Unacceptable

Jonathan Willis
February 01 2014 01:58PM

Without superhuman goaltending from Ben Scrivens (and he was just fine in today's loss) the Edmonton Oilers were on the wrong end of a 4-0 score against Boston. They were outshot, outchanced, somehow outhit despite never having the puck and flat-out out-played.

The Last Two Games

 

Edmonton has allowed 100 shots over its last two contests. They have matched up against the NHL's powers and been found not just wanting but humiliatingly, embarassingly unable to even put in a respectable showing. Team Switzerland has been more competitive in Olympic matches against Team Canada.

The scoring chances today paint an ugly picture of an outsmarted, outskilled and outworked team:

The Problems

 
The problems are myriad. Let's take a quick walk-through:

  • The powerplay. A strength as recently as a year ago - with much the same cast of players - it has devolved into a terrible weakness. Boston outchanced Edmonton 2-0 during Oilers powerplays today, and after a decent start to the night a first period power play sucked whatever energy the team had out of them. This one is on the coaching staff.
  • The Oilers had a top-10 penalty kill a year ago. This year, they sit 17th in the NHL, and they allowed two goals on five opportunities against the Bruins. The cast may even be improved from last season - this one too is on the coaches.
  • The top line. A year ago, the top line was an undisciplined run-and-gun trio that outshot and outchanced the opposition. This year, it's an undisciplined run-and-gun trio that gets badly outshot and outchanced by the opposition.
  • Sam Gagner. Just that.
  • The defence. This one is on the current general manager to some degree, and on the one before him to a much larger degree. A year ago, Nick Schultz and Justin Schultz were in over their heads as the Oilers' second pair. Currently, they're in over their heads as the Oilers' top pair. Andrew Ference and Jeff Petry have good points, but they're being asked to play at levels well beyond their ability to handle. Rookie Martin Marincin is in the top-four on merit. Mark Fraser is just the latest addition to a forgetable group of bottom-pairing blue liners that have demonstrated little beyond an ability to get lit up in the NHL.

Today's loss is yet another in a long series of humiliating low points for the Oilers. There is no excuse. It cannot be allowed to continue. This team desperately needs to turn things around, and soon. Maybe that means reworking the coaching staff so that new assistants can add some outside insight during an Olympic break reworking of team strategy - and provide better support for a rookie head coach. Maybe it means replacing Dallas Eakins with a veteran NHL bench boss.

Maybe it means more than that, or that and more than that. But this team cannot continue as-is. 

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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#151 Pouzar99
February 01 2014, 11:01PM
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I am as frustrated as every other diehard Oiler fan, and fixing this mess will be very hard. The number one problem is Lowe, of course, and we need to find a proven experienced hockey man, who is not an ex-Oiler to come in and clean house. The right man might choose to keep a manager or two but all, or nearly all, must certainly go, obviously including the entire coaching staff, apart from our man in OKC. Hopefully there is enough of a core here, with at least a Top 3 pick coming, to convince such a person to take the reins and my God, they better get the right person. That is if they are even thinking of doing this, as who is competent to tell Katz whom to bring in?

Then there are the players, who have to share a lot of responsibility for the mess we are in. We can slam the top line but they showed under Renney and Kreuger that they can be stars in this league if properly coached and managed. Imagine where we would be today if Renney had not been fired, or Kreuger had not been fired? Things have never been worse than they are right now. The compete level is abysmal, the special teams are totally broken and the players, those that are still trying, look utterly lost. Finally the fans are in open rebellion, but powerless to effect anything.

I fear that nothing much will change for next year. Same president, GM and head coach. They might dump an assistant coach or two, pick up a useful piece at the trade deadline, free agency or the draft, and likely be better next year but for the first time I have increasing doubts that we will be even a playoff team in the near future if major managerial changes are not made and that we are years away from the playoffs even if they are made.

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#152 dougtheslug
February 01 2014, 11:17PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

You're right, of course.

Serially hiring incompetent, unsatisfactory coaches has to stop.

The solution, of course, is to fire the cadre that made the serial hiring mistakes so that the next coach hired is an enduring and successful one.

