The dreaded vote of confidence

Jonathan Willis
November 15 2013 09:42AM

Yesterday, Craig MacTavish spoke to the media about the Edmonton Oilers’ performance. Among other items, he made it clear that he still has confidence in head coach Dallas Eakins.

After uttering similar lines during his availability and stressing the need for stability behind the bench, MacTavish told Bob Stauffer of Oilers Now that he “really couldn’t be happier with the coaching.”

The Vote of Confidence

The interesting thing about the managerial vote of confidence is that it often seems to precede the firing of said coach in short order. There are, I think, a couple of reasons for that.

The biggest is that managers don’t have to give coaches with good records a vote of confidence. Reporters don’t generally ask whether guys like Jon Cooper or Joel Quenneville are going to get fired; it’s obvious that they’re safe. Columnists don’t speculate on the safety of Todd McLellan or Dan Bylsma, at least not when those teams are winning, because there’s no question that the results support their continued employment.

So by the time the manager is in a position to opine on his head coach, there’s something in the record that suggests said head coach should be fired. And as a general rule, the media will always be ready to fire the coach before management is, which means that even when the coach is going to be fired there’s often a period of time when the media thinks he could be and the manager wants to hang on a little longer to see if the coach can turn things around.

The other reason is a simple trick of memory: we tend to remember the contradicition of a general manager supporting his coach and then firing him a week or two later, while we don't necessarily remember the close call that turned out okay.

Eakins

The thing keeping Dallas Eakins safe right now isn’t necessarily Craig MacTavish’s public statement, and it certainly isn’t the record or the underlying performance of his team (both of which are awful at the moment). It’s history.

Too many coaches in Edmonton have fallen by the wayside. The traditional point of reference is Sam Gagner; he’s just started his seventh season with the Oilers and he’s on his fifth head coach. It's ridiculous. 

There has been too much turnover, and other things need to change before the coaching does.

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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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#51 GTL
November 15 2013, 11:15AM
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Same o'l song and dance I've heard 8 yrs running...

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#52 oilabroad
November 15 2013, 11:15AM
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JW, I assume they are playing the same style down in OKC (swarm) for easy transition to the bigs, are they butchering it the same way the Oil are? Are we just really bad defensively or is this just a really bad system??

I just can't wrap my head around the stubbornness of Eakins to stick to a system they can't execute. I agree the coaching carousel hasnt been easy on the players, however MacT got them into this situation by putting all his faith in a guy who had never coached in the NHL.

Just like everything else in T.O., Eakins got over hyped. Time for MacT to admit his mistake and right this mess.

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#53 pkam
November 15 2013, 11:16AM
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Spydyr wrote:

Please show me examples of how Eakins is better then Ralph.His record does not show it.The special teams have gone from top ten in the NHL to bottom five his system sure doesn't work. The kids are a year older and have all regressed this year.Not one player on the team last year has improved this year.

MacT got conned by a good salesman selling himself.

The sooner he admits to and rectifies his mistake the better.

Where did I say Eakins is better than Dureger or vice verse?

All I said is MacT felt Eakins was a better candidate than Kureger after the 5 hours interview with Eakins.

I can say one thing about Kureger. As a head coach, choosing the associate and assistant coach is his job. He shouldn't let someone else do it for him.

Hiring a head coach is MacT responsibility. The question is when he thinks there is a better candidate, should he make the change? Not arguing whether his judgement is right or wrong, but should he make his decision based on his judgement?

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#54 Hockey Problems
November 15 2013, 11:17AM
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But, we are perfectly happy with the coaching thus far. We've been told, and you know that we questioning the "winning ways" of management is strictly forbidden.

Hey CFR, we found a few more clowns at Rexall, in the basement. Are you sure you don't want to tak'em with you ? ... ... Please!?!

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#55 Bigge small
November 15 2013, 11:17AM
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2004Z06 wrote:

Free tickets or not, I have not and will not go to a game. That is the main problem here. People bitching about change at the top yet still selling out the building.

And before the Tier one fans comment, no one is asking you to give up your season tix, just boycott a game or two.

