BACK AT IT: TRULY FEEBLE

Robin Brownlee
February 28 2014 12:07AM

Team-5

As much of a dumpster fire as this season has been for the Edmonton Oilers, there was at least a hint of anticipation as fans dutifully filed into Rexall Place to begin the stretch drive against the Minnesota Wild after three weeks off for the Olympic break. Should have known better.

Rather than come back with some gusto and jump in a stretch that will see the Oilers play 15 of their final 22 games at home, they served up another feeble and indifferent display for the hometown faithful, collectively shrugging their shoulders in a half-hearted, half-assed 3-0 loss to the Wild.

Fans who arrived with at least a hint of hope the Oilers might finish off this mess of 2013-14 with enthusiasm and maybe a win here or there after a tidy roll before the break, were booing by the final buzzer at the Oilers were shut out for the fifth time at home this season, dropping to 10-15-2 at the Rex.

The power play has fallen and it can't get up. There was next-to-no flow on the attack. Ben Scrivens didn’t look particularly sharp. Worst of all, the give-a-damn meter appeared to be as low as it's been all season, save for some nastiness from Matt Hendricks and Luke Gazdic.

Played like their heads and hearts were still on the beach somewhere warm, did the Oilers. The only grit was the sand in their shorts.

NOT CLOSE TO GOOD ENOUGH

When a team has been as bad as long as the Oilers have, virtually every angle involving personnel, team chemistry, coaching and the X's and O's has been exhausted. The power play, at least this 1-3-1 version of it, is brutal. There are holes throughout the lineup front and back. The defense isn’t good enough. All this we know. More fodder for these last days before the trade deadline.

One ongoing glaring deficiency – far from the only one -- that stood out for me in this game was the lack of push-back from the Oilers, the unwillingness to back each other up. The all-for-one, one-for-all mentality most successful teams show consistently. Big problem.

That was illustrated best as Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Taylor Hall were getting knocked around near the Minnesota goal by Keith Ballard and Matt Cooke. Out near the blue line stood Jeff Petry and Anton Belov, two of the biggest players on the ice. And that's where they stayed as Ballard cuffed RNH and Hall had a brief altercation with Cooke. They watched.

I'm not foolish enough to think having Petry and Belov wade in and kick some backside, or at least show up, in that circumstance comes anywhere near close to addressing the many needs of this team, but showing opponents they don’t get a free pass in that situation would solve one of them – the lack of will to play and stand up for each other.

I'm not suggesting GM Craig MacTavish go on a thug hunt at the deadline or over the summer, but while he's looking for another defenseman or two and some size that can play in the top-six up front, find a player or two who isn’t so ready to turn the other cheek -- as too many players on this roster now are.

Culture change? Let's start with MacTavish getting some players who are as sick of losing as the fans who filed in to watch yet another no-show by a team that keeps talking the talk but refuses to walk the walk.

Enough already.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#51 Max
February 28 2014, 08:24AM
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Well, back to the usual, shut out in front of the home crowd, and Hall doing his usual "hey guys, here I come blasting around the boards, no worries, I wont dump the puck, just hang on, wait for me, you can take it away from me when I get there" act again (constantly.)

He has to be the most selfish puck hog on the team - doesn't he LISTEN OR LEARN??

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#52 O-Town
February 28 2014, 10:09AM
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Totally think you're right about the culture change Robin. The problem I see is how difficult it is to bring in the right players to create that change. I believe they thought they were doing that by bringing in guys like Nick Schultz, Andrew Ference, Boyd Gordon and David Perron but that doesn't seem to be working.

That apathy grows every year and these character guys seem to fall into this pit along with the kids.

If a Culture Change is going to come it has to be from players who will lead the team. Unfortunately that now means Hall, Nuge, and Eberle. I say unfortunately because I don't think they're ready to take on that responsibility which means it is time to find an appropriate leader and if it means trading one of those three then that's the cost of taking the next step forward.

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#53 GriffCity
February 28 2014, 10:23AM
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Zamboni Driver wrote:

Went to the game last night (thankfully someone else paid for the duckets) - it was even more horrible than you saw if you watched on tv.

