DEAD-LAST OR DEAD AND LAST?

Robin Brownlee
November 16 2013 12:02AM

 

It seems ridiculous to say the Edmonton Oilers can forget about the playoffs for the eighth straight season after just 21 games, but that's exactly where the Oilers find themselves with 61 games to play after a 3-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks Friday.

Fact is, you could have said that, and many have, three or four games ago. The loss to San Jose, coupled with a win by the Buffalo Sabres, leaves the Oilers 4-15-2 and dead-last, 30th, in NHL standings as they prepare to face the Calgary Flames Saturday in a provincial showdown of have-nots.

I'm not going to trot out the threadbare "playing for pride" bit coaches tend to default to when it's obvious their teams are also-rans as the Oilers already are, but there's no doubt Dallas Eakins and GM Craig MacTavish are going to learn a lot about the players on their team in the games that remain – aside from the obvious, that this roster isn't good enough.

Frankly, given the frustration bubbling over as the defeats mount, like that articulated by Taylor Hall after the loss to the Sharks, it's going to be a long and challenging string to play out. That said, Eakins and MacTavish will find out a lot about who's-who and what's-what.

FRUSTRATION MOUNTS

The Oilers played some of their best hockey in several games after the Sharks took a 3-0 lead, but that was cold consolation to Hall in the dressing room as the Oilers packed for a quick flight to Calgary.

Gene Principe of Sportsnet Tweeted this quote from Hall after the game: "I'm just so tired of coming in here after games and having to give a reason why we lost. We just gotta win."

Surrounded by reporters, Hall added: "We played well for the rest of the game, but it doesn't matter. It's for nothing.

"I've been around for so many losses that you kind of put yourself in a tailspin of wondering what it is. It's really hard. We're trying really hard in here but we're not winning games. At the end of the day, that's all that matters."

While it's foolish to try to read too much into what Hall said just minutes after another disappointing defeat – one wouldn’t expect him to be tap dancing with glee -- it doesn't take a vast intellect to figure out Hall and his teammates are just as sick of losing as fans are. The question now is what he and his teammates do about it the rest of the way.

LONG WAY TO GO

The way I see it, there's a big difference between being dead-last in the standings and dead and last in the 61 games that remain. What I want to see is who digs in and battles the rest of the way. Who fades away? Who flat out mails it in? I'd imagine Eakins and MacTavish want to know, too.

This isn't about saying, "Don't give up boys and everything will be OK." That's naïve. This team is flawed in the way it's been put together, as has been pointed out for a long, long time, and a bunch of "try-hard" efforts isn’t going to make the deficits in this team's make-up go away.

Addressing the shortcomings by position and in personnel falls to MacTavish, but he's going to get a good, long while to assess who fights and who folds from here on out, and that does play into where this team is going in the long term.

Is Hall up for it? Is Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nail Yakupov and on and on? Who is resilient and stubborn enough to suck it up and go balls out with the post-season again a pipe dream? Who has been broken, or is close to it, by all the failure? Who says, "I'm sick of this and I'm not going to take it?" Who says, "I'm sick of this. I quit?"

Who has a heartbeat? Who is dead and last?

PARTING THOUGHT . . .

I wonder if MacTavish is seriously considering bringing in an experienced NHL coach to bolster his staff and I wonder if he still has Paul Maurice's phone number?

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#51 hemi
November 16 2013, 07:39AM
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There are no positives left for even the most die hard fan to cling too. Shame on the Management and the Owner. It is their responsibility to run this team successfully. They have failed miserably!

Shame on the Management and the Owner for taking one of the most die hard fan based franchises in the league for granted. All respect for the Owner and Management has completely disappeared. Kudos to the fans whom have come out in droves and are speaking of their displeasure.

Not even one fan expected the Oil to be knocking at the door for the Cup immediately but it is as plain as the day that the gracious Oil fan has been duped by the incompetency of this Management. The only door this team is knocking is the basement cellar door.

