LOWER EXPECTATIONS? NOT AGAIN

Robin Brownlee
February 15 2013 06:19PM

It's not often I disagree with Jason Strudwick, and I certainly can't remember a time I've disagreed strongly enough to write about it, but his suggestion today fans of the Edmonton Oilers should lower their expectations is as wrong as a comb-over in a wind storm.

Step back from the ledge and lower expectations? After six consecutive years out of the playoffs, including back-to-back 30th-place finishes and a bump up to 29th last season, fans should lower expectations? No chance. No way.

Now, to be fair and keep things in context (if my comprehension isn't out of whack) Strudwick was directing what he wrote today toward fans who went into this shortened season EXPECTING the team to make the playoffs after finishing so far out of the race in 2011-12. That's fair enough.

I, among others, picked the Oilers to make the playoffs this season. I did so knowing that a lot of the cards would have to fall their way. I did so thinking eighth place was probably the best they'd do, given that I didn’t see a bunch of playoff teams from 2011-12 falling off the map.

For me, it wasn't a matter of "playoffs or bust." Having picked them to miss for the last six seasons -- not that it took a vast intellect to suggest so -- I can hardly be categorized an over-optimistic fan. I am neither.

At the very least, with the core of the team playing in the AHL or Europe during the lockout, with Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Taylor Hall being a year older and with the addition of Justin Schultz, I expected Ralph Krueger's team to be contesting a post-season spot in the final dozen games of the season. To push the issue. I don’t see that as unreasonable.

PROGRESS . . .

With all the above said, and allowing that optimism (often in the extreme) springs eternal with many fans, telling people to lower their expectations after six seasons on the outside looking in is going to be a tough sell in this town. For me, it's not even primarily about exactly where the Oilers finish – it can be a fine line between eighth place or ninth and 10th in the Western Conference.

Today, as has been the case many times in the last couple of seasons, I'm seeing holes in the way this team is put together. I'm seeing lack of production at even strength. I'm seeing too little urgency in pressing the pace. I'm seeing a lack of willingness to impose a collective physical will, or at least the ability to do so, which goes back to how the team is put together.

Even with a power play that was ridiculously hot to start the season, even with some stellar play between the pipes from Devan Dubnyk and even with all their supposed firepower up front, the Oilers are 5-5-3 for 13 points and sitting 11th as they prepare to face Colorado Saturday. That could be a high-water mark if you look at the schedule between now and March 12.

Lower expectations? No chance, at least not as they pertain to expectations GM Steve Tambellini and president of hockey operations Kevin Lowe will round out the roster by finding the right pieces to complement the young talent. They've had three seasons of a rebuild to move this team along. If they can’t do it, then they should get out of the way and make room for somebody who can.

Like I said, while I figured a playoff spot was possible, I don't care as much about being right or the exact order of finish as much as I do about what I see out on the ice, and that's a spectacle that's wanting in too many areas too often to simply write-off concerns about this team as panic by over-optimistic fans.

It's not unreasonable to expect better than what we’re seeing now.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#51 VK63
February 16 2013, 12:02AM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

Where's Paul Holmgren when you need him?

He's still advancing his cause for a CBC job. Not quite enough failure to meet the grade yet. Once he gets to laughing stock of the league status he can fill a Millbury like "hot stove expert" role.

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#52 PutzStew
February 16 2013, 12:59AM
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Just want to get this clear Robin.

Are you calling for heads to role if Tambilowe don't have a team competing for a playoff spot in the last dozen games????

If I understand that correctly.......My hats off to you fine sir.

If I didn't understand that...Well it's way past my bed time and I don't have my glasses on.

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#53 GVBlackhawk
February 16 2013, 01:11AM
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DSF wrote:

Does that make you feel better somehow?

You repeatedly make incorrect and flawed statements. And you are egotistical about it. People will always get satisfaction when a know-it-all is wrong.

