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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#101 outdoorzguy
January 22 2014, 03:19PM
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Mustangheart wrote:

But let's say for arrgument sake, Katz terminates KLowes contract. Knowing the fast offensive style the Oilers gave always played, who in your Option would compliment the Oilers organization and assist Mc.T in Transforming the club into a competitive playoff team within a relatively Short period????

Didn't you read the letter from Lowe, I mean Katz?? There is no quick fix for this team so don't expect anything to be resolved shortly. Patience everyone (tongue in cheek), patience.

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#102 BabyNuge'sBaby
January 22 2014, 05:02PM
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Yes our team sucks, they don't put forth the efforts required to win hockey games at the NHL level. The coaching is probably one of the biggest issues facing this club today, they players don't play for Eakins, I don't feel anyone respects him. Lowe is a legend bit has overstayed his welcome. Mac T, in my opinion, is doing a decent job so far and should be given a chance. The thing that really grinds my gears about this organization is that even after being the worst team in the league year after year Katz managed to raise ticket prices this year over 34%, leading Edmonton to be the fourth most expensive NHL club to attend... This is garbage and management needs to hear about it. Look at the list of least expensive tickets and you will see great teams like STL, Aneheim, etc. Stop bitching and stop supporting this garbage. Change will only be made when Katz feels the change in his bank account.

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#103 Loweblows
January 22 2014, 05:22PM
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Eakins stated today that the team has played poorly due to all the coaching changes. If anyone has a spare PeeWee coaching manual could they mail it to the Oilers. That would be a good start.

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#104 pkam
January 22 2014, 07:08PM
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I never want to fire Renney nor Kureger. But we can't change what has happened.

If we fire Eakins at the end of this season, my bet is we will be comparing 4 coaches this time next year, and wonder why we fire Eakins for another new coach.

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#105 Randaman
January 22 2014, 10:37PM
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admiralmark wrote:

So what you are is Renney and Krueger likely would of done as well or better then the Coaches they were fired for.

I'd like every single poster on here that screams "yearly" for the coach to be fired to possibly give your head a shake.

ITS NOT THE COACH! its the lack of NHL talent on the Oilers roster. Especially on D.

You must be kidding right? Everyone else on hers honestly believes that Hall, Nuge & Eberle are equal to Crosby, Toews & Kane. They will wake up sooner or later. I am leaning towards later. What a joke

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#106 Hangin@Bangin
January 23 2014, 12:55AM
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What is the mentality here? Yes there has been issues with this club, that's as obvious as Daryl Katz at a Wayne Gretzky fantasy camp. Hmmmm.... Let's do the math :

Coach 1. = FIRED! Coach 2. = FIRED! Coach 3. = Coach 1. + Coach 2. * (30th place) = Probably going to be FIRED!

And what remains constant? One jackass who has filled every single role the team could potentially give him and failed in every facet of the word.

Daryl I know your bedroom is littered with posters from the 80's but god man let's move on and give the next generation something to be proud of, enough is enough.

Sincerely,

The Staged Moon Landing

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#107 I AM KEVIN L.
January 23 2014, 04:39AM
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So what? Comparing coaches now? Really? What does it accomplish? Oh my! Eakins is not the better coach of the last 5 head coaches? Wanna bring back someone? Rubbish!!! You have the team you all deserve!!! Suck it up oilers fans! Maybe we will get better by 2017-18.......

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#108 Ed in Edmonton
January 23 2014, 10:43AM
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Wonger Again wrote:

If you talk to high level NHL insiders, like I do on a regular basis, you would know that no GM outworks MACT - he is relentless, on a daily basis ,trying to pursue trades to make this team better. He regularly puts in 16-18 hour days! Eakins is also a tireless worker - trying to better himself, and a a result, benefit the Oilers! THESE MEN WILL NOT GIVE UP TRYING TO MAKE THIS TEAM BETTER!!!! I have all of the RESPECT in the world for both of them - like many ppeople in the hockey world do and more Oiler Nation Bloggers should! THEY WILL NOT QUIT and THEY WILL BE SUCCESSFUL!!!!

Its great if they work hard, it is very admirable. However, they must deliver the goods. Your comment sounds much like the SN talking heads on Tuesday that were aghast that anyone could be upset with Lowe. After all he is a pillar of the community, bleeds copper and blue. This all might be true, but if you don't deliver the goods...