The ONLY thing to cheer for all night were Wickenheiser and Szabados - great reaction from them.

Worst player on the ice, and it wasn't close, was Belov - completely useless, clueless, fell down about 5 times, whiffed on a shot and a pass at least.

But Belov sucks, so who cares?

Second worst, especially with respect to give a damn....Eberle. Horrid. No effort, no heart (and probably another major organ as well) - just horrific to watch a supposed 'star' completely go through the motions.

I disagree on Belov, he had his moments but he also made some good passes and laid a couple big clean hits in open ice. The worst players on the team last night were Hall and Ference with a side of Eberle. Hall turned the puck over more than a drunken Nail Yakupov, who ironically was the best player on that line last night.

Everyone knows Hall turns the puck over, he has been doing it forever. The difference is he usually counter-balances that by generating offense and scoring goals. Last night he did not generate a single decent chance but turned the puck over at a high rate. Eberle looked like he was on the outdoor rink with his toe drags. Sorry Jordan, those dont always work in the NHL, especially while you move at 2 MPH when attempting it. Ference was just as bad, he looked small and unsure of himself. I am worried about his age & contract length as he is IMO a 5-6 dman on what is arguably the worst defense in the nhl.

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#54 Soccer Steve
February 28 2014, 12:50AM
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Just... What if?... How about... Maybe... But... Try this...

Nope.

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#55 Air on Egg blood
February 28 2014, 07:13AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Eakins stays, at least to start next season. He'll get help from an experienced addition to the coaching staff.

Here's hoping that you are right. But if the past is any indication of what will happen in the future, they will keep their buddies Smith and Buck. I would love if they could land Guy Boucher as an associate coach. Power play is his specialty.

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#56 BingBong
February 28 2014, 07:13AM
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Another stinker. One thing I noticed last night is Easkins' presser. He sounds tired, just doesn't really know what to say anymore. "Systems, in the fight, 3rd best PP, blah blah blah". He's just tossing out cliches wherever/whenver he can.

He'll start next year as coach, and I really have no idea if he's the right coach for the job, but for now he just sounds fed up.

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#57 mlcselli
February 28 2014, 07:42AM
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On or before March 5, my friendly bet is our roster looks the same--no trades. What other GM in the league looking at our group, could ever be convinced that any Oiler could be a benefit to their team. We are just lucky that there are a number of expiring contracts.

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#58 tileguy
February 28 2014, 10:07AM
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City of Chumps

Now we want to spend 120 Million on a soccer stadium when we have telus field sitting idle. Oh just bulldoze the cement infield out, no team is coming here.

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#59 Red-Tide
February 28 2014, 11:26AM
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The product on the ice is so terrible I wouldn’t go even if I was given free tickets. I am so sick of being asked to believe and spend more money supporting this team. Im ready to throw in the towel, me and a couple hundred thousand other fans. Is it really going to take us boycotting the games before something happens? Does Mr. Katz allow his pharmacies to be run like this? If he did, he certainly would not be a billionaire today. Such a sad state of affairs. 25 years I have been an Oil fan and never have I felt more disgusted and disappointed with this team. The coach talks like he is coaching a different team, the GM talks of his brilliant coaching staff and all I see is a whole ton of fail.

/sigh

It’s tough being an Oiler fan.

*This didn't appear twice after posting, maybe because I had a curse word? Third time a charm?

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#60 Oiler Al
February 28 2014, 01:30PM
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MEMO: From the Coach ^....

Will the following players please turn in their jockstraps and cans: Belov, Petry, Gagner, Eberle, and Jones.

You only need these if you have balls.

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#61 Jerconjake
February 28 2014, 04:51PM
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Reading the comments here, I think everyone is partially right about what's wrong. Everything.

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#62 NewfoundlandOil
February 28 2014, 05:42AM
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@nuge2nail

Yes, this team needs those things. But beyond filling the positions of weakness this team needs more fire in their belly.

Will adding any of these players accomplish that or is there a bigger issue here? One would have though that adding Ference, Gordon, Perron, etc. would have upped the compete/care level, but this remains a vanilla team.

Filling positions of need will not by itself fix what ails this team. It would be a start however.

