RE 14-15 NAIL YAKUPOV: BIG YELLOW TAXI

It was a frustrating season for Nail Yakupov. After leading the team in goals as a rookie in 2012-13, Yakupov experienced a major change in coaching philosophy in moving from Ralph Krueger to Dallas Eakins. The result was myriad errant sorties, frustration from player and coach, benchings, healthy scratches and a predictable dive in shooting percentage in what can best be described as a period of transition.

 NAIL YAKUPOV 12-13

  • 5×5 points per 60: 2.20 (3rd among regular forwards)
  • 5×4 points per 60: 4.20 (5th among regular forwards)
  • Qual Comp: 7th toughest among regular forwards (second-third line opp)
  • Qual Team: 7th best teammates among regular forwards
  • Corsi Rel: -5.1(11th best among regular forwards, -15.22 CorsiON)
  • Zone Start: 51.1% (6th easiest among regular forwards)
  • Zone Finish: 51.0% (6th best among regular forwards)
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 81/20.99% (1st among F’s>70 shots)
  • Boxcars: 48, 17-14-31

NAIL YAKUPOV 13-14

  • 5×5 points per 60: 1.45 (5th among regular forwards)
  • 5×4 points per 60: 2.68 (7th among regular forwards)
  • Qual Comp: 7th toughest among regular forwards (second-third line opp)
  • Qual Team: 4th best teammates among regular forwards (second-line teammates)
  • Corsi Rel: 0.6 (9th best among regular forwards)
  • Corsi for % 5×5: 44.9
  • Corsi for % Rel 5×5: +0.8
  • Zone Start: 64.2% (easiest among regular forwards)
  • Zone Finish: 52.0% (best among regular forwards)
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 122/9% (5th among F’s>100 shots)
  • Boxcars: 63, 11-13-24

VOLLMAN SLEDGEHAMMER (CORSI REL)

hall sledge corsi rel

RE 13-14 REVIEW

PPG NAME GP G A PTS
.634 NAIL YAKUPOV RE 13-14 82 29 23 52
.381 NAIL YAKUPOV ACTUAL 13-14 63 11 13 24

 RE 14-15 PREVIEW

PPG NAME GP G A PTS
.583 NAIL YAKUPOV RE 14-15 72 21 21 42
 
  1. Ha! Pave paradise and put up a parking lot! Yeah, it’ll be a damn shame if they do it.
  2. Do you think they will? I’m absolutely convinced MacT and Eakins are smart men. And smart men are not going to waste a rare gem, it’s just the stupidest damn thing to do. So, no, I don’t think they will.
  3. But you’re concerned. Sure. You bet. Last season we saw the down side of a brilliant young player. I would have liked Eakins to feature Yak’s shot from the right-side high slot on the power play, and I do think it cost coach and player. It may also be true that the coach was using the power play as a carrot, and that’s a useful tool. However, all of that can be framed as part of the learning process if the next chapter involves success. This isn’t fatal, but there’s a concern.
  4. Will Yakupov ever have a complete skill set? You mean a complete two-way player? That isn’t his future, no. His future is a 40-goal trigger man for the rootinist tootinist hockey team on the planet.
  5. Maybe they’re doing the right thing breaking him down. Pave paradise and put up a parking lot.
  6. Playing well defensively is a big part of the NHL game.The big thing in today’s game is you have to be able forecheck and backcheck, and you have to have the puck. You can’t give the puck up. We don’t play in our zone, so there’s not much defending.  I’ve coached in three decades now and this stuff where they said Marian had to play in Jacques’s system is a bunch of bull-crap. The game’s changed. They think there’s defending in today’s game. Nah, it’s how much you have the puck. Teams that play around in their own zone think they’re defending but they’re generally getting scored on or taking face-offs and they need a goalie to stand on his head if that’s the way they play.” Darryl Sutter.
  7. So Yakupov can help? Good lord. High-end skill. Take and make a pass, he can shoot. Yakupov doesn’t have Hall’s speed and I don’t know that he’s going to be Eberle-like in tight. However, he can really pass and is a fine shooter.
  8. He’s the least valuable of the No. 1 overalls. See, that’s just a crazy way of looking at things. The Russian offers a unique set of elite skills to this team. Does Hall shoot like Yakupov? Does the Nuge?
  9. Well, why won’t he learn? I’ve never seen it expressed anywhere, but it seems his junior career (and possibly before) didn’t involve a lot of structure. Yakupov’s defensive role (he’s a winger) is not rocket science. I think the major concern of the coaching staff has to do with doing less solo work with the puck, to be honest.
  10. Can he pass? Brilliant passer.
  11. Why won’t he learn? He will.
  12. This is two years in, he’s so stubborn. The mind plays tricks on us. Yakupov was fine year one, led the team in goals and Ralph just let him loose. There was going to be a day of reckoning, and Dallas Eakins was charged with doing that thing. Give and go, pass the puck and be confident it’ll get back to you.
  13. Will Craig Ramsay help? Yes, I think so. It’s important (imo) not to frame Eakins as a bad guy here, he was more like the overwhelmed guy. He made plenty of mistakes, but someone like Ramsay can serve as sounding board, communications expert and idea factory.
  14. Are you confident both Eakins and Yakupov will have NHL success? Yes, fairly certain both will make their mark in the league.
  15. Will they do it in Edmonton? That’s the million dollar question.
  16. One of the things about this blog is that it fails to be realistic. You need to pick one of Eakins or Yakupov as the culprit in this relationship. It is probably both, stubborn behavior being universal in humans.
  17. You can’t have a coach who is right and a player who is right and get this past season. I’m not saying either is “right” and I acknowledge growing pains for both, but in my opinion giving both of them at least another season is central to Edmonton’s success.
  18. Why? Both of these men could be a big part of Edmonton’s next Stanley Cup.
  19. Don’t it always seem to go, you don’t know what  you’ve got ’till it’s gone? Yes.
  20. Your RE is more humble than last year. And Yakupov could make it look ridiculous. This is a very talented young man.
  21. Do you like him? Always have. Special and unique talent.
  22. He’s not like the others. I have no response to that. Everyone is different.
  23. Will he be difficult to sign next summer? No idea. His agent certainly has been vocal, suspect a lot of what happens in negotiations next summer will be impacted by performance this season.
  24. Will he flee back to Russia? We would do ourselves an immense favor by not demonizing these European kids. I haven’t seen any signs of flight from this kid since day one. It’s a ridiculous bit of nonsense. The word flee is inflammatory and juvenile.
  25. Will he saunter back to  Russia? I don’t think there’s any quit in this kid, and he’s plenty bona fide. Let’s see how this year goes before doing something rash.
  26. Why this song? It’s the easiest call in the group. The line “don’t it always seem to go, you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone” is like a black cloud on the horizon. If the Oilers blow this talent, well, there is no forgiveness.
  27. What if they traded him for full value? You and I will never agree on what full value is going to be, and the Oilers don’t have another Nail Yakupov on the roster. It’s a fool’s play. The Oilers drafted him, ventured into Russia and have continued to do it since the 2012 draft. They badly need the courage of their convictions.
  28. And you’re betting Craig MacTavish and Dallas Eakin have them? Yes.
  29. Won’t people be disappointed with 21 goals? Probably.
  30. Will you? No. It might be a blessing, if they can sign him to a more reasonable contract. I believe Nail Yakupov wants NHL success badly, and based on what we’re hearing about him this summer (he’s apparently ripped) his response to disappointment and frustration has been more determination. It takes no wisdom at all to go all-in on this guy. Finding Nail Yakupov’s role on this team might be the key to winning the Stanley Cup.

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137 Responses to "RE 14-15 NAIL YAKUPOV: BIG YELLOW TAXI"

  1. Lowetide says:

    On today’s Lowdown, 10 am on TSN 1260:

    10:05 Michael Parkatti, Boys on the Bus
    10:25 Kent Wilson, Flames Nation
    10:45 Guy Flaming, Pipeline Show
    11:00 Andrew Berkshire, Habs Eyes on the Prize

    Questions, comments 10-1260 or @Lowetide_

  2. Soup Fascist says:

    There seems to be a pattern here in many of your forecasts, that a big part of ANY success the Oilers may have as individuals and a team, is linked to Craig Ramsay. Let’s hope he is the mensch that we all appear to be making him out to be.

    Personally I think the key for Yak is on his back. #10 is just a better number than the #64 Bonsignore floated around in. As Gordie Howe said when he switched jerseys from #17 to #9 after his rookie season, “#17 is just too ‘heavy’”.

    #64 is just a stupid number for a hockey player.

    Yak with 30 plus this year.

  3. Pouzar says:

    Yak will be way faster with #10 and will score 27 goals doin it. :)

  4. Henry says:

    21G and 21A is reasonable for Yak. I’m expecting an unreasonable 28G 35A with a lot of those on the PP. Craig Ramsay should show Yak lots of footage of Mike Bossy finding the soft ice in the slot. On defense, he just has to move his feet, too much gliding. These are simple things to fix for a guy with that talent. Nobody complains about his work ethic.

    Trading a guy that will score 400 goals could make a GM an eventual trivia question.

  5. Kirby says:

    Pouzar:
    Yak will be way faster with #10 and will score 27 goals doin it.

