GDB Wrap Up: Oilers @ Blues

OhJeez

Hmm… So that didn’t go well at all… Final score 6-2 St. Louis.

If there’s one thing the Oilers are good at, it has to be letting the other team get a tonne of shots! From puck drop to finish, the Blues dominated this game. The Oilers had the odd spurt where they were able to keep up, but in the end they were outmatched and outplayed. Actually, the 3rd period was probably one of the Oilers’ worst periods of the season. After managing to keep things tied 2-2 after two periods, the wheels completely fell off for 4 goals in the 3rd. It was ugly. $12 hooker ugly. One of the few (only?) bright spots had to be David Perron annoying every single player on the Blues bench. The guy is a champion and the Oilers could use another dozen of him. Aside from that… crickets.  

Apart from the shitacular hockey game, the Twitter gong rang loudly when Darren Dreger said that the Oilers are shopping Yakupov but that nobody wants him unless he is packaged with another player. Of course, Dreger touched on +/- and Yak’s lack of goals, but the weirdest comment was about Yakupov’s “lack of dedication.” Pretty sure there are a lot of stories about Yak being the last player on the ice and running the stairs after practice. Lack of dedication, huh? Not sure where it comes from, but Dreger has been beating the “trade Yakupov even though no one wants him” drum all season. With Hemsky gone, and no one to replace him on the right side, I can’t see Yakupov moving any time soon.

Let’s wrap this one up…

The Bright Side

  • David Perron scored a goal, was infinitely annoying
  • Mark Fraser scored for the first time in 4 years
  • Kept the Blues to under 50 shots

The Face Palmers

  • Shorthanded 2 on 1s… Seriously.
  • Sabotka’s goal made us all look stupid
  • Darren Dreger’s “Yakupov is a goner but nobody wants him” theory
  • 3rd period bad
  • Nuge Drought 2014 continues… #PrayForNuge

Best of the Tweets

DpTheEx

Screen Shot 2014-03-13 at 6.20.31 PM

Sabotka

FartingButterflies

YakTrade

FraserGoal

Principun

FraserBurrows

BlameYakupov

2Periods

PowerKill

WeLed

Let’s keep the bad jokes coming, people. We’re all in this together.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    if the Oilers traded Yak, perhaps in a package, they would need a RW back so i don’t think it’s out of the question. stopped watching at 4-2 because i knew what the outcome would be….and i was right, sigh.

  • Anton CP

    When Taylor Hall gets pushed around by multiple players multiple times without any pushback or inkling of intervention by his teammates, is that a sign of:

    A) a team that is small, young and inexperienced,
    B) a team that has checked out mentally on this season, or
    C) a player (Hall) who is not the object of intense affection from his teammates?

    I’m not trying to insinuate that it is more likely any one of A, B or C, but it is disconcerting to see this happen.

    Post-game, Struds was losing his mind over this too.

    At least we’re not the Canucks.

    • dougtheslug

      If Hall is the Messier wannabe that all the Oiler apologists from Stauffer on down keep crowing that he is, I hope, behind closed doors, he threw a couple of the stiffs who failed to defend him up against a locker door and demanded accountability.

      Aw, who am I kidding…..

  • Cold Hard Truth

    The men who canonized Edmonton as ‘the city of champions’ are making that title more ironic by the day.

    It’s poetic justice, really.

    A part of me wants to see how long the Oilers can keep finishing in the basement, just to see what will happen. I predict another 2 more seasons in the basement before there’s rioting and death threats. And maybe after Lowe has to flee town by chopper, Edmonton can make a statue of him with the solemn words: “never again.”

  • james_dean

    A good friend of mines’ last name is o sullivan.

    You know he bought a jersey right after that trade here. Its brutal to even sit in the bar with this guy wearing his patty o sully jersey.

    Also I still take yak over murray any day

  • Admiral Ackbar

    This Yak garb is the media creating it’s own story. I’m not going to give the nonsense the time of day. If he’s traded, it’ll be foolish. Never trade a player at his lowest value. Get the best return when trading any asset!

    Oilers are getting out coached, out skated, out positioned and out manned at every turn by every team.

    This is horrendous to watch.

    • Bonvie

      You mean like Hemsky, every year his value lowered because they couldn’t pull the trigger because they didn’t like the value offered by other teams.

      The value on Gagner and Yakupov won’t increase in the current situation the deal on Yakupov should have happened last year.

  • Anton CP

    The problem with team is a clear as a summer day at Ma-Me-O beach.

    Who every assigned these numbers should be fired and sent to live in Ken Lowe basement.

