Identity Theft

Jonathan Willis
May 27 2013 12:18PM

Craig MacTavish has been doing what feels like a media blitz since taking over as general manager, making a point of communicating his message clearly and frequently to the Oilers’ fan base. On Friday he appeared on Oilers Now and said a lot of interesting things, though what stood out to me were his comments on team identity.

Chasing

Success is always in vogue. You look at the New Jersey Devils when they won, you had to play a more conservative, trapping style of hockey, a less aggressive style of hockey. Then it transitioned to the Wings, and then you had to play a more skill-level game, a more puck-possession game. Now, the Los Angeles Kings have won the Stanley Cup last year and are threatening again this year with a big, heavy team. I think there are a lot of different ways you can get the job done.

Whenever a team wins the Stanley Cup, there is a lot of time spent dissecting how they won – by fans, by the media, and doubtless also by NHL management. Sometimes, the story is ‘they just won, how does [Team X] we become more like them?’ To a certain degree, it’s healthy – Stanley Cup winners tend to be very good teams, and there’s generally a lot of value in identifying their strengths and seeing how Team X stacks up against them.

But, as MacTavish points out: there are a lot of different ways to win. He mentions three specific examples, but Chicago and Pittsburgh and Anaheim and Carolina and Boston all won Cups during the last CBA, too, and they all had a slightly different way of getting there. It’s a mistake to always chase after the most recent winner; teams can't always be reinventing themselves or moving the goalposts simply because the most recent winner happens to play the game a certain way

The Future

I think first and foremost you have to know what you are as a team, and that’s the most important thing. From my perspective and our organization’s perspective, we’re a team that’s a highly skill-driven team, a team that is going to play a puck-possession game.

MacTavish sees the Oilers as a skill-driven, puck possession team. And it makes sense. Looking at the Oilers’ key players – the youth brought in via lottery picks, plus Justin Schultz and Jordan Eberle – there simply isn’t a base to build a club like San Jose or Los Angeles or St. Louis. Looking at the Kings’ win last year, the smallest of their five most used players was Drew Doughty (6’1”, 208 pounds). Looking at their top nine forwards and top six defencemen, three were under 200 pounds (and one of those guys weighed 199). The Oilers can bulk up all they want, but as long as Eberle and Schultz and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins are playing big minutes they aren’t going to be the Kings.

So they shouldn’t even try.

That’s not to say they don’t need to get bigger – to an extent, I think they do – but they’re never going to beat teams like Los Angeles and Boston by being a poor man’s Bruins or Kings. They have a high-end core, but it’s a core built for playing a different style of game, the style exemplified in the West in recent years by Detroit and Chicago.

The good news for the Oilers is that Craig MacTavish knows that. The vision he’s outlined for the team this summer – bringing in mobility and puck sense on defence, bringing in bottom-six forwards with size that can also contribute offensively, overhauling spots two and three on the goaltending depth chart – are not changes aimed at turning the Oilers into a team that plays a dump-and-chase, grind-it-out game that the top-six simply isn’t built for. They’re changes aimed at supporting the current talent, and evolving the team into the best possible version of itself, rather than a pale imitation of something they aren’t.

Streakcred

Don't forget that it's not too late to play StreakCred - the new playoff pool game from the Nation Network. You can win a trip for 2 to Oktoberfest in Germany among the awesome prizes up for grabs. Now it's only $10 and a portion of the proceeds go to Edmonton Charities. Sign up here.

Recently around the Nation Network

Over at Canucks Army, Thomas Drance talks about the news that Manny Malhotra Hopes To Continue His Playing Career

Malhotra intends to hit the unrestricted free agent market on July fifth, and though I'd suggest he'll struggle to secure a one-way contract, he clearly still wants to play and still wants a chance to end his career on his own terms.

 Click the link above to read the whole piece, or feel free check out some of my other pieces here:

74b7cedc5d8bfbe88cf071309e98d2c3
Jonathan Willis is Managing Editor of the Nation Network. He also currently writes for the Edmonton Journal's Cult of Hockey, Grantland, and Hockey Prospectus. His work has appeared at theScore, ESPN and Puck Daddy. He was previously founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue. Contact him at jonathan (dot) willis (at) live (dot) ca.
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#1 Racki
May 27 2013, 04:05PM
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The argument that guys have to be 6'4 220lbs nowadays is silly, as there are plenty of smaller players out there proving otherwise (Datsyuk and Zetterberg, St. Louis, Kane, Conacher - to a lesser extent now, Brendan Gallagher, Zach Parise, Cammalleri, Ribeiro -built like a twig-, Claude Giroux, Matt Duchene.. I can keep going). This isn't 1980 anymore, Don Cherry. The only thing that needs to be big these days is your heart.

That said, it wouldn't hurt for our team to add some size though, but Jordan Eberle, Nuge (mentioned because he's a twig), and Yakupov will all be dominant players in spite of their lack of size. Good players find a way no matter what their short comings are (pardon the pun).

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#2 Kosmo Kramer
May 27 2013, 03:22PM
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DSF

Sorry dude you are wrong. Since you are picking on details let me tell you Fistric is an Oiler right up until June 30, 2013.

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#3 RexLibris
May 27 2013, 12:32PM
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I want to cry with relief. Finally, somebody gets it. Don't try to get player x or be team y, find the next player x and be the team that everyone tries to emulate.

Is it too late to buy a MacTavish jersey?

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#4 OilersBrass
May 27 2013, 05:26PM
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master of my domain wrote:

it's really a shame what is happening to the comments section of this site. now I don't post often, but I always read the articles and used to love reading through all of the comments.

in the past if the comments were in the 2nd page it would be great discussion with a few witty comments in there to make me laugh. now anytime it hits 2 pages or more, I know it's just DSF trolling and everyone getting their panties in a knot responding.

too bad, guess I'll just stick to the articles.

