Lost Weekend

Lowetide
February 14 2011 07:03AM

This is Ray Milland. He's on his way to pawn his typewriter. He's in Lost Weekend and that's one heavy 48 hours. Edmonton Oilers fans know the feeling, headache and all.

This is the first time in the 2010-11 season that the Edmonton Oilers resembled last year's disaster. Previous to Hockey Day in Canada, the club seemed to display more spirit and a sense of never giving up--despite being WORSE in actual fact than the Quinn Oilers of 09-10.

This weekend the Oilers went back to Nat's Bar on Third Avenue and drank deep from last season's movie: a sense of absolute defeat, a deer in the headlights performance and the same damn blank looks as one year ago.

So, who's the culprit? Is it those season-ticket holders, for telling the Oilers to fix it and get it right this time? Did they know their grandchildren might be paying for their seats before things got better? What about Steve Tambellini? He's been hired three times now and appears to be slower every time he's hired?

Is it the veterans? The kids? The veteran kids? 

Some of us predicted hard times (my look at the NW division isn't spot on, but the overall gloom of the Oilers portion fits the current mood) and specifically in regard to the blue:

  • The Oilers should be able to score goals at a solid clip, but the blueline as it currently stands is the weakest in the division. Gilbert and Whitney are backed up by role players (Vandermeer), still developing shutdown hopefuls (Smid), men on the comeback trail (Foster) along with a dozen prospects trying to gain traction. We can take heart, as we'll know more a year from now than we do currently about this bunch, but as it stands there are going to be a lot of saloon-door nights along the blue.

Saloon-door nights like this weekend. Ripping Petry and Peckham is ridiculous, in fact I think we're at a point where pointing fingers at any of the defensemen is beyone the pale. Enough.

They're simply not good enough as constructed.

As luck would have it, the best defenseman on the depth chart (Whitney) went down with an injury and chaos blue ruled the day. I don't think we can blame Tom Renney because the foundation isn't there. In country music parlance "the money ran out and the engine blew." We can point a finger at the coaching staff for lots of things (line matching, the special teams) but they don't have the horses on defense.

Steve Tambellini? HE'S the guy to blame? Well, yes and no. Tambellini's job is to build a winner, as described by the fanbase as "get it right this time." Tambellini's style appears to be "wait and then wait a little longer" which fits the style of a team selling out their barn while losing most of their home games. A big part of Tambellini's job currently appears to be making sure Stu (Magnificent Bastard) MacGregor's computer doesn't run out of juice. There's no help on the way for these Oilers; in fact the only deals talked about are in regard to dealing off some of the last actual NHL players.

The Edmonton Oilers problem now is the same as it was in fall 2006: not enough actual NHL players. At some point, we're going to have to agree that Daryl Katz is responsible for the current state of the Edmonton Oilers.

He's the boss.

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 John Chambers
February 14 2011, 07:10AM
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We knew what we were in for this year. Ta da!

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#3 John Chambers
February 14 2011, 07:15AM
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Catching opening sequence of the 3rd period last night, I thought to myself how difficult it must be for Hall and Eberle to feel primarily responsible for creating offense.

Great article, LT. Captures exactly what I was thinking. ST needs to add some veteran leadership to stabilize this team. Fortunately we'll walk into draft day and select another key component or two ... but for these young players to develop they'll need bona fide players who can contribute offensively, play against the Perry's & Getzlaf's, and give our guys a sense of optimism.

One has to think that everyone will want out if this lasts for another two seasons.

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#4 John Chambers
February 14 2011, 07:22AM
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4-6 years? Is the implication then to draft high for a half-decade and hope it will all work itself out? When's the last time we won on home ice? Who in their right mind is going to buy season tickets?

That's not a plan. You can't select "being uncompetitive" as a strategy ... at least not long-term. That's a recipe for having Penner, Hemsky, and anyone else who matters walk away thinking 'Good Riddance' at the first opportunity.

