End of Bobby?

Robin Brownlee
December 20 2008 01:24PM

We don't know for sure that Friday marked the beginning of the end of Robert Nilsson's days as a member of the Edmonton Oilers, but it sure sounded like it to listen to coach Craig MacTavish.

Now, maybe I'm reading between the lines too much, or maybe it was just the frustration of watching Nilsson float again before grabbing some pine in a 3-2 shootout loss to the Anaheim Ducks at Rexall Place, but it sounded like MacT is done with the Little Magic Man.

You tell me.

"No competitiveness," MacTavish said in his post game comments when asked about benching Nilsson in the third period.

"We try and coddle the competitiveness out of him, but he just didn't have any again tonight. I've had enough and seen enough of it."

Damning words

Might MacTavish be more restrained if asked about Nilsson when the team returns to the ice for practice Sunday? Possibly. But if MacTavish really has "had enough and seen enough of it," what does that mean? A stint in the press box. Another demotion to the fourth line? A ticket to Springfield?

Having met Nilsson at the 2003 Entry Draft, where the New York Islanders selected him 15th overall, and having watched his progress -- or lack of same -- with some interest because he's the son of former Oiler Kent (Magic Man) Nilsson and somebody I thought Edmonton might select, I'd suggest skipping the preliminary stuff and get to brass tacks.

If I was GM Steve Tambellini, I'd be looking to trade Robert Nilsson while he's still got a semblance of marketability -- albeit greatly diminished -- because of the flair and offensive talent he possesses and teases you with.

The problem is, Nilsson only puts that talent on display, and does it within the framework of a game plan, when he  feels like it. That doesn't happen nearly enough. That isn't good enough. At 23, Nilsson should know that, but apparently he hasn't figured it out yet.

Doesn’t get it

With 4-6-10 and a -8 rating through 27 games, Nilsson hasn't even been the least productive member of the now-dismantled Kid Line. That distinction falls to Sam Gagner, while Andrew Cogliano has easily been the best of the trio.

As much as he's struggled, though, Gagner is 19 and in his second season. Cogliano is 21 and also a sophomore. Nilsson turns 24 on January 10 and he's been demoted, chided and traded once already for disappearing for long stretches and being inconsistent.

Sitting Nilsson isn't the answer. Neither is cutting his minutes and putting him on the fourth line. What will more time in the press box accomplish?

Even before Nilsson's latest slacking, I talked about a need to weed out some of the Oilers small forwards and use one or two of their skilled little guys as bargaining chips.

It's as much about an overlap in skills as it is about lack of size, but I don't see room for Gagner, Cogliano, Nilsson, Gilbert Brule, Rob Schremp and Jordan Eberle in MacTavish's top-nine forwards over the next two or three seasons. Do you?

What’s next?

At this point, I'd rather see what Brule and Schremp can do and offer up Nilsson and whatever else it takes to land a veteran forward who can kill penalties and win face-offs or a shutdown defenceman. Given MacTavish's lament about the lack of a one-shot scorer after the Anaheim loss, maybe there's a team willing to part with one and gamble on Nilsson's upside as part of a package.

"We don't shoot the puck hard enough collectively," MacTavish said after his outfit made Jonas Hiller look like Georges Vezina.

"We can put ourselves in position to score but we need a lot of shots to score. With the exception of Sheldon (Souray), there aren't a lot of guys who are first-shot scorers. We need a lot of looks. That's been real obvious."

Whether it's a defensive forward, a triggerman with a nose for the net or a shutdown blueliner, I doubt I'd get much of an argument from MacTavish that Tambellini should pick up the phone and kick some tires.

It's time.

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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#51 rindog
December 21 2008, 04:13PM
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I have a question?

Can anyone give me the name of a single NHL player that has been publicly quoted saying that his coach has "lost the room/team"?

Did any of the Blackhawks harp about Savard?

Where the players crying for Barry's head in TB?

Did the Hurricanes throw Laviolette under the bus?

While I appreciate the insight of all of the local media - it is hard for the average fan to believe that any player on the Oilers will publicly (on record) tell you that they don't like the coach, etc...

