THE TRUTH: NOT SO FAST

When the Edmonton Oilers miss the playoffs for a sixth straight season, fans will be able to look at losses like the inexcusable 4-2 defeat they suffered against the Phoenix Coyotes Thursday as a reason why.

And when fans look at the reasons for losses like this one, assuming they’re able to stop guzzling from that big jug of Kool-Aid they were drinking so deeply from in October, they’ll realize this team, despite a remarkable first 14 games to this season, isn’t yet ready to make a serious push for a playoff spot and that there’s still a lot of work to do in the rebuild.

The Oilers, a 9-3-2 start now a distant speck in the rear-view mirror of a bandwagon upside down and on fire in the ditch after two wins in the last nine games, do not yet possess the personnel, experience, cohesiveness or gamesmanship required to be playoff contenders in the Western Conference.

That’s not necessarily unexpected, or at least it shouldn’t be, given the circumstances. This is a team, after all, just 31 games removed from its second consecutive 30th-place finish. It is, putting aside the big tease of October that had some people scrambling to get ahead of themselves, the truth.

You can handle the truth, right?

NOT READY YET

Yes, there are some wonderful pieces to the rebuild puzzle in Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle. And there’s plenty of reason for fans to be excited about the brimming potential, which they gave everybody a sneak peak of when they were hanging around first place in the Western Conference. The future looks bright. The future has not yet arrived.

Teams with the personnel, experience and gamesmanship to contend walk into Jobing.Com Arena Thursday and seize the moment. After four days to rest and heal, they jump on a weary opponent that lost 4-1 in Anaheim the night before and push the pace and dictate the tempo until that team, the Coyotes, collectively says "Not tonight" and folds up. They pack two points in their bags and jump a jet for San Jose. No excuses. There was absolutely no reason not to.

Did you see anything resembling that kind of collective will and sense of timing against the Coyotes? Who, outside Hall and some sporadic bursts from the third line early, played with jump? Who played with smarts? Who played with savvy? With resolve?

Contenders who do that don’t have to lament the terrible goal allowed by Devan Dubnyk that made it 4-2. They don’t need a laughable goaltender interference call on Ray Whitney that disallowed a Phoenix goal to stay close. They come out and put their opponent away early.

BACK TO EARTH

For all the high-fiving among the long suffering faithful to start the season, and nobody is denying people who buy the tickets and the jerseys that, did anybody really – really – think the Oilers were as good as their record in the first 14 games? Even those with their lips stained blue and the goggles on had to know better, didn’t they? Didn’t you?

Likewise, the Oilers aren’t as bad as they’ve looked in the 17 games they have played since then. This is a better team than the one that finished dead-last the previous two seasons. This team won’t finish last. It likely won’t be a lottery team.

This team has more jam than it showed against Phoenix. It has more going on upstairs than it showed. It has some pieces to build around. But it does not have the wherewithal – call it gamesmanship or whatever you want — to seize the moment that presented itself Thursday, and that’s why those pieces do not comprise a contending team, yet.

If you look at the standings today, the Oilers are sitting in 12th place with a record of 14-14-3. That’s where a lot of people, including fans with a grasp of reality, picked them to finish this season.

Strip away the ridiculously good start and put the misery of these last 17 games in context, and the Oilers are what most people thought they were – a team unquestionably on the rise, but a work in progress.

Get your heads around that.

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

  • Even before training camp I told those that bother to listen to me (thanks mom!) that a sign of progress for me is Oilers finishing just out of the playoffs around 10th spot.

    so they are meeting my expectations.

    Some of the youth – outstanding – Ebs, Hall, Nuge its exciting and you can feel it that there are no limits to these players.

    surprising efforts put in by Smyth, Jones, Petrell, Potter are great too.

    but at some point all the positive thinking post game comments need to end. The “aw shucks” Renney that still treats his squad like cute little toddlers that say the funniest things has to stop.

