For What It’s Worth

The Edmonton Oilers are 7-2-1 under Ken Hitchcock and playing a most disciplined style. Last night at Rogers, the club ignored the agitating Calgary Flames, who were less skilled than they could have been due to injury, suspension and curious personnel decisions. Instead of slashing and punching, the Oilers worked hard and smart (mostly), winning the game and passing an important test. I wrote yesterday that if the home side won last night, we could move from describing them an “upstart” to calling them a real pain in the ass for the Pacific Division. Ass, meet pain. 

THE ATHLETIC

The Athletic Edmonton is going to bring it all season long. Proud to be part of a lineup that is ready to cover the coming year. Outstanding coverage from a large group, including Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis, Lowetide, Minnia Feng and Pat McLean. If you haven’t subscribed yet, now’s your chance. Outstanding offer is here.

  • New Lowetide: I have seen the future of Edmonton’s power play, and its quarterback is Evan Bouchard. Or Joel Persson. Or both! 
  • Lowetide: Oilers No. 6 Prospect winter 2018: Cooper Marody
  • Jonathan Willis: Ken Hitchcock’s turnaround of the Oilers takes another positive step as they climb back to a playoff pace. 
  • Lowetide: Oilers No. 5 Prospect winter 2018: Ethan Bear.
  • Lowetide: Oilers No. 4 Prospect winter 2018: Ryan McLeod.
  • Lowetide: Oilers No. 3 Prospect winter 2018: Tyler Benson.
  • Lowetide: Oilers No. 2 Prospect winter 2018: Kailer Yamamoto.
  • Lowetide: Oilers No. 1 Prospect winter 2018: Evan Bouchard.

OILERS AFTER 30

  • Oilers in 201513-15-2, 28 points; goal differential -8
  • Oilers in 2016: 14-11-5, 33 points; goal differential +5
  • Oilers in 2017: 12-16-2, 26 points; goal differential -11
  • Oilers in 2018: 16-12-2, 34 points; goal differential 0

Edmonton is 7-2-1 with Hitch, after starting the year 9-10-1 under Todd McLellan. The personnel changes have been mostly minor, so you have to give the coach a lot of credit for this turnaround. Plenty of work to do but this is pretty damned fine. The Oilers are on pace to finish 44-33-5, 93 points. That’s almost paradise. 

OILERS IN DECEMBER

  • Oilers in December 2015: 5-0-0, 10 points; goal differential +6
  • Oilers in December 2016: 2-1-2, six points; goal differential +1
  • Oilers in December 2017: 3-2-0, six points; goal differential +8
  • Oilers in December 2018: 4-1-0, eight points; goal differential +5

I think this organization should put “Long December” on an endless loop and pretend it’s always almost Christmas. My goodness the McDavids enjoy the twelfth month, going 14-4-2 in his four seasons. Exceptional. 

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM DECEMBER

  • At home to: Vegas (Expected 0-1-0) Actual (1-0-0)
  • On the road to: Dallas, St. Louis (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 1-1-0)
  • At home to: Minnesota, Calgary (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 2-0-0)
  • On the road to: Colorado, Winnipeg (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • At home to: Philadelphia (Expected 1-0-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • On the road to: Vancouver (Expected 1-0-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • At home to: St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Vancouver, San Jose, Winnipeg
  • (Expected 2-2-1) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • Overall expected result: 7-6-1, 15 points in 14 games 
  • Current results: 4-1-0, eight points in five games

Edmonton is now well clear of my expectations for the month (I had them 2-3-0 at this point) and last night was a clear indication Hitchcock’s magic words are having an impact. What in hell is going on here?

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

  • Gravel-Benning went 11-4 in 7:51, 4-1 shots no goals and 3-1 HDSC. Terrific evening for this pair, I find myself wondering why they aren’t playing more 5-on-5. Went 8-3 in 4:49 against Neal-Jankowski-Mangiapane line, effective night from third pair. Gravel got drilled in the second period sending the puck deep. 
  • Nurse-Russell were 15-13 in 14:34, 10-4 shots, 1-0 goals and 0-3 HDSC. What a weird night. Nurse defended a two-on-one in the second brilliantly (no idea where Russell was) and then got walked by Sam Bennett on what was the only good play the forward made (to my eye) all damned night. Went 6-9 against Tkachuk-Ryan-Bennett, the trio had three 10-bell chances to none for Edmonton when they deployed Nurse-Russell. I’m certain Hitchcock is seeing this, somewhat flummoxed he isn’t addressing it. 
  • Klefbom-Larsson went 10-15 in 15:34, 4-9 shots, 1-0 goals and 2-1 HDSC. The high dangers came with the Brodziak line, this duo did too much defending (and it’s rare). Larsson was in his element, ran over Gaudreau in one of the more pleasing events for the home crowd. Oscar’s shooting a lot on the power play but I don’t know that he’s the issue. Teams are crowding McDavid and no one is moving his feet. That isn’t on 77. Went 7-15 in 11:18 against Monahan-Lindholm-Gaudreau, that’s a tough assignment. 
  • Mikko Koskinen stopped all 24 shots, he has a save percentage of .929, trailing only Rinne and Halak among regulars. Good gosh almighty. 
  • NaturalStatTrick and NHL.com

FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT

  • Zykov-Spooner-Rattie were 10-3 in 5:25, 2-0 shots, no goals and no HDSC. The best player on the line to my eye was Zykov, who won a lot of battles and got things headed in a good direction. Line didn’t play a lot maybe they couldn’t get untracked. Were 7-1 in 2:49 against Prout, who took a late penalty for trying to maim Ty Rattie. 
  • Lucic-Brodziak-Kassian had a fine evening, going 15-10 in 12:45, 6-3 shots and 5-3 HDSC. This line is becoming epic, winning all kinds of battles and earning goals that never come. Hitchcock’s preachings are in this line, they’re miles from danger most every shift. Went 9-7 against Prout-Kylington in 6:54. If Lucic ever scores at home, there’s going to be an earthquake. He drilled Hamonic. 
  • Chiasson-McDavid-Draisaitl got the goal, while going 10-15 in 14:31, 6-6 shots, 0-2 HDSC. Leon damn near scored on a breakaway, Chiasson made a great pass and McDavid was dangerous all night. The 5-on-4 needs to be better, if Calgary had tied it late I was going to write 10,000 words on it, but other than that this line shines. There are 43 goals on this line. Lordy. 
  • Khaira-Nuge-Puljujarvi went 3-6 in 8:49, 3-3 shots, 0-1 HDSC. Nuge had a brilliant breakaway chance, Puljujarvi was moving all night and drew a penalty, Khaira impressed on the PK. Went 0-5 against Hanifin-Hamonic. 

PACIFIC DIVISION BY POINTS PERCENTAGE

  1. Calgary 31, 19-10-2, 40 points (.645)
  2. Anaheim 32, 16-11-5, 37 points (.578)
  3. Edmonton 30, 16-12-2, 34 points (.567)
  4. San Jose 31, 15-11-5, 35 points (.565)
  5. Vegas 32, 17-14-1, 35 points (.547)
  6. Arizona 28, 13-13-2, 28 points (.500)
  7. Vancouver 32, 13-16-3, 29 points (.453)
  8. Los Angeles 30, 11-18-1, 23 points (.383)

Edmonton’s games in hand are reflected in this look at the Pacific, they are a playoff team based on points-per-game percentage. The 9-4-1 record at home is manna from heaven. 

DON SWEENEY, LIVE AT ROGERS

Bob placed Don Sweeney at Rogers last night, and I’ve seen comments suggesting Milan Lucic, Ryan Spooner and Jesse Puljujarvi might be the targets. Based on the Bruins injury list, I’d say defense may also be in play, although not sure the Oilers have a square to spare. 

If it’s Lucic, then David Backes is probably the return, contract for contract. Torey Krug is also possible, but both men have NMC’s. I don’t think it’s Lucic. 

Spooner is interesting due to his Bruins back story, but I’m not sure he moves the needle enough offensively. 

Matt Benning makes the most sense to me, although as mentioned not sure the Oilers have enough depth there to pull the trigger. If there’s something up, I think Edmonton would be looking for a scoring forward. 

My opinion? Sweeney was watching the Flames. 

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

We’re back baby, and rolling at 10 this morning on TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Kristen Anderson, Post Media Flames reporter. We’ll chat about the first place Flames and what has been a fantastic first 30 games. 
  • Jason Gregor, TSN1260. Hitchcock for emperor, Oilers pushing playoffs, why was Sweeney at Rogers?

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!

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320 Responses to "For What It’s Worth"

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  1. pts2pndr says:

    Bos8: Okay, you’re in charge of the Oilers.How do youcontrol kids that have the world by the ass.Preach, Pray, Embarass?You can’t control them, just point them in the general direction and hope.

    There is no formula other than time.In the meantime the whole enterprise is going under.

    I can tell you what you shouldn’t do. Take a first overall draft choice and sit him as an example to the rest. You do not parachute a poor player from another organization who worships at your feet and make him captain. The mistakes made by MacTavish and Eakins were epic! Sewered a young Yakopovs carreer and devalued all the players on said team to such a proportion the price for a first pairing D was Taylor Hall. If you want your players to act like adults you need to act like one yourself Dallas did not. To earn respect you have to treat people with fairness and with integrity and I would argue Mr. Eakins did neither. He even threw his assistants under the bus.

  2. hunter1909 says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    Drove to Calgary, had meetings and drove back today.

    Bleh.

    Listened to 980 Fan when South of Dead Rear and they were very complimentary of the Oilers.