In my real life I have had employees who worked their butts off but just couldn't deliver the goods. Ultimately you can't keep them as they will drag down the entire group.

I have not called for MacT or Eakins head, as I see them as no more than possible symptoms, the root cause lies higher up.

P.S. Old Retire Guy, do you still think I work for the Oil?

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#109 outdoorzguy
January 23 2014, 10:50AM
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pkam wrote:

Boycott Medicenter? Are you nuts? What do you do if you don't have a family doctor? Go to the emergency and die there?

Well the slow death of the Oilers is just as bad as waiting at a Medicentre!!

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#110 philip
January 22 2014, 11:59AM
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This is the dumbest article i have ever read.

your conclusion to all the work you did was "i dont know."

You damn pointdexters will be the fall of hockey.

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#111 Oil Can
January 22 2014, 12:06PM
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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.

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#112 K_Mart
January 22 2014, 01:04PM
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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.

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#113 2004Z06
January 22 2014, 01:34PM
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What? Taylor Hall isn't the second coming? Man this season's disappointments just keep piling up.

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#114 john
January 22 2014, 02:53PM
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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.

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#115 Gordie Wayne
January 22 2014, 03:37PM
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I really do hate the so-called "Old Boys Club" excuse people use when talking about firing Lowe (there are better reasons to fire him). There are Old Boys Clubs everywhere in sports and business. If done properly, it works tremendously well. The problem with the Oilers old boys club is that the wrong old boys are in positions of power. It is all about COMPETENCY.

If I own a multi-million dollar business, I would certainly bring on my friends but I would only bring the ones that could effectively do the job, not the ones that were just there to stroke my ego.

If done properly, the Oilers org would look something like this:

Wayne Gretzky - POHO

Craig MacTavish - General Manager

Jari Kurri - Assistant GM

Shawn Horcoff - Head Coach

Mark Messier - Associate Coach

Doug Weight - Assistant Coach

Charlie Huddy - Assistant Coach

Bill Ranford - Goalie Coach

Georges Laraque - Fighting Coach

Kevin Lowe - Stick Boy / Katz' ego stroker

Ok...Shawn Horcoff may be a stretch, but c'mon, I don't think we have a coach in the Oilers history, unless we can take 20 years off of Slat's age...lol. Or maybe we can pretend Katz used to hang out with Scotty Bowman...

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#116 Shredder
January 22 2014, 03:50PM
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I think the one consistent aspect with all 3 coaches is that the Oilers sucked pretty hard and failed to come close to the post season. With Krueger we came closer, but ultimately let's face reality: if the coaches make a difference, and they do, but not one can push them to be successful, then what's the problem? The players. Plain and simple. We all want a scapegoat, whether it's Lowe, MacT, Eakins, Petry, Dubnyk, or whoever, we just want to blame someone. In hindsight it looks like we should have kept Renney. But should have we kept Hemsky? Should we have not overpaid for a half decent defenseman like Calgary did? I don't know. There are lots of issues, so let's not say coaching is going to change the team here. It goes much, much deeper than that.

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#117 Freewheeling Freddie
January 22 2014, 05:37PM
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Advanced stats were made for losing teams. Teams that are good Anaheim LA Chicago etc care only about wins, playoffs and Stanley cups. Loser teams Edmonton Calgary and NY Islanders embrace advanced stats because they certainly cant talk about wins or playoffs. They mask a teams pathetic performance.

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#118 Mack Strong
January 22 2014, 05:49PM
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Rick Stroppel wrote:

DON'T BE IGNORANT, LIKE MACTAVISH HIMSELF

It is really inappropriate to refer to ANYONE as "retarded". MacTavish referred to a referee as a "retard" a few years ago...with Joey Moss probably not far away in the dressing room. The so-called media in this city said little about that, because they were still in the throes of their collective man-crush on all the Oilers glory boys.

Much better to refer to MacTavish as a jackass, jackbutt, clown, bozo, imbecile, donkey, dunce, poseur, nincompoop, egomaniac, fool, etc.

Rick,

I stand corrected and recant my reference of Mac T and K. Lowe as such.

It was frustrating to see that NYC had made a deal that we apparently were trying to get done as well and help our woeful backend.

This does not excuse the reference or rationalize is…bad choice of words.

Call it frustration boil over!

My apologies to Rick and members of the Nation that may have taken that to offence….

