OFFENSIVE?

People-Find-Me-Offensive-72dpi

Last night, the Oilers were shutout for the 5th time at home and 8th time all year. Many fans felt their play was offensive, and not in a goal scoring kind of way.

In his post-game press conference Dallas Eakins said, “We have some good offensive players but I don’t look at us as a real offensive team,” and that comment offended some fans more than the performance on the ice.

I tweeted that comment and many fans were livid and most blamed the coach. (Do you sense a trend in Edmonton?)

Are the Oilers regressing offensively, or have they been an offensively challenged team for years?

A good offensive team doesn’t rely solely on their powerplay to score, and when you look at the numbers over the past four seasons it is hard to see why anyone should consider the Oilers a team that consistently scares the opposition. Even when they had a good PP they were still a below average scoring team.

Here is where the Oilers ranked in goals scored the past four seasons.

2011… 27th with 2.33 goals/game.

2012… 19th with 2.52 goals/game.

2013… 18th with 2.56 goals/game.

2014… 21st with 2.48 goals/game.

Now let’s look at EV scoring both 5-on-5 and 4-on-4.

2011… 28th with 132, which equates to 1.61 ES goals/game.

2012… 24th with 142, which equates to 1.73ES goals/game.

2013… 24th with 82, which averages out to 1.70 goals/game.

2014… 20th with 108, which averages out to 1.77 goals/game.

To be fair, the Oilers have scored 10 goals at 4-on-4 which is double any of the previous three years so that does boost their  ES GPG up a bit. However, compared to the previous three seasons you don’t see much of a difference overall.

The PP hasn’t been as good this year compared to the previous two, and people are livid and blaming the coaching staff. It is fair to say they haven’t made the best adjustments, but teams have taken away the down low pass that the Oilers feasted on last year, and the Oiler players haven’t been able to adjust on the ice.

However, even if the PP was at the exact same % efficiency as last year, 20.1%, they would only have 8 more PP goals this season and they would only be 17th in the NHL at 2.60 goals/game. It might have helped them win a few more games, or it might have just helped prevent a few shutouts. It is difficult to say which games those 8 goals would have impacted.

Even if the PP was identical to last year, which very few teams maintain, the Oilers still wouldn’t be an offensive team.

HARSH TRUTHS…

When Eakins says they aren’t an offensive team he is correct.

They haven’t been one for a long time. The harsh reality is the Oilers haven’t been an offensively productive team under Tom Renney, Ralph Krueger or Dallas Eakins. I’m not giving the coaches a free pass, I’d like to see a more offensive minded coach on the current staff, but even when Krueger was on the bench this team wasn’t lighting up the opposition.

The Oilers do have some productive forwards in Hall (17th), Eberle (39th), Nugent-Hopkins (50th) and Perron (53rd), however after those four there is a drop offensively.

Most people expect Nail Yakupov to continue to improve and become a 30-goal scorer, but he isn’t one yet, and he is currently 188th in NHL scoring. I suspect he will improve moving forward, but this team desperately needs some secondary scoring, and mainly some production from the backend.

Justin Schultz is the only Oiler in the top-90 amongst D-men. He sits 40th with 24 points. Jeff Petry is 97th with 13 points. That is brutal.

The Oilers aren’t skilled enough, today, to beat teams offensively and we’ve all witnessed how much they struggle defensively.

I truly believe both issues should improve once they upgrade the talent on their blueline, but no one should be upset, shocked or surprised when the coach says the TEAM isn’t an offensive group.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR

  • toprightcorner

    The problem is leadership and management. Lowe and Mac T and all the people they hire could not run a lemon aid stand.

    Nothing will change till they are gone. Empty seats on hockey night in Canada gets people talking.

    As a Kevin Lowe tier 1fan with gold Seats. I will be be leaving them empty. I want Lowe gone. He is not listening! Figures.

  • geeker99

    accountability! I am English premier soccer fan {Liverpool} . If you are an owner of a team with a record like the Oilers in Britian and not showing your face at a game your life would be hell. Hicks{dallas stars} and Gillette{habs} thought it would be cool to own Liverpool till they started to lose. That fanbase put enough pressure on them to sell quite quickly. The media is more for the fan also and helped out.

    I find our fanbase a lot like Liverpools, knowledge and patience but every fan has a boiling point . A fan throws a shirt and we are quitting. Disgrace

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Eakins looks befuddled. Lost as to what to do. He’s tried all three tricks in his coaching bag of solutions with no success. All the signs of a rookie coach way in over his head.

    I’m not sure which is worse. Firing coaches every year, or keeping the one you should fire, just to create the illusion of stability. Sooner or later this gong show has to land in the lap of management.

