So an overtime loss and the Oilers falling to 4-3-3 through 10 games has led to people calling for massive changes, hate lazers focused squarely on Ryan Whitney, the precious Nuge taking flack and even some pockets of Eberle hate does it?

*grinds teeth*


Whoa. Let’s all just take a moment here and take a look at the bigger picture. The already on the comeup version of the Oilers last year have added two super stars in Yakupov and J. Schultz. Hall, Eberle and the Nuge are looking awesome overall. The often hated Sam Gagner has an amazing 10 game point streak on the go and Ales Hemsky looks better than he has in years.

Sure the Oil aren’t firing on all cylinders yet but as someone who used spend hours trying to make lines in his mind with the garbage the Oil had lying about circa 2007-09 things aren’t nearly as bad as some Chicken Littles would have you believe.


Check out this twitter convo between a pair of legends from last night. Brownlee correctly points out that there is a torrent of hate coming from a segment of Oilers fans and compares 6 to ol’ Tom "No food for me – I’m allergic" Poti.

Now wild swings of emotion are what being an Oilers fan is all about. It is our God given right to lash out at player XYZ one minute and then shower him in over optimistic praise the next. Hell, that’s why Shawn Horcoff was invented in the first place.

But this quick into the lockout shortened season, suddenly fighting injuries on all fronts – this isn’t the time to start warming up the Get out of Edmonton Express. A slightly calmer approach with a longer view is in order.


Ask yourself a couple quick questions.

1. Are the Oilers better than last year?

Yes, yes they are. By a lot actually. This is arguably the best squadron the Oilers have iced since heavens knows when. Most teams in the league would gladly execute their entire lineups if it meant getting their hands on the 23 man Oilers roster.

2. Was Rome built in a day?

No. Most talking heads and those in the know were 50-50 on the Oilers making the playoffs this year. There is a lot of hockey left, and the Oil are showing flashes of brilliance so bright we watch most games now with a welding mask on to protect our eyes. They aren’t undefeated and haven’t played perfectly so far this season. Of course.

But turning on individual players already? Take a deep breath. And if you feel compelled to diss Jordan Eberle on the internets we suggest you immediately cut off all your fingers. Or we can do it for you.

We ain’t playin.

  • A-Mc

    Had i not the love for King Jordan, i may have screamed at him for missing a 3/4 open net last night.

    But, better heads prevailed. 1 missed shot butterflies into a hattrick in a game soon to come.

    *sits back and waits*

    • Phixieus666

      Disagree, I don’t think Whitney is slow or can’t turn. He is just taking too long to make decisions and making wrong ones a lot. Maybe he does need to get in a good fight to break him out of a funk. Slip something in his coffee we need him to get mean and nasty and go raging.

      Why was Acrobello sent down??????????????

      We can’t possibly have two centers back. Let the kid play, unless there is a trade in the works. Tambo, you been playing catcher receiver with the Islanders??????

  • MattyFranchise

    I don’t see what all the fuss is about. They’re playing pretty good for only having one NHL level center currently on the ice. The only real problems I can see are defensive lapses, which every team is struggling with, thanks to no preseason and a lack of consistency. Which again isn’t surprising considering the core of the team is like 14 years old.

    I think they’ll finish out of the play offs this year but they won’t be eliminated until the last week of the season which obviously is a huge improvement.

  • Simpsonite

    They will be fine. They are super young and super awesome. They make the odd youngster mistake (except for J Schultz…where the heck did we find this guy…ridiculously good) and get burnt for it. Key is they are growing together and learning together…good lord will they be good over a longer period of time. And don’t worry about Whitney…he’s still better than a lot of the dmen in the league.

    And Dubnyk is a beast.

  • northof51

    I guess being a lifetime fan of the Oil has made me a little pessimistic. The Oilers are better – I guess so – but no matter what their record is they are still getting out-played and out-chanced most nights (with last night’s game a rare exception). That is a recipe for losing and it makes me think things are going to get worse before they get better.

