BLAME GAME

Brian Sutherby
November 14 2013 05:27PM

With each passing day, frustrated fans continue to find new or old reasons as to why this team is where it is. Everyone is searching for answers, with many targeting the “old boys club” that has become the Edmonton Oilers. I don’t know if this is new but many want to focus on the assistant coaches today and blame them for this team’s demise.

I’m not going to sit here and defend the constant re hiring of former Oilers because if it works its great and if it doesn’t then it’s a failure and normally fixed. It’s tough to let go of good people and players that have been great to an organization.

I believe like many of you, more changes on ice and potentially off the ice are likely needed, but I do find it strange the focus is now being directed at assistant coaches Kelly Buchberger and Steve Smith.

HIS PICK

It’s easy to assume Eakins truly didn’t have a choice in picking his assistant coaches but maybe Eakins did decide he wanted to keep Buchberger and Smith? Maybe the players in the room were a vote of confidence for those two and Eakins understood that? That I cannot factually answer and everyone can form their own opinion.

He did however; bring over his buddy Keith Acton from Toronto, so he has someone he is familiar with on his staff. It’s very common for coaches to bring “their” guys to each new job but it is actually not uncommon for teams to retain an assistant coach when a head coach has been relieved of his duties.

HAPPENS ALL THE TIME

I’ve seen it on two of the three teams I played on in the NHL. When Glen Hanlon was fired in Washington and Bruce Boudreau was hired, Dean Evason (my favorite assistant coach of all time) was retained and Bruce kept him for his entire tenure in Washington. Dean had a great relationship with the guys and was very respected by everyone.

In Dallas Stu Barnes survived the Dave Tippett firing and worked under Mark Crawford for his 2 years in Dallas. Not to mention they were both former players for those respective organizations. It’s not just in Edmonton.

Regardless of all that, I think there is a bit of a misunderstanding of what exactly an assistant coach brings to the table. With all due respect to the great assistant coaches around the league, assistant coaches provide value but not near enough to blame them for day to day decisions.

COMMUNICATION

I was always very tight with my assistant coaches. I have played for some fantastic ones. This was because they were tremendous guys. When times are tough and you have a question about how to handle a certain situation, you could go to them. Assistant coaches could get a message to the coach or from a coach to you about what he is thinking or why certain decisions are being made.

The reason former players are often hired to be assistants is because they have played the game, they understand the ups and downs throughout the year and how players want to be treated. Great assistant coaches in my opinion provide a pipeline to the coach, and they provide tips and good stories or techniques of how they would handle certain situations. They watch game tape and do extra work with you on things that need it. Many head coaches don’t want to deal with the day to day of player mentalities or headaches; this is the greatest asset an assistant coach provides.

FINAL SAY

Assistants have certain assignments and often run the power play or penalty kill meetings but many are mistaken if the thought is assistant coaches are calling the final shots on the systems you see. Some assistants are more active than others and handle more of a load but at the end of it all the head coach is taking their advice and providing the players with his message. It’s him who will ultimately land on the sword if things fail.

Be mad all you want at Kevin Lowe and Steve Tambellini who re-built this team. Be mad at the fact the players themselves haven’t produced winning results since Gregor debated a comb over, but I don’t think for a second if they had two different assistant coaches this team would be dramatically better. I think we’re reaching now.

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A Moose Jaw Warriors alumnus and veteran of 460 NHL games with the Capitals, Ducks and Stars—Sutherby is here to regale us with tales of the WJHC, life as an NHL player and much more from a Pro’s perspective. Co-Host's the Jason Gregor show on TSN1260 on Tuesday's from 3-5 and Coaches at www.proconnectionhockey.com Twitter:@briansutherby
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#1 DSF
November 14 2013, 06:27PM
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John wrote:

I am a lifer as a Oilers fan and sat in the stands when Messier did not spend 20 seconds a game on the defensive side of the red line and Paul Coffey was minus 5 every night and that was if he scored twice and Wayne Gretzky couldn't spell "Back check" but we where patient fans as they learned the game and where eventually rewarded as we saw them win 5 cups in that old barn. Did Sather make mistakes you bet he did as he tried to find the right supporting group for his stars . But he and the fans stuck with it and we where rewarded.

