Out-finished?

Jason Strudwick
October 30 2013 10:38AM

After the four to nothing loss to the Maple Leafs Tuesday night, Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins said his team was simply "out-finished." There is no doubt that James Reimer played a solid game for the Leafs but I know there was more to this loss then the Oilers being "out-finished".

If Dallas Eakins wants to simply chalk this one up to that reason the Oilers will continue to play a very high-risk style with no guaranteed results going forward. Scary thought. These types of teams are happy to play a track meet type of game with lots of chances both for and against. The Oilers will just have to hope they score more goals then the other team. They will also need to go out and find the greatest goalie of all time because he will be under siege and expected to make huge saves nightly to give his team's chance to out gun the opposition.

This has never and will never be a recipe for success in the NHL. It is a lot of fun to watch for fans, it is exciting hockey but no real long-term success will be the result.

The good news about this comment of being "out-finished" is that it is most likely not what Eakins really thinks about the game. He is trying to protect his club after a very poor start to the season. In my experience most often coaches say one thing to the media and another to their team. I am guessing that Eakins sees a fragile team and realizes there is no need for him to beat them up in the press. I get it and agree with him.

Risky Business

Matching lines is a great way for a coach to tip the balance of a game in his team's favor. It isn't easy to get the match ups you want on the road but at home, with last change, it becomes a whole lot easier.

Again last night Eakins seemed to want to have his first line of Sam Gagner, Jordan Eberle and Nail Yakupov out again the top line of the Leafs. Oh boy. He also seems to like having Justin Schultz and Anton Belov on the ice with Gagner’s line. Oh no.

Having the J. Schultz pairing on the ice with your top offensive line makes sense from a pure offensive firepower point of view. When those five get skating and are on the attack their creativity is a lot of fun to watch and can produce goals.

The dark side of that combo is what we saw on the first two goals from last night. On the first goal, Belov pinches down, Yakupov is the high man and should back him up. Yakupov doesn't back him up which results in a two on one for the Leafs two most dangerous players. Goal! Barely a minute into the game.

On the second Leafs goal, the same five Oilers are out there against the top line for the leafs. The Oilers have a good offensive rush going up the ice. Belov stays back because J Schultz jumps in and has a great chance to score but Reimer comes up with a big save.

When a d-man jumps into the play, one of the forward needs to stay back a little to be in a position to defend. No one hangs back. Quickly the two most dangerous Leafs, Kessel and Van Reimsdyk, turn the puck up ice for a full ice two versus one. Goal!

The day may come when these five Oilers can match other teams top line both offensively and defensively, that day is not upon us. One school of thought could be that Eakins is putting these match ups together so that these young players can learn tough lessons now. Maybe Eakins wants them to learn under fire.

I can see the reasoning behind this approach long-term, if the players learn the lessons. In the short term these match ups will make it very hard for the Oilers to win games. To many nights this season opponents’ top lines are having a field days against the Oilers. If the Oilers specialty teams continue to struggle and opponents’ top lines produce points the wins will not come for the Oilers. The second to fourth lines can't score that many.

I would suggest a slight change in approach to Eakins. No more Anyon Belov and Justin Schultz on the ice at the same time as the top line. Yakupov and J. Schultz are two extremely offensive minded skaters. The issue is they create far too many offensive chances for opponents and having them on the ice at the same time doesn't work at this point in their development.

The other way at looking at Eakins choice in line match ups is it could be he is uncomfortable with matching any if his other lines up with opponents top lines. This is the scarier thought for me. If he feels his best option is a young group of forwards then this team needs help.

To me Boyd Gordan is a no-brainer to match against top lines. But who should be his wingers? Who does Eakins trust to get the job done? Who has the skating ability, defensive awareness and physical requirements to challenge a top line?

If you are having a tough time answering that question just think how Eakins feels.

The Leafs have a great line that can do this. David Clarkson, Mason Raymond and Dave Bolland, three veteran players from winning organizations. I am not a huge Raymond fan but he fills his role on that line. A line like this would go a long way to helping the clear match up issues the Oilers are having.

5cf6b487166aced0cd781e41bfef915e
Jason hosts the Jason Strudwick show from 9pm to 12am, weeknights on the team 1260. He is an instructor at Mount Carmel Hockey Academy and loves working with the kids. Having played over 650 games in the NHL, Jason has some great stories and unique takes on life in the NHL. He loves Slurpees and Blizzards. Dislikes baggy clothes and close talkers.
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#1 1983 and This Year
October 30 2013, 10:45AM
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Struds, I feel genuinely sorry for you, LT, Willis, Brownlee and Gregor. I’ve been a diehard fan for 30 years and after defending the ineptitude of this team for 20 years, I can shut it down today because for the first time I’m genuinely embarrassed to be an Oilers fan.

