GDB 19.0: SURVIVAL

Jason Gregor
November 10 2013 11:14AM

I didn't pick the Oilers to make the playoffs this season, had them 10th, but I don't think anyone expected them to start the season this poorly; 4-12-2 in their first 18 games and tonight a date with the defending Stanley Cup Champions.

The Oilers have to play like they did in Tampa Bay or they could easily get blown away in the Windy City.

We could break down the stats. Goals for, goals against, PP, PK or any other stat, but we all know that won't be very flattering for the Oilers.

It would be easy to pile on the Oilers right now, and I've noticed many have. Every goal that goes in is either a major breakdown or bad goaltending. The other team is also paid to play and they are capable of making nice plays. Even if the Oilers were 12-4-2 they'd still be allowing goals.

Hockey is about mistakes, they will happen, but the key is trying to force the opposition to make more. We know that hasn't happened often enough, but that shouldn't be a surprise.

The Oilers aren't built to win more games than they lose. They just aren't.

Yesterday I noticed a debate raging about the Oilers depth, and some were suggesting the Oilers finally have lots of depth in their-top nine. Are they better than they used to be in that department? Yes, but they are a far cry from having lots of proven NHL depth. I'm sorry, but that is true.

The reality is the Oilers won't win consistently until the make up of their top-nine is changed. I and many others have written or said this for the past few years. The Oilers aren't heavy enough, don't have enough grit and they don't have enough consistent skill in their top-nine.

That isn't the player's fault. You can't expect them to suddenly become heavier, or more physical. The one thing they can control is their ability to make smart plays. They need to do that more frequently, but even then I'd only see them as a .500 or so team.

Some people believe the Oilers don't really know what they have in their top-nine because they haven't had all of them healthy at the same time. It is true the forwards are finally healthy, but I defy anyone to tell me why the Oilers don't know what they have up front.

We know what type of player Taylor Hall is. He is their most dominant forward.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is still developing his overall game, but he's shown signs of what he can be.

We could describe every player's strength and weaknesses; we've seen them play enough. Marc Arcobello is the only surprise, and thus far he's been a pleasant one. Nail Yakupov has only played 60+ games, but we know where he needs to improve and what skills make him dangerous.

I don't need to see 20 games with a healthy group of forwards to know what the Oilers have. They will show great skill, good speed and creativity, but this team isn't going to win ugly games. They aren't going to overpower you down low. They won't consistently score goals from on top of the crease. They don't have that mixture, and the Oilers need to accept the weaknesses of the group as a whole, and find ways to fix it.

It doesn't mean they don't have good individual players, they do, but collectively as a group this team isn't going to succeed.

The same can be said for their defence.

They don't have any big, physical defencemen. Philadelphia dominated them down low yesterday, strictly by getting good body position. Even if Ladislav Smid was still on the team, the Flyers would have had success. Andrew Ference is now their most physical D-man, and it is unfair to expect him to lead the team in that department. He will battle guys his size, and guys bigger, but the Oilers need some heavy D-man who can stop teams from cycling down low.

WHAT NOW...

 There will be no magical fix for the Oilers. The players have to play smarter and more consistent, and Craig MacTavish has to look for trades that will help balance his lineup; the Oilers need more than just a top-pair D-man.

Until MacTavish tweaks his roster, the leaders need to keep the players unified. It won't be easy, but they owe it to themselves and the fans to compete every shift.

The other teams aren't going to go easy on the Oilers, in fact right now they might look at the Oilers as "point night." After the Detroit loss, Smid said, "Guys think it can't get worse, well it can," and he was correct. It is easy to let negativity overwhelm you. It happens for all of us, and in the case of the Oilers it will be extremely difficult to stay positive and upbeat, but they have to, or the final 64 games might be just as painful, or worse, than the first 18.

LINEUP...

Hall-Gagner-Hemsky
Perron-RNH-Eberle
Smyth-Arcobello-Yakupov
Joensuu-Gordon-Jones

It is fair to suggest that Eakins could stick with the same lines for a few games, and hope they find some chemistry. Switching lines often hasn't helped them win. Every NHL coach switches things up when his team is losing, but maybe Eakins should buck that trend and stick with some combinations to see what happens. I'm not sure there is a right answer at this point, but he will keep his top two lines the same to start the game.