Don't forget about all of the ridiculous trade requests!

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#5 master of my domain
May 27 2013, 05:25PM
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it's really a shame what is happening to the comments section of this site. now I don't post often, but I always read the articles and used to love reading through all of the comments.

in the past if the comments were in the 2nd page it would be great discussion with a few witty comments in there to make me laugh. now anytime it hits 2 pages or more, I know it's just DSF trolling and everyone getting their panties in a knot responding.

too bad, guess I'll just stick to the articles.

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#6 mayorblaine
May 27 2013, 12:21PM
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if we aren't looking at Detroit for ideas, we are doing it wrong.

all wrong.

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#7 Will
May 27 2013, 12:29PM
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Maybe there is a new paradigm shift in how to build a winning team: tons of talent on the wings.

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#8 revingev
May 27 2013, 02:43PM
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DSF, you mention the following....

(Fistric, who is currently not an Oiler, is a #8D on a good team.) Really? And tell me how you KNOW this? Have you polled other Coach/s or GM's? Not sure of your thoughts on this but ok. I would say he is a 6-7 defencemen on any given team except maybe 4 or 5.

(Paajarvi plays much smaller than his size and should have been in the AHL.) Paajarvi, does not use his body with reckless abandon but put him in the corner to dig for a puck and he losses very few battles. To say he belonged last year in the AHL speaks of your assesment ability. Ask any GM or coach last year upon his last return to the NHL and they will disagree. Magnus spends more time in the offensive zone then in his defensive zone, that speaks volumes.

(Smid is a good size but rarely uses it.) Not even sure how you could use the word RARELY but nonetheless you did. I would say maybe he doesn't use his body size in body checking enough, but would never say it is rare for him to do.

(Jeff Petry doesn't use his size....ever.) Ever? ok , i get it when your making blanket statements, but NEVER? You lost all credibility by that statement. Maybe you don't watch him very often? I will assume you watch occasionally and therefore thought he never uses his body. Ask Debrusk what he thinks, or is he wrong too?

I rather enjoy your opinions even if they are not mine but it appears from your latest comments that you just have more of a hate on for Oilers players then most. Judge away on the players abilities but just like Oiler fans who think their players are wanted stars across the league maybe your being overly critical?

Just a thought...or two

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@Mabell

Talking to DSF is like talking to stubborn, know-it-all teenager, who has never been wrong. Actually, I'm sure that's, in fact, the case.

He uses "skill" sarcastically in the first comment. Then he uses it as a factual precursor.

http://mirtle.blogspot.ca/2013/01/2013-nhl-teams-by-weight-height-and-age.html

Just another piece soiled on by DSF.

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#10 dougtheslug
May 27 2013, 11:30PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

The future is in the hands of these kids. The Oilers are only half way to having what one would consider a nucleus (top 7 forwards, top 3 D and a goaltender). Till this is filled out and these kids start fighting their own battles, it's infinibuild for as far as the eye can see.

Selling the farm (offering up anyone not bolted to the floor, along with draft picks) is in the Oilers best interests. They probably have a shot at their second/first line center in Barkov if they want it.

Watch an aggressive GM this summer, work his tail off to put something together and land both MacKinnon and Drouin. One motivated buyer is all it takes. Watch Steve Yzerman or Dale Tallon do what the Oilers only dreamed they could do these last three yrs. Fark you Lowe.

How about trading for Shea Weber, and then trading half of him to Colorado, and the other half to Florida, for their first found picks?

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#11 David S
May 28 2013, 12:04PM
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Oh. NewAgeSys is burning up the keyboard again? Where the heck is that SHUT UP guy when you need him?

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#12 T__Bone88
May 27 2013, 12:45PM
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I think you should of thrown the Michael Scott "NO!!!" clip in for good measure.

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#13 Spydyr
May 27 2013, 12:55PM
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vetinari wrote:

Can we please have an audio clip of 'Mac the Knife' added somewhere to celebrate his awesomeness?

The only awesome thing about Mac-T has been his openness with the media. I will hold off on celebrating his awesomeness until, well he does something.

Now that being said lets get the playoffs over with so we can see what he actually has, besides big talk.

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#14 T__Bone88
May 27 2013, 01:04PM
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Will this upcoming season with the new alignment affect how teams will build their teams? Since you now play against only teams in your division during the playoffs, maybe puck possession might be the way to go to counter-attack the teams that are just big which are San Jose and LA. The Oilers definitely need to get bigger but sometimes size doesn't matter just for the sake of being bigger.

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#15 DSF
May 27 2013, 03:34PM
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Kosmo Kramer wrote:

DSF

Sorry dude you are wrong. Since you are picking on details let me tell you Fistric is an Oiler right up until June 30, 2013.

I'm sure that will matter in all the games played between now and June 30th.

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#16 OilersBrass
May 27 2013, 05:22PM
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Rama Lama wrote:

Would you agree that skill is TOTALLY separate from size?? If you agree with this concept in general......then why not acquire size with skill?

To me that is the million dollar question. Some teams ( very smart teams) will more readily draft talent that has both skill and size.

We need to develop a drafting metric that incorporates more intangibles ( attitude, aggression, physicality ) so we are not constantly talking about how small our hobbits are.

All these kids need to do is put on some weight (preferably between 190-200) and they'll be fine. You guys gotta remember they're still growing though so it's not easy for some of them to get bigger.

You don't need to be a massive player to be aggressive, perfect example is Dustin Brown. He's only 6 foot but he's over 200 pounds and knows how to throw his weight around. He destroys people.

