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The way this team needs to be fixed

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Old
11-30-2003, 07:23 PM
  #1
Chayos
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The way this team needs to be fixed

The way i see it the boys on the bus mentality is actually killing us right now. Lowe is way to loyal to Mact to fire him like he should.

If you look at it from an Objective point of view the biggest problem we are having is with the PK and PP right now. This is where a coach makes a name for himself. Players make the difference on the even strength situations with hard work and talent, but the Pk is strictly coaching and stategy. The best Penalty killers are not your purely talented players but your hustlers and grinders. The coach has to come up with strategies and combinations to make it work and obviously he isn't doing that. The pp is pretty bad as well and should be solved with some face off wins. The talent is there but we always lost the draws and had the pucked iced on us.

I really think if we had a gm who can see he has made trades to improve th team already and that he needs a new voice on the bench that the players actually listen to.

Lets list the things Mact has done this year that defy logic

1) Smyth Centering the 3rd line. hmmm now i maybe wrong here, but our best player is stuck with grinders and left to rot seems pretty stupid to me.

2) The bad skate the day of the Back to back game with Det. Yah that was another brainstorm.

3) never letting anyone get comfortable on a line. Geez how can izzy or York suceed if they never know where they are playing next.

4) as listed in another posting. Thrusting all the blame for bad play on 8 players. This si a team game and i think that these players are not the root of the problem with the oil as i think the whole team is playing poorly.

5) Continuing to play horcoff when he is plainly the worst player on the roster on most nights.

I think this team is playing like a team trying to get the coach fired and it just won't happen as lowe is too loyal to mact.

In a perfect world Lowe fires Mactavish and Hires Robinson or Keenan. They both would rip the team apart trying to find perfection and i think the team need that right now.

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Old
11-30-2003, 07:31 PM
  #2
LoudmouthHemskyfan#1
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Before Walsher gets in a detailed reply, I will simply nod in agreement with you Chayos.

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11-30-2003, 07:33 PM
  #3
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First of all - Craig Simpson is in charge of special team so if you want to fire any coach he is the one. MacT has nothing to do with that aspect. I agree Horcoff has been aweful but who is the alternative? You also disagree with Smyth at center but who is the alternative their? They are weak at center if that is the problem then Kevin Lowe is the problem for not giving MacT the proper personnell. MacT is trying to make do with what he is given. York-Dvorak-Torres have been together basically solely all season with the exception of a few shifts here and there. Isbister has been so inconsistent it is no question why MacT has moved his around trying to fire up some sort of confidence. The bag skate - geez I would have bag skated them too after that egg the team layed against Columbus. They deserved to be skated. If you think a bag skate causes them to lose 7-1 you are dreaming. They were outplayed and took 8 penalties along with a never ending string of defensive zone giveaways - but I guess that has to be the coaches fault also. Funny how during any streak of wins the coach is never mentioned yet when the team goes in the tank he is all of the sudden the fault. The players have stunk. It isn't my fault, your fault, the coaches fault, or Joey Moss' fault. The fact remains they are the one that step onto the ice and they have to produce. That is the bottom line. If they stink we all look bad. The fans, coaches, and players. But, it is always easiest to fire a coach than trade all the players so that is the most convenient outcome. MacT is an awesome coach - I am not saying the best and I too criticize moves from time to time, but he is good. The past 2 seasons 90 + point years with minimal talent and budget and frankly a good team this year currently in a bad slump.

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11-30-2003, 07:47 PM
  #4
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Before Walsher posts a public flogging schedule, I'd just like to point out that the Oilers record sis 10-11-3, not 6-15-2. They're a young team, and appear to have collapsed mentally after the Heritage Classic.

Somewhere in the middle of the season they'll catch fire and match this current stretch in wins. They'll finish 7-10th, remain competitive, and generally play entertaining hockey. Along the line we'll see enough from Hemsky, Torres and Stoll to get us excited about the future.

This season was never about winning anything. It was always about building for post-CBA lockout.

The Oilers don't have their starting goaltender, their top scoring center, and a bunch of important players hurt/playing out of position.

