THAT'S EMBARRASSING

Robin Brownlee
March 03 2013 10:13PM

Fans of the Edmonton Oilers have been kicked in the junk so often the past six seasons there's barely any leather left on that damn shoe, and they took yet another pop in the pills watching their team mail it in with a 4-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild at the Xcel Energy Center Sunday.

Even the most devout Edmonton booster knows the score flattered the Oilers, who needed a fluke goal by Sam Gagner just to keep things mildly interesting in a game in which Ralph Krueger's team didn't manage a single shot on goal in the second period. Not one. Zippo. Nada.

This feeble effort, one devoid of emotion and physical engagement with the Wild, was bad enough to get the attention of Krueger, who chewed out his team on the bench during a called time out. Krueger was clearly pissed off. Not nearly as much, I'm guessing, as fans weary of waiting for this team to start delivering on some of the promises management has been making.

Fans made that abundantly clear in the aftermath.

WHAT YOU SAID . . .

Here's a sampling of the comments directed my way on Twitter in the wake of a loss that dropped the Oilers to 8-9-4 on the season with five games left on a road trip that looks like it will end any hopes of a playoff push.

Mitch Dul‏@mitchdul @Robin_Brownlee at what point does management finally get shown the door...when Gretzky left the coyotes the team went forward.

Jeff Hendrick‏@jeffhendrick @Robin_Brownlee this #oilers club has more holes than Swiss cheese, and a terrible GM...4th straight top three pick awaits

Wendy Dwernychuk‏@WendyDwernychuk @Robin_Brownlee embarrassed once again

Dave Anderson‏@RantnRoller @Robin_Brownlee - players coach is fine. Being supportive is fine too. Some Oilers need to be called out after tonight's debacle

Wade Westworth‏@rumdum @Robin_Brownlee the Oilers were a much better team when the lockout was on! Need some heart. A little pride.

NOT EVEN CLOSE

I thought the Oilers might get nine of a possible 18 points from this trip, a total that would most certainly see them fall marginally farther out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference. They need six points from the last five games just to reach that. Some fans, bolstered by a loser point in Chicago and a rare win in Dallas to open the trip, were talking 12 or 13 points. Really.

That aside, what fans saw in the final period against the St. Louis Blues and for all three periods against the Wild was an Oiler team that took the easy way out at every opportunity. A team that didn’t physically or mentally compete or engage. A team that too often didn't bust its collective backside in an effort to get the job done. A team that didn’t play smart or with gusto.

After six years out of the playoffs choking back heaping helpings of rebuild pie, the very least fans deserve is an honest effort from the players on the ice. If the team isn't good enough – and it's becoming clear it's not – then that falls to GM Steve Tambellini and president of hockey operations Kevin Lowe.

Until then -- holes in the roster and limitations be damned -- fans have a right to expect that their team compete on every shift and show up for battles, even if they don't win them rather than turning the other cheek. Right now, all fans are getting is what looks like a collective shrug of the shoulders.

Not good enough. Not even close.

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

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#51 106 and 106
March 04 2013, 02:16AM
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Hey Robin,

Great piece - as paying consumers of a product and extra unpaid volunteer time (ie: on Oilersnation, Lowetide, etc.) solely to support a team we love, we obviously have a stake in this team....

How do we hold management accountable?

Put up an "End the Regime of Doing Nothing" website, start a #callitadayTambo twitter feed, facebook page that goes for the number of seats in Rexall Place of likes?

I mean, we can't keep changing the name of coaches and pretend that's the problem - it's who he's got.

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#52 Devolution
March 04 2013, 03:02AM
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106 and 106 wrote:

Hey Robin,

Great piece - as paying consumers of a product and extra unpaid volunteer time (ie: on Oilersnation, Lowetide, etc.) solely to support a team we love, we obviously have a stake in this team....

How do we hold management accountable?

Put up an "End the Regime of Doing Nothing" website, start a #callitadayTambo twitter feed, facebook page that goes for the number of seats in Rexall Place of likes?

I mean, we can't keep changing the name of coaches and pretend that's the problem - it's who he's got.

I think that if Oiler's management paid any attention to fan feedback something would have been done a long time ago.

It would be really good if management came out and told the fans, "Look, we have a plan and we are on track".

Maybe three years ago the plan was, 30, 30, 29, 22, 16, 1. If that was the case, and it was vocalized, I think it would go a long way to calming the masses.

