GDB 68.0: A DATE IN DETROIT

Jason Gregor
March 14 2014 01:01PM

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After tasting a tough dose of reality in St.Louis last night, the Oilers will try to avoid getting murdered in Detroit tonight. The Red Wings aren't the dominant force we've been used to seeing for the past two decades. Without Nick Lidstrom their D isn't as good, and Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk won't be in the lineup together for the 6th straight game. The Wings are 1-3-1 with their two offensive leaders in the pressbox.

The Oilers have lost seven straight games in Detroit, their last victory was December 3rd, 2009, and they've only scored six goals during the last six visits. However, tonight's version of the Red Wings is not nearly as talented as team's of the past.

The Red Wings have been injured all season. Only Pittsburgh has suffered more man-games lost to injury, but the Red Wings have been without more of their key players:

Datsyuk has missed 26 games

Zetterberg has sat out 20.

Johan Franzen has missed 27.

Darren Helm has missed 36.

Stephen Weiss has sat out 39.

Only four Red Wings have played in 60+ of their 65 games. Drew Miller, Kyle Quincey have played all 65, Niklas Kronwall has dressed for 63 and Justin Abdelkader has skated in 60. The Wings are only two points out of the playoffs. which is outstanding when you factor in their injuries, so the Oilers better be ready to compete.

Everyone should have expected the Oilers to lose in St.Louis last night. The Blues were 41 points ahead of them in the standings, and the third period showed how far away the Oilers are from competing with the elite teams.

Detroit is no longer an elite team and the Oilers shouldn't be over matched physically tonight. Every game is difficult when you are in 29th place, but this is not a game where we should expect them to be dominated like last night.

LINEUP

The Oilers won't skate this morning, but Viktor Fasth will get the start in goal. Anton Lander is with the team and I see no reason why he shouldn't draw in tonight. I'd love to see him in an offensive role, but at the very least slide him into the 4th line centre spot and move Smyth to the wing. If he doesn't play then we likely will see the same lineup as last night.

**Update...Lander will draw in for Gagner. Gagner will rest his ankle.**

Hall-Lander-Perron
Yakupov-RNH-Eberle
Hendricks-Gordon-Joensuu
Gazdic-Smyth-Jones

Marincin-Petry
Fraser-J.Schultz
Klefbom-Ference

Fasth

QUICK HITS...

The NHL GM meetings wrapped up this week, and it sounds like they are very interested in having teams switch ends in OT next year with the hope it leads to more scoring and fewer games decided by a SO. I looked up the stats for goals by period to see how much of a difference there was. I tweeted out the numbers and noticed the 2nd and 3rd periods weren't much different. However, I hadn't included empty net goals in my original tweet, and when you factor them in there is a significant difference in goal scoring during the middle frame.

Here is the break down of goals by period including last night's games.

1st period-- 1529
2nd period-- 1870
3rd period-- 1643 (There was also 190 EN goals for a total of 1833)

I quickly looked at the last two seasons as well.

2013 (48 games)
1st period-- 1125
2nd period-- 1332
3rd period-- 1162 (There was also 138 EN goals for a total of 1300)

2012 (82 games)
1st period-- 1924
2nd period-- 2254
3rd period-- 2010 (There was also 238 EN goals for a total of 2248)

The long change definitely impacts goal scoring, so making that switch in OT should lead to more goals.

But why stop there?

Why not look at making the 1st and 3rd periods the long change? You wouldn't be changing the dimensions of the ice, player equipment or a rule. If the NHL is serious about increasing scoring, why not try it?

  • The Oilers are one of only six teams who score more in the first period than they do in the second.

