The Coach

Jonathan Willis
November 14 2013 09:32AM

On virtually any other NHL team, Dallas Eakins would be out of a job right now. A 4-14-2 start is a fireable offence for most NHL teams, but here Eakins has a protective barrier formed by the ghosts of Criag MacTavish and Pat Quinn and Tom Renney and Ralph Krueger.

The Path Forward

It isn’t too early to think about firing the coach. It’s just too early to actually fire the coach. Edmonton has fired coaches so many times without results (on that note, wouldn’t it be nice to go back two years and let Tom Renney keep coaching the team?) and it’s time to go a different route.

This is one of the things Craig MacTavish is here for. In previous years, Steve Tambellini proved remarkably unwilling to address simple team needs (such as fourth line centre). MacTavish is already one up on Tambellini because he’s been willing to try plugging in minor leaguers (recall Mark Arcobello rotting on the farm while Chris VandeVelde and Ryan Smyth failed as fourth line centres) but that’s not enough.

It’s trade time. And not a ‘move Ladislav Smid for futures’ trade. A trade that actually brings in NHL talent. Maybe it’s a defenceman who can play in the top-three. Maybe it’s a big forward who can play in the top-six. Maybe it’s a good third-line wing so that Boyd Gordon doesn’t have to drag around Jesse Joensuu and Ryan Jones. I don’t know what’s out there, or how much what’s out there costs to acquire; I do know that this team isn’t getting the job done and Dallas Eakins seems like he’s out of answers.

Normally, when the coach is out of answers the coach pays the price. In this case, so many other coaches have been out of answers that it’s time to try giving the man behind the bench some different pieces.

Lousy NHL Debuts

Some very good coaches have had some very bad starts to their careers, generally because opportunity arises with bad (or expansion) teams. Here’s a brief list of some very good coaches who started out on the wrong foot:

  • Scotty Bowman: 4-13-2 with St. Louis
  • Dick Irvin: 2-6-4 with Chicago
  • Ron Wilson: 4-13-2 with Anaheim
  • Lindy Ruff: 5-10-4 with Buffalo
  • Ken Hitchcock: 10-18-8 with Dallas

Naturally, I’m not saying ‘oh man, Dallas Eakins is Scotty Bowman!’ That would be crazy. What I am saying is that it’s possible that the Oilers will end up benefiting from their (essentially) forced patience with Eakins. Of course, it’s just as possible that 20 games from now nothing has changed and Eakins is out the door, but it’s at least plausible that the coach can right the ship.

So, About That Trade…

It has to be coming, and it has to be meaningful.

74b7cedc5d8bfbe88cf071309e98d2c3
Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 outdoorzguy
November 14 2013, 09:45AM
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Oct 7, 2017 Edmonton

After construction delays and political wrangling, Edmonton’s new arena, The Rexall Repository was officially opened a year behind schedule by Katz Group Executive Vice President of Operations and former Edmonton mayor Stephen Mandel. Mandel dropped the puck as the Oiler opened up another NHL season by the dropping the ceremonial puck at the start of the game with the visiting Los Angeles Kings. Despite another sell out crowd, the 410th in a row, the Oilers dropped a 4-2 decision to the defending Stanley Cup champion Kings who had played the night before in Vancouver. Former Oiler Nail Yakupov, who led the league in scoring last year, picked up right where he left off last year, scoring two goals and setting up a third. The home town Oilers’ goals were scored by David McConnor and local product Tyler Benson. Goalie Laurent Brossoit made 48 saves on the night for the Oilers. After the game, head coach Shawn Horcoff was joined by his assistant coaches Kelly Buchburger and Steve Smith to give their assessment of the game. Horcoff stated that despite having so many young players in the lineup and first overall draft picks, he “felt there was a good blend of old and new”, and it would take a bit more time for this group to “gel together”. Later, Oiler General Manager Bob Stauffer joined his coaching staff and was asked about the team’s rebuilding under his leadership. He commented that he was “only starting the second year of his vision for the team and it may take four or five more years to get things where he would like them to be”. Stauffer also says “despite the best efforts of previous GM’s, it would not be a continuation of the previous rebuilds which occurred over the last nine years”, but a new, focussed vision. He encouraged fans to continue to support the team by filling the new arena and looking to the future with anticipation as the team still was looking for a puck moving defenceman and top three center. Despite the opening night hoopla, team owner Daryl Katz was not in the building and was not available for comment as has been the case since 2008.

