Home ice advantage has been a mirage for the Edmonton Oilers so far this season.

The Oilers are 3-8-0 at home this year. They’ve been outscored 38-23. They’ve allowed 3+ goals in 9 of the 11 home games and they’ve scored once or been shutout seven times. There is no other way to say it, they’ve been awful on home ice, and it’s about time they start giving their fans something to cheer about.

In 2010, on their way to drafting Taylor Hall at least they were competitive at home, 18-19-4, and 9-28-4 on the road.
In 2011, they were pretty much the same team at home on and on the road; 13-22-6 at home and 12-23-6 on the road.
In 2012, they were 18-17-6 at home, and 14-23-4 on the road.

Last year, the Oilers won more games on the road than they did at home, 9-11-4 at home and 10-11-3 on the road.

There is no reason the Oilers should be this horrendous at Rexall Place, and it has to change. The games are still announced as sell outs, but I know some fans are wasting their tickets and not showing up. The Oilers must be aware of this.

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When that many fans elect to just "waste" their tickets, Oilers management better take notice. This happened in the early 90s, and once the team wasn’t competitive, 1993-1996, the fans stopped buying tickets. The Oilers shouldn’t be naive enough to believe that couldn’t happen again.

Fans have been incredibly loyal and patient, but if the Oilers don’t start winning some home games soon, I sense we could see even more empty seats as the season progresses.




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Ryan Jones has played with desperation since coming out of the pressbox, and Eakins rewarded him by bumping him up the lineup. Eakins moved Yakupov back to the right wing, and put Perron on the right side with him and Arcobello in hopes of creating two scoring lines.

I’m curious to see if Eakins starts to try and get better matchups at home. Will he try to give "softer" minutes to Arcobello’s line so they can produce offence, or will he do that with the Gagner trio?

Joensuu has to play with the same passion and determination that Jones did to earn a promotion. I think Joensuu has more to offer, and he needs to start showing it.


  • It will be back next week, but this week we incorporated into the GDB.
  • Ray Ferraro had an interesting take on my show regarding Taylor Hall, when I asked him what change Hall should make in his game that would help him become a more dominant player.

    I think there is one thing he could do that would elevate his game and he could do it quickly. If he would learn, or accept, that he is not the best option on the ice all the time, I think that could help him a great deal.

    I will give you an example. When he gets the puck, and when he gets moving, if he would give it up a little quicker and separate, because no one is going to catch him, and then get it back; that small change to his game would change his game immensely. He loves to lug the puck. At times he looks like a punt returner. He gets it in his zone and is going to go as far as he can with it, and he can because he’s that talented.

    I think if he takes a couple of strides and moves it to a centreman — and obviously in Edmonton he is playing with talented players so the puck will come back to him –now he is moving again. If he moves it to the middle the defenceman has to take a step to the middle, because he has to defend the centreman, and that will give Taylor another five feet when he gets the puck back. Now the D-man has to cross over and come back, and I like Hall’s chances better if he has that much more room to skate, than if he was just lugging the puck all the time.

    I think it is a small change, and if he can get his head around it and try it, he would find that he is going to get more room on the ice than he already creates with his speed.


  • Ferraro knows a thing or two about creating offensive chances. Ferraro is currently the 99th highest scoring player in NHL history. Ferraro admitted it isn’t easy for players to make sudden changes to their game, and while he said it was small, it would take some time to adapt properly. Hall has carried the puck his entire career, and he’s had success with it, so any change is tough, but it makes a lot of sense. Hall’s speed already scares D-men, and if he gain a quarter or a half of a step advantage he could be even more dangerous.
  • Sidney Crosby will play his 499th game tonight, and he’ll play his 500th game vs. the Sharks on Thursday. Crosby already has 701 points in 498 games and whatever points his picks up in the next 72 hours will put leave him with the 6th most points in NHL history through 500 games.

    Wayne Gretzky is first with 1,186.
    Mario Lemieux tallied 971.
    Peter Stastny had 759.
    Mike Bossy scored 757.
    Jari Kurri is 5th with 730.

    Crosby will join a very elite crew, being only the 6th player in NHL history to score 700+ points in his first 500 games.

