APRIL FOOLS: SEVEN TO GO

Robin Brownlee
March 30 2014 09:58PM

If there's a silver-lining to the 5-0 speed-bagging the Edmonton Oilers took from the New York Rangers at Rexall Place Sunday, it's that coach Dallas Eakins and his team have just seven games remaining in their dumpster fire of a season and only four of those are at home.

While there's very little new to report in terms of the overall ineptitude and futility that's been fodder for discussion most of this season, the particulars from this no-show included another feeble night by Edmonton's power play, which went 0-for-5 and allowed not one but two shorthanded goals, and failure to score a goal of any kind for the ninth time in 2013-14.

Save for the lucky stiff who won $53,250 in the 50-50 draw, the faithful who hung in long enough to see who won the dough headed for the parking lot sour as the Oilers lost their 20th home game and hit 40 losses overall, dropping to 26-40-9, in the final game of a six-game homestand.

With road games in San Jose, Anaheim and Phoenix before they return home to close out the campaign against the Ducks, Colorado, Los Angeles and the Vancouver Canucks, I can't remember a season – I got to Edmonton in 1989 – in which the fans have been pummeled numb to this degree.

As I wrote that last paragraph, I listened to 630 CHED analyst Rob Brown say he thinks all the changes this off-season will be with players, not with management. All the changes? How many people veered off the road on the drive home when they heard that?

THE WAY I SEE IT . . .

Dallas Eakins 17

  • I don't know about you, but I feel my stomach contents rushing up my throat every time somebody refers to the Oilers as this young, exciting club loaded with offensive talent (I've been guilty of that myself a time or two). The Oilers have scored 184 goals in 75 games. Only three teams, Florida, New Jersey and Buffalo, have scored fewer.
  • Eakins, at least, seems to recognize characterizing the Oilers high-powered on the attack is bogus. He addressed it tonight in his post-game availability with media. Addressing it on the ice in the style the team chooses to play is a different matter. Nine shutouts, six of those at home.
  • If the Oilers had a power play that ranked in the top five or six in the league, you could at least make an argument that 13 shorthanded goals against isn't a big deal. When the Oilers are sitting in the bottom third – they're listed 23rd at 16.2 per cent – all those shorties are a big deal. The Oilers need to get back to the drawing board next season and they need somebody new drawing it up when they do.

WHILE I'M AT IT

Nail Yakupov

  • After scoring 17 goals in 48 games last season, Nail Yakupov has 11 in 63 games this year and is out with an ankle fracture. I laughed at people who suggested he'd score 35 this season. I had him pegged for 25, which puts me in the ranks of the over-optimistic as well.
  • Speaking of over-optimistic, I wrote after the 41st game that the Oilers would be better in the second half and that I could see them playing at or near .500 (in terms of available points) even with a tough schedule. They'll need one more to match the 62 they got in 2010-11 under Tom Renney and they hit the road 13 off the 74 they had in 2011-12.

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

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#51 vetinari
March 31 2014, 10:14AM
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I had the chance to watch the game last night but I took a pass because I've watched at least 60 or so Oilers games this year and they aren't getting any better-- in fact, they seem to be regressing.

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#52 hemi
March 31 2014, 04:11AM
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Another embarrassing year is almost behind us. Pretty sad when the home town fans look forward to the end. Is KATZ really not seeing the mismanagement of this team?

There must be a Judgement Day for this Management and Coaching Staff. The smoke and mirror show has run its course. There are players on this team that fall into the floater category as well but watching the Oil struggle for as long as they have (this year is very obvious)the main reason for such dismal outcomes has to fall upon Management and Coaches.

Gong Show through and through. Us fans have been more than supportive and still have nothing to show for it. Up to KATZ now to take that step forward and correct the teams Management. How much more of this crap can he ignore? There better be more than just players being changed this summer.....

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#53 The Soup Fascist
March 31 2014, 07:07AM
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Spydyr wrote:

"This team looks like a comedy sketch from SCTV."

Scaaaaarrrryyyyy kids but I would prefer Blowed up real good.

