Running Their Show?

Lowetide
October 21 2011 07:46AM

One of the popular phrases in Oilerville is "getting their show run" in reference to the Oilers being unable to execute and match the physical play of their opposition. Is that a phrase we can apply to coach Tom Renney, too?  

So far this season, the Edmonton Oilers are Ryan Smyth's team again. #94 was flying (as he has all season) and his line was making good things happen. At the same time, the line of RNH-Hall-Eberle was playing a secondary role, and as the game wore on the gap in TOI became more severe. There are several possibilities for this action by the coach:

  • Renney was coaching to win.
  • Renney was using playing time as a teaching tool.
  • Renney was line matching and Minnesota was dictating the chord changes by pushing their top line out again and again.

All of those are good reasons for a coach to double shift his veterans, and we also have to add in Taylor Hall's recent flu and RNH's tentative play for (now) the last 2 games. However, that's the "saw him good" analysis; let's run a few numbers and see who is getting the results offensively (all numbers via behind the net.ca):

Ryan Smyth

  • EV TOI: 15.48
  • Qual Comp: 3rd toughest among forwards
  • CorsiRel: -12.7 (11th best among forwards)
  • EV points-per-60: 2.58 (2nd best among forwards)
  • Zone Start: 38.2% (3rd toughest among forwards)

This is a very strong line. The CorsiRel is negative, but good God man look at the situation: Smyth is starting in his own zone much of the time, playing the toughest available competition and posting an outstanding point-per-60 number. Ryan Smyth has turned back time (in the good way, not the Cher way) and is the best Oiler forward (in my opinion) early this season. Gabe Desjardins would want me to mention this is a very small sample size and we shouldn't read too much into the early returns.

Taylor Hall

  • EV TOI: 12.96
  • Qual Comp: 9th toughest among forwards
  • CorsiRel: 21.7 (2nd best number among forwards)
  • EV points-per-60: 0.93 (7th among forwards)
  • Zone Start: 62.5% (2nd easiest among forwards)

Again, this is a small sample size, but we do see that coach Renney is giving the kids all kinds of opportunity against the soft parade (when possible). Hall's CorsiRel is exceptional, but given the situation we can't give the kids too much credit for it. The results are better 5x5/60 points for the other two kids and Hall is clearly fighting it a little in the early going. 

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

 

I think my first reaction ("Renney's getting his show run!") is not supported by the math. He's actually going out of his way to give the kid line a chance to impact offensively at evens and until last night aside the playing time was available in spades for the group. 

A few other things: Ryan Smyth is loaded for bear. His early season performance is running circles around his previous seasons and his 5x5/60 number is outstanding. I think we should alter our expectations of Smyth--he's clearly in great shape and a man on a mission--for this season. Expecting him to play a secondary or support role to Taylor Hall may not happen. This may end up being Ryan Smyth's team for the entire year, he's playing that well.

On the other hand, Taylor Hall and the kids should be fine--especially if they get these cherry minutes--but the early season struggles may continue and Sam Gagner's return to the lineup may impact Ryan Nugent-Hopkins status on the roster. Up until this week, I felt (and still feel) the Nuge belongs, but he played just 10:43 at evens last night and if he can't be among the top 6F options at even strength then sending him back is the better plan.

C2a6955161684b5e3189319acfa5ebe4
Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on TSN 1260.
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#1 Matt Henderson
October 21 2011, 08:58AM
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J wrote:

Hi Lowetide. You said a few weeks ago you were going to "try" not to post the sexualized pictures of women. You haven't done that. So, I'm finished visiting this site, as well as your blog.

Thanks for letting us all know.

The candle-light vigil will be held tonight in Emily Murphy Park.

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#2 The Saint
October 21 2011, 10:52AM
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Anyone else feel the Refs last night let the kids get manhandled on typical Wild cheapshots? An elbow to the head on Lander, the corkscrew takendown on Lander, the late hit behind the net on Lander - no penalities.

