TUESDAY TIDBITS...

Jason Gregor
October 15 2013 07:45AM

Things can change quickly in one week. Last Tuesday, the Oilers were coming off a come-from-behind victory over the Devils ignited by the return of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and many felt things were looking up.

Since then, they've lost three straight, they are still giving up almost five goals a game, Nail Yakupov has been benched and Oilersnation is livid. Welcome to another rollercoaster season of Edmonton Oilers hockey.

There is so much to discuss, I wasn't sure where to begin, but I'll start with the status of Yakupov.

I wasn't shocked Yakupov was scratched in Toronto, although I didn't think it would happen, but I was surprised he sat out vs. the Capitals. Here's my take on it.

I have no problem with Eakins healthy scratching Yakupov. Some will like it, others hate it, but Eakins made it clear from the start of the season what he expects from players. We aren't privy to every conversation that goes on, but Eakins did hint at why Yakupov was scratched. He felt the former #1 pick was frustrated and trying to do things on his own.

I doubt Yakupov pouts. He's a proud kid and he isn't lacking in confidence or bravado. When he plays tonight, no way he doesn't, I'm sure he'll have an extra jump in his stride. The key will be can he maintain that, and will he play the type of game that Eakins wants. I'd like to think he would, but we won't know until the next 10-20 games.

Many great players have been banished to the pressbox for a game or two, and they were better for it. Steven Stamkos and Ilya Kovalchuk spent a game upstairs and they became two of the most lethal score scorers of the past five years. Yakupov's skill didn't evaporate during the past 72 hours. If he hates Eakins, that is fine. Coaches and players aren't supposed to be best friends. Eakins' job is to get the most out of Yakupov, and he clearly feels that benching him for two games will be the right way to motivate him. Time will tell if he was correct.

If Yakupov plays well, Eakins will play him, and he'll likely play him a lot. Eakins challenged him, let's see how Yakupov responds.

LINEMATES...SCHMINEMATES...

I don't understand those who claim Yakupov hasn't produced because of who he's playing with. First of all it is a cop out, and secondly it isn't true.

Yakupov started the year with Boyd Gordon. Gordon is currently leading the team with four goals.

Then he played with Marc Arcobello and David Perron. Both of them are tied for the team lead in points with five. And Arcobello managed to produce playing with Ryan Smyth, who many claim is an offensive anchor, even though he has three goals.

Then he played the final 22 minutes of the NJ game rotating with Gordon, RNH, Arcobello, Perron and Hall.

He was back with Gordon vs. Montreal, before sitting out the past two games.

Since Yakupov has been scratched, Arcobello had a 3-point game playing with Eberle and Smyth. Smyth, Perron, Gordon and Arcobello all found a way to produce without playing beside Hall or Nugent-Hopkins. So tell me again why Yakupov is the only one who is getting "brutal" linemates? It simply isn't the case.

Stop blaming his linemates. They are all NHL players, and Yakupov is skilled enough that he should be able to contribute offensively playing with any of the other top-nine forwards on this team.

QUICK HITS....

  • Even the most anti-Dubnyk fan, wouldn't have predicted he'd start the season this bad. He didn't struggle this bad early in his career, even when he went eleven games without a victory. In those first 11 NHL games, he allowed 47 goals on 338 shots for a .860SV%. In his next six games, he went 4-2 and stopped 193 of 208 shots for a .928SV%.

    During his next three NHL seasons he had a .917SV%. It is fair to question his penchant for allowing a soft goal, but even when he was doing that he still found ways to have a respectable SV%.

    His first four starts has been the worst stretch of his career. I don't think it is possible he can continue to struggle this bad. The question is how long before he gets back to playing like he did last year. Even if Dubnyk played average in his first four starts the Oilers would have won two of them.

    He needs to find his game to keep the Oilers in the hunt, but even if he plays well, I can't see Craig MacTavish starting next season with him as the clear cut starting goalie. At the very least, he'll have a legitimate contender battling for his job, and at worst, for him; he'll be the back up or not in the organization.
     
  • The Oilers have scored the first goal five times this year, yet they've lost all five of those games. Dubnyk and Jason LaBarbera can't complain that their teammates came out flat. One of the goalies has to start making some saves when the Oilers have the lead. Every team will give up leads, but the goalies have to at least make it difficult to tie the game.
     