    Is Nail actually switching to #10 this year? Or is this just what people want? I was browsing his twitter page and saw some tweets also referencing #10.

  6. russ99 says:

    Ramsay is key this year for a lot of reasons, and the biggest one is Yak.

    I hope the “tearing down” is done and the “building up” can start.

    Eakins needs to stop being so bullheaded about many things, most of all insane amounts of ice time wearing down his players, bottom six line usage and the lessons learned from last year about zone entry.

    Pushing Yak into being a player he’s not is going to have to stop for him to reach his maximum level of effectiveness.

  7. Pouzar says:

    Kirby: Is Nail actually switching to #10 this year? Or is this just what people want? I was browsing his twitter page and saw some tweets also referencing #10.

    Yup. He’s wearin #10 fo sho

  8. Kirby says:

    Pouzar: Yup. He’s wearin #10 fo sho

    Awesome. Was this announced anywhere? My google skills arre failing me currently.

  9. soup says:

    No fascism here – just Soup – all day, every day.

    Last year was my first back in the country in 5. First chance to watch hockey live other than short bursts during Christmas vacations. Watched the Oil every chance I got.

    I don’t know if it is related to the complete breakdown in confidence or an absolutely stubborn refusal, but I did not see a bunch in Yak to suggest that there is much to get excited about. No concept of team play. Almost no awareness of his position on the ice other than in the scoring zone. His understanding of what should be basic stuff is either nonexistent or flat out ignored.

    I get the love for the skill. Great shot, good skater, plays physical at times – got it. I’m just not sure it will ever translate to anything in the NHL.

    I hope that what I saw was indeed part of a total breakdown in confidence. I hope I’m totally wrong about my belief that this is going to turn out to be a terrible waste of a first overall. I will be the first to admit it should that turn out to be the case, and I will cheer like hell for him to prove me wrong all year.

  10. John Chambers says:

    Please keep Nail out of the Tree Museum

  11. sliderule says:

    I see a big second half of year for Yak.

    Whether it’s in Edmonton or some other City depends on whether Eakins is still coach.

  12. B S says:

    soup,

    Yak’s English isn’t great, and Eakin’s communications skills seemed to consist of yelling and getting sprayed with water then yelling.

    Add in the fact that Eakins was A) focused on systems last season (lots of complicated things to communicate), B) focused on systems that didn’t work at the start of last season (hard to get buy-in), and C) part way through the season switched to a different set of systems that haven’t worked since the last time the Toronto Maple Leafs *won the Stanley Cup, and it seems likely that Yakupov was incredibly confused (given the drop in scoring and increase in GA across the team he likely wasn’t the only one).

    It also seems that Yakupovs instruction prior to the majors consisted of “Get Puck”, and “Score.”

  13. B S says:

    sliderule,

    I’m hoping Eakins drops the arrogant prick act this season and tries to be an actual NHL coach. Craig Ramsay should help, but we won’t know until the season falls apart.

  14. FastOil says:

    I think Yak’s primary goal is to be an elite player at the top of the game. He seems too proud for less. I think he would go back, but only if he felt really done wrong by and nothing was going to change. He’s definitely here to succeed, I hope he can compromise enough to get it going.

    They have to get him settled and sorted. The look in that kid’s eyes. I want to see that unleashed on opponents. Laser beam, 1000 yard stare. He reminds me of Hall, dead certain determination to dominate, no fear.

  15. Hammers says:

    LT if last year was ” a period of transition ” this year had better be another transition . That goes for Yak & Eakins and if Ramsay only convinces Eakins of 1 thing lets hope it’s to let Yak spread his wings ( literally ) as he can play both . Your supposed to look at what you have in each player and get the best out of them and 21 goals would be a fail in his 3rd year . Yak has to be a 30+ goal scorer with a “C” who can watch his back . It isn’t about blame its about reality , this player doing what he can will help get us into the playoffs ( we are years away from Stanley ) and both Mac & Eakins better figure that out .

  16. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “Well, why won’t he learn? I’ve never seen it expressed anywhere, but it seems his junior career (and possibly before) didn’t involve a lot of structure. ”

    I remember going through a lot of old reports on Yak when Cox smeared him without any support:

    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2013/10/oilers-at-capitals-g6-13-14.html/comment-page-1#comment-259126

    The closest I found to his junior systems being none existent was a quote about Yak going out and having fun.

    Looking for that quote, I found another interesting one from Yak’s coach/gm in Sarnia:

    http://www.theobserver.ca/2011/09/07/sting-coach-hopes-to-put-lid-on-hype

    Naturally, this is the year Nail Yakupov, a 49-goal scorer last season, buries 60 and waltzes his way to the first overall pick in next summer’s NHL draft a la Steve Stamkos.

    “I don’t care if he scores 35 or 60,” Beaulieu said. “I want Nail to play the right way. Everyone has to come back on this team. Offensive players like to cheat (up in the play). That’s not what we want. If we have guys trying to beat defenders one-on-one all the time, it’s not going to work.

    “They’re all going to learn to play the right way.”

    So… maybe there was some structure there after all?

    One of the things this year that caught my eye was Goldobin, also Russian, also high scoring, as in Sarnia, also plagued with concerns about his over-all game… and I wondered if Sarnia was basically an anti-coaching realm…

    couldn’t say really, but this quote suggests that might not be the case.

  17. wintoon says:

    During my time as a fan I have had the honor of watching a number of gifted scorers (Robitaille, Bossy, Hull etc.). One player in particular was a gifted scorer. As a rookie and for his first couple of seasons he fell on his keister every time he went into the corners, did not have great moves, was not a sublime skater. What he always had was the ability to score and this made him very valuable and highly regarded. His name was Lanny MacDonald.

    None of these players mentioned above was a 200 foot hockey player. All of them had short comings but they all had incredible value on their respective teams. Yakupov is this type of player.To expect anything different of him is a mistake. He will score at the NHL level and he will have value. He is not Kurri, who was perhaps the best all round scorer of them all. He will however be valuable. He has a god given talent and the chops to work hard to achieve his goals if the coaching staff just finds a way to let him. The ultimate success of the Oilers need this to happen.

  18. Frank The Dog says:

    There are a few coaching reasons that should result in exponentially better team this year. Those reasons are more about addition by subtraction than Eakins or his new coaches.

    We all know last year’s Oil were a dysfunctional team. Nor does it take a rocket scientist to see that there was some level of internal discord.

    I’m sure most of us have been in toxic work situations where a new guy comes in as a manager of established supervisors/ foremen. In most cases those subordinates are holding the ship together. In this case the “foremen” were political appointees, men with no prior coaching experience over a team that had gone from bad to worse.

    Some of us also saw anecdotal evidence of one of the Assistants undermining Eakins.

    If Eakins behavior was in response to home feeling he was being undermined, and I’d wager the other dearly departed mat have been equally undermined, then his behavior would be typical of an inexperienced manager that felt undermined.

    Unlike his predecessors Eakins reports to a well qualified and capable senior manager that had the intelligence and fortitude to see what was happening and act on it.

    The outcome is a pair of coaches that not only have a good track record, but more importantly are fully supportive of the now incumbent HC.

    So yes, the new pair will perform better than their incumbents because the bar was set so low. Rocky seems to bring strong analytics and good communication skills, with a good sense of humor and infectious drive. Ramsay brings a proven background in the Nhl and the head coaching background that Eakins lacks.

    Most importantly they bring competence and unity to the coaching staff. They will function as a unit. Unless Eakins in fact is not HC material, he will loosen up due to no longer feeling like he is under siege, and will be more receptive to the input he receives from HIS coaching staff.

    I believe the team will at the minimum be coached to a competitive NHL standard, and that Rocky will bring a sense of humor back into the dressing room.

    But this is about Yak. I think that the addition of the new coaching staff, a change in attitude by Eakins, the removal of the previous political appointees, and perhaps the addition of a C that Yak may “click” with, could prove transformational to this player.

  19. blainer says:

    soup:
    No fascism here – just Soup – all day, every day.

    Last year was my first back in the country in 5. First chance to watch hockey live other than short bursts during Christmas vacations. Watched the Oil every chance I got.

    I don’t know if it is related to the complete breakdown in confidence or an absolutely stubborn refusal, but I did not see a bunch in Yak to suggest that there is much to get excited about. No concept of team play. Almost no awareness of his position on the ice other than in the scoring zone. His understanding of what should be basic stuff is either nonexistent or flat out ignored.

    I get the love for the skill. Great shot, good skater, plays physical at times – got it. I’m just not sure it will ever translate to anything in the NHL.

    I hope that what I saw was indeed part of a total breakdown in confidence. I hope I’m totally wrong about my belief that this is going to turn out to be a terrible waste of a first overall. I will be the first to admit it should that turn out to be the case, and I will cheer like hell for him to prove me wrong all year.

    I agree with what you saw as well. Like you I am cheering like hell for this guy as he brings so much excitement to the team and game when things are going well. My worries are this… this is a very deep talented bunch of wingers. IF LD makes the team I am quite sure they will make room for him on the PP.. That makes Hall Nuge Ebs LD Perron Yak… Pouliot and Purcell ( have seen lots of PP time on their former teams) Plus possibly Nikitin Shultz and Petry. Yak needs to be on the 1st PP and put with Hall to start the season. Give him every chance to succeed with no blaming the coach.