    Wow, Sabres only 3 pts behind the Oilers with a game still on hand. 4 days ago the Oil had a 9 pt cushion.

  • Rick Stroppel

    THIS WILL CHEER YOU UP

    Buffalo has won three straight games since the Olympic break. Three wins in four nights. They are three points behind Edmonton with a game in hand.

    RE RYAN MILLER TRADE

    Memo to MacTavish, Six Rings, and the Littlest Billionaire: THIS is what a “bold move” looks like.

  • billythebullet

    off topic – Rumours of erhoff being available. A bold move for a proven d, well this might be an option…

    on topic – with hall, rnh, ebs, perron, yaks, and yes even hemsky, why isn’t this edition of the oilers an offensive team?

  • billythebullet

    If Oiler management thinks for one second that fan dis-satisfaction has subsided they would be wrong. Just take a look at the fan responses in the last 5 or 6 articles on this site. You don’t have to look any farther than Oilers Nation. Responses of 71-57-103-36-134 are a pretty fare measure of fan apathy.

    The Oilers spin will never fool everybody. We’ll see what season ticket holders do this off-season. That should tell just how gullible Oilers fans and corporate sponsors are. I am sick to death of Eakins psycho-babble. His act is pure bullsh*t.

    • **

      Eakins is a bull$hit machine. Look at his resume, he had only been a head coach for 4 years, assistant coach for 3 years prior to that, no other experience, hasn’t won anything as a coach, and yet somehow he bull$hit Mac Tavish into giving him the Oilers locker room.

  • **

    So no one should be upset, shocked or surprised when the coach says the TEAM isn’t an offensive group.

    And no one no one should be upset, shocked or surprised when the COACH is not fired at the end of the season.

    Fast forward to next season:

    No one should be upset, shocked or surprised when the coach says the TEAM isn’t an offensive group.

  • **

    I think they’ve mistaken what an offensive player is. What type of player actually produces points and can play a possession game? here’s a hint, it is not a 180LB, 5’10” dangler. They have the wrong type of players. I would try and trade Gagner, Eberle and Yak this summer (if a deal is there, of course). change the whole core up. oh, but that’s sacrilege. “thou shalt never trade a young player that has ever scored a highlight reel goal.” No wonder this team is in such a mess.

  • **

    IVE HAD ENOUGH OF THIS::

    ITS TIME ONCE AGAIN TO DISCUSS SHEA WEBER TRADE SCENARIOS.

    I’ll start:

    Sammy Gags, 2014 1st rd Pick, 2015 1st round pick

    ANYONE ELSE??

  • **

    Why did anybody get upset at Eakins saying we aren’t a good offensive team? Anybody who thinks they are is clearly not paying attention. There is more to playing hockey than dangling and turning the puck over. They play the same way under Eakins that they did under Krueger and Renney. The lack of progress or development in this team is incredibly troubling.

    • Spydyr

      Honestly, I almost puke in my mouth every time the announcer says the Oilers are a young exciting team. You know what I find exciting, winning. Learn how to play in your own zone. The game against the Wild was unbelievable, the same mistakes they have made all season long. I don’t see how you can blame the coaches for that. The players have to accept responsibility. I’m sure the coaches are not saying just leave guys wide open in the slot. Brutal, I feel bad that I left it on until the 3rd hoping for the miracle comeback. Won’t happen again this year.

  • Jeebus, it must be depressing. You live in a city where it’s -50 in March. The only thing you have to look forward to is hockey. And the team is even more miserable than the weather. I’m actually surprised more people don’t kill themselves in Edmonton.

  • Spydyr

    If I can read Hemsky mind it would be? I can’t wait to be traded because this team that I am playing for has no identity no passion and heck the coach can’t make up his mind on how this team should play hockey, yes defence help you win games But…offense wins you game!!!

  • Spydyr

    The past few seasons we all thought that “next year” would be the break through year? Am I alone in wondering, has the team regressed to the point that we still will be a bottom feeder team next year as well?

  • Newj

    I would say, this is typical Eakins’ “throw players under the bus” response:” It is not my fault that my team sucks. I’m here to teach them to play defense so their lack of offensive production is not my specialty.”

    3 games into the season that I was already want Oilers to fire him, and 61 games after this bozo still have a job!

  • Doctor Smashy

    Ok here’s another:

    JEFF PETRY + 1st Rounder 2014 + Sammy Gags + Taylor Fedun for Shea Weber

    Let’s not all forget that GM Craig MACTAVISH fleeced GM Polie in the Dubnyk trade so Polie may squeeze a bit more

    • Spydyr

      So a number 4-5 defencman a high prospect a one dimensional small player and a small minor league defenceman for one of the top defencman in the game.

