When you are a 30th place team every aspect of your team game is below average. This season the goalies, defence, forwards, coaching, scouting and management have all been underwhelming. Today, Dallas Eakins paid the price for the shortcomings of the team and was fired, but he is far from the only one who needs to improve.
Which area needs to be addressed the most?
It is a good question. Willis wrote a solid piece yesterday suggesting that goaltending is the major problem.
It is hard to argue those numbers. It illustrates how much of an impact a goalie can have, positively or negatively, on your team.
Craig MacTavish will transition Todd Nelson into the role as interim
head coach. It is a strange set up, and there is no time table on how
long MacTavish will be in a “supervisor” head coaching role.
said he wants to go eye-to-eye with the players and get a feel of the
dressing room. One area he needs to improve is the offence.
Oilers don’t score enough. They don’t generate enough quality chances,
and when they do, rarely does the opposing goalie have to deal with
traffic in front of his net.
If you lose a game 7-1, the save% of the goalie is much worse than if you lose 2-1 or 3-1, except for extreme outliers, and if you win 7-2 the shooting % for you team is much higher than if you win 3-2. On a game-by-game basis how do the Oilers fare?
I wanted to break down how often the Oilers score three or more goals and how often they surrender three goals or less.
They have scored 3 or more goals 11 times, which is 35.4% of their games. They are 6-2-3.
They have allowed 3 or fewer goals 17 times, 54.8% of their games. They are 7-8-2.
They scored 3+ goals 33 times, 40.4% of their games.
They allowed 3 goals or less 44 times, 53.6% of their games.
2013 (shortened season only 48 games)
They scored 3+ goals 20 times, which equals 41.6%.
They allowed 3 goals or less 30 times, 62.5%.
They scored 3+ goals 35 times, which equals 42.6% of their games.
They surrendered 3 goals or less 53 times, 64.6%.
They scored 3+ goals in 32 of their 82 games, 39%
They allowed 3 goals or less 46 times, 56%.
The Oilers have had the odd game where they explode for six, seven or eight goals, but over the past five seasons they have consistently not been able to muster more than two goals per game. You won’t win many games scoring two goals, especially when your team defence is far from stellar.
Nelson and MacTavish face many challenges, and getting the offence going will be equally as important and challenging as it will be trying to solidify the goaltending.
The Oilers have had 83 skaters on the team since the beginning of the 2010/2011 season. They have had little continuity, and often too many of the same types of players. The biggest issue with the Oilers is that they don’t have a strong enough work ethic, and management has given the coaches too many of the same type of skilled players. They simply don’t have enough size and weight in their lineup to compete offensively.
With MacT on the bench, I’m curious to see if he can get more out of this group. The one thing MacT did well when he coached the Oilers for eight years was that most nights they tried hard. I don’t see him being in the transition role very long, but I sense he wants to be here to find out how many of this current group is worthwhile keeping. Of course, MacTavish might not be the one making that decision in the summer, but for now he is.
I don’t believe this group of players is good enough to win on a regular basis, and I’m very curious to see if Nelson and MacTavish can get any more offence out of this group. Tom Renney, Ralph Krueger and Eakins were unable to, which is why I believe personnel changes on the ice and in management are needed more than a simple head coaching change.
- I was very honoured to have the opportunity to write this story about Wendy and Derek Keenan. I wanted it to be respectful, but also honest. I thank them for allowing me to write it and wish them both the best. Keenan has stepped away from his coaching/GM duties with the Edmonton Rush for the time being so he can be with his wife.
- I asked MacTavish about Lander and Marincin and he said, “I won’t comment on personnel decisions at this point.” Nelson knows both players well, so you can expect he will have some input into whether they would be upgrades over the current roster.
- I like Todd Nelson, but my one concern in this decision is that the Oilers will once again just promote from within. MacTavish only gave Nelson the interim title, but it will be almost impossible for him to have a worse record than Eakins the rest of the way, which could lead to the Oilers foregoing the proper hiring process once again.
DAY 10…MONTH OF GIVING…
Thanks again to Hughes Petroleum and Nail Yakupov for their donations on Friday and to Arnold and DJ for bidding on them. After nine days we have raised $55,200.
- Pair of Edmonton Rush season tickets. Silver seats, lower bowl.
- Behind the scenes tour during one home game. You’ll meet the coaches, players and the cheer team.
- You and three friends will go for dinner with team owner Bruce Urban and assistant coach and former player, Jimmy Quinlan. Urban will pick up the entire tab so feel free to order the best food/drink on the menu.
Thanks in advance. All proceeds will help out Santa’s Anonymous.
Recently by Jason Gregor: