Thursday, November 27, 2008

Malaise Is Not Something You Put On Your Fries

I'm not a negative guy.
I don't believe in kneejerk decisions.

Eric Duhatschek said last night that Mactavish would be given a year to work with this club, that he was not in any danger of losing his job.

I think MacT is a good coach. I know some people disagree but you cannot separate good from bad and say the good was luck and circumstance while the bad was the measure of the man. And he's done some good, just as recently as last winter, not to mention the obvious, 2006.

I think only the blindest figured this team to roll through the Western Conference this season. I think that the return of Horcoff, Moreau, Pisani and Souray and the additions of Visnovsky and Cole does offset the losses of Pitkanen, Stoll and Reasoner and the fact that the shooting percentage of the kids last spring was unsustainable. This team is not a great team but they are a better team then they have shown so far.

I think that their present record might be acceptable due to their ridiculous schedule if we had not seen or heard about a single game.

I think that the three headed goalie is management's fault.

I think that having another veteran or two is always a good idea. Once again this is management's fault.

I think that Curtis Glencross is proving that he is a pretty good hockey player and this team misses him. That loss is management's fault.

I think management is once again trying to have their cake and eat it too by making MacT develop players while trying to compete for a playoff spot.

I think that Steve Staios has lost a step.

I think that playing Cole, Pisani, Penner and Smid out of position is the coach's fault.

I think that the insistence on playing Strudwick over Smid is a bad decision.

I think that the shot Liam Reddox blocked last night is one of the first I have seen by a Oiler penalty killing forward in a long time.

I think that whatever the underlying numbers show that Horcoff and Cole (both who I really like) and Penner (not a big fan) need to start scoring soon. Saying that at some point they will start getting breaks isn't making a difference on the scoresheet.

The kid line got soft opposition last night and did nothing.

Gagner has done nothing.

Nilsson has done nothing.

Brodziak has done nothing.

Underlying numbers and shooting percentage and all that stuff aside these guys all did pretty well in the NHL last season and now they are ciphers out there.

Garon is a forgotten man. Why?

Why is Smid playing forward?

The only players who can be said to be having good years, really - Hemsky, Gilbert, Souray, Visnovsky, Roloson. Why so few?

After coughing up a big lead to Columbus MacT tears a strip off this club. The next night they go down 5-0 to the Pens.

Penner and Brodziak get benched. The team responds with a great effort. The next game against Detroit, nothing.

Their last game before an extended layoff they are down 3-0 before the game is ten minutes old.

The first game of the year they get completely outplayed.

They respond by getting completely outplayed for the first two periods by Anaheim.

They don't show up against Chicago.

They disappear against the Leafs.

Last night they were "chomping at the bit" according to Ferraro.

Moreau takes a ridiculous penalty immediately.

Only Roloson and some breaks kept them in it early.

Other then Cogliano and Gilbert nobody showed consistent energy all night.

One or two bad games are one or two bad games. Multiple games featuring lack of effort and preparedness are a pattern.
The PK is a disaster.

The PP is improved but then has games where it costs them two points - not even generating chances.

This club isn't full of guys like Bobby Clarke and Ryan Smyth. But then again neither is Detroit.

But they aren't hard on the puck.

They fail to execute basic plays.

They are easy to play against.

They have poor first periods, which speaks to being unprepared to play.

There is a lack of compete.

The majority of the team is underachieving.

This team has holes but pretty well every team has holes.

This team has a lot of youth but plenty of teams have lots of youth.

This team isn't the Detroit Red Wings but they are a better team then this.

They haven't made the playoffs in three of the last four seasons.

I'm tired of losing.

You can't fire the whole team.

Draw your own conclusions.


hunter1909 said...

I'm already close to picking my bandwagon team in November.

Normally that's a springtime decision.

Swabbubba said...

hmmm we can publicly start demanding some action by boycotting all Rexall drugstores until something is done. All though by the way these dickheads are playing they are all on dope. Mr Hand was right. That was brutal... I was to angry to popst anything last night... good thing I don't live in E town or maybe Rexall would have been burnt to the ground. This collection of aholes don't deserve to wear the Oilers colours.. get new f'ing captain because I really don't care if MacT has lost the room the Captain still should be able to lead the team what a waste of space

hunter1909 said...

