GDB 31.0: TWO-STEPPING IN NASHVILLE

Jason Gregor
March 25 2013 01:42PM

The Oilers enter Nashville in the midst of a dangerous dance routine; one step forward, two steps sideways and one step back. They wrapped up a crucial four-game homestand with only one win and capped it off with a dreadful performance against the Blues.

Their only victory came against the Predators, and if the Oilers have any hope of staying in the playoff race, they will need a victory in Nashville tonight.

The Predators handed the Oilers their worst loss of the season, 6-0, back on March 8th, so if you combine that with their woeful effort on Saturday you'd expect the Oilers to put forth a much better effort tonight.

LINEUP

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins took the morning skate and he will play. In order to get him on the roster the Oilers had to send Teemu Hartikainen down to OKC.

And with RNH coming back Lennart Petrell will come out of the lineup. I don't think the line combinations matter as much as the Oilers finding a combination of hustle, smarts, effort and consistency.

Hall/Horcoff/Hemsky
Smyth/RNH/Yakupov
Paajarvi/Gagner/Eberle
Jones/Belanger/Brown

Smid/Petry
N.Schultz/J.Schultz
Fistric/Potter

Devan Dubnyk will start in goal.

YAKUPOV ICETIME

I asked Ralph Krueger to share his thoughts on how he uses Nail Yakupov in the 3rd period.

JG: Are you trying to protect Yakupov late in games, or are you concerned about his defensive awareness?

RK: He has our confidence. He’s an 18 year old, he’s going to be playing in this role, probably very similar, for the rest of the year. Not For lack of ability or will, he’s very responsible without the puck now. He’s trying to play the team game all of the time. We’re happy with him, but he’s an 18 year old and down the stretch the hierarchy has it in a way that we have more experience in other positions and other players. When you’re reduced to six to nine forwards and you’re trying to close games up and take them either into overtime or finish them with a lead, he understands that it’s just not his time yet. It was no different when we went back a few years to the roles that Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle had to now being able to play in those minutes.

But it’s nothing against Nail, we all know that putting a player of that age in the lineup has its unique challenges, and I think that we’ve been able to use him very well and we’re happy with the minutes that he’s played.

JG: What about in overtime when it’s 4-on-4?

RK: We just have a lot of confidence in our penalty shooting ability. We’ve had some troubles 4-on-4 during the season, so we did have him playing if you think back. And there were some 4-on-4 breakdowns that cost us games that were extremely painful, and so we’ve kind of gone with more experience there. Those are gut feelings, whether you have 8 guys, or whether you end up going with 6. And he just wasn’t in the top 6 mix the last game, but he could be the next one. There’s nothing wrong with Nail playing there, but there’s a defensive element there and a risk reward. I’ve been in situations before where you play three forwards and one defenceman and just go for it.

But again, we believe in our ability also to win in penalty shots and we just felt the way that that game had been going, and the way that San Jose had been pushing us through the last part of the game that our chances might have been better. But we did play one of our best 4-on-4 periods, I thought, this season. They had 0 shots on our net and we had a couple of scoring chances, so I thought it was actually pretty good overtime period.

JG: How do you balance the feeling as a coach from game to game? You mentioned how right now you’ve got some veteran guys, and when it’s a tight game you'd lean towards them. Against San Jose after that shift in the third period when he had two big hits and got the crowd and bench energized, yet he didn’t see the ice again. How do you balance it? Is it just a gut feel, do you have a plan going into the 3rd period, or do you go from game to game and switch it that easy?

RK: I have all of the numbers and I’m a numbers man. I have them in my head and I’m working them down as the game evolves. I’ve got nine forwards in my head. On the one side I’ve got the green side; that means we need goals. The other side is the red side, we’re trying to shut a game or close it down, I’ve got nine forwards in my head and then going down to the last four minutes I’ve got six forwards. It’s a game to game thing. It really truly is conversations that we have with Bucky and Freddy between periods coming from above. It is final conversations with Steve (Smith) while we’re in those TV timeouts so I get some input from around me, and then the stomach just really takes you down the stretch. And you go with the players who really feel good that night for that situation. "

Yakupov was on the ice for two OT losses, on February 04th and 06th. He did lose his man, Tanev, vs. the Canucks but he made no mistake on the Jagr game-winner. We can agree or disagree with Krueger's responses, but I respect him for taking the time to express his thoughts on Yakupov. I do agree with the coach on bringing him along slowly in regulation, but considering Krueger admitted Yakupov has worked extremely hard at becoming more responsible at ES, I'd look at giving him a shift in OT when there is more room to be creative.

