TUESDAY TIDBITS...TOUGH STARTS

Jason Gregor
November 12 2013 11:15AM

The Oilers are 4-13-2 (10 points) in their first 19 games, and they are on pace for 43 points. The Oilers will not finish with 43 points. They will improve, but can they improve enough to give you hope that next season will be different?

Here's a quick look at the five worst 20-game starts in Oilers history and where those teams finished.

1993/1994: 3-14-3 (9 pts). They finished 25-45-14 with 64 points and 3rd last in the NHL.
1979/1980: 3-12-5 (11pts). They finished 28-39-11. They finished 6th last, but made the playoffs in the 21-team league.
1990/1991: 5-13-2 (12 pts). They finished 37-37-6 with 80 points and 3rd in the Smyth division.
2010/2011: 5-11-4 (14 pts). They finished 25-45-12 with 62 points and last in the NHL.
1997/1998: 5-10-5 (15 pts). They finished 35-37-10 with 80 points and 7th in the west and beat Colorado in 1st round.

It is very unlikely that the Oilers will finish at or above .500, and we all know the playoffs are a pipe dream. An Oiler victory vs. Dallas on Wednesday ties them for the 3rd worst start in franchise history, so there is no sugar coating this start; it has been horrible.

Oilersnation is fed up. You are sick of losing and I don't think fans were ever this upset at any point during the 2010-2012 seasons.

This year was supposed to be different, mainly because the Oilers management and coaches said it would be. Craig MacTavish has made some solid moves; however, he erred by stating he'd make "Bold" moves. Signing Boyd Gordon, Andrew Ference, Jesse Joensuu, Wil Acton, Anton Belov, Denis Grebeshkov, Jason LaBarbera and Ryan Hamilton weren't bold. Acquiring David Perron was a solid move, but likely didn't resonate as bold within the fan base.

Dallas Eakins termed his defence the "swarm," and by giving it a name it led fans to believe it was new and innovative. Other teams have used it before, most call it a pressure defence, but after years of watching porous defence the fans were jacked up believing the "swarm" would shut down the opposition.

That hasn't happened.

Once again the Oilers are near the bottom in goals against, dead last in fact, having surrendered a woeful 75 goals in 19 games. The fans have a right to be annoyed, frustrated and down right angry.

The Oilers have to stop selling hope or improvement during the off-season. It hasn't worked for five years, and the morale within Oilersnation is at an all-time low.

WHAT NOW....

  • It is interesting what we want to hear. When MacTavish said he'd make bold moves, he also clearly addressed that his young players would need to work harder, yet all the focus after the press conference was on bold moves. The GM didn't hammer home the point about the young players, or repeat himself, but it was the first time anyone within the organization made a clear challenge/statement towards the younger players.

    Ideally, the Oilers wouldn't have this many young players trying to learn the NHL game at the same time. They'd have the luxury of protecting them with proven veterans, but the Oilers didn't build their team that way. The kids will need to learn the hard way, and it has shown to be a difficult learning curve. Right now MacTavish and company can only hope that all the tough lessons will pay off in the future. Sadly, there is no guarantee that will happen.
     
  • I chuckled when I was called an Oiler apologist because I am not demanding Eakins get fired. Firing the coach after 19 games would be a dumb move. Plain and simple. Losing franchises continue to make change, thus having no continuity. Winning organizations, in any sport, have continuity. Eakins isn't perfect, and he has a lot to learn at the NHL level, but just like the Oilers made a commitment to the young players, they have committed to Eakins. He needs more than 19 games to judge whether he's a good coach or not.

    In the last seven games the Oilers special teams have improved dramatically. The PP is clicking at 31.5% (6 for 19), while the PK is at 91.3% killing off 21 of 23. So we've seen improvement in those areas, but their overall defence still needs a lot of work. Firing Eakins and hiring someone else at this point would be a desperate and ill-advised move.

    Watch the highlights, do you honestly believe that Eakins would coach his players not to cover the guy in front of the net, or that he'd instruct them to leave Kruger wide open in front of the net, and send both D-men to the man on the boards. The players are making some horrible defensive decisions.

    All the best coaching candidates are currently working, so who would you replace him with? Firing the coach might make fans feel better because someone paid the price, but it would only mask the real issue. The team isn't good enough. The mixture isn't right.

