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2013 LMHF Game Report #6

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Old
02-13-2013, 02:08 AM
  #1
LoudmouthHemskyfan#1
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2013 LMHF Game Report #6

EDMONTON 1

VS.

DALLAS 4
-----------------

If you've read these for a decent while you will know that I often wind up slightly to the other side of the commonly held opinion about the game we all just witnessed. A lot of nights that means I am a tad more positive than many others. This is usually due to little things that I saw in the game and impressed me. Tonight I suspect I'll come off a tad more negative than the prevailing opinion, which seems to be that the Oilers played pretty well and simply got unlucky/ran into a "hot goalie". You will know if you are a regular reader that these two cliches don't hold water for me.

Tonight the Oilers did indeed do a bunch of very good things. They started out with a solid set of powerplays that should have resulted in a goal or two. The main difference tonight was the urgency with which the players drove (either themselves or the puck) towards the shooting lanes and quickly took advantage. They slowed down a little later in the game unfortunately and also the coaches did not realize that we had our best powerplay when the line led by #83 took the first shift.

The Oilers were physical tonight. Many players hit in areas and on plays I have not seen them finish off in some time. It was impressive but they were not able to back the Stars off of the puck or create turnovers to the extent you'd like to see. This is after all the main point of playing a hitting game. The other result can be that the opposition wears down and collapses near the end of the game. Unfortunately it was the Oilers that did this after a night of grinding away and coming up with nothing.

I liked that our powerplay was using a variety of break-ins, including dumping it along the boards with a winger speeding along the other side. Hemsky is especially good at this and Hall did it too.

I commend Ralph Krueger for sitting Smyth and Whitney. It was absolutely the right thing to do. I'd hope he keeps both out next game, or Smyth at the very least. Team-wide accountability demands it. The unfortunate thing for Ralph is he simply does not have enough to work with at the bottom of the order. Thinking about it tonight, we have become too used to bad players being in our lineup and are seeing some positives or assets where there really aren't any. Eric Belanger, while certainly improved over last year is nowhere near the player we thought we were getting. Chris Vandevelde is not an NHLer. Neither is Lennart Petrell despite his best efforts. Ben Eager should be an optional accessory rather than a necessity and nearly a given. In T.O. David Steckel can't get into the lineup. In New York, Brian Boyle finds himself in a similar position. We don't have these kind of players to move in and out of the lineup.

Dallas is not a great team. They seem to have a ton of confidence rolling into Edmonton and that makes sense given their past results I suppose. Lehtonen was very good tonight, but we made him look like the best goalie in the league. We had some minor breakdowns but make no mistake, when Dallas scores the goals that meant anything by playing some weird sort of hockey-racquetball hybrid and bouncing the puck off everything but the cheerleaders' rear ends, they don't exactly get much credit.

But the thing is, we shouldn't either. The thing that matters in this game is finishing. You must close. This is not horseshoes or hand grenades. This is hockey. You need to score more than one goal. It is nice that we suddenly seem to be able to pop the first one...but the second one appears incredibly elusive. There is no good reason for that to continue.

Crazy thought - in a game like this where one line is clearly in high gear but seems to be cursed, I think you spread them around for a couple shifts and hope their game rubs off on some other guys or they find a match. Can't help but think that might have worked out tonight.
----------


