THE PITCH: TIMING IS EVERYTHING

Robin Brownlee
February 06 2014 11:28PM

Whether you go by gut-feeling or spreadsheet, there's no way of knowing for sure if Ben Scrivens is the real deal the Edmonton Oilers have been waiting for in the goal crease, but there's no question he's making a compelling and timely case that he is.

I gave my take on Scrivens and Ilya Bryzgalov and Edmonton's goaltending situation a few days ago as both approach UFA status, so I won't re-paint the big picture I outlined, but it's difficult not to look at Scrivens again after he made 35 saves in a 2-1 win over the New York Rangers.

With six games in the books for the Oilers, the 27-year-old stopper from Spruce Grove has stopped 219 of the 231 shots he's faced, which translates to a .948 saves percentage. He's 3-3-0 with a 2.01 goals-against average.

Small sample size (as the stats guys are fond of saying)? Sure. Does six games mean GM Craig MacTavish should back up the Brink's truck for Scrivens to convince him not to test the UFA market? No. This could be a remarkably hot stretch, nothing more.

REALITY CHECK

That said, the reality is MacTavish does not have the luxury of taking a longer look than what he'll get beyond the end of the regular season where Scrivens is concerned. There's an element of risk because of that.

The way I see it, MacTavish would be well-advised to make Scrivens and agent Jay Fee an offer sooner rather than later. At the same time, it makes sense for Scrivens and Fee to let this play out and test the market. I tend to think that's how it'll unfold.

One thing's certain, Scrivens couldn’t have picked a better time to play the best goal of his brief NHL career. Every time he puts in a performance like he did against the Rangers, his price goes up. While he's not going to play at a .948 clip indefinitely, he's going to get paid.

ALL THAT TALK ABOUT SAM

I'd like to think that even Sam Gagner's harshest critics, and there are many who fall into that category, understand that trading him to the Los Angeles Kings for Kyle Clifford straight up is a move only a fool would make. Say what you want about MacTavish, he's no fool.

While it's nonsense on so many levels, at least as a one-for-one swap, there's so much smoke surrounding discussions between L.A. GM Dean Lombardi and MacTavish that there's got to be some fire there. One supposed insider even suggested today via Twitter Gagner would be shipped to Tinseltown before the New York game. Well, no.

The only way a swap involving Gagner and Clifford makes sense – I'm not the first to suggest this – is if there's other players involved on both sides, and I'm not just talking about Lombardi flipping the draft pick the Oilers gave up for Scrivens back to Edmonton.

Youngster Tyler Toffoli, a centre, was the subject of much speculation as an add-in from the L.A. side of things, but that tips the scales too far in favor of the Oilers for Lombardi to bite. If this talk turns into a trade, there's got to be somebody from Edmonton's end going south to square it up.

WHAT ABOUT RAMSAY?

If the Oilers are looking to add a coach to their staff in support of Eakins between now and next season -- they are -- they should be taking a long look at Craig Ramsay, who was sacked by the Florida Panthers last November when head coach Kevin Dineen was let go.

Ramsay, 62, who has made coaching stops with Florida, Ottawa, Boston, Atlanta, Philadelphia and Tampa Bay, where he won the Stanley Cup in 2004, is the kind of teacher and technical coach who'd be a fit here.

WHILE I'M AT IT . . .

. . . I said it on Twitter today and I'll say it again: while I see a need for MacTavish to bolster his forwards with grit and size that can play in the top six, I'd like to think he's making calls about proven defensemen. You won’t get a top-pairing blueliner for Gagner, but I'd like to think he can fetch a veteran capable of playing in the second pairing here.

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 K_Mart
February 07 2014, 01:01PM
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Gagner is playing the worst hockey of his career right now, and sure enough everyone in Edmonton thinks that now is the right time to trade him.

so brutal. Why the hell would you trade a guy when his value is at its lowest?

The offseason was the right time, before the jaw injury. Now he's worth nothing more than a package that is centered around Clifford? wow.

Gagner will rebound next year, that's when you trade him. Trading him now would be devastating.

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#52 oilerjed
February 07 2014, 01:23PM
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K_Mart wrote:

Gagner is playing the worst hockey of his career right now, and sure enough everyone in Edmonton thinks that now is the right time to trade him.

so brutal. Why the hell would you trade a guy when his value is at its lowest?

The offseason was the right time, before the jaw injury. Now he's worth nothing more than a package that is centered around Clifford? wow.