I’ve given up on the team because the team has given up on me.

You guys don’t have that luxury. You have to keep showing up here and on the radio, picking some angle to describe for the 1000th time that they suck, they’ve sucked forever, and there’s no end in sight to the suck. Sorry guys, through no fault of your own, ON left my bookmarks this morning.

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#2 Ambassador humantorch
October 30 2013, 11:09AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

I urge you to stay and keep us bookmarked.

Every second Wednesday starting next month we will pick the name of a random poster here and put it in a hat toward a grand prize draw at the end of the season for a brand new 1990 26-inch Zenith television (unopened and still in the original crate in my garage).

Bet you stick around now, eh? Eh?

I'm pretty sure Kevin Lowe will win this. After all, he knows a little bit about winning, if there's ever a concern.

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#3 Robin Brownlee
October 30 2013, 11:00AM
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1983 and This Year wrote:

Struds, I feel genuinely sorry for you, LT, Willis, Brownlee and Gregor. I’ve been a diehard fan for 30 years and after defending the ineptitude of this team for 20 years, I can shut it down today because for the first time I’m genuinely embarrassed to be an Oilers fan.

I’ve given up on the team because the team has given up on me.

You guys don’t have that luxury. You have to keep showing up here and on the radio, picking some angle to describe for the 1000th time that they suck, they’ve sucked forever, and there’s no end in sight to the suck. Sorry guys, through no fault of your own, ON left my bookmarks this morning.

I urge you to stay and keep us bookmarked.

Every second Wednesday starting next month we will pick the name of a random poster here and put it in a hat toward a grand prize draw at the end of the season for a brand new 1990 26-inch Zenith television (unopened and still in the original crate in my garage).

Bet you stick around now, eh? Eh?

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#4 Jeffff
October 30 2013, 11:49AM
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While suturing a cut on the hand of a 75 year old rancher from Alberta who's hand was caught in the gate while working cattle, the doctor struck up a conversation with the old man. Eventually the topic got around to Kevin Lowe and the Oilers

The old rancher said, "Well, ya know, Kevin Lowe is a 'Post Turtle'". Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him what a 'post turtle' was. The old rancher said, "When you're driving down a country road on you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that's a 'post turtle".

The old rancher saw the puzzled look on the doctor's face so he continued to explain. "You know he didn't get up there by himself, he doesn't belong up there, and he doesn't know what to do while he's up there, and you just wonder what kind of dumb ass put him up there to begin with".

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#5 Dallas Eakin's Magnificent Forehead
October 30 2013, 10:53AM
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Everyone in Edmonton is turning into such pouts all of a sudden. The young guns are learning, they're getting better and they're playing harder minutes in more difficult situations. Did we want Hall, Ebs, Nuge and Yak to be perimeter guys for the rest of their careers? Hell no! We want them to be gritty and tough, situations that Kruger never put them in. Now Eakins is making them change their style of play to be more like Ovi, Crosby, etc and be real threats in the NHL. It's gonna look ugly for a while but Eakins is the first coach in a long time to show any determination not just to make the team better, but to make individual players better. (Look how Kadri has turned out under him). I support Eakins 1000% and although there are trades to be made, they aren't trades that will build a dynasty; Eakin's actions will build a winning franchise.

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#6 Jackson
October 30 2013, 10:49AM
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Deja Vu all over again.

Eakins can only use the tools he has. The problem dates back to the common denominator Kevin Lowe. His philosophy is wrong , he know nothing about winning.

You could bring in Mike Babcock you would get similar results. Lowe is a cancer whether you like him as a person or not. Oilers have gone for the low hanging fruit( no pun intended) and have fired coaches it is time to right this ship 8 is enough. Fire Kevin Lowe

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#7 LoweBlow
October 30 2013, 12:25PM
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What's the point of watching this anymore?

We're the best fans in hockey while garbage fans like the Canucks and Leafs have winning teams.

Katz, Lowe, MacT: You don't deserve us.

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#8 outdoorzguy
October 30 2013, 10:51AM
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It's pretty bad when the Leaf's "out-do" anyone!! Continue to put $$$$ into the pockets of Katz. That's all he cares about...he's a business man. Buy those jerseys. More $$$$ for Katz. Keep hoping for a turnaround. It's been fifteen years...there's no turnaround coming anytime soon. This is an inferior team at best that has proven it can't play together. Time for "BOLD MOVES". Yeah right. This inferior team is being led by a coaching staff that is less than NHL quality and caliber. And this inferior team is being supported by a management team that at best is mediocre, despite their vocal attempts at "Hoping" something can be done. Just keep going to the games, buying those jerseys and souvenirs and picking up your prescriptions at Rexall. Until it hits in the pocketbook nothing will change. Nothing!!