Love the OIL Love the NATION

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#119 Virtual_Xi
January 22 2014, 06:02PM
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Honestly,

I truly feel this team would have infinitely more scoring opportunities if they committed to taking a shot from the blue line more than 2-3 times per game. The only time I seem to see it is in last minute desparations with the goalie pulled. got a bunch of puck hogs down low and nobody with balls on the blueline to rip one.

Too easy to play against when they're so one-dimensional.

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#120 pkam
January 22 2014, 07:04PM
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TayLordBalls wrote:

Hockey is real simple:

Score more goals than the other team.

In other words - spend more time on offense and less time on defense.

I wish it is that easy. When I see Eberle and RNH get knock down when they try to protect the puck, I realize that unless they can manage to play a no contact game, we are not going to win too many one on one puck battle.

If any team can do that, I would think it is the Canucks. They can move the puck really well, the Sedins know very well how to dodge hits and very good at finding open space. And they have a few big guns from their blue lines that can put the puck into the net, and they also have an elite goalie which is Olympic caliber, but still no cigar.

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#121 Max
January 22 2014, 07:38PM
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Firing Eakins will send the message that it's not the team's fault. He should stay and give continuity. In some ways it's not ENTIRELY their fault. The fault lies with the goalie coach, the special teams' coach and the defense coach. Read as KB, SS and FC. THEY have been around for the losing seasons, they are the ones who can't seem to develop the younger players (read as Gagner x 7 years) and others. I think Eakins is on the right track, but the assistants are NOT his choice, and need to be replaced, along with the amateur AND pro scouting teams. Truth be known - it broke my heart when Tom was fired - he did nothing wrong - I think it was Bumbellini's call, if HE had been fired first, probably Tom would still be with us, and we'd be a damned sight higher in the standings this year.

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#122 SRELIOFAN
January 23 2014, 01:38AM
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I remember watching the interviews and the press conference with Dallas Eakins what feels like a few short months ago... Everyone (even most of the readers on this site, don't forget) was excited about him. He definitely said all of the right things and it was impossible not to get excited. Eakins' talk of 'accountability' and 'compete' were very convincing and I think that's why Mac T hired him. And I don't blame him for it. But when the rubber hit the road, Eakins didn't deliver and that's why he should be fired.

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#123 The Towel Boy
January 23 2014, 08:17AM
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This article makes me so MAD!!!

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#124 BingBong
January 23 2014, 10:21AM
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Sorry, this is off-topic...but I was reading today about how Pitt should consider trading Letang for a legitimate top line forward.

What do people think of Eberle for Letang? Obviously don't like losing Ebs, but Letang is a legitimate top pairing guy who brings offense and plays lots of minutes.

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#125 northof51
January 22 2014, 10:55AM
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Double comment, please ignore.

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#126 tileguy
January 22 2014, 11:07AM
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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.

That could be explained by the fact that no teams had a training camp and it takes a veteran team with an established coach just a wee longer to get going. MacT deviated from the plan to find an X and O's type of assistant coach for Krueger and that has been his biggest mistake since becomind G.M.

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#127 DisappointedFan
January 22 2014, 11:17AM
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@Jonathan Willis

Actually they don't include Sutton in that because he was consider non-roster as he never started the season. So those 118 games are all playing roster players.

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#128 Dave
January 22 2014, 12:01PM
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There is one silver lining here. An experienced NHL ready coach might have had the team performing at a slightly higher level masking somewhat the weaknesses on the Oiler's line up.

We have learned that Dubnyk is not a starting goalie and most likely we need a new goaltending coach. We have learned that we can not win with a line up of Junior all stars. We have learned that skill and speed is no match for grit,determination and toughness. Most of all we have learned that we need to bring in bigger, better defencemen.

I can't say that we learned anything about Sam Gather that we did not already know.

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#129 vetinari
January 22 2014, 03:11PM
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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...

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#130 outdoorzguy
January 22 2014, 03:41PM
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vetinari wrote:

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...

I don't think a 10 to 1 ratio is correct or even applicable here. Tier Two fans voices and opinions can be bundled as much as possible and despite the ratio, nobody will hear what is being said.

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#131 Gordie Wayne
January 22 2014, 03:49PM
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@outdoorzguy

Well, we still need someone to scowl behind the bench...Messier would be great at that. And if I was a player and looked back and saw that face, I would probably start playing harder out of pure fear.

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#132 Rama Lama
January 22 2014, 04:03PM
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It's the coach's responsibility to teach, mentor, motivate so that the team can win.....pretty plain and simple.

