THE YAKUPOV SELECTION

Lowetide
January 13 2014 01:53PM

 

The Edmonton Oilers selection of Nail Yakupov No. 1 overall in the 2012 NHL Entry draft remains a story 18 months later. For one reason or another, the Yak City pick hasn't settled in like the Hall and Nuge drafts. The story got a little publicity this morning, and one wonders if we'll be dealing with it for years. 

OCTOBER 2013—CONFIRMED

Bob McKenzie confirmed a well known Edmonton rumor in October, tweeting out that the "majority of Edmonton scouts wanted Murray, and the decision to take Yakupov came from a higher authority. 

The story came up this morning when I was on the air at TSN 1260, and I wanted to mention it today. The push from media came courtesy Eric Duhatschek

  • Lots of people in Edmonton believe that owner Darryl Katz had some significant input into the decision to draft Nail Yakupov first overall in 2012 rather than opt for the safer choice, defenceman Ryan Murray, who would have filled a greater organizational need. With every passing day, that decision looks more and more suspect. Murray was limited to 23 games with the Everett Silvertips last year because of major knee surgery, but even as an NHL rookie, has looked good on the Columbus defence, playing a lot with James Wisniewski and providing the defensive presence on that pair. What if Murray turns out to be Alex Pietrangelo good – and they left him on the table to draft another offensive player, of which they had plenty already? How do you assess blame there? Or maybe they already have, since the GM that called Yakupov’s name, Steve Tambellini, is no longer running the show.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

I find the conversation surprising. Although there's no doubt Nail Yakupov has struggled this season, Mr. Duhatschek's story is the first time "blame" has been mentioned. Presumptive? Certainly, but it's out there now, and should Nail Yakupov not deliver on promise, the scouting staff would appear to be free and clear. 

I'd still bet on Yakupov. All day. 

In a period where Oilers owner Daryl Katz is taking some heat for his team's won-loss record, perhaps fans need to be reminded that (reportedly) his draft day decisions are very likely to deliver. It remains very risky to take defensemen at #1 overall, and 45 NHL games don't change that at all. 

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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 Team 1260.
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#101 Zarny
January 13 2014, 07:42PM
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Josh Oiler wrote:

LOOK HERE ZARNEY - IF THATS EVEN YOUR REAL NAME!!

IVE MET NUGE. I KNOW YAK - CHECK YOUR FACTS!!

AND YOU MAY NOT KNOW ANY BETTER!! PLEASE KEEP YOUR COMMENTS TO YOUR SELF BECAUSE YOU ARE OBVIOUSLY VERY MIS INFORMED.

Well how about that...Yak's a muslim. Didn't know.

Doesn't change the fact a religion isn't a race.

If Yak being a muslim did factor into Eakin's decision he'd be a bigot not a racist.

As for Nuge...google his pic dumass.

Oh and the caps lock is to the left.

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#102 Walter Sobchak
January 13 2014, 07:45PM
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Zarny wrote:

LMAO...a depleted and injured team in a playoff position?

None of the top players were injured last year: Hall (45), Eberle (48), Gagner (48), Yakupov (48), Schutlz (48) were available almost every game and Nuge only missed 8 games.

The Oilers have been injured far more this year than during Krueger's tenure. And at least the 4th line and the D had some NHL experience last year.

How is that Eakin's fault? Honest question.

From the hockeybuzz article:

"Under Krueger Dubnyk had a .920sv% and a GAA of 2.57...Under Eakins Dubnyk’s performance has fallen off the face of the Earth with a .894sv% and GAA of 3.36".

Dubnyk pretty much accounts for the differences alone. Is that Eakins' fault?

I don't think Krueger did a bad job; but he wasn't that great. And he literally did nothing during the losing streak. Changed nothing. Just a stunned look on his face. Which yes, Eakins has sometimes too.

Because the reality is you can't coach around the holes on this team.

Is Dubynk having an off yea? Maybe, but then explain Briz save %?

Both goalies are awful or is that also a coincidence?

RNH was hurt last year! So was Eberle having almost his entire finger ripped off by Yakupov's wrist shot!

Not to mention Tambellini had to bring in Smithson because two centers were injuried!

Krueger defense was also abysmal, which tells me ether Eakins defensive sytem is out to lunch or Dubnyk is having a bad year.

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#103 Primo
January 13 2014, 07:52PM
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It's a sad day when the Oiler fans are forced to discard an entire 82 game season year in and year out but only look forward to one day and one day only...draft day!