    We all know the team is young, we know there will be growing pains but at some point you have to piss off your team and demand more. If you continue the analogy of youth…then sometimes a teen needs a kick in the pants and told to buck up. That is the ROLE of the parent!

    So the heat has got to turn on Renney somewhat… to display a performance like last night after 4 nights off SAYS something about team preparation as much as it does about players performance.

    To give Hemsky more ice time last night than Ebs, Nuge, and Hall ??? c’mon

    To continue to mess with Paajarvi’s head and not let him develop properly??

    To be down by a goal in the third – and NOT reunite ebs, hall, nuge to create a spark? what are you doing?

    in this downward spiral of almost a full month and not a single BAG SKATE?

    Renney c’mon… time to stop using diapers on your squad and potty train them..its time they pee by themselves.

    I know it is WAY to early to say fire Renney but sometimes opportunities present themselves when you least expect it… There is a coach by the name of Randy Carlye who did a great job coaching kids at the AHL level and did a not to shabby job with a trio of young kids in Getzlaf, Perry, and Bobby Ryan.

    I don’t know kinda makes you think hmmmmmmmmmm

  • Spydyr

    2 comments for RB:

    1) At the risk of being a sycophant, this was a great sentence: “The Oilers, a 9-3-2 start now a distant speck in the rear-view mirror of a bandwagon upside down and on fire in the ditch after two wins in the last nine games, do not yet possess ….” That’s good writing – a simile that would make Tom Robbins smile. Well done.

    2) I appreciate your point re the team not being as good as the first 14 games, and not being as bad as the last 17. I knew that they were on a wild ride during the first 14. I took it with a grain of salt and enjoyed it for what it was. But this last stretch has me thinking the team might really be this bad. They’re obviously talented group with potential, but they’ve been mailing in the effort so often as to drive me to despair (which I think you’re alluding to when you mention the lack of “gamesmanship”). I hope you’re right and they’re somewhere in between, but my doubts are growing. Who knows, I just be drinking pessimists’ koolaid.

  • French Toast Mafia

    Let’s put a couple things in prospective about “playing hard”. Hemsky did it for about 5 years, wowing us with his dangle style play and willingness to go to the hard places with the puck, now he has shoulders of mush. Now people are wowed with Taylor doing the same thing, I’m surprised he didn’t get crushed rushing the puck in on that PP against a stacked blueline. he’s on one shoulder seperation, number 2 is not that far away. Now people want Gagne and Magnus to play hard, go into those tough areas, go kill yourself for the glory of the team. What this team needs is some big bodies to make room for skill player, not mosquitos buzzing around as they do get swatted. are you listening dithers?

  • French Toast Mafia

    You know what this team needs? Another first overall pick. Oh, what we could do then…….I keed, I keed. Can you imagine? Pretty soon our top 6 will be all first overall picks.
    But that wont help our defensive situation.
    You know what would help? Shea Weber.
    I don’t know how you get a Shea Weber, I dont have time to develop one. I want him now.
    That might be the piece that we have to pay top dollar for.
    Or perhaps, from here on in, our top pick should be a dman? Thats the only way to get a top end dman for free.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Sell the farm. Rid the organization of the players who accepted losing the last half dozen yrs. Liquidate them for a shot at a better player. 6,24,83,89,40 and 91, all up for grabs to the highest bidder.

    Last thing the Oilers need is to finish outside of the top 10 and draft someone who’s 2 or 3 yrs away from helping this club.

    Lotto picks or bust, it’s a fine yr to have 2.

  • French Toast Mafia

    Definately agree we need some top D men. But do you pass on a sure thing forward for a defenceman just because we have a bad back end?? Its kind of a tough call. I think everyone can agree they made the right call going with the forward this year.

    I think with your top pick you need to go best player available. it would be nice if the oil could get another pick in the first this year and grab another Dman.