QUICK HITS

  • Why is Sam Gagner having his best NHL season? A big reason is because of a guy named Andy O'Brien. Read more here.
     
  • If you honestly believe the Oilers are better off moving out veterans and replacing them with unproven youth, then you can expect the Oilers to remain near the bottom of the western conference moving forward. The Oilers need to find PROVEN NHL players, not more "maybe," "might be," or "what if" type players.
     
  • I'm not saying the Oilers can't move a veteran or two, but the return is likely more prospects and picks. These trades won't fix the Oilers' problems immediately. The Oilers need more experience, more consistency in their competitiveness and they need some size/skill in their top nine.
     
  • The Oilers will be competitive when their best players are equal to the best players on the other teams. The 4th line doesn't win games for the Penguins, Blackhawks or Ducks. Their best players do, and until the Oilers best players are mature and have more experience the Oilers won't win. That isn't a knock on their young kids, it is just a fact. 
     
  • Case in point. The Capitals have won 5 of 7 and are suddenly two points out of the playoffs. Alex Ovechkin has 7 goals and 11 points in those 7 games. To win consistently in the NHL you need production from your top lines, top defenders and goalies. Focusing on the woes of the Oilers 4th line is a great distraction, but it isn't the main problem in Edmonton.
     
  • A stellar quote from Ovechkin courtesy of Corey Masisak from NHL.com: "Right now I'm scoring goals and I'm king of the world. Couple weeks I was almost in the toilet. Maybe [they] forgot to flush me."
     
  • Today is the last day to help my hometown, New Sarepta, win the right to host a concert, but more importantly raise money to build a new arena. Do me a favour and take 30 seconds and vote here for New Sarepta. Thanks.
     
  • The Oilers play their remaining 18 games in a span of 34 days. They have four sets of back-to-back games and they only get two days off between games three times. The Oilers will have to play unbelievably well to have a shot at the playoffs.
     
  • If you were GM of the Oilers what moves would you make? Now you can show your intellect with www.websimhockey.com. It is a 100% web-based, multi-player hockey simulator. You take on the role of the General Manager of a virtual hockey team. You manage the various aspects of your team (drafts, trades, lineups, coach strategies, negotiations and contracts signings, arena construction, tickets, beer, hot dog and parking costs, and much more).  Properly managing your team and its finances will ensure your success.  The first 12 Nations readers who email wsh.info@websimhockey.com with "Nations promo" as the subject line will get a free trial. Good luck.  

  • This is an awesome beer commercial. I'm sure most of you have a buddy that reminds you of the guy brushing his teeth.
     

TONIGHT...

GAME DAY PREDICTION: In the last three meetings between these teams in Nashville one of them scored six goals. The Oilers got blanked 6-0 this year, but won 6-3 and 6-2 last year. I'm a fan of offence so I'm hoping that trend continues. The Oilers surprise us with a 6-3 win.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Ales Hemsky scores twice thus heating up discussions over whether the Oilers should trade him before April 3rd.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: During intermission Sportsnet will feature "trade watch," and instead of Ryan Jones' name coming across the prompter it will read Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Even though the hosts will say it was an error, many will take to twitter and blogs suggesting destinations for Nugent-Hopkins. Seriously, some will believe that moving RNH would be a good move.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#1 David S
March 25 2013, 01:04PM
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If you honestly believe the Oilers are better off moving out veterans and replacing them with unproven youth, then you can expect the Oilers to remain near the bottom of the western conference moving forward. The Oilers need to find PROVEN NHL players, not more "maybe," "might be," or "what if" type players.

If I only wish I could surround this box with burning flames and siren sounds.

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#2 OilerLand
March 25 2013, 01:23PM
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The following cements my opinion on Ralph Krueger and it's not a good one:

JG: What about in overtime when it’s 4-on-4?