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#9 5 Cups
October 30 2013, 10:52AM
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October and done........again.

Worst thing about it is I have 4 more games in my minipak to go to.

The staff at Rexall might just want to play Sweet Georgia Brown every time the oposition has the puck.

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#10 Cynic
October 30 2013, 12:52PM
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There's a tiebreaker for last place?

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#11 The_CWD_GarbageMan
October 30 2013, 11:38AM
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Somebody call for a garbage man?

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#12 oilers2k10
October 30 2013, 10:52AM
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I Like Eakins coaching style..I like how aggressive he wants this team to play..problem right now is the young players on this team havent learned the nhl game well enough to succeed playing such aggressive hockey..and the Defence needs a major upgrade to handle this kind of tempo.

I like how Eakins style looks on paper..and in time if players work hard enough at it..management hangs on to the high end talent (as opposed to trading it for B level 2way forwards) it will pay off...if this team stays strong mentally.

and quit blaming road trips and injuries..every freakin team deals with those.

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#13 Jed
October 30 2013, 11:37AM
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Why can't Daryl Katz see the elephant in the room.?

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#14 Rama Lama
October 30 2013, 01:09PM
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Your summation of all things coaching........is bang on. I for one have not seen anything that resembles a coach that understands the nuances of the game at the NHL level.

We are continously being out coached. The line match-ups, line combinations, and generally execution of the bench, is sadly lacking. Eakins has been outcoached every game......plain and simple.

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#15 Spydyr
October 30 2013, 01:11PM
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Eakins has been out coached in every game,not one or two every game.

Last night continuing to play Gagner's line against Kessel's was it for me.Eakins has to go.The line ended up -4 if I can see they were getting smoked from my sofa and DSF can call it before the game.Why couldn't Eakins?

I have yet to notice any in game adjustments by Eakins.He looks like a deer in the headlights on the bench.It is plain to see he is in over his head.

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#16 2004Z06
October 30 2013, 11:12AM
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The only issue I have with putting Gordon on the top line is that in a matter of 3 games, the fans will make him the new whipping boy.

There may be one player on this team right now that can match up against the other teams top lines. He can score, stir S**t up, goes to the net, plays decent defensively and fore checks hard. His name is David Perron.

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#17 Mark B
October 30 2013, 12:55PM
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Those poor Bastards with seasons tickets who have to go like 35 more times to watch that garbage. I do feel for you. The only good part is folks, you can start looking forward to the dentist now, it will not hurt as much as going to the watch the Oilers!!!

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#18 gcw_rocks
October 30 2013, 01:48PM
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Now, I think Eakins only has one option for a tough minutes line:

Perron - Gordon - Hemsky

These are the only established veterans on the team with enough skill and experience to play this role consistently.

When the team is healthy you can add:

Hall - RNH - Eberle

as they showed last season they can push the river the right way.

If Eakins wants to win games, he needs to shelter Yakupov, and probably Gagner, amongst his forward group. The thing is, Gagner and Yakupov should absolutely feast on soft minutes so even if the Gordon line saws off against the opposition, the Hall line and the soft minutes line should come out ahead against the rest.

Under that scenario, you could run Schultz Jr, with the Hall line because Hall and RNH generally have the defensive awareness to know when they have to cover (and the coaches should be drilling that into the line).

I just don't get what Eakins is trying to do. He is making me long for Krueger.

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#19 1983 and This Year
October 30 2013, 11:13AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

I urge you to stay and keep us bookmarked.

Every second Wednesday starting next month we will pick the name of a random poster here and put it in a hat toward a grand prize draw at the end of the season for a brand new 1990 26-inch Zenith television (unopened and still in the original crate in my garage).

Bet you stick around now, eh? Eh?

Genuinely made me laugh. At least you always have the guts to call it the way you see it.

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#20 LOIL99
October 30 2013, 11:54AM
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I apologize for the long post but us fans needs to take a step back and look at the big picture in my opinion.

I will start by saying this, all of the anger and hatred and resentment should be point DIRECTLY at management and ownership. They have toyed with our hearts for too many years. And they deserve our rath.

THAT SAID...

It is not our young cores fault that we have been tormented for so long. These kids were in midget, bantam and even peewee when this bad joke started years and years ago. If a person looks at this objectively (difficult I know) you see that we are putting unfair and over the top expectations on our young core, who people forget are all not yet 24 years old, most aren't even 22 (Yak Nuge Hall Shultz Klefbom Nurse)!!