For example, you picked the Minnesota Wild to win the western conference. You lauded their center depth and their big UFA signings. You overlooked their glaring weaknesses (eg. they had no offense and their defense was marginal). Your conclusions are illogical, yet you continue to stand by them with conviction. That's not intelligence -- it is just being contrarian and stubborn.

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#54 GVBlackhawk
February 16 2013, 01:12AM
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DSF wrote:

LOL.

LOL? Do you really think that RNH will shoot 0% this season?

Regression to the mean; it will be beautiful in this instance.

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#55 yep
February 16 2013, 01:14AM
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@Robin Brownlee

"Simmer down, my eye. Expect more, not less."

Good luck Robin, this just wont happen for so many Oiler fans. It wont happen for the same reason they all came back after the lockout and no one can even remember let alone speak of it now. It wont happen for the same reason they were willing to build the arena at any cost, not matter how outrageous (funny, we dont see those who thought giving Katz the 6M/year subsidy mention that anymore, eh?) It wont happen for the same reason that nobody even bats an eye when former oilers are continuously shuffled around the organization regardless of performance. These fans are so desperate to revive the glory days of this franchise that they will forgive any mistake and forget any inconvenient truth in the blind faith that the magic will simply occur again and make their team a winner. It was not magic that built the oilers dynasty, it was hard work and sacrifice by not only the players but also the management. That entire organization was simply NOT CONTENT to lose, and they made the hard decisions needed to improve.

There is an undertone to the entire conversation that implies that losing now is OK, because losing now begets winning later; this is fallacy and frankly, insane. Losing now does nothing except serve as an indicator that 'you aren't good enough'. Losing now does nothing to improve your team unless you actively pursue a track of improvement. That means identifying the shortcomings within the organization and fixing them. Turn weakness into strength. Never be OK with being out shot, out chanced, out played, out scored. And when you do lose, you better damn well figure out why and how not to lose that way anymore. I dont see this organization truly dedicating itself to improving. Instead I see a franchise that is HOPING that things will get better next game, next month, next draft, next season, next coach, next generation of fans...

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#56 yep
February 16 2013, 01:14AM
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@Robin Brownlee

"Simmer down, my eye. Expect more, not less."

Good luck Robin, this just wont happen for so many Oiler fans. It wont happen for the same reason they all came back after the lockout and no one can even remember let alone speak of it now. It wont happen for the same reason they were willing to build the arena at any cost, not matter how outrageous (funny, we dont see those who thought giving Katz the 6M/year subsidy mention that anymore, eh?) It wont happen for the same reason that nobody even bats an eye when former oilers are continuously shuffled around the organization regardless of performance. These fans are so desperate to revive the glory days of this franchise that they will forgive any mistake and forget any inconvenient truth in the blind faith that the magic will simply occur again and make their team a winner. It was not magic that built the oilers dynasty, it was hard work and sacrifice by not only the players but also the management. That entire organization was simply NOT CONTENT to lose, and they made the hard decisions needed to improve.

There is an undertone to the entire conversation that implies that losing now is OK, because losing now begets winning later; this is fallacy and frankly, insane. Losing now does nothing except serve as an indicator that 'you aren't good enough'. Losing now does nothing to improve your team unless you actively pursue a track of improvement. That means identifying the shortcomings within the organization and fixing them. Turn weakness into strength. Never be OK with being out shot, out chanced, out played, out scored. And when you do lose, you better damn well figure out why and how not to lose that way anymore. I dont see this organization truly dedicating itself to improving. Instead I see a franchise that is HOPING that things will get better next game, next month, next draft, next season, next coach, next generation of fans...

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#57 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
February 16 2013, 01:57AM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

You mean like a player like like....Hall....RNH....Yakupov?

Barkov is a gem, not to mention once the Oilers get Weber-Clowe and get Dubinsky.

The Oilers needed Hemsky and Gagner to improve so they can trade them.

who said anything about continuing a rebuild after this year.