  • Last year the Oilers scored first in 24 of 48 games. They went 12-6-6 in those games. In 2011/2012 they scored first in 40 of 82 games and went 23-11-6. In 2010/2011 they scored first in 32 of 82 games and went 14-8-6. They are getting better at scoring first, and if they can get some decent goaltending they should start winning.
     
  • The Oilers haven't allowed 29 goals in a six-game stretch since November 9th-17th, 2010. Back then the Oilers were a bad team. They were outshot 235-140 and outscored 33-11 in those six games. Their SV% was .860 at that time.
     
  • This year the Oilers have outshot the opposition 177-170, and they've been outscored 29-18. Their team SV% is a paltry .839. The Oilers are far from perfect, but much of their problems would be solved by even decent goaltending.
     
  • They are still making some key mistakes defensively, but with decent goaltending they would have beat the Jets and Leafs and be .500 which is about where I'd expect them to be. If their goaltending doesn't improve this road trip could turn ugly very quickly. The Penguins got spanked by the Panthers on Friday; they won't be taking the Oilers lightly tonight.
     
  • Arcobello has played very well, but he needs to start hitting the net. Last night he had two great chances from within 15 feet and missed the net both times. You can't score if you don't hit the net. I've been impressed with many facets of his game, but he needs to stop looking for the perfect shot. Just get in on net.
     
  • Hall needs to put away the toe-drag move for a bit. It isn't working. I understand wanting to try it, but he needs to use his speed and go wide, or just rip a wrist shot. He has a great shot. He needs to let it fly.
     
  • The +/- stat isn't the best indicator of how a player is playing, but you can't ignore that RNH is -9, Hemsky is -8 and Hall is -7. They have to be better defensively. No excuses.
     
  • The PK is a mess. Goalies can be better, stating the obvious, but the Oilers are leaving guys wide open all over the ice. They've given up 7 PP goals already. They were 9th in PK last year allowing 29 PP goals all season. Right now Gordon is the only forward with any significant PK experience. Acton, RNH, Hemsky, Perron and Hall haven't done it very often in the NHL. It will take some for them to get comfortable, but I wonder if they look at adding another veteran forward who can kill penalties?
     
  • Alex Steen has to be one of the most underrated players in the NHL. In the summer Hitchcock told me Steen was his best forward, and he thought Steen could score 70 points this year. He said Steen was an excellent two-way player, who was going to focus a bit more on offence this year. It is very early, but Hitchcock looks like a genius. Steen has 4-4-8 in four games for the Blues.
     
  • Speaking of the Blues, Magnus Paajarvi has been a healthy scratch for all four games this season.
     
  • Until the Oilers are better defensively, not just in goal, they won't compete for the playoffs. The Oilers are are 1-4-1 and 19-29 in goals for-goals against. The top-three teams in the west prove defence wins. Sharks are 5-0 and have outscored the opposition 24-7. The Avs are 5-0 and 18-4 in GF-GA while the Blues are also 4-0 and 19-7 in GF-GA.
     
  • The players and organization need to realize the Oilers don't have significantly more skill than the other teams in the west, and until they commit to playing better away from the puck and in their own zone this team isn't making the playoffs. It is early, but team defence and goaltending are the obvious weaknesses.
     
  • Overall I think this team is better than previous years, and eventually they will see results, but they need to try and salvage the month of October. I don't belive they can't be 10-12 points out of the playoffs on October 31st, and still make the playoffs. They must find a way to stay close.
     

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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#51 pkam
October 15 2013, 10:39AM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Hall has never been a healthy scratch.

Not this year, but if I remember correctly, he was scratched once for taking too many stupid penalties. I think it is by Renney but not 100% sure.