Hall-Hopkins-Eberle
- So, straight to the heart of the matter. These guys were both amazing and disappointing tonight. The way they drove the play was stupendous. They shredded the Dallas neutral zone defenders like they were not even there. High in the offensive zone their work was beautiful. Behind the net they controlled the play. The thing was, they did not get to the middle of the ice as much as they needed to, and when they did, things somehow went horribly wrong. They took a lot of good shots on net but also rushed at times. Hall's goal was a smart decision - 1-on-3 he takes a hard wrister, down low to the corner of the net rather than his usual five-hole. It goes in. Good. Nothing profound but might get the ball rolling. He did many other more impressive things throughout the game. Hall showed how he can lead the team tonight. He didn't pass the puck as much as he could have on a night when the rush was cruising. I loved the way this line responded to the first Dallas goal. Their next two shifts were brilliant and could have each resulted in a goal. For me, the game turned on Eberle's chance at the very end of the second period. He'd had a great chance in the slot and fanned earlier in the second, and also received a great feed at the side of the net in the first, but this was IT. Hopkins made an absolutely wonderful pass as Eberle grabbed a lane and then cut in his direction, opening up on the backhand and leaving Lehtonen dead...then Eberle did not roof his backhander. I still can't figure out why he went low. With the way he's shooting right now I suspect he may have half-whiffed even if he said he didn't later. Last year that's under the bar every time. #14 needs to bear down and finish there. The game is ours if he scores that goal. He had more chances later but they didn't work out either. I can't believe he can't shoot smoothly this year. Back to the old lumber. Hopkins had the best chance in the third. He got a great chance to tie the game at the right side of the net. Again, he didn't go upstairs. I wonder if he might be overthinking it because he is missing the net high so much at this point but I don't know. These guys were everything we need them to be in terms of appearances tonight, but could not close the deal. I'm amazed they didn't score 3 or 4, but they have to bear down in close and they aren't.

Yakupov-Gagner-Hemsky
- Nail was all over the place, both figuratively and literally at times. He got some excellent looks in front of the net and didn't pop one somehow. I really thought he'd beaten Lehtonen on the backhand in the first after taking a nice pass (from Petry?) and making a great move. It didn't find the corner. He also took a nice wrister in the third that didn't go. Couple outstanding plays in the neutral zone and even a really solid effort on the backcheck. Hemsky was strong in the defensive zone. He won a bunch of battles after iffy passes came up the boards to him. He outmuscled some guys that are much bigger than he. Several solid backchecking plays and lots of puck support plays. You could tell the whole line and especially #83 was trying to support Yakupov by utilizing a more flowing breakout and criss-crossing from time to time. It kind of worked and kind of didn't. Yakupov was out there for Jagr's goal. He'd actually make a nice little breakup play, but was chasing too hard and then Smid dove to block a pass that never made it through and we were cooked. Very unfortunate. I think we have two options with #63 - keep him where he is and tell him to play a simple positional game OR give him a line to run on his own. He could do either job. Gagner was kind of in the background tonight. He had some really good chances including one at the left side of the net in the second but every time the puck came to him he couldn't seem to pull the trigger as fast or effectively as he has been lately. His passing game was not as solid as it has been recently. Certainly not a bad game and laid one of the best hits I've seen in a long time, but he can do better.

Hartikainen-Belanger-Paajarvi
- As I noted above, Belanger is better than last year but still struggling. He is at least taking and making passes solidly. Tonight he did some nice things in that area and also in terms of his position. The thing is, he can't get a good shot away and is not getting anything done either in front of the net or in the corners. This is a necessity for a third line C and we're not getting it. This also creates a giant hole where offence goes to die and #s 56 and 91 suffer for it. They carried speed into the offensive zone but if the puck went through Belanger we were done. His faceoff work was brilliant but it does not appear to have resulted in goals. Magnus and Teemu continued to do the things they need to do, with a little less success than in some previous games. The one thing I'd like to see is this group generating some plays to the slot...but again, if that player is Belanger it isn't going to work.

Eager-Vandevelde-Petrell
- Meh. Eager had one of his better games in that he got in on the forecheck, forced some plays, hit some people and didn't do anything too stupid. I'd like to see him get to the slot a little more though as he can fire it. Twice he was caught out on long shifts. When #55 takes a long shift, he takes a hand off his stick and starts grabbing/shoving. When this happens he takes penalties. Someone drag him to the bench next time. Vandevelde was okay. He hit some people and didn't get caught badly or anything. He isn't an NHLer though. Lennart was okay and good on the penalty kill.

