DUCK HUNTING

Jason Gregor
January 03 2014 01:24PM

After a 5-1 attack by the Sharks last night, things don't get any easier for the Oilers tonight when they will try to hand the Ducks their first home regulation loss of the season. The Ducks are 15-0-2 at home, and have outscored their opponents 65-31. The Ducks have allowed three goals twice and four goals once in 17 games, so don't expect much offence from the Oilers tonight.

The harsh reality is that the Oilers are severely overmatched heading into tonight's match. While they try not to think about that, I'm sure it is impossible not to have those thoughts creep into their head. If the Ducks score early, things could get ugly.

LINEU...updated

Hall-RNH-Perron
Yakupov-Gagner-??
Smyth-Gordon-Hemsky
Joensuu-???-Gazdic

Ference-J.Schultz
Marincin-Petry
Hunt-N.Schultz

Bryzgalov

Eberle has a knee injury and won't play.  It sounds like Jones and Arcobello will return, so we won't know the exact lines until later. If it is me I put Hemsky with Yakupov and Gagner. Yakupov has more success playing with Hemsky than he does any other forward.

The Oilers have recalled D-man Brad Hunt from OKC, and he'll be a game time decision. Maybe an Oiler D-man is banged up, or maybe they want to put someone in the pressbox. Martin Marincin has played well enough to stay in the lineup, and it would be odd to take him out and insert 5'9" Hunt against the Ducks.

Quick scouting report on Hunt... "Smart player. Moves the puck well and fires it hard. Not overly fast, but makes up for it with hockey sense."

Why was Hunt recalled and not Klefbom some wonder? Fair question, but it happened because Hunt is playing better right now, and partially because it is best to keep Klefbom away from a losing environment. Klefbom is also still dealing with an injury, but even prior to that he was only playing okay according to coaching reports.

Either way, the Oilers need a strong effort from all 18 skaters if they have a hope of being competitive tonight.

QUICK HITS

  • Oilers are so far away from the elite teams in the league it is scary. It illustrates just how far they have to go. I don't see a quick fix over the summer.
     
  • I might be in minority, but I think J.Schultz has improved his defensive game a lot the past two weeks. He's making smarter decisions with and without the puck. He's only played 83 NHL games, so he likely needs at least another 100 before he's really solid, but he's been one of the few positives recently.

TONIGHT...

GAME DAY PREDICTION: Many will ask who is that? It is Nina Agnal, and with -30 weather coming to Edmonton and a likely 4-1 loss to the Ducks tonight, I felt Oilers fans needed a small "pick me up."

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Oiler fans will watch, and some will be infuriated when the Oilers make a bad play. I love the passion and the fact fans still have hope that things will change. God love you.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The entire comment section will be full of positive posts. They will only focus on the good plays in hopes that that will change the fortunes of the Oilers. Pointing out every bad play hasn't helped the Oilers, so posters elect to channel their inner "George Costanza" and write the opposite of their first thoughts.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR 

Ddf3e2ba09069c465299f3c416e43eae
One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#101 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
January 03 2014, 03:25PM
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Brief and to the point article. I like it. The Chick is hot. Haven't watched a game since the loss before the Jets game. After looking at the scores and reading about the efforts am I ever glad. I now take joy in their misery cause I know deep down Lowe and MacT are dying inside. They have to be or they aren't human.

last point and saw it on another thread MacT said that Glencross was replaceable when they didnt try to re-sign him. MacT said Brodziak and Chimera weren't NHL caliber players. This is the guy making the teams personnel decisions(except Lowe still has his hands all over it)...enjoy.

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#102 Old Timer
January 03 2014, 03:26PM
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N.S.O.G.D.P. Oilers win 6 - 1

After the game a disgruntled Ducks GM Bob Murray announces to the press that the Ducks are going to have to find a way to get smaller and softer to be able to compete with teams like the Oilers.

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#103 BaconWrapped
January 03 2014, 03:38PM
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This defensive coverage....IS MAKING ME THIRSTY!!!

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#104 outdoorzguy
January 03 2014, 03:44PM
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I pray to any God that by noon tomorrow we have a new coaching staff. An entire new management team would be nice but I think that's asking too much on short notice. Can you imagine how the fans in Montreal, or Toronto or Detroit would deal with this dogs breakfast? The media would have a feeding frenzy. But not here, it's call them all by their first names and try to be the players best friend.

