Martin Marincin good, too much else bad

 

Martin Marincin continues to impress just over 100 games into his professional career. He was asked to take on heavy minutes in the Oilers’ 4-3 loss to Phoenix on Friday, and unlike so many others on the team he didn’t disappoint. 

Marincin picked up his first career NHL point against the Coyotes and played a career-high 23:53, the third time in the last six games that the rookie has topped the 20:00 mark. He finished the game plus-one, which makes him one of very few Oilers to be a plus on the season. The Oilers were excellent with him on the ice, out-chancing Phoenix 8-3 when he skated at even-strength. He was a bright spot in a loss, and he’s been a bright spot in a losing season. 

Scoring Chances & Brief Thoughts

  • The Oilers’ top line had a pretty good evening, all things considered. Or, at least, they did at even-strength – those kids also powered a misfiring power play that failed to manage even one chance per opportunity and went 0-for-6 in the goals department.
  • The second line was a problem. Ryan Smyth has been good in a third line role and showed flashes, but his foot speed is a problem on a scoring line and without any kind of shot he seems better off in the bottom-six. This is particularly so when Sam Gagner continues to flounder.
  • Matt Hendricks took three penalties but looked good when he wasn’t offending the officials. The third line overall, as it has been for much of this season, was a strength. 
  • It was a mixed night from the fourth line. Mark Arcobello is a favourite but had a quiet evening, while both Nail Yakupov and Jesse Joensuu had nice offensive moments and bad defensive moments.
  • Andrew Ference left the game early and Justin Schultz’s transition to low-event play in major minutes continues. Mostly, the defence wasn’t terrible against Phoenix – though Anton Belov sticks out like a sore thumb, doesn’t he?
  • Ilya Bryzgalov was awful. He faced 11 scoring chances total on the night and surrendered four goals and two posts. The Oilers made quite a few mistakes against the Coyotes but if they’d had even semi-competent goaltending they would likely have earned at least a point.
  • Also: be sure to check out Lowetide’s look this evening at Aaron Ekblad. 

Recently by Jonathan Willis

  • fasteddy

    Hendricks, Gordon and Jones sgould be left together to build chemistry. They make an excellent shurdown 3rd line, with passion, grit, enforcing, skating, smarts and will chip in with a few goals. 1st and 3rd line set, now some serious work on the second and defence.

  • Rdubb

    Before they fire Eakins, they should fire Bucky, Smith and the damn goalie coach. Let Eakins hire his own assistants.

    The only way that ever happens is when Lowe is removed from this operation.

    I’ll give MacT and Eakins a fair chance.

    But Lowes gotta go.

    • S cottV

      I agree, Eakins and Mac T were brought in to try to change the culture, and it seems like the “core” have had their way with the previous coaches and management by being involved in decision ‘s they shouldn’t have been.
      This along with premature 7 year contracts handed out by management has the room in a turmoil.
      I have faith in Hall and Nuge but I think Eberle and Gagner need to traded to shake up the core and more importantly bring in a player or two that will improve this team.
      I am so disappointed that Mac T, Katz and some of the Edmonton. Media I are telling us how critical K Lowe is to the teams future.
      If Kevin Lowe wants to call the hounds off he needs to be a man and tell the fans he has made a lot of mistakes and has learned by them and 06’ and the rings he got as a player have nothing to do with 2014, he is not a good presser person because of his temper and competitiveness so even doing it on Oilers Now would work.
      This would be far from perfect but even a long time season ticket holder li e my self doesn’t,t feel it is right for his family to be run out of town.

  • fasteddy

    Im likely as big a MacT fan as there is, but I truly believe he jumped the gun in hiring Eakins. MacT, I beg you, swallow a little pride and can this guy……we will forgive you, I promise!

  • oilersd

    Eakins is not the problem! Let him continue to build a program and teach these kids the NHL game. The Oilers need a better mix of size and offensive/defensive players in their top six. MacT is the one who needs to step up. When he stated that bold moves were necessary he was correct. Just easier said than done. Give this group a little more time. Patience is a virtue. Do you know why patience is a virtue? Because it is hard. But it usually bears out in the end. Kinda like why most people with money worked and saved for it rather than winning the lotto.

  • Word to the Bird

    Damn that Eakins is doing a splendid job with one player……….every player has regressed and looks tentative but least Eakins has managed to make MM look good!

