Routine Little Plays

Jonathan Willis
January 03 2014 01:24AM

Dallas Eakins hung much of Edmonton's 5-1 loss to San Jose on the second goal against, but for my money it's the Sharks' third tally that really deserves attention because it shows how even good players doing smart things can get exposed.

The Shift

First, a little bit of backstory. Six minutes into the second period, Ryan Smyth dumps the puck into the San Jose zone and both the forwards and defence change. Coming on to the ice is the first line of Taylor Hall (4), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (93) and David Perron (57) as well as the top defence pairing of Andrew Ference (21) and Justin Schultz (19).

Because of the change San Jose has an unopposed breakout and Dan Boyle (22 for San Jose) goes for the long pass along the far boards to Patrick Marleau (12 for San Jose) waiting at the Edmonton blue line.

Perron gets across the ice quickly enough to break up the pass, which means Marleau doesn’t get a clean possession and the puck ends up getting stuck at the line:

Edmonton’s in good shape here. Schultz and Perron got over quickly, as did Nugent-Hopkins. Off camera supporting that trio is Ference. So even with Marleau, Thornton (19 for San Jose) and Matthew Nieto (83 for San Jose) there’s nothing to worry about yet.

San Jose wins the two-on-two along the boards enough to get the puck deep and then outmans Schultz in the corner. How does a two-on-two turn into a two-on-one? Nugent-Hopkins had slid up ice to receive a pass if Edmonton had won the two-on-two and Ference had opted to guard the front of the net while it was just an even battle between Schultz and Marleau. But Nieto got on his horse immediately while Perron waited at the line. The predictable result is that San Jose wins the puck and works it back to the blue line.

The Sharks’ defence changed after Boyle’s breakout pass, so Marc-Edouard Vlasic (44 for San Jose) gets the puck and passes it over to partner Justin Braun (61) for a shot into traffic at the front of the net. So far things have worked out well for the Sharks – clean breakout, won battle at the line, won 2-on-1 in the corner – and it all culminates in this shot. But Hall gets his stick in the lane and instead of a hard shot into traffic the puck flubs into the slot, where Nugent-Hopkins is able to work it to the boards.

Hall and Nieto tie up, Ference has Thornton, and Nugent-Hopkins has possession of the puck with a bit of time and space. Ference will box out Thornton, Hall will move up the boards so that Nugent-Hopkins has an option and Perron will move out of the zone to give Hall one.

But that’s not how it works. Nugent-Hopkins turns it over to Nieto, Thornton picks the puck up and tries the pass to Joe Pavelski (8 for San Jose), who has come on the ice for Marleau.

Fortunately for Edmonton, the pass doesn’t work and Perron comes back to pick it up at the blue line, with Thornton and Pavelski in hot pursuit (Nieto has gone to the bench, meaning that despite good pressure San Jose has managed to change four of five skaters in the 30 seconds since Smyth’s dump-in). Perron skates the puck back into the Oilers zone and then coolly flips it to Ference, who has nobody near him.

Pavelski wastes no time in skating in on Ference, so Ference makes the low-risk play, banking the puck off the endboards to Schultz. Unfortunately Schultz misjudges the pass and the puck ends up on Joe Thornton’s stick.

I’ve noted the location of Ference and Nieto’s replacement Brent Burns (88 for San Jose) even though they’re off-screen to show Edmonton’s defensive system working. Schultz missed the pass but he blocks Thornton’s lane to the net, and Nugent-Hopkins correctly reads the situation and moves immediately to get to Burns while Ference goes to the front of the net to take Pavelski. It’s never a good thing for Joe Thornton to have the puck like this, but the Oilers actually do a nice job of responding.

Nugent-Hopkins’ quick action prevents a clean pass and he chips the puck ahead to Perron. Danger averted?

Unfortunately for Perron, the puck bounces on him and Burns, backchecking hard, is able to push him off it. Pavelski picks the puck up, and he and Thornton try to overwhelm Schultz at the blue line. To his credit, Schultz stands his ground and prevents a Sharks’ entry.