      Go to bed you are drunk.

  • Bryzarro World

    Wrong about a pattern Jason and it is pathetic how you defend Dallas. What don’t you understand? It’s not hard to understand that Dallas blows.

    Renney had a crap team FULL of injuries. (Don’t blame him and shouldn’t have been fired)

    Ralph had no training camp and a short season(got screwed and shouldn’t have been fired)

    Assistant coaching has an unprecedented run never seen before in ANY sports league.

    If you only blame the players then ask yourself who has been here to gather these useless tits for 15 years?

    • Jason Gregor

      Please show me in the article where I defended him or said he was a good coach?

      I said his comments were accurate. This team has not been a strong offensive team for a long time. And stating a coach blows without any actual bullet points is a hollow statement. Tell us what makes him so awful, and please have something other than the PP woes.

      • Bryzarro World

        Jesus…. look at your past articles defending him. I also stopped listening to your show because i can’t stand how you continually defend crap moves and put it all on the players.

        THE WHOLE ORG BLOWS. Top to bottom. It stinks. Players, coaching and management.

        I need bullet points? Don’t you watch and cover the games? From his decisions on n off the ice to his arrogance and pompous demeanor…. not to mention how well he has helped individual players accel…. or look at his record… want more?

        • Jason Gregor

          Finally the truth of the matter. You don’t like his attitude. Also like I said show me in this article where I defended him. This article (each article has a different point, writing and repeating the same point every day would be pointless) outlined that under three coaches the offence has not improved, yet you contradict yourself and say the previous two coaches shouldn’t have been fired, but Eakins should because they aren’t winning. Which players did Renney and Krueger has excel so well? They were so good that they finished 30th, 29th and 24th.

          I guess in your mind Renney and Krueger weren’t arrogant or pompous so they got a longer rope. If you don’t see the trend that changing coaches is just a diversion to fans from the organization to make it look like they care, then i can’t help you. Learning a new system every year for a core group that is trying to learn how to compete in the NHL is a recipe for disaster. It has been for 4 years.

          I have never said Eakins is a great coach. Never once. I’ve said it it foolish to continually blame the coach, rather than realize the truth. The players aren’t that good. Until management gives the coach better players to put on the ice the team won’t win. The Oilers have the worst blueline in the league. It is painfully obvious, yet you expect the coach to magically make them better players?

          You obviously haven’t listened very much, or very closely to the show. I said the Smid trade was horrible. Giving up players when you have no one as good to replace them is dumb.

          Also, wrote and said they should have taken Galchenyuk instead of Yak, because you don’t win with all small wingers. Many disagreed, they love his potential, but right now potential means little.

          Perron trade was great. Hendricks was fine. Only brutal move under MacT was Smid. But, sadly that move illustrates this team still has no idea how to evaluate or scout pro D-men. Said that is an issue for years.

          But, you can keep blaming the coach. They could fire him tomorrow and the team would not be much better…why, because the players are not big enough, mature enough or experienced enough to win. The standings don’t lie.

          You can keep telling yourself the players are great, but you’ll continually be disappointed.

      • Jason Gregor

        Are you serious Jason? For a coach to say his team is not strong offensively is like telling you kids they are not smart. A coach is there to make his team better, create offense and play defense as a team. Shoot the dam pucks, that’s how you score right? What’s the freaking objective when scoring goals? Shoot the pucks, have someone go for rebounds and tip the pucks in. If you don’t shoot you don’t score. Eakins swarming defense when he was selling it in preseason is a joke, the team is dead last in goals against. Don’t shoot the pucks and allowed too many shots against equals less goals scored and more goals against. The result is 2nd last in NHL in points. Anyone watches the games can see the players are not having fun out there. They are not scoring goals, shut out in 8 games (82 games season that’s 10%, not acceptable). It’s obvious that the team gave up on the coach, the Flames game tonite proved that. No intensity, no efforts. Time to get new coach in.

        • Jason Gregor

          They have had three different coaches and the offence has been the same, so why would a new coach suddenly be the answer?

          You think coaches tell the players not to shoot the puck?

        • Jason Gregor

          John,

          Last season on April 3rd they were in a playoff spot, granted only for one day. Then the Oilers lost nine of ten games to fall out of the playoffs.

          In those nine losses they scored more than 1 goal ONCE. They were shutout twice, and scored one goal six times.

          Krueger was the coach, a guy they supposedly loved. Did he suddenly become dumb and tell them not to shoot or score, or maybe, just maybe the players weren’t good enough or committed enough.

