“I got your back!”

Jason Strudwick
March 14 2014 09:54AM

Team-5

Everyone has said the phrase above to a family member or friend at some point in their lives.

Who hasn’t had a buddy that needed some cash for lunch and you stepped up to help out?

Who hasn’t been out with a buddy for a night on the town and you meet up with a couple of girls? One is attractive and the other is a little bit rougher around the edges. Your bro is really into the hot one. As a good friend you step into the breach and are a good wing man.

Who hasn’t had to help out a family member with a big or small helping hand? Maybe you don’t really have the time or desire to do it but you are there for your family.

I believe a hockey team needs to be a close knit group. There should be a respect for each other’s abilities and skill sets. There needs to be an understanding of what every player contributes to the group, some more than others, but each one contributes to success.

I don’t think everyone needs to be best friends. There is no need to share your life with each and every teammate. At times a blow up is healthy. It clears the air. If two guys decide they need to come to blows, get after it. It is healthy on a team.

I don’t think everyone has to enjoy each other’s company. I have been on teams where linemates didn’t hang out away from the ice. That is fine as long as there is respect.

But….once you leave the room to play a game everyone becomes united. Each individual unites under one banner or better yet team logo. You play for each other, stick together and support one another.

The Oilers have had a hell of a rough season. For many fans, expectations were set too high and a slow start has brought them to the point of giving up. Another lottery pick is a long way from the playoffs…..again.

I did not expect this team to make the playoffs nor did I expect a lottery pick. I would never have expected to see the lack of team unity I have seen too often this season.

4-Hall-16

Twice against the Blues on Thursday night, Taylor Hall was a part of scrums. Both times it started with Blues goalie Ryan Miller. I want to focus on the second incident.

Hall was called for off side. After the whistle, he took a very light backhand shot on Miller. The Blues took exception. I have no problem with their reaction. Most teams would react the same.

The first Blues player to confront Hall was Vladimir Tarasenko. He was quickly joined by Jay Bouwmeester. They were pushing Hall around. A third player Blues player jumped in before one Oiler arrived.

Bouwmeester and Tarasenko are big players but I can’t imagine anyone is fearful of them. With thirty two penalty minutes between the two of them we can safely assume they are not aggressive even if you have never watched them play a second.

19-Schultz-7

Hall was left to his own with the players. No one rushed over to even out the numbers. Mark Fraser was intercepted but that left Hall’s linemates and Justin Schultz.

There is no excuse for not coming to his aid. He is a teammate, one of the team’s best players, he deserves the support.

When a scrum arose four if not five Blues players were always in the picture. The Oilers were lucky to have two. Where was the support? Did the other guys pull the old “What happened? I didn’t see it!”

Imagine if the situation were reversed. If Jaden Schwartz had got involved with Scrivens. Is there anyone who believes there would not have been all his buddies right there with him? For sure! Front and center!

Why were the Oilers not there you ask? Two reasons I hope…. One reason I don’t hope.

1 – I hope it is the youth in the higher minute players. They are unsure how to handle these situations.

2 - I hope it is the lack of the feeling of ability to handle those situations. They feel they lack size or that skill set. The good news is it can be taught. It is very easy to go into a pile and hold on to a guy from behind.

The one reason I hope they don’t go to help teammates is they don’t care to. This is very scary if it is actually true. This would mean they feel it is every man for himself. There is not a sense of team inside the dressing room. How can you ask guys to hold each other accountable when there is no sense of team?

I don’t think and don’t want to believe there is not enough care in that room for each other.

The next time there is a scrum where a player is isolated I will be interested to see the group’s reaction.

If I were the coach, after tonight’s game I would have blown the roof off yelling at my team for this.  

We have seen the group come together in the past. I am reminded of Yakupov and the Jets situation with Ladd and company. I loved that! Showed that the guys were together.

After last night’s display I wonder where that has gone or if that was an anomaly. Do they really have each other’s back in that dressing room?