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#104 Brian
January 13 2014, 08:01PM
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Josh Oiler wrote:

IS EVERYONE KIDDING ME HERE???

YAKUPOV IS THE NEXT OVECHKIN/KOVALCHUK!!!!

HE IS YOUNG AND EAKINS DOESNT HAVE A FREAKIN CLUE HOW TO USE THIS GUY BECAUSE HEA NEVER COACHED ANYONE AS TALENTED AS YAKUPOV!!

IF YAK GOT TAYLOR HALL ICE TIME--- MAN WATCH OUT THIS DUDE WOULD BE TOP 5 IN THE NHL SCORING RACE!!

ITS A SHAME THE OILERS DONT USE HIM PROPERLY!

IF HE GETS TRADED - I WILL NEVER WATCH ANOTHER OILER GAME AGAIN, NOR WILL YOU SEE ME ON THIS MSG BOARD AGAIN BECAUSE HE WILL WIN THE ART ROSS AT LEAST 2WICE BEFORE THE AGE OF 30!!

Promise you will disappear?

Oh my gosh, no more Josh.

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#105 steveb12344
January 13 2014, 08:02PM
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pkam wrote:

Cam Barker was 3rd overall in 2004, not 1st overall.

Erik Johnson, 1st overall in 2006 will be a better example. You have to shake your head if you look at the 4 picks after him. 2nd Jordan Staal, 3rd Jonathan Toews, 4th Nicklas Backstrom, 5th Phil Kessel. I'll take anyone of those 4 over Erik Johnson.

Not all high draft defenseman will not work out. Drew Doughty and Alex Pietrangelo (2nd and 4th in 2008) work out pretty good. But none of Weber, Chara, and Keith, arguably the top 3 defensemen now, are even 1st round picks.

What's interesting about this, is look at the teams with the top 5 picks on 06...

StL, Pit, Chi, Wash, Bos.

My how times have changed.

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#106 John Kirsch
January 13 2014, 08:03PM
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@Josh Oiler

True but it was a strike shortened season and he didn't have to go through the grind of a long season. Also there was no advanced scouting on him.

What you are saying is if he (Yak) played more he would score more than say Hall right and that the coaching staff is ultimately to blame for his lack of scoring by limiting his playing time. The team would be better off from a wins perspective with him playing 20 mins a night.

Yak is a talented dude no doubt but I think he should be in OKC to get the minutes/experience that is all. That said I don't have much confidence in the coaching staff at this moment.

Lastly I am tired of the hindsight speculation of we should have picked this player over this player. This banter is a complete waste of time, Yak is Oiler property for now hopefully he can flourish while he is here and the Oilers can build a winner.

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#107 Quinn the Eskimo
January 13 2014, 08:09PM
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@Josh Oiler

"LOOK HERE ZARNEY - IF THATS EVEN YOUR REAL NAME!!"

Ha ha! AND I GUESS WE CAN FIND YOU UNDER 'OILER' IN THE PHONEBOOK, JOSH?

fool.

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#108 Brian
January 13 2014, 08:14PM
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Josh Oiler wrote:

MAYBE DALLAS EAKINS IS A RACIST??

YAK IS A DARK HAIRED - DARK EYED RUSSIAN MUSLIM!

TAYLOR, PERRON, NUGE ETC BLONDE HAIRED BLUE EYED GOOD OLE CANADIAN KIDS GET THE ICE TIME...

DARE SOMEBODY SAY IT--- THERE YOU GO... EVERONE THINKING IT!!! NOW ITS BEEN SAID.

EVANDER KANE AND WAYNE SIMMONDS BETTER WATCH OUT THEY DONT GET TRADED TO EDM.. THEY MAY BE HEALTHY SCRATCHES EVERY SECOND GAME OR ONLY PLAY 4 MINUTES A GAME LIKE YAKUPOV.

Josh , I just saw this post of yours. You need to lie down in a dark room, don't touch anything sharp, and in the morning call for help. You are ill buddy and there is help out there . Find it.

RNH will be very surprised to learn he is a blond.

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#109 Zarny
January 13 2014, 08:39PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

Is Dubynk having an off yea? Maybe, but then explain Briz save %?

Both goalies are awful or is that also a coincidence?

RNH was hurt last year! So was Eberle having almost his entire finger ripped off by Yakupov's wrist shot!

Not to mention Tambellini had to bring in Smithson because two centers were injuried!

Krueger defense was also abysmal, which tells me ether Eakins defensive sytem is out to lunch or Dubnyk is having a bad year.