Petry-Fistric
- Odd pairing that wound up working out okay. Petry had another mixed bag of a night but certainly better than some of his recent efforts. He'd made two horrible plays within the first two shifts, then made a brilliant pass and started to turn his game around. He was part in drawing a key powerplay that could have helped greatly. He still got caught out of position a couple times and certainly could have been better, but maybe we're on the way up. Fistric did his job in that he hit people, drew a crowd and a couple penalties, and also got a couple shots toward the net. Really helps out the PK.

Smid-Potter
- Another odd unit. Smid played a whale of a game for much of the night, even inspiring a SMMIIIIIIDDDD! chant at one brief point. He blocked shots and broke up plays like crazy. Not the greatest effort on Jagr's goal as I noted before, though it should not have even mattered at that point. He also got caught on the same side as Potter at times which nearly resulted in a couple of disasters. I'll chalk this up to being a new pair. Brilliant pinches by Smid though. Just wonderful. Potter was just okay. He didn't make too many defensive mistakes, but I'm still waiting for the passing and the self confidence to come back. They were not there tonight.

J. Schultz - N. Schultz
- A relatively quiet game from this pair. Aside from a couple brilliant pinches and follow-ups by Justin, there wasn't really much to write home about aside from some solid defensive play.

Dubnyk
- Should have been a good enough effort for the win. I get why the first goal went in, but not putting his hand up to catch the second one was really strange. I know it was deflected but still. He made some great saves in the second and early third.
----------------

One theme I didn't really find a place to hit on was that the Oilers were overskating the play far too much tonight. They'd blow by players and have to work even harder to get back in the play. They almost worked too hard tonight. Back to basics. Solid positioning and finishing those scoring chances. That's where we need to go.

Well, that and acquiring the center and defenceman we should have months ago of course...

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02-13-2013, 02:16 AM
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Great report as usual. I will however respectfully disagree that Chris VandeVelde isn't an NHL 4th line center. He is pretty much exactly what you want. A guy who is going to go out, hit, kill some penalties, not make mistakes, and not cost you goals while your top 9 are getting a breather.

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02-13-2013, 02:17 AM
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Great report as usual. I will however respectfully disagree that Chris VandeVelde isn't an NHL 4th line center. He is pretty much exactly what you want. A guy who is going to go out, hit, kill some penalties, not make mistakes, and not cost you goals while your top 9 are getting a breather.
That's Belanger you're talking about.

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02-13-2013, 03:32 AM
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I commend Ralph Krueger for sitting Smyth and Whitney. It was absolutely the right thing to do. I'd hope he keeps both out next game, or Smyth at the very least. Team-wide accountability demands it. The unfortunate thing for Ralph is he simply does not have enough to work with at the bottom of the order. Thinking about it tonight, we have become too used to bad players being in our lineup and are seeing some positives or assets where there really aren't any. Eric Belanger, while certainly improved over last year is nowhere near the player we thought we were getting. Chris Vandevelde is not an NHLer. Neither is Lennart Petrell despite his best efforts. Ben Eager should be an optional accessory rather than a necessity and nearly a given. In T.O. David Steckel can't get into the lineup. In New York, Brian Boyle finds himself in a similar position. We don't have these kind of players to move in and out of the lineup.
I so agree with this. We are icing the same line again and expecting different results. Eager got concussed in the preseason last year, well this year it was the first. Hordi never played, hordi gets waived. At minimum they should have brought in one big bodied veteran for the bottom six. Simply a replacement level NHL player. They've been on waivers

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02-13-2013, 04:25 AM
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Nice report as always!

Sadly I missed most of the game (damn night classes), but on the point of the defence pairings, I actually like the look of them.

Petry needed to be moved down, and pairing him with Fistric creates a solid bottom pair. Schultz and Schultz work well together, and Smid can carry his pairing defencivly at least.

Honestly I wouldn't be against Whitney drawing back in next to Smid next game. Give him one last chance to find his game.