    51, 57 those are offensive linemen numbers

    64…just switch to #10 you know you want to

    84, 85, 89 …name three good player that worn a number in the 80’s and Lindros was a disappoinment

    93, 94, …. The entire 90’s should have been retired by the league, a little respect for the Great One Pleassse

    Fix the numbers and everthing fall in place. oh yea and fire the coach and Kevin Lowe

  • BLAKPOO

    “I think the players deserve a lot of that credit,” Nelson said. “I think what we have here is that we have all of the individual players giving themselves to the team. Every coach wants that. Sometimes it’s hard to achieve it but right now, we as a staff, we’ve got our guys basically caring more about their teammates than they do themselves. They’re playing unselfishly and they’ve really given themselves to the team. When you have that, it doesn’t matter what team you have. It’s very powerful. You might look at a team on paper and it’s not that great but they really work well as a team and they’re hard to beat. Right now, we’re playing good hockey and hopefully that continues. But I think the biggest thing is the players all gave themselves to the team. When you get to the point where the players care about each other more than they do themselves, that’s very powerful.”

    -Todd Nelson

    Can you call up coaches? We have the right guy coaching the wrong team.

  • Anton CP

    What’s the deal with RNH? He gets worse every game. Last night he wanted nothing to do with the puck or playing defense. Either his confidence is at zero or he’s given up on this year.

  • Stack Pad Save

    What’s with picking on Yak? Bullies always pick on the weakest or most vulnerable person.

    Yak is just a kid for eff’s sake. He’s learning. At least it isn’t too late to break him of his bad habits unlike 90% of his teammates.

    It isn’t just Yak as one of the forwards who NEVER backchecks and helps out the D or goalie. Everyone seems to be waiting for the breakout pass, the glory.

    This isn’t a “TEAM” in the truest sense of the word and our standings in the league display that.

    Did anyone really expect #1 St. Louis to roll over and go to sleep after the second period? The Oil needed this lesson. Again!

  • wiseguy

    Somehow Eakins has managed to coach out the skill from Hopkins and Yak. Fire this clown. Ryan Smyth on the power play? Fire Eakins. Please if there is a god fire Eakins! Eakins has made MacT look like the rookie GM he is. Eakins is building an AHL team. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh

  • dougtheslug

    What Eakins is thinking:

    “Man, that 1-3-1 is impossible to defend, the way its drawn up in my head. These players just aren’t executing it. Must be Yak’s fault. Or Lander’s. We’ll keep trying ’til we get it right. Then everyone will forget all about the 1980’s and recognize my brilliance”

    What NHL coaches are thinking:

    “Two men high on the PK. Pressure Schulz until the inevitable giveaway. Then its off to the races and we pad our SHG total. Man, this Eakins is a piece of work”

    • Stack Pad Save

      I feel bad for Schultz at this point. One little bobble with the puck and the other team is off to the races on a 2 on 1. He’s afraid of making a mistake, has no chance to play loose like he needs too. Maybe he’ll learn from it and become a better player, but right now it’s tough to watch.

      It doesn’t help that he has no slap shot and can never get his little wristers through to the net. The other teams penalty killers know this and just take advantage of it.

      • Stack Pad Save

        Ive had this sunken feeling for the past few months that J. Schultz isnt going to resign here. And why would he? Whats his motivation?

        Normally when we wish to lock down a player who is a pending UFA at the end of the year, we have a deal in place by now. Im not sugesting that MacT isnt trying, but its not about $$$ anymore. I have a gut feeling that Schultz already wants out, and to go to a normal system with a chance to win, rather then be forced to play above his head and tread water.

        There is nothing sticking him to Edmonton right now, so dont be surprised if he up and leaves at seasons end. Afterall, it would be the best move for his career if he did.

        But its ok, cause the Oilers can force Nurse, Klefbom, Marincin, Fedun, Petry and Ference to be our d-corp next year – and the sad part is that management wouldnt be worried at the begining of the season at all…

          • A-Mc

            I’m not 100% but i think when you draft a player, there is a certain amount of time you have to sign that player to an entry level contract. if that player wont sign with you, they essentially become something like an Undrafted player. I believe this is what Schultz was. He waited out the time period and wouldnt sign with Anaheim, thus making him almost undrafted. He was free to sign with whomever he wanted and he chose us. Once the Oilers sign him to an entry level contract, he still goes through the RFA contracts and such.

      • A-Mc

        I feel bad for Schultz too. He is a coward who consistently fails to back up his teammates in any way.It must be tough to look at yourself in the mirror when you are a hopeless coward.

        Last night he stood and WATCHED while THREE Blues were roughing up Taylor Hall. This is far from the only time he has stood back and sipped tea while his teammates are getting mobbed. Time to find some guts, Nancy.

        • A-Mc

          I wonder if this is a product of the US college system? Playing hockey in the OHL, WHL, you learn the importance of being physical, before and after the whistle.

          Guys like Schultz, Petry, Poti, etc., all played US college, and all seem to lack that ingredient.