The images on T.V. of a half empty building (normally standing room only) combined with the loss in parking/concession/merchandise revenue would send a very clear message to ownership.

Further to that a petition was put forward to have Lowe fired. Last count 58 signatures!!!

Have yet to hear the "fire Lowe" chants reverberating through my television speakers as well. Has anyone walked into the Oilers office demanding a refund?

Step up, or shut up!

These Funs do not have the heart to do that, except compliant...... In any relationship caring should be at least 50/50 otherwise you get the treatment you getting from oilers. You are right on baby.....

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#56 Taylor Gang
November 15 2013, 11:18AM
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Of course it isn't the coach's fault; look at our record we've had in the past 5 years! Our team is simply built to lose! Relying on rookie defensemen to shore up our defensive issues? Give me a break! It's amazing how people still think it's mostly the coach's fault.

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#57 Ari Gold
November 15 2013, 11:20AM
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I'm not drinking this Kool-Aid anymore. I've switched to rum. Screwyou Oilers Management.

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#58 Jerod
November 15 2013, 11:24AM
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The worst team in the NHL since 2005 lockout. Words lose meaning. Is MacT now head of customer service? I feel your pain.

Watch my feet not my words. Spin as much as you want the record is the record.

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#59 Spydyr
November 15 2013, 11:24AM
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sizzay wrote:

I know what needs to change - Sam Gagner as our 2nd line centre

Exactly, along with Hemsky, Jones,Smyth,Arcobello,Larsen,N.Schultz and Potter.

Yak, Hall, Ebs and the Nuge should be the only small skilled guys in the forward group.

Find some players with heart, grit a will to win and for the once in a generation some mean.

This team has been soft for far to long.Time to bring in some players that are no fun to pay against.Some nasty.

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#60 Please share what ur Smokin
November 15 2013, 11:26AM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

Of course it isn't the coach's fault; look at our record we've had in the past 5 years! Our team is simply built to lose! Relying on rookie defensemen to shore up our defensive issues? Give me a break! It's amazing how people still think it's mostly the coach's fault.

It must be the fans fault then, as we've been told umpteen times that it is not management, the coaches are fine, and the players are the "CHOSEN ONES".

Silly me... It must be the Fans !!!

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#61 Jason
November 15 2013, 11:30AM
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Funny how you never hear Kevin Lowe speak in public, they can't trust him in public because he is an idiot yet they pay him to be Pres.

FIRE KEVIN LOWE

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#62 Wohin gehst du?
November 15 2013, 11:31AM
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I'm trying to make up a line-up where the players who aren't working hard are sat, moved down or replaced from OKC (such as Hall or Gagner), and players who are at least trying, even if they aren't getting big numbers are moved up (eg. Hemsky I believe is trying, just failing to get results, or Arco who is getting them):

Perron-Arco-RNH Hemsky-Gordon-Eberle Smyth-Lander-Yakupov Omark-Gagner-Hall

Belov-N.Schultz Larsen-Fedun Ference-Petry

Bryzgalov Bunz Dubnyk

I know it's pretty damn crazy, especially Hall on last line (switch him and Yakupov if you want). What say you? Is this line up according to merit more than now?

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#63 pkam
November 15 2013, 11:33AM
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James wrote:

Why shouldn't he make the change? Because he says he wants stability. What if he talks to someone else and likes him a little more than Eakins? Do we just keep doing this forever?

I want to response to your earlier comment. MacT never complain about Kureger. In the press conference, he said he found a better candidate for the head coach.

I have pointed out that MacT started a new chapter when he became the GM. New GM, new VP of hockey operation, and expecting a new associate coach and lots of new players. It he found a coach in his opinion better than the current one he had, wouldn't it be the perfect time to make the change instead of later?

You make changes when you believe the change will benefit the team. If MacT finds someone else he thinks will benefit the team, do you think he should make the change?

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#64 Danger Pay
November 15 2013, 11:35AM
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Mac T also addressed the fact that they are not giving up on Yakupov and he is not going anywhere.

