Comparing Coaches

Jonathan Willis
January 22 2014 10:32AM

Coaching has been an oft-discussed potential reason for the Edmonton Oilers’ collapse this season. While nobody claims that it is coaching and coaching alone that has the Oilers where they are, some wonder whether general manager Craig MacTavish didn’t make a mistake when he chose Dallas Eakins to replace Ralph Krueger.

How does Eakins’ team compare with that of Krueger, and of Tom Renney at five-on-five?

The Comparison

What is needed for a fair comparison between coaches? A level playing field. Because Ralph Krueger’s Oilers only played against Western Conference teams, we will only consider Oilers games played against Western opponents in 2011-12 and this season.

That introduces another problem. Eakins’ Oilers have played 19 games on the road against Western teams, but only 11 at home. To compensate for that, we will be weighting his home and road games equally so out analysis isn’t impacted by an unbalanced schedule.

What should we compare? We’ll run the gamut of five-on-five statistics: shots, Fenwick (shots + missed shots), Corsi (all shot attempts) and good old goals. All numbers will be expressed as a percentage of total events – in other words, 50 percent represents the break-even mark and a higher number is better. We will also include shooting percentage and save percentage.

Tom Renney

Ralph Krueger

Dallas Eakins

Head-To-Head-To-Head

Tom Renney comes out looking awfully good here. Steve Tambellini never offered an actual explanation of what he thought Renney was doing wrong behind the bench when he fired the veteran coach, but it is abundantly clear in hindsight that canning Renney was the wrong move. The Oilers did a better job at getting shot attempts, and getting shot attempts through without them being blocked, of getting shots on net, and of scoring goals under Renney than they would under either of his successors. If one believes (as I do) that Renney had the weakest roster of the three coaches, it’s impossible to look at this without thinking he did an awfully good job.

Ralph Krueger vs. Dallas Eakins is where it gets interesting. Eakins’ team did a better job of generating shot attempts, but Krueger’s did better work getting them through to the opposition net. Krueger’s teams also did a better job of winning the goals battle, in large part because the team shooting and save percentages were better.

Eakins’ home/road splits are compelling. At home, Eakins’ team is pretty competitive with Renney’s in the shot metrics, but on the road the numbers fall apart to a degree not seen under previous coaches. I don’t have an explanation for that; it’s something I’m going to watch for in future games but the difference suggests that whatever Eakins is doing on the road isn’t working at all.

The other item to note here is the save percentage splits – that the goalies’ terrible play isolated to home games suggests to me that the bad goaltending this year isn’t necessarily driven by team defence. By that, I mean that while the Oilers allow way more shots than the league average, there seems to be little reason to believe that they’re consistently allowing higher quality chances than other teams. Certainly they weren’t under Renney or Krueger; it’s possible that Eakins is doing something bizarre but I don’t think it’s likely.

Would Edmonton be better off with Tom Renney behind the bench? I think so, yes, potentially much better off (particularly given the benefits of continuity). Would they be better off with Krueger than Eakins? I don’t know, but I believe there’s a strong learning curve for any rookie NHL head coach, and Krueger already had a year under his belt. That has to be balanced against MacTavish getting a guy suited to his style of managing, so I’m not sure there’s a definite answer here.

Both Eakins and Krueger strike me as intelligent, motivated coaches; I think Krueger would have figured things out eventually and I believe Eakins still will, but the big mistake here was making Renney a scapegoat for problems that weren’t of his creation.

Recently by Jonathan Willis

74b7cedc5d8bfbe88cf071309e98d2c3
Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
Avatar
#51 fasteddy
January 22 2014, 12:11PM
Trash it!
24
trashes
Cheers
15
cheers

If in fact its accurate that the kids dont like him, Eakins needs to go. I don't care if hes the 58th coach in the last five years. I would rather see them grow into a style they enjoy playing. ....which seemed to be the case under Krueger. Having your best players not excited to come to the rink is a recipe for disaster. You think Guy Lafleur or Mike Bossy were required to play like checkers? You work with what you've got......not everyone needs to be defense first, let the horses go!

Avatar
#52 Tbone
January 22 2014, 12:11PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
17
cheers

Can we plz just get a coach with some sort of track record all these unproven coaches are easy to put the blame on!!!

Avatar
#53 westcoastoil
January 22 2014, 12:13PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
36
cheers

I never understood the Renney firing beyond Mgmt. needing to throw a sacrificial lamb to the fan base. "Hey we're rebuilding, it's going to take 4-73 years and we're going to load up with top draft picks...Hey angry fans, our coach has us repeatedly finishing at the bottom - no worries, he's fired (please don't notice we're inept, please don't notice we're inept, hey Bucky can you grab me a coffee on your way in this morning, please don't notice we're inept)."