The last 6 words...Dubnyk is having a bad year. You hit the nail on the head.

Explain Bryz? He had a 2.79 GAA and 0.900 SV% in Phi last year. He's just not that good. Par for the course.

I said Nuge missed 8 games last year. Hall missed 3 and their 3rd line C Horcoff missed 16. Eberle played every game. So did Gagner, Yak and Schultz.

This year Nuge missed 2, Hall 7, Perron 4, Eberle 1, Schultz 8, Yak 3 and their 2nd line C Gagner has missed 13 while playing 10 with an injured jaw. So injuries have been worse this year.

I agree the defense was garbage both years. The depth on both rosters is atrocious.

The difference between last year and this year however, is not coaching. Dubnyk lost 4-5 games on his own to start the year. That isn't coaching. That's folding under pressure. If the Oilers go 8-10-2 over the first 20 games they are basically where they were last year with more key injuries.

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#110 Johnnydapunk
January 13 2014, 08:42PM
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Josh Oiler wrote:

MAYBE DALLAS EAKINS IS A RACIST??

YAK IS A DARK HAIRED - DARK EYED RUSSIAN MUSLIM!

TAYLOR, PERRON, NUGE ETC BLONDE HAIRED BLUE EYED GOOD OLE CANADIAN KIDS GET THE ICE TIME...

DARE SOMEBODY SAY IT--- THERE YOU GO... EVERONE THINKING IT!!! NOW ITS BEEN SAID.

EVANDER KANE AND WAYNE SIMMONDS BETTER WATCH OUT THEY DONT GET TRADED TO EDM.. THEY MAY BE HEALTHY SCRATCHES EVERY SECOND GAME OR ONLY PLAY 4 MINUTES A GAME LIKE YAKUPOV.

I try not to feed the troll action but this one is too good to miss...

So this whole Eakins racist stuff you are talking about, his dislikes for Muslims is what you are implying (in baffling caps lock) yes?

Sooo that would be the same Eakins who was mentioned by a certain player who is now playing for the Leafs as someone who believed in him and helped him with his career. That being a certain Nazem Kadri who happens to be a Muslim, yeah Eakins is definitely racist towards Muslims, c'mon now...

"Dallas Eakins and me really beared down, and he stuck with me the whole way, and that's what you get – results," Kadri said. "It may have taken a couple years – a long couple years – but it's worth it in the end."

And for fun, if you read up on Yakupov a bit you will realise that he seems more content with identifying himself as Tatar as opposed to Russian, there was a lovely article here that he spoke of that, so I don't know how happy he would be if you called him Russian, I don't think it will ruin his day, but it would maybe make him correct you.

Here is the link to the site for your enjoyment.

Oilersnation Interview with a yet drafted Yakupov

This may be a long winded "answer" but it bites my a** when people throw the racism tag around when there isn't any. There's loads of things that could be considered racism, but this sure isn't one of them.

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#111 bulldog12
January 13 2014, 09:18PM
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Josh Oiler wrote:

LOOK HERE ZARNEY - IF THATS EVEN YOUR REAL NAME!!

IVE MET NUGE. I KNOW YAK - CHECK YOUR FACTS!!

AND YOU MAY NOT KNOW ANY BETTER!! PLEASE KEEP YOUR COMMENTS TO YOUR SELF BECAUSE YOU ARE OBVIOUSLY VERY MIS INFORMED.

I agree with Zarny. You've taken stupid to a whole new level. Are you in love or swapping spit with Yak. WOW

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#112 Kr55
January 13 2014, 09:25PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

Is Dubynk having an off yea? Maybe, but then explain Briz save %?

Both goalies are awful or is that also a coincidence?

RNH was hurt last year! So was Eberle having almost his entire finger ripped off by Yakupov's wrist shot!

Not to mention Tambellini had to bring in Smithson because two centers were injuried!

Krueger defense was also abysmal, which tells me ether Eakins defensive sytem is out to lunch or Dubnyk is having a bad year.

Yeah, some people have a short memory about the injuries Krueger had to deal with last season. We went on a run where we were losing a center almost every night. Plus Nuge could barely hit the net with weak shots because of his messed up shoulder. Playing only the West as well, last season was just a painful grind.

Only really bad injury Eakins has had is Gags being out, but that actually went in Eakins' favor because Arco played way better than Gags would have in his place. When Gags came back Eakins made the team worse by demoting Arco to make room.

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#113 Ryan2
January 13 2014, 09:47PM
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Zarny wrote:

The last 6 words...Dubnyk is having a bad year. You hit the nail on the head.

