Slow but steady

Jason Strudwick
January 17 2014 07:26AM

When Craig Mactavish took over as Oilers GM he said the Oilers needed to be harder to play against. Move by move he is slowly grinding this Oiler team in that direction.

Since taking over he has added Andrew Ference, Boyd Gordon, David Perron, Luke Gazdic and most recently Matt Hendricks.

This is a group of players that should make playing against the Oilers less enjoyable than it has been. Nearly every game this year, teams play against the Oilers and their teams trainers don't even bother turning on the ice machine. There is no need for ice bags. These games are not physical.

That had to change. The Oilers inability to challenge teams physically or even match it has been a big issue. Take a look at the Pacific Division! These are big heavy teams, with skill, that most nights push the Oilers around. I don't even want to think about the oilers matching up in a seven-game playoff series against the Kings or Blues! They would lose in three.

Hendricks is a player I thought the Oilers needed to bring in last summer. I have no issue with his cap hit per year. The cap will continue to go up and the Oilers are not in a cap crunch. The issue is the term. I wonder what Hendricks will bring in year four.

He is a physical player that should, I hope, help the oilers connect emotionally with their games. You can't win or have success in the NHL without passion and emotion in your game. This Oilers squad is vanilla basically to a man. There are a few exceptions but not enough. I hope Hendricks comes into the dressing room and stirs up the pot. On the ice, I expect him to chirp and drag other guys into getting pissed off!

Think back to when Yakupov got into it with basically the whole Winnipeg Jets team. It was beautiful! That is one of the few times I saw the Oilers bench on their feet and passion on the guys faces. There is no stat to measure the value of passion but I know it is so important to team moral and confidence. Without it, a team sleep walks through games.

There is still work to be done for MacT. He needs to find a way to bring in edgy players to the top six forwards. These players are hard to get. Sorting out the bottom six is the easier job but slowly the team is starting to get some heart.

Old Goalie out, New Goalie in

Does this even matter? NO. It doesn't.

The overall team defence hasn't changed for the Oilers. Why should we expect Ben Scrivens to come in and have more success? This isn't me saying Scrivens can't be a decent goalie. The facts are that any goalie with an Oilers jersey will see shots and chances against that he will not believe.

Scrivens has been playing behind the Los Angeles Kings and that group controls shots against as good as any team in the NHL. Scrivens is in for rude wakeup call here. He will need to be on his toes the whole sixty minutes.

I like the test drive that the rest of the season brings for the oilers to watch Scrivens up close. I am not convinced he is an upgrade on Dubnyk but we can all watch him close up and form an opinion. Keep an eye on his glove had. He holds it to high which makes most saves a downward motion instead of up. That is the harder way.

I see no reason why Scrivens shouldn't start the bulk of the games the rest of this season. I would expect that Bryz will not be back with the oilers next year. So far he has done nothing to suggest he is the man for the Oilers. I think the team will look to a potential UFA like Jaroslav Halak or Jonas Hiller or make a trade for a guy like Cam Ward. The backup will most likely by Scrivens. In other words: two new goalies to start next season.

I believe Dubnyk is a good goalie. He is the luckiest person in Edmonton right now. He probably skipped all the way to Nashville. The Predators have a history of building goalies. The Preds play a pretty good defensive game. Dubnyk will get a chance to work with Mitch Corn, the Preds goalie coach. He has had success with tall goalies.

Public Breakups

I witnessed a breakup at Starbucks this morning. In fact I had a front row seat and decided to live tweet it! Surrounded by 20 or so people this lady gave her man an outright release.

I don't normally get into other peoples nightmares but I was literally sitting right beside them. Once it started I couldn't stop listening.

This poor guy was dropped like he was hot over a double chai latte. I will give him credit he did fight for it but she wasn't buying his "I will change" or "You deserve better from me" lines.

She shut him down and was convinced a breakup was the right way to go. This is where it got painful to watch.

Judging by their conversation I would guess they hadn't been together long. But this guy was determined not to lose her! It was embarrassing to say the least. At some point shouldn't you just take your lumps and move on? Not this guy! It wasn't like Jen Aniston was breaking up with him.

In the end they both got up and gave the most awkward hug I have ever seen. she says "We will be in touch soon". From what I saw there is no chance that will happen.

What is the right way to break up with someone these days? I know for sure doing it at Starbucks at 9:30 AM is a very cold way to do it.

I guess it is better than by text.

