WITCHCRAFT

brossoit ferguson 2

The Edmonton Oilers hired Dustin Schwartz yesterday, he’s the new
goaltending coach. Schwartz is familiar with Oilers prospect Laurent
Brossoit—who backstopped the Edmonton Oil Kings to the 2012 WHL
championship—and Schwartz might be just what the doctor ordered for the NHL
goalies.

brossoit ferguson 14-15

  • Laurent Brossoit on working with Dustin Schwartz: “We work really well
    together and we found out the little things to focus on that made my
    game what it is this season. Pretty much simplified my game – use my
    athleticism when it’s needed and not as my primary tool. I just focus on
    tracking the puck and keep positioning and it’s working for me this
    year.”
    Source

Brossoit
enjoyed a solid junior career and played well in the ECHL last season
(.923 SP in Bakersfield in 2013-14). So far this season, the young man
has had uneven results but is posting a .913 SP on the strength of a
strong weekend performance. The 21-year old goaltender is one of the
more prominent names on the Schwartz resume, but he’s also working with
blue chip prospect Tristan Jarry this season.

I would love to
discuss this further, but am frighteningly unqualified. I can tell you
that in speaking to Mr. Schwartz many times on the Lowdown, he’s an
intelligent guy with a lot of ideas and a solid hockey background. My
spies in the hockey industry told me today he’s “not a good hire, he’s a
great hire” and that’s all I can say about it save he has many people
who think highly of him in the industry.

THE OILERS G IN 2014-15

The
Oilers goaltending across their entire network is struggling this
season. Here are the individual save percentages for Oilers goaltenders
so far in 2014-15:

  1. Laurent Brossoit (AHL) .913
  2. Frans Tuohiima (AHL) .904
  3. Ty Rimmer (ECHL) .903
  4. Tyler Bunz (ECHL) .901
  5. Zach Nagelvoort (NCAA) .900
  6. Richard Bachman (AHL) .897
  7. Viktor Fasth (NHL) .890
  8. Ben Scrivens (NHL) .887
  9. Keven Bouchard (QMJHL) .853

That’s
not exactly a dynamite quarter, men. Brossoit’s number spiked with a
good performance on the weekend, but there’s a lot of struggling masks
in the group. Now, I have no idea about goaltending beyond 40 years of
yelling ‘stop the damned puck’ at them, but have always been inclined to
believe goalies are witchcraft. After that, I have no idea. Schwartz
has his work cut out for him, we’ll leave it at that.

brossoit ferguson

PROCUREMENT DEPARTMENT

Mr.
Chabot was hired by the Oilers in time for the 2010 draft. I’m not
certain how much input he’s had on the names added to the list, but it
is an established fact that he had some input.

  • Stu MacGregor on the drafting of Keven Bouchard: “We
    had a bit of an eye on him from the previous year, and I just happened
    to be at a game that he did play, and he did get a period at the
    Memorial Cup that I was there at. He’s a guy with potential … he’s very
    fit, he’s very strong, so he’s willing to put in the work to get better.
    Freddy Chabot and
    Sylvain Rodrigue know him really well, so that helps. They’ve been
    involved with him, and they used that experience to [advise] that he’d
    be a prospect.” 
    Source

Beginning
in the 2010 draft, Edmonton has selected Tyler Bunz, Samu Perhonen,
Frans Tuohimaa, Zach Nagelvoort and Keven Bouchard in the entry draft.
Only Perhonen was a high (early third round) pick. How do the Oilers
evaluate goalies? I don’t know. Perhaps the Oilers should look at Mr.
Chabot’s involvement in that area and reevaluate how they’ve been
conducting business at the draft. You’d be hard pressed to call the
goalies selected during the period 2010-14 as a success, although to be
fair we’re miles from the five year mark on several of them.

The Edmonton Oilers hired a new goaltender coach yesterday. He has a lot of work to do, possibly in more than one role.

(Barons photos by Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved)

  • O.C.

    Odd that the house cleaning of assistant coaches missed this at the top of the year?

    When Dubnyk said Chabot was a great help (said at beginning of last year), I wondered (as the season unfolded), if his tweaking didn’t mess with a goalie’s head and confidence?

    Pros usually make major changes to their golf swing in the off season.

    • A fair comment in retrospect but if we look at the end of last year we had two goalies playing really well (Scrivens and Fasth). At that time, we were all eager to believe that we had found quality and the previous failures were due to the goalies (DD, Bryz etc) and not the coach. I am still not convinced otherwise (we still have two virtual rookies in the position) but something had to happen to get a fresh feel. Prediction: the goalies improve slightly but we still yearn for a quality veteran to settle the back end.

    • WTF

      The gross level of incompetence in the management of this team is incredible. In no other sector but professional sport would such blatant bumbling be tolerated. Mac-Loser needs to give his head a shake, admit he has failed and move on. Life is too short not to.

      Granted it is difficult to look in the mirror and realize you have reached your level of competency, however the sooner the better for all concerned.

