GAMESERVATIONS...

Jason Gregor
October 11 2013 12:50PM

The Edmonton Oilers refusal to shoot the puck on the powerplay likely cost them two points. The Oilers had four minutes of PP time in the first 4 1/2 minutes of the game, and didn't have one decent scoring chance, they only had one shot. They could barely enter the zone on their first two man advantages, and their unwillingness to just fire the puck on the powerplay was evident throughout the game.

The Oilers had 7:28 of powerplay time and registered two measly shots, and one of them was off the stick of a falling Ryan Smyth for a goal. That is pathetic anyone you slice it. If you add in the final 4:22 where they played with an extra attacker, that is 11:50 of PP time with only four shots. (They had two shots and one goal post in the final 4:22.)

The Habs had 2:49 of PP time and fired four shots, including a Brandon Gallagher goal.

Those who are believers in Corsi rating will point out that the Oilers won the Corsi 46-45, but that only accounts for EV play. I understand the statistics that if the Oilers remain even or better at Corsi their odds of winning will increase. That is great, but it doesn't tell the entire game story.

Almost 1/4 of last night's game was played on the PK or PP, and that is what cost the Oilers, although a very bad defensive effort  on the 2nd Canadiens goal was a key factor.

There are reasons to be excited about the Oilers, they are playing more in the offensive zone this year, but there are also reasons to be concerned.

THOUGHTS....

  • I understand and respect the basic premise of Corsi, shot attempts for or against, but sometimes a small sample can change them drastically. For instance, in the 3rd period last night the 4th line was out against Eller/Pacioretty/Briere and the Habs ended up with two shots on goal and the Oilers blocked three shots. That is a -5 Corsi rating for the fourth line, and that one :45 second shift made their Corsi rating go from bad to dreadful.

    It was a bad shift, however, neither of Pacioretty's shots were good scoring chances and the Oilers were actually in good lanes to block the shots. In this case the Corsi stats looked awful afterwards, but the play on the ice didn't lead to any significant scoring chances.

    It can also work the other way where a line is buzzing and getting lots of outside shots, or blocked shots in a :45 second span, but none of the shots were legitimate scoring chances. I get that the odds will even out in the end, and while the Oilers overall Corsi is much better this year, which is a positive, I don't believe it is good enough to mask all of the issues on the team.
     
  • That doesn't mean the fourth line can't be better, they need to be much better or find better players, but I was just showing an example of how one bad shift can really alter the stats. I'd love it if Corsi valued shots from closer to the net higher than ones from outside. Most goals come from within 15 feet of the net. I know that would be a lot of work, but that would make it even more accurate and useful.
     
  • The Oilers are still making too many mistakes in their own zone. It is still a fire drill at times, and Nail Yakupov's effort on the Canadiens 2nd goal is inexcusable. I'd have no problem if he was working his tail off and made the wrong decision, but he was just floating around doing nothing. Winning teams don't allow that. One of his teammates will need to have a quiet chat with him. I'm not picking on Yakupov, I'm pointing out a major issue that has been in Edmonton for years; a lack of commitment in the defensive zone.
     
  • I liked that Eakins gave Yakupov a brief stint on the bench for the remainder of the 2nd, but then went right back to him in the third period. That is smart coaching. Get the player's attention, but don't staple him to the bench. Yakupov is a proud player and I'm sure he'll get the message. He is too dangerous to sit in the pressbox, so please don't mention banishing him to the pressbox. Unless a lack of effort becomes a regular issue, he should be in the lineup every night.
     
  • The Oilers need to learn how to work their hardest on every shift. You take a shift off in the NHL and often it will bite you in the ass. Yakupov is too good not to work hard.
     
  • Jordan Eberle needs to shoot the puck. Twice last night he was in a great shooting lane and dished it off. He's one of their best shooters, and they need him to shoot. He will likely come around, but one of your best shooters can't pass of quality chances.
     
  • Eakins is playing his most skilled players more than any other coach. RNH leads all NHL forwards in time on ice (TOI) per game at 26:58, Hall is 2nd at 23:35, Eberle is 3rd at 22:39 and Perron is 5th at 22:06. The onus will clearly be on those four to produce.
     