    There was some trepidation about Hitch turning them into a “tough defensive team to play against with McDavid and Draisaitl”

    Great entertainment hearing Calgary phone in fans.

    I thought I saw the Flames look confused and bewildered by the Oiler’s relentless pressure.

  3. hunter1909 says:

    pts2pndr: To earn respect you have to treat people with fairness and with integrity and I would argue Mr. Eakins did neither. He even threw his assistants under the bus.

    +1

  4. --hudson-- says:

    JimmyV1965:
    The partying thing is a huge red herring. Who cares if kids are out late living the high life? As long as they are all business when they get back to the ice.

    Yep I think Woodguy has shown several times the Hall Oilers tended to outscore by a large margin while he was on the ice and then get outscored by a larger margin when he was off the ice.

    It would be a pretty novel argument to say Hall caused the 3rd and 4th lines to collapse because of his practice habits.

  5. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Woodguy v2.0:

    There was some trepidation about Hitch turning them into a “tough defensive team to play against with McDavid and Draisaitl”

    Woodguy v2.0:
    Kinger_Oil.redux,

    Georges appears right : he early and often called out Coach.

    So the Coach was s*#t?

    – That’s Hitch’s playbook: and my concern as well mid-term: that’s why he gets driven out of town: maybe he will learn, but he grinds the team hard, and then when they lose 2-1, he’s about only letting in 1 goal, rather than scoring 3: that wears thin after awhile on a team and he gets tuned out

    – Two things about coach:

    1) that playoff run was a glorious thing, his team imposing their will, and was a Sek away from the semis. And Talbot let him down, but he rode him hard even though he was awful last year and this

    2) The greatest game of hockey live I’ve been to (that includes Canada Cup in ’87 live at Copps), was the under-23 vs Sweden: he had that team humming: so talented, they were well coached. I saw the future of hockey, and we are closer to it then ever in regular NHL: speed, transition, passing, 5-men units…

    – It was time for Coach to go, but for the organization, the process to get there: off-season analysis to give core another crack (and bring in some nice pieces Chiasson, Reider, Koski, Gravel, etc): get in some new voices on the bench, give Coach every opportunity to improve, then pull the plug when it was sliding, and the Hitch hire: that is fine organizational behaviour, and I don’t think it is appreciated enough.

    – So yeah at the end coach was sh%t: but it always ends that way: rare is the coach who retires on top: they all get fired…

  6. pts2pndr says:

    Bos8: Yep
    Agreed on Eakins.Every profession has an inner knowledge base.Good on Ference for the record.

    I’d buy the man a beer and then another.H/T to the Boss.

    The reality of what Ference said in the interview says volumes more about his character than it does about the team. Not in a good way either!

  7. Pescador says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Ok, so I woke up this morning no longer in ‘seeing red’ mode (damn Flames) and there was a lot to unpack so I might as well just dive in.

    I don’t know if you’ve ever voiced a desire to commit premeditated assault against some random guy on the internet in front of dozens of witnesses, but it’s not the easiest thing to pull off. I started asking questions like ‘how can I best arrange a neutral site and make sure the other guy doesn’t show up with a baseball bat or some fellow combatants in tow?’ ‘The guy wants to ‘exchange information’? How do I do that without possibly implicating myself in a potential assault charge, and again, there’s that pesky witnesses issue to consider. And most importantly, how do I make some unexplained trip to Sylvan Lake without my wife knowing, and why do I have to be one to do all the driving? That makes me even angrier!’

    In a community that prides itself on reason and rationality, clearly I was not playing well with others.

    So, despite the fact that I hate this sort of thing, I’m going to share a bit about myself as a way of explanation and apology to a community that is rightfully above this sort of behavior. Sorry LT!

    After 15 years or so of school fights, hockey fights, rugby fights, bar fights, etc. I remember my last tilt pretty vividly. Btw, this is the thing most people don’t realize. In the heat of battle, fighting is actually pretty exhilarating. Mixed messages from the old lizard brain for sure. Anyway, I threw hands with a bar bouncer the night before the first Fathers Day celebration after my youngest son was born. This guy tagged me pretty good with an uppercut to the ribs (tender for days after) but I had the full toolbox working that night and got the better of a guy that probably outweighed me by about 20 pounds. In short, I was pretty pleased with myself. Coming from a long line of scrappers, a few of my uncles and cousins wanted to hear about it the next day and I was only too happy to oblige. Understandably, my mom and wife were not as impressed. After everyone left, I was sat down and told in no uncertain terms that this was no way for a ‘family man’ to be acting and that I needed to stop it immediately and start to think about the better example I needed to set for two young boys that fighting should not be the way for them to solve their disputes. Obviously good advice, but a very difficult proposition to entertain after years of it actually being a very effective way of solving disputes for me.

    To prove my commitment to this new course of civil behavior, I took an anger management course in my local community. As you would expect, it was populated by the usual court appointed attendees but there were also other ‘volunteer’ attendees there like me and they proved to be the real eye openers. As everyone shared their stories, my odd bout of last call fisticuffs seemed like pretty small potatoes compared to men carrying the burdens of barely contained rage simmering under the surface. Anger was literally ruining their lives. I realized there are some serious ticking time bombs out there and that was worrisome. More importantly, it made me realize that my quick temper could lead down a far more dangerous path if I didn’t start to check this aggression and get on the path to being a ‘civilized’ man.

    So I did, and for the most part it’s worked out well. No more fights for me. None for my boys ever, but unfortunately, fight or flight response never truly leaves you, and so I still have the odd trigger that flashes the temper. Numero uno being people saying things on the internet they would never dare say to your face. Challenge here is to grow a thicker skin and that is a fair point that GMB made last night that I have to embrace. Either that or just watch more of the hockeying and less of the internet’ing.

    I still stand behind my opinions that ageism is a real problem in our society and that the combination of internet anonymity and cyber bulling has led to a real erosion in the manners and respect we pay our fellow man, but obviously there’s got to be a better way for me to advocate for these issues than punching random internet trolls in the face.

    So, for all of you that told me to cool off and take a break, I appreciate it. For all of you that were offended by my behavior, I apologize.

    And finally, I fully expect that some will choose to respond to this by saying oh man, you chickened out or any combination of ‘old guy’ putdowns and that’s to be expected. That’s what I deserve for letting my temper get the better of my reason, so have at it if it makes you happy. I know my history so being called a chicken is the least of my worries and eating shit now and then is the price one pays to stay civil in a society where manners are becoming moot.

    Anyhoo, moving on. Great win for the Oil last night. Really loving this team under Hitch.

    Nice story, thanks for sharing.
    If it makes you feel any better, hundreds read the comments not dozens.
    Also, Did you/are you apologizing to GMB8?
    I’m not advocating for it, I’m 100% against the new age, everything a person says & thinks is offensive & everybody gets a medal but I would like to see the 2 of you find some common ground.

  8. Pescador says:

    pts2pndr: The reality of what Ference said in the interview says volumes more about his character than it does about the team.Not in a good way either!

    I think part of the problem is that Ference thought he was a great leader, but in reality he was terrible & by the time he suited up for the Oil, all but washed up.

  9. Wilde says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:
    2) The greatest game of hockey I’ve seen (that includes Canada Cup in ’87 live at Copps), was the under-23 vs Sweden: he had that team humming: so talented, they were well coached. I saw the future of hockey, and we are closer to it then ever in regular NHL: speed, transition, passing, 5-men units…

    The staff not telling the players they had to win in regulation during that last game was the ultimate McLellan (and Hockey Canada) mindgamery.

  10. Melvis says:

    Gerta Rauss:
    Bag of Pucks,

    That’s a fine post sir-I’ve got a lot of respect for you after taking the time to make a post like that

    First round is on me if we ever sit down for a drink

    The second is on me. For one, the properly told, long story form might take me a couple of days of re-writes. One has to be in the mood. And I’m no longer in the mood. So kudos for that.

    There’s another thing. I couldn’t bare my soul in front of a couple of shrinks for the life of me. Big Pharma tends to get in the way.

    ” Ve haff just the right anti-psychotic for you.” They don’t tell you, it’s the one that equates to a frontal lobotomy.

    This place is an exception…I’ve noticed.

    So here’s the short form. I grew up in an environment where looking after oneself was de rigeur. This was no picnic. That alley behind the high school entailed broken noses and cheekbones, black and blue, flying blood and chiclets, swollen hands and swollen nads. The latter because the properly placed knee or kick was the only way to end it.

    I never sought that out. But there were a couple of occasions that required a lizard brain, resilience, self reliance, and self defence. So I get where you’re coming from.

    So where are we? Oh yeah.

    “Nature, red in tooth and claw”.

    And ageism. I got knocked flat once by a twenty something female riding her bike full tilt on the sidewalk on Queen St. West near Spadina. I dodged to my right. She drove to her left. Then she told me to get the fuck out of the way. She went on her way without a backword glance. I went to Mt. Sinai emergency for a knee cap scan. Hell, I was barely fifty.

    This is the world we live in. The experience might tarnish one’s sense of justice and equilibrium in this day and age. So I can hardly wait for the next eye roll while sniffing melons in the produce section.

    I can only suggest one thing other than a barn in Sylvan lake. Keep your wits and a finely honed tongue and sense of sarc about you.

    Damn, I really wanted to put a bid in for the concession rights.

  11. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Side,

    The youth was handed the reins and given zero support.The youth was handed the reins and given zero support.

    I lay that squarely at the feet of MacT.

