The Achilles Heel of the 2008-09 Edmonton Oilers

Jonathan Willis
March 15 2009 10:38AM

Goal against

The penalty-kill is the biggest reason that this team has underachieved to date. Consider the last ten games as an example – here are the goals for and against on special teams and at even-strength:

  • Even Strength: 27 goals for, 19 goals against (+8)
  • Special Teams: 4 goals for, 9 goals against (-5)
  • Oilers Record: 3-2-5

Despite the lousy record, this team has been very good at even strength; they score three goals for every two they give up. It’s been a very good run in that respect. Unfortunately, the Oilers can also expect to have a powerplay goal against almost every game. That’s even worse than their season average, an average that places them 28th in the league in penalty-kill efficiency. The powerplay isn’t helping much either, having scored just four goals in the last ten games. Here are the numbers on the season (discounting empty-net goals):

  • Even Strength: 129 goals for, 125 goals against (+4)
  • Special Teams: 52 goals for, 76 goals against (-24)
  • Oilers Record: 32-27-9

The powerplay is league-average. The even-strength record is slightly better than that. Where the team falls down is on the penalty kill, where they’ve averaged more than 1 powerplay goal against per game this season. This is an obvious weak spot. It has been since the start of the year.

On January 27th, I did a team review that imitated one that Doug Risebrough, G.M. of the Minnesota Wild, did for his team. Here’s an excerpt from that article:

I would suggest that the Oilers would be well-advised to make improving the penalty-kill their chief priority. The trade of Garon would seem to imply that they felt he was a big part of the problem, but even if they’re right about that, they can’t afford to stand pat.

I suggested four changes that might help turn around the penalty-kill:

  1. Trade for an elite penalty-killing forward
  2. Reduce Steve Staios’ role on the PK
  3. Make Erik Cole an integral part of the unit
  4. Re-emphasize shot-blocking

Both the second and third point were used, although not to the extent I would like. Unfortunately, the first point went unaddressed (O’Sullivan kills penalties, but if you send out Erik Cole to get him you aren’t improving the unit as a whole). The fourth point is rather difficult to measure, but most of the players on the penalty-kill are recording fewer blocks than they did back in January, so it seems to have gone by the wayside as well.

In fact, I think the greatest criticism I have of Steve Tambellini’s trade deadline is that he didn’t address the penalty-kill. He added a great young player in O’Sullivan for an unrestricted free agent, and he overpaid to try and shore up a league-average powerplay, but he did nothing to fix the thing that has cost this team games all season: the penalty-kill.

Conclusion

I was just a little baffled by the idea that the Oilers big, gaping hole going into the deadline was a top-six left-winger. All season I’ve complained, Brownlee’s complained, and Gregor’s complained about the horrible penalty-killing numbers. It is what has cost the Edmonton Oilers wins this season.

Ultimately, I’ve been very critical of Craig MacTavish this season, but I think this one rests squarely on the shoulders of Kevin Lowe (for his work over the summer) and Steve Tambellini (for his work this season). Last year, Craig MacTavish had six forwards who he regularly ran out and trusted to kill penalties. This season he has four – and the two guys who departed were not only elite penalty-killers, but two of the best faceoff men in the NHL.

Failing to address that hole, more than anything else, has led to poor results this season.

And as a side point, it would be nice if the print media (at least some of who recognized earlier in the year that the penalty-killing was the biggest issue) had spent a little more time recognizing the holes in the unit, rather than staring at the giant (~soft, lazy, unmotivated, etc.~) red herring who often plays with Horcoff and Hemsky. Unfortunately, they seem to have spent most of the last month ignoring it (by the way, if you’ve seen a trade deadline article I missed respecting this moribund PK, please point it out – I’d like to thank whoever wrote it).

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#51 yo
March 15 2009, 01:59PM
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The only way to improve the penalty killing and the tendency for Rolly to cough up so many rebounds...o to Home Depot and buy a 4 X 8 sheet of plywood.

A $30 caphit!!!

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#52 CurtisS
March 15 2009, 02:06PM
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Fire Mact!