  • Devan Dubnyk said Jeff Petry has the hardest shot on the team. Petry needs to start using it more. He either needs to get a quicker release, or at the very least just get shots through from the point. Getting shots through isn't easy, but he needs to put the puck on net more often and see what happens.
     
  • Justin Schultz has ONE shot on the PP so far this year. He has to start shooting the puck. Either tee one up, of just put it on net and see what happens. It is a small adjustment, but the Oilers PP was a major reason they didn't get two points. It might not be fair to put that much pressure on the shoulders of a player with only 52 NHL games, but that is the reality in Edmonton. He has special offensive skills and he needs to start using them more on the PP.
     
  • I thought Dubnyk played well last night. He had no chance on the Gallagher and Galchenyuk goals. The key was he looked sharp early, rather than fighting the puck. He needs to build off last night's performance.
     
  • The Oilers re-assigned Brandon Davidson to OKC and they sent Denis Grebeshkov down for conditioning and recalled Philip Larsen.
     
  • I won't be surprised if Larsen draws in for N.Schultz in Toronto. The Leafs haven't been killing teams with offensive zone pressure, so the Oilers might look to add a guy with better offensive skills instead of a stay-at-home D-man vs. Toronto.
     
  • Last night's loss should sting, because the Canadiens were willing to play run-and-gun with the Oilers, yet the Oilers couldn't beat their backup goalie. The Oilers should thrive in a game like last night, and unfortunately they didn't. Very few teams will play that way, so the next time a team is willing to open it up, the Oilers skilled players need to take advantage of it. I look at last night as a lost opportunity. That was a game they should have won.
     
  • The Oilers need to start attacking more north and south. Their speed gets teams in bad positions, but then the Oilers will either swing the puck, or the puck carrier will flare out and that allows the defence to recover. The Oilers speed is their best asset, but they need to start taking the puck in straight lines more often to fully utilize their speed.
     
  • I wouldn't have used the Joe Thornton quote. Jason Botchford elected to and that is his choice, but I wouldnt' have. Unless I'm asking a player a direct question, I look at everything else as a conversation and "off the record." There are many discussions that go on that aren't for public consumption, just like conversations in your work environment as well as mine around the radio station. Trust is big part of any work environment or relationship, and I doubt the Sharks will trust Botchford. Maybe I missed it over the years, but has he written off-the-cuff comments of Canuck players over the years? If so, then he's consistent, if not, I wonder why?
     
  • One quick note... Challenge yourself to eat healthier today. Don't have pop, instead have water and a lemon. Have a green salad with chicken, instead of a heavy, creamy dish. Go for a walk after work. I'm looking for people who will take the Challenge to improve our health. We can start small, but it will benefit all of us. If you are up for it let me know and we will hopefully encourage many to make take small strides to a healthier lifestyle. Have a POSITIVE Friday.
     

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR   

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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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#1 Geoff
October 11 2013, 12:52PM
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I love the pic lol.

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#2 bwar
October 11 2013, 01:01PM
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I will not have a positive friday. You are not the boss of me Jason Gregor.

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#3 Romulus' Apotheosis
October 11 2013, 01:02PM
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I think using that brutal 3rd period Struds-esque

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZqpW9KTJXo

shift by the 4th line as an argument against Corsi's predicative power is a strange way to go about things.

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#4 South of Cowtown
October 11 2013, 01:17PM
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How does someone not respond to the Hall hit? The skill players are still being hit, hard, and the so called grit issue is still an issue. I suppose timing is everything, the line that was on the ice is not generally known for creating physical mayhem.

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#5 Poolanov
October 11 2013, 01:21PM
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You didn't mention RNH's high flying loop around the perimeter of the offensive zone only to hand the puck out for the full length two on one that was the Habs 3rd goal

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#6 Six Rings
October 11 2013, 01:27PM
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The 'fans' saying that Yakupov should be sent to the pressbox were the ones at the game last night wearing their Montreal jerseys with their Oilers hat...

