AT THE BREAK

Brian Sutherby
December 24 2013 08:59AM

 

We didn’t see any jerseys on the ice at Rexall last night, so that’s a bonus heading into the Christmas holidays.  For just the sixth time this season the Oilers treated their fans to a win on home ice and made the holidays just a smidgen better.

We all know after the attention given to the jersey tossed yesterday and the state of this franchise, there would have been more last night had the outcome been different.

HOT TOPIC

I didn’t like Eakins reaction. Even if he felt that strongly about it, I didn’t see how that was going to make anything better. I understood his frustration because jerseys are sacred but yelling at a fan base that hasn’t seen a winning season in forever and coming off a sixth straight defeat may not have been the appropriate time.

I actually felt like he was yelling at his players in a sense about having pride and not being quitters. Either way, it came off poorly and I think it was quickly regretted.

CONSISTENT MESSAGE

I for one am a Dallas Eakins supporter. Not because he has had great results so far but because I don’t think another change on the bench is a good move. I said it 20 games into the season and I stand by it as we close in on 40 games.

This team needs to hear the same message for more than 8 months. It’s clear many of these players have struggled with having several bench bosses over the years and haven’t learned much about two-way play.

Somehow, someway this guy has to get this group to be more responsible. I played against an Eakins coached team in the minors last year. A run and gun, turnover prone, soft team is not the system I saw.

The rest of this season needs to be about teaching. It needs to be about implementing winning habits like stopping and starting and back pressuring as hard as you can. Limiting turnovers and an emphasis on playing every shift like you may not get another one.  That’s how the team that came in here and spanked them 6-0 a few nights ago plays.

This Oilers team has skill but they don’t have enough good habits yet.

YAKUPOV

Look at this guy’s game last night. I for one am not a fan of what I have seen to date (I was not watching last year) but it’s amazing what happens when your ice time gets taken from you. He played 1:32 in the 1st period. He didn’t pout; he worked harder and earned more time as the game went on.

All of the sudden he was moving his feet, he was hitting guys, he was dumping pucks, he was driving the net and elbowing goalies. He looked pissed off and you know what?

Good

Many people will say what good is that, what a waste of our skill.

SIMPLIFY

Sometimes you have to strip your game down to the simplest form before it can get better. Work on the little things like positional play, make simple puck decisions and play with a chip on your shoulder.

I absolutely loved that he whacked Ladd back and stood up for himself.  If I’m the coach I’m ecstatic with his effort last night. Show the video of his early shifts and emphasize those things. When you work like that, the goals and assists will come with that type of talent.

More guys may have to go to this hockey school as the season moves on.

HALL

Taylor Hall was everywhere. He’s the engine that needs to drive this team. I truly believe if he buys into more of a two-way style it will push everyone in that locker room to do the same. As he has many times this year, he put the team on his back last night.

BRYZ

Tough first goal left many people wondering what was happening but he shut the door the rest of the way. Much needed response from him.

TEAM TOUGHNESS

I’d like to see them initiate it more at times but it was good to see everyone get in there and stick up for Yakupov when things got a little testy. There was no hesitation.

As a teammate when you see that happen, it should give you a little extra confidence that guys have your back for the next time and maybe you can push back once in a while.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS

Last night was the exact type of game I expected. The Oil had a response that will suck some fans back onto the band wagon, while other fans are left wondering why this effort doesn’t happen every night.

Round and round we will continue to go. By now everyone should be used to this roller coaster and not be surprised by the ups and downs. It’s what young teams do.

You may as well buckle up for the second half; I don’t expect this ride to change anytime soon but maybe your egg nog will taste just a little bit better for a few days.

Have a safe and Merry Christmas everyone.

C76a4c69c9026575581a01d4ac34111c
A Moose Jaw Warriors alumnus and veteran of 460 NHL games with the Capitals, Ducks and Stars—Sutherby is here to regale us with tales of the WJHC, life as an NHL player and much more from a Pro’s perspective. Co-Host's the Jason Gregor show on TSN1260 on Tuesday's from 3-5 and Coaches at www.proconnectionhockey.com Twitter:@briansutherby
Avatar
#1 bnr
December 24 2013, 09:28AM
Trash it!
197
trashes
Cheers
6
cheers

I for one, did not like what I saw from Yakupov yesterday.. He is a dirty little bastard. Elbowing goaltenders in the head is downright dangerous and thuggish.