NHL players generally reach their prime at 24-28 years old. Read that again. Our entire core is younger than this yet we are expecting them to compete AND WIN against full grown men. We may not be the youngest team on average, but we have the youngest core players BY FAR.

Where the expectation of playoffs this year came from I will never know (actually I do, it was MacT/Eakins, but it was idiotic of them to promise that). The reality is that this teams core is 2-4 years away from being old enough and experienced enough to make the dance and be a deep playoff contender. When our core reaches 24-28 years old.

Until then lets let them develop, enjoy the immense skill we as Oiler fans have not been able to watch since the 80s (even tho it comes with a lot of mistakes), and support these young kids as they mature and gain NHL experience.

Once you accept that we are still a few years away (reasons given above), you really do start enjoying the little flashes of WOW that these guys are capable of even as young adults and look forward to the future.

Thanks for your time.

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#21 Chris
October 30 2013, 11:20AM
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Ambassador humantorch wrote:

I'm pretty sure Kevin Lowe will win this. After all, he knows a little bit about winning, if there's ever a concern.

HAHA! Nice, made me LOL. Needed that.

Fans need to rise up and start to embarrass this organization. If you are too much of a druggie to quit going to games at least boo. Don't necessarily boo the players though. Just boo the organization.

I suggest constant booing between each whistle.

Fire Kevin Lowe chants, and constant between whistle booing. Perhaps that will at least prompt some action or firings.

I'm tired of blaming the coach. 27 coaches later, eventually you have to look at the root cancer. Kevin Lowe.

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#22 Jordan1126
October 30 2013, 12:56PM
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someplace, somewhere....probably on a different continent, ralph kreuger is.....

feel free to finish this sentence for me!

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#23 Doctor Smashy
October 30 2013, 01:10PM
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Struds, does anyone know when the last time MacT has shown his face? I've read Eakin's comments he's made after scrums after games but where is MacT? I can't help but picture him crouched in a dark room somewhere with Kleenex boxes on his feet and taking inventory of his urine he has stored in pickle jars. Seriously, where is this guy, or KLowe for that matter. It seems you can't shut Lowe up sometimes but I guess even he has realized that "I have six cup rings" is an even less appropriate response these days to questions he might get asked.

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#24 Clarko
October 30 2013, 11:37AM
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Mark-LW wrote:

The Oilers out shot the Leafs 43-26. The first goal was blown coverage on a pinch. The second goal was a quick turn around after a good scoring chance went off the post and turned into an odd man rush the other way.

Two odd man rushes, two goals. Odd man rushes happen in hockey and not every one ends up a goal.

The third goal was a ridiculous play by Kessel, not much you can do about that shot.

Fourth goal was a horrible, horrible turnover by Petry.

I'm upset as hell with the teams record, but I would be more worried if the Leafs had out shot us 43-26.

Every team makes mistakes in a hockey game, the Leafs seemed to capitalize on every one we made while we couldn't get anything past Reimer.

Shots were also 19-5 in the 3rd period when the game was well in hand for the Leafs. It was 24-21 Oilers after two periods, but how many great scoring opportunities did they have? Seemed like the Leafs shots were of much better quality than the Oilers.

That was the easiest looking 43 save shutout I've ever seen...

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#25 DSF
October 30 2013, 12:41PM
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Clarko wrote:

I think most fans understand that this team is a few seasons away from being a contender, and yes their core is very young.

However, the expectation is that there is progress. After finishing dead last or next to it, we saw modest improvement up to 24th place in the league (nothing great, but at least it was a move in the right direction).

The Oilers are currently 29th in win percentage...only Buffalo is worse. They are next to last in goal differential. 30th in goals against and a rather pedestrian 19th in goals for per game. They are already 8 points out of a playoff spot...and nearly all the teams ahead of them have games in hand.

I think most Oiler fans expected to be 16th-20th this season with some optimism for a playoff spot, but at the very least competing for a spot in March and April. The fact that this team has regressed is what most fans are frustrated about.

Don't want to keep beating a dead horse but the Oilers are NINE points out of a playoff spot since they would have to finish at least 1 point ahead of the last wild card team (they lose all the tie breakers.

As you pointed out, all the teams ahead of them have games in hand with the exception of Winnipeg and some like Calgary (3), Dallas (2) and STL (4) have more than 1.

Now, given that the Oilers don't play again until Saturday, there are a number of games that will have an impact on the Oilers chances.

Tonight - SJS @ LAK, TOR @ CAL, DET @ VCR

Tomorrow - ANA @ BOS, NSH @ PHX

Friday - STL @ FLA, MTL @ MIN, COL @ DAL, DET @ CAL

Saturday - CHI @ WPG, ANA @ BUF, STL @ TBL, TOR @ VCR, MTL @ COL, NSH @ LAK, PHX @ SJS

It's entirely reasonable to expect the Oilers will be 12-13 points out of the playoffs by Sunday morning.

