SHARKS AT OILERS G73, 13-14

The Edmonton Oilers enter the ‘death spiral’ portion of the home stretch, beginning tonight. The games now through season’s end are likely to test fan resolve, player commitment, and could impact the futures of coaches and managers. This is hell.

  • Tonight: San Jose
  • Friday: Anaheim
  • Sunday: NY Rangers
  • April 1: San Jose
  • April 2: Anaheim
  • April 4: Phoenix
  • April 6: Anaheim
  • April 8: Colorado
  • April 10: Los Angeles
  • April 12: Vancouver

Ten games to end the season that should as a group tighten sphincters from here to eternity. The last “easy” game was Calgary, and the Oilers lost by a touchdown. The Oilers as an organization should be patient, but that’s going to be difficult in these next 10 games.

VOLLMAN SLEDGEHAMMER

blue vollman mar 25

This is Qual Comp/Zone Starts and the bubbles are CorsiRel. The interesting items here are:

  1. Marincin’s bubble is now the deep, rich blue one gets when having a really good season, and he’s playing tough competition with a 44% zone start. This is a terrible defense, but Marincin’s rookie season should not be trivialized because of it. The one good thing about this defense this season is Marincin.
  2. Jeff Petry is much maligned but there’s no reason for it. He remains the best player on the team, despite youth and lack of experience.
  3. Phil Larsen is pure chaos, but the Vollman likes him plenty compared to his teammates. He is badly miscast in this role, but might be a useful AHL callup on a good NHL team. Something to keep in mind for next season and beyond.
  4. Ference and Schultz have CorsiON numbers beyond -15, this is not a working tandem. Plenty of talk about how to handle Petry, but for me it’s right there in the Vollman. A good team would have Schultz closer to 50% offensive zone start and in the “two-way” part of the Vollman graph. Currently, everyone but Grebs, Fraser and Belov are in the shutdown corridor.
  5. If you are looking for reasons to be critical of Dallas Eakins, the usage of Klefbom and Fraser (most severe zone starts on the team) would be an area to examine. It’s a tough thing no doubt, but Taylor Fedun and Denis Grebeshkov are available for recall. It seems to me the pursuit of toughness has gone beyond the pursuit of icing the best available team.

A few news items here, including Arco hurt, Belov ready (but unlikely to play, which is a questionable decision), Yakupov still not ready to play and Lander v Fasth.

  • I’m not certain what the Oilers can get out of the last 10 games. The goaltending is set for next year (assuming Fasth recovers), the D will feature Petry, Marincin and Ference (unless one of them is traded) and the forward group will boast Hall, Nuge, Eberle, Yak, Perron, Gordon, Hendricks and Gazdic. Gagner will probably be traded, Smyth is a summer decision and the club will need to decide on people like Lander, Pitlick, Jones, Arco, Fraser, Belov, Larsen et al.
  • How many of those guys can improve their stock with the time remaining this season? Maybe Lander, maybe Pitlick, maybe Belov, maybe Larsen.

Bottom line on this season: Craig MacTavish did not want to trade one of the good young forwards for defensive help last summer, and this June he must. I think we might see a massive change in roster over the summer, as veteran defensemen (two) and a quality two-way center—at the minimum—need to be added to the group. Dallas Eakins has a much better idea about his roster today than he did in the fall, so he’ll know which of the young guns is most expendable for him.

I still think there’s something in Philadelphia. It was discussed at the draft, and may also have been discussed early in the regular season.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

hayek14

At 10 this morning, the Lowdown hits TSN 1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Ryan Batty, Copper and Blue. We’ll talk about Golden Bears, the Oil Kings, the Oilers, the draft, the blue, the beer.
  • Jacob Sundstrom, Fear the Fin. We’ll discuss injuries to Couture and Torres, and the Sharks possibly wearing out Rexall’s goal horn.
  • Corey Graham, Oil Kings PBP. Oil Kings are off to a very good start to their playoff against PA, the road games await.
  • Andrew Berkshire, Habs Eyes on the Prize. Montreal is Canada’s best hockey team, and their coach played Doug Murray for 20 shifts last night.
  • Steve Dangle, Leafs Nation. The Big Smoke is having a tough week, we’ll check in with the very entertaining Mr. Dangle.

10-1260 via text and @Lowetide_ on twitter. See you on the radio!!

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330 Responses to "SHARKS AT OILERS G73, 13-14"

« Older Comments
  1. VanOil says:

    What is more surprising EDM playing like an NHL team or the TSN panel suggesting Hemsky is a 1st line Right Wing?

  2. book¡je says:

    Woodguy:
    That may be the best period EDM has played this year.

    It was their defense that was making the good first pass.

    It was their forwards with the better forecheck.

    Great period to watch.

    Maybe they figured out the system?

  3. Marcus Oilerius says:

    book¡je: Maybe they figured out the system?

    Or “60 minutes of effort”. They’ve been working on that one for 4 years now.

  4. theres oil in virginia says:

    spoiler: I don’t know why, but it has always sounded best with a Scottish brogue.Coz words drip from their lips “like treacle”.

    Can you briefly fill me in as to who’s in the box in that scene?

  5. spoiler says:

    theres oil in virginia: Can you briefly fill me in as to who’s in the box in that scene?

    Older bombastic fellow who liked to wear kilts.

  6. Lowetide says:

    Marcus Oilerius: Or “60 minutes of effort”.They’ve been working on that one for 4 years now.

