See What You Want In These Edmonton Oilers

Jonathan Willis
February 20 2013 01:45PM

What order the wins and losses came in really doesn’t matter. The Oilers went 4-2-1 in January, and optimism abounded; so far they’ve gone 2-4-2 in February and consequently optimism is in short supply. What matters is that the team is 6-6-3 on the season, sits 11th in the Western Conference, and is just one win out of either the final playoff spot or second-last.

And that means whatever viewpoint one subscribes to – the ‘yes, they’ll make the playoffs’ or ‘Draft Lottery IV: This Time It’s Personal’, there’s something there to back it.

The Amazing 2005-06 Oilers!

The 2005-06 edition of the Edmonton Oilers – also known as the most successful playoff team iced by the franchise since the glory years – started the post-lockout era in mediocre fashion. With a nasty, seven-game road-trip coming up in November, getting off to a good start was important but the Oilers flopped, going 6-6-1 in their first 13 games.

There was a lot of hype entering the season with a pair of high-profile additions – Chris Pronger and Michael Peca – having joined the team. Unfortuantely, in the early going that hype was difficult to justify, particularly with Peca struggling, and the Oilers looked much like the same team they were before the lockout – a team that was life and death for the playoffs and bound for at best a plucky first round victory followed by a quick second round defeat.

The road trip turned out to be not so bad – the Oilers went 4-and-3, hung around until the deadline when Kevin Lowe was able to add Dwayne Roloson from Minnesota and finally solidify the goaltending. The Oilers were a greatly underrated team entering the playoffs – far better than their eighth seed would suggest – and ultimately made it to the Stanley Cup finals, where the loss of Roloson to injury likely cost Kevin Lowe a Cup ring as general manager.

The ‘Worst In Franchise History’ 2009-10 Oilers!

The 2009-10 edition of the Edmonton Oilers – a team that sunk to previously unknown depths, arguably the worst-constructed team in club history – started off in mediocre fashion. With a five-game road-trip on the horizon, the Oilers went 7-7-1 over their first 15 contests, cooling after a 6-2-1 start.

There was a lot of hype entering the season, as Steve Tambellini had his first real chance to put a stamp on the franchise and recruited two high-profile additions – legendary head coach Pat Quinn and new starting goaltender Nikolai Kahbibulin. Fan opinion had drifted downward somewhat after the hot start, and this team seemed like a decent bet to finish in more or less the same place previous editions had – either barely in or barely out of the post-season.

The Oilers went 1-2-2 on the road-trip; not a strong record but not an awful one either, and then Khabibulin hit his first major injury as an Oiler (the last game he played that season was the final one of the road-trip). Replacement Jeff Deslauriers would keep the Oilers competitive for a while, but by the new year it was clear the team was doomed and management decided that ‘rebuild through the draft’ would be the club’s new mantra.

Stop Me If You’ve Heard This Before…

The 2013 edition of the Edmonton Oilers have started their season in mediocre fashion. With a brutal, nine-game road-trip coming up the team has a 6-6-3 record, having cooled after a 4-2-1 start. There was a lot of hype entering the season, given the expected maturation of the young core as well as a pair of high-profile additions in free agent defenceman Justin Schultz and first overall pick Nail Yakupov but the optimistic talk has died down of late given their recent troubles.

The outcome of the road trip, as well as of the season, are yet to be determined. I expected this edition of the team to finish just outside the playoffs, with some potential to rise or fall depending on things like injury. I still feel comfortable with that prediction; this team’s performance this year hasn’t been especially surprising to me.

With that said, the examples of the 2005-06 and 2009-10 teams show that this is one of those things that could still take a ‘Crazy Ivan’ and change dramatically. Could they make the playoffs? Absolutely they could. Could they end up in the bottom five for the fourth consecutive year? That too is a possibility. The fate of the 2013 Oilers is yet to be determined, and it’s not that hard to look one way and see a playoff team, or look the other and see another wasted season.

Recently by Jonathan Willis

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 Wax Man Riley
February 20 2013, 11:37PM
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DSF wrote:

By the way.

Sheldon Souray - 4G 4A 8P +13

Justin Schultz - 4 G 4A 8P -5.

Yipee!

Thats' progress.

ALSO....

Ryan Suter - 15gp 0G 8A 8P -5

Justin Schultz - 4 G 4A 8P -5

sooooo..... JS is just as good and is even a better goal scorer than Suter.

