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How Improved Are The Oilers.

View Poll Results: How improved are we?
Enough to make the playoffs 57 16.62%
Enough to make us compete for the final spot 184 53.64%
Only Enough to move up a spot or two 80 23.32%
We did not improve 22 6.41%
Voters: 343. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
08-19-2013, 04:34 PM
  #151
Field Marshal
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Think the most significant changes were improvements and came in the form of MacTavish replacing Tambellini and Eakins replacing Krueger. Since the Oilers clearly require an upgrade in their bottom-six forwards and behind the bench, having MacTavish take over GM duties to acquire these types of players made sense. Krueger obviously wasn't getting much accomplished as head coach and while he only had the reins for one season, I didn't see much urgency or "push back" from him as coach when the Oilers started to break down or were outplayed.

I don't believe they're a lock to make the playoffs based on the players MacTavish acquired. Gordon will *hopefully* improve the team in the faceoff circle and even if he skates on one leg, he's more effective than Belanger ever was. Ference was a wise pick-up - EDM has needed a veteran presence on the blue line since Souray and Whitney weren't exactly "professionals" during their tenure with the Oilers.

Joensuu is clearly a try-out for the team given the need for his size. A two-year deal worth less than $1M per isn't bad - hopefully he takes advantage of his opportunity. I liked the Perron acquisition based on his compete-level and I'm sure he'll be looked to as a leader on and off the ice. A little unsure of MacTavish seemingly trying to build depth on defense through Belov and the return of Grebeshkov. Still think a significant upgrade on the blue line is required in the area of more skilled and proven players.

From what I've heard and read about Eakins as head coach of the Marlies, I think we can all expect a far more competitive and feisty team. Krueger looked lost on the bench at so many times last year, whereas when I've watched Eakins, he doesn't appear to be without answers and has a clear strategy in place revolving around peak physical conditioning. Eakins is probably the right guy behind the bench for the team at this juncture since he's demonstrated consistency with younger players and has shown that he understands how to communicate and get the best out of players who have yet to reach their potential.

MacTavish still has some work to do, but the team has improved on paper and is likely tougher to play against. Can't say that the Oilers are "destined" to make the playoffs this season, but they're a lot closer than they were last year. Think they'll either finish 7th-10th, dependent on how they perform on-ice of course.

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08-19-2013, 04:43 PM
  #152
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I think the key point to consider, is that all of the Oilers core are under 25 years old. All of Hall, RNH, Eberle, Yakupov, Gagner & Schultz should continue to improve given their age. The addition of Perron gives us another younger top 6 player which will provide further depth.

Bottom 6 will be about the same IMO. We lose Horcoff, and replace him with Gordon who's a better fit for a 3rd line center role. Belanger's departure is an addition by subtraction, and the only thing we'll miss is his faceoffs.

Goaltending is a wash from last year IMO. Dubnyk is what he is, and replacing Khabi with Laberbera won't see any impact.

Our D should be better, although not susbstantially.

I am nervous about getting a rookie NHL head coach, but I think Eakins will be an improvement over Kreuger.

Bottom line, this team should be better than last year. Whether it's enough for a playoff spot remains to be seen.


Last edited by MeestaDeteta: 08-19-2013 at 04:54 PM.
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08-19-2013, 05:11 PM
  #153
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Another thing that should be pointed out, is that in past years we've had rookies expecting to step-up and fill important roles on this team. At least this year, most of our players will have NHL experience, and if not, they'll be playing less significant roles on the team.

Roster (NHL Games Played)

Hall (171) - RNH (102) - Eberle (195)
Perron (340) - Gagner (414) - Yakupov (48)
Jones (282) - Gordon (486) - Hemsky (597)
Smyth (1198) - Lander (67) - Brown (281)

Eager (400)
Joensuu (67)

Petry (156) - Smid (457)
J. Schultz (48) - Ference (760)
Grebeshkov (227) - N. Schultz (811)

Belov (0)

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Old
08-19-2013, 09:19 PM
  #154
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The belov signing could very well wind up being totally irrelevant, but if he pans out then we'll have added a big, mean, two way d for nothing. I think that signing is underrated given that we've heard high-tier teams like Pittsburgh were also chasing him.

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08-19-2013, 10:02 PM
  #155
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For some reason I think this projected line up is far more solid than last seasons.

Boyd is going to replace Horcoff for the better.

Ference is much needed on the back end to stabalize it and help young guys, Whitney at one time.

Belov may very well be good so I am not near as uncertain with our defence.