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#63 oilabroad
February 28 2014, 05:43AM
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all I keep hearing is why we have to keep Eakins for the sake of continuity (even though he is clearly not the answer)... what say you Robin, are you on this bandwagon as well??

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#64 john
February 28 2014, 10:51AM
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Dave wrote:

Mr. Gregor does not think that Eakins is the problem. He says that Dallas just needs to hire an experienced NHL coach as his assistant. Get with the program!

Are you serious man? Have you ever run a company or anything before? The coach teach the team, the assistants follow up with the system and the drills. Those assistants has been around since 2006 sup run, so it's not the problems. Those assistants know how the Power Play and Penalty Kill run with previous coach but they can't run those drills if Eakins want to play it his way. So they had to practice PP and PK with Eakins system (4 forwards and 1 Dman, the result is 10 short handed goals against). Oilers got shut out 8 games, 5 at home, would you pay to see that? Lose but at least score some goals so fans has something to cheer for. PP, PK and goals against are among the worst in NHL. What more proof do you need?

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#65 toprightcorner
February 28 2014, 11:03AM
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john wrote:

Are you serious man? Have you ever run a company or anything before? The coach teach the team, the assistants follow up with the system and the drills. Those assistants has been around since 2006 sup run, so it's not the problems. Those assistants know how the Power Play and Penalty Kill run with previous coach but they can't run those drills if Eakins want to play it his way. So they had to practice PP and PK with Eakins system (4 forwards and 1 Dman, the result is 10 short handed goals against). Oilers got shut out 8 games, 5 at home, would you pay to see that? Lose but at least score some goals so fans has something to cheer for. PP, PK and goals against are among the worst in NHL. What more proof do you need?

I actually own a business and have 15 years managing expirience. Any owner or manager will tell you that the manager is only as good as the people under him. Great sales manager and terrible sales team equals poor results. A new Sales Manager and same terrible sales team still equals poor results

Smith and Bucky are part of the problem, they have not proven they bring anything to the team. A rookie coach with poor assistants is a recipie for a disaster. An associate coach with NHL coaching expirience would be very beneficial.

You seem like the type of guy who blames the tool instead of the operator.

I get it, your a disgruntled fan and deservedly so but the people who score the goals and stop the pucks need to be held accountable and not just blame the coach.

If your kid whines to get what he wants and you always give it to him he will always whine, he doesn't know any better and doesn't learn to change.

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#66 Robin Brownlee
February 28 2014, 11:33AM
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Red-Tide wrote:

The product on the ice is so terrible I wouldn’t go even if I was given free tickets. I am so sick of being asked to believe and spend more money supporting this team. Im ready to throw in the towel, me and a couple hundred thousand other fans. Is it really going to take us boycotting the games before something happens? Does Mr. Katz allow his pharmacies to be run like this? If he did, he certainly would not be a billionaire today. Such a sad state of affairs. 25 years I have been an Oil fan and never have I felt more disgusted and disappointed with this team. The coach talks like he is coaching a different team, the GM talks of his brilliant coaching staff and all I see is a whole ton of fail.

/sigh

It’s tough being an Oiler fan.

*This didn't appear twice after posting, maybe because I had a curse word? Third time a charm?

Probably caught by the swear or disagree-with-Brownlee filter. We spend big dough to make sure unwanted stuff like that doesn't get in.

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#67 beloch
February 28 2014, 12:20AM
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Burke: Hey, want Smid back yet? He's trrrrrruculent!

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#68 mlcselli
February 28 2014, 08:32AM
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NsxZero wrote:

You can't play as spoilers if you don't win...

I agree completely with you. Those were the words of Jordan Eberle yesterday when he was doing an interview. He said that even though they aren't making the playoffs, they can still play spoilers for the teams still in the hunt. If last nights game was any indication of what we can expect, the other teams have no worry going into the post season. Oilers won't be a problem.

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#69 Bucknuck
February 28 2014, 12:06PM
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That was on fine piece of writing Mr. Brownlee. I was disgusted last night, and your article articulated my feeling exactly.

"Enough already." Indeed.