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#2 The Towel Boy
November 14 2013, 09:41AM
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I kinda secretly hope this losing streak goes just a few more games so that we get to see some big fireworks.

FIRINGS! TRADES! Whatever...just give me something to be excited about.

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#3 Rick
November 14 2013, 09:43AM
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The Common denominator throughout the head coach carousel Is Steve Smith and Bucky. At what point do you hold these two responsible for some of these problems.These kids are NOT receiving good mentoring from these two coaches.

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#4 Mac962
November 14 2013, 09:44AM
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JW - Perhaps Eakins is given a longer rope, but how long do we wait until something is done with Bucky and Smith ? I mean come on, they were not Eakins first choice, he was saddled with them. IMO - If he accepts it or not, Todd Nelson deserves a promotion and perhaps could ride shot gun with Eakins as well. Nelson also works with the young guns and knows them pretty well from the OKC stint. That all aside, yes it is time to part with one of our darlings, too much of the same. Its time.

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#5 HOFFFF
November 14 2013, 09:43AM
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Pharmboy wrote:

Agreed, patience is important here, it is interesting to note that during preseason when our lineup was about equal in terms of quality with the opposition, the team had a decent record, so maybe it isn't all the new systems and motivational tactics. Big trade required. Additionally, I love Ryan Smyth but it is time, it's getting sadder to watch each game, a horrible ending to an otherwise admirable career.

"Patience is important here...." Are you serious?

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#6 DSF
November 14 2013, 09:45AM
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Jon, I'm not so sure the Oilers will do much of anything.

The more I think about the Smid trade, the more convinced I become that it was merely a move to pare $3.5M from the payroll...dollars that go right to the bottom line.

If so, I would imagine that was a Katz mandated move once he saw that there was zero chance of getting any playoff revenue.

If there are any further moves made, I would expect they will be in the same vein...likely moving Hemsky and Nick Schultz (if they can be moved) for prospects or picks.

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#7 Archaeologuy
November 14 2013, 10:02AM
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Too many coaches have been turfed. Even if Eakins does a few things that I disagree with, he isn't the problem. In fact, changing coaches every year likely IS one of the major problems. So if I'm the Oilers then I'm sticking with Eakins.

What I WOULD do is fire Bucky and Smith then give Eakins Carte Blanche to hire the staff he needs to be successful. These ex Oilers have survived a couple coaching changes. It's ridiculous.

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#8 Last one out, turn off the lights.
November 14 2013, 09:36AM
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Well. If this keeps up, the team will be playing in front of your said "ghosts".

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#9 camdog
November 14 2013, 09:40AM
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Pharmboy wrote:

Agreed, patience is important here, it is interesting to note that during preseason when our lineup was about equal in terms of quality with the opposition, the team had a decent record, so maybe it isn't all the new systems and motivational tactics. Big trade required. Additionally, I love Ryan Smyth but it is time, it's getting sadder to watch each game, a horrible ending to an otherwise admirable career.

You do realize that in the preseason all of the teams we faced started their AHL rosters?

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#10 Al Low
November 14 2013, 10:37AM
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To me, the Ralph Krueger firing was ill-advised. He actually had Edmonton in a playoff contention last year until the wheels fell off in the last month. There was actual progress and hope for the team to do better this year. From what I read, the young stars of the Oilers actually respected him and it looked like their was some direction to the team. Now it's obvious to the most hardcore fan that there is no direction to the team. I don't blame guys like Yak for being frustrated. The body language of the team does not lie. Dallas Eakins may turn into a good coach at some point but it won't be here. MacT's biggest error was not giving Krueger a bit more time with this group. His itch to do something "bold" like fire the coach who, in my mind, did a decent job essentially helped cost his team this season. Sure the pieces don't fit and the team's too small and soft to really do any damage but they shouldn't be this bad either. For all of his MBA hype, MacT doesn't seem to get that continuity is important in a successful organization, at least building some semblence of it. Eakins wasn't ready for this position and it shows on a nightly basis. He's getting outcoached every night. And, so far, MacT is getting schooled in the NHL when it comes the being a manager.