Stay classy there Deadmonton.

Avatar
#2 bnr
December 24 2013, 09:42AM
Trash it!
78
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers
Taylor Gang wrote:

You obviously aren't an Oilers fan so why are you here? Besides, when you play hockey, stuff like that happens.

"stuff like that happens" Perfect defence of flying elbows there buddy.

That's sarcasm. What Yakupov does is the kind of cheap hits to the head that they're trying to get out of the game. I bet you're the type that would say a knee to the head is also "part of the game".

Avatar
#3 Ziom
December 24 2013, 09:08AM
Trash it!
75
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers

I also like what I saw in Yakapov yesterday. However the two, two-man advantages in the final frame was kind of disappointing. Further,should we trade, Yakapov and Schultz for Dustin Byfuglien?

Avatar
#4 nick
December 24 2013, 10:28AM
Trash it!
26
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers

Once again they beat an uniterested Winnipeg team, another of the bottom feeders. Eakins is a joke and the little 5 year old was correct, "Eakins sucks" It is hard to tolerate watching this guy run a bench or should I say hold up the glass behind the bench.

Avatar
#5 Spydyr
December 24 2013, 09:16AM
Trash it!
16
trashes
Cheers
47
cheers

Thoughts on last night's game that makes one wonder.

The owner cannot motivate the team by paying them millions and hiding out in Vancouver.

The president despite having six rings cannot motivate the team.

The GM and "bold moves" cannot motivate the team.

The coach and chopping wood, haul water cannot motivate the team.

The players despite being paid very handsomely cannot motivate themselves.

One peeded off fan who had enough of all of the above people lets his frustration out and throws a jersey on the ice. The team shows up. Mind boggling ,it really is.

Avatar
#6 Serious Gord
December 24 2013, 04:17PM
Trash it!
13
trashes
Cheers
8
cheers
Brian Sutherby wrote:

No I wouldn't. I would try something new in these parts and let a coach have a second year. "The coach isn't going anywhere guys, so maybe we should start listening and buying in"

If players can just shrug off a coach every year knowing he will get fired, when or why will a player in this organization ever listen?

How can a 6th coach in 6 years all with a slightly different philosophy be good for a young team?

More importantly, they just aren't good enough right now, but maybe the players here with a consistent message can learn a thing or two until more help arrives.

Those teams you mentioned them losing against have built rosters with skill, some size, sprinkled with some gritty skill and character. Oh and most have a number 1 or 2 defenseman.

The best teams in the league are built that way and the Oilers aren't even close to matching up yet.

How many times can you blame the coach?

So it's not eight months - it's twenty.

Eakins is a mistake - and I think he's a colossal one - made by another colossal mistake - MacT- who was hired by another colossal mistake Lowe.

I think that we are already seeing Eakins flaws and they will still be there eight or twenty months from now.

And the 'we can't fire another - we have fired so many already' excuse is wrongheaded in the extreme. In any other enterprise an incompetent is an incompetent and wishing that they won't be only furthers the damage. Incompetents need to be fired forthwith.

As a crude analogy - look at what Lincoln did with his generals during the civil war; he fired generals until he finally found two who would fight - Sherman and Grant. The bleeding was profuse but the war was finally won, had he left McClelland or others in place, the outcome would have been far more disastrous.

The past is the past - this team needs a clean break from it starting with Klowe. That has not been done and now we have a sixth incompetent coaching hire in a row. Past mistakes should not paralyze the team from making necessary moves.

Avatar
#7 Gored 1970
December 24 2013, 09:40AM
Trash it!
10
trashes
Cheers
20
cheers

Posted last on Jason's "Rebuild" blog but may be better served here.

Don't blame the players for the Oilers struggles (at least not entirely). They are who they are and the Oilers knew who they were and their playing style when they drafted them. Don't blame Eakins for the Oilers struggles (at least not entirely) for Eakins can only coach what he is given. It's tough to win in this league without a good defense and good goal tending - of which the Oilers have neither.