          Not scoring this year is not new. It has been an issue regardless of who the coach is. It is right there to see, but some fans don’t want to admit that the players aren’t good enough. I understand why, because when you do, you will realize just how far away this team is from contending.

          • Jason Gregor

            This times 1000…

            It is amazing how quickly fans forget our tank job from last year. When the games mattered we folded like cheap tents.

            I knew it was bad but didn’t realize we scored 1 goal or less in 8 of the 9 losses. Pathetic.

            I’m not sold on Eakins, but I’ve seen what changing the coach every year does. Nothing.

            Make the players accountable and see if they can at least compete when they don’t have to learn a new system next year.

  • Bryzarro World

    If you play hard every night and show you care, management will keep you.
    If you mail it in every game, management will give up and try and trade you.
    I think a few of these fellas want out of this gong show.

  • Death Metal Nightmare

    wow, who couldnt figure out that 3-4 CHILDREN and a bunch of bad players in their mid-late 20s and early 30s over the past few years would be bad at offense?

    this isnt even analysis.

    here’s a better question: WTF is Eakins job if the team has the identity of a garden variety turd? “yea, we suck at defense – obviously – but we’re also not an offensive team because we’re a bunch of small wimps. im macho, theyre not. my job here is basically a lame duck coach waiting for the roster to get fixed and then you will see HOW GOOD I REALLY AM.”

    boring

    Eakins is a turd and so are the Propagandists of Process up in the suite that do nothing substantial in team building.

  • Jason Gregor

    Eakins can’t coach, his team can’t score so he compared it with previous years goals scored. If new CEO come in to bring sales up for the company, after 3rd annual quarter sales still down, he blame it on previous years’ sales were bad also. Would that CEO will still have his job? It’s his job to run it and improve it. NHL coaches are the same, they get fired when his team is not winning. The Jets start winning when they got Maurice, Latvian team had Nolan as coach they lost to Canadian all star team 2-1. Come on man, what more proof do you need?

  • Jason Gregor

    Eakins is without a doubt the most ineffective coach in the NHL. MacTavish keeps getting his Toronto Marlies guys in here so they can justify trying to keep him. This team has regressed so much under his coaching it is unbelievable. MacTavish looks like such an idiot defending him when he knows he made the mistake getting rid of Krueger. This Fraser guy they got from Toronto, are you kidding me he is not even AHL material, how could he be playing here? Oh ya he is one of Eakins boys from Toronto.
    Its a joke, this whole operation from top to bottom. Only person that deserves a job here is Joey Moss

  • Jason Gregor

    The only claim to fame that Eakins has in his history is making Khadri a better player…….how did he do this?

    Well it’s common knowledge that Khadri was not fit……ate too many donuts I guess? Well news broke that he is good with youth, and bam we hired him. I have read all the comments on Eakins, ( especially JG because I so profoundly disagree with him on this topic) and what needs to be done!

    JG, just because we have had more coaches in the last five years than all the teams in the NHL combined, does NOT mean that coaching should not be looked at. Just maybe having a coach that continuously exposes his players weaknesses, ( by not playing to their strengths) is not a good overall strategy. Yea we all know that Hall, Ebs, Yaks, RNH like to score goals over playing defense………so what???

    I think that the fan base knows, that we do not have the overall player mix needed to win in the new NHL, no genius require to figure that out. What I think many are saying is that there should be no sacred cows as Mac T figures out his next moves………including coaching!

    • Jason Gregor

      Coaching will be looked at. They better smarten up and allow him to hire the assistants he wants. And then Eakins better bring in some coaches with experience.

      I don’t see Eakins as a sacred cow, good line though, but MacTavish understands the importance of continuity. I’m not saying MacT won’t look at coaching, he will, and that is why you will see changes with the assistants.

      Exposing their weaknesses and making them play better away from the puck is the only way this team will improve. You think Eakins should just tell his young players to not worry about defence and cheat out of the zone and all over the ice? How will that make them better. They did that last year and it led them to 24th place.

      People don’t have to agree, and I understand why the frustration in Edmonton is higher than ever, but I see no reason to can the coach this year. Just like I thought it was wrong to fire Krueger.

      MacTavish will evaluate Eakins, and I’m sure he will point out the areas he erred in, but like the players I’d give him time to develop and learn.

      The harsh truth is that I don’t see this team as a playoff team again next season, mainly due to the blueline. Unless MacTavish can work some miracles and acquire a top-pairing D-man this team at best will be try to be in the playoff race in early April.

  • **

    lol Dallas is the the best guy for the job in Edmonton, if the Oilers want to stay at the bottom of the NHL for years to come then Dallas and company are made for this team.

    The Oilers top guys don’t want to be here and other top nhl players don’t want to come here what a joke.