But seriously, the Oilers PP was the biggest thing that killed them last night. With Montreal coming in on a back to back and facing their backup, the Oilers should of jumped on them early with 2 PP chances off the hop...

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#7 Micbilly99
October 11 2013, 01:29PM
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Justin Schultz has a great wrist shot, I get it. He tore up the AHL, it get that too. But this is the NHL, a wrist shot is easy pickings for most NHL goalies. Take a slap shot my good man. If the Oilers refuse to shoot on the power play, it's going to be long year. The Oilers will live and die by the power play. The need an above average power play if they intend on making any sort of playoff run.

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#8 Micbilly99
October 11 2013, 01:31PM
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And yes, nice response to your best player getting hit from behind into the boards. That shows great time unity! That was simply sad.

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#9 StuckOutHere
October 11 2013, 01:32PM
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So the 4th line only had one bad shift? I think not.

Gregor, I think you gave a great example of how spot on CORSI can be.

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#10 BingBong
October 11 2013, 01:33PM
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Micbilly99 wrote:

Justin Schultz has a great wrist shot, I get it. He tore up the AHL, it get that too. But this is the NHL, a wrist shot is easy pickings for most NHL goalies. Take a slap shot my good man. If the Oilers refuse to shoot on the power play, it's going to be long year. The Oilers will live and die by the power play. The need an above average power play if they intend on making any sort of playoff run.

Goalies have no idea what J. Schultz's wrist shot looks like - it never gets past the first shot blocker. Just fire the puck on the PP, making sure it gets past the first man. At that point all you need is a little puck-luck with a lucky bounce, big rebound, etc. They're always trying to be too pretty instead of just shooting and going to the net, PP or not.

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#11 Hayek
October 11 2013, 01:34PM
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4th line is just terrible. What have they had, 3 scoring chances in 4 games? If they are poor defensively, and invisible offensively, what do they contribute next to hits and fights?

If Oilers want to be more successful, we need to search for a future Glencross, Brodziak type player, not useless players who have zero offensive ability, and give gifts to the opposing team for 5 minutes a night.

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#12 jeanshorts
October 11 2013, 01:35PM
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Hayek wrote:

4th line is just terrible. What have they had, 3 scoring chances in 4 games? If they are poor defensively, and invisible offensively, what do they contribute next to hits and fights?

If Oilers want to be more successful, we need to search for a future Glencross, Brodziak type player, not useless players who have zero offensive ability, and give gifts to the opposing team for 5 minutes a night.

The Oilers could probably NEVER find two players like that!

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#13 Danger Pay
October 11 2013, 01:36PM
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Hopefully this extended road trip will allow the Oilers to gain some chemistry and come together as a team, if not my finger is on the panic button ready to push.

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#14 godot10
October 11 2013, 01:37PM
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//Eakins is playing his most skilled players more than any other coach. RNH leads all NHL forwards in time on ice (TOI) per game at 26:58, Hall is 2nd at 23:35, Eberle is 3rd at 22:39 and Perron is 5th at 22:06. The onus will clearly be on those four to produce. //

Overplaying players is dumb. More does not always lead to more production. Overplyaing players is also a sign of panic, and a sign that you don't have any confidence in entire team, or in your system.

Why didn't MacT give Eakins depth players he could play more than five minutes a game, so he didn't have to start overplaying his top guns a couple of games into the season.

Eakins is overworking and probably destroying his good horses, because 1) MacT didn't do his job or 2) Eakins can't coach up the depth players, even though he had a training camp.

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#15 madjam
October 11 2013, 01:38PM
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When you got a bottom six (especially 4th line ) like we do this year that is basically a negative or non factor in each game your not going to win to many of those games . Factor in a new captain that is on ice for every goal against last two games and your results are going to be limited . Our young stars cannot do enough to compensate for all that most nights . 12 shots against 4th line in 6 minutes despite not being scored , and only one shot for . Coppernblue article on subject an eye opener . We have got more problems than even last year that now need fixing !

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#16 Hayek
October 11 2013, 01:38PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

The Oilers could probably NEVER find two players like that!