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#17 DSF
May 27 2013, 06:03PM
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Oiler Al wrote:

DSF. most times I think your a squirrel short a few nuts, but on this one you are dead on! Size and skill combine will almost always beat the smaller/skill team, espeically in the play off run when you have to win 16 games with tons of travel in a short period of time.

A lot of the players Mabell lists, will only see the NHL in their dreams..

SMid is OK for blocking shots, but his bear hugs are just that bear hugs. I ave never seem him hit to hurt so to speak, nor memory of Petry making a thudering hit.

Right on all counts except for the nuts part.

All Smid's nasty is face washing after the whistle and, like you, I don't recall ONE Petry hit from this past season. But I sure do remember Abdelkader, Kronwall and Ericsson dishing out a few.

Brian Bickell is no wallflower either.

No accident that the teams left in the playoffs are the Big Bad Bruins, The Towering Sharks, The LA Ominous Thunder and one of the "skilled" "puck possession" teams.

In a playoff series, big skilled players pound on the skill guys and wear them down (see Daniel and Henrik for reference) rendering them less effective.

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#18 DSF
May 27 2013, 08:23PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Could Peckham be next years Bickell, likely for half of what Bickell will get this summer?

Depends on Weight Watchers ® I would think.

But, seriously, I doubt Peckham even knows where the opposition net is.

He might be okay as a 5 minute a night 4th line guy but why use Peckham when you can sign someone better for peanuts?

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#19 The Beaker
May 27 2013, 09:59PM
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@Josh Oiler

Go away.

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#20 Hisam Saleh
May 27 2013, 10:19PM
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Josh Oiler wrote:

What are you Ralph Kreuger son. If so both you and you dad need to take a hike. Maybe back to Switzerland where my dog can be a head coach of the National team there

Haha.. Good one Josh.. You told him..

It's soo true. Got a mental image of a dog coaching the Swiss National Team. Kreugers son "the Beaker" must be so embarrassed!

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#21 Reg Dunlop
May 28 2013, 12:56AM
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Man, it would be awesome to land Horton and Pietrangelo, Weber and Bickell, Barkov and Luongo... wow am I excited, I can't wait for training camp! Here's how I see our roster looking come October:

Hall-RNH-Eberle

Yak-Gagner-MPS

Smyth-Horc-Hemsky

Jones-Blancmanger-Harski

Petry-Smid

SchultzX2

Klefbom-Potter

DD-Khabbi

Playoff bound? Or is it too early to be vapid for McDavid?

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#22 NewAgeSys
May 28 2013, 08:58AM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

What are the chances that the NHL ever decides to force or allow officials to call the game to allow speed and talent to shine in playoffs? Watch the game after the 05 lockout and watch it now. Interference was not allowed let alone the tackling and bear hugs in these playoffs.

LA and St Louis featured some great hits but a ton on guys getting tackled and leg humped and flat out mugged. Same with LA and SJ. Boston interferes every 30 seconds. Detroit is playing a boring trap game. "Close checking hockey" is boring and often illegal hockey. Leave in the big hits and the occasional scrap. But get rid of the crap.

As DSF alluded that is the Oilers only hope if / when they make the playoffs with this many smallish skilled guys. Yak or Eberle can dangle all they want but if Z wraps them in (an illegal) bear hug the play stops. The NHL needs to decide what product they want to sell. Right now they are fine with plodding pedestrian hockey.

Thank you Mac-T,I will sleep tonight.

The Interference and the illegaly catalysed tactics can be overcome with player utilisation of their spheres of influence away from the puck,they can simply utilise movement without the puck to find ways to defeat those lowball tactics.It is more challenging if you consistantly utilise traditional set plays,much less difficult if you do not.We need to remember to keep our finger on the pulse of the NHL and its officiating trends this is critical because the evolution is ongoing and subtle.

The NHL follows the officiating dynamic template defined by the Commisioner among others.Part of the responsibility of all NHL teams is to contribute to the accuracy,form and function of officiating trends by providing accurate and correct feedbact to the league .That is how we handle officiating issue and the buck stops there,we provide feedback like every other NHL team and that is all we do.It is the responsibility of the league to define the evolution of their own managment path.

It is nice to have the UFC and other comparative dynamics to utilise here. So two men in the 180lb weight class enter the octagon,one is 6'3 and the other is 5'10.Their weights are identical,if you are a UFC fan,which is as real as it gets,then you already know that size differentials can be defined outside of weight considerations alone.That stringbean in there is going to get landed on his ass the first time Husky gets his hands on him and can use leverage to down him,but this is the crux,what the hell happens when they hit the ground?Getting there may be something size can accomodate but what happens there is much less defined by weight and leverage and more by timing body mechanics managment,body types come into play every step of the way as much as weight and muscle distribution.To ilustrate this,stringbeans commonly try to bait men trying to shoot on them so they can end the fight with an immediate and terminal submission,many times the takedown is dynamiclly managed by the man going down,just something as seemingly simple as the hip that hits the floor first can define winning and loseing from the bottom,the key being that bothe winning AND loseing can be catalysed from the bottom with tactical intent and managment.The same applies to hitting in the NHL. Recovery from physical contact is a defined skillset at the NHL level and can be worked on,it is only one detail of many.Proper managment of a players sphere of influence combined with proper recovery execution negates size differentials and holding and other delay tactics.

Mac-T is absolutely right,there is no facet of the NHL game that cannot be countered with systemic focus and intent combined with execellent communication and a fine eye to details and dynamic habits.You cannot disenfranchise managerial impact with statistical factiods.

As far asd I am concerned this is the first time in many many years anyone on the Oilers has given me as a fan an acceptably presented valid statement of intent systemiclly to accurately define a baseline from which to asess and analyse the players,coaching and managment staffs acumen and performance.Thank you very much Mac-T,this looks like the beginning of an organised and structured template,congratulatons this is the right path.

