Reverse Mailbag – My Questions for OilersNation


Every week I answer five questions from all of you. The good, bad and dumb questions are all answered. It is now your turn to answer mine. I only have three questions. I couldn’t compete with your ability to produce five.

Here you go!


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1 – Why do you want Katz, MacT or Lowe to come out and speak? 

This makes no sense to me. What do you want to hear? An apology? A plan? Are you looking to be inspired? Talk is just that…talk. It’s not going to change anything. 

As a player, I was always about results. If a teammate or a coach told me they were going to do something I would think it’s great, they are talking a good game, lets see how this goes.  If a guy said he wanted to get stronger, would I see him in the gym the next morning? If he was concerned about his weight, would I see him putting back bagels dripping in cream cheese the next morning? He wanted to kill penalties, so would he flamingo all over the ice when shots were coming at him?

Talk is easy and cheap. Results are all that matters. Anyone can say they want to change or improve, but putting a plan into action is much harder.

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Personally, I don’t need to hear from anyone in the organization. This won’t do anything for me. I suppose, if it is an action press conference, where a change is happening with the staff or a trade, then I would be interested. I am not interested, however, in a state of the union. Quite frankly you shouldn’t be either.


2 – Why are the goalies blamed for so much of the lack of success for the Oilers?

Ben Scrivens and Viktor Fasth have yet to prove they are NHL starters. That day may never come, however, since they are both fighting for their lives in the net every night.  Right now, they’re getting very little consistent support around them from their teammates. The lack of an overall team defensive structure, and consistent ability to play it, has got to be frustrating for these two. These goalies face five bell chances every single period. Breakaways, two on ones, three on twos, and top NHL snipers being left in the slot alone happens far too frequently. 

These two have let in some bad goals, and they have owned up to it. But why do you all let the skaters off the hook with their defensive play? I can’t understand it. Yes, the goalies are easy targets to pin a failed season on, but there’s plenty of blame to spread around. 


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3 – Why is it just assumed that Oilers scorers that are struggling to score will simply rebound to their “previous” shooting percentage of years past?

This may be the most baffling of my three questions. This question is the one I would really want some clear answers for. 

I get that players go through tough times, and that their previously set benchmarks are what becomes expected for them. But if a player is struggling to score is it just luck that turns around for them? Can it be that easy? LUCK? In a game that players work out, and practice all year to prepare for, success comes down to the worst phrase in hockey: “PUCK LUCK?” No, it doesn’t.

Goals are earned the hard way. You don’t score goals by shooting from the perimeter, or trying to tip pucks in with a long stick so you don’t get roughed up in front of the goalie. Scoring goals hurts, and it should because it is so much fun to do. 

An example is Yakupov. His shooting percentage is 5.5%. Down from 9.0% last season. He is playing too much on the perimeter. He needs to get to the net, and battle for position and goals. That will get him on track and open up for the further out shots he likes to shoot. That is what will increase his goal total and shooting percentage. It won’t just go up on it on because that is what has happened in the past. He needs to change his playing habits, not pray to the hockey gods for the words phrase in hockey, “PUCK LUCK”

I now leave it to you, OilersNation. Answer my three questions like I answer your five every week. You owe me, and I am genuinely interested in your answers.

  • Joe Mamma

    1. I don’t. If I wanted to hear from an A-hole, I’d let one rip.

    2. I don’t blame them. The testtube love child of Brodeur, Hasek, and Roy couldn’t excel on this no-defence, no-grit “team.”

    3. I don’t. I’d love to add something to your point here Struds, but you nailed it on the head. Here’s some nice hyperbole that Ol’ MetaphorMouth Eakins would love… No guts, no glory. Chop some wood and haul that water bub.

  • Young Oil

    1. For me, just to show accountability, own up to their failure, and show that there is a pulse at the top of the organization.