I seen this season as a wash.

The Oilers coming into the season never knew about.

Yakupov- Schultz- Dubnyk- Whitney- Gagner- Hemsky

Does that sound like a team wanting to make the playoffs?

Alex Plante was a "gem" too Walter. Barkov Smarkov, he's nothing but alot of hot air right now.

5 out of the 6 guys you mentioned have been where the Oilers wanted them to be this season. Despite those huge difference makers you mentioned (Yak,Schultz,Dubnyk,Gagner and Hemsky) they're still a .500 hockeyclub.

Looks to me like this is still very much a heart/leadership issue on this club. Put on your foam hat Walter (like i did).....the sky IS falling. lol.

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#58 revingev
February 16 2013, 03:35AM
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So I read this line in the posts here...

"You want to bring the soft Couturier to make the Oilers the best paddy cake team in the NHL?"

You do know Sean is no Paddy cake right? Actually if you recall last years playoffs, he is a incredibly talented and gritty center who is good at the two-way game. I get the point being made but actually using Sean as the player to use as a example makes the argument seem moot.

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#59 hemi
February 16 2013, 05:23AM
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Being somewhat long in the tooth, I know for the most part, it is easy to mock Management and generally speaking, it is based on the misunderstandings of situations, etc. This does not by any stretch give the Oil's management a free pass.

Having been an Oil fan since their inception, I have enjoyed the wonderful highs and the agonizing lows. Right or wrong, I and all fans of this team have every right to be upset with the lack of progress this organization has made in solidifying a true competative team. Draft picks are wonderful but is only a portion of the puzzle. We have excellent young guns and what appears to be a pretty good tender. Time to complete the full puzzle.

Tambo and friends need to accomplish more. That is where we are at regarding the rebuilding of this team. Enough of the high draft picks......I am getting older and would like to have a contending team before my train of thought goes south on me.

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#60 Oiler Al
February 16 2013, 07:06AM
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Something to think about... When you compare rosters etc, .Oilers, have only one more win than the Blue Jackets!

I agree with when somone said" next period, next game, next month , next year.... next next.

Thats not good enough. you have to build a must win attitude..at any cost. It applies to business, and it applies to sport.

I sometimes think Oilers exsist, just to provide employment for the Old Oilers of yesteryear.

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#61 Walter Sobchak
February 16 2013, 08:10AM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

Alex Plante was a "gem" too Walter. Barkov Smarkov, he's nothing but alot of hot air right now.

5 out of the 6 guys you mentioned have been where the Oilers wanted them to be this season. Despite those huge difference makers you mentioned (Yak,Schultz,Dubnyk,Gagner and Hemsky) they're still a .500 hockeyclub.

Looks to me like this is still very much a heart/leadership issue on this club. Put on your foam hat Walter (like i did).....the sky IS falling. lol.

Plante.......Not even in the same conversation as Barkov.

As for the rest... I think were speaking the same language.....just in different tongues!

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#62 Walter Sobchak
February 16 2013, 08:28AM
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revingev wrote:

So I read this line in the posts here...

"You want to bring the soft Couturier to make the Oilers the best paddy cake team in the NHL?"

You do know Sean is no Paddy cake right? Actually if you recall last years playoffs, he is a incredibly talented and gritty center who is good at the two-way game. I get the point being made but actually using Sean as the player to use as a example makes the argument seem moot.

Couturier was passed up in the draft for this reason, not because he wasn’t talented, it WAS because he is perceived as a soft player.

So how is Couturier doing this year... 5 points +/- of -3 and 0 PM does that sound like a gritty player to you...

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#63 Serious Gord
February 16 2013, 09:06AM
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Not a big fan of strudwicks commentary at the best of times - not very insightful or well argued and far too much a homer and backer of the oil establishment.

Witness the blog post in question.