It's not that bad. Honest. If you really have to get depressed, go to the downtown library and pull out old Journal's and Sun's from 1993. THEN you can read about losing streaks before Christmas, George Burnett's mishandling of everything, bad hockey by bad hockey players and a general feeling of blah.

This Oiler team has alot of nice things.

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Old
11-30-2003, 07:52 PM
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowetide
Before Walsher posts a public flogging schedule, I'd just like to point out that the Oilers record sis 10-11-3, not 6-15-2. They're a young team, and appear to have collapsed mentally after the Heritage Classic.

Somewhere in the middle of the season they'll catch fire and match this current stretch in wins. They'll finish 7-10th, remain competitive, and generally play entertaining hockey. Along the line we'll see enough from Hemsky, Torres and Stoll to get us excited about the future.

This season was never about winning anything. It was always about building for post-CBA lockout.

The Oilers don't have their starting goaltender, their top scoring center, and a bunch of important players hurt/playing out of position.

It's not that bad. Honest. If you really have to get depressed, go to the downtown library and pull out old Journal's and Sun's from 1993. THEN you can read about losing streaks before Christmas, George Burnett's mishandling of everything, bad hockey by bad hockey players and a general feeling of blah.

This Oiler team has alot of nice things.

Ladies and gentlemen........I present to you the attitude that has us in our current situation.

If this team finishes 7th it's a disappointing joke and a waste.

EVERY SEASON IS ABOUT WINNING!

10-11-3 is an awful record for this team.

Acceptance of mediocrity..........I shudder at the thought

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Old
11-30-2003, 07:56 PM
  #6
Walsher
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[QUOTE=lowetide]Before Walsher posts a public flogging schedule, QUOTE]

Why am I taking a beating from some of you lately? Because I criticize Smyth? Don't get it.

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Old
11-30-2003, 08:00 PM
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoudmouthHemskyfan#1
Ladies and gentlemen........I present to you the attitude that has us in our current situation.

If this team finishes 7th it's a disappointing joke and a waste.

EVERY SEASON IS ABOUT WINNING!

10-11-3 is an awful record for this team.

Acceptance of mediocrity..........I shudder at the thought
The sad part about that post is that he truly believes that is the only hope for this team. I personally see them being way more successful. I have said it before - I would take the Oilers lineup against any other in the league on any other night. Of course its not that bad as was stated - other than the record I think it is good. The team is good and thats why we get so pissed off when they crap the bed against inferior teams. Sub .500 isn't going to cut it in the NHL these days. 80 points used to guarantee a playoff spot - now it guarantees a morning tee-time.

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11-30-2003, 08:26 PM
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoudmouthHemskyfan#1
If this team finishes 7th it's a disappointing joke and a waste.
Like Lowetide, I remember the lean years too. Thankfully, I was out east and the choices were Leafs, Habs, or nothing at all, so I didn't have to watch the stinky games, but I still followed along as best I could. I'm thankful this isn't a decade ago.

I think like last year, it'll be almost a crapshoot where they finish, 4th-out of the playoffs. Detroit and Colorado are virtual locks; Vancouver's been playing damned good hockey for several years now; St. Louis should beat them out. That puts them fifth, at best. In the west, the difference between fifth and eighth has been what, 5-7 points?

Before you trot out the argument of "Vancouver doesn't have a much higher payroll, howcome they can do it"... I can accept that perhaps they can compete with Vancouver (although nobody else can either). Most teams have a hard time competing against the other 3 as well.

So what do you want?

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Old
11-30-2003, 08:44 PM
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kraigus
So what do you want?
We're capable of a ton better than we're doing.

Blame falls on management, coaching, and the players.

AND the fans, it is their job to keep the other 3 accountable and provide proper feedback based on situation. That is their contribution to a winning organization.

Teams are supposed to steadily improve, not stagnate.

We have the players to be a 5th place hockey team if we play decent hockey. Just decent hockey.

I want the team this one should be, not the one that some will just accept it as being, which is a mediocre one.