Luke Gazdic is out with an injured shoulder.

The same six D-men will play and Devan Dubnyk starts.

QUICK HITS...

  • My wife is the best. She suggested I use Alice Eve in Oilersnation. I'd never seen Alice before, but I would agree.
     
  • The Oilers are said to be one of the leading teams in terms of using analytics, yet they continue to lose and they are one of the softest teams in the league. Is it just a coincidence, or have they gone too far into looking at statistics rather than on-ice play? Using analytics as another tool is smart, but it leads me to some questions.

    Are the Oilers using them properly?
    Are they relying on them too much?
    Is it too early to see the benefits from them?
    Are they a non-factor, and the issues are mainly with scouting?

    I don't know the answers, but it is something worth looking at. They weren't very good before they started using analytics, so maybe that is the bigger problem. When a team is in the midst of an eight-year losing streak they need to look at every aspect of their organization and try to improve it.
     
  • Speaking of analytics, I'm curious why when Ryan Jones had a bad Corsi rating he was getting ripped, yet now that he is even at Corsi, has two goals in ten games and is +3 no one is suggesting he stay in the lineup?
     
  • Here is a great story on Brendan Shanahan. Shanahan will go into the Hockey Hall of Fame tomorrow, but it will be bittersweet because of his father's battle with Alzheimers. Shanahan was one of my favourite players, and he's very deserving of us his induction into the HHOF.
     
  • Taylor Hall returned from injury with a new stick, and the half-orange shaft matches the Oilers colours. He has two goals in two games, and he's abandoned the toe drag. I'm sure he will bring it back at some point, but he's focusing on beating guys with his speed. He has 60 points in his last 56 games.
     
  • I usually don't rip on the officials, because they have an extremely tough job and they get it right more than they get it wrong, but that 5 minute major to Anton Belov yesterday was the worst call of the season. He never hit Giroux in the head, so how does he get a match penalty? They worst part was they met for three minutes to come up with that decision.

    You can't reverse the call, I understand that, but at least come out after the game, or today, and admit you made a mistake. MLB admitted Angel Hernandez blew a call in May, and Jim Joyce earned a lot of respect when he came out and admitted he blew the call at first base that ruined Armando Gallaraga's perfect game.

    The Flyers never scored on the match penalty, although it did lead to a weak make up call, and a subsequent four-on-four where Giroux scored, but fans deserve hearing someone from the NHL admit it was a horrendous call.
     
  • If the Oilers deal Ales Hemsky, which seems likely, I hope it isn't just for prospects. You won't improve as an organization if you continually ship out proven NHL players for maybes. Dealing Smid for prospects only made sense if they had another trade happening and needed to clear cap space. MacTavish said he felt they had depth and could move Smid, but they don't have size right now. Klefbom and Nurse will add size when they make the team, but today's lineup is smaller without Smid.
     
  • A reminder to watch the Nation's own Jason Strudwick tonight on Battle of the Blades. If you don't watch it, please vote for him. If Struds wins, the Inner City Children's Program will get $50,000. That will make a major difference for many young kids in Edmonton. You can vote here later tonight or tomorrow.

TONIGHT....

GAME DAY PREDICTION:  The Oilers have played the Hawks tough the past few seasons, but I don't see a miracle happening tonight. Hawks win 5-3.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Hall picks up two points. Hall has 15 points in 10 career games vs. the Hawks.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The comment section is filled with positive, up beat comments. Fans decide to pull a George Costanza, and write the opposite of what they feel. Everything in Costanza's life was going wrong....

"Why did it all turn out like this for me? I had so much promise. I was personable. I was bright. Oh, maybe not academically speaking, but I was perceptive. I always know when someone's uncomfortable at a party. It all became very clear to me sitting out there today, that every decision I've ever made in my entire life has been wrong. My life is the complete opposite of everything I want it to be. Every instinct I have in every aspect of life, be it something to wear, something to eat... It's often wrong."

After that riveting speech George decides to do the opposite of everything that is normal for him. Up is down, down is up....Later in the show Costanza is rewarded...

"A job with the New York Yankees! This has been the dream of my life ever since I was a child, and it's all happening because I'm completely ignoring every urge towards common sense and good judgement I've ever had. This is no longer just some crazy notion, Elaine, Jerry. This is my religion."  