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#5 Reagan
February 14 2011, 07:24AM
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Tambellini is 26 games from a first round pick, let the season go... He knows how he has to move this summer, or not resign. My guess is around 5 or 6 guys yet that probably do not deserve to play here.

On to trade deadline day!

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#6 John Chambers
February 14 2011, 07:27AM
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I feel like a Democrat after the Bush re-election in '04. I may as well go live overseas until I can feel proud again.

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#7 -30-
February 14 2011, 07:40AM
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Big picture. Big picture.

One weekend does not a trend make. This is expected and a lot worse.

At year end will we be better than at the beginning?

Where will be be next year at this time?

I can't get worked up about two games.

-30-

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#8 Tracie
February 14 2011, 07:46AM
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This weekend was embarrassing to be an Oilers fan, and you wonder how Tambo is ever going to lure in the veterans we need to fill the holes. But Lowetide's prospect posts give me a bit of hope...I might be wrong, but it sounds like we are going to ice a team mostly made of up prospects next year...Lander is ready to come up and be at least a third line center, maybe a Swedish line? Hamilton might come up and be that big presence in front of the net that we need on power plays. Larssen hopefully will be coming up as well b/c that's who'll we'll pick in the draft...Dubnyk will be the starter...

So it sounds like Lowe's "4-6 years" more means that we will be icing a young team that is bound to make mistakes and have trouble finding consistency for a few years but that timeline gives them time to figure it out and not be pressured to do it in a hurry...is that a pretty good assumption?

If that's the assumption, then Tambo still needs to find dmen and a faceoff/pk guy for the lineup...something we've needed for a few years now and haven't been able/refuse to find. And I find it hard to believe that bringing up an AHL team and telling them to grow into NHLers on their own is a very successful plan.

I really hope there is a better plan out there...4-6 years of this is going to be hell!Especially if teams like calgary and vancouver continue to do well...it would be alot easier to be an Oiler fan right now if the Flamers sucked again! :)

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#9 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
February 14 2011, 08:03AM
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@ Reagan, the trick isn't to subtract players, it is to add them. I will say this though, since a good chunk of fans cheered a lot of quality players out the door the last 5 years, I'd say for the most part we are getting what we deserve.

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#10 Lochenzo
February 14 2011, 08:21AM
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We knew there was going to be growing pains. Relapses are not unexpected. Given the team's struggles, we need to focus on individual development. Hall is looking more and more like a star. Eberle and Paajarvi look solid. Omark is exciting and looks more comfortable with each game. Peckham has taken a major step forward this year. Petry looks like he's been in the league for years. Dubnyk has established himself as the #1 on this squad. Penner has had another solid year. Hemsky is close to being that point per game player we knew he could be, if only he could stay healthy. And we have young guys coming that have had good years in the CHL. And we are pretty much guaranteed a lottery pick this year. Given the stated goal of a rebuild, getting back to back lottery picks is a good thing. There's size in the top of the draft. Size! Larsson, Landeskog, Couturier.

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#11 Dapper Dan
February 14 2011, 08:29AM
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John Chambers wrote:

I feel like a Democrat after the Bush re-election in '04. I may as well go live overseas until I can feel proud again.

Shouldn't this say you feel like a Democrat after you voted for Obama ? Change we can believe in? How about taking the dollar and turning it into change...

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#12 john
February 14 2011, 08:36AM
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The stated model for rebuild is the Detroit Red Wings. I know that Chicago and Pittsburgh were able to tank for a few then climb out of the wilderness, but those aren't the models that KL and ST are following. They're trying to build a team that will be competitive for a long period of time.

Lowetide, I'm sure you will remember, the Redwings from 1983 to 1987 were terrible, despite the presence of young superstar Yzerman and the additions of quality players to surround him.

This rebuild only really got started last year. I think KL was right Saturday when he said 4-6 years realistically. I don't expect management to go out and solve the team's problems with that mythical centreman and Dman that many seem to think are all that's missing from icing a playoff worthy team.

