WWYDW: What Are We Cheering For?

what would you do

Well Nation it’s that time of year again. The Oilers were all but mathematically eliminated from the playoffs by November, complete apathy had set in well before Christmas, and we’re scratching days into the wall of our cell as we countdown to another draft lottery. And just like we have for the past 5 seasons we’ve hit a fork in the road.

As of right now the Oilers are firmly entrenched in 30th place overall, with a one point “lead” over Carolina for the best shot at picking first overall in June. They’ve also earned 7 points in their last 5 games, by far their best stretch of hockey since winning 4 in a row back in November.

It’s obviously way more fun to watch games when the Oilers are winning, and #visually the team has been playing much better since Todd Nelson rolled into town on his iron steed. 

ToddNelson

HOWEVER, we’ve all heard the tales of how Connor McDavid is a generational talent, and the type of player who may actually be able to finally help drag this team out of the sludge. This presents a dilemma. 

So Nation, where are we right now? Do we enjoy riding this new wave of slightly less terrible hockey, and hope Todd Nelson can get this team out of it’s constant funk, and build some solid momentum for next season?

Or do we hope the Oilers continue on with their losing ways, securing another first overall draft pick who will be tasked with saving this franchise as a spry 18 year old? 

Fall For Hall or Less Booze Cuz We Don’t Lose? Fail For Nail or Shirts Off For Horcoff? WHAT SAY YOU, NATION? 

  • tileguy

    All i can say is with Eakins gone I don’t find myself cheering for those 8-1 blowouts anymore. Head says tank, heart says win. As put by comment #3 backburner, let the hockey gods decide.

  • MacTastic

    Re: What are we cheering for?

    Nothing. I gave up watching months ago when the team’s obvious (and neglected) deficiencies bit them hard and resulted in another lost season by November.

    It’s sad to say, but I feel like my apathy (feckless as I admit it is) is the only way I can protest the debacle that is the Oilers organization.

    Reading the blogs is the only entertainment left for me to derive from the inept saga that is the modern Oilers. I am grateful for the energy and gallows humor of those who, like me, are beyond sick of the whole mess.

    From what I read of empty seats at Rexall, I appear to be amongst a growing minority.

    Until I see progress worth watching, please keep me entertained Oilersnation!

    • orangepylon

      Couldn’t have said it better myself. Bravo.

      Only difference between you and I is that for some sadistic reason, I can’t help caring or even watching the games. I do, for better or worse, love this team and am saddened by what has been going on.

      Things I care about – I want Nelson to succeed. I want Yakupov to succeed. I have no basis for these opinions other than the fact I like them.

      • MacTastic

        I applaud your integrity and noble wishes for your team. I also envy your purity of spirit. I loved this team once and I hope to love it again one day. I expect nothing, though. I just hope one day things will be different.

  • Zarny

    Cheer for whatever makes you feel better; it doesn’t actually make a difference on the ice.

    The reality is once again the Oilers have put themselves into a black hole. They started last season 4-15-2 but finished the remaining 61 games with a record of 25-29-7.

    How much of that momentum carried over to this season? None. How much momentum did Colorado or Dallas carry over to this season? None. Momentum doesn’t carry over the summer. You have to start fresh every year.

    The absolute best you could expect for the remaining 41 games would be similar to last year ~ 0.500 hockey +/- a few games. If you think there is a universe where this team goes 22-14-5 to close the season you haven’t been paying attention.

    Considering the Oilers sit 10 points behind 26th place NJ the sad reality is the Oilers aren’t moving up the standings very far no matter what. 26th or 27th is the best they could realistically achieve.

    Long term the franchise gains nothing from that. Playing ~ 0.500 hockey for the next 41 games won’t help this team next year anymore than last years’ final 61 games helped this year. The only result is the Oilers would end up with a much less talented prospect.

    Are the Oilers better with a bit more pride from last year and Draisaitl over Ekblad? Are the Leafs better today with an extra bit of pride and Nazim Kadri instead of Hedman or Duchene? Would Tampa Bay or NYI be better off if they had found a bit of pride and drafted Luke Schenn or Evander Kane instead of Stamkos and Tavares? How about Chicago? Would they be better off if they had drafted Kyle Turris or Sam Gagner instead of Patrick Kane? Were Ana, Car and Min better off getting Ryan, Johnson and Pouliot over Sidney Crosby?