My overall interpretation of this conference was that the Oilers have pressed the re-set button and have started (wait for it, wait, for, it) another Re-Build.

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#65 Greenlingj
November 15 2013, 11:37AM
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The swarm defence does not work.

Case in point. Chicago game Philip Larsen I think is a highly under rated player... but he left his man alone in the blue paint on numerous chicago chances and a team like chicago will capitalize on those.

The encouraging thing is when Chicago decided to play run and gun the Oilers out played them.

If Nurse was 2 years older and 30 pounds heavier I am sure this record would reflect different if we played a man to man coverage style game.

Nurse is everything we need, intelligent, big, strong, #$%&ing mean, and isnt afraid to take the shots or the hits and he has a good set of hands problem is he will be a year down the road... and that is an ugly road.

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#66 fig pucker
November 15 2013, 11:39AM
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be carefull what we wish for. if eatkins goes the next coach is already a senior adviser to mact and the six ring circus. thats right, our beloved mark messier will take over. he left the rangers organization because sather didn't give him the head coaching job there. number 11 is my favorite player, i wish we could clone him 12 times and fill our roster that way, but he hasn't even coached in ahl. we all know there will be no interview process, as much as i love number 11 the thought of him coaching this team scares me more than eatkins..

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#67 Ha Ha (NHL fans everywhere, Laughing at you)
November 15 2013, 11:41AM
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The fans in Calgary are right.

Infinibuild !!!

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#68 Rama Lama
November 15 2013, 11:42AM
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This whole mess is going to get worse before it get better. The fact MacT gave Eakins a thumbs up only highlights the problem.

I refuse to believe that coaching has nothing to do with this. Exactly why is Eakins having such a difficult time teaching players defensive minded tactics.? This is not rocket science and many junior hockey players were taught to play defence in junior hockey. Sutter taught RNH to play defence and it's exactly for this reason why RNH was able to land a spot on the team right away.

If the rest of the forwards, ( Hall, Eberle, Gagner Schultz) refuse to play this " new system", that Eakins is preaching then sit them.

To pretend that these player cannot learn a basic defensive system is the cause of all of our problems is simply myopic and stupid! It's time to admit that the line juggling, line matchups, and line combinations that Eakins is coming up with is laughable and causing some of the problems.

Arcabello is superior by any measure to Gagner but is not being utilized properly. The only successful combination we have had ( RNH, Eberle, Hall) are never played together for more than one shift or period. Anyone with a basic understanding of hockey can see they have chemistry, except for our coach who refuses to play them together. As a result of the deficient top-six line combinations, this has had an impact on the bottom six which are continuously mismatched and under played in a game..........exactly how are these guys supposed to get into a game playing 8 minutes a night?

If Eakins could allow line combinations to exist for at least one game, perhaps these guys could develop some chemistry? His bench management skills are junior.........not his players!

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#69 Loyal Oil
November 15 2013, 11:42AM
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JW, you end your article saying "other things need to change before the coaching does." I know a lot of us ON readers really respect your views and insights. If you were the owner or GM of the team, what would be the top two things that "need to change" in the immediate future (we all agree that long term our team should be huge and nasty and have a Vezina goalie). What two immediate changes would you make.?

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#70 OilCanFan
November 15 2013, 11:52AM
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Spydyr wrote:

Exactly, along with Hemsky, Jones,Smyth,Arcobello,Larsen,N.Schultz and Potter.

Yak, Hall, Ebs and the Nuge should be the only small skilled guys in the forward group.

Find some players with heart, grit a will to win and for the once in a generation some mean.

This team has been soft for far to long.Time to bring in some players that are no fun to pay against.Some nasty.

I agree with the changes with the exception of Arcobello. He is the ONLY one of tghe Oiler "players with heart". He is the ONLY player I notice throwing what little weight he has. I'd rather have a small player with grit and heart than a big pylon of a player. There is absolutely no reason why Arcobello is not playing ahead of Gagner.