Said it once, I'll say it a thousand times, accepting mediocrity is sad and a complete joke.

Everyone should know what this is supposed to be about, and if that isn't the fan's standard of success, well then I feel pretty sad for that fan, because what's the point of the effort if you're willing to accept a team that won't win? Where are the standards? The situation only gets worse as well, because there's no pressure to win.

People don't seem to get this.......winning does not magically happen out of thin air because players feel like it one day.......

Winning is an ATTITUDE. Plain and simple. To be a successful franchise, your management, coaches, players, and fans MUST exude that attitude and expect it, or frankly, you are toast. There's a reason the Lakers are the Lakers and the Clip are the Clip. Same with Yankees vs. Mets.

The sad thing is, we had that attitude once, and I was too young to be a part of it. I grew up watching horrible hockey teams, and underperforming hockey teams, and am so sick of it, it's just disgusting. And the fact that people accept now that we do NO BETTER on the ice than we have over the past decade is just a complete and utter joke to me.

I could go on, but this would get into a rather nasty rant pretty fast......


Last edited by LoudmouthHemskyfan#1: 11-30-2003 at 09:04 PM.
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Old
11-30-2003, 09:02 PM
  #10
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I gotta agree with LMHF and Walsher on this one . I think mediocrity kills. It can't be accepted at any level. I see what your trying to say LT, but if you don't instill a winning attitude on a team (especially one this young) will they ever get it?

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Old
11-30-2003, 09:14 PM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoudmouthHemskyfan#1
We're capable of a ton better than we're doing.
(OK, right here, I just have to say... "we" are not the team. "We" are the fans. This bugs me, but everybody does it so I don't usually say much. However, since you're replying to me and using that word... Yes, I'll agree that I'm capable of better than I've been doing, but there's no way you could know that, and it has nothing to do with the Oilers. OK, that's out of the way... See below.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by LoudmouthHemskyfan#1
Blame falls on management, coaching, and the players.

AND the fans, it is their job to keep the other 3 accountable and provide proper feedback based on situation. That is their contribution to a winning organization.
Certainly, but given that we're not party to probably 90% of what goes on in the Oilers boardroom and dressing room, I'm not convinced that Lowe et al aren't doing what they can to try to alleviate things. They hired Simpson to try to help the PP; that obviously hasn't worked. They signed Oates to try to help the PP, we'll see how that goes. I think that signing was tacit agreement that MC would not be re-appearing any time soon. We can jump all over our favourite whipping boys, but that obviously doesn't help much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LoudmouthHemskyfan#1
We have the players to be a 5th place hockey team if we play decent hockey. Just decent hockey.

I want the team this one should be, not the one that some will just accept it as being, which is a mediocre one.
I agree that the Oilers are a 5th place team when they play a decent game consistently. I also maintain that they're a young team, and expecting consistency from them - *regardless of the coach* - is asking too much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LoudmouthHemskyfan#1
The sad thing is, we had that attitude once, and I was too young to be a part of it. I grew up watching horrible hockey teams, and underperforming hockey teams, and am so sick of it, it's just disgusting. And the fact that people accept now that we do NO BETTER on the ice than we have over the past decade is just a complete and utter joke to me.
Do you want to know what's really sad? Attendance fell while the team was winning Cups. I'd rather see a packed building for what you classify a mediocre team, than a half-empty one for a team that's winning Cups left and right.

"do NO better on the ice"? I'm sorry, perhaps you should go back and watch your tapes of a young Doug Weight centering Steven Rice and Scott Pearson again. Gain some perspective, young grasshopper. This is a vastly better team than we saw for most of the 90s. Is it as good as the teams that knocked out the Stars in 97 and Avalanche in 98? Not on the face of it, no. I think it's a deeper team though, and one that's more likely to continue succeeding.

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Old
11-30-2003, 09:26 PM
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kraigus

"do NO better on the ice"? I'm sorry, perhaps you should go back and watch your tapes of a young Doug Weight centering Steven Rice and Scott Pearson again. Gain some perspective, young grasshopper. This is a vastly better team than we saw for most of the 90s. Is it as good as the teams that knocked out the Stars in 97 and Avalanche in 98? Not on the face of it, no. I think it's a deeper team though, and one that's more likely to continue succeeding.
No tapes required, I WAS THERE, and yes, it was ugly.