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#53 oilersseasonticketholdersince99
March 15 2009, 02:11PM
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Mike wrote:

Traktor wrote: Is it possible that the problems could be the system related? Erik Cole and his 8 points in 6 games sure thinks so. Well, I’m sure it helps that he’s sliding right back into his comfortable old spot playing with Staal. I’m not sure who’s fault it was that Cole never seemed to find much chemistry this year (Cole’s or MacT’s), but we don’t exactly have a Staal to offer him either.

Whos fault? Mac t is the one to blame .Playing Cole out of position then demoting him to the third line is mac ts fault how many other players play poorly for Mac t only to get traded and then light it up.We have seen this to many times in the past.Mac t should do this organization a favor and resign if we wait for K lowe,Tambalini or Katz to doing something we will have to wait another 10 years

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#54 Smokin' Ray
March 15 2009, 02:12PM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

Smokin’ Ray wrote: Jonathan Willis wrote: Smokin’ Ray wrote: someone that has the will and heart to carry a team. (ie: Lecavalier) How’s that working for Tampa Bay? lol. I was waiting for that. TBL C 69 28 36 64 ~Yeah your right Willis. That would be pretty crappy numbers on the Oilers.~ Imagine if he had a wingman like Hemmer? Like former Heart winner St Louis?

It was an example. Maybe I should have someone else to get my point across.

Maybe like Crosby or Malkin or Datsyuk or Thorton or Getzlaf or Jeff Carter. Do I need to go on?

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#55 oilersseasonticketholdersince99
March 15 2009, 02:14PM
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jason wrote:

The weak PK is just one of the Oilers multiple weaknesses. Lack of faceoff skill, poor PP, mediocre coaching, lack of toughness, lack of veteran leadership, etc… Basically top to bottom from scouting to management to players and coaching, there are a lot of holes in this sinking ship.

I agree 100% and we are not the only ones, yet what is this organization doing about it? Nothing!!!!

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#56 Ogden Brother
March 15 2009, 02:15PM
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oilersseasonticketholdersince99 wrote:

Mike wrote: Traktor wrote: Is it possible that the problems could be the system related? Erik Cole and his 8 points in 6 games sure thinks so. Well, I’m sure it helps that he’s sliding right back into his comfortable old spot playing with Staal. I’m not sure who’s fault it was that Cole never seemed to find much chemistry this year (Cole’s or MacT’s), but we don’t exactly have a Staal to offer him either. Whos fault? Mac t is the one to blame .Playing Cole out of position then demoting him to the third line is mac ts fault how many other players play poorly for Mac t only to get traded and then light it up.We have seen this to many times in the past.Mac t should do this organization a favor and resign if we wait for K lowe,Tambalini or Katz to doing something we will have to wait another 10 years

I'd like to see that list of players.

Cole played on the 1st line to start... poor Cole

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#57 Smokin' Ray
March 15 2009, 02:16PM
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*should have said someone else*

~It's too bad that no one has invented that button that let's you edit your posts. Maybe if we build for the future we can get one one day. Hmmmm.~

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#58 Ogden Brother
March 15 2009, 02:16PM
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Smokin' Ray wrote:

Ogden Brother wrote: Smokin’ Ray wrote: Jonathan Willis wrote: Smokin’ Ray wrote: someone that has the will and heart to carry a team. (ie: Lecavalier) How’s that working for Tampa Bay? lol. I was waiting for that. TBL C 69 28 36 64 ~Yeah your right Willis. That would be pretty crappy numbers on the Oilers.~ Imagine if he had a wingman like Hemmer? Like former Heart winner St Louis? It was an example. Maybe I should have someone else to get my point across. Maybe like Crosby or Malkin or Datsyuk or Thorton or Getzlaf or Jeff Carter. Do I need to go on?

All of those guys play with talented players.

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#59 Smokin' Ray
March 15 2009, 02:22PM
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That's my point.

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#60 oilersseasonticketholdersince99
March 15 2009, 02:25PM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

oilersseasonticketholdersince99 wrote: I’d like to see that list of players. Cole played on the 1st line to start… poor Cole

Are you saying then that playing Cole out of position and Mac t's coaching had nothing to do with it?

