TUESDAY TIDBITS...

Jason Gregor
October 08 2013 12:09PM

We start a new weekly item today called, Tuesday Tidbits. After last night's stunning come-from-behind Oiler victory, our timing couldn't be better.

After two periods of the Oilers/Devils game Oilersnation was on the verge of a mental breakdown. The season was going to be over. The Oilers were destined for another top-ten pick, and I even received my first outlandish trade request of the season.

I was asked about a Nail Yakupov for Ryan Miller trade. Trading a 19-year-old first overall pick for a soon-to-be UFA, 33 year-old goalie, is the definition of panic. Or delusion. Calm down, three games does not make a season, but I don't believe you can downplay last night's third period.

Through 40 minutes the Oilers looked disinterested, excluding one excellent rush by Ales Hemsky, that actually started with a lucky bounce after a bad clearing pass.

It took the Oilers almost ten and a half minutes to register a shot on goal, and after 40 minutes they had more turnovers than shots on goal, eleven.

The outlook wasn't brilliant for the Oilerville 20 this night...

But then they got a break.

Bryce Salvador shot the puck over the glass at 5:19 of the third frame, and that minor miscue injected some much needed energy into a listless Oilers squad.

  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored 24 seconds later on powerplay and suddenly the Oilers had a pulse.
     
  • Three minutes and 45 seconds later Andrew Ference scored on a shot from the point, and Rexall Place erupted. Prior to that the biggest applause was for Joey Moss' 50th birthday celebration.
     
  • Two minutes and 19 seconds later David Perron ripped one over Brodeur's shoulder and the game was tied. Prior to that shot, Perron, like most of his teammates, was fighting the puck, but once he scored you could literally see his body replenishing with confidence.
     
  • One minute and 43 seconds later Taylor Hall found himself all alone in front of Martin Brodeur, after a nifty tap/push pass from Ales Hemsky. Hall made a quick move to avoid the pokecheck and slid it home for a 4-3 lead. Prior to that goal, Hall had been visibly frustrated. He couldn't make a pass, and he'd been fighting the puck during the previous 153 minutes of play. His goal celebration and reaction seemed like more relieve than joy, but like Perron, suddenly Hall had confidence with the puck.
     
  • To add to the drama the Devils got a lucky goal in the final minute to send the game to overtime, before Jordan Eberle and Perron displayed their version of shootout "Horse." Eberle went first, had a few quick stick handles/dangles, before roofing a backhander upstairs. Perron mirrored Eberle's attempt, and then Jason LaBarbera stopped Ryan Clowe for the victory.
     
  • The Oilers clearly needed the win, but I think the psyche of the fanbase might have needed it more.

By the sounds of it, some of you turned the game off after 40 minutes and missed the epic comeback, but for those who stuck through the painfully agonizing first two periods, for once you were rewarded for your undying loyalty.

OTHER TIDBITS

  • It was a great comeback, but it doesn't overshadow the fact the Oilers are still turning the puck over far too frequently, and most of the turnovers are coming from their skilled forwards. Dallas Eakins will have lots of examples to show during their video session. If the turnovers don't stop, I'm curious to see when or who he will use to make an example of. It is a bad habit that needs to stop, if the Oilers are serious about becoming a contender in the next few seasons.
     
  • Ryan Hamilton didn't come out for the third period, and for the final 22 minutes (17 regulation and 5 in OT) Eakins only used eight forwards.

    Nugent-Hopkins played a career-high 28:12. Does anyone still think they rushed him back?
    Hall played 25:44.
    Perron played 25:15
    Eberle played 22:34

    Eakins isn't afraid to use his skilled guys. I don't believe he can use them that often all season, but they are young and in certain situations it makes sense.
     
  • Anton Belov was bumped ahead of Ladislav Smid. Belov played with Petry and logged 21:33 of icetime. He looks more comfortable every game.
     
  • Currently the Oilers have four of the top-14 forwards in TOI. Nugent-Hopkins is first, albeit in one game, while Hall is 2nd at 23:05, Perron is 11th at 21:39 and Eberle is 14th at 21:23.
     
  • Last season, Carolina, Minnesota, Tampa Bay and the Rangers each had two forwards in the top-14 of TOI for forwards. I suspect you'll see Nugent-Hopkins and Hall up there this year.
     
