THE BEATINGS WILL CONTINUE UNTIL MORALE IMPROVES

Lowetide
November 11 2013 09:41AM

The Edmonton Oilers are in a bad spot now, and with a 4-13-2 record to start the season you would be reading some 'fire the coach' articles by now if this were any other franchise. The thing is, they've done that already, seemingly every summer since 2009. I guess they could fire a coach in-season, but I don't think that is going to happen. The alternative? A wild and crazy ride.

Do you remember the famous line uttered by every GM who ever fired a coach? It goes "well, you can't fire all 23 players" and is followed by knowing nods from all gathered for the media conference. I think we're about the see the reverse, kind of a "well, you can't fire 23 coaches" plan.

It started with Ladislav Smid. Dallas Eakins didn't give him a lot of time on the Smid-Petry tandem and honestly Smid's skill set doesn't really fit the Eakins template (get puck, move puck, rinse, repeat) for puck handling. The Oilers sent away Smid partly for cap savings into the next seasons, and that may be the case with more players as the MacT-Eakins tandem makes more final decisions on who can and cannot handle the Eakins way.

Sam Gagner may be in some peril as a center in this system. It's early, and he's coming back from injury, but he's been exposed on this road trip by eye and by math--he's not in good positions, doesn't win enough battles and when he's not helping offensively 89 doesn't do enough without the puck to warrant top line minutes.

Dallas Eakins is the first coach in forever Edmonton has employed to deliver results without worrying too much about talent development. Eakins has to nurse Yakupov a little, but other than that it's a results oriented business and those who can't or won't will be shot out of a cannon to their new home.

Bottom line: Dallas Eakins has a right to ask each player on the ice to be defensively responsible. We've been talking about systems but these aren't new ideas brought from Mars, these are defensive tactics that require a player to adjust to the situation and mark his man. The results so far show some players have been able to adjust and flourish despite some stumbles, and others appear lost. Gagner has played far fewer games than the others, so there may be a sense that he can recover over time--however, at some point he's going to pay for indifference or inability with lost playing time, a change in position, or a ticket out of town.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

It began with Belov replacing Smid on the top 4, and resulted in Smid being sent away. Next step: Mark Arcobello at center, Gagner to the wing. The Edmonton Oilers have lost the season already and that is a horrible reality. The next logical step is to refine the roster to better reflect Dallas Eakins, culling those who don't fit and adding those who are a better match.

Stay close to your internet, this is going to get choppy.

C2a6955161684b5e3189319acfa5ebe4
Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on TSN 1260.
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#51 Spydyr
November 11 2013, 02:05PM
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Smokey wrote:

I know fully Perron is not in the conversation as for Team Canada, nor am I saying he should be.

If you had to take a player from the Oilers to be on Team Canada, he is the guy. The guy is our best forward this year. 12 points in 15 games, correct me if I am wrong. Only guy in the grill of the opposition. Defensively good, battles and competes. Its like he still has Hitchcock yelling at him.

It seems Eberle is floating more often then not it seems.

Why would you take a player from the second last team in the NHL unless he was having a phenomenal year?

Too bad Hitchcock isn't yelling at the Oilers kids.

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#52 Spydyr
November 11 2013, 10:31AM
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Woogie63 wrote:

Marc Crawford Paul Maurice Larry Robinson Peter Laviolette Jacquie Lemaire

Are all coaches who have won or played in the Stanley Cup final in the "recent" years. Could one of these guys help the Oilers in some way?

Mt dream team and remember it is a dream:

Scotty Bowman in Lowe's spot.

Lou Lamoriello in MacT's spot.

Mike Babcock in Eakin's spot

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#53 vetinari
November 11 2013, 11:17AM
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The season's a write off and we're back to 2010. We're also going to tread water until the trade deadline before we can make any more significant changes to our roster but the value of our players is at an all time low so getting anything meaningful back, other than draft picks, is going to be next to impossible unless we are willing to part with one of the kids.

The next 60+ games can be summarized by borrowing a line from "Whose Line is it Anyways":

"Welcome to the Oilers... where the standings don't count and the points don't matter..."