    TEAM 1ST period goals 2nd period goals
    Columbus 63 56
    Ottawa 62 56
    Detroit 59 55
    Los Angeles 52 41
    Edmonton 51 49
    Minnesota 49 46
  • The Kings, Wild, Blue Jackets and Oilers continue to buck the scoring trend and tally more goals in the 3rd period than they do in the 2nd period. (I only counted teams who had more 3rd period goals not including EN goals)

    TEAM 2nd period goals 3rd period goals
    Boston 65 72
    Columbus 56 62
    Calgary 53 56
    New Jersey 51 54
    Florida 49 63
    Edmonton 49 54
    Minnesota 46 53
    Los Angeles 41 52
  • I will have to look deeper, but I wonder if the reason the Oilers aren't scoring as much as other teams in the 2nd period, where more goals are scored, is due to an ineffective transition game. The Oilers D-men don't move the puck up as well as other teams, and often the forwards put too much of a gap between themselves and the D-men, thus limiting the ability to make good outlet passes.

  • Some of you might be wondering if it is the system. I looked at least season and the Oilers were one of only four teams -- Pittsburgh, Calgary, Nashville were the others -- who scored more goals in the 1st and 3rd than they did in the 2nd. I'd have to look at many factors to try and figure out why over past two seasons the Oilers haven't been able to take advantage of the long change and score more goals.

  • In 2012, the Oilers scored more in the middle frame, 59-84-55, and their most used seven defenders were: Smid, Petry, Potter, Gilbert, Whitney, Peckham and Sutton. That was an overall better group of puck movers, especially with Whitney and Gilbert, than today and might be a reason why they produced more offence in the 2nd period. In fact, during every season since the 2005 lockout the Oilers have scored more goals in the 2nd period than they did in the first, and only once did they score more in the 3rd than the 2nd frame.

  • I'm curious if you have any other theories on why over the past two seasons the Oilers haven't been as productive in the second frame, when goals are "easier" to come by.

  • I wonder if Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is fatigued? He wasn't able to train as hard as he would have liked last summer, due to his shoulder surgery. He's not a very thick guy, so I wonder if he is worn down. This off-season will be very important for him. He'll need to add muscle and strength.

  • There are many issues with the Oilers PP, but a glaring one is that they have 0 goals from defencemen. Last year Justin Schultz had 4 PP goals, but over the past two seasons he is the only blueliner to score with the man advantage. Oilers D-men have spent 504:22 seconds on the PP this year and they don't have a goal. That is brutal. You can't illustrate any better how much they lack a legitimate shooter from the point.

    Schultz scored four times with 153 PP minutes last year, but in 208 minutes this year he has no goals. Their zone entries and puck movement has been terrible lately, but it was unrealistic to expect them to be as good as they were last year. Last year, the Oilers had a ridiculous 16.86 SH% on the PP. This year they are at 11.31 (19th). New Jersey has the best PP SH% at 15.28, so there was virtually no chance the Oilers PP would be as good, but it shouldn't be this bad. Teams have taken away the down low pass and the players refuse to adapt. Teams know they won't shoot from up top, so they don't respect the shot and they keep their PK guys packed in tight. You'd think Eakins would look at trying Klefbom or Marincin at this point. It's not like the PP can get much worse.

    Schultz needs to learn to shoot more, or the Oilers have to find a D-man with a heavy shot.

    Here is how the Oilers compare to the rest of the NHL in goals and PP goals by D-men.

TEAM GOALS PP GOALS
BOS 44 18
OTT 41 8
WPG 39 9
PITT 37 12
NSH 36 14
COL 36 7
PHO 35 10
ST.L 33 9
VAN 31 8
WSH 31 8
NJ 29 15
LA 29 8
PHI 29 4
SJ 28 9
TOR 28 5
CAR 27 7
CGY 26 11
ANA 26 8
CHIC 26 8
DALL 26 6
MINN 25 8
CBJ 24 9
NYR 24 5
T.B 24 5
FLO 23 6
BUFF 23 5
DET 22 5
EDM 22 0
NYI 20 6
MONT 19 6

  • The Oilers are 30th in PP goals and 28th in ES goals by D-men.