Also, I think I counted 3 deliberate dives by Cluster-&%#@..I mean Clutterbuck...and Bouchard in the last 10mins. Again...nothing called.

It's quite apparent that rookies still need to earn respect from refs in the league before they'll get any calls their way.

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#3 Tyler
October 21 2011, 08:05AM
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One of the popular phrases in Oilerville is "getting their show run" in reference to the Oilers being unable to execute and match the physical play of their opposition.

No.

"Something Bob Stauffer says a lot that MAKES MY EARS BLEED IT'S SO GODDAMN AWFUL..."

Yes.

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#4 freeze
October 21 2011, 09:33AM
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@J

Good, we don't need your kind here. Keep up the nice pics LT!!

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#5 Quinn the Eskimo
October 21 2011, 03:57PM
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Oilers4ever wrote:

Hey Quinn... I bet you'd take her if someone gave her to you for the night.. ;)

I'd talk it over with the wife, I guess. She doesn't look like she'd eat much.

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#6 Matt Henderson
October 21 2011, 08:42AM
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@michael

That would be 25-30 more points than Omark, Lander, or Paajarvi are on pace for...

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#7 David S
October 21 2011, 01:26PM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

They did look good, and then Renney went right back to Belanger with them. Puzzling.

Still. One of these days production has to beat out style.

If Tre Kronor started to light it up it'd be pretty hard to justify sending Lander back down to OKC, which is almost sure to happen when Gagner gets back into the lineup. I'm almost certain Renney knows what they can do because it's been pretty damn obvious every time they're on the ice together.

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#8 rindog
October 21 2011, 01:43PM
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Bob Cobb wrote:

They're not setting him up for failure, if they were he wouldn't be playing with Hall and Eberle. Renney is coaching to win and the last two games the only line that seemed to struggle was the Hall RNH and Eberle line and yes I am taking in to account that Hall didn't play in Calgary, in my opinion at least RNH has struggled and why waste a year of his contract. I guess this would be a point in the for category of allowing 18 year old's to play in the AHL against tougher opponents than in Jr with the ability to call him up if needed.

Eberle was the most dangerous player all night. With a little finish the game would have been out of reach.

The fact that Smyth and Horcoff played 24-25 minutes and the kids played 13-14 tells the story completely.

Renney is being a reactionary coach (much like MacT was when he was here). If this team is going to get any better, they need to start dictating the games rather than trying to react the opposition (especially on home ice).

When Shawn Horcoff is being tapped on the shoulder 30 times a night (compared to about 21 for Hall), your team is going to struggle to score or control the game.

I may be alone on this, but I thought the goal for the team this year was to improve. The kids aren't going to get any better sitting on the bench and watching the veterans go into a TOTAL defensive shell. The last 10 minutes of the game last night were absolutely ridiculous.

Leonard Petrell got the same amount of shifts as Hall did for crying out loud!!!

It should be the mandate of the coaching staff to put these young core players out there and have them learn how to win (instead of how not to lose). Especially when this team has blown 4 of 6 games which they lead in the later stages of the game.

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#9 Dennis
October 21 2011, 05:25PM
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so renney is wrong for line-matching in an attempt to both win and let the kids get their confidence against lesser comp?

am I reading this correctly?

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#10 gcw_rocks
October 21 2011, 08:09AM
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Line should be:

Hall - RNH - Eberle (the soft minutes line)

Smyth - Horcoff - Gagner (keep Gagner out of the circle, lessen his defensive responsbilities)

MPS - Lander - Omark (see what they can do, use Belanger when the zone start is in the defensive zone)

Eager - Belanger - Jones (use Belanger on the PK a lot)

PS - I was pleased the Oilers gave Barker a shot, but unless there is some significant improvement in the next two weeks, he needs to go down to OKC so Petry can work with Sutton.

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#11 Matt Henderson
October 21 2011, 08:14AM
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@Tyler

I blame Bob Stauffer for having to hear the word "Smurf" in reference to every smallish player on the team, no matter how well they play.

