The Way I See It

Robin Brownlee
November 22 2013 09:59PM

Winning, the saying goes, solves everything. While that's not true, at least as it pertains to a flawed team like the Edmonton Oilers, three straight victories has, at the very least, taken some of the edge off a decidedly and rightfully unhappy fan base.

After being booed off the ice by fans at Rexall Place just a week or so ago, the Oilers filed into their dressing room after a 4-1 win over the Florida Panthers Thursday and a 7-0 whitewash of the Columbus Blue Jackets to ovations from a capacity crowd. The Oilers started this much-needed three-game respite from futility with a win down the highway in Calgary.

In the big picture that is an 82-game NHL season, 7-15-2 isn't a whole lot better than the 4-15-2 record the Oilers took into this little roll, but it sure feels like it. It most certainly changes, however temporarily, the way fans feel about themselves and their hockey team today.

It might even have you feeling better about goaltender Devan Dubnyk, who has been a lightning rod for criticism after a decidedly horrendous start to the season. Fans have to be pretty happy with Dubnyk's performance during this three game stretch – the same people who were losing their minds after his first three games of the season.

Statistically speaking, Dubnyk is neither as inept as he appeared in those first three games (and several more along the way) nor the Vezina Trophy candidate he's looked like in the last three. When the dust settles after 82 games, I suspect Dubnyk will end up somewhere in the middle.

One extreme to the Other

Anybody who is saying, "Thanks for that insight, Captain Obvious," might want to take a look at some of the comments sections here from early in the season, be it Dubnyk's first three outings, or even the first month, for that matter. He was a bum. A joke. A brutal embarrassment. On and on.

While fans and media types are prone to qualifying their observations with "small sample size" these days, that pretty much went out the window as the venom was spewed here and on radio call-in shows when Dubnyk led the collective early season face plant. I don't mind the passion, by any means, but it's funny how a start abysmal beyond words plays hell with a reasoned approach when it comes to fandom.

Dubnyk allowed 13 goals on 85 shots in the first three games he played, recording Andre Racicot-like save percentages of .821, .839 and .885 in those games. In his last three games, Dubnyk has stopped 71 of 74 shots, going .943, 1.000 and, against the Panthers, .960.

With 157 games in the books (all on a bad team), I think it's safe to say we know what Dubnyk is – even if many forgot it for the first 18 games or so. In 2010-11, Dubnyk's save percentage was .916. In 2011-12 it was .914, followed by .920 last season. The numbers, again on miserable teams, show him to be a good, not great, NHL starter.

A good team, which the Oilers aren't yet, can win with Dubnyk. When this season is over, I'd be willing to wager that Dubnyk, who sits at 6-10-1 with an .896 save percentage today, falls right where he has the previous three seasons – in the .914 to .920 range.

Right in the middle between a rail car out of town and a Vezina Trophy.

WHILE I'M AT IT . . .

I can't figure out fans in this town when it comes to their perceptions of the media, although much of how they view the jobs being done by scribes and broadcasters is obviously based on how good or bad the Oilers are playing at any given time.

Reporters not willing to seek out Kevin Lowe and ask him why the hell he refuses to step down right now, if not bloody sooner – usually after a loss -- are fartcatchers and yes-men. Bought and paid for. Mouthpieces for the team and blah, blah, blah. And why don’t we ask Sam Gagner why he sucks so bad? What the hell is wrong with "you guys."

Then, when a reporter, namely Ryan Rishaug of TSN, presses Ilya Bryzgalov about why the Philadelphia Flyers paid him $23 million to go away and not play for them anymore, he's being an ass and a showboat and picking on the wrong guy because he just got here (and isn’t Kevin Lowe).

There was nothing wrong with the line of questioning Rishaug and others pursued with Bryzgalov during his first availability here. Those questions were asked and answered (very well by Bryzgalov, I thought). Then, you move on and judge Bryzgalov, as he suggested, by whatever his body of work turns out to be this season.

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 DrunkGuyTy
November 23 2013, 09:57AM
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@OilClog

"When are the MSM going to realize the average man isn't watching the sport for Drama. "

Exactly. This is the stuff that drives me nuts. I don't give a damn about the Bryz / bears thing, any of this 24/7 or Oil Change stuff. I get that this is the networks trying to expand their market but this is becoming more and more of the focus rather than the competition of sport.

I love sports not soap operas and would like the sports networks to focus on reporting on such.

