GDB 26.0: Time for action…

In the past week, Taylor Hall, David Perron and Andrew Ference have all publicly stated Dallas Eakins isn’t the problem. Hall took it a step further and went to general manager Craig MacTavish to defend his coach.

After Monday’s 5-2 uninspired loss to Arizona, Ference said what we’ve been saying for weeks. The Oilers play “is a joke.”

Is this just more talk from a team mired in a 10-game losing streak, or we will the players display the emotion, passion, determination and smarts necessary to win an NHL game tonight vs. the Jets?

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By saying the coach isn’t the issue, the players have put the responsibility squarely on their shoulders. It’s about time. Blaming the coach has become the motto in Edmonton.

Allow a goal from centre. Blame the coach.

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Turn the puck over at the blueline. Blame the coach.

Don’t go to the net. Blame the coach.

Don’t hit the net. Blame the coach.

Don’t cover your man in front of the goal. Blame the coach.

It is accurate to suggest Eakins needs to be better. He hasn’t shown enough coaching creativity during this losing streak, or injected enough fear or accountability into his players, because they continue to make bad plays. 

My one fear when I hear players defending their coach, is that they are doing so because they are too comfortable with him. Their on-ice play suggests they are comfortable losing. They haven’t shown a willingness to do the little things necessary to win games.

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If the players want Eakins to remain their coach they must play better. It is that simple.

Actions speak louder than words, and if they don’t want him canned by the end of the month they have to start winning. Not playing well and losing, but actually WINNING games.

They have to start taking responsibility for their atrocious start. They are not playing better than their record. They aren’t. Stop trotting out meaningless statistics to try and suggest otherwise.

They give up too many goals. They don’t score enough goals.

They don’t defend well. They rarely produce second and third scoring chances.

They don’t work hard enough on the powerplay, which has them 26th in PP efficiency and 1st in shorthanded goals allowed.

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If they actually believe Eakins is a good coach, then go out and show. Play better. Play smarter. Play with determination.

If they don’t, then their words mean nothing.

If Eakins is as good as they say, then he will start holding players accountable. If he doesn’t then his words will be equally as hollow as his players.


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Some line juggling, which is to be expected when you lose 10 games in a row. Give Pitlick more than one or two periods to get comfortable. I’d have mixed in Gazdic or Pinizzotto on the “2nd and 3rd” line.

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I’d play Fayne more than Schultz.

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Oilers will need Scrivens to play like he did vs. St.Louis.

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Who will they be matching up against? Check out the Jets lineup at



  • “Everything I achieved throughout my career, and all the rewards that followed, came as the results of team effort. If they say anything about me when I’m gone, let them say that I was a team man.” Jean Beliveau wrote in his autobiography. I strongly recommend reading it. I never met Beliveau, but reading and watching all of the tributes in his honour, it was obvious he was a great man first, hockey player second. RIP.
  • Vinny Lecavalier has hinted he will retire after this season. He could retire and there would be no salary cap penalty to the team. He is owed $3 million/year in the two remaining years of his deal, but he is a $4.5 million cap hit. The Flyers sit in 28th place and he was a healthy scratch last night in San Jose.

    He does have a NMC, so that could limit trade possibilities, but I wonder if a Brayden Schenn deal to the Oilers could happen if Edmonton agrees to take Lecavalier?

  • I thought Luke Gazdic played well when he averaged 10 min/game vs. Nashville and St.Louis, but wasn’t much of a factor when he averaged 5 min/game vs. Arizona and Dallas. The stats guys should love him because his shots for/60 is 12. The Oilers need some guys in their top nine who aren’t satisfied playing on the perimeter. Eakins needs to recognize this and sprinkle in Pinizzotto and Gazdic up there for a few shifts. What they are doing now isn’t’ working. Try something different, rather than hoping that eventually the outside shots will start going in.
  • I hope Eakins had dinner with his good friend Paul Maurice and asked him what he did to finally get the Jets to play better team defence. Based on ice time, it looks like Maurice simply said, “If you don’t play good defence, you won’t play.” And he stuck to that. If Eakins doesn’t recognize he needs to do this, and should have done it from the start of last season, then he simply can’t remain the coach in Edmonton. This team needs tough love from a head coach.
  • I still smile at those who ripped me for saying Draisaitl should have been sent to junior, because he wasn’t ready, especially his skating. The part that makes me chuckle the most is that some of them stated sending Draisaitl to Prince Albert was a bad idea because THAT organization was unstable… 


Over at JetsNation, Kevin McCartney breaks down tonight’s game:

I have to begin with a confession I’ve made before – I was born in Edmonton, and I grew up an Oilers fan. Regardless of that fact, I think the misery of the Oiler predicament has moved past funny and into the territory usually reserved for when your friend is in a bad relationship and can’t seem to get out – it’s awkward and uncomfortable and comes with equal parts sympathy and fatigue. “Have you tried changing your opinion on corsi and analytics? You have? I mean… maybe you have to get a new goalie? You were saying your goalies have been bad. You have to do something. You can’t keep going like this. I know, I know it’s hard.”  