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#53 Crooked
March 04 2013, 03:16AM
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I'm glad I didn't watch the game, otherwise I'd probably have had a Tourrettes-induced aneurysm. If this doesn't finally wake Timid Tambi out of hibernation and get him working the phones to make a move to help his team, nothing will.

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#54 Crispy
March 04 2013, 03:19AM
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@DSF

BTW Florida is one of the few teams worse than the Oilers this season. I guess their GM must be worse than Tambellini right?

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#55 The Oilers Shot Clock
March 04 2013, 03:41AM
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One of Yakupov or Eberle needs to go to address other needs. Yak might land Subban. Eberle might land Yandle. We need a true number 1 and when Justin gets there we'll simply have two.

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#56 The Oilers Shot Clock
March 04 2013, 03:51AM
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And it's safe to start talking about the draft at this point right? If we finish with either the second or third overall, I hope we trade it to whatever team shares that position with us. They would pay a good price to pair Nathan and Drouin together. We can't afford two more small forwards. I'd trade that pick tomorrow if it got us a bruising scorer, or a legit number 1 D.

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#57 Walter Sobchak
March 04 2013, 04:55AM
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It took the Nordiques 8 years and two of the most lopsided trades in the history of the NHL to become a premier power house in the NHL.

Today’s NHL doesn’t permit trades of that caliber any longer, so drafting and building your players becomes paramount.

You can’t trade tomorrow’s future for today’s playoffs, it’s been done, and it no longer works. In fact it’s proven not to work.

The Oilers only have two good trading options. Gagner & Hemsky.

This team will have growing pains for another two years, that’s the long and short of it.

It’s the price of a complete rebuild.

Panic, off handed trades and ridicules signings is what kills a rebuild

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#58 Jay
March 04 2013, 05:08AM
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Why don't the oilers just pay me 6 million a year? I can try fancy plays that won't work too. I don't get you guys preaching patience, all our players are the same. That's not gonna magically change in 2 years or 6 years

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#59 Walter Sobchak
March 04 2013, 05:29AM
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Jay wrote:

Why don't the oilers just pay me 6 million a year? I can try fancy plays that won't work too. I don't get you guys preaching patience, all our players are the same. That's not gonna magically change in 2 years or 6 years

Who are you going to trade? what do you think you can get?

so you trade Eberle and get what? Chris Stewart? Ryan Malone? Ryan Clowe?

So you got bigger but now you have no one to put the puck in.

You have to draft both, or through UFA.

teams just dont offer these guys up.

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#60 Jay
March 04 2013, 05:35AM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

Who are you going to trade? what do you think you can get?

so you trade Eberle and get what? Chris Stewart? Ryan Malone? Ryan Clowe?

So you got bigger but now you have no one to put the puck in.

You have to draft both, or through UFA.

teams just dont offer these guys up.

Off the top of my head I say Kassian or JVR would of been nice in oiler silks and were recently available

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#61 spliff
March 04 2013, 05:49AM
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I live overseas and coughed up 50 bucks for gamecenter, thinking the Oil would show some improvement this year. What a joke. Why did Klowe let GlenX go? Where is Greene and Stoll? Even Brodziak? Tambo can't even hire a decent goon, Eager is useless. If Katz wants to turn this franchise around he needs to hire proven professionals, give them the necessary resources, and win some f*&King hockey games. I don't even care if we win the cup, I just want a competitive hockey team that gets in the playoffs once in awhile. How many times have the Oil made the playoff since Klowe became admin? How many times have we finished higher then 8th place in the Conference? This is a failed franchise, like the Detriot Lions and Kansas City Royals. We are a joke. Klowe talks about "Oilers Hockey", what does that mean? It means loser hockey.

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#62 Time Travelling Sean
March 04 2013, 05:55AM
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Good grief.

Kassian? He has 5 goals in 20 games while playing with the Sedins and is a -4 on a winning team.

JVR doesn't play physical, has scored a career high 21 goals, and gets paid 4.25M. It's looking good for the Leafs but he is shooting at a 16.7% clip and if you use his career averages of 10.9% he would have 7 goals and 4 assists in 22 games.

Not great.

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#63 Jay
March 04 2013, 06:29AM
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Time Travelling Sean wrote:

Good grief.

Kassian? He has 5 goals in 20 games while playing with the Sedins and is a -4 on a winning team.

