THE PLAN IS ON FIRE

Lowetide
November 03 2013 12:32PM

The Edmonton Oilers (MacT as GM edition) are 3-10-2 fifteen games in, and OilersNation has gone from anger to real disillusionment. Up next for the fanbase is indifference, but before they get there is there anything the GM can do?

 

  • Darcy Regier: "These GM jobs, they're good jobs. But waiting for a GM opportunity that's structured for success? I'm not sure it exists. When I was assessing the problems in Buffalo before I joined, Al Arbour said to me "Darcy, do you think there would be an opportunity there if there weren't problems? Go in there and do something about it.'" (from the book Behind the Moves).

I'm sure Craig MacTavish knew there were problems (he was part of the organization before agreeing to the job in spring) but there are elements out of the control of the GM that have (at least to this point) conspired against him. His new coach has gone from being seen as confident, fresh and relentless to another in a ever lengthening line of failed coaching hires in Edmonton.

His club has been rocked by injuries (two more last night, and as Robin Brownlee tweeted that Belov injury looked bad) goaltending maladies and confidence issues. I haven't seen locusts, but haven't been looking either.

It's a team in a bad way.

WHAT CAN THEY DO?

As the playoff hopes unhook and release (November 3rd!!!!) there's a sense that the club should do something--anything--to improve things. There are options:

  1. FIRE SOMEONE! Age old solution, find some poor schmuck who was in the room at the time. Candidates often include assistant coaches, pro scouts, the guy who brings the towels and people with one eyebrow. It usually doesn't help.
  2. HIRE SOMEONE! Oilers have already hired Messier, we just don't know what he's going to be doing.
  3. TRADE SOMEONE! Good idea, but you can go from 'we can't trade that guy' to 'no one wants our crap' in a heartbeat and the reality is that it's really early for a significant deal. Besides, the Oilers have traded Mike Brown which means they've used their "Steve Tambellini trade chips mid-season" allotment.
  4. CALL SOMEONE UP! They could call Omark, but I suspect he's broken his phone.

THIS IS GOING TO END BADLY

Probably. However, there's very little that can be done about things as they stand today. Firing the coach would be crazy, trading players when you haven't actually seen your entire team healthy is equally addled and despite being 3-10-2 after fifteen games you could make a case that with goaltending and better luck they could be 6-7-2.

That may sound like sunshine, and hell maybe it is, but from here there's not a lot going on here that some timely goaltending, a better penalty kill and better health can't fix.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

The plan is on fire, the season is gone, but there's still a chance to get something out of it. Fix the PK, find useful 6's and 7's and 9's for the 3line with Gordon and the 4line overall. Get Yakupov scoring, get everyone else healthy, find a way to finish above Calgary and then work like buggers next summer to make certain that 2014-15 is the year we see a second season.

Sound horrible? It is. It's also the truth.

Or the owner can fire everyone again.

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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#101 Dan 1919
November 03 2013, 01:10PM
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Remember when Oiler fans laughed at trading Eberle for Suban... Suban would be nice right now.

I do wonder what would have happened if the Oilers started the season with a goalie like Schneider had the Canucks traded him here. Would getting Miller right now be enough to spark the team, maybe compete down the stretch, still highly unlikely to make the post season obviously.

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#102 Dan 1919
November 03 2013, 01:17PM
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oilerman53 wrote:

I've been following the Oilers closely ever since they captured my heart again the night Marchant silenced that Texas crowd on a warm spring night. This is by far the worst team I've ever seen assembled, they play with zero passion and zero accountability. There isn't any fire throughout the whole lineup, I think the first mistake was giving up too early on Krueger. Then giving an outsider the captaincy, Taylor Hall was poised to lead this team. Before all of you naysayers come in with your catty remarks. Look at Colorado and their young captain, I'm sure Landeskog has some growing up to do but his team goes as he goes. With Hall in the lineup this team looks different, this is becoming a huge joke in itself and the fans are the real losers in the whole situation. I'm just frustrated beyond belief, I just wanna see some effing results. As a fan don't I deserve that much?

Well are you a tier 1 or tier 2 fan?

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#103 kale
November 03 2013, 01:44PM
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I wonder if anyone asked Dallas what his definition of "compete" was when he was hired.

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#104 15w40
November 03 2013, 01:56PM
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nuge2nail wrote:

Oiler Domination To Follow

I haven't missed an oilers game since the invention of the PVR, and this is the worst Oilers Team I have ever seen..

