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08-17-2013, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by guymez View Post
I think that coaching is being under estimated here.
Eakins systems should be a vast improvement over Kruger and I also think that Acton will help Gagner and RNH with faceoffs.

Those 2 additions alone should have a positive impact on the teams ability to defend and play a possession game.
This, big time. I saw it here in the Soo when Mike Stapleton was replaced with Sheldon Keefe as head coach of the Greyhounds part way thru this past season. Yeah it was the OHL, but the Oil core is nearly OHL age, so I think it is comparable when dealing with kids that age. No player changes, yet the team went from likely missing the playoffs to someone most OHL fans (on the NOOF) figured could pull off an upset. The records before Keefe and after Keefe arrived are insane in how different they were. It was all coaching. Keefe had a system and the players bought in. He was a players coach who insisted on hard work and accountability and I have thought a few times how similar Keefe and Eakins seem to be.

I really think that there is enough talent on the Oil and aside from maybe more grit, this could be a really cool year to be an Oil fan. Nobody can predict when it will all click, it will just happen when there are this many kids that are the core. I unfortunately will have a hard time watching games much of this season being in Florida so much, but I hope to be able to see as much of it as possible.

Unless this season is a brutal one for injuries, I think we make the playoffs. I think we will end up being a matchup nightmare for opposing teams more than in recent Oil history. I bet the kids buy in fairly early and the room is considered one of the very best in the NHL with how tight they are.

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