SCENES FROM A MAUL

Lowetide
December 08 2013 07:41AM

The Edmonton Oilers won the battle last night, but once again lost the war. The shot differential said Edmonton was well clear of the Flames (52-33) but the final score told us Calgary won the day. The story of last night was execution, and at this point I'm in favor of it.

SHOT DIFFERENTIAL BEATDOWN

The Oilers had a field day last night based on even-strength shots for and against (my thanks to Michael Parkatti for the table above), hell the guy they benched went 12-0 in the discipline. The problem for Edmonton? They're a miserable team without the puck and increasingly they are not willing to do the hard work of getting it back.

I'm not a guy who talks about "physical presence" or "someone to get in your face" very much, because for the most part I do believe those things are overrated. However, this edition of the Edmonton Oilers needs someone to light a fire under their ass, the way Glen Sather did with the Boys on the Bus when they were pissing about instead of eating their vegetables. This team could use a whole lot less "Harlem Globetrotters" skill and a lot more lunchpail work ethic and attention to detail.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

There are two ways out of this:

  1. Impress upon these players that "fleeing the zone for offense" is treason, and that you're letting the team down.
  2. Trade one or two of these players for new ones in order to grab the group's attention. 

I bet Craig MacTavish is edging closer to the second option. The Edmonton Oilers are going to finish last with Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Sam Gagner and Justin Schultz, they can sure as hell finish last without them.

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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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#151 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
December 09 2013, 10:00AM
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Lowetide wrote:

Yakupov is just finishing up his first 82 games, I don't think he's a guy we can blame for the overall mess this team is in currently.

That said, if the Oilers decided to deal him, your point about duplicate skills applies. The one thing about Yakupov that we can't forget is his shot: if he ever finds the range it's going to be amazing.

To keep things in perspective......Yes 82 games is too early to pass final judgement on Yak.....however you can still make judgements...and he is definitely not performing like an elite # 1 overall pick. He ABSOLUTELY does not have Pavel Bure quickness or speed, and his shooting skills if you include accuracy and the ability to get a shot off against NHL calibre defensemen, are not elite calibre either.

However what you do see is that he is physically solid for someone his age...his ability to hit and take a hit is above average for someone his size and he is solid on his skates.

He sees the ice well, has excellent passing and play making skills for his age.

So yes the natural ability is there....he's just got to be coached how to think the game at the NHL level and how to get the most out of the special skills he does possess....that's on the coaches, his teamtes and of course Yak himself (and his agent) .....it's going to take ALOT more than "finding the range".... It is a work in progress....but we should be seeing significant development over the course of every two to three month segment.

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#152 TigerUnderGlass
December 09 2013, 10:12AM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

To keep things in perspective......Yes 82 games is too early to pass final judgement on Yak.....however you can still make judgements...and he is definitely not performing like an elite # 1 overall pick. He ABSOLUTELY does not have Pavel Bure quickness or speed, and his shooting skills if you include accuracy and the ability to get a shot off against NHL calibre defensemen, are not elite calibre either.

However what you do see is that he is physically solid for someone his age...his ability to hit and take a hit is above average for someone his size and he is solid on his skates.

He sees the ice well, has excellent passing and play making skills for his age.

So yes the natural ability is there....he's just got to be coached how to think the game at the NHL level and how to get the most out of the special skills he does possess....that's on the coaches, his teamtes and of course Yak himself (and his agent) .....it's going to take ALOT more than "finding the range".... It is a work in progress....but we should be seeing significant development over the course of every two to three month segment.

1. He is performing remarkably like an elite #1 overall pick over their first season worth of games.

2. To be clear - you believe Yakupov's ticket is not his shot, but his playmaking? Is this correct?

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#153 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
December 09 2013, 10:19AM
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Jesse wrote:

Oilers team is full of Goal-sucks. No one wants to play a 200 ft game.

Lowetide and many of his followers love the goal suck game!

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#154 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
December 09 2013, 10:32AM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

1. He is performing remarkably like an elite #1 overall pick over their first season worth of games.

2. To be clear - you believe Yakupov's ticket is not his shot, but his playmaking? Is this correct?

To be clear....I like him as a player....I like his mix of skills.... His shot has the potential to put him in that elite class if the rest of his game rounds into form...but there are no guarantees.....there are dozens maybe hundreds of guys with hard shots that never become elite goal scores.....personally based on what I see now I don't think he has natural Pavel Bure breakaway speed.....or natural Mike Bossy, Alexander Ovechkin sniper type talent....so he might not turn out to be the perenial 40 to 50 goal scorer that many are predicting.....seems like a potential 30 goal guy who occasionally overachievers and hits 40......not a bad thing at all....just think we should temper our expectations.

If we don't temper our expectations, people will soon start hating on him like they did on Jason Arnott and Joffrey Lupul etc etc

And yes I think he has untapped play making ability that is being under utilized perhaps under developed...maybe because his team mates think he's too cocky or coaches think he plays a loose undisciplined game...not sure what it is.....he's like a wild mustang and they're trying to break/saddle him.....but yes...at times.. I see elite play making skills.

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#155 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
December 09 2013, 11:03AM
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Wintoon wrote:

I detest 'broad street bully' hockey where intimidation is the key tactic. I much prefer skilled hockey being on display. Having said this, I do expect a team to be competitive. If, occassionally, that means dropping the gloves then so be it. Dropping the gloves however is certainly not the key component of competitive. Current edition of the Oilers either needs to find a different level of compete or they need to be traded. LT has stated it beautifully and succinctly.

AND PLEASE will you people including you LT stop using the Broad Steet Bully analogy to represent tough physical Candian style hockey. It's a total cop out...totally lazy.

The Broad Steet Bullies were an anamoly....an oddity.....a one time thing...a creation of Fred Shero.

If you want to reference tough physical Canadian style hockey please use as your reference the 80's Battles of Alberta...with the Messiers and Joel Ottos ....the Kevin Mcllenands and the Neal Seehey's of the world ( I hate Sheehey so much I can't remember how to spell his name)....the Tim Hunters and the Dave Semenkos.....the Dave Bam Bam Langevins and the Lee Fogilins.....go back and watch those battles....and if thats kind of Hockey you're protesting is too physical for you're tastes....well at least we'll have a legitimate reference point and we'll know where each other stands......but don't cop out with the continual references to Fred Sheros Broad Street Bullies......

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#156 morgie
December 10 2013, 08:15AM
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HiTs FrOm ThE bOnG wrote:

30 teams. 16 make the playoffs. You do the math. You have to beat the bad teams before you can beat the good teams. Now, if we could only beat those bad teams.

ya hows that math working for the past three years and counting

you think the last 10 are indicitive of the team rising from tthe ashes, i doubt it

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