RE 13-14 DALLAS EAKINS: ASTRAL WEEKS

Dallas Eakins arrived amid much fanfare and the promise of a new tomorrow. The early promise bled out before we saw a November dawn. The season played on with with no rhyme, no reason. The question now: what on earth does he do for an encore?

  1. What concerns you the most? The verbal at the end of the season about having turned a corner. There’s no corner. Just one giant free fall.
  2. Was it horrible from go? No. The Oilers had some games where good things were happening on the shot differential front, but the goalies were blowing their brains out.
  3. Why? Well, part of it was shoddy goaling and part of it was due to the swarm.
  4. The Swarm! Almost forgot. The swarm cut down on chances but the chances given were pure dynamite. I can still remember the puck coming out to Joffrey Lupul and he had all day, friends.
  5. MacT said he was unflappable. Hey, I agree. If Dallas Eakins can survive this, we should give him a really big project. Like Putin.
  6. The Corgis were good early? Yes. Game One is an example. 49-42 via Parkatti and the Gordon and Arcobello lines were humming.
  7. What happened after that? Well, the Corgi’s rolling out (this is Parkatti, so even strength) were 44.3 (VAN); 48.1 (NJD); 50.5 (MON); 46.1 (TOR); 50 (WAS); 46.9 (PIT); 41.1 (NYI); 27.7 (OTT); 44.2 (MON); 54.3 (WAS); 52.6 (PHX); 25.3 (LAK); 61.8 (TOR).
  8. Was this blog trumpeting the 5 October games over 50%? No, I was trying to get the goalie traded. In fairness, MacTavish was way ahead of me.
  9. Well good on you! Really? I’m not so sure. They eventually got the goaltending straightened out, but one of the things the Oilers did during this period was abandon the swarm. And I understand it, because the chances given were enormous.
  10. BUT………? But it pointed out once again that MacT-Eakins were fumbling some very central items, losing the cadence, out of time. They spoke about possession in summer, and then Gagner gets mugged and suddenly it’s a different team. Then, the swarm gets FIVE Corgi’s during October (FIVE FIVE FIVE FIVE FIVE…HOW MANY IS FIVE???) but the swarm don’t swim and they move away from it.
  11. How long was the Corgi  running? Tyler Dellow tweeted out after 38 games: Last year, the Oilers had 12/48 games in which they won or tied the Corsi% Close. This year, it’s 16/38. 25% vs. 42%.
  12. That’s good! Yes, but they tweaked and brawned and didn’t have the courage of their possession convictions.
  13. That’s your issue? The man is arrogant and spent the year telling everyone he is in charge! Rookie coach, didn’t have NHL experience, possibly felt he could treat NHL players like AHL players. That’s a five minute conversation from the GM, we’re good to go.
  14. Jesus. Jesus. I don’t believe you! Hey, Eakins frustrated me too. How in God’s name he remained stubborn with that damn 1-3-1 power play is beyond me, and playing Nuge 28:20 fresh from an injury was mighty galling, too. Hall at center, punish the Russian kid for never having played Roger Nielson hockey, you bet, lots of irritants.
  15. And he gets a free pass? No, but these are lessons he can learn. You don’t throw the coach away because of a poor rookie season, especially since the organization has been throwing away coaches annually since 2009.
  16. Okay, what are your problems with him again? Dallas Eakins abandoned the plan. Swarm, possession, grititude, all that stuff.
  17. And that shows weakness? No, it shows confusion and being overwhelmed and possibly lack of sleep.
  18. LACK OF SLEEP? YOU’RE A FREAKING LOON!!! I don’t think Dallas Eakins got a good night’s sleep through Christmas. Seriously.
  19. Give me an example of a terrible decision that could have been aided by more sleep. Arcobello sitting when Gagner came back. That was borderline horror, we’re talking Vincent Price stuff here.
  20. NOW we’re getting to the good stuff. And for whatever reason, he didn’t like Laddy’s sideburns. You KNOW that I was never a Smid guy, but that trade, in my opinion, is a concern for both GM and coach.
  21. Why? Well, Smid had signed a long term contract, and MacTavish was part of the management group when it got done. It stands to reason that MacTavish would have expressed concern if the contract was a worry. The Oilers signed the contract, so we can assume it was endorsed by him.
  22. And then Eakins arrives and won’t play him? Smid played two minutes a night less on average as an Oiler (season over season) under Eakins, but he played regularly.
  23. So, what’s your point? Craig MacTavish appears to have traded a bona fide top 4 NHL defenseman 17 games into Dallas Eakins NHL career. I’d prefer they take a more measured approach to that kind of tinkering.
  24. Imagine this: Ladislav Smid is the hill you die on! No, I’d file this under rookie coach, he’ll learn. And I think he did, as Belov’s play fell off and the club didn’t replace Smid until Marincin. That’s going to remain in the memory banks.
  25. So you don’t care? I think you have to allow for some learning on the job.
  26. So you do care, but the big issue was not sticking to the plan? Yes. Dallas Eakins and Craig MacTavish altered course and believe the last 20 games showed progress. I think the Dellow quote above showed where the progress lies, not the last 20 games of the season.
  27. To quote Indiana Jones, they’re digging in the wrong place? Yes. I think that’s a real concern.
  28. Why this song? Van Morrison: “I remember reading about you having to die to be born. It’s one of those songs where you can see the light at the end of the tunnel and that’s basically what the song says.”
  29. You love this song? It’s probably my favorite Van song. This or Madame George. The lyrics are sensational: “Could you find me? Would you kiss my eyes, Lay me down, In silence easy. To be born again.”
  30. What does Dallas Eakins need to return with? A large dollop of good sense, and the courage of his convictions. Fresh from a good night’s sleep.

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82 Responses to "RE 13-14 DALLAS EAKINS: ASTRAL WEEKS"

  1. bill needle says:

    Uh, Choppin’ Wood?!

  2. Numenius says:

    Off topic, but Germany beats Kazakhstan 2-1 in the shootout.

    Draisaitl with the primary assist on their regulation goal.

  3. Ca$h-Money! says:

    So your two major complaints are trading Hemsky (who was leaving anyway) and trading Smid (who was bad in Calgary) for 2 reasonable prospect bets (Broissot is the best goalie prospect in the system, and Horak shows real promise). I don’t know Lowetide, lots of things to cringe at this season, this isn’t really up there on the list for me.

  4. jake70 says:

    bill needle:
    Uh, Choppin’ Wood?!

    Splash…I mean carry, water.

  5. Chesswizadry says:

    Wasn’t Eakins being interviewed – including by the Oilers – by other teams for consideration as an Assistant Coach only?

    Seems like they took the wrong girl home from the bar.

    He will be fired if they are under .500 at 20 games (I would hope) unless it’s “1 more year” seeing how McDavid and others (4 elite prospects in the next draft) will be waiting… THEN, no more losing.. Right?