Now as this group of very talented kids struggles to learn the game just as the boys on the bus did the new core of Oiler fans seems to all be from the "instant gratification " group who think patience is calculated in days .

I have a theory for discussion . Over the last 5 or 6 years the population of Alberta has exploded with 100 of thousands of people moving here from Ontario and Quebec were being a hockey fan is a "Blood Sport" and running players and coaches out of town is what you do if you have been a Leafs fan. My Question how many of the people calling for scalps on these blogs are really Oiler fans and how many are closet Leaf or Habs fans who have imported their ways from the East. Maybe we should make it a rule that any one commenting on the Oilers should first state how long they have lived here and were did they come from and are they Really a Oiler fan .

"Instant gratification" is a ridiculous notion in this context.

The Oilers are about to miss the playoffs for the 8th consecutive season after having drafted in the top 10 6 times in the past 7 years....including 3 first overall picks.

Any objective observer would proclaim this a failed rebuild especially when you consider the team has gone through 3 General Managers and 5 head coaches during that same period.

The platitudes we heard from MacT today merely reinforce what many Oiler fans have increasingly suspected in that the management of the team is not qualified to get the team back to the playoffs any time soon.

(BTW, I've been an Oilers fan since the first WHA season and was a long time season ticket holder until Kevin Lowe drove me away.)

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#2 DSF
November 14 2013, 06:59PM
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John wrote:

So you are only a fan if they are winning cups? What about enjoying the game for the great game it is.? Because guys that is what it is a game . We could all be in the Philippines right now .

No I've also been a fan for the last 25 years when the Oilers, for the most part were a pathetic, under-funded, dysfunctional organization.

I do enjoy the game much more now that I'm not financially and emotionally invested in the Oilers who are likely more dysfunctional now than they've ever been despite having a salary cap, a strong Canadian dollar and a billionaire owner providing all the resources they need to build a winner but are hamstrung by the inept management team that can't even field a competitive team, never mind a winner.

The game, as played in nearly every other NHL location, is the best game in the world and the fans of nearly all of those teams at least can believe into the spring that their team just might have a chance. Instead Oilers fans are stuck with a team that was out of the playoff race before the end of October.

If you're looking at a city and a team that has had everything working against it from a poor location, shady or non- existent ownership, no budget and a small fan base, consider the Phoenix Coyotes who despite a host of handicaps, almost always ice a competitive team led by competent management and coaching.

Last time I looked, they were 13-4-2 and second in the toughest division in hockey.

Now, ask yourself why that is and, then get back to me.

Your silly analogy that being an Oiler fan is better than being a typhoon victim in the Philippines is just so sad.

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#3 Loyal Oil
November 14 2013, 06:02PM
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The Edmonton Oilers will have appered in one playoffs over the last 10 years after this season. K. Lowe has been the Hockey Boss (GM/POHO) for that entire period. 10% success rate. I don't think there I any need to go Bucky hunting.

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#4 Metal&Oil
November 14 2013, 05:35PM
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Yes. It is fairly common for assistants to retain their jobs through a head coaching change but to survive 3-5 different coaching changes is not normal. I bet you could scour the whole history of professional sports and not see this situation repeated anywhere.

Fire Lowe and let the new president clean house.

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#5 DSF
November 14 2013, 07:56PM
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book¡e wrote:

Oh, sorry, did you think anyone in Edmonton cares what the west coast thinks?

Oh, I think you can hear the laughter from pretty much every direction.

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#6 DSF
November 14 2013, 07:01PM
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JJ wrote:

This press conference displayed our biggest problem. Our management are either so delusional and incompetent that they truly believe what they're saying, or they're so arrogant that they'd rather fail than admit they were wrong. Either way, both are terrifying.

I think BOTH of your possibilities are accurate.

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#7 dougtheslug
November 14 2013, 08:12PM
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YFC Prez wrote:

Could have had Torts?

man during the oilers several coaching changes we could have had: Ruff, Jacques Martin, Guy Boucher, Brent Sutter, Paul Maurice, Carlyle, Michel Therrien, Bruce Boudreau, Bob Hartley, Ken Hitchcock..... the list goes on and on and on

the first and last name on that list still really hurts....stubborn oiler bosses

Are you crazy? Not one guy on your list is an ex-Oiler. Don't speak such silliness!