    IF he falls on his face with Nuge and Hall as a line both on the 1st PP and as a linemate then we know what we have. They need to give him every chance to succeed. Its unfortunate he did not understand the meaning of a sophomore slump when interviewed last year. I think he gets it now and Eaking puts him the correct position and he pots us 28 G and 32A while getting 1st PP time. I think LT’s RE gets him traded unless his corsi turns into 54%.

  20. Jordan says:

    The list of Oilers who have worn # 10 (in approximate chronological order):
    Ron Areshenkoff
    Matti Hagman
    Jaroslav Pouzar
    Esa Tikkanen
    Ilja Byakin
    Ryan Smyth
    Mariusz Czerkawski
    Steve Kelly
    Pat Falloon
    Kevin Brown
    Shawn Horcoff

    I can’t help but wonder if the Oilers organization had encouraged Yak to be his own man and strut like the peacock he was coming out of Junior that he might not have been a little more like Esa and pissing the other team off with the swagger and the mouth. Might not have done it the same way, because Esa never shut up, but that comparison (while clearly off on a count of Esa being touched and Yak not so much yet) has some… appeal for me.

  21. Pouzar says:

    I read an article ( may have been posted here) about a CDN player who went over to the KHL and was grilled by the coach for going to far into the defensive zone to help out. Basically wanted him to be in a position to “fly the zone” for more offensive opportunities. Will see if I can find it.

  22. Pouzar says:

    soup:
    No fascism here – just Soup – all day, every day.

    Last year was my first back in the country in 5. First chance to watch hockey live other than short bursts during Christmas vacations. Watched the Oil every chance I got.

    I don’t know if it is related to the complete breakdown in confidence or an absolutely stubborn refusal, but I did not see a bunch in Yak to suggest that there is much to get excited about. No concept of team play. Almost no awareness of his position on the ice other than in the scoring zone. His understanding of what should be basic stuff is either nonexistent or flat out ignored.

    I get the love for the skill. Great shot, good skater, plays physical at times – got it. I’m just not sure it will ever translate to anything in the NHL.

    I hope that what I saw was indeed part of a total breakdown in confidence. I hope I’m totally wrong about my belief that this is going to turn out to be a terrible waste of a first overall. I will be the first to admit it should that turn out to be the case, and I will cheer like hell for him to prove me wrong all year.

    My thoughts encapsulated perfectly. I hope he kills it.

  23. nycoil says:

    When you started this series I was actually very afraid you’d pick this song for Yak because of the line in #19 and #26.

    I know saw him good is taboo talk but man that Oilers at Rangers game this spring I paid through the nose for to sit row 3 at MSG. Yak fired that game winner right in front of me. The kid has been touched by Gord (that sounds all kinds of wrong); it was Stamkos, Hull, Bure, Kovalchuk-esque.

    Don’t pave paradise!

  24. Numenius says:

    My biggest hope for this year is that Eakins’ demotivational effect on Yak (and on others on the team) will be offset and completely dissolved by Ramsey and Rocky.

    Those coaching changes may the the key to turning everything around.

  25. justDOit says:

    … and based on what we’re hearing about him this summer (he’s apparently ripped)…

    I’m not able to find any references to Nail’s off season progress on the interwebs. Given the drive he showed when he first came to Edmonton, it wouldn’t surprise me if his first three strides will be measurable by the USGS this fall.

    For those looking to procrastinate a little longer, here’s Nail’s 2013-14 youtube goal compilation video.

  26. Soup Fascist says:

    nycoil,

    You are so right about the “saw him good” thing. When Nail is “on” he has the ability to bring you out of the seats. His exuberance and excitement for the game are contagious.

    I can’t recall exactly which game it was last year but I remember sitting in the stands and thought Nail had a good game, as he was flying around the ice, decided to be physical and was always in the others teams face. I thought to myself, “well he ran around a little, but he was one of the best players on the ice and it was clear the game meant something to him”. On the drive on the way home I was surprised to find out he was on the ice for 3 opponents goals.

    What gives me hope for Nail though, is he truly does love the game, wants the puck and wants to score. That “selfishness” made the Richard, Hull, Ovechkin and Bossy types so dangerous. So I think he is going to figure out what he needs to do to be on the ice at key times and not be a total train wreck away from the puck. Here is hoping anyway.

  27. Showerhead says:

    This was the perfect song choice! I don’t know Joni Mitchell’s discography but I do know this song and it is perfect. PERFECT!

    I’m looking forward to the mystery of Yakupov’s season more than any other Oiler storyline. For context: Nail Yakupov is about to turn 21 and he is crushing Jordan Eberle 28-18 in “NHL goals scored before legally allowed to drink in Vegas.”

    Perception is a funny thing! I suppose it is because Eberle was picked 22 overall and beat Russia and has that endearing gap in his smile, but everyone seems to love him whilst looking down on a guy who has outperformed him when at the same age. Keep them both and also a Pisani and RW is set for years – glory!

    Don’t know what you got till it’s gone.

  28. hunter1909 says:

    Yakupov, the freaking NUMBER 1 OVERALL DRAFT PICK ruined by a FOOL of a coach(surprise, shock, awe, lol) DALLAS EAKINS.

    Should the Oilers go say, 3-17- 4 in their first skein of games, everyone gets to feel great when he deservedly gets canned.

  29. hunter1909 says:

    PS: Please everyone enjoy your summer. The temperature just went down and the weather where I reside is perfect. Not a mosquito in sight either

    : p

    PPS: Some outstanding new posters on this blog. Finally.

  30. hunter1909 says:

    Soup Fascist: What gives me hope for Nail though, is he truly does love the game, wants the puck and wants to score. That “selfishness” made the Richard, Hull, Ovechkin and Bossy types so dangerous. So I think he is going to figure out what he needs to do to be on the ice at key times and not be a total train wreck away from the puck. Here is hoping anyway.

    Here’s hoping Dallas “poultry” Eakins resigns before training camp. We can hope, lol

    100% agree re Yakupov’s raw talent. More’s the pity, we follow an abysmally managed sports entity. I was a Red Sox fan though, until they won the 2nd Series and then suddenly, it all seemed so pointless.

  31. Frank The Dog says:

    hunter1909:
    Yakupov, the freaking NUMBER 1 OVERALL DRAFT PICK ruined by a FOOL of a coach(surprise, shock, awe, lol) DALLAS EAKINS.

    Should the Oilers go say, 3-17- 4 in their first skein of games, everyone gets to feel great when he deservedly gets canned.

    We’ll see this year whether the problem with the team was with the successive head coaches, or the constant of the politically appointed assistants.

    I think Yak has been set back, but I think he has too much strength of character to allow himself to get ruined. He’ll leave before that happens.

  32. papa says:

    Yak is Ebby Calvin “Nuke” LaLoosh. Meaning that the coach has simply got to cut him a lot of slack and let him do his thing, just because he has a huge talent. I know that’s not fair. That’s life. I can’t remember how many times last season I yelled at my tv: “Give the kid the puck!” He will hit the glass, hit the boards, hit the mascot, and a lot of the time he will hit the back of the net. Give him the puck!

  33. Pouzar says:

    Showerhead:
    This was the perfect song choice! I don’t know Joni Mitchell’s discography but I do know this song and it is perfect. PERFECT!

    I’m looking forward to the mystery of Yakupov’s season more than any other Oiler storyline. For context: Nail Yakupov is about to turn 21 and he is crushing Jordan Eberle 28-18 in “NHL goals scored before legally allowed to drink in Vegas.”

    Perception is a funny thing! I suppose it is because Eberle was picked 22 overall and beat Russia and has that endearing gap in his smile, but everyone seems to love him whilst looking down on a guy who has outperformed him when at the same age. Keep them both and also a Pisani and RW is set for years – glory!

    Don’t know what you got till it’s gone.

    Jordan Eberle scored 34 goals in his age 21 season.

  34. Showerhead says:

    Pouzar: Jordan Eberle scored 34 goals in his age 21 season.

    And he had scored 18 prior to his 21st birthday. Also he is in commercials on TV.

  35. hunter1909 says:

    Frank The Dog: I think Yak has been set back, but I think he has too much strength of character to allow himself to get ruined. He’ll leave before that happens.

    This is gold.

    With the Long Island Ducks preparing to transform into the hippest, street cred franchise imaginable in Brooklyn; Yakupov is guaranteed to find his broken dreams- particularly after the somewhat wooden Eakins approach he’s been enduring.

  36. hunter1909 says:

    Drunk thought: Oiler’s are so terrible at managing anything even marginally to do with marketing, they hire non-Oiler Craig Ramsay to try to instill a little 1976 Don Luce, Gilbert Perraullt, Richard Martin, Danny Gare, and whoever else slaughtered the Wings of the Soviets 12- something.

    What exactly does Eakins bring again?

  37. Pouzar says:

    Showerhead: And he had scored 18 prior to his 21st birthday. Also he is in commercials on TV.

    What is your point? Other than Yak played more games.

  38. hunter1909 says:

    Riight. Eakins is the Tambo of the coaching fraternity. Lowetide’s spellcheck made it mambo, ha ha.