This team is going to require a slurry of NHL ready talent developed from within. UFAs will not play a serious role on any team that wants to be competitive year in and year out for decades, until a decade of competitive hockey has been played. We need only look at the Red Wings of the 1990s to see their own experience. It wasn't until they'd been winning it all every few years until the free agents came knocking on their doors regularly.

There are no quick fixes. Frustrating to watch? Damn straight. Is the current management group the one to build the future? Time will tell, although they are definitely walking their talk.

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#13 CSimpson18
February 14 2011, 08:42AM
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If you believe that being awful won't ruin our prospects for all eternity, as I do, then this really isn't that big a deal. If we were expecting to finish last but by only a point or something well, that's not realistic. Tambo knowingly built a rotten defense but noone expected Foster to be so bad, nor to have Joey Moss coaching special teams, nor Renney to refuse to line match, nor Khabi to be quite this bad.

Degrees of suckiness are apparently tough to judge. Nonetheless, I'm not bothered by it. Let the players get pissed off and embarrassed early in their career. You can just as easily argue that it will motivate them in the future as that it will destroy their development. We're not talking about Joffrey Lupuls here. These are professionals.

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#14 Hungoverman
February 14 2011, 08:42AM
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I honestly think Mr. Katz is a quieter version of Harold Ballard and that as long as he owns the club there will be no winning. His only priority is cash. Understandable but sad. Just wait until he tries to buy the Eskimos.

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#15 VMR
February 14 2011, 08:43AM
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The 4-6 year comment plus the horrendous look of our blueline makes me think more and more that our first round pick is most likely to be a certain swedish defenceman.

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#16 CSimpson18
February 14 2011, 08:43AM
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Also in what world is Detroit a model for a rebuild?

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#17 Jedi_Tiger
February 14 2011, 08:45AM
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At what point do we need to start asking whether this team has intentionally been setup and coached to fail? Can we be confident that this is the case? I know the fan base is hoping for another 1st overall pick, but is it worth compromising team and league integrity to make sure we get it?

What are people's thoughts?

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#18 They're $hittie
February 14 2011, 08:46AM
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Gilbert is what is wrong with this team hands down, Just terrible. Can he even skate backwards. I hope only Whitney, Peckham and Petry return on D next year.

The fourth line is not good either, Jones aside, but they are not on the ice long enough to blame fot the season.

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#19 OilFan
February 14 2011, 08:51AM
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@Jedi_Tiger

Signed a aging tender with health issues Traded Vish for Whitney ( brutal trade) Signed Foster health issues/brutal foot speed Re-signed Brule ( flu all season AGAIN) Renney coaching! Just a start.

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#20 CSimpson18
February 14 2011, 08:53AM
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Jedi_Tiger wrote:

At what point do we need to start asking whether this team has intentionally been setup and coached to fail? Can we be confident that this is the case? I know the fan base is hoping for another 1st overall pick, but is it worth compromising team and league integrity to make sure we get it?

What are people's thoughts?

My thoughts: You're way late to the game on the idea that Edmonton was tanking this year. It's a given. Jason Strudwick Kurtis Foster Jim Vandermeer. Need I say more?

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#21 Chris.
February 14 2011, 08:54AM
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-30- wrote:

Big picture. Big picture.

One weekend does not a trend make. This is expected and a lot worse.

At year end will we be better than at the beginning?

Where will be be next year at this time?

I can't get worked up about two games.

-30-

I can"t get worked up about two games.

Did you attend them?

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#22 OilFan
February 14 2011, 08:54AM
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@They're $hittie

I agree Gilbert is brutal to watch. Can't shoot, can't hit and his skating is a joke.

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#23 They're $hittie
February 14 2011, 09:00AM
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OilFan wrote:

I agree Gilbert is brutal to watch. Can't shoot, can't hit and his skating is a joke.

agreed also, he can chip in offensively once in a while but why not just put a forward back there. The purpose of a defensemen is to keep the puck out of out zone and away from the net. Not cause odd man rushes and scoring chances for the other team by being out of position.