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#61 rickithebear
March 15 2009, 02:33PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

volfman wrote: And he’s still soft and inconsistant. I’ll never understand how people who watch Hemsky go to the corners to take punishment still think he’s soft. It’s bizarre. But it makes you wonder how they got put their though hey? Not really. Scott Cullen’s work with statistics continues to speak for itself.

The first time he published a ranking I wonder about it and sent Scott an Email. His response was embarrasing. The man is a fool.

Besides he works for the "Eating peanuts off Brian Burkes *** club."(TSN) Sorry for the title but it descibes them to a T.

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#62 Wej
March 15 2009, 02:34PM
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And who is responsible for that? Why it's MacT! He can't even coach the stuff that used to be his bread and butter.

FMNF

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#63 Traktor
March 15 2009, 02:41PM
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"Traktor: Excuse me? Given those two shiny Stanley Cup rings Buchberger wears, I’d say the onus is on you to provide proof he’s a “loser”."

His only coaching experience was 1 year in the AHL where his team finished last in basically every category.

Are you suggesting Dustin Penner is fit to coach the Edmonton Oilers because he has a cup ring?

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#64 Traktor
March 15 2009, 02:46PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

But while we’re at it, where does Ales Kotalik fit on your list of guys putting up points? And since I know it’s a favorite stat of yours Traktor, how about even-strength points (hint: right behind Liam Reddox)? Historically Kotalik made his bread on the point on the PP. Has MacTavish even used him there this year?
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#65 Dennis
March 15 2009, 02:51PM
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Kingsblade: It doesn't shock me that you remain convinced of that. I'm convinced you believe all kinds of foolishness:D

Anyway, yeah, we used to roll six forwards and go and now we don't. We used to try and block shots and we don't.

Was MacT in charge of the PK for all those years when we Did look to have the right idea? Is Buchy in charge now?

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#66 rickithebear
March 15 2009, 02:57PM
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Smokin' Ray wrote:

Ogden Brother wrote: Smokin’ Ray wrote: Jonathan Willis wrote: Smokin’ Ray wrote: someone that has the will and heart to carry a team. (ie: Lecavalier) How’s that working for Tampa Bay? lol. I was waiting for that. TBL C 69 28 36 64 ~Yeah your right Willis. That would be pretty crappy numbers on the Oilers.~ Imagine if he had a wingman like Hemmer? Like former Heart winner St Louis? It was an example. Maybe I should have someone else to get my point across. Maybe like Crosby or Malkin or Datsyuk or Thorton or Getzlaf or Jeff Carter. Do I need to go on?

Yes do. But remeber this is a cap world not a pull money out of...........

All the RW with more than.9Pts/GM 1.Iginla 1.18Pts/GM 7M 2.St.Louis 1.00Pts/GM 5.25M 3.Hemsky .97Pts/GM 4.1M 4.ALfredsson .97Pts/GM 4.4M 5.Hossa .97Pts/GM 7M 6.Kane .94Pts/GM 3.725M

Production per dollar spent. Who would you take.

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#67 Deep Oil
March 15 2009, 03:56PM
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My favorite bad boy (Avery( at $2mm per year is lighting it up in New York - four goals since being allowed back in the league. He has two goals this afternoon against the flyers and NBC has an iso camera on him ALL the time. This player is a cancer according to RB, and with the $2mm subsidy from the Stars - invaluable to the Ramgers...... it seems Glen Sather believes in Karma. Oilers passed on his re-entry.

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#68 Ogden Brother
March 15 2009, 04:10PM
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oilersseasonticketholdersince99 wrote:

Ogden Brother wrote: oilersseasonticketholdersince99 wrote: I’d like to see that list of players. Cole played on the 1st line to start… poor Cole Are you saying then that playing Cole out of position and Mac t’s coaching had nothing to do with it?

I'm saying it's REALLY hard to feel sorry for a guy that got an extended look on the 1st line, with our only high end forward.

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#69 Bruce
March 15 2009, 04:14PM
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Traktor wrote:

Are you suggesting Dustin Penner is fit to coach the Edmonton Oilers because he has a cup ring?

No Traktor, I am just saying that calling a two-time Stanley Cup champion a “proven loser” is a poor choice of words.

Call Buchberger an unproven coach and I will agree with you. But if you call him a loser I am going to call you on it, cuz that is BS.

