That's... not a good sign

Jonathan Willis
March 09 2014 10:57PM

30-Scrivens-5

The Edmonton Oilers have not been a particularly stingy defensive team over the last five or six seasons, which is something like saying that winter in Canada isn't especially balmy. But even against that bar, this year's edition of the team is primed for record-setting badness in at least one category.

Shots Against 

Shots against

The chart above shows two things: the number of games per season where the Oilers surrendered 40-or-more shot, and the number of times the total was 50-or-more. The numbers for 2012-13 have been projected over an 82-game schedule, as have the numbers for this season. 

Against Los Angeles on Sunday, the Oilers allowed 50+ shots against for the second time this season. It's the first campaign since 1994 where the team played more than one game in which they allowed that many shots on net, and with 17 games left to play Edmonton is on pace to match the franchise's all-time high for games allowing 50-or-more shots in a single season (in 1992-92 the team did it three times).

The Rebuild

Dallas Eakins 18

It's more than fair to wonder about the state of the Oilers' rebuild at this point. This season's group hasn't had better results than Tom Renney's crew in 2011-12, and the decision to can Ralph Krueger (keep in mind that his team only played games against Western opponents) has not had results.

We can talk about shot quality, as Dallas Eakins has in recent days, but the reality is this: when a team allows shot after shot after shot, it means they're pinned in their own end. That can be mitigated a bit by allowing low quality shots, and it can be further alleviated by tremendous goaltending (as Ben Scrivens has so excellently demonstrated lately). But hanging around in the defensive zone is a recipe for disaster.

Eventually, bad things will happen. Eakins described the puck deflected in off Philip Larsen as a heart-breaker; it's true, but that's what happens to teams that hang around in the defensive zone. 

And the worst part is that things are getting worse. Via ExtraSkater.com, the following chart shows Edmonton's 10-game rolling Fenwick rating in 5-on-5 situations. That's a fancy way of saying that the line shows the percentage of unblocked shots Edmonton is taking at evens while the game is still within reach:

Edmonton Oilers 2013-2014 rolling 10-game 5v5 close FF%

They're winning games now, but that's only because Ben Scrivens is playing like Dominik Hasek. That can't last; it's good that he's capable of it but it's not enough to keep the team winning. And despite the wins, that chart is a decent argument that things are getting worse. Or, you know, the 50 shots Edmonton allowed against Los Angeles. 

That strong goalie play is masking extremely serious problems, or at least generally it's doing so. Sometimes, as with Sunday's game, even incredible goalie performances aren't enough because the team in front of that goaltender is being lit up like a Christmas tree by competent opposition. 

RECENTLY BY JONATHAN WILLIS

74b7cedc5d8bfbe88cf071309e98d2c3
Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
Avatar
#51 John Chambers
March 10 2014, 07:59AM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
28
cheers
God wrote:

Fire Eakins.

If ... A veteran NHL coach is available and willing then yes.

Laviolette, Bylsma, Teds Nolans, just don't bother if they're going to replace Eakins with another rookie coach or with Ron Wilson.

Avatar
#52 Cold Hard Truth
March 10 2014, 08:05AM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Cheers
65
cheers

Hiring Eakins was one of MacTavish's biggest mistakes, but keeping him will be an even bigger one.

Avatar
#56 toprightcorner
March 10 2014, 08:14AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
13
cheers
Jonathan Willis wrote:

One quibble: Matt Greene was a healthy scratch, again. He's a spare part, not a team leader.

Agreed he is a spare part now but he is great in the dressing room and Doughty raves about how he helped him develop early in his career on and off the ice, especially during the playoffs when they won the cup.

Avatar
#57 zenoil
March 10 2014, 08:37AM
Trash it!
11
trashes
Cheers
41
cheers

To the koolaid drinkers who say Mac T has done nothing but good for this team. Yes he has made some good trades, but this is the worst defense this team has ever had. The worst coach this team has ever had. The most disappointing season the team has ever had. He's doing great!!

Avatar
#58 dougtheslug
March 10 2014, 08:40AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
45
cheers

Every time the Oilers get scored on, the camera pans to Eakins on the bench, where he seems to be muttering something to himself.

What do you think he is saying?

That's the sort of thing I have come to think about in this hopeless season.

Avatar
#59 Gored 1970
March 10 2014, 08:52AM
Trash it!
22
trashes
Cheers
14
cheers

I'm not sure firing Eakins would be the answer - I doubt the great Scotty Bowman could coach the current Oilers to many more wins. The problem is this is not a team but a collection of parts that don't function well as a team. Under Lowe's watch the Oilers have consistently taken the best player available rather than drafting based on team requirements. The end results is a top 6 of similar players with little grit and nobody to do the cornerwork and a flashy D with everyone wanting to carry the puck but no reliable stay at home defencemen.