This is what I would define based on past situational dynamics surrounding systemic focus and intent being related to player and managerial accountability as a BOLD MOVE.

In one fell swoop the Oilers have clarified and simplified the jobs of both the coaches and the players and at the same time they have given their fanbase a finite statement of organisational intent systemiclly thereby reducing the volume of speculation and critique directed at Oilers managment and personell by a substantial degree.Now Coaches,players and fans alike can all begin to gravitate towards a properly defined stakeholder dynamic template.We are all beginning to look down at the same page finally,excellent.

I like it when resources are properly quantified and dynamiclly managed and this is what i feel is happening here.This is the most challenging area of managing an NHL club,and it is a core value component of developing a superior communication platform.When resources and intent are accurately and consistantly quantified and defined it is easier to accurately manage them and it reduces the volume of miscommunications organsationally that can happen during this dynamic managment action.

The Big Bad Wolf will bust a nut trying to blow down a properly catlysed house of Bricks,and this is the beginning of a solid foundation for just that.

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#23 NewAgeSys
May 28 2013, 10:29AM
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Reg Dunlop wrote:

Man, it would be awesome to land Horton and Pietrangelo, Weber and Bickell, Barkov and Luongo... wow am I excited, I can't wait for training camp! Here's how I see our roster looking come October:

Hall-RNH-Eberle

Yak-Gagner-MPS

Smyth-Horc-Hemsky

Jones-Blancmanger-Harski

Petry-Smid

SchultzX2

Klefbom-Potter

DD-Khabbi

Playoff bound? Or is it too early to be vapid for McDavid?

EXCELLENT assesment of a fine potential set of dynamiclly matched lines from a player perspective.

I would give my left walnut to see this exact lineup supported for 82 games in terms of keeping the trios together and moving them in their entirity to adjust to opponents,keep em together through thick and thin,Make lines 1 and 2 carry opposite dynamic impacts systemiclly so they can be effectively switched up for pure systemic tactical reasons. The 3rd and 4th line should be the same way,two distinct and seperate dynamic impacts that are consistant for 82 games and are managed as entitys unto themselves within the system,and presented to opponents situationally,this in essence gives us a system within a system so to speak.We should have the ability to present a 1st and 3rd line that are offensively catalysed{less physical} and a 1st and a 3rd line that are defensively catalysed{more physical}.If we plan to dominate the NHL we need this flexibility.Our structiral dynamic template should include this presentation,instead of managing four lines we only need to manage TWO.we reduce the workload cerebrally and systemiclly at the same time this way.

We want to develop two system presentations that are identical in form and function but different in flavor,we dont want to have to make systemic adjustments to present a more physical intent,we need to meet this dynamic managment challenge head-on and it seems the Oilers are trying to do just that,kudos to them finally.

Details and habits are what our tools are to work with and systemic integrity and consistancy must be maintained tightly while these components are adjusted game to game opponent to opponent.

I am looking at Harski and Jones together and I am afraid Harski doesnt throw em enough to provide us with the physical impact one of the bottom two lines must present,Harski is an offensive support guy on the 4th line and we dont need that if the 3rd line is set.Our 3rd or 4th line must be defensively and physically catalysed.The 3rd looks to be a fastbreak traditional presentation with excellent veteran prescence.This mean we need to change the 4th lines flavor,no one would mess with that 3rd line,it is definately an NHL playoff teams 3rd line. We need to build the 4th line in a way that allows us to bring up the beasts if we need to ,no spreading this impact out as we already tried to do,we want clearly defined tools to work with,just like the 2nd line needs to present a more shutdwon defensive posture as opposed to the 1st lines presentation so we can move entire lines where we need them and maintain chemistry and dynamic continuity.

We dont need black and white differences here,we need impactfull differences that fall within systemic managment norms with NO EXTRA ADJUSTMENTS NEEDED.When I say bring the Beasts up I dont mean 6'5 behemoths at all,I am talking about impact that is tacticlly catalysed and planned and executed by non-behemoths but with that type of effect.This is more of a gear change ability we are looking for than an engine or transmission replacement. we want our 4x4 to be engaged on the fly,we dont want to stop and lock the hubs to make it through the deep waters.We want a smooth trsnsition here so we need to define the dynamic template we want to manifest FIRST with consideration to systemic impact not body impacts.

You dont try to dominate Ali with the jab,but if you dont at least produce a jab that is 75% of his you havent got a chance,you dont need to beat him clearly on every corner but you need to be close in every department to allow fate to favor the bold.

We dont need to fight sheer power with sheer power,it doesnt work that way,its all about transference of impact.For the best example in the world mac-T should google "electric car racing Indy car" and see a tangible example of this principal in action,ha ha ha ha ha ha.

Seriously ,what the electric car does to the Indy car is what the NewAge Hockey system will do to any current NHL system of play,and for the EXACT same reason.

The electic car FREAKING HAMMERS THE INDY CAR INTO THE TARMAC.

Because the electric car has a smooth and consistant transference of impact combined with sunstantially less weight,a dynamic is manifested that that creates a canyon sized performance divide.This is what the Oilers need to develop,this type of superior dynamic managment.

Propely catlysing and managing the sphere of influence connected to Motion as related to the transferrence of power is the key to defeating a sheer weight,size and power disadvantage every time.

Goddam Google eh?It makes everyone think they are a professional,hell maybe that is exactly what it makes you if you learn enough eh?No more trade secrets,ha ha ha ha,you can learn at your own pace and your performance envelope is dictated by passion not time constraints and traditional delay and deter tactics.We are all born with incredible cerebral potential that can be sidetracked very easily and in the past millions and millions of people were abused just this way.Now there are Overnight sensations in every arena imaginable,just the way things are supposed to be,hell there are kids in Africa learning to be doctors who havent even seen what a school here even looks like,they just dont need to waste 18 years educating themselves in needless areas anymore,no one ever really needed to do that,it was just another method of class seperation based on fiscal ability,ways to keep people pigeon-holed into poverty by denying free acess to education and advancement.