  • Hair bag

    Totally agree! And for all that is being said about Whitney (I agree he hasn’t played very well), as someone else mentioned on a recent post – I think we need to cut him a little slack. He has basically hasn’t been healthy and played in 2yrs, never got the benefit of a training camp and looks like he’s lost a little confidence. I think now that he is healthy, he has until the trade deadline to prove that he can play at a high level again. If not trade him for a draft pick or let him go to free agency…but he should be given until then to see if he can round into form – if he can he could be a huge asset.

  • RexLibris

    Tom Poti, Eric Brewer, now Ryan Whitney. Oh, I forgot Cory Cross in there as well.

    I get fans’ frustration, but really, let’s just take a breath here. This team is still showing statistical improvement from the previous few years. The fact that they skated to a tie with Dallas with only Sam Gagner, everybody’s “other” favourite whipping boy, as an established NHL center is a good sign.

    Oh, and in case Ralph Krueger is reading this – bubble wrap that Gagner kid until the next game, will you?

  • longbottom/P.Biglow

    Good blog. What I don’t get is we are in games
    3 out of 4 losses are either in OT or in a S/O.
    Last year never mind the 2 wins in OT but we would never have gotten to OT in those games. Lets see we have 7 points from OT this year and have still finding their game. what is the fuss all about.

  • Rocknrolla

    This is perhaps the youngest – or one of the youngest teams
    in the league. Remember the glory days ? Gretz and the boys
    had to be schooled , it took time, it took learning how to win
    and what it takes.

    We had talent obviously then and i am not comparing the players,
    because you may never field another team of hall of famers like we did.
    However, we had role players then that were hugely important.
    We have not seen Ryan Jones yet, Say what you want about Ben
    Eager, if he knows his role and plays it he is very useful.

    Ryan Jones- do we forget the 18-20 goals this kids scores
    and what he brings ? He has played from 4th line to first line
    and is valuable, we have yet to see him.

    Stay close – Get Healthy, Perhaps a trade that will fill a
    bottom 6 position and another D to replace Whitney. I am sorry, i dont feel this guy even wants to be here, so go away …

    We will make the playoffs yet, we most likely may not go very far [YET]
    But as fans, we want that feeling of playoff hockey again in our town.
    Nothing beats it, You know what i mean. We could get swept [ i doubt it] but Rocking Rexall and seeing this town alive gets my gawd damn blood boiling.. You ? LETS GO OILERS !!!

  • Are the Oilers better this year?

    T.B.D. – 1 regulation win in 10 games – so what we got?

    a smokescreen of entertainment but at end of the day still losing? – or a team maturing in front of our eyes and going to demonstrate they have passed the threshold?

    at this point the undecided vote is overwhelming.

    Rome wasn’t built in a day – yes but pretty clear some decisions can be made no need for hesitation.

    1) Hordichuck is a warm body holding a roster spot – it is time to place him on waivers and sign a veteran ufa centre that is the injury sub for the rest of the year. Not hoping a prospect can fill it but a for sure..a proven vet that can be inserted when needed for 4th or 3rd line centre duties.

    Brendan Morrison

    2) Mark Fistric has played his way onto the 6 defencemen – make decisions elsewhere with Potter/Whitney etc…but your top 5 d the rest of the way are Shultz x 2, Smid, Petry, Fistric


    3) every young blood – tone it down three notches – cool it on the razzle dazzle and just play hockey..the goals will come. shots shots shots

  • Old Soldier

    I am not as knowledgable on the scientific stats and stuff a lot of you folks on here are but I do spend some time every day reading through a lot of hockey sites for info(my social life) and I have a couple questions for those who know more than I do.

    1. I am a fan of Ryan Whitney, but there is the fact he is an UFA next year, and we can all say he isnt playing quite the way we hoped or expected. Teams like Buf and Det have made it clear they are shopping desperately for veteran defensive help, is there a deal to be made, perhaps a package deal with Omark to Det? And what would we want in return.