But we haven't come very far. How many playoff rounds won? 2, a whole 2. Consistently junky finishes in the west, squandering more players than we "have to give up" due to salaries, on and on and on.....

For me it's not about perspective, it's about absolutes, it's a much harder way to look at things, but it's just the way I am.

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Old
11-30-2003, 09:27 PM
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kruezer
I gotta agree with LMHF and Walsher on this one . I think mediocrity kills. It can't be accepted at any level. I see what your trying to say LT, but if you don't instill a winning attitude on a team (especially one this young) will they ever get it?
The thing is this. Oiler fans have been conditioned to accept mediocrity because we've been constantly fed the idea that we just have too small a payroll to compete. We've been led to believe that we're too small a city to be able to afford a good team. However, recent history in the NHL shows that this line of thinking is wrong. The biggest markets don't do the best, and the smallest markets don't necessarily do the worst. New York, L.A., Philedelphia, and the other super large markets have done nothing in recent years. Teams like Detroit and Colorado can afford big payrolls, not because they're big markets (they're not compared to the others I mentioned), but because they've built great teams. Ottawa and Vancouver have done a great job building their teams, and now they're reaping the benefits. If the Oilers did the same, they'd be able to keep more of their players because they would make more money. We wouldn't be able to keep everybody, but then again, Vancouver and Ottawa haven't been able to keep everybody either (see: Cassels and Yashin). The key is keeping your most important talent, and developing youngsters to replace the guys you lost. Success is possible. I don't know if we can win the cup, but we can do better.

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11-30-2003, 09:30 PM
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coolguy3650
The thing is this. Oiler fans have been conditioned to accept mediocrity because we've been constantly fed the idea that we just have too small a payroll to compete. We've been led to believe that we're too small a city to be able to afford a good team. However, recent history in the NHL shows that this line of thinking is wrong. The biggest markets don't do the best, and the smallest markets don't necessarily do the worst. New York, L.A., Philedelphia, and the other super large markets have done nothing in recent years. Teams like Detroit and Colorado can afford big payrolls, not because they're big markets (they're not compared to the others I mentioned), but because they've built great teams. Ottawa and Vancouver have done a great job building their teams, and now they're reaping the benefits. If the Oilers did the same, they'd be able to keep more of their players because they would make more money. We wouldn't be able to keep everybody, but then again, Vancouver and Ottawa haven't been able to keep everybody either (see: Cassels and Yashin). The key is keeping your most important talent, and developing youngsters to replace the guys you lost. Success is possible. I don't know if we can win the cup, but we can do better.
Okay, what have you done with the real coolguy?

Pretty solid post.

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11-30-2003, 09:43 PM
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This team rode the pre-HC high - and is now suffering a post-HC low. With all the changes that have occurred I've alway maintained that if they are at .500 or better on Jan 1 they make the playoffs. That's not accepting mediocrity - it's just being realistic that this is a very very young team with lots of new faces and it needs time to gell. That affects the PP PK and damn near everything else.

Patience patience patience

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11-30-2003, 09:45 PM
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asiaoil

Patience patience patience
You know what the likelihood of THAT happening is

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Old
11-30-2003, 10:00 PM
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asiaoil
This team rode the pre-HC high - and is now suffering a post-HC low. With all the changes that have occurred I've alway maintained that if they are at .500 or better on Jan 1 they make the playoffs. That's not accepting mediocrity - it's just being realistic that this is a very very young team with lots of new faces and it needs time to gell. That affects the PP PK and damn near everything else.

Patience patience patience
Plus they really do need to get healthy. I can't remember where I mentioned it but I think the Oilers as a team are injury-prone but not nearly as much as the Kings.

