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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#51 Phixieus666
March 25 2013, 01:44PM
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Oiler Al wrote:

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.

I'd take Petry out of there, hes not a Vet, in fact he's played less games than Hall or Eberle.

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#54 Smokey
March 25 2013, 01:48PM
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PapaMike wrote:

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

If he wants to come here, someone will get dropped. I think we are at 49 contracts. The Oilers got start handling the contract space better.

Is there any projection on his skill set. I've heard he's a good 3 or 4 D, that can step in. Nothing wrong with that.

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#55 james_dean
March 25 2013, 01:48PM
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Oiler Al wrote:

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.

Youre totally right. Gregor does need a new hairpiece

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#56 Hammers
March 25 2013, 01:49PM
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CJ wrote:

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.

Totally agree . It is also up to the coach to get his top 3 lines going as he has tried lately . Just took him to long to do it . ps It also kills a team when goalies whif to many ( Habby 1st goal )as has happened for the last 3 years.

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#57 PapaMike
March 25 2013, 01:50PM
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Thanks to you as well, Northof51

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#59 DSF
March 25 2013, 01:54PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Which good GMs are you talking about that constantly miss the playoffs? Good GMs make the playoffs.

And if you read slower, you'd see in the point you highlighted, I said they can trade and get picks and prospects, but that won't make them better next year. If this team

2nd round picks and later have about a 15% chance of working out...

They need to replace the players with actual players.

How many non-playoff teams load up in the off-season every year? Minnesota did, but the Oilers don't have cap space to break the bank on two free agents, so tell me who they will load up with?

How many teams that have finished 30th, 30th, 29th and 27th? don't have the cap space to be players in the FA market?

And, more importantly, why?

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#60 Jay W
March 25 2013, 02:02PM
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It's stupid approach playing 3 lines in 3rd period, the players get tired and made bad deffensive errors. Problems with all old thinking coaches, we need a new young coach that approach the games differently. When in OT we already got 1 point so go all out and try to score for the win. You play to win not play not to lose. In shootouts go with the guys that want to go, don't just pick any guy in the line up. Oilers kept losing games in the 3rd because they don't play all 4 lines. Nobody back check to help out the Dmen. In shootouts many times I saw the shooter was not ready or pumped to go for the score. The opposition goalie can read their body languange and make easy stop. Oilers were so flat against Blues on Saturday, it's depressing to watch. These games are for the taking for playoff run. Every year is the same missing playoffs, they don't play with urgency.

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#61 DSF
March 25 2013, 02:05PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Moving them gets you little in return. So you replace them with move average players in the summer. What have you solved? Enlighten me.

If they were "average" players you would have a point,

With the possible exception of Hemsky, they are all below average at their position.

If you don't believe you can improve the skill level of the players on one of the worst teams in the league you'll stay on the big hamster wheel forever.

If you examine what the much reviled Brian Burke did with a similarly incompetent bunch you'll see he managed to move a very large number of unproductive flotsam and renew the franchise through shrewd trades and FA signings.

That he isn't around to reap the benefits is beside the point and, I could agree with an argument that the Lowe gang doesn't have the ability to do the same but that doesn't mean you stick withe the same gang of nincompoops just because you don't think you can improve on them.

It's really important to note that while the Oilers kids keep getting the crap beat out of them, they are burning through ELC's at a tremendous rate while the teams who are pointed to as models, Chicago, Pittsburgh etc. were winning cups while their young stars were still on their first contracts.

I won't bore everyone again with what Tallon did in Chicago but, if you are of a mind, go back and look at the transaction that occurred in Chicago in the 3 season leading up to their cup win...Sharp, Versteeg, etc. etc.

Drafting high and getting young stars is the easy part.

Surrounding them with veterans who can play at a high level is the hard part.

And you won't win unless you're successful at the hard part.

Which Oilers veterans can play at a high level?

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#62 Rick
March 25 2013, 02:05PM
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@DSF

Talk about missing the point.

The Oilers need to stop the cycle of offloading for draftpicks and concentrate on improving the roster.

The trade deadline should be used as one of the few transaction periods to do just that, even if making the playoffs this year are a pipe dream.

Geez out of all the people that post here, you should be the one guy that is against the idea of shopping for picks with the dream of stocking up in free agency considering it is the Oilers we are talking about.

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#63 Quicksilver ballet
March 25 2013, 02:07PM
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@Marc.C1971

Well said sir. We all seen the difference when Brown played his first games as an Oiler. There was an urgency/pace to his effort that stood out. He actually looked like one of the best Oiler player for his first couple games. A forth liner leads the way.