I went through the stats and Moreau's got 12 minors this season and 8 of those have been in the first period.

R-Gib said...

"Eric Duhatschek said last night that Mactavish would be given a year to work with this club, that he was not in any danger of losing his job."

Wow. Stuff like this makes a guy wonder just how much of this gong show has been MacT tinkering/developing with the players, and not just the general "Crazy Coach has lost his team" opinion that a few people have voiced. Maybe coach has a line in the sand (say 5 games under .500, or midway point in season) where he will stop all this tinkering and just run with the best he's got for each situation. Because we haven't seen that yet. Gagner on PK or Smid on wing for examples. Is it possible his leash is so long this year that he has taken to unregular ways of pushing some of these guys in the direction he wants?

Funny I posted something similar to this on my blog this morn. But I could be way off here.

Food for thought.

Jonathan said...

Hard to disagree with anything you've said; I'm definitely a fan of MacTavish as a coach but things need to come around soon.

The one item I will argue with is Brodziak; he's taking three times as many defensive as offensive zone draws last I checked, and could really use a break.

Two more items: the decision to recall Tim Sestito over, say, Ryan Potulny, is management's fault. As was the decision to claim Jesse Boulerice.

doritogrande said...

"Eric Duhatschek said last night that Mactavish would be given a year to work with this club, that he was not in any danger of losing his job."

Really? You don't view this as the ever-damning vote of confidance in a coach?

I know we go through this whole "Fire MacT" phase every year, but he's burying himself this year with his troop deployment. I can forgive the Cole as a LWer because they wanted to run with their best players possible, and even running Roloson game after game because frankly, he's our best option. But Pisani at 3C and Smid not playing D are inexcusable. We had the options for the 3line gig, and Smid has outplayed our bottom pairing for portions of this season.

Black Dog said...

jonathan - fair enough regarding Brodziak, to a point

dg - that was Duhatschek's opinion, don't know if he got that from the org., he didn't couch it as such

Bruce said...

BDHS: Outstanding stuff, just one correct point after another. I would add a couple more, about the mismanagement of Zack Stortini and Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers. That fourth line we iced last night was a joke.

Meanwhile, the guy who keyed last year's fourth line, Curtis Glencross, scored again tonight, a great indivudual play where he anticipated the opponent's pass, stole the puck, split the defence with sheer speed, then deked the goalie and roofed a backhand, the unassisted game winner late in the third right in Vancouver. A Huge goal. Who's been doing that for us?

GlenX now has 9 points in his last 6 games. Letting him walk while having wet dreams over the likes of Marian Hossa was a major fucking blunder.

Meanwhile the guys we kept and the guys we picked up are lucky if they can squeak one into the net every two or three weeks, and when they finally do they all do it in the same goddam game, Oilers' only win in the last six. Tough times.

Your comment about Reddox actually blocking a shot on the PK is a good point. Last night the Oilers blocked 23 shots, of which 2 (two) were blocked by forwards. It's the sort of thing this old-time fan of the late 80s-early 90s Oilers might say "Craig MacTavish and Kelly Buchberger would be rolling over in their grave if they saw how poorly Oiler forwards are blocking shots" if not for the salient fact that MacT and Bucky are not only not dead, they're coaching the fucking team. Whazzup with that???

(The best shot blocking penalty kill I have ever seen involved those two up front with K-Lowe and Craig Muni at the back. Now three of the four are running the team and we can't block a shot? I just don't get it.)

Black Dog said...

Thanks Bruce.

And never mind the coaches and GM, Moreau broke his leg in preseason blocking a shot and Horcoff is no slouch either.

Its a sign, plain and simple, when something that was a signature for a team no longer gets done at all. And its something that anyone with guts and a little technique can do. Just get in the way.

I agree on Stortini by the way. He's just fallen off the face of the earth.

Apparently Glencross was a straw.

So blame the GM for Glencross but when guys won't block shots that's a team not buying into the coach.