    The answer in all cases is no. It’s not about “pride” or “momentum”. It’s simply that the best way to improve a team is to add the best players possible. The best players possible this year are McDavid and Eichel by a country mile.

    To argue the Oilers are better off 1, 2 or 4 years from now by winning 6 or 7 extra hockey games and drafting a less talented player is ridiculous.

    • Craig1981

      ^^^^^^^^ is a very well thought out and well put together comment. However out of the whole comment one sentence stands out above the rest……….

      “It’s simply that the best way to improve a team is to add the best players possible.”

      The problem is does this organization have the right management in place to do it? Their scouting sucks and their drafting sucks. Simply put NO

  • bwar

    I feel that Eakins ruined this team for many years to come. Before he arrived our hope seemed validated. The team was improving, we had an incredible PP and it looked like we were on the verge of becoming a competitive hockey team. Even Yak was producing pre-Eakins. Now many of the players that we are relying on for success look disinterested and have been in decline during a period of their careers where they should be steadily improving.

    We will need a miracle to undo the damages Eakins did and I look back at the media constantly harping about how all we needed was some stability behind the bench and everything would be fine. Well I think it was that mentality that has sent this club back to rock bottom. Eakins should have never made it to Christmas 2013 yet he did and now this team is in free fall.

    But at least the man upstairs knows a thing or two about winning, so we have that going for us which is nice.

    • The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33

      THE BLAME GAME

      It’s Pronger’s wife’s fault! It’s Horcoff’s fault! It’s Gagner’s fault! It’s Dubnyk’s fault, he’s a sieve! It’s Scrivens’ fault, he’s a sieve! It’s Eakins’ fault!

      The Oilers are in last place because THEY ARE THE WORST TEAM IN THE NHL. No magical coach, no magical 18 year old, will change that. The Oilers goaltending, defence, coaching, and scouting are all CRAP. They still only have 1.5 NHL centres. They have two nifty, dangling wingers, the rest are crap.

      The managers of this team created a crap team. They are crap managers. But Mr. Katz doesn’t want to replace them. Honestly, I really don’t know why. That is the root cause of all this.

      PS: Tanking is for losers.

  • Clutch

    I’d start by putting Yak on the first line with Hall & Nuge, maybe he’ll learn a thing or two about playing in the NHL…. and blow a few games for us so we finish last

    • Sammy p

      Putting Yak on the first line won’t help him…and it sure as hell wouldn’t be good for Hall and Nuge

      Listen to what Sean Pronger had to say about Sergei Fedorov’s brother Fedor
      ” He was the total package six foot three ,230 lbs and speed-I’m talking about top six skill.
      He had all the tools but no tool box.He didn’t know HOW to play the game.
      To him every time he touched the puck it was a1 on 1 contest,the problem was not beating one guy,it was that he tried to beat all five. Even in the AHL that’s not going to happen.
      This drove our coach Stan Smyl crazy and made the rest of my teammate insane too”.

      Sound familiar?
      ( quotes from Journeyman by Sean )

  • Clutch

    WHY ISNT YAK-CITY PLAYING ON THE FIRST LINE WITH BIGGER MINUTES??????

    WHY DIDNT THE OILERS SIGN UP MIKE ROBEIRO THIS PAST OFF SEASON?????

    WHY DONT THE OILER SIGN A VETEREN EXPERIENCED COACH???

  • ubermiguel

    Tanking is the worst idea. It’s not like there’s a “Winning” switch you can just flip on next October. Winning is an attitude and a series of habits that take time to develop. Losing is also an attitude and a series of habits, and if those are entrenched any further then we could draft 1st, 2nd and 3rd and we’d still have a losing team. Wash the stink of loser off this organization already. Wanting to lose is never acceptable.

  • Bucknuck

    They made it easier for higher place teams to win the lottery so I would love the oilers to finish 23rd and still win the lottery. I would laugh and laugh and laugh.

    take that “oilers rule” and shove it.