Yea we al know what the Oilers lack in size and sound defensive hockey players, no real genius needs to tell us that. What has becoming more evident here is that our skilled players are starting to believe their own hype.........that being that the are so skilled.

I for one see the problem as an general unwillingness to shoot the puck by our skilled players........they are all too happy to perimeter pass away, with no real shots taken. How many times does Eberle need to get a one timer at the side of the net and unless he can contain the puck and then wrist it, he seems unwilling to shoot. The only two players that will shoot the puck consitently are PErron and RNH.

We all know that goaltender around the league scout players and I'm sure they know the passing tendencies of Oiler players.......when was the last time the top line got a greasy goal? It becomes very easy for goaltender to make the save if they know what they can expect.

Eakins needs to communicate more with his players about this ......as Gretzky says 100% of shot not taken never result in goals.

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#133 TayLordBalls
January 22 2014, 05:26PM
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Zarny wrote:

You're nuts.

The Oilers already have more skill and speed than most teams and against bigger, skilled teams like StL, Ana, SJ, LA, Chi the Oilers get absolutely pasted.

The truth is you need everything: speed, skill, size, strength...everything.

The reason is you don't play one type of team. Not over a season. Not in the playoffs. To win the Stanley Cup you have to win four 7 game series against different teams.

If all you have is speed and skill you will meet a team that beats you physically. It's happened to the Penguins against the Flyers and Bruins.

If all you have is size and strength you will get beat by a team with speed and skill.

Sheep - You're following the crowd.

The Oiler's management need to be trend setters.

Perhaps the coach can consider shaping the players with:

1) More practice on increasing their passing skills at faster speed.

2) Learning how to get in the open.

3) Learning how to hit the net in pressure situations.

4) Mobilize the defense as rear forwards.

5) Own the puck = don't give it away.

6)Keep the puck off the boards in the offense zone.

7) Keep it on the boards in the defense zone.

baaaaaa

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#134 AJ
January 22 2014, 06:59PM
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Suspecting that Eakins' weakness on the road as opposed to his strength at home has to do with his ability to line match zone draws at home, as opposed to the home team having last change when the Oilers are on the road. Renney has a better record, so maybe it's not so much as to what Eakins is doing wrong on the road, but what Renney DID, and how his lines were set up.

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#135 Zarny
January 22 2014, 08:32PM
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TayLordBalls wrote:

Sheep - You're following the crowd.

The Oiler's management need to be trend setters.

Perhaps the coach can consider shaping the players with:

1) More practice on increasing their passing skills at faster speed.

2) Learning how to get in the open.

3) Learning how to hit the net in pressure situations.

4) Mobilize the defense as rear forwards.

5) Own the puck = don't give it away.

6)Keep the puck off the boards in the offense zone.

7) Keep it on the boards in the defense zone.

baaaaaa

So basically you've just never played hockey before.

FYI...the crowd is the 26 teams that haven't won the Cup in the last half decade.

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#136 pkam
January 23 2014, 10:04AM
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Zarny wrote:

The only real difference between the Avs and the Oilers is the top pairing D.

Just in case anyone was curious what a real top pairing D can do for a young team.

Erik Johnson is a beast. A 6'4" 232 lb beast who can skate.

Jan Hejda isn't a sexy name, but he's better than any D in Edm. He also happens to be 6'4" 237 lbs.

Roy isn't the difference. Roy's ability to throw Hejda-Johnson out for half the game is.

Eakins gets to counter with Ference-Petry.

I disagree. Their defense core is better than ours but still one of the weakest group.

The 2 main reasons in my opinion,

1. Their top 6 are bigger, more physical, more mature, and more responsible defensively

2. Their 2 goalies are playing out of their mind this year, especially at the beginning of the season.

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#137 Bloodsweatandoil
January 23 2014, 11:53AM
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Wonger wrote:

Ask Ken Hitchcock what he thinks of MACT and EAKINS! He feels exactly like I do! ....and there are dozens more in the hockey world who agree 100% with me as well. YOU CAN GO TO LEAFS NATION and take all of your NEGATIVITY with you!!!!

I will continue to be a realist

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#138 Bryzarro World
January 23 2014, 01:24PM
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pkam wrote:

Your first reply to my speculation why Tambo didn't renew Renney's contract is

'The implication is that we dropped him and it was not long after that Detroit picked him up.', followed up by how well Detroit manage, draft, trade and develop.