    2. Is there any chance we could be interested in bringing back Marty Reasoner from the Isles?

    3. Is there any chance at all that the Oilers could land O’Reilly? What would it cost? Personally I think we could afford to give up a first rounder, and with the fact that the bottom 14 all have a chance at #1, that pick may now be worth more than it used to be, especially if the NHL follows through on changing the odds for winning for the higher rated teams.

    4. Or, and this is just my personal leaning, given that the team is still young and learning, should we avoid any major moves at all, and just play through the injuries with whats at hand, especially if it means signing someone like Arnott?

    • Phixieus666

      1) I like Whitney but somethings just not right. I think its in his head. I don’t think the return would be worth right now to trade him. Say he does get back in gear and is a reliable bottom 4 defender and signs at a fat discount, what would think then?

      2)Rumor has it the Oil have been talking with NYI so I think there might be something there. He wouldn’t cost much maybe a 5th rounder. Maybe the Oil want a bigger package who knows.

      3)There is always a chance but I think the cost would just be too high right now. Top 9 forward and a high pick in this years draft at the least. Better off waiting to see if he hits the UFA market.

      4)Arnott on a one year deal to help with a shortened season…. nothing wrong with that idea. Stauffer was throwing it around yesterday saying that if he was healthy come trade deadline time and the team was out of the mix you could even trade him for a little something. Can’t see anything wrong with just spending some money and gaining other assets from it. Minor trades Ok but otherwise just the kids develop.

      That is my opinion.

    • A-Mc

      1. because R. Whitney is a UFA after this season, you wont get much in return for him because he’s essentially a rental for a stanley cup run. Think of it this way: What would you give up to use Ryan Whitney for 1 month? the answer is likely not much i would think. Maybe a 3rd round pick.

      2. Management has said that they aren’t actively shopping for Centerman at this time. Belanger and Nuge will be back this weekend, so the only man out is Horcoff. The main issue i’ve read/heard about is: What kind of Centerman can you get for only a few months while Horc is on IR? OR do you look at making a trade to bring in a Centerman for good? (The timing is likely poor for option #2 because the Oilers would be shopping from a position of need instead of a position of strength. ie: we’d over pay big time).

      3. Anything Ive heard about this says that O’Reilly will get signed by his team. Its just a matter of time (much like the PK Subban debacle).

      4. This is likely what Tambolini is going to do. It’s been working for him so far but i would think that it depends heavily on how successful the Oilers are this year. If we make the playoffs, Or just miss, Then we’ll probably sit tight and only make small changes. If we’re blown out and we draft top 5 again, action will likely be pushed hard by upper management.

      This is just how i see it, but i’m not in the know. Even the sports writers dont really know much.. they find out like the rest of us: when something happens, we’ll know.

    • RexLibris

      1. Not certain what the return would be, but it goes without saying (which is why I’m saying it) that it is highly contingent on his play the next month.

      Detroit might be a fit. But they may also decide to wait and make him an offer as a UFA. I suspect they’ll be okay if they miss the playoffs this year and retain their draft picks. They have enough in the system to build around and, more than most teams, appreciate the value of a good prospect.

      That being said, I wouldn’t be averse to moving him. The highest return I could imagine right now would be a 2nd rounder, but then deadline day often makes managers take leave of their senses.

      2. I’d like to see a Reasoner bobble-head night at Rexall.

      3. Can’t see it happening. Divisional trades are pretty rare and it would probably cost something close to an offer sheet compensation package (s 1st and a 3rd). So you’d probably be looking at our 2013 1st and a good prospect. Who knows, a trade could look something like the Kyle Turris deal last season. I’d bet on an Eastern team.

      4. Yes.

  • The 'Real' Ron Burgundy

    I know us Oiler fans usually do pick a goat to rag on each year.

    This year it does seem to be Whitney’s turn; fair or unfair is not for me to decide.