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#70 oilersseasonticketholdersince99
March 15 2009, 05:16PM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

oilersseasonticketholdersince99 wrote: Ogden Brother wrote: oilersseasonticketholdersince99 wrote: ? I’m saying it’s REALLY hard to feel sorry for a guy that got an extended look on the 1st line, with our only high end forward.

I do not feel sorry for Cole,all I am saying is playing him on the off wing, then moving him to the third line playing with two players who have less talent, then moving him to the second line to play with Gagner and whoever Mac t felt should play on the other wing and you wonder why he did not perform for us? I blame Mac T same goes for coming out flat more times than I can remember and having one of the worst pks in the league I blame it on Mac T. The last time I checked it was the coachs job to have the team prepared to play and it is also his responsability to oversee the pp and the pk.I feel sorry for us Oiler fans who have to watch this gong show year after year and no one in the organization cares enough to do something about it.

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#71 Jason Gregor
March 15 2009, 05:24PM
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Dennis wrote:

Was MacT in charge of the PK for all those years when we Did look to have the right idea? Is Buchy in charge now?

Actually Craig Simpson was in charge of special teams. He got ripped for the PP, but he was also in charge of the PK. MacTavish helped of course, and now it is MacT and Bucky.Deep Oil wrote:

My favorite bad boy (Avery( at $2mm per year is lighting it up in New York - four goals since being allowed back in the league. He has two goals this afternoon against the flyers and NBC has an iso camera on him ALL the time. This player is a cancer according to RB, and with the $2mm subsidy from the Stars - invaluable to the Ramgers…… it seems Glen Sather believes in Karma. Oilers passed on his re-entry.

There was no way Avery wanted to come here, and the Oilers didn't want him either. Avery being good right now is no surprise. Judge him next season and see how he is acting and if he is a distraction in the room. Dennis wrote:

So, there you go, we have seven guys who can or have killed penalties. So, why don’t we go old school Oilers and use three sets of forwards and then we’ll have the manpower to be able to press the issue and pressure down-ice? That was the way we used to do it. And we also use to block shots.

Do you think the coach tells guys not to block shots? It is up to the player. Smith and Ulanov had gonads the size of Grapefruits and would block shots. Gilbert and Grebeshkov aren't shot blockers.

Reasoner was a great at shot blocking, but you can't force guys to do it. You can practice it, but if they don't have the intestinal fortitude to do it, a coach can't manufacture it. Brodziak is getting a bit better at it, but it just isn't as good, and possibly not as willing just yet to do it to the level of Reasoner.

While many of you rag on him, Staios is fearless in that department. Moreau will do it as well, but after that they don't have a lot of guys who do. I'm not saying all good PKers have to be great shot blockers, but it does help sometimes.

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#72 Bruce
March 15 2009, 05:58PM
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The best four man PK unit of shot-blockers I ever saw consisted of Craig MacTavish, Kelly Buchberger, Kevin Lowe, and Craig Muni. They were a regular foursome from about 1988-92, and all four were fearless puck magnets.

Maybe the Oilers should bring in Craig Muni to teach the skill? :)

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#73 BarryS
March 15 2009, 06:05PM
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More than anything else in hockey, PK is a thing of familiarity between the five guys working together with confidence in each other. As I recall, our PK this year is a newly formed unit, or units. Sorry guys, adding one new guy, or even four new guys on PK, no matter of what reputation, is not going to make the PK any better in the short run save those times the fifth guy (the goalie) happens to be standing on his head. One guy into an experienced unit can make a difference, but one in a new unit no better at all.

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#74 Jonathan Willis
March 15 2009, 06:11PM
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@ Jason Gregor:

Jason Gregor wrote:

Do you think the coach tells guys not to block shots? It is up to the player. Smith and Ulanov had gonads the size of Grapefruits and would block shots. Gilbert and Grebeshkov aren’t shot blockers. Reasoner was a great at shot blocking, but you can’t force guys to do it. You can practice it, but if they don’t have the intestinal fortitude to do it, a coach can’t manufacture it. Brodziak is getting a bit better at it, but it just isn’t as good, and possibly not as willing just yet to do it to the level of Reasoner. While many of you rag on him, Staios is fearless in that department. Moreau will do it as well, but after that they don’t have a lot of guys who do. I’m not saying all good PKers have to be great shot blockers, but it does help sometimes.