No, the majority of blame should be placed squarely on the shoulders of Kevin Lowe, his GMs and the scouting staff because they aren't doing enough to find better players. Just picking from Central Scouting's list come draft time isn't doing the job. Oilers don't have a competent starting goalie - go find one. Both Vancouver's Eddie Lack (6/2, .928 PCT, and 1.93 GAA) and LA's Martin Jones (8/1, .953 PCT and 1.31 GAA) were not drafted. These organizations have done their homework and have found and signed these and other un-drafted players. I know nobody likes the Canucks but they have three other starters in Tanev (top 4 D), Stanton (top 6 D) and Burrows (top 6 fwd) who were not drafted. That's an organization that is working hard to find better players. Time for the Oilers to quit relying entirely on the draft, roll up their sleeves and find better players. If your scouting network can't find them either expand the network or replace them.

The Oilers missed Stanton when Chicago placed him on waivers. The Canucks grabbed him and felt so strongly about him they made him a top 6 D immediately. He played in Moose Jaw which is only an 8 hour drive from Edmonton. If the Oilers had done their homework instead of sitting around the boardroom in their expensive suits feeling smug their positions, they would have known about Stanton and picked him up.

Avatar
#8 mlselli
December 24 2013, 09:46AM
Trash it!
10
trashes
Cheers
11
cheers

Great game. Everyone showed up. Nice to get the result. Eakins can kiss me Irish arse.

Avatar
#9 Bucknuck
December 24 2013, 04:47PM
Trash it!
9
trashes
Cheers
13
cheers
Serious Gord wrote:

So it's not eight months - it's twenty.

Eakins is a mistake - and I think he's a colossal one - made by another colossal mistake - MacT- who was hired by another colossal mistake Lowe.

I think that we are already seeing Eakins flaws and they will still be there eight or twenty months from now.

And the 'we can't fire another - we have fired so many already' excuse is wrongheaded in the extreme. In any other enterprise an incompetent is an incompetent and wishing that they won't be only furthers the damage. Incompetents need to be fired forthwith.

As a crude analogy - look at what Lincoln did with his generals during the civil war; he fired generals until he finally found two who would fight - Sherman and Grant. The bleeding was profuse but the war was finally won, had he left McClelland or others in place, the outcome would have been far more disastrous.

The past is the past - this team needs a clean break from it starting with Klowe. That has not been done and now we have a sixth incompetent coaching hire in a row. Past mistakes should not paralyze the team from making necessary moves.

So you believe coaching is the problem with this team?

I'm not buying it.

Goaltending, Grit, and Defensive play are the culprits. Eakins is sitting players when they deserve it and following up his words with actions. If they don't buy in, they don't play. I like this coach.

MacT has been trying to fix the Goaltending since he came on board, which is something Steve (Khabby is our MVP) Tambellinni wasn't even aware of.

Perron is gritty, Ference is gritty, Gadzic is gritty, Belov is gritty, Joensuu is gritty. Something tells me they are trying to address this problem too.

Defensive play, and by that I mean preventing goals and gaining puck possession and getting the puck up the ice going the other direction, has been lacking ever since Pronger left town. They need a number 1, and everyone knows it. I am sure MacT knows it too.

So I am defending MacT and Eakins, because I think they have a clue. I want to see what the second half of the year looks like.

Avatar
#10 FlamesRule
December 24 2013, 05:31PM
Trash it!
8
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers
Ed in PV wrote:

I find it interesting that whenever an Oiler plays with an edge (Ference pummeling Stempniak, Yakupov nailing a goalie) there is someone in cyberspace crying foul.

I hope we have someone crying foul after very game. One on the many aspects the Oil are missing is being hard to play against.

Guess PV ain't Proofreadingville, eh Ed... Ference is a dirty boy!

Avatar
#11 BLAKPOO
December 24 2013, 10:24AM
Trash it!
7
trashes
Cheers
15
cheers
mlselli wrote:

Great game. Everyone showed up. Nice to get the result. Eakins can kiss me Irish arse.

Eakins' response obviously wasn't intended to make some sulky fans feel good about themselves.

His job isn't to placate fans. His job is to motivate his team. He stepped up and called out the guy that threw his team's jersey on the ice. Personally, I credit him for coming to the defense of the players and the organization. If he's willing to take a few shots from the fans and media, that's less punches aimed at his players. The players seemed to recognize that too, and showed some fight themselves last night.

That's the kind of thing a strong leader, and a good coach would do for their team. Instead of being so butt-hurt over the whole thing, you should recognize and appreciate what this man is willing to shoulder for his team, and how strongly he feels about not giving up.