    Firing the head coach would tell the players they aren't the issue, again, and it would give another excuse to management. MacTavish didn't build this team, but he's in charge or trying to make it competitive. He'll need some time, but firing the coach will only delay the process.

    Furthermore, firing a coach based on 19 games with bad goaltending would illustrate desperation and a lack of leadership. Unfortunately, the woes of the Oilers are much bigger than one man.
     
  • Ilya Bryzgalov will not start for OKC tonight. He won't play in Edmonton tomorrow, and i dont think wr see him until Tuesday night next week vs. the Blue Jackets.
     
  • My biggest concern with the Ladislav Smid trade was MacTavish's comments that, "we have lots of depth at that position." They have a lot of potential depth, but none of it is proven. This organization needs to realize you won't win on potential. They can't expect Oscar Klefbom and Darnell Nurse to come into Edmonton next year and solidify their backend. No NHL team's blueline is built around four young D-men will less than 350 combined NHL games, and that's what Jeff Petry, J.Schultz, Klefbom and Nurse would be next season.
     
  • Tough break, no pun intended, for Steven Stamkos and the Tampa Bay Lightning. Stamkos broke his tibia yesterday. I spoke to a doctor who done surgery on tibia's and he said it is virtually impossible that Stamkos could be ready for the Sochi Olympics in three months. The only way he said it was possible would be if Stamkos required no pins or screw to repair the bone, which is unlikely.  Brutal news for Stamkos.
     
  • Stamkos has scored 27% of the Lightning's goals, and they are 0-3 in games that Stamkos or Marty St.Louis don't score a point. Ben Bishop will need to play even better for the Bolts to stay in the playoff hunt. This is the first time Stamkos will miss a game due to an injury. He was a healthy scratch three times as a rookie.
     
  • Sidney Crosby only has one goal and six points in his last nine games. That is a major slump for Crosby.
     
  • Igor Larionov's comments about Nail Yakupov only added fuel to a horrendous 19-game stretch. Larionov stated, "We're willing to make a move. Any team. That happens and that's part of life." First off, Yakupov has no say if the Oilers wanted to trade him, so being open to a move was an interesting choice of words from Larionov. I read that as he'll likely ask the Oilers to trade his client.

    The Oilers don't need any more distractions, and Larionov didn't doing his client any favours by mentioning he's unhappy. Yakupov will be peppered with questions today, and the kid shouldn't be subjected to that. That is on Larionov. If you have an issue, call MacTavish and deal with it quietly. Rookie mistake by Larionov.
     
  • Larionov's comments will make for great water-cooler discussions and debate on the Nation, but I caution people to avoid tales of bad leadership or anything like that. Larionov wants his client to get more icetime, there was no mention of off-ice issues, so let's try to avoid turning TMZ-like and fabricating tales of discord within the dressing room. 
     
  • I'm looking to recognize some of the great amateur coaches in our city. Do you know a coach, team sport or individual sport, who goes above and beyond to makes sports really enjoyable for your son or daughter. If you do, please email me a short paragraph stating all they do for their team. Email it to gregor@tsn1260.ca and they could be named our Elite Sportswear Coach of the Week. I know there are many great volunteer coaches, so don't be shy to send me an email.
     
  • Be sure to vote for our pal Jason Strudwick in Battle of the Blades. If Struds wins the Inner City Children's Program will receive $50,000. That is huge for them and could allow them to open up another school to house 50 kids who need help. Take a moment and vote HERE and vote TODAY. It is an easy "Good deed of the day."

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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#1 Mikey
November 12 2013, 11:18AM
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I am so upset (probably not as much as him) Stamkos wont be available for the Olympics. Him and Crosby on the same line would be insane!

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#2 Fraser50
November 12 2013, 11:25AM
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I can agree that getting rid of Dallas Eakins will NOT solve the Oilers woes right now, as will Igor Larionov trying to stir up the pot and have Yakupov traded. Should be pretty interesting to see what develops!

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#3 Soccer Steve
November 12 2013, 11:26AM
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"The Oilers will not finish with 43 points. They will improve, but can they improve enough to give you hope that next season will be different?"

How do you know they will improve and no, I do not believe they will improve enough to give me any hope for next season. Or the season after, for that matter.

There have been 2 consistencies during this horrible era. 1) We have been horrible. 2) Kevin Lowe.

