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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#51 zzzzzzzz
November 10 2013, 08:17PM
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deja vu all over again......lots of goals against, softy goal for duby, bad face off %....and i'm sure we'll hear the post game stuff about how we competed and there lots of positives.....lather rinse repeat

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#52 DevoKnows
November 10 2013, 08:18PM
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LOL. "And your 2nd star, -3 for the night, Larsen!!!!!

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#53 Smokey
November 10 2013, 08:21PM
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What a frustrating game. Oilers play ok for portions of the game, but then leave guys open, don't pick up trailers that come in late. Dubby has got no rebound control, and no confidence. And some one tell me why Gagner is taking faceoffs against Toews, and playing more then Arcobello. Eakins is playing the heck outta him and he's not responding. He's not ready to play that much and his conditioning right now is terrible. Larson and Belov don't look good together defensively. Really could use a shut down guy with both of these guys.

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#54 Rama Lama
November 10 2013, 12:51PM
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I'm not totally buying the argument you are laying down here Jason........that being it's totally a heaviness issue with the team.

Look at Colorado, they were worse than the Oilers last year, made no significant player additions ( except for what they drafted) got a new coach ..........and are tearing up the league. Yes they have larger defensemen than we do but presumably they are slower as well.

So why is Colorado doing so well and we are not? Might I suggest the following:

We covet speed way too much.......we are so fast our players are constantly in front of the play and always seem to be skating past the puck.

We do not covet size enough.......should be drafting the best size /skill combination instead of speed/skill combination.

Drafting from the basic principle of back end first........start with goaltending, then defense and finally forwards.

Coaching........I find it incredulous that some how Dallas Eakins and his systems have not come under more scrutiny?? Why are Patrick Roy's systems producing so mightily given the similarities in our player profile? Why were our speciality teams to much better last year ? Our players have gained experience, we have brought in additional skill and grit, but continue to go in reverse??

Management........what's to say here except we have "six rings" and he knows how to win!

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#55 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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#56 Spydyr
November 10 2013, 08:16PM
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Well on a bight note.I went 5 for 5 on my OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION even though it got 8 trashes.

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#57 James
November 10 2013, 08:16PM
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Larsen gets second star? WTF? He was on the ice for 3 goals against. You'd think they'd consider Ebs with his goal and asist or how about all Hawks? LOL

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#58 YFC Prez
November 10 2013, 08:17PM
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I love gagner but whenever there is an important face off he loses it cleanly to the other team. He's been in the league for 6 years now. Will he ever figure out face offs ? I'm loosing faith. Good game from yak and hall. They were flying but another loss. Getting hard to take

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#59 Hauk15
November 10 2013, 08:17PM
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Philip Larsen mine as well play wing. Terrible defensively. But good thing we signed that hulking 5'11 187lbs Ference for the next 3 years and made him captain to "bolster" our defense. F*cking joke.

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#60 Primo
November 10 2013, 08:20PM
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Thank goodness the Oiler management and coaches have guaranteed your young guns they will not be traded.

In Calgary we hold everyone accountable. Don't produce you don't play or your gone!

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#61 Batfink
November 10 2013, 08:25PM
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Jay wrote:

I have tickets to the Dallas game. I'm offering $200 bucks to whoever takes them off my hands

Please stop trying to peddle your crap on here, unless you've already been banned by kijiji for malicious selling of oiler games as hockey games.

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#62 Randaman
November 10 2013, 08:49PM
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Two words; Gagner SUCKS!!

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#63 Jeffff
November 10 2013, 01:30PM
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Bad Goaltending

No #1 pairing D-men

No heavy 2 way center on top 2 lines.

No big wingers top 2 lines

No 4th line.

Worst record in the NHL since the 2005 lockout.

What has Edmonton done with all their picks and players?

8 years I could have done a better job

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#64 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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#65 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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#66 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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#67 Spydyr
November 10 2013, 08:09PM
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Good thing we have that tough guy Yak to send a message.