Avatar
#12 risto siltanen's slapshot
December 24 2013, 10:56AM
Trash it!
6
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers
FussyPucker wrote:

His heart is what hit the ice. I've been pretty mad too about the last 1/2 dozen games also but if this small gesture wakes a giant killer up, toss another jersey! That win over Winnipeg was awsome! The fan did quit. Play well and we'll replace him. I've had my jersey for 30 yrs, it's kinda tight a little dis-colored and a few loose threads. Paid $65.00 back in 1984 before we won the cup. Priceless

the jersey thrown was #83 non? not quite as priceless as Charlie Huddy's or their cups. maybe your jersey means something but when I see an #83 jersey on the ice I think overpaid, underperforming and not enough playoffs. well done fan of the "new" oilers cuz the old guard didn't need to motivate them...we were scared they'd take our team away not give us this one.

Avatar
#13 Serious Gord
December 24 2013, 12:04PM
Trash it!
6
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers

So Brian, if after 80 games the team is little better than today: able to beat fellow bottom feeders but completely outclassed against top sixteen opponents - they are 3-20 against that group thusfar if my math is correct - will you then declare Eakins a failure and that he should be fired?

Avatar
#14 bulldog12
December 24 2013, 04:52PM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Cheers
6
cheers

Eakins could coach this team to save his job but I suspect him and MacT realize these guys aren't winning anything until they get there heads out of there arses. I'm sure that was part of the discussion before Eakins was hired. I don't think Eakins and MacT realized how slow and painful the process would be thou. Looks like it's going to take all year for these guys to learn the most basic defensive system. No pain no gain. Patience fans patience.

Avatar
#15 Serious Gord
December 24 2013, 08:48PM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Cheers
6
cheers
Brian Sutherby wrote:

Well that's where we disagree. I don't think we really know what the Oilers have in Eakins yet. I don't think this team currently coached by anyone in the league is a playoff team.

The makeup to me is not right. Until that is addressed I don't understand the theory of let's just keep rifling through coaches, it must be the coach?

So it's agreed then. You won't reassess Eakins until he has been on the job for twenty months - 160 games.

I think we have had enough data at 40. This team has the worst halfway record ever. And you think that it is the mix of players? I think the mix is relevant - the dominant issue - but that coaching is actually a negative compounding a negative.

Avatar
#16 Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate
December 24 2013, 09:31AM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Cheers
55
cheers

I liked Yak's effort

I like the blondes even more

Merry Christmas All

Avatar
#17 The Farmer
December 24 2013, 09:45AM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Cheers
34
cheers

Last night I could see the difference in Yak right away. He was actually moving his feet! I don't know why this problem wasn't corrected sooner, but too many times this year he has been gliding and wiggling all over the ice. Totally ineffective. He doesn't have good enough straight away speed to be elite if he's not going to be moving at a good clip before the play develops. Much better game from him.

Also that 2 on 1 with Hall was the perfect example of why Hall should be captain. Normally he would've toe dragged there, but he knew Yak needed that, and if 64 gets hot for the next 15 games, Taylor Hall should be remembered for being the catalyst.

Avatar
#18 Taylor Gang
December 24 2013, 10:09AM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Cheers
9
cheers
bnr wrote:

"stuff like that happens" Perfect defence of flying elbows there buddy.

That's sarcasm. What Yakupov does is the kind of cheap hits to the head that they're trying to get out of the game. I bet you're the type that would say a knee to the head is also "part of the game".

Look, the NHL can try all they want but it's never going to be eliminated from the game. Believe it or not, players don't try to injure others. It's a heat of the moment thing that just happens in split seconds. When I played hockey, I'd stick my leg out sometimes, not to knee another player, but to stop the puck. Unfortunately it doesn't always turn out well. In the meantime take a chill pill...

Avatar
#19 oilcountryforlife
December 24 2013, 10:50AM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Cheers
14
cheers

"it came off poorly and I think it was quickly regretted"

Eakens, like Mac T. and Klowe, and Katz are all smug self serving gits. I don't think the comment was quickly regretted. I don't see him apologizing for his teams pathetic performance this season while he has been at the helm. His continual benching, shifting lines, and moving a guy like Smid makes me shake my head. He called out the fan to motivate his players was what one commenter noted? So, turning the fans on each other is the way to go now?!

The fans are the bottom feeders here for a team that sells out their arena and then 20% of the time decides to show up and the rest of the time, they, "phone it in" at best. Spoiled rich players and entitled management with no oversight except an owner with a crush on his dynasty 'friends'...friends like this are no friends at all, in my opinion.