We're talking about last year when the PK was good though, not five years ago. The funny thing about the shot-blocking is it has dropped off among returning players too - or it had when I checked at the end of January (team review, linked above):

It’s been suggested that this year’s unit blocks fewer shots than last season’s, and while superficially the total number of blocks looks close, it really isn’t. The block totals from last season came on far fewer shots; in other words, the percentage of shots being blocked has dropped. Using Horcoff as an example, last season 63.2 more attempts (shots, missed shots and blocked shots) were made against than for, with an average of one block per every -2.8 Corsi. This season, he’s averaging one block per every -4.42 Corsi. If we use a weighted (for ice-time) average down the line, we get the following ratios for this season and last season: 2007-08: .36 Blocks/ -Corsi 2008-09: .23 Blocks/ -Corsi In simpler terms, this set of forwards is about 33 per cent less likely to block a shot than last year’s set of forwards.

It's guys like Staios, Horcoff, Moreau, Souray and Brodziak - all accomplished shot blockers - who are blocking a smaller percentage of the shots they see this year. Which would make it seem like there was a philospohical change behind the bench; something caused these players to block fewer shots. And as much as I like to rag on Moreau & Staios, it sure as hell isn't because they suddenly have the fear of puck.

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#75 dw
March 15 2009, 06:11PM
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@ oilersseasonticketholdersince99: I do agree that MacT should be the one held accountable for all the flat starts but I don't know that you can pin Cole's lack of production on him. Cole just didn't mesh with Hemsky and Horcoff, and he and Gagner showed some promise but nothing to the extent that he shows when he plays with Staal. After that, who do you propose that MacT plays him with?

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#76 Ogden Brother
March 15 2009, 06:23PM
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oilersseasonticketholdersince99 wrote:

Ogden Brother wrote: oilersseasonticketholdersince99 wrote: Ogden Brother wrote: oilersseasonticketholdersince99 wrote: ? I’m saying it’s REALLY hard to feel sorry for a guy that got an extended look on the 1st line, with our only high end forward. I do not feel sorry for Cole,all I am saying is playing him on the off wing, then moving him to the third line playing with two players who have less talent, then moving him to the second line to play with Gagner and whoever Mac t felt should play on the other wing and you wonder why he did not perform for us? I blame Mac T .

So their you go, he got a shot with basically every player on the team and for the most part couldn't make a go of it. Must be the coach.

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#77 Jay
March 15 2009, 06:34PM
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maybe we block less shots per the shots we see this year because we are seeing a lot more of the backdoor-wide-open-in-the-slot-blown-coverage variety of shot this year compared to last

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#78 Dennis
March 15 2009, 06:36PM
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Gregor: it just seems like there's been a sea change in approach. Sure, we have different players and everyone isn't made from the same cloth but it's just like a whole new approach is afoot.

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#79 oilersseasonticketholdersince99
March 15 2009, 06:55PM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

oilersseasonticketholdersince99 wrote: Ogden Brother wrote: oilersseasonticketholdersince99 wrote: Ogden Brother wrote: oilersseasonticketholdersince99 wrote: ? So their you go, he got a shot with basically every player on the team and for the most part couldn’t make a go of it. Must be the coach.

He should have started the year with Horcoff and Penner built up some confidence and away we go but mactavish changes line combos quicker than hookers do tricks,does nothing to build up consistancy.The players probably do not even know from one game to the next who they will be playing with and you wonder why this team struggles night in night out.Maybe your right playing Reddex on the first line and then moving him from the 1st to 4 th line cause Mac t has no one else tom play shows how smart Mactavish is at the best Reddex is a 3 or 4 th line AHL player only in Edmonton do we have so many incompetant guys playing on the big team when they would be hard pressed to play in the AHL.I blame Mactavish for who plays Lupol,Penner,Neilson,Cole, have all underperformed for him is it the players or the coach?