There is a reason that The Great and all Knowing Steve Yzerman did not pock Mike Green for the olympic team, he cant play D. So why with the exception of Whitney being out do we trust this guy so much.

Also I know the Americans played well, but look at the lack of depth on their blue line. Yet Gilbert was not even close to making this team. He is not a top four defensemen on any team with dignity in this league.

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#24 Soup
February 14 2011, 09:00AM
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LT

I wonder if the plan all along was to grow things slowly in parallel with the new arena plans. New arena opens same year as a real contender rises from the ashes. Subsequently, slow and steady - painful slow - till the big bash under the new pill bottle with the easy open top. Arena opens right in time for a meaningful playoff run. Think of the storylines there, eh?

Possible, or giving too much credit to the braintrust's forward thinking ability?

Also...

You've often mentioned that the chances of Tambo being around when things really improve are slim. What do you think the chances are that one of DK's other friends sweeps in as icing on the cake? Someone like, say, Gretzky after his exile period expires?

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#25 Zarf
February 14 2011, 09:05AM
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Calm down, everyone. Breathe. Chill.

It’s a mid-February slump. It happens to all teams, bad and good and great. And, with the bad teams, the slumps look really bad. But that’s all they are – they’re slumps. Periods of gawd-awful hockey when it looks like no one on the ice is familiar with the game.

Don’t get me wrong – Saturday’s game had me seething and Sunday’s was worse – but I think it’s time for perspective.

We all knew the Oilers were going to finish somewhere in that 25th to 30th spot overall, and probably closer to the 30-spot than the 25-spot.

Well, this is how you get there. You stink. In January/February, you go on an extended losing streak or two. You get blown out at home a bunch of times. You lose by a goal on the road a bunch of times. You suck on the power-play. You can’t kill penalties. You end up taking bad penalties and drawing none (Aside: Is Linus Omark ever going to draw a penalty? He must be wondering what it takes in this league).

For those of you who were OK in October signing on with a team that was destined to finish 28th, 29th or 30th, this is how you get there. That’s why the notion of Exciting Last Place Hockey is a red herring – you can’t expect a last-place team to be competitive in all 82 games. If it was, it wouldn’t be a last-place team.

It sounds like I’m making excuses for the Oilers’ troubles. I’m not. I think there’s plenty of holes on this team but I don’t think there are any surprises, either. The holes were always there – last summer, last September and last month. And now that we’re in the Dog Days of the season – when (almost) every team goes through its worst slumps, the holes are ripping open.

But you can’t be surprised by them. You’ve just got to ride them out.

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#26 SB
February 14 2011, 09:07AM
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Chris. wrote:
I can"t get worked up about two games.

Did you attend them?

I did and I agree with Gagner. The fans should have booed louder. Weak effort by the fans. If we keep accepting this level of play on home ice then we should expect this.

F.S.T.N.F. Or you won't be seeing any more of my hard earned cash.

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#27 Hack The Bone
February 14 2011, 09:08AM
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After watching Oil Change last night I had a bit of a realization. It was mentioned that Renney is the perfect coach to teach this young team how to become NHL'ers. This is true. I believe Renney and Tambellini are the perfect tandem to orchestrate the rebuild.... but not the right group to turn them into a contender. I believe when all is said and done, they will be the Oilers version of Dale Tallon and Denis Savard.

That's the Chicago model :)

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#28 Craziness
February 14 2011, 09:11AM
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WOW!! This weekend was just like last year, first time I felt this way all season. The fan base knew it was going to be a tough year, but the GM Tambi stated 'we will get tougher to play against' really when?? The Foster, Frasier, sigings? Strudwick? It is not really good in Oilerville, sad part is, we have to trade one of Hemsky and Penner now, just have to get more bullets in the system, move some of the dead weight in the summer.

