PUSHING THE RIVER

Lowetide
January 01 2014 11:01AM

I think we've established that Taylor Hall is unlikely to make the Olympic team—he's on my team without a throw—but as the calendar turns it's important to keep in mind what Hall's been through this season, and what he's been doing recently.

TAYLOR HALL BY MONTH, 2013-14

Early in the season he was a center, and then he suffered an injury. Although he didn't miss a lot of time (7 games), it certainly had an impact when he returned to play. Still, Hall has been improving and recently has been very good, especially at evens (he has 11 of the team's 81 even-stength goals). In Hall's last 6 games, he's 3-7-10 +4. Things aren't back to normal (his Corsi For % at 5x5/close is lagging from previous seasons) but he's trending in a good direction.

I'd love to see him at the Olympics, but Hall's performances for the Oilers are the real thrill for this fan. Taylor Hall is a difference maker, and the team's recent record (2-0-2 in the last four game) has a lot to do with #4.

Even having a season that looks wonky based on his own established levels, Hall is one of the top players in the game (76th in GVT right now and trending) and if Team Canada passes on him they're addled.

HE CAN'T PLAY DEFENSE!

The 'he can't play defense' argument went full sail during the WHC's last year, when Lindy Ruff chose to hamstring his own team and move Hall down the depth chart. Hall's ability to push the river and help possession makes him BETTER than a defensive forward—the best defense is a good offense—and hockey fans can go overboard making this argument.

Example: Gretzky. People would bitch and moan about his ability to play defense, completely disregarding the fact that the puck was rarely in Edmonton's zone with 99 on the ice. I know, I was there and I did it! Today's modern metrics allow me to understand that Gretzky's offense was so good that the defensive side of the game was reduced markedly with him as part of the solution (that became less of a factor as time wore on, but as an Oiler the ice was tilted in a major way—more than at any other time in history is my guess).

Now, I'm not comparing Hall to Gretzky, but the dynamics are the same. What Hall does well (drives defensemen back, opening up space for zone entries on sorties) has extreme value in possession metrics, and pushes the river in Edmonton's favor. Now, they don't do enough with it, but that's another discussion.

If the group choosing Team Canada focuses on that, Hall makes this team in a breeze.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

My guess is Team Canada passes on Hall, and that he uses it as fuel to punish the hockey world. As an Oiler fan, that's the best thing about looking forward to 2014.

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Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on TSN 1260.
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#51 Taylor Gang
January 01 2014, 05:28PM
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Jason wrote:

Sean Couturier for Eberle would be a good trade for Edmonton

Young inexperienced player for an even younger one...

Envision Couturier on the Oilers tomorrow night against San Jose. Do you TRULY think that he will help us out? Against a team like the Sharks? I don't know about you but that really wouldn't help the cause. Trading for a player like Coburn and Simmonds would, but not only Couturier.

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#52 Batfink
January 01 2014, 11:27AM
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Another point in case is that we're likely to take a multitude of centres because they're the best players with the most amount of points. This makes me queasy as most of them are elite level talents at centre, but merely great players on the wing, lol. Against the Kazakstans of the world, they will dominate. Against the Swedens and USAs they may be exposed. I would take Hall over ANY elite centre who isn't playing centre. 'Cos when the chips are down, people tend to naturally revert to what they know best, and we don't need 3 centres fighting each other for position and the puck.

I also agree that Hall isn't and shouldn't be made into uber-defensive winger. Give him the puck, let him back them d-men off of be burned, then let him either score or hit the elite sniper trailer. Opposing teams HAVE to respect that if they give him half a yard, then he's gone like a scalded cat and you ain't catching him. That's pretty good defence if used correctly. Have him float on the blue line, make the other team not commit all their assets down low.

Basically, I'm pissed when I see Hall below our goal line digging for the puck. That means he's not where he's scaring the crap out of the opposition. I think a case could be made for other teams to be more than happy with us trying to teach him how to play 'defence'.

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#53 Rama Lama
January 01 2014, 11:56AM
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Well I for one am happy that Hall is not going to Russia. Firstly, he is motivated right now and I suspect not being considered for the Olympics is a driving factor?

Secondly, anyone that plays in this tournament usually comes back in an altered state which requires 10 games to recover. Since we are trying to make the playoffs, ( we can do it we need to go 40-1) a fresh Hall on the team is needed so why send him to Russia.

