducey. Most common Jersey I saw on most days from 2008 to last year before I moved was Hemsky. Hall, Eberle are popular, but walk by the LRT station on a game night and Hemsky was as common or more-so than either of them.

    There is a common misconception that the MSM in Edmonton represent the fans. They don’t. That isn’t to say there aren’t fans that agree with (or are brainwashed by) meatheads like Stauffer, or Spector, but it’s a loud minority. The real concern is that players and management listen to those guys and think that the fans feel the same way.

  106. Ducey says:

    anonymous:
    Really hope they don’t trade down. Trade the pick for impact, Mact spends too much time trading for middling players who aren’t going to turn anything around. A top 5 pick ,prospects and a player should get this team a pretty good defenseman.

    Don’t worry.

    “The trade down” involving the top picks is a popular discussion on blogs (and sounds like a great episode on Seinfeld) but hardly ever happens in real life.

  107. gcw_rocks says:

    Woodguy,

    If they sign Fraser I’m done cheering for this team

    I am going to miss your commentary. I have no doubt these clueless buffoons are going to resign him.

  108. frjohnk says:

    godot10: What about Phaneuf as a comparable for Ekblad.Ekblad is showing the PP offense that Phaneuf demonstrated, that Schenn and Phillips never did.

    Yeah, that could be a comparable.

    Lowtide,

    you gotta use this gif in a blog post. Scneider and Loungo each smiling as they leave a building ((which is labled as the Vancouver Canucks) which blows up.
    http://vansunsportsblogs.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/L3VL1Lq.gif

  109. Ducey says:

    B S: I’m calling you out on that one Ducey. Most common Jersey I saw on most days from 2008 to last year before I moved was Hemsky. Hall, Eberle are popular, but walk by the LRT station on a game night and Hemsky was as common or more-so than either of them.

    There is a common misconception that the MSM in Edmonton represent the fans. They don’t. That isn’t to say there aren’t fans that agree with (or are brainwashed by) meatheads like Stauffer, or Spector, but it’s a loud minority. The real concern is that players and management listen to those guys and think that the fans feel the same way.

    I have not done a survey, but that is my impression from all the people I talk to, radio shows, blogs etc. People have been yelling at Hemksy to shoot since about 1981. You can always see people physically agitated by some of his rabbit chasing at games.

    I don’t know that Jerseys is a great way to judge. The fact is that many people don’t wear their Pouliot (LT excepted), Huddy or Gretzky jerseys anymore. They tend to wear the jersy of the current players. Hemsky had been around the longest.

  110. VanOil says:

    G Money,

    I have been working on a Coaching rotation strategy for the off season. So far I have;

    Eakins as head coach ~ who knows he might improve.

    Acton as OKC head coach ~ he knows Eakins systems, for better or worse.

    Nelson as Oilers Associate coach ~ in charge of the D, use him or lose him.

    Tikkanen as assistant coach ~ dark arts and drive coach, stands on bench near opposition.

    Smyth as assistant player/coach ~ 30 game player and coach with sole focus of PP.

    Parkatti as assistant coach ~ Strategy and Analytics real time from the press box.

    Bucky as assistant coach ~ PK, placing pylons in practice and receiving messages on bench.

    Smith as head scout for the island of Elba.

    I admit player/coaches are rare but how could Smyty do worse with the PP?

    I admit analytics as part of the coaching team is novel but Parkatti has already provided coaching strategy advice for the Oilers. Some one will do it eventually.

    I admit NHL teams have yet to implement a Rooney rule when it comes to Euro coaches but the time has come. Our bench would no longer be conversation free and he would be a foil in the room for players not comfortable with Eakins.

    Bold moves but the Boys on the Bus are not thrown under it, depending how you view the weather on Elba.

  111. anonymous says:

    Ducey: Don’t worry.

    “The trade down” involving the top picks is a popular discussion on blogs (and sounds like a great episode on Seinfeld) but hardly ever happens in real life.

    True. On the occasions it has happened it was the wrong choice, possible every time? There might be a time it worked out but I don’t recall it. Memories of MAP makes me cringe to even consider it.

  112. Hammers says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    It’s great to see Hemsky playing well in his final game with the Oilers and in his first week with the Sens. I’m definitely cheering for him down the stretch and hope we get a chance to watch him in the playoffs.