Maybe so, but shouldn't we be trying to?

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#17 Smokey
October 11 2013, 01:40PM
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Eakins playing his skill players to many minutes mean he is playing them as a coaching philosophy, or does it mean he has too little forward depth? I think a little of both. So if the Oilers can't win with this group of players what does that mean?

I'm scared of what's going to happen if these team continues to loose. I don't trust the Oilers's brass to run a lemonade stand, and I believe that a change somewhere needs to be made. Dallas Eakins is getting a rough start, he seems like a nice guy, but I'm starting to believe he's not our coaching Messiah. Too many good coaches with poor success. Wish Eakins all the best.

Joe's comments of Hertl's goal was funny. Sad a reporter could not figure it out. If I was the Sharks, I would of refused comment and removed the reporter's credentials for being stupid. Kinda glad Jumbo Joe is not a robot like some of these other players...

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#18 Hayek
October 11 2013, 01:40PM
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godot10 wrote:

//Eakins is playing his most skilled players more than any other coach. RNH leads all NHL forwards in time on ice (TOI) per game at 26:58, Hall is 2nd at 23:35, Eberle is 3rd at 22:39 and Perron is 5th at 22:06. The onus will clearly be on those four to produce. //

Overplaying players is dumb. More does not always lead to more production. Overplyaing players is also a sign of panic, and a sign that you don't have any confidence in entire team, or in your system.

Why didn't MacT give Eakins depth players he could play more than five minutes a game, so he didn't have to start overplaying his top guns a couple of games into the season.

Eakins is overworking and probably destroying his good horses, because 1) MacT didn't do his job or 2) Eakins can't coach up the depth players, even though he had a training camp.

Why not have a 4th line that could PK? I personally hate the idea of tiring out our stars, and having them block shots on the PK.

This would reduce their ice time a bit, and allow them to be more successful where they are best, 5v5 or 5v4.

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#19 Romulus' Apotheosis
October 11 2013, 01:44PM
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Hayek wrote:

Maybe so, but shouldn't we be trying to?

I think you missed the historical sarcasm in the remark.

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#20 Micbilly99
October 11 2013, 01:44PM
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@Hayek

honestly, if the Oilers have to rely on the 4th line to score goals to win games, doesn't that show that they have some big issues? Does Pittsburgh care if their 4th line scores? probably not.

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#21 Fresh Mess
October 11 2013, 01:44PM
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Excellent take JG. To the point without sounding like a know-it-all, unlike the smartest men in the room who comment on some of the other blogs.

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#22 washed up
October 11 2013, 01:44PM
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Pretty funny how Stauffer and Wilkins where in full damage control mode after last nights game.

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#23 Archaeologuy
October 11 2013, 01:44PM
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"Yakupov is a proud player and I'm sure he'll get the message. He is too dangerous to sit in the pressbox, so please don't mention banishing him to the pressbox"

This is EXACTLY what Jim Matheson is calling for

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#24 Ryan2
October 11 2013, 01:58PM
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washed up wrote:

Pretty funny how Stauffer and Tencer where in full damage control mode after last nights game.

What was even funnier was listening to Bob talk in the pre-game show about fans turning on Smyth and how he needs to play less.......quite the opposite from his comments a couple of years ago.

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#25 Oiler Al
October 11 2013, 01:59PM
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madjam wrote:

When you got a bottom six (especially 4th line ) like we do this year that is basically a negative or non factor in each game your not going to win to many of those games . Factor in a new captain that is on ice for every goal against last two games and your results are going to be limited . Our young stars cannot do enough to compensate for all that most nights . 12 shots against 4th line in 6 minutes despite not being scored , and only one shot for . Coppernblue article on subject an eye opener . We have got more problems than even last year that now need fixing !

The 4th line is the least of Oilers problems right now. Its the top two lines that cant score a goal, even on the PP. The Montreal kids, with half the the icetime of the Edmonton superstars got more accomplished.

Something very wrong here, these guys are playing worse than the past two years......

THEY ALL LOOK LOST ON THE ICE...