On a side note I was wondering if anyone else feels that Eberle is really lacking on the shooting. His need to wrist everything is costing him opportunities.........I would make him watch 100 Jarri Kurri goals and he would quickly see that half his goals came from one-timers.

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#54 Oliveoiler
January 01 2014, 07:53PM
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@K_Mart

Unfortunately, Taylor Hall is VERY predictable to other teams. He plays with passion, but plays the same reckless moves around the boards - game after game, immediately alerting the opposition to what he's going to do. Then, if he doesn't fall down, he will give the puck away as the opposition is waiting for him. He scores when he has a breakaway or clear ice, when he's up against D men from the other team, he's hooped. Does that answer your question?

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#55 Strange Tamer
January 01 2014, 02:05PM
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Impartial Oilers Fan wrote:

Can someone please explain why fans and bloggers believe that they're smarter and know more about hockey than the guys in charge of picking the Olympic team?!

I do not understand how fans have an blind belief in players, specifically like Hall and Yakupov. These fans that come across like hockey mom's talking about their own son's, spouting off that they are better than kids picked on a team that their son wasn't.

So, do tell, why are these fans and bloggers not seeing the same flaws in Hall and Yakupov that some of the most important and influential minds in hockey are seeing?

Obviously standard stats aren't the sole criteria, otherwise Hall would be a lock apparently. And its not a anti-Russian thing, because even Russian's own Olympic committee was talking about the glaring deficiencies in Yakupov's game. Yet, everyone that loves to scream YakCity before he's even proved anything substantial, think that its only a Russian bias as to why he needs to improve and drop the prima donna act in the media.

So again, please, inform me why fans and bloggers are right about Hall and Yakupov and their respective Olympic selection committees don't see them the same way??

You lost me in the first sentence. Tambo used to be heavily involved in picking past Olympic teams and 6rings still is. Seeing their handy work up close for the last decade in Edmonton leads me to believe that a lot of fans could be in charge and get the same results seeing as the Oilers have been the worst team in the NHL the past 5 years.

Canada has so much depth you could send a second team and they would have a decent shot at medalling. Pick top 50 names and have a monkey throw darts at a board and you would get a better result than the geniuses who picked the team that finished 7th in 2006. In retrospect that should have been foreshadowing for the current edition of the Oilers and 6rings and Tambo were the main architects for the Canadian team that finished behind the power house Swiss. Maybe that's why Tambo hired Krueger ? All this Oiler failure is starting to weave a bizarre historical web.

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#56 David S
January 01 2014, 02:47PM
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EricOG wrote:

Thing is Eberle and Gagner are finishers by nature. So putting them both together makes that line a null one.

Last night they created nothing, the only lines creating were the Hall line and a little bit from the Hemsky-Gordon-Smyth line. That, is on coaching.

They were lugging around a career AHL'er who's had a smattering of (failed) games at the NHL level.

Watch the difference tomorrow night with Yak on that line. #NightAndDay

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#57 Taylor Gang
January 01 2014, 06:27PM
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Jason wrote:

Taylor Gang knows how to trash a comment, howerver he does not know hockey.

On what basis do I not know hockey? I don't agree with your opinion, therefore I'm ignorant?

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#58 Serious Gord
January 01 2014, 06:48PM
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An tangential to the topic of Gleason - if there's a worse GM than the Lowe/tambo/MacT group it's Jim Rutherford.

He has made some doozy mistakes over the years and yet he still seems to survive - the 'canes owner grew up a red wings fan - maybe it's the same syndrome as Katz has...

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#59 They're $hittie
January 01 2014, 11:29AM
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@Impartial Oilers Fan

Not completely disagreeing with you but there clearly is an eastern bias. (ovechkin allstar team last year) Ruff was in Buffalo so long he has become super stubborn. He could not find a way to use his weapon so he threw it away. Did they win gold? no. Epic fail on him.

Everyone has there biases, even professionals. We all know that they wont take the 25 best players, they will try to build a team and all the top hockey minds will have a different opinion on this.

Taylor Hall is a superior player to a lot of the players that will make this team. If he was the same player and the oilers were in a playoff spot this wouldnt be a conversation.

Remember 6 rings is on the management of team canada, Dont right hall off yet.

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#60 K_Mart
January 01 2014, 11:52AM
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@Batfink

"I also agree that Hall isn't and shouldn't be made into uber-defensive winger. Give him the puck, let him back them d-men off of be burned, then let him either score or hit the elite sniper trailer. Opposing teams HAVE to respect that if they give him half a yard, then he's gone like a scalded cat and you ain't catching him. That's pretty good defence if used correctly. Have him float on the blue line, make the other team not commit all their assets down low."