    That said, some of the comments on Hemmer’s performance are not what I would expect from a stats/critical thinking oriented community. It seems many are leaping to the conclusion that this week of good games is definitive proof that Hemmer was an uber talent whose creative skills were quashed by Oiler management and the mediocre team around him? There’s a lot of “I told you so” reflected in some of these posts.

    Aside from the obvious small sample size issue, a couple of questions come to mind?

    1) A player’s never more motivated than when he’s leaving a team or joining a new one. One could argue that Hemsky’s production in this week of ‘high motivation’ lends credence to the criticism that he played when he felt like it. Very difficult to conceive of a scenario where he maintains this level of output/motivation over an entire season.

    2) Ales was given the chance to play with skill with the Oil, so why is the increase in his production so drastic upon joining a new team?

    Maybe he has a real NHL center to play with .

  113. denny33 says:

    Woodguy,

    If they sign Fraser I’m done cheering for this team.
    ******************************************************

    Splitting hairs…this organization, with specific intent, obtained Fraser.

    Specifically obtained Hendricks.

    A sad tale ….

  114. G Money says:

    VanOil,

    I like it! Only question – where’s Messier? On Elba?

  115. godot10 says:

    leadfarmer:
    Fraser being on this team is a sign of how poor our proscouting department is.If he is re-signed it is a sign of how poor the whole management is.

    Good MacT: Gordon (but that was a no-brainer) Perron (taking advantage of a cap strapped team) Scrivens (pending UFA), tentatively Fasth (team needed cap room, too many goaltenders)

    Neutral MacT (for now): Labarbara, Hendricks useful player, horrid contract. Joensuu

    Bad MacT: Eakins, Clarkson, Ference, Ryan Jones, Ryan Hamilton, Will Acton, Mark Fraser, Dennis Grebeshkov, Smid for nothing, overruling scouts on Murray/Yakupov

  116. Hammers says:

    Lowetide:
    Mark Fraser going to get signed? That’s Ference, Fraser, Marincin and Klefbom that would be signed. Justin Schultz and Jeff Petry yet to be signed, Ekblad and Nurse rising.

    Maybe the Oilers get one addition that’s an NHL player this summer?

    It better be a “D” .

  117. denny33 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    The Stauff: “Mark Fraser… pause… I know the coaches have liked his game a lot… the analytics guys… (mild laugh)… have not.”
    prediction: he gets in a fight and/or knocks a guy over with authority at the end of a long shift of being pinned in his own end. The coaches will interpret this event incorrectly and praise Fraser.
    *************************************************************************************************
    To Woodguy’s point – it is 2014 – under Craig McTavish – and we are still having issues like this…
    ( Discussing a player so bad as Fraser )

    Question: How else could a team possibly remain at the bottom of the heap for so long?

  118. Hammers says:

    Would you do Myers for our 1st rd pick ? Would Buffalo like 2 of the first 3 picks . If the rumors are correct the cap is definitely going down from 71 mil . Hearing out of Vancouver by 5 mill so a cap of 66-68max . If true trading the 1st & Gags maybe the only thing to do unless this is the year for McT’s Bold move and he trades away at least 1 of the 5 . Funny how the Canadian $ screws up the cap hit when we only have 7 teams.

  119. Ducey says:

    frjohnk: Yeah, that could be a comparable.

    Lowtide,

    you gotta use this gif in a blog post.Scneider and Loungo each smiling as they leave a building ((which is labled as the Vancouver Canucks) which blows up.
    http://vansunsportsblogs.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/L3VL1Lq.gif

    Is especially like the player that comes flying thru the air. Nice touch.

  120. Wolfpack says:

    When I see Eakins in the photo I can’t help but think of Glengarry Glen Ross… something like:

    Put that water down! Water is for scorers only! Your name is Gordon?
    Yeah…
    You call yourself a hockey player you son-of-a…

    Eberle has passed up a TON of shots this year, but he isn’t the only one. This team is flat out allergic to throwing the puck at the net and getting a deflection goal or a bounce in off a leg or heaven forbid – a rebound goal. Other teams score those ugly goals on the Oilers all the time. But I think the players are so focused on playing a “possession” game that they don’t want to give the puck up by actually shooting it on net from the top of the circle. I have never seen a team pass up more quality shooting opportunities than this year’s version of the Edmonton Oilers.