    Part of it could be switching up the pairings and going Marincin-Schultz. Petry can work with Ference on other top pairing and maybe we breathe some clean air once in awhile.

  7. spoiler says:

    San Jose doesn’t want to have to put a full game in. They’re hoping to get away with just a third period. Have to get them down by a few goals.

  8. Lowetide says:

    theres oil in virginia: Can you briefly fill me in as to who’s in the box in that scene?

    His lover, a grand and wonderful man who was larger than life and the glue of the group. It’s a sweet movie, and I know I’m going all chick here but it’s a fine film.

  9. spoiler says:

    Nice smart play by Klefbom to break that up.

  10. Ribs says:

    Some good stuff that period. Glad to see there was no collapse.

    - Nice to see the two man zone entry in effect again. They really need to utilise this more given their speed.

    - Pitlick looking solid. Finishing checks and some wheels to boot.

    - Hendricks seems to be pretty consistent, which is great for his player type.

    - Marincin just keeps on delivering. Beauty. Someone find him some bigger shin pads or something so that he doesn’t looks so gangly, though. hah.

    - Perron is a shifty bugger.

    - Nuge with some kind of bad goal luck this year. Wow.

    - They listed the refs before the game and I didn’t recognise the names. They seem to be letting a lot go tonight. Sharks with a lot of stickwork.

    - Fraser bad. Saw him try to wrap it around the boards once and it didn’t make the blueline.

    - Gazdic with a classic missed pass. Right on the tape!

  11. spoiler says:

    Lowetide: His lover, a grand and wonderful man who was larger than life and the glue of the group.

    Was I too subtle, lol?

  12. Colieo87 says:

    First off I love this website, thanks lot LT.

    Secondly I propose, to anyone up for discussion if you were GM for a year in Mac T shoes and with the decision’ he made already, so now at the the end of the season one year review what would you do? Plus what would you tell the current fan base your direction for the next year.

    For starters I would wouldn’t bull shit anyone. Where rebuilding again. That means anyone on the team is tradable. I would acknowledge our draft model has always been BPA and that’s going to change. Our senior scout Stu maguire is stepping down and I would hire someone out of Detroit or LA for senior role. I would explain the BPA model has failed. I would explain that 18-21year draft eligible players will report back to junior. We as an organization rush development and in site
    Of all that we need to really develop how to pick the gems in the later rounds of the draft. Dallas is staying and he will be able to pick his supporting cast for coaches. I would explain that with the excess of cap space it won’t be easy to attract free agents but we have a select few we are targeting. I would state that I did make a suggestion to Dallas that Ted Nolan would be an excellent candidate for assistant coach if Ted feels ready. I would then try to pry Kevin Dineen for the Ahl head coach spot. Since he did a hellva job for the women’s in thr Olympics. I would explain that this next year going to be learning curve again since where developing our prospects the right way. But I’m not going to sit on my hands on going to be as active as I can July 1st and the draft if the I can pry some excellent players that caught my eye. But more or less next year Is going to be the same. And two or more of out first round selections won’t be here for next season. Cause were going for the 2015 draft of Conor MacDavid

  13. Marcus Oilerius says:

    Lowetide: Part of it could be switching up the pairings and going Marincin-Schultz. Petry can work with Ference on other top pairing and maybe we breathe some clean air once in awhile.

    Definitely, but I’d like to see more than 8 minutes of them together before I make a final judgment. Not that things could get much worse than Ference-Schultz.

    What a great young kid, when he’s able to babysit Jultz and come out ahead. That play where he chased down speedy little Nieto to prevent the partial break was great.

  14. theres oil in virginia says:

    spoiler,

    Lowetide,

    Thanks. The casket looked small, I wondered if it was his son, after he said “I loved him” or something to that effect.

  15. spoiler says:

    We were lucky there was no goal there, jesus.

  16. Marcus Oilerius says:

    Speaking of Schultz… nice pass straight in front of our net, brainiac =/

  17. Marcus Oilerius says:

    Pavelski from Marleau and Thornton on the California Reffing Advantage.

  18. frjohnk says:

    Shots in the first. SJ 11, EDM 10
    So far in the 2nd SJ 9, EDM 1

    Too bad games weren’t 20 minutes.

  19. David says:

    Player to follow for the playoffs: Brett Pollock. 71, 25-30-55 in the regular season. Definitely with progression throughout the season. With his goal today he has 3 goals and an assist so far in the playoffs. 6’2 center, I was at the last game of the season where the Oil Kings got stomped on. He was the only player that was interested in playing for the Oil, and every single one of our scoring chances (we may have had three) came through him. He’s got a good shot and can beat a goalie 15 feet out with no screen. I was hoping the Oilers could scoop him up in the third or fourth round but if he keeps up his playoff performance, he might be a second rounder.

  20. Numenius says:

    Downright bad penalty calls.

  21. Ribs says:

    How can the slot always be left so open. It’s insane.

  22. Ryan says:

    Schooled.

  23. Kitchener says:

    Oilers: 1 Refs: 2

  24. G Money says:

    Refs were upset that the score was tied after nearly half the game. Must have been at risk of losing the bonus.

    Expect to see more blatant crap against the Oilers go uncalled, another couple of soft penalties for the Sharks, and then a couple of junk calls against the Sharks late in the game after its out of reach. You know, “even things up”.

