BAD TO THE BONE

Lowetide
November 29 2013 07:21PM

On about day two of the National Hockey League's existence, someone said to someone "we need more size" and began a quest that continues to this day. The size/speed/skill prospect trifecta is so rare that NHL teams can go a decade or more without having one—Edmonton sent their last complete power forward away on November 15, 2000—and spend dozens of draft picks in vain pursuit of a successor.

DRAFTING COKE MACHINES IS A LONG SHOT

Jonathan Willis wrote an interesting piece on the subject of size recently, and it got me thinking about the discussion regarding the current Oiler forwards. Perron misses being a power forward because of size and speed (he's certainly skilled enough) but has a definite role in the physical side of the game. A line containing Perron has the ability to score and agitate, and offers the opposition a unique set of challenges. 

Tonight, Perron stood out in a big way, imposing his will on the other team, agitating the opposition and trying to get things going. He's also a good hockey player, so he's agitating other good players for the other side. The club could use more actual NHL players who have an edge, and size is fine but the idea is to acquire players who are difficult to play against, tough to defend, difficult to predict from shift to shift. 

AGGRESSIVE FORECHECK

Perron's style forces the issue, pressures the other side and causes errors, which means turnovers and chances off the rush. The NHL has all kinds of players who bring that extra element along with significant skill; I would include Sidney Crosby, Dustin Brown, Brendan Gallagher, Scott Hartnell, Ryan Kesler and others. How many of those would you consider power forwards?

This is an element the Oilers should have in spades, and they do get their chances, but there are also long periods when breaking out against Edmonton is a breeze (and at least some of this has to do with coaching style and the system played under a coach's direction) and tonight is a perfect example.

I think that sometimes when we say "the Oilers need to be more physical" what we mean is "why can't the Oilers be more aggressive on the forecheck, finish their checks and make sure that every pass is challenged when possible?"

That's a major area of opportunity, and Perron's really good at creating turnovers that can turn into chances. On a night like tonight in Columbus, when the Oilers aren't really interested in competing for 60 minutes, a player like Perron stands out in a good way.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

You can't just stand there and watch greatness walk away, playing NHL hockey requires a lot of work without the puck. The Oiler players have all of the skills, but for prolonged periods this season:

  • They have been passive defensively
  • They have looked like they are unsure of their next move
  • They have not  been making it difficult for the other team to execute passes
  • They do not look like they're engaged in each and every play in the game

The Nashville game was a golden example of pressuring, rolling four lines and allowing your best players to wheel.  It looked like the coach and players had finally arrived at an agreeable system, and the learning curve for both finally arrived at something that could be successful.

Tonight in Columbus, the Edmonton Oilers were miserable again. The Oilers need more guys who get agitated at losing, and can agitate the opposition and are actual NHL players.

More David Perron's, please and thanks.

C2a6955161684b5e3189319acfa5ebe4
Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on Team 1260.
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#1 D
November 29 2013, 07:35PM
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Really thought the Oil had turned a corner. I was wrong.

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#2 Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate
November 29 2013, 07:42PM
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I thought the title

summed up the effort tonight.

They MUST be better

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#3 I tried it at home
November 29 2013, 07:46PM
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LT, I swear to rum I read the whole article and you hit the Nail (pun intended) on the head... but after that crap I just watched, I just really really needed your WDIAM. Thanks man. Now excuse me whilst I drink

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#4 OilDieHard
November 29 2013, 07:50PM
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even Dubnyk would have lost this game if he started it, the way the Oilers were sleepwalking through most of it !

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#5 Greg the Hammer Valentine
November 29 2013, 07:58PM
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"You can't just stand there and watch greatness walk away, playing NHL hockey requires a lot of work without the puck. The Oiler players have all of the skills, but for prolonged periods this season:

They have been passive defensively They have looked like they are unsure of their next move They have not been making it difficult for the other team to execute passes They do not look like they're engaged in each and every play in the game"

Well then, I would think the coaching staff has a huge part of the responsability of that.

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#6 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
November 29 2013, 08:01PM
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They are who we thought they were!

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#7 Poolanov
November 29 2013, 08:36PM
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Even DUBNYK would have lost this game ...please...

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#8 Grumpy Oil
November 29 2013, 08:38PM
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Anyone else tired of Lowetide's articles basically rehashing the same crap week after week? His work doesn't hold a candle to Gregor or Willis's level of professionalism and at least Wayne writes like someone who's passionate about the team.