Worst Goaltending. Worst Defence. Absolutely the Worst Forward Group.

No grit, no forecheck, no passion, no desire.

Team seems confused out there, with no idea how to score and how to keep the puck out of the net.

It's so sad.

Trade Weber for Yakupov, Smid + parts. Trade Gagner for Bogosian.

Trade N Shultz for a second rounder.

None of those proposed trades will ever happen.

If they were - MacT would be getting those trade papers to the NHL offices on the back of a mule if need be.

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#105 Kr55
November 03 2013, 02:11PM
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NHL.com reporting attendance was 16,389 instead of the max 16,839. Streak since 2005 is over? or typo? I think that streak ending would be a definite sign the fire has started. And also if it's true, congrats to Oiler fans not giving as much money for such an inferior product.

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#106 Make
November 03 2013, 02:23PM
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DSF wrote:

Yes he was.

And I bet he has a little smirk every time he looks at the game scores.

Had Katz had the cajones to fire Lowe and hire Burke, I'd wager things would look pretty different in Oilerland right now.

Get Mike Keenan/Brent Sutter in here and watch thing improve rapidly!

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#107 D
November 03 2013, 06:04PM
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DSF wrote:

For those of you with an interest and access to NHL Centre Ice, in half an hour, the Calgary Flames play the Blackhawks in Chicago.

Now, I have very little double that Chicago will win but I also have little doubt the Flames will show up and bust their butts for 3 periods.

Watch.

Watching the Chicago game. It's interesting to see the difference in compete levels between the Flames and the Oilers.

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#108 gcw_rocks
November 03 2013, 06:23PM
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"Or the owner can fire everyone again."

When did the owner fire everyone? Last I checked Lowe was still there. MacT was an internal hire. Buchy and Smith are still there despite being attached to the worst coaching records in the history of hockey.

The problem is the owner didn't fire everyone. If he did we wouldn't be in this mess. I wake up every day hoping today is the day he develops the guts to fire everyone.

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#109 DSF
November 03 2013, 06:25PM
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Wäx Män Riley wrote:

I'm going to point out the obvious irony in stating that the Avs hiring Sakic (and Roy) is rooting out cronyism.

The difference could be that both Roy and Sakic were difference makers on the Stanley teams. Lowe and MacT were..... there.

The difference is that Sakic doesn't have the stink of a decade of failure on him and that Roy has actually won something as a coach.

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#110 Rod from Viking
November 03 2013, 09:18PM
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Anthony wrote:

When we would not give Curtis glen cross a contract, just let a character player walk, I felt we were in trouble

Because the management had Marc Pouliot and JF Jacques they didn't need him.

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#111 spliff
November 04 2013, 12:21AM
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Who thinks the Oiler players are worried about being traded? If I was a player on the sh*tshow of a team I would welcome a trade, even if it meant taking on a lesser role.

If say, Eberle, was traded, does anyone think he would be bummed out by that?

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#112 The Oilers Shot Clock
November 04 2013, 01:39AM
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I hope we get shut out again. I want this to be the definitive rock bottom.

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#113 NJ
November 04 2013, 04:29AM
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Ari Gold wrote:

Bloody ridiculous. The Flames beat the Hawks. Oilers need to take notes. What a humiliating franchise.

Flames beat hawks. ON THE ROAD.

Of note. I watched more of the flames game last night than I watched of the oil on Saturday.

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#114 Rinkrat Brownn
November 03 2013, 01:52PM
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Hmm.. No power on a power play that was dangerous last season, no defensive system to speak of, no ability to clear the puck under pressure, no O-zone penetration. I'm afraid all these add up to... COACHING. Oh, yes, and we have to add... no motivation. What worked in the A doesn't necessarily translate. Bite the bullet NOW and fire D.E.

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#115 Walter Sobchak
November 03 2013, 02:07PM
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LT

I honestly think it’s gone beyond the “rails” It’s bigger than a little luck on the PK, better goaltending and bad luck health wise.

Question for everyone –

Can you be so invested in something that it actually affects your ability to do something correctly??

What I’m trying to get at is, K. Lowe & MacTavish are so invested in the Oilers that they can’t see that there actually the problem or at least contributing to the problem?

Nothing they have done has really worked out now has it?