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#54 rickthebear
November 11 2013, 07:15PM
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Play Smarter!

Eakin's, " we need to apply 2 man pressure on the guy with the puck. overload one portion of the zone." Oiler player, " Coach? Shouldn't we cover the guy in front of the net." Eakin, "you do not understand the system." Smid, "I understand it Sucks!"

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#55 LoweBlow
November 11 2013, 10:26AM
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Woogie63 wrote:

Marc Crawford Paul Maurice Larry Robinson Peter Laviolette Jacquie Lemaire

Are all coaches who have won or played in the Stanley Cup final in the "recent" years. Could one of these guys help the Oilers in some way?

I like the idea of Crawford. He coached a very talented team to the cup (Aves in 96). I think he also did a good job with the Nucks in the mid 2000s with a lineup that had massive holes (goaltending, bottom 6 and D).

Lemaire has retired from coaching but it'd certainly be interesting to see a complete change in style. The Oilers playing vicious, responsible D. I'd appreciate it.

I honestly wanted them to grab Hitchcock when he came on the market. Yes I said it! Hitchcock to Etown!

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#56 rubbertrout
November 11 2013, 10:35AM
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Woogie63 wrote:

Marc Crawford Paul Maurice Larry Robinson Peter Laviolette Jacquie Lemaire

Are all coaches who have won or played in the Stanley Cup final in the "recent" years. Could one of these guys help the Oilers in some way?

If it isn't Laviolette or Robinson don't even entertain the notion.

Even still, I've had enough of blaming the coaches for the players' inability to play the system. Mac-T has his guy. It is Eakins for the foreseeable future so buckle up and hope the good times are still coming around the corner.

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#57 Rheal1
November 11 2013, 10:44AM
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Half the roster is AHL caliber at best

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#58 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
November 11 2013, 11:13AM
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michael wrote:

Ganger IMO should be playing 3rd line wing until he is up to speed. Physically and mentally. Arcobello have show he can produce as a 2cd line center. Small window of games. But Arco sure did let the play die on his stick. And his FO numbers were a step up on Gagners. Till we get McDadvid....

I wish I could say Gagner is the new Horcoff...but I can't ....Horcoff had talent , could win a face off, played a two way game, and had a little grit.

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#59 DSF
November 11 2013, 12:26PM
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Lawndemon wrote:

This is %100 MacT getting the wool pulled over his eyes by a average coach with a good sales pitch.

I heard from a very reliable source that he wasn't in the running for the job in Vancouver and that Eakins himself "leaked his 'candidacy' for the Canucks job to the media." Maybe that's just sour grapes from the Canucks but it certainly seems plausible to me. Given the choice as an Oiler fan, Who wouldn't rather see Torts behind the bench right now?

One former NHL player no longer associated with the Oilers but still prominent from a league standpoint said off the record that Eakins is "far better at marketing himself than actually coaching hockey."

If we take an objective look at this team I think we can agree it isn't a cup contender. I think we could also we agree that Tippett, Trotz, Babcock, Krueger, etc would have them above .500 and actually developing.

Absolutely plausible.

Gillis, from day one, indicated he wanted to hire a veteran coach for his veteran team.

Eakins doesn't qualify.

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#60 DSF
November 11 2013, 02:29PM
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Spydyr wrote:

I have absolutely no inside the dressing room knowledge but perhaps Smid called out one or more of the "wonder kids" and so he gets moved along.

Yeah, something like this I expect.

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#61 Spydyr
November 11 2013, 10:23AM
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Woogie63 wrote:

Marc Crawford Paul Maurice Larry Robinson Peter Laviolette Jacquie Lemaire

Are all coaches who have won or played in the Stanley Cup final in the "recent" years. Could one of these guys help the Oilers in some way?

The short answer yes and no. Yes they could , no they won't put up with Lowe.