Meanwhile Detroit grabs Renney before his beer at the lake has a chance to get warm.

Avatar
#54 S cottV
January 22 2014, 12:14PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
20
cheers

I believe Tom Renny got fired because of the team record and because he was reluctant to give too much - too soon, to the younger players at the time. Hall, Eberle, Gagner etc.

Renny's numbers reflect his greater use of veteran players, who know how to play a more reliable territorial game. Horcoff, Smyth, Hemsky etc.

The biggest thing I noticed when Krueger took over, was that there was a definite shift in the use of younger players in "go to" situations. It seemed to me that this major shift was probably a factor in changing coaches, as Renny the veteran Coach, would have surely resisted (and rightfully so) any pressure from above, to prematurely use the younger players in "go to" situations.

I remember clearly saying to friends - while watching the games in the early part of last season - that Kreuger was taking a major risk going with the kids in "go to" situations and that it might cost him his job, if it doesn't pan out.

After last year, to me - the last thing the Oilers needed was to hand the reins to a rookie Coach. OK - rookie Coaches have been hired before with a few successes, but not here - not now. The Oilers have "hot shot" first overalls and first round draft picks with big egos. The player group is generally very young, lack size, is weak in the back end and in goal. The situation cries out for the need of - a veteran Coach, and MacT goes with Eakins???

Seems like shades of Krueger prematurely going with rookie players and look where that got him...

Avatar
#55 bwar
January 22 2014, 12:15PM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Cheers
13
cheers

The problem I have with Eakins is that I honestly feel that the Oilers would not be doing any worse if I was the coach this season.

Krueger had the team in a playoff spot with about a month left in the season before an epic collapse to close out the season. Renney was really given next to nothing to work with and I really don't feel that he was expected to accomplish much of anything. Eakins on the other hand was given a team that was expected to make improvements and at least fight for a playoff spot yet instead we are seeing possibly the most disappointing season in Oilers history.

As a fan I think this season has been very testing. I find it harder and harder to get excited for the games and find myself questioning if things will ever turn around. Really at this point I can't find any reason for this organization to not make drastic changes. The personnel isn't getting the results expected and the management seems like they really just don't care.

The only person I have any degree of faith/confidence in is MacT because at least he seems to be making an effort to make the changes necessary to eradicate this team of its losing culture.

tldr; Oilers suck.

Avatar
#56 pkam
January 22 2014, 12:18PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers
ubermiguel wrote:

Top 6 forwards included Hemsky and Horcoff and our #1 goalie. I'm not saying these guys should have been top 6 forwards or #1 goalie, but on that team they were and they lost a huge % of time.

That's why I said it is tricky to determine who is top-ended players.

Larsen is 2nd in PPG among all our defense, just after J. Schultz. Before he got hurt, he is in our PP unit. But is he a top end player? He is out 24 games this year, does it count?

Avatar
#57 toprightcorner
January 22 2014, 12:20PM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Cheers
8
cheers
godot10 wrote:

Renney was fired because he finished 30th and 29th in a 30 team league over two full seasons.

I believe Renney was fired too soon as the axe should have fallen on Tambo instead. I also believe that Renny did have a few advantages over the others that are not measurable but need to be considered

Renney -

Advantages - was an associate with the team for a year and had a total of 3 years with the team for the stats used. - Had an exceptional associate coach in Kreuger who was very motivational and communicated well with young players - Had a much more experienced defence - Horcoff and Smyth (2011) were still top 6 players, not bottom 6

Disadvantages

- Tambo did nothing to help his cause (same as Kreuger) - Injuries in 2010 6 of the top 9 scorers missed 15 or more games, 2011 Nuge and Hall each missed 20 games

Kreuger

Advantages - Had 2 years as an associate coach and 2.5 years with the team for the stats used.

Disadvantages

- no associate coach (to this day I don't understand it and believe it was likely Tambo's decision since after he was fired Kreuger told MacT that he needed an associate coach) - no training camp - Tambo again did nothing

Eakins

Advantages - The "young" players had a couple years experience and should be ready to carry the team more - has an associate coach (I believe there were better options out there and if Eakins could have fired Smith and Buchy, Acton would have been a better assistant and could have hired an associate with more NHL experience)

Disadvantages

- Only 50 games with team - first NHL coaching job - First time the young players have ever been held accountable - Tougher, hard-nosed personality than Kreuger who was excellent at communicating with young players - by far the worst defense of the group - Better GM with MacT but still cleaning up Tambo's mess - One of the worst starts in team history that makes up 25% of the sample size.