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#2 nunyour
February 20 2013, 01:59PM
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no use making the playoff till the young guys can grow a beard.

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#3 laughing pug
February 20 2013, 03:01PM
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Well that video was good for a mid-afternoon cry.

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#4 dougtheslug
February 20 2013, 10:08PM
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DSF wrote:

By the way.

Sheldon Souray - 4G 4A 8P +13

Justin Schultz - 4 G 4A 8P -5.

Yipee!

Thats' progress.

Another Straw Man? What has that got to do with JS???All I can say is "good for Sheldon". But how does that reflect on JS's future career?

God, I must be bored, spending my evening arguing with DSF. Surely there is a drawer of odd socks in my house that I can sort.

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#5 Wax Man Riley
February 20 2013, 11:35PM
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DSF wrote:

By the way.

Sheldon Souray - 4G 4A 8P +13

Justin Schultz - 4 G 4A 8P -5.

Yipee!

Thats' progress.

lol

Sheldon Souray - 729 NHL games played

Justin Schultz - 15 NHL games played

I sure hope Big Sexy has a better +/-. The offense is looking pretty good though. Schultz is on pace to score 380 pts in the next 714 games for a total of 388 pts.

Almost 100 pts more in his career than Souray.

See..... proves JS is better.

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#6 Robin Brownlee
February 21 2013, 07:45AM
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This DSF bit is truly pathetic. It's like watching a bunch of junkies looking for a fix. The users and the enabler.

Kick the habit. Stop buying his dope. He'll find another street corner.

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#7 Old Soldier
February 20 2013, 04:19PM
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2 years 30th overall

the next year, 29th overall

right this second, if the season ended, the Oilers are 20th overall.

That is not failure to me. Before the season started, all the talk was "would the Oilers be in a position to battle for a playoff spot", and even the most optimistic fan agreed it would be a tough battle. They have improved key areas of their game, defence, special teams, goaltending....but they have more to do.

Yet they are in a position where they could make the playoffs, or they could fall down the ladder. A bit different from sitting at the bottom looking up all the time.

If the Oilers finish higher than 20th overall, or even make the playoffs, I will be extremely happy and equally surprised, but if they end right where they are, I do not call this season a failure.

We have youth locked up, any big money contracts with veterans we do have are all under 2 years length so we are in good cap space, we have players rejuvenating careers (Gagner and Hemsky) we have youth learning their way and showing glimpses (Yakupov, MPS, Harti, Lander, Petrell, Petry), and we have a young core that is incredible and only going to get better (Shultz, Hall, Ebs, RNH, Dubnyk).

Where we are right now is a combination of filling holes, and building experience and character. And for me, if we finish 20th this year, and make an equal improvement next year, I am thrilled. Dont let your competitive nature and the desire to win make you misjudge what we do have and what they are accomplishing.

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#8 Toro
February 20 2013, 01:55PM
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Truly I'm sick of them losing and not being in the playoffs but the fact that its a shortened season , wouldn't bother me too too much if we brought in another top prospect through the draft but this is the final season I'm willing to do that!

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#9 geoilersgist
February 20 2013, 02:33PM
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This team needs a Jason Smith type on the backend. Man I wish I could back to '06 and kidnap Bergeron so that incident never happened.

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#10 Will
February 20 2013, 03:11PM
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True, history seems to repeat itself. But what is different about this year is that as a fan I see the Oilers potentially winning any and every game they come into, unlike the last few years when I saw them potentially losing.

There is a ton of improvement on this team, and likely much more is needed to not only be a cup contender, but to be a team that consistently makes the playoffs.

I see this road trip going 3 - 4 - 2, which isn't great but should be good enough to keep us in the hunt in the west. After returning home I think our record bounces back and we get back above 500. This team, unlike previous years, seems like it will only get better as the season wears on.

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#11 RexLibris
February 20 2013, 03:38PM
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What I've been looking for this season isn't necessarily the wins, or even the goals, but decisions. Better decision-making with, and more importantly, without the puck.

I like what I have seen thus far. Nugent-Hopkins has a better grasp of the defensive side of the game than many of his older peers, and Hall is using his linemates more effectively, even coming back to be a 3rd defenseman at times. Yakupov is figuring out the best places on the ice to lurk and when to assert and relent.