This team needs Hall to be a top defensive guy. If he just waits for his linemates to break the opposition's cycle and breakout to him then he will be waiting forever. Having hall get back and help shutdown the opposition's cycle and retrieve the puck is huge for us because it gets the play going back the other way sooner rather than later.

I'm sure you've noticed, but when our team gets hemmed in their own end, we often can't stop their possession game and just wait until we get a whistle after a shot on net is covered up. It's bad, real bad.

Hall has the ability to take over the game everywhere on the ice. That's exactly what he should do. And it's exactly what he's been doing as of late.

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#61 K_Mart
January 01 2014, 12:01PM
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Rama Lama wrote:

Well I for one am happy that Hall is not going to Russia. Firstly, he is motivated right now and I suspect not being considered for the Olympics is a driving factor?

Secondly, anyone that plays in this tournament usually comes back in an altered state which requires 10 games to recover. Since we are trying to make the playoffs, ( we can do it we need to go 40-1) a fresh Hall on the team is needed so why send him to Russia.

On a side note I was wondering if anyone else feels that Eberle is really lacking on the shooting. His need to wrist everything is costing him opportunities.........I would make him watch 100 Jarri Kurri goals and he would quickly see that half his goals came from one-timers.

Yeah. Ebs has to learn to one time the puck. It was an obvious deficiency in his rookie year and I just figured he'd work on the slapper and add it to the repertoire over the following three years. But here we are and he hasn't really improved his slapshot/onetimer at all.

He is still putting up the offense and is looking like he will be a career 60-70pt guy, but I sure hope we don't see much more of what JW pointed out in the GWG from last night. Ouch. Ebs really failed hard on that play.

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#62 TayLordBalls
January 01 2014, 01:00PM
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EricOG wrote:

Thing is Eberle and Gagner are finishers by nature. So putting them both together makes that line a null one.

Last night they created nothing, the only lines creating were the Hall line and a little bit from the Hemsky-Gordon-Smyth line. That, is on coaching.

The coach is excellent.

It may not be all the players he wants, but he's done a heck of a job with what he's been given.

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#63 RexHolez
January 01 2014, 01:51PM
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I think there's only one number why Hall won't make the Olympic team and that's 13-24-5. On a team that has no other option but to win gold, it's hard to pick a guy that's on such a terrible hockey team no matter what his personal stats are. Fair or not the canadian Olympic team needs winners and hall isn't one yet

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#64 Jackson
January 01 2014, 02:00PM
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David wrote:

Never in a playoff game.

Does not play a 200ft game.

Uses his speed against non playoff teams. Does not work against talent

Of course he is not on the Olympic team. Unless they want a 1- way player

I agree, I like players that have played under pressure and performed . Hall gets points against teams that don't bring their A game because the Oilers are so weak. Battle tested players all the way for me.

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#65 gr8one
January 01 2014, 07:15PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

So if the oil have so much cap room - why did MacT unload smid? This is the first I heard that the oil had that much room.

And yes, Gleason isn't worth the dough - but then neither is Ference or phaneuf. Maybe what is considered an over pay is what really is the going rate for established defensemen that aren't tied up by a team that can afford them.

http://www.capgeek.com/oilers

That $12+ million is before bonuses and the projection after bonuses is still well over $6m, still plenty of room to add a player with Gleason's salary, so suggesting that Gagner's and Hemsky's salaries are preventing this team from making moves is absurd. Especially since Hemsky has been one of the teams best forwards.

As to your other point, overpaying a bit for a player I can't say as I necessarily disagree with that as long as that player is useful and helps the team.

Gleason is neither. I also think the Ference contract was ill advised and a poor signing, I don't mind the dollars, nor the player but four years was dumb. Phaneuf on the other hand is a legit top pairing D and I don't really think that's an overpay in regards to the new CBA and where the salary cap is going, I think it's pretty spot on for what a player that brings what Phaneuf brings will be getting going forward.

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#66 DonDon
January 01 2014, 11:19AM
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Another possible opportunity for MacT to make a deal. Kadri from the Leafs for either Gagner or Hemsky and, if necessary, a prospect. Would add some size and muscle to a roster that is short on these attributes. Kadri may be a bad ass in Toronto, but this is something the Oilers need to balance the roster.