5cf6b487166aced0cd781e41bfef915e
Jason hosts the Jason Strudwick show from 9pm to 12am, weeknights on the team 1260. He is an instructor at Mount Carmel Hockey Academy and loves working with the kids. Having played over 650 games in the NHL, Jason has some great stories and unique takes on life in the NHL. He loves Slurpees and Blizzards. Dislikes baggy clothes and close talkers.
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#1 Reagan
March 14 2014, 10:31AM
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Regardless of last nights outcome they showed up as a team last night! We can tall about how badly they were out played last night but the stomach gutcheck was there. Now only if this would happen in a nightly basis... Here hoping for next year. Good game regardless the poor outcome

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#2 Sevenseven
March 14 2014, 10:06AM
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Hall should call out Eakins publicly on his attitude towards no payback, not getting into scrums. Stick his neck out and show how much that clown has lost the room. I think Eakins is to blame for the lack of cohesion in the locker room, Especially with the toughness Mac T brought in this year.

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#3 scotian oiler
March 14 2014, 10:34AM
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@The Towel Boy

Regardless if you like or dislike your teammate for his passion, gotta say hall shows it every game, you stick together. People like you need to be punched in the face. I wouldn't want you on my team, I'd probably punch you in the face myself. Go play soccer or cricket.

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#4 Hayek
March 14 2014, 11:53AM
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Jason, you're a dinosaur

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#5 Bishai in the Benches
March 14 2014, 11:24AM
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J wrote:

Hi, im doing a paper on hockey for school and was wondering were i could find what the average 2013 2014 salary is. Thanks

The NHL recently introduced a salary cap which makes calculating average salaries very difficult. For example, Dustin Byfuglien has a stipulation in his contract that provides him 25% of his salary in doughnuts if he is playing under 280 pounds. But I would guess that the average NHL salary is approximately 6,948,000,000 rupees (standard currency used by the NHL, as per the new CBA -better exchange rate). However the average salary is expected to go up next year, because Linus Omark will be needing a new salary.

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#6 The Towel Boy
March 14 2014, 10:17AM
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I wonder how Hall is perceived by his teammates?

Do they think he's a knob for screaming "F&CK!!!" and smashing his stick on the boards every time a play doesn't work out or he doesn't get a penalty call?

Or do they appreciate his competitive spirit because he yells "F*CK!!" alot?

I know if I despise the guy I play hockey with, I'm not gonna go to bat and get punched in the face for him.

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#7 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
March 14 2014, 12:01PM
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mayorblaine wrote:

i hate fighting. despise. never done it. i have though tried twice to get engaged, it never went down that path (thankfully for my teeth).

both times were because my buddies (close friends) were in the mix or being targeted. i'm not tiny but not a monster either, but be sure there is no way on this green earth that i don't go to bat for them. hate fighting or not.

i will always have their back, and them mine. it's not a question.

the Oilers well....that was sad to see.

You're missing out on life then there buddy. Overcoming the fear of being a victim is part of the growing up process. Life gets better when you can stare fear in the eyes and ram it down their throat when needed.

Learn to walk with your head up, and look people in the eyes. Be a leader. You may be surprised at how enjoyable fighting can be. I use to fight (till my mid 30's) for entertainment/recreational purposes and well as when necessary. Toughest part for me was trying to fight while laughing at the same time. Watching out for a teammate and controlling your opponent is the type of multitasking any man should be able to handle.

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#8 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
March 14 2014, 01:16PM
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mayorblaine wrote:

if that's what you think a leader does, oh boy.

i'll just assume this facetious.

How old are you, if you don't mind me asking?

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#9 J
March 14 2014, 11:14AM
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Hi, im doing a paper on hockey for school and was wondering were i could find what the average 2013 2014 salary is. Thanks

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#10 Reagan
March 14 2014, 11:07AM
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@Randaman

It is obvious that the sarcasm was missed, dumba$$

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#11 Tyler
March 14 2014, 10:11AM
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Great read strudwick! I've came to the conclusion that outside of David Perron, Our group of Core players can be referred to as "pussies". Some of you may not like that term but it's the best way to describe them. Have you ever seen Shultz or ebs get mad?? They may roll there eyes after a bad call or slam there stick on the ice after making a mistake but I've NEVER seen them truly loose there cool. And to me that's a major issue. Every team employs a few "pussies" but a team will never be successful if 5/6 of their top players are "pussies". This team needs anger in the worst possible way.

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#12 ONTARIO OILERS FAN
March 14 2014, 11:20AM
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I have trashes for this:

"Newsflash: The assistant coaches are incompetent. I am very confident that if they are replaced by eakins' choice for [his own]staff we would see immediate changes... everywhere. Less goals against, more responsible two [way]plays and slightly better defence...

