MACT'S BEST MOVES, YEAR ONE

Lowetide
March 10 2014 10:13PM

mact common7

The Edmonton Oilers have not enjoyed a good season, but there has been plenty of good work done. GM Craig MacTavish took over one year ago, and has been very active. Which move has worked out the best?

DRAFTING DARNELL NURSE

nurse common

The defenseman Edmonton is looking for right now? Darnell Nurse may be that exact player. A strong step forward in boxcars (including an impressive power-play spike) married to tough minutes means Nurse is displaying a wide range of skills in one of the best junior leagues on the planet.


SIGNING BOYD GORDON

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Extreme zone starts, penalty killing, and scoring more than we expected, Boyd Gordon makes a strong case for team MVP. The zone starts are the third toughest in the league. 

boyd gordon

Gordon's crazy zone starts show up in the Vollman Sledgehammer. He's playing very difficult minutes and has been doing it all season long. 

TRADING FOR DAVID PERRON

perron4

perron scoring

The assets given (Paajarvi and a 2) had value, but Perron has covered them with a strong season. His offense is obvious, but he also plays with an edge and has provided the club with terrific even strength offense.

5x5/60, Oiler forwards

  1. Taylor Hall 3.15
  2. David Perron 2.10
  3. Mark Arcobello 1.93
  4. Jordan Eberle 1.79
  5. Nail Yakupov 1.60
  6. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 1.60
  7. Sam Gagner 1.54

Perron's 2.10/60 at 5x5 ranks him 64th overall in the entire NHL among regular forwards. That's a helluva player.

ACQUIRING AND SIGNING BEN SCRIVENS

scrivens

He leads the NHL in save percentage, and his numbers have improved since he arrived in Edmonton. The Oilers haven't had goaltending this good since Dwayne Roloson. The fact that he's a pretty good interview and has that 'goalie cool' attitude make it even more fun.

I SAID PARDON?

pug

Which is it? The "perfect fit" defenseman Darnell Nurse, the shutdown center, the scoring winger with an edge or the show-stopper in goal?

I know this much: if Steve Tambellini had 12 months that included Perron, Scrivens and Gordon the Oilers wouldn't be in this mess. Can MacTavish repeat things this summer? He'll have to, and more. 

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Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on Team 1260.
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#101 Craig1981
March 11 2014, 12:37PM
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Czar wrote:

Enjoy them?? I hit mute as soon as the Oiler broadcast crew hits the air! They're a joke nation wide and hope like he!! none of them get rehired at contract time. I did prop and trash you punny guy.

We can't let others across the nation decide who the Oilers Broadcast team is. We need to stand up for our ethics and Principes.

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#102 Craig1981
March 11 2014, 12:43PM
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dougtheslug wrote:

Call it "The Swarm", "overload", "collapse", or whatever. It still looks to the rest of the NHL like the "Chinese Fire Drill" (with all due respect to our Asian-Canadian brethren). A defensive system that gives up shots and chances by the boatload no matter who is on the ice.

It has resulted in the worst goals against in the league and the worst collective defense in recent memory.

Hard to think of what MacT has done right when so much on this team is going wrong.

Ok, what system would you rather them play?!?!? Man on mam (typically reserved for teams with size)??

I think the missing of the 1-3 spot on the blueline and maybe (almost for sure) the worst goaltending in Oilers history has more to do with the GAA than Eakins.

Read above he has done a lot right. And since we don't know what the options were for sized forwards and top dmen I don't think you can point to anything.........think about it, lot at the cost for Clarkson, it would of done more damage long term for the Oil to of added him.

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#103 Ed in Edmonton
March 11 2014, 12:59PM
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dougtheslug wrote:

MacT's response to finding the top 4 defencemen he sorely needs was to acquire Belov, Larsen, Grebeshkov,Fraser, and Ference. In terms of top 4, that's 0 for 5. In terms of actual top 7, thats probably 1 for 5. Which just tells me he has a hard time recognizing what an NHL d-man looks like.