The old guard are falling upon desperation tactics as their support webs fall to pieces in the face of this cyber-onslaught of cerebral supremacy.The floodgates have been opened and anyone anywhere can acess the EXACT data and support they require no matter what the traditional process used to be,today you just let your fingers do the walking and let your checkbook to the talking when you find the perfect fit to your needs.The market place is now a level playing field where true results finally rule the day,and pro-active disclosure is becoming the norm not an anaomaly.

The internet is forcing everyone to be HONEST,all you need to do is avoid data brokers like Barkhorse who try to make you pay for what is already free,as in the old days that is pure deciet and userage.The rewards fiscally and otherwise belong to the owner of the intellectual material,not to the scammers who "scrape up"a free advertising type of data resource and sell it ,creating a profit to keep that belongs to someone else.The free data online is just that ,a free sample,who the hell wouuld pay money for that?It is free!!

If you try to take a free sample of something and re-create that product in its entirity exactly based on simply a sample sized data bite,you will have invested substantial resources in a very risky endeavour,you cant take a cookie and think you can break it down and recreate it as good as it was when you found it,ha ha ha,you need the recipie not just the ingredients,if you try to take piecemael bits of free data that have been scalped and re=packaged and utilise them as if they were absolute tools,you are setting yourself up for failure.Both long and short term.Integrity will always rule the day no matter where the sun rises.Keep it straight ,keep it narrow,keep it focused and keep it honest,the rest will tske care of itself.Start playing with the devil and you will begin to feel the heat in places you dont want to.

Give a man a fish{Barkhorse}and you feed him for a day,teach a man to fish{Moma2 and the NewAge Hockey System}and you feed him for life.

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#24 John
May 28 2013, 12:57PM
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Josh Oiler wrote:

What are you Ralph Kreuger son. If so both you and you dad need to take a hike. Maybe back to Switzerland where my dog can be a head coach of the National team there

It's funny, everyone complains about DSF being a troll but completely ignore the person who is actually the most annoying commentor...Josh Oiler. At least DSF brings some legitimate arguments to the table.

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#25 NewAgeSys
May 28 2013, 10:47PM
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Wäx Män Riley wrote:
EXCELLENT assesment of a fine potential set of dynamiclly matched lines from a player perspective.

I would give my left walnut to see this exact lineup supported for 82 games in terms of keeping the trios together

I think your sarcasm detector is broken or needs a tuneup. That is the same lineup that would have finished 30th if they played a full season this year.

This is not the same line up at all,it is the same roster players but the lines we iced were not in this order and did not maintain continuity in this order all year long,please spare me the injuries caused the popcorn popper to come on by itself BS again.

After game 3 this season i was all over Ralph to use these exact lines for reasons he seemed to completely let fly over his head but under his radar.

Ralph refused to put hemsky on the 3rd line early enough to give us the offense and zone entry dominance we needed from there,he also chose not to put and keep the 2nd line of MPS-Gagner-Yakupov together early which deprived them of chemisrty building time and offense,there was also mismanagment of the 1st line to an epic degree for most of the abbreviated season with hall taking the reins when Nuge should have been holding them the entire way.

There is this little thing called Intuitive Dynamic Managnent and Ralph failed to inject enough into his lines when he matched them together.The dynamic compatability is more important than the statistical BS that Ralph was relying on.

The Oilers fail to properly utiise their farm team and support personell,they prefer to scramble all their dam lines when one man goes down instead of replacing him with a replacement who is a dynamic template fit,because they DONT EVEN KNOW what a dynamic template is for christsakes.

Yes the names are the same but the line combos and their integrity were not represented last year by Ralphs actions.Had they been I believe we were a playoff team.We didnt lose our playoff shot during the horrid skid when we were finally at the door,we lost it earlier in the season pissing away games for reasons of poor dynamic managment on many fronts in fact on a goddam connstellation of fronts,from simply knowing which players to put together to how to manage them from shift to shift,period to period,and game to game.This trouble ALL stems from poor Intuitive dynamic managment of personell when selecting line combos early and when deciding how long to keep those trios intact.Ralph made a critical error in is "pairs"innovation and it killed him,he knew darn well he had to match a zone entry specialst with other dynamic impacts,but he used statistical inputs to choose those men and their combos instead of the Intuitive inputs that told him to identify and priorise the zone entry specialists he built around in the first place,he only used HALF of the required data and tactical knowledge.This is because he didnt have the entire NHS database to work with,just bits and pieces.

You can either use statistical inputs to design your lines or Intuitive inputs,but you need to make a choice,you cannot have both,and considering the natures of stats and Intuition,my suggeston is to use stats to review and analyse your system performance after the fact seeing as that is all stats relect is things after the fact and leave them at that door.

Intuitive inputs ALWAYS begin a dynamic template and statistical inputs always end it.If you want to win then you need to use the winning formula.

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#26 Maddog
June 01 2013, 04:28AM
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Cowbell_Feva wrote:

@NewAgeSys

I cannot believe I just read somebody talking about hockey (supposedly) and stating that an NHL head coach should have used a little thing called "Intuitive Dynamic Management". Really?

Really?

I didn't read the rest of your thesis statement, but to try and say the Oilers would have made the playoffs if Krueger just kept the same lines all season long is assinine. When the team plays as bad as they did, including the kid line, why would any coach keep them in tact?

Seriously man, keep the rants down to less than 14 pages and people might actually read them.