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#52 nick
October 15 2013, 10:48AM
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We are bad on the penalty kill because Eakins has taken away responsibilities and spread them around. If a player knows he is the first (given that they are rested and not coming off of a shift) over the boards in a PK situation they take a great amount of pride in that and perform better. Last year we had that and PK was good this year it is a variety of players and it is not working. Set up a PK rotation and stick with it. Eakins, this is not the AHL can't use the same mentality. By the time he figures that out our playoff chances will be done

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#53 loweblows
October 15 2013, 11:08AM
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The night was long, The air was thick, The oilers goals against aren't worth a lick, Management searched from pole to pole, To find the goalie who wont give up the big goal, When they found him their battery was dead, The shooter tutor was screwed to the shed!

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#54 Zamboni Driver
October 15 2013, 08:52AM
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@Professor

What I want to know is who he thinks is actually doing ANY of that on the Oilers?

Once again we're leading the league in no-hitters.

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#55 Hemmercules
October 15 2013, 09:11AM
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Professor wrote:

"I really don’t like skating all the time, and forechecking, and hitting somebody every shift." -Nail Yakupov

A lot has been made about Yakupov's comments here. Should he have said this to the media.....no. At the same time I don't want him going into the corners and hitting people and getting hit himself. That's not why they pay him!!! The pay him to score goals!! The last thing we need is for him to be going into the corner and separating a shoulder. He's is a small guy and if he keeps going into the corners he will get hurt. I understand that he needs to be giving a full effort but don't make him be a player that he is not like all our skill guys playing the PK. How's that working out so far.....

No one is asking him to be an enforcer and be out there hitting guys all the time. Just play with heart and effort. Keeping your feet moving and forechecking are two fundamentals of a good hockey player. Floating around waiting for the puck might get you a few goals but it also loses a lot of games. I highly doubt any players on LA or Chicago think that forechecking and skating are something you only do when you feel like it.

The better you forecheck and the harder you work to get the puck, the more you will have the puck. Pretty simple.

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#56 Lochenzo
October 15 2013, 09:13AM
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Zamboni Driver wrote:

22 years old. Fourth year pro. Can't get into the lineup with Hitch as coach.

What do they say about the opposite of 'prospect'?

I've seen many big men take time to learn how to use their combination of size and speed to their advantage. Classic example is Todd Bertuzzi.

Most players need to make adjustments to their game to play at this level. Not everyone is Sidney Crosby where the game comes to them. Yes, Magnus should know by know what he needs to do. He just needs to do it.

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#57 Spydyr
October 15 2013, 09:21AM
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Lochenzo wrote:

I've seen many big men take time to learn how to use their combination of size and speed to their advantage. Classic example is Todd Bertuzzi.

Most players need to make adjustments to their game to play at this level. Not everyone is Sidney Crosby where the game comes to them. Yes, Magnus should know by know what he needs to do. He just needs to do it.

Todd Bertuzzi has mean that cannot be coached. PRV has no such attributes. He does not play big , use his size or hit. Comparing the two is asinine.

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#58 oilers2k10
October 15 2013, 09:22AM
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It would absolutely no sense to scratch Yakupov again tonight, if Eakins chooses to do so then somethin's gonna go down.

I also can't believe a much of a shorter leash Yakupov is getting than Hall, Eberle, and Gagner did in their first 100 games..they all struggled and still do, yet Yakupov has a few bad games and has to sit. I don't have a problem with him sitting, I just think all players should be treated fairly.

The other guys did have different coaches..but if MacT decides to trade Yakupov at this point I think it'll come back and burn the Oilers big time for a very long long time.

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#59 Lochenzo
October 15 2013, 09:24AM
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Spydyr wrote:

Todd Bertuzzi has mean that cannot be coached. PRV has no such attributes. He does not play big , use his size or hit. Comparing the two is asinine.

Bertuzzi did not pile up points in Vancouver by being mean. It's about learning how to be effective on your shift.

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#60 Zamboni Driver
October 15 2013, 09:28AM
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Lochenzo wrote:

Bertuzzi did not pile up points in Vancouver by being mean. It's about learning how to be effective on your shift.

Which is extremely difficult whilst eating popcorn...errr....grapes....with the media in the pressbox.

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#61 smiliegirl15
October 15 2013, 09:53AM
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Yak has been unimpressive this season. I was at the Jets preseason game and there was more than once where he just gave up. Preseason or no, there should be some compete level there.