Team is in complete shambles! The good people of Edmonton do not deserve this garbage and it pains me to admit that there is no end in site.

Bottom line, Edmonton does not have an NHL team.

Go Hawks Go!

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#52 season not played
November 16 2013, 07:57AM
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Some thoughts.

I find MacT spewing rhetoric about reasons for optimism offensive. How stupid does he think the Oilers fanbase is?

This mess will take years, and several astute transactions to fix. At this point, I would rather have Mike Milbury in charge of it.

By my eye, it sure looks like Tyler Seguin is a better hockey player than Taylor Hall. Mind you, he does have the distinct advantage of playing for an actual NHL hockey team.

I think it's only a matter of time until players want out. Fortunately, I can't see why another team would return any value on one of those ridiculous 6 million dollar deals. Unfortunately, a core of players that don't want to be here should make for fantastic hockey.

I would like to say tonight is rock bottom, but it will get no better tomorrow. The humilitation will go on all season. Bryzgalov isn't even here yet.

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#53 Itchy
November 16 2013, 08:05AM
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Last nights San Jose game was the first game this season I've watched completely from start to finish. Its also the first game I've ever watched where I saw no scrums, no punches after the whistle, no snowing the goalie, nothing to show me any passion or desire to play hard and get under the other teams skin a bit and compete. It was played with the intensity of an All-Star game. I'm a die hard fan, but this was tough to watch...even my non hockey-fan girlfriend had trouble watching. I may have to go team shopping soon after 15 years....gonna be a tough breakup but games like that make it easier.

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#54 Serious Gord
November 16 2013, 08:08AM
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dougtheslug wrote:

Kevin, Craig, Bucky, Stevie, they are all his buddies from back in the 80's. I'm sure when he bought the team his dream was that they would all be together again at centre ice, raising the cup like they were young lions once again. So they set about recreating what they thought was a reasonable facsimile of the 80's dynasty team, with Hall as Messier, RNH as Gretzky, Schulz as Coffey, Yak as Kurri, Eberle as Anderson. Except they're not. And the game has changed a little since the 80's, where Lowe and MacT and Katz seem to permanently stuck. And they can't get their heads around it, and are stunned that their ingenious plan isn't working. So they best we can hope for is they will bring in Mark Messier to help sort things out. As DSF would say, "Book it".

So the hiring of old boys has been a miserable failure, and your solution is to hire another old boy?

I'm pretty sure DSFs response would be: "good grief!"

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#55 Oil Change?
November 16 2013, 08:36AM
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The smart players will stop trying. That might be they're only way to get traded out of this mess.

Only the Oilers after everything that has happened could add another dimension to the problem by sending down the second highest scoring rookie and keep the coaches son.

Katz is fairly young, this could go on for another 30 years with Lowe right by his side the whole way.

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#56 jona
November 16 2013, 08:42AM
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@hemi

plz get all this oilers management to be relieved!! look at this Buffalo sabres they cleaned up everything and LOOK the first game of the new coaching staff got a win right away..

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#57 Jason
November 16 2013, 09:24AM
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@Robin Brownlee

Robin (or anyone who cares to comment),

I have been an Edmontonian and Oiler fan all of my 40 years. As maddening as it is for me to see the team as bad as it has been for as long as it has been, the one thing that I think is mostr frustrating is this.

The problem has been the same for the last 7 years - we are too small up front, lack defence, have questionable goaltending, and not enough guys playing with conviction and grit!

How is it that a problem that has been identified for this long seems no closer to being solved?

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#58 Ari Gold
November 16 2013, 09:38AM
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Not even a trip to Brazil could prevent me from watching these Oilers. I streamed games at 1am, giddy with excitement over the teams evolution this year. That feeling quickly disappeared.

Tonight will be the first game in a while that I won't be able to watch. Part of me enjoys watching the trainwreck and seeing how MacT and Eakins spin it. The rest of me remembers the real hope and energy after game 6 of the 2006 Stanley Cup Finals. That makes me sad. Not sad that they played an amazing gritty playoff and lost, but that it's been so long since I saw an incomplete team come together to get the job done.