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#80 Jay
March 15 2009, 06:59PM
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oilersseasonticketholdersince99 wrote:

mactavish changes line combos quicker than hookers do tricks

@ oilersseasonticketholdersince99: Aha! all MacT has to do is stop referring to "The Hooker's Guide to Coaching". I knew the problems with this team had a simple solution

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#81 Mr P - FMNF
March 15 2009, 07:09PM
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I'm not sure I hold as much value for blocking shots. Isn't that why the goalie gets 3 million. PK isn't as good because of personell. Stoll and Reasoner were specialists at it. Horcoff was the third centre for PK, now he is the first option. One PK third line centre would be great and Brodzizk could be the second. We will however need to trade a centre before we get another one. Who would you want to trade Cogliano, Gagne, no one will take Horcoffs cap hit off our hands. The only way is to trade one of the kids for a premier winger and then we can add a PK 3rd line centre.

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#82 Phil
March 15 2009, 08:16PM
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I think the real Achilles Heel of the 08/09 version of your Hurtin 4 Certain Edmonton Oilers is the plain fact that it LOOKS like NONE of the players WANT to be here.

They all just look tired, frustrated, bored, depressed... whatever it may be, but clearly they're not playing with any pride, not playing for the fans, they rarely put in consistent, hard working efforts... all around a dysfunctional group that needs a fresh face behind the bench and a new outlook. They need a system reboot.

I can guarantee you it's not fun for many, if ANY of the players on the Edmonton Oilers to be playing here presently. It's been another fairly long, cold winter. Economy's in the sh*tter, the barn has been quiet all season long, there's been some sorry ass drama unfolding between players and coaches. It's all a mess.

The players just don't want to be here right now, it's not a positive environment, or fun place to play for that matter.

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#83 kingsblade
March 15 2009, 08:39PM
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Dennis wrote:

Kingsblade: It doesn’t shock me that you remain convinced of that. I’m convinced you believe all kinds of foolishness:D

ummm....I have no idea what you are referring to with this statement. What am I convinced of exactly? I haven't even posted on this thread until just now.

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#84 David S
March 15 2009, 10:04PM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

So their you go, he got a shot with basically every player on the team and for the most part couldn’t make a go of it. Must be the coach.

Yeah. ~It must be the coach.~

You guys so far overrate the players on our team that it borders on laughable. Fact is, we're just not good. Stack up our #1 guy with Calgary's and it's no contest. And on it goes.

Cole's "making a go of it" now with a line that's better than any combination of players we can put together. Not to mention that his new line brings it every night, rather than one in 5. And of course they've been in the league longer than two years.

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#85 Rick
March 15 2009, 10:12PM
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In watching players that truly are stars you notice that they elevate the players around them. I don't see that happening with Hemsky, if anything he seems to confuse his linemates with all those fancy moves. He doesn't pass or shoot at the right time or utilize the people around him effectively. He would however win a stickhandling in a phone booth competition hands down.@ Rick:

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#86 Ogden Brother
March 15 2009, 10:18PM
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oilersseasonticketholdersince99 wrote:

Ogden Brother wrote: oilersseasonticketholdersince99 wrote: Ogden Brother wrote: oilersseasonticketholdersince99 wrote: Ogden Brother wrote: oilersseasonticketholdersince99 wrote: ? So their you go, he got a shot with basically every player on the team and for the most part couldn’t make a go of it. Must be the coach. He should have started the year with Horcoff and Penner built up some confidence and away we go but mactavish changes line combos quicker than hookers do tricks,does nothing to build up consistancy.The players probably do not even know from one game to the next who they will be playing with and you wonder why this team struggles night in night out.Maybe your right playing Reddex on the first line and then moving him from the 1st to 4 th line cause Mac t has no one else tom play shows how smart Mactavish is at the best Reddex is a 3 or 4 th line AHL player only in Edmonton do we have so many incompetant guys playing on the big team when they would be hard pressed to play in the AHL.I blame Mactavish for who plays Lupol,Penner,Neilson,Cole, have all underperformed for him is it the players or the coach?

Amazing how many people will give a free pass to the guy who's actually on the ice.