There are signs, non-quantifiable signs, that this group is worth building around.

For my part, I think we are looking at another non-playoff year, but I'd still rather have this group of players and no playoffs this year, than playoffs this year and be without our core group.

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#12 Will
February 20 2013, 04:38PM
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@He Who Knows

I gotta disagree here. Our scouting staff, and development system are so much better off since Tambi took over. Unfortunately those things need to be in place before beginning to start building a perennial contender like Detroit. Also, they don't bear fruit right away. This process takes a long time, and even the best success stories of the rebuild phase took a while as noted by several articles that outline successful rebuilds.

Think of how long both Chicago and Pittsburgh were terrible for before they went for the rebuild. As for Katz, ya he's a business man, but having someone with deep pockets willing to spend is so much better then our previous decade of ownership that could barely keep the players we had. Why do you think the Oilers just let Glencross walk? because the ownership couldn't afford him.

I agree that now that we have the money, and we can't get those players to build a team is frustrating, but I'd much rather have the talented core we got through the draft, to build around. No player will come to a city like ours without the players we now have. Was it easy? No. Are we there yet? no. But a team projecting upwards is so much better than a team that constantly finished outside of the playoffs then wasted draft picks for years and years and years.

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#13 Oilers21
February 20 2013, 04:50PM
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"the loss of Roloson to injury likely cost Kevin Lowe a Cup ring as general manager".....someone needs to please explain to me where this narrative comes from. Seriously, please educate me. The game two 5-0 loss wasn't something Markkanen would like on the resume, but he then proceeded to actually win 3 of the next 5 games, and the losses were 2-1 and 3-1 (which was actually 2-1 and an empty net). It's a little hazy but I don't remember too many terrible goals. Even if he didn't set the world on fire it's hard to pin the series loss on Markkanen.

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#14 Light, Sweet, Crude
February 20 2013, 05:42PM
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@Rama Lama

Is your surname Ding Dong?

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#15 dougtheslug
February 20 2013, 05:45PM
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Ah, the roller coaster life of an Oiler fan - for the sake of argument, what if last night Hall's dump in the last minute doesn't hit the linesman's knee, goes deep into Kings territory, and time runs off the clock, and the Oil win a shootout - really, not a far fetched scenario- the Oil are now a respectable 7-5-3, tied for last playoff spot with a game in hand, ON is celebrating the return of respectability.....

OK, if wishes were horses we'd all take a ride, but come on, the Oil have played pretty well,(compared to other years, at least not wilting when they've fallen behind), been in every game they have played (other than that one period versus SJ), they have proven scorers who seem snakebit so far (RNH off the crossbar last night - a cm lower and it is a different game) - sure we could use a 6'4" power forward - a Nik Lidstrom on d - a Milan Lucic(drafted 50th overall AFTER the Bruins had picked someone named Yuri Alexandrov 37th - if they were so smart what were they waiting for? Sometimes you just get lucky)

What's the plan? I prefer a patient rebuild to giving up Tyler Seguin and Dougie Hamilton for Phil Kessel(I'm sure that deal is out there - for a vast overpay - how would you like that ON?)Let the kids play and see what happens - that buzzsaw we witnessed against Colorado was not a mirage, IMHO.

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#16 Spydyr
February 20 2013, 06:52PM
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I hate to say it but missing the playoffs one more year may not be a bad thing.

It is hard to take missing them for this long.

The big picture is important:

1) Do not trade draft picks or any asset that may help the team in three years.When the playoff runs should be deep.

2) Out with the old Smyth Horcoff Whitney and Kahbi this summer.The only players in the bottom six worth keeping are PRV and Harti.Rebuild the bottom six bigger and younger.

3)For the love of all things Oil draft a second line centre this summer.

Making the playoffs this year would be great.Getting rocked in the first round and perhaps a major injury to a core player would not be good.If you think Hall is playing with reckless abandon in the regular season imagine what he would be like in the playoffs.

Waiting one more year may not be a bad thing.

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#17 Todd
February 20 2013, 07:34PM
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DSF wrote:

Since all but 1 of his points in January were on the PP, I sincerely doubt it's because he's "running out of gas"

He's only played 49 games this season.

Assuming he's hurt is the real leap and always the excuse in Oilerville when a player isn't getting it done.