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#52 MessyEH!
November 23 2013, 10:03AM
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Best goal song ever... AC/DC Thunder Struck.

But I would love to see "Yackity Yak, Don't talk back!" played for N64s goals.

"Hammertime" for Hemmer

"Eye of the tiger" for Hall

And "The Hustle" for Perron.

But I would love to see "Yackity Yak, Don't talk back!" played for N64s goals.

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#53 james_dean
November 23 2013, 10:03AM
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First of all great party at the pint last night.

thumbs up for every one supporting inner city children. I got a great polaroid with struds

about the rishaug thing the issue is that he asked him the same question 3 or 4 times picking on him

last night gregor and struds were buying shots for girls who kissed mark majoe. Awesome

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#54 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
November 23 2013, 10:08AM
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At least we don't do that heinous 'LE OLE OLE' thing they do in Montreal. Not sure if I hate it because it's associated with the Habs or because it just plain sucks.

EDIT: I think it's Chicago maybe that plays 'Seek and Destroy' by Metallica just before puck drop. Good choice, but I'd suggest Creeping Death if we're going for Metallica songs.

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#55 Sammy D
November 23 2013, 10:11AM
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Jordan Nugent-Hallkins wrote:

I've noticed the crap music too. Didn't they play a five minute Adele song right before puck drop a while ago? She's got a killer voice, but pump up music Adele is not.

We need Zombie Nation as our goal song again! Something the fans can chant along with. I can't remember which team uses the chorus from Bro Hymn by Pennywise, but that's gotta be the best goal song in the league right now.

Gregor (or Strudwick?) said it best when he said to let the players pick their own song for when they score a goal. We learn something about the player away from hockey and we all celebrate a bit harder with the player cause they are playing 'his' music

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#56 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
November 23 2013, 10:13AM
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Sammy D wrote:

Gregor (or Strudwick?) said it best when he said to let the players pick their own song for when they score a goal. We learn something about the player away from hockey and we all celebrate a bit harder with the player cause they are playing 'his' music

Each player having their own personal goal song they picked themselves would actually be cool.

Also, RB, PLEASE ask Wanye to change the background, I'm begging you.

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#57 Racki
November 23 2013, 10:17AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

"There are good and bad interviews by the media, whether you all want to admit it or not."

Admit it? I'd be a fool to deny it. There's good, bad and ugly in every walk of life and the media pool has its share, or more.

Everybody in the business, me included, has asked their share of questions that are flat-out groaners and eye-rollers. We state and overstate the obvious. We miss the guts of a story in the name of deadlines and big picture stuff. On and on.

People asking the questions shouldn't be above answering some questions about what they do and why they do it. That said, when the Oilers stink, as they have for seasons on end, people get a bit over the top with their scrutiny of the media, just as they do with players, coaches and management. Human nature.

Good points all around. For the record, I wasn't saying you specifically wouldn't admit that there are bad questions from time to time. Meant the "proverbial you". But good on you for admitting your own faults when it comes to the odd question. And yes, we all mail in our jobs from time to time.

I didn't realize there was that much scrutiny of the media (honestly). I'm not sure if there really is or if it's similar to with players where the complainers are generally the loudest voices, although don't necessarily represent the majority opinion all the time. I'm pretty sure that even the worst of media types have something good for me to hear or read from time to time... but there are quite a few guys I love to listen to or read regularly.

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#58 D
November 23 2013, 10:26AM
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DSF wrote:

45-10-3 would be one hell of a squeak.

After Calgary, Vancouver and Anaheim won tonight, the Oilers chances of making the playoffs have dropped to 00.20%

I can always hope DSF. With the Oilers, it's probably all I've got left to keep my sanity. That and following the Kings (I used to live in LA).

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#59 michael
November 23 2013, 10:31AM
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Its all Klowes fault. The team,the weather, the stock market. Everything. The conspiracy theorists plague us with their "puppet master" comments like mosquito's in summer. Its mind dumbing. Fortunately the majority of Oiler fans see through this bunk.

DD is what he is. Could he post better numbers on a team with better defense? Perhaps. His critics may get that opportunity next season if MacT decides not to sign DD to another 3.75/year contract. It will be a season that determines our future direction in net.