5cf6b487166aced0cd781e41bfef915e
Jason hosts the Jason Strudwick show from 9pm to 12am, weeknights on the team 1260. He is an instructor at Mount Carmel Hockey Academy and loves working with the kids. Having played over 650 games in the NHL, Jason has some great stories and unique takes on life in the NHL. He loves Slurpees and Blizzards. Dislikes baggy clothes and close talkers.
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#51 oilers1168
January 17 2014, 08:39AM
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MacT - Skype

Almost private and almost face to face.

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#52 Tikkanese
January 17 2014, 12:30PM
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bazmagoo wrote:

Players families should really be off limits for criticism, I even thought it was offside when it happened with Pronger. It's classless, gutless, childish, and most importantly, poor journalism. NHL players lead public lives I'll give you that, but criticism should be kept to their hockey playing abilities/attitudes in the locker room. Give the families some privacy and respect your professional boundaries douchbag!

Yeah but to cover up Pronger's infidelities with the smokescreen stories about how his wife hated the city and the weather is worse. It paints an entire city instead of just one person.

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#53 Oilbaron
January 17 2014, 01:15PM
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The defense has always been the team's most glaring weakness. Isn't is about time they find a replacement for Steve Smith???

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#54 Kr55
January 17 2014, 04:08PM
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Tikkanese wrote:

Size means jack if you don't use it. Those guys are all hard to play against because they compete hard. I'd take half a Brendan Gallagher over a full Dustin Penner any day.

Perron has been somewhat quiet for what 7 games? Oh, no! Call the waa'ambulance! He's probably tired from carrying the team on his back for the entire season up to that point.

Yeah, we were really hard to play against last night when Cooke took out Yak and went on to dominate us almost every shift he had the rest of the night with no Oiler touching him.

Fact remains, this team is getting dominated almost every night now. These supposed hard to play against players are spending more time trying to figure out how to play hockey than actually doing stuff that makes life difficult for the other team. Ference especially looks completely lost out there lately.

I'd take Smid and Fistric making life miserable for other teams forwards in a heartbeat right now to help this butter soft D group and I don't think either are that good of players. But those are guys that are actually hard to play against because they can punish you physically. If we're only talking about compete level here, well, look no further than Eakins if you want to lay blame. He's running this team into the ground (Perron's recent drop in level of play is the most recent example) and we've seen no indication of this amazing ability to motivate that MacT claims he has.

Seriously, on pace for 57 points, worst Oiler season ever. Every team playing their backup against us. The respect this team gets and the respect they deserve drops with every game they play.

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#55 Bryzarro World
January 17 2014, 05:27PM
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I LOVE the mindless trolls that come with the argument "have you ever played?" Like that troglodyte zarny and his pals...

You do know Lowe and MacT played the game. How's that working out for them right now?.... Thought so.

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#56 They're $hittie
January 17 2014, 10:39AM
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they're still $hitty

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#57 Puck JammeR!
January 17 2014, 10:59AM
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Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle both try to be the first one to wake up so they can be the one to cross off another day on their "Days Until Free Agency" calendar.

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#58 D-Unit
January 17 2014, 03:13PM
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S cottV wrote:

Oilers have to create conditions to shelter the fact that too many pucks are going in the back of our net.

It may be 3, 4 - even 5 years before the team has a legitimate back end. Guys like Nurse and maybe this years draft pick - will have to be part of the mix and they will take time to get there.

Sure - trades and ufa's may speed things up but development time will still be a big part of this dilemma.

The last thing the Oilers need right now, is continuance of their run and gun - offence first culture. It is an embarrassment. It over exposes the very area where the team is weakest. It hampers the goalie and d corps development process because there are so many bombs going off - these guys get shell shocked and a major dose of ptsd.

This team needs 3 years of Hitchcock like, Sutter like, Torts like, Maurice like - defense first influence, to at least keep things close - while our back end is under construction.

Eakins is not the guy. He is an inexperienced risk taking run and gun guy - who even wants to run and gun on defence for crying out loud. Under his leadership - the team looks so shakey - so unstable, its downright scary.

What is needed is a tough nuts and bolts veteran coach - who can bring some stability to this mess, by influencing (one way or another) our spoiled brat forwards to play 200 feet of hockey.

Its one thing to have the right philosophy for the times and its another thing to have the ability to influence the player group to do what you want them to do.

Eakins has neither the philosophy or the ability to influence because the players do not take him seriously.

Get someone with the right stuff, that will not be ignored - least of all, by a bunch of spoiled brat forwards...