JVR doesn't play physical, has scored a career high 21 goals, and gets paid 4.25M. It's looking good for the Leafs but he is shooting at a 16.7% clip and if you use his career averages of 10.9% he would have 7 goals and 4 assists in 22 games.

Not great.

Good points, Not saying these guys are the awnsers just giving examples of the type of player and making my point that you can make trades to address team needs. Kassian is on pace for 20 goals over 82. I'll take that out of 6'3 winger with an edge. I can name a whole bunch of oilers with worst +/-. As for JVR, you can't argue with results, didn't we pay eberle 6 mil cuz of his high shooting percentage? Another 6'3 left winger with 12 goals in 22 games? I wouldn't complain with that either. Again not saying these 2 guys are the awnser, just saying they are the type of guys we need and they were recently available. We need to make moves to address our holes and build a TEAM!

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#64 ra;y
March 04 2013, 06:40AM
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ok..first of all...what is katz waiting for!!!!!lowe and tambi have got to go!...katz is lucky that he probably had some wealth to start him off on his riches path..but it's obvious now that he was lucky in that regard.....katz is still mired in this boyhood dream or fantasy that he is a buddy of the "great kevin lowe"!!! wake up buddy before coliseum crowds are back to 13000 fans... i remember those nights...i had tickets...Be a man for the first time in your life....do something!!!!!

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#65 Mooseroni
March 04 2013, 07:54AM
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Is it just me or do the oilers play terrible in front of Devon Dubnyk? It seemed that when Khabby was in net they were playing with more intensity for him. Dubnyk doesn't get a drop of it. I can't figure out why.

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#66 MWA1991
March 04 2013, 08:06AM
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I was going to go to the Red Wings game on Thursday. But after watching the last two games, I'm saving my money. These Oilers are playing horrendous. I just don't get how this team doesn't have the heart to fight back. They're not a big team so use your speed, crash the net and my god, SHOOT THE FLIPPING PUCK!

The Oilers need to trade for Ovechkin. At least he shoots the puck about 10 times per game. Who knows, maybe he could score a goal...

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#67 dougtheslug
March 04 2013, 08:26AM
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Sitting Hall when by all accounts he could have played (if he plays in Columbus you know he could have played in Minny) speaks volumes. Right off the bat, Oilers are saying, "We know you are going to come after Hall for his hit on Clutterbuck, and we have nobody, NOBODY, to protect him. So we will we sit him down and go meekly into the night." And that is exactly what happened. Basically they said"We know we don't have a team that can compete in the modern NHL."

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#68 Hug The Post
March 04 2013, 08:27AM
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The Oilers long ago lost me; I used to be just one of the sheep; I had season tickets, bought all of the merch and cheered cheered cheered them on. But when the rot started showing in 2007, I let go. I don't go to games, I don't watch games. I read about them on this fine website, moreso because of the writers and comments. It's liberating to realize that the guys on the ice are merely entertainers (and for the past 6 years bad ones at that).

I'm lucky enough to have seen this team in their '80's hey day and to be old enough to remember it. I really feel sorry for the entire generation of fan who has only known the oilers to the be proverbial guy at the beach getting sand kicked in his face.

I really commend all of you who invest emotionally in them, as I am sure a piece of you dies every time last night happens again and again, regardless of the pedigree of draft pick we have in the lineup. And, I thank the writers and bloggers who follow the team and write their pieces on them----it must take years off your lives watching a team that in one word can be described as 'chaotic'.

Let's all hope one day we can be proud of them again.

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#69 Smokey
March 04 2013, 08:29AM
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Alsker wrote:

If only Klowes career had lasted as long as mess' had maybe #11 would be the backbone of our organization instead. No shying away from anything would be the policy,hell hed drive you to the airport and put you on the plane to make a point, all those years they spent together you think Klowe would heve learned something. Make the call Katz and Mark will come!

Great players don't necessarily make good Gm's or coaches. What evidence do you have to suggest Messier would be successful. Oiler's need to walk far away from this old boys regime, and hire coaches who have paid their dues from successful organizations where guys earn their oportunity.

I'd rather see a guy like Hextall come in from an organization were priority was placed on drafting and.developing where a philosophy obviously worked. Or someone like John Davidson who has recent history rebuilding a.team properly.

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#71 DrunkGuyTy
March 04 2013, 08:32AM
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@dougtheslug

What DtS #67 said!

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#72 dougtheslug
March 04 2013, 08:36AM
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DSF wrote:

Expected outcomes when you draft in the top ten for 6 years in a row should be a playoff spot.