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#71 Blucifer Copperballs
November 15 2013, 11:52AM
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Lowe Expectations wrote:

This team simply put has too many perimeter players. Not that players like this can't be valuable to a team, this one is overloaded with them. For me, other than Hall & RNH every other player on the current roster is available for trade. It's time to start the overhaul of this roster, as the way it's currently built will never be successful.

I don't know why the management of the Oilers would be so afraid of trading some assets. One of the reasons you draft the most talented player available rather than for positional need is that the more talent a player has the more value in return you'll receive.

Agree. Hall and RNH are at the core. I was in favor of a Yakupov/Hemsky deal since before the season started, to bring defence in. And at the risk of being unpopular, i'd be all for trading Eberle ahead of Gagner,only because we were so weak at C at the start of the year ( it's filled in nicely) the return on Ebs would be better, and once Gags gets the headgear off (thats gotta be distracting) and can see the ice at his feet again, he'll get back to being a contributor.

Yeah, i said it. Go ahead and tell me i'm a fool. Hate is the fuel that feeds the batteries that keep the Internet up and running, and i need to get my daily fix of cat pictures.

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#72 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
November 15 2013, 11:58AM
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Loyal Oil wrote:

JW, you end your article saying "other things need to change before the coaching does." I know a lot of us ON readers really respect your views and insights. If you were the owner or GM of the team, what would be the top two things that "need to change" in the immediate future (we all agree that long term our team should be huge and nasty and have a Vezina goalie). What two immediate changes would you make.?

Part of me hopes that Loyal Oil is actually MacT.

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#73 Spydyr
November 15 2013, 12:12PM
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OilCanFan wrote:

I agree with the changes with the exception of Arcobello. He is the ONLY one of tghe Oiler "players with heart". He is the ONLY player I notice throwing what little weight he has. I'd rather have a small player with grit and heart than a big pylon of a player. There is absolutely no reason why Arcobello is not playing ahead of Gagner.

I agree Arcobello should be playing ahead of Gagner.

Arcobello has been the most pleasant surprise this year.He does play with heart .That being said he is just too small.Moving forward where would you play him.If you have Nuge as your first line center I would like some size with the second line center.Arcobello is not a third of fourth line center.He just does not fit IMHO moving forward.

What they really need is the elusive 3-1 trade with for once in decades the best player coming here.

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#74 Todd
November 15 2013, 12:14PM
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Bigge small wrote:

These Funs do not have the heart to do that, except compliant...... In any relationship caring should be at least 50/50 otherwise you get the treatment you getting from oilers. You are right on baby.....

I have gone on rants here about how we need to stop going to the games. Its the ONLY way. I haven't been to 1 game all year, and will not spend $1 on a ticket.

But I was just offered free tix tonight. I took them. I can't help it. I'm a recovering addict. My sponsor wasn't around, and I took the hit. HELP ME!

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#75 madjam
November 15 2013, 12:15PM
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The on ice product is still of low value , much to Katz's chagrin .Katz cares mightily and wishes on ice product was much better - don't kid yourselves . He wishes it were better more than anyone . Despite management and coaching one constant remains - fan support despite the bad results . If Katz was to clean house then that fan support might be questionable , and thus changing it seems unlikely as it's still a good business making a healthy profit despite the product on ice . Bit of a catch 22 syndrome here . Has Katz and boys determined some picks that may have been detrimental to on ice product ? Doubtful , but it his perogative to do so if he so chooses .

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#76 Todd
November 15 2013, 12:16PM
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Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things wrote:

Part of me hopes that Loyal Oil is actually MacT.

Part of me hopes its NOT MacT. The rest of me thinks it probably is. Ran out of ideas, time to poll the blogz...

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#77 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
November 15 2013, 12:21PM
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So he wants to show he needs conistency at the head coach position yet he fired Krueger after 1 season... C'MON people. His contradictions in what he says to what he does shows that he is a horrible manager.

What a complete joke. Dumbest organization in professional sport?? If not we gotta be in the running

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#78 Rama Lama
November 15 2013, 12:24PM
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Just found out Arcabello is sitting..........our most solid player both offensively and defensively, and physically will not be playing.

Yea, coaching is not our problem!