Tambelini is in the firing line. He's on his third coach in four seasons. Other than the three # 1s dropped in his lap (in part due to his own ineptness) what is his track record in getting the pieces for a playoff bound team?

Go down the list:

Khabi Whitney Smyth Barker Eager Signing hemsky And on and on and on.

Three plus years and still huge question marks in several parts of the teams dynamics.

And strudwick says we need to manage expectations...

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#64 Spydyr
February 16 2013, 09:18AM
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The teams expectations should be to be to win every night.Anything less is unacceptable.That being said before the season started i stated the team needs to go 8-2 or 7-3 at the worst to make the playoffs.That did not happen. So here is to them winning another lottery draw with the Oiler rule.

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#65 Milli
February 16 2013, 09:18AM
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I don't think it is quite as bad as some are thinking. I think if you look at it we are real lucky to be hanging around while Ebs and Nuge find there games, and they will, they are getting real close. Hemmer and Gags have been great, that is a huge bonus, and Dubby, I mean WOW has he been a rock. So, I think a young team on a long road trip will help and when they come home, they will be right in the thick of it, and that is really all you can expect this year. Does Tambo need some parts, HELL YA, but we still should have a real shot at 8th this year. Oh ya, and how GOOD is Taylor Hall, GODAMN RIDICOULSLY GOOD!

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#66 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
February 16 2013, 09:50AM
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Please be aware there may be a slight delay this evening during this Oiler bashing extravaganza. System may be down for updating purposes this evening starting at 8pm on CBC.

Prepare for Glory/Gory Oilersnation.

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#67 Walter Sobchak
February 16 2013, 10:03AM
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Milli wrote:

I don't think it is quite as bad as some are thinking. I think if you look at it we are real lucky to be hanging around while Ebs and Nuge find there games, and they will, they are getting real close. Hemmer and Gags have been great, that is a huge bonus, and Dubby, I mean WOW has he been a rock. So, I think a young team on a long road trip will help and when they come home, they will be right in the thick of it, and that is really all you can expect this year. Does Tambo need some parts, HELL YA, but we still should have a real shot at 8th this year. Oh ya, and how GOOD is Taylor Hall, GODAMN RIDICOULSLY GOOD!

Hemsky and Gagner are scoring which is good for them, as far as being part of team play they are absolutly brutal!

together on the same line the Oilers have a better chance to lose games.

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#68 Milli
February 16 2013, 10:12AM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

Hemsky and Gagner are scoring which is good for them, as far as being part of team play they are absolutly brutal!

together on the same line the Oilers have a better chance to lose games.

haters be damned!

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#69 gcw_rocks
February 16 2013, 10:13AM
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I think it's time to approach Holmgren about Couturier. The kid is a perfect fit for the Oilers because of his two-way game. He can play second or third line and has shown he can handle tougher minutes.

GMs do silly things when they see a season slipping away and the Flyers sit in 10th.

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#70 Walter Sobchak
February 16 2013, 10:14AM
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Milli wrote:

haters be damned!

Listen..... I am a die hard Oilers fan, I have season tickets to go watch this crap, have for the last 5 years.

I am not hating, its a stone cold fact that Hemsky and Gagner bleed chances. I'm not making it up.

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#71 michael
February 16 2013, 10:19AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

"So let the people actually in the oilers do the decision making and dont get too wound up."

Clearly, you haven't been paying attention.

Do tell, what have the people making the decisions with the Oilers accomplished since an eighth-place finish turned into a trip to the Stanley Cup final after the season-long lockout? What have they done with the even playing field they asked for and got with the salary cap? Picking Hall, Nugent-Hopkins and Yakupov with first overall picks doesn't count.

Make a list of the solid hockey decisions, personnel moves and hires. Then make a list of the same decisions that have proven to be failures. Tell me which list is longer.

Simmer down, my eye. Expect more, not less.