  121. godot10 says:

    Eberle is an “angle changer”, not a “one-timer”. That is his edge as a goal scorer.

  122. nycoil says:

    I know “saw him good” and “small sample size” and all that, but when the Oilers played in MSG, I mean, good Gord was Fraser awful. He was ridiculed by everyone. The eyes and the stats both say he went to the Dana Murzyn school of defensemen, where even the truculence he can bring has to come as a result of a misguided foray into range within his 3 foot radius of movement–much like an angler fish waits for his food at the bottom of the ocean–because the man can’t skate well enough to go and hit anybody outside of that.

    Get good players, keep good players. We need to swing a deal this summer for a youngish, but undervalued dman with a wide range of skills (Edler, Larsson (NJD), Kulikov), not add more Frasers. If Perron or Gagner or other pieces like Simpson, Musil, or Gernat are required to be part of the package to get one of these men (eg. Gagner (salary purposes) + Simpson + 3rd 2015 from Ottawa for Edler), so be it. You think hard with Perron, cause he is fantastic and brings a grit/skill combo we lack, but I’d accept that he is a nice buy-low / sell-high candidate and if he fetches you Larsson straight up, you probably have to do it, but wouldn’t offer him for Kulikov, wouldn’t want to offer him to Gillis.

    Then we can draft the German C Rom loves,let him develop in the CHL, sign Stastny to be a 1A/B placeholder centre in the meantime with RNH and run with it. Edler-Petry, Marincin-Schultz, Ference-Klefbom? RNH-Hall-Yak / Stastny-Perron-Eberle / Gordon-Smyth-Pitlick / Lander-Horak-Arco/Hendricks? I doubt the 3/4 lines look like this, because MOAR size wanted by MacEakins.

  123. G Money says:

    frjohnk,

    Need to rework that one with Lowe and Tambo and the Oilers ….

  124. wheatnoil says:

    Scott Cullen with a great article on the hockey panel at the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. Apparently one of the things discussed was the potential value of ‘swing’ players… who could play both F and D. This has been mentioned before… but I wonder if Schultz would have value in that regards. Maybe not for the Oilers as they are currently constructed… but on a different team or the Oilers in an idyllic future.

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=445910

  125. RexLibris says:

    wheatnoil: Scott Cullen with a great article on the hockey panel at the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. Apparently one of the things discussed was the potential value of ‘swing’ players… who could play both F and D. This has been mentioned before… but I wonder if Schultz would have value in that regards. Maybe not for the Oilers as they are currently constructed… but on a different team or the Oilers in an idyllic future.http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=445910

    Just finished reading it.

    Was going to post the link, but I’ll just say – Cullen may feel like a lone voice online or amongst the Old Guard of Hockey Establishment, but here he would be preaching to the choir.

    Great article and I can only hope that someone in the Oilers’ organization (Mr. Katz, perhaps?) has some time on his hands and reads the article with an open mind.

    My opinion on the adoption of sports analytics is “why in the hell wouldn’t you make use of this information?”

    The numbers only help to explain why good teams are good, so if those numbers can help you identify the parts of your team that are good from those that are not, would it not be of some use? For heaven’s sake the data is free and the process of interpreting it is damned cheap compared to talent costs!

  126. delooper says:

    “Get good players, keep good players. ”

    IMO that’s the wrong narrative. The Oilers need to find balance. Because without balance, many of your good players won’t appear to be good. See Ales Hemsky. See Tom Gilbert. See Dustin Penner. See Matt Green. See Kyle Brodziak. The Oilers shed good players because they don’t give them the infrastructure they need to APPEAR TO BE GOOD. It’s only the super elite players that don’t need the supporting infrastructure to appear to be good, for example Taylor Hall. You can’t make a team from super-elite players in the salary-cap world. That’s why the Oilers need balance.

  127. sliderule says:

    I would guess the trading away of Smid for a bag of magic beans would have more to what is going on in locker room than trying to improve the hockey team.

    Schultz brothers tweets exposed the conflicts in that room caused by too much losing and a coaching team that if Mact wants success has to be totally replaced.