Unless you are over 40, it is difficult to explain how funny this is.

Props, Spydyr.

Guy Caballero for President of Hockey Ops!

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#54 Spydyr
March 30 2014, 10:48PM
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15w40 wrote:

Point #1 - Horse is already out of the barn on this one - they could fire everybody and bring in Scotty Bowman and Jack Adams and there is no UFA worth anything that is signing here.

Point #2 - The risk is real for the undrafted player in 2014 and the risk is also real for many of the so-called franchise players on the roster

Point #3 - Can't see it hampering his development

Point #4 - See Point #2 - although the core would appear to have a worm or be rotten at this point.

This team looks like a comedy sketch from SCTV.

Sooooooooooo BAAAAAD...........

Watching is not even a passing thought any more. Just check TSN for the laugh track AKA "hilights" and come here to bask in the glow of the red hot embers of fans that are looking for the nearest bridge.

I used to care - now its just comic relief.

"This team looks like a comedy sketch from SCTV."

Scaaaaarrrryyyyy kids but I would prefer Blowed up real good.

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#55 ThatButthurtOilersFan
March 30 2014, 11:32PM
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R U Kidding Me! wrote:

Why again, did the Oilers fire Kreuger?

For funsies, apparently.

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#56 ThatButthurtOilersFan
March 30 2014, 11:36PM
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Sevenseven wrote:

Heads must role after this season. I cant believe my tax dollars are building these klowens a new arena....

Should of made a deal that once the Oilers made the playoffs, then the shovels hit the ground. But no, we're spending millions on a new arena for a AHL level team.

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#57 seanjohn667
March 31 2014, 01:12AM
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Support the Rush. Oiler fans need to move on to other things. when (if) they ever get their act together (in about 3 years), come back then. in the mean, (and in between time) f--- this organization!!!

(I've actually found myself watching wrestling instead of the Oiler, this year)

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#58 Chongler
March 31 2014, 08:54AM
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Loweblows and so do all the coaching staff wrote:

You are wrong. Textbook Lowe would be to blame the stick boy and skate sharpeners.

I'm pretty sure that his next off-season move will be to blame the fans for not motivating the team enough. Between us and the local sports media, this team had zero chance at success.

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#59 oilcountryforlife
March 30 2014, 11:02PM
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"overall ineptitude and futility that's been fodder for discussion"

Good one Brownlee.

Acutally I watched the season finale of "The Walking Dead" tonight. A lot of similarities between the two. In the follow up panel discussion show, "The Talking Dead", the host (a Sam Gagner sized hipster wannabe) points out that the term Walking Dead may refer to the zombies or the survivors. Are the Walking Dead the Oilers or the fans?

Just something to think about late on a Sunday night.

Oh, and by the way, did the Oilers play tonight? Did they win?

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#60 ONTARIO OILERS FAN
March 31 2014, 05:02AM
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This team is so awesomely mismanaged that I am mesmerized.

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#61 madjam
March 31 2014, 08:43AM
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Just back from 40 day snowbird holiday , devoid of internet and hockey . Now that was great relief from the troubles of our hockey club obviously . Sad to see our club is still so bad . Obviously this club needs new management , coaching and scouting in the future if it ever hopes to contend again . No one receives a passing grade and the long term results of this group are reason for them all to be gone , lock , stock and barrel ! Our youth of players are all underperforming under their tutaledge . Their long term poor results in management , coaching , scouting and development are all reasons an entirely different group and philosophy is required here before we see an upturn . Keeping status quo just makes cellar dwellers of our club inevitable for many years to come .

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#62 Fresh Mess
March 31 2014, 06:12AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

I see at least two changes with the coaching staff next season. I can't imagine Buchberger, Smith and Chabot all surviving this mess.

That would be text book Lowe/Katz move, pin it on the assistant coaches.

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#63 Fresh Mess
March 31 2014, 06:19AM
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R U Kidding Me! wrote:

Why again, did the Oilers fire Kreuger?

Because despite the revisionist canonization of Saint Ralph by ON readers, he consistently made glaring tactical decisions and the results were poor.