The list on the negative side is longer. The list begins with NK,Ryan Whitney, Ben Eager,Darcy Hordichuck,Potter,3 year deal for Belanger? Linus Omark? Poorly handled. Even if he didn't turn out the way he was handled turned out such that Tambo depleted any value for him as an asset.Souray.Heatley. That was on both parties though IMO. Fraser deal? The hiring and firing? of Pat Quinn. The hiring and firing of Renney. which was dragged out to long. should have done what Davidson did in Columbus with Howson. just get it done. The whole training staff fiasco.

On the positive side he fleeced DL for Penner. Sutton was a good signing. The MacT firing was good and we'll get even better when Tambo is fired and MacT takes over the GM position. hopefully sooner than later.

Tambo can't score the goals or stop the shots. Or anything else. But he is accountable for all the other deals.Or non deals that have passed him by. His decisions ultimately are the ones that are reflected in the team roster.There is/was ample opportunity for better deals,players signed,more opportunity to put players in positions to succeed. The record reflects that Tambo has about a 70-30 failure to success rate in his decision making. Its not good enough.

If the Oilers continue to perform at this level over the next 12-15 games and nothing is done but shuffle players in/out of the lineup from OKC it will more than likely be Tambo's final season as GM of the Oilers. I have no like or dislike for the man personally.I don't know him from boo. What I do know is that based on his record."Body of work". That if I was his employer and he was running my company I would be looking for a new manager sooner rather than later.

Robin you own a new business.When you leave the business for other duties do you leave it in the hands of someone competent or in hands of someone who affects the business negatively. How long would your business survive? Not long. Just sayin. If the Oilers model is based on continuous mismanagement how long till the wheels fall of the cart.Or are they off already?

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#72 DSF
February 16 2013, 10:20AM
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GVBlackhawk wrote:

LOL? Do you really think that RNH will shoot 0% this season?

Regression to the mean; it will be beautiful in this instance.

No, I think Hopkins will score a goal or two at some point.

With 24 shots on goal this season, if he shoots his career percentage of 13.4 he would have 2 goals already.

That "regression to the mean" is far from beautiful since 176 players have already scored more than 2 goals.

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#73 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
February 16 2013, 10:40AM
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DSF wrote:

No, I think Hopkins will score a goal or two at some point.

With 24 shots on goal this season, if he shoots his career percentage of 13.4 he would have 2 goals already.

That "regression to the mean" is far from beautiful since 176 players have already scored more than 2 goals.

tell us that story again about the wild playing 60 home playoff dates over the next 10 years as a reasonable expectation.

i think i like that story best.

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#74 Slats
February 16 2013, 10:41AM
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@DSF

. . .. more like "dumba$$ to the max"

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#75 tom.MTL
February 16 2013, 10:45AM
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Nice to see that DSF brought his/her 'A' game today. Hillarious comments stemming from insecurity and the need for attention are always welcome. Pure comedy.

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#76 bobo
February 16 2013, 10:54AM
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Tamb is a terrible GM the man is unbearable. Things won't improve until he is gone and we get tougher. I miss the era of Mike Grier, Guerin etc.

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#77 jefff
February 16 2013, 11:01AM
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You think of all the first rounders Edmonton has playing for them, and it is still not working.

This is like a Stock you buy and you get emotional with it. Any good news regarding the stock you put much more weight on that news then you should. Any bad news on the stock you discount.

Fans have been saying next year for far to long.

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#78 Rama Lama
February 16 2013, 11:04AM
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When Glen Sather was the GM ...........not for one nano-second did he ever stop looking to improve his team.

You always knew that he was on the prowl trying to improve his lines. His formula was simple, have a playmaker, a shooter, and a puck retriever on the top two lines. The third line was always comprised of guys who could hit and defend and the fourth line was bascially reserved for the heavy hitters and the enforcers.

The defense was always a combination of mobile puck movers to the pillars of strength. Guys would come in and out and rarely were we lacking in any position.

