Martin Marincin’s return to the Edmonton Oilers gave head coach Dallas Eakins more options, and allowed him to deploy the troops in a more effective way. How did he use him in Game one? Will that be Marincin’s job for the rest of the year?


In the early days of the season, when Marincin was in OKC, Dallas Eakins used Jeff Petry and Andrew Ference for zone starts (courtesy BTN):

ozone first 5

Marincin’s one game stands out, but before he arrived the ZS’s went to Petry and Ference. With Marincin playing alongside Fayne for game one, it allowed the Oilers to use Nikitin and Schultz in even more offensive roles, and lighten the load for captain Ference. It paid off with what might have been the captain’s best performance as an Oiler.


On Saturday, Dallas Eakins reunited Marincin with his old Oklahoma City Barons partner Justin Schultz, and then today it was back to Marincin—Fayne. Logically, you’d like to see your best defenseman (who might be Fayne as things roll along) with the best available defender on the opposite side. For my money, that’s Marincin.

On the other hand, if Marincin plays with Justin Schultz that’s also a terrific option. Marincin is mobile and has a long wingspan, plus has an idea about how to play the game. Calm feet. Not all the time, mind, but he’s a youngster still learning the game. Marincin’s defensive acumen is very good, if he can stay healthy long enough for the experience to kick in the Oilers have a real gem.


For my money the two elements Dallas Eakins has to use Marincin to break down are Justin Schultz’ crazy minutes and Niki Nikitin’s ineffectiveness. If Eakins can run Marincin—Fayne and Ference—Petry in all of the D-zone starts, then the chaos pairing of Nikitin—Schultz may not give up a six pack to the Tampa Bay Lighting.

But it’s a massive risk.


Every conversation about Edmonton’s defense revolves around Schultz because he plays damn near half the game. Here are the early (I mean EARLY) CorsiON numbers:

d corsion

Dallas Eakins has done an excellent job with the forwards, but I think the Nurse-Nikitin issues (youth and injury) threw him for a loop early on.

I think Marinicin-Fayne, Ference-Petry and Nikitin-Schultz might work if:

  • The top pairing (Fayne) faces ghastly zone-starts (all of the defensive ones)
  • Nikitin-Schultz do opposite George and get the offensive ones
  • Ference-Petry play the rest as required.

It isn’t perfect, and we’re going to have to decide if Nikitin is hurt or if he’s not as advertised. It’s one or another. 

  • Hemmercules

    Dear Oilers:

    Please do something to improve your standings. The bottom 3 is not what you deserve; you have had too much of that as long as I can remember. Please give other teams the chance to draft top 3 players and play them before they are NHL-ready.

    Fix the defense; Jultz is not a top-pairing D, and is never going to be in any conversation related to the Norris. He was a free agent, so treat him like that and trade him for something better (#2 C?) or add him to another piece and maybe get a top 2 D.

    Fix the goaltending; the two “starting” goalies are backups from other teams (Scribbler is an ex-Leaf) that they didn’t need.

    Fix the C position. Send back Draisaitl to junior and let him develop. He isn’t fast enough yet to compete. Don’t bring him into the losing culture.

    Do something abou coaching. If MacT supports the coach, he needs to say so in public. If not, then fire him. It sounds oddly familiar that the coach is the problem. If the team played like a team, it wouldn’t matter what systems were used or who the coach was. He makes wesird decisions about lineups, but the team has to learn how to win at all costs.

  • vetinari

    Only one game back for Marincin but it makes you scratch your head to think why he was sent down in the first place and for what? One AHL game while the big club plays four? What would our defence have looked like in the first four games if we weren’t giving up better 5 on 5 defence to chase some help on PP with Hunt?

  • vetinari

    If we do not inject a bonafide top centerman and two top defenders with decent goaltending , then we are not going any where upwards for years to come . Handling the reigns over to a green GM and coach just magnifies the bad steps this team continues to make . Fans seem to wonder why we remain a bottom dweller . Simply , they are not capable of getting what the team needs are , so they piddle around with complimentary player turnovers . Recycled over and over and paying more and more for it .

  • BlazingSaitls

    At least when I look at the Eskimos I can look up at the standings , while the Oilers I have to continually look down at the standings . Sort of like the way we used to think of management of Oilers . Where we use to look up at their results , but now we look down and frown .

    • BlazingSaitls

      Well you don’t really need to scroll up or down for CFL standings since there is 9 teams in the league. And the Eskimos, until this season, were horrific for a long time. Great to see them turning things around. The oilers are next! (Just not sure when…)

      • chickenStew

        Maybe the Oilers will be next to turn things around when Dallas visits their Management and finds out how and why they turned the corner so optimally.Last season the Eskimos were 1-7 ,at the exact same time this season they were 7-1,that is an OPTIMAL turnaround.

        Sounds like there might be a nugget or two to be mined from that type of revival.

  • BlazingSaitls

    Oilers have the worst defence in the league…again

    Super disappointed in Jultz this season too, quit flailing your free arm around when you’re skating, u look like a girl.