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#8 Bloodsweatandoil
November 14 2013, 05:52PM
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What's the point anymore, after the MacT presser today, apparently Oiler fans have to bend over for another season.

MacT said on OilersNow today,: "as hard as this is to say, given our current record, I couldn't be happier with the coaching.

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#9 kale
November 14 2013, 06:50PM
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That was a disappointing presser by MacT. He likes the progress he has seen recently. Seriously, the Oilers havent scored in the last three home games-something that hasnt been done by any other team for 40 years. Please just get us back to where we were last year when we strung some victories together and I will be happy.

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#10 JJ
November 14 2013, 06:58PM
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DSF wrote:

He also said:

"The Oilers' general manager also spoke about rookie head coach Dallas Eakins, whom he hired over the summer from the AHL's Toronto Marlies.

"What this team needs is continuity in coaching, and they're going to get it... (Eakins is) hitting all the right messages," said MacTavish."

With the way MacT handled his first decision as GM, hiring Eakins, he has way too much invested to admit he made a mistake.

This press conference displayed our biggest problem. Our management are either so delusional and incompetent that they truly believe what they're saying, or they're so arrogant that they'd rather fail than admit they were wrong. Either way, both are terrifying.

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#11 DSF
November 14 2013, 07:13PM
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kale wrote:

I agree, when MacT said people outside the organization are optimistic about the team and that is a good barometer I wonder who he has been talking too, he certainly hasnt read papers out of Ottowa or listened to the NHL radio network.

Ray Ferraro, who did colour on last night's broadcast, absolutely ripped the team today.

Out here on the west coast, the Oilers have become the butt of almost every joke on talk radio...including their NHL guests.

I wonder if MacT got a glowing review when he met with Igor Larionov today? 😳

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Thanks for the inside look, Suds. One thing that's occurred to me amidst the recent Yak-ontroversey, is that one of the associate coaches should take him under his wing, and really do some mentoring. Despite the rumors on this site, I have no idea what the dressing room climate is like. Whatever the mood, I get the sense that Yak could use an ally

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#13 DSF
November 14 2013, 06:36PM
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Drake wrote:

Most surprising thing Mac said today was they were making Junior Hockey mistakes. That sounds to me that Eakins is no so safe.

He also said:

"The Oilers' general manager also spoke about rookie head coach Dallas Eakins, whom he hired over the summer from the AHL's Toronto Marlies.

"What this team needs is continuity in coaching, and they're going to get it... (Eakins is) hitting all the right messages," said MacTavish."

With the way MacT handled his first decision as GM, hiring Eakins, he has way too much invested to admit he made a mistake.

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#14 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
November 14 2013, 08:38PM
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John wrote:

I am a lifer as a Oilers fan and sat in the stands when Messier did not spend 20 seconds a game on the defensive side of the red line and Paul Coffey was minus 5 every night and that was if he scored twice and Wayne Gretzky couldn't spell "Back check" but we where patient fans as they learned the game and where eventually rewarded as we saw them win 5 cups in that old barn. Did Sather make mistakes you bet he did as he tried to find the right supporting group for his stars . But he and the fans stuck with it and we where rewarded.

Now as this group of very talented kids struggles to learn the game just as the boys on the bus did the new core of Oiler fans seems to all be from the "instant gratification " group who think patience is calculated in days .

I have a theory for discussion . Over the last 5 or 6 years the population of Alberta has exploded with 100 of thousands of people moving here from Ontario and Quebec were being a hockey fan is a "Blood Sport" and running players and coaches out of town is what you do if you have been a Leafs fan. My Question how many of the people calling for scalps on these blogs are really Oiler fans and how many are closet Leaf or Habs fans who have imported their ways from the East. Maybe we should make it a rule that any one commenting on the Oilers should first state how long they have lived here and were did they come from and are they Really a Oiler fan .

There is no Gretzky, there is no Messier and there is no Coffee on this team....and there never will be. Those comparisons, and I have been guilty of making those comparisons myself, are false.