Fast forward to the current Tamby era.........we all know he is incapable of moving assets so we are all told to be patient and let the re-build take it's course. This would be fine if we were watching him surround the team with players who are recruited for certain roles. Just how long have we known we need depth players who can take draws, police a game, hit and defend, and fight?

Drafting talent like the Fab Four is not rocket science.......in fact you have to have a totally incompetent team to achieve that. I can wait for the kids to develop and I'm sure everyone has a long leash for them.

Its the defense and the bottom six that need a total re-build and Tamby has shown he does not understand that situation. To think you can take former top six guys and turn them into bottom six players is wrought with problems........thats where we are now.

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#79 Neal
February 16 2013, 11:06AM
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Something I think has been overlooked by everyone here is the "Creeping Rebuild". We are NOT in year 3 of a rebuild! The "rebuild" started when Lowe realized how deep the sh*t was he had put the team in and promoted himself out of the way. When Tambellini was hired in 2008 he talked "rebuild". I remember the team "rebuilding" when Gags was rushed onto the team too soon, along with Cogliano/Nilsson. When Jason Strudwick talks about going from 29th to 8th in a season, he's probably right. But the context is all wrong guys. The spotlight needs to be on the fact that it's 5 years later and we're struggling to make the playoffs. Enough "assessment" aleady!!!

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#80 Mini D
February 16 2013, 11:11AM
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Have the picks in the drafts been wrong?

Have Oilers made good or bad trades?

Have Oilers had bad luck ie injuries with their picks and players ?

I would think generally they have done a decent job in trades and picks.

So what is wrong?

1. They need more time, wait till next year

2. Management has no idea how to build a potential Stanley Cup team.

3. A bit of 1 and 2.

My answer is mostly #2.

How long has Lowe and Tambellini been at it ?

Where has Edmonton finished in the standing?

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#81 Darrell
February 16 2013, 12:22PM
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@justin

I find it amusing that every year we want to fire someone. Maybe firing someone may no be the answer but patience as struds eluded to in his article. Trust me, I waste way too much time reading and watching the Oilers to start from scratch over and over ..... Lets see where this new ride takes us as its not like the last 20 years where promise was only in the minors it's her now .... Pour a double and relax as this is not the Schremp era folks

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#82 Old Retired Guy
February 16 2013, 12:45PM
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For me, a few realities exist....

1) Tambellini is "despensible"...I can see where he tried to do the right things...add a "past his prime" Tier 1 Goaltender to give us a chance to win while we waited on our drafted talent. Result "B-" (partly due to injury and inconsistency of team)....Tried to add toughness with Eagre, Sutton, Hordichuk, N Schultz, Harti, Fistric....Result B- (partly due to injury and inconsistency of team)...Tried to build better development system B+ ( Hall, Eberle, Nuge, Harti, Magnus, Smid, Petry, Gagner, all progressing..OKC looks better even if results are not immediately apparent) So he gets a "B" or "B-"....and there's got to be a few A's out there somewhere (MAC T?) 2) There are very few people who would argue that we need to get grittier/tougher physically and mentally. Any disagreement comes only from the HOW we should do it....not THAT we should do it. 3) Most of us are "moderates" when it comes to the rebuild...we have excersized patience ( difficult as it is) but we want to see CONTINUOUS improvement both on the ice and in the front office decision making (be proactive on the trade front/UFA front to fill holes/upgrade the weakest links). Do your best and then some to make the playoffs...If you get there you gain invaluable experience...if not you get another good/great pick that will help a hole within a year or two.

Completely agree with Brownlee....It's NOT unreasonable to expect/demand better than we're seeing now. But it's not a heaping pile of dung either.

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#83 Old Retired Guy
February 16 2013, 12:57PM
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I find it often helps to think outside the box as a way to gain perspective.

Right now....living with the result for the next 10 years....