This team is a travesty. Not the makeup but the way it's been managed. This team had a 9 game losing streak last year but finished on a dominating high note. They also managed to get to the 8 spot right before the trade deadline. That team was in the mix.

This year, I'd have a hard time saying that there aren't better 'pieces'. The D has improved. Belov is much better than Whitney. Ference is a smarter replacement for Smid. Larsen is a more complete player than Fistric though lacks any toughness. Joensuu, Acton, Arco, Gordon & Perron are great additions.

My question is, how has this team gotten worse? I honestly would've traded Hemsky before Horcoff but I didn't complain. Horcs tough minutes have been replaced by Gordo. Fine.

Gags was injured but Arco stepped in nice at the 2C position. Acton looks a lot better than Smyth at 4C. Hall can't play centre, that was a foolish experiment. Nuge, Arco/Gags & Gordo is a weak top 3 but they succeeded last year with Nuge (injured), Gags & Horcs. I don't think Horcs is THAT much better than Gordo.

My question given that these changes are not in the absolute wrong direction: How could anyone say that the team, having nose-dived, is due to the players? Isn't it 100% obvious that this is on coaching/management?

You can't proclaim bold moves to the media. Other GM's were licking their chops at a possible fleece. MacT shouted out his desperation loud and clear. A clear no-no. You can't name the players you want to trade to the media; desperation once again.

You can't take a #4 Dman in Ference, pay him and expect him to step into a #2 role and succeed. Just as you can't give a rookie centre 25 mins of ice-time against top competition.

You can't hand out millions of dollars to unproven talent. Nuge should've at least played half a season before contract talks. Remember that money/contracts are an incentive for players. Not to say that Nuge is comfy now, but he's certainly not worried.

You can't keep changing coaches and expect the team to adjust immediately. Thank you all who read my rant. I just needed to get this out.

Off to watch the Seahawks. A team that turned their rebuild around in 2 bloody seasons. The franchise player? Russell Wilson, drafted 75th overall. I know it isn't the same sport, but Seattle is basically the Winnipeg of the States. They're forgotten and ignored as an NFL franchise. That's my team. Hard working D and O. Heart, desire & rage.

Shame on you Katz, Lowe, MacT & Eakins. You're about to start losing fans.

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#59 crobar
November 16 2013, 10:17AM
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arsenaloilerbarca wrote:

First time poster - 27 years a fan

Going to the game vs columbus on tuesday, bringing a sign that says:

"hey MacT, here's a bold move, refund us our money"

first time i spent money on a mini pack and actually regret it… sad times being a fan of the oil :(

pretty sure the gestapo at the rink will take it from you at the door. you will have to sneak it in and unroll it during the game. you will then be asked to remove the sign and yourself from the building. book it!!

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#60 TDSM31
November 16 2013, 10:20AM
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Ari Gold wrote:

That game was a disgrace, for the Sharks. The Oil should feel flattered that it wasn't 6-1. Couture had tough puck-luck tonight and they had a tonne of posts. The Oilers couldn't/wouldn't finish. There was no fight, nor jam left in the 3rd. The Sharks were playing their 3rd game in 4 nights. They were exhausted, they still pulled out an ugly road win.

That game was a joke to watch.

I don't blame the players for the seeming lack of fight. They're confused, sad and annoyed. How did they get stuck on this broken ship, adrift? I can understand if there's a few cancers in the dressingroom that won't play under a coach. This entire team, however, is beyond hope. That's on the coach & organization.

I know the Oilers players are confused...and I am too by this post. So the other team has tough puck-luck when they don't score against us and we should be grateful the score isn't even more lopsided, but when we miss scoring opportunities (like the two heartbreakers against Dallas and Smyttys failed wrap around last night) its because we don't have the ability to finish? No bad 'puck-luck' for us?

