EAKINS

eakins common33

After a long, disastrous season it’s understandable to feel a need to lash out and point fingers. The problem? There are always some fingers pointing back at you.

In his famous Sunday article Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun tells us the prevailing wisdom in regard to Eakins future.

  • Garrioch: The belief is the Oilers will stick with coach Dallas Eakins as he heads
    into the second year of his contract despite a disastrous rookie
    season.

I believe it’s the right call. Why? First, Craig MacTavish hired Eakins to bring a culture change to the organization, and it appears (from what we know) this was a turbulent year for all concerned. I have no doubt learning occurred for both players and coach (witness Hall’s improvement in shot differential of late, likely a result of relaxing the ‘shoot and chase’ approach to offense) during this year. Next season should be stronger because of the foundation built in 2013-14.

There has to be structure, and Eakins has struggled at times to institute the plan. That’s on him, but there’s also a lot of truth in the idea that you can’t win the race with a plough horse. Edmonton’s defense isn’t good enough to turn north and I don’t think Scotty Bowman could get this defensive group into the playoffs.

Progress was made, and the blueline seems to be coming into view.

Garrioch article is here, he also mentions Messier as a future coaching option. 

ASSISTANTS

huddy

Lots of chatter about improving the staff by hiring and firing assistants. I don’t know much about that area of the game, but do know that the defense hummed when Charlie Huddy was an assistant coach here. If he comes available, I’d like to see him back in our town.

  • dougtheslug

    Messier for coach? That’s all the Oilers need, another rookie head coach who can learn (or not learn) on the job. Mac David here we come.

    Huddy for assistant?

    Really?

    Nobody in the hockey universe who isn’t an ex-Oiler can be considered for the job?

  • Czar

    #Resinnab5, Yakupov CAN’T turn into another Ovechkin.

    If Eakins does it right this guy will be great but there’s the problem, how to handle the guy and not ruin him. Yak can’t be let go to freelance.

    -30-

    • Slapshot

      My concern is if Eakins stays, Yak will get traded. Eakins doesn’t like him and it is obvious by how he uses him. Ralph brought out the best in Yak and he had all kinds of confidence. Eakins comes in and in no time destroyed it. What a shame!!!!!!

    • Rick Stroppel

      YAKUPOV IS KEY

      You mean like Jacques Martin ruined Alexandre Daigle’s career? Daigle’s stats in his first two years in the NHL were very comparable to Yakupov’s. In his third year the doo-doo hit the fan: 17 points in 50 games, minus 33.

      I assume the evaluation of Eakins will include FRANK discussions with all the players. In business they call this “360 degree performance review”. If Yakupov says “I like Eakins and I think I can succeed with him” that should be a substantial (not conclusive) factor. Ditto if he says “he’s the worst coach I ever had and I really don’t get what he’s trying to do with the team”.

      A number one overall pick is a precious resource and the Oilers are wasting this one.

      The Oilers management would not be so stupid as to make this coaching decision without seeking input from all the players…would they?

      • Serious Gord

        I was thinking that Jacques Martin is the exact coach that this team needs to go from being a cellar dweller to a team that can consistently make the playoffs. He turned the Ottawa Senators from a bunch of individualistic prospects into a well-structured team. The vanity jersey numbers were all converted into position-based numbers; high draft picks like Bonk, Hossa and Havlat learned to play a 200 foot game; less dedicated players like Daigle were flushed; and defencemen like Redden, Chara and Phillips were able to steadily improve and gain confidence in a system where the forwards provided them with defensive zone support.

        A coach’s job is to make the whole worth more than the sum of its parts. Martin can do it, but Eakins clearly can’t.

  • Spydyr

    Is Eakins part of the problem or part of the solution?

    My vote is part of the problem.

    He was hired because Mac-T fell for his talk.He is all hat no cattle as DSF liked to say.

    The only reason people say to keep him is for continuity in coaching.To avoid yet another coaching change.

    It was one of Mac-T’s first moves and firing Eakins would look bad on Mac-T.So I fully expect Eakins to be around to sink next season by Halloween yet again.

    It is the Oiler way.

    • Serious Gord

      I would rather put it this way: is Eakins a cause or a symptom?

      I think he is a symptom. Katz/Lowe/laforge are the cause of the pile of $hit that is this sorry excuse for an NHL franchise.

      Firing Eakins – something I have been calling for since early December (and before that is questioned the hiring process, or rather lack of it) – only treats a symptom. Addressing the cause is the only long-term cure. That Katz was and maybe still is trying to hire messier is all the proof you need of what the disease is that is infecting this organization.

  • a lg dubl dubl

    You are right about Huddy. Purging him was a terrible move.

    Lowetide, what are the chances of the Oil being able to get Griffin Reinhardt from the Isles? Is there a realistic scenario that could bring this about?

        • Dan 1919

          If he plays against the other team’s fourth line he’s a very good defenceman, that’s what our standards have become in Edmonton.

          Haha, we don’t talk about Petry’s short comings around here. This is a very fragile fan base that’s been abused for years (most people still think everybody on the team can stay the same but Gagner and Eakins and the Oilers will magically be a Dynasty franchise.)

          Petry can skate fast sometimes and passes the puck hard, it’s not his fault he’s had 3 years given to him on a silver platter and still puts out sub-par own zone play. It’s all umm, Eakin’s fault, and last year Kruger’s fault, and so on.