We are icing 6 ROOKIES!! Every game, that is just craziness!! Here is the thing... they are some times the best players on the ice!! That is telling fact of this team and needs to be addressed. With Tambi as the GM who is very slow to react I dont see a trade for Hemsky or Penner coming at the deadline maybe in the summer so everyone enjoy the next 26 games. Yipee!!

Tambellini is on a 3 year contract correct?? If so, will he be resigned??

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#29 tho318
February 14 2011, 09:16AM
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the following year after crosby and ovechkin were drafted guess who finished 14th and 15th in the eastern conference......yup thats right, the capitals and the penguins. and you know what, you can even throw chicago in that same category too - after kane and toews were drafted chicago wasn't the powerhouse they were last year, and there still a good team this year despite changing 10 roster spots. i have come to believe that tambo must be at least attempting to take a page out of either of these 3 teams. I don't believe he wanted to finish as low as we are going to this year but that will only help the future, which in my opinion is very very bright. - some small changes should be made along the way, but the majority of the youth is here to stay.

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#30 Zarf
February 14 2011, 09:19AM
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Great point, tho318, and I'll throw another team out there for consideration: The Quebec Nordiques.

There were a good three or four years of suckiness AFTER Sakic and Sundin arrived. As memory serves, things turned out OK there (franchise-move notwithstanding, of course).

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#31 David S
February 14 2011, 09:46AM
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OilFan wrote:

Signed a aging tender with health issues Traded Vish for Whitney ( brutal trade) Signed Foster health issues/brutal foot speed Re-signed Brule ( flu all season AGAIN) Renney coaching! Just a start.

Aaaaand...SMac, Vandermeer, Strudwick, Fraser, JFJ.

Pluuuus...Pulling the young guy but keeping the old guy in no matter how lopsided the game is, no line matching, no mid-season upgrades, demoting the only effective 4th liner we had, Reddox with Hemsky and Penner, a 21 year-old hopeful centering two raw rookies, the wildly over-used word phrase "it's a process", and on and on.... And yet oddly enough, a competent AHL team.

Are we seeing a pattern beginning to develop here?

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#32 Islandkid
February 14 2011, 09:46AM
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Yes.

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#33 Islandkid
February 14 2011, 09:49AM
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Zarf wrote:

Calm down, everyone. Breathe. Chill.

It’s a mid-February slump. It happens to all teams, bad and good and great. And, with the bad teams, the slumps look really bad. But that’s all they are – they’re slumps. Periods of gawd-awful hockey when it looks like no one on the ice is familiar with the game.

Don’t get me wrong – Saturday’s game had me seething and Sunday’s was worse – but I think it’s time for perspective.

We all knew the Oilers were going to finish somewhere in that 25th to 30th spot overall, and probably closer to the 30-spot than the 25-spot.

Well, this is how you get there. You stink. In January/February, you go on an extended losing streak or two. You get blown out at home a bunch of times. You lose by a goal on the road a bunch of times. You suck on the power-play. You can’t kill penalties. You end up taking bad penalties and drawing none (Aside: Is Linus Omark ever going to draw a penalty? He must be wondering what it takes in this league).

For those of you who were OK in October signing on with a team that was destined to finish 28th, 29th or 30th, this is how you get there. That’s why the notion of Exciting Last Place Hockey is a red herring – you can’t expect a last-place team to be competitive in all 82 games. If it was, it wouldn’t be a last-place team.

It sounds like I’m making excuses for the Oilers’ troubles. I’m not. I think there’s plenty of holes on this team but I don’t think there are any surprises, either. The holes were always there – last summer, last September and last month. And now that we’re in the Dog Days of the season – when (almost) every team goes through its worst slumps, the holes are ripping open.

But you can’t be surprised by them. You’ve just got to ride them out.

Props to you Zarf.

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#34 Zamboni Driver
February 14 2011, 09:57AM
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@ Zarf

Oh boy, another self-aggrandizing lecture.

Spoken like someone that didn't drop $500 on a pair of duckets to watch those gongshows.