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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#52 bazmagoo
November 10 2013, 01:46PM
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@Jason Gregor

I didn't mention anything about Colorado, that was Rama Lama. I'm basing my opinion on watching the Oilers play. The proof is in the pudding, and so far the results have been pathetic.

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#53 Hemmercules
November 10 2013, 01:47PM
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The oilers are the best franchise in the NHL. Their management is second to none. Oilers dominate tonight, win 8-2 and proceed to run on a winning streak like no one has ever seen.

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#54 The Big Dummy
November 10 2013, 01:48PM
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Gordon has been our best C this year. He's the only one to prove that he's an NHL calibre player. He wins faceoffs, is defensibly responsible, and is on his way to a career year. I would give him time in the top 6. Gagner doesn't deserve to be there based on his play the last few games.

Every single game I've watched this year I've noticed the Oilers will have spurts when they just don't skate. Gregor tweeted about how this team doesn't quit (besides the Wings game), but they consistently don't compete for a full 60 minutes. Great start to the game in Philly till the second half of the 1st where we felt we didnt have to move our feet... Bam! 2-0 Philly and the Oilers could never recover. If we just play hard for the whole game, we are bound to find more positives.

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#55 bazmagoo
November 10 2013, 01:48PM
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@Jason Gregor

What are you basing your faith in Eakins on?

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#56 oilbaron
November 10 2013, 01:52PM
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Is Jujhar Khaira hurt anyone know??

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#57 A-Mc
November 10 2013, 01:55PM
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@bazmagoo

I've seen a difference in the team for the better. I think the team is playing harder and is doing some good things. That being said, special teams have suffered since the Eakins hiring but already they are getting better again; it just took some time for players to adjust.

Personally I think the oilers are worse this year based on a total goaltending fail. The rest of the team makes mistakes for sure but they did that last year as well. This year, goaltending has failed and that's why we are 4-12-2 instead of 6-10-2 or 7-9-2 like we would have been last year.

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#58 Rama Lama
November 10 2013, 01:56PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

@bazmagoo

They have killed off 17 of last 18 PPs...The players are finally starting to understand the system.

You two want to change it again?

Rama says players have tuned a coach out after 18 games and you think the coach is the issue???

Seriously. First of all they haven't tuned him out, and even if they had then I'd want to trade all the players. You don't tune out your coach.

Any system can work. You have to PLAY the system. Stop blaming coach. It is old. It has been proven that coaches haven't been issue in Edmonton.

The dumbest thing MacTavish could do is fire the coach and let the players believe once again that they aren't the issue. It is on the players to play smarter. Don't turn the puck over. Don't check the wrong guy.

Eakins hasn't invited a new system that no one has ever seen before. The players just need to be better. Starting with the goalie.

I really and I mean really, what to believe what you are saying in respect to coaching not being an issue.

Firstly, I find it hard to believe that our players all played for teams that never taught defense......just look at RNH under Sutter. Renny and Krueger both taught Defense.

Secondly, why are all our players (old and new) struggling from not knowing where to be and how to play? I know that we are young but we have a lot of veterans that are also confused playing out of position.

Thirdly, there is more to coaching than systems........even if you don't buy the argument of systems being a factor, just maybe his other coaching responsibilities ( line combinations, line march-ups, bench managment, player management) is causing some issues.

Gregor, simply asking the players to play better, is not working. I'm not against making changes on players ( only RNH & Hall should be kept) everyone else can be traded in my opinion.

Bold need to be Bold!

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#59 Cynic
November 10 2013, 01:58PM
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The Oilers are a perennial contender, run by solid hockey men, who accept nothing less than Cup contention every season. The players are all 200-ft players who will one day be enshrined in the HHOF. The owner is a benevolent soul, who not only paid for his own arena, but lives in Edmonton and pays property taxes. The fans are balanced, reasonable, and well-informed about their own team, as well as the rest of the NHL. I love the Oilers.

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#60 DSF
November 10 2013, 01:58PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Explain your opinion that Roy is coaching a great system. What is that based on? His players are playing hard, no doubt, and he's getting off the charts goaltending. I'd say that is more important than his system.He has excellent depth at centre as well. That is key.

I understand wanting MacTavish to do something, but making a move just for the sake of making a move, won't improve them. Firing the coach means they are starting over again. They need to stop doing that. Try to let the players understand a system and play it for two or three years. Of course, the players need to be more competitive on a shift-by-basis as well.