  6. Lowetide says:

    Ca$h-Money!:
    So your two major complaints are trading Hemsky (who was leaving anyway) and trading Smid (who was bad in Calgary) for 2 reasonable prospect bets (Broissot is the best goalie prospect in the system, and Horak shows real promise). I don’t know Lowetide, lots of things to cringe at this season, this isn’t really up there on the list for me.

    That wasn’t my major problem with MacT or Eakins, as stated above.

  7. Rondo says:

    Eakins is an inexperienced coach who for what ever reason has not helped the team. Contrast that with another young coach Jon Cooper. Something is wrong. I realize the last thing Oilers want to do is fire a coach. A bold move would be for Mact to correct the direction of Oilers and hire Barry Trotz as the head coach and Todd Nelson who has history with Trotz an assistant coach.

    At the very least they should interview Trotz and pick his brain regarding what is wrong with the Oilers.

  8. Andy P says:

    On Smid: What options would MacT have had if Smid asked for a trade? I suppose the same goes for Hemsky and Horcoff.

  9. Woodguy says:

    I love Eakins presser’s more than MacT’s.

    He says all the right things and seems to be thinking the game correctly.

    Then we watch the game and it doesn’t match the verbal.

    Off the glass and out, dump and chase, Fraser playing ahead of Belov, and Jultz weakly and blindly chipping the puck up the boards to an awaiting opposing forward again, and again, and again, and again, and again…….

    Someone with a bit of knowledge mentioned to me that Eakins is the only one doing any coaching on the staff and the other 3, (2 in particular) are just happy to come to rink everyday and be a part of a NHL team.

    Does Eakins know how to teach good hockey tactics?

    Does Eakins know which tactics are better than other at the NHL level?

    Will he have to continue to “work alone” after MacT gave glowing reviews on the passengers passing as coaches?

    Will he play the better possession players over the gong shows with size?

    I guess we have to wait and see.

    Fucking rookies.

    Man.

  10. Woodguy says:

    Mike and Tyler have been doing some amazing work this year about what exactly is wrong with the Oilers.

    Mike’s latest is the influence of face offs on zone starts on corgis.

    Read this: http://www.boysonthebus.com/2014/05/05/the-influence-of-face-offs-and-zone-starts-on-corsi/

    And this: http://www.boysonthebus.com/2014/05/09/the-impact-of-winning-faceoffs-in-different-zones/

    Some interesting tweets from Mike:

    Michael Parkatti @mparkatti
    Maybe the biggest Corsi killer on the Oilers 2013-14 season? RNH’s neutral zone faceoff% of 41.0%. Gagner’s 42.8% also very, very poor.

    Michael Parkatti @mparkatti
    When you’re on the ice w/ RNH or Gagner starting in neutral ice, you basically spot the other team a 2-1 shot advantage.

    Michael Parkatti @mparkatti
    I’ll note that Arco’ NZFO% was 56.5%. Playing a season with Arco instead of RNH would increase your overall Corsi% by 5.3%.

    Michael Parkatti @mparkatti
    People were wondering why Arco’s WOWY’s were so damn good. Well, there’s a huge part of your answer. NZFO%.

  11. oliveoilers says:

    Andy P:
    On Smid: What options would MacT have had if Smid asked for a trade? I suppose the same goes for Hemsky and Horcoff.

    As per Elliot Friedman, MacT could have shopped Smid a little more. Hemsky and Horcoff were different animals in that MacT told them and the rest of the world and his dog that he wanted to trade them. One too much info, the other not enough. Here’s to a happy medium and the benefit of experience!

  12. VOR says:

    Some coaches hit the ground running and some don’t. Dallas Eakins didn’t.

    On the other hand apparently coaching can be tough at the NHL level. Here are the records of some NHL coaches in their first full year of NHL coaching;

    19-41-18
    15-23-5
    29-44-9
    28-47-7

    I liked to ask which of these coaches you’d want coaching the Oilers?

    The answer is: all of them!

    Al Arbor could coach a bit.
    Ken Hitchcock still can I understand.
    Glen Sather may eventually retire as a GM but once upon a time he was a mind f*** of a coach.
    Barry Trotz’s name keeps coming up as a possible new head coach here.

    It is very hard to gaze into a coaches future and guess what will be because they are only as good as the tools they are given and that remains true throughout their careers.

  13. oliveoilers says:

    Woodguy:
    Mike and Tyler have been doing some amazing work this year about what exactly is wrong with the Oilers.

    Mike’s latest is the influence of face offs on zone starts on corgis.

    Read this: http://www.boysonthebus.com/2014/05/05/the-influence-of-face-offs-and-zone-starts-on-corsi/

    And this:http://www.boysonthebus.com/2014/05/09/the-impact-of-winning-faceoffs-in-different-zones/

    Some interesting tweets from Mike:

    Michael Parkatti @mparkatti
    Maybe the biggest Corsi killer on the Oilers 2013-14 season? RNH’s neutral zone faceoff% of 41.0%. Gagner’s 42.8% also very, very poor.

    Michael Parkatti @mparkatti
    When you’re on the ice w/ RNH or Gagner starting in neutral ice, you basically spot the other team a 2-1 shot advantage.

    Michael Parkatti @mparkatti
    I’ll note that Arco’ NZFO% was 56.5%. Playing a season with Arco instead of RNH would increase your overall Corsi% by 5.3%.

    Michael Parkatti @mparkatti
    People were wondering why Arco’s WOWY’s were so damn good.Well, there’s a huge part of your answer. NZFO%.

    This was credible until:

    Michael Parkatti @mparkatti
    I’ll note that Arco’ NZFO% was 56.5%. Playing a season with Arco instead of RNH would increase your overall Corsi% by 5.3%.

    The numbers may say this, but it is an asinine comparison. And there is absolutely no guarantees that Arco improves your Corsi over an entire season INSTEAD of RNH, seeing as he found it hard to hit a cow’s ass with a banjo in front of the net. Arco is good, I get it. Should have had a better shot. But for Gagner, not RNH. I suppose it was only a matter of time before somebody started the process of comparing Arco to RNH. Why not change RNH out for Lander too, while we’re at it.

  14. oliveoilers says:

    VOR:
    Some coaches hit the ground running and some don’t. Dallas Eakins didn’t.

    On the other hand apparently coaching can be tough at the NHL level. Here are the records of some NHL coaches in their first full year of NHL coaching;

    19-41-18
    15-23-5
    29-44-9
    28-47-7

    I liked to ask which of these coaches you’d want coaching the Oilers?

    The answer is: all of them!

    Al Arbor could coach a bit.
    Ken Hitchcock still can I understand.
    Glen Sather may eventually retire as a GM but once upon a time he was a mind f*** of a coach.
    Barry Trotz’s name keeps coming up as a possible new head coach here.

    It is very hard to gaze into a coaches future and guess what will be because they are only as good as the tools they are given and that remains true throughout their careers.

    I wouldn’t have minded him hitting the ground at a gentle jog. Not ‘Scooby Doo has just opened a door and the monster is there’ scuttling of legs in one place.