Time to not only get rid of their pictures in the room, but also the bull crap predictions that these kids will evolve into the aforementioned generational legends. Never gonna happen, acknowledge the fact and move on.

It's a new day, so to speak.

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#15 John
November 14 2013, 06:12PM
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I am a lifer as a Oilers fan and sat in the stands when Messier did not spend 20 seconds a game on the defensive side of the red line and Paul Coffey was minus 5 every night and that was if he scored twice and Wayne Gretzky couldn't spell "Back check" but we where patient fans as they learned the game and where eventually rewarded as we saw them win 5 cups in that old barn. Did Sather make mistakes you bet he did as he tried to find the right supporting group for his stars . But he and the fans stuck with it and we where rewarded.

Now as this group of very talented kids struggles to learn the game just as the boys on the bus did the new core of Oiler fans seems to all be from the "instant gratification " group who think patience is calculated in days .

I have a theory for discussion . Over the last 5 or 6 years the population of Alberta has exploded with 100 of thousands of people moving here from Ontario and Quebec were being a hockey fan is a "Blood Sport" and running players and coaches out of town is what you do if you have been a Leafs fan. My Question how many of the people calling for scalps on these blogs are really Oiler fans and how many are closet Leaf or Habs fans who have imported their ways from the East. Maybe we should make it a rule that any one commenting on the Oilers should first state how long they have lived here and were did they come from and are they Really a Oiler fan .

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#16 Hits from the BoNg
November 14 2013, 07:04PM
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John wrote:

I am a lifer as a Oilers fan and sat in the stands when Messier did not spend 20 seconds a game on the defensive side of the red line and Paul Coffey was minus 5 every night and that was if he scored twice and Wayne Gretzky couldn't spell "Back check" but we where patient fans as they learned the game and where eventually rewarded as we saw them win 5 cups in that old barn. Did Sather make mistakes you bet he did as he tried to find the right supporting group for his stars . But he and the fans stuck with it and we where rewarded.

Now as this group of very talented kids struggles to learn the game just as the boys on the bus did the new core of Oiler fans seems to all be from the "instant gratification " group who think patience is calculated in days .

I have a theory for discussion . Over the last 5 or 6 years the population of Alberta has exploded with 100 of thousands of people moving here from Ontario and Quebec were being a hockey fan is a "Blood Sport" and running players and coaches out of town is what you do if you have been a Leafs fan. My Question how many of the people calling for scalps on these blogs are really Oiler fans and how many are closet Leaf or Habs fans who have imported their ways from the East. Maybe we should make it a rule that any one commenting on the Oilers should first state how long they have lived here and were did they come from and are they Really a Oiler fan .

Kids. This is why you should say no to drugs.

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#17 DSF
November 14 2013, 07:38PM
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In other news...the injury riddled LA Kings (Quick, Richards, Stoll, Carter) just defeated the Islanders 3-2.

Leading the way...Tanner Pearson who scored in his first NHL game, Tyler Toffoli (5GP 3G 7P) and Linden Vey (3P in 4GP)

Amazing how young players can perform when supported by quality veterans.

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#18 Space Dad
November 14 2013, 09:04PM
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"It must be considered that there is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle, than to initiate a new order of things.”

Imposing a new order on chaos... essentially, this was the task given to Eakins at the beginning of this year. I think we are only just beginning to see what an incredibly chaotic state the Oilers were in before he arrived.

What, if anything, did Ralph Krueger do to address actually teaching these players anything about the strong, defensively-sound mindset required for winning? Why is it so frustratingly difficult for these players to adopt the defensively attentive attitude they need to in order to turn things around?

Krueger was a motivator and a psychologist, not a teacher and a strategist. Unfortunately, such a coaching style is, in the long-term especially, doomed to fail. It has not curbed the chaos of this young team - it has fostered it. A player cannot be externally motivated to commit to defense. This motivation has to be intrinsic! Currently, almost every Oiler "young gun" is intrinsically motivated only to score and display offensive flair.

Why is Nuge different from the other Fab Five? Why is he so obviously better at defense? Because he focused on this area of the game as being extremely important. No one did that for him - he made defense a personal priority.