2 + 2 = 5

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#4 Lochenzo
November 12 2013, 11:27AM
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Eakins should stay where he is for a few years at least. Not only are the players learning to play in the NHL, we've also asked them to learn a new system every year. You cannot continuously do that and expect to get ahead.

New defensive pairings, new forwards on the PK, it's all new. Expect some bumps in the road too as the defence gets used to Bryz.

Let things settle.

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#5 Craig1981
November 12 2013, 11:28AM
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Agreed, Eakin's is not the problem. If they want to change the culture and compete level in the dressing room, showing the players they can get a coach fired would be the end for MacT.

The team has better players than they did last year. I doubt anyone can question that. I want to see where they are att the end of December

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#6 Mikey
November 12 2013, 11:32AM
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"No NHL team's blueline is built around four young D-men will less than 350 combined NHL games, and that's what Jeff Petry, J.Schultz, Klefbom and Nurse would be next season."

That is not Entirely true, look at Detroit.

Kindle 165 Dekeyser 29 Lashoff 45 Smith 59

They also have Kronwall wich helps.

I should also note that most of Dekeyser games came this season, and I would bet Klefbom will play 20 or so games this year. So at the same point in time next year it will be very close. This is also smiths second year in the pros, he played 34 last year, and a couple the year before.

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#7 vetinari
November 12 2013, 11:33AM
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The only problem with having a rookie GM hire a rookie coach to lead a predominantly young team is that it is so easy to find fault at each rung of the ladder when something goes wrong.

A veteran GM or veteran coach or a team full of veteran players would at least give you confidence of one level of the team's structure but right now, OilersNation has no confidence on any aspect of this team, from ownership down to the players on the ice.

There are too many moving pieces that are potential problems and it is hard to isolate where the greatest attention needs to be, that's why (I think) that most fans are saying you gotta start somewhere...

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#8 albertaboy19
November 12 2013, 11:38AM
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So I take it that perhaps a Yakupov, Klefbaum, N. Schultz (salary dump) and a 1st to Nashville for Weber and a pick might happen now because of Larionov's comments

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#9 Mikey
November 12 2013, 11:40AM
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albertaboy19 wrote:

So I take it that perhaps a Yakupov, Klefbaum, N. Schultz (salary dump) and a 1st to Nashville for Weber and a pick might happen now because of Larionov's comments

It would be tough to make that trade, I think for both teams. But do able.

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#10 Hemmercules
November 12 2013, 11:41AM
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Not a huge Eakins fan so far for obvious reasons but I say stay the course, another coach would just make things worse.

Still seems strange to me that a team trying to turn a corner chooses a coach that "..has a lot to learn at the NHL level." Almost the whole team has a lot to learn at the NHL level, why the coach too? Sigh. At least two more years outta the playoffs as rebuild part 2 begins with trading Smid and probably Yakupov soon.

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#11 Soccer Steve
November 12 2013, 11:42AM
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albertaboy19 wrote:

So I take it that perhaps a Yakupov, Klefbaum, N. Schultz (salary dump) and a 1st to Nashville for Weber and a pick might happen now because of Larionov's comments

I'm sure Nashville would pounce on this!!!

Ask Radulov what he thinks...

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#12 Lowe Expectations
November 12 2013, 11:49AM
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When you are at the point the Oilers are at you have 2 choices. Either continue to feel sorry for yourself or get angry and play pissed off with a chip on your shoulder.

The Jaguars and Buccaneers (sorry Jason) both won there first games this season. Those games were won early with aggressive play and high energy levels. I guarantee those players were getting ripped big time along with coaches owners etc by the media and fans.

What worries me is the Oilers don't have the pissed off gene in their DNA. Losing has become the norm and this is the place you get a paycheck in and leave ASAP.

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#13 Quicksilver ballet
November 12 2013, 11:49AM
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Thanks for the recap Jason. I know documenting this death march is still very important. We can sure count on the media types to continue to do what they do best.

Maybe it's time for the local sports media to step out of their comfort zone and expand their horizons. We as posters here on ON have a minute voice. Yourselves, in the media, have the platform to start/bring about awareness and change.

I know the first guy through the wall gets bloodied usually, but it certainly appears as though the media are more concerned about their press passes remaining in good standing than they are about the undeniable direction of this hockey club. A couple more defiant/pi$$ed off Terry Jones types would certainly turn up the volume on this organization. Time to ruffle some feathers and get these entitled ones out of their comfort zone. Add another pitbull or two within the media circle. TSN 1260 > the team 1260, start abusing that newly acquired elbow room.