          Although I’m sure someone out there can throw out some mean SOB’s who played in the US.

  • bazmagoo

    I’m so glad to hear everyone here get Yak’s back. I think the kid will still be a great player. Dregr is a media type, and he’s a pain in the ass…oh well. Now how do we get the Oilers to get Hall’s back?

    Also, anyone besides me think Klefbom looks like a damn good dman?

  • bazmagoo

    Reading the majority of comments on this site it is evident that Oiler fans are in denial. The Oilers are in 29th place in the NHL standings. To expect them to beat or even be moderately competitive when facing the 1st place team is delusional.

    Do they have shortcomings? Unquestionably. Do we all wish they were better? Of course. Are they going to be magically better this season? Highly unlikely.

    What will be key is the results which Mac T achieves this summer. I fervently hope that the Oilers are able to draft a bona fide 1C or 2C (Bennett or Reinhart) and that they can trade (Yakupov or Eberle) for a first pairing D man.

    • Kr55

      Are you not being in denial and possibly delusional in suggesting that they can trade Yak or Eberle for a first pairing D man. They would not get a good D man even if it were for both Eberle and Yak and a draft pick.

  • bazmagoo

    No doubt in my mind that Eakin is a step back from Krueger. The team did not need a new coach they needed to sort out their team first.

    During the summer I wrote that they needed to build a team from the goalie on out and I was certainly right about that.

    I hope that in this draft they should try to find the men amongst the boys. The biggest, the strongest, the hardest working and not just the most skilled.

    I would keep all of their top picks but I would send Yak to OKC for the rest of the season. I would bench Gagner and bring up Arco for the rest of the season to see what we have.

    In the off season, I would search out a better coach or even promote their OKC guy.

  • A-Mc

    this talk about Yak’s plus/minus being -30 therefor he’s a bust is garbage.
    Seth Jones, the the defenceman playing on the predators with Shea Webber is -21. Is he a bust too? LORD.
    Also TSN has gone WAY down hill the last year or so. Since Dan and Jay left every analyst (especially Duthie) thinks they are comedians. WAY too many gimmicks. Further, coverage on any team not named Toronto is pretty much non-existent.

    • A-Mc

      Playing with Weber also means that you’re playing against the absolute toughest competition.

      Yakupov plays heavily favorable zone starts and quality of competition and he STILL has the league worst in +/-.

      I’m not going to say Yakupov is a bum, but it is clear he’s no where near the calibre of player a typical #1 is. Unless Yak is fed pucks in the slot from across the ice, he’s almost useless.

      If you could choose Rookie NHL season versions of Hall, Nuge, Ebs or Yak, would ANYONE choose Yak? If so, please clearly communicate why.. Because in my mind it’s not even close. Yak is easily the weakest option of the 4.

  • Kr55

    The Nuge regression is really unfortunate. Krueger had him winning the possession battle against just as hard competition last year, all western teams, with 1 shoulder!! Now this year Eakins has the kids heads spinning with his AHL quality game plan and they all look lost. It’s getting ridiculous.

  • Stack Pad Save

    So I guess we can say goodbye to Dregr’s analysis this summer, since TSN won’t be covering hockey anymore…so who cares what Dregr thinks of Yak?

  • vetinari

    One of the problems is that the veteran presence has almost been totally removed from the team.

    A few years ago, the “problem” was the existing veteran leadership– guys like Moreau and Jason Smith and Pisani and Horcoff and so on had to be moved on– and some were moved sooner than others.

    The guys that replaced them either couldn’t do the job (Thoreson, Khabibulin, etc.) or had epic distracting fights with the organization (Souray, Pronger) or were complete busts (Brule, Eager, Belanger, etc.).

    How many players on our current lineup are over the age of 30? Only four… Gordon (30), Smyth (38), Fasth (31), and Ference (34). Fasth is still a relatively unknown commodity but all three of the other guys are not “stars” at their positions. They also do not seem to “control” or lead the team. They do their jobs and they try their best but they are all depth, role players.

    We’ve blamed everyone around the kids (except Yak, who seems to be singled out by Eakins from time to time) for the team’s troubles and excused them due to their youth. But really, either they need to follow the example set by the veterans or bear down, realize their potential and BE the example to the others. The alternative is to start and trade some of them away and bring in veterans in the 26 to 32 age range who know how to be NHL players.

    • A-Mc

      I agree with what you’re saying – and that’s a rarity!

      Eberle is still on pace for a 62pt season, so i could see him being traded for a veteran player like you mention.

      Also, if after next year Yakupov hasn’t snapped out of it, i could also see the organization turning the page on him and moving him out for a 3rd line guy. Yak is on pace for low 30pts this season. He’s not effective at all unfortunately.

      Nuge probably wont go anywhere because he’s a centerman. That will buy him years of patience.