Schultz-Schultz
Smid-Whitney
Fistric-Petry

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02-13-2013, 10:47 AM
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One thing I noticed last night is that Sam Gagner was not allowed to take faceoffs, or that's at least the impression you come away with after the performance of that 8'5 linesman goof. I think Sam got kicked every single draw except maybe one or two.

I'll never understand why the league thinks "cracking down" on this kind of thing is a good idea. The linesmen look like fools and the game suffers.

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02-13-2013, 10:55 AM
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One thing I noticed last night is that Sam Gagner was not allowed to take faceoffs, or that's at least the impression you come away with after the performance of that 8'5 linesman goof. I think Sam got kicked every single draw except maybe one or two.

I'll never understand why the league thinks "cracking down" on this kind of thing is a good idea. The linesmen look like fools and the game suffers.
He took 14 draws same as RNH.

They crack down because if you allowed everyone to cheat the Oilers we would be really screwed at draws.

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02-13-2013, 11:15 AM
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He took 14 draws same as RNH.

They crack down because if you allowed everyone to cheat the Oilers we would be really screwed at draws.
They crack down because the league decided that this is what they were gonna do this year. It's been this way for all games around the league this season, and it's god awful to watch.

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02-13-2013, 11:18 AM
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Thanks LMHF.

I was at the game as well. By the Oilers blueline for Periods 1 and 3.

From my perspective, though the 2nd line had a couple of pretty great PP shifts, again 5-on-5 they felt invisible to me, I really didn't have the same expectation of them coming down with speed and generating scoring chances, like the 1st line did.

My first experience seeing Yakupov live and if he's supposed to be so fast and has such a great shot, is there not a way we can help unleash this? He really looks tentative to me and still drifts around.

The first line is getting better at mixing up the dump-in and carry in, and you can tell that because they are now willing to dump it in, surprise surprise they aren't quite as predictable. But teams are absolutely willing to keep them to the outside boards and even behind the net. I really think they need a net presence on the first line to get some space. And I'm still not convinced we need Hall and RNH and Eberle together, because none of them is a net presence.

Hall would be the obvious option but he's been flying so well I know it would be hard to rein him in.

Right now the D just collapses and I thought the Dallas D did a great job with their sticks today, just barely stopping some grade A chances from the first line, and occasionally the 2nd line.

There weren't quite as many telegraphed cross-ice passes last night although RNH was guilty of a couple bad ones, but still no driving to the net. I feel like Dallas scored their 3rd and 4th goals by driving hard to the net and protecting the puck.

I've never even heard of the plug on Dallas who scored the 4th goal but he took it in hard and finished well.

We haven't seen that from our top 2 lines enough this year, let alone our 3rd and 4th lines, who give the impression that they are absolutely zero threat to score in any game.

As far as Dubnyk goes, hard to win when your team scores one goal, but that 2nd fluky goal really killed the team and the crowd, and you just can't let that howler in.

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02-13-2013, 11:42 AM
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Yak struggled in this game. Which is to be expected. Close checking affair, getting confused with feedback, what to do, how to adjustment. Right now Yak seems in that no mans land between knowing his own game vs what works here. He's really having trouble finding the open spots and being a pass target. He often skates into coverage. Passing is off.

Gagner set up Yak twice, setup Petry on a great play, Hemsky on another, and Eberle on another. Eberle and Gagner of course looking dangerous immediately in the few moments they had with each other.

When the 2nd line did get things going the Potter/Fistric pairing was a disaster as far as opposition support. On several plays passing the puck back to the point was an exercise in "find waldo". With either Fistric or Potter drifting into odd areas or not even looking for the pass. This ruined pressure no less than 4 times, probably more.

The finish tonight was again deplorable. Pretty much all round. At some point players have to bare down and get the puck up high. I really think Lehtonen could make padstops close in all day. Rinne would gobble this **** up too. Ths Ain't AHL goaltending folks.

