Tick, tick, tick...

Robin Brownlee
November 24 2008 07:26PM

If the Edmonton Oilers can't get it done in the next 20 games, then they likely can't get it done at all, and owner Daryl Katz should take a look at why that's the case and who's responsible.

When you look at the next stretch, it's as simple as that from where I sit. There's no ridiculous schedule, like the 14 road games the Oilers played in their first 20 outings on the way to a 9-9-2 record. There's no Murderer's Row in terms of opponents. Quite the contrary.

Between Wednesday's game against Los Angeles and Jan. 9, when they close out the next 20-game stretch against San Jose, the Oilers have 13 games at home and get a steady diet of teams they should get fat on.

They play the Vancouver Canucks, who just lost Roberto Luongo for as long as five weeks, four times. They play the Dallas Stars, who just lost captain Brenden Morrow for the season with a knee injury, three times.

They play the Kings twice and St. Louis, Phoenix and Colorado—all teams below them in Western Conference standings—once each. They play the New York Islanders, Florida Panthers and Ottawa Senators, a trio of teams that, as of today, are out of the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference.

Would anything less than reasonable facsimile of an encore of the hair-on-fire stretch drive of last season—a 14-5-1 record over their final 20 games—be palatable to Katz?

I'm guessing not.

No excuses

The Oilers finished their first 20 games 7-7-0 on the road and 2-2-2 at home, a skein marked by three straight losses at Rexall Place. While .500 on the road is OK, that doesn't cut it at home. Not even close.

"We haven't been playing up to our potential," Sam Gagner told me after today's morning skate. "It's got to be better.

"The good thing for us is we know we're going to be better. There’s a confidence in this room that we're going to be more successful."

Given all the negatives, it's somewhat remarkable the Oilers are .500 as they begin the next stretch.

For the most part, Erik Cole and Dustin Penner have been awful. Gagner has struggled mightily. Shawn Horcoff hasn't done enough. The penalty killing has been abysmal. GM Steve Tambellini and Kevin Lowe haven't been able to move a goaltender to get down to two.

There's been a total lack of continuity with the forward lines because, outside of Ales Hemsky, nobody has played well enough long enough to convince an impatient Craig MacTavish to keep them together.

Still, there is hope, I think, because it's difficult to imagine Cole and Penner being less effective. Penner will get another shot alongside Horcoff and Hemsky against the Kings. Likewise, Gagner, Andrew Cogliano and Robert Nilsson, the Kid Line, will be reunited Wednesday.

On the clock

The Oilers insist the bar has been set higher and that they've under-achieved. While I'm not sure about that, being the Mr. Poopy Pants who picked them to finish ninth—I had them pegged at 8-10-2 at this point—Katz, who was at the rink this morning and has the only opinion that really matters, expects results.

"There's lots of room for improvement," MacTavish said.

"If we get through the next stage of our season and develop the way we should and get the results we expect of ourselves, it would be very easy to look back and say, 'What was everybody so upset about?' We've got to see that game."

And if we don't? I didn't talk to Katz today—although I can tell you he is squarely in MacTavish's corner—but it stands to reason the same old, same old won't please the boss. If the Oilers don't play well above .500 in the next 20 games, I'd imagine he'll want to know why.

As he should.

—Listen to Robin Brownlee every Thursday from 4 to 6pm on Just A Game with Jason Gregor on Team 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#1 baggedmilk
November 24 2008, 07:34PM
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Brownlee... Firstly, not gay I just like fudging with you. More importantly, great read. I won't even tell you I think I could have written something better, because this is not the case. Nicely done.

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#2 Bryan
November 24 2008, 08:18PM
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The team has to be better, too many passengers and not enough drivers on this team. If it continues it boils down to coaching or at least a lack of perceived coaching.

Out of curiosity is Katz as close to the coach as he is with Lowe in your opinion? If he is, it could make for an awkward situation if MacT wouldn't step down to save himself from the indignity of Lowe and Katz canning him.

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#3 Dennis
November 24 2008, 09:03PM
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Lucky for Lowe he got out when he did.