So, what you are saying is the Oilers need a coach who will do to all the "talent" what Eakins was trying to do with Yak. Make Yak defensively accountable. Yet, it seems 99% of the people on here and around Edmonton said Yak doesn't need defence and Eakins was ruining Yak.

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#59 Kr55
January 17 2014, 03:18PM
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Tikkanese wrote:

So Perron, Ference, Gordon or now Hendricks are not hard to play against?

Perron can be in a pest way, but he's lost a lot of his St. Louis/Hitchcock mojo now and is starting to look like a typical Oiler. Ference is too busy trying to handle the minutes far beyond his abilities to have time to be hard to play against, plus he's not a big guy anyways. Gordon is on par with Horcoff, although Horc was better at babysitting other players. Gordon doesn't really mix it up with anyone (17 hits this year). Hendricks was Nashville's worst player this season if you look at corsi stats, plus he's only 6'0. At best he's one of those non-factor players MacT was insulting last year.

Sorry, but I think even more so than last year, when other teams see the Oilers in the schedule, they know it will be an easy night. The constant string of backups we are facing every night now really shows that. What we added doesn't really put us that much further ahead compared what we had with our last 4th liners, Fistric and Smid.

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#60 Tikkanese
January 17 2014, 03:50PM
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Kr55 wrote:

Perron can be in a pest way, but he's lost a lot of his St. Louis/Hitchcock mojo now and is starting to look like a typical Oiler. Ference is too busy trying to handle the minutes far beyond his abilities to have time to be hard to play against, plus he's not a big guy anyways. Gordon is on par with Horcoff, although Horc was better at babysitting other players. Gordon doesn't really mix it up with anyone (17 hits this year). Hendricks was Nashville's worst player this season if you look at corsi stats, plus he's only 6'0. At best he's one of those non-factor players MacT was insulting last year.

Sorry, but I think even more so than last year, when other teams see the Oilers in the schedule, they know it will be an easy night. The constant string of backups we are facing every night now really shows that. What we added doesn't really put us that much further ahead compared what we had with our last 4th liners, Fistric and Smid.

Size means jack if you don't use it. Those guys are all hard to play against because they compete hard. I'd take half a Brendan Gallagher over a full Dustin Penner any day.

Perron has been somewhat quiet for what 7 games? Oh, no! Call the waa'ambulance! He's probably tired from carrying the team on his back for the entire season up to that point.

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#61 Kr55
January 17 2014, 04:29PM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

Belanger was an excellent hockey player until the day he signed with Edmonton.

I cannot believe people are happy to pay almost 2 million dollars a year to a guy in his 30's because he's large and sometimes fights. Have the Leafs taught us nothing?

I think they've taught the people in charge too much. I think we are actually trying to model our team after the leafs. Look at how pleased MacT and Eakins are that Hall's corsi stats are in the toilet just because he's riding a wave of luck playing Eakins' awesome game plan. We went after Hendricks and Clarkson for MORE than what they took eventually from Nashville and Toronto. It's crazy to think this team can sink lower than it already has, but I think there is still more room to fall if that's how LoweT want this team run.

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#62 Kr55
January 17 2014, 04:53PM
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Tikkanese wrote:

LOL at "Smid and Fistric can punish you physically". Fistric sure but only 1/20 games when someone has their head down, but otherwise is way to slow and takes way to many dumb chances at trying to hit people putting himself out of position. Smid tried, but never scared anyone. He at least tried, I'll give him that.

Not just talking about big hits. Those guys were always hacking away at guys and cross-checking them around the net. Now we just have a bunch of guys that try to tap your stick as you pound the puck behind our goalie. The front of the Oilers net is probably the safest place to be in the entire rink now when you play the Oilers.

Look at the 3rd goal for Minny last night that Eakins blames Yakupov for. Minny gets 3 extra shots on net leading to the eventual goal while Ference is standing straight up with no idea what's happening and zero instinct to clear the front of the net until the puck is already going past Scrivens. Yeah, he looked very hard to play against on that one.

Not suggesting Smid and Fistric are the answers, they were not very good hockey players, but as far as hard to play against goes, they would be a big upgrade on his sad sack team. The bigger issue is how MacT has shown he wants guys like Hendricks and Clarkson. That tells me he is taking a terrible approach in trying to get players that are hard to play against and really shouldn't be trusted to turn this team around.

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#63 pelhem grenville
January 17 2014, 07:40AM
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...shameful account of the breakup too Jason...

two thirds of your piece...

thanks...