  15. godot10 says:

    //How long was the Corgi running? Tyler Dellow tweeted out after 38 games: Last year, the Oilers had 12/48 games in which they won or tied the Corsi% Close. This year, it’s 16/38. 25% vs. 42%.//

    No eastern conference games last year. Plenty of eastern conference games this year.Can we compare apples with apples instead of apples with oranges.

    Abuse of statitistics. One has to use proper samples.

  16. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    the record needs a wrinkle.

    on the swarm. Eakins didn’t just abandon it (along with his snarky, “I thought we knew how to play defense” and “we changed it 7 games ago and you idiots didn’t notice”), he claimed they implemented it incorrectly.

    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/10/31/my-bad-edmonton-oilers-coach-dallas-eakins-admits-a-mistake-tries-to-correct-it/

    That is, ideally the swarm was meant to trigger once a forechecker with the puck or in a puck battle is pinned against the boards.

    In all other situations, some traditional form of defense was the agenda.

    The problem Eakins identified early was that the team was swarming too early, before a puck battle was successfully isolated.

    So, it’s not clear to me that the team was a successful example of “swarm defense” and then they switched plans. If Eakins was seeing something other than what he envisioned (regardless of results, though the two obviously go together), it seems likely he would have altered the plan at any rate.

    ————
    On the “turning the corner” narrative.

    We heard this a number of times throughout the season. Right?

    Pretty much every off-day conference when there was some introspection by the coach or GM, we heard something like “we seeing things turn around.”

    Later in the season, while saying the same thing, Eakins would go on to say, earlier in the year he had to say that even though the team was in the tank…

    So, what am I saying here?

    I think the verbal on “we’re turning the corner” is a combination of the following:

    “cynical mouthing for benefit of the team’s confidence and to keep the media at bay”

    “wishful thinking; psychological trickery… some part of them probably believes it in the moment”

    “misjudgment by relative association” — we have a tendency to misread past events relative to present ones as we overweight one vs. the other.

    all of which is to say… sure, it’s a troubling thing to hear when the results simply aren’t there… but there’s no reason to suspect these things won’t auto-correct over the Summer.

  17. TheOtherJohn says:

    Eagerly await the off season. We will see what addictions are made to the roster. Presumably those moves will be made with the input of Eakins. Less Fraser’s, Gadzics & Actons and more guys who can carry the play. Less talk about possession and more play where your team has possession of the puck. Less frings NHL’ers that you coached in the AHL and more guys who can actually play.

    More Arcobello and less Lander & Acton.

    Eakins has gotten a do over. Get it right because it could not be any worse than last year

    The Oilers got substandard goaltending in October. Not November. Not December. October.

  18. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: all of which is to say… sure, it’s a troubling thing to hear when the results simply aren’t there… but there’s no reason to suspect these things won’t auto-correct over the Summer.

    One clear example of this.

    MacT’s interview with Staples.

    MacT talks about how great it is that Hall is dumping the puck in more as we all are seeing how destructive the same change has been.

    In short order, Eakins comes out and discusses how they’ve got Hall over-commited to dump ins and Hall’s numbers spike in the final 3rd of the games.

    That’s like a 2 week period, where you see statements made definitively and publicly that provide red flags in terms of results… which work themselves out.

  19. Lowetide says:

    TheOtherJohn:
    Eagerly await the off season. We will see what addictions are made to the roster.

    I love this turn of phrase.

  20. DeadmanWaking says:

    Decisions made after the engine throws a rod are different than when the season continues to matter. My calendar went October, November, October again. The missing pages mean very little to me in evaluating Eakins for the long run. In between first October and second October was the longest page-turn in living memory. It’s a bad sign when summer is the shorter half. But so what?

    I also think that “rookie” gets too much work. In a sense every new coach is a rookie coach simply because he hasn’t worked with the guys. Relationships aren’t built in a day. He was also a novice head coach at the NHL level. I don’t think this impacts decision making as directly as normally portrayed. With a very demanding job like NHL head coach, there’s an art involved in managing your time and energy (and sleep). I think that has a lot to do with the growing pains. I think people often fluff experience into a mystical thing. Which part of pucks and people does Eakins lack, experience-wise?

    Adapting to playing a pivotal role in a higher grade of pressure cooker is another matter.

    I also don’t think a head coach can implement any form of significant change during the regular season. There’s just too much going on and no time to fit it in. You can teach better habits. But this kind of like changing half a golf swing. He’s got the exit interview, the off-season training program, and training camp to put the rest of the swing back together again.

    I didn’t like the way Eakins arrived at all. I simply don’t think you can crank NHL-level athletes up to eleven as a team fitness policy. Drawing a hard line in the sand at fitness level 9.8 is another matter. Some individuals have superior training recovery. Those guys (the Chara types) can simply train harder to good effect. This is primarily what taking steroids accomplishes: decrease training recovery times. They don’t improve your ability to spot the seam as the pitch rotates over the top. (John Henry was singing “practice makes perfect” right up until his heart exploded. Practice makes perfect, but it also destroys rotator cuffs.)

    I watched just about every Eakins post-game interview for the entire season. I see the same foundation of consistent messaging that MacT sees. Eakins actually grew on me as the losing got worse.

    I wish there had been more verbal around the Smid trade. What were they thinking? But unfortunately, Wikipedia biography of living persons. They can’t hold up Smid’s advanced stats MRI in public in order to discuss his tumour. I’m inclined to regard that trade as over-valuing Brossoit rather than undervaluing Smid. I don’t think Smid fit into the habits Eakins wanted to teach about turning the puck around. MacT wanted Brossoit and Smid was already on a summer TODO list that was scary long. Why dither? It’s quite possible that MacT believes that nothing accelerates the development of your minor-league defensemen more than solid goal tending. So easy to develop bad habits covering for a keeper you don’t trust, at any level.

    I’m cautiously optimistic that Eakins is himself more of an off season bobble-head than a bubble head.

  21. Woodguy says:

    oliveoilers: This was credible until:

    Michael Parkatti @mparkattiI’ll note that Arco’ NZFO% was 56.5%. Playing a season with Arco instead of RNH would increase your overall Corsi% by 5.3%.

    The numbers may say this, but it is an asinine comparison.And there is absolutely no guarantees that Arco improves your Corsi over an entire season INSTEAD of RNH, seeing as he found it hard to hit a cow’s ass with a banjo in front of the net.Arco is good, I get it.Should have had a better shot.But for Gagner, not RNH.I suppose it was only a matter of time before somebody started the process of comparing Arco to RNH.Why not change RNH out for Lander too, while we’re at it.

    You could have shortened your post by saying:

    “I’m going to come to conclusion based on nothing and I won’t read the two posts that were linked that shows all the work behind the results”

  22. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Ca$h-Money!: Horak shows real promise

    according to Stauffer he may be off to the KHL.

  23. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Chesswizadry: Wasn’t Eakins being interviewed – including by the Oilers – by other teams for consideration as an Assistant Coach only?

    rumor had it the Nucks were looking hard at him for the head coaching job.