  25. Rebilled says:

    The refs AND the Oilers play are getting us higher draft picks AND losses.

  26. G Money says:

    LOL. Too blatant for even these refs to not call. He actually hooked him and then went down on one knee he was leaning back so hard to slow him down. The priceless part is that he was complaining about it. “What the hell man? Why’d you call that???? I play for the *Sharks* dumbass.”

  27. Pretendergast says:

    Not a lick of speed entering the zone on the pp, speed kills boys, and apparently petrys shot

  28. Ryan says:

    Lander with a chance on the pp.

    Still can’t piss a drop.

  29. teddyturnbuckle says:

    Lovin Nuge and Lander tonight.

  30. Ryan says:

    Lol wtf. Was that?

  31. jp says:

    Marcus Oilerius: Definitely, but I’d like to see more than 8 minutes of them together before I make a final judgment.Not that things could get much worse than Ference-Schultz.

    Need to see more at the NHL level I suppose, but they played together basically the whole time Schultz was in OKC during the lockout.

  32. Marcus Oilerius says:

    I missed this “horrific” broken finger Ferraro was talking about. Who/what happened?

  33. Kitchener says:

    Good use of a timeout. If they’re tired and drop a 3rd goal, it’d be hard to come back.

  34. thejonrmcleod says:

    I just caught the tail end of Bob MacKenzie talking about a college player the Oilers are looking to sign. Does anyone know who the player was?

  35. Pretendergast says:

    Just let lander get his first already. Pop the cherry and see him settle in. Hes not looking out of place just needs to do what smytty is trying to do and get that monkey off his back so he can focus on more than just ‘dont screw up’.

  36. flyfish1168 says:

    Wow Oilers are winning the give away / take away +7

  37. Marcus Oilerius says:

    thejonrmcleod,

    Someone linked it on first page of comments.

  38. Ryan says:

    thejonrmcleod:
    I just caught the tail end of Bob MacKenzie talking about a college player the Oilers are looking to sign. Does anyone know who the player was?

    Christian Folin.

  39. flyfish1168 says:

    thejonrmcleod,

    Oilers, Lighting and Wild according to Bob McKenzie are leading candidates to sign Christain Folin

    http://www.cbc.ca/sports-content/hockey/opinion/2014/03/christian-folin-is-at-the-head-of-us-college-free-agent-class.html

    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2014/03/20/edmonton-oilers-are-in-hunt-for-high-end-college-free-agent-d-man-folin/

    I forgot Senators and Flyers are also in the hunt for this player. Heard he is good friends with Karlsson

  40. tcho says:

    Shit.

  41. Ryan says:

    Good. 3-1, now I can stop watching. Good night everyone.

  42. Pretendergast says:

    Thats just a vet play by havlat, very smart play

  43. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Random thoughts.

    Isles win. Panthers win. We’re losing. and… most excitingly Barons win with a depleted roster.

    Great news.

    Roy no points. 4 shots.
    Chase 1-1-2
    nothing yet from Everett or Vancouver to report.

    ps. wow… London crunched Windsor… I wonder if Taylor’s old team has a culture problem! hahaha

    http://www.ontariohockeyleague.com/schedule/show/game/66975

    pps. Draisaitl with a goal so far… Raiders might win a game yet.

    http://www.whl.ca/schedule/show/game/67028

  44. Lowetide says:

    spoiler: Was I too subtle, lol?

    Ha! I didn’t see your post. VERY effective. :-)

  45. teddyturnbuckle says:

    Oilers actually look good despite the score.

  46. G Money says:

    Sigh. Oiler hockey. Can’t score on two five bell chances, and then get overzealous and a combination of a good play by Havlat and a brain cramp by Petry trying too hard to move the puck up and suddenly its a two goal deficit.

  47. Ribs says:

    Welp, that period… Not so good.

  48. VanOil says:

    Fraser is our designated cycle breaker right?

  49. teddyturnbuckle says:

    Pretty much have 27th wrapped up tonight if we lose. Florida and the Islanders won giving us a top 4 pick.

  50. G Money says:

    teddyturnbuckle,

    We need 28th or worse – the way the lottery works, there is an excellent (31.3%) chance the first pick will go to someone other than the top 4, which would bump the 27th team place into 26th and out of the top 4. So 28th is where it’s at…

  51. flyfish1168 says:

    Not sure what Eakins saw in Action, Hamilton or Fraser. If he wants to suggest players to pick up he needs to re-evaluate

  52. Marcus Oilerius says:

    … California refereeing.

    Oilers 1, Refs 3, Sharks 1.

  53. godot10 says:

    Krueger’s 40% was an exclusively Western Conference schedule. Eakins and Renney 30-percent-somethings are inflated by EC games.

    Ditto the marginal improvement in GF per game for Eakins is because he has Eastern Conference games.

    The way you teach an elite talent to play defense is different from the way you teach a schmuck. Eakins is forcing his elite players to be schmuck’s playing defense instead of elite players playing defense. His process is all wrong. (See Dellow’s work on Hall. Eakins is a fool.)

    Plus, the OIlers are worse defensively, not better under Eakins than under Krueger and Renney.

  54. Kitchener says:

    4-1. Now here’s the question: who loses their composure? who keeps it?

  55. jp says:

    One more and Brossoit gets his first taste.

  56. Pretendergast says:

    Can the title for the next post be ‘well what did you expect?’