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#64 the tikk
January 17 2014, 07:43AM
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Jason - do you think that the Oilers have a 'structural' problem in their organization when it comes to teaching team defence?

Is there some aspect of whatever's going on between the ECHL/AHL/NHL assistant and head coaches that has resulted in this team-wide inability to identify basic D-zone coverage?

Trades aside, what do you think is the best way to improve this team's defensive play?

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#65 barry.moore23
January 17 2014, 07:46AM
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Hahahaha.

QuickSilver Ballet where ya been ?? I miss you.

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#66 NsxZero
January 17 2014, 08:38AM
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@dougtheslug

Ha thats what I thought when I got to that section. Pretty good analogy with our relationships to the Oilers.

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#67 fasteddy
January 17 2014, 10:08AM
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I find it easier to watch the team lose every game than to read some of these posts......hindsight is always 20/20, and all teams make mistakes on personnel. Try watching junior games on a regular basis and projecting the draft eligible kids; they are rarely the best players on their own teams, let alone no-brainer obvious selections. In my opinion the number one problem with this team is that the kids have had to carry the ball. On teams that are in the playoff hunt year after year, the young guys get worked in slowly. Once in a while a generational talent comes along and can change a teams' fortunes quickly, but that is certainly not the norm.

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#68 pelhem grenville
January 17 2014, 11:50AM
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pelhem grenville wrote:

YA>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Q ! >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

WHERE ARE YOU ???

YOU BETTER BE OK MAN !!!!!!!!!!!

... so I get TWO trashes and thankfully ONE prop for shooting out for my friend Q...who's been LIVING with cancer for quite some time...

dunno if barry.moore23 really does miss OUR friend but...iffen yur OK Q please check in at your earliest convenience...

OH>>>and God Bless

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#69 loweblows
January 17 2014, 12:22PM
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At least she broke up with him face to face. MacT dumped Krueger via SKYPE. Classy.

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#70 Dog Train
January 17 2014, 12:26PM
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I had to laugh when twice in the first period last night an Oilers defenseman ran into Scrivens. Welcome to the Oilers! Not to mention the mini shorthanded 2 on 0 we gave up or two players covering one guy behind the net while Pominville is allowed to cruise to the net wide open. Patrick Roy couldn't even play net for this sorry excuse of a team.

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#71 bazmagoo
January 17 2014, 01:02PM
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@Tikkanese

True but all of it is still none of our business. It should never have come out that Pronger wanted a trade, it should have been done quietly. Guess who get's the blame for that? #KLOWEMUSTGO

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#72 Big red ginger snap
January 17 2014, 03:59PM
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This team is a train wreak and i dont see it getting back on the rails anytime soon but i watch and feel nothing

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#73 TigerUnderGlass
January 17 2014, 05:46PM
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Tikkanese wrote:

I cannot believe people are unhappy about getting a type of player that everyone says we need for up to 3.5 years and will always be easily tradeable, or very cheap to buyout if the need be 3 years from now for a failed goalie that was going to be let go to UFA land.

I can't believe anyone who hates Belanger so much is suddenly excited at the idea of trading for a 32 year old 4th liner with a 4 year deal at 1.85M.

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#74 Joy S. Lee
January 17 2014, 06:30PM
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reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan) wrote:

You show class and treat the man with dignity and fly out to meet with him. MacT said coaching wasn't the problem then fires him after talking on the phone with Eakins.

Talk about bad karma.

That's a really interesting point, and an actual problem with this teams' management, to be blunt. They've had how many of these bad karma situations over the years? Too many to go into here, because why relive the pain, right?

But that bad karma 'bug' seems to haunt these guys. You might be closer to the truth in this, buddy, than even you realized. Perhaps it's a part of the fundamental belief system that's not serving them so well. Whose belief system and whose belief or beliefs, I don't know, and it's not for me to speculate, actually. But, the publicly embarrassing gaff's this team has endured, to go along with the product on the ice, well...there's something stinking up the henhouse.

Ok, maybe it is time for me to speculate, just like all you other speculators on here. I think it has come to the point where they need some new direction at the top, sorry Mr. Lowe, but you can't say you didn't have a fair shot. New thinking is required to fix the old thinking, and the only way to get new thinking is to change the thinker. Good luck in your new endeavours, though. I still think your jersey should be hanging in the rafters, too. You were a very valuable contributor to the success of the greatest hockey team in history. Despite all those Stanley cup rings you want to brag about as if it makes you impervious to criticism, you did earn them, and you helped bring a lot of joy to Edmonton. I'm appreciative of that, but quite honestly, maybe not so much of what you've managed to accomplish in a management role. You were supposed to be pre-ordained for management, according to one of your predecessors, I believe it was, along with some media types, but maybe that's not where your talents lie.