  24. oliveoilers says:

    Woodguy: You could have shortened your post by saying:

    “I’m going to come to conclusion based on nothing and I won’t read the two posts that were linked that shows all the work behind the results”

    No. I should have shortened my post by remembering never to proffer an opinion on one of yours. Have your better offensive players take offensive zone face-offs and your better defensive players take your d-zone face-offs. Unless your offensive zone guys are useless, then whoever is the best at face-offs takes all of them. Who knew? Succinct enough?

    I recently completed a book recommended to me by RexLibris about consilient thinking. About how different conclusion can be reached by totally different methods and how it takes somebody who is a ‘consilient’ thinker to bring them all together. It also described how entirely the wrong conclusions may be drawn unwittingly by extremely intelligent people with exactly the same data. It is called ‘Ghost Maps” and I second Rex’s recommendation. It is the birth of advanced stats, but acknowledges that the stats mean nothing without the right person interpreting them.

  25. oliveoilers says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: rumor had it the Nucks were looking hard at him for the head coaching job.

    Yeah, I remember something to that effect. Which gave it the optics of hiring him to stop someone else getting him, not because he was the best option. Possibly.

  26. Hammers says:

    My biggest problem with Eakins was the way he talked about them or they , not we and us ..His arrogance is alive and well right up until the last game but the trouble is this is his personality when he really hasn’t proven anything . Swarm is one thing but when you say they don’t even know basic defence your insulting every coach these players ever had .The way Tambellini was Lowe’s biggest mistake I’m afraid Eakns may end up being McTavish’s biggest mistake . He supposedly joined the Oilers not reviewing any game film and wanted to make his own assesments . Most people going into a new job take from the old and then try to improve it .He went backwards by the records of many if not all last years players .

  27. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy: You could have shortened your post by saying:

    “I’m going to come to conclusion based on nothing and I won’t read the two posts that were linked that shows all the work behind the results”

    you miss the most confusing part of his post:

    oliveoilers: The numbers may say this, but it is an asinine comparison. And there is absolutely no guarantees that Arco improves your Corsi over an entire season INSTEAD of RNH, seeing as he found it hard to hit a cow’s ass with a banjo in front of the net.

    some kind of category error in here… corsi vs. shooting %… but maybe corsi vs shots

    at any rate, a category error.

  28. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    oliveoilers: Yeah, I remember something to that effect.Which gave it the optics of hiring him to stop someone else getting him, not because he was the best option.Possibly.

    possibly a factor, perhaps in the timing. but not the overriding one.

    MacT loved the dude, that seems obvious.

  29. steveb12344 says:

    Woodguy: You could have shortened your post by saying:

    “I’m going to come to conclusion based on nothing and I won’t read the two posts that were linked that shows all the work behind the results”

    Actually, wouldn’t it be more accurate if that statement read; Playing a season with Arco instead of RNH would increase your overall Corsi% by 5.3% on any plays that began with a NZFO.

    Are we to assume that in all other situations, playing with Arco as opposed to Nuge is a push?

  30. Marcus Oilerius says:

    Reading this thread makes me think of Dr. Strangelove.

    I need some sort of black comedy therapeutic movie, titled Dr. Strangelowe: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Old Boys Club.

  31. thejonrmcleod says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Perhaps another motive for the “turning the corner” narrative was maintaining job security.

  32. RexLibris says:

    oliveoilers,

    Glad you liked the book.

    Suffice to say, this season feels like the “rice water” phase directly presaging imminent death.

    Now, if we could only locate that damned pump handle and put this nasty business behind us.

    I’d also recommend Damned Lies and Statistics by Joel Best. I read it two or three years ago and it was excellent. Absolutely excellent.

  33. HiddenDarts says:

    Alright, so he’s arrogant. I get it. If the record looked anything like Colorado’s, we’d be saying best coach ever. Problem is that arrogance and prickishness look even worse on a loser. Like an ill-fitting tie-dye dress on a morbidly obese lady.

    My real fear here is that he’s just a baby Carlyle. Look at the shambles that the Leafs are in, and then recall that Carlyle (from some interview or other) was “one of his biggest influences”. I have no idea if they even COLLECT advanced stats on Marlie games, but if they do, we could probably make some conclusions.

    It’s one thing to talk possession, and it’s one thing to GET POSSESSION. It’s one thing to change on the fly, and it’s another thing to get results from those changes.

    We’re just not seeing it.

  34. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    thejonrmcleod:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Perhaps another motive for the “turning the corner” narrative was maintaining job security.

    I thought that was covered off by the cynical comment?

  35. Clay says:

    It’ll be interesting to see how next season unfolds, and specifically how much rope Eakins has left. I got the feeling that the one an only reason Eakins still has his job is because of the “we’ve fired too many coaches recently” logic.

    What will constitute an acceptable start next year? If the team is out of the playoffs by November, does he still have diplomatic immunity because the Oilers have turned over too many coaches?

    In my mind, MacT better be willing to let Eakins have another full season, and the record be damned, or else he’s selling this team short again. Because if he isn’t 100% committed to this, the time to interview and hire a new coach is this summer, not next November. The summer is when the real candidates are available, and in November we’ll be re-treading Mike Keenan or some B.S. like that.

    Of course, the Oilers fan/skeptic in me believes Eakins will fail again next year (he’s done absolutely nothing to make me believe otherwise), and that means the alarm clock will click over to 6:00 am AGAIN, with Sonny and Cher singing in the background.

  36. Zangetsu says:

    What do you guys think of signing trotz as either assistant coach or scout? We could then give Eakins another chance, and if he brings more bad we insert trotz. That’s what happened with quenneville in chicago. At some point I think we have to fire a coach midseason, so we don’t send the players the message, “we give up” by december.

  37. cabbiesmacker says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: rumor had it the Nucks were looking hard at him for the head coaching job.

    Which is a damn good reason to do a 180 and run from a similar thought pattern.

    Oilers hired the wrong guy for THIS group of players when a more suitable solution was right under their noses.

    But this is the Edmonton Oilers we’re talking about. Fumbling Towards Ecstasy. Boldly.

  38. TheOtherJohn says:

    DMW

    Do not agree with your coment that a coach cannot make a difference in season. If a head coach cannot make a difference in season how did Philly make the playoffs after its horrific start? When we played them on November 9th they were 5-9 and dead in the water. They beat us, as did everyone, but they ended up 42 30 10. At the time we played Philly we were a horrific 4-11-1….because Oilers ….we ended up 29 44 9.

  39. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    cabbiesmacker: Oilers hired the wrong guy for THIS group of players when a more suitable solution was right under their noses.

    Nelson?

    just yesterday some were miffed at the idea that he would replace Eakins.

  40. godot10 says:

    Woodguy:
    Mike and Tyler have been doing some amazing work this year about what exactly is wrong with the Oilers.

    Mike’s latest is the influence of face offs on zone starts on corgis.

    Read this: http://www.boysonthebus.com/2014/05/05/the-influence-of-face-offs-and-zone-starts-on-corsi/

    And this:http://www.boysonthebus.com/2014/05/09/the-impact-of-winning-faceoffs-in-different-zones/

    Some interesting tweets from Mike:

    Michael Parkatti @mparkatti
    Maybe the biggest Corsi killer on the Oilers 2013-14 season? RNH’s neutral zone faceoff% of 41.0%. Gagner’s 42.8% also very, very poor.