  • So far Boyd Gordon has more shots, 8, than Yakupov, 6. That is great for Gordon, but Yakupov needs to use his potent shot more.
     
  • 15 Oilers have points in the first three games. Only Yakupov, Belov, Nick Schultz, Mike Brown and Ryan Hamilton haven't registered a point. That is very balanced scoring.
     
  • Marc Arcobello is 3rd on the Oilers in hits with eight. He isn't running over guys, but Arcobello has shown a willingness to finish his checks and get in the way. He's done a lot of the small things well thus far.
     
  • The Oilers have given up 15 goals in three games. That is horrendous. Neither goalie has been stellar, but they aren't the only ones to blame. While the 3rd period was a treat to watch, the Oilers have to clean up their defensive zone before making stops in Toronto, Washington, Pittsburgh, New York (NYI), Ottawa and Montreal.
     
  • Twelve of their next 16 games are on the road, which makes Thursday's home game against the Habs a really-really-need-to-win game.
     
  • It is early, but once again the Oilers are near the top in minor penalties. The Oilers have been shorthanded 13 times thus far. In the last three years, the Oilers were shorthanded the 5th, 5th and 3rd most times. They need to cut down on their penalties. It is a disturbing trend.
     
  • Most teams have only played two or three game, yet we only have six undefeated teams remaining. Toronto is the only 3-0 team, while Pittsburgh, Boston, Colorado, St.Louis and San Jose are 2-0. I'll pick the Penguins to have the longest undefeated streak, not including SO losses.
     
  • Tough break for Fantasy Football owners of Julio Jones. He is done for the season. Ouch.
     
  • I have no issue with the new Hockey Canada Jerseys. I think the white ones will look sharp.
     

  • Eskimos head coach Kavis Reed won't be back after the season, and I doubt many of the position coaches will be either. Rumours came out of Winnipeg last week that Stampeders D coordinator, Rick Campbell, is a leading candidate to replace Reed. That won't happen. Campbell is a good coach, much better than some think, but Ed Hervey will hire someone with no previous connection to the Eskimos. He doesn't seem like a revisionist history type of guy.

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 outdoorzguy
October 08 2013, 01:12PM
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Still a lousy team and an even lousier organization!!

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#52 outdoorzguy
October 08 2013, 01:13PM
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Mactavish has done nothing to improve this team

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#53 Randaman
October 08 2013, 03:42PM
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@Soccer Steve

At least Belov can skate and pass and hit and so on and so on. Smid has been an absolute disaster so far. He skates like he is in quick sand

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#54 Oiler Al
October 08 2013, 04:55PM
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Third period, just what the doctor order.. a booster shot!. Lets hope it carrys over to the Montreal game on Thursday.

Intresting to watch guys like Perron and Gordon, who come from well coached teams, where they play 200 ft of ice., play with urgency is best to describe it, and look after the details.

Hopefully the top six have turned it around, but certainly the backend and goal tending , although , early is still very much in question.

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#55 madjam
October 08 2013, 05:01PM
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Hemsky playing hard for UFA contract for next season .Horcoff had 2 seasons to go , thus they dumped him . I doubt Hemsky will bypass Free agency , probably last year playing here. Trade bait , or lose for nothing ?

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#56 Smokey
October 08 2013, 06:12PM
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ubermiguel wrote:

Actually the smart thing to do would be to trade those players (Horcoff and Hemsky) for other assets...oh that's right, MacT did that with Horcoff (a fact you conveniently neglected to mention).

Buy out Hemsky and sign whom? One of those first line centres that were begging to come to Edmonton? You must assume Lecavalier, Ribero and Weiss were falling over each other to sign here.

And what players was MacT unable to sign because of Grebs 1.5 million hit?

I concur. Hemsky at 5 mil is a slight overpay of what a few hundred thousand. You trade the guy for assets not dump for nothing. If the cap stayed at 70 mil he would of been traded. The one team I thought may pick him up was NJ. Lou gotta a pretty display of his skill level with that sick toe drag on Larsson. Brodeur was all world with the mitten on the play. Anyways, detractors of Hemsky who want to dump the guy who I believe can still be a Corsi -demon, and top drawer zone entry specialist and set up man should be shot. Lets pay the 5 million, enjoy the show, and wish him adieu at the trade deadline or hopefully in the playoffs. There will be many nights he will be our best player. The guy shows up when healthy. He's been a leader this year, and has been impressive. Boyd Gordon seems to be a perfect fit with him. Hopefully him and Perron can work some chemistry. Would love to see Peron net 25-30.