  • In case you are wondering, Alex Ovechkin had 643 points in his first 500 games, including 309 goals.
  • The Penguins ability to throw out two dominant centres makes life much easier for head coach Dan Bylsma. While Crosby had a "slow" month, picking up 15 points in 15 games, Evgeni Malkin was on fire with 25 points in 15 games. After a slow start Malkin is now 2nd in league scoring, 35 points, and he’s only one back of Crosby.
  • I was perplexed in the summer when some people didn’t have Corey Perry on the Olympic team. He was great in 2010, and I don’t think his foot speed is an issue. He and Ryan Getzlaf are off to a great start, with 29 and 31 points respectively. For me, both of them are locks to make the squad.
  • I wonder if the St. Louis Blues are concerned about how they match up vs. the Sharks and Kings. The Sharks have beat them 6-2 and 6-3 this year, while the Kings dominated the Blues for 55 minutes last night, before two late goals made the 3-2 final look more respectable.
  • The Blues need a pure finisher, and Marian Gaborik is a UFA at the end of the season. The Blue Jackets likely won’t re-sign him, and he would fit perfect in St. Louis. Gaborik won’t lead your team to the Cup, but he could be an excellent complementary player in their top-six. With David Backes and Alex Steen down the middle, the Blues don’t need a defensively responsible scorer. They need a finisher. The Blues have about $2 million in cap space at the deadline, and if they are willing to spend it, they could fit Gaborik under the cap, by moving out a small salary.
  • The Coyotes have scored the 5th most goals in the western conference, but only Calgary and the Oilers have given up more goals. Mike Smith has a .307 GAA and a respectable .910 SV%. He hasn’t played as well as they would like, but the Coyotes are giving up way too many shots. The Coyotes, 34.5, are giving up four more shots against than the Oilers, 30.5.
  • Dave Tippett’s Coyotes aren’t playing as defensively as they have in the past.


GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Coyotes have lost four of their last five, and they’ve given up 4 goals in each loss. The Oilers finally give their fans something to cheer about as defeat a playoff team for only the 2nd time this season. Oilers win 4-1.

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OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Hemsky picks up a point. He has 34 points in 33 career games vs. the Coyotes.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Justin Schultz becomes the first Oiler D-man to score two goals in a game since Corey Potter did it late last season. After reading the previous sentence, many of you are stunned that Potter was the last Oiler D-man to score two goals in a game. I was too. Entering tonight the six blueliners have played a combined 2,118 NHL games, and Andrew Ference is the only one to have a multi-goal game. He scored twice on January 5th, 2004. J.Schultz’ two goals will indeed be a rare occurrence.


Yesterday we raised another $2,500 for Santas Anonymous. Thanks to Ken for the bid and especially to Robert for re-donating the Messier jersey.

It includes:

You can bid by calling 780.444.1260 or 1.800.243.1945. All the proceeds will go to the Christmas Bureau. Thanks in advance to all of those who make a bid.

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  • Greasy Goal

    Chilliwack…. well we fly by night thats a rocket flight baby thats just what its for.. well we fly by night it makes you fell all right we keep coming back for more……uuggghhhhuuuuhhhuuuhuuuhhhhhh…ooooooo…….. Too many flybyes and no aggression, hitting, compete etc. from DAFODILS Hall, eberle, Hemsky, Petry, J Schultz, etc……FINISH YOUR CHECKS…..PLAY HARDER WHEN YOU ARE LOSING….BE HARD TO PLAY AGAINST…..EBS-passing the puck around the periphery is not a good power play….CRASH THE F%^&KING NET LIKE PERRON, FIGHT AND COMPETE LIKE FERENCE YOU OVERPAID WIMPS!!!!!!!!!!

  • S cottV

    It really is curious as to Eakins calling out Arcobello after that mess of a game last night. Petry yeah but Arco?
    The biggest problem was 6 GA’s and two 2 GF’s and Arco was directly responsible for one of the GF’s.
    1st GA – terrible PK positioning from Hall and Eberle to allow an easy pass thru the middle up top and no collapse to the net by them. Awful.
    2nd GA – I would fault Petry more than Arco on that back door play. We had Joensuu, Ferrance and Petry back vs 3 Coyotes, so not sure what Petry’s problem is. Count to 3 and take the 3rd guy…
    3rd GA – flukey one, but Joensuu very slow to get to the shooter up top and not in the shooting lane, like he doesnt want to get hit.
    4th GA – Why we have wingers behind our net is beyond me, but Jones was there, so Gagner needs to swap assignments and have awareness behind him. Nope.
    5th GA – Petry all the way out to lunch on this one. Good offensive move but not that good. Arco on the ice but whats he gonna do?
    6th GA – doesn’t really matter at this point but not a great rebound from Dubie. It starts with Joensuu in the corner for some unknown reason? Puck goes to Joensuu’s man at the point and he has nothing but time and space on his hands.
    Arco should be singled out under these circumstances? No – that is just wrong. So many breakdowns with suspect d systems and Eakins has to take responsibility. A coach is only as good – as his ability to influence the players to do what he wants them to do. What about calling out the RNH, Hall, Eberle, Yak, the PP, – we only scored 2 goals… but calling out Arco? Wow….