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#11 The Funky Chicken Has Left The Building
November 14 2013, 12:12PM
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Could someone...anyone (owner, manager, coach, player, trainer, etc.) just LOSE IT during a game or post game interview to let us know there is a spark of life somewhere in the Oiler organization?!

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#12 Ben37
November 14 2013, 09:39AM
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Maybe it's time to stick to one coach for a little while. It's similar to Alex Smith with the 49'ers who had 6 offensive coordinators in his first 7 years. He spent more time learning the new guys name than he did the playbook.

This is what is happening to Hall, Eberle and the group that is considered the core. Every year they have a new coach and new system to learn and they never actually get to fully learn and play in a system before another one is brought it.

Perhaps it is time to have some management stability.

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#14 DSF
November 14 2013, 09:49AM
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godot10 wrote:

Eakins's Corsi and Fenwick closed ticked below Krueger's last night, even with a mostly eastly conference schedule.

Against five common opponents (out of six), Eakins Corsi close is 30-something-percent.

By looking at shot metrics, Corsi or Fenwick, and not goal differential, or won-loss record, one eliminates a lot of the effects of randomness, i.e. save percentage, shooting percentage.

30-something percent against common Western Conference opponents and Detroit...that is abysmal coaching.

Next up, the San Jose Sharks, one of the elite possession teams in the league.

Oh, the humanity!

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#15 Cody anderson
November 14 2013, 10:33AM
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I am surprised to be saying this because I was against firing the last 3 coaches and then after hearing Eakins talk at the start of the year I thought he might actually bring a more consistent effort out of the guys.

I think he is terrible and would be fine with MacT not only firing him but taking over the bench for the remainder of the year. Another change of coaches is the last thing this group needs, but I don't see things improving much with Eakins.

His player usage and lack of line matching is not helping a team that is already lacking balance and competitiveness.

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#16 Rick
November 14 2013, 09:47AM
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Mac962 wrote:

JW - Perhaps Eakins is given a longer rope, but how long do we wait until something is done with Bucky and Smith ? I mean come on, they were not Eakins first choice, he was saddled with them. IMO - If he accepts it or not, Todd Nelson deserves a promotion and perhaps could ride shot gun with Eakins as well. Nelson also works with the young guns and knows them pretty well from the OKC stint. That all aside, yes it is time to part with one of our darlings, too much of the same. Its time.

I agree Smith and Bucky out and Nelson In .That would be a great place to start.

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#17 DoubleDIon
November 14 2013, 11:57AM
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Impartial Oilers Fan wrote:

Can any of you Lowe haters actually give any concrete evidence as to exactly what he has been responsible for in his tenure as President that has been so deplorable? Rather than, the Oilers suck, so obviously lets blame anything with a name to it; like the "Boys on the Bus" or the swarm defensive system.

Also, please explain what his job description and requirements are. Until, you can prove what he has done, while he was the President, compared to what Tambellini was responsible for during his tenure as GM, please quit making assumptions and accusations. It reeks of desperation, frustration and generally uninformed shouting at a scapegoat.

Do you forget that Lowe was the GM that presided over the team during the sinking of the franchise? His comments about Bobby Ryan, Penner offersheet, Pronger trade, Weight trade, horrible draft record, not signing Glencross and Brodziak. I could list more of his moves as GM. I also think he had his fingers in Tambo's pie too, but there is no proof of that. The thing that bugs me the most is his lack of accountability and comments in the media. Two-tiered fans, six rings and general stupidity.

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#18 DSF
November 14 2013, 11:59AM
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Impartial Oilers Fan wrote:

Can any of you Lowe haters actually give any concrete evidence as to exactly what he has been responsible for in his tenure as President that has been so deplorable? Rather than, the Oilers suck, so obviously lets blame anything with a name to it; like the "Boys on the Bus" or the swarm defensive system.

Also, please explain what his job description and requirements are. Until, you can prove what he has done, while he was the President, compared to what Tambellini was responsible for during his tenure as GM, please quit making assumptions and accusations. It reeks of desperation, frustration and generally uninformed shouting at a scapegoat.

He hired Tambellini and allowed him to run the franchise into the ditch for 5 years.

He then hired MacT as GM despite the fact he had zero experience and while ignoring other candidates (like Jim Nill) who have much more experience and a winning track record.

Not recognizing that reeks of ignorance.

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#19 tileguy
November 14 2013, 02:21PM
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you know what is kind of amazing, Katz saves over a million dollars (say that amount again) by shipping out Smid. For most of us that takes us more than ten years. What a shrewd business man. I guess we conclude management really has closed the door on the season. Thanks once again season ticket holders for your unwavering support.

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#20 DoubleJ
November 14 2013, 09:51AM
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How about getting rid of Smith and Bucky. That would show some signs of accountability.

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#21 Zamboni Driver
November 14 2013, 09:57AM
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@outdoorzguy

**Slow Clap**

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#22 Yaz
November 14 2013, 10:39AM
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** wrote:

I wonder what's the line in the sand, if there is any at all, for MCtavish to conclude he made a mistake and it is time to fire the coach.

Saturday night after the Calgary game.

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#23 Mac962
November 14 2013, 10:11AM
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I just have to say - i never ever ever expected to be sitting here on November 14th - talking like this. Unreal - i love my Oilers like most of us but am truly ticked right off and feel violated almost. WTF have you done to our team ? 4-14 ?? Really ? come on man ! 4-14. This is not an expansion team, this is a now storied franchise that is being ruined. And they sit back like scared little puppies afraid to do anything, Fire Buck and Smith - they are easily replaceable - start the shake up now. 4-14 - Who woulda thought. I am sure Hall and Nuge and a few others are being just torn apart inside. Like us.

Hockey gods - we are sorry for dominating the 80's , dont hold it against us any longer, we are sorry for beating everyone like rented mules for years, the torture of payback you have placed upon us has been painful, we are sorry. Stop the torture. Take Kevin Lowe - Take Bucky - Take Smith- help MACT make a trade. I give up, no more pain.

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#24 GregDonaldson
November 14 2013, 03:59PM
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Answer me this angry Oilers fans...

Tell me exactly what it accomplishes by firing Kevin Lowe?

Do you honestly think all of the team's struggles and problems will magically be cured as soon as Lowe is turfed?

You so badly need your scapegoat and your pound of flesh that you don't care how ridiculous you all sound.

Firing Lowe solves nothing, he is not going anywhere, GET OVER IT.

Go back to booing Yakupov and chase him out of town just as you did with Jason Arnott among others. The typical Oilers fan will want that "spoiled brat" Yakupov ran out of town on the first thing smoking but those same exact typical Oilers fans will lament how they don't have and need a sniper like Yakupov when he is gone.

I love the Oilers, I despise most other Oiler fans, you give the rest of us a bad name. Yes I am talking to you the ones who would yell shoot at Hemsky when he wasn't even in a position to shoot. The ones who said Horcoff was useless. The ones who bashed Penner while he was here and wanted him bought out but then turned around and complained that his trade return wasn't enough. The ones who live to bitch, whine and complain about every little thing.

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#25 **
November 14 2013, 10:43AM
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Well If Dallas Eakins is ran out of town at least we know he'll be "fit" for it.

Let the trashing being.

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#26 vetinari
November 14 2013, 09:59AM
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It seems that if it wasn't for us burning through as many coaches as what we did the last few years, Eakins would have been fired by now.

If there was a coach that we should have been more patient with, it likely was Renney because he came with actual NHL experience.

The alternative would have been to at least give Krueger a full training camp and this season (because the team did move up the standings and show improvement under him) with Eakins as his associate coach.