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#4 Fisher
November 24 2008, 09:10PM
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I would agree that the season thus far has not been what we expected with the lack of cohesion and complete inconsistency we've seen nightly. But, this is a young team who has played a very difficult stretch of hockey with a brutal schedule and this isn't completely to be unexpected. Many of these guys are still learning how to be professionals and are still relatively fresh. Outside of a few head scratchers such as Cole as a screen in front on the PP (and look at game tape, positioning, and numbers there is no comparison), Smid up front, and the complete collapse of a perennially solid PK (although the new face of rule paired with our lack of success in D zone faceoffs explains some but not all of it). This will still be a solid team with a PP that is going to get better as players settle into their roles. We are currently just outside the playoff mark despite an inexcusably slow start by many veterans; there are positives about this season and we will be alright. We should all take this as a character building stretch that has not cost us the season by any means. Smile and look forward to the next 20.

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#5 spOILer
November 24 2008, 09:45PM
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If the Edmonton Oilers can’t get it done in the next 20 games, then they likely can’t get it done at all...

Geez, Robin, you mean like when Slats took back over from Bugsy and the team sucked even worse over the following 20 games? Remember? It was the year Jonesy started eating for real.

And yet they somehow managed to pull it together after that, despite arbitrary lines in the sand from impatient, overweight media-types.

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#6 Halfempty
November 24 2008, 09:47PM
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Tough schedule, tough opponents blah blah blah. Fact is, this team has not been playing well. Unless this changes more home games and lower tier opponents won't result in a .750 record over the next 20. Remember other teams are probably figuring the Oilers to be an easy mark also. I'm sure most fans will feel better after a few wins. I'll feel better when this team starts to play with an edge. The first four wins showed that winning and playing well are not the same thing.

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#7 spOILer
November 24 2008, 09:49PM
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Sad that 10-6-4 over the next twenty would be unacceptable. Truly sad.

Some people would be happy with steady improvement over the next twenty. Not Robin. He and apparently Katz have decided the next twenty have got to be a 14-5-1 playoff drive firestorm.

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#8 Halfempty
November 24 2008, 10:07PM
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14-5-1 combined with 9-9-2 adds up to 49 points at the half pole. This is pretty much the minimum point accumulation pace required to assure a playoff appearance. Not exactly lighting the world on fire. So I agree with Brownlee 14-5-1 is not an unreasonable expectation...unless we no longer expect playoffs.

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#9 RobinB
November 24 2008, 10:08PM
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spOILer: Hey smart guy, look at the opponents over the next 20 games and tell me which 10 games -- which is what 10-6-4 is -- they should lose.

And a reasonable facsimile of the stretch drive does not mean a duplication, but rather 12-14 wins.

This has nothing to do with arbitrary lines in the sand drawn by impatient, overweight media types. Given all the talk from MacTavish on down, it seems like a reasonable expectation to me.

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#10 1011011
November 24 2008, 10:30PM
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Hey Robin -

$100 bucks says spOILer hasn't had a trim waste line since the Oil were in the WHA.

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#11 Bryan
November 24 2008, 10:39PM
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If MacT didn't feel that he had a capable team he should've kept his yapper shut about this being a division winning type of a team. I don't see why it wouldn't be if the players are performing. When a few players are under-performing it's the players, when 3/4 of the team sucks, the coach isn't utilizing his players properly or molding his strategy to the strengths of his players.

It's about damn time that the Edmonton media starts questioning MacT's job. How many other people get to live off of a few months of fame? Craig Mactavish has been nothing more than a one hit wonder as a coach. The problem is that like Milli Vanilli he was a face taking responsiblity for the hit, he was there, but so was Rem Murray.

Guys like Pronger, Roloson, Horcoff, Peca, Hemsky, Torres, Spacek, Stoll, and a few others may have something to say about the teams success that season.

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#12 Bryan
November 24 2008, 10:42PM
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BTW-a blind man could tell you that this team has underperformed this season. They had a road heavy schedule, but playing on the road doesn't = suck. No line chemistry from all the way back in preseason.

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#13 Hockey Gods
November 24 2008, 11:12PM
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You know fella's, this weekend I relucantly watched the leafs tribute to Wendal Clark. Now, I effing hate the leafs, and still like to bug my dad (HUGE Leaf and Clark Fan) that Wendal is homer-sexual, watching that tribute gave me chills. The reason I had the chills was because that is what the Oil need and how hockey should be played.

Right now we have no one that can be depended on night in, and night out to bring everything he had no matter how he feels or how many donairs he had. I know, he had serious injury problems, but that was sentiment to the way the game should be played. How many of todays Oilers can say they play the same way.

We need a guy who will do WHATEVER it takes to win, that homo would score an amazing goal if the team needed it, or lay a guy out, or drop the gloves and knock the poo-poo out of anyone, if thats what his team needed at the time.