Lowe must love the fire Eakins campaign because it gives the impression that he has put a good team together but Eakins is mismanaging it. Truth is, Lowe is a complete failure because this is not an NHL caliber team.

Avatar
#60 Ryan2
March 10 2014, 09:12AM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Cheers
29
cheers
Gored 1970 wrote:

I'm not sure firing Eakins would be the answer - I doubt the great Scotty Bowman could coach the current Oilers to many more wins. The problem is this is not a team but a collection of parts that don't function well as a team. Under Lowe's watch the Oilers have consistently taken the best player available rather than drafting based on team requirements. The end results is a top 6 of similar players with little grit and nobody to do the cornerwork and a flashy D with everyone wanting to carry the puck but no reliable stay at home defencemen.

Lowe must love the fire Eakins campaign because it gives the impression that he has put a good team together but Eakins is mismanaging it. Truth is, Lowe is a complete failure because this is not an NHL caliber team.

And yet.....both Renney and Kruger had much weaker teams the past two seasons and put up better results. That comes down to coaching, plain and simple. I have said it all season - Eakins is not ready/able to coach at the NHL level.

A good coach will tweak his system to allow players to succeed, he did not.

A good coach will implement said system stepwise so the players can progressively improve in it. It does not appear he did that.

A good coach will run high intensity practices with tempo so it reflects game play. We are hearing now that he does not.

Finally, a good coach can motivate his team to play with passion and commitment to one another, something the Oilers have not done all season.

I can understand teams going through slumps or one or two players struggling under a new coach - it happens. But this has been a season long slump for the team that is just being bailed out by goaltending in order to win, and multiple players are regressing. The latter is why Eakins must go. He has failed in developing the kids this season, which was supposed to be the reason he was hired in the first place.

Avatar
#61 Zarny
March 10 2014, 09:17AM
Trash it!
31
trashes
Cheers
28
cheers

LMAO...the Oilers get over-matched by a bigger, better roster and people are still whining about coaching.

Good grief, a different coach is not going to make the worst blueline in the NHL any better or the Oilers top 6 F any bigger.

Avatar
#62 russ99
March 10 2014, 09:23AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
18
cheers
Ryan2 wrote:

And yet.....both Renney and Kruger had much weaker teams the past two seasons and put up better results. That comes down to coaching, plain and simple. I have said it all season - Eakins is not ready/able to coach at the NHL level.

A good coach will tweak his system to allow players to succeed, he did not.

A good coach will implement said system stepwise so the players can progressively improve in it. It does not appear he did that.

A good coach will run high intensity practices with tempo so it reflects game play. We are hearing now that he does not.

Finally, a good coach can motivate his team to play with passion and commitment to one another, something the Oilers have not done all season.

I can understand teams going through slumps or one or two players struggling under a new coach - it happens. But this has been a season long slump for the team that is just being bailed out by goaltending in order to win, and multiple players are regressing. The latter is why Eakins must go. He has failed in developing the kids this season, which was supposed to be the reason he was hired in the first place.

Great post.

And yes, I can understand the rookie coach quotient at work, but the real question is, has there been any improvement or any possibility of adjusments form the coaching staff?

From Eakins himself: "Coming out of the break we firmly sent the message that what we’re doing during this time of practice and through the games is how we’re going to play the game next year. I don’t want to be coming into training camp next year, teaching a whole bunch of systems. We should have a good number of these guys back next year and we should be able to roll right into it and get going."

Nope.

Avatar
#63 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
March 10 2014, 09:24AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
6
cheers
toprightcorner wrote:

JW, I have heard Eakins talk in the past about looking at the scoring chances for and against based on the criteria that they have laid out. Do you know what that criteria is? Is it based on league standard criteria or is it very specific and different?

I ask only becasue I wonder if the Oilers are focusing to getting more scoring chances instead of generating more shots and traffic towards the net, hence, too many fancy plays for a top notch scoring chance than never materializes instead of letting a simple shot create a scoring chance.

I beleive that scoring chances are much more important than just tracking shots but shots themselves tend to create scoring chances through rebounds, screens and deflections and they probably make up over 50% of the goals scored in the NHL.

Problem is that by definition,for a screen, rebound or deflection to occur someone has to be IN FRONT OF THE NET!

Avatar
#64 Zarny
March 10 2014, 09:24AM
Trash it!
29
trashes
Cheers
12
cheers
Ryan2 wrote:

And yet.....both Renney and Kruger had much weaker teams the past two seasons and put up better results. That comes down to coaching, plain and simple. I have said it all season - Eakins is not ready/able to coach at the NHL level.