    Eakins is there to be the last fool to take the bullet for the rotten to the core, abysmally run forever palooka franchise ever since Pronger/Messier/Gretzky/Coffey left.

    Oh right. It’s all the fan’s fault.

  39. hunter1909 says:

    Summertime question: Paul Coffey aged 22 was mentioned as having the most talent on the team after Gretzky, by a country mile. Do the Lowetide bloggers think he gets enough respect, historically?

    Or, Coffey having played on so many teams, has this watered the legend down?

    Finally: I still think, as an Oiler; Coffey was either a hockey genius or the very next thing. He’s my all time fave Oiler, simply because the 1st memory I’ve got is him skating like an angry bee 3x faster than anyone else.

    Ok I’ll stfu. Booze on a warm day does it every time. See you after 20 regular season games. : )

  40. Jordan says:

    Pouzar,

    Isn’t it clear?

    28>18
    X>34
    28/18 = X/34
    X=28*34/18
    X=52.9

    Nail’s going to score 50+ goals this year. Math says so.

  41. Pouzar says:

    Jordan,

    That makes more sense.

  42. Showerhead says:

    Pouzar: What is your point? Other than Yak played more games.

    That, before each player’s 21st birthday, Nail Yakupov had scored more goals in the NHL than Jordan Eberle. That, accepting Eberle is a good hockey player, this is useful information in considering that Yakupov may also in fact be a good hockey player.

  43. Showerhead says:

    Jordan:
    Pouzar,

    Isn’t it clear?

    28>18
    X>34
    28/18 = X/34
    X=28*34/18
    X=52.9

    Nail’s going to score 50+ goals this year.Math says so.

    Your math was stellar and brilliant and precise and yet you only had the courage to say 50+. Trust yourself, go with 52.9. You are clearly making an exacting point – may as well stick to your guns.

  44. Scotty LaDouche says:

    Lowetide- guitar hero is so 7 years ago, check out Rocksmith 2014.

  45. Pouzar says:

    Showerhead: That, before each player’s 21st birthday, Nail Yakupov had scored more goals in the NHL than Jordan Eberle. That, accepting Eberle is a good hockey player, this is useful information in considering that Yakupov may also in fact be a good hockey player.

    *sigh.

    NM

  46. justDOit says:

    Pouzar,

    My neighbor’s car gets 700 kms per tank. Mine only gets 600. I hate my neighbor.

  47. B S says:

    justDOit,

    Sounds like he’s a vegan hippie, I’d hate him too.

  48. Jordan says:

    Showerhead,

    That’s a fair criticism. Well, if I need a gun, might as well go with a howitzer.

    Nail’s going to score 52.9 goals this year. Math says so. The 0.9 is going to account for goals so qualitatively good they affect the quantitative goal count, and therefore count as more than 1 goal.

  49. Henry says:

    hunter1909:
    Summertime question: Paul Coffey aged 22 was mentioned as having the most talent on the team after Gretzky, by a country mile. Do the Lowetide bloggers think he gets enough respect, historically?

    Or, Coffey having played on so many teams, has this watered the legend down?

    Finally: I still think, as an Oiler; Coffey was either a hockey genius or the very next thing. He’s my all time fave Oiler, simply because the 1st memory I’ve got is him skating like an angry bee 3x faster than anyone else.

    Ok I’ll stfu. Booze on a warm day does it every time. See you after 20 regular season games. : )

    Well he had a three year stretch where he shot just shy of 15% on about 900 shots. He had 9 short handed goals as a defenseman. In one year!

    All time great.

  50. gcw_rocks says:

    How Eakins handles the first twenty games will be very interesting. If the team doesn’t play well, and Eakins picks Yak as his whipping boy, things will spiral quickly.

    That said, MacT seems to have built himself a mediocre hockey team, so I expect middling results, which will be a significant improvement over last year, allowing MacT supporters to declare victory.

    There is no hope this team breaks 100 points, which is where the team should be in year five of a six year rebuild where year six is supposed to be cup contention.

  51. Bag of Pucks says:

    As the ultimate role player himself, Ramsay may be able to convince Eakins of the value of same in his lineup.

    Slats understood this stuff intuitively. He didn’t want the Greatest offensive player of all time wasting too much of his energy on the backcheck, in fact, he was perfectly ok with him hanging near the center line on occasion when the puck was in their own zone. Nobody cheated for offense more than Gretz!

    Better still, Slats understood the need to pair 99 with a one shot sniper to maximize the production of this once-in-a-lifetime playmaker. Presto – Jari Kurri – and a match made in hockey heaven is born. The deployment of these two players made sense in so many ways. Gretzky was the ultimate/possession take the zone player. Almost nobody could defend his go to move, the curl inside the blueline with the saucer to the trailer (usually Kurri or Coffey), followed by the old give and go if the trailer didn’t have suitable time and space. Kurri could play hard on the backcheck because he wasn’t expected to be leading the charge the other way. In other words, players on that team had fairly well defined roles that played to their strengths, and that was ok – in fact, it was brilliant.

    Do we have historic Corsi for Gretz? I suspect not? God, what a monster stat that would be!

    Eakins’ on the other hand seems to have this mindset that every player should be able to do it all (possession, retrieval, forecheck, backcheck, etc.). From a coaching perspective, I’m sure this seems very palatable because you’re treating all the players equally and to paraphrase MacT, “the messaging stays consistent.” I’m not sure about the practical application of this however. Granted, the league has changed hugely since Slats’ day with shift length and intensity one of the key evolutions. Players are expected to play a balls out 200ft game now, much more than in the 80′s, but I believe there’s still benefits from complimentary skillsets and defined roles.

    I don’t think getting Yak to backcheck is ‘paving paradise to put up a parking lot.’ Like Kurri, Yak’s offensive game setups well if he’s playing a trailer position looking for the holes in the zone. If I’m Eakins’, I don’t want Yak carrying the puck in a ton (the failed 1 on 3′s have to stop). There’s plenty of players on the Oilers that can do that better. Yak’s two best attributes are his shot and his tenacity. For this reason, I think you deploy him in a similar fashion to Kurri. Hard on the backcheck in the D zone, the trailer looking for space in the O zone, and tenacious on the forecheck if/when possession breaks down in the O zone.

    I think Yak can be coached into being a very effective two way winger – and let’s face it, Ovechkin’s shown us the limitations of the one dimensional sniper in the present era. I think the key to achieving this is Eakins’ simplifying his game so he understands his role perfectly. Yak struggles a lot with his positioning in the center ice zone, so minimize the details there. The messaging becomes very simple then, which is probably a good thing given the intrinsic language/communications issues. Blanket the winger opposite you when the other team has possession. When our team has the puck in the O zone, find space for a one timer. When we lose it, seek and destroy to get the puck back. As an earlier poster said, this isn’t rocket science!

    NOTE to Eakins: Magicians don’t have to know every trick in the book. Sometimes the jaw-dropping, Houdini grift is enough.

  52. Pouzar says:

    Peter Mueller has signed a one-year, two-way contract with the St. Louis Blues.

  53. Showerhead says:

    Jordan:
    Showerhead,

    That’s a fair criticism.Well, if I need a gun, might as well go with a howitzer.

    Nail’s going to score 52.9 goals this year.Math says so.The 0.9 is going to account for goals so qualitatively good they affect the quantitative goal count, and therefore count as more than 1 goal.

    Yeesh, I’m in but good thing Smytty retired before style points became a thing.

    (All of the jokes I really wanted to make involved Russian judging but I thought this was in poor taste given the occasionally xenophobic judging of our Russian. Your post made me laugh, anyway, so hurray.)

  54. Bag of Pucks says:

    hunter1909:
    Summertime question: Paul Coffey aged 22 was mentioned as having the most talent on the team after Gretzky, by a country mile. Do the Lowetide bloggers think he gets enough respect, historically?

    Or, Coffey having played on so many teams, has this watered the legend down?

    Finally: I still think, as an Oiler; Coffey was either a hockey genius or the very next thing. He’s my all time fave Oiler, simply because the 1st memory I’ve got is him skating like an angry bee 3x faster than anyone else.

    Ok I’ll stfu. Booze on a warm day does it every time. See you after 20 regular season games. : )

    Wherever Paul Coffey went, his teams seemed to win a lot. I suspect that’s not a coincidence.

    I think if hadn’t played in the shadow of Gretzky, he rightfully would’ve been considered as his generation’s Bobby Orr.

    Best pure skater EVER. Taylor Hall has more power in his stride (he probably beats Coff off the line), but no one had a more natural stride than Coff. Glided faster than most players in the league could skate. A thing of beauty.

    Sounds like he’s been a pretty good coach as well.

  55. Woodguy says:

    Yak interview on Bob’s show at about 12:50.

    Good chunk of the show devoted to Yak today.

  56. Woodguy says:

    Bob had said Yak isn’t bigger, but has worked on being more fit and a faster skater.

    Also mentioned that he’s palling around with Yakimov and DrySaddle in Edmonton so far since he’s been back.

    Bob then makes one of his famous *lean close to the mike to share something* and puts it out there that DrySaddle is penciled in with Yak on the 3rd line.