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#105 RexHolez
January 03 2014, 03:55PM
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Chet134 wrote:

Eberle has scored 34 goals two years ago and was on his way to score 30 goals last year but it ws a lockout season. Only 17 players in the league score over 30 a year plus he's 23 yrs old. Then add in his pedegree. Do I think its a straight up trade subban for Eberle. No but close maybe Ebs and kleffbom get it done. Montreal won't trade him tho

Can't disagree, but you're the one thinking Subban not me. But Subban would be perfect. I'd be happy with Weber too. Lol I'd even take Phaneuf

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#106 cubsfan
January 03 2014, 03:55PM
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BaconWrapped wrote:

This defensive coverage....IS MAKING ME THIRSTY!!!

This one isnt as famous but is apropos in this situation;

"Yeah, I’m a great quitter. It’s one of the few things I do well. I come from a long line of quitters. My father was a quitter, my grandfather was a quitter… I was raised to give up." George Costanza

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#107 Chet134
January 03 2014, 04:05PM
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RexHolez wrote:

Can't disagree, but you're the one thinking Subban not me. But Subban would be perfect. I'd be happy with Weber too. Lol I'd even take Phaneuf

I will be shocked if weber gets traded in the next four years. I can't see it. For sure I don't trade Nug or hall. Sorry my opinion is we draft Ekblad and only Ekblad if hes available cuz I think were screwed. We won't get that type of d man.

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#108 Gerald R. Ford
January 03 2014, 04:46PM
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@Rick Stroppel

I hear ya.

I wish they would get rid of the loser point, and just go to a straight wins and losses system. It's so much simpler. Hearing people in the media say that, for example, a 10-10-8 team has a "five hundred record" is beyond annoying. The Oilers are 13-30 and have lost 8 of their last ten. That's the cold, brutal, reality.

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#109 ValleyviewSports
January 03 2014, 04:55PM
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Curious to see the lines tonight. I wonder with Arco back in the fold it will allow Coach to switch Gagner to wing and use Gordon against ANA's big line. That IS what we should be seeing night in night out for Gordon. Doubt it thought of course

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#110 John
January 03 2014, 05:14PM
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outdoorzguy wrote:

The one positive thing that comes out of this train wreck is that we will see Katz's son grow up before our eyes as he makes his annual trip onto the draft stage with daddy to make another first pick selection. I'm curious if he'll grow taller than his dad? We'll see in about 5 years.

Wonder if Hall has already warned Nurse to wear his best fake selfie smile when he's paraded on stage during the pick. " ... And Darnell, don't ruffle the Katz kids hair on the way up ; he fricken hates that!"

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#111 Freewheeling Freddie
January 03 2014, 05:15PM
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@He Who Knows

I would love to see Cal and and calvery ride into town and send Katz to seattle. One can only dream.Its definitely not duck hunting season or wabbit season it is oil smurf hunting season. We are witnessing the worst Oiler season in franchise history that is actually one way to keep your hockey watching sanity.

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#112 camdog
January 03 2014, 05:27PM
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@pkam

Souray didn't demand out of Edmonton he demanded out of the Lowe/Mactavish circus. If they would have both been fired Souray would have been happy to play in Edmonton.

Now Visnovsky on the other hand fits your example perfectly. He signed a no trade clause with LA and was traded here in bad faith.

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#113 Rob F
January 03 2014, 05:55PM
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pkam wrote:

I don't know if Hall, Eberle, and RNH already want to leave and ask for a trade. If they already did, then the management is probably working on it.

However, I heard rumors that Weber wasn't even interested in discussing an offersheet with the Oilers 2 years ago. So if he has a NTC, do you think Oilers will be included? It makes it very likely that he will ask for a trade.

Hey Sisyphus

I think I've spent time with your cousin gonnorhea.

Rob F

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#114 Arius Mumin
January 03 2014, 06:01PM
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Eakins is a #@$%ing goof.