And, of course, the Oilers would also need to add great goaltending and excellent depth at centre to be in that conversation.

While I agree that changing the coach at this point would be counter-productive, the way the team has been built with a bunch of scoring wingers and precious little else needs a major overhaul.

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#61 Alsker
November 10 2013, 01:59PM
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Hemmercules wrote:

The oilers are the best franchise in the NHL. Their management is second to none. Oilers dominate tonight, win 8-2 and proceed to run on a winning streak like no one has ever seen.

Damn I wish you'd share. Love that look on Fry's face.

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#62 Rod from Viking
November 10 2013, 02:09PM
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joshgladu wrote:

fyi the big guys for the kings are good hockey players. they arent just big guys theyre legit skilled at hockey. oilers don't even have enough good players who are average sized yet

They also have the right coach for that team of blue collar players, Sutter would not do well with this team of prima donna's.

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#63 J.P Michaels
November 10 2013, 02:09PM
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If they keep playing like they did they don't score 3 goals tonight. The reason is simple..... they don't shoot the Puck. They just move the Puck back n' forth.

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#64 andrewmk20
November 10 2013, 02:15PM
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@Jason Gregor

Agreed on that. I've long felt the Oilers drafted the better players in recent drafts but the Avalanche has drafted the better team.

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#65 6 ring circus
November 10 2013, 02:16PM
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After watching this gong show for 8 seasons, Katz continues to let Kevin Lowe be the president of hockey operations.What is Kevin Lowe's record in the past 8 years? Does he not get a performance review,why does he continue to get a free pass, we have had 5 head coaches,1 general manager and 3 first over all picks all under the time he has been the President of hockey operations and we still cant get out of the NHL basement,we cannot attract top end free agents, because they want to play for a winner and we are no were near that,we cannot properly develop the players we have and the players that we do have, play similar styles and are small physically.Yet we are told to be patient, give it time and continue to get the same results,there had to be a plan or system in place on the type of team this was to become, that has obviously failed, its time whoever was in charge (Kevin Lowe) should be fired,a top NHL manager with experience should be brought in from a winning organization to turn this around, only then will Oiler's fans get the results and team that they deserve to watch and support.Is that asking to much?

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#66 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
November 10 2013, 02:18PM
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Analytic are used by most incorrectly (especially bloggers) The only true way to judge talent is with your own eye and if you cant pick out talent and proper play with your own eye then you just won't suceed in hockey as well. The Oilers procve it. MacT must be using analytics exclusively or there is no way he would sign bryz or hire a head coach over one phone conversation.

Let us face it the oiler organization is the laughing stock of professional sport in North America. They spend near the cap and get no results that justify it. They talk and talk and talk but never show quality. Every discussion we have about players or systems or coaches is irrelevent when management is just not good enough to be at an NHL level.

I have no intention of watching another game until Katz proves that his team is worth my time and i suggest my oiler fan brothers and sisters do the same to send the message.

BOYCOTT all Oiler merchandise and all concessions. Katz is only smart enough to understand profit so it is time to send him a message he can understand in Vancouver.

Sorry had to rant...again

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#67 Old School G
November 10 2013, 02:27PM
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I feel that when Joensuu and Pitlick are both back and healthy we will have some good functional size in the Top 9. Joensuu needs to stay healthy and find some rhythm. What's the latest on Pitlick?

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#68 PutzStew
November 10 2013, 02:27PM
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Brack wrote:

"The Oilers are said to be one of the leading teams in terms of using analytics, yet they continue to lose and they are one of the softest teams in the league." Seems pretty clear, advance stats make you soft.

LOL. That what I was thinking. A team is made up of Lowetides, Willis, Staples, and Co. No wonder they are a bunch of sissies. (:

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#69 Spoils
November 10 2013, 02:28PM
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oh heck, here's a rant:

The whole Lowe has 6 rings thing doesn't work for me. He has player rings - different skill set... I guess he was a part of Game 7 SCF and only a freak injury to Rolly stopped us...

And, I want to like MacT. Apparently he was key to bringing in Pronger.

Still, if I was Katz I would fire them all right now.

Rip it off quick. Bring in a whole new management team - let them decide if they want Eakins. Someone who has actually won a non-player SC before.