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#14 Rama Lama
November 12 2013, 11:50AM
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Gregor we all know that this team is fractured, broken, and fighting internally that much is obvious. Tales of many thing internal, should not be focused on and I agree with you on that front.

However is it not the role of the coach to bring the team together? Regardless of the effectiveness of the "systems" that Eakins has introduced.........do you really believe that he has used his team in roles that get the most out of each player? Even you can see that the product is fatally flawed with a stubborn, egocentric coach that would rather hang out with the media in stead of instructing his team on the ice.

Just because the past coaches were no good and hung out to dry by Oilers management and we are fatigued by the constant coaching changes, does not mean we hired the right guy this time. Your logic is falwed IMHO on the coach.

The evidence is plain and the average fan can see the divisions in the team that is being orchestrated by this coach. Just because we are tired of changes should not stop us from making changes.

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#15 Hemmercules
November 12 2013, 11:51AM
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From a Mact standpoint, if a players agent wanted to have a meeting with my head coach regarding his clients play time etc. I would tell that agent to eat a di........

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#16 Greasy Goal
November 12 2013, 11:53AM
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An intersting note, 1st place in the East(TB) is tied with 8th in the west(Van). We may have less teams in our conference but once again the west is tougher to play in. It'll be a huge battle to even make next years playoffs with how things are going now.

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#17 Old School G
November 12 2013, 11:53AM
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Tampa Bay suddenly needs scoring. Sorry to see Stamkos go down he's absolutely great.

We happen to have a player or two that can play some decent offensive hockey and may be available. Which players? Who you willing to give up Tampa Bay?

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#18 Towersofdub
November 12 2013, 11:53AM
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@ Albertaboy19 - what possible reason is there for Nashville to trade Weber to Edmonton? Do you think Dave Poile is sitting there desperately trying to unload one of the best D men in the league for unproven rookies, draft picks & prospects? That trade would have happened long ago if it was available.

Anyone else whining about rookie coaches, and GMs trying to run a team full of young players....how is Colorado doing? How is Tampa doing? Support your argument that a rookie gm & coach can't get the job done. It's not working in Edmonton, but it is elsewhere.

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#19 Joel
November 12 2013, 11:54AM
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JG,

Anyone who plays hockey and watches the Oilers knows the team is not passing the puck to Yakupov. Why/

Something is up.

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#20 Hemmercules
November 12 2013, 11:58AM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Thanks for the recap Jason. I know documenting this death march is still very important. We can sure count on the media types to continue to do what they do best.

Maybe it's time for the local sports media to step out of their comfort zone and expand their horizons. We as posters here on ON have a minute voice. Yourselves, in the media, have the platform to start/bring about awareness and change.

I know the first guy through the wall gets bloodied usually, but it certainly appears as though the media are more concerned about their press passes remaining in good standing than they are about the undeniable direction of this hockey club. A couple more defiant/pi$$ed off Terry Jones types would certainly turn up the volume on this organization. Time to ruffle some feathers and get these entitled ones out of their comfort zone. Add another pitbull or two within the media circle. TSN 1260 > the team 1260, start abusing that newly acquired elbow room.

It's probably easier covering a team that sucks, way more to write about.

The media gets payed to cover the team win or lose, why should they stick their necks out for a bunch of losers?

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#21 Loyal Oil
November 12 2013, 11:58AM
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Articles like this just stun me. This team has taken a major step backwards from last year, contrary to management’s BOLD promises. In this article we are told that a bunch of 19 and 20 year old kids need to play better and be more accountable (ok fine) and the our rookie AHL coach needs more time to figure things out (ok fine) and that the young stars’ agents need to shut their mouths (ok fine) but nowhere is the name of Kevin Lowe mentioned. An absolutely outrageous record of failure since 2000, and not even the suggestion that the person in charge has failed and may be part of the problem (and removal as part of the solution) as we go into rebuilding the rebuild for the 3rd time. It just stuns me.

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#22 TonyT
November 12 2013, 11:58AM
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I'm a huge Yakupov fan but does Larionov have the authority to say what he did with his client's approval? While, I still believe that Yakupov has the highest ceiling among the three (firsts), unnecessary public outbursts such as these do make me question his long term ability to be an Oiler. Regardless, I agree that the (team) balance will never work, and I strongly believe that nothing will change until (at least one of the big 4 (Hall, RNH, Eberle, Yakupov) and Gagner are dealt to address needs.