I think Renny was also losing the room onhow veterans were treated differently sodon't think it would have worked out for him anyway.

If it were me, I would have kept Kreuger as head coach and added Eakins as an associate to help as they could have be a very good combination. Eakins could have been plan B if that didn't work out.

I pray that Eakins can replace his bench coaches at the end of the season (any chance for Huddy!!) an put in the staff that he wants. I suppose I am hoping that the reason he kept the staff the same is because the guys Eakins wanted were under contact and could not leave for a lateral move.

I also believe, based on early season play, that Renny and Kreuger did a poor job teaching the young guys the fundamentals required to succeed in the NHL and Eakins was forced to take a step back and reteach and simplify some things because of that.

Avatar
#58 Truth
January 22 2014, 12:20PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
16
cheers

I think it all comes down to the systems that each coach employs.

For comparisons sake I look at Kreuger's system vs Eakins'.

IIRC, from the minute Kreuger was given the reigns he preached he would coach to the teams strengths. It was about creating points off the transition and rush. Use speed to create chances and attack the net immediately on each rush. Defensive zone was the most basic man-to-man coverage you can get, literally the same as a Peewee team. My 4 yr old niece knows the Oilers suck defensively.

Eakins is pretty much the exact opposite. Get pucks in deep, establish a cycle, create chances off missed reads or slipped coverages. This alone has killed Taylor Hall's fancy stat numbers. Importantly, he still produces points. Eakins' defensive zone started with a (comparatively to Kreuger's system)sophisticated swarm system and after failing he has now resorted to standard zone defense, with, IMO, the intent on converting back to the swarm once the players can figure out how to defend at the most basic level or MacT acquires some players that can.

Totally divergent viewpoints. Kreuger, "this is the team we've got let's play to their strengths." Eakins, "this is how we're playing, the team will have to learn or we'll acquire the right players to play this system." My opinion is that the solution is somewhere in the middle. Maybe Kreuger's team competes for a playoff spot every year. If Eakins is successful in making these players play his system he makes them contenders each year, but it's a big IF.

Avatar
#59 pkam
January 22 2014, 12:30PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers
Serious Gord wrote:

The raw numbers only tell part of the story. The quality of players hurt is a big factor.

If memory serves the players injured when renny was coach were on balance far more impactful than the ones eakins has lost.

Like my reply to ubermiguel, it is very tricky to determine which players are more impactful.

Do you consider Cam Barker impactful? He lost 39 games. How about Ryan Whitney? He got 30 games. Theo and Potter both lost 18 games. These are the players who lost most games.

Avatar
#60 Mack Strong
January 22 2014, 12:35PM
Trash it!
9
trashes
Cheers
40
cheers

And I we speak of the coaches….

Nashville picks up Michael Del Zotto for Kevin Klien…Calvin's cousin!

WTF!!!!???

So Mac T we don't have anyone in the Oilers roster or in the system that is a better fit for NYC that Kevin Klein for Del Zotto???

Oh thats right…were not making moves that would be mortgaging our future or set our team back "cuz those days are gone" …

INEPT MANAGEMENT!!! Borderline RETARDED.

I know the comments are moderated but my mom reading over my shoulder told me to say that!

Love the OIL love the NATION…..Dont Love the Management!

Avatar
#61 Old Timer
January 22 2014, 12:36PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
15
cheers

I think Renney was probably the best of the three but it's not really something you can measure with these fancy stats.

The main point should be you can't keep changing coaches every year.

Scotty Bowman, Punch Imlach and Al Arbour would all have loosing records with the poor quality of players that the Oiler coaches have been saddled with.

Avatar
#62 pkam
January 22 2014, 12:44PM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

@Mack Strong

I stop reading the rest when I read this statement:

"Tom is doing well as an assistant coach in Det (one point out of wild card in the ultra competitive Western Conference)"

Avatar
#63 MessyEH
January 22 2014, 12:50PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
18
cheers

None of our players are so offensively gifted that they can't play defense. If the great 8 realized he had to change his game our cream puffs can as well.

Avatar
#64 Moog's helmet
January 22 2014, 12:51PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
20
cheers

After Renney's final season as Oilers coach he held a press conference where he had no idea if he was coming back. Then Tambellini and Lowe made him re apply for his job. Then he was terminated. Disgraceful. Why would anyone be in favour of mercy for Kevin Lowe after how he handled Renney's dismissal?