A good coach will tweak his system to allow players to succeed, he did not.

A good coach will implement said system stepwise so the players can progressively improve in it. It does not appear he did that.

A good coach will run high intensity practices with tempo so it reflects game play. We are hearing now that he does not.

Finally, a good coach can motivate his team to play with passion and commitment to one another, something the Oilers have not done all season.

I can understand teams going through slumps or one or two players struggling under a new coach - it happens. But this has been a season long slump for the team that is just being bailed out by goaltending in order to win, and multiple players are regressing. The latter is why Eakins must go. He has failed in developing the kids this season, which was supposed to be the reason he was hired in the first place.

Good grief, better results? Renney and Krueger's teams's were brutal.

This year is tainted by the first 20 games when Dubnyk was letting in beach balls from the bluelines and the top 2 C were injured. Throw out of the first 20 games the this year's record is the same as last year's.

Eakins has tweaked the systems.

A good coach does not implement systems stepwise I'm afraid. That's silly. Systems aren't that complicated. Forward 1 goes here. Forward 2 goes there. You don't start by half implementing a system.

In case you missed the memo the criticism about practices not being intense enough goes back to Renney and Krueger's days.

It doesn't matter who coaches the Oilers. Until they can put a top pairing D on the ice that isn't named Schlutz, Ference, Petry, Belov, Fraser, Marincin or Larsen this team is scr*wed.

You can't make chicken salad with chicken sh*t

Avatar
#65 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
March 10 2014, 09:26AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
12
cheers
Gk1980 wrote:

This team is like a featuring wound that just keeps bleeding. What the heck is management gonna do to stop it? Is there an answer? What is the solution?

Perhaps management is the wound.

Avatar
#66 Jay
March 10 2014, 09:27AM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers

It's gotta get worse before it can get better, right... right?

I don't know if firing the coach would solve a lot of the problems. Wouldn't it just be another coaching change that the players have to deal with, and style to get used to? But I guess if it's a veteran coach with experience that'd be good.

Avatar
#67 Newj
March 10 2014, 09:27AM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
10
cheers

I'm not usually critical of Kevin & Louie on the Oiler coverage, but yesterday Louie's color comments just perpetuate the problems the Oilers are experiencing.

Yak tried a high risk backhand pass out of their defensive zone which was quickly gobbled up and resulted in a decent scoring chance for the Kings. Seeing Yak's reaction to what he just did I sensed he knew he screwed up.

Louie on the other hand, he praised Yak for that risky move. Something about how it was nice to see the young kids trying things out there even if they dont always work.

WTF?

C'mon I appreciate the positive spin on everything the Oilers do and don't do, but that kind of commentating gets tired real quick. Why can't Louie call a spade a spade and state that hopefully those kind of mistakes are avoidable if they will play within themselves and quit trying those high risk passes, toe drags, ect, ect.

Louie's koolaid commentary is way beyond being supportive of the team, in fact it's counter productive because acceptance of their mistakes becomes the norm.

Avatar
#68 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
March 10 2014, 09:31AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
6
cheers
toprightcorner wrote:

Completely agree, and some of those King vetrans had players like Blake, Robitaille, Handzus, Visnovsky, Gagne, Pronger, Briere, Forsberg and Knuble there to teach them the ropes, how to compete hard and what it takes to win in the NHL. Then after 5 years of expireince they could do the same to the next generation like King, Voynov, Toffoli and Muzzin.

Right now we have Hall, Ebs and Nuge trying to lead the offence and they learned from Penner, Hemsky and a drastically declinging Horcoff. 2 weren't leaders and Horcoff, though a good role model, but not for an offensive player. All during the "bad culture locker room".

For defense, you have Petry (220 games) who had all of Whitney for a role model coming into the NHL and then you have nebies Schultz and Marincin, Larsen and Fraser (170 games) Ference is a great leader and mentor but he can't take on all of the work. Basicall 5 of your 6 dmen have less than 5 years expireince and 3 of those less than 1.5 seasons experience.

We have Smyth, Gordon and Hendrick who are grat role models like that but much harder for them to relate that to highly skilled players like Hall, Ebs, Nuge and Yak.

You can't have young players will lots of developing to do to metor the new guys coming up unless you want a disaster on your hands.

It's why some teams form dynasty's while other teams are MICKEY MOUSE.

Avatar
#69 CMG30
March 10 2014, 09:32AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
12
cheers

Honestly I am not a fan of firing another head coach because I believe that's been part of the problem with the Oilers. But with the way the team has been preforming, Mactavish may have no choice.