  • Zarny

    While change is needed, not sure an inexperienced goalie coach is the answer. The goalie selections over the years falls more on the GM and VP Hockey Ops than a goalie coach. Inexperienced team, coach and GM…at least they are consistent.

  • BorjeSalming-IanTurnbull

    Freddie is sitting eating his Corn Flakes in his Y fronts thinking “Thank you Jesus thats over”

    Blame towards a Goalie coach is another “Bold Move” and classless act of a organisation that has lost the plot.

    Mr. Katz please for the love of God say something!!!

  • Kevwan

    If this fellow can get our goalies into the 900’s this is going to make a huge difference in win percentage and even more so in the confidence on the team who are really gun shy of their goalies right now. If he can do it it will rank up there as one of the best moves this year.

  • Spydyr

    Another Oiler hire with absolutely no NHL experience in his capacity.Well at least the Oilers are consistent.it seems having no experience is required to work for Katz’s Oilers.

    If Lowe never hires anyone capable of replacing him.His dictatorship is safe.

  • Kevwan

    Good points Lowetide. The Oilers need help in evaluating amateur and pro goalie talent. The acquisition input and development aspects of Schwartz’s job are vital to this teams future.

  • Kevwan

    What folks have to realize is that no matter how good of goalie they put in the net. With the Oilers depth on the bench it is only a matter of time before a goalie will lose their confidence.. No team in the NHL is going to do well if you have 3rd and 4th string players who are playing 1st string times.

    Believe what you want but until the Oilers have some depth on the bench it might be a few years before they make the play offs or get past the first round. If they somehow make the play offs,

    Food for thought.

  • Kevwan

    Great points by everyone!!! But my thoughts on the real problem is that our scouting staff really sucks. We need to get rid of that Stu and get some fresh eyes on new players. I mean after the 1st round what have they done?

  • Spydyr

    Don’t know much about goalies but as I said in a recent post that the oilers could have drafted Jarry with their 2nd pick 2years ago but they traded down.Could have had Getzlaf but did the same thing.Please Kevin don’t trade first round pick for third line center

  • Serious Gord

    Another hiring of a rookie and making it a permanent hire in mid-season no less. And zero search process.

    Same as it ever was.

    Mr. Schwartz may be a great coach. But he should earn the job via a competitive hiring process.

  • Spydyr

    Alright, everyone can agree a goalie coach was needed!! Devan’s improvement under Burke solidified this!! Who do you want?? It’s not like our goalies can get worse!! Dustin has worked well with many goalies, is a student of the game and is a teacher by profession and nature! He will do fine, already has repor with Scrivin’s and will help get the goalies confidence back.
    Good luck to Dustin, he has his work cut out for him, with the weakest defensive corps in the NHL! But any improvement will be welcome!
    Good luck to Freddie on future endeavours!!

  • Spydyr

    MacT. is a sprinter GM , not a marathon runner that’s required to move this club forward . If you agree vote Cheers , if you disagree vote Trash . Sprinter is someone that starts off with a bang , but soon looses out the longer the race gets .

  • Burnward

    I think Lowe is taking “goalie coach” a little too literally. Development takes place in the AHL.

    Get a legitimate NHL goaltender and then judge your coaching. Cop out.

  • DoubleDIon

    Looks like you didn’t want to copy Kent and just put witchcraft instead of voodoo.

    Goaltending is important but much harder to predict I think. If you’re lucky enough to have a Carey Price, Pekka Rinne or Tukka Rask you keep the player. The rest of us hope we catch the guy on a good year.

    It’s why I think teams should focus in on the blueline. Much easier to predict results. Nikitin was a 6-7 in Columbus. He is in Edmonton. Easy to predict. Fayne was a 3/4 in Jersey, he is in Edmonton. Again, easy to predict.

    I give Oilers management a bit of a pass on the goaltending. They had 2 guys that you could reasonably hope were 1B types. No one expected elite goaltending, but you hope 1 of those 2 provides league average goaltending.

    They should absolutely be accountable for having zero top pairing defensemen and going in with a 1st and 3rd line center only. I maintain they’re lucky Arcobello has played as well as he has and they’ve had no significant center injuries. Imagine how bad it gets if Gordon or RNH goes down for 3 months… *Shudder*

  • The Future Never Comes

    Do you know what I find sickening, after the waves of “lets do something now, we can’t go on like this” have almost passed, people have now regressed to the “well this seasons lost, lets just stay the course and wait til the offseason” approach. Okay lets just watch another 60 games of this putrid mess and let the management get away with providing this product that we will still eat up, because you know what, very few are actually going to look away. So lets just “stay the course” like we’ve been subjected too the last number of years because “this year is lost anyways”. And people say nothing ever changes up top, look at the angle a large majority is taking (wait til the offseason mindset). Me, I want change now, I can’t take anymore of this flaming dog stool that the team, coaching, and management gets away with. Send Eberle away for players with half of his talent but actually throw a hit and give a damn. Throw Shultz away for a couple of ballerina tootoo’s for your granddaughter, because he is a gutless fairy time and time again. And to my detractors, yeah I’m aware this seasons lost and it’s not bright to trade from a position of weakness. I want change now, even if it may not look great at least we know their trying. And management isn’t losing their jobs anyways, so save the “do you really want these guys making our trades”?