Some people thought Renney didn't play the kids enough. (I remember Stauffer being one of them.) Obviously Renney was right to shelter them. If there was a faction of fans who wanted him fired, it was for this misguided reason.

When Krueger took over the feeling was his technical expertise would improve Edmonton's defence. Then when he got skyped out of town in favour of Eakins the feeling was Krueger's system had flaws and other teams were exposing him. I wonder what we'll hear when Eakins gets fired?

Bottom line is Eakins was brought in to improve this team's compete level. Their compete level has clearly and I mean clearly not increased. The experiment has already failed. He's not an upgrade over Krueger. Just like Krueger wasn't an upgrade over Renney. Only good news is the Oilers failure buzzwords have changed from "culture change" to "compete" I was getting tired of culture change. Compete is getting old too come to think of it.

Krueger should still be here. Although it is hard to feel sorry for him once you've seen the face he makes on the cover of his dumb motivation speaking book. I believe it was called "Switzerland can tie Canada and so can you!"

Avatar
#65 K_Mart
January 22 2014, 12:51PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
18
cheers

Tom and Ralph was a good combo that should have never been abandoned... but what's done is done. Eakins will be the hill that MacT dies or lives on.

Avatar
#66 Cynic
January 22 2014, 01:00PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
11
cheers

Isn`t Renney an assistant coach with Detroit? One of the most successful franchises of the past 25 years? The Edmonton Expos are merely a stopover for talented people on the way to better organizations.

Avatar
#67 Lochenzo
January 22 2014, 01:02PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
9
cheers

Oh no, terrible news for you Shea Weber rumour-mongers! Klein for Del Zotto. That's one less righty needing top 4 minutes in Nashville. I don't see Weber nor Seth Jones going anywhere any time soon.

Avatar
#68 K_Mart
January 22 2014, 01:04PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
7
cheers
MessyEH wrote:

None of our players are so offensively gifted that they can't play defense. If the great 8 realized he had to change his game our cream puffs can as well.

This is upsetting, but the more upsetting part is the gap between the oilers' good play and bad play.

Periods like the third period last night against Van just make me upset because I don't understand how we can play so well and then so poorly.

Every team has good and bad games (ala St. Louis V NJD last night) but when the oilers play their best hockey they compete with teams like pitt, van, bos with little push back... then later on they can barely keep up with florida. What is that about?

How can you fall so far down the cliff? Makes no sense. I think the culture of losing plays a huge part in this, but who knows.

Avatar
#69 fasteddy
January 22 2014, 01:06PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
16
cheers

I see where Barry Trotz says 3 of the 5 goals Dubey gave up in his debut should have been stopped by an NHL goalie. .....maybe it wasn't all the fault of our inept defense after all....

Avatar
#70 Romanus
January 22 2014, 01:08PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers
Oil Can wrote:

As we compare coaches and try to figure out which one was better or we should have kept. How about maybe we just haven't hired the right guy yet. Montreal, Ottawa, New Jersey, Colorado, ect. Have all done pretty good and have not needed to give their coaches years of loosing records to see if they are the right coach for the job. GO OUT AND GET AN EXPERIENCED CHOACH and let him bring in his own assistants.

Using your team examples, someone like Patrick Roy?

Avatar
#71 tileguy
January 22 2014, 01:09PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers

speaking of Kreuger

Former Edmonton bench boss Ralph Krueger has been hired by Southampton F.C. — currently sitting ninth in England’s Barclays Premier League — as an aide to club owner Katharina Liebherr, according to The Guardian.

Lol, not sure what to think.

Avatar
#72 hatrock
January 22 2014, 01:21PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
24
cheers

Don't forget that Renney had to deal with a hugely injured team and a whole pile of AHL callups the team almost looked like the entire Barons roster.

And yet he STILL posts better numbers than Eakins who's had a relatively healthy team.

Why Lowe didn't hire Hitchcock is beyond me. He's completely turned around the Blues into the best defense team in the league and one of the top 3 offensive teams.

Avatar
#73 pkam
January 22 2014, 01:22PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

My speculation why Renney was not renewed.

Tambellini realized his days were on the wall when MacT returned as the VPOHO. He knew the only chance he could extend his job was to make the playoff.

So he went all the way to meet Renney and asked him if he could bring the young Oilers to playoff. When he didn't get the promise from Renney, he had no option. He knew the only chance he might keep his job if the Oilers failed to make the playoff was to make some significant change. At least it showed he tried instead of doing nothing. Elite UFAs do not want to sign here. Teams wouldn't trade us their elite players unless they could freeze us. So his only option is a coaching change.