Avatar
#70 Puck_In_Throat
March 10 2014, 09:46AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
14
cheers

I use Dean Lombardi as one of my examples of an ideal GM.

But some of the moves he made are moves that I don't think Oilers fans are ready to make.

To get Mike Richards, Lombardi traded Wayne Simmonds, who was an emerging power forward, plus Braden Schenn, who was the 5th overall pick from the 2009 draft and after lighting up the world juniors and the WHL as a 19 year old (53 points in 27 games), was widely considered to be the best prospect not in the NHL. Lombardi also gave up a 2nd round pick in this deal.

Later on in the year, Lombardi traded Jack Johnson who was the 3rd overall pick from 2005, and a conditional first round pick to Columbus for Jeff Carter.

Those are BOLD moves. But here is the genius of Lombardi's thinking: both Carter and Richards were under contract for a long time, so the assets he was giving up were for long term, not short term, assets.

One could argue that the Richards trade especially turned out well for Philly, but LA won the cup, so Lombardi still "wins".

These are the types of trades that the Oilers are a) too chicken to make; b) require a hard evaluation of your current assets (which the Oilers seem incapable of doing); and c) the Oilers would bungle if they tried to make.

We will need to make some big trades to get better. Not this year, probably after next year. Hard decisions will have to be made.

I don't trust MacT to make them.

Avatar
#71 BingBong
March 10 2014, 09:50AM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
6
cheers
CMG30 wrote:

Honestly I am not a fan of firing another head coach because I believe that's been part of the problem with the Oilers. But with the way the team has been preforming, Mactavish may have no choice.

I agree. I don't necessarily think coaching is the biggest problem, but if the Oilers start out poorly next year then MacT will have no choice but to fire Eakins, regardless of what our roster looks like.

Avatar
#72 mayorblaine
March 10 2014, 09:51AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
23
cheers

i am dumbfounded by the amount of positivity Eakins speaks of after the game. i understand why he does it i just tire of hearing it.

he's more like Kruger than we give him credit for. motivational. except not.

Avatar
#73 Sam the man
March 10 2014, 09:56AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
15
cheers

For a coach that says the players will be in top shape and hearing ex oilers saying that it's pretty relax practices in edmonton,intense is a word that they should learn. I don't remember a practise that my coach didn't skate my ass off, it starts there. Effort is everything in life and not saying it's all of them but it shows the who of who.

Avatar
#74 loweblows
March 10 2014, 09:59AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
18
cheers
CMG30 wrote:

Honestly I am not a fan of firing another head coach because I believe that's been part of the problem with the Oilers. But with the way the team has been preforming, Mactavish may have no choice.

A sports scribe the other day said that the combined NHL level coaching experience of the Edmonton Oilers is 5 and a half years. ENOUGH SAID! Bring in some competent, experienced, and structured coaching staff. Oh wait we did. We shipcanned him. Hard to write anything positive about the coaching staff. The powerplay last year was one of their strengths and today I cringe when we have a powerplay. WTF. Eakins refusal to utilize Yak on the right wall is so amateur its laughable. His flip flopping of defensive structures is not defensible. Considering next years team will have a healthy amount of rookies on D what system will Eakins teach them next year? Is there a system in place now and if so what is it called? This team doesn't need continuity it needs experienced coaching staff. When Bryzgalov left his comments about Oiler practices was telling. From his departing comments you got the feeling he was leaving some country club and was headed back to work for a real team. With Eakins at the helm next year and a crop of rookie D start planning the catchphrase for McDavid. Back to you Oiler Josh.

Avatar
#75 Ryan2
March 10 2014, 10:08AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
11
cheers
Zarny wrote:

Good grief, better results? Renney and Krueger's teams's were brutal.

This year is tainted by the first 20 games when Dubnyk was letting in beach balls from the bluelines and the top 2 C were injured. Throw out of the first 20 games the this year's record is the same as last year's.

Eakins has tweaked the systems.

A good coach does not implement systems stepwise I'm afraid. That's silly. Systems aren't that complicated. Forward 1 goes here. Forward 2 goes there. You don't start by half implementing a system.

In case you missed the memo the criticism about practices not being intense enough goes back to Renney and Krueger's days.

It doesn't matter who coaches the Oilers. Until they can put a top pairing D on the ice that isn't named Schlutz, Ference, Petry, Belov, Fraser, Marincin or Larsen this team is scr*wed.