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#26 Romulus' Apotheosis
October 11 2013, 02:00PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

"Yakupov is a proud player and I'm sure he'll get the message. He is too dangerous to sit in the pressbox, so please don't mention banishing him to the pressbox"

This is EXACTLY what Jim Matheson is calling for

To be fair, what with his duties as the Ryan Whitney cheerleading coordinator, he's only got so much time to evaluate the players and offer his excellent analysis.

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#27 Smokey
October 11 2013, 02:03PM
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Micbilly99 wrote:

honestly, if the Oilers have to rely on the 4th line to score goals to win games, doesn't that show that they have some big issues? Does Pittsburgh care if their 4th line scores? probably not.

Jussi Jokinen scored a hatty the other night. Thought he was their fourth line center. (He could be playing left defence for all I know, I have not seen the Pens play this season)

A reasonable fourth line has value. Chicago 4th line is on the ice in tight games. How many big goals does Boston's fourth line won games for them in the last two deep playoff runs. The fourth line doesn't need to be all world, but the Oilers have 3 AHL players on the fourth line which shows how little foresight MacT has. Nuge playing 26 minutes a night is going to kill the lad on the road. A fourth line that doesn't get hemmed in the d zone would take pressure off these kids. Heck even Brandon Prust a forth line banger type had a goal last night.

I do believe the Oiler's have systemic problems. A group of high skill forwards with little size and veteran presence. Too many coaches, and GM's and no clear direction. I thought when MacT lifted his staff in the desert we might actually make it to promise land, I don't want another 40 years.

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#28 jake
October 11 2013, 02:05PM
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It just baffles me to no end this never ending habit of not shooting, PP or at evens. But every GD interview, "we need to get more pucks to the net". Mind boggling.

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#29 Hemmercules
October 11 2013, 02:22PM
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jake wrote:

It just baffles me to no end this never ending habit of not shooting, PP or at evens. But every GD interview, "we need to get more pucks to the net". Mind boggling.

So true. I wish that wasn't the only broken record with the Oilers.......Need more grit, need more heart, need better goaltending, need better defense, need more shots, need to stand up for each other, need less turnovers....it goes on and on. Same thing every year. If they could only put all those things together into one game they might win a few. Seems like they take a night off on one or two of those important pieces and it costs them.

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#31 ShakyDS
October 11 2013, 02:28PM
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@Oiler Al

THEY ALL LOOK LOST ON THE ICE...

^^ This!

Utter disorganization in every zone on the ice, 5x5, on the PP and the PK. I'm all for the run and gun style, or the puck possession game...but until this team learns some puck responsibility and defensive positioning , "Oiler hockey" is going to be the term used to describe fishing the puck out of our own net.

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#32 Oiltimer
October 11 2013, 02:36PM
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I eat healthy every day ... except Sometimes I have 4 beers instead of 1. ... . Not to change the negative tune or anything.

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#33 rubbertrout
October 11 2013, 02:38PM
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SHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT!

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#34 washed up
October 11 2013, 02:47PM
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Hey, Gregor. No need to edit my post. Tencer has a piece up on the oilers app, that's why I had his name in there.

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#35 OIL4LIFE
October 11 2013, 02:49PM
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I know I am going to get ripped for this but someone's got to say it. Am I the only one that has noticed the play dies will Hall a lot this year? Or even worse the puck ends up in our net!! I may be the only one thinking this but what about sitting him for a game? Maybe he will figure out what he needs to fix to stop coughing up the puck.

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#36 Slats
October 11 2013, 02:51PM
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jake wrote:

It just baffles me to no end this never ending habit of not shooting, PP or at evens. But every GD interview, "we need to get more pucks to the net". Mind boggling.

This team has TSN Top 10 List written all over them and until they get a mindset that >50% of all NHL goals come from just outside the bluepaint and not a toe-drag or 5 way tape to tape passing play - they will struggle.