Remember the usual suspects here derisively referring to Ralph as "the motivational speaker" in their annual Fire The Coach campaign?

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#64 R U Kidding Me!
March 30 2014, 10:46PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

I see at least two changes with the coaching staff next season. I can't imagine Buchberger, Smith and Chabot all surviving this mess.

Can we quote you on this.

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#65 hagargt
March 30 2014, 11:19PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

They're atleast two years away from seeing a significant amount of unsold seats. Till this happens, the entitlement remains. The fans will continue to be taken for granted.

The sad part that Katz is missing is that as long as it takes to trend to the negative, it can also take a long time to trend back positive again. He needs to stop the bleeding right away, or else it will be an up hill battle once/if the team ever finally turns around. Katz is too stupid to see that he is running this franchise into the ground, and he is a f'ing moron to wait until the place stops selling out to change it.

You don't run any company with a desired product, and a huge waiting list, under the assumption that those customers waiting will always be there to replace the pissed off ones. That only works for so long before the line is empty.

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#66 michael
March 31 2014, 08:51AM
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I took a night off from the Oilers and watched Dr Pol. Glad I did.

I am at wits end.I can't defend a coach who has turned this team into a such a bipolar disaster. As much as there is no consistency from the players there isn't any from the coach either.

Talk about mind games.

2 more short handed goal for 13 on the season is unforgivable.

The good thing is Dr POl was a nice family night. I slept better than I have in a long time. I think I am going to shut her down for the season and focus on the Oil Kings. Eakins and this team has sucked the hope out of me enough for one season. I'm done. Next time I post it'll be for the draft lottery. Enjoy the last 7 games.

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#67 Sickofthis
March 31 2014, 09:28AM
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Time Travelling Sean wrote:

Todd Nelson is an AHL coach I wouldn't mind.

Jon Cooper was an AHL coach.

Patrick Roy was a QMJHL coach and they're doing well.

You can't coach around crappy defense and drifting forwards.

If Gagner or Eberle were as committed to defense and understanding systems and where to be, who to cover, and what to do as any other forward on a successful team we might be somewhere.

The Canucks have a very good D but helpless forwards, we have a poor D with helpless forwards.

Seems to my Roy did a fine job of coaching around crappy defense and drifting forwards. Eakins is plain and simply way over his head. The players can't stand his arrogance. Not sure where he gets his ego from he has not accomplished anything in his life other than to fool the moronic management of the Oiler's into hiring him. When is it going to be warm enough to golf?

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#68 BlueMile
March 31 2014, 05:23AM
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At least we know N64 isn't part of the problem now... only 22 more to go!!

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#69 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
March 31 2014, 09:35AM
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as much as it pains me to, i need to give DSF some credit.

prior to the start of the year, he made claims that the Oilers could/would even finish behind the Flames this season. I, like many, ripped him to shreds. I even proposed a wager, which thankfully he didnt have the stones to accept at the time.

DSF takes alot of abuse around the interwebs, and most of it is justified. However, in this case, he was bang on.

I will now go watch the "Boys on the Bus" VHS 10 times to repent.

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#70 Scrivy
March 31 2014, 02:27PM
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•After scoring 17 goals in 48 games last season, Nail Yakupov has 11 in 63 games this year and is out with an ankle fracture. I laughed at people who suggested he'd score 35 this season. I had him pegged for 25, which puts me in the ranks of the over-optimistic as well.

Well, he could have scored 30g, if he'd been utilized in a shooting postion on the first pp, which is where you would normally put a world class shooter. But no, never blame the coach, just blame the player and the fans, hey Matty.....err, Brownlee.

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#71 a lg dubl dubl
March 30 2014, 11:27PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

When he who sniffs the jocks also signs the cheques, you get what we have here.

this should be placed on Katz front door!! lol

Im curious, if you had the choice who whould you bring in to replace Bucky and Smith and Chabot?

Thanks.