    Michael Parkatti @mparkatti
    When you’re on the ice w/ RNH or Gagner starting in neutral ice, you basically spot the other team a 2-1 shot advantage.

    Michael Parkatti @mparkatti
    I’ll note that Arco’ NZFO% was 56.5%. Playing a season with Arco instead of RNH would increase your overall Corsi% by 5.3%.

    Michael Parkatti @mparkatti
    People were wondering why Arco’s WOWY’s were so damn good.Well, there’s a huge part of your answer. NZFO%.

    The twitter commentary demonstrates a lack of understanding that correlation does not necessarily mean causation.

    It is far more likely hypothesis that the quality of the opposition facing Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Mark Arcobello played was the cause of the correlation between his neutral zone faceoff percentage and his Corsi.

    MacT in a post season PC demonstrated a similar lack of understanding that correlation does not necessarily mean causation.

  41. cabbiesmacker says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Nelson?

    just yesterday some were miffed at the idea that he would replace Eakins.

    Some? Maybe “SOME” have no idea what they’re talking about.

    What exactly had the guy done to deserve the messiah designation? His credentials were no better than Nelson’s at the time of his hiring but of course the Oiler’s are the boldest and smartest group of managers out there so…

    I’d like to see the results of a secret vote between J Schultz, Hall, RNH and Eberle on which they’d like to have behind the bench. Now that’d be interesting.

  42. LostBoy says:

    Zangetsu:
    What do you guys think of signing trotz as either assistant coach or scout? We could then give Eakins another chance, and if he brings more bad we insert trotz. That’s what happened with quenneville in chicago. At some point I think we have to fire a coach midseason, so we don’t send the players the message, “we give up” by december.

    Quenneville wasn’t hired as an assistant coach by Chicago. He was hired as a scout then made head coach four games into the season. He never really missed a beat as an NHL head coach aside from that four game blip.

    [Edit: I see you mentioned scout. Trotz isn't going to sign anywhere as a scout or assistant - he's a virtual lock to get one of the open head coach jobs, might well have his choice.]

  43. LostBoy says:

    Rondo:
    Eakins is an inexperienced coach who for what ever reason has not helped the team. Contrast that with another young coach Jon Cooper.Something is wrong. I realize the last thing Oilers want to do is fire a coach. A bold move would beforMactto correct the direction of Oilers and hire Barry Trotz asthe head coach and Todd Nelson who has history with Trotz an assistant coach.

    At the very least they should interview Trotz and pick his brain regarding what is wrong with the Oilers.

    I already banged the drum on this, but THIS, yes please. It just makes too much sense. Trotz can develop young defensemen in his sleep. We have three blue chip prospect D and might yet add another. He never had any offensive critical mass in Nashville, just never had the horses, had to make do with Legwand as the franchise C and the likes of Erat and Hornqvist, tweeners on any team with decent offensive depth, as first line W.

    Chicago, on the launch pad, didn’t hesitate when they had Quenneville available, even if it made Kane cry on TV.

    It’ll never happen, obviously. Eakins, because…just because. We’ve fired too many coaches!

  44. Henry says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Nelson?

    just yesterday some were miffed at the idea that he would replace Eakins.

    The OKC record with truly amazing player turnover the past three seasons make Nelson look pretty good. I also came away impressed with Nelson in the series of interviews Jon Willis published about a month ago either in the EJ or ON. Getting Nelson on board was one of the few good moves by Tambi. Finding a way to keep him in OKC to further develop the D along with Yakimov etc is a real challenge for MacT.

    I wonder if he’d be interested in coaching the Oilers D and PK though.

  45. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    cabbiesmacker: Some? Maybe “SOME” have no idea what they’re talking about.

    What exactly had the guy done to deserve the messiah designation? His credentials were no better than Nelson’s at the time of his hiring but of course the Oiler’s are the boldest and smartest group of managers out there so…

    I’d like to see the results of a secret vote between J Schultz, Hall, RNH and Eberle on which they’d like to have behind the bench. Now that’d be interesting.

    be reasonable. no one is saying Eakins is the messiah.

    Likewise anyone wildly under/over-rating Nelson is missing the mark.

    Nelson would be a reasonable NHL HC hire. But, he’s not anywhere near a slam dunk as a hire, let along as a success.

    As JW pointed out the other day, the coaching market is flooded and Nelson is well down the list (which isn’t to say he would be an unreasonable hire).

  46. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Henry: The OKC record with truly amazing player turnover the past three seasons make Nelson look pretty good.I also came away impressed with Nelson in the series of interviews Jon Willis published about a month ago either in the EJ or ON.Getting Nelson on board was one of the few good moves by Tambi.Finding a way to keep him in OKC to further develop the D along with Yakimov etc is a real challenge for MacT.

    I wonder if he’d be interested in coaching the Oilers D and PK though.

    I’m very impressed with Nelson. But we need to temper expectations about what he could accomplish as an NHL head coach, or assistant and what the market views him as.

  47. Lowetide says:

    I’m loving the comments section for the management guys. Can’t WAIT for the next group!!! :-)

  48. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    When you have a team of largely inexperienced or rookie players you don’t compound the issue with putting in rookie on ice leadership. The man drowned, the team drowned, it was a shambles. Yet, with this hindsight knowledge we charge forward with hope as our strategy. I’m not optimistic but what’s ahead and what it means for setting us back at an in opportune time – like 30 games in.

  49. Henry says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I’m very impressed with Nelson. But we need to temper expectations about what he could accomplish as an NHL head coach, or assistant and what the market views him as.

    Sure, tempering expectations is something I have become expert at particularly regarding the Oilers.

    Still, Nelson was a D man and he has brought Petry, Marincin and Klefbom to the show. I’d like to see him get a shot as the OIlers’ D assistant.

    Regarding Eakins, the start of the year was chaos, disappointment and anger for everyone. Once they settled down and started communicating, the results were better though the possession game was poor. Very good play by Scrivins and Fasth covered for a bad and dejected hockey team, much as poor goaltending overshadowed a mediocre hockey team early.

    Despite spending the last 20 games in their D end, I think that Eakins is smart and can alter his tactics as the personnel changes to correct some of the defects. Dellow’s fascinating recent series on offensive zone faceoff losses to me boils down to ‘an aggressive forecheck pays off in corsi and goals.’ and its corollary ‘The Oilers can’t trap worth a damn.’ Correctible.

    Eakins biggest failure to me is the poor power play. They can’t ask for better personnel. They couldn’t gain the zone between game 45 and 75. When the did it was static. This is coaching and he needs help. Kruegar had problems in the possession game that he didn’t get a chance to work out, but he ran a nice powerplay for Renney then himself. This needs serious study over the summer.

  50. VanOil says:

    I was catching up on my NFL draft reading today. The juxtaposition of the views on LTs least favorite coach, Pete Carol, and Eakins abilities are amusing.