  • Puck JammeR!

    My girlfriend, who is not a hockey fan in the least, was watching the game with me last night and she was like “they always have guys blocking us from getting to the net, why don’t our guys block our net?”

    Well, Mr. Eakins? She’s waiting for an answer.

  • Slapshot

    This season will end up no different then the past 7 seasons,the rebuild has been a complete failure,at the end of the season Katz should hire an experienced president of hockey operations from a winning organization,someone who has a proven track record in management,and rebuild this team from the top all the way down,look at what Montreal and Colorado have done in just 2 years,The incompetents who have been in charge of this rebuild have had 8 years and we are no closer today then when we started,In any other team or business there would have been major changes in management and the organization by now, how much longer is the fan base expected to watch this sorry excuse for a hockey team?

  • Puck JammeR!

    P.S. I really hate the name “rogers place’, crass marketing at its finest. I know main stream media is powerless to help with this as there paycheck from the jollyroger will influence them, but can we make a effort to call the new arena “The barn”, right now it’s a stinky barn.

    • Joe Mamma

      Isn’t that the irony of this situation. Krueger knew how to motivate and teach, but was in over his head on NHL strategy. He apparently asked for an experienced NHL assistant/associate coach or two to assist with the strategy part to help the team win.

      Mr. “Smartest man in the room” Mactavish fired him and brought in Eakins instead. Now we have a guy who doesn’t appear to know NHL strategy AND can’t motivate/teach his players.

      Well done, MacT. Well done.

  • Oilerz4life

    There is a bunch of griping over the whole new Rogers deal that is going to be in place soon. I might be wrong, but it seems like the coverage will actually be better. No blackouts, more games, more Canadian games covered, etc. There is complaining over the talking head shows etc, but I would like to point out that if you can actually watch more NHL hockey what do you care about the cheeze bits in between?

    Also, cable deals are going to be changing soon, where you no longer have to purchase package deals for a bunch of channels you don’t watch, so if you can pay a smaller amount, for a channel that is going to cover all the hockey you want, then what gives? If you don’t want to watch it or pay for it, then don’t, its that simple. Also, because it will be Rogers place the new arena will be really tech savy, so that should give all you old farts something else to cry about.

    I may be wrong, but it seems that that is the direction things are going. Here come the trash its. No big deal.

      • Oilerz4life

        Like I said, I might be wrong, but where are you getting your numbers? Do you have some insider information that nobody else is privy to, or is it just complaining for fear of change? From what I understand package deals are going to be a thing of the past soon and you will only have to pay for the channels you want.

        Anybody with half a brain knows that these media giants are losing revenue because people who cant afford it will easily find a way to pirate what they want anyway, so they have to try to find a way to compete. Times are changing and there is more to the country and this world than Edmonton, Alberta. Do you understand the revenue stream that Rogers will make continually from marketing alone? More than some couch potato can pay for his monthly bill thats for sure. Do you understand that its bigger than just people paying bills? As far as my bills are concerned I pay 0, but I don’t miss very many games and I live outside of SN West coverage. But, if there is an option to watch more of what I want and the price is right, I might be willing to budget that, if its affordable. Either way, I will still see the commercials, adds, sponsorships, etc. They are always there and that’s where the big bucks roll in. Do you think Rogers has some accountant punching numbers to “recoup 5.2 billion” from your monthly cable bill alone? Thats a small part of it, but you will see the adds, one way or another. Recoup 5.2 billion. Thats funny. Rogers will “recoup” more than that, easily.

      • Oilerz4life

        Or, if you’re that upset about it, take that $200 a month cable bill that you are upset about and cancel it. Then, take that $200 a month and invest it in Rogers Communications. Then, when your buddies are complaining about their cable bill, you can have a laugh, because you are investing in and possibly turning a profit from where they are losing their shirts.

    • Johnnydapunk

      What Rogers has done has kind of worked from a business perspective as it is very similar to what happened in the 90s with Football and Sky cable paying a stupid amount to win the rights to broadcasting the Premier League in the UK and Ireland. The result was that if you wanted to watch the football, it had to be through sky and the former broadcaster (BBC) was left with showing non league and international matches, which is a similar position to what TSN will be in.