Explain Bryz? He had a 2.79 GAA and 0.900 SV% in Phi last year. He's just not that good. Par for the course.

I said Nuge missed 8 games last year. Hall missed 3 and their 3rd line C Horcoff missed 16. Eberle played every game. So did Gagner, Yak and Schultz.

This year Nuge missed 2, Hall 7, Perron 4, Eberle 1, Schultz 8, Yak 3 and their 2nd line C Gagner has missed 13 while playing 10 with an injured jaw. So injuries have been worse this year.

I agree the defense was garbage both years. The depth on both rosters is atrocious.

The difference between last year and this year however, is not coaching. Dubnyk lost 4-5 games on his own to start the year. That isn't coaching. That's folding under pressure. If the Oilers go 8-10-2 over the first 20 games they are basically where they were last year with more key injuries.

While Dubnyk cost them a couple games, goaltending was not the biggest issue with the start of the season. The problem with the team the SWARM Junior A system that Eakins tried to play with. It does not work at the NHL level where teams can make two fast passes to beat it. He was an AHL coach coming in with an AHL system and it showed. By the time he decided to get rid of it, the season was done.

As far as your injury totals, last year Nuge was playing with a bum shoulder the whole season which limited his effectiveness until they shut him down when the playoffs were out of reach. Trying to say he only missed 8 games is a bit off base when he was not healthy the entire season. The only reason some of the other injured like Ebs played through injury last year is that they were in playoff contention up until close to the end playing solely against Western Conference teams. This year, there is no worry re: playoffs so players can sit when hurt.

As far as the defence, they had a much weaker blue line last year. Whitney could not turn or skate at the end. Ference is overrated and a bad contract, but he is better than most of who they iced last year.

While I don't think Ralph was the long term answer, he got way more out of the team by designing a system to play to their strengths. Eakins, on the other hand, tried to force the team into a system that they do not have the roster to play AND, more importantly, will not work at the NHL level.

Maybe Eakins will adapt and grow as a coach over the long term and prove the naysayers like me wrong. However, I have not seen anything yet from him to suggest that this will be the case. He also has no problem deflecting the blame for losses onto his players, which is a huge question of his leadership IMHO. For a guy who preaches accountability, he has shown very little of it when it comes to ice time as well (except in Yak's case, but there he mishandles him by not rewarding him when he does play well). Even better, how did it look to the rest of the team when he played his assistant's kid and another Eakfavorite career AHLer when they did not merit it? If I constantly threw my branch under the bus when things did not go our way and gave preferential treatment to select employees that did not warrant it, as a manager I know how long I would last.........

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#114 mouthbreather
January 13 2014, 10:03PM
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Josh Oiler wrote:

MAYBE DALLAS EAKINS IS A RACIST??

YAK IS A DARK HAIRED - DARK EYED RUSSIAN MUSLIM!

TAYLOR, PERRON, NUGE ETC BLONDE HAIRED BLUE EYED GOOD OLE CANADIAN KIDS GET THE ICE TIME...

DARE SOMEBODY SAY IT--- THERE YOU GO... EVERONE THINKING IT!!! NOW ITS BEEN SAID.

EVANDER KANE AND WAYNE SIMMONDS BETTER WATCH OUT THEY DONT GET TRADED TO EDM.. THEY MAY BE HEALTHY SCRATCHES EVERY SECOND GAME OR ONLY PLAY 4 MINUTES A GAME LIKE YAKUPOV.

Can someone ban is rod from this site?

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#115 Bryzarro World
January 13 2014, 10:12PM
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Josh Oiler wrote:

IS EVERYONE KIDDING ME HERE???

YAKUPOV IS THE NEXT OVECHKIN/KOVALCHUK!!!!

HE IS YOUNG AND EAKINS DOESNT HAVE A FREAKIN CLUE HOW TO USE THIS GUY BECAUSE HEA NEVER COACHED ANYONE AS TALENTED AS YAKUPOV!!

IF YAK GOT TAYLOR HALL ICE TIME--- MAN WATCH OUT THIS DUDE WOULD BE TOP 5 IN THE NHL SCORING RACE!!

ITS A SHAME THE OILERS DONT USE HIM PROPERLY!

IF HE GETS TRADED - I WILL NEVER WATCH ANOTHER OILER GAME AGAIN, NOR WILL YOU SEE ME ON THIS MSG BOARD AGAIN BECAUSE HE WILL WIN THE ART ROSS AT LEAST 2WICE BEFORE THE AGE OF 30!!