  57. VanOil says:

    I had Stroganoff for dinner so I am taking full responsibility for this Russian proverb in ice.

  58. G Money says:

    godot10: Krueger’s 40% was an exclusively Western Conference schedule. Eakins and Renney 30-percent-somethings are inflated by EC games.

    And Krueger’s numbers were inflated by the fact that his top 4 offensive players all had a three month ‘training camp’ in the AHL, while the rest of the NHL was sleeping. Yak too – instead of giving Krueger credit, perhaps its time to realize that he also had ‘training camp’ in the KHL. No coincidence that those 5 players all burned it up while the rest of the team was a tire fire in an outhouse in Siberia. Meanwhile this year, all five of those guys have regressed – but most of the rest of the team has actually got better numbers. Krueger was an awful coach. Absolutely awful.

  59. G Money says:

    Now that the game’s nearly out of reach, look for the refs to give a couple of penalty calls to the Oilers after about the 10 minute mark of the period.

  60. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    PA falls to the Oil Kings.

    looks fated from here. Still, it is interesting that none of these games have been uncontested. Good to push the Oil Kings.

  61. Marcus Oilerius says:

    G Money: And Krueger’s numbers were inflated by the fact that his top 4 offensive players all had a three month ‘training camp’ in the AHL, while the rest of the NHL was sleeping.

    I’m not sure I buy into that narrative. As I recall, the Oilers and kids were slow to start last season and only picked it up in the middle before crashing.

  62. Thinker says:

    Krueger didn’t have a system, and it looked ten times better than the garbage we play now. It’s asinine to keep eakins because we don’t want to fire another coach.

  63. Numenius says:

    Fraser has discovered how to get out of the D zone successfully: Pass to Klefbom.

  64. godot10 says:

    G Money: And Krueger’s numbers were inflated by the fact that his top 4 offensive players all had a three month ‘training camp’ in the AHL, while the rest of the NHL was sleeping.Yak too – instead of giving Krueger credit, perhaps its time to realize that he also had ‘training camp’ in the KHL.No coincidence that those 5 players all burned it up while the rest of the team was a tire fire in an outhouse in Siberia.Meanwhile this year, all five of those guys have regressed – but most of the rest of the team has actually got better numbers.Krueger was an awful coach.Absolutely awful.

    The problem with that theory is that Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, and Eberle all got off to horrible starts in terms of finishing early in the season.

    Nugent-Hopkins had the wonky shoulder, and playing the toughs with less protected zone starts for the first time. His numbers were down.

    Eberle’s shooting percentage slumped, and people were all claiming signing him to his contract was a mistake.

    And even Hall wasn’t lighting the red light all that well early.

    They were dominating, but they weren’t exactly getting the boxcars early. All that Triple A pitching had dulled their finishing. It took till the mid-NHL season run when their boxcars began ramping up.

  65. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Fraser playing around 15 mins so far. amazing.

  66. G Money says:

    Marcus Oilerius,

    The Oilers were a pretty lousy team from start to finish.

    The team was strong to start – mainly the first line – and then crashed hard though. Look at the rolling Corsi on extraskater for the year. You should also check out this article: http://nhlnumbers.com/2013/8/1/western-conference-line-vs-team-production
    so you can see just how horrible that team was outside of the Hall line.

    Yak was the other poster boy: started strong, went 26 games with a single goal, then finished strong (as did the rest of the team, for a short stint after the games were completely meaningless).

  67. LMHF#1 says:

    Andrew Ference is a mole deployed to ensure the team keeps losing. Has to be.

  68. 106 and 106 says:

    “And for the second consecutive game, a visiting player has has a hat trick and there are hats on the ice. The Oilers have lost by 4 goals ten times this year.”

    The Decade of Futility gets a couple more exclamation marks.

    At least we’re not blaming Yakupov anymore.

  69. spoiler says:

    They worked for like 10 minutes for that goal.

  70. Marcus Oilerius says:

    If I’m worried about anything right now, it’s the Nuge line. Eberle, as many predicted, is not a 6 million dollar man, and Nuge looks off his game.

  71. spoiler says:

    spoiler: They worked for like 10 minutes for that goal.

    I really like Hall’s celly on that one.

  72. LMHF#1 says:

    Odds on a Dallas Eakins “We were fine until…” after this one?

  73. Numenius says:

    Hall!!!

  74. G Money says:

    godot10,

    e.g. Oilers first game Hall and Eberle both had points and the Hall/RNH/Eberle line had a CF in the sixties – LET ME REPEAT: IN THE SIXTIES – while the team was at 48% overall. Against the Canucks.

    Given all the excuse making for Krueger and his lack of training camp, are you attributing those results to Krueger’s wizardry?

  75. Kitchener says:

    2nd game in a row where Eakins switches back to 4-93-14 after the game is lost. Not sure what his thoughts are (feature 89? _____?), but there’s no doubt to my eye that 4-93-14 is our ‘it’ line.

  76. icecastles says:

    Just got home and turned on the game in time to see Hall score. So we’re winning, are we?

  77. Marcus Oilerius says:

    Kitchener,

    Definitely featuring Gagner.

    Hall is a chance machine. Will Acton could go 15-35-50 playing with him.

  78. VanOil says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Fraser playing around 15 mins so far. amazing.

    T-90 main battle tank

  79. godot10 says:

    G Money:
    Marcus Oilerius,

    The Oilers were a pretty lousy team from start to finish.