    2. I don’t think people who are watching the games are doing this. The team’s defensive play is clearly horrible, and they are hanging the goalie out to dry multiple times every game. Sure, the goalies haven’t been great, but they’ve been no worse than the rest of the team.

    3. Statistics dictates regression to the mean over large sample sizes. However, the way that the Oilers have been playing this season, it is hard to believe that things are going to improve much, and this form may be their new mean, unless changes are made.

  • BlazingSaitls

    1. “Hi. Im Katz. I love hockey, I love the Oilers, my vision has been clouded.

    It hasn’t worked.

    I have fired Kevin Lowe and replaced him with Bob Nicholson. Bob has been offered the position of POHO but has declined. He has agreed to fulfill the role of POHO on a temporary basis and will begin an exhaustive search to hire a POHO that will bring a winning culture to the Oilers franchise.

    Once a new POHO is in place he will begin to truly rebuild this organization. Thank you for your unmatchable patience Oilers fans”

    2. Refer to answer #1. It will be addressed with a new POHO.

    3. Refer to answer #1. It will be addressed with a new POHO.

  • Serious Gord

    Concerning #1, I have a question to ask in return, Jason.

    How come the NHL and media insists on players and coaches giving interviews after every game? It’s just talk, as you say. It’s not important. Only their performance on the ice (or on the bench) should matter.

    The media seems to go crazy (see the Phil Kessel incident) when these guys don’t cooperate, even though most of the time they’re only giving trite, cliched, obvious answers – win or lose.

    Yes, these virtually useless interviews we get on almost a daily basis are so important and such a big deal, I suppose to connect with the fans. Yet somehow there’s a problem with a General Manager holding any sort of press conference at least once in the middle of yet ANOTHER disastrous season that HE is partly responsible for?

    I’d rather hear MacT explain himself at least once for 15 minutes or so rather than hear Taylor Hall go on for the nth time about the game he had.

    If interviews are for the fans, what’s really more important to the typical fan, let me ask? Who do you think the typical Oiler fan would rather hear from at this point in time?

  • Quicksilver ballet

    1) Because the entire league is watching this situation now. They’re looking/searching for any proven trinket of progress in that so called plan they implemented over 5 yrs ago. Speak and prove you haven’t just lied till they turned blue in the face. For the tier 1 fans sake, since they know so, so much about winning.

    2)That is just part of playing that position. These guys would be fine if they had properly guided d’men and system in front of them. Eakins is still forcing the players to fit his mold instead of making the most with what he has. He’s in way over his head trying to sell a plan these players want nothing to do with. Leadership is everything, and Edmonton has zero of that from Katz on down.

    3)You can’t measure shooting percentage when the games mean nothing. When is the last time this franchise played games that matter. There’s nothing at stake every evening and half the team would welcome a fresh new start on a new team. Progress shouldn’t be measured while the building is engulfed in flames. Nobody trusts anybody on this team. They all want out from under this toxic management group.

    Only 60 pre season games to go in this season.

  • Kevwan

    All right Struds – The generic answer is because we’re fans and we care about our team. Good starts by the Flames, Canucks and Jets haven’t helped our mood.

    1. I’d rather have seen some action – acquiring talent that would help this team moving forward. Since that didn’t happen, maybe an explanation of why changes couldn’t be made or knowing what the plan is going forward would be OK. I’m not a big fan of pressers at any time, but think about it when you were a player. Did you talk to the press only after wins or did you make yourself available after losses also?

    2. It’s been this way since I can remember. Goalies (and coaches) usually get to much credit for wins and to much blame for losses. Both Fasth and Scrivens have had some really good games this year -it just seems like they let in goals at the worst possible times. It also doesn’t help that Calgary and Vancouver upgraded successfully through free agency while MacT gave up picks for these 2.

    3. I think this talk is the stats related crowd and is more media driven than from the average fan. Your inference in this question is that the Oilers aren’t playing tough enough and none of us will argue that. I’d prefer regression to mean over regression to the mean any day.