BTW, Florida went from last to the playoffs last season.

BTW the Oilers are NOT improving.

Over an 82 game season, they are on pace to score 200 goals.

Last season they scored 212.

Over an 82 game season, they are on pace to have a goal differential of -28.

Last season their goal differential was -27.

I don't know what to make of this DSF. Because Florida made the playoffs last year, exited in the first round, and are a lottery team again this year. Which, I think, makes a case that signing a bunch of middling free agents and shuffling the deck chairs, getting career seasons out of a few guys, and hoping for the best, is not necessarily the way to build a consistent playoff team either.

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#73 blue31
March 04 2013, 08:37AM
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Hayek wrote:

I'm not talking about the past. Of course I am disappointed in the past.

We are in the middle stage of a rebuild. We finished 29th last year, and we are improving. Teams don't go from 29th, to making the playoffs the next year.

All I'm saying, is if you are an optimist, and think we will make the playoffs this year, you are extremely unrealistic, and will be angry without reason.

We had a 66% chance of losing vs the Wild today according to effecient sportsbook lines. So we lose, and people here are panicking, wanting the coaches' head, wanting trades. We were expected to lose, and we lost. Don't know how you can be a realist and get mad when expected outcomes occur.

Hayek, Hayek, Hayek.

Your attitude is EXACTLY what's wrong with this sour team. It's your crappy acceptance of low expectations that has infiltrated this franchise from top to bottom.

Here's a novel approach, how about: "Striving for Excellence??"

How about NOT expecting to lose?

Set your standards as low as possible so you will never be disappointed. Exactly what Al Bundy taught his kids . . .

I hope that you are not running your own business, 'cause I don't think it will end well for you.

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#74 dougtheslug
March 04 2013, 08:39AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

All accounts? Maybe overstating, no? If Hall is iffy the prudent thing to do is rest him. It's a hamstring and having three days rest for CBJ instead of just one for MIN makes sense.

If the Oilers rush Hall back and he aggravates or tears the hammy, fans scream like hell.

I'm not an orthopedic surgeon, but it seems to me 48 hours rest is not going to cure a torn hamstring. Lets see if and how he skates on Tuesday. If he looks like Taylor Hall, my theory holds water. If not, I defer to your wisdom.

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#75 RexLibris
March 04 2013, 08:42AM
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Never thought I'd say this, but I almost miss the days of the Ron Low teams. I may be romanticizing here, but it feels like those rosters never took a game off.

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#76 j
March 04 2013, 08:53AM
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The biggest problem with the Oil is the lack of passion/engagement. It doesn't matter how big the player is. If the current group can't find the level of engagement required to win games we need to look at other options. You look at the successful Oiler teams and they had HEART irrespective of size. Weight and Marchant were our top two centermen for years. Peca and Horcoff in 2006. These guys aren't considered big and strong - but they wouldn't quit on any play. That's what wins games. Our kids currently have no role models to emulate so you can't really pin this on them. Asking Gagner to become the grittiest player on the team (which he has tried from time to time) is completely unfair and poor management. We don't need coke machines. We need players with some intensity.

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#77 Phixieus666
March 04 2013, 08:54AM
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I would love to hear what Smid was saying after the game. Wonder if he went off swearing in Czech again.

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#78 GVBlackhawk
March 04 2013, 08:56AM
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Gerald R. Ford wrote:

Boy, I just can't wait to see the craptastic level of hockey we'll be subject to if the league has to fill TWO expansion rosters in the near future. Imagine this team's last five years, then imagine having to replace whatever unprotected players you lose with guys currently not good enough to play in the NHL. Very exciting, no doubt. It'll put people to sleep faster than watching 'Solaris' after a big bucket of fried chicken.

Anyway, if this organization gets another lottery pick, fire everyone but The Magnificent Bastard and Joey Moss. Yuck.

Do you mean the Mediocre Bastard or Middling Bastard?

His results are not that fantastic. Other than the three 1st OV picks, the Oilers depth is not that good.

Magnificent is a moniker that should be reserved for someone who is notably well above average.

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#79 Guy Lafleur
March 04 2013, 09:03AM
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It appears the love affair is officially over LOL

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#80 DSF
March 04 2013, 09:09AM
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dougtheslug wrote:

I don't know what to make of this DSF. Because Florida made the playoffs last year, exited in the first round, and are a lottery team again this year. Which, I think, makes a case that signing a bunch of middling free agents and shuffling the deck chairs, getting career seasons out of a few guys, and hoping for the best, is not necessarily the way to build a consistent playoff team either.