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#70 kale
February 28 2014, 02:45AM
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You pretty much summed it up perfectly RB

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#71 toprightcorner
February 28 2014, 10:48AM
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john wrote:

Are you freaking serious man? Same players from last year and new coach but statistically this team is worst in PP, PK, goals against dead last and 2nd worst in NHL in points. Oilers got shut out 8 games this year, 5 lost at home by shut out. Who's to blame but the coach? People paid to see this crap? Lose games but at least score some goals so people can cheer to something.

So the wors goals against is Eakins fault? He doesn't stop the puck. Every time the Oilers get shut out is Eakins fault? He doesn't score the goals.

PP, yeah its 3.5% lower than last year but the Oilers have taken the second most penalties while on the PP whcih kills your actual PP opportunities. Eakins doesn't take penalties.

Does the coach tell the players to make drop passes at the blue line or make high risk passes and lose posession?

PK, less than 2% lower than last year, think goaltending may have had something to do with that? How about losing your top PK guy in Horcoff? Last year 1 defenceman was not an NHL veteran, this year Belov, Marincin, Larsen, Fedun and Hunt.

You say "score some goals so people can cheer to something" does the coach score the goals?

You say 2nd worst in points this year.....compared to worst, worst, 2nd worst and 6th worst the last 4 years? I guess coach changes each year really helped that!!

Scotty Bowman would not make this team a playoff contender. A coach is only as good as its players.

Look at Dan Bylsma, PIT coach. Everyone says he is a great coach, but he has an awesome team. Babcock schooled him as a coach in the Olymics. The team has more to do with the success of a coach than the abilities of the coach.

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#72 Fresh Mess
February 28 2014, 10:51AM
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Jofa wrote:

Time to move to Rebuild 2.0. The first attempt has already been wasted, the second coming of the Boys on the Bus has been an illusion. What a disappointment this team has been, and even more disappointing is that the owner will trust this same group to have another go at getting it right...

I guess if management is learning from their mistakes, they should be the smartest men in hockey now, right? What a joke... Honestly, at this point I'd be happy to see a guy like Brian Burke come in and shake this team up. Seems almost fitting considering how much ol' Six Rings feuded with the guy and talked such a big game about how his team was run. Who's laughing now?

I had to chuckle every time I saw Lowe in Team Canada's "brain trust" box at the Olympic. How could they take the guy seriously give the state of team he has handcrafted for a decade?!? Thanks for all the super helpful ideas Kevin, but we've got this...

Sad state for the franchise... Getting to home games while I was living in Edmonton 15 years ago was awesome, the atmosphere was electric and it was a blast cheering for our plucky underdogs who could slay the giants on any given night with their blue collar effort and speed. Going to a game now seems like it would just be the start of a bad night. I don't know why fans are paying or even showing up, considering their team isn't showing up. The fans in the stands just kind of look like schmucks at this point. Brutal. Thanks Kevin and Darryl.

The team stunk 15 years ago too. Maybe not as bad as the last 5 years, but they were bad. This organization has been poor for a long time.

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#73 blue31
February 28 2014, 02:44PM
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NsxZero wrote:

You can't play as spoilers if you don't win...

Sure you can.

Every time the Oilers play a team battling for a playoff spot, they spoil the chances of the other teams that are also trying to get in.

They are the ultimate spoilers. They will cost some team a playoff spot without even playing them.

You look at the schedule and hope your immediate rivals aren't playing the Oilers, because it's Guaranteed 2-Points For The Opposition Night.

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#75 NsxZero
February 28 2014, 08:03AM
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@mlcselli

You can't play as spoilers if you don't win...

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#76 KSC10032
February 28 2014, 08:07AM
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john wrote:

Please FIRE EAKINS, this clown can't coach NHL teams. I can't stand to see his face any more, can't stand Patrick Roy and Brian Burke faces too. Lost at home 3-0, that's 5 shut out games lost at home, where people paid to see it? That's unacceptable, bring signs and chant 'Fire Eakins' at all home games. Don't throw jerseys onto the ice, it's not the team, it's the coach that cannot get this team to win.

While I'm not in love with Eakins either, its vital to always remember that a call to fire the coach is only half of the equation.