Well, since that suggestion got me trashes, let's keep things unchanged and all should be happy with our Oilers.

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#13 Jerry the sailor
March 14 2014, 10:05AM
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Struds should coach this team. Keep it coming, call it like it is.

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#14 ThatButthurtOilersFan
March 14 2014, 10:25AM
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Eakins must have lost have lost the room. When you come out to a tied third period like that... Really tempted to think that we should have Todd Nelson as coach next year.

Also, Hall getting gang banged and no one helping him is the most disheartening thing ever.

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#15 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
March 14 2014, 11:38AM
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We can't say we're all surprised this rebuild hasn't gone as planned. The same people are still in charge who got them into this mess, making mistakes at every turn. Good thing the leader knows so much about winning, hate to see how bad things could get without his input.

Wash, rinse and repeat. Suck it up you bunch of buttercups. This management group isn't going anywhere. So, shut the puck up and keep filling those seats every game night. It's the only thing type 1 and periodically type 2 fans are good at. Know your role......you bunch of sheep. Infinibuild confirmed.

Go Redwings!

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#16 Anonymous but well connected
March 14 2014, 01:09PM
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Freewheeling Freddie wrote:

Hey are Moose Dupont Dave "the Hammer "Schultz"or Bob Houndog Kelly available. This team needs a serious intervention. Bucky Smith must be gone after this season. It is painful to watch this team get completely manhandled. Lowe and Katz cant keep blowing smoke up everybodys butts. This market has too many smart fans. Toughen this team up .Playoffs please.

Unfortunatley too many people and players in the organization just don't get it!!!!!Still way too many STICK CHECKING, CHICKEN, MIDGET (Eberle-Schultz- RNH, Gagner, Lander , Yakupov) DAFODIL FAIRIES and FAKE TOUGHIES (R. Jones, Joensuu) on this team!Get Pinizotto and Big Mac in this lineup right f&^&ing now!!!!!!!

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#17 joshgladu
March 14 2014, 09:11PM
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good lord, who cares

just distracting from the real issue in edmonton and thats the lack of good hockey players not none of this BS. Gregor used to be cool until strudwick and sutherby came along which led him to losing the ability to form his own opinion. "OH STRUDS AND SUTHERBY SAID IT! THEYRE IN THE LEAGUE! IT HAS TO BE TRUE"

god i hate this city

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#18 GriffCity
March 14 2014, 10:46AM
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J.Schultz and Petry are honestly all-world pansies and should be under the spotlight for their consistent soft play. ZERO upper body strength on these two fairies and it is a joke to watch. I realize Petry was not on the ice during this dust up but time and time again he is out muscled and outworked, usually right in front of his own net.

While it was disheartening not to see more players rush in to the aid of Hall, it makes you wonder what kind of a locker room guy he is. Is he a great team guy who cares about his teammates and plays for them? Or is he a selfish, self-intitled primadonna who thinks he is Gods gift to this team and better than everyone else so that is why they don't mind him getting whats coming to him?

That is a disturbing question to have to ask.

I found it ironically funny that our best player last night hands down was the former STL blues cast-off David Perron. The guy really knows how to get under your skin while not looking like such a dirty player. We could use a couple more Perrons. STL is a hell of a team though and the Oilers...well, aren't.

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#19 ONTARIO OILERS FAN
March 14 2014, 10:59AM
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Newsflash: The assistant coaches are incompetent. I am very confident that if they are replaced by eakins' choice for staff we would see immediate changes... everywhere. Less goals against, more responsible two plays and slightly better defence...

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#20 mayorblaine
March 14 2014, 12:37PM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

You're missing out on life then there buddy. Overcoming the fear of being a victim is part of the growing up process. Life gets better when you can stare fear in the eyes and ram it down their throat when needed.

Learn to walk with your head up, and look people in the eyes. Be a leader. You may be surprised at how enjoyable fighting can be. I use to fight (till my mid 30's) for entertainment/recreational purposes and well as when necessary. Toughest part for me was trying to fight while laughing at the same time. Watching out for a teammate and controlling your opponent is the type of multitasking any man should be able to handle.

if that's what you think a leader does, oh boy.

i'll just assume this facetious.

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#21 oilcountryforlife
March 14 2014, 12:51PM
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Okay, I have three points to make.