I was saying a bit more than that ,dynamic line managment and continuity was lacking last year.These are basic simple team sport concepts.Not rocket science.

The 1st line was poorly managed for 2/3 of the season.The 2nd line was like a popcorn popper.Hemsky never hit the 3rd line where he belonged with smyth and Horcoff.

Hall needed to give line leadership to Nuge and alow him to magage it his own way,that didnt hapen till late in the year,Halls points didnt suffer but the rest of the line sure did.

Yakupov-Gagner-MPS should have been put and kept together after the first 3 games,thats when i saw the hole and commented,history shows i was dead on.

The 3rd lines lack of offensive production and dynamic impact on games was a big part of our failures last season along with the 1st lines mismanagment and lack of optimisation.Hemsky needed to be on the 3rd line with his zone entry ability and single handed scoring ability.

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#27 Maddog
June 01 2013, 04:30AM
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I am the Liquor wrote:

I see the fourth horse of the apocalypse has found his way here.......

Thats the 5th horse,the 4th got caught in traffic on the Whitemud Freeway.

Ha ha ha.

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#28 vetinari
May 27 2013, 12:47PM
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Can we please have an audio clip of 'Mac the Knife' added somewhere to celebrate his awesomeness?

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#29 Racki
May 27 2013, 12:59PM
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My Detroit Red Wings fan buddy has always been saying that "the Oilers don't have an identity". Good to hear MacTavish echo this as well. The team up until now was a bit of a clusterf--- of ideas, it seems. I think if we're aiming for a puck possession team, than MacTavish would do a lot of good for this team by swinging for the fences when it comes to acquiring a blue liner that brings it all.

I realize it's a pipe dream on my part, but I've been dreaming about us acquiring Alex Pietrangelo since the 2009 (? I think??) World Junior Championships. He brings a complete game. It would be tricky as hell to get him out of St. Louis, but hey, wouldn't be the first time we got a marquee d-man out of them. There are others we could try for, but I think that's the type of player that would really go a long long way here, and it's worth paying a lot for. Shea Weber of course is another option that I'd love for us to have, or Zach Bogosian to a lesser extent.

At any rate, I would be dangling the #7 pick and our some of our better farm prospects to acquire one of those big names. One player shouldn't make a big difference, but I can't help but think it actually would in a case like that.

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#30 Will
May 27 2013, 01:03PM
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Pick One:

Use the 7th overall and something to move up the draft to try and get Barkov.

Use the 7th overall and something to try and get a big name top 2 defender.

Use the 7th overall to draft Monahan or Lindholm assuming they are still on the board.

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#31 Spydyr
May 27 2013, 01:06PM
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Racki wrote:

My Detroit Red Wings fan buddy has always been saying that "the Oilers don't have an identity". Good to hear MacTavish echo this as well. The team up until now was a bit of a clusterf--- of ideas, it seems. I think if we're aiming for a puck possession team, than MacTavish would do a lot of good for this team by swinging for the fences when it comes to acquiring a blue liner that brings it all.

I realize it's a pipe dream on my part, but I've been dreaming about us acquiring Alex Pietrangelo since the 2009 (? I think??) World Junior Championships. He brings a complete game. It would be tricky as hell to get him out of St. Louis, but hey, wouldn't be the first time we got a marquee d-man out of them. There are others we could try for, but I think that's the type of player that would really go a long long way here, and it's worth paying a lot for. Shea Weber of course is another option that I'd love for us to have, or Zach Bogosian to a lesser extent.

At any rate, I would be dangling the #7 pick and our some of our better farm prospects to acquire one of those big names. One player shouldn't make a big difference, but I can't help but think it actually would in a case like that.

It sure would be nice to get that stud defenceman to anchor the team. Every team has one or wants one. They do get traded once every few years but like you said they are not easy to come by.

Think it would take one of the kids though.

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#32 Racki
May 27 2013, 01:13PM
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Spydyr wrote:

It sure would be nice to get that stud defenceman to anchor the team. Every team has one or wants one. They do get traded once every few years but like you said they are not easy to come by.

Think it would take one of the kids though.

Yah, for sure it would be difficult to do. I can't even really imagine what it would take to pry Pietrangelo away. And in honesty, I'm not really sure I'd be willing to part with any of Nuge, Eberle, Hall or Yakupov for anyone. I would part with guys like Paajarvi, Gagner, and such, but it would take a fairly significant bundle of quality players to do it without involving one of the "kids". So it will likely always just be a pipe dream, unless one of our draftees becomes a stud d-man.

There is also the possibility of an offersheet, but I wouldn't ever give up 4 1st rounders to make it happen, and I'm not so sure there's an offersheet outside of that tier which St. Louis wouldn't match. So it would just end up pissing off another potential trading partner.

Nashville still has a healthy stock of young up and coming d-men though, so maybe they're the best option. (Blum, Rosi, Weber, Ellis)

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#33 Spydyr
May 27 2013, 01:18PM
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Racki wrote:

Yah, for sure it would be difficult to do. I can't even really imagine what it would take to pry Pietrangelo away. And in honesty, I'm not really sure I'd be willing to part with any of Nuge, Eberle, Hall or Yakupov for anyone. I would part with guys like Paajarvi, Gagner, and such, but it would take a fairly significant bundle of quality players to do it without involving one of the "kids". So it will likely always just be a pipe dream, unless one of our draftees becomes a stud d-man.

There is also the possibility of an offersheet, but I wouldn't ever give up 4 1st rounders to make it happen, and I'm not so sure there's an offersheet outside of that tier which St. Louis wouldn't match. So it would just end up pissing off another potential trading partner.

Nashville still has a healthy stock of young up and coming d-men though, so maybe they're the best option. (Blum, Rosi, Weber, Ellis)

Well I'm going to cross my fingers and my toes. The team needs that true number one anchor d-man.