As to the quality of reporting in this city. Terry Jones, Matheson, Jill Ireland and others in the print, digital,radio, TV and other media are in my opinion on par with the best in the world. The quality of reporting has never been better than it is now. Social media has opened many new doors in terms of reporting. Ryan Rishaug is no dumbass. IB knows someone is going to ask him about the 23 million he is getting. IB response was I thought reasonable. What the heck is he suppose to say to the money? No? Anyways. I enjoy our media. Heck I was shaking my head at the loss of Carrie Doll on CTV this coming March. Talk about media you can trust. An icon in the community who gives of her time freely. Gregor is at that level. He has established himself as that guy. He is the go to go guy for charities. He blends his personal social agenda into his show seamlessly. Stand up guy. Were blessed in Edmonton.Just got to open our eyes and count those blessings.

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#60 Serious Gord
November 23 2013, 10:36AM
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Jordan Nugent-Hallkins wrote:

I've noticed the crap music too. Didn't they play a five minute Adele song right before puck drop a while ago? She's got a killer voice, but pump up music Adele is not.

We need Zombie Nation as our goal song again! Something the fans can chant along with. I can't remember which team uses the chorus from Bro Hymn by Pennywise, but that's gotta be the best goal song in the league right now.

The crap, low energy music is likely a result of the focus groups six rings had with season ticket holders - aka old corporate farts who abhor the new-fangled music kids listen to these days...

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#61 dougtheslug
November 23 2013, 10:37AM
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DSF wrote:

45-10-3 would be one hell of a squeak.

After Calgary, Vancouver and Anaheim won tonight, the Oilers chances of making the playoffs have dropped to 00.20%

Context, please.

A week ago sportsclubstats.com rated Oilers likelihood of making the playoffs at .034%. After their 3 game win streak it is now 0.29%

In other words, they are now nearly 10 times likelier to make the playoffs today than they were a week ago.

So, we're saying there's a chance.......

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#62 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
November 23 2013, 10:39AM
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Just read that Varlamov was charged with assault for beating his girlfriend. Sweet Jesus, what is it with Russian goalies?

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#63 Smokey
November 23 2013, 10:39AM
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Bang on when you wrote..."Reporters not willing to seek out Kevin Lowe and ask him why the hell he refuses to step down right now."

Maybe the reporter are scared if they ask real reporter type questions then they will take more then just the donuts outta the room, what's next? The humanity!!! Its easy to just to collect your paycheck, I don't blame them, there not paid to the type of critical that makes guys like me respect them, and thus they do their job. I just don't read any of their articles or listen to their scrums, cause I don't care for cliques. I want drama.

The media hit pieces are two few and far between. I say this nicely that the dinosaur's doing the interviews are being turned off by many of us because we want hard questions.

If anyone has looked at the Oiler's facebook pages or comment boards, its ugly...If you listen to the Oiler's media reporters its not even softball out there. Their pinging around the beach-ball. Even when its bad they got their rose covered glasses on. Its like there a line many won't cross.

How does getting media credentials work? I assume that every reporter has to get credentials through their outlet and its approved by the Oiler mob. The only guy I recall getting away with calling a spade a spade was Spector on ol' Six Rings.

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#64 Your Daddy
November 23 2013, 10:43AM
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No matter how you sugar coat it, Dubnyk played a leading role in the early collapse of the Oilers... Until management acquired Bryz, Dubnyk was awful... letting limp wristers in from the blue line consistently...

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#65 merfer
November 23 2013, 10:46AM
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I think they should start Bryz against Chicago. Might make the game very interesting.

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#66 Rama Lama
November 23 2013, 10:55AM
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It seems that Duby is a slow starter and needs at least 10 games before he finds his game.........troubling for a goaltender. Maybe he has the Iggy disease?

I agree with Bryz getting grilled by some of the media members ..........this is usually a one time thing, and then you move on........unless you are Rob Ford. It would be very easy to manage Bryz and his tendencies with the media with a couple of training sessions. The only thing that he has done consistently wrong with the media ........is to trust them too much.

The guy is sought out by the media because honesty and frankness are so rare in professional sports these days, especially with well trained media savvy players. I'm cheering for Bryz all the way...........he is good for this team.

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#67 TM8Trent
November 23 2013, 10:58AM
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I agree that the playoffs are nearly an impossibility for the Oilers and to be speaking about them as if they are within reach is pretty nuts.

We'd have to be crazy to think there's any chance at all.

Looking at the schedule, they have 18 games before now the end of December.