Jeez, couldn't help myself. I've been hearing so much about it for so long, it just got to me. And, I guess I'm finding myself on the side against Mr. Lowe's continuing role with the hockey team. I didn't really know that going in, either, as I've been on the fence, liked some of the things he's done. But I'm not going to argue with my own logic. That'll be for someone else, here. Wouldn't be first time I was wrong, either, if that's the case, because the hard truth is, I have no concrete idea how much the guy actually contributes to the organization. I'm not working with him. You don't know, either. But we can guess, and that's all we're doing here, even those of us who claim to KNOW, and state it in such ways as to supposedly remove all doubt. Like life, the business of hockey has become a fluid thing. Those who keep up with that fluid change are the ones who flourish. Actually, even more so, those who create it are. Meanwhile, those that remain as they are, thinking the way they've always thought, pretending past success dictates future results, well...they get left behind. And their hockey teams go with them. And, finally, that's all I'm saying...

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#75 pkam
January 17 2014, 09:13AM
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oilers1168 wrote:

MacT - Skype

Almost private and almost face to face.

Kureger was out of Edmonton. I don't know where he was at the time. I heard he might be in Toronto or Switzerland.

So what other options does MacT have? Text Kureger, call Kureger, ask Kureger to fly back to Edmonton to tell him face to face that he is fired, or MacT flied all the way to tell Kureger face to face he is fired, or Skype him? Any other option that I miss?

And which one do you thing is the most appropriate choice?

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#76 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
January 17 2014, 10:34AM
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outdoorzguy wrote:

I hope the 4 idiots don't make it to Winnipeg. But when we lose on Saturday afternoon, that should be their last game behind the bench. If it's not, this once proud franchise will have become an abortion of a supposed professional sports organization.

Too Late we are already there

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#77 Sisyphus
January 17 2014, 04:07PM
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Just a thought. There seems to be more and more of the "stop screaming, these were small trades, no point in rushing things, wait til the offseason" commentary going around. And I have to say--waiting for the off-season, thinking that we can plug holes with FA's, is delusional. Given Scrivens less-than-thrilled reaction to coming to EDM, to Hendricks passing on more $ to go someplace other than EDM when he had a choice, should say a lot. FA's aren't going to come here. At least the ones who can get an offer from any other team. And the ones who can't get offers from other teams....do we really want to sign that? We can't afford to wait until our d prospects are hopefully ready, and we're not going to get any valuable FA's

The ONLY way to improve this team for the foreseeable future is via trades. And not like the Scrivens trade, for a guy who's here for 3 months then leaving town. These have to be big, bold, LT trades. Yes, we're going to have to get rid of at least one young stud, possibly two. Get over it. Identify the stud who's going to have the most trade value to other teams, then make a big trade. I would rather see us trade one of our studs, even if its RNH or Hall, and get back 2 or 3 solid pieces that we need. I refuse to listen to those who say that there are untouchables on this team. If by trading one player you fix 2+ holes at once, I say its a win for the team. Period.

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#78 Truth
January 17 2014, 09:37AM
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Two UFA goalies in Dubnyk and Scrivens.

Dubnyk wins the lottery and goes to play behind a defensive team where he will shine. He'll be making a few bucks in the off-season.

Scrivens impeccable stats as a backup in LA will be washed away behind the Oilers D. He'll go into FA with a sub 0.900 save %.

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#79 S cottV
January 17 2014, 10:02AM
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Oilers have to create conditions to shelter the fact that too many pucks are going in the back of our net.

It may be 3, 4 - even 5 years before the team has a legitimate back end. Guys like Nurse and maybe this years draft pick - will have to be part of the mix and they will take time to get there.

Sure - trades and ufa's may speed things up but development time will still be a big part of this dilemma.

The last thing the Oilers need right now, is continuance of their run and gun - offence first culture. It is an embarrassment. It over exposes the very area where the team is weakest. It hampers the goalie and d corps development process because there are so many bombs going off - these guys get shell shocked and a major dose of ptsd.

This team needs 3 years of Hitchcock like, Sutter like, Torts like, Maurice like - defense first influence, to at least keep things close - while our back end is under construction.