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#26 Johnnydapunk
October 30 2013, 01:12PM
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Jordan1126 wrote:

someplace, somewhere....probably on a different continent, ralph kreuger is.....

feel free to finish this sentence for me!

Helping the Canadian team get ready for the Olympics hopefully as he was hired to assist with the Canadian coaches with scouting, and giving some insight as to how European countries play against Canada.

I would love to be in the room to see the awkwardness that there must be when KLowe and Krueger are in on the Olympic team meetings.

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#27 ArmchairAnalyst
October 30 2013, 02:22PM
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This team needs to do something they've avoided for years: focus strictly on developing the players and setting goals with tangible results. Ever since the "Fall For Hall" year, they've been writing the narrative of the rebuild instantly turning them into contenders because they picked first overall.

The best example of this is "Oil Change" which is now in its fourth season of being a monumental distraction for the team.

The constant coaching changes have followed the same path. Pat Quinn was brought in because he was a big name whose only recent success with young players was with a good world junior team. Renney was given two years as the development coach after being Quinn's associate so he at least had some semblance of opportunity and continuity for the young team with no defence.

Then there's Ralph Krueger. What the team did with him was criminal: locked out training camp and half a season, where the PP and PK were both in the top 10...all without his own associate coach so he got Buchberger and Smith as supports. Krueger was treated so poorly by MacTavish & Lowe this summer because they saw the new, shiny object that is Eakins made yet another change looking for a way to make headlines in the offseason instead of where they actually matter on the ice.

If the management was remotely competent, they would have focused on addressing the needs any good team covers: skills, defence, depth, goaltending, and player development. Outside of the first rounders, their track record of identifying prospects and developing them has been mediocre at best.

Until the focus is strictly on the product on the ice having actual success and growth year to year, this team is basically operating like a terrible expansion team.

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#28 Doctor Smashy
October 30 2013, 11:07AM
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Dallas Eakin's Magnificent Forehead wrote:

Everyone in Edmonton is turning into such pouts all of a sudden. The young guns are learning, they're getting better and they're playing harder minutes in more difficult situations. Did we want Hall, Ebs, Nuge and Yak to be perimeter guys for the rest of their careers? Hell no! We want them to be gritty and tough, situations that Kruger never put them in. Now Eakins is making them change their style of play to be more like Ovi, Crosby, etc and be real threats in the NHL. It's gonna look ugly for a while but Eakins is the first coach in a long time to show any determination not just to make the team better, but to make individual players better. (Look how Kadri has turned out under him). I support Eakins 1000% and although there are trades to be made, they aren't trades that will build a dynasty; Eakin's actions will build a winning franchise.

Dallas?...come on now...is that you?

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#29 Devolution
October 30 2013, 11:24AM
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Dallas Eakin's Magnificent Forehead wrote:

Everyone in Edmonton is turning into such pouts all of a sudden. The young guns are learning, they're getting better and they're playing harder minutes in more difficult situations. Did we want Hall, Ebs, Nuge and Yak to be perimeter guys for the rest of their careers? Hell no! We want them to be gritty and tough, situations that Kruger never put them in. Now Eakins is making them change their style of play to be more like Ovi, Crosby, etc and be real threats in the NHL. It's gonna look ugly for a while but Eakins is the first coach in a long time to show any determination not just to make the team better, but to make individual players better. (Look how Kadri has turned out under him). I support Eakins 1000% and although there are trades to be made, they aren't trades that will build a dynasty; Eakin's actions will build a winning franchise.

Actually, there is very little evidence that they are learning or getting better.

Saying it doesn't make it so.

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#30 The Funky Chicken Has Left The Building
October 30 2013, 12:18PM
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Hey Oilers...I need to talk to you about something. ...I don't make a point of checking the channel listings for your next game anymore...and I've kinda become indifferent to your fortunes on and off the ice. What I'm trying to say is that I've moved on...and that it's not me, its you!

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#31 Al Dunne
October 30 2013, 01:03PM
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1983 and This Year wrote:

Struds, I feel genuinely sorry for you, LT, Willis, Brownlee and Gregor. I’ve been a diehard fan for 30 years and after defending the ineptitude of this team for 20 years, I can shut it down today because for the first time I’m genuinely embarrassed to be an Oilers fan.

I’ve given up on the team because the team has given up on me.

You guys don’t have that luxury. You have to keep showing up here and on the radio, picking some angle to describe for the 1000th time that they suck, they’ve sucked forever, and there’s no end in sight to the suck. Sorry guys, through no fault of your own, ON left my bookmarks this morning.