We're still waiting for MacT's bold moves.

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#67 Rod from Viking
January 01 2014, 12:31PM
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My question is what is Scarlet riding, one of those ponies at the mall? To me it looks like Taylor has made leaps and bounds in his overall game, maybe he decided to quit listening to the coaches. "Happy New Year" everyone.

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#68 RexHolez
January 01 2014, 02:11PM
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@Oilers42

This isn't a world juniors tournament

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#69 Oilers42
January 01 2014, 02:27PM
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RexHolez wrote:

This isn't a world juniors tournament

It's still the highest level of hockey there was for and he still won and dominated Point is hall is one of the best forwards in the league with the 7 games hall missed he would be 3rd in scoring

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#70 David S
January 01 2014, 02:35PM
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Impartial Oilers Fan wrote:

Can someone please explain why fans and bloggers believe that they're smarter and know more about hockey than the guys in charge of picking the Olympic team?!

I do not understand how fans have an blind belief in players, specifically like Hall and Yakupov. These fans that come across like hockey mom's talking about their own son's, spouting off that they are better than kids picked on a team that their son wasn't.

So, do tell, why are these fans and bloggers not seeing the same flaws in Hall and Yakupov that some of the most important and influential minds in hockey are seeing?

Obviously standard stats aren't the sole criteria, otherwise Hall would be a lock apparently. And its not a anti-Russian thing, because even Russian's own Olympic committee was talking about the glaring deficiencies in Yakupov's game. Yet, everyone that loves to scream YakCity before he's even proved anything substantial, think that its only a Russian bias as to why he needs to improve and drop the prima donna act in the media.

So again, please, inform me why fans and bloggers are right about Hall and Yakupov and their respective Olympic selection committees don't see them the same way??

http://stream1.gifsoup.com/view8/4735540/wiser-s-slow-clap-o.gif

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#71 Serious Gord
January 01 2014, 06:41PM
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gr8one wrote:

The ignorance of this post is astounding on so many levels.

First of all, the Oilers have over 12 million of cap space currently, more than enough to make taking on Gleason's salary a moot point.

Second, and more important, Gleason is TERRIBLE, the last thing this team needs is another slow defender that can't pass the puck. Especially @ $4m/per for two more years after this season.

N.Schultz is a better option than Gleason.

So if the oil have so much cap room - why did MacT unload smid? This is the first I heard that the oil had that much room.

And yes, Gleason isn't worth the dough - but then neither is Ference or phaneuf. Maybe what is considered an over pay is what really is the going rate for established defensemen that aren't tied up by a team that can afford them.

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#72 Serious Gord
January 02 2014, 06:39AM
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The Olympic was and continues to be plagued by two things:

old boy network favoritism -Nagano and Turin being the most egregious examples but not the only ones.

Too conservative an approach - this is understandable as the pressure on the group picking the team is enormous and taking a chance that ends in failure can tarnish ones future in the team canada management.

Both of those factors weigh against halls selection as he is outside the eastern based old boy network that currently has the lead in picking the team. And he definitely would be seen as a risky option.

I had a brief on air discussion about hall in the Olympics with stauffer a few weeks ago. He broached the idea of a line with Seguin hall and duschene. IMO that would be a very lethal trio that would terrorize opponents especially on the wide Olympic ice. But there is no way in hell the cardinals will take that chance.

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#73 Serious Gord
January 01 2014, 11:50AM
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What hall has done in the past few weeks doesn't erase how he played prior to that interval though it does help make the case.

Hall being a natural left winger helps a lot. But more significantly is the likelyhood that injuries to some players may force hockey Canada's hand - to wit Eric staal and stamkos are possible scratches.

This is very likely the last time any players over the age of twenty play in the Olympics so if hall doesn't make this year he never ever will. Perhaps that is pushing him...

God knows there's nothing else besides personal pride worth playing for on the oil.

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#74 Batfink
January 01 2014, 01:22PM
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@K_Mart

"This team needs Hall to be a top defensive guy. If he just waits for his linemates to break the opposition's cycle and breakout to him then he will be waiting forever. Having hall get back and help shutdown the opposition's cycle and retrieve the puck is huge for us because it gets the play going back the other way sooner rather than later."