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#79 Bleak Winter
November 15 2013, 12:26PM
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reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan) wrote:

So he wants to show he needs conistency at the head coach position yet he fired Krueger after 1 season... C'MON people. His contradictions in what he says to what he does shows that he is a horrible manager.

What a complete joke. Dumbest organization in professional sport?? If not we gotta be in the running

The scary part of that is by extrapolation, it sets up Bucky or Smith as the replacement head coach if Eakins needs to go. That's the only "continuity" left available to MacT. Those boys are entrenched though so if it happens, its for the next three to five years. The writing is on the wall.

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#80 Crackenbury
November 15 2013, 12:30PM
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Jason wrote:

Funny how you never hear Kevin Lowe speak in public, they can't trust him in public because he is an idiot yet they pay him to be Pres.

FIRE KEVIN LOWE

I'm not here to defend Kevin Lowe, but his reluctance to speak in public is all him and nothing to do with Katz. Lowe embarrassed himself badly in public with his 6 rings, 2-tier fans speech. His muzzle is self-imposed. He's an emotional guy. I think he'd rather punch someone in the face than try to articulate how he thinks things are going for the team right now.

I know the common consensus right now is to blame the old Oilers boys club management, I've done it too, but many experts predicted this team to be greatly improved this year. It's bizarre what's happened. At this point I'm just sitting back watching the gong show to see where it goes.

In the case of the Oilers, the sum is not greater than the parts. They have many great individual players that should be better than they are. They just don't work well together. I think this had to happen for the fans to accept we need to trade some of the core players. I'm ready to trade anyone, just start winning.

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#81 Newj
November 15 2013, 12:30PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Exactly, along with Hemsky, Jones,Smyth,Arcobello,Larsen,N.Schultz and Potter.

Yak, Hall, Ebs and the Nuge should be the only small skilled guys in the forward group.

Find some players with heart, grit a will to win and for the once in a generation some mean.

This team has been soft for far to long.Time to bring in some players that are no fun to pay against.Some nasty.

and Perron? where's his future in your assessment? Some will say St Louis was dumping salary, my take is that may have been partially true but the Blues are built around size.Perron didnt match up in that category.

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#82 Johe
November 15 2013, 12:34PM
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Drake wrote:

Mact T called out Eakins by saying Oilers have made Junior hockey mistakes. Safe for now but short leash

He said they started the year making junior mistakes but there has been progress, thanks mostly to the coaching. So no, I don't think there is a short leash. I bet money Eakins is here all year. Whether that is right or wrong is up for debate.

However, if winning doesn't happen very soon, MacTavish must do SOMETHING. He said he's impatient. He also said on the latest Oil Change episode that talk is cheap. So I say- enough talk. If you really want to turn this around, take action. Trade Yakupov. Trade Hemsky. Trade J Schultz. Trade the first pick. If wins don't start coming immediately(I still hold out a sliver of hope), this team needs to be renovated significantly. Change the dynamic. Change the makeup. Sooner rather than later. Oil fans honestly deserve so much better.

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#83 Zarny
November 15 2013, 12:44PM
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Dallas Eakins is not the Oilers problem.

Starting the season with their top 2 C out and injuries to guys like Hall have exposed the Oilers biggest problem...a complete and utter lack of depth.

Other than drafting a few talented kids they've done nothing to actually rebuild.

Pit rolls into town with Crosby & Malkin and the Oilers counter with Mark Arcobello for 21 min. Arco has been a pleasant surprise but in no reality is he good enough to play 21 min a night against the best players in the league.

When the kids make mistakes they are supported by kids who make the same kind of mistakes, the deepest pool of 5-7 D in the league with no one who can masquerade as a top pairing D for even 1 period, a 4th line of players who aren't good enough to play in the NHL and a G who "might" be good enough to make the playoffs.

1 or 2 key players get injured and this team ends up with way too many players having to play above their level.

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#84 MMAX
November 15 2013, 12:44PM
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2004Z06 wrote:

Free tickets or not, I have not and will not go to a game. That is the main problem here. People bitching about change at the top yet still selling out the building.