I have been an Oiler seson ticket holder and have not missed many games since 1984! I feel embarrased and cheated, and can finally say, that after last night, I may never attend another Oiler home/road game. I am no longer interested! My love/faith in the Oilers has hit rock bottom. I want out. I am done!

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#32 2004Z06
October 30 2013, 11:03AM
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Jackson wrote:

Deja Vu all over again.

Eakins can only use the tools he has. The problem dates back to the common denominator Kevin Lowe. His philosophy is wrong , he know nothing about winning.

You could bring in Mike Babcock you would get similar results. Lowe is a cancer whether you like him as a person or not. Oilers have gone for the low hanging fruit( no pun intended) and have fired coaches it is time to right this ship 8 is enough. Fire Kevin Lowe

Unfortunately won't change a damn thing. We need different players. These "kids" are in way over their heads. They handed the keys over to the youth waaaay to soon.

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#33 Johnnydapunk
October 30 2013, 01:04PM
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I'm most likely gonna be trashed heavily for saying this, but since the Oil made the playoffs last in 2005-06 season, they have been above .500 in October (January last year) every year with the exception of the 2007-08 season and the 2010-11 season where they were 3 games and 1 game below .500 respectively. In 2011-12 they started 7-2-2 and finished 29th. Perhaps I am just in denial that this may be another horror show of a season but I look at the stats and see that a good start in October means little at the end of the season. I still have a tiny tiny flicker of hope that I don't have to watch the games with my head in my hands.

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#34 Rama Lama
October 30 2013, 02:00PM
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I'm listening to Bob Stauffer defending Eakins......apparently the teams demise has nothing to do with Eakins.

We replaced 8 players ( upgraded in every department except goaltending) and are worse in every metric compared to last year. We should be showing improvement, even modest improvement, but are going the other way.

The real issue is NOT the players but how they are being utilized. When I see the line combinations and match-up that Eakins trots outs, I see a coach that is out of his element.

For those people that think Eakins is not the problem, they are not watching the same games I am.

The guy needs to go to the light!

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#35 vetinari
October 30 2013, 02:39PM
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I thought that Renney was a decent coach who couldn't get the players to do what he wanted, so after changing some of the old veterans who were supposedly the problem, management changed the coach. He then went on to be an assistant in Detroit to apparently good reviews.

We then got Krueger who was suppose to be the "player-friendly, motivational, thinking coach" who led a modest Swiss national team of misfits to international accolades. He also had an established rapport with the players, having been an assistant in Edmonton during Renney's tenure, and after a year at the helm during a lock-out shortened season, didn't produce the results that were needed (apparently he was too player friendly and not enough of a task master) and he was canned via Skype. Classy.

Now we have Eakins who is a task master, fitness freak with a state of the art defensive system that only works on days that end in the letter "q".

Frankly, the problem seems to stem from training camp. With such a turnover from last year's roster (which was not unwarranted), instead of slimming the roster down to your most likely 27 to 30 players and having them work out the defensive kinks during the preseason and make your cuts from there, we instead wasted games on bubble players showing their stuff and the system was an afterthought. Now, we're in the regular season, trying to learn on the fly as units and we're getting creamed.

Right now, we're a bunch of soloists who can't or won't follow the conductor, while other teams are playing like full orchestras. Eakins should have drilled the system into the players during the preseason and now we are paying for it when games really count. And the kids are some of the worst offenders for acting as individuals on the ice and not as part of a unit.

Eakins' options are basically ride out this problem and hope that it self-corrects itself or strip your system down to fit the players that you have (and modify that system over time to allow for their individual creativity as they demonstrate their understanding of the system and their ability to work within it).

In short: we're boned. And it's going to be a long season.

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#36 mr common sense
October 30 2013, 01:04PM
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1) the oil suck so bad its almost hilarious now. they are unquestionably worse in every regard this year than last....amazing.

2) we need Steve Ott

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#37 Mark B
October 30 2013, 01:06PM
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Al Dunne wrote:

I have been an Oiler seson ticket holder and have not missed many games since 1984! I feel embarrased and cheated, and can finally say, that after last night, I may never attend another Oiler home/road game. I am no longer interested! My love/faith in the Oilers has hit rock bottom. I want out. I am done!

AMEN BROTHER!!!!!!

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#38 Mark B
October 30 2013, 02:04PM
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The players are the problem! No heart no pride!!!

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#39 spliff
October 30 2013, 07:35PM
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LoweBlow wrote:

What's the point of watching this anymore?

We're the best fans in hockey while garbage fans like the Canucks and Leafs have winning teams.

