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
#1 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
March 09 2014, 11:05PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
91
cheers

So... hard... to... watch........
So... much... suck........

Avatar
#2 Say what again
March 09 2014, 11:06PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
87
cheers

What did we do to deserve this?

Avatar
#3 ThatButthurtOilersFan
March 09 2014, 11:07PM
Trash it!
7
trashes
Cheers
83
cheers

Drinking Game!

Step 1: Get vodka

Step 2: Take a shot whenever the Oilers a) Turn the puck over b) Fail a toe drag c) Petry misses his man and d) The Oilers get scored on when Yakupov's on the ice.

Step 3: Die because you've had too much alcohol and your liver failed.

Avatar
#4 Errol
March 09 2014, 11:12PM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Cheers
69
cheers

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

Avatar
#5 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
#6 bwar
March 09 2014, 11:17PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
57
cheers

But don't worry everyone, the team will totally be fixed by next season.

Avatar
#8 Kevin
March 09 2014, 11:25PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
52
cheers

With all the draft picks Oilers have had in the last 8 years you would think the team would slowly get better. But they are getting worse. I don't think it is the players they picked so much , I think it comes down to management's formula to win in the NHL. It has been so wrong.

Avatar
#9 Mr common sense
March 10 2014, 12:06AM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Cheers
48
cheers

Eakins is in over his head, it's quite obvious. His "I'm going home to drink a bottle of scotch and be back at the office at 5am " routine isn't fooling anyone.

Avatar
#10 Soccer Steve
March 09 2014, 11:55PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
47
cheers

It's very strange, this.

After years of complete ineptitude under the Tambo regime I feel like there is finally some serious, fruitful gains being made by our new GM.

Yet the team sucks worse than it ever has.

Avatar
#11 LoweBlow
March 10 2014, 02:26AM
Trash it!
12
trashes
Cheers
46
cheers

Fire Eakins.

Avatar
#12 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
#13 SRELIOFAN
March 09 2014, 11:39PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
41
cheers

I just want this season to be over... It's torture.

Avatar
#14 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
#15 Al Low
March 10 2014, 01:03AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
37
cheers

If there's one thing I'll give Mr Fitness, it's his stubbornness. He refuses to move on his 1-3-1 PP system which completely blows. There's absolutely no structure to anything they do out there -- wasn't structure the reason Coach Eakins was brought in. He's in way over his head. He may not have the personnel but the team's never looked worse than they have in this so-called rebuild. We really are the Brooklyn Islanders of the West. Unreal. Yeah, 6Rings, it's only been 4 years but I'm tired of the circus you and Katz have created.

Avatar
#16 Andrew
March 09 2014, 11:29PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
36
cheers

You are watching and paying through the nose for AHL level hockey. With Katz holding the pink slip and KLowe and Mac running the show I am surprised that anyone who cheers for the Oil are surprised at the result.

I would say that at least 4 of the top 6 suck and the others simply blow! By the time the drafted D get to the show, if they do, the bottom 6 will be succumbing to old age and the top 6 will be moving on as free agents hoping to play for a winning organization.

I wouldn't go to an Oiler's game with a free ticket. As a matter of fact a local company can't get anyone to take their tickets for free unless the person is cheering the visiting team. I can't believe these aholz have brought this proud tradition to such an ignominious ending. A pox on the tools who have created this mess.

Avatar
#17 Anton
March 10 2014, 06:48AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
35
cheers
Sevenseven wrote:

Besides continuity, what is the argument to try Eakins next year?

He can bring us more chances to get McDavid?

Avatar
#18 Anton
March 10 2014, 03:21AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
32
cheers

Compare Avalanche and Oilers...since both teams were in much the same scenario: young team, bad defense, worst in the league, and hire a rookie coach. What's the difference? From the first game when Roy almost killed Boudreau because a bad check on his players near the end of the game to Eakins burning Hall by having him to play the most minutes out of position and resulting lots of turnovers. Roy doesn't run any gimmicks, he believes the basic concept of how to win: good goalie performance and keep the puck out of own zone. Eakins? endless gimmicks and hoping some of them will work. The result? Avs is back into playoffs and Oil is rotting at bottom.

Fire Eakins! Fire Eakins! Fire Eakins!

Avatar
#19 J.R.
March 10 2014, 12:51AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
31
cheers

Coaching sucks. Execution is one thing but where is the system play? Guys out of position in the defensive zone was so brutal to watch tonight.

What is the strategy? All defenders pile into the slot?