With the entry blocked, conventional wisdom would be to dump the puck in. Thornton has other ideas and loops back, and suddenly the Sharks have a nice, clean zone entry. Nugent-Hopkins had hurried back to backstop Schultz and Andrew Ference had similarly fallen off the blue line. With Hall forced to be wary of the Sharks’ defence, Burns and Thornton can basically stroll in with possession whenever they want now. I should also mention at this point that Vlasic has shifted off in favour of Matt Irwin (52 for San Jose).

Perron actually does a really nice job getting over to harass Thornton, Nugent-Hopkins jumps up to the line and Hall backs down. It makes what might have been an easy entry difficult, but Thornton manages to get the puck over to Braun on the far side and he has a clear lane now.

Braun has the puck and no great options but he makes a pretty decent choice, taking a bad angle shot past Ference (who doesn’t quite cut-off the shooting lane) in the hopes that the puck will rebound to Pavelski. It’s a low probability play because of Ference and Schultz and in this case Schultz is able to pick off the rebound and put it to Perron but it’s a nice simple move for Braun and if the puck had bounced on Schultz it might have paid off.

Perron skates the puck to the boards and then tries to bank it out to centre. Unfortunately for him, Thornton circles around to Braun’s position at the point and cuts the play off. Thornton plays it across to Pavelski, who skates it into the corner while his linemates change. James Sheppard (15 for San Jose) and Andrew Desjardins (10 for San Jose) come on the ice and Pavelski cycles the puck down to a charging Sheppard before heading off the ice for a change himself to allow Bracken Kearns (38 for San Jose) to come on the ice.

Ference seems leery of leaving the front of the net until Schultz can get back, which allows Sheppard to take the puck unopposed. To his credit, as soon as Ference can hand off the role he rushes to the boards to challenge Sheppard and he’s even able to gain the puck and kick it free. It doesn’t matter, though, because a gassed Nugent-Hopkins (he’s 1:10 into his shift; this is the Sharks’ third line in that same span) gets tangled up a little with Schultz and is easily beaten to the puck by Desjardins.

 

Nugent-Hopkins may be gassed, but he’s not quitting on the play; he blocks a cross-ice pass from Desjardins to a dangerous and fresh Scott Hannan (27 for San Jose). Hall and Schultz are both standing between Hannan and the net but neither is really doing anything useful; if not for Nugent-Hopkins block Hannan would have been in great shape to wire that puck home.

Nugent-Hopkins can’t control the puck in his skates, though, and on his third try Desjardins knocks it over to Bracken Kearns.

The results are predictable.

What Happened?

There’s a lot going on, but the funny thing is how many times there was solid effort from Oilers players and good defensive awareness. Perron and Hall and Nugent-Hopkins and Ference and Schultz all do lots of things right on this shift. Unfortunately for Edmonton, however, there were lapses. Let’s review:

  • On the initial entry, a two-on-two gets lost and turns into a Sharks dump-in. That’ll happen; it’s not a critical error.
  • More troubling is Perron getting beat back into the zone by Nieto, leaving Schultz fighting off two Sharks attackers. Given that Perron had skated hard to breakup San Jose’s initial breakout pass, likely this is just a lapse of concentration rather than an effort problem.
  • Hall makes a nice defensive play and those little problems are negated. At which point Nugent-Hopkins turns the puck over. But Edmonton gets lucky and the puck goes to Perron, who puts it out of danger.
  • And then we have another turnover. Schultz misreads a routine bank pass, and Thornton collects the puck.
  • More nice work without the puck by Edmonton, but just as it looks like they’re out of trouble the puck bounces on Perron, which eventually leads to a low-quality Sharks’ shot.
  • Our third turnover. Perron tries to keep it simple and just bank the puck off the boards; it’s picked off.
  • Ference wins a one-on-one puck battle but at this point fatigue is setting in and Nugent-Hopkins can’t get there in time; the one-on-one turns into another one-on-two and San Jose gains possession again.
  • Nobody picks up Kearns and there’s a goal against.