Many will say Eathan Moreau is of that ilk, and he has a bit of that, but he is rarely a game changer.

I WANT A GAME CHANGER!!

Maybe this is just another drunken rant; because as I type I can't think of of a current NHLer to sign, trade for, or buy; but men like that make his teammates better. Or maybe this is just a rant on where the hockey sociciety has gone because I don't know if this player still exsists.

We need someone to make his team better; not just his linemates better, but can change the whole momentum of his team.

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#14 baggedmilk
November 24 2008, 11:33PM
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Robin, Although I like your optimism for the next 20. I think the 4 games against Vancouver will be tougher than you're suggesting even with Luongo out. Sandford played pretty stellar against Detroit tonight.

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#15 Zamboni Driver
November 24 2008, 11:49PM
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I am hopeful. I am.

But....

I don't like Penner. Didn't like the move it took to get him here, don't like the money, and really believe this, along with Adam Oates should (but won't) be hung on Lowe for a long long time.

the kid line experiment is a disaster whose time has come. They were a cute puppy last year, everyone went "awww" look how quick and cute they are. Now it's men against boys (I'll let you guess who is whom).

As for MacTavish (and Lowe for that matter), I still continue to say, if their names were George Burnett, they'd be long gone.....and we'd be a helluva lot better off.

As to optimism, really. I must say, to the blind faithers.......why, why why?

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#16 Tyler
November 25 2008, 12:27AM
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Hey smart guy, look at the opponents over the next 20 games and tell me which 10 games — which is what 10-6-4 is — they should lose.

I'm not making a prediction either way on this (alright: I think 12 wins is towards the north end of reasonably likely) but it's kind of interesting if you go back and look at that 14-5-1 stretch to wrap up 07-08, 11 of the games were against playoff teams and 9 of them were on the road. The Oilers went 6-2-1 in the road games and 8-3 at home. They went 6-4-1 against the playoff teams and 8-1 against the non-playoff teams. Definitely an unexpectedly good road record there and an unexpectedly good road record against non-playoff teams. I doubt anyone would have predicted the Oilers for an 8-1 stretch against the non-playoff teams. I'm sure when those teams were looking at their last 20 games, they didn't have the Oilers marked as a game they "should" lose.

My point is that the Oilers are in for a favourable run in terms of the odds, what with the home games and poor opponents, but shit still happens. Maybe they can't get the breaks here but win some they don't deserve elsewhere. Robin, you were one of the guys pointing out that their 4-0 start was undeserved; shit happens.

I guess I have trouble with saying that they should put up some reasonable facsimile of 14-5-1, whatever that is. If you ran the odds, you'd probably conclude that the Oilers should put up 23 or 24 points in this stretch. Maybe an extra point or two for OTL. Sports don't really work that way though and sometimes you lose a bunch when the odds are in your favour; sometimes you win a bunch when the odds are against you. If anyone's interested in this sort of stuff, there's a cool, albeit mathy post about it here. For those of you who feel the need to spout off about stats that nobody cares about here, one of the guys in that thread has done consulting work for NHL teams. You'll want to tailor your wholesale rejection of the ideas expressed there (and, I suppose, in this comment) accordingly.

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#17 MikeP
November 25 2008, 05:51AM
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"My point is that the Oilers are in for a favourable run in terms of the odds"

Gambler's fallacy, Tyler, or at least when worded like that.

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#18 RobinB
November 25 2008, 06:38AM
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Tyler: You're right, stuff does happen. But at some point, the Oilers have to put together a stretch where STUFF -- a tough road schedule, bad breaks, hot goaltenders, the odds etc etc -- doesn't matter and they just win.

If this team can't be better than three or four points over .500 in this next 20-game segment, then they aren't good enough -- certainly not as good as MacTavish believed they were with all the positive talk in pre-season.

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#19 Tyler
November 25 2008, 06:56AM
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Gambler’s fallacy, Tyler, or at least when worded like that.

Sorry, wasn't clear - I mean that the if you think that the odds are constantly shifting, say that they had a 45% chance at every point in the past 20, they've maybe got a 55% chance at every point in the next 20.

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#20 Death Metal Burn Out
November 25 2008, 07:25AM
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between the inconsistent and mediocre vets this team has compounded with young players, outside Hemsky, who AREN'T WILLING to take the next step when the pressure of a new season is on - this team doesnt have much.

of course there is the potential but as Brownlee said in past articles, its time for these players to take some initiative to kick some butt and will their ways to making careers for themselves.

it takes metaphorical butt spankings in order to get a 26 year old making 4.25 million a season to play? get that sack of crap out of town ASAP.