You can't make chicken salad with chicken sh*t

LOL. Have you ever coached at any level? Based on your comments, I doubt it. You do not implement a system all at once - you break it down into components based on the level of your team and implement it stepwise just like training a newbie at work. That is how a good coach does it. At the NHL level you can go faster, but just like in youth hockey you still need the players to master the fine points of each component before they can do the whole system properly. That is why you break it down and implement it stepwise. Skip a step or cheat the process and you get the mess that the Oilers are this year. If I recall correctly, this team is viewed by opponents as cheating the process as well........

Eakins adapted his Junior or maybe AHL calibre-system well after it was apparent to everyone else that it would not work at the NHL level. Good for him for finally recognizing it, but whatever he is doing now is not helping much either. The team is totally disorganized and only wins when Scrivens can steal a game here or there.

WRT intensity at practice, isn't that what Mr. Fitness was supposed to do - bring up the intensity and compete levels on the team? In my comment I never said that Renney or Kruger were different, I just pointed out that Mr. Fitness does not practice what he preaches (which is apparently the same for player accountability as well based on his free passes for young players not named Yakupov).

The simple fact remains that Renney and Kruger had weaker teams (Pat Quinn likely had the worst one of the bunch - that lineup was brutal) and they still generated the same or better results. That speaks volumes about the current coaching staff.

I do agree with you that the team needs a better blue line, and have been saying it here for the past two or three years that I have been posting.

Avatar
#76 Danger Pay
March 10 2014, 10:27AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
8
cheers

I'm hoping Eakins looks at his NHL Head Coach record at the end of the season and realizes he needs to coach the team that has been assembled for him and stop coaching a system that obviously doesn't work. Unless of course McDavid is goal next year.

Avatar
#77 Max
March 10 2014, 10:29AM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Cheers
6
cheers

On a positive note, I think our days of 8-0 thrashings are done with the signing of Ben Scrivens. On a sour note, Andrew Ferrance - Stanly Cup winner, mentor,captain,4 year contract with no-trade clause. His play has been medicore at best. If that's mentoring, then wow. Our defense definitely is atrocious, but what's happening to Eberle, Nugent-Hopkins, Yakabov? They seem to be scared to play like they used to. It may be Eakins and staff, I'd like to think so. We really need major changes AGAIN in the off season. I really hope we can get some defensemen - MEN, not boys and let the young guys get back to what they do best. SCORE. Things cannot improve without removing the cause of the rot. Deep thought has to gone into what this cause may be. Heads must once again roll.

Avatar
#78 Max
March 10 2014, 10:30AM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Go into, not gone, sorry.

Avatar
#79 The Last Big Bear
March 10 2014, 10:31AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
14
cheers

1) I think one of the reasons Eakins hasn't been fired mid-season is that MacTavish jus doesn't have the administrative staff to deal with the avalanche of applications from Stanley Cup-winning veteran NHL coaches who will flood his inbox when they find out they could be the next guy to be humiliated and have his reputation ruined before being fired after a year of coaching in the most dysfunctional organization in the NHL.

2) Edonton's defence has gotten *significantly* worse since the beginning of the year. Hands up any sane person who looked at what was already the worst defence in the NHL back in October, and said to themselves "This group is going to have to get a lot worse before they get better"?

3) I've said it before, and I'll say it again, the Oilers need to be buyers, not sellers. Acquiring Scrivens' expiring UFA contract and negotiating an extension was by far the best move the Oilers made all season. And yet, at the trade deadline solid NHL veterans were available for throw-away draft picks, and the Oilers turned their nose up. Andrej Meszaros is a 28 year old defenceman on a 40-point pace, who's good enough to play 20+ mins for the Bruins, and he was available for a 3rd round pick. "Oh noes, what if be doesnt re-sign?" The chance of Meszaros (for example) re-signing are much greater than a 90th+ overall pick has of ever even making the show, much less becoming an impact player. If a deadline acquisition doesn't re-sign, he still probably plays more games for you than a late-round pick. "So should we just trade away ALL our picks then Mr Smarteypants??" If you are in the somewhat rare position to trade a 90th+ overall pick for a 28 year old who plays 20 mins a night for playoff teams, and is as good or better than anyone else on your team, then yes you make that trade. EVERY. TIME.

Unless you're Edmonton. In which case you gotta keep that pick. How else will the 2023-24 team maintain momentum after that crucial 8th consecutive Stanley Cup win?

Avatar
#80 VK63
March 10 2014, 10:39AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
11
cheers

I used my seats last night.

It was about what I anticipated. A cup contender against whatever the opposite of cup contender is.