    Offer Weber a big contract next year? Why not

  • Souby

    God this is getting depressing.Do you guys not think we need a few power forwards like Arnott Chimera or Brodziak.Thats right we had them and numb nuts sent them packing.Kevin Lowe is the man that single handidly burried this team and things will not change until his finger prints are no where to be found.That means Tambellini see ya later,Mr.Renney good bye and take Steve Smith with ya why in the hell they hired him to begin with is beyond me the guy has been a F%#@ up as long as I can remember LOL im 42 I remember him clearly,Bucky we should give him the benefit of the doubt and keep him onboared somewhere,But Lowe hand in your keys clean out your office and dont let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.Fresh Blood Katz get the ball rolling please.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    The over reactions are always entertaining.

    This club really isn’t that far off.

    – Bring in a proven GM

    – Bring in 2 proven defenders

    – Bring in a proven goalie under 30

    – Minor tweeks to the bottom 6

    – This years shot, so we might as well add another blue chipper

    – Some seasoning for the young guys

    And we should be good to go

    • Spydyr

      you say over reactions and i say passionate sometimes left-wing fans. i dig it. bring on the crazy, the correct and the confusing. all of which i subscribe to. based on the day.

    • Spydyr

      Easier said then done

      – Bring in a proven GM— Can we trade Hemsky for Dale Tallon?

      – Bring in 2 proven defenders— Yes they grow on trees I have a top four defencemen tree in my backyard.teams don’t just give up Shea Webers.

      – Bring in a proven goalie under 30— Trade Gagner for Schneider?

      ~Should be no problem~

      • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

        When I say proven, I don’t mean superstar. Just a good solid vetran that still has some millage left in him.

        A Belanger or a Hannan type.

  • CaptainLander

    Its tough being a oiler fan sometimes because of all the negative and reactionary fans. These are the same fans that jump on and off the bandwagon after every win or loss. These are the same people that have absolutely no long term vision. I’d bet these are the same people who yell at servers for having their food prepared wrong, well guess what it wasn’t the server that overcooked your steak. These type of fans annoy the $hit out of me because everything is life and death with them. Fire the coach, trade this garbage player and this garbage player and we can get weber. We’re essentially in Year 1 of what this team can be like in 3 years. COMPETING for a cup, but nobody has any patience. The evidence is there, the penguins, and the blackhawks. Your young stars needs to have a couple seasons of playing together before they start really being elite, we see glimpses of what will be. But year 1 is learning how to play as a team , year two learning how to win those 1 goal games and how to protect 1 goal leads, then the 3rd year is finally becoming a contender. Nobody remembers that even in the dynasty years the Oilers didn’t Win their first cup till 83-84. Rational thinking people, try it sometime. Reasonable expectations.

  • French Toast Mafia

    This type of article and most of the comments are interesting, the rebuild, like the build is going along very well thank you. Wait and let the process continue with patience. Writers need to write like this and Robin is an excellent writer, but if Glen Sather had listened to writers and impatient fans we would never had the “Boys on the Bus”. If you could look back at the day to day growing of the 80’s you would be surprised at who “would” have been moved. As it was good pieces were lost along the way. When it all comes together, you will see how many will know that it was going to happen, and it will. But enjoy the process and the impatience.

    Robin, please go back and look at some of the struggles of the build. Do a series so we can see how the build evolved and how the pieces went together. including the viewpoints of the writers and the fans, I would like that…

  • CaptainLander

    Really…Chimera and Brodziak?? You have got to be kidding me. Yes, they are both having a solid start to their respective seasons, but these guys are hardly proven to provide offense on any kind of consistent basis. I mean, even with their great starts, neither is on pace for even 50 points. And they both will slow down.

    I am not quite as critical of Tambellini as some. Sure, he hasn’t made all great moves, but he did get rid of Penner (who currently has 5 whole points this season) for essentially Teubert and Klefbom. Pretty good trade if you ask me.