I don't know what's worse, having been in person on Saturday, or having to listen to Kevin Quinn yesterday.

Here's my lecture.

It's PERFECTLY OKAY to be pissed. To be sick and tired of last place with no apparent "plan" in place. "The Process" is a total joke. It's called "We're in over our heads, so let's talk about 4-6 MORE YEARS! In the meantime, we understand that Dom Hasek is playing pretty well, figure 5 years at 3.5 mil will be a steal".

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#35 Rogue
February 14 2011, 10:00AM
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David S wrote:

Aaaaand...SMac, Vandermeer, Strudwick, Fraser, JFJ.

Pluuuus...Pulling the young guy but keeping the old guy in no matter how lopsided the game is, no line matching, no mid-season upgrades, demoting the only effective 4th liner we had, Reddox with Hemsky and Penner, a 21 year-old hopeful centering two raw rookies, the wildly over-used word phrase "it's a process", and on and on.... And yet oddly enough, a competent AHL team.

Are we seeing a pattern beginning to develop here?

Totally agree, David. The fix was in from the start. Why not be airlifting some kids from the farm and let them play a few games to see where they are in their development stage, or to even wake up some guys up here. Wouldnt hurt some of these guys to feel a little pressure from the farm.

I have no delusions that anyone from the farm will turn this team around, but guys like Plante, Haarkinen?, Giroux, Moran and McDonald( I know, no contract) could be brought up for a cup of coffee. Besides, the season is lost as it is.

Looks like ELPH is turning into ULPH.

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#36 Spydyr
February 14 2011, 10:05AM
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Winning isn't everything,but wanting to win is.....And that is just not there....makes it very hard to watch. Try and lose great we are rebuilding. Don't show up unless to is to pick up your paycheck ...not so good. Show some pride dammit.

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#37 MDF
February 14 2011, 10:07AM
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Wow it seems people are one extreme or the other. Come on people the truth lays in the middle. We should never have expected this team to compete for a play-off position but at the same time how long can we put up with this crap for? The fact is the Oilers have not improved in a decade other than one minor blip in 06! They cannot beat the teams in their division and haven't been able to since the 80's and those are the majority of points people. The fact is the people who are responsible for the team (Lowe and Tambellini) are never the ones who are targeted by fans anger. We continue to rage against players and coaches and have run our fair share out of town but the people who continually put together a bad team get a free ride from fans and the press. When Roli made that comment about the Islanders saying it was like being in a country club because the players didn't have the level of compete and didn't want to work hard it made me think could this be our Oilers? Coach after coach and player after player the mentality never changes does it? Easy to play against is the Oiler motto. Direct your anger at the right people and have realistic expectations we should be a team that is working its way up the rankings each year, not stuck in last place. Sorry for my long drawn out tirade but it is just annoying where some people think the Oilers should be in a playoff position but even more annoying are the apologists for management who are okay with the fact the team can show no emotion, desire or pride and are fine with it. If the team has had no desire in the last how many years do you really think it is going to turn on like a light bulb one day?

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#38 Zarf
February 14 2011, 10:10AM
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Zamboni Driver wrote:

@ Zarf

Oh boy, another self-aggrandizing lecture.

Spoken like someone that didn't drop $500 on a pair of duckets to watch those gongshows.

I don't know what's worse, having been in person on Saturday, or having to listen to Kevin Quinn yesterday.

Here's my lecture.

It's PERFECTLY OKAY to be pissed. To be sick and tired of last place with no apparent "plan" in place. "The Process" is a total joke. It's called "We're in over our heads, so let's talk about 4-6 MORE YEARS! In the meantime, we understand that Dom Hasek is playing pretty well, figure 5 years at 3.5 mil will be a steal".

Oh goodness no, Zamboni Driver. Get mad. I'm not saying you shouldn't get mad or frustrated or whatever. Fill your boots.

If it makes you feel better to call for GM's head 65 games or whatever into what's a (minimum) three-year rebuild, then go ahead. If it makes you feel better to call for the coach's firing right now, go ahead. Do what you gots ta do.

