TRICK OR TREAT

It’s Halloween Nation and it’s on and poppin’. This article is like a variety pack of candy treats. Enjoy.

REXALL

I went to my first Oilers game as a fan Tuesday night since 1998. I enjoyed watching from a totally different perspective. The atmosphere was awesome even though I’m sure Oiler fans hated all the Leaf fans.

I used to love when road fans invaded our barn. You could hear the noise and feel the intensity from the crowd. Players feed off it. Unfortunately sometimes the opposition feeds off of it as well.

COUPLE THINGS I SEE

Many people still want to talk about this swarm D zone and how it’s failed and it’s all Eakins fault the teams league worst Goals against average is 3.79. If you have games previously recorded on TV, go back and watch how many times the Oilers have control of the puck in their own end and turn it over.

It’s amazing.

I wrote a piece in last week’s mail bag that I’m more of a “standard D zone” coverage kind of guy but when you constantly turn the puck over who cares what system you are playing, it results in a mad scramble for everyone.

Mistakes happen but this is something I haven’t seen change from game one of this season.  When you make soft plays with the puck in your own end or you don’t fight hard enough to get it out at the blue line, you can play whatever system you want, the puck will end up in the back of your net more often than not.

EAGER & JONES

Both guys got sent down at the start of the season and one guy has come back rejuvenated and hungry and the other one I’m not really sure.

Ben Eager should have been fighting Ryan Jones to fight Kyle Clifford the other night in LA.  Instead he lets a guy that is outmatched in toughness but clearly not heart, do his dirty work.  Fantastic on Ryan Jones, that goes a long way with your teammates and fans.

On the flip side I haven’t seen Eager engage anyone whatsoever since he’s been recalled.  I get it, (I have a bad melon too) maybe he can’t fight with his head but I don’t think he is effective without that element of nastiness to his game.  They may as well dress another skill guy because he’s not good enough offensively to not be in scrums or putting fear into opponents.

AROUND THE LEAGUE

Did anyone see this Carter Ashton hit last night?

I have said it on Jason Gregor’s show several times that players with the puck have to be aware of where they are on the ice and take onus on many occasions for getting popped with their head down or a spin at the last second and taking a hit from behind.

I worry a bit where the game is headed and think guys expect to not get hit now and want to blame everyone else for why they got hit.  This can potentially lead to more injuries in my opinion. It’s an incredibly fast game and expecting someone to not hit you anymore or that player X will be able to pin point his target 100% of the time is not a very smart way to play the game.

However, last night was not one of those hits and I absolutely hated it. Carter Ashton see’s numbers the whole way and hits the guy five feet from the boards.

Hits like this and the back side chin clip are the ones I have a problem with.  Unless hitting is completely removed from the game, I think even with all the steps to penalize guys there will always be a grey area but this type of hit is pretty black and white, incredibly stupid.

STREAKCRED

Our Pre-season champ ‘Slick Rick’ sent us this photo of himself celebrating his championship, good on you Sir. I aspire to be you one day.

Every month the scores reset on StreakCred and every month everyone starts anew.  October has now come to a close and Bender Chiefs is our winner, running away with a streak of 20. Bender Chiefs now has his choice of an autographed Corey Perry, Jamie Benn or Ryan Getzlaf jersey and a $200 prepaid visa.

If you haven’t already signed up for Streakcred it’s never too late. Each month, prizes and streaks reset so feel free to come join the new party with us in November.  We have autographed jerseys stacked to the sky at Wanye Manor and each month we will reveal who the winner gets to choose from. Sign up here to get onboard with this month of Streakcred.

  • Admiral Ackbar

    The Oilers have been making soft passes and soft plays in general for years. I’m sick of seeing the Oilers overskate a loose puck rather than stopping on the puck. The soft play predates Eakins, that’s for sure.

  • wiseguy

    What I get out of watching the Ashton hit was the quick, swift response from the victims’ Calgary teammate to jump on Ashton. No dancing around, no challenging to a fight, etc. – just jump him and start swinging. This more than the NHL suspension will deter future hits. What was the Oilers’ reaction to the multiple times Hall has been crushed and RNH kneed?