Turnovers and ultimately fatigue kill Edmonton on this shift. But it’s not really a case of guys being too fancy; these are routine breakdowns. Nugent-Hopkins can’t make a pass quickly enough. Schultz misreads a simple bank pass. Perron’s simple bank clear gets picked off.

The funny thing is that up until the very end when nobody picks up Hannan or Kearns, these guys all do a pretty nice job of defending without the puck. They also do a nice job of engaging in puck battles. But they make a bunch of simple mistakes on simple plays, and eventually getting trapped catches up to a team.

San Jose, incidentally, does something the Oilers need to learn on offence, something that has nothing to do with size or strength: They make quick changes. When there’s an opportunity to switch personnel without losing possession, they take it every time. That, more than brute force, is what wears Edmonton down here.

Recently by Jonathan Willis

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, 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 me
January 03 2014, 12:24PM
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The fact that so many losers care about a team they don't play for cracks me up...get a life...try not cheering for a team because geography and need to feel like you belong to something that you have nothing to do with....the only thing u have in common is that you are LOSERS...but on the other hand I come here to laugh at your comments and how many of you think you know so much more....hahahahahaha

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#102 Zamboni Driver
January 03 2014, 01:48PM
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pkam wrote:

If this is hilarious, how funny is those who suggested to trade one of young core player for Kimmo Timonen, a 38 year old defenseman who is only 1 inch taller than this call up?

Yeah I'm pretty sure no one with half a brain suggested doing that, at least not straight up.

Now young player for Timonen and Simmonds, I think people mentioned that.

Also Timonen is (okay, WAS) awesome. Bill or Bob or whatever this munkin nobody is, I'm going to guess is slightly less awesome.

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#103 The Swarm
January 03 2014, 02:34PM
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Gaz wrote:

Not a lot of deep thinkers here today, or what?

Think of the message. It actually makes perfect sense:

If you equate or substitute "enlightenment" for "victory" this is actually a great ethos.

Sometimes people use metaphors to help convey their point. It's novel, I know.

I'd like to know what Jon Cooper's or Patrick Roy's metaphors are given their success this year as first time coaches with rosters no better than the Oilers. Something as obtuse as "chopping wood and carrying water" is so sad it's actually hilarious.

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#104 russ99
January 03 2014, 08:39AM
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When the defensive focus is primarily on moving the puck out of the zone, a key point in Eakins' systems, some opposing pressure can turn that focus into a turnover. Either the players or the coach refuses to adapt. A partial dump out of the neutral zone could have worked wonders and gotten us some fresh legs.

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#105 Woogie63
January 03 2014, 09:17AM
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JW nice article. I would make the observation much simplier,

Take away Time and Space

Get Goal side

Three behind the puck

This three habits have been the core of all team defensive habits since every player was 10 years old.

By now if a player is not committed to the habit. The coach has to balance the line combination with committed defensive players with the less committed, so the Team results is good.

I don't see any consistent evidence of balancing the lines from the current coaching staff.

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#106 Javaclub (a frustrated hockey fan)
January 03 2014, 09:26AM
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There are a lot of interesting comments, ideas and solutions posted here. I guess what it all comes down to is; who actually understands what is going on here? My answer is, only the players and management truly know. We as fans just have to either suffer out whatever is happening here and remain loyal, or stop buying tickets and merchandise and remove all support from this team. The only thing which speculation does as to what is happening, is to frustrate the fan and create high blood pressure and deeper depression.

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#107 pkam
January 03 2014, 10:55AM
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MessyEH! wrote:

In my opinion Eberle for Seguin is a straight swap. (In retrospective we should have down this trade in 2010 when Boston asked about it. )

As for the Horcoff thing. I kid, I kid. (We could use cogliano back.)

Seguin didn't go thru 3 coaches in 3 years and always have big linemates to create space for him. Do you really think Seguin will be as productive if he was an Oilers since 2010?

If we swapped Eberle for Seguin in 2010, I bet we will be blaming the management for another terrible trade.

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#108 aeiouY
January 03 2014, 11:26AM
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Sisyphys wrote:

Honest question here--and I want answers free from delusion, free from "what I really wish could happen but know its not realistic" answers:

How do you fix this? Where do you start? Even assuming you get a new GM, and a new head coach (yet another new system to learn, which sets things back for at least another entire season)....I don't know how you fix this in a real way.

