The Oilers come home with 38 games left in the season sitting in 29th place overall. No one should be surprised they lost two games in 27 hours at San Jose and Anaheim, but once again the combination of bad defensive zone coverage and Bryzgalov allowing a weak goal cost them.

Eventually you hope the players make more correct decisions that wrong ones, but right now it is clear they have a long way to go before they can compete with the good teams in the western conference, and specifically in the pacific division.

Here are some thoughts on tonight’s game and also some news for Eskimos fans.

  •  I didn’t have a problem earlier in the season when Eakins wanted Yakupov to play better. I felt that was fair. Tonight, however, Eakins’ decision to not use Yakupov on the 6-on-3 PP late in the game was very perplexing. The Oilers biggest problem with their top-two lines is they have no diversity, they all offer similar things.

    The six players on the PP mirrored that problem. None of them can shoot a one-time like Yakupov, so why wasn’t he on that PP? It made no sense. I wonder if Eakins let his stubborness get the best of him tonight? I understand if he wants Yakupov to earn his icetime, but Yakupov was good yesterday and tonight, so why wasn’t he rewarded with a spot on the man advantage?|

  • The Oilers made some glaring errors on four of the five Ducks goals. RNH had the puck under control but gave it away on first goal. Bryzgalov has to stop the 3rd goal with 4.4 seconds remaining on the clock. Marincin (he is a rookie, so the odd mistake is expected) left Jackman wide open on the 4th goal, while Petry shot the puck directly into Cogliano’s shinpads leading to his breakaway.

    The Oilers have to find ways to cut down on those mistakes, or they will never improve.

  • The Oilers top-six had an average weight of 192 pounds, while the Ducks top-six was 212 pounds. They are giving up 60 pounds every shift. The Oilers will never be able to compete with the big, heavy, skilled teams in the Pacific until they add some size in their top-six. (When I say in their top-six, I assume most people realize that means skilled players. We shouldn’t have to add "size with skill" every time we mention the need for size. When I mention top-six, I believe that skill is a given part of the equation.)

    The Oilers have too many of the same players right now. That isn’t a knock on them, and doesn’t mean they aren’t good, but they are all the same and there is no diversity within their top-six. Size is needed.

  • No one can be shocked the Oilers lost back-to-back games in the two toughest road rinks in the league. It is disappointing, but these two losses should not cause massive uproar. The Oilers aren’t close to the top teams in the league, especially on the road in San Jose and Anaheim.  

ESKIMO RUMBLINGS…!/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/16x9_620/esks940.jpg

The Eskimos have been rather quiet about their coaching staff, but it seems like Chris Jones is getting closer to naming his staff.

Look for Stephen McAdoo to be the offensive coordinator. My sources tell me he hasn’t re-signed with the Argos. McAdoo has been with the Argos for four seasons as the O-Line coach and run game coordinator, and prior to that he was the offensive line/running back coach in Montreal from 2003-2005 and then added co-offensive coordinator title in 2006.

This would be McAdoo’ first OC job, but he has 15 years of coaching experience. McAdoo and Jones have worked together in Montreal (2003-2006) and in Toronto (2012-2013). They have a history together.

My sources also state that Jarious Jackson will be the quarterbacks/passing game coach. The Eskimos desperately need a former QB to work with the Mike Reilly, and the Esks are close or have already signed him to a deal. Jackson played 8 seasons in the CFL and was the QB coach in BC last season. He will help Reilly and the other QBs. He also should add some insight into pass patterns. Last season the Eskimos ran too many intermediate routes, but never had any safety/under routes that Reilly could dump off to if no one was open downfield.

I’m also hearing that Kevin Strasser could be added as the receivers coach. He has worked with Jones in the past and previously worked with the Eskimos. Sources say the Strasser signing isn’t confirmed, but he is a candidate for that job.  The main concern is if he would be a distraction. (My apologies for sending out an erroneous tweet earlier today that said he was in the running for the OC job, when it clearly was for WR coach. Stupid mistake on my part.)

McAdoo and Jackson look to be solid additions. McAdoo has a lot of experience while Jackson fills a huge void on the coaching staff. 


  • Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate

    I am ready for the Trashes here, and it could be because I haven’t slept yet, but….

    Is it time for the Silver Fox to FIRE Eakins and step behind the bench himself?

  • M22

    Yet another pathetic performance from a pathetic team. It won’t take long before a “star” player makes a very public & negative calling of this pathetic organization. Then the real gong show will begin in Deadmonton. Should be fun to watch!

    • Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate

      Agreed–I am eagerly awaiting the day one of the young core players, or more than one, makes a huge statement.

      Yak “I’ve had enough of this, I’m breaking my contract and going back to the KHL where not only will they pay me more, I’ll get to play for a not-bigoted, not-batsh*t coach”

      Hall/RNH/Eberle “I’d like a trade out of Edmonton. I’ve given it a few years to see things turn around, but instead we’ve gotten even worse. I no longer want to be a part of this organization, and would like a trade as soon as possible”

  • M22

    What was the plan that Eakins had for Yak? Yak played his ass off the last 2 games after the benching, and a public comment that a plan was being put in place. (It is now obvious why Eakins didn’t reveal to us what this big plan to motivate Yak was). Yak is the guy that got on the scoreboard and then stapled to the bench for the power play. I’m not seeing how this plan is helping Yak with his confidence, but I am seeing a complete bias that Eakins has against Yak. I’m also seeing Eakins further proving himself to be a complete liar as a person and total bust as a coach. I can’t understand why MacT is not flexing his muscle and telling Eakins to use Yak fairly.

  • M22

    On Gregor’s last blog that he was not-so-obviously predicting positive comments…well, Yak was playing a hard game, that’s positive.

    Then…Eakins decided not to let him play more often especially during the 6-on-3 PP.

    It is very difficult to focus on the positive when the coach won’t allow us to do so.

  • Blue Giraffe

    Enough coaching changes. As painful as this is, there is no quick fix. The needs are obvious, and won’t begin to get filled until the offseason and long term through the draft.

    Pick an NFL team to cheer for, that will help for a few weeks.

  • Slapshot

    If Kevin Lowe is so smart and he said it himself that he knows a thing or two about winning, why doesn’t he take over as coach,he can stand behind the bench waving his six rings and prove to everyone that hes not a idiot.

  • I said this in a previous thread, Eakins is going to lean on Yakupov to distract from the obvious problems on the team.

    After watching another debacle of a game again, Eakins bench’s Yakupov on the PP after being one of the better Oilers in another brutal game, AFTER he laid out his magical Yakupov plan.

    I hate to be so negative here, but Eakins really knows how to distract & deflect criticism from both himself & his team, mostly from himself.

    The last three games Hall-RNH & Peron were absolutely destroyed!!

    Eakins accountability is pure lip service.

    His system didn’t work, he said he needs players buying in and playing the game he wants? Since he abandoned his systems, I can’t for the life of me figure out what system the players are using to buy in?

    He was clearly out coached tonight, having his forth line out when the Getzlaf line was out was the last straw, he needs a co-coach badly or just fire him.

    MacTavish made a brutal play to fire Krueger, wrong coach got axed.

  • outdoorzguy

    Thanks for the Eskimo news Gregor. Good work breaking that story. I like what I read about McAdoo and agree we need a QB coach with QB experience to help Reilly.

    I forget that you don’t just cover one sport. You break stories for football and lacrosse. Good on you.

    Go Esks…sad that I have to say that in January, but the Oilers are done already.

    I guess Go Rush as well…at least they are 1-0… #oilerfanproblems

    • Slapshot

      Actually, I’ve heard good things about the other franchise that we have in town like FC Edmonton the soccer team. Maybe we should start to check it out too.

  • Slapshot

    Keeping Eakins as the teams coach any longer can only further harm the already fragile state this team is in. He is way over his head and honestly, should never been considered as a NHL coach in the first place. The only reason he was is because MacT thought he needed to make a statement about the new direction he was taking this team. It hasnt worked. Kruger was getting more from this team than Eakins is, plain and simple! Change has to happen, and not only at a coaching level. Management has as much, if not more to do with this teams failings!!

  • Lowe and his gang cannot be allowed to deflect blame again by firing another coach. Without a doubt Eakins is probably getting the least out of an Oilers team than we’ve ever seen, but it’s pointless to fire him now.

    The only hope for this franchise is for tier 1 fans to run Lowe out of the Oilers organization. Then the old boys club can finally be dismantled and we can start filling management positions in this organization with actual qualified people that know how to build a hockey team. People that think being lucky enough to play with Gretzky and Messier means they are good at management need not apply.

    It’s all up to you tier 1 fans. Fire Lowe chants, a #4 Lowe jersey tossed on the ice after the next embarrassing home loss. Lowe and Katz need to know you want a REAL change in this organization for once.