MacT made this move to "take the team to the next level" and to bring the team under a coach with a philosophy closer to his own. MacT has to own this decision and if I was him, if the team doesn't play close to .500 hockey between now and new year's with the addition of Bryzgalov, mercifully let Eakins go and step behind the bench for the balance of the season.

How can you say that anyone is learning in this environment? In fact, morale has never been lower, and the only option to trading 23 players is to fire the coaches, and while you are at it, include the assistants and the president of hockey operations.

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#27 jt in Oilertown
November 14 2013, 10:15AM
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@outdoorzguy

Post of the year, with one small edit. The new arena will be called Rexall Suppository (considering what will come out of it).

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#28 TRAV
November 14 2013, 04:12PM
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GregDonaldson wrote:

Answer me this angry Oilers fans...

Tell me exactly what it accomplishes by firing Kevin Lowe?

Do you honestly think all of the team's struggles and problems will magically be cured as soon as Lowe is turfed?

You so badly need your scapegoat and your pound of flesh that you don't care how ridiculous you all sound.

Firing Lowe solves nothing, he is not going anywhere, GET OVER IT.

Go back to booing Yakupov and chase him out of town just as you did with Jason Arnott among others. The typical Oilers fan will want that "spoiled brat" Yakupov ran out of town on the first thing smoking but those same exact typical Oilers fans will lament how they don't have and need a sniper like Yakupov when he is gone.

I love the Oilers, I despise most other Oiler fans, you give the rest of us a bad name. Yes I am talking to you the ones who would yell shoot at Hemsky when he wasn't even in a position to shoot. The ones who said Horcoff was useless. The ones who bashed Penner while he was here and wanted him bought out but then turned around and complained that his trade return wasn't enough. The ones who live to bitch, whine and complain about every little thing.

Dude I agree with you but it seems if ever there was a time to "whine, bitch and complain" now would be an appropriate time...

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#29 Spydyr
November 14 2013, 09:52AM
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Rick wrote:

I agree Smith and Bucky out and Nelson In .That would be a great place to start.

You know where a great place to start would be? At the top fire Lowe and let his replacement pick his guys. Hopefully he is smart enough not to hire all rookies and his buddies.

How can it get any worse?

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#30 nick
November 14 2013, 02:54PM
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Hey, remember that 5 year old kid that yelled at Eakins "You Suck" He was right, give that kid a prize.

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#31 Pharmboy
November 14 2013, 09:36AM
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Agreed, patience is important here, it is interesting to note that during preseason when our lineup was about equal in terms of quality with the opposition, the team had a decent record, so maybe it isn't all the new systems and motivational tactics. Big trade required. Additionally, I love Ryan Smyth but it is time, it's getting sadder to watch each game, a horrible ending to an otherwise admirable career.

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#32 Sutter
November 14 2013, 09:52AM
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Just wondering ... if they would go so far as to fire the coach, would any one WANT to coach this team? A few years ago, at the start of this "rebuild" seemingly everyone wanted the Oiler coach gig. I am not so sure that it is still the dream job.

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#33 Walter Sobchak
November 14 2013, 10:05AM
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JW all those coaches were already successful at some point in there careers before they had bad starts. Eakins has no sample size.

I don't care how many coaches have been through here!!

Eakins cannot be allowed to continue this gong show!!

Two 5-3 and he never put Yakupov on one! The guy is holding a grudge, how do you not put the purest shooter on a 5-3??

It cost the Oilers the game!!!

He hasn’t done very much right since he got the job.

Allowing this to continue is going to cost MacTavish and Lowe their jobs, in the interest of self-preservation I would fire Eakins after the San Jose game in which the Oilers get throttled 6-1, if MacTavish has any kind of foresight

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#34 Impartial Oilers Fan
November 14 2013, 11:50AM
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Can any of you Lowe haters actually give any concrete evidence as to exactly what he has been responsible for in his tenure as President that has been so deplorable? Rather than, the Oilers suck, so obviously lets blame anything with a name to it; like the "Boys on the Bus" or the swarm defensive system.