There are so many holes, and so many issues with the player personnel that we already have on the team, that it makes fixing it, even with a good GM and a good coach, a very hard and long road. You cannot trade pieces of crap players for the solid players a contender needs. Yet you can't trade away the very few good players you do have, since you'll plug some holes and open up new ones in their place.

Genuine prediction here--the Oilers beat the playoff drought record, and its at least 2016-17 before there are even any glimpse of being considered a "good" team. I mean, consider this--all the fan boards now are talking about prospects who are coming down the pipeline. If that's all you have to look forward to, batten down the hatches and prepare for a lot more pain and embarrassment

Everybody knows it, but here is my 2 cents anyway.....we need to fix the back end.

To me, it would look like this and it would happen over a span of 48 hours. It has to happen in season and before the deadline. This team is sinking way to hard way to fast. The organization needs a hard fast turn and it is possible.

trade 1.

Gagner, hemsky, and petry to ottawa for z smith and j. cowen

trade 2.

yakupov (who I do not want to trade) to ny for M. staal (maybe you get a conditional pick back)

both staal and cowen have warts in their game and neither is a top pairing defenceman yet.... but they both have the chance to be soon. sooner than klefbom or nurse. And no NHL team is going around trading validated top pairing guys.

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#109 camdog
January 03 2014, 11:36AM
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Randaman wrote:

I see by all the thumbs down to your comment that the Kool-aid is still flowing and being consumed at a massive rate. This love affair with Snow Pants and Passive Eberle must be brought into perspective by management. Oh ya, never mind. What a lost cause this team is from top to bottom. You people want to win? Really? Unpopular trades are the only answer. Ekblad and McDavid wouldn't even help with this mis-management group. I am so pissed off with what is happening to this once proud franchise.

The thumbs down might be a result of people not believing you can fill holes by trading gags, because he has no value...

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#110 A-Mc
January 03 2014, 11:45AM
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Sisyphys wrote:

Honest question here--and I want answers free from delusion, free from "what I really wish could happen but know its not realistic" answers:

How do you fix this? Where do you start? Even assuming you get a new GM, and a new head coach (yet another new system to learn, which sets things back for at least another entire season)....I don't know how you fix this in a real way.

There are so many holes, and so many issues with the player personnel that we already have on the team, that it makes fixing it, even with a good GM and a good coach, a very hard and long road. You cannot trade pieces of crap players for the solid players a contender needs. Yet you can't trade away the very few good players you do have, since you'll plug some holes and open up new ones in their place.

Genuine prediction here--the Oilers beat the playoff drought record, and its at least 2016-17 before there are even any glimpse of being considered a "good" team. I mean, consider this--all the fan boards now are talking about prospects who are coming down the pipeline. If that's all you have to look forward to, batten down the hatches and prepare for a lot more pain and embarrassment

In all honesty there are only 2 ways to get out of this if we make 1 solid assumption.

Assumption:
The team is simply not good enough and there is literally zero chance that this collection of players will ever make the playoffs regardless of system buy in or added years of experience.

Option 1:
Draft Defensemen and sit on them for the next 4 years. Even at 4 years, we'd be rushing them along, but there is a slight chance that even inexperienced (yet decent) drafted defensemen bump the oilers into something other than a cellar team.

Option 2:
Flip our high draft picks for established players. It'll likely take a few more years of picking top 5 and flipping them for half decent players. To use language lowetide gravitates to: We'd only be getting 60-70 cents on the dollar for our draft pick flips. But the flip side is atleast the player is good enough to play NOW.

In both scenarios we're likely waiting a solid 2-3 years before anything changes

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#111 Gaz
January 03 2014, 12:55PM
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@spliff

Just out of curiousity, what part of "hockey intelligence" leads you to conclude these individuals are amateurs? Of the three, I think only MacT is the one to blame.

For my two cents, I would not choose MacT and Eakins to run my NHL team; I think people undervalued Krueger, and Howson is an extremely intelligent individual. Maybe not GM material, but you don't get worse having him on staff.