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#62 Rheal1
November 11 2013, 11:03AM
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Reading the comments on this blog since the start of the season I can conclude that resentment, disillusionment and anger are common traits among posters. Here's a clue for you folks: this mediocre team is useless if the leadership is non-existent. What the Oilers need are a set of balls. No more prancing on the ice. Quotes: "The number one thing we're going to be committed to is competition. If you're going to play for the Edmonton Oilers, you're going to compete. That's how you win games in the NHL and that's how you make your organization better." (Dallas Eakins). "I'm an impatient man".

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#63 Rheal1
November 11 2013, 11:43AM
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Quick poll: Would you trade away Gagner, Eberle, Justin Schultz and David Perron IF if it resulted in that the team would make playoffs?

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#64 Walter Sobchak
November 11 2013, 12:12PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

Makes one wonder if Eakins is challenging Gagner to prove he is a legit 2nd line Center after 7 years in the league? If you think about it...MacT gave Gagner a ringing endorsement and a contract to along with it.....Eakins might not want to show up his boss ....so he's playing Gagner as though MacT's ringing endorsement is true!.....really it's the only explanation that makes any sense.

He's simply playing Gagner as though Gagner IS the guy that MacT says he is.

It's called sink or swim.

If that's the case then do you think Eakins is on board with MacTavish? If Eakins is on board with MacTavish then that's another ringing enforcement for incompetence on both part.

If Eakins is trying to show MacTavish that Gagner is "not" the centre going forward why would he do it at the expense of losing the game?

Remember it just wasn't that faceoff in the dying minute of the game, he had Gagner out the the whole game against the toughs and being dominated, especially defensively .

Why would Eakins put himself in that position to fail?

While you maybe right, I find myself questioning Eakins a lot more lately, while some of his earlier mistakes can be attributed to being a rookie, I can't say that for the last while.

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#65 andrewmk20
November 11 2013, 12:56PM
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@Rheal1

I wouldn't love them dealing the last three at all but if it meant the playoffs I wouldn't boycott the team if they dealt the first three for a legit top 2 defender and some top 9 forwards with size and drive. But Perron does all the things that the Oiler forwards have refused to do in the last 7 years. Go hard to the net, create confusion, piss off the opposition, backcheck, and generally play a well rounded game and do all the little things. You can tell St Louis and Hitch rubbed off on him.

I'm not saying Perron is perfect but Hall and Perron by far have been the most consistent and the best performing forwards. If the Oilers had 12 guys up front who played like these two the Oilers wouldn't be out of the playoffs by the first week of November.

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#66 china town man
November 11 2013, 01:03PM
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The oilers are pathetic as a hockey team and stupid to make trade with your enemy The fricken flames , like talk about salt in the wound ....

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#67 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
November 11 2013, 01:46PM
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oildrops wrote:

it came three games too late. That's to bad for team Canada though

You should go back and edit the first sentence out.

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#68 TDSM31
November 11 2013, 03:10PM
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DSF wrote:

To be honest, Gagner isn't all that great offensively either.

7 years into his pro career he has yet to hit 50 points.

In the last full NHL season, 100 players hit the 50+ mark...many of them defensemen.

McTavish handing him that $4.8M contract for 3 years AND a NTC clause is an epic failure.

You can get Gagner level offensive production AND defensive acumen for, far, far less.

For example, Vancouver signed Mike Santorelli (5G 7A 12P +2 56.7FO%) who also is a great PK'er for $550K.

Now, I doubt Santorelli is likely long term solution at #2C for the Canucks but then Gagner isn't a long term solution at #2C for the Oilers either.

The notion of moving Gagner to the wing with his mediocre offence and limp defense makes no sense either.

He can't win puck battles on the boards and often ends up on his pants.

He IS Kyle Wellwood.

5 out of 100 is many?? I guess the Oilers will have many wins this season.