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#23 Jason
November 12 2013, 12:02PM
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An interesting thought. Perhaps we need to fire two of our assistant coaches who somehow have survived the firing of all three previous head coaches. It is time for Smith and Bucky to get the axe and bring in some real help for Eakins and Acton.

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#24 albertaboy19
November 12 2013, 12:11PM
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@Towersofdub

Relax and stop getting your panties in a knot. He easily could do it to improve their forward position as their defense is set with the likes of Jones, Josi and others. Jones is webers replacement so if a deal came across that addressed needs why wouldn't he?

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#25 HardBoiledOil
November 12 2013, 12:14PM
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it's so sad that we are already talking about next season in mid November! :-(

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#26 Spydyr
November 12 2013, 12:15PM
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"Call me Ishmael." but before anyone here can suggest trading for Weber. They should have to do a book report on Moby Dick. Just so they know what a white whale is.

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#27 Clarko
November 12 2013, 12:17PM
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Rama Lama wrote:

Gregor we all know that this team is fractured, broken, and fighting internally that much is obvious. Tales of many thing internal, should not be focused on and I agree with you on that front.

However is it not the role of the coach to bring the team together? Regardless of the effectiveness of the "systems" that Eakins has introduced.........do you really believe that he has used his team in roles that get the most out of each player? Even you can see that the product is fatally flawed with a stubborn, egocentric coach that would rather hang out with the media in stead of instructing his team on the ice.

Just because the past coaches were no good and hung out to dry by Oilers management and we are fatigued by the constant coaching changes, does not mean we hired the right guy this time. Your logic is falwed IMHO on the coach.

The evidence is plain and the average fan can see the divisions in the team that is being orchestrated by this coach. Just because we are tired of changes should not stop us from making changes.

You might be right on Eakins, but 19 games is way too early to tell. All the previous coaches have all gone through similar stretches of futility. Even Kreuger's "miracle" 24th place finish (by this franchise's standards) had only 1 win in a 10-game period when the Oilers were in position to make the playoffs.

I would be giving this coach at least the entire season to prove what he can do. The firing of Kreuger was extremely premature considering just a 48-game stint with no training camp. Lets not keep changing systems/coaches with absolutely no proof that things would actually improve.

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#28 Quicksilver ballet
November 12 2013, 12:21PM
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"we have lots of depth at that position."

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Arguably the worst group of defenders in the league, and the guy supposedly in charge says this?

This can only confirm MacTavish is part of the problem. You SUCK, Daryl Ballard!

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#29 tileguy
November 12 2013, 12:29PM
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What conclusions are we to draw from the trading of Smid at this time and the signing of Bryz when salary cap was available? I guess we are in a deliberate tank job for the season, unless mngt can say else-why. Thank you season ticket holders for being patient for this season and watching crappy hockey. Also a big thank you for the companies that sponsor tv games for us tier 2 fans. Nobody is tuning in for the next 5 months.

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#30 Rocket
November 12 2013, 12:33PM
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I agree they should not fire Eakins. Yet. Time will tell though. What's interesting to me is that it seems like everything that can go wrong has gone wrong: injuries, bad goaltending, poor special teams, overall apathy.

I mean what else could go wrong right?

And something's can't be just "new coach, new systems" talk. How many coaches has Gagner had and he still can't win a faceoff or backcheck properly? That's on him not the coach or GM but MacT still likes him on The Oilers?

SMH

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#31 Oiler63
November 12 2013, 12:34PM
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If Eakins can keep his job with this record, how do you justify firing Krueger?

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#32 Citizen David
November 12 2013, 12:35PM
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Horak scores this morning in an OKC win.

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#33 VK63
November 12 2013, 12:35PM
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Wow.... fwiw Gregor if YOU are an Oiler apologist then I don't have a drinking problem.

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#34 Serious Gord
November 12 2013, 12:37PM
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Jason:

Some big omissions in the column above:

"Losing franchises continue to make change, thus having no continuity. Winning organizations, in any sport, have continuity. "

Not true. Losing organizations can also have continuity and continue to fail - look at the NYI and the Chicago cubs and the pirates and on and on. Winning organizations make changes when needed and are ruthless about it - take a look at the two teams in the World Series - Boston fired the coach and moved key players and only had one losing season as a result. St. Louis turned over most of it coaching staff and 6o percent of its roster in the space of two years and got back in the WS.