And before the Tier one fans comment, no one is asking you to give up your season tix, just boycott a game or two.

The images on T.V. of a half empty building (normally standing room only) combined with the loss in parking/concession/merchandise revenue would send a very clear message to ownership.

Further to that a petition was put forward to have Lowe fired. Last count 58 signatures!!!

Have yet to hear the "fire Lowe" chants reverberating through my television speakers as well. Has anyone walked into the Oilers office demanding a refund?

Step up, or shut up!

I would love to hear "Fire Lowe" chants.

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#85 Spydyr
November 15 2013, 12:44PM
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Newj wrote:

and Perron? where's his future in your assessment? Some will say St Louis was dumping salary, my take is that may have been partially true but the Blues are built around size.Perron didnt match up in that category.

Oh Perron can be on my team any day.Hitch trained him well and he plays bigger then his is and has a nasty streak I love. Nasty is something the team needs much more of.No one fears the Oilers.

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#86 Smokey
November 15 2013, 12:52PM
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I'm torn on firing Eakins because I can credence in the argument for continuity, however is this a continuance of mediocrity, bad systems play, non-existent accountability. My argument against this is its as low as she's going to go. The bottom has dropped out. There will be an improvement this season and maybe next regardless, because there has to be. Its not going to make a difference for this year if you change the management, coaches or culture. It is important for next year.

Katz needs to say to his fan base your valued. That goes for even us second tier guys like me who watch 1 game a year and buy Oilers goodies. Katz also needs to say to other players and other organizations we are no longer a Mickey Mouse organization.

New culture and direction will help remove the foul stench of Kevin Lowe, and MacT's arrogance and incompetence. Managers with track record and coaches with a proven approach are needed to attract and retain talent. Building through the draft is going to take more time when you can't augment your line-up with veterans who contribute and lead.

Lastly, as a fan I will support the Oiler's, because I lived through the Pocklington Houston threats and dwindling crowds. But this type of loyalty has created entitlement, and a carte blanche with these guys. Maybe its because these guys have never been regular Joes and can't live without their big SUV's and paychecks

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#87 Rob F
November 15 2013, 12:53PM
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Rama Lama wrote:

Just found out Arcabello is sitting..........our most solid player both offensively and defensively, and physically will not be playing.

Yea, coaching is not our problem!

probably getting traded...we cant have him out shining our young stars.....how dare he

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#88 OilCanFan
November 15 2013, 12:56PM
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Spydyr wrote:

I agree Arcobello should be playing ahead of Gagner.

Arcobello has been the most pleasant surprise this year.He does play with heart .That being said he is just too small.Moving forward where would you play him.If you have Nuge as your first line center I would like some size with the second line center.Arcobello is not a third of fourth line center.He just does not fit IMHO moving forward.

What they really need is the elusive 3-1 trade with for once in decades the best player coming here.

I don't mind him on the second line or third line depending on what you have. I'd prefer 3 lines of offense maybe with Gordon on the 4th. If we could replace Arcobello with the same thing but bigger, sure; size, heart, and skill should always trump just heart and skill. The issue I see is who will take all the little guys and trade us a bigger Arcobello type?

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#89 Zarny
November 15 2013, 12:57PM
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Rama Lama wrote:

This whole mess is going to get worse before it get better. The fact MacT gave Eakins a thumbs up only highlights the problem.

I refuse to believe that coaching has nothing to do with this. Exactly why is Eakins having such a difficult time teaching players defensive minded tactics.? This is not rocket science and many junior hockey players were taught to play defence in junior hockey. Sutter taught RNH to play defence and it's exactly for this reason why RNH was able to land a spot on the team right away.

If the rest of the forwards, ( Hall, Eberle, Gagner Schultz) refuse to play this " new system", that Eakins is preaching then sit them.

To pretend that these player cannot learn a basic defensive system is the cause of all of our problems is simply myopic and stupid! It's time to admit that the line juggling, line matchups, and line combinations that Eakins is coming up with is laughable and causing some of the problems.