Also, please explain what his job description and requirements are. Until, you can prove what he has done, while he was the President, compared to what Tambellini was responsible for during his tenure as GM, please quit making assumptions and accusations. It reeks of desperation, frustration and generally uninformed shouting at a scapegoat.

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#35 Muller
November 14 2013, 09:51AM
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Something has to change....

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#36 Ultimate Warrior
November 14 2013, 10:09AM
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Assistant GM from Pittsburgh is available for hire. I would love to see Jason Botterill in Edmonton, since he understands what a winning team looks like.

Oh wait, doesn't meet criteria 1: Being an Old Oiler

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#37 DoubleJ
November 14 2013, 09:51AM
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How about getting rid of Smith and Bucky. That would show some signs of accountability.

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#38 bazmagoo
November 14 2013, 10:41AM
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Have to admit I held a grudge against Krueger because of the last 10 games of last season, and was happy MacT replaced him with Eakins at the time. Now I've give anything to have old Ralphie back, come back Ralphie we miss you!

Eakins needs to go ASAP, anyone who can't see that he has lost the room and isn't the right solution for the Oilers is blind. MacT should take over behind the bench for the remainder of the season, then start the hiring process over again.

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#39 mlcselli
November 14 2013, 12:06PM
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MacT needs to admit he was wrong and too quick to pull the trigger on firing Kruger. Rookie coach Jon Cooper took over in Tampa, installed a new system and is very successful with it. Rookie coach Patrick Roy, went to Colorado, put in a new system, and is enjoying great success. Rookie coach Dallas Eakins comes to Edmonton, put in his new system, and it is an epic fail. It's not working, and the arrogant pompous AH won't change a thing. The players morale and confidence is at an all time low, and MacT is sitting upstairs watching a living nightmare, because he thinks things will get better.This is a shame. The analysts are predicting we are on course for a 40 point season. That's a .250. This is not acceptable and someone (not a player) needs to go now.

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#40 DoubleDIon
November 14 2013, 12:12PM
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Impartial Oilers Fan wrote:

Well, if you're cherry picking items from Lowe's tenure as GM, then you should also include the trade to get Pronger from the Blues, the trade to get Roloson, the trade to get Visnovsky, etc.

However, as I stated, what EXACTLY has he done as a President, that has effected the Oilers roster and results in a negative way. Not his comments, not his demeanor, just his actions as President! I'm not saying there isn't any, but I'd like to hear exact details rather than speculations because your frustrated and want to stomp your feet because your hard earned money bought a jersey.

So go ahead, someone inform me. I want to hear it!

If you think the Visnovsky trade was good you're delusional. Stoll and Greene would be nice guys to have right now.

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#41 Lochenzo
November 14 2013, 10:34AM
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DSF wrote:

Have you seen J. Schultz play defense?

I've seen him play forward! Actually, Mike Green was the same way. The offence was always there but the defence took years to come around. The payoff was very good.

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#42 tileguy
November 14 2013, 02:28PM
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RealFakeDiesel wrote:

Also, i had a dream where the Oilers were down 3 nothing but Mid game Mactavish came out of the zamboni gate waving to the crowd walking towards the bench and stood next to Dallas leading the Oilers on to victory

Was he wearing a paper bag over his head?

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#43 Zarny
November 14 2013, 03:51PM
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The coach isn't the problem.

I'm sick of fans talking about the "swarm" like Eakins reinvented the wheel. 1/3 of the league does basically the exact same thing.

The problem is the team on the ice. It simply isn't very good. I don't care if the Oilers had Scotty Bowman coaching they'd still have a losing record.

As JW pointed out yesterday, the Oilers drafted some talented kids as step 1 of the rebuild and figured they were done.

That's like framing a house and calling it a mansion with no plumbing, electricity or even a roof.

Hall, Eberle, Nuge, Yak and Schultz a Stanley Cup contender does not make and there are no quick solutions.

The bold moves required aren't likely available 20 games into a season. The Oilers are looking to trade picks and prospects but the teams they are trading with still have another 60 games and hopefully playoffs this year.