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#72 Gored 1970
March 31 2014, 01:53AM
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Well, that was really embarrassing. Not only did the nation get to see how pathetic the Oilers are (I'll bet not too many media types will pick the Oilers to make the playoffs next year) but anyone tuning in got to see ... cheerleaders. Japan has given the world sushi, great cars and cheerleaders at hockey games. Why cheerleaders - it's because nobody in Japan understands hockey so they throw in cheerleaders and a bunch of stupid mascots to entertain the fans. What moron in marketing dreamed up the use of cheerleaders at Oiler games and what management idiot approved it? And then when I thought it couldn't get any worse, I watched Gadzic trying to instigate a fight while wearing a visor. What a characterless buffoon. Noon is and Gillis may have turned their respective franchises into gong shows but Levin Lowe has given us a full 3 ring circus.

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#73 JS95
March 31 2014, 03:24PM
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I was glad to see an Edmonton pro sports team that actually doesn't lose on the front page of the SUN this morning...13-0.

Congrats to the Edmonton Rush on a historic year...

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#74 Rod from Viking
March 30 2014, 10:54PM
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Spydyr wrote:

"This team looks like a comedy sketch from SCTV."

Scaaaaarrrryyyyy kids but I would prefer Blowed up real good.

Its too bad John Candy isn't around, I'm sure him along with Bob & Doug McKenzie could do a better job coaching this team.

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#75 Fresh Mess
March 31 2014, 07:19AM
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@The Soup Fascist

Jonny LaRue and Bobby Bittman for GM and Coach.

HOW ARE YAAA!!!

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#76 nick
March 31 2014, 12:37PM
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Dallas Eakins is a joke as a coach in the NHL. If they keep this clown on over the summer then write off next year as well. I know the Oilers can't continually change coaches every year and I might add that firing Kruger was a huge mistake, keeping Eakins on is just wasting another year so cut your losses. If one of the upper management in Edmonton can actually show some balls and admit they made a mistake hiring this guy that would add some credibility to an otherwise shambles of an organization. The Oilers are without a doubt the worst run and coached organization in the NHL. If Eakins is so clear on what he has to do to make this team win why hasn't he thought about sharing his vast knowledge this year? I know why, because he is blowing smoke up everyone's ass now about how smart he is. Give up Eakins you are a JOKE

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#77 Loweblows and so will MacT if ache- ins isn't fired
March 31 2014, 12:45PM
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Oiler Al wrote:

It would appear that Eakins has already had his year end review with MacT, why else would he be spewing all this stuff about how he and MacT will be fixing things this summer moving forward,picking the right players etc etc. Very scary.

He also takes great measure to point out that the team as not been scoring for the last 4 years.. well egghead, thats why you were brought in was to change that... you didnt do it.. not even close.

It will be a tragic if Eakins is not fired at seasons end, along with the other clowns behind the bench.

He just dumped all his player under the bus, to make himself look good.

Not only is he a bad coach , he is a coward.

Hey MacT are you reading theses posts? I for one supported your hiring but your inaction is causing serious harm to the fan base. Do something!

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#78 toprightcorner
March 30 2014, 11:50PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Sell the farm...

Ekblad and Draisitl or bust! Haven't made the post season in 8 yrs, and it looks as though the Oilers are still 8 yrs from making the playoffs.

~Yeah cause Eklad or Draisitl will make this team infinitly better next year~

Use the first pick in a package to trade for a vet that will impact this club positively. Then add 4 more vets right after that.

That is the only chance at making the playoffs next year unless every other teams set NHL records for all of their top line players missing 50+ games each and every starting goalie requires knee surgery.

Add vets or fail!

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#79 hagargt
March 31 2014, 01:10AM
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@seanjohn667

Start calling him kevin with a lower case k. For some reason it just sounds way more personal. Lol!! He probably signs off his emails Klowe.

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#80 Fresh Mess
March 31 2014, 06:47AM
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Loweblows and so do all the coaching staff wrote:

You are wrong. Textbook Lowe would be to blame the stick boy and skate sharpeners.

I stand corrected.

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#81 nick
March 31 2014, 12:46PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

I see at least two changes with the coaching staff next season. I can't imagine Buchberger, Smith and Chabot all surviving this mess.