The Panthers are apparently for sale (again) and it appears the ownership has told Tallon to stop spending money since he did virtually nothing in the offseason to improve the team.

They've also been hit with numerous injuries and don't have the depth to cope.

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#81 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
March 04 2013, 09:10AM
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brown to oilers for picks. tambo did something!!!!

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#82 @eastcoasteh
March 04 2013, 09:12AM
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Yeah, that was brutal. I know they don't play much but a truly banging bottom-6 would hep matters. If anything, it engages the team and brings up the intensity level of whole team. Way too soft on bottom-6 right now. Other thoughts: - Going into this year, everyone seemed fine with Petry/Smid as our shutdown pair. Not sure where that thought came from, but neither is a #1, Petry I have issues even being in Top-4. The Schultzes are struggling too in that role.

- When I watch Yakupov, I very much see a player lost out there most times. He doesn't seem to have any idea where to go and is not as fast billed. Seriously doubting that kids hockey IQ at this point (for a #1 overall). - Everyone knows what this team lacks. We lack a skilled big body in the top-6. A guy like Benn, Iggy, Hartnell, etc..Those guys don't grow on trees, but we do have some assets to deal. A trade wouldn't be the worst thing for this team. - I thought Whitney has showed well the past few games. nice to see him try and join the rush and get involved.

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#83 Rama Lama
March 04 2013, 09:15AM
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I had to wait to write in .........you know "calm the beast", type of thing. After a total nigh of reflection, I now see what Tamby and Lowe are trying to do?

Yes they have a plan, it's called the drafting first plan and all the players now understand this plan.........you saw this plan in place last night. Tamby and Lowe know their team will never win a real Stanley Cup so their version of a Stanley Cup is to draft first.

" Be patient", we are told by Tamby and Lowe. ........only three more year to go. Hire a motivational speaker for a coach, yea that will throw the fans off. Turn Sam Gagner into a fighter. and make high prized talent like Yaks into a fourth line player. Now when everyone is totally dazed and confused wanting answers, run and hide and say thing like " we need to be patient here", our plan is working.

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#84 HOFFFF
March 04 2013, 09:36AM
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Mike Brown, 5'11" right winger with one assist this year. Sounds about right.

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#85 bloodsweatandoil
March 04 2013, 09:38AM
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The Edmonton Dejavu's......Same as last year, same as the year before, same as the year before that.. Don't worry fans! Be patient says the management and a few posters on this board who always say the same thing game in and game out and shove it down our throats when the Oilers finally win one game out of 5, I say eat my shorts and wake the hell up!

Is it the players fault over the last few years that they finished last in the league to garner the first draft pick each year?

Is it the players fault that for some of them, the minute they get drafted they are now bonafida NHL roster players and for some reason they do not need a season or two to develop in the AHL?

Is it the players fault that some of them were brought in to play roles and positions that they are not capable of?

Is it the players fault that the majority of all them are really young, small and are finesse that cannot play their role because they are constantly looking over their shoulders, have no room to play and when one gets squashed,another small one moves up without any retribution to the opposition?

I have noticed when it is the players fault, the coach definately puts down the hammer, but perhaps the coach needs the hammer!

With this kind of a roster, no coach can properly guide this team, these players are going to be guided to other teams and be able to finally excell to their full capabilities on properly built rosters, professionally mastered systems that are managed by men who know what the hell they are doing!

Management sure loves to produce Oilchange and plug it on the tube, please, who is fooling who here? Change the name to "Bend over and bite the pillow" Its kind of fitting to the players and the fans.

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#86 Phixieus666
March 04 2013, 09:46AM
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HOFFFF wrote:

Mike Brown, 5'11" right winger with one assist this year. Sounds about right.

Yes and no at the same time. Talked with a buddy who is a big leaf fan. Said the Oiler's will really like him. Hits all the time, goes full steam every shift. He can fight and can kill penalties if needed. Doesn't do much point wise but is gritty as all hell. Still pretty young and may be able to develop a little more offense into his game but that's not his purpose. Good pickup for the Oilers. My buddy was sad to see him leaving the leafs but thinks the oilers are a perfect fit for him.