Arcabello is superior by any measure to Gagner but is not being utilized properly. The only successful combination we have had ( RNH, Eberle, Hall) are never played together for more than one shift or period. Anyone with a basic understanding of hockey can see they have chemistry, except for our coach who refuses to play them together. As a result of the deficient top-six line combinations, this has had an impact on the bottom six which are continuously mismatched and under played in a game..........exactly how are these guys supposed to get into a game playing 8 minutes a night?

If Eakins could allow line combinations to exist for at least one game, perhaps these guys could develop some chemistry? His bench management skills are junior.........not his players!

You're delusional if you think Arcobello is superior to Gagner by any measure.

Eakins isn't having a problem teaching players defensive tactics.

The players are having a problem being disciplined enough to play defensively. The players know what to do but still choose to cheat to try and score G too often.

That's not coaching...that's the player's fault.

The coach doesn't put on skates and play. Every team juggles lines. The bad match-ups are precisely because some top players were injured and the 3rd and 4th line aren't good enough to fill in.

Do you actually think playing Smyth, Gordon, Hemsky, Acton, Gazdic, Jones or Arcobello more is going to help? Half of them shouldn't even be in the NHL.

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#90 Smokey
November 15 2013, 01:00PM
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Rama Lama wrote:

Just found out Arcabello is sitting..........our most solid player both offensively and defensively, and physically will not be playing.

Yea, coaching is not our problem!

The only thing he hasn't done lately is score. His ice time has gone buy buy after he potted the game winner cause they keep force feeding Gagner time and opportunity. What did Arco do to deserve the benching?

Eakins better not say one thing about accountability or my head will explode. This is about a paycheck and coach who's blind.

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#91 2004Z06
November 15 2013, 01:04PM
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Todd wrote:

I have gone on rants here about how we need to stop going to the games. Its the ONLY way. I haven't been to 1 game all year, and will not spend $1 on a ticket.

But I was just offered free tix tonight. I took them. I can't help it. I'm a recovering addict. My sponsor wasn't around, and I took the hit. HELP ME!

We have all fallen off the wagon a time or too....Stay strong!

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#92 #Six Rings
November 15 2013, 01:06PM
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The coach consistently talks about accountability. Earning icetime. Deserving your minutes, etc.

And yet, Gagner and Acton are in the line-up tonight and Arcobello isn't. Going by recent history, Gagner will very likely be matched up against the Sharks top line with the predictable results sure to follow.

It's becoming very difficult to take Eakins seriously.

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#93 Smokey
November 15 2013, 01:10PM
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MMAX wrote:

I would love to hear "Fire Lowe" chants.

I expect it tonight halfway through the second.

To the guy who thinks Gagners a better player. Track record shows that obviously. The last few games, really?

I don't think we should be running Gagner outta town for a rookie 5'8' center who's eating his lunch. Gagner was not ready to come back, and Eakins playing him far to much.

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#94 2004Z06
November 15 2013, 01:10PM
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Zarny wrote:

You're delusional if you think Arcobello is superior to Gagner by any measure.

Eakins isn't having a problem teaching players defensive tactics.

The players are having a problem being disciplined enough to play defensively. The players know what to do but still choose to cheat to try and score G too often.

That's not coaching...that's the player's fault.

The coach doesn't put on skates and play. Every team juggles lines. The bad match-ups are precisely because some top players were injured and the 3rd and 4th line aren't good enough to fill in.

Do you actually think playing Smyth, Gordon, Hemsky, Acton, Gazdic, Jones or Arcobello more is going to help? Half of them shouldn't even be in the NHL.

First of all remove Gordon from your list. He has done everything asked of him.

If you still think Gagner is a legit top 2 centerman then I am afraid it may be you that is delusional.

Arcobello is eating Gagner's lunch in every aspect of the game right now for 1/5th the salary.

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#95 Zarny
November 15 2013, 01:28PM
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2004Z06 wrote:

First of all remove Gordon from your list. He has done everything asked of him.

If you still think Gagner is a legit top 2 centerman then I am afraid it may be you that is delusional.

