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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#1 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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#2 Jason Gregor
January 17 2014, 11:34AM
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outdoorzguy wrote:

So it appears that the media (Anthony Vasquez-Peddie, Edmonton Sun) has driven a wedge into Scrivens...what, two days after we get him? Now we have to look for another goalie in the summer to replace him because of the "Warm" welcome he received. Maybe instead of going after the guys wife, he should have directed his angst at team management and the coaching staff. This organization has a free pass. They don't care what the fans say. The media are on a first name basis with everyone on the team. How long will they get away with this. Go after the guys wife. That's classy Edmonton media. No wonder nobody comes to play here.

You just proved why you shouldn't be a reporter.

The guy, Anthony Vasquez, is from Toronto not Edmonton. He is the online editor for their Sun Chain. He lives in TORONTO.

He isn't a reporter, he is an editor. He edits stories, he doesn't interview people or go find stories.

Feel free to critique people in the media, but don't look foolish and lump everyone into the same "media" pool. And next time you want to attack someone, or the entire "media" group at least be smart enough to know where the person resides....

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#3 camdog
January 17 2014, 07:58AM
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"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!"

Basically we replaced Brown with Hendricks, just looks like musical chairs to me...

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#4 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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#5 pkam
January 17 2014, 09:01AM
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vetinari wrote:

I agree that we need a better mix and balance of players but we stubbornly are trying to re-create the Flyers, or Chicago, or the Maple Leafs without success.

Basically, play to your team's strengths. Krueger seemed to do that better than Eakins. We have a small, young team so use your speed to drive the zone and take control of the centre of the ice for possible one-timers, dekes and shots off the rush-- be content with being outshot if you could make your chances count. Not ideal but a necessary evil given the type of team that we had. Yes, they needed to be better defensively, and they needed bigger bodies in some parts of the lineup, but at least they were heading in the right direction.

Eakins is coaching a small team to try and play like a big, physical team, and you can see our results. Yes, we're hitting more and yes, we're blocking more and yes, we have reduced the shots against by a bit, but the offensive pop is gone from our game, the players look like they are on a death march, and our defence is in shambles-- a young Marty Broduer couldn't backstop this team to success. So why do we try the same tactics over and over if they are not successful?

We seem to be assembling the team that Eakins wants to coach and not use the team that we have properly (which, I would argue, Krueger did with better success).

As for the breakup--- that was cold! In a public place-- what's a guy to do. The only thing worse is if the staff suddenly turned into a Glee flashmob and helped her breakup with him in song--

"We're so happy to see you, but sad to say, she's going to dump your a$$ today!" [jazz hands...]

I listened to almost all the post practice and and pregame interviews, all I hear from Eakins was to beat our opponents with speed and skill.

He didn't tried to coach to team to play like a big team. You can argue that he is not very successful, but you can't say that is his intend.

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#6 pelhem grenville
January 17 2014, 09:56AM
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barry.moore23 wrote:

Hahahaha.

QuickSilver Ballet where ya been ?? I miss you.

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

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

WHERE ARE YOU ???

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

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#7 papler
January 17 2014, 08:07AM
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camdog wrote:

"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!"

Basically we replaced Brown with Hendricks, just looks like musical chairs to me...

Exactly. And we switched a 3rd round pick for a fourth rounder.

Dubnyk, Brown and a 3rd out Scrivens, Hendricks and a 4th in

Going sideways and it is called progress... mind boggling

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#8 outdoorzguy
January 17 2014, 08:08AM
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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.

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#9 The Real Scuba Steve
January 17 2014, 08:19AM
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It's not working, I'm sorry but I see teams like Colorado making more progress that the Oilers have done. The Oiler brain trust made this rebuild a joke, Oilers need to be gritty like sandpaper but need to play the swarm. Let's put Taylor Hall at centre and see how that goes Messier did it 30 years ago so Hall should have no problems. They wait to the off season to signing UFA's only to be shot down every year. Why would Jaroslav Halak or Jonas Hiller want to sign here? I bet you they will take less money to go some where else, all this patience and wait till the off season to regroup is killing the Oilers, we are going to break that 10 year without playoff appearance record.