Eakins is not the guy. He is an inexperienced risk taking run and gun guy - who even wants to run and gun on defence for crying out loud. Under his leadership - the team looks so shakey - so unstable, its downright scary.

What is needed is a tough nuts and bolts veteran coach - who can bring some stability to this mess, by influencing (one way or another) our spoiled brat forwards to play 200 feet of hockey.

Its one thing to have the right philosophy for the times and its another thing to have the ability to influence the player group to do what you want them to do.

Eakins has neither the philosophy or the ability to influence because the players do not take him seriously.

Get someone with the right stuff, that will not be ignored - least of all, by a bunch of spoiled brat forwards...

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#80 Sisyphus
January 17 2014, 10:22AM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

The Oilers can't possible go any slower!

The addition of Hendricks really showed the Oilers new found toughness, I especially like how Yakupov had his head rammed in by Cooke, then the Oilers did nothing.

The Oilers need players like, Kesller, Dubinsky, Hartnel, Ott, Clowe, skill veterans, strong and competitive.

Problem is the Oilers have nothing to trade with, zero.

Not true. We just don't have anything that we both can and WILL trade with. The very few number of tradeable assets (players that we might have another team interested in) are the same ones MacT has all but said are absolutely untouchable.

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#81 emonkee
January 17 2014, 11:21AM
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Andrew wrote:

Most of Mac's moves have amounted to nothing more than nibbling at the edges if the real issues. That would be the top six pussies and the most gutless D in the league. I don't see how Petry and Schultz Sr can stay on this team period. I don't see any way they can find 4 D in the near term. Hall looks like Eakins has ripped his heart for the game right iut of his chest.

No one is going to give up a top 4D, especially as we inch toward the playoffs....I doubt MacT can do anything until the off season. To get a top 4D, we have to give up something, not sure what piece yet...

You can ride on Petry all you want, but he is, unfortunately, the best we have got. NSchultz will be gone for sure, either trade deadline or UFA if no taker.

It's pretty thin this year in the UFA pool for D.

Age

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#82 MWA1991
January 17 2014, 01:06PM
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Why is no one addressing the fact that he's giving away all the Oil's upcoming draft picks with his tinckering? I read somewhere where now only have the first round pick out of the top 100+ picks? 2,3, and 4th are gone? But got a 4th back on the Brown trade which will be like a 5th. Edmonton is not Detroit. If we can't trade for the studs we need, and we need to draft them, wouldn't it be wise to stockpile picks instead of giving them all away?

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#83 gcw_rocks
January 17 2014, 01:26PM
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"Hendricks is a player I thought the Oilers needed to bring in last summer. I have no issue with his cap hit per year. The cap will continue to go up and the Oilers are not in a cap crunch. The issue is the term. I wonder what Hendricks will bring in year four."

This is wrong on many fronts:

1) Every dollar you overspend on your bottom pairing and fourth line is a dollar you cant spend on an important line. Top teams spend about 4% of thier cap space on the 4th line on average. In a $70M cap world, that's about $2.8M. This guy chews up $1.9M of it.

2) He is 32, the age where players of his type start to break down, and when they decline it tends to be rapid. Eric Belanger, anyone? But the Oilers took him on for 3 more years.

3) MacT himself said the team can't win with players on the ice where the best thing you could hope for is no one scores. This is Hendricks to a tee.

On MacT could take a situation where the worst probably outcome was the Oilers got no value from losing Dubnyk, and found a way to get negative value through a player that can't score (his offense in Washington came playing with Ovechkin and Ribeiro - what he was doing on the ice with those players is baffling, but he won't be playing with that calibre of player here), is paid way too much for his role, and it likely to crater long before his contract runs out.

Only the Oilers.

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#84 Tikkanese
January 17 2014, 01:33PM
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gcw_rocks wrote:

"Hendricks is a player I thought the Oilers needed to bring in last summer. I have no issue with his cap hit per year. The cap will continue to go up and the Oilers are not in a cap crunch. The issue is the term. I wonder what Hendricks will bring in year four."

This is wrong on many fronts:

1) Every dollar you overspend on your bottom pairing and fourth line is a dollar you cant spend on an important line. Top teams spend about 4% of thier cap space on the 4th line on average. In a $70M cap world, that's about $2.8M. This guy chews up $1.9M of it.

2) He is 32, the age where players of his type start to break down, and when they decline it tends to be rapid. Eric Belanger, anyone? But the Oilers took him on for 3 more years.

3) MacT himself said the team can't win with players on the ice where the best thing you could hope for is no one scores. This is Hendricks to a tee.