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#112 Serious Gord
January 03 2014, 01:26PM
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Gaz wrote:

@Serious Gord

See your comment - #25 - you were incredulous that Eakins played the silent card. Just curious if you are indignant about that move in general, or only if Eakins does it?

I agree that coaches motivate players, but I think assembling players with this character flaw is once again on management.

4 coaches in 5 years; Renney is top-notch and Kreuger came with international pedigree. I agree that Eakins and Quinn are "meh" at best...but surely you don't think it's been a coaching issue all along, do you?

Once in a blue moon is one thing, but Eakins has been catatonic more often than not behind the bench. From the very first time I heard him speak at the first presser he struck me as a very self-absorbed person. And his behavior since then only confirms it. My guess is he is spending more time thinking "woe is me" than he is about how to motivate this team.

And Krueger and Rennie are head coaching which NHL teams at present ?

Coaching is just one of many problems - chronic problems. And fixing it only fixes one thing. But at least that would be one less thing.

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#113 Gaz
January 03 2014, 01:31PM
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@nick

Oh my.

At no point did I suggest the two were even in the same stratosphere of ability.

If you'd digested my comment, you would understand that I was challenging people that were ripping into him for that move. Better coaches than him have done it before.

I was not kidding you, and in the future I won't try to kid you, because you clearly aren't able to comprehend what is being written.

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#114 Serious Gord
January 03 2014, 01:49PM
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Gaz wrote:

Fair comment re: Eakins. I don't disagree. I'm challenging you because you're obviously biased with respect to any move that current management makes.

Re: Krueger & Renney - their current assignments aren't exactly slumming it, you know.

What would be your solution to the coaching problem that you clearly think is a major reason for the team's failure?

I don't know who would be the best option.

Ideally Lowe should be fired. But if that is a non-starter with Daryl Wrigley Katz, then Eakins should be cut loose (from his four year contract!!!) and MacT should step in as coach for the rest of the season to allow for a proper search. Keep in kind that others - Calgary almost certainly being one - are searching for coaches as well so time - public search time - is of the essence.

But that only would fix one thing and I have little faith that the clown who hired Eakins in the first place (did I mention that it was to a four year term?!!) wouldn't screw it up again.

My personal preference is well known to regulars here. Fire Lowe first. But things have now deteriorated to the point that Eakins should also be removed immediately and MacT be put in as interim and then the new POHO can replace them all in an organized, unhurried fashion.

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#115 Rama Lama
January 03 2014, 02:32PM
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A-Mc wrote:

I didn't mention coaching because i dont believe a coaching change can or will happen. Eakins could 100% be the problem but IMO i think we're stuck with him for atleast 3 years.

The players will have to dig themselves out of this hole with a little help from Mac T.

Your logic is confounding? Exactly where does it say we have to keep this guy for three years?

If you made a hire that has failed miserably ( you know in your heart things are not going to get better for the next 40 games) do you not correct the mistake?

Just because Eakins has been hired does not mean he cannot be fired. Mac T was supposed to hire an assistant for RK and I for one believe that Eakins should have been mentored under someone with experience.

Mac T screwed up ( he knows it) and the fact that players have NOT bought into Eakins system, tells me everything I need to know.

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#116 oilers1168
January 03 2014, 10:14AM
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Excellent read. Shows how important short shifts and depth of bench usage is important. Its even more important on back to back games.

This is where coaching is important. Role all four lines and monitor players total minutes of ice time and shifts.

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#117 pkam
January 03 2014, 10:18AM
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camdog wrote:

I would fire Kevin Lowe. The firing would be more symbolic now rather than operational as the damage has already been done. It would send the message that nobody is safe. Not long ago Mac-t said that he has 8-9 core players that he believes in and doesn't want to trade. Other than Hall and RNH nobody should be so privileged to be safe, not on a team this bad and that includes Kevin Lowe.

This organization desperately needs a fresh face. Somebody who can honestly evaluate the players on this team. Mact may turn out to be a great GM, but he is biased, by previous relationships with players, how else can A player like Gags be guaranteed safety?