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#115 6 ring circus
January 03 2014, 06:05PM
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I have been coming in late for the past 8 years at work,some days I just don't even bother to show up,I have used up all my sick days and whenever something goes wrong, I have an excuse,when customers call and complain I tell them that there are two types of customers and that they don't know WTF they are talking about because I have been a screw up for the past 8 years and they still keep using my company and my boss keeps giving me raises and keeps promoting me.I have hired a lot of my friends and we sit around and do nothing on most days we go out of our way to piss off our customers, nobody ever gets fired around here, no matter what they do wrong,if we really get pissed off, we go on strike, we have had 2 in 8 years.Our competition keeps getting better every year, some even win international awards every year and their customers really appreciate their customer service.Our current owner doesn't even live in Edmonton anymore, he only comes to visit a few times a year but he could care less what our customers think,our original owner, we ran him out of town , things were different then, our company was at the top every year,we won international awards and customer service was our focus, we had a really good president and General manager (he was the same guy), our old owner really cared about the performance of the company because he relied on it for money,this new owner he has forgotten how to run a business, if things do not change soon, I can see most of our customers going to other companies ,I know quite a few have gone already, but its okay, we keep telling our existing customers that there is a awaiting list to deal with us, and you want to know what the best part about our company, we have raised our prices for the past 4 years and our customers keep paying and coming back to use us LOL!!!!

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#116 RexHolez
January 03 2014, 06:26PM
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pkam wrote:

But you believe Weber will be happy to come here?

I don't think anyone would be happy to come here. Infact, I feel sorry for the kids drafted here. but if they have a contract, they have no choice... as pathetic as that is

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#117 RexHolez
January 03 2014, 06:30PM
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@K_Mart

I gave you a like because I liked where you were going, then 5 sentences later I lost interest

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#118 fatso
January 03 2014, 06:47PM
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Coach Dallas Eakins getting the guys fired up before the game.

http://youtu.be/ZDLY5zEs8ak

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#119 K_Mart
January 03 2014, 08:02PM
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Eakins appears to be out of ideas. But every coach knows that when you're out of ideas you need to simplify simplify simplify. Strip everything down to the bare bones.

This is the one time that cliches are actually useful.

Here's everyone's check list: Get the puck deep. Keep it simple. One shift at a time. Finish your checks. Go to the tough areas. Get shots from anywhere. Protect the front of your net. Stand up for one another. Follow it or sit. Your call.

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#120 6 ring circus
January 03 2014, 08:16PM
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Eakins will blame Yakopov on the 1st Anaheim goal ,he should have been sitting on the bench in front of Smith not Buchberger.

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#121 **
January 03 2014, 08:24PM
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boy that kid Bryzgalov looks good on net. I hope he makes it to an NHL team.

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#122 Bryzarro World
January 03 2014, 08:27PM
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I want to slap the crap out of Samwise every time I see him sucking on his guard.... Douche

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#123 cain
January 03 2014, 08:31PM
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F@ck I hate Gagner.

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#124 Anton
January 03 2014, 08:36PM
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** wrote:

Dammit, yakupov scored, now he is going to do something that will cost the oilers the game. I love how Gagner slid into frame at the last second for the picture.

Even by some miracle that Oilers actually win this game, he will still probably get blamed for something. Consider him a healthy scratch for next game because he scored.

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#125 **
January 03 2014, 08:47PM
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is Hall mentally challenged? why does he go cover the guy with the puck when there's a;ready an oiler covering him?. Wow, just fu$%ng wow

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#126 Hockey fan 1976
January 03 2014, 08:50PM
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I would give anything for any player from the opposition to skate over to Gags and punch him in the face anytime he f&!(; chews on that stupid mouthpiece. Wtf!!! You aren't that good of a fu'&!? player!!!

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#127 Duby and the dubious
January 03 2014, 08:55PM
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Oilers site shows game on sportnetW? Instead I have to watch Shames get litt up by TB. Is webmaster mailing it in now too? Probably doing me favor

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#128 bbbb
January 03 2014, 08:59PM
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Duby and the dubious wrote:

Oilers site shows game on sportnetW? Instead I have to watch Shames get litt up by TB. Is webmaster mailing it in now too? Probably doing me favor

dude channel 302....get with the program

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#129 cubsfan
January 03 2014, 09:03PM
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I notice Hall and RNH both -3 and Reverend Lovejoy is +2......out top line is getting schooled by their 4th......

still watching Orange bowl.....but like any train wreck i'll peak over at the Oilers game now and then

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#130 Robert (AKA Hockey Fan)
January 03 2014, 09:12PM
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@**

Every time the Ducks score a million toilets in Edmonton are flushing the season down the drain.......