Maybe Robin or Gregs can explain how we as outsiders are to know whether or not the coach has "lost the room"? The only thing we can go by is to watch the players play the game.

If the players say that the coach DOES prepare them and the team then comes out and is not prepared - what conclusion can we draw?

Maybe the players just aren't listening (which would be a reason to try a diiferent coach) or maybe the coach's instructions don't work (again, another reason to say good-bye).

We have changed our team completely over the last few years. The thing we have yet to see is consistency. Atleast if we were consistently bad - that would be something. Playing like heroes one night and then like zeros then next night speaks volumes about leadership/direction/preparation.

Our coach picks our captains. Our coach instructs our players how to he wants the game played. Our coach is responsible for getting HIS team prepared game in and game out.

I guess my real question is: Is this really HIS team???

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#52 oilersseasonticketholdersince99
December 21 2008, 05:15PM
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@ rindog: Thank YOU!!!!!!

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#53 RobinB
December 21 2008, 05:24PM
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@ rindog: Fair points about players talking publicly, but, like I've said before, reporters who've been around awhile get a lot of information in off-record discussions that steer them to the truth.

Let's take Joni Pitkanen for example. Reporters don't start writing things like "Pitkanen is an odd duck, doesn't fit in and should really be traded" if they haven't been tipped off that's the feeling in the room. No way a teammate is going to publicly say something like that, but you can bet before an item like that gets written the reporter has been given the lay of the land off the record. That's why there's often no quotes in such things.

Only the dimmest reporter would write something like that without knowing it to be true because painting a picture of a player as a bit of an outcast when he was actually well thought of in the room would get you shut out pretty fast.

Having a dressing room full of players fed up with a coach and wanting him gone is a big story, and you can bet that if we were getting that message off the record about MacT, it would be getting into print and on the air in a hurry. I'd damn sure be writing it.

In my mind, MacT has made a lot of questionable moves this season. I know there's some frustration within the room about some of the calls he's made. Likewise, there's no question he needs to pay the price by being fired if this team continues to under-achieve.

But, speaking specifically to the "he's lost the room" aspect, I'm not hearing that in any private discussions and, believe me or not, I would have by now if it was the case.

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#54 topshelf
December 21 2008, 05:38PM
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How much longer does Mac T or anyone else get to try and rectify the situation? It's not like it's still the beginning of the year. I believe if a change is to be made then make it before the goal set (By Tambellini/Lowe) of winning the division is out of reach.

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#55 RobinB
December 21 2008, 05:45PM
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@ topshelf:

If you've been following what's been written and said around town, you're going to be disappointed if you're among the people who want MacTavish fired now.

MacTavish has still got, last I checked, Daryl Katz in his corner. Tambellini is on the record as saying he'll make a trade before he looks elsewhere to turn things around. So, until there's a player move or two and the team still doesn't respond, don't be expecting to see MacT fired or resigning. There's a case to be made that it should happen now, but it won't.

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#56 TIM S
December 21 2008, 05:49PM
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@ RobinB:

That explains it a lot better, in some of the previous comments it seemed as though it was implied that since no player had come out and ripped MacT publicly then all was good.

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#57 topshelf
December 21 2008, 05:52PM
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I am not expecting the coach to be fired but like i read above..somethings gotta give. The status quo is NOT working if the goal of this year is to win the division.

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#58 topshelf
December 21 2008, 05:54PM
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Just to clarify..wanting and expecting are two different things.

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#59 David S
December 21 2008, 06:49PM
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OK. This is getting ridiculous. Welcome to HF boards II.

Lets be clear. This whole "lost the room" thing s something that a small group of vocal fans (and by small I mean twenty or so) are posting on a bunch of blogs, most of which didn't exist 5 years ago. It sounds kinda interesting and makes everybody who stands behind this ridiculous statement semi-believable because the way the team is playing fits the opinion.

Yes, its MacT's job to prepare the team. I think (my opinion) this means getting the tactics set and making sure everybody in the room knows what to expect. I don't believe his job is to motivate extremely well paid athletes because, well, that's why they're extremely well paid athletes. If this were a peewee team, you might have a point. From what we've seen in Robin's posts above, the team to a man believes they are prepared for the games.