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#87 Phixieus666
March 04 2013, 09:51AM
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My leaf fan buddy sent me this, I think the oiler fans are really gonna like this guy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_ChXt2tDNg

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#88 Phixieus666
March 04 2013, 09:54AM
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And another

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6z-IeqNZ0U

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#89 Spydyr
March 04 2013, 10:02AM
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Been saying this for a while now. Either the management of the team wants to fail and miss the playoffs one more year (Last piece of the puzzle for the love of all things Oil). Too many wrong things haven't been fixed. Or management is incompetent. If we can see it from our seats or sofas. They must .Right, Right?

The team is not ready for a Cup run (obviously) so fail one more year jettison the junk. And there is lots of junk to get rid of. Build a tougher stronger team in the off season trade one of the kids .You need to give up something to get something.

Which kid?

I'm going with Ebs. Sorry Wayne. He is a purely offensive player with a knack for scoring big goals. Unfourunatly the last hit he made was in the Treasury branch commercial. Not overtly strong on defense and a small player. Redundant on this team. No one fears the Oilers. No one.

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#90 bloodsweatandoil
March 04 2013, 10:06AM
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Great, I vented in my post and poof just like that we have Mike Brown..Thats a start I guess, but I hope the management does'nt stop from there, lots more holes to fill.

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#91 Old Retired Guy
March 04 2013, 10:22AM
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I'm sensing some displeasure with the teams performance........are you sure its not just tax pain???

Anyhow,

Besides the obvious need for size and grit some of the things that the Oilers REALLY need right now seem to be happening......

Hemsky and Gagner are at, or close to, the top of thier game....and as a result, their trade value is increasing exactly when we need it to.

Like some kind of miracle, Whitney actally looked Whitneish over the past 2 games...a few more games/weeks like this could make him valuable come April 3rd.

And....Magnus is looking ALOT bigger out there..He may be turning the corner...after all, he is tall enough and could potenially add 10 or 20 lbs of muscle over the next year or two...

NOW.....Lets just hope/pray that the management team has the COURAGE to trade one or more of Hemsky, Gagner, Whitney while/when they have VALUE....TIMING IS EVERYTHING !!!

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#92 2004Z06
March 04 2013, 10:27AM
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No incentive to change if everyone keeps filling the building and buying the gear. The Oilers have one great asset in Tambellini. He is clearly the best "Snake Oil" salesman in the league. Don't worry, next year.........

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#93 lolhockey
March 04 2013, 10:40AM
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The play Eberle made in the final two minutes of the game pretty much sums up some of my frustrations this year.

2 mins remaining, goalie pulled and a chance to make a simple play by putting the puck on net with a bunch of players standing on the crease.

What does he do instead? A no look, behind the back pass to an unsuspecting Yakupov in which the puck ultimately slides across the blue line into the neutral zone.

A lot has been said about the supposed skill and intelligence of our top six. I don’t doubt the skill part, but I’m really starting to question the latter. IIRC, this was something Pat Quinn alluded to. Maybe he was onto something?

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#94 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
March 04 2013, 10:45AM
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5 games in 8 nights, this could work out great as far as landing a potential impact player. 4 pts out of dead last, like it or not, another potential leader is what this team needs.

GO JACKETS!

29th place or bust, baby.

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#95 Dennis
March 04 2013, 11:39AM
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lolhockey wrote:

The play Eberle made in the final two minutes of the game pretty much sums up some of my frustrations this year.

2 mins remaining, goalie pulled and a chance to make a simple play by putting the puck on net with a bunch of players standing on the crease.

What does he do instead? A no look, behind the back pass to an unsuspecting Yakupov in which the puck ultimately slides across the blue line into the neutral zone.

A lot has been said about the supposed skill and intelligence of our top six. I don’t doubt the skill part, but I’m really starting to question the latter. IIRC, this was something Pat Quinn alluded to. Maybe he was onto something?

That made me want to cut my eyeballs out with a spoon! There was no need for a play like that...none. Sometimes this team does the most stupid, nonsensical things. These kids are supposed to be smarter than that, at least that's what we were led to believe.

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#96 bdiddy18
March 04 2013, 11:48AM
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This is what happens when you put essentially a U-21 squad against NHL clubs night in and night out - there will be games where it is so evident its men vs boys out there.

Teams that are big and can slow the speed down will just lean hard on the young ones until they fall or cough up the puck.

