GDB 48: UPDATED: EFFORT NEEDED, AND TAMBELLINI STAYING?

Jason Gregor
January 23 2012 12:17PM

Steve Tambellini is on the verge of an extension? That's what Terry Jones wrote today and I'm guessing I could write a pulitzer prize winning GDB about the Oilers and Sharks and most of you would skip it, and only read the Tambellini stuff.

I'm kind of surprised, but not shocked, that Tambellini will be getting an extension.

I'm certain this won't be received well in Oilersnation.

Tambellini's track record is a mixture of hits and misses.

Nikolai Khabibulin has been a miss, although I've been told his signing wasn't necessarily Tambellini's decision, but I haven't been able to get 100% confirmation on that. I'll keep digging. That previous sentence wasn't a defence of Tambellini, just pointing out that I've recently being informed from a good source that Tambellini was high on Craig Anderson and might have been swayed to take Khabibulin instead. This doesn't make the signing any less forgiveable, just trying to point out facts.

Ryan Jones was a good move.

Chasing Dany Heatley blindly for months wasn't smart, but ultimately ended up being a blessing. It still showed their focus was wrong.

Handling of Souray wasn't right. I always thought it became too personal. It was, however, the one time Tambellini made a decision and stuck with it. Still a miss.

Brule contract extension was wrong.

Acquiring soft players with no desire to play in tough situations like O'Sullivan and Foster were misses.

The Penner trade was a solid move. They turned the pick into Klefbom, and Tuebert might become a 3rd pairing D in the future.

Ryan Smyth trade was a steal, although Smyth made that trade much easier by asking for it.

I don't blame him for Eric Belanger's awful production. No one could have seen that coming based on this consistent previous eight seasons. That is on the player and the coach for playing him in too many situations.

Ben Eager seems to have found his comfort zone. At least he brings some size, speed and lately more offense than the majority of the team.

Trying to fix the obvious lack of depth on the blueline with only Cam Barker. He'd be injury prone before coming here, and while a one-year deal wasn't a major risk, the fact he didn't bring in another veteran really derailed the Oilers chances of being competitive until March, once the inevitable Barker injury happened.

Of course the only stat that matters is wins, and regardless of all the injuries, the fact is under Tambellini the Oilers haven't improved in the standings. He stated that his goal was to play meaningful games until March this year, and the Oilers fell well short of that. It is hard to justify why he would get an extension, and I'll be curious to hear their reasons, if, or when this press conference happens.

My recommendation for Tambellini is as follows. The day they announce your extension, if they do, actually tell the fans what your philosophy for the future is.  Don't colour around the edges. Give them the straight, honest truth. At least acknowledge what everyone sees. This team clearly still has too many players who don't know how to compete in the NHL on a nightly basis. What will you do to change that?

I'll have more on Tambellini when they officially announce his extension, I'm not sold they will, but Jones' article did surprise me this morning. 

TONIGHT

Considering the Oilers have lost to the Ducks, Blue Jackets and Flames recently, and didn't compete in two of those games, they'll be in tough tonight against the San Jose Sharks. The Sharks are 11-4-2 in their last 15, despite losing three of their last four, so they won't be taking the struggling Oilers lightly.

Expecting a victory tonight would be foolish, but the Oilers better at least show up. I was stunned on Saturday that the biggest story after the Calgary game was how Renney was supposedly an idiot for pulling the goalie.

The players, except for Taylor Hall, were an embarrassment. They didn't compete for the puck, they displayed no desire, they showed no pride in the uniform and they showed zero signs that they have enough players who know how to compete in the NHL. If you think a coaching change will cure all the woes of the Oilers you are kidding yourself. I'm not defending the coach by any means, but the lack of internal desire and drive from the players on Saturday night was pitiful.

If you are focused on pulling the goalie in a 5-2 loss, then you are looking at the wrong things. You'd prefer your coach to just sit back and lose 5-2?  At least he tried something, the players did nothing. Many jumped on the fact that Hall clearly thought it was dumb to pull the goalie, when the entire country read his lips after the empty netter went through his feet.

Of course Hall was pissed off, and he wanted to vent his anger, but when he spoke yesterday he was much more annoyed about the lack of effort instead of pulling the goalie. I'm stunned how the fans are so easy to voice their displeasure at Tambellini, Renney and Horcoff, but don't look at the entire picture and realize that this team has had way too many passengers lately.

Do you honestly think they can win with this many players who are mentally soft?

I don't.

The list of guys who need to look in the mirror and discover what it takes to succeed in the NHL is a long one. Lately only Hall and Ladislav Smid have shown any consistency in being professional and giving everything they have every game. (I'd include 14 and 93, but they haven't played enought recently.) If you believe it is up to the coach and captain to ensure the rest of the team has a heart you are delusional. Clearly, Horcoff needs to wake up, but so does the majority of the team.