  • Finally, please stop suggesting the Oilers lose on purpose to get a better draft pick. Do you expect the coach to tell Scrivens and Fasth, who are both want to make a good impression and want the starter's job next year, to let in a soft goal if the game is close? I'm sorry, but asking a team to tank on purpose comes from people with a loser mentality. The Oilers have mastered the art of losing, sadly, but it hasn't happened because they tried to lose, it has happened because they aren't that good.

    TONIGHT...

    BWhKmRMCYAA5aiU.jpg large

    GAME DAY PREDICTION: In the second game of back-to-back sets the Oilers are 1-1-2 when they win the first game and 1-4-1 when they lose the first one. I see that trend continuing with a 4-3 loss.

    OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers don't get a PP goal from a D-man.

    NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers have been out shot 43 times this year, 4th most in the NHL, but tonight they will shock the Wings and out shoot a team for the first time since January 24th, a span of 15 games. The Maple Leafs have been out shot in 55 of their 68 games, but their longest streak of not out shooting an opponent was only 13 games. 

    RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR

      Ddf3e2ba09069c465299f3c416e43eae
      One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
      Avatar
      #1 vetinari
      March 14 2014, 01:15PM
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      We are boned. I expect one period of effort, one period of confusion and one period of "WTF was that" hockey...

      GDP: Red Wings 5 Oilers 2

      OGDP: United we stand, divided we fall... the Oilers fall hard and no one stands up for anyone else during scrums...

      NSOGDP: During the pre-game skate, on the benches, Renney leans over to Eakins and not realizing that there is a live mic nearby says "No Dallas, we don't have any openings right now-- why do you ask?"

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      #2 majin_oil
      March 14 2014, 01:33PM
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      Obvious Game Day Prediction:Eakins stares off into space dreaming of a giant treadmill in the sky while the Oilers let in another short handed goal.

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      #3 D
      March 14 2014, 01:20PM
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      I always console myself with the fact that the Detroit Red Wings have never, ever eliminated the Edmonton Oilers in the playoffs. It's really all that some of us fans can hang on to at this point.

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      #4 Shredder
      March 14 2014, 02:02PM
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      Tonight Klefbom gets his first NHL goal, and it'll be on the PP with Smytty crashing the net. Ultimately the goal will be changed to Smyth because it glanced his skate, but that will put him into sole possession of the Oilers PP goal record. Klefbom scores again, even though he doesn't score or get points often in the AHL or Sweden, somehow the NHL works better for him and he gets his 2nd. Nuge assists on both goals and is declared out of his slump.

      Prop this post if you think Klefbom looked good out there last night. I saw him shoot 3 times in a row (or at least put it towards the net 3 times in a row) while on the PP last night.

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      #5 J.R.
      March 14 2014, 03:04PM
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      Fire Eakins.

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      #6 Rip van Winkle
      March 14 2014, 01:16PM
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      Obvious game day prediction: oilers give up more 2 on 1 opportunities on the powerplay than they get shots on net while on said powerplay

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      #7 Sean17
      March 14 2014, 03:12PM
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      J.R. wrote:

      Fire Eakins.

      Craig Button went off on Eakins today on Oilers Now. Something like "Is he a strength and conditioning coach or a hockey coach?" Dave Lumley didn't seem too impressed either. Eakins came in too cocky and arrogant. Not sure if he can win me back. Stupid Miami Vice look doesn't help either.

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      #8 Jordan1126
      March 14 2014, 02:30PM
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      obvious prediction....everyone comes on here to vent in about 6 hours...then we realize it is nice outside and time with family is better spent then caring about athletes who dont care.

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      #9 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
      March 14 2014, 01:20PM
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      Something something... power play... something something.

      Great support.

      GREAT support.

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      #10 NJ
      March 14 2014, 04:38PM
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      ****UPDATE: I misquoted earlier. Gagner will sit out to rest his vajajay, not his ankle.

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      #11 Ambassador humantorch
      March 14 2014, 01:37PM
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      Another game day. Hooray, we're dead.

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      #12 vetinari
      March 14 2014, 01:24PM
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      D wrote:

      I always console myself with the fact that the Detroit Red Wings have never, ever eliminated the Edmonton Oilers in the playoffs. It's really all that some of us fans can hang on to at this point.