    Pushed out Comrade Horkov and Ales in order for “the new leadership core to take over”

    Trying to re-create the boys on the bus but wasn’t around when the Hall of Famers were kids and had Fogolin, Weir, Callighen, Unger and other around during the formative years.

    Also,

    I was by someone who would know about Ference lecturing his fellow BOS players about fitness etc to the point where Recchi told him to shut the fuck up because all types of people were great hockey players and not just 3rd pair Dmen who were fitness freaks.

    There was no Recchi in EDM to tell him to stfu.

  12. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Bos8: But they weren’t all business.

    From 11/12-15/16 when Eberle and Hall were on the ice together they got 53% of the goals.

    Is all business 56%?

  13. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Wilde: The staff not telling the players they had to win in regulation during that last game was the ultimate McLellan (and Hockey Canada) mindgamery.

    – Their fate was unknown untill the next day after Russia played Finland and the 3-game tourney’s result were known. For sure winning in regulation would be optimal: they weren’t trying to win?

    – The U-23 came out guns a blazing, scored early, then the angry talented Swedes countered, before U-23 winning in OT: was just an awesome game

  14. Profit says:

    Two comments:

    1) the “kids partying” narrative is true. I have first hand knowledge that I won’t go into, but it was bad enough there’s still #metoo moment potential there. I blame management fully. Control the kids and give them adult supervision.

    2) I was in a course recently which pointed out the if you replace the term millennial with “adult under 40” you get the same demographic and yet a completely different view point. As a technical millennial (albeit an old one) these age demographic tropes are usually just that. Short hand tropes.

  15. pts2pndr says:

    Pescador: I think part of the problem is that Ference thought he was a great leader, but in reality he was terrible & by the time he suited up for the Oil, all but washed up.

    I agree and he had no street cred as the kids would say. Nothing will turn a group off quicker than when the new guy on the block says when I was on such and such team we did this! Ference was the wrong man for the C. He was put in a no win scenario from the start. Let the players give you three names they would be OK with and either pick one of the three and or if you are OK with any of the three hold an election. You also have the option of three alternates for one year. You are far better off with the players choice because you will almost always find the player the players will listen to. It is also the individual that the team will rally behind. I would guess that Ference was never realy accepted by the team as captain. The team followed the individual they respected as their leader. Dressing room divided!

  16. Wilde says:

    Also, if Puljujarvi keeps up this penalty differential thing under Hitch, he’ll have had positive contributions on record during significant stretches in the NHL in almost every area that model-makers weight.

    i) above average effect on teamshot/goal rates against (4th in CA/60 relative to team form 2017-2019)

    ii) above average effect on team shot/goal shares against during hard minutes (from 16-17/17-18 with 97)

    iii) above average individual shot generation (2nd on the Oilers in SOG/60 over 2016-2018 among forwards with more than 400 5v5 minutes; 1st in iFF/60)

    iv) above average on-ice shots generation (5th in FF/60 relative to team over 2016-2018, 4th in CF/60)

    v) above average zone-exit/entries (literally did this at 18)

    I still believe in him on both special teams. He has a good stick for the PK and he was legendary as a boy in Finland on the 5-on-4. I believe the only area he’ll not be above-average at, numbers wise, will probably be individual shooting percentage because those guys usually do that upon entry to the NHL. Not that I’m saying he’ll never shoot 15-18% during a season and pop 28 goals or whatever, just that his career shooting percentage won’t be much higher than the average top-sixer.

    There’s a difference between a guy who pots 55 points without killing penalties and by riding a powerplay and an even strength line that somebody else drives and a guy who pots 55 points while adding value against replacement on PK GA, PP GF, 5v5 GF%, draws more penalties than he takes, has more takeaways than giveaways, drives shot share and zone time through a good neutral zone stick, some hard backchecks, and some clean puck transporting between bluelines.

    Puljujarvi’s going to be the latter, Gord willing.

  17. Woogie63 says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    Drove to Calgary, had meetings and drove back today.

    Bleh.

    Listened to 980 Fan when South of Dead Rear and they were very complimentary of the Oilers.

    There was some trepidation about Hitch turning them into a “tough defensive team to play against with McDavid and Draisaitl”

    I drove from Calgary to Edmonton on Sunday and back back to Calgary this morning- 1260 this morning and 960 this afternoon … smiled all day.

  18. Wilde says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:

    – Their fate was unknown untill the next day after Russia played Finland and the 3-game tourney’s result were known. For sure winning in regulation would be optimal: they weren’t trying to win?
    – The U-23 came out guns a blazing, scored early, then the angry talented Swedes countered, before U-23 winning in OT: was just an awesome game

    It’s my understanding that the results of the other game that was being played that day caused the TNA team to have to win in regulation in order to control their destiny and the coaches refrained from telling the players and that’s why they went nuts after the overtime winner by MacKinnon (best overtime we will ever see in our lives).

  19. Wilde says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    I was by someone who would know about Ference lecturing his fellow BOS players about fitness etc to the point where Recchi told him to shut the fuck up because all types of people were great hockey players and not just 3rd pair Dmen who were fitness freaks.

    Oh my god. YES

  20. Woogie63 says:

    Our seats are a few rows behind the visitors bench in Rogers. One story that is not reported was the impact Larsson had on Johnny Hockey’s game. Johnny was yelling at the ref all night long about Larsson. The ref #23 had a long chat with Peters on one of the breaks. He clearly told the coach he was not going to put up with it.

  21. Bag of Pucks says:

    Pescador,

    Absolutely the apology is intended for GMB3 too. Him especially.

  22. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Wilde: It’s my understanding that the results of the other game that was being played that day caused the TNA team to have to win in regulation in order to control their destiny and the coaches refrained from telling the players and that’s why they went nuts after the overtime winner by MacKinnon (best overtime we will ever see in our lives).

    – Ah, I see: my take was that Coach did an amazing job and that team was humming, future of hockey before our eyes.

    – You saw the same and your take was (paraphrase): “Coach was sh%t, because he didn’t tell the kids the math” : “The ultimate McLellan” ( your exact quote)

    Interesting the opposite take, on the same information: a good bias lesson…

    – Regardless your understanding is wrong: “Despite finishing in a tie with Russia for the final spot in the knockout round, Team North America did not advance as their head-to-head loss to Russia broke the tie.”

    – Had Russia lost the next day against Finland, U-23NA would have advanced…

  23. Bag of Pucks says:

    Andrew Ference great guy to build a compost heap or climb some stairs. Lead a hockey team? Not so much.

    We should’ve dubbed him and Eakins, Hans & Frans.

  24. Scungilli Slushy says:

    JimmyV1965:
    The partying thing is a huge red herring. Who cares if kids are out late living the high life? As long as they are all business when they get back to the ice.

    I think the issue is that they weren’t all business back at the rink.

    As for 80’s partying the league is much different. There isn’t room for hangovers anymore, everyone is fit, can skate and play some level of hockey. Players still smoked cigarettes back then.

    I believe Hall was a handful and may still be, top players of Connor’s demeanour are probably the minority.

    Still it is the hallmark (pun intended) of bad teams to get rid of it’s best players to solve perceived problems. It’s an Oilers hallmark to get boot stomped doing it.

    PC has a history of liquidating skill because of maturity issues or because they aren’t immediately Bergeron in the first few years. He had the hatchet handed I’m sure, but man. I’d love to know who the objectors were for the trade.

    I imagine ‘they’ wanted to split up the dynamic duo leading the charge. I expected trouble when McDavid moved in with Taylor as there was enough knife sharpening already on the go, and the new golden boy moving in with the former on shaky ground , would have had the panic level on high alert in the OBC.

    After hearing Hall’s year end presser where he said ‘ stink of the season ‘ I immediately thought he’s going to be traded, way too negative for Edmonton.

    There were better ways to handle it, because Oilers.

  25. jm363561 says:

    hunter1909:
    I read the other day Oilers are once again nearly or are the youngest team in the NHL. I nearly vomited on the spot. Is this even true!??

    I blame Nuge. The same age now that he was when drafted.

  26. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Andrew Ference great guy to build a compost heap or climb some stairs. Lead a hockey team? Not so much.

    We should’ve dubbed him and Eakins, Hans & Frans.

    Bringing in Ference was there attempt to bring veteran leadership, but as he said himself he didn’t have the gravitas to carry any weight. So they brought in Lucic because you pretty much are going to listen to him or else, Messier style.

  27. McNuge93 says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    Side,

    The youth was handed the reins and given zero support.The youth was handed the reins and given zero support.

    I lay that squarely at the feet of MacT.

    Pushed out Comrade Horkov and Ales in order for “the new leadership core to take over”

    Trying to re-create the boys on the bus but wasn’t around when the Hall of Famers were kids and had Fogolin, Weir, Callighen, Unger and other around during the formative years.

    Also,

    I was by someone who would know about Ference lecturing his fellow BOS players about fitness etc to the point where Recchi told him to shut the fuck up because all types of people were greathockey players and not just 3rd pair Dmen who were fitness freaks.

    There was no Recchi in EDM to tell him to stfu.

    Not only MacT but even higher up. To management it was such a big deal to have a number 1 overall pick/superstar and later another couple number 1s. The franchise had not had a true superstar since Messier left. I think management coddled them and basically gave them the keys to the castle. So it’s no wonder that they had entitled attitudes.

    One of them that was traded even admitted that he didn’t really listen to the coaches.

  28. Side says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    Side,

    The youth was handed the reins and given zero support.The youth was handed the reins and given zero support.

    I lay that squarely at the feet of MacT.

    Pushed out Comrade Horkov and Ales in order for “the new leadership core to take over”

    Trying to re-create the boys on the bus but wasn’t around when the Hall of Famers were kids and had Fogolin, Weir, Callighen, Unger and other around during the formative years.