I was at the Montreal game too and saw him lose the puck, then just skate away. Last year's Yak would have tried to get it back; not this year's Yak. He deserved to sit out at least one game. I think the second game against Ovechkin was a clear message to Yak. Eakins is in charge.

Last year he set the bar; this year he has something to prove. He needs to give the coach a reason to put him ahead of Hemsky. Be a team player. This isn't Team Yak, these are the Oilers so act like one of the team. We don't expect him to be like Hall and carry the whole team on his back yet. He has a couple years before he has to do that.

Yak doesn't have to like the coach but he has to respect the coach.

Secondly, Eakins needs to study last year's PK and PP. The Oilers were so much better at both last year.

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#63 Rob...
October 15 2013, 09:58AM
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I was thinking the other day, is Yakupov getting benched for doing what Iginla has been doing for his entire career?

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#64 Cody anderson
October 15 2013, 10:04AM
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I don't think I would have benched Yak for the first game, but after hearing his quote about skating and hitting after it, I was in full support of the second game.

I actually did not think he has been playing too bad. The puck has not been going in so he is squeezing his stick a little.

If this helps with his attitude I am sure we can expect him to work his way out of the scoring funk he is in right now.

If a skill player isn't scoring it can really effect their confidence. Limiting their minutes and playing them on the third line (Even if there are still skilled players there) would not help to build that confidence.

I 100% would come back tonight with Hall Nuge and Yakupov. Let him play some big minutes with some of your top players. I am betting if he pots a few his confidence will go right back to where it was at the end of last year.

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#65 Quicksilver ballet
October 15 2013, 10:18AM
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@Harry

C'mon Harry, even you have to admit the Paajarvi for Perron was a helluva deal for MacTavish.

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#66 pkam
October 15 2013, 10:22AM
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oilers2k10 wrote:

It would absolutely no sense to scratch Yakupov again tonight, if Eakins chooses to do so then somethin's gonna go down.

I also can't believe a much of a shorter leash Yakupov is getting than Hall, Eberle, and Gagner did in their first 100 games..they all struggled and still do, yet Yakupov has a few bad games and has to sit. I don't have a problem with him sitting, I just think all players should be treated fairly.

The other guys did have different coaches..but if MacT decides to trade Yakupov at this point I think it'll come back and burn the Oilers big time for a very long long time.

If I remember correctly, Hall has been scratched at least once before.

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#67 Danger Pay
October 15 2013, 10:22AM
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All sizzle and no steak is leaving nothing but humble pie for us Oilers fans to chew on.

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#68 Rama Lama
October 15 2013, 10:28AM
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Jason,

I would love to hear your thoughts on the multiple systems that Eakins promised on all three zones ? I think everyone agrees that goaltending has not supported the team during critical parts of the game but by the eye it looks like RNH, Hall, Yakupov, Schultz, Hemsky, have all lost their mojo.

It is inconceivable that all these hockey players all lost their game at the same time...........I suspect that the system that Eakins has brought in has something to do with this, bad goaltending or not. It maybe time to hit the re-set button on a system that is clearly in need of some changes to address our ability to move the puck out of the defensive zone?

In addition benching Yakupov at least on a cursory level seem heavy handed given the performance of all of our skilled players?

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#69 Carlos Danger
October 15 2013, 10:33AM
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Do the pad changes explain Dubnyk's struggles? Are more athletic less angle reliant goalies going to lead the way now? Is there a back up somewhere who plays this style that we could acquire? I have defended Dubnyk in the past but he has always let in about one "soft" goal a game which to me suggests that his positioning might have been off. I think this start, although a small sample size, might actually be who he is going to be in the future.

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#70 Lochenzo
October 15 2013, 10:40AM
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I'll admit that I was not on the Arcobello bandwagon during training camp. But he has sure earned my respect. Centres arguably the most consistent line for the Oilers, which is not saying much. But he does all of the little things right. Complements his skilled wingers very well. Seems to have a primo scoring chance or two very game. But he needs to bank some of those chances. Few will say he's an NHL player until he does.