I was on the fence but I'm all in on the Yak trade now...

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#116 RexHolez
January 13 2014, 10:13PM
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Quick question.... Why would Ekblad go in the top 2 when Seth Jones slipped to 7th last year??

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#117 Oilcruzer
January 13 2014, 10:51PM
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RexHolez wrote:

Quick question.... Why would Ekblad go in the top 2 when Seth Jones slipped to 7th last year??

You are getting warmer. Not the right question though.

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#118 Cynic
January 13 2014, 10:51PM
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Jones went 4th to NAS

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#119 Cold Hard Truth
January 13 2014, 10:53PM
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Zarny wrote:

The last 6 words...Dubnyk is having a bad year. You hit the nail on the head.

Explain Bryz? He had a 2.79 GAA and 0.900 SV% in Phi last year. He's just not that good. Par for the course.

I said Nuge missed 8 games last year. Hall missed 3 and their 3rd line C Horcoff missed 16. Eberle played every game. So did Gagner, Yak and Schultz.

This year Nuge missed 2, Hall 7, Perron 4, Eberle 1, Schultz 8, Yak 3 and their 2nd line C Gagner has missed 13 while playing 10 with an injured jaw. So injuries have been worse this year.

I agree the defense was garbage both years. The depth on both rosters is atrocious.

The difference between last year and this year however, is not coaching. Dubnyk lost 4-5 games on his own to start the year. That isn't coaching. That's folding under pressure. If the Oilers go 8-10-2 over the first 20 games they are basically where they were last year with more key injuries.

How do you explain the obvious regress of our power play, then?

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#120 Oilers Coffey
January 13 2014, 10:58PM
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I am sick n tired of hearing this story on the selection of Yakupov. The Oilers picked the most dynamic player available in the draft! Yakupov is going to develop and be one HELL of an NHL player. End of story!!!

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#121 EHH Team
January 13 2014, 11:10PM
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Oilers Coffey wrote:

I am sick n tired of hearing this story on the selection of Yakupov. The Oilers picked the most dynamic player available in the draft! Yakupov is going to develop and be one HELL of an NHL player. End of story!!!

Exactly!

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#122 EHH Team
January 13 2014, 11:12PM
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RexHolez wrote:

Quick question.... Why would Ekblad go in the top 2 when Seth Jones slipped to 7th last year??

Because he might be better.

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#123 Walter Sobchak
January 13 2014, 11:14PM
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Kr55 wrote:

Yeah, some people have a short memory about the injuries Krueger had to deal with last season. We went on a run where we were losing a center almost every night. Plus Nuge could barely hit the net with weak shots because of his messed up shoulder. Playing only the West as well, last season was just a painful grind.

Only really bad injury Eakins has had is Gags being out, but that actually went in Eakins' favor because Arco played way better than Gags would have in his place. When Gags came back Eakins made the team worse by demoting Arco to make room.

This is also a good point I never even thought about, Krueger never had used Arcobelo, this would be both a point, counter point ya?

Krueger had the ability to call Arcobelo up but only used him in one game iirc.

Having said that, Eakins center depth exceeded Krueger's

While I don't think ether coach is the long term answer, I find it a short sighted move by MacTavish to get rid of Krueger too soon.

At the same time, I feel like Eakins could have been brought in to be the co-coach, had Krueger failed this year then MacTavish would have had his coach in waiting & Eakins could have benefited with a year behind the bench as a co-coach.

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#124 emonkee
January 13 2014, 11:21PM
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I know this is unrelated to LT's article, but why did the oilers create a video "STILL" talking about that weird goal...who gives a crap? We lost the game, why bother interviewing Gordon and Dubnyk? If we win the game, then fine. But we lost, I think there are other more important things to focus on.

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#125 Rod from Viking
January 13 2014, 11:21PM
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I just finished the Oiler season ticket survey, it actually was pretty good, they had two places where you got 750 words to make comments about how you felt.I had to do a lot of abbreviating.I hope everyone took the time to say the same things they post on here.

As far as Yak goes the team had to know he had some defensive short comings and should be doing a better job working with him.I am not going to go on hind-site,I wanted a big center(Galynchuk) and Yak was my second choice, they drafted him and I was fine with it. He is not like the rest of the young guns when it comes to the night life etc and his family is in Edmonton with him. I think with a little coaching and maturity he will score a lot of big goals for hopefully this team. Move Gagner and Hemsky and bring in a big veteran two way center to play with Yak and he will be fine.