Katz, Lowe, MacT: You don't deserve us.

At least Canuck and Leaf fans come from hockey markets.What pisses me off is fans in places like Nashville have a team that consistently makes the playoffs, or challenges for the playoffs. Nashville has way less financial support then the Oil, yet they always put a decent competitive product on the ice.

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#40 Oilzky
October 30 2013, 11:02AM
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"Out-finished"???? The Leafs scored 68 seconds into the game!! ...does this mean Eakins figures it was over before it began?

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#41 #YakCityGettingScrewedOverByCoach&Mgmty
October 30 2013, 11:39AM
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Mark-LW wrote:

The Oilers out shot the Leafs 43-26. The first goal was blown coverage on a pinch. The second goal was a quick turn around after a good scoring chance went off the post and turned into an odd man rush the other way.

Two odd man rushes, two goals. Odd man rushes happen in hockey and not every one ends up a goal.

The third goal was a ridiculous play by Kessel, not much you can do about that shot.

Fourth goal was a horrible, horrible turnover by Petry.

I'm upset as hell with the teams record, but I would be more worried if the Leafs had out shot us 43-26.

Every team makes mistakes in a hockey game, the Leafs seemed to capitalize on every one we made while we couldn't get anything past Reimer.

Keep dreaming there little fella. Keep popping those happy pills. Don't forget your re-fills at Rexall. Is that a unicorn, mommy? LOL

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#42 BleedingOil
October 30 2013, 11:42AM
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Goal 1) 3 forwards all on the left wing boards. puck gets behind net and you have Gagner trying to rush the defender behind the net. Defender flips puck to half boards and Gagner is all of a sudden going the wrong way. The Oilers Dman (same as Gagner) rushes to pinch in and puck gets by him. Now he is WAY behind the play. JrSchultz loses a bad foot race to Kadri, while Yak is busy waiting for someone to get him the puck. He pretty much lets Kessel blow by him. Kessel goes from 30 ft behind him to 20 ft in front of him before Yak realizes his team is wearing blue tonight. Oh yeah, take a look at Bantam AAA Schultz one arm swinging his stick at Kadri's puck. Come on JS, this is the NHL. Goal 2) Schultz pinching in again. DAMN YOU SCHULTZ. He totally blows the shot then wipes out. At 18:28 you can see 4 Oilers behind the net without the puck and Schultz still staring at the ceiling of Rexall, leaving first year Belov all alone on D. When the 2 on one becomes apparent at our blueline, Yak stops skating at the leafs Blueline and gives up. Goal 3) Just at Phaneuf tips puck behind net, we can see 4, count them 4, Oilers out past our faceoff circles and 3, yes 3, leafs within pissing distance of poor Bachman. Gagner is the only one to come to Greb's rescue. While Petry is Schultzing himself in the faceoff circle, Grebs totally leaves his man go behind the net and puts Bachman between himself and 2 leaf players with the puck. Goal 4) Kadri makes Petry nervous and he passes puck to mid ice with everyone on a line change instead of backhanding it behind the net, or off the boards on the left side. Yakupov is again gliding in as he always does and is waiting for Kessel to pass it to him so he can rifle it past Bachman.

This team is a joke. KLOWE Blows. Go get some help. Yak and Schultz need to go, along with our first overall pick next year and the year after. Lets get a bruising power forward, a stay in your zone Dman and a true starting goalie. MacT, I heard a rumor that your version of bold was to show episodes of BOLD and BEAUTIFUL instead of showing game footage. Is this true? Eakins, I was so excited when we brought you in, but where is the boomsauce? The kids need you to go a little batsh*t on the bench. Send Yak and Schultz to the pressbox for a few, tes few games. Demand MacT and KLOWE bring in some trades. Did we miss out on Vanek? Whats up with Ehrhoff. 5 of your top 6 FWD hitters are new this year, where are the rest of our hits. Time to go old school. Shoot the puck as often as possible and HIT anything that moves on our side of center ice.

Its going to be a long year. 6 of the top 7 teams in the league are western teams, and coincindentally are big hitting and shooting teams. You cant score if you dont shoot. You cant shoot if you dont have the puck, and you cant have the puck if you are afraid to physically take it from the other team. We are obviously not an elite team, SO STOP TRYING TO PLAY ELITE HOCKEY!!!!! these kids are not big enough or strong enough to get it. GOT IT? ROCKET SURGERY 101.

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#43 Clarko
October 30 2013, 12:12PM
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@LOIL99

I think most fans understand that this team is a few seasons away from being a contender, and yes their core is very young.

However, the expectation is that there is progress. After finishing dead last or next to it, we saw modest improvement up to 24th place in the league (nothing great, but at least it was a move in the right direction).