Not getting a top 4 defenceman is a failing, but you need to give quality to get quality. So far the Oil management refuse to part with their young core. I think this will need to change.

I see nothing very wrong in trying Belov, Larsen, Grabs, Fraser or Ference. They gave up almost nothing of value to obtain any of these (3 free agents, 2 acquired for spare parts).

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#104 McScotterson
March 11 2014, 01:07PM
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My hopes are this: Mac T – Makes moves for hardworking players that can execute the system of play. Wouldn’t mind seeing some “Money Puck” moves: Problem is most of the fans only want to have poster boy players, that other teams are very unlikely to trade or are sought after UFA’s by very desirable teams. These “Money Puck” moves may need to be the stop gaps needed till the Baron’s can develop our prospects to an actual NHL level of play.

Who do you think is undervalued player based on the classic discrimination's in hockey: ( age, height, weight, conditioning, PR, Attitude,…etc.)

Focus D-men:

Focus Forwards:

In the end our team needs to find a way to GRIND wins any way shape or form. I think the fans would welcome these misfits if the win column changed a bit.

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#105 dougtheslug
March 11 2014, 01:12PM
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Craig1981 wrote:

Ok, what system would you rather them play?!?!? Man on mam (typically reserved for teams with size)??

I think the missing of the 1-3 spot on the blueline and maybe (almost for sure) the worst goaltending in Oilers history has more to do with the GAA than Eakins.

Read above he has done a lot right. And since we don't know what the options were for sized forwards and top dmen I don't think you can point to anything.........think about it, lot at the cost for Clarkson, it would of done more damage long term for the Oil to of added him.

If the Oilers can't win 5 of their last 17 games (and looking at the schedule, thats going to be a tall order to accomplish), they will have had the worst season in their history. In any event it will likely be their second worst season ever, resulting in a fourth lottery pick in five years. This, after "rebuilding" for at least five years.

Revelling in MacT's accomplishments this year is a little like saying the Titanic had a terrific maiden voyage, aside from a little paint damage from scraping an iceberg.

MacT has been in management with this team sine June 2012 when he was hired as "Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations", whatever that means. But for sure he has been involved with running this team for two years. He gets no free pass.

And Eakins has moved everything backwards. The players he inherited have regressed. Only an all-world stretch of games by Scrivens has prevented total humiliation. And if you think his league leading .934 save percentage is sustainable, well, .....words fail me.

I'm a fan. A season ticket holder since the early 80's. This, for me is the worst season ever. I've looked for silver linings for 8 years. I ain't doing it anymore.

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#106 Czar
March 11 2014, 01:17PM
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@Craig1981

Your already better than Gene, send them your resume!

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#107 bdiddy18
March 11 2014, 01:23PM
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He most definitely will have the Cap Space to do it! and tons of dead weight become UFA's this summer.

There will not be a No. 1 defenseman UFA so the defense will continue to be the weakest link.

only hope is to fast track it with a trade with a team that needs offence. Maybe the Jets missing the playoffs this year will make them deal Bogosian, or Byfuglien, - LA willing to deal Alec Martinez ??

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#108 Hall of a Player
March 11 2014, 01:41PM
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@dougtheslug

Asking what the best thing MacT has done this year is like asking the proverbial question to Mrs. Lincoln, "Aside from what happened to your husband, how did you enjoy the play?"

Best line I have heard this year....Mad props to you sir!!

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#109 Towersofdub
March 11 2014, 02:45PM
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@Rama Lama

how did Brent Sutter do in Calgary?

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#110 Zarny
March 11 2014, 03:10PM
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dougtheslug wrote:

Call it "The Swarm", "overload", "collapse", or whatever. It still looks to the rest of the NHL like the "Chinese Fire Drill" (with all due respect to our Asian-Canadian brethren). A defensive system that gives up shots and chances by the boatload no matter who is on the ice.

It has resulted in the worst goals against in the league and the worst collective defense in recent memory.

Hard to think of what MacT has done right when so much on this team is going wrong.

Umm no. Not quite.