I'd like evrybody reading this to look at the 4th Dallas goal by Garbutt.
A guy thats a career minor leaguer, undrafted, that had scored only 3NHL goals before this. The guy isn't a power forward either. He's 190lbs, N Schultz makes him look like Jagr.

http://www.nhl.com/ice/boxscore.htm?id=2012020186

What is Nick thinking on that play. Even at the blueline the strip by Fiddler is telegraphed, known, slow developing play. Nick doesn't move. Then he still has time to cover, contain, but instead of skating and routinely edging Garbutt to the outside he allows a guy that doesn't even have speed to blow by him because instead of moving his legs he's hacking away desperately lookng for the puck instead of lets see, at any point taking the man.

Just an awful loss of contain by what is supposed to be a shutdown D. I bring this up because its one in a long series of weak plays by Nick this season. J Schultz has owned this season as a rookie but his partner in crime looks like boy wonder. N Schultz was -3 in the game btw. pretty bad outing. They don't get much worse.

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02-13-2013, 11:46 AM
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I know you've been ragging on N Schultz, Replacement, but I have to agree with you in the last couple of games he hasn't looked highly effective at anything.

And wasn't it Petry/Fistric being paired last night or am I getting confused? I thought they had moments of looking pretty good.

Potter in some ways wasn't horrible, though he made some boneheaded plays - I think Smid does have to play a different game covering for him.

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02-13-2013, 11:48 AM
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They crack down because the league decided that this is what they were gonna do this year. It's been this way for all games around the league this season, and it's god awful to watch.
You mean you don't enjoy watching the two centers double-clutch and stagger around for 30 seconds before hockey starts again? Crazy, huh?


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02-13-2013, 11:51 AM
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I know you've been ragging on N Schultz, Replacement, but I have to agree with you in the last couple of games he hasn't looked highly effective at anything.

And wasn't it Petry/Fistric being paired last night or am I getting confused? I thought they had moments of looking pretty good.

Potter in some ways wasn't horrible, though he made some boneheaded plays - I think Smid does have to play a different game covering for him.
Potter and Fistric I remember being out there on some shifts, not sure why, but thats a combination that shouldn't be occurring ever.

The trouble with potter is quite clear. He just shouldn't be here. He's not even a reasonable fascimile of an NHL D.

Why is it that year after year we put absolute pylons out there that predictably end up being weakest links?

We're not on the tank anymore I thought. I'm not expecting much either, maybe just some better 5, 6 D options. Doesn't have to be anybody spectacular but not fodder like Barker, Peckham, Potter, Plante, Teubert etc.

Fistric of course we like because of the hits but he's an adventure out there. In any end of the ice.

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02-13-2013, 11:53 AM
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Thanks LMHF.

I was at the game as well. By the Oilers blueline for Periods 1 and 3.

From my perspective, though the 2nd line had a couple of pretty great PP shifts, again 5-on-5 they felt invisible to me, I really didn't have the same expectation of them coming down with speed and generating scoring chances, like the 1st line did.

My first experience seeing Yakupov live and if he's supposed to be so fast and has such a great shot, is there not a way we can help unleash this? He really looks tentative to me and still drifts around.

The first line is getting better at mixing up the dump-in and carry in, and you can tell that because they are now willing to dump it in, surprise surprise they aren't quite as predictable. But teams are absolutely willing to keep them to the outside boards and even behind the net. I really think they need a net presence on the first line to get some space. And I'm still not convinced we need Hall and RNH and Eberle together, because none of them is a net presence.

Hall would be the obvious option but he's been flying so well I know it would be hard to rein him in.

Right now the D just collapses and I thought the Dallas D did a great job with their sticks today, just barely stopping some grade A chances from the first line, and occasionally the 2nd line.

There weren't quite as many telegraphed cross-ice passes last night although RNH was guilty of a couple bad ones, but still no driving to the net. I feel like Dallas scored their 3rd and 4th goals by driving hard to the net and protecting the puck.