Actually, I'm not sure that management hired a series of incompetent coaches. I think they made a series of incompetent decisions, serially firing competent coaches as scapegoats for their own managerial incompetence.

And I don't think the fans blamed the past coaches. I don't recall a groundswell of popular support calling for Renney's or Krueger's scalp

They really only hired one incompetent coach. And it is on MacT to correct his mistake, as JW points out, sooner rather than later.

Renney was hired almost immediately upon his dismissal by a competent organization, the RedWings. Krueger found work right away with Hockey Canada.

After this audition, I can't imagine what organization will be beating down Eakins door, if MacT does the right thing.

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#153 Oilerz4life
February 02 2014, 12:11AM
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and trade Gagner.

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#154 Eddie Shore
February 02 2014, 12:34AM
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End the misery. Daryl, are you there??

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#155 Dwarr
February 02 2014, 01:02AM
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Hey I liked Kruger many argued he wasn't a head coach mane not solo but when a man is part of a Canadian Olympic hockey team he has to be near the top of his field or have top notch grasp on a certain aspect of the game. So in my opinion he should have stayed maybe brought in an experienced mentor like originally thought was going to happen. Now Eakins comes in and has issues with all the areas the previous regim had measurable amounts of success. He is way over his head not making compatible systems for the talent provided. He has many qualities that have not transferred well at all to the nhl or this team. He may some day prove to be a useful assistant coach to some team with his fitness and dietary focuses but he will never succed on his own merit as a head coach in this league. Perfect time to bring a near coach in time to maybe right this ship and start fresh over the Olympic break to retool and fix the monstrosity that this team has become this year.

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#156 seanjohn667
February 02 2014, 01:07AM
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actually Jonathan, this can, and will, continue like this. there is no reason to make the team better. they will start next season without an single bold move, switch out fringe players with other fringe players. they will start next season with the same make up as this. they will be completely dominated by most of the teams because they will be too small. Next season will be identical this one.

book it.

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#157 Spydyr
February 02 2014, 06:45AM
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beloch wrote:

The 2014 pick is looking pretty sweet right about now. What they heck. Cash it in.

The 2015 1st round pick? Trade it.
The 2016 1st round pick? Trade it.
The 2017 1st round pick? Trade it.

Burn the ships to show the troops that retreat is not an option. Use those picks to bring back some hard-working defensively responsible players with good work-ethics and decent contracts. To get all that, these guys may not be as offensively flashy as you'd hope to get for 1st rounders, but the goal is to make those crap first rounders.

Next:

-Bench any forward who cherry-picks while the opposing team has possession.
-If Gagner wasn't cherry-picking, bench him anyways for having the most ironic name in the NHL.
-Bag skate. Bag skate. Bag skate.
-Blast off and nuke Lowe from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.
-Tell the kids that they're no longer kids with great potential. They're adults who are failing because they're slacking off.
-Ask the players to donate half their salary to charity and apologize to all of Edmonton for not doing more to earn it. Maybe class and accountability can start off the ice.
-If the team doesn't have a sports psychologist, hire one.
-If the team does have a sports psychologist, fire him.
-Terminate Eakins' command with extreme prejudice.
-Pay the ice girls to follow Hall, Nuge, Eberle, etc. around during commercial breaks while saying things like, "Gee you guys are slacking off tonight!" or "Poor baby. Want me to beat him up for you?"
-Save every sweater fans throw on the ice and hang them up in the dressing room. Let the team burn one each time they win four games in a row.
-Instruct hotels used by the team that alcohol is off the room-service menu and send the whole damned team to AA.
-Borrow a hard-hat from the Flames. Leave it hanging on the wall unless somebody earns it.
-Take the 'C' away from Ference. It goes on the wall next to the hard-hat until somebody starts earning the hard-hat on a regular basis.
-Have the video room guys splice scenes from "Rocky" into the review tapes.
-Put the damned Gretzky pictures back in the dressing room.

Don't you know you cannot discipline kids anymore and everyone gets a participation trophy.

No responsibility for your actions. Thanks for coming here is a trophy.

It shows.