    I am in the be patient camp as well, but I would like to see a much better effort than the one we saw last night. That effort has become the norm for this team and really only Hall had a really good game in terms of effort and everyone else needs to work harder.

  • CaptainLander

    Tambi I believe was quoted saying this summer that they have added some nice pieces this year but admitted they are not where they need to be to be a contender. The Oil management expectations of themselves are just not going to be as high those of the fans. I would not see any fire sales happening anytime soon. Renney is here for this year and probably next, but at some point in the next 3 years the Oil change will need to start baring fruit. Living in Calgary it is tough to keep using the “in the future we will be good”, this to me is the last year of lets let the young guys show what they have got, they have shown something positive so far. Next year the vets will be fighting hard to keep jobs.

  • As much as I love Hall-RNH-Eberle, I wonder how much damage this present and future line can do for the Oilers, especially in the playoffs (when the physicality and checking get tighter). This isn’t to say that they cannot handle rigors, more so that the Oilers lineup (no matter how skilled) isn’t suited for a particular opponent. That being a physical team, who cycles for offense and is hard on the forecheck. Until this team adds significant size to its top 6, the Oilers m.o. Of being easy to play against will unfortunately continue.

  • DoubleJ

    There are somethings that stand out. Renney over played Smyth and Horcoff at the beginning of the season. And it shows they look tired. Also Renney has been out coached in probably three or four games. He’s looked more like a MacT clone to me, instead of a refreshing teacher of youth. He’s leaning on defensive minded players and his vets to play the game. He should be trying to develope and lean on the future of this team.

    Petrell does nothing IMO for this fourth line. Lander and PRV need playing time send them down so they can play and develope.

    I didn’t mind the line up last night. PHX played an agressive interferring constantly throwing soft picks, extra hitting away from the puck. That’s how you play the Oilers. It slows the Oilers up.

    Also Peckham needs to watch a few games he left Potter all alone for two of those goals against and plenty other very good quality scoring chances against. His decision making is so bad. I don’t care how good he is on 5on3’s. He’s killing the Oilers 5 on 5.

    And Hemsky drives me crazy. So lazy and complicated to play with does what ever he wants. So many offsides and turnovers at the blue line. Frustrating.

  • DoubleJ

    I for one am against making any major trades. We will not fix what is required by making a trade and no one will give us what we need immediately. What we need to do is trade for draft picks and pick the kind of character players that all teams covet………size with energy.

    In today’s NHL skill and speed can be nuteralized with tough physical play. I’m not saying that we do not draft skill but let’s look at what else is required for a team to go deep in the playoffs………Boston as compared to Washington. Look ar how Boston was able to nuteralized the skill of Vancouver.

    The more draft picks we have in the first and second rounds gives us the ability to find these types of players. Forget trades, Tamby will screw this up anyways……..forget UFA’s as they are usually overpaid for what they bring.

    We all realize that we have no real star defenseman, but do we really want to financially hamstring ourselves by signing a Webber……….just who goes to accomodate his salary?

    Last nights game was predictable…….we were flat because we had too much time off. We are either playing a string of games often back to back or playing after having a week off. The schedule and how this was organized has cost us at least six points.

    • Spydyr

      The schedule has nothing to do with the Oilers losing. The Flyers have won 9 of 10 while playing 3 sets of back-to-back games. Every team plays the same amount of games in the same amount of time. No excuses for lame efforts!

  • Feynman

    Oilers always do the exact opposite of what I expect. Now that they have some tough opponents coming up, and they are expected to lose these games, they’ll likely win the next 8 of 10 games.

  • Feynman

    I have made these comments before, from the summer on and will do it again, although it seems unpopular.

    No reasonable attempt was made to truly improve the team, and the only logical conclusion is that ST and Kev want a few more free high end players (draft)or are unable to make the necessary deals.