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#57 washed up
October 08 2013, 06:20PM
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@Jason Gregor

A couple years ago everyone was putting the leafs rebuild behind the oiler. I was one who also thought this way. Now I consider Toronto to be ahead for the oilers. What's your opinion.

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#58 Quicksilver ballet
October 08 2013, 09:24PM
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@Harry

Happens all the time Harry, where've you been. Ever hear of GDB?

Why don't you stalk and hassle Jason Gregor as well, when he predicts the exact same thing in his GDB's? Don't you ever get sick of forcing yourself to like this shippy team some nights. You've obviously been fooled into thinking this is some sort of reverse upward trend here these last 5 yrs.

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#59 Walter Sobchak
October 08 2013, 09:41PM
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@Quicksilver ballet

He's messing with you Quick, you've been around long enough to know when someone just goating you into a fight.

“Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.”

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#60 Serious Gord
October 08 2013, 01:23PM
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outdoorzguy wrote:

Mactavish has done nothing to improve this team

I disagree.

MacT has done some things to improve the team - Perron, Gordon and (perhaps) belov are positive acquisitions.

But he has done a lot of damage in two ways:

roster changes - adding grebeshkov for example,

and not making changes - leaving dubnyk as #1 signing gagner; keeping hemsky instead of trading/buying him out; no significant 1/2 line fierceness added etc.

so on the whole MacT has not done "nothing"

he has in toto - done DAMAGE both in the near term and in the long term.

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#61 Danger Pay
October 08 2013, 02:42PM
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I told myself during the second intermission that I would only watch the first 10 mins of the third and see if they could do anything, So glad I did! Can't say I'm surprised the Devils tied it up but I was surprised Jagr didn't score in OT. He has been an Oiler killer for ever!!! Nice third period effort for Eakins first win and now they have something to build on.

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#62 DieHard
October 08 2013, 03:43PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

I disagree.

MacT has done some things to improve the team - Perron, Gordon and (perhaps) belov are positive acquisitions.

But he has done a lot of damage in two ways:

roster changes - adding grebeshkov for example,

and not making changes - leaving dubnyk as #1 signing gagner; keeping hemsky instead of trading/buying him out; no significant 1/2 line fierceness added etc.

so on the whole MacT has not done "nothing"

he has in toto - done DAMAGE both in the near term and in the long term.

You sir are not Gord.

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#63 Quicksilver ballet
October 08 2013, 04:06PM
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I love(d) the Oilers. Now i'm on Prozac. May soon love again if that little poodle Harry will let me.

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#64 Serious Gord
October 08 2013, 04:31PM
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Oilfan wrote:

I just wonder sometimes if complainers complain just for the sake of it or if they have no control over it.

- Hemsky leads the team in assists and points after 3 games. Before last night's game, the coach was saying he has been the best forward so far. Huge damage so far, yes.

- Not sure what mistakes Grebeshkov has made in the regular season thus far to warrant the "damage" you say he's responsible for either.

- Craig MacTavish played 1,093 NHL regular season games and 193 NHL playoff games. He played on one of the strongest and most successful teams the sport has ever known. He's coached 656 NHL regular season games and been involved in the game in a professional capacity for most of the last 30 years. He also coached Grebeshkov in the NHL earlier. Yet you have the audacity to claim all of that experience means zero compared to your expert knowledge of player ability. Impressive.

Everyone flipped out about Paajarvi for David Perron. Perron's at a point-per-game pace while Magnus is in the press box.

Would be nice if there were at least a quarter mentions of what has been successful (thus far at least) compared to the number of complaints and "fixes" the experts love to throw out.

So, do complainers ever think about what they're saying or does it just make them feel better to complain. Might as well throw out your reasoning behind Horcoff's responsibility for the 1st 2 games as well as I'm sure there's something specific he did in each of those games to cost the team 2 points.

Sometimes it's just kind of hilarious to read some of these posts and wonder whether they are serious or just eager to jump on the trend of whatever's popular to say at a given moment.

Having said all that, no one is forced to read any of it and, at the end of the day, it's "too each their own." Sometimes some of the posts just make a person wonder tho.