They'd have to beat Chicago (though they do play well vs the Hawks), beat the Preds & Jackets on the road, Get 8 points on a 5 game home stand (Bruins yikes), steal 4 points on the road vs Nucks, Ducks, Kings & Avs, beat the Jets, Flyers at home (doable) and grab 3 points on the road vs the lames and Yotes (doable). The likely best case scenario for the Oil is that they pick up 25 points in those 18 games. A long shot but possible I guess.

Even if they do all of that they'd be sitting with 41 points in 42 games and only just hovering around .500

In the last 40 games, they'd have to go 24-10-8 to end up with 97 points and even be near the cut off. Unless a switch has been flipped and the Oilers have turned from bottom dwellers into an elite hockey team, the odds are really bad...

C-3PO (reality): Sir, the possibility of successfully navigating an asteroid field is approximately 3,720 to 1.

Solo(Oilernation): Never tell me the odds.

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#68 Ron
November 23 2013, 11:03AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Your inability to comprehend what was written is absolutely stunning. Really.

My bad. There I go being wrong again! For an alleged wordsmith maybe your perception is part of the issue. I understand you may not be given access to "He of the six rings whose name cannot be spoken by mere mortals". The fact Oiler management types are thin-skinned mandarins is also not your fault. If you think the haughtiness of the Edmonton media is not noticed by fans you would be what I call wrong.

Like a lot of people I've been buying my way into Oiler games for almost 35 years. Wrong as we may be we don't need you or anyone else telling us what we should be thinking.

Media upstarts like Rishaug are not long on credibility. He set a trap to goad Bryz and Bryz beat him at his own game. If Rishaug is vying for a spot on the big seat in Toronto that kind of naked ambition at other people's expense may not work out so well. I wouldn't trust a reporter who has those kinds of ethical standards.

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#69 DSF
November 23 2013, 11:09AM
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Racki wrote:

I'm a firm believer that the Oilers eliminated themselves from the playoffs weeks ago, but I think it's crazy to think a team would need 109 points just to MAKE the playoffs (to my knowledge an 8th place team has never had 100+ points let alone 109 - although a 7th place team has)

Mid-high 90s should still be the number to aim for, for teams. All the top-8 Western teams won't maintain this crazy pace they're on right now.

But again, no chance the Oilers will make the playoffs this year though, so no sense in anyone getting their hopes up after the Oilers steamrolled a couple of bottom-feeder teams.

I don't know.

THE WC dominance over the EC is huge.

Boston leads the EC with 30 points which would put them 9th in the WC.

As the teams play more games within the conference things could change somewhat but that also means more 3 points games.

I think you'll need at least 100 points to make it in the WC.

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#70 Winnie Cooper
November 23 2013, 11:10AM
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I find it difficult to listen to Tom Gazzola conduct post game interviews.

He appears to ask every player he encounters the exact same robotic question(s). Jesus Tom, mix it up a little. Are you trying to elicit the most generic responses possible?

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#71 Robin Brownlee
November 23 2013, 11:15AM
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@Ron

"My bad. There I go being wrong again!"

Never said you were wrong or right. Never told you what to think. Again, your ability, or maybe it's your willingness, to comprehend is in question.

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#72 Crackenbury
November 23 2013, 11:22AM
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RB,

It's just my opinion but there appears to be a bit of a generational difference of opinions on this site lately. Older guys like myself seem to have no issue with the Rishaug interview. You've got a goalie being paid $23mm (or something like that) not to play by an organization. He's been portrayed as a complete nut job in the past. The questions seemed like fair game to me for a first press conference. They've been asked and answered and now I'm sure that's the end of it unless Bryz does something crazy. Being held accountable for past behaviour is fair game.

Many of the younger posters seem to feel the past is past. You're entitled to mistakes and shouldn't be raked over the coals for them. Edmonton is a fresh start for Bryz and there was no reason to dredge up the negative as it serves no purpose.

Two very different ways of looking at the same issue. Neither group is going to convince the other to change their viewpoint. We are in fact the minority here. No point in trying to fight it.

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#73 Robin Brownlee
November 23 2013, 11:41AM
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@DSF

Lowe has been made to feel uncomfortable by more than one reporter over the past few years. What he hasn't been made is unemployed, and that doesn't fall to us.

Here's an excerpt from something I wrote last March.

"Given the record over the previous 11 seasons and what I'm seeing play out so far this season, I know what I'd do if I was signing the cheques in Edmonton and I didn't have a playoff race on my hands right down to the wire – Lowe and Tambellini would be relieved of their duties.