That's the problem I'm trying to get across: If we rely on Hall to break up cycles down low, then what the hell are d-men for? I wasn't doubting his ability to do it, just the wisdom of having him do it. If he breaks the cycle, who the hell does he pass the puck to? Himself? He's the player who should be receiving the puck after a broken cycle, not the player who should be breaking it. Square peg, square hole. This doesn't mean he shouldn't back check on lost possession or shirk man/zone coverage, but use his attributes to the fullest effect instead of trying to get him to do stuff that is supposed to be the job of other players just because he can do it. I would seriously love Hall to be that player, he would be the best player in the league if he could get 100+pts and be dominant in his own end too. LT's article was highlighting that if Hall is too busy scoring goals, he wouldn't HAVE to play defence. 'Cos we'd be winning by eleventy billion goals.

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#75 MessyEH!
January 01 2014, 01:22PM
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Impartial Oilers Fan wrote:

Can someone please explain why fans and bloggers believe that they're smarter and know more about hockey than the guys in charge of picking the Olympic team?!

I do not understand how fans have an blind belief in players, specifically like Hall and Yakupov. These fans that come across like hockey mom's talking about their own son's, spouting off that they are better than kids picked on a team that their son wasn't.

So, do tell, why are these fans and bloggers not seeing the same flaws in Hall and Yakupov that some of the most important and influential minds in hockey are seeing?

Obviously standard stats aren't the sole criteria, otherwise Hall would be a lock apparently. And its not a anti-Russian thing, because even Russian's own Olympic committee was talking about the glaring deficiencies in Yakupov's game. Yet, everyone that loves to scream YakCity before he's even proved anything substantial, think that its only a Russian bias as to why he needs to improve and drop the prima donna act in the media.

So again, please, inform me why fans and bloggers are right about Hall and Yakupov and their respective Olympic selection committees don't see them the same way??

I guess since we are not all hockey "experts" we are not entitled to an opinion

Why do you come here then? Just get your news from NHL.com, after all, there are no hidden agendas or slanted stories there.

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#76 Jackson
January 01 2014, 02:16PM
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8 seasons of losing, Oilers have not played many meaningful games. Hall is not battle tested whether it is his fault or not. Oilers have not played a 200 ft game style in 8 years. Hall does not know how to play a 200ft game. He will not be on the Olympic team for good reason. No team in the league takes the Oilers seriously so they play mostly a B game.

Hall's game is speed but playing against the best you need more than speed.

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#77 Kr55
January 01 2014, 04:01PM
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TayLordBalls wrote:

Nonsense!

The Oil have turned the corner. The coach is excellent.

MacT will invest in quality D at the appropriate time.

This team has the makings of something truly spectacular.

The dynasty years were exactly the same - the Oil could score, but the other team scored more. Fans complained!

The moment they added quality D that team became a powerhouse.

So it was and so it will be again.

Hang onto your britches because its something special.

19th in the NHL in GF/G. Yeah, Oilers are scoring machines all right.

Sorry, but we're pretty much back to the 1 line team thing again. Completely dependent on short bursts of talent to get anything done with very little useful structure to anyone's game. We're in the wrong division to play a terrible team game. I hope you have some good positive spin ready for when the Oilers break the playoff drought record in a couple years.

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#78 hall the time
January 01 2014, 04:44PM
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The kids (Yak, J Schultz) are chickens running around with their hears cut off thanks to coaching, things don't look to be changing anytime soon.

Thanks to the coaching the rookies have taking a big step back in their development this year and probably will become duds' by the time we MACT figures out the coaching is the problem among other things.

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#79 Jason
January 01 2014, 05:43PM
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@Jason

Taylor Gang knows how to trash a comment, howerver he does not know hockey.

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#80 Wax Man Riley
January 01 2014, 06:16PM
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David S wrote:

They were lugging around a career AHL'er who's had a smattering of (failed) games at the NHL level.

Watch the difference tomorrow night with Yak on that line. #NightAndDay

I agree.

That line would have been much different t with Yak on it. Eberle and Gagner are too slow on their own and need Yak's speed.

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#81 Oliveoiler
January 01 2014, 07:57PM
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Taylordballs - you obviously live in Colorado - your brain is fried from too much LEGAL whacky baccy.

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#82 S cottV
January 01 2014, 09:25PM
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If Hall was playing with a top end veteran 1C, a pure sniper on the opposite wing and 2 legit top pairing d men on the first rotation - he would probably be going to the Olympics. Who you play with makes a huge difference, especially when you're a winger.