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#68 Kevin
November 10 2013, 08:20PM
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DevoKnows wrote:

Does it include free parking?

and the paper bag !

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#69 Hockey fan 1976
November 10 2013, 08:23PM
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" lots of positive tonight, I really think we are still in the fight" said every Oilers player after the game. Garbage!!!! -3 and second star? Joke!!

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#70 YFC Prez
November 10 2013, 08:29PM
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@Primo

Beat it flame riff raff. Calgary flames are not a pillar of success and a model of a perfect franchise. It's not looking all that good down there either buddy. Pitts Chicago Detroit Boston are successfull franchises and ones that I would love the oilers to mold into. Not Calgary. Get off you pedestal.

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#71 mackb
November 10 2013, 11:16AM
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GDP: Not an Oilers win.

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#72 rob
November 10 2013, 11:21AM
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Labarbra start= gdp hawks 9 oil 2

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#73 HOFFF
November 10 2013, 12:25PM
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DSF wrote:

An outsider view of the Oilers:

"Craig MacTavish stormed onto the scene.

He declared the Edmonton Oilers weren’t going to take it anymore. He promised to be tough. He would be aggressive. He was ready to lift this team from last place to a playoff spot with the greatest of urgency.

“I’m an impatient guy and I bring that impatience to this situation,” MacTavish said the day he was hired, April 15.

“I think we’re at the stage in terms of the cycle of our hockey club right now that we have to do some bold things.

“We have to expose ourself to some semblance of risk to try to move the team forward in a rapid fashion.”

So, what happened?

Five weeks into the NHL season and already the Oilers are thinking about next year. The Oilers, may in fact, be worse under coach Dallas Eakins and the club is stumbling around in last place in the West.

Where are all these “bold” moves MacTavish declared?

The Oilers sent Ladislav Smid and Olivier Roy down the road to the Calgary Flames for a couple of prospects Friday and signed Ilya Bryzgalov to a one-year deal. With any luck, he’ll play well and be trade bait at the deadline.

No, folks, these aren’t blockbusters by any stretch. An NHL executive noted they are more like “distractions” to make Edmonton fans think moves are being made.

“It’s kind of like throwing a flare in the other direction,” said the executive."

http://www.ottawasun.com/2013/11/09/where-are-all-the-bold-moves-edmonton-oilers-general-manager-craig-mactavish-promised-when-he-took-over

All points we already know and we're discussed. But thanks for the update.

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#74 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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#75 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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#76 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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#77 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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#78 James
November 10 2013, 06:14PM
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Whoever runs the Oilers twitter is a complete goof. "Can of corn! Pop fly! Duby's got it! Puck deflects into the air but #40 snags it with the trapper. Still scoreless late 1st."

What the hell does that even mean, can of corn? *facepalm*

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#79 James
November 10 2013, 09:10PM
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@Alsker

He's actually only signed for 3 years. But yeah, he needs to learn how to backcheck.

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#80 Ari Gold
November 10 2013, 10:06PM
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The lost, again.

They looked better tonight, but they still lost.

Brutal turnovers all over the rink.

Brutal defensive zone coverage. They seem to be getting worse in their own end, honestly.

Another loss.....

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#81 Clarko
November 10 2013, 10:49PM
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outdoorzguy wrote:

Jason Gregor has become the biggest apologist for the Oilers! Even Bob Stauffer will admit there are issues. Start to earn your paycheque and challenge the Oilers and their decisions. This is the problem in Edmonton...nobody will stand up to the team. Reporters refer to players by first name (Rishaug). The media is too comfortable in their role covering this mess. Be a reporter and ask the tough questions. In the last decade only one reporter (John MacKinnon) has had the balls to ask a tough question...and we got the six ring answer!!

Did you even read the article?? It is full of criticism of the Oilers team and its current makeup of players...