Unless Katz hires a puppet to replace Kevin Lowe, the hiring of a new president of HC most likely results in new GM and new coaches. So do you want a puppet, or new GM and new coaches?

Just look at Calgary, BB just fired JF and you know Hartley will be next when the new GM reports to duty.

I'll rather give the current management another year or 2, and if it doesn't work out, replace them all at the same time.

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#118 Oil Is My Blood
January 03 2014, 11:37AM
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Great Article.

Anyway that MacT considers the following BOLD move?

Fire Steve Smith, replace him with Jonathan Willis. Gets the fans off his back, and makes his coaching staff better!!

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#119 pkam
January 03 2014, 12:39PM
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A-Mc wrote:

Quite possibly, yes.

Then it is not an option for me. I'll rather wait another 4 years to have a cup contender than a playoff contender.

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#120 pkam
January 03 2014, 01:11PM
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K_Mart wrote:

How do we get out hit by something like 25 to 10 when we NEVER HAD THE PUCK?

We are a soft, non contact team playing a contact sport. Arco(our 3' physical presence) can't come back soon enough. Same goes for Pitlick. Prefer him over Joensuu.

Acro can hit but can't scare the opponent with his hit. And he got injured when it comes to his turn to take a big hit. Since turning pro, Pitlick is spending more time on IR than on ice.

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#121 Gaz
January 03 2014, 01:12PM
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@The Swarm

Not a lot of deep thinkers here today, or what?

Think of the message. It actually makes perfect sense:

If you equate or substitute "enlightenment" for "victory" this is actually a great ethos.

Sometimes people use metaphors to help convey their point. It's novel, I know.

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#122 Gaz
January 03 2014, 01:34PM
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@Serious Gord

Fair comment re: Eakins. I don't disagree. I'm challenging you because you're obviously biased with respect to any move that current management makes.

Re: Krueger & Renney - their current assignments aren't exactly slumming it, you know.

What would be your solution to the coaching problem that you clearly think is a major reason for the team's failure?

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#123 Anthony D'Amore
January 03 2014, 09:08AM
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WOW. Great analysis and article

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#124 Rama Lama
January 03 2014, 11:30AM
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I think that Lowetide absolutely nailed it on his website with his latest article.........pure gold!

As Bruce Buffer says.......it's time!

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#125 pkam
January 03 2014, 12:04PM
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A-Mc wrote:

In all honesty there are only 2 ways to get out of this if we make 1 solid assumption.

Assumption:
The team is simply not good enough and there is literally zero chance that this collection of players will ever make the playoffs regardless of system buy in or added years of experience.

Option 1:
Draft Defensemen and sit on them for the next 4 years. Even at 4 years, we'd be rushing them along, but there is a slight chance that even inexperienced (yet decent) drafted defensemen bump the oilers into something other than a cellar team.

Option 2:
Flip our high draft picks for established players. It'll likely take a few more years of picking top 5 and flipping them for half decent players. To use language lowetide gravitates to: We'd only be getting 60-70 cents on the dollar for our draft pick flips. But the flip side is atleast the player is good enough to play NOW.

In both scenarios we're likely waiting a solid 2-3 years before anything changes

Does option 2 mean a team good enough for playoff contender but will never be good enough to be a cup contender?

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#126 Serious Gord
January 03 2014, 12:59PM
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The Swarm wrote:

It's on the wall in the Oilers dressing room and was quoted by Eakins. Unless I was having a nightmare I am pretty sure I saw it on Oil Change last night. The explanation of what the hell it means was copied from the internet. God help us.

So he just said the first four words. That's a relief.

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#127 pkam
January 03 2014, 01:00PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

Why wait? Firing lowe begins the process - a process that takes time - you can't fire and replace POHO GM coach and assistants all at once.

Because we just changed the GM and the HC. We need to give them some time to show their result.

And I don't believe the POHC really have much involvement in day to day hockey operation.

So if we replace MacT and Eakins, we basically give up a year, with no guarantee that it will be any better.