So, any Oiler fans or sympathizers, I promise not to pile on in this preview. Edmonton has a better hockey club than their record states, and it’s just a matter of time before they finally beat a Western conference opponent. It could even be the Jets tonight, with injuries to Tobias Enstrom and Grant Clitsome forcing Ben Chiarot into this second NHL game in front of Ondrej Pavelec. (But, I mean, probably not…)

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GAME DAY PREDICTION: Oilers play okay for long stretches, but make two soft plays and lose 3-2.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Pavelec is able to see most shots. He doesn’t face much traffic in front of him and rarely has to make a 2nd or 3rd save in one sequence.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Pitlick scores, but unlike when he scored his first NHL goal he finishes the game. Pitlick’s success makes the Oilers wonder if they might be better off calling up Lander and loaning Draisaitl to Germany for the WJC and then back to the WHL. A thought directly related to help the long-term development of a player…hmmm…


Thank you go Jared for bidding $2,100 on our Fireplace package from Dinette & Patio Furniture yesterday.

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Today’s item…

A CHEF’s dinner courtesy of Von’s Steakhouse and Oyster Bar. It will include all your beverages as well.

You and three friends will dine with Eskimos GM Ed Hervey, quarterback Mike Reilly, Eskimos Wall of Honour inductee, current head coach of the U of A Golden Bears Chris Morris and a special guest. I‘ll also be there, but mainly to fill up your wine glasses.

You can bid by calling 780.444.1260 or text 101260 between 2-6 p.m. today.

Thanks in advance. All proceeds go to Santas Anonymous.

Recently by Jason Gregor:     


  • Hemmercules

    Mr. Katz,

    If you are reading. I didn’t receive my $25 food and drink voucher for each of my season seats that I have for December. I heard you gave them away to people buying game by game tickets but there must be a mistake because I am a Tier 1 fan. Maybe lost in the mail? Please re-send.

    Your pal,

  • Hemmercules

    I will believe it when I see it. They have said the same thing for years now – “we know what we have to do to win, we have to play for the whole 60 minutes, we need to sohot more, we need to stop SHG going in, we need to blah, blah, blah”

    Game after game, the same lame excuses. Guys, if you KNOW what you have to do to win then why the f**k don’t you bloody well do it? Or are you too busy being individual celebrities that you don’t want to be part of a team?

    I am sick to death of this, you are humiliating the city, the fans and yourselves.

  • The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33

    For the road games away from home I need to get my tinfoil hat with the antenna ready to go. I get my computer laptop and iPad along with 2 TV’s in the same table with 2 keyboards. Then I sit in my underwear and shoes with 3 big gulps and my tinfoil hat.

  • Hemmercules

    Why is Hall making public statements about the team and/or coach.

    He is the number one problem.

    If the likes of Benn, Pacioretty or Parise played head down, one way, turnover hockey, they would all score 40 goals in 40 games, would be minus 40 and would then be out for the remainder of each season due to concussions.

    This is his 5th season. He’s got 265 games under his belt. If he doesn’t know how to play properly by now, it’s not anyone’s fault but his own.

    • Hemmercules

      Love this comment. I have been saying for almost 4 years now that I would trade Hall in the blink of an eye. He is the cancer that is pivotal to a lot of our woes, and because he feels he is “untouchable” he calls the shots and management and coaching staff kowtow to him. Bench him, trade him but do SOMETHING with him (perhaps a slap around the side of the head?)

  • Hemmercules

    What the Hell?

    Eakins is not the problem? It’s his job to get players playing and win games, if the players are not playing well, Eakins is the problem right?

    If a family with young kids doing drugs, getting drunk, bullying other kids at school. Shop lifting and mugging people in the street. It’s not because of the parents responsibility to raise them right and stop them from doing those things?

    So what the hell is the coach for then?

    Get a real coach in and see this team turn around.

    Unless they are tanking for another 1st or 2nd pick next June. It looks like it each game.

  • The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33

    Can’t wait to hear more unique ways for this trio of gutless apologists to positively spin the utter lack of an NHL organization this city holds. You three make me want to puke. Your constant grovelling and protection of this abomination is enough to make me attempt to rip the car stereo out of my car so no one can ever find 630 Ched on the AM dial.