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#126 Walter Sobchak
January 13 2014, 11:22PM
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Zarny wrote:

The last 6 words...Dubnyk is having a bad year. You hit the nail on the head.

Explain Bryz? He had a 2.79 GAA and 0.900 SV% in Phi last year. He's just not that good. Par for the course.

I said Nuge missed 8 games last year. Hall missed 3 and their 3rd line C Horcoff missed 16. Eberle played every game. So did Gagner, Yak and Schultz.

This year Nuge missed 2, Hall 7, Perron 4, Eberle 1, Schultz 8, Yak 3 and their 2nd line C Gagner has missed 13 while playing 10 with an injured jaw. So injuries have been worse this year.

I agree the defense was garbage both years. The depth on both rosters is atrocious.

The difference between last year and this year however, is not coaching. Dubnyk lost 4-5 games on his own to start the year. That isn't coaching. That's folding under pressure. If the Oilers go 8-10-2 over the first 20 games they are basically where they were last year with more key injuries.

I'm not going to debate the goaltending for a couple reasons, first you make some good points & yes absolutely I think both goalies left games out there, the other reason, is that horse has been beaten to death.

I'm trying to figure out WHY? Why the regression? on paper this should be a much more improved team?

It's got to be bigger then statistics here? The team on paper is an improved team talent wise, they should have been say Dallas good......ya?

So where is the team gone wrong?

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#127 Zarny
January 13 2014, 11:36PM
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Cold Hard Truth wrote:

How do you explain the obvious regress of our power play, then?

2012 - 34 PPG in 169 PPO

2013 - 30 PPG in 166 PPO

The "regression" amounts to 4 G.

Explanation? Gagner's mangled jaw.

Last year Gagner played all 48 games and played well. He had 4 PPG 11 PPA 15 PPPTs. This year he's got 4 A after missing 13 games and playing half his games with a face-shield.

The PP% this year is hurt by a brutal start when Gagner was on the shelf. When the difference is 4 G that's all it takes.

Context is a beautiful thing.

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#128 K_Mart
January 14 2014, 12:29AM
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Off topic... this year hall's scoring chance numbers for and against have been atrocious for the first time in ... ever?

What is causing this?

His line's possessions are often one and done, and when the opposition gains our zone it almost always results in a multichance scenario.

For a good 10 game stretch I noticed hall start to back check hard and strip the opposition of the puck, but he's already reverted back to his old habits and the back checks have stopped.

Eberle, Nuge, Hall, Gagner, and Yak are all guilty of giving up on a back check if there is no chance that they catch the forward, or if they think another forward on their line has a step on them and they need to stay back for a quick turnaround or to cover the opposition's D at the point in our end. I see this all the time with these guys. And worse yet, the odd time that they do back check hard, they quit right as they catch up to the puck carrier and they try a really half assed poke check that never works.

This is something that these guys need to learn... right now. Even if you have absolutely zero chance of catching the puck carrier, you'd be surprised how often a little back pressure can help your d stand a guy up and the blue line. Not only that, but even if you are a few steps behind the carrier, often times your defensemen will often slow them down as they enter the zone, allowing you an opportunity to strip them of the puck before their team can get set up or at the very least gain a few more steps on them in that moment. When you see one of your linemates poised to be the first forward back, then it becomes your job to beat the support, which still requires hard back checking. This will make the zone entry and possession that much harder to establish every time. If our young guys want more time in the offensive zone and less time aimlessly wandering around in their own end, make a bigger effort to prevent the zone entry and possession set up in the first place. Most people reading this should think... well duh captain obvious, but yet these pro's often refuse to do it. It's clear that we have trouble defending once a top team is set up in our end. But we have the speed and skill to get back and make it really difficult for them to set up in the first place.

Everyone who's ever played hockey knows they've decided not to backcheck at least a couple times because there really was no possible way of catching up with the puck carrier, but to see pro's do it with such regularity is sickening. Move your ass, and protect the house. Stop letting the other team enter our zone with such ease. This is just a drop in the bucket of problems with this team, but it's a simple fundamental of hockey that most 8 year old hockey players are aware of. And it's also something that has really creeped in to Eberle and Gagner's games as of late. Hall isn't tracking so well either in this regard.

It's much easier for your defensemen to strip an oncoming forward of the puck if you are on that guy's tail with some solid back pressure. The benefits of a hard back check are many, and the problems caused by refusing to do it are many more. If you're able to skate that hard WITH the puck, you should be able to skate even harder without it. Tired of this simple problem always creeping in to the game. And it's not like these guys aren't aware of this, it's just that they are so desperate for offense that they hope the d men will create a quick turnover so they can get an odd man rush. Not sure if they've noticed yet, but our d can't exactly stand up top teams at the blue line with any regularity. You have to get back there. You always hear pros say that in order to get out of a slump they just simplify their game... well.. this is one of the simplest fundamentals of hockey, so frikkin' do it.