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#44 DSF
November 14 2013, 10:17AM
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Lochenzo wrote:

Sadly, that's the only thing that brings me some satisfaction at this point. Dreaming of a future Oiler blueline of J Schultz, Klefbom, Nurse...and Ekblad.

Have you seen J. Schultz play defense?

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#45 Season Ticket Guy
November 14 2013, 02:19PM
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Ike Hilliard wrote:

Many of you in here sound worse than a nagging wife…

"Fire the coach"

"Fire Lowe" (actually agree with that)

"Fire McT"

"Trade Nail"

"Trade this…do that"

Its easy to sit here outside and criticize but where are all your ideas or suggestions??? Fire Eakins fine but who are candidates to replace him??

"We need trades" ya we do but i rarely see suggestions or ideas from the bunch who sit here and complain about things….

Do us all a favour and jump off the ship…maybe we can get rid of enough dead weight to turn this thing around both on the team and off!!

Just saying….

Sadly I have already paid for my tickets. Selling them is a pain in the butt. The only people buying tickets are the fans of the visitors.

At the game last nite the only people cheering were the Fiddler family and the person that won the 50/50.

3 games in a row with 0 goals? So everything should remain the same? The "execs" make a lot of $$ it is up to them to figure this out and fix it. Up to now, they don't seem to have a solution. If I told my boss for 6 months straight that I don't know how to fix things at my job, I'd be gone. To do that for 8 years? No one in ANY job is given that leeway. OK - there is one - Pres of the Oil.

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#46 CMG30
November 14 2013, 11:36AM
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Been lurking for awhile but I can't hold it in any longer:

The most ridiculous thing about this year (besides the absolutely horrendous amount of losing) is the singling out of one person for all the blame. Have we not learned yet? Remember how it was all coach MacT's fault? Well they got rid of him and how well did that turn out? Then it was all Horcoff's fault. Well they got rid of him this summer and boy did the team ever improve!

If Katz granted the wishes of half the residents of Edmonton and fired Lowe is anyone going to stand up and with a straight face tell me that this team is now a cup contender? Of course not because the biggest problem with the management of this team is not the people in charge, it's the AMOUNT of people who have been in charge. Stop the circus, the players need stability, support, consistency and accountability not mixed messages!

Granted every game they lose has a unique wrinkle but the overall problem with this team is with a lack of commitment to playing team defense. There are no quick fixes here, Pronger and Niedermayer combined couldn't right this ship at the moment, not until EVERY player commits to their teammates on every second of every shift that they are going to be where they are suppose to be, that their man is not going to score. EVERY player needs to commit to not give up the puck in either end of the rink without a bare knuckle brawl. Nobody is ever left alone in front of Dubnyk. Everybody needs to commit to the simple safe play: Blind passes have no place in the NHL. No one should attempt to carry the puck alone through 3 defenders. No one should attempt a cross ice pass through the entire opposing team, and so on.

Is this too much to ask of the players? NO! It's how every other team they've played this year has beat them. I'm just afraid that some of these players are talented enough that this is the first time anyone has actually asked.

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#47 I Dont care anymore
November 14 2013, 11:52AM
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Sell the team. Move it out of here. I will now imagine myself back in the late sixties and early seventies. No pro team in edmonton. And I was happy watching Oilking hockey

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#49 Lowe Expectations
November 14 2013, 10:13AM
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Mark Twain "It isn't the size of a dog in a fight, but the size of the fight in the dog". The Oilers are nothing but lap poodles who have either size or fight. I really feel sorry for the people who pay hard earned money to actually go to watch this. They don't score, they don't hit & heaven forbid they don't fight. It's like that guy in the office that charms the receptionist, has lots to say at the water cooler, smiles a lot but at the end of the day has actually accomplished nothing.

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#50 2004Z06
November 14 2013, 12:05PM
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Lochenzo wrote:

Sadly, that's the only thing that brings me some satisfaction at this point. Dreaming of a future Oiler blueline of J Schultz, Klefbom, Nurse...and Ekblad.

If you are dreaming of J Schultz on the blue line, then it is a nightmare. The kid is awful as a defenseman.

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