    The team was strong to start – mainly the first line – and then crashed hard though.Look at the rolling Corsi on extraskater for the year.You should also check out this article: http://nhlnumbers.com/2013/8/1/western-conference-line-vs-team-production
    so you can see just how horrible that team was outside of the Hall line.

    Yak was the other poster boy: started strong, went 26 games with a single goal, then finished strong (as did the rest of the team, for a short stint after the games were completely meaningless).

    Well, it was a horrible team outside the Hall line.

    But Hall’s line, and top quartile special teams was enough to get the team to 24th place.

    Win Hall’s lines 15 min of EV time, win the special teams, and the rest of the awful roster doesn’t screw up to badly. Maximize the results and develop the players. Give you best players the opportunity to win the game for you. And Hall dragged the team to 24th.

    Krueger also rehabilitated Paajarvi’s trade value. The Oilers would have never been able to get Perron for him without that.

    MacT totally misunderstood what Krueger was doing. Krueger needed more and better players. He needed an experienced NHL assistant coach. And he would have maximized and optimized them for results also.

  80. Nuckout says:

    Fraser is the absolute opposite of a puck moving d-man.

    In fact, he shouldn’t be allowed near the puck again.

  81. godot10 says:

    G Money:
    godot10,

    e.g. Oilers first game Hall and Eberle both had points and the Hall/RNH/Eberle line had a CF in the sixties – LET ME REPEAT: IN THE SIXTIES – while the team was at 48% overall.Against the Canucks.

    Given all the excuse making for Krueger and his lack of training camp, are you attributing those results toKrueger’s wizardry?

    Hall’s line dominated all season but they didn’t do much finishing until the mid-season run.

    One game’s worth of boxcars does not make a hot start.

  82. spoiler says:

    Cue G Money.

  83. G Money says:

    spoiler:
    Cue G Money.

    There’s your soft meaningless penalty late in the game. “Even things up”.

  84. spoiler says:

    G Money: There’s your soft meaningless penalty late in the game. “Even things up”.

    Lol. Thank you for not missing your cue.

  85. jp says:

    Kitchener:
    2nd game in a row where Eakins switches back to 4-93-14 after the game is lost.Not sure what his thoughts are (feature 89? _____?), but there’s no doubt to my eye that 4-93-14 is our ‘it’ line.

    Not so sure it’s about Gagner. Nuge and Eberle aren’t the same players without Hall either.

    Also, this wasn’t a terrible game as 5-2 losses against top 3 teams go.

  86. G Money says:

    godot10: Hall’s line dominated all season but they didn’t do much finishing until the mid-season run.

    One game’s worth of boxcars does not make a hot start.

    No the point is, they dominated early and then as Krueger’s influence sunk in, they got worse. Go look at the rolling Corsi for that season.

    Boxcars (like shooting percentage) are variable. The shots weren’t going in for Eberle early. So what? He was getting tons of them, like Hall, like RNH. There’s your Corsi difference between Krueger and Eakins, signed sealed and delivered.

  87. G Money says:

    spoiler,

    Well, if you (and the refs) tee em up like that… how’s a guy to resist?

  88. Marcus Oilerius says:

    Ultimately, I think the argument against Eakins is that he hasn’t done anything to stop the bleeding.

    The Oilers looked chaotic last year, but had somewhat better (luckier?) results. This year, they’re systemic, with major breakdowns on a routine basis.

    I honestly can’t say which is worse.

  89. OilClog says:

    godot10: Well, it was a horrible team outside the Hall line.

    But Hall’s line, and top quartile special teams was enough to get the team to 24th place.

    Win Hall’s lines 15 min of EV time, win the special teams, and the rest of the awful roster doesn’t screw up to badly.Maximize the results and develop the players.Give you best players the opportunity to win the game for you.And Hall dragged the team to 24th.

    Krueger also rehabilitated Paajarvi’s trade value.The Oilers would have never been able to get Perron for him without that.

    MacT totally misunderstood what Krueger was doing.Krueger needed more and better players.He needed an experienced NHL assistant coach.And he would have maximized and optimized them for results also.

    Make em say ughhhh na na na naaaaaa

  90. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    I’m looking forward to tanking so hard we can really plaster Vancouver at the end of the season and not worry about hurting our draft position.

    that will be great.

  91. striatic says:

    106 and 106: At least we’re not blaming Yakupov anymore.

    Or Hemsky.

    All the typical goats are gone, or out. Other than Gagner I guess.

    I’m so sick of the “Yak/Hemsky/Gagner/Nuge/GoatoftheWeek have to be better! More committed!” garbage, because really they don’t. The idea that this team’s defensive woes are because these young forwards aren’t well rounded players, are prima donnas, whatever, is shallow.

    Andrew Ference is not a top pairing defence-man. Jeff Petry is not a top pairing defence-man. Justin Schultz is not a top pairing defence-man. On a team like Boston, every single Oiler defence-man would be playing bottom pairing minutes.

    This problem is so glaring, so obvious and so immediate that i’m starting to find any discussion of anything else related to the Oilers somewhat ridiculous. Sport writers complaining about Nail Yakupov or Ales Hemsky is something akin to complaining about the thermostat setting of a house that is on fire.

  92. AZOIL says:

    NYI wins!!!

  93. G Money says:

    godot10,

    Perhaps you misunderstand what Krueger was doing? That was a horrible team outside of the Hall line, yes. It was disorganized and disinterested. People were baffled that this ‘motivational’ specialist of a coach could ice a team that was so unmotivated night after night. Perhaps you don’t remember that?