You're right (and I'm not being sarcastic when I say this), you're into this a lot deeper than I am because you're paying $500 to go watch them play. I don't live close enough in Edmonton to commit to them financially - not beyond subscribing for Sportsnet Oilers, that is.

Can I ask you a question, though: Why are you paying $500 to watch them play?

Again, it goes back to my previous post: Did anyone truly believe that this season was going to be something better than a finish between 25th and 30th?

If you didn't and you still went out and committed to $500 ducats, then what were you expecting to get for your money?

The Oilers of 2010-11 fit the profile of a 29th or 30th team to a 'T.' They are bad at everything they should be bad at. Their slumps are as miserable as they should be. Their high points are few and far between and often by surprise (see 4-0 win in Nashville).

My advice to you: Stop buying $500 worth of Oiler tickets. Let someone else buy them for a while.

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#39 RedArmy
February 14 2011, 10:13AM
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Tom Gilbert is being overplayed, in situations that are not ideal for his skill set. A healthy Whitney, maturing Petry and Peckham, one or two veteran free agent signings, and maybe Larsson would help to move Gilbert into the role he is more suited for. If that were to happen Gilbert would thrive.

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#40 David S
February 14 2011, 10:18AM
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Rogue wrote:

Totally agree, David. The fix was in from the start. Why not be airlifting some kids from the farm and let them play a few games to see where they are in their development stage, or to even wake up some guys up here. Wouldnt hurt some of these guys to feel a little pressure from the farm.

I have no delusions that anyone from the farm will turn this team around, but guys like Plante, Haarkinen?, Giroux, Moran and McDonald( I know, no contract) could be brought up for a cup of coffee. Besides, the season is lost as it is.

Looks like ELPH is turning into ULPH.

The thing is, it's VERY important to management that the Barons do well this year. They want to establish a fan-base going forward and a good way to do that is to make the playoffs. You bet alot more young guys would be up here if the Barons had a sold-out barn every night and the guaranteed revenue that goes with that situation. Sound familiar?

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#41 Reality Check to the head
February 14 2011, 10:19AM
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Everyone with a brain knew these types of games were coming this season. As a fan, we have the right to be frustrated.

What truly matters right now is the reaction of the coaching staff and players. If their reaction is bad (lack of effort, etc...)and this current trend continues, then the fan should become infuriated.

I agree with every post that says we do not have the horses. There are not many leagues that a team can win with 6 rookies playing considerable minutes for it, let alone the NHL.

I was happier when the Oilers were losing 3-4, and you could see tangible growth and effort from the team, but 0-4 game with 12 shots doesn't teach anyone, anything.

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#42 Duke
February 14 2011, 10:20AM
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Could we agree that the Oil played the last few games with Zero Respect for the substitute teacher (Kruger) while the Home Room Teacher was away at a funeral.

Kids will try to get away with what they can get away with.

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#43 MDF
February 14 2011, 10:27AM
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Duke wrote:

Could we agree that the Oil played the last few games with Zero Respect for the substitute teacher (Kruger) while the Home Room Teacher was away at a funeral.

Kids will try to get away with what they can get away with.

These are the kind of things that are not acceptable! But stating that what exactly was Kruger trying to accomplish by changing the set line ups that Renney had used. Was he trying to show he is smarter than Renney.

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#44 Ducey
February 14 2011, 10:28AM
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And of course most of us were expecting an end game to the losing, but after this weekend that's less certain. IS this team going to be built for a run at the playoffs next season? Kevin Lowe said 4-6 years on Saturday during Hockey Day in Canada; Tambellini's actions reflect that window.

Lowe said 4-6 years to be contending for the Cup, not to make the playoffs.

Lets get a little perspective.

First, every team has a streak of lousy games. Nashville lost 4-0 to the Oilers a week or so ago.

Second, this is a bad time. The deadline is upon the vets and the young guys will now realized there is nothing worth playing for. Hemsky was terrible yesterday. He looked frustrated and distracted.