Not complaining - criticizing - big difference.

Hemsky should have been dealt rather than signed - look at his performance since he signed - not three games. He ties up to much cap room delivering a skill set we already have a surplus of. Cap space is golden in this year more than any other before or since.

I don't give a crap about MacT's non-GM experience - nor should you. Gretz was a great player and a lousy coach. MacT has thusfar failed to address issues that even he has admitted need addressing.

I for one did not "flip" about pajaarvi. Good player again a player with a skillset we didn't need.

The rest of your post is a complaint without substance.

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#65 Serious Gord
October 08 2013, 05:11PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Buy out Hemsky?

Are you serious?

He's been very good, but you think it would have been better to trade him for nothing of value, or buy him out just to save money?

You think signing Grebeshkov has really hurt them? It is called depth, the season is three games old, are you certain they won't have any injuries?

Expecting a GM to fix every problem in one summer of a team that has been bottom 10 for five straight years is ridiculous.

Hemsky isn't hurting the team, and any suggestion that the team would be better by buying him out is inaccurate.

First let's set the stage:

This year more than any other is about cap room. It is also the only time (or next year when everyone seems to agree there will be far more cap room) teams can (or rather could) buy out two of their contracts. Thus the smart thing to do if an owner was Willing to spend the dough - was to buy out the two most expensive/underperforming contracts.

In edms case that was Horcoff and hemsky. Doing so would have reaped the most cap room and opened up two roster spots. That hemsky was essentially untradable - to hear it from MacT at least - puts paid to the wisdom of buying him out rather than being stuck with him. (It is not about "saving money" it's about getting more cap room when the market for it is at a historical peak.

That he has played well in three games is irrelevant. He has skills that are surplus to the team when compared to what the team needs (and as was demonstrated in those same three games). Either he or one of the four untouchables has to be moved to make room. His presence indeed does hurt the team by blocking the addition of a player who bring some of the attributes the steam is starving for.

As for fixing in one season all that ails the team - MacT let his love/allegiance/stubbornness prevent him from moving the surplus - hemsky, gagner; pruning the deadwood - Smyth and hiring retreads when other options were available (at the cost of significant and inflexible cap room) - grebeshkov. More could have been done - MacT promised more AND DID NOT deliver primarily because of flaws in his attitude. Hiring an outsider without his baggage likely would have seen far more get done towards curing what ails this team.

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#66 StHenriOilBomb
October 08 2013, 11:45PM
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madjam wrote:

Tied for 29th spot in the league with worst goals against - are things looking up finally ?

That's false.

Stop with the misinformation. Some people actually buy it.

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#67 Harry
October 09 2013, 12:57PM
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djc wrote:

Your visits to Oilersnation will be much less aggravating if you just skip over comments from the whiny trolls (Quicksliver, DSF, serious Gord, etc).

They all seem to be the same person - cranky seniors, experts about hockey, always talking about how they have been fans since the 80s but stopped supporting current management, calling others who don't agree with them "fanboys" and "drinking the Koolaid", blah, blah, blah.

They say they hate the current Oilers yet they have the time to post on an Oilers fan website 50 times a day. It's pretty sad they are so desperate for attention. Just ignore them and hopefully one day they will just go away.

Well said. I will give it my best effort.

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#68 Darell
October 09 2013, 12:59PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Where in any of this statement did the topic of dreaming come up there sugar plum princess?

Take off your rose colored glasses. There's a very fine line between negativity and being a realist. Your predictable Oiler methamphetamine attitude has grown stale.

Qucker Silver Douche bag wrote "Don't you ever get sick of forcing yourself to like this shippy team some nights. You've obviously been fooled into thinking this is some sort of reverse upward trend here these last 5 yrs"

We force ourselves/dream that our team is on a upward trend and going to win. That's what makes this Oilersnation and if you don't like it go some where else to troll.

Hugs now fack off

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#69 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
October 08 2013, 12:18PM
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I have to ask. Were you in the seats or PB? They showed a guy that looked like you in the seats a couple times.