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#61 Chad
November 16 2013, 10:21AM
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he's not bringing in another coach, he just said in his news conference that the coaching staff is doing a great job

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#62 Johnnydapunk
November 16 2013, 10:50AM
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outdoorzguy wrote:

Hey McTavish...see what Toronto just did..."BOLD MOVES"!!it can be done if you put a bit of effort into it.

As much as I blame MacT for not getting, trading, or even signing players that the Oil needed, I think a big part of it which is sad but true is Edmonton is not that appealing of a place to live for well paid NHLers. It's easier for teams in big cities, or typically non hockey markets to sign and have players to agree to go to their teams because they are either wanting to live in a fairly large city, or not want to be noticed or annoyed in their off time.

I'm not saying it just to knock Edmonton as it is the city I grew up in but, it's the sad reality that sometimes players have to be overpaid to stay here. The Oilers are lucky that they have a pretty amazing history that some players want to be a part of.

I am guessing that I will get trashed for saying all that, but it is the reality.

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#63 M22
November 16 2013, 12:10PM
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Here's a thought:

If, hypothetically, you could give Daryl Katz two scenarios to chose from:

1) Continue the current model of building a mangement group (stocking the group with your idols of yesteryear), then one day come close to winning the Stanley Cup, but never actually win it.

or:

2) Clean house and build a managemnt group based on best available hockey minds (do I even need to say it doesn't include anybody currently employed by Katz?), and then one day actually win the Cup.

....I truly wonder which scenario he would pick. Hardly anybody really knows this man. I certainly don't. What motivates him as an owner? Is it winning the Cup? Or is it the experience of NHL ownership? It must be very satisfying to do this with a bunch of his close buds; people he knows and trusts.

In fact, I wouldn't even criticize what his motives are. It's his team; he bought it, and can run it how he wants. I, as all of you do, sit and ponder far too much about how the hell this team remains, after all this time, a disaster, with little tangible evidence to provide hope, and plenty of historical evidence to prolong dread and doubt.

We won't be completely satisfied until we win the Stanley Cup. For Katz, that might be just the gravy.

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#64 tileguy
November 16 2013, 12:22PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

You are bang on about there being little or no incentive for the Oilers to shake anything up as long as the dollars are rolling in.

Part of the problem when fans discuss making their displeasure known is the Oilers already have the revenue from season tickets -- "They're already paid for so it won't matter if I don't go. They have my money. Plus, there's a waiting list, so somebody will just take my spot if I don't renew."

Fair enough, but there's still a way to make a statement AND hit the team on the bottom line, but it would take fans organizing -- and I'm not just talking about starting up a Facebook page and bitching about how bad the team is. That does nothing.

What if the Oilers played a game or two in front of 10,000 to 12,000 empty seats because season ticket holders organized and, for example, said, "We aren't going to the Nov. 19 game against CBJ and the Nov. 21 game against Florida?" If fans didn't sell the tickets or give them away, those seats would be empty.

Yes, the team still has the money for those seats, but they don't get concessions and souvenir revenue etc. Plus, management and ownership is looking at a two-thirds empty building in back-to-back games. That sends a real message. Having 1,500 or 2,000 people stay away, as is the case now, doesn't have the same impact financially or visually, so it would take some organization by fans to make it worthwhile.

I'm not saying it should be done, but it could be done. Would such an action significantly change anything? I'm not sure.

What I do know is that when customers vote with their dollars -- even if a lot of those dollars are already in the bank via season tickets -- the message carries far more weight than spewing venom on a hockey website or a post-game radio show.

It should be done on a national broadcast so if the money lost doesn't sting, the nationwide embarrassment would.

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#65 M22
November 16 2013, 12:41PM
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@Max Powers - Team HME Evans

"None of them care about winning they only care about scmoozing in fancy places and eating lobster stuffed with caviar."

Highly doubtful. It's not that management doesn't care. It's that they are NOT CAPABLE!

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#67 4 Minute Mark
November 16 2013, 02:12PM
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@Robin Brownlee

Here is an idea. Those of us who have already paid for tickets still like a night out.