  57. Frank The Dog says:

    I don’t think Eakins has the hockey intelligence necessary to win a Stanley Cup. I do think that with an adequate supporting cast he is probably good enough to repeat his Marlies record which isn’t exactly spectacular.
    Having said that Eakins didn’t do well in his first year there either. I think we will see a different Eakins to last year, because the dynamics have changed. When a manager is undermined by their direct reports they will spend much of their time on the defensive, and small points of policy become battlegrounds at the expense of the team member. Matters of principle become pissing matches, with the team members becoming collateral damage. As in all the good players that wanted out in the course of last year.
    I think the question of Yak becoming a 200 foot player was one of those pissing matches. Eakins came in with marching orders to get the players in line and decided to make an example out of the enigmatic Russian (sarcasm). I’m not going to speculate on the possible politics surrounding all of this, just that the situation at that time is more likely to cause Eakins to take an unnecessarily harsh stance to prove a point and establish his manhood as a coach than, say, the approach taken by a more mature manager such as Krueger who was 5 steps ahead of his assistants, but still quite likely undermined, as would Quinn and Renney have been.

    The point of this is that the players at least, if not us, may see a kinder, gentler, more caring Eakins because he is no longer the only sheriff in the room, he now has a pair of loyal deputies, one of which will no doubt lighten the atmosphere with his own dose of hilarity. And maybe give Yak some good ice boxing lessons in the process.

    I’ll be surprised if this is not the year we have all been hoping for. A viable roster with a transformed coaching dynamic that has the team contending for the playoffs deep into the end of the season, with players and fans enjoying every minute.

  58. Numenius says:

    Woodguy:
    Bob had said Yak isn’t bigger, but has worked on being more fit and a faster skater.

    Also mentioned that he’s palling around with Yakimov and DrySaddle in Edmonton so far since he’s been back.

    Bob then makes one of his famous *lean close to the mike to share something* and puts it out there that DrySaddle is penciled in with Yak on the 3rd line.

    This is great to hear. I’ve been banging the drum that there’ll be serious on-ice chemistry between Yak and Dr. Drai and it’s nice to see some off-ice evidence for it and to hear that the coach might think so too.

  59. RexLibris says:

    Woodguy:
    Bob had said Yak isn’t bigger, but has worked on being more fit and a faster skater.

    Also mentioned that he’s palling around with Yakimov and DrySaddle in Edmonton so far since he’s been back.

    Bob then makes one of his famous *lean close to the mike to share something* and puts it out there that DrySaddle is penciled in with Yak on the 3rd line.

    Ha. Means Gordon’s Zone Starts are going to be even more severe. If that is even possible. His QualComp should go up too when Eakins puts him out on the ice against the Godzilla -Mothra-Rodan line.

  60. B S says:

    one other thought when evaluating Yakupov. How many here hit their stride before they were 21? I mean found their place in the world, or figured what it meant to be themselves? I know for me the transition from High School to University was a huge change. In high school everything was easy, I didn’t even have to try, never had to study. When I hit University; however, it was was a different beast. I had to study, I had to pay attention in class and take notes. It took me 3 years to figure out that A) I needed to study if I wanted to get more out of my degree than collecting cougar poop for the rest of my life, and B) I needed to learn how to study.

    Yak is probably still struggling with stage A (in his case it is backchecking and covering his man), and a lot of people seem ready to right him off for it, but It’s important to remember that Yak is still young and it’s hard to say how much support he’s getting from management.

    Speaking of struggling with adulthood as at 21. One would think that if anyone on the Oilers can relate to how hard it is to find your place in the world as a young man, it’s MacT. I hope he’s willing to show Yak some patience until he figures things out.

  61. Pouzar says:

    Wow. The Eakin narratives are in overdrive here.

  62. RexLibris says:

    Pouzar:
    Wow. The Eakin narratives are in overdrive here.

    All the more reason to trade for Cody Eakin. Confuse the critics.

  63. justDOit says:

    Woodguy:

    Bob then makes one of his famous *lean close to the mike to share something* and puts it out there that DrySaddle is penciled in with Yak on the 3rd line.

    With two months (or so) to go before TC, I see no problem in using pencil here – but keep that sharpie capped!

    Seriously though, with Leon’s passing skills and Yak’s one-timer, that’s not a difficult combo to envision with Gordon as their center.

  64. justDOit says:

    RexLibris: All the more reason to trade for Cody Eakin. Confuse the critics.

    You mean Dallas’ Eakin?

  65. Bag of Pucks says:

    Pouzar:
    Wow. The Eakin narratives are in overdrive here.

    Well today’s RE is about Yakupov. Rightly or wrongly, the coach is going to come under scrutiny when a phenom goes from Calder candidate to sophomore slump.

  66. vinotintazo says:

    drai and yak staying together… bromance? linemates? haha

  67. RexLibris says:

    Bag of Pucks: Well today’s RE is about Yakupov. Rightly or wrongly, the coach is going to come under scrutiny when a phenom goes from Calder candidate to sophomore slump.

    Because he would be the first. ;)

  68. Pouzar says:

    Bag of Pucks: Well today’s RE is about Yakupov. Rightly or wrongly, the coach is going to come under scrutiny when a phenom goes from Calder candidate to sophomore slump.

    Of course Eakins will come up. But it’s a tad lopsided wouldn’t you say? I would.

  69. B S says:

    vinotintazo:
    drai and yak staying together… bromance? linemates? haha

    I take that as a good sign. I don’t think mgmt would room Yak and Dr. Drais if Yakupov was expected to be on his way out.

  70. Soup Fascist says:

    vinotintazo:
    drai and yak staying together… bromance? linemates? haha

    “Pals from Europe have each others’ back – They’re best friends, they’re Drai and Yak”.

    Back off 100.3 The Bear! Consider this ditty trade marked or at the very least “dibbed”.

  71. Bag of Pucks says:

    RexLibris: Because he would be the first.

    To be fair, if we were going to do a true ‘apples to apples’ we’d have to compare Yak to other Calder candidates who experienced a HC change after their rookie season.

    Personally, I’m fine with Eakins’ trying to turn Yak into a more responsible two way winger. The price paid for that in the short-term is the cherry mins, OZ starts and boxcars.

    I honestly think Larionov owns the bulk of the blame for Yak’s season last year. His comments put blood in the water for the media and as a result, the ongoing ‘issues with Yak’ became a story that never really went away. Young players should be kept out of the glare of the media spotlight, not fed to it on a silver platter. This is a contract year for Yak. Hopefully Larionov will mind his Ps and Qs.

    That’s my biggest worry with this player. His agent may want to take him somewhere else (Detroit?)

  72. B S says:

    Pouzar: Of course Eakins will come up. But it’s a tad lopsided wouldn’t you say? I would.

    Lopsided was the way Eakins whipped Yak during the losing streak, aka the season.

  73. Bag of Pucks says:

    Pouzar: Of course Eakins will come up. But it’s a tad lopsided wouldn’t you say? I would.

    This is the price Eakins pays for being arrogant.

    Act this way in life and you’re going to have some haters.

    Eakins’ personality doesn’t buy him a lot of ‘benefit of the doubt’ I’m afraid. So, if he wants to act like Ken Hitchcock, he’s going to have to generate results like him in short order.

    IMO, he’s got no one to blame for the perceptions he creates but himself?

  74. Lowetide says:

    We have a soup fascist AND a soup? Is this happening?

  75. ashley says:

    We would miss Yak if he was traded. He is going to be special. But Parnell Karl Subban in Oilers silks would ease the pain. Unlikely? Of course. But never say never for a trade.

    Yak for Simmonds or similiar on the other hand? Grab me a pitchfork.

  76. Soup Fascist says:

    Lowetide:
    We have a soup fascist AND a soup? Is this happening?

    Too much Soup for you?

  77. Pouzar says:

    Bag of Pucks: This is the price Eakins pays for being arrogant.

    Act this way in life and you’re going to have some haters.

    Eakins’ personality doesn’t buy him a lot of ‘benefit of the doubt’ I’m afraid. So, if he wants to act like Ken Hitchcock, he’s going to have to generate results like him in short order.

    IMO, he’s got no one to blame for the perceptions he creates but himself?

    Meh. If he wins it doesn’t really matter if he’s arrogant. The jury is still out for me.

  78. hunter1909 says:

    Bag of Pucks: This is the price Eakins pays for being arrogant.

    Act this way in life and you’re going to have some haters.

    Eakins’ personality doesn’t buy him a lot of ‘benefit of the doubt’ I’m afraid. So, if he wants to act like Ken Hitchcock, he’s going to have to generate results like him in short order.

    IMO, he’s got no one to blame for the perceptions he creates but himself?

    English soccer once upon a time had a coach named Brian Clough. In England, a soccer team can rise higher and higher in the 4 divisions set up they use; and Clough’s Nottingham Forest were to achieve something sensational: A pair of European Cups. The closest parallel I can imagine is the Hershey Bears winning 2 Stanley Cups agains dynasty NHL teams. Something in that area.

    Clough was an abrasive loudmouth, who didn’t give a flying turd what anyone thought. His pair of European Cups however, won with the equivalent of an AHL franchise will on the other hand, assure him of a place at any top table of soccer/sports management.

    Dallas Eakins talks the talk; but as anyone knows who’s achieved squat in life; that’s easy.