This is a systemic issue and it has managements finger prints all over the place.

Maybe to a slight degree, but it’s not the talent on the ice, we’ve seen these players play good.

So what’s left?

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#116 Rama Lama
November 03 2013, 02:50PM
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Ryan2 wrote:

The problem with the Eakins'"system" was on display last night - how many point blank shots from the high slot did the Wings have by just moving the puck quickly? That is the difference between the NHL vs. Juniors/AHL - at this level good teams will exploit the high slot that is always open with the Eakins' SWARM "system". Someone should have asked Ference if the Bruins would have ever implemented that system.

A good coach will adapt and implement a system that plays to the strength of the roster, not try to implement something that has no chance of working. The players can smell BS and we are seeing the result. Eakins needs to go or things will continue to slide.

My guess is that the kids are getting fed up with the losing, just like any sane player would. If MacT were smart he would look at changing things up with the entire coaching staff (how much worse are the special teams this season?) before the young talent starts to ask for a trade and the rebuild drags on for "5 more years"........

Like I have said before, bringing in Ference on that contract is a boat anchor going forward. He is not a top pairing d-man and is on the downside of his career. Mind you, the team likely had to overpay to lure him here, but bringing in a depth d-man at the end of his career is not what the team needed. Most of the fans drank the kool-aid with this signing, but the only way it could have worked is if the team had a solid blue line to start with and this signing was a depth move. As we can see now, plugging in one depth d-man (bottom pairing on the Bruins likely this year) does not do anything. Hopefully MacT realizes this by now as well, but I am not certain. Remember, the only season he did anything as a coach was due to a hot goalie - before the Roloson trade the Oilers were out of a playoff spot even with Pronger in the fold.

I'm not sure why the professional hockey writers are so easy on Eakins?

I still believe that Mac T is a a good man but bold is making decisions based on results that counter your first decision........admitting that hiring DE was a mistake.

The players have tuned him out.........plain and simple. He has lost the respect of the players but continuously throwing them under the bus. If he had any coaching abilities he would abandon what is clearly not working, and establish a new system that the players agree with.

Except for one player ( Andrew Ference) not one player has come out and said, man is this system excellent, and we all believe in it and support it. In stead we have AF pathetically trying to explain it on After Hours.

Mac T do the right thing, agree that you made a mistake and hire a real coach..........more of the same will change NOTHING!

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#117 Curcro
November 03 2013, 03:05PM
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D wrote:

Yes we are where we were 4 years ago, but with additional high end talent in the way of Hall, RNH, Yak, and Eberle. Most of this talent would not have been available to the Oilers without major suckitude over the last several years.

What I am saying is that rather than blowing up the core as some posters here would suggest, recognize instead that this organization has been rotting for two decades and that a blow-up now will yield another generation of bottom dwelling.

If as DSF pointed out, this team needs a big #2 center, two top pairing defenders, and above average goaltending, try to address those issues and get this team into Nashville territory before aiming for Chicago territory.

That to me is how you reverse 20 years of ineptitude.

The reality is that the Oilers only need one of those things.

Top Pairing Defenders. That would calm down things in the D Zone, would mean the forwards had the puck more.

Dubnyk is roughly equivalent to Crawford (career .914 SvP).

The forward group except for the fourth line is actually reasonably good but they have been torched by injury.

As a team the Oilers look really tight right now, afraid to make a mistake.

They have Florida and Philadelphia two sucky teams on this trip. They need need need to win those games.

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#118 pkam
November 03 2013, 03:32PM
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Curcro wrote:

The reality is that the Oilers only need one of those things.

Top Pairing Defenders. That would calm down things in the D Zone, would mean the forwards had the puck more.

Dubnyk is roughly equivalent to Crawford (career .914 SvP).

The forward group except for the fourth line is actually reasonably good but they have been torched by injury.

As a team the Oilers look really tight right now, afraid to make a mistake.

They have Florida and Philadelphia two sucky teams on this trip. They need need need to win those games.

Who is the top paring D in Colorado Avs?

I think the Avs has proven that you don't really need a top pairing D if the players buy into the team defense concept.