  128. prairieschooner says:

    Arguing the toss about Fraser is akin to shuffling the chairs on the titanic
    He was brought in to add toughness to the line up to make the Oilers harder to play against
    The oilers were attempting to address a need. In the video game world he is 75% toughness 25% skill

  129. prairieschooner says:

    My Eakins caption

    “You want me on that wall, you need me on that wall”

  130. OilClog says:

    No one wants to be Lack right now, yikes.

    No one should be put in that position lol.

    Oilers

    13-6.

    Just because

  131. stevezie says:

    VanOil: Acton as OKC head coach ~ he knows Eakins systems, for better or worse.

    Nelson as Oilers Associate coach ~ in charge of the D, use him or lose him.

    This switch makes a lot of sense to me. I am a big believer in having the farm team play like the big team, and if Acton is bringing anything to his specific role, you tell me what it is. I also think bringing Nelson up is probably a good idea. Acton might take the job because in some ways it is a promotion.

    I agree Nelson is probably going somewhere soon, but I don’t think he is going to get a head coaching gig in the bigs. This looks like a nice step up for him. I wonder how the average salary of an AHL head coach compares to a major league Ass?

    Is Nelson associate, or assistant? I wouldn’t complain if they brought in a vet coach as an associate.

    None of my coaching opinions are too passionate though- so much of the job is behind-the-scenes.

  132. B S says:

    Ducey: I have not done a survey, but that is my impression from all the people I talk to, radio shows, blogs etc. People have been yelling at Hemksy to shoot since about 1981.You can always see people physically agitated by some of his rabbit chasing at games.

    I don’t know that Jerseys is a great way to judge.The fact is that many people don’t wear their Pouliot (LT excepted), Huddy or Gretzky jerseys anymore.They tend to wear the jersy of the current players.Hemsky had been around the longest.

    Call it tough love if you like. I’m sure even LT and Woodguy have yelled at Hemsky to shoot at onetime or another. I like Hemsky, but I have screamed red in the face at him while he dangles around the opposing team twice without losing the puck. My point is that there are a lot of Hemsky fans out there (I wouldn’t wear a Ference jersey if you payed me and I can’t imagine Hemsky jerseys would be worn if he wasn’t liked). I suspect they’re like the player himself, too quiet on to many nights. I believe the perception that he was hated by fans in general is the result of a handful of individuals trapped in their own little world where it’s still the 1950s and the coldwar is still on.

    It could also be because he really is easy to pick on, in that he can be non-existent, or all-world, seemingly dependent on his mood, but frustration and criticism of a player should not be confused with dislike or hatred.

  133. RexLibris says:

    sliderule:
    I would guess the trading away of Smid for a bag of magic beans would have more to what is going on in locker room than trying to improve the hockey team.

    Schultz brothers tweets exposed the conflicts in that room caused by too much losing and a coaching team that if Mact wants success has to be totally replaced.

    I would argue that moving Smid wasn’t as bad (“for magic beans”) as is commonly held.

    MacTavish got a good goalie prospect and a C/W who is playing well for the Barons this year and hasn’t hit his prospect best-before date yet.

    In fact, one could argue that Smid got a better return, in terms of certified assets, than Hemsky.

    What trading Smid also did was move out a long-term contract that gave the Oilers the flexibility to acquire Bryzgalov until a better option was available (Scrivens) and then address the “toughness” issue by way of getting rid of more contracts (Abney and Hartikainen) for the short-term contract of Mark Fraser.

    Now, if the Oilers, specifically MacTavish, sign Fraser to a two or three year contract at more than $2 million then virtually all of those positives begin to be negated. However, if they let Fraser walk and sign someone like Greene or Fayne or a more able-bodied defender, then moving Smid was the right call and it allowed a number of other “tumblers”, to use LT’s term, to click and slide the roster towards a healthier balance of supporting cast.

  134. VanOil says:

    I have come around to the idea that Gagner would not return value if traded this summer. I am OK with that because he will be better next year, though far from perfect. Also it is defense more than 2nd line Center woes keeping Oilers out of the playoffs. The cup is out of the question for the length of the Gagner contract because the California, STL and Chicago got the Western Conference Final surrounded for the duration.

    This does not preclude the Oilers selecting a C with there 1st round pick. Having that player spend another year in JR then start the season on the 3d line wing until Gagner left at the 2016 deadline would not be the worse thing in the world.