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#71 ScottV
October 15 2013, 10:48AM
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@Jason Gregor

I hope somebody gets a leash on him because his defensive decisions have been atrocious. Jumping up on Washingtons first goal was an awful decision and nobody (tv commentators / journalists) seems to notice. Turnovers happen and defencemen need to reasonably cover them off, not - clearing the defensive zone with opposition forwards behind them. We had all the momentum, including the first goal due to a very good play by J Schultz - but it was a play where a forward could cover him off. J Schultz needs to pick his spots way more carefully or he cannot be given nearly as much critical ice time. In fact - maybe he should spend some time in the press box, because playing him is a whole lot more like playing "Russian Roulette" - than playing with Yakupov in the line up.

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#72 ScottV
October 15 2013, 11:10AM
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@Rama Lama

To me the guys look lost, particularly in their own end. This overplay - out man - overwhelm - the opposition puck carrier in the defensive zone, takes a long time for a group to get right, even if you believe in it - which I dont. When it goes wrong, it gives up glaring scoring chances. Eakins may have bit off more than can be chewed, in the form of too many systems changes - too soon. Some things need to be eased in over time.

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#73 pkam
October 15 2013, 11:11AM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

He was benched for almost a period. Not an entire game.

Thanks. Looks like my memory is not as good as it used to be.

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#74 book¡e
October 15 2013, 11:12AM
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Zamboni Driver wrote:

Btw....Jason please pass this on to your bosses at TSN.

Lowetide just got clicked off. Permanently.

He and Dellow going on about 'while the Corsi isn't showing things properly right now, we know it will'.

I am sure you can find something less complex that you can understand elsewhere.

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#75 LOIL99
October 15 2013, 11:23AM
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Zamboni Driver wrote:

Btw....Jason please pass this on to your bosses at TSN.

Lowetide just got clicked off. Permanently.

He and Dellow going on about 'while the Corsi isn't showing things properly right now, we know it will'.

You do understand that stats, by definition, get more accurate as the sample size increases right? Them saying that the stats will more accurately reflect the results as time goes on is simply mathematical fact. Or maybe you just disproved centuries of theorems and peer reviewed research!! Way to go!! You gonna be rich son!! Lemme guess, high school drop-out pipeliner?

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#76 Jeff
October 15 2013, 01:41PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Actually they haven't regressed in every measurable category. Quite the opposite in fact. Saying the Oilers have been outplayed all year is incorrect. They should be 3-3 with decent goaltending. They are a .500 team in my mind, so they've played like I expected them to play, excluding the goalies.

The have improved measurably in faceoffs. They've scored first 5 of 6 times. They did it only 50% of games last year.

They are outshooting the opposition in 5 of 6 games. They outshot teams 11 of 48 games last year. That is a major improvement.

Goaltending has been brutal. You can't sugarcoat it, but Eakins doesn't involve himself with the goalies. He lets Chabot do it, (He was here last year).

So I'm not sure why you think coaching has had such a negative impact. PK and goaltending are the two areas they are worse in. Goalie has a lot to do with both.

Their forwards are all different on the PK, that is the issue there, not necessarily coaching.

I will stand correct, the Oilers have not regressed in every category, you are right, however the categories they are better in are not translating to wins and are being offset by the problems.

Who makes the choice of forwards on the PK, 28th in the league, Eakins even stated in the preseason that he was going to ask his higher paid guys to do more including on the PK? How much coaching is there in winning a faceoff? Where is the fore check? We are giving up 4.5 goals per game and it is all a goalie issues??? Shots on goal is not a measurement of success, Toronto has been out shot on average 3.3 shots per game (www.sportingcharts.com) and they are current first in the east????? Although they have made certain strides, faceoff wins (top 5 face off players, excluding calgary, are on teams not in the top 10 in the league www.espn.go.com), more shots on net, these are not translating into WINS.

I do not have an issue with your response, my issues lies in that we are talking about all the other problems and giving a pass to the Coach?

From the sounds your response, it appears as though the current state of the Edmonton Oilers is of no fault of the coach...

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#77 gomez
October 15 2013, 02:13PM
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Zamboni Driver wrote:

Btw....Jason please pass this on to your bosses at TSN.

Lowetide just got clicked off. Permanently.

He and Dellow going on about 'while the Corsi isn't showing things properly right now, we know it will'.