    • Serious Gord

      It is not only pointless to make on ice changes right now, it will likely be a negative long-term change.

      I want change right now – all of it off ice – KLOWE and eakins.

      RIGHT NOW.

      Thats change I can live with indeed I would celebrate.

  • pkam

    Does the goalie coach play net during the games? I didn’t think so but I could be wrong. The reason, I believe, the goaltending isn’t very good is due to one factor, that is the goalies aren’t very good. Goalie coach new or old is not going to help these goalies make saves during the games, they can provide some Input and look at some video but at the end of the day Scrivens and Fasth aren’t very good at stopping the puck, they haven’t been before and they never will be. Remember last year when Scrivens had a 50something save shutout, there were many fans, probably many reading this now, screaming to sign Scrivens to a massive deal, he’s the next Cujo they said. Glad that didn’t happen!

    As for the rest of the team, sure there’s some talent there, or so I keep being told, but the players just aren’t very good NHL hockey players. There is so much more to playing the game and playing it properly then fancy little toe drags. These players aren’t committed to doing the little things necessary to be champions.

    Bottom line. Bad coaching mixed with bad players makes for a bad team. If the players were in fact good, the Oilers wouldn’t be in the basement for just about 9 years. That is just a fact. Like it or not, fancy stats or not, the Oilers hockey players aren’t very good. Trash away but it’s a fact.

    • pkam

      Did you remember what Preds head coach Barry Trotz said about Dubnyk after they acquired him from us? Dubnyk had a lot of bad habits. Where did Dubnyk pick up those bad habits? Why didn’t his goalie coach fix them all these years?

      Dubnyk is .926 in SV%, 5W and 1 OTL in 6 starts this year. So is Dubnyk a bad goalie?

      Perhaps the story of Carey Price will give you some insight. Here is the link:

      http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/nhl/canadiens-former-goalie-coach-says-carey-price-has-deteriorated-1.1410843

      • Mike Krushelnyski

        I think the problem with Dubnyk’s play was that he was suiting up in work gloves for the Oilers.

        When he moved to Arizona, Sean Burke was like “No Devan, use THESE gloves” and Dubnyk was like “Ohhhhh”

        • pkam

          Then Sean Burke asked “What do you do with that big Wrench?”.

          Dubnyk: “What wrench?”.

          Burke: “That thing you are holding.”.

          Dubnyk: “This is my hockey stick.”

      • pkam

        And when this information surfaced about Dubnyk why didn’t the Oilers look at the situation then and fix it? Why did the wait almost a year to pull the trigger?

        Either Chabot was a problem or he wasn’t. I don’t think everything was fine last year and all of a sudden over the past year he became a problem.

        It just further shows this organizations incompetence to make the right decision. We lost a whole year and we keep losing time because of these idiots.

        But hey, if the Oilers keep firing people they will eventually get the right guy fired right? Somehow I don’t think they will.

  • The Future Never Comes

    @Serious Gord

    Hows the mindset that we don’t want to make a mistake for the future working out so far? Looks like to me and if you look at our results, that premise you speak of has gotten us to the point we are at now. So, I object your honour. As far as your fire Lowe point goes, I totally agree but results don’t matter to Katz obviously, so that’s pretty redundant also.

  • The Future Never Comes

    Welcome to Dodge City…err…I mean Edmonton Dustin.

    I have but one qualifying question for you from an Everyfans perspective , Dustin why in your estimation do specific Teams show a consistant pattern of producing high goal/shot ratios,finishing with super-efficient numbers.

    Keeping your answer in mind,what do you believe any Teams Goaltenders can do to recognise and combat this seemingly unstoppable execution ?

    Because Justin,I for one do not believe Chabot was producing an inferior impact,considering how little external help he had.

    You are the Man,I have no issues with the process so no back-pedalling unless its for constructive observation exclusively.

    I believe Dubby was sucessfully Coached by Chabot,but that the adjustments they were making were catalysed by System weaknesses NOT by Devans need to change his game.When Dubby adjusted as requested he was roasted alive for about ten games,then his confidence was drained as was managements,BUT the reasons Dubnyk was consistantly exposed on a fundamental level…was not…because he wasnt aware of what was going on,he was being caught in transition by shots coming from areas traditionally covered tightly because the Oilers System was structured to accept these perimeter shots if teams would take them from outside and early,the Oilers ALLOWED easy o-zone entry and an easy perimeter first-shot.

    What would you have done under those immovable circumstances with Devan? Look back at the 10-15 game tapes of Dubby decline and do an assesment , I am curious about how much of the situation you are stepping into you understand, as a Fan might see it?