    The draft is a way to “rebuild”, it’s just that it takes for freakin’ ever, and given the team has only ever risen to average in quality since Messier left town, that does not sit well with me. I have heard enough promises and waited for a resurgence of this team for long enough, so I don’t support the forever method.

    The rebuild can be accelerated to a normal pace, given a GM who actually does something, much like the GM’s of teams that remain competitive over time, that make deals and get better. Decide once and for all who the keepers are. Maximize the value of the others by whatever means necessary, and cash them in for pieces you want or need or for lottery picks.

    Trades and deals are made every year in the NHL. Just not by the Oilers in any meaningful way anymore. Look back at the Glory team’s rosters from year to year – a surprising amount of turnover by Sather for a team that good.

    This management has not handled it’s personnel well, and devalued many players to the point of being worthless. Management has hesitated many times and it has cost them. Souray getting hurt after a trade demand – Hemsky getting hurt at the perfect time to deal him last year.

    If they would have been aware that the team was going down the bowl in the first place, they would have cashed both in to get things moving and get value before more injuries. Keeping older injury prone players is stupid when they won’t be around to contend anyway. Wait for a sweet spot and move them. A few decent signings offsets the loss of those players enough. And before anyone starts, it’s only the elite players who won’t sign here, not the all of the players in the league.

    Doing things half way is what causes the problems. If it’s a draft based rebuild, load up on quality draft picks so the time frame is shortened. Get two this year, two next year and the time is halved. If you have any brains and ability to strategize, you make sure you do everything possible to get more potentially high picks in 2013 when it seems at least two really good centres are coming.

    With how many bad teams are on the financial ropes and how many GM’s lose brain function for episodes each year, I fully believe it’s possible to leverage those picks away, or players you want, if the deal maker is skilled and ready enough.

  • Feynman

    Hemsky is playing like a guy who wants to not get hurt. I think he is smart enough to know that even if he plays poorly this year, but stays un-injured, some GM will still give him a nice free agent contract. But he has to stay injury free. For him thats the key.I think this is what we will get all year from him and I can’t really blame him. Those shoulders are weak and he is only 4 months away from free agency. Tamby knows this as well and probably will unload him after Christmas. When he can muster some kind of decent deal for him. But don’t expect a lot. Then Magnus will get his chance. Till then we need to be prepared to see Hemsky give the puck away alot, not go in the corners much and generally look disinterested. Not really his fault as he is just trying to secure a nice contract. Once he has that contract in his pocket I think you will see the old Hemsky again, until he hurts himself again.

  • AlexanderK

    With all the due respect to the knowledgeable fan base as well as the professional commentators, I felt I should contribute my two cents, given that I have personally known many Oiler Principals over the decades and have formed opinions over occasional personal dealings with them.

    1) Met Mr. Katz when he was starting as a lawyer and followed his rise to prominence and power: A rare sharp mind, real Edmonton product, decisive, strategic individual who CAN make this team a winner.
    Ownership Grade: A+

    2) Have known Mr. Lowe since the late 70’s and was close to him during the early and mid 80’s. As a player and society participant in Edmonton Mr. Lowe has been nothing but an A+ contributor. Unfortunately, as a GM, he never had the Sather touch, despite his many opportunities to learn directly from him. As the top executive he has chosen a very poor management team around him.
    Grade: B-

    3) I Knew Glen Sather. He was the kind of GM who would call around the bars in Edmonton (I owned a couple myself, and he would call me and demand I told him who, what, when…), at 2 and 3 in the morning to see if any of his players had gone wayward… (Yes, in the 80’s the boys – all of them – were quite prone to late night partying and “heavy” living… Yes, Sather would spare no detail unattended and despite the “Puck’s” alchemical business dealings he always managed well. Mr. Tambellini, I regret to say, can not even be spoken of in the same sentence as the Sather of those days, let alone do a similar job!
    GM Grade: A generous C.