And follow with this: '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!!'

So the implication I get is the Oilers are so clueless that we let go a quality coach that an organization which is excellent in management, drafting , trading and development has no hesitation to recruit.

I disagree with my argument that many teams, including conference finalist and recent SC winners, not just the Oilers did the same. And the coach they let go immediately get a new head coach job, not just an associate coach job. And my point is in most cases the firing of the coach has nothing to do with the quality of the coach, but the fact that the GM is under fire to do something or he is the one canned.

I also disagree with your example of Datsyuk and Zetterberg to prove that the Wings draft well. They did draft exceptionally well in 1989, but not in the two years they draft Datsyuk and Zetterberg. In 1998, they have 10 picks, only their 1st rounder and Datsyuk become NHLer. Datsyuk was 6th rounder so it looks like they did a good job. But Datsyuk was their 8th pick in that draft, and only one of the 7 picks before him makes it to NHL? There were 2 2nd, a 3rd, and I don't care about the picks after the 3rd round, I just don't think it is really that good.

Then you said they develop the 2 players within. Neither of them played one AHL game. They came right from Europe to the big club.

You said they develop and we don't. The fact is Lander and Klefbom are currently in OKC, while Datsyuk and Zetterberg had not spent one game in AHL.

You said they made bold trades and we don't. So Pronger trade is not bold? We even tried to force a trade with an offersheet which gave 4 1st rounder to Sabres for Vanek but Sabres matched it. We tried to get Heatley but stopped by his NTC. The fact is the management did try but it didn't work out for various reasons.

Most of those bold move that you quote, if it is available to the Oilers management, I don't think they will hesitate to make it. For example, Kozlov (1st rd) for Hasek. Kozlov is a small 50 pts forward, right? What would be an equivalent player in our current roster? How about Sam Gagner? The Wings draft pick was a very late 1st rounder, it will be similar to our very early 2nd rounder. Hasek at that time will be today's Lundqvist Or Rinne or Rask. If the Rangers or the Preds or the Bruins are willing to trade their starting goalie to us for Gagner and our 2nd, I doubt our management will hesitate. It will be the steal of the year. Too bad such trade is not available to us. Canucks traded away Schneider for a 9th overall, but asked us a 7th plus the 37th plus a high prospect for the same goalie. I guess it is also the fault of our management for not willing to hugely overpay to make that bold move.

I just disagree with your opinions and with my own reasons. If you to think that is defensive, so be it. I am not going to swallow your vomit.

I stopped reading this after the pronged trade. Ya... REALLY BOLD!! The bold move would have been to sit his crying ass and get a good return, not cave and trade for garbage....

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#139 Bryzarro World
January 23 2014, 05:45PM
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pkam wrote:

I mean the trade for Pronger. That is not bold?

Sorry, I misunderstood.

Just so fired up with this garbage that I'm seeing red. I stopped spending a dime on them, barely watch anymore and I'm almost to the point where I'm saying goodbye forever if Katz doesn't straighten out.

Lowe has to go. His poison has spread throughout the Org and he has shown that he isn't right to spearhead a franchise. I am willing to give MacT a chance but it is hard for me to overlook the way he screwed Ralph. Eakins, we'll, I don't think he is right for the NHL, at least not right now. He is an arrogant ass that thought the Ahl was the same and got his ass fed to him. He needs to step.away and take the two pylons with him. I won't even get started on the players but they are all the product of Lowe...

As for the trade to bring Pronger here, yes it was a bold move but blew up in his face just like everything else.

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#140 Bob H
January 22 2014, 11:23AM
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It does not matter what sport is mentioned but there is one area that coaches have the greatest influence and therefore a measurable performance criteria. That area is special teams.

I would be very interested in comparing the three coaches results on the PP and PK.

My concern with Dallas Eakins is the overall performance of the team - in reality, the team is in an upgrade over previous years - i.e. Gordon is equal to or better than Horcoff - Perron is better than Pajavari - Ference is better than Sutton or Fistric and as a previous comment posted cited, the number of injury days is less than any of the previous two years.

There is no question that the team needs an upgrade on defence but what existing defenceman that was here last year would you rather have than what is here now?

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#141 pkam
January 22 2014, 11:42AM
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ubermiguel wrote:

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

This is tricky. Who do you consider top-end players?