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#82 120 stitches
November 10 2013, 12:12PM
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I agree with Jay that it will be interesting to see them play 4 lines tonight that can actually play hockey especially on a back to back. All the good teams have 4 lines that can score ---a primary example being the team we are playing tonight. With the lack of size in our current lineup why not try going with a completely skill, speed lineup and just roll the lines. I would even add Omark to that mix as he reminds me of Ray Whitney when Whitney was trying to get established in the NHL. You will recall Whitney was at the Oiler training camp when he was about Omark's age and Lowe let him go for nothing. Just another example of bad player assessment--as was the case with Glencross, Hejda , Brodziak-- other players we desperately could use right now that were given away.

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#83 A-Mc
November 10 2013, 12:21PM
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Somehow the #oilers show up for Chicago so I'm predicting an Oilers win 4-3.

Playoff hopes are long gone but the season is not lost. If macT can make some moves that clearly benefit the team, the remainder of this season can be used as time to mesh with one another; next season is when the oilers hit the ground running. If macT sits tight, nothing will change and we can expect more of the same.

Prospects won't help us right now. Imo, klefbom and Nurse won't help right now either. We need to adjust the team to be a .500 team with out those two and when they are ready they can bump us into the 90-98pt range to start making the playoffs.

Plz MacT, don't let the smid trade be solely for bryz...plz no...

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#84 Marshall Law
November 10 2013, 12:36PM
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Could they use a different mix up front? Sure, but let's not focus on that until this team decides to ice an NHL-calibre defensive group.

Jeff Petry is a decent NHL d man. However, he probably isn't a top-3 defenceman on a competitive team.

The problem with this team is that they have Petry (and perhaps Belov) along with a bunch of other players who would be a #5-#7 on any other team. Smid, although popular, was no better than a #5. His departure is a loss but not a significant one.

It doesn't matter how many big forwards are thrown into the mix, until this team has a group of d men that can be considered to be on par with an average NHL team, it won't be successful.

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#85 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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#86 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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#87 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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#88 Harlie
November 10 2013, 07:28PM
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RexHolez wrote:

I was gonna watch this game, but decided that pulling out my pubes 1 at a time with tweezers sounds more entertaining

Judging by the maturity of your post you'll be tuning in by the end of the first shift.

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#89 Spydyr
November 10 2013, 07:56PM
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Gagner had a real good view on a couple Hawks goals tonight. Hey Gagner here is something my Peewee coach taught me.As a centre in your own end either help out the d-man in the corner or take the open man in front.Your welcome.

Oh i just checked.He is also 28% on the dot tonight.

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#90 Spydyr
November 10 2013, 08:11PM
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Yak sparks the team!!!

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#91 James
November 10 2013, 08:20PM
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Who are they going to get for the final draw, Nuge? He was even worse on the dot tonight. Gordon was bad too. Acro would have been the best bet at 45%

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#92 Spydyr
November 10 2013, 08:29PM
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Anyone up for a dead pool?When will the Oilers be mathematically eliminated from the playoffs?

I'll take the Ides of March. March 15th.

With thirteen games left in the season.

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#93 Smokey
November 10 2013, 08:30PM
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Dan 1919 wrote:

AND THE DIFFERENCE IN THE GAME IS... Devan Dubnyk let’s a weak wrist shot in from the point. Wow can I not wait for Bryz.

I'll put ten bucks on Bryz letting goals in from the slot like Dubby, he did all last season. Bryz, I think will be better with his rebound control and ability stop guys in tight, and we will see less of the floaters.

I like Philip Larson a ton offensively, but man he's a train wreck in his own zone, and him and Belov are brutal together. I'm still trying to figure out why we gave away Smid, cause with this defence, Bryz is going to have some good one liners after a few games.

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#94 Woodguy
November 10 2013, 12:03PM
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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.

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#95 Rama Lama
November 10 2013, 01:22PM
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@bazmagoo

AMEN Brother!

Too bad he has been given a free ride from all the professional writers. I know no one wants a coaching change.......me included, but come on, exactly how many games do we need to lose before people figure out the players have tuned out DE?

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#96 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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#97 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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#98 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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#99 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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