    Also,

    I was by someone who would know about Ference lecturing his fellow BOS players about fitness etc to the point where Recchi told him to shut the fuck up because all types of people were greathockey players and not just 3rd pair Dmen who were fitness freaks.

    There was no Recchi in EDM to tell him to stfu.

    Prolly why Ference thinks Eakins is a great coach.

    Once he heard Dallas say they needed to chop wood and carry water, and took the donuts away from the press, Ference was over the moon.

  29. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Hall’s biggest issue was that he couldn’t get enough points to not play the game off the ice. Yes his underlying numbers were / are great, but things weren’t quite new school enough for the old guys.

    If he would have won a scoring championship thing

  30. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Scungilli Slushy:
    Hall’s biggest issue was that he couldn’t get enough points to not play the game off the ice. Yes his underlying numbers were / are great, but things weren’t quite new school enough for the old guys.

    If he would have won a scoring championship thing

    Things might have been different. Oops!

  31. Scungilli Slushy says:

    hunter1909: Great entertainment hearing Calgary phone in fans.

    I thought I saw the Flames look confused and bewildered by the Oiler’s relentless pressure.

    ‘Straight legged’

  32. Scungilli Slushy says:

    jm363561: I blame Nuge. The same age now that he was when drafted.

    Baby Nuge!

  33. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Ference played 2 seasons with EDM 13/14 & 14/15

    EDM got 42.9% of the goal share when Ference was with Hall and Eberle.

    EDM got 34.1% of the goals when he was without those two.

    Hall & Eberle got 62% of the goals when Ference wasn’t with them.

    Maybe Ference should have shut up and followed their lead?

  34. JimmyV1965 says:

    Woogie63: The adults did … they traded the problem players in 2016and 2017.

    If that was the answer, they really pooched that one then.

  35. Wilde says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:

    – Ah, I see: my take was that Coach did an amazing job and that team was humming, future of hockey before our eyes.

    This is exactly what I thought as well, at the time. Nuge was flying, the team was relentless and overwhelming, McDavid was even faster and stronger than before. The team had the will and the means. I was very high on Todd McLellan at this time.

    Kinger_Oil.redux: – You saw the same and your take was (paraphrase): “Coach was sh%t, because he didn’t tell the kids the math” : “The ultimate McLellan” ( your exact quote)

    (paraphrased)

    Yeah that is, uh, definitely paraphrased.

    Listen, you don’t have to add vulgarity where there was none.

    I take care with my language and put effort into the way I word things when I’m trying to contribute here, and I think it’s distasteful that you would lazily dress it down like that.

    I’m not talking about profanity, just that my take generally isn’t simply ‘X is shit’. Keep that in mind.

    Kinger_Oil.redux:
    – Regardless your understanding is wrong: “Despite finishing in a tie with Russia for the final spot in the knockout round, Team North America did not advance as their head-to-head loss to Russia broke the tie.”

    No it isn’t. Again, you ignore the detailing.

    I said ‘to control their destiny’.

    What this means, and is commonly accepted to mean (in all sports and games) is the line that a team needs to be above in order be seeded above elimination regardless of later results from other teams.

    Had they won in regulation, the RUS-FIN game’s results wouldn’t have eliminated them either way.

    That their advancement (or non advancement) was decided not by a game they played, but a later game’s results, means that they…

    Weren’t in control of their destiny.

  36. leadfarmer says:

    Oh no a 20 year old millionaire partying too much. Who has ever heard of such a thing
    That’s what I did. And I wasn’t a millionaire

    I don’t get the Ferrence hate. He’s not the first person to go why are these darn kids so immature. Happens a lot
    I’ve been called the biggest waste of talent they have ever seen from a professor.
    There’s one cure for immaturity.
    Time

  37. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Profit:
    Two comments:

    1) the “kids partying” narrative is true. I have first hand knowledge that I won’t go into, but it was bad enough there’s still #metoo moment potential there. I blame management fully. Control the kids and give them adult supervision.

    2) I was in a course recently which pointed out the if you replace the term millennial with “adult under 40” you get the same demographic and yet a completely different view point. As a technical millennial (albeit an old one) these age demographic tropes are usually just that. Short hand tropes.

    The Canadiens traded Smith-Pelli for similar reasons. The Oilers picked the wrong fall guy because of PD/60 – Practice Dink/60.

  38. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Scungilli Slushy: The Canadiens traded Smith-Pelli for similar reasons. The Oilers picked the wrong fall guy because of PD/60 – Practice Dink/60.

    Pelly

  39. Side says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    Ference played 2 seasons with EDM 13/14 & 14/15

    EDM got 42.9% of the goal share when Ference was with Hall and Eberle.

    EDM got 34.1% of the goals when he was without those two.

    Hall & Eberle got 62% of the goals when Ference wasn’t with them.

    Maybe Ference should have shut up and followed their lead?

    My last memory of Ference on the ice was when he had the puck in his zone by the net, unpressured, he went to fire the puck behind the net and around the boards. Instead he fired it into the boards, which caused the puck to come off the boards and slide to the front of the net right to an opposing player who fired it into the net.

    This could have been avoided if Hall never partied or splashed Eakins.

    Also, imagine being in the room with Ference after he did this, remembering he told you you should commit more to the team.

  40. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Wilde,

    – Actually Wilde, you were right: Coach did decide to not lay out all the parameters: I was wrong. But you see this as he being bad, rather than the play of the team:

    – Also some good quotes from Larianov who said it was best hockey he’d seem

    “I guess we could have gone [with] Connor out for 25 minutes instead of 22 and a half,” he said, when asked, referring to added shifts for his captain and best player. “No. Those players knew on the bench that we were doing everything we could to win. And in turn, they were giving us as a coaching staff everything they could to win.”

    They were. They wanted this, composite team or not, one-and-done team or not. Team North America, a team comprised of players 23-and-younger from Canada and the United States, wanted to advance, wanted to continue to prove its worth, wanted what would have been an incredible Saturday night matchup with Team Canada.

    But just as McLellan didn’t want to tell them that they had to win in regulation to advance, the bigger issue for him seemed to be the corollary that he then would have also had to tell his team the minimum they would have to do to remain alive. And that was the issue.

    McLellan and his staff had gone over every scenario, had prepared themselves to know what each outcome meant for their group of players. But as McLellan said, “We weren’t prepared to give them the complete plan.”

    “If you give them the upper parameter, which means you’ve got to win to advance, the first question that comes out of their mouth is what if, and then you’ve got to give them the lower parameter, and the lower parameter in our mind was two goals,” McLellan said. “We could be unsuccessful and give up a gap of two goals and still have a pretty good chance if things went our way.

    “In our opinion, we would have slowed our team down because they would have had that in the back of their mind and we weren’t built that way. We played every minute to win.”

    From Larianov:

    Larionov saw a creativity and aggressiveness he would like to see more of.

    “That North America team was a phenomenal team the way they played,” he said. “That’s the way the game is supposed to be played. … These guys played very entertaining hockey for 60 minutes. It was all attacking and all defense, so it kind of reminded me of the 1987 Canada Cup when we played against Team Canada for three games.”

  41. Leroy Draisdale says:

    hunter1909,

    Wimp Viewpoint Alert: Having never played difficult sports past childhood, it seems to me that it’s a mistake to get your body mangled by playing extreme sports. Because you sir have actually put yourself on the line, what’s your take?

    I wouldn’t call rugby an extreme sport. Very physical but not extreme. I fully agree with BOP that rugby and other sports is a lot about the camaraderie. I have life long friends from Rugby and hockey. Travelled around the world playing Rugby. The rugby community is fantastic, show up to a club with your boots and someone will sort you out with a place to stay and help finding work.

  42. Wilde says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:
    – Actually Wilde, you were right: Coach did decide to not lay out all the parameters: I was wrong. But you see this as he being bad, rather than the play of the team:

    No, I don’t see it as him being bad.

    I see it as him making a poor decision, in the same weaker points in his methodology that I’ve seen him make other poor decisions on.

    Thus, the ultimate McLellan. The reverse-sweep, the first round exits, the EDM-ANA series, even recently the first BoA this year.

  43. JimmyV1965 says:

    Side: I see what Ference is saying.

    I also see why the young talent did what they did.

    If you’re young and talented on an NHL team that is comprised of largely AHL talent and no veteran leadership, it doesn’t take a genius to see that no matter how much extra time you put into practice, your team won’t win.

    If Taylor Hall or Eberle or whoever is in this “young” group, put “more focus on playing the game and getting to the playoffs” that’s great, but it isn’t going to make the Will Acton’s better players. Even if the Will Acton’s feel inspired by the leadership and commitment demonstrated by the ‘young’ group.

    This would be an entirely different story if these “young” players were on a veteran team with a bunch of winners and veterans.

    The Young Oilers were given shitty teammates, a shitty coach and were blamed for not being more committed to a shitty team and criticized for enjoying their money.This angle makes no sense to me.

    +1000

  44. Wilde says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:
    McLellan and his staff had gone over every scenario, had prepared themselves to know what each outcome meant for their group of players. But as McLellan said, “We weren’t prepared to give them the complete plan.”

    This is the key part.

    McLellan’s willingness to withhold information.

  45. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Because Ference had issues in his ability and his personality in the room doesn’t mean he read things wrong. He didn’t have the solution (Hall was pretty funny on Twitter at him) , but the team really didn’t need an assessment, they needed more leadership and Ference was a poor choice. But when you rely only on former reps and do no vetting apparently these things happen.