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#21 The Towel Boy
November 25 2008, 08:34AM
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It's all gonna turn around....just watch.

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#22 Clarkenstein
November 25 2008, 08:45AM
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Robin I like the idea you've drawn a line in the sand. I hope Katz might do the same. I find it encouraging that he was at the rink. Although he may be buddies with MacT I guarantee you the coach knows who the boss is. MacT was the one who said this team could finish first in the division. I really don't recall anyone else of any significance predicting that. If they have any hopes of doing that MUST get 28-30 points in the next 20 games.

Spoiler... as for being happy with steady improvement... you're out to lunch!!! I've been waiting 8 years for steady improvement!!!

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#23 RobinB
November 25 2008, 09:03AM
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Clarkenstein: Thanks, but like I said earlier, it's not so much me drawing a line in the sand, but taking a look at what is reasonable to expect, given what fans were told about this team in pre-season. This is the most favourable 20-game segment of the schedule and there's no good reason why expecting 28-30 points should be seen as pie-in-the-sky stuff.

When I look at the home/road split and the opposition, is it really being too demanding to think that anything less than a record that adds up to 28-30 points -- 12-4-4, 13-5-2, whatever -- isn't good enough? I don't think so.

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#24 Chris
November 25 2008, 09:13AM
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MacT keeps saying we are in good shape. He always says this kind of crap this timeof year. I remember the emotional roller coaster early on in the Post-Pronger-06/07 season. As fans we kept waiting for the team to "come together" and "turn a corner". For Hemsky and Sykora to "develop chemistry", beacause after all according to Lowe we had the "best young group of forwards in the NHL."

It's Show-Me time. We are heading into a soft spot in the schedule after a substantial mid season break. Put up or shut up. I can't wait for Wednesday!

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#25 Deans
November 25 2008, 09:14AM
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For how poorly the Oilers have played this season they are lucky to be .500 at this stage. Its even more astonishing when you look at the fact that over half of the team is ice cold. Even during the 4-0 start I didnt think the Oilers looked very good. With all that being said, the Oilers really havent dug themselves too big of a hole. If even a few of the guys who are suppossed to provide secondary scoring get hot, this team is right in that 6-8 place range. After two years out of the playoffs Im sure Oilers fans would love it if the Oilers could play the role of first-round spoilers this March. Looking at the standings at least it wont be against the Stars this time.

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#26 Rick
November 25 2008, 09:28AM
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Chris Says: November 25th, 2008 at 9:13 am MacT keeps saying we are in good shape. He always says this kind of crap this timeof year. I remember the emotional roller coaster early on in the Post-Pronger-06/07 season.

...

They were in good shape at this time duringing that season. Don't let your memory of how that season ended influence how they were doing at the beginning.

On December 8th they were 16-10-2 and at or near the top of the NW.

As for this year I think Robin's expectations for the next 20 are reasonable. But that is based on the assumption that this group has been a struggling .500 team and not a team that has been playing up to it's potential.

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#27 baggedmilk
November 25 2008, 09:44AM
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Robin,

With the Oilers playing 13 of 20 at home how do you think they can improve their game on home ice? Granted they've only played 6 at the pill box, but if a 2-2-2 record is any indication of the next 13 home games will it then time to push the panic button if they come out at .500? What do they have to do differently at home to reach the 13-5-2 record in the next 20 rather than floating around .500 in the next 20?

Better line match ups? Static line mates? What do you think?

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#28 The Towel Boy
November 25 2008, 09:50AM
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Granted they’ve only played 6 at the pill box...

If I may interject for a moment baggedmilk...I believe "The Pharmacy" is a much better pseudonym for Rexall Place. Just saying.

...back to your regularly scheduled commenting...

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#29 swany
November 25 2008, 10:02AM
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There is no reason this team can't go 15 and 5 in the next 20. If they expect to make some noise and climb the standings they better get it in gear. Van is 10 points up on us Minny is 8. Van beat Detroit WITHOUT Louy last night. We better not suck and go 500 in the next 20 or the playoffs will be a distant memory

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#30 RobinB
November 25 2008, 10:02AM
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"Granted they’ve only played 6 at the pill box, but if a 2-2-2 record is any indication of the next 13 home games will it then time to push the panic button if they come out at .500?"

