Hey armchair coaches… just let the guy do his job…

By , February 13, 2012 2:00 pm
Let the guy do his job

Let the guy do his job

Tom Renney:

It’s pretty easy to take pot shots as to what we’re doing and not doing. It’s the growth of a team that we’re worried about. Sometimes I might be protective of how I deploy those kids, when, where and how. The operative word being ‘kids’. These are going to be men in the not too distant future and I want to make sure they make it that far. I think you will see the kids start to kill penalties more. We’re working off my timetable, thank you very much, and we will continue to.

Absolutely love that quote. My suspicions on the kids have been confirmed by Renney. He IS sheltering them. The media (and some fans) have been all over Renney for giving the kids low minutes compared to Horcoff’s line.

At times this has been warranted, but I think I would actually say that generally people like to find one topic-of-the-week and harp on it to death without considering WHY this could be happening.

It’s because he’s been sheltering them from the tough minutes. I think it should be obvious that he’s been protecting them from playing in tough situations such as defensive zone starts and, at times, from playing tougher opponents.

The Oilers spent a LOT of time in their own zone versus Detroit and the Senators. The kids didn’t help matters much either, especially in Ottawa, as they were caught in their own zone a bit too much. And well, Renney keeps these kids from getting murdered on the ice (and thus losing confidence in themselves) by putting other lines out there such as the Horcoff line.

Really, I think there is a glaring weakness on this team that has been exposed by this tactic of Renney’s. We don’t have a dedicated shut down line. We’ve got a great offensive first line. We’ve got a 2nd line that is capable in their own zone, but spends most of the game battling the puck out of their own zone (thanks to the incapability of other lines to do this) and then we’ve got a third and fourth line with talents that I haven’t quite figured out. The second line also takes a beating from media and fans for not getting the job done, but really… if they had the cherry minutes that the top line did, I wonder if that would be the case.

This team needs some restructuring on the 3rd and 4th units. I like Jones, and I even like Belanger. They are guys that can be relied upon for the defensive minutes. I question whether the rest of the 3rd/4th line guys have the battle to move the puck forward. It’s a tough thing to be relied on for that purpose. But we’ve got rookies like Lander and Petrell (love them both) that are being pushed to carry this duty. It’s not a good idea. I think the Oilers need to solve that problem in the off-season some more so that Lander can develop his game more in the AHL (ditto perhaps with Paajarvi).

Anyways, keep it up Tom.

8 Responses to “Hey armchair coaches… just let the guy do his job…”

  1. Ktown says:


    +1 ’nuff said.

  2. chucker says:

    I think people forget how many prospects have been rushed by other organizations and how much better they might have been if the didn’t. Florida, NYI, Atlanta/Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal, Chicago, Pittsburgh and on and on. People forget how many groups of prospects it took until Chicago, Washington and Pittsburgh or even New York burned out early. This year the kids look rushed and more vets are obviously needed and not guys like Hordichuk who play 15 games a year. Big off season is looming for Tambi…

  3. Racki says:

    I agree Chucker. I think this past off-season’s moves were fairly well done. Not the BEST, for sure, but they were a step forward. But as we saw, they weren’t enough as some didn’t work out. I think Ben Eager is a quality 4th liner, so I’m content keeping him. I think Belanger, while an offensive vacuum, is a great pick up for the team. I think Barker has been a dud. I think Sutton was a fantatic pick up. I think Hordichuk (now) was not a good pick up at all, since Tom Renney has no confidence in playing him (not going to argue that).

    I think Petrell and Tyrvainen were good pick ups too, but I don’t think Petrell has the NHL experience (At least yet) to be relied on for the role he needs to play.

    This team needs a dedicated checking line. The ??/Horcoff/Hemsky line consistently has tough nights because they’re so heavily relied on to play the toughs and battle out of the d-zone. We need a go to line that will battle up ice and keep it there for our #1 and 2 lines to do the damage. As it stands, our 3rd and 4th lines don’t have that ability. This team is far too frequently battling to get out of their zone. It might partly be a product of their d too, especially with Whitney gone all that time.

    Really we need a good overhaul of the D-group and that bottom 3rd/4th line.

    I’ve changed my stance on Hemsky a bit too. I’m seeing it more as to why he’s been struggling. I wouldn’t mind seeing him sign a cheap and short contract here for another chance. I wouldn’t be to upset to see him go though if we got a nice return. But I think this problem with battling out of our zone really needs to be addressed.

  4. chucker says:


    Speaking of re-signing Hemsky. Sounds like he is asking high and not concerned if he gets moved….

  5. chucker says:


    Another one from Willis. I could edit my previous but it wouldn’t let me paste this in there. (iPad)

  6. NorwegianOiler says:

    What do you make of Tambellini’s comments that this team is much better than the results suggest. Where does that put Renney’s efforts? Are we blaming injury again?

  7. Racki says:

    Hmm, I think I can PARTLY agree that it is better than the results suggest, but I wouldn’t say it’s anywhere near good enough. This is one of the reasons I dislike Tambellini, the perennial evaluator.

    There are big holes that need to be filled… in net… on d… on forward.

    I love where our top six is, with and without Hemsky (although with preferred, actually). But outside of that, I think it needs some good tweaking. I’m responding on the forum too to you. lol be a few with that one.

  8. hemmerlady says:


    Another one from Willis. I could edit my previous but it wouldn’t let me paste this in there. (iPad)

    hem is trade bait every year, but this year it feels inevitable.
    *HL braces for impact*

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