AT RANDOM: DRUDGERY TAKES A DAY OFF

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“Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.”

If you’re a typical fan of the Edmonton Oilers, you can probably relate to the old line from Michael Corleone in the Godfather III. After eight years of considerable suckage by your team, you were wound pretty tight after Dallas Eakins and the Oilers staggered out to a 0-4-1 start through five games. Fire Eakins! Fire Kevin Lowe! Fire everybody and the horse they rode in on!

On the flipside, Monday’s 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning at Rexall Place offered long-suffering fans a welcome opportunity to exhale – without uttering profanities about the lameness and ineptitude you’d witnessed on the way to the parking lot for the drive home. Not a jersey was tossed.


ONE AT A TIME

OneAtATime

Yes, it’s only one win. A 1-4-1 record hardly signals that the Oilers are off to the races or that their glaring lack of depth at centre is OK or that Eakins is a Jack Adams candidate, as many of you rightfully pointed out. Cynicism, given the results of the last eight seasons, isn’t a bad thing and it’s to be expected.

That said, and recognizing there’s a multitude of hurdles facing this team before a return to contention can even be contemplated, a 24-hour break from the angst and frustration that was bubbling over as the Lightning rolled into town isn’t a bad thing before the Washington Capitals come calling.

With this seven-game home stand looking like a pivot point that could turn the season one way or another – a lot of fans feared the direction would be south and it might still go that way – the players certainly needed to taste a little success after a better effort, but another loss, against the Vancouver Canucks. That sinking feeling of “here we go again” was settling in.

And you needed it, knowing full well the bigger picture still isn’t pretty and the mood could go sideways, yet again, in a hurry. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – when you suffer with every loss, there’s nothing wrong with taking 24 hours to enjoy a win before moving on to the next one. Have at it.

WHILE I’M AT IT

IMO

  • Fans have been packing Rexall Place for seasons on end and they’ve paid a pretty penny for what little success they’ve seen at home by the Oilers. Since the start of the 2009-10 season, the Oilers have won just 78 of 191 home games. Just using $100.00 as the price of a ticket – I know, that’s peanuts compared to what some of you are paying – and not even including the cost of beer, food, parking, gas and jerseys for throwing, that works out to $19,100, or $244.87 per win. I can see the real number easily being double that.
  • Jason Gregor wrote an item about the possibility of returning Leon Draisaitl to junior the other day here. While I don’t disagree with his take about the benefits in developing him elsewhere and saving the first year of his ELC, the options are limited. Is Will Acton or Anton Lander the answer? Mercy. A trade to fill the hole? If GM Craig MacTavish is working the phones, as has been the buzz lately, and he can pull the trigger on something to fill Draisaitl’s spot, I’m all for it.
  • Martin Marincin and Mark Fayne look like a pairing with potential to me. There’s a calmness and poise to Marincin’s game that isn’t always there with young defensemen, but it was apparent with Fayne last night against the Lightning. Marincin played 18:07 Monday.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Who’s the dumb pucker that put Marincin in the minors to start the year?

    Yes I’d hit the one on the left. Truth be told.If I were single.

  • After following the ON Twitter feeds last night something tells me Wanye is going to be howling when the expense receipts come in for this one. The Rexall beers tab last night alone was probably in the thousands, not to mention Wanye’s “Diamond Men’s Club – business meeting” claim.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    Leon does need to go back, and the Oilers do need to trade for an experienced center. i’d like to see Patrik Berglund here. he’s playing behind Stastny, and Backes at center in St. Louis and we could likely pry him out.

    • Leon does look stiff eh ? I thought that when I went to see him before the season started but keep an eye out for him, I think he is going to loosen up. The game is slowing down for him every game.

  • Like the win but don’t expect changes to happen until deadline or offseason again.

    Nichols Quote:

    On the Oilers …

    “I had a couple of guys tell me the Oilers are making fewer calls about trades than you would think. They aren’t looking for a goalie. They feel this Fasth injury is not too long-term. Maybe a week or two. If they can get through that. I thought maybe they might take a run at Ilya Bryzgalov. I heard they’re not going to do that, since he was there already. I’ve just been told they are trying to weather the storm.”

    “I think the only obvious move that you’re seeing there is at some point, Jeff Petry is going to be traded.”

    Not saying they need a move as I don’t expect them to make playoffs but its typical oilers mentality form management weather storm, were still selling out the rink.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    Robin,

    Posed this suggestion on another blog: “would you do a Petry for a Stoll trade make sense for both teams? Both are UFA’s and have almost the same cap hit. Petry doesn’t appear that he will extend here and LA is deep down the middle and now needing a dman in light of the whole Voynov situation. Stoll would provide more experience and leadership. Chip in the PK and PP too!”

    • Bishai in the Benches

      I like the look of that, although I highly doubt stoll would be too pleased about coming back to edmonton. Going from first to last isn’t fun. Same with the beach to the snow. And if I remember correctly, there were some issues between him and MacT. Character, partying, ect with Torres that make me think MacT wouldn’t want him back.