CREATIVE  

The St. Louis Blues drafted Vladimir Tarasenko 16th overall in 2010, in fact they traded their 2009 first round pick, David Rundblad 17th, to the Senators to take Tarasenko in 2010, and the upstart Blues have another very talented and creative player in their organization. The 19 year-old is having a solid season in the KHL, and when he comes to the NHL the Blues will only get better.

That's one of the most creative moves I've seen. Great to see that in an All-Star Game.

LINEUP

Yesterday Ryan Whitney has this to say after practice.

"I did pretty well (on Renney's test) but I still don't know if I'll play tomorrow. When I get back I hope I last the whole year." Whitney.

Whitney won't play tonight, and might give it a go tomorrow. Reading between the lines, I wonder if Whitney plays tomorrow, still doesn't feel well, and then shuts it down for the rest of the year. I won't be surprised if that is the case. He isn't 100%.

At this point it's more of an educated guess as to who will play where tonight. I do know that Ben Eager and Darcy Hordichuk won't play tonight. Renney wouldn't elaborate why Eager is out, but it sounds like it is more of an attitude issue than production issue. I'm guessing Eager isn't' happy, but at least he's produced something lately.

Sitting Eager and Hordichuk doesn't send any sort of message. If Renney wanted to get the attention of this team he'd sit one of Shawn Horcoff, Ryan Smyth or Ryan Jones. He needs more from those three. They all got off to good starts, but they haven't done much lately, especially Horcoff and Jones. If the coach wants to send a message staple them to the bench for a period if necessary.

Devan Dubnyk will start.

GAME DAY PREDICTION: Oilers don't have as much skill as the Sharks, and despite putting forth a much better effort than Saturday, which won't be hard, they come up short 3-2.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Nation will be bursting with emotion today. If one player doesn't compete tonight he'll be carved repeatedly in the comment sections.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Just a hunch, but one of you who reads this today will win the 50/50 tonight. Lately it is the only reason people have stayed past the 2nd period.

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#151 Wanyes bastard child
January 23 2012, 08:58PM
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NICE HIT!

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#152 David S
January 23 2012, 09:03PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

firstrow.tv

It's the national game TSN, no basis cable where you are?

Thanks dude! Yeah, just checked and it is indeed on TSN. You don't expect that out here. WHEW!

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#153 The Beaker
January 23 2012, 09:04PM
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"Andy Sutton leads all Oilers with a plus/minus of +1" #saddeststatever

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#154 Shaun Doe
January 23 2012, 09:18PM
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For those of you looking for a reliable iPad stream of games, give Hockeystreams.com a go. They have a istream option that hasn't failed me yet. Usually prett good resolution as well.

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#155 Wanyes bastard child
January 23 2012, 09:34PM
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C'mon boys, we can kill this.

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#156 Clyde Frog
January 23 2012, 09:35PM
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Yeah, you can win with 13 shots! Just sit back and watch that W roll in..

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#157 Clyde Frog
January 23 2012, 09:36PM
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Oh... Snap...

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#158 Wanyes bastard child
January 23 2012, 09:37PM
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Wanyes bastard child wrote:

C'mon boys, we can kill this.

Or not :(

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#159 Clyde Frog
January 23 2012, 09:37PM
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Leas they didnt make us wait long...

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#160 justDOit
January 23 2012, 09:40PM
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@The Beaker

C'mon boys! Need a SHORTY! (No, not you Gags...)

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#161 Romulus' Apotheosis
January 23 2012, 09:41PM
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so was that dirty by Hemsky or what? seemed more like he was trying to maintain maximal balance than take out burns.

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#162 schevvy
January 23 2012, 09:42PM
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So Edmonton can hang in there against good teams like San Jose, but when it comes to mediocre teams like Calgary, they have no chance... hahaha.

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#163 justDOit
January 23 2012, 09:51PM
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@schevvy

Well, it can be argued that the Sharks have not adjusted to the loss of Setoguchi and Heatly, but I gave you props for that anyway!

Late in the 3rd, and we're not losing! Props for EVERYONE!

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#164 justDOit
January 23 2012, 09:52PM
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@Romulus' Apotheosis

Didn't look dirty to me.

In other news, Ovenchicken gets 3 games for leaving his feet on a high hit!

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#165 OILERSORDEATH
January 23 2012, 09:59PM
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So how the boys playin overall?

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#166 justDOit
January 23 2012, 10:01PM
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@OILERSORDEATH

Being outshot 40-some to not-nearly-as-much. Tied 1 - 1.