I've never even heard of the plug on Dallas who scored the 4th goal but he took it in hard and finished well.

We haven't seen that from our top 2 lines enough this year, let alone our 3rd and 4th lines, who give the impression that they are absolutely zero threat to score in any game.

As far as Dubnyk goes, hard to win when your team scores one goal, but that 2nd fluky goal really killed the team and the crowd, and you just can't let that howler in.
You're right in that the second line didn't have the same game as the first. They had many more stretches of not really pushing the play.

Yakupov's used to being a freelancer. We can either use this by putting him on a line where he's the sole offensive feature, or give him a simple job to do and keep on him to do it. I think he'd actually have more fun because he'd score a ton of goals this way. He doesn't realize yet that he doesn't have to save the day in his own zone. I love the passion, but he can accomplish more by doing a little less.

Send Hopkins to the slot. He's surprisingly good there but gets preoccupied with trying to be a puck carrier. He doesn't need to be on that line (or a theoretical other top 6 line either). We have enough puck carriers at the top end of this lineup.

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02-13-2013, 11:55 AM
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You mean you don't enjoy watching the two centers double-clutch and stagger around for 30 seconds before hockey starts again? Crazy, huh?

My pet peeve is the ongoing game of false drop or ref just standing catatonic there with the puck. Basically eliciting that somebody gets tossed.

"See if you can snatch the pebble from my hand grasshopper"

or

"What puck, I have no puck, what hand is it in, wheres the puck"


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02-13-2013, 11:56 AM
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Re sitting players out. You should be sitting them out because other players are better than them and this is the way I see it with Smyth and Whitney at this point in time and I hope that is how it was communicated to the team.

Sitting players out to send a message is a slippery slope and a dangerous one because to have set a standard that can divide a team if only certain players get sat out while others are allowed to 'play their way out of things.'

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02-13-2013, 11:56 AM
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When the 2nd line did get things going the Potter/Fistric pairing was a disaster as far as opposition support. On several plays passing the puck back to the point was an exercise in "find waldo". With either Fistric or Potter drifting into odd areas or not even looking for the pass. This ruined pressure no less than 4 times, probably more.

I'd like evrybody reading this to look at the 4th Dallas goal by Garbutt.
A guy thats a career minor leaguer, undrafted, that had scored only 3NHL goals before this. The guy isn't a power forward either. He's 190lbs, N Schultz makes him look like Jagr.

http://www.nhl.com/ice/boxscore.htm?id=2012020186

What is Nick thinking on that play. Even at the blueline the strip by Fiddler is telegraphed, known, slow developing play. Nick doesn't move. Then he still has time to cover, contain, but instead of skating and routinely edging Garbutt to the outside he allows a guy that doesn't even have speed to blow by him because instead of moving his legs he's hacking away desperately lookng for the puck instead of lets see, at any point taking the man.

Just an awful loss of contain by what is supposed to be a shutdown D. I bring this up because its one in a long series of weak plays by Nick this season. J Schultz has owned this season as a rookie but his partner in crime looks like boy wonder. N Schultz was -3 in the game btw. pretty bad outing. They don't get much worse.
I missed the Potter/Fistric at the blue line stuff in my report but you're right. They needed to be better at the blue line. Potter is nowhere near the same guy on the opposition blue line since the injury.

You're right about Nick Schultz as well. He has another gear and I'm not sure why we're not seeing it. I'd like to see Smid with Justin Schultz and force Nick to the the offensive guy on his new pair. He needs to be more aggressive all around and I think it would bring the best out in him all over the ice.

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02-13-2013, 11:57 AM
  #18
LoudmouthHemskyfan#1
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Originally Posted by Beerfish View Post
Re sitting players out. You should be sitting them out because other players are better than them and this is the way I see it with Smyth and Whitney at this point in time and I hope that is how it was communicated to the team.