I always get excited when I see a new article posted on the nation, but then I get 3 lines in before realizing, aww crap. LT again.

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#9 Serious Gord
November 29 2013, 08:53PM
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"..:Edmonton sent their last complete power forward away on November 15, 2000—and spend dozens of draft picks in vain pursuit of a successor..."

I'm no expert on oilers draft history, but please could someone list the draft picks that the oil have made - serious draft picks - ones in the first two rounds - who would fit the definition of being potential "complete power forwards"?

Because I can't think of any. And if I'm correct, and very few to nil have been then LOWETIDES assertion is wrong and it may in fact be a very damning indictment of management and scouting.

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#10 YFC Prez
November 29 2013, 08:56PM
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@Grumpy Oil

Ever go to your buddies for a free B-B-Q and chew him out for cooking your steak medium when you wanted rare.

And I'm not too sure I've ever read a Wayne article....wasn't aware he wrote here

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#11 NOTB
November 29 2013, 08:56PM
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Grumpy Oil wrote:

Anyone else tired of Lowetide's articles basically rehashing the same crap week after week? His work doesn't hold a candle to Gregor or Willis's level of professionalism and at least Wayne writes like someone who's passionate about the team.

I always get excited when I see a new article posted on the nation, but then I get 3 lines in before realizing, aww crap. LT again.

Don't shoot the messenger. Until the Oilers stop serving the same crap week after week, we wait for something better to be written about.

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#12 risto siltanen's slapshot
November 29 2013, 09:10PM
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I've watched weber show his toughness and a mean streak. I've seen chara strike fear into his fellow man. we need a pronger now not in 4 years when nurse is ready. time to pull the trigger mac t and get some functional toughness cuz ference doesn't cut it

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#13 **
November 29 2013, 09:22PM
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YFC Prez wrote:

Ever go to your buddies for a free B-B-Q and chew him out for cooking your steak medium when you wanted rare.

And I'm not too sure I've ever read a Wayne article....wasn't aware he wrote here

so basically you're dissing other nation members without even knowing what goes on here?. Get a clue buddy.

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#14 **
November 29 2013, 09:31PM
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Here's something encouraging:

Since the miracle run in 2006 the Oilers haven't had multiple players over 65 points, hell some seasons not even one player. In 2006 there were 4 players with at least 65 points.

This season there are 4 players on pace for at least 65 points: Eberle, Hall, Nuge and Perron (I didn't count last season because it wasn't a full season and the stats are very skewed for a real comparison). That's more offense than the team has had in a long time . It's time to pull the trigger on under performing veterans and bring the right pieces for the team to finally move up (provided Eakins gets his act together).

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#15 YFC Prez
November 29 2013, 09:46PM
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** wrote:

so basically you're dissing other nation members without even knowing what goes on here?. Get a clue buddy.

Lol. Ok then throw me a bone. Who is Wayne anyway. Apparently I need a clue

I love you guys

*single tear*

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#16 Oilerz4life
November 29 2013, 09:49PM
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** wrote:

Here's something encouraging:

Since the miracle run in 2006 the Oilers haven't had multiple players over 65 points, hell some seasons not even one player. In 2006 there were 4 players with at least 65 points.

This season there are 4 players on pace for at least 65 points: Eberle, Hall, Nuge and Perron (I didn't count last season because it wasn't a full season and the stats are very skewed for a real comparison). That's more offense than the team has had in a long time . It's time to pull the trigger on under performing veterans and bring the right pieces for the team to finally move up (provided Eakins gets his act together).

Well said.

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#17 Alsker
November 29 2013, 09:49PM
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We truly lack that one guy who shows 0 regard for his fellow man providing they wear a different jersey than his. Marchment was as dirty as they came and we sought him out because he was exactly what we required!!! Don Jackson wasn't dirty per say but reminded opposition forwards why the boards are made of wood and why the glass hurts whem your face is planted into it. What a difference that 1 guy makes on a team, not a coke machine that lumbers about aimlessly but the guy that punishes the other team because he enjoys it!!!We saw it for years in Regehr, remember, the guy every body hated because he wasn't on our team. Every guy on the team will play and inch or 2 taller and 20lbs heavier once MacT finds him and then we can start talking about turning the corner.