I would ask all who want the coach to be canned to also suggest a realistic replacement alternative. Personally, I wanted Kevin Dineen three coaches ago. Now that was before his stint in FLA, so I may have to re-think this. But my point remains -- if not Eakins WHO?

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#77 ryan
February 28 2014, 08:28AM
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I wish nuge would have just dropped his gloves and started giving it to ballard, even if he got his ass kicked he would hae shown some emotion and fight.

How long before hall asks for a trade out of edmonton ? I think if there isnt a huge improvement next year, then he'll ask for a trade

Why is Ryan Jones in the NHL ? What the hell happened to hime , he does nothing. If your not playing well then you can always be physical , he barely hits, he is useless

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#78 ssb1963
February 28 2014, 11:53AM
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@Zamboni Driver

What this team needs is a Robin Regher type defense man. Nobody on this team strikes any kind of fear into the forwards on opposing teams.

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#79 nuge2nail
February 28 2014, 12:20AM
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Oiler Domination To Follow

We need a #2C

We need a #1D, #2D, #3D

We need a #1G

The lottery pick will fill one of the above. Nurse fills another.

Hopefully MacT uses the 40+ mil in cap space this off season to fill the rest...

DREAM WORLD:

Callahan

Girardi, Markhov, Ekblad, Nurse

Halak

OILER WORLD:

Bolland

Diaz, Hainsey, Ekblad, Nurse

Reimer

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#80 Spydyr
February 28 2014, 11:06AM
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Bushed wrote:

I'm not defending Eakins as an NHL coach, but here's my best guess at an explanation.

Ryan Smyth has been a good soldier this year, contributing what he can in the twilight of his career. He needs two powerplay goals to pass Glen Anderson's all-time mark as an Oiler.

The PP time is a reward for Smytty, and if he passes Anderson, it's at least something for a few fans to celebrate?

The season's been a complete disaster, and I'm not optimistic about the team's future, but even the cynic in me would like to see Smyth get the two more goals.

Why try to win games?Let's chase records.Smyth has 4 powerplay goals in 51 games.

On second thought why not at this point of the season might as well get the best draft position possible.

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#81 BigE91
February 28 2014, 02:31PM
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~To be perfectly honest, this is all on the fans of the team. The woes of the Oilers begin and end with the tier 1 and tier 2 people who allegedly cheer for this team.

How can the coaches and players concentrate with all of this negative energy? Scrivens stop 60 shots, back up the Brinks truck. He lets in a couple send him back to St. Albert. Hall and Ebs are the best one day, the next day one has more turnovers than the Safeway bakery and the other needs a prosthetic set of seeds.

Can't people see? These guys are fragile 90% of them have never "worked" a day in their life. I'm sure training and working on puck handling skills is arduous but I'd give it a shot if someone paid me a couple of hundred grand to do it. Their fragile psyches can't handle the pressure of playing in Edmonton. Cold winters, fan expectations, syphilis from the girls at the Ranch. My goodness, how do they cope?

Our mortgages, car payments, kids clothing, braces, job stress pales in comparison to what these guys are subject too.~

Seriously, I have a hard time blaming the coach here. It's his charge to motivate and get the most out of these players but maybe he actually is and this is all we get.

SAD.

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#82 dunk7
February 28 2014, 03:02PM
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I'm pretty confident the team has bought into the new system....Suck Bad for Ekblad!

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#83 Dave
February 28 2014, 10:23AM
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Al Low wrote:

It's great to know that people are Dallas Eakins for who he is. He's a lousy coach who's not right for this group. Bold Moves was itching so badly to do something that he made his worst move to start his tenure by firing Krueger. They will have to fire Eakins at some point. This team will not win with him.

Mr. Gregor does not think that Eakins is the problem. He says that Dallas just needs to hire an experienced NHL coach as his assistant. Get with the program!

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#84 Hall for President
February 28 2014, 08:42AM
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I miss Theo Peckham.

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#85 Al Low
February 28 2014, 12:27PM
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Dave wrote:

Mr. Gregor does not think that Eakins is the problem. He says that Dallas just needs to hire an experienced NHL coach as his assistant. Get with the program!