    • Randaman

      I have a very easy poll I would like to do because I am curious to know how many season ticket holders come and post on this site.
      Trash = Non season ticket holder
      Props = Season ticket holder
      The reason for this is if you are a season ticket holder and you come on here to vent with us tier 2 fans, we are counting on you to make your displeasure known to management. Don’t be afraid to toss a jersey or hat or scarf (whatever you have) on the ice. I would be more than willing to throw in a few bucks for compensation. Eakins called the first guy a quitter. 95% of this team has quit as far as I see anyway. A FIRE LOWE chant would be fine too. Walk the Walk!!! Don’t just talk the talk. Step up!!!

    • outdoorzguy

      It is not pointless to fire him now, at least that will be the first bold move by Mac-T like he promised. Why do you want a coach that is clearly assassinating young players’ careers to keep on coaching?

    • outdoorzguy

      Not that I don’t support Lowe being fired because I do. But how does that help or improve this team in the short term ? Sure fire him and expect positive change years down the road. But 10 games after Lowe is gone and this team still sucks then what do we chant ?

      If you want real change now. Fire the entire coaching staff. Do a real search for a head coach with real due diligence. Give him the reins. That may.. Result in short term positives.

      Oh and trade for a defenseman. Someone. Anyone. 🙁

      • M22

        Short term? Short term is hardly a consideration right now. This disaster will take a long, long time to repair. We know what we’re getting short term, whether Lowe is fired now or not. The sooner he is gone, the better. The healing starts at that very second.

        You say “Do a real search for a head coach with real due diligence.” Okay, but tell me: who is going to be in charge of hiring this new coaching staff? MacTavish? Lowe? Both? Please don’t suggest that MacT would be given carte blanche to hire whomever he feels is the right bunch to lead this organization out of the wilderness. If he had ANY say in keeping Buchberger/Smith around, then he should not be trusted to hire the next group. He needs to be gone also. His pick of Eakins, a rookie head coach, to lead a very young team that needed much better than that, was a poor decision. It was too big of a gamble, when what the organization needed at that position was stability that a proven NHL-level coach could more likely provide.

        The bigger problem of all that ails this org. is Katz’s unwillingness to do what must be done to save this sinking ship, and I’m guessing many sound hockey minds throughout the league think privately: get rid of Lowe. Do that, and everything below Prez of Hockey Ops starts to repair.

        Katz is not a hockey man, he’s a fan. And as an owner who’s reclusive, as he appears to be to the fanbase, he naturally and understandably feels most comfortable with someone he trusts, someone close to him. That’s Lowe. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is problem numero uno.

        • Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate

          Couldn’t agree with you more. The Oil’s hockey organization is rotten to the core and must be fixed by addressing the root cause. Fire Lowe and get a qualified hockey executive to build an organization. He can judge whether MacT, Howson, Eakins or anyone else is the correct fit. Firing anyone below Lowe at this time will actually be counterproductive.

        • outdoorzguy

          Being a fan to the team as a owner doesn’t mean that he can’t make the right decision. Look at NBA for Mark Cuban, he is one of the biggest fanboy among professional teams owners but he made right decisions and once the worst franchise in North America ended up winning a championship. Katz is not a real fan, he is a business man that only care about the profit. As long as the management can still fill the seat and sell merchandise that he could care less about the team’s performance. Think about it, as long as the team remain bad that they can keep on drafting high profile youngsters that will guarantee incomes without have them to actually search for one.

          • M22

            I didn’t say that he CAN’T make the right decision. My point was that he WOULDN’T. At least not yet. The comparison to Cuban ends there, I believe.

            Your assertion that he’s not a “real fan” is misguided. He was a fan through all the glory years in the 80s; it’s well-known. He didn’t buy into this for the fame, clearly. Nor does anyone buy a pro sports team to make a ton of money. If you’re rich enough to buy a pro sports team, you’re also smart enough to know there are less risky ways of making big bucks. I think he bought it because he could, plain and simple. I think he wanted to own something he had a strong affinity for. Nothing wrong with that.

            Your argument about drafting high-profile youngsters, etc etc is a silly one which I won’t even address.

          • Slapshot

            Then, lets hope that you are right and he may eventually do the right thing.

            Of course, his tactic of how he got the team and also the whole arena mess makes you wonder about what he is truly thinking right now.

      • outdoorzguy

        The problem with letting LoweT fire Eakins is that it gives LoweT another free pass. Also I’m scared that it might finally be Buchy’s turn to br the HC and that scares the hell out of me.

        If Lowe is fired, MacT will be fired and when the new GM comes in that is properly qualified, they can put a qualified coach in. We have gone too long only having buddies or flavours of the week people ruining this great franchise.