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#129 OilFanInVan
January 14 2014, 12:49AM
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The point of the articles was not to debate the better pick (nobody will know that answer for 5 more years) rather it was to debate who is calling the shots...

I think it's baffling that everyone is mentioning Katz as making the pick when in all likely hood it was Kevin Lowe. If Katz said anything it's because KLowe told him too...

Until Katz grows a pair (without KLowe's permission) this team will forever spin in a downward spiral because 6 Rings is, self admittedly, in on every decision of this team.

The 6 ring circus needs to stop and take the entire circus out of town. It starts with KLowe and ends with Eakins. Get a real PHOP, let that person hire a real GM. Let that GM hire a real coach. The the coach hire real assistants.

The culture needs a 180, and it starts at the top.

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#130 MessyEH
January 14 2014, 02:08AM
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Name 3 1st overall picks who ddeveloped in the minors. better yet name 1 fwd drafted 1st over all who developed in the minors.

When you draft 1st overall your team socks. You need that player in the line up.

Eakins is to blame. Lowe is to be fired.

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#131 john
January 14 2014, 02:10AM
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A coach is like a teacher, if your kids at school lose interest in a subject, the teacher tell him he is useless go sit in a corner. The kid doesn't get to play in reset, wouldn't you as parents be mad as hell? A coach need to teach and inspire his players, I can teach a cat to come to me when I call it ( tell it to sit, the cat sit like as a dog would ), why the hell Eakin cannot teach these players? Eakin insulted Nazem Kadri when he played for the Marlies (called him fat at training camp), if he is out of shape then whip him into shape. Eakin is screwing up Yakupov's developement, benching the guy? Why can't Eakin coach him and the rest of the team? Justin Schulz and Hall kept making mistakes and so many giveaways each game but they are not benched? Gagner broke his jaws, he cannot eat foods for a month, can't blame him for not up to par after he joined the team. Coach them and let them have fun, score some goals, play defense as a team. Forget about Murray from draft 2 years ago, they got Nurse last year, Nurse will be better than Murray down the road. Yakupov is a scorer, most teams would love to have him. Let the guy play, if he make mistakes correct him, the season is over so might as well play for the fans last 30 games or so.

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#132 oilbreed
January 14 2014, 03:07AM
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@RexHolez

Aa im pretty sure if jones slipped to 7 the oil would have taken him jones was taken 4th overall are sure your not talking about nurse

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#133 Nowuknow
January 14 2014, 04:19AM
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Some of this stories are getting desperate for this writers. Lowetied, are you saying yak is not better than Murry? Why did you write this garbage article the end of last season? You are pathetic ........ Please retire sooooooon....

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#134 Oiler57
January 14 2014, 06:25AM
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@Primo

Can someone make a chart showing everyone whose left the organization by trade or release and those brought in since 2006. I'd bet its ugly.

For example, Stoll, Greene, Visnovsky all out, Ryan Whitney in...oh wait, he's gone too; so that leaves 0 in return. Smells like good management to me.

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#135 Bloodsweatandoil
January 14 2014, 06:31AM
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Wow, ON needs a moderator at times, there are some weird and completely ignorant people who should not be around computers!

To the theme of the blog, the scouts picked Murray, management picked Yakupov.

In my opinion, I think management got it right in that aspect, but I think they should have traded Yakupov at that moment for roster needs within the roster. Even if they picked Murray, they should of done the same.

The Oilers are still not better with the top three number ones. Adding more is not going to help either.

This season really magnifies hindsight, I would hope after all these mistakes, a lesson is going to be learned sometime.

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#136 mlselli
January 14 2014, 08:52AM
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Josh Oiler wrote:

MAYBE DALLAS EAKINS IS A RACIST??

YAK IS A DARK HAIRED - DARK EYED RUSSIAN MUSLIM!

TAYLOR, PERRON, NUGE ETC BLONDE HAIRED BLUE EYED GOOD OLE CANADIAN KIDS GET THE ICE TIME...

DARE SOMEBODY SAY IT--- THERE YOU GO... EVERONE THINKING IT!!! NOW ITS BEEN SAID.