    The folks who’ve taken the time to deconstruct Krueger’s system also pointed out that the Hall line simply did not follow it. You think that was Krueger “letting the ponies run”? Bullshit. Dollars to donuts, that was Hall and co. saying “you’re stupid, your system is stupid, we’re going to do what we want.” And Krueger was to much of a you-know-what to stop them.

    If nothing else – Eakins is not letting them do that. His system may be as shitty as Krueger’s (I don’t think it is because the second to fourth lines look a little better most nights than they *ever* did under Krueger), but come hell or high water, it looks like every line is expected to buy in. If nothing else, that gives Eakins a step up on Krueger.

  94. Marcus Oilerius says:

    G Money,

    That’s a lot of strong statements with not a lot to back them up.

  95. G Money says:

    Marcus Oilerius,

    Yes. My point (as it has always been) is not to suggest that Eakins is a good coach. It is that Krueger was an awful awful coach, and pining for him is just plain stupid. That team (outside of the Hall line that just didn’t play the system) was painfully hard on the eyes every game – even moreso than this team. And that’s saying something.

  96. G Money says:

    Marcus Oilerius,

    Please do tell. Which statements are you referring to? I thought I made clear the points that were fact (“that was a horrible team” , “people were baffled” – go read last years GDTs if you don’t believe me) and the points that were my conjecture (“dollars to donuts”, “it looks like”). Feel free to disagree.

  97. Numenius says:

    EV Corgi-wise the game wasn’t bad: 50.9% Oilers

    Worth celebrating, I’d say.

    Yay Oilers!

  98. PunjabiOil says:

    Say the Oilers go 2-7 to end the year. That has to get Eakins fired, no? Continuity be damned.

  99. G Money says:

    By the way, if you want backup, here is one of the Krueger system deconstruction articles (there were at least two others that I can recall):

    http://www.coppernblue.com/2013/4/17/4230198/oilers-struggles-centre-systemic-slumps-ralph-malph

    Suggest you read it if you are in the Krueger was Great camp. Might also refresh you on just how terrible last years team was.

  100. G Money says:

    Numenius:
    EV Corgi-wise the game wasn’t bad: 50.9% Oilers

    Worth celebrating, I’d say.

    Yay Oilers!

    I know early on the Oilers were actually outchancing the Sharks quite badly. Based on the overall flow of the game, I’m guessing the chances are probably in the Oilers favour as well. Just another of those games (like last night) where the other team gets the bounces. Sh*t happens (and happens to the Oilers a lot) …

    By the way – now that Dennis King isn’t doing that anymore, does anyone know if someone out in the Oilogosphere is tracking scoring chances anymore?

  101. icecastles says:

    Marcus Oilerius: That’s a lot of strong statements with not a lot to back them up.

    There are plenty of GDTs and game footage from last year to back up G Money’s assertions, if you don’t believe him.

    Thinking the Kreuger season was an improvement is revisionist history. It was terrible in almost every way. I’m utterly baffled as to how people are remembering him as an excellent (or even good) coach. Wonderful man. Really liked him. Totally out of his depth last year.

  102. G Money says:

    PunjabiOil,

    At this point, would any finish to the season change the outcome? Either it’s all about continuity, in which case he stays even if he goes 0-9, or its all about actual results, in which case he goes, even if he goes 9-0. Well, maybe not if he goes 9-0!

  103. G Money says:

    icecastles: Wonderful man. Really liked him. Totally out of his depth last year.

    Yes … and thanks for saying that.

    I actually *feel bad* when I slag Krueger because he did seem like a genuinely nice man, and I really liked him and really wanted him to succeed.

    But man that team was terrible.

  104. PunjabiOil says:

    Ralph Kreuger had his faults, and I wasn’t adverse to firing him, but:

    1. The roster was 1 year younger and inexperienced
    2. No training camp to instill his methodology
    3. Right around til the 40 game mark, the team was competitive enough to be in the playoff hunt. Keep in mind the team played solely against Western Conference opponents. Have a look at the Oilers under Eakins against the west. It’s not pretty.

    It just isn’t.

    Let’s acknowledge Eakins is a poor coach. He hasn’t got much help on the defence, but he’s failed to extract maximum output from his players. He’s smart enough in that he understands and appreciates advanced stats.

    That’s half the battle. Successfully inputting systems to achieve the desired results is the other half of the battle. That’s where he’s failed, and fans like myself are sick of waiting for results.

    Peter Laviolette.

  105. spoiler says:

    Numenius: EV Corgi-wise the game wasn’t bad: 50.9% Oilers
    Worth celebrating, I’d say.
    Yay Oilers!

    This was by no means a horrible game, but there are probably some score effects in that number. They did keep trying all game and that was good to see. There was some composure tonight. Refs didn’t help the case either.

  106. Numenius says:

    G Money: I know early on the Oilers were actually outchancing the Sharks quite badly.Based on the overall flow of the game, I’m guessing the chances are probably in the Oilers favour as well.Just another of those games (like last night) where the other team gets the bounces.Sh*t happens (and happens to the Oilers a lot) …

    By the way – now that Dennis King isn’t doing that anymore, does anyone know if someone out in the Oilogosphere is tracking scoring chances anymore?

    Yes, I agree. The bounces just weren’t happening this game.