    Like someone who grows his hair down to his arse in the hope that it will make him look like a successful rock musician…Eakin’s comes across as the Corona Hotel Bar of achievement/believability.

  79. Lowetide says:

    Soup Fascist: afraid

    I just like to keep track of what’s in the cupboard is all.

  80. Bag of Pucks says:

    hunter1909

    Dallas Eakins talks the talk; but as anyone knows who’s achieved squat in life;that’s easy.

    Well, this is the year we’ll find out if he can ‘walk the walk’ cos if this team isn’t competitive by Christmas, I suspect you’ll see the knives come out.

    For his sake, I hope the team’s ready for some serious ‘water chopping’ or is it ‘wood carrying?’

  81. Pouzar says:

    I’ll be wondering how many Eakins detractors will actually be willing to give credit when this thing turns around. Cause I believe it will. Starting this year.

  82. hunter1909 says:

    Bag of Pucks: Well, this is the year we’ll find out if he can ‘walk the walk’ cos if this team isn’t competitive by Christmas, I suspect you’ll see the knives come out.

    He gets until until November 5. ha ha.

  83. hunter1909 says:

    Pouzar:
    I’ll be wondering how many Eakins detractors will actually be willing to give credit when this thing turns around. Cause I believe it will. Starting this year.

    I can barely wait to eat my hat,; but so far Eakins is a little too much like George Bush 2.0 post 9/11… All talk and no trousers.

  84. "Steve Smith" says:

    Lowetide: I just like to keep track of what’s in the cupboard is all.

    Which cupboard do you keep the violent statists in?

  85. Bag of Pucks says:

    Pouzar, I don’t think being in the ‘prove it’ zone with Eakins necessarily means you’re a detractor. It just means the leash eventually gets shorter and shorter. I think that’s a pretty natural human reaction. We still don’t know what we have with this HC, no?

    Everyone wants this team to win, and we’d gladly put up with an a-hole coach to achieve it.

    I mock the carry water/chop wood thing cos I’m not convinced that resonates with the modern day athlete. If Taylor Hall tatooes it on his face, I’ll gladly get onboard with it.

    Personally, I like leaders that ‘command’ respect, not ‘demand’ it. The water bottle incident was a very small thing so I don’t want to blow it out of proportion, but that’s the kind of thing I equate with ‘demand’ and not ‘command’ From all accounts, Eakins has the room and ultimately that’s what matters.

  86. Lowetide says:

    “Steve Smith”: Which cupboard do you keep the violent statists in?

    The Himmler.

  87. Numenius says:

    hunter1909: I can barely wait to eat my hat,; but so far Eakins is a little too much like George Bush 2.0 post 9/11… All talk and no trousers.

    George Bush post 9/11 was all talk?

    He friggin’ invaded Afghanistan and Iraq.

  88. "Steve Smith" says:

    Numenius: George Bush post 9/11 was all talk?

    He friggin’ invaded Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Sure…and Nixon landed on the moon.

  89. Jordan says:

    RexLibris: Ha. Means Gordon’s Zone Starts are going to be even more severe. If that is even possible. His QualComp should go up too when Eakins puts him out on the ice against the Godzilla -Mothra-Rodan line.

    I was laughing until I thought about who he would actually be playing against.
    :’(

    ashley:
    We would miss Yak if he was traded.He is going to be special.But Parnell Karl Subban in Oilers silks would ease the pain.Unlikely?Of course.But never say never for a trade.

    Yak for Simmonds or similiar on the other hand?Grab me a pitchfork.

    Don’t worry – with Yak being given #10 now, he’s bound to stay around until the Oilers sign him to a contract he can’t live up to, and is subsequently chased out of town just when the team needs him most.

    Pouzar: Meh. If he wins it doesn’t really matter if he’s arrogant. The jury is still out for me.

    I always love this double-standard.

    If he wins a lot, and he’s an ass, that’s okay, because he’s a winner.

    If he loses a lot, and he’s an ass, that’s not okay, and there need to be CONSEQUENCES.

    Whether you win or lose, an ass is an ass. It won’t do what you want, will bite you when it feels like, and kick you in the ribs if you walk behind it.

  90. Numenius says:

    “Steve Smith”: Sure…and Nixon landed on the moon.

    No cigar.

  91. Jordan says:

    Numenius,

    Well of course there’s no cigar – it’s hard to smoke on the moon, what with the next to non-existant atmosphere.

    Considering how much it costs to take the components necesary to create breathable air into space, does anyone know how much it would cost to smoke a cigar in space, let alone on the moon?

  92. justDOit says:

    “Steve Smith”: Sure…and Nixon landed on the moon.

    Pffft – everyone knows that Kubrick faked the entire Nixon presidency!

  93. bendelson says:

    Woodguy: Bob then makes one of his famous *lean close to the mike to share something* and puts it out there that DrySaddle is penciled in with Yak on the 3rd line.

    Didn’t Bob lean in to the mic and share that he sees Yak and Leon as a good fit eventually, but this year he sees Yak playing with Arco and Perron; Leon with Pouliot and Purcell?

    Perhaps Bob doesn’t agree with the person holding the pencil.

  94. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide:
    We have a soup fascist AND a soup? Is this happening?

    Now we just need an El Presidente de Sopa.

  95. Woodguy says:

    For those of you without Twitter:

    OilersNow @OilersNow · 1h
    “Draisaitl is staying with me right now. I think it’s a good situation for both of us.” @Nail10_1993.

    mc79hockey @mc79hockey · 43m
    LRT: I’m not saying it’s the most important thing they’ll do but Yak and Leon will almost certainly heal the historic German-Russian wounds.

  96. Woodguy says:

    bendelson: Didn’t Bob lean in to the mic and share that he sees Yak and Leon as a good fit eventually, but this year he sees Yak playing with Arco and Perron;Leon with Pouliot and Purcell?

    Perhaps Bob doesn’t agree with the person holding the pencil.

    Perhaps my bias and projections colored my memory of what Bob said.

    I see DrySaddle and Yak together, probably with Perron on a soft minutes scoring line that also does some PP.

    Pouliot-Arco-Purcell as the 2nd line which won’t get brutally killed if its out against Toews or Thorton.

    .

  97. FastOil says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    “Best pure skater EVER. Taylor Hall has more power in his stride (he probably beats Coff off the line), but no one had a more natural stride than Coff. Glided faster than most players in the league could skate. A thing of beauty.”

    I’m not so sure about off the line. The deceptive thing about Coffey is it looked effortless and he blew by guys because you couldn’t see the acceleration. He didn’t look like he was trying to get to top speed and all of the sudden he’s left you standing still. I think he was likely very fast at both ends of the race. And like you said the gilding. Also like Orr he was a tank, really solid build if not a banger.

  98. B S says:

    Jordan:

    I always love this double-standard.

    If he wins a lot, and he’s an ass, that’s okay, because he’s a winner.

    If he loses a lot, and he’s an ass, that’s not okay, and there need to be CONSEQUENCES.

    Whether you win or lose, an ass is an ass.It won’t do what you want, will bite you when it feels like, and kick you in the ribs if you walk behind it.

    Yes, but an ass that wins… wins. You’re focused on the ass part, the rest of us are focused on the fact that he hasn’t won a damned thing. Winning seems to be all that matters when judging Eakins at this stage.

    now, because he hasn’t won a damned thing, we want to know why, so we look at systems, player useage, and yes personality. The man comes off as an arrogant jackass; he has precisely 29 more NHL wins than I do, so what reason could he have to think he knows better than anyone else, hell, Taylor Hall has won more games than him and Hall’s 22.

  99. russ99 says:

    hunter1909,

    LOL – Clough was an innovative genius, who emphasized skill and individual talent over the hooligan-style football of the era.

    Eakins shouldn’t even remotely be mentioned in the same sentence.

  100. Frank The Dog says:

    B S: Yes, but an ass that wins… wins. You’re focused on the ass part, the rest of us are focused on the fact that he hasn’t won a damned thing. Winning seems to be all that matters when judging Eakins at this stage.

    now, because he hasn’t won a damned thing, we want to know why, so we look at systems, player useage, and yes personality. The man comes off as an arrogant jackass; he has precisely 29 more NHL wins than I do, so what reason could he have to think he knows better than anyone else, hell, Taylor Hall has won more games than him and Hall’s 22.

    I think we need to cut Eakins some slack for last year. But not this year. No excuses, career’s on the line, just perform.

  101. B S says:

    Pouzar:
    I’ll be wondering how many Eakins detractors will actually be willing to give credit when this thing turns around. Cause I believe it will. Starting this year.

    I will gladly give him credit and and not complain when he gets into shouting matches with players if he’s winning hockey games for the Oilers.

  102. Pouzar says:

    B S: I will gladly give him credit and and not complain when he gets into shouting matches with players if he’s winning hockey games for the Oilers.

    Then we agree on something.

  103. justDOit says:

    FastOil,

    A friend of mine read an article many years ago, in which it stated that Coffey had longer blade holders riveted to his skates, and that he had the blades rockered (front to back) with a larger (flatter) radius than normal. This allowed for increased power transfer to the ice, but gave up some agility in the process.