    All Stauffer looks forward to is sitting on the plane and watching Taylor Hall as he sleeps. Rob Brown can’t even distinguish reality from fantasy anymore, and because Mario Lemieux earned him a few pay cheques by bouncing the puck off his skull and into the net he believes one single player will turn this sleazy old dime bag motel into a Hyatt. Then we have Reid Wilkins, c’mon man form your own identity. Rob Brown is a moron who plugged out a lackluster career into a radio gig with an awful organization. Note to you Reid don’t be like him. Stand up for yourself and form your own opinions you spineless twit.

    630 Ched, you have outdone yourselves with your embarrassing shills you call radio personalities. The Team 1260 outclasses you in every facet imaginable. Better talent period.

    P.S you 3 freaks should all get on horses, ride into the mountains and never bother anyone again.

    • mlachockeycoach

      Don’t get me started with Stauffer that guys picture is front and centre when it comes to the word coward. Katz shows up with a wheelbarrow of money to shut up bob and he pulls the steak out of his mouth and stuffs in a wad of cash. What a sellout this guy has absolutely no credibility don’t even listen to him.

      • Stauff and Rich Winter were both actively campaigning for Katz to own the team 1-2 years before it happened. Stauff, presumably because he knew he would get to be a pitch man for the team, and Winter because agents know that nobody hands out crazier contracts than individual owners who treat teams like toys.

        And it’s cost us a million losses, and hundreds of millions in taxes that Katz will profit from. Thanks guys!

  • nuge2drai


    Hall is not the problem. Kids all heart.

    Shultz, Scrivens, Fasth, Nikitin, Purcell, Draisaitl, Yakupov, Eberle…are the problem….. Eakins, Acton, Howson, Lowe are the problem….

    Hall had the worst week of his career, countless giveaways that ended up in the net…. That being said 9/10 games he’s the best player on the team…

    Hate to see oiler fans turn on the heart and soul of this team…

    • Andy7190

      Smytty was the heart and soul of this team – Hall is the prima dona. Hopefully Pitlick will keep going to the net and become a “heart” player, he sure is proud to wear an Oilers’ jersey.

    • Quicksilver ballet

      I have read a lot of thoughts & rants here. The last game I watched was the Vancouver game. (I’ve been hoping for some time now that someone in the oilers franchise would notice the “breakdown” when the opposition crosses their blue line with the puck). A Canuck crossed his blue line with the puck, petry had good position on him. Another oiler was beside the Canuck making it a one on two. By the time the Canuck was closing in on centre ice, I and probably most others were ready to see one of the 2 oilers near the puck knock the Canuck off the puck and the other oiler grab the puck and start the other way! What actually happened was the Canuck was not touched crossing his blue line, nor centre then he dumped the puck behind our net where he chased down petry, knocked him off the puck and centred it to a trailer who scored! I’ve seen this type of oiler hockey for decades now! It looks like the harder they try the bigger the mistakes! Frustrating! It’s on the players! It’s on the management! Need help with motivation do the oilers?

  • nuge2drai


    Hall is not the problem. Kids all heart.

    Shultz, Scrivens, Fasth, Nikitin, Purcell, Draisaitl, Yakupov, Eberle…are the problem….. Eakins, Acton, Howson, Lowe are the problem….

    Hall had the worst week of his career, countless giveaways that ended up in the net…. That being said 9/10 games he’s the best player on the team…

    Hate to see oiler fans turn on the heart and soul of this team…

  • Andy7190

    If the Oiler lose tonight the only thing changing amongst Oiler management will be their underwear. Does Winnipeg have any ex-Oilers that are going to score short handed tonight?

  • Captain Ron

    “Is this just more talk from a team mired in a 10-game losing streak, or we will the players display the emotion, passion, determination and smarts necessary to win an NHL game tonight vs. the Jets?”

    Nope. They won’t.

  • Andy7190


    It is relatively easy to be the best player on a terrible team. That player gets major PP time, usually doesn’t have to do PK, always plays with the best players on the team. If he plays crap defence, if his plus-minus is terrible, people say “that’s just because he’s on a terrible team”. Ollie Jokinen had 88 and 91 point seasons in the middle of his career in Florida. Stephen Weiss recently went from being the dominant player in Florida to a healthy scratch in Detroit to a short stint in the AHL. At the end of his career, people in Toronto thought they would get five first round picks for Mats Sundin.

    On a good, disciplined team, Hall would be forced to play sound defence and use his teammates. His point totals would plummet. Hall is NOT a “franchise player”. I am pretty sure every other team in the league has figured that out. If Edmonton decided to trade him, I think everyone will be shocked at how little they would get for him.