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#69 David S
November 11 2013, 03:37PM
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GagnerISGREAT wrote:

Do you people actually believe what you are seeing from Gagner is how he will stay? This blog is full of idiots. He shouldn't be playing. That's the problem. He rushed back because of the record. He can't take or throw a hit because of his jaw. People calling him soft are stupid. He and Perron are the only ones with grit in the top 6. Before the jaw Gagner regularly threw a hit and has 4-5 NHL fights (I don't know the exact number) His faceoff percentage? He's had great games and terrible games. That face mask DOES effect it a lot. If you think it doesn't put one on and see how it effects your vision. Wait until he's 100% and has that mask off. Than the Gagner we know will be back.

Just wanted to re-post this for emphasis. Gagner's game is nowhere near 100%. He's floating more than normal because he's unable mentally or physically to engage. Add the full cage and you have a total lack of confidence.

I messed up my knee a few weeks ago, probably torn meniscus. My whole lower body basically shied away from any sort of normal motion and I'm still afraid to attempt stairs despite the fact it doesn't hurt anymore. I'm fighting the urge to get back to the gym because I'm scared crapless I'll be right back to square one.

Sam has his liabilities to be sure. But to judge his performance on his current circumstances is plain wrong. It'll be at least a month before he'll be anywhere near up to speed.

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#70 Randaman
November 11 2013, 10:50AM
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I think we can all agree that changes are required and will be forthcoming if MacT has the balls to trade one of the so called fab five (excluding Hall of course). If Weber is available for Eberle, our 2014 first rounder and a prospect? Of course you pull the trigger. Webers don't grow on trees and the big bonus money has already been spent. Secondly, Gagner is really struggling but that is nothing new to the people here. He will have a 6 point night or something to that effect and all is forgiven for some reason. Deal him and and or Hemsky and get a bigger top 6 forward (easier said than done I know). Thirdly, Eakins is here long term. Get used to it and buy in or you will sit or be gone. Yes, I am looking at you Eberle(whom I really like by the way). Thoughts?

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#71 Alsker
November 11 2013, 10:56AM
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You can bring in any coach you want but as long as management keeps rewarding players for their apparent upsides and neglect their downsides it's not changing. We would still have Renney here if kBlowe/Tambi didn't have their heads up their asses. We didn't play D then and we still don't. Hard to demand new/young players to think D first when the vet core doesn't have to. Lowe sacrificed entertainment value for development these past years and here we are, right where we started from. To add to this all the defensive guys we have had(Stoll,Brodz,GlenX,etc) we've walked away from. Obviously no entertainment value there.

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#72 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
November 11 2013, 11:16AM
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Spydyr wrote:

Mt dream team and remember it is a dream:

Scotty Bowman in Lowe's spot.

Lou Lamoriello in MacT's spot.

Mike Babcock in Eakin's spot

Would you give up Hall, RNH, and Yakupov to get it?

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#73 michael
November 11 2013, 11:25AM
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D-Unit wrote:

I would be happy with Gagner playing 3rd line wing. Preferably with any other team in the NHL. I don't know how you convince any other team to pay him $4.8 to do that though. Gagner is just one of many cases of the Oilers putting more value into their players than the rest of the league would.

Why bring in Andrew Ference and make him captain if your going to give Gagner 4.8 million and tell him essentially he is a core guy? Blows my mind that Gagner was not given the C considering that he has doe and said all the right things in terms of propping up this team in hard times. It like talking out of both sides of your mouth at the same time. Eakins/MacT's message to the core younger players is your not ready yet to take on that role and responsibility. For me Ference is an excellent role model but coming in cold into a room where you know no one and being asked to lead them just does not work. Where is the trust? The we've been in this together mentality? The sense of kinship. Brotherhood.

Giving Gagner the 4.8 million isn't an issue for me. Not giving him the captaincy was, is and will be for me. It sent the wrong message. Leadership comes from within. Its earned through tough times and good times. Gagner earned that I believe.

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#74 15w40
November 11 2013, 01:04PM
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Randaman wrote:

Your take on the Smid trade is short sighted in my opinion. I think you will be impressed when you see Horak play and Brossoit is a much better prospect than Roy I think. 3.5 off the books for a slow, poor puck handling (yes, he had grit) defence man that couldn't fit into the scheme is fine with me. I wish him the best though, he was a good soldier but something has to give and I am sure some of us will not agree with the trades to come when they happen. Par for the course. See what I did there with the golf reference. Come on, that's funny.