Pretty much what Gillis did in Vancouver. He knew if he didn't get a new coach, then the club will get a new GM. So one guy lost his job is better than 2 guys lost their jobs.

Avatar
#74 pkam
January 22 2014, 01:25PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers
hatrock wrote:

Don't forget that Renney had to deal with a hugely injured team and a whole pile of AHL callups the team almost looked like the entire Barons roster.

And yet he STILL posts better numbers than Eakins who's had a relatively healthy team.

Why Lowe didn't hire Hitchcock is beyond me. He's completely turned around the Blues into the best defense team in the league and one of the top 3 offensive teams.

Because Hitchcock didn't need a job when we wanted to hire a coach.

Avatar
#75 2004Z06
January 22 2014, 01:34PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
7
cheers

What? Taylor Hall isn't the second coming? Man this season's disappointments just keep piling up.

Avatar
#76 Zipdot
January 22 2014, 01:35PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers
Moog's helmet wrote:

After Renney's final season as Oilers coach he held a press conference where he had no idea if he was coming back. Then Tambellini and Lowe made him re apply for his job. Then he was terminated. Disgraceful. Why would anyone be in favour of mercy for Kevin Lowe after how he handled Renney's dismissal?

Some people thought Renney didn't play the kids enough. (I remember Stauffer being one of them.) Obviously Renney was right to shelter them. If there was a faction of fans who wanted him fired, it was for this misguided reason.

When Krueger took over the feeling was his technical expertise would improve Edmonton's defence. Then when he got skyped out of town in favour of Eakins the feeling was Krueger's system had flaws and other teams were exposing him. I wonder what we'll hear when Eakins gets fired?

Bottom line is Eakins was brought in to improve this team's compete level. Their compete level has clearly and I mean clearly not increased. The experiment has already failed. He's not an upgrade over Krueger. Just like Krueger wasn't an upgrade over Renney. Only good news is the Oilers failure buzzwords have changed from "culture change" to "compete" I was getting tired of culture change. Compete is getting old too come to think of it.

Krueger should still be here. Although it is hard to feel sorry for him once you've seen the face he makes on the cover of his dumb motivation speaking book. I believe it was called "Switzerland can tie Canada and so can you!"

I strongly disagree.

1. When Krueger was fired, no one that I know of said anything about system flaws leading to exposure. What MacT said was that he didn't agree with the approach that Krueger took and that while initially looking for an X and O assistant coach, he ended up deciding to outright replace Krueger with Eakins. Between the lines, we read at the time that MacT prefers a possession game while Krueger was all about the run-and-gun.

2. Eakins was NOT brought in to improve the team's compete level. Obviously, Krueger was the motivational guy. Eakins talked about fitness and about having a plan to get the puck back, mostly. He may have also mentioned compete but the original plan was "X's and O's".

3. You may remember that Renney was always complaining about compete. That's when that became a big buzzword, really. Remember the time he called out his players, saying "suck it up and play! You're millionaires!"...

Just my two cents.

Avatar
#77 Johnnydapunk
January 22 2014, 01:44PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
tileguy wrote:

speaking of Kreuger

Former Edmonton bench boss Ralph Krueger has been hired by Southampton F.C. — currently sitting ninth in England’s Barclays Premier League — as an aide to club owner Katharina Liebherr, according to The Guardian.

Lol, not sure what to think.

Wow that's a weird one! The Southampton situation is a bit of a mess and I don't think this will help things at all.

But in a way what Krueger is very good at (at least he is regarded very highly in Germany and Switzerland) is at motivation and Southamption is in disarray right now.

In a way maybe we are seeing the Oil without that type of motivation that Krueger seemed to have on athletes.

I'm not saying that Krueger would have brought the Oil the Stanley Cup, but maybe if he was retained in some capacity as a co coach or something similar that the Oil situation wouldn't be as dire.

Avatar
#78 westcoastoil
January 22 2014, 01:44PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers
fasteddy wrote:

I see where Barry Trotz says 3 of the 5 goals Dubey gave up in his debut should have been stopped by an NHL goalie. .....maybe it wasn't all the fault of our inept defense after all....

Funny question: If the Oilers say went out and got Bill Ranford as a new goalie coach and Charlie Huddy as a new D coach - 2 coaches that by all accounts are very well respected in their field. Would the howls of "old boys network again" rain down from the rafters in Rexall?

Not saying Eakins would do that because of optics, but I suspect the team D and G positions would have been markedly better today of those 2 guys had been around the last 2 years.