RNH will be that vet 1C in the next few years and hopefully the Oilers fill the other holes, so we can see Hall at full complimentary power because it would be pretty awesome.

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#83 David S
January 01 2014, 09:29PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

So if the oil have so much cap room - why did MacT unload smid? This is the first I heard that the oil had that much room.

And yes, Gleason isn't worth the dough - but then neither is Ference or phaneuf. Maybe what is considered an over pay is what really is the going rate for established defensemen that aren't tied up by a team that can afford them.

Salary dump. The team wasn't going to make a playoff push and Katz ordered some cost trimming.

That's the scuttlebutt anyways.

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#84 Bryzarro World
January 02 2014, 07:08AM
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@Serious Gord

You remind me of Adil, that brown dude from Millwoods that trolls the edmonton air waves to hear his own voice.

You might accomplish something good if you focused your energy on something worth it instead of worrying about these jokers.

That being said, sometimes I agree with you and sometimes I think you're so far out to lunch that I just have to shake my head.

Have a good one Gordo

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#85 Oilers42
January 01 2014, 01:19PM
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Hall-Crosby-Tavares Nash-Toews-Stamkos Duchene-Giroux-Perry Couture-Bergeron-Benn Getzlaf Staal

Doughty-Weber Keith-Subban Pietrangelo-Letang Spares-Giordano-Vlasic

Price Loungo Fleury

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#86 Red
January 01 2014, 02:19PM
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RexHolez wrote:

This isn't a world juniors tournament

Speed kills at that level.

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#87 PapaMike
January 01 2014, 03:48PM
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When is the Canadian roster going to be annouced?

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#88 Taylor Gang
January 01 2014, 04:52PM
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Rod from Viking wrote:

If Simmonds or Braden Schenn plus Coburn was really offered up for Eberle and a pick or prospect(as long as not Nurse) and turned down by Mac T that is really sad, two of those three are exactly what we need.

I heard the Flyers were interested in Ebs but I never heard what they were willing to cough up...

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#89 Serious Gord
January 01 2014, 07:32PM
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gr8one wrote:

http://www.capgeek.com/oilers

That $12+ million is before bonuses and the projection after bonuses is still well over $6m, still plenty of room to add a player with Gleason's salary, so suggesting that Gagner's and Hemsky's salaries are preventing this team from making moves is absurd. Especially since Hemsky has been one of the teams best forwards.

As to your other point, overpaying a bit for a player I can't say as I necessarily disagree with that as long as that player is useful and helps the team.

Gleason is neither. I also think the Ference contract was ill advised and a poor signing, I don't mind the dollars, nor the player but four years was dumb. Phaneuf on the other hand is a legit top pairing D and I don't really think that's an overpay in regards to the new CBA and where the salary cap is going, I think it's pretty spot on for what a player that brings what Phaneuf brings will be getting going forward.

So why was smid dumped?

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#90 gr8one
January 01 2014, 07:38PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

So why was smid dumped?

I have no idea.

If I had to speculate though my guess would be was that his skillset wasn't prized by the new coach coupled with he extra flexibility moving forward to have that extra breathing room to be able to make bigger moves.

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#91 Rod from Viking
January 01 2014, 07:58PM
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@Serious Gord

So why was Smid dumped?

To make room for J Schultz 7x7mil extension, this was done before they knew the cap was going up, or for Shae Weber's contract....

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#92 TayLordBalls
January 01 2014, 09:05PM
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Oliveoiler wrote:

Taylordballs - you obviously live in Colorado - your brain is fried from too much LEGAL whacky baccy.

my glass is half full, while yours seems to be half empty

"Total abstinence is so excellent a thing that it cannot be carried to too great an extent. In my passion for it I even carry it so far as to totally abstain from total abstinence itself.".... Mark Twain

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#93 Alsker
January 01 2014, 11:07PM
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Kr55 wrote:

Gags -2 last game looking as clueless as he usually does in his own end. Eakins is talking today like Yak is getting a great opportunity again next game playing with Gagner. As you said, when Gags doesn't do his job in our end AGAIN, it will be Yak sitting out. Did I miss something? Is Gags buddies with Katz now? Did he move into Horc's old house? Something is completely off here.

Damn, was really hoping Horak was up so Gags could spend some time in the attic since Arco's not ready yet. Well lets hope next fall there is a line with Yakimov-Yakapov-Ebs...would at least be crazy entertaining.