"That call, of course, belongs to Katz, and, given his relationship with Lowe, I don't see that happening. Tambellini, coming off an underwhelming two-year extension as a mandate, will be the fall guy if there is one. That could open the door for MacTavish, now the senior vice-president of hockey operations, but that's an item for another day."

It's not the first time I've pointed the finger directly at management. Other people have done it, too. Repeatedly. That gets lost, I think, because Lowe is still here. There's one guy who can fire Lowe and it isn't me or Rishaug or Matheson or Gregor . . .

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#74 Serious Gord
November 23 2013, 11:59AM
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Jordan Nugent-Hallkins wrote:

Just read that Varlamov was charged with assault for beating his girlfriend. Sweet Jesus, what is it with Russian goalies?

What an inane comment. MacT committed vehicular homicide back in the day. Glenn Andersen was no angel. Excreable behavior does not recognize national borders.

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#75 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
November 23 2013, 12:26PM
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@Serious Gord

No ill will intended, just making an observation. Khabi drunk driving, Bryz being a cosmonaut, now Varlamov (allegedly).

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#76 Serious Gord
November 23 2013, 12:34PM
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Jordan Nugent-Hallkins wrote:

No ill will intended, just making an observation. Khabi drunk driving, Bryz being a cosmonaut, now Varlamov (allegedly).

Intent aside, it is a bogus, bigoted comment. And it slags excellent individuals like vlad Tretiak and many many others.

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#77 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
November 23 2013, 12:41PM
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@Serious Gord

I think you might be overreacting.

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#78 Quicksilver ballet
November 23 2013, 12:53PM
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It is rather obvious the media types are doing their jobs while wearing "Oiler" handcuffs. Management has all the leverage in this equasion. Big brother is watching every letter typed it appears.

Till someone goes beyond this comfort zone, it'll be for the most part, "polishing a turd" type perspective from all involved. Can't imagine how Bob Stauffer feels most nights. He must die a little inside every night for the sake of a few dollars every two weeks. Keep sending the Grim Reaper/John MacKinnon in there with 20' of rope at every occasion. They can't boot everyone out of those press conferences for asking the same questions.

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#79 Oier Al
November 23 2013, 12:56PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

Intent aside, it is a bogus, bigoted comment. And it slags excellent individuals like vlad Tretiak and many many others.

Lets not forget that his current coach Patrick Roy had cops at his door a few years back for some sort of domestic non-bliss.

No one is beyond the law not even millionaire goalies.

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#80 The Hammer
November 23 2013, 01:44PM
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Brownlee, I'm tired of your articles constantly mocking Oilers fans. The reason you have a job is because of Oilers fans. I stopped following you on twitter and now I'm going to stop reading your articles. They offer no insight at all, but rather patronizing and rude comments about the Oilers fans who are "unreasonable."

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#81 nunyour
November 23 2013, 01:49PM
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Katz and Klowe both suck,we already know this,they proved it when they went to check out Seattle,Lowe's record speaks for itself,don't need a reporter to confirm it.On the bright side I think we will all learn to love MacT,i find him open and honest.

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#82 Top Cheddar
November 23 2013, 01:51PM
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@Robin Brownlee

Did you ever ask them in person on the record (press conference or otherwise) about their performance? The fans would love to...

Not sure why the DSF reply didn't copy here. See comment 73.

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#83 Racki
November 23 2013, 02:51PM
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DSF wrote:

I don't know.

THE WC dominance over the EC is huge.

Boston leads the EC with 30 points which would put them 9th in the WC.

As the teams play more games within the conference things could change somewhat but that also means more 3 points games.

I think you'll need at least 100 points to make it in the WC.

100 pts probably isn't out of question. 109 isn't that much different, but that's 4.5 wins more... and that'd be a heck of a jump from any years ever before.

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#85 Reagan
November 23 2013, 03:37PM
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Richaugs questions were ridiculous. They were not hard, more like insulting and pathetic. I'm not the only one to see it that way either. He called them hard, I called them plain old stupid. Reminds me of that line of questioning that he laid out to Mac T just a few year years ago. Egocentric and not called for. Regardless of what you media personal think, the fans are not always in your corner. It seen as negative and ego driven. Just sayin...

I may repeat myself but sometimes you need to read it a couple different ways...