The Oilers are currently 29th in win percentage...only Buffalo is worse. They are next to last in goal differential. 30th in goals against and a rather pedestrian 19th in goals for per game. They are already 8 points out of a playoff spot...and nearly all the teams ahead of them have games in hand.

I think most Oiler fans expected to be 16th-20th this season with some optimism for a playoff spot, but at the very least competing for a spot in March and April. The fact that this team has regressed is what most fans are frustrated about.

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#44 john
October 30 2013, 01:15PM
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This is what I see Stop blaming the injuries, the road games, the young players. It's a team sport, starting with the head coach teaching them a system. I don't like Roy as a person (arrogant prick) but he got the Avs playing well with same team last year (2nd last in NHL) and in top standings. Oilers has no structure to their game, when attacking the puck mover goes in alone with nobody to support and go to the net. Dump and chase after it throw it in front and someone there try to score. There were no set plays, no chemistry between players. On defense, forwards stop skating, no back checks. Defensemen took too many chances in the slot and don't rush back or other forwards back check. A team can't let the goalie out to hang dry with 2 on 1 or 3 on 1 rushes. a retarded monkey watched the game last night (all the games) can see what's wrong with Oilers game. Time to fix it, trade away some young guys for some leaders and toughness. Those guys got paid $5-6 millions dollars are not producing any more, they got the money and being lazy. The minuses on their stats (got scored more against even strength speak volume), it reflect the minus temperatures in Edmonton this year. It will be a cold and lonely winter when you are in the basement looking up. The power plays and penalty kills are last in the league after being top 5 last few years. What's up with that? It's hurts me watching the Oilers lose each game, it hurt more when there's no efforts in their plays. Happy Halloween folks! I need a mask to cover the face as an Oilers fan.

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#45 outdoorzguy
October 30 2013, 01:16PM
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"Once you accept that we are still a few years away"

"I think most fans understand that this team is a few seasons away from being a contender"

"I still have a tiny tiny flicker of hope"

"with seasons tickets who have to go like 35 more times"

"There's a 3 year waiting list for season tickets"

I love the comments, the hanging on by a thread, hoping miraculously this bunch will suddenly turn things around. We've been waiting for this team to develop since 2001. Give it up people. Let it go. Stop buying tickets. Stop going to games. Start directing your angst where it needs to be directed...in the wallet of Katz. When he runs out of money (which he desperately needs to finish re-modelling/re-branding his drug stores) then he might get the message. Until then, you've only got yourselves to blame because you are holding on to that last tiny thread of hope that management actually cares about you.

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#46 MessyEH!
October 30 2013, 02:14PM
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So .... can we get a list of the top five draft rankings. I wanna see who the future Oilers will be.

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#47 Sidney Frosby
October 30 2013, 11:48AM
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Isn't it time to get Dan Girardi and maybe Brian Boyle out of NYR for Justin Shultz... or something to that degree...

NYR seems desperate for offense...But oddly they need better defense too.

Maybe Willie Mitchell out of LA for one of our defensive prospects...

Or maybe its time to send Grebeshkov down to AHL, sit Justin Shultz, and play Fendun.

Or Volchenkov from NJ...

Just pls stop the bleeding.. and I never want to see Grebeshkov again.

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#48 Bleak Winter
October 30 2013, 02:48PM
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All day long I'm just handing out free props to the best rants! I've got one of my own but not sure I should even bother.

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#49 Oasis
October 30 2013, 03:00PM
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Mark B wrote:

Those poor Bastards with seasons tickets who have to go like 35 more times to watch that garbage. I do feel for you. The only good part is folks, you can start looking forward to the dentist now, it will not hurt as much as going to the watch the Oilers!!!

Sadly I am part of this group. Approximately 35 games to attend and we are already out of the playoffs.

In the past I would just give my tickets away to employees, but lately I can't even find people to go for free. Do you know what it's like to phone 15 people and offer them free tickets and all of them have an excuse why they can't go?

Can't say that I blame them though.

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#50 Rod from Viking
October 30 2013, 07:28PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Eakins has been out coached in every game,not one or two every game.

Last night continuing to play Gagner's line against Kessel's was it for me.Eakins has to go.The line ended up -4 if I can see they were getting smoked from my sofa and DSF can call it before the game.Why couldn't Eakins?

I have yet to notice any in game adjustments by Eakins.He looks like a deer in the headlights on the bench.It is plain to see he is in over his head.

Not making adjustments seems to be contagious in both of Edmonton's once storied sports franchise's, it is mind numbing to see this over and over. Quite sure we won't have to listen to Mr Monotone again after this weekend and I sure hope Eakins starts coaching instead of what he has been doing.

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