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#34 Rama Lama
May 27 2013, 01:20PM
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I'm just so happy we do not have to listen to Mr. Tamby's mumbo jumbo talking points, say nothing of any relevance, and do even less.

He'll I would be happy to listen Maggie the Monkey talk mo than Tamby!

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#35 WhattaMike
May 27 2013, 01:24PM
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I like that MacT is seemingly dtermined to make the Oilers a Team of Identity.

What this team needs now up top is not a trying hard skilled type 2nd liner like Gagner is only....but one who is with size and meanness.

I really like the kids in this years draft to choose from...for skill at centre with MacKinnon, Barkov, Lindholm, Monahan and Horvat, but are these kids with meanness/grit to go with that skill.

Unless the Oilers move up to #3, 4, or 5, Barkov will be gone for sure. MacKinnon is going #2, maybe now even #1 with his memorial cup performance over Seth Jones.

RNH scares other teams with his skill but is he mean?...NO, he is of ultra pure type talent and rightfully so for a 1st line centre.

Look at Messier behind Gretzky with his size, super mean streak plus awesome talent.

Same with the Oilers third line setup. I remember Bucky, Grier, and Marchantas an exciting 3rd line to watch both defensively and having decent offence too, but most of that was meanness, hard work/determination and dedication as well.

Same with the Oilers' defence. Pronger was the balance of meanness and skill as were other Oiler past players (offence/defence) like Fogolin, McSorley, Lowe (yes him too), Jackson, Huddy, Marchment, Manson, Jason Smith,

This Oilers team...on every line and defence pairing...needs to show full meanness, dedication and determination....to go with skill they are building together. Any team can have all the skill each wants but unless they had a balance of everything no one wins the Cups.

Finally this team needs that one big save to win the game and although Dubnyk is getting better he has not shown that Grant Fuhr, Ken Dryden, or Bernie Parent, Billy Smith, etc, type ability as yet.

I believe MacT is looking for the right blend now rather than rebuild for the next three years.

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#36 John Chambers
May 27 2013, 01:27PM
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Will wrote:

Pick One:

Use the 7th overall and something to move up the draft to try and get Barkov.

Use the 7th overall and something to try and get a big name top 2 defender.

Use the 7th overall to draft Monahan or Lindholm assuming they are still on the board.

I'll take door #2

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#37 Rob...
May 27 2013, 01:28PM
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My only expectations for next season are seeing a few epic Yakupov celebrations and hearing some funny comments from MacT in interviews.

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#38 Racki
May 27 2013, 01:33PM
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John Chambers wrote:

I'll take door #2

Me too, although it's going to take more than that to get the kind of d-man I think we could really use here.

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#39 gongshow
May 27 2013, 01:35PM
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I like MacT's comments over the last couple of weeks, but we'll see how it plays itself out.

2 concerns that I have on his ability to execute as GM stem from comments that I have heard from insiders during his time as Oilers head coach.

First is that while he was wonderful for sound bites to the media, he was very poor with communication with some of his players, leaving them twisting in the wind, wondering what their role was or what what their future with the team was. Maybe he was using some advanced psychological wizardry, but it raises a red flag for me.

Red flag number 2 is what I have heard of the poor communication between MacT and some of his coaching staff. Perception may have been that he either A) thought that he was the smartest brain in the room and disregarded others input or B) possessed a crystal ball or magic 8 ball that he put more stock in than the opinions of his own coaching staff.

People grow and evolve. Based upon my perception of his previous operating style, I hope that MacT picked up some new listening and communication skills as part of his MBA training.

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#40 DSF
May 27 2013, 01:43PM
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Mac T and this article are both missing the most critical component of the winning equation in the current NHL.

The standard of officiating has devolved very near to the point it was before the last lockout and that has given a big advantage to the "heavy" teams.

Unless steps are taken to reverse that trend, skilled , puck possession teams will have a very difficult time being successful.

Jon uses Chicago as an example of a "skill" team but take a look at some of their roster:

Toews - 6'2" 210

Stalberg - 6'3" 210

Hossa - 6'1" 210

Sharp - 6'1" 205

Bickell - 6'4" 235

Bollig - 6'2" 225

Handzus - 6'5" 215

Saad - 6'1" 205

Carcillo - 6'0" 205

Seabrook - 6'3" 225

Keith - 6'1' 200

Hjamarsson - 6'3" 210

Those are some pretty big boys and, in fact, the Hawks only have 2 players on their regular roster who are under 6 feet...Kane and Shaw.

While they are certainly a pick possession team, they are also capable of playing a banging style of hockey.

The Wings are smaller but they have some pretty large specimens on their roster as well.

Abdelkader - 6'1" 220

Andersson - 6'2" 210

Franzen 6'3" 225

Kindl - 6'3" 220

Ericsson 6'4" 220

Quincey - 6'2" 210

Smith - 6'2" 200

DeKeyser - 6'3" 190

Big men with skill will beat small men with skill every time and that's especially true in the playoffs.

The Oilers biggest forward is Paajarvi and he plays like he's 5'10 180.

They have some size on defense but, other than Peckham (now that Sutton is gone), none of them play with an edge.

Teams like Montreal and Vancouver were built on the "skilled, puck possession" model and, while they can be successful in the regular season, they get obliterated in the playoffs when the referees swallow their whistles.

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#41 John Chambers
May 27 2013, 01:45PM
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Racki wrote:

Me too, although it's going to take more than that to get the kind of d-man I think we could really use here.