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11-30-2003, 10:34 PM
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coolguy3650
The thing is this. Oiler fans have been conditioned to accept mediocrity because we've been constantly fed the idea that we just have too small a payroll to compete. We've been led to believe that we're too small a city to be able to afford a good team. However, recent history in the NHL shows that this line of thinking is wrong. The biggest markets don't do the best, and the smallest markets don't necessarily do the worst. New York, L.A., Philedelphia, and the other super large markets have done nothing in recent years. Teams like Detroit and Colorado can afford big payrolls, not because they're big markets (they're not compared to the others I mentioned), but because they've built great teams. Ottawa and Vancouver have done a great job building their teams, and now they're reaping the benefits. If the Oilers did the same, they'd be able to keep more of their players because they would make more money. We wouldn't be able to keep everybody, but then again, Vancouver and Ottawa haven't been able to keep everybody either (see: Cassels and Yashin). The key is keeping your most important talent, and developing youngsters to replace the guys you lost. Success is possible. I don't know if we can win the cup, but we can do better.
I agree completely.

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11-30-2003, 10:41 PM
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walsher
First of all - Craig Simpson is in charge of special team so if you want to fire any coach he is the one. MacT has nothing to do with that aspect. I agree Horcoff has been aweful but who is the alternative? You also disagree with Smyth at center but who is the alternative their? They are weak at center if that is the problem then Kevin Lowe is the problem for not giving MacT the proper personnell. MacT is trying to make do with what he is given. York-Dvorak-Torres have been together basically solely all season with the exception of a few shifts here and there. Isbister has been so inconsistent it is no question why MacT has moved his around trying to fire up some sort of confidence. The bag skate - geez I would have bag skated them too after that egg the team layed against Columbus. They deserved to be skated. If you think a bag skate causes them to lose 7-1 you are dreaming. They were outplayed and took 8 penalties along with a never ending string of defensive zone giveaways - but I guess that has to be the coaches fault also. Funny how during any streak of wins the coach is never mentioned yet when the team goes in the tank he is all of the sudden the fault. The players have stunk. It isn't my fault, your fault, the coaches fault, or Joey Moss' fault. The fact remains they are the one that step onto the ice and they have to produce. That is the bottom line. If they stink we all look bad. The fans, coaches, and players. But, it is always easiest to fire a coach than trade all the players so that is the most convenient outcome. MacT is an awesome coach - I am not saying the best and I too criticize moves from time to time, but he is good. The past 2 seasons 90 + point years with minimal talent and budget and frankly a good team this year currently in a bad slump.

I agree with some of what you are saying but the truth is in the results and what you did in previous years disapears pretty fast in the day to day life of an NHL coach. My point is that if Mctavish were coaching in just about any other NHL city his job would be on the line on a daily basis right now. Results do matter and the fact of the matter is the teams special teams are dreadfull and coaching is a big factor in those results. Dave Tippet got the job in Dallas because of his work in getting LA's specialty teams among the league leaders. I think this team has the talent and ablity to be a 3-6 team in the west if they were better prepared to play every night and MacTavish just isn't doing that for us right now. I would like to point out that the PP has been dreadful for most of his tenure as coach too.

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Old
12-01-2003, 03:24 AM
  #20
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Every team goes through slumps. Oilers are in one right now. Don't get me wrong, I agree with LMHF and Walsher etc, but I also understand where LT is coming from. This is team is such a jeckyl and Hyde team that I really don't know what to think anymore.

One thing I do know is that nothing is happening on the Comrie front. I hate to go back to that but I've said before that we have an asset on the shelf that not giving us anything. In any other business, that's bad asset management. When the Oilers are winning, it's "bah, let Comrie sit. We don't need him!". Different story went the team's losing and they score 2 goals on 70+ shots. Let's face it,the Oilers are playing without one of their best player. We need to forget about last year's playoffs.

The OIlers have a couple of games to get back on track. Hopefully they'll beat Minny, Pittsburg and Carolina to get back on track.

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12-01-2003, 06:23 AM
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asiaoil
This team rode the pre-HC high - and is now suffering a post-HC low. With all the changes that have occurred I've alway maintained that if they are at .500 or better on Jan 1 they make the playoffs. That's not accepting mediocrity - it's just being realistic that this is a very very young team with lots of new faces and it needs time to gell. That affects the PP PK and damn near everything else.