Do it really nicely - like have a special ceremony where we put up a statue of that famous picture where they all piled together at center ice and started the post stanley win team pic tradition. Heck they innovated upon winning! maybe at the new arena. And name the streets after them - including Lowe.

But still fire all ex-oilers in management. Start from scratch, the sooner the better. Make the bold moves now and work out the kinks in a lost year as opposed to a new season.

The reason is with no additional information it is safest to bet AGAINST Cronyism, nepotism, ineptitism...

Fact is the old boys club (who I will love forever) have thrown up all over themselves and are 4-12-2.

Business is business and this is damn serious business. this is the Oilers.

They should hate losing so much they should want to quit at this point.

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#70 clyde
November 10 2013, 02:37PM
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Woodguy wrote:

The Oilers are said to be one of the leading teams in terms of using analytics

No they're not.

They can best be described as "dabbling"

They don't even have an analytics department yet.

Dan Haight's a pretty bright guy, but he's just consulting and not on staff full time.

Also, the fruits of proper use of analytics take time as you use them mostly to make roster decisions.

Teams most heavily using them to my knowledge (know people who work/have done work for the teams) are San Jose, Chicago, Boston.

Iginla has had very poor numbers as far as these advanced stats go over the past few years. Yet, a team apparently using them to help develop their roster(Boston) signed him?

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#71 PutzStew
November 10 2013, 02:40PM
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Peter wrote:

Elliott Friedman has mentioned many times the Oilers do lots of analytics. Is he mistaken?

Must be because no one knows anything about hockey in Edmonton, but Edmonton fans. It's because they are so much smarter then everyone else.

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#72 PutzStew
November 10 2013, 02:44PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Look at COL goalies numbers and compare them to Edmonton. A goalie makes any defensive system look better.

Also do you know that Colorado gives up almost 2 shots more per game than Edmonton. The "system" argument is nice to say, but has little truth to it. Colorado doesn't play spectacular defence.

Giguere has a .970 SV% in five games. Varlamov is .933. And their GAA is 2.10 for Varlamov and 1.00 for Giguere.

You believe those are sustainable numbers? Roy hasn't put in this magical system. His goalies are playing unreal.

Also look at Col top-nine.

They had Downie until moved him for Talbot. They have Parenteau, bigger body. They have Landeskog. They have Jamie McGinn.

They have Paul Stastny who has become a solid two-way centre.

They have Ryan O'Reilly who is very good two-way player.

Their mixture of players is much different than Edmonton.

I think you forgot one main thing.

Team Work.

Those guys are playing for each other (Including Sakic and Roy). The Oilers aren't playing for anyone right now. They are just collecting a paycheck.

Workers tend to be very useless when they are just collecting a pay check.

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#73 PutzStew
November 10 2013, 02:46PM
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Ray wrote:

Jason....why is gags playing first line centre??????arcobello has deserved to play there and also is a better playmaker . Gags should be at the most 3rd line!!!!l. He missed a lot of games and should work himself into a position where he deserves to play on top line. Why do the oilers do this? Wasn't Eakins the one who said " we are not going to play players based on salary"?

Why is Lowe the President?

Why is MacT the Gm?

Why is Smith and Bucky assistant coaches?

Why is Smyth still playing?

Why is Howson back in Edmonton?

Is it coming clear yet?

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#74 Oiler Al
November 10 2013, 02:47PM
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The results will never change until the players decide they will play 200 fg. hockey, in other words in all three zones. Hall, Eberle, and most of all Hemsky and Gagner, who are suppose to be vet leaders net to be benched if they dont play two way hockey. This has even lead to them not playing that well in the O zone to top things off. There needs to be a mentality check at the door for these guys... forget you Jr. prss clips and the size of your paycheck, roll up your sleeves and start playing like men instead of boys from the Jr. league.

Nine new coaches wont change anything if the players dont want to change. Its not the systems its whats in the heads of these guys.

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#76 Fresh Mess
November 10 2013, 02:52PM
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OilClog wrote:

Everyone remembers Chicago beating all these "heavy" teams for another cup last season too.. Just saying

....and who won the two cups previous to that?

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#77 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
November 10 2013, 02:53PM
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YYYESSSSS!

I'm so confident about this evenings outcome, i'll just get this over with now.