The experienced assistant is not going to save this train wreck that 6Rings and Katz have created. A rookie GM and a rookie head coach couldn't have come at a worse time, in the same year at that. When you have your team regressing, you have to look at the coach. The players don't appear to believe in Eakins and that's important to note. In any organization, if there's no faith in the leadership group, it's not gonna work. If Edmonton ever makes it out of the woods, Eakins will not be the guy leading them there. At this point, I'd actually rather have MacT take the coaching reigns, as well. He was a decent coach and really this is his mess to clean up due to his hastiness.

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#86 BoyToy
February 28 2014, 09:02AM
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Eberle, Nurse and Yakupov for Eller, Subban and Gallagher

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#87 Bushed
February 28 2014, 11:32AM
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Spydyr wrote:

Why try to win games?Let's chase records.Smyth has 4 powerplay goals in 51 games.

On second thought why not at this point of the season might as well get the best draft position possible.

Yup. Agreed.

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#88 oprah sucks
February 28 2014, 11:34AM
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@Spydyr

all good pp teams have net presense. as sad as it is ryan smyth is the best on our team for that. dont blame him or the coach for that. eakins is playing the cards hes dealt. the pp system as a whole, well that could be a different story, but the personel thats out during that time isnt the problem!

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#89 oprah sucks
February 28 2014, 11:50AM
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reading lots of comments about oilers high paid forwards, particularly eberle. tell ya what, take rnh hall and ebs, swap them out with top line from ur la's and chicago types and whats the result? oilers would have yet another underachieving top line and the old top line would be competing as one of the best lines in the league. The answer is better d!!!lots goes on with teams other than what fans see on the ice. maybe eberles lackluster effort is a result of what happened with rnh and hall infront of the net. its not just last night but these young players need security and havent had any their entire career so far in edm. it was very nice to see push back from hall and rnh but at the same time very disheartening to see no one else jumped in. if fans feel that way i cant imagine what the players think or feel but the result definitley shows on the ice!!

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#90 Oiler Al
February 28 2014, 05:35PM
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Whats concerning is that when you look at the so called kids, we are talking now 2-3-4 years in the league. What I see is that their game has not changed, might even be worse in some cases. Why, they have experience with 3 different coaches, yet their game remains the same. Are they coachable.

Its time for these top minute crunchers to drop their junior

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#91 LoweBlow
March 01 2014, 07:19AM
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Jofa wrote:

Time to move to Rebuild 2.0. The first attempt has already been wasted, the second coming of the Boys on the Bus has been an illusion. What a disappointment this team has been, and even more disappointing is that the owner will trust this same group to have another go at getting it right...

I guess if management is learning from their mistakes, they should be the smartest men in hockey now, right? What a joke... Honestly, at this point I'd be happy to see a guy like Brian Burke come in and shake this team up. Seems almost fitting considering how much ol' Six Rings feuded with the guy and talked such a big game about how his team was run. Who's laughing now?

I had to chuckle every time I saw Lowe in Team Canada's "brain trust" box at the Olympic. How could they take the guy seriously give the state of team he has handcrafted for a decade?!? Thanks for all the super helpful ideas Kevin, but we've got this...

Sad state for the franchise... Getting to home games while I was living in Edmonton 15 years ago was awesome, the atmosphere was electric and it was a blast cheering for our plucky underdogs who could slay the giants on any given night with their blue collar effort and speed. Going to a game now seems like it would just be the start of a bad night. I don't know why fans are paying or even showing up, considering their team isn't showing up. The fans in the stands just kind of look like schmucks at this point. Brutal. Thanks Kevin and Darryl.

Yep. I understood the losing with the Canadian dollar was $0.65USD and there was no revenue sharing. Now with the cap and the dollar near par, the team should be back to the dynasty, no?

Hokay, the league is more competitive. So maybe they'll be battling for 6-8? No.

This team opened the year near the cap and sunk right to the bottom of the standings. Hall looks the same. Nuge & Scultz jr are stagnant while Ebs & Yak are digressing. The only players with fight in them are call-ups or those traded for.

It's obvious that the dressing room is a black hole for hope. Spend a few seasons there and watch your hopes for a cup, or even a winning season, swirl around a perpetual toilet that flushes in early December.