    I do wonder if the criticism he now receives isn’t a result from lofty expectations from the fans, do in part to a few articles of self-promotion,articles from August and November of last year.

    When Ryan says that he’s in the best shape he’s been in awhile, he’s been skating regularly with Crosby’s group and those skates are close to NHL tempo; my expectations changed from he’ ll never be the same, to wait this guy seems pretty optomistic, maybe we jut might see the Whitney of old.

    So to see him look nothing like he described over the past few months is disheartening for some, maddening for others.

    Hence Brownlee’s comments about the train rolling, or whatever.

    I wonder how mich more rope he would have if he was considered a 5/6 damn coming in instead of 1/2 as was referenced in one of the past articles??



  • Rocknrolla

    Two words folks…


    Healthy scratch today, huge, 6-7, 245lbs, hits, fights, scores, faceoffs 53%.

    apparently not performing well…might need a refreshing coaching change from old mouth of the east Tortarella…

    Would Slats take Whitney for their struggling PP straight across for BB?

    • bwar

      I would love to have a guy like Boyle in the lineup. He can center Harti/PVR on the third line. I think that would instantly become my favorite line to watch on the Oilers.

  • A-Mc

    Wanye wrote:
    Sure the Oil aren’t firing on all cylinders yet but as someone who used spend hours trying to make lines in his mind with the garbage the Oil had lying about circa 2007-09 things aren’t nearly as bad as some Chicken Littles would have you believe

    Who would have thought Wanye would be the voice of reason in the Nation? Weird.

  • Phixieus666

    Yeah, seriously ‘Oiler’ fans, chill out! If before the season somebody would have said the Oilers would start 4-3-3 in the first ten games I would have been happy with that but with a little more success than expected everybody’s expectations go through the roof! Whether most of the ‘Oiler’ fans like it or not a .500 record for this young team is a very fine stepping stone to where they are going to go! Relax & let things evolve accordingly!

  • DSF

    Pretty hard to argue the Oilers are any better this season.

    After 10 games:


    PTS – 14

    GF – 21

    GA – 16

    GD – + 5


    PTS – 11

    GF – 24

    GA – 27

    GD – -3

    While the Oilers have scored 3 more goals this season, they have allowed 11 more than last season.

    Like last season (any many before that) they are being outshot by a substantial margin.

    Can’t win much that way.

    • 50 in 39

      You have the correct stats there and the shot differential is a valid concern.

      Your comparison is really quite poor though. Comparing the start from last year’s season and this year’s season with a surprise start date, shortened training camp and lack of a preseason is completely pointless.

      The Oilers are a team in transition and it isn’t always pretty but almost every player on the team has been as good or better than last year. It isn’t hard to see that they are an improved team by watching them play.

  • I don’t think people are generally upset at the Oiler’s play. What is upsetting is the lack of depth at centre and defense was predictable/completely known prior to the season. Most blogs stated explicitly ‘if Whitney can get back to form…’ or ‘do we have a centreman who can do the heavy lifting if someone goes down’. There is no need in today’s NHL to wait for a team with incredible rookies to grow into a contender. Deals can be made, anciliary players can be found, depth can be created in short order. A balanced roster shouldn’t be this difficult to assemble – yet the Oilers somehow manage to have missing pieces every year since 2006 (and for 5 years leading up to 2006). I’m enjoying the games and love the energy. I could do without the predictable gaps.

    • RexLibris

      They have enough depth at center this year that they lost three starting centres and an NHL bubble callup in Lander over the past two games, yet still managed to ice a team and play to overtime.

  • A-Mc

    unfortunately DSF is right regarding our start. The oilers started much stronger last year.

    When we’re into Late March/April, we’ll see if the oilers have found a way to be consistent. last year we took a nose dive after our good start.

  • Old Soldier

    LOL, I dont know how to do that @ thingy but to DSF you forgot a couple stats when talking about the Oilers improvement this year.