What if the fans ... ALL of us, pick a time, perhaps the 4 minute mark of the 3rd period and left. Everyone go ... especially on a nationally televised game. $ minuted being chosen because we are all tired of the Kevin Lowe show ...

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#68 Dockstaff
November 16 2013, 02:28PM
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** wrote:

That is a very interesting idea, boycotting the games. I'm not sure either if it would change things much, but It would be an interesting action to take. At the end of the day it is probably the same 200 of us who call the radio shows or post on these websites to vent our frustrations but that is a drop in the ocean compared to the number of ticket holders.

It's good to know though, that more experienced, professional minds share some of our (more hardcore fans) views.

You know what, something similar happened here in Riderville in the 90s. After 20 years of losing the fans stopped coming to the games. The mid-late 90s saw a signigicant drop in ticket and souvenir sales. Ownership finally listened and things started to turn around. It took until the mid 2000s before we started to field a competitive team.

I don't think the Oil is there yet. We have talent, but they need to mix in the grit and blood to give the talent room to do their thing. Step One was brining Eakins and MacT; Step two start moving pieces (players).

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#69 GK1980
November 16 2013, 02:33PM
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I was at the SJ game lady night and it was sad to see the crowd reaction. Nobody cares. Ref made a few bad calls against the oilers and nary a peep in the crowd. NOBODY CARES ANYMORE. Would one power play make a difference? Nope. No emotion from the players or crowd. Pathetic.

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#70 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
November 16 2013, 02:58PM
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1st tier fans please hear me. I know you are going to the game tonight but send a message. Don't buy anything at the game until you see how they perform. If it is a good performance buy a beer/food/pop or whatever. If it is bad DO NOT GIVE ANY MORE MONEY!!!

If they still suck at the end of the 2nd just leave. Dont boo dont shout just get up at the end of the 2nd and keep going.

Although do it with 5 minutes left in the period will get better media coverage.

I know this is just my pipe dream but you have the power 1st tiers. I know you are better at being a fan than I am (since '79) so please fix this.

There that outta do it. :)

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#71 Cold Hard Truth
November 16 2013, 12:27AM
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Management is sleep walking.

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#72 arsenaloilerbarca
November 16 2013, 12:46AM
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@Cold Hard Truth

I think its also sad that us fans have so much love for the oil that we:

1. pay incredibly high prices for tickets (relative to other nhl teams) - I get the economics behind pricing, rexall capacity, need for a new arena etc… but unfortunately is shelling out over $100 for a single ticket worth it right now? Season seat holders…you guys are the ones i feel for the most.

2. continuously spend money on oilers merchandise and memorabilia - all of us look great in oiler colours...its made us happy at some of our worst times I'm sure…but i can't even justify an oilers related purchase because of how expensive things are and what the oilers currently portray…which right now is a bunch of suck!

3. give up lots of time to dedicate to our beloved team - the city bleeds oiler blue, anything oilers related is given an extra few moments even if your running behind, or gotta see that last highlight before you cram for an exam.

but sadly….the team's home record is worse than awful…in fact, the overall record is worse than awful...and we are back to last place….a place that we have become familiar with and accepted at times over this "rebuild"…but enough is enough……

I wish the fans could send a message to the team (specifically management) and just let them play in front of an empty arena. Would really be something that collectively the fans could do to maybe actually show how its actually US who have suffered the most. Perhaps a little money pinching by the fans will finally get Katz involved?

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#73 HOFFFF
November 16 2013, 01:08AM
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"With thier only goal, the Oilers were able to avoid becoming the first team in 84 years to get shut out in four straight home games."

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#74 Bryzarro World
November 16 2013, 04:26AM
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Clive wrote:

Cold Hard Truth - I like that title on one of the posted comments, but the bottom line is "Cold Hard Cash" The oilers make too much money as a franchise for Katz to make any management changes. It's not about wins but the year end accountant's financial statement. I'm not quite sure I have ever heard Katz talk about how important a winning team is to him?