Anyone looking at this team in the preseason had to know this team was not coming close to making the playoffs. This year was about introducing the rookies to the league, developing guys in the AHL, getting another lottery pick.

They suck, and were supposed to suck. Next year it will be more of the same. This team will make the playoffs when Hall and Eberle and MPS and Petry and Peckham etc. take them there.

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#45 Big Packer
February 14 2011, 10:30AM
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Does anybody really think that draft picks alone will make the Oil a playoff team in 2 years and then a cup contender in 4-6. How may players do the Oilers have now that we want to keep in the future 6 maybe. No grit, no intensity,that's the culture of this team.Finishing 30th place 2 years in a row is embarrasimg, missing the playoffs for what I think will be 7 years is a joke. I can't believe the building is full every night watching this crap...

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#46 Ribs
February 14 2011, 10:39AM
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Gilbert's skating is a joke? Are we watching the same player? The guy is playing 20-25 minutes a night while babysitting Theo Peckham. Give the guy a break. Sheesh.

I hope last nights calling out party was a bit more constructive than last years and I think that's all that really matters coming from their repugnant performance.

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#47 Team Couturier
February 14 2011, 10:42AM
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This is why it might not be a good idea to deal Hemmer, Penner, Gilbert and Smid. These are actual NHL players. What are we going to look like next year with even more rookies and AHLers in the lineup? Brutal. Let the tree grow. Let it grow, stop chopping it down just as soon as it sprouts. We are not in a perpetual rebuild here people. Just leave it alone, it will grow.

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#48 Chris.
February 14 2011, 10:53AM
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I'm seen as somewhat of pessimist by many on this site... but every year since 06 the Oilers have managed to underperform my somewhat jaded, and very conservative expectations. In reality we have all been drinking the koolaid and anyone who thinks this team has a real legit shot at the playoffs next season is already drunk. Memo to Katz: take the keys away from Toonces!

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#49 Iceman
February 14 2011, 11:03AM
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I think we have enough young horses in the barn. We need to make some trades. Trade our first pick plus Hemsky, Penner and Smid to the kings for Schenn, Simmonds, Green, Smyth and Stoll. Then trade or put on waivers The Wall. Trade Gilbert, Foster, Vandermeer for picks. Trade Cogs and Brule to New York for Del Zotto. Put Jauques on waivers as well as Strudwick. Trade Fraser and a later pick to Toronto for Colby Armstong. Trade Omark for a decent defenceman. Theses are pipe dreams but Tambelini needs to get active and aggressive. Others wise boot him and hire someone who will get this rebuild done this century. The way it is going before we get anywhere Hall and others will be UFA's and will want to bolt. I have stopped watching games because it is pathetic. The kids playing shinny hockey on the weekend could have beat the Oilers. 12 shots is pathetic and they should be ashamed. This is the NHL start playing like it.

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#50 Randy
February 14 2011, 11:08AM
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It is pretty early in the game to be blaming Katz for anything, he isn't even through his second full season yet. He may have had time to evaluate Tambo et al against successful NHL management teams but he hasn't had time to do anything about it.

Tambellini and Renney however are another story.

Tambo made a lot of changes last summer, maybe he intends to finish the job this summer. After all, Rome wasn't built in a day. But he missed big time on Fraser and Foster, mishandled the Souray thing, and has done nothing to correct the size issue that has existed for several years.

Renney has done a passing job bringing the kids along and has been hamstrung a bit with the loss of Whitney. But has completely blown the use of his physical guys, can't seem to design a powerplay that works, and in 5 months and 56 games hasn't been able to teach anybody to win a face off. All the top face of teams say they succeed because the make it a priority yet we apparently do not, and watching Taylor Hall get cross checked to the ice with 40 seconds to go in a 5 - 3 hockey game is inexcusable.

We can blame Katz if this continues and he doesn't do anything about it, but for now lets blame the guys who are directly responsible.

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