Gagner will rebound next year, that's when you trade him. Trading him now would be devastating.

Next Year?!?! Enough with the next year talk. When is a good time next year? around the trade deadline when another season is already decided. There is a finite amount of time with these players and the time for them to start learning winning is NOW! Then when they actually get in the playoffs they may stand a chance instead of 1-2 one and dones and suddenly we are talking extensions on our core with no history of being able to win. Not advocating cleaning out the cupboards of the future, just start fillingholes now. It may take 2-3 years to fillem all.

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#53 tabs
February 07 2014, 02:06PM
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DisappointedFan wrote:

You would trade the hardest working, most productive player on the Oilers...

Are you the same kind of person that would trade Crosby or Ovechkin off your team?

Yes, I would. A guy like Drew Doughty, Weber etc would do more for the Oilers then someone like Hall imo. Though I respect Hall's game immensely he has traits that he needs to lose.

Taylor Hall is far from the best player in the league, you know that right?

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#54 help me
February 07 2014, 03:20PM
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@DisappointedFan

The whole works needs to go. Lowe mac t and all the old boys. 14 years. No player wants to come to an organization with the worst management in the league. They will be chasing 4th liners and bottom players as long as they are in charge.

Are u paying 15000 a year for the past 10 yrs to be the last place team. The lowe type 1 fan is tired of it.

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#55 bazmagoo
February 07 2014, 12:30AM
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Martin Marincin playing like a veteran has me more excited than Scrivens. In today's NHL goalies go through hot and cold streaks all the time. If you can land Scrivens at 2 years, 1.5 - 2 million I say go for it, but we need another goalie to battle with him for the #1 spot. I don't think Bryz is the guy to push him.

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#56 tileguy
February 07 2014, 12:43AM
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Retsinnab5 wrote:

Offer Scrivens 3mil for 2 years?

That might get it done as family life might be a factor, but 3 is the number.

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#57 oilabroad
February 07 2014, 05:32AM
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Its not just 6 games for Scrivens, his GA for the season are far better than anything we are likely to get in the offseason. He is a local kid (which seems to be something management has identified as important), he is the right age, and the dollars wont be huge... sign him up and move on to the other holes that need to be filled

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#58 Cody anderson
February 07 2014, 06:20AM
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At very least Scrivens has shown over his career that he is an elite backup with starter potential.

I would hope they have already talked about the possibility of resigning him. Right now I would be willing to go up to 3 million for his choice of 1-3 years. If he continues to play anywhere near the level he has been that number would get higher as we approached the end of the season.

If he has not shown interest at resigning then I would plan on trading him at the deadline. The way he is currently playing I could see them getting a low 1st or high second for him, or possibly even a prospect that is NHL ready.

I would be playing him as much as possible down the stretch to get a true read on his skill.

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#59 DangerSteve
February 07 2014, 07:15AM
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Friend that lives in LA was texting me that after the Kings game last night the buzz was that it was a massive deal between Edmonton and LA. But a domino was to fall with the NYI. Apparently Brown or Richards were talked about heading to Edmonton, and Gagner with another player and a high draft pick going back to LA. So most likely if Vanek ends up in LA,then the Edmonton trade would be involving one of those guys. Lombardi looking for a big shakeup, and wants more skill to go with the size he has.

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#60 HardBoiledOil
February 07 2014, 09:23AM
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CdnMaDCoW wrote:

Scrivens sure has looked good for us so far but I have a baaad feeling that he doesn't even want to sign here. After all that BS about our media tyrants bashing his wife's twitter remarks, I figure the Scrivens' are looking to get outta Dodge. Thanks for the ride Ben. It was fun while it lasted.

bull....that would be the day that a hand full for tweetheads makes the decision on whether or not Ben signs here!

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#61 GriffCity
February 07 2014, 09:42AM
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NJ wrote:

Had to reply.

If Scrivens sustain's his current play, that would make him the #1 goalie in the league.

4 Mill wouldn't be reasonable. It would be a bargain. 6+ would be reasonable. The question is not what's reasonable, it's "Can he sustain his current level of play" and how much are you willing to gamble on that?

The one thing I'm convinced of is that Scrivens WANTS to be a number one and will battle for it. Bryz I think could be the backup we're looking for and could even push for the #1 job. Plus, who doesn't like a crazy Russian.

Sorry for the double post.