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#87 Ogden Brother
March 15 2009, 10:20PM
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David S wrote:

Ogden Brother wrote: So their you go, he got a shot with basically every player on the team and for the most part couldn’t make a go of it. Must be the coach. Yeah. ~It must be the coach.~ You guys so far overrate the players on our team that it borders on laughable. Fact is, we’re just not good. Stack up our #1 guy with Calgary’s and it’s no contest. And on it goes. Cole’s “making a go of it” now with a line that’s better than any combination of players we can put together. Not to mention that his new line brings it every night, rather than one in 5. And of course they’ve been in the league longer than two years.

My "must be the coach" comment was made in jest ;0

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#88 Ogden Brother
March 15 2009, 10:23PM
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David S wrote:

Ogden Brother wrote: So their you go, he got a shot with basically every player on the team and for the most part couldn’t make a go of it. Must be the coach. Yeah. ~It must be the coach.~ You guys so far overrate the players on our team that it borders on laughable. Fact is, we’re just not good. Stack up our #1 guy with Calgary’s and it’s no contest. And on it goes. Cole’s “making a go of it” now with a line that’s better than any combination of players we can put together. Not to mention that his new line brings it every night, rather than one in 5. And of course they’ve been in the league longer than two years.

You hit the nail on the head with the "been in the league longer then two years" comment.

Up until 2 weeks ago (roughly) 66% of our second line had 4th line production. 8-12 more goals out of Gagner/Nilsson = 2-4 more wins and a battle for 5th place.

Betting on youth is risky, it hasn't panned out yet, but it will.

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#89 Bruno
March 15 2009, 10:27PM
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Phil wrote:

The players just don’t want to be here right now, it’s not a positive environment, or fun place to play for that matter.

Man oh man , I think this wanting to be here nonsense is completly over blown.How long are the players really here? training camp and 41 games a year. And what do they do at the end of the season. Ya probally leave to go wherever.And I'm pretty sure that there's always drama between coaches and there players, the difference is this one went public. The only thing I do agree with you is the barn is too quiet, sounds like a church at the best of times. I blame that on the shit#y job Scholtz does pretty boring!!. And mabey the tunes too.

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#90 Jay
March 15 2009, 11:03PM
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@ Bruno: blaming the quietness in the building on music or jumbo-tron activities? give your head a shake. the reason the building is quiet is because the fans haven't seen consistent effort and heart from a lot of the players this year. bottom line is that fans cheer for the excitement the players create with hustle plays, goals, and winning. haven't seen enough of it this year, and the fans know the team has it in them if they bring the effort. the lifelessness of the team is starting to reflect on the fans, that is all.

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#91 Rob
March 15 2009, 11:20PM
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I wonder how the season ticket renewal response has been so far this spring.

I hear even MacT's wife and kids are wearing bags over their heads.

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#92 David S
March 15 2009, 11:37PM
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Jay wrote:

@ Bruno: blaming the quietness in the building on music or jumbo-tron activities? give your head a shake. the reason the building is quiet is because the fans haven’t seen consistent effort and heart from a lot of the players this year. bottom line is that fans cheer for the excitement the players create with hustle plays, goals, and winning. haven’t seen enough of it this year, and the fans know the team has it in them if they bring the effort. the lifelessness of the team is starting to reflect on the fans, that is all.

I wouldn't read a whole lot into the quiet building thing. It's been quiet for years.

That being said, the music borders on cheesy 90's riffs, beer is like a quadrillion dollars a glass (they cut off beer sales early too), and our "ice girls" - while I must admit are making progress - are nowhere in the league of some places in the league. They should really work alot harder on the show aspect of the game, but that's just my opinion.

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#93 Chris
March 16 2009, 12:13AM
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Rob wrote:

I wonder how the season ticket renewal response has been so far this spring

I renewed mine... Us season ticket holders are to blame for the quiet at RX1. In the past when the crowd was composed of more walkups, first timers, and huge fans who were just thrilled to be there; the building was louder. Now the majority of people in attendance have seen 30 games or more a year; people who are tired of paying $12 for the privledge of parking 2kms away from the door, and $4.00 for a warm Dasani with no cap, or $7.75 for a smaller beer....People who are just sick of watching a team with no heart or urgency. We are silent because it has gotten hard to cheer. I renewed my tickets, because I wait patiently for change.