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#131 sizedoesmatter
January 03 2014, 09:32PM
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Gagner can't just stand still and expect to be a factor

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#132 sizedoesmatter
January 03 2014, 09:35PM
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Negative factor

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#133 S cottV
January 03 2014, 10:05PM
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Just continue to be awful in their own end. RNH unforced giveaway on the first, Hall's failure to pick up the d man trailer on the 2nd and 3rd and Gagner floating around without doing anything deliberate on the 4th.

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#134 dobiezeke
January 03 2014, 10:10PM
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Petry needs to go away...far far away...

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#135 Zamboni Driver
January 03 2014, 10:15PM
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Oh good god. Goalie pulled with six mins left. This guy is clueless.

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#136 kale
January 03 2014, 10:19PM
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I cant believe yakupov wasnt out on the six on three but snowpants was

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#137 dobiezeke
January 03 2014, 10:23PM
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RexHolez wrote:

Ok, its time to stop dumping on this team. It's been enough already. It's time we as a fan base start sending positive vibes and building on the positives! for example.... The oilers jerseys looked clean and well washed tonight. whats the secret? Tide cold water? do the jerseys get ironed?

Problem with the jerseys is that none of them are extra large. Too many smalls...

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#138 RexHolez
January 03 2014, 10:28PM
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RexHolez wrote:

Ok, its time to stop dumping on this team. It's been enough already. It's time we as a fan base start sending positive vibes and building on the positives! for example.... The oilers jerseys looked clean and well washed tonight. whats the secret? Tide cold water? do the jerseys get ironed?

good job equipment staff! way to wash those jerseys tonight!! lets build on this guys, OilerPositives!!! the tape the guys are using seems to be sticking on their sticks !! good job hockey tape manufacturers

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#139 outdoorzguy
January 03 2014, 10:28PM
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Good bye Eakins!!!

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#140 dobiezeke
January 03 2014, 10:32PM
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RexHolez wrote:

Ok, its time to stop dumping on this team. It's been enough already. It's time we as a fan base start sending positive vibes and building on the positives! for example.... The oilers jerseys looked clean and well washed tonight. whats the secret? Tide cold water? do the jerseys get ironed?

Problem with the jerseys is that none of them are extra large. Too many smalls...

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#141 outdoorzguy
January 03 2014, 10:33PM
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RexHolez wrote:

good job equipment staff! way to wash those jerseys tonight!! lets build on this guys, OilerPositives!!! the tape the guys are using seems to be sticking on their sticks !! good job hockey tape manufacturers

Too bad the passes don't hit that nice tape on the sticks.

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#142 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
January 03 2014, 10:36PM
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So......anybody got any ideas what's wrong with the Oilers?

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#143 outdoorzguy
January 03 2014, 10:54PM
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dobiezeke wrote:

Yes...keep Eakins, get rid of the trained monkeys that are the assistant coaches and bring in an experienced associate coach.

Cause Eakins has proven he knows what he is doing?

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#144 camdog
January 03 2014, 11:12PM
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Lowe wanted the first round picks for Hall and RNH, but after that he wanted them to compete. This forced Tambelini into firing Renney too early. Renney and Krueger were a pretty good tandem. A tandem I liked a lot. Wasn't a fan of Krueger as a headcoach, but the players liked him.

Eakins is a rookie coach, with rookie hockey players and a rookie GM. He reminds me of Kavis Reed behind the Eskimo bench this season, except I don't get the impression the players love him in the same way they loved Reed. Both coaches mistakes have costed their teams many wins. I wouldn't be surprised to see Mact behind the bench in 2-3 weeks.

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#145 Serious Gord
January 03 2014, 11:43PM
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So Eakins has been the coach of record now for the worst half season in oilers history. They are playing as bad now as they have played all season.

Clearly the only reasons for keeping him as coach for the rest of the season are the past - five coaches in six years - and MacT having staked so much of his reputation on what he thought was a steal of an addition - signing him to what I think is an unprecedented four years for a rookie coach.

So even though it is blatantly evident that Eakins should be fired by now he has not been fired because of VANITY and face-saving. Nothing else.

If this teams management is prepared to sacrifice this season and one year of these players careers for that shallow a motive then it is rotten to its very core. Either it is completely purged or we are looking at at least another lost decade.

