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

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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.
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#1 OilClog
January 22 2014, 11:05AM
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Renney was fired because the Kids fired him.

Kruger was hired cause the kids loved him.

Eakins is failing cause the kids can't stand him.

It's pretty simple.

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#2 tileguy
January 22 2014, 10:54AM
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No mention that Kreuger didn't have a training camp, you think that might of skewed the number a little?

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#3 Matt Henderson
January 22 2014, 10:54AM
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And I don't recall anybody outside of Oiler Management having a big problem with Renney either. In fact I distinctly remember the feeling that the Oil not only fired him without cause but also screwed him on the timing of the firing.

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#5 Robert Ore
January 22 2014, 10:50AM
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One other comment on comparing coaching is the injury factor. I do not have the stats for the periods you have shown, but I believe under Eakins term we have far fewer man days lsot due to injury than previous years (particularily to our top end forwards)

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#6 LoweBlow
January 22 2014, 07:14PM
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This article just makes me sad. Oilers, I think we need a break. It's not me, it's you.

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#8 Mack Strong
January 22 2014, 12:35PM
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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!

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#9 dougtheslug
January 22 2014, 09:56PM
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Interesting listening to Dave Lumley on Stauffers show today - Stauffer tries to pump Hall's and RNH's and Eberle's tires and Lummer was having none of it even going so far as to say "Taylor Hall has been in the league 4 years now - turnovers in the neutral zone are coachable - if he isn't getting now, is he ever going to get it?"

But hilarity ensues when Stauffer asks him his opinion of Eakins:

DL: (Long, uncomfortable pause) Boy oh boy....well... they've had 5 coaches in 6 years...you put lipstick on a pig it's still a pig....maybe it's the players.... but Dallas comes from the minors, that's my problem with him.... geez, with this "Swarm"....newsflash, Dallas, NHL teams have NHL players, NHL coaches...they're too good...I heard he was arrogant when he came up here...

BS: He's humbler now.... he'll be better a better coach because of this...

DL: I hope so

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#10 westcoastoil
January 22 2014, 12:13PM
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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.

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#11 toprightcorner
January 22 2014, 11:14AM
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godot10 wrote:

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

Renny was not fired solely on the standings. He was Tambo's scapegoat to protect himself and his job. Tambo did nothing to improve the team to give Renney a chance to win, with the team they had, they should not have expected to finish any higher.

The reason a GM should fire a coach is if the record should be better based on the talent he has to work with. Renney had minimal talent and Tambo did not add to it so he was more responsible.

I would suggest that if Renney kept his job, Tambo would have been shown the door earlier than he was.

Firing Renney was simply self preservation for Tambo.

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#12 Stranger
January 23 2014, 06:37AM
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Who is the Oilers goalie coach?

Interesting Devon D's new coach talked about some bad habits that DD has and as a result the coach is getting his goalie coach to start doing some extensive work with DD to correct these bad habits.

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#13 Dave
January 22 2014, 10:57AM
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This article takes us back 4 or 5 years of coaching the players. It points directly at management: they choose the players that the chosen coaches coach in their system. Really, the coaching results are marginally different in so much that there were no great results in any case.

So what's that tell you? Mgt has given them nothing to work with. That's the consistency.

And I think I heard something from someone that some fans want a mgt change or something? ;)

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#14 Rick Stroppel
January 22 2014, 07:18PM
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BRING BACK KREUGER. SERIOUSLY.

I was driving around this evening and I heard Ralph Krueger interviewed on the radio. It reminded me of what a smart and classy guy he was. It sounded like he still feels very "connected" to the Oilers players. He said he could not bear to watch oilers games, even hilights.

Anyway, this is my constructive suggestion, moving forward. MacTavish contacts Ralph and BEGS him to come back as HC starting next season. If Katz wants to save money on the contract, offer Eakins a new contract as an assistant coach (not associate, he is not good enough). Tony Granato agreed to this when he realized he just wasn't HC material. George Burnett has a better chance of getting another HC job in the NHL than Eakins.

Or maybe just fire Eakins. Wouldn't that make us all feel a lot better. ADIOS, JACKASS! DON'T LET DOOR HIT YA WHERE THE GOOD LORD SPLIT YA!