Patience patience patience
It's understandable that young players require patience. However, you have to ask yourself, why do we constantly have the youngest team in the league? And are we required to be patient indefinately? The policy the Oilers have taken previouly was that whenever any player became too expensive, he was gotten rid of. The end result was that we were a farm team for the rest of the league. Like I said previoulsy, clearly we couldn't keep everybody, but we should have been able to keep our most vital players, the ones with both heart and skill, and cut salary elsewhere. Thankfully, Kevin Lowe is starting to get the idea. He got rid of players like Grier, Carter, and Niinima when their salaries were still reasonable, but he's locked up the heart of this team in Staios, Moreau and Smyth. Previously, Smyth, as the most expensive tradeable player, would have been first to go. However, Lowe realized Smyth's importance to the team, and instead got rid of Niinina and Carter, quality players but players who were overrated. Still, the Oilers have given out some dumb contracts and their drafting under Lowe has yet to provide dividends (for the most part), so we should still keep a critical eye on management. And we shouldn't use youth as an excuse.

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Old
12-01-2003, 06:47 AM
  #22
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The fence is clearly up. Seems to me the two sides are as follows:

1) The team is talented, but the coach, manager, and/or a few schlubs on the team are bringing 'em down

or

2) The team isn't all that talented, and the coach, manager, and/or a few schlubs are doing the best they can to keep themselves from being the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Either way, MacTavish boosters at this point are becoming nearly blind to the fact that the guy has made some very dumb mistakes lately. The ice time that Georges Laraque gets should be a clear indication that MacTavish is making mistakes on a nightly basis. Ignoring them doesn't make them go away. Either does towing the company line.

Being critical of a team doesn't mean you don't like them, but rather, shows you give beans about how they do. I think threads like this one are much better off if people recognize there is a problem. It's those that don't, those that feel everything is all right when in fact nothing could be further from the truth, that do more harm than good. Giving management a free ride doesn't help anyone but their pocketbooks.

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12-01-2003, 09:56 AM
  #23
barto
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As I recall, the Oilers fans still expected to WIN WIN WIN back in the early 90's, but it didn't make a bit of difference in what happened on the ice or behind the bench. so I'd disagree that the fans have to expect the team to win for it to win. I'd definitely say our expectations were scaled WAAAY back with "The Lean Years" in the mid 90's missing the playoffs for 4 years in a row. Then, making the playoffs at all was considered as huge progress.

Winning those playoff rounds against Dallas and Colorado raised expectations again (only to be disappointed), but missing the playoffs two years ago made it seem *almost* OK to lose in the first round last year.

I think the winning attitude and expectations of success come more from management. We know that Lowe was so incensed by the team not making it past Dallas (and maybe the way they went out) that he had to take many days off before he could speak to the media without blowing a gasket (again). He's definitely got the expectation that the team should do well - and that's defined by PLAYOFF success more-so than reg. season success.

MacT might have that kind of expectation as well, but may not be able to get that across properly to the players, most of whom are still quite young.

It's one thing to expect a team full of seasoned veterans (or at least some good mix) to win, but perhaps the expectations on a team as young as the Oilers puts too much pressure on them so that they 'crack' instead of developing and improving.

That SEEMS to be the kind of thing that's happened to Brewer - he's probably felt like he should be the #1 guy here, so he's trying so hard to live up to it that he's gotten away from the kind of game that made him a better player and more useful to the team (say, 2-3 years ago).

In any case, I'm not going to get too worked up in knots about the whole thing until it looks like they're going to miss the playoffs. There are two levels of success in Edmonton at this point (imo):
1. Making the playoffs - we know how crazy this city gets when it's playoff time, even if it's the damned Stars again. While going out in the first round makes it financially a wash (increased gate vs. playoff bonuses), the excitement in town is something to behold

2. Winning in the playoffs - seeing teams like Minnesota and Anaheim advance through several rounds has made this more of an expectation..."why can't we do the same?"