For the life of me I never understood why Bucky survived the purge when Huddy did not. Huddy by all accounts was, and has been since, pretty good at developing D. Did they know Huddy would have a better time of getting a job.

As for new assistants - I would love to see them get Todd Reirden in.

Avatar
#79 Eulers
January 22 2014, 01:47PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

Great post, JW! I'd been thinking of Renney recently too. Your past posts had made clear that Krueger created a downturn in play. Eakins has extended this, though percentages on the shooting side and save side (if they are temporarily bad) may skew his record. It does make me yearn for Renney days...

As you say, Tambo should have been fired the day he walked into Lowe's office with "I just got a great deal on the Bhulin wall", because we are paying the price for the bad decisions on the big club for years. At least, Tambo brought some positive to the little club: Best AHL GM award ;)

Avatar
#80 pkam
January 22 2014, 01:50PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers
westcoastoil wrote:

Funny question: If the Oilers say went out and got Bill Ranford as a new goalie coach and Charlie Huddy as a new D coach - 2 coaches that by all accounts are very well respected in their field. Would the howls of "old boys network again" rain down from the rafters in Rexall?

Not saying Eakins would do that because of optics, but I suspect the team D and G positions would have been markedly better today of those 2 guys had been around the last 2 years.

For the life of me I never understood why Bucky survived the purge when Huddy did not. Huddy by all accounts was, and has been since, pretty good at developing D. Did they know Huddy would have a better time of getting a job.

As for new assistants - I would love to see them get Todd Reirden in.

I believe Smith is defense assistant, not Bucky.

Avatar
#81 oilfanincalgary
January 22 2014, 01:53PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
17
cheers

Ken Hitchock, Lindy Ruff, and all other real NHL coaches wouldn't come near this steaming pile of nepotism. (From Their View) We cant hire somebody competent because he would immediately let everybody know what a bunch of incompetent boobs we are.(Oilers (lack of management) View). I now clean my house during oilers games. My house is really clean, now if Katz would just clean house , all would be well.

Avatar
#82 Mack Strong
January 22 2014, 01:55PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers

@pkam

The implication is that we dropped him and it was not long after that Detroit picked him up.

Detroit is a well run well managed organization that picks well trades well and develops amazingly!!! Period.

Detroit and Ken Holland "know a little about winning" and would not bring in a person who is A. going to upset the balance that they have achieved B. Is not going to compliment and add to what is already a model system and organization.

Sure you can say its Holland or Babcock or Zetterberg or Datsyuk (both of which were 7th and 6th round picks and developed from within) and the list goes on and on. They add to and develop. WE ARE NOT DOING EITHER!!

There is no doubt that we have some assets here that could be great! but thats where its going to stay - in the "could be" category.

This all comes down to Management…imagine if we had Detroit's organization and management right down to coaching………me thinks you'd keep reading then…. =)

Love the OIL Love the Nation!

Avatar
#83 Dallylamma
January 22 2014, 02:03PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers

Trotz: Dubnyk had ‘bad habits’ with Oilers http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/trotz-dubnyk-picked-up-bad-habits-with-oilers/

Avatar
#84 Kr55
January 22 2014, 02:07PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers

My mistake in my original post. Good job only considering western teams in the comparison.

I think Renney + Krueger as an associate was a good situation for us. It's pretty obvious Krueger took all the special teams brains with him when he left. And Renney seems to be the most effective overall coach of the 3.

Renney and Krueger with the current team we have...might have been fighting for a spot.

Avatar
#85 Still Hoping
January 22 2014, 02:10PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
10
cheers

Well,

Interesting.

Again, the problem comes down to the captain steering the ship.

That would be Kevin Lowe. No good leader of an organization would let this happen.

LOWE, MAC T, and the OLD OILERS Must all GO.

They may have been great players, but they are the worst Management team of all the professional sports in North America.

Keep up the banners, voice, and tweets Edmonton. The fans will be heard even though most our media and pathetic Lowe lovers.

Avatar
#86 Zipdot
January 22 2014, 02:18PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
8
cheers

My theory:

One night, after binge drinking together, Steve Smith and Kelly Buchberger, knowing they were about to be dismissed, made their way on foot to Kevin Lowe's house, where Lowe was sitting in front of the fireplace, regaling a naked Katz with stories from the glory days.

Hearing the knock at the door, Lowe shout-whispered to Katz to go hide in the closet.

Lowe proceeded to answer the door, and in fell the keystone coaches, crumbling into a pile together in the foyer.

Before Lowe could do anything, the two began to wail and whimper and cry their eyes out.

"PLEEEEEEEASE don't fire us!! We'll never work in hockey again!!!" said the two men.