The overload system does not give up shots and chances by the boatload by design. Several teams use the exact same system as Edm and give up very few shots.

The Oilers poor execution is what gives up the shots and chances. It isn't the system; it's the players getting beat 1 on 1 or simply not being in position.

However, that would be the case no matter what system the Oilers used. Which is why all the drivel about Eakins' systems is pointless. The Oilers simply don't have enough good players to execute any system well.

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#111 Zarny
March 11 2014, 03:23PM
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dougtheslug wrote:

If the Oilers can't win 5 of their last 17 games (and looking at the schedule, thats going to be a tall order to accomplish), they will have had the worst season in their history. In any event it will likely be their second worst season ever, resulting in a fourth lottery pick in five years. This, after "rebuilding" for at least five years.

Revelling in MacT's accomplishments this year is a little like saying the Titanic had a terrific maiden voyage, aside from a little paint damage from scraping an iceberg.

MacT has been in management with this team sine June 2012 when he was hired as "Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations", whatever that means. But for sure he has been involved with running this team for two years. He gets no free pass.

And Eakins has moved everything backwards. The players he inherited have regressed. Only an all-world stretch of games by Scrivens has prevented total humiliation. And if you think his league leading .934 save percentage is sustainable, well, .....words fail me.

I'm a fan. A season ticket holder since the early 80's. This, for me is the worst season ever. I've looked for silver linings for 8 years. I ain't doing it anymore.

Since the first 20 games the Oilers are only a few games under 0.500; so odds are they win more than 5 of their last 17 games.

And no, they haven't been rebuilding for at least 5 years. It's only been 4. Unfortunately the 4 years of missing the playoffs prior to 2010 were just losing as Lowe chased anything that resembled talent after the 2006 Cup run.

You might want to take note that 5 years after drafting Duncan Keith in 2002 the Blackhawks finished 26th and drafted Patrick Kane by winning the lottery.

Had those 4 years prior to 2010 produced players that could have been used as pillars to build around the Oilers rebuild would be further along. Alas that isn't the case. Petry, Gagner and Hemsky could be/have been pieces in the final solution but none of them are pillars to build around.

Eakins hasn't set everything back. It's hardly unusual young players like Hall, Eberle and Nuge stumbled the first year they were really thrown out against the opposition's top lines with little to no support.

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#112 smiliegirl15
March 11 2014, 03:26PM
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Give poor Darnell Nurse a break! We don't need another kid rushed into the league who's in over his head because no one else is better ahead of him.

From all reports, Nurse is going to be a great defenseman but please, please, please don't ruin him by rushing him onto the Oilers roster because they suck so bad. Do you need examples of why not? Case and point - Sam Gagner. Justin Schultz is another - he's expected to be a first pairing defenseman when he should be allowed to develop. Throwing them to the wolves the second they're in the door is not good for the team in the long run... and that's what we all want - a long run!

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#113 Ed in Edmonton
March 11 2014, 03:37PM
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Zarny wrote:

Since the first 20 games the Oilers are only a few games under 0.500; so odds are they win more than 5 of their last 17 games.

And no, they haven't been rebuilding for at least 5 years. It's only been 4. Unfortunately the 4 years of missing the playoffs prior to 2010 were just losing as Lowe chased anything that resembled talent after the 2006 Cup run.

You might want to take note that 5 years after drafting Duncan Keith in 2002 the Blackhawks finished 26th and drafted Patrick Kane by winning the lottery.

Had those 4 years prior to 2010 produced players that could have been used as pillars to build around the Oilers rebuild would be further along. Alas that isn't the case. Petry, Gagner and Hemsky could be/have been pieces in the final solution but none of them are pillars to build around.

Eakins hasn't set everything back. It's hardly unusual young players like Hall, Eberle and Nuge stumbled the first year they were really thrown out against the opposition's top lines with little to no support.

Have you looked to see how tough their schedule is done the stretch? They play 7 games against California teams, the Blues or the Wild. They have not been in the same league as any of these teams all year and other than a 59 save performance have gained 0 points for their efforts. Basically they have 10 games from which to gain some points.