Scrivens has been excellent yes, but he has not proven that he is a starter over 82 games and cannot justify being worth 4 mil just yet even to play in Edmonton. I do agree that the Oilers should sign the Spruce Grove native but not as a lock for the #1 position. Sure if he keeps up his great play through then end of the year and somehow the Oilers claw there way back to .500 hockey then I would say he is our guy for sure. In either case I feel that the Oilers should sign him asap and if he falls off over the rest of the season at least you have a viable backup for next year who could push for the #1 spot. Back ups don't make 4 millions dollars a season and up to this point in his NHL career that is all Scrivens has been. Signing him now will be cheaper than signing him at seasons end regardless of how well or poorly he plays from here moving forward. 2 -2.5 million would be fair on both ends.

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#62 madjam
February 07 2014, 09:51AM
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If Scrivens is better than Dubbie , then I see him getting offered a similar contract minimum .

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#63 Spydyr
February 07 2014, 01:45PM
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Jordan Nugent-Hallkins wrote:

Just heard Letang is out six weeks after suffering a stroke? Lordy, hope he's okay.

I cannot prop that but thanks for the news,bad as it is.

Like you I sure hope he is OK.Off to google news.

Edit :link to the story here:

http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=704165

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#64 Spydyr
February 07 2014, 01:59PM
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SlowTalker wrote:

I don't think Spydyr is the guy to ask. He might know more about the whereabouts of Vancouver's AHL team.

The Barons are in Charlotte but it is after 1pm and no news.Since you asked the heat are home in Abbotsford in the middle of a four game homestand.

Just for the record the only two teams I like less then Vancouver are Calgary and Toronto.

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#65 Zarny
February 07 2014, 02:24PM
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James Mirtle wrote an great article chronicling the rise of Finnish and Swedish goaltenders over the last 10-15 years. I would include the US too but for different reasons.

Finland realized that goal-tending could be a great equalizer for a tiny country. They invested heavily in G development to the point where most minor league G in Finland have trained G coaches. Sweden then started borrowing from Finland improving on the system.

The results are evident. Finland beat Sweden for the Gold at this year's World Jr's. Finnish and Swedish goalies dominate the best league in the world.

I think there are parallels between tiny countries like Finland & Sweden and a small market like Edmonton.

Short of being Stanley Cup favorites, Edmonton will always have difficulties attracting top free agents. As we've seen with Scrivens goaltending can be a great equalizer.

Since drafting Dubnyk in 2004, the Oilers have only drafted 5 G in 9 drafts and only 1 in the first 4 rounds. They bet it all on Dubnyk and lost.

I agree MacT should make Scrivens an offer sooner rather than later. He's unproven so anything over 2-3 years is risky; and the only teams who will be looking for starting G are Edm, Florida, NYI, Buf (if they trade Miller) and maybe Calgary.

MacT can't stop there. The mentality of waiting for 1 prospect/player and assuming they'll develop has to end. Especially in such a critical position like G.

There are numerous young G who have done well this year. They won't cost Yakupov, Eberle or a 1st round pick. Go get one to push Scrivens.

Going forward the Oilers should always be heavily investing in G. Anh has 4 G who are better than anything Edm has except maybe Scrivens. That should be the Oilers.

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#66 DisappointedFan
February 07 2014, 02:35PM
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tabs wrote:

You have Hall rated much higher and Yak much lower than I.

Don't get me wrong I like Hall but I don't think he'll have the impact that other "franchise players" have had in the game.

You could say I rate my "Production" players by performance, points and +/- equal performance when that is why you're on the team. Some players perform and others do not.

Maybe it's the coach, maybe it's the players with him, maybe he doesn't like the professional game; regardless, he is barely visible most nights and an impact player for other teams on other nights. The odd night (like last night) he made a small difference for the Oilers.

But as it is right now, Yakupov is -29 and staying pretty steady where he is.

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#67 Zarny
February 07 2014, 02:37PM
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tabs wrote:

You honestly believe organizations have never stalled/impaired a players development?

And you're calling someone else delusional!

Stalling or not developing a player properly is not the same as "damaging their desire to play the game".

It's clear from comments that many posting on ON are quitters, because they assume that's how hyper-competitive athletes think. They don't and that mentality is pathetic and embarrassing.

I'm sure Eakins isn't Yak's favorite coach, but "damaging his desire to play the game".

Get a grip.