Perron could very well be another sniper and take some heat off the #1 line.

Looking forward to it all.

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08-19-2013, 10:24 PM
  #156
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJGass4 View Post
For some reason I think this projected line up is far more solid than last seasons.

Boyd is going to replace Horcoff for the better.

Ference is much needed on the back end to stabalize it and help young guys, Whitney at one time.

Belov may very well be good so I am not near as uncertain with our defence.

Perron could very well be another sniper and take some heat off the #1 line.

Looking forward to it all.
I think the biggest upgrade (well after the kids just getting older) is Ference for Whitney. I think looking at Whitney now should make us realize how terrible he was last year. The guy was horrible!!! He will be lucky to make a team this year on a try out. Ference was the number 2 defender on a team that made it to the finals. He is going to bring a ton of what we have been lacking.

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08-20-2013, 09:57 AM
  #157
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I see a lot of people saying that we're too small for this division, but our speed might counteract that. We always seem to be competitive against LA especially, our speed might work wonders against these teams that are used to playing other big teams. We are easily the fastest team in the division, only Vancouver and Anaheim can keep up in my opinion. That might not mean much, but if Eakins can get our guys playing a good speed based game that doesn't result in us being crushed all game, we will see some improvement.

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08-20-2013, 10:03 AM
  #158
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This is the year where I see the rest of the kids taking the next step like what Hall did last season. If Yak, the Nuge and Schultz take steps forward, we will be a playoff team. Stay healthy!! The kids are maturing, the kids are maturing!!

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08-20-2013, 10:07 AM
  #159
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ManofSteel55 View Post
I see a lot of people saying that we're too small for this division, but our speed might counteract that. We always seem to be competitive against LA especially, our speed might work wonders against these teams that are used to playing other big teams. We are easily the fastest team in the division, only Vancouver and Anaheim can keep up in my opinion. That might not mean much, but if Eakins can get our guys playing a good speed based game that doesn't result in us being crushed all game, we will see some improvement.
Hall and Yak together didn't really show me too many issues with regards to size. They looked well and pushed the pace. Next is to find a 2nd line that can do it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Calgary Oilers View Post
This is the year where I see the rest of the kids taking the next step like what Hall did last season. If Yak, the Nuge and Schultz take steps forward, we will be a playoff team. Stay healthy!! The kids are maturing, the kids are maturing!!
I don't know that Yak even needs to take a step forward. He just needs to be given the time like he was at the end of the year to be effective.

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08-20-2013, 11:07 AM
  #160
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Originally Posted by MikeModano9 View Post
Horcoff was "golden plated" PP time because Nuge and Gags cannot win a face-off to save their lives. If it's the same story expect Gordon to take draws on the PP. Along
With Hall... And sadly Smyth.
Horcoff was below 50% on his draws the last three years. Going from 48% to 42% and having the massive drop off in skill level with Horcoff out there is gifted pp time. He never came off the ice right after a draw but stayed for his full allotment of time. so yes, he was gifted pp time and his meager offensive stats would look absolutely ghastly if not for all the pp time he logged over the years.

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08-20-2013, 11:15 AM
  #161
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Originally Posted by ManofSteel55 View Post
I see a lot of people saying that we're too small for this division, but our speed might counteract that. We always seem to be competitive against LA especially, our speed might work wonders against these teams that are used to playing other big teams. We are easily the fastest team in the division, only Vancouver and Anaheim can keep up in my opinion. That might not mean much, but if Eakins can get our guys playing a good speed based game that doesn't result in us being crushed all game, we will see some improvement.
Totally.

When you have a very fit, fast and agile team, you're able to use systems that rely on skating to make up for aggressive positioning if the puck moves up or through to the weak side.

3-2 or 2-1-2 aggressive forechecking? We can do it.
Lots of strong side pressure? We can do it.
Deep backchecking? We can do it.

We don't need to be a passive team based upon great positioning because we should have the speed and fitness to be aggressively winning the puck back in every zone. We should have numbers on the puck, and we should break out very quickly because winning the puck in numbers means that you already have puck support.

You can compete with big teams if you know how to outskate them with pressure and puck possession. (You know, like Chicago.)

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08-20-2013, 12:24 PM
  #162
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Originally Posted by joestevens29 View Post
I don't know that Yak even needs to take a step forward. He just needs to be given the time like he was at the end of the year to be effective.
Ya, without progressing at all, I can see Yak potting 30+ simply by playing in the top 6 all year.