I'm not saying that Brossoit (sp??) will not turn into a valuable part. What I am saying is that what other teams' top 4 defensemen would be worth a depth forward part time nhl-er and some long term potential?

Your point about the 3.5 salary being upside down for what you get is well taken, however it just illustrates more of the problem. Ference - useful but overpay, Gordon - desperately fills a hole but is really to some degree an overpay. Smid was an overpay, Gagner is an overpay.

When you have to overpay players to come here and they are paid above their job description its like death by paper cut.

Edmonton is counting on value coming from some of their later draft picks and that hasn't come to fruition to this point and it is killing them.

When you go to trade a player that is not playing up to their contract, then you are typically forced to take less talent back or another bad contract.

Makes it nearly impossible to improve the roster via trade. Basically the GM is left hoping that when trading his under-performer for somebody elses under-performer will end up paying dividends.

Even the 93, 4, and 14 $6 mil contracts are overpays at the beginning but there again, management is banking on value on the back half of the deal.

If things don't start to fall the Oiler's way in the next 2 seasons, this whole rebuild will have been an unmitigated disaster & they will be starting at ground zero again.

Management will have to come up with a couple magic tricks based on all of the obstacles that lie in front of them to prevent that from happening.

IMHO

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#75 OilFanInVan
November 11 2013, 01:20PM
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Maybe Smid was Craig McTavish's Jason Giambi*. We don't know what might have happened in the dressing room. We do know Smid has said some things recently to reporters...

* Watch Moneyball if you don't get the reference

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#76 Spydyr
November 11 2013, 02:13PM
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Dangilitis wrote:

I think you are referring to Jeremy Giambi, Jason's less talented little brother, who was arrested for drug charges in Las Vegas the season before the Moneyball movie is set. I suppose we don't know what goes on in the dressing room, but if you are referring to the scene in the movie when Jeremy was dancing after a loss to entertain his teammates, and then was traded thereafter, I can bet that Smid was NOT that kind of player. The snippets we have seen of him from the media show that he was, in fact, the opposite. Jeremy didn't care how his team was performing, while Smid would curse and be downright pissed off, which, IMO, is exactly the way a team mate who cares should react to a beatdown and a record as shotty as the Oilers.

Jason Giambi, at the time (without the subsequently discovered steroid use), was actually a highly coveted 1st baseman who Oakland could no longer afford to pay, but had led the league in on base percentage in 2001, and Moneyball actually focuses on filling the void that Giambi's departure had created for the team. So if you intended to mean that Smid was like Jason Giambi, then I agree, losing him created a void on the team's roster that they have yet to fill adequately unless Klefbom is ready for that role, today...

I have absolutely no inside the dressing room knowledge but perhaps Smid called out one or more of the "wonder kids" and so he gets moved along.

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#77 nick
November 11 2013, 09:55PM
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The morale is bad because Eakins is a horrendous coach. Can't bring your AHL mentality to the NHL and be so arrogant doing it. He has won nothing and it is being proven his systems don't work, Suck it up MacT and say I made a huge mistake and get rid of this useless coach. He has most of the guys so scared to do anything they are playing horrendous. He clearly has his favorites that he plays regardless of mistakes they make. Ference has been god awful all season and he is still playing high minutes. If you think Smid couldn't move the puck watch this guy try and move it. Undersized and over hyped. The ship is sinking faster than the Titanic, get off now oiler fans get off now

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#78 Smokey
November 11 2013, 10:18AM
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Serious Gord wrote:

And how much would morale improve for all of oilersnation if Lowe was fired?

Sometimes addition happens by subtraction.

That would be to me like selecting first overall, making the playoff, signing a big free agent...

I's start the Stanley Cup parade on Jasper, and buy a season pack.