It's time for the other players to follow suit, and Eakins is the only coach since MacT to be standing firm in requiring them to learn this lesson. In order for the team to be sustainably successful, they all need to learn:

1) you can't cheat for offense, and 2) you must sacrifice for defense

Not an easy lesson, but a necessary one. The pain of learning it is what the players (and the fans) are going through so far this season. Eakins fault? No. Someone needs to teach these players this lesson. I would think that MacT knows this, and that, accordingly, we have the reason for why he "couldn't be happier with the coaching." Clearing the rubble away is difficult and painful - a stubborn, principled coach like Eakins is the man for the job.

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#19 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
November 14 2013, 08:51PM
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Hits from the BoNg wrote:

Kids. This is why you should say no to drugs.

Said "Hits From The Bong."

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#20 Oilcruzer
November 14 2013, 10:07PM
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DSF wrote:

Oh look kids....

Tyler Seguin with 4G 1A tonight.

On pace for 56 goals and 95 points.

I wonder if the Bruins (and Oilers) would like a mulligan.

Boston couldn't afford the nightly bar tab and chaperon costs.

Oil don't need that headache.

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#21 Zarny
November 14 2013, 10:13PM
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DSF wrote:

Oh look kids....

Tyler Seguin with 4G 1A tonight.

On pace for 56 goals and 95 points.

I wonder if the Bruins (and Oilers) would like a mulligan.

Considering the Bruins had to put a bodyguard outside Seguins' room in the playoffs to prevent him from going out partying not likely.

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#22 Butters
November 14 2013, 08:56PM
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I'm ticked. Not only has this team been terrible for what seems like forever, they have also figured out a way to keep me from ever winning the 50-50.

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#23 wiseguy
November 14 2013, 11:47PM
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@Space Dad

"Krueger was a motivator and a psychologist, not a teacher and a strategist"

He seemed to know strategy and defense when he coached a no name, no talent Swiss squad to play defense and compete against other more talented teams.

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#24 Craig1981
November 14 2013, 05:40PM
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I think its frustrating and everyone wants answers. I think the biggest issue with this team is just how terrible it was back in 2010. Besides their 1rst rounders, not one player in their prospect pool turned out to be a useful player. Cogliano, Gagner, Smid, and Hemsky are the only 4 players under 25 that are any use to a club now. All in all only 6 skaters on the team are NHL quality players now. Having a new franchise would of been easier to build up from!

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#25 -30-
November 14 2013, 05:55PM
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Analyzing the Oilers is analogous to figuring out why a girl you know is always getting into bad relationships.

Is it the girl? Is it the guys? What's the ONE constant in those bad times? Obviously it's the girl who keeps choosing the abusive partners.

That's where we've arrived in Oilerville. Players and coaches keep changing to the same end.

What's the one constant in this pitiful cycle of losing?

The assistant coaches and klowe. Figure it out.

Wanna break the cycle of losing?

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#26 Harlie
November 14 2013, 06:22PM
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I did kinda chuckle to myself when I heard the Eakins presser where he said that Acton provided "the gift" of going through Yakupov's shifts, shift by shift with him.

Ol' Yak was probably rolling his eyes and thinking:

Santa stay in mother Russia this year. Gift is offensive dynamo Keith Acton on how to score on goalies and play defensive ice hockeys!

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#27 Rod from Viking
November 14 2013, 07:26PM
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kale wrote:

I agree, when MacT said people outside the organization are optimistic about the team and that is a good barometer I wonder who he has been talking too, he certainly hasnt read papers out of Ottowa or listened to the NHL radio network.

He meant they are very optimistic about getting two points when they play the Oilers.

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#28 Bloodsweatandoil
November 14 2013, 07:09PM
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@John

Hi John,

I like the cut of your jib. I have lived in Alberta all my life, 41 years. Past season ticket with the Oilers from 1993-2003. Before 93 and after 04, I can honestly say I have purchased tickets to 250 games at Edmonton, and 20 on the road. I think some of my comments on Oilers Nation are valid, some are not due to anger, frustration and embarrassment on my behalf.

We have to agree it was different hockey back then, but I feel Glen Sather never had it this bad, he would never let it happen.

Glen Sather's first coaching year record:

1979-80 : 28 wins 39 losses 13 ties 1981-89 : 414 wins 202 losses 86 ties, with some Stanley Cups sprinkled in there...