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#70 BingBong
October 08 2013, 01:38PM
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Big win last night, but like others have mentioned, the problems were still there most of the night. The skilled forwards turn it over way too often (usually with cross ice passes), but more noticeably, our defense appears weaker than ever. Ference looked ok, and I thought Petry played well finally, but the other guys just look lost. Smid and N. Schultz can't make a pass to save their lives, Belov looks confused, and J. Schultz has been a turnover machine. I thought his strong suit was his skating and the ability to make that first pass, but he looks totally bewildered when he skates it out of our zone, as well as on the PP.

Also, La Barbarella was brutal, and was lucky that the 2 NJ shooters missed their shots in the shootout because he was caught with his pants down on both.

Can't wait for next game though...

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#71 madjam
October 08 2013, 01:59PM
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Game analysis : 1. Aren't you glad we don't play bore you to and hockey like the Devils each nite ! The only stars they have of any note is in goal ! 2. My version of probably went down between 2nd period break ? Eakins blast the team and they blast him back . He tells them if they are so good then go out and prove it to me . Presto , they do and Eakins breaks out a smile and serves them Timbits as a reward , and declares every Tuesday will become Fat Tuesday if they keep winning . Finally , something of substance for them to play for .

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#72 CHRIS
October 08 2013, 02:03PM
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I like the intensity of play from the forwards last night through 60m however the oilers deference were their own worst enemy. All year it will be the same game plan for every team playing the oilers, pressure the D and create turnovers. We desperately need a top 1 2 D pairing. Maybe we should trade omark for one.... :)

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#73 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
October 08 2013, 02:07PM
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etownman wrote:

I like the idea of pursuing a netminder like Miller but definately not at the expense of 20 yr old Yakupov! A big happy b-day to Yak, let's score a goal against the Habs to celebrate only the way Yak can celebrate!

So you like the IDEA of pursuing a netminder like Miller...just not the part where you actually pursue him.

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#74 Hemmercules
October 08 2013, 02:20PM
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Nice article. Like the format. Tons of good info.

"The Oilers clearly needed the win, but I think the psyche of the fanbase might have needed it more."........That line right there sums things up pretty nicely. After that Canucks game I needed that win as I'm sure most of us did.

With a rookie coach and lots of new faces you had to think they might start a little shaky. Hopefully they got the monkey off their back now and put forth some solid efforts on the road. I'm still expecting a fair bit of inconsistency in them though as they have only really played 3 good periods of hockey so far.

Perron is great so far. Like someone already said, he's kind of a prick and has some skills too. Beauty goal last night by him, heads up play on the faceoff.

Hall should settle in now and start to light it up. Nuge really saved the day getting Hall off center and back where he belongs. Watching Hall, Nuge & Ebs celebrating goals together is pretty sweet.

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#75 Will
October 08 2013, 03:25PM
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Any word on Joensu. I was really liking his game before getting hurt. Him and Perron give us some nice grit in the top nine. Gordon as well has been more gritty and physical than Horcoff was. And he is a beast in the face off dot. 68% are you kidding me? Was suprised to see Arcebello with a good face off percentage as well. Hopefully we can keep this up against Montreal since our turnovers and penalties haven't been good.

Speaking of Montreal, that should be a fun game as they are not as trap defence as New Jersey. Especially when New Jersey got the lead, they just would not forecheck and the Oilers had to go through so many players in the neutral zone. Nice to watch the kids play against greats like Jagr and Broduer. The key to that game was always going to be to come hard in the late game as our youth and speed became a bigger advantage as the game went on. I kind of wish Schnider was in net, just because the Oilers seem to light him up, but again, it was nice to a legend like Brodure one last time in Edmonton.

Great finish, still some problems, hopefully we can shore them up as the season goes on.

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#76 OilerLand
October 08 2013, 04:33PM
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The Canada Jerseys are made more horrible by the fact that they will be worn with black pants. The socks design adds a lot to the overall aesthetic but going purely red/white would have helped.

Nike had some nice basic designs like Czech white and Both USAs, but overall big time fail with the details like the fake lace up collar.

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#77 DrDave
October 08 2013, 06:15PM
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Terrible game with a great finish. I think too many of the players believed their hype going into the season and it caught up with them. Then a string of a 2 bad games (and 2 bad periods) started to wear on them until they got a break that offered some hope and they pounced! Let's hope they can bust it wide open now and Dubbie can bounce back on Thursday!

Side note, I hope the esks keep Greg Marshall. The D hasn't been great this season but he's a great coach and he deserves another season to prove himself again.