I know it makes you feel kinda cool to belong to an internet club that has "Fire MacT" as its secret handshake, but at some point I think you should have some real evidence to back your claims up.

Posting on an internet blog does NOT make you an authority - no matter how cool your sig name is. It makes you a guy with an opinion. And like something else, everybody's got one. But how about thinking twice before you rip into the guys who actually know what's going on. This is the only place on the net I know of where two credible MSM people are taking it on the chin every time they say something. You may not agree with what they say and that's cool. But try not coming off as total posers by inferring that your opinion is anything more than that.

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#60 Chris
December 21 2008, 08:01PM
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When Nilsson goes so goes the last value we got for Smyth. When Cole goes so goes the last value we got for Pronger...unless you consider Smid for Pronger a good deal. MacT isn't the problem...

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#61 ramped up
December 21 2008, 08:51PM
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@ David S: Wow a blog bodyguard!!! This site is set up so anyone can put their 2 cents in, and thats all people do!! Everyone has an opinion and if we come off sounding like we know something don't discredit us!!! Maybe some of us are a friend of an Oiler or maybe we've been Oiler fans so long we live and breath what they do and keep up with everything. WE think there needs to be a change,if it works great if it don't at least WE can look at it as a positive sign the Management is actually trying. Your opinion is just that so is mine...my "sig name"means nothing to anyone, if anything the names are for comedic relief. So if you think your hot sh*t cause you use your real name youre not...(my opinion)!!

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#62 RobinB
December 21 2008, 09:20PM
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ramped up wrote:

Maybe some of us are a friend of an Oiler or maybe we’ve been Oiler fans so long we live and breath what they do and keep up with everything.

Hope you're not relying too much on newspapers, radio and television to "keep up." There seems to be some doubt that those of us who cover the team actually have a clue about what's going on.

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#63 topshelf
December 21 2008, 09:26PM
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aaannnyways..is Bobby actually on his way out? What happened at practice today?

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#64 Smokin' Ray
December 21 2008, 09:40PM
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@ topshelf

I really hope not. I quite like him. But most likely he will go. I really sucks that you can't send anyone to the minors. The rules do seem to work in the players favour. (the main reason I am not a union guy) There should be no one way or two way contracts. The team owns you and therefore the team should be allowed to send anyone of their choosing to minors at anytime. For what ever reason. Sending Nilsson to the minors (IMO) is the best option right now. I think he could be a very special player one day. But with a guaranteed contract a player really has nothing to worry about. So what. You get traded. That is almost like rewarding a guy for being crappy. New start for him right?

You know... its funny. I really thought that since his old man was in the "club", he would get sort of a free ride. I guess I was wrong.

As far as practice. Don't ask me.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

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#65 RobinB
December 21 2008, 10:03PM
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@ topshelf: Nilsson will take a seat in the press box and you an expect to see Liam Reddox on left wing with Sam Gagner and Erik Cole.

Reddox, obviously, doesn't bring any of the offensive upside Nilsson does, but with the roster freeze on there's no opportunity to call up Schremp or Brule from the AHL.

Of course, losing the flair or a Nilsson likely doesn't bother MacTavish much, given his longstanding affection for "safe" players like Reddox. When the roster freeze comes off, it'll be interesting to see who gets the call-up. I'd hope it would be Brule or Schremp.

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#66 ramped up
December 21 2008, 10:32PM
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not at all,I stand by the quote you picked out

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#67 ramped up
December 21 2008, 10:34PM
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Sorry my last comment was to RobinB(technical glitch)

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#68 Fiveandagame
December 21 2008, 11:03PM
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Reddox with Gagner and Cole.....Wow just when those two players were looking like they were getting out of a funk.

No matter what Nilsson's competitiveness is, he is twice the player Reddox will ever be.

Reddox looks like he's getting this years Toby Peterson award for "most faith put into an under skilled player by MacT that should be a 3rd liner in the AHL".

Damn you MacT and your love affair with "almost" players.