    I was impressed with how they kept playing hard despite the score.

    If they lose every game remaining in the season but keep EV Corsi above 50% I’ll be happy. Not super happy, but reasonably happy. That’ll show progress.

  107. AZOIL says:

    Florida wins!

    Wouldn’t you all almost rather pick 3 or 4th so we just get what’s left and not have to have the debate of a Fwd or a D? Might make for less arguments on here and we can all be friends?

    But having the choice is nice?

    Would you rather pick 1st or 2nd in this years draft?

  108. Gret99zky says:

    I doubt very much Eakins gets fired. No matter what.

  109. icecastles says:

    PunjabiOil: 2. No training camp to instill his methodology

    I maintain that this is a red herring.

    No team had a training camp. The Oilers’ key players were all not only in mid-season form, but their top line had been playing together that entire time. That more than negates any disadvantage of training camp.

    Furthermore, if we recall Kreuger’s systems and line-matching, that was his weakness not his strength (commented on many many times last season), so even if his methodology had been given a better chance to be implemented, I’m not convinced it would have helped. If anything, better implementation of Kreuger’s system may have made the top line worse, rather than improved the bottom 3.

    Unfortunate that we’ll never know definitively, as there’s no doubt he didn’t get a totally fair chance to prove himself. But I think MacT was right to want to upgrade the position.

  110. Marcus Oilerius says:

    icecastles,

    I’m not saying Kreuger is a wonderful or even good coach.

    I’m saying that Eakins so far is no improvement.

    Before anyone jumps in about our 20-game stretch of .500 hockey prior to the current struggles, look at the teams we played. Now look at the schedule ahead of us. Those 20 good games were robbing Peter to pay Paul, and now Peter wants his due over brutal schedule to close out the season.

  111. G Money says:

    Numenius: If they lose every game remaining in the season but keep EV Corsi above 50% I’ll be happy. Not super happy, but reasonably happy. That’ll show progress.

    Hall had a goal and an assist, and a Corsi of 46.9% = Corsi Rel of -5.8%.

    Still a baffling effect.

    More worrisome is Tyler Dellow’s latest article, which suggests that when GF% and CF% are out of whack, it is almost always GF% that regresses to Corsi, and not the other way around.

  112. icecastles says:

    Marcus Oilerius: I’m not saying Kreuger is a wonderful or even good coach.

    I know. But some people are. They’re silly.

  113. G Money says:

    “Regress” is the wrong word, since the effect works if GF% is < CF% too. Maybe "normalizes to" would be more correct.

  114. Marcus Oilerius says:

    icecastles,

    To be fair, we can’t even know. Last year’s roster was probably worse than this year’s. Nuge with a bum shoulder, Whitney, Nultz, rookie Schultz (even worse defensively, if more confident on offense), rookie Yak, MPS over Perron, and Black Hole Belanger.

    We can question Krueger’s system (or lack thereof) as much as we want, but his power play didn’t give up 11 goals against. He didn’t implement a hockey system only to tear it down and say the players don’t know how to play basic defence after 15-20 games. And as chaotic as Yak looked, he distributed the puck better, he was more confident, he was making progress.

    Plus, I don’t recall Krueger ever throwing anyone under the bus or flipping out on the bench or in the media.

  115. Numenius says:

    G Money: Hall had a goal and an assist, and a Corsi of 46.9% = Corsi Rel of -5.8%.

    Still a baffling effect.

    More worrisome is Tyler Dellow’s latest article, which suggests that when GF% and CF% are out of whack, it is almost always GF% that regresses to Corsi, and not the other way around.

    I don’t buy that in the case of Hall.

    It’s Hall’s Corsi that’s out of whack. Every other year his CorsiON has been top 2-5 on the entire team.

    This year, as of now, it’s 12th. That can’t last.

  116. jp says:

    PunjabiOil:
    Say the Oilers go 2-7 to end the year.That has to get Eakins fired, no?Continuity be damned.

    9 more games like this one (even with and 2-7 record) and we might have to admit some real progress.

  117. fifthcartel says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I’m hoping they pass one of Florida or New York and finish 3rd. That way they are forced to take a forward when ekblad gets taken, and hopefuiy Draisaitl or Bennett.

  118. "Steve Smith" says:

    G Money:
    “Regress” is the wrong word, since the effect works if GF% is < CF% too.

    That’s still regression, statistically speaking.

    Hey, look, the Oilers lost!

  119. magisterrex says:

    Didn’t Bob Stauffer say Joe Pavelski was ‘fighting it a little’ and was on a bit of a scoring drought? Every time he makes one I those comments, the player finds his game against the Oilers.

  120. flyfish1168 says:

    I am defending Ralph Krueger.
    The most important statistic is where you place in the standing. This year we are worst without a doubt. When you look at stats it is like financials they can be manipulated and you can have two sets telling you two difffernet stories. At the end of the day its how much you make and where you stand.

    We don’t know for a fact if Ralph fully implimented his sytem in a 48 schedule and without a true training camp. Yes 4 players played in the AHL but remember that was under Todd Nelson system.

    Hockey Canada, world Econimic Forum, and the Southampton Soccer team all hired him. He must know something. Hockey Canda hired him to help come up with a game plan, for the Olympics does that say he is well respected.

    Not knocking eakins, but his resume doesn’t even come close. eakin’s hasn’t proven it yet. remember the Marlies are doing well without him and after we trade for 4 of there players. I do hope eakins succeed because I cheer for the Oilers.