There is no way in hell that the entire coaching staff doesn't get axed. This team has regressed so badly under Eakins it is a shame. MacTavish should be embarrassed by Eakins inability to coach. As one of the others put it "you can't fix stupid" and unfortunately that is what is in charge of this team.

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#82 Spydyr
March 30 2014, 11:00PM
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Rod from Viking wrote:

Its too bad John Candy isn't around, I'm sure him along with Bob & Doug McKenzie could do a better job coaching this team.

John Candy is a comic icon.

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#83 Oiler63
March 30 2014, 11:00PM
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Katz probably was pretty happy when he saw the club valued at $400 million by the Forbes. That is twice the price he paid to acquire the team. But, IF he was able to ice a competitive Oilers team, with the hockey market in Edmonton and all the big names and history associated with this club, it could reach a value of at least $450 million, same as the LA Kings. Looking at it that wat, keeping Kevin Lowe as the POHO has cost Katz about $50 million. He essentially paid $50 million plus change to have Kevin Lowe as the head of the club.

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#84 15w40
March 30 2014, 11:06PM
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Rod from Viking wrote:

Its too bad John Candy isn't around, I'm sure him along with Bob & Doug McKenzie could do a better job coaching this team.

Well this is what's going on right now but its Katz & Lowe in the front seat piloting this infinibuild with MacT and Eakins in the back.

The "drunk" people are everybody else in the NHL looking from afar at this fiasco.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_akwHYMdbsM

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#85 Andrew
March 31 2014, 06:17AM
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Checked out youtube. Zack Rinaldo of the Flyers rag dolls Iginla like I've never seen before.

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#86 mlcselli
March 31 2014, 11:52AM
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#ThereGoesTheOilers wrote:

That picture of Eakins is dying for a caption.

First thing that went through my mind when I saw that is " Another puppet of Klowe". Eakins arms, hands and mouth are perfect for strings to be pulled. The other thing I thought was, that must be the picture Eakins wants in the dressing room to replace all the greats he decided to remove the second he stepped through the door.

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#87 Spydyr
March 30 2014, 11:29PM
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a lg dubl dubl wrote:

this should be placed on Katz front door!! lol

Im curious, if you had the choice who whould you bring in to replace Bucky and Smith and Chabot?

Thanks.

Larry,Curly and Moe at least the comedy would be intentional.

n'yuk, n'yuk, n'yuk,"

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#88 hagargt
March 30 2014, 11:51PM
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ThatButthurtOilersFan wrote:

Should of made a deal that once the Oilers made the playoffs, then the shovels hit the ground. But no, we're spending millions on a new arena for a AHL level team.

Too much of our hard earned money to play with.. I remember when mayor Mandel went to city hall half way through the whitemud bridge re-build and asked for approval after the contractor said the quote was going to double when they were half way through the build.. they had 4 plus companies that all bid normal market value on the job, then they took the unreasonably cheap bid.. when they couldnt stand up to their bid, Mandel went in front of city council and said "what are we supposed to do..not finish the bridge?" It's full on corruption, and nothing less. Katz thinks of us all like ants in an ant farm. He got city hall on board with his end game, and we are all going to pay for it like it or not. I love my hockey, but still can't believe we are on the hook for that rink!! Hell.. don't even get me started on the museum we are all paying for too with zero input from the taxpayers. Out of the 300 people I can think to know and call, I don't know one single one that is ever going to that stupid thing when it's done.

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#89 toprightcorner
March 30 2014, 11:55PM
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Max wrote:

13 SH goals, wow, that really IS something to be proud of. If this is not enough to get rid of Eakins/Smith/Bucky/Cabot/McGregor/Lowe, then I don't know what is. I am SICK of the Oilers, sick of the empty promises and SICK of the losing. Most of all I am SICK of being an Oilers' fan, and sick of the disrespect the team and management show us.

Wow you cant be that sick if your still reading the blogs about the Oilers.

Trading every management member will make less than a 10% difference on this team at the most.