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#78 madjam
October 08 2013, 07:53PM
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The young Avalanche team is exploding on the scene this year - can they be for real or be stopped for that matter ? Maybe it's Roy ?

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#79 Walter Sobchak
October 08 2013, 10:03PM
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@Serious Gord

I like your passion Gord.

I can agree that the Oilers find themselves in a bad cap position, that's a real problem moving forward this year.

However, the Oilers hands are tied when it comes to Hemsky.

Forget the past it's irrelevant now.

Fast forward to MacTavish, first he shouldn't have ever said Hemsky was on the market, a poor choice of words for a rookie GM and Hemskys stock plummeted further.

So thinking like a GM, do you give a talent like Hemsky away for free?

Or...do you play the sh!t out of him hoping he can produce and get at least some value out of him.

Hemsky needs to play, what's the worst that can happen? He walks at the end of the year and the Oilers save 5 on the cap.

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#80 madjam
October 09 2013, 05:45AM
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StHenriOilBomb wrote:

That's false.

Stop with the misinformation. Some people actually buy it.

We have 2 points which ties us to 18-29th position . Factor goals against and that makes us 29th . My statement stands as written .

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#81 Romulus' Apotheosis
October 09 2013, 09:22AM
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Buying out Horcoff and Hemsky are remarkably poor options.

Let's go through them.

1. Horcoff. three options.

a) keep him. tough cap hit, but low actual dollars. reliable 3C. center depth is good.

b) trade him. in this case without retaining salary and picking up a very young, cheap and interesting D prospect (on our organization's weak side, RD, I might add) who can be buried in the minors if necessary or lost to waivers.

c) buy him out. spend Katz' money (I'm fine with that), and acquire cap space.

All of these have their merits. C, however, is highly contingent on what options are available to use that money.

Because the Oil weren't cap constrained, i.e., they tried to spend that money (on Clarkson), the point is moot. They had the money to spend regardless of Horcoff.

A or B make much more sense in this regard.

2) Hemksy. 3 options:

a) keep him. we aren't in cap trouble and depth (as we've already seen this year) is critical to success. We know more about his value than anyone else.

b) trade him. the most talked about trade this off-season was for Zach Smith, reliable 4C under contract and modest cap hit. That would be a down-grade in talent, but for an actual NHL player addressing position of need. One area of concern is Smith doesn't PK apparently.

For whatever reason, this deal didn't happen. Maybe the Oil didn't offer to eat enough Hemsky cap, maybe the Sens didn't offer to throw in a pick?

c) buy out. see c above.

In this case also, all three have merits. But c again is the weakest option. And again, the Clarkson move shows that the team was ready to spend regardless of Hemsky. If a player actually signed for big money and no one would take Hemsky, only then do you buy him out... still though that looks sub-optimal to me when you can probably find someone willing to take on N. Schultz' contract or buy him out.

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#82 David S
October 09 2013, 10:31AM
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I freaking LOVE Tidbits!

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#83 madjam
October 09 2013, 11:01AM
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How about making Mondays "rag day " (venting) , Tues. Tidbits and Wednesday the "cure day "?

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#84 Quicksilver ballet
October 09 2013, 11:59AM
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@djc

Hey there hatchet man. Where've you been, that flipping burgers must be a tough gig, we've missed your drive by fruitings.

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#85 Darrell
October 09 2013, 01:05PM
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Harry wrote:

Well said. I will give it my best effort.

It's like ignoring someone who insulted your Family in your own house - it's not possible. I may be overly sensitive but the losing gets to us all in different ways.

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#86 bwar
October 08 2013, 04:25PM
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First off, Belov might be the teams best defenseman so far. I think that if he's playing well then Eakins should reward him.

Second, when the Oilers started churning out the offensive blender (only using 8 forwards), it seemed like the game changed dramatically. Prior to the shortening of the bench the Oilers seemed extremely stagnant and the game seemed like it was going to slip away from the Oilers. There seemed to be no pressure being applied in the offensive zone and the Devils were clearing the zone with ease. Then the Oilers entered attack mode. It was hard to keep track of who was on the ice and the almost randomness of the lines seemed to put the Devils at a disadvantage. With the Oilers offensive talent I think that running a system like this has many positives. If the fourth line can have their player weaved in occasionally, for player relief and to maintain a more physical presence, I think that the Oilers become a much harder team to match up against (ie. harder to shutdown one line when that line is always changing). Obviously you would have certain pairings and groupings that would remain favored but having a more dynamic approach to line combinations could benefit the Oilers.