  46. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Wilde,

    – You were high on Coach, why was your counter when I was talking about that team and giving Coach props, your response “ultimate McLellan (and Hockey Canada) mindgamery”

    – With one shot, you dimissed Coach: a “yeah but” Your defined legacy from that U-23 team was framed by that decision. Mine was what Larianov saw and said..

    – But I should know better than try to provide some balance when discussing Coach posthumously: I was a fan: carry on!

  47. Dustylegnd says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    Side,

    The youth was handed the reins and given zero support.The youth was handed the reins and given zero support.

    I lay that squarely at the feet of MacT.

    Pushed out Comrade Horkov and Ales in order for “the new leadership core to take over”

    Trying to re-create the boys on the bus but wasn’t around when the Hall of Famers were kids and had Fogolin, Weir, Callighen, Unger and other around during the formative years.

    Also,

    I was by someone who would know about Ference lecturing his fellow BOS players about fitness etc to the point where Recchi told him to shut the fuck up because all types of people were greathockey players and not just 3rd pair Dmen who were fitness freaks.

    There was no Recchi in EDM to tell him to stfu.

    That is the best locker room story ever, and what exactly do you say to Mark Recchi after he drops that beauty on you 1652 games played in the NHL…think about that……1533 points ……..1033 Pims….yes sir Mr Recchi, I will shut the Fuck up Now

  48. Wilde says:

    That TNA team played for each other.

    What I watched was a team that played to not lose until the 3rd period ended.

    The whole tempo of the game slowed down significantly in the last 10-15 minutes or so.

    This is because they wanted to advance so bad that they played very patiently and defensively sound, despite being a ridiculously young and inexperienced team going up against the opposite.

    By not telling them the details of their prospective advancement, TNA’s staff essentially left their fate entirely up to Finland.

    When a team wanted it so bad – and nothing was on the line for the coaches – and a team is playing for each other that much, you can’t do that. I believe you can’t do that.

  49. jm363561 says:

    Interesting thread. Young rich professional sportsmen party party party, and it is all the fault of the coach / GM /captain / team mates. My fading memories of Edmonton make me wonder how many blue collar fans who paid hard earned cash to see their team would agree with this.

  50. Scungilli Slushy says:

    JimmyV1965: +1000

    Because they were supposed to lead the solution not defer to the lowest common denominator. They were given the helm and crashed the family boat.

    Look at how different the McDavid Oilers are. It’s mostly due to him, not Lucic or any older players.

    But as managers the Oilers should have been able to see they didn’t have mature enough young skill to take that road at that time.

  51. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Dustylegnd: That is the best locker room story ever, and what exactly do you say to Mark Recchi after he drops that beauty on you 1652 games played in the NHL…think about that……1533 points ……..1033 Pims….yes sir Mr Recchi, I will shut the Fuck up Now

    Ference should have learned his lesson that day, he obviously didn’t.

  52. Wilde says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:
    – You were high on Coach, why was your counter when I was talking about that team and giving Coach props, your response “ultimate McLellan (and Hockey Canada) mindgamery”

    Because I’m not anymore? Because now I have more information?

    Kinger_Oil.redux: Your defined legacy from that U-23 team was framed by that decision. Mine was what Larianov saw and said..

    It’s not that deep, dude.

    I re-watch those games sometimes. I enjoyed them and still do. I brought it up because I felt like it, to be honest I wondered if anyone else had made that connection (I think in one of my back-and-forths with Georges it got brought up)

    It was very clearly a counter to what you were saying about McLellan essentially playing a big part in the showcasing of the future of the NHL. I wasn’t disagreeing or saying that the games weren’t great. My disagreement with your statement about McLellan’s involvement isn’t a disagreement with your entire post and that’s obvious.

  53. Side says:

    jm363561:
    Interesting thread. Young rich professional sportsmen party party party, and it is all the fault of the coach / GM /captain / team mates. My fading memories of Edmonton make me wonder how many blue collar fans who paid hard earned cash to see their team would agree with this.

    The young rich players contributed to winning.

    The Captain Andrew Ference was healthy scratched and sitting in the press box.

    Blue collar workers pay money to see talent win games, not a 30 something 4/5 defenseman in the press box talking about the benefits of a kale and quinoa salad.

  54. Pescador says:

    Melvis,

    “So I can hardly wait for the next eye roll while sniffing melons in the produce section.”

    Always ask her permission first,
    You’ll get in far less trouble that way

  55. Pescador says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Pescador,

    Absolutely the apology is intended for GMB3 too. Him especially.

    Respect

  56. Halfwise says:

    Side: The young rich players contributed to winning.

    The Captain Andrew Ference was healthy scratched and sitting in the press box.

    Blue collar workers pay money to see talent win games, not a 30 something 4/5 defenseman in the press box talking about the benefits of a kale and quinoa salad.

    There is more than enough blame to go around with those teams. A fustercluck from top to bottom, like a dysfunctional family winning the big lottery.

    There were no actual adults in the room. Instead, management compounded their mistakes with more mistakes. We’re lucky to still have a franchise to watch thanks to fans who bought tickets despite the soiled clothing on the ice.

  57. jm363561 says:

    Side: The young rich players contributed to winning.

    The Captain Andrew Ference was healthy scratched and sitting in the press box.

    Blue collar workers pay money to see talent win games, not a 30 something 4/5 defenseman in the press box talking about the benefits of a kale and quinoa salad.

    =======

    I completely agree. But the talent was not winning games.

    When I got married 20 years ago my wife and I considered settling in Alberta as I had loved the two years I lived there (and it was not because of the weather). People worked hard and gave it their best shot, and I liked that. I would expect any pro athlete to give it their best shot no matter how poor their situation, and those I spent time with in Edmonton seemed to think the same way. JMHO.

  58. CDog says:

    Catching Johnny Hockey on the back check…more please.

  59. Side says:

    jm363561: =======

    I completely agree. But the talent was not winning games.

    When I got married 20 years ago my wife and I considered settling in Alberta as I had loved the two years I lived there (and it was not because of the weather). People worked hard and gave it their best shot, and I liked that. I would expect any pro athlete to give it their best shot no matter how poor their situation, and those I spent time with inEdmonton seemed to think the same way. JMHO.

    The 80s Oilers partied like animals, from what I understand. But they were all talented so they won.

    DoD Oilers had young players who were really good, and apparently liked to party. The rest of the team, while sober, were not as good as the young players. That is the issue, imo. Not the young talented players needing to “try harder”, but for the rest of the team needing to actually be better.

    The talent when on the ice was winning games. But once the talented players stepped off the ice, the game was lost.

  60. ArmchairGM says:

    Wilde: This is the key part.

    McLellan’s willingness to withhold information.

    Great way to build trust, that.

  61. SkatinginSand says:

    hunter1909,

    After having my MCL and ACL sewn back together at 21 and both meniscus removed from the same knee at 25 because of hockey, at 39, a sports medicine doctor looked at the x-ray and said, “You would be a great candidate for a knee replacement, but you are way too young.” Now 22 years later, it is a daily dose of Arthrotec to do my 4 time a week 1.5 mile dog walk. But do I in any way regret having played the game? Not a chance!

  62. Halfwise says:

    SkatinginSand:
    hunter1909,

    After having my MCL and ACL sewn back together at 21 and both meniscus removed from the same knee at 25 because of hockey, at 39, a sports medicine doctor looked at the x-ray and said, “You would be a great candidate for a knee replacement, but you are way too young.”Now 22 years later, it is a daily dose of Arthrotec to do my 4 time a week 1.5 mile dog walk.But do I in any way regret having played the game? Not a chance!

    In the US, most people pay for health care with money. Here, most people pay with time and hope.

    Out here on the Island there’s 60+, 65+ and 70+ old timers hockey. Stay fit!

  63. thehop says:

    Halfwise,

    For a moment there I thought you wrote….

    Stay lit

    Which would have been appropriate given the back story.

    I know I’d be if my knee was that thrashed before the age of 50.

  64. JimmyV1965 says:

    jm363561:
    Interesting thread. Young rich professional sportsmen party party party, and it is all the fault of the coach / GM /captain / team mates. My fading memories of Edmonton make me wonder how many blue collar fans who paid hard earned cash to see their team would agree with this.

    Just because they’re young and rich and highly proficient at a particular skill doesn’t make them different than other kids. I partied my face off until I was about 23. Some kids end it a bit earlier, others a bit later. And still others never party. It doesn’t mean you’re not a committed player, or you don’t work your ass off. Fans pay money to see the team win. The failings of this team stem from the incompetent adults running the org at all levels, not the handful of kids who were the only good players on the team. Get good players. Keep good players.

  65. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    @nicholsonhockey transcribed parts of the Ference interview.

    Of course everyone focuses on the party and practice quote and no one is talking about this one:

    “But what you just said a couple of seconds ago – I think there’s a lot of Oilers fans out there wondering why doesn’t it work. They’ve had a lot of great talent in there. Is there something there in the water of Edmonton that contributes to all of this. Why do you think they’ve had so much trouble.”

    “I don’t think it’s one thing,” considered Ference. “I think there’s a combination of elements that go into it. I think that, like I said, that aspect of feeling more scared to make a mistake and be the whipping boy rather than being bold and taking your chances and having that confidence to try the play. I think some guys might get into that role of just being scared to be the whipping boy. I don’t know if that makes sense.”

    “I’ve heard that theory before,” noted Friedman.