"We just need ONE more season to turn it around, and then you can fire us, because we'll be marketable again!"

Lowe knew that Katz could hear the agonizing pleas.

Katz, leaning against the door to try to hear what was being said, suddenly slipped and fell into the door, which sprung open, and Katz came tumbling out of the door and landing on the floor in front of the three men.

At that moment, Lowe extended a shaking hand, saying, "welcome, Steve and Bucky, to YOUR two thousand twelve EDMONTON OILERS!!!!"

Avatar
#87 westcoastoil
January 22 2014, 02:18PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
9
cheers
Dallylamma wrote:

Trotz: Dubnyk had ‘bad habits’ with Oilers http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/trotz-dubnyk-picked-up-bad-habits-with-oilers/

It's refreshing to hear a respected impartial critique of the goalie coach.

Pat on the back to MacT for sliding that past Nashville's pro scouts?

Avatar
#88 Bucknuck
January 22 2014, 02:19PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers

No coach in this league would win more games than it's lost with the Defense the Oil have had the last five years. It's hard to grade coaches who find themselves in that position.

In my mind, the players need some continuity. If they need to shake things up a little bit, then maybe an assistant should move on, but keep Eakins, even if he isn't the long term answer. Until they get a top pairing defenseman, they will be in the bottom third of the league.

Avatar
#89 tileguy
January 22 2014, 02:20PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
Johnnydapunk wrote:

Wow that's a weird one! The Southampton situation is a bit of a mess and I don't think this will help things at all.

But in a way what Krueger is very good at (at least he is regarded very highly in Germany and Switzerland) is at motivation and Southamption is in disarray right now.

In a way maybe we are seeing the Oil without that type of motivation that Krueger seemed to have on athletes.

I'm not saying that Krueger would have brought the Oil the Stanley Cup, but maybe if he was retained in some capacity as a co coach or something similar that the Oil situation wouldn't be as dire.

I think Krueger would be perfect for the oil situation right now, either as coach, assistant coach (to Eakins) or as a motivational coach. Somebody has to install a work ethic in our young multi millionair core.

MacT you burnt that bridge, maybe Klowe can go begging Ralph to come back.

Avatar
#90 Cynic
January 22 2014, 02:23PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I believe (Ralph's book) was called "Switzerland can tie Canada and so can you!"

Just wanted to re=post that for Mooger in case other people skimmed past it.

Avatar
#91 He Who Knows
January 22 2014, 02:24PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
11
cheers

#Lowemustgo......and he can take Mac T, Burger, and that guy who cost us the 1986 cup with him. Continue making it personal OilersNation because Lowe made it personal when he split the fan base into two types.

Avatar
#92 camdog
January 22 2014, 02:25PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

"Certainly they weren’t under Renney or Krueger; it’s possible that Eakins is doing something bizarre but I don’t think it’s likely."

The "SWARM" was bizarre. But another thing is happening in Edmonton this season. In years past Renney and Krueger protected their young star players, they sheltered their minutes. Eakins has refused to shelter the minutes to the extent that other coaches have. It's more of a sink or swim approach. Don't know if it's helping or not?

I also think our defense is worse than it ever has been. Mact sure did make a lot of moves, but the moves haven't fixed the defense, in fact I would say it's worse than it ever has been. Last night I don't think Eakins had much confidence in Potter or N. Schultz. On any given night at most he's got 4 reliable d-man. Of course part of this is his fault for giving Mact the thumbs up to trade Smid.

Avatar
#93 camdog
January 22 2014, 02:31PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers

@camdog

Korn explained working on Dubnyk’s game to Trotz this way: “It’s like trying to fuel up in an IndyCar race but there’s no pit stops.”

From sportsnet, I guess DD needs to get in better shape. I don't think their's a better quote to express what's going on in Edmonton in respect to our coaching staff.

Avatar
#94 Jeff
January 22 2014, 02:42PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
9
cheers

The “revolving door” of coaches..... Let’s be honest the coach has a major impact and the prior coaching replacement/changes were if anything a comedy of errors/quick/harsh decision making.

Craig MacTavish – Fired/let go/resigned... what ever, left cause the culture in Edmonton was causing players not to be here and not to want to come here, is it 100% his fault no, but did he do anything to change it, I am not sure.

Pat Quinn – offer the “consolation prize” of some made up position in the Oilers organization. Not sure what happen to him, not a reflection of the team’s result, in fact he has been one of the only coaches to be mention with a legit forecheck. My thoughts are he was replaced with Renney because the Oilers organization was not sure they could get Renney so they signed Quinn as a safety net. Not a good firing.