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#12 dohfOs
October 21 2011, 08:15AM
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My take on the Lander/RNH-"situation" can be found over at Swedish Oil.

I guess this is what the other teams have been talking about, that something called depth. Never knew it would be such a problem to have one..

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#13 @NateInVegas
October 21 2011, 08:48AM
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The Oilers need to be more physical. (Omark is useless)

I thought Belanger and Paajarvi played well...

Tom Renney & Tambellini seem like nice guys, perhaps the team takes on their personality a little too much?

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#14 mayorpoop
October 21 2011, 08:52AM
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Lt,

you know people are pissed when not one person haas mentioned or seemingly cares about Mila Kunis. what a cowgirl.

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#15 fuzzy muppet
October 21 2011, 09:04AM
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Archaeology

The Tre Kronor line had chemistry in the pre-season also.

Maybe it's a case that Renney will have problems sheltering two lines.

Whatever it is, they need to get Paarjarvi to start creating chances. He looks like he has zero confidence. It's disconcerting.

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#16 mayorpoop
October 21 2011, 09:17AM
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@J

yes the pictures are sexualized, and yes they really serve no content to the blog, but why are you so offended?

i find that when someone talks to me or i see things that offend me i look away or don't listen. i am not fixated by what offends me but what i appreciate.

LT writes really good blogs and to judge him/villify him because of pictures is overly sensitive and really quite immature.

best case scenario is for you to not read anymore if you won't read what matters and ignore what bothers.

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#17 Harlie
October 21 2011, 09:20AM
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and if anyone thinks that hockey isn't a game of intimidation they didn't watch last night. Lander was pestered and prodded and chirped at and threatened all night. Plus he got rocked into the boards on a bit of a late hit. Kudos to him for getting back up and showing no fear. Last night we could have used a beat cop to go out there and have a bit of a chit chat with Clusterbuck and and a few other Wild's.

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#18 Romulus' Apotheosis
October 21 2011, 09:21AM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

Thanks for letting us all know.

The candle-light vigil will be held tonight in Emily Murphy Park.

Better alert the local police and get a permit. The place is going to be packed. I'll be down there early to get a good parking spot.

I'm starting a "Come back J fund" under the title "Moral Scolds are People Too, People who NEED to Constantly Tell Everyone How Disappointed We Have Made Them" - you can donate to

comebackJ.com (not a real website)

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#19 srbuhr
October 21 2011, 09:43AM
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I also agree Renney was out coached last night. The timeout and bench management was terrible. I dont think Horcoff has played well at all and clearly was overplayed last night. His wiff with twenty seconds on the sideboards created the turnover to the goal. Frustrating to watch to say the least. And totally agree play the kids three mins in the third and then ask them to razzle dazzle in the shoot out - might as well put big D in net too as it makes about as much sense. And Omark is really really bad, if thats the oils depth then were off to the lottery again.

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#20 JeffG
October 21 2011, 09:46AM
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J wrote:

Hi Lowetide. You said a few weeks ago you were going to "try" not to post the sexualized pictures of women. You haven't done that. So, I'm finished visiting this site, as well as your blog.

Don't let the door hit you on the ass on the way out.

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#21 Smokey
October 21 2011, 09:49AM
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J, thanks for leaving. Hope the door did not hurt on the way out. I could care less about the pics. You see worse at the mall, on TV, and surfing the net.

I've watched Oilers hockey since 1979, and for the most part the coaching style was tempo, even when the talent was not there. This season is a joke so far, and I stopped laughing when we lost against Calgary. What did the clearasil line do last night to get benched for 9 straight minutes? The only problem was their faceoffs. No wonder RNH is starting to get hesitant, the whole team is being overcoached and we are turning into Nashville 2.0.