Avatar
#81 Total Points
March 10 2014, 10:39AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
13
cheers

We get so many shots against because our top six are not a top six. We spend so much time in our end and not in the opposition end. Most of the time it is one and done. Pretty simple

Hall - too many giveaways. Yak - too young and jittery. RNH - appears tired as the season goes along. Eberle - Just waves at the opposition as they go by. Perron - only one with compete level Gagner - should be in press box

A different coach may help to solve the problem by I think they just are all too young and inexperienced. I am afraid that by the time they get better they will have entered their new contracts and most will be gone. So we have to watch them as thy grow up and other fans will get to experience their successes.

Avatar
#82 Tikkanese
March 10 2014, 10:52AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
14
cheers
Jonathan Willis wrote:

One quibble: Matt Greene was a healthy scratch, again. He's a spare part, not a team leader.

Greene may be a spare part in LA but would easily be top 4 on the current Oilers.

Avatar
#83 VK63
March 10 2014, 10:59AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

I can verify that Oilers nation brass did outdrink The Royal Half 400-2 so thats gotta count for something!

Avatar
#84 Woggie63
March 10 2014, 11:09AM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
6
cheers

The sample size is big enough, we need a bold move with this team.

Fire the coaching staff, hire some combination of

Head Coach

Laviolette (2x Stanley Cup appearances)

Marc Crowford (2 X Stanley Cup appearances)

Assist Coach

Larry Robinson (2X Stanley Cup appearances)

Todd Nelson (Has done a great job on the farm)

Jac. Lemire (winner)

AND

Fire Kevin Lowe and hire Bob Nicholson as POHO

Avatar
#85 Zarny
March 10 2014, 11:12AM
Trash it!
10
trashes
Cheers
11
cheers
Ryan2 wrote:

LOL. Have you ever coached at any level? Based on your comments, I doubt it. You do not implement a system all at once - you break it down into components based on the level of your team and implement it stepwise just like training a newbie at work. That is how a good coach does it. At the NHL level you can go faster, but just like in youth hockey you still need the players to master the fine points of each component before they can do the whole system properly. That is why you break it down and implement it stepwise. Skip a step or cheat the process and you get the mess that the Oilers are this year. If I recall correctly, this team is viewed by opponents as cheating the process as well........

Eakins adapted his Junior or maybe AHL calibre-system well after it was apparent to everyone else that it would not work at the NHL level. Good for him for finally recognizing it, but whatever he is doing now is not helping much either. The team is totally disorganized and only wins when Scrivens can steal a game here or there.

WRT intensity at practice, isn't that what Mr. Fitness was supposed to do - bring up the intensity and compete levels on the team? In my comment I never said that Renney or Kruger were different, I just pointed out that Mr. Fitness does not practice what he preaches (which is apparently the same for player accountability as well based on his free passes for young players not named Yakupov).

The simple fact remains that Renney and Kruger had weaker teams (Pat Quinn likely had the worst one of the bunch - that lineup was brutal) and they still generated the same or better results. That speaks volumes about the current coaching staff.

I do agree with you that the team needs a better blue line, and have been saying it here for the past two or three years that I have been posting.

LMAO...I played junior A bud.

For starters coaches don't implement 'a' system. They implement systems...plural. Since the system for defensive zone coverage has nothing to do with your offensive zone.

And no, you don't implement a system step-wise. It's rather imperative that all 5 players know their roles and responsibilities. You don't tell the D their defensive zone responsibilities and then tell the forwards you'll let them know what they should do in a couple of games lol.

You see "systems", even at the NHL level, are very general. The first D or F into the offensive/defensive zone does this...the second guy does this. That is all implemented at the same time.

The problem isn't Eakins' systems or what he is doing now. Most of the time players are in the right position which is all a system is designed to do. The problem is the players keep making stupid decisions or just get beat 1 on 1 because they are playing over their head against better players.

The key to a system being effective is the players not the coach.

WRT to intensity at practice no that isn't really what Mr. Fitness was talking about. Practice isn't about fitness. Off-season training is which is what Eakins was actually preaching about.

High intensity practices are about practicing and making decisions at the same speed you play the game as well as developing an edge to bring into the game.

And no it's not a simple fact that Renney and Krueger had weaker teams. Both had much better G than what the Oilers had before Scrivens this year. Both were far less effected by key injuries.

Most important of all both had Horcoff to protect Nuge and Gagner. Offensively Horcoff could never live up to his contract but defensively he was a #1C, a terrific PK and did the dirty jobs on the PP. When Horcoff was injured last year the Oilers got throttled.

It's rather sad how so many like you still apparently think of Hall, Nuge, Eberle, Yakupov and Schultz as children with no responsibility for their dumb decisions, risky passes, lack of intensity or trying to do it all themselves.