    This is what happens when the coach is obsessed with making the players fit the system in stead of making the system fit the players. By turning off Marincins offence, he is looking sound defensively. Now if Eakins can figure out how to make our highly skilled offensive players score again, maybe we can win a game or two?

    IMHO Eberle needs another tool in his tool box………the guy needs to learn how to one-time the puck. Every game he gets passes on his off-side in front of the net and he feels compelled to wait out the goaltender and wrist it into a very small opening??? HE has made himself very predictiable and every goalie know what he is going to do!

  • Bucknuck

    If your goalie lets in a bunch of easy shots in this league, you are most likely going to lose. I understand why MacT is spending so much energy on the goalie position, because without it you are dead in the water.

    I actually thought the Oilers played pretty well, except Bryz, who seemed better later on in the game, but by then it was too late. The goalies have lost a lot of gmaes for the Oil this year, but can’t remember them stealing any.

    They are due.

    • The goalies have stolen 3 i’d say. Bachman against LA stole us a point. Dubnyk against Ottawa, and bryz against Nashville.

      However, the goaltending has cost this team at least 10 games this year.

      When you’re as bad as the Oilers you need at least a .920 sv% backing you to even get a sniff of the playoffs.

      A top end goaltender could definitely hide a ton of the problems this team has, but i’m not sure that luongo, lundqvist, rinne … or any of the top goalies could get this team to the playoffs.

  • Randaman

    My list of players that I would not trade has shrunk a lot this year.

    With the coach’s not doing their job’s I’m willing to trade Ebs, Yak, JSchultz, Kefblom, Nurse and any first round picks away, not because I don’t like them or think they cant become great players, it’s because they can’t do it here theirs no development going on here at all.

    Sure Halls doing good but I’m sure he’s put it on himself to get better no matter what we need a whole team like him but we don’t so that’s where coaching comes in.

    Oil need Vets ASPA so they can make our coach’s look like they know what their doing.

  • oilersd

    This just goes to show the poor decisions made by KBlowe, MacT and Eakins.
    Notice Eakins never pulls the goalie? Just makes them stay in net and suffer, instead of send a message to the team. Why keep doing the same things over and over. Obviously not working.

    I say, get an NHL coach, I think Eakins could be an assistant. But whos’ available as a head coach??
    If KLowe were fired, who’d be a good replacement?
    There is no way any UFA would re-sign or come to EDM with the management and coaching record right now.
    Really, they are making the future success tougher on themselves.

  • For those of you wondering what good firing Klowe would do… It’s preventative. It won’t save this season, but it will prevent Lowe from whispering the names of players like Belov and Joensuu in the ear of MacT next season and for seasons to come.

    I’m not saying Lowe was the reason the oilers were high on those players, but he’s the constant and there’s a good chance he’s been the one that’s behind several bad moves.

    Who liked Ryan Whitney more than Vis?
    Who pushed Souray out of town?
    Who wanted stoll and greene gone?
    Who liked belov? Joensuu? Labarara? Belanger? Eager?

    I don’t know how many of the bad moves were due to Lowe, Tambo, or MacT, but I do know that Lowe was here the whole time. Katz can’t blame Lowe for the performance of the players, that’s on them, but he can prevent him from making poor decisions in the future by getting rid of him. My hope is that MacT just ignores him if Katz refuses to get rid of him.

    • fasteddy

      Your point would make more sense if you were referring to front line players…….I look and wonder where the major blunders have been, and dont see much. Certainly nothing more than most other teams. I realize we all want a pound of flesh, but the screamers on here calling for Lowe’s head are fools for thinking things would have been drastically different with someone else at the helm.

      • I would say that the value we got for Visnovsky and Souray was a disgrace. And those two players represent the front line of a once average d core. Those blunders were huge, and I’m fearful that there will be more.

        • fasteddy

          Unlike some I don’t have all day to dig up the info, but ill take your word for it. From my perspective though, neither of those guys were leading us to the promised land. Souray could shoot and fight, but certainly didn’t control the game. Vis was a number 3 at best; jitterbug through a couple guys and then lose it before creating much, in my opinion. Through the grapevine I heard Souray was such a know it all that he was intolerable….down to not letting the coaches pick restaurants on the road!

  • toprightcorner

    JW, I like stats, but would you sat Hendricks is proving they don’t tell the whole picture?