Last year, I read somewhere (I believe it was Lowetide or Stauffer) that pointed out Oilers fans could get increasingly tired of Renney's structure and systems. Oil fans will put up with if they win, as did fans in Minny during the Lemaire years. What a waste of talent. What's wrong with occasional stretch pass, the occasional defensemen in the rush, or keeping the puck in the zone. The changes are obvious. Beyond the fact their defence zone coverage is awesome this year, the PK is excellent, defensemen are leaving the zone to early in the offence zone. The plugging up of the middle would make Hitchcock giggle like a schoolgirl. And worst of all, is they stopped trying to win. Hell, even Omark looks like freaking Carbonneau right now. We're not some hybrid Minnesota/ Nashville ugly step-sister were the Mother Freaking Oilers. Give me firewagon hockey or give me death.

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#22 Talbot17
October 21 2011, 10:24AM
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J wrote:

Hi Lowetide. You said a few weeks ago you were going to "try" not to post the sexualized pictures of women. You haven't done that. So, I'm finished visiting this site, as well as your blog.

LMAO, did your wife/GF tell you to write that? Bet she caught you reading this, cause if you are really offended by picutres, you shouldnt be on the internet altogether.

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#23 rickithebear
October 21 2011, 10:33AM
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J wrote:

Hi Lowetide. You said a few weeks ago you were going to "try" not to post the sexualized pictures of women. You haven't done that. So, I'm finished visiting this site, as well as your blog.

J: All the power to you. These pictures cater to male primative brain.

Just like TLC objectification of child birth caters to the female Primative brain.

My wife tells me to X off when I bring up TLC practices.

Guess what I am saying to you about the pictures.

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#24 Bill
October 21 2011, 10:48AM
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I agree that the Oilers seem to be over coached so far, Is it Renney or are they playing the style of the Swiss National team??

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#25 Chris.
October 21 2011, 10:51AM
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Is the sexualized marginalized exploited model Mila Kunis? If so: she's doing okay.

In fact, there is an approximately 500m sexualized zone around Mila Kunis at all times. The photo just captured this phenomina. She could be wearing a neck to toe fuzzy pink bathrobe and curlers and complaints could still be made.

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Ok after a night of crying and drowning my sorrow with brewskies, I woke up refreshed and with a better outlook on the Oil.

Someone's always gonna find someone to hate If it's not Horcoff, it's Omark, maybe Renney. Just part of being a fan I guess. But the six games so far has shown a great improvement from last year. Last night's game could have easily been 4-0 for us. A couple of right bounces and it would have been very different. Last year they rarely gave themselves the opportunity to get the right bounces.

I like what I'm seeing so far. Belanger's not always going to hit the post. This team will learn how to protect a lead. The kids have been great but I do want the veterans out there protecting the lead. Yes they have not been good so far, but give it time.

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#27 Rob...
October 21 2011, 12:21PM
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J wrote:

Hi Lowetide. You said a few weeks ago you were going to "try" not to post the sexualized pictures of women. You haven't done that. So, I'm finished visiting this site, as well as your blog.

Do yourself a favour and give Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 a read. Feel free to burn the book afterwards if it provides you no enlightenment.

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#28 Romulus' Apotheosis
October 21 2011, 12:33PM
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@Matt Henderson

Off/MildlyOn topic:

Was anyone else terribly confused by Principe's insistence that Clutterbuck looked like Clark Gable? What was that all about? Mutiny on the Bounty I think not! Aside from the moustache (which is more of a handle bar than a early 20th cent. gentleman southerner moustache anyway) there was no resemblance... it was just... weird.

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#29 book¡e
October 21 2011, 12:50PM
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J wrote:

Hi Lowetide. You said a few weeks ago you were going to "try" not to post the sexualized pictures of women. You haven't done that. So, I'm finished visiting this site, as well as your blog.

J - you failed to respond to the respectful retorts to your position so perhaps LT felt as though you must have gone through an awakening of some sort and were no longer offended. Either that or he felt that your position is motivated by ill informed 'morals' that are silly at best and harmful at worst.