I have four Oilers jerseys in my closet and I'm not a quitter.....I'm a realist. Great game last night. Very sad that it was a once in ten effort.

Merry Christmas.

Avatar
#20 BLAKPOO
December 24 2013, 11:33AM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Cheers
6
cheers
oilcountryforlife wrote:

"it came off poorly and I think it was quickly regretted"

Eakens, like Mac T. and Klowe, and Katz are all smug self serving gits. I don't think the comment was quickly regretted. I don't see him apologizing for his teams pathetic performance this season while he has been at the helm. His continual benching, shifting lines, and moving a guy like Smid makes me shake my head. He called out the fan to motivate his players was what one commenter noted? So, turning the fans on each other is the way to go now?!

The fans are the bottom feeders here for a team that sells out their arena and then 20% of the time decides to show up and the rest of the time, they, "phone it in" at best. Spoiled rich players and entitled management with no oversight except an owner with a crush on his dynasty 'friends'...friends like this are no friends at all, in my opinion.

I have four Oilers jerseys in my closet and I'm not a quitter.....I'm a realist. Great game last night. Very sad that it was a once in ten effort.

Merry Christmas.

Just for the record..

I said he called out the fan to deflect attention away from the players. Putting himself in the line of fire, so to speak. I never said he intended it to be motivation for his players. He even commented that it wasn't a coaching point in the dressing room.

He stood up and defended his team with conviction. Despite all the criticism aimed at him and his team, he stood tall and declared "We're not giving up." No excuses. Something we haven't seen enough of in the last few years from all facets of this organization.

A weaker man would have rolled over and made excuses, or passed the blame, or even remained silent and let someone else address it. Personally, I think Dallas' response is more of a player motivator than some dude throwing his jersey in a child-like fit of rage, but that's just my opinion. Did it impact their play last night? No idea. Wasn't in the room.

What I do know is both the coach and the team showed some balls yesterday.

As an Oilers fan, why do you have a problem with this?

Avatar
#21 nunyour
December 24 2013, 11:34AM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers

I see it a little differently i guess,I see Eiken's taking the heat off his team and directing it squarely at himself.As soon as he made that comment,the focus was on him and not the team.

Avatar
#22 Wohin gehst du?
December 24 2013, 01:21PM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers

It's great that Yakupov is pissed off. He should chirp and make scrums, like Perron. But, bnr is right. If he did in fact elbow the goalie on purpose, he should be called out for it and disciplined. I would want the other guy to be punished if, say, he whacked me in the face with a hockey stick on purpose. Or hit me knee on knee on purpose. Or checked me in the head on purpose. So the same standards have to apply to me.

No one should be proud of a player overstepping rules like that. The chirping and grinding is good. Elbowing goalies? Not so much.

Avatar
#23 Serious Gord
December 24 2013, 08:42PM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Bucknuck wrote:

So you believe coaching is the problem with this team?

I'm not buying it.

Goaltending, Grit, and Defensive play are the culprits. Eakins is sitting players when they deserve it and following up his words with actions. If they don't buy in, they don't play. I like this coach.

MacT has been trying to fix the Goaltending since he came on board, which is something Steve (Khabby is our MVP) Tambellinni wasn't even aware of.

Perron is gritty, Ference is gritty, Gadzic is gritty, Belov is gritty, Joensuu is gritty. Something tells me they are trying to address this problem too.

Defensive play, and by that I mean preventing goals and gaining puck possession and getting the puck up the ice going the other direction, has been lacking ever since Pronger left town. They need a number 1, and everyone knows it. I am sure MacT knows it too.

So I am defending MacT and Eakins, because I think they have a clue. I want to see what the second half of the year looks like.

It is not THE problem but it definitely is A problem. That will likely be laid bare on the 27 when they play cgy. They may win but the flames are far less talented and are missing two real stalwarts - glencross and Russell but I think you can take their commitment to their coach to the bank.

Also one of Eakins claims to fame is khadri. Time to reassess that project.

Avatar
#24 hockeycrazed
December 24 2013, 09:34AM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers

Let the winning ways be what it is, and not looking back! Adopt the philosophy of the coach is not easy, cause it takes hard work and dedication! Which young people dearly lack, to play with discipline requires patience which this younger generations doesn't necessary possess, or care to acquire! It's so true, someone needs to get through to them, who could he/she be? That's the million dollar question!!