    MacT definately got it wrong.

  121. russ99 says:

    icecastles,

    There’s no way Krueger made the top line worse. That was actual coaching to players’ strengths and all of the top line players (and Yak) thrived under it.

    And yes, that was with a worse roster than this year.

    I find it most telling that Krueger got the axe because he wanted some help – the same help Eakins obviously needs and didn’t get.

  122. flyfish1168 says:

    russ99: icecastles, There’s no way Krueger made the top line worse. That was actual coaching to players’ strengths and all of the top line players (and Yak) thrived under it.And yes, that was with a worse roster than this year.I find it most telling that Krueger got the axe because he wanted some help – the same help Eakins obviously needs and didn’t get.

    good points
    When you think of this year and what has gone on. It would be difficult to believe we would be worst then 29th place under Ralph, In his 2nd year, a full training camp and playing all 29 teams. But we will never know. He is in a better place.

  123. Ryan says:

    G Money: Hall had a goal and an assist, and a Corsi of 46.9% = Corsi Rel of -5.8%.

    Still a baffling effect.

    More worrisome is Tyler Dellow’s latest article, which suggests that when GF% and CF% are out of whack, it is almost always GF% that regresses to Corsi, and not the other way around.

    It’s not that complicated…

    Dellow likes creating Caramilk mysteries to try and solve.

    The season prior (under Krueger), his Caramilk mystery was why the Oilers top line was staying afloat while everyone especially Gagner and Hemsky were sinking like they had cement blocks tied to their legs and thrown in the river.

    simple answer… zone starts and a crappy team. The kids got the zone start push which inflated their Corsi. The Oilers were not a good hockey team especially the blueline which is why everyone else got crushed.

    This season his Caramilk mystery is Hall’s crappy corsi.

    Lordy, would you look at this most common d pairing?

    It’s the venerable Shultz and Ference pairing and we can’t figure out why his Corsi sucks?

  124. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    fifthcartel:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I’m hoping they pass one of Florida or New York and finish 3rd. That way they are forced to take a forward when ekblad gets taken, and hopefuiy Draisaitl or Bennett.

    Ha!

    I’ve considered that too.

    But, in general, I think it is best to get the highest pick and let the scouts pull the trigger. I’ll be freakishly giddy with Draisaitl and reluctantly exuberant with any of the other 3. It will be a great day.

    G Money: By the way – now that Dennis King isn’t doing that anymore, does anyone know if someone out in the Oilogosphere is tracking scoring chances anymore?

    I believe JW was doing it, but not publishing the results game by game. And, I know that Staples has his own system that he tracks… again he doesn’t publish the results game by game (afaik).

    “Steve Smith”: That’s still regression, statistically speaking.

    Hey, look, the Oilers lost!

    I hope you haven’t had a case of your namesake. post moar!

  125. Halfwise says:

    I wonder whether “is this team better than last year?” is the right question. Maybe it’s because I don’t like the answers, which are so discouraging regardless of what position people take.

    What about the question “is this team on track to learning to play winning hockey in the Western Conference?”

    To my eye, I see more structure and more positional play in the D zone. (Now when Gagner loses his man it stands out because most everyone else has his guy covered, for instance).

    I would give Eakins another full year and a great off-season D signing before getting the tar and feathers out.

    Imagine what Hitchcock would be doing with Krueger’s game films.

  126. PhrankLee says:

    Coaches are successful when they have the ability to get more out of individuals than the individual is confident they can deliver. Ralph was that for the individuals, whom are still called kids, well, cause they are..
    Then DE fires out the “..sick and tired of being called a young team…we are an NHL team..” attitude. Needing them to grow up early. A gamble that looks like pure genius if it works. In this case it did not. RK should be the assistant. But he has pride too. Passed over for mr no doughnut bike shorts marathon/marlboro guy. DE falls flat and hard on his face, not without some grace, I add. Now DE is sensitive, callow and almost getting me misty in his interviews Equating coaching to parenting and yelling at his kids…Full Circle. Too early. This year has been a bizarre example of curiouser and curiouser.

  127. oliveoilers says:

    Ryan: It’s not that complicated…

    Dellow likes creating Caramilk mysteries to try and solve.

    The season prior (under Krueger), his Caramilk mystery was why the Oilers top line was staying afloat while everyone especially Gagner and Hemsky were sinking like they had cement blocks tied to their legs and thrown in the river.

    simple answer…zone starts and a crappy team.The kids got the zone start push which inflated their Corsi.The Oilers were not a good hockey team especially the blueline which is why everyone else got crushed.

    This season his Caramilk mystery is Hall’s crappy corsi.

    Lordy, would you look at this most common d pairing?

    It’s the venerable Shultz and Ference pairing and we can’t figure out why his Corsi sucks?

    Would the Sedins under Vigneault be an example of this? (Vancouver, however much I despise them, did have a pretty good supporting cast though.)

  128. A Tale of Two Teams - The Oilers Rig - The Oilers Rig says:

    […] was how do these two teams compare in the underlying numbers department? I also wanted to build on the comment  that caught my eye over at Lowetide’s. What is the story, the tale of two […]

  129. borisnikov says:

    I’m not sure why, but my word press post seems to have automatically inserted a link on your feed. My apologies for the spam. I can take out the link in my blog post if you would like me too.

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