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#158 Batfink
February 02 2014, 08:26AM
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outdoorzguy wrote:

My earlier post was edited. Points were added in that I did not write. Does JW do this? Any of the other writers? Perhaps an editor? This is unacceptable. I have now lost confidence in this site as I now must question the authenticity of any posting placed here. Like the Oilers, this site has now become a sham!

dude, I tried to log on one day under my previous user name and was denied. Then posts started appearing under my previous user name always the opposite of what ever the blogger was saying. I don't know if some jerk hacked the site, or this IS the site.

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#159 Primo
February 02 2014, 09:04AM
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@camdog

Just going by the win streak facts provided by HNIC. I like your optimism about the Flames drafting Ekblad which is actually my preference as the next 2 years of drafting are critical for Flames.

Unfortunately the trend in Calgary shows winning and 2 teams going in opposite directions. I'll let you decide which team is which.

As far as the Burke and Lowe feud is concerned I will rely on Burkes managerial hockey knowledge (no 6 rings as a player) and trade savvy to rebuild the Flames quickly without any vision of the Oiler disaster of the last 7 years.

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#160 Rick Stroppel
February 02 2014, 09:05AM
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tileguy wrote:

Very weak brother, that's all hindsight ship except for the Eakins hiring.

OOPS! MISSED ONE!

Of course it is hindsight. You cannot criticize people for FUTURE mistakes because they have not been made yet.

In any event, I forgot:

12. Trading Ladislav Smid for almost nothing. Oilers only physical defenseman, currently #5 in the NHL in blocked shots.

BTW, Calgary has three of the top eight players in the league in blocked shots.

Stauffer was talking about Calgary a few weeks ago. He said they were WAY behind Edmonton in their rebuild, and they only had one legit prospect, Sean Monahan. Poor Calgary! Only seven points ahead of Edmonton!

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#161 Oasis
February 02 2014, 10:38AM
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@vetinari

Even if we did convince Scrivens to sign here he is not a legitimate Number 1. He is a good back up or a 2nd half of a 1/2 goalie tandem. He has played well for 2 games but don't forget that he is playing for a contract next year (see Ryan Jones play of late). I hope he continues to play well but am I alone in thinking that we have not seen the real Ben Scrivens yet?

Going into next year all the Oilers need is a true Number 1 goalie, at LEAST 1 top pairing defensemen, a big/legitimate #2 centre, and some more size/grit in the top 6. I don't see a problem with us acquiring that at all. Remember, we got "6 rings" and "Bold Moves" at the helm...........we will be fine.

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#162 T&A4Flames
February 02 2014, 12:23PM
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beloch wrote:

The 2014 pick is looking pretty sweet right about now. What they heck. Cash it in.

The 2015 1st round pick? Trade it.
The 2016 1st round pick? Trade it.
The 2017 1st round pick? Trade it.

Burn the ships to show the troops that retreat is not an option. Use those picks to bring back some hard-working defensively responsible players with good work-ethics and decent contracts. To get all that, these guys may not be as offensively flashy as you'd hope to get for 1st rounders, but the goal is to make those crap first rounders.

Next:

-Bench any forward who cherry-picks while the opposing team has possession.
-If Gagner wasn't cherry-picking, bench him anyways for having the most ironic name in the NHL.
-Bag skate. Bag skate. Bag skate.
-Blast off and nuke Lowe from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.
-Tell the kids that they're no longer kids with great potential. They're adults who are failing because they're slacking off.
-Ask the players to donate half their salary to charity and apologize to all of Edmonton for not doing more to earn it. Maybe class and accountability can start off the ice.
-If the team doesn't have a sports psychologist, hire one.
-If the team does have a sports psychologist, fire him.
-Terminate Eakins' command with extreme prejudice.
-Pay the ice girls to follow Hall, Nuge, Eberle, etc. around during commercial breaks while saying things like, "Gee you guys are slacking off tonight!" or "Poor baby. Want me to beat him up for you?"
-Save every sweater fans throw on the ice and hang them up in the dressing room. Let the team burn one each time they win four games in a row.
-Instruct hotels used by the team that alcohol is off the room-service menu and send the whole damned team to AA.
-Borrow a hard-hat from the Flames. Leave it hanging on the wall unless somebody earns it.
-Take the 'C' away from Ference. It goes on the wall next to the hard-hat until somebody starts earning the hard-hat on a regular basis.
-Have the video room guys splice scenes from "Rocky" into the review tapes.
-Put the damned Gretzky pictures back in the dressing room.