You make a ton more money in the playoffs and I'm sure sales are falling as well...

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#75 mlcselli
November 16 2013, 05:12AM
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Who says I'm sick of losing and I'm not going to take it or I quit? Who knows. Who is thinking, I'm sick of losing and I want to be traded? Probably everyone. The decisions that Eakins and MacT have made so far this season defy logic.

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#76 MMAX
November 16 2013, 05:24AM
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Who really cares anymore? I sure as hell don't. Funny thing about it though, I can't stop watching this train wreck. How much more can old Katzy put up with? When...yes WHEN Crapgary beats them tonight will something be done? Probably not.

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#77 hemi
November 16 2013, 06:04AM
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Many a poster whom would not have typed the perpetual negative drivel as the trolls who grace this site have now converted to the dark side. I too have switched sides and now have become the negative nelly type of fan/poster.

I squarely lay my negativity for all things OIL at the feet of the horrible Management Team and the Owner of this train wreck. This organization has been floundering around for far too long (as if every fan hadn't noticed). Hockey is one of the common denominators in this country that makes us call the game, 'Our Game'. It is even more woven into our daily lives when your own home town has been blessed with a NHL franchise.

The Management has missed the opportunity to rebuild this team several years back and no matter how they spin their yarn, the team itself has not even gotten out of the gate regarding rebuilding. We, as fans, are once again relegated to wallow in the looser category.

Damn this Management! I do believe I have come to the point as a fan that I no longer give a crap for this team. I will take my hurt Edmontonian Pride and ride off into the sunset. Back to my childhood team.

Go Hawks Go!

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#78 Seriously
November 16 2013, 06:36AM
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Sure would be nice to see the oilers win tonight but there is another side of me that hopes Calgary kicks the sh!t out of them... Let Brian Burke have a good laugh at six cups!!!!

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#79 Walter Sobchak
November 16 2013, 06:47AM
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Good read RB.

MacTavish & Eakins will find out who quits?

That's already happening, from the interviews I've watch each player is saying something has to be done here.

Those players are not asking for management to make trades, bring in new players, that’s the players saying there sick and tired of MacTavish & Eakins crap.

Look at Halls post-game interview on the Oilers network, then watch Eakins, they say almost the exact opposite.

Eakins with his,” I like our last two periods, I thought our first we came out hesitant”……same old same old there.

My guess is Hall asks for a trade in the summer.

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#80 Dave "Killer" Carlson
November 16 2013, 07:14AM
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S2H wrote:

Keep your chins up boys.

The way everyone's acting, you'd think someone was dying.

But someone is slowly dying: the Oilers fan in me.

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#81 Rheal1
November 16 2013, 07:16AM
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The Oilers area second tier hockey clug. Like the Chiefs, but way more pathetic. At least Reggie Dunlop had a clue about sucking. Eakins is a blind & emotionless dummy.

Comment from TSN: "I mention after the last game that Oilers management was frustrated that Buffalo was in their coveted spot, good to see that the Oilers have addressed that problem. There is only room for one at the bottom." "every 1 in Canada will be cheering 4 the flames tomorrow GFG". "congrats lowe and MCT with the sabres win tonight you are dead last in the league again" "Your Edmonton Oilers, comfortably entrenched in 30th ..." and "i knew it"................... I want to see the Oilers lose so friggin' hard tonight. Please Flames teach the Oilers what heart is. I wish Brian Burke a ton of laughter as the mediocre Flamers beat the hell out of Deadmonton by 3 or 4 goals.

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#82 madjam
November 16 2013, 07:34AM
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You ever seen a club burnt out after 21 games , trying to play a system they will not be good at and failing ? That's our team that's burnt out physically and mentally . Gm and coaching change might bring some energy physically, and mentally to our club , but right now they look burnt out and wasted .

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#83 JJ
November 16 2013, 07:40AM
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I think those onion rings are intimidating Eakins...