    The good news for Oilers fans is that Carol started poorly as a Pro coach. The bad news is it took a long time for him to get it right. It also helps if the coach and GM share a vision. We can assume Eakins and MacT share a vision because of the abrupt hiring of Eakins for a job that was not vacant. But for two men who are acclaimed communicators with the press can any one tell me what there vision is for the Oilers?

  51. Andy P says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I’m very impressed with Nelson. But we need to temper expectations about what he could accomplish as an NHL head coach, or assistant and what the market views him as.

    Hey Rom,

    I don’t think any coach will ever succeed with these assistants. If they stay for next season then Eakins is gone, if he gets his own assistants he may still falter, in which case I’m not sure many people will be ready to put their careers at risk by working for Eakins when he is under the gun life this. So all in all I think Eakins is pretty much toast, it’s just how long it takes the Oil toaster to pop him.

    Anyone even considering taking over the Oil HC position – Barry Trotz and Todd Nelson included – would be foolish not to insist on their own assistants.

    While Trotz is obviously a star candidate, I think Nelson, even without his NHL HC experience, he has credibility with the players, and were he able to pick his own assistants, would give the Oil a very good chance, if not the best chance, a very good chance, considering what he has done with OKC.
    fwiw

  52. Andy P says:

    Well Oiled and Enthusiastic:
    When you have a team of largely inexperienced or rookie players you don’t compound the issue with putting in rookie on ice leadership. The man drowned, the team drowned, it was a shambles. Yet, with this hindsight knowledge we charge forward with hope as our strategy. I’m not optimistic but what’s ahead and what it means for setting us back at an in opportune time – like 30 games in.

    Except that Eakins had veteran assistants that were either incompetent or hung him out to dry.
    You think they should be here next season?

  53. bendelson says:

    “You don’t throw the coach away because of a poor rookie season, especially since the organization has been throwing away coaches annually since 2009.”

    …Ralph sends a friendly and highly motivating ‘hello’…

    “So you do care, but the big issue was not sticking to the plan? Yes. Dallas Eakins and Craig MacTavish altered course and believe the last 20 games showed progress. I think the Dellow quote above showed where the progress lies, not the last 20 games of the season.”

    “What does Dallas Eakins need to return with? A large dollop of good sense, and the courage of his convictions. Fresh from a good night’s sleep.”

    LT: With a well rested Eakins, are you advocating a return to the Swarm this fall?

    The Swarm 2: This time we mean it!
    The Swarm 2: Bigger, Faster, Stronger!
    The Swarm 2: Fucking Rookies!
    maybe… The Swarm 2: Return of the Marlies!
    or perhaps my favourite… The Swarm 2: Electric Bugaloo!

  54. godot10 says:

    VanOil:

    The good news for Oilers fans is that Carol started poorly as a Pro coach. The bad news is it took a long time for him to get it right. It also helps if the coach and GM share a vision. We can assume Eakins and MacT share a vision because of the abrupt hiring of Eakins for a job that was not vacant. But for two men who are acclaimed communicators with the press can any one tell me what there vision is for the Oilers?

    Pete Carroll did NOT start off poorly as a professional head coach. (He was a very successful and highly regarded defensive coordinator in the pro ranks).

    With the Jets, as a rookie head coach he started out 6-5, and the season turned on the Dan Marino fake spike, and the team finished 6-10. The Jets got absolutely horrid the two seasons after he left.

    In New England, he won the division title his first season, the the wild-card playoff in the second of his three seasons.

    So in 4 years in his first two stints as an NFL head coach, he made the playoffs in two of the first three years.

    With the Jets, he was victim to the idiots in ownership, and in New England, he was felled by ownerships “fatal attraction” to Belichek.

  55. freedomisamyth says:

    I think one of the most depressing aspects of this season for me is how it turned the most level headed blogger around, LT, into one of the depressed cynics, which depresses me because I’d personally much rather talk about things without inane cynical comments like ‘because oilers’.

    There’s a lot of narrative in this article that mainly comes down to deciding a lot is Eakins’ fault, without a whole lot of evidence. (disclaimer: I’m not an Eakins fan boy covering for him. I like the things he says, and he seems like a smart guy, but the results show he is no super coach yet. That being said, I don’t believe that means he is a bad coach either. He needs more time to determine that one way or another).

    1. The narrative that these guys are delusional, incompetent, or blowing smoke when they were saying they thought the team was turning a corner near the end of the season. The evidence given for this is the fact that the team was still being outshot an awful lot. But that doesn’t mean that they didn’t turn the corner in ways that MacT and Eakins might have been actually referring to. I’m too lazy to go back through the pressers but I seem to remember Eakins talking about their systems play and habits mainly in his talks. Now, you sure could make the argument: “Well if those had turned the corner, shouldn’t you have seen results?”, and that’s a perfectly good argument, but there are other possible reasons for that as well:
    - mainly playing better teams that they don’t have the personnel to compete with still
    - morale and confidence still low after the long and shitty season
    - injuries
    - the teams they are playing having perfected their systems through the season while the Oilers were still trying to figure out the basics.
    - still not playing the entire system. Eakins himself said near the end of the season that the last step they needed to add in was the aggression aspect, so obviously they didn’t have it down pat yet. Doesn’t mean they didn’t have a turn around in some aspects.

    I’m not trying to make excuses here, but taking a quote and judging based on very narrow criteria isn’t a great way to seek truth.

    2. The narrative that Eakins didn’t stick to his guns on the swarm and abandoned his plan and that was a mistake because their Corsi went down after, and this shows that he doesn’t ‘have the courage of his posession convictions’. There are a lot of assumptions in this argument and logical errors.

    First off, when did changing your mind when something isn’t working become a bad thing? The Eakins Hate Crew always bash him for being inflexible and arrogant, and yet admitting what he was doing wasn’t working and changing things is a bad thing?

    Secondly, you use the positive Corsi for the early parts of the season as evidence that he made the wrong decision, but I question using that as evidence of anything. First: small sample size. The teams they are playing make a huge difference and one very strong game skews the numbers a lot. Second: early in the season. Most teams aren’t exactly playing the top of their game, or have their systems locked down. Also, since they hadnt started losing yet, morale and confidence was at the high point of the season. Third: You are attributing one single thing to account for the stats, with 0 evidence for it, other than rough timing.

    3. The narrative that Eakins and MacT abandoned possession hockey for ‘grittitude’ because of Sam Gagner getting hit in the face with a stick. This is not a binary decision. You need both. They may have determined that getting someone to backup the kids that they believe are easily intimidated was more useful in the long run than a 4th line player who may be a better player, but still may only make a 5 goal difference in the season.

    4. “How in God’s name he remained stubborn with that damn 1-3-1 power play is beyond me”. In a lost season, I’d personally prefer he make the right long term decision even if it means short term pain as the players figure it out. They’ve used pretty much the same power play for years, so changing things up is always going to make things worse before it gets better. I agree with Eakins though that their old power play had been figured out and was too easily defended.

    5. “Hall at center”. I have no idea why trying this out for 2 games when your number 1 center would have been mark arcobello without it, is somehow a disasterous idea. As soon as he got another center, he ditched it.