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#10 pelhem grenville
January 17 2014, 07:30AM
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...gawd how slow ?

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#11 russ99
January 17 2014, 07:58AM
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The problem is our opponents' best players are 6-8 years older than the best players on our team.

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#12 Rama Lama
January 17 2014, 09:07AM
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I love the ringing endorsement Ben Scrivens gave Eakins.........it was like yea I played for him, when asked what he thought about Eakins.

Struds, you said that players never tell the media anything.......totally true, but if you read body language, or the subtle nuances of language delivery, Scrivens bascially told everyone he is not a fan of Eakins.

I know one thing, the whole BPA strategy the Oilers follow is pure poison. It guarantees you will have a bunch of similar players, all trying to be stars. Most teams take what they need, if the skill separation is close, not us. We take the same type of player over and over again. Now we have a bunch of Hobbits that can't win a game and have collectively tanked their value.

While Mac T keeps shuffling the chairs on the Titanic, Lowe keeps polishing his six rings!

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#13 former Notre Dame Hound
January 17 2014, 09:10AM
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@wintoon

My friends say I have Gagneritous....and its nice to see that Im not the only one with this contagious disease...this guy is the #1 problem and like the comment said...he cant take a pass and is so scared to accept one that's the others teams are even passing to this idiot...send him back to a Midget B and bring in a Saskatchewan farm boy...ha

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#14 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
January 17 2014, 10:41AM
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pkam wrote:

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?

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.

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#15 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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#16 Wonger
January 17 2014, 01:26PM
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Pinnizotto is tough as nails, has bite to his game and can play! Keep going MACT!!!!! Great job!!! WONGER'S GETTING A WOODIE!!!!! OIL getting tougher!!!!!

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#17 A-Mc
January 17 2014, 03:36PM
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I dont agree that Hendricks is a lateral move, like most other people here are saying. He looked more capable to me.

My impression of him was first that he definitely moves a little slower (but so does Gordon and to some extend Perron), but he was really aggressive at times that we normally dont see. Aside from throwing some hits, he was grind on guys by getting his glove in faces and being a pest. I liked him alot.

For the first time last night i said out loud that the Oilers are seemingly close to resembling a team with a little jam to their game. If they were bottom barrel before, they are slowly working their way into the picture.

If we kept Smid and Fistric... Suddenly we're not looking too bad. There is a good chance that 1-2 guys on the ice at any given time have some real Jam and grit to their game.

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#18 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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#19 A-Mc
January 17 2014, 04:09PM
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Pokey wrote:

Oilers are 3 pts ahead of Buffalo. Buffalo have 4 games in hand. I predict that the Oil will fall off the edge of the planet and could easily end up 30th overall.

Doesn't that make us all so proud of our ownership and management.

What's with this confidence B.S. being tossed around by apologists like Stauffer and Lowetide.

What has confidence got to do with putting both hands on your stick and battling with your check in front of the net. It has nothing to do with confidence and playing with some semblance of respect for yourself, your team-mates and the fans.

I'm not proud of where we are but i DO think MacT is doing good things, 1 piece at a time. No one re-tools a team in 1 season while retaining all the talent. You can't trade garbage for a brand new car.

That being said! We have suffered so much this year that i think we deserve to have the top 1/2 pick at this years draft. The only way more disappointment can creep into my feelings of this season, would be for the Oilers to win just enough to not be able to draft Ekblad. OR. MacT passes on ekblad and picks some 170lb winger instead (which i doubt would happen).

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#20 mayorblaine
January 17 2014, 07:31AM
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slow and steady eh? how about plodding and pathetic.

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#21 tileguy
January 17 2014, 09:33AM
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Soccer Steve wrote:

That cork board with nothing on it behind MacT says it all, doesn't it?