RK: We just have a lot of confidence in our penalty shooting ability.

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#3 A-Mc
March 25 2013, 01:00PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

Why is Teddy Peckham still here? Couldn't that roster spot be better suited for a center?

Which brings me to question 2, why don't they take free centers like Hall and Halpern that dominate at the draw. We've had injuries all year at center, if they really wanted to we could eliminate that issue.

Also that hat yesterday, statement? Thought you pulled it off, but just wondering if there is something more to it.

Why is Teddy Peckham still here? Couldn't that roster spot be better suited for a center?

I Agree with the sentiment that Peckham isn't being used so why is he here. Instead of going the route of moving him for a Center spot, i'm going to suggest that maybe Peckham play the rest of the season and Potter can sit out.

Peckham has been with us for a number of years now and he hasn't been getting used much. So what the hell is up with Mr Peckham!? use him or lose him.

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#4 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
March 25 2013, 01:14PM
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[quote Jason Gregor]

If you honestly believe the Oilers are better off moving out veterans and replacing them with unproven youth, then you can expect the Oilers to remain near the bottom of the western conference moving forward. The Oilers need to find PROVEN NHL players, not more "maybe," "might be," or "what if" type players.

This type of thinking is part of the problem. These kids are on their own, on their own to lead this team out of the gutter, with minimal or no help from the so called veterans on this team. Can anyone say without a doubt that any of the veterans on this team (soon to be UFA, or UFA eligable) is performing to the level they are getting paid? Smid perhaps, till next yr, and then he'll fall in the overpaid category as well.

The deadwood on this team demand to be paid as per best case scenario. What the Edmonton faithful receive for their dollars is far from that locked in reality. 5.5 for Whitney, 6 for Horcoff, 3.75 for Khabibulin... where does the insanity end. Whoever is responsible for signing/accepting responsibilty for these deals is incompetent.Till the Halls,Hopkins,Eberles,Yakupovs and Justin Schultzs of this team lead this team every night, Oiler fans are screwed. Proven NHL veterans my arse, Edmonton is on their own to grow their own, lets start calling a spade, a spade here.

5-2 Predators

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#5 DSF
March 25 2013, 01:39PM
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Ducey wrote:

•If you honestly believe the Oilers are better off moving out veterans and replacing them with unproven youth, then you can expect the Oilers to remain near the bottom of the western conference moving forward. The Oilers need to find PROVEN NHL players, not more "maybe," "might be," or "what if" type players. •I'm not saying the Oilers can't move a veteran or two, but the return is likely more prospects and picks. These trades won't fix the Oilers' problems. The Oilers need more experience, more consistency in their competitiveness and they need some size/skill in their top nine.

Sorry, Jason, but you are out to lunch on this.

San Jose trades Murray for two picks. Dallas trades Morrow for a pick and a prospect.

These teams are AHEAD of the Oilers and they are selling.

This simplistic notion that you can't get rid of NHL players for picks or prospects defies logic.

Whitney, Bulin and Belanger are done. Get rid of them. If you can get something good for Smyth or Hemsky trade them too.

Good GM's realize they are not going to make the playoffs, trade the pieces they can't/ don't want to keep - then load up in the offseason.

This.

All. Day. Long.

As long as Oilers management keeps pretending they are still in a playoff race they won't start taking the steps to improve the team for next season.

As of this morning, they have an 8.2% chance of making the playoffs.

If they were to win their next 5 straight, (Nashville, STL, Columbus, Vancouver and Calgary) which they won't, they would still likely not be in the playoffs if Dallas wins 3 of 5 or any of San Jose, Nashville, Phoenix goes on any kind of a run.

Considering that those teams will be playing each other and some of the games will be 3 pointers, the playoff ship has sailed.

If there is a market of any kind for Whitney, Bulin, Belanger, Hemsky, Smyth, Peckham et al...now is the time to move them.

With the cap dropping in the offseason there will be a glut of players who will be set free and the Oilers remainders won't look vey attractive.

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#6 Oiler Al
March 25 2013, 01:40PM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

[quote Jason Gregor]

If you honestly believe the Oilers are better off moving out veterans and replacing them with unproven youth, then you can expect the Oilers to remain near the bottom of the western conference moving forward. The Oilers need to find PROVEN NHL players, not more "maybe," "might be," or "what if" type players.