Fire Jones, Joensuu, Lander, Smyth, Pitlick, Gagner, Fraser, Belov and Larsen and replace them, with vets approx 26-29 years of age and toss i a big top 6 winger as well. That will make the biggest difference to improving the team.

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#90 camdog
March 31 2014, 07:47AM
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In goals for/against our powerplay is bottom 5. Been a long time sinse we were bottom 5 in in this stat.

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#91 hagargt
March 31 2014, 10:19AM
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Zamboni Driver wrote:

Yeah. Kevin Lowe was really awful on the PP last night. Can't believe he pinched and they gave up two shorties.

And Eakins. That floater. He's young with a huge upside, skates like the wind and won those world juniors.

Don't get me started on MacTavish, with that killer one timer, he should have way more than 11 goals.

Who cares if it's the players screwing up the end game? I don't give two poops if the players are spoiled dorks that don't listen! Be a freaking managment and fire them! Do something!

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#92 Spydyr
March 31 2014, 04:14PM
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Edmonton Rush wrote:

Here's my problems with the Edmonton Rush: The on-floor product is great.

However, from a purely marketing perspective, they have failed.

First, what is a "Rush" exactly, and how does that have anything to do with Edmonton? Oil Rush? Reaching.

Second, bland bland jerseys. People like to buy things that look good. Simple pattern, bright colours - note to Rush Marketing Staff.

The music during the play keeps me away.

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#93 Kr55
March 31 2014, 02:00AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

I see at least two changes with the coaching staff next season. I can't imagine Buchberger, Smith and Chabot all surviving this mess.

Isn't Buchy good friends with Katz? He likely gets a promotion if anything. Smith is one of the old boys club too. MacT was dumping on dubs for the longest time so not sure if Chabot really takes any heat.

I think we should all be patient and see what Eakins has up his sleve next year. He said himself that he knows exactly what to do next season to turn things around, so it must be true.

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#94 TheresAlwaysNextYear
March 31 2014, 04:24AM
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hey guys i want to get in your minds and find out what inspires u

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#95 Zamboni Driver
March 31 2014, 08:25AM
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Yeah. Kevin Lowe was really awful on the PP last night. Can't believe he pinched and they gave up two shorties.

And Eakins. That floater. He's young with a huge upside, skates like the wind and won those world juniors.

Don't get me started on MacTavish, with that killer one timer, he should have way more than 11 goals.

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#96 Spydyr
March 31 2014, 09:50AM
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cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan wrote:

as much as it pains me to, i need to give DSF some credit.

prior to the start of the year, he made claims that the Oilers could/would even finish behind the Flames this season. I, like many, ripped him to shreds. I even proposed a wager, which thankfully he didnt have the stones to accept at the time.

DSF takes alot of abuse around the interwebs, and most of it is justified. However, in this case, he was bang on.

I will now go watch the "Boys on the Bus" VHS 10 times to repent.

Then get as $hitterd as Gretzky when he is talking about this is my puck get your own puck.

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#97 Spydyr
March 31 2014, 02:20PM
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tileguy wrote:

Calm down everybody, this is a deliberate tank job for a high draft pick. It is soooo obvious.

Eight years is a long time to tank.

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#98 hagargt
March 31 2014, 02:11AM
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Kr55 wrote:

Isn't Buchy good friends with Katz? He likely gets a promotion if anything. Smith is one of the old boys club too. MacT was dumping on dubs for the longest time so not sure if Chabot really takes any heat.

I think we should all be patient and see what Eakins has up his sleve next year. He said himself that he knows exactly what to do next season to turn things around, so it must be true.

Why would we question the direction of the infection?

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#99 #ThereGoesTheOilers
March 31 2014, 11:35AM
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That picture of Eakins is dying for a caption.

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#100 Edmonton Rush
March 31 2014, 04:03PM
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Here's my problems with the Edmonton Rush: The on-floor product is great.

However, from a purely marketing perspective, they have failed.

First, what is a "Rush" exactly, and how does that have anything to do with Edmonton? Oil Rush? Reaching.

Second, bland bland jerseys. People like to buy things that look good. Simple pattern, bright colours - note to Rush Marketing Staff.

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