    6. “punish the Russian kid for never having played Roger Nielson hockey”. This may be the narrative I hear that bothers me the most (along with the parallel idea that Yak was being unfairly targeted). Yak needs to learn to play the game the right way. It’s that simple. A coach has to use every tool he has, to get things through to a player. That sometimes includes press box visits. This does not mean he’s being punished for the fact that he doesn’t know how to ‘play roger nielson hockey’. This means he’s being taught not only ‘how’ to do it, but TO DO IT. Is he supposed to just let Yak roam around, piling up goals against because he’s not doing what he’s supposed to do? What was the ‘right’ solution here that Eakins didn’t do? What he did seemed to work in my eyes. Yak was the worst player on the team besides Gadzic for the first month of the season, and after some coaching, he was a much much much improved player. The difference from the first month of the season to the 3rd was like he was a whole new player. Just because people like Yak means that automatically Eakins is a joke and is unfair to poor Yak when he benches him, even though he was doing nothing offensively and doing worse than nothing defensively, yet when Eberle doesn’t have a strong game people are all over HIM even though he’s scoring at a 60 point pace? good grief, talk about double standard.

    There’s probably more I could complain about, but I’ve been crochety enough ahah. It just really bothers me when earnest discussion gets badly colored by bias enduced by frustration over results.

  56. godot10 says:

    I doubt Nelson would accept a demotion to being an assistant. It would mean giving up his dreams to be a head coach. Eakins was so awful his first season, that agreeing to be his assistant, and tie your future to his ability to head coach is a highly risky proposition. It Nelson chooses the assistant route, I figure he signs on to be Trotz’s assistant, whereever Trotz’ lands. But I expect his preference is 1) NHL head coaching job 2) AHL head coaching job somewhere other than OKC 3) AHL head coaching job in OKC 4) NHL assistant coach to a proven NHL coach

    And when Eakins gets fired (by Christmas, I expect), the next coach will have to have NHL experience.

    Brent Sutter, I expect.

  57. jake70 says:

    Scrivens and Marincin playing on TSN – WCs. Marincin was involved in a scrum in front of Scrivens, when Scrivens noticed it was him you could see a smirk through the mask, then he started giving him a couple of jabs with the stick…funny.

  58. Lowetide says:

    They’re both playing well.

  59. sliderule says:

    They bring in Eakins to interview for assistant job and promptly hire as head coach.Only oilers.

    Eakins promptly disappears except for an occasional sighting at a marathon.Obviously you need to rest to clear the mind for the job ahead..Only oilers.

    Eakins agrees to keep all the oiler assistants despite teams failures.Only oilers.

    Eakins comes to camp and starts Swarm defence..as he was to busy clearing his mind and as a result couldn’t watch film he discovers oiler players dont know defence.Only oilers.

    Eakins want to put his brand on team and makes player of the game wear a military battle jacket much to their embarrassment.He then throws all the old oiler memorabilia in the dumpster..Oh dear oilers.

    It will be a miracle if this guy lasts past thanksgiving.

  60. Barcs says:

    Every time I see Marty play I’m amazed he only picked up 6 points in 44 games. He definitely has offensive ability.

  61. Rebilled says:

    Lowetide,

    “The Swarm! Almost forgot.’

    Only Bizarro World Lowetide would forget the swarm.

    It was the Season of the Swarm.

  62. Barcs says:

    Marincin with Player of the Game!

  63. Rebilled says:

    Benny and Marty with solid games today.

  64. Hammers says:

    Barcs: Marincin with Player of the Game!

    Yea but look at his game . showed an offensive flair that we don’t see plus he logged a lot of minutes .McT better not trade this kid .He should be part of the future .

  65. flyfish1168 says:

    JMHO. Talking about Eakins is a touchy subject. If anyone has read some of my previous post about Eakins you probably know how I feel. I’m in the camp that he did a terrible job, but he was handicapped. Ralph asked for help with having another coach by his side and got fired instead. I think this should have signaled MacT that a 1st year NHL coach can’t handle it on his own and should have given Eakins an NHL experience coach to help aid him. Eakins went wrong by coming in unprepared 1) never watch videos of previous years to know each player 2)Not knowing what systems were run previous years so he would get a better understanding of each players knowledge. I feel it’s important to come prepared for work and he was far from that.
    When Eakins was hired we keep hearing his strengths are, working with young players and being able to communicate with them. As the season progressed I saw more of a person that was not great at communicating with his players and the media. All too often it was someone’s fault or the previous coach not teaching the correct thing. Blame Blame Blame so when is it time to look in the mirror to see the real you. All too often I question his approach on pointing or signalling a player out. These are signs of a coach that is impatient and when you are impatient you can’t be a good teacher. Too many players throughout the year seem to have lost their confidence. My approach is to communicate in a way to build your confidence and that is what Ralph was good at. Build a player up, don’t tear them down and expect to be able to rebuild their confidence in short order, this can take years.
    Eakins without a doubt is knowledgeable. But does he have right stuff and approach to get to the end goal. To me Coaching is like managing people. It has changed a lot over the years. It is shown people don’t like the heavy handed approach.
    I would like to see MacT hire Eakins a NHL experience coach and run with it at least another 40 games. See if he has learnt anything from his 1st year and be able to adapt. I don’t expect to make the playoffs but at least be in contention. JMHO.

  66. Numenius says:

    flyfish1168: I would like to see MacT hire Eakins a NHL experience coach and run with it at least another 40 games. See if he has learnt anything from his 1st year and be able to adapt. I don’t expect to make the playoffs but at least be in contention. JMHO.

    Hiring other coaches is Eakins’ call to make, McT has said, not his.

    If I were Eakins, I wouldn’t want McT looking for an assistant for me.

  67. Lowetide says:

    Numenius: Hiring other coaches is Eakins’ call to make, McT has said, not his.

    If I were Eakins, I wouldn’t want McT looking for an assistant for me.

    This. All Day. the entire asst coaching bitch session began because people don’t listen.

  68. elpolodiablo says:

    freedomisamyth,

    The coach has 3 number one overall draft picks, if anyone of them take a step back in development, and the team has not improved markedly in the standings, makes the coach suspect bottom line. If Yakupov is traded or continues to flounder Eakins never has another NHL job again. Mactavish never gets another GM job again bottom line. Very simple equation. The ship needs to be turned around quickly no excuses

  69. НИНТЕНДО⁶⁴ says:

    Nearest WHL pair would be Oil Kings & Flin Flon 69,70,71.

  70. flyfish1168 says:

    Numenius: Hiring other coaches is Eakins’ call to make, McT has said, not his. If I were Eakins, I wouldn’t want McT looking for an assistant for me.

    I did hear MacT presser commenting about it being Eakins call. But lets think for a second, MacT, Klowe, and Katz are all pretty opinionated people. . I would find it hard to believe there wouldn’t be a comment or suggestion made. Tough to not listen to your bosses. I would not doubt for a second MacT has a plan B on the coaching at around the 40 game mark if things don’t work out. JMHO

  71. gcw_rocks says:

    VOR,

    I think the difference is all of the coaches were hired at a time when learning on the job cost the team little.