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#68 Zarny
February 07 2014, 03:20PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

The first statement, 4-12-2 since then they have improved? Where exactly can a 29th or 30th team go but up? Does it mean there actual getting better? Or are they now seeing other teams Qual Comp less?

When was the last team to play there starting goalie against the Oilers?

How much time did the other teams star players play against the Oilers? (I’ll give you a hint it’s lower then the average)

They have been out shot, out chanced and dominated 5X5 in their last wins, including being dominated at times by the 30th place Buffalo Sabers.

http://oilers.nhl.com/club/schedule.htm?season=20132014&gameType=2

“The first 20 games were an anomaly due to injuries hitting a roster that is paper thin and garbage goaltending. With decent G they would have 5 or 6 more W and would be sitting Nsh, Car and NJ which is a better reflection of where the team is at”

This is a bit of a stretch as well, if you recall last season The Oilers were down to just 2 centers for the most of the year, one which couldn’t lift his arm past his head, the Oilers never had a true number 1 or number 2 center almost all of last year due to injuries.

This season they are actually performing worse.

All the core players are.

http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2014/02/05/has-craig-mactavish-done-better-than-steve-tambellini-did-as-gm-of-the-oilers/

If you can’t see the change in Yakupov’s game the I guess almost everyone including the stats are wrong? https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AhMC4T3agcfmdG9OWkZvaVQ4bXJtT3Jub29BcnRsMWc&usp=sharing

Well Walter...the last team to play their starting G was SJ on January 29th...4 games ago. The game before that Vancouver started Luongo. Nsh starter is injured but the game before that was Phx and they started Smith. The 2 games prior to Phx were Van and Wpg. Again both starters played.

Star players playing lower minutes against the Oilers?

Well let's see...against the Rangers McDonaugh, Girardi, Callahan, Staal, Stralman, Stepan and Nash all played equal to or more than their average TOI/game.

Against Bos Chara played 27:50 compared to his season average of 24.57. Boychuk played 20:09 to his season average of 21:05. Krejci played 20:15 to his season average of 19:31.

So nope...other teams aren't playing their star players less against the Oilers I'm afraid.

Last season Nuge missed 8 games and Gagner missed none. Horcoff was the 3rd line C not 1 or 2. That's who missed significant time last year.

So I'm afraid last year the Oilers actually had their 1 and 2 C for most of the games. This year both started the year on the IR. Nuge's shoulder bothered him last year but he started the season in peak condition after playing in the AHL during the lockout.

This year he started the year on the IR with Gagner and was not in peak condition when he came back considering he was coming off surgery and wasn't able to train in the off-season.

It's not a stretch in the slightest that the first 20 games were an anomaly considering they've almost been at 0.500 since. That's the definition of an anomaly.

Had the Oilers started 8-10-2 instead of 4-14-2 and picked up 1 or 2 wins after with better G they'd be sitting exactly where I stated with Nsh, Car and NJ.

Now that certainly isn't something to plan a parade around; but it also doesn't warrant wetting your pants and completely losing touch with reality like we've seen on ON.

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#69 Quicksilver ballet
February 07 2014, 05:12PM
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Pittsburgh needs a RW to slot in with Crosby and Kunitz. Hemsky and N. Schultz for the Pens 1st this summer.

After all these years we're still in sell the farm mode.

@ Wes....great, got away for 6 weeks and back at it. Never a dull moment, trying to fix our Oilers. How about yourself?

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#70 Quicksilver ballet
February 07 2014, 05:33PM
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If only Hall could get that second assist on his goal. It might help bump his numbers some.

Just keepin it real.

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#71 Mack Strong
February 07 2014, 02:15AM
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If there really needs to be a trade involving Gagner and the LA Kings….please let it include King or Tafoli and Clifford being an ADDITION to…not the centre piece of what LA sends our way.

Scrivens needs to be signed…the guy battles and doesn't give up on plays! We paid Bryz 2.266 for an experiment…Scrivens has shown that even with our pathetic defence, 2 - 3 opposing goal games are winnable. Sure we can always ask to see more games, or prove more, but even as a backup (if thats what we make him) he looks dam good!

Don't need to be a "competent" scout on the Oilers scouting crew to see Scrivens deserves a respectable contract….

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#72 DangerSteve
February 07 2014, 08:00AM
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Jordan Nugent-Hallkins wrote:

Don't tease me with those names. It would never happen for E-town...