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#79 Reality Check to the head
November 11 2013, 10:30AM
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In last nights game, I can honestly say the oilers seemed to be trying hard. I do however, think there is something missing between the ears. Whether it is knowledge, the brains to actually know how to play in your own end, or the willingness to pay the price to be defensively responsible, the Oilers as a whole are missing it.

We have a lot of new players (and not too mention the coach), new to the team or new to the league. How could anyone really expected this team to be a playoff contender. Hindsight is 20/20, so saying we should have expected this start is laughable, but we should not have expected this team to be a well oiled machine during the first quarter of the season. Maybe a few more wins, but not a contender.

I will continue to watch, continue to look for signs of this team learning to play together, while wishing they would have made that trade; Hemsky for Simmonds. Dont trade the 1st round pick, Our position will be shamefully awesome and maybe we will draft someone bigger than a smurf (Nurse excluded).

(Drops microphone and exits stage left)

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#80 Terran
November 11 2013, 10:46AM
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Woogie63 wrote:

Marc Crawford Paul Maurice Larry Robinson Peter Laviolette Jacquie Lemaire

Are all coaches who have won or played in the Stanley Cup final in the "recent" years. Could one of these guys help the Oilers in some way?

If the Oilers ever even entertain the idea of hiring Crawford in any capacity (even hot dog vendor #9 on the concourse), I will cheerfully burn all my oilers merchandise and begin cheering for the Flames.

What I'm saying is I loathe the guy. It's no coincidence that two of the more heinous acts (Lemieux on Draper and Bertuzzi on Moore) occurred with him as coach

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#81 VK63
November 11 2013, 11:22AM
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For those inclined to believe that a eureka epiphany moment exists for Sam Gagners defensive game.

I worry about you.

the fact that eakins had him out there to attempt to win a desperation late game draw.

Well that is just sumthin sumthin

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#82 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
November 11 2013, 12:14PM
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Nothing will improve until management is held accountable. If management isnt held accountable then why would anyone else in an organization feel the need to be accountable?

All the moves that we can talk about and all the systems that can be implemented are meaningless. How can one possibly believe that the people who took 7 years to make this team completely incompetent will be the people who fix it?

Trade everyone, trade no one. It will make no difference because the team has the worst management in the league and the last 7 seasons prove it.

All the articles are just verbal masturbation. Might make one feel good for a short term but in the big picture completely meaningless.

I didn't watch the game yesterday and the end result justifies my decision. Stop watching the games until ownership shows actual character. It is the only way my ON brothers and sisters. The greedy pig Katz only understands dollars lets us stop feeding his greed.

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#83 Randaman
November 11 2013, 12:37PM
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DSF wrote:

Absolutely plausible.

Gillis, from day one, indicated he wanted to hire a veteran coach for his veteran team.

Eakins doesn't qualify.

Difference here is that we really don't qualify as a veteran team. Not compared to Vancouver anyways. I want to see Eakins given the full season to implement his way of doing things before I pass judgement. We weren't making the play offs anyway.

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#84 Randaman
November 11 2013, 01:06PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

so if we are at 8-28-5 at the halfway point will you still have the same opinion?

How about a similar record at the trade deadline?

I am hopeful that a couple more moves (please) by MacT will improve the mix. I just don't see the need to continue the revolving door for coaches because we think the players aren't at fault here. Eberle has been invisible in the defensive zone along with Hemsky, Yak and many others. Eakins doesn't play the game. The players carry the ultimate responsibility for our situation. The effort level on most nights tells us this.

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#85 Old School G
November 11 2013, 01:16PM
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DSF wrote:

Horak couldn't make the Calgary Flames roster.

He was 7th on a good Abbotsford team in scoring with 2 goals in 13 games and -2.

Rookie Corban Knight has twice as many points, 6 goals and is +7.

MacT traded an actual NHL player (and I'm not a big Smid fan) for the type of player you can pick off the waiver wire or the remainder bin in free agency and some magic beans.

Having $3.5M off the books is useless unless you use it.

Dumb trade.

MacT has made a lot of moves, more good than bad in my humble opinion. I trust that he has a well thought out plan in place. Tambellini was a stop gap GM, brought in to guide the troops to daylight and then step aside, he was necessary and I appreciate his time.