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#120 Ari Gold
November 03 2013, 03:41PM
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Ryan2 wrote:

We will agree to disagree re: Eakins - it is clear his system does not work. Look at how easily the Wings beat it with fast and accurate puck movement for great chances in the slot. I am coaching my son's Tier 2 Novice team and even at that level the results are the same - if we "swarm" in the d-zone the other team usually gets a good scoring chance (and vice versa). If my Novice kids can recognize the mistake when you ask them to explain it on the bench, then I am sure NHLers can as well.

I'll agree to that. The swarm system has shown serious holes night in and out. I would however suggest that if we had the Hawks D, the system would look like an overwhelming success. I think systems can look good/bad based on who's playing them.

Eakins has tried to employ a lot more than just his D system. Of course the PP/PK look horrible as well. They looked a lot better under Kreuger. I will nonetheless lay most of the blame on the players. Last night's effort was that of a team that has given up, not a team that doesn't understand.

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#121 DSF
November 03 2013, 07:12PM
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Smokey wrote:

Someone commented on Joe Sakic and Patrick Roy were difference makers on Stanley Cup teams whereas Lowe and MacT were just there.

Hmmm....Now you could say that about MacT I guess. He was only one of the top 3rd line centers in the NHL, and maybe one of the top 3 penalty killers in the league for a few years, He was easily the Oilers best defensive forward, and top 5 defensive forwards in the NH in his prime.

Lowe was only an all-star for 7 years and played on Team Canada in 1984. Lowe has garnered consideration for the hockey hall of fame, and will get his number retired some day in Edmonton. Kevin Lowe may be the second best Oilers defenceman after Coffey, and thats if you don't include Pronger.

All that is true but Lowe has been an abysmal failure as A GM and as a hockey ops guy.

MacT failed as a coach despite one magical run.

Sakic and Roy not only have better playing resumes but also don't have a track record of failure.

No guarantee that won't happen but the results are pretty good so far.

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#122 Nimrod
November 03 2013, 07:27PM
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@Wäx Män Riley

Avalanche did get rid of their president in Pierre Lacroix and also his son Eric, who was their VP of hockey operations.

Sakic and Roy have had nothing to do with Avs becoming irrelevant. They're connected to the organization but not to the front office that failed.

Avalanche got rid of their KLowe. Will Oilers?

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#123 D
November 03 2013, 08:15PM
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cubsfan wrote:

and the flames missing their captain.....and still competative

Flames . . . win.

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#124 Robster88
November 03 2013, 01:14PM
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Blow it all up. We need to start fresh, that means we need to fire everyone all the way up to the owner. Have we ever had a successful oilers team since Katz took over? No, we have missed the playoffs every year that he has been owner. The old boys club is ruining everything, no more hiring of ex-oilers! We will also need to trade all our young guns are restart because they all lack that character that you need in order for a team to win. If none of this happens we will be forever a losing team that is consistently at the bottom of the league in standings.

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#126 **
November 03 2013, 01:33PM
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at this point there's really only two paths for this team:

1.- They tank the season and get a high draft pick and maybe trade it in a package for a stud D man. 2.- Start playing hard and finish around 20th place. It will be useless in terms of getting a good draft pick or reaching the playoffs, but it might give them confidence for next season.

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#127 Smokey
November 03 2013, 02:29PM
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I believe Barman will come outta his Batcave in downtown Vancouver sometime to address the second tier fans in his once every four year online address donning his leisure suit. I'm picking sometime in the first two weeks in December. He will continue to defend the incompetence of Mr. 6Rings and the direction of the organization. I think he would be better to promote the backup goalie to GM.

The koolaid is worn off and people are becoming indifferent. Mad or happy is better then "I don't give a Shiznit," because at least people care enough to tune in. Indifferent is new territory. The only way to fix indifferent is cut the head off the snake. KLose was a great player, crappy GM, and terrible president, who's ego and lack of confidance to go and get a real job is what keeps him in a position where track record doesn't lie. His heads been in the clouds so long he lost touch with reality, and he doesn't relate to the regular Joe as we learned this spring.

MacT and Eakins are rookies, and this team is paying for their lack of experience. But ultimately it falls on Kevin. People are indifferent.

Are they still airing Oil Change. I'm scared it will become the longest serving TV show eventually passing Law and Order, The Simpson's, and Married With Children.

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#128 Spydyr
November 03 2013, 04:29PM
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GK1980 wrote:

Please everyone be patient

Should we patient for another eight years.Till it is sixteen years outside the playoffs?

Enough is enough.Something is not working in the management of the team from the owner on down.The truly sad part is I cannot see it being fixed anytime soon.