      I would at least appreciate another opportunity to meet them in the playoffs to put that record to the test...

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      #13 RexHolez
      March 14 2014, 05:50PM
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      I remember a time when I use to be able to cheer and support my team. Nowadays I can't even stick up for us against flamer fans and nuckleheads. My team has been turned into a joke and an emberassment, and it's even still the same guys running it. Now I don't watch games. I just laugh when I look at how bad the loss was

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      #14 vetinari
      March 14 2014, 06:13PM
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      Where's the shot of Eakins after we get scored on? It's part of our drinking game... don't even ask about failed toe drags, goals against while on the PP, or offensive blue line turn overs...

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      #15 Ryan2
      March 14 2014, 01:54PM
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      Quicksilver ballet wrote:

      That was one bad emotional beatdown last night in St.Louey.

      Hard to recover so soon. Wings play one period of hockey this evening to beat our Oilers tonight again as well. Oil come home Sunday night after losing to the Canes a frustrated, wounded and battered group. 1 and 3 on this trip.

      Develop from within, these kids are on their own to fix it. Ekblad or bust!

      I did not catch last night's game, but I took my son to the 6-0 beat down the Blues delivered around Christmas. He is a novice age d-man, and I told him to just focus on the Blues' defence as an example of how to play the position properly.

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      #16 wintoon
      March 14 2014, 08:32PM
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      Sure am getting tired of know it alls trashing every player on the Oilers. Can't believe they have started on Nuge and Yakupov at this stage in their careers during a crappy 'team season'. Get some perspective and quit your whining. Supremely tired of all the negatives.

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      #17 Anton CP
      March 14 2014, 07:46PM
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      After listening to radio today that I am seriously convinced that Oilers should trade Yakupov away as soon as possible. Not for the team's sake but for his own good, the longer he stay with this team that he is further away from being the player that he always wants to be. If he spend one more season with Oilers that his career will be severely murdered by this organization.

      As matter of fact, I wasn't happy when Yak was drafted by Oilers. I got the feeling that he will not be a good fit for this team. I was hoping that they would either trade away the pick or swap him for other players. For whatever the reason that this organization decided to keep him and rush him. Only if he had the balls to pull a Lindros that his career will not turned out to be like this.

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      #18 spliff
      March 14 2014, 08:26PM
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      We bash the Oilers daily, and they deserve it, but tonight they played well in a b2b in a tough rink.

      If they gave an effort like this more often we might be proud to call ourselves Oil fans again.

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      #19 Concur
      March 14 2014, 03:24PM
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      To continue further, and it pains me to say it, but this is what Feaster did right in Calgary. The expectation should always be to win 82 games. This is why Calgary is above us in the standings.

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      #20 Dave
      March 14 2014, 07:23PM
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      Alsker wrote:

      Just got in..is it worth the effort to watch this one?

      Is it ever worth the effort?

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      #21 vetinari
      March 14 2014, 03:45PM
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      Jordan1126 wrote:

      the one thing i keep hearing on your show gregor is how Eakins wont get fired, and that the excuse is the players have seen 4 coaches in four years etc etc.

      Not to disrespect your comments but I find it hard to believe that it takes a full season to buy into a new "system". I find it also 100% unnaceptable that we do not see the effort and heart that Eakins promised me from day 1. I, like most people were willing to give him a fair shot but here we are near the end of the season on a downward spiral.

      I think Mac T may have to swallow his pride and own up to the fact that just as these players need some veteran leadership, that exact type of veteran leadership has to start from behind the bench. We need someone with a succesful track record to implement respect and hard work.

      In all reality the last thing this team needed was another number one draft pick in the form of a coach. Talk is cheap, and we are learning that the hard way. I understand Eakins was good at developing young players, but I feel this is the makeup of an AHL coach. In the NHL you have to teach a winning attitude. Not make a player quicker or stronger, they should already have those fundemantals at this level. It is now about playing a team game, and knowing your role and delivering night in and night out on a consistent basis.