Would you trade the ENITIRE OILERS team ( Roster Players and Prospects) for these other Canadian teams (keeping in mind that you will have to watch/cheer for them for the next 10 years)

1) Oilers for Senators ? Yes/No 2) Oilers for Canucks ? Yes/No 3) Oilers for Habs? Yes/No 4) Oilers for Leafs? Yes/No 5) Oilers for Flames? Yes/No 6) Oilers for Jets? Yes/No

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#84 nunyour
February 16 2013, 01:23PM
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Trade what? Bulin,Whitney,Hemsky they are always injured,Horcoff bad contract,i just don't see anyone that you could get a good player back in return.the oilers could start trading their draft picks now,but only the 1st will be worth anything.i think that is why the vets are being scratched ,Kruger has had enough of the poor play from the vet and finally can do something about it.this summer i beleive will be the big sweep,Bulin,Whitney,Horcoff,will all be gone.

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#85 tileguy
February 16 2013, 01:29PM
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I beleive the Oilershave 13 points and have given opposing teams 19 points. That is platying hockey at a 400pct clip. For the talent on this team something is broken, that is clear to see. It is up to mngt to fix it. They are doing nothing. I am not happy.

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#86 @Oilanderp
February 16 2013, 04:35PM
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30,30,29, *BAM* Stanley Cup™. No. This year is the last 'gimme' year. One more top 10 pick and away we go. We've come much too far and endured far too much to abandon the plan now.

The worst thing we could do is a WOW trade: some sort of Burkeian horsecrap shortcut gamble with the future.

Can you even imagine what a Leafs fan feels like?

Just calm down and sit your butt in that chair. Stop screaming and fuming like a clueless madman.

*lights a cigarette and pours himself a drink*

Have patience for one more year. It will all be worth it. I promise.

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#87 GVBlackhawk
February 16 2013, 05:04PM
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DSF wrote:

No, I think Hopkins will score a goal or two at some point.

With 24 shots on goal this season, if he shoots his career percentage of 13.4 he would have 2 goals already.

That "regression to the mean" is far from beautiful since 176 players have already scored more than 2 goals.

RNH's two or three goals would make a lot of difference. The Oilers have been involved in a lot of one goal games. Nuge's goals would be worth some points in the standings. That's not irrelevant.

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#88 6 ring circus
February 16 2013, 05:08PM
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The only way there will be any urgency to make changes is when people stop showing up to games and there isn't a waiting list for tickets.Until then we might as well become Leafs west!!!

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#89 Hair bag
February 17 2013, 11:27AM
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@Oilanderp wrote:

30,30,29, *BAM* Stanley Cup™. No. This year is the last 'gimme' year. One more top 10 pick and away we go. We've come much too far and endured far too much to abandon the plan now.

The worst thing we could do is a WOW trade: some sort of Burkeian horsecrap shortcut gamble with the future.

Can you even imagine what a Leafs fan feels like?

Just calm down and sit your butt in that chair. Stop screaming and fuming like a clueless madman.

*lights a cigarette and pours himself a drink*

Have patience for one more year. It will all be worth it. I promise.

I couldn't agree more! The last remnants of the miracle run in '06 and Lowe's attempt to duplicate it are almost gone. If you were a farmer and looked at what's coming, you would say 'this new crop looks pretty good'. We're still in late spring/early summer mind you and things can still go wrong but as of today there look to be a lot of sunny days ahead. And as far as the Tambellini bashers go, he still deserves another year or two because to be honest he is still cleaning up Lowe's mess (and a big mess it was!). Realistically this team can't be expexcted to make a serious Stanley Cup run for at least 3yrs (avg age of core then 25ish). So as long as they keep improving, gaining experience and filling in pieces in the next 2 yrs, I think they are on track. They should be expected to make the playoffs next year - this year would be a bonus...

Patience is still the key - there will be lots of ups and downs but overall it really is an exciting time to be an Oiler fan,

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