Lame. Oh and fire Eakins.

Avatar
#20 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
#21 -30-
March 10 2014, 06:41AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
28
cheers

Edmonton Oilers = New York Islanders

Kevin Lowe = Mike Milbury

Daryl Katz = Charles Wang

A lesson in how otherwise successful businessmen (Wang & Katz) let friendships and egos get in the way of becoming successful sports franchises.

However, this will all be forgotten the next time the Oilers have another two game winning streak. LOL Then, most ON posters will be matching lines and planning Cup parades.

-30-

Avatar
#22 John Chambers
March 10 2014, 07:59AM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
28
cheers
LoweBlow 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
#23 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
#24 toprightcorner
March 10 2014, 01:35AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
27
cheers

I remember whe the Oilers brought in Oates just before Christmas in 2003/04 and he worked hard on teaching guys how to take faceoffs and could teach younger offensive guys like Hemsky, Horcoff Stoll and Smyth, I recall MacT saying in an interview what a difference Oates made to the team about winning and they had brough in Oates to do Just that.

Hemsky, Smyth, Horcoff, Stoll and Torres all had career years the following year. Stoll, Horcoff and Reasoners faceoffs jumped dramatically and I beleive set up the younger guys with the desire to compete and make the cup run the next NHL season after the lockout. All of your offensive forwards don't all chance overnight and have their career year at the same time without influence and I beleive that to be Adam Oates. All but Hemsky had also developed the defensive part to their game that wa lacking. You bring in Pronger and Peca that year and it was a whole new team because of the changes the players made to compete each and every night.

If the Oilers could convince a player like that, at the end of his career to come for just a year to extend ther carreer with the idea of having him mentor that team I think that would make a huge difference. I think Jagr could teach this team a ton on working hard and commitment and realate to the offensive guys. He also seems willing to play almost anywhere so if you offered him the same contract or a touch more for a year could be the best short term investment they have ever made. Other options could be Jovanovski, Iginla, Dan Boyle and Bertuzzi. Heck , sign them and tell them you will even trade them to a contender at the deadline if the Oilers are no in a playoff position. 60 games (what Oates played) could go a long way to righting the ship and and teaching the comete and commitment it takes.

Jagr made a measly $2 mill this season $4.5 the previous aft scoring 54 points, I would give him $4 - $4.5 for 1 year cause his work ethic and commitment to the game and practice will change some of these young guys around. He has a few more attainable milestones so I see him wantong to play another year. Philly's and Stars and even Bruins all commented on the positives he brout to the room and work ethic while there.

Jagr could be the Coles Notes of teaching this team how to compete, practice and commitment to improving.

Avatar
#25 Sevenseven
March 10 2014, 06:28AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
25
cheers

Besides continuity, what is the argument to try Eakins next year?

Avatar
#26 Walter Sobchak
March 10 2014, 12:46AM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Cheers
23
cheers

The only good thing about this season was Soshi.........Plus the Canucks & Flame's suck too.

Avatar
#27 Oiler Al
March 10 2014, 06:41AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
23
cheers
toprightcorner wrote:

I wis people wpuld dtop posting to fire Eakins. MacT said publicly he will be the coach next year so stop with the "Fire Eakins" chants. ITs getting worse than the Omark and Schremp lovers.

If at 30 games next year and MacT has filled a bunch of the holes and the team is no better, barring multiple injuries you can come out again and wave the fire Eakins flag. Until then it is just annoying and makles zero difference.

Fire assistant coaches? Heck I will join you on that banwagon!!

Thank you Mrs. Eakins.

Avatar
#28 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
#29 Jiri Slegr
March 09 2014, 11:43PM
Trash it!
19
trashes
Cheers
22
cheers

In case anyone wonders why we lost: Their Team Leaders Are: Kopitar Age 26 Marian Gaborik Age 32 Jeff Carter Age 29 Mike Richards Age 29 Dustin Brown Age 29 Drew Doughty Age 24 Robin Regehr Age 33 Matt Green Age 30

Oilers Team Leaders Are: Taylor Hall Age 22 Jordan Eberle Age 23 Ryan Nuge Age 20 Nail Yak Age 19 David Perron Age 25 Justin Schultz Age 23 Jeff Petry Age 26 Andrew Ference Age 34

Not matter how many times we bat this thing around, there is still this blatant fact. Theres too many young ones. If this core stays, we have to be patient because only time will make it better. Think of our mindset at age 20. Hard to be a professional that young.