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#86 **
November 23 2013, 04:09PM
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I don't like Ryan Rishaugh because he goes after the easy tasks. He kept trying to set up Bryzgalov for the golden quote. It is hard to respect a guy who waits for the easy catch instead of going after the really hot potatoes. He did the same thing to Yakupov if I remember correctly, again, a 20 year old, frustrated, in the middle of a media circus.

Rishaugh interviewing those 2 with "though questions" is like Tom Cruise when he said his movie training is like being a soldier in the middle east. On a scale between TMZ and CBC documentary Ryan Rishaugh was definitively following the Kardashians around town. He acted no different form that Vancouver guy who posted those colorful quotes from Thornton

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#87 He Who Knows
November 23 2013, 04:17PM
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Rishaug's tirade against Yak had some real hatred in there against Russians. Yeah Yak was yakking but for Timberlake to go off like that, was a bit much. There is definite bias. Gregor and Brownlee get it right. Struds is all good too, just because he keeps a fine balance as a fan and former player. Stauffer had credibility before he turned Katz on with the "have you had your presser" question or something along those lines when he bought the team and doomed Oil Nation. Now Big Bob is on that gravy train and sounds like he is working for Kim Jung Un's regime. Hahaha.

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#88 **
November 23 2013, 04:20PM
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The Calgary game was a great one for Dubnyk, then again every NHL goalie is bound to have one of those every now and then. On the last 2 games, yes his sv% has been very high, but the team in front of him has played much better, limiting the other side to 14 and 25 shots. Good on Dubnyk for elevating his game, and for the team to win, but he hasn't convinced me of anything yet. The guy doesn't even have a career.500% in wins/losses. His best test will come on monday against Chicago (although for some glitch in the matrix they've been Edmonton's bitc**s at Rexal as of late)

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#89 Robin Brownlee
November 23 2013, 04:36PM
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** wrote:

The Calgary game was a great one for Dubnyk, then again every NHL goalie is bound to have one of those every now and then. On the last 2 games, yes his sv% has been very high, but the team in front of him has played much better, limiting the other side to 14 and 25 shots. Good on Dubnyk for elevating his game, and for the team to win, but he hasn't convinced me of anything yet. The guy doesn't even have a career.500% in wins/losses. His best test will come on monday against Chicago (although for some glitch in the matrix they've been Edmonton's bitc**s at Rexal as of late)

There isn't a goaltender in the NHL today who would be .500 playing behind the teams Dubnyk has played for. Not one.

Hell, Patrick Roy, Tony Esposito and Ken Dryden couldn't drag this team to .500 by themselves.

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#90 **
November 23 2013, 04:40PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

There isn't a goaltender in the NHL today who would be .500 playing behind the teams Dubnyk has played for. Not one.

Hell, Patrick Roy, Tony Esposito and Ken Dryden couldn't drag this team to .500 by themselves.

I don't dispute that. My thinking is along the lines that I don't think Dubnyk is the goalie who will take them to the promised land once (if ever) the team gets the other pieces it needs to be a contender for the cup. I just haven't seen enough in him (and maybe it's just me being too fixated on those soft goals) to make me think he'll answer the bell in the 12th round and stay on his feet until the end. Then again, he's never had the chance.p>

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#91 michael
November 23 2013, 05:13PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

There isn't a goaltender in the NHL today who would be .500 playing behind the teams Dubnyk has played for. Not one.

Hell, Patrick Roy, Tony Esposito and Ken Dryden couldn't drag this team to .500 by themselves.

And your comments point directly to the dilemma that faces MacT this off season. He really has not a clue what he has in DD. Does he have a guy who is at best a middle of the road tender. And/or does he have tender who's stats are skewed because of the teams that have played in front of him? Hell of a question that I certainly have no answer for now or in the foreseeable 60 games left of this season. We really have not seen the best of DD imo because of the continuous changes to the team in the time that he has been here. Who's to say what his optimum performance may be? Were Fleury's stats any better his first couple of seasons I Pittsburgh? Louongo's in Florida? Just saying that we need to take a breath and look at all the factors.