I'm not big on "panic buttons," but if they're no better than .500 at home over the next 13 dates at Rexall, it's time for a significant shake-up. No?

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#31 Chris
November 25 2008, 10:03AM
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Good Point Rick. The 06/07 Oilers were in good shape untill the wheels came off after Christmas. It was then that all the "we are still in good shape" and the "this next road trip is critical" etc began. The 08/09 edition of the Oilers are not in danger of losing their game because they still haven't found it. It's not quite December and it's cliche and excuses time. I guess that after 20 years Oiler fans are starved for a 100+ point regular season finish. Two years ago there were seven 100+ point teams in the western conference alone. The Oilers are not in "good shape" to accomplish this elusive feat.

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#32 baggedmilk
November 25 2008, 10:10AM
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TB: The "Pharmacy" sounds good. I like it. You got burned on facebook by them not letting you take Towel Boy as a name.

Robin: You know I think it's time for a shake up with the Oilers. I drive the "Fire MacT Bandwagon" but I'm an angry, hate filled human being. In your opinion is the "significant shake-up" going to be managerial or a trade? If a .500 record over the next 20 with all those home games is indeed the case maintaining the status quo will be unacceptable. I hope you're right, though, and they can come out of it 5-6-7 games over .500

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#33 The Towel Boy
November 25 2008, 10:21AM
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BM: I even tried something asian/latin sounding: "Tau El Boi" ...No dice!

Robin: What would you expect would be an adequate shakeup if the team goes .500 in the upcoming home dates?

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#34 Randy
November 25 2008, 10:33AM
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I guess what troubles me the most when I stop and think about it is this. When was the last time a team with no clear cut starting goalie, one scorer, no physical edge, and a coaching staff who has been trying to deliver the same message to different players for eight years with no real result was poised for a surge? I fear the answer is never, and that they will play just well enough to prevent meaningful changes paving the way for similar discussions at this time next year. But thats just me.

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#35 swany
November 25 2008, 11:04AM
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baggedmilk, I think a trade would happen before Mact gets the axe, we better hope that they are better than 500 over the next 20 games. If they are at 500 I don't know if a trade or a coaching change could put them back in the playoff race. Looking at the points Van and Minny have we NEED to go 15-5 just to keep pace.

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#36 Rick
November 25 2008, 11:17AM
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Swany; I wouldn't sweat what Minny and Vancouver are doing. Both teams are set to see a drop off.

And in talking about Vancouver I would have said that even before Luongo went down.

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#37 Chris
November 25 2008, 11:23AM
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The race to the playoffs is always decieving. The first half of the season everyone is told not to panic because we are in the mix. Not good enough. Remember how hard it is to make up ground late in the season? (Especially with all the three point games) Brownlee and Swany are right. The Oilers need 14 or 15 wins in the next twenty games or there will probably be no playoffs for the third straight year.

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#38 Chris
November 25 2008, 11:25AM
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Hey Rick. I hear that Luongo is expected to miss only one week instead of the 5 weeks originally reported.

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#39 swany
November 25 2008, 11:31AM
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Chris I think that report is so the Canucks fans don't go jumping off the bridge he is listed WEEK to WEEK, very strange after his agent said it would be atleast 4 or 5 weeks.

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#40 Rick
November 25 2008, 11:37AM
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Chris: I don't believe it. If he was only going to miss one week I would think they would have been much less cryptic with the info and listed him as day to day which can often still stretch into more than a week.

Listing a guy as week to week suggests to me that it could possibly turn into a long term injury.

Besides, even with Luongo I can't see anyway that the Canucks would have kept up their pace.

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#41 Braden
November 25 2008, 11:56AM
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People need to recognize that if Craig MacTavish coached for any other team then there's a 99% chance that he would have already been fired.

It doesn't matter what you've done in the past (in Craig's case, he hasn't obtained much success at all), anytime you flirt with back to back lottery seasons then you're lucky if you're still employed the next year.

For Craig MacTavish, just having another chance to prove himself is a lot to ask of Katz and Lowe. He certainly doesn't deserve the same amount of rope as all the new coaches that took vacant jobs this year have.

I look at it like a wife taking back an abusive or drug-addicted husband that said he's changed his ways. He's lucky he's getting a 2nd chance but just being as good as other husbands won't be good enough anymore. He needs to go above and beyond what is expected and be exemplary (14-5-1).