Sorry, not sure what it says, can somebody please tell me what it means?

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#22 RexHolez
January 17 2014, 10:28AM
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Question: how long until this team goes from worst team in the league to "worst team in the history of the league?"

That's a legitimate question, and yet the man responsible for this situation is still in place??

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#23 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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#24 TigerUnderGlass
January 17 2014, 01:53PM
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@Tikkanese

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.

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#25 TigerUnderGlass
January 17 2014, 02:07PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

Yet it's ok for MacTavish to fly to Sweden to watch one game of Klefbom and declare he's " seen enough to know"

It's ok to fly to mother Russia and declare that Grebeshkov still has game!

He can't board Katz private jet fly out for the day to see a coach he just told to take his summer break, that he will handle the finding of a co-coach for Krueger.

Instead, "screw it I found a new coach so I don't really need to fly because I'm firing him anyways"? This is fine with you?

People are still talking about this? It doesn't matter.

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#26 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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#27 wiseguy
January 17 2014, 03:58PM
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"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."

MacT recommends doing it via Skype

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#28 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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#29 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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#30 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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#31 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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#32 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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#33 Big Cap
January 17 2014, 07:44AM
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These "minor league" trades and "tweaks" to make our roster a little deeper are fine.

But, there is NO way I trust our current management group to pull off the Big Blockbuster that involves one of our "A-Listers". You only get one chance and I'd bet my last dollar the wouldn't end in out favor!

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

QuickSilver Ballet where ya been ?? I miss you.

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#35 BorjeSalming-IanTurnbull
January 17 2014, 07:49AM
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Sam Gagner is Kryptonite to all he plays with. RNH and Hall looked lost and defeated all night playing with him. What a mess this is...

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#36 wintoon
January 17 2014, 08:03AM
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Gagner is a black hole. He can't play center and since moving to the wing he has proven unable to accept or make a pass, his decisions are those of a rookie lacking confidence, his positioning is poor and his results have been non existent.

If he is not traded at the deadline then the Oilers are doomed to another season of futility. Oilers have to draft a good center at the draft in June. Even a raw rookie will contribute more than Gags (particularily apt nick name).

As for trades, even if the Oilers have to overpay they need to upgrade their defensive top 6. The pro scouts should be able to identify a player (or two) to be realistically targeted. If not, why are they being paid?

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#37 Soccer Steve
January 17 2014, 08:17AM
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That cork board with nothing on it behind MacT says it all, doesn't it?

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#38 Twoskidoos
January 17 2014, 08:27AM
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She should have done it by Skype.

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

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#40 Andrew
January 17 2014, 10:53AM
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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.

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#41 Walter Sobchak
January 17 2014, 11:40AM
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pkam wrote:

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?

Yet it's ok for MacTavish to fly to Sweden to watch one game of Klefbom and declare he's " seen enough to know"

It's ok to fly to mother Russia and declare that Grebeshkov still has game!

He can't board Katz private jet fly out for the day to see a coach he just told to take his summer break, that he will handle the finding of a co-coach for Krueger.

Instead, "screw it I found a new coach so I don't really need to fly because I'm firing him anyways"? This is fine with you?

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#42 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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#43 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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#44 gcw_rocks
January 17 2014, 02:24PM
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Tikkanese wrote:

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.

Positive shot differential at even strength? Nope.

Moderate offence? Nope.

Value contract? Nope.

What are these elements that you speak of?

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#45 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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#46 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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#47 S cottV
January 17 2014, 04:41PM
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D-Unit wrote:

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.

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.

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#48 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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#49 Marc
January 17 2014, 07:37AM
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Harder to play against? Fistric was our one hard as nails D man who apparently can play for the best team in the league.....but not the Oilers. We didn't need to get softer on D but did. This team is in a spiral. Sycophantic apologists aside.

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#50 EP
January 17 2014, 08:10AM
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"I guess it is better than by text."

Or by Skype. That's how MacT rolls.

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