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#92 Robin Brownlee
November 23 2013, 06:49PM
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michael wrote:

And your comments point directly to the dilemma that faces MacT this off season. He really has not a clue what he has in DD. Does he have a guy who is at best a middle of the road tender. And/or does he have tender who's stats are skewed because of the teams that have played in front of him? Hell of a question that I certainly have no answer for now or in the foreseeable 60 games left of this season. We really have not seen the best of DD imo because of the continuous changes to the team in the time that he has been here. Who's to say what his optimum performance may be? Were Fleury's stats any better his first couple of seasons I Pittsburgh? Louongo's in Florida? Just saying that we need to take a breath and look at all the factors.

First four NHL seasons:

Roberto Luongo: .914 Devan Dubnyk: .910 Marc-Andre Fleury: .905

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#93 Pouzar99
November 23 2013, 07:16PM
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I agree with most of what you say here, Robin. People overreacted to DD's poor start, and should not be surprised that he has returned to a good, even very good, but not great level of play.

I do not thing the Edmonton MSM is soft on Oiler management either, In fact, sometimes, like when Stauffer pretty much ran MacT the coach out of town, they can be over the top.

Any reasonable person knows Bryzgalov had to be asked about what happened in Philly. My problem is that after Bryz answered, Rishaug kept asking the same question over and over in slightly different forms, long after it was clear there was nothing more coming. I and many other Oiler fans wanted too here from Bryz on other matters.

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#94 Pouzar99
November 23 2013, 07:17PM
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I agree with most of what you say here, Robin. People overreacted to DD's poor start, and should not be surprised that he has returned to a good, even very good, but not great level of play.

I do not thing the Edmonton MSM is soft on Oiler management either, In fact, sometimes, like when Stauffer pretty much ran MacT the coach out of town, they can be over the top.

Any reasonable person knows Bryzgalov had to be asked about what happened in Philly. My problem is that after Bryz answered, Rishaug kept asking the same question over and over in slightly different forms, long after it was clear there was nothing more coming. I and many other Oiler fans wanted too here from Bryz on other matters.

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#95 Ed in Edmonton
November 23 2013, 07:22PM
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I believe the RR was baiting Brygalov, which might or might not be valid. As Brygalov mentioned in the scrum he had answered at least one of RR questions previously and RR asked it a second time in a somewhat different way, apparently to try to get an embarrassing quote.

This might be considered hard ball reporting and this might be okay. But there is a definitely double standard here. Why didn't RR go over to Gagner and ask him how he felt about pulling down 4.8 mill per year and having 0 goals (at that time) and minus gazillion. If you are going to be the hard ass reporter asking the tough questions, you shouldn't pick your spots. You lose your credibility.

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#96 Robin Brownlee
November 23 2013, 09:44PM
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Ed in Edmonton wrote:

I believe the RR was baiting Brygalov, which might or might not be valid. As Brygalov mentioned in the scrum he had answered at least one of RR questions previously and RR asked it a second time in a somewhat different way, apparently to try to get an embarrassing quote.

This might be considered hard ball reporting and this might be okay. But there is a definitely double standard here. Why didn't RR go over to Gagner and ask him how he felt about pulling down 4.8 mill per year and having 0 goals (at that time) and minus gazillion. If you are going to be the hard ass reporter asking the tough questions, you shouldn't pick your spots. You lose your credibility.

Double standard?

Let me get this straight. Unless Rishaug or another reporter approaches every player the same way, he's "picking his spots," employing a "double standard" and lacks credibility?

So, Gagner, who is in his seventh season with the Oilers, is making $4.8 million and is off to a lousy start coming off a broken jaw that required surgery, is in the same boat as Bryzgalov, who is being paid $23 million dollars not to play for the Flyers amid word from multiple people he's a sideshow and a distraction in the dressing room on his first day in Edmonton? It that your position?

People in any real-word situation, be it an NHL dressing room or a corporate office, earn a certain amount of slack when they've been on the job seven years. That doesn't make them immune from tough questions, but it tends to earn them the benefit of the doubt and buy them more time. That's especially true when it's clear Gagner came back earlier than he probably should have from his injury. Has he been good enough? No.

Fact is, that bothers him more than it does you because if you knew Gagner even a little bit you'd understand he's harder on himself than anybody and is the first player in that room to take responsibility when he doesn't play well. Fact.

Bryzgalov? Look at his numbers in Philly. Not great but not horrendous, yet he was bought out at a cost of $23 million. He couldn't find NHL work until the Oilers called him. That's worth finding out about. That was the story of the day and every reporter in town wanted to know what happened. Bryzgalov was clever and charming and might have won some people over with what he said, but the fact is he never gave a straight answer as to what went wrong in Philly.