    • Trade a #4(?) D-man just coming into his prime for a C on his last contract? I’m sure Robin would have his own opinion but to you I say BOOOOO JOHNNYOILFAN!

      [Edited because clearly I am an idiot sometimes]

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    I know it sucks to lose ,but the negativity can be a little too much after awhile.I know i get choked.However the players need our support.We all know what Rexall can be like during the playoffs.They can’t help what Tambellini and Lowe did to this team.So last nights win was a big breath of fresh air.Can we beat Ovie and the Caps tmrw ?That would be awesome for the team and city.Losing completely sucks, winning brings big smiles to all oil fans.Good times are not that far away right Mac? Lets Go OILERS.

  • BlazingSaitls

    “It’s not the players’ job to tell you (the media) about it (accountability in the room) … to open this book up to you and tell you everything that goes on. I could make you cry in that f—ing room.” – Paul Maurice, Oct 20, 2014

    I bet Dallas Eakins got a little chuckle when (if) he watched Paul Maurice break down. He should call Maurice and give him some pointers on how to maintain composure in a hostile climate.

    For instance. Every time a reporter asks about ‘accountability’ reply with ‘battle’, ‘compete’ or a combination there of.

    Heck of a game last night. Heck of a game.

  • Spydyr

    Nice to see the win. It was pretty obvious Headman is missed. Much like how the Oilers need a top pairing defence to bump everyone down one on the depth chart, apparently so does Tampa.

    The Oilers have done a great job at not capitalizing on chances this year, while the reverse has been true for every other team they faced. But over the course of the last two games, the defence has done a better job (hmmmm, what has changed defensively in the last two games?)

    It bugs me that had Eakins not experimented for so many games at the start of the season and even in pre season, Edmonton would likely have a much better record at the moment, and all hope for pre season wouldn’t yet be lost.

  • Spydyr

    I also was very impressed with Marincin’s work. He makes the right decision with the puck and was strong everywhere. WTH were they thinking when they sent him down?

  • The Last Big Bear

    I for one will take the win and thank the hockey gods for their blessings!

    The bar has been set so low that just one victory a month is good enough for me……..of course I will take more but “you can’t always get what you want”!

    As for returning Leon to juniors, this make the most sense for this player at this time. Robin I would suggest that the best fit would not be Lander or Acton rather Yakimov.

    Every game I have seen him play suggests he is our best option and can play the game at the NHL level.

  • The Last Big Bear

    will we ever know the real reason Marincin was sent down? If Eakins was telling the truth then he should be fired as he is no judge of talent (plenty more examples of that)or does this organization feel it dosen’t have to tell us what’s going on as we are the great unwashed?

  • Trading Petry will only be an option when someone calls the oilers for him sadly, If I am MACT I don’t trade him until someone like St. Louis is desperate or has an injury. Hold out till the trade deadline and then trade him when he has a high value. We are still rebuilding just looking for progress each year while we do it.

  • bazmagoo

    Can someone please explain to me why Marincin was in the minors to start the season? We seriously can not afford these bone head mistakes by coaching/management anymore. Still hope they prove me wrong.

    • Hemmercules

      Let it rest. You know and I know it was a strange move. The org isn’t going to tell us just because we feel like knowing. If a reporter asks them maybe they answer.

      My answer is this: Marincin maybe looked a little disinterested or slow in conditioning in the pre season, Nurse had some jump and deserved a brief look against a real opponent. Send Martin down to wake him up for a week or two, let Darnel get bumped a round a bit and swap them out before he reaches 9 games. The tryout maybe ended a little premature when the Oilers went 0-4.

  • Maybe it is just me but Nikitin has looked much better over the last 2 games. He is making tight turns and quick moves with the puck that he wasn’t in the first few games. Maybe that ankle is finally healed and what we got in the last 2 is the real Nikitin. I hope so.

  • Spydyr

    Hint – buying a portion of a season ticket with friends is much much cheaper than the stated ticket price. The guys around me could reduce their outlays if they just bought one or two beers and not five or six.

  • Petry has more value than most are giving him credit for, MacT is playing it smart by waiting for the right deal. RH d-man have a lot of value and he seems to be playing well right now so there should be no hurry to make a rash trade.
    Marincin was sent down for a reason probably because he was already playing like he was entitled so a little humility goes a long way.
    Draisatl is going to be a big heavy player for us just what was needed and what everyone was crying for and now we are not patient enough to let the kid develop.His development is a different issue than the need for a second line centre I’m not sure going back to a lousy PA team is the answer.
    This team is on the right track though changing out the management like some are suggesting would set us back years.

  • Rob...

    I don’t think it’s a joke as much as it is a mirror of the Oilers and their fans celebrating a win despite the ugly deficiencies that still could use fixing.

    Before you get all defensive, even the least attractive of the women in the picture likely looks a hell of a lot better when sober, not dancing and when aware of the camera.