As per usual DSF you've just been waiting around lurking to be a giant b1tch. You were negative about Schultz from day 1 and it must have sure bugged you when he quickly made the adjustment to the NHL. The minute he has a few normal games you pounce and proclaim him a bust. Its so predictable and lame.

I suppose the opposition "figured out" Daniel Sedin earlier this year when he went 7-8 games with only a few points.

For the most part your commentary is almost always full of sour grapes, flawed logic and general b1tchery that nobody cares about.

The bottom line is Schultz is exactly what this team needed, and a dream come true addition to the rebuild. Being 'figured out' as a rookie in the NHL is a pretty good compliment.

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#18 Mikey
February 20 2013, 08:31PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

This^ 100%

it make to much sense, watch how you come across or you get crucified by loyalists.

Your a flip flopper. Since you have now come to the conclusion this is a good year to get another pick, then why was it a bad year for a new system?

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#19 dougtheslug
February 20 2013, 08:39PM
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DSF wrote:

1) They didn't deserve to win the game against Columbus. If Columbus had won that game, the Oilers would be in 14th, one point ahead of the 15th place Jackets.

2) Please see my post above. The Oilers are playing WORSE than last year by almost any metric.

3) Setting up a strawman argument like the Kessel trade is a waste of oxygen....especially since the Leafs are currently tied with the Bruins, 3 points out of top spot in the EC while the Oilers are desperately trying to stay ahead of Calgary and Columbus and Calgary could pass them if they win their game in hand tonight.

4) The buzzsaw WAS a mirage. Colorado was playing without 3 of its best players and, even then, it took an empty net goal to beat them by two.

Love the "setting up a straw man argument" line - from you, DSF, the king (maybe even the inventor) of the straw man. (Shattenkirk? You know he has but 1 goal in 16 games this year don't you?And this is his fourth year in the NHL? Why are we even talking about him. )Good grief. Writing off JS after he's played all of 15 games in NHL.

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#20 G Money
February 20 2013, 09:16PM
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DSF the troll at it again. Still can't for the life of me figure out why a Canucks/Wild/Blues fan insists on posting on this board. Maybe because the level of activity and hockey knowledge on those three fan boards put together doesn't match up. Maybe. I think troll is a more likely explanation.

ON members, please just recognize that every post of his is the same.

"[Cherry-picked statistic] as to why [the team of, member of] [Canucks, Blues, Wild] is better than [every player, every team characteristic] of the Oilers."

or

"[Cherry-picked reason] why last night's [Canucks, Wild, Blues, or any team for that matter] [loss to the Oilers was meaningless due to [injury, fluke goals, refereeing], win over the Oilers was a sure thing and indicative of future results and [injury, fluke, refereeing] is just an excuse]."

It's past amusing, and long since into eye-rollingly repetitive and meaningless, like a Taylor Swift song.

Suggestion - pretend you have an 'Ignore' button. Nothing is more fulfilling to trolls than taking their bait, nothing is more aggravating than being ignored.

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#21 Todd
February 20 2013, 09:27PM
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DSF wrote:

Shattenkirk has 14 points, leads all NHL defensemen in scoring, and is +2

In his rookie season, he scored 9 goals and 43 points.

Keep reaching.

End of the day its just so amusing how you feel the constant need to attack Schultz. Before the season, during his good times and now.

Nucks fans are funny. Sour about Schultz not picking them. Inferiority complex about their team even though they have been great for a long time.

I guess it would be pretty stressful to see the window closing quickly and to realize you still have nothing to show after 40 years of futility.

You can have Bieksa. Haha.... Ha. Good laugh from that one.

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#22 Wax Man Riley
February 20 2013, 09:35PM
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DSF wrote:

Read this and get back to me:

http://www.boysonthebus.com/2013/02/19/game-notes-oilerskings-feb-19/

An excerpt:

"Just a horrible game on so many levels here. Sam Gagner put up a season worst -16 even strength Corsi, beating his own record of -14. He was on for 6 shots for, and 22 against. Think about that. Almost 4 times as many shots were taken against his net as he got off on theirs. And therein lies the contradiction of Samwise. The guy has the offensive talent level to complement great players and put up points, but his overall play this season at even strength has been extremely, unquestionably poor. Out of the 15 games played so far, he’s had one of the worst three Corsi rates on the Oilers 8 times. I’m not sure what’s wrong with the second line, but it’s not working, and not having a serviceable second line will kill this team’s chances of making the playoffs.