I can't cheer for another team. Instead I just don't watch the NHL anymore. The Olympics gave me a team to cheer for. A team that plays the way it's told to. A team of professionals that bought into a new coach in 10 days.

This current edition of the Oilers is dead to me.

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#92 HOFFFF
February 28 2014, 02:23AM
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Isn't it an automatic penalty if the D come in during a scrum? Belov is willing partner with anyone. Sometimes it's worth a misconduct.

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#93 Rob...
February 28 2014, 08:06AM
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season not played wrote:

Listening to Eakins talk about how good the team looked during practice and Bold Moves tell us what a wise move it was to hire Eakins has helped me reach two conclusions.

1) These two clowns truly believe Oiler fans are complete idiots.

2) MacT has a massive ego that is far more important to him than admitting he made a mistake firing Krueger and hiring Eakins. The only question now is how long he lets a fellow ego maniac ruin their "prized" young players.

This team may one day be a powerhouse capable of winning multiple cups, but it will be a very long time from now with completely different management and a whole new set of first overalls.

For your bullet #2, what good does it do to publicly admit that firing Krueger and hiring Eakins was a mistake unless you've got a vastly superior replacement lined up to take his place? The Oilers can't afford to go out and hire a mediocre coach that was let go by another team. Nor can they afford to take a chance on another assistant coach or minor league coach that 'is read for the big boy chair'.

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#94 Alsker
February 28 2014, 08:23AM
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I still don't get how after a weeks practice/mini-camp the coaching staff doesn't have a game plan specifically targeted towards the Wilds weaknesses. Almost as bad on the road as we are, no practice time, players returning from Sochi. To hel[ with your system Eakins, plan an attack for Minni only, give the guys some confidence and some trust in you!!! Instead we get another evening of playing into Minni's strengths and another crapfest for our guys. Not giving the players a free ride here,way to much same old-same old crap, but at least give them a fighting chance.

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#95 SSB1963
February 28 2014, 11:59AM
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I believe a big part of the failure in recent years has been the constant coaching turnover. Having to learn a new system every year or two does not breed continuity.

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#96 Dwarr
February 28 2014, 02:08PM
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toprightcorner wrote:

I actually own a business and have 15 years managing expirience. Any owner or manager will tell you that the manager is only as good as the people under him. Great sales manager and terrible sales team equals poor results. A new Sales Manager and same terrible sales team still equals poor results

Smith and Bucky are part of the problem, they have not proven they bring anything to the team. A rookie coach with poor assistants is a recipie for a disaster. An associate coach with NHL coaching expirience would be very beneficial.

You seem like the type of guy who blames the tool instead of the operator.

I get it, your a disgruntled fan and deservedly so but the people who score the goals and stop the pucks need to be held accountable and not just blame the coach.

If your kid whines to get what he wants and you always give it to him he will always whine, he doesn't know any better and doesn't learn to change.

Regardless if he is the new sales manager and his team failed him you wouldn't want that individual around. The old boys club has to go and the only way that happens if they hire someone who has the gall to stand up and get what he wants. He is sitting back happy with thee status quo and he is the only one that can be blamed for that, which is the most discouraging thing for employers and fans. Time to go

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#97 Quicksilver ballet
February 28 2014, 07:20PM
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Think of the positives. One of these lotto picks will land us sunny side and headed in the right direction soon.

Ekblad could be the guy.

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#98 BoyToy
February 28 2014, 09:02AM
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Eberle, Nurse and Yakupov for Eller, Subban and Gallagher

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#99 Harry
February 28 2014, 10:31AM
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Culture change? Im all for it. How about we start by not publicly stating "our season is over we're out of the playoffs" in early January.

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#100 risto siltanen's slapshot
February 28 2014, 02:28PM
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I can recall a time when coach mac t wouldn't let his players engage in bru ha' ha's for fear of a stupid penalty...stortini,torres,and moreau weren't allowed to go but Eakins has no soldiers and he gives the green light. maybe this is mact's team vision after all.or maybe we used to care about wins. either way I long for a tough 3rd line let alone a 4th

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