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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#201 outdoorzguy
January 03 2014, 09:55PM
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That's nice Principe, get your picture taken with an accused rapist!! More Edmonton star struck media. No wonder the tough questions don't get asked.

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#202 Rob F
January 03 2014, 09:56PM
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BingBong wrote:

Man, I'm never giving up on the Oilers, but for the first time ever I've reached the point where I just can't watch the games anymore. That’s saying something considering how bad we've been for the last 8 years. I just feel too guilty watching the games; I know my time could/should be better spent.

Both bowl games going back and forth Change Channels

Both down to the wire. Much more entertainment.

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#203 Walter Sobchak
January 03 2014, 10:10PM
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Boy, it sure would be nice to have a player like Cogliano............Too soon?

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#204 Robert (AKA Hockey Fan)
January 03 2014, 10:12PM
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@dobiezeke

Siberia maybe......?

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#205 dobiezeke
January 03 2014, 10:15PM
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Oh look...Eakins is talking to the players on the timeout!

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#206 Zamboni Driver
January 03 2014, 10:16PM
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Hey Dallas what happens when the penalties end genius?!

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#207 Rod from Viking
January 03 2014, 10:17PM
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What an awesome power-play, one shot on a 6 on 3.

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#208 Robert (AKA Hockey Fan)
January 03 2014, 10:18PM
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6 on 3 and no shots on goal to show for it?

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#209 dobiezeke
January 03 2014, 10:27PM
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Does anyone in the league abuse the goalie crest the way Ryan Smith does...

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#210 kgo
January 03 2014, 10:27PM
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Rogers TV offering Rexall brand flu shots.......

Doesn't feel legit.

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#211 Rod from Viking
January 03 2014, 10:28PM
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Nice howitzer Ryan Smyth on the 3 on 2 rush, you scored once in 1997 on Andy Moog from there.

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#212 Serious Gord
January 03 2014, 10:30PM
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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?

They don't need to be cleaned between games - they are sweat-free.

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#213 Anton
January 03 2014, 10:31PM
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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 pucks weren't sticking to the sticks for Oilers.

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#214 RexHolez
January 03 2014, 10:32PM
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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

Who stitched the numbers on the back of jerseys?? I havnt seen a single number fall off the jersey of any player this year!! good job number stitchers!!

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#215 Duby and the Dubious
January 03 2014, 10:32PM
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I'm glad Dman #2 has own signature 3rd period pass to send an opponent on a breakaway. The Petry Dish.

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#216 dobiezeke
January 03 2014, 10:36PM
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Duby and the Dubious wrote:

I'm glad Dman #2 has own signature 3rd period pass to send an opponent on a breakaway. The Petry Dish.

I thought we got rid of Gilbert...

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#217 camdog
January 03 2014, 10:36PM
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RexHolez wrote:

Who stitched the numbers on the back of jerseys?? I havnt seen a single number fall off the jersey of any player this year!! good job number stitchers!!

http://oilersnation.com/2010/4/23/oilers-fire-trainers

Credit goes to Tambelini here, he identified a problem and fixed it! lol

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#218 RexHolez
January 03 2014, 10:38PM
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RexHolez wrote:

Who stitched the numbers on the back of jerseys?? I havnt seen a single number fall off the jersey of any player this year!! good job number stitchers!!

Say what you want about this team, but atleast none of the lids on the water bottles fell off yet! #GottaBeDoingSomthingRight

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#219 Drowning in Oil
January 03 2014, 10:38PM
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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

Credit should also be given to who ever cleans the boys visors. Bang on job whoever you are.

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#220 Walter Sobchak
January 03 2014, 10:39PM
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Eakins takes a time out, pulls goalie, has a 6-3 & the team passes it around the perimeter without so much as a single shot on net?

Has no pure shooter on that PP, his second unit finally gets on for the last 30 seconds.

This guy would rather lose then use Yakupov correctly.........amazing!!

Out scored & outshot about 15000 to 35 in the last three games.

He's going to do his passive aggressive post game, " I thought we started out good, but those defensive turnovers by our defence killed us" .