This type of thinking is part of the problem. These kids are on their own, on their own to lead this team out of the gutter, with minimal or no help from the so called veterans on this team. Can anyone say without a doubt that any of the veterans on this team (soon to be UFA, or UFA eligable) is performing to the level they are getting paid? Smid perhaps, till next yr, and then he'll fall in the overpaid category as well.

The deadwood on this team demand to be paid as per best case scenario. What the Edmonton faithful receive for their dollars is far from that locked in reality. 5.5 for Whitney, 6 for Horcoff, 3.75 for Khabibulin... where does the insanity end. Whoever is responsible for signing/accepting responsibilty for these deals is incompetent.Till the Halls,Hopkins,Eberles,Yakupovs and Justin Schultzs of this team lead this team every night, Oiler fans are screwed. Proven NHL veterans my arse, Edmonton is on their own to grow their own, lets start calling a spade, a spade here.

5-2 Predators

Totally agree with you, other than the odd face off, and a bit of defensive work,you could ship out all these so called girzzled vets and not miss to much. Team needs scoring in a big way and it isnt coming from the vets:

Hemsky - 8 Whitney -3 SMyth - 2 Horcoff - 4 [ ok he only played 13 gms.] Petry - 3 Belanger - 0 Smid - 0 Fistric - 0 Brown - 1

Total of 21 goals, less than one per game, whats to miss.

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#8 washed up
March 25 2013, 03:12PM
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Phixieus666 wrote:

Or a prospect the Oil have had their eyes on for a while.

The time for trading roster players for prospects / picks is over. Time to start trading picks / prospects for rosters players!!!!

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#10 Jay
March 26 2013, 12:10AM
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@NewAgeSys

Go start a blog or somthing man! Getting tired of having to scroll down so far to get past your essay's

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#11 A-Mc
March 25 2013, 01:26PM
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OilerLand wrote:

The following cements my opinion on Ralph Krueger and it's not a good one:

JG: What about in overtime when it’s 4-on-4?

RK: We just have a lot of confidence in our penalty shooting ability.

If the coach believes they have a higher chance of winning in the shootout as opposed to going for it in OT, What is there to fault him on?

Defensive weaknesses aren't exposed in the shootout, and lets be honest about what the real issues are with the Oil..

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#12 CJ
March 25 2013, 01:31PM
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Jason, "The Oilers will be competitive when their best players are equal to the best players on the other teams. The 4th line doesn't win games for the Penguins, Blackhawks or Ducks. Their best players do, and until the Oilers best players are mature and have more experience the Oilers won't win. That isn't a knock on their young kids, it is just a fact."

This is where your distinction falls short. There 4th lines don't lose hockey games for them. I think we have all played enough sports to know what it feels like when you have players that are killing your chances to win. It kills your spirit and will to win.

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#13 outdoorzguy
March 25 2013, 01:37PM
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A-Mc wrote:

If Whitney does get moved, then yes Peckham can take his spot.

Unless something decent comes along, i'm not sure we'll see Whitney moved at the trade deadline. It all depends how satisfied or defeated the management group is based on the Team performance this year. Unfortunately for us, management isn't very open with the public.

"If management is smart". Really?? You think they've done anything to give you that impression? I don't know how you can use the words smart and management in the same sentence when it comes to the Oilers. Incompetence comes at a high price.

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#15 Muji
March 25 2013, 02:21PM
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Why does Ralph Krueger think Nail Yakupov is 18? He said it twice in one of his answers to your questions.

He's 19.

It's not a big deal, I guess.

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#16 Digger
March 25 2013, 02:22PM
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"he understands that it’s just not his time yet. It was no different when we went back a few years to the roles that Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle had to now being able to play in those minutes."

I'm pretty certain that neither Hall nor Eberle were consistently benched in the 3rd period of games during their rookie seasons.

Eberle and Hall were both rookies in 10/11:

Eberle - 14:27 ESTOI/g Hall - 15:26 ESTOI/g

RNH, last year: 14:33 ESTOI/g

Yakupov, this year: 11:28 ESTOI/g

Ralph Krueger, in a nutshell: Sounds good on the surface, but do a bit of digging and he's just another empty suit that revises history as it suits him.