The Oilers don't practice at game pace anyways, so it's no wonder they're falling short most games. Kreugers kinder gentler coaching methods are just enabling his players to fall short. This is what we get without sufficient veteran support along with getting outworked most nights.

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#64 Jay W
March 25 2013, 02:09PM
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If you don't trust your young players and play them, they would lose confidence. As a coach you teach them and play as a team. Look at the Habs they are on top in the East with 2 rookies playing and they have plus (score more even strength) side. It's the coaching not the players, the Habs have the same players as last year where everyone want to fire the management too.

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#65 DCC
March 25 2013, 02:27PM
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A-Mc wrote:

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..

They don't usually get to the shootout.

Did RK have a straight face when he answered that question? What team has he been watching?

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#66 washed up
March 25 2013, 02:29PM
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The Oilers will get nothing more then picks and prospects for players like, Whitney, Hemsky,etc..If they trade them at the dead line. The Oiler will have to wait till draft day to make any kind of trades for actual NLH player.

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#67 Phixieus666
March 25 2013, 02:33PM
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washed up wrote:

The Oilers will get nothing more then picks and prospects for players like, Whitney, Hemsky,etc..If they trade them at the dead line. The Oiler will have to wait till draft day to make any kind of trades for actual NLH player.

They need to free up contracts anyway but I think Hemsky would bring a bit more than just a pick.

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#68 washed up
March 25 2013, 02:41PM
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@Phixieus666

You may be right, but teams looking to pick up a player like Hemsky are looking at making a playoff run. As per the recent trades these teams are not going to be sending roster players in the other direction, It just dosen't make sense.

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#69 A-Mc
March 25 2013, 02:42PM
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washed up wrote:

You may be right, but teams looking to pick up a player like Hemsky are looking at making a playoff run. As per the recent trades these teams are not going to be sending roster players in the other direction, It just dosen't make sense.

Unless its a hockey trade. ie: Gilbert for Schultz.

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#70 CJ
March 25 2013, 02:47PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Their 4th line doesn't lose them games because their top two lines outscore the opponents. Go look at Pittsburgh's 4th line production. Go look at their +/- and their corsi. They aren't great, but they are winning due to great top-end talent.

I'm not sure where you get your stats. I don't buy into +/-. Try; http://www.hockeyabstract.com/playerusagecharts

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#71 washed up
March 25 2013, 02:52PM
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@A-Mc

Those types of trades are better left for the off season. Neither team really gained much from this trade.

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#72 Lochenzo
March 25 2013, 02:54PM
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While I'm all for moving a couple of pieces, the plan at the beginning of year was to make sure these young kids are playing in meaningful games down the stretch. That won't happen if we blow out half the roster. I'd keep Belanger just because this team sucks whenever a centre goes down to injury or illness. Move Whitney, move Hemsky if somebody offers an Oiler roster need.

I haven't looked at the numbers, but is Dubnyk better when Khabibulin is around? I do know that was a tough stretch when both Khabi and Horc were out of the lineup. Keep Khabi if it helps D.D.

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#73 washed up
March 25 2013, 02:57PM
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etownman wrote:

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!

The Truth is that unless Tambo can absolute fleece someone, not named Dean lombardi. Then they will have to trade an Eberle or Yakapov. IMO HAll, RNH, and J.Shultz are the only players that I would not trade.

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#74 Phixieus666
March 25 2013, 03:08PM
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A-Mc wrote:

Unless its a hockey trade. ie: Gilbert for Schultz.

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

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#75 washed up
March 25 2013, 03:16PM
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Unless the Oilers end up with a top 3 pick this year. IMO that's a trade piece.

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#76 NotaSpammer
March 25 2013, 03:27PM
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@Gregor, that is so cool that you are promoting WebSimHockey. I have been using it for about 2 years now and it is awesome.

For anyone that is interested I would highly recommend it. They give attributes to players based on different stats and are able to simulate games based on actual hockey stats. They are even licenced by the NHLPA.

Anyways, just thought it was cool that you mentioned WebSimHockey.

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#77 Quicksilver ballet
March 25 2013, 03:40PM
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The last 3 entry drafts, Lowe and Tambellini have taken all their wares with them and tried to improve this hockey club. Outside of the fab 5, there is little worth ship! Nobody else wants them so we're stuck with them. This is why the losing is the best option is still in play for management.

One year later the Oilers still have so few chips in play that are worth anything. Hemsky,Smid,Gagner,Paajarvi, their first in 2014 and unfortunately, one of the fab 5. From this they need a legitimate top pairing blueliner, a top 6 forward (may already be addressed with the Oilers inline for another top 3 selection in June again) as well as an established goalie to push Dubnyk, or push him out.