The Oilers get to fly home & play TB who will be waiting for them.

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#221 camdog
January 03 2014, 10:42PM
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camdog wrote:

http://oilersnation.com/2010/4/23/oilers-fire-trainers

Credit goes to Tambelini here, he identified a problem and fixed it! lol

http://www.edmontonsun.com/sports/columnists/terry_jones/2010/04/23/13700786.html

For more laughs...

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#222 outdoorzguy
January 03 2014, 10:42PM
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I wonder when Loser Lowe will call Katz to tell him we lost 2 games in 2 nights quite easily. Maybe he won't. Maybe Katz doesn't care. Ah, who cares?

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#223 Kr55
January 03 2014, 10:42PM
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Oilers are now on pace for a 58 point season. That would be their worst season ever. We've also used up a lot of our games against easy eastern teams. I think the 2nd half of the season is against tougher teams than the first half. This might get a lot uglier.

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#224 dobiezeke
January 03 2014, 10:46PM
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outdoorzguy wrote:

I wonder when Loser Lowe will call Katz to tell him we lost 2 games in 2 nights quite easily. Maybe he won't. Maybe Katz doesn't care. Ah, who cares?

Katz is more concerned about Rexall's flu shots.

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#225 RexHolez
January 03 2014, 10:46PM
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Drowning in Oil wrote:

Credit should also be given to who ever cleans the boys visors. Bang on job whoever you are.

why stop there? who makes those towels? they seem to wipe clean with no lint or streaking left on the visor whatsoever, AMAZING!! but who was the genius that suggested we use those towels? Kudos to those people!

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#226 outdoorzguy
January 03 2014, 10:50PM
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RexHolez wrote:

why stop there? who makes those towels? they seem to wipe clean with no lint or streaking left on the visor whatsoever, AMAZING!! but who was the genius that suggested we use those towels? Kudos to those people!

That would probably have been a decision made by Howson. Something like this is to be taken seriously and not trivialized. That's what a Senior VP of Hockey Operations does. Right?

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#227 RexHolez
January 03 2014, 10:56PM
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outdoorzguy wrote:

Cause Eakins has proven he knows what he is doing?

Eakins should have been Kruegers associate

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#228 Anton
January 03 2014, 10:57PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

So......anybody got any ideas what's wrong with the Oilers?

Short answer? Everything. Long answer, Expectation: Eakins was hired base on the assumption that he can turn this team into contender. Reality: the team were still under development, it needs a mentor coach to shape each individually into a legit star. Result: Expectation cannot meet with reality, the team was hastened and players are losing confidence.

Ring6 wants to see results to undo his past mistakes, MacT wants to have results to separate him from his predecessors, Wood&Water expects results to show that he belong in the big league. The results that we have is a young team on a bad streak and start losing confidence. They are killing kids professional careers because the managements failed to realize that it takes time for players to mature AND then you find a proper coach that can lead a team to become a contender. Pens did that with Michel Therrien and Dan Bylsma and Hawks did it with Denis Savard and Joel Quenneville.

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#229 outdoorzguy
January 03 2014, 11:02PM
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I hope McTavish has made the Skype call by now.

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#230 RexHolez
January 03 2014, 11:05PM
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outdoorzguy wrote:

That would probably have been a decision made by Howson. Something like this is to be taken seriously and not trivialized. That's what a Senior VP of Hockey Operations does. Right?

Im not entirely sure such an important decision would of been left solely on the hands of a mere Senior VP of Hockey Ops.

I imagine Howson spent years researching this topic and went to Lowe with his findings for the final decision

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#231 RexHolez
January 03 2014, 11:10PM
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not a single blade fell off any of the skates tonight!! #OilerPositives! I know who my first star of the game goes to.... Give those equipment guys a raise already!

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#232 Anton
January 03 2014, 11:11PM
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Don W wrote:

I didn't watch the game but I've been watching the oilers for the last 4-5 coaches (not sure I've lost count). It is unlikely that the coach is the problem. This team is not good enough.