  • Thumby

    I want Connor McDavid or Eichel 100%

    The Oilers reality is that Todd Nelson is coaching to win. So you’re hopefully going to see an honest effort night in and night out, something Eakins couldn’t figure out. The problem (or solution depending who you ask) is that the Oilers aren’t very good and will continue to lose more then they will win for the remaining of the season.

    The good news Oilers fans is that we will see some decent hockey being played and not nearly as many blow outs.

    My worry is we land with the 3rd overall pick and miss out on Eichel and McDavid which makes this painful season practically a waste in my opinion.

    • SSB1963

      3rd would still get you Noa Hanifin who by all accounts is a very good defensive prospect. I personally hate the Idea of not playing to win.
      Any professional athelete would as well.

  • The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33

    YAK IS A BUST, DEAL WITH IT

    Bad news: look at the stats. Yak may be the biggest first overall bust in the last 30 years in the NHL. Right there with DiPietro and Daigle. In his first and fourth season in the NHL, Daigle scored at least 20 goals and at least 50 points. I don’t think Yakupov will ever do that.

    Good news: Virtually every coach and GM in the NHL thinks that HE can make him achieve his potential. So they need to trade him, WHILE HE STILL HAS VALUE.

    Trash away if it makes you happy. You cayn’t handle the truth!

  • S cottV

    Geez – the guys string a few points together and now we are supposed to believe that there is a choice involved, as to whether or not to tank?

    With the tougher Western conference and other teams playing for something – the Oilers will have to play their @sses off – to maybe over take Carolina, but more likely to just avoid an even more embarrassing gap entrenched in 30th place.

    C’mon – do you guys really think this is all back firmly on the rails?

  • Harry2

    I for 1 don’t want to win that much anymore, we won’t make the playoffs and the playoffs are what it’s all about, since we won’t be there, might as well get a good pick. I don’t think it matters on the pick though, as long as MacT is there running the show he will just do something foolish and make the team suck for years to come. Why do we suck now, no secondary scoring because he didn’t get a legit second line center and third line center, that is why Perron wasn’t scoring and that’s why yak isn’t scoring, the fan base saw this, why didn’t MacT, so again it doesn’t matter who gets picked, he’ll just do something stupid, a child who trades hockey cards could do better.

  • Thumby

    I think it’s time to send Yakupov down to the AHL. He will get better minutes there and build confidence knowing he can play a shift without getting nailed to the bench for each mistake.

  • Hemmercules

    I’m hoping for a 30th place finish to select a player so good we can’t possibly screw up his development.

    Winning does nothing at this point. Momentum for next year? Nope. We’ve seen recent Oiler teams close out the year looking like they’re finding their way and then October rolls around and we’re awful again. There’s barely momentum from period to period with this team to expect it from season to season is crazy.

    I understand that finishing 30th means losing hand over fist for the rest of the year and that losing will certainly have an impact on the players but at this point I honestly don’t care. Selfishly I’d just like to watch McDavid or Eichel play for the Oilers. If all the losing means Hall or Eberle want out then move them along.

  • Oilers21

    The good news is that no matter how hard this team works we’re still likely to be one of the worst 2 teams in the league anyway. But I would love to see more wins. I agree with people who maintain that winning becomes a culture and a mindset and you can’t just decide to coast for a bit and then suddenly start winning. Plus it’s dangerous to rely on one player to save your franchise; touch wood this doesn’t happen but McDavid could break his leg and never be the same player. You can’t just assume someone is going to be a superstar and the face of your franchise. Let’s win some games. Take pride in the logo. Get cheered by your fans instead of heckled on your way off the ice. Stop spouting cliches about being “disappointed” by humiliating losses and then continue to play like crap night in and night out. It would be awesome to draft McDavid and suddenly rocket 30 points up the standings, but regardless build winning habits now.

  • BobbyCanuck

    Ideally if Carolina, Edmonton and Buffalo played .500 hockey that would show massive improvement over the Eakins disaster and still secure the spot for #2 pick and odds favourite for the #1. Competitive losing. I’m ok with that.

    • The Ever Disappointed Oil Faithful

      The difference is that Perron still had a year to go on his contract and Petry is UFA at the end of this year. I won’t predict what they CAN get for Petry, but he will be a pure rental player so there’s no way anyone will give up a first round pick for him.