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#167 Romulus' Apotheosis
January 23 2012, 10:05PM
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@OILERSORDEATH

shots brutal 43-16...

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#168 Clyde Frog
January 23 2012, 10:08PM
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Well at least Dubnyck showed up tonight..

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#169 OILERSORDEATH
January 23 2012, 10:09PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

shots brutal 43-16...

Jesus are you kidding me!! That is just sad.

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#170 Clyde Frog
January 23 2012, 10:09PM
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I wonder if they will let him take a shot in the shootout? At least give him a chance to win this damn game...

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#171 justDOit
January 23 2012, 10:13PM
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@Clyde Frog

If Renney sends Dubnyk out to take a shot in the SO, that would be a sign that he wants out.

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#172 Romulus' Apotheosis
January 23 2012, 10:14PM
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Clyde Frog wrote:

I wonder if they will let him take a shot in the shootout? At least give him a chance to win this damn game...

ha! that would be one for the record books! almost as epic as Struds shootout winner Gregor posted weeks ago. i guess if they go deep enough into the lineup... why not give the goalie a shot (with the pads and stick of course).

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#173 Clyde Frog
January 23 2012, 10:14PM
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justDOit wrote:

If Renney sends Dubnyk out to take a shot in the SO, that would be a sign that he wants out.

Or its just smart coaching in playing the hot hand!

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#174 justDOit
January 23 2012, 10:20PM
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DOO-BIE! DOO-BIE! DOO-BIE!

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#175 Clyde Frog
January 23 2012, 10:21PM
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Look out boys! 1 game winning streak! Wooooo...!

For those who were counting shots for and against, bah... Get on the bandwagon our goaltending is back baby!

If Dubnyck can stop 45 shots a night, we should have a 50/50 chance of winning at least 30% of our remaining games.... Take that stats nerds!

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#176 Romulus' Apotheosis
January 23 2012, 10:21PM
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weee!!! a win... so... I guess the nucks don't stand a chance tomorrow now... right guys?... right?...

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#177 justDOit
January 23 2012, 10:21PM
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@Clyde Frog

Well, I know this: towards the end of the game, Renney is quite possibly the only sober one among us!

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#178 Romulus' Apotheosis
January 23 2012, 10:22PM
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justDOit wrote:

If Renney sends Dubnyk out to take a shot in the SO, that would be a sign that he wants out.

Or, that he has a much better sense of humor than I ever gave him credit for.

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#179 justDOit
January 23 2012, 10:22PM
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@Romulus' Apotheosis

Props for ALL!

Oops. Propped myself! I feel so.. dirty...

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#180 Dave Lumley
January 23 2012, 10:24PM
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nunyour wrote:

so who do you trade?if you can trade horcoff and whitney you are a genius,we cann't even trade hemsky ,who in their right mind is taking back these contracts?

Earlier in the day Mr. Glenn was wanting to sign a bunch of UFA's. Great plan there as well, lets spin a bunch of cap space on overpriced UFA's who have to be bribed to come to Edmonton. Then have to let One of Kids go unsigned cause we don't have cap space.

I believe the age old axiom applies here, Patience is a virtue.

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#181 Chris.
January 23 2012, 10:26PM
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Oilers win! Oilers win! Quick...extend Tambellini another 5 years before it's too late!

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#182 OILERSORDEATH
January 23 2012, 10:27PM
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Who scored for the Oil in the shootout?

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#183 Stocc
January 23 2012, 10:27PM
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I require clarification. What does it mean when the Oilers finish with a higher number in the score than their opponent?

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#184 justDOit
January 23 2012, 10:28PM
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@Stocc

...the opposite of shame?

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#185 justDOit
January 23 2012, 10:28PM
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@OILERSORDEATH

Gags and Hall.

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#186 common sense
January 23 2012, 10:35PM
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It doesn't take a genius to see and smell what Tambo is cooking. It doesn't look or smell good. Don't close your eyes or plug your nostrils and try to evade the truth. This guy promised you a half edible cookie and instead you get a burnt crumbling gingerbread man.

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#187 Colin
January 23 2012, 10:50PM
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I thought that was a decent game for the most part, the shots stat is a little inaccurate in the balance of play(a little not a lot) as Sharks took a lot of low % shots and the Oil missed the net on several decent scoring chances.

The effort seemed to be there tonight at least.

I could watch a game like that again without vomiting at any rate. -- The goal for the remainder of the season.

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#188 nofool6110
January 23 2012, 11:03PM
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Stocc wrote:

I require clarification. What does it mean when the Oilers finish with a higher number in the score than their opponent?

Some sort of Fistivus celebration.

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