Even with the constant coaching changes doesn't mean that you don't fire the wrong coach when it is needed to be done.

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#233 Sevenseven
January 03 2014, 11:15PM
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@ Jason Gregor

We can talk about the players, coaching, gm till we are blue in the face. We can talk about how top notch players may not want to sign here or how hard it is to get a number one defenseman. But at what point do you, or any other Edmonton media call out six rings, the common denominator of the past 8 playoff-less years. The man who orchastrates, to my amazement, a more disappointing organization year after year, after year?

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#234 dobiezeke
January 03 2014, 11:16PM
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RexHolez wrote:

Eakins should have been Kruegers associate

Or visa versa...don't care. They should have done the associate coach and cleared out the assistants.

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#235 dobiezeke
January 03 2014, 11:20PM
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Sevenseven wrote:

@ Jason Gregor

We can talk about the players, coaching, gm till we are blue in the face. We can talk about how top notch players may not want to sign here or how hard it is to get a number one defenseman. But at what point do you, or any other Edmonton media call out six rings, the common denominator of the past 8 playoff-less years. The man who orchastrates, to my amazement, a more disappointing organization year after year, after year?

Lowe would have responded to your comment but he is out getting his flu shot.

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#236 cubsfan
January 03 2014, 11:29PM
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Andrew Cogliano +4

hall -4 rnh -3

'Its not the size of the dog in the fight, its the size of the fight in the dog'...Mark Twain

They should post that in the dressing rom.......there should be plenty of space since they took out all the past accomplishments.....Lord knows it will be a while until they fill it up again

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#237 Rod from Viking
January 03 2014, 11:33PM
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Sevenseven wrote:

@ Jason Gregor

We can talk about the players, coaching, gm till we are blue in the face. We can talk about how top notch players may not want to sign here or how hard it is to get a number one defenseman. But at what point do you, or any other Edmonton media call out six rings, the common denominator of the past 8 playoff-less years. The man who orchastrates, to my amazement, a more disappointing organization year after year, after year?

I am sure Jason had an article in the Journal that basically did say that a couple of months ago.

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#238 RexHolez
January 03 2014, 11:36PM
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#OilerPositives OodleNoodle properly boils their noodles

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#239 Nowuknow
January 03 2014, 11:36PM
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Sevenseven wrote:

@ Jason Gregor

We can talk about the players, coaching, gm till we are blue in the face. We can talk about how top notch players may not want to sign here or how hard it is to get a number one defenseman. But at what point do you, or any other Edmonton media call out six rings, the common denominator of the past 8 playoff-less years. The man who orchastrates, to my amazement, a more disappointing organization year after year, after year?

Ammen! Brother. I will say it again, as the Coilers management group cover each other's back so is the media group in this town. It is a mystery to me, that how a customers begs for a better product when they should have the upper hand...

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#240 Virtual_Xi
January 03 2014, 11:38PM
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something tells me "Aquila Productions' critically-acclaimed documentary series, Oil Change" isn't going to get renewed next season....

why the hell would you want to watch the oilers lose each and every game twice all season??

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#241 RexHolez
January 03 2014, 11:38PM
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Rod from Viking wrote:

I am sure Jason had an article in the Journal that basically did say that a couple of months ago.

Jason throws a lot of wet toilet paper against the wall and lives off what sticks

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#242 RexHolez
January 03 2014, 11:41PM
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#OilerPositives Some rare sightings of unburned jerseys are still being reported

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#243 Arius Mumin
January 03 2014, 11:43PM
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#@$% Eakins!

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#244 Quintana
January 03 2014, 11:49PM
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S cottV wrote:

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.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNHMXIeVmQ0

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#245 TDSM31
January 03 2014, 11:49PM
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dobiezeke wrote:

Does anyone in the league abuse the goalie crest the way Ryan Smith does...

No way that crest was abused...Smyttys shot has more of the 'finger in Pilsbury doughboys bellybutton' effect.

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#246 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
January 04 2014, 01:04AM
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Anton wrote:

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?

Ok, but his redecorating skills can't be questioned, can they?

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