And the constant in the oilers org? Former players of the glory era in the management of the team. That continuity has to end.

The MacT depth argument is a cover story. He knows that that is not true. One of two theories are plausible:

1. MacT dumped him to make cap room for the acquisition of new d-men and other missing parts. If that's true, then the other part has yet to be executed. And it should happen very soon or the question becomes "why move smid so early?"

2. This theory was broached by rishaug on the radio this am and it's very disturbing if true and if true it does fit into the puzzle that is Daryl Katz.

That Katz' attitude is if the oil are not going to make the playoffs and thus make him more money, he wants the salary level cut. Thus any overpaid player who can be dealt will be. So long smid. This also explains why the oil were 15 million below the cap last season - no rental players were hired.

As for Eakins - sure termination right now might be rash - he's the wrong guy to fire right now, Klowe is. But if we are 38 games in and the point rate is pretty much unchanged; sayonara. Kreuger had a better record over a similar number of games and the press certainly supported that move. Eakins definitely has an expiry date if the record does not improve significantly and that date is before the trade deadline.

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#35 loweblows
November 12 2013, 12:39PM
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The Oilers are the cause of stress, headaches, anxiety etc...and treatable by various medications. Doesn't somebody own stores that treat these Bi-Poiler symptoms? Conspiracy perhaps?

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#36 Greasy Goal
November 12 2013, 12:48PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

"we have lots of depth at that position."

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Arguably the worst group of defenders in the league, and the guy supposedly in charge says this?

This can only confirm MacTavish is part of the problem. You SUCK, Daryl Ballard!

Im sorry, how does this fall on Mac T? What DID you want him to say afterwards? Something like: "Im not sure why im doing this trade because our defence is horrible as is but we have some promising young guys coming up soon!"?

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#37 justDOit
November 12 2013, 12:59PM
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loweblows wrote:

The Oilers are the cause of stress, headaches, anxiety etc...and treatable by various medications. Doesn't somebody own stores that treat these Bi-Poiler symptoms? Conspiracy perhaps?

I was going to suggest that KLowe, Katz and MacT are shape-shifting aliens, descended from a lizard race, who need to feed off the sorrow and anguish of the fans of their stinking team.

But I like your idea better.

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#38 Kirk Brackenberry
November 12 2013, 01:00PM
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We need an article from Strudwick, he is very well positioned to comment on the "death spiral."

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#39 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
November 12 2013, 01:15PM
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The arguement of Good franchises have consistency and poor franchises have turn over is not quite right. You make it seem like it is the catalyst but it is just an after effect.

Poor franchises have lots of change because the person(s) making the important decisions are not good at what they do.

MacT made a boldly stupid move by firing his coach last year in favor of the shiny toy. He should have used patience then and right now he needs impatience. Sacrifice a young gun to send a message to all that you run this team and will brook no jack assery from this point forward.

But Lowe wont let that happen cause it doesn't serve his ego.

Media in this town seems to be controlled by the Oilers. I miss the days of an Impartial Bob stauffer calling it as it is.

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#40 Harlie
November 12 2013, 01:18PM
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"All the best coaching candidates are currently working, so who would you replace him with? "

Sutter?

http://oilersnation.com/2013/4/14/day-or-mourning/page/2

#94 Harlie - Team Admiral Hallsy April 14 2013, 01:09PM 0 props

Tambo gone, MacT installed as GM. (it's inevitable anyways)

Krueger demoted to AC or replaced with Lindy Ruff or Brent Sutter

Hemsky, Paajarvi, Petry, Gagner and our 1st from this years draft packaged for a big Top 6 Centre and a Top 2 D man.

Do your best to move Khabi, Smyth, Peckham, Belanger, Whitney, Pettrell, Potter etc for upgraded filler.

Pray that Horcoff can bring the same performance next season.

Light a fire under Eberle's ass.

Put the Nuge through an intense Body by B3nnett off season regimen.

Name Hall as Captain.

Change up the silks a bit, the orange and blue are looking like failure now so maybe time to go darker again or something.

Fire DJ Dragon.