    His intensity, leadership, character and positive energy is exactly what the team needs and can have an unmeasurable positive impact on the team.

    I still believe he was a good addition and even though he is being paid $750k more than he should, that’s a cheap price to pay out of next years $70 mill cap hit to teach these attributes to the younger players.

  • toprightcorner

    With JW saying Bryz was bad I had to re watch the highlights cause I didn’t thing there were any softies.

    1st goal, Boedker perfect top corner shot off the bar. Everyone would be raving about Hall’s shot if he scored a goal like that – no chance for Bryz

    2nd goal, Vrbata left alone in the slot on PP – n chance for Bryz

    3rd goal, Morris tees it up with a Nuge screen, picks the top corner – not much of a chance for Bryz, maybe gets that 3 out of 10

    4th goal, Ribero deflects a weak shot from bad angle but huge puck redirection, lucky for PHX but not much chance for Bryz

    Just because 3 goals in 4 min and 4 goals in the game means poor goalie performance. How about 3 significant breakdowns that turned into great scoring chances that were cashed in.

    To me, Bryz getz zero blame for that loss and made some good saves while they were on the comback

  • S cottV

    Lets see how the next several games go because it really doesn’t look good and if the trend continues – omg – you cant keep Eakins for the sake of keeping him.

    It doesn’t take much to read between the lines that Eakins has either lost or is very close to losing the room.

    If an or when this happens – there really is no other choice.

    The Coach must be able to influence a buy in of his concepts, achieve implementation and in turn, extract over achievement from the player group. There is not one facet of over achievement that anyone including Eakins can point to, here – there or anywhere and declare over achievement.

    If somehow – the d zone coverage starts coming together or the pp starts to click, or the team starts looking more steady – or – heaven forbid the Oilers start winning some games, maybe you extend things to see if the positive trends continue.

    But – at this point and continued negative trending, geez – let him go at the Olympic break.

  • Word to the Bird

    I think we need to be more patient with Lowe and Eakins and MacT just took over Tambo’s mess. We’ve only been rebuilding for 4 yrs and already this team is competitive on a nightly basis. We almost beat Vancouver and Phoenix. Definite moral victories!! We are going to turn the corner next year and push for a playoff spot.

  • Word to the Bird

    I have a theory why we are losing this year.

    We already knew that our defense wasn’t so good coming into this season. Last season, Kruger relied heavily on the rush goals; basically our specialty. This year, Eakins implemented a more defense oriented system, meaning we have to rely on our defense more to strip the puck from opposing teams in order to create chances. Unfortunately, our defense just aren’t capable of handling that much responsibility. Thoughts?

  • Johnnydapunk

    On a semi unrelated note, despite all the bitterness and anger and stuff, it seems like the skills competition was quite nice and maybe a welcome break from everything. I like seeing that stuff as there were quite a few kids in the crowd and it’s good to see the players looking like they were having some fun out there.

    Despite all the bad stuff going on, it’s little breaks like that from the pressure that must be good for the team and fans, especially the younger ones. I feel that if you can complain about the bad, you should also praise the good when it happens and this event I will say was good for the Oil to do.

  • fasteddy

    Im glad he made up for the Riley Nash fiasco. We actually got the way better player. There hasn’t been that much chaos to his game so far, but that may come as the workload comes. Hope he elevates his game for the Olympics. Im happy to watch him play.

    If he can get that 15 pounds of muscle he will be a solid defender.

  • oilersd

    Someone put a bug in my ear yesterday about Eakins intense aerobic program for the players may be having a negative impact. The players are apparently doing a lot of off ice work to increase their aerobic capacity and stamina. On first blush this seems like a good thing. However, the theory proposed to me is that exercises designed to improve stamina are great for marathon runners but counter-productive for hockey players. Quick reflex muscles regress is such programs and therefore hockey performance regresses. If games were 6 periods long you might see a benefit.

    Does anyone know if there is any validity to this? Could this explain why so many players seem off tis year?

    • Serious Gord

      This is something that I and others have been musing about ever since he was hired. How a coach can consider himself a conditioning expert is the height of arrogance and ignorance.

      • oilersd

        I think this is a bit of a reach. The issues the team has is with their lack of size and an inability to manage puck possession. It’s genetics and between the ears that’s the problem. Not quick reflex muscles.