His shining moments will always be his job interviews.

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#17 shonn
March 25 2013, 02:26PM
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to gregors point, yes i think we are honestly better off moving bellanger (vetren and experience) out of town and replacing him with anyone else, even a 12 year old would care more then him, i dont want nothing in return, waiver wire is fine, lose a contract

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#18 Cowbell_Feva
March 25 2013, 02:32PM
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I don't understand why people are thinking that Yakupov is going to make this team better late in a game??

Is it his cross-ice passes in the neutral zone that repeatedly get picked off and become scoring chances in the wrong end of the ice?

I agree his offensive ability and speed could be used more in OT, but even then, it is a very risky situation seeing as he is a raw rookie and is still learning the game.

The Oilers have bad defense, questionable goaltending, and nobody with size and skill up front... how is it that they can be expected to keep pace with a team like St.Louis, which has all those 3 facets that the Oilers do not?? Its not effort they are short on...its the other 3 parts, which account for much more at the end of the day.

Just because we drafted high for many years in a row, doesn't mean that there aren't holes needing to be filled, that haven't been. Lowe is still involved. This scares me.

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#19 etownman
March 25 2013, 02:38PM
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Gregor, I think we all realize quality veteran players are needed for this team to move forward but the problem is trying to find another team willing to give those players up without us trading Eberle or one of the other young guys! It's not an easy landscape for Tamby & the management group to get something done! Getting Fistric & Brown has been good moving forward, let's hope there's a few more of those on the horizon!

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#20 Racki
March 25 2013, 02:44PM
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I am wondering about Krueger's comments re: liking their chances in the shootout and why they play OT to hold off until the shootout.

This year, the Oilers have:

2 OT wins

4 OT losses

3 SO losses

2 SO wins

That means they've gotten 4 points out of a possible 11 that they and other teams would fight for in OT (excluding the point they already earned from regulation).

This doesn't even include the fact they've given up a point in regulation in the games where they tried to hold a 1 goal lead, or emphasize the fact that when they don't gain that 1 point, they're also giving away a point.

So I'm kind of wondering where the coaching staff is coming from on this one, and this is from a guy who likes Krueger...

I do support the decision to not play Yak in 4 on 4 though, even though Eberle's penchant for breaking up ice before we even have possession might deserve equal questioning as Yakupov's odd passes through the middle of the zone.

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#21 Yep
March 25 2013, 04:24PM
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Putting Potter in ahead of Peckham speaks volumes about this organization. Why is Peckham on this team if he is not going to get any time to play, it defies both logic and common sense. Potter brings NOTHING to the table, period. At least Peck's can throw a check and maybe piss somebody off once in a while.

This team needs to clean house. If Belanger, Smyth or Potter are still here next year then everyone needs to get fired. The so-called veterans here are a joke, you may as well trade them for picks now because they arent helping the team anyways.

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#22 Rama Lama
March 25 2013, 04:52PM
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I'm all for veterans complimenting the youth.........but veterans with skill. I still fail to see how Horcoff, Belenger, Smyth, Petrell.......make us a more competitive team.

I could think of at least 100 veterans on other teams I would have over ours. It's exactly this kind of thinking that got us here in the first place.

As for RK, obviously all of his motivational skills have amounted to nothing. He is trying desperately to create a system ( mostly on the fly) that will work for the players we have. I see them all lining up on the center line pretending they are not playing the nuteral zone trap.

May RK should try the Chris Farley motivational speech and move these guys into a van down by the river!

If we lose to Nashville, well it's time to start selling.

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#23 washed up
March 25 2013, 08:33PM
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I hope the Oilers trade ganger or let him walk at the end of this season.

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#24 Sanaa Montana
March 25 2013, 08:58PM
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Down by a goal, time to bench Yakupov and put Smyth in.

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#25 washed up
March 25 2013, 09:09PM
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RSD wrote:

I believe we are already tanking it.

McKinnon or Drouin would be good for me.

Oilers should only trade player's that are going UFA at the deadline. Unless a legit roster player is coming back the other way.

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#26 Sammy
March 25 2013, 09:11PM
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Oiler fans check the out of town scores for different reasons then most fans.