EVANDER KANE AND WAYNE SIMMONDS BETTER WATCH OUT THEY DONT GET TRADED TO EDM.. THEY MAY BE HEALTHY SCRATCHES EVERY SECOND GAME OR ONLY PLAY 4 MINUTES A GAME LIKE YAKUPOV.

You are one offensive A55H0LE. You need to be banned from this site. You are the only one bringing up nationality, religion and race, so it seem to me you're the hater. Grow up and get a life bigot!!!!

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#137 2004Z06
January 14 2014, 09:19AM
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Josh Oiler wrote:

MAYBE DALLAS EAKINS IS A RACIST??

YAK IS A DARK HAIRED - DARK EYED RUSSIAN MUSLIM!

TAYLOR, PERRON, NUGE ETC BLONDE HAIRED BLUE EYED GOOD OLE CANADIAN KIDS GET THE ICE TIME...

DARE SOMEBODY SAY IT--- THERE YOU GO... EVERONE THINKING IT!!! NOW ITS BEEN SAID.

EVANDER KANE AND WAYNE SIMMONDS BETTER WATCH OUT THEY DONT GET TRADED TO EDM.. THEY MAY BE HEALTHY SCRATCHES EVERY SECOND GAME OR ONLY PLAY 4 MINUTES A GAME LIKE YAKUPOV.

Are you for real?

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#138 2004Z06
January 14 2014, 09:36AM
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Cold Hard Truth wrote:

How do you explain the obvious regress of our power play, then?

That is the easiest question of all to answer regarding the Oilers this year.

Every team in the league now knows how to stifle the Oilers power play. Keep them to the outside (they prefer perimeter play and they don't drive the net), keep sticks in the lanes (to cut off the across the front of the net pass), Allow your goalie good sight lines (Oilers never shoot)and pressure the point guys (they will panic and cough up the puck)

A pee wee coach could neutralize our power play!

They are doing exactly the same thing on the PP as they did last year. Old habits die hard!

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#139 Death Metal Nightmare
January 14 2014, 10:36AM
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yeah, because taking Ryan Murray with the geniuses who run this PoS organization wouldnt have turned into a total clown college pick anyhow. who was he going to play with that made him "look good"? pfff haha . . kid would be -10 or more and have about 5-10 points

TSN just likes to stir up a poop pot on teams that arent MTL, TOR, or VAN. they can F-off for the rest of my hockey interested life.

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#140 BLAKPOO
January 14 2014, 04:28PM
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Josh Oiler wrote:

MAYBE DALLAS EAKINS IS A RACIST??

YAK IS A DARK HAIRED - DARK EYED RUSSIAN MUSLIM!

TAYLOR, PERRON, NUGE ETC BLONDE HAIRED BLUE EYED GOOD OLE CANADIAN KIDS GET THE ICE TIME...

DARE SOMEBODY SAY IT--- THERE YOU GO... EVERONE THINKING IT!!! NOW ITS BEEN SAID.

EVANDER KANE AND WAYNE SIMMONDS BETTER WATCH OUT THEY DONT GET TRADED TO EDM.. THEY MAY BE HEALTHY SCRATCHES EVERY SECOND GAME OR ONLY PLAY 4 MINUTES A GAME LIKE YAKUPOV.

Good work Columbo! You solved the mystery!

You call the NHL, I'll start making bumper stickers..

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#141 Lil Breezy
January 14 2014, 05:03PM
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Once again, eastern media slinging poop on the Oil. I betcha twenty nine teams would trade us murray for yak all day and night.

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#142 Rdubb
January 15 2014, 08:35AM
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Maybe 45 doesn't make or change things, but Katz has people in place to run the Oilers, and he should leave hockey decisions to the HOCKEY PEOPLE!! If, in fact the story is true and Katz over ruled everyone @ that table on that day, then HE SHOULD stand up and say so. Hell, even I knew Yak shouldn't have been #1, I personally (not to mention others on the site plus "hockey insiders") would have taken the kid that MON took (cannot spell his name w/o looking it - does that make you happy serious gord?), so what if he missed a good chunk of that season, he was by far a better 2-way player and could also put up big numbers, not to mention his position? Yak was the risky pick, but perhaps had the most upside, but one could see that he did love hockey and wanted to play in the NHL, BUT, he wasn't a character kid, not like Murray (who many predict could be an NHL captain in the future) or Galyenchuk. Most times, if the skill level is close, I'd always pick character... Just my thought & opinions PECK

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#143 Truth
January 15 2014, 08:54AM
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What if Murray is the next Cam Barker?

Let's have this conversation in 5 years.

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