Arcobello is eating Gagner's lunch in every aspect of the game right now for 1/5th the salary.

Yes, Gordon has done everything asked of him. I really like Gordon. He's a great 3rd line C but he's not a 1-2 C in the NHL which is what he had to play until Nuge & Gagner came back.

Gagner was on pace for 65 pts last year and finished 34th in scoring for F so yes he's a legit #2 C.

And when Gagner's 100% healthy he's much better than Arcobello who will never be a top 2 C in the NHL.

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#96 Geoff
November 15 2013, 01:34PM
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So Jonathan if Eakins isn't a fit anymore who would be? I can't imagine the bench being coached by MacT himself or Lowe. Would the Oilers consider re hiring Tom Renney?

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#97 Admiralmark
November 15 2013, 01:36PM
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There's no question it's the years of Tambi/Lowe tanking philosophy that has the team so deprived of talent and engrained losing mentality. I do not blame Eakins for that. But Eakins said players would get play time based on merit. So playing Gagner and/or Acton over Arcobello is the opposite of what he said. Should move Gagner to wing where he ALWAYS should of been playing.

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#98 #Six Rings
November 15 2013, 02:08PM
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"Gagner was on pace for 65 pts last year and finished 34th in scoring for F so yes he's a legit #2 C. "

A "legit" second line center should also have some semblance of defensive awareness and abilities to go along with offensive skills. Does watching the play while standing still make him a "legit" second line center?

Not only has Gagner never topped 50 points in the NHL, after seven seasons he still has the defensive acumen of a bantam player.

To suggest Sam Gagner is a "legit" second line center based on projected point totals for one shortened season while ignoring all of the glaring deficiencies in his defensive game that have been there since day one is nothing short of intentional ignorance.

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#99 Chongler
November 15 2013, 02:09PM
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As fans, we need to rally behind this team. This is our team and like it or not, we are a part of it. It sucks watching them lose, and it really sucks watching them take 1 step forward and 3 steps back, but we, as fans NEED to get behind them. It's obvious we care, otherwise we wouldn't be reading blogs, tweeting and just so damn frustrated and pissed off about the whole situation. The Coach needs time, the management isn't going anywhere and can obviously identify the need for certain player types. As fans, we DO deserve a winning team, we've stuck it out this long and the road ahead seems worse than its ever been, but we have to keep telling ourselves that it will only get better-it HAS to get better... Don't go out and pay money to boo the team, step up and cheer for them, they aren't going to hear the cheers and think "Hey these fans are okay with us losing, so its no big deal, right?" They are going to hear the cheers and realize WHAT and WHO it is that they are playing for, they will find that extra bit inside each and every one of them that will turn this slump around, and when the losing stops, the party can FINALLY begin.

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#100 Wonger
November 15 2013, 02:21PM
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Chongler wrote:

As fans, we need to rally behind this team. This is our team and like it or not, we are a part of it. It sucks watching them lose, and it really sucks watching them take 1 step forward and 3 steps back, but we, as fans NEED to get behind them. It's obvious we care, otherwise we wouldn't be reading blogs, tweeting and just so damn frustrated and pissed off about the whole situation. The Coach needs time, the management isn't going anywhere and can obviously identify the need for certain player types. As fans, we DO deserve a winning team, we've stuck it out this long and the road ahead seems worse than its ever been, but we have to keep telling ourselves that it will only get better-it HAS to get better... Don't go out and pay money to boo the team, step up and cheer for them, they aren't going to hear the cheers and think "Hey these fans are okay with us losing, so its no big deal, right?" They are going to hear the cheers and realize WHAT and WHO it is that they are playing for, they will find that extra bit inside each and every one of them that will turn this slump around, and when the losing stops, the party can FINALLY begin.

I'm in! I LOVE THE OILERS - how could a true, blue fan cheer for anyone else! I've been going to games since 1978!!! - GO OILERS!!!! GO MAC T!!!! GO EAKINS!!!! NOW LET's GET SOME SIZE, GRIT and a big SCOOP OF NASTINESS to complement this SMALL, SKILLED , a little SOFT lineup!

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