      A full clean sweep of the coaching staff is required stat.

      Im sick of watching the definition of insanity.

      To follow up on your point with Eakins, in economics, there is a concept called "sunk cost".

      It's when you commit to a process or strategy that doesn't work, but rather than cut losses and move on (which is what a rational person would do), the party keeps sinking in more and more resources to try and make that option work.

      That's how I see Eakins right now. I can't see by what system of assessment that he has improved the team but rather than cut our losses, we are doubling down on him. Get ready for another fun filled season next year boys and girls...

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      #22 City of Champignons
      March 14 2014, 01:49PM
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      Here's hoping the players are as pissed off about last night as the rest of us and they light up the Wings....here's hoping.

      Schultz, like all other young Oilers is a work in progress. I've never really understood the hype. I wish he were about 100 times more aggressive.

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      #23 ThatButthurtOilersFan
      March 14 2014, 04:30PM
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      Pretty satisfied that Lander is drawing in on the first line tonight. Good luck pal!

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      #24 Quicksilver ballet
      March 14 2014, 01:27PM
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      That was one bad emotional beatdown last night in St.Louey.

      Hard to recover so soon. Wings play one period of hockey this evening to beat our Oilers tonight again as well. Oil come home Sunday night after losing to the Canes a frustrated, wounded and battered group. 1 and 3 on this trip.

      Develop from within, these kids are on their own to fix it. Ekblad or bust!

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      #25 Sean17
      March 14 2014, 03:48PM
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      I don't understand how Colorado with their new coach and no-name defense is this much better than the Oilers....

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      #26 Lofty
      March 14 2014, 05:49PM
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      Zarny wrote:

      Great support indeed.

      Good to see Lander step in for Gagner. He may never be more than a 3-4 C and no he isn't big and physical. Neither is Andrew Shaw. Chicago finds a roll for him.

      Know who's a statistically physical oiler? Arcobello.

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      #27 Quicksilver ballet
      March 14 2014, 06:35PM
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      @David S

      Hanging onto your so called cornerstone veteran players like Smid,Gagner,Hemsky and Horcoff really paid dividends I see.

      How is your idol Shawn Horcoff doing anyways....

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      #28 LoweBlow
      March 15 2014, 12:24AM
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      I'm just going to finally say it.

      The Edmonton Oilers are bad at hockey.

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      #29 Dog Train
      March 14 2014, 01:27PM
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      The Red Wings have made the playoffs for 22 straight years so I definitely will not feel sorry for them if they finally miss this year. The sad thing is their management will probably use words like "unacceptable" to describe their season while Edmonton management will continue to take their loyal fan base for granted.

      We haven't had much success against the Red Wings since the 2006 playoffs it seems so I will say 4-2 Red Wings. The usual suspects (Perron, Hendricks, Hall, Marincin) show some spark but the second line continues to be MIA and our D can't break up a cycle to save their lives.

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      #30 shonn
      March 14 2014, 01:35PM
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      shultz loves to wait until the winger is right in front of him before he shoots, thats the problem, just rip away

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      #31 baggedmilk
      March 14 2014, 02:19PM
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      PLEASE WIN! It makes writing the post game way more fun.

      Thank you.

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      #32 Still Hopeful
      March 14 2014, 03:44PM
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      Good draft.

      Yak = Diagle

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      #33 Still Hopeful
      March 14 2014, 03:47PM
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      vetinari wrote:

      To follow up on your point with Eakins, in economics, there is a concept called "sunk cost".

      It's when you commit to a process or strategy that doesn't work, but rather than cut losses and move on (which is what a rational person would do), the party keeps sinking in more and more resources to try and make that option work.

      That's how I see Eakins right now. I can't see by what system of assessment that he has improved the team but rather than cut our losses, we are doubling down on him. Get ready for another fun filled season next year boys and girls...