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#69 MattL
December 21 2008, 11:51PM
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I never get tired about people complaining about an old boys club, and firing the coach in a province that's had the same political party in power since only Greg Oden can remember when.

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#70 rindog
December 22 2008, 12:19AM
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@ RobinB:

I take your word for it. If you tell me that the players are willing to go through a wall for MacT - then I have to believe it.

I hope you understand that I was not questioning the media or its motives.

I simply wanted to know what we as fans are supposed to do/think?

Do we just sit idly by and let our team underachieve year after year? Or are we within our rights to question the manner in which we see things happening(as outsiders)?

I guess my argument regarding the coaching staff does not stem from this season alone. I have questioned the direction of this team for many years and have not yet seen anything that leads me to believe that there is a light at the end of the tunnel....

If you have the time one day, would you mind doing me a favor? Gregs has told me on numerous occasions that my dislike for MacT has clouded my ability to be objective. Would you be able to give me (a fan) a list of things that you think MacT does well? Maybe you could post a blog and call it - Gimme a Break! (and have a nice little photo of Nell Carter to go along with it). The whole intent of the blog could be to silence the MacT critics and give them some actual issues to debate.

Katz obviously has no intentions of getting rid of him anytone soon...why do you think that is?

I personally would like to hear of the reasons why you (a hockey mind...not a media mogul) think that MacT deserves his job?

I also wanted to ask you one more question?

It has occured to me (and I hope I am not out of line by saying this) that you (and other media members) might dislike MacT as much as the next Oiler fan, but are as smart as the players and don't want to bite the hand that feeds you?

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#71 rindog
December 22 2008, 12:32AM
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@ David S:

I have a funny feeling you were responding to my post (without mentioning my name).

If so, can you please tell me where I ripped into anyone?

I simply asked the man if we (as fans) we were within our rights to take quotes from media interiews with a grain of salt???

And for the record David, the "lost the room" idea has been thrown around around just about every TV/ radio station by more than just fans.

If you are asking me to back up my claims (re: MacT)- be prepared for a lengthy and detailed response. But then again, my points would only be those from an outsider's point of view.

I don't expect the media to handout priveleged information or off the record comments. It would be foolish of them to do so. I also would expect that if they want to support the coach (and agree with them)that they should be willing to give us some insight that we couldn't be aware of or atleast give us their own opinions supporting him. Otherwise, they are no different than any of us fans out there.

Although, I do sometimes wonder if the media are permitted to actually be fans of the team???

Would that not make their jobs a lot more difficult if they actually had an emotional attachment to the team???

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#72 rindog
December 22 2008, 12:37AM
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@ RobinB:

One other thing.

I really appreciate the Pikanen angle, but it does lead me to another question?

What ever became of the so called veteran player that wanted to remain anonymous about voicing his displeasure in the coach?

Was that just simply a story (to get a reaction) or was their any "teeth" to it?

And, if it was true - do you know who it was (of course I don't expect you to give out a name)? And can you not understand how the average fan would read that and start trying to put 2 and 2 together?

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#73 RobinB
December 22 2008, 08:21AM
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@ rindog: Based on your opening comment about taking my word for it that the players are willing to go through a wall for MacT, I obviously haven't made myself clear. Let me try again.

THE ROOM -- Let's agree that being willing to go through a wall for a coach and a coach having "lost the room" are oppostite ends of the spectrum. From what I see, hear, know and think, MacT sits somewhere in the middle right now. With the team under-achieving, nobody is happy. It follows that coaches are questioning the ability and willingness of players to get the job done. Patience runs thin -- so you get public shots taken at players like Penner and Nilsson. Players, in turn, can't be (and aren't) 100 per cent sold on the game-planning and approach of the coaching staff. You don't think there's been a forward or two who has rolled his eyes and thought, "I wonder who I'm playing with next?" I can guartantee that's happened. But is there a widespread belief that MacT and his staff don't have a clue and it's time to tune them out? No. It's not black and white. Like I said, nobody is happy and won't be until the team starts winning.