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08-20-2013, 08:06 PM
  #163
sandhu111
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does anyone have our records against each of these teams for the last couple years

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08-20-2013, 08:27 PM
  #164
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Ya, without progressing at all, I can see Yak potting 30+ simply by playing in the top 6 all year.
Yak might have had 30 last year if Kruger didn't bench him every third period and OT.

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08-20-2013, 08:30 PM
  #165
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does anyone have our records against each of these teams for the last couple years
In our new division?
If I'm seeing everything correctly:

Ana 1-5-1
Cgy 4-6-0
Van 4-5-2
LA 3-4-2
SJS 2-3-2
Phx 2-4-1

Total 16-27-8
So 40 out of 102 points?

Although last year we got 19 out of 42...Improvement?

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08-21-2013, 03:34 AM
  #166
sandhu111
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Originally Posted by T-Funk View Post
In our new division?
If I'm seeing everything correctly:

Ana 1-5-1
Cgy 4-6-0
Van 4-5-2
LA 3-4-2
SJS 2-3-2
Phx 2-4-1

Total 16-27-8
So 40 out of 102 points?

Although last year we got 19 out of 42...Improvement?
our record against calgary should get better and i could see us doing better against phx..

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08-21-2013, 04:36 AM
  #167
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great concern about the teams grit and defence ability

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08-21-2013, 10:29 AM
  #168
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Totally.

When you have a very fit, fast and agile team, you're able to use systems that rely on skating to make up for aggressive positioning if the puck moves up or through to the weak side.

3-2 or 2-1-2 aggressive forechecking? We can do it.
Lots of strong side pressure? We can do it.
Deep backchecking? We can do it.

We don't need to be a passive team based upon great positioning because we should have the speed and fitness to be aggressively winning the puck back in every zone. We should have numbers on the puck, and we should break out very quickly because winning the puck in numbers means that you already have puck support.

You can compete with big teams if you know how to outskate them with pressure and puck possession. (You know, like Chicago.)
http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/201...-zone-tactics/

"In our own zone I think we’re going to probably move at least somewhat to a swarm system or a collapse system where we really choke people out when the opportunity presents itself to do so, which I think makes puck-moving defencemen feel a lot more comfortable about the defensive game when they have support at all times." - Steve Smith

"If the puck happens to be stalled in the corner, the first defenceman going into the corner is on one side of the puck carrier, the centreman is on the other side of the puck carrier, the third defenceman is waiting in the wings in case of any breakdown, the winger has come down the wall and helped out and the fifth guy has come right over into that corner and is pretty darn close as well. The difficulty of what we had done in the past was just guys not buying into it and so we got away from it pretty quickly. Dallas really believes that it’s something we’ll be able to do and we’ll get through quickly… this is just not giving anybody time and space to breathe at all."

This is amazing news. That is how you play team defence with a mobile team rather than a physical team.

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08-21-2013, 10:47 AM
  #169
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Panda Bear View Post
http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/201...-zone-tactics/

"In our own zone I think we’re going to probably move at least somewhat to a swarm system or a collapse system where we really choke people out when the opportunity presents itself to do so, which I think makes puck-moving defencemen feel a lot more comfortable about the defensive game when they have support at all times." - Steve Smith

"If the puck happens to be stalled in the corner, the first defenceman going into the corner is on one side of the puck carrier, the centreman is on the other side of the puck carrier, the third defenceman is waiting in the wings in case of any breakdown, the winger has come down the wall and helped out and the fifth guy has come right over into that corner and is pretty darn close as well. The difficulty of what we had done in the past was just guys not buying into it and so we got away from it pretty quickly. Dallas really believes that it’s something we’ll be able to do and we’ll get through quickly… this is just not giving anybody time and space to breathe at all."

This is amazing news. That is how you play team defence with a mobile team rather than a physical team.
Maybe this is getting at what MacT said his reasons for deciding to let Kruger were. MacT and Eakins agreed on this fundamental change in defensive zone coverage and Krueger couldn't.

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08-21-2013, 07:07 PM
  #170
nexttothemoon
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I'm sure MacT saw some "flaws" in how Krueger was coaching and talked with him and got an idea of how he would continue to coach and that played into him being replaced.

I mean we on HFOil are collectively pretty dumb and even we could see flaws in the systems Krueger was using.

I'm sure it was a combo of what MacT heard from Eakins when he talked about his ideas of the systems he would use plus what MacT knew wasn't working for the Oilers under Krueger.

