TOM RENNEY LAYS ASS-WHOOPIN’
Some of the memorable quotes from last night’s beat down on the Oilers’ collective ego (taken from Edmonton Journal):
That was an absolute joke, a travesty. We win a game (against Anaheim Sunday, 4-2) and we figure we’re going to be hoisting the Cup. Our battle level was non-existent tonight, the pride in the jersey was not even close what it needs to be. They figure he’s (Dubnyk) going to lead them to the Promised Land, I guess, because he’s been so great.
It starts in the morning when the guys come to the skate. That’s when you get prepared. You have a night (with their dads after a golf tournament) to take a breather but when you get up the next day, it’s game day. Doesn’t matter what time it is. We’re a team that has to come to the rink every day and work on something. We had a complete lack of focus and a commitment to each other and the game plan.
(On giving Magnus Paajarvi more ice time yesterday):
He’s been a good soldier, he’s bounced around the lineup without a complaint, ever. This was an opportunity to give him more ice and the way he was handling it, I thought he get a touch or two and score (he hasn’t in 12 games). I was thinking more about him than the team. Obviously, they weren’t thinking about anything else.
Renney has been pretty supportive of the team in the face of another bleak season, so I’m surprised he went on this rant, but it is pretty deserved. This team is Jekyll and Hyde. You never know which one will show up. That’s just how it will be for such a young team, but nothing really seems to motivate these guys for very long and gets the message through their thick skulls.
Oil Change 2
Now on to Oil Change episode 2. Here are my notes from that.. bear in mind, these were done before last night’s game.. so the Renney comments are kind of a laugh now with the news of him exploding on the team.
- Ralph Kreuger likes to joke around with the players and is considered a “players coach”.
- Talking with Steve MacIntyre he says he thinks he’s getting better and isn’t a risk defensively.
- Cogliano asked Ralph Kreuger for more PK time (really timidly by the way.. kind of funny). Kreuger said it wasn’t his call, but thought he could be a great penalty killer some day. Good to hear Cogliano interested in getting better at that. Take that, you fuckin’ bastards that say he doesn’t accept a “Marchant 2.0 role”.
- The team did some great faceoff drills where they had a competition of 3(?) teams and counted up who won the most faceoffs. The losing team looked to be stuck doing pushups afterwards.
- In the SJ game in October where the Oilers started good, but got blown out later, Renney benched Vandermeer. Part way through, Kreuger asked if they should sit him for 8 minutes and then see how he responds, to which Renney shook his head.
- Kreuger asked Smid about playing the right side. Smid said “why?” … almost like he was scared about playing the right side and later admitted he wasn’t comfortable at all. Kreuger razzed him a bit afterwards asking if he can skate backwards. Kreuger seems to really be able to connect/laugh with the players, which is good to see. I don’t think many of us knew much about him, coming in. Renney and Kreuger asked the question because Foster was out, and the team would be stuck with two lefties playing together. They eventually break the news that Smid will stay on the left, much to his relief.
- Renney is a very positive coach, from what I can see. He is constantly trying to motivate these guys, even when they’re down and seems to send the message to play it a period at a time…. win the period. This may have helped the team come back vs. the Flames from down 4-1 to tie it up and force overtime and a shootout (which they lost, but just being there after being down that much is a big thing).
- They show Hall and Smid goofing around having a sparring match in practice before the game vs. the Blue Jackets.
- In an interview for this show, Hall talks about his not having scored his first goal yet, and he says he knows it will happen and isn’t worried and just hopes it will open things up once the first one comes.
- Some of Horcoff’s leadership, outspokenness and ability to motivate is really highlighted in this game vs. the Jackets, as Horcoff is mic’d up. On one play as Hall was coming in on the goaltender and you could hear Horcoff say “come on kid”, hopeful he’d score, but Hall shot was saved. Horcoff also spends some time in this game offering advice to Paajarvi on the bench and shows great patience and mentorship with him. Later in the game, Horcoff later yells “Go to the net! Here!” and Hall does so and manages to get his first goal after banging in a rebound on a shot (I think by Horcoff). At the end of the game in the dressing room, he credits Dubnyk, saying “that’s a huge first start for us Doobie, you got us a point, that’s the way.” I realize this all sounds a little silly the way I’m tooting Horcoff’s horn. But I just think it ends any questions about a rift in the dressing room between veterans and youth.
- Smid is a pretty vocal and funny guy too, always razzing other players. He says to the camera man: “Want to see the ugliest guy on the team? Storts come over here, you’re making Geico commercial”
- Renney knows his shit and it shows vs. the Hawks, giving advice to get in the face of Seabrook and Keith because they are good if you respect them, but average if you get in their face. He also points out how Turco likes to play the puck behind his net and rip it around, and the Oilers take his advice perfectly and you see examples of this working perfectly (Turco getting the puck taken away on a hard around, Seabrook coughing up the puck when pressured). This was the big 7-4 win.
- Renney is pissed vs. the Canucks. He says in a timeout (maybe TV timeout) to get in the game or get off the ice and threatens that he’d play with six guys if he has to (i.e. six guys that work and bench the rest). The Oilers lose this one 4-3.
- I’ve noticed from time to time, Devan Dubnyk isn’t your typical goaltender when it comes to personality. Most of these guys are usually off in their own world, but he’s pretty vocal and clowns around with the team a fair bit. One instance this is shown… after watching goaltender coach Fred Chabot firing pucks at Khabibulin (in which Chabot says “nice save” to Khabibulin once or twice) and it becomes his turn to practice. Doobie jokes to Chabot: “Can I get a ‘nice save’ everytime I stop one? All practice? Yah Doobie!”.
- They give a brief spot on Kim Amirault being hired as performance consultant.
- Chabot points out a stat of “66% of the goals are in the bottom half of the net”.
- Against the Hawks, Buchberger and someone else comment on something being wrong with Horcoff.. an injury they aren’t sure about. He’s out the next game due to a “thigh contusion”.
- Horcoff spots a fan wearing his jerseys in the crowd and jokes with Vandermeer about how it’s good to see he’s got support all the way in Carolina.
- Renney is stuck benching more players in an ugly one vs. Carolina. “The only currency a coach has is ice time. No one wants to sit,” Renney says to the camera crew.
- Time for an ugly one, as they show highlights of the 8-2 thumping by the Rangers. Renney supported Smid in trying to start something with Avery after Fraser was hit. While the score was ugly, Renney at least credited the team for standing up for each other in that game, and I can agree with that. It was an ugly game, but there was one positive in it to be had.
Anyone have anything else to add that I may have missed?
BELLE ASSIGNED TO OKLAHOMA CITY
Shawn Belle has been re-assigned to the Oklahoma City Barons. This was expected, as Ladislav Smid should be back for the Colorado game on Thursday.