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#78 Fresh Mess
November 10 2013, 02:56PM
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@Woodguy

Isn't it below you and the other self-styled oilogosphere intelligentsia to post here?

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#80 PutzStew
November 10 2013, 02:58PM
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reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan) wrote:

Analytic are used by most incorrectly (especially bloggers) The only true way to judge talent is with your own eye and if you cant pick out talent and proper play with your own eye then you just won't suceed in hockey as well. The Oilers procve it. MacT must be using analytics exclusively or there is no way he would sign bryz or hire a head coach over one phone conversation.

Let us face it the oiler organization is the laughing stock of professional sport in North America. They spend near the cap and get no results that justify it. They talk and talk and talk but never show quality. Every discussion we have about players or systems or coaches is irrelevent when management is just not good enough to be at an NHL level.

I have no intention of watching another game until Katz proves that his team is worth my time and i suggest my oiler fan brothers and sisters do the same to send the message.

BOYCOTT all Oiler merchandise and all concessions. Katz is only smart enough to understand profit so it is time to send him a message he can understand in Vancouver.

Sorry had to rant...again

The first part of of you post made me think of MacT sitting in his offices, Head in his hands, asking himself "What would Brad Pitt do?"

Had to share.

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#81 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
November 10 2013, 03:02PM
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@PutzStew

Thanks Putz, I haven't had a chuckle like this all weekend.

Well played sir.

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#82 Dyckster
November 10 2013, 03:09PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Explain your opinion that Roy is coaching a great system. What is that based on? His players are playing hard, no doubt, and he's getting off the charts goaltending. I'd say that is more important than his system.He has excellent depth at centre as well. That is key.

I understand wanting MacTavish to do something, but making a move just for the sake of making a move, won't improve them. Firing the coach means they are starting over again. They need to stop doing that. Try to let the players understand a system and play it for two or three years. Of course, the players need to be more competitive on a shift-by-basis as well.

Just a thought, I know Roy is getting unreal goaltending, but there is the possibility his system is forcing the shots from non-dangerous areas thus inflating the team's save %. We may not be giving Colorado's coaching enough credit.

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#83 kale
November 10 2013, 03:15PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Coaches aren't miracle workers. I don't recall a coach who was considered great not having great players.

It is 18 games. To suggest Eakins is awful based on is premature.

This team isn't built to win right now. Also if they had decent goaltending we all agree they'd be one or two games under .500 which would be about right for the talent they have.

True coaches are not miracle workers but I really do not get the logic that says that since we have had 5 coaches the coaching is not the problem. That is nonsensical. Hypothetically you put in five AHL goalies all who collectively have a 6 GA average, do you then say the goal tending is not the problem because we have put five goalies in and they all achieve the same results? When Eakins on home ice refuses to properly match lines because he believes his best should play against the other teams best and emass a minus 4, the coaching is a problem. He directly influences the teams chance of success. Eakins says they have to learn to play against the best unless they show they cant. At what point do they show they cant, when they are minus 3? minus 4? minus 5?

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#84 Johnnydapunk
November 10 2013, 03:16PM
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I think in a weird way the Oil are almost a "victim" of their terrible playing. I mean yeah they had 3 number one picks in a row but the problem with that is you pick the highest scoring player (essentially give or take) that is available for the draft year, these players were the stars of their respective teams, and players that are needed to make a team well (character players, big hitters, even goalies) were passed up and if they picked up a different type of player instead of the stars of the year, everyone would have eaten them alive.

If you look at all star teams, they are offensive heavy, with little structure and even less defending. That's what the Oil currently have ( of course all the players aren't all stars but you get the gist of what I'm saying)

I think the solution is to slowly get the balance of players back to a team that wins.

The Oil needs more Hunters, Lumleys, and weird to say it, MacTavishes, like grinders and plugs.

I don't think MacT is doing that terrible of a job in his first year back, there are aspects of the Oil that were addressed (face offs) and stuff that I think he tried to do and failed so far (goaltending) but I never had any expectations so I'm not overtly worked up.

Though 6Rings bites my ass like there is no tomorrow and I will be happy to see that smug muppet gone.

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#85 R-DAWG
November 10 2013, 03:27PM
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I think Dubnyk will stand on his head tonight...7-2 Hawks!