    • Andy7190

      I think he just needs a true NHL coach.

      I don’t know if he can be what they hoped he could be, but I do think he has a lot of unmet potential.

      He needs to play for someone like Babcock or Sutter (Darryl) or Vigneault.

    • Quicksilver ballet

      Pretty well the stupidest thing I have read on here. If you are basing his career on the last few games after coming back from injury that is just wrong. I think he is still hurt and he will get back to being the exciting player that he is. He is a point a game player on the worst team in the NHL that is my take on it.

    • YFC Prez

      Hall is part if the problem no doubt, he needs to cut the giveaways and quit trying it alone. He’s got some habits, But to say he’s not good is rediculous. Hall is the best players to wear the oil drop since Pronger. Let’s not scapegoat him. Of all the problems with this team hall is at the bottom of the list.

      This is why oiler fans can’t have nice things.

  • Slapshot

    Lowe goes over to Katz’s house …

    “Daryl I just need six more years to get this right”

    “Kevin as long as I get to play with your six rings,you can have all time you want”

    By the way,Who hired this Eakins fellow”

    “Its all Mactavish fault!!!!”

  • Zarny

    It was good that Ference confirmed the message from the coaches is the correct one. The systems are the right systems. The X’s and O’s are the right X’s and O’s. Eakins is far from perfect but coaching isn’t the root problem in Edmonton. Never has been.

    It was also good that without naming names, he pointed the finger at the core. Nothing discussed is foreign to the vets from other teams. Too bad players like that weren’t around sooner.

    And yes, Draisaitl should have been sent down to Junior. I chuckle most at “he has nothing left to learn in Jr”.

    As for tonight…win. There should be a desperation in this team beyond the 7th game of the Stanley Cup final.

  • Con-Air McDavid

    Eakins has made mistakes, and no doubt deserves much of the scorn being thrown his way by Oilersnation.

    However, he faces the media and always acts like a pro and never throws his players under the bus.

    Where is MacT? Where is Katz and KBlowe?


    • Con-Air McDavid

      I agree100%.They should help shield some of the negativity.You cant hide under a rock forever.On a side note Rock Or Bust the new AC/Dc makes me HappyHappyHappy.
      Hey Mac Six Rings Katz wakey wakey hibernating like a bear doesnt work in this city.Show some gonads please

    • Anton CP

      MacT is still sitting in his box, staring at the tv with that dumb stupid open mouthed stare thinking, how did we manage to get a point outta this one. i thought we had the loss in the bag with 4 minutes left and a 2 1 lead.

      • hankthetank

        Sad but true. Management is probably mad they got a point. They might not win the draft litter if they keep getting points likes this. Better trade Perron quick

  • Anton CP

    We will never know how good any of these players actually are until the beaten to death, obvious gets fixed.

    Maybe Scrivens is the best goalie in the entire league potentially? Maybe Hall is a giant amongst midgets?

    Judging the talent of any players on this team is moot at this point. I said it before, but I bet if you trade hall for crosby, their performances would darn near switch.

    Team canada would probably be bottom 15 in edmonton.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    This is a n-zone chess match,no deep aggressive forechecking by nyone,you can see the Oilers being patient and crefull when they approach the n-zone,hall is definately adjusting his game and being patient nd cycling the puck into open ice buying time to make the right break-in to the n-zone.

    Nice save by Scrivens on the late shooter there.

  • The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33

    This game is up-tempo because so many possesions are not being chased down nd competed for,once these teams get their first shot at breaking through the n-zone with structure if it isnt good then they just dump it in and give it up,then both defenses have lots of time to exit their zone because there is no hard forechecking just lot of n-zone congestion,everyone looking for those short give and goes entering the o-zones.

    Might be a good idea to look for more of a direct route to the net coming out of the n-zone after those n-zone battles,the Peggers are looking to use some passing once they cross the blueline coming in,maybe when the Oilers win those n-zone battles they should blitz it straight to the net,trying to get it into the middle so they can draw penaltys from both sides on the way in.

    If the game is being boiled down to n-zone chess with no serious forechecking or backchecking deep then you have little time coming out of the n-zone from those scrambles,you make short ten foot passes quickly or you blitz it to the net in a sprint up the middle.

  • YFC Prez

    Even if the oilers get a magic Mcdavid, it’s not like we will be able to afford everyone when it comes together anyways.

    Our scouting is horrible, and the team is loaded with high priced “superstars”. What’s going to happen if we get mcdavid, wait for Nurse to become Weber, Leon to become Malkin?