THE LINES AND STRATEGY -- I have no idea what MacTavish is thinking at times when I see him draw out his lines and I know there are players who feel the same. He's made some decisions that boggle my mind. Playing Cole and Penner out of position to begin the season was the start of it and we've all seen the various combinations since. Pisani as a centre? Cole on LW. Penner on RW? Then, after several shuffles, Penner-Horcoff-Hemsky get going as a line and he breaks them up. What? -- MacTavish calling out Penner was a calculated risk that worked, but doing the same thing with Nilsson is pushing it. Publicly embarrassing a player is a card you can't play too often -- especially when the team, as a whole, is not performing as it should. Nilsson has been a disappointment, no question, and I'm not sure he'll ever fully grasp what it takes to be as effective as he could be, but that's the nature of some high-skill players. I guess there's a lot less willingness to live with that when things are going badly as opposed to when the team is winning. All I know is you can't flush the system of the risk-reward guys like Nilsson, Schremp and Brule and fill a roster with guys like Liam Reddox just because they are "safe" players. -- What happened to sustained pressure on the forecheck? Why have the Oilers gone away from a puck-pressure scheme? -- The PK. Duh! Change the system or change the personnel. -- What happened to the middle-breakout that worked so well for the Oilers in the stretch drive last season?

THE BOSS -- Katz, as I've said, remains in MacT's corner, but don't mistake that for free licence to carry on indefinitely if the results don't change. Katz, MacT and Kevin Lower are friends, so it's not strictly a business relationship. That said, Katz is watching and he does expect results. If things don't change or get worse, I wouldn't be surprised to see MacTavish resign BEFORE the end of the season. That, of course, brings a whole new set of challenges -- naming a new coach etc etc. In that scenario, Lowe could go back behind the bench. That would bridge the gap until a new coach is found and it would also give him a chance to assess the roster. I don't see it as the likeliest outcome, but . . . If the team at least battles through and doesn't fold (but still misses the playoffs) after making a player move or two, I can see Katz blowing everybody out, or, ahem, suggesting they resign, in the off-season. The point is this: MacTavish doesn't have tenure here just because Katz backs him right now.

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#74 Cam
December 22 2008, 10:05AM
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I have noticed a number of people taking shots at the "old boy club". Lowe, MacT, Simpson, Semenko, Huddy, and now Bucky have all taken turns at being burned on this website and others. The term "nepotism" has been brought up to describe it.

Am I the only one who thinks it's kinda neat having the alumni running the show? I like traditions and I am glad that we have that connection to the past - but it's not only that.

When you think about it, there are a LOT of ex Oilers from a decade of "glory years". That is a pretty broad base of talent pool to choose from. And these fellows were winners. Talent alone does not win cups. They understood what it takes to win and they brought it.

I am not happy about how the team is doing right now, but I believe that the people running it care even more than I do and know something about how to right it. Even good teams have ups and downs, so I am curious to see how things play out. No good coach or GM doesn't take risks and some work and some don't. There have been more of the latter recently but we could have a rash of the former and be a happy group in four games.

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#75 topshelf
December 22 2008, 10:19AM
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Cam wrote:

When you think about it, there are a LOT of ex Oilers from a decade of “glory years”. That is a pretty broad base of talent pool to choose from. And these fellows were winners. Talent alone does not win cups. They understood what it takes to win and they brought it.

That was 20 years ago man. Hockey has changed. These players know what the coaching staff did then but let's be honest the Oilers had Gretz, Mess, Kurri, Anderson just to name a few. Unless any of those guys are going to come coach we need to rid ourselves of this trend. To me it's embarassing how the rest of the league views our franchise as an "old boys club". But what do I know, i'm only 20-something.

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#76 topshelf
December 22 2008, 10:20AM
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wow did I ever mess that up..we really do need an edit button.

this was my statement: That was 20 years ago man. Hockey has changed. These players know what the coaching staff did then but let’s be honest the Oilers had Gretz, Mess, Kurri, Anderson just to name a few. Unless any of those guys are going to come coach we need to rid ourselves of this trend. To me it’s embarassing how the rest of the league views our franchise as an “old boys club”. But what do I know, i’m only 20-something.

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#77 topshelf
December 22 2008, 10:23AM
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Haha I suck at life.