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#94 Serious Gord
January 02 2014, 07:46AM
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Bryzarro World wrote:

You remind me of Adil, that brown dude from Millwoods that trolls the edmonton air waves to hear his own voice.

You might accomplish something good if you focused your energy on something worth it instead of worrying about these jokers.

That being said, sometimes I agree with you and sometimes I think you're so far out to lunch that I just have to shake my head.

Have a good one Gordo

I remember adil (sp?). What ever happened to him?

As for my efforts on sports commentary - they are a hobby/distraction from the other things I do - raising a family; running my small business; working on policy for certain political parties, interest groups and business sectors. I like to think I have and continue to achieve things of value in those realms.

And I do hope that I have some small impact on how the oil is run. If I in some small way influence fan and media opinion that in turn holds the teams management more to account and thus makes them More circumspect in their actions then I have accomplished a lot.

And make no mistake the fans mood and opinion has a large bearing on how the teams management acts. The pseudo apologies by Klowe after his six rings comment and Eakins after he called the jersey tossed a quitter and an isolated incident both happened because of fan outrage.

Finally, I can say with confidence that the writing and speaking I do on the blogs and on air has been excellent training and exercise for the work I do on policy and in politics. It has indeed benefitted me greatly when I have needed to be quick at a microphone in policy debates and conferences.

And I won't deny that its fun to hear from friends and acquaintances and even people I am newly introduced to who make the affiliation of me with my serious Gord output. It definitely makes for some engaging one on one conversations.

(And for those who want to but feel a lack of courage to call in to one of the talk radio shows I wholeheartedly encourage you to muster up some and give it a shot - I know from talking to the screeners and hosts that there is a huge hunger for quality fan call-ins and that they would welcome input from knowledgable readership/commenters like that on ON. Try it - they don't bite)

And thanks for listening/reading.

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#95 They're $hittie
January 01 2014, 11:12AM
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sorry double post.

for the sake of the sight run up the trashes please.

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#96 The Real Scuba Steve
January 01 2014, 11:43AM
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Czar wrote:

Having Kurri on his line didn't hurt the Great one either.

Hall will use the snub as motivation and dominate in 4 years.

That's if he is still here.

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#97 Czar
January 01 2014, 11:50AM
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@The Real Scuba Steve

Don't ruin my baileys buzz with that talk.

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#98 Red
January 01 2014, 01:54PM
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I could see Jonathan bernier as the 3rd goalie for the Olympics

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#99 TayLordBalls
January 01 2014, 06:43PM
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RexHolez wrote:

Kevin Lowe? Is that you trying to keep your job by trying to blow that same smoke??

Katz should walk into a grocery store, pick the first person he sees and make them G.M. Then appoint the check out girl as the Coach, and have random draws every game for assistants! I bet the team would improve dramatically

Your just using Lowe as a scapegoat.

The structure of the team is that:

Lowe manages the upper management of the team /

MacT manages the staff (coaches) and secures players.

Coaches manage the players.

Consider that Tabo and MacT have essentially started a new NHL team from nothing.

Hall, Nugent Hopkins, Eberle, Yak and others have not come close to peaking yet.

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#100 The Oilers Shot Clock
January 02 2014, 02:54AM
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dougtheslug wrote:

I'll tell you why. In Turin in 2006 Olympic brains trust (coincidently, lead by ex- Oilers Gretzky and Lowe) decided to let loyalty to the past govern their team selection and chose veterans like Kris Draper and Todd Bertuzzi as well as a host of slow footed d-men to the team, rather then a new generation of forwards (young players have terrific years like Sidney Crosby, Eric Staal and Marc Savard).

Their selections were hotly debated and criticized and as it turned out, for good reason - on the larger ice surface the team's lack of speed was exposed woefully -they were shutout by the Finns and Swiss and barely edged the Czechs in the preliminary round, and were shutout again by the Russians in the quarter final.

The Sochi Olympics will be very different than Vancouver (horrendous time change, hostile crowd and outside distractions, larger ice surface). Are the current NHL executives choosing team Canada creative enough to consider these differences, or will they, like they have in the past, end up designing their tactics for the previous battle.

In my humble opinion, a topic well worth debating.

Rob Zamuner made an NHL eligible Olympic team. The brain trust has a history of outsmarting itself. World Junior selections will always be so political that on any given year, the kids left off might be able to beat the team we send. Putting faith in the selection process is like putting faith in the government. It's just too big of a monster to really fully trust.When we win at any level we do it despite ourselves.

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