December 02 2014 06:00PM
Every week I answer five questions from all of you. The good, bad and dumb questions are all answered. It is now your turn to answer mine. I only have three questions. I couldn't compete with your ability to produce five.
Here you go!
1 - Why do you want Katz, MacT or Lowe to come out and speak?
This makes no sense to me. What do you want to hear? An apology? A plan? Are you looking to be inspired? Talk is just that...talk. It's not going to change anything.
As a player, I was always about results. If a teammate or a coach told me they were going to do something I would think it's great, they are talking a good game, lets see how this goes. If a guy said he wanted to get stronger, would I see him in the gym the next morning? If he was concerned about his weight, would I see him putting back bagels dripping in cream cheese the next morning? He wanted to kill penalties, so would he flamingo all over the ice when shots were coming at him?
Talk is easy and cheap. Results are all that matters. Anyone can say they want to change or improve, but putting a plan into action is much harder.
Personally, I don't need to hear from anyone in the organization. This won't do anything for me. I suppose, if it is an action press conference, where a change is happening with the staff or a trade, then I would be interested. I am not interested, however, in a state of the union. Quite frankly you shouldn't be either.
2 - Why are the goalies blamed for so much of the lack of success for the Oilers?
Ben Scrivens and Viktor Fasth have yet to prove they are NHL starters. That day may never come, however, since they are both fighting for their lives in the net every night. Right now, they're getting very little consistent support around them from their teammates. The lack of an overall team defensive structure, and consistent ability to play it, has got to be frustrating for these two. These goalies face five bell chances every single period. Breakaways, two on ones, three on twos, and top NHL snipers being left in the slot alone happens far too frequently.
These two have let in some bad goals, and they have owned up to it. But why do you all let the skaters off the hook with their defensive play? I can't understand it. Yes, the goalies are easy targets to pin a failed season on, but there's plenty of blame to spread around.
3 - Why is it just assumed that Oilers scorers that are struggling to score will simply rebound to their "previous" shooting percentage of years past?
This may be the most baffling of my three questions. This question is the one I would really want some clear answers for.
I get that players go through tough times, and that their previously set benchmarks are what becomes expected for them. But if a player is struggling to score is it just luck that turns around for them? Can it be that easy? LUCK? In a game that players work out, and practice all year to prepare for, success comes down to the worst phrase in hockey: "PUCK LUCK?" No, it doesn't.
Goals are earned the hard way. You don't score goals by shooting from the perimeter, or trying to tip pucks in with a long stick so you don't get roughed up in front of the goalie. Scoring goals hurts, and it should because it is so much fun to do.
An example is Yakupov. His shooting percentage is 5.5%. Down from 9.0% last season. He is playing too much on the perimeter. He needs to get to the net, and battle for position and goals. That will get him on track and open up for the further out shots he likes to shoot. That is what will increase his goal total and shooting percentage. It won't just go up on it on because that is what has happened in the past. He needs to change his playing habits, not pray to the hockey gods for the words phrase in hockey, "PUCK LUCK"