"Must resist.. only eat raw onions"

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#84 Fresh Mess
November 16 2013, 07:41AM
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Great. Another chance for the Oiler management to asses who wants to be here next year. Another 60 game training camp. Another test of character. Another audition for next year when things will be so much better. Again. For the eighth year running......

I know it's your job to try and write something about this perennial joke of a franchise RB, but even you must be sick of writing this stuff every year.

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#85 Rheal1
November 16 2013, 07:48AM
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50% chances one of the kids demands a trade by xmas. 50% chances another one of the kids is traded by March deadline. 100% certain MacT trades his #1 pick in June for prospects. 'Cause the suckers need hope ya'll know.

BOYCOTT THIS TEAM!!!!

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#86 Loyal Oil
November 16 2013, 07:59AM
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@Rheal1

True. The reason there is such frustration between fans and Katz/Lowe is that they are using a different evaluation tool for success. Katz sees a full (tier 1 paying fans) rink every night, millions and millions of dollars in taxpayer money coming to him in the rink deal and a 2 wait list for season tics. How many of you would fire a manager who said "I'm going to absolutely fill your pockets with money and after I do that I'm goin to fill them again with millions and millions of taxpayers money and the only draw back will be some tier 2 fans (non-revenue fans) writting pissed off comments on some blog". Most people would take the money and run. The only problem with their short term money grab is that they could destroy the primary revenue producing asset in the process (the edmonton oilers hockey club, problem is they have already considered that they may destroy the club and have started work on contingency relocation options).

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#87 Batfink
November 16 2013, 08:12AM
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Itchy wrote:

Last nights San Jose game was the first game this season I've watched completely from start to finish. Its also the first game I've ever watched where I saw no scrums, no punches after the whistle, no snowing the goalie, nothing to show me any passion or desire to play hard and get under the other teams skin a bit and compete. It was played with the intensity of an All-Star game. I'm a die hard fan, but this was tough to watch...even my non hockey-fan girlfriend had trouble watching. I may have to go team shopping soon after 15 years....gonna be a tough breakup but games like that make it easier.

Yeah, what happened to Perron? That wasn't the dude that we love out there. Did DE rein him in? Shouldn't have bothered. Vets broke team last night. Smytty pens and Captain Effin Fantastic slew footing his own goalie. I intitially thought SJ player had pushed him, but no.

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#88 Loweblows
November 16 2013, 08:16AM
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Glad Arco was sent down-great game by the invisible acton-mactavish couldn't managa a friggin circus-

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#89 Loweblows
November 16 2013, 08:16AM
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Glad Arco was sent down-great game by the invisible acton-mactavish couldn't managa a friggin circus-

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#90 Itchy
November 16 2013, 08:25AM
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@Batfink

All the talk of compete at the beginning of the year, then they go out and play a game like that. DE should be a used car salesman. I actually believed his speech before the season.

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#91 Robin Brownlee
November 16 2013, 08:30AM
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Fresh Mess wrote:

Great. Another chance for the Oiler management to asses who wants to be here next year. Another 60 game training camp. Another test of character. Another audition for next year when things will be so much better. Again. For the eighth year running......

I know it's your job to try and write something about this perennial joke of a franchise RB, but even you must be sick of writing this stuff every year.

This city comes alive in the playoffs. It's a fun environment to work in. Been a long time.

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#92 Batfink
November 16 2013, 08:43AM
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Itchy wrote:

All the talk of compete at the beginning of the year, then they go out and play a game like that. DE should be a used car salesman. I actually believed his speech before the season.

I've used this analogy for him before. He says all the right things. Snake oil salesman. I believe he's the same as putting someone like NAS or DSF in as coach. Clever hockey guys, but would ultimately find themselves out of their depth. Talk a good game.

The trouble is that he doesn't hold himself to the same standards as he does the players. Accountability. That's why Arco didn't play last night?