...would it? D:

I am not trying to tease. He just told me that and like yourself I was pretty excited. I doubt it will be something that big, but if they do land Vanek I think one of those guys would be on the move out. Especially if they want to re-sign Vanek after this season.

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#73 pkam
February 07 2014, 09:02AM
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tileguy wrote:

Anybody here think you can sign Scrivens for 2 mil, raise your hands...didn't think so, try 3 for 3 years min.

If I was Scrivens I will prefer a 1 year bridge at 2M or 2 year bridge at 2.5M to prove myself and get the big contract earlier.

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#74 DisappointedFan
February 07 2014, 09:04AM
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@Spydyr

They did convince Justin Schultz to come to the frozen tundra...so I will give them a single nugget of success.

Nothing more though, one good deed doesn't make up for the landslide of dropped nuggets.

And I love me some nuggets.

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#75 HardBoiledOil
February 07 2014, 09:19AM
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yup, we must sign him! and the Oilers will likely try to find another goalie in the off season to share the duties with Scrivins.

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#76 Spydyr
February 07 2014, 09:30AM
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Jordan Nugent-Hallkins wrote:

When does the trade freeze kick in? 1 PM?

Yup, 3pm eastern 1pm mountain time.

Are your fingers crossed?

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#77 camdog
February 07 2014, 09:43AM
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CdnMaDCoW wrote:

Scrivens sure has looked good for us so far but I have a baaad feeling that he doesn't even want to sign here. After all that BS about our media tyrants bashing his wife's twitter remarks, I figure the Scrivens' are looking to get outta Dodge. Thanks for the ride Ben. It was fun while it lasted.

Man oh man when a guy from Toronto, aka a LEAF FAN bashes E-town and it's published across the country in a nationally covered paper, it doesn't mean the local media are TYRANTS!

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#78 camdog
February 07 2014, 10:04AM
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2004Z06 wrote:

Anyone else find it interesting that Scrivens pads and mask still retain his old teams colors? At least Bryz wore a white mask and pads. Scrivens is not re signing here folks.

Isn't it quite a bit of work to break in a new set of pads? Doesn't the mask go good with the pads?

Personally I don't think he's made his mind up yet.

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#79 tileguy
February 07 2014, 10:11AM
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pkam wrote:

Perhaps it reflects the difference between our personality.

I am more aggressive and am willing to take risk for more profit, and that is also reflected in my retirement investment.

I thought the gov't took care of you in retirement. *)

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#80 GriffCity
February 07 2014, 10:27AM
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camdog wrote:

Scrivens is UFA at the end of the season. If he continues to play like he has for the remainder of the season, you can give him 4, over 3 years. Either that or you watch as he goes to Calgary to play for his former GM. This is the one contract that can set Scrivens up for life, he'd be crazy to sign before the season ends for anything less.

Ya maybe. Or maybe his superhuman play slows down and he ends up looking very average or worse through the remainder of the season and his value goes way down. If he has a good agent, he should be talking contract asap while he holds high value. Even now though his value is higher than it probably has ever been, he has not proven that he can maintain his excellent play over a long stretch of games. I hope that he can, but he has yet to prove it. On the other hand if he plays lights out for the rest of the year his value will continue to increase and we will have to overpay to retain him. Oilers are famous for paying players too much for good performance over a short period ie: Torres, Pisani, Horcoff and might as well list Gagner as well.

So sign Scrivens and let him play but reserve some $ for another goalie whether he's #1 or #2 cuz Scrivens may or may not be the stud he has looked like over the past 6 games.

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#81 pkam
February 07 2014, 11:32AM
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tileguy wrote:

I thought the gov't took care of you in retirement. *)

Sorry, no such luck. I am not a senator, MP, MLA, or government employee.

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#82 pkam
February 07 2014, 11:42AM
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Oiler Al wrote:

Recall when and young , unproven, starter beat the Oilers in the 2006 Stanley Cup.

That may work in hockey deserts like the Carolina.

It is different under the pressure in crazy Canadian hockey cities like Toronto and Edmonton.

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#83 DisappointedFan
February 07 2014, 01:16PM
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Help Me wrote:

Nope, he's gone. There is some smart manager out there on a winning team that will recognize his value.

Don't disagree with what you are saying, but 14 years worst team in the league. What agent would give advice to sign with this team over a dumb one. Not any smart agent that's for sure.

Until management changes and the agents and players don't view Edmonton as a joke, the Oilers are going nowhere.