    What I would consider fair Value for Gagner;
    Gagner + Germat to NJD for Adam Larsson + a 2nd
    Gagner to PHX for Henrik Samuelsson + a 2nd
    Gagner to NYI for Brock Nelson and a 3d

    I would not draft Ekblad, I think he is more likely to fall down the draft board than the Oilers. Ekblad would not solve the Oilers 1D problem for the length of the Hall contract. Instead I would draft a Center or;
    2014 1st + to Buffalo for Myers
    2014 1st to NJD for Larrson
    2014 1st to FLP for Kulikov + 2nd
    2014 1st to NYI for Griffen Reinhart

  135. Marcus Oilerius says:

    I wonder what Yak and Bryz were talking about. I feel worried as if it’s advice on how to get traded, or at least Yak asking if life as a member of the Wild is any better.

  136. The Great One says:

    VanOil,

    Don’t discount Minnesota, Colorado and Dallas in your calculations.

    They’re all a couple of pieces away from joining the elite teams.

  137. Lowetide says:

    Klefbom makes his NHL debut. Stu MacGregor and staff drafted 32 players between 2008 and 2011, Klefbom is the 11th player to make the NHL. 34% so far. He is the 40th player to make the NHL from the 2011 draft, the second Oiler (joining Nuge).

  138. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    Lowetide,

    Here’s hoping he sticks and evolves nicely for the Oil over the next few years. High hopes for this young man.

  139. VanOil says:

    stevezie: This switch makes a lot of sense to me. I am a big believer in having the farm team play like the big team, and if Acton is bringing anything to his specific role, you tell me what it is. I also think bringing Nelson up is probably a good idea. Acton might take the job because in some ways it is a promotion.

    I agree Nelson is probably going somewhere soon, but I don’t think he is going to get a head coaching gig in the bigs. This looks like a nice step up for him. I wonder how the average salary of an AHL head coach compares to a major league Ass?

    Is Nelson associate, or assistant? I wouldn’t complain if they brought in a vet coach as an associate.

    None of my coaching opinions are too passionate though-so much of the job is behind-the-scenes.

    I think the Oilers have the financial muscle to make the Acton – Nelson role swap work. They also would be both ticking new boxes on the resume. Strategically for the organization we both agree it would work.

    I don’t think an Old vet would love a Associate role and Eakins might feel threatened or undermined. Nelson would just be healthy competition.

    I attempted to fill this experience void in strategy with intelligence, Parkatti. I admit this is idea way ahead of its time.

  140. B S says:

    God I really hate Eakins. TSN asked him if the team was progressing. He was hesitant to suggest the team had shown much improvement and cited continued mistakes and bad habits (as if he recognizes that heroic goaltending has covered for generally bad play). When he talks Eakins always seems to sound like he’s got his head on straight. So why the hell is Fraser paired with Schultz?

  141. Gerta Rauss says:

    Wolfpack:
    When I see Eakins in the photo I can’t help but think of Glengarry Glen Ross… something like:

    I see George and T-bone/KoKo…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JC4C_Gcp_dM

    go Klefbom!!

  142. The Great One says:

    Lowetide,

    The NYI have 19 players (out of 34 picks) drafted between 2008 and 2011 who have played in the NHL.

  143. Lowetide says:

    Well, that was a little bit Three Stooges on Klefbom’s first shift, but he’s away!

  144. Gerta Rauss says:

    …exciting start for Klefbom…!!

  145. godot10 says:

    stevezie: T
    I agree Nelson is probably going somewhere soon, but I don’t think he is going to get a head coaching gig in the bigs. This looks like a nice step up for him. I wonder how the average salary of an AHL head coach compares to a major league Ass?

    When one has done the NHL assistant coaching thing already (as Nelson has), going from AHL head coach to NHL assistant is a demotion, and a surrender of your NHL heading coaching aspirations, for guys who have come up from the bottom.

  146. delooper says:

    Well the Oilers aren’t playing like crap.

  147. Gerta Rauss says:

    Was that a shift with Petry/Klef…or just a late change..?

  148. David says:

    Marc Olivier Roy and Tyler Pitlick both have a goal so far in their respective games.

  149. Lowetide says:

    Pitlick (Fyten, Fedun)

    Hunt (Arco, Lander)

  150. OilClog says:

    Why am I watching?

    What’s wrong with Taylor Halls game.. It’s simple, the losing has killed the spirit.