Renney “Sacrificial Lamb” To say he was fired for finishing 30th, 29th, 30th is fair, even though they were in a “rebuild”.... to say he got canned instead of Tambo being let go is probably a better depiction of what happen. Tambo, self preserved himself, and tossed who he could to keep his job.... that is the business world some time.... This was a shame, Renney was a solid coach. Not a good firing.

Krueger... “The motivator” This one angers me to no end... there is no way he should of been let go, the man could coach, he made his mark internationally, corporate/fortune 500 motivator, created a culture of positivity and success.... This was a shame, Krueger was a solid coach. Fired in replacement of a coach the New GM wanted, Krueger was sent packing for no real good reason. Not a good firing.

Eakins... “The last great hope” Yikes, talk about all in on a pair of two’s. Will he be a good coach, maybe, will the players respond and learn from him, maybe. The fact that he has the complete backing of the GM, POHO, and owner, makes him our coach for life.

To say the problem is not our coach and the lack of continue of coaches, is a very product of a failed Organization. We fire coaches, to satisfy personal ambition/self preservation, make GM’s mark. I agree with the fact we do not have the players to be successful, meaning making the playoffs, however just like how our past 5 coaches have been dealt with our player selection is proving to be evidences of a failed organization. We draft offensive players, which we knew did not play a two way game, and try to change them and make them the player the coach wants.

The cyclical nature of the organization of poor firings, not knowing what they want from players, from coaches, concludes my argument that the organization as a whole is broken. Maybe we can get Krueger to come by and give the Oilers office a motivation speech.

Avatar
#95 john
January 22 2014, 02:44PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers

Eakins is a used car salesman, he tell you what to believe but his products doesn't deliver. Goals against worst in NHL, power plays and penalty kills are not the top like previous years. By the way everybody complain about Oil defencemen, it's a team sport, the forwards has to cover other team open players. 2 defencemen can't cover other 5 players on the ice, other team sneaked up to score easy goals behind the plays or open side. It's the coach to teach the team, Eakins is not doing it. Watch the games and you see the team defence, they stand around a watch the puck and not watching the open men.

Avatar
#96 john
January 22 2014, 02:53PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
7
cheers

Open your eyes, Avs got Roy and he turned the team around pretty much same players last They got a few new Dmen. A good coach make the difference, not a bad one that bench players and pissed them off. You see kids on the street with good parents, they are well behave. Kids are crying and yelling are with bad parents, they yell and scream at the kids but the kids don't listen. Eakins' team this year, I can see the players are not having fun on the ice. It's weird don't you people see the player's faces and reactions? It's like a body snatcher movie, they are not the same as previous years. Scoring and smiling, body language, nothing this year.

Avatar
#97 john
January 22 2014, 03:02PM
Trash it!
6
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

Blame management all you want, it's the coach and the players are responsible for winning and losing. Skills, talents and big bodies don't win games. It's how hard you want to win as a team, the players play for each other every single minutes on the ice.

Avatar
#98 Sketchy
January 22 2014, 03:02PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

Was there a reason Hitchcock isn't here?

Avatar
#99 Zarny
January 22 2014, 03:06PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers
fasteddy wrote:

If in fact its accurate that the kids dont like him, Eakins needs to go. I don't care if hes the 58th coach in the last five years. I would rather see them grow into a style they enjoy playing. ....which seemed to be the case under Krueger. Having your best players not excited to come to the rink is a recipe for disaster. You think Guy Lafleur or Mike Bossy were required to play like checkers? You work with what you've got......not everyone needs to be defense first, let the horses go!

Sorry but it doesn't matter if the kids "enjoy" the style of play.

I doubt Patrick Kane "enjoys" being defensively responsible, but he's learned to play a 200 ft game and it wins.

The mentality that scorers or skilled players should be allowed to free wheel and not worry about their defensive responsibilities is flat out stupid.

All you get are floaters and teams that allow that NEVER win.

Like ever.

Avatar
#100 vetinari
January 22 2014, 03:11PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
6
cheers

When Renney was fired, I remember posting that the wrong guy lost his job and that it should have been Tambellini.

I'm guessing that when the crap hit the fan, Lowe protected Tambellini (his hire) and Renney took the fall for all of them ("hey, my rookie GM that does nothing is not the problem-- it's the veteran coach with no other ties to the Oilers and has questionable players that is the problem"). But what do I know? I need another 10 Tier Two fans to agree with me to make my opinion worth the same as a Tier One fan...

Comments are closed for this article.