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#78 Jason Gregor
December 22 2008, 10:45AM
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rindog wrote:

Although, I do sometimes wonder if the media are permitted to actually be fans of the team??? Would that not make their jobs a lot more difficult if they actually had an emotional attachment to the team?? I can say honestly that I am no longer a FAN of the Oilers. You can't have an emotional attachment to the team. When they make the playoffs, I'd like to see them win because it is better for the FANS and the city, but for me, going to games is not an emotional rollecoaster. The only team I really cheer for now are the Miami Dolphins. I don't have a direct connection to them since they aren't in my city, so it wouldn't compromise my work in the media. I'm also not stupid enough to recognize that I might have a bias towards certain players or teams both positively and negatively. You can't be a fan of the team you cover, at least if you want to do it somewhat responsibly.
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#79 Cam
December 22 2008, 10:59AM
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topshelf wrote:

That was 20 years ago man. Hockey has changed. These players know what the coaching staff did then but let’s be honest the Oilers had Gretz, Mess, Kurri, Anderson just to name a few. Unless any of those guys are going to come coach we need to rid ourselves of this trend. To me it’s embarassing how the rest of the league views our franchise as an “old boys club”. But what do I know, i’m only 20-something.

Well, if a coach has played in "today's NHL" then he would be too inexperienced to be a Coach, since he would be too young. Pretty much all the coaches have a little grey in their beards by the time they earn their spot behind the bench.

Kurri may have been one heck of a player, but as a coach I don't know if he would be any good. Gretzky hasn't impressed me too much as a coach. Would Anderson make a good coach? I highly doubt it - he was always pissing people off. Messier - who knows. If Messier came on as head coach to replace MacT I bet people would be screaming for his head 14 minutes after the first loss, though.

Success on the ice means nothing when you get behind the bench. Sather and Muckler were good coaches, but neither of them were offensive geniuses when they played.

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#80 rindog
December 22 2008, 11:29AM
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@ Jason Gregor:

I wasn't insinuating that it was a bad thing to not be a fan. I actually stated that it would make your job more diffucult if you were.

That is why I asked Robin and I will as you now:

What does MacT offer our club that no other coach does? Why is there such a hesitation to make a change? Are we concerned that if we let him go he will go on to win the Jack Adams trophy elsewhere? He's proven that he won't win it here!!!

I know you think I have blinders on - but I really can't think of ONE thing (as an outsider) that MacT does better than any other coach in the league. I realize that the other coaches are not perfect either but when you can look at the other coaches and see more positive things - is it wrong to question his worth to the team?

We constantly hear the term risk vs. reward. What are these rewards that we put up with to have to endure all of his risks?

He ran MAB out of town because his upside was not good enough to offset his weaknesses. Are MacTs strengths winning the battle against his deficiencies??

If you guys choose not give an answer (or if you don't have one) that is fine- but are the FANS unrealistic in wanting a change???

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#81 rindog
December 22 2008, 11:48AM
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@ RobinB:

I guess we could chalk it up to semantics....

As an outsider it looks like the players are playing with the same passion that the coach shows on the bench.....none!!

Collectively we look lost. You mention the PK, the breakout, the line combinations. I can add the PP, the defensive zone coverage, the icetime allocation, the gross seperation between our forwards and our defense on the rush, etc. To me it seems like there are nothing but critiscms and not many (if any) positives. At what point do we stop blaming the players and look at the coach?

If you were Katz and had the power - would you fire the coach now? Even if he was your buddy?

Right from the start of the year I questioned our coaching. I heard from many of the local media that we need to give him time and that it was just the preseason. Then I heard that it was only 10 games - give him more time. At the 20 game mark we all read the quarterly report card and were told that it still wasn't enough time.

When IS the time???

Do we really have to wait and see if we can make another miracle push late in the season to find out?

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#82 bookie
December 22 2008, 12:16PM
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@RobinB:

I think you have really done a good job at laying out the scene for everyone and if they don't get it by now, I would give up on them.