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#18 cain
November 29 2013, 09:52PM
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What is awesome in regards to this loss is, (according to guru Bob Stauffer)the Oilers learned ANOTHER lesson. Apparently, it seems the team needs to be ready to play right from the opening face-off. I'm sure we can all expect remarkably different results now that this elusive revelation has become evident to the team. Just so pleased we have crossed this bridge, and now we get it...

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#19 corky
November 29 2013, 09:58PM
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Mact has been talking about size for awhile now. Nothing new there. Getting said size is the hard part. Time to dangle a skilled player to remedy this. Havent heard SixRings take on his opinion lately

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#20 Oilerz4life
November 29 2013, 09:58PM
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^ The Oilers do need more grit, obviously and toughness, but one Marchment type isn't going to make that much difference. The Oilers team you're referencing was tougher all around, from the forth line up. They could cycle the puck, play strong along the boards, behind the opponents net, etc. They played as a team. Total underdogs, but at least as a team they would compete and put in the effort, they had what this team is missing...heart. imo

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#22 YFC Prez
November 29 2013, 10:09PM
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Lowetide wrote:

Wanye? Well friend, if you haven't read him you are in for a treat!

http://oilersnation.com/authors/Wanye

Oh if heard of wanye. It's Wayne I was curious about.

I have it under good authority I need to get a clue though.

Thanks for clearing it all up LT

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#23 REALLY?
November 29 2013, 10:10PM
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Oh Sweet Mary... Can we just admit that this team is BRUTAL...and has been BRUTAL for a decade....when is Kevin Lowe going to be held accountable for a complete lack of leadership???? Can anyone please tell me that? When will we see some actual change to that? Anyone? Please? Anyone?

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#24 Alsker
November 29 2013, 10:14PM
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Oilerz4life wrote:

^ The Oilers do need more grit, obviously and toughness, but one Marchment type isn't going to make that much difference. The Oilers team you're referencing was tougher all around, from the forth line up. They could cycle the puck, play strong along the boards, behind the opponents net, etc. They played as a team. Total underdogs, but at least as a team they would compete and put in the effort, they had what this team is missing...heart. imo

True but it made it a lot easier for guys to play tough with a wild card in your hand. As for heart, what have any of the wonderbrats had to work for? 1st overalls, huge contracts, the white glove treatment by management,bahh, trade a couple of them and see what happens. Anyone who thinks Gretz just floated about and collected points is nuts. These guys(99,17,11,9,7) aren't in the HOF 'cause they're cute, they had drive,heart,and a willingness to do what it took to win. BUT they had a management team that understood what was needed to compliment them, unlike 6rings + co. who have no clue WTF is going on.

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#25 Wow
November 29 2013, 10:18PM
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Reid Wilkins....ugh

There's bad, and then there's BAD...Reid...ummm...maybe EPCOR?

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#26 kale
November 29 2013, 10:21PM
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@cain

Speaking of which, was anyone else a little surprised by Eakins post game comment that the major problem tonight was fitness? He said something to the effect that the Oilers play tonight was exactly what he has been preaching about regarding the need to be fit and that it was a long process. Rob Brown seemed surprised by this comment as well.

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#27 S cottV
November 29 2013, 10:34PM
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Most of the guys around this site give about as much support to our goaltenders, as does the team in front of them - almost none. Bryz looked about the same as Dubie many times this year, giving up 4 - mostly because of the crap going on in front of him. Once again - a pretty good start wiped out by Hall trying to make something out of a 1 on 3, instead of throwing the puck deep and working a forecheck with his linemates. When will that bonehead learn? Up ice we go and RNH looks like a PeeWee hockey player in d zone coverage on the 1st GA. Dumb@ss penalties along with less than stellar PK and we're down by 3. Not Bryz's fault. Then - who knows what Greb's was doing that far out of position in no man's land, to allow an unmolested pot shot on their 4th. My point is - the guys that dis the crap out of Dubie might as well dump all over Brys because it sure looks all the same to me. Bryz had that same Dubie "what the f are you guys doing" look, as he dug the 4 pucks out of the back of his net.

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#28 Retsinnab5
November 29 2013, 10:53PM
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As soon as i thought we had hope. They let me down AGAIN and AGAIN

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#29 Alsker
November 29 2013, 10:56PM
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Retsinnab5 wrote:

As soon as i thought we had hope. They let me down AGAIN and AGAIN

Hahahaha...sorry, reminded me of my ex...lol......