    After seven years out of the playoffs the Oilers were expected to make significant improvements this year. They really couldn’t afford the risk.

    I posted this previously, but if you assume this was year four of a six year rebuild ending with a Cup contender, then the Oilers should have been shooting for around 100 points this year, up from an expected 82 point pace in year three. This is based on averages from the last eight Cup finalists, excluding last year because both teams were returnees. Given the team was slightly of pace in year three, they should have been focused on proven talent in both players and coaching, not gambles.

    If the points curve of the last eight finalists is any indication, the oilers finished about 36 points off there expected pace. The rebuild is in serious trouble, and Eakins is a contributor to the failure.

  72. gcw_rocks says:

    Lowetide,

    The question then is, does Eakins have the balls to fire his assistants after his bosses ringing endorsement?

  73. meanashell11 says:

    6. “punish the Russian kid for never having played Roger Nielson hockey”. This may be the narrative I hear that bothers me the most (along with the parallel idea that Yak was being unfairly targeted). Yak needs to learn to play the game the right way. It’s that simple. A coach has to use every tool he has, to get things through to a player. That sometimes includes press box visits. This does not mean he’s being punished for the fact that he doesn’t know how to ‘play roger nielson hockey’. This means he’s being taught not only ‘how’ to do it, but TO DO IT. Is he supposed to just let Yak roam around, piling up goals against because he’s not doing what he’s supposed to do? What was the ‘right’ solution here that Eakins didn’t do? What he did seemed to work in my eyes. Yak was the worst player on the team besides Gadzic for the first month of the season, and after some coaching, he was a much much much improved player. The difference from the first month of the season to the 3rd was like he was a whole new player. Just because people like Yak means that automatically Eakins is a joke and is unfair to poor Yak when he benches him, even though he was doing nothing offensively and doing worse than nothing defensively, yet when Eberle doesn’t have a strong game people are all over HIM even though he’s scoring at a 60 point pace? good grief, talk about double standard.

    There’s probably more I could complain about, but I’ve been crochety enough ahah. It just really bothers me when earnest discussion gets badly colored by bias enduced by frustration over results.

    See, I don’t have a problem if he was just using tools to help Yak, but constantly throwing him under the bus, blaming losses on him for a mistake when the game was already lost is a bit ridiculous. As far as I am concerned this guy lost the room at that moment. Yak is a better man than I, I would never forgive him for that BS.

  74. whiskeytangoeberle says:

    elpolodiablo,

    Who is Bottom Line? And why is the coach suspicious of him? And what, did they run out of periods at the stupid things to say store?

    Dear freedomisamyth, I may be late to lunch on this one but I have never seen you post here before, thanks for contributing. That looks like a lot of typing, are your fingers sore? I would like to offer my opinion.

    Kicking against the hive mind ’round here doesn’t seem to improve the condition of the nest, unfortunately. That long line of men brandishing pitchforks on their way to Sam Nagger’s house because they read on the internets that his darn uncle was born with webbed toes will only offer you two possible replacements for your sincerity. “Leave and never come back”, or you can choose to adopt the common internet role of a chameleon psychopath goofy troll. The latter option may not be so bad, fell free to consult hunter1909 on the subject.

    Best of luck.

  75. WeirsBeard says:

    Lowetide:
    I’m loving the comments section for the management guys. Can’t WAIT for the next group!!!

    Is there an Ownership RE this year?

    May I start? When they try to move the statue, we melt it down into pitchfork points and storm the arena.

  76. cabbiesmacker says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: be reasonable. no one is saying Eakins is the messiah.

    Likewise anyone wildly under/over-rating Nelson is missing the mark.

    Nelson would be a reasonable NHL HC hire. But, he’s not anywhere near a slam dunk as a hire, let along as a success.

    As JW pointed out the other day, the coaching market is flooded and Nelson is well down the list (which isn’t to say he would be an unreasonable hire).

    Dude. He was appointed this teams messiah. Please see context def.

    Lets just call his hiring for what it was. The Oilers trying to be smarter than they are…again when there was a long list of candidates?

    I’ll ask again. What had Mr Eakins done (other than it seemed like a good idea at the time) to deserve the Oilers HC position. Was he even better than Krueger? By my eye Kreuger had as weak or a weaker team, no training camp, 48 games and a core that was one year younger. You don’t think HE could have pulled this last pathetic season out of his ass?

  77. Zangetsu says:

    LostBoy,

    Ya I knew he was a scout, but I foresaw a “We need assistants.” Obviously Trotz is a hot commodity, but I don’t think that means automatically he turns down a change in position. Maybe he sees an opportunity in edmonton. I don’t see a situation where Eakins isn’t on the hot seat by november (he’s a bad coach).

  78. Andy P says:

    The poor coaching will remain until the incompetents are replaced. Until that everything else is little more than farting into the wind.

    BTW The players and the HC’s have been replaced continually, not much remains in the way of constants.

  79. godot10 says:

    WeirsBeard: Is there an Ownership RE this year?

    May I start? When they try to move the statue, we melt it down into pitchfork points and storm the arena.

    Art gets moved all the time. Museums wouldn’t exist. Christie’s and Sotheby’s wouldn’t have a business.

    Maple Leaf Gardens is a Loblaw’s (a Superstore), and the Forum is a bunch of movie theatres, I think.

    Northlands had a generation to spruce up the area around the Coliseum, but they sat on their hands, and counted their money (distributed to their old boys’ clubs’ businesses), instead of invested in a larger vision.

    They literally watched as the neighborhood slowly became blighted. If they wanted to keep the statue, Northlands should have maintained the ‘hood.

  80. WeirsBeard says:

    godot10: Art gets moved all the time.Museums wouldn’t exist.Christie’s and Sotheby’s wouldn’t have a business.

    Maple Leaf Gardens is a Loblaw’s (a Superstore), and the Forum is a bunch of movie theatres, I think.

    Northlands had a generation to spruce up the area around the Coliseum, but they sat on their hands, and counted their money (distributed to their old boys’ clubs’ businesses), instead of invested in a larger vision.

    They literally watched as the neighborhood slowly became blighted.If they wanted to keep the statue, Northlands should have maintained the ‘hood.

    I was joking by picking up on LT’s sentiment that people were losing it on this thread.

  81. russ99 says:

    Rookie mistakes and inexperience don’t bother me, but it’s the arrogance and bullheadedness that do.

    The hallmark of a good manager is to be able to adjust to real-world conditions.

    Eakins didn’t do that, other than abandoning the swarm when it was obvious to everyone that it left a great big hole in the front of the crease – and of course easing on the dump for the skill lines once Dellow proved to everyone how embarrassingly ineffective it was.

    Yet, these are decisions more in line with saving face than actually helping the hockey club.

    Next year, I’d like to see a little humility and two new assistants that can help shore up his weaknesses in dealing with players, special teams and game day decisions.

    We’ll see…

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