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10-30-2013, 07:14 AM
Hockey Buddha
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Originally Posted by Tarus View Post
There is nothing even remotely "long game" about what Eakins is doing.

Sending out twenty year old players to get rag-dolled by star level NHL opponents teaches them nothing, it's setting them up for failure pure and simple. The reason why past coaches relied on vets more than the kids in those situations is because sheltering them from matchups they have no chance of being successful against is better for both the players and the team. It would have been successful too, except for the fact that Oilers management is unwilling and/or incapable of acquiring vets who don't get killed playing those sheltering defensive roles.

Nor is Eakins showing great leadership by utilizing his honeymoon period as a new coach to push players to play his ineffective AHL-level pet system. He's got buy-in from the players, but they are getting absolutely shredded - it's negative reinforcement of the very worst kind.
The Oilers out shot the Leafs 43-25--that's not getting shredded! They gave up 4 goals to a potent Leafs offense, while being stone walled by Reimer. The kids need to produce for us offensively. I've been saying that for a while. They don't produce offense consistently. They're getting paid well to perform. It's time they perform! You can't shelter your most talented players forever. They need to be relied upon.

As you said, we don't have an abundance of quality vets to rely on, that's not Eakin's fault! If this team is going to win, it's going to be by counting on its young players. Eakins is playing the players who he'll have to rely on down the road to produce in order to win hockey games. They can't be sheltered forever; they have to learn to handle it. Eakins has the guts to continually throw them back into the fire until they figure it out. That is what they need. They're at least working under him. We have to wait for them. We don't have a choice at this point. It's not like this team has shown well in previous years under other coaches. Give this some time is all I'm saying. This should have happened more last season. Just sayin'.

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