I know I'm getting $23 million not to play for the Flyers, but I don't want to talk about that too much. I don't want to discuss possible changes to the way I conduct myself because it was their call to cut me loose, not mine. Just judge me from here on out.

Given all that, you're offering up some textbook-type theory that not approaching Gagner with the same hard-line type of questions means a reporter is picking his spots and, thus, lacks credibility?

How naïve.

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#97 **
November 24 2013, 02:18AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Double standard?

Let me get this straight. Unless Rishaug or another reporter approaches every player the same way, he's "picking his spots," employing a "double standard" and lacks credibility?

So, Gagner, who is in his seventh season with the Oilers, is making $4.8 million and is off to a lousy start coming off a broken jaw that required surgery, is in the same boat as Bryzgalov, who is being paid $23 million dollars not to play for the Flyers amid word from multiple people he's a sideshow and a distraction in the dressing room on his first day in Edmonton? It that your position?

People in any real-word situation, be it an NHL dressing room or a corporate office, earn a certain amount of slack when they've been on the job seven years. That doesn't make them immune from tough questions, but it tends to earn them the benefit of the doubt and buy them more time. That's especially true when it's clear Gagner came back earlier than he probably should have from his injury. Has he been good enough? No.

Fact is, that bothers him more than it does you because if you knew Gagner even a little bit you'd understand he's harder on himself than anybody and is the first player in that room to take responsibility when he doesn't play well. Fact.

Bryzgalov? Look at his numbers in Philly. Not great but not horrendous, yet he was bought out at a cost of $23 million. He couldn't find NHL work until the Oilers called him. That's worth finding out about. That was the story of the day and every reporter in town wanted to know what happened. Bryzgalov was clever and charming and might have won some people over with what he said, but the fact is he never gave a straight answer as to what went wrong in Philly.

I know I'm getting $23 million not to play for the Flyers, but I don't want to talk about that too much. I don't want to discuss possible changes to the way I conduct myself because it was their call to cut me loose, not mine. Just judge me from here on out.

Given all that, you're offering up some textbook-type theory that not approaching Gagner with the same hard-line type of questions means a reporter is picking his spots and, thus, lacks credibility?

How naïve.

Man I was with you up until this reply.

"People in any real-word situation, be it an NHL dressing room or a corporate office, earn a certain amount of slack when they've been on the job seven years. That doesn't make them immune from tough questions, but it tends to earn them the benefit of the doubt and buy them more time".

This line of thinking right here is the problem with the Edmonton Oilers. And I'm sorry Mr. Brownlee but you just gave yourself up on this one. There is so much wrong with this statement.

First, unless you are part of a union, if you are getting paid high money and do not deliver, in any real world job which is not sports, you get fired. Even if you've been at it for 30 years. You don't get the benefit of the doubt because businesses need results on a daily basis and people's incompetence causes loss of revenue. This is real world. A guy on a rig screws up, that's millions of dollars, and he gets canned even if he's a 7 year veteran.

Your comment basically says not only that there is nepotism in the organization, but that you think that is ok. Which shows another problem: lack of accountability. Paying millions to someone to perform a job, he does not, but he gets a pass because he's been on the job for 7 years, that's zero fear of consequence. Which brings me to another big issue with your response: Double standard. Bryzgalov has been on the job even longer than Gagner and has proven himself even more than Gagner, so what yo are saying for Gagner should be even more true for Bryzgalov.

And that brings me to the final problem I have with your response: Philly was willing to pay Bryz all that money to go away because they thought he was a problem. SO zero nepotism there. It didn't matter to the owner that Bryz was a veteran of so many years and he didn't think that was a reason to "earn them the benefit of the doubt and buy them more time".

You contradicted yourself in your comparison. Philly proves you wrong.

Damn Sydney Crosby was getting harassed by the media a couple of weeks ago for his recent slump in point production, even though he was in the top 5 in the top NHL. What makes Gagner, or Lowe, or anyone else for that matter so special?.

The reality is some of you media guys here in Edmonton ( I don't know if elsewhere because I don't follow other cities as often) don't go to certain players or certain management guys who are favorites of such and such because you are afraid you won't get the interviews for your shows or the special guests, and that costs you ratings or sponsors.

It's business, no big deal, I understand.

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#99 Reagan
November 24 2013, 06:51PM
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Someone keeps deleting posts in here. It's this a sign of the media screwing things?

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