But it's clear that this team's psyche is pretty fragile, which is perhaps to be expected somewhat from a young team, but is also then what you'd expect the management to work on the most as well. I still haven't heard whether the Oilers have a sports psychologist on staff or not, for instance...

Bart

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Old
12-01-2003, 10:00 AM
  #24
Lowetide
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoudmouthHemskyfan#1
Ladies and gentlemen........I present to you the attitude that has us in our current situation.

If this team finishes 7th it's a disappointing joke and a waste.

EVERY SEASON IS ABOUT WINNING!

10-11-3 is an awful record for this team.

Acceptance of mediocrity..........I shudder at the thought

Guilty as charged. Lowe has made no secret that the priority was surviving until 2004 and at the same time building a solid young team with big upside. I believe he's succeeded.

You say "if this team finishes 7th it's a disappointing joke and a waste".

Okay, let's go through the list.

1. Vancouver, 33pts in 25gp. I think it's fair to say the Oilers won't catch them.

2. Colorado, 31pts in 24gp. They are still the class of the division until the Canucks topple them, but that might come this season. Still, a clear step above Edmonton.

3. Detroit, 30pts in 25gp. Even though both 8 million dollar goalies have been up and down, the Wings still have strong goaltending. Another team well clear of Edmonton, plus they're likely to take on help at the deadline.

4. St. Louis, 28pts in 21gp. They have a few games in hand on most of the conference, PLUS MacInnis hurt but this team is pretty damn good as long as the goaltending holds up. No way Edmonton can complete with them.

5. Los Angeles, 26pts in 23gp. The first team really that Edmonton could reasonable expect to compete with, but this is a veteran laden team that has had injury problems. If they couldn't stay with the Kings when they had a bunch of guys hurt, how can Edmonton compete as these players start to come back, let alone yesterday's trade. ON TOP OF THAT, the Kings are one of the few teams whose young players may well be better than Edmonton's.

6. San Jose, 26pts in 24gp. They have a different look, and lord knows most of the names aren't familiar, but the Sharks look like they have solid goaltending, plus guys like Sturm and Marleau having good seasons. Certainly possible for Edmonton to beat them out, but is it likely?

7. Nashville, 25pts in 23gp. Edmonton SHOULD beat Nashville, but that's not to say the Preds have no talent. They're a tough club with solid goaltending, and recently have been standing up to opponents PLUS getting points out of it. I don't think they'll stay in 7th, but this is a team that could slide by Edmonton in the final standings.

8. Anaheim, 25pts in 24gp. They've pulled points from their last 11 games or some darn thing, and are beginning to look like the team that dominated down the stretch last season.

9. Dallas, 25pts in 25gp. Playing well below expectations, the Stars seem to be floundering. However, there's enough talent on this team for them to step into the top 5 by the end of the season.

10. Edmonton, 23pts in 24gp. Lost their starting goalie to injury/poor play, and their #1 center to a lockout/holdout. Very good young team, they've hung in there and played well for the most part this season.

11. Calgary, 22pts in 21 gp. The Flames are playing very well, and when Iginla turns it around they should be even better. There's certainly every chance the Flames will finish ahead of Edmonton, and I don't think that can come as a surprise. They're well coached, work hard, and the goaltending has improved.

12. Phoenix, 21pts in 23 games. They keep getting points in games they seem to be out of, like last night.

13. Minnesota, 20pts in 24 games. They're not buried yet, and they have solid goaltending and fine coaching. They could catch fire any minute.

By my count, 4 teams are well clear, with the rest a crapshoot. The one thing that is clear imo from this list is that Edmonton finishing 7-10 is about what we can expect.

Anything more is asking too much from this team.

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Old
12-01-2003, 10:05 AM
  #25
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[QUOTE=Walsher]
Quote:
Originally Posted by lowetide
Before Walsher posts a public flogging schedule, QUOTE]

Why am I taking a beating from some of you lately? Because I criticize Smyth? Don't get it.
My apologies, was trying to be funny, and wasn't.

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