  151. SaskFan says:

    That stick smack on the backcheck I have noticed a couple times by multiple oilers, wondering if that’s being coached. Also showing a decent amount of effort on the backcheck is nice to see.

    That’s entirely on Fraser.

  152. Lowetide says:

    Lander (Arcobello, Hunt)

  153. VanOil says:

    I think I should flip over to the OKC game. This one is getting ugly.

  154. OilClog says:

    Justin Schultz can’t buy a break.

    Also, Steve Smith coaching at it’s best :)

  155. delooper says:

    Minnesota is a high-scoring team now…

  156. OilClog says:

    Wow

  157. russ99 says:

    Jeez. If Fraser can’t clear the crease, than what is he any good for?

  158. russ99 says:

    Wow, that was like a clown show.

  159. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    Welcome to the jungle Viktor.

  160. VanOil says:

    The Oilers first 2 shifts were really good. Since then it has been a Russian proverb.

  161. delooper says:

    Well Oiled and Enthusiastic:
    Welcome to the jungle Viktor.

    If he didn’t see any shots all game he’d probably feel a little underutilized.

  162. icecastles says:

    What I think when I hear Stauffer saying “there’s a chance Fraser gets re-signed over the summer…”

  163. OilClog says:

    It’s like I’m being punched in the face and yet I love it. I’m not sure if I love hockey or if I love abuse.. Wait..
    Hopkins scores!!

    Abuse wins!

  164. delooper says:

    Woot! Petry deserves some candy.

  165. delooper says:

    Fraser trying to imitate Hemsky there.

  166. jake70 says:

    Well Oiled and Enthusiastic:
    Welcome to the jungle Viktor.

    I didn’t think he helped himself much on the 3rd……made the save, caught looking at it bounce around behind net, then decides to position himself.

  167. Factotum says:

    Listening to Ray Ferraro describe mistake after breakdown after missed assignment, the thought occurs: Sooner or later, don’t we need to see *some* evidence that Eakins et. al. can coach?

  168. Lowetide says:

    3-1 after one. Klefbom looks like a newborn, but he’s got an excuse.

  169. gvblackhawk says:

    jake70: I didn’t think he helped himself much on the 3rd……made the save, caught looking at it bounce around behind net, then decides to position himself.

    All while Eberle and RNH are standing near Pominville and also watching the puck. No attention to the defensive zone whatsoever.

  170. icecastles says:

    Factotum: Sooner or later, don’t we need to see *some* evidence that Eakins et. al. can coach?

    Have you watched the last 6 years of Oilers hockey?

    I think there’s more than ample evidence that it’s something other than coaching.

  171. gvblackhawk says:

    That 1-3-1 PP gives up a 2 on 1 chance against seemingly every game. Worst PP ever.

  172. jake70 says:

    gvblackhawk: All while Eberle and RNH are standing near Pominville and also watching the puck.No attention to the defensive zone whatsoever.

    Oh don’t get me wrong, the Oilers in their own end are brutal….just thought Fasth could have helped himself a bit better.

  173. VanOil says:

    A blind gerbil directing incontinent cats could do a better job with an NHL power play than the Oilers

  174. SK Oiler Fan says:

    FFS. I hope the coaching staff just walks off the bench after this PP. If the players can’t put in a professional effort, why bother. Fold this dam team and have a dispersal draft if anybody even wants them.
    Ferraro said it. Embarrassing.

  175. leadfarmer says:

    Lowetide,

    So you’re saying he belongs with this squad. This team is lost

  176. rich says:

    I really like Ferraro’s commentary. He’s willing to call a spade a spade on the Oiler PP, as opposed to the BS we have to listen to when Louie DeBrusk is making excuses to he can keep his job.

    Brutal.

  177. leadfarmer says:

    At some point they are going to have to find defensemen that can shoot from the point on the pp. Teams have no reason to chase the point guy which creates room down low. And Schultz’s floater doesn’t count

  178. jake70 says:

    gvblackhawk:
    That 1-3-1 PP gives up a 2 on 1 chance against seemingly every game.Worst PP ever.

    The Wild get a cycle going short handed in Oilers zone…..lol.