OMG be loch you just made my day. Frickin' hilarious.

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#163 Ed in Edmonton
February 02 2014, 01:11PM
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Jordan Nugent-Hallkins wrote:

I feel like the organization itself is toxic. They need to go total scorched earth: fire everyone. All the coaches, obviously Lowe, completely remove the position of POHO, let the GM have full control.

I'm willing to give MacT a little more time, he's shown he's at least capable of making moves and recognizing team needs.

You would think a person with plenty of success in the business world would have concluded his hickey organization, as it currently stands, is dysfunctional and must be changed. Katz needs to bring in an "organization doctor" to advise him on how to fix, who goes, who stays etc.

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#164 Rod from Viking
February 02 2014, 01:23PM
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@Death Metal Nightmare

I don't think it has taken this long for a lot of people. I was at the draft party at Rexall when they drafted Sam, Plante and Nash in 2007 and was sick about every pick, they had just been to the Stanley Cup finals with a big gritty team with a stud defense man,(don't look who was drafted after them). Ganger and Hemsky are the only two draft picks left that were picked by this team from 2000-2007. who was the GM? I also was a far bigger fan of Cogliano because of his speed and durability. Mac T was in love with Gagner because he was the most skillful player the Oilers had from 07-his leaving the team. He actually played with a lot more heart a few years ago but was never more than a third line player.

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#165 Serious Gord
February 02 2014, 02:10PM
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Jordan Nugent-Hallkins wrote:

I feel like the organization itself is toxic. They need to go total scorched earth: fire everyone. All the coaches, obviously Lowe, completely remove the position of POHO, let the GM have full control.

I'm willing to give MacT a little more time, he's shown he's at least capable of making moves and recognizing team needs.

Please see the list of MacT's errors thusfar futher back in this thread and get back to me on your BOLD assertion that "...he's shown he's at least capable of making moves and recognizing team needs."

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#166 D-Unit
February 02 2014, 03:31PM
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Thumby wrote:

Hey bud - opinions are like a-holes...and everyone here has one.

I'm sorry to see you are getting strangled by yours.

So pull you head out of your a$$, smell the fresh air and realize that winning games 81 and 82 is retarded when you are out of the playoffs and in line for a top 5 lottery pick (which could have been Jones or a much needed 2 way center).

I have always wanted the Oil to win, but I don't think moral victories matter when you have such a dramatic need to get as many DIFFERNCE makers as you can as quickly as you can. And the probability of getting a difference maker drops off significantly after the top 4 or 5 picks in a given year.

BTW, who made you god of ON? I'll post as often as I like.

So, when is it too early to be out of the playoffs and start playing for losses? 10 games? 15 games? I mean, honestly, you can be out of the playoffs at that time.

You never did explain which games they won that were meaningless? Was it the first 5 wins or the last 5 they won?

I never did say they should win 81 or 82 games.

If you think losing is the answer, maybe you should call Lowe of Katz for a job. Unless of course you already work for them, and you know losing is the answer and are towing the company line.

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#167 TeddyTurnbuckle
February 01 2014, 02:11PM
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Couple of things. Didn't like the play when Nuge passed it to Eberle breaking out of the zone but Eberle was changing and it came back the other way. Why is he changing before his team is able to dump it in. Didn't like the play when the defense were changing inside the Boston blue line while a puck battle was going on just outside the blue line. We won the puck battle but we went offside. You are allowed to jump over the boards so you are not offside you know? Lastly Taylor Hall's back pass to the other team summed up his night and that's why he isn't on team Canada.

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#168 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
February 01 2014, 02:39PM
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By the sounds of it, missing this game was a very, very good thing.

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#169 Rick Stroppel
February 01 2014, 02:44PM
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SERIOUS QUESTIONS ABOUT GAGNER

I honestly don't know the answers to these questions. Is his NTC reduced to writing in his contract? Does the NTC remain in effect for the last two years of his contract if he is traded? If so, he is basically untradeable. A team looking at the long term will simply wait for the summer hoping to get him on the cheap after a compliance buy-out. A team looking for short-term help will not want any part of that contract with a NTC.