1. how do you know what the dressing room is like in relation to heart? Is is assumed because the players look like zombies out on the ice that they don't give a rip?

2. Taylor Hall shooting after the whistle or making contact after the whistle, with a goalie, is an unspoken no no. Did the other players on the team actually think he deserved a couple hits from the other team?

3. Is there an issue when you have five guys all making around 5 or 6 million a year, who maybe feel entitled, and that has caused bad blood among the guys making a million or less...Kinda a Justin Bieber approach to things. I think we have some spoiled little brat players who should be traded. I'll take grit and heart anyday....Ryan Smyth, and Zack Stornini for starters...as a working guy, I just expect these guys to be working a heck of a lot harder. Some are paid superstar wages, and there is no return other than Hall, I suppose. Send a message...trade 'em....too bad no one wants 'em though.

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#22 Max
March 14 2014, 10:10AM
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Jason - good article. I truly believe the guys are sick and tired of this losing cycle, of the coaching changes and the lack of chemistry throughout the team and coaching staff. Unfortunately, the youngsters have had no continuous direction or stability on the benches. Is Eakins the right one going forward? I seriously doubt it. He is certainly not Mr. Personality and his coaching methods seem quite off whack. The say a new broom sweeps clean, well, Eakins certainly has the bristles but he doesn't have the experience or ability to mold these players in to a team. Until this happens, we are in big trouble. MacT has made some great trades/picks, but his biggest mistake was hiring another new head coach - especially one with no NHL experience. All well and good to hire a rookie HC for a team at the top of their game, not to teach rookie players. The Renney/Krueger tandem was working well - look at Tom Renney now, look at Krueger - top men passed over on a whim because someone had "grit speak." The team are miserable, the fans are depressed, the coaching staff? "Hey, we know what we have to do," well, seems like we just don't seem to be able or wish to do it. I for one am sick to death of hearing that same old line day in day out from Eakins AND the players. If they know what they have to do to win consistently, then for God's sake DO IT

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#23 Randaman
March 14 2014, 10:59AM
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Reagan wrote:

Regardless of last nights outcome they showed up as a team last night! We can tall about how badly they were out played last night but the stomach gutcheck was there. Now only if this would happen in a nightly basis... Here hoping for next year. Good game regardless the poor outcome

Please pull your head out of your a$$! What game did you watch? Maybe you have been overdoing the Kool-aid. This top six group needs to be partially changed for more size and grit for more balance (See: St. Louis Blues). Eberle and Yak need to be jetisoned this summer to aquire these missing pieces. Gagner and a pick and a prospect should garner a top 2 D-man to mentor the youth as they mature. Also, the "C" is on the wrong jersey. Messier, Gator, Chopper or even Weight would not have stood for this CRAP!

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#24 VK63
March 14 2014, 12:40PM
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the word is "pussy".

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#25 Harry
March 14 2014, 03:01PM
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freelancer wrote:

We don't just need more face punchers on this team, you know what the only kind of deterrence that works is? Team deterrence. If another team wants to take a whack at any of our guys, they should know that whoever is on the ice is going to get in their face. I'm not expecting Nuge to drop the gloves every game, but they all need to show that same kind of comradery. Right now, it's not just the not fighting it's this level of apathy that goes through our entire lineup.

That's the most painful thing as a fan to watch.

You are the problem. Fans with this mindset are the same ones who wanted Hemsky and Gagner resigned.

Its not a secret that our top 6 forwards have the wrong mix of size an skill set this must change this offseason.

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#26 DrDave
March 14 2014, 10:19AM
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Too soft around all the edges of this team... No wonder we are the league's joke...

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#27 Bishai in the Benches
March 14 2014, 10:48AM
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@The Towel Boy

By all accounts Eberle and Hall are best buddies, but I think Eberle would be last (now that hemmer is gone) to get involved in a scrum, even if it was his best friend. I think it's more-so a combo of struds points 1 and 2. Even if I hate a guy on my own team, I'll still go to bat for him because hockey is highly emotional and I'm competitive. People see a hockey game as "us vs them" or "good guys vs bad guys", and I think even a dink in the dressing room should get protection because he's wearing the same jersey as you.

Just my thoughts. The oilers need to be taught how to stick up for themselves and others. As much as I hate to bring in another "old boy", messier would be perfect for this squad.