      That's how I see all the Ex-Oilers involved with the team. We have had 14 years of the "sunk cost" theory and things won't get better until the entire front office is fired and some smart hockey minds are brought in.

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      #34 Fortinbras
      March 14 2014, 04:24PM
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      The main reason I started reading Oilers blogs was to kill time at work. It eventually became habit and a nice way to take down the morning coffee. After 2 years of dedicated reading, what I have come to appreciate is long, well written article that I can consider before having to move onto to awful "fire Eakins" comments (but I will read them because I am here for a reason, to kill 9-5pm).

      So Gregor, I want to commend you and your journalism skills because I look forward to your lengthy, unbiased articles... which I know is probably the harder than ever these days.

      Regardless of this season, I will continue to watch and read - losing I can handle: I'm a born, raised, educated and employed Edmontonian. But I fear our team dissolving over the next 2 years as our rabid addiction turns violent and we attack and drive even the golden boys out of town (Hallsy, don't goooo). Let's hope that tonight, the light at the end of the tunnel starts to peak through and we see an angry Yakupov rip home at least one gino. That way he can show Dreger that he's only good for a now overplayed meme.

      GOilers.

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      #35 Sean17
      March 14 2014, 04:29PM
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      Maybe the Oilers should practice standing up for each other by beating up cabbies as a team building exercise. They can start with that knob on TSN...

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      #36 Harry2
      March 14 2014, 07:28PM
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      Naky wrote:

      Oh yes, Arcobello is a statistically physical player all right. The Oilers should get more junior sized forwards to play for them, we'll well be on our way to the playoffs if only we had more 5'9, 170lb forwards. At least they would work hard, right? Because at that size, they kind of have to or they don't even get the call up in the first place.

      Just. Stop. Already.

      I am completely in agreement with you. Some people just dont seem to understand that Edm is just to damn small.

      Sacrifice some skill to get some size. The top 6 has to change or next season will be just like this one.

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      #37 Anton CP
      March 14 2014, 07:51PM
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      Harry2 wrote:

      Since when do 19 year old players get to come into the league and get spoon fed ice-time?

      Yakupov has to earn his time. And since hes probably never had to play D his whole career I think he should stop being a pussy and start listening to the vets and the coaches.

      He reminds me of Steamin Willie Beamen from Any Given Sunday

      Then why not just have him to start off from minors? Why even bother to have him on the roster? What have suggested you that he didn't listen? It is more like he should stop listen because if you are actually watching him play that he was so scared of making mistakes and stop taking chances because that is not what the coach want. Stop dreaming about that you are actually watching an organization has a clue about what they are doing and coaching staff actually know how to win.

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      #38 Anton CP
      March 14 2014, 08:18PM
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      I guess the goods about this game are they actually forced a SO and also only gave up 23 shots.

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      #39 Stack Pad Save
      March 14 2014, 09:09PM
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      wintoon wrote:

      Sure am getting tired of know it alls trashing every player on the Oilers. Can't believe they have started on Nuge and Yakupov at this stage in their careers during a crappy 'team season'. Get some perspective and quit your whining. Supremely tired of all the negatives.

      So we should cheer for this team? They get paid millions of dollars to play a game. I think they can handle and deserve some negativity for the way they have played this season.

      I would like to add that Nuge and Yakupov's play this year are the least of my concerns about this team. However, going forward this team needs to find a way to make it so these kids can better by having better players around them. That means one of Eberle, or Yakupov needs to get traded for top 6 skill, size and grit.

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      #40 Tikkanese
      March 14 2014, 01:23PM
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      @JG

      Nyquist missed those games because he was in the AHL.

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      #41 Sean17
      March 14 2014, 02:28PM
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      How come when other teams dump the puck in they win the battle. But when we do, the other teams come away with the puck? Big lack of support on the dump in. Nobody is there to help or pay the price. Maybe Eakins should do a Swarm offense... The puck is like a grenade on Fraser's stick.

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      #42 mesa
      March 14 2014, 03:24PM
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      now we should start debating who is a good fit to be the next head coach. .