Third, we were pretty bad in OT. Nearly every breakout ended up sending one Oiler way ahead into a 1v2 or 1v3 scenario that the Devils were easily stopping. A more balanced attack would result in more offensive zone penetration and would most likely end up with a few more scoring chances. I think the first step to cleaning this up would be giving the defensemen more freedom to carry the puck out of the zone during OT over firing off the long pass. This keeps the attacked more balanced and offers more time to read the defensive setup as well as setup the attack to break into the zone.

It was great to see the Oilers finally get some life back into their game and hopefully they will be able to carry some of the third period into Thursdays game.

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#87 Serious Gord
October 08 2013, 06:13PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

He traded Horcoff, so why did he need to buy him out?

The Oilers went hard after Clarkson and didn't get him. They were willing to overpay to get him. IF they bought out Hemsky, there is NO guarantee they would just magically add these players you talk about.

You make it sound like being a GM is easy. That a GM should be able to make every move he wants to make. Doesn't work that way.

MacTavish made it clear he would move Hemsky, but he wisely didn't give him away for nothing. He can still deal Hemsky, and his trade value will be much higher now that he is playing well.

FYI the Oilers can still buy out a player next year. They didn't have to do it this year.

They traded horc and got back an equally upside down contract - some gain arguably but nowhere near what they could have done with the freed up cap space and open roster spot.

Free cap space and roster spots was in the preseason and will be in the regular season golden - how about trading to get a costly player in exchange for one that has a low cap hit - Toronto Philly and several others will be in dire straights to shed salary and talent.

Where did I say being Gm was easy? All the more reason to hire an experienced and proven one.

That hemsky was untradable only proves my point that he should have been bought out (tambellini should have traded rather than signed him). And I doubt his value has moved much three games in. (And if it has - for godsake trade him!!)

And if you read my post you would have known and acknowledge that the cap next year will be much higher and thus by extension the buyout option will be less valuable.

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#88 Oilcruzer
October 08 2013, 07:57PM
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Whoever asked if a post hit = a shot. Sorry, no. It has to be a shot that would go into the net, unless saved by a goalie.

Thots on last night.

Oil have difficulty as teams enter their zone. Much too soft between hash marks and blue line.

D need push the first 2 back, first forward has to be all over 3rd forward. Watch Jagr's goal as example.

The rest is coming together. You can't change a system in a couple of preseason games.

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#89 Serious Gord
October 08 2013, 09:03PM
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cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan wrote:
First let's set the stage:

starting a post like that generally means you are going to try and talk out of your ass to try and make your point.

you didn't disappoint.

Excellent, well argued rebuttal. Brilliant how you pointed out a different view of the facts. You must be a lawyer or something.

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#90 madjam
October 08 2013, 10:11PM
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Tied for 29th spot in the league with worst goals against - are things looking up finally ?

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#91 StHenriOilBomb
October 08 2013, 11:40PM
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Todd wrote:

Are you trying to be funny?? FYI - Its not even remotely working...

Come on man. How can Quicky's comments not ring true to you.

I've been an Oilers fan since I watched the 88 Oilers Bruins final, and I feel very similarly. I'm now a fragile fan, and may in fact need prozac...

It's going to be a while before I feel completely comfortable investing myself in the hope of Oilers' success. I've been burned too many times, and until I see some evidence of a real swell of upward momentum, I'm probably not going to really love this team.

They're still my team, and we're in therapy trying to fix a broken relationship, but I'm not in love the way I used to be.

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#92 Quinn the Eskimo
October 08 2013, 11:48PM
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Havent read all the comments but I thought Anton Belov has been awful in the first two games. His play in the second period yesterday was particularly sloppy and careless. I'll take Smid in a heartbeat over more minutes for Belov.

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#93 Quicksilver ballet
October 09 2013, 07:24AM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

He's messing with you Quick, you've been around long enough to know when someone just goating you into a fight.

“Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.”

Lol, thanks Wes. You're right, I should know better.

Guess it's just the nurturing part of me that even considers trying to rehabilitate/help some of these savages see the error of their ways.