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#28 BobbyCanuck
March 14 2014, 03:10PM
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rumor has it that Smid calleds out Eberle for his lack of compete, Hall did not like this public display of accountability and the end result was Smid being traded to Calgary.

A rumor, but if true, would certainly explain why we traded the exact type of D-man that we are always looking for.

If you, as a player, were not part of that 'inner circle' there would be very little reason for you to stick your neck out to defend someone, that in your heart you knew would not have your back.

I think that you need one D-Man, and one forward on the ice at all times that is willing to drop the gloves.

Especially on our team, as other posters have suggested our so called core was never trained to fight, hit, or play D, all they have ever been expected to do is score goals.

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#29 GriffCity
March 14 2014, 03:40PM
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BobbyCanuck wrote:

rumor has it that Smid calleds out Eberle for his lack of compete, Hall did not like this public display of accountability and the end result was Smid being traded to Calgary.

A rumor, but if true, would certainly explain why we traded the exact type of D-man that we are always looking for.

If you, as a player, were not part of that 'inner circle' there would be very little reason for you to stick your neck out to defend someone, that in your heart you knew would not have your back.

I think that you need one D-Man, and one forward on the ice at all times that is willing to drop the gloves.

Especially on our team, as other posters have suggested our so called core was never trained to fight, hit, or play D, all they have ever been expected to do is score goals.

Highly unlikely Smid did this, and he is in no way the type of defenceman we have been looking for. Smid was a good soldier, a good team player but overall he was a major disappointment given he was such a highly touted prospect. The only thing Smid did really well was block shots. The only time he got involved physically was after the whistle and even then was ultimately ineffective. He was not a great puck mover and he was slow footed.

Furthermore, there is no way Hall would have anything to say about someone getting traded. Thats not how it works. Unless of course the player was a major cancer in the dressing room and hated throughout the team, but this was not the case with Smid.

I do agree on one thing though. Eberle and his lack of compete...Brutal

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#30 He Who Knows
March 14 2014, 10:27AM
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Bang on Struds, this is the one aspect that rattles me to the core. Players need to stick up for each other at all times. I see more team unity in beer leagues. This has been going on for too long. This is why you need guys like Gator, chopper, Staios, Struds....even Souray would beat the crap out of someone if his teammate was getting pushed around (remember Cal Clutterbuck?).

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#31 ColourMeImpressed
March 14 2014, 10:46AM
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I noticed Yakupov will jump in now, though sometimes it takes him a second to realize what's going on, and he'll at least wrap an arm around someone and prevent him from going in.

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#32 oilerjed
March 14 2014, 10:46AM
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Was it me or was that a record for the most people being thrown out without a punch being thrown. Thought it was a little awkward for Hall when he was in the box and the Refs were sorting things out. Looked to me like he was really pushing for the ref to give him a 10min misconduct so he could get tossed too. The look on his face when he realised he had to wait it out was kind of funny but mostly sad .

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#33 Will
March 14 2014, 10:51AM
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That's it, call Denzel.

The Oilers need to go remember the Titans somewhere. Take em to Vimmy Ridge for training camp or something.

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#34 Mikey
March 14 2014, 10:57AM
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The Towel Boy wrote:

I wonder how Hall is perceived by his teammates?

Do they think he's a knob for screaming "F&CK!!!" and smashing his stick on the boards every time a play doesn't work out or he doesn't get a penalty call?

Or do they appreciate his competitive spirit because he yells "F*CK!!" alot?

I know if I despise the guy I play hockey with, I'm not gonna go to bat and get punched in the face for him.

You should always stick up for your teammate. Even if you despise him.

Unless the guy is a joke and always dives. I played with one guy who would grab an oppositions stick and hit himself with it. I got tired of the "boy who cried wolf" act.

I always stick up for my teammates. But on some teams I stopped. When ever I got into a scrum, no one came to back me up. So over time I started to stop running into the scrum to grab someone. I bet this is how some of the oilers feel.

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#35 Randaman
March 14 2014, 11:07AM
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ONTARIO OILERS FAN wrote:

Newsflash: The assistant coaches are incompetent. I am very confident that if they are replaced by eakins' choice for staff we would see immediate changes... everywhere. Less goals against, more responsible two plays and slightly better defence...

Fire them all! I bet Ted Nolan will be available after the season with what happened in Buffalo. He won't put up with this lack of effort or lack of caring. Guaranteed!!