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#146 S cottV
January 03 2014, 11:48PM
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This pattern can't go on too much longer before MacT will be forced to fess up on Eakins.

Eakins doesn't look good. Looks to be out of answers and detached from the player group and Asst Coaches.

MacT might have to Skype him and take over the bench.

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#147 Rod from Viking
January 04 2014, 12:02AM
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Do you think we could trade Gagner and a 2nd for Cogliano, did the Oilers ever pick the wrong player, one is fast, durable and a 200ft player, the other is none of these and vastly overpaid and has an NTC.

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#148 6 ring circus
January 04 2014, 12:03AM
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This isn't even funny anymore,when is Katz coming out of hiding and start cleaning house,you would think after 8 years of watching this organization implode ,that the owner would hold his management team accountable instead we are the laughing stock of the NHL ,Katz better do something sooner than later because Oilers fans have had enough of this gong show.

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#149 Anton
January 04 2014, 12:15AM
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cubsfan wrote:

i'm not happy with eakins either.....but everyone complained that kreuger got a raw deal when he was let go with only a little more than 40 games in his tenure.....i agree he got screwed....

before we jettison off another disposable head coach......lets jettison the assistants and bring in a quality goalie coach to boot.....i think smith and bucky are more than culpable, and have been here way to long ... i think first things first....let eakins bring in his guys.......

Kreuger did not do anything wrong, on the contrast that Eakins has not done anything right. Just because that we need some kind of consistency doesn't mean that we have to settle for a BAD consistency.

A list of things that I have never really like Eakins as a coach:

1. Conditioning the team that are already in tip-top shape. 2. Named a newcomer as the new captain. 3. No practice on game day. 4. Switching players up-and-down the line like playing Price is Right. 5. Overusing minor leaguers on top 6 because only underachievers will drink his cool-aid. 6. It is "never his fault" approach for everything that has happened to the team. 7. Complaint on national TV with some kid were hustling him for being suck (yeah, embarrassed him in front of his daughter, poor girl has to take it for her dad). 8. Start the season with Hall on C which clearly that he can't handle it. 9. Calling fan a quitter (can he read that was a sign of frustration?).

What else?

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#150 michael
January 03 2014, 02:28PM
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Dave wrote:

I want to take this opportunity to agree with LT when he wrote:

"Finally, I do think we’re at a point where it’s reasonable to talk about the entire coaching staff being replaced. No fun in that, epic fail as a matter of fact. I believe Dallas Eakins is a good coach lacking experience, but the results continue to disappoint. Not just wins and losses, but Corsi and breakouts and communication and “I assumed that we knew what traditional d-zone coverage was” and calling out the kid when 10 other things ghastly happened on the same play.

My Dad always had this phrase he’d use at times like this: if you’re not for me, you’re against me. I wonder how many Oilers are for Dallas Eakins this morning. When I watch this team, I don’t believe the answer is 23."

That is what is bothering me too.The numbers should be improving. But they aren't overall. Delete individual performances like Boyd Gordon's FO% and a few other stats and what were seeing is a disaster of Oiler proportions. Its not just a fail. Its an Epic fail. How do we go from a top 10 PP to a middling PP in the course of a season? The players are the same.

Calling out Yak over and over is so 1980's coaching. Please. Dallas's "philosophy" is about accountability. Sure. How about applying a little of that to himself. If I communicated with my co-workers the way Dallas does I would be canned so quick it would make my head spin like Beetlejuices.

Perhaps Dallas,MacT,Klowe and DK need a sit down during the Olympic break and get a few things straight. Because believe you me there are probably 23 men in that dressing room now who after last night feel hung out to dry.

What is the old saying. A plan only lasts until the bullets start flying. They were flying right from the start of the game and the coach let his players just take it on the chin. Sitting RNH/Hall/ for 12+ minutes because he saw that they were struggling 5x5 against SJ's top line was for me stupid. Your benching them because of your mistake. What? Eakin's should have recognized the mismatch and adjusted his lines accordingly along with his d pairings. Instead we angry Dallas and the Oilers get buried deeper. Where is the teachable moment? You don't leave your best horses in the barn.

Dallas Eakins is out of his league and regardless of who MACT brings in this train wreck will continue.

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