    The entire team is based off “what ifs”.

    If all the oilers high picks fruit, there will be zero money left for a good goalie, or anyone beyond a million a year to fill the entire rest of the roster.

    Start trading and making things happen you idiots.

  • HockeyYoda

    They have been looking for that late man all game long,that was the exact same playaction Scrivens made a great sve on earlier,that lte man coming out of the n-zone should have been red flagged already,dammit.Watch for the picks in the n-zone.

    I would start taking possesions to the net with speed out of the n-zone,bursts of speed when you pick up the pucks there.

    Or get forechecking and pressure them,but if you keep with the n-zone chess you need to begin getting shots on net,they are prepared for this chess match,they are picking you out of the playactions in the n-zone,they are also redy to defend those short passing playctions coming out of the n-zone at them,so sprinting it in on them is the best option.

    Or just ditch the n-zone game and start using the fast-break and dump-nd-chase.

    They ARE prepared better for this n-zone style,the Oilers are better prepared to use all 200 feet of the ice,if they pop another one in on the Oil the volume better go up.

    Personally I would refuse to play this n-zone chess,they are in their comfort zone,I would force them to play a 200 foot game.Make them skate,wear them down.

    Get harder on their d-men to wear them down.

    Nice job Nuge!!!!

  • vetinari

    What do you expect when you turn the team over to teenagers and then reward them with $6M/year contracts while playing a feature role and letting your teammates worry about things like defence, back checking and shot blocking? The team is what it is because of how they let the kids do what they want rather than what they needed to do to win games.

    • vetinari

      Yup!! It’s winter time, we got a foot of snow on the ground, and all our Porches are stuck in the snow AGAIN!!

      Let’s trade some of these Porches for some Hummers, and get this gong show back on the road please.

      I have no doubt we can be a better team by clearing out this group of “stars”.

      Yeah, nobody wants current management doing the deals, but it doesn’t look like they are going anywhere, so screw it. Do something, and pleeeeease do it before the off-season.

      • vetinari

        You missed the point. I’m not necessarily saying “trade everyone”, I’m saying do a better job “training everyone.” The kids should have been learning the ropes from quality veterans and mixed in with them in a supporting capacity learning teamwork, defensive responsibility and accountability. Instead they learned to be selfish and play in one mode: freewheeling hockey where everyone else was responsible for the defence while they tried to go CHL mode.

  • Zarny

    Very nice job of the Oilers to begin sending lots of forechecking pressure in late in the period,not high speed reckless pressure,but structured patient pressure looking for the Peggers to make mistakes.

    They have brought numbers up out of the n-zone now to push the river on the Peggers,but the best part is it is patient and looking to trap them on mistakes as they try to make their own transition out of their zone into the n-zone….ha ha ha…that is what they were trying to do to us in a more conservative way since the beginning of the period.They were just stcking everyone in the n-zone then slowly coming in to pressure high on our blueline with numbers as we tried to exit the zone.

    I like that we are bringing the pressure into their zone quickly but are not over-comitting and going to deep at break-neck speed,we are just taking their process away from them by interfering with their defensive zone exits,the patience is perfect letting them hang themselves and trying to tag them on a mistake high in their zone on the blueline or in the n-zone without being overcommitted is good tactic.Keeping our d-men back 2 steps when doing this is also a good idea.The 3rd mn in on the forecheck needs to remember to drive any looses pucks to the net hard because his deeper support is keeping good body position and not getting caught on the wrong side of the pucks so anything squirting out will catch their d-men picked out of the plays,so dont hesitate,hang up pretty high but when you see it take it to the bucket up the middle knowing you have teammates bodies picking their defense out already.Nice high quick release shots,their tender will be worried about the action behind him and be screened by your patient teammate positioned in front of the net.

    The advantage to the patient forecheck is that your first men in dont over-commit and end up on the wrong side of the puck on the boards,keeping the forecheckers always on the right side of the puck picks out their d-men by proxy.You get a different type of structured pressure than from a berserker style focus,one looking for mistakes they can bury quickly without worrying to much about pssing,quick-strike.

    With everything developing in the n-zone getting inside position on them in front of their net by using a patient controlled forecheck with staggered N/S support is critical.

    On these quick turnaround type of offensive situations being produced by this type of battle shooting high corners from high in their zone near the blueline from the middle straight on is perfect .Same ways they used to burn Devan,just let it go from high on the blueline in the middle straight on top corners or elbows whenever you pick up loose pucks there..

    • The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33

      Are you applying for a job as the next coach for the Oilers or do you just have this masochistic tendency to write stuff no one likes?