Horak is a clear upgrade over Acton based on comparing their AHL stats. Bryzgalov should knock at least 1 goal off our current GAA once he's going, and who's to say MacT isn't very close to locking up our top tier D man this week?

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#86 madjam
November 11 2013, 01:35PM
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This is the first season of the rebuild , what did you expect form new group ? Last rebuild was cancelled last year . Even if we finish 29th , that's still better than the 30th we were in last rebuild . Isn't progress fun ?

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#87 Rama Lama
November 11 2013, 03:00PM
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It's time for the Oilers to start taking about next year as painful as it is..........start dumping players, acquiring players, and promoting youth from the farm.

I can wait yet another year for the playoffs as long as I know there is a plan to shed players that do not fit into the long term plans.

Let's start the " turf the smurfs", plan right now!

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#88 Spydyr
November 11 2013, 04:57PM
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michael wrote:

Can someone explain to me how the Oilers PP and PK got so pathetic?

Ralph left.

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#89 Shifty203
November 11 2013, 07:35PM
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Bloodsweatandoil wrote:

Just reading on ESPN, Yakupov's agent is meeting with Edmonton brass tomorrow. He is unhappy on how he is being used, Yakupov is willing for a trade. Larinov says EDM unhappy with him said Yak open to trade: "We're willing to make a move. Any team. That happens and that's part of life."

Not cool...what a primadonna!!!!

Could be being a princess, or, it could be indicative of problems with coaching/management, who's incompetence should come at no surprise.

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#90 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
November 11 2013, 11:25AM
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vetinari wrote:

The season's a write off and we're back to 2010. We're also going to tread water until the trade deadline before we can make any more significant changes to our roster but the value of our players is at an all time low so getting anything meaningful back, other than draft picks, is going to be next to impossible unless we are willing to part with one of the kids.

The next 60+ games can be summarized by borrowing a line from "Whose Line is it Anyways":

"Welcome to the Oilers... where the standings don't count and the points don't matter..."

It's like playing a round of golf where you don't keep score....it can take away a lot of the stress.

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#91 Rama Lama
November 11 2013, 11:37AM
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If there was a litmus test for a coach it would be:

1. Have the majority of the players improved under this coach? 2. Have the majority of players regressed under this coach?

It's painfully obvious this coach is utilizing his talent in ways that defy logic........or maybe, just maybe he is trying to expose the shortcomings of his talent base to management by playing them in situations that will cause them to grow?

I'm just not sure if this guy is a genius or a total idiot? Not playing players in their natural roles, player match-ups, line combinations, constantly changing lines, all lead me to believe he is struggling to find chemistry.

Maybe Dallas just needs to stop changing things up all the time and consult some outside people for their thoughts..........I would see this as a sign of strength not weakness.

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#92 Fresh Mess
November 11 2013, 11:42AM
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Loose-lips Mactavish is going to have to admit he made some bad mistakes and change his thinking on a few players(Ganger,Grebeshkov,Fail Yakpupov), otherwise he will be a write off just like the Oiler's season.

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#93 TayLordBalls
November 11 2013, 11:42AM
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Coach Eakins,

please play Hall, Eberle and RNH together

You won't be disappointed!

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#94 Oilcruzer
November 11 2013, 12:10PM
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Old School G wrote:

Where Laddy was one dimensional as a defenceman, Gagnger is one dimensional as a forward. Eakins system seems to demand multi functional players. This could take a while.

Maybe it's me, but the worse he plays, the more Gagner's name gets butchered. Already seen this and a Ganger in this blog.

Two items:

* Keep Hemsky with Hall. (Result: Trade Deadline Move)

* Keep Gagner out of any situation where he won't have the play end on his stick (or not even start on his stick). (Result: Off Season Shuffle)

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#95 Randaman
November 11 2013, 12:34PM
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15w40 wrote:

Don't see 89 going anywhere. Has a NTC that kicks in next year and a verbal assurance that he is safe this year. I'm guessing if management had a do over they would have traded him 2 years ago but they didn't and that would also imply they made a mistake so maybe not.