On MacT could take a situation where the worst probably outcome was the Oilers got no value from losing Dubnyk, and found a way to get negative value through a player that can't score (his offense in Washington came playing with Ovechkin and Ribeiro - what he was doing on the ice with those players is baffling, but he won't be playing with that calibre of player here), is paid way too much for his role, and it likely to crater long before his contract runs out.

Only the Oilers.

Way to know absolutely nothing about Hendricks the player. He brings elements badly lacking on the Oilers that more than make up for your offensive wishes for the 4th line.

He is nothing like Eric Belanger.

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#85 Kr55
January 17 2014, 01:38PM
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On pace for 57 points and the worst Oilers season of all time. There is nothing slow and steady about this season, we're at a complete halt and starting to tip backwards.

The only player that we got that apparently is hard to play against with any size is Gazdic, and he's not good at actual hockey. And we traded away Smid so we could have the softest D in the NHL.

Sorry to be a downer, but this team is not harder to play against compared to last season. The record reflects that. Also, how we are absolutely terrible against western teams compared to last year really leaves no room to defend MacT or Eakins. 13 games under .500 vs the west this season while being dominated in the vast majority of those games. Krueger had us 3 games under .500.

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#86 Tikkanese
January 17 2014, 02:08PM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:
He is nothing like Eric Belanger.

If by this you mean, "he has never been as good as Belanger had been his entire career before coming to Edmonton," you are correct.

If by good you mean, soft as kleenex and has no heart, then you are correct.

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#87 TigerUnderGlass
January 17 2014, 04:22PM
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Tikkanese wrote:

If by good you mean, soft as kleenex and has no heart, then you are correct.

Belanger was an excellent hockey player until the day he signed with Edmonton.

I cannot believe people are happy to pay almost 2 million dollars a year to a guy in his 30's because he's large and sometimes fights. Have the Leafs taught us nothing?

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#88 Woogie63
January 17 2014, 04:35PM
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Wow is there a lot of distraction at the Oiler brain trust. They seem to be busy shuffling the deck chair. In the meantime,

1) what assets are you going to link together to get a starting goalie/top 2 dman or a 2C

2) have we signed Simpson yet?

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#89 Joy S. Lee
January 17 2014, 04:45PM
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He Who Knows wrote:

Hey Struds, do the guys in the locker room or when you were there talk about the way the Oilers were being managed? Did you guys know about Souray and his dislike for management before he went public? #lowemustgo

Are you kidding? Hey, it's a great, great question, and one we'd all love to hear the answer to. But, it's an answer Struds can't give. He is too reliant on cooperation from the hockey team in order to do his job, and I would think he'd have to tread carefully when it comes to criticism of ownership or management. That's just the way it is.

Now, if you can find an insider without the reliance, you might get your answer.

Expanding further, let's be real: they WANT to do it right, and they INTENDED on doing it right, the first time. They found out it's harder than it looked, and that every team in the NHL works hard at being the best, and has angles and ideas and strategies that they believe in.

GM is only ONE aspect of management, however, as it's a management TEAM that really runs a hockey club. Perhaps they need some new blood in management that doesn't see things the same way everyone else in the organization does. In other words, they have a DIFFERENT viewpoint. Maybe that's what has hurt this team, is their penchant for sameness; similar thinking is good, but doesn't offer much contrasting variety, if you know what I mean.

Truth is, from my perspective, is that MacT is doing the right things, and has been EXTREMELY hampered by what he inherited. Even if Eakins turns out to be a mistake, MacT loved his ideologies, so it did make sense to hire him. But the coach isn't so different from the players, in that he has a lot to learn. They can do it together, because we don't need ANOTHER coaching change! Beg Ralph to come back as a co-coach, or something, but don't fire this guy, too, or it's just MORE spinning of the wheels. Bring in 10 coaches... whatever...more is sometimes better, but don't fire another HEAD coach. And the players on this team need....SOMETHING to get them to the next level. They are clearly resistant to doing whatever it takes, and want the easy road, which they get about 5 nights a year in their 7-3 and 8-1 wins. The other 77, not so much. This team has been working on creating ENERGY and FLOW in their game, to limited results. What they clearly need to master - and NOW - is TEAMWORK. This team needs to be selfless. But with young guys leading the charge, that's a major challenge.

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#90 NsxZero
January 17 2014, 08:41AM
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@oilers1168

Unless he didn't even bother turning on the webcam...