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#15 Lochenzo
January 22 2014, 10:59AM
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Thanks for the analysis JW. Just confirms what I felt about Tom Renney and you're absolutely right about the benefits of continuity. The only argument that I could think of at the time for canning Renney was that Renney was originally brought in before the rebuild, so maybe they didn't see him as the right guy to bring along the kids. But on the surface, I didn't see any issues there. The team was designed to tank and draft 1st overall so the team record is not on Tom Renney.

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#16 Drowning in Oil
January 22 2014, 08:44PM
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THE LAUGHABLE THING IN THIS ENTIRE SITUATION IS HOW IT SEEMS THAT ONLY NOW, WE NEED CONTINUITY. WHY NOT WITH RENNEY, OR PERHAPS WITH KRUGER. IT IS ONLY WHEN CRAIG MACTAVISH GETS HIS HOLD ON THE REINS AND MAKES A MESS OF THE WHOLE THING, THAT CONTINUITY BECOMES AN ISSUE.

IT IS ALL JUST A SMOKE SCREEN BY MANAGEMENT TO COVER THIS COACHING STAFF'S FLAWS FOR AS LONG AS POSSIBLE!!

THIS ORGANIZATION IS THE BIGGEST JOKE AROUND. NO OTHER ORGANIZATION IN PRO SPORTS WOULD PUT UP WITH THIS MEDIOCRITY!!

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#17 BRHLBryce
January 22 2014, 07:32PM
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Man am I glad I moved 3 years ago and gave up my season tickets (or better yet, stuck my brothers with them).

In Denver I am actually able to go watch a product that is a development of a rebuild done right.

Even though the PLAYERS on the Avalanche blueline aren't better than what Edmonton has (save EJ, who has been a beast this year), they play a team defensive structure, which is foreign to the Oilers (and was here under Sacco).

Goes to show that getting the right coach, and right personel people (whether they are ex players or not) is really important. Whodathunk it?

If Eberle did his defensive zone tap to the middle that gets picked off every time, Roy would stick his ass to the bench.

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#18 northof51
January 22 2014, 10:55AM
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I question the way the Oilers play under Eakins, and numbers show that he isn't carrying the mail. However, there are 2 reasons I am not hopping on the "Fire Eakins" bandwagon, and that's because:

1) I am tied to the Lowe Must Go bandwagon; and

2) Eakins track record with the Marlies suggests that he vastly improved his team over time. Maybe it's gonna take a while for the players to figure him out, and to get the right players in place. But maybe, just maybe, Eakins is the guy to float this ship back up from the depths of the NHL standings.

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#19 Serious Gord
January 22 2014, 11:02AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

I recognize this.

But if the guy managing the team can't point to the reasons why coaching led to those finishes, the logical conclusion is that managing played a much bigger role.

For fans, it can be as simple as 'the team finished here, therefore the coach needs to go.' For the manager, who has to replace said coach, the explanation needs to be deeper: what did the coach do wrong that his replacement will correct? If he can't answer that question - and Tambellini couldn't - then he has no business firing the coach (and the team has every reason to fire the manager).

He was fired because he wasn't a FOK and thus could be thrown overboard as a gesture of "accountability".

Tambo was dumped for the same reason.

And If the team starts miserably next year another non-FOK - Eakins - will be tossed overboard.

CORSI et al has nothing to do with it.

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#21 outdoorzguy
January 22 2014, 11:07AM
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Sorry, I don't buy all these fancy statistics.

For me it's wins versus losses...plain and simple!!

By the way, I notice in the picture at the top of the article, all three coaches have the same stunned look on their faces. Coincidence??

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#22 hatrock
January 22 2014, 01:21PM
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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.

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#23 godot10
January 22 2014, 10:47AM
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Renney was fired because he finished 30th and 29th in a 30 team league over two full seasons.

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#24 outdoorzguy
January 22 2014, 03:16PM
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tileguy wrote:

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.

We have a motivational coach on the team. It's Billy Moores' job (Director of Coaching Development). He was hired to coach the coaches!! Apparently he's not doing his job very well either.

The Edmonton Oilers are a third world hockey organization.

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#26 godot10
January 22 2014, 11:22AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

I recognize this.

But if the guy managing the team can't point to the reasons why coaching led to those finishes, the logical conclusion is that managing played a much bigger role.

For fans, it can be as simple as 'the team finished here, therefore the coach needs to go.' For the manager, who has to replace said coach, the explanation needs to be deeper: what did the coach do wrong that his replacement will correct? If he can't answer that question - and Tambellini couldn't - then he has no business firing the coach (and the team has every reason to fire the manager).