Something is wrong with Justin Schultz. He’s taken a nose dive the last few games, enough to be the 3rd worst skater against the kings on a per minute basis. I think the back injury is worse than the team is letting on. We better hope it’s a back injury."

The bottom line is Schultz has been dreadful for almost a month.

Ok, DSF.... this is really a new low, even for you. I usually like the banter when you are on ON, but c'mon man.... you're picking out random articles from random bloggers? I can do that too. Read an excerpt from this:

http://www.thefourthperiod.com/news/min130209.html

"MINNEAPOLIS, MN -- This just in, the Minnesota Wild will not go 82-0-0 48-0-0 this season. All sides have a right to be frustrated after three straight losses and scoring a total of three goals. Fans are frustrated because the owner promised results. The owner is frustrated because he dished out $196 million to two players. The GM is frustrated because the team isn't producing. The coach is frustrated because his players aren't winning. The players are frustrated because they aren't scoring. There's a long list of struggling forwards for the Wild right now. It started with Devin Setoguchi, but he's been better lately. Then, it was Matt Cullen, and then he scored. Then, it was Dany Heatley. Mikael Granlund got scratched. Now, it's Pierre-Marc Bouchard. Cal Clutterbuck and Kyle Brodziak are a different story, because they're on the third line, but clearly Brodziak has had a rough start to 2013, as well.

Wow, the wild are terrible! Just horrible! This random dude says so.

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#23 Wax Man Riley
February 20 2013, 09:39PM
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Wax Man Riley wrote:

Ok, DSF.... this is really a new low, even for you. I usually like the banter when you are on ON, but c'mon man.... you're picking out random articles from random bloggers? I can do that too. Read an excerpt from this:

http://www.thefourthperiod.com/news/min130209.html

"MINNEAPOLIS, MN -- This just in, the Minnesota Wild will not go 82-0-0 48-0-0 this season. All sides have a right to be frustrated after three straight losses and scoring a total of three goals. Fans are frustrated because the owner promised results. The owner is frustrated because he dished out $196 million to two players. The GM is frustrated because the team isn't producing. The coach is frustrated because his players aren't winning. The players are frustrated because they aren't scoring. There's a long list of struggling forwards for the Wild right now. It started with Devin Setoguchi, but he's been better lately. Then, it was Matt Cullen, and then he scored. Then, it was Dany Heatley. Mikael Granlund got scratched. Now, it's Pierre-Marc Bouchard. Cal Clutterbuck and Kyle Brodziak are a different story, because they're on the third line, but clearly Brodziak has had a rough start to 2013, as well.

Wow, the wild are terrible! Just horrible! This random dude says so.

What??? Granlund was scratched? but he is the second coming of Jesus! His being scratched obviously means he is no better than Darcy Hordichuk because he too was a scratch.

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#24 dougtheslug
February 20 2013, 09:45PM
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DSF wrote:

Shattenkirk has 14 points, leads all NHL defensemen in scoring, and is +2

In his rookie season, he scored 9 goals and 43 points.

Keep reaching.

Just in case you don't understand what you are saying:

"Straw Man" (definition):"A straw man or straw person is a type of argument based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position.To "attack a straw man" is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by replacing it with a superficially similar yet unequivalent proposition (the "straw man"), and to refute it, without ever having actually refuted the original position. This technique has been used throughout history in polemical debate, particularly in arguments about highly charged, emotional issues."

The original argument was my questioning your debatable statement that JS's play in the last few games was due to opposition teams "figuring out" JS, implying that now he is "figured out", he will not be as effective. My position is that you are reaching, and that other factors (AHL teams never "figured him out", a back injury(mentioned by your boysonthebus blogger), fatigue, small sample size) might be more likely explanations. You suddenly haul out of midair an argument that Shattenkirk (where did he come from?) is a better player than JS (who, apparently, can't hold Shattenkirk's jock???), and start strutting like your point("that oppostion teams have "figured out JS")is proven. WTF??? THAT, my friend, is a "Straw Man" if there ever was one.

By the way, JS's stats over 15 games, prorated over 82 games, come to 22 goals and 22 assists, 44 points for a rookie defenceman playing top pairing minutes on a not very good team. Sounds like Calder trophy numbers to me. And thats not even a reach.