    “You take less risks,” continued Ference. “Your urge to win and be bold is less than your urge to not be the whipping boy or stand out, right. So I think that is one aspect. I think that the quickness that radio or newspaper or fans jump and attack their own guys is horrible. I think that the quickness to defend players within the organization… I remember Jeff Petry or Schultz getting raked over the coals and nobody coming to defend them, and then just trading them when their value – after they’ve beaten them down for months – then trading them. It’s like, ‘God.’

    “It’s not just for those guys, but it’s for other guys on the team and you’re looking at and saying, ‘Well, they don’t have his back. Are they going to have mine when it’s my turn to be the whipping boy?’

    That is the rot of Lowe, MacT, Bucky and the rest.

    Source: https://www.nicholsonhockey.com/archives/2018/12/10/ference-shares-candid-perspectives-on-oilers

  66. godot10 says:

    Side: Just sittin here, thinkin about all of the times I asked you for the meat of why you think Todd is only “mediocre” and not “good” or “bad” and I’m still waiting….

    Someday I’ll get ambitious and repost my posts from three years ago where I described most of my criticisms of McLellan a few months after he was hired.

  67. Bling says:

    As interesting as Ference is *YAWN* — he’s been saying variations of this stuff for years, bottom line those teams were, overall, flaming piles of garbage — when you get a minute listen to Hitchcock’s latest avail.

    They keep getting better and better!

    According to Hitch, the team is at 60% of what it ought to be.

    The PK is improving, and Jesse is going to be on it. Also, Jesse scores all the time in practice, and he’s hoping that it translates into the games. After PJ starts taking regular PK shifts, he hopes to have him at around 15-16 minutes per game.

  68. godot10 says:

    slopitch: Interesting. Some of it I’m sure is true – we all heard rumors about Oilers partying a lot. But we all heard rumours of the Oilers party days back in the 80s when they were great. Some of it I think is AF still being bitter about fading out but I do think there is a lot of truth in his words.

    Hey Andrew. You were a marginal hockey talent who maximized your own skills. Good on you for making a hockey career. That forever is to your credit. But, like Eakins, you conned your way into a retirement contract in Edmonton, and started believing your own BS.

    You comments demonstrate why you, like Eakins, were a pathetic leader of men. You allowed and facilitated the bullying of your teammates by the coach and the media, and by your comments, show no remorse.

    How could a captain stand aside and let what the coach did to Yakupov happen? Was Yakupov out all night? No. He was/is a teetotalor. You made no effort to understand the millennial generation, which I suppose is why Seguin ended up in Dallas also.

  69. godot10 says:

    New Improved Darkness:
    p-hacking is all the rage these days.

    But let me explain this in other terms.

    When you have a grab-bag of statistics of merit, and you isolate one of these for being more extreme than the others—e.g. Hitch-edition save percentage—you are essentially taking one sample size (already small) and squeezing it into an even smaller sample size.

    Move over, small sample size. Your new bed mate is sample-size compression.If you can already squish a small adult into a children’s cot, why not also spreadsheet into the fold a friendly pug and a mastiff, too? The more, the merrier, on a cold winter night.

    In a spreadsheet invitational, rare is the dataset which can be pivoted on ten different figures of merit, where any given hot streak (or cold streak) is sustainable on all ten bowser dimensions at the same time.

    Put another way, from the Bayesian perspective, show me any incoming coach of mid-season crisis rocking a 7-2-1 inaugural record, and I’ll show you a cozy child’s cot with a dog-sled sleeping arrangement where at least one slumbering pooch is reposed unsustainably along the precarious railing—already with two slack, dangling legs and a canting noggin (inching progressively anti-duneward)—quite independent of team, coach, schedule, or league.

    Only on Santa’s miraculous statistical sleigh can dozens of fluffy heat magnets all be front and center and leaning securely into the aerodynamic sweet spot at the same time.

    Ken Hitchcock’s coaching career is not a small sample size.

    Neither is McLellan’s.

  70. Reja says:

    McNuge93: Not only MacT but even higher up. To management it was such a big deal to have a number 1 overall pick/superstar and later another couple number 1s. The franchise had not had a true superstar since Messier left. I think management coddled them and basically gave them the keys to the castle. So it’s no wonder that they had entitled attitudes.

    One of them that was traded even admitted that he didn’t really listen to the coaches.

    Doug Weight was close to being a Superstar in oilers silks.Fantastic player and leader.

  71. godot10 says:

    Woogie63: I think you are missing Ference’s point.He did not say the dressing room was toxic, he said “It was to the point to where it was ridiculous where the lifestyle was way more important than actually playing the game and making the playoffs”

    If the team is not winning and this type of activity is going on, it is reasonable for the manager to want to change the mix.

    Ference was/is being delusional. Hall was/is being sane. Partying in a hopeless situation is an act of a self aware sane person. No point in pissing into the wind like Eakins and Ference, who are devoid of self awareness because of their inflated sense of self-importance.

  72. GMB3 says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Pescador,

    Absolutely the apology is intended for GMB3 too. Him especially.

    Just saw this now. It’s all good. My original commenting about you “being salty” was not meant to be truly offensive, we were both defending different demographics from offensive generalities. I’ve also been a bit of a shit disturber in my own right both in my personal life and on this blog. I honestly just made the comment about where I lived to see how far I could escalate things, and I didn’t think you were serious.

    I apologize for being a shit head, I’ve been known to come home the morning of Christmas Eve with the occasional black eye/broken hand/stitches because of it. I’ve always respected your posts and intellect, even if we don’t always agree. I didn’t take it personally, and to be cliche “shit happens”, I appreciate and respect the apology.

    We can still be friends.

    Sorry to the guy who said we could use his barn, im sure it would have made a great venue.

  73. godot10 says:

    Side: I see what Ference is saying.

    I also see why the young talent did what they did.

    If you’re young and talented on an NHL team that is comprised of largely AHL talent and no veteran leadership, it doesn’t take a genius to see that no matter how much extra time you put into practice, your team won’t win.

    If Taylor Hall or Eberle or whoever is in this “young” group, put “more focus on playing the game and getting to the playoffs” that’s great, but it isn’t going to make the Will Acton’s better players. Even if the Will Acton’s feel inspired by the leadership and commitment demonstrated by the ‘young’ group.

    This would be an entirely different story if these “young” players were on a veteran team with a bunch of winners and veterans.

    The Young Oilers were given shitty teammates, a shitty coach and were blamed for not being more committed to a shitty team and criticized for enjoying their money.This angle makes no sense to me.

    We agree on something. +100

  74. Decidedly Skeptical Fan says:

    Pescador:
    Melvis,

    “So I can hardly wait for the next eye roll while sniffing melons in the produce section.”

    Always ask her permission first,
    You’ll get in far less trouble that way

    Agreed. And just because you get permission to sniff the first one doesn’t mean you automatically have permission to sniff the next one. You need to ask each time.

  75. godot10 says:

    hunter1909: Monahan’s very good. Tell me, would you swap the 2 players, right now as is?

    Hell no.

    Draisaitl is younger and signed for two additional seasons and still has upside potential

  76. Melvis says:

    Pescador:
    Melvis,

    “So I can hardly wait for the next eye roll while sniffing melons in the produce section.”

    Always ask her permission first,
    You’ll get in far less trouble that way

    Lol, while waiting in vain for an attractive older woman fondling the bananas. Wishful thinking.

  77. Reja says:

    Side: The 80s Oilers partied like animals, from what I understand.But they were all talented so they won.

    DoD Oilers had young players who were really good, and apparently liked to party. The rest of the team, while sober, were not as good as the young players.That is the issue, imo.Not the young talented players needing to “try harder”, but for the rest of the team needing to actually be better.

    The talent when on the ice was winning games.But once the talented players stepped off the ice, the game was lost.

    The bad teams also partied it was the culture back then. If they got a girl pregnant or got nabbed for a impaired which many of them did unless you really effed up it was all handled in-house by management. Unlike today with technology they can’t even go for a beer without it being on Twitter.

  78. Bank Shot says:

    Side:
    DoD Oilers had young players who were really good, and apparently liked to party. The rest of the team, while sober, were not as good as the young players.That is the issue, imo.Not the young talented players needing to “try harder”, but for the rest of the team needing to actually be better.

    The talent when on the ice was winning games.But once the talented players stepped off the ice, the game was lost.

    Its true that the young players didn’t have a lot of talent around them, but they weren’t actually raising all boats either. They mostly just playing to get their points.

    You can see when Hall, Eberle, RNH, and Schultz were in the AHL during the short lockout that they were scoring at will.

    The team however was about .500 while those guys were on it and actually improved when they left.

    Four players of that calibre surely should have been able to carry an AHL squad to victory, but they really weren’t.

    I’m not saying they are to blame for the Oilers losing ways but I think they shouldn’t be absolved of all blame either.

  79. v4ance says:

    TO VOR or any biomechanics specialists wandering thru:

    ***

    Just out for Thai takeout and a stray thought popped into my mind… I was observing a man walking past me with his feet splayed outwards in a pigeon toed manner. As a medium and long distance runner from my youth, I remembered very few runners who ran pigeon toed.

    I was wondering, is having a pigeon toed stride a major handicap to being a good runner or skater?

    Is it natural selection or natural progression to run with your feet directly in line with your direction of travel? I was thinking that as you become more pigeon toed, the less efficient your stride, as you experience wind resistance on the sides of your feet.

    SO is it a person’s natural gait that determines if they’re a good runner or is it a learned behaviour where, as you run more, your stride becomes more efficient over time with experience? And if so, is this directly transferrable to skating skills as well?

    ****

    So when we as fans complain about Lucic’s skating, is there very little hope for improvement, even now late in his career?