Avatar
#86 Cold Hard Truth
March 10 2014, 11:15AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
12
cheers
Zarny wrote:

LMAO...the Oilers get over-matched by a bigger, better roster and people are still whining about coaching.

Good grief, a different coach is not going to make the worst blueline in the NHL any better or the Oilers top 6 F any bigger.

What is actually funny is the lengths you will contort yourself to defend the team.

I don't blame you, to be honest. After 8 years of dismal failure, most Oilers fans have forgot what a good team looks like.

Avatar
#87 vetinari
March 10 2014, 11:21AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
7
cheers

In the world of professional sports, you are your record. That runs from Darryl Katz straight through Kevin Lowe right down to MacT, Eakins and every player on the ice.

These seasons are not abnormalities-- they are the standard results that we can all expect and count on unless something fundamental changes.

On that score, we've generally screwed around with changes at the bottom rungs of our organization-- changing players on the roster and firing the odd guy in middle management (with our favorite target being coaches but thankfully we at least got rid of Tambellini).

Maybe this organization needs a change higher up? I, frankly, think that Katz is a huge part of this problem as he stacks the organization with guys from the glory days rather than merit and he seems to have his blinders on while counting his cash. I know that he is the owner as long as he wants to be but either be part of the solution or get someone who knows what needs to be done to get out of this mess.

Avatar
#88 Cold Hard Truth
March 10 2014, 11:22AM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
9
cheers
Zarny wrote:

Good grief, better results? Renney and Krueger's teams's were brutal.

This year is tainted by the first 20 games when Dubnyk was letting in beach balls from the bluelines and the top 2 C were injured. Throw out of the first 20 games the this year's record is the same as last year's.

Eakins has tweaked the systems.

A good coach does not implement systems stepwise I'm afraid. That's silly. Systems aren't that complicated. Forward 1 goes here. Forward 2 goes there. You don't start by half implementing a system.

In case you missed the memo the criticism about practices not being intense enough goes back to Renney and Krueger's days.

It doesn't matter who coaches the Oilers. Until they can put a top pairing D on the ice that isn't named Schlutz, Ference, Petry, Belov, Fraser, Marincin or Larsen this team is scr*wed.

You can't make chicken salad with chicken sh*t

Typical blindfaither argument: "If it weren't for ____, then we would be a lot better."

The problem is ____ is changing every year.

Truth is, the Oilers don't just have 1 or 2 problems. They are not 1 or 2 fixes away from becoming competitive. The organization is riddled with problems that have been talked about exhaustively.

This year, according to the blindfaithers, Dubnyk was the sole cause of the team's collapse. Yet now they've been getting excellent goaltending from Scrivens and they still suck.

Avatar
#89 Rama Lama
March 10 2014, 11:25AM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
10
cheers

Zarny or should I say Dallas, you are right on one front and one front only!

I have been critical of Dallas Eakins since the start of the season............there are too many issues he has created on his own to mention.

I do need to concede on one front where Dallas has made an improvement............our players no longer eat donuts!

That's quite an accomplishment!

Avatar
#90 Geoff
March 10 2014, 11:31AM
Trash it!
9
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

Personally I think before you all fire Eakins you would have to give him a proper NHL defence core first to really evaluate him.

Avatar
#91 Oiler Al
March 10 2014, 12:21PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
8
cheers

First time in a long time, I saw Sutter smiling behind the LAK bench.... he noticed Larsen and Fraser on the same tandem.

Avatar
#92 Oiler Al
March 10 2014, 12:39PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
6
cheers
BingBong wrote:

What's the deal with RNH? He's been invisible the last month and he's our #1 center!

Excellent observation! I have the same point of view on this guy. I was thinking he has to be playing with some kind of injury [hope not ], but your right man he just plain disappeared.

Everyone is ranting on Gagner, and rightly so, but NUGE, and Eberle have totally pulled a Houdini. Cant recall the last time Nuge scored a goal.

Avatar
#93 Zarny
March 10 2014, 01:22PM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers
Cold Hard Truth wrote:

Typical blindfaither argument: "If it weren't for ____, then we would be a lot better."

The problem is ____ is changing every year.

Truth is, the Oilers don't just have 1 or 2 problems. They are not 1 or 2 fixes away from becoming competitive. The organization is riddled with problems that have been talked about exhaustively.

This year, according to the blindfaithers, Dubnyk was the sole cause of the team's collapse. Yet now they've been getting excellent goaltending from Scrivens and they still suck.

Spare me your drivel.

At no point in time have I ever insinuated the Oilers are 1 or 2 moves away. They need to two top pairing D and 2 different top 6 F alone.