Avatar
#30 toprightcorner
March 10 2014, 12:14AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
22
cheers
Kevin wrote:

With all the draft picks Oilers have had in the last 8 years you would think the team would slowly get better. But they are getting worse. I don't think it is the players they picked so much , I think it comes down to management's formula to win in the NHL. It has been so wrong.

Normally that is true, but with most other teams, they have a line up with 70% with 5+ years of NHL experience, 25% 2-5 years experience and a couple rookies. Over half of the Oilers roster has less than 5 years experience an out of those players not many have been mentored by solid veterans of the same skill set to teach them how to play in the NHL.

A team could have the first pick over all for 6 straight years and still not have a competitive team cause those players are all offensive minded and never had to worry about playing a full 200 foot game.

A team needs to rely on the draft to develop players but you can't build a winning team strictly through drafting. If there are no veterans don't lead and teach the young players then in 2 years you have young players who were not brought up properly teaching the new young guys and it is a vicious circle, the blind leading the blind.

Avatar
#31 Anton
March 10 2014, 03:00AM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
22
cheers
toprightcorner wrote:

Execution is not one thin, it is everything. Eakins system does not tell all players to pile in the slot or the dman to chace a player by going behind the net or drop pass at the blue line. Every mistake that is made that goes into the net is becasue the DIDN'T follow the system. It is plain as day to see when your watching them and when their mistake ends up in the back of their net you can see it in their eyes that not only did they scre up but they didn't do what they were told to do.

Any type of system can have success, thats why most teams can play a different one nad can succeed. The difference is how well the players execute the system and right now nobody on this team can execute this system for an entire game. They eaithr don't have the brains, the ability, the buy in, or compete level. The other biggest one is none of the offensive players have ever truley been taught how to play a 2 way game in thier lives. If that was being taught in the organization over the last 5 years, Hall, Eberle and Gagner would not be so terrible at it today.

Its like raising your kids and letting them do everything they wanted without repercussions as long as they made their bed and then suddenly at the age of 16 you tell them you can't do half of the things you used to be able to do and now you have to cut the grass, do the dishes, shovel the snow, vacuum and dust the house, wash the clothes and put new shingles on the house or you can't leave you room. It is idiotic to think that will work.

This is a problem Eakins inherited, not one that he caused. Sure he may end up not being the best coach but blaming him for the lank of implementing development structure within the team for development and two way play and everyone working on their weaknesses, Eakins had to start 5 steps behind what he thought he would cause ther were no where near ready enough to do even the simple defensive things.

When Eakis said that when he asked guys in training camp to start with a baisic defence, nobody knew what that was or though it was something different. That is a problem Eakins inherited, he didin't casue it but know he is trying to fix and unbreak the bad habits that they got over the past 4 years.

If players cannot but into the system, then it is a failed system. Part of reason why some coach failed in one team but then find success on different team. Since no team can ever just trade entire roster away to fit into certain coach's system then you have to find somebody else that have a system which can work with the team. No coach should cry about how the players just won't be able to work with his system because it is their job to find a system that his players can work with.

Since Eakins came in, he started preaching his gimmick (it is not a system, it is a gimmick) without evaluating what types of players that he has. Any Oilers fan with a more realistic view of the team would expect the team miss playoffs but at least to see some signs of improvement, not Eakins' Oilers however. The team are regressing from whatever they had from last year and just completely lost out there on ice. If the players don't understand the concept of playing a two way game, then you work on the basic fundamental of how to play a proper defense by not trying to sell some gimmick which was working with a bunch of underachievers in minor league. What do you deal with a young team is by helping them to improve on certain areas of their game which can benefiting them in a long run. Eakins came into Edmonton by thinking himself as savior of franchise (you can read the interview when he was first hired by stating "Oilers will be a hard team to play against with", seem kind of ridiculous now isn't it?) without even have the first practice with the team. He is arrogant and full of himself, have this guy as a coach will only damaging the team further. The worst rookie that we ever have is Eakins himself!

I don't know how you can use the reason of "Eakins inherit a bad team" as an excuse for how awful the team is, because it is HIS JOB TO FIX THE DAMN PROBLEM! THAT'S WHAT HE WAS HIRED FOR! Try to be more logic instead blindly defend someone who should actually do his job.

Fire Eakins! Fire Eakins! Fire Eakins!

Avatar
#32 james_dean
March 10 2014, 12:12AM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Cheers
21
cheers

My friend asked me on thursday, " want to go to the game? Theres 10$ tix on stubhub."