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#91 Fish
January 17 2014, 09:12AM
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Jen Aniston doesn't break up with people. It seems like people always break up with her :(

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#92 pkam
January 17 2014, 11:18AM
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reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan) wrote:

You show class and treat the man with dignity and fly out to meet with him. MacT said coaching wasn't the problem then fires him after talking on the phone with Eakins.

Talk about bad karma.

I disagree with you. I think it is very rude to call Kureger in to tell him the bad news. And it is unnecessary to fly all the way just to tell him the bad news. Text is totally lack of respect. Skype is better than a phone call.

MacT never said Kureger was the problem. He said he found a better coach that he believed could help the team more so he made a hard decision. He already said it was unfair to Kureger.

Are you suggesting that he shouldn't make any change that he thought would improve the team? Why would we want a GM who will not do what he thinks will improve the team? You can question his ability or judgement, but how can you blame him for trying?

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#93 Walter Sobchak
January 17 2014, 11:31AM
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Sisyphus wrote:

Not true. We just don't have anything that we both can and WILL trade with. The very few number of tradeable assets (players that we might have another team interested in) are the same ones MacT has all but said are absolutely untouchable.

This is True, but for my point I just said zero assets.

At this point the way Eakins is talking & using Yakupov he might even have lower trade value then Gagner!

It's pretty grim.

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#94 Tikkanese
January 17 2014, 01:30PM
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MWA1991 wrote:

Why is no one addressing the fact that he's giving away all the Oil's upcoming draft picks with his tinckering? I read somewhere where now only have the first round pick out of the top 100+ picks? 2,3, and 4th are gone? But got a 4th back on the Brown trade which will be like a 5th. Edmonton is not Detroit. If we can't trade for the studs we need, and we need to draft them, wouldn't it be wise to stockpile picks instead of giving them all away?

I think everyone would agree the 2nd rounder + PRV for Perron was an absolute steal.

3rd round and later have like 10% and less odds of becoming regular NHL'ers, let alone good players. We also have tons of prospects now and not enough NHL'ers. I am all for the trading away of these low chance picks for NHL'ers.

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#95 Tikkanese
January 17 2014, 02:40PM
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gcw_rocks wrote:

Positive shot differential at even strength? Nope.

Moderate offence? Nope.

Value contract? Nope.

What are these elements that you speak of?

Oh let's see.

Little things called:

compete level

plays with size

has been known to stick up for teammates

even drops the gloves once in a while... All the Gazdic haters should be rejoicing

You know, things everyone and their dog has been asking for the Oilers to get more of in the top 6, bottom 6 and on defense. He just happens to be a bottom 6 that we have for up to 3.5 years for a failed goalie that was not going to be re-signed in the summer.

He's also more of a winger than a center but is adept at winning faceoffs(about the only thing he shares with Belanger) as well as being a useful penalty killer.

Not every trade can be a David Perron. He's still a big upgrade over Will Acton, Eric Belanger, Lennart Pettrel and even Anton Lander at this point. Why does everyone have to be such "Negative Nancy's" about every little transaction?

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#96 Tikkanese
January 17 2014, 04:38PM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

Belanger was an excellent hockey player until the day he signed with Edmonton.

I cannot believe people are happy to pay almost 2 million dollars a year to a guy in his 30's because he's large and sometimes fights. Have the Leafs taught us nothing?

I cannot believe people are unhappy about getting a type of player that everyone says we need for up to 3.5 years and will always be easily tradeable, or very cheap to buyout if the need be 3 years from now for a failed goalie that was going to be let go to UFA land.

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#97 potential flush
January 17 2014, 05:21PM
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I have more confidence in MacT then I have had in any other gm for this team in years. Feel free to rip me to shreds though. And I will admit that I hated him as a coach. I do not, however, have any confidence in Lowe or any of the other management.

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#98 D-Unit
January 17 2014, 07:12PM
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S cottV wrote:

As it relates to Yak - trade him as part of acquiring a key piece. Goaltender, Top D man or a 2C. You Yak guys are kidding yourselves.

I would have traded Yak to Siberia for a bag of ice the day he said something to the effect he doesn't want to back check or play any D.

When the best players in the world understand that the D zone needs to be part of their game there is no excuse for a guy like Yak saying he doesn't need to.

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#99 Jay
January 17 2014, 09:44AM
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Slow and steadily getting worse

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#100 TigerUnderGlass
January 17 2014, 01:51PM
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It wasn't like Jen Aniston was breaking up with him.

I don't believe Jennifer Anniston has ever broken up with anyone.

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