That Hemsky along with Eberle offer from Boston for that second selection in 2010 doesn't look so bad now. If management could only turn the clock back on that proposal. Hemsky,Eberle and Edmontons first in 2014 might even get Poiles attention. If not, maybe with 83 and 89 having decent yrs, this summers draft won't be just another babystep. A rapidly fading Ryan Clowe is the last thing Edmonton needs.

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#78 DSF
March 25 2013, 04:23PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

That has no bearing on the point of trading veterans for draft picks. Of course the Oilers can trade some veterans, my point was that alone won't make them better in the immediate future.

And the Oilers could go sign two big name UFAs, but I don't see any 27-29 year olds worth it... Then they'd have to move one of their kids, which wouldn't be the worst scenario...but that is a completely different conversation.

So, what you're effectively sating is the Oilers have no chance of improving except through the draft.

Amazingly, other teams like Toronto, Minnesota, Montreal, and Los Angeles have been able to accomplish their improvement through smart trades and FA acquisitions.

You're calling for status quo when it obviously is not working.

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#79 DSF
March 25 2013, 04:25PM
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@Rick

Nonsense.

I was talking about moving out unproductive vets and replacing them with better ones.

But you can't add players to a roster than is choked with flotsam and jetsam.

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#80 bdiddy18
March 25 2013, 04:26PM
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Please tell me why this organization continues to place Yakopov in positions of failure!! and Why Ryan Smyth is an option for top 6 play... what in the world has he shown this season to warrant top 6 play.

I can have patience for the kids making mistakes along the way but placed in the positions where they are supposed to play!

What is a complete waste of time is messing with that to give a 37-8 year old player who has been signed for one year to many and shown nothing - extremely useful time in the top 6.

Petrell should have stayed in Smyth should have sat out and continue to sit out and be the occasional depth forward who plays when someone is injured.

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#81 Yep
March 25 2013, 04:28PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

That has no bearing on the point of trading veterans for draft picks. Of course the Oilers can trade some veterans, my point was that alone won't make them better in the immediate future.

And the Oilers could go sign two big name UFAs, but I don't see any 27-29 year olds worth it... Then they'd have to move one of their kids, which wouldn't be the worst scenario...but that is a completely different conversation.

So what are they supposed to do then? Just stand around and hope another Shultz lands in their lap? Trading veterans for veterans? Our veterans suck, how can we get proven guys back? Seriously, what is the plan?

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#82 vetinari
March 25 2013, 04:30PM
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Thank the hockey-gods but we need NHL veterans, not more picks and prospects.

In fact, Tambi should be on the phone selling marginal farm players like Hamilton and Plante to any suckers, er... I mean... GMs willing to send back an NHL veteran or two while the prospects have some value.

Also, Hemsky is under contract for one more year so unless someone is prepared to trade a veteran centre who can play top 6 minutes or a veteran puck-moving defenceman in the mold of a young Gonchar, there's no need to keep bringing his name into discussions. Ditto for Gagner, who is growing by leaps and bounds this year. And as for Horcoff, no team will take his cap hit so don't waste your breath on rumors involving him.

If the Oil are going to move any veterans, it will likely be players in the last year of their contracts before becoming UFA's like Khabibulin, Jones, Smid or Whitney, and frankly, we should look at resigning Smid long term and Jones to another two or three year deal. Otherwise, we have little to nothing to offer other teams other than be a home to salary-dumped players.

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#83 michael
March 25 2013, 04:39PM
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washed up wrote:

Unless the Oilers end up with a top 3 pick this year. IMO that's a trade piece.

The way things are shaping up at home the Oilers will wind up 25-27th. Their play at home is what will define them this season. Awful can't describe their play at home. They are crippling themselves.

Gregor speaks about getting legitimate NHL players onto the roster.Define for me what that IMPLIES about the players on the current Oilers roster. Also what that implies about the managemnt and the coaching when it came to choosing this years final roster before the season began.

Define `legitamite`NHL player.Example of such and who on the current roster is not such. I think that we need to start there if we are going to start talking about this roster should look like moving forward.

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#84 Sanaa Montana
March 25 2013, 04:55PM
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Katz will be spending a lot of money this summer, he doesn't want to Yakupov to meet his bonuses and have to spend even more. He ordered Mac to order Krug not go give Yak a lot of opportunities to put up points, that is why they feed this phantom expierence story to the media and the fans.

Gagner's article link is a joke.

*Iginla will be signing with the Oilers in the summer for two years at $4 the first year and 3.75 the next.

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#85 ed in mexico
March 25 2013, 05:15PM
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DSF wrote:

Nonsense.

I was talking about moving out unproductive vets and replacing them with better ones.

But you can't add players to a roster than is choked with flotsam and jetsam.