Avatar
#25 Taylor Gang
December 24 2013, 09:38AM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
39
cheers
bnr wrote:

I for one, did not like what I saw from Yakupov yesterday.. He is a dirty little bastard. Elbowing goaltenders in the head is downright dangerous and thuggish.

Stay classy there Deadmonton.

You obviously aren't an Oilers fan so why are you here? Besides, when you play hockey, stuff like that happens.

Avatar
#26 DrunkGuyTy
December 24 2013, 09:54AM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
14
cheers

@bnr

He shoulda done it about 30 games ago.

Avatar
#27 BLAKPOO
December 24 2013, 09:59AM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
17
cheers
Ziom wrote:

I also like what I saw in Yakapov yesterday. However the two, two-man advantages in the final frame was kind of disappointing. Further,should we trade, Yakapov and Schultz for Dustin Byfuglien?

Umm.. no.

Avatar
#28 BLAKPOO
December 24 2013, 10:01AM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
13
cheers
The Farmer wrote:

Last night I could see the difference in Yak right away. He was actually moving his feet! I don't know why this problem wasn't corrected sooner, but too many times this year he has been gliding and wiggling all over the ice. Totally ineffective. He doesn't have good enough straight away speed to be elite if he's not going to be moving at a good clip before the play develops. Much better game from him.

Also that 2 on 1 with Hall was the perfect example of why Hall should be captain. Normally he would've toe dragged there, but he knew Yak needed that, and if 64 gets hot for the next 15 games, Taylor Hall should be remembered for being the catalyst.

Nailed it. Hall is earning himself the C.

Avatar
#29 Ed in PV
December 24 2013, 12:31PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
12
cheers
nunyour wrote:

I see it a little differently i guess,I see Eiken's taking the heat off his team and directing it squarely at himself.As soon as he made that comment,the focus was on him and not the team.

I think your giving Eakins way too much credit.

His comments struck me as being arrogant and out of touch with reality, which might be said for the entire Oil organization. Two aspects specifically:

1. His condescending attitude to all Edmontonians being "hard working oil field workers who don't give up." How does he become an expert on the city after being here for 3 months and actually being out of town about 50% of the time? It struck me as being a line someone in the Oil PR department told him to say.

2. Even offering an opinion on the motivation of the jersey thrower shows a significant amount of hubris. Eakins hasn't been here for the past years and has no context to understand the situation. Most people would understand this and not say very much. Criticizing an Oil fan for being mad as hell and being fed up is like criticizing a crime victim.

Arrogant and out of touch. Edmonton should just be happy to have am NHL franchise (I'm not convinced we have an NHL team), if you complain too much we will move to Seattle.

Avatar
#31 Serious Gord
December 24 2013, 08:42PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
Bucknuck wrote:

So you believe coaching is the problem with this team?

I'm not buying it.

Goaltending, Grit, and Defensive play are the culprits. Eakins is sitting players when they deserve it and following up his words with actions. If they don't buy in, they don't play. I like this coach.

MacT has been trying to fix the Goaltending since he came on board, which is something Steve (Khabby is our MVP) Tambellinni wasn't even aware of.

Perron is gritty, Ference is gritty, Gadzic is gritty, Belov is gritty, Joensuu is gritty. Something tells me they are trying to address this problem too.

Defensive play, and by that I mean preventing goals and gaining puck possession and getting the puck up the ice going the other direction, has been lacking ever since Pronger left town. They need a number 1, and everyone knows it. I am sure MacT knows it too.

So I am defending MacT and Eakins, because I think they have a clue. I want to see what the second half of the year looks like.

It is not THE problem but it definitely is A problem. That will likely be laid bare on the 27 when they play cgy. They may win but the flames are far less talented and are missing two real stalwarts - glencross and Russell but I think you can take their commitment to their coach to the bank.

Also one of Eakins claims to fame is khadri. Time to reassess that project.

Avatar
#32 THRNHJE
December 24 2013, 09:38AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
42
cheers

How about that play by Nuge on goal 5. Bats the puck out of mid air, sells the shot and passes it to Hall for an easy finish. That is the Nuge we were all so excited about 2 years ago. He might just now be hitting absolute 100% post surgery. The Nuge is Huge!

Avatar
#33 Tikkanese
December 24 2013, 09:47AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
35
cheers

You guys bag on Ference a lot. He does a lot of little things that go unnoticed. A pretty key piece of the Bruins Cup powerhouse the last few years no less.