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#30 Oiler Al
November 29 2013, 11:01PM
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We will show up where and when we feel like it. Sure looks like they didn't feel like it tonight. 1 out of 7 on the power play kinda of tells it all. The 4-2 score is not indicative of the game. Jackets took the foot off the pedal in the third.

Brutal play making, dumb passes to nowhere and not enough guys going to the net... stick handling clinics we don't need.

The kids sucked, and veteran leaders were even worse âla. Hemsky, Gagner, Ference, and Smyth.

When was the last time someone put out a big hit on this team. Again, little boys against men.

Time for a major rebuild... the season is lost.

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#31 **
November 29 2013, 11:29PM
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YFC Prez wrote:

Oh if heard of wanye. It's Wayne I was curious about.

I have it under good authority I need to get a clue though.

Thanks for clearing it all up LT

Who let the troll out?

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#32 Oilerz4life
November 29 2013, 11:31PM
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Alsker wrote:

True but it made it a lot easier for guys to play tough with a wild card in your hand. As for heart, what have any of the wonderbrats had to work for? 1st overalls, huge contracts, the white glove treatment by management,bahh, trade a couple of them and see what happens. Anyone who thinks Gretz just floated about and collected points is nuts. These guys(99,17,11,9,7) aren't in the HOF 'cause they're cute, they had drive,heart,and a willingness to do what it took to win. BUT they had a management team that understood what was needed to compliment them, unlike 6rings + co. who have no clue WTF is going on.

No doubt. The 80's isn't the same era team that Marchment played on but I agree with the whole white glove treatment point. On a side note, there's no chance a player would get away now, with the dirty stuff Marchment pulled off back then. I was at the game that he took out Greg Adams knee on knee and he did that stuff all the time, even against Weight, when he played against the Oilers at one point. Although I agree that the Oilers need a whole new level of toughness, I dont see that type of hockey being tolerated lol. Funny to think that the answer to Oilers problems would be to send out a cheap shot expert to defend our fragile team.

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#33 Curcro
November 29 2013, 11:32PM
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Did anyone else notice that the 4th goal never actually entered the net?

Not that it matters, but apparently the person in the situation room in Toronto was asleep.

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#34 camdog
November 29 2013, 11:52PM
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•"They have been passive defensively •They have looked like they are unsure of their next move •They have not been making it difficult for the other team to execute passes •They do not look like they're engaged in each and every play in the game"

THis pretty much sums up the past 8 seasons. I remember when the Hockey News and all of the experts said the Oilers were going to make the playoffs in 2008-09. Apparently we were loaded with offensive talent. It's been the same team build, same make up since Pronger left, nothings changed however we are still loaded with talent.

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#35 camdog
November 30 2013, 12:18AM
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@Curcro

Well i'll be darned.

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#36 mlcselli
November 30 2013, 12:21AM
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I have no idea why this team does not think they have to earn the win. There is no other team that is going to hand them the game. With the speed and skill the Oilers have, they seem to lack pride. It's all good when they play for 60 minutes. Playing humble instead of arrogant will get them in the win column.

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#37 @Oilanderp
November 30 2013, 01:07AM
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Help me Obi Wan Kanobillguerin.... you're my only hope.

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#38 starpac99
November 30 2013, 02:37AM
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From top to bottom this team is so OVERRATED!! No players on this team are exempt!!

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#39 oilers2k10
November 30 2013, 06:07AM
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November 15th, 2000..now who might that be? Jason Arnott?

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#40 Suck It
November 30 2013, 06:28AM
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Serious Gord wrote:

"..:Edmonton sent their last complete power forward away on November 15, 2000—and spend dozens of draft picks in vain pursuit of a successor..."

I'm no expert on oilers draft history, but please could someone list the draft picks that the oil have made - serious draft picks - ones in the first two rounds - who would fit the definition of being potential "complete power forwards"?

Because I can't think of any. And if I'm correct, and very few to nil have been then LOWETIDES assertion is wrong and it may in fact be a very damning indictment of management and scouting.

You have no idea.