  80. Munny says:

    I don’t think the Devils will be doing the Oil any favours tonight.

  81. oilersfan says:

    I am surprised the terrible season Eberle is having is not getting more attention.

    Less points than Chiasson for $5 million more, and -10 to boot!

  82. Munny says:

    oilersfan,

    Don’t bring up Barzal either, lol.

  83. Pescador says:

    Melvis: Lol,while waiting in vain for an attractive older woman fondling the bananas. Wishful thinking.

    Haha
    Especially if she does that cherry stem trick while making eye contact and simultaneously checking the firmness of said bananas.

  84. Munny says:

    Munny,

    Well, that worked. They scored against the flow of the play and now have a powerplay.

    That Sharks PK though is evil good.

  85. Pescador says:

    I just realized we’re out of produce, I mean everything
    Um, I’ll be right back…

  86. Reja says:

    oilersfan:
    I am surprised the terrible season Eberle is having is not getting more attention.

    Less points than Chiasson for $5 million more, and -10 to boot!

    He’s the highest payed player on the team and he’s ufa next year.Yikes for Eberle.

  87. Pescador says:

    oilersfan:
    I am surprised the terrible season Eberle is having is not getting more attention.

    Less points than Chiasson for $5 million more, and -10 to boot!

    I hate that he isn’t succeeding, I’m still a big fan of J.E.

  88. Munny says:

    But then Hall gives away the puck on the powerplay, picks up no one on the backcheck and the Sharks score as the Devs powerplay expires.

  89. Pescador says:

    godot10: Hell no.

    Draisaitl is younger and signed for two additional seasons and still has upside potential

    +1

  90. JimmyV1965 says:

    Ference did get one thing right IMO. Oil fans seem to have this need for a whipping boy and it always seems to be a skill player who doesn’t quite live up to expectations. There’s been Schultz, Eberle and Hall, to name a few. Hall was a great player, but like every player in the league not named McDavid or Crosby etc., he has flaws in his game or he was inconsistent early in his career. I think fans expect these guys to be on top of their game every night and that’s simply not a realistic expectation. Unfortunately, I see the same thing happening with Drai. Here we have this immensely talented player who routinely gets ripped by fans. He might not bring it every night, but very few players do. In the end though, he’s one of the better players in the league. I just hope we don’t run him out of town.

  91. smellyglove says:

    Shit, you guys are hard on Ference. Drafted damn year dead last in the previous century, he cobbled near 1000 games and a Stanley Cup. Solid community person. Local guy. And you locals are ready to tie him to a stake.

    The management is rotten. Capped out team with a decade of high picks including four #1 overalls, one sniff at the playoffs. Best player in the world and one post season under their belts.

    Gretzky and Messier couldn’t move the needle on this tire fire.

  92. HT Joe says:

    I don’t know if this came up earlier, but according to the internet, Andrew Ference is employed by the NHL in the role of Director of Social Impact, Growth & Fan Development.

    https://www.nhl.com/news/andrew-ference-joins-nhl-as-director-of-social-impact/c-296901528

    So he’s officially an employee of the league, tasked with reaching out and growing the game, and he spends time in the media to trash former teammates (of whom he was a supposed captain) – former teammates who are currently still playing in the league.

    As an employee of the league, and in that role, Ference should have had the decency to bite his tongue. In this light, his interview comes off as very unprofessional. Way to build the game Andrew.

    2nd worst Oiler Captain of all time.

  93. Bag of Pucks says:

    GMB3: Just saw this now. It’s all good. My original commenting about you “being salty” was not meant to be truly offensive, we were both defending different demographics from offensive generalities. I’ve also been a bit of a shit disturber in my own right both in my personal life and on this blog. I honestly just made the comment about where I lived to see how far I could escalate things, and I didn’t think you were serious.

    I apologize for being a shit head, I’ve been known to come home the morning of Christmas Eve with the occasional black eye/broken hand/stitches because of it. I’ve always respected your posts and intellect, even if we don’t always agree. I didn’t take it personally, and to be cliche “shit happens”, I appreciate and respect the apology.

    We can still be friends.

    Sorry to the guy who said we could use his barn, im sure it would have made a great venue.

    Very cool.

  94. tileguy says:

    GMB3: Just saw this now. It’s all good. My original commenting about you “being salty” was not meant to be truly offensive, we were both defending different demographics from offensive generalities. I’ve also been a bit of a shit disturber in my own right both in my personal life and on this blog. I honestly just made the comment about where I lived to see how far I could escalate things, and I didn’t think you were serious.

    I apologize for being a shit head, I’ve been known to come home the morning of Christmas Eve with the occasional black eye/broken hand/stitches because of it. I’ve always respected your posts and intellect, even if we don’t always agree. I didn’t take it personally, and to be cliche “shit happens”, I appreciate and respect the apology.

    We can still be friends.

    Sorry to the guy who said we could use his barn, im sure it would have made a great venue.

    Had a good chuckle at the salty remark, just wished it ended there.
    PS, Bob Cole really should retire or at least stick to doing maple leaves games.

  95. Bank Shot says:

    oilersfan:
    I am surprised the terrible season Eberle is having is not getting more attention.

    Less points than Chiasson for $5 million more, and -10 to boot!

    He excelled under Weight’s “Do whatever the hell you want” system.

    Eberle is a great fit for pond hockey.

  96. JimmyV1965 says:

    Bank Shot: Its true that the young players didn’t have a lot of talent around them, but they weren’t actually raising all boats either. They mostly just playing to get their points.

    You can see when Hall, Eberle, RNH, and Schultz were in the AHL during the short lockout that they were scoring at will.

    The team however was about .500 while those guys were on it and actually improved when they left.

    Four players of that calibre surely should have been able to carry an AHL squad to victory, but they really weren’t.

    I’m not saying they are to blame for the Oilers losing ways but I think they shouldn’t be absolved of all blame either.

    Good players can’t will a bad team into the playoffs. If you have a bunch of bad players, or a bad goalie, or a bad coach, you won’t be a good team. Hell, we have the best player in the world and the team missed the playoffs last year. And his supporting cast was much better than days when Ference was captain, and that ain’t saying much. This isn’t the NBA. One or two or three good players doesn’t move the needle.

  97. Bank Shot says:

    JimmyV1965: Good players can’t will a bad team into the playoffs. If you have a bunch of bad players, or a bad goalie, or a bad coach, you won’t be a good team. Hell, we have the best player in the world and the team missed the playoffs last year. And his supporting cast was much better than days when Ference was captain, and that ain’t saying much.This isn’t the NBA. One or two or three good players doesn’t move the needle.

    They didn’t make their AHL team into a juggernaut though.

    How many cups do you think the blackhawks would have in the last ten years if you swapped out Kane, Toews, Hossa, Keith and Seabrook for Hall, Eberle, RNH, Schultz, and Petry?

    There has to be a bit more nuance than Hall good. Team bad.

    That Hall core couldn’t even push the Oilers into 23rd place.

  98. Lowetide says:

    smellyglove:
    Shit, you guys are hard on Ference. Drafted damn year dead last in the previous century, he cobbled near 1000 games and a Stanley Cup. Solid community person. Local guy. And you locals are ready to tie him to a stake.

    The management is rotten. Capped out team with a decade of high picks including four #1 overalls, one sniff at the playoffs. Best player in the world and one post season under their belts.

    Gretzky and Messier couldn’t move the needle on this tire fire.

    I cheered for him, he won a Stanley in Boston and that’s a lifetime.

  99. JimmyV1965 says:

    Bank Shot: They didn’t make their AHL team into a juggernaut though.

    How many cups do you think the blackhawks would have in the last ten years if you swapped out Kane, Toews, Hossa, Keith and Seabrook for Hall, Eberle, RNH, Schultz, and Petry?

    There has to be a bit more nuance than Hall good. Team bad.

    That Hall core couldn’t even push the Oilers into 23rd place.

    That’s the thing. Our defence was wretched. There may have been AHL teams with better dmen than we had. Now imagine how bad our defence was in the AHL. If we simply swapped Keith and Seabrook for Petry and Schultz, I’m pretty sure the Hawks don’t even get a sniff at the cup. And they still had Hjarmelsson, Oduya and Leddy!!! That’s my point. Those teams during the Ference days were beyond awful. Hell, you could probably add Toews and Kane to our team, with the same defence, and we still might not make the playoffs. Maybe that’s a bit extreme. LOL. As bad as our forwards were, our defence was historically awful.

  100. frjohnk says:

    GMB3: Just saw this now. It’s all good. My original commenting about you “being salty” was not meant to be truly offensive, we were both defending different demographics from offensive generalities. I’ve also been a bit of a shit disturber in my own right both in my personal life and on this blog. I honestly just made the comment about where I lived to see how far I could escalate things, and I didn’t think you were serious.

    I apologize for being a shit head, I’ve been known to come home the morning of Christmas Eve with the occasional black eye/broken hand/stitches because of it. I’ve always respected your posts and intellect, even if we don’t always agree. I didn’t take it personally, and to be cliche “shit happens”, I appreciate and respect the apology.

    We can still be friends.

    Sorry to the guy who said we could use his barn, im sure it would have made a great venue.

    +1

  101. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    GMB3:
    We can still be friends.

    Sorry to the guy who said we could use his barn, im sure it would have made a great venue.

    – This bit remined me of the end of any of the great Calvin and Hobbes story arches, if you familiar with that cartoon: as they walk home after getting into some trouble somewhere…

    – Well done: this is such an awesome place!