      • vetinari

        I’m scared that you agree with me, too!

        But really, I think that this has a lot to do with our professional scouting department from 2006 to 2013.

        We basically hollowed out our leadership core and veteran presence on the team, handed the keys to the bus over to the kids, watched them drive it into a tree and then act surprised that this happened and blamed all the passengers for not stopping them.

        The wrong guys are driving this bus right now– we need about 4-5 veterans who are core players and not supporting role players in the driver’s seat, teaching the kids how things are properly done. It also gives the coaches the luxury of benching underperforming players from time to time, whether late in the game or as healthy scratches if needed.

        Right now, there are no other options then to play all the kids, watch them make the same mistakes over and over, and hope for different results at some point– that’s why this rebuild is taking so long.

  • Cowbell_Feva

    Is Eakins worse than Krueger? Most likely yes.

    However, the Oilers were just as bad at the tail end of last “season” as they are now. That was in a much shorter window.

    You can’t paint a picasso with dog sh#t.

    Toe Blake and Scotty Bowman wouldn’t have this squad much higher in the standings. Don’t be like fans in Vancouver and overrate everything about your team. Cheer like hell for them, but don’t be delusional.

    The Oilers are bad. They screwed up the first 3 years of this “rebuild” and it’s clearly evident.

    I’m no huge Dallas Eakins fan, but let’s not try to pin the organizations short-falls on a rookie NHL coach in his first season.

    • BLAKPOO

      Seriously, I’m reluctant to blame a rookie coach as well. I believe strongly in players taking accountability for their actions.

      But this is different.

      Eakins was not only given the keys at the start of the year, he was given a full carte blanche. He was given the rosters for the Oil and their affiliates, everyone got a look at training camp, and he was free to assign whoever he wanted to whichever position/line he wanted to. He threw out everything Kruger had established, put his own systems in place, and made this team start from scratch.

      And what good has it done? Name one legitimate positive that Eakins has contributed to this team? Name one returning player that has flourished under his new system? Name one player that has taken great strides in their personal or professional development?

      You can’t.

      Instead of the huge strides forward we were ensured we would have at the start of the year, we have nothing. If anything, this team has regressed. MacT has done wonders adding quality pieces at all levels, but it doesn’t matter who you bring in to this environment.

      This team is a huge, stinking garbage fire right now, and Eakins is the guy with the empty gas can in his hand.

  • oilerjed

    The game last night went as expected but Dregers ridiculous crucifying of YAK was a definite WTF moment. Was there a catalyst for that tirade or was he trolling for twitter reaction. Either way it was amatuer hour BS that seemed to make everyone else on the panel a little uncomfortable.

    If there was all of this trade YAK talk all year why was it not reported by any other cities media (if it was I must have missed it).

    I can only hope that MacT stands up for his guy or Yak will be lost for this team after the way he waas treated this year by Eakins. Would also like to see some of the Edmonton media come out and call Dreger on this piece of editorial. I thought Staples was going to when I opened his article, turned out he didnt have the stones.

    I wonder if anyone on ON will put down thier purse and pull out a set?

  • The Last Big Bear

    Wanted:

    Head Coach for Edmonton Oilers hockey club. Candidates must have several years experience as NHL head coach, preferably with young roster. Extensive winning record, and strong references a must. Successful applicant will follow string of employees who were humiliated, scapegoated, and summarily fired, none of whom have subsequently found work as NHL head coaches.

    Stanley Cup championship not absolutely required, but strongly preferred
    Serious applicants only, please.

  • oilerjed

    There has been a lot of hate thrown Dreger’s way here.

    What is there to be upset about? Do you think her made it up (that the Oil have been talking about Yak but haven’t had a deal they like)?)

    The hate for Dreger is a lot like the reaction a few months back when Craig Button said that Hemsky would get something like a 3rd round pick.

    Don’t shoot the messenger.

    • oilerjed

      No this was different and no I wouldnt put it past him to make it up. Afterall this was TSN the Fox News North station where they reference each other as sources when reporting total conjecture and hypothesis.

  • BLAKPOO

    Hmm, taken over the season this game was a culmination of dissapointment (gaol tending not withstanding, he was alone out there). Taken as one game, teams have collapses sometimes. I mean Anaheim lost to Calgary 7 -2. If Anaheim can lose to Calgary 7 -2 than anyone can lose to anyone in this league.

    Having said that, what a terrible 3rd period. Everyone was playing hot potato and just trying to get rid of the puck before they made a mistake with it. Unfortunately everyone was making more mistakes because of it.

  • BLAKPOO

    Did Eakins switch RNH and Ference? On the first 2 goals, RNH was playing D, while Ference was imitating a post. 3rd goal, Ference got outworked on the boards.

    Coaching has got to work on reducing the shots and improving the D.