I can list the ones who have 8 or more man games lost last season and let you decide if they are top-end players:

Ben Eager: 9 games Shawn Horcoff: 17 games Eric Belanger: 20 games Mark Fistric: 10 games Anton Lander: 16 games Nikolai Khabibulin: 8 games Ales Hemsky: 10 games

That is 90 of the 118 man games lost. Who on this list do you think is top-ended player?

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#142 nunyour
January 22 2014, 11:54AM
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Doesn't matter how good you are when you bring a knife to a gun fight.

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#143 pkam
January 22 2014, 12:30PM
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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.

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#144 tileguy
January 22 2014, 01:09PM
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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.

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#145 john
January 22 2014, 02:44PM
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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.

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#146 outdoorzguy
January 22 2014, 03:45PM
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Gordie Wayne wrote:

I really do hate the so-called "Old Boys Club" excuse people use when talking about firing Lowe (there are better reasons to fire him). There are Old Boys Clubs everywhere in sports and business. If done properly, it works tremendously well. The problem with the Oilers old boys club is that the wrong old boys are in positions of power. It is all about COMPETENCY.

If I own a multi-million dollar business, I would certainly bring on my friends but I would only bring the ones that could effectively do the job, not the ones that were just there to stroke my ego.

If done properly, the Oilers org would look something like this:

Wayne Gretzky - POHO

Craig MacTavish - General Manager

Jari Kurri - Assistant GM

Shawn Horcoff - Head Coach

Mark Messier - Associate Coach

Doug Weight - Assistant Coach

Charlie Huddy - Assistant Coach

Bill Ranford - Goalie Coach

Georges Laraque - Fighting Coach

Kevin Lowe - Stick Boy / Katz' ego stroker

Ok...Shawn Horcoff may be a stretch, but c'mon, I don't think we have a coach in the Oilers history, unless we can take 20 years off of Slat's age...lol. Or maybe we can pretend Katz used to hang out with Scotty Bowman...

I wouldn't have Messier on that list. He hasn't done anything in hockey since retiring except looking after a Spengler Cup team. He hasn't paid his dues and in my opinion he's worse than Lowe. Messier has waited for something to fall into his lap and that hasn't happened, probably because most people can see through him (except the Oilers, now there's a surprise). At least Lowe paid his dues to get where he is (I'm certainly not saying that's a good thing). Messier just seems to expect it.

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#147 Puck JammeR!
January 22 2014, 03:47PM
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Serious question: has anyone done research on whether better Corsi/Fenwick means more wins/cups?

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#148 Mack Strong
January 22 2014, 04:33PM
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To Oilers Management,

Here is a lesson on opposites:

absent - present

backward - forward

worse - best

timid - bold

The left column represents K.Lowe and Mac T's thinking process and the right column is what other GM's and management groups think of when making decisions for their team. Heres one more:

Nashville Defence - Oilers Defence

Sorry nation for the ultra dumbed down post. In case Mac T and K. Lowe are reading this i want it to be easy enough for them to understand.

Love the OIL Love the NATION

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#149 Rick Stroppel
January 22 2014, 05:38PM
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Mack Strong wrote:

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!

DON'T BE IGNORANT, LIKE MACTAVISH HIMSELF

It is really inappropriate to refer to ANYONE as "retarded". MacTavish referred to a referee as a "retard" a few years ago...with Joey Moss probably not far away in the dressing room. The so-called media in this city said little about that, because they were still in the throes of their collective man-crush on all the Oilers glory boys.

Much better to refer to MacTavish as a jackass, jackbutt, clown, bozo, imbecile, donkey, dunce, poseur, nincompoop, egomaniac, fool, etc.

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#150 Johnnydapunk
January 22 2014, 06:15PM
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So.... How many balls do we get in the lottery to try and win Ekblad?

I don't know what the Oil should do now, I mean there is nothing to play for, pride was long gone and there are no more loser records to play for (fewest points in a season or most losses or fewest wins) so I don't really know what is best here.

Do the Oil just poop the bed properly and make sure they end up at the bottom for the best chance at winning the lottery of try to build something for next year and risk ruining their chances for Ekblad, or try to make the Oil a semi decent option for UFAs (potential and all that blah blah) ?

I'm kindof torn at this point, losing doesn't phase me anymore and a win now just papers over the horrible cracks and makes it harder for certain management types to see what the problems are.

It's not easy being an Oil fan nowadays. I miss the 80s.

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