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#36 Randaman
March 14 2014, 11:36AM
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Tikkanese wrote:

Hendricks, Ference and Fraser would disagree.

Smytty and Perron would never fight, but they'll at least grab someone. The rest of the team however...

Understood but Eakins is too stupid to put Gazdic on the top line for a shift or two, probably because he would not keep up but there are others in this league that would. Trades are required besides the fourth line and #7 D men.

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#37 Evilas
March 14 2014, 12:32PM
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A couple of things:

1. Hall was onside on the play, I played it back in slow-mo, linesman blew it, like they did on a Tarasenko play earlier…. They need to be better

2. The Blues bench was at that end, the oilers were on the far side, when the play happened, the guys coming off the ice had their backs to the play. Hall was ahead of the play.

3. When a team looks incompetent, which they glaringly did vs the 2014 Cup Champs in this game and after all we as Oilfans have gone through for the past several years it is easy for us to be critical of every little thing. I think this play was just a perfect storm and really not what Struds is making it out to seem.

Does anyone recall which line came on after that play? Who were the forwards? Based on the lack of response, likely RNH's, as I am sure Hendricks or Smitty would have been in there pretty quickly…..

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#38 OldOilerFan
March 14 2014, 12:33PM
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Good article and valid points. They absolutely need more character guys in the dressing room, guys that hate to lose. Hate to point out the obvious, but what this team needs, they HAD. We traded Matt Greene, a great character guy in the dressing room and tough as nails, and Jarrett Stoll, another tough guy and great in the face off circle, which took us years to replace. Anyone else see Stoll smiling as he pasted Eberle a few games ago? We also let go Sheldon Souray. Say what you want, but he was a tough customer on the back end - his only crime here was telling the truth, that Mgmt is stupid. What really rankles me is the quotes that come out now: Smid and now Bryzgalov both say the teams they are with now have way more up tempo practices than the Oilers. We're soft.

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#39 1983 and This Year
March 14 2014, 01:29PM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

You're missing out on life then there buddy. Overcoming the fear of being a victim is part of the growing up process. Life gets better when you can stare fear in the eyes and ram it down their throat when needed.

Learn to walk with your head up, and look people in the eyes. Be a leader. You may be surprised at how enjoyable fighting can be. I use to fight (till my mid 30's) for entertainment/recreational purposes and well as when necessary. Toughest part for me was trying to fight while laughing at the same time. Watching out for a teammate and controlling your opponent is the type of multitasking any man should be able to handle.

Hey, thanks for your condescending "How to be a real Man" instructions, Internet Tough Guy. For your next trick are you going to tell us about your navy seal training or your jiu-jitsu red belt?

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#40 Tikkanese
March 14 2014, 01:51PM
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It's sad that a team coached by stand up guys as players like Bucky and Steve Smith, as well as Eakins as a player reportedley(tho I don't really remember him other than his name as a player), plus a pest in Acton, and none of the team picks up any of those qualities.

Not to mention guys like Perron, Gazdic and Hendricks come in and try leading by example yet it doesn't rub off. Maybe Hemsky was correct about the core.

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#41 shifty203
March 14 2014, 10:33AM
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@Struds

From the article: "The first Blues player to confront Hall was Vladimir Tarasenko. He was quickly joined by Jay Bouwmeester. They were pushing Hall around. A third player Blues player jumped in before one Oiler arrived. "

I've seen the replay a couple times. It looked like J-Bo just grabbed Hall, and stepped between him and Tarasenko. Looked like he was trying to calm it down. I didn't see him give Hall a facewash or anything.

It's odd to me, that not even Eb's jumps in when Hall is in the middle of scrums. Always looks like they're tight, so can't believe his buddy wouldn't jump in when they're on the ice together.

Then again, Hall never looks interested in standing up for himself, so why would anyone else?

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#42 Jimmer
March 14 2014, 10:40AM
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There is no "I" in TEAM...but there sure is in OILERS.

Culture of losing has led to a culture of looking after number one.

I miss guys like Messier and Weight.

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#43 The Towel Boy
March 14 2014, 10:55AM
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@scotian oiler

People like you need to be punched in the face. I wouldn't want you on my team, I'd probably punch you in the face myself. Go play soccer or cricket.

Hey now, turn to the douche nozzle down a few notches.

It's possible to disagree with someone without being a dick, you know.