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#129 Serious Gord
November 03 2013, 05:24PM
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David S wrote:

http://lowetide.ca/blog/2013/11/nadirs-raiders.html

No. YOU'RE welcome.

Not sure what I should be welcome for.

As I understand the column linked to - Lowetide has a far more acidic attitude towards oiler management on his own blog than he does here or on the radio.

Yet he still refrains from saying Lowe should be fired.

Odd.

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#130 D
November 03 2013, 06:21PM
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Ari Gold wrote:

No big egos in that Calgary lineup. Aside from management, I think the Oil have some egos on their roster that think they're too good to listen to the coach.

Hopefully this season will be a pin-prick into their ego bubbles.

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#131 Andrew
November 03 2013, 07:13PM
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LT

Why don't you just set up your caldron and boil up a potion with eye of newt, beard of crow, toenail of toad and scalp of KLowe. That imo is just anout as likely to solve this as your unrealistic observations.

Obviously you can't fire everybody. But there are some things the Oiler ownership could do for a good start. How about firing the incompetent at the top of the hesp who has been a colossal failure in building a solid and credible hockey organization beyond 2006?. I think you need to read Staples and Brownlees recent comments about who they think is responsible You are out of touch.

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#132 Lars Eller
November 03 2013, 07:42PM
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DSF wrote:

For those of you with an interest and access to NHL Centre Ice, in half an hour, the Calgary Flames play the Blackhawks in Chicago.

Now, I have very little double that Chicago will win but I also have little doubt the Flames will show up and bust their butts for 3 periods.

Watch.

Flames 2-1. Still manage to compete and actually lead despite of a crappy line up...this is sad oilers fans. Oh wait, they hv plenty of cap space too...sad. Oh wait, some of their best prospects are not even playing yet... Sad. Yup, fire every1.

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#133 Greg
November 03 2013, 08:07PM
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if the oilers are going to continue to put sh*t product on the ice. the least the can do for fans at start putting the octane girls in some sexy ass clothes. like come on! look around the at all the other ice girls in the league. some of them look so sexy a feel a mild anxiety attack coming on when i see them. with the way they dress the octane, i barely get a 1/4 chub. just sayin...

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#134 oilerman53
November 04 2013, 12:21AM
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I found it funny after the Ducks cup win in '07 how Brian Burke was called one of the greatest hockey minds ever. Fast forward six years at least four of his teams have his fingerspints all overthem and theyre super competitive. Canucks, Ducks, Leafs a d now the Flames.

How does this team stink so bad after picking three first overalls in the past four years? This is a huge problem now, winters were a bit warmer with an Oiler game and now I watch just to see how bad they'll lose.

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#135 camdog
November 04 2013, 08:16AM
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Spydyr wrote:

And for all the Lowe lovers. Losing Glencross is on Lowe.

I still remember Mact saying it was no big deal when we lost Glencross as those type of players were easy to replace, sort of like a dime or something. Anybody remember the quote?

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#136 Wanyes bastard child
November 03 2013, 01:06PM
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Neal wrote:

How about implementing Home Game System Play:

1) PVR it 2) Down by 1 - Play and Pray 3) Down by 2 - Fast Forward to (maybe)Oil goal 4) Down by 3 - Max Fast Forward 5) Down by 4 - Turn off. Wonder why you bought the f@#$%^& Mini Pack anyway.

Sadly.... this is what I have been doing...

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#137 madjam
November 03 2013, 01:27PM
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Firesale : Hold onto Nurse , Hall and Perron . Rest all needs upgrading , and start from the backend this time .

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#138 Ryan2
November 03 2013, 01:43PM
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I Remember the Orange Jerseys wrote:

Hi. First time poster here at ON. I’ve been coming here regularly for a couple years to read insightful thoughts about my favorite team. So far, you good people have never let me down!

What I took away from Andrew Ference’s interview last night on Hot Stove was that DE has lost a significant part of the locker room, and that it’s largely the “young guns” that he’s lost. I think Ference was also suggesting he believes Eakins’ system would work if the team would actually buy in.

There’s little doubt in my mind that MacT needs to trade one of the so-called untouchables, and he needs to do it now. Given the potential return, and (in my opinion) his complete lack of commitment to the game when the puck isn’t on his stick, Eberle would be my first choice.