The last four games CHI-STL-DAL-MIN are prime example for it..they "offensive machine" has dissappeared as they are being pushed around as mops all over the ice.

problem is the kids still think they can miracously pull it off with a fancy spinorama here or there and try to do it all on one shift and usually as an individual. why - because they are kids - stubborn - and haven't grasped the concept of playing the game with your brain not your dance moves.

why would they - they are 20 - they got loads of NHL years ahead of them - they can dimiss a game or two easily - they are not professionals yet with a driven focus.

Stop catering to it and demand more. I would even use demotions available to the squad to send a message.

but I'm sure people would have a cornorary if the oilers did that. or even put Nuge on the 4th line until he can contribute with regularity on the faceoff dot.

so nothing left to do but wait until the 20 becomes 25.

we got a LONG ROAD ahead of us still...not even close. I'm sure the oiler fan can't stomach that thought but its the truth.. if this is the core then sit tight and wait another 3 to 4 years!

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#97 michael
March 04 2013, 12:10PM
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Your asking Hall,RNH and EBS to step up this year and play first line minutes.The result is what you are seeing on ice is exactly what you should expect to see from 3 players learning to play at the elite level of the NHL. No longer sheltered by Renny,playing against the other teams 3/4th lines.The BIG 3 are going to be schooled night in and night out by players with 5-6 years more experience than them.Physically the difference is huge.Guys like Marleau and Thornton,Kopitar and Carter,IGGY and Tanguay, and Kane and Teows. The expectation should be that we'll continue to improve over time. Not over night.

The addition of Brown sent a message to the team today..Step up the physicality.

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#98 mr_nihilism
March 04 2013, 12:27PM
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This team is absolutely incredibly unbelievably awful. Does this team have a real honest will to win besides once every now and then? Lazy, uninspired more often than not. #1 picks up the wazoo and still it's not enough.

But hey, at least the Oil are four points up on Columbus!

Drastic actions need to be taken. Whatever they may be.

Rant over.

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#99 common sense
March 04 2013, 12:58PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

It took the Nordiques 8 years and two of the most lopsided trades in the history of the NHL to become a premier power house in the NHL.

Today’s NHL doesn’t permit trades of that caliber any longer, so drafting and building your players becomes paramount.

You can’t trade tomorrow’s future for today’s playoffs, it’s been done, and it no longer works. In fact it’s proven not to work.

The Oilers only have two good trading options. Gagner & Hemsky.

This team will have growing pains for another two years, that’s the long and short of it.

It’s the price of a complete rebuild.

Panic, off handed trades and ridicules signings is what kills a rebuild

How about some calm, sensible trades and acquisitions done on a proactive basis to fill the obvious holes and needs on this team. How about shipping Tambo back to the Nucks.

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#100 Oilfan
March 04 2013, 02:07PM
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Dennis wrote:

That made me want to cut my eyeballs out with a spoon! There was no need for a play like that...none. Sometimes this team does the most stupid, nonsensical things. These kids are supposed to be smarter than that, at least that's what we were led to believe.

Is it not possible that the view Ebs had at that moment differed from the camera view the public saw? Is it possible all Ebs saw at that moment was a bunch of legs in between him and the net and, rather than shoot the puck into a few sets of legs and see his shot surely blocked and bouncing into the corner or out of the zone, his instinct was to attempt a pass to a pure goal scorer who might have a better lane? Is it possible that, more often than not, Ebs might have a better idea of what the best option is in that situation over the thousands of professional hockey players who regularly watch games from their sofa?

It's hilarious because, if the pass works and Yak scores, it's up for the honor roll or maybe highlight of the night. If it doesn't work, the good feelings created from Ebs strong season last year officially wash away and he should now be traded.

That's the glory of being an Edmonton Oilers fan I guess - full permission to be absolute full-on bandwagon-jumpers. How many players in this league can shoot from the circle and put it under the bar with such velocity and accuracy that the goalie doesn't even go down? The goal on Reimer last year and this year on Varlamov...so close to the bar no one on the ice was even certain it went in. That's talent. And it's not teachable.

But, since the team is 4 points out of a playoff spot 43% into the season, it probably makes sense to trade away...well, everyone. And, while they're at it, they should go ahead and pull the trigger on the Omark and Whitney (or, in other words, a player not playing in the NHL and a part-time healthy scratch defenseman) for a "big winger who can score" trade (those types that grow on trees) that seems like the pure never-see-it-again "no-brainer" deal for any team that isn't Edmonton.

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