Sorry, I replied type 2 fan here. Need free tickets and free oiler bucks to watch that

Avatar
#33 Naky
March 09 2014, 11:23PM
Trash it!
22
trashes
Cheers
18
cheers

Haven't you read the comments of these articles lately? Trade away Gagner for third and a fifth like Hemsky (because that's at most what you're going to get unless we eat all of his salary) and all of our problems at forward are fixed. Oh, and recall Arcobello to replace one smallish 2nd line center with a smaller one. Oh, and fire Eakins.

Think that about sums it all up? Did I leave anything out? Seems like that's all I read these days so forgive me if I missed anything small that fell between those big cracks.

Avatar
#34 Oiler Al
March 10 2014, 06:49AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
18
cheers
Anton wrote:

Compare Avalanche and Oilers...since both teams were in much the same scenario: young team, bad defense, worst in the league, and hire a rookie coach. What's the difference? From the first game when Roy almost killed Boudreau because a bad check on his players near the end of the game to Eakins burning Hall by having him to play the most minutes out of position and resulting lots of turnovers. Roy doesn't run any gimmicks, he believes the basic concept of how to win: good goalie performance and keep the puck out of own zone. Eakins? endless gimmicks and hoping some of them will work. The result? Avs is back into playoffs and Oil is rotting at bottom.

Fire Eakins! Fire Eakins! Fire Eakins!

Anton, thank you for bringing this up, as its one of my favorite comparisons, and a good one for sure.

The media in Edmonton have never made a presentation of this . Colorado is so far ahead of the Oilers, and it all boils down to coaching and mangement. Heck, the Oilers would have taken Seth Jones in that draft without question, because thats what Bob McKenszie picked for them.

PS. Roy came from the junior ranks, had not even coached in the AHL.

Fire Eakin.

Avatar
#35 BingBong
March 10 2014, 07:38AM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
18
cheers

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

Avatar
#36 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
#37 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
#38 mesa
March 10 2014, 01:15AM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Cheers
17
cheers
Walter Sobchak wrote:

The only good thing about this season was Soshi.........Plus the Canucks & Flame's suck too.

the flames suck but we suck doing it on our knees.

Avatar
#39 Muji
March 09 2014, 11:22PM
Trash it!
31
trashes
Cheers
16
cheers

Advanced stat guys were saying the same thing about the Leafs earlier this season. That they were allowing WAY too many shots and that their winning ways were not sustainable. That the Leafs would eventually plummet to the bottom of the standings. Now, the Leafs aren't world-killers, but they've been relatively good this year and are competitive for a playoff position.

I'm not saying that the "Oilers will be fine!" (they probably won't be) or even that "the Oilers aren't that bad" (they're actually pretty damn bad..), but I am saying that shots against and some other advanced stats aren't enough to be 100% predictive of future games.

Avatar
#40 mlcselli
March 10 2014, 07:28AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
16
cheers

The players have no clue how to play the system, and Eakins keeps making changes to it. The players hate losing but after so many losses, they are now nonchalant about it. There are now reports coming out that the Oilers have some pretty slack practices, and when traded players go to other teams they draw comparisons. It's too bad the players could not make their own statement by refusing to show up for practices and games until Eakins is replaced. Let MacT take the bench. Eakins is clearly not effective and brings out the absolute worst in the team. There is no more embarrassment or humiliation or booing from the fans that can make tis worse.

Avatar
#42 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
#43 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
#44 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
#45 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
#46 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
#47 Serious Gord
March 10 2014, 01:28AM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Cheers
13
cheers

Katz should play spin the bottle with Lowe, Eakins, MacT and himself. Whoever it points at leaves the organization. If he's not going to make someone accountable for this disaster he can let the bottle do the dirty work for him.

The departure of any one of the four will improve the team because regardless of which one goes, Eakins gets fired. The higher up the corporate ladder the one selected is the better and more complete the changeover is.

...

The oil have only beaten one of the top sixteen teams seven times this season - about 20% win rate if my numbers are correct.

They play 12 of the remaining 17 games against that group.

If they continue to suck as bad as they have thus far they will finish with maybe 14 more points (maybe) for a total of 66 the worst record in franchise history besides 09-10 and 10-11.

Put another way that would mean that the top three worst records in franchise history have all occurred in within the last six seasons.

And KLOWE still has a job with the oil.

Only the NYI have management that is competitively arguably as bad as the oil, but that is an argument where all of the recent stats Favour the oil.

Avatar
#48 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
#49 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.

Comments are closed for this article.