For instance at the end of the game, at the start of another line melee, he intercepted 6'3" 230 super heavyweight Chris Thorburn right before he was about to send Yak back to the KHL. Yak and the other core kids all play a little bigger with things like that.

Things like that don't get shown on the score sheet, or in advanced stats. He may not have blocked a shot with his teeth yet, ala Jason Smith, but he will. It's still early in his first season here, give him time.

Avatar
#34 St Albert Boris
December 24 2013, 10:18AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
12
cheers
bnr wrote:

I for one, did not like what I saw from Yakupov yesterday.. He is a dirty little bastard. Elbowing goaltenders in the head is downright dangerous and thuggish.

Stay classy there Deadmonton.

So I guess you also must think that Mark Messier was a dirty little bastard, dangerous and thuggish as well.....oh wait Messier was so much worse that Yak. Give your head a shake.

Avatar
#35 bxman
December 24 2013, 01:53PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers
Wohin gehst du? wrote:

It's great that Yakupov is pissed off. He should chirp and make scrums, like Perron. But, bnr is right. If he did in fact elbow the goalie on purpose, he should be called out for it and disciplined. I would want the other guy to be punished if, say, he whacked me in the face with a hockey stick on purpose. Or hit me knee on knee on purpose. Or checked me in the head on purpose. So the same standards have to apply to me.

No one should be proud of a player overstepping rules like that. The chirping and grinding is good. Elbowing goalies? Not so much.

It's time you and bnr lost your man cards. Players are always trying to distract the goalie and this was no different. Late shot, whack on blocker, snow the goalie etc.. If you two were in charge the teams couldn't keep score because someones feelings may be hurt. Sheesh!

Avatar
#36 Rod from Viking
December 24 2013, 03:13PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@Brian Sutherby

Brian, what are your impressions of Tim Gleason? He seems like a decent shut-down type 3-4 with a lot of grit and is a decent fighter, he has a $4m salary with a LNTC which is a little steep but I think he is the kind of complimentary player the Oil need unless you and Struds are coming out of retirement.

Avatar
#37 ColourMeImpressed
December 24 2013, 05:20PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers
Brian Sutherby wrote:

Well that's where we disagree. I don't think we really know what the Oilers have in Eakins yet. I don't think this team currently coached by anyone in the league is a playoff team.

The makeup to me is not right. Until that is addressed I don't understand the theory of let's just keep rifling through coaches, it must be the coach?

I've been inclined to give Eakins time and a fair chance, but I was reading this piece on Puck Daddy - http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nhl-puck-daddy/return-bruce-boudreau-reason-rock-red-washington-223445097--nhl.html - about Bruce Boudreau and his time in Washington.

He coached the team he had.

And when playoff success didn't materialize, and he tried to coach them to play defence first, they imploded. The Caps haven't recovered from that.

MacT is a defensive coach. He loves grinders. LOVES them, and knows how to get the most out of them. He pushed Toby Peterson into the first power play. He made Pisani. He was instrumental behind Horcoff's success and allegedly pushed for Horcoff's giant contract. Horcoff was the ultimate grinder - took limited tools and become an almost-first line centre.

MacT hired Eakins because Eakins thinks like MacT.

And as I read about Boudreau and those wonderful Capitals of his, I'm not sure that Eakins is the right man for the job.

Avatar
#38 Hardcore39
December 24 2013, 09:58PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

This organization needs to sit on this coach and ride it out. He is a good coach, anyone that has played for him has great things to say about him. If the oil gets rid of him we start at square one. Again. MacT is not going to admit that his first move as GM has a failure. He will get next year and probably the year after.

If they think coaching is an issue they need to get rid of the assistants that have been around the entire time of the rebuild. Maybe they should get rid of them and get some real assistants in.

Avatar
#39 Serious Gord
December 24 2013, 11:22PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers
Hardcore39 wrote:

This organization needs to sit on this coach and ride it out. He is a good coach, anyone that has played for him has great things to say about him. If the oil gets rid of him we start at square one. Again. MacT is not going to admit that his first move as GM has a failure. He will get next year and probably the year after.

If they think coaching is an issue they need to get rid of the assistants that have been around the entire time of the rebuild. Maybe they should get rid of them and get some real assistants in.

Everyone had great things to say about kreuger too. Ditto Rennie. The cloistered world of pro hockey dictates that you not criticize management if you want to stay in the game.