Oiler fans are looking for a lottery pick.

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#27 NewAgeSys
March 25 2013, 09:16PM
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Louie DeBrusk put it clearly, why didnt they bring their 3rd period game to the 1st and 2nd periods, had they done so they would have generated over 40 shots on net.

I was trying to be diplomatic in my last post, but for christs sakes , why did it take till the 3rd to adjust? What did the coaching staff see and react to to make the positive change, we ABSOLUTELY must find out because we need to know how to do this every single period. If we cant even figure out why we make adjstments we are truly lost man.

Evey game now magnifys the original problems we have had all season long, WHAT catalysed the changes the coaches made in the 3rd period, we need to know exactly what that was because whatever it is it works for us.

I can see Louies loyalty on his sleeve, he is getting as pissed off as the rest of us are watching this team turn on the right switch at all the wrong times, and we are all wanting to know why the coaches seem to be waiting for long distance directions on how to adjust and seem to be just behind the curve, they are always behind the 8 ball.

How did we adjust the system to win the 3rd period, and why the hell didnt we do the same thing in the 1st period?? These questions are the same ones we have not had answered all year long. What data catalysed the 3rd period changes and why did it take so long for the coaching staff to decipher and implement the data? And how can we make that happen faster and earlier?

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#28 outdoorzguy
March 25 2013, 09:30PM
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Dear Mr. Katz.

I'm not sure if you know this or not but your hockey team is not very good. You kind of inherited a bad team when you bought it. The team has been pretty bad for a few years. Unfortunately there are people that are in positions that they shouldn't be in. For example, the coach. He tries, but he has a hard time keeping his people together and formulating any sort of plan. We have some good players, he just can't get them to work together. The man responsible for putting the coach in place, your General Manager, should be held accountable for that decision. But then again, the GM has not done much over the last few years to improve the situation. He just seems unwilling to do anything. Maybe he's just not qualified to be a GM. The responsibility for putting him in place falls on the former GM, who if you ask most people would say was the one who actually started the downward spiral of this team while he was GM. And thus I think it's a given that his current role and influence within the organization still suppresses and retards any possibility for improvement. As the former GM, he made lots of bad decisions, but despite those decisions he was promoted to oversee all hockey operations. Seems like a lot of people in places they are not qualified to be in. Hence the state of the team. Together this group has accomplished very little in improving the quality of the organization. So Mr. Katz, I would hope that you would be able to come back to Edmonton for a few days of reflection and focus on this hobby you call a hockey team. Hopefully, after firsthand dealings and assessment of these people you will realize that in order for the team to succeed and move forward in the future, you must remove the incompetents and replace them with experienced hockey people who have an understanding of the game. You must separate yourself from your hockey heros and put real managers in management positions. Then Mr. Katz, you can go back to Vancouver.

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#29 Flynn
March 25 2013, 09:39PM
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outdoorzguy wrote:

Dear Mr. Katz.

I'm not sure if you know this or not but your hockey team is not very good. You kind of inherited a bad team when you bought it. The team has been pretty bad for a few years. Unfortunately there are people that are in positions that they shouldn't be in. For example, the coach. He tries, but he has a hard time keeping his people together and formulating any sort of plan. We have some good players, he just can't get them to work together. The man responsible for putting the coach in place, your General Manager, should be held accountable for that decision. But then again, the GM has not done much over the last few years to improve the situation. He just seems unwilling to do anything. Maybe he's just not qualified to be a GM. The responsibility for putting him in place falls on the former GM, who if you ask most people would say was the one who actually started the downward spiral of this team while he was GM. And thus I think it's a given that his current role and influence within the organization still suppresses and retards any possibility for improvement. As the former GM, he made lots of bad decisions, but despite those decisions he was promoted to oversee all hockey operations. Seems like a lot of people in places they are not qualified to be in. Hence the state of the team. Together this group has accomplished very little in improving the quality of the organization. So Mr. Katz, I would hope that you would be able to come back to Edmonton for a few days of reflection and focus on this hobby you call a hockey team. Hopefully, after firsthand dealings and assessment of these people you will realize that in order for the team to succeed and move forward in the future, you must remove the incompetents and replace them with experienced hockey people who have an understanding of the game. You must separate yourself from your hockey heros and put real managers in management positions. Then Mr. Katz, you can go back to Vancouver.