The kind of agent who is thinking about his players future moneymaking efforts rather than a short term gain.

If Scrivens develops while playing as the starter here, he will be much better off getting lots of shots a night and proving he's the best damn thing. Compared to sitting on the bench behind another tendy watching them play all the time, getting a few nights in.

You forget that players, coaches, managers and fans recognize that the Oilers are just missing a few pieces before they are a contender for being a competitive team in this league. Everyone knows that when they play their game they will light you up BADLY. It's playing consistent and getting the defensive zone covered.

THEY ARE MISSING A TOP TWO DEFENCE AND THEY WILL BE UP THERE.

So for Scrivens to fly away now from his home town team, he would be giving up a prime opportunity to play and make lots of money if he doesn't Devan Dubnyk this whole thing.

We all talk about the management and team as a joke because we are the ones who watch every game and feel angry every time we see a loss.

Besides KLowe, who else in management do you want gone? MacT, he's done more to improve this team than any GM in years here. He tried Eakins out at coaching, he is struggling in his first year but slowly things are coming together and improving.

They had a set back this year in their progression through the rebuild, players they thought would perform clearly are not. So now MacT has the hard task of putting in a temporary fix to the defensive game and the small forward mix he's given. Those are EXTREMELY HARD PROBLEMS TO SOLVE BECAUSE EVERYONE WANTS THOSE PLAYERS.

If MacT makes no attempt at improving the concern areas over the next 9 months, then you are absolutely right fire them all and start fresh with a new expansion team in Seattle or Greater Toronto.

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#84 tabs
February 07 2014, 01:46PM
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DisappointedFan wrote:

If MacT has some serious blackmail on Lombardi then that could happen

When a deal for Gagner is done make sure you stop by to tell everyone that you might just have overvalued Gags a tad.

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#85 DisappointedFan
February 07 2014, 01:55PM
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@tabs

Umm..re-read my comment..

I'm telling you that I don't think he's worth the $4.8mil and that there is no way Lombardi wants to pick up that kind of contract straight up in exchange for a big forward. Unless the Oilers were retaining a huge chunk of Gagners salary it's not happening.

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#86 Walter Sobchak
February 07 2014, 05:05PM
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Zarny wrote:

Well Walter...the last team to play their starting G was SJ on January 29th...4 games ago. The game before that Vancouver started Luongo. Nsh starter is injured but the game before that was Phx and they started Smith. The 2 games prior to Phx were Van and Wpg. Again both starters played.

Star players playing lower minutes against the Oilers?

Well let's see...against the Rangers McDonaugh, Girardi, Callahan, Staal, Stralman, Stepan and Nash all played equal to or more than their average TOI/game.

Against Bos Chara played 27:50 compared to his season average of 24.57. Boychuk played 20:09 to his season average of 21:05. Krejci played 20:15 to his season average of 19:31.

So nope...other teams aren't playing their star players less against the Oilers I'm afraid.

Last season Nuge missed 8 games and Gagner missed none. Horcoff was the 3rd line C not 1 or 2. That's who missed significant time last year.

So I'm afraid last year the Oilers actually had their 1 and 2 C for most of the games. This year both started the year on the IR. Nuge's shoulder bothered him last year but he started the season in peak condition after playing in the AHL during the lockout.

This year he started the year on the IR with Gagner and was not in peak condition when he came back considering he was coming off surgery and wasn't able to train in the off-season.

It's not a stretch in the slightest that the first 20 games were an anomaly considering they've almost been at 0.500 since. That's the definition of an anomaly.

Had the Oilers started 8-10-2 instead of 4-14-2 and picked up 1 or 2 wins after with better G they'd be sitting exactly where I stated with Nsh, Car and NJ.

Now that certainly isn't something to plan a parade around; but it also doesn't warrant wetting your pants and completely losing touch with reality like we've seen on ON.

The two teams you mentioned were NYR who are in a battle to stay in the playoffs & BOS who are trying to catch PITT so those players are playing more.

again, missing the point, my point is the Oilers are going to see more and more of the back up’s, coaches are going to start resting the starters against the Oilers as the season closes, that’s just the way it is.