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#41 Towersofdub
November 12 2013, 01:18PM
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@ albertaboy...how is an underachieving, unproven Yakupov an improvement at forward for Nashville?

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#42 #TheNugeIsHuge
November 12 2013, 01:21PM
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Eakins has to do some changes on the lines and then keep them together for not only one game.. Hall - RNH - Eberle; Perron - Arcobello - Yakupov; Gagner - Gordon - Hemsky; Smyth - Acton - Joenssuu; Ference - Petry; Belov - Fedun (when J.Schultz returns, him); Larsen - N. Schultz

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#43 Walter Sobchak
November 12 2013, 01:21PM
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Low times for sure.

Trading Yakupov will be the trade that sinks this organization, Larionov is clearly pissed at how the Oilers are using him.

Rightfully so.

How many times have the Oilers done this before? remember Satan!

They need to play the piss out of this kid!! Unless they have plans to resign an aging Hemsky.

The kid is being made an example out of in front of the other kids. " don't do this or this is what will happen"

I'd ask for a trade too.

Trading Yakupov, unless a top flight defesmen comes back is a fools game.

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#44 pkam
November 12 2013, 01:23PM
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Joel wrote:

JG,

Anyone who plays hockey and watches the Oilers knows the team is not passing the puck to Yakupov. Why/

Something is up.

Did you watch the game against Tampa?

Didn't Hall make a perfect pass to him and he couldn't handle the pass cleanly and turned over the puck to avoid a hit, and the puck ended up in our net?

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#45 Quicksilver ballet
November 12 2013, 01:25PM
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@Greasy Goal

Let's see, where do we start Mr. W.

Signing Grabeshkov, bringing in pillowy soft Larsen on the Horcoff deal, the Smid deal is the proverbial waiving the white flag on the season, only carried out to cut Daryl Ballards costs during another lost season.

Don't get me started on hopes, or players who've yet to show they'll ever be capable NHL'ers. That's even more of a stretch than MacT calling the Smid deal a hockey trade that'll ever help this hockey club.

You may try again Mr. W. It's all a smoke show from where I stand. Fire them all if Larionov is willing to take over tomorrow.

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#46 TDT
November 12 2013, 01:30PM
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pkam wrote:

Did you watch the game against Tampa?

Didn't Hall make a perfect pass to him and he couldn't handle the pass cleanly and turned over the puck to avoid a hit, and the puck ended up in our net?

Was kind of a suicide pass.

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#47 Albertaboy19
November 12 2013, 01:46PM
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Towersofdub wrote:

@ albertaboy...how is an underachieving, unproven Yakupov an improvement at forward for Nashville?

Because he is probably the best one shot scorer on this team. The kid is good, and it's been frustrating because IMO he has been under utilized and hasn't been held to the same accountability as some of the other kids. Is he struggling, of course and is some of it his fault absolutely. But also the mis-coaching of him doesn't help and for Christs sake he is 20. He's gonna make mistakes, and he's gonna need some help to get better other than benching him or putting him on the 4th line.

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#48 Alsker
November 12 2013, 01:50PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Let's see, where do we start Mr. W.

Signing Grabeshkov, bringing in pillowy soft Larsen on the Horcoff deal, the Smid deal is the proverbial waiving the white flag on the season, only carried out to cut Daryl Ballards costs during another lost season.

Don't get me started on hopes, or players who've yet to show they'll ever be capable NHL'ers. That's even more of a stretch than MacT calling the Smid deal a hockey trade that'll ever help this hockey club.

You may try again Mr. W. It's all a smoke show from where I stand. Fire them all if Larionov is willing to take over tomorrow.

"Daryl Ballard"

Epic!!!

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#49 Ted
November 12 2013, 01:52PM
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I think the expectations placed on this team have been unfair. Yes, they have a bunch of high draft picks in the system but draft picks rarely become legit NHL players. Even less become superstars. The high picks certainly have a better chance of becoming great players but it is far from certainty. Maybe this has happened to the Oilers.

The GMs also failed to mix in good veteran players which is unfortunate. How are these young guys going to learn? Maybe they should have developed in the minors instead of being thrust into the NHL.

I think the Oil may have to move some of the more valuable pieces to get a better mix of players in the lineup.

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#50 Serious Gord
November 12 2013, 02:02PM
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Alsker wrote:

"Daryl Ballard"

Epic!!!

That could stick...

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