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#44 mayorblaine
March 14 2014, 11:08AM
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i hate fighting. despise. never done it. i have though tried twice to get engaged, it never went down that path (thankfully for my teeth).

both times were because my buddies (close friends) were in the mix or being targeted. i'm not tiny but not a monster either, but be sure there is no way on this green earth that i don't go to bat for them. hate fighting or not.

i will always have their back, and them mine. it's not a question.

the Oilers well....that was sad to see.

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#45 Spydyr
March 14 2014, 11:13AM
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This has been mentioned by some here for years.Then the stats guys say the corsi what about the corsi.

Bottom line a team needs to play as a team have each others back and for the love of all things hockey have some players with grit and balls on the team.

It is not a coincidence the Oilers have been the softest team in the NHL going on eight years now the same amount of time outside the playoffs.

Too many pussies not enough men on this team.

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#46 freelancer
March 14 2014, 11:25AM
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We don't just need more face punchers on this team, you know what the only kind of deterrence that works is? Team deterrence. If another team wants to take a whack at any of our guys, they should know that whoever is on the ice is going to get in their face. I'm not expecting Nuge to drop the gloves every game, but they all need to show that same kind of comradery. Right now, it's not just the not fighting it's this level of apathy that goes through our entire lineup.

That's the most painful thing as a fan to watch.

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#47 Tikkanese
March 14 2014, 12:01PM
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Randaman wrote:

Understood but Eakins is too stupid to put Gazdic on the top line for a shift or two, probably because he would not keep up but there are others in this league that would. Trades are required besides the fourth line and #7 D men.

Agree but I think Gazdic could keep up. He skates pretty well and I recall him skating well enough to lay hits on JBo and a couple other fleet footed stars this year.

Hopefully MacT can score the next Chris Stewart or two when they become available.

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#48 Lowe Expectations
March 14 2014, 12:07PM
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It's simply how you look at it. If a certain player is a "Knob" to his teammates it is considered eccentric behaviour on a winning team (you'll defend him) and downright annoying on a losing one (let him get a beat down, he deserves it).

Now I don't know the room, but the Oilers play shows me there is very little I've got your back. But that's what losing does. Accountability isn't there right now and some players will have to be moved to get the veteran leadership that is sorely missing.

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#49 El Pindo
March 14 2014, 12:20PM
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I had absolutely no issues with them losing the game, the way this season has gone, and they way the Blues are playing, but the way no one stepped up for Hall had me livid. I was physically upset over that, how can you sit there and tell us as fans that this is our future, our core, our leader, and then not come to his aide, whether he was deserving or not. This is no team, this is a bunch of kids who got thrown into locker room together and are forced to wear the same sweater. That was an embarassment to the concept of a team and the tradition of the Oilers. When we had stars in the past they were protected, when we had no real stars we were a blue collar team that was willing to grind it out. This squad? This squad should be playing soccer (and I'm a soccer player myself - I know it isn't a tough sport), I've seen more aggression in rec league floor hockey than I do from these "professional" "hockey players".

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#50 El Pindo
March 14 2014, 12:30PM
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GriffCity wrote:

J.Schultz and Petry are honestly all-world pansies and should be under the spotlight for their consistent soft play. ZERO upper body strength on these two fairies and it is a joke to watch. I realize Petry was not on the ice during this dust up but time and time again he is out muscled and outworked, usually right in front of his own net.

While it was disheartening not to see more players rush in to the aid of Hall, it makes you wonder what kind of a locker room guy he is. Is he a great team guy who cares about his teammates and plays for them? Or is he a selfish, self-intitled primadonna who thinks he is Gods gift to this team and better than everyone else so that is why they don't mind him getting whats coming to him?

That is a disturbing question to have to ask.

I found it ironically funny that our best player last night hands down was the former STL blues cast-off David Perron. The guy really knows how to get under your skin while not looking like such a dirty player. We could use a couple more Perrons. STL is a hell of a team though and the Oilers...well, aren't.

I'd say Hall is god's gift to this team, and usually to be that good you have to know it, just because someone is better than you and they know it, doesn't make them a bad teammate, ovi knows he's the best on the team, and there isn't a single player in the league that could get away with laying a hand on him (partly because he'd handle it himself), I see where you're coming from though, but despite that they need to be there for him, no one is asking ebs or gagner to drop the gloves, just grab a guy and even things out!

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