If by “peak” condition do you mean the same RNH that played 25 minutes in a game upon his return? That same not in peak condition player? The same RNH that has played 25 minutes in a game four or five times this year?

http://sports.nationalpost.com/2012/02/07/ryan-nugent-hopkins-out-for-up-to-10-days-with-new-shoulder-injury/

http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=681750

http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=681375

http://www.edmontonsun.com/2013/02/06/ryan-

nugent-hopkins-shoulder-injury-means-edmonton-oilers-injury-train-grows-by-one

That goes back to 2012, with RNH & his shoulder injury, so with RNH out basically the whole year last year, that’s your number 1 center going down & not playing anywhere near the way he should have played in the NHL & AHL as he missed time there as well, that means Gagner played a lot of top line minutes, Gagner is not a number 1 center…

As mentioned earlier, both Belanger & Horcoff being down a substantial amount of time that left the Oilers only 1 functional Center.

“It's not a stretch in the slightest that the first 20 games were an anomaly considering they've almost been at 0.500 since. That's the definition of an anomaly”

The first 20 games are what they were a terrible stretch by a bad hockey team, or should I mention that Scrivens 970 SV % is an anomaly and will come crashing down to reality to the mean of around 920 SV% resulting in more goals and loses for the Oilers?

No, I won’t, I am concerned about and what you seem to think where an improvement has been made?

“The Oilers started 4-14-2 in their first 20 games. They are just below 0.500 since so they've obviously improved.”

I’m looking at the numbers and they don’t lie

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AhMC4T3agcfmdG9OWkZvaVQ4bXJtT3Jub29BcnRsMWc&usp=sharing#gid=0

You show me the improvement there? You talk about the 4-12-2 as an anomaly, I’m here to tell you that the anomaly is the Oilers recent winning streak & Scrivens while obviously a good goalie will come crashing down.

These numbers tell a different story then the one you preach.

I want the Oilers to start winning just like the next person, but it's hard to get jacked up when numbers like these are being made.

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#87 Walter Sobchak
February 07 2014, 05:08PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Zarny is another one of those Oiler employees trying to contain this supposed disturbance in the force. Guess we should just forgive him of his sins since he's only doing his job.

If I cherry picked 20 "chosen" games out of this seasons shedule, I could argue that 2+2=5 as well.

It's ok, I like his passion, and he reminds me of the good version of DSF. Which can’t be all bad, he keeps guys like me in check anyways.

how you been?

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#88 Walter Sobchak
February 07 2014, 05:40PM
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oilersfan123 wrote:

Winning is the main thing. Who cares if they get outchanced on occasion?

It's not that there just being out-chanced on occasion.

They are being out shot, ,out chanced & the SV% is well above the NHL average almost every game

This is a Disastrous combination.

If Winning is just the main thing then you have the Maple Leafs.

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#89 Walter Sobchak
February 07 2014, 05:43PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Pittsburgh needs a RW to slot in with Crosby and Kunitz. Hemsky and N. Schultz for the Pens 1st this summer.

After all these years we're still in sell the farm mode.

@ Wes....great, got away for 6 weeks and back at it. Never a dull moment, trying to fix our Oilers. How about yourself?

Nice! getting ready to take off somewhere sunny myself, get some golf in.

I like the Hemsky to Pitt, maybe a first back?

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#90 hemi
February 07 2014, 06:20AM
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When was the last time that the majority of the fan base thought that our goaltender (spot light on the Professor)was past the level of good? In the very short time frame since the Oil acquired Scrivens, he has almost single handed, won over the fans and the players.

Scrivens has definitely put himself in the driver's seat and you can bet your last buck that Management knows they are on the hot seat with this player. Nobody knows for sure if Scrivens is the goalie for the Oil, but looking in the rear view mirror and looking ahead, he has demonstrated that he can indeed be a piece of the puzzle that will hopefully allow the Oil to get back to some resemblance of respectability.

Sign him!

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#91 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
February 07 2014, 07:37AM
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@DangerSteve

Don't tease me with those names. It would never happen for E-town...

...would it? D:

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#92 vetinari
February 07 2014, 07:50AM
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I think that the trade deadline is MacT's extension deadline with Scrivens-- I don't mind a bit of an overpay on a short term contract (1 to 2 years) because if Scrivens turns out to be a bust, you can still absorb and even maybe move the contract without a long term hit to your payroll.

A two year contract would also give Scrivens another 80-100 games (barring injury) to audition and prove that he should get the really big money.

Otherwise, teams will easily give you back a 1st or 2nd rounder or a mid level prospect or role player under contract to rent him for a playoff run-- and you would still have a chance to get him back when he hits UFA status in July.