    • YFC Prez

      Totally agree, there was a response. When Clifford hit RNH the Captain (Ference) was on the ice and he did nothing not a thing, not even a glove in the face to Clifford. First test as a leader failed miserably. How can this be a leader of a team. Just shows that Eakins picked the biggest butt kisser not the best leader

        • YFC Prez

          Oh so he didn’t see. Then that’s o.k. not to do anything about it? Hey that’s are best player laying on the ice and the rest of the guys are kind of around Clifford. Hmm wonder what they are doing there? I will just let them handle it. NOT Don’t make excuses for an inexcuseable non response. Did he do anything next shift out. NO! He waited for Ryan Jones to respond. Now that is a leader

          • CaptainLander

            I did not hear as to why it was not a penalty. If it was worth a fine why not a penalty. I was under the impression that when one players goes outside of the rules they are penalized, thus providing advantage to the team that was affected by the unruly behavior. This is the how the league can protect players and maintain the integrity of the game. Oh and I looked it up, kneeing is a penalty.

  • Admiral Ackbar

    Kevin Lowe knows what it takes to win Stanley Cups? A former #4 (at best) Dman knows what it takes? A guy that had the benefit of playing with Gretzky, Messier, Kurri & Coffey? How about Kovalev, Richter & Leetch?

    Seriously?

    Seriously…..

    Players like Lowe are a dime a dozen. His rings came from playing on amazing teams. His contributions were minimal.

    Don’t just fire him, mummify him.

  • WinterNightSky

    I’ve actually been pretty happy with Eager’s lack of engagement. Usually, when he engages, it’s to do something stupid. 0 PIMs in 5 games is a good sign.

  • geoilersgist

    Eagers collecting a check. Should just pay him to go home like MTL did for Gomez.

    Frankly If I was MacT I’d bring in two guys like Cheechoo who want to get back to the bigs. Say to your team these guys here for a job, how much do you want yours?

  • Admiral Ackbar

    People keep talking about sold out games and season ticket waiting lists. They’re implying that there’s no incentive to win or be competitive. This line of thinking is foolish as it implies a lack or pride on the part of management.

    It’s time to ask ourselves:

    Does Lowe lack pride & integrity? Or is he simply incompetent?

    • YFC Prez

      Winning is good for Katz’ bottom line. A deep playoff run is where these owners make their money. The 2006 run was financially glorious for the EIG and set their books in the black after several horrid seasons.

      I’ve never understood the argument that if the team sells out there is no incentive to win. Playoffs are a cash cow for owners. I can’t imagine any owner passing up the chance to get into the playoffs and be content with regular season sell outs.

      I’m going with Incompetence on Lowe’s part, he certainly has an abundance of pride, way too much pride to step down and let someone else fix his mess.

  • pkam

    @Brian Sutherby

    Can’t agree more with you about the system thing. I am not a big believer in the Swarm system neither. But before the guys can win some 1 on 1 battle, make and take a pass, put the puck into the net when we have an odd man run, 2 on 1, and 3 on 2, and stop forcing a play to beat 2 and 3 opponents, etc, we will not win the game even with the best coach and the greatest system.

  • Hemmercules

    I don’t think anyone wants to go back and watch any of the games again, let alone keep them recorded in the pvr lol. The amount of tunrovers at really bad this season though.

    Eakins was really giving it to Eller the other night for his comments but everyone knew Eller was right. Soft team all around, but hey, at least they outshoot everyone they play, that counts for something right?

    p.s. Happy Halloween to all the Oilers fans out there! Be safe and have fun with your kiddos and/or parties.

  • pkam

    I went to a Leafs game at Rexall Place last year and surrounded by Leafs fans instead of Oilers fans. I don’t mind some fans from the opponents, but I don’t like it when they outnumber us and I am surrounded by them instead of my fellow Oilers fans.

    • Randaman

      If they keep playing like they are I think this will be more the norm than it is now. Sad but true considering that corporate tickets are given to employees that may be other teams fans.