The #7 pick + spare change (perhaps Paajarvi, 2nd rounders, Marincin, etc) puts you in the conversation for a player such as:

Tobias Enstrom, Karl Alzner, Alex Goligoski, Alex Edler, Fedor Tyutin, and maybe even Christian Erhoff or perhaps even Kris Letang if Pittsburgh wants to mini-rebuild after this year.

Whatever happens, it'll be an interesting summer.

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#42 John Chambers
May 27 2013, 01:48PM
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@DSF

I could list the heights and weights of Mark Fistric, Magnus Paajarvi, Ladislav Smid, Corey Potter, Jeff Petry, and Lennert Petrell, but it still wouldn't conclude that size wins you hockey games.

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#43 Cody anderson
May 27 2013, 01:48PM
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@Will

I agree with you. My preferance would be to move up and take Barkov depending on the cost. If we could do our 7th,and Hemsky minus 1/2 of his salary I go this route.

7th and something really depends what you are giving up and who you are getting in return. Certainly don't want to take on an albatross contract.

I would add Nichushkin to your list of players to take with that 7th pick as he may slide due to his KHL tie.

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#44 Will
May 27 2013, 01:57PM
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Cody anderson wrote:

I agree with you. My preferance would be to move up and take Barkov depending on the cost. If we could do our 7th,and Hemsky minus 1/2 of his salary I go this route.

7th and something really depends what you are giving up and who you are getting in return. Certainly don't want to take on an albatross contract.

I would add Nichushkin to your list of players to take with that 7th pick as he may slide due to his KHL tie.

I was going to put him in there, and I for one and gunning we get him, but I feel like that conversation has been had recently, and no matter how hard I shout on the message boards, I just really don't see Mac T take another winger with our first pick. I think if Monahan, Lindholm, and Barkiv are gone by the time we pick, Mac T trades down and grabs someone like Gautier or Lazar. What will be really sad is to see him trade down with nothing but some mid round picks coming back.

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#45 madjam
May 27 2013, 01:58PM
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Willis , you must have cringed or was surprised when MacT mentioned a puck possession Team ? Some of your former blogs referred to this very material in stats form . Let us revisit part of that .

Control in offensive zone vs . loss . Hall -75.1-24.9 ,Hemsky 74.8 -25.2 , Hopkins 71.7 -28.3 ,Horcoff 65.5 , 34.5 , Yakupov 64.5 -35.5 , Eberle 63.00 -37.00 ,barely making it is Gagner at 52.1 -47.9 . The rest of squad ranges from 48.2 (Belanger) 22.2 (Landers) . Only one line is a positive-Hall,Hopkins and Eberle in the offensive zone . The other two zones are just as bad if not worse (neutral and defensive .

Defence is even worse in offensive zone with Petry leading the way at 49.6 , J.Schultz 46.9 , R . Whitney 41.7 - the rest at 25.00-12.5 (Peckham ).

How Mact. will ever make a puck possession out of this team boggles the mind .

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#46 DSF
May 27 2013, 01:59PM
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John Chambers wrote:

I could list the heights and weights of Mark Fistric, Magnus Paajarvi, Ladislav Smid, Corey Potter, Jeff Petry, and Lennert Petrell, but it still wouldn't conclude that size wins you hockey games.

You must have missed my reference to big men with "skill".

Fistric, who is currently not an Oiler, is a #8D on a good team.

Paajarvi plays much smaller than his size and should have been in the AHL.

Smid is a good size but rarely uses it.

Corey Potter is an AHL player.

Jeff Petry doesn't use his size....ever.

Pettrell can't play hockey much at all.

None of the players I listed from Chicago or Detroit could be accused of not having skill.

BIG men with SKILL.

Not SMALL men with SKILL.

Or BIG men with no SKILL.

The Oilers have EIGHT forwards who are under 200 pounds and both Horcoff and Paajarvi, while being over, certainly don't play that way.

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#47 WhattaMike
May 27 2013, 02:03PM
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I agree with John Chambers against DSF that size alone does not win games. However, the the players DSF named from Chicago and Detroit all have very good to ultra skill as well.

But, as I wrote before, meanness is a huge part of necessity bfor the Oilers. Way too soft were the Oilers these past three bto four years.

Stuffing a glove into another players face isnt mean, we need more Brown toughness, more Glenn Anderson, Messier, McClelland, Lumley etc, type meanness spread out to go with skill.

I see the Oilers need three to four more today's type players like Lucic, Clutterbuck, Iginla, Bickell, Ott, Konokpa, etc. Then add those also such as Stalberg, Horton, Alzner, Streit, Petroangelo, Hamonic, etc.

These guys would add awesomely to Hall (next Captain), RNH, Eberle, Yakupov, J. Schultz, Klefbom, Smid, Petry,etc.

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#48 Lochenzo
May 27 2013, 02:09PM
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Ideally you'd prefer your best forwards to be centers vs wingers. Pittsburgh, Detroit, etc. the Oilers won't have that, barring a major trade. But having 3-4 centers that are effective in all zones and do the little things right, will get this team winning. Think 2006 Oilers. Horc, Stoll, Peca. Good defensively, won draws, some offense from Horc and Stoll.

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#49 David S
May 27 2013, 02:13PM
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Will wrote:

Pick One:

Use the 7th overall and something to move up the draft to try and get Barkov.

Use the 7th overall and something to try and get a big name top 2 defender.

Use the 7th overall to draft Monahan or Lindholm assuming they are still on the board.

Pick the only one that helps the team NEXT YEAR. All other options are secondary.

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#50 Will
May 27 2013, 02:20PM
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David S wrote:

Pick the only one that helps the team NEXT YEAR. All other options are secondary.

So which one would you pick? My post wasn't as to what the team should do in order or anything. It was asking ON readers which one they would do and and why as these seem to be the most talked about options, other than trade down which I refused to include here out of sheer hope it doesn't happen.

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