This team has become too much of a sh** show to fix with one trade, but trading one of the young guns at this point would bring back something else in return that the team does need, and it would send a message to the locker room that the coach, not the players, run the team.

I’m definitely not sold on Eakins myself, but it does appear to me that a large segment of this team will not commit to defense, and this hasn’t been a problem just since Eakins came along.

The problem with the Eakins'"system" was on display last night - how many point blank shots from the high slot did the Wings have by just moving the puck quickly? That is the difference between the NHL vs. Juniors/AHL - at this level good teams will exploit the high slot that is always open with the Eakins' SWARM "system". Someone should have asked Ference if the Bruins would have ever implemented that system.

A good coach will adapt and implement a system that plays to the strength of the roster, not try to implement something that has no chance of working. The players can smell BS and we are seeing the result. Eakins needs to go or things will continue to slide.

My guess is that the kids are getting fed up with the losing, just like any sane player would. If MacT were smart he would look at changing things up with the entire coaching staff (how much worse are the special teams this season?) before the young talent starts to ask for a trade and the rebuild drags on for "5 more years"........

Like I have said before, bringing in Ference on that contract is a boat anchor going forward. He is not a top pairing d-man and is on the downside of his career. Mind you, the team likely had to overpay to lure him here, but bringing in a depth d-man at the end of his career is not what the team needed. Most of the fans drank the kool-aid with this signing, but the only way it could have worked is if the team had a solid blue line to start with and this signing was a depth move. As we can see now, plugging in one depth d-man (bottom pairing on the Bruins likely this year) does not do anything. Hopefully MacT realizes this by now as well, but I am not certain. Remember, the only season he did anything as a coach was due to a hot goalie - before the Roloson trade the Oilers were out of a playoff spot even with Pronger in the fold.

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#139 Post on FN. Too true.
November 03 2013, 01:44PM
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Reply Dear Current Calgary Flames,

THANK YOU FOR NOT BEING THE OILERS.

Sincerely,

My Sanity

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#140 exsanguinator
November 03 2013, 01:56PM
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It's a sad day when I have to recommend for the Oil to pull a Darryl Sutter and have MacT come back as coach while still continuing his less than average performance as GM.

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#141 vetinari
November 03 2013, 02:02PM
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Philly, Florida, Winnipeg, Dallas and Buffalo are all struggling too... I'd be trying my damnedest to pry a defenceman and/or a quality centre from one of them right now, even if it meant using one of the kids as trade bait.

I'm guessing that if MacT hasn't pulled the trigger on a deal by now, it's probably because either Katz won't let him part with any of the kids or else all the deals are complete larceny.

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#142 oilabroad
November 03 2013, 02:26PM
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I am not sure why Eakins is getting a pass here.

He has force fed this swarm system down everyones throat when maybe he never had the right horses to do it. I have been hearing about this system since the season started, but did he actually know his players well enough to know if they were the right players to pull this off. Here is a thought, why not look at the core of the team and try to build a system around them. Right now it looks like he is getting no buy in, and like they say, you cant fire all the players.

Even if you could swap out a couple of kids to balance the line up, who would want them, they look clueless out there.

At the very least, throw us a frickin bone and fire bucky and smith... wont fix anything but at least we will know there is a pulse

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#143 Chris.
November 03 2013, 02:46PM
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In 2010 I was extremely disappointed that Katz charged the same group who crashed my beloved Oiler Franchise with the task of rebuilding things.

This is why.

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#144 D
November 03 2013, 02:47PM
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Randaman wrote:

So what you are saying is we are where we were 4 years ago and we should relax and start over. No thanks. Lowe, buchberger & Smith have to go. This circus is a complete and utter failure.

Yes we are where we were 4 years ago, but with additional high end talent in the way of Hall, RNH, Yak, and Eberle. Most of this talent would not have been available to the Oilers without major suckitude over the last several years.

What I am saying is that rather than blowing up the core as some posters here would suggest, recognize instead that this organization has been rotting for two decades and that a blow-up now will yield another generation of bottom dwelling.

If as DSF pointed out, this team needs a big #2 center, two top pairing defenders, and above average goaltending, try to address those issues and get this team into Nashville territory before aiming for Chicago territory.

That to me is how you reverse 20 years of ineptitude.

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#145 Turnover
November 03 2013, 02:57PM
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So, there is/was a plan?

