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 Managing Editor of the Nation Network. He also currently writes for the Edmonton Journal's Cult of Hockey, Grantland, and Hockey Prospectus. His work has appeared at theScore, ESPN and Puck Daddy. He was previously founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue. Contact him at jonathan (dot) willis (at) live (dot) ca.
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#51 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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#52 birdieman
November 15 2013, 04:34PM
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@75ers

I think Tom Renny had these kids on the right track. Oh have you heard messier is back in the fold...go figure.

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#53 Hemmercules
November 15 2013, 10:51AM
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This team spends more time making excuses than actually trying to fix the problems. They have to have press conferences twice a week just to explain themselves and the current gong show of the moment. Mact and Eakins should cut off the media, buckle down and get us some wins. Enough talk, deliver already.

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#54 Lochenzo
November 15 2013, 11:13AM
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They should post Lars Eller's comment on the dressing room wall. This is a young club and they're focusing on trying not to lose when they should be focusing on beating the other team.

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#55 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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#56 #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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#57 2004Z06
November 15 2013, 04:10PM
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#Six Rings wrote:

"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.

Amen!

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#58 2004Z06
November 15 2013, 04:10PM
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Anyone know what Gagner is "on pace" for this year?.....Exactly!

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#59 Geoff
November 15 2013, 04:58PM
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Why did renney get fired anyways?

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#60 Twoskidoos
November 15 2013, 10:02AM
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Didn't Shero give Bylsma the vote of confidence last June? http://www.pensburgh.com/2013/6/12/4422996/ray-shero-press-conference-dan-bylsma-stays-as-pens-coach

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#61 Bleak Winter
November 15 2013, 10:34AM
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Cold Hard Truth wrote:

You should not keep a bad coach, just for the sake of keeping a coach. If Eakins is not fit for the job, he should be replaced by somebody who is. Yes it sucks that there's been such a high turnover, but sticking with a bad coach won't make things better.

Suggest one who's available and capable of turning this around and would be best served in their career by taking the position at this point? Keep in mind if offered the job they'll likely believe their shelf life as an Oiler coach is a year at most and that they may never work again in the league is a real risk. That's sort of the job description these days.

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#62 Will
November 15 2013, 11:09AM
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One of the writers here said it best, last year was all heart no skill, this year is all skill no heart.

The things we got hammered on last year, shots, chances, possession, faceoffs, have generally been corrected this year.

Oddly, the things that were working last year, goal tending, pk, pp, have all taken a dive this year.

I think we put too much confidence in J Schultz. Clearly the swarm is a system that needs to be understood and executed by everyone on the ice and not just a few.

Here's hoping Eakins can turn things around and come as billed. Otherwise, I sadly miss the days of Renny and Kruger.

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#63 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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#64 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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#65 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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#66 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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#67 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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#68 #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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#69 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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#70 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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#71 match16
November 15 2013, 04:23PM
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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.

This. That 5 on 3 vs Dallas was a perfect example. ALL 5 guys were on the perimiter... Even though Hall fed Perron with a nice pass in the slot, Lehtonen had clear vision and was able to easily snag the puck out of the air. Need some bodies in front...

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#72 pkam
November 15 2013, 10:03AM
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James wrote:

If only MacT realized this before canning another coach at the drop of a hat as his first order of business.

The counter argument to your comment is if MacT doesn't see Krueger as a long term solution and foresees a change in the near future, the sooner the better.

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#73 James
November 15 2013, 10:09AM
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pkam wrote:

The counter argument to your comment is if MacT doesn't see Krueger as a long term solution and foresees a change in the near future, the sooner the better.

Fair enough, but don't whine about stability and the amount of coaches the team has gone through. He can't have it both ways.

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#74 HOFFFF
November 15 2013, 10:32AM
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"MacT isn't going anywhere..."

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#75 Wonger
November 15 2013, 10:45AM
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Spydyr wrote:

It is easy to see the entire "braintrust" is in over their heads.Every last one of them.President, GM and coach the trifecta of incompetence.All hired for their current positions with no experience at the NHL level.This will get way worse before it gets better.

I agree! I like MacT but how can he be happy with his core - way too small, way to soft, etc.???? Keep Hall and Nuge and dump the rest -Eberle, Gagner, Yak, J. Schultz and load up on SIZE, FUNCTIONAL TOUGHNESS and GUYS who are proven winners - THEY PAY THE PRICE EVERY NIGHT! P.S. Hall's birthday dinner/party last night wouldn't even have been the BIGGEST or TOUGHEST table at Chuck E Cheese's!