Sitting players out to send a message is a slippery slope and a dangerous one because to have set a standard that can divide a team if only certain players get sat out while others are allowed to 'play their way out of things.'
Certainly and a good point to raise.

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02-13-2013, 12:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beerfish View Post
Re sitting players out. You should be sitting them out because other players are better than them and this is the way I see it with Smyth and Whitney at this point in time and I hope that is how it was communicated to the team.

Sitting players out to send a message is a slippery slope and a dangerous one because to have set a standard that can divide a team if only certain players get sat out while others are allowed to 'play their way out of things.'
Its also a confusing message. One day you're alotting Smyth a 20minute demonstration in practice on how to tip deflections home. In this instance as a coach you are granting a veteran some license, and impact with the group and saying "look, and listen to him"

2 weeks later you are benching the same player to make an example out of him.

The two of these put together don't make a lot of sense. Once an experienced vet finds themselves in the latter situation on a team with 8 young faces the probability is that any listening stops. Which is unfortunate. Probably.

I just find the messages to be confusing/conflicting.

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02-13-2013, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
Its also a confusing message. One day you're alotting Smyth a 20minute demonstration in practice on how to tip deflections home. In this instance as a coach you are granting a veteran some license, and impact with the group and saying "look, and listen to him"
He should retire and coach random stuff like this. He's got to be more valuable than Buchberger at least.

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02-13-2013, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by LoudmouthHemskyfan#1 View Post
He should retire and coach random stuff like this. He's got to be more valuable than Buchberger at least.
What are Buchberger and Smith really doing here beyond cheerleading, passing sticks, and high fiving guys?

I wouldn't think either have much to offer in on ice advice. Bucky was a player because he could skate like the wind and cover anything with his speed and some toughness too. These are not coachable things, his strength would be as fitness trainer to this team and I've seen bucky in the gym enough and he was the best conditioned Oiler I've seen a lot of years.

As far as Smith stay at home D, but not particularly good at fast break, transition, and his fallback was his strength and size. A physically dominating D at times. Obviously not something one can teach. "Be big, no bigger"

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02-13-2013, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
What are Buchberger and Smith really doing here beyond cheerleading, passing sticks, and high fiving guys?

I wouldn't think either have much to offer in on ice advice. Bucky was a player because he could skate like the wind and cover anything with his speed and some toughness too. These are not coachable things, his strength would be as fitness trainer to this team and I've seen bucky in the gym enough and he was the best conditioned Oiler I've seen a lot of years.

As far as Smith stay at home D, but not particularly good at fast break, transition, and his fallback was his strength and size. A physically dominating D at times. Obviously not something one can teach. "Be big, no bigger"
Don't need to be Hall of fame players to be a good coach. With that being said I don't know what either guy is really responsible for, so I really don't know if Bucky and Smith are issues or not.

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02-13-2013, 12:36 PM
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I think Fistric has been as advertised - great on the PK, some big hits and toughness, and generally a 5-6 guy.

Potter is an upgrade on 2013 Whitney, which is sad.

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02-13-2013, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by joestevens29 View Post
Don't need to be Hall of fame players to be a good coach. With that being said I don't know what either guy is really responsible for, so I really don't know if Bucky and Smith are issues or not.
I'm not saying they are issues. But I don't know they contribute much either. Who knows really, it is just speculation.

There was an interesting article on the ex Hartford Whalers recently. About a dozen players from that club went on to become either managers, coaches etc and some good ones at that. They talked about how on the player level some players on that club that were ordinary talents took it on themselves to continue to understand all facets of the game as well as they could and that the players would get together and break down game film and stategy together. A very thinking player hockey club is what it turned out to be.

In a sense the Old Oilers became that as well. I know the org want the lineage passed on anyway.

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02-13-2013, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joestevens29 View Post
Don't need to be Hall of fame players to be a good coach. With that being said I don't know what either guy is really responsible for, so I really don't know if Bucky and Smith are issues or not.
I thought, though this might be wrong, that Buchberger ran the special teams stuff?

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