Unless they are willing sell at 20 cents on the dollar, they aren't moving anybody of substance from the so-called core.

When you are dealing from 26th place or lower over the past 4 to 5 years, who really will give any value to the roster. Look at Smid - nothing but a minor leaguer and a prospect - and he was playing in the top 4 for Edmonton.

Can't see many bold moves coming from YEG unless it involves MacT grabbing a brass rail.

Maybe a few deadline deals, but that will likley amount to more futures and likely not high end - potential sure bets either.

By the end of 2013/14 is in the books, this may be the most dark and sobering time in the last few years of the overhaul. They were selling hope and people were buying, but now it would appear that patience is a scant commodity that few of the fan base has left.

Choppy indeed...........

Your take on the Smid trade is short sighted in my opinion. I think you will be impressed when you see Horak play and Brossoit is a much better prospect than Roy I think. 3.5 off the books for a slow, poor puck handling (yes, he had grit) defence man that couldn't fit into the scheme is fine with me. I wish him the best though, he was a good soldier but something has to give and I am sure some of us will not agree with the trades to come when they happen. Par for the course. See what I did there with the golf reference. Come on, that's funny.

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#96 **
November 11 2013, 01:08PM
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Best thing for this team right now is not to worry about the standings and just focus on building a sound defensive system and a right mix of players. Let the chips fall where they may. I hope they don't decide to tank to get yet another high round pick. And I hope they understand that the playoffs are a statistical improbability at this point.

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#97 zzzzzz
November 11 2013, 01:17PM
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the problem is that klowe, mactavish and Eakins haircut, are stuck in the 80's....

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#98 D
November 11 2013, 01:26PM
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DSF wrote:

Then what?

If the Oilers continue to stink for the rest of the season, what do you do next?

@DSF - you raise a valid point here. But the organization is in a bind. Major trades at this point would probably result in the Oilers giving away the farm, especially with the current management in place. There's a certain amount of inertia in place right now that would be difficult to overcome compared to the summer months when there is an expectation that all teams will modify their roster.

Bringing in a new coach right now? Well then it's back to square one relearning systems.

The "smartest men in the NHL" (TM SixRings, Inc.) got served a serious dose of humble pie. For me, that's almost entertaining enough.

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#99 Smokey
November 11 2013, 02:11PM
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DSF wrote:

I expect if Pat Quinn had Kevin Lowe's job right now the Oilers would be a much better team.

The man (Quinn, to be clear) is far from stupid.

Sorry if inferred that he was dumn, much to the contrary. I think he was portrayed as being a dinosaur, old school. Pat Quinn was screwed over, he was by far the best coach we had during these dark days. I felt bad that he was not given the reigns for another year. The quotes alone were gold though.

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#100 Mike the Coal Miner
November 11 2013, 06:10PM
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David S wrote:

Just wanted to re-post this for emphasis. Gagner's game is nowhere near 100%. He's floating more than normal because he's unable mentally or physically to engage. Add the full cage and you have a total lack of confidence.

I messed up my knee a few weeks ago, probably torn meniscus. My whole lower body basically shied away from any sort of normal motion and I'm still afraid to attempt stairs despite the fact it doesn't hurt anymore. I'm fighting the urge to get back to the gym because I'm scared crapless I'll be right back to square one.

Sam has his liabilities to be sure. But to judge his performance on his current circumstances is plain wrong. It'll be at least a month before he'll be anywhere near up to speed.

-"no where near 100%"

-"floating more than normal"

-"he's unable to mentally and physically engage"

So we as fans are supposed to be okay with the head coach knowing this and putting him out for a crucial faceoff in the last minute of a one goal game?

Maybe you can explain to me, why we as fans, should have top watch him float around for a month while he gets up to speed?

I'm at the point where the "reasons" these professionals aren't performing don't matter.

I think its about time, we as fans, start demanding results instead of accepting excuses.

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