They play 5 against "bubble" teams like the Coyotes, Rangers etc and 5 against non playoff teams like the Flames, Sabres, Preds, and Canucks. 5 wins might be a bit pessimistic but not out of the question.

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#114 gcw_rocks
March 12 2014, 07:33AM
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Given how well Nichushkin has played this season, I am surprised you give MacT points for Nurse.

Nichushkin would have given the Oilers top 6 something it desperately needed and would have done so right away, not in three years after the draft.

At best it was a neutral move given the options, but to say it was one of his best moves doesn't reflect the decision making reality he faced at the time.

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#115 gcw_rocks
March 12 2014, 07:37AM
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Zarny wrote:

Since the first 20 games the Oilers are only a few games under 0.500; so odds are they win more than 5 of their last 17 games.

And no, they haven't been rebuilding for at least 5 years. It's only been 4. Unfortunately the 4 years of missing the playoffs prior to 2010 were just losing as Lowe chased anything that resembled talent after the 2006 Cup run.

You might want to take note that 5 years after drafting Duncan Keith in 2002 the Blackhawks finished 26th and drafted Patrick Kane by winning the lottery.

Had those 4 years prior to 2010 produced players that could have been used as pillars to build around the Oilers rebuild would be further along. Alas that isn't the case. Petry, Gagner and Hemsky could be/have been pieces in the final solution but none of them are pillars to build around.

Eakins hasn't set everything back. It's hardly unusual young players like Hall, Eberle and Nuge stumbled the first year they were really thrown out against the opposition's top lines with little to no support.

Did you read Willis' post the other day on the Oilers shots against and fenwick?

Any Oiler fan who read that should be crapping bricks. The Oilers are actually regressing, but this is being covered up by Scrivens' hot streak.

It is foolish to assume Scrivens can play that well in the future.

MacT and Eakins have actually found a way to take a bad team and make it worse, something I didn't think was possible.

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#116 Althea Thoone
March 12 2014, 09:25AM
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The Oiler's season was destroyed by management not recognizing how incredibly inept Dubnyk was at the start of this season and then not doing something about it. Dubnyk was and is NOT an NHL goaltender and the proof is clear to all now. Continuing to play him over and over and allowing him to completely drain this young team's confidence by letting in one or two soft goals per game and averaging 4 or 5 goals against per game literally destroyed the entire Oilers team's confidence this year (and the last couple of years as well). Let's not forget that it was Dubnyk that got us 3 first overall picks. The "best move" MacT made was getting rid of Dubnyk and the results are clearly observable. After the trade Dubnyk played two games for Nashville and allowed 10 goals including Nashville being up on Calgary 4 to 1 and then losing 5 to 4 in his second appearance and that was enough for Nashville. They'd seen all they had to and he never played another minute for Nashville. Why couldn't Oiler's management see this and make some goaltending changes before it was too late? You build a team from the goal out. Anyone who knows anything about hockey knows that! Since the Oilers got rid of that inept, bungling fool the team's goals against has improved dramatically and the kids have gained some of their confidence back and their current record reflects just that. No longer are the Oilers down by two or three "bad" goals before the fans have even taken their seats. No longer do you see the entire team's bench deflated and hanging their heads after soft goals being let in. And where is Dubnyk now? Basically he is now a back up on Montreal's farm team and the only reason Montreal took him from Nashville was because the Oilers and Nashville are paying three quarters of his salary. Confidence is a lot more important than people realize. Blaming it on defence and the Oilers not having a Weber, Doughty, Suter, Chara type stud defenceman is foolishness. 25 other teams in the league wish they had a stud defenceman too but seem to do ok with above average goaltending instead. Does Vancouver have a terribly weak defence? No - they simply do not have a quality goaltender any more and look at what has happened to them lately. Seven goals in the third period when they were up 3 nothing. It's ALL about goaltending folks. The Oiler's management mistakenly hoped Dubnyk would play himself out of his funk so they could get something for him and they waited way too long. And the rest is now history.

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