Can the Oilers trade him and agree to pay part of his contract? Does this count against the cap?

Sorry about the silly questions and thanks for the answers.

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#170 Buck Negged
February 01 2014, 02:51PM
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Another disgraceful display. Total lack of effort. Too many mental brain fart pass attempts through multiple sticks. And too many multi-millionaire "super stars" trying to beat multiple NHL players with junior hockey moves. MOVE YOUR LEGS AND THE PUCK QUICKER. DUH!

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#171 D-Unit
February 01 2014, 03:00PM
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Rick Stroppel wrote:

SERIOUS QUESTIONS ABOUT GAGNER

I honestly don't know the answers to these questions. Is his NTC reduced to writing in his contract? Does the NTC remain in effect for the last two years of his contract if he is traded? If so, he is basically untradeable. A team looking at the long term will simply wait for the summer hoping to get him on the cheap after a compliance buy-out. A team looking for short-term help will not want any part of that contract with a NTC.

Can the Oilers trade him and agree to pay part of his contract? Does this count against the cap?

Sorry about the silly questions and thanks for the answers.

According to Capgeek, the NTC in Gagners contract is only 2014-15. This year, it is the "verbal" that MacT gave him, whatever that's worth.

If he gets traded this year, the NTC would still be in effect next year.

According to Elliotte Friedmans 30 thoughts this week, Gagner could not be a compliance buy out, as he signed the deal after the current CBA came into effect.

The Oilers could trade him, and continue to pay some of his salary. Yes it would count against the Oilers cap.

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#172 Show me da Money
February 01 2014, 03:43PM
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That power play is such a mystery. With the same young players being one year older and hopefully improved it should have been a power play to fear.

Is it the players or the coaching this year that is responsible for the poor results? Wasn't that Krueger's baby last year?

I am guessing/hoping that the assistant coaches Eakins inherited were done with the understanding that if they didn't work out this year that they would be gone. Please let that be the case.

You can only do so much with poor talent of which the Oilers have plenty but for gawds sake, that power play should be otherworldly by now.

Nothing against Bucky and Smith but guys it's obvious that you aren't part of the solution.

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#173 ColourMeImpressed
February 01 2014, 04:11PM
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Keep posting like this and soon you'll be on CnB.

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#174 **
February 01 2014, 06:07PM
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It was painful to see the team slowly falling apart as time went by. THey just gradually collapsed. To my eyes, aside from Gagner, everyone else seemd to keep trying hard, but they were just hitting a wall time and again. I comend Eakins for acknowledging he may be in trouble, but it is Mac Tavish who has to open his eyes and have an honest look at what's wrong. At the end of the day he is the only one who is going to be able to do something about it.

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#175 kale
February 01 2014, 06:32PM
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Ivan Drago wrote:

Because MacT can't go back in time. He can't fix 7 yrs of losing with one off season, when the coming season had a salary cap going down. Hes made mistakes, we all do regardless of our profession. But Perron, Gordon, Ference are all solid additions. Eakins may have been a mistake. Signing Gags was another. Using the word Bold, was prob his biggest. MacT will improve as GM with time, like most of us do when gaining experience.

Let me ask this, what has MacT done or not done to show he is incapable of turning this around? I'd love to hear from all you armchair gm's who played Jr B and think they know it all.

Rick Stroppel

"Let me ask this, what has MacT done or not done to show he is incapable of turning this around? I'd love to hear from all you armchair gm's who played Jr B and think they know it all.

good point...he has moved us from drafting 6th overall to 2nd in a half a season

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#176 cubsfan
February 01 2014, 06:36PM
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JW wrote,"Team Switzerland has been more competitive in Olympic matches against Team Canada."

Problem Solved!!!

Why doesnt MacT go out and hire the coach of Team Switzerland?

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#177 He Who Knows
February 01 2014, 07:10PM
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Look at Columbus. Look at us. Fire Lowe just heated up again.