    4)McT was never Mr.Bowman, nor he ever claimed to be! But his passion was on his sleeve, both as a player AND as a Coach! Mr. Renney has never been at least passionate in order to compensate for his obvious inability to successfully coach! It is a very simple and painfully obvious fact to anyone who knows the game that the man is inadequate for the position.Letting him go, or re-assigning him (given that the Oilers organization IS loyal to their people, even those of lesser abilities) is an immediate necessity if we are to see measurable progress of the team and preserve the promise the young talent holds for our team.
    Coach Grade: F! (There is no lower scale to rate him).

    Miscellaneous:
    Hemsky: Get something for him and let him go. He rarely has any positive contribution on the ice… if anything he costs valuable ice-time to developing talent. Nothing personal, I think his skills are excellent but he is NOT a contributor for whatever his reasons.
    Belanger: Third Line contributor.
    Gagner: Fine with the other kids as long as he keeps up!
    Help the selfless and hard working Smid!
    Unless you revive the D, expect nothing more from your confused goaltenders. They allow you more chances to win than most goalies in the league, but they are not super-human! A D that can not clear their own zone without a turnover almost 9 times out of 10 can not be saved even by a Hasek in his good days…

    32 years an Oiler – almost- insider, and prior to that in the immediate perimeter of the Montreal Canadiens of 1976-1979, I felt I should respectfully give you my perspective without any malice or bias. I had the great fortune of being personally around the Lafleurs, Robinsons, Messiers, Gretzkys, Andersons and many other noteworthy players. I may not be an “insider” in the sense of immediate involvement with an organization. But I do know what I am talking about as far as what I see on the ice… And i decided to do so now, because this Oiler squad has some very promising talent on it. It would be a crime to suffocate it due to the incompetence exhibited so far by Management and Coach.

    Mr. Katz, kudos to your loyalty to past friends and associates but I KNOW that your fine mind will eventually kick in! I just hope it kicks in sooner than later!

    • A-Mc

      Thank you for your Almost-Insider information.

      How long does Renney have before he can be labelled a legitimate failure and be replaced or repurposed? is it 4 years?

      * I am not passing judgement that i think Renney is a failure. I have no way of gauging a coaches successes and failures because I’m not entirely sure i understand what they are responsible for doing.

      • AlexanderK

        Mr. Renney, in my opinion, should be moved immediately! Perhaps in a tactful manner and without attacking him as a person, moved nevertheless!

        As long as he is behind that bench, we see the very obvious silly mistakes (if memory serves, there was a series of quite a few games during which he never failed to get a bench minor for line changes in every one of them – everyone can be caught at one point or another but in EVERY game, that shows at least gross negligence…).

        But that is the least of his problems (although costly in real game terms). He is completely incapable of motivating his players. Players are people like you and I in most respects – but they have a child-like quality highly present within them. They are a balance of high discipline (on the skill and physical development side)and a child-like personalities on the playing side: Full of emotion, passion and thirst to be “good”. A successful coach can identify ALL of the above individually, manage them and bring them to a team-centered convergence.

        For that, he needs to act as a truly caring parent with a highly talented child: First of all, inspiring AND enforcing discipline while providing the safe and caring environment the child needs to develop the talent to a manifested benefit for the child AND the whole. He needs to provide the love but he also needs to be strict AND evoke the emotion by BEING emotional too! (Sather I remember would go into the dressing room at times like a raging bull and he was talking to guys like Semenko or Messier for crying out loud)

        I do not want to elaborate further because I would have to write a book on the subject.

        I also do not know if Mr. Renney processes these qualities. What I do know is what I see on the ice (and what I hear from the players off it-nothing but silly and worn cliches). And what I see on the ice does not reflect any of the above skills in the way the players respond to his many thoughtless combinations of lines, inconsistent directives as to what to do when, inflexible “game-plans” and many other things.