Thank you, i thought i was the only one getting sick of corsi this, and lowetide in general, listening to him and that mc79 guy is painful, i understand that advanced stats are becoming more mainstream, but lets face it most fans, dont care about it, If Dubynks .921 save percentage was so great, why did his own GM actively go out and look for a no.1 goalie in the offseason, only reason dubynk is still here is because the GM couldnt swing a deal for his replacement, And yes the oilers have outshot a few teams this season, but does Corsi take into effect that the oilers have the softest team in the nhl, everyone outside edmonton can see it, why doesnt the local media, who are still in love with the idea that the oilers have the greatest young talent in the nhl.

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#78 Zamboni Driver
October 15 2013, 03:55PM
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@book¡e

I think I'm going to..you know..watch hockey.

Not sit there with an abacus and my remote control in my hand hitting rewind for hours on end.

But I'm crazy like that.

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#79 Zamboni Driver
October 15 2013, 03:57PM
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@LOIL99

A) Gotcha.

B) I couldn't give less of a damn.

By the way, know lots of pipeline guys. They're the ones who can afford tickets.

But why would anyone want to go to a game in person, when there is "simple mathematical facts" to be proven.

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#80 Dog Train
October 15 2013, 04:56PM
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I know that Larsen was sent down but I would have put him in for Justin Schultz for a game. Justin Schultz is a big example of somebody who needs to emphasize defense before going on the defensive. Good Justin is him jumping into the play and creating Gordon's goal. Bad Justin is him racing out of the zone before we clear it and leaving Laich all alone in front.

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#81 Lochenzo
October 15 2013, 09:08AM
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If I'm Dallas Eakins, I see the perfect opportunity to tell everyone in the locker room to play this one tight. We're playing the most talented team in the league and in their barn. Pucks out of the zone, don't be afraid to ice the puck if it's the safe play. We're not slowing anyone down in the neutral zone so forwards need to err on the side of caution and be there to support the D on their backcheck. Doesn't matter how many goals we score if we lose. Grind out a win tonight and everyone will feel better about themselves, especially the goalies.

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#82 Clarkenstein
October 15 2013, 09:28AM
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Excellent summary Gregor. It's Oct. 15, the Oil don't have a regulation win, OKC is 1-3 and you're talking about "next year's" goaltending. Oy.

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#83 Devolution
October 15 2013, 09:48AM
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The game before he was scratched Yakupov had one shift where he went out and hit everything in sight. Three hits along the boards in about 30 seconds. I wonder if this was a sarcastic reaction to some criticism from Eakins.

Maybe that is the root cause.

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#85 tokenhill
October 15 2013, 10:10AM
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Just a quick question. Any other team using the swarm defense system?

In my humble opinion..defense should be simple and direct. It just seems to me that swarm is exactly what it sounds like...a bunch of headless bees flying around with no sense and purpose. Why can't we go back to the traditional defense system?

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#86 Benny Botts
October 15 2013, 10:14AM
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@Gregor

Jason, I have read a lot stuff out there suggesting that J. Shultz has struggled mightly in his own end. I have only been to one game this year and he didn't look terrible (gave up the puck to much, but IMO a skilled player is going to give up the puck more then others trying to make more significant plays), it is also hard to judge on TV sometime. What are your thought on #19's play?

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#89 Oil Can
October 15 2013, 11:04AM
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It is easy to say and see that Yak was not playing as well as we and he would like. BUT as has been pointed out Yak is a minus three, and that is far better than the other young players. So maybe the coaches should be working with Yak and not punishing him, or not only be punishing him, and start benching some of the others who are on the ice giving up twice as many goals as they are producing.

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#90 Spydyr
October 15 2013, 11:04AM
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Dave Lumley wrote:

"The puck has not been going in so he is squeezing his stick a little."

Squeezing his stick a little! Squeezing his stick?

I am squeezing my stick and it's the only satisfaction I am getting.

Joe is that you?

Arn't you supposed to score four goals before "squeezing your stick"

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#91 druds
October 15 2013, 11:09AM
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Okay lets see where we are in the fault department so far....its the goaltenders....its the coaching....its klowe...its katz....its the defence....its the offence...its bucky...its everybody...

ahhhhh....Hockey season is back!