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#42 RobinB
November 25 2008, 12:02PM
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Towel Boy and Baggedmilk: A shake-up, if needed, won't start with MacTavish.

Like I said, and I'm not guessing on this, Katz is squarely in MacT's corner. That's also the case with Kevin Lowe. With Katz being results-driven, that support could change, but it would happen as a last resort, not a first or second move. The roster will be the first focus of sweeping changes.

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#43 Braden
November 25 2008, 12:15PM
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Yes, because after 8 years surely it has to be the players. No way it could be the coach.

Cole on pace for 25 points - MacTavish needs different players

MacTavish defaulting back to Roli - MacTavish needs more players

MacTavish moving Smid to wing - MacTavish needs more players

Horcoff has 1 more point than Glenx - MacTavish needs more players

Cogliano, Gagner, Nilsson all slumping - You guess it! MacTavish needs more players

MacTavish playing Gagner on the PK - MacTavish needs more players

Pitkaken, Lupul, Cole, Penner all not as good on the Oilers - MacTavish needs more players

MacTavish taking his leading goal scorer last year off the top line - MacTavish needs more players

MacTavish taking the 12th best PP goal performer on the PP last year off the PP - MacTavish needs more players

MacTavish telling the media that he's going to break up 44-71 on the PP and then going back to them on the PP - MacTavish needs more players

Cogliano has limtited but successful minutes on the PK and MacTavish refuses to play him in this role - MacTavish needs more players

MacTavish forcing Pisani at center - MacTavish needs more players

MacTavish jamming square Cole through round LW hole - MacTavish needs more players

MacTavish's team consistently taking bad penalties - MacTavish needs more players

For Christ sake, in almost every statistical category Edmonton in near the bottom - MacTavish needs more players

MacTavish doesn't deserve more time.

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#44 RobinB
November 25 2008, 12:18PM
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Braden: Whether MacTavish deserves more time and different players or not, he'll get both.

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#45 baggedmilk
November 25 2008, 12:38PM
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Braden: Hi I'm baggedmilk, I write the weekly Righteous Sack Beating here at OilersNation.com, and I would like to offer you a FREE round trip ticket on the "Fire MacT Bandwagon." Currently I have the beast idling outside Kingsway, we heard they're having a sale on Toby Petersen jerseys.

Let me know where you'll be at and I'll swing by and pick you up. There is lots of space left as I just stole some bench seats from an '87 Aerostar and a '91 Caravan.

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#46 Braden
November 25 2008, 12:54PM
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"I would like to offer you a FREE round trip ticket on the Fire MacT Bandwagon.”

Round trip would imply that this circus will eventually come to a stop. Your idling beast is a runaway train never coming back (MacTavish won 5 Stanleys with the copper and blue), unlike the majority of other sports franchises, Edmonton doesn't base a coaches shelf life on results.

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#47 baggedmilk
November 25 2008, 01:02PM
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You're singing to the choir, my friend. I've been committing MacT hate crimes all over this here interweb.

The best part is when he cries for accountability for the performance of his players. Ahh sweet sweet irony.

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#48 swany
November 25 2008, 01:05PM
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Robin the roster should be the first place to start, I also blame Klowe in this mess, they have sais they wanted someone to play with Hemmer, so they bring in Penner who doesn't have the footspeed of a turtle and then they bring in Cole who is a RW they still haven't replaced Smitty on that line. I can see why Mact was trying to fit square pegs in round holes because that's what he got. Make a trade bite the bullet and get Kovy from Atlanta, a natural LW for Hemmer to play with 100 points each easy.

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#49 shakey
November 25 2008, 01:15PM
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baggedmilk; I don't have anything as clever or as 'Well done son!' as Braden but I'd like a spot on the bus if there is room. I have watched this team since 99 was in town and I've worried too much and thought too hard about how they could be better if they 'just listened to me'. We've been fed the Kool-aid for long enough and we can't keep changing players hoping another Pronger is going to come in and carry us to the promised land. Too many good players disappear when they come here. There has to be more than fighting for 8th place every year.

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#50 Braden
November 25 2008, 01:20PM
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"This is a result-orientated business"

- Craig MacTavish

"We haven’t been playing up to our potential”

- Sam Gagner

"We have 10 players who think they are top 6 forwards"

-Ethan Moreau

"I don't know what's going on. I have new line mates every practice"

- Marc Pouliot

"The last time I played forward was in grade 3"

- Ladi Smid

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