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#30 Matt Henderson
October 21 2011, 02:41PM
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@OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

I'm fine with the plan as it has been. Feed the kids soft minutes while matching Horc and Smyth against the toughs. Throw in Belanger for some additional DZone starts for good measure as well.

The kids havent looked good for 2 games, but that could have a lot more to do with Hall being ill than RNH crapping the bed. They were still getting chances yesterday. If Eberle wasnt so snake bitten we'd be talking about the Oil winning 2 in a row instead of sending RNH to the Pressbox.

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#31 Woogie
October 21 2011, 03:13PM
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Quinn the Eskimo wrote:

I dunno. Pretty girls are nice and everything, but there's a ton of sites that run that content. I think it shows a lack of imagination. Love the Lowetide written content but I like the photoshop gags and the ironic / funny images more than I like seeing exploited female sexuality. I'm not gonna stop coming here, I love this blog, but I could use less of this stuff, for sure.

Are you kidding. My 3 biggest loves... in order

1) Hockey 2) Beer 3) Woman

LT gives me 2 out of the 3 things I love the most!!! Now if LT buys me a beer... WOW

***Wishing the possibilities***

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#32 Quicksilver ballet
October 21 2011, 03:22PM
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Renney mentioning he may sit Hopkins out a game or two just goes to show how out of touch he is with this club.This would sure help him to win a few more draws next game.

Put the Oilers best player in the pressbox?........yeah right. Can his arse.

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#33 David S
October 21 2011, 03:46PM
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I for one welcome our new sexualized overlords.

Wait. What?

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#34 Matt Henderson
October 21 2011, 03:54PM
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@Oilers4ever

WALLOFTEXTISSCARYPLEASESTOPANDUSEPARAGRAPHSAPPROPRIATELYBECAUSEITSREALLYHARDFORMETOREADWHATYOUWROTEWITHOUTBREAKINGTHINGSUPALITTLE

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#35 Clarko
October 21 2011, 04:37PM
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I'm starting to question Renney as a coach. It doesn't seem to matter what the vets do wrong, they are going to get the bulk of the ice time no matter what. Where as the kids will get benched at the first sign of trouble.

This team will NEVER win as long as Horcoff is getting top center minutes night after night. When your top center is incapable of contributing anything offensive to the team, you are in big trouble. He has ZERO goals so far, and you take out his 3 assist game vs Nashville and he only has 1 point in the other 5 games combined. If Horcoff played 3rd line minutes, killed penalties and took key D-zone faceoffs, he is a useful player.

In the last two games, Renney has decided he would try to win both 1-0 by playing guys who aren't going to give you a chance to get that 2nd and 3rd goal. Even when your more skilled players aren't playing great, they still have a better chance of scoring than the Horcoff line.

As others have said, start playing to win and stop playing not to lose!!

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#36 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
October 21 2011, 05:10PM
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If Oiler fans were at the helm we'd have a new coach every 20 games.

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#38 Mike Modano's Dog
October 21 2011, 11:50PM
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To LT, regarding all those who would tell you what you can write, show, talk about, or like:

"Be who you are and say how you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."

This from one who has taught us a lot, with surprising poignant and insightful thoughts.

I like what you do - don't change...and neither will I. It's perfect.

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#39 Pajamah
October 21 2011, 07:52AM
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F**k, I Should Try to read the article first

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#40 Matt Henderson
October 21 2011, 07:53AM
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Gagner's return moves Lander out, IMO.

Kid Line

Horc-Jones-Smyth

Gagner-Hemsky-MPS

Bel-Eager-Omark

That's how I see it. Not in that Order, but those would be my line combos.

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#41 Pajamah
October 21 2011, 07:56AM
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I like how Renney is coaching this year, and at a cursory glance, the last two comebacks we've allowed have been more of being unable to execute defensively, or sheer f**king luck (see: Heatley, Dany)

If our defense stays solid as a whole, the offense is just too good to stay this quiet.