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#178 dougtheslug
February 01 2014, 07:36PM
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Bruce McCurdy, in "Cult of Hockey" wrote (in his evaluation of todays game)....

"#89 Sam Gagner, 2 (out of 10). He kept catching my eye in a bad way. Last guy back over his own blueline time and again, taking bad routes to the puck, doing flybys instead of skating through the man. Those bad habits caught up with him twice and he’s got a nice shiny -2 to prove it. First on that wraparound goal, when any sort of aggressive stand against Hamilton on the far side of the net might have got the job done; instead, it was 89, and the puck was in the net. This on a sequence that began with a weak clearance by Gagner into the neutral zone that had the Bruins re-engaging with speed. Minutes later, he was the last guy floating back over his own blueline when a stray puck went right through the middle (a.k.a. “centre”) of the zone to the goal scorer. Was also one of the defensive culprits on the disallowed goal, losing his man in front and stranding himself in the middle of nowhere. Despite playing hardly at all against Boston’s defensive ace Chara, he did little enough with the disc on his blade, getting one half-chance in the third but on the continuation failing to shoot, pass or stickhandle and being dispossessed of the puck. Later had a brutal turnover right in the middle of his own slot. Engaged in one good d-zone sequence early in the third when his line got owned all the same, and a couple of OK o-zone moments when separated from his usual linemates. About this >

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#179 Greb
February 01 2014, 07:40PM
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Ivan Drago wrote:

Because MacT can't go back in time. He can't fix 7 yrs of losing with one off season, when the coming season had a salary cap going down. Hes made mistakes, we all do regardless of our profession. But Perron, Gordon, Ference are all solid additions. Eakins may have been a mistake. Signing Gags was another. Using the word Bold, was prob his biggest. MacT will improve as GM with time, like most of us do when gaining experience.

Let me ask this, what has MacT done or not done to show he is incapable of turning this around? I'd love to hear from all you armchair gm's who played Jr B and think they know it all.

He signed Grebeshkov. No one other then him expected that to work.

Whats wrong with Jr B? I am guessing you never played? House league perhaps?

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#180 Alsker
February 01 2014, 07:56PM
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@dougtheslug

Don't worry about snowpants, Eakins+MacT have it all worked out. When things go bad do the following:

1) Bench Yak

2) Put on line with Hall + Ebs

3) Extra PP time

4) Blame a russian in post-game

So fear not our MVP will be just fine....LMAO

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#181 Kevin
February 01 2014, 08:45PM
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He Who Knows wrote:

Look at Columbus. Look at us. Fire Lowe just heated up again.

simply put Columbus has John Davidson we have six rings. Lowe must Go !

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#182 johnjohn
February 01 2014, 09:59PM
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K_Mart wrote:

I can't believe I'm saying this... But it's coaching. What system are they playing?!?!

They're playing the Flying V offence and the TieThemUp in Our End (and tire them out) defence

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#183 kale
February 01 2014, 10:44PM
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and meanwhile Calgary rolls on...that so sucks

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#184 dougtheslug
February 01 2014, 10:53PM
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Overheard this evening:

Daryl Katz: Um... Kevin... Calgary just won their fifth in row. They're 7 points up on us with 2 games in hand.....and they haven't had a single first overall pick.What gives?

Kevin Lowe: Yeah, those guys don't seem to realize that first overalls are what jumpstart the rebuild. They're screwing it up bigtime. Don't worry, I know a thing or two about winning, if that's ever a concern.

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#185 blue31
February 01 2014, 11:40PM
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slats wrote:

Can we please, please, please stop talking about Gags NMT clause. This team is 18-33-6!!! We aren't a good team.

He's the constant point of discussion about how poor he is playing, his effort and d-coverage is atrocious and we can continue to discuss his shortcomings. But I think Gagner would not be averse to trade and may even welcome it.

MacTavish may have a gentlemen's agreement not to move Gagner. But Gagner surely must have made a promise to put in a bit of effort once in a while.

Get Gagner's ass out of here ASAP. If MacTavish can't do it, then get rid of both of them.