STAY CALM AND SHOOT THE PUCK

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#37 Slats
October 11 2013, 02:54PM
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OIL4LIFE wrote:

I know I am going to get ripped for this but someone's got to say it. Am I the only one that has noticed the play dies will Hall a lot this year? Or even worse the puck ends up in our net!! I may be the only one thinking this but what about sitting him for a game? Maybe he will figure out what he needs to fix to stop coughing up the puck.

you are the only one thinking this . . .

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#38 Slats
October 11 2013, 02:59PM
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@Jason Gregor

Gregor I agree on your view on Yak and there is too much talent there to sit but his effort on goal #2 was dreadful.

He, rather than Belov, looks like the jet-lagged, missed training camp Russian.

I am convinced he is upset about his line mates. Why else does he fly around on the Hall line but then becomes Casper with every other line combo. He needs to change his attitude plenty of 19-20 yr olds start out on bottom six and earn their Top 6 minutes - he wants it given to him.

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#39 washed up
October 11 2013, 02:59PM
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OIL4LIFE wrote:

I know I am going to get ripped for this but someone's got to say it. Am I the only one that has noticed the play dies will Hall a lot this year? Or even worse the puck ends up in our net!! I may be the only one thinking this but what about sitting him for a game? Maybe he will figure out what he needs to fix to stop coughing up the puck.

It was Hall's play that led to the Oilers only goal.

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#40 Rama Lama
October 11 2013, 03:04PM
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I do not understand the rationale behind any line combinations, ( PP,PK, special teams) that Eakins has come up with.

Add to that his choice of how much ice time his top line players get while everyone sits on the bench getting rusty and out of sync, it's no wonder we have lost these games.

A lot of people are ripping Yukapov for not performing.........I would say the coaching has something to do with this. I saw RNH make mistakes, Hall, Eberle, Schultz same thing, yet they get rewarded with playing half the game.

I know I for one would never expect players like RNH and Hemsky to kill penalties and then go out on a regular shift and expect to have the wind to carry the play. I see no multiple systems at play...........simply chaos executed by our eloquent coach that assumes every player should have the fitness to play 30 minutes a game.

Laughable!

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#41 washed up
October 11 2013, 03:06PM
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Katz should have fired Klowe and hired Burke. There's a guy who knows how to build a team. Just look at them Leafs, sure Nonis did a couple tweaks, but Burke made it all possible. Calgary will be a better team then the oilers in 3 years, if not so already.

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#42 rubbertrout
October 11 2013, 03:07PM
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washed up wrote:

Katz should have fired Klowe and hired Burke. There's a guy who knows how to build a team. Just look at them Leafs, sure Nonis did a couple tweaks, but Burke made it all possible. Calgary will be a better team then the oilers in 3 years, if not so already.

Someone needs to put the crack pipe down.

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#43 washed up
October 11 2013, 03:14PM
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rubbertrout wrote:

Someone needs to put the crack pipe down.

Someone needs to put the Kool-Aid cup down...... OH YEEEAAAHHH!!!!

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#44 Romulus' Apotheosis
October 11 2013, 03:18PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Gadzic was -7 on the night... -5 of that came in one 45 second shift. They had one dreadful shift. It wasn't like they were getting dominated every shift.

Corsi isn't perfect, like any analysis, eyes or stats. It can give a good gauge, but doesn't tell the exact story. It should be looked at, but it isn't the only way to analyze the game.

It doesn't account for shots closer in than long shots. More goals are scored cloer to the net, so those attempts could have more value. Lots of things to look at.

If the question is, should we add as many caveats as possible to Corsi stats (small sample size, shot selection/quality, score effects, etc.) I think you will find a lot of dance partners.

There may be a some quibbles about whether shot quality is a repeatable, consistent mitigating factor or simply noise, but I don't think many would shun such a conversation.

Where I think the conversation gets lost is when it looks like we are trying to pretend that shift is somehow an aberration for this 4th line and/or that they were somehow successful in allowing only low percentage chances. I'm not sure either of these arguments hold much water.

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#45 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
October 11 2013, 03:35PM
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Really difficult next couple weeks on the horizon. Next 10 games, not one opponent where you'd hope the Oilers can count to on getting two points. Oilers fate this season will be sealed in October. They can't make the playoffs in the first month, but you can sure distance themselves from it. Tough love time, hopefully MacTavish doesn't do something/overpay out of desperation.