Dubnyk was not the sole cause of the team's collapse but last year he was solid while this year he was letting in beach balls from the blueline.

And in case you missed the memo, if you ignore the first 20 games the Oilers are 3 games below 0.500 which is exactly what they were last year.

Avatar
#94 still hoping
March 10 2014, 01:28PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers
Errol wrote:

Oiler fans have so many expectations but the reality is Oilers are barely an NHL team.

Exactly, why?

Well, one only needs to look at the leadership in an organization to figure that out.

The Oilers will continue to be a basement team because Lowe does not know what he is doing.

Time for a change at the top.

Avatar
#95 Zarny
March 10 2014, 01:43PM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers
Cold Hard Truth wrote:

What is actually funny is the lengths you will contort yourself to defend the team.

I don't blame you, to be honest. After 8 years of dismal failure, most Oilers fans have forgot what a good team looks like.

Actually, what is funny is that you think I'm defending the team.

Umm no. Eakins is simply the wrong target.

The first problem is the players as a whole are simply not good enough. Far too many players like Petry and Schultz are forced to play above their heads. Most of that blame lies with Tambo who did not obtain anything other than a few 1st overall draft picks.

The second problem is the players. Namely Hall, Nuge, Eberle, Gagner, Yakupov and Schultz. They make stupid decisions ad nauseam. They all make risky, cross ice passes that continually get picked off and lead to odd man rushes against.

A different coach or a different system will do nothing to improve the Oilers' fortunes.

Avatar
#96 Zarny
March 10 2014, 01:46PM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers
Rama Lama wrote:

Zarny or should I say Dallas, you are right on one front and one front only!

I have been critical of Dallas Eakins since the start of the season............there are too many issues he has created on his own to mention.

I do need to concede on one front where Dallas has made an improvement............our players no longer eat donuts!

That's quite an accomplishment!

The fact morons like you think the Oilers' problem is coaching is laughable.

If Renney and Krueger were so great why do all of the players they coached still make dumb decisions?

Avatar
#97 Towersofdub
March 10 2014, 03:05PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

@John Chambers

I think Bylsma already has an NHL job. Ted Nolan isn't really getting much out of Buffalo...Laviolette, well maybe an argument could be made for him, but he's one of those short shelf life coaches anyway. Philadelphia improved after firing him.

Avatar
#98 Towersofdub
March 10 2014, 03:10PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

@Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!

since January the've been pretty much a .500 team. one or 2 games below .500 I know it's not great, but it's an improvement over them being 10 games below .500 prior to that. No one in their right mind thought Edmonton would be a playoff team this year.

Avatar
#99 Towersofdub
March 10 2014, 03:22PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

@Puck_In_Throat

Lombardi made some pretty astute trades, but I just wonder if that type of trade is there to be made now for the oilers. Is someone going to give up a Mike Richards or Jeff Carter type of player for anything Edmonton has? Is any team in the league going to voluntarily make Edmonton a better team, and by extension, themselves a worse team just to be nice to us Oilers supporters?

Avatar
#100 Anton
March 10 2014, 03:29PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

For every post that is defending Eakins by stating the previous coaches did not made this team better, or we can't find and coach with experience willing to coach this team...the important facts that you are ignoring: we are not looking for an instant winner here, we are looking for a team that at least shows signs of improvement. By saying how this team is exactly where they were last season means this team has show no sign of improvement at all. The clear sign of regressing which can be found at a simple +/- area, we lack of depth in 3rd and 4th line last year but at least top lines were keeping it respectful. This year that we have only one player on + (both Eager and Brown are gone) with Marincin! Last season the team may not be good, but at least they were trying. This season? The only one that is still trying on ice is Scrivens. Stop using the win/lost column to explain how this team is not as good as advertized, that's not the point! For some wants Eakins to be fired 3 games into the season that has nothing to do with W/L, it is just simply recognizing that Eakins can't coach! Just so after 65 games and a few Scrivens great displays on ice suddenly it is not coach's fault? Clearly, you are one of those fans who has way to high of expectations out of this team at the beginning of the year by drinking too much of Eakins' cool-aid and now refuse to realize that Eakins is just horrendous as a coach so by giving him a free pass by blaming everything else. Geez, you know who else also doing the same thing? EAKINS!

The so-called "no veteran coaches available" excuse is also laughable. How about Avs? How about Bolts? How is their rookie coaches do? Rookie or veteran, it is about if he can coach at all. Torts has won cup with Bolts before but does not make him a good coach now? Maybe those Canucks fans can answer that for you.

Fire Eakins! Fire Eakins! Fire Eakins!

Comments are closed for this article.