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#186 Oilerz4life
February 02 2014, 12:04AM
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Not to mention that the Oilers get to roll the same assistant coaches through with a new coach each year. Other well run organizations bring in a new coaching staff. But, there is no accountability, its just talk. The Oilers need to bring in an experienced NHL coaching staff with a proven track record.

Its just my opinion, but this season is finished, why not bring in a new coaching staff now? That way next year the Oilers aren't starting over with a new system. Just do it now and roll with that for the rest of the year, this season is a write off anyway. Jerkins just sucks the life out of players, destroys their confidence. Now's the time, do it now (IMO).

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#187 Oilerz4life
February 02 2014, 12:12AM
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Fire Lowe.

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#188 Joe
February 02 2014, 12:33AM
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@dougtheslug

Best take on their conversation ever. And by that, I mean deeply depressing because it's so plausible.

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#189 Joe
February 02 2014, 12:42AM
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It's hard to believe that such an extraordinary gong show of a hockey organisation is operating in a city with such great hockey fans. I have no idea what it would look like, but I keep wondering when the fans will do something that says enough is enough. Lowe & Co are absolutely oblivious to their own failure.

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#190 Zangetsu
February 02 2014, 12:59AM
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Cut off the head and burn the rest. Start with Lowe, and go Great Terror on the organization.

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#191 bazmagoo
February 02 2014, 01:50AM
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@Serious Gord

Agreed Gord, the only move I was in favour of was Belov. But I thought the plan was to slot him in the 7-8 spot, and let him earn his minutes. Nope! Just another example of 0 accountability within the organization.

At the time Gagner's contract was up for negotiation I suggested (and was subsequently panned for suggesting) signing Mikhail Grabovski & trading Gagner for a young defenceman. I actually was a fan of Gagner at the time I will happily admit, but the idea of turning one asset into two just seemed like something logical to explore. Of course Grabovski had his blow up at the Leafs so he was tarnished with having a bad attitude, you can hardly blame the guy for being upset though as he's a proud, professional athlete. Doubt the Oilers even thought of that option, let alone actually going about exploring the possibility. Wonder what Gagner's attitude towards playing defence is? For some reason I don't think it's all that positive.

Grabovski is proving to be a solid 2nd line centre in Washington, is 3rd in team scoring and is plus 4 on a team with a lot of minus players. And all at the affordable rate of $3 million on a one year contract.

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#192 Moog's helmet
February 02 2014, 03:08AM
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We've heard a lot about how long it takes a team to adjust to a new coach but it certainly didn't take Paul Maurice long to successfully implement a new system in Winnipeg.

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#193 bwar
February 02 2014, 03:43AM
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Moog's helmet wrote:

We've heard a lot about how long it takes a team to adjust to a new coach but it certainly didn't take Paul Maurice long to successfully implement a new system in Winnipeg.

Took Colorado forever to adjust to Patrick Roy.

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#194 Rod from Viking
February 02 2014, 09:26AM
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The Oilers can only beat teams above them that are in a slump,if they get terrific goal tending or the other teams goalie has an off night or is the back up. I think it is all on the coaching no formula for bigger more veteran teams and get out coached every night. They only have average speed except for Hall,Yakapov and Hemsky and the only player's that use their skill in both ends of the rink are Nuge and Perron. The powerplay is brutal and they keep doing the same thing, I believe this is insanity, why not try to have a presence in front of the net that both the goaltender and defense have to worry about like a Hendricks, Ryan Smyth is no longer effective in that role. The entire coaching staff and management is made up of 3rd or 4th liners or stay at home d-men, no offensive genius's or a goal tending coach that has been there or won anything. It is easy for the players to tell themselves that what do these coaches know they were just spare parts when they played. What really pisses me off is I park in the Mount Lawn parking lot and now it is $15.00 as well.

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#195 Rod from Viking
February 02 2014, 09:29AM
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merfer wrote:

It just seems to me that Gagner wants to be traded. He has totally checked out with this team and doesn't really care what happens so let's move him out fast. I don't care what we get for him. His attitude is hurting the team. It also seems like maybe the coach wouldn't mind getting fired too. He has never connected with this team and just can't get these players inspired. There is just no way this team should be worse than last year. MacT has provided a better base of players so how could we be so much worse? It has got to be the coaching because the talent is better and our young players are more experienced. Hiring Eakins was MacT's biggest mistake, but for him to fix this, he will need to eat a extra large helping of crow and I'm not sure he is ready for diner yet.