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#76 Bleak Winter
November 15 2013, 10:46AM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

I see the Oilers winning maybe 3 more games this month on the top end.

why is this important?

Come December & January , the Oilers will be lucky to win 3 games the whole month of December, they may not even win a game in January... there are some tough teams coming this way.

It's going to get nasty.

I'm not sure how Katz or MacTavish is going to spin this.

I agree, in fact I think we've basically got to catch a weaker team napping at this point to have a chance in any given game. This gets a lot worse before it gets better, it pretty much has to. How did you say in the other thread, we're in for a new version of suck?

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#77 camdog
November 15 2013, 10:50AM
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@Reality Check to the head

Renney was fired because the President was putting pressure on Tambellini to win now! It's an ironic twist on hypocrisy. Kevin Lowe goes to his GM and season ticket holders and says lets bomb now to get high picks and they after they bomb for a couple of seasons he says we have to win now! Hence the firing of Renney.

The entire problem with the rebuild is we don't have any significant mid to late round draft picks make the team during Kevin Lowe's draft years, there was nobody, except Petry. First overall picks are great, but if you don't have any second, third or fourth picks make any progress you are in for a lot of hurt.

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#78 HOFFF
November 15 2013, 11:03AM
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Maybe Katz is following the plot from the movie "Major League" and setting the Oilers up like the Cleveland Indians so he can move the Team to Seattle. :)

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#79 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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#80 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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#81 Johnnydapunk
November 15 2013, 08:28PM
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They just mentioned that Bryzgalov has been shelled for 5 goals in 27 shots in his first AHL game, oh dear....

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#82 mayorblaine
November 15 2013, 10:16AM
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keep the coach. new GM or not the carousel is embarassing.

the players on the other hand, specifically the top 6...

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#83 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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#84 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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#85 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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#86 pkam
November 15 2013, 10:19AM
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James wrote:

Fair enough, but don't whine about stability and the amount of coaches the team has gone through. He can't have it both ways.

MacT started a new chapter this offseason, so if any changes need to be made, wouldn't you think it is the best opportunity, and hopefully things will settle down after that for an extended period of time?

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#87 Andrew
November 15 2013, 11:14AM
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Analyze this. Last year PK and PP are performing at an above average clip. Eakins arrives and the team falls apart on special teams and 5X5. Team confidence has vanished. MacT has brought in an improved line-up with limited results. What element has changed all of this for the worse? EAKINS. What this really showed me is that this organization is bad and going to get even worse. MacT's text book display of dissembling right in our faces sounded and looked the same crap coming out of KLowe's mouth for his entire tenure.

How can any credible GM suggest they are totally on board with such dreadful coaching results. Then to suggest he has 8 or 9 key players who are not available is patently ridiculous. No one is going to trade for players from the Oiler's 4th line for a stud 'D' or big skilled centre.

Strap on fellow Oilers faithful, because this has the potential to be a very long and bumpy downhill ride. MacT's blathering yesterday gives me no comfort.

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#88 Danger Pay
November 15 2013, 11:14AM
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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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#89 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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#90 Pouzar99
November 15 2013, 08:30PM
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In MacT's own words - "If you have to ask the question, you know the answer."

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#91 Hammer
November 16 2013, 09:22AM
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Option# 1 Oilers trade Gagner, Hemsky, 1st round for Weber

Option#2 Oilers trade Gagner, Hemsky, Eberle for Weber

Lets wait and see!!!

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#92 Dockstaff
November 16 2013, 01:05PM
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@OilCanFan

Hall isn't a "small" guy. At 6'1, 190 he's the same size as about half the guys in the league and will get bigger as he matures.

Arcobello has earned his place. One of the few guys on that team that hasn't been given anything and had to fight for every minute he's played. Move him to 2nd line C, and Gagner to the wing!!

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#93 TayLordBalls
November 15 2013, 11:09AM
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well it's groundhog day....again

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#94 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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#95 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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#96 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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#97 hockeycrazed
November 15 2013, 11:10AM
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It is natural for fans in this parts to lash out their frustrations at Management, and they, in fact deserved most of it, nevertheless, we shouldn't lose sight of the main issue here, the players are not performing to their capabilities! may it be they are getting paid too much? Scare to get hurt? there is so much to address, where should we place the blame? If 'Management types', 'Players' are not to blame, then who? Maybe the fans are! we bitch too much? every arm chair coaches out there are trying to give their two cents worth, and it pisses off the 'Almighty bunch' at Oiler land, and they do that deliberately to teaches us a lesson? It's the most logical conclusion I could think of!

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#98 Delphil
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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#99 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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#100 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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