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#146 morgie
November 03 2013, 03:26PM
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Lowetide wrote:

GREAT post. Excellent points all.

Your first point is correct and I've wondered it too, the second one (imo) speaks to some PR damage that remains (and will remain until something is done) by the arena negotiation.

The Katz Group will need to repair it.

You mean the kind of PR Klowe displayed this summer :

1. when he described there are two types of fans, paying customers and non paying

2. That if winning is ever a concern Klowe assures us he knows a thing or two about doing it, due to him winning so many cups as a player

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#147 Ryan2
November 03 2013, 03:32PM
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DSF wrote:

Timely goaltending, a better PK and better health would certainly help some but those hardly fix what ails the team.

Even if LT's presumption that the Oilers could be 6-7-2 if those 3 things existed, the Oilers would still be 11th in the WC, barely ahead of Calgary who have 2 games in hand.

And that is with an early schedule against weaker EC teams.

The Oilers record against teams that made the playoffs last season is 2-9-1.

The Oilers record against the WC is 0-3-1.

The issue is, and has been for years, that the Oilers need a big, skilled 2nd line centre, TWO top pairing defensemen and above average goaltending.

MacT addressed NONE of those issues in the offseason just like his predecessor did for half a decade.

If the Vice President in Charge of Remembering the '80's and his hand picked henchman can't see that, nothing much else will matter.

It's pretty easy to say "it's too hard to acquire these players" but take another look at what Burke was able to do in Toronto.

Wow, I am going to sound more pessimistic than DSF here, but............

DSF, I agree with you on needing two top 2 d-men and a big center, along with better goaltending, but that still would not be enough to push the team into the playoffs. They need more size up front across the board, a more functional third line, and at least one PK or other specialist on the 4th line that can take more than 4 minutes per game.

Even if you do all that, they would still missing the biggest thing.....depth. There are some useful recent draft picks in the AHL and juniors that will hopefully be better than bottom pairing/fourth line contributors in two to three years, but that does nothing to help the team today. The lack of development due to weak drafting (the curse of 2003) and not having a farm team in the early 2000s is crippling the team now. Add in the fact that management dumped the few young depth prospects (e.g. Stoll, Brodziak, Mean Matt Greene) that were developed and are contributing elsewhere in the league, and you can see why the depth is as thin as it is.

As a fan, I hope I am wrong, but last year I was arguing with friends/family/co-workers that the organization was still three years away from the playoffs and this year is basically showing that. The biggest mistake MacT made when he came in was promising bold moves and turning everything around instead of taking the traditional GM gimme of assessing the current roster in year one, slowly disassembling it in years one and two for a noticeable change in year 3. He was too busy trying to placate the fans instead of being realistic about the situation. If MacT had actually paid attention in his MBA classes (I have one as well), or been as smart a hockey man as the organization and media claim, he would have taken a different approach. Yet another rookie mistake in a long list of them, including dumping a head coach that actually accomplished two things that the previous failures had not even without a full training camp to implement his system: 1) drastic improvements in PK and PP, and 2) play meaningful games later in the season. Unfortunately, just like in most of the post-lockout MacT, Quinn and Renney years, it looks like the team will be done by Christmas yet again.

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#148 fig pucker
November 03 2013, 03:42PM
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Lowetide wrote:

No, I mean the exact opposite of that. :-)

you really belive that egomaniac is capable of that? if he had any humility or the best intrest of the team and fans at heart he'd graciously step down, but alas his ego won't allow him to see fault in himself, they'll fire eatkins and make him the patsy. (next year will be just the same)

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#149 madjam
November 03 2013, 04:30PM
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If the players cannot make system work , then it is time for change . Either the players go or the coaches and/ or management . In our case it may require all 3 , however . Staying the course is not a likely viable alternative here .

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#150 Zarny
November 03 2013, 04:54PM
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hankthetank wrote:

i don't see enough emotion from eakins on the bench besides pure resignation. why doesn't he get fired up and scream once in a while? when my kids do something wrong, i don't just roll my eyes and swear under my breath...you have to know how to motivate them to do what you ask. motivation = emotion, look at the Avs/Roy, win or lose, the guy is a firecracker and it's infectious!

If motivation = emotion was true Mike Keenan would still be coaching in the NHL.

The Avalanche are winning because their defense gives up very few scoring chances and their G has been the best in the NHL.

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