I have wavered all season at balancing my respect for MacT with my desire to see him replaced. I do like the guy, but as you say the line randomness and a few other thing make me wonder. Sometimes I think he overcoaches with new and different plans every game (I get this just from reading/watching media coverage). I remember back when MacT was a 'we have to avoid mistakes' guy and players were playing so cautiously and confused it created a lot of problems. I almost think he needs as 'coachbuddy' to balance him out a bit.

Do you have any sense of what kind of approach that the team has to coaching. Is there a sense of 'team coaching' with the assitants, Lowe, Tambi, and others contributing to the discussion, or is it just MacT going into his secret lair and drawing up the line combo's for the next game?

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#83 Cam
December 22 2008, 12:35PM
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rindog wrote:

What does MacT offer our club that no other coach does? Why is there such a hesitation to make a change? Are we concerned that if we let him go he will go on to win the Jack Adams trophy elsewhere? He’s proven that he won’t win it here!!!

I think you just changed the way I have been thinking about the coaching. Thank you. Seriously (I am not being sarcastic here).

I have been mildly preaching temperance with respect to MacT for a little while, but I think I will stop now and get out my headsman's axe. What is the worst that could happen - will our team start losing worse than they have been. I think 9-2 marks the low point of the season, somehow.

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#84 topshelf
December 22 2008, 12:35PM
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Cam wrote:

Success on the ice means nothing when you get behind the bench

Then why do we want old "glory day" oilers as coaches?

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#85 topshelf
December 22 2008, 12:40PM
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rindog wrote:

Collectively we look lost. You mention the PK, the breakout, the line combinations. I can add the PP, the defensive zone coverage, the icetime allocation, the gross seperation between our forwards and our defense on the rush, etc. To me it seems like there are nothing but critiscms and not many (if any) positives. At what point do we stop blaming the players and look at the coach?

x 20486

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#86 bookie
December 22 2008, 01:19PM
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@ Cam: Cam wrote:

rindog wrote: What does MacT offer our club that no other coach does? Why is there such a hesitation to make a change? Are we concerned that if we let him go he will go on to win the Jack Adams trophy elsewhere? He’s proven that he won’t win it here!!! I think you just changed the way I have been thinking about the coaching. Thank you. Seriously (I am not being sarcastic here). I have been mildly preaching temperance with respect to MacT for a little while, but I think I will stop now and get out my headsman’s axe. What is the worst that could happen - will our team start losing worse than they have been. I think 9-2 marks the low point of the season, somehow.

This is one of the motivating factors for me as well. I mean, its not like we are separating a mother from a child here or going through a divorce. This is a change from one NHL caliber coach to another NHL caliber coach. Its like when you replace your car - you are sad to see it go because you have a connection with it, but you are getting another car... People talk about MacT being a great coach and a genus, but one thing I have learned over the years is that you have to judge people by actual results, and by actual results MacT is OK, but not stellar.

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#87 Cam
December 22 2008, 01:44PM
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topshelf wrote:

Cam wrote: Success on the ice means nothing when you get behind the bench Then why do we want old “glory day” oilers as coaches?

My comment was more in response to the argument that the glory day coaching staff we have doesn't include the big names of the day (Messier, Kurri, etc).

I have nothing against hiring from within provided that they ae qualified. Most succesful companies promote from within, and there are a LOT of ex-Oilers to choose from. If the best candidate comes from outside then that is fine (Pete Peeters, Billy Moores, Tambellini, Ed Olczyk), but don't discount somebodies qualifications simply because they are an old boy.

I think Buchberger would make a great coach. They loved him in Springfield. I think they should hire who they think is best for the job, and if it is an ex-Oiler then so what.

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#88 RobinB
December 22 2008, 02:11PM
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Cam wrote:

I think Buchberger would make a great coach.

Based on what? Missing the playoffs in the AHL in his only season as a head coach? Missing the playoffs as an AHL assistant coach with the Road Runners in 04-05?

Great? Really?

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#89 topshelf
December 22 2008, 03:04PM
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Cam wrote:

but don’t discount somebodies qualifications simply because they are an old boy.

I wasn't discounting them on that factor I was just implying that that shouldn't be the only reason they are offered the job.

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