My point is that, for all those young guys to be put together like that basically at the beginning of the Oilers entry to the NHL and to continue to dominate until 1990, I do not think Sather made mistakes.

Oiler fans were rewarded almost the instant they entered the NHL and continuously rewarded until the last cup in 1990. When all those stars moved on, and Sather moved on, so did the winning tradition year after year.

I am not looking for instant gratification gauged in days, I am looking for a competitive team that has heart and is tough to play against game in, game out. I was willing to give 3 or 4 years after 2007....

It is taken years so far to build this team that is still not competitive at all in this NHL. I am a very Proud Oiler Fan!! But lately it seems, those same guys who run our club, who were a huge part of what I mentioned above, have lost their pride and now have made our club the embarrassment of today's NHL. They continuously preach patience, sit dormant,and move in or out the wrong pieces.

I will always be an Oiler Fan, but how long should this really take? Why is this year so painful? Why isn't it BOLD? lol...I'm done

Dale C.

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#29 YFC Prez
November 14 2013, 07:27PM
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@DOMINATOR

I hear ya. It's Got ya so upset you had to say it once for each of Lowes cups.

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#30 DSF
November 14 2013, 07:30PM
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YFC Prez wrote:

I hear ya. It's Got ya so upset you had to say it once for each of Lowes cups.

I propped all 6.

Does that make me a bad person?

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#31 Rama Lama
November 14 2013, 06:31PM
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I think that management rushed these young players into the NHL at the cost of development.

I for one would have never let any of the "young players", except maybe RNH into the NHL without learning the professional game in the AHL. The emphasis of our AHL team should be playing as much as possible and really concentrating on the defensive side of the game.

Call it the Detroit model, but if the OIlers management were selling this concept, the rabid fan base would understand this and hold their criticsm in check.

In stead we will be wandering in the desert for quite some time, while this continuous rebuild goes on.

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#32 Boourns99
November 14 2013, 11:17PM
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DSF wrote:

They already have that headache....and then some.

They just don't score as much.

DSF, Do you seriously have nothing better to do? I don't understand how trolling this site can be enjoyable AT ALL, especially at a time like this.

And your suggestion is ridiculous. Look at the body of work. Taylor hall was the right choice.

Now go do something meaningful. And let us Oiler fans wallow. Kicking while we're down is just petty and mean. For shame.

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#33 Oiler Al
November 15 2013, 07:53AM
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DSF wrote:

Oh look kids....

Tyler Seguin with 4G 1A tonight.

On pace for 56 goals and 95 points.

I wonder if the Bruins (and Oilers) would like a mulligan.

Almost as good as Gagner's 8 point night.

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#34 dougtheslug
November 15 2013, 08:53AM
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DSF wrote:

Get your head out of your ass.

Hall has just as many warts as Seguin.

Tyler is about to blow him away.

The Taylor-Tyler debate won't be decided until their careers have ended- they are both supremely talented players with enormous potential.

I did note that last night that Seguin was on the receiving end of some stellar work by Team Canada hopeful Jamie Benn (and some Oileresque defending by Calgary) . As RNH matures, I expect Hall will have some similar nights.

Tyler won't "blow away" Hall. But hopefully the debate will go on throughout their careers.

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#35 TKB2677
November 15 2013, 09:01AM
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Does anyone know when Sam Gagner is supposed to start playing?

I checked the stats and it says Gagner 7GP, 1pt, -10. So basically since he has come into the line up, he's been completely useless. It's baffling, almost incredible to me how a player going into his 7th NHL season can come in to a line up and be -10 in 7 games. I think you actually have to try pretty hard to be a -10 in 7 games.

I know he is coming off an injury and when it's a jaw you are probably going to feel every little bump so he's probably a little tentative. Plus missing time you are going to "game speed" but holy crap!! If Gagner is going to be that bad, maybe he needs to sit out a few more weeks until everything is 100% and he no longer has any concerns. He's literally doing NOTHING to help the team and one can argue, he's probably hurting the team with his play right now.

I honestly don't think a player can play any worse based on his stats.