MacT is no dummy either as he has many years of head coaching under his belt so he has a pretty solid perspective of what the Oilers generally should be doing out there to get the most out of their obvious assets (speed, offense... fast break transition game).

Of course it's not as if Krueger had a loaded team full of all-stars and just screwed it up... obviously the team had/has deficiencies and you can't blame everything on Kreuger's systems BUT I think it was obvious to everyone that the team was under performing... especially late in the season and even earlier when they were doing better, the systems didn't really seem to get the most out of the team.

To me it was as if the systems Krueger used were accentuating the teams weaknesses and undercutting and not emphasizing their strengths... and I'm hoping Eakins can turn that around to the opposite this season.

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08-21-2013, 08:18 PM
  #171
guymez
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Panda Bear View Post
http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/201...-zone-tactics/

"In our own zone I think we’re going to probably move at least somewhat to a swarm system or a collapse system where we really choke people out when the opportunity presents itself to do so, which I think makes puck-moving defencemen feel a lot more comfortable about the defensive game when they have support at all times." - Steve Smith

"If the puck happens to be stalled in the corner, the first defenceman going into the corner is on one side of the puck carrier, the centreman is on the other side of the puck carrier, the third defenceman is waiting in the wings in case of any breakdown, the winger has come down the wall and helped out and the fifth guy has come right over into that corner and is pretty darn close as well. The difficulty of what we had done in the past was just guys not buying into it and so we got away from it pretty quickly. Dallas really believes that it’s something we’ll be able to do and we’ll get through quickly… this is just not giving anybody time and space to breathe at all."

This is amazing news. That is how you play team defence with a mobile team rather than a physical team.
Thanks for posting this...it was a very good read.

Dellow deserves some recognition because he did some excellent work in those write ups.

Well worth reading.

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09-15-2013, 10:48 AM
  #172
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If the Oil miss the playoffs again this year, it may be because of the attitude within the organization...they've clearly got enough talent to compete with anyone on any given night. Listen to this quote from the departed Paajarvi:

“It’s a huge difference (from Edmonton),” he said. “Here, everybody talks about the Cup, everybody talks about being a contender. In Edmonton, it was going to the playoffs and trying to make the playoffs, so it’s definitely a couple of steps up. I’ve had two months to think about it, and the more I think about it, the more I really want to be here. It’s just an awesome and exciting feeling.”

Link

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09-15-2013, 11:00 AM
  #173
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Paajarvi (pronounced Pay-ar-vee) is already paying dividends. In training camp, Blues coach Ken Hitchcock has lined him up on the left wing, next to fellow Swede Berglund in the middle and Vladimir Tarasenko on the right wing. Hitchcock called them the best line in camp thus far and he has penciled them into the lineup Sunday when the Blues travel to Dallas for their first preseason game.

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09-15-2013, 01:32 PM
  #174
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Originally Posted by Stealth JD View Post
If the Oil miss the playoffs again this year, it may be because of the attitude within the organization...they've clearly got enough talent to compete with anyone on any given night. Listen to this quote from the departed Paajarvi:

“It’s a huge difference (from Edmonton),” he said. “Here, everybody talks about the Cup, everybody talks about being a contender. In Edmonton, it was going to the playoffs and trying to make the playoffs, so it’s definitely a couple of steps up. I’ve had two months to think about it, and the more I think about it, the more I really want to be here. It’s just an awesome and exciting feeling.”

Link
I doubt the Blues were talking about "winning" the cup" before 2011. The Blues ARE in contention to win the cup so that would be their goal. Paajarvi just missed the "lets make the playoffs" by the Blues because he wasn't on the team when they weren't contenders.

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09-15-2013, 04:09 PM
  #175
nexttothemoon
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I doubt the Blues were talking about "winning" the cup" before 2011. The Blues ARE in contention to win the cup so that would be their goal. Paajarvi just missed the "lets make the playoffs" by the Blues because he wasn't on the team when they weren't contenders.
Even so... I think that mindset of "we are contenders" is a pretty strong collective mental driver for players on a team that is a legit threat to go far in the playoffs. I think it can legitimately raise the compete and resilience levels of average/below average players as they see the team around them is collectively solid and expectations are higher than "make the playoffs and we are golden".

The Oilers are still stuck mentally somewhere in the mindset of "we could/should" make the playoffs.

I think it would be quite an eye-opening difference for MPS to go to a team where they are expected to go far and thoughts of making/missing the playoffs isn't even on the agenda... they are focussed far beyond that level.

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