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#93 719
February 07 2014, 08:19AM
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Never thought about Ramsay before but that would make alot of sense for this team.

As for Gagner trade. I can see the Oilers wanting Mike Richards. He would be a perfect veteran type the Oilers would need as a second line centre. I thought he had a no trade clause though?

If it was Mike Richards coming back, the Oilers would have to include more than Gagner, so the idea of a multi player trade that the rumor mill has been churning out would make sense.

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#94 j
February 07 2014, 08:42AM
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719 wrote:

Never thought about Ramsay before but that would make alot of sense for this team.

As for Gagner trade. I can see the Oilers wanting Mike Richards. He would be a perfect veteran type the Oilers would need as a second line centre. I thought he had a no trade clause though?

If it was Mike Richards coming back, the Oilers would have to include more than Gagner, so the idea of a multi player trade that the rumor mill has been churning out would make sense.

It depends. If the Kings are coveting Vanek then it is the NYI who we have to appease. And Vanek is a UFA. Would Gagner, a prospect and a 2 rounder in 2016 work? I mentioned Richards the other day as I really think he could be in play. The Kings have too many players that grind out games. They need some finesse. Richards is 4 years older and likely to wear down much faster given the type of game he plays. Would be a great deal for the Oil.

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#95 Rdubb
February 07 2014, 08:49AM
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I don't think MacT has to back up the brinks truck, but he should offer Scrivens a 2 or 3 yr deal worth about $1.7-$2.4 per season, & if by chance MacT also signs a big name tender in the off season and signs them to a $4M per deal, then you still only have $6-$7M tied up in 2 goalies, which isn't too bad, and if MacT can only get a capable journey man back-up signed for $1m per, well, now you have very little monies tied up in your goalies and you can go out and try and sign one or two big D men. Plus, I thought Ben carried the load real good when Quick went down and he has carried it over to Edmonton. When we first got Ben, I didn't know a lot about him, but from what I have seen these past 2 weeks, he just may be our goalie for 4 or 5 yrs, or until Broissiot (you know who I mean) is ready to come up, back up for a yr or two and then take the reins, in a perfect world that is... It sounds like Ben is fitting in very good in the Oil room, and it sounds like his mates like him a lot, although stopping the puck helps that out a TON too... Sign Scrivens soon & go from there... Peck

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#96 Max
February 07 2014, 09:01AM
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Signing Ben makes sense and a win-win situation. He's a local boy, grandparents get to see their grandkids more often during the season, other grandparents get to see them during the summer. Ben will be treated like a God in Edmonton, as we do tend to put our top players on a pedestal - heck, we even adore the not so hot ones! We get to have him mature along with our team, and with a couple more tweaks to the roster, who knows what next season could evolve into. I would love to see him signed - we haven't had this much faith in a goalie for years. Stay in Edmonton Ben, it's your chance to prove you are a number 1, and bring some hope back to the team and the fans......

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#97 The Farmer
February 07 2014, 09:01AM
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I find it interesting how everyone bows at the feet of mighty LA, and how their defence makes average goalies look great. Seems that it might be a two way street. Bernier goes to the Leafs who are routinely outshot, and has them in playoff contention. Scrivens comes to Edmonton and single handedly has won a few games that they had no business having a sniff in. Oh yeah and the Kings still have arguably the best goalie on the planet.

LA is no doubt a sound and structured team, but there is no denying that recently they're a goalie factory too

Where would our sad sack Oil be right now if we had a few of these saves early in the season when they were actually out shooting opponents, before they completely lost their confidence?

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#98 A-Mc
February 07 2014, 09:10AM
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You can usually tell when a goalie is on a hot streak. By Eye they randomly make saves they have no business making. I dont see that with Ben Scrivens. He looks sharp and in control.

Am i saying that .948 is going to be his game going forward? Hell no. But i've seen enough to convince me he is worth a shot at a healthy number for both sides.

SIGN THE PROFESSOR!

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#99 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
February 07 2014, 09:26AM
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When does the trade freeze kick in? 1 PM?

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#100 tileguy
February 07 2014, 09:34AM
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pkam wrote:

If I was Scrivens I will prefer a 1 year bridge at 2M or 2 year bridge at 2.5M to prove myself and get the big contract earlier.

I think he is at that age where the security of 10 mil in the bank will let him sleep at night and if his carear goes up in smoke ie injury, then he is set. He is till young enough that after 3 years he is still in his prime and the big contract can come then.

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