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#41 Jakethesnake
November 30 2013, 07:05AM
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The biggest problem last night like lots of other nights is guys like Hall won't push back. I am a huge Hall fan but if he is ever going to be a star he needs to turn around and punch someone in the mouth. We like to compare him to Mes well that's what he did don't take crap. He's a grown man now. Has to stop taking cheap Sh.t from guys line Johnson. I can tell you my 17 year wouldn't take that crap. PUSH BACK.

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#42 season not played
November 30 2013, 07:17AM
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So they decided to not show up in Columbus. So what. We can't honestly expect this team to show up for every single game in the next four and a half months of garbage time can we? It's not like the players don't realize they have no chance and it's been like this for years and will continue to be like this. It's engrained in the dressing room. The players do not care. The players pretend to be concerned about compete. The players are not a team, but a bunch of hockey players who collect pay checks for playing hockey without expectation. Pretty sweet spot if they can swallow whatever pride they have left.

Anyways, it's a bush league organization, there is no defense for that. Proof is in the record.

And I don't want to be the guy who second guesses a coach after the fact, but please, fxxk, are you kidding me Eakins? What are the chances the erratic goalie who has played four periods of NHL hockey this season follows up a shutout with another solid performance on a BACK to BACK? If nothing else it keeps a team prone to sleepwalking through games on their toes. Also a good way to alienate your other goalie. But hey, Bryz got a shutout, must be the new starter, cut and dried. Minor league decision by a minor league coach hired by an incompetent general manager who works for a complete idiot.

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#43 Greasy Goal
November 30 2013, 07:25AM
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We got a #1 Dman in 05/06 in Chris Pronger to replace either Staios or Smith on the top pairing, he wanted out after one year. We then got Sheldon Souray one year after, who was at the time in Montreal, a top NHL Dman. Busted/fell out with the coaches after a couple years. Ryan Whitney, who left Pittsburgh to mentor and lead a team to awesomeness busted his-ankle- i believe, and never came back to his pre injury form. Now we have... Petry and/or Ference as our number one D man? I mean common, there's regression, then there's that.

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#44 Bryzarro World
November 30 2013, 07:41AM
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** wrote:

Who let the troll out?

Your mom....

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#45 Lofty
November 30 2013, 07:41AM
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Jakethesnake wrote:

The biggest problem last night like lots of other nights is guys like Hall won't push back. I am a huge Hall fan but if he is ever going to be a star he needs to turn around and punch someone in the mouth. We like to compare him to Mes well that's what he did don't take crap. He's a grown man now. Has to stop taking cheap Sh.t from guys line Johnson. I can tell you my 17 year wouldn't take that crap. PUSH BACK.

Rebuild the rebuild!

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#46 Sliderule
November 30 2013, 07:50AM
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I don't know we're Eakins is coming from with fit.

Ference our most fit player from the testing has been playing like crap.

If Eakins meant stronger I get it.

RNH ,Eberle and Schultz jr get pushed around like weaklings in the corners.

These players will be retired before we draft a power forward so get them on supplements and in the gym.

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#47 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
November 30 2013, 08:09AM
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@Bryzarro World

'Your.' I don't usually grammar Nazi, but if you're gonna respond with two words, you should probably get them both right.

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#48 Stack Pad Save
November 30 2013, 08:14AM
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@Sliderule

I don't know if you understand how hockey is played, but if you spend more time with the puck, you have a greater chance of scoring, also you are more likely to get hit. Last night the Oilers only line with consistent possession in Columbus' end was the RNH-Hall-Eberle line and they consistently won puck battles. That is toughness.

The other scoring lines did very little of that.

What last nights game highlighted to me was that Columbus is another young inconsistent team like the Oilers and when you got some big, strong puck moving D-man, who are willing to engage you are going to be an effective team. Wish the Oilers had some more of that on the back end.

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#49 KSC10032
November 30 2013, 08:16AM
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Grumpy Oil wrote:

Anyone else tired of Lowetide's articles basically rehashing the same crap week after week? His work doesn't hold a candle to Gregor or Willis's level of professionalism and at least Wayne writes like someone who's passionate about the team.

I always get excited when I see a new article posted on the nation, but then I get 3 lines in before realizing, aww crap. LT again.

Then who held the gun to your head to make you either read said article, or even come to the site in the first place?

Quityerbitchin.

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#50 oildrops
November 30 2013, 08:33AM
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It was a good game last night.

We need size big time, the pp sucked, and the oil needed to play harder with the puck.

(A)Pronger would be so great, that guy is scary.

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