With basically the same team (and no training camp, no experience assistant coach, and a compressed schedule) Krueger finished 24th.

And a lot of people argue (not me) that Krueger is a horrible coach.

So if a horrible coach could finish 24th with basically the same team, and Renney couldn't budge out of the last two spots over two seasons.

Krueger, somehow, was able to optimize results better than Renney, or Eakins, with an undermanned roster.

Arguably, with an undermanned roster, your advanced stats are going to be awful. They are awful under all three coaches.

Krueger was the only guy able to optimize results with an undermanned roster.

I would argue because his strategy was to give Hall (and Nugent-Hopkins and Eberle) the best chance to win the game for him, but maximizing their effectiveness.

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#27 S cottV
January 22 2014, 12:14PM
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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...

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#28 Moog's helmet
January 22 2014, 12:51PM
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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!"

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#29 Hemmercules
January 23 2014, 08:36AM
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The Oilers need a new coach, a different system, new assistant coaches, new goalie coaches, a new defense, more bigger better forwards, new goalies and new management. They can do all that in one summer right?? right???

What a mess. The Oilers make me sad but after investing the better part of my life being a fan its impossible to start liking other teams now. I just want to love hockey again and right now I can barely watch this train wreck.

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#30 Bloodsweatandoil
January 23 2014, 09:26AM
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Wonger wrote:

Ten years ahead Dallas Eakins will be regarded as an elite,very successful NHL coach like his mentor Roger Nielson. I hope and pray it is here with the Oilers. MacT and Eakins will fix this mess! They are both WINNERS with CHARACTER second to none. You can't teach that. You are born with it! I am as frustrated as any Oiler fan, but I believe in these men and see many positive changes coming at this years trade deadline and over the summer! I think some of the moves, or the number of moves, will shock us and amaze us! Go Oilers! I am staying the course! I believe in the Oiler's future because I believe in MACT and EAKINS!!!

Are you kidding me? You are drowning in your koolaid that you just puked up....

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#31 KSC10032
January 22 2014, 10:44AM
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Interesting comparison.

IMO -- this underlines the issue that is overlooked by everyone who calls for X, Y or Z to be "fired". These folks always ignore the other, more important, half of the equation -- who do you replace them with?

All of Renney, Kreuger and now Eakins have had large percentages of the fan base calling for their scalps. Few of these people are concurrently suggesting replacement alternatives.

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#32 Serious Gord
January 22 2014, 11:06AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Definitely, that might have been a factor.

One thing to note, though - if you split the Oilers results under Krueger, the first half was actually a little better by shot metrics than the last half, which I personally wouldn't have expected to see if lack of training camp was the primary issue.

Possible explanation for that is that all teams had no training camp and that EDM had most of its star players playing in the AHL and thus in game-ready shape right off the hop compared to their opponents.

That advantage dissolved as the season wore on.

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#33 Serious Gord
January 22 2014, 11:23AM
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pkam wrote:

Not true.

Kureger has the least man games lost at 118 over 48 games. If you subtract the 48 games by Sutton, we only lost 70 man games over 48 games.

Renney lost 246 man games in 11-12 over 82 games.

So far, Eakins has lost 215 man games over 52 games. At this pace, we will lose 339 man games over 82 games. The worst since the 520 in 09-10.

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.

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#34 MessyEH
January 22 2014, 12:50PM
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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.

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#35 K_Mart
January 22 2014, 12:51PM
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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.

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#36 Oiler Al
January 22 2014, 03:20PM
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WOW, a lot of garbbgle here on the make up of three coaches who deliver... 30 29, 30, 24, 29. Folks there is very little difference in what took place here in the last 5 years... its all terrible.

Eakins has had what, 50 games now.. nothing has changed... team hasnt changed or players improved thus far. You wont see any improvement in the next 30 games.... more excuses and more stories.

Eakins has to be fired. Coaching changes have improved play in Philly, Colorado, even Winnipeg now, Montreal,Columbus, Anahiem, etc. Cedrtainly not in Edmonton.. Why.? All these other teams didnt have massive personnel changes.

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#37 Jerry
January 22 2014, 09:27PM
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I watch the Oilers are none of them know how to play hockey in the NHL. Only players that know how to play come from other teams. This is a disaster oilers ruin hockey players. I really can't see it getting any better.

If I was a young player getting ready to be drafted, I would pray Oilers don't pick me.