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#128 tired
January 03 2014, 01:29PM
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@FireKLowe

Please- can you, a reporter with zero coaching experience at high level hockey, take this further and break down the coaching performance as well as their emotional state. Open displays of emotion on the bench guarantee success- ask Ron Lowe

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#129 Serious Gord
January 03 2014, 01:33PM
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** wrote:

Why would Gagner want to leave Edmonton?. He's treated like a king, gets millions for playing mediocre hockey, keeps getting ice time no matter how much he f#4s up. At ay other team he would be seeing the game from the press box on a regular basis and he would definitively have a smaller contract.

Somewhere else he can toil in mediocrity in comfortable obscurity. And if it's south enough he can get in a lot more golf etc.

And his pay scale is locked in for several years by which time he won't give a damn.

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#130 hall the time
January 03 2014, 06:13PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Weak owner

Weak President

Weak GM

Weak coaches

Weak scouts

Weak players.

See a pattern.No wonder they are a perennial lotto team.

I just wanted to repost it because its so true.

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#131 Way2patient
January 04 2014, 05:43PM
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2004Z06 wrote:

And yet every night is a sellout!

Stop your bitching and put your money where your mouth is!

The only way Lowe gets fired is if every damn ticket holder calls the Oilers office and asks for his head.

Stop buying the merchandise, boycott a game or two...The organizations biggest fear is that fans become indifferent. Well make it happen!

Are you for real? Do you know what happens to canadian teams that can't fill buildings (hell, even to canadian teams that don't fill big enough buildings)? They get moved. Katz may be star struck by his old heroes but he won't hesitate to yank the oilers out of Alberta. Besides, there is a word reserved for fans who abandon their team in rough times; theyre called bandwagon fans.

Like it or not, we are spectators, and it is not incumbent upon us to "do" anything. And empty buildings don't do s***

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#132 aeiouY
January 03 2014, 11:40AM
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@camdog

that is why you have to package him

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#133 A-Mc
January 03 2014, 12:16PM
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Rama Lama wrote:

ASSUMPTION:

We have the right coach and management to see thing through to their logical conclusion.

I think it's time to seriously ask ourselves, "maybe we had the right coach in Krueger all along"? Just maybe the players have tuned out this current coach and his egomaniac ways? Just how many times is Mr. Blame going to run his players over and over?

The team has tuned out Mr. Fitness and his three stooges!

I didn't mention coaching because i dont believe a coaching change can or will happen. Eakins could 100% be the problem but IMO i think we're stuck with him for atleast 3 years.

The players will have to dig themselves out of this hole with a little help from Mac T.

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#134 A-Mc
January 03 2014, 12:17PM
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pkam wrote:

Does option 2 mean a team good enough for playoff contender but will never be good enough to be a cup contender?

Quite possibly, yes.

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#135 **
January 03 2014, 01:04PM
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Oaster wrote:

Johnny Willis, that was a damn good read! I like these break downs of the break downs. I wasn't going to comment, but then the show Oil Change is mentioned. Now it's interesting idea for the fans, but that crap has to end. All the 24/7 shows before the Winter classic are labelled as "curses" maybe it’s time the Oilers scrap this knock off HBO show. Not everyone wants to be on TV or have their lives shown to thousands of people (potentially) what’s the worst that can happen?

watch the video dude: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XExum0-u8wI.

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#136 FireKLowe
January 03 2014, 02:39PM
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tired wrote:

Please- can you, a reporter with zero coaching experience at high level hockey, take this further and break down the coaching performance as well as their emotional state. Open displays of emotion on the bench guarantee success- ask Ron Lowe

I'm talking judging Eakins line matching and how he used his players in key situations. It's not rocket science.

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#137 Gaz
January 03 2014, 03:49PM
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@The Swarm

It's a metephor, and a pretty vanilla one. Not really obtuse.

I misplaced Roy and Cooper's phone numbers, so I can't ask them at the moment, but their message is probably pretty similar: work hard and enlightenment (success) will follow.

Why do people have such a hard time understanding what that message is? It's no more ridiculous than "protect this house" or any other goofy saying that teams put up.

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