  102. Wilde says:

    Bank Shot: hey weren’t actually raising all boats either

    What do you consider to be raising all boats?

  103. Wilde says:

    Also, an update on the 2019 draft, there’s some downticks in the forwards to the point where there’s not as much of a surplus of elite producers.

    Kaapo Kakko has improved, though, and I’d think about taking him #1.

    As a comparison, he’s at 0.33 adj. pts/GP and Elias Pettersson was at 0.28 in his draft year, he was the 2017 leader.

    0.20 is my rough ‘high end’ cutoff and 0.25 is elite.

    (Rasmus Dahlin was at 0.31…)

  104. ArmchairGM says:

    Woodguy v2.0: I think that the quickness that… fans jump and attack their own guys is horrible.

    We see it on this very thread.

  105. ArmchairGM says:

    Wilde:
    Also, an update on the 2019 draft, there’s some downticks in the forwards to the point where there’s not as much of a surplus of elite producers.

    Kaapo Kakko has improved, though, and I’d think about taking him #1.

    As a comparison, he’s at 0.33 adj. pts/GP and Elias Pettersson was at 0.28 in his draft year.

    0.20 is my rough ‘high end’ cutoff and 0.25 is elite.

    (Rasmus Dahlin was at 0.31…)

    What are you adjusting for? TOI?

  106. Wilde says:

    ArmchairGM: What are you adjusting for? TOI?

    League.

  107. Wilde says:

    The fact that this is the case, for me, means ‘the trade’ is one of these three options:

    1) Trading the first plus a young Dman for a difference maker in-season.

    2) Trading up at the draft with later picks and a young Dman to pursue the outer edges of the difference makers group.

    3) Keeping the pick and selecting a player who might go later than their production for various reasons and turn into a difference maker. (Mikko Kokkonen, Cole Caufield, Arthur Kaliyev, Jacob Pelletier, Connor McMichael)

    I still like making the draft selection. It’s tough, if the pick’s in the back half of the first, obviously it’s not as bad to trade it, but I feel like the player the team needs is in the upper-echelon category like on of the Blues or Senators main pieces who are higher salary. If the draft pick doesn’t bust, they’re probably going to be better than whatever player we get in two years flat. It’s that fast now. Imagine if this team had Henri Jokiharju.

    There’s a couple mid-range guys I guess. Tyler Toffoli, Ryan Dzingel, Brandon Saad at retained salary, not sure how Nino Niederreiter’s valued by Fenton.

    I’d rather just absolutely blow my brains out on Duchene, Stone, Tarasenko, Krieder, Nyquist, Schwartz or somebody like that.

  108. CallighenMan says:

    Side: The 80s Oilers partied like animals, from what I understand.But they were all talented so they won.

    DoD Oilers had young players who were really good, and apparently liked to party. The rest of the team, while sober, were not as good as the young players.That is the issue, imo.Not the young talented players needing to “try harder”, but for the rest of the team needing to actually be better.

    The talent when on the ice was winning games.But once the talented players stepped off the ice, the game was lost.

    The difference is the 80’s team played hard (partied) and worked harder. A couple of the Austin’s (we all know who) only mastered the first part and that is a big reason why they are gone.

  109. Lowetide says:

    For The Athletic: Contemplating Oilers roster changes as injured players prepare to return

    https://theathletic.com/705847/2018/12/11/lowetide-contemplating-oilers-roster-changes-as-injured-players-prepare-to-return/

  110. Pescador says:

    Wilde:
    The fact that this is the case, for me, means ‘the trade’ is one of these three options:

    1) Trading the first plus a young Dman for a difference maker.

    2) Trading up at the draft with later picks and a young Dman to pursue the outer edges of the difference makers group.

    3) Keeping the pick and selecting a player who might go later than their production for various reasons and turn into a difference maker. (Mikko Kokkonen, Cole Caufield, Arthur Kaliyev, Jacob Pelletier, Connor McMichael)

    1. How else do you fill the “Russell” hole? Are Jones or Bear projecting to be anything more than 3rd pairing Dmen? I don’t think so
    Now, Russell has been better of late & Nurse is not exactly soaring atm.
    Also, I really like K.R. as a 3rd pairing LD but he is paid to much

    2. This would be dynamite considering how well I believe the scouting dept has performed recently.
    But I trust P.C. very little when it comes to assets paid.

    3.Least favorite, but most likely scenario

  111. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Lowetide:
    For The Athletic: Contemplating Oilers roster changes as injured players prepare to return

    https://theathletic.com/705847/2018/12/11/lowetide-contemplating-oilers-roster-changes-as-injured-players-prepare-to-return/

    – I havent read it yet, but assume that with Caggs and Redier (who were both playing in top-6), where do they play. I’d go for the 3 C lines option:

    Drake-McD-Rattie
    Redier-Drai-Chiasson
    Jar-Nuge-Pool
    Lucic-Brodziak-Kassian

  112. Bank Shot says:

    Wilde: What do you consider to be raising all boats?

    Well despite those guys scoring a billion points in the AHL during the lockout, the team was mediocre with them on it.

    Even with a good squad of support players, those Oilers never would have had a chance to be contenders with those four as the core.

    I mean they were obviously the best the team had, but I don’t think that means you place them on a pedestal beyond criticism.

  113. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Bank Shot: Well despite those guys scoring a billion points in the AHL during the lockout, the team was mediocre with them on it.

    Even with a good squad of support players, those Oilers never would have had a chance to be contenders with those four as the core.

    I mean they were obviously the best the team had, but I don’t think that means you place them on a pedestal beyond criticism.

    – I’ve posted this before, and I know a new link is up, but I think the “dream” for many was keep all the Steve Austins, and be like the 80’s Oilers:

    Hall-McD-Eberle
    Perron-Drai-Pou
    Magnus-RNH-Yak
    Pak-Lander-Goodguy

    Klef-Jultz
    Nurse-Marincin
    Davidson-Osterle

    – Math doesn’t work, you’ve got $40MM tied up on the Austins and Drai and McD, your D is garbage, no balance.

    – So while many are really really mad at losing Hall and Eberle, and the returns on them, It wasn’t an easy situation. You couldn’t keep the Steve Austins, and Drai and CmD.

  114. OriginalPouzar says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: – I havent read it yet, but assume that with Caggs and Redier (who were both playing in top-6), where do they play.I’d go for the 3 C lines option:

    Drake-McD-Rattie
    Redier-Drai-Chiasson
    Jar-Nuge-Pool
    Lucic-Brodziak-Kassian

    I assume, given the team is winning, not scoring but winning with the current lines playing the structure, Rieder and Caggiula slot in for two of the 4th liners – likely Spooner and Rattie at this point.

    Maybe Spooner needs to stay in the lineup to play center.

    Marody gets re-assigned, obviously.

    Likely Garrison on the waiver wire and re-assigned for the other roster spot.

  115. russ99 says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux,

    Posted that on Twitter last week too. Just doesn’t work.

    Even if we kept Hall at the time, some money had to go out, not to mention the defense being a tire fire rendering any goalie a fraction of his highest level game.

  116. Leroy Draisdale says:

    Got a bet at work, where does a fella find out the GF%. Lunch is riding on Taylor Hall being over 50%.

  117. Wilde says:

    Bank Shot:
    Even with a good squad of support players, those Oilers never would have had a chance to be contenders with those four as the core.

    This is just so far from reasonable in my view that I don’t think we’ll ever be close to agreeing. Especially the Blackhawks example you made earlier.

    Hossa, Hall, Sharp, Eberle, Nuge, Versteeg, Ladd, Brouwer, Bickell. Byfuglien, Hjalmarsson, Petry, Schultz, Campbell.

    If the Oilers on there are in their prime, based on performances we’ve seen they’d contend.

    Bank Shot:
    I mean they were obviously the best the team had, but I don’t think that means you place them on a pedestal beyond criticism.

    Dunno who’s saying that. There’s space between ‘the team losing and having a losing culture was not all on them’ and ‘they’re on a pedestal beyond all criticism’. I don’t think many people, if anyone, have intimated that they were entirely beyond criticism and if that’s what you’re reading that’s want you want to read.

  118. season not played says:

    Is someone who makes fun of other players for working too hard at practice someone you want as a leader on your team or no?

    Asking for a friend.

  119. godot10 says:

    Bank Shot: They didn’t make their AHL team into a juggernaut though.

    The two veterans on the blueline that season, Teubert and Plante decided to s#$% the bed. They were awful. The remaining D were all professional hockey rookies. The extras on D were ECHL types.

  120. Bank Shot says:

    Wilde: This is just so far from reasonable in my view that I don’t think we’ll ever be close to agreeing. Especially the Blackhawks example you made earlier.

    Hossa, Hall, Sharp, Eberle, Nuge, Versteeg, Ladd, Brouwer, Bickell. Byfuglien, Hjalmarsson, Petry, Schultz, Campbell. [/quote]

    Not Hossa. Eberle replaces him. I could see that team as a playoff contender, but not a cup contender. Toews lifted a damn heavy load at center. No way could RNH step into that void. Eberle is so inferior to Hossa it’s not even funny. Hall and Kane are close.

    If the Oilers on there are in their prime, based on performances we’ve seen they’d contend.

    [quote]
    Dunno who’s saying that. There’s space between ‘the team losing and having a losing culture was not all on them’ and ‘they’re on a pedestal beyond all criticism’. I don’t think many people, if anyone, have intimated that they were entirely beyond criticism and if that’s what you’re reading that’s want you want to read.

    I would say the number of times anything critical about Hall or RNH would be met with “He’s not the problem.” really shuts down any kind of discussion.

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