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#42 mayorpoop
October 21 2011, 08:03AM
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i dislike how Renney has coached so far. far too much protect and shelter and not near enough trying to win the war by sending out the bullets in the gun.

soft minutes yes they are getting that, but do they need that?

win face-offs? yes Horc and Belanger can do that but do they have game changing offense, i think not.

Horcoff is playing well but should still be on the third line not every line all the time. jeez.

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#43 freeze
October 21 2011, 08:09AM
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The team looked defensively sound for a good 50 minutes of hockey last night. Khabby was rock solid for 59 mins. This newfound defensive play is hampering the offence a bit and I believe it will turn around. The team is getting some grade A scoring chances and they will soon get rewarded. MPS was flying last night and playing with some grit. That line seems so close to breaking out. I think having Gagner back and giving RNH the odd night off will be very beneficial to his development.

Smytty has been fantastic but man, he looked slow last night. Barker is awful. He seems unable to make a quick decision in either zone and often elected to do nothing but hold the puck on the boards. Not a fan of that signing. Thank god Tambo didn't give him a 3 year deal like Eager.

I noticed that both Hall and Horcoff were dragging and behind the play. Hopefully they start feeling better before Saturday. The Rangers look strong and the team will need to be 100% into that game.

edit: Why can't this team make a pass! The passing in the last two games has been just horrid. Constantly into the players skates, ahead or behind. And all too often the forward in the neutral zone is standing still. I hope that is driving Renney crazy too!

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#44 freeze
October 21 2011, 08:13AM
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@gcw_rocks

Those seem like solid lines. Add Hemmer to that list and I like our chances against most teams in the league.

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#45 jayoilfan
October 21 2011, 08:13AM
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What a load of horsesh!t! I am sooo pissed at the game last night. again, they couldn't hold it together till the end.

All things considered it was and extremely unlucky bounce.

The Oilers played a very good defensive hockey game. It is the offense that has dissappeared. I thought Taylor and all the youg guns would be scoring in bunches. Mind you the last two games have seen goaltenders playing lights out which won't happen all the time.

Hopefully it is a different story against the Rangers, I've got tickets and I do not want to be dissappointed. Please for the love of God and all things Holy, score more than twice in a game!

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#46 Oilers Coffey
October 21 2011, 08:21AM
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I am of the side that says let the kids play! This is still a year that has all the pundits picking the OILERS as a lottery team, I honestly think the team is progressing. The team found ways to lose last year, but now it's like they need to find that killer instinct! They need to find that next level to keep the petal to the metal and put teams away in the third. It's coming but the kids are the future, they gotta learn this too!

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#47 Zamboni Driver
October 21 2011, 08:25AM
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Oilers Coffey wrote:

I am of the side that says let the kids play! This is still a year that has all the pundits picking the OILERS as a lottery team, I honestly think the team is progressing. The team found ways to lose last year, but now it's like they need to find that killer instinct! They need to find that next level to keep the petal to the metal and put teams away in the third. It's coming but the kids are the future, they gotta learn this too!

"The team found ways to lose last year, but now it's like they need to find that killer instinct!"

Errrr....Kinda like yesterday you mean?

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#48 michael
October 21 2011, 08:31AM
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freeze wrote:

Those seem like solid lines. Add Hemmer to that list and I like our chances against most teams in the league.

Add Hemsky? You assume he will be healthy enough to be added at any point this season. He can't even pass the puck without reinjuring his shoulder. I have little faith that Hemsky will provide anything more than 30-40 games this season and maybe 25-30 points,maybe.

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#49 freeze
October 21 2011, 08:44AM
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@michael

Not assuming just hoping, praying!! He is a fantastic player when he isn't broken and this team needs another player at that level. I really hope he signs at the same cap hit and can get his health in line. We don't need a free agent, he is our Hossa! That said, I am pretty sure he will want too much money and we'll send him away for a bag of magic beans.

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#50 VK63
October 21 2011, 08:48AM
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@Matt Henderson

Im sure Bob has other words in mind but that entire neutered by the boss thing gets involved.

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