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#94 german titov
March 16 2009, 04:15AM
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i always thought i was an underrated penalty killer.

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#95 Game #69 Preview « The Oilverse
March 16 2009, 04:53AM
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[...] no signs of improvement. Jonathan Willis of OilersNation had a very well thought out article to illustrate this point (and I thought I’d make up for bashing him in my Penner [...]

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#96 Deep Oil
March 16 2009, 06:58AM
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Rob wrote:

I wonder how the season ticket renewal response has been so far this spring. I hear even MacT’s wife and kids are wearing bags over their heads.

My sources are as follows:

1) Season renewal ticket is on edge - dependent on playoffs and coach contract.

2) Advertising for 2009 - 2010 is DOWN.

3) No more waiting list for luxury suites.

4) (UPDATE) Nicholls was pushed - not coming back under ANY circumstances.

5) Wife Debbie and kids are not affected by this (lack of) playoff run - school drop off in Rio Terrace is going just fine - no incidents.

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#97 Deep Oil
March 16 2009, 07:30AM
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Chris wrote:

Rob wrote: I wonder how the season ticket renewal response has been so far this spring I renewed mine… Us season ticket holders are to blame for the quiet at RX1. In the past when the crowd was composed of more walkups, first timers, and huge fans who were just thrilled to be there; the building was louder. Now the majority of people in attendance have seen 30 games or more a year; people who are tired of paying $12 for the privledge of parking 2kms away from the door, and $4.00 for a warm Dasani with no cap, or $7.75 for a smaller beer….People who are just sick of watching a team with no heart or urgency. We are silent because it has gotten hard to cheer. I renewed my tickets, because I wait patiently for change.

Sounds like a phone call to the Oilers at 780.414.4000 would be in order to voice your displeasure with the Northlands service issue to start (no shuttle from the SLIDE in -30 weather, limited food selection, and gouging for diluted beer - note:

Parking at RX2 will not be cheaper at downtown parkades - based on free enterprise. Beverage and food costs will increase with segregated areas for premium ticket holders only at higher prices. The Oil finally put in a premium bar last year in the club lounge - prior to that we were forced to drink spirits that were not of premium nature.

By the way, be prepared to shell out $10K - $25K per seat if the economy rebounds for a PERSONAL SEAT LICENSE, and the Oil are reborn like a phoenix butterfly from the caterpillar they are now. This will generate $250 - $500 million in revenue based on platinum and corporate boxes - coupled with a season ticket table section at one end of the arena.

Buddy ROB, thanks for renewing your tickets, now there is cash flow for the summer and we won't have to lay off any staff.

This is what happened in Tampa Bay..... yikes. Youtube video of kid advertising for his father (VP OF MARKETING TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING) - do you hire the KID or the DAD......

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCeX--Tz1cc

I wonder what Patrick LaForge's kids are up to these days.....

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#98 Deep Oil
March 16 2009, 07:48AM
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Flyers are offering for $35 the following with game ticket........

http://flyers.nhl.com/team/app/?service=page&page=NHLPage&id=28408

All You Can Eat Tickets

Enjoy a complete evening of great food and entertainment when you sit in the Wachovia Center's All You Can Eat section. An All You Can Eat ticket gets you unlimited hot dogs, soda, popcorn, nachos and ice cream along with your admission to the game.

Now, there's an all new ticket price of just $35!

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#99 Phil
March 16 2009, 07:57AM
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lulz

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#100 Rick
March 16 2009, 09:30AM
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On the block shot discussion, just to point out the obvious it is also worth metioning that not all blocked shots are equal.

It would be interesting to see each recorded blocked shot to see what exactly counts. On Saturday Grebeshkov was credited with 5 blocked shots, I assume one of those blocked shots was on the PP goal against where he basically just deflected the puck off to the side with his skate which, of course, winds up on the stick of Tucker who has a gapping net.

When the Oilers would really sell out on blocking shots the puck was much more predictable because of where they were on the ice and the manner in which they did it.

Saturday on the Tuckers goal, Grebeshkov looked like a beer leaguer who forgot his can. He wanted to make the play but refused to totally commit to it. In the process all he accomplished was buggering up Roloson who otherwise has a pretty routine save.

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