Moving unproductive vets and replacing with better ones is easily said but not so easily accomplished. You never get something for nothing,so to get a quality vet you need to give quality back or overpay as a UFA.

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#86 106 and 106
March 25 2013, 05:37PM
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@Sanaa Montana

Would love to see you spend a couple days with O'Brien, bud. Sure you wouldn't last a minute.

PS: You drunk?

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#87 washed up
March 25 2013, 05:38PM
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I still would be looking to move Yakapov if i'm the Oilers. He's one of the best trading pieces they have. Also he's a small skilled winger, totally expendable to oraganization moving forward.

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#88 ed in mexico
March 25 2013, 05:46PM
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DSF wrote:

So, what you're effectively sating is the Oilers have no chance of improving except through the draft.

Amazingly, other teams like Toronto, Minnesota, Montreal, and Los Angeles have been able to accomplish their improvement through smart trades and FA acquisitions.

You're calling for status quo when it obviously is not working.

A quick scan of the Kings roster shows 11 of their players were drafted including key players such a doughty, brown. kopitar, clifford quick and bernier. 8 aquired by trade including key players such as richards, carter, williams. greene stoll and penner (he was a key last year). The only free agent of significance is Scuderi. Smart trades have helped the Kings but a succession of good early draft picks set the table.

I won't look at the other teams mentioned, but I suspect the story will be similar. You need good home grown talent to fill in around.

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#89 a lg dubl dubl
March 25 2013, 06:20PM
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So Ill just leave this here, Sharks traded Murray to the Pens for 2 2nd round picks.....was Dithers even looking for a trade like that!!? I know the Oilers have Fistric and Peckham(in the press box) but to get a guy like Murray from the Sharks for that!! ffs Tambolini!!

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#90 Sliderule
March 25 2013, 06:30PM
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I am starting to agree that the boss doesn't want to pay bonuses.

The team is after all way under the cap.

The oil are the new Leaves .Full building therefore management doesn't give a crap.

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#91 NewAgeSys
March 25 2013, 06:48PM
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Taylor Hall needs to mix it up and attack the middle once in a while , there is no rule that says he cant switch spots with his center, we arent using him properly unless he can attack with his speed from other areas, same with Hemmer, they need to attack from the middle to leave better rebounds and present a different look. We cant keep seeing long wristers that rnd up in wasted possesions, we need shots from the middle right at the goalie and we need to attack those rebounds.

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#92 NewAgeSys
March 25 2013, 06:51PM
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The refs are giving us a fighting chance and are calling balanced calls, we need to be aggressive and keep the pedal down, the penaltys will balance out and the more we take the more the Preds will get, and we want to be on the PP as much as we can , aggressive play works for us tonight with the way the refs are calling them, nice and balanced. Now we just need to force the issue and not worry about takeing one because we know there will be a fast balancing call and we will get our own PP.

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#93 Alsker
March 25 2013, 06:51PM
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Good setup, nice shot, nice screeen, but that might get Potter an extension..lol

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#94 Butters
March 25 2013, 06:53PM
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1-0 Oil, time to bench Yakupov and double-shift Smytty. C'mon boys we can get this to a shoot-out.

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#95 Oilfred
March 25 2013, 06:53PM
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Corey Power Potter Play!

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#96 Dog Train
March 25 2013, 06:54PM
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The intensity is really picking up in this one. Yakupov is starting to engage a lot more physically, nice to see.

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#97 Dennis
March 25 2013, 06:54PM
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Oilfred wrote:

Corey Power Potter Play!

Hahah, I still can't believe that phrase was uttered on tv.

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#98 NewAgeSys
March 25 2013, 06:57PM
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We might as well ask J Schultz to take at least 30% of his rushes all the way to the bank tonight, he needs to be utilised more often. Ask him to take it in fast and to make the first give and go pass and recieve it on net.

Ebbs needs to take the exact same lane and feed thaat d-man the elbows big time just to make a point.

Brown needs to start a fight so we can regain momentum.

If they score again within the next four minutes we need a TO.

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#99 Alsker
March 25 2013, 06:59PM
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that was the third time they tried that pass, you think they scouted us??Looked like hemsky was admiring 74 jersey as he went to the front of the net...

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#100 NewAgeSys
March 25 2013, 07:00PM
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We need our d-men to aggressively skate the puck out and have the second d-man follow up supporting, but we need to immediatly put our heads down and sprint upice to counter theit 3 man attack on the forcheck, they are also dumping in softly to time themselves, so we need to sprint it up at least fifteen feet and then make a breakout pass, maybe 20 ft up them pass if its clear, but we need to set them back on the forcheck with immediate forward puck movement from behind our net.

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