Wouldn't you miss the mouth piece chewing instead of back checking performance every shift?

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#196 Loweblows
February 02 2014, 09:32AM
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Overheard during the last practice: Eakins: OK guys we are going to work on the power play today. See the X not covering O. X has to swarm the O. O should slide over to X. This X should move to this O. Rookie: Coach am I the X or the O. Eakins: Let me check. Hey Kelly are we the X or the O. Kelly: We'll last year Kreuger drew us as the O. Eakins: We'll that explains it. All along I thought we were the X. I've got a great idea. Let's make us a Z that way there will be no confusion. MacT: This man is a genius!

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#197 Oasis
February 02 2014, 10:26AM
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Well, I thought I would check in and see if all the Kool-Aid drinkers had sobered up from the big 2 game win streak. I would think watching your team get totally dominated and manhandled back/back should sober up even the most delusional Oiler fan who thinks this team is built to win.

This team has problems....so many problems. This whole organization is rotten from the top down and things wont change much around here until they clean house and the entire management is changed. A couple of good games here and there will not change that. Sure the team will eventually improve as it piles up first overall draft picks left, right and centre, but you seriously have to question the people who have built this team and orchestrated this rebuild.

This is why no matter how many games the Oilers win, some of us will continue to demand that Lowe is fired and for real change to take place. Every time the Oilers win a game or two everybody jumps back on the "things are going as planned train" and Kevin Lowe lives another day.

When will Oiler fans stand up and say "Enough is Enough"?. If you want real change, it starts at the top of this "Scrotum Pole". If you want what you have got for the past 8 years +, then stick with what you have.

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#198 vetinari
February 02 2014, 10:31AM
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Spanked. In every facet of the game. The 2013-14 Oilers are a step back in almost every area. The kids were suppose to get another year of maturity and strength under their belts and they look more lost than ever before. The defence, on a good night looks slightly better than AHL quality and on a bad night, looks ECHL level. And the offence was suppose to be to our meal ticket this year and we get shut out more than ever.

And good luck in convincing Scrivens to sign here because he's going to get shelled EVERY night and with how he's been playing, he can punch his ticket anywhere come July. I hate to raise this but if we can't get Scrivens signed to an extension by the trade deadline, would it be worth putting him back on the market to recoup a pick or a player?

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#199 Oiler Al
February 02 2014, 10:52AM
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The BIG Plan that has "backfired" on the meddling, jock sniffing owner , along with his Fokkers figured that they would build a winning team, like the Penguins, and Hawks,by turtling seasons to draft top picks.[Let Bob McKenzie and boys make the picks for us].

Aided by a stuthering and smiling GM and 4 coaches later , and not seeing the light beyond the 24th basement floor, two rehashed Fokkers are hired to manage the team, and two deadbeat Fokkers are retained to assist the new coach.

With 30 th place in the sights yet again this year, Katz's says everyting is going according to plan.Fourth year on a five year plan, and this is the result.?

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#200 Rama Lama
February 02 2014, 10:58AM
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The problem with this team is more obscure than people think.

It's not about winning at this stage. It's about getting the first round draft choice, plain and simple. Our best strategy for this is Dallas Eakins. Now that he has learned who plays where, maybe he can start really teaching and coaching? In any regard all the players are now able to carry water, and chop wood better than any one in the league. Who knew that this was a requirement in the NHL but Eakins did, and now if our players get lost in the woods somewhere, we have the assurance of knowing that they can at least survive.

I for one would start benching players that when presented with a shot, instead elect to pass or overplay the puck. I'm tired of watching cute little plays like toe-drags that lead to nothing. It seems that our top six players feel the need to dangle and put on a show in stead of just shooting the bloody puck. Start by benching players that refuse to shoot or teach players like Eberle to stop relying on a wrist shot each and every time. He has become so predictable in what he does.......this is where coaching comes in.

I highly doubt that our NHL team could beat our AHL team!

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