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#25 GVBlackhawk
February 21 2013, 12:00AM
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Wax Man Riley wrote:

ALSO....

Ryan Suter - 15gp 0G 8A 8P -5

Justin Schultz - 4 G 4A 8P -5

sooooo..... JS is just as good and is even a better goal scorer than Suter.

DSF has already proven that Suter is better than everyone. He used a six game sample from 2007 to prove it.

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#26 Walter Sobchak
February 21 2013, 04:09AM
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Mikey wrote:

Your a flip flopper. Since you have now come to the conclusion this is a good year to get another pick, then why was it a bad year for a new system?

Flip flop? Nope.

I have maintained the Oiler will pick around 6-9, that has nothing to do with coaching, that was made before-the season started, so no flip flop.

As for the new system, I argued that it only makes it harder in a shorten season for the players to grasp the concepts, big difference Mike! do I want the Oilers to make the playoffs, yes I do!

As for where they finish, well.....I stand by it.

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#27 Dennis
February 21 2013, 08:20AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

This DSF bit is truly pathetic. It's like watching a bunch of junkies looking for a fix. The users and the enabler.

Kick the habit. Stop buying his dope. He'll find another street corner.

Brownlee thank you for being the voice of reason. Good lord these blogs are getting hard to read. People keep allowing on person to clog them up.

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#28 remlap
February 21 2013, 09:56AM
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Dennis wrote:

Brownlee thank you for being the voice of reason. Good lord these blogs are getting hard to read. People keep allowing on person to clog them up.

Agree with both of you. Why do people on here even engage with him?

We should start up a "No DSF March" on here for next month. Just pretend his comments are invisible. I'd bet something significant that he goes away.

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#29 Ales Hallsky
February 20 2013, 02:11PM
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Crazy Ivan Drago?

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#30 Trent
February 20 2013, 02:13PM
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How many core players are on the Oilers now?

After 10 years what has this team accomplished aside from 2006.?

How long is too long not making the playoffs.

How many first round players do the Oilers have playing.

If I looked at the Oilers in the last 10 yrs objectively I would say management has failed in this hockey market.

What have they done aside from picking a couple of potential superstars.

You look at LA STL Chicago Vancouver you see a plan to build a team.

Oilers will eventually become a good regular season team. They won't win the Cup with this management, give them 5 years and the 1st pick every year, they still lose.

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#32 VK63
February 20 2013, 02:25PM
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I recall the Oilers scoreboard schlock from that 06 year and the term for Pronger was BACKBONE.

He was all of that and more... plus 3 penalties a night, one lazy, one a miscue and one a mean as f*ck reminder to all on the ice of where the bear does his business in the bush.

This version has a few appendages but a backbone is noticeably absent.

Those were some awesome good times in the old barn however. Good enough that Katz wanted a piece of that action and backed up the brinks truck. Hasn't worked out too good for him so far.

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#33 godot10
February 20 2013, 02:29PM
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Trent wrote:

How many core players are on the Oilers now?

After 10 years what has this team accomplished aside from 2006.?

How long is too long not making the playoffs.

How many first round players do the Oilers have playing.

If I looked at the Oilers in the last 10 yrs objectively I would say management has failed in this hockey market.

What have they done aside from picking a couple of potential superstars.

You look at LA STL Chicago Vancouver you see a plan to build a team.

Oilers will eventually become a good regular season team. They won't win the Cup with this management, give them 5 years and the 1st pick every year, they still lose.

LA had 2 lottery picks and one near lottery pick. St. Louis had 2 lottery picks. Chicago had 2 lottery picks. Vancouver had 2 lottery (top 5) picks, and a farm system built by Steve Tambellini.

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#35 EricOG
February 20 2013, 02:39PM
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When you analyze things a little bit, you begin to understand the fact that this management and the rebuild is going to fail miserably. What many people see as a flood of young d-men coming into the system is really a serious lack of balance in the depth chart.

The farm team has been depleted and does not show to have a single forward who can come up. MPS and Teemu are already with the big club. If management sits on it's behind and does nothing as soon as this trade deadline, the window will be at least 10% closed. We, as fans deserve a whole lot more.