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#86 Woodguy
November 10 2013, 03:30PM
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clyde wrote:

Iginla has had very poor numbers as far as these advanced stats go over the past few years. Yet, a team apparently using them to help develop their roster(Boston) signed him?

In which way did Iginla look poor?

What exactly was BOS's criteria?

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#89 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
November 10 2013, 03:44PM
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Gonna take a positive tack this time. In 8 years when we make the playoffs after rebuilding the rebuild hat was spurred on by a rebuild. You will all see the genius that is Lowe.

The best part is how the media has been dead on about the Oilers like spec telling us last year that Dubnyk was definitely the main man between the pipes. Bloggers telling us that when they start to do well in the stat categories (outside of wins and loses) that this team will have arrived.

...Looks like I picked the wrong decade to stop sniffing glue

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#90 TheSeer
November 10 2013, 03:51PM
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4-13-2

Book it. It ain't getting better Kids.

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#91 MessyEH!
November 10 2013, 03:58PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Great question. Eakins suggested Gagner's play last year earned him the benefit of the doubt. He wants to give Gagner some time to get back in game shape/speed.

Many other teams do give guys benefit of the doubt. If Gagner is still struggling in a few games then Eakins has no choice but to make a move. If he doesn't, then he will be contradicting himself as you pointed out.

Macrobello was playing so well before Gags came back. Was a superior center by eye and stats. Now Sammy Snow pants is back and has taken Macrobello's position. Where is the accountability in that?

I feel Gagner is exposed a lot less when on the wing. His FO% stinks. His Defensive work needs more work (after 7 years this guy may never get it)

It is a real damn shame.

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#92 Jzed
November 10 2013, 04:18PM
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I still think patience is a virtue. That being said, who low bridged Pitlick in Phoenix? I feel rage needs to be expressed by the team, a bath of blood to bond this group forever. Instruct your team to throw low hits, all game long. Especially against Phoenix, but for now, against everyone you play. Clear the bench, become men and make all the other teams hate us. Get Eakins to threaten the opposing coach and scream donut jabs at the refs as the crowd throws beer on them.... Whew, almost as good as a good BM. Go Oilers

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#93 madjam
November 10 2013, 04:58PM
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Oilers get it together tonite and spank Hawks by a score of 8-3 . Team proclaims now we go home , and start piling up the wins playing in our own conference whom they are familiar with and confident they can beat. Katz so happy he offers all the coaches and management another /additional 2 year contract for their hard work and loyalty . The dream is alive ? They have been in the sewer so long , you have to wonder if things don't pick up they might commit sewercide .

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#94 Jerod
November 10 2013, 05:00PM
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Jason,

have you read this article today?

"Strategy to build a winner"

http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=690466&navid=nhl:topheads

I'm shocked they never mention 6 rings Kevin Lowe.

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#95 Jed
November 10 2013, 05:03PM
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Jerod wrote:

Jason,

have you read this article today?

"Strategy to build a winner"

http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=690466&navid=nhl:topheads

I'm shocked they never mention 6 rings Kevin Lowe.

Kevin Lowe is mentioned all over the place in the next article.

"Strategy to build a loser "

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#96 Cold Hard Truth
November 10 2013, 05:06PM
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MacTavish and Lowe are starting to find that the nostalgia isn't what it use to be.

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#97 Spydyr
November 10 2013, 05:09PM
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R-DAWG wrote:

I think Dubnyk will stand on his head tonight...7-2 Hawks!

Great line but I have to ask.By standing on his head do you mean only two weak goals tonight?

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#98 Sammy D
November 10 2013, 05:22PM
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Hemsky is a late scratch. Trade coming?

Edit -

Guess you can't trust the Oilers official twitter account. He is in

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#99 Johnnydapunk
November 10 2013, 05:28PM
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I will add this small and "rearranging the deck chairs " point that when Bryzgalov Does play for the Oil, if he cracks out and this season uses his all brown Vaughn setup he had last year for the Flyers' outdoor game he watched, he will instantly have my fan approval as that gear looked amazing :-))

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#100 Lofty
November 10 2013, 05:32PM
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Sammy D wrote:

Hemsky is a late scratch. Trade coming?

Edit -

Guess you can't trust the Oilers official twitter account. He is in

No, this is his mid-season injury that makes him un-trade-able for the rest of the season.

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