  • Motown Fisher

    Whats also a huge point of contention is the leverage you will get from a #1 or #2 this year… Don’t forget for a minute, whoever is in charge at GM can use this as a HUGE potential to give someone what they want, for a WHOLE lot of what we want..

    We may as well draft a unicorn, because it will have the same effect on this franchise no matter what we do with it…

  • Sammy p

    tanking is for losers. I would definitely rather see them win. ive had enough of losing. McDavid is overrated. I dont see a “generational talent” like evrryone is saying. I just dont see it. I have never seen him elevate his game to an unreachable level like crosby, toews. all I see is a highly skilled player way ahead of his peers..nothing more. I wouldnt be surprised if hes already at max potential. too much hype. and too much of a nice guy..which isnt what the Oilers need. imo. Hall has been quoted saying he doesnt necessarily want mcdavid on the team in an interview and I completely agree with him. how many freaking #1 picks does a team need? does anyone agree with this? or is everyone too blinded by what the media is saying?

    • Zarny

      Good grief. Already at max potential…at 17 y/o. That is possibly the dumbest thing ever posted on ON.

      McDavid is averaging 2.83 pt/gm in the OHL and tied for the WJC scoring lead at 17 y/o. Was there too much hype for Crosby, Stamkos or Tavares? No. Highly skilled players waaay ahead of their peers is all those 3 were too when drafted. And none of them won a Memorial Cup or “elevated their games to unreachable levels” before they were drafted either I’m afraid.

      Trying to argue McDavid or Eichel are “overhyped” because you would rather see the Oilers win is stupid beyond belief.

      After starting 4-15-2 last year the Oilers’ finished the final 61 games with a record of 25-29-7. Over 82 games that would have tied them Calgary with 77 pts.

      How satisfied were you with that result? Because an equivalent record over the final 41 games is the absolute best the Oilers could hope to accomplish. Even if they get 41 points in the 2nd half they would still only finish with 68 points which means the absolute best they could hope for is to move up to maybe 26th or 27th.

      You can be sure that no player or coach wants or will try to lose. That isn’t the issue.

      And none of this means the Oilers only hope for becoming a good team or winning a Stanley Cup rests on McDavid or Eichel. The best player in the game has 1 Cup in 9 years. Hanifin, Strome and Crouse will most likely be very good NHL players too. So are Bobby Ryan and Matt Duchene. They aren’t Sidney Crosby or John Tavares though.

      It has nothing to do with how many #1 picks a team needs. They don’t need any. They need good players. And the simple reality is that the best way to improve a team is by adding the best players. In this years’ draft that is McDavid and Eichel by a country mile.

      I don’t think any Oiler fan “wants” the team to lose; but that doesn’t change the fact that the Oilers currently sit in last place and at best could move up to 26th or 27th.

      If a record of 18-21-2 over the final 41 games and finishing 27th makes you feel better then by all means cheer for that. But let’t not pretend that ~ 0.500 hockey for half a season and Dylan Strome are better for the Oilers long term than McDavid or Eichel.

    • Zamboni Driver

      I want to scroll back and see you cheerleading for how good Yakupov is.

      I’m sure it’s there.

      We’ll take that information, your assessment that a 17 year old kid who lit up a 19-year old’s tournament has ‘peaked’ – and ignore you entirely henceforth.

      Oh boy, there I go with big words again. I should speak more slowly for you.

      People say finish last better finish 5th last. Chance get player experts say great. Greater than Hall, believe or no.

  • Craig1981

    I think any self respecting Oiler fan should not be openly hoping for a last place finish. However, lets all secretly cross our fingers and wish really really hard!

  • Craig1981

    I had a weird thought with what’s going on with the Leafs the other day. Stuck in 8th place and fire the coach. Now they too are dreaming of Mike Babcock.

    Ah, to reminisce about toiling in the mediocrity of 8th place. We wanted to finish a little worse to draft some actual talent. Tanking got us a bit, but now who is dreaming of being in 8th place again?

    We all know what happened here. It will be interesting to see what road the Leafs take. Re-tool to get better than 8th, or are they going to continue to flounder before falling apart and out of the playoffs for consecutive years?