      As for what will happen to the new arena regarding technology and whatnot, it would depend not the specifics of the contract that Rogers agreed with Katz and the Oilers and what rights they have with the building regarding the communications infrastructure of the new arena. The new building will most likely be quite advanced on that front regardless, as it is new.

      The deal only covers the Canadian market so I don’t think the prices will drop at all, though your TV packages will become more “streamlined” as they would say, so you would have to push your change channel button on your remote fewer times to find what you want I guess.

      You had mentioned in one of your responses that it is bigger than just Edmonton or Alberta or even Canada, but Rogers only exists in Canada currently so unless they are sprucing themselves up for a merger all Telefonica/O2 like, I don’t think they are too worried about the international market as of yet. But who knows.

      It will be interesting to see what happens in the next few years and the direction the NHL and even Rogers take.

      • Oilerz4life

        Rogers is a Canadian company, is listed on the TSX and the New York Stock Exchange. The list of media outlets and communications providers that they have ownership in is quite extensive, but to say that they are limited to Canada falls a bit short lol.

        • Johnnydapunk

          Where they are listed has very little to do with where the company has interests, it is more to do with when the company feels their stock will be traded the most, and being listed in the TSX and the NYSE fits Rogers well.

          Saying all that, whilst Rogers is a big company with many aspects of business, their interests are only in Canada at the moment, they aren’t anywhere near the size of a company like Telefonica, AT&T or even T-Mobile. They are not even in the top 30 biggest telecommunications companies worldwide. The advantage they have is that there is no competition in Canada so unless something drastically changes with CRTC laws or some multinational decides to go crazy full power and invest and insane amount to try to get what is a very small difficult market for telecoms(which can’t happen under current CRTC laws) , they will continue to be the big fish in a pretty small pond.

          Rogers has it very good right now, they don’t need to be any bigger than Canada as they have most of the market and as Canada has a very small population relative to size, and quite restrictive laws regarding international telcos entering the Canada, they are sitting quite pretty at the moment.

          So yeah, actually they are just limited to Canada in every way possible and saying that doesn’t fall short by any means. They do not exist outside of Canada, they don’t really need to either.

          • D-Unit

            So, now we are arguing about what Rogers does and doesn’t do. I guess this is telling about the Oilers season. Wow. I think this section of the comments should get sent to Katz and Lowe. Oilers fans on an Oilers blog site care more about an Arena name and broadcaster than what the team is doing.

  • Oilerz4life

    I wonder if the oilers will ever be good enogh to compete for the rogers cup?

    Ordering food from my seat with a jollyrogers phone, wonder how long it will take to deliver it in the nosebleeds?

  • Chris.

    I’m annoyed at the lack of finish. Our ~skill~ players (you know the guys who don’t hit, block shots, or stand up for each other, or bring any other useful intangible element to their game) had nearly as many quality looks as the Coyote forwards but failed to convert.

    There are 2 to 3 hundred players in the league with better shooting percentages than our “young guns”… Our entire first line has only 2 more goals than Alexander Steen!

  • Oilerz4life

    Why has Steve MacInyre only been dressed for 2 out of 4 games with OKC????? Check out Ben Eagers KO of an opposing enforcer on hockey fights two weeks ago- Benjamin can still go when the spirit moves him!!!!!

  • **

    8 years after rebuild first started several key pieces still remain in control of our on ice product – Lowe, MacT. and Howson for the most part . Time has passed them by and we are left with their fallout which has been abysmal . Change will do us good as we distance ourselves from the eighties past , and form a team for this century .

  • S cottV

    I am starting to think that there is a serious disconnect going on behind closed doors, between the player group and Head Coach. May explain some of the lack of production from key players and some of the on-going systems breakdowns that are off the charts. While it can take some time, it cant be too long before the Coach is able to influence the player group to make tangible changes, to get with his program – for the most part. It is hard to believe that this process is going well – given what we see on the ice. Players being led down a certain path, need to see some increasingly positive results in the endeavor, or they are going to pull back on the throttle through lack of confidence or belief. The league is pretty tough if you dont have your guys in strong support – strong acceptence mode, for your leadership. Dont think Eakins has them anywhere near this zone and it may just be – too far gone. Young players and in particular young superstar players (at least in their own minds) tend to want quick fixes and are not in the habit of going out of their way to blame themselves – for too long. So – whether for some of the right reasons or for some of the wrong reasons – it wont be long before the Coach vision becomes the embraced player group (behind the scenes)target or excuse.