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#92 Spydyr
October 15 2013, 11:15AM
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druds wrote:

Okay lets see where we are in the fault department so far....its the goaltenders....its the coaching....its klowe...its katz....its the defence....its the offence...its bucky...its everybody...

ahhhhh....Hockey season is back!

Nah, the offense is OK.

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#93 Hemmercules
October 15 2013, 11:15AM
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Look on the bright side, you can pick the Oilers to lose every night on Streakcred and its almost a sure bet!

I know its been working for me, now if those stupid Florida teams would quit screwing me over I might actually have a streak to brag about.

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#94 druds
October 15 2013, 11:22AM
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Actually I have my own theory as to why we are losing in such odd and indescribable ways...ITS THE CURSE!!!

My premise is that back in the glory days ..say 1985 or maybe 1987 when we were regulary destroying teams 9-4 or 10-2 etc and Slats was smirking and the guys were laughing on the bench and Dave Brown or Semenko were using other teams tough guys like lawnmowers or rented mules...I think at some point then, we were cursed...cursed to lose all we had and when we finally got it back it would never be the same. I talked to some people who know about these things and they suggest we can only break the curse by melting down the Gretzky statue and remaking it into a statue of the goalie Bunny Larouque or may "redlight" Racicot ( as a symbol to all those goalies who were mistreated by us in that decade). Im afraid its the only way we will escape this pit of evil we are trapped in...

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#95 Spydyr
October 15 2013, 11:23AM
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Ryan Jones recalled Larsen sent back Yak is in!

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#96 Czar
October 15 2013, 11:55AM
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Spydyr wrote:

Ryan Jones recalled Larsen sent back Yak is in!

I hope Jones can help the PK, both he and Yak have something to prove tonight.

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#97 Rama Lama
October 15 2013, 11:57AM
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ScottV wrote:

To me the guys look lost, particularly in their own end. This overplay - out man - overwhelm - the opposition puck carrier in the defensive zone, takes a long time for a group to get right, even if you believe in it - which I dont. When it goes wrong, it gives up glaring scoring chances. Eakins may have bit off more than can be chewed, in the form of too many systems changes - too soon. Some things need to be eased in over time.

I totally agree with everything you said........transitioning to this new system slowly would have been prudent.

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#98 pkam
October 15 2013, 12:41PM
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ScottV wrote:

To me the guys look lost, particularly in their own end. This overplay - out man - overwhelm - the opposition puck carrier in the defensive zone, takes a long time for a group to get right, even if you believe in it - which I dont. When it goes wrong, it gives up glaring scoring chances. Eakins may have bit off more than can be chewed, in the form of too many systems changes - too soon. Some things need to be eased in over time.

Do you remember the 1st 10 games last season? The guys looked lost even more.

I remembered watching the guys skating away from a free puck about 5 feet away and he was the one closest to the puck.

Nothing was more strange than that to me.

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#99 Slats
October 15 2013, 01:19PM
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loweblows wrote:

The Oilers were winning 1-0 and on two occasions, with the faceoff in Washington's end, Eakins rolled out the 4th line. When a team is struggling and dominating early in a game wouldn't the best strategy be to at least roll with your 1st or 2nd line and try to increase your lead? Its too early to judge his system however the Oilers need wins and we all know that the Oilers cannot defend one goal leads. For this I give an Eakins an F.

#1 Centerman/Nuge gave a flat pass to Hemsky who missed it - went to dman - who passed to unattended slot forward and we are tied 1-1

Not the 4th line on that one.

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#100 Hair bag
October 15 2013, 01:37PM
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Hemmercules wrote:

I noticed that too. Both defensemen in the corner, with an uncovered man all alone in the slot. That's going to be a goal every time on even a decent goaltender.

Yea I agree and it seems to happen quite regularly. I can see the swarm working in some instances - when the opposition is cycling - but it looks like they are doing it when the other team is coming in on the rush. There have been multiple goals where all the Oiler d and back checkers are on the same side as the puck while the opposition has a guy wide open in front of the net - Lupul's goal and another against Wash (I can't remember which goal). It seems to me that the first priority when trying to break up rush would be having the back checkers pick up the open men and then worry about swarming once the scoring threat has been thwarted...

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