  179. B S says:

    icecastles,

    the Oilers have gone from having a top powerplay for a few seasons to a powerplay that’s giving up as much as it’s producing. The players are similar or better, so it seems the blame rests on coaching. It wouldn’t be so bad if it was a couple of bad games, but the’ve been squeezed off at the blue line all season. That’s on the coach. Blame the kids if you want but I refuse to believe that NONE of the players are “coachable” enough to play Eakin’s system properly.

  180. B S says:

    leadfarmer,

    His name is Marincin, he’s already on the team. Allegedly a 100mph slapper.

  181. theres oil in virginia says:

    gvblackhawk: All while Eberle and RNH are standing near Pominville and also watching the puck.No attention to the defensive zone whatsoever.

    Not exactly. Eberle checked Granlund hard (Eberle is soft like Petry) into the boards after Granlund passed the puck toward the front of the net, and then Ebs skated out around the net (he’s a forward). Granlund’s pass goes right past Ference (who’s sort of in mo-man’s-land) to Parise who centers beautifully to Pominville (who’s being watched by Klefbom) – save by Fasth (Klefbom altered the shot). At the moment of that shot, RNH is turning…fore, not aft…(while Pominville stares at the rafters in disbelief). He had the man at the point covered, but he probably shoulda turned aft and then he would have had Pominville covered. Eberle had no chance to skate all the way around to cover Pominville. It was a bit of a flock-fest. Shat happens.

  182. theres oil in virginia says:

    jake70: Oh don’t get me wrong, the Oilers in their own end are brutal….just thought Fasth could have helped himself a bit better.

    There is no way you can hang that goal on Fasth.

  183. book¡je says:

    icecastles: Have you watched the last 6 years of Oilers hockey?

    I think there’s more than ample evidence that it’s something other than coaching.

    Just because the team is a problem doesn’t mean the coaching isn’t a problem. I think it’s impossible to watch this team and not conclude that the coach is failing to communicate his message and/or to get his team to buy in.

    Coaching is a problem. Maybe it gets fixed with new assistants, but I am very concerned.

  184. theres oil in virginia says:

    So far tonight, I’ve seen Eberle check a guy into the boards hard, win a board battle in the o-zone to keep the puck in on the PP, and dispossess Parise of the puck in the d-zone with some nice stick work. Who does he think he is? Doesn’t he know he can’t win one-on-one battles?

    Pouzar, where u at? I need a “amen” brother!

  185. jake70 says:

    theres oil in virginia: There is no way you can hang that goal on Fasth.

    Just hanging maybe a a quarter, or a third.

  186. Lynas1 says:

    Jesus h! Between Eberle and Gagner they make nearly $11 MILLION!!! Guess they need a bit more to have a whopping 2 mins of consistent effort. Give the money to cancer research where t might do some good cause these two ass clowns have done NOTHING to deserve millionaire status. This is just offensive to watch.

  187. sliderule says:

    In case anyone is still watching that was a nice takeaway and play to move it out of zone.

    Joy from small things

  188. sliderule says:

    The takeaway was by Klefbom.

  189. theres oil in virginia says:

    jake70: Just hanging maybe a a quarter, or a third.

    I’ll grant you a fifth! (Letting one forward off the hook.)

    ;)

  190. icecastles says:

    book¡je: Just because the team is a problem doesn’t mean the coaching isn’t a problem. I think it’s impossible to watch this team and not conclude that the coach is failing to communicate his message and/or to get his team to buy in.

    Totally valid point.

    I guess I’m just tired of seeing every lazy play, every failed stick check, blamed on the coach regardless of whether it is specifically coaching-related. It’s not as bad as the “because Oilers” meme that’s taken hold here, but it seems to have become a shorthand for general bellyaching and a need to find a singular source on which to blame the numerous failings of this team.

  191. justDOit says:

    russ99:
    Jeez. If Fraser can’t clear the crease, than what is he any good for?

    Falling down comically?

    Maybe if we all spell his name incorrectly, maybe he’ll demand a trade?

    Frasier.

  192. book¡je says:

    icecastles: Totally valid point.

    I guess I’m just tired of seeing every lazy play, every failed stick check, blamed on the coach regardless of whether it is specifically coaching-related.It’s not as bad as the “because Oilers” meme that’s taken hold here, but it seems to have become a shorthand for general bellyaching and a need to find a singular source on which to blame the numerous failings of this team.