    PP 3rd in the league at 28.3%

    PK 6th in the league at 87.2%

    An old coach by the name of Scotty Bowman once said that if you could get the two percentages to add up to greater than 110, then you would always be a contender…..the Oilers add up to 115.5.

    A lot of folks are talking about 5 on 5 scoring, but in my mind, I would rather be top 5 in special teams than 5 on 5. Does anyone really expect St. Louis, Tampa or San Jose to continue scoring at the pace they are? With the new rules, even in the playoffs, you dont go anywhere without special teams. The 5 on 5 stuff will come, especially for talented players.

    Also people are criticizing the Oilers for the points they are getting in OT/SO, but how many times have I suffered through hearing a Flames fan saying “if we only got 3 or 4 more points in OT last year”. Given how much of a part of the league OT/SO has become, I think its pretty damn smart for a coach like Krueger to focus on it, especially in a shortened season.

    Thanks a lot Wayne, you’re gonna make an old boy blush here…..

  • Phixieus666

    So Tim Thomas is traded to NYI to bring them above the cap floor. Now do they have another trade in the works that seems a roster player leave since they have some cap space to work with????? Like maybe a Marty Reasoner.

  • Let’s look at the facts:

    Dubnyk hasn’t stopped every single shot that’s come near him, meaning he’s garbage and shouldn’t be in the NHL but SHOULD be shot into space ASAP.

    Hall/Nuge/Ebs haven’t combined for 1000 points after these first 10 games, therefore they’re all busts and we should have drafted anyone but them.

    Horcoff and Belanger are both out and the Oilers can’t win a faceoff and I feel like there should be some kind of correlation with those two things but I can’t find one because Horcoff is OVERPAID and him and Belanger don’t score on every shift while they’re playing well in their own end so obviously THEY’RE AWFUL and this team would clearly be better off without them.

    AND the Oilers have only won 4 times in the first 10 games of this assbackwards season so CLEARLY they are going to finish 50th out of 30 and this is the worst season on record and GET OUT OF MY ROOM I HATE YOU!!!


  • RexLibris

    I think Kruger just needs to send the young guns out on the town for the night with instructions to pick up a couple slump busters at the local drinking establishment and then run train on those gals.


    Ask Jobu to come, take fear from sticks. Offer him cigar, rum. He will come.

  • RexLibris

    Wayne you correctly point out that we are a better team than last year…….of that there is no doubt.

    What you fail to point out is that drafting first, and waiting for stars like Schultz to fall oout of the sky, is the absence of sound management.

    Tamby is a very scared little GM so expecting him to solve major issues such as the bottom six, or a solid cast of supporting players, is out of the question.

    • Phixieus666

      In all fairness to Tambo, I think Kruger’s opinion on the matter is going to mean a lot as to whether Tambo tries to make a move or not. Considering Kruger’s comments after games and about certain players, with the exception of Hordi Kruger truly believes when all the players are healthy this is a team that can contend for a playoff spot.

  • oliveoilers

    Dear Wanye, my mum says i should write to you and say thank you for my new hoodie, i will keep it clean and look after it, it is my bestest hoodie and all my friends want one, but they are just jealous.

    Sincerly, oliveoilers, age 33 and 3/4.

    PS, It is a beee-yatch magnet. Fact.

  • oliveoilers

    Thanks for the kick @ss hoodie.

    My lovely bride was cooking supper, picked it up and put it on….

    Next thing I know I’m late for work and we’re remodelling the kitchen after a small fire…

    My new YAK CITY tee better work the same way…….

  • paul wodehouse

    …been rockin’ my NationHoodie here in SW Ontario since getting it last week…
    jus took it outta the dryer after washing it …man it did’t shrink at all!!! the beauty logo didn’t crack AND it still has that new NationHoodie Smell!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    just bought the new SQUEEE Teeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!

    Discounted? did I need the Discount code???

    no matter…this work you do for us citizens ??? keep it up*!!!!!!!!!

    *it’s what she said