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#46 Hayek
October 11 2013, 03:37PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Gadzic was -7 on the night... -5 of that came in one 45 second shift. They had one dreadful shift. It wasn't like they were getting dominated every shift.

Corsi isn't perfect, like any analysis, eyes or stats. It can give a good gauge, but doesn't tell the exact story. It should be looked at, but it isn't the only way to analyze the game.

It doesn't account for shots closer in than long shots. More goals are scored cloer to the net, so those attempts could have more value. Lots of things to look at.

So are you implying this was an isolated incident? That over the course of the year it will even out and potentially these 4th liners will have a shift where they attempt 5 shots on a shift?

I guess it will remain to be seen. But so far, this line has shown next to no offensive ability, and seem to be hemmed up in their own zone.

Didn't MacT have a quote before that he didn't want players who if all you could hope for is for them to break even (or something along those lines). This line seems to contradict him directly.

Have you bothered to look up Mike Brown's scoring stats in the NHL/AHL? How about Gadzic's stats, Acton's? These guys are simply not defensive geniuses to an extent that it makes up for their invisible amount of offence.

Not like having a decent 4th line will win you 10 games/year, but it probably will win you 1 or 2.

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#47 Cynic
October 11 2013, 03:42PM
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You don't need NerdStats (tm) to know that Gazdic is not an NHL-calibre player. You just need one or more functioning eyes.

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#48 nina russo
October 11 2013, 03:48PM
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Comments ...

Yakupov was playing with Smith and Gordon, on the particular play he wrongly assumed Smyth would win the puck battle and had already started peeling off for the breakout, but Smyth didn't win it, and Gordon was caught out of position when Subban beat Smyth, so the puck ended up in the net.

It looked bad, but no worse than Hall's no look passes the last three games (or even Nuges's turnovers last night alone for that matter) -- only difference was those players are not subject to direct criticism; only general comments in the third person. The truth is those turnovers were as selfish or un-supportive of their teammates, though they continue to enjoy the one luxury Yakupov doesn't get -- playing with skilled line-mates.

Watching Yakupov skate up and down the ice doing little but spend energy because his line-mates couldn't get him the puck, was MORE frustrating than watching Hall skate right along side Acton demanding the puck from him until he got it (rather than skating across to the open wing for a two on one), ONLY BECAUSE we know that if Yakupov had better line-mates he would be a continuous offensive threat.

So who do you blame for the kid's frustration of having to skate up and down the ice three times in 45 seconds in vain, or, having to receive a floating puck at his shins on the fly, because Smyth was too tired to get his a pass on his stick -- must be the player, right?

Just like it was Hall's (or Nuge's)fault for selfishly taking on three people when there was an easier option ... right? But wait, no one criticizes them. Only Yak because we expect him to work miracles while playing with NHL fourth-liners. Its OK for Nuge and Hall to be frustrated but not for Yakupov. Nuge and Hall got rewarded with more time, when they turned the puck over or were overly selfish, while Yak got stapled to the bench -- twice.

Go figure.

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#49 Patrick Miranda
October 11 2013, 03:53PM
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OIL4LIFE wrote:

I know I am going to get ripped for this but someone's got to say it. Am I the only one that has noticed the play dies will Hall a lot this year? Or even worse the puck ends up in our net!! I may be the only one thinking this but what about sitting him for a game? Maybe he will figure out what he needs to fix to stop coughing up the puck.

Everyone has been saying it for the last three years ... we just get drowned out by the OILERS media machine that wants the masses to continue to buy tickets and support their vision of the future.

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#50 washed up
October 11 2013, 04:01PM
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Patrick Miranda wrote:

Everyone has been saying it for the last three years ... we just get drowned out by the OILERS media machine that wants the masses to continue to buy tickets and support their vision of the future.

Good point, I often wonder if the Oilers actually pay people to go onto these site and try and drive their propaganda. Anybody who actually watches the Oilers can clearly see that this rebuild is not working in its current state.

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