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#36 kale
November 14 2013, 07:09PM
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@JJ

I agree, when MacT said people outside the organization are optimistic about the team and that is a good barometer I wonder who he has been talking too, he certainly hasnt read papers out of Ottowa or listened to the NHL radio network.

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#37 DSF
November 14 2013, 09:57PM
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Oh look kids....

Tyler Seguin with 4G 1A tonight.

On pace for 56 goals and 95 points.

I wonder if the Bruins (and Oilers) would like a mulligan.

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#38 John
November 14 2013, 06:47PM
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DSF wrote:

"Instant gratification" is a ridiculous notion in this context.

The Oilers are about to miss the playoffs for the 8th consecutive season after having drafted in the top 10 6 times in the past 7 years....including 3 first overall picks.

Any objective observer would proclaim this a failed rebuild especially when you consider the team has gone through 3 General Managers and 5 head coaches during that same period.

The platitudes we heard from MacT today merely reinforce what many Oiler fans have increasingly suspected in that the management of the team is not qualified to get the team back to the playoffs any time soon.

(BTW, I've been an Oilers fan since the first WHA season and was a long time season ticket holder until Kevin Lowe drove me away.)

So you are only a fan if they are winning cups? What about enjoying the game for the great game it is.? Because guys that is what it is a game . We could all be in the Philippines right now .

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#39 Icedt
November 14 2013, 11:04PM
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@Space Dad

Nuge learned defence from sutter during his time with rebels.

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#40 Kypreos
November 14 2013, 11:25PM
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How long will Yakipov put up with the Edmonton oilers before he bolts back to the KHL where he can play all he wants in front of his home country and make more money?

Unload his sorry attitude while he still has value...

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#41 Hauk15
November 14 2013, 11:46PM
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DSF wrote:

Oh look kids....

Tyler Seguin with 4G 1A tonight.

On pace for 56 goals and 95 points.

I wonder if the Bruins (and Oilers) would like a mulligan.

Good for him, Hall is a better player still. Hall has more points, less games, and he plays for EDM. Seguin has played on good teams, if he was so much better than Hall than he should have a lot more points. On another note, nothing makes me happier than seeing calgary get stomped. 7-3 final.

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#42 Wanye
November 15 2013, 12:15AM
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DSF wrote:

"Instant gratification" is a ridiculous notion in this context.

The Oilers are about to miss the playoffs for the 8th consecutive season after having drafted in the top 10 6 times in the past 7 years....including 3 first overall picks.

Any objective observer would proclaim this a failed rebuild especially when you consider the team has gone through 3 General Managers and 5 head coaches during that same period.

The platitudes we heard from MacT today merely reinforce what many Oiler fans have increasingly suspected in that the management of the team is not qualified to get the team back to the playoffs any time soon.

(BTW, I've been an Oilers fan since the first WHA season and was a long time season ticket holder until Kevin Lowe drove me away.)

HOLY COW DSF FOR THE EPIC WIN

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#43 @Oilanderp
November 15 2013, 01:26AM
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You know, i'd bet putting a puck in the net at the one end once in a while and stopping it at the other end would go a long way to solving this assistant coaching problem we're having.

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#44 JJ
November 14 2013, 07:45PM
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DSF wrote:

In other news...the injury riddled LA Kings (Quick, Richards, Stoll, Carter) just defeated the Islanders 3-2.

Leading the way...Tanner Pearson who scored in his first NHL game, Tyler Toffoli (5GP 3G 7P) and Linden Vey (3P in 4GP)

Amazing how young players can perform when supported by quality veterans.

Yup.. I think that'll be the difference between Calgary and Edmonton the next couple of years. It was wise of them to retain guys like Stempniak and Giordano and Glencross while adding quality veteran presence in guys like Smid.

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#45 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
November 14 2013, 09:42PM
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The two Alberta teams are so competitive...."We're the a Worst Team in the league".......NO!......"We Are!"......"Are Not!"......"We Are!".....

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#46 Cynic
November 14 2013, 11:15PM
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Seguin is the new Pierre Larouche. He will get traded again and again. All the while putting up big numbers. What message would it have sent to the rest of the Bruins if they'd kept Seguin after last spring's complete lack of playoff focus? Hockey is a team game.