        The team has shown the high inconsistency not due to luck of experience (For all of those who play the game at any level we know that the experience on the fundamentals comes at very early stages). They show inconsistency because there is no firm direction, there is no flexibility and room for improvisation for response to changing game-circumstances. Mr. Renney has been out-coached so often that despite the joy i get from watching these kids play, I have found myself leaving games out of frustration when I see the same and the same mistake repeating itself on the ice.

        That is not bad player playing. That is terrible coaching! A coach CAN remedy situations the same way that a caring and sensitive parent CAN influence a child with a little bit of fear and guilt as well as a firm punishment once in a while. (Non violent to be clear).

        The greatest hockey players I have met, and that includes Messier, Gretzky, Coffey, Anderson most of the “legends” were mischievous little devils as young guys always “up to no good” but on the ice they were allowed to re-act to the game through personal initiative and collective effort. Their balance between disciplined work and passion to play was what made them what they were: Gifted individuals who believed and played for the Team, the City and the fans who adored them for their passion.

        But it took a VERY strong man to put them together. A man whose talents Mr. Renney simply does not have! Few do!

        We have the makings of a similar team in our young guys today! The sooner they are put in the right hands, the sooner we will see results and the less frustrating games we will watch.

        It is not about the wins alone: It is about the quality of the games we watch. We pay BIG money to watch HONEST effort from the talent, NOT to watch a mediocre coach’s “game-plan”!

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Everyday the dressing room must become more toxic with Hemsky in it. There isn’t much doubt our Oilers will be in last overall again by the end of January. With insufficient leadership in the dressing room as well as in management, this surely must be what hockey hell looks like over the next 5 weeks.

  • Peterborough

    With Chris Pronger out for the year, the idea of moving Ryan Whitney hit the brain. Now, the Oil would probably want a young Dman that can play right now, but that can be covered in another deal. When I think of Flyer prospects, I think of Schenn and Couturier. It would be hard to pull this off with Whitney’s numbers nowhere near his production last year, but I also wonder if the Flyers become desperate to replace Pronger. Something to ponder.

    • Mike Modano's Dog

      I like your line of thinking. I know we need D-help, too, but you’re right – it can be done seperately! I would love to get those prospects too, and hope it would be immediately followed up by the help we would need addressing the blue!

  • Grumpy OM

    I realize it is what it is. They definitely need help on the back end. I truely think we have help coming , with some of the young guys. Problem is they are still a few years away.

    I see MPS was sent down to OC today. I agree with the move for now, he needs lots of ice to get his confidence back. I am sure he will improve and work hard to get back with the Oil. The key to this move will be, what will Renny do with him when he returns. He must be put in a position to succeed going foreword and if it means dropping some of the vets down in the pecking order so be it. It was very obvious last night we need size and grit up front, MPV I believe can supply this and add a little scoring to if put in the right postion. WE CAN NOT AFFORD TO LET THIS KID SLIP AWAY !!!!

    The thing that really worries me is not so much the loses, but the way the players and coaching staff react to a lose. The veterans on this team are not use to winning and have had the same comments after a loss for years and now the young guys are starting to sound the same way. They need to change this. They need some guys that pick up a chair and throw it thru a F@#king wall when they lose !!

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    Nice!!! The most passionate fans for sure.Clarko when I brought up Brodziak and Chimera I did not mean guys that will get you 40 or 50 goals i meant guys that are hard to play against[grit].Im sure you could agree the oil have been pretty soft to play against.Merry Christmas and Happy New Year OIL FANS!!!.

  • Mitch

    Robin there is no player movement coming, I can’t even think of a player in the NHL now that could help this roster make the playoffs. If we draft a highend Dman in the coming draft there is not gonna be a immediate impact with the player.

    I will say this the Oilers MUST make the playoffs next year, how they bridge the gap to get there is the tough question, given that most players on this team are unwilling to play with pure emotion. Lowe or Todd Nelson for coach, nothing more than a thought.