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#38 Tbone
January 22 2014, 12:11PM
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Can we plz just get a coach with some sort of track record all these unproven coaches are easy to put the blame on!!!

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#39 oilfanincalgary
January 22 2014, 01:53PM
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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.

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#40 Max
January 22 2014, 09:32PM
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junior wrote:

Broke your heart? Two coaches ago? Are you okay now? Should we hold a vigil for ya? Maybe a fun-run with profits going to your re-hab sessions?

Nut up buttercup, next you'll be regaling us with your thoughts on love story vampire movies...tissue?

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, especially on this web site. No one asked for your obtuse, rude reply to my posting. I KNOW Tom Renney, he is a good decent man who was treated VERY badly by ST. Leaving him without a decision on his future for over a month after the season finished was a dirty trick. So YOU suck it up buttercup, get a life and start acting like a decent human being as well. No wonder Oilers' fans are getting a bad name - people like you are the instigators.

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#41 outdoorzguy
January 23 2014, 08:48AM
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Stranger wrote:

Who is the Oilers goalie coach?

Interesting Devon D's new coach talked about some bad habits that DD has and as a result the coach is getting his goalie coach to start doing some extensive work with DD to correct these bad habits.

Fred Chabot. Played 32 NHL games in a 17 year pro career. Sounds like the perfect qualifications for the Oilers!!

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#42 Truth
January 22 2014, 12:20PM
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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.

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#43 fasteddy
January 22 2014, 01:06PM
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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....

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#44 Rick Stroppel
January 22 2014, 05:00PM
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FREE ADVICE FOR MR. KATZ!

From reading this blog, I have learned that Mr. Katz comes here every day for advice about how to run his hockey team. I did not know that! Anyway, I do not want to be left out, so here is my advice.

Mr. Katz should IMMEDIATELY FIRE these people: Lowe, MacTavish, Howson, Eakins, Buchberger, Steve Smith, Acton, Chabot, the video guy, Laforge, all the professional and amateur scouts, and the guy who picks the music at the games.

Mr. Katz should RETAIN these people: Todd Nelson and his staff, and the Oilers Octane girls.

You are welcome!

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#45 China town man
January 22 2014, 08:37PM
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Dallas Eakin say Chop wood carry water? Chop wood carry water? Wtf the players are not slaves The slogan should be puck in the net fist in your face!!! We are hockey player's

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#46 ubermiguel
January 22 2014, 11:17AM
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pkam wrote:

Not true.

Kureger has the least man games lost at 118 over 48 games. If you subtract the 48 games by Sutton, we only lost 70 man games over 48 games.

Renney lost 246 man games in 11-12 over 82 games.

So far, Eakins has lost 215 man games over 52 games. At this pace, we will lose 339 man games over 82 games. The worst since the 520 in 09-10.

But none of the top-end players have missed significant time.

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#47 fasteddy
January 22 2014, 12:11PM
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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!

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#48 Old Timer
January 22 2014, 12:36PM
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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.

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#49 BIGDAWG
January 22 2014, 04:31PM
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The more i hear Eakins talk the more i want him gone. The Media point blank asked him about the lack of physical play and he ducked the questions.. saying "a perfect game is a game with no hits, cause you always have the puck" Well last time i check we were sweeping floor with Buf at the bottom of the NHL. his logic is beyond me...

Then the media ask Ference and again Eakins about nothing being done about Kassian..

Eakins.. "taking liberties with any player is very dangerous...." geezuz.. what a joke

Then Ference... "what? was he supposed to jump him??"

on Ference.. jump him?? well hell yes!! you did it to Stepniak......

if you are asking me.. there is no friggin way Kassian should have been smiling at all last night let alone scoring the winner.. Does this team really have no pride at all??????!!!!!

no wonder this team doesnt hit.. because they know they will get their Butts kicked cause no one will be helping out... im not a big fan of changing the coach again... but.. geezuz this guy is missing the mark by alot!!!!

Lastly .. i like Gazdic... but enough talking to the other player and lay him the eff out!!!!!!!! i mean he broke your team mates job, then mocked him about it...

I just dont get it

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#50 madjam
January 22 2014, 06:59PM
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The only thing of note is Eakins has done worse so far with more talent than the others had to deal with . The players are also have one more year of experience as well . Should the Oilers have acted to change the coaching when such is not their nature to do so until another season is lost ? They are quite content to ride out another losing season so long as the building remains sold out .

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