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#94 Quicksilver ballet
October 09 2013, 07:33AM
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@Darrell

Where in any of this statement did the topic of dreaming come up there sugar plum princess?

Take off your rose colored glasses. There's a very fine line between negativity and being a realist. Your predictable Oiler methamphetamine attitude has grown stale.

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#95 Dman
October 09 2013, 08:14AM
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madjam wrote:

We have 2 points which ties us to 18-29th position . Factor goals against and that makes us 29th . My statement stands as written .

Yeah we are in 28th place. We are also 1 point out of 14th place and 2 points out of 7th. The sky must be falling

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#96 LoweBlow
October 09 2013, 08:49AM
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A few too many conclusions drawn by y'all today.

1. One thing that's for sure is that the team desperately needs to work on turnovers.

2. The Oil don't need to be bigger, they need to play bigger. Initiating contact in the offensive zone rather than waiting for it would be a start.

3. Desperation is lacking. We saw a bit from the boys in the 3rd against NJ but a few lucky bounces don't solve everything. This team needs to be creating more turnovers. Skill is meaningless without hard work. This is collectively the responsibility of coaching, management & the players. EVERYONE.

These are all issues that can be remedied with a change in attitude. Once Gags returns, leave the roster as is. It'll always be a work in progress. Coaching needs to work with these players, truly work with them. Skill is not the issue, it's motivation.

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#97 Reg Dunlop
October 09 2013, 09:18AM
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@LoweBlow

You forgot the most important conclusion. According to the uber-knowledgable djc and Harry(palms?) the beloved Quicksilver is a whiny troll. Hmmm, and here I thought he was just a realistic, long time fan expressing his opinion.

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#98 David S
October 09 2013, 10:32AM
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No wait. TIMbits. TIMBITS!

Yeah.

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#99 LoweBlow
October 09 2013, 10:55AM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

Buying out Horcoff and Hemsky are remarkably poor options.

Let's go through them.

1. Horcoff. three options.

a) keep him. tough cap hit, but low actual dollars. reliable 3C. center depth is good.

b) trade him. in this case without retaining salary and picking up a very young, cheap and interesting D prospect (on our organization's weak side, RD, I might add) who can be buried in the minors if necessary or lost to waivers.

c) buy him out. spend Katz' money (I'm fine with that), and acquire cap space.

All of these have their merits. C, however, is highly contingent on what options are available to use that money.

Because the Oil weren't cap constrained, i.e., they tried to spend that money (on Clarkson), the point is moot. They had the money to spend regardless of Horcoff.

A or B make much more sense in this regard.

2) Hemksy. 3 options:

a) keep him. we aren't in cap trouble and depth (as we've already seen this year) is critical to success. We know more about his value than anyone else.

b) trade him. the most talked about trade this off-season was for Zach Smith, reliable 4C under contract and modest cap hit. That would be a down-grade in talent, but for an actual NHL player addressing position of need. One area of concern is Smith doesn't PK apparently.

For whatever reason, this deal didn't happen. Maybe the Oil didn't offer to eat enough Hemsky cap, maybe the Sens didn't offer to throw in a pick?

c) buy out. see c above.

In this case also, all three have merits. But c again is the weakest option. And again, the Clarkson move shows that the team was ready to spend regardless of Hemsky. If a player actually signed for big money and no one would take Hemsky, only then do you buy him out... still though that looks sub-optimal to me when you can probably find someone willing to take on N. Schultz' contract or buy him out.

Good sir, I'd say you've nailed it. Hemmer could have been bought out, but there was little likeliness of the Oil replacing his saved cap-room with a reasonable player anyway.

I was hoping that Grabo would sign here but alas that isn't what happened.

Hemmer will be pumped, then dumped in a trade pre-deadline. It's the only return possible for a player like this.

He's struggled with injuries, has motivational issues and isn't that excellent in his own zone. His offence is his selling point and hopefully there'll be buyers at the deadline. I wished they did this at last year's deadline.

Buying him out to save on cap room, and lose an NHL player is a last resort, little more.

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#100 nick
October 09 2013, 11:07PM
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The moving of Smid to the third pairing is a joke. Every year he has to prove over and over that he is the Oilers most stable defenceman. Belov is playing good but in no way should be taking Smid spot. Ference does not defend well to small. But he is a decent defenceman that is over rated here.

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