I would be willing to chip in a few bucks for a full page add in the paper for this letter!

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#30 Crusty Grit
March 25 2013, 09:43PM
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@NewAgeSys

The Oilers are not buying into the system taught.. Period.

Players that buy into the system play it and if the "system" is good enough the team wins.

As of right now the Oilers have neither and it shows.

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#31 vetinari
March 25 2013, 10:25PM
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17 games left in the season and it looks like another lottery year in our future. My wife wanted to take me to Edmonton (we live in Saskatchewan) for a hockey game for my birthday this year and I said no, I won't spend our money to support Katz until they get rid of the current management and fix their roster problems. I've never turned down the opportunity for tickets but I refuse to pay to support this mess.

The fact of the matter is this: nothing will change so long as Katz makes money from this team. Obviously, if results mattered, something would have been done by now. Because nothing has changed, I can only assume that Katz supports this train wreck. It is the only logical inference.

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#32 Hoping4betterdays
March 25 2013, 10:26PM
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Crusty Grit wrote:

Agreed.

Even though we have some of the best talent and potential in the league our management is failing in their duties.

All organizations that succeed have strong mentorship programs that thrive on challenge and accountability.

Until we see (demand) that in Edmonton, we can continue to debate draft potential and non-core asset acquisitions.

Mr. Katz, how about sending your management team for a small training-retreat to Pittsburgh or Detroit to teach and train them on how to become effective leaders and strategic thinkers? Be worth your $$$ and time. Ahhhhhh....screw it. Be cheaper to fire everyone and start fresh.

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#33 Puckbag
March 25 2013, 10:28PM
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I would love to see the look on the management's faces if at the next home game, the crowd starts chanting "We want Burke! We Want Burke!"

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#34 yawto
March 25 2013, 12:43PM
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Hopefully we can start playing for the second season instead of another fist overall pick.

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#35 Lochenzo
March 25 2013, 12:48PM
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While I am in huge favour of signing Ladi Smid as soon as possible, watching the price Pittsburgh paid for Douglas Murray has me wondering what teams would offer for Smid. Being UFA makes it easier to move that player. I wouldn't shop him, but I'd be willing to listen to offers.

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#36 Carlos Danger
March 25 2013, 12:48PM
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Bob Stauffer has mentioned this Dekeyser kid coming here. What are the chances and how good is he?

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Why is Teddy Peckham still here? Couldn't that roster spot be better suited for a center?

Which brings me to question 2, why don't they take free centers like Hall and Halpern that dominate at the draw. We've had injuries all year at center, if they really wanted to we could eliminate that issue.

Also that hat yesterday, statement? Thought you pulled it off, but just wondering if there is something more to it.

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#38 JB
March 25 2013, 12:58PM
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Moving some of vets out for picks and prospects comes into play in the summer when teams are looking to move bodies (shrinking cap) and picks have increased value. They could look to move some of those picks for NHL players in June. This team is not going to make the playoffs, with or without some of these guys.

The use of Yakupov and the double-shifting of the 4th liners defies logic. Totally disagree here.

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#39 james_dean
March 25 2013, 01:05PM
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I cut the cable and will hope for ELPH for the rest of you Homers

wait for the bandwagon next year

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#40 PapaMike
March 25 2013, 01:05PM
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Carlos Danger wrote:

Bob Stauffer has mentioned this Dekeyser kid coming here. What are the chances and how good is he?

If we are at 50 contracts already, can we sign him? Or do we have to trade someone?

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#41 Ducey
March 25 2013, 01:06PM
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•If you honestly believe the Oilers are better off moving out veterans and replacing them with unproven youth, then you can expect the Oilers to remain near the bottom of the western conference moving forward. The Oilers need to find PROVEN NHL players, not more "maybe," "might be," or "what if" type players. •I'm not saying the Oilers can't move a veteran or two, but the return is likely more prospects and picks. These trades won't fix the Oilers' problems. The Oilers need more experience, more consistency in their competitiveness and they need some size/skill in their top nine.