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#47 Walter Sobchak
November 15 2013, 06:18AM
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Space Dad wrote:

"It must be considered that there is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle, than to initiate a new order of things.”

Imposing a new order on chaos... essentially, this was the task given to Eakins at the beginning of this year. I think we are only just beginning to see what an incredibly chaotic state the Oilers were in before he arrived.

What, if anything, did Ralph Krueger do to address actually teaching these players anything about the strong, defensively-sound mindset required for winning? Why is it so frustratingly difficult for these players to adopt the defensively attentive attitude they need to in order to turn things around?

Krueger was a motivator and a psychologist, not a teacher and a strategist. Unfortunately, such a coaching style is, in the long-term especially, doomed to fail. It has not curbed the chaos of this young team - it has fostered it. A player cannot be externally motivated to commit to defense. This motivation has to be intrinsic! Currently, almost every Oiler "young gun" is intrinsically motivated only to score and display offensive flair.

Why is Nuge different from the other Fab Five? Why is he so obviously better at defense? Because he focused on this area of the game as being extremely important. No one did that for him - he made defense a personal priority.

It's time for the other players to follow suit, and Eakins is the only coach since MacT to be standing firm in requiring them to learn this lesson. In order for the team to be sustainably successful, they all need to learn:

1) you can't cheat for offense, and 2) you must sacrifice for defense

Not an easy lesson, but a necessary one. The pain of learning it is what the players (and the fans) are going through so far this season. Eakins fault? No. Someone needs to teach these players this lesson. I would think that MacT knows this, and that, accordingly, we have the reason for why he "couldn't be happier with the coaching." Clearing the rubble away is difficult and painful - a stubborn, principled coach like Eakins is the man for the job.

Ya, Krueger knew sh!p about defense!

He never took a bunch of cast off kids, motivated them to play a sound defensive structure and beat teams twice as good as his own and arguable the best team in the world................

I wonder who Mike Babcock personally asked to scout for that same world team.

Just walk away dude you know SFA

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#48 Shifty203
November 15 2013, 09:03AM
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YFC Prez wrote:

You still put Seguin ahead of Hall ? That's just plain whacky , Hall over Seguin has to be one of the few clear cut wins for this oilers mgmt group.

Seguin is playing really good hockey right now and Hall is slumping with the rest of the team but Hall is the better player, I don't see how this is even debatable anymore.

Actually, most Scout's at the draft picked Seguin to be the better player over Hall long term. At the draft they agreed Hall was better at that moment.

Its not unrealistic to think Seguin is going to be better in the long run. You can see improvments in all areas of his game since he was drafted. He's also getting stronger and tougher. He doesn't get pushed off the puck near as easy as Hall.

I haven't seen much improvement from Hall or Eb's since they started playing with the team. Neither seems to be working too hard to improve. Both are still mostly offence, with little defensive upside. A small breeze nearly knocks both of them over.

I've moved on from blaming coaches and GM's, and am starting to wonder about the training staff, and the players commitment to off-season training. Nobody seems to be actually getting better, or stronger, and the constant injuries would support that theory.

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#49 Six Rings
November 15 2013, 09:37AM
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DSF wrote:

Oh look kids....

Tyler Seguin with 4G 1A tonight.

On pace for 56 goals and 95 points.

I wonder if the Bruins (and Oilers) would like a mulligan.

I was reading the comments and thinking... "Wow, DSF will all these valid points."

Then I come across this...

Players have ups and downs all season. He gets 5 points against the Flames and you cherry pick stats.

'X' player has 15 points in their first 10 games and are on pace for 123 points in a season, doesn't mean they will...

Crosby: First 10: 18 points in 10 games. On pace for 147 points. Current: 24 points in 18 games. On pace for 109 Points.

One streak of 6 points in his last 8 games changes his 'on pace' statistic by almost 40 points.

Seguin: Today : 22 points in 19 GP. On pace for 95pts. Before Flames: 17 points in 18 GP. On pace for 77pts.

C'mon man.

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#50 916oiler
November 14 2013, 06:40PM
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Well said, good read. This is where the credibility of being an actual NHL player (former of course) is so useful. Good article, and one that isn't just heresay.

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