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#93 camdog
November 16 2013, 09:30AM
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@Jason

Post Pronger the model for this team has remained the same. This is now 3 GM'S that are trying to win with the same model. Look at the Oilers team from Mact's last years as a coach the team is the same team, the philosophy has not changed. This is Kevein Lowe/Mact's original plan for the 2006-07 season, the strategy has not changed!

The number one variable required to get a job with the Oilers is you have to share Kevin Lowe's vision, that is what is wrong with this organization.

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#94 Walter Sobchak
November 16 2013, 09:30AM
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Serious Gord wrote:

So the hiring of old boys has been a miserable failure, and your solution is to hire another old boy?

I'm pretty sure DSFs response would be: "good grief!"

@dougtheslug

Sorry for the bad news, Messier already works for the Oilers.

He's a consultant for Lowe.

All Katz needs now is Gretzky & his childhood dream of being friends with all the 80’s Oilers will be complete.

Forget the hockey club, Katz just bought that to have fancy friends.

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#95 dougtheslug
November 16 2013, 09:50AM
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Serious Gord wrote:

So the hiring of old boys has been a miserable failure, and your solution is to hire another old boy?

I'm pretty sure DSFs response would be: "good grief!"

Thats not my solution. Thats my prediction

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#96 Jason
November 16 2013, 09:52AM
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@camdog

I agree. I think one of the big problems is that they have tried to build a team that could win the cup in 1983, forgetting that it is now 2013.

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#97 tileguy
November 16 2013, 10:40AM
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Itchy wrote:

Last nights San Jose game was the first game this season I've watched completely from start to finish. Its also the first game I've ever watched where I saw no scrums, no punches after the whistle, no snowing the goalie, nothing to show me any passion or desire to play hard and get under the other teams skin a bit and compete. It was played with the intensity of an All-Star game. I'm a die hard fan, but this was tough to watch...even my non hockey-fan girlfriend had trouble watching. I may have to go team shopping soon after 15 years....gonna be a tough breakup but games like that make it easier.

If they snowed the goalie they would get their lights punched out. Too many sweeties.

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#98 CMG30
November 16 2013, 10:51AM
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"This team is put together wrong"

True statement, but not something that can be fixed overnight. I don't believe for a second that MacT is happy with this roster and I believe that he desperately wants to change it. The problem is that the right deal is not out there yet.

There is talk of the trade between Anaheim and Toronto. I don't see that trade being available to the Oilers for that price for 2 reasons: 1 Anaheim and Edmonton are in the same conference and 2 there has got to be a premium on any trade involving Edmonton because of the situation in Edmonton right now.

There is no doubt that the Oil need to trade a young star but I can't see that happening until closer to the trade deadline. The right deal just isn't available. As painful as the loses are, the Oilers still need to be careful with their assets. For all intents and purposes this is the team Tambi built and it was why he was fired. The surest way for the new GM to get fired as well is to panic and ship out one of the past season's booby prizes for a has-been or a rental.

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#99 tileguy
November 16 2013, 10:53AM
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MacT is paralyzed to make a trade for a couple of reasons. To me the solutions is he has to overpay to find some size and grit that still has some reasonable skill level, ie Simmonds. But can you imagine the uproar it will cause, "you gave away potential 40 goals for this" So he doesn't make the trade and we are stuck as a small soft team. Nurse coming in as a 19 year old isn't going to make us gritty next year. My solution is to overpay for size on the offence. That's where we start, goal-tending can betaken care of this summer.

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#100 **
November 16 2013, 10:59AM
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MacTavish is in denial about the state of this team. Gordon, Perron, Ference, Belov, these guys just came from organizations where they were successful. They come here and they play so poorly. It is difficult to believe that it is the players' fault for not stepping up their game. There is obviously something not working with the coach's system. How long before MacT accepts he made a mistake and fires the coach.

The argument that this team needs stability and the coach can't get fired is a weak one. You can't keep a faulty part in an engine just because the last 4 you replaced were faulty as well. You keep looking for the right part until you find it.

The decision to sit down the best all around player in the team by all metrics (Arcobello) was to me the last straw. At least they finally told him he is staying.

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