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#37 oil99
February 20 2013, 02:40PM
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oilers don't have centre depth so they need to draft centermen. Their second round draft picks in last 3yrs aren't lookin good(Pitlick,Musil and last year's 32nd pick).When they could have drafted Brenandon Saad and Boone Jenner. I wouldn't mind them finishing 3rd worst this year and draft 6'2" 220lbs centre Barkov. Then flip Gagner ++ for O'riley and acquire Brian Boyle from Rangers for something .Also send Hemsky for Keith Yandle type defenceman. Oilers can throw money at David Clarkson in free agency also sign one of Ballard or Enstrom. Oilers centres in 2013/14 would be #1 NUGE #2 BARKOV #3 O'Riley #4 BOYLE Then we can hope for playoffs.

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#38 geoilersgist
February 20 2013, 02:47PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Kidnap Matt Greene while you're at it. Somebody (Dellow?) pointed out recently that the only reason Bergeron hammers that guy is because Greene gets beat on the outside.

The way Roli was playing Bergeron should have given him the shot. Man it has been way to long since playoff hockey in Oil Country. I really hope I can make it till next spring if need be.

On a side note the only problem with that video is the Nickelback...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=529LIoKq9JQ

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#39 vetinari
February 20 2013, 03:04PM
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Over the last three to four years, we are vikings when it comes to winning the draft and using the #1 pick well, but where we fail horribly is in the departments of trading and UFA signings-- 2 out of 3 of the jobs essential to a GM in fielding an NHL calibre team.

At this point, I think we will sink to bottom five status in the league by the time that the team's mega-roadtrip is over-- and mostly because our GM can't sign a UFA that we actually need or trade for a player that could fill a hole in our lineup.

We are now a quarter way through the season and .500 hockey is only good for about 20th place in the league-- and from this point going forward, a five or six game winning streak would put us competitively into the lower-middle of the playoff pack but a five or six game losing streak basically spells the end of this season.

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#40 northof51
February 20 2013, 03:22PM
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I know we're talking about starts to a season here, but the Oil finished 2006 with a +4.3 shots per game and (WTF, this can't be right)a league LEADING 25.5 shots against! This year they're a -4.9 (33.6 shots against)... They may be a .500 club, but they haven't played other teams 50/50 (not just based on shots on goal, but on Corsi, possession, zone starts and faceoffs). Their play, not their record, is what keeps me drenched in pessimism.

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#41 Rama Lama
February 20 2013, 03:31PM
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The issue that most Oiler fans have, myself included, is we do not see a plan.

Occasionally Oilers management will say things like, be patient, we are developing players, we are in a re-build mode, we are drafting high, we have a plan.........so be patient.

The problem is now fans are looking at the team saying, "what's your plan"? Fair question but no concrete actions taken to show fans we are moving in the right direction.

Finishing last and drafting first is not a plan......neither is waiting for players like JS to fall out of the sky. Leaving your youngsters to fend for themselves is not a plan. Playing 18 year olds out of junior hockey smacks of desperation, and is not fair to them. If expecting the youngsters ( most of whom can't eve grow a beard) to carry the team night in and night out is a plan........then it's no wonder people are calling for Tamby's head.

Like I have always said........the emperor has no clothes!

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#42 Oiler Al
February 20 2013, 03:34PM
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You can't go far in this league by scoring only one goal most nights!. The blues found that out last playoffs.Might work during the season but not if you are going for the works.

This team couldn't score last year, and they can't score this year.. Why?

Supposedly we have all these young guns on board, but there is not much happening?

The bottom six, wouldn't know a goal if it was sitting next to them on the bench, and ditto for the back end. Team's limited respect thus far has come from goal tending.

Where is the structure to this team.? Many nights they are running around like a bantam house league team.

I am starting to have real doubts about " everything is rosie" Kruger.

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#43 VK63
February 20 2013, 04:37PM
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@Jonathan Willis

Staples had posted that the Oilers operating income for 2012 was north of 16 million. I assume that to be a net dollar.

The first couple seasons were money losers for reasons that included a weaker currency and the annual "garry grab" for the weak sisters in the league.

LaForge told us at one gathering what that number was. In one year if memory serves it was a loss of between 5 and 6 mill. Not sure how many years Katz has lost money owning them but its been a few.