    I tried using a larger radius rocker on my skates, and couldn’t believe the difference it made. My rec league team-mates didn’t appreciate the increased fly-bys in the defensive zone though…

  104. G Money says:

    Eakins is what he is, whether he is an arrogant ass or just sounds like one. I don’t care what his personality is, he needs to win, not be Mr. Rogers.

    The whole “Eakins ruined Yak” thing is just sheer stupidity though. It is the mindless braying of Eakins-haters who’ll spew any nonsense they can to support their narrative. You don’t need a narrative, haters. The guy lost a lot of games, as many as Saint Krueger. He better improve, or he’s gone, it’s that simple. The rest is drivel. I suppose the Yak storyline has particular appeal because it does not require a shred of actual, you know, facts or evidence.

    (Dammit, I just reread that last paragraph and I sound like Caramel. Oh well, I suppose there are worse things than turning into a crotchety academic in my old age).

  105. Pouzar says:

    G Money,

    Thank you.

  106. FastOil says:

    justDOit:
    FastOil,

    A friend of mine read an article many years ago, in which it stated that Coffey had longer blade holders riveted to his skates, and that he had the blades rockered (front to back) with a larger (flatter) radius than normal. This allowed for increased power transfer to the ice, but gave up some agility in the process.

    I tried using a larger radius rocker on my skates, and couldn’t believe the difference it made. My rec league team-mates didn’t appreciate the increased fly-bys in the defensive zone though…

    That makes complete sense in how he looked skating. So much speed pick up without as much upper body movement and effort, like a speed skater I suppose. Cheater!

    I doubt it would work now as well ragging the puck end to end. Too much traffic and clogged middle ice. But he’d sure be a load coming in that fast at 210 lbs for guys trying to hit him in the modern game.

  107. Pouzar says:

    justDOit,

    Yeah isn’t that rule? Flatter radius = more straight line speed?

    Didn’t he wear size 6 or 7 skates…something crazy like that?

  108. Bag of Pucks says:

    FastOil:
    Bag of Pucks,

    “Best pure skater EVER. Taylor Hall has more power in his stride (he probably beats Coff off the line), but no one had a more natural stride than Coff. Glided faster than most players in the league could skate. A thing of beauty.”

    I’m not so sure about off the line. The deceptive thing about Coffey is it looked effortless and he blew by guys because you couldn’t see the acceleration. He didn’t look like he was trying to get to top speed and all of the sudden he’s left you standing still. I think he was likely very fast at both ends of the race. And like you said the gilding. Also like Orr he was a tank, really solid build if not a banger.

    These are the great debates that makes sports so fun.

    You could very well be right about Coff off the line. I have nothing but MAD respect for him and Taylor as skaters. We’re lucky as Oiler fans that we’ve had the chance to watch them both.

    Btw, this got me thinking, who had the more accurate shot, Eberle or Kurri?

    Eberle career S% to date – 14.3
    Kurri career S% – 19.1

    Btw, Gretzky career S% – 17.6

    I know it was the 80′s, but 19.1% – wow

  109. blainer says:

    Ok all you bloggers out there. At what point do we stop blaming the coach for Yak’s struggles. As I see it there was not much difference in ice time.. be it on the PP or even strength between Eakins and Kruger. Now I am in no way a big Eakins fan and would have been happier had the kept Kruger but at some point YAK has to step up like RNH and Hall have. There is very little complaints about our other two 1st overall’s. IF and I say IF Eakins gives him all the opportunities and I mean playing with Hall and Nuge at home with great Zone starts and sheltered even more on the road with top linemates and 1st PP time.. at some point the blame has to fall on the player… And yes I get it that he is young but so were and are the other two 1st overall’s.

  110. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Pouzar:
    Yak will be way faster with #10 and will score 27 goals doin it.

    I think that’s why Hall is so fast. Not weighed down by his big number ;) .

    Crazy going from 2.20 5v5P/60 (like good 1st line production) to 1.45 5v5P/60 (like average 3rd line production). Really hope Eakins knows what he’s doing with Yakcity. A 30 goal season from him, a step up from Nuge, and a strong rookie season from Draisaitl would go an extremely long way.

  111. justDOit says:

    Pouzar:
    justDOit,

    Yeah isn’t that rule? Flatter radius = more straight line speed?

    Didn’t he wear size 6 or 7 skates…something crazy like that?

    Yes, and even a little flatter makes quite a difference. I believe you’re right about the extremely small boot size, and the only thing I can think of is that they would be a little lighter and feel more solid.

    I found this from the net:

    Coffey preferred his skates to fit as tightly as possible, and wore two sizes smaller than his shoes. They were tied with two sets of laces, one laced from the bottom to half way up, and the other from the halfway point to the top. The skates were so tight that rather than untying them trainers cut the laces to remove his skates after every game.

  112. Bag of Pucks says:

    G Money:
    Eakins is what he is, whether he is an arrogant ass or just sounds like one.I don’t care what his personality is, he needs to win, not be Mr. Rogers.

    The whole “Eakins ruined Yak” thing is just sheer stupidity though.It is the mindless braying of Eakins-haters who’ll spew any nonsense they can to support their narrative.You don’t need a narrative, haters.The guy lost a lot of games, as many as Saint Krueger.He better improve, or he’s gone, it’s that simple.The rest is drivel.I suppose the Yak storyline has particular appeal because it does not require a shred of actual, you know, facts or evidence.

    (Dammit, I just reread that last paragraph and I sound like Caramel.Oh well, I suppose there are worse things than turning into a crotchety academic in my old age).

    The interesting thing about the ‘Eakins is ruining Yakupov’ meme is it pre-supposes that Eakins’ intention (i.e. to turn Yakupov into a more complete two way player) is misguided at best and wasted effort at worst, which ultimately presupposes that Yakupov is not capable of achieving the mission objective?

    Which kind of HC would you rather have? The one who believes you can be a complete player or the one who assumes you have inherent deficiencies that can’t be overcome.

    Eakins’ approach may be wrong, but the intention seems to be focused in the right direction.

  113. justDOit says:

    Bag of Pucks:

    I know it was the 80′s, but 19.1% – wow

    I’m not ripping on Kurri, but the differences between the 80s NHL and now, is like comparing crab apples to pineapples.

  114. B S says:

    Frank The Dog,

    You’re welcome to. I won’t.

    Krueger was a rookie NHL Head Coach last season, led the Oil to a better record with ostensibly worse conditions (WC games only, tighter schedule, shorter TC). He was well liked by the players, and seemed to get buy-in from Yakupov (based on verbal only, useage was similar in terms of TOI and ZS).

    Krueger was fired, and his replacement was Eakins, another rookie HC. Eakins had a better roster, full training camp. Eakins drove the team into the ground, throwing the foreign kid under the bus, despite poor performance across the team.

    If Eakins turns it around next season then this is all forgotten, even part of the narrative of his brilliance (breaking the team down to build them up etc..)

  115. Bag of Pucks says:

    justDOit: I’m not ripping on Kurri, but the differences between the 80s NHL and now, is like comparing crab apples to pineapples.

    Talk about the veritable ‘one picture is worth a thousand words!’

    Would be interesting to see a highlight reel of everyone of Kurri’s goals? Which ones were hitting big empty space vs which ones were ringing in off the iron.

    Kurri scored a LOT of tap in goals off feeds from Gretzky where the goalie was forced to commit to #99 (did anyone in the game have a lower panic threshold than Wayner?). Those goals go in regardless of the size of the goalie. There are distinct advantages to playing with the GOAT. I could see Eberle’s S% moving up a mite with Gretz as his pivot.

    I would definitely put Kurri’s ‘one-timer’ up against anyone in NHL history though. His ability to hit that shot with accuracy was a rare gift.

    One of my great memories of the Dynasty teams was watching Kurri step out from under Gretzky’s shadow to play an instrumental role in that 90 Cup run. The popular meme back then was a fire hydrant could score 40 playing on Gretz’ line. Kurri proved his critics wrong and proved he was a legitimate HOFer in his own right after the Gretzky sale.

  116. Frank The Dog says:

    G Money: The guy lost a lot of games, as many as Saint Krueger.

    Eakins lost twice as many games as Saint Kruger. 44 vs 22. But less games than Renney’s Quinn’s or Low’s 1st years.
    http://www.hockey-reference.com/teams/EDM/

    Edit: Ok, I’ll agree that it was a 48 vs 82 game season but that’s still proportionately less wins. But Krueger’s wins weren’t really wins because his PP wasn’t as good as Eakins’, it just succeeded due to consistent, year over year, blind luck :)

  117. B S says:

    blainer:
    Ok all you bloggers out there. At what point do we stop blaming the coach for Yak’s struggles. As I see it there was not much difference in ice time.. be it on the PP or even strength between Eakins and Kruger. Now I am in no way a big Eakins fan and would have been happier had the kept Kruger but at some point YAK has to step up like RNH and Hall have. There is very little complaints about our other two 1st overall’s. IF and I say IF Eakins gives him all the opportunities and I mean playing with Hall and Nuge at home with great Zone startsand sheltered even more on the road with top linemates and 1st PP time..at some pointthe blame has to fall on the player… And yes I get it that he is young but so were and are the other two 1st overall’s.