Sorry, Jason, but you are out to lunch on this.

San Jose trades Murray for two picks. Dallas trades Morrow for a pick and a prospect.

These teams are AHEAD of the Oilers and they are selling.

This simplistic notion that you can't get rid of NHL players for picks or prospects defies logic.

Whitney, Bulin and Belanger are done. Get rid of them. If you can get something good for Smyth or Hemsky trade them too.

Good GM's realize they are not going to make the playoffs, trade the pieces they can't/ don't want to keep - then load up in the offseason.

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#42 Ducey
March 25 2013, 01:06PM
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PapaMike wrote:

If we are at 50 contracts already, can we sign him? Or do we have to trade someone?

They are at 49.

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#43 Ducey
March 25 2013, 01:09PM
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A-Mc wrote:

Why is Teddy Peckham still here? Couldn't that roster spot be better suited for a center?

I Agree with the sentiment that Peckham isn't being used so why is he here. Instead of going the route of moving him for a Center spot, i'm going to suggest that maybe Peckham play the rest of the season and Potter can sit out.

Peckham has been with us for a number of years now and he hasn't been getting used much. So what the hell is up with Mr Peckham!? use him or lose him.

If management is smart, they trade Whitney and give his ice to Peckham.

That way they get something for Whitney and are able to evaluate Peckham to see if he can be relied upon for next year.

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#44 A-Mc
March 25 2013, 01:19PM
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Ducey wrote:

If management is smart, they trade Whitney and give his ice to Peckham.

That way they get something for Whitney and are able to evaluate Peckham to see if he can be relied upon for next year.

If Whitney does get moved, then yes Peckham can take his spot.

Unless something decent comes along, i'm not sure we'll see Whitney moved at the trade deadline. It all depends how satisfied or defeated the management group is based on the Team performance this year. Unfortunately for us, management isn't very open with the public.

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#45 Oiler Al
March 25 2013, 01:25PM
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Read the write up on Gagner summer training yesterday, very interesting and impressive. It appears it has helped him tremendously, based on the year that he is having, and playing better hockey. Now he just needs to get rid of his peewee stick.. would be better at checking defensively.

I think some of the other youngum's could use this training. Hall seems to be on his butt a lot, might have the blanace issue as well. RHN could use some upper body work. A similar program worked for Stmakos in his second year , when he took on the Gary Roberts program. NOt sure if not enough guys in the NHL dont get involved in this type of training. Could mean millions of dollars to them

Now all we need is someone to train them to shoot more.[seriously ]

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#46 Marc.C1971
March 25 2013, 01:35PM
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Forget the trades! The biggest problem for my Oilers is work ethic. The coach lays out a chip and chase strategy and the guys are too stubborn to follow it. They've shown this year they can play that style and that it works. If you can't play a structured, hard working game for 19 minutes a night.... I'm sorry but you don't belong on my team. I will also suggest Taylor Hall think before he speaks. After the St.Louis debacle he informed the Edmonton fans during a post game interview that he felt the Oilers had in Fact, a pretty good home stand!!!

Obviously the culture of losing (and how you lose) is still alive and well with this bunch. Better start learning some of these 4 year questions soon! If not then an outside protest at Rexall should be in the near future.

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#47 shonn
March 25 2013, 01:35PM
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blowing the two goal lead all the time in the 3rd isnt the kids fault, its coaching, they change coaching tactics in the 3rd, they sit offensive talent and they play the vetrans more which cost us, play the same game all game and dont sit on the lead, at that point its coaching, the coach says he isnt changing, but he is, we are not stupid, we can see it in the 3rd when when nail gets sat, they say he needs defencive work yet he isnt even playing when the lead gets blown, free nail

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#48 Smokey
March 25 2013, 01:39PM
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Belanger? WHY

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#49 northof51
March 25 2013, 01:42PM
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Ducey wrote:

They are at 49.

Just to add to this - The Ewanyk signing won't count until later this year, July 1st I believe. Gives them time to clear some other contracts to make room in free agency.

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#50 PapaMike
March 25 2013, 01:43PM
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Ducey wrote:

They are at 49.

Thanks Ducey! I didn't get caught up in reading last weeks posts so I thought that Ewanyk's contract was 50.

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