16+ presumably would take care of a lot of those previous years losses. :)

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#44 Ducey
February 20 2013, 04:38PM
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He Who Knows wrote:

The fanbase needs to set up a protest infront of Oilers headquarters or outside Rexall. Start a facebook page or send a tweet. KEVIN LOWE AND STEVE TAMBELLINI NEED TO STEP DOWN. No more firing coaches, no more patience on the utter stupidity of management and no more EXCUSES. This has gone on for too long. Rebuilding is one thing but even average Joe can go out and draft Hall and company. Daryl Katz has been a curse since he bought the team. Stop sniffing old jocks and trying to milk the hardworking citizen of hard earned money for your palace full of incompetent dummies. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! Everything Brian Burke said of Lowe was damn true. The majority of the fanbase is full of a herd of sheep that do not know a damn thing. This organization is a mess and it has to end now!

Yes, lets riot! The Oilers are are at .500 after 15 games! Lets hire Burke! He will talk about truculance and make us feel tough while trading away our future for mediocrity!

I guess you don't see the irony of "sheep" like you who have high expectations for the team based on the presence of Hall, Nuge, and Yak, but can't seem to remember how the team got them.

You can't tank for a few years in order to build up a bunch of good prospects and then get rid of them in favour of some vets just before they are about to develop.

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#45 Hayek
February 20 2013, 04:48PM
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Ducey wrote:

Yes, lets riot! The Oilers are are at .500 after 15 games! Lets hire Burke! He will talk about truculance and make us feel tough while trading away our future for mediocrity!

I guess you don't see the irony of "sheep" like you who have high expectations for the team based on the presence of Hall, Nuge, and Yak, but can't seem to remember how the team got them.

You can't tank for a few years in order to build up a bunch of good prospects and then get rid of them in favour of some vets just before they are about to develop.

Thank you.

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#46 Rama Lama
February 20 2013, 04:55PM
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RexLibris wrote:

What I've been looking for this season isn't necessarily the wins, or even the goals, but decisions. Better decision-making with, and more importantly, without the puck.

I like what I have seen thus far. Nugent-Hopkins has a better grasp of the defensive side of the game than many of his older peers, and Hall is using his linemates more effectively, even coming back to be a 3rd defenseman at times. Yakupov is figuring out the best places on the ice to lurk and when to assert and relent.

There are signs, non-quantifiable signs, that this group is worth building around.

For my part, I think we are looking at another non-playoff year, but I'd still rather have this group of players and no playoffs this year, than playoffs this year and be without our core group.

I usually respect your postings.......but whose koolaid have you been drinking?

We all understand this young group is worth building around..........but exactly who is doing the building?

What building process are you talking about? Exactly what is the plan for this building process and please state your evidence of such a plan!!

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#47 He Who Knows
February 20 2013, 04:57PM
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@Ducey

Yeah, small and fast, no grit no team toughness and trust me I did not have high expectations going into the year because you take a look at the other teams in the west, you know the ones who are playoff contenders and they all have a mix of everything. Patience is one thing but with the veteran group we have and the similar players in the system, this team is not going to be successful. Has Tambi made a whole lot of sense in his press conferences about his vision. Its easy to say how they are doing it like Pittsburgh and Chicago but there is a time when you have to make the tough decisions and follow suit. Patience will end up costing the team salary cap space and then plugging the holes will be the motto. The Oilers have money and look at how they were trying to spend it when Katz took over. They had no plan just trying to land a star player to play with Hemsky at a $9 million cap hit. Yeah bring Heatley into the picture and this team would have been even worse in the long run. A smart business model my ass.

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#48 Trent
February 20 2013, 05:04PM
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The only plan Oiler management has had is to build an All Star team. They have no idea how to build a winning team.

Call me in 5yrs from now when your writing the same article. Until management changes or changes its direction Oilers will be stuck .

Don't get me wrong they will get better but no cup in sight.

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#49 MarcusBillius
February 20 2013, 05:45PM
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@Old Soldier

100% agreed.

To be within reasonable shot of a playoff spot with 1 game left in the season would be great, IMO. Ending up 10th would be a big improvement (but then I wouldn't know whether I want Calgary to be 9th and have a crappy pick, or Calgary to be 11th and behind the Oilers!)

12th or lower would be a disappointment to me.

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#50 Rama Lama
February 20 2013, 05:45PM
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Light, Sweet, Crude wrote:

Is your surname Ding Dong?

To you it is Mr. Ding Dong.........is your last name bitchuman?

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