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      #43 Jordan1126
      March 14 2014, 03:33PM
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      the one thing i keep hearing on your show gregor is how Eakins wont get fired, and that the excuse is the players have seen 4 coaches in four years etc etc.

      Not to disrespect your comments but I find it hard to believe that it takes a full season to buy into a new "system". I find it also 100% unnaceptable that we do not see the effort and heart that Eakins promised me from day 1. I, like most people were willing to give him a fair shot but here we are near the end of the season on a downward spiral.

      I think Mac T may have to swallow his pride and own up to the fact that just as these players need some veteran leadership, that exact type of veteran leadership has to start from behind the bench. We need someone with a succesful track record to implement respect and hard work.

      In all reality the last thing this team needed was another number one draft pick in the form of a coach. Talk is cheap, and we are learning that the hard way. I understand Eakins was good at developing young players, but I feel this is the makeup of an AHL coach. In the NHL you have to teach a winning attitude. Not make a player quicker or stronger, they should already have those fundemantals at this level. It is now about playing a team game, and knowing your role and delivering night in and night out on a consistent basis.

      A full clean sweep of the coaching staff is required stat.

      Im sick of watching the definition of insanity.

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      #44 Harry
      March 14 2014, 07:15PM
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      Holy hell has Eakins actually changed his garbage PP!! And whats with Principes Jerry curl?

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      #45 Harry2
      March 14 2014, 07:50PM
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      Anton CP wrote:

      After listening to radio today that I am seriously convinced that Oilers should trade Yakupov away as soon as possible. Not for the team's sake but for his own good, the longer he stay with this team that he is further away from being the player that he always wants to be. If he spend one more season with Oilers that his career will be severely murdered by this organization.

      As matter of fact, I wasn't happy when Yak was drafted by Oilers. I got the feeling that he will not be a good fit for this team. I was hoping that they would either trade away the pick or swap him for other players. For whatever the reason that this organization decided to keep him and rush him. Only if he had the balls to pull a Lindros that his career will not turned out to be like this.

      Since when do 19 year old players get to come into the league and get spoon fed ice-time?

      Yakupov has to earn his time. And since hes probably never had to play D his whole career I think he should stop being a pussy and start listening to the vets and the coaches.

      He reminds me of Steamin Willie Beamen from Any Given Sunday

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      #46 gk1980
      March 14 2014, 07:59PM
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      wow, it's fait to say we have not had a 1C all year. Gagner and Nuge have both struggled. I don't know if I'm completely sold on nugent hopkins. He just seemd lights out at the beggining og his career but he has struggled huge this year. Maybe the Oilers should draft a center instead?

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      #47 mesa
      March 14 2014, 03:21PM
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      i do not know what to write .everything was said and covered .will like everybody else i am jumping of the bandwagon cause it is boring when you are by yourself..

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      #48 Will
      March 14 2014, 03:58PM
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      Sean17 wrote:

      I don't understand how Colorado with their new coach and no-name defense is this much better than the Oilers....

      Look at who they have down the middle, then look at some of their bigger wingers, then realize they've had decent goal tending all year, not just recently, then realize their coach has never once said the words, "swarm system", and you'll have some idea.

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      #49 Harry
      March 14 2014, 04:06PM
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      Concur wrote:

      To continue further, and it pains me to say it, but this is what Feaster did right in Calgary. The expectation should always be to win 82 games. This is why Calgary is above us in the standings.

      That is what pissed me off so much about Katz latest letter. He openly said that they were out of the playoffs. Obviously he is right but you should never ever openly admit something like that to your fan base. If they are 20 points out of 29th place the "L" word should never be said to the fanbase.

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      #50 Dman09
      March 14 2014, 04:25PM
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      I'm soo happy Gagner isn't playing tonight, it was so painful to watch him play last night. On one shift he clean passed the puck directly to a Blues player with no Oilers in sight. Just awful, they need to trade this guy. Same goes for Fraser, he isn't a NHL caliber player he needs to go.

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