    Some here seem to forget that, unlike Hall and Nuge during their rookie seasons, Yak (who had only played half a season previous to this one, so basically a rookie) was mentioned by name and singled out on a goal against in a post game media scrum by Eakins. That’s a dick move. Renney didn’t do it Hall and Co., Krueger didn’t do it to Yak, but for some damned reason Eakins felt the need to do it, and he didn’t do it to any other players last season (that I heard, I didn’t hear all of his interviews, so feel free to correct me). The Yak-Eakins issue isn’t so much about useage (as I mentioned in an earlier comment, TOI and ZS were the same the last two seasons, or close enough), but rather how Yakupov was treated when he wasn’t on shift.

  118. Frank The Dog says:

    B S: Some here seem to forget that, unlike Hall and Nuge during their rookie seasons, Yak (who had only played half a season previous to this one, so basically a rookie) was mentioned by name and singled out on a goal against in a post game media scrum by Eakins. That’s a dick move. Renney didn’t do it Hall and Co., Krueger didn’t do it to Yak, but for some damned reason Eakins felt the need to do it, and he didn’t do it to any other players last season (that I heard, I didn’t hear all of his interviews, so feel free to correct me). The Yak-Eakins issue isn’t so much about useage (as I mentioned in an earlier comment, TOI and ZS were the same the last two seasons, or close enough), but rather how Yakupov was treated when he wasn’t on shift.

    I’d suggest that the players that have enjoyed success on this team since 2008 have done so in spite of the coaching. How many players outside of Perron, have done better since they came to Edmonton?
    Eakins hit the wrong notes but was in a very difficult position. All will be forgiven if he makes proper use of his new coaching staff. On the other hand I have absolutely no idea how Acton Sr. contributes to the situation. Not that he doesn’t, but he does seem to sail below the radar. Perhaps he was a moderating force behind the scenes, we’ll never know.

  119. soup says:

    Lowetide: I just like to keep track of what’s in the cupboard is all.

    I’m the can of Chunky hiding behind the French Canadian Split Pea.

  120. justDOit says:

    soup: I’m the can of Chunky hiding behind the French Canadian Split Pea.

    You’re the one that always hides that last can of coconut milk, as I try to prepare a nice curry…

  121. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Tower 7!

    (or is it 4?)

  122. wheatnoil says:

    Gardiner signs for $4M x 5 years. Does that help put a comparable on a long-term contract for Schultz? I still think MacT is wanting to do a short bridge.

    Also, Mueller goes to the Blues on a 2-way contract. I wouldn’t have minded if the Oilers had taken a flyer on him as some insurance, though it’s not a huge deal.

  123. bsmart says:

    wheatnoil: Gardiner signs for $4M x 5 years. Does that help put a comparable on a long-term contract for Schultz? I still think MacT is wanting to do a short bridge.Also, Mueller goes to the Blues on a 2-way contract. I wouldn’t have minded if the Oilers had taken a flyer on him as some insurance, though it’s not a huge deal.

    Ahh, you beat me to it!! This drives the price up a bit. However I would not mind Schultz locked up at that price for 5 years. It could be a great value deal in years 3-5.

  124. Jordan says:

    blainer:
    Ok all you bloggers out there. At what point do we stop blaming the coach for Yak’s struggles. As I see it there was not much difference in ice time.. be it on the PP or even strength between Eakins and Kruger. Now I am in no way a big Eakins fan and would have been happier had the kept Kruger but at some point YAK has to step up like RNH and Hall have. There is very little complaints about our other two 1st overall’s. IF and I say IF Eakins gives him all the opportunities and I mean playing with Hall and Nuge at home with great Zone startsand sheltered even more on the road with top linemates and 1st PP time..at some pointthe blame has to fall on the player… And yes I get it that he is young but so were and are the other two 1st overall’s.

    You stop blaming the coach when the results change or he plays under another coach and gets the same results.

    Based on his results under Krueger, if he had been used differently, his results could have been different too.

    That is all on the coach, and the hockey gords.

  125. Bag of Pucks says:

    It’s funny how we as humans all inevitably have our ‘favorites’ and how so much of that is impacted by often indefensible ‘saw him good’ biases however much we try to override these prejudices.

    I am completely convinced that Yakupov will figure it out and become a complete impact player for the Oil.

    I am completely skeptical (but hopeful) that Schultz will figure it out and become a complete impact player for the Oil.

    There’s no good reason by math, by logic or by eye to suggest one has a better chance than the other. By the same token, they could both just as easily succeed or both fail.

    All I know is, I’m hope I’m right about Yak and wrong about Schultz! We wait.

  126. justDOit says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Tower 7!

    (or is it 4?)

    Pull it?

  127. nycoil says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    It’s interesting to me the way media narratives take hold and are hard to shake. If the names on the backs of their jerseys were reversed and the accents, too, Schultz could be the enigma unwilling to work hard at the defensive side of the game and Yak could be a part of the core who struggled with injuries and a new coach, but has the infectious enthusiasm for the game and the good ol’ Canadian bloodlines to get’er done when it counts.

  128. godot10 says:

    Numenius: George Bush post 9/11 was all talk?

    He friggin’ invaded Afghanistan and Iraq.

    The bombers were Saudi Arabians whose terror cell originated in Hamburg. Iraq was about the only Arab country without an al Qaeda presence (because Saddam killed all his enemies). And his NSA neglected all the US police force intelligence warning. (You know, like not watching any tape of the team and players who are going to coach).

    So Eakins was really a lot like Bush, in that he, ignored the warning signs, attacked problems that didn’t exist and created new ones even worse (as we are currenlty seeing).

  129. B S says:

    Frank The Dog,

    I forgot about Acton!

  130. wheatnoil says:

    bsmart: Ahh, you beat me to it!!This drives the price up a bit. However I would not mind Schultz locked up at that price for 5 years. It could be a great value deal in years 3-5.

    I don’t know if it drives the price up or down. It depends on what Schultz is asking for. I always assumed (based on absolutely no evidence) that he’d be asking for the $6M x 5 or 6 years deal that Nuge, Hall, and Eberle got. If that’s the case, then Gardiner might be a much lower comparable in terms of dollars for equal term.

    Personally I’m not sold on Schultz. That doesn’t mean I don’t like him. I’m just hesitant about committing a long-term contract to him.

  131. theres oil in virginia says:

    G Money: I suppose there are worse things than turning into a crotchety academic in my old age

    Nope.

  132. B S says:

    wheatnoil: I don’t know if it drives the price up or down. It depends on what Schultz is asking for. I always assumed (based on absolutely no evidence) that he’d be asking for the $6M x 5 or 6 years deal that Nuge, Hall, and Eberle got. If that’s the case, then Gardiner might be a much lower comparable in terms of dollars for equal term.

    Personally I’m not sold on Schultz. That doesn’t mean I don’t like him. I’m just hesitant about committing a long-term contract to him.

    I might be one of the few Schultz fans here, I think he will be exceptionally good in the next couple of years, but even I wouldn’t bet on a long term contract for him. I’d rather see a lower, short term (2 year) contract, followed by a $6.5mil. per year if he does work out (or whatever helps average him out to the $6 mil. average the others are making over the time of those two contracts). Same for Yakupov too, unless he actually shows that he has it together by the end of this season and starts posting Eberle-like numbers.

  133. FastOil says:

    justDOit: Kurri

    I am not one that buys players from a previous era were lesser players because players didn’t train as much and coaching wasn’t as systematized.

    I’d like to see Ovechkin or Stamkos get the same lift, velocity and accuracy as Bobby Hull or Bossy or Lafleur with an old style wooden stick. Hull was shooting the puck as hard as Chara in the 70′s. Think about that.

    Kurri and Eberle at the same age with the same equipment aren’t close in ability as I see it. Kurri was Gretzky’s defensive conscience while at the same time being the game’s most dangerous shooter and scorer. Maybe Hall could compare, but that remains to be seen.

    Every player now has a chance of having a good or better shot because of the sticks. Skates are far more engineered and more comfortable, goalie equipment has become so large they play like shooter tutors now. They’re mostly big and don’t get out of position as their main skills. Technology is doing a lot of the work now.

    A golfer with a 300 yd drive in 1980 hit the ball a lot harder than a golfer today does, and was probably more practiced if he kept it in bounds. Who’s the better sailor, the guy with the yacht full of electronics and engineering or the Polynesian who sailed thousands of miles with eye balls and unimaginable courage?

  134. Zelepukin says:

    B S: I might be one of the few Schultz fans here, I think he will be exceptionally good in the next couple of years, but even I wouldn’t bet on a long term contract for him. I’d rather see a lower, short term (2 year) contract, followed by a $6.5mil. per year if he does work out (or whatever helps average him out to the $6 mil. average the others are making over the time of those two contracts). Same for Yakupov too, unless he actually shows that he has it together by the end of this season and starts posting Eberle-like numbers.

    I’m also a big Schultz fan and I agree, I think he is going to be something special in a couple years.

    This has been the storyline for the past 3 off-seasons. Who is going to turn some heads and be the big surprise this season? You could say last season was just Perron and personally I’d say Marincin could have been if he played the full 82.

    This season there are more potential break-out players than ever; Drait, Yak, Schultz, Marincin, Klef, even Nuge could come in and lead the team in pts. Personally I’m cheering for Yaks and Schultz.

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