And it is ridiculous to insist that the assistants be fired. That's like leaving an incompetent general In place and firing all the colonels - whether they are incompetent or not - the generals actions far overarching their inadequacies or their strengths.

Avatar
#40 Oilers4ever
December 25 2013, 08:54AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

Merry xmas nation and oilers fans everywhere. On a side note, people bladting eakins should get a grip. He blasted ONE single fan not the whole bloody group. Take your rose tinted glasses off. About time someone speaks their mind. Screw what the media thinks. Half the time they dont know what they are talking about anyways. He singled out one individual and quite frankly this team doesnt need quitters supporting them. Good riddance I say.

Avatar
#41 Shifty203
December 24 2013, 09:32AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
39
cheers

If Yak played every night like he did last night, he would no longer be reduntant on the team. He could go from being one of the first kids to be traded for upgrades, to being one of the last assets we are willing to move.

The problem so far, is that he has to show he can play with that edge every night.

Avatar
#42 G-Unit
December 24 2013, 10:07AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
13
cheers
Taylor Gang wrote:

You obviously aren't an Oilers fan so why are you here? Besides, when you play hockey, stuff like that happens.

I love the fact that Eakins left Yakupov out to answer after his goal. It is a terrible decision if Yak gets his ass handed to him and is out injured for 6 weeks.

The embarrassing part of the end of that game was Ladd slashing at Yakupov and then backing away like he had just accidently poked at MacIntyre. I have been a big fan of Ladd's for years and that play was puzzling.

Avatar
#43 DAVE
December 24 2013, 10:17AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
9
cheers
Taylor Gang wrote:

You obviously aren't an Oilers fan so why are you here? Besides, when you play hockey, stuff like that happens.

He does'nt play hockey, bnr ;(ballerina not rated)

Avatar
#44 Racki
December 24 2013, 10:21AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
10
cheers
bnr wrote:

I for one, did not like what I saw from Yakupov yesterday.. He is a dirty little bastard. Elbowing goaltenders in the head is downright dangerous and thuggish.

Stay classy there Deadmonton.

Not sure how much you follow hockey, but sadly you either are the one starting that stuff or the one reacting too it. I'd rather see our team initiating and getting in opponents heads, thinking about that. Should it be in the NHL? Arguably, no, but it is and has been forever, even at lower levels. What game have you been watching, Jesus of Nazareth?

Avatar
#45 tileguy
December 24 2013, 10:23AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
10
cheers

Eakins best decision all year was to tell the boys to blast away from the point at the end of the game. It was payback, telling the jets go ahead and get in the way, hurt yourself you big pricks. I truly believe that's why they played bombs away at the end

Avatar
#46 Greenlingj
December 24 2013, 10:42AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
18
cheers

@bnr

Dude... people take cheap shots at my goalie in div 6 beer league ( AKA where knowing how to stop on skates is still optional )

Its to get a reaction from the team to draw a penalty.

Do us all a favor and either STFU or go buy me a six pack because I am thirsty.

Avatar
#47 -30-
December 24 2013, 11:03AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
13
cheers

Deadmonton?

bnr is a troll. Come back after mommy cleans your basement room and gets you ready for Chrissy

What does Deadmonton have to do with hockey?

Avatar
#48 Rama Lama
December 24 2013, 11:08AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
13
cheers

Last night's game to me was the coming out of Gazdic! A statement game. If we had another Gazdic to back up Gazdic......wow!!!

One more big heavy guy on the top six, one more on defence, and I think Santa will have delivered big-time.

Merry Christmas to all the Oilers faithful.........we too will have our time in the sun.

Avatar
#49 Mjolnir
December 24 2013, 11:27AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers
bnr wrote:

I for one, did not like what I saw from Yakupov yesterday.. He is a dirty little bastard. Elbowing goaltenders in the head is downright dangerous and thuggish.

Stay classy there Deadmonton.

F@ck the goalie.

Avatar
#50 Joe Mamma
December 24 2013, 01:54PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers
bnr wrote:

I for one, did not like what I saw from Yakupov yesterday.. He is a dirty little bastard. Elbowing goaltenders in the head is downright dangerous and thuggish.

Stay classy there Deadmonton.

That's rich, a guy from manitoba cutting down edmonton. Have a look out your window and shut your hick mouth.

Comments are closed for this article.