    What I really worry about is having a situation where the flawed, but brilliant players are fixable, but we don’t have the right guy in charge to fix them so we send a bunch of th em away for a modest return only to see them succeed grandly elsewhere (has this happened with a flawed, but skilled Hemsky).

  193. Lowetide says:

    Klefbom with a nice play.

  194. gvblackhawk says:

    theres oil in virginia: Not exactly.Eberle checked Granlund hard (Eberle is soft like Petry) into the boards after Granlund passed the puck toward the front of the net, and then Ebs skated out around the net (he’s a forward).Granlund’s pass goes right past Ference (who’s sort of in mo-man’s-land) to Parise who centers beautifully to Pominville (who’s being watched by Klefbom) – save by Fasth (Klefbom altered the shot).At the moment of that shot, RNH is turning…fore, not aft…(while Pominville stares at the rafters in disbelief).He had the man at the point covered, but he probably shoulda turned aft and then he would have had Pominville covered.Eberle had no chance to skate all the way around to cover Pominville.It was a bit of a flock-fest.Shat happens.

    Eberle is a RW. When the defense collapses he is responsible for the right side of the slot. He was way out of position and practically standing still when Pominville shot the puck.

    And ‘he had no chance’ is an expression that I disagree with. If his skate blades were attached to his boots at the time, then he had a chance.

  195. gvblackhawk says:

    book¡je: What I really worry about is having a situation where the flawed, but brilliant players are fixable, but we don’t have the right guy in charge to fix them so we send a bunch of th em away for a modest return only to see them succeed grandly elsewhere (has this happened with a flawed, but skilled Hemsky).

    What!? You don’t think that the 4th and 5th round draft picks for Kyle Brodziak was good value?

  196. jp says:

    Huh. A hockey game.

  197. Pouzar says:

    theres oil in virginia:
    So far tonight, I’ve seen Eberle check a guy into the boards hard, win a board battle in the o-zone to keep the puck in on the PP, and dispossess Parise of the puck in the d-zone with some nice stick work.Who does he think he is?Doesn’t he know he can’t win one-on-one battles?

    Pouzar, where u at?I need a “amen” brother!

    Sorry bro….just cleaning up the vomit from the last Oilers PP!

    AMEN!!!!!!!!

  198. jp says:

    B S:
    icecastles,

    the Oilers have gone from having a top powerplay for a few seasons to a powerplay that’s giving up as much as it’s producing. The players are similar or better, so it seems the blame rests on coaching. It wouldn’t be so bad if it was a couple of bad games, but the’ve been squeezed off at the blue line all season. That’s on the coach. Blame the kids if you want but I refuse to believe that NONE of the players are “coachable” enough to play Eakin’s system properly.

    What do we make of the PP shot rates? They’re actually better this year than the previous 2 yrs:

    Season, SF/60, GF/60, Shooting%
    13-14 46.8(25th) 5.6(19th) 12.0%(18th)
    12-13 41.1(29th) 7.1(9th) 17.2%(2nd)
    11-12 44.1 (26th) 7.2(3rd) 16.1(2nd)
    (http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_team_statistics.php?ds=32&s=27&f1=2013_s&c=0+1+2+3+4+23+24+25+26+27+28+29+30+31+32#)

    5 more shots per 60 min, but 1.5 goals less per 60. Weird given that the PP has been pretty much universally dumped on (and I certainly don’t disagree – it looks terrible). But it’s producing producing considerably more shots.

    Is the year to year difference just luck?

    Is it the seemingly minor changes in personnel? Was Whitney and unappreciated savant? Was Horcoff’s net front presence far more important than we realized? Guess the latter is possible.

    It can’t be faceoffs since the shot volume is still up. Ditto for zone entries.

    Is it a change in strategy/coaching?

    This is a genuine question if anyone has some thoughts. But it’s a weird situation indeed.

  199. Kitchener says:

    There’s something off about the team’s motivation this season. At times they play totally flat, then they get a goal or two and start to fly, win battles, complete passes, feet keep moving, etc. I don’t know what the solution is (or where the problem lies), but if there’s something I’d like to see it’s an assistant coach addition